In an initial armchair approach to preparing for some longer and tougher hiking trails (I’m starting to train for Mount Whitney), I’ve been reading some great books on people tackling the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail. The popular book “Wild” was fun, but I am really enjoying “Awol on the Appalachian Trail” by David Miller.
David’s 2003 hike is documented in this beautifully written story that really brings the trail to life. He also goes into details about his “homes” along the trail since he rarely used a tent: the AT shelters that dot the 2,172 mile long passage across the mountain range. There are around 250 backcountry shelters along the trail where both section and thru-hikers can stay for free. Most of them are basic and open to the elements, but some are actually beautifully constructed and take advantage of views, light and airflow. Most of the shelters are near a creek or a stream and some have a privy or basic toilet nearby. They are kept clean and in shape by hikers and trail volunteers.
Most of the shelters have basic sleeping platforms, but no cots or beds. Food is either kept away from bears and other critters in boxes or hung from strings on the ceilings. Some shelters have picnic tables and food prep areas and most of them do not allow open campfires.
Top photo: William Penn Shelter. Photo by White Blaze.net.
Debt free – healthy, happy, and with lots of friends. Where the best things in life are not things, where less is more and, where just enough is plenty!
The lifestyle model includes:
- Sustainable living – shelter, food, water, energy, transport, waste, environment
- Community participation – volunteering, active citizenship
- Education – learning, simple sustainable choices, self-sufficiency, and rich experiences
A model for life and an educational project to learn from with information and inspiration.
Of most interest to the Tiny House community this website will be the Happy, simply home – a 10m2 house built by a group of volunteers using mainly reused, recycled, or left-over materials in two weeks for under $8000 NZ ($6700USD).
To live simply is the ultimate sophistication and luckily I have been fortunate to live and learn from the world’s poorest who, unfortunately, don’t get to choose simplicity, but are masters of living simply and being more connected to their families, communities, and the environment around them.
Simplicity has so many amazing benefits to the individual, the people around them, the environment, and towards a more just and connected global community. This was the starting point that I wanted to have a home that implemented these ideologies in a tangible way through a dwelling to live in and be an active part of a community.
After traveling to almost 60 on top of my native home of Australia, I stumbled upon a town named Paekakariki (where the girls are cheeky – as the local rhyme goes) and fell in love with the surrounding beach and mountains and also the community. It’s a small but distinct community that cares about where they live and those who live within the community. I was there this time last year and then had to leave for the remainder of the year. I returned in late January to set up the Happy, simply project and the home. Continue Reading »
This last summer, my husband and I took a three day whitewater rafting trip on the South Fork of the American River in central California. This area of the state has a culture of its own. While the mountains and the coast have the ski and surf bum, the American River is home to the seasonal river guide. Many of these river guides come from all over the country to raft and kayak one of the most popular rivers in the West and they live from May to October in a hodgepodge of dwellings.
The river guides we rafted, ate and played in the water with lived in tents at nearby campgrounds, in temporary buildings on land leased by various rafting companies or in VW buses in the parking lot. One of the guides even lived the entire summer in a hammock strung up between two live oak trees. The guides used the campground bathrooms and showers and cooked in outdoor kitchens. Around the river, and in the massive, thorny blackberry bushes these free spirits squat in what might seem like terrible living conditions, but what they see as the best way to experience the river. Continue Reading »
by Cory Hagen
I want to start by thanking you for laboriously keeping me up to speed on the tiny house movement ever since I started reading your blog in 2008. Yours was the first tiny house resource I found, and I’ve been a loyal follower ever since!
A bit about me: My name is Cory Hagen. I’ve been designing houses since I was very young, and I’ve been designing tiny houses since 2008. My husband and I are both Iowa natives and currently reside near Iowa City, Iowa – the unofficial cradle of the tiny house movement. While I definitely see the romantic appeal of small, rustic structures and simple living, I know there are many couples out there who want to downsize, but aren’t ready to give up the conveniences of modern living.
The Tiny Glass House is my response to those who want a simple, modern house that is compact and portable, but not lacking in amenities. I sought to include:
- A full kitchen with residential refrigerator/freezer, dishwasher, oven, cooktop, pantry and abundant prep space.
- Kitchen cabinetry and storage that is primarily made from off-the shelf components.
- Full-size washer and dryer.
- Main floor bedroom with full access around the bed.
- Guest sleeping accommodations.
- Bathroom w/ full-sized facilities (larger shower, flush toilet, etc.).
- Open plan design that allows for passive heating/cooling and abundant natural light.
- Flexible design that can be easily adapted to suit.
The Tiny Glass House is 8ft 6in wide by 38ft long, and can be permanently attached to a trailer or transported via semi and lifted into place. The flexible layout allows one side of the house to remain open to views and nature, and the glazed side of the house can be positioned to take advantage of passive heating/cooling. Modern homes are not everyone’s cup of tea, but this layout could easily be incorporated into a traditional style. I hope you will be able to post the attached photos on tinyhouseblog.com. It would be a great honor to contribute to something that has brought me a new way of looking at the world!
All the best,
P.S. I also included a few photos of a swedish modern cabin design that is a reinterpretation of the Dwelle.ings prefab system in the UK.