Dry Cabin Entertaining   1 comment

Tim was in his mid-20s and tired of working two jobs. His career job was still growing, so delivering pizza gave him money to set aside an emergency fund and cover an occasional luxury, but he wanted evenings free.

The solution was dry cabin living. Any place he might rent in town would have running water, which you paid for in addition to rent and electricity. Typical town rental, driven by military housing allowances, was one-third higher than rent on the outskirts of town in what the military deems substandard housing.

Tim looked at five different places and selected a clean, brightly-lit frame cabin in a community of such cabins in the Goldstream Valley, a granola community just north of Fairbanks. The cabin had a private outhouse, a loft and a bedroom on the ground floor. It had a full kitchen, sans running water in the sink. Perfect!

Tim set about turning his new home into a comfortable nest. I suggested he check out Samson’s, a local hardware store. He walked in there and, with guidance from dry cabins knowledgeable staff, bought an Okie bathtub, a solar shower, a porta-pot and a collection of Gerry cans.

Two weeks later, he invited a bunch of us out for a house warming.

Tim had taken the loft for his bedroom and turned the ground-floor bedroom into a bathroom/coat closet. A dresser that had been left behind by the previous tenant served as a counter for the dry sink and a vase of water awaited those who wanted to wash their hands after using the chem toilet, which held a blue fluid that controlled the odor. Tim explained that after we left, he’d dump the holding tank in the outhouse, which was the only time he used that facility.

Except for washing my hands in cold water at using the rest room and needing to put ice in my drinking water since there was no tap to run, Tim pretty much lived like everyone else. He was clean, healthy and his house was bug free. He didn’t use paper plates, washing his dishes in a tub in the unplumbed sink after he heated the water on the stove. The solar shower lived in the loft near his bedroom. At first he disposed of the gray water by hauling it to the outhouse, but eventually, he discovered the house had a drain of sorts in the corner of the kitchen. An attached sewer pipe carried the water out to a homemade cistern that slowly seeped away into the ground during the warm months.

Tim lived in the cabin for three years and during that time, the only time he seemed to struggle with dry cabin living was when his folks visited from the Lower 48 and that was only because they teased him. He even grew a garden, laboring with a neighbor to divert a small creek for irrigation. Twenty years later, he speaks fondly of the cabin, though his wife had insisted that they move as soon as they were married.

Despite my assertion that I would never live like that, it is doable and can be done well, if the person choosing it is motivated.

Posted August 26, 2014 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

One response to “Dry Cabin Entertaining

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  1. Pingback: Dry Cabin Entertaining | That Mr. G Guy's Blog

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