A minion touched on this in a guest article. Basically, you are making a tent out of waterproof flexible panels ( think of it as plastic cardboard ). The YouTube instructional is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRCZilWwWKk
There are similar videos where this material is used to make super light-weight bicycle trailers. Such as here:
This is your upgraded homeless cardboard box for those that plan ahead, but my thoughts are more along the lines of a cheap and quick shelter for your junk land. Before, I’ve always said you should move out there and build a small cabin, rather than a tent. Here is an alternate step.
Buying a tent is in almost any scenario except bugging out, a complete waste of money. They are good for little else than keeping the bugs out. If you spend the money on a quality expedition tent, you might as well go ahead and build two lumber cubes instead, for the same money. If buying a cheap Wal-Mart tent for a few months use, why not just build yourself a sleeping pod for the same money? You only need one sheet of the material, which is about $22, a couple of sticks of lumber and some plywood, gorilla tape and screws- for under $50.
Before, I thought it no big deal to arrive, and then construct either a lumber cube ( 46 2x4’s, 12 sheets plywood, about $350. If poor use rocks for a foundation, but $50 in concrete blocks would be much easier. Worry about weather-proofing later ) or a Stromberg Chicken connector set ( $110 plus 25 2x4’s, an additional $70 ) for a dome. Buy cheap ratty blankets at a thrift store, soak in a watery cement mix, and drape and dry for the roof/walls. Not too much more than half the price of a lumber cube.
Later, you can go back and add a better chicken wire and ferrocement roof, but in the meantime the cement blankets let you climb up on the structure. And provides SOME weather resistance. With either of these, you didn’t have to live in there indefinitely, but after upgrading you did still have a storage unit. The initial money didn’t go to waste, like a tent would. However. There is just one little problem with that idea. It did force you to build something quickly, and perhaps NOT what was ideal.
This is what happened to me, to a degree. I was looking for a junk RV to use as additional storage at the same time I was digging my B-POD pit. When I found the Suicide Trailer for a few hundred bucks, I wasn’t done with the pit just yet. If I had another month, I could have dug a ramp and had the trailer lowered into the hole, then built a roof over it ( not having a truck, I had to take the offer to haul the RV when it came, and I didn’t want to offend by asking him back ).
I think I would have saved enough money not constructing walls ( but rather posts ) to have paid for the trailer, PLUS the added insulation would have made it even more comfortable down there. Not to mention it would have been far more homey and bearable on cold overcast days. Alas, I was in a hurry and ended up just using the RV for storage rather than living. Sad trombone! I did try digging another pit next to the trailer but the ground was cement. Just what everyone needs, TWO underground lairs.
So, let that be a cautionary tale on the advantages of not being rushed. Perhaps if you have a sleeping pod to get out of the weather you can take your time deciding what kind of cabin to build, and then wait on good deals with construction supplies. Or, hell, even waiting for a really cheap RV or mobile home to appear ( I had to wait several years to find an affordable travel trailer, the location being rather high cost of living, full of Yuppie Scum vermin thinking their used goods are worth biggest bucks ).
We just got done discussing RV’s. Yes, the new ones are made for crap. I’d buy 80’s or before, and only 90’s if a great deal. Turn of the century up are Avoid As Plague quality. It gives you a place to live before upgrading or even adding on with lumber cubes and enclosed porches as funds allow. They have a lot of issues but are fine stop gap shelters. A new roof overhead and stripping out the walls with replacement studs and fiberglass insulation provides wonders of increased value and comfort. Like any shelter, they are compromises, not perfection.
Now, these sleeping pods are going to blow monkey member. They are a small closet turned on its side. You won’t be comfortable except to sleep and I imagine it will make car camping fun again ( which you didn’t think possible ). But they are quick and cheap and relatively durable, at least far in excess of a tent. Although, if you don’t mind the cramped conditions, you might just be in training for a similar underground home ( cutting way down on your digging and materials ), so you could look at this as a trial shelter.
This could also be re-used when you are done, by digging a similar size hole in the ground and lowering the pod. Cover with a bigger overhanging roof ( the four foot wide pod pit can be covered with panels of 2x4 reinforced plywood, turned to overlap the hole two feet either side. Obviously, your soil may vary ). This isn’t exactly high speed low drag camouflaged spider hole bunker material here, but if damp soil and bug infested holes freak you out, this might be an idea you could tweak. Yeah, I’m one of those leery of creepy crawlies.
This might also give you ideas on stashing construction materials in the boonies, ready to construct a shelter upon arrival. It could be something as simple as an upgraded doghouse. Or a kids fort. What I would HATE to do is use it as a homeless shelter as advertised on the video. But even then, better than nothing I suppose. Which brings to mind using this as a mother in law house in the back yard J
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I was familiar with the use of coroplast to make indestructible model airplanes but had never thought of using it this way. I know that gorilla duct tape will work in wet areas because I repared some very poorly designed water barrels that had split and it held for 3 years before I dumped them for new ones. Not how I would want to live but it sure looks doable!ReplyDelete
Ah, Gorilla Tape. Like they used to make generic duck. Although even for that brand I'm still in awe it lasted that long around water.Delete
Use plastic gallon milk or juice jug. Mix up felsnaptha grated soap with gasoline to make jellied napalm. Use last of your underwear rags for wicking. Light up with bic lighter always carrying, toss on or at that wood shack the neighbor trash is living in bringing down your property values and have to see washing self in the open every other day. One less competitor or threat in the a.o. He'll get the hint and move on if not immolated in that rubbish fire last night.ReplyDelete
Not sure where that came from, but I'm not arguing against it :)Delete
What do you know. It looks like there are at least a few that pay attention to my guest articles. Though it looks like my black powder article went up in smoke :D When I first saw that bicycle teardrop, I thought of you. Though I know that much like myself, you tend to lack the handyman skills necessary for such a project.ReplyDelete
I can think of one advantage to having an outfitters tent (the kind that uses a wood stove) and that’s if you find yourself having to move around a lot. Of course, they weigh a ton, so you will need that Chinese wheelbarrow that the other helpful minion suggested a while back, as pack animals will likely be a luxury at this point in time.
I see a few of the same ideas that were also touched on in Rancho Costa Nada. Phil Garlington built a few of the 8x8 sleeping cubes, and the hobo buried a camper for his home, and had a periscope for viewing “wildlife” (you will be dealing with a different type of wildlife, hence the quotes). I learned a lot of cool things from that book.
I pay attention to all minion utterances. The problem is, I rarely take notes! :DDelete
If a Minion is handy and has the junk land set aside a prefab option can be explored. There were u tuber videos of a guy who extensively made a near cabin like shed structure out of pre made panels (light plywood, with thin or lightweight reinforcing frames) if done in easy to handle or transport 4x4 sizes it could be an assemble quick job upon arrival like ikea furniture with pre set or engineered hardware and simple hand tools. The painting (in olive drab of course) and roof weather material can also be done off site so it is completed at a leisure pace at your now location rather than spazzing out like a dork on junk land in foul weather, off season, tactical alert conditions come collapse. One truck or small trailer load and that smart Minion is good to go.ReplyDelete
"spazzing out like a dork"-haven't heard that one for awhile!Delete
Yep, all this armchair and couch strategizing now, saves being a scatter ass when collapse comes. All these preppers and unicorn fanboys ain't gonna make it under pressure and duress. Pick them off and take the gear. Hell, their dog will happily follow you back to compound knowing you act and smell all alpha male versus that other dork he was stuck with.Delete
Watch craigslist for large (nearly big as trucks, may need flat bed or trailer to haul) wooden shipping crates that industrial or commercial type businesses have left over from inbound equipment shipping. They just post it up as freebies online to get rid of and folks will clear it out for many purposes for them. And no $!Delete
It would seem you are in competition with firewood scroungers.Delete
12:12-ya! Wouldn't that be the ultimate insult? The dork's dog pissing on the still warm corpse as he hurries to follow you. :DDelete
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Any familiarity with this product Jim? I already had one of the Swiss blankets, but was looking for something a bit more substantial. I was going to get the wop blanket, but it seems that you can’t find those anymore. This sucker is over 5lbs, and 70% wool. Also said to be very soft. I couldn’t resist, and back ordered 2. (Yes, I looked for the Amazon link, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find it linked over there).ReplyDelete
Sorry, not familiar. But I would have ordered myself, with those spec's.Delete
There is nothing more expensive than a cheap tent. You pay in suffering. However, I'll take a good tent over a plastic closet any day. Also, I have the tent already.ReplyDelete
That same dude made a really simple shelter using foam board and strong tape. I like the idea of the pre-fab, bolt together type of shelter. You can make it at home, haul it to the site, and once there, put it together. I wouldn’t leave it behind for obvious reasons. I think that eventually for the long term though, you would want to have an earth sheltered abode, that blended in, and was more or less invisible at ground level, and ideally, from the air as well. If unlike myself, you don’t have the bladder from hell, and don’t need to get up 75 times a night to urinate, you can get by with a less insulated shelter. Just invest in a synthetic, cold weather sleeping bag, climb in, and sleep sound all night; a luxury I will never know, due to my bladder. Cold weather synthetic sleeping bags are not that expensive.ReplyDelete
Burning man foam board shelter
Trying to construct something from scratch on site is very difficult. The walls will be a nightmare. Anybody here ever work in carpentry construction? The walls are built laying down on a concrete slab or subfloor so that they can stay straight and plumb.ReplyDelete
Build 4' x 8' (plywood size) panels where you now live. 2x5 studs at 16" centers. (2) 2x4 top plates (structural - must carry the roof load), (1) 2x4 bottom plate. Lean em against the wall in your garage, build as many as you will need. Since they are 4" thick and 4' wide you can slide 12 of them standing up (48" tall) into a full size truck bed and haul them to the site and assemble. Don't forget your level and framing square and tape measure for checking corner to corner for square.
You can do the same thing for your floor panels but use 2x8's instead and 3/4" plywood.
For the foundation, get pier blocks made of concrete, and 4" x 8" pressure treated lumber. 1/2" x 8" long galvanized lag screws at the joints. Pre-cut and layout the parts at home to make sure they work.
Do the same for your roof panels but you'll need help hoisting them up on the walls.
Use lots of silicone caulk at all seams, especially where panels join together. Paint all seam and joints on the outside with waterproof boat hull paint. Do this part right and you'll never have to do it again.
The way I described can be done by anyone that has minimal money coming in on a regular basis. 2x4's are about $3 each and plywood (not OSB) is about $15 a sheet. Don't forget the firestops at 24" oc vertical. Build 1 panel a week for about $25. Interior plywood sheathing can be installed later after the whole thing is dried in.
Building on site is easy. Just don't expect everything to be straight. Ask me how I know :DDelete
"...spazzin' like a dork..."
Hey, hey! I resemble that remark!
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I contacted Idaho Bill about his '45-140'. I was wrong; his larger smoker is a 50-150, and propels a U-haul size slug similar to a .50 Browning.
Grown men utter profanities, ladies weep as they flail falling backward. Children my age demand a second try, then rub illicit oils on the resultant full-body bruise.
Honestly? I chipped a tooth.
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We acquired a 40' semi all aluminum OTR reefer trailer for us$500, placing it was another 125 Federal Reserve Promissory Notes.
We also have two 40' high-cube shipping containers, but those were closer to a grand apiece, delivery included.
High-cube is 8' interior height instead of the usual 7'.
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Cheap shelter, labor required
Architect ___ Reynolds in Taos promotes the earth-rammed-into-tires method of building walls. Actor Dennis Weaver built one on junk land, greenhouse inclusive, water hauled in a couple times a year, everything re-cycled.
The tire store around the corner tells me the dump charges us12 federal reserve promissory notes == apiece == to dump junk tires at the dump.
Could I charge half that to trailer them to my build site? Win-win.
Could I build a tire-wall wind-break around my reefer? Miracle of miracles, it turns out to be mortar-proof. Shazam!
PM to Bison with snaps. Can you post them?
I've posted three photo's in 13 years of blogging. I just hate the whole concept of turning this into USA Today. So, I can, but I don't.Delete
Fascinating video. Condensation (which he mentioned) is a killer in a small space like that in winter. Now to add a stove . . .ReplyDelete
Screen hole at bottom by door, then one at the top in the back wall-would that solve some of the issue?Delete
That would help, and might make a big difference on dry nights. Heck, enough screen WILL solve the problem, but then you lose all of the heat in the place. Biggest thing to do, though, is to heat the air so that it has a place to go rather than your duds or sleeping bag. Catalytic heaters are a mess, since they dump H20 into the enclosure.Delete
When it freezes, no matter how dry it is outside, the interior of the shelter will freeze condensation on it. When it warms up, it will rain and pour inside and dump all that moisture on you. You can figure that you'll respire at LEAST 16 ounces of moisture in 8 hours, more if the air is dry.
Moisture kills. This was a BIG complaint of early Alaska pioneers - wet cabins.
So, this is mostly a warm weather tent. Two walls, in between squishy foam?Delete
That would be a huge help. Huge.Delete
Big fan of the squishy foam-made my RV livable up here. Don't buy the Wally crap-so thin you can see through it. Not sure where else to get it though. Mine was all trash picking. The upholstery place will sell you the 4-ish inches thick sheets, but I never found a source for the about inch thick.Delete
Okay, that for cold weather living. What is the sleep pod look for a hot - humid environment ? A hammock under a cover is a good start. Two covers, one under the other for less heat reflection might be a better idea but then you give a place for flying insects to have a home.ReplyDelete
Rather than a solid piece of plywood opposite the door, how about cutting a large window and tacking on a screen? With screen on the door. Just spitballing.Delete
Sort of like a net tent ? A lumber or PVC plastic tube frame w/ hooks for mosquito netting to be tacked onto ? Would cut down (but not eliminate) the breeze. If this platform were to be elevated, the air flow would even be better.ReplyDelete
Then you get rained on.Delete
Awright - lets try a solid canopy supported by vertical poles (all 4 corners). Secure netting underneath cover (away from edges of canopy to prevent water wicking to it), with hammock hung inside the netting. For use - lay in hammock and gather bottom of net closed. Sort of like those tropic pictured beds with netting hung over the bedframe, only in reverse.Delete
Of course, great. Just not as cheap and quick. But I take your point.Delete
Lord Bison, may your Raven Hair shimmer eternally. How about a Hexayurt? This is a dome made from OSB or plywood. Easy to build and strong. Free plans available online. Check it out. Hail DarwinReplyDelete
Here is one plan on PDF:Delete
Thanks, not sure why that never sticks in my head