Why Do Cabins In Alaska Have Short Doors? The Truth!

If you have ever been to a cabin in Alaska or have seen pictures of cabins in Alaska then you are probably wondering why cabins in Alaska have short doors. Cabins in Alaska are built slightly differently than cabins in other locations due to the extreme weather that occurs there. 

Why Do Cabins In Alaska Have Short Doors? 

Alaska cabins have short doors in order to prevent excess heat from escaping. Having a smaller door means that when the door is opened during harsh winter weather, then less heat will be able to get out. 

Alaska is a beautiful place to have an off-grid cabin and it is important to know why cabins are designed the way they are including the size of the doors and the plumbing systems that most Alaskan cabins have. 

Smaller doors on cabins in Alaska are normal and it will help to keep the cabin warm during the extreme winter months per information from those that have resided in Alaskan cabins for many years. 

Why Do Cabins Have Small doors?

Cabins in Alaska have short doors due to the fact that this will keep the heat from escaping the interior. Heat will always rise so by having smaller doors, there is less heat that will escape when the doors are opened during the winter months. 

Although a smaller front door can make it slightly more difficult for taller people to get through the doorway, it is beneficial in freezing temperatures in order to keep as much heat as possible inside the log cabin.  

Why Does Alaska Have So Many Outhouses?

There is a large number of people that live off-grid in Alaska which contributes to the high number of outhouses. Living off-grid means that there is no electricity or plumbing and therefore many people in Alaska will build an outdoor toilet. 

Although some people that live off-grid will still have their own plumbing system and an indoor toilet, many cabins in Alaska do not have indoor plumbing at all. No indoor plumbing means that people build an outhouse in order to have somewhere to go to the bathroom. 

Those that have chosen to live off the grid with an outhouse enjoy leaving their home frequently because it gives the opportunity to get outdoors and witness the beauty of Alaska more than someone who spends the entire day in their home. 

How Is An Outhouse Built? 

Most outhouses are built by finding a location away from the home or cabin and choosing a location to dig a hole in the ground. It is important to ensure that there is no ground water anywhere nearby including streams, lakes, and ponds. 

The hole is usually about 4 feet deep and then on top of the hole you can place a toilet seat or build a seat if you choose to do so. You can then build the structure to enclose the hole. It is important to build a structure that is fully sealed and enclosed in order to keep bugs and other animals out of the outhouse.

Maintaining the outhouse is a somewhat simple process. Most people will add lyme to the outhouse to break down the waste and eliminate any odors. You can also use peat moss and straw and sprinkle that in there daily to help with odors. 

The waste in the outhouse will break down with the use of lyme and sawdust, but if the outhouse does become full then it will need to be emptied. Some people will choose to have a portable cover on their outhouse so they can cover the hole and dig a new one as needed. 

Why Is There No Indoor Plumbing In Alaska?

There are currently thousands of homes without indoor plumbing in Alaska. The reason that there is a lack of indoor plumbing in Alaska is mainly due to the climate as well as how people have chosen to live in Alaska.

The extreme temperatures in Alaska make it hard to install indoor plumbing in certain locations. If the ground remains hard and frozen throughout the year, then indoor plumbing cannot be installed. Even if indoor plumbing was able to be installed, it would be at great risk of freezing and pipes bursting frequently. Therefore, many people would be required to have special indoor plumbing systems with heaters in order to keep the system from freezing. 

There is also a large number of people in Alaska that want to live without indoor plumbing and choose to live off-grid. Many cabins in Alaska are dry for this reason. It allows people to live in the rural areas of Alaska and be self-sufficient without the need for public resources such as running water and electricity. 

What Are The Downfalls of No Indoor Plumbing?

Although living off-grid without indoor plumbing can be a simple and peaceful way of life for many, there are some downfalls to not having any indoor plumbing.

If you need any hot water you will have to boil water on your stove. Regardless if you are wanting hot water to bathe or wash dishes, it will have to be boiled ahead of time, which can be more effort and more time-consuming than being able to turn on a hot water faucet. 

Without indoor plumbing, you will also have to go outside each time you need to go to the bathroom. For some people, this may not be a big deal at all, but for others, it can be frustrating to have to leave your home constantly and walk outside into freezing weather. 

Disposing of used water is another downfall of no indoor plumbing. Once you have used the water you need for washing dishes or taking a shower, you will have to take that water back outside to be dumped since you do not have pipes or drains to pour the water down. 

Why Are There So Many Dry Cabins In Alaska?

Alaska has a very high number of cabins that are “dry” meaning that they do not have modern plumbing systems in them. 

Some of this is due to the number of people that choose to live in a dry cabin. Living in a dry cabin provides simplicity. It gives people the opportunity to live in the wilderness and if you want to live in a dry cabin, you can do so almost anywhere. Some of the most rural cabins in Alaska are dry cabins. 

Dry cabins also offer less worry for homeowners. Due to the extreme temperatures in Alaska, there can be a large risk for frozen pipes and pipes bursting. If you do not have a plumbing system then you do not ever have to worry about this occurring in your home. 

In other instances, thousands of people in Alaska live in dry cabins due to the fact that they cannot install plumbing systems. There are areas where the ground stays frozen all year long. This permafrost makes it almost impossible for workers to dig into the ground in order to install plumbing systems and pipes. 

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