Thursday, June 21, 2018

living in a cave 2 of 2


LIVING IN A CAVE 2
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note: this coming week you will see at the bottom of the article a Amazon link to the book "USA Urban Survival Arsenal".  Ignore that.  You can get a much cheaper copy from Delta Press.  click here .  I have a copy from way back, probably from Loompanics.  It won't teach you much-although I love it didn't give a salty rimjob to the M16-but it is a fun read and better than most of its kind.
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Living in a cave is not the same as living in a van by the river.  Van living is pretty luxurious.  All the modern conveniences, such as paved road access, close proximity to shopping and requisitioning, friends and neighbors.  Cave living by necessity almost guarantees that you’ll be a lonely hermit, talking to yourself because your cat got tired of the monolog and went to go sleep in a tree.  It is a hard row to hoe.  It is one of those theories, like semi-automatic arsenals, that sound good on paper and don’t translate well into reality.

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So you decide to bug out.  Now, I’ve said before that I detest the concept of bugging out.  To avoid that, I spent almost a years wages buying multiple properties ( hermitage lot, reduced commute lot, semi-secluded lot ) and moved to my current location.  The thought of road blockages and a three hundred mile walk in the desert made the whole idea of bugging out ludicrous.  However, if you do need to bug out, far better to vastly reduce the distance, such as living and working in town, a junk land lot with cached supplies about a day’s walk away.

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That is the key.  You must have clandestinely buried your supplies.  If you have to bring any more supplies than what you need for the hike, you have pretty much assured you are going to fail.  It will be great if you can get there after a half hour drive, or a two hour bike ride, but you must assume you’ll be reduced to hoofing it and that it will take three times as long as you planned.  Three days water and food, heavy on the protein, fat and calories ( four thousand calories a day is combat conditions rations ), and you can’t carry any more than the needs of that hike. 

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Caching doesn’t have to be a huge problem.  If you bury three five gallon buckets of wheat, one bucket full of canned meats, another with a grain grinder and water filter and ammo and such, and one or two with water, it takes one trip with the car or two with a bicycle trailer to have enough supplies to go back and forth getting to your main stash ( to be clear, you want years of supplies out there, but start out with the assumption after just one provisioning trip the ass falls out of civilization and plan accordingly ).

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You can’t build a cabin out there.  Vandals will discover and mutilate it.  I would suggest that you half bury a cement dome and leave the opening to it simply covered, such as a piece of plastic or a tarp.  Bury the rest of the materials to finish that up once you move there.  Have a fire pit, as if this was your camping spot.  Since there are no windows to break, no exposed wood to burn or cut, and no door to bust, in theory there should be no damage to your “camping vacation spot” ( it might not hurt to have lots of steel shell casings about-let them ponder if you’ll show up unexpected and armed for target practice ), and no need to suspect the land has any other uses.  The cement dug-out is just a tent substitute.

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I would suggest a dome fastener kit from Stromberg’s Chickens.  Dig four feet or so down, placing the dome frame inside the hole.  Cover with chicken wire, except the door, and drape cement saturated blankets or sheets over the dome.  Or, cover with cardboard and then add the chicken wire and do a ferrocement structure for much better strength.  Cover lightly with dirt.  The door remains open, hence the dug-out rather than a buried structure.  I would hang up the cement fabric on the inside to cover the exposed wood, ideally with insulation between the two walls.  Several hundred bucks should cover it all.

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A cheaper way to do this would be to mound up dirt, say the upper half of a tube ( like a military Q Hut ), lay down wire and ferrocement it.  Then dig out the dirt from under the dried cement tube.  No lumber or fasteners needed.  It can be as small as a two man tent or big as a room.  A perfect stash might be to ferrocement the floor, but in one spot don’t lay down the wire.  Have the cement unreinforced on one spot, which you can easily break up and pull out a shallow buried cache of supplies.  Wool blankets, food, etc.  What are the chances someone will think to check for a buried cache under a cement floor?

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This SHOULD in theory alleviate scumbag vandals and the issues unemployed unlayable youth present to a bugout location.  Now we have to circle back to timing the departure.  Here is where a close location really comes in handy.  If it is a mere thirty miles away, you are never bugging out.  You are going for a weekend camping trip.  If it is three thousand miles away, you’ll never get there.  If it is three hundred, you’ll find an excuse to avoid the travel time that takes up all the weekend.  If it is thirty miles, it is easy peasy to visit and enjoy as a getaway.  Take some more supplies each time to bury, go shooting, camping, get away from people.

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If there is no nearby junk land ( don’t forget to check all the county tax delinquent sales ), perhaps you are living in the wrong place. I understand you cannot NOT work, and the wife doesn’t want to rough it.  Just get a job in a city much closer to cheap rural land.  You can have your cake and eat it too.  City job and luxury, secluded affordable spot nearby.  You don’t need to live there if you make it a bug out location.  But that doesn’t work if it is too far away.  Not being far away, you don’t lose your job when you panic bug-out.  Being close, you can afford to panic bug out without endangering everything in the city, so you won’t hesitate to bug out.  Sure, you’ll panic on Monday and then have to wait until Friday, unless you have sick days, but that beats the three thousand mile away bug out where you dare not leave for under any circumstances unless your workplace is on fire from mobs.

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The reason I suggest for a shelter a dug-out is because some time in the future you might lack transportation, material or even calories to construct another kind of shelter you put up post-collapse.  And underground is usually better in most places.  Some places, you just need a buried hatchet and you can work from the lumber around you.  You don’t want an underground bunker in the swamp, after all.  But most places are better earth sheltered.  Soon, a van down by the river will be a luxury.  Go with living in a cave instead.  It will be much safer.

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42 comments:

  1. The Starplates you mentioned are pretty good. Construction is very simple, I think I was 12 when I helped built one. No measurements once you make sure all your boards are the same length, then you drill one hole in each end, install a bolt move to the next one.

    Since this is an election year, try getting all the signs you can and sheath it with those. You don't need to steal them, go to the candidates office and ask for them, most states require signs to be removed a few days after the election is over

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    1. Good idea. Coated so in theory better than cardboard. Might be too small though, and you'll pay a lot for tape.

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    2. Another solution is to go look around billboards. Crews get lazy and throw old ones in the woods. Or just go to the company and pick their trash. Standard size is 12x22 I think and that is how I wrapped my BPOD. There are a few election signs there too.

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    3. And I'm sure even small towns have billboards. Good job on saving $70 on a roll of plastic sheeting.

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  2. Sorry Papa Smurph but ain't no way in Hell am I going into a hole in the ground unless I'm taking my 6 foot under dirt nap.
    Goverment troops tossing in a frag or perhaps a whiskey pete just for laughs to listen to you Snap,Crackel and Pop.
    Or the roaming trailer trash gangs or the inner city "youth group" tossing in a couple of gas moltove cocktail's or if out of gas then a few bottles of meth squeezins' (that stuff works better and burns hotter than gasoline).
    So I'm just going to say no to being part of a human fire pit

    .

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    1. This hovel is supposed to be as far removed from folks as possible. Obviously, the mutant tweaker scum ass vandals will find it. But why are you so exposed to gang bangers and federales? Why are aboveground structures so much safer?

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    2. Why do so many animals in the wild burrow or use naturally occuring caves,tunnels,etc. It is because their little walnut brains and passed on instincts instruct them it is probably a good idea/plan when there is things like the adverse weather as well as predators to deal with or avoid. When watching t.v. from easy chairs minions should study civil conflicts (syria,ukraine,ugoslavia,etc) and determine the best places as well as best home/shelter types to maybe survive a little longer.

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    3. They aren't necessarily safer, though they certainly can be, but they are infinitely easier to build. Ever lift a 90 lb bag of concrete? They heavy. And they require heavy water too. How many bags does it take, and how much water? How are you going to get all this heavy stuff to the site? Oh yeah, and the rebar, wire mesh, wheelbarrow to mix the stuff, the hoe (no, not the ol' lady :-) ), and on and on. The best advantage to concrete construction is that it is so strong and permanent, but it's also the most expensive type of construction, in time and effort.

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    4. I have developed a plan where a person using conventional materials and basic experience, builds a series of 8'x8' panels in their gararge and stackes them with ratchet straps onto an 8'x8' trailer and hauls them to a site. Wall panels, floor panels, and sloped roof panels, completely skinned inside and out, then they are assembled on the site with simple hand tools. The floor system sits on 9 concrete footer piers and when completed (can be completely assembled in 1 day by 2 competent people) will house 2 people indefinitely. Total cost, not including land and improvements, is less than $5k. This building is 16' x 16', 1 story with sleeping loft. I spent 5 years off and on developing this plan and it is far more comprehensive than what I am describing here. Remember, I'm an architect, engineer, builder, and realtor as well as a heavily armed survival prepper way back here in the dense forest.

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    5. It is your choice, but I doubt a McManson hardened concrete bunker would do much better. What was that movie were they killed the Nazis by pouring gasoline down the air vents?
      If you have a budget alternative, I sure do want to hear about it

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    6. I'm not thinking traditional rebar concrete, but ferrocement. I understand it isn't for everyone, but really the only choice here in the high desert without a surplus of firewood.

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    7. To deal with Anonymous 8:22 legitimate concerns, My budget alternative for the deluxe luxury cave I am building is to have a back door as well as a front door, and an escape tunnel/ladder, all hidden and locked from the inside. Done and done.

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  3. Concrete/ferrocement dome/arch...
    If you build one of these, be certain that when your construction is complete that it is 100% mouse-proof. If mice can get in, they'll foul it up with poo, and you'll be greeted with hantavirus when you need to clean it up for occupancy. I would really like to see a photo log from someone who has built one of these structures.

    Caves...
    If you know of caves in your area, chances are many others do too, or there's access issues like being located on private property. A reasonable substitute is to look for large clusters of boulders. There are always hollows of various sizes in boulder fields or mounds/mountains where one could disappear into. Assuming of course the entrance isn't obvious from a distance or you knowingly or unknowingly created a trail to it. Maybe you could stash a bleach spray bottle to neutralize the mouse poo you find there?
    Peace out

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    Replies
    1. Place the pool powder in the spray bottle, then add water once ready to use. Bleach has a terrible shelf life.

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  4. I'm afraid I'll have to join the above ground folks on this one. Whatever happens, I want to be above ground to deal with it. I like shade like all desert dwellers but that don't mean crawling in a hole.

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    1. Not saying a hole doesn't have disadvantages. But so does above. What's perfect, right? Just a preference.

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  5. A construction note. Ensure enough support posts/beams for the open area roof-ceiling span. If too wide/long and not heavily reinforced supporting it can collapse inward. If mounded dirt ensure a first waterproof layer put down. Then add dirt, add another water proofing layer (tarps etc.) Then more dirt/final topping sod,grass,shrubs etc. This is so a long or heavy rain does not penetrate, BUT, so the water weight of a couple feet of soaked earth does not land in your ramen noodle dinner inside. Provide drainage and run off routes as well, plan for worst case scenarios. Weather will be a worse enemy most of the time before biped hominids.

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    1. The BPOD has insulation, two layers of plastic, then one to two inches of dirt ( up on a mound with runoff trenches ). That works for me, but we are also 12-18 inches of water here a year so saturation is almost never an issue

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    2. I have done some research here, it seems that as long as you keep the width to 8 feet, the length can go up to 25 feet without reinforcement. The rest is correct

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  6. Good article. The ferrocement idea sounds like a good and simple, low cost alternative. You’re right; a cabin will never be left unmolested, and you will be constantly replacing windows too. The only way that the cabin idea works is if you’re already living there full time, but then it’s not discreet, and everyone else knows you’re there as well.

    Be sure to build on a slight grade to allow for water run off away from the subterranean shelter. Also, when partially burying, it’s probably not a bad idea to have a framed reinforcement for the roof, on the off chance that some yahoo drives his 4x4 right over your shelter.

    If I understood you correctly, the one alternative that you mentioned is the cardboard Sonotube. I can see a real simple shelter being made using one of those as a form, and they make them up to 5’ in diameter. I never saw it, but there was some movie by the name of gleaming the cube, with Christian Slater, and he had a underground shelter made from one of those large concrete pipes. You could do the same with the Sonotube, but even easier.

    https://www.sonotube.com/

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    1. No, I meant sheets of cardboard over the dome, then chicken wire then cement. The soaked sheets are a way to bypass the trowling on of cement, but would be a minimal weight tolerance.

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  7. Maybe don't bother digging out the dirt from inside your cement tube. The dirt could be left in place till you need the shelter. In the meantime it would be less likely anyone would disturb the thing since they would have to spend time digging... and if they do, they've done the work for you!

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    1. This is where MRE's actually have a place. It is going to be a lot of high level calories digging it out.

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  8. Search Wapini on Permies.com it is right up this alley

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    Replies
    1. Plastic sheeting is impractical but it is a great starting point.

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  9. Jim, good that minions are thinking inside the box. More diametric thinking is needed. Maybe a street wide cut/gulley in the earth, dug trench to allow an aquired travel trailer/rv or a cargo trailer can be towed-pushed in, braced up, doorway framed and buried up. The labor amount would be the same as a dig and build, but time factor of 1-2 days versus many days risking discovery under construction time frame. Plus minions will have swanky r.v. furnishings/accessories to use post apocalypse. Smart noodles in the audience can configure water lines-plumbing drainage as well and be really camping in style during a die off. Make popcorn and enjoy the show!

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    1. Hmmmm...the RV full of the bracing material. Good idea.

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  10. One way I have found to have building material already on site with doors and windows are hunting blinds.

    Here in Northern Michigan people may destroy/rob a cabin but almost all don't bother with a deer blind.

    Make the deer blinds into so many parts of a small cabin and then when the time comes remove one outer wall and screw them back together.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Are tweekers afraid of heights?

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    2. Here in MI, most are on the ground.

      People just generally don't mess with them. Probably because of their small size and nobody really leaves anything in them.

      And not many tweekers want to roam the woods and looking for them. Plus, here they are likely to run into someone armed.

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    3. And aren't the mosquitos pretty bad, also? A big one might be able to carry off a skinny enough tweeker. Or it is butt ass cold and they have no fat on them. Perhaps the roaming part is the key.

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    4. There are probably 4x as many deer blinds in MI than houses. LOL

      If someone wanted to check them all, even in one county, it would take them a year.

      Burning up calories to go roaming the woods & swamps to check empty deer blinds would end for folks mighty quick.

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    5. I almost forgot about this.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnjm0_PJpp0

      This will probably work pretty well for those of us with deep woods.

      Guy CARRIED IN all the materials to build this and then CARRIED OUT all of it later after being found.

      The camo tarp was a good try, but the plastic nature of it reflects light and the windows should have been shuttered.

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    6. Why does it sound like the narrator is a synthesizer?

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    7. Because a computer is doing the narrating.

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    8. English as a None language? Good old Google translate.

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  11. Anderson shelters look like an option. You could pre-position needed materials. Then when needed it's not to onerous to build.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUnnu8u_NHs
      Perhaps this will give you an idea for making your own.

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  12. Maybe you could stack all your carefully waterproofed and rodent-protected supplies in a pile, and arch up your earth in the shape of your tunnel shelter with the supplies at the very back of the shelter (buried). Then you do your ferrocement arch over the top of it and leave it that way with all the dirt still inside. If someone comes along and starts digging out of curiosity, it'd be unlikely they'd dig all the way to the back of the tunnel before getting bored with the project. You'd have to make sure any food was really protected because rodents have good noses and will make tunnels headed back there.
    Peace out

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    1. Not bad. But without a lot of money, can you get water proof and rodent proof, or just one? Plastics buckets are "resistant", but not "proof".

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    2. Wrap the whole pile in 1/4" hardware cloth or multiple layers of 1" chicken wire. It should be a long time before it rusted out. There shouldn't be any if much water inside the tunnel shelter during the wet season.
      Peace out

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  13. I actually live in my astro van in the city doing day labor jobs. My land is 45 miles away and takes a hour to drive there. If I cant drive there (shtf) I hope I can walk it in 3 or 4 days. I do need to cache some supplies soon.

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