So as you probably know, we have property in Eastern Washington, affectionately known as The Farm, The Property, or The Bug Out Location. This is a bunch of land (well in excess of 100 acres) that is a mix of forest of varying density and meadows.
We have a campsite there, and my folks have moved out there full time and live in a place my dad built. We have longer term plans to move out there, and at the beginning of the year we decided to push hard to build a house there.
When we first bought the place, we all started tent camping, and then gradually we ended up migrating to a variety of trailers. We have a 30′ trailer out there, my folks have a 28′, and one of my sisters has an 18′ trailer.
Here’s a glorious picture of our home away from home…
Well, as you can imagine, we can’t fit our entire family into the trailer comfortably, so we bought each of the kids their own tent. A small dome tent was perfect for each of them, and we kept the two little ones in the trailer.
This was fine for a year or so, but last year I built a 12×12 shed to use as a bunkhouse. Last year we put the shell together and got the roof up. This spring we put the windows in, and put a dividing wall up in the center.
That wall splits the bunkhouse into a boys side and a girls side, each side having a bunk bed, a door, and a window for ventilation. So far so good!
Here’s a picture of the bunkhouse in all it’s glory…Ignore the upside-down Tyvek!
On our last trip, we sealed up the place against critters, since there were still a few gaps where they could get in. One rather interesting gap was on the eaves, and we had a little visitor.
When we arrived late at night, it was obvious that something had been there. The girls beds had feathers and down all over them! We sent them down to my parents for the night, and decided to deal with it the next day.
Well, we didn’t get around to actually sealing the eaves that day since we had to go pick up my father in law who flew in for a visit. When my oldest daughter went into the bunkhouse that night to get ready for bed, she was attacked by a woodpecker!
I’m not sure who was more afraid, her or the bird, but in any case, Dad came to her rescue and saved her from the vicious giant bird. Or at least the little one that was scared out of its mind.
Needless to say the eaves and everything else got sealed up the next day!
Plans For Next Year
This fall we’ll be bringing in power and phone service, and will be doing further clearing on the overall site so we can get an idea of where we’d want to put a house longer term. The campsite is about 300-400 ft from the building site. Close enough to be really convenient, far enough that we’re not right on top of it.
Here’s a couple of pictures of the overall camp site … you can see in the first one there’s a nice picnic table that I built a few years ago at the front of the trailer, and in the foreground there’s a nice big fire pit.
In the second picture you can get an idea of the layout of the bunkhouse vs trailer.
We’ve decided that since we don’t know for sure how long it’ll be before we can build a home for cash, we’ve decided to do two things next spring.
First, we’re going to insulate the bunkhouse and add the siding. I’m going to wire up the place so each side has electric lights and a few outlets for power. This will make the bunkhouse habitable year round in a pinch, if we ever had to bug out there.
Second, we’re going to build a smaller cabin, maybe 16×24 or 16×32, that has a real kitchen, a real bathroom, a bedroom for my wife and I, and a smaller bedroom for the little kids. It should have a reasonable living space too, and depending on the size we go with we may get some more space via a loft or something.
These two steps get us to a situation where we have living quarters for everyone that are habitable all year. This is critical for the whole bug out plan thing. During the 9 months that it’s habitable, we will have the trailer to use for extra space as well.
We’re going to put this cabin in parallel to the trailer with the bunkhouse forming the bottom of a giant ‘U’ shape. Depending on how crazy we decide to get, we may put in a nice deck to tie it all together.
Here’s a picture of the spot the cabin will go. Pretend that little tree is gone and the wall of the cabin is roughly there (it’s about 12-16′ from the wall of the bunk house)
In any case, lots of stuff, but once it’s done we should have a much better bug out / emergency location, and one that would be livable for the short term while building a full on house.
So there you have it, there’s the summer update for The Farm … Feel free to share any comments you have or ask any questions you might have either!