Retirement Home & BugOut Location (RHBOL) Part 5

By the time we left the property on our first visit we had taken a number of first steps. And I am true to my preparedness priorities even now.

  1. We buried weapons and tactical gear to protect against the threat of violence.
  2. We buried first aid kits to help protect against injury and sickness.
  3. We buried two handheld radios with spare batteries and portable solar panel/changer.
  4. We buried a portable water filtration unit with spare filter cartridges.

In addition to the above, we also –

  1. Placed a new very heavy piece of chain on the gate. And to secure the chain we used a very heavy duty combo lock. We chose a combo lock so we could simply tell someone the combo vs. tell them were to find a hidden key. Don’t get too impressed with the chain/lock thing. The fence right beside the gate has been cut for some time. We are assuming it was to let cattle roam freely in and out of the 40 acres. The purpose of the new shinny chain and lock was to let the local folks that the property was under new management and that we cared. Kind of like putting them on notice.
  2. We took a 90-day cache of freeze-dried food with us along with a case of nitrogen packed rice. This move was to give us some food at the property in the event that we got there without any food supplies at all. However, since there was no real hide location to keep the food safe we rented a 10’ x 15’ storage locker at the local storage company. In addition to the food we also took a two-acre seed kit with us.
  3. We put together an extensive tool kit that would cover virtually all minor and some major repair requirements, mechanical or structural. The tool kit was also left at the storage building.
  4. We also have a storage box of summer-weight clothes that we left in the storage locker. The box closes plenty tight enough to keep out unwanted bugs, etc.
  5. We took a basic set of cooking utensils and a portable cooking stove. Again, left at the storage building.
  6. We have a 10’ x 13’ wall tent, carpet, rain fly, and cammo netting for our shelter needs.
  7. And finally we took two ammo boxes of 5.56, one box of 180gr XTP .40cal ammo, and a shotgun ammo load-out can…and the Stevens shotgun to run the ammo through. If you aren’t sure that the “ammo load-out” is < click here to read more >
  8. And yes, there is more misc. gear and equipment we took but the above is sufficient to show how we addressed each emergency preparedness priority.

Is this all we are taking? Of course not. But we had the UTV to take and that took up both weight and room. At least we have enough to set up a camp there and get by for a while…at least to survive there if we had too.

On our next trip there we will take:

  1. Fence repair supplies (t-posts, stays, barbed wire) and tools (t-post driver, fencing pliers, etc.). We have to get the fence back in shape continuing to establish that there are new owners and that we are reestablishing the property rights. We have to let folks know that we intend to secure the property.
  2. “No Trespassing” signs to support the fence repair. We are putting people on notice that they are not welcome on the property unless they have our permission. This establishes another firm sign that we are the new owners and this is our property and we expect our rights to be both observed and respected.
  3. I will take more tools and more supplies to work on the property.

This coming week (early August) we have a well drilling and maintenance company coming out to the property to pull the old pipe and pump out of the well. We need to know if the old pump is any good. We’ve decided not to use the old pipe. It is galvanized pipe and thirty years old from what the record indicate. We are replacing it with state-of-art poly pipe. It will hold up forever, easy to work with, and we can put it in (or take it out) by hand by ourselves without fancy equipment. We will probably replace the pump and wiring as well. That way it is all new and should last a long time…longer than us or our children.

If the old pump is any good at all we will have them do a repair/maintenance job on it and have it as a spare should the need arise. The 1.25” galvanized pipe that they bring up will not go to waste. We will use that on projects around the property. I can see it would be really useful when it comes to fencing; either “H” braces or corners. I will see what condition the wiring is in, it may be still usable. If not, I will recycle it for a few bucks someday when I go into town.

Wife and I have been working on our cabin plans. We have been reworking what the layout will be. We think we have it down to the final layout and dimensions. The cabin will be 28’ x 32’ with a master bedroom, a storage/office room, and one bath (toilette, shower, pedestal sink). The kitchen and living area will be a real open concept design allowing for several comfortable living areas. However, the openness will make the area feel larger than what it really is. The open concept will also make heating and cooling the cabin much easier.

We are planning on a tankless, on-demand, propane hot water heater. An old fashion hot water tank is just too inefficient for our needs. The tankless unit will require no electricity. This is by design since we will not be hooked into the power grid and we don’t want to require electrical usage from a solar system when we don’t need it.

The toilette will be a common water closet, flushing toilette. The only difference will be that the toilette will be contributing solely to the septic system. The kitchen sink, shower, and bathroom sink will be “grey water” disposal directly to fruit frees that we will be planting.

The range/oven will also be propane. And strangely enough so will the refrigerator/freezer. Actually the refrigerator/freezer is of the RV family. It can run off 12vDC, propane, or 110vAC (in that order of preference). That gives us multiple options to keep our food fresh. And gives us some amount of that “normal living” feeling. We will have a microwave as well, I am still researching if there is a good 12vDC microwave or do I have to go with a very efficient 110vAC unit.

The electrical system will be a combination system. It will all be solar based since there is no power grid out there to tap into. And that is just fine with me. I want to be independent of the power grid if you want to know the truth. I don’t like any dependency on any part of the power grid. Back to the electrical system…

Most of our electrical needs will be 12vDC. Things such as our ceiling fans and lighting will be 12vDC. Even our refrigerator/freezer will have a 12vDC option. We will have a bank of batteries that are deep cycle 12vDC AGM style. We are not going with large specialized batteries due main to cost. However, we also want compatibility to readily available 12vDC car, truck, RV batteries should the situation demands it. We will have a solar panel array with the appropriate MorningStar charge/controller unit.

For other needs where 110vAC is more appropriate we will have that at our disposal as well. The AC current will be powered via a modified sine wave inverter. We are still working on the required wattage but it will be at least 1800w, possibly as high as 3000w. And yes, we might have to go with a pure sine wave inverter. We just haven’t figured out all of the details yet.

The house will be wired for both. We will try to stick with 12vDC usage as much as possible but we will have 110vAC if needed. It will be wired for inverter use, but it will be capable of plugging in a generator to the system if required to provide a more constant supply of AC voltage for short periods of time. Don’t worry, when the time comes I will provide a complete wiring schematic and other details to show you exactly how this is going to work and exactly what we did.

Have you thought about the #1 concern in terms of the well?

Granted, there are a number of concerns that go along with well ownership –

  1. Security for the well head and water tank.
  2. Water quality and testing.
  3. Well and pump servicing.

But, what do you see as the #1 priority for the well…actually, the water supply?

 

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2 thoughts on “Retirement Home & BugOut Location (RHBOL) Part 5

  1. i have rainwater catchment but in your location you should look into solar well pump into a large holding tank. it pulls little power all day, but pumps continuously. it can be windmill powered as well. then use a 12v rv pump to provide house pressure. you need a huge solar/battery system to run an ac pump any length of time. or turn on a genny every time you need water.

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  2. Here is a good book form a guy with 30 years in the DC/solar/off grid electrical world, and he’s a long time writer for Backwoods Home. It’s called “Lights On” and has DC appliance recommendations.

    For your fence work, I also recommend a manual post puller if you don’t have one. It’s a bummer to get a post in and then need to move it… by hand.
    With this and a small piece of chain you can even pull wood posts.
    https://www.amazon.com/Maasdam-PowR-Pull-PP100-PullR/dp/B000DCN8SQ/ref=sr_1_1?m=A2L77EE7U53NWQ&s=warehouse-deals&ie=UTF8&qid=1495248309&sr=8-1&keywords=t-post+puller

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