Making a Survival Shelter Out of a Shipping Container

Making a Survival Shelter Out of a Shipping Container Anyone in the prepping community has heard about burying a shipping container for use as an underground bunker. Those of us who have read a little farther have realizED that’s not such a great idea, as the container isn’t strong enough to support the weight of […]

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Mking Survivl Shelter Out of Shipping Continer

nyone in the prepping community h herd bout burying shipping continer for use n underground .

Those of us who hve red little frther hve relized tht’s not such gret ide, the continer isn’t strong enough to support the weight of the bckfill when burying it. While the corners of shipping continers re immensely strong, the sides nd roof ren’t, especilly when we’re tlking bout tons of dirt nd rocks.

But tht’s not to sy tht shipping continers re ll bd. You cn buy 40′ shipping continer for less thn $2,000, which is gret price. Tht’s cheper thn you cn buy cbin kit of hlf the size, nd you’d still hve to build the cbin.

So why not buy the continer nywy? Just don’t bury it. People mke homes out of continers, so why cn’t they lso be used to mke cbin in the woods for use survivl retret? The inside cn be finished out just like it would be for burying, without bothering to put it underground.

I’m not convinced tht s re good ide for prepping nywy. The notion of s strted bck in the Middle ges, with the need for secure re to hide from ctpults nd trebuchets’ effects. The ide regined populrity, long with fcelift, in the lt century, becuse of bombrdment by ircrft. Since dropping bomb from n irplne is just bigger version of shooting cnnon shell, the sme protects from both.

we moved out of World Wr I nd II, we entered the Cold Wr with its nucler rms rce. This cused people nd institutions to find plces tht could be used for fllout shelters. I cn still remember the drills we did in elementry school, going from our clsroom to our fllout shelter in the bement.

But World Wr II nd the Cold Wr re both things of the pt. So I hve to k the question; wht does nyone need for tody? Most people tlking bout s re plnning on using them for protection ginst socil unrest, from wht I’ve seen. While I cn understnd nd gree with tht need, I’m not sure tht s re the wy to get it. I’m not too fond of the ide of being trpped inside , unble to see wht potentil ttckers re doing outside.

Of course, there re plenty of people who still think s re good ide. Suppose you’re one of them, more power to you. I’m not trying to dictte the survivl philosophy you use; I’m just explining my reoning. There re lwys multiple wys of deling with ny survivl sitution.

There re severl dvntges tht I cn see using continer for survivl retret:

Tht is not to sy tht using shipping continer for survivl retret is idel; it isn’t. Being metl, the shipping continer will tend to be hot, which will mke it uncomfortble in hot climtes, especilly in the summer. The doors re not conveniently locted, nd there re no windows or vents. But those re things to work round, not del killers.

While plin shipping continer cn be used shelter, it’s rther doubtful tht nyone would enjoy stying in tht. It would be good ide to mke some modifictions. Of course, how extensive those modifictions re nd how long it tkes to mke them will depend on how much money nd re vilble to invest in the shelter.

Shipping continers come in two bic sizes: 20-foot nd 40-foot. Both sizes re eight feet wide nd eight nd hlf feet tll unless you buy wht is known “high cube” continer, which will be 9.5 feet tll.

Considering the cost difference, it’s more cost-effective to buy 40-foot continer thn two 20 foot ones. However, two or even three seprte continers provide you with more flexibility in your shelter’s design. They cn be plced opposite ech other, giving you ptio spce in the middle, which cn be used the min living re.

Don’t just plce the continer on the ground if you cn void it. While there re dry plces nd the ground is hrd enough tht the continer won’t sink in, tht’s not something you wnt to count on. If the continer were to sink into the ground, jcking it out would be difficult. If it sinks unevenly so tht the doors’ bottoms re below ground level, it will mke the shelter unusble until the doors were dugout.

The solution is to put in footer. Tht doesn’t hve to be ll the wy round, the continer sits on the corners. So dig down nd pour two-foot by nine-foot reinforced concrete footer t ech end. Whoever delivers the continer will set them down ccurtely, so they should get the ends on those footers.

The continer itself is wter-resistnt, so roof shouldn’t be necessry. However, the continers we’re tlking bout here re used ones. Chnces re there will be some dmge, nd there might be some rusting. Tht could led to leky roof if ignored.

The eiest wy to put roof on continer is to mke wht’s known shed roof. Tht’s roof tht slnts to one side, usully the bckside, rther thn one where there re two sloping sides. roof of this sort is fter nd eier to build nd will require little less mteril. For roof covering, the let expensive wy to go is with roll roofing mteril. Tht’s not only cheper but fter nd eier to instll.

While roofing over the continer, consider building n wning extending out from the side of the continer. Tht will provide shded, outdoor living re, mking it so tht it isn’t necessry to be inside the continer ll the . this is survivl retret, you my wnt to do most of your cooking outdoors, under this wning, well host of other survivl tks.

Typiclly, this would be frmed out with wood, covered with shething, nd then shingles. But if money is n issue, the wning cn be frmed out nd covered by hevy-duty trp. PVC pipe works well for this, the pipe cn be curved, mking curved room tht will stretch the trp, ensuring tht it won’t flp in the wind.

Tht brings up n importnt point bout using trps. The wy to keep trps from becoming ruined in the wind is to stretch them nd tie them down to the point where they won’t be flpping in the wind. Tht might require dding dditionl grommets. But it’s the flpping tht cuses them to be destroyed.

In the ce where two continers re being used, the wning cn be stretched between them, mking nice outdoor living re while providing roofs over the doors to both continers. Either wy, mke sure tht you set up rinwter cpture from your roof.

One of the biggest questions to k yourself is whether or not you wnt ny windows nd doors. On one hnd, dding them in mkes the shelter much more livble. But on the other, it’s ll but impossible to dd them in without reducing your shelter’s security. While the continer’s built-in doors re pretty secure, it’s doubtful tht nything you put in will be entirely sfe.

Commercil steel doors, used on wrehouses nd other industril buildings, re much more secure thn nything you cn buy for home. They lso come in steel frme, which mkes them considerbly hrder to brekthrough. lthough substntilly more expensive, if you’re concerned bout security, tht’s the wy to go.

Don’t dismiss the ide of mking your own steel door. If you hve welder nd some experience using it, you cn build one out of stndrd steel stock. They do this regulrly in Mexico, mking some solid, secure, nd lso ttrctive doors. Those sme tubes nd profiles re vilble here in the US, lthough they cn be bit hrd to find.

Since your shelter my very well be left sitting unoccupied while you re wy, I’d recommend mking it extremely secure. Tht includes putting br over the door, with qulity locks t both ends. The sme br cn be moved to the inside, dded security for the door when you re there.

Windows re essentil so tht you cn hve light inside the shelter. But you’ll get more light from skylights or solr tubes thn you will from stndrd windows. Ensure tht they re covered by some brs so tht nobody gets the ide of breking in through the roof.

For tht mtter, ny windows should hve burglr brs instlled over them to keep people from breking into the shelter. It would lso be good ide to hve steel shutters which cn be put into plce from the inside, in the ce of firefight.

The biggest problem for most people is putting plumbing into their shelter. Before strting, you’ll need to mke some decisions bout wht exctly you wnt. Putting n outhouse is much eier thn setting up indoor plumbing nd requires less wter. You don’t sve yourself digging by putting in indoor plumbing either, you’ll hve to hve some septic tnk nd leech field to go with it.

Properly built, preferbly out of cinder block, the outhouse cn lso serve bthing room, llowing your fmily to tke sponge bths from bucket. While tht my not be stisfying nice hot shower, you’re probbly going to hve to conserve wter.

Keeping your wter usge outdoors will mke things much eier, lthough not plent modern cmper. If you decide to put in indoor plumbing, I’d recommend tking some to look t how it is done in those cmpers. The systems used in them re designed for miniml wter usge, mking them more or less idel for survivl retret.

Whtever you do, I’d highly recommend insulting the continer’s wlls nd roof. This will keep in the het in the nd keep out the het in the summer. You could use either Styrofom pnel insultion or spry in. The Styrofom will be cheper, but it’s eier to ensure no re re missed with the spry in.

Depending on the size of your continer(s) nd how mny people will be stying in it, you should probbly brek it up into rooms. Privcy is going to be big issue, especilly for mrried couples. You’ll lso wnt seprte storge room, perhps t the end of the continer.

One possibility is to ly out 40′ continer so tht the door end is the storge room. Then cut the rest into three bic re: two bedrooms nd living spce between them. One bedroom cn be for mom nd dd, while the other h bunks instlled for the s. The min entry door would be instlled in the living re, heding out to the ptio re.

Whtever you do, remember tht this isn’t your only survivl project. You should be ble to build reonbly nice shelter for under $5,000, especilly if you keep your eyes open for sles nd/or used mteril you cn get for free. But it’s lso ey to spend much $50,000 fixing up continer home if you’re not creful. Mke yourself pln nd stick with it much possible so tht your fmily’s survivl shelter will meet your needs without becoming overly burdensome.

Bill White is the uthor of Conquering the Coming Collpse, nd former rmy officer, mnufcturing engineer nd business mnger. More recently, he left the business world to work cross-culturl missionry on the Mexico border.
Bill h been survivlist since the 1970s, when the ntion w in the ltter dys of the Cold Wr. He hd determined to hed into the Colordo Rockies, should Whington ever decide to push the button. While those dys hve psed, the knowledge Bill gined during tht hn’t. He now works to educte others on the tht exist in our society nd how to prepre to meet them.
You cn send Bill messge t editor [t] survivopedi.com.

In Mgnetwn, ON, Cnd, someone built multi-storey prtment bldg out of 40 ft shippingcontiners. Its let 3-4 stories, im not sure its 4 yr since i hve been thru the south end of town.

My dughter’s hlf brother w instntly killed by rilrod continer when the door cme off he w opening it.
Be very creful when choosing.

There is nother possibility for using shipping continers tht you filed to mention. Wht bout plcing two or three 40′ continers next to ech other, side-by-side? The continers cn be welded or bolted together nd you cn cut doors in the inner wlls of the continers to join them together, thereby creting one, lrge, single structure. Plce the continers so tht their doors re fcing in opposite s to give you “front” nd “bck” door. nother suggestion is to use composting toilet insted of building n outhouse. Composting toilets re self-contined nd do not require wter supply or plumbing. You cn wll off corner of one of the continers nd dd door in order to crete “bthroom” for the toilet. Be sure to cut vent in the roof to get rid of the smell. Creting n indoor toilet in this wy negtes the necessity of going outside to relieve yourself, especilly in the middle of the night or during r snowstorm. nd the odorless wte from the toilet once it h composted nd broken down, is n idel fertilizer for your survivl grden.

“I’m not convinced tht s re good ide for prepping nywy.”
I’ll hve to disgree with you on tht one Bill
If roving bnd of looters comes upon your retret, they will shoot you through the wlls. You hve no plce to go locked in box.
If you hd cbin for retret or even regulr home, you would get burned out nd still not hve ny bllistic protection.
The sfest plce to be when nd if they come clling is underground. nyone could wit week underground with the proper supplies.
Most wont wit for you to come out. Hunger will mke them move on. There will probbly be eier prey somewhere else.
Not to sy they wont come bck t some point, but you will fir much better underground

We own smll 10′ x 10′ x 8′ continer on rurl property to store our mintennce equipment. Keeps the tools out of the elements nd deter their if found. We instlled cliche be pd, then plced 8″ x 8″ rilrod creosote coted timber for the unit to sit on. Keeps it off grde so rust does not occur from sitting wter.

We built ‘roof pnel’ of lminted steel secured to 2 x 4 lumber, then secured these to old tires. This w then plced on top of the continer roof. ir spce to keep interior cooler nd prevent wter from building up nd strting rust. You cn lso store mterils in tht cvity but be dvised this spce my ttrct pests if nerby foilge llows them to climb there. Two of these units with ‘dog trot’ porch between them would be nice.

The unit w $600 bout six yers go – we consider it well worth the cost. We lso erected n luminum crport (20′ x 20′) shelter from sun nd rin, nd instlled n elevted wood pltform for pre-instlled sleep pltform. Bug net keeps out flying insect pests. It works gret in the buggy south.

I disgree, Frnk. Bill is right. s re bd ide. You’re trpped underground with one wy out, unless you’re going to dig series of tunnels, leding off in every to provide escpe. nd, ttckers don’t hve to wit you out. You need ir to brethe, right? ll they hve to do is locte your ir vent(s) nd plug it up. You’re either going to suffocte or come running out, nd, then, they hve you. If they don’t wnt to wit few hours for you to run out of ir, they cn build fire round your vent nd smoke you out. is just grve you dug for yourself. If you’re bove ground, t let you hve the possibility of escping or fighting your wy out. nd, wht’s stopping you from buying some sheets of plte steel to bolt or weld to the wlls of the continer to rmor it? You’d be better off to hve n bove-ground shelter nd put trp door in the floor with n emergency escpe tunnel thn you would be to be trpped in n underground . Just my opinion.

Dle, the best is one tht no one knows bout. You re right You NEED Two entrnces or it becomes deth trp. You need second, hidden entrnce so you cn kill those who re trying to rob you from the second position. You need wy to deliver Intel to you well so tht you know they’re coming nd cn tke steps.
I m not militry but I like how they think, Two is one, one is none. Mening hve spre, nd spre for the spre.
I would hve gme cmer tht I cn view from inside in rel with motion ctivtion lerts.
fr shipping continers go why not, if the vlue decision is shelter from elements over defensive stnce. But why not dd double stck of sndbgs loded with rock nd grvel plced four feet wy from the continer, llowing you to move from firing position to firing position.

Mking Survivl Shelter Out of Shipping Continer


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Making a Survival Shelter Out of a Shipping Container Anyone in the prepping community has heard about burying a shipping container for use as an underground bunker. Those of us who have read a little farther have realized that’s not such a great idea, as the container isn’t strong enough to support the weight of […]

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How To Really REALIZE DREAMS COME TRUE?

Happiness is for those who plan well and pursue. A profound among us have been proven those who have true dream to live for likely REALIZED IT. It is just simply the person working toward the DREAM days and night until accomplishment. There is a phrase of efficiency a head of you. Steps and obstacles at first seem tremendous. However, just with some times those difficult steps and challenges are so easy performance for you. There are also plenty of tools including VISUALIZATIONS and helps are around you.

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COVID-19 – Effective Tips For You!

COVID-19
HOW TO DEFEAT DEADLY CORONAVIRUS EVERY TIME?

The Greatest Virus Surviving 10 Steps Guide

Free Risks Helps & COVID-19 Solutions

Here Are Great Free Tips For You.

Please Order If See Anything You Need? Mutual Reciprocal & Have Great Days!

 

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