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Father/Son Build Tiny Pioneer Log Cabin in Alaska in 15 Days

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This is the incredible story of a father and his son who set the audacious goal of building a tiny pioneer-style log cabin, in Alaska, in only 15 days.

Is it even possible to do that? Well, I suppose we will find out, but this old boy and his son sure think they can, and you know what, who’s stopping them? Enjoy below and who knows, you may learn a little something about logging.

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Father/Son Building Log Cabin Together


They made a crazy goal, and they did the most important thing… They got to work!


They hauled the logs by hand to the construction site.


Looks like they’re having fun, and they got the floor finished, too.


They don’t have to pay for many materials since they’re using wood from their own land. How cool is that?


Look at them working hard, carrying the logs to the site. They will NEVER forget this. It’s a family legacy, what they are building here.


Nothing the logs. Does this look like fun to you?


This is hard work, but the progress feels really good.


Nothing like a good old hammer.


Even if it’s just a hammer, we must have respect and care when handling tools. They’re dangerous!


Carrying Materials to the Site Using Duck Tape! (LOL)


Nothing like a creative life hack to simplify the labor.


Framing the front door. Holy smokes, it’s becoming real. We’re building a cabin!


Finishing touches.


Major Progress in Just a Few Days


Finishing up the Front Door with Framing and Hinges


The door looks good!


Time to install the roof…


By day 15, they made it happen.


Video: 15 Days of Building a Tiny Pioneer Log Cabin with My Dad

Video: How to Notch a Log When Building a Log Cabin

Really Tiny Log Cabin on a Budget

So on day 15 they, unfortunately, ran out of time and while they didn’t finish they made major progress in a short period of time. I’m really impressed especially since these guys are NOT builders.

In a short period of time, they were able to get the walls up, roof plank, and the swinging front door with a coat of polyurethane.

So what do they have left when they come back again for their next trip? They plan on adding windows and finishing up the roof. So close to the finish line, right? But they both deserve a pat on the back in my opinion.

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 22 comments… add one }
  • LaMar
    July 7, 2013, 9:58 am

    Good job guys!

    I think I would want that floor insulated in that climate and straw or pine needles could be used for insulation.

    Those logs sitting right on the ground may deteriorate rapidly. Old timers charred the logs and used creosote to protect them from insect damage and they placed them on Rocks to prevent sinking.

    Just some ideas for people considering doing this.

    LaMar (who has built a few cabins)

  • David Ridge
    July 7, 2013, 10:02 am

    What a way for a father and son to bond, excellent, and I did not notice that the “kid” was wearing any kinda MP3 player.

  • alice h
    July 7, 2013, 12:31 pm

    Not peeling the logs obviously makes it a lot quicker but kind of ickier later though when bits of bark drop off and bugs start falling out. Green logs are going to shrink horribly, with some settling (rarely evenly) along with the shrinkage. The door framing is better nailed to a 2×4 installed into a groove in the logs rather than nailed to individual logs so they can slide down and settle around it. For a primitive shelter it’s OK but I hope nobody plans to copy this method for a serious living space.

  • jerryd
    July 7, 2013, 10:14 pm

    Such a waste of time. Now they’ll have to take it apart, debark the logs and make them fit better which will require 2-4 more logs/side from the height loss.

    They would have been better off not trying to race and just build it right even if it took more time as it’s near useless as it is. Now it’ll take that much more time.

    • Butch
      January 18, 2014, 10:47 am

      jerryd, you missed the whole point it was a father and son working side by side to achieve a goal. Hardly a waste of time

    • dannymac
      March 26, 2014, 1:54 pm

      jerryd, How you can say that this structure is “useless”?
      As I see it, these guys did a heck of a job getting this structure up in what I can say primitive conditions, in any amount of time, period.
      Just to see a father son team getting along long enough to do this project makes think of the times I spent with my own dad. These two have some memories no one can take away, ever.
      It was time well spent learning building skills, so who am I to say that what they built is “not right”? Hey, if they are pleased, I’m all for it!

  • david smith
    August 3, 2013, 3:46 pm

    I, eventually, want to build my own home (without electricity, plumbing, or water), will this log cabin be fitted with those later?
    Did you have to get a logging permit to cut the trees down?
    What kind of building permits or permissions did you have to get to build this (if it is being built without electricity, etc.)?
    I would be greatly appreciative of any advice you can give in these areas. Thank you.

    • dave
      August 9, 2015, 2:24 am

      It’s in Alaska. No permits are required if it’s built on your own land.

  • Rich Bates
    February 16, 2014, 11:55 am

    I think it is a great idea no need to make rude comments ask dumb questions the man owns his property knows what he wanted and him and his boy built it… If more people wear doers instead of worriers as I call them this country be better off

  • Donna
    June 16, 2014, 3:36 am

    It may have not been built properly according to the experts. It was built properly through love, bonding & priceless memories. It’s gonna take a while before it starts to fall apart so it’ll be enjoyed. PRICELESS! You go guys, you rock!

  • bill
    February 7, 2015, 11:31 pm

    In todays day and age most kids have there nose stuck in a not so smart phone and have no idea what hard work is. The man and his son who built there cabin worked hard together. I’m sure there are many kids out there that wished they had a dad that would spend quality time with them and some dads that wished they had a kid that would work that hard. I know I’m a dad and have 6 children 4 boys 2 girls. My kids that are old enough all work hard when asked and sometimes even when there not asked. I’m proud of all. Kids will learn what they live

  • Nancy
    June 21, 2015, 10:54 pm

    Wow, this is alot of work for 2 men in 15 days! What an experience for the two of them. Would love to see it completed.

  • Gordon Deisting
    June 21, 2015, 11:56 pm

    Wow!!!! What a sight to see,Father & Son doing things together.That’s priceless,$$$$$$ couldn’t buy that.Cause I know that also cause the things that we (pop’s & me ) built together are the BEST med going in my life.For he will always be there with me in my memories.Cherish the time you have with your parents and Grandparents,For they are the best times in life.Great to see that Father & Son. 😉

  • Patty
    June 22, 2015, 2:32 am

    Great job Dad & son! Would like to see more, when available.

  • carl
    February 23, 2016, 6:02 pm

    This is grate I am going to build a small cabin with my boys over the next year. I was just wanted to know if they made a video of them finishing the cabin?

  • scott padgett
    April 30, 2016, 2:47 pm

    Did they ever finish it? Link?

  • Robb
    June 20, 2016, 9:15 am

    besides the obvious 15 day threshold, why didn’t you debark your logs.

  • Gaynor
    October 26, 2018, 7:17 am

    I have a log cabin which was built in 1975 and its still standing and I love living in it.

    • Alex
      October 26, 2018, 10:37 am

      Would love to see your log cabin!

  • steve miles
    August 27, 2020, 1:27 am

    Getting something done fast , just for the sake of getting it done and getting to the finish line quickly, is the mindset of a racecar driver! Building a log cabin on the other hand, should be built with the mindset of pride in workmanship : accuracy and quality, achievement and “job well done”. Quality takes time, and should never be rushed. I noticed that the right side of the door appears to be out of plumb. For this project, that’s probably ok, no big deal. It probably had to be reworked, in order to function properly though. (ironically taking more time) . These two did what they set out to do. Which was to spend some quality time together Father/Son and to gain a sense of accomplishment. You can’t be too critical of someone who’s up for the challenge of building a ‘Log Cabin’ can you? Even it wasn’t built to exacting standards! Kudos to you two!!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      August 27, 2020, 9:30 am

      So true! Sometimes speed is necessary, but rarely the “fastest” when you have to re-do things. I have a goat shed that I need to re-do because I had to build it quickly (goats had to move in sooner than we’d planned)…That said, I think they really enjoyed that time together!

  • steve miles
    August 27, 2020, 8:53 pm

    I agree a hundred percent Natalie! They did build some “Quality” memories for sure!

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