vacation, escape, nature

This guy has spent the past 2 years living in America’s most secluded log cabins

Words: Josh Rakic
Photos: Kyle Dempsey

Photographer Kyle Dempsey traveled across the U.S. last year documenting the country’s best log cabins. Here are his five favorite.

A budding filmmaker and musician, it was an off-the-cuff photo of an abandoned A-frame cabin that catapulted Kyle Dempsey to Insta-fame and inspired him to quit his job and spend close to the past two years shooting the best cabins across America.

His Instagram feed is littered with hundreds of images from the country’s most secluded and intimate cabins, A-frames and tree houses - most of which are off the grid. And the best of which feature what Dempsey describes as must-haves for the ultimate rustic cabin - wood stoves, lofts, spiral staircases, exposed beams and porches.

So in an age when smart phones make it impossible to escape work, we asked the Massachusetts product to document his top-five cabins where wifi and phone service are non-existent, so you can finally switch off.  

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Bolton, Vermont
lights, log cabin, travel

People alway ask me where I find all the cabins I stay in and to be honest, it’s just Google. I have the same resources as anyone. And this is my favorite find so far. It’s a log-cabin from the outside with no running water and no electricity, just a wood stove. There’s an outdoor shower and a spring, which are incredible. It was all built from logs from the land it was sitting on - a hillside overlooking mountains. It has a great loft bed and a birch ladder. For me, I just wanted to escape the modern ties of society and this is one of the best places to do just that.

Washington, Massachusetts
america, cabin, camping

I actually found this one through a family friend. It’s currently not available for rent but you never know. And it’s testament to how many cabins are actually out there, a throwback to a time when cabin vacations were the norm. It’s so remote that to get there you have to drive an ATV through a beaver swamp pond. It’s tucked away in the forest pretty good with no electricity or running water. There’s a huge fire place on the outside and a wood stove on the inside. There’s a little pavilion, too, making it one of the places I’ve photographed most.

Deadwood, South Dakota

I found this one after a deep search on Google and it’s a gigantic A-frame with a hot tub out the back. Upstairs is a loft with a single bed and bright red carpet. Then there’s a huge wood stove in the middle and big gigantic windows that let the morning light and stars shine right through. And the backyard is all spruce, like a western. Real pioneer sort of stuff.

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charlie lake, southern adirondack mountains
architecture, adventure, cabin

It’s tough, because there’s a difference to staying in a really nice cabin and a more rustic one that is more of an experience. But this is pretty awesome with a 40-foot tall wood stove pipe, and huge windows overlooking a lake. It’s got a sauna, wood shed and a spiral staircase. It’s beautiful.

eagle river, wisconsin
eagle, river

This one ticks all the boxes for me. With big open exposed beams and a spiral staircase up to the giant loft with a hot tub, a wood stove and a porch - there’s nothing left wanting here. It’s also a huge place, perfect for a group of friends. It’s the kind of place you could live in no problem. 

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