Building the Denali Pink cabin

In the fall of 2014, we had two wonderful young people named Jasper and Pip stay with us.  They helped initiate the building of our second structure- the "Denali Pink" wall tent cabin.  

 Note the bucket of moss in the foreground,used for chinking the cracks between the logs.  You can also see the birchbark sheets that are keeping the logs from direct contact with the earth.

Note the bucket of moss in the foreground,used for chinking the cracks between the logs.  You can also see the birchbark sheets that are keeping the logs from direct contact with the earth.

David milled out 4"x12" beams for the basewalls out of several dead standing white spruce with his Chainsaw mill.  He used hand tools to make the dovetail corner notches.  The boys leveled the spot and carried up gravel from the river to keep the wooden beams off of the dirt. They also gathered moss and used it to chink the cracks.

 Several dozen large sheets of Birchbark, stored flat under weight, so they don't curl.

Several dozen large sheets of Birchbark, stored flat under weight, so they don't curl.

We used large sheets of birchbark to protect the wooden walls from the earth that is backfilled on 3 sides.  The frame was made from straight, dry spruce poles, which Jenna and the boys harvested and peeled in the forest nearby.  

denali pink structure
frame

The Denali Pink frame fits our 10 x 12 wall tent.

tent on denali pink

To save the tent for traveling use, we decided to use 12oz. untreated canvas to cover the structure.  This was about 1/4 the cost of the tent, and is arguably nicer for several reasons. The roll of canvas was 48" wide, so by making the rafters and frames 24" or 48" apart, we easily stretched and tacked the canvas to the frame without much wasted fabric.  Unlike draping a tent over the frame, this skin is drum tight and cut-outs for the doorway and windows are easily and neatly made.

 David the "Human Ladder"for Jenna so she can reach the peak to lag bolt the second ridge pole in place.

David the "Human Ladder"for Jenna so she can reach the peak to lag bolt the second ridge pole in place.

On top of the main frame are three long ridge poles that keep the fly a few inches above the canvas, allowing it to breathe and creating a dead air space for a little better heat retention.

A handmade barrel stove heats the place with gusto.  Over the winter we put in a window, door, floor, desk and shelving unit. 

And viola- a simple, breathable, inexpensive structure made from mostly local materials.  We love this cabin because it has some of the benefits of a tent- bright, quick to heat, as well as some of the comforts of a cabin-  window, door, floor, hooks, bed and stove.  Much to David's dismay the name "Denali Pink" (coined by Jenna) has stuck,  but one can't argue that Denali can be seen quite clearly at times from the doorway.