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See you in my Scope
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OK, the SHTF and you are now at your BOL. The Cabin you had planned on using has been completely comprimised and you have to go the your secondary BOL. Luckily you have you BOV and all the stuff you hoped you would never need to use but are very thankful for bringing.

Your natural resourses are a pine forest. There is a stream nearby with river rock. Lots of mud.

You of course break out the tent and set up a temporary shelter but you know that the tent will only last for so long.

You decide it is time for a long term shelter.

What is it going to be? What are you going build to put in it?
 

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Preparing since 1972
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Whatever a person decides to build remember to read the terrain well...Be observant enough to camp on higher ground to avoid flash floods and melting snow...
 

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Get Lost! May I?
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If there is a stream and it's a pine forest, I might assume that there are a few hills around?

If there were, I might look at building into one. I grew up with some Vietnam vets (Marines) always telling me stories. The Ho Chi Minh Trail was very successful in helping the NVA move goods and people, as well as provide the troops with shelter.

Also, I've always thought about how fun it would be to live like the Ewoks up in the trees.
 

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Preparing since 1972
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If there is a stream and it's a pine forest, I might assume that there are a few hills around?

If there were, I might look at building into one. I grew up with some Vietnam vets (Marines) always telling me stories. The Ho Chi Minh Trail was very successful in helping the NVA move goods and people, as well as provide the troops with shelter.

Also, I've always thought about how fun it would be to live like the Ewoks up in the trees.
The Ewoks must not have had much lightning in their area !!!
 

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Building into the ground gives insulation against some of the weather....
But in this scenario, is this a lone build or do we have someone to help us?

Mud, straw/grass and stone (if big enough) are materials one can use to make a house with. The trees could make a log cabin if the mud hut is not feasible in the area but the number of people building plays a role. If you don't have to worry about mudslides and flooding, perhaps building right up against a hill and burying it afterwards to avoid having build in a hole. It depends on the problems the land in the area tends to have and what is uphill from the location. In western Washington, there is a lot of rain and, because of logging, mudslides could happen. Checking how much vegetation is holding the ground together above would be essential. In a desert, would need to capture any rain water that can possibly be captured. It depends on how big that stream is and if it has a history of drying up. Rocky land like up high in Colorado would be time consuming and tedious to dig into, spending a lot of energy that would require calories to replace. Near the water but not too close. Fish and water would attract animals and predators. It'd be better to transport water to the shelter than wake up with a curious bear.

Of course, I could also sleep in my BOV and not a tent. I'm small. It locks. With a bit of camouflage, less visible than it is now. And, if needed, I can start it up and leave to yet another location.

There are a lot of variables. Were you wanting a short answer? I'm no expert.
with a lot of time and maybe some help, hobbit hole and a tree house would be nice. :D: one for winter and one for summer? a panic room against raiders?
 

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Time to hit reset
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I agree, lots of other factors to consider as well, such as the time of year, how long til first snow fall, how much food, how many in your party, etc.. Not knowing all of these factors, right off hand I would build a 'hobbit-type' shelter into a hill.

As time goes by, you could use the resources and build a more permanent structure (cabin) and turn your old shelter into a root cellar/storm shelter.

Thats my quick brain-storming:)
 

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I grew up in a basement house in ND. It was cool in the summer and warm in the winter. We heated it with a small Siegler oil heater. It was 32'x40'. If I ever build my own house its going in the ground.
 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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I think I'd be tempted to build as some of the settlers did and make the shelter partway underground if the soil allowed for it. No buried boulders, etc. That would allow for less effort building walls, and a 3-4 foot high building would be far easier to conceal. It also allows for firing ports and a lot more cover.

Since I'm a firm believer in caches at possible bug out locations, I'd have the tools needed cached ahead of time. If the house would be made mostly of wood, that would mean logging tools and adzes for splitting shingles. If the soil has enough clay, you could use the soil you excavated to make mud bricks for the walls. So shovels and forms would be cached.

The big downside here is lack of sustainability. Unless there is a lot of good quality, flat land, you're not going to be able to grow much. Unless you brought animals and have planned some way to feed them, you won't be raising them either. That means depending exclusively on nature to feed you and that's very iffy. Especially considering there till be a LOT of other people hunting and fishing out in the boonies.
 

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Anti-Raider Patrol
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In the mean time I would build a shelter over the tent to protect it and make it last as long as possible. Sun is the number 1 tent killer. I think a cheap blue tarp or space blanket could stretch the lift of the tent out quite a bit.

I have also even thought about building a structure out of branches/leaves over the tent. It would have to not touch the tent or put any weight on it. It would be self supporting but pretty simple. A cheap space blanket could be used with this. With a quality tent and care with the zippers (not going in and out 10 times a day) this should help.

These are definately not long term solutions but would give you more time to construct your long term shelter. It would suck to get you shelter built just as your tent was falling apart. What if you needed to bug out again?
 

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First you need to look at if your location is viable and makes sense. When you planned ahead you didn't know all the details, does this location make sense still? If it doesn't you must decided where else to go.

If you stay, I would focus on a few attributes of your shelter
  • Concealment
  • insulation
  • protective
  • large enough
  • water source
  • food source
  • heat source
  • external threats

obviously the best plan is not to ever be found, except by who you choose. So a building has to blend in and not stick out. It should be well insulated, this will cut down on the need to burn wood, which means you save energy by chopping less. In the event of an EMP, biological, natural disaster or radiological it must be able to address these.

The space should be large enough to comfortably suit your group +20% for up to 2 months.

A location should be selected so that it is close to water, food and wood.

Finally you need to look at what external threats can come to you and how you deal with them.

I would think that digging in would be the best option, it meets all of these as long as you can have a good seal on the front door and good filtered ventilation.
 

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I would build into the hillside - - quick and easy and easier to heat - - plus easy to camouflage
We live in glacial till and the hills move all the time. People who build on natural hillsides have lots of water and foundation problems. In the ground or on the surface with berm built up around them seems to work better.
 

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Get Lost! May I?
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I think I'd be tempted to build as some of the settlers did and make the shelter partway underground if the soil allowed for it. No buried boulders, etc. That would allow for less effort building walls, and a 3-4 foot high building would be far easier to conceal. It also allows for firing ports and a lot more cover.

Since I'm a firm believer in caches at possible bug out locations, I'd have the tools needed cached ahead of time. If the house would be made mostly of wood, that would mean logging tools and adzes for splitting shingles. If the soil has enough clay, you could use the soil you excavated to make mud bricks for the walls. So shovels and forms would be cached.

The big downside here is lack of sustainability. Unless there is a lot of good quality, flat land, you're not going to be able to grow much. Unless you brought animals and have planned some way to feed them, you won't be raising them either. That means depending exclusively on nature to feed you and that's very iffy. Especially considering there till be a LOT of other people hunting and fishing out in the boonies.

If you want to worrying about hiding/losing less of you cache, you could also cut down/scrounge up a tree (since it seems there are plenty at this hypothetical locale) and use that to make forms. What you get left over after making your forms would be quite useful in producing heat or making primitive weapons.

A cache is great, but one of the best things I hear is that it's best to have multi-purpose items whenever you can.

Not saying having form in a cache wouldn't be useful, rather that if you don't want the burden of the expense, location or protection of those items.
 

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Shuriken snowflake
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OK, say I don't even have a tent. Pine forests can be very forgiving. Find 3 or 4 small trees (depending on construction) that are perfectly spaced out in a triangle or square of the size you want your temporary hut. tie them together at the top, shave off branches that go into the hut. Tie brances horizontally to the trees to make a wall structure. Use pine brances as walls, you weave them into the wall structure. Leave the top uncovered so you can have a small fireplace inside. Simple and straightforward. What is needed is a good knife and some string.

About the permanent structure, say I actually had a saw, some junk to make a chimney and another person to help me, I want to build something like this.





If you are interested in the history behind this kind of hut:

http://www.lizlyle.lofgrens.org/LofgrenFam/FamHist6.html

and skip down to the image "KOLMILA RECONSTRUCTION" and start there. :)
 
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