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End the summer by sleeping in a barrel

Rustic camping to end the summer just right with an innovative venture that has people sleeping in a barrel right next to Lake Superior.
Cypress Sleeper Barrels is located just outside of Nipigon on the shores of Lake Superior (Cypress Sleeper Barrels/Airbnb)

NIPIGON — Located just outside of Nipigon, a new innovative venture has hit the shores of Lake Superior by two Thunder Bay entrepreneurs who took sleeping in a barrel to the next level.

Crypress Sleeper Barrels features seven-foot by 16-foot oak barrels that sleep two adults with under-bed storage, which can convert into an extra bed for two more people. At the back of the barrel, there is a plastic bubble to gazes out to Lake Superior.  

“When you come to sleeper barrels, what you can expect is once you roll up? You get this beautiful view of Lake Superior. As soon as you step out, you can feel the wind, you can hear the wind, you can hear the waves. It's just really serene and really relaxing," said Tara Carr, the co-owner of Cypress Sleeper Barrels. 

"We do offer a nice covered area. If you want to stay outside, there's a nice cooking area as well. When you are ready to go into the barrel, it's almost like stepping into another world because it is quite the smell of cedar that just kind of hits you right away and you just feel nice, calm and relaxed. You get shelter from the elements if it isn't the greatest day or even if it is a great day, you can look at the lake through the big bubble.”

Tara Carr and her twin Lise Carr found the idea for sleeper barrels on Vancouver Island, where Dave Byers, the creator of the Sleeper Barrel, manufactures the cozy cabin. Byers makes them in Vancouver Island and patrons can have them shipped either pre-built or shipped in pieces.

The Carrs have chosen to have their barrels shipped, so they could assemble them on their 28-acre family-owned beachfront property.

In addition to the sleeper barrel, each lot comes fully equipped with an outdoor barbecue kitchen, a gazebo living room, a propane fire pit, a private fire pit and sauna barrel with wood provided, a changing station and a porta potty bathroom. Although there is no shower facility, patrons can use the sauna and rinse in the lake for bathing.

According to Tara, since they started in early July, they have been booked all summer with guests looking to get away to a new camping experience.

“It's been really well received. Considering we didn't really put much into advertising, I would say we're probably booking up to 80 per cent every month, which is great," she said. 

"The people who do come here when I read the guest book, it's actually like my favourite thing to do. Everyone is having the same message across the boards. They love it. It's relaxing. It gave them a second to get away from everyday life and just kind of connect back with themselves.”

The Carrs said that they will only be open until October, but plan on starting their booking next June.

However, there are still lots available for September and Cypress Sleeper Barrels can be found on Airbnb and Instagram.  

“Right now, we're currently renting through Airbnb. All fees included. We're about $322 a night and we do book nightly. We don't make you book two nights in a row. So, if you want to even just come out for the night because we are so close, it's possible” Tara Carr said.

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