Thursday, May 2, 2013

b-pod update


B-POD UPDATE

A minion took the time to e-mail and inquire about the Bison Pit Of Doom and how it has faired lo these many months, so of course I have to reward such dedication and reply in depth.  The rest of you, if you aren’t interested, should know I could, have, and will if pushed talk about far worse.  He asked about any issues that might have come up, from water issues, snow load, insulation, ventilation, heating or any other.  Let me quickly recap for the single new loyal minion that has replaced the three that deserted in the five months since I’ve inhabited my new humble abode ( this will also stretch out my word count, New Apprentice Grasshopper, and if I take pride in one thing it is almost always churning out a thousand words a day.  If I just let myself finish up quickly, then I keep compromising and one day you have two sentences summing up an idea and you get all butt hurt when I ask to be paid for that ).  The B-Pod is simply a pit dug into the ground, covered with an insulated roof, covered with plastic sheets and entered through a narrow stairway ( see, that one sentence could have been the whole article ).  I can get away with this because the ground here is hard and dry and after I dug a test pit shortly after arriving I felt it was safe to build this way without shoring ( a major cost if you don’t have trees to cut down ).  Even if I’m wrong, the hole is wider than it is deep, and I have little weight in dirt above me ( one or two inches over the plastic to keep the sun from degrading it ), so a cave-in would not be fatal.

*

I’ve had two water issues and neither caused me to lose sleep.  Once, when the snow melted after two months ( very unusual here to last long at all, but great for my natural lawn of goathead weeds ) the water cascaded down into the pit.  I had put a PVC pipe section down the side to feed the TV cable through and it acted as a conduit for “floodwater” of a few cups.  I’ll simply dig a hole in front of the pipe for next year.  There was a spot or two of seepage at the front of the pit, but that was from a natural depression I’ve since filled in and moved the dirt piles away from ( something I’m doing before next winter.  I had the dirt piled up, acting as a wind break, too close to the stairway walls and the snow melt went down.  I’ll shovel those several feet away to fix that ).  At one spot where the plastic had ended and the mice had dug through ( perhaps mice don’t dig, but climbed up.  I have no idea ) there was a bit of grass growing.  I didn’t think diffuse light was sufficient for that, but what do I know?  I think that problem is fixed since our heroic and victorious mouser has killed three or four mice in just two weeks.  She somehow got up the wall on a one inch protrusion to seek her prey.  Good on her!  I hate those little bastards, befouling all they crawl across.

*

Our snow was pretty heavy this year.  Usually we have two storms, an inch or two each.  This year, it snowed like nobodies business ( if we are having Gore Warming, it is skipping Elko ).  Several times I had to get on the roof to shovel.  The load was never too heavy, even several inches of wet or almost a foot of light snow, accumulating all day I was at work.  Which is bizarre, since as you recall, I ran out of lumber and money and had to finish up the sides with only plywood and no stick supports.  I can’t stand on them without an alarming creaking, but they gave and stood under the snow.  In twenty years if I’m too old to shovel, that odd winter extra snow might be an issue, but not now.  The only insulation the pit has, besides the roof which I spared no expense on, is the front entrance.  My exposed entrance is an L shape three foot on one side of the door, a foot on the other.  Those sheets of plywood only have some squishy foam tacked up on them.  The door is hollow and uninsulated, but closet door width of a foot and a half so has little effect on losing heat ( and besides, covered on the outside with an old hanging quilt ).  I wish I had insulated the floor, but that is the only spot that really needs it.  Our feet get cold and we fight over the small square of folded up wool blanket we laid out.

*

Ventilation doesn’t seem like a problem.  I have a four inch PVC pipe stuck next to the front door, about head high.  On the other end of the pit, about six inches higher, I have a skylight and next to that a square cut out covered with wire screen, about a half a square foot.  That gives me air flow.  There has been zero condensation or mold, and that is with a lot of coffee perking and cooking ( which was usually all the heating we ever needed most days ).  The earth itself gives off moisture, so living like this will never be as dry as you’d like, but there doesn’t seem to be a health endangering amount.  If I did it again I’d probably install one of those twirling fan deals like on an attic ( although that might suck out too much heat, I have no idea ).  As far as heating, it was a supplement, something nice to have but not critical most of the winter.  When the temp outside went into the minus 15 low and high single digits, for two weeks straight with one day off in the middle, we needed heat.  But even without heat, the temperature never got below freezing in the pit ( it hovered at 32, but didn’t go below ).  The pit has remained constant, except for that freeze, in the 40’s during the winter ( for the most part.  It dipped below 40, we brewed a pot of coffee, it went above for several hours ) and in the 50’s for the spring.  It will never be a true underground dwelling, staying at 55 constantly, but giving how cheap my version is I think I can make that adjustment.  The 80/20 rule again.

END

NEW Bison Blog CD For Sale
I've got an actual professional to achieve and format all the old blog on a CD-ROM. It turned out really nice- much nicer to read than online. It does cost $10 plus shipping, figure another $4 or so, which might be a bit on the higher side. But I think I'm worth it. My cut will be about $5. That isn't too much to ask for over five years of work and nearly two million words of pure brilliance. Here is the link to order:
http://kunaki.com/sales.asp?PID=PX00KX7Z1I
*
Please support Bison by buying through the Amazon graphics above and to the right of each article. You can purchase anything, not just the linked item. Enter Amazon through my item link and then go to whatever other item you desire. As long as you don’t leave Amazon until after the order is placed, I get credit for your purchase. Thank you.
*
Amazon "Frugal Survivalist" for those who can’t access the graphic links.
*








Improvised Munitions Book, ( NOW FREE!!! Free, I tells ya! )







*

If my Blogger page ever goes down, I will start to post at my regular web site:


*

My books available at


*

Kindle Survivalist Books


*

By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there.

 

17 comments:

  1. Nightshift here....vlad mentioned cut shells on the last post. Youtube has alot of videos on that and other improvised shot gun projectiles. Some you may watch at your own risk. I have been buying the 100 rd boxes of 12 gauge 7 1/2 and 8 shot for about $24 at wally world for this purpose. Also making the wax slugs.

    Thanks for the update on the POD. I was talking about it last night to a prepper buddy. I told him about your blog and he dared to ask "Why doesn"t he have many followers and commenters?" I laughed and explained we were a very elite group of minions. LOL. Some people may never understand.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ain't it nice to be part of the elite? Lonely though. :)

      Delete
    2. Wax slugs should only be used in extremis, as they tend to load the barrel up with wax and will cause catastrophic failure after very few rounds. One or two then the barrel must be reamed out and degunked or KABOOM !!

      Delete
  2. If you had several thousand dollars (lets say 4k) to spend on remaking and improving you B-pod, what would you do differently, and what would you keep the same?
    I too am in an arid extreme climate, and will be living on one of my nearby bug out properties ASAP while continuing to work, the savings in rent should allow me to get that much together before construction season is over.
    Bathroom and Kitchen are the two musts for my spouse, who is suprisingly supportive of the whole idea (even going so far as to try to find us more income for just the purpose of building on the land we now own outright).
    We will be grid tied to start with as the power line just goes right by the best building spots and would be way cheaper than alt energy for now (but as soon as we are saving on rent that is the second goal).
    Time is a huge constraint here, as is access (roads are often impassible in thaw season) so those will be eating up any excess moneys we have.
    -Grey

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would have gone from 12 ft long to 18 or 24, enough to make that seperate kitchen and bathroom. Insulate the floor. Insulate double on roof. Perhaps the inside walls, but that wouldn't be priority. Another option, bury the trailer. Then the insulation, wiring, plumbing are all there. Just building the roof, I think I could have buried the trailer at little extra charge. Any questions, ask away, here or e-mail. Glad to help any way I can.

      Delete
  3. Elko's weather is projected to be warmer and dryer this year. Enjoy!

    The b-POD ventilation was good. I was actually shocked (since Jim built the b-POD) but I attribute the b-POD's success to the dry high desert air of Elko.

    Though I do gaspingly complain about the general lack of O2 in the dry high desert air of Elko. ;)

    Myself, I would of added a few grenade traps...
    Gil

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have been giving Jim shit about his lifestyle for what, 3 or 4 years now. Jim is a survivalist. He walks the walk and talks the talk. If he tells you something works you can believe he has tried it and knows what he is talking about. If he tells you something is bullshit, then you can pretty much figure it is bullshit. If you are concerned about the way things are going and want to be better prepared for whatever the future holds, you would be wise to listen to what this man has to say. His hair however, looks like a circumcised cock with a bad toupee'. the rat :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Damn, Rat, I love you brother! Peace.

      Delete
  5. Prepping for the day the SHTF: A complete bug-out and survival plan for life after doomsday

    pretty FREE good K-book at amazon

    Gil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gil, keep up the recomendations. I read the Relocate book, three star rating ( I posted the review at the fiction review site ).

      Delete
  6. Jim, have you thought about using some of those lights made from two liter soda bottles filled with water and a bit of bleach?
    Supposed to give off about sixty watts of light. Or would this compromise your roof?
    Selene

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I get light from both ends ( skylight, window next to entrance door ), its enough to see somewhat ( not knocking into furniture ) but yes, the bottle would allow water in. I've kept the roof an uninterupted sheet of plastic, other than the one edge with the skylight. And since it is the edge I don't mind. But the interior structure is away from the edges, so a bottle there would do no good

      Delete
  7. is it too late to insulate the floor now? What would you have used for insulation?
    Selene

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The floor is resting on pallets, so other than that loose attic crap I can't see a way to insulate. The roof insulation is fiberglass. If I had the money I would have added rigid board insulation over that. Much better insulation combo, plus it keeps the rocks from pocking holes in the plastic sheet you lay over the plywood, under the sheets of insulation.

      Delete
    2. Give this site a look for your next insulation need .
      http://www.insulation4less.com/


      ...LGP

      Delete
  8. What would it take to keep the interior temp above 60 degrees?
    What combo of passive and active components?

    Anything below 60 is (to my way of thinking) not viable longterm.
    Especially so if a woman is in the picture.

    For me, Either maintain 60 or head south.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It wouldn't take a whole lot of wood pellets to keep this place cooking. After the apoc, it won't matter if the wife is cold. I can add a passive solar heater to this with a length of pipe buried, some wood and a sheet of glass over black metal. Call it under $100 if the glass is used. Then you only need wood on cloudy days to keep this hot.

      Delete