Kristie Wolfe turns 1950s fire lookout into off-grid shelter

When Kristie Wolfe saw a fire lookout tower advertised for sale on private land, she knew she had found her next build. She had already constructed a Hawaiian treehouse and a hobbit hole getaway from the ground up and loved the idea of converting the abandoned structure into an immersive deep-forest escape.
The 13 acres of forest above tiny Fernwood, Idaho (population: 684) cost her $67,000 and was her most expensive purchase, but the structure it came with has historic value: there are only about 900 lookouts still standing (at one time there were over 5,000 towers in the US). The lookout heydey was inspired by the devastating Great Fire of 1910 that burned 3,000,000 acres (12,000 km2) throughout Washington, Idaho, and Montana.
Wolfe’s “Crystal Peak Lookout” was built in 1959 on Stranger Peak, WA, but in 1983 it was moved to private land in Northern Idaho where it was used as a hunting lodge. When Wolfe bought it, it had been abandoned for 25 years by all but the bushy-tailed woodrats which had inflicted their damage.
Working mostly alone, Wolfe spent weeks transforming the cab into an overnight shelter with a fireplace, kitchenette and 360 degree views. The location is off-grid (the town of Fernwood doesn’t even have Internet), but a small PV setup provides enough energy for lights and to charge phones.
With the help of her brother and mother, Wolfe moved an old shed down the hill (using pipes and a pulley system) and gave it a new life as a cold-water shower and sauna. Another old shed became a composting toilet.
Wolfe does all the work on her properties herself - with the help of family- and never takes out loans. For the past 7 years her properties have become her full-time job. Just recently she created the Big Idaho Potato Hotel, a one room shelter carved out of a 6-ton potato (of concrete, plaster and steel) formerly used to promote the Idaho potato industry.
On *faircompanies

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  • It looks like the Long dark lookout.

    Alfred HurtAlfred HurtVor Tag
  • 8:36 You're welcome

    Ross GriffithsRoss GriffithsVor 3 Tage
  • Love it!!!! Treated decking is common in the South.

    DixieGirl9876DixieGirl9876Vor 5 Tage
  • A winch should help with using the pulley.

    Mild MisanthropeMild MisanthropeVor 6 Tage
  • Who the f DOESN'T want to see a moose??

    Dawn StoneDawn StoneVor 8 Tage
  • But why

    HedgeOwl InvestHedgeOwl InvestVor 8 Tage
  • Great place to hang out. I bet in storms and in the winter it has to be incredible. I have always been a storm observer. I would love to buy a Fire Lookout. I would do the same thing Kristie did. Also, I thought the potato was way cool too. Can I order a potato to live in? Thanks.. Stay safe..

    Alan SolomonAlan SolomonVor 8 Tage
  • What a woman. Whoever raised her did a damn good job

    romancandlefightromancandlefightVor 10 Tage
  • Tough

    blonde lebaneseblonde lebaneseVor 12 Tage
  • I wish i could install a hand cranked winch that locks as you rotate it so you can take a break anytime.

    World AdventuresWorld AdventuresVor 14 Tage
  • so how does this do with fire regulations? what if a fire starts at the base?

    World AdventuresWorld AdventuresVor 14 Tage
  • so hot

    Fleece JohnsonFleece JohnsonVor 15 Tage
  • I really love this little place . And how she showed the children about how she gets her water. Me, I would have either drank it or saved it for later. I am a water saver, I will 'not' waste water!..

    carbon copycarbon copyVor 15 Tage
  • Beautiful. So is that conversion I'd still have solar power and a generator. Living off grid is one thing, but you can STILL have some comforts. Wonder how hard it would be to put in smaller rooms underneath attached to the framework? And put in a lightweight pyramid roofing to keep the snow from getting to heavy.

    BuzzramjetBuzzramjetVor 15 Tage
  • I'm thinking this is what Delilah looked like probably.

    Tonguç EndemTonguç EndemVor 20 Tage
  • Never heard of a deck out of treated lumber? Really? Where have you been? People have been doing it for decades

    Jaime DoornbosJaime DoornbosVor 24 Tage
  • 11:30 looks like the old firewatch was quite the hobbyist

    bbbbbbVor 25 Tage
  • Amazing 😍💗💗💗 well done Miss 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

    Lenn DookunLenn DookunVor 25 Tage
  • (o) (o) on her!

    Drew RobertsonDrew RobertsonVor 25 Tage
  • She is safe from Covid 19 zombies !!!!

    Rip N TearRip N TearVor 27 Tage
  • I admire Kristie for her creativity. I love all that she has been doing and will do. I loved this clip.

    Uli ChapaUli ChapaVor Monat
  • u gotta have more than coffee,,tea and chocolate lol what do you eat ? lol

    AT TAT TVor Monat
  • and what do you eat ? and how do u get food etc...

    AT TAT TVor Monat
  • so u have to go out in the freezing snow and walk to an outhouse ? no toilet inside your home ? horrible

    AT TAT TVor Monat
  • I love how different all her builds are. Following her vision. And practical. The one Kristie and her mum built on their own in 2 months in Hawaii is such a satisfying practical building. And this renovation/build also lovely. She has a 'can do' attitude which is empowering. Love how she remedies things like the pipe with a wriggle in it because of where the beam runs. Hmm how do we deal with this one...

    Sarah Patterson MusicSarah Patterson MusicVor Monat
  • She's my idol.

    It's OkayIt's OkayVor Monat
  • The tower is below tree levels and far from town. Sale it quick! not worth all that hustle dear...

    Willy MpwoWilly MpwoVor Monat
  • Firewatch! :-)

    Roman NavratilRoman NavratilVor Monat
  • i wanna like this 2ce.

    Andreas LehrAndreas LehrVor Monat
  • This is so friggin dope

    ItsDevlconItsDevlconVor Monat
  • camera woman in car sounds fun to drive with

    Tevita PhillipsTevita PhillipsVor Monat
  • A fire lookout tower. Made of wood. Right on top of trees. Did I miss something ? -_-

    server1server1Vor Monat
  • living off the grid is in some ways a blessing but I like the fact that you keep it moving and your learning as you go, I pray you will keep up the good work and continue learning as you go.

    Patricia OutlawPatricia OutlawVor Monat
  • What an awesome place to live

    Phila ECPhila ECVor Monat
  • It's 2AM and I gotta Take a DUMP.....Imma Go off the Side of the TOWER...

    James LanceJames LanceVor Monat
  • where to poop? shower?

    Thora MannThora MannVor Monat
  • she needs to speak to David Paulides about this.

    Thora MannThora MannVor Monat
  • the circle map is called Osborne Fire finder. works anytime without electronic devices

    Shuping YinShuping YinVor Monat
  • this is amazing vid. interesting hearing about the log book. I volunteered at OC fire look tower for two years. we had to keep detailed logs. good job

    Shuping YinShuping YinVor Monat
  • I don’t think I can get passed the part where she dumps the water she just pumped from the facet, down the drain after taking a sip! 🤦‍♀️

    Adriana IAdriana IVor Monat
  • Just wow! Ms. Wolfe is a genius!

    Cyrus ParvinCyrus ParvinVor Monat
  • When you flex so hard you dox yourself.

    CuteFaceJayCuteFaceJayVor Monat
  • A pretty lady that's got a good head on her shoulders.

    Eric LockeEric LockeVor Monat
  • Awesome and beautiful

    Stewart MarshallStewart MarshallVor Monat
  • when i was a kid, i used to dream of living in a lookout tower.

    Arick ReifenstalArick ReifenstalVor Monat
  • Anyone else here play firewatch?

    Phil MaticPhil MaticVor Monat
  • 11:32 big ol pot leaf

    Ron HertzbergRon HertzbergVor Monat
  • "Burnt, dumbass." I love this video.

    XiaxsXiaxsVor Monat
  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    A SA SVor Monat
  • Ranger Gord approved 😁

    Nerdy EvyNerdy EvyVor Monat
  • looks like we made a WRONG TURN

    Juan MirelesJuan MirelesVor Monat
  • Beautiful little place. Until you hear footsteps on the stairs at night.

    Simon BrookeSimon BrookeVor Monat
  • she's a HOTTIE!! and smart

    David ChandlerDavid ChandlerVor Monat
  • How is this lady gonna pour a cup of water, take a sip, and throw out the rest? Sorry, but that killed it for me, and I had to quit watching the video.

    Joseph DysonJoseph DysonVor Monat
  • Next she's going to turn the forest into a wild Forest

    Tommy RodriguezTommy RodriguezVor Monat
  • You gotta be on some serious ass peyoté if you think I would live in one of those🤨...wake up to a bear or mountain lion at my door

    Lobo 1Lobo 1Vor Monat
  • I want someone to watch the video on Siren Head then sleep here xD

    Lance RaiderLance RaiderVor Monat
  • Welp, she'll never have to worry about visits from Jehovah's Witnesses or neighbors asking for sugar. Not to mention it's a huge theft deterrent.

    Mary WatkinsMary WatkinsVor Monat
  • This is nice. Not my cup of tea, though.

    Mary WatkinsMary WatkinsVor Monat
  • Omg this woman Kristie is simply amazing! Wow what a great idea... So many ideas❤️❤️

    Alexander ChanceAlexander ChanceVor Monat
  • Upvoted for the kids' dialogue: "dumba**. Now that's cinema verite.

    Ruben JamesRuben JamesVor Monat
  • Do you still own the 15 x 15 foot house on the big island of Hawaii?

    Mary DavidsonMary DavidsonVor Monat
  • I'd marry her

    Ch LaCh LaVor Monat
  • You`re living in your own private Idaho.

    John NadaJohn NadaVor Monat
  • seems like she had that guy do all the work and shes just some ig model taking all the credit for it

    Ding ChavezDing ChavezVor Monat
  • If I could find a place like this I would live there is a second ... except I just do not think I could take the cold. Having enough property in nature to not even be able to see and memorize it all in your head would really appeal to my inner primitive human ... spectacular.

    justgivemethetruthjustgivemethetruthVor Monat
  • This is really cool ! I'm going to find you guys one day and rent a week 🙂

    EEVor Monat
  • Good place to organize bunga bunga parties

    BoxdialBoxdialVor Monat
  • Yo mama got boiled

    BoxdialBoxdialVor Monat
  • That place is awesome...nice job.

    James BruceJames BruceVor Monat
Kristie Wolfe turns 1950s fire lookout into off-grid shelter