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How to Declutter the Cabin

Q) Our family cabin has accumulated things from various family members and friends over the years. Some items have sentimental value, even when they’re not used, and I’m having trouble getting rid of things. How can I declutter a cabin that’s been in the family since my grandparents built it?
– Anon., via email

A) Decluttering is […]

Portable Solar Generators

This web-exclusive article provides bonus info on portable solar generators for the magazine story “The Unplugged Cabin: Off-Grid in the Catskills”.
By Fran Sigurdsson

Solar generators are a great option for the off-grid cabin. Unlike gas or propane models, solar generators draw power from the sun, not fuel. They are completely silent and emit no exhaust or […]

Exterior Finishes at the Cabin

There are several options for exterior finishes at the cabin – should you paint or stain wood siding?

Wood siding, unlike vinyl or metal, requires protection from the rain, wind and sun. This means applying paint or stain to new wood and periodic re-coating on previously finished siding. When re-finishing previously finished siding, it’s usually easiest […]

Solar Energy at the Cabin

Don’t be intimidated by the thought of incorporating solar energy into your cabin – just start small!
By Jim Cooper

The most common solar installation (often called PV or Photovoltaic) relies on a collection of solar panels and an inverter to convert the direct current (DC) electricity from the panels to alternating current (AC) that is required […]

Cost-Effective Cabin Ownership

Buying a cabin retreat on leased land.
By Stacey Freed

Back in the 1930s, Jane Lininger’s grandfather paid a permit fee for a one-room log cabin on Hebgen Lake in southwest Montana about 10 miles from the town of West Yellowstone. Flash forward to 2016. Lininger still owns that cabin – but not the land on which […]

A Grounded, Off-Grid Cabin

Getting the most from an off-grid retreat.
By Fran Sigurdsson

Rome. Maui. Buenos Aires.

Mike Andrews routinely touches down in glamorous destinations around the globe. But when this United Airlines pilot is not flying the friendly skies, his favorite stopover is his off-grid hideaway in Bradford, N.H.

Andrews grew up in Hampton, N.H., and fondly recalls boyhood summers on […]

Cabin Dreaming

To share your best ideas, all you need is a pen and a napkin.
By Dale Mulfinger

Fall is soon upon us, so many cabiners will contemplate closing the cabin for the season, draining the pipes, lifting out the dock and cleaning out the frig. But just because we are leaving the cabin physically doesn’t mean we […]

Checklist for Winterizing the Cabin

Use these checklists to prep your cabin for the winter ahead, especially if you don’t plan to visit frequently.

Outside Tasks
For the cabin

Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, pipes, windows and doors; then seal leaks with caulk or insulation to keep out cold air and pests.
Insulate pipes in crawl spaces by wrapping them […]

Small Cabin Heaters

Question
I need some suggestions on a small cabin heater. We just purchased a 500-square-foot cabin on Devil’s Lake, Wis. Our cabin has a liquid-propane heater, an old 1960s’ model. When we had our inspection, I got a headache from the fumes it emitted! The previous owners said it was inspected recently, but I can’t bring […]

Heating and Cooling Your Cabin

Heating and cooling news for your seasonal home.
By Janice Brewster

With heating and cooling gobbling up almost half the energy used in a typical U.S. home, finding the most efficient system to keep your cabin comfortable is important. If you’re building or remodeling a vacation cabin or second home, giving some thought to efficient heating and […]