The call of the wild is sometimes inevitable; it’s the urge to go back to the essence of our existence. The forest can be really captivating and when scrolling through Instagram’s amazing nature photography, the rainforest of the Pacific Northwest has often caught our attention. When you search for hashtags like #cabinlife or #tinyhome, some of the most amazing little retreats pop up, making us want to get out there, enjoy nature, and hide away from the bustle of the city. It’s even more inspiring to find out the stories behind those amazing cabins, especially when you follow the path and get to know the story of Jacob Witzling, whose cabins have been portrayed in multiple feeds from some of the most influential outdoor photographers and travel bloggers. We just had to get behind the story of Jacob and his love for the forest and cabin building.
His passion for cabins can be dated back to when he was 16 because he lived in one for the last two years of high school in New Hampshire; it was nestled in the woods near his parent’s house. The architectural expertise of his father also left an impression on Jacob and, as a child, he was often found poring over the pages of his dad’s favorite book, Handmade Houses: A Guide to the Woodbutcher’s Art.
A few years later, while he was studying to become a teacher at Evergreen State College in Olympia, he was dating a girl who lived in a cabin outside the city. At that time, Jacob’s vision got clearer and he decided to live a life of simplicity, secluded out in the woods.
“Not to sound cheesy but it was during that relationship where I heard the call of the wild. I needed to exist in the woods, and even though I had never built anything other than a blanket fort, I knew that my passion to create would be sufficient.”Jacob Witzling | Source: Antique Archaeology.
Fifteen years later, the math teacher has built his fourth cabin in the Olympic Peninsula in western Washington. His first cabin cost only 800$; he used mainly recycled materials and leftovers from the surrounding area. Today, it’s still Jacob’s goal to utilize as much used materials as possible to construct his cabins. He also lets the natural elements from the surroundings flow into his work; for example, he uses moss to cover the roof of his cabins, which requires no upkeep and lets the cabins merge even more into the native area and unique flora of the Pacific Northwest.
“I enjoy making permanent structures that complement the environment rather than inserting something completely foreign into the surroundings. I want these cabins to look like they sprouted from the ground and have been watered like a plant. It’s a home in its home.”Jacob Witzling | Source: Antique Archaeology.
Jacob has created remarkable retreats in the deep woods and each one is authentic, beautifully imperfect, almost like a livable sculpture to hide in and inhale the peace of nature. Make sure to follow the amazing work of Jacob Witzling on Instagram and, if you are in the Pacific Northwest area, pay one of his cabins a visit.
*numbers current at the time of writing.