Extreme Vandwelling Part 2: Straw Bale Van in the Yukon Territory
This is part two of my story on Cud Eastbound’s journey to spend a winter in Dawson City, Yukon Territories. With his permission I’ve reprinted his words and photos here. I think it’s an important story for us because I know many vandwellers who also want to own a piece of land they call their own and can spend part of the year on. I bought an acre of land for just that reason myself. Cud is proof that buying land and making it ready to live on is not that difficult or expensive.
I paid $2000 for an acre in northern Arizona and I plan to dig out a trench and bury a school bus for my home. I believe I can rent a Caterpillar D3 and buy the non-running school bus and have it delivered for less that $1000. That’s pretty cheap for an underground home ready to move into!
We’re all going to get old and be forced off the road at some time and nearly all of us have a hunger for a place we call our own. While few of us will face the extreme cold of the Yukon, we can buy a piece of land and find old-time, simple, basic methods to create a very cheap and comfortable home for ourselves for our old-age or just for a stop-over on our annual migration.
The key thing to learn here are Cud’s boldness, ingenuity and frugality. Those are attributes every vandweller should strive to have more of.
I hope you are as inspired by it as I am. Check out his blog at http://nightdanger.lostwarren.com/
Night Danger is a big van, but there are many more things I could change on the inside in order to optimize space, and a lot more to come, but for now… Taking out the front seats was good, I need to borrow a grinder to get the bolts out of the floor, but for now it will be good. Shelves! Little shelves, big ones, any kind of shelf is great!
The Outhouse and Woodshed
It finally snowed!
I still have not gotten my straw bales… a little mix up in Whitehorse. But that’s ok, still plenty of stuff to do! Here’s some photos of my quick woodshed, and some other neat things
Here are some photos of my really quick outhouse, Its getting cold, and… I am not very fussy about where I poop. But I dug out and buried my main poles, then hucked some tin over it! For the poles I used some of the wood I’ve been getting up the Dempster highway, its old forest fire wood. Spruce I believe, and its light and strong. Normally I would not expose wood to earth, as it will rot, but it’s a temporary structure that will need improvements in the future.
So, first things first I guess… I visit the dump every day to collect as many free supplies as possible.
Thought it would be a great idea to have a floor, to keep me, the van & the straw up off of the ground… less moisture…. keep away from the permafrost.
So… the straw bales came quite late in the season and I was planning on mudding “stucco” or “cob” whatever the outside of the bales. However the temperature dropped too quickly and anything I would have applied to the bales would have either not stuck, or not cured properly.
I decided to purchase house wrap… $70 dollars later and some tuck tape I was in business.
Had some awesome help from friends and we got it all taped up…. Oh before that I used rope and twine to tie all the bales together, so they would not fall down.
And if they don’t, you’ll still have memories of an adventure that you’ll treasure forever!
Either way, you win!
Hardships in trying and maybe succeeding or maybe failing are never our enemy. Boredom and un-lived life are!