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We Want to Hide Out in This Nifty Bowen Island Airstream Trailer, Indefinitely

All photos by Ryan Voigt.

We’re a pretty satisfied bunch, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t covetous. Sometimes we see things out there that we just must have. Cool Things We Want is an archive of those earthly desires.

Boy oh boy, do we ever want to escape the city to spend a night (or, if we’re being completely honest, every night from now until the New Year) in the Wildernest Airstream trailer. Mike and Bean Benson – the husband-and-wife team behind the Bowen Island “getaway” – recently got in touch to offer us the opportunity to do just that. When a scheduling conflict got in our way,  Vancouver-based photographer Ryan Voigt stepped in to save the day by taking the trip for us. His mission: to document his visit and answer a few questions about it so that we could mentally and visually immerse ourselves in the experience, in the meantime. Check out Voigt’s answers and photos below…

Photos by Ryan Voigt | Clockwise: Wildernest Airstream | Untamed wilderness just minutes from the city | Fire pit for guests to use at their leisure, wood always provided | Wildernest hosts, Bean and Mike Benson

What were your first and most lasting impressions of Wildernest? The most impactful part of staying at Wildernest was the immediate feeling of seclusion upon arrival. It’s a short trip on foot from the road to the accommodation, but you feel miles away. As someone often looking for a convenient and accessible way to escape into the wilderness, this feeling really stuck with me.

Tell us about something from the experience that you couldn’t capture with your camera? For me the beautiful light in the evening/morning really didn’t translate in camera, and I’d encourage anyone staying here to wake up a little earlier to catch the sunrise!

Photo by Ryan Voigt | Rebuilt with a unique wide-open design, the airstream is outfitted with every amenity: full kitchen including a mini fridge and even a mini dishwasher.

Upon reflection, which item do you wish you would have brought with you, and that you recommend visitors pack for their own stay?  It might seem like a silly mistake (and it is) but I forgot to pack a book! There’s not a ton to do up there – and that’s obviously the main draw – so I wish I had packed something to read.

Photo by Ryan Voigt | Kitchen equipped with sink, induction hot plate, toaster, toaster oven, microwave, tea kettle, French press, pour-over coffee kettle, Nespresso, milk frother, knives and more.

What is the thing that you wished you had left at home and would urge visitors NOT to bring with them?  I know it might seem tempting to pack an extra blanket or something warm when looking at the Airstream, but it’s incredibly well insulated and heated with its own thermostat, no need for any additional warmth, in my opinion.

Photo by Ryan Voigt | Morning light on the ferry to Bowen.

Note on accessibility: This property is on the far end of the island, and you really do need a car to access it especially if you want to make trips into town during the day. This is something to know before heading out that way!


As you can see from the photo gallery below, this isn’t just any ordinary trailer: the iconic 70s-era Airstream is fully modernized inside, equipped with many amenities and extra comforts. Furthermore, it’s nestled in a natural setting that makes the most of the trailer’s many windows and feels completely out of touch with the city (but it is just a brief ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay). Share our feeling of wanderlust/escapism? Book your own single night or extended mini-vacation here ASAP – spaces are filling up!

  • “Moonshot the Landyacht” Airstream
    “Moonshot the Landyacht” Airstream
  • Directions and choices on Bowen Island
    Directions and choices on Bowen Island
  • Bowen
    Bowen
  • Morning light and coffee on Bowen
    Morning light and coffee on Bowen
  • Winter sunshine through trees on Bowen
    Winter sunshine through trees on Bowen
  • Wildernest owners Mike and Bean Benson
    Wildernest owners Mike and Bean Benson
  • From the BC Ferry deck
    From the BC Ferry deck
  • Hiking on Bowen
    Hiking on Bowen
  • Arriving by Ferry
    Arriving by Ferry
  • Wandering Bowen
    Wandering Bowen
  • Bowen pals
    Bowen pals
  • Wildernest Airstream
    Wildernest Airstream
  • Vintage clawfoot bathtub (big enough for two) equipped with dual shower heads and year round hot water.
    Vintage clawfoot bathtub (big enough for two) equipped with dual shower heads and year round hot water.
  • "Up a steep gravel road, you arrive at Wildernest by passing between two massive boulders."
    "Up a steep gravel road, you arrive at Wildernest by passing between two massive boulders."
  • “Moonshot the Landyacht” 1971 vintage 31’ Airstream.
    “Moonshot the Landyacht” 1971 vintage 31’ Airstream.
  • There's also dual heaters and air conditioning to ensure guests remain cozy and comfortable in all seasons.
    There's also dual heaters and air conditioning to ensure guests remain cozy and comfortable in all seasons.
  • "We chose a vintage Airstream because of the way they allow you to feel immersed in your surroundings. Encircled with windows, they are perfect for watching the sunrise or ever changing weather and wildlife."
    "We chose a vintage Airstream because of the way they allow you to feel immersed in your surroundings. Encircled with windows, they are perfect for watching the sunrise or ever changing weather and wildlife."
  • The back of the Airstream contains a queen sized bed and is equipped with a window blind and a hanging sheet which also acts as a movie screen for the projector mounted over the bed.
    The back of the Airstream contains a queen sized bed and is equipped with a window blind and a hanging sheet which also acts as a movie screen for the projector mounted over the bed.

Wildernest
Neighbourhood: Bowen Island
700-600 Channelview Dr.

There is 1 comment

  1. Nice article. BTW, as someone who lives on Bowen Island, Wildernest is not on the other side of the island.
    If the island was a clock, the ferry docks at 3 o’clock and the trailer is at 4 o’clock, about a 30 minute walk.
    The author was correct in noting that you need a vehicle to get around the island.

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