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We just bought 12+ acres in TexArKana area with not a rolling hill on the place. One of the first things I'm going to do is bury a 40' shipping container. I've researched it thoroughly and seen a few videos of people doing it. I know about pouring and shoring, and how to keep it drained w/a solar powered sump pump. I even know about how to brace the top before repouring the topsoil.

BUT - I don't want anyone to know it's there. We will be using it both as long term storage and as a tornado shelter so it has to be accessed quickly, but quietly.

How would you hide the access which has normal stairs going to the doors of the container. Whatever it is would have to be at least 10'x10'. I've thought about building a dummy shed with floor access and just hang stuff on the walls and in the rafters but keep the center floor free & clear.

Another thought was parking an old truck w/ no motor and just lifting the hood to get access to the stairs like in the movie Red.

What are your thoughts. Remember it has to be SECRET and it has to be EASY TO ACCESS.
 

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Those were the days....
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If the area is as flat as you say, I would just leave the entrance flush with the ground and camoflage it. Maybe plant some scrub or whatever is native around it. Something like a shed or an old truck will stick out like a sore thumb. At least if its flush, you`d have to be standing right on top of it.
 

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Survivalist Electrician
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I think the shed would be the easiest way. I once read an interesting article about a guy who buried a school bus in his garden and then built a wooden platform on top of the entrance. He made the platform into a raised garden bed and the only way you could even tell anything was there was by the chain handle sticking out on one side. It would be inconvenient to get in and out of though probably.
 

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First consideration - how wide to make opening for stairs? I made my door 24 1/2 inches wide and approx 78" long. There are some item that in the future you will not be able to take down a 24" door, such as a freezer, or refrigerator, or you will be limited to very small ones. Think about such items that you want to be down in your hole.

When you write about making a door flush with the ground, consider the need to keep water out. A reasonable lip around to doorway would be about 1" projection above flush, and a 1" wide lip around the perimeter of the door. In this way, you could use a rubber strip to seal water and pests from entering.

Depending on the surroundings, could you place a custom built old looking stock water tank on it that could be drained quickly? Place a wooden bench over the door? Buy an old farm implement that could easily be pulled off with a car/pickup? Buy some old hay bales and pile them over the door?
 

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Dunno man, how about you look around, figure out what you see, and put some of that on top of your container? Not too hard really.
I agree use what is common in your area. Around here I see a lot of farmer yard art like they make stuff with the hay bales. One guy made a bear, another guy made a man holding up a pitch fork another guy made a cow. I often think of this and wonder about using it for cover of something you are trying to hide.
 

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Pedophiles will die soon!
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If I was out exploring and saw a building I would have to take a look to see what was there. That may give away the location. If it was something natural I would not even think about looking in that area. Good topic because I was thinking about building myself some kind of underground bunker too. I have been thinking about how I would hide mine too.
 

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Make a pan about six inches deep, fill it with dirt and plant grass over it. Use hydraulic cylinders to lift it. Hydraulics are not as complex as you might think. They can be powered manually or electrically or both. Northern tool sells everything you would need. You could have a small PVC pipe lined hole in the ground that only you know about that you insert a square tube "key" to activate the valve or operate the manual pump, whichever you use. Want it undetectable by metal detector? assuming the container itself is too deep to be sensed, make the tray and it's outer liner out of fiberglass, then use 4x4 wood posts to connect the hydraulic cylinders to the fiberglass pan so that the cylinders are too far away from the surface to be detected. By the way, you can also very easily make it remote control, so there is no way to operate it without the remote. If you want to disable the door from inside , you can valve it so it can no longer be operated from outside. If you are interested in such a set up let me know and I can help you with the technicals.
 

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I think a shed would be the easiest. Even if you used it to keep lawn equipment in, just park the lawnmower on the trap door and roll it out of the way when you need to get in. That would probably look less suspicious than a shed with nothing on the floor.
 

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With 12+ acres to hide the entrance, I personally would prefer a more natural looking concealment consistent with your natural surroundings. Even though that would be my personal preference, the other ideas are pretty good as well. I tend to think that a shed cover might be more appropriate with less land depending on the layout. Good luck!
 

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Survivalist Electrician
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If I was out exploring and saw a building I would have to take a look to see what was there. That may give away the location. If it was something natural I would not even think about looking in that area. Good topic because I was thinking about building myself some kind of underground bunker too. I have been thinking about how I would hide mine too.
That's why you make the door inside hidden. I'm thinking something along the lines of a floor cabinet or large locker with a false bottom/wall. It doesn't even have to be super hidden. Think about it, picture this: you're a gearless sheeple on the prowl for food, water, or equipment and you stumble upon a shed or small barn in a field, nothing way out of the ordinary. You open it up and find a couple shovels, a few rakes, some fencing supplies, maybe some loppers and pruning shears, nothing worth taking. You open a cabinet or locker and inside there's just a small pump pesticide sprayer and a couple boxes of miracle grow. You're gonna move on, not look for hidden doors and passages.
 

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what about just building a underground wooden structure? Will it last forever no. but a good deal of time. I do not have time to research dead load of soil figuring a foot of covering but im guessing somewhere between 50-100lbs per square foot. so then you would just need to design a floorboard type system that could hold the weight of the soil above. this would require all foundation grade wood though. It would also require you to cover the walls in plastic sheeting or if you want it to last longer a better vapor barrier. basically it would be a permanent wood foundation basement with sub-floor that is covered in earth. some people use a concrete footer some people just use a compacted stone footer. getting late so sorry about the poor sentence structure and rambling. I could probably draw up what I am talking and look into what it would take to build a roof and sidewalls to handle the load if anyone's interested.
 

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Chains keep us together.
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I'm picturing a shed. and in one corner is a piece of plywood with a pallet on top and a 55 gal drum. Their all bolted to the door in the floor, as at first glance the barrel is full. The barrel is labled tri sodium sufate, a harmless boaring chemical nobody would care about.

You might snoop around a while but if you kept at it, I guess id have to pop up and stop you. I might want a security camera on the shed too.Yeah, that would be sweet...
 

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Tested in the Wilderness
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what about just building a underground wooden structure? Will it last forever no. but a good deal of time. I do not have time to research dead load of soil figuring a foot of covering but im guessing somewhere between 50-100lbs per square foot. It would also require you to cover the walls in plastic sheeting or if you want it to last longer a better vapor barrier. basically it would be a permanent wood foundation basement with sub-floor that is covered in earth. some people use a concrete footer some people just use a compacted stone footer. I could probably draw up what I am talking and look into what it would take to build a roof and sidewalls to handle the load if anyone's interested.
Please post for there are a few interested.
Just make your own thread or add a post with info to this thread which quite a few have added their ideas etc. >>> The Everything about Bunkers thread and where I tell exactly how I built my bunker is here with many pics. Later in the thread others also tell about their bunkers etc. > http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=107463

I might have used a shipping container If I could have gotten one up on my 9,500 foot high mountain place.
I just used what I had available, mainly logs, rocks etc. but I show and tell all about it in several threads, especially this one > http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=107463

I also don't have to camoflage it too much since it is in a very remote and private area but I did camo it quite a bit as some of my pic threads show.

I also show how it is possible to not spend much money and still build a good survival retreat and bunker / storm shelter which I mainly use as a storage area.
 

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Pedophiles will die soon!
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That's why you make the door inside hidden. I'm thinking something along the lines of a floor cabinet or large locker with a false bottom/wall. It doesn't even have to be super hidden. Think about it, picture this: you're a gearless sheeple on the prowl for food, water, or equipment and you stumble upon a shed or small barn in a field, nothing way out of the ordinary. You open it up and find a couple shovels, a few rakes, some fencing supplies, maybe some loppers and pruning shears, nothing worth taking. You open a cabinet or locker and inside there's just a small pump pesticide sprayer and a couple boxes of miracle grow. You're gonna move on, not look for hidden doors and passages.
The ordinary sheeple would not know but what about a hardened survivalist? The survivalist are the ones I would want to hid from. The sheeple will die off soon enough. If it turns out we get into a long term survival situation then there are going to be a lot of “survivalist” that will not have enough for survival and will be searching for additional supplies.
 

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Dont plant scrub, dont build a shed, both are natural places to search.

Just build your entrance in the middle of a paddock, and cover it with natural vegetation.

You'll still be screwed if the dogs come, but if you keep your movements to a minimum, preferably nocturnal, you'll do ok.
 

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Head for the Hills!
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... Another thought was parking an old truck w/ no motor and just lifting the hood to get access to the stairs like in the movie Red.
Man, that was slick.

As the group is walking toward a derelict car in the field, the girl points back at the house on stilts and asks, "What's that?" and Malkovich replies, "It's a decoy!".

Loved it!

We are in the process of buying a small plot (an acre) and are planning to build an underground shelter / storage solution.
 
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