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Letter Re: David in Israel on “When the Only Tool You Have is a Hammer” Syndrome, and Building a Post-TEOTWAWKI Shelter

Hello James,
David in Israel has done a great job sparking original thought in certain topics of discussion. I really like his log home ideas. I have one problem with it is: Today’s generation!
I don’t think very many of us could muster up enough fortitude let alone man power to fell trees, drag to the site, de-bark and notch them, lift them into place and head from there, (without modern technology, equipment, and power). I grant him that he was talking about a smaller shelter which would be more feasible. His comments have made me think about creating a home after TEOTWAWKI [1], and more so having a shelter/home that is mobile. It is my opinion that almost any homeowner/ do-it-yourself type guy could build a home with Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF [2]s). These are not labor intensive at all. No special tools are needed, and the foam does not rot. Instead of concrete, how about mixing earthen mud and using it in the very same way? If a few courses were done at a time and allowed to dry, it would greatly reduce the likely “blow out” from excessive un-braced hydraulic pressure. If a guy was lucky enough to have some 2x4s around, he could temporarily brace, or build a semi-permanent wall inside of the structure to minimize any later movement until the roof was installed and mud dry. I grant you that it could take some time for the mud to dry as it won’t receive much air, but small holes in the foam may exit the water satisfactorily. In the same token, once the mud dries,… it really is protected from outside moisture if installed with a roof that sheds water.
For further reinforcing, one could install vines or green tree branches into his “pour” to help provide some minimalist reinforcements. Keep in mind under those circumstances, dire is dire.
Thought this was about the lightest weight, least labor intensive and safest method of a “portable home” in a TEOTWAWKI [3] scenario. Some of the ICF’s fold in half, others are fixed blocks. In this example, the more space saving “folder” type ICFs may be more efficient in space while transporting to your new locale. Food for Thought, – The Wanderer