Jim Mumford’s Treehouse Memories

Treehouse, alternative living

Remember when you were young and your backyard was truly an oasis of adventure? Hedges became prime hiding spots for an ambush of friendly enemies from down the street. A tent set up on the grass was a fort held strong by brave young soldiers. If you were lucky enough, maybe you had a treehouse, or you knew someone who did.

I spent endless afternoons playing with my school buddies building forts and planning brave escapades in the canyon in our backyard. While we didn’t have a treehouse, I always envied those kids who did.

Today, some of those same kids who couldn’t shake the idea of living in a treehouse are building them….and they are wonderful! From pods and cocoons to fully furnished, amenity-complete homes, the idea of living in a treehouse has become reality for some. The world’s largest concentration of treehouses can be found at the Out’n’About Treesort in Cave Junction, Oregon. Builder Michael Garnier has built a treehouse metropolis for those who want the full experience of living up high.

Living among the trees isn’t a new idea. Archeologists believe that millions of years ago, early man came down from the trees to live on the savannas of Africa. Using natural materials and sustainable resources, some architects have designed homes with all the modern comforts. Using carefully resourced products like woods and stone can make an eco-friendly dwelling complete with a view.

Kenya has some fantastic treehouse hotels so that after your safari adventure you can climb stairs into your own nest and fall asleep listening to the birds and monkeys talk to each other.

The great thing about most treehouses is that they can use the surrounding resources as a frame for building. In parts of Asia where bamboo is plentiful, stalks of it can be used for building materials. Ask anyone who has a bamboo floor. It’s lovely, durable and sustainable!

For some in the South Pacific, treehouse living has been a way of life for centuries. Captain Cook was rumored to have toured treehouses during his travels. Quite practical really…it gets you up off the jungle floor and away from sand fleas. In heavy rain, you stay “high and dry!”

If you can’t build your own treehouse, how about a vacation up in the air? Check out www.oddinns.com for some photos and information about staying overnight in the treetops with elegant amenities. Or visit San Diego’s very own TreeHouse Café at the San Diego Zoo. You can look over the animals and enjoy dinner in comfort while watching the sun go down.

If you had a treehouse growing up, or you have built one yourself, email us at our Facebook page. Attach a picture if you have one! Let us know about your own treehouse memories.