The dry life

Dry Cabin Living:

One of the many awesome aspects of Fairbanks is: living without running water is not unusual. Frankly, if you come to UAF, I don’t think you can truly call yourself a Nanook until you have dived into the dry-lifestyle. I have been without running water for almost two years and, I love it!

Fairbanks, and the University, are setup to accommodate those of us who choose to live the dry-lifestyle. The UAF Wood Center has shower and laundry facilities. Other areas of campus also have shower facilities, including the swimming pool and the Student Recreation Center (some are private). I tend to do my water duties at the UAF Honors House.
(My two dogs chewing on moose legs in our yard. The outhouse is nestled nicely in the trees.)

My two dogs chewing on moose legs in our
yard. The outhouse is nestled nicely
in the trees
Living in a dry cabin is pretty easy once you figure out a few things. One, invest in a tub to do the dishes in. Two, get used to boiling water to do dishes. Three, find something that is good at squirting water for rinsing the dishes. I personally use an old soap container, this helps conserve water. Four, get a nice piece of styrofoam cut a toilet size hole in it, and put in your outhouse (the styrofoam makes the winter outhouse use a lot more comfortable). Five, invest in some 5-gallon jugs for hauling water. I would recommend at least 4 jugs, that way you aren’t constantly worrying about running out of water. If you do run out of water in the winter it isn’t a big deal because you can just melt snow. Melting snow takes a long time though, so I wouldn’t recommend making this a habit.

One of my favorite parts about Fairbanks is the Water Wagon. The Water Wagon is like a gas station, but instead of pumping gas, it pumps water. The machines are coin operated, and it only takes quarters and nickels. Another great spot to grab water is the Fox Springs located right off the Elliot highway. It is fresh spring water, and it is free. The only cost is the drive. Thankfully the Fox spring is really close to Silver Gulch, a brewery and restaurant. So if you go all the way out to Fox, I recommend going to Silver Gulch and grabbing a nice snack.

The blue jug is for fresh water, the grey pan is for drip/slop water

The best part of living in a dry cabin is watching peoples reaction when you tell them that you don’t have running water. I’m not even going to try and explain it, you’ll just have to give it a try for yourself!

1 comment

Bee said...

Thank you for the tip about the squeeze bottle for rinse water. We don't live in Fairbanks Alaska, but we do have a log cabin in rural Wisconsin that we use on weekends in summer and fall. It has electricity but no plumbing. The latter is actually what convinced us to buy it as we wouldn't have to worry about pipes freezing over winter, etc. We've tent-camped for years, so we had a few camping jugs and I thought I knew how to dishes, but - never thought of the squeeze bottle idea. Definitely implementing that next time we go up there. Found your site via a google search for "comfortable dry cabin living". Interesting site and I didn't realize Fairbanks had this issue and so many residents living without plumbing.

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