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Off-grid cabin...dry run

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by SIG383, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. SIG383

    SIG383 Graham, WA Well-Known Member

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    I've been thinking that when I get home from my deployment that I want to do a "dry run" so to say, on an off-grid cabin. My idea was to build it in my backyard as a "shed" of sorts. Then I could play with different ideas and not have to go far. Plus, I'm in need of some additional storage and my wife said a shed would be a good idea for me to build anyways so....I'll be having some fun with this project! I know I want to have solar panels with a battery array for electricity but not sure what else. Any and all ideas and comments are welcome and encouraged!!
     
  2. OLDNEWBIE

    OLDNEWBIE State of Flux Well-Known Member

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    This will be interesting to follow, when will you get home and start?
     
  3. SIG383

    SIG383 Graham, WA Well-Known Member

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    I'll be getting home around December/January timeframe so probably won't be getting much done for actual building until spring, depending on the weather when I get home. I do know that before I start on that, I need to build a woodshed for our firewood cause the one the previous own had sucked so bad I pulled it down for safety reasons before I left. So yeah, I've got my work cut out for me. Will also be building my daughter a new loft bed as well, lol.
     
    nwwoodsman likes this.
  4. AMT

    AMT Vancouver, WA. Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    You are looking to build the shed for extra storage and dry-running an off the grid cabin? WOOF!!! My wife would have something like that so full of "stuff" that there would be no doing anything with it - other than storage.

    Maybe she is setting you up..... ???? hahahaha ;)

    Good luck with it and keep us posted as to what you find, figure out, modify to work better, etc....

    BTW, thank you for your service! Come home safe!!!
     
  5. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    Terrific idea to put a lot of "methods" into practice to see what does and doesn't work for you!

    So many guys assume everything works or everything will go according to plan.. With my luck Ive been proven wrong enough times to where I "over build and over plan" when it comes to my "prepping".

    Great idea, perhaps I should get a shed and try this backyard method out.
     
  6. Martini_Up

    Martini_Up NW USA Well-Known Member

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    Buy a trailer for off grid camping and just build the storage shed for storage.
     
  7. SIG383

    SIG383 Graham, WA Well-Known Member

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    I definitely plan on coming home in one piece! I had a scare a few weeks ago where I was in the hospital for a while but I'm good to go now. Come on, if I don't come back, that means my wife might sell my guns for a lot less than what they are worth!! Can't have that happen now...lol

    I know I have a lot of ideas in my head that I would like to try out. Just don't think it would be wise to do this on some remote property where getting new building supplies there to fix an oops would be a serious PITA. I have one idea of having my batteries in the void in the floor to conserve room. Also will be making serious use of LED lighting since it doesn't take much electricity to run them.
     
    SheepDog223 likes this.
  8. SIG383

    SIG383 Graham, WA Well-Known Member

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    What's the fun in that? We already have a trailer for camping. We don't exactly like the idea of living in a trailer....a cabin is just a bit more like home. When I retire from the military, we plan on getting land and building there, with the goal of being as self-reliant as possible.
     
  9. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Well, if your really going to test it out you should dig a 30' deep bunker under the "shed"!:D LOL!!!

    BTW like AMP said, thank you for serving! I'm a little late on that, sorry!

    BTW#2 Solar and led are good but don't forget to study 19th century technology also. SRG
     
  10. SIG383

    SIG383 Graham, WA Well-Known Member

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    No, no bunker...lol

    You're welcome? Sorry, I have never been good at replying to those that thank me for serving...not sure what the "proper" response should be.

    What do you have in mind with 19th century tech?
     
    Sgt Nambu likes this.
  11. pdempsey1097

    pdempsey1097 West of McMinnville Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    What do you have in mind with 19th century tech?[/QUOTE]


    19th Century Tech - windmills, water wheels, butter churns, wood stoves and the like.

    Looking forward to seeing you posting "locally" in a few months!
     
    Sgt Nambu likes this.
  12. EZLivin

    EZLivin SW of PDX Well-Known Member

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    We are doing that. (Sort of by necessity though since our lodging for the build is off-grid so we don't have any choice anyway.) The cabin we build will eventually be hooked up to the electrical grid, but that will be after we have set up everything to function reliably off grid. So being on grid will be a luxury, not a necessity. In the mean time we have 2-3 years of (part time) onsite off-grid living to look forward to. "Off-grid" means different things to different people though. To some it means no reliance on anything you can't produce yourself. For most it means an occasional trip to town for propane, gasoline, diesel. etc.. Being able to produce enough of your own energy to run refrigeration, lights, tools, appliances, etc., is entirely dependent upon the attributes of your property & climate, and is not easy unless you have lots of sun, or lots of wind, or lots of flowing water. If you are eventually planning on relocating to a specific area, you might consider focusing your learning & practice on things that will be applicable to where you eventually want to settle. Where we are building solar will be important, wood will be important, hydro may or may not be do-able, and wind power isn't practical. Good luck. Learning this stuff and putting into practice can be a LOT of fun!
     
  13. redmud

    redmud Colombia river Active Member

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    That is a Great idea.

    I recently worked for a guy that built food carts/trailers he owned the the business I did most of the building. I started looking around online at "Tiny homes" they build small homes on a trailer under 400 square feet most are less though. Most of the tech is already in use in those houses that would be in an off grid house and portable
     
  14. SIG383

    SIG383 Graham, WA Well-Known Member

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    I plan on having a wood stove in it. I was thinking of a windmill for power but there's not a huge amount of wind in the backyard so wouldn't really be useful there. I will be having several small wind turbines though when we have our place after retirement since there will be a lot more wind there. I'll still have a generator just in case but would rather not have to rely on it since fuel is expensive.
     
  15. WashCoDad

    WashCoDad Beanerton Active Member

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    Roof design for rainwater collection.
    Small wood stove with flat cooking surface.
    12volt vs grid for appliances.
     
  16. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    It could be anything! Water power generation, wood working and carpentry with hand tools, home food preservation. Anything folks used in the mid to late 1800's!
    See if you can access a TV show called "Hillbilly Blood." Sounds stupid but these guys can build anything from scrap.
    Things they have done so far:
    1. Stills
    2. Fermented Applejack
    3. Built and used a Smoker
    4. Built a Wind Generator
    5. Pressed Walnut Oil
    6, MadeKnives (Nice Knives)
    7. Bartered a bunch of stuff for their family's
    8. Built and used a bow, crossbow and successfully built a deer trap
    And much more!
     
  17. SIG383

    SIG383 Graham, WA Well-Known Member

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    That sounds like an awesome show!! I just checked and I can't access it over here. Oh well, guess I'll track it down when I return.
     
  18. ST Rider

    ST Rider Hubbard, OR Member

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    Consider using a few heavy duty 'runners/stringers/skids' as the shed base (if you aren't building on a trailer frame), so that you have the option to have it moved someday. You can cut the skids at an angle (so they look like the bow of a ship) and even add hooks, so that you can winch it onto a tilting flatbed trailer or flatbed tow truck when you get ready to move to your retirement property. I think flatbeds are 8'6" wide, so keep your skids well inside those parameters. Kudos to WashCoDad's idea for the rainwater collection system - Metal roofing may be the way to go; three-tab shingles tend to make the run-off non-potable, if that's a concern. Consider good insulation - it will keep your long term heating/cooling costs down. I'll keep an eye on this thread, can't wait to see how the final project turns out!
     
    Sgt Nambu likes this.
  19. SIG383

    SIG383 Graham, WA Well-Known Member

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    I'm liking the idea of the skids and taking it with! It also can't be considered a permanent structure, so no building permits needed, lol... We'll be replacing our roof on our house with a metal roof so I was thinking of just making sure I have enough surplus from that to use for the "shed" Will also be doing rainwater collection off the main house as well as this. And yes, this thing will be very well insulated! Never actually thought of the potability of the water with the asphalt shingles though so glad you mentioned that. I'll be doing the shed as a main level along with a sleeping loft above. Hell, with this I'll have a nice place to stay when the wife kicks me out of bed for snoring too much, lol!
     
  20. uscsoldier

    uscsoldier Salem, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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