How to make an Underground Bunker / Shelter

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by Tyler Danann, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey+

    For those new to this thread who are reading this first - Mike, the owner, dug it out from 1995 to 1997 by hand with no mechanized equipment to help him. This was at 10,000 feet elevation with short summer seasons. The most expensive consideration was buying concrete (about 100 bags of 80 lb concrete) to the total of $1000 - $1500.

    Unfortunately there are no pictures (that I am aware of) of the 1995-97 digging as this was before digital cameras and the builder was on his own with no-one to take pictures. (I don't think he began taking pictures until 1999-2000?).

    The plan (not followed to the letter, but you'll get the picture)



    Blast Doors:

    These are steel and reinforced with concrete in the event of a big TEOTWAKI.


    Roof Cross-section (sort-of):

    Three layers of logs, 6 layers of waterproof sheeting, concrete and dirt


    Bunk-beds and Ladder for accessing Emergency Hatch


    Emergency Hatch


    Landscaping and drainage ongoing:


    Gun Port


    Stores and Tools



    Covert Exhaust system for Stove (tree stump faces road):


    Roof goes into the Mountain! Maybe one day they'll be another tunnel going to the Cabin Build (that's another story though ;) )


    The design and plans shown in the vid are of a small pole shelter triple-clad with roof logs and sheeting (waterproof).

    This allows the weight of concrete and earth on top for the overhead. For the walls logs and steel 'H' Beams along with more sheeting (waterproof) then earth.

    The internal space resembles an 'L' shape as recommended for fallout / blast shelters. This is small but incredibly strong and resistant to cave-ins, earthquakes, disasters. The shelter is multi-functional with two bunks and two stoves providing heat.

    A main entrance with a steel blast door and an emergency exit / trapdoor are installed.

    The year round temperature is about 35 - 45 degrees without being heated. The bunker has been featured on multiple social-sites and Mike is often contacted by television companies for it to be shown on mainstream broadcasts. The Colony short-listed him for appearing on the show but ultimately another was chosen.

    However when the challenging conditions are revealed to TV companies (short accessible seasons, snow fall requiring snow-mobiles etc) the producers normally go for an easy access bunker elsewhere and underground shelters that are more fancy.

    This is doable by any able-bodied male (or female if driven enough) with the right location.

    The location inspired a fictional film which was shot at Mike's Bunker called After The Fall / Raiders of the Mountain Hold:

    I'd have many more pictures to show you BUT the retarded hosting site has crashed / won't let me upload any more pictures. :(

    If you have any questions, please ask and I'll try and get a bit more specific. :)

    The Next Big Project!

  2. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    Way cool, but hard work!
    Tyler Danann and sec_monkey like this.
  3. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey

    I seem to remember a thread about an underground house in AZ.. Did a search and have had no results so far.. Rough but given the location quite an accomplishment..
    Tyler Danann and sec_monkey like this.
  4. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    @Tyler Danann I always enjoy your threads. MM & you are always doing something to improve the Mountain Hold.You showed fresh water. Did that get piped into the bunker? Also due to the heavily wooded area, what about forest fire?

    PS- that is rough dirt to be digging in. Hard word.
    Tyler Danann and sec_monkey like this.
  5. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

  6. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey+

    Yep, water isn't piped in yet. I tried messing with a RAM pump to get water pumped up to the golden hill area from the spring. I used a method of pvc pipes for water intake when it's wise to use flexi-hose instead. I didn't pvc glue ALL the joints so it was not airtight alas. Maybe some other time...
    chelloveck and Motomom34 like this.
  7. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Since a ram pump works entirely on gravity and air pressure, it is critical to be airtight in everything up to the discharge hose, if it is not sealed tight there. You just waste the output. Any losses in air pressure means pumping pressure loss.
    chelloveck and Tyler Danann like this.
  8. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey+

    Indeed, this is known to the horse already, but not quite back then! :)
    pearlselby, chelloveck and kellory like this.
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