In life and prepping some things just make too much sense. When I first caught wind of the Earthbag I thought of a weak and insubstantial building material that was better used to stop floods temporarily. To consider a structure of any real necessity brought to mind worse visions of some of my earliest building exploits which often ended in me taking a claw hammer to the project as it fell apart from lack of stability.
I would hate to call it a conspiracy but there is a lot of money to be made in building structures from plastics, wood and other traditional materials. You will be shocked to find full-scale homes built of these plastered and smoothed out Earthbags. Whether they are a comparable building material when we talk about durability and longevity is not proven. Still, as preppers, you will find many great uses for this cheap and effective building material.
WHAT IS AN EARTH BAG?
I wish I could offer you a much more exciting description but basically these are small durable bags, very like sandbags, that can be filled with dirt, rocks or sand. Each material has various benefits when it comes to structural integrity and insulation. Dirt will not insulate as well as the small rocks and sand will.
The earthbags are used to build frames that are surprisingly powerful. I encourage you to take a look at the various types of pressure testing, damage testing, water damage and various other tests that these bags and structures have undergone.
These Earthbags have been used to build everything from actual homes to beautiful root cellars and even emergency shelters. These homes do not require tensile materials at all. In other words no wood or brick. The structures are highly durable and just absurdly cheap. Most of the models I looked at were around $300-500.
The Earthbags are stacked and arched with barbed wire between the layers in many ways to create exactly the design desired. They are then covered with stucco grating and a strong waterproof plaster.
EARTH BAGS FOR THE PREPPER
Of course, the very basic use of these Earthbags is for fortification. These would be a great option for stopping floodwaters from a hurricane or other natural disasters. You could also use these bags in a more tactical and defensive modality.
The construction of various blockades or walls for gunfire cover would also be a great option for the earthbags. You can protect your home or your community with these bags. This is a very basic use and not nearly as ambitious as it could be.
Whether you are looking for a decent root cellar or even a smokehouse the Earthbags will be your best option, when it comes to price and durability. The bags can be built into the ground in a number of very interesting designs.
All preppers are on a tight budget and with a little learning and some lifting you can create beautiful structures.
Earth Bag Bunker
The design for this earthquake relief shelter makes me think about how it would look underground. Could this be another cheap option for an underground bunker composed entirely of Earthbags? The long-term bunker can be a bit daunting. Not just in construction but also in theory. A family trapped underground for some duration, unable to escape each other is terrifying in and of itself.
With the Earthbags you can create several rooms of custom sizes. With the Earthbags you decide the floor plan as well as overall size. Other options, like shipping containers, are basically limited by the dimensions of the container itself.
Partially Earthed Shelter
This shelter was built to aid in earthquake recovery. It is a semi-permanent option for those who have lost homes due to earthquakes in the third world. The design supports a stove or a fire or both for cooking and warmth. The roof is questionable as it is primarily made of thin poles. The walls would be very durable and would insulate well.
When I look at what’s possible with these Earthbag shelters I am not thinking about the penultimate shelter that will survive a shower of meteors and a nuclear blast. No. What I am thinking about is perhaps the best bugout option available.
For most of us, we are hindered by budget when it comes to buying bugout land and then building on that land. It’s a long-drawn-out process that involves tons of savings and maybe even some loans. Let’s imagine, for a moment, that we get our hands on some reasonably priced land and rather than build that dream cabin you put one of these shelters on that land for a bugout home that may cost $250.