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Discussion Starter #1
What would be the best shelter to build given these parameters:

  • In New England
  • Must be livable in winter
  • 3-6 weeks of build time before heavy snows
  • Constructable from local materials, using simple tools. Exception being portable items such as tape, a tarp, etc.

I would like to hear suggestions as well as reading material that covers this topic. Thanks!
 

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To the Liberty Tree!
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What size are we talking? Is this for 1 person or a group? Is room needed to cook inside or will it be done outside? I need a little more info please...
 

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New England winters...and with the timeline...hmmmm
I'd go with a combo of the suggestions above.
Dig a cave into a hillside, go back at least 15 feet.Line cave with straw bales and then plaster over with a cob mixture. Continue out the front of the cave with straw bale construction, cutting locally obtained trees of around 6 inches + in diameter for your supports . You want those supports to be in the ground at least three feet for structural support.Earthbags on the outside, adobe or cob on the inside. Roofing, using 4 to 6 in trees for supports, construct the frame of a yurt like roof with a higher degree of pitch than normally seen in yurts to shed snow efficiently, Use smaller trees, 1 to 2 inches to cross frame across roof frame to provide base for next phase. NOW, make sure when constructing roof, you leave a fire hole, you will need that later. Now, take hale and pull bales into flakes approximately 2 inches thick and cover roof. Cover all this with tarps. Then cover tarps with a minimum of hay flaked 6 inches thick. Cover this layer with tarps. Finish off by duct taking all seams on top tarp and coating tarp with good water resistant coating (such as tar). While tar is still a bit fluid and sticky, cover roof with hay a last time in the traditional thatch configuration. Just looks cooler that way.

Or send me a train ticket and give me a tent on property and let me show you how it's done.:D:
 

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Psalm 34:4
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New England winters...and with the timeline...hmmmm
I'd go with a combo of the suggestions above.
Dig a cave into a hillside, go back at least 15 feet.Line cave with straw bales and then plaster over with a cob mixture. Continue out the front of the cave with straw bale construction, cutting locally obtained trees of around 6 inches + in diameter for your supports . You want those supports to be in the ground at least three feet for structural support.Earthbags on the outside, adobe or cob on the inside. Roofing, using 4 to 6 in trees for supports, construct the frame of a yurt like roof with a higher degree of pitch than normally seen in yurts to shed snow efficiently, Use smaller trees, 1 to 2 inches to cross frame across roof frame to provide base for next phase. NOW, make sure when constructing roof, you leave a fire hole, you will need that later. Now, take hale and pull bales into flakes approximately 2 inches thick and cover roof. Cover all this with tarps. Then cover tarps with a minimum of hay flaked 6 inches thick. Cover this layer with tarps. Finish off by duct taking all seams on top tarp and coating tarp with good water resistant coating (such as tar). While tar is still a bit fluid and sticky, cover roof with hay a last time in the traditional thatch configuration. Just looks cooler that way.

Or send me a train ticket and give me a tent on property and let me show you how it's done.:D:
Yep... what she said. Just remember to reinforce the cave you dig while you are digging it. A cave collapse while working would suck.
 

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DIY RPG's
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as my brother-inlaw built a yurt and we lived in it for for 2 weeks in the middle of a nebraska winter with a wood burning stove i'd go for the yurt. we had my my sister her husband there two younglings,me kathy and kyra, 2 full grown Alaskan malamutes "bed warmers",and about 5 other friends. the yurt worked out great and was warm enough.
 

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Psalm 34:4
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as my brother-inlaw built a yurt and we lived in it for for 2 weeks in the middle of a nebraska winter with a wood burning stove i'd go for the yurt. we had my my sister her husband there two younglings,me kathy and kyra, 2 full grown Alaskan malamutes "bed warmers",and about 5 other friends. the yurt worked out great and was warm enough.
Do you have any pics you could post? Instructions or building tips? I think it would make a good thread.
 

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DIY RPG's
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jfountain2 no problem i'll get right the emailing of my brother-inlaw but i promise to make a thread for it. Doh why didn't i think of that.
 

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Shuriken snowflake
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I seem to always end up with pyramid shaped buildings, they are easy to construct and it's rather easy to get proper insulation, and put a fireplace in the middle. A small hole in the roof or a proper pipe. Light a fire and heat up some stones as bed warmers. :)
 
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