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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been thinking about constructing an underground bunker that would be able to house about 25 people comfortably, which would be made out of shipping containers or possibly concrete. However, I have been thinking that it may not be worth it for a few reasons:

1) Price
2) Practicality
3) Necessity

Price: For a shipping container bunker, I wouldn't be burying one and calling it a bunker, I would buy a couple dozen most likely, however this would require a team of welders, a construction crew to dig the whole, I would have to spray the containers as to avoid decay...etc. The price tag for this could fly through the roof really fast. A concrete bunker would get rid of the welders, however I would still need a construction company to dig the hole and pour the concrete. On top of that, I would still have to put in electricity, food, recreational items, beds...etc. So that would add on to it too. Price is not an issue, but what I am wondering is do you all think that putting it underground is necessary. I was thinking about it, the reason people build underground bunkers is to avoid being seen. So the fact that it's underground isn't what's making them safe, it's because they cannot be seen. So then I started thinking, what if you put the containers, or the concrete structure above ground, and then put an artificial hill on top of it? This way you wouldn't have to dig a hole, which rises in price with every inch down. It would be difficult to make the hill look natural I realize, but I feel it would be much more cost affective than burying it.

Practicality: Is it really practical to have a bunker underground? I know that most people at some point in time have dreamed of having an underground bunker to survive the apocalypse with, but there are so many risk factors that could make it useless. Running out of food and water would require the residents to vacate in search of more food and water. So if you are looking at staying long term, you would have to store enough food to do so, but this would mean you would have to build a bigger bunker, which means more money. You could build a small bunker and only use it at night or when you aren't traveling, so you could scavenge during the day and hide out there overnight, but that's still dangerous because then you could easily be cornered and trapped inside of your bunker because there is only one way in and out. Also, depending on where you want to place it, it will be difficult to access for construction crews, so if you wanted to build it in the mountains or in a thick forest, road access may not be practical. This would mean you would have to build it along a semi public road, as well as build it somewhere where the soil composition would support the burying of a bunker.

Necessity: Is a bunker necessary? After much thought, I don't really think a bunker is all that necessary. It's cool and would definitely help, but for financial reasons as well as practical reasons, it just doesn't seem like a feasible or necessary project. I think it would be far better to just build a house, and have a basement underneath that could have a concealed entrance, this way the cost to build it would be cheaper, and it would still conceal yourself. Also, it would allow for easy access to your bug out location, because it's literally right beneath your home. These are just my random thoughts on a Sunday morning, so I realize that a lot of this probably doesn't make much sense, but I am just trying to get some ideas out there and see what you all think about bunkers and whether or not they are practical for the reasons I stated previously.
 
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Shipping containers were not designed to be buried. I'm not going to get in one that has been buried.
I don't want to deal with the associated mold that comes along with buried bunkers or homes, anyway. Seems like extra work I do not need.

Are they really needed? Maybe, depending on the specific scenario, but I figure some things are just going to get me, and, if something that could only be avoided is if one has a bunker happens, color me got.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah that's a good point. I guess the only real reason for having an underground bunker, if we are saying that the downfall of society was from within, then the only threat you would be avoiding is mobs of looters, but if you live in a rural area, they shouldn't be a problem. And yeah other than that, there really aren't any problems that a bunker would save you from other than the initial chaos, but again, depending on where you are, that shouldn't be a problem.
 

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I have a very big problem with not being able to maneuver. If you can get out, they can see how to get in. If they can't figure out a way to get in, they just might figure out a way to make sure you can't get out.
In my little mind, that is about the worst case scenario that could happen to me.
 

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I believe that bunkers are an excelent choice. That being said the buncker you choose does not need to be large but big enough to hold stores and family. If things get really bad outside and you like the area you are at you can hide out in the bunker until things stop going south. it is also a semi fortified position eg raiders would have to find your entrance to get to you and if they couldnt they would have to dig which takes time and effort, why dig and try to get what this "guy" MIGHT have when i can go jack this house down the road. with stragically placed entrances and exits you can come and go as you please and bring back supplies or food and no one would be the wiser. A bunker COULD also double as a root celler and the temperature will remain an almost constant. if you had a way of heatting your bunker the entire structure AND earth will help insulate your space. Almost every senario you could think of would be a situation for a bunker if you broaden your idea of what it can and cant do.
 

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Bunkers are "hides" and storage, the real use is for natural disasters, tornado and hurricanes. They dont work in flood prone areas. If it is to hide in bury it deep and hide the entrances. With 25 people inside I think building it as a fortified position hidden but with gun ports is a better idea.
 

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I would use a bunker for resource storage and that is all.

Bunkers can become a coffin pretty easily if someone on the outside doesn't want you coming back out. I would be more likely to build a partially underground Hobbit house than a bunker. It's safer, provides decent cover, blends with the landscape, and is good natural way to insulate your house.
 

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..I Is a bunker necessary? After much thought, I don't really think a bunker is all that necessary. It's cool and would definitely help, but for financial reasons as well as practical reasons, it just doesn't seem like a feasible or necessary project..
If a nuclear war erupts, or a meteor shower zaps the earth, a bunker would certainly be the safest protection from blast and heat, so if you can afford to have one under your back yard, go for it..:)
(I haven't got a back yard let alone a bunker)

An old British civil defence bunker layout-


You might even be able to pick one up cheap somewhere, like this one up on the Yorkshire moors-


PICS OF THE INSIDE- http://12121.hostinguk.com/peace 003.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I guess where I may differ from most on the idea of bunkers, is that to me, if I am building a bunker, I'm living it in for a few weeks if not months, whereas others would only use it as storage or for a couple of days. That's why I talked about the practicality of it, because making an underground bunker that can sustain 20+ people for a few months, that's when it becomes more fantasy as opposed to reality. Like I said earlier, for me anyway, I think the best option would be to build a basement under the house, but have the entrances concealed. So yeah it won't survive a bomb/nuclear attack, but for the purpose of hiding out from looters and other threats like the weather, it would certainly do the trick.
 

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..raiders would have to find your [bunker] entrance to get to you..
Reminds me of a survival film out there where some people holed up in a bunker with tons of food and drink and there were no clues above ground to give away its position and they thought they were sitting pretty. Then along come the bad guys with a dog, which immediately begins barking and scratching around the concealed entrance.
The moral- we can't hide from a pooch's sense of smell..;)
 

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Like people have said, the big disadvantage of bunkers and caves or whatever is that once it (or it's air vents) are located, you're as good as dead.
Here US Marines set fire to brushwood at the entrance to a Jap cave on Okinawa and wait for them to run out..

 

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Reminds me of a survival film out there where some people holed up in a bunker with tons of food and drink and there were no clues above ground to give away its position and they thought they were sitting pretty. Then along come the bad guys with a dog, which immediately begins barking and scratching around the concealed entrance.
The moral- we can't hide from a pooch's sense of smell..;)
By no means am I disagreeing with the fact that it is a HUGE undertaking to make it as consealable as possible, you have to factor in that "MOST" (and I say that sparingly) people will not have trained or have the training for their dogs to smell out specific sents. I am not building a bunker right now because I am active duty Millitary and move around to often to have a place to build. My focus until I can finally settle down is for mobility but having some sort of fortified home or "Bunker" will greatly increase you chances for survival. I do have cashe' sites over the area of this base and off, never know where you will be. The best way of thinking for a bunker is to think like a Submariner... being able to close off vents and create or generate air or filter the exhaust to remove as much sent or what not as possible.
 

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Like people have said, the big disadvantage of bunkers and caves or whatever is that once it (or it's air vents) are located, you're as good as dead.
Here US Marines set fire to brushwood at the entrance to a Jap cave on Okinawa and wait for them to run out..
Ditto Jim! A bad guy or even an ignorant 15 year old unarmed teen and a quart of gasoline would ruin your day!
 

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Just to survive the initial event. Long term is not feasible. I agree with previous posters, it's a death trap.
 
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Gaddafi decided to hole up in this culvert, bad call..



As for bunkers, they'd certainly protect against the heat, blast and fallout of a nuke war; i hear radiation levels would drop to a relatively safe level after about 2 weeks, then we could climb out and rule the devastated world..:)
But there are other possible scenarios apart from nuke war, and it might be best to just get out of town for a while in a "mobile shelter" (vehicle).
These doods are in the Baikal region of Siberia, their tough little 4x4's can ford rivers and maybe there's enough room to stretch out and sleep in the back-





 

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A cheaper way is pick up an old used school bus and bury it. It seems the roof can handle a lot of weight as it is designed to handle a roll over completely loaded so it could sure hand dirt piled over it. Just need to add a method of getting to it and a ventilation system and just seal off the windows. I've seen them for as cheap as $200 in non running shape and $300 running. If you have the place to do it that would be my first choice or perhaps a couple of them tied together.
 

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A cheaper way is pick up an old used school bus and bury it...
A dood got this one and lived in it but never bothered to dig it in. He later died of poison berries and the bus is now a hikers tourist attraction-





If I wanted an underground bunker I think I'd go for the easiest cheapest simple thing I could build myself from corrugated steel like this forest hut a guy has come across.
It's small so digging a hole wouldn't take too long, then I'd just push it in and cover it with about a foot of soil and leave an air vent and chimney sticking up. Most nuke blasts travel horizontally so it'd sweep over the top of it-

 

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A dood got this one and lived in it but never bothered to dig it in. He later died of poison berries and the bus is now a hikers tourist attraction-

If I wanted an underground bunker I think I'd go for the easiest cheapest simple thing I could build myself from corrugated steel like this forest hut a guy has come across.
It's small so digging a hole wouldn't take too long, then I'd just push it in and cover it with about a foot of soil and leave an air vent and chimney sticking up. Most nuke blasts travel horizontally so it'd sweep over the top of it-
Sure it would be cheap to build but not with the roof shown on it. Figure how much weight the roof can handle and how deep you want to bury it. 12" below the surface is a few tons of dirt even on this small a structure. Now you might roll up a piece of cold rolled steel say 16 ga and weld ends in it then it might. Corrugated steel is about 24 ga usually so even through it gets some added strength from the shape not really much with weight pressing down on it. I have 18 ga standing seem roof on my storage facility and it is easy damaged by walking on it and it is about twice as strong as corrugated steel. At any rate it might work but I wouldn't want to be in it if it came down on you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
A dood got this one and lived in it but never bothered to dig it in. He later died of poison berries and the bus is now a hikers tourist attraction
I'm assuming this is the same guy from into wild? If you haven't read the book or seen the movie I highly recommend it, it is an amazing film/book, and it really tortures the emotions.
 
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