Wednesday, September 25, 2013

plastic tent


PLASTIC TENT

Another minion suggestion, and I thank each and every one of you.  Please keep them rolling in as it makes things a smidge easier here ( the previous idea on cookware is coming up this Friday- preposted as I’ll be on a vacation day ).  A temporary mobile shelter.  Not as in tents, which is pretty easy to figure out, but as in something a little more comfortable than a tent but cheaper and more convenient than a cabin.  My junk van idea is in between the two in affordability and mobility.  This one is just a tent on steroids, something insulated.  And cheap enough to compete with tents.  A tent is just a covering from rain and a somewhat effective shelter from bugs.  You are expected to use a sleeping bag for warmth.  This makes for a very compact shelter, but certainly not one for long term practicality.  By bulking up you gain living space and comfort inside while NOT in a sleeping bag.  I know all you gear queers are staggering in shock that I don’t recommend a Wiggley’s sleeping bag and a tent that Mt. Everest explorers recommend four out of five, along with a Rainbow Coalition butane cooking stove.  But if I remember my prices correctly ( I could be way off, I thought the bag was over $200 ) you should be able to do the plastic tent cheaper than any one piece of high end gear.

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This idea isn’t an original with me.  I’m sure I can across something similar in the newsletter from the Oregon couple that advocated recycled material for shelters squatting in the forest ( can’t remember the name.  Anyone?  All the issues have been issued as books and can be had at Amazon-hint, hint ).  Just make whatever size tent you desire out of unglued PVC pipe as a frame.  Use the correct size with the right spacing between cross braces and it will support a lot of weight.  You can use lightweight flat boards to support the roof, along the lines of slats on a bunk bed.  Get those big spring clamps you use to join two pieces of material while the glue dries, they are only a buck or two each.  This will hold the interior insulation to the frame.  If space is limited, a double layer of wool blankets.  Otherwise, sheets of squishy foam.  To the outside of the frame, not touching the insulation ( held off and away by more clamps ), put a tarp.  That is pretty much it.  I’d have an inlet PVC pipe for air ( covered with screen to keep out snakes and spiders ) and a short piece elsewhere for a vent.  The floor could be covered with another tarp for mud and insect control.  This would be ideal for a car camp off the road ( but not too far ) you can transport to in a few trips.  A friend’s backyard you can crash at but he doesn’t want a permanent structure.  You get the idea.

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23 comments:

  1. Not a bad idea at all. Cheap and low cost.

    The one thing I will pay real money for is a good sleeping bag. Mine has gotten a lot of use over the last 20 years, but still is in fairly good shape. When in sub zero temps, a really good bag makes all the difference in the world. Yes, I could use layers, space blankets, and cheap bags, but they take up a lot more bulk and don't quite work as well.

    However, you can't spend all your day in a sleeping bag, so having a comfortable space to move around in is a real bonus.

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  2. And if your good bag is damaged, this is a better than nothing back-up.

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    Replies
    1. I do understand sixbears point about having a good sleeping bag though. I remember the countless camping trips freezing my ass off in the Sierra Nevada, until I invested in a good down bag. Having a good bag means that your shelter needs are now way less. but if I had to do over again, I would get synthetic, not down

      But I also understand Jim's point as well. Lose that bag and you're screwed. An econ-compromise would be to stock up on cheap woolen clothing at the local thrift store, along with a few wool blankets.

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    2. Ya'all know I love wool as much as wheat and Enfields.

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  3. One good option is a small tent with a pvc hoop house over it.Insulate between as needed.

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    Replies
    1. I wonder if one could buy those do-it-yourself spray insulaters ( the five gallon tank ones, like the commercial spray in the wall guys ) and coat the inside tent on the outside to make a rigid shelter. The outside hoop tent would keep the sun off so it didn't degrade, perhaps? Course, it might just be easier to tape together rigid boards of insulation as the inside tent.

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    2. That spray foam is expensive . $ 1200.00 to $1400.00 for a kit that will give you 1" thickness over 1200 sq. ft. . Foam 4x8 panels would be much cheaper .

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    3. I saw a documentary where a homeless couple used this type of setup. The outer structure covered an area big enough to sit on lawn chairs and to cook in. There was a home made stove with some kind of scrap duct work to vent smoke to the outside (the stove also provided heat in colder weather). In the back part of the "house" they had a tent to sleep in. This was a semi-permanent structure that made a comfortable living space that could be torn down and moved. There was a minimal number of man hours required to build the structure, and a minimal amount of money invested in materials, so that the structure could be abandoned, if necessary.

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    4. Only zoning stands in folks way, not imagination.

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  4. I'd put the floor on top of pallets just to keep the floor out of the dirt / mud when it rain. Pretty good idea though.

    I made a PVC pipe lean to at our place to house the mower / wheelbarrow / bicycles / etc. that I don't have room for in our carport. 2" PVC vertical supports (about 5' o.c.) w/ 1x4 horizontal nailers for some free corragated metal panels (nail zip tied from bottom to top to 'shingle' them, keeping out rain. Works pretty well and has been there for over 12 years - the pipes aren't even grouted into place. Its about 12' long x 6' wide. The gate is a 5' x 5' galv. metal gate purchased, with same metal panels for cover. Ugly as hell and neighborhood cats often dig under the edge to keep their kittens under cover.

    Good article - thanks for writing it up.

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    Replies
    1. I thought about pallets-a big fan of them- but it wouldn't be near as portable. Love your shelter idea- and no one would think you have anything worth stealing underneth.

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    2. Heads up on pallets - there may be toxicity issues.
      http://www.survivalblog.com/2010/10/letter-re-a-source-for-free-fi-1.html

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    3. Good God Man!!! We Are All Going To Die From Fuki Anyway!

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  5. If you live where it gets very cold and freezing to death is a stong possibility in a grid down emergency than yes, you want either a serious bag or maybe two lesser ones to use together. If your out of a heat source or injured and cant collect wood it could be a life saver.

    Do I have a high dollar bag? No, Im in South MS and although we see occasional nighttime lows in the teens a shelter will take care of alot of that. I have 20 and 40 degree bags and extra blankets.

    I saw some shelter contest for helping the homeless and 3rd world types and a crew built a shelter out of foil covered insulation board. Kind of a mini dome trapazoid teepee thing. Im sure that is a good description. Point is, you can make a cheap light shelter that although more bulky than a tent could be made to last longer and offer better protection.

    More permanent?

    An 8x8, 2x4 framing with a low shed roof, tin exterior, 2 small windows and a wood floor would run less than $500 (local prices). Thats with a homade door. Of course than you have to add maybe a couple hundred for insulation. Sheet metal and 2x4s could be carried in albeit alot of trips. If you used some type of 8' 1x lumber for the floor instead of plywood most anyone could haul materials. The metal roof avoids the need for plywood.

    Ideal shelter? No. But better than burning down in a tent and the critters cant get in.
    I have played with other plan sizes and the cost per foot keeps dropping the bigger you go. Basic shell minus insulation is under $10 a sq. foot.Maybe with insulation.

    You can move up to more wood and have a fine shed/shelter/cabin around $15 a foot.

    A solar panel, a light or two and a mini camp woodstove and your pretty good by apocolypse standards, and it will last several years instead of months. Be sure to use some spray foam in all the gaps the metal leaves.

    And by all means, this concept isn't complete without a James composting bucket toilet.

    Nice hair!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you ain't crapping in a bucket, it ain't an Apocalypse.

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    2. That definitely has to go in your Top 10 quotes of all time.

      You should put that on your blog right under 'The Last One in the Stewpot Wins.'

      Idaho Homesteader

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    3. I wonder if I should replace "going to hell in a handbasket" with that?

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  6. When I was younger, camping was an empty coffee can, an army blanket, and a shower curtain. Hobos, scouting, and the military, the more things change...

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  7. Another idea read about on interweb - sounded pretty good to me.

    Above ground swimming pools wear out after a couple of years and are often thrown out. Their round shape could be made into a yurt. Metal cattle panel sides or metal 'T' posts driven into ground in circular fashion. Throw (well, pull anyway) pool over and around this perimeter material and you get a pretty tough tent, designed for outdoor use. A center pole to promote water drainage to sides, cut slit for door and you are set.

    If you have two of these pools, you could cut the floor out of one of them and then stack the other intact pool over it, overlapping the sides. Or wrap tarp material cut to shape and stack pool over that. Now you have a pretty close to full height structure. For reference, a 13' diameter pool gets you 133 square feet of interior floor space, and a 4' high cover gets you 532 cubic feet of space, double that for the stacked construction.

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  8. I bought one of these for £212 or $340 Last winter.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ok2rb0vjouQ
    It comes in 2 huge holdalls and weighs a friggin ton, so not the sort of thing you'd go hiking with.

    Sleeping bags, I use the down filled army surplus ones we used in Norway outside in the winter for £20 and jungle ones for the summer for £15.

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    Replies
    1. That seems cheap for artic bags. Good job.

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    2. I got the sleeping bags from here, http://www.britishmilitarysurplus.co.uk/
      Some good gear, but I don't know how much good it'll do you guys, as shipping and taxes on stuff I get from the US makes your arse bleed from the raping you get.

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