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Small Cabin Forum / General Forum / Why are you here?
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# Posted: 10 Oct 2018 21:23

Am new owner of a cabin on an island in Washington. It has an island wide water supply (reverse osmosis of sea water, pretty cool!) and septic, but no municipal power, so I will be needing to add a good solar setup so came here looking for ideas on that and found a lot more.

I have spent time on various interwebnet forums (sailor and camper-vanner) and have had some mixed experiences, some are good and very helpful communities, some are typical nasty troll junk.

From my experiences here so far, this is the former, a good community who's really interested in helping each other out, so looking forward to trying to contribute where I can (have some solar experience with the van and sailboat) and digging for some other users' hardfought wisdom as necessary.

-- Bass

# Posted: 18 Nov 2018 22:36

I am new here because I am about to close on 38 acres with a fairly nice cabin and I want to learn how to take care of it. It is small (16 x 28) and was custom built by the guy I am buying it from. It has septic, a well with nice water, electricity but otherwise is very basic. I plan to make it a place where my family can go to relax and get outdoors. As soon as I have some pictures, I will post them. I grew up in the outdoors (NW Montana) and so the rural lifestyle suits me best. I have lots of questions.

# Posted: 2 Dec 2018 11:35

First off, I enjoy the sense of comrodery. Probably the best way to describe it is just a continuing drive to learn. The desire to be in the outdoors was a large part of why I moved to Alaska as a young man of 21. My first job was as a forest fire fighter.
As the years passed I new I would need to make being in this world I love so much. My beautiful wife and I have built a 16’x24’ log cabin, miles from any road. Access in summer (unfrozen months)is via chartered bush plane on floats then a 2 mile trip to the cabin by walking, 4 wheeler or soon to be swamp buggy. Winter time we trailer snow gos an hour then ride in . Always with a load of supplies.
By visiting this forum I get to travel to many more places. To learn how to solve the unique problems that come from all of you encounter. All with the unique caricaturists of each of the members. The pictures are worth a thousand words as I look to see how you did it.
We ended up being very blessed in being able to have this cabin, and every part of the experience it took to get here. Our biggest goal is to have a place for family . And friends. As an outdoorsman being in the woods brings all of my senses to the forefront. Sight, sound, smell, touch especially when I am still hunting. Or just walking through the woods looking for moose antler drops. Especially when I’m with my beautiful wife or family and close friends. Being able to share those times with the extended forum folks.
It is also nice to be able to help others. Either directly or through showing how things are constructed by sharing pictures.
Probably mostly because I enjoy cabin mode . Helps me in many ways. When I kick back and have the time to read this forum helps get me to be in cabin mode.
Hope to read from you soon.
Merry Christmas to you all !
Easter 2018
Easter 2018
Fall of 18
Fall of 18
Evening at the cabin
Evening at the cabin
Getting to the cabin
Getting to the cabin

# Posted: 14 Dec 2018 07:59

Looking forward to ideas and info on the construction of a little cabin for my wife on our land away from it all...

# Posted: 30 Dec 2018 21:22

Hi All!
We own 2.5 acres, in a small subdivision in northern AB. Since 2009.
Have a 40' fifth wheel as our main residence &shave built a couple of good sized sheds and also a small barn/bunkhouse. We spend every weekend all summer ,approx 20+ weekends a year at the acreage!!
Absolutely love it , and dream of living full time one day, in the not too distant future!!

# Posted: 1 Jan 2019 07:08 - Edited by: samuelmack

Curious to know about home security.

# Posted: 6 Jan 2019 11:05 - Edited by: Nobadays

Hi all! New to the forum and new'ish to small cabin/off-grid living. I say new'ish as both my wife and I spent a few years back in our 20's in the mountains of eastern Oregon- she was off-grid, I had electric.

I'm here to learn... and share if I can.

We are closing next week on a place at over 9000' on the eastern slope of th he Rockies in southern Colorado. It is an 800 soft log cabin - actually a really nice log home - with indoor plumbing (septic system) and a shared community spring. The home has a 550 gallon cistern using an RV pump ran off it's own solar/battery to pressurize the system. The house is plumbed for gas appliances and gas lights in each room. Wood and ventless (condensation creator!) Gas heat. We will use the wood stove as we are not strangers to wood heat having used a wood stove for 30 years in the 3000 soft log home we built in Oregon back in the 80's.

The home currently, other than the water system, uses a generator for all 120v needs... the home is built to code and wired for electricity - power lines just happen to be 7 miles away! Our planned improvements will be a 1500 watt off-grid solar system (had help designing that on another forum) and building a storage shed/wood shed.... I firmly believe in burning dry wood.

We currently live in north central AZ, in the pines with snow on the ground right now. That said our winters here are ideal with the low temps hovering around freezing most of the time and day time highs in the upper 40's and 50's. The summers... hot, for us anyway. The folks from Phoenix come up here to cool off but mid 90's for 3-4 months through the summer is too hot for us! Besides we spend a lot of our time backpacking, hiking and fishing up in Colorado every summer (retired) so it made sense to buy a home there.

Edit... forgot to add we plan to spend about 5-6 months a year in Colorado. My wife says if things keep going the way they are off-grid might become permanent!

I look forward to learning all I can and contributing where I can.

Don and Sue

# Posted: 20 Jan 2019 23:34

I'm here because I'm not all there....

# Posted: 6 Apr 2019 09:40

Family, snowboarding, snowmobiling, troutfishing. View yesterday st June Mountain.

# Posted: 9 Apr 2019 13:57

Hello, my dear friends. i am here because today i talk to about my website.My website is a professional building company based in Southend-on-Sea in Essex with an established work force and over 15 years of experience in the building trade. Essex Builders who offer building services including new and replacement Conservatories,Essex Loft Conversions, House Extensions and House Renovations for Southend and all of the Essex area
Please could you review and advice is anything you would change? We appreciate the support

# Posted: 9 Apr 2019 20:20

Johanchann, give me a ballpark estimate of an add-on structure of about 200 sf with 3 windows and a door, in a very remote ( no road access) piece of heavy woods in NB Canada.

# Posted: 11 Apr 2019 19:50

I am here in search of A Magnum ACLD-40 AC load converter.
My cabin is off grid. I am operating with The Magnum combo set up. The Magnum PT 100 charge controller, Magnum MS4448PAE inverter/charger, connected with the Mini Magnum Panel. Powered with 5000 watts of PV panels keeping my lead acid Trojans charged. It’s all working very nice. The Magnum network has great communication with all the components.
Now I have a 2000 watt wind mill ready to go up. The thing is, most wind generator connections require a DC divert load path using a resistor to keep from over charging the batteries. Most folks I spoke to use DC volt dump. I see how it works, but the Magnum network is very good and cycling Bulk, Absorb, and Float cycles. It seems to me this would cause my smart network undue calculations.
Here is the deal. Magnum made a AC load diversion unit that connected to the network and communicated state of charge with the other Magnum components. All regulated by SOC “state of charge” via the battery monitoring kit..The load diversion was done on the AC side of the system rather than the DC with Magnum ACLD load diverted. However this unit did not sell well and has been discontinued..I just found out. I am ready to hook one up and it is no longer available. My windmill is in place. My solar is working great and don’t want to introduce random DC voltages to the battery bank. Just because the Magnum network can do better than that.
So fellow off grid folks I ask you. Does anyone know of a Magnum ACLD-40 AC load diverted that could be sold? Sitting on shelf not being used? I asked Magnum today about it. They said it was discontinued because it did not sell but agreed it was the best thing to use in my application. It has been pattened wth the Magnum network. I just want to cycle my batteries as well as I can. I may just use the wind for another less important battery bank, I have too much invested in the house batteries to start messing with cycles.
Again: I am looking for a Magnum ACLD-40 AC load diverter.

# Posted: 17 May 2019 03:55

Here, because tired of the following society. It's all a flock, understand? Around the system and you can not think freely. If a person is given everything he wants, what will he do? He will create, invent, engage in science, develop. In our life of megalopolises, we can not do this. At some point, I understood what exactly this means a step forward.

# Posted: 19 May 2019 21:45

We are the new owners of over 135 acres of untouched land in Ontario. We’ve got a large pond, lake and river frontage, and nothing but a rough camp road to get us in. We are starting from scratch, hoping to build a Scandinavian inspired cabin in the woods. We have a long road ahead of us, and I’m here for inspiration, advice from those who have done it before me, and the great ideas you all discuss. If anyone has build a legal hunt camp in Eastern Ontario, I would love to hear about it!

# Posted: 20 Jun 2019 01:23

Everyone has different reasons.

# Posted: 11 Aug 2019 23:35

Hi, new here from Australia and I'm enjoying reading through all the previous posts.
I'm here because its great to learn about like minded people living the way they want to.

I'm currently finishing off my second cabin in a little town in country Victoria, after having to move the first one.
I'll post some pictures as I learn how to navigate the forum.

# Posted: 13 Aug 2019 13:47

I am here because I wanted to share an old book I found that I think would be enjoyed by the people here, as interesting as this site is though I am going to save it an come back for ideas and information.

The book was published in 1805 and is full of small and tiny cottages. I found it here.

# Posted: 15 Aug 2019 18:25 - Edited by: rocguy

Branwyn, thanks that's a great read.
I just downloaded the PDF version.

# Posted: 15 Aug 2019 19:34 - Edited by: moneypitfeeder

I also had to look through the thread to see if I had already posted (toyota_mdt_tech). But I'm here to learn, share, and enjoy the cabin life! We only get there 2-4 times a year currently (its 6 hrs away), but within the next few years we can go up whenever, we are knocking down our goals.

Our time at the cabin is time to disconnect, unplug, and listen to the sound of running water. We can reconnect with nature and be close to in-laws, which is a bonus.

I love all the knowledge and advice found here, many of us have tricky situations that need the help from someone else that has been there and done that.

# Posted: 19 Sep 2019 10:57 - Edited by: bill_bly_ca


Bill here in Southern Ontario. Kitchener actually.

Been poking at buying and building a 500ish sq ft since 2007ish

My Wife of 30 yrs is from Nicaragua, we are building a house there for most winters. We plan to work a few months a year between ages 55 and 65 to cover our fixed costs. Working up here (Sothern Ontario) and then high tail it up to something up north (North of the Suds) to spend the end of summer/beginning fall and then back down south again.

We currently have a camp trailer which we have had parked in one place for 12 yrs close to Hamilton and would probably take that trailer up to where we build - Or as close as we can to where we build.

As per the question to answer the portion in the first post in this thread...

With the date of wind down neigh (Probably fall 2021) and the house down south maybe 25% done, it is time to look up north. Most likely right after (Canadian) Thanksgiving, we will go look at some plots on Manitoulin.

I think I ran across this forum a couple 3 years back but never registered. This time I did.

Also been regularly watching Shawn's and Russel's videos on Youtube - Shawn is doing things top knotch but I like Russel's more down to earth approach. Any other youtubers I may have overlooked?


Are you a weekender? Now as we are "work a day", yes - Within 3 yrs it will be a mostly of summer thing.

Are you interested in self sustaining lifestyle? not really - Will have solar and maybe a garden but sill be a store-bought mentality - No hemp underwear and the like.

Are you interested in being "green".. If it makes financial sense.

Are you a hunter interested in a hunting cabin? Yes, but not necessarily for hunting - Maybe others to rent for such.

Why are you here? To gather the 20% knowledge to jump in with both feet to get the 80% of painfull knowledge in actually doing it.

# Posted: 22 Dec 2019 07:36

My two sons & I inherited several wooded acres, a couple hours away in North Carolina, off the road, but do have deeded access to it. It is deeded to all 3 of us, hopefully to keep in the family for years. I am retiring in a couple years so the timing is perfect.

Our plan is to build 3 small cabins, one for each of us, for occasional weekend use. And when we are not there together we have made an understanding that our little cabins should be available to friends of the others to use as long as one of us is there.

I am sure all 3 will be totally different from rustic to possibly one (maybe the first) being a pre-fab storage shed type structure. We have no desire for large fancy structures (hey, to each their own). They will really be a replacement for a tent. I have tent camped for years for recreation and my many years in Scouting.

They will be small and mainly for sleeping as we hope most of the time we would all be around the fire pit cooking and talking. We first thought of a bunk house type building but then thought several smaller / different cabins would be really neat.

The land is almost like a little valley with a good spring in it with enough drop for a water-ram type pump (testing to do there also). So maybe running water one day.

We have already purchased and set a 10x12 storage shed for tools/supplies as we get started.

Hoping to get tons of ideas from everyone this winter as we are researching.

No power or permitting, and all 3 of us are excited.

None of us live close to it, as we have all moved away, so even if we built it, and never use it often, the time we three spend together, planning & doing, I am sure will out weigh the investment we will put into it 😊


Are you a weekender? Totally
Are you interested in self sustaining lifestyle? Not really, just recreation
Are you interested in being "green".. Not a real Green’er, just like simpler
Are you a hunter interested in a hunting cabin? Nah
Why are you here? Ideas

# Posted: 22 Dec 2019 20:59

I'm not sure....haven't figured out the meaning of life yet. Go to the shack sometimes just waiting for forms of higher life to beam me up. They might have once or twice

# Posted: 23 Dec 2019 20:51

My first post, I just stumbled on this site recently.
What kid didn't like to build a fort or cave? I made the first one that had to keep me dry shortly before I went to Woodstock (age 16), later spent a summer living on public land in the Catskills after high school. I wanted my woods and my rules, so with (now lifelong) friends, bought 25 acres in Dummer NH; 30 miles from Canada, 8 miles from Maine. It was $7,000 in 1974.
Bought chainsaw, cleared land, built lean-to, cleared more, built tent platform, cleared more, built 1st shack (1980), cleared more, built Kitchen/Dining pavillion, built dam in stream for pond.
I 1993 I built my 12X12 cabin in the woods: stick-built with every stick carried in 1/4 mile, Rafters 12/12 pitch, 12" on center (trees bounce off), built rain catchment w/ gravity feed.
Replaced the lean-to about 5-years ago.
Now (age 65) I just sit around and enjoy it.

Why do I do it?
I used to hunt a bit, but that wasn't it.
I think it's a combination of the old childish desire to build my fort/nest and play with big toys in my now-adult-size sandbox.

My advice to people starting the same thing?
Build the outhouse first, then solid floor and roof to sleep on/under. ASAP

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