10 Things You Didn’t Know About Living In A Dry Cabin In Alaska
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In Alaska, you hear the term “dry” used in different ways than in the rest of the U.S. In some cases, like a “dry village,” it means that alcohol is forbidden in town. In other cases, like “dry cabin,” it means there is no running water. This concept seems absolutely unacceptable to most U.S. residents, but in rural Alaska the dry life takes on a special significance. If you can successfully live without running water, you can buy a piece of land, build a cabin yourself in a single summer, and have a home. Dry cabin living isn’t for everyone, but many find it to be an excellent lifestyle for personal freedom.
1. Excellent privacy.
The number one greatest thing about living in a dry cabin is the privacy. You can have your own slice of heaven with a beautiful Alaskan view, miles of wilderness and quiet solace in nature. It is absolutely worth the trouble to be able to afford so much room to yourself, far from town and public utilities. Also, many cabins are in areas with no cell reception, so you must turn off the rest of the world when you arrive.
2. The outhouse has a view.
Probably the biggest deal to most people, no indoor plumbing means you have to take care of your plumbing needs outdoors. Basic Alaskan style is to dig a hole, build a box above it, add a styrofoam seat that won't freeze and a cresent moon cutout in the door, and you're all set.
3. You'll see the aurora more often.
Many find the outhouse keeps them connected to the weather and natural world as they have leave the house a lot more often than indoor dwelling house folk.
4. Sometimes you are stuck.
You can wake up early to a dark winter morning or a bright summer morning and find a moose in the yard, blocking your exit. The moose will usually eat all the willow in that spot and then move along, so you don't have to wait too long.
5. You can travel freely in the winter.
As a log cabin doesn't have any pipes to worry about, you can pick up and go at a moment's notice. No need to worry about a housesitter or a neighbor to make sure your boiler is functioning, you can be carefree on vacation. Homeowners in town will be scrambling at 40 below, their pipes are freezing and flooding their homes, while you relax by the waves.
6. Washing the dishes takes 100 times longer.
When you have to go fill jugs with water, drive them home, carry them into the house, fill a pot, heat the water and fill a tub all before you start washing dishes, it takes a while. It makes you realize the value of a faucet of hot water when you are in town.
7. A cast iron skillet is a vital asset.
When all the dishes are dirty, you can just make everything in your cast iron skillet! Easy to clean and oil, the cabin isn't complete without a skillet for scrambled eggs, sourdough pancakes, grilled cheese, and anything else that can be warmed up quickly and won't leave too much mess.
8. Watch yourself or you'll have a dog in no time.
Dogs are great for cabin life. They help keep the floors clean and generate warmth on cold winter nights. The other option is to dog sit or house sit in the winter when people invariably travel outside.
9. The crackle of the woodstove is your new soundtrack.
Many cabins have both a monitor, which burns heating fuel from an outdoor tank, and a woodstove. The classic Alaska style is to harvest wood all summer to burn all winter, and gathering wood a year or two before it burns is best. When the power goes out during big storms, you can cozy up to your woodstove. The newer models have significant improvements in clean air ratings.
10. It keeps you young.
In this lifestyle, daily life takes a lot of effort from carrying water jugs and slop buckets to chopping wood and building fires. The hard work in the fresh air makes you feel alive. It's not a lifestyle for most, but for the few who love it, they wouldn't have it any other way.
If you like cozy cabins in Alaska, try
The 7 Most Remote And Magical Cabins In Alaska For A Snowy Winter Getaway and You’ll Never Forget Your Stay In These 14 One Of A Kind Alaska Cabins.
Have you ever lived in a dry cabin? Tell us about it in the comments below.
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