This installment of the Survival Skills series will be focused on semi-permanent and permanent Shelters for families and groups. This article should be of interest to all Mountain Party-ers, I would think.
There are many good texts that cover field expedient shelters such as; Lean-tos and Snow Caves and the like. Here are two good manuals that cover the subject:
The first type of shelter we will cover is the newest Field Tent for the US Army - The DRASH tent system. This tent system is just hands-down one of the best on the planet, at least I think so. Fast Set-up and Striking capabilities, Strong Frame-work for high Snow Loads and Wind Resistance, and Full-sized Doors and Built-in Windows make for a comfortable living situation (I hate having to duck-down entering or exiting a “family sized” civilian tents).
This is the Time sensitive info I promised in the title; The DRMO has released three of the DRASH 4XB sized tents to the public auctions… they are going off in about 24hrs. As of the time I’m writing this they all are sitting at about $1000.00 or so… the original acquisition cost of each one is $28,000.00. Now the Tents are sitting in HI, and transport costs to LA harbor here in CA has been quoted to me @ $650.00 with pick-up at the harbor. It is a hell of a deal, for anyone wanting a viable alternative to paying rent or a mortgage on a traditional place.
The second Tent style shelter that I can recommend is called a Yurt, and these are the traditional living spaces of the Mongolian Nomads. The ones I have experience with are commercial versions made by Pacific Yurts, very rugged and well thought-out design combined with modern materials and technologies is a win-win.
Here is a video tour of a Yurt on a Big Deck
Shipping Container Housing
The next Shelter type I’d like to discuss is those Shipping Containers used for housing. So many ways to go with this idea that I will just say this… Use your imagination! Two major pluses in my book is that they are mobile… and easily modified.
I know there is at least one Viner that has followed this path. His place is very cool!
Lastly we come to Rammed Earth and Supper Adobe building methods… I am lumping both under the subtitle Earthships - even though Supper Adobe (or Eco-Dome) is a different animal than Rammed Earth (Earthship).
Instead of breaking it down in text, here are two vids that will start y’all on the way:
Also here are links to the institutes that developed these ideas:
Ok one last thing I just found out about… it is not housing/shelter specific, but for field construction and reinforcing bullet resistant compound features… This Stuff Kicks-Ass! Oh Yeah they also have a very cool “Building in a Bag” dealio.