Tents as Tiny Houses

There are still a few weeks of summer left and now’s the time to dig out another type of tiny house—the tent. While most people would never think of a tent as a tiny house, many people who spend months hiking over 2,000 miles on trails like the Pacific Crest and the Appalachian look at that bundle of nylon, cordage and plastic as their shelter, safety, warmth and haven.

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Like the turtle with its shell, there’s something to be said for being able to strap everything you need for the next few days, weeks, months or even years of your life onto your back. The sense of self-sufficiency and freedom is empowering.

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Caro Ryan, of the blog Lotsafreshair, posted a creative, little video of how her tent has become her tiny house. Caro is an Aussie gal who films some beautiful hiking and backpacking videos in the Australian bush and shares tips on how to get the most out of your fresh air trips. She covers how to cook and eat well, how to pack a backpack, hiking health and fitness and how to be as light on the land as possible. You also have to watch her videos just to hear her say “billy” in her Aussie accent.

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With the new movie, Wild (based on Cheryl Strayed’s bestselling book) coming out soon, folks may get even more inspired to chuck their material possessions and hit the trail. The idea of the tent as a temporary or long-term home may become even more acceptable—even in the tiny house realm.

Photos and video by Lotsafreshair/Caro Ryan

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Cedarshed Industries

Cedarshed Industries in British Columbia has been designing and building shed and small structures for backyard use since 1992 and several of their designs could be used as tiny houses—or combined to be a tiny house community—without taking up too much space.

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All the Cedarshed Industries kits are made with Western Red Cedar for its endurance, dimensional stability, beauty and distinct aroma. The kits come as either precut kits that take 2-4 days to assemble with a professional carpenter or as panelized kits that take about a day to assemble. Each kit comes with all pieces including floors, cedar shingles and hardware. A level foundation will need to be installed before the kit is placed.

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The Cedarshed designs that could make potential tiny houses are the Ranchhouse, the Cookhouse, the Farmhouse, the Cedarhouse and the Haida Cabin. The Ranchhouse includes a 5′ wide double door and is available in four prefab kit sizes from 12 ‘x 12′ to 16′ x 14′. It includes a 4′ deep porch, two windows and decorative shutters and planter box. The Cookhouse is available in three sizes from 12′ x 10′ to 16′ x 14′ and has an enclosed gable porch. The Farmhouse has four sizes available from 16′ x 12′ to 20′ x 14′. It also has a double door and a porch. The Cedarhouse is available in five sizes from 10′ x 8′ to 10′ x 20′ and includes a Dutch door. The Haida Cabin is a panelized kit that requires no cutting and is available in 12′ x 8′, 16′ x 8′ and 20′ x 8′ sizes.

Another smaller kit that could be used as a tiny house is the darling Clubhouse. It’s available in six sizes from 8′ x 12′ to 10′ x 20′ and includes a Dutch door, three windows and a drop down window. The Clubhouse could be used in conjunction with another kit to create a tiny house compound.

Prices for the kits range from $2,884 for an 8′ x 12′ Clubhouse to $6,384 for a 20′ x 14′ Farmhouse. Shipping costs will vary by distance and take about 3-4 weeks. The company has a free online catalog where you can view their different designs.

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Photos by Cedarshed Industries

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

We Quit Our Jobs to Ride Our Bicycles

I heard about Jim and Shane while on a teardrop trailer gathering in northern California and just their simple Facebook name said it all: We Quit Our Jobs to Ride Our Bicycles. The bicycle tour is still going on, but once they hang up their helmets—the tiny house building will commence.

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The two men from Northern California had both been raised in mountain communities and wanted to return to the land after working for several years. The idea of quitting their jobs and riding around the U.S. on their bicycles coincided with their love of the outdoors, gardening and working with their hands.

“We were growing tired of living in the mundane and felt the need for a dramatic change,” Jim and Shane said. “The idea of traveling by bicycle was appealing to both of us from the stand point of its simplicity, its affordability and the exposure to possibilities. With traveling by bicycle, you see and experience so much more in the slow pace of pedaling than you ever could in the enclosure of a speeding car. We also were interested in exploring the country in search for new ideas and a new place to live, one that would accommodate our dream of building tiny homes.”

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Jim has an interest in small structures and Shane has a strong background in sustainable living. After stumbling across Lloyd Kahn’s book “Tiny Homes, Simple Shelter” in a small book store in San Francisco, they decided that they would build a tiny home for themselves after finishing their trip.

“Our experience with bicycle touring has solidified our interest in simple living and has taught us the virtues of getting by with just the basics,” they said. “We have a particular interest in the salvaged aspect of the Texas Tiny Homes and the ones that emphasize outdoor living and engagement with the surrounding environment.”

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Their tiny house idea has expanded further to become a tiny house community. They want to create a bicycle centered communal living space that includes several tiny homes, a common meal and meeting space, large garden and greenhouse, gray water system, bicycle powered laundry machine, and photovoltaic and water heater panels. They also want to build with salvaged materials. The men recently spent a few weeks building a greenhouse with recycled materials for a host family in Pahrump, Nev. After their pedaling tour, they will be on the lookout for a town to host their tiny house community.

“Finding a town that is willing to work with us on our idea of tiny home community has proven to be a challenge,” Jim and Shane said. “We want to find a place that is in need of affordable living and be able to provide it in the form of tiny homes.”

You can follow their tour and see their beautiful photos on their Facebook page and on TrackMyTour.com.

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Photos by Jim and Shane of We Quit Our Jobs to Ride Our Bicycles

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]