- Part 1: A video essay showing the cabineering experience.
- Part 2: Gear and techniques unique to winter cabineering.
The Fox Creek Cabin – a tiny, 2-bunk ranger station on the Gallatin National Forest accessible by six miles of non-motorized trail travel. Furnishings include a wood stove, a chair, an axe, a grain scoop, and a few pots.
We are addicted to the speed and convenience that come with the accoutrements of first world indoor habitation. Electricity that powers light, dwelling temperature that can be adjusted by a switch, in-home human waste management, and on-demand hot and cold water define the very tempo of our indoor existence.
Perhaps this is part of the appeal of living out of a backpack for several days at a time. The difference between wilderness living and something that is not wilderness living is stimulating for me, probably because more time is required to operate my systems of transportation, heat, water production, etc., and I don’t have to worry about the incessant number of small things that seem to interrupt what otherwise might be considered as healthy living. We all know the appeal of not having to respond to voicemail, Facebook notifications, and oil change expiration stickers, and backcountry living is a stark reminder that all these things really are pretty small.
During the winter, I’m particularly drawn to wilderness cabins. My favorite ones are so-called “dry” cabins (no electricity, waste plumbing, or running water). Dry cabins are usually equipped with a wood stove, wooden bunks, an outhouse, and not much else.
I’m fortunate to live near the Gallatin National Forest, which has two dozen rustic cabins that can be rented for recreational use, most of which are dry cabins accessible only by oversnow travel (snowshoe, ski, fatbike, or snowmobile).
This 2-Part Series will conclude in the next installment with a discussion of gear and techniques unique to winter cabineering. Until then, enjoy this short vignette that illustrates some of the experience of skiing into the wild and spending long, dark, cold winter nights in the confines of a tiny wood stove-heated cabin.
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