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Saunas Are Hot


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Saunas Are Hot

(Almost Heaven was acquired in 2018 by the Finnish company Harvia, a maker of sauna stoves, among other related items. Mr. Mouw said affably that he was hazed by his new colleagues in Lapland, 50 miles north of the Arctic Circle.)

Can’t afford a sauna of your own? Rental is an option. Henning Grentz, 47, runs Spa Fleet, a mobile sauna rental based in High Falls, N.Y. Over the summer, he had several long-term bookings, a warm-weather rarity. “The first, for six weeks, was a family that fled New York City,” he said. “They had a beautiful piece of property in Saugerties with a creek.”

Mr. Grentz built his dry Finnish sauna, the type he grew up using in the north of Germany, from scratch. “It was a happy time — a hobby with the intention of bringing the goodness out there,” he said. He even named it after Scandinavian fruit: Cloudberry. Renting Cloudberry, a large barrel sauna designed for off-grid use, with a changing room, a wood stove and sauna rocks, costs $650 for one or two nights, and there are weekly prices, too.

A group of young Finns booked it for their yearly crayfish event and then Thanksgiving; there are winter dates available. Mr. Grentz delivers Cloudberry and enough firewood for at least 15 hours burning time on a 14-foot trailer anywhere within a two-hour radius.

Those outside this range can seek rentals on SaunaShare.com, or rationalize the splurge as one might a car. Mr. Kaps of Clearlight, whose saunas cost $5,500 on average, swears his product is worth it: “It’s not like that piece of equipment you buy and don’t use; if you sit in it, it’s going to make you feel great.”

Maybe too great. Ms. Avdulova has a 30-foot walk from her sauna to her tiny cabin, which she considers her “cold therapy” post-heat. She stargazes, recently saw a 22 degree halo on an almost full moon, has heard coyotes and once even found the remains of their prey, a baby deer.

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Enthusiasts swear there’s no better place to shut out (and sweat out) the world’s current cares.

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