Calvin CoolidgeAdirondack Camps are treasures of Upstate New York. Even President Calvin Coolidge was a fan, who used Great White Pine Camp, near Paul Smiths College as his “Summer White House.”

However, for people who aren’t President, Adirondack Camps are still within reach.

The Adirondacks are a special part of New York—a state many people think of as just an extension of New York City. But, once you get up into Old Forge, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, and all the places in between, you will realize that the ADK is no NYC.

So, once you have your ADK Camp, you may need to make a few modifications.

Here are two that we came up with to turn a simple one-room cabin into a spacious ADK almost-Great Camp. It’s Tiny Living in the Adirondacks. 357 sq ft.

  1. The Stairs

ADK camp stairsThe camp came with a simple wooden ladder that led to the loft upstairs. It was affixed to the beams with two eyelet hooks. Sturdy it was not. Scary it was. For less than $100, we bought two stringers (the stair-step sides of the staircase) from Home Depot and then used some old shelving we found in our barn for the treads (the steps). With some bugle-head screws purchased in Croghan at Buckingham Hardware, the stairs were built in only two hours. A branch found in the yard was used to create the rail, and some simple twine from Wal-Mart hid my cutting defects when trying to fit the rail to the support. Total cost: $69.

2. The Wall.

ADK camp wallTo create a separation between the kitchen and the sleeping area, we needed a wall (it will be huge!). We turned the appliances sideways to create a galley kitchen and then bought four antique shutters from Class Collectibles in Canton, NY. With a few brackets and a slab of wood at the bottom, the shutters created a perfect wall. To make it more ADK-y, and to hide the hardware, we installed a birch log on top. Total cost: $85.

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