7 Quirks of Living in a Log Cabin

7 Quirks of Living in a Log Cabin

Quirky:

Adj: characterized by peculiar or unexpected traits.

 

Living in a log cabin is very quirky: it’s full of the unexpected and peculiar. Surprises are common, random things are usual, and the cabin takes on a life of its own sometimes.

But it’s not only the cabin that’s quirky – by extension it makes us a little quirky. Living in a log cabin has changed our habits, from the good to the bad to the peculiar!

These are a few of the quirks that we’ve experienced. From daily occurrences, to changes in our relationships, to the reactions of people when we tell them that we live in a cabin…

 

7 Quirks of Living in a Log Cabin

 

Quirk #1: There may be raised eyebrows.

Where we live now (in Jackson Hole, WY), it’s not out of the question to live in a cabin. But back in Texas there are no cabins and Wyoming is very far away. So a hasty ‘we’re moving for my husband’s job, to a cabin, in Wyoming,’ as an explanation of our plans was met with a few raised eyebrows.

For example, before we moved to the cabin, we shipped a few boxes of our things here. When we were at the shipping store we had to give our address, and explained that after our street number should be the word ‘Cabin’ (our cabin is hard to find, so we always include a line for the word ‘Cabin’ for packages). The employee writing our address paused, raised her eyebrows, and looked at us like we had just asked her to write ‘Planet Mars’ on the shipping label. She paused for an explanation and after a moment said “oh, that must be nice,” while looking at us like we were aliens. I think she thought we were a little crazy 🙂

My husband and I raised our eyebrows at each other occasionally too, asking ‘are we crazy?!’ to move while pregnant, across the country, to a tiny cabin. But we are glad we did! Those raised sets of eyebrows were just one of the first quirks of moving to a cabin…

Thankful to call this place home now:

 

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Cabin is looking winter ready 👍 Not going to lie… I’m getting pretty nervous for our first winter here! We got maybe 1 day of snow per year back in Texas & here they average about 80 inches of snow per year 😳 BUT this little cabin makes me less afraid for winter! She’s stocked up on firewood & our wood stove keeps things toasty. She’s stood for 20 years through the Wyoming winds & weather & snow so I trust she’ll see us safely through the winter 💪 . . . . . #jacksonhole #jackson #cabin #cabinlife #loghome #thecabindiaries #cabinlifestyle #cabintime #cabinfever #cabinfolk #cabinlove #cabinvibes #mountainlife #mountainmama #thesecabinmoments #thisishome #livesimply #howyouhome #minimallife #minimalism #tinyhome #stellarspaces #tinyhouse #upandautumn #wildernessculture #stayandwander #tinylivingproject #oureverydaymoments #bevisuallyinspired

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Quirk #2: There may be a large animal outside.

This quirk falls into the ‘unexpected’ category. One thing that I never thought I would have to worry about: checking outside the door for large animals before going outside. This quirk mostly applies to early morning and night, when it’s darker and animals are more active. But really, it could be any time of day.

Where we live there have been encounters with a full range of wildlife: from grizzly bears to mountain lions to moose and bison. So we remind ourselves to double check before we go outside or let the dog out.

Thankfully the only animals that we consistently run into are elk and deer, and we keep our distance from each other. 

 

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🦌🐻🐺🦅🦊 • This time of the year has been crazy for wildlife around the cabin! There’s been foxes & coyotes hunting out back, deer coming closer than ever before & elk migrating by every couple of days! There’s also been some grizzly sightings in the area, which is a little more scary than exciting 🐻 • We’ll see what happens once we start to get more snow… My favorite story I’ve heard from around here is that one time in the middle of winter someone watched a pack of wolves play in the snow banks in their front yard 🐺 I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled 😬 . . . . . #jacksonhole #jackson #wildlife #elk #wildlifesightings #tetons cabinlife #thecabindiaries #cabinlifestyle #cabintime #mountainlife #mountainmama #thesecabinmoments #outwest #westisbest #wyoming #thevisualscollective #thisishome #seeksimplicity #thehappynow #upandautumn #exploremore #outdoorfamilies #adventureculture #exploreoutdoors #oureverydaymoments #bevisuallyinspired

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Quirk #3: There may be NO privacy.

I thought that my husband and I shared a lot before we moved to a cabin… I was wrong. Very wrong. It turns out that you can share a lot more with someone when you are living in a log cabin.

The layout of our cabin is as such: one main room with a loft above it and a kitchen and bathroom attached to the main room. That’s it. As you can imagine, privacy is in limited supply.

This lack of privacy has a few side effects:

It makes you more aware of one another’s mood:

Whether you’re in a good mood or a bad mood, there’s no hiding it. Before we moved, we lived in a two bedroom apartment. If one of us was grumpy we’d retreat to another room until it passed. But here that’s not a choice! We have to face whatever is going on between us.

The result is that we are more aware of one another’s mood, more likely to talk about our moods, and it’s more likely that our moods impact the other person.

It makes your relationship stronger:

Since there is a lack of privacy, my husband and I are forced to talk about issues head-on. There’s no retreating to another room or avoiding one another. We have to talk through issues sooner rather than later – otherwise there’s an elephant in the room and the room is not very big 🙂 We’ve definitely had our disagreements too – and I think they are more intense because we are in a smaller space – but coming out on the other side of them has made us stronger.

Here’s a photo of our main room (the loft is above this and the kitchen is attached), to give you an idea of the size:

 

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The cabin is finally starting to come together 🙌 We’ve gotten a few new items lately to make it feel more like home! • This is a little slice of our living room/main room…there’s really only one room in the cabin 🤗 Already looking forward to winter & getting to curl up here with a fire in the wood stove! . . . . . #jacksonhole #jackson #cabin #cabinlife #loghome #thecabindiaries #cabinlifestyle #cabintime #cabinfever #cabinfolk #cabinlove #cabinvibes #thesecabinmoments #outwest #westisbest #thevisualscollective #thisishome #oureverydaymoments #bevisuallyinspired #aquietstyle #cabinstyle #cabindecor #mountainstyle #mountainhome #tinylivingproject #tinyhome #tinyhousedecor

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Quirk #4: You may feel like you live in a vacation home.

This is a quirk you may never have thought of unless you’ve lived in a cabin or similar. Most cabins are designed as vacation homes. This makes living in one year-round feel funny sometimes. It feels like you are both on permanent vacation BUT you you have to do everyday adult things (repairs, work, pay bills, etc.). This paradox took a while to wrap my head around.

This paradox extends beyond the cabin: we go into town (Jackson Hole) or the park (Grand Teton National Park), and both are filled with tourists. Their mindset is different from ours: they are on vacation here and we are working to put down roots here.

I try to take the best of both worlds: to enjoy all the reasons why someone would come to a here for a vacation, and enjoy that we get to make this into our long-term home. And it’s easy to see why someone would vacation here:

Quirk #5: Repairs get real.

VERY REAL. It depends on the cabin, but many of cabins are do-it-yourself jobs. This leads to some quirky repairs, to say the least. Our cabin was hand-built from a log cabin kit in the mid 90s. You can tell it’s somewhat of a traditional-style kit cabin (like Lincoln Logs, only life size!):

The plumbing, electrical, etc. is not standard. For my DIY husband, this poses a challenge that he happily accepts. When something breaks, we try to fix it by learning how (mostly via Google…). But nothing is standard, and nothing matches Google’s answers for how to fix it.

In the few months we’ve been living in a log cabin there’s been some very real repairs: plumbing problems, electrical issues, and water treatments to name a few.

These repairs keep us on our toes and emphasize the need for us to learn how things work ourselves. Even the experts that we call in are sometimes puzzled by how things are set up in the cabin!

 

Quirk #6: Heating and cooling may run your life.

This is part of our daily cabin life: figuring out how to keep the temperature constant. Especially with a baby and 30+ degree fluctuations some days, this is a BIG quirk of cabin living.

We solve this in a couple ways. On cold days, we can make a fire in the wood stove. Our wood stove is too large for our space (I wish we would have gotten one of these instead), so it’s easy to end up sweating inside on cold days. This wood stove heats the cabin up to 80 degrees pretty quickly:

And in the summer we open all the windows and pray for a breeze.

It’s all manageable and doable, but has been quirky to figure out. Especially having moved from an apartment where I could tap the thermostat and not think about the temperature the rest of the day!

 

Quirk #7: Little things become a big thing.

This is a big one on a couple levels:

  • Physical space: Our cabin is 650 sqft. That means that everything we bring into the cabin takes up valuable real estate. We think a lot more about what we purchase, what we need, and if it’s worth it to bring into the cabin. Even a ‘little’ purchase can impact our home in a big way.
  • Mental space: the cabin has change my husband and my relationship in that we communicate better now. Being in a smaller physical space brings out a need to communicate more effectively. A result of this is that something that seems small can turn into something big very quickly if we don’t communicate well. This is probably the case in any marriage, but I blame the cabin for this one 😉   

 

Who knew living in a log cabin had so many quirks? And these are just ones I’ve noticed so far – I’m sure there’s more to come!

Are these quirks about living in a log cabin surprising to you too? Or just us?! Are there other quirks we should be forewarned of? 🙂

 

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2 Comments

    • Megan
      Author
      October 2, 2019 / 1:45 pm

      Thank you so much!

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