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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  • I see this and remember the game Firewatch

    Kenji Brian KitagawaKenji Brian KitagawaVor 9 Stunden
  • Bitch don't even live here she just rents it out to suckers and visits once a year, either way cool... I guess lol

    Spiz DSpiz DVor 16 Stunden
  • Nice drone shots

    Spiz DSpiz DVor 16 Stunden
  • I cant get over how hot she is.

    blackl1steddrumsblackl1steddrumsVor 20 Stunden
  • There's still an operating firelookout on the top of Sundance Hill near Priest Lake Idaho.

    Big BrotherBig BrotherVor 21 Stunde
  • Would you like to build another small platform below enough for a bed TV for a free caretaker? ;-) What you do to these buildings is just amazing!!! Good luck for the future and wish you all the best!!! Bows

    STO AntiTrollDivisionSTO AntiTrollDivisionVor 21 Stunde
  • Lol all your hard work collecting water just went down the drain 🤔🤣 lol I'm over here like STOP! STOP!

    ADaivius SatterfieldADaivius SatterfieldVor 21 Stunde
  • Why couldn't Roxy go up lol 🙃🐶 oh rite they need to pee duh

    ADaivius SatterfieldADaivius SatterfieldVor 22 Stunden
  • I wanted to see the dead snake 🤔🐍lol

    ADaivius SatterfieldADaivius SatterfieldVor 22 Stunden
  • They still log the land? The growth better be up to par to keep up with demand, eh?

    Misty HoyMisty HoyVor Tag
  • Inspiring stuff, to imagine living in a place like this.

    Quest for a Meaningful LifeQuest for a Meaningful LifeVor Tag
  • Nice work! I want one as well, did you get the 13 acres for that price?

    JJ BBJJ BBVor Tag
  • Great location & little home, but I would have it more solar-powered.

    bodipsyphabodipsyphaVor Tag
  • she is so cute

    Abdullah SaadAbdullah SaadVor Tag
  • I love all her builds! She is such an inspiration!!

    irisxxxxxxirisxxxxxxVor Tag
  • Buys cheap land and resells it at insanely high prices. One more story of the raping of America by commerce whores.

    attovishnuattovishnuVor Tag
  • I might be in love with Kristie, shes exactly my type of women and one thats living my dream.

    Jeremy McReynoldsJeremy McReynoldsVor Tag
  • Kristie is fine 🔥

    ItsyaboyyangItsyaboyyangVor Tag
  • You are awesome! And now I am sure there's got to be a ''Lookout'' or a off-grid cabin for me somewhere. Living in Vienna ten years now. I love it here. But gotta go back some time. And thats what I want. That last move before the Big Crib in the Sky. Ah! Of course your the girl who built that fabulous Hobbit Hole! I like your designs. 2:30 A.M. in eastern europe.Time for sleep. But am I envious of the snow. Kirsten you scrumptuous woman you. Thank you. Peace.

    Stefan SchlepsStefan SchlepsVor Tag
  • I would not walk up there. there is not enough support for me to be up that high.

    Miss Earth AngelMiss Earth AngelVor 2 Tage
  • Now I remember her. Her designs are fanciful, however they’re not practical. She doesn’t do her research on the flora or fauna of the area, and it shows in the design of her houses. 1) If land is cheap in Hawaii then it’s on a lava flow. 2) There’s no screens to protect against mosquitoes which helps protect against West Nile virus. (Diseases are still a thing. Who knew.) 3) “Moose are our friends.” 🙄 Clearly doesn’t take warnings from locals that moose are dangerous animals. If she builds a house near the Nile she would tell her kids that “Hippos like us”. 🤦‍♀️ The only reason why she’s popular is because men are thirsty.

    Tanya HunterTanya HunterVor 2 Tage
  • This is amazing and beautiful!!! ❤️

    SaltyOldDawgSaltyOldDawgVor 2 Tage
  • I’ve been through there many times

    Adventure HawkAdventure HawkVor 2 Tage
  • I'm sorry sweetie but it's your turn to empty the shit bucket..

    PhillipPhillipVor 3 Tage
  • Oh Fire Lookout you had me at Kristie Wolfe

    polish2x91polish2x91Vor 3 Tage
  • I don't think I wpuld want people to knkw that I sleep.with the door open. Serial killers, stalkers, rapists, animals, etc. 👹👺👽👁👁👀 = 💀😬

    Miss MollyMiss MollyVor 3 Tage
    • "animals" Well, you've told us. Expect wolves to be at your location in 5...4...3...

      seigeengineseigeengineVor 2 Tage
  • How cute! I wouldn't want to carry groceries up to that. 😆

    Miss MollyMiss MollyVor 3 Tage
  • kirsten i love your work. thank you for the experience and motivation.

    mike wagnermike wagnerVor 3 Tage
  • 11:32 firewatcher was a stoner

    Guns N GloryGuns N GloryVor 3 Tage
  • That thing needs to be painted. The wood decks may already be sawdust and close to losing structural integrity.

    couerlcouerlVor 3 Tage
  • She's not that hot.

    sixpartmixsixpartmixVor 3 Tage
  • Can I come curl up with you in front of the fire? 😉

  • There's an air bnb link in the description silly people! Now I'm off to discuss travel plans! Heck, a weekend up there? Roughing it? Ok I'll have to train to climb the stairs. LOL

    lau Slau SVor 3 Tage
  • @11:31 Cannabis leaf. I'd be excited to find that too. That would sure pass the time up there.

    ECO domECO domVor 3 Tage
  • I liked seeing this off grid project explained. The only thing I would like to have seen more is Roxy attempting to climb past the first stair step @8:04 !

    ECO domECO domVor 3 Tage
  • Boy, that is just amazing. Great job finding these awesome people Kirsten. God bless!

    Believe on Jesus Christ For Eternal LifeBelieve on Jesus Christ For Eternal LifeVor 5 Tage
  • One man and a cordless DeWalt reciprocating saw or a grinder and your shelter becomes scrap metal. If for off the grid only, WOW, a dream! If for SHTF defense? Best to be underground not up above it :)

    Louis P.Louis P.Vor 5 Tage
    • $5 of cleaning supplies and you better have some good filtration on your air intake,or your lungs are going to be dissolved right quick.

      seigeengineseigeengineVor 3 Tage
  • I would like to live in a place like this :-)

    Moebius DuneMoebius DuneVor 5 Tage
  • why not have a shower inside the sauna + a water tank gravity system, small wood stove to heat the shower water ? I seen that on a off grid video.

    J MJ MVor 5 Tage
  • A whole deck built of treated lumber? That's the only way we build decks in Canukistan 😉

    s hegartys hegartyVor 6 Tage
    • Am I missing something? Is she calling something else treated lumber? I thought most people used treated lumber to build decks. I don't get what she is talking about.

      Miss MollyMiss MollyVor 3 Tage
  • Lol the snap is probably going to break.. and your just standing there with no break cloth

    Justin CaseJustin CaseVor 6 Tage
  • Who else immediately thought of ranger rick from red green. I know I did .

    Justin CaseJustin CaseVor 6 Tage
  • I would love to stay a week in that potato and explore the railroads in the area. I was just in Idaho in early summer. I look for motels and places to stay at that are next to railroads. That would be a perfect place to stay! I have stayed in dozens of motels next to railroad lines as a sort of hobby. I can't wait to show that to my wife

    Jaw ToothJaw ToothVor 6 Tage
  • Interesting. My father worked in the forest service back in those days. He packed in with a muletrain each spring. I loved hanging out on the spotting towers.

    Fritz FritzFritz FritzVor 6 Tage
  • another excellent documentary!

    Lisa DeeLisa DeeVor 6 Tage
  • I love your work you sell any of them.

    Harlice LaverHarlice LaverVor 7 Tage
  • Wow so awesome all of her creations

    D CollinsD CollinsVor 7 Tage
  • Did you ever think of cutting your fire wood all on one side to improve your view.

    bob mbob mVor 7 Tage
  • good thing that forest fires are now just a thing of the past, and never happen.

    Nimrod QuimbusNimrod QuimbusVor 7 Tage
    • We now use this wonderful technology known as cameras and the internet. Also satellites. Much cheaper than building towers, and keeping them staffed 24/7.

      seigeengineseigeengineVor 3 Tage
  • She had better cut down the trees around it , or she will get incinerated in a wild fire!

    Philip StormsPhilip StormsVor 7 Tage
    • @seigeengine B.S.

      Philip StormsPhilip StormsVor 2 Tage
    • That policy would require us to wipe almost every tree off the face of the Earth.

      seigeengineseigeengineVor 3 Tage
    • @seigeengine If the trees are gone, the fire dies out because of lack of fuel. I'm talking of cutting down most of the trees for a quarter mile. Or let the whole thing burn like they do in Cali.

      Philip StormsPhilip StormsVor 3 Tage
    • If a wild fire gets that close, even without trees there, she'd be dead fast.

      seigeengineseigeengineVor 3 Tage
    • unless she.... spots the fire from far away, some how.

      ECO domECO domVor 3 Tage
  • This totally reminds me of Alan Wake. Good thing it's still daytime outside...

    ThePotatoSmashThePotatoSmashVor 7 Tage
  • I always wanted to live in a watchtower. Yuck.

    Ton WilsonTon WilsonVor 7 Tage
  • Wow! What a Nice Score....

    Jason HJason HVor 7 Tage
  • I hate carrying cell phones.

    Jojo Crazy CatJojo Crazy CatVor 7 Tage
  • Any grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, wolverine, etc. that may be of concern?

    Walter BishopWalter BishopVor 7 Tage
  • I love her builds, they're always so unique

    bester landbester landVor 7 Tage
  • That was an awesome video. I've seen that Hobbit house on a couple videos before. Thanks for sharing.

    Troy Future ExpatTroy Future ExpatVor 8 Tage
  • Wow this place is heaven

    Thomas CaseyThomas CaseyVor 8 Tage
  • Fantastic! From the firehouse to the giant potato, what fabulous imagination and work ethic. Rock on!!

    Mona TaylorMona TaylorVor 8 Tage
  • your sweet

    nigel griffinnigel griffinVor 8 Tage
  • Well that is all pretty impressive.

    what thewhat theVor 8 Tage
  • 13 acres but i saw a cabin out in front of the tower? hmmm.. but i have a question. How can a person find an old none operational fire lookout tower to buy, is there a government site you could direct me to??

    Bizal008Bizal008Vor 8 Tage
  • Nice 👍

    ElmwoodParkHulkElmwoodParkHulkVor 8 Tage
  • Yeah, put a log in an empty fireplace. THAT'S how you start a fire in a fireplace.. lol But seriously, color me jealous. INCREDIBLE site and view...

    David SchmidtDavid SchmidtVor 8 Tage
  • Not a town it’s a trailer park ...

    Nicholas AlexanderNicholas AlexanderVor 8 Tage
  • That “shelter” will be gone within 1 little wind storm 2X4 holding the hole thing up who Evers idea that was it out of their mind this is like living in a glass house on the bottom of a Rocky Mountain ...

    Nicholas AlexanderNicholas AlexanderVor 8 Tage
  • Wow. All that glass has to be a big concern trying to condition the inside, heat or cooling. And, with all the trees around it, there's very little view. I guess it might be a cute little place to go and have a picnic and lounge around until it's time to go back home and take a shower and fix din din.

    Rob JRob JVor 8 Tage
    • It's a small space, so it wouldn't actually be that difficult to heat or cool, but it doesn't look like they cool it, only heat. Also, there's clearly a view, but being surrounded by trees only improves the atmosphere. I guess your brain might be a cute thing to pretend is capable of having productive thoughts, but at the end of the day, it needs to be put away so someone else can make the real decisions.

      seigeengineseigeengineVor 3 Tage
  • Does this place have electricity. The trendy term "off-grid" has really expanded over the short time it's been around to include just about any dwelling that doesn't have a neighbor within 100 feet.

    Rob JRob JVor 8 Tage
    • Did you watch the video, or was that too much to ask, o' blue ribbon inbred?

      seigeengineseigeengineVor 3 Tage
  • She is about perfect. Smart as a whip, independent and absolutely beautiful.

    Noneyalls BiddnessNoneyalls BiddnessVor 8 Tage
    • @J Oh You mean the supports she thought were mechanically attached to the deck, and hadn't been prepared to deal with the fastening having failed? You're not supposed to comment with one hand in your rectum.

      seigeengineseigeengineVor 3 Tage
    • @J Oh Yea....shit you caught me. I tested her IQ via one observation. It's a superpower that I have. Sorry I should have mentioned it....I'm such an ass... just left you there hung out to assume. Of course there is another possibility...two actually. 1) Maybe I've seen other videos, interviews ect.....and 2) one minor misstep isn't actually that big a deal. You got tiny houses all over the planet too right? I mean obviously you're independently wealthy as well and just a tic smarter then her because you'd a never let them fall. Right? J Oh...

      Noneyalls BiddnessNoneyalls BiddnessVor 8 Tage
  • Why does one human being need to take up 14 hectares of land? Does she even think? Isn’t that why wld life has lost most of their habitats?

    Steve ManoSteve ManoVor 8 Tage
    • Are you... okay?

      seigeengineseigeengineVor 3 Tage
    • It looks like she didn't harm any habitat. Besides few animals live in a forest like that: squirrels and owls.

      Philip StormsPhilip StormsVor 6 Tage
Kristie Wolfe turns 1950s fire lookout into off-grid shelter