Cabin Fever: The new, old American dream


Move over Jetstreams, converted barns and dumpsters. The hottest new “micro-living” abode enjoying a resurgence is the good ole American cabin.  Embrace the American Dream and live like our forefathers! According to the New York Times’ T Magazine, “the cabin and the shack are ideal launchpads for remarkable lives, but lately they’ve become homes to aspire to — particularly for overburdened types whose acquisitive binging has made them want to purge.”

Spawned from the ever-increasing “Tiny House movement,” micro-living aficionados hoping to hop on the home ownership train are setting their focus on cabins. The article explains, “Because the home-owning American Dream, even in its miniature variant, isn’t solely a thing of nails and lumber but of fantasies and visions, you’re far more likely to spot a tiny house in a photo than on a plot of land.” Hence the birth of the phrase “Cabin porn” inspired by a newly released book of the same name by Zach Klein (who also co-founded the online video sharing service Vimeo). The thick tome highlights “an endless series of lavish pictorial tributes to Hobbit-style habitations” showing that a dwelling small in size can still be big on luxury (or we suspect, price.)


Klein explains the rationale for his cabin fetish and next-level glamping obsession  thusly, ‘‘I’d spent six years in the city building online communities, and now I wanted to build one offline. Specifically, a place for a bunch of friends to be outdoors, somewhere we could be less preoccupied by our professions and more reliant on each other.’’

Ever the naysayer, the New York Times cheekily points out a glaring contradiction: In a movement inspired by the desire to pare down and shirk off consumerism; live minimally; and respect the land, “More trees have likely died producing these expensive books on inexpensive living than in the construction of a thousand cabins.”