Author Topic: My Survivalist Game Plan  (Read 8880 times)

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Offline Doppelganger

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My Survivalist Game Plan
« on: January 28, 2010, 11:22:12 PM »
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.

http://www.daycreek.com/DC/html/DC_cob.htm
http://planetsave.com/files/2008/09/hildecobinsnow.jpg

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?
« Last Edit: January 29, 2010, 12:20:15 AM by Doppelganger »

Offline longview

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Re: My Survivalist Game Plan
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2010, 12:37:44 AM »
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.

Offline Doppelganger

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Re: My Survivalist Game Plan
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2010, 12:41:59 AM »
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.

Thanks!

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.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2010, 01:09:11 AM by Doppelganger »

Offline LC EFA

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Re: My Survivalist Game Plan
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2010, 01:25:15 AM »
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.

Offline Doppelganger

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Re: My Survivalist Game Plan
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2010, 02:11:12 AM »
Sounds pretty sweet, LC - out of curiosity, how do you weatherproof that kind of structure when it comes to rainstorms and whatnot?

Offline LC EFA

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Re: My Survivalist Game Plan
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2010, 02:37:54 AM »
Corrugated Iron is a very common building material here - joins in sheets of iron are friction sealed , because the iron lays very flat into the corrugations of the next sheet , and the screws that hold the iron to the frame draw it on very tightly.

Corners where sheets join along a vertical edge are sealed with flashing's (the iron supplier bends them to spec).

ColorBondâ„¢ is what I've used on my existing house - never has to be painted, is strong and easy to work with. 

Open plan living areas are sealed with tracked louver doors - Essentially a track with several louver panels that can be joined togther and closed in the case of of a big storm, or stacked and rolled out of the way to allow cross ventilation.

Other than that regular doors and windows.
 

Offline Mushroom

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Re: My Survivalist Game Plan
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2010, 05:55:11 PM »
For power I would suggest solar shingles.  They are a bit expensive, but depending on your power needs they can repay themselves within a few years.  And if you are in an area with wind or running water, small-scale wind and water turbines are readily available.  I have seen them done with little more then truck alternators.

And also look into back-ups, like a generator and battery system to store the charge.  And consider leaving it on the electrical grid if you can.  There are actually requirements that the local power company has to buy your unused electricity.  A lot of people actually get paychecks from their local utility, which can be really nice revenge.  :)

And if you want to be totally self-sufficient, make sure that you can install a well for water.  Otherwise you will only last as long as your water supply does.

Offline The Village Idiot

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Re: My Survivalist Game Plan
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2010, 06:33:09 PM »
Dopp-

I wish I could move out to the country. I'm stuck.

I don't know if we have even 5 years before TSHTF. It could happen next year.

There are 5 acre tracts in south Texas going for $3000 or so. Of course you might as well live in Mexico and its basically desert. heh

Offline JLO

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Re: My Survivalist Game Plan
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2010, 10:52:36 PM »
Dopp-

I wish I could move out to the country. I'm stuck.

I don't know if we have even 5 years before TSHTF. It could happen next year.

There are 5 acre tracts in south Texas going for $3000 or so. Of course you might as well live in Mexico and its basically desert. heh

Yikes, is that a typo?  "There are 5 acre tracts in south Texas going for $3000 or so."

Unreal.   :thatsright:
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Offline The Village Idiot

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Re: My Survivalist Game Plan
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2010, 07:26:27 AM »
Yikes, is that a typo?  "There are 5 acre tracts in south Texas going for $3000 or so."

Unreal.   :thatsright:

In the desert.

I was off a little bit. Its 10 acres for $12,500 apparently. Like I said, desert.

http://www.land-for-sale-texas.com/

That $3,000 figure must have gotten stuck in my head, it was a lot on the lake, probably floods very often.

Offline JLO

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Re: My Survivalist Game Plan
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2010, 08:26:48 PM »
In the desert.

I was off a little bit. Its 10 acres for $12,500 apparently. Like I said, desert.

http://www.land-for-sale-texas.com/

That $3,000 figure must have gotten stuck in my head, it was a lot on the lake, probably floods very often.

Well that Antelope place w/10 acres for $12,500 is cheap!  Like you said, it's desert, but I saw some hills in the background.  If someone likes to live in TX, seems like a good deal.

Forested land in northern MN (not lake shore) runs about $10-12K an acre.  Lake shore property is out of this world pricey, imo.

 :cheersmate:
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Offline The Village Idiot

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Re: My Survivalist Game Plan
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2010, 08:38:03 PM »
It says you can dig a well, but I wonder how deep that would have to be.

Offline JLO

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Re: My Survivalist Game Plan
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2010, 09:37:05 PM »
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.

I never heard of cob either, but it might work.  I think it would break down.

I have seen some hay homes that work.

http://www.ahouseofstraw.com

Mother Earth News magazine is on-line these days and always has good stuff...that's where I first saw bales of hay made into a house. 

www.motherearthnews.com

 :beer:

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Offline Alpha Mare

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Re: My Survivalist Game Plan
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2010, 10:16:51 PM »
I never heard of cob either, but it might work.  I think it would break down.

I have seen some hay homes that work.

http://www.ahouseofstraw.com

Mother Earth News magazine is on-line these days and always has good stuff...that's where I first saw bales of hay made into a house. 

www.motherearthnews.com

 :beer:



I'm building a straw bale house. In South Texas. In the Desierto de Los Muertos, as it so fondly was once known.  :-)
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Offline DumbAss Tanker

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Re: My Survivalist Game Plan
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2010, 04:15:27 PM »
I'm building a straw bale house. In South Texas. In the Desierto de Los Muertos, as it so fondly was once known.  :-)

 :rotf:

Sounds delightful!
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Offline Thor

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Re: My Survivalist Game Plan
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2010, 04:34:40 PM »
Desert of the Dead........... hmmmm........ I want to be away from civilization, but not with the "dead".... :o

JLO, no way would I want to live in Northern MN. Some place perhaps around Granite Falls would be OK. Probably North on 23 from there, though or out by where I used to hunt.
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Offline Rick

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Re: My Survivalist Game Plan
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2010, 09:50:22 PM »
You might try the "land/Leases" on Gunbroker

Land & Leases

or

Bid for assets

Bid4assets

There are some 40 to 80 acre lots in northern Nevada and I thought I saw some large lots in west Texas that were cheap.



Offline vesta111

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Re: My Survivalist Game Plan
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2010, 09:24:47 AM »
You might try the "land/Leases" on Gunbroker

Land & Leases

or

Bid for assets

Bid4assets

There are some 40 to 80 acre lots in northern Nevada and I thought I saw some large lots in west Texas that were cheap.


Lately the web sites have been posting a survival guide for those caught in floods, tornado, blizzard etc.



Offline The Village Idiot

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Re: My Survivalist Game Plan
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2010, 09:36:44 AM »
If anyone happens to win the big lotto, I saw a southern Wyoming tract of 77,600+ acres for $32.5 million. Its beautiful with a winding river going through it and herds of deer and elk and stuff.

Offline delilahmused

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Re: My Survivalist Game Plan
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2010, 06:37:11 PM »
Another great resource is Backwoods Home. Sort of like a more conservative Mother Earth News.

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Offline JohnnyReb

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Re: My Survivalist Game Plan
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2010, 07:20:18 AM »
My Survivalist Game Plan ....I'm getting to old for all this building, farming, hunter/gather stuff. I'm gonna find a rich unarmed DUmmie and just move in and take over....he can stay in the basement or the tool shed out back. :-)

Seriously, and I do mean seriously....I wonder how Styrofoam peanuts, cement and chicken wire would do as a building medium. Just form up the walls (inside and out, maybe 12" to 18" thick) and top, then pour with tied chicken wire coils for strength. Coat the top with fibreglass or some other long lasting water proof er.....OR...add siding and shingles for a more conventional look.
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Offline LC EFA

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Re: My Survivalist Game Plan
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2010, 08:19:57 AM »
My Survivalist Game Plan ....I'm getting to old for all this building, farming, hunter/gather stuff. I'm gonna find a rich unarmed DUmmie and just move in and take over....he can stay in the basement or the tool shed out back. :-)

Seriously, and I do mean seriously....I wonder how Styrofoam peanuts, cement and chicken wire would do as a building medium. Just form up the walls (inside and out, maybe 12" to 18" thick) and top, then pour with tied chicken wire coils for strength. Coat the top with fibreglass or some other long lasting water proof er.....OR...add siding and shingles for a more conventional look.

I don't know about the Styrofoam peanuts , but cement , sand , aggregate and chicken wire work just fine. You want to add some more steel if it's a load bearing member though.

Offline JohnnyReb

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Re: My Survivalist Game Plan
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2010, 08:39:14 AM »
I don't know about the Styrofoam peanuts , but cement , sand , aggregate and chicken wire work just fine. You want to add some more steel if it's a load bearing member though.

I was thinking cement, sand and granite fines with the peanuts as filler/insulation. It would be light weight and easy to work with. Even if the peanuts eventually rotted away the air pockets would still act as insulation.

Just another one of my early morning daydreaming things.
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Offline ConservativeJoeG

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Re: My Survivalist Game Plan
« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2010, 03:57:21 PM »
I think that you can get far with a sniper rifle and camo.

Offline DumbAss Tanker

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Re: My Survivalist Game Plan
« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2010, 09:23:22 AM »
I think that you can get far with a sniper rifle and camo.

If your plan is to kill other people and take their shit, yeah, otherwise there are some serious shortcomings to it.
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