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Try sleeping in a tree house – several meters above ground

Forget sleeping bags on the ground. Structural engineer Sondre Ertshus is building a proper cabin on top of four pines.

Published 6 March 2017

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“It’s kinda nice, hearing the creaks and sensing a tiny bit of movement.”

Six meters above ground in Soknedal, structural engineer Sondre Ertshus, 24, has built something quite out of the ordinary: A cabin, weighing several tons, resting upon four pines, with enough room for an entire family to spend the night surrounded by beautiful nature as far as the eye can see.

“Here, you’ll find yourself slightly above the nearby treetops and you have a good view of the mountains Kaldalsknippen and Gynnildfjellet, while you’re also in close contact with the local bird life”, Ertshus says.

“The population of wild game such as moose and roe is large, with ample opportunities to spot them from the cabin platform in the morning and at dusk. And there are no other cabins nearby, so there are no disturbances.”

Sondre Ertshus
Credits
Sondre Ertshus.
Photo: Ola Arnfinn Ertshus

Credits
Sondre Ertshus.
Photo: Ola Arnfinn Ertshus

Ertshus originally began the project last winter with a hunting outpost in mind, but when he came across similar cabin projects further south in Norway, he was inspired to up his ambitions and build a proper cabin that could also be rented out.

“What do you need to keep in mind when building a cabin up in the trees?”

“You’ll need a nice location and pines that suit your purpose, meaning they are large, robust, alive and with enough space between them. And then there are the safety concerns.”

Even though part of the cabin’s charm is of the creak and sway variety, the structure is actually quite steady and secure. Along with the four pines, Erthus also built three concrete foundations for three additional support pillars. In addition, a solid fence runs around the cabin.

“There’s also a bit of steadying involved, to minimize the influence of wind and such. The sway of the cabin is surprisingly minimal, even in strong wind. We’re talking perhaps two–three centimeters, which is only felt in the form of tiny vibrations.”

Right now, the Ertshus cabin is the northernmost addition to the Norwegian treehouse family. Further south, there are already several cabins available for rent.

The widest choice so far is offered by Tree Top Hut in Brumunddal, Hedmark county, with five cabins built between 2009 and 2014, accommodating between six and eight people.

Søteste hytta i skogen??#tretopphytter

Et innlegg delt av Thea Brandal (@theabrandal)

Here, you can feed squirrels and get up close and personal with the birds, living in classic Norwegian cabin interiors. Most of the cabins have fishing and bathing opportunities nearby, and also offer facilities like bio toilets and a grill for barbecuing.

Han smatter litt høyt, men ellers er det lite å utsette på min nye kompis? #tretopphytter

Et innlegg delt av Kirsti Irgens Ertsås (@kirstiie)

For those who prefer their cabins with a touch of modernity, a trip further east in Hedmark will take you to Gjerstad and Trehyttene. Here, you will find architecture that cuts straight lines through dense forestry.

Along with the three story cabin Kråkeslottet (the crow’s castle, pictured above), the family behind the project have also built a smaller cabin dubbed Gjøkeredet (the cuckoo’s nest), seven metres above ground.

Even further south, you will find Kraggbua, a cabin built seven metres above ground by the company Tretopphytta, focusing on bringing visitors closer to nature and offering good photo opportunities of the nearby fauna.

Ble overrasket med et opphold her i helgen?? #norwegiansafari #treetophouse #norway

Et innlegg delt av Andrea Ihler Evensen (@andievensen)

If all goes according to plan, Sondre Ertshus’ cabin will be available for rent this June. In the meantime, follow his progress on Instagram.

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