Friday, August 28, 2015

econ collapse prep 4 of 4


ECON COLLAPSE PREPS 4 of 4

I could probably go on and on with this series, but times a wasting and while I’m easily amused I’m also quickly bored.  Let’s talk about shelter, a few odds and ends, the complete budget break down and then I’ll let you free and we’ll cover some other topic tomorrow.  There are a multitude of shelter options, none of which have to be expensive.  A few feet down in the earth, with long branches bent over into a dome, covered in plastic, some dirt and then boughs,  and you have shelter for a few bucks.  I don’t like tents all that much, as for half the price you can have a ferrocement structure.  If you visit:


You will find “starplates” which are bolt on connectors to take twenty-five sticks of wood and connect them into a dome.  The connectors are $80, the lumber about $70, and all you need after that, besides the bolts, is some chicken wire and cement ( with cardboard underneath to hold the cement in place until cured ).  In contrast, a small cabin size tent is $800 ( the canvas stuff, not the crap tent vinyl ).  That isn’t necessarily the best shelter for your climate but it does allow you to buy and hold the building material cheaply and compactly.  If you use eight foot lengths of lumber your structure is twelve foot diameter, with that allowing a loft for sleeping with some extra lumber so it won’t be all that cramped. 

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Okay, so what we have here is $100 to secure a small loan on a lot of land.  $300 for a decent rifle or pistol.  Call it $100 for ammo, although you can spend far less or far more.  $300 for a decent cabin ( you need not spend anything for a stove if you make a rocket stove out of scrap metal and mud [ mix plant fiber in the mud for longevity ] ).  $200 for a lot of bucketed wheat and a Corona grain mill.  With the other hundred or two hundred you can buy all those nifty extras like some wool blankets, a Kukri knife, some decent LED flashlights, a $20 solar battery re-charger with batteries and other odds and ends.  This is by no means much above primitive, and it is just the start of your bare bones survival supplies ( you can always add more, and you will, somehow never coming to the end of your Must Have List, but this is the core you can build around ).  But it sure will bring a much nicer peace of mind than a backpack full of MRE’s and a Rambo knife with fishhooks inside.  It is all well and good to be stupidly confident with “my ability to hunt and fish forever”, but that is not calories in the bank.  Food storage is.  Protein procurement tools are an add-on you can slowly learn how to be proficient with, but only after you have food stores to keep your energy up with as you learn.  And, yes, I understand you could add a lot here.  But this is going to cover the basics for an affordable sum.  It is better than cash under the mattress or a gold coin sitting there NOT feeding or sheltering you ( I’m also not blind to the problems of bugging out as some distance will separate you from the junk land and your job in the city.  Remember, this is a plan for an economic collapse.  If you do pull the cord early enough you relatively peacefully transport yourself there.  If you are worried about an instant fall into a cesspit of anarchy, you don’t belong living in the city but rather need to be escaped already ).

END
[ remember, I'm publishing on Saturday's now ]
 
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33 comments:

  1. Oops, forgot to mention the water filter. The $60 unit is preferred, as a countertop filter, but if you can't afford that go with the $20 Sawyer Filter. I added that to my Amazon commission ads at the top and top right of the page. Buy it. I need the books from the commission and it will make a very affordable barter item even if you don't use it.

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  2. I've actually used starplates back in the 80's and that building is still standing today. It stood up under one of the worst blizzards WV has seen in 50 yrs. 4 feet of snow in one night, engineered buildings got flattened, but it stood up just fine. Never did the ferro cement thing, but see no reason it won't work, good idea fair haired one.

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    1. Wrenchr2, on 8 foot studs you have 8 foot triangles. Did you add cross studs and on what centers? I would still be tempted to do a square structure for easier lofting and adding extra support and cutting all those angles with sheeting for the dome would be a PITA. Thanks for the input.

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  3. Could you use starplates for underground home?

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    1. I wondered the same thing myself. Not sure how much weight you could put on it. Even just an insulated roof and an inch of dirt, as I have on the B-POD still is a fair bit of weight.

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  4. I did a similar scenario about eight years ago, securing a peice of what was considered junk land in the northeast off an unmaintained road, no electric, no potable water at a price of 40 grand for close to 20 acres. I went from living in a WalMart $30 tent to a canvas tent, eventually dug a ten by ten under ground shelter, which proved too damp for my temperate rainforest climate, stayed a few years in an ten by ten shed with a woodstove gotten cheap. Eventually graduated to a $200 camp trailer. I had health issues which affected my employment so had to live extremely frugally, biking for years, then motorbiking.
    First thing besides the necessities I invested in were a bunch of fruit trees which were 6 inches tall when I planted them.
    Lived there year round with snow on the ground up to 4 feet high all winter. Snowshoed in and out pulling a big sled.
    It was grueling some of the time and sometimes I wanted to quit.
    Now at this eighth year I will be paying the last payment on my land this December! I'm still in the $200 seventies camper, albeit much more comfortable as I upgraded the wood stove. I now have a running vehicle, got a better job. Am starting to put a little money aside for when my job may go away. By June '16 I wiil only need to come up with $500 a month to live on, which means I dont have to keep working crappy jobs forever.
    I've got some backup supplies and a small orchard starting to bear fruits and nuts.
    What's most important is that I've developed a way to live very cheaply. Its not always fun or convenient, sometimes people think I have gone nuts. But its immensely satisfying, and has taken a boatload of stress away, something that had always affected my health. Now I know I can survive without alot of inputs, can live through it and be stronger for it. That type of thing is invaluable.
    I wholly recommend this lifestyle to anyone who has the passion for not being a yoked oxen. You are able to actualize all that is really inside of you that you were never allowed to be as a sheeple.

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    1. You had more fortitude than I, snowshoe-ing. Seven years pedaling I hated the one time I had to walk for two weeks when the road was ice.

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    2. Anon 1:29 -- you should think about doing some guest articles. I would be interested in hearing more.

      Idaho Homesteader

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    3. Anonymous, very good comment. Would love to see a longer, more detailed article if the fair haired one could post it. I figure when my land is paid off (private finance with a friend) and child support is paid off I can live on about $600-$700 a month. Fingers crossed.

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  5. Digging the hole for your storage or hovel is the hardest part IMHO.
    Digging one, 4 foot deep hole, 14 inches wide, took me 4-5 hours in my soil. And it was in one of the better spots.
    Using machinery to dig if you can afford it is a HUGE time, back, and energy saver. Of course for me to hire it done costs @ $175/hr. So there are trade-offs $ vs. Time vs. Health.
    I personally recommend hiring out the initial hole, but finishing by hand.

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  6. I'm the minion that recently got the land in your neck of the woods James. And I've been giving a lot of thought as of late on an easy to build earth sheltered option.

    The part of me that says to do it the right way, says do not consider anything less than concrete blocks. The part of me that says that hauling those blocks to my remote desert parcel, mixing the cement and mortar with hauled water, stuffing with pea gravel, rebar, etc and so on, tells me that this option would be nothing short of a chrome plated bitch! (You see, we do pay attention some times ;)

    To be honest, I'm thinking pressure treated lumber at this point. I know that it's not the best, but I'm thinking that in the relatively dry climate of Nevada, and also providing that good drainage is factored in, that this option will last a very long time, and be far easier than the block or cement option.

    Your pit is made from lumber correct? From plans? I don't recall now, but did you give the construction details when you built your pit? If not, I know that I would be interested in learning more? Maybe you could make another article out of it?

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    1. I could probably make an article of it, but there ain't much to tell. It is really nothing more than a rectangle shape of stick built resting on four corner cement blocks ( the big blobs with the square of wood in the middle ) with a few cement blocks ( the hollow ones ) down the side. Wood pallets in the middle to prop up the floor. Sticks from the edge of the cabin to the surrounding dirt ( about two foot clear from wall of wood to wall of dirt ) and plywood over the whole thing, then several layers plastic and one or two inches of dirt. After each storm I patch up the spots of exposes plastic until usually the top dirt takes on a cement like finish. At the bottom of the dirt stairs ( with the cement paving stones on them for when muddy ) I have a three foot deep hole with a few layers of crisscross hollow cement blocks with a small wood pallet over those. In a gully washer downpour I need the catch basin to catch the water. Everything was down cheap and fast. Cheapest lumber, no shoring, only one layer of insulation. I can't imagine it lasting too many decades. But, 35 inside without heat while outside 15 below zero, worth every drop of sweat and every $.

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    2. I only have a vague idea of the layout from your description James, so I suppose I will have to come up with a simple plan of my own. We're the same age, so I suppose the key here is that whatever solution I go with, it's a one time deal that will not have to be redone in 20 years when I really will not want or be able to do so.

      I still have the Storey's root cellar publication; in fact, I also sent you a copy at one time. It's a good little publication, but I really want something that is ultra simple, and pressure treated lumber seems to be the easiest option of all.

      Right now, I'm thinking an underground pole building. Sink 4 round pressure treated corner poles, and then put some others in between for centers to nail to. Slap some wide pressure treated boards over that, and voilà! A gravel base with drainage pipe, and back fill the sides with gravel, and hopefully no standing water at any point in the winter. Should outlast me?

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    3. I nailed together my walls, lowered that into the pit, then nailed them together and to the cement blocks and pallets. What you are describing will be a much higher quality. As for gravel, why? Overlap the plastic four feet from the edge of the pit and no water touches the inside. Even the tropical downpours will only effect the stairs. Just have an on top drainage away from the hole-mine is just a gentle slop and some shovel length trenches-and you should be just fine.

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    4. I was thinking gravel to divert all water away from the shelter James, so that any water that comes in contact is immediately shunted away from the unit. But I think that I will only put gravel at the base, with a few drain pipes. For the sides, I will cover with plastic as you've suggested.

      I will probably take a few tips as well from the Storey's booklet, such as digging a 4' (or maybe even 5') deep pit, and letting the rest stick above ground. You were then instructed to put straw bale flakes (I believe) over the roof, and cover lightly with earth. This will save on some serious digging, and the unit will still be mostly underground, and well hidden if you wish for it to be, which of course I do.

      My plan is to have two rooms. One will have a wooden floor, and I will live in that part during the temperature extremes. The other room will have an earthen floor (for humidity) and will be my actual root cellar. I figure that an old fashioned upright ice box placed in the second part of the unit, will keep block ice for a good long time, and will be only second to a grid powered refrigerator.

      Did you use plywood in your construction?

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    5. I think I spent more on plywood than 2x4's. Just the cheap $10 a sheet crap.

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    6. Wayne, The $50 underground house book can give you alot of pointers and its a free download. If you can't find it i have it "i think".

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    7. Thanks Nightshift. I had sort of forgotten about it, when it should have been the first place to look. I had downloaded the PDF at one time, but I will have to look for it again.

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  7. Compressed Earth Block construction will work great in anywhere except in the wet PNW. Combine with some slightly earth-sheltered design, and you have a cheapo winner. Nice side-effect: resists gun fire very well.

    pdxr13

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    1. A $3k machine:
      http://earthblockhandpress.instapage.com/?gclid=CNOh4tv8zscCFc5lfgodgSYMIQ
      If you could rent it out ( I would accompany the machine to ensure its survival ) it would be a great investment, not much more than paying the backhoe to big the earth sheltered building.

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    2. Manual block-making machines make blocks just-good-enough for 3rd world construction, when local labor is very-very-cheap and fuels are expensive/unavailable. I will avoid working so hard when I can avoid it with money-inputs.

      We have Diesel (the most helpful, compliant servant, never "uppity" about wages or conditions, and absolutely silent on OPSEC matters) power and should use it. Hydraulic-pressed blocks with 10% cement mixed-in is an excellent building material with a very-reasonable cost (low transport cost, low labor input, low breakage losses because it's made on-site of mostly-free subsoil).

      If I was just doing one site of CEB projects, I'd want to rent a Vermeer BP714 and several block forms (exchangeable in the basic machine) for a couple weeks. Truckloads of pallets to stack blocks on, with tarps. If I wanted to go into the block building biz, I'd want to own the machine, trailer, and a 4WD tow vehicle.

      Useful CEB info: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2329&context=theses
      THE EFFECT OF CLAY, CEMENT AND FIBERS ON THE STRENGTH AND DURABILITY OF COMPRESSED EARTH BLOCKS

      pdxr13

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  8. This guy sells the hell out of CEB's:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_128276607&feature=iv&src_vid=RuCqRqzvXkM&v=IuQB3x4ZNeA

    pdxr13

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    1. I couldn't wait 45 minutes while he blathered on.

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  9. Well, I did initially get all excited when I came across the earth bag root cellar in the link below. That is until I investigated a little further, and discovered that while these methods are cost effective, there is a lot of labour involved.

    http://greenhomebuilding.com/articles/rootcellar.htm

    When I read that one person can only fill 4 bags an hour, I knew something was up? Admittedly, I know nothing about such construction, but apparently you cannot just fill these bags with anything. The material must be able to harden on its own over time, because the poly-bags do eventually decompose. As with the rammed earth method, I'd imagine that there is a percentage of cement that must be included in the mixture?

    Haven't figured it out just yet, but am leaning back towards the 8”x8”x16” cinder blocks once again for the main walls.

    I did have the $50.00 and up underground house downloaded, and also downloaded it to my portable device. But it appears to me that the photos are of poor resolution, and it's difficult to make out some of the finer details? Still, I will read through it more when I have the chance, but at this point the Storey's publication seems to be my best bet?

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    1. Read the $50 book. If you get excited about it, then buy the paper version for the construction idea. Even using store bought lumber rather than on-your-land logs as he did, a cheaper/better method. I recommend it and it was the indirect inspiration for the B-POD.

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    2. Sounds like good advice James. I was initially excited about the earthbag method, but upon further reading, determined that it is not as easy as it appears? I think you're right in that lumber, while not necessarily the cheapest, is the way to go. But if you keep it small enough, I'd imagine that you can keep the cost down as well.

      How much did you spend, and how big, if you don't mind my asking?

      Wayne

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    3. If I recall correctly, after almost 3.5 years, it was $300 in sticks and $300 in plywood, $300 insulation, $200 nails & misc and $100 door and glass. The shack is 6x12. Another six feet down in the pit is roofed over but no wooden walls. I think if I had gone sunken posts it would have used half the sticks and enclosed the whole length of the pit. Just a guess.

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    4. Forgot to ask in my last post Jim, but did you make any attempts at stealth when building it? I'd rather build mine in a way that the county doesn't know about it, so as to not run afoul of any zoning violations or codes. And to be honest, I really just don't any bureaucrats knowing about it anyhow.

      I'm thinking dig at night, cover with a camo tarp or sage brush during the day.

      Wayne

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    5. What I did was have the empty hole one day and less than a week later everything covered with dirt. Perhaps not the most stealthy, but I made some effort.

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    6. Thanks for all your help Jim!

      Just got the land about a month back, but haven't made my way out there yet. looking forward to it though.

      Wayne

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    7. Feel free to ask anything as often as necessary. I'm embarrassingly needy to have minions move nearby. :)

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    8. Thanks Jim!

      Actually, I was worried that I was turning into a royal pain the ass with all the questions ;)

      Wayne

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    9. Nope, not only am I fishing for neighbors, my writers ego is stroked by playing Holy Man Atop Mountain.

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