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Small Cabin Forum / Useful Links and Resources / Cabin Gadgets and Gifts
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aktundra
Member
# Posted: 22 Jan 2016 18:24 - Edited by: aktundra
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Once you build the cabin and start using it alot, you started getting ideas on creature comforts and fun things to have. Now for me it's really a balance between what I really need at the cabin vs. what's more fun.

I wanted to start a thread of tried and true things that are really nice to have at the cabin. I hate junk. Let's share what has worked!

Weather Station
I fly to the cabin and Christmas/New Years was very windy. My river neighbor has a small weather station and told me the the peak winds for the year... and the winds for the week and the current winds. Then she told me it was -33F the day I flew in. I talked a bit more to her about her weather station, then once back to civilization and internet did some more research and purchased a weather station. I bought the same one she had. After reading lots of reviews, I finally settled on the same one since I knew it worked in Alaska, left in a cold cabin all winter.



AcuRite 00589 Pro Color Weather Station
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00N2KWU1C?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpag e_o07_s00

Galvanized buckets
I like to have the wood organized. Kindling in the small bucket and big logs in the other.
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LED Christmas Lights

I've tried cheap to expensive. I recommend the cheap ones. I have a cheap set that I string in the loft. They cost $4 from ebay and have lasted the past year (better than the $20 ENO lights). They will run 52 hours on a set of AAs (tried on the Christmas tree, that is bright to dim dim dim).

Innootech Warm White 30 LED String Lights have lasted a long time,

I can't remember the ebay set, but my Amazon set that worked well is this one:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AIA200K?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpag e_o01_s00

I also bought the "wire" set and I really don't like them as much. They are the bare wire without insulation.
ENO Twilights LED Light string - Don't recommend
I bought a set for $20 and and it quick working the first day. I bought at REI and returned for another set, which also didn't work. Finally the third time it worked. The main issue seems to be the on/off switch goes bad. It was Christmas and I really wanted lights NOW so I settled and bought another set that was blue/green. About 3 hours of use and the blue lights stop working.

Knives
This could be another thread... I like the Mora No 2 knife. It's a good fixed blade knife, it's inexpensive, and it's easy to sharpen. Mora knives are between $12-$40.



Polar Bear Cooler
I love this soft sided cooler. I researched alot trying to find the best soft sided cooler not YETI priced. This one is awesome. I have used it in 110*F temperatures and it keeps things COLD! I have the Igloo line for my hard sided coolers, but this is a nice compact day trip or throw in the airplane cooler.



Wireless speaker
I normally enjoy the quiet of the woods and river, but while building the sauna/sleep cabin alone, I needed some tunes. I bought the OontZ Angle and have had it 2 years. For under $30, it's a reliable, nice sounding speaker. The new ones are supposedly waterproof. I also bought a UE Boom speaker for the hangar for $80. It's a nice speaker that can be paired with an additional speaker.

Phase 10
Our favorite card game at the cabin.

rockies
Member
# Posted: 22 Jan 2016 19:31
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I think one of the most critical things to have would be a carbon monoxide detector. There was a case in BC last week where a family would have died if it weren't for the fact that their baby daughter started crying as the house filled up with poison gas.
In small spaces like a cabin where a lot of people use wood stoves or build something themselves to heat the space it wouldn't take long for the fumes to kill you. A carbon monoxide detector is a must.

aktundra
Member
# Posted: 22 Jan 2016 21:22
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Rockies -

Thanks for that point... I completely forgot that has been one of the best purchases. We have a propane fridge and heard stories of CO poisoning.

My CO detector cost less than $50 and uses a 9V battery. It also helps when someone forgets to light the pilot light on the stove.

gouligann
Member
# Posted: 23 Jan 2016 11:56 - Edited by: gouligann
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URL
These are awesome little lights for remote camps where you don't have electricity.
You can even mount them inside.
They give off an amazingly bright light for the size of them and the batteries last a long time.

MtnDon
Member
# Posted: 23 Jan 2016 13:18 - Edited by: MtnDon
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Just a suggestion., it would be nice to use smaller images so those viewing on the smaller screens can read things on the page without having to resize.

Julie2Oregon
Member
# Posted: 23 Jan 2016 20:18
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I just bought one of these with an Amazon gift card I got for Christmas and am really impressed. It came charged and it's BRIGHT for such a little guy! It can run off 3 AA batteries, too, if need be but, geez, it holds its solar charge really well! I just might buy another one at some point!

It would make a great reading light on my night stand. It has a little battery bank inside and a USB slot to charge a cell phone or tablet but I haven't tested that out. I think it would probably drain the little battery.
solar_lantern.jpg
solar_lantern.jpg


silverwaterlady
Member
# Posted: 24 Jan 2016 08:33
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Thanks Julie2Oregon,I now have it on my wish list. Here is one of the handy items at my cabin. I use it to heat dish water since I don't have hot water in the cabin.
image.jpg
image.jpg


Julie2Oregon
Member
# Posted: 24 Jan 2016 16:54
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And that looks like something I'll need to consider, as well, silverwaterlady! Thank you! Does it keep the water inside hot for a good while?

silverwaterlady
Member
# Posted: 24 Jan 2016 23:51
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YW. The pot is not insulated. I fill the pot and heat the water to boiling. It stays hot long enough for me to finish a huge sink full of dishes.

I ordered the light tonight in blue.

aktundra
Member
# Posted: 25 Jan 2016 00:45
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Silverwaterlady -

Thanks for sharing... I have one of those custom made from the homesteader I got my place from, but I wanted another and couldn't find them. I really like them with the spigot.

RichInTheUSA
Member
# Posted: 25 Jan 2016 07:45 - Edited by: RichInTheUSA
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This is a great thread.

The gadget I like is a digital thermometer, which also measures humidity and has an "outdoor" sensor. I put the "outdoor" sensor in the cellar... since I have issues with freezing pipes in the winter, and humidity/mold in the summer.

For those who really like gadgets... I used to be into home automation and had over 65 devices automated in my home (not my cabin). I choose to keep the cabin simple... but the possibilities are endless. Simple example: For those who have electricity... How about an automated timer to turn on an electric blanket to pre-heat your bed. Nice!!!!!

Have fun.

Julie2Oregon
Member
# Posted: 19 Mar 2016 21:42 - Edited by: Julie2Oregon
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For Christmas, I received some Amazon gift cards and bought a few solar things. I recommended the little solar lantern. I just got around to testing out the second solar light I bought.

Whoa, it's PERFECT for where I'd hoped I could use it!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E1ZOJ48?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpag e_o05_s00

At this price and the lumens, I didn't quite know what to expect from it but I figured it was worth a shot and I would definitely use it somewhere. I HOPED I could use it over my kitchen counter/sink as directed light by which to do up some dishes or fix a snack late at night.

BINGO! This little light really lights up a wider space than I expected, and not dimly, either! It's perfect!

It comes with a sturdy little, weather-resistant solar panel that has an adjustable mounting arm attached and brackets provided. It's connected to several feet of cable so you can install it outside your window, on your roof, etc. HOWEVER, since I'm going to be moving and just wanted to test it out, I simply placed in the space between my double-paned windows (window and screen, actually). It worked fine!

The little panel charges a lithium battery inside the lamp. The instructions say that the lamp will run 6-8 solid hours without charging. I haven't tested that and likely won't. The lamp itself has brackets for hanging and the length is adjustable. Despite the picture, the cord you pull to turn the lamp on and off is metal and quite easy to do.

The lamp is plastic and not a thing of beauty but it's certainly not horrible-looking. And, wow, does it do the job. I'm so pleased! I will likely order another one of these. So simple yet effective!
solar_hanging_lamp.j.jpg
solar_hanging_lamp.j.jpg


FishSeeker
Member
# Posted: 21 Mar 2016 12:11 - Edited by: FishSeeker
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I have to give a second nod to Mr. Beams. My off grid cabin is in N.W. Washington and I don't have solar and needed some outdoor lighting. I've only had the Mr. Beams up a couple weeks but so far they work great. Put one in my wood shed and to light up the porch and driveway. Got a couple with the remote so I can turn the porch light on with out having to set off the sensor. Also use one with the remote on my patio so I can turn the sensor off while I'm having a nightcap and want to enjoy just the moonlight and the stars. If they have longevity and battery life as advertised it will definitely be one of my best cabin buys. Best price was on Amazon.

aktundra
Member
# Posted: 5 Oct 2016 01:05 - Edited by: aktundra
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Gorilla Cart
Wagons are a must and the uneven terrain doesn't make wheel barrels the best piece of equipment (although I bought a two wheeled one that works). They are on amazon, but I found Home Depot to be cheaper. I like this little dump wagon. It's very handy.

My neighbor has the wire mesh wagon. I like it for hauling 5 gallon water jugs. I stacked them two across and three deep. A wagon is a must at the cabin from hauling tools around to hauling coolers.

Kinco Gloves and Mittens
My favorite gloves are Kinco - I wear them with a Fox River wool liner glove. I wear the Kinco insulated mittens, and the Kinco insulated gloves all winter for work. Great glove. Very durable. Fancy ski gloves get shredded but these are quality work gloves, and a great price.

UCO Candle
I've spent time at the cabin with either the batteries dead, the propane out, or my headlamp missing. I really like to have candles. I know how much wax is left and I can easily gauge how much I've used. I have had good luck so far with these. I like how the globe protects the flame.

Steve_S
Member
# Posted: 5 Oct 2016 07:16
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I have one of the Gorilla Carts and love the way I can flip the handle and hook it up to the lawn tractor... Pretty stable and carries quite a load too but don't overload it... I bought ours at TSC on sale for $159 if memory serves, been a couple of years and it has a lot of use on it

silverwaterlady
Member
# Posted: 5 Oct 2016 11:31 - Edited by: silverwaterlady
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Adding to the list of handy items we cannot live without at the cabin:
Coleman lantern
Coleman lantern
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
225 gallon water tank
225 gallon water tank


silverwaterlady
Member
# Posted: 5 Oct 2016 11:41 - Edited by: silverwaterlady
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We've used the Coleman lantern for the last five years. Use it only in the single light lift off mode. Two are good for about three hours of reading. Return the light to the lantern and it recharges during the day. Six D size Duracells lasted two months.

The wagon was a new purchase. I used it everyday to haul things to the outbuildings and to the cabin,used it to haul groceries and ice from the truck to the cabin. One of the most useful new item additions.

The compact Honda pump is our second pump. It serves as a backup to our original pump and is used to pump water to our on demand hot water shower. This second pump eliminates the need to carry a pump down to the lake every time we need to pump water into our water tanks.

We also added another 225 gallon water tank this year. Now we only need to pump water from the lake once a week.

LoonWhisperer
Member
# Posted: 5 Oct 2016 14:11 - Edited by: LoonWhisperer
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Add me to the list of happy Mr. Beams sensor light owners.

Also this sawhorse works like a champ. Helps make quick work of all the deadfall. Canadian Tire has it on clearance now for $68! Great deal.
CT Sawhorse

Sawhorse

aktundra
Member
# Posted: 5 Oct 2016 15:33
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Silverwaterlady - Yes I do love my Honda pump! I bought one the year we had bad forest fires.

Wagons are so useful I bought one for the house. Love to haul the groceries, dog food, bags of salt, etc. Makes it really easy

LoonWhisperer - Glad to hear the Mr Beams work so well. I bought a LED battery outdoor sensor light that didn't last a month so I've been reluctant to buy another one. I bought the Micro Solar and would not recommend. ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00D0Z0JWQ/ )

aktundra
Member
# Posted: 11 Aug 2019 15:03 - Edited by: aktundra
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Well, old thread but I started it and want to get some more ideas.

Cellular Game Camera

I LOVE my Spypoint Dark Game camera. Cell service is included with the purchase. I can request pictures and it will send them at check in. I can adjust how many times a day it checks in and how soon I get pictures. Right now, it checks in 12 times a day. Come winter, I'll do 1 check in to save battery. This thing is neat! TrailCampro.com was excellent and I ordered the external antenna.

https://www.trailcampro.com/collections/spypoint-trail-cameras/products/spypoint-link -dark-at-t



Gorilla Wagon - I already mentioned, but 3 years later, I still love it. I load up tools from the shed I need around the property. Keeps everything organized, when it's raining I can quickly tarp my tools or run everything back to the shed.



Opolar Battery (USB) Fan
Really love this. It's been a hot summer and this fan will run 10+ hours. It clips on. I ended up using one in the loft and now one in my truck for the dogs when it's hot and I leave them in there (It's Alaska, short time periods, windows down and the temperature isn't more than 70s).

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07L4GLJZD/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UT F8&psc=1

12V Fan
FANS ! Must be the topic of the summer. The Caframo Sirocco II is a 12V or 24V fan. It is GREAT! Quiet and very efficient. I can't find the specs right now, but it is VERY efficient. I've used this for over a year and bought another. It is the best 12V fan I've found. I had this running constantly on solar this summer. My new Lab puppy needed a fan constantly on her kennel. The drain on the batteries/solar is minimal.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LDY4X36/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s00?ie=UT F8&psc=1


Bedroom bug netting
I couldn't seem to get the 4+ kids to keep the screen doors shut, so I finally bought this bug netting for $20 on Amazon. No more little mosquitos trying to get me in the middle of the night.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014NT0QUW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UT F8&psc=1

fitzpatt
Member
# Posted: 14 Aug 2019 10:03
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I just bought a 100" projector pull down screen and an inexpensive projector on Amazon and it was a huge hit with the wife and kids. Coupled with a Bluetooth speaker it is like having a home theater in the cabin. The whole setup cost about $300. Simply hook up your phone, laptop or card to the projector and you are good to go. Very happy with how it turned out.
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aktundra
Member
# Posted: 14 Aug 2019 10:16
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Nice!

I’ve thought about a projector. Great idea 💡

hueyjazz
Member
# Posted: 14 Aug 2019 11:37
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Fitzpatt
We do the projector thing from our outdoor porch onto a large screen just in front of our pond.

It's like going to a drive-in movie along with the insect sounds.
Except the snack-bar is closer, has good food and cold beer.

Plus you can hit pause and do a much quicker
bio-break without waiting for intermission

hueyjazz
Member
# Posted: 14 Aug 2019 11:48
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Since cell phones don't work on our property.
(A major plus for a guy that's normally on call 24/7)
We don't roam the property anywhere without GMRS radios. When hunting season arrives, everyone on property has one.

I also sometimes carry a BaoFeng UV5R cheapie shortwave radio at times. Longer range. Illegal to transmit without license but I figure I would get forgiveness if in trouble

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 16 Aug 2019 11:16
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Great thread aktundra. We bought a Msr Guardian water purifier for our cabin. Being a remote cabin, such as yours. Float plane and 2 mile walk to cabin in summer. Snogos in winter. Hauling water was an effort. Now , such as next week when we will finally get back out for moose season. Can’t wait.
We can fill up 2 ea 5 gallon jugs from the pond or creek. Then back at the cabin we use the Msr pump and transfer to the blue water jugs with the water spout. Get the water jugs where the spout goes into the jug for transportation or they will break off and are ok wards to freight. The water is then safe to drink. The add on Amazon says used by military and can be used anywhere. We have had our water purifier for 3 years now and no problems. Never have to clean it or replace filters. Can freeze, ours stays at cabin. And claims to be drop tested. I can confirm their testing. I also carry a life straw water purifier when hunting.
The water purifier has by far been one of the best purchases ever. 350 bucks. I am out there for months at a time. Not having to haul water is great. The water in our area is tinted a bit from the tannin . I think the source of the tannin is the birch trees, maybe someone more familiar can explain. But leaves no taste.
As I stated earlier about the canoe. I use my plastic Coleman canoe for freighting in the summertime. Load it up at the lake we get dropped at n hook up to Suzuki king quad. I put a piece of 2” black plastic pipe over a 30” or so pull rope so that my hook up flexes with the rope on the ends but solid in between. I can even back it up pretty good. I have hauled 800 lbs in this setup. It got to the cabin in the winter used as a freight sled to haul my insulation out. Been there 5 years now. And it still floats. I did wear a good size hole in it just using as a canoe. I used some left over bitch a thane to seal it. A piece on top, another on the bottom. Those of you who have used this found out that when it touches itself on the sticky side that it is forever stuck. And waterproof. And smashes into all the spots. I tried to put a skid plate under the bottom but it had splices n didn’t work great. But better.
Kind of long but I like this subject. If you are like me, I spend a lot of time thinking about how to do it better. Work smarter not harder.
Hope you all are having a great day.
Our canoe slash freight sled
Our canoe slash freight sled


aktundra
Member
# Posted: 16 Aug 2019 18:40 - Edited by: aktundra
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Nice AKlogcabin. Water seems to be the biggest issue. My river neighbor hit a natural spring and the water is pure. When I drilled (well jack hammered) my well, it turned out to be full of iron. I tend to haul drinking water in, but sure would like to lighten the load. Great idea!

I am lazy though and we end up using a lot of water with the family (+ extended family). Maybe I'll try a gravity fed filter...

obtusemoose399
Member
# Posted: 19 Aug 2019 16:19
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This thread made my afternoon! I'll share a few of my favorite gadgets:

Weather station- The OP provided a link to a great model, but ebay often carries analog barometers and anemometers. I would recommend Maximum or Cape Cod instruments for those who like a more traditional look.

Radio- is a great way to pass some time. If you are a radio enthusiast the C. Crane Skywave is small, portable, and covers a huge range of frequencies.

Mountain House Meals- I often get out to the cabin late on a Friday and want a quick meal. These guys are freeze dried, dehydrated, and keep forever... they also taste surprisingly good. I always have a few on hand.

Kelly Kettle- For those without dedicated kitchen facilities, this is a great way of boiling water very fast, with almost no wood. Highly, highly, recommended.

Blankets- this seems like a weird one, but after getting some Pendleton 100% wool blankets I'll never go back.

moneypitfeeder
Member
# Posted: 19 Aug 2019 19:34
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Stainless steel food mill, not sure what brand, but similar to this (https://www.farmandfleet.com/products/957471-granite-ware-stainless-steel-food-mill- set.html) I can actually make a smooth potato soup up there/fruit puree/etc. It's a bit of work, but without electricity it is a really nice tool!

I just got a Tupperware power chef system (for $10)(https://www.tupperware.com/power-chef-system-5853.html) and am taking it up there soon. It's supposed to work like a food processor using a hand pull-cord instead of electricity, so we'll see how that works out! Any "work" I can reduce up there for food prep is appreciated, I have limited counter space and do most of my prep on the dining table.

Not a tool, but very useful, an old military shipping container about 3.5ft x 2.5ft x 3.5ft tall. Super heavy double walled plastic, locking tabs all around, (so far) mouse/rodent proof. We store food and linens in there and have never had any problems. (look for surplus auctions!)

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