By Erin Donaldson
It’s time! The event has happened, your bug out bags are packed and loaded into your bug out vehicle, be it 4-wheel, 2-wheel, 4 legged, or 2 legged. Where are you going to go? Often preppers talk about “bugging out” but how many of us actually have somewhere to go? Whether you are on a limited budget or willing to invest, here are a few options which will ensure you have a safe refuge in difficult times. Storage containers are a fast and easy way to create your bug-out cabin because they can fairly easily be transported into any area with a good enough road and space to maneuver. Be sure to create a solid base using gravel with concrete feet or cinderblocks for the corners, or a concrete slab. This will prevent ground moisture from seeping upward and drain away. Most of the pictures should be pretty self-explanatory in this sense.
This is probably what many of us picture when we imagine a storage container cabin. Something extremely basic, rough, and barely sufficient. In a pinch it will do. This cabin features a 20 foot storage unit set up on blocks, a woodstove made from recycled materials, a water tank and a portable potty hut. You can buy a pre-fabricated “office” storage unit or make your own. Your biggest hurdle if you are in a harsh climate like Alaska, or Iceland where the photo was taken, is going to be proper insulation. Straw bales can be stuffed underneath and foam sprayed into the walls if you are on a tight budget. Be sure you cover your water tank and/or include a heating element to prevent freezing. A port-a-potty, composting toilet or a simple bucket with toilet seat will do. The minimalist dream hut.
If you are still pretty simple, but want just a bit more luxury, try this idea! You can still keep it simple, but include some extra elements which will get you a bit further aesthetically. In this cabin, they cut an entire side off, then replaced it with sliding glass panels which can be fully opened for deck access. In snowy climates a deck will make it easier to shovel snow in winter, and give you a space to work with in summer. Don’t forget to use double paned insulated windows with UV protection! The storage cabinets are invaluable for keeping your food and supplies organized. For additional space, use a fold down bed system which can be folded up to allow for a table space in the daytime. Bathroom facilities aren’t shown here but a rainwater catch tank would be pretty simple to set up along with a composting toilet hut constructed a short distance from your safe refuge.
Weather Resistant Cabin
This concept is great for larger groups. Remember, there’s strength in numbers. 3 twenty foot containers side, by side with large doors intact. If you want to be able to close things off against severe weather, or a golden horde, then this idea might be the tangible solution to your bug out plan. Just be sure you have a back door escape hatch and a window to see out of. If you are planning for a family or small group then the walls can be cut for doors and individual rooms can be set up for storage, meeting/eating area, sitting area and sleeping quarters.
Here is the same cabin with the doors open.
If you live in a climate with milder weather, you can create a covered outdoor space while keeping indoor space to a minimum. Just remember, a storage container will collapse very easily with too much top pressure, so be sure to plan for ceiling reinforcement when planning your top deck. Plus, you will have the advantage of seeing farther from your lookout. The disadvantage to this plan is that a structure like this one is a bit of an attention catcher. Consider solid deck walls to create a more defensible position, something which cannot be penetrated by bullets. Be sure to have a storm door option to close off the large windows in the event of a golden horde, or hurricanes around coastal areas.
Fortified Container Cabin
This is a good plan when considering bug out options. A cabin that can be made to look like a container left out in the woods. All the amenities you could possibly need on the inside, with a nondescript exterior which is easy to close up when not in use. The fold down deck will give you outdoor seating space too. The disadvantage would be the lack of ability to see out once you close the doors. Plan for a peep hole and a turret or slot which can be used for self-defense if attacked from the outside. It’s important to always have a plan B. No matter how defensible or remote your position may be, in an extreme situation where you have to evacuate, you should always have a way out. Never back yourself into a corner like what happened at the Malheur Refuge in Oregon with Ammon Bundy and his group.
A Modern Look:
Our next cabin is quite the deluxe space, but again leaving good fortification options and defense. You won’t be able to hide in plain sight like the previous cabin but you will be able to close the side for protection against storm, attacks and absence. For interior options, shop around on “tiny home” websites to find innovative space saver ideas.
This is a much more casual space but a fun idea concept. A pool deck which can be integrated with a self-standing pool or even Jacuzzi. In the event of a crisis the pool can be used as a storage tank for water. Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) can be added to water to purify it in a safer non-chlorine way which will actually oxygenate the water and make it healthier to drink because it will help to oxygenate the body. Add 1/8th cup of H2O2 per gallon of water. Be sure to have a way to cover it in this type of bug-out situation to prevent extra dust and leaves etc. The roof is probably one of the better features in this plan because a flat roof can allow for snow buildup which can compromise roof integrity. Any type of slope or cover is your best option when planning a bug-out container cabin.
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