Building Small Wilderness Survival Dwellings.

Discussion in 'Natural, Temporary, and Permanent Shelter' started by Sourdough, Feb 5, 2019.

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  1. Sourdough

    Sourdough "ALASKAN"
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    I have several Survival Shacks. Currently the smallest is 7'X10' fully insulated with a small wood stove and two burner propane camp stove, and bunks for two (four if they are friendly). For the last four decades I have spent four months a year living in a 8'X8' tent. Three months in the fall and one month in the spring. This tent I would be sharing with a hunter that I am guiding for Alaska Big Game.

    Half of the 8'X8' tent would be 4'X8' which is the planned doghouse size.

    So my 7'X10' little survival shack is a deluxe housing. I have many debris shelters going deeper and deeper into my wilderness. They would be fine mid March through mid October, but the other five months survival would be very hard, here in Alaska. I could likely do it for one winter, but the second would get real rough mentally.

    Which brings me to my current project.......very large doghouse type structures, super well insulated, very well hidden, low profile, one solar panel for a light. They would look like a doghouse only eight feet long by four feet wide, with four foot high walls. Super waterproofed, and covered with debris to hide them, they would be located near small year around creeks. Like all of my projects, living with 38 Grizzly Bears and 29 Black Bears will be the biggest risk to the doghouses when I am absent that doghouse, and using another.

    Note: The following is way, way, way out dated, and is scheduled to be total revised again this summer.


    About four or five years ago, I was feeling pretty damn smug about being prepared for SHTF event. So.....I asked myself, "Is this place defensible". And I decided, that was an unknown, with too many variables. Best answer.......Yes, no, maybe.

    I started working on improving security, but soon decided that the best thing is to not have all my supplies in one location, considering forest fire and homesteading in The National Forest, theft, looters, and so-called scavenging hoards of starving humans.

    So, thrown back into the caching for survival way of life, I learned that this type of caching NEEDED to be set-up very differently from past caching experience. There is more thought needs to go into the sequence and required spacing of supplies. So I now I assume that I have no choice but to leave the cabin, in the dark of night, in my sleeping clothes (if any), in several feet of snow, barefoot, etc. and have reconfigured the caches based on this.

    Here is a brief description of the way my caching program "WAS" till this spring..........
    __________________________________________________ _________
    "About a dozen 55 Gallon steel drums with removable lids & lock rings cached. And an unknown number of 120 MM ammo cans cached.

    With the semi-remote cabin as the “HUB” of the wheel I started building fall’back positions upto 35 miles in every direction (12 directions, one for each hour on the clock). And so I set’about finding caves, and/or digging caves, building remote shelters, each fully stocked including propane, stoves, split wood, food, saws, nails, everything. Scattered along the spokes of the wheel are 120 MM ammo cans each with 30 days food, fuel, candles, etc.

    Even numbers on the clock (2, 4, 8,10 & 12’o-clock) each have at least three firearms and ammo. The odd numbers of the clock each have about 50 traps, fleshing boards, & stretchers. There are a total of 41 backpacks, 8 pair of smow-shoes, bunny boots, 18 sleeping bags, 14 chainsaws, and spare chain-loops & files, fuel, bar oil, etc."

    This spring (actually last winter) I decided that I could die before I made it to the closest cache, and that cache might not have what was urgently needed. Another factor in rethinking the caching program was/is that as I am 72 y/o I needed to move some of the far away caches closer, as I may not be able to move them at age 75, so it needed doing this year. So this summers exercise program has included hauling in caches. None of the caches had been disturbed, or damaged by moisture or bears.

    Now the closest and second closest both have redundant everything needed if I show up in my undershorts and barefoot. In addition they have a prepackaged large backpack with complete camp for 3 to 5 days, and it is only two hours to the next 55 gallon drum of supplies for 30 to 40 days.

    My point is that caching is more than just burying a five gallon bucket in the woods. It needs to be reviewed, and modified regularly to meet your current and your changing needs.........

    NOTE: This is one of my favorite subjects.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
  2. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    Smaller shelters are easier to build AND keep warm. When people built in the old days they kept the foot print small and usually had loft to sleep in. Let's face it, when all you do in a shelter is sleep and try to stay warm in the winter you don't need a mansion.
     
  3. Sourdough

    Sourdough "ALASKAN"
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    So do nearly all preppers have a retreat or a cabin, and then a series of fall'back cabins that they could retreat to if things get sporting at the main cabin......??? How big are most of you building your fall'back shelters....???
     
  4. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    Since I am an urban prepper, I do not have a retreat or cabin to fall back to but I do have many indoor locations to fall back to. I don't have to worry about heating, very mild winters. Exposure to rain, wind and heat are my concerns. A small selection of clothes and these various locations would enable me to survive all my weather conditions. Loss of supplies would be a major concern. Being old and physically under par would limit the amount of items I could quickly transport. If the situation was conducive, I would stash / cache many items at each central location. The type of SHTF event will determine what I can and cannot do as far as caches. Relocation would not be a problem, just moving enough supplies in a rush would or could pose the problem.
     
  5. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    4x8 would be fine for what you want.in fact its about size i would choose as well. putting bunk on one long side giving me room at foot of bed to sit boots and hang clothes to dry out .the other long side for a counter top area and stove. to insulate it i would go with the poly stuff since its so much more r value compared to the pink stuff. that way you get best r value for the depth of stud you will be using. i have several ideas for you..more in a bit.

    p.s. theres lots of russians build similar to what you are talking about..be warned dough...i may be posting russian videos for you to see some things. if i can go back and find them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
  6. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    in a shtf situation small is better, easier to keep warm, your going to be outside most of the time anyway.
     
  7. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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  8. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    well that put me off for a start, not many of us will have our own mobile saw mill.
     
  9. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    think scraps from your local sawmill !!...if you have one in area.


    my only concern to the size is can it stand up to the pressures of grizz. but a guy could just go ahead and screw electric fence insulator around it and run wire and mount a solar powered charger to knockem back.


    sourdough your height of this doghouse i missed in my first read...that limits a good bit. if you go height of plywood it opens up so much more 'living'.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
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  10. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    about 5 miles away, provided it dosent go up in flames post SHTF!!
    I was thinking more log cabin style in an emergency(i'm stil hoping I don't have to bug out of here and start all over again!)
     
  11. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    for such a small area this might be option.this is old video and if you hunt around it was available for a bit over $100-125ish at one time. i use a knock off copy of their lantern and its been a great item.best thing i see about ones i have is they charge in low light. these can be used to charge items with a usb port as well.

     
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  12. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    lighting isn't a problem , I have some small garden type lanterns and will acquire some storm lanterns like I used to use when I was of grid before.
     
  13. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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  14. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    trouble with solar is you need sun light! not always guaranteed especially in a British winter, we've had fog for the last two days!!
    I heard of a guy who was caught in a place he wasn't supposed to be living because his solar panel was shining in the sun light and was seen by officials.
    something to think about in a SHTF situation.
     
  15. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    like i said these solar lights work in low light. i see them charging when it rains.the ones that charge in low light are a dull blackish look. i wanna say they are mono something another..u can look them up.theres also a company working on a wide array of solar sheeting 'colors' that charge in a wide range of lighting conditions from the sun.i have used both type panels..the ones mainly available..for years to maintain two batteries that operate entry gates i live behind. area is shaded by trees most of time.very low light on north facing slope. its all in what a guy wants to do or needs..your mileage may vary.

    ibme wants something solar for light so i am tossing items i know of and have experience with.
     
  16. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    okay, your info might help someone on here who needs some help on the subject, many thanks for that.
     
  17. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    heres another thought...would these lights help with SAD syndrome. being in such a small space coupled with SAD might make a guy edgy. i wonder if the light needs to be a certain 'type' or any light helps to fix it.??

    i use another type lantern the black ones that slide up and down.they only have one setting and they are super bright but only last about 4 hours. most of my solar light lanterns are eteckcity stuff. but man are they worth what they cost..at least to me.plus they are always ready just sitting on window seal.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
  18. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    sourdough ..random thoughts,questions concerns...rambling

    my concern is height of building and depending on roof material can a grizz or bb get through roof or cause it to leak. can a grizz get enough leverage to tip this whole thing over. you know i only dealt with coastal brownies..not sure size of your grizz and ability.

    4ft walls...are you going to put a flat roof or an a rook on it. if you go with a traditional a frame roof.it will give you so much more head room while sitting and doing inside chores..more on this later as i show my down and dirty numbers of why of this.


    4 x 8...i went and measured the 5 gallon buckets i have access to.they are 15 inches tall and 12 inch wide on lid and base a bit narrower as lid has a bit of a flange protrusion.i am 6'1 and sit most comfortable in 17 inch tall chair(floor to seat). to make floor space most and easiest building a storage bed is way to go. trying to make most of plywood as well since you probably being hoofing all this in. if you build bed 17 inches tall by 24-31 inches wide by 6 ft long you can utilize one sheet of plywood for this build along with 2x2's for studs. cut plywood 6ft long. then rip a piece off 17 inches by 6ft for front.then decide if you want a bed 24 inches or 30 inches wide..this way if you go 30inches you can use entire sheet leaving 1 inch sticking out past width of 30 inches acting as a finger tab to lift led to access gear under bed..i hope that makes sense. but making it wider than 2ft yo lose floor space as well. but you can only answer that question. then the piece you cut off to start covers end.but either way at a minimum measurement you can put 12 buckets under that bed. going on the rough estimates many go by a bucket being a month of food you could get a year or close to a year under that bed of dry goods for sure.

    if you go with a gable roof and center point is 5ft going down to 4ft walls you will be able to sit on bed like a chair and not hit your head..or should. as when i am sitting on the above height mentioned 4ft hits me mid head. this way you can cook and read and work on rifle etc. and not being knockin ya noggin.

    then in floor space you could put a strip of high dollar linoleum so its easy to clean and protect from dripping and drying gear. also keeping socks clean or bare feet as in such a small space and flame is going to have it roasting in no time flat.

    add a cabinet over bed at end half being for kitchen stuff other half over bed for books and such. a 4ft cabinet say a foot deep can hold enough cooking gear and reading to keep hunger and reading for night time boredom at bay. then add night stand/eating table at head.it could be like a tv stand tray and fold away or not.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
  19. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    Small is good up to a point. If all I want is a shelter to sleep in for a night a 4' X 8' X 4' tall would be OK but I can't imagine riding out a blizzard or week long storm like we occasionally have here in basically a coffin. I'm fortunate in that I won't have to deal with snow, long hard freezes or predatory animals like bears where I live. That doesn't mean though that I won't need a shelter.

    For my needs in a more permanent shelter I want to be able to stand up and move around a little bit. I think that something with a 150 to 200 square foot with a sleeping loft would be great for two. It would allow for more than just a place to sleep without tying up a great amount of resources either in it's building or keeping it warm.

    Rather than build bigger I would prefer having several small buildings. When you are heating and cooking with an open fire you need to be aware that fires are more than possible and you don't want all your resources stacked in one place where you could lose it all with one fire. A compound offers you most of the advantages of a bigger single structure without having all your eggs in one basket.

    Many of your structures in a compound don't even need solid walls or a flood. During the summer you will spend more time out under shed than inside a hot little house. A brush arbor built well away from your house will be the place to be in the summer and a source of kindling in the winter. Where I live if given a choice between a lot of insulation or a lot of screen I'll take the screening. In the old South until the advent of air conditioning people often slept on screened sleeping porches in the summer. I always loved sleeping on my Grandmothers porch. It was a little like camping to a little kid.
     
  20. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    ok sourdough i hunted up one item i had thought of...its long but you might see a few things of various interest in this thread. theres some way to translate but i am to stupid to figure it out.this may or may not interest you as its not exactly what you are doing but i wanted to toss it out there for you to see. i dont ever recall showing it to you before.


    http://piterhunt.ru/scripts/forum/showthread.php?t=42267
     
  21. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    Good link (and this thread topic)! Google browser quickly translated the stuff at the link with a click of a button, so I am enjoying it very much. Thanks.


    .
     
  22. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    this is guy in the thread building cabin...take a look at these stoves he has and uses. these are sorta like the little vintage propane bottle stoves people make themselves.


     
  23. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    look at this korean guys bottle stove.i like the upright as it will save a bit of space in your doghouse. he has two versions. this first i like best,but it needs the little box like the second stove in second video has.why? because it would give you option of having a off grid toaster oven. you could bake a single biscuit,or a flat bread or a pizza while you cook a stew on top you could have yaself some dippin and soppin bread...lol in the first version i like the little 'table' thats on the side for sitting hot pots.this gives you a bit of working surface and it can be removed and set against wall when not in use.i like adjustable legs as well. anyway hope these two help....




     
  24. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I have a wood burning stove that a friend made me out of an old gas cylinder, it has a hot plate on top for a kettle or pan of stew, I think a wood burner isn't much use unless you can cook on it, that's my opinion anyway.
     
  25. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    We are already off grid, have been for the past 40 years or so. We have a small cottage & the main house. We don't expect to have to leave here, but we are prepared to if we have to. We have no fall back shelters, if we have to leave our forest home, then we will be going much further into a wilderness area.
    Keith.
     
  26. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Solar panels now work in low sunlight, not as much power, but some. This power is stored in batteries, so we have several days at least of stored power. If the power gets too low, we just make sure we only use what we NEED to use. Of course we do have a back up generator, but with these new gel batteries we have not needed to use it as yet.
    Doubtful anyone would see our panels from the track, but of course there is a track, so people looking for dwellings or shelters would likely follow these tracks. Our solar panels are NOT on the house or cottage roofs, they are down low on the roof of two power sheds.
    58bfd8f197939111521e39dd1925c2a6.jpeg
    Keith.
     
  27. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    the solar panel I mentioned was a single unit not on a roof but on the ground, not much wilderness in the UK all land is owned by someone-even the moors and more chance of a solar panel being spotted by an authorities that might remain. I also don't have the storage to store the batteries required. oh well, back to the simple life!!
     
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  28. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    everyone has different situations...for me light is important..why? predators and poisonous snakes.i keep a light in my side pocket of my bibs.when day is fading i head home. if i get delayed and have to walk in dark home i have real chance of stepping on a rattler or copperhead in trails and on roads and skid trails.just around my home i kill snakes regular in yard.i cant have them on steps and such...step on one you are bit. dealing with bears..my bear are extremely nocturnal and they get into everything. i have electric hot wire a foot of my home to keep them from clawing and biting sides of home. and crawling all over porch. neighbor had bees go in a crack of siding once and a bear tore the siding off to get to bees.i deal with bobcat and coyotes as well. i join a large roadless wilderness area so its just part of it.

    i read an article once and they were talking about some writings back in day...cant recall 16oo's 1700's?..but anyway it was in europe and they talked about winter time they hardly worked because of weather and darkness and how they all dreaded winter and just sitting around in dark or by just a firelight...but of course it depended on your economics as well...having candles or some type oil lamp.winter and dark time is time for repairs of gear or fashioning new gear and reading and learning and doing 'winter time chores'. but of course being bugged out is another story. for me i already am bugged out remote.
     
  29. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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  30. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    light isn't that important to me, especially post SHTF, i'll get up at just pre dawn, and work all day and i'll go to bed when its too dark to do anything.
     
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  31. Sourdough

    Sourdough "ALASKAN"
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    Thanks..........I need to purchase some portable solar. Mostly for charging my FLIR RS-64 but also for light.
     
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  32. Alaskajohn

    Alaskajohn Expert Member
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    Where I’m at I need light. For about 45 days of the year the son doesn’t rise. It’s still light enough to do most things about 6 hours a day, but it’s damn dark for 18 hours. Light inside the cabin is easy enough. I have plenty of lamps, lamp oil and candles to last a lifetime.

    When I’m out and about I typically have a headlamp. I do need to invest in a decent solar charging system, but solar clearly isn’t an option for part of the year. Not having the ability to have a light source outside would certainly limit my available working hours outside. But nonetheless, your plan is my plan. But it will limit me.
     
  33. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    ibme...the guy finished it.most of what you would want to see is at last half.its really interesting what his body heat alone does to that size space.

     
  34. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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  35. Sourdough

    Sourdough "ALASKAN"
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    BUMP IT.......
     
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  36. Alaskajohn

    Alaskajohn Expert Member
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    Does anyone have something like this? How durable is it? I am planning on thriving without any electricity like everyone in the world did just over 100 years ago, but it would be good to have my shortwave to see if I could get news. Something like this would only be useful if can last being stored or bumped around on a snowmachine sled or ATV.
     
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  37. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    if there isn't any electric there wont be any news broadcasts.
     
  38. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    Military and emergency agencies are eaten-up with emergency broadcast equipment. Many ham radio operators have back-up power. Military systems are EMP-shielded and so are many industrial systems (factory floors get hit with nasty levels of radiated and conducted "noise", we used to test the shielding plus the electronics' ability to take "hits"/lightning-bolts-worth).

    My example was just one of many vendors. I chatted with my eldest son about this topic and he noted that the spec.s on the device I found online were good. See if you can find a vendor who distributes military spec. equipment.

    Here's some more examples I found when looking for portable solar power solutions:

    https://solargenerator.guide/wagan-el2546-solar-e-cube/

    https://solargenerator.guide/off-grid-solar-generator-plug-n-play-kit/

    Even Lowe's has solutions
    https://www.lowes.com/pl/Portable-solar-generators-Generators-Electrical/4294641573

    Home Depot
    https://www.homedepot.com/b/Electrical-Renewable-Energy/N-5yc1vZbm2y


    =========================================
    I've not been working with industry in a very long time now, so I'm weak on current shielding info. Do shield the equipment you purchase. Just now I was looking at industrial solutions and that stuff is very specific, expensive, huge, ... I wasn't finding "home use" equipment.

    Look for Faraday cabinets.

    https://hollandshielding.com/Prefabricated-Faraday-cages

    https://www.askaprepper.com/10-faraday-cages-you-can-make-at-home/
    This do-it-yourself stuff, think about doubling it. At one industry I worked, we had a home-made cage. The guys who put it together went overboard; important that it just couldn't leak EM noise; we were meeting national regulations. But you know what, you want to go a bit overboard!

    http://www.saelig.com/category/TE.htm

    ==============================
    Found these links that might help:

    https://empshield.com/solar-and-win...on devices&utm_content=EMP Device For Vehicle

    https://empshield.com/military-testing/

    https://www.electronicproducts.com/.../Selecting_EMP_protection_for_enclosures.aspx

    https://www.lbagroup.com/products#electromagnetic-rf-shielding-systems
     
  39. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    Up Alaska way, do you get enough light for reliable solar radiation collection? I mean, winter has gotta be a bear when it comes to getting enough sun.

    How about wind power. You sure have that in winter time! As a matter of fact, the blades of a wind mill will have to be robust.



    "Feather your prop.s, Roy!"

    https://windexchange.energy.gov/states/ak

    But it's possible


    Here's an Alaskan distributor of wind powered electric generators
    https://absak.com/index.php/home-wind-power/wind-turbines.html
     
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  40. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    The Native American tipi cannot be beaten for sturdy and fast shelter. (America's first mobile home, lol)

    I have owned a few over the years and can testify that they are extremely wind and snow resistant. A tipi liner makes it possible to live in one year-round. They can be quickly set up and dismantled. Very roomy inside! I made the poles from young pine trees harvested from my land.

    If needed, it is easy enough to camouflage with natural materials on the outside. (Of course if concealment is needed, do not make/buy the larger models which are huge and stand quite tall.)

    The absolute best quality premade tipis that I have ever owned is from Panther Primitives: http://www.pantherprimitives.com/tipis.html

    The next best quality (and considerably cheaper) is from Crazy Crow Trading Post: https://www.crazycrow.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=SRCH (scroll down)

    Tipis are expensive, but you can make your own. which is easy to work with and not very expensive. This will give you an idea: https://www.ebay.com/bhp/parachute-canopy


    These two books are the best I have seen on the topic of making and using a tipi:

    https://www.crazycrow.com/native-american-tipis/the-indian-tipi

    https://www.crazycrow.com/native-american-tipis/tipis-tepees-teepees


    .
     
  41. Sourdough

    Sourdough "ALASKAN"
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    Our weather has drastically changed, and all or nearly all long time Alaskans are not happy about the change. As to your question, so much depends on "Exactly" where one is in Alaska, and even then it can vary by only a few feet. The valley that I am in lays pretty much North/South so I have sun exposure on the shortest light days of winter. But my cabins that are higher up the mountain get little or no winter sun exposure. And that is only a quarter mile to the back of my property.

    Our old weather system winters were clear and cold, with abundant sun exposure.
     
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  42. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Master Survivalist
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    I thought this one was interesting, maybe because it is materials I have readily available, and it looked fairly simple.

    Elkhound: Maybe this is one of the Russian videos you mentioned.

     
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  43. Sourdough

    Sourdough "ALASKAN"
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    I want it to be LOW to the ground. I think for me four feet high and well insulated, covered with brush, and located in extremely thick brush, with no visible entrance, you would crawl in. The goal for me is to hide.
     
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  44. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    @Morgan101

    Thanks for the video. It has given me new idea for home made green house. Research time.
     
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  45. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Master Survivalist
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    I used to work in the packaging industry. I still have a couple of rolls stashed in the basement. You can get it on line for around $50.00 a roll. I would recommend 80 gage. You really don't need a dispenser. A stick or an old broom handle will work fine.

    It would also be useful if you had to seal a room or seal windows or doorways if things really went south. It is just a big roll of Saran Wrap, but it does have its uses.
     
    TMT Tactical likes this.
  46. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
      480/575

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    80 gage, 1500 foot roll about $35.00 at home depot. I already have a dispenser for my move to Arizona. helps keeps ting from moving around in a the moving truck.
     
  47. Sourdough

    Sourdough "ALASKAN"
      452/460

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    Well.........I found 5 sheets of 1/2 CDX and two sheets of 3/4" CDX So I am going to start this project. Going to build it on 4X6 AWW skids so it will be moveable with Ski-Doo.
     
    Keith H. and TMT Tactical like this.
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