Sunday, October 12, 2014

Mobile Retreating

Motorhome or RV, Camper Trailer makes a pretty good base of operations. Got one that can pull a trailer of some capacity and your needs might be met.

Bugging-out with gear and supplies to enable self-sufficiency is a real option if you have the transportation, the gear, or the skill...

RV is very worthy option as it is self-contained and mobile in the extreme. Not really as versatile as a 4x4 with a camper but very able to go many remote places if you know your vehicle and observe clearances and have tools to move blockages like downed trees and maybe a chainsaw to enable passage...

An RV can be connected to large portable propane tanks or even a stationary one. Would be pretty ideal to have a land parcel with septic, well, and electric access, plus large propane tank. Even better, were there a barn or steel building on the site, you park inside and run your connections from there. Not a big deal to lay some plastic pipe for water and waste, and pretty easy to add a 40/60amp breaker to an existing box and route UG (underground rated) sheathed 6awg wire w/3 conductors and ground to a new box linked to your RV input cable. Live water source is easily connected and you also have water tank on-board storage. 

Got some of these options? Pretty easy to make them work for you...

No such facility? Not to worry....

Cresson Kearny's book has some great ideas for bug-out living. Expedient sheltering info there is unique and very doable. Ground not yet frozen where you are? You're in business. Read the chapter. Family w/2 teenage girls built their shelter in 14hrs. The over-pressure protections will also serve to keep warmth in and rain/elements out.

This shelter could be dug in some back acreage of a national forest or BLM/Public land. Would sure not be too visible unless you took no effort to make it very noticeable. Probably not in your interest to do so. In Kearny's book, the family brought tools and an exterior door from their home, in no solid interior door available. Plywood would also serve with some 2x4 or heavier reinforcing. A sedan size auto can carry plywood strapped to the roof, or in a trailer. Truck, of course is no problem...

Kurt Saxon had basic plans for a earth-insulated cabin. Dig a pit in footprint of your desired cabin, about 5' deep. Erect a side pony wall or notch and scribe logs to fit. Make some basic trusses or a cabin roof and use treated plywood, and 6mil plastic sheeting overlapping seams if have any and then cover with the dirt you removed, or use real roofing. Put together w/screws or bolt together the 4x8 sections and you have a portable shelter. Build a wall frameworkand wrap with 6mil plastic on sides and floor and you have a pretty strong weather-tight shelter that has earth insulation and warming effects.

Pit toilet with lime for bio degradation will work. 5gal paint bucket w/kitty litter (clay type) will serve also. Need to observe all sanitation practices and be able to filter your water. A drip reservoir filter with candle elements like Berkey or Katadyn is a fine gravity powered asset to have. Might be able to use a Water Bed Mattress as a bladder and a small electric pump to draw water from lake or stream. Cleaner water source the better, of course. 5 gal paint bucket w/lid is also good for manual transport if don't have a water jug or other plastic tank to use.

Got a Yurt or GI type wall tent? With a liner and wood stove or fuel heater, these can be as warm as most houses. Yet you are still able to move camp when necessary.

I have a large military surplus tent, 32 ft oal and with liner it weighs about 300lbs. Poles and stakes add more weight of course, but this tent has been transported by ATV into wilderness and sets up in several hours once all laid out and ready. Very compact and fast to assemble. If you were truck camping, maybe you carry pallets and plywood to have a real floor? Woodstove for cooking and heat would give you a secure and comfortable home. A few other smaller tents like you find at a resale shop or on-sale closeout at Target will shelter your gear and supplies. Maybe you are using a fairly large trailer to bring supplies onto your land? Convert your trailer to living quarters after you get situated and you have great potential for another comfortable living quarters. There are small woodburning stoves for tenters that will work for small enclosedd structures. With electric system you have many more choices.  

See previous article of Sep `14 for overview of Alternative Electric, off-grid resources.

As far as portable AE systems go, 250w solar panels can be mounted on motorhome or trailer roof.  Battery amp hours is the determining factor, but can be managed with efficient generator that teams with your inverter, like the Magnum Hybrid or Schneider Xantrex units.  Honda or Yamaha inverter gensets offer some very good flexibility and fuel efficiency, not to mention are Relatively Quiet.  Probably have a factory original Onan or Kohler genset if you own a motorhome or Class C RV.  Even if you have one of these long-lived durable gensets, there are good reasons to own a smaller, portable and fuel efficient unit like the Honda/Yamaha 1000 & 2000w units.  Also a good reason to own a high power battery charger like the Iota Charger/Converter series.

Point of all this is, like Gypsies who were the first caravanner/RVers, being able to move at a moments notice and not lose all you have is a great resource to make available.  

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