Inspiring build of a simple off-grid cabin

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2021/01/01/inspiring-build-of-a-simple-off-grid-cabin.html

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There’s a lot less muttering and cursing and fumbling nails all over the place and stubbed toes than I would expect if I tried to do this.

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These two were great on Alone! They built the best shelter of the season (4) – and it was mostly Brooke who built it while Dave trekked to her location.

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The first two installments are a delight. He kinda lost me there in the last chapter when he launches his tirade against anyone who thinks they can’t do what he’s just done. You just gotta be as white as he is, and the rest is easy!

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What’s the wifi reception like?

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To be fair, he does laugh at his own mistakes from time to time, but I like it better when makers put some more energy into documenting their own mistakes. Knowing the aspects of a build that are most likely to spawn errors, that’s right up there at the top of the list of things that beginners need to know.

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Pretty good: https://medium.com/@davejosephsen/backcountry-wifi-an-epic-99a09094f1cf

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If I felt like living in it, I could envision a Murphy bed-style sleeping platform against the back wall, with a bench that acts as support when it’s laid out flat.

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Really great series, although I agree he got a little peevish there for a bit. It is an easy looking build and doesn’t require advanced carpentry skills, but it helps if you’ve already built 4 or 5 beforehand!

@knoxblox, Brooke has a video where they are setting up her wall tent, and she brings out a bed and table and two benches that are all built from boards that slot together. Your murphy bed idea is good too, or a futon sort of thing that becomes a sofa during the day.

I would love to try to build something like this some day.

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I think he’s just making the point that people look for an excuse vs a way forward. There isn’t anything that can’t be fixed when building with simple materials. You can learn to use the basic tools quickly and work through the mistakes. I loved his rant !

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The real problem with building a cabin isn’t the cabin itself – it is having the land to build it on. The classic cabin builder Thoreau managed it by building it on land owned by his rich writer friend Emerson. Would we all have such friends.

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I somehow managed to skip to that rant too, and the vibe of “if you’re the slightest bit self-deprecating, unsubscribe right now and go fuck yourself (I saw an amputee once)” wasn’t my favorite, either. It felt like more of an attack than an inspirational speech.

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Does it come with an anti-computer manifesto?

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Really good videos. There was a time all home improvement shows were like this, and it was always educational. Alas, now those channels want us to know the secret of ghost treasures and how to quickly flip homes, rather than the nuts and bolts of home repair and building them.

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Full disclosure: I haven’t watched any of the videos because I generally disapprove of off-grid porn. The off-grid “lifestyle” is bad for the planet. and @anansi133 is spot-on calling out the white privilege that’s involved.

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“Well within anybody’s reach”

That is, if you 1) own land that’s 2) without restrictions that prevent building such a thing and 3) you can purchase tools, lumber etc and 4) you have a vehicle to transport the lumber and tools and 5) you have others you can trust to help and 6) you can lift the lumber and know how to use the tools safely and 7) you can afford to completely stop doing whatever you usually need to do to survive, then sure… Piece of cake!

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@silkox1 honest question: in what aspects is off grid bad environmentally?
Woodstoves are bad with particulate but renewable fuel. Electricity can be solar, no chance at all for fossil fuel except for transpo.
Drive your used Nissan Leaf out there are we are pretty low carbon aren’t we?
(Edit typo)

I hear the FBI has an unused simple cabin sitting in a vault.

(For anybody that played the game Control, you’d be hard pressed to not think of this as a screenshot from that.)

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If low impact living is your thing, far, far better to do it in the city, where most of the energy investment has been done already. You can take mass transit, you can benefit from economies of scale. Per capita, cities are vastly more efficient in terms of life support.

Out in the country where people celebrate the prestine wilderness, you must drive everywhere, pay full retail for everything, and everyone’s gotta own their own chainsaw/woodstove/bulldozer/etc. Each human has maximum environmental impact out there, and there’s no economies of scale to speak of.

Of course it feels better off grid, but those good vibes come at a cost.

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What @anansi133 said. That, and the fact that humans have just got to learn to keep their hands to themselves.