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Old 03-22-2015, 12:57 AM
bunkerbulder bunkerbulder is offline
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Default How to hide an underground shelter?



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I'm planning to build an underground shelter in the woods not far from here, but I'm unable to come up with a way to hide it completely. It's under ground, but how do you hide the entrance? Throwing up some branches and leaves doesn't work - someone would notice them out of place, and how do you do it if you are inside? It doesn't work that way. Throwing dirt on? Nope. can't do it from the inside, and it's still visible that the dirt has been moved recently.

There will be no shack or anything else on top.

So basically I'm unable to come up with a fully working way to completely hide an entrance to such shelter. Any ideas or advice?

Also if you would, I wouldn't mind some tips on building it, but I think that should go into a whole different topic. I'd prefer to stick with "how to effectively hide the entrance" question here.
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Old 03-22-2015, 01:06 AM
ajole ajole is offline
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Hide it in plain sight.

Put up a decrepit old shack. With a trap door in the floor, buried under a pile of scrap.

Or...use a long tunnel to come out on a hillside nearby, again with an entrance hidden by a false wall in a shack or dugout.
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Old 03-22-2015, 01:16 AM
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Fake bolder pile. A couple of shed rattler's skin should discourage close investigation.
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Old 03-22-2015, 02:35 AM
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Originally Posted by charliemeyer007 View Post
Fake bolder pile. A couple of shed rattler's skin should discourage close investigation.
Yes, although I'd be concerned that some live snakes might become interested in that rock pile.

One problem with a bunker that seems often overlooked is that of ventilation. It's hard to hide where it emerges out of the ground, or to hide the sound of a pump moving the air.
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Old 03-22-2015, 03:31 AM
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Hide the vents in a sculpture pond or bird bath.
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Old 03-22-2015, 03:34 AM
bunkerbulder bunkerbulder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajole View Post
Hide it in plain sight.

Put up a decrepit old shack. With a trap door in the floor, buried under a pile of scrap.

Or...use a long tunnel to come out on a hillside nearby, again with an entrance hidden by a false wall in a shack or dugout.
Hmm. A decrepit old shack sounds interesting. I'd need to get some 'old' wood from somewhere though, and it's still not fool-proof from curious hikers, especially the photography types. Still - so far it's the best idea.

I like the tunnel idea, I was thinking the same, but what's the point of spending days digging and reinforcing a tunnel if at the end there's still be a shack? Essentially it's the same thing, except more time-consuming, resource-consuming and more uncomfortable to enter it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charliemeyer007 View Post
Fake bolder pile. A couple of shed rattler's skin should discourage close investigation.
Was thinking that as well, but a boulder pile looks peculiar in the middle of the woods, and moving them would leave marks, and hikers passing buy could think of sitting on one and resting or even using it as a windshelter or something like that. They could also notice the marks easier, but could also discover it.

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Originally Posted by Ian Treloar View Post
Yes, although I'd be concerned that some live snakes might become interested in that rock pile.

One problem with a bunker that seems often overlooked is that of ventilation. It's hard to hide where it emerges out of the ground, or to hide the sound of a pump moving the air.
It's not going to be a bunker, I just want a calm place where I could go and relax for a couple of days, but I'm too poor to buy something and building something on the ground attracts way too much attention, so I thought I'd build an underground shelter. It's not going to be completely sealed, there's going to be air in there, and I'm not gonna be burning fires inside. All I'll want is to relax and think, read something, be alone for a day or two every couple of weeks. There's only going to be enough space for a table and a bed, I'm completely fine with that.

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Hide the vents in a sculpture pond or bird bath.
Too obvious if it's in the middle of the woods. But as I just mentioned, I'll have no need of that.
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Old 03-22-2015, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by bunkerbulder View Post
Hmm. A decrepit old shack sounds interesting. I'd need to get some 'old' wood from somewhere though, and it's still not fool-proof from curious hikers, especially the photography types. Still - so far it's the best idea.

I like the tunnel idea, I was thinking the same, but what's the point of spending days digging and reinforcing a tunnel if at the end there's still be a shack? Essentially it's the same thing, except more time-consuming, resource-consuming and more uncomfortable to enter it.


Was thinking that as well, but a boulder pile looks peculiar in the middle of the woods, and moving them would leave marks, and hikers passing buy could think of sitting on one and resting or even using it as a windshelter or something like that. They could also notice the marks easier, but could also discover it.



It's not going to be a bunker, I just want a calm place where I could go and relax for a couple of days, but I'm too poor to buy something and building something on the ground attracts way too much attention, so I thought I'd build an underground shelter. It's not going to be completely sealed, there's going to be air in there, and I'm not gonna be burning fires inside. All I'll want is to relax and think, read something, be alone for a day or two every couple of weeks. There's only going to be enough space for a table and a bed, I'm completely fine with that.



Too obvious if it's in the middle of the woods. But as I just mentioned, I'll have no need of that.
To completely answer your questions I would have to know more such as what state or country you are in and if you are in a remote area. The more remote the better and more likely you will "get away" with building a structure on public land.

I infer that you do not own land and that you will be building on a national forest or some kind of public land. It would be Much better if you did own the land or at least could build on a friend or relative's land with their permission.

In the early 1980's I thought much the same as you and many who post and want to camp, live, build in the woods, national forest etc. I learned quickly that it is very difficult to find and keep a safe secret place, especially on land that you do not own. I fortunately found my own land, bought it and since 1987 have been slowly building what I wish and need. And I do like to share my mtn place with a Few good people if they contact me by email or private message before summer.

Plz tell If you do build and how long before a hiker, hunter or public official discovers what you built. And Hope you do not get in trouble or fined or worse for building on "government / public" land. And hope you spend very little money since you will likely not be allowed to stay there Unless it is in a very remote area and no one will harass you....
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Old 03-22-2015, 06:40 AM
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But IF you think you might be able to camoflage a hidden structure such as an underground shelter then just use the terrain, use logs, rocks, brush - whatever it takes for camoflage. I learned by Doing and reading up some on camoflage techniques which should not be too difficult to learn on the net, even from this forum.

Be well off of trails and if possible do not have your own trail that others can follow to your structure. In a few weeks or months plz tell how it works out...


Also not sure if you have ever actually built a bunker but here is a long but info packed thread with many pics etc. showing some who have done so with all kinds of underground structures. > https://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...d.php?t=107463
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Old 03-22-2015, 02:13 PM
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listen to mtnmike he's been there and done that. hey mike do you ever need a mini excavator up at your hold--might have to see if we were to bring mine if the family could camp up there for a weekend this summer.
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Old 03-22-2015, 02:18 PM
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One thing nobody's touched on yet is keeping the structure dry inside. That may or may not be a big thing where you are looking at locating, but hydrology is going to dictate what you can do where you are wanting to do it.
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Old 03-22-2015, 02:25 PM
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I'm going to do the same.Going to use a tree stump as an entrance way maybe.
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Old 03-22-2015, 05:31 PM
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If there is not already one in the area that you can use as is, get an old automobile, burn it out, and haul it in. Dig your hole, disperse the dirt, and tip the burned out car up on its side over the hole, with a missing door over the entrance, or the window of a door over the entrance. Have some a bit of appropriate sheet metal attached to the trap door of the shelter that will be pulled over the trap door when the trap door is closed, but will push it out of the way when opened from the inside.

Create a partially completed structure, that looks to have been abandoned before completion, that can have debris, or even part of the structure incorporated into the upper surface of the trap door.

Hide in plain sight, as in taking small tipi and setting it up over the hiding spot, with the trap door covered with attached earth and a fire ring inside the tipi. Leave the tipi door flap unfastened, as if you have just stepped out to go to the bathroom or have gone exploring, when you will actually be inside the hide.

You can also rig something that easily covers the trap door area completely, overlapping on all sides, and have a remote hydraulic pump some distance away that can be used to lift the opening, the pump hidden again, and once inside, the pressure released from the lift cylinder(s) to lower the trap door and whatever is covering it back into place.

You can fell some trees, if you can get by with it, as if you plan on cutting up some fire wood, and arrange them in a jumbled up manner that allows you to wiggle your way into the middle of them where the trap door is located.

You can do something similar, as if you have cut a bunch of firewood, and left the trimmings piled nearby, but where the brush pile is carefully fastened together as a cover of a trap door.

Lots of different possibilities if you think outside the box.

Just a few ideas off the top of my head.
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Old 03-22-2015, 06:47 PM
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Burned out trailer house would work, Jerry.
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Old 03-22-2015, 07:48 PM
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Seen the movie RED?

An old rusted out car. Entrance hidden in the trunk.
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Old 03-22-2015, 08:03 PM
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Something like this
http://dornob.com/solar-shrub-a-gree...#axzz2TDuIXIPN
Would have to be modified but you get the idea.
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Old 03-22-2015, 08:23 PM
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What about building a shallow wooden box, filling it with dirt and planting small bushes and grasses that are in the area so they will blend in well. Recess it into the ground so that it is not visible. Mount it on offset hinges so that when you pull it open, it lifts up and does not disturb the surrounding ground.
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Old 03-23-2015, 12:45 AM
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I had ideas to do something like this.....there would be a door to enter the bunker....and stairs to the door...but on the hole...I want something that blends in with surrounding environment.



something like that...where I can open it but it still be concealed. This would be like a secondary bunker storage. I want one closer to home and much bigger then this one would be.
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Old 03-23-2015, 03:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bunkerbulder View Post
I'm planning to build an underground shelter in the woods not far from here, but I'm unable to come up with a way to hide it completely. It's under ground, but how do you hide the entrance? Throwing up some branches and leaves doesn't work - someone would notice them out of place, and how do you do it if you are inside? It doesn't work that way. Throwing dirt on? Nope. can't do it from the inside, and it's still visible that the dirt has been moved recently.

There will be no shack or anything else on top.

So basically I'm unable to come up with a fully working way to completely hide an entrance to such shelter. Any ideas or advice?

Also if you would, I wouldn't mind some tips on building it, but I think that should go into a whole different topic. I'd prefer to stick with "how to effectively hide the entrance" question here.
First of all make sure your on "your" land........
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Old 03-23-2015, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Optimist View Post
One thing nobody's touched on yet is keeping the structure dry inside. That may or may not be a big thing where you are looking at locating, but hydrology is going to dictate what you can do where you are wanting to do it.

Right. And most of this has to do with insulation to avoid rapid temperature changes resulting in condensation. The insulation will need to be on the outside of the shelter to work as a buffer. This will also keep the surrounding ground temperatures from leeching warmth from your bunker if you heat it.

Drainage is another issue. Surrounding the area outside the buffer zone with 3/4" gravel not only creates an air gap, but allows drainage which can be plumbed away with 4" pvc water pipes below the structure (the ones with lots of holes in them). Read up on "Rubble Foundations" it was popularized by Frank Lloyd Wright, but it's been around for thousands of years.

There is a technique that I have not yet tried, but I believe would work wonderfully- and that is you leave some earth or sand directly outside of your bunker, then do your rubble barrier. The earth directly surrounding your bunker will absorb heat, but since it will be isolated from the rest of the earth it will hold and radiate that heat back into the bunker. A steel reinforced earthbag or super adobe structure is what I've had in mind.

I've talked quite a bit about about rammed earth structures I've built, especially the earthship concept pioneered by Mike Reynolds. This basically utilizes the same principle with the exception of passive solar gain (sunlight)

I could go on but work calls. Any questions just shoot and I will clarify to the best of my ability.
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:18 AM
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What about blackberries ???
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