Norwegian Koie (Little Cabin)

Even if you don’t plan on making a back country trip to Norway any time soon, these tiny cabins may give you a few ideas on how to create a tiny house that melds nearly seamlessly with its natural surroundings. Koiene (pronounced koi-eh-n) are a system of tiny, convenient cabins scattered around the countryside of Trøndelag, Norway for use by anyone who’s in the area for hiking, fishing, foraging, hunting, cross country skiing or snowshoeing.

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The simple, little structures can be rented through a website that specializes in memberships for these types of vacation cabins. The site and the cabins are run voluntarily by groups of students. The cabins are named after the area they are in and these multi-syllabic locations are distinctive from each other: some are on a river or creek, some on top of a mountains, some by the lake or other larger body of water. Continue reading

Alaskan Log Cabin

Aaron and Jill Bork have done what many of us dream of, running off to the wilds of Alaska and building a log cabin.

The couple fell in love with each other and the state and decided to build their own home. Armed with only a book and no prior knowledge of log cabin building, they purchased five acres of land with a spectacular view in their favorite area of Alaska and began to build a log cabin by hand with trees from their property. They built the cabin over the course of one summer, and spent the next year finishing up the inside.

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Just about everything in the cabin came from the land: the countertops were built with rocks from a local creek, the deck from local saplings, the spiral staircase going to the loft is made of local timber and even the toilet seat is made of a tree trunk.

In order to simplify their lives and live in the area they loved so much, they decided to do without some of the luxuries. They built an outhouse, do their laundry in a Wonderwash, and warm the cabin with a donated woodstove. They don’t have running water and use a cooler and dry ice to keep their food cold. They also cook on a Coleman stove and use a generator for their electricity.

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The cabin is furnished with furniture the couple built themselves and decorated with found objects. They own a small company called Alaska Antler Works where they create furniture and home accessories out of antlers.

This beautiful, hand crafted home is an impressive example of what can be done with determination, a few friends and love and knowledge of the outdoors.

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By Christina Nellemann

Photos by Aaron and Jill Bork, Alaska Antler Works

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