Building a Sheep Camp- “If You Don’t Start You Can’t Finish.”


My husband has always been obsessed with sheep camps. They are somewhat of a novelty. I remember the day he went to an outdoor show and came home excited. “I’m going to do it,” he said, “I’m going to build a sheep camp.”

His brother built one years ago, but I wasn’t so sure. I had always been fascinated with gypsy wagons so I had to see the John Wayne version of this. We opened the door to view his brother’s sheep wagon, and he had put on an old western to add to the ambience. The curtains were a little yippe-ki-yay, and the insides had a nice maple interior. I thought that maybe I could convince my husband to add some fanfare to ours. It didn’t quite work out that way.

We had different visions from the get-go. My husband was the master builder and provided all the sweat equity, so a lot of his vision won out in the end. I did get the framing I wanted for the interior to give it the wagon effect. He was open to my suggestions, and sought my advice with a few design elements. I was starting to feel like we were the Chip and Joanna Gaines of the sheep camp world.

I talked my husband into building quaker style cabinets and persuaded him that the hardware I picked out for the cupboards looked like bullets. I did not get my wish with lighter woods. “Sawdust Arizona” won out in the end. I did get a shower and a queen size bed. I also got white sticky tiles to try to “lighten up the woods,” and my own reading light. I’ve been taken in by all of it. It is not a gypsy wagon, it is not John Wayne, but it sure is a nice compromise.

I am proud of my husband for setting out to do something he had never done before. This is not the business my husband is in. He is not an electrician and he is not a plumber. My husband does windows, and yes, I got all the windows I wanted. He just lives by a motto: “If you don’t start you can’t finish.” I think I will have that engraved on his headstone one day if he ever leaves me behind. This sheep camp is just one of those things. It will be part of his legacy as a man. I am glad it’s done and look forward to many adventures in this get-up. I will be posting some final pictures further down the road and a video. You won’t want to miss it.

2 thoughts on “Building a Sheep Camp- “If You Don’t Start You Can’t Finish.”

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  1. When I clicked on this, I thought it was something for sheep and was excited because I had recently helped build a sheep hotel on a WWOOFing property, but this is cool too! Do you know why it’s called a sheep camp? Love your husband’s motto by the way!


    1. Thank you. I would like to know what a sheep hotel is. I believe it is called a sheep camp because many of the old sheep herders around here would camp in outfits like this for months at a time while their sheep would graze. My grandpa used to have one. They are designed after the original sheep wagons. They are a lot of fun to look at if you google them. They have the same shape, and usually have some type of wood burning stove. Some keep brooms on the outside, and others have doors that open on the top and bottom. I have also seen them called “survivalist” camps.


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