This study seeks to understand the underlying causes why the energy consumption increases in Norwegian cabins in the highlands. It explores how changing energy use is related to changing cabin life. The study has not focused on the magnitude of the demand and building itself, but rather on analyzing the energy consumption that follows in the wake of the construction and shaping of the units. A crucial aspect for understanding the changing consumption is the exploration of the connections between three actors: the cabin owners, the building agencies, and the local policy makers. This enables me to elucidate the full spectrum of the changing consumption patterns now well underway, and to see the larger sociocultural dimensions. I present two cabin areas, Geilo and Vestre Slidre, to provide a comparable groundwork. On the private level, I explore the sociocultural dimensions of consumption and how new notions of a second home places new demands. I argue that the ways people conceive and use their cabins are changing from escape to displacement. It points towards the fact that experiencing a simple lifestyle in back-to-nature circumstances no longer gives sufficient meaning to a stay. On the commercial level I address the entrepreneurs' construction and shaping methods' implication for the future energy consumption, as well as the energy used in the phase of construction in the highlands itself. The prefabricated cabin concept is a particular subject of significance in this respect. A focus is also put on the local administration's attitudes, regulations, and initiatives for cabin building, shaping, and energy use, and on how these relate to the real life. I argue that the cabin development grows with unchecked impetus, because the local policy makers have weak regulations for cabin building, but also because there are few national guidelines for accomplishing a sustainable cabin policy. This development is considered from a sustainable perspective where the energy situation is considered from a local (situations with shortage of energy) and national level (aims for reducing the energy consumption). However, I also emphasize that the phenomenon is a quite new one. The traditional mountain cabin life is still the ideal to many. What is more, the public focus has been directed towards this phenomenon. A turn in the present development, I argue, needs most of all a broad base which involves efforts on a private, commercial, and public policy level.