Introducing a sauna on wheels. It’s the wood-fired, feel-good super-accessory of the winter glamping season. And it goes anywhere you go, like, no sweat.
You return from your ski day encased in salt scales. Layers of softshell, polypropylene and Gore-Tex have created a greenhouse for your body’s gases and microbes. Your muscles are tense and stringy. A simple shower won’t do. If only you had a sauna with a river nearby for the ol’ hot-cold treatment.
Enter Revelstoke, British Columbia, artisan and first-generation Finnish craftsman Mika Sihvo and his Sauna Stoke business. His handmade portable sweatboxes are the hottest thing on two wheels, making most of their fixed-in-place counterparts look like fancy closets. There’s even storage or sleeping space in the front of the six-by-six-by-ten, single-axle trailer that any Toyota Tacoma or Ford Ranger can haul.
“I think there’s a sauna for every person in Finland,” says the crafty adventurer, who was born in Canada to Finnish parents but went back to his folks’ mother country to do military service, where he first gained a hankering for heat.
Sihvo, a firefighter, makes everything from the soaker bucket to the front doors, which are made of tempered glass you can break in case of emergency. He fuses in his Canadian heritage with cedar panelling as opposed to birch; then adds a real wood stove and a real stone hearth. Once steamy, he recommends swatting yourself with frozen birch switches for the maximum Scandinavian touch.
At $12,500, he figures his saunas are best suited for commercial outfits that might want to move them seasonally, but admits it’s an awfully nice personal item.