For someone who wants to be close to nature, but doesn’t mind a little less privacy, a new bubble hotel/campground has been built just outside of Paris by designer Pierre-Stephane Dumas. Each of his “rooms” are transparent, air-filled plastic bubbles placed discretely in the garden of the Chateau de Malmaison, which is the former home of Napolean’s Josephine.
“I think nearly everyone of us has dreamed of something like this,” Dumas said. He built these bubbles primarily to stargaze from the comfort of bed without having to set up a tent. 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 »
If a Moroccan tent and a trailer had a baby, and that baby went to charm school, it might look just like the Opera. The Opera is manufactured by the Netherlands-based Your Suite in Nature (YSIN) and was designed after the Sydney Opera House. The trailer travels around as a nondescript pop-up, but then transforms like a swan into an elegant and luxurious camping space.
The Opera has been designed for people who don’t want to tow around larger, heavier campers or fifth wheels, but still want comfortable amenities while still enjoying the outdoors. The Opera offers what most camping tents don’t: two electrically adjustable beds that can be transformed into one, a private ceramic toilet and two sinks, a 36 liter (9.5 gallon) top-loading refrigerator, a 30 liter (about 8 gallon) water tank and water pump, LED lighting and even a teak veranda. The Opera also has a boiler that supplies warm water to the outdoor kitchen and the exterior shower, hot air heating, two cupboards, and a wine storage cabinet as well as baggage and clothing storage. Continue Reading »
By Dan Price
In 1990, I moved back to my home state of Oregon intent on living in a tipi and getting rid of mortgages or rent. I looked for a suitable piece of property for months and finally located a 2 acre meadow next to the Wallowa River near the town of Joseph. The owners agreed that I could set up a tipi there in exchange for clearing downed trees and repairing the fence lines. A few months later I moved out of a small room up town and into the tipi full time. I spent three seasons in that 16 ft tipi.
In order to simplify, I sold the tipi and built a 9 ft X12ft red willow hut, complete with carpeting and blanket door and proceeded to live in that space for 2 years. Luckily I was able to put in underground electricity early on so was able to have lights and a small heater which helped in the winter months. The came a time when my Moonlight Chronicle zine got a corporate sponsorship from Simple Shoes in California and I spent the next 4 years mostly traveling around drawing and writing. Continue Reading »
by Maarten Bellaard
I have been reading your blog for a few months now and every new post inspires and surprises me. The whole idea of utilizing and experimenting with small spaces is really fascinating. Considering most of your blog posts have an American/Canadian touch to it, I believe that my story could be a fresh view on camping!
My girlfriend used to go camping with her parents in this beautiful classic caravan. Last summer we took it to Switzerland and France and this summer we took 4 weeks to completely restore this 50 year old caravan.
The caravan is a Wa-Wa 180 Sport. The original manufacturer doesn’t exist anymore, but they used to build a lot of wooden caravans and trailers. This Wa-Wa was created for recreational use on campsites but considering its weight of 300 kg’s even people with a small, not so powerful car could take this caravan and travel around with it. Besides the chassis and the rear window, the whole caravan is made of wood. Inside there is room for a small kitchen – with a refrigerator, sink and a gas cooker – and a large twin bed that can be removed and replaced by two small benches and a table. Originally the caravan was designed so it could fit 6 people! The caravan surface is only 2 x 3 meters so in practice nobody used it that way.
The Wa-Wa caravan is even more special because of its roof. The wooden roof is set up when you are camping in it and can be fold down so it is barely higher than a small car. This saves a lot of gas money and creates a stronger structure when you are driving with it.
On the pictures you can see the blue tent that was specially made for this caravan.
This caravan has a big history and is pretty unique; only a few of them are still alive these days.
To send this summer off in style, I thought I would profile these colorful Indian tents. Most of them are primarily used for temporary purposes such as weddings and parties, but they are so well made and are so beautiful that they could be used as a tiny house – and you would be living like royalty.
Traditional Indian tents were often used as royal structures for the Maharajas and their courts. Ceremonial tents became the symbol of wealth and rank and the centerpiece of religion and society. Tents were often the most precious possessions – dwellings of both utility, luxury and mobility. The history of tents is long and widespread, mentioned in holy literature, recorded in poetry and depicted in art. Today, these tents are still used at palaces, private properties, gardens and resorts. Continue Reading »