Have you ever dreamed of getting out of the city, of having a place of your own in nature, but felt stifled by the unavailability of structures or overwhelmed by the amount of work it takes? While we don’t recommend escapism for all your city-borne ills, having a place to go that is outside the sphere of your everyday life has its obvious benefits.
The Backcountry Hut Company is working in part to make these desires a reality. Since 2015, the company has been putting out prefab cabins, geared toward both the backcountry and the beach. The “kits” that include everything you need to build one of these cabins are sustainably fabricated in Courtenay-Comox, BC.
Wilson Edgar, co-founder, says it was his love for the outdoors that led him to the mission behind the company. Raised in Ontario with its landscapes of trees and lakes, Edgar eventually moved to British Columbia, where he fell in love with the famed wilderness of the West, even becoming president of the B.C. Mountaineering Club. The expression of a community built around a shared love for the outdoors inspired Edgar. He, with the help of his partners, Michael Leckie and Cyrill Werlen, set out to create an opportunity for people to have an “enduring piece of architecture that is attainable in today’s world, which is not always the case because custom homes become exorbitantly expensive.”
Recently, the company has taken steps to making its structures even more accessible. While the first two models, System 02 and System 01, are gorgeous and highly customizable, they still require some professional assistance for their construction. Newly available is System 00, which is an elegant and simple A-frame cabin. Edgar says that System 00 is the fulfillment of the DIY dream at the heart of the company. The company provides the materials for building, and location, foundation, and other amenities are site specific, but Edgar says that BHC offers support throughout the building process.
“System 00 is something that a group of friends can execute in a timely manner. They can feel a real level of engagement in the project and accomplishment in making something come together on their property on a really refined and finished level,” he says. The vision of a struggle to create a dwelling together is both practical and speckled with a romanticism that recalls the homestead. Perhaps it is this feeling we crave: not disconnection from society but a connection on our own terms with the material and people with which we make a space. Edgar’s dream is to construct one of his models for a backcountry association, so that his love for the outdoors might come full circle, back to the clubs where he started. And he wants to see them standing, quiet in nature, for generations.
Edgar says that COVID has changed his business in many ways, and that he has noticed more and more people looking to get away from the city. Understandable. He just wants to make sure that people are being safe about it.
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