Union Pacific’s “What Did You Build?” Project

What did you build?

Hey everyone this really looks like fun. If you have built your own tiny house and want a chance to show it off continue reading.

Recently, Union Pacific Railroad launched an initiative meant to celebrate do-it-yourself enthusiasts while giving back to four organizations: Girls Inc., the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, the National Park Foundation and The Nature Conservancy.

The campaign is called “What Did You Build?” Participants are asked to submit a photo of something they’ve built, along with a brief description, at up.com/whatdidyoubuild. If their photo is selected, $100 is given to the charity of their choice, and the photo is posted on Union Pacific’s Instagram account: @uprr.

John built a 1940s-style teardrop camper. “I tow it all around Texas and watch UP trains!” Now show us what you’ve built. Go to up.com/whatdidyoubuild

teardrop trailer

Ode to the Outhouse

The lowly outhouse may be making a comeback. Some tiny houses being designed these days are not being outfitted with a bathroom or even a space for a composting toilet. While a specific design or structure may be sound and even really beautiful, it may not provide people with one of the most basic of human needs. A simple or more complex outhouse could be a viable solution.

The outhouse originated about 500 years ago in Europe, and was used primarily at inns or in public spaces. During this time, the ubiquitous symbol of the crescent moon on the outhouse door also began to appear. Since most people were illiterate during this time, the male outhouses were marked with the symbol of a sun, indicating masculinity, and the women’s were marked with a symbol of a crescent moon, which represented the feminine (also the Roman goddess Diana who was the protector of women). As time went on and the American frontier opened up, the men’s outhouses were not maintained as well as the women’s (since men tended to just go out in the woods), so the men’s outdoor commodes began to disappear, leaving the women’s (and their crescent moon symbol) behind. Eventually, outhouses became unisex and some even included several different sized holes for men, women and children. Continue reading

SylvanSport’s Coolest. Contest. Ever. Adventure Contest!


I covered SylvanSport’s GO back in 2010 and they are having a contest I thought you might enjoy entering so I am letting you know about it. Here are the details:

What’s your ultimate dream adventure? Surfing the sky-blue waves in Malibu? Kayaking the class five rapids of the Appalachian foothills? Star-gazing in Bryson Canyon?

There’s no better way to adventure than with your favorite gear in tow. A Swiss Army Knife of campers, the SylvanSport GO is the ultimate adventure aid. A GO can hold up to 10 kayaks or 5 bikes, or all your camping and a few surf boards, or an ATV and rock climbing gear, or…well, you get the idea!

Detail your GO adventure in this online essay contest for bold and creative outdoor adventure junkies—that means YOU—and you just might win a chance to GO on the adventure of a lifetime.

Sylvan Sport GO

ENTER at our contest homepage, and in 400 words or less tell us what your epic plans are for a gear-heavy GO expedition AND how you would promote your adventure. Blogging? Stop-motion photo stream? Sky writing? Would you brag to your friends? How about your office, your ex or your grandma? Tell us!

The three best essays win a hooked up gear package from our premier outdoors sports sponsors including Yakima, Kelty, Keen, Black Diamond, Wenger, Jackson Kayak, SPOT, Grand Trunk Goods, and Orbea AND… the GO itself for up to three months to live and document your adventure story.

The most epic and well documented resulting adventure of the three finalists keeps the Go itself and bonus gear from our sponsors-That’s the GO, thousands of dollars worth of gear, major online publicity, and bragging rights.

Contest ends May 31st 2012, but don’t wait! Each week contestants are automatically entered into weekly giveaways for more great gear from our sponsors! The earlier you sign up, the more chances you have to win prizes.

Contest graphic

Tiny Houses for St. Nick

The big guy from the North Pole might not fit inside this tiny house, but it makes for a cute addition to the Christmas Tree Village shopping center in Incline Village on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. The Christmas Tree Village has been at the lake since the 1970s and this little house has been a popular photo stop ever since.

The Christmas themed house was originally built as a place for children to come during the holidays to have their photo taken with Santa Claus, and as place to hold parties for the local vendors. Now the tiny house is a mechanical room for the hydronic heating system that runs underneath the parking lot of the shopping center to keep it free of ice and snow.

Maybe Mr. Claus might find a little more room at the St. Nick’s cabin at Sorenson’s Resort instead… :-)

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]