Camp Setup1

Posted: April 1, 2014 in Camp
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Grand Tetons by kayak.

Early in 2014 we closed on our 28 acre paradise.  I began working on details from our home in florida.  I built a timeline according to how I thought the summer would flow.  Most of my friends warned me that it would take twice as long as I expected.  “No way” I thought…I got this.  Well, they were mostly right.  We fell logs in May and hoped to stack logs in July after the foundation was poured.  It was September 15th before we laid our fist log.  Long story.  Let me say a few words to help those of you who are NOT GCs(general contractors) like myself.
Read all your county building departments docs well.  Ask questions.  Over-plan your project.  Leave no detail unturned.  Even if you are ‘sure’ you will NOT need a building permit…my advice is to talk with your building department and share your plans anyway.  Start a good relationship now.  Shake out any issues NOW…not AFTER you’ve started.  OK…enough ‘mothering’.  My story:  I knew that I could build a structure of 800 sq ft maximum WITHOUT a building permit.  I also knew that it was only for an ACCESSORY building.  OK fine I thought…this will be my garage(accessory) and next year will by my cabin.  Quite by accident I walked into the building department and was proud of my progress (I had my forms up for my foundation).  Until I found out that I needed a permit because my cabin was not built yet.  There was nothing on our property for our garage to be an accessory TO!  Sheesh….  OK…hence all the careful words above before beginning your project.  You guys probably are not like me…shoot then aim…so you won’t have any problems.  Good luck!

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I’ve built many ‘elk camps’ in my time…but the camp we put together beats them all!  If you can picture our pop-up trailer parallel to a 10×20′ Walmart carport parallel to a 10×20 container.  Space to live and space to store tools and equipment.  Nice.  To make a room ‘add on’ all I had to do was put up another tarp.  Early on we also shipped our niece’s tiny house onto the property.  We used that as our cottage.  You’ll notice in the cottage photo a satellite dish.  I told ya we didn’t rough it too much! 🙂  Our router and converter ran off our two solar panels.  We also found enough power (stored in four 6volt IMG_2054golf cart batteries…wired as one 12v) to run our lights at night and battery charging.

While we’re on the subject of power.  The county gave us the quote of $37k to run power up to our cabin even though power lines ran across our property at the bottom of the hill(remember when I said “do your research and pay attention to detail”).  OK…forget ’em!  Let’s do this ‘off grid’…better yet!  So far it has worked with a generator(mostly for running the well pump and power tools), small propane tanks for shower, stove, BBQ and trailer and our two solar panels.  In the future we will add a large propane tank,  enlarge our solar footprint and add a larger/quieter generator for the cabin.

Our toilet had a fan running 24/7 by this small solar panel and a 12volt deep cycle battery.

Our toilet had a fan running 24/7 by this small solar panel and a 12volt deep cycle battery.

Our composting toilet.

Our composting toilet.

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Even a bark-o-lounger for comfort!

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