Earth & Conservation

Taking A Tiny Home On The Road With Snowboarder Mike Basich

Mike Basich shows off his newest creation: a mobile tiny home that he takes around the country in pursuit of the perfect snowboarding run.

Tiny houses seem to be everywhere these days. From tricked out tiny homes, to the tiny houses built for the homeless, to the official Tiny House Annual Conference in North Carolina, the whole world seems to have an infatuation with these miniature dwellings.

Snowboarder Mike Basich has jumped on the tiny home train himself, but Mike's tiny home feels a little different than others. Mike spends most of the year traveling around the country chasing the perfect snow -- the fresh powdery kind; a snowboarder's dream. His ultimate goal was to have a home he could take with him anywhere, and that's exactly what he built.

Mike pulls his house all around the country with him, which he finds great comfort in. "It's just more comfortable being [in a] home built out of wood, and especially if it's done by yourself or at least your own idea, it brings something of comfort and relaxation with that," he told Seeker reporter Laura Ling.

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Mike built his tiny home in just three weeks. He used mostly recycled materials, like siding from an old building, a stove he already had in storage, and he purchased a sink and windows from the Habitat for Humanity store. The house has a water tank, hot water heater, furnace, fireplace, stove, and even a skylight, but unfortunately no toilet -- Mike prefers to use the great outdoors as his bathroom.

Many tiny homes across the country cost just as much as a regular size home to build. One company, The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, sells their "Elm" model tiny house for $66,000. By building his own home and using recycled materials, Mike was able to save thousands of dollars. He built his entire house for about $6,000. $2K went towards the trailer to pull the house, and the rest was spent mostly on good-quality insulation.

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Some cities, like Stockton, Calif., are looking at tiny homes to assist their chronic homelessness issue. A California non-profit, Visionary Home Builders, believes they could construct micro homes in Stockton for just $4,000 per unit. If the city approves the project, they plan to raise money with the help of local businesses. The homeless epidemic affects everyone in the city and having these tiny houses for the homeless to live in would benefit the entire community as a whole.

Mike's tiny home has traveled with him all over the country, from Texas, to Wyoming, to Colorado, Alaska, and the Bay Area. One of Mike's favorite things about traveling with his home is that the view outside his window always changes. One day he's looking at a mountain range, the next he has lake front property.

As a snowboarder, Mike is always chasing the best snow possible, but he's also chasing a feeling. It's the feeling he gets when he's standing on top of a mountain. "I think just feeling small, vulnerable is something that is, I think, part of that experience that I'm chasing as well," he told Laura Ling. His tiny home helps make this possible and there's nothing else in the world like it.

Be sure to visit Mike's website for more about him and his snow adventures. His photography book, "The Frozen Chase," is also on sale at Amazon.

-- Molly Fosco