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Hypothetical homestead IV

 
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Ryan,

I know that we are still on homestead III, but I want to propose the next one (we can still tinker with III for a while).

Resources:
Ford F-350 crew cab, 8’ bed, diesel, modify as you like if you desire

8’ wide, 20’ long dump trailer (2’ sides w/slots for extensions

OR

Flatbed trailer, same dimensions, your choice


$25,000

Plus

Basically unlimited budget BUT, everything must fit on truck and/or trailer.

Land 160 acres in central Alaska
* mostly wooded, hilly land, some flat zones
* Creaks, streams
* Remote:  basically no one knows or cares if you venture off your property.  No neighbors.  Nearest town/store/source of fuel 50 miles away.
* trees are pines, birch, mostly scrubby, but some fit for lumber, but no hardwood.
* road to town a pseudo trail—there were trail tracks there once, but it was pretty iffy 10 years ago and NO ONE has been down this road since.
* you can call for an air drop or helicopter, and someone might answer, maybe they will come, maybe and that’s only in sunlight and good clear weather.  And it costs a bundle!
* you can take whatever you want, but once you are there, you are there for at least a year.  Only way out is to walk out for that year.
* truck gets 4mpg off road, 2 with trailer
* local gas station and general store is in that town 50 miles away.  Nothing is cheap there.  Diesel runs $8/gallon, but you can’t even get there for a year.
* there is food there, basically like any other grocery store, but the prices are phenomenal.  A dozen eggs might be $15.  You get the idea.
* the general store also has basic merchandise items, but they are also very expensive.

* due to numerous streams, rivers, etc. the only way to “reliably” get to your claim is to go in mid/late fall when temperatures have dropped, some of the water sources have dried up or frozen, but the snows have not started yet.  Maybe a bit of snow, but nothing significant and you will have to cross some streams/rivers.  There are no bridges.  At this time of year, fording water is possible, but of course not without issues.

Enjoy!!
 
pollinator
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My full reply will be link and pic heavy, but think Gypsy wagon on steroids.

I'm off to go fishing in a bit. Going for trout, but accidental bass and muskie will not be turned down. This diving minnow lure I got at the farm store could get me any carnivorous fish. My ruck is packed for fishing with my tackle box strapped on and a bucket sunk down in the bottom for holding caught fish. I broke down and bought a smoker for cheap but if I get some fish, it will be a welcome contraption.
 
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My family likes to go camping in far flung places, which in Maine can mean wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy off the beaten path. We cannot find a camper that we can pull behind our SUV that we like, so we have been thinking of building our own. What you are proposing is a little different, but we would like to have a camper that sleeps 4, and has a stove, generator, refrigerator, and of course can go off road.

We got a design for one dreamed up, but we are not up for building it right now. It will look something like the one pictured, but with walking beam suspension, and be inverted in its design.

PS: The reason is it shas to sleep 4 and not 6 is because Katie and I can sleep in back of our Ford Explorer.
Moby1-XTR-1-.jpg
[Thumbnail for Moby1-XTR-1-.jpg]
 
Eric Hanson
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Ryan,

Have fun fishing, we can do this anytime.  But I am itching to see what gypsy wagon on steroids looks like.  Of course I have my own ideas, but I want to see yours first, then I will let loose with mine and see how the compare/contrast


Travis,

Looks like another one of your ingenious contraptions!  Good work!

Eric
 
Ryan Hobbs
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Eric Hanson wrote:Ryan,

Have fun fishing, we can do this anytime.  But I am itching to see what gypsy wagon on steroids looks like.  Of course I have my own ideas, but I want to see yours first, then I will let loose with mine and see how the compare/contrast  



It's going to take several hours to write my post, so I'll do it tomorrow.

Here is some eye candy to get an idea of where I'm going with this:

 
Eric Hanson
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Ryan, so far I like!
 
Eric Hanson
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Ryan,

I thought I would add in this addendum:  don’t get stuck on the f350 or exact trailer length.  If you want an army 6x6 pulling an even longer bed, go for it.

My basic thought was that everything goes in one load and once you are there, you are there!

Eric
 
Ryan Hobbs
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OKAY, so this is going to be a post of epic proportions. My monday is wide open, so I'm not neglecting anything by writing this. My fishing trip was a bust. I saw some lake trout (they were hunting schools of minnows and the water boiled). But my little fishing pole couldn't reach them with my minnow lures. I tried some trout dough bait but it kept drifting to shore. So I gave up and went home after about 2 hours of giving it the ol' college try. I need a boat. I'm thinking 2x4s and tarred canvas with hinges and bolts so it folds and I can tow it behind my Rokon in the future. Skiff type of boat with a pair of oars. I had Surkal for dinner instead.

"As above so below as within so without." and "Solve et coagula." are principles of Alchemy. I think they make clear my feelings on doing these exercises. It's a good way to set the stage for my epic post.

As you saw above, I'm building a Gypsy Wagon on this hypothetical homestead. I choose the flatbed for this, with a tank on the trailer for fuel. I considered parking the truck permanently and bringing Aduu horses for transportation, but decided against it. You will find that when I list my gear, I have a backup for everything. 2 is 1, 1 is none. (I used to be a hardcore prepper, hence my skillset.)

So first I build a house in the back of the truck. It is built of Plywood and high R value insulation and aluminum siding and roof. The house has only one partition for a substantial pantry. Since mice are not a concern, dry bulk food is simply kept in drum liner bags. The pantry contains whole wheat and rye berries, lard, beans, split peas, dehydrated vegetables, spices, coarse sea salt, and a 5 gallon bucket of yarrow honey. A brew bucket with a spigot is stuffed with bags of malt syrup. There are also homemade jars of sauerkraut.

The kitchen/living room consists of a 2 burner wood stove and a fold down bench seat with fold down table. There is a handcrank grain mill mounted to the opposite wall with fold-down countertop adjacent. A sink is set in with gravity fed cistern above which can be filled with snow or by bucket from outside. The heat in the house melts the snow. A 12v power system lights the house and is charged up by running a small generator.

GEAR:
woodcutting
2 silky katanaboy saws, 2 silky pocketboy saws, 1 gransfors felling axe, 1 gransfors splitting axe, 1 gransfors carpenters hatchet, 3 lansky pucks, 2 tri-hone sharpening systems, 2-3 benchmade bushcraft knives, 2 puukko knives, 2 scotch augers
books
where there is no doctor
where there is no dentist
edible mushrooms of alaska
The Foxfire series
the alaskan sourdough bible
the alaskan bootlegger's bible


saving my progress, I'm already feeling burnout
 
Eric Hanson
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Ryan,

I like where you are going.

Just for understanding, I really don’t care about the exact truck or trailer size.  Take whatever vehicle to get you to your destination and whatever trailer length you think is required.

Among thoughts I had was a heavily modified US Army 6x6 logistics truck with nice long trailer


Or something like this:

https://www.baesystems.com/en-us/product/bvs10-beowulf


Or this:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavy_Expanded_Mobility_Tactical_Truck



Or even something like an American rebuild of this:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vityaz_(ATV)

Just something to get you there.

Eric
 
Ryan Hobbs
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Eric Hanson wrote:Ryan,

I like where you are going.

Just for understanding, I really don’t care about the exact truck or trailer size.  Take whatever vehicle to get you to your destination and whatever trailer length you think is required.

Among thoughts I had was a heavily modified US Army 6x6 logistics truck with nice long trailer

Or something like this:

https://www.baesystems.com/en-us/product/bvs10-beowulf

Or this:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavy_Expanded_Mobility_Tactical_Truck

Or even something like an American rebuild of this:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vityaz_(ATV)

Just something to get you there.

Eric



I like the original prompt just fine. I just am burnt out.
 
Eric Hanson
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No problem!!
 
Ryan Hobbs
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My winter in the gypsy wagon on steroids is going to be reading books by the fire and drinking beer and mead. While nice once in a while, it would be very depressing for a whole winter.

 
Eric Hanson
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Ryan,

Yeah, I thought part of the challenge would be knowing that you have to face a long dark winter.

I also thought that mid-late fall would be the best time to ford rivers/streams as they are likely to be low due to headwaters freezing.

And maybe not too late to get some work done.

I will give my full summary in a bit.

Eric
 
Eric Hanson
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So I would start out with a truck (heavily modified army 6x6 truck, maybe a HEMTT, with a little sleeping compartment up top, an area with pop-up roof with windows, skylights, etc.  I will live hear while I build my homestead.  I will save my urine to use strategically as possible.

I would bring a compact tractor, diesel UTV and at least 200 gallons of diesel fuel.  And minimum of 100 gallons of gasoline.

Upon arrival I would clear a zone, establish zones for a cabin (on stilts), a 20’x20’ leveled work platform, garden, garden beds and parking for equipment.  If possible I would bring equipment for one of these little fabric Quonset huts for vehicle, equipment storage.

After initial arrival I would get out the UTV and the log arch.  I would bring mattracks for the UTV and those on once the snow gets too deep.  But n the meantime, just go with wheels and towable log arch, built in winch, chainsaw and go looking for good trees to make into logs for building a cabin.  I would spend much time looking for logs, cutting down and hauling back.

I would set up a logosol sawmill and trim logs for flat sides for easy stacking.  I would stockpile these logs for use later.  I would also cut up some dimensional lumber and stack and store.  Basically I would spend as much time as possible cutting lumber, and trimming to size and cutting to dimension to prepare for spring construction.

As much as possible I would collect and keep all sawdust and trimmings. I would find some logs and make them into a garden bed, maybe 5x30’.  I made room for a chipper shredder PTO attachment so I would collect as much deciduous twigs/branches as I could.  After filling I would Inoculate with blue oyster mushrooms.  I would leave a hole in the center big enough to place a 5 gallon bucket with a lid and cover with a layer of wood chips.  Every day or two I would fill the bucket with near boiling water, cover with lid and place in hole as temperatures drop.  This keeps the bed from freezing.  I would continue to cover the bed to keep it from freezing.

As winter progresses and days get shorter, temperatures drop and snow piles up, the mattracks go on the UTV and skis on the log arch. I still collect trees, saw as possible, and find some good logs to use as pilings for stilts for cabin support.  I stocked some borax for insect repellent, DE for wood protection.  I also have some roofing tar only for burried posts.  I mill up some 2x10 lumber and make support beams (3x10 thick, glued and screwed together) and set aside.  Additionally, I mill up some 2x10 joists and some floorboards to get ready for spring construction.  To stack logs up high I have a couple of gin poles to haul up logs nice and easy.

I have a custom cast iron wood stove covered in TEG modules to provide some electricity without using gas or diesel.  I did pack a generac 5k diesel generator (w/ topped off 12 ga tank) and a Honda 2k has inverter generator, and 5 125ah batteries (fully charged) and even 8 325 watt solar panels (which might help a bit at first, but not into the winter of course).  I should be able to run cordless tools, lights, even a laptop and watch movies in the dead of winter.  The wood stove should help out with electricity without using diesel or gas.

As the dead of winter really sets in, I probably spend more time in sleeping quarters, relaxing, watching movies, planning.  I generally avoid extreme cold, high winds, blizzards.  I go ahead and work by the wood stove thawing post logs, add in borax, paint with roofing tar.

As spring approaches, I start to work on the cabin.  I packed a post hole digger.  At first I try to drill into frozen ground with a very narrow auger.  Maybe start with an SDS hammer.  I try to dig down 6’.  Eventually I loosely pack with a little wood, add in just a bit of gas/diesel mixture and burn in hole to thaw earth and bore out to larger diameter.  Eventually I get the bore holes big enough that I mix some DE with gravel from digging (or find from somewhere), set in posts, surround with DE/gravel and let set in place (I might go really crazy and shou shi ban the posts.  I packed a tiger torch and propane.

If weather permits I would set beams in place and maybe even start on joists to get a real jump on spring.  Ideally I would floor the whole cabin platform foundation.  I would hold off on the logs for the log cabin until I get better light, but I get another, nice flat platform for tools.

As spring approaches, I would clear snow from potential garden beds, maybe even start some bonfires on the soil to thaw early.  After things cool off, I place clear plastic to heat the soil up even more.  With luck, the raised bed stayed a moderate temperature and oysters did well breaking down woodchips into soil bedding.  I will start growing in the raised bed, but start a second using the spawn from the first.  I should have plenty of chips and sawdust so I can start this second bed.  I will start with a bunch of potatoes, leafy greens, and peas (add suggestions hear please).  I will eventually plant tomatoes, and lots of winter squash.  If I can swing it, I will have pant copious amounts of sweet potatoes.

When time presents I will plant some healthy rootstock of the following:
*Blueberries
*Raspberries
*Blackberries if I can find the right type
*Apples
*Cherries
* more as I can think

As spring weather gets better, I will work more on the cabin.  Get walls up, a roof on.  I brought some tin/metal roofing.  The outside of the cabin gets sou shi ban treatment., lightly sanded and weatherized will linseed oil, etc.  the cabin should be done by mid summer.  Cabin has a Southern exposure and solar panels set facing south for best exposure.  Panels angle can be adjusted to meet angle of the sun.

Sometime I would like to hunt for large animals.  Maybe get 200-500 pounds of caribou, bear, deer, sheep, etc.  smoke and prepare for winter.  Maybe fish.  Collect firewood, expand garden.  Establish composting toilet etc.

Ryan,

I am sure my approach is vastly different from yours.  You have a more primitive skills approach and I want to build.  I like this contrast as we contrast/complement each other’s style.

Eric

 
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Bumped thread. Well reading this thread was a fun pipe dream. Sounds like a young persons dream of rambling North to the Yukon, aka Call of the Wild. I did plenty of that dreaming and even was headed that way. I stopped to check out the islands in the Puget Sound and here I am 30 years later. But I did go to Alaska for a couple visits in Spring/Summer. I think I’d love the snow in Winter but not the dark. I love light so decided not to Winter there. However I bet starlight on the the snow and ithe Northern Lights are amazing.
 I went to the minefields out from Fairbanks. A bulldozer is the most useful thing they have up there. Then a normal vehicle to follow the bulldozer. A canoe or better boat is your friend too.
 Expedition trailers are overpriced but are great. I tried a rooftop tent. Didn’t like it and sold it. Climbing up a ladder into the tent didn’t work for me. And worrying about the tent being moist and rotting didn’t work for me. I’d like a pop top so I can stand up straight and look out. And for ventilation.
 
Eric Hanson
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Jeremy

This post is terribly late in coming, but I thought I should address it now that I found it.

Given the situation on our little homestead project, I brought a tractor with for its ability to do 3 functions: run 3 point equipment, pull heavy things, and most important, having a bucket to push, pull, scoop, lift and haul.

Would you say a small 30hp dozer with a straight blade beats a 30hp tractor?

Eric
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