Over the weekend I had a chance to read DIY Cabin in the Woods. My first thought was “wow, what a fun concept.” I love camping and the thought of having my own little plot of land and a humble cabin for such a reasonable price literally got me searching the internet for available rural land. But then I started thinking about why it should be so important to me to “own” the land. I have been “Dispersed Camping” for years and have gotten a tremendous amount of joy from it.
For those of you who are not familiar with the term dispersed camping, it is essentially camping in a location where common utility connections are not available, typically on Forest Service land. Yes, it’s legal, you just have to make sure you contact the appropriate agencies to find out where you are and are not allowed.
Then I browsed the tumbleweeds website, which even further reinforced my conclusion. If I can have a humble little cabin on the back of my truck, and can camp for free in public land, why should I purchase the land so no one else can enjoy it? It seems perfectly reasonable that I could use the money for something else that would add societal value.
I am certainly not proposing that all land should be public and that property ownership is bad. I suppose I just have conflicting feelings about when it is appropriate to take possession of these private little paradises.
Off Topic Sidebar: I was listening to an NPR piece about climbable stairs in Seattle, and there was mention of a couple who asked the City’s permission to turn a plot of public land, overgrown with blackberry bushes halfway up a flight of stairs, into a public flower garden, which they were allowed to do. I just thought it was very cool that they took the time to make something really special for everyone to enjoy.