Monday, March 1, 2021

Analog Things: Building a Cabin by Hand

by Laurie Allee

If you're reading this via email, please click here to see the accompanying video.

No Power Tools (or Nails) Allowed.

Covid-19 restrictions have given people inspiration to do things they might not have had the time or inclination to do before lockdowns.  I was feeling pretty great about my own self-isolation activities:  learning the dulcimer, experimenting with Prismacolor art pencils and tackling the classic books I'd never gotten around to reading.  Not bad, right?  No mega-scrolling, no Twitter ranting, just good old-fashioned analog activities, even in the midst of a pandemic...

Then I found out about Erik Grankvist.

Courtesy Erik Grankvist via YouTube
Building a cabin by hand from scratch in the Swedish wilderness (with no power tools or blueprints) beats the fact that I finally read Pride and Prejudice and The Sun Also Rises.  Did I mention that Erik started this project right after he graduated high school in the summer of 2019?  Yes, while you were playing Minecraft, this guy was actually living Minecraft.  In 3D.   

His video journey is as inspirational as it is impressive...  

Courtesy Erik Grankvist via YouTube

When I say he built a cabin by hand, I don't mean he used 2X4s delivered from the Scandinavian equivalent of Lowes.  Nope.  I mean he cut the trees down with an axe, stripped them, carved notches in them and fastened them together like a giant set of Lincoln Logs! 

In Erik's words:

"Sometimes we hear a call from nature.  When I was 18 years old I ventured out alone with only a backpack full of simple hand tools to actualize my dream.  Build my own traditional off grid log cabin by hand from the materials of the Swedish wilderness.  Just like our ancestors."    

Courtesy Erik Grankvist via YouTube
Erik is my hero!  And, he is proof that we can get back to basics, even if it feels unfamiliar or overwhelming.  Do I think I could build a cabin by hand in the woods?  No way.  (Not even if I went back in time to being 18.) But I can continue learning new things.  I can find joy and purpose in living my life more offscreen than on.  I can continue to get my hands dirty, make things and share them.  I might not build a cabin, but I'm inspired to rebuild the fence in my garden.  

(Although I'll probably get Lowes to deliver the lumber.  I don't think Los Angeles County would appreciate me cutting down trees.)

Erik's compilation video above is a wonderful reason to stare at a screen.  Enjoy!

Stay tuned for more ways to spend your time offline.

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