Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by Dunerunner, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    There are many threads discussing various shelters from grain bins to bivy tent and lean-to temporary shelters.

    I know I can get something up to protect me from the weather in pretty short order here in the PNW with just a hatchet or my sheath knife, but it would be only temporary. Given time, I would build something more permanent, like a dugout or cabin but both would take time and the location would have to be perfect for that. To me, being nomadic allows me to follow the seasonally available food supply from the mountains and foothills to the valley, coastal mountains and finally the ocean, baring any hostile human entanglements.

    The key would mean I would have to be a minimalist, especially if I was on foot. That would limit me to what I could harvest with a hawk, hatchet or sheath knife and dig with an entrenching tool.

    Keep warm and dry without detection would be necessary, so dressing warm (layers) and staying dry would be paramount. I'm thinking that building anything of a permanent nature would take months to complete and some very heavy lifting. Something like a fortress with defensible space, water (a well that would have to be hand dug), and a resident supply of game animals. You can write about it and think about it, that's the easy part. Living it is a totally different thing.

    dugout cabin...
    [​IMG] .

    tree bough lean-to...
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Think soddy for a year or two.
  3. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Grand parents homesteaded in North Dakota, built a soddy and lived quite well. Gramps use to tell how they built a church, a school house, and a house for the teacher, all modern 1890 wood frame construction and in the most modern manner. The teacher could not keep the house warm in the winter and stayed with a family in a soddy, you wore your coat in the church in winter, and it took cords of wood, shipped in by train, to heat the school house. Have built Dakota tipi out of canvas, used Laubin plans and they worked well. Friends lived in it for several years, with liner in the winter and insulation. It is hard to hide, must be fireproof, and requires a change in living style. In short run, tents work out well but don't last long in the real world, really need a wood floor and heat as the military did to be livable. In short run a good canvas and debris type hut or just a small tent seem most usable. It would seem that a dugout must be the quickest and easiest short run solution, half or 3/4 under the earth , dirt piled up on sides and canvas or wood roof over the hole. Seems to be what the miners, settlers, cowboys, and early military all ended up doing for quick winter shelter. Oldest log cabins I saw in rockies had all failed where the logs in contact with the dirt rotted out. I think you would have to get it up on rocks in any dampness to protect logs, here in New Hampshire you have to peel logs and use something to keep bettles and carpenter ants out of logs. Ceder would solve that, but we don't have much of it.
  4. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    @duane ... My uncle was raised in a soddy up on the Musselshell river. I suspect the 2' thick density of the exterior walls offered good insulation from the cold
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  5. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    a soddy - above the Arctic circle...

    Viking style
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  6. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    The Alaska Native Heritage Center, located right next to Elmendorf AFB has several traditional style houses, based on location and tribe.

    Well worth the time and fees to visit

  7. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    Nice craftsmanship on the lodge @DKR ... Is that indicative of the style of lodges that were built? They didn't throw that up in a weekend...
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  8. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Building a soddy above the Arctic Circle is a real effort and indicates an area with enough resources to sustain the residents over a long period. Many are built at the junction of two rivers - there are also 'fish camps' used for salmon season.
    The fish would be smoked/dried and stored for winter use. This with wild berry harvesting made up a good part of the winter diet.

    You should check out some of the sites dealing with Native villages - this is why I posted the Native Center, they have multiple homes built old-school to show how life was lived prior to the introduction of technology.

    Chuloonawick Native Village | Emmonak, AK 99581 Walrus hide structure - very Yurt-like.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
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  9. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Historic photos reveal realities of post lumber-boom life in the Upper Peninsula

    The weather was typical for late March in Michigan's western Upper Peninsula -- signs of spring but still plenty of snow -- when photographer Russell Lee rolled into Iron County, camera in hand, in 1937.

    Employed by the Farm Security Administration, an agency created under Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal to fight rural poverty, Lee had been sent to the U.P. on assignment: To document the lives and landscapes in the "cut-over" parts of Michigan and Wisconsin, where the region's rich pine forests had been demolished by logging. Photos at link above

    I posted this for the link/photos of 'depression era' shelter.

    Look closely at the photos. In some the inside in neat, well maintained and the floors are wood covered.

    Other, well, there is ample trash on the floor and in inside areas are a mess.

    I would attribute this difference to alcohol more than anything - the booze containers are visible in the trashy outfits.

    In an earlier thread, I've posted photos of 'shanty towns' of the depression and compared them to the fetid squalor of the homeless camps of today. Much of the difference - drugs and alcohol.

    These 14 Houses In Iowa From The 1930s And 40s Will Open Your Eyes To A Different Time
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  10. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    As a one time Yooper, I can tell you that those pics don't even come close to the actual living condition in winter. Those folks rival the hardiness of early Yukon settlers. It cannot be nice, digging out the privy after a ten inch snow, and we saw more than that at a time while I was there. (No outdoor privy or I would not have lasted the first winter with a kid and bedwarmer.) They should have sent Lee up there in late November.
    Dunerunner likes this.
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