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Gimme Shelter

For those thinking about the long term, very long term

This edition of Off the Beaten Path is all about a roof over your head (of some type!). Whether you’re on the road and needing a place (maybe behind your car and on wheels), or something small and more permanent, or something a little more “robust,” I’ve stumbled across some interesting links for you.

Not Your Dad’s Camper

The Rich Brothers of San Diego radio used to say “Holy mackerel, whatta show!” In this case, “Holy mackerel, whatta camper!” This is some really creative engineering to design this thing. This thing is not only super cool, but it’s also “green” with wind and solar power support! There is no sticker price on this baby, but unless you’re a Rockefeller, it’s likely out of our price range. But man, is it cool!

Another interesting camper was this teardrop trailer which is also very interestingly designed. You’d think (or wish) it were in an affordable cost range. Unfortunately, the starting price is similar to that of a smaller RV at $58,400.

Rustic and Small
Downsizing? And I MEAN DOWNsizing? This baby is only 628 sq. ft., but she’s cute. If you were a fan of the TV shows “Daniel Boone,” “Grizzly Adams” or “Little House on the Prairie,” this might be “in your neck of the woods.”

Rustic and Small AND “Not Your Dad’s Camper”
I’m feeling like the car salesman that has what you need, no matter WHAT you’re looking for. So you’ve seen the link with the cool modern camper. You like the wheels but not the style. You’ve seen that cool rustic little cabin and you really liked it? So here ya’ go! This is the tiny Scotch Whiskey bar trailer. She’s also a beauty!

A “Different” Place to Live?
Without depressing you about the state of the world today (just open a newspaper), here’s an alternate place to live that may be “a good prospect.” I’ve never seen such interesting “shelters.” If you dig through this site, you’ll see some mammoth “shelters.” As a former Air Force member, and someone who was in ROTC and was heading for a career as a missileer, I can say that there would need to be a LOT of thought about using one of these (with one of the questions being “Why” and “What’s there to come up to”) … but, hey, that’s just me.

In both college and in the Air Force, I went through survival training. I learned how to survive in the wilderness without a McDonald’s, radio or TV. (Okay, for full disclosure, I’d give myself about two days and I’d be a goner!) While on my college weekend survival training, I built a shelter like #13 in the link using May Apple Tree leaves for my roof. BAD idea! Started raining heavily and got cold. The rain ran down the stems of those 1,000 leaves and turned into 1,000 “dripping faucets” all over me! It was “Chinese water torture” times 1,000! I ended up burning my shelter to try to stay warm. Point here is, I don’t recommend #13 from experience! Here are the 15 (make that 14!) best designs for survival shelters and how to build them.

One more link related to this is a man in Tucson, Ariz., who found a bomb shelter buried in his back yard (there are some cool pictures here as well.

On a related note, these things also exist in some old radio and TV stations. As the former chief engineer at WHIZ AM/FM/TV in Zanesville, Ohio, I “found” that we had a bomb shelter that was built (or maybe designed and paid for by the U.S. government) in the 1950s. This room was heavily built with two layers of cinderblock that were filled with sand. Inside the room were food rations in tins, plus Geiger counters and related emergency equipment. It had an small old portable RCA audio console, plus old RCA 44 ribbon mic. Included were cardboard drums lined with plastic bags holding water, and one with a “potty seat” you could place on top. It was an interesting room which was fortunately never needed or used.

Easy-Up Transmitter Building?
I stumbled across this interesting construction that allows a fabric concrete canvas to be assembled easily and quickly. It’s said to only “require water and air for construction,” and it’s waterproof and fire-resistant. After Hurricane Irma, something like this might be a good, quick possibility to get a building up. The material is called Concrete Canvas. They have two different sizes measuring about 16 feet long x 18 feet wide x 8 feet tall, or 31 feet long x 18 feet wide x 8 1/2 feet tall (and they can be joined together). On the “cosmetic side” they aren’t pretty as they resemble concrete igloos or bunker (like a bubbled Quonset hut).

And finally …
As we get older, we find some things more challenging. For instance, I think most of us have trouble reading cable labels behind racks when we’re in our 30s. Here’s an inspiring story of a lady who didn’t let age stop her from being active. At 90, we see her ice skating! Unrelated to her skating and simply being 90, she passed away two days after this short documentary called “Edges” was completed. It reminds us to enjoy what we have and what we can do while we still can.

If you stumble across a good or unusual website that might be of interest, please don’t hesitate to send me the link and any info you might have about it. My email address is [email protected].