DIY cabin in the woods

See how one couple built a retreat in the Oregon wilderness for $10,000

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cabin deck
Photo by Thomas J. Story

Enjoying the space

Mariah, who grew up in an off-the-grid home in rural Oregon, is undaunted by the portable toilet, reading by candlelight, and heating bath water in a homemade solar contraption. “Living without electricity makes you slow down and really appreciate the effort it takes to generate light and warmth,” she says.

It’s a bit like camping, according to Ryan. Small solar chargers power cell phones. Oil lamps brighten the interior.

“We don’t think of this as a vacation house. Wherever else we live, this will always be home,” Mariah says.

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