The Tiny Houses of Black Rock City: Cargo Cult

by Christina Nellemann on September 2nd, 2013. 14 Comments

Another Burning Man event has come to a close and Black Rock City this year was jam packed full of interesting camps and structures. The city is the area where the nearly 60,000 people who come to the event live. Their “homes” are a selection of unique structures, trailers, buildings, tents, yurts and other forms of shelter that keep out the harsh sun, sometimes heavy winds and the dust that permeates the air.

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Last year, we camped by Tin Man and his fantastic metal pods. This year, we camped by him again and noticed the pods have been improved and they multiplied. Tin Man, a metal worker from Sacramento has been featured in Popular Science magazine with his walking pod, and his pod cabin is his home on the Playa. The bottom pod is a kitchen, the middle pod is a shower area and the top pod with the view is his bedroom. He even had a few guests staying in his camp and created a self-contained micro pod and some guest pods made of curtains.

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There were a lot of shipping container shelters out on the playa this year including this one with a constructed inner building that is air conditioned and accessed by a real door. This container was used by one of the Black Rock Rangers. Rangers are the city’s peacekeeping and helpful guides. They help people who are lost, work perimeters during various burns and stay in the city sometimes for several weeks.

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There were some very interesting domes this year including this structure that looked like an igloo.

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This dome was made entirely out of loaves of bread.

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These domes were kept full by constantly pumping air into them via a generator.

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This dome was built to look like a large bird of prey.

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If you come to Black Rock City in a tent, there are various structures you can place over your tent to keep it cooler and dust free. Our neighbor Kristal Light built a Monkey Hut around her Coleman Bayside tent (which even had a swinging door and a small closet) and our other neighbors built a custom sized post structure around their tent.

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Some very colorful structures were in the city this year including yurts, circus tents, Moroccan tents and even a tipi covered in silk scarves.

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Of course, there were some beautiful little trailers in the city as well.

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Some unusual structures included a teardrop trailer sans trailer built onto the bed of a truck.

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A castle called the Coo Coo Camelot.

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A yellow, or lello, structure built on top of a shipping container. This structure was used by members of the Department of Public Works, the group who builds Black Rock City.

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The Open Mind Zendo near Fractal Planet was built out of cardboard boxes.

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This treehouse structure was built and used by the camp Dustfish.

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Hands down, my favorite camp in all of Black Rock City is Ashram Galactica. Their extremely well run camp contains the Grand Hotel, a colorful yurt and a set of beautifully decorated canvas bunk houses that serve as the Ashram Suites. Each of the suites are gifted by raffle to denizens of Black Rock City in a nightly drawing. They each have a theme including the Shanghai Suite, the Cambridge Suite and the French Boudoir.

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Photos by Christina Nellemann

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Trekker Trailers Tiny House

by Christina Nellemann on May 20th, 2013. 7 Comments

Trekker Trailers in central Florida has been building vintage and retro style teardrop trailers for over four years, but the company’s owner, Andrew, wanted to take his love of simple, tiny living to the next level and built a 70 square foot house on wheels that was recently sold to a 17-year-old student. His mother is also thinking of getting a tiny house.

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“I have always loved campers and simple tiny living,” Andrew said. “I’ve been building teardrop campers for 4 years now, have restored many historic homes in my area, and have a love for form, function, and art. It seemed like a good fit for my talents to build a tiny house. Though my wife and I intend to retire in a tiny house, this one was built to sell so I tried to appeal to the lovers of the craft.

Watch a walk-through of the Trekker Trailer tiny house on the company’s Facebook page.

The Tiffany blue house is built with high quality materials like Galvalume roofing, cypress interior and exterior trim and some interesting and unique storage and space-saving details. The small living room couch (with a lovely skylight above it) has storage behind and underneath the seat and what Andrew calls a “hybrid Murphy bed” folds down from the back wall. The bed can be adjusted to sleep one or two people. The kitchen contains a sink, refrigerator, microwave and a slide-out pantry. The wet bath has fiberglass flooring and a composting toilet that can use BioBags. The water heater is a propane powered heater that is mounted on an exterior wall near the deck. Continue Reading »

Jenine’s Tiny House for Sale

by Kent Griswold on November 18th, 2012. 31 Comments

My friend Jenine Alexander who just happens to live in the same town as I do is selling her tiny home. A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to watch Jenine build this unique home. Janine’s home is built mainly of reclaimed wood and other materials. You can view a post on the beginning of her build here. An update on the tiny house by clicking here, an open house here,  and several videos at this link.

Jenine’s life has changed and she is needing to raise funds for a business she and her partner are going into. Jenine hopes to build another tiny home at some later time but for now needs to part with her tiny home. Here is the information on the house. I have also posted a few pictures and a video so you see it here.

Tiny House For Sale

  • Jenine Alexander Original
  • Rigid Foam Insulation – Two Sleeping Lofts
  • Price 25k – 40k (She is willing to work out a deal with you)
  • Email Me – Serious Inquires Only
Jenine say’s: “I’ve decided to sell the first tiny house I built. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I’ll be happy to sell it to someone else who loves it. I’ve created this email address for the sale forsaletinyhouse@gmail.com. The price is flexible, depending on if someone wants to buy it as-is, or customized. If you could send this on or post it, I’d appreciate it. I’m in Northern California near Santa Rosa. I encourage anyone who is seriously interested to email me to set up a time to come see it.”

tiny house for sale

Continue Reading »

Lorna’s 1930s Shepherd’s Wagon

by Christina Nellemann on September 3rd, 2012. 29 Comments

Over the course of two summers starting in 1945, Lorna Benedict lived in a shepherd’s wagon on a large ranch in Wyoming. During her stint as a shepherd she watched over a herd of sheep, chopped her own firewood, shot and skinned local wildlife and fished the rivers for her food. Every few weeks, when the sheep moved on to feed, horses would be hooked up to the wagon so she and her home could continue the process. When asked what she liked about the lifestyle, she said “Nothing!”

“Well…at that age, it wasn’t what I wanted to do,” Lorna added. “But now that I look back on it, it was really amazing to be out in nature with those mountains in Wyoming. I sure did read a lot.
Continue Reading »