Wednesday, April 16, 2014

bug out book

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that the new weekly format is leaving a bit to be desired.  Yet fear not gentle minions, I am merely in stand-by mode.  I’ll be getting to better things soon enough.  I just got back from vacation at the folks, and that always disrupts the writing schedule.  So please keep checking back every Wednesday and if I happen to have a bare minimum article, don’t think it is going to be the new norm.  Also, please excuse yesterday’s lack of attention to the comments.  The work computer is out of commission so I had to use mine to get online.  Not only is wireless slower than a liquid cat turd on a cold tin roof, Blogger wasn’t recognizing my five year old version of the browser- so I spent most of my time figuring that out plus downloading another one.  It’s a darn good thing you aren’t paying to read my bleetings, yes?
SWBABOB
ANOTHER BUG OUT BOOK
No18part3

Sheltering Underground, continued
I normally don’t get claustrophobic.   I panic easily if too many people press in too close to me because I know as sure as God made little green sour apples ( contrary to fables such as George Burns “Oh, God” which stipulates poor choices such as avocado pits, I like to think that any and all mistakes were made by subcontractors who finished up random loose ends around midnight Saturday during the creation ) that each and every swinging dingus out there wants to get into my personal space and inflict grave bodily harm upon me.  But that is just common sense.  I can understand the feeling of being confined, but also have a hard time understanding how many of us suffer from it when we also commute for long periods of time in a very small enclosed box of sheet metal.  Selective claustrophobia, perhaps?  Anyway, this is obviously a small consideration ( just as gluten intolerance is for a small minority if you are wondering what to stockpile for apocalypse food ) that I’ll assume doesn’t apply to most of us and go from there.  You obviously need the space you shall dig to be more than coffin size- I think almost anyone would freak out with that- but you also don’t need an underground base.  Dig one pit/shelter for a sleeping hut and another for storing all your supplies.
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If you plan on using standard lumber, a shelter measuring four by eight is both enough room to live in ( we are talking about a rigid underground tent size here, remember ) and will hold a lot of supplies.  It also minimizes construction cost and effort.  The one advantage for these kinds of shelters I have in the desert is lack of water.  I need no shoring or concrete other than corner posts.  For those in wetter climes, refer to the book “The $50 & Up Underground Home”.  But you are only building four feet high and hence, this being a mound, you don’t need to dig down too far.  Plastic over the top, and a nice drainage ditch all around diverting water flow away and down should work out well for most ( of course, while this is being hidden, you obviously can‘t have the ditch.  You can add those after you move in. In the meantime, stretch extra plastic far away from the sides and try to build on a naturally higher area ).  If you dig down three feet and use the discard dirt as the last foot- building the hole up even as you dig down- you will still have a hard job ahead of you but not impossible.  You are digging a six by ten hole, three foot down.  The shelter itself, disregarding any shoring needed- is not much more than five sheets of plywood and around forty or so sticks of pine.  Roughly $200 after buying a roll of plastic ( so, the second storage structure costs a round $150 ).  This is assuming store bought new materials.  This compares favorably to a $250,000 concrete mountaintop retreat.
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SBJABOBno19
ANOTHER BUG OUT BOOK
Tool Stash

A viable alternative to pre-building a shelter on site is to merely stash the tools needed to build after your arrival.  Now, obviously, this depends on several factors.  Your natural terrain will determine a lot of this.  If you are in the middle of a forest you have an abundance of building material.  Not so much in the desert ( timber for roofing if nothing else being a limiting factor ).  And, let’s not forget that all import climate factor.  If you are bugging out in the northern tier of the country, you certainly don’t want to be trying to build a shelter in the middle of the winter.  And of course, security.  You won’t be using a chainsaw, backhoe or power saw, but you will still attract some kind of attention even building with manual tools.  You want to keep all of these things in mind while deciding if this is for you, stashing tools.  But the advantages are that this is the easiest method to use if you are bugging out to a property you plan on squatting at which would be illegal under current conditions.  At the most, you need to smuggle in and hide just a few items.  None of them all that bulky or noticeable if sufficient precautions are taken. 
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You won’t need too much more than a saw and ax, a hammer and plenty of nails, plastic sheeting and a shovel and pick.  I wouldn’t advise building a full blown log cabin- that is a bit beyond simple tools and can be dangerous.  Smaller trees  will work just fine.  Do a little research on Native American shelters.  I initially thought that small panes of glass would be needed.  Natural sunlight is far better than trying to keep in artificial illumination, and unless you arte going totally Ninja Concealment, you really need to have some light coming in to preserve your sanity.  Instead, I’d think about just using the same plastic sheeting you are using on the roof.  It won’t last all that long, but it is easily replaceable and you shouldn’t be using this shelter indefinitely.  In the future, after you’ve moved to a better location or enlarged your hovel into a three sided earth sheltered cabin, you can go find some windows during scavenging.  If you can transport small pieces of glass- say, car side windows you trash pick- great.  One less thing to worry about later.  But the goal here is to minimize what you must pre-stash.  You can also substitute nails with cordage or synthetic rope, such as clothesline they most likely still sell at the dollar store.  That should drastically cut down on the weight and cost.  Simplicity has rewards all its own.
END



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36 comments:

  1. "Energy reporter for the Wall Street Journal, Russell Gold, will discuss his work covering the hotly contested subject of fracking. Everyday one hundred wells in the U.S. are drilled and hydraulically fractured - or fracked. He will examine both sides of the debate and explain how fracking has become a fixture of the American landscape and global economy."

    Tonight at 10:00 PM PST on the late night radio show Coast To Coast AM. Thought you might find it of interest James?

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    1. I think I got what I needed from the book "snake oil". But thanks for the info

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  2. Would you like a Kindle copy of the short pamphlet: "Storeys; build your own root cellar" James? I can send a copy through Amazon using your email easy enough?

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    1. I might learn something from it-why not? Thanks!

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    2. If the @reagan one doesn't work, use @kindle

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    3. I had a chance to take a closer look through that pamphlet that I sent you James.

      It seems like it might be a little complex, and expensive for someone that's just looking for a simple shelter? Though someone with some building experience might think of it as being no problem?

      It lists a cost of around $1200.00, but the copyright is 1981. Though I think it would still be close to the same, especially if you follow the guidelines on page 9 for cutting costs? One cost cutting method is using railroad ties instead of concrete blocks, but I'd probably stick with the concrete blocks if I did this, because I think that they will provide better insulation, and will have even more insulation stuffed inside of them.

      Well, hopefully you will gain some useful info from it? For what it's worth though, I think if one were to put the work into it, the end result would be a nice, well insulted, and long lasting shelter.

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    4. Thanks-still have to bring in my kindle to download it, but will get it soonest.

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    5. Had a chance to read through the entire pamphlet this weekend James. And while a few of the construction details are vague, I think it's quite a doable project? No doubt a lot of work, but the end result will be no more freezing and sweating. I'm actually rather inspired after reading through it, and now want to start my own root cellar project.

      The bulk of the cellar calls for 260 (There is a small number of other specialty blocks that it calls for, but there are only a few of these) of the 8"x8"x16" cinder blocks. These cost $1.50 in my area, so you're looking in the area of around $400.00 for the bulk of the cellar. It mentions that you can use railroad ties, but give no details as to how to "tie" them together?

      No pictures, but some decent sketches. Small, and in some ways lacking, but a good little publication for the price.

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    6. Don't discount the sandbag project just desrcibed in the comments. It might be a lot less work, and cheaper. Just saying.

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    7. I'm sure it would be Jim. Sounds like the same technique touched upon by Phil Garlington in Rancho Costa Nada?

      Though the cellar has the ability to be almost completely hidden. The only other structure that comes close in stealth is a tree house, which would probably be an even bigger pain to build?

      The sandbag house sounds as if pretty well insulated, but would probably still require some heating in winter. One could say the same about the cellar, but generally speaking, they maintain around a 50 degree temperature year round, which is quite survivable with a few blankets. Bear in mind that when you're advancing in years, chopping wood will start to suck; something to think about?


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  3. Inexpensive 'dugout' idea. Drive in galvanized. iron sleeves into ground, 3/4" - 1" diameter is fine. Insert the ends of 1/4" rebar into them to form framework for a tent or tarp 'moisture barrier. Tie the rebar to each other where they intersect.

    Just a tent, but very inexpensive to build. If you already have a property and / or site on mind, can be installed in place, leaving materials for making this shelter.

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    Replies
    1. Is that similar to the plans using PVC as the frame?

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    2. Yep, but rebar lasts longer exposed to the elements than pvc, which degrades when left in full sunlight. Buried - PVC probably has a longer life.

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  4. Glazing units - see if you can scrounge 'glass block', these are designed for natural light. Also saw a unit at Harbor Freight this past weekend - SOLAR LED ROPE LIGHT. 50'-0" long - $10. I have no idea how well this works, but this sounds useful - leave in full light for daylight charge, then take inside and string up overhead along walls like Christmas lights.

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    1. Isn't Rawles a big fan of those lights? I'd prefer the bayonet car bulbs in LED- 5 watts, good enough to read by.

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    2. I don't know if this is the same as Rawles, but these rope lights I'm seeing are SOLAR - non plug in, no electricity needed. Solar panel kit included - $10. I'm thinking strung up around the ceiling overhead. I didn't buy them, had other 'fish to fry' but 1st time I've seen them.

      http://www.harborfreight.com/solar-rope-light-68353.html

      Another tool stash thought, this gleaned from another blog site (TEOTWAWKI). There was an urban E&E kit that had a tool made from a closed end wrench. One end was ground down to form a pry bar for removing hinge pins. The closed end was supposed to remove the nut from gate hinge. I did some checking around and found the hardware was not universal - bolt heads on our old stuff was 12mm on the flats, but new fence at neighbors was smaller. So I switched the closed end tool for a small adjustable wrench which works the same but handles all bolts less than 5/8" across the flats. Only 5" long - pretty nifty little guy.

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    3. sounds like a new twist. sounds interesting enough to check out. thanks

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  5. One more (damn, I wish my mind worked as fast as I type).

    Pickup bed liners can be picked up for little money at junkyards. Seamless plastic designed to be outdoors. Rolled over to rest bed edges on ground - a seam less roof.

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  6. If you live where things grow easily (i.e., not the desert), you can plant large woody shrubs into a snailshell-like pattern around a larger tree in the center. When shelter is needed (hopefully years later), you fashion tree branches from the larger tree down onto the lower trees to make a roof. You can add a door to the opening or cut windows into your hedge to let in light. Dig drainage ditch around the outside so it does not flood. The materials are mostly there waiting for you and mostly completed, but aren't an "illegal structure" that someone would likely tear down or take away. May be subject to other squatters using this before you, including non-human squatters.

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  7. Stolen from over at Dio's place....
    Course he stole it from anothers blog but thought it good to pass along.

    Latest
    Ya haveta read this!

    http://taxicabdepressions.com/?p=1193

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  8. Lame.

    I've followed, commented, and donated, but this is the end.

    I waited an entire week for this piss-ant drivel??

    Ripp. Off. Goodbye.

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    Replies
    1. What part of "stand-by" don't you understand? A shame, next week is the first chapter of the new novel.

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    2. I've followed, commented and donated too.

      Sometimes shit just happens and a person has to step back and catch his breath a bit.

      Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

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  9. Though it wouldn't work in Jim's location, Grandpappy has a decent idea for an underground shelter. http://grandpappy.org/wcave.htm

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  10. Year before last me and the old lady (combined age 104) spent about a month making an earthbag dome - 2.5m interior diameter, one small window, air vent and steel door with poured concrete jambs. If I was doing it as an shelter, I'd just have a keyhole crawl door with a glacis wall on the outside, and replace a window with a couple of slits. The minimum building materials are around 200 50# feed sacks 500 1" nails to pin the bag 'ears' in, and less than 100m of barbed wire. Minimum tool requirements are digging tool, one bucket to pour the dirt in the sacks, and a tamper which can be as simple as an uprooted sapling with the root bole attached. A tamped earthbag wall is as good as a Afghan compound wall for absorbing kinetics, gives a lot of thermal mass, and the shape is earthquake proof and insulates well against wind. Drawbacks are you need to keep the feed sacks from the sun, so you need to do a mud render that needs maintenance, and even when you've covered the sacks, which don't come in camo, you still have a big titty shape in the landscape.

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    Replies
    1. That sounds like a lot more fun than digging the pit.

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    2. Got Jim's attention when you said titty shaped... LOL

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  11. Hey Jim-was going through a pile of paperbacks at a book sale and found "Ice" by Arnold Federbush. Just wondering if you have read it and maybe wanted to do a review of it. (might be an easy post for you)

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    1. I thank you. BUT. I'm not sure if I read it, but I ordered a copy for a cent plus shipping. I didn't order any books last week so I have plenty to spare in the budget. I'm glad you brought it to my attention.

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  12. Okay James, enough is enough. Man up and start writing again.

    Everyday I stop by and out of desperation, I look at every article hoping for even the smallest of new comments. This is pathetic.

    Even a sentence or two a day would be better than cutting your minions off cold turkey.

    If nothing else, do it for the children.

    Idaho Homesteader

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    1. I took a break for a couple of weeks, but I'm back on track. Wrote 8500 words in the last five days, will slow down to 8k a week. That will be a chapter a week for my wonderful worthy minions who have won their biscuits by sticking with me. As far as daily, I know it sucks. But without that distraction I think I can do a better job on the fiction.

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    2. My best virtue is that I'm blessed with infinite patience. No problem Jimbo ya'll take your time to provide more brain candy.
      I reckon that anything you put out as interesting mostly. With flashes of downright page turning goodness.
      Still waiting to see what happened to the boys....

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    3. Gringos was just starting to get interesting, to me, but it was still a struggle. I started the new one to see if it is easier if I start and finish without interuption. The Boyz will be back soon enough.

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  13. Amazon is adding sales tax to purchases in Florida, starting May 1st. Gonna see some strange/yuppie buys in your Amazon "log", Jim. Might give you some "fire" to rant :p!

    Gil

    ReplyDelete