Some skiers and boarders will do anything for powder -- even live in a tiny house with four other people. Last year, five riders went on a quest across the western US and Canada living in a mobile tiny house with only 22.4 square feet per person. Towed by an old truck, the Outdoor Research-sponsored team lived it up for two months on the road. Zack Giffen and Molly Baker dreamed up the idea and with help from friends, the built the tiny house, which served as home base for the team on their journey which was documented by brother, Sam Giffin of Right on Brother Films who told us all about their journey. Giffin's film Sidecountry Sessions also reveals what it was like to live in a tiny, mobile house, and it includes lots of epic footage of last winter's powder.
Sam Giffin, Zack Giffin and Molly Baker had a dream to follow winter storms in pursuit of fresh powder and film their journey, but to do it on the cheap they needed their own mobile accommodations. Rather than live out of an RV, they built a cozy Tiny House on a trailer chasis in less than 2 months and outfitted it to make the most out of the 112 sq ft of space. They invited Neil Provo and Andrew Walbon to share the house while they rooted out the best skiing possible. During construction, the Giffins were aided by their friends and woodworkers Paul Bauman, Mountain Jack Smith, Kiala Smith, and Tom Wilton (amongst others).
With five people in the house, that meant there was only 22.4 square feet per person. The upstairs was outfitted as a sleeping loft while the downstairs included a small kitchenette, table, futon, storage and a small wood burning stove. The house also has a darling front porch, is powered with propane and a generator, and features an ingenious, space-saving leaflet spiral staircase. Five bodies alone take up a lot of space, but skiing gear on top of that meant that the group had to minimize their possessions and stay organized.
“Despite the chaos of living, working, traveling, and sharing 112 square feet of space for two months–which believe me there was a lot of chaos–the tiny house taught us only lessons of love,” Sam Giffen told us in an email. “It started as a way to be warm and cozy and became something much more important for survival: a way to make friends. We could talk on and on about the environmental aspects of living small, however, I feel these aspects speak for themselves. What I am most pleased to report about livin’ tiny, is that the following equation appears to be true: the smaller your house, the larger your network of friends.”
The 2011-2012 season wasn’t known as an epic snow year in the lower 48 states, but Canada got dumped on, so the team, who was sponsored by Outdoor Research, headed up north and got their fill. They parked their house in the parking lot of one of the resorts who gave them permission to stay. Along the way, their trusty truck broke down and they were even stuck in Canada for awhile, but that didn’t seem to bother them, since there was plenty of powder to share. Their tiny home had a super small footprint and with 5 people living in it, they practically doubled the environmental benefit. The lesson here of course is obvious: Follow your dreams while making as little an environmental footprint as possible.
Images ©Sam Giffen, Neil Provo, Andrew Walbon