Friday, June 22, 2012

Second Half - Shelter

This is the second half of the post about shelter. You will find videos/podcasts, instructions, and other information about the subject for this week.


Rigging a Tarp: Bushcraft

Debris Shelter:

BBC - Ray Mears World of Survival: Mongolian shelter


Other Information:

Travel Trailers
There are a group of people that suggest buying a small pop-up travel trailer as an alternative shelter. If disaster strikes, you and the family temporarily move out to the trailer. Supplies are pre-positioned in the trailer, so all you have to do is evacuate the house.

The pop-up trailer group mentions that the trailer can be parked by the house for storage, if the subdivision rules allow it. During an emergency, the family can stay in the trailer and discourage looters.

This might not work during the aftermath of a tornado, hurricane, or windstorm. The house and the trailer could both be wiped out, at the same time. Some people respond to this problem by renting a spot in a secure storage facility, but this adds additional costs to the solution.

These travel trailers can be simple or elaborate. The simple trailers have a pop-up roof, a small toilet, sink, stove and built in beds. The more elaborate travel trailers, some people call them 5th wheels, have showers, refrigerators, air conditioners, and other amenities not found in a smaller model.

Now notice, I did not call one cheaper then the other. There is a possibility to get one of these trailers for free. Check Craig's List and ask friends and relatives for contacts that might have one.

We had a family member buy an older Airstream travel trailer on E-bay and complete a total-gut and rehab. It was a project for people handy with tools.

There is another group of people that have converted school buses to travel homes. There are many sources/references on the internet, some free, some not. Once again another project for handy people or people who know handy people.

Having a travel home is more convenient then a trailer. No hooking up the trailer to the truck; everything is already in the bus, ready to go.

Junk Land
There is another group of survivalist that advocate buying a small piece of rural property, junk land they call it. The property is cheap enough and small enough to own with only one or two years of payments.

The idea it to put a travel trailer on the property, so you have a place to stay. Even in a severe economic crisis, you have a roof over your head. The best advocate for this method of dealing with the shelter issue is James Dakin at "Bison Survival Blog".

There are two blogger, that I know about, that are also living the travel trailer/low cost shelter life. They are Big Bear at "Bear Ridge Project" and M.D. Creekmore at "The Survivalist Blog."

Nuclear War Shelters
Be careful using the US government nuclear war shelter plans that you find on the internet. The designers under planned/engineered the ventilation systems.

Nuclear War Survival Skills and the steel tank shelter plans from Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine are the best, in my opinion, for the do-it-yourselfer.

Ki For You has a page showing all of the nuclear targets and a possible fallout pattern/concentration map for a large scale attack.

OK, enough nuclear war "WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!" stuff. Let me talk about tents.

There are many types of tents. The US military's 1940s era canvas pup tent is good if you have a nylon tarp to put over it to protect the tent during the rain. Remember, The US solider still uses it for a reason. It is inexpensive and lasts for decades in storage.

But wait until mosquito season. You will need a mosquito net to keep the bugs away.

You can also tie a poncho liner/blanket to the inside of the tent to create a tent liner. The middle of the poncho liner is tied to the tent poles (the six green wooden poles that get put together to make two longer poles) and the four corners are tied to the tent pegs (the nine orange or green metal stakes). Basically, you make a tent inside the canvas pup tent. This is a good idea in cold weather. You don't bump up against the cold canvas.

Another is to make four long poles, out of branches, to replace the two center poles. Two of the four poles are tied together creating an "A" frame. The top of the "A" is placed in the hole normally used of the tent poles. The other set of two long poles are centered in the other hole used for the tent poles. This opens up the inside of the pup tent for easier movement in the tent.

If you are going to stay in one place for a long time, you will need to put a can, rock, or other similar object under the bottom of the poles. This keeps the poles from sinking/digging into the ground and keeps the tent from sagging, too.

Remember, the canvas pup tent is a two man tent; only you, your spouse, and a small amount of gear will be able fit inside the tent. The majority of your gear will have to stay outside, so you will need another nylon tarp.

You hear them called Hex Tents, GP Mediums, GP Larges, or Command Posts, these are the large military canvas tents. They are big, some running close to a $1000, shipping not included. Army has pictures of some of the military tents available. Always check around for the cheapest price.

Cabela's, Gander Mountain, Bass Pro are a few places to find more modern tents. If you get a big tent, you will want cots.

Cots keep you off the ground. The most durable cot around is the US military nylon cot. If you are going to use it for any length of time in the winter, you will need a foam insulated sleeping pad.

Therm-a-rest, Cabela's store brand, a US military sleeping pad, a few sheets of cardboard/newspaper, or even some salvaged foam padding will provide insulation when the sleeping bags insulation becomes compressed giving you a cold back.

The cot trees are pretty cool. You can make your own out of tree branches or dole rods and 2X4s. The cot pockets work well, too.

Get your husband to sew up a few using some type of heavy cloth like denim. If you make them, you can customize to your likes. I use zip ties and double-sided velcro to hold them to the cot.

Native Shelters
Tipis, yurts, goahti, and kohte are a few of the names for these native shelters. These shelters are/were used by native people from many parts of the world. I have included some links for you to start your research.

Alternative Shelter
Straw bale homes and earthships are two of the alternative shelters I know about. You are going to have to do an internet search on straw bale houses. Go ahead and include earthships in you search, too.

Underground Homes
If you are planning to build an underground home, Davis Caves is the place to start. Don't forget to watch the You Tube on Ben and Toni's Earth Sheltered Home.


Bison Survival Blog

Bear Ridge Project

The Survivalist Blog


Ki for You - Yurt FAQ

Wikipedia - Tipi

Davis Caves

Ben and Toni's Earth Sheltered Home