backcountry

How to Make a Backcountry Sauna

Today’s topic is backcountry sauna construction. Buckle in.

First, make sure you physically victimize yourself over terrain like this:

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That’s me in the front, scanning the lay of the land for a proper sauna location.

Then, after you’re done feeding the troops tacos and instant refried beans, effectively putting an end to the bitchin’ and moanin’, you’ll want to get a fire going. Break out the whiskey, because things are about to get weird.

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Where’d that dog come from?

When you’re about a quarter of the way through your whiskey stash, ask your buddy if you can borrow his tarp. Your wife might roll her eyes and say something like “what are you doing with that thing?” Never mind the skepticism. Just wait until your sauna is steaming and they’re fighting for space. You’ll get the last laugh, trust me.

Start heating a few large rocks in the fire. I read somewhere that you’re not supposed to heat river rocks because they’ll explode in your face. So don’t do that. You should be fine with a few dry rocks.

As your rocks are heating, you’ll want to choose a proper sauna location, preferably near the fire. Here I am, a self-proclaimed backcountry sauna genius, using what the good Earth gave me:

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Hey, it’s all that was available.

By now, your fellow campers are at least curious. They might even get in on the construction phase. Which is good, because up to this point this was a one-man sauna (boring). High five your friends for letting their sauna guard down.

Now on to the minor details. Figure out a way to transport your super hot rocks. Load up on icy cold snowmelt from the nearby stream. And then hop in, robe or no robe. Doesn’t matter. You’re in backcountry sauna mode, dude!

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Sauna sesh in progress.

Slowly pour water over the rocks. Magical steam will appear. Nature is so mysterious like that.

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That’s a pretty crappy set-up, I’d say. But come on. It works. Not bad for a fist timer. I’d use a bigger tarp, and maybe heat my rocks a little longer next time. And kick all those bums out.

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