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Peace and Tranquility - Port Medway bunkie business offers off-the-grid retreat ‘away from screens’

Troy and Jennifer Naugler had their first Airbnb customers stay at the Port Medway Bunkies the last weekend of August.
Troy and Jennifer Naugler had their first Airbnb customers stay at the Port Medway Bunkies the last weekend of August.

PORT MEDWAY - Jennifer and Troy Naugler awoke one morning last summer at a friends’ cottage to a view of Molega Lake -- and the two enjoyed their coffee outside.

“They built a bunkie next to their cottage, and we stayed in it one night last summer, and it had a screen door and no power,” said Jennifer.

The two loved the concept so much that they decided to build a bunkie on their land on Port Medway Road by the Medway River.

Jennifer and Troy had their first Airbnb customer at Port Medway Bunkies, at 653 Port Medway Road, the weekend of Aug. 26 and 27.

After spending the night at their friends’ cottage on Molega Lake, Jennifer and Troy went home to Hebb’s Cross and started to think about bunkies. The two discussed the idea of putting one on their property.

“Ultimately, we had this land here in Port Medway and started to kind of think about what it would look like to have a bunkie and then maybe more bunkies down the road,” said Jennifer.

Troy and Jennifer Naugler had their first Airbnb customers stay at the Port Medway Bunkies the last weekend of August.

The Bunkie

So far, there is one bunkie on the property, which Troy helped design and oversaw the construction of.

The small building certainly didn’t pop up overnight. The land was completely undeveloped, so cutting the road in was a process, said Jennifer.

“We purchased the land about five years ago,” said Troy.

That was shortly after Bowater Mersey closed, he said. Then this past January, Jennifer and Troy took on the project of building the road, which took 219 dump truck loads of fill.

Building the bunkie was a much quicker process. Construction of the building began in late July or early August. The whole thing, including the concrete slab and inspection, took a couple of months.

In addition to “peace and tranquility,” people who stay at Port Medway Bunkies will have enough bunks to sleep five people, a table and chairs, Adirondack chairs outside, a picnic table, a fire pit and bench, firewood, lights, and an outhouse, said Jennifer. Troy said eventually there would be an outdoor shower as well.

Jennifer compares the concept to the oTENTiks at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site.

“You bring your bedding and bring your cooking, just like you’re camping,” said Jennifer.

She said they also recognize there are travellers or tourists who may not have bedding or cooking supplies, so both are available for small costs.

People who stay at Port Medway Bunkies will have a view of the Medway River. The first off-the-grid rustic cabin went up this summer and more are planned. It’s about getting away from screens and enjoying peace and tranquility.

Second Bunkie

By the end of the autumn, Jennifer and Troy hope to have a second bunkie. The second building would be the same style as the first and also be close to the water. The couple hopes to have as many as five to 10 buildings eventually, but that would depend on how business goes. Another eventual goal is to have platforms for tents, said Jennifer.

“I think we’re kind of promoting it as an off-grid, low impact way for people to just reconnect,” said Jennifer. “I think there are people who are looking for that – getting away from screens.”

For more information, visit Port Medway Bunkies.

Troy and Jennifer Naugler have been getting their land ready for the Port Medway Bunkies since January.

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