Being Sick In A Tiny House

Being SickSo I’ve been living in my tiny house full time now for a little while and I still have a lot to get done before its totally finished, but recently I experienced one of thing that I had some concerns over when it comes to tiny houses: Getting sick.  Obviously being sick is never fun, but I had a few extra concerns when it came to my tiny house.

The biggest one was getting up and down from the loft when I was sick.  When I’m sick, I try to drink a lot of fluids and having to climb up and down to pee several times didn’t thrill me.  I’m not a person that gets sick often, but this time whatever I caught, really threw me for a loop.  To complicate going up and down my ladder, I had a pretty high fever, was very achy, and at times my coordination was kinda thrown off because of those things.  There was one time I almost toppled off the ladder because I got pretty dizzy mid way down.  But I’ve survived!

Warning: composting toilet talk up next

The next thing I’ve been worried about was using a composting toilet during my sickness.  I’ve learned that if you eat pretty healthy and make sure you have some good fiber in the mix, it makes the composting toilet much easier.  When you’re sick, you often don’t eat as well and/or your body isn’t working like it normally does.  All in all, it was fine, I worked it up to be much worse in my mind.  I did realize during this time that while I didn’t have a stomach bug this time, in the future, I’m going to want to have an additional bucket in case “all systems are a go”.

And Now...I'll Do What's Best For Me(1)

The final thing of note that I’d like to make on this topic is how the tiny house was a benefit in being sick.  Being that I now live in a tiny house and the tiny house enabled me to go out on my own to be self employed, I was able to take the time to just be sick.  Usually I’m a pretty busy guy, but I can schedule everything to my liking and that includes when I need time off.  So when I get sick, I don’t have to ask a boss for time off, I can just shoot off a few quick emails if need be saying I’m sick, then crawl into bed and sleep.  When I get sick, I just let my body do its thing and follow my body’s lead. Which means drinking a lot of fluid and sleeping a lot to give my body the energy it needs to fight the infection.

I brought a few bottles of water up with me to the loft and my laptop with a bunch of movies on it.  Most of the time I just was asleep, but when I was awake, I’d just open my laptop to watch a movie or listen to a “book on tape” on my phone.  In my old life, this would have been hard to do; I didn’t get any sick days, just my normal vacation.  Now I can disconnect and just heal.  It’s a great thing.



  1. Ryan, I just went through the same thing living in a camper van for the last 11 months now in northern Alberta. Thought and often wished I would die and you know I am an old fart. Biggest concern for me was kicking it and smelling up my mint vintage van. Well, I lived through it, take a pee bottle to the loft with you next time, I use a peanut butter jar with a big opening. I was terrified of running out of propane and freezing because the temperature hit – 30. Am sidelined for a couple of months now and took a room until I get a new furnace but love this project and can’t wait to get back at it. God bless you if you lived through that damn thing I had. Not as bad as my last marriage but close.

  2. It would be good if one could get a flu or cold typed. Then we could answer Ralph’s question: “Did you have the same infection and would the vaccine have
    helped?” The vaccines normally contain protein parts of four types.

    • Daniel, I have been big on staying away from drugs period all my life but now my doctor tells me he has played my silly game for over 40 years and I’m on the short list now so I listen (to a point) he gave me the shot when I had whatever it was contrary to what I thought. Anyway, lived through it, sweat it out and have the athletic ability to get one end off the toilet, flush in time to get the other end on. JOY…anyway you could say I cheated a bit. After two week of that I decided being on the mend, I would go visit the friend i had intended to see and by the time I got there it hit again. She dragged me off to bed and it wasn’t loving on her mind, I more or less passed out for another 3 days but feel I lessoned thr severity of it by drinking lots of warm water and tea with lemons and honey not to forget chicken soups. Anyway to the disapointment of a few, I imagin, I lived through it.

  3. The more labour intensive your daily chores are the worse being sick can be. You won’t feel like hauling water in or out, laundry may pile up (especially towels and bedding) and keeping clean and warm might be harder than you can comfortably handle. If you’re out in the boonies it may be harder to get supplies if you don’t feel well enough to drive and nobody comes by. If you’re all set to cocoon for the duration life is a lot easier.

  4. I have been downsizing and dreaming of a tiny house, but this is not something I would have thought of!!! Comfort is important. Hope you feel better.

  5. Feeling much better. All in all it wasn’t fun, but not bad either.

  6. You may want to stash a camping pad and bedroll, so that you can sack out on the floor, if you find yourself feeling really ill. Climbing up and down from the loft is dangerous if you are running a high fever during a winter-time illness. You never know when you may have to drive yourself into a clinic or to the hospital.

    You should also have a well-stocked compact first aid kit on hand, and prepare for the worst, with a temporary supply of easily prepared foods and liquids when you begin to feel ill, especially if you know others are sick with whatever is going around.

  7. Your post confirms the dangers of having ladder-only access, particularly for those who become ill or those of us over 60. Currently building a tiny house with a loft accessed by an 18″ wide staircase against the short wall. The loft itself is positioned 18″ away from the wall to afford extra headroom as one ascends the stairs. And while I will be sleeping on a sleeper couch in the living area downstairs, I didn’t want my grandkids or guests dealing with a ladder.

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