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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:29 am 
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If you had an acre of remote land in your area and a budget of $2500, how would you construct a primitive BOL? (Stipulations are: you alone are building it, and with nothing bigger than hand tools.)

How would you address necessities like: shelter, water, food, fire?

I'm interested to see what people would buy, how things would be setup around your "camp", any sort of creative solutions to problems. Please feel free to describe in detail how you might construct anything by hand. Make sure to include prices and links to any products you'd purchase.

EDIT: This is a remote location in YOUR region... So if you live in the desert, you have to work with what you have there. You're designing the Primitive BOL in your area (not one for me.) Far enough from any road that you can't simply drive up and drop things off.

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Last edited by Murph on Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:50 am 
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I like minimalist exercises, as they force you to think about what's important, and replace "stuff" with "skill" to get the jobs done.

I will give this some thought and post back later.

Note that an acre is very small. My home lot is 1 1/2 acre. An acre is 43,560 square feet, or 208 feet on a side if perfectly square.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:21 am 
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There is that one build someone did (sorry I don't have the link) with the shipping containers. I'd probably try something along those lines. Shipping containers, or a retired 42' Semi-Trailer. Everything after that is just making it comfortable and defendable.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:26 am 
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Location: NW of San Jose... in the land of the Hell Mouth
EDIT Cuz I missed the point of the OP.

Since I live in an area with multiple climates depending on where I bug out to... I present a few options. This is assuming I have axe, saw, shovel, hammer and other basic tools.

If the land has trees that I can cut down for timber, I would try for a small log cabin. Log cabins are fairly simple once you get a general idea of what you need to do to make one and they don't require a whole lot of complicated tools. A simple 1 room square cabin would be pretty simple to make with hand tools since that's how they used to do it, it would just take a while. There are plans out there on the interwebs along with some how-tos. I would build a smaller temporary teepee/leanto style for quick shelter until the cabin was done.

If the land is more flat and open and I had time before I needed solid shelter, I would go the adobe brick route. I found a better article describing the process (http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/hooker110.html). While time consuming, this would give you pretty much any size and shape house you want. The drawbacks here are in finding roofing materials. I would also build a smaller temporary teepee/leanto style for quick shelter until the house was done.

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Last edited by Wildeman_13 on Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:30 am 
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I'd be inclined to find a free/cheap trailer and do a bunch of dirt work to pile up berms around it (although that would require heavy equipment). Put some straw bales under it for insulation. Then take care of your off-grid utilities.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:35 am 
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Murph wrote:
If you had an acre of remote land in your area and a budget of $2500, how would you construct a primitive BOL? (Stipulations are: you alone are building it, and with nothing bigger than hand tools.)

How would you address necessities like: shelter, water, food, fire?

I'm interested to see what people would buy, how things would be setup around your "camp", any sort of creative solutions to problems. Please feel free to describe in detail how you might construct anything by hand. Make sure to include prices and links to any products you'd purchase.


Assumptions:
In the purchase of the BOL:
Year round creek/stream/lake/spring was easily accessible and it is wooded.
I'm assuming I have basic gear sleeping bag, etc and the $2500 is solely for construction of BOL.

Do it on the cheap and take a page out of the Indian's handbook.
Make a TeePee.
Made one when I was like 8yrs old in the woods near the house growing up. Stepfather had a lot of left over plastic on a roll. Using a hatchet and the plastic I made a pretty good size TeePee.
Made a basic frame, using a book from a library showing it. I provide you with internet picture. :lol:
Image
My stepfather helped me with the tying it together at the top, I was a wee-bit shorter than I am nowadays.
After making the frame, I wraped it with plastic.
Than layed on an outer layer of wood sealing it up pretty good. Than took rope and tied it off to a few trees to the top to help secure it.

The structure itself lasted a few years till a windstorm came through and knocked over a tree it was tied off too, pulling it with it.
I camped out many times in it throughout the year.
Had it outfitted with throwaway carpet from a neighbor that remodel their house.
Used brush packed along the sides when I discovered wind holes in it. It worked out fairly well.
That was done on a very small budget scale.

Now with $2500 added to the mix, I think much of it would be need to reproduce the TeePee.

Other ideas, lean-to shack.
Few sheets of plywood (depends how big you want to make it), 2x4's, some straight timber 10fr length, post hole digger, quick crete, water. You can build a really basic shelter from elements for yourself.
Basic concept is straight timber cut to length, figure your going small shack 8'x8' type. Figure 10 timbers for posts. Level as you can make them, they will be the 'load bearing', and set them in with the quick crete. with one side a few inches taller to allow for a sloped roof.
Use the 4x8 pieces of plywood (3) as a roof (I would shingle them as well having the cash, buy the open packs since they are cheaper and you aren't caring about looks.). Stack it so you have an opening about 1' in size between the two bottom sheets along the middle with the 3rd sheet straddling the opening.
Secure it all with long nails/etc.
Make walls using the 2x4's and additional sheets of plywood. Heck you could probably add a bit of insulation to it for relatively cheap as well.

Just how primitive are we making?

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:36 am 
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knight_308 wrote:
I'd be inclined to find a free/cheap trailer and do a bunch of dirt work to pile up berms around it (although that would require heavy equipment). Put some straw bales under it for insulation. Then take care of your off-grid utilities.

knight's idea is pretty good as well. There are pop-ups all the time on craigslist for around $1k.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:05 am 
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In a perfect world? No particular order listed...

One acre, fully wooded, year round creek access, natural stone formations.

1. Rammed Earth Tire walls (cobbed) Clay/straw/scree/quickcrete floor. Animal skins added as acquired/needed.
2. Native Timber bond beam, roof (single plane) with rain water catchment, shingles/siding, doors, etc. Later furniture, shelving, etc.
3. Scavenged windows from home remodels, demolition, etc.
4. Oil drum Furnace with RET conductor walls and conductor cover/shutters. Upgraded to Masonry Stove later.
5. RET Root cellar bunkered and built partially into side of north facing hill.
6. Outhouse/storehouse built with similar construction methods as home.
7. Plant perennial/heirloom vegetable garden in woods clearing created for structure creation.
8. High efficiency refrigerator (primarily for milk, eggs, and condiments) with stand alone solar.
9. Sky lighting and oil lanterns. Add stand alone solar and generator later.

Cord wood/straw bale construction can be substituted in supplemental buildings if time/resources are limited.

There is more to be said but you get the drift. ;)

ETA: This type of construction is very labor intensive, the trade off however all of the building materials are available free with this design if you start with a wooded parcel (with the exception of a few bags of quickcrete and limited hardware needed.). This design also uses the least amount of your timber possible which helps conserve your wood stock for heating, furnishings, and back up cooking.

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Last edited by Shaper on Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:07 am 
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Location: NW of San Jose... in the land of the Hell Mouth
Yeti wrote:
knight_308 wrote:
I'd be inclined to find a free/cheap trailer and do a bunch of dirt work to pile up berms around it (although that would require heavy equipment). Put some straw bales under it for insulation. Then take care of your off-grid utilities.

knight's idea is pretty good as well. There are pop-ups all the time on craigslist for around $1k.


You could even keep your eyes open for bank sale single wides. Might be over the $2500 mark even on a really crappy one, but always worth it to watch for them.

Adobe bricks might also be an option...
http://www.ehow.com/how_2042553_make-adobe-bricks.html

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:46 am 
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Do we have access to craigslist?? :mrgreen: If so I could find all the building materials in one form or another on there for free including a sink, wood stove, and such. Then I can use the moneys for important stuff :P

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:01 pm 
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Assumptions:
This is in my region: hills and creeks are common lots of trees
Winters have several snow and ice storms
high winds are common
most areas will be heavily hunted
I already have basic tools : handsaw, axe, pick, hammer, rake etc.
I would have found a place with a hill or on a larger hillside with water source on or very near to property likely a spring.

$400 allocated to a wood stove with chimney and cast iron pots and pans
http://www.amazon.com/Boxwood-Cast-Iron-Wood-Stove/dp/B002OMGYHA/ref=pd_sbs_ol_2

Nails screws and fencing wire other hardware : $100
using 12'x24" galvanized steel roofing sheets for roof and siding $20 a sheet locally X 15 = $300
chicken wire 36in x 25ft = $35 roll for chicken/rabbit coup and around garden x4 =$140
2"x4"x8' = $2.60 a stick for furniture and building X20 = $52
1"x8X8' = $3 a stick for furniture X10 = $30
7/16"x4"x8' OSB Sheathing = $7.70 a sheet X5 = $39 for partial internal walls and partial flooring
Sunbelt 10' x 100' Black 4Mil Plastic Sheeting = $40 a roll X1 = $40 random waterproofing on sides and windows green house

build the house 10x10 against hill with chicken coup on the side using the sheet to waterproof under wood floor and the backside of the house

total less than 1200

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:08 pm 
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Just to clarify... this is a remote location in YOUR region... So if you live in the desert, you have to work with what you have there. You're designing the Primitive BOL in your area.

Trailers? Srsly? I think you're missing the point. When I said remote, think like at the very least a mile from any road.

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Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:11 pm 
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Location: NW of San Jose... in the land of the Hell Mouth
Murph wrote:
Just to clarify... this is a remote location in YOUR region... So if you live in the desert, you have to work with what you have there. You're designing the Primitive BOL in your area.

Trailers? Srsly? I think you're missing the point. When I said remote, think like at the very least a mile from any road.


To be fair... as long as I can find a solid path of packed sand, I can park a trailer anywhere in the desert. So roads are not required. ;P

ETA: Updated my first post to reflect OP.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:23 pm 
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Remote for me would be the mountains of VA, where I may or may not have access to a stream. I'm still tossing some ideas around, but here's what I'm thinking so far:

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http://www.tractorsupply.com/leg-style- ... l--2125848
$749.99
525 Gal tank @ 3 gal/day = 175 days. So it would need to be filled twice year basically.

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http://www.tractorsupply.com/lawn-garde ... t--1024926
$249.99
I think this would make a good shelter, I've gone camping in a "car garage tent" like this before. It was pretty pleasant being able to stand up. Slept on a cot to stay off the ground. It'd probably be pretty easy to install a wood stove in it too.

Image
http://www.tractorsupply.com/lawn-garde ... t--1119420
$199.99
Yeah, I'd have to grow some food some how.

All that does in like half the budget. I'd have to get some sort of water filter, a stove. And then the rest would probably get spent on farming supplies to grow food with. Maybe something like a bunny hunt too.

EDIT:
Maybe a filter like this:
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https://www.mountainsports.com/msmain.a ... ail=006461
$219.95
Sounds like it would be good for at least a year. When the filters crap out, I bet it would be easy to turn into a primitive sediment based filter.

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Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point


Last edited by Murph on Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:31 pm 
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I'm thinking this route:

Image

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dugout_%28shelter%29

Dig a hole, money for lumber for roof and doors, chicken wire for pen/hutch, and such. I will get the numbers together later.

If I have to live in my BOL, others will be roughing it too. I'd rather be prepared for them, as well as heat and thunderstorms.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:26 pm 
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Wildeman_13 wrote:
Murph wrote:
Just to clarify... this is a remote location in YOUR region... So if you live in the desert, you have to work with what you have there. You're designing the Primitive BOL in your area.

Trailers? Srsly? I think you're missing the point. When I said remote, think like at the very least a mile from any road.


To be fair... as long as I can find a solid path of packed sand, I can park a trailer anywhere in the desert. So roads are not required. ;P

ETA: Updated my first post to reflect OP.

Murph,
I'm in the Mountains of Va every day. :mrgreen:
You would be suprised at some of the locations I've seen trailers in.

They also make expedition trailers for this type of terrain.
The real question is how permanent is this BOL to be.
Are you talking for months? years? life? It effects a great many considerations for each scenario.

My TeePee is probably great for the quick few months scenario.
The simple shack is great for a year long.
The Dug In/Log Cabin is the way to go if it's a life thing.
And for the mountains, look up Gurriella Gardening for your farming ideas.
Which mountain range are you talking in? Elevation has a lot to due with choices, as well as the ability to even dig into the side with hand tools depending on the range.

And I consider these passable roads:
Image

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:11 pm 
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Okay... Well the title of the thread says "Primitive BOL" There's nothing primitive about a trailer. I'm sure we can all agree to that. :wink: Let's try and think outside of the trailer *cough* box.

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Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:22 pm 
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Since I have 4 wheel drive I would be able to bring things in. I would be able to bring in enough stuff to do earthbag. http://calearth.org/building-designs/emergency-sandbag-shelter.html

These can be done very cheaply.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:31 pm 
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Dawgboy wrote:
Since I have 4 wheel drive I would be able to bring things in. I would be able to bring in enough stuff to do earthbag. http://calearth.org/building-designs/emergency-sandbag-shelter.html These can be done very cheaply.

Thanks! That link is pretty sweet. They even include a step by step PDF on how to build them: http://calearth.org/images/pdfs/Khalili ... helter.pdf

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Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:47 pm 
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Location: SEPA (there is a reason it looks like Septic)
this is PA we gots lots of trees in the remote hills

i'd probably end up cutting down every tree on the lot (since its small) but i could probably build a nice little cabin given the time.

frankly that sounds like fun.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:40 pm 
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Nader Khalili is a cool guy and went down to Haiti to see if his system could be used there. I have also seen some similar construction using Straw erosion wattles that were pinned together using rebar and then mudded and plastered inside and out. Cheap and effective Beehive hut.

http://www.psiyes.com/wat.html

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:44 pm 
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I guess the problem I have with this scenario is that you have $2500 to build it. That is a ton of money... when I think "Primitive" I think being made out of sticks and stones... overall cost near zilch. Like that guy that built the shack in Alaska, his biggest expense IIRC was his stove.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:52 pm 
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If I can't have a trailer I would go with Murph's solution. Except I would replace the TSC garage tent with a Drash tent (the factory is outside of Lexington you know) since it is designed for long term living in multiple climates. You could 8 people in one with a stove semi-comfortably with cots and all. But I would likely go with a trailer first.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:08 pm 
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This or something like it:

http://www.onlinetips.org/below-ground-storm-shelter

Go to page 4.

As far as parts I would do as much via salvage as I could.

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