Frequently Asked Questions.
Here are some common questions about Wildwood Saunas.

Mobile Sauna Enquiries

What do you need to bring?

Water bottle, swimwear, flip flops, two towels – one for the bench and one for drying.

How long can you go in the sauna for?

Saunas are typically enjoyed in rounds. The average session consists of 3 rounds with 15 minute intervals in the hot room. The first round will be the most intense as your body adjusts to the high temperature of the sauna… 120-160-200°. Come out for a break between rounds. Cool down in the outside weather, dip into the ocean or a plunge pool, drink water, enjoy the view. Then re enter for round two! Listen to your body and decide when enough is enough.

What do you do in a sauna?

Never rush it! Your goal is to relax, recover and revive. The hot room is a warm and quiet place. The upper bench will be hotter than the lower. Start off low and move up as your body regulates the heat. Wood fired stoves produce a deep and radiant heat. It is meant to be intense and make you sweat. These are the goods we promise! Stay with it, use the cold water bucket in the sauna to cool off and wet the bench. You can use sauna whisks to massage your body. We like to use essential oils to add a layer of aromatherapy. Respect everyone’s space in the sauna. Some people like to talk. Some like to meditate or stretch. Some people are new to the experience and don’t know what they like yet. Be thoughtful to others.  

What are sauna whisks?

Sauna whisks, traditionally called Vihtas in Finland, are an essential ‘tool’ to complete your sauna experience. A whisk is a bunch of young tree twigs, for example Birch or Balsam Fir, which are used to create a special type of massage in the sauna. Beating your body with these whisks helps improve blood circulation. It also smells really good! The natural aromas & oils of the plant are released when the whisk hits your body. Dip the whisk into water and slap away. Be careful as some may be sensitive to the tingling sensation.

What's all this löyly talk about?

Löyly, like the word sauna, comes from the Finnish language. Originally it meant spirit, breath, soul but today it directly translates to the steam coming off the rocks in a sauna. Every sauna has it’s own löyly. Steam is created by pouring water onto the hot rocks of the sauna stove. The steam takes on a new sense as it wraps around your body.

What do you do after a sauna?

You should feel refreshed and even a little bit enlightened. Your body has been through a lot dealing with all that heat and you may just feel like having a nap. Do it! Or you may feel rejuvenated, ready to take on a new task.

Is there a sauna code of conduct?

Yes, it’s true that traditionally you would go into a sauna naked. At Wildwoods Saunas we want everyone to feel comfortable, especially at public events inside our mobile sauna unit. We ask everyone to either wear swimwear or use a towel to protect their modesty. Thank you for understanding.   

Can you take food and drink into the sauna?

No food or drink inside the mobile sauna please. We recommend keeping drinking water outside the sauna for before, after and during breaks. If you would like to bring water with you in the sauna please use a plastic bottle only. Metal water bottles heat up and have potential to cause burns. Keep hydrated!

Can you have alcohol or other intoxicants?

Extra substances will inhibit your time in the sauna and is not safe for your health. To reap all the benefits a sauna can bring you, please use it when fully hydrated.  

Can you wear jewelry in the sauna?

Unfortunately, no. Most jewellery has potential to cause burns.  

What are the health benefits?

Saunas are known for their many health benefits. The heat from the sauna relaxes the body’s muscles and allows blood to flow more freely. The blood vessels dilate which helps improve blood circulation. It also encourages the release of endorphins. Endorphins not only make you feel good but they help the muscles deal with pain. Increased blood circulation has a therapeutic effect on your mental wellbeing too. Sauna use will create a calming environment.

What's all this löyly talk about?

Löyly, like the word sauna, comes from the Finnish language. Originally it meant spirit, breath, soul but today it directly translates to the steam coming off the rocks in a sauna. Every sauna has it’s own löyly. Steam is created by pouring water onto the hot rocks of the sauna stove. The steam takes on a new sense as it wraps around your body.

How hot do the saunas get?

In Canada, CSA governs the temperature for electric sauna heaters to 90°C (192°F). Wood fired saunas can get slightly higher depending on the type of wood being burned and size of the fire.

Ordering and Installation Enquiries

Should I go with an electric or wood-fired sauna?
Electric heaters have the advantage of warming up very quickly, being simple to operate and are a great option if you’re looking to use your sauna on a frequent basis. With the added benefit that you can pour water on our electric heaters, there’s no wonder over 80% of our customers opt for electric heaters.
A wood fired sauna is fantastic for cottages, rural properties, where electrical is not feasible or if you’re looking for the ’traditional’ sauna experience.
What surface can I install a sauna on?

The great thing about saunas is that they don’t require a concrete foundation. This means they can be installed on nearly any level surface (e.g.: crushed stone, river rock, gravel, wood decking, flagstones, or even grass. When installing on grass or organic surfaces, we recommend putting down pavers or flagstones under the corners of the sauna feet to prevent it from settling into the ground over time.

What types of saunas does Wildwood make?

We can build anything you’d like because we do custom builds and never use kits. When we consult with you, we will advise you of your best options while considering your needs and available space. Generally, people choose between the traditional sauna shape or the more modern barrel shape.

Why the barrel shape?

The cylindrical shape of a barrel sauna makes for a great convection flow where the air naturally recirculates and there are no corners for air to get ’trapped’. In addition, barrel saunas look great and are structurally sound, even in harsh climates. That said, many people love the traditional non-cylindrical saunas as well, including us!

What is required for the electric heater conection?
All of our electric heaters are 240V. Most of our saunas use 7.5kW heaters, which require a 40A breaker (non-GFI) and 8-3 Teck cable run to the back wall of the sauna. This wiring and the final connection of the sauna to your panel must be done by a certified electrician. Our larger (greater than 8ft) saunas require a 9kW heater, which uses a 50A breaker and either 8-3 or 6-3 Teck cable (based on your electricians recommendation).
Usually electrical hookup, is easier that customers think. Teck cable costs around $11/meter and is usually be buried in an 18” trench (local bylaws may vary). To save money on setup costs, several of our customers dig their own trenches and then have their electricians lay the electrical cable into the trench.
Customers are recommended to have an electrician do a preliminary inspection (often free) of their electrical panel to ensure they have capacity on their service panel for the sauna. If you’re located in Victoria, we have a number of electricians we have worked with and can recommend. Just get in touch at info@wildwoodsaunas.com
What type of heaters do the saunas come with?
Our electric Heaters are Made in Canada by Homecraft. They’re exceptionally made, CSA heaters that carry a 1 year warranty through Homecraft. Homecraft heaters are digitally controlled, so they have a controller on the front of the sauna rather than a switch/dial built into the stove. It also means that they are silent (beware of other sauna heaters that have an audible tick every few seconds as the safety shut off timer counts down)
For wood-fired builds, we use Harvia stoves, which, in our opinion are the best made sauna stoves in the World. A multi-generational Finnish company, Harvia understands how to make very efficient sauna stoves.
What are the saunas made out of?

All of our saunas are made with locally milled Western Red Cedar. The cedar is select tight knot and kiln dried to minimize and cracking or warping that green lumber can experience. It also ensures our wood is dimensionally stable.

Is there a warranty?

The electric heaters come with a 1-year warranty from Homecraft. We don’t accept returns on our saunas, but we’re here to help with any questions you have or any support you need with your sauna.

Do I need a permit for a sauna?

Most jurisdictions allow for outbuildings under ~100sq ft without a building permit. It is the responsibility of the customer to ensure that they are in alignment with all laws and codes in their area.

Does Wildwood make Infrared Saunas?

No, we don’t currently make infrared saunas. The jury is still out on the health benefits associated with infrared saunas and we’ve been disappointed by the build quality and lifespan of most infrared panels on the market. As such, we only fabricate electric and wood-fired saunas.

Operation and Maintenance Enquiries

Can I pour water on the heater?

Yes, you can pour water on both our electric and wood-fire heaters. Ensure that you closely follow the manufacturers instructions before pouring anything onto the heater though.

How long does the sauna take to warm up?
Depending on the ambient temperature, it typically takes 20-30 minutes for our saunas to warm up.
Do I need to stain or seal my sauna?
This comes down to customer preference. Cedar has a natural resin in it that protects it from rotting so it’s not essential to seal the sauna. That being said, UV and weather will fade the colouring of the wood.  If you want to preserve the original colouring of your western red cedar then we recommend sealing the exterior of the sauna.
Do barrel saunas leak?
The staves of the sauna (boards that run from the back to front walls) are joined with a speciality joint that mimics a ball and socket connection. We use kiln-dried wood which swells after a couple rainstorms to create a very snug fit between boards. Over time, we recommend tightening the bands around the sauna to ensure a snug, water-resistant fit between boards.
What safety precautions should I take?
Part of the health benefit associated with saunas is that the temperature change increases your heart rate. You should consult your physician or other health care professional before using our saunas to determine if it is right for your needs. This is particularly true if you (or your family) have a history of high blood pressure or heart disease, or if you have ever experienced chest pain when exercising or have experienced chest pain in the past month when not engaged in physical activity, smoke, have high cholesterol, are obese, or have a bone or joint problem that could be made worse by using a sauna. Do not sauna if your physician or health care provider advises against it. If you experience faintness, dizziness, pain or shortness of breath at any time while using the sauna you should stop immediately. Do not use the sauna under the influence or drugs or alcohol.
In addition, customers should keep a fire extinguisher near the sauna and ensure that all combustible or flammable materials (towels, papers, etc.) are kept away from the heater or stove.
Essential oils should NEVER be applied directly to the heater or rocks. Most essential oils are flammable and if used, should be mixed with water before ladling them on to the rocks. Every customer should familiarize themselves with the heater manufacturer’s recommended usage procedures.

Still Have Questions?

If you still have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us directly.

Phone: (250)466-5275
Email: info@wildwoodsaunas.com