I have had several students ask about the water situation in the cabin in regards to showers, the bathroom, and for our kitchen. So I thought that I would show you our set up and talk about how we deal with living in what is called in Alaska, a dry cabin. There are many houses, apartments, and other building without plumbing here.
As for the kitchen operations, we have a sink with a faucet, although I cannot find out yet why there is a faucet. We have a five-gallon bucket with a lid and a copper pipe faucet coming from the side near the bottom. The bucket sits on top of a few blocks of wood and runs into the sink. We fill the bucket with the blue five-gallon jugs that we fill at the town’s water station using the jeep, just a few miles down Stampede Rd. We have eight of the jugs that we drag in sleds from the jeep, about a quarter mile away. That water has been lasting the two of us for more than two weeks. That includes water for our dishes, cooking and drinking, and washing. When the fivegallon drain bucket under the sink gets almost full, we have to carry it out away from the cabin and dump it. You have to watch the drain bucket!
As you know, the showers we take are usually had when we go to Fairbanks or sometimes in Healy. As for the bathroom, we usually can’t wait that long, so we use the outhouse that’s just a short walk from the cabin. It’s a nice and simple outhouse with a window, a seat, and a space for reading material. It also has a sign on the door that can be flipped over to let people know when the outhouse is in use. Because the cabin is in an area where there is no permafrost, the hole under the outhouse was dug pretty deep and has been in use for several years. The outhouse seat can even be shifted from side to side to help with the filling of the hole. There is a separate trash can in the outhouse for the used paper so that the hole does not get paper to take up space and that won’t break down a quickly.
We also do not go #1 in the outhouse. That would cause it to fill up with liquid and become unusable much sooner. Everyone kind of has their own place to do this. It is always away from the cabin and the workspaces. It may be next to a tree or down by the creek, but when nature calls, you go to nature.