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Bunker 101 : Building Your Bunker, Forget the Bug Out Bag, Make A Fortress

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posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 03:20 PM

Originally posted by semperfortis
The only problem with a "Bunker" is it's static nature.

No getting around that.

Every great castle has eventually fallen and whatever we may build personally, is very subject to attack and being overwhelmed by marauders or just hungry people. Heck, they would do it now, think what would happen in the event of no society and no police.

While I have some property in West Virginia that I would migrate to in the event of some societal collapse, very remote and isolated, I place my faith on myself and what I can carry.

Good thread though


Of course, a bunker being static, is a large problem.

Every castle has fallen, and siege towers, deceitful tactics, lack of preparation were often the cause for this, on both sides of the conflict.

I agree that people could easily overcome a bunker if hunger were the driving and mitigating force that caused them to need what was inside.

A bunker, like a castle, can be defeated, I've never stated otherwise.

Siege engine's have been a long history of warfare.

Quote from : Wikipedia : Siege Engine

A siege engine is a device that is designed to break or circumvent city walls and other fortifications in siege warfare.

Some have been operated close to the fortifications, while others have been used to attack from a distance.

From antiquity, siege engines were constructed largely of wood and tended to use mechanical advantage to fling stones and similar missiles.

With the development of gunpowder and improved metallurgical techniques, siege engines became firearms.

Having studied Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece, I know bunkers, just as well as defeating them.

But, this thread is about creating them, and maybe I will creating on destroying them.

Thanks, semperfortis, and as always, glad to see you here.

posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 03:35 PM

Originally posted by AlreadyGone
Nice subject but a bunker is not all it's cracked up to be. If you are looking to survive some sort of massive attack or natural disaster, they are great... and may I suggest a root celler. Multifunctional, already stocked with foods and tools and supplies, and generally easily accessible from the house.

I understand where you're coming from here, but root cellar's make me think of the television show, The Beverly Hillbillies.

Root Cellar

The problem is a root cellar is nothing more than a glorified hole in the ground, with a door, unless built properly.

Originally posted by AlreadyGone
However, if you're looking for a place to hold hole up against some sort of tactical action from police, military, or rabble, they quickly become a tomb... ie Waco, Ruby Ridge, Seigfreid Line, Maginot Line, etc...look at the history. Mobility is key to survival... hit'em hard and run away, live to fight another day.

Yep, I remember the lessons of Waco.

Ruby Ridge was nothing more than a bad joke, and Randy Weaver suffered because of the punchline.

The Maginot Line was a joke because they expected the Nazi's to actually respect it, and in war you always go around what is an obstacle, because in a true war there are no rules.

I prefer mobility, with a bunker as a fall back position, and you never retreat, always a tactical and organized withdrawal.

[edit on 13-12-2009 by SpartanKingLeonidas]

posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 05:30 PM
I think what many of the posters are failing to realize is that the whole idea of an "underground" bunker well... is to be underground, concealed, and NOT found by others.

Fortress-ing up would be a far second choice since chances are you will be found (in the event of a sit-x event) by people who would want to take your stuff and you would have to defend yourself.

The idea of underground concealment serves many purposes -

1) Temperature - It will be cool in the summer and if build correctly "cool" in the winter (not sub-zero).

2) Weather Events - Very good protection from the elements. If built correctly and on high ground, your only worry is earthquake... storms, tornado, hurricane force winds, who cares? Your good to go.

3) Concealment - Most important, if nobody knows your there, nobody is coming to take your stuff. In a sit-x event, you sit-it-out and come out a few months later - After Winter (Don't want to telegraph yourself with a nice trail in snow.


1) Power - storage batteries, exercise bike with generator (you will need to exercise so why not? Also, hook up a bicycle type (and hand crank bicycle type to keep those arms in shape) blower to your vent system, saves power and people can take turns), Wind and solar if possible to conceal it (which may be difficult). ("Small" Tree mounted wind generator or panel mounted to a utility pole may go unnoticed) You can also generate small amounts of power from running water but "body" motion via a bike or arm sprockets will work well.

2) Para-scope - A must have unless you have some cheapo surveillance cameras that you can mount on a swivel to "get a view" of the outside.

3) Radio / CB to monitor events. Again, a tree antennae or one concealed in a pole or other non-eye catching structure. (Think Hogan's heroes.. LOL)

4) Food and water - enough said.

posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 06:09 PM
I've been interested in bunkers for a while too.
Here's the cheapest solution I found:

Build a monolithic dome.
Pour lots of dirt over it, and cover the inside wall with steel plates. (probably overkill)
You can even measure out your lot before construction, and excavate the necessary hole in order to fill it back in to hide your dome completely!

posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 06:58 PM
reply to post by Carlthulhu

That is what I was thinking was an underground dome like that. That would be super cool, it is also a good use of space.

You could also build escape hatches in multiple area's.

posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 09:21 PM
I've been wanting to have my very own emergency bunker for a long time now. As soon as I save enough money, I will surely build one. I'm thinking there's no "cheap" way of doing this, if you really want a reliable structure. There is, however, a "reasonable" way of spending your hard-earned cash. Here's an outline of what I've thought about so far:

First, I tried to determine the basic requirements:

1. What kind of structure do I need?

- A heavily fortified, underground multi-purpose bunker (I say multipurpose, because it has to be of some use during normal or "peaceful" (if there is such a thing) times, other than an emergency facility.

2. For what purpose must it serve?

- To serve as a temporary (there's really no point living there for the rest of your life) place of refuge that can accommodate and sustain a predetermined number of people for a prolonged period of time. The residential bunker must be able to offer good protection (I say "good", because no place is 100% safe anyway) against CBRE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosive) attacks, or in the event of a natural, man-made (or perhaps even alien-made, according to Tom Cruise!) disaster (hurricanes/tornadoes/earthquakes/etc). Nothing much you can do with solar flares, black holes, and global flooding like in the movie 2012 though!

3. Where must it be located and how accessible should it be?

- It must be immediately accessible from my home (preferably right in my back yard). If my back yard isn't suitable for such a structure, then I'm thinking the next best thing is a "satellite" property not more than ten minutes away from where I live, if travelling by foot. I'm thinking there's no point constructing a bunker in a remote location, assuming you don't have much time to respond to an immediate threat such as an approaching ballistic missile (not that you will be immediately warned anyway). Though I would prefer a remote, elevated forest/mountainous area for numerous practical reasons, if immediate accessibility wasn't a factor.

4. What will the structure be made of?

- Nothing less than traditional reinforced concrete construction

5. How many people must it be able to hold at a time?

- Let's just assume that it needs only to accommodate 1-3 adults for optimum use, but can hold up to six persons.

6. How long must it be able to sustain its inhabitants?

- Six months minimum, preferably a year

7. What facilities and features must it have?

- Only the most basic ones:

a. Sleeping area (I say "area" because it doesn't necessarily have to be a room, especially if space is scarce -- which will most likely be the case!). It can be a multi-purpose room/space where the bed is located, along with some other necessary stuff.

b. Toilet & Bath

c. Living/Dining Area

d. Storage Spaces (for clothing, medicine, food & water, guns & ammo)

e. Service/Utility space (for air, water, and power supply, maintenance, and communications)

f. Garbage Disposal

e. Air Lock/Decontamination/Transitional Space

8. What service utilities/equipment must I have?

a. Deep Well Hand Pump (manual, assuming there will be no electricity available in the event of a disaster/catastrophe)

b. Generator Set (not necessarily for prolonged use, but for certain times when power is desperately needed)

c. Manual Air Ventilation Pump or Kearny Air Pump (posted a link to a DIY guide)

d. Water closet (squat type for practical reasons) and reinforced concrete lavatory/sink

e. Water Tank (I'm thinking a stainless steel type horizontal tank that will hold the water pumped out from the deep well)

f. Septic Tank (definitely gotta have one)

g. Light Shaft/s (still have to figure this one out though, since I consider it a liability)

h. Makeshift Fireplace/Oven in a small isolated room that can be sealed off

That's about it for now! Still drafting an ideal layout.

posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 09:38 PM

Originally posted by Doc Velocity
I'm glad somebody had the guts to post this thread. I've advocated defending your home position on forums all across the Net, and I get a TON of opposition from the "bug-out" crowd. I mean really vicious opposition, too.

I advocate and defend the Castle Doctrine completely, both in law and home.

Quote from : Wikipedia : Castle Doctrine

A Castle Doctrine (also known as a Castle Law or a Defense of Habitation Law) is an American legal doctrine that arose from English Common Law that designates one's place of residence (or, in some states, any place legally occupied, such as one's car or place of work) as a place in which one enjoys protection from illegal trespassing and violent attack.

It then goes on to give a person the legal right to use deadly force to defend that place (his/her "castle"), and/or any other innocent persons legally inside it, from violent attack or an intrusion which may lead to violent attack.

In a legal context, therefore, use of deadly force which actually results in death may be defended as justifiable homicide under the Castle Doctrine.

Castle Doctrines are legislated by state, and not all states in the US have a Castle Doctrine.

The term "Make My Day Law" comes from the landmark 1985 Colorado statute that protects people from any criminal charge or civil suit if they use force – including deadly force – against an invader of the home.

The law's nickname is a reference to the famous line uttered by Clint Eastwood's character Harry Callahan in the 1983 film Sudden Impact, "Go ahead, make my day."

To the bug-out bag people, no disrespect was meant by this thread, they should know that about me, it was just an alternative to leaving a defendable position, by creating a more defendable position.

Originally posted by Doc Velocity
If you think about it, your home has the space for years worth of supplies, foodstuffs, medicines, weaponry and ammo — far more than you could ever carry out into the wilderness.

It all depends on the person living there, whether they see it as that way, or if they believe Law Enforcement will be pulling a Waco via Blackwater/Xe on all homes searching for guns.

To each their own, they perspective is theirs, just as yours belong to you.

We all have choices to make in life.

There are a lot of survivalists on this forum and I respect them for that.

Originally posted by Doc Velocity
Don't get me wrong, I'm big into wilderness survival, I'm Red Cross-certified in wilderness first-response emergency care, I've got enough wilderness survival gear in one backpack to comfortably live on for a month, and I have the water-filtration and fire-starting gear to continue living off the land almost indefinitely (although not in "comfort").

I learned a whole host of things over my lifetime, in the end all I need is my guns and ammunition.

Everything else will come to me as I do what I do to survive, based on intstinct, skill, and cunning decisive action.

Glad to see you're prepared.

Originally posted by Doc Velocity
In fact, my wife and I are now in our 50s, and we practice extended survival in remote parts of the Smoky Mountains, where we go in, unarmed, and rough it for up to 10 days at a time. As a test of our skills, we even flew out to the Canadian Rockies in British Columbia and did the same thing under positively treacherous and life-threatening conditions for a couple of weeks.

Sounds like an interesting trip, going unarmed is not something I would do though.

Then again, my brain is more dangerous than any weapon I can carry.

Weapons, are only tools, and extension of our skills, placed in a proper coordinated effort you do not need to kill, maim, or fire off one round, be the weapon and make that tool an accesory to your talents.

Originally posted by Doc Velocity
In retrospect, however, I would highly recommend carrying some serious firepower back in the Canadian Rockies. The megafauna out there is something with which you do not want to trifle.

I have always respected nature, learned to think in conflict de-escalation using the animal metaphors my stepfather taught me with, look at nature, but have a healthy respect and good distance from it, unless necessary otherwise.

Originally posted by Doc Velocity
All of this said, and even with the extensive wilderness experience we have gained, I most adamantly recommend staying home and defending your position in the event of SHTF.

I agree with and concur with your assessment.

If however you see a tank, jet, or military battalion coming and it's just you and a few, switch to guerilla tactics, grab your bug-out bag, and high-tait it to higher ground.

Originally posted by Doc Velocity
I've already stated one reason for my preference — you can store enough equipment and foodstuffs in your home to keep you alive for a couple of years, at least. Also, you're not out there on a mountainside, risking your life on a minute-by-minute basis.

Some people find that exhilarating, an adrenaline rush.

Originally posted by Doc Velocity
I've often said that most of these "bug-out" people are going to die within a few weeks, once they get out there and realize they are seriously under-equipped and under-experienced to survive in the wilderness. Let 'em get out there and break an ankle or a wrist and see how long they last.

Not long.

If they are properly trained, it will not happen, which is wh I advocate being an adult leader in the Boy Scouts, since I am one.

Originally posted by Doc Velocity
Generally speaking, humans are not a bunch of Liver-Eating Johnsons or other mountain legends who can brush off wild animal attacks and serious injuries. More often, when humans are injured in the wilderness, they tend to panic and then die shortly thereafter. For every legendary mountain man out there, there are the skeletons of 10,000 wanna-be mountain men.

People only panic if they are taught to do so, or learn by example to do so.

You can quell that panic reflex easily.

Mountain men or wanna-bee ones, skeletons happen either way.

You might as die how you want to, not dictacted by others terms.

Originally posted by Doc Velocity
I say fortify your home. I say dig a 10-foot-deep bunker in your backyard, wall it in nice and thick with steel-reinforced concrete, cover it up and plant a garden on top of it. Dress your bunker out with water filtration, air filtration, bacterial decomposition pit toilets, and human-powered electrical generating devices.

Now you're talking, I got heaps of ideas from Epcot and their eco-system.

Condensed space, plenty of oxygen through plants, and water filtration.

Do not forget using rainwater, an easy way to recycle it would be to fill the gutters with rocks, sand, and charcoal, many layers, letting it filter down and get rid of any harsh elements through re-creating the water table on the side of your house.

Originally posted by Doc Velocity
Make sure you have a hidden weapons cache and lots of ammo — not just firearms, either, but edged weapons, slingshots, compound bow and arrows, and anything else you can think of. Weapons are extremely handy for their designed purposes, but they're also going to be the most valuable things you own, next to food and medicine.

Always, always have more than one cache, otherwise you're screwed.

Exactly right about value, because when it comes down to it, having extra stuff means you may be able to barter with it, for things you need like food and medicine, if it's not available.

Originally posted by Doc Velocity
Gold won't have any value in a post-apocalyptic world, but a handgun with a box of cartridges will be worth its weight in platinum. A gun will trade-in for a lot of food or medicine. Just be cautious when you go-a-tradin'...

Two-way communications with rechargeable power-packs should be near the top of your list of survival gear, too. Communication means organization over a large area, and organization equals survival.

— Doc Velocity

Gold is far too heavy to be toting all over.

[edit on 13-12-2009 by SpartanKingLeonidas]

posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 09:44 PM

Originally posted by ADVISOR
Just be careful, that when you are building your fortress, you don't inadvertently build your own prison.

Have emergency escapes planned, and always have alternative measures for sit-x.

Yes, quite apropos, do not let your bunker become where people find you thousands of years later when you are being discussed by Geraldo Rivera.

Al Capone's vault was a joke.

Don't let Geraldo get more ratings due to your negligence of due diligence.

Tunnels, exit strategies, and alternate fall-back positions are a must.

posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 09:48 PM
reply to post by Hastobemoretolife

If you've got sufficient power you can as well make it an electronic dead zone.

Build Your Own Faraday Cage, Stop Nosey Listeners, and Survive

Putting that into it might help as long as enough power is available.

posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 10:03 PM

Originally posted by endisnighe
Okay SKL, another excellent thread for the information age. I.E. absolutely needed information age.

Several here have touched base on it. Escape and alternate places to bug out in case of necessity.

Never have your back against the wall.

Have a minimum of one escape route. Usually two is better but one is enough in a pinch. This includes building designs for everyday use, so why not in your bunker.

Scout out alternate bug out locations, have these locations as your rallying positions. Make sure everyone in your family knows of them in case of separation. Depending on where you are, their are numerous places that can be used as defensible, safe bug out spots. In my area, I have scouted abandoned farms among other locations. Hell, even old abandoned vehicles can be used as shelter from the elements for short periods.

Okay, went down the paranoid trail their a little bit.

Be safe and for God's sake, be free.

endisnighe, thanks for that.

I agree with multiple exit points, fall-back positions, and having a bug-out bag.

See, the way I see it is we need to be prepared, for any and all eventualities.

While the title of this thread may state forget the bug-out bag, it was more of a toss it to the side and build a bunker, first, then have that as an alternative.

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 03:48 AM
What I want to know is (fine point): How essential is a bug-out buggy? Do I really even need such a contraption? Why the hell do I need a loud, noisy, stinking, heavy, hungry, huffing internal combustion engine CARRIAGE. as an integral part of my survival strategy?

I don't mean to make light of it, but isn't this all-terrain vehicle just a tad useless? Yes, it transports you; but it requires feeding and constant maintenance. Every time you stop to dick with the throttle cable or carburetor, it's like a crosshair-moment, right?

— Doc Velocity

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 06:24 AM
reply to post by SpartanKingLeonidas

Instead of building one, why not use one that already exists but that is rarely used or even something that few people know exists? I havea friend who has some friends who do the whole urban exploration thing. My friend was taken along once to an abandoned underground train station. Getting in there had taken them weeks, scouting around the entire area, looking for some small gap in all the bars and railings that had been put there to stop them.

They eventually found a very narrow gap in a grate which was a nightmare to squeeze through, erm i'm told it was a nightmare. Inside it was amazing, according to the pictures they took i mean, a full brick structure and tons of little nooks you could hide your gear in so if someone did venture down it's unlikely they would find your stuff.

Take a look online at the urban exploration websites, go for the underground stuff obviously. From the French catacombs, to train stations, WW2 bunkers and tons of other structures which could all easily not just be a supply bunker but a real base of operations and would even survive a nuclear blast and the fallout.

Note i am saying all of this as a thought experiment, i am sure entering abandoned buildings is quite illegal and therefore i am not supporting anyone actually does this.

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 01:17 PM
reply to post by infolurker

That's it exactly, infolurker.

Underground bunkers are not meant to be found.

Using intellect to design them is something that is a must.

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 01:25 PM
reply to post by Carlthulhu

Interesting concept.

Can you expound upon it in more detail?

Let everyone hear/see your thoughts on it.

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 01:33 PM
reply to post by smirnoffsky

Seems you have put a lot of thorough thought into this, smirnoffsky.

You're on the right track from what I see.

Keep going with what you've got.

What were your thoughts on the usage of pykrete or papercrete?

Those were only examples people may or may not have considered, not the ultimate in building materials, but examples of alternate thinking.

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 01:39 PM
reply to post by ImaginaryReality1984

While I admire the ingenuity, like you, advocating what falls to squatting, breaking and entering, and a host of other violations, I cannot condone these sort of actions.

Re-building an abandoned train station would be monumental.

Of course, if the proverbial sky has fallen, and we're speaking of a Nuclear Winter, I assure you no one will be giving a damn about law and order, let alone squatters.

I've seen many movies where this type of activity was done, with moderate success.

Just like a regular bunker, making it concealed would be a consideration.

I do like you bringing this to the thread, it shows a different perspective, which is what I was looking for as I do not see the thread as complete with just my thoughts.

As I pointed out previously there are bunkers for sale as well, if you have the money.

Or, join Scientology, cozy up to Tom Cruise, and ask to hide with him.

No, I am not condoning joining what I see as a cult, it was a joke.

[edit on 14-12-2009 by SpartanKingLeonidas]

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 02:09 PM

Originally posted by SpartanKingLeonidas
While I admire the ingenuity, like you, advocating what falls to squatting, breaking and entering, and a host of other violations, I cannot condone these sort of actions.

The truth is that these buildings have often been abandoned for 30+ years and are rarely even used by tramps because they just don't know they're there. Some of the train stations have no buildings on top of them, they're just old, underground, unused lines. You could happily rest in one and never be bothered, well unless some urban explorers get down there

Some buildings that are explored are quite dangerous but others, again like train stations were so well built they are in perfectly livable conditions. I doubt nuclear war will ever happen but if it did then these places would be perfect as they are deep underground, surrounded by steel and concrete and are nearly completely sealed up so radioactive dust wouldn't be an issue. All they would neeed are minor improvments to seal them up.

Originally posted by SpartanKingLeonidas
Re-building an abandoned train station would be monumental.

Honestly from the pictures i've seen they are in good order. You would just have to visit a few places and decide in advance which one is usable. However if we're just talking about surviving a disaster of some kind, or even avoiding martial law or civil unrest then these places are top notch.

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 05:19 PM
reply to post by ImaginaryReality1984

Well, visiting one would be something I would be interested in, but most likely not until the proverbial crap has hit the fan, no matter their condition.

I'm not seeing a Nuclear Winter happening now, unless Iran, or North Korea, or possibly that idiot Hugo Chavez does something stupid as Hell.

[edit on 14-12-2009 by SpartanKingLeonidas]

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 05:19 PM
reply to post by SpartanKingLeonidas

If something big does happen it would take a lot of man power to defend a fortress UNLESS it was very well HIDDEN, deep below ground.

hidden and deep below ground level is the way to go.

Link above will start you on your way to making your very own hiddie hole.

[edit on 14-12-2009 by ofhumandescent]

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 05:48 PM
reply to post by ofhumandescent

That is an awesome addition to this thread.

Thank you for posting that.

I wonder if the originator is a part of a forum or not.

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