Win a copy of Mudgirls Manifesto this week in the Natural Building forum!
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Hah! Good. Glad I could supply a reason for cackling.

I've been thinking about this for so long. It feels good to finally commit! I'm in. Yay!
 
master steward
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A new boot (yay!) asked a very good question that I didn't find answered any where in the thread. If Paul decides to put it in the FAQs, this post will self-destruct. (Yes, we can make posts self-destruct...mwahahaha!!)

I plan to bring basic hand tools and a few battery operated tools. Should I bring any shovels, sledge hammers, or any other recommended hand tools? Curious if gas chainsaws would be good to bring along? How about a gas generator? Are propane grills allowed? Just trying to get a feel for what items are allowed and what I should leave at home.


Boots are welcome to bring their own tools, though as we tell workshop participants, some times a tool monster eats tools. IOW, we cannot guarantee your tools' safety and locate-ability. That is up to you.

We have loads of tools, and at the same time, more are always welcome! (Typical for any homestead, eh? Though especially true when you trying to fill many hands.)

We have some electric chainsaws and battery powered tools (because we do try to reduce petrol use), plus we have gas chainsaws and other propane or fuel-based tools, generators, cooktops, etc., as well.

Paul does not want generators running just to power someone's normal living needs. They are rather significant in the noise and air pollution department - and killjoys at that! (You know, when trying to experience nature, and there's a LOUD generator grinding away? That.) We might use a generator in off-grid locations if our solar cart power runs out and something can't wait for the solar re-charge.

As a reminder, base camp is on-grid, with lots of regular outlets for charging devices.

Boots will have access to cooking food on one of our many, many cooking devices, so a propane grill is not necessary, though it's fine to bring if you'd prefer your own.

I hope that helps!

 
master steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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quick note:   for those boots that are here when the time comes...  it sounds like we might be building another rocket oven in the next couple of weeks.  For boots, this would effectively be a free hands on workshop.



 
paul wheaton
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There are two bootcamp openings at this time.   Please note that boots will have semi-direct access to this upcoming free workshop which is limited to six people:

https://permies.com/t/rocket-kitchen

So while the six people selected for the event will have full access to the event, boots are typically asked to help in a variety of ways - so they sorta kinda get in also. 

 
paul wheaton
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Just wanna share ...

first, we have a pretty strict thing about keeping the kitchen clean at all times.  And yet, I am a pig.  So I have tried really hard to hide my slovenliness.  Yesterday I was trying to clean something and realized that I was not going to get it clean in time for a meeting.  At the same time I knew that I was paying a housekeeper that would arrive in a few minutes to mitigate my slovenliness.  So I apologized to the boots that I would be leaving a mess which is so contrary to the fabric of how the kitchen is managed.  And a boot said "it's your house.  you get to leave messes."  I've always felt it was critically important for me to be part of setting precedent.  But these few words really lifted me up.  I'm still basking in the glow.  After dirty cup CSI, the kitchen towel comedy, the pig bucket problem, and countless hours of drama surrounding the kitchen, I realized that this year has been extremely smooth with kitchen stuff.  Nice.

Jocelyn and I made a small retaining wall out of rocks.  Basecamp has lots of rocks.  Lots.   When you get a dry stack project done and it looks good, you get to thinking about what you might try next.  So I was thinking I would like to try an arch.  I have been reading about it for years.  And the first step is to get an idea of where you might try it.  And I stopped and was talking to jocelyn about a spot and one of the boots came up and said that he wanted to try a dry stack arch on the weekends.  Next thing you know a lot of us are talking about it.  I think it might even start today.   We even visited about making a small arch first.  Something that might be a half day project - before moving on to the bigger project.  This is really putting some wind into my sails. 

Another boot asked for some garden space of her own on the weekends.  It's like a bit of a dream come true.  I feel like I've been gardening gardeners and I see some cotyledons.  

The bootcamp program is not currently full, but it has been a rewarding year.

 
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Hello everyone,

I'm about to be paying the gapper fee but I wanted to find out for sure if there are still any openings left.

 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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christopher marquez
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paul wheaton wrote:There are openings at this time.



Paul, thank you so much for the quick response. I wanted to kind of introduce myself at least as far as my situation right now and how I found out about wheaton labs. Basically I recently found myself homeless after I chose to leave a roommate situation that started to present too many red flags. Instead of returning with my tail between my legs to try to depend on family to help me I have been trying to navigate the whole 'shelter living' system but this has been absolutely soul crushing. It becomes even more difficult when you are thrust headlong into a society that wants nothing more than to make you completely and utterly dependent on it just to survive, much less ever get ahead. So I had to really step back and take this time to ask myself what I really want out of life, what do I stand for and value the most, what do I wish to accomplish?

Anyway, I don't mean to go into some big long life story but through an interesting chain of events I managed to find out about wheaton labs and the bootcamp program and I feel beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is exactly what I have been looking for.

I do have a few concerns only in that I am coming there literally with only the clothes on my back, my little tracfone and a laptop (although I am willing to donate the laptop for the community there perhaps for there at the base camp when other people need to come use the WiFi). I am receiving food stamp benefits until December ($192 a month) and I still have about $100 on there and if there is a store somewhere in missoula I would be happy to use that towards staples not just for myself but other boots as well and would be happy to just entrust that card to someone that handles finances there at the labs because what's mine is yours. The only thing is I don't have any thing else as far as clothes, boots, tools or anything else but in the future I may be able to have some friends mail me perhaps a care package for clothing and whatnot but this is obviously not a damn fashion show either I was just wondering if that is going to be a problem before I come out there.

Also I didn't want to give the impression that I'm just looking for some sort of hand out since I'm currently homeless. There's a ton of work exchange programs and co-ops and places where I am locally that I could look into but frankly speaking even though the bootcamp will likely be exponentially more difficult and much more work than pulling weeds and planting seeds on someone elses farm in a WWOOF-type arrangement, I don't believe that anyone ever accomplished anything worthwhile and meaningful without much hard work and this is the only opportunity I have found where not only I can learn first hand all of the knowledge and skills necessary to living sustainably off the land but also be able to build towards a stable future with a community of like minded individuals. I'm not coming there as a tourist or with some pie-in-the-sky romanticized vision of what living off the grid entails. I also only have very basic experience - I know my way around a toolbox, not afraid to use a chainsaw and can tend to a garden without screwing anything up but that's about it. I want to learn as much as I can with an open mind, an eagerness to learn and the ability to shut up, listen and follow directions to make sure I do the job right.

So I just wanted to let you all know a little bit about my mindset, my situation, where I'm coming from etc. I have a friend that's going to help me with the gapper fee and the bus ticket to the station in missoula asap. Also as I am traveling without any cash would I be able to paypal someone the money for the ride from the bus station? Is that something I could probably work out? That's my only other concern. Anyway sorry for writing a freaking novel pretty much hopefully someone can address my concerns. Thanks again!
 
paul wheaton
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Christopher,

Make sure you know what you are getting into here.  This is not a refuge, this is about teaching people our techniques through a lot of hard work. 

I have always thought that a person could arrive without a penny and do great here, but know this:  every person that has arrived here in the past very low on funds has left.  Every last one.  The people that are still here arrived with coin in their pocket and think that being here is amazing. 

Further, the people that arrived with very little tended to exit with enormous amounts of drama.  The people that arrived with coin that elected to go, tended to exit peacefully.

You mention red flags:  dude, from our perspective you are covered in red flags. 

Ever since we have had the $100 gapper fee, we have held the position of allowing anybody to come that is willing to part with that much coin.  And we will stick to that until our program is full.  You just really never know a person until you know a person. 

I think you need to spend some time learning what you are getting yourself into.  Things here are quite different.
 
christopher marquez
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paul wheaton wrote:Christopher,

Make sure you know what you are getting into here.  This is not a refuge, this is about teaching people our techniques through a lot of hard work. 

I have always thought that a person could arrive without a penny and do great here, but know this:  every person that has arrived here in the past very low on funds has left.  Every last one.  The people that are still here arrived with coin in their pocket and think that being here is amazing. 

Further, the people that arrived with very little tended to exit with enormous amounts of drama.  The people that arrived with coin that elected to go, tended to exit peacefully.

You mention red flags:  dude, from our perspective you are covered in red flags. 

Ever since we have had the $100 gapper fee, we have held the position of allowing anybody to come that is willing to part with that much coin.  And we will stick to that until our program is full.  You just really never know a person until you know a person. 

I think you need to spend some time learning what you are getting yourself into.  Things here are quite different.



With all due respect, Mr. Wheaton, I have spent the last several days pouring through forum posts from other boots/ants there at Wheaton Labs, watching the YouTube videos, listening to your Podcasts and trying to soak up as much information as I can so that I can learn what I'm getting myself into. I appreciate your reply and despite your awfully presumptuous statement about me being covered in red flags, I'm going to heed your advice anyway and take more time to deliberate and plan this out more carefully.
 
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