What defines cabin living? Is it the escape from the hectic, modern life? Those workdays filled with emails, phone calls, and staring at a computer monitor from hours on end? Or is it an extension of that modern life, not really an escape, rather an accessory that creates some distance, but doesn’t separate us from our work or lifestyle?
It’s a question I’ve been pondering as I’ve noticed more and more cabins being built with very modern conveniences. These are cabins that are merely an extension of our urban and suburban homes, containing absolutely every luxury we’ve become accustomed to from indoor plumbing all the way to high-speed internet and Wi-Fi.
Are cabins simply evolving along with our changing traditions and attitudes—as our technologies evolve? Or are we forgetting our roots, those ideals that once embodied the quintessential cabin experience? Of course, those experiences vary greatly from person to person. To some the cabin represents a piece of the Old West, a relic of the days of pioneers and gunslingers. To others, the cabin represents solitude, a way to connect with nature and live a life at a slower, more comfortable pace.
Today, there are two primary types of cabins: the cabin that embraces the past and the ways of old and the cabin of today, which allows us to live uncompromised. There is a third category as well, more of a speculative category representing the future. It’s a category of uncertainty, but filled with newer trends we’re beginning to see trickle into the cabin lifestyle.
The Past – The Classic Cabin
Today’s kids have no idea what they’re missing. Grab the flashlight, or preferably the lantern and head out for the outhouse. Nothing says classic outdoor living than having to rush outside to take care of business. Factor in limited or no electricity and you’ve got yourself a party in the past. Chop some wood to put in the stove at night, fry up all the bacon and eggs you have, and you’re in heaven.
The Present – The Modern Lifestyle
If indoor plumbing is more your speed, then modern cabin living is probably the way you’d want to go, with ones like Cabins in Branson, MO. While you might still have to chop wood for the stove, it’ll likely be supplemented with alternative heating methods, such as pellet, gas, or electric.
For those hot, dry summer days, the cabin’s probably equipped with air conditioning for those with underdeveloped character. They’ll have regular access to refrigeration and television, and maybe a water well that doesn’t require hands to pump.
The Future – Our Evolving Sensibilities
What will become the norm for future cabins? As solar energy technology becomes more affordable, we’ll begin to see cabins built with panels integrated into their roofs. Some cabin dwellers have already braced the technology, but as solar also becomes more efficient, cabins will modern, yet completely off the grid.
In addition to solar panels, the cabin will come equipped with batteries to store excess energy for use during the night and extended periods of cloudy and stormy days. Much of the future is about energy efficiency, and it’s something that can easily go hand in hand with cabin living.
Whether you choose to embrace the past or look forward to even more conveniences, living in a cabin is an experience that’s hard to beat. If it’s for an extended weekend, a season, or you’ve decided to make it you’re permanent resident, you can make it exactly what you want, and it’s that choice that defines cabin living.