Sauna Building

Building a sauna had been on our to-do list for awhile. Going to the Cedar and Stone sauna on Lake Superior has become a birthday tradition and the idea of a mobile sauna that we can bring out to the lake and rent made kept it in the forefront of my minds. After enjoying and enduring another cold Minnesota Winter, building a Sauna was next on our “let’s go do that” list.

First step, research. Lots of tutorials and cool ideas on Youtube and the internet. So overwhelming. So we got a beer and sketched an idea.

Getting Supplies

Second step, supplies. Wood costs how much now? 🤣 Cedar is how much?🤪💰. Okay pandemic, you didn’t kill us, so you’re not going to ruin our dream of having a sauna. Luckily my partner worked at a place where there was an old sauna now used as storage and needed to be removed to make more room for storage.

Let’s Build!

Building was fast and simple, just clear the space, put up a wall, insulate, add the panels and we’re done…

… it’s still in progress…

As with most projects, there have been some extra, unexpected steps. With each extra item, we learned something new and it’s taken more time than we had hoped. Heat and airflow are critical to a good sauna. We moved in a wall and lowered the ceiling to better use the heat generated by the new electric sauna heater. Insulation and reflective foil to retain the heat, baking out all that ails us.

Taking time to smell the forest and feel the water

Not all delays were due to problems. This is a project of pleasure after all, we don’t want to miss out these great Summer evenings and weekends.

So we got into cold water plunges. Lake Superior is only minutes away and there are many hidden swimming holes in the streams whose cold waters will shock and renew your mind and body.

a daily cold water plunge in Lake Superior
I went to the lake
To remember the lake within me
To remember my unity with the relentless cold power and towers of waves
I watched others as they took pictures at a distance,
to the natural surrounding them.
With a wicked grin I walked into those winter waves
and they tossed me around like a piece of sand
I steadied my breath
As I remembered how my dear lake tossed ships the size of cities
as easily as it tossed me
- Jim Zartman

We listened Jim read that poem on the Open Air Humans podcast. Check it out along with all of the other great episodes.

Almost Done

We refinished and installed the benches last weekend. The electrical and heater brackets are ready for the final installation.

Friends are being notified of the soon to be scheduled sauna parties. We’re finding buckets for cold water, and eventually a tank to jump in.

Enriching our lives. A sauna isn’t necessary, but it’s going to enrich our lives which then helps us do more and live more.