Lifestyle

Mail-order DIY micro-homes

Going off the grid for a while is a romantic idea, until you actually try to do it. One heavy downpour coupled with some faint screeching wildlife, and before you know it, you're Grylls-ing it to the nearest Four Seasons. That is, unless you set yourself up with an uber-portable pad from Hermit Houses, whose comfortable micro-homes come flat-packed like IKEA furniture, and can be set up and broken down in the wild in no time.

Available in four standard models, the Dutch firm's accordion-esque designs go for about $1000 per 10 square feet, and run the spectrum from a basic bed-with-a-roof setup, to one equipped with kitchenette, shower, and luxurious & elegant compost toilet. They can either be downloaded with a materials list and built via hyperspecific instructions, or purchased as a complete DIY kit (currently only delivered in the EU).

When disassembled, they can be easily transported in a pickup or van (or on the backs of a few easily-coaxed burly friends) and require only minimal construction to set up, thanks to their puzzle piece-like floor/wall/roof panel architecture. Not really feeling any of their four prefab options? No problem. There's a special widget on the site where you can render a fully custom building manual based on a series of specs.