Interests > Living Off of the Grid & Survivalism

My Survivalist Game Plan

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Woah, there's a board for this here?  :o Awesome.

This is putting out a bit of my personal brand of craziness, so feel free to critique or tell me I'm nutso for this kind of plot, but try not to critique too harshly.  :evillaugh:

I'm a poor college student but I'm growing increasingly skeptical about the value of the degree I'm pursuing, largely because I'm starting to think there might be more promise in just trying to make a go as an independent coder than of going off to get crammed in a cubicle somewhere. So this has led me to something of a desire to pursue a lifestyle a bit outside of the norm.

I work two jobs and I've spent a couple years saving up a fairly decent amount of money. This summer, I plan on buying a sizable piece of wooded land, clearing some of it out (or not, depends on the lay of the land itself), and building on it. I figure this is the ideal time, because property values in my area are at record lows.

I'm looking into building a 'cob' house. These have been touted by eco-crazies a lot, but they're actually pretty damned cool. They're sturdy, cheap (you still have to buy electrical and plumbing materials, but the walls themselves are practically free), and very economically friendly, which I actually do think is a good thing (I believe in keeping natural environments undisturbed where possible, not necessarily all the global warming stuff). Plus, it's basically a DIY house, as much as one ever can be.

I got the idea from watching an episode of 'Dirty Jobs'.  :lmao:

So, the game plan is: buy the property, sucker my more knowledgeable relatives (I have a lot who know how to build, wire, and plumb things better than I do) into helping, and start out building a couple storage sheds or the like that I can afford to screw up on. Later, probably next year or the year after when my experience with this stuff is a little more solid, I'll start on a house. There are more practical matters of building permits and junk to deal with, but I'm not too concerned about that stuff out here in the boonies.

Then, I wanna hook these things up to wind and solar power, heat them with wood... essentially, eliminate as many bills as possible and make them as 'survivalist-ready' as possible. I want to learn to farm, too - which I plan on starting ASAP, though this summer (or even next) might be too early to hope for between two jobs and the research and early building process.

Anyway, once I'm done, I want to give a big  :tongue: to the grid.

I also want to build one of these things for my parents if I ever get good at it, but I'll keep my ambitions low and focus on managing one of my own first. I'm already thinking this will be a half-decade to decade long process. But I don't trust the Fed to help my family in old age, and family looks out for its own, so it is an eventual goal. My mom is pretty liberal and she'd go crazy over this 'natural building' crap without realizing that's not my motive at all.  :evillaugh:

Heck, maybe I'll even make a few posts here about progress over the summer. I'm sure I'll be encountering lots of setbacks and getting myself neck-deep into this stuff, but it's a dream, and it's a productive thing to keep myself doing.

So, I'm curious... anyone else have any cuckoo plans like this they've done, are doing, or are thinking of doing?

I had never heard of a "cob" house.  Looks and sounds similar to some of the rammed earth houses we have in our area.  I've only been in one, but have met most of the other owners, too.  They really like them.  The oldest, that I know of, is only about 40+ years here. 

Sure sounds like a good way to go to me. 

Know one family that had a bunch of teen-aged sons.  Way too much energy one summer, so the parents put them to work building a single-story barn and shop out of straw bales, covered in a stucco type material.  They like the way it's performing and are thinking of building a house out of the same.  I guess someone else in the area has been living in one for years.

Good luck.  I'll be interested to hear how it goes.

Yeah, that sounds somewhat similar. This one would need to be covered in stucco or something like it, too, or Michigan weather will grind it down quick.

However, apparently this type of construction in England has lasted for 500 years in some cases (with people still living in structures that old), so I get the feeling that if it's done right, it will have the same virtue of longevity that many old styles of building did.

--- Quote ---Good luck.  I'll be interested to hear how it goes.
--- End quote ---


Several of my friends have gotten really curious about this from my blathering and have asked or joked around about helping out this summer (without my asking, no less). I'm inclined to let them, of course, and am also thinking of possibly letting them build something similar on the property if they put in the hard work and are willing to compensate for it and pitch in on the farming and whatnot. If I end up buying 40 or 50 acres, which is what I'm looking at, it's not like there wouldn't be room. :-) Naturally I'd expect a bit of compensation, but not that much for my friends. Basically just a share of property tax and any odd bills like 'net access. If 'TSHTF' as the other thread title puts it, my first choice would be to hunker down somewhere nice and defensible, and better to have more than just two or three people around in that case. And plus house-building from widely available materials would be one hell of a useful thing to know and teach others.

Well - I'm interested in doing something similar. Mostly because I really don't much care for living in surburbia and would prefer a place where I don't see or hear my neighbors at any time (AND where I can happily shoot at things from the comfort of the back deck or patio).

I'm chasing between 50 and 300 acres with the primary requirement being a creek or river that actually flows all year around.

That's plenty of land to establish a hobby-type farm on and grow some low impact meats and plenty of fruits and vegetables without having to turn the lot into a barren plain.

Plan is to construct a large industrial metal shed partitioned into a heavy workshop and a processing facility, then an open plan type living area and barracks (iron and steel for the most part with some concrete thrown in for good measure).

The part of the world I live in doesn't really do winter and I'm cool with a degree of (lack of) privacy that would shock most people so it's mostly dust and insects that I need to keep out of living and processing.

Sounds pretty sweet, LC - out of curiosity, how do you weatherproof that kind of structure when it comes to rainstorms and whatnot?


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