Urban Sauna Society


Last week as I was monitoring social media for Boom Island and vaguely wondering what I wanted to do over the upcoming weekend, I happened to catch a quick glance at a tweet from the Growler: “Sauna visits Dangerous Man.” I’d heard of this unique, mobile sauna before, called Little Box Sauna, having seen a few other articles drift in through various social media platforms about its residencies downtown and at Como, made possible through the 612 Sauna Society. As an avid sauna fan, I hadn’t investigated the Little Box Sauna but was more intrigued when I saw it paired with a nearby brewery. After offering a session to a friend of mine as a birthday gift, I booked us some tickets and we were set for Saturday!

Both of us arrived to Dangerous Man wondering where this sauna on a trailer was hidden, but we soon were able to figure it out – simply by following the smell of the fire. We were greeted by our friendly host who gave us a quick run-down of the sauna procedures. After donning our bathing suits, we went inside and happily sat and sweated, the temperatures getting up to about 180 (which is still cold, according to the sauna meister). Joined by 4 other women (2 of which were from the Sheridan Neighborhood Organization and made it all happen), all of us had a great time sitting, sweating and trading stories about other sauna experiences and life. Whenever a cool-down was needed, we’d walk back outside in the middle of northeast wearing nothing but a bathing suit, our faces red from the heat and streaked with sweat. As one of the women commented to me after I was about to go back in after a cool down, “You’re very pink. It looks good on you!” I laughed in appreciation, as I’m known for being very pale (and was the most pale of the bunch, not to my surprise). Water for drinking as well as dousing is available, and I opted to do a quick douse by splashing a bit of water on my neck and sternum.

After our relaxing hour and a half together that had all of us lazing on the outdoor chairs, slathering on coconut oil that I’d brought, we were completely refreshed and in need of a beer. My friend and I intended to go into Dangerous Man, but the atmosphere was too lively after our quiet, almost meditative sweat session, so we opted for the nearby Mill NE. There I had a Hammerheart beer, which seemed very appropriate after doing sauna. My friend took a sip and commented “Oh yeah, that’s a Marta beer.” Apparently I’m becoming known for my liking of darker, stronger beers.

It was an amazing way to spend an afternoon and I highly recommend having a sauna session with Little Box Sauna. Even though it was at Dangerous Man, no beer was allowed in the sauna itself, only water. I have, however, been known to drink beer in a sauna far up north where the owner (and my good friend) doesn’t just allow beer in the sauna, he encourages it! Granted, you have to proceed with caution when you’re enjoying a beer and sauna at the same time ┬ábut if you usually employ common sense, I doubt you’ll have any issue. Just be sure, whether there is beer or not, to bring water into the sauna – you’ll need it!

After the Saturday sauna session and celebratory beers, I returned home and came close to passing out on my couch. If you do decide to have a beer, either during your sauna or after, it’s probably best to be somewhat close to a place where you can allow yourself to rest. There really isn’t anything quite like doing a good, hot sauna to make you feel refreshed, even if it means you’re likely to take a nap for the rest of the day. Keep your eyes open for the Little Box Sauna in the future – you just might find me there.