Preparing to Live in a Cabin that is not on any Maps

Part of the draw of this residency for me is the remoteness and the isolation. As I am starting to identify what gear to bring for both the adventure but also to be the most productive during my time there, I am finding myself increasingly excited about the prospects and potential for being in such a remote place.

As I’ve started to plan out my day and overnight hikes, I contacted the ranger organizing the residency because I couldn’t figure out exactly where the cabin is located. I couldn’t find it identified on any maps. It turns out this is intentional to protect it’s isolated qualities. They don’t want hikers finding it or finding out about it too easily. I love this. I love the idea that I am going to be living not only off-grid but also essentially off-map.

As part of the application process, I had to submit a statement indicating my fitness for being in the outdoors. You can read it here but essentially I tried to explain that I am not only physically fit but that I have the mental fortitude to be in isolation as evidenced by previous solo national / international travels and residencies, but also that I have a familiarity with the outdoors through my upbringing in scouts and my several years backpacking with father for our annual FatherSonGetOut trips.

The fact of this inclusion in the application process is evidence of just how unique this experience will be. Not only will I be spending time in this wilderness area, alone and isolated for much of my 2.5 weeks there, I’ll also be developing a stronger connection to the island through the engagement of collecting sound recordings and making my work.

I did find an image online that indicates where the cabin is on another artist’s site. I am not going to link to it or post it here because I want to protect the cabin in the same way the Nat’l Park service. Keeping it off the map is the same as the growing trend in the backpacking and hiking community to lessen the practice of location tagging social media posts. This practice is doing a great job of informing the public about some amazing and beautiful places around the world. The down side of this is that some places are delicate and are being crushed under the weight of their own popularity. We have to find that balance between loving a place and loving it to death.

The remoteness and the isolation of this opportunity is something that will become a driving force of the experience. And I am really excited for the preparation process.