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A Memoir On One Family’s Move To The American Redoubt- Part 6, by X. Liberal & China Doll

This is the final part of this article series, As the title indicates, reviewing our family’s move to the American Redoubt and building our log cabin. We have the majority of the work behind us at this point and are now at the final steps and finishes.

Plumbing

(Plumbing required two weeks.) I’ve never done plumbing before, so I became acquainted with Mr. YouTube for over a score of hours. I sat inside a McDonald’s restaurant to utilize their free Wi-Fi, as I don’t have it so remotely out in the boonies, to gain an understanding of the ins and outs of plumbing.

Three Parts to Plumbing

There really are three parts to plumbing. The first is the internal organs of the drainage and venting system from roof to septic tank. Then the second is the PEX water lines feeding every fixture in the home with hot or cold water. Third is the gas lines, which I didn’t attempt and hired a licensed plumber.

Plumbing Venting System

After filling up my hot cup of tea with honey at McDonald’s, I waved goodbye to the cashier and realized I was going to tackle the plumbing venting system for myself. This was because it had to be accomplished prior to the roof being installed. (See roofing step above.) The code called for a four-inch venting PVC pipe to exit the roof and must be higher than the highest peak; then I was to couple it down to a three-inch PVC pipe inside the home. The reason for the large four-inch PVC pipe to penetrate the roof (the portion visible outside of the home) is due to the cold weather and ice building up as cold air and moister entered.

The venting system ran down the entire length of the loft and bottom floor and terminated just below the floor joist in the crawlspace. It was one vertical length with no elbows but just connected with sleeves. I would come back to it later after the roof was on.

Sewer/Waste System

After the roof portion was cemented in, I jumped to installing the internal anatomy of the sewer/waste system connected to the septic tank. For those of you that think this is unattainable for you, YouTube and a variety of videos will be your immediate friend. Those videos will cover the bandwidth of code, techniques, and proper installation of your project needs.

So we’re reversing gears and now picking up the trail from the four-inch PVC sewer line as it entered the crawlspace through the concrete wall. Again, you want to start at the furthest point away, with the sewer line tucked right up in the floor joist and eventually work your way to the sewer inlet from the septic tank.

Home Free

Be sure to make all your cuts, placement of elbows, different sized junctions, and length of drainpipe to your water fixture is dried in without actually gluing them into place. I was fortunate to have the plumber come the very next day after I dried in the plumbing lines as he was installing the gas lines. He gave my work a spot check, make a quick couple of adjustments for me, and verbally signed off on all my plumbing work. I knew I was home free at that point.

The Venting System

So now I have the venting system in place, one air vent to every one fixture, and the sewer line, which essentially is the drain line, all in tacked ready for priming and gluing. Remember that your drain pipes will rage from 1.5 inches in diameter for sinks, two inches for showers, and three inches for toilets. These will all be connected into your 4-inch sewer/drain line.

NOTE: The sewer line must be sloped properly even inside your building structure. At the end where it will connect to the incoming line from the septic tank, it can 90-degree into a straight down connection, into the already slopped properly septic sewer line entering the home. You might want to cap off the already plumbed drain tentacles, such as for the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, shower, toilet, washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator, or anything else you had configured on your plumbing plan.

Water Lines for Hot and Cold

Next was spending more time at McDonalds soaking up free Wi-Fi and this time gleaning the wisdom from licensed plumbers on YouTube to lay out all the water lines for both hot and cold. I chose PEX plastic lines over copper lines inside the home. This was an easy portion of the plumbing job because of not using copper pipes, as the plastic PEX lines just crimped into place or had valve sleeves, which was a synch to insert and go.

NOTE: Be sure you use as many of the PEX shut off valves as you can. It will aid in winterizing the home quickly and effectively. A crawl space will hold its temperature all year around (above freezing), so be sure to pace your shut off valves in a nonfreezing location. However, in the event that a PEX line freezes, there is more leniency for expansion than if you use the old standard copper pipes.

Purchase of PEX Crimper and Plumbing Items

I added a PEX crimper [1] to my tool arsenal. It cost about $100. With the whips of PEX lines, blue for cold water and red for hot water, sticking out of the walls and floors, and viewing all the drains in place, it was now time to purchase the items that the installed plumbing would eventually service, such as toilets, showers, vanities, sinks, dishwashers, et cetera. This was more spending but also more checked boxes of your overall listing of surmounting tasks. The project is now shaping up.

Stove/Chimney

(The installation of a stove and chimney required two days.) The chimney was purchased from Home Depot, and from the picture you understand it is temporary for now. The stone fireplace will be constructed as a later milestone. I will also undertake that feat with the use of YouTube videos. Ha!

The Stove

I purchased the stove first, so I knew I needed a 6-inch flue for the size of stove. It was a large wood-burning stove that can handle 21-inch logs to the tune of ten of them in one burn. That way you can load them up at night and in the morning you have hot coals ready to start your next batch. I will admit, if you’re not use to the cold, it can bite you. You might not sleep well if you can’t get over being cold at night. So, use a large fireplace to keep warm all night long. It was the only source of heat for this first winter. We will get better as time goes on.

Wood

To save time, I purchased two full cords of wood from a local wood retailer. He also got in trouble by the city for cutting wood on his private property within the city boundaries. Liberals are everywhere…Go figure!

Putting the Stove In

Putting the stove in, first the 6-inch flue hole was cut in the logs exactly in the position above the vent for the stove. Then it was a matter of assembling the components for the chimney outside and connecting the inside chimney to the stove inside. This took a full day to accomplish.

Boy, was it needed, as the cold set in that weekend and the first burn of logs was just icing on the cake. There’s nothing like having your hot fire with your hot tea poured right from the kettle, with your hot honey, and then sitting back and enjoying those flames warming your souls. It was a morale booster and fantastically romantic.

Organize the Wood Into Stacks

I was able to organize the wood outside into nice sync stacks in categories of tinder, kindling, to log fuel for the fire. I placed the three stacks right next to the opposite porch not connected to the driveway. That way no one would be walking in on that side. You might want to have a steel bucket [2] nearby and a brush/poker [3] to maintain the fire and fireplace.

NOTE: The chimney is in need of cleaning every two months and should be cleaned from the top down. Since this means getting onto the roof, even in the winter months, I have planned a long cable to be run along the outside fascia on the highest peak. It will be installed this spring and tested long in advance of the winter snow.

Tile Floor

(The tile floor required three weeks, including time set aside for cement board, tile, and grout.) This was the most fun, I must admit. The Home Depot guys were great in illustrating what to use, how to apply each step of the task, and the proper tools to utilize for this entire endeavor.

Fireproof Cement Backing Boards

The first step toward our floor was to cement in place the 3×5-foot sheets of backing boards. This is a fireproof cement board, which the actual tile will be affixed to. To complete this step after cementing to the subfloor, a nail is required about every eight inches of space on the board.

Cementing Tile To Backer Board

Next was actually cementing the tile to the backer board. This required a specialized cement mixed into large pails and then applied it to the back of the tile with a grooved trawl creating sync lines of equal spacing to affix to the backer boards already cemented and nailed to the subfloor.

Plastic Space and Grouting

Once each tile was applied according to the floor layout, and a 3/16ths plastic spacer inserted in between, the floor was readied for grouting. This is the last step and should be done when the tiles are totally dried and affixed to the backer boards. Mix the grout in the color of your palette choosing, with the special mix, into a large bucket. Once the grout is thick and not runny, like the cement was, it’s ready to be placed into the cracks/crevices of the tile floor. Apply this thicker coat of cement (grout) into your tile cracks starting on the back wall first and working your way out the door of the room. You will need a special tool for this grouting, as it’s a different version of the trawl you used for the tile and backer board steps.

Items Designed on Paper But Not Completed

There are a variety of items that are designed on paper but not currently completed. Stay tuned for the following:

Tools

After reading JWR’s book, Tools For Survival [4], and having already prepped in the tool area, there are some specialty tools needed for building a log home. Here are some tips and recommended tools for you:

Do It Yourself and Save!

Having said all that about tools, there are tools you will own that will most likely never be used again, such as the PEX plumbing crimper. But if you ever have to install a spare line in the future, you save the cost of labor for a plumber. Do it yourself.

NOTE: The American Redoubt is a rip-off by construction companies. Their estimates are way overpriced, compared with those of other states. There was over $100,000 saved in labor costs by doing everything myself. That is not an estimate but a fact. The cheapest estimate in labor I’ve received was north of 100-grand, and the highest estimate was over $300,000 to “put it all together.” What a gouge!

Food

Is a real treat to cook your first batch of canned beans, in your new cast iron pan, on your brand new wood burning stove. I’ve heated up water in minutes for our morning cup of tea and even cooked salmon and bread inside the stove with a burn-proof container. We’ve even made popcorn. You know you’re “working-it” off grid when all of these items are delicious to your taste buds and satisfying to the soul.

Trash

Trash was removed when there were a few contractor bags full of items. I took them out in small batches. There were no large ticket items, such as logs and extra wood/material, as purchasing the correct amount of supplies was the catalyst of having no unneeded waste. That happens with a good assessment and correct arithmetic (something homeschoolers know about), not common-core math from the public school arena.

NOTE: I’ve used a few dumpsters in the major cities that I had permission to use. Most places it’s illegal to dump at random. So be sure you have the “okay” first.

Keep your powder dry.

See Also:

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been part six of a six part entry for Round 77 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest [12]. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator [13] from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses [14], excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper [15]. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees [16] in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product [17] from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
  8. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses [18].

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator [19] provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 [20] Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit [21] from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  7. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of [22] Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack [23], a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners [24], donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections [25], a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances [26], and
  6. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord [27] (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).

Round 77 ends on July 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail [28] us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

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Comments Disabled To "A Memoir On One Family’s Move To The American Redoubt- Part 6, by X. Liberal & China Doll"

#1 Comment By K in Tenn On June 24, 2018 @ 12:12 pm

That’s an amazing story, and thanks for sharing. You must be an exceptional individual. However with a rudimentary level of knowledge in some of those categories, I cannot fathom attempting to do a whole-house construction based on you-tube knowledge. Baffling. Best of luck to you and yours, I hope it all works out for you.

#2 Comment By X. Liberal & China Doll On June 24, 2018 @ 12:31 pm

Our Overarching Feedback to posted comments of all six parts… and THANK YOU!

HATS OFF TO SURVIVALBLOG:
JWR/Hugh have done a stellar job at mitigating posts/comments from reflecting a run-of-the-mill Internet blog/YouTube/Facebook feedback tragedy. No non-family friendly content in these comments.

TIME LINE:
I’m not going to divulge timeframes reading JWR’s book How To Survive The End Of The World As We Know It, became Preppers, and transitioned to Homesteaders, but here’s a non date specific timeline.

Start: This project started with a non-debt purchase of a log home package and our thorough selection process in wood/styles/roofs/beam structure.

1-year lapsed: land search fitting our detailed metrics making a non-debt purchase. The log home company needed ten-days word to fire up the lathes and have the entire kit complete, packaged, and ready to transport. That’s why we could wait a year after purchasing the log package kit to seek land.

1-year lapsed: Delivery of the log package, excavating, building the crawlspace, and subfloor. The subfloor was securely weatherproofed with tarps now.

7-months lapsed: logs stacked, gables constructed, beams set, T&G ceiling installed, windows and doors installed, logs sealed and stained. The roof sealed with synthetic tarpaper and strips of 1x4s to ensure longevity of protection.

10-months lapsed: roof foamed, steel installed, log siding nailed, porch complete, and chimney/stove working. We stayed the winter months—fun.

8-months lapsed: is at where the article ended. It’s a process and a labor of love through and through.

DEBT FREE:
There’s a glaring OPSEC violation with SSN/name/real home address/DOB, et al. being placed onto a mortgage/loan application. There’s no risk of forfeiture of property/assets by being debt free. You can also purchase your property LEGALLY without ever tying the above information to your public record [which your neighbors will look up to see who entered their community]—FYI!

YOUTUBE:
All work was performed by ourselves, or by a day laborer [winter was setting in], or by contractors that were mention [minimally used]. I spent the better part of a year, figuring, documenting, planning, drawing, and repeating to come up with the desired results needed for someone with limited/no construction experience. All requisite knowledge, tool utilization, equipment understanding, and material selections were from watching many hundreds of hours [closer to 1000 hours] of YouTube videos and taking copious notes. I didn’t move to the next video until every aspect of the job was documented even something as minute as the proper placement of nuts and bolts. This included but not limited to plumbing, electrical, log staining, tile flooring and grouting, stacking logs, subfloor construction, tin roof placement, IFC block installation, concrete pours, excavating, PEX plumbing lines, interior wall erection, et al.

All topics, once completely outlined, were follow-up with a visit/conference call/discussion with a licensed professional in that particular field. With this much time and treasure on the line, we were not about to allow this to slip into a debacle, or as some commented “giving it a whirl.” No, not us! We always held the requisite knowledge and the comfortably knowing we had that knowledge prior to moving forward with any task in the milestone.

REBAR comment—thank you:
We trusted the expertise of the team of Masons in our interviews with them, and nothing has happened to the structure, after many years for time to settle.

ELECTRICAL comment—thank you:
After a few tweaks all signed off by the Inspector! We’ve used deep-cycle batteries [ones for the solar panels], charging periodically with the generator, for over a year. Since we’re a debt-free project, we haven’t the capital for the solar panels, backup generator, and set of batteries as of yet.

OPSEC comment—thank you:
Again, we are all at different levels here! Some believe calculating Satellite geosynchronous orbits and timing it correctly to enter/leave a property inside a hollowed out mountain cave when no satellite can see them—is OPSEC. We don’t have the luxury. Ask any CIA agent and they blend into the foreign community they’re planted.

Everyone allowed semi-trucks to their property, had equipment dropped/fetched, held a messy construction site, and did normal things to construct their off-grid homes in our area. We didn’t stand at the end of our driveway donning capes covering our faces when the nosy neighbors stopped by—that’s a huge violation of OPSEC and would trigger them in giving a second look. Sometimes OPSEC is blending in as a normal person—the gray-man/woman.

Negative/Positive People
Two cardinal rules: “Remove all negative people and associate with people who have gone where you want to go.” We associated ourselves with right thinking Conservative/Christians and GC/Construction guys with the requisite knowledge to complete this project. Gleaning every bit of knowledge right to the Nth degree. No exceptions.

Naysayers: surrounding yourselves with negative influences having a “can’t do” attitude is a recipe for disaster. There’re plenty of those on both sides of our families. Their mouths are speechless now!

PURPOSE of sharing:
Information here is to demonstrate how one can overcome doubt, finances, negative family members, and achieve a dream. “God gives us men the dream, and that dream is what attracts a woman—fulfilling that dream makes your bride even more attracted to you.”—Grandfather once told me. There’s nothing more attractive to a woman than a man going places in life that she’s onboard to go!

Until we meet again,
X. Liberal & China Doll

#3 Comment By JBH On June 24, 2018 @ 3:00 pm

May I ask one more question please? How did you make a living during this 3+ years? Did you work full time and do this weekend’s and evenings? Did you save enough before hand to live on the whole time? Did you work part time? Did your wife work making money while you took the time to build the house ( like a neighbor of mine did)?

Also did you live on site or elsewhere through this process? (I guess that is two questions.)

#4 Comment By X. Liberal On June 24, 2018 @ 5:15 pm

I’m a corporate CPA. I take contracts with major corporations and usually work remotely once I spend an initial two weeks on their campus meeting their teams.

My wife doesn’t work in a wage earning position and with the feminized carnage implemented in society we don’t have plans for her to work. We want to part of the solution and that’s the solution.

Since moving up to the Redoubt our annual expenses are Taxes, insurance, and Propane. That’s it, no mortgage, no utilities, no association dues, no harassment from fines with California associations. I soon won’t need to take full year contracts now with just under $4000 per year to live. We will be semi-retired from this sacrifice. Another benefit of the Redoubt.

My wife is just as guilty of this success as I am or anyone who helped. She did a lot of the planning and ground work in designs and layouts. This truly is a marriage benefit to entertain this project and for me to not take contracts the entire year and work remotely from the property. VPN worked fine with those monthly hot spot cards we purchased at Walmart. Good signal and could conduct conference calls and webinars from our location.

Someone with a remote job configuration or travels to go to work as a consultant would be a shoo-in for the Redoubt. FYI.

We are here full time now and renting out our previous home. The housing market keeps increasing and it’s not time to sell just yet.

Hope that helps.

#5 Comment By JBH On June 24, 2018 @ 8:36 pm

Thank you for the info and the whole series. I wish you many excellent years in your new home.

#6 Comment By Just_AC On June 24, 2018 @ 3:11 pm

I am VERY grateful for you sharing your adventure! I would love o be able to do the same, but my skillset does not run to constuction talents. I’ve always said “measure twice, cut once. Cuss three times, throw away that first piece and redo the whole process.” Sigh. And my Dad was a carpenter and built our house, with my mom 8 months pregnant and climbing up to the roof hauling one brick at a time. I miss them

#7 Comment By Rucksack Rob On June 24, 2018 @ 3:56 pm

Excellent story.
Thanks for all the tips I’m sure it will help many, many people… BUT… I have some concerns re: your wood stove install.

I was a journeyman woodheat technician for almost 9 years for the largest wholesale / retail wood heating store in Northern California (now out of business mostly due to CARB / EPA) and have installed approximately 2,500 wood burning appliances, many of which are documented in Sunset Magazines DIY book(s)” Fireplaces and Wood stoves” – 2nd Ed. When I/we were not installing, we were sweeping chimneys, probably half again as many as our installs. There were many Chimney sweeps in the area so we only serviced our customers as needed since our primary job(s) was selling and installing. I now live in the Northern Great Lakes and burn wood around 8 months+- a year

1st) you say you cut a 6″ hole through the logs to accommodate the 6″ stove pipe. I hope you added the proper MINIMUM clearance (2″) for ‘Class A’ pipe (a 6″ pipe would require a 10″ hole, 6″ pipe plus 2″ of clearance all around = 10″ and so, 8″ pipe would require a 12″ hole) This is regardless if it’s through the wall or up through the ceiling / roof.

2nd) (and hopefully, you DO NOT have a catalytic converter on your stove) you say you have to clean your chimney every 2 months. If that’s the case, you’re doing something wrong (no insult intended).
Either your firewood is nowhere near being cured (dry) and/or your wood is an oily wood such as pine or birch (but after proper drying, should be fine, I burned a lot of birch when I lived in Alaska), or you may be burning too low a fire thus not allowing the smoke to combust (smoke is just unburned gasses) and/or your air intake(s) are blocked by ash. It is rare to have to clean your chimney more than 2x a year and most times… once a year, the exception might be if you have ‘spark arrester cap’ up on top and it’s not unusual for them to clog thus allowing a build up of soot towards the top of the pipe. (and don’t be surprised if you find a birds nest up their after summer, that is not that uncommon)
If your chimney is not surrounded by trees, I’d eliminate the wire mesh part of the cap. A well burning stove will not let sparks ‘fly’ up and out the chimney but be advised, some local building codes require it.
Of all the appliances I’ve installed, to this day (that I know of but am also sure of) none of my installs have ever started a house or nearby woods fire and a great percentage of those installs were in drought ridden areas, in other words…very dry.
Hope this clarifies a few points for future installs by other readers.

#8 Comment By Anaimal House On June 24, 2018 @ 4:23 pm

An amazing accomplishment for both of you. Plus a great story for your grandchildren! A few pictures here and there would have made the narrative more understandable for non-construction folks.

#9 Comment By James and Maria On June 24, 2018 @ 6:10 pm

I agree with X Liberal’s comment about construction costs being a ripoff in the Redoubt.
My wife and I were shocked with the quotes we received from contractors for a garage with an overhead mother-in-law apartment. We are no strangers to building, and they were much higher than prices charged in the Southeast.

I don’t know if it’s supply and demand, or if it’s builders charging more because most of their clients are from California, and are used to paying ridiculous prices for everything. Can’t say I blame them either way, they charge what the market will pay. I did overhear two sub-contractors saying how they adjust their prices higher if the property is more expensive, and they think the owners have more money.

My wife and I have joked that if a good builder from the South would come up to the Redoubt
with his crew, he would do very well.

Despite the inflated cost of construction here, we still have no regrets about moving to the Redoubt., we’d do it all over again.

J and M

#10 Comment By LO On June 24, 2018 @ 11:00 pm

I am a Contractor in the redoubt, We charge based on what the market supports. The South for the most part has always been cheaper in most markets. If a Contractor came up from the Southern states, he would charge what the rest of us charge, or he wouldnt last long. Gas prices, building materials, and so on and so forth dictate what we charge. There are certain areas of the redoubt that have been successful at keeping home depot and Lowes out, Moscow Idaho comes to mind.. All there is for a hardware/lumber yard is Moscow Building supply.. the closest home depot is Lewiston. Even Pullman Washington, just 5 miles away doesnt have a home depot or lowes.

#11 Comment By Susan On June 24, 2018 @ 6:57 pm

I hope they covered all the bases, but with zero knowledge going in I don’t see how he sorted the real information from all the nonsense on YouTube. People post on YouTube because they can, not necessarily because they have any clue what they’re talking about. I’ve seen so-called DIY “information” that not only defied common sense but also defied the laws of physics. It often sounds good on the surface unless you have a clue going in and can spot the stupidity.

Example. A float as a canoe accessory. Sealed tube. The idiot adds foam inside because we all know foam adds buoyancy. The idiot doesn’t know buoyancy is simply a function of weight and displacement. Adding foam inside the tube only added weight and resulted in less buoyancy.
Example. Capturing rainwater in a barrel to water your garden. Idiot says set the barrel on concrete blocks to increase pressure to 15 psi. Sure, we all know raising the barrel will raise the pressure. Idiot unaware you get one atmosphere of pressure for each 33 feet of pressure head (vertical distance from water surface to outlet), or roughly 1/2 psi per foot. You’d need to put the barrel on a tall roof to get 15 psi.

These are the ones that come quickly to mind, and I could go an and on. Total lack of knowledge does not prevent people from displaying that fact on the internet. Beware of internet information. Real books exist. Try them sometime.

This site is one of the best. Original information seems solid. Be cautious of submitted articles, some writers seem to reach beyond their knowledge base to fill space.

#12 Comment By JD On June 24, 2018 @ 9:30 pm

First you make reference that these people are frauds without any requisite proof and then insinuate that you are the authority of Survivalblog content and what’s authentic whereby referring to these people as “Stupid”.

As an attorney, I would have to illustrate this document would hold up in a court of law as factual and truthful. We know YouTube doesn’t post timeframes of demonstrations of tasks. These people added timeframes to back their story shared. Then we have a professional contractor early on confirming that these timeframes and chronology of tasks are spot on.

Their story would hold up and your comment would be tossed out of a court of law. “Stupid??”

#13 Comment By Hugh James Latimer On June 25, 2018 @ 3:43 am

@Susan,
The most important thing in a submitted article isn’t that they get all the details right, it’s that they actually tried what they are doing. It’s about first hand experience. Whether that experience is planning the project or actually doing the project doesn’t really matter, though the best articles are written as the the project is done or an account of it shortly afterwards. The writer doesn’t necessarily understand everything they are doing either.
The examples that you give are a prime example of this:

  • Your sealed tube is actually better off filled with foam. An empty tube that suffers a breach is worthless. A tube filled with a closed cell foam (like what you buy in a can) gets you security. If the tube gets punctured, you only lose the damaged area for buoyancy. The person filling it might not fully understand that, but he knows that a filled tube is better than an empty tube.
  • A slightly elevated rainwater barrel gives you the ability to perform easier maintenance and is easier to level, but the person doing it may not understand why the slight elevation is better.

Both of those examples give you better performance and the author of the video might not fully understand it. What is important is that they are showing you what they did. They can relate their successes, failures and progress. You get to see their learning in progress.

Not everyone is an expert in every situation, but they are sharing their ideas and progress. They even learn from the comments that are left from other readers. It’s a community.

#14 Comment By Chris On June 24, 2018 @ 8:51 pm

X Liberal & China Doll, thank you for sharing your story of building your new home. Congrat’s on ur move to the redoubt & I wish God’s blessings upon you!

#15 Comment By RE 7B On June 25, 2018 @ 5:10 pm

A useful series for those dreaming of a move to the redoubt. X Liberal provides a real life example of the work and expense involved–more than three years and easily north of $300,000 to get into their new home. And there are still major expenses ahead. (A well, barn, tractor and greenhouse are all expensive, but necessary for self sufficiency in this north country.) Still the determination of the young couple to succeed and their commitment to hard work does bode well for success here.

After decades in the redoubt, I do have a different perspective on his “nosy neighbors,” however. City people do not realize that they are moving into an entirely different culture when they come here. Country people will call on new residents–not to be nosy but as a part of our own OPSEC (though we don’t call it that). It is important to the safety of our own families to find out if the newcomers: (1) know where their property ends and ours begins and whether they respect our property; (2) how big of a danger or nuisance the newcomers will be due to inexperience or ignorance; (3) to determine your character–whether you are honest, sensible and willing to learn.

The redoubt may look like a low regulation area compared to the cities, but we have lost a lot of our freedoms in the last 30 years because of the influx of urban dwellers. While newcomers are excited about fulfilling a dream, they also bring a set of assumptions and expectations that can have caused us all harm.

Your country neighbors are not ignorant rubes–many of us have advanced degrees too–and we’ve been successfully self-reliant for a long time. That good old boy down the road is likely a much better prepper than you are—but YOU WILL NEVER KNOW IT. We don’t call it OPSEC, we call it common sense.

Thanks X Liberal and China Doll for sharing your experiences. Good luck on your continuing adventure.

#16 Comment By Simple man On June 25, 2018 @ 9:09 pm

Thank you for sharing the process. It looks daunting, but I see that you concentrated on focusing on each step rather than what all needs to be done. Just milestones.

#17 Comment By sis On June 29, 2018 @ 11:05 pm

wow ! you guys accomplished a lot. I would add a few suggestions. Consider adding a small solar system or a larger one if you can afford it. Propane is great and we use it, but eventually it will run out. We are plumbed for a small propane refrig, but are hoping to invest in an energy efficient electric refrig. soon. We also have a good cellar that would work. I would have a Lot of firewood set back as chainsaws use gas. Cutting wood by hand would be a huge job. One reason old homestead places are small. Lots of warm bedding would be a good idea. Please don’t get the idea that you need to go so nice to be set up. It’s great if you can afford it but honestly you could live in single wide, put in cellar, a simple solar system . establish a garden , maybe few chickens, propane tanks (propane cookstove) and add other useful items as you can. That would be preferable to waiting and doing nothing.