When you're used to fitting everything you need into two kayak hatches and living out of a tent for months at a time, 280 square feet of walls-and-windows comfort seems positively luxurious. Radical downsizing may be one of the founding tenets of the tiny house movement, but adventurers Erik Boomer and Sarah McNair-Landry are no strangers to doing more with less. They sketched the floor plan for their diminutive dream home while on a four-month dogsledding expedition around Baffin Island. Last winter, the couple began construction of a cozy home-on-wheels that’s as mobile as their lives: touring the Pacific Northwest one month, parked in an idyllic clearing by the river the next. “It’s our way of living where we want to play,” says McNair-Landry.
GET A GURU
The DIYers welcomed the guidance of fellow paddler and master tiny house builder Rob Sickler, who appeared with Boomer in the acclaimed film, Wildwater. Creating an adventure-ready abode is “kinda like making a fort when you’re a kid,” says McNair-Landry, “but way sweeter.”
After purchasing an eight-by-20-foot trailer, Boomer and McNair-Landry raised the shell in snowy McCall, Idaho, and then towed their home to Sickler’s Hot Rod Housing workshop in Leadville, Colorado, to complete the interior finishes. Five months and $25,000 later, they were ready to roll. The price for a mortgage-free home is a lot of hard work, says McNair-Landry. “Just like an expedition, we had difficult moments and we had to remind each other to keep moving forward one step at a time.”
REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE
Tiny homes are all about sustainable architecture. Repurposing and upcycling old materials are key to keeping the environmental footprint and building costs to a minimum. Boomer and McNair-Landry’s home is clad in reclaimed corrugated metal panels and barn board. “In 1833, it was on a barn in Illinois,” says Boomer, “now it’s on an adventure across...