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toomuchcoffee911's avatar

What should we do with our cabin in the woods?

Asked by toomuchcoffee911 (6881 points ) June 3rd, 2012

Our family recently purchased a cabin in the woods along with a good amount of land. We plan on putting in rope swings, hammocks, and a natural swimming pool, but does anyone have any other ideas?

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18 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

What condition is it in, what kind of amenities are there and do they meet your expectations?

How much money have you to spend. How big is the family and is it a dictatorship or a democracy?

Outhouse, pump, kerosine lamps or plumbing, hot water and electricity? Screens are probably vital in the woods. The bugs may be your number 1 enemy. A screened-in sleeping and hanging-out porch is a wonderful luxury.

This is a very broad question. Can you be more specific?

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

The house is in working order; I’m asking more for interesting things to put in the woods. It’s a 4 person family, and money (for now) is not an object.

gailcalled's avatar

I used to have a wonderful old
Adirondack camp in the woods. One of the reasons it was wonderful was that we essentially left the woods alone. They had their own beauty, and I came to know every fern, moss, wild orchid, mushroom and eccentric tree.

A dock at the pond for lounging and resting; perhaps a small rowboat for putting around in, a ladder attached to the dock and even a wonky old diving board.

Start collecting board games and old-fashioned ways of entertaining yourselves at night. It is really fun to ban all the electronic toys and gadgets and live a more old-fashioned kind of life. Get an ice-cream maker and use the seasonal fruits, such as berries and peaches, to make your own ice-cream.

dontmindme's avatar

You need a nice fire pit and an ax for splitting wood.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Congratulations on the new purchase! How about an outdoor fire pit? They are wonderful for grilling out and toasting marshmallows.

What about investing in a pair or two of binoculars and a bird book? The one my mother gave me included a checklist in the back so I could keep track of all of the different birds I saw. A variety of bird feeders would draw different types. Books on the flora and fauna of the area would be ideal to have on hand for walks in the woods.

If there are children involved, what are their interests? That could spark some other ideas.

zenvelo's avatar

Some kind of lawn big enough for games when you have company. A place for kids to pitch a tent to sleep outdoors. A place to lie down and look at the stars and the Perseid meteor shower every August.

JLeslie's avatar

I agree with the screening in idea. I love living in a screaned in bubble :). At minimum screen in a back or side porch, whichever is better for sunlight, so you can eat meals outside without an attack of the insects. West is terrible in my opinion for porches, because it is the hottest sun and right in your eyes when you are trying to eat dinner. If you want sun overhead go with a southern exposure if you are in the northern hemisphere. If not northis preferable. East gives you morning sun obviously.

What is a natural swimming pool?

A cabana bath is nice for when you are using the pool. Minimum half bath, but adding a shower is great. Places to hang towels.

A nice grill or outdoor kitchen.

Fire pit for cool nights and marshmellows.

zenvelo's avatar

Oh, and depending on what the weather is like, and if you can afford it, consider a full outside shower.

Trillian's avatar

Make sure you have a good waste disposal system. Food can draw pests like rats and raccoons, but bears could be a problem too.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Excavate an area and install a lined fresh water pond and stock it with fingerlings of trout for examine. It is great fun to feed the fish and later to harvest some when they reach a good size.
Use barbless hooks so you can release any fish you catch that are too small or beyond your need for food.

Coloma's avatar

Picnic tables and maybe build a cool Teepee or sweat lodge. Fire pit for sure, and a pond would be nice as well. It will attract all sorts of wildlife and waterfowl for your viewing pleasure.
Make sure it’s deep, Raccoons will eat all your fish if it is shallow.
Put up bird feeders too and maybe build owl boxes and bat houses and wood duck boxes. Of course I;m a nature nut that lives on 5 acres in the hills, so my mind always goes to creating a wildlife habitat/refuge. :-)

iBite's avatar

A retreat from civilization- that is what it is and should remain in my opinion.

I would reduce my footprint and use it to experience life as our ancestors did a century or so ago. Or use it as a sanctuary to write or create.

Bellatrix's avatar

I agree with @iBite. I would do as little as possible and use it as a place of retreat. Just enjoy nature and the wildlife around you.

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

@Coloma Those are great ideas, thanks!

@JLeslie This will give you some insight!

And thanks to everyone who actually suggested ideas!!

wallabies's avatar

Jacuzzi, BBQ, pit trap to catch Hansel and Gretel… the usual life necessities…

Kayak8's avatar

I like your hammock idea. I always put an old fashioned sleeping bag (rectangle lined with flannel) on the hammock so it is comfortable and in the fall you can creep inside it to stay a bit warmer.

I also like the notion of a shed so there is the seasonal appreciation of closing things up for the winter (place for lawn chairs and mowers, etc.). There is something emotionally significant particularly for kids of opening and closing things for a season.

I would also go to a thrift store and buy a bunch of books (in addition to the board games and cards mentioned above). I would get books of interest across an age range for rainy days and also get some field guides to birds, animals native to the area, insects and plants.

Last, but not least, a good first aid kit that is a bit more expansive than you might have at home (I am assuming you are further away from medical care than when at home). This will need to be restocked every season so it is ready to go when you need it.

woodcutter's avatar

Well ,you could have a safe room built and keep it stocked for emergencies if things unravel. You would be so ahead of the game if you need to disappear for an extended time. If you can do it and not effect the atheistics of the place all the better.

JLeslie's avatar

@toomuchcoffee911 Very nice. My one warning is if you live in a part of the country with poisoness snakes or other dangerous vermon who like water I would be careful about having a pool you can’t see to the bottom. Maybe those pools you can see clearly to the bottom, it’s hard to tell in the photo.

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