TOTM October 2016- Make this the perfect Bugout Location

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Motomom34, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Topic of the month is more of an exercise. Turn this location into a homestead, a fortified home that you could ride out the apocalypse in. It is off grid and rough but I loved it. I am not buying it, some other lucky person gets to live there. But if it was going to be my forever home, the possibilities are endless.


    Lets say you inherited this property and about $200,000. I am unsure if water is there so lets say there is a well and you hit water at 125 feet.

    Here are the stats:
    Off the grid and elevation of about 8,000 feet at the home site. Southern exposure, open space on two sides of property. Last house on the road. Not connected to the grid but the house is wired for electricity. Abundant wildlife.

    House Size 1,600
    Lot Size 50 acres

    This will need energy. Food productions of some type, plus outbuildings. Look at the pictures and let's see how we can make this the perfect BOL/Homestead. It has potential.

    Off the top of my head:

    Energy- wood heat, solar, wind or/and propane. I say propane because a couple 1000 gallon tanks will last a while and if used sparingly can get you far in a SHTF scenario.

    Buildings- Garage/ workshop, greenhouse on side of garage or barn. Outhouse or would you put in septic and use post collapse powering off natural energy?

    Food- raising livestock, poultry? Gardens, orchards and/or vines (think grapes).

    Security- gates, fencing, lookout post or none? What about communications?

    I know I am forgetting things but what all is needed? We have members that are off grid and we have members moving in that direction. This is a rough site because there is no stream or lake next to it but there will be snow melt so you can utilize that.

    As I said this is more of an exercise and I am hoping the members will look at this site and see that needs to be done to make it livable.

    351D7F6063fC4a7-1932703. 6E387D3724f0446-1932703. 09AA427903d14fB-1932703. 95A23E2672674eA-1932703. 0881B1F2300B41D-1932703. 8136B6Db46054b7-1932703. 42953A8e7872499-1932703. a7D2284347a147F-1932703. a015FF98887A47A-1932703. a85CFFB1D6cB448-1932703. a266A193CA25410-1932703. bE72EEEb141D4aA-1932703. d8A74813B2bF4f3-1932703.
  2. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Well that laundry list would be huge. I would swap out the house roof for a metal one, better at fire prevention in potential forest fire areas. Install a high capacity rain catchment system off of that roof. Add a properly sized solar set up and ensure the well is tied into that source. Plenty of room for a nice sized antenna tower. I suspect the growing seasons are going to be short at that elevation, so a green house would be a must. Multiple security gates on the access roads plus some pre-staged obstacles to place in the road if you fully wanted to block it off. Of course some downed trees would work just as well. Fencing at least some of the property for animals. Make an outdoor cooking area and so on.

    Probably the biggest thing I would build would be a barn/workshop with the greenhouse attached and a enclosed breezeway to the house. That would enable you to button up the place, in some kind of nuke fallout scenario, but still allow you to get to each of your areas without going outside. Of course a cool full sized tunnel system that tied to each structure off of the bunker would work also. ;)
  3. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I will go first because I have looked at this, discussed and thought an awful lot about if I lived here.

    The easy stuff first. I would figure on smaller livestock. Goats, sheep would be perfect plus rabbits and chickens maybe also so turkeys. I would fence off a few acres- 5 to 8 with strands of wire up to 7 ft high. It would not be perfect but this would be the outside barrier. I could section off areas within for sheep, goat and garden. Wire strands will not keep bears and felines out but will keep the elk out and I dislike elk and their destruction.

    I would build a garage that had a full south facing side. On the south facing side would be all greenhouse with a stove inside. The garage would have an upper level for repairs, projects and stuff.

    The whole energy thing is where I falter because those are the things I am learning. Well running off a windmill for back up etc.

    That is all for now
    chelloveck, GOG, Ganado and 2 others like this.
  4. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    In real life, given the poor soil, short growing season, and nothing but blasted pine trees, I would sell it.

    If I were to attempt to fix it up, first would be about 200 truck loads (as in tractor trailer) of composted manure. While that is being spread and mixed in with the crushed rock soil, excavation for an underground home would start...for insulation, protection from the wind/lightning, and fire protection. Also would need about a 20,000 gallon cistern (remember fire danger) and underground machine shed (at least recessed into the hillside.) Once that is taken care of, a few truckloads of decent firewood...

    Nah, I'd still sell it.
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    First things first. Before upgrades and improvements, you gotta know more about what you have to hand. Most specifically and important, where is the leach field (for grey water if not also for the bathroom waste) going to be, and well (if there is one.) Then make yourself a plot plan that shows everything as it is, then you can sit down and plan the site work. (The outhouse will not make long term living a happy thing. You might also consider a composting toilet located inside.)

    Yep on the metal roof and water catchment, but that's a minimal start. Keep an eye on additional buildings for similar features.

    Gardening will not be a fun thing at all at that elevation. I spent enough time at 6500 feet to know full well how much exercise can drop you like a hot spud. And, it'll take some serious soil amendment to get anything to grow up there.

    I see pine. Lots of pine. Is there any hardwood around for heating? Pine is a poor fuel.
  6. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Moto, I went through almost the exact same thing with my place up here! Great topic choice! I did almost exactly what ghrit posted, Got some over head photos and used them to map out the build site! From there, I was able to plot out where every thing would go and how I would link every thing! My place is at 9400 elevation near the top of a ridge with a north facing azi. I am also the last home on my access road but there is a gated fire road beyond that goes up to Pikes Peak! I started with 10 acres, then added 60 acres of the lower lots that were also for sale! My neigbor did the same and we locked up all of the lower fields! Mine has a year round stream flowing north west that devised my property fully 1/3 and has a pond in the lower tract! The soil is actually pretty good for most every thing, my gardens had to have all the rock potato's removed ( two seasons worth) before I could get a good garden, but it produces for all our needs! I planted 200 Doug Fir trees in a series of plots with wind and weather protection a top concern, with 20 planted around the home site for good future protection both wind and snow, as well as fire! The rest can be harvested as needed if and when I need to build later on! I also planted several acres of fruit trees and hardwoods to better shore up future needs! I can get almost every thing to grow except Plum and cherry trees, Havn't figured that out yet, but Apples and pears do well as do all the berries! The lower field is mostly meadow with the stream through the middle of it, and I have purchased several head of beef and am going to add Horses when I get the funds for a barn and such. I will also be adding two draft horses for land use and I always wanted one! My Neufie is actually pretty good at drafting and I will be looking for a good breeder to add to my family! I have 2 5000 gal cisterns for water and I feel this is more then enough because of the stream, but if any one feels I need more, please chime in! No telling what the running water will be like post SHTF, so it's been in the back of my mind! Snow build up can be a concern, and road access is very limited during the winter months, so site security is covered that way, the only other access would be through the lower plot and that would only be on foot unless you had a Sno-Cat! I have really good hunting up here, with only my neighbor and I having access to the gate for the fire road and almost 90 square miles of land open to just us, Plenty of deer and elk, but also Bear and wolves and the pesky Yote's to work around! I also have a major problem with Prairie dog's they are every where and having cattle is going to be an issue until I can get the dog towns under control! Other then that, Life is good!
  7. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I forgot about the roof. I looked at the roof and thought about putting solar or a rain catcher up there but overlooked swapping it out. Tin is better, not only for fire purposes but also longevity and snow purposes. Snow will slide off a metal roof easier, therefore it takes worries off if you have a storm that dumps a couple of feet.

    I did have a question about the driveway. It is steep and it gets southern exposure so come winter, there will be a problem. Snow melt in the day and freezing at night. I wondered if clearing a swath on either side would help with the icing issue but also for security purposes. Is it better to have trees so close and drop them as barriers like @Yard Dart said when needed or clear a swath so "visitors" cannot use them for concealment.

    I know it is a rough site but we are monkeys and we have everything on this site to make it work. Just depends on how much work you want to put into the place. I know that the soil is hard to work with but I think that a hugelkultur would be a great way to garden. It would work. Not only providing gardening but also it builds a berm that works as security. With a hugelkultur you are composting your waste from the sheep, goats, bunnies and making great soil.
    Building with Hugelkultur | Survival Monkey Forums
    DIY hugelkultur: how to build raised permaculture garden beds
    We have lots of threads on permaculture and hugelkultur.

    I know that pine is not the best for burning, one because it burns fast but also leaves a build up of creosote quicker which can cause a chimney fire. During the winter you want to draw the heat from the sun. I had a neighbor that had a solar (?) or window systtem. I am not sure what it is called but they had solid windows that ran two floors and got maximum sun. At the bottom or below grade are stones that collect the heat and radiated heat when the sun went down. This place has sun and stones. I think this would be an option for the heat issue
    chelloveck, Ura-Ki, 3M-TA3 and 2 others like this.
  8. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Hugelkulture is a very viable option for the garden. The trade off is security. the hill that a bed makes can be up to 6 " in height the first few years.

    I would not plant a tree on the hill either as even these beds need reworking every 5-6 years.

    Contouring would be another viable option that could create holding ponds which give better micro environments for growing. And the trade of with security is again an issue

    With only 200k to work with I would sell this property. The interior is a mess

    Depth of Winter snow at that elevation would be a killer on the green house option
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
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  9. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I surf Survival Realty all the time. Some of the places just because it has a well and back-up generator power, it is considered a survival property. Just because someone calls it something, does not mean it is. Below is a self-sufficient home in AZ. The house was constructed well but I kept looking at the pictures wondering what you were going to eat. According to the description the nature will come to you.... insert eye-roll here. Here is what someone is selling as self sufficient:

    Secluded Self-sufficent Home on 129 Acres –

    When I see things like the ad above I wonder who they are targeting. Maybe the AZ people on here can figure out how to be self-sustaining on the property above. I feel this property and much of the survival realty is focused on people getting fed up and buying a place to live off-grid and not knowing what they are doing. It takes knowledge and know how just to find a place that one could live through the apocalypse in. It s one thing to have food storage but you must keep replenishing.
    chelloveck, Ganado and Ura-Ki like this.
  10. chimo

    chimo the few, the proud, the jarhead monkey crowd

    Question: if property in the OP is a BOL, how do you expect to get there in the dead of winter when the road may be totally impassable? Best plan on a staging site where you can store whatever means you come up with. SHTF isn't guaranteed to be a fair weather event. ;)

    Water is the biggie. If you have a plentiful, reliable source of water you can keep a small garden and raise chickens/rabbits/goats and maybe even a few cows/cattle. You can also hunt dove, quail, deer, rabbit, javelina and even snakes.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2016
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  11. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    I know several folks that either have a garage at the bottom of their road with snowmobiles and tow sleds for their supplies, or they trailer them in for access during winter months.


  12. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Good points @chimo and @Yard Dart in a situation where your BOL is in a remote area you may need a special vehicle or something to get there and to get around during the winter months. Snowmobiles would be perfect but would they be the most cost effective machine to invest in? Top of my head when thinking of machines to have on the BOL- 4 wheeler, snowmobile, tractor with a bucket or a Gator. My Mom has a Gator and it seems like a golf cart on steroids. How are small tractors with buckets in snow?

    Would something like this be the most versatile machine to have in a remote BOL?
  13. chimo

    chimo the few, the proud, the jarhead monkey crowd

    In some of the places I have been it would be summer before that lil thing got you where you needed to go. (tearing down a pyramid with a spoon comes to mind :eek: )

    Meow, baby, a snowcat is your huckleberry!

    or like @Yard Dart posted, lil snowcats/snowmobiles and sled trailers.

    Of course you gotta have fuel for all of those...if we're thrown back into the 19th century via an emp or something, you may be better off staging some 19th century technology...snow shoes and one or more travois. Bring your dogs with you!
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
  14. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Depending on how much "winter" you get, a good Sno-Cat can be a real advantage! I posted elsewhere, But I have an older Tucker Sno-Cat for the winters up here! Mine originally had a 318 Dodge gas engine, but I swapped that out for an Isuzu mechanical Diese which among other advantages, is EMP resistant! I also built a small tracked yard tractor I designed and built from a idea some one had on youtube, for hauling fire wood in during the long snows! Old school for me right now is my Neufie who can pull a sled or wheeled trailer pretty well stacked with wood or other supplies! I have plans for a pair of draft horses to handle larger jobs that I have need of doing and would rather have animals then engine powered equipment for those jobs!
  15. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    stuck at Ellis 2010. This is THE machine to have!!! Seriously, these Tuckers are the best machines ever made! I drive mountain cats for a living during the Ski season, and I would still take this over any of the Grooming type cats! Looks stuck, But it's not! Combined with the Isuzu Diesel and 5 speed automatic, it's fast enough to really scare the hell of of people, it's light enough for a pickup to drag around, and really good on fuel thanks to the better engine/trans set up! The best part, you can go any where in this, it's about the size of a first gen Ford Bronco, and you can get parts at the local NAPA store ( because it's all Dodge truck) and these last forever! Prices are a bit steep for a good one, but any of them are worth getting! I got a smoking deal on mine out of Steam Boat springs for $14k complete with trailer and extra tracks and a bunch of spare parts! Check on line auctions and Craig's list nation wide! New England ski resorts bought several thousand of these in the 50's through the 80's and they turn up for sale all the time! The rarest and most desirable are the Resort wagons, those can pack 12 passengers and gear! Personally, I really like the old round bodied cats from the 50's through 60's era! Really roomy and had a simple and reliable power train! FYI, you can get rubber tracks for these and that makes them road legal in most western states! I had Goodyear supply me with a full set of track pads that fit between the grousers and that makes this tucker road legal! ( Not installed in this picture) and the traction off road and in snow is second to none!
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  16. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

  17. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    The basic concept of simulating bug out location planning and adaptation is a good one.....a number of you have identified a number of issues with regard to the site's suitability and sustainability....however, if gaming a SHTF prepping plan for what one actually has....then wish listing an ideal location elsewhere is less practical than dealing with what one has, warts and all. The idea is to solve or resolve the site's problems (through critical thinking and creative adaptation) rather than evading them.

    I note that transportation and working / farm implement solutions suggested revolve about tracked mechanical vehicles/machinery...which is fine if they are within your budget, and the SHTF \event allows for fuel and maintenance resources to keep them going....what happens when fuel and spares are no longer available?

    For transport....perhaps a low tech sustainable solution may worth thinking about for the longer term....



    Which then raises issues of feed, housing, training, veterinary care, machinery and tack, etc......for every problem addressed....more problems are raised! :eek:
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  18. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    During the Montana winter days when the snow was heavy, we would use the Belgians with a sleigh, to drop hay for the cattle.... It was a lot of work, but if we ever have that massive EMP.... that is how we will operate again. The rustic pioneer blood flows in all of us to some degree.... the rest will just die off due to being lazy/hungry/unprepared when SHTF.
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  19. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    While I agree with many that the land in the proposed location could be difficult due to certain issues like soil, access and so on. there are huge positives in my book and this type of location would fill certain goals well, IMO. The remote area allows for a pretty easily secured area. The elevation provides great lookout areas to watch movement in the valleys below. The terrain gives many construction options for above or below ground structures. The landscape also provides lots of avenues for egress undetected, hiding of cache's and so on.
    Some have stated that you may not be able to produce a big garden due to soil issues, but through a little work, either through amending the soil or making a greenhouse large enough to produce a good supply of can overcome that issue. The grasses in the area may not allow for a penned up large animal/stock supply, but you could always free-range cattle, using more than your land area to sustain a good herd. Post SHTF, there will be lots to be concerned with... having a remote site away from population centers would be a huge bonus.
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  20. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    The land in the OP isn't perfect, and it isn't very likely we will find perfect land. If we do it's likely it will be desirable to others and located where they can get at it. I think it's a great exercise to work with a challenge like this that is fairly realistic and achievable.
    Ura-Ki, chelloveck and Yard Dart like this.
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