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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So there is some crown land nearby where I do a lot of day hiking in the winter, the area has lots of quad trails from back in the day, and a few bow hunting locations setup.

This spring I want to build yet another shelter area for up to four adults. The shelter should be capable of being used as a spot to warm up even though it could be as cold as -40. Ideally it is constructed of natural materials and suitably camoflaged from intruders. ( I just like my privacy, and don't want others to use "my spot" ) I could maybe spend about $100 on materials such as tarps, bricks or camo netting if I have to.

How would you design the shelter? Dig into the ground? Go up in trees? Pile up snow? Build a mud hut? The area is about 50 square kms of boreal forest, with lots of deadfall, sands, swamps, moss, pine trees, some popular and fewer birch trees.

Use your imagination and let me know.
 

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For $100 it's about as minimial as you can get. I would probably do a pop up huntin blind or an older ice fishing shanty. Figuring out a way that the forest doesn't destroy them, even when down and stored would be a difficult part. Animals and mold are tough on stuff. Also finding them in the winter when taken down would be hard too.

Other than that I would do a debris hut.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Haha..yeah. The last shelter we splurged and bought two blue tarps to use as walls..added some rope to lash a few things, total cost about 15$. But it does the job when its -40. :)

Just looking for different design ideas...I'm bored with a lean-to style, and this last one had a roof which is nice.....yeah just looking to do something "different".
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
hand build =
http://tinyurl.com/guxxnks


/QUOTE]

The debris hut using natural features...is something I'm leaning towards. That particular one blended in very nicely.

The trailer is a great deal, and if I lived in the US I would buy it but gas would cost a fortune to go pick it up, never mind the legal hassle to bring one into Canada.
 

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Well I have considered building three foot high walls with log exteriors and sand in the middle. Maybe some small logs for a roof and then using moss for "waterproofing" but not sure how well or if that would work.
Use branches for the trusses and a tarp to cover it. Then put the moss on top of that to keep it from blowing away and for insulation.
 

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I would do a teepee with a liner. Leave the main tripod up. Have one pole for lifting the liner, one for lifting the outside cover.

You could cut up a big cammo tarp, or spray paint a blue, brown, or silver one. Second hand stores for bed sheets to sew together to make the liner. Grommets or Velcro for the seam.
 

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Getting There!
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I'd have to hit the mega lotto.

I'd buy the largest tract of forested land with the least chance of having a pipeline or roadway coming through in the future. One tiny road in. Fenced all the way around and gated = posted in Texas.

I'd build a highly insulated structure with wood burners for cold weather and get the best designs for breeze cooled that I could find... not that there's much of a breeze in summer heat here.

As remote and self sustaining as I could get it.

Stocked ponds.

Deep wells with backup generators, creeks and as much natural water as possible on the place.

Wildlife plots planted and stocked with game birds. Long term wild life management plans.
 

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lean to shelters are fairly easy to build in the boreal forest,,,a spruce shelter with a tarp is pretty good shelter ,,,the problem is in the cold the amount of wood needed longer term to stay warm is huge
these make a good temp shelter

if I was looking to build something for long term it would be more like a log cabin buried in the ground ,,,with a axe ,,,shovel and roll of 6 mil plastic you could build a root cellar kind of shelter ,,,will require lots of work ,,,but the cost is low ,,and in time they blend in as growth covers the evidence of the construction,,the advantages are they stay around 45 degrees all the time and with a small stove /fireplace it would be warm and not require huge amounts of wood for heat
 

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High Concept
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Salvage bricks ( free ), salvage insulation / styrofoam for under floor ( free ), drum brake pot belly stove with flue (free if you weld up yourself and find old truck parts). Old timber freight pallets for flooring and roof battens( free )

Mortar you will need lime, long grain rice and sand, may cost you unless you can source it from somewhere free. This mortar is waterproof, flexible and self healing. It will last about 1200 years

Cut your own roof shingles on site if you have the timber.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
lean to shelters are fairly easy to build in the boreal forest,,,a spruce shelter with a tarp is pretty good shelter ,,,the problem is in the cold the amount of wood needed longer term to stay warm is huge
these make a good temp shelter

if I was looking to build something for long term it would be more like a log cabin buried in the ground ,,,with a axe ,,,shovel and roll of 6 mil plastic you could build a root cellar kind of shelter ,,,will require lots of work ,,,but the cost is low ,,and in time they blend in as growth covers the evidence of the construction,,the advantages are they stay around 45 degrees all the time and with a small stove /fireplace it would be warm and not require huge amounts of wood for heat
What you are saying intrigues me, and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

This idea has been kicking around in my head for a while. I think if it was built on a hill to reduce the amount of digging, placing plastic over the roof, and then dirt and moss on top. Perhaps a small chimney out the roof and use the dug up dirt to help construct walls on the lower side of the hill.

Very interesting.
 

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Check the primitive shelters in Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/28255?msg=welcome_stranger

If none are suitable I would dig down as far as possible, drive sets of poles into the ground and drop logs made from the deadfall and standing deadwood in the area to make walls. Put in a sheet plastic liner. Using close spaced smaller diameter poles, make a slanted, slightly peaked, or slightly rounded roof, cover with more sheet plastic. Use the earth dug out to cover the thing over and plant it with local plants, using leaves and moss to cover it until the plants grow. To be big enough for four people you might need to use a few columns to support the roof.

Just my opinion.
 

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I built a root cellar years ago in northern Ontario like I described ,,,it didnt have a heater in it but that wouldn't be a big adjustment,, and would keep it warm ,,,

I started by digging a hole about 13 feet in each direction ,,,on the side of a hill for better drainage ,,, after it was deep enough I dug down around the outside edges a bit more but left the center part intact ,,,built a log cabin inside the hole,,, after the walls were up to height,,,they were notched together but not scribed to fit tight ,,,I wrapped the outside in plastic and brung it over the tops of the walls,,,then I dug out the center of the cabin and used that as fill along the outside of wall ,,, that's why the logs didn't need to be scribed to fit tight ,,,they are just there to stop the hole from sliding back in if it gets wet
to roof it I put a log in the center and a solid row of logs across the top at a slight angle,,,then covered with plastic[that overlapped the plastic from the walls] and used the dirt from the hole to cover it ,,,at least a foot deep over all of it,,,the dirt was sloped away to help it drain water away

I ended up with a cabin underground that inside was about 11x11,,,and I could walk in it all without banging my head on any part,,it might of been cramped for four people ,,but they could of made do and it would be easy to heat
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I built a root cellar years ago in northern Ontario like I described ,,,it didnt have a heater in it but that wouldn't be a big adjustment,, and would keep it warm ,,,

I started by digging a hole about 13 feet in each direction ,,,on the side of a hill for better drainage ,,, after it was deep enough I dug down around the outside edges a bit more but left the center part intact ,,,built a log cabin inside the hole,,, after the walls were up to height,,,they were notched together but not scribed to fit tight ,,,I wrapped the outside in plastic and brung it over the tops of the walls,,,then I dug out the center of the cabin and used that as fill along the outside of wall ,,, that's why the logs didn't need to be scribed to fit tight ,,,they are just there to stop the hole from sliding back in if it gets wet
to roof it I put a log in the center and a solid row of logs across the top at a slight angle,,,then covered with plastic[that overlapped the plastic from the walls] and used the dirt from the hole to cover it ,,,at least a foot deep over all of it,,,the dirt was sloped away to help it drain water away

I ended up with a cabin underground that inside was about 11x11,,,and I could walk in it all without banging my head on any part,,it might of been cramped for four people ,,but they could of made do and it would be easy to heat
Dang, that sounds like a pretty sweet setup. 11x11 would be huge for my needs, but a smaller design seems likely.
 

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well I didn't build it as a shelter ,,,it is a root cellar first ,,lol and wanted plenty of room for storage ,,,and I almost built smaller to start ,,,but didn't want to rebuild after a few years so it was easier to go a bit bigger at the start,,,so I knew it would be plenty for the long term ,,,ended up selling the place several years later as I needed to move to find work ,,now I am in northern minnasota building a homestead again ,,,lol,,,and plan to build another root cellar like that in the next few years,,,,am about 150 miles from the first one ,,,its kind of my bug out location if I ever have to leave my homestead
 
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