Featured Photos Off-Grid homesteadin' wing'n it yeh (1 Viewer)

dumpsternavel

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Alright, peeps... I'm gonna share with you my on-going journey with the art of land cultivation, building, and off-grid living.

I began this with my partner @Caveman118 in mid November of 2018.
This all started after I finally spent some time in Louisiana, being my 48th state hit while traveling over the last couple of years. Hoorah!

That being said, I began wondering what was in store... How to go about my adventure while keeping things... "Fresh", ha!

Caveman had received an offer from his cousin, of dwelling in a teepee that he had gotten a hold of in the Cascade Mountains of WA... Always seeking to be challenged, I decided "Fuck it, I wanna try to survive the winter with you."

When we arrived it was already coat and woodburnin' weather. And so, it began!!

I don't have any photos of the teepee, because we ended up abandoning the idea after we went through leveling a 15x15' area of land by hand, and setting up the teepee. While pondering it's set up, and condition, we tried to be optimistic. This teepee was heavily weathered, covered in mold, and had a decent amount of holes. The plan was to heat the inside with a small hunter's stove, and hope that would be enough. Well, it wasn't. I patched the wholes with heavy vinyl, and fishing line. We tried to sleep in it for two nights, feeding the fire too many times, and freezing our asses off the entirety.

So.. we decided it was time for a new plan. Build a shelter for the winter, in due time. Because I was sick of wintering in the south, and determined to make this work.

I gotta say, it wasn't easy but somehow, we fucking managed to do it. And I'm here to share with you some photos of the process, and to shed a little light on how possible things can be, when shit is cold, you're broke, and things are looking a bit bleak.

Those of you who have met, or are familiar with @Caveman118 know that this guy is a structure wizard, and can build castles out of trash, earth and anything in-between. Thanks to him, I've learned so much, and I wouldn't have been able to pull any of this off within such a timely manner if it weren't for his experience, assistance, and guidance. Let alone the people on the land that not only invited us, but assisted us in obtaining materials with their pickup trucks, and time here-and-there.

We built a 14x12' structure on the side of a grassy hill. The spot was chosen by Caveman, with the hope of it one day hosting a flock of sheep!

How did we begin? The answer is, PALLETS! Wood that is abundant, and can basically be found anywhere in the country. We made as many runs as possible to the nearest town, gathering pallets that were to be thrown out, until we had a decent load. Mind you, there was a pickup truck getting the pallets from town, to the land, but from there Caveman and I hauled every individual tool, and building material down the hill. No type of gas power otherwise. No electricity aside from batteries. We built the base of the structure (the floor) with treated wood we had bought and purchased some to mimic with the ceiling/roof. We also bought tar paper, and clear plastic. Which was the majority of the cost for the entirety of all structures pictured in this thread. Everything else was salvaged.

Here is a view from the one entrance we have, and the very tall, unkempt grass.

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We scored the particle board that we used as a door from a neighbor who had a couple pieces lying in his garage. We hauled both of them on our backs through the forest, and used the other as the base for our bed. The one on the door was a bit warped, so we cut it to size, and backed it with some other rotting pieces of wood boards that had been neglected on the land. Re-used some hinges, and a door knob from an actual door we scored from the gutting of a house the next town away. Didn't use that door, because we wanted a larger door way for ease of moving things inside.


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Dogs getting' a feel for their new dwelling! Using coffee bags from a coffee shop in PDX, to try and give a little bit of insulation. Got the foam pad outta a decommissioned class C motor home on the land. It was being used as a mouse house... but we cut the gross pieces out, and turned the worst side facedown.

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To our advantage, the people who own the land had collected a decent amount of junk with thoughts of future use.. Caveman found some weird drainage pipe, and we were given permission to use one of the few sink basins laying around, so we already were ahead in drainage, for our lack of running water.. Ha!

The metal roofing we used was re-used. Had a decent amount of drill holes, but I plugged 'em with tar. There was some lying around on the land, and some we got from a couple in the next town who also had a habit of collecting "junk" for unknown projects of the future...

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Caveman built this pallet shitter in T minus 5 Seconds. Whoo! Free standing, and mobile!

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View of the back/side of the structure. You can see a small wood pile that we began working on as well.

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Drillin' shit! Ft. meeka, and Buddy's butt.

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Inside! With beautiful plastic walls... used the particle board cut offs for the counter top. The shelving and mirror came from the haul of gutting a house in the next town.

The small chairs were a "housewarming gift" from another person staying on the land, that had too much stuff. The windows were given to us by a different person building a structure, that wanted to use different ones. Ah, the amount of excess...

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Buddy in da snow! Front yard.

While we were in the process of building, Caveman's cousin was traveling. So, that allowed us to stay warm (thank fuck) in a converted bread truck with a wood burning stove. Unfortunately I don't have any photos of that, but it isn't mine to share. We stayed in there for about a month, while building, and figuring out our stove piping situation for what we began calling "The Babenest" ;)

front-of-house-with-poop-door-jpg.52731_Off-Grid homesteadin' wing'n it yeh_Alternative Housing_Squat the Planet_12:24 PM


By December 12th, we had installed the same hunter's stove that we used in the teepee, originally.

We heated the house, and lived with plastic walls for about a month, before getting a score of cedar wood cuts that we used as siding for $25 a truckload. We hauled the entire truckload down the hill, and used it to side not only the exterior of the house, but the shitter as well.

The make shift gutter you see is metal roofing that we cut with heavy duty scissors into strips, and bent/secured with plumbers tape, and metal screws.

meeka-inside-sadness-jpg.52733_Off-Grid homesteadin' wing'n it yeh_Alternative Housing_Squat the Planet_12:24 PM


Finally moved in!! Heating' up!

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Free carpet in great shape was received from the man that initially picked us up hitch-hiking, and dropped us off at our final destination in Washington state. He got in touch with us to help tear out the carpet in his house, and take as much as we wanted. The rest was going to the dump.

Got an awesome deal from a local shop selling these lazy boys, a table (featured in the picture outside with the animal skin) and two glass pipes, one water, one dry for $80. Which I thought, was a pretty bitchin' deal...

finished-inside-jpg.52735_Off-Grid homesteadin' wing'n it yeh_Alternative Housing_Squat the Planet_12:24 PM


The checkered cabinet/pantry was from the haul from gutting a house in the next town. The man who hooked us up with the carpet gave us two large dog beds, since his dog was deceased. The heavy duty rubber mats were offered to us yet again, by someone on the land that didn't have use for them. Whoo!!

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Here was a special moment for me on our pallet porch! Sewing up some small tears, and learning how to prepare a skin from a fresh coyote kill of a deer found about 300 yards from our dwelling. Not much was left, aside from this small piece of skin, entrails, and the legs of the young deer.

Put a coat of hydro-ban on the particle board door to give it a bit more integrity. A friend had scored a whole bucket of it that was being thrown out.

babe-deers-jpg.52736_Off-Grid homesteadin' wing'n it yeh_Alternative Housing_Squat the Planet_12:24 PM


Pinky's up, mofos! Also, check out that sweet STP patch he's rockin'! ;D

Now, Caveman has an affinity with animals. As I had mentioned early in the thread, the eventual goal was for him to have a flock of sheep to care for. For use of meat, wool, manure, and their ability to clear large spaces of overgrown land. Since that is quite a hefty project, and sheep cost a decent amount of $$. We decided to start with Chickens! Because fuck yeah meat, eggs, and tick control!

front-view-of-chicken-house-jpg.52737_Off-Grid homesteadin' wing'n it yeh_Alternative Housing_Squat the Planet_12:24 PM


I scored a gig cleaning house in the next town over once a week, for an elderly couple.
They had too many roosters, and wanted to get rid of some chickens. So, they gave us 4 hens, and a rooster for free! As well as a slightly dilapidated coop that had been taken over by tall grass. We connected long wooden boards to the sides of the coop like a rickshaw for moving purposes, transported it to the land, and hauled that baby down the hill!

We leveled a decent area, and caveman re-vamped the coop. Replacing broken boards, and giving it more structural integrity. We used branches, scrap wood, and bramble branches to create a natural fenced enclosure for them to "free-range".

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View on the inside of the enclosure.

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Dog ladder up the hill.

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Cultivating the land* Here is a nice lookout that Caveman leveled by hand on his own. He gathered all of the stones from below, and created the bench with the sand he pulled up from leveling. Used leftover cedar siding for sittin'. Manipulated the brambles on the left to form a natural barrier.

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The beginning of the "Barn"!! Which would soon become a covered area for our tools, future sheep, and storage as needed. All fallen alders from right where the structure is standing were used as the large poles. The beginning of the weaved wall is from the abundance of young alders from the logged land.

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Aaaaand, finished!!! Used leftover plastic from the house as the roof. Caveman and I found almost an entire skeleton of a young deer near an abandoned logging truck in the woods, which he laced together, and put on display.

A few of the hens that were given to us were a bit deformed, and quite a nuisance... most were not laying, and would bully the hen that was. Due to that, we knew we were gonna slaughter 'em.

So, when it came to be that season--

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We got chicks!!! The Buckeye breed, to be exact. And raised 'em off of boiling hot water, and pouring it into a couple of gallon jugs for some weeks...

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To my surprise, we only had one casualty! Dem growin' chickies warmin' themselves in the sun, after having grown enough feathers.

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There was a lady nearby that had an abundance of strawberries, and Raspberries. Allowed anyone to come by, and dig 'em up themselves to take home.

Ft. Broken rake, and random quilting patch I found at the bottom of a bin at Goodwill Outlet.

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Back of the house! You can see the water tower with the large plastic drum on the left, that collects rain, and is gravity fed into the house with piping to the indoor sink.

front-view-of-finished-shithouse-jpg.52751_Off-Grid homesteadin' wing'n it yeh_Alternative Housing_Squat the Planet_12:24 PM


Aaaaand, the front!! You can see a couple of experimental plant beds that didn't do too well. Other than potatoes... Caveman and I maintain the grass manually by swinging a metal stick that has a wooden handle, with a metal foot on the end back and forth. HA!

All I can say is, that I have learned so damn much about an incredible amount of things this past year.

I've been out, traveling for the last few months, so I'm sure things look even more different now- but I'm pretty stoked to return and keep workin' on shit.

Glad to share with y'all. Hope you enjoy!!
 
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We sell all kinds of other stuff in our Etsy store!

LEAN

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Awesome work!!! I hope to build something like that myself one day, have a van for traveling and a cool off the grid spot to enjoy as well.

Do you have any problems with the coyotes and your chickens? Might want to grab a cheap rifle in case they get too curious...
 
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dumpsternavel

dumpsternavel

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Hey, thanks @TayNZ , plannin' on it!

@Juan Derlust Definately will never Air bnb it but- hit me up, maybe we can figure something out, heh

@LEAN You know, the first few days we had the chickens on site, the coyotes were totally trying to check out the scene. This was expected, so we stayed around mostly. Caveman made a bunch of spears outta alder branches.. no joke. Hahaha So, we had those accessible if needed. They were getting pretty close, and Caveman saw 2 different ones. I saw 1 the same day as him. It was a lot of standing our ground, and being present with the dogs on alert. Since that initial point, we have had no problems with predators some how.. We always make sure to lock em in the coop at night though.
We also have a pellet gun*
 

Tude

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hellofa project! And an awesome read too. I know several people who have reused pallets for chicken coops, fence and house! Look forward to reading more about your upgrades/expansions/sheep etc!
 

iamwhatiam

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Beautiful little domicile you guys built there! Whereabouts in the Cascades if you don't mind me asking?
 

Matt Derrick

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@dumpsternavel thanks so much for taking the time to do a write up and with such awesome pictures. The two of you have done a really great job with that place and I look forward to seeing it again with the new barn!

I made some gramatical/spelling edits to your post for readability and added it to our list of featured threads!
 
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It's always so exciting when people surprise you with gifts! Lots of fun with y'all. Thanks for sharing progress with pics.
 

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