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The end is near.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As has been posted before here, having a cabin in the woods to retreat to if tshtf can be dangerous due to marauding groups of people willing to take what you have by force. No matter how many guns you have or how large a group you have gathered together for mutual security, the mob can be better armed and larger, especially if you've defended it successfully a few times and word gets out about your retreat.

There are only 2 solutions I can think of. Either do not bother with a retreat at all and plan to stay put or make sure your retreat is truly hidden so hordes of hungry people never even know you're there.

I like the idea of having a bolt hole to run to if things get too bad, so I'm looking for ideas and comments geared toward keeping a retreat well hidden. Let's say I bought a piece of land with a stream or pond on it way out in the middle of nowhere to locate a retreat. For the purpose of this post lets say that a retreat would be used for no longer than a year.

My idea would be to locate the retreat underground. Is it possible to build an underground room, or rooms, with common tools, sweat, time, and commitment? Is there another way to build a retreat that is well hidden without putting it underground? How about putting an old RV pull trailer or two down in the room before completing it? Wouldn't that give you a bathroom, bed, kitchen and such in one shot. Wouldn't be all that expensive if you bought a used RV trailer for this purpose.

Caching would be necessary as well if you wanted to have enough stored supplies to last a year.

If the hatch to this setup were well concealed then I doubt there would be much chance of people stumbling upon it and realizing what was beneath their feet. The biggest risk would be when entering or leaving the retreat, I think.

So, is this possible? What have I overlooked? Is there a better way to retreat in isolation? I'm not much interested in forming a survival group and then trying to defend a retreat, even if things get so bad that going to a retreat is the only viable option.

Is there a better way to accomplish a hidden retreat?
 

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Don't know a thing..
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I have a BOL, not a retreat as you describe... I do keep supplies there. But, if a real SHTF occured, I would try to bug in first. If I do have to bug out, I have every expectation that my supplies at the BOL will have been obsconded with by the locals....

Would be nice to have a true concealed retreat, as you describe... certainly can be done... but to make it properly would have to be very expensive.
 

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The end is near.
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'll be moving to a small town in Arkansas within 16 months. I figure that if I can't last out an emergency there then things have gone from shtf to eotwawki. Still, I'd like to not have to throw the towel in at that point. I am, after all, a survivor.

As far as expensive, I'm not so sure. For a retreat like this I wouldn't expect to live in luxury the way I can back at a homestead. This would be to literally survive on our own. Hopefully the spartan living quarters would equate to less expensive. What I've got in mind is to either dig a hole out there or find a cave or old mine to shore up. If a hole, use cinder blocks, brought in a load at a time, to put walls up. Concrete slab for the floor, poured on site. Put RV in before completing walls, then fill the dirt back around it.
If an old mine or cave, shore it up and park an RV trailer inside. Put a front on the cave or mine that conceals the fact that there's anything behind it. Somehow though, I doubt I'd be lucky enough to find a piece of property with a convenient cave or mine on it. lol.

Possible?
 

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Don't know a thing..
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Well.. basic construction would work out of block... but is it above grade or below?

If below grade, you need a nice foundation, reinforcing and concrete fill in the walls... water poofing the block prior to backfill so it doesn't turn into a swimming pool... then... when the water does get in (because it always does) how do you get it out?

How would you handle ventilation? if protected and enclosed you have to move air through the space... Human waste?.. if it is to be hidden, which sounds like at least partially below grade, then those may get involved, depending on your topography.

There was a good description of a below grade hide in the the book "The Road"... self contained, gas, power.. heat.. be nice to have.

I'd love to do it... build a 'hidy hole' in the back yard one day... accessable from a tunnel from within the house... emergency exit that looks like a storm water drain.... might just make it a guy room!! :)
 

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The end is near.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
LOL, a hinged tree stump would be perfect. I'll keep it in mind.

Waste could be removed on a daily, or nightly, basis. Pump it out of the RV waste tank and into a container and wheel it out.

Ventilation is something I'd have to learn about. I know it can be done because it's been done before, so I'll go check into it.

Power is something of a problem. Solar panels would give the location away, so no recharging. I'll have to think about it.
 

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For electrical power, one possibility if your retreat is near a flowing river is a hidden underwater intake traveling underground to a penstock with the proper drop of grade to power a hydroelectric generator or small altenator to charge a battery bank. Undeground wiring from unit into retreat . The entire setup can be hidden very easily.
Then there is always the old standby electrical and exercise program.
The use of an exercise bike with a step up altenator to charge a battery bank. Very effective when using low votage lighting. Keeping it 12 volts dc make wiring simple and compatable with all portable radios or communication devices.
Power consumption example, 28' Travel Trailer with 2 marine trolling motor batteries wired in a parallel circuit. I could charge them in about 20 minutes with a 100 amp altenator powered by a 10 speed bicycle setup. That 20 minute charge would run the blower on my heater for 6-7 days in freezing temperatures with thermostat set at 60 degree's F. The 12 volt lights and waterpump was also used during this time for the toliet, shower use and to power the radios and a small black & white tv set. Weather radio was left in alert mode the entire time as was the bag phone. Tv was on approx 4 hours per day . Shower was used nightly by 2 people.
It does not take alot of battery storage to be comfortable as long as you do with out all the energy hogs like a hair dryer, clothes dryer, air conditioner,or the 72" plasma tv and entertainment center.
Just something to think about.
 

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I would think an extremely hidden structure in a very remote location would work if it was completely underground. Make sure to have at least two entrance/exits, nearby water, a good water pump, backup power, and good ventilation. Another option may be to be like a nomad.
 

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Watchin tha world go by
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biult cabin out of my own logs not large 10x20 but able to keep all i need. hard to see until your on top of it.also use cycle charger w 2-60A GM Alt (keep spare int volt regs,brushes,and diode trios),if you need 110 pwr try inverters.have a standard toilet (pump fill),and drain line.wood stove,pioneer livin
 

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Around here, the county flies over in a plane, and takes aerial photos, looking for any new structures to tax. Once they find it, they send you a bill, and add it to the public records. This applies to any structure existing on January 1, so I assume they fly around sometime in January. So, keep any construction hidden or start in the summer and be finished before January, and have everything covered up by then.
 

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The end is near.
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I saw a few posted that it needs to be near water. Wouldn't I be able to keep it cool in there by running a line of water in a coil in front of a small fan, blowing air over the cool pipes? So long as the water is cool it should serve as a low energy air conditioner, shouldn't it? And if the water is actually cold the line could be coiled on the inside of a cooler or top-opening freezer and serve as a refrigerator. Add hydro electric to the mix and it starts getting more comfortable.

Thanks for all the input. Still working it out but it seems possible, at least.
 

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In my HVAC days, I have installed water cooled a/c systems in houses before. All it used is well water that ran through a water coil for hot water heating and circulated the water back down the well. It was mounted on a standard home furnace and used the blower to move the air. The water was around 50 degrees and did a fair job cooling the home. The only problem with this system is hard water deposits forming in the coil and the well ran quite abit. They seem to last about 5 years then you will have to acid clean them or replace it. In Minnesota the ground temp stays at around 55 degrees at basment level so heating would be the only consideration.
 

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When we were kids (1984) we lived in a place that had an old clay quarry that was due to be decommissioned nearby. During the school holidays of the year it closed we "commandered" the excavator and built ourselves a bunker.

Over the course of five days we built a five feet deep hole with three rooms and tunnels.
As the area was going to be used for housing we "commandered" some trusses and busted them up and used them for supports for roofing and walls along with corrigated steel which was also procured from the various jobsites around the area.

By the time we had covered the steel roofing with some of the dirt from the dig we had ourselves a pretty nice cubby house. It was well hidden and we put trees in the dirt. The only giveaway was the excavator marks leading uphill behind some trees but by the end of the 6 week holiday period there was virtually no sign of our hideaway.

We grew up and moved on, my younger brother and his mates kept it maintained and it lasted about 2 years all up.
Finally the developers found it and called the media who immediatly tagged it a drug lab and that was the end of that.

But for a while it was awesome.
 

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I think it's already been mentioned, but if you build it under ground I think it might become extremly hot/cold, so some sort of heating/cooling system might have to be devised.

Things underground require much less cooling and heating, it depends on the area but the general temp underground is a constant 25 celcius which is quite nice
 

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born to hold out
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i wonder what one if those overseas shipping containers would be an option for an underground retreat.
they come in various sizes are just about indestructable can stand the load of being covered and can be modified easly they arent to expensive to buy a 20 footer is about 1400 dollars they are painted with a rust proof coating could be buried easly and even connected to make an underground complex.
hardest thing would be moving them to the location and actually burying them
 

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i wonder what one if those overseas shipping containers would be an option for an underground retreat.
they come in various sizes are just about indestructable can stand the load of being covered and can be modified easly they arent to expensive to buy a 20 footer is about 1400 dollars they are painted with a rust proof coating could be buried easly and even connected to make an underground complex.
hardest thing would be moving them to the location and actually burying them
Please never do this, the containers arent rated for the load and will collapse. they take the weight on the corners not the sides and roof. although in theory sounds like a good plan it will end very badly for anyone inside.

if your really wanting a cheap structure to drop in concrete pipeing in large sizes. here we get preformed pipes big enough to store a car, they can be networked and are rated to carry the loads when berried
 
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