Sunday, March 10, 2019

survival hermitage 15


SURVIVAL HERMITAGE 15
Shelter, continued
No matter what alternate shelter you select, you are going to have issues.  If you pick a conventional house, you have a mortgage.  So it isn’t like the “perfect” shelter is all that perfect.  If you pick an RV, you’ll have a turnkey Almost A House.  But they are overpriced and the layout sucks.  Not to mention they are poorly insulated.  But a “regular” house will also be uninhabitable Post Grid ( if you aren’t in the boonies, there will be firewood shortages.  It is only a great option now due to lack of competition ).
*
A mobile home is great, IF used and if NOT in a trailer park.  They suck as far as taxes of course, as even politicians who are normally dumber than a Physical Education teacher, Lesbian Studies Professor or CEO did eventually figure out that since the majority of non-blue enclaves were full of poor people and inevitably they were forced to live in the cheapest allowed housing which made them lifetime indentured corporate servants, they were captive audiences to their sodomy.  I have a HUGE problem with mobile homes, as their quality is even below RV’s, but mostly they won’t be found out at hermitage sites anyway.
*
One good thing about them is you have room to properly insulate and they are a lot nicer to live in than an RV.  But you can easily turn RV’s into mobile homes, somewhat, with “pop-out’s”.  If the RV is old enough to be affordable, they probably won’t have those, but you can easily just attach a covered porch.  This of course alerts the taxing authorities that you are now ready to go from paying $100 a year to $100 a month, which they love to do.  Because, hookers and blow.
*
I talk about underground homes, and most people recoil in horror and run screaming around in circles hollering about cave-ins and flooding, as if no one can figure out how to build atop a small hill and build up a mound from the dirt from the new pond.  Or build sandbag or earthbag shelters.  Or SOMETHING.  If so, you just might be able to build an underground garage for said RV, hiding the evidence from the air that is usually how the tax assessor operates.  They used to need a plane, but now Google Earth makes things easy.
*
And if you live in Florida, hello!, park your decoy untaxed vehicle in the open and live in a shelter completely hidden by the natural vegetation.  Or, a houseboat.  In places like Canada where I hear the PC police have outlawed poor people, folks get around this nonsense by building a house one room at a time, under the legal square footage of an outbuilding, and each room separated from each other.  Me, I keep everything on axles or buried, as these greedy whores tax ANYTHING, including fences. Of course, in my area the county is so huge you can hide easier.
*
Now, the better your hermitage location, the harder it is to move any pre-made structure to your land, and so you are back to building from scratch.  Sandbags are probably going to be your easiest material to haul in.  Me, I don’t trust those igloo type roofs that lean in and up to a dome shape.  That might be because I’m in earthquake country.  But I’m also not scared to take a bicycle trailer and haul in some lumber, if it is just for a roof.  I wouldn’t haul a whole stick built worth of lumber, of course.
*
There are pretty weird building techniques such as “papercrete”.  Of course, those will soak up moisture so you need to build as if they were straw bales, completely enclosing them.  But they sure are quick and easy to build with, due to their light weight.  There is rammed earth, but I think the machinery and forms make it relatively expensive.  Not to mention getting the material there.  Rammed earth tire walls are an extremely cheap to free form of building ( not much more than the cost of stucco and wire ties for the walls ).
*
The roof and windows are the main cost, but in the decades it took this building method to get so popular, I think the biggest overlooked obstacle was the incredible amount of labor involved.  Were they all built in the southwest because they all needed cheap illegal Mexican labor?  I hand dug my 10’ by 20’ pit to place by stick built room in, and I don’t think that was anything compared to the labor of pounding dirt with a sledgehammer into so many tires.  And most of those tire homes STILL require you to dig a hole, as well.
*
I think you are better off just building a whole lot smaller than trying to build a regular size much cheaper.  Most hermits probably won’t have this issue, though.  By definition they are usually alone and minimalists.  Most of the time, alternate homes can be anything and everything cheap and easy.  I wouldn’t do a tent, unless it was at least a frame of galvanized link fencing on the inside.  Even if your area doesn’t have bears or lions, there are always raping hobo’s.  Seriously.  I feel I need far more than merely fabric protecting me.  And before you say, ballistic protection, try to guess how many bullets an RV wall will stop.
*
You could bury a van.  I know, rust and drainage.  All these shelters vary by climate and location.  If it is feasible, ferrocement that bastard and then cover with insulation, then plastic sheeting then dirt.  Above ground, you could simply build from a kit, those that offer the instructions and the plates with you supplying the lumber.  If you can’t haul in plywood, go with chicken wire or cardboard as a skin, then soak sheets and blankets in cement water, drape over and allow to dry ( one assumes fasteners, obviously ).
*
There is the building made with cord wood.  Rather than using dirt, use wood.  The split pieces laid with cement like a cord of wood cemented in place.  If you have access to free wood, this might be just the ticket.  Floors can be as simple as linseed oil on dirt, forming a kind of cement-like slab.  You could do wattle and daub.  They are made from little more than mud pressed into a willow basket like wall ( char the end of poles before placing them in the ground, to waterproof ). 
*
Bush Bitches the world over know how to make shelter from materials on hand.  For nearly free except labor.  A thirty year mortgage, to them, must be the height of White People Stupid.  If there is a fire or earthquake or bandit attack, they rebuild.  Who cares if the shelter isn’t going to last a hundred years?  Some will, such as adobe, and do, but that isn’t the point.  The point is, shelter has been commoditized insanely, by the evil powers that be, but if you can side step that, you have instant freedom.  I know, a foreign concept. 
( .Y. )
( today's related Amazon link click here )
*
note: Clayton's "Life After Doomsday" is only $3 on Kindle click here 
*
note: Amazon Prime has two movies you might like.  "The Return Of The Living Dead" from 1985.  I had never seen it.  Enjoyable, and now I know the "brains!" reference.  "Right At Your Door" is a decent production values movie, but it is a Entire Movie Leading To A Twist sort of show.  Like a drawn out Twilight Zone.  Biologic bomb detonates in L.A., a couple trying to survive.  Different, not what you think, but don't invest the time if you don't have it to spare.  Not sure I cared for the ending, but overall a better movie than most of the genre.
*
note: free books.  Alien invasion here.  Zombies here.  Asteroid strike here.  
*
Please support Bison by buying through the Amazon links here ( or from http://bisonprepper.com/2.html or www.bisonbulk.blogspot.com ). Or PayPal www.paypal.me/jimd303 

*** Unless you are in extreme poverty, spend a buck a month here, by the above donation methods ( I get 4% of the Amazon sale, so you need to buy $25 worth for me to get my $1 ) or mail me some cash/check/money order or buy a book ( web site for free books, Amazon to pay just as a donation vehicle ).
*** My e-mail is: jimd303@reagan.com  My address is: James M Dakin, 181 W Bullion Rd #12, Elko NV 89801-4184 ***E-Mail me if you want your name added to the weekly e-newsletter subscriber list.
*** Pay your author-no one works for free.  I’m nice enough to publish for barely above Mere Book Money, so do your part.*** junk land under a grand *  Lord Bison* my bio & biblio*   my web site is www.bisonprepper.com *** Wal-Mart wheat***Amazon Author Page
* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there




58 comments:

  1. My house was originally built in 1925 , pre air conditioning style. The outer walls are solid concrete around 10-12 inches. The only wood is the open beam roof which starts at 8ft in the back and slopes up to ten feet at the front.Opening Windows down low in back and ones up at the top in front. About four inches of solid foam between the beams. We've had occasion to go without AC during and after hurricanes. The temps inside don't rise much more than mid eighties with the windows open. It naturally convects the heat right out. As the rear openings are fed from a shaded part of the house.
    Eventually I plan on building some water to air heat exchangers , using the artesian water which comes out at 75°.
    It will make the place totally survivable without AC , though will still have to deal with the humidity.
    Those solid concrete walls make for good ballistic protection against heat, bullets and hurricanes too.
    Not a McMansion at only a thousand square feet , just old school Fla-duh comfortable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hadn't realized there were that well designed homes there, assuming since settlement ( and A/C ) that the locals, after filling in the swamp, threw up crap shacks to sell to the New Jersey suckers. Sounds like you got a real winner there.

      Delete
    2. This place was put up as worker housing for a pineapple plantation. There are several within a couple blocks of us. All were originally one bedroom Spanish style set in the middle of three city lots, with parapet walls shielding the flat roof which slops two feet front to back. Good design for pre AC hurricane country. I assume each has its own artesian well too.
      This was farm country and an active part of the intercoastal waterway shipping network when this house was built. Way before tourists, Yankees and the space port moved in.

      Delete
    3. I was thinking more along the lines of the 1920's real estate bubble.

      Delete
    4. Until the Advent of AC , I think growth here was not very fast. You had to really hate winter , in order to live here then. There were no highways, electricity or drinking water which didn't stink. They built here because it was high ground which didn't need drained.

      Delete
    5. Mosquito's I imagine were an issue at the time. Still carrying diseases? Or perhaps they were already enriching the chemical companies. Or did we steal all the good chemical formulas from the Nazi's? Almost all my knowledge of the era is generalized financial.

      Delete
  2. Jim, it is good that you address the 3 percenters horny obssesion with "ballistic protection". It is as if these insecure lambs desire to sleep through or have unintererupted bible hymn sessions during a maurader's assault. The unicorn grazing fields preppers with the yuppie homesteads are in for a rudely unannounced visitation from door to door reality peddlers. Keep writing those truths Jim, somewhere a Minion will take note and may survive by your "proper" information. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 3%'ers also like to wade through clouds of bullets as if the were RoboCop. The FLIR scope isn't quiet as well performing as his computer targeting system, but it is getting closer.

      Delete
  3. Yes. Site selection will very much dictate the approach to a hermitage construction or placement. Deep remote will require diesel powered muscle to bring in enough materials to site construct or drop place prefabed. There will be a very heavy logistics train for living on site during any fairly lengthy construction period. Just being an outlier to a town may allow for periodic salvaging errands to augment materials aquisition costs. It will be a very rare scenario to build that cabin from area timber and materials. Mr. Proeneke (spelling?) in the 60s alaskan film series had felled all the timber trees the year before. Lived in another hunt shack and labored all day with his own actual badassness skills to stand up enough of a cabin for Alaska surviving standards. Terrain, territory, access, actual skills and abilities, and some funds will need to line up and connect before the first nail is pounded. A match of these elements must be made for success. Maybe the feds still have Ted Kazinski's cabin in evidence storage for academic study.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do believe the sandbag idea will be applicable to most areas, reducing needed material treked in. A dugout type building, with moat, should stand up to most water soaked areas. I'd select a small rise, make a rock pad if possible, or at least a rock trench for the walls, sand bag and then earth slope the outsides. Cover in plastic so all the run off goes well beyond the home into the moat. Ferrocement roof, earth colored for concealment. Galvanize wire built into the walls to hold chicken wire for internal plaster. Or, lay the chicken wire in between the sandbags hanging over. Plastic sheets on the outside of the bags for water proofing. Lots of ways to skin a cat with dirt buildings.

      Delete
  4. Good post today, with a lot of good food for thought. As someone that has lived in an RV since 2013, I can’t recommend not living in one enough. But if this is your plan, definitely get a model with pop out, or plan on the attachment porch as you have suggested. Also, plan for in your budget, the ability to heat it constantly, for the moment you shut the heat off, you will be freezing 5 minutes later. But as a temporary solution, they could be an option for some.

    You really want to shoot for building something that is hard to detect from the air. Thanks to satellites, and millions of those faggot drones flying around all over the god damn place, this is harder than it sounds. I seem to recall that the great hideouts of the west book, by that moon landing conspiracy dude, offered a few good tips on avoiding the authorities. One option is to move into an already built/abandoned structure (Obviously, it must still be habitable) and live on the sly. If it has a basement, as many older homes did, you’re all set.

    Tire construction seems like an obvious choice, since they will practically pay you to take the tires off of their hands. You can stack them much like bricks, and drive a stake into the center for more support. Earth bags are another, that mostly require labor, but are a cheap option.

    I seem to recall that similar to the wattle and daub, that shelters, shacks, and shanties book, had a variation on a sod house. You framed it with hollow walls, and stuffed the walls with sod strips, and had a grass sod roof. It looked like it would be very comfortable to live in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some older houses here locally had a similar idea. Two walls with at least a foot apart, filled with loose dirt. There must have been a lot of extra railroad ties left over a hundred years ago. A RV is really not that bad, once you slap in extra interior insulation. The trick is to also have a small structure you can retreat to underground to avoid the worst weather. Or have that add on super insulated so you have your room retreat there, only needing a small bit of heat that won't escape as quickly.

      Delete
    2. There are Rv models that are designed for winter habitation. But they are considerably more expensive but well worth it if u can swing it. They are obviously quite a bit better built and last a lifetime.

      2:48

      Delete
    3. I question that claim of longevity, given the industry track record.

      Delete
    4. @3:17. Yes, I was thinking more in terms of the type of RV that most of the folks following a blog such as this would be able to afford.

      If someone really wants to go the RV route, I think that a better option is to pick up an old 26’ moving van, and frame the back in 2’x4’ and then insulate the crap out of it. Better yet, do the same, but with an old trailer. You really want to have a motor vehicle and your living quarters, separate from one another (You wouldn’t believe what a nightmare it is to work on my RV, in an engine compartment that would make Billy Barty claustrophobic :D ).

      I would keep it real simple, and add a porta-potti and porta-sink (Has a water reservoir and holding tank, just like the porta-potti) rather then plumbing it. That way you don’t have to worry about a water pipe springing a leak (as did my RV) necessitating that you have to tear the entire floor up (as I would have to do, but instead, chose to use a water jug with a spigot instead of having to deal with that nightmare).

      Delete
    5. Not having to deal with pipes is worth the manual labor pain, IMO. Here is a quasi hermit dude, and he is always dealing with plumbing issues:
      http://joelsgulch.com/

      Delete
    6. Oh absolutely Jim. Over the years I have created a lot of extra work and headaches for myself. From this point forward though, all projects will be done in the most simple technique possible, to get me to the point of a long lasting final result. Because I will not wish to rebuild, or ideally, even have to repair anything down the road if I can help it. I think that the best compromise is a very basic shelter, with as low tech of an electrical/plumbing system, as one can get by with. I can’t imagine having to wrap or repair shattered water pipes every winter, as many do.

      I know that eventually, I will need to concentrate on earth sheltered, as even pre-collapse, I simply do not have the financial means to heat a conventional, or less insulated shelter. Common sense tells me that the easiest way to probably go about this, is to dig down a few feet, and cover over an existing container of some sort. What I should probably do is dig a trench, roll my now defunct Plymouth Voyager mini van into it after applying tar or plastic sheeting over the exterior, cover over, and use the rear hatch as an entrance. I would probably get claustrophobic right quick, so it would probably only be used in extreme temps.

      Delete
    7. Would you have to ferrocement reinforce the top? Or just build a insulated roof over. I would seriously think about two vans back to back with a ladder of stairs in between. Act as a skylight and entrance. Perhaps a lumber cube would be better. Even 8x8 you have a serious size room, you can stand up and walk in. Don't just have the ass end of the van open and exposed, though. Enclose it, even if it is only a lumber frame with plastic sheeting. Keep that cold air away.

      Delete
    8. Should have read "OR stairs" not OF stairs. What about a beat to crap cab-over camper? You can usually get them cheap and they have stand up pacing room. They also seem to be better designed than a standard RV. If no toilet/shower, just build a add on four foot extention at the door, also acting as a enclosed porch.

      Delete
    9. It would be sticking above ground a few feet Jim, so I doubt that I’d use Ferrocement. I’d probably cover over with plastic sheeting, and stick with the straw flake build up over the top and sides, then a light layer of earth over that. Good point on the rear hatch; I know I would have to do something there, but what, I don’t know as of yet.

      I figured with the van, the hole wouldn’t have to be too big, and then I could just roll it in there when done excavating. But I’ve also thought about a pre-fab 8’x8’ lumber cube as you have suggested, built from 4’x4’s for added strength (Knowing my luck, I could see some random idiot in a 4x4 driving over the top of my shelter, and caving it in while I’m in there :D ) Ultimately though, I do see the lumber cube as a more likely possibility when the time comes, and as you say, an 8’x8’ is plenty of room.

      I’ve thought about the using an old camper as you have suggested, ever since reading about the Hobo’s buried camper in rancho coast nada. I think that it might be a bitch to lower it, or drag it into the hole though. I would build the lumber cube right inside the hole, so that would not be a problem.

      Delete
    10. Those cab-overs are relatively light. Mine when delivered was eased off with a Come-Along, then the two of us lowered it gently on to the pallet. Then we were able to push it back to the back pallet rolling on some galvanized pipe. Your mileage may vary, but perhaps it is worth checking out? My apologies for not remembering your previous buried van details. As soon as you mentioned the straw and plastic, I realized the familiarity. In my defense, even with very few commenters my CRS is still full blown at all times :)

      Delete
    11. “Those cab-overs are relatively light.”


      Good to know Jim. I had assumed that they were on the heavy side, so this makes them worthy of consideration.

      No problem on remembering. The fact that I post anonymously doesn’t help. You probably know who I am on some level (I’ve sent stuff your way before; the plasma lighter being one such item) but I suppose I’m more of a no name minion. I post anonymously, because I find that even the online world is full of a-holes (such as the one that attacked me here that time for posting something about soy).

      Elko Minion

      Delete
    12. There is always the heckler in every crowd. I just figure, like the really noisy car driving by, they have a very small penis. I then try to feel bad for them. It generally doesn't work. But in case of applied karma points, at least I tried.

      Delete
  5. 4'x8' stick built panels built in your garage.
    6- 8' 2x4's and 2 sheets of 1/2" plywood (not OSB) per panel.
    Build one, stand it in the corner, when you have 16 stand them in the back of a truck and haul to site. Assemble on top of a floor you built the same way cept with 2x6's, sitting on precast pier blocks from Lowes. Build the roof the same way but install 2 long 2x8's down the middle to carry the load. Use 3.5" hard foam insulation, cut to fit walls, floor, roof. A reasonably healthy dood could do this in about 4 weekends if he wanted to. Maybe less. Much less if he had a helper. But then you'd have to kill the helper, so there's that. Get a drunk from the labor pool next county over, easier on your conscience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Then you have to kill the helper. Ha! I can tell you've been eating your bran cereal. Your humor has been more on display.

      Delete
    2. There's a reason stick built has been so common for so long. It is the least expensive way to fully enclose a large area. And. It entails common materials that are in stock in big boxes every where.

      You can set up a temporary fabrication table in your current garage with 2 sawhorses and a sheet of 1/2" plywood supported by a few 8' 2x4's underneath. Screw some 2x4 blocks onto the surface of the plywood at strategic locations and you have created a template so all you have to do is drag and drop all the 2x4 pieces into place and nail them together, insuring all panels match in the field.

      Set up a stop block on your CMS and you can cut all the pieces like a factory. Then just grab the pieces as needed and drop em in the template, nail em all together. This is where a nailgun comes in handy. I use Paslode cordless as they can be used in the field where power is not available.

      Install the plywood sheathing only on the outside and install the inside sheathing after all the walls are installed on the site. Pre-prime the plywood twice in shop. If you use a sprayer/compressor go ahead and prime the whole thing inside and out, top and bottom. Don't forget your fireblocks at 24" o/c vertical.

      If this stuff I'm describing is too complex or expensive for you then ALL other methods of construction will be way too complex and even more expensive too. In that case, sometimes walmart has tents on sale but I have heard bad reviews about them.

      Delete
    3. If a minion donated a Wal-Wart tent to me I would know he hated me and wished me ill.

      Delete
    4. Hold onto the tents for a long range patrolling shelter, or off site sleeping hide shelter. (May just need them in some such scenario) They can be usefull decoys to set up in camper areas post apoc. Set up, put little battery lantern in for night glow. Put on you ghillie suit and set up over watch. Long pork, dogfeeding meat and pig chow purpose humans will spook around presenting targets of opportunities. Happy hunting.

      Delete
    5. Using them as a honey pot is a great idea. One I had not thought of.

      Thanks for sharing it

      Delete
    6. 2 quality tarps give you most flexibility with the least cost.
      Throw in some mosquito net and you'll think you're in the Hilton. A cross pole and some small stakes, cut on site, and a spool of cordage.

      Delete
    7. Aren't they rather noisy though?

      Delete
    8. Synthetic tarps ARE loud in the wind. Like trying to sleep in a potato chip bagging factory, lol. Canvas is heavier and is much less sound. But substantially heavier to carry, as is that marine grade PVC coated stuff. Everything is a compromise when it comes to living in the outdoors especially as a permanent place.

      Insulation board panels. Fairly lightweight and the joints can be taped to form folding walls assemblies. Window vents can be easily cut and nylon screening glued or taped in place (keep the cut outs for light and heat retention. XPS - EPS board (ghostsniper could probably recommend the best product). Internet search this topic - YouTube videos and other sources are easily found. The teepee in particular sounds like pretty good DIY project.

      Delete
    9. Wouldn't squishy foam be better as a fabric attachment?

      Delete
  6. Yeah, ghostsniper is on track with an off site, engineered prefab panel-part design. I would chip in that the pieces or sections be made in a tad smaller than 4x8 size. (2 wide by 8 tall?) If framework and the exterior panel is sub assembled it gets heavy for manual lifting, placement, temp securing, then fastening in place solo. (Opsec or no reliable help) Pre prime (and) painting in your factory type location is imperitive as sunny fair wheather is not on call upon request to your schedule. I would pre drill holes for lag bolts, screws, etc. Blueprint the design out and label each component with some form of codes and designators, to match up the parts like building ikea furniture without needing instructions. This is to throw up shelter quickly. The filling bags and tires are going to be peacetime lazy paced work. (Try it post 40 year old or so and bring muscle rub and meds) if not quickly occupying your hermitage during or post construction there will be some neanderthal types skulking about to be dealt with. Good work all around everyone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. GS is a great source dude for perfection. Perhaps a little TOO perfect, but there is always a price :)

      Delete
    2. Scrounge 2 26" heavy duty FRONT wheels and tires for a bike on craigslist or elsewhere. Mount the tires on opposite sides, in the center, of a 48" long 2x6. Add a couple 2x4 verticals 48" tall for stability. Stand the wall up on it's short side and slide it between the verticals so that the weight is evenly distributed. Now you can roll the wall into place in relatively rough terrain. They make drywall carts like this but with smaller wheels that wouldn't roll well on rough ground.

      An alternative, cut and place all the wall panel parts in your garage. Dry assemble them on the table to make sure everything is right. Pack them up with the plywood and haul to site. Back truck right up to the spot. My point was that you cannot build easier or for less money, than with stick built. It is the most adaptable to just about all conditions. If money is tight you build it piece meal over time. You do have to have a truck though.

      Delete
    3. Nobody is as anal as I on perfection lol. Mechanical train drivers such as I , tend to like design perfection. Tho I differ in that like yourself Jim , I strive to do quality on the cheap. Usually this can be achieved with time and patience.
      GS reminds me of most builders these days , it's all about how fast you mow the grass , not so much as to how well you mow the grass...
      Of course then too , GS and I share a common trait...our egos lol.

      Delete
    4. He can improvise-see above. Good idea. But, yeah, too much perfection is going to be something we cannot afford, real soon.

      Delete
    5. Actually , I beg to differ on the perfection discounting. Given shortages on everything , it will be a real shame to waste resources on short term quick fixes. Building inferior stuff has created our throw away society.
      There is an old saying which states : If you cannot find the time to do it right the first time...then how in hell will you find the time to do it again ?

      Delete
    6. GS and I , most likely could work well together. We both can improvise yet not sacrifice longevity.

      Delete
    7. You are blinded by the history of our affluence. Pretty soon, doing it right the first time will not be an option. If the only metal available to you was salvaged, how can you make a quality metal tool, for instance. Obviously, our definitions of collapse must coincide on this. I don't see a long Depression, but a Dark Age. And, prior to real collapse, if you don't have money, and no more is going to come in, how can you do it right the first time? Compromise is all you can afford.

      Delete
    8. For sure those without skills will have no choice but to compromise. Once their means to affluence stops , then those without skills will have to make do.
      However if one has the knowledge and skills then all he needs is raw material. Of which I suspect salvage material will last our lifetime.
      Next generation will see shortage of everything from materials to those critical learned skills in metallurgy, chemistry etc.
      I pity those which must purchase everything because they cannot do anything from scratch. Those folks will be in instant dire straights once money is useless.

      Delete
    9. I agree skills can go a long ways. But at some point compromising on material has got to become something of a factor. Especially with the crappy materials in place to be salvaged. Windows perhaps is a good example. Say, you live in the New Madrid zone. Not too many windows left to salvage if it goes. You cannot make window pane glass without excess energy. Okay, I'm talking after everything collapses. In a mere economic contraction skills and a little money go a long way. But after all trade breaks down? That is my perspective on this. We might be thinking on different time lines.

      Delete
    10. Something our modern culture has forgotten. With the proper skills , you can have everything. Without skills you have nothing.
      Even energy is not hard to come by, given knowledge to create it. Raw materials are not a problem either.

      No , the real issue is a world full of too many consumers only good for eating and foaming at the mouth.
      While traditional skilled labor is loked down upon and exported offshore.
      I'll take my MME over an MBA for surviving a grid down world lol

      Delete
    11. I disagree on energy availability and raw materials. No amount of skills will find it if it isn't there. You might spend man years building dew towers in the desert and even if you got enough water, it wouldn't be enough for people and to grow inputs for the soil to keep farming. Civilizations all eventually crash as resources run out. We are miners, even if only mining the soil, and we always deplete whatever we mine. I agree with you that skills are way underrated ( although what to expect when the thing that makes money is consumption? ), but we also give ourselves WAY too much credit for skills, big picture, when it is abundant energy doing most of the work.

      Delete
    12. James you are stuck in the present , where energy and raw material is concerned.
      Once the 90% die off , we are suddenly in a surplus situation again. The post apocalypse dark ages will have a famine of manpower , especially knowledgeable ones. There will be seven billion people's shit laying around for salvege. Mining will be forgotten in the shuffle.
      Medicine is an area which will have a huge declne. Big Pharma , repugnant as it currently is cannot be easily replaced.
      So far as the value of skills ? It is everything , without them , you have nothing.
      If one has no overall skill set , then you're only good for as long as the stash lasts.

      Delete
    13. How do you get the energy for the salvage, or the food out of the dead soil? Even with reduced numbers, the numbers do not compute. Green Mountain Dude just covered the experience with the guy trying to farm organically, but the soil was poisoned from the typical chemical saturation of the previous farmer. The soil only produces with petroleum inputs, unless it rests and recuperates. Only under Bottleneck Conditions are there enough resources.

      Delete
  7. I been trying to decide on a shelter. I wonder if anyone who thinks of building a earthbag shelter has ever filled a sandbag. I know I filled enough in the Army, not for me. Try filling sand bags by yourself, it can be done but having a buddy really helps. Go out and pound one tire with dirt for a earthship. In all the shows and articles on alternative building they always have work party's where a bunch of people show up to do the hard parts. Think of a amish barn build. For this reason I'm still looking for a cheap trailer. I don't want to have help to build or have people knowing where I live. The cheap shelters are time demanding and labor intensive, better start now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The army loves to make things difficult, of course. I think the alternative, if I recall correctly, is to place inside a five gallon bucket and then bungee cord the upper edge to the outside top of the bucket. Then fill. I'd prefer a trailer myself. If I got ambitious later on pile the sandbags on the outside ( then plaster ).

      Delete
    2. I'd go for a combination of the 2. A trailer (2 axles) to haul stuff and live in while building, then build the stick built as I previously described. After you move into the stick the trailer can be used for storage or securing supplies, whatever. A standard enclosed trailer (8' tall inside) has unlimited use. But they ain't cheap, unless you can find a deal.

      Delete
    3. Would a horse trailer be cheaper than a cargo trailer?

      Delete
  8. What about elevated van instead. The body left on a flat bed trailer like a mobile home but with a platform for staying above grade. Wouldn't rust out as easy and could be moved (with a pallet jack maybe ?) under trees for shade when it gets really hot, brought out in winter when sunlight is more welcome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Depending on your local weather of course. Too cold, no good way to insulate the bottom I can think of.

      Delete
  9. Late reader due to wife's Sunday chore list. Sorry. Need to work on my priorities. Walls are pretty easy and can cost next to nothing using indigenous material, but a good roof seems to be the Achilles heel of low cost construction. Still haven't found an approach that suits my particular needs. Consequently I figure the plywood on wood frame route would be cheap enough if I built the walls for free or nearly so.

    Regarding windows - I've been using a particularly low cost option. Several years ago a bird flew into my closed bathroom window and broke the glass. I was in the process of setting up shrink film window insulation on a couple other windows at the time, so being frugal, rather than replace the broken glass, I tried and experiment. I removed the old window pane and replaced it with a two layer shrink-film window built on a light wooden frame that spaced the film layers about 1/2" apart. Its been 5 years and its still as clear and distortion free as a standard glass pane. No more bird hits, but it won't crack and holds up better to minor insults that would otherwise break a glass window. Especially the really thin dual pane stuff. Its just as secure as breakable glass. I live in a relatively cloudy coastal area so it might not hold up as well in the desert where the sun can brutal. I used the heavier duty 1.5 mil stuff though I don't see why standard 0.7 mil stuff wouldn't hold up as well. The 1.5 mil stuff costs about 16 cents/sqft so my 2 layer 2' x 3' window cost about $2. If I ever head for a hermitage, a roll of shrink film will be in my kit.

    Regarding plywood vs. ferocement roofs - I like cement, but hauling plywood might be easier than hauling 90 lb cement bags and all the water needed for the mix. Still, cement has its place. I grew up in Berkeley, CA, and almost daily walked past a couple Maybeck designed houses (architect who designed the Palace of fine Arts in SF) that were built in the in the 20s and 30s using "bubble-stone". Bubble stone was burlap bags dipped in foamed cement and hung on a wire frame. The houses are still there, have held up pretty well considering, and now command prices of well over $1M. Go figure. I played with foamed cement quite a bit back in to 70s and think it makes a fine building material. Better than just cloth dipped in cement because being a lot thicker it can support more weight, and it has pretty good insulation properties.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm, never heard of foamed cement, but then, I'm not Tim Taylor. It is Spring, so the Honey Do lists are going to be busted out and rigorously enforced for all of us. I got off relatively light last year sealing the outside patio in cement paint. It was worn away from years of shoveling, and too many rocks in the mix so it had problems from the beginning. I couldn't roll it, I had to dip a brush and smash it in between all the rocks poking up. Took days and days. The NOL must have felt bad to let me off easy the rest of the season. I like the window patch. I used to just cover a busted window with a Mylar blanket. Kept the heating/cooling in great but it was like living in a cave.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, agree with Nicus on the roof being the weak point of low cost construction. When I was looking into building a sod house, it was estimated that most would have to be rebuilt every 5 to 7 years. Yet, I know that there are still many sod houses still standing, and in decent shape from the 19th century, so what was different?

      I think that there were probably a few different factors; one being that they were probably in areas of low annual rainfall. Another being that in these particular instances, the builder had some extra funds to put a proper lumber roof over the top, with some overhang to protect them. If nothing else, try to throw a little extra money at this feature of the house, if you can.

      Elko Minion

      Delete
    3. I still think ferrocement gives you a low enough cost option. Of course, yes, the hauling with water to remote area sucks.

      Delete

COMMENTS HAVE BEEN CLOSED