Warming Huts

For anyone who enjoys winter outdoor sports like ice fishing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing or ice skating, the tiny warming hut is a blessing in cold and snowy weather. Used all over the world, warming huts are small structures that can be both temporary or permanent and usually contain a place to hang up wet gear, seating and sometimes a wonderful wood stove or fireplace where you can warm your freezing fingers. Warming huts are also a great place to break out a small stove to heat up some food or a cup of hot chocolate.

Over the past few years, warming huts have bloomed into an interesting architecture. Innovative designs have popped up near frozen lakes, near cross-country trails and in the middle of mountainous forests for use by snowbound travelers on their way to a cabin or campsite. Many of these huts utilize passive solar design, raised platforms, creative heating elements and unusual materials.


The Palisade Peak warming hut in the Royal Gorge cross country ski area in Lake Tahoe has full windows that let in the winter sun. Photo by George Lamson/Flickr.


This beautiful warming hut  on the Nestlenook Farm in  New Hampshire is right next to an ice skating rink. Photo by rickpilot_2000/Flickr.


This warming hut is in the Olallie Meadow near Mount Hood in Oregon. Photo by Gabrielle Deal.


This warming hut is used by snowmobile riders in Montana.


This beautiful warming hut (and the one shown at the top of the page) is a telemark lodge in Boonville, New York.

In Canada, designing warming huts has become a yearly competitive event. The Manitoba Association of Architects’ show, Warming Hut: An Art + Architecture Exposition, takes place in Winnipeg and hundreds of submissions come in from all over the world. Architects are giving $9,000 to design public warming huts and three winning designs are chosen. While most of the winners (notably Red Blanket) might be a bit too minimalist for a tiny house design, some of these warming huts might inspired a few tiny house designers.




Bottom photos by the Manitoba Association of Architects and archiseek.


By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

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Dewy - December 2, 2013 Reply

suggestions on a small pellet stove? My back is too bad to split wood.

    David Remus - December 3, 2013 Reply

    Check out Riley stoves at this site:


    They are gravity fed and require no electricity to run. They have models that are pellet only, or have the option of burnning wood. They hold 20 pounds of pellets and burn 6-7 hours for a 16×24 foot tent so an insulated structure would burn less. Hot water tanks are available. Chimney ovens and warming ovens for baking are also available.
    They must be cleaned every day and are not recommended above 8,000 feet.

    They start at about $600 including shipping, $90 for a hot water tank, $300 for an oven. Figure $1300 for everything or even less, and you have heat, hot water, and cooking. Not bad at all.

    . - December 6, 2013 Reply

    You could just order some bio bricks.


Ned Devine - December 2, 2013 Reply

Nice, I am jazzed! When did they move Mt Hood to Washington! What a win for my state!

alice h - December 2, 2013 Reply

Some interesting designs and “hut” is inadequate for a few of them. One would make a great greenhouse. That last one though, with the piles of firewood, just screams “wrong” sitting around a big fire in the middle of a cage full of combustibles.

    Criss - December 3, 2013 Reply

    I sort of agree 🙂

Walt Barrett - December 2, 2013 Reply

These are all very nice. I like the passive with wood backup.

SteveR - December 2, 2013 Reply

I guess ice fishing might be considered a sport. It probably involves the use of artificial stimulants requiring some physical motion.

gmh - December 2, 2013 Reply

That last one… would I want the wood to act as insulation, or fuel? Tough choice.

Leslie Wilhelm - December 2, 2013 Reply

Where can I find out who built the Telemark Lodge?

Thank you
Leslie Wilhelm

    Christina Nellemann - December 2, 2013 Reply

    Leslie, perhaps someone at the Black River Outdoor Education Program in New York will know who designed and built the hut.

Isaac - December 3, 2013 Reply

That very last one, with the walls made of metal wires with split wood logs in them… doesn’t that seem like a bad idea? I mean… walls made of wood *made* for burning closely surrounding a raging fire? One little accident/spark and your “warming hut” is now a raging oven, with you inside. Or best case scenario, you light up your entire fuel source all at one time.

    Asa J - December 3, 2013 Reply

    Mmmkay, so technically all of the above are made of wood and are combustible. I think what is sending up red flags about the firewood cage shelter is that they built a huge fire in it. Any kind of a breeze, and somebody’s going to lose their eybrows. Plus a flame that size, you need to be at least six feet away or your jacket will melt.

      alice h - December 3, 2013 Reply

      There are too many places for flying sparks to lurk and smoulder in among all those rough pieces of split wood.

MJ - December 3, 2013 Reply

Living in a tropical clime, the whole notion of warming huts acquires a holy aura, a place of refuge, where a well constructed spot for storing and partaking of artificial stimulants would be an absolute must in any such construction. The sport part? I’ll be in the hut.

Gabriel - December 4, 2013 Reply

The Olallie Meadow warming hut shown above is actually near Snoqualmie Pass in Washington.

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