For more than 400 years, farmers and forest workers around Skinnskatteberg, Sweden burned wood to make charcoal for the iron industry. During the winter, workers were housed in rustic huts made of nothing but wood and mud. But when the iron industry died out in Sweden in the middle of the 20th century, the need for charcoal died out with it, and the huts became a thing of the past. Then in 1996, the local municipality built 12 new huts in the style of the old charcoal ones and Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge was born. The lodge rents out the huts to people looking to experience Mother Nature in much the same way that the original charcoal workers—and everyone who lived before electricity—did. The huts are built into the forest landscape and look almost like something out of “Robin Hood” or “The Hobbit.” Each one features two beds and a wood-burning stove. Besides two composting toilets and a floating sauna for guests to share, the lodges offers no other amenities. That means that guests have to collect drinking water, chop wood, make their own camp fire, cook their own food, and bathe in the lake. While some people might see that as a lot of work, I think it sounds fabulous (at least for a couple of days.) Wouldn’t you like to turn off your electronics and spend a few days recharging in one of these magical huts? Check out the photos and video below!
Visitors to Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge, in Skinnskatteberg, near Stockholm, Sweden, take a step back into time back to when Sweden’s iron industry flourished and farmers and forest workers burned wood here to make charcoal until the mid-20th century.
Just like the originals, each hut comes with two beds and a fireplace. And in fitting with the tradition, the lodge provides bear skins instead of sleeping bags for a comfy looking night of sleep.
Visitors have to chop their own wood, build their own campfires, cook their own food, and collect their own water. And on top of that, the lodge lacks electricity and other facilities like flush toilets. And while some people might miss the modern amenities, I’m pretty sure I’d love going electricity-free for a few days.
Winter can be cold, but luckily Sweden has another long tradition that makes the cold much more bearable…
The sauna! Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge’s sauna sits on top of a dock in the lake, so you can keep warm and take in the view, too.
In the video below, the owner of the lodge and his family take viewers on a tour of the enchanting charcoal huts. I don’t know about you, but I’d love to leave my smartphone and computer behind and recharge for a night or two in one of these tiny huts. Check out the video below.
Would you also love to stay in one of these tiny huts? If so, share this article!
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