Help with shelter

Prepper & Survivalism Forum

Help Support Doomsday Prepper Forums:

GunnarCarr

New Member
Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2014
Messages
24
Reaction score
17
Location
New Jersey
I'm a bit curious about building a hidden semi permenant shelter for camping/bugging out. I haven't seen many ideas for digging down a little and building a debri pile/tarp roof over. To be more specific I was thinking of digging about 3 feet down and building a debri shelter 1-2 feet high over it. It would give me about 5 feet high. I would use cinder blocks for walls under ground and build a place for a fire place also. I think over all it would be 6'x6'. Does anyone think something like this would be a good idea. And if not how would you change it for the better.
 

Maverick

Top Poster
Global Moderator
Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2013
Messages
10,653
Reaction score
26,647
Location
Washington State - between 2 mountains and a river
I'm a bit curious about building a hidden semi permenant shelter for camping/bugging out. I haven't seen many ideas for digging down a little and building a debri pile/tarp roof over. To be more specific I was thinking of digging about 3 feet down and building a debri shelter 1-2 feet high over it. It would give me about 5 feet high. I would use cinder blocks for walls under ground and build a place for a fire place also. I think over all it would be 6'x6'. Does anyone think something like this would be a good idea. And if not how would you change it for the better.
Whats the water table where you plan to dig? rainfall in the area? is it remote, on public land, if so, away from people? 6x6 using cinder blocks seems rather small for a BOL but resembles more of a cache or a outdoor root cellar. I would certainly lay plastic on the ground and up the outside walls. You going to mortar the cinder blocks, fill with concrete? if not I would fill in the cavities with straw. 3ft down would certainly be beneficial though an escape rout would be recommended. Jersey is prone to storms is it far enough inland not to be effected? I know, I'm throwing a lot of Qs at you.
 

Maverick

Top Poster
Global Moderator
Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2013
Messages
10,653
Reaction score
26,647
Location
Washington State - between 2 mountains and a river
If it was me, I would lay chicken wire as the ceiling then plastic and cover the plastic with chicken wire covered with surrounding vegetation if you got ivy that grows where the BO is located then again I would cover the vegetation with chicken wire and transplant the ivy around the BO, ivy generally isn't effected by weather, stays green and offers great concealment and helps woven the roof together, similar to the picture, it would just look like a mound of ivy.

medieval-church-ivy-weather-390x285.jpg
 

GunnarCarr

New Member
Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2014
Messages
24
Reaction score
17
Location
New Jersey
Whats the water table where you plan to dig? rainfall in the area? is it remote, on public land, if so, away from people? 6x6 using cinder blocks seems rather small for a BOL but resembles more of a cache or a outdoor root cellar. I would certainly lay plastic on the ground and up the outside walls. You going to mortar the cinder blocks, fill with concrete? if not I would fill in the cavities with straw. 3ft down would certainly be beneficial though an escape rout would be recommended. Jersey is prone to storms is it far enough inland not to be effected? I know, I'm throwing a lot of Qs at you.
I'm not exact on the water table but I have dug around this deep for footings at my house so I am sure it'll be okay. We don't get a ton of rain but this would be just a stop to rest on the way to my long term Bol. I'll end up probably doing a footing and concrete inside the blocks. I'm plenty inland to not have to worry about flooding. The main thing we get for storms is high wind and rain. But that is only during hurricanes.
 

jontte

A True Doomsday Prepper
Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2014
Messages
8,659
Reaction score
14,877
Location
Finland
hey, isn't BrentS building a rootcellar, useing cinderblocks?? send a PM to him, might have a few tips for you..
I would use cinderblocks and my roof would be like an arch in form..if the romans built long lasting structures useing the arch, think it will be good today also
 

forager

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2014
Messages
250
Reaction score
92
Location
Oregon
I'm a bit curious about building a hidden semi permenant shelter for camping/bugging out. I haven't seen many ideas for digging down a little and building a debri pile/tarp roof over. To be more specific I was thinking of digging about 3 feet down and building a debri shelter 1-2 feet high over it. It would give me about 5 feet high. I would use cinder blocks for walls under ground and build a place for a fire place also. I think over all it would be 6'x6'. Does anyone think something like this would be a good idea. And if not how would you change it for the better.
Remember to look for high ground with good drainage.
 

GunnarCarr

New Member
Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2014
Messages
24
Reaction score
17
Location
New Jersey
Out where the location is it's all flat. That's why I'm trying to avoid having a debri pile right off of the ground. You would notice a big pile of sticks and leaves since that doesn't happen here normally.
 

jontte

A True Doomsday Prepper
Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2014
Messages
8,659
Reaction score
14,877
Location
Finland
that type of terrain makes it more difficult...any small trees nearby??
 

GunnarCarr

New Member
Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2014
Messages
24
Reaction score
17
Location
New Jersey
There are a good amount of trees, small and big. I have plenty of stuff to use to make it. I'm just trying to figure what would be best for building something not everyone would notice
 

jontte

A True Doomsday Prepper
Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2014
Messages
8,659
Reaction score
14,877
Location
Finland
try to put it so to say with the trees, good cover from above,and if there are bushes use them aswell, whatever you dig up and not use, transport it elsewhere so the earth you dug up won't give your location away.
if by some luck you find a perfect place that have a smal mound surrounded by trees and bushes use that place
 

Silent Bob

God Like
Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2014
Messages
1,629
Reaction score
1,270
Location
Texas
I'm a bit curious about building a hidden semi permenant shelter for camping/bugging out. I haven't seen many ideas for digging down a little and building a debri pile/tarp roof over. To be more specific I was thinking of digging about 3 feet down and building a debri shelter 1-2 feet high over it. It would give me about 5 feet high. I would use cinder blocks for walls under ground and build a place for a fire place also. I think over all it would be 6'x6'. Does anyone think something like this would be a good idea. And if not how would you change it for the better.

GunnarCarr,

Having lived in the Northeast, specifically, in the Adirondacks as a kid, I am quite familiar with the terrain there. Rain is a seasonal/often influx issue in the Northeast. My mom who still lives in Central New York tells me this is an unseasonably rainy year that has compounded the growing season and other issues not seen in many years. So I would not discount drainage and as Forager stated, look for a elevation. An old survival rules is to avoid low levels that will flood (typically flat areas along hillocks/inclines will experience flood and washes. Unless you've lived there for years, I wouldn't depend on a summer just to give you that data. I am a firm believer in taking soil samples and having it evaluated for foliage/etc..and moisture table. I've done this whenever I build a cache site, since it must be relatively flood free.

So your looking to use this as a hide or semi-build. Concrete blocks are good, but they are more permanent and must have a good base (made normally of concrete/rebar), as Jontte, mention BrentS has been building one for a bit now and we've both discussed pros and cons to most shelters on other threads.
If your considering using concrete blocks than I suggest strengthening the roof with either a center beam that will take the stress off the roof frame, then it is up to you what type of roof you would like to use, if you are thinking of steel or galvanized metal, then possibly sealing it with a silicone or plastic coating to seal it from rusting prior to adding the soil top cover will prevent a cave-in. A debriefs shelter is typically used only for short periods of time, similar to foxholes...see under tactics my thoughts on that one. This is a very low cost way, but is only temporary and not meant for long-term investment.

Lastly, if your looking at this more for a cache site, based on what you said as being an intermediate site before you head to your BOL (stop to rest on the way to my long term)...you really need to weight the pros-cons. If your looking for more to store items as a backup along your main route of travel to your BOL...then a cache is your answer. This is a very cost effective way of preparing what I consider expendable items and with a little proper planning/communication with landowners...might suit you better. I have several cache sites, near or along several routes...because you do not know if your initial planning to use that route will be available. Hence, why I'd say, investing in a cache is a solution. Using debri as an alternative does not serve as a permanent source of roofing and often will lead to other problems, such as rodent/other animals homes, if not made of proper building materials.

If your looking for a long-term solution to sheltering...then consider some alternatives both commercial or existing that might serve this purpose also. PM if you have questions on this. I think you get the picture of my ideas.
 

forager

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2014
Messages
250
Reaction score
92
Location
Oregon
Out where the location is it's all flat. That's why I'm trying to avoid having a debri pile right off of the ground. You would notice a big pile of sticks and leaves since that doesn't happen here normally.
So, does that mean You are going to remove all the excess soil when You excavate?
 

forager

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2014
Messages
250
Reaction score
92
Location
Oregon
There are a good amount of trees, small and big. I have plenty of stuff to use to make it. I'm just trying to figure what would be best for building something not everyone would notice[/quoteght consiser planting

You might consider planting ground cover over any exposed areas, using whatever type/species blends in with the terrain. You may have to wait and weed/water the Young plants 'till they are mature. You may also think about transplanting mature vegetation. I would try to duplicate the surrounding vegetation and wildlife over and around Your spot.
No matter what type of terrain it is there are always going to be adjustments if You want it to blend in.
Even in the woods, We have to use camouflage methods employing surrounding wildlife if we are to remain hidden from prying eyes.
 
Last edited:

forager

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2014
Messages
250
Reaction score
92
Location
Oregon
hey, isn't BrentS building a rootcellar, useing cinderblocks?? send a PM to him, might have a few tips for you..
I would use cinderblocks and my roof would be like an arch in form..if the romans built long lasting structures useing the arch, think it will be good today also
I do remember him posting that he was doing that now that You mention it.
 

forager

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2014
Messages
250
Reaction score
92
Location
Oregon
If it was me, I would lay chicken wire as the ceiling then plastic and cover the plastic with chicken wire covered with surrounding vegetation if you got ivy that grows where the BO is located then again I would cover the vegetation with chicken wire and transplant the ivy around the BO, ivy generally isn't effected by weather, stays green and offers great concealment and helps woven the roof together, similar to the picture, it would just look like a mound of ivy.

View attachment 3450
Maverick, How do You get pics to transfer to Your post? I've been trying but without success.
 

Maverick

Top Poster
Global Moderator
Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2013
Messages
10,653
Reaction score
26,647
Location
Washington State - between 2 mountains and a river
Maverick, How do You get pics to transfer to Your post? I've been trying but without success.
Select "upload a file" (lower right) of the text box, on the popup window select the location of the picture, select the picture you want then click the open button (lower right) of the popup window, once picture is uploaded you are presented with two options "thumbnail" and "full image" (lower left) select one of them then select "post" if you are done typing.

Note: make sure the courser is in the location you want the picture otherwise the picture may be planted in the middle of your sentence, also, a different browser may display the buttons differently from my instruction ;)
 
Last edited:

forager

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2014
Messages
250
Reaction score
92
Location
Oregon
Select "upload a file" (lower right) of the text box, on the popup window select the location of the picture, select the picture you want then click the open button (lower right) of the popup window, once picture is uploaded you are presented with two options "thumbnail" and "full image" (lower left) select one of them then select "post" if you are done typing.

Note: make sure the courser is in the location you want the picture otherwise the picture may be planted in the middle of your sentence, also, a different browser may display the buttons differently from my instruction ;)
Thanx- I'll try that.
 

Brent S

Top Poster
Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2013
Messages
14,733
Reaction score
32,567
Location
South East US
I'm a bit curious about building a hidden semi permenant shelter for camping/bugging out. I haven't seen many ideas for digging down a little and building a debri pile/tarp roof over. To be more specific I was thinking of digging about 3 feet down and building a debri shelter 1-2 feet high over it. It would give me about 5 feet high. I would use cinder blocks for walls under ground and build a place for a fire place also. I think over all it would be 6'x6'. Does anyone think something like this would be a good idea. And if not how would you change it for the better.
I like the the idea of a debris pile over it for security. I'm still working out details for hiding my shelter.
 

Brent S

Top Poster
Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2013
Messages
14,733
Reaction score
32,567
Location
South East US
Select "upload a file" (lower right) of the text box, on the popup window select the location of the picture, select the picture you want then click the open button (lower right) of the popup window, once picture is uploaded you are presented with two options "thumbnail" and "full image" (lower left) select one of them then select "post" if you are done typing.

Note: make sure the courser is in the location you want the picture otherwise the picture may be planted in the middle of your sentence, also, a different browser may display the buttons differently from my instruction ;)
I didn't know about the cursor placement! Thanks.
 

GunnarCarr

New Member
Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2014
Messages
24
Reaction score
17
Location
New Jersey
So I've decided to just give my plan a shot. Even if I have to do maintenance once in a while I'm okay with it. It would give me a reason to test out my bag and enjoy some time in the woods. I'm going to doge down maybe 2 feet now instead and build something along the lines of a lean to debri pile on top with space for a little concrete fire place for heat. I'd like to eventually be able to go camp in the middle of winter so this would give me a place to do it
 
Top