Otina's Adventures

Otina's Adventures

Trip reports and photos from hiking, climbing, skiing
and mountaineering adventures in Colorado, Alaska, NY and beyond.

My Alaska Cabin

Date: Various; March 2003 - March 2007
Camera(s): Sony DSC-V1, Canon 30D

For 4 years I lived in this cabin. 4 years without running water. No toilet, shower, or the typical kitchen sink. I had an outhouse and a slop bucket for the sink outflow. After a few years, I built a gravity feed water system to make washing dishes easier. Later I added in my own "shower", with the water being heating in pots on the stove. All water used was brought into the cabin, and all waste water had to be taken out of the cabin. Leads to water conservation, since water is heavy. I had 4 water containers between 5 and 6 gallons in size to go to "Water Wagon" to get my water for $0.05/gal.

There was only one door in the cabin, the one to the outside. No closets doors, just a bar. So I had to use my old college tapestries and some paper clips to create my own "closets". Not ideal, but better than nothing!

For added gear storage, I utilized the old shelving brackets to put my quiver of skis on the ceiling. Not much could be stored outside, as temperatures reached below -50F while I lived here. Of course, on the coldest night I ever experienced my Toyo stove broke down and I spent 2 frigid days and one night pushing the button on the stove to keep it going and keep the temps in my cabin at ~38F. Above freezing, but not nice. Bagheera, my cat, was not happy with me during this time.

In winter, my little cabin would not see direct sun for 3 months. A small hill to the south blocked what little sunlight would filter over the Alaska Range to Fairbanks at 64.86 degrees north latitude. Combine that with the incredibly small windows in the cabin, and it was a fairly dark place to live.

With the spacious SW sun view in the trees, I was able to have a pretty productive garden in pots. My tomatoes and bell peppers would turn red if I left them that long. Moose ate any cabbage and knew when it was harvest time. Pots were used, as the growing season was short and intense. I could bring pots indoors in September, when temperatures dipped below freezing at night.

Click for more on my outhouse...

From the Outside:


Gravity Feed Water:

Last Update:
Page Last Modified = 2009-11-10 10:55 PST
Boulder Webcam

Time since last injury: