Rustic Hot Tub

And you thought all hot tubs looked the same! This Rustic Hot Tub reveals just how simple and creative designs can be for heating humans in vats of water. The prototypical hot tub image is of a circular or square-shaped plastic tub, with a variety of seats, encased in wooden slats that runs off electricity. And most everyone knows the prototypical nose/eye burning chlorine-saturated hot tub smell. While it always burned my skin in our family outdoor tub growing up, the magnificence of the hot water was more than worth it. But with an increasing interest in getting off the grid, a chemical free, back-to-the-land aesthetic, and a desire to live in the country (in addition to rising urban housing costs), new hot tub designs are popping up that not only get the job done, but do so in style.

This image, from letterpress printer, graphic designer, and bookbinder, Yasmine Franchi's visually striking flickr page - featuring everything from skulls to flowers to Star Wars' beloved Chewbacca - reveals a circular, cedar slat framed tub with an aluminum liner. It has a simple yet functional two-plank wooden bench (again likely cedar) arranged in an octagonal shape, which would seat 3 comfortably and 4 "socially". The heat source is a top loading wood stove complete with its own chimney, whose body protrudes into the tub, heating the water through direct contact. For tub-goer protection, a small cedar fence separates the stove from the seating area.Prefabricated hot tub kits are becoming increasingly common, manufactured by numerous companies such as Forest Lumber and Cooperage. With "novice woodworking skills" a prefab hot tub can be assembled in 4-6 hours, and with a minimum of tools. While there are no chemicals to worry about, it does mean the water needs to be changed depending on frequency of use, or opting for a saline water filtration system.

When considering the cost, carbon footprint, and chemical component of traditional hot tubs, the rustic hot tub is a winner. Requiring only wood for fuel, being easy to assemble, and offering a classically "cottage country" appearance, a rustic hot tub is an off-the-gridder's dream, providing a touch of civilized luxury to a country, low-impact lifestyle.

To see the image, please visit the Flickr link below.

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