You may have heard the term flashpacking, the act of traveling in the spirit of a backpacker but with the budget of one more monied. Well, from the Netherlands comes what might be the ultimate in flashcamping—a portable, wood-burning spa.
The Dutchtub is a personal hot-springs-to-go. If you have a tub-sized patch of flat ground, wood and 200 gallons (750 liters) worth of water or snow you can have your own spa virtually anywhere.
Fill your tub with water via a suction hose, bucket brigade or whatever other means you can. (Alternatively, you can leave the Dutchtub outside and let snow or rain do the job for you).
Next, attach the included convection unit to the side of the Dutchtub and build a three-to-four log fire within its coil. Then cover your tub and wait for the water within to get toasty warm. The length of your wait will depend on the type of wood used and the starting temperatures. If the water and air temperature are each a few degrees above freezing, for instance, plan on about two hours for the tub water to heat to 100 F (38 C).
Finally, treat the water with soap, hydrogen peroxide, swimming pool shock or—preferably and most pleasantly—natural salts. Hop in and enjoy! (And try not to think about how it looks like you are sitting in an oversized cappuccino mug).
The Dutchtub is large enough to fit four adults comfortably; the slope of the tub’s side naturally forms ergonomic “seats.” The tub is made from the same stainless steel used to construct giant wind turbines; durability isn’t an issue.
What is somewhat of an issue is the tub’s portability. Everything needed to set up the tub, including the convention coil and the lid, weighs 165 pounds (75 kg)—light enough for two adults to pick it up but too heavy for them to move it very far. Fortunately, the tub does have an optional wheeled hand trailer (see pic, below) and is small enough to be tied to the top of a large car (and to make said car look ridiculous).
The cost of the Dutchtub is no small issue either: about $6,000. If that price has you stress out, don’t worry. A few minutes in the Dutchtub on some secluded beach will take care of that.