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Generating Power and Abandoned missile silos?
In another thread, I asked about generating power for a bunker, since I didn't get as many answers as I would like, I believed it was worthy of it's own thread. The three options I am looking at are, hydroelectric, solar, and geothermal. both hydroelectric and geothermal require water, so that could limit property options. And geothermal requires geothermal activity, further limiting property options. There is a generator called a seebeck generator which is useable to create power, shown here,

My problem with solar is it screams, "look at me! I have power!" What is the best way to conceal solar panels from view while still gathering sufficient energy? What are the best options for geothermal and hydroelectric power? What would be the best way to conceal these power sources? Which of these is the best overall? Or which combination would be the best overall?

Another question. I have heard stories of guys who were able to buy abandoned missile silos and turn them into bunkers. Does that still happen? How much does it cost? I haven't heard of any, but I would like to get one in Montana, if possible. It's probably a pipe dream to find one with the property criteria I have, anyway.

Original bunker thread.
My observations are not for bubble bursting purposes.
I will give the practical considerations, which are not much fun.
1. a Montana retreat can be purchased. However, it does you no good if you aren't there when shtf.
2. where ever you go, there are probably building codes, inspection requirements, and water districts that prohibit just going out in your backyard and drilling a well.
3. the good news are some very inexpensive options:
a. the US government has published plans for a bomb shelter or fallout shelter. Many building and safety departments have already approved the federal plans.
b. there are competent companies that manufacture underground shelters and who can direct you to a local, licensed and competent builder.
c. if you have a propane tank that is under a certain capacity, it will NOT be registered with the federal government. If you think that the capacity is inadequate, buy two tanks.

Now for the reality:
1. any competent real estate broker will tell you not to buy a retirement home until you are about 18 months from retirement. Do not buy property thinking you will turn it into some kind of retreat. Why that advice:
a. you or a significant other have a physical problem and a favorite doctor where you live;
b. you or a significant other have family and friends where you live now and you won't move.
2. I have to be older than you. I have 1-2 hours of exercises every day given by Kaiser for rehab. My girlfriend also has to go to the gym every day of the week. I don't mow the law any more and haven't dug up a garden in years. The hint is that your physical capabilities may not be there now or 10 years from now. I was in the same high school class as my sister-in-law and she cannot climb stairs anymore.
3. my late father had a neighbor my age. The guy drove all over the south selling women's dresses to department stores. His wife had been and out of institutions, unfortunately. He told me, without having any experience whatsoever, that he was going to build a retirement home. Good grief! At one time, I was an operating officer of a Class A contractor and I would never plan or build a home on my own.

So I give you a simple consideration, which I cannot do at my location.
1. Propane does not go bad like gasoline or diesel. It probably takes up less room than firewood. If you were considering relying upon solar which is not perfected, a large propane tank is much simpler. If you are allowed to paint a unit other than white, and conceal it behind a berm or always green bushes, it may be ideal.
2. If you want to rough it, use the federal shelter plans. Even better put in two units and use the second for long term storage only. You will have to hire an engineer to figure out power, water, and sewerage disposal.

In doing all this planning please remember a couple of things that "survivalists" normally fail to consider:
1. the road that leads from your retreat to the big city also runs from the big city to your retreat. There are 330,000,000 people living largely in the continental US. If a person with a 15 gallon gas tank in his car gets 25 miles to the gallon, you had better be about 400 miles from any population center of 10,000 people or you can expect visitors. I have a 120 acre woodlot with a running stream, bear, deer, wild turkey, etc. It is landlocked off the highway, about 4 miles from a town of 4,000. I give it a week before it is overrun. I manage a family farm about 10 miles of an interstate down a two lane road. The locals will have all the corn harvested and stolen within a week.
2. Tweekers (meth manufacturers) prefer a rural location as they are less likely to be detected. So do illegal cultivators of pot.
Bob makes some good points.

I don't know enough about thermoelectric to have an opinion but from the article you posted it doesn't seem to be very efficient.

I think one should worry about getting the right power for what you are most likely to use it for i.e, auxiliary or emergency power for short term outages. Unless you are going off the grid completely there is no sense in worrying about what other people think or know about what you use. If you have water nearby, by all means use hydro electric. If you have sunshine a good part of the year, solar is a good option.

I've had 52 acres of woods in northern Michigan for the past 20 years. I put up a rudimentary small cabin with a well and septic tank. It has power as well but the stove/heat runs on propane. My wife and I are in the process of replacing that cabin with a year round home in which we will live 8-9 months out of the year. The cabin sits 7/10ths of a mile off the closest paved road and another couple hundred yards down a two track. It is about 18 miles from the nearest town.

I have a generator and about 110 gallons of gas stored there as well as a number of 100lb propane tanks. The new house will have a 250 gallon propane tank (pig). At one time the property was intended to have a bullet proof bunker and serve as a BOL/retreat. Now it will be a more conventional home. I would eventually like to do solar there but would have to clear a helluva lot of woods to make a clear spot so that's probably not going to happen. The home will be primarily heated with wood but will have a propane furnace as well and of course will be on the electrical grid. I am also thinking of putting in an external wood fired boiler for hot water and auxiliary heat source since I have a large supply of wood.

I no longer worry about the end of the world. Just trying to be safe, comfortable and moderately self sufficient in my retirement.

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