Sunday, April 28, 2013

Long Term Survival - The Earth Sheltered Dwelling

I don't remember where I found these pictures, so it's hard to credit the proper owner. If they belong to you or you know where they originate, leave a comment.

One of the problems faced in the Long-Term Survival situation is securing adequate shelter. A brush shelter will be sufficient for only shorter periods of stay, and not something you will want to live in until such time you are able to rejoin the remnants of civilization. Or maybe you never will want to.

The earth sheltered approach helps regulate the temperature inside even without a heat source. If you build in such things as a Rocket Mass Heater it will take only a minimal amout of fuel to heat your space. Pay attention to the construction techniques in the following photos.

This next photo is of a coastal Indian dwelling, I think. It is built to house many members of the tribe and there may be handful in each village. The Chief would have had the largest and most elaborate.


The next series of photos shows a pretty neat, partially earth sheltered dwelling. I hope it sets the imagination into overdrive.



For short term, the evergreen boughs may be sufficient for thatching the roof, but at the very least I would want either blue plastic tarps or greenhouse plastic to keep it waterproof. Perhaps a layer of clay smeared over it all if no plastic were available.

Also, keep in mind the construction aspects of this (from the Down In A Hole blog post)


Do you have a wilderness hide? Somewhere to ride out the 90 days (Part 1 & Part 2).


28 comments:

  1. No shelter, but I've sure been thinking about it. My big constraint - TIME TO BUILD IT.

    I've been investigating the soil /sand bag 'igloo', ideas from deceased architect Nadir Khalili. The basic premise is to build an igloo out of earth bags, with barbed wire between the courses to anchor the bags.

    The advantages - well, shapes in nature are rarely straight lines, especially horizontal / vertical lines. Those catch the eye (that doesn't belong). Round is very common, trees, hills etc. so its camoflauged in shape from the beginning. Sort of hides itself from vandals, as long as footpaths to it (them) are as hidden as possible. Also completely DIY, not much (if any) machinery required, so its presence is much less known.

    This shelter would be like a permanent dome tent, something like 15'-0" in diameter. Smaller structures can be built nearby for storage. Not much, but far better than nothing.

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  2. Darn - forgot to mention above . . .

    thought about this and THINK it would work. It requires two of those above ground swimming pool bladders, and a couple of those metal fence panels (5'x15').

    Dig round hole diameter of pool bladder. Line hole with bladder one, the top edge to extend above grade a few inches. Place fence panels around hole, tying end to end to form circle, leaving an opening in panels for entry.

    2nd pool bladder - drape upside down over panels, so that you form an upright cylinder. The edges of top should overlap the panels and lower bladder so moisture is kept outside the envelope. You end up with an approximate 7' tall x ? diameter heavy duty tent, with approximately 3' under grade for less visibility. Wal

    Thats it. A step ladder at opening to let you climb inside. Some type of heavy cloth at opening to close in light. I'm sure some type of stove chimney, much like a wall tent, can be installed.

    Yeah, kinda Walter Mittyish, but desperate measures may call for desperate times. People throw out older pool units all the time, you may be able to scrounge some of this for free or very low cost.

    Just letting my imagination run wild, I hope this helps.

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  3. The main Idea is to start thinking about it, engineer it in your mind and on paper, and then build it! If you are building something to ride out a social collapse of some sort, you will need to cache tools and supplies. I highly recommend some fast growing vegetable seed to help with the food supply. With summer coming on the yearly Yard sales will begin again and a wealth of items for this project will present themselves for pennies on the dollar.

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  4. The 1st pic seems to be a sweat lodge. Tineye.com is often helpful to find the origin of pics on the web.

    Man in a hole reminds me of the movie Rogue Male w/Peter O'Toole.

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    Replies
    1. The first pic is not a sweat lodge it is a dwelling of the British Columbia Interior natives.

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    2. Thank you for that clarification!

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  5. This is almost but not quite an Anasazi Kiva. The Kiva design has a little stronger roof design and is more efficient in the use of timber. It might be a better choice over the one shown.

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  6. I don't know where to post this ..........

    with cut shotshells a shotgun is the equal of
    45-70 .. it is best in break-action shotguns

    http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2011/04/praxis-lost-art-of-12-gauge-cut-shells.html

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  7. why not put in drain pipes(metal corrugated) used for ditches and have a vertical at the endfor climbing into the pipe with an arch at the bottom to access to the horizontal pipe living area. Can put planks on the floor to have a flat surface and store under the floor in waterproof containers any supplies. Make sure to have a air recycler with a battery for recycling the air(you would get awful tired just using the hand crank) which is a WWII device used in London during the bombing. that would allow to keep your stash secret and by putting the access pipe into a shed and making it look like a storage or compost container would limit your risk of confrontation with neighbors if SHTF occurs.

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  8. Replies
    1. Thank you! I have looked into the Mandan and they appear to be very close in construction.

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  9. I would use something to seal whatever holes are in the walls. I would also use cotton or a fiber to fill the gaps and then pitch it inside and out to make it water resistant.

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    Replies
    1. That could require a lot of pitch, which may not be available. It would do a fine job of waterproofing though. Time constraints could make this unfeasible.

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    2. The design is made to be covered with a thick layer of dirt that protects it from rain when all the grasses and plants grow over it. The inside would have a fire that would eventually dry and cure the inside of the timbers so they would not rot for a long time due to the extra carbon they would soak up from the smoke. In todays world I would throw a heavy mill plastic over it to hopefully prevent the wood from rotting where it touches soil. But I wouldn't be packing a roll of plastic with me if I had to bug out. They are far too heavy. :)

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    3. If you use some old motor oil, you can rub those timbers down, and they wont ever rot, just depends on how organic you would want to be using natural materials on a build like this

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  10. What about dugout cabins into a hillside like the one in Palo Duro Canyon south of Amarillo, Texas? I know for a fact it was 20 degrees cooler inside without a door on it. It has a dirt floor, rock walls with the fireplace in the very back, timber roof, and the front was small diameter timbers with mud chinking. If I had a place to put one, that's what I would build...

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    Replies
    1. I am not familiar with the cabin you speak of, but any earth sheltered dwelling is preferable to one exposed to the elements. Can you provide a link to this cabin of which you speak?

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  11. Cool! I can live in that.. But minus heavy rains. Come z-pocalypse or any natural disaster though, that would only be a very temporary protection.

    used gun store ga

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  12. I grew up in the Texas panhandle and know a couple of landowners with dugouts on their property that were built back in the late 1800's. Some are still somewhat intact, and one is still in good enough shape to use if it comes down to it.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=palo+duro+canyon+dugout&newwindow=1&safe=off&es_sm=122&biw=1189&bih=1047&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=Vy4aVPeWOY-TyASo2oF4&ved=0CCcQsAQ

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  13. Being in Oklahoma, (tornado alley), something somewhat underground would be the ticket. Not only could it serve as a shelter when and if SHTF, it could serve as a tornado shelter as well. HHHHHmmmmmm, wheels are turning now.

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  14. Something I really need to start researching....

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  15. Louisiana - water problem...

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  16. Thanks for this but do you know where i can find accual video on the building of a small one im looking into buying some ruff land while a tent works for warm weather they are not that great for cold. as these where the go-to winter shelters for the natives in canada for many generations just seems the best way to stay on thew land year round after all Who can argue with its track record LOL

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  19. Talk about irony, I was looking up plans for underground shelters and ran across a link to this sight. It is exactly what I had in mind to build in the mountains for my bug out for WTSHTF. This would be defendable, bulletproof, and easily concealable to look like a bunch of fallen trees from the distance.

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