The Tiny Houses of Black Rock City: Caravansary

The theme for this year’s Burning Man, Caravansary, might be one of the most perfect for how the event works. The Persian word means either an Asian or North African inn for desert travelers or a group of people traveling together in a caravan. Both describe Black Rock City and its tiny houses to a “T”. For the people “living” in Black Rock City for the week of Burning Man, their caravan shelters include tents, wooden structures made from pallets, colorful trailers, domes and wagons. This year, we were stunned to realize we were camped right next to Philippe Glade of the This is Black Rock City blog. The Tiny House Blog featured his book, Black Rock City, NV: The Ephemeral Architecture of Black Rock City last year and his new book is now in the works.

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Many structures at Burning Man are elaborate and take hours or days to erect. Sometimes the most beautiful are the most simple. This tent was located way beyond the city near the “trash fence” that surrounds the event.

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Other tents are still built from simple materials, but have more exotic shapes.

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Just a step up from tents are Costco carports and other prefabricated shelters. This is the Museum of Cultural Appropriation and Dead Things and the Museum’s bar — not open at this time.

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It’s always nice to get a little elevated above the desert. These structures are build with wood and wooden pallets and some are placed on top of truck beds or on top of RVs.

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Trailers are sometimes unrecognizable in Black Rock City. A cargo trailer becomes a conestoga wagon, a canned ham becomes part of the Nakked Zebra boutique camp and Jay’s eclectic Scamp sits in the middle of Kidsville.

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Domes are very popular and quick to erect. This one is a bar and nightclub reminiscent of the Mos Eisley Cantina from Star Wars.

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This interesting structure has windows to let in the fresh air.

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This patchwork yurt offers the gift of storytelling.

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The beautiful bunk tents at the Ashram Galactica camp can be won during a nightly lottery.

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The Hardly Hotel offers rooms for rent, a bar and a “Thriller” Flash Mob.

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This beautifully painted tiny house is located in the Department of Public Works neighborhood. The DPW are the people who build Black Rock City and live in the desert for sometimes eight to ten weeks.

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The Burner Ready, Burner Born group from Reno, Nevada decided to tow their entire sailboat out to the desert.

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Both of these camps brought the tropics to the desert.

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Two of the most beautiful structures in the City this year reflect the craftsmanship of many of the people who come to live here.

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While the steampunk house on stilts from the Lost Nomads of Vulcania was not a camp, it could be lived in.

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Welcome to Black Rock City. Wish you were here.

 

Photos by Christina Nellemann

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Instructables Vardo

For anyone dreaming of their own vardo wagon to sleep in or rent out, this sweet, little red wagon was built by J.M. Labrosse and featured by Instructables. J.M.’s step-by-step guide breaks this project down into manageable parts and a PDF of the project can be downloaded from the Instructables website.

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The insulated vardo features a classic shape with a Dutch door, stained glass windows, decorative trim and an unusually shaped deck. It contains a full bed with storage underneath, bench seating, a heater and a fan as well as 110 power and plugs. The 4×8 foot vardo was built on a 48×96 inch Harbor Freight trailer with a 1,720 lb load capacity. The trailer weighs under 1,200 lbs and was framed with both 2×4 inch and 2×2 inch boards.

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The wagon is currently available as an Airbnb rental in Seattle, Washington along with an additional vardo J.M. built.

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Photos by J.M. Labrosse

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

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]