How to Create a Prepper Compound

[dropcap]P[/dropcap]repper compounds and survival retreats have become big business – even spawning specialized real estate brokerages to sell doomsday disaster home sites. When I was still pretty active in real estate, I would routinely get phone calls from out-of-the area folks seeking homesteading, hunting, or farmland.

But, the first time I received a phone call from a stranger (in a small rural county, everyone knows everyone and can quickly spot a “transplant”) beating around the bush trying to find a prepper retreat without actually saying he was looking for a survival compound, I was very pleasantly surprised!

Survival Compound Layout

There is no one perfect way to design a prepper compound, a lot of the actual situating of essential parts of the retreat will depend on terrain, acreage, and budget. But, vital components should be included as soon as finances allows, and expanded upon when it is feasible.

prepper compound interior

photo: interior prepper compound (click to open in new tab)

Main House

The home should have multiple bedrooms and bathrooms that have composting commodes. Maximize space in the bedrooms as much as possible by putting two sets of bunk beds and/or a queen bed and bunk beds in family rooms. Use under the beds for clothing storage and shelving units on the walls to house other personal items.

Remember to stockpile clothing, shoes, and outerwear in a variety of sizes for babies and children, as well as extra work boots and shoelaces or everyone in a survival group. Each room in the home should have its own woodburner or fireplace.


Approximately 85 percent of the basement should be used as a floor to ceiling storage area. Place a sleeper sofa, countertop work space, and a table and chairs for meeting and work space, in the basement as well. Turning part of the prepper compound into an off grid campground or small housing space for the prepping group may not be possible either due to space limitations, a security threat, or intense weather. You cannot have too many sleeping and general living space options inside the main house.

Living Room

The living area in the main house should double as a dining room and meeting space. Place multiple large and wide tables in the room, and multiple couches so the entire survival group can gather together in one space when necessary. Purchase sleeper sofas and fold out single sleeper loves seats to provide additional bed space.

Medical Clinic

An attached building or room in the home should be designated as a medical clinic. Ideally, there would be a double entrance to the medical clinic and quarantine room to prevent the spread of disease. An outside entrance into the medical clinic is also needed to again, avoid the spread of germs unnecessarily.

A metal cabinet containing disposable “booties,” gloves, and gowns – as well as a biohazard garbage can, should be present at all entrances to the clinic and quarantine room. Stockpile waterless antibacterial lotion to also keep in the metal supply cabinet. Disease will spread quickly when you cannot call a doctor, being reckless with germs could wipe out the compound in a matter of days or weeks after the SHTF.

Garage and Workshop

A garage and workshop, as well as an area for reloading activities should also be attached to the main house. Being able to enter the medical clinic and workshop from the safety of the home, just might saves lives.

Outdoor Kitchen

Unless you have massively deep pockets, air conditioning will become a thing of the past during a doomsday disaster. An outdoor kitchen on a patio attached to the home will prevent the kitchen and main house from becoming incredibly hot during the summer months and allow ease of access and ample extra space for food preservation during the harvest. The root cellar entrance should also be located near the main house and outdoor kitchens for both the sake of convenience and security.

Butcher Shop

Use stainless steel coutnertops and backsplash to curtail the spread of germs. The butcher shop should be equipped with a hydraulic system to lift hogs and beef, if financially feasible. Butcher shop saws and equipment will require a 220 electrical outlet.

Learn how to butcher beef the old-fashioned way with manual tools to save on fuel or so meat preservation can continue after fuel stockpiles run dry or fail. A walk-in cooler, which can double as an ice house, should be a part of the butcher shop. To conserve on or replace fuel, fill 5-gallon buckets with water, freeze the water, and attach a firm-fitting lid and stack the in layers separate by sawdust. A smokehouse should be constructed and situated adjacent to the butcher shop area.

Blacksmith Shop and Livestock First Aid

You will be your own vet and farrier after the SHTF. Learn how to shoe, trim, and care for livestock to ensure their longevity – and by extension, your own.


These listening posts and observation posts should be constructed in a covert a manner as possible, regardless of whether they are partially earth-berm or watch tower style enclosures. An LP/OP should be placed on all four sides of the property, on top of the main house, and in any areas where the view from one of the four perimeter LP/OPs is obstructed.

Prepper Compound Land Requirements

There is a whole lot of cross-over between prepping and homesteading properties, but survival compounds must be built on land with natural attributes that enhance security while limiting entry points – and be situated in as secluded an area as possible.

If you have a space million dollars or so around, you can buy into a luxury compound with a ready-made community. But, if you must prep under a budget like most of us, and prefer to commune with your own tribe (family and friends) during a SHTF situation, it is financially possible to design and built the ultimate prepper compound all on your own.

Prepper compounds and retreats should encompass at least 20 acres, but ideally the land should be between a minimum of 35 to 50 acres – depending upon the size of your group. Bigger isn’t always better. If you do not have enough responsible hands to work the land and operate a 24/7 surveillance patrol rotation covering the entire area on foot, horseback, ATV, or via LP/OP (listening post and observation post) platforms, having too much land might just get you killed.

You can built a solid and defensible prepper compound on only a few to 20 acres, depending upon the quality of the land, how it is utilized, and the type of food which will be raised and grown. Once the SHTF, you will not be able to go to a store to purchase livestock feed and getting hay even from a farm nearby, might not be realistic.

On a small prepper compound, chickens, ducks, rabbits, and possibly pygmy and dwarf goats could be kept for protein and milk. Dexter cattle, a miniature version of a standard could, might also be feasible.

Livestock, fuel, and water sources must all be self-sustaining. The prepper compound should have at least two water sources, one ideally being a well. A pond, either man-made or natural, should be stocked with fish as an extra food source.

Look for a parcel of land that requires a crossing a creek as close to the entrance as possible. This will create a natural choke point attackers will have to funnel through to inch closer to the main portion of your property and the prepper compound. A second line of fencing on each side of the creek, in addition to around the perimeter area is highly recommended – as well as another entry gate before the creek crossing.

Firewood, hydraulic power, wind power, and solar power should be incorporated into the survival compound land purchase and design as much as feasible depending upon the terrain and your budget.

Top 10 Prepper Compound Attributes

1. Located at least 60 miles from a significant metropolitan area.
2. Not located near a highway or major roadway.
3. Sustainable water source preferably from a creek, stream, or pond – in addition to a well.
4. Not attached to municipal water lines or sewer system, but a private septic system.
5. A substantial portion of the land is usable for hunting and firewood harvesting.
6. Accessible only by 4-wheel drive vehicles.
7. Located at the end of a dead-end road – bonus points if the road is gravel or dirt and not paved.
8. Property has a long and secluded drive that prevents the home and growing areas from being viewed from the road.
9. The home and large portions of the property are surrounded by hills, rugged terrain, or mountains.
10. The prepper compound has significant southern exposure areas for gardening and growing areas.

prepper compound

photo: prepper compound (click to open in a new tab)

Perimeter Security

Fencing – and lots of it, is essential to the security of a prepper compound. You should use multiple types of barriers to not just keep livestock in and people out, but to ensure any marauders will take one look at the retreat boundaries and quickly determine attempting to get inside may just be the last thing they ever do.

You may not want to advertise you are a prepper until things go critical. The more your retreat remains hidden from view or blends in with surrounding farms, the better.

Prepper Compound Fencing

  • Barbed Wire – Use barbed wire fencing around the entire property – five or six strands. This type of fencing will not look out of place in a rural area. Having posts and an initial line of fencing in place will save huge amounts of time and hard work when bolstering the perimeter as the SHTF.
  • Electric Wire – Add several lines of electric fencing powered a strong solar energizer amid the barbed wire fence strands. An attacker will not be electrocuted by the wire and can snip it apart, but the electric lines should slow them down just long enough for the person in the nearest LP/OP to get them in their sights.
  • Razor Wire – This is the type of wire you need to add as the world is going pear-shaped. Use 8-foot T-posts or wood posts when putting in the barbed wire fencing so the boundary is already tall enough to add razor wire without wasting time putting up more posts. Anyone who has used a post pounder for even a single hour already knows just how tiring and time-consuming the process of putting up fence truly is.
  • Gates – The gates to the property should be chained heavily and incorporate razor wire as well.
  • Block or Brick Walls – Adding block walls to the perimeter or the property of at a choke-point past the initial entry gate, will help prevent vehicles from crashing onto the property and serve and can serve as a shooting blind in forced into a firefight to defend your land and loved ones. Filling the cinder blocks with concrete will give added protection from some calibers of rifle rounds.

Survival Compound Power

Even if the prepper compound does not have to function off the grid right now, it should be designed so it can both during and long after the SHTF. Relying on the power grid, regardless of any specific type of disaster you are prepping for, would be downright foolish and quite likely, cause your untimely death


The prepper compound should be comprised of about 50 percent wooded area to make it sustainable in the long-term from a fuel and hunting aspect. A smaller prepper compound situated adjavent to public land will increase your access to wood and hunting area, but comes with some downsides as well.

Copious amounts of un-prepared or under-prepared folks who plan on “bugging out to the country” will be converging upon the same public lands, increasing the competition for both available natural resources and danger. A woodburner or fireplace should be positioned in every room possible in the main house on the prepper compound. They will provide both heat and cooking options when the power grid fails.

A woodburner is a far better option for optional and controllable heat output. Cast iron cookware can be placed directly on top of the woodburner for cooking. A woodstove can also be used to generate hot water for the house.

My friend Scott Hunt, of Practical Preppers fame, details exactly how to connect a coil to the woodstove for generate hot water in the video below. Learn how to make your own charcoal from firewood and stockpile it for off grid outdoor cooking purposes.

Hot Water the old fashioned way: Water coil and a wood stove


This multi-use fuel should be stockpiled heavily on the prepper compound. The tanks should be stored in multiple easily accessible areas that are constructed in as fireproof a manner as possible. When selecting appliances for the main house on the survival compound, opt for a propane stove and refrigerator. Add either fireplaces or woodstoves for additional cooking options once the propane stockpiles run out.

Gasoline, Diesel, and 2-Cycle Oil

Vehicles, farm machinery, and chainsaws will all need to be powered long after convenience stores are looted and closed down. More than one fuel storage shed should be positioned on the compound for both ease of use and security reasons, in case one stockpile becomes compromised. At least one stockpile should be stored in a fireproof space near the main house.

Solar Panels

Photovoltaic panels and batteries to store the power they generate are another must on the prepper compound. When it comes to fuel and power, you need backup for your backup and then a third option for each, to sustain the retreat for the long-term.


The compound should include whole-house wired generators that run off of multiple sources of fuel, as well as multiple and portable, solar generators. Stockpile backup parts for each style of generator and learn how to complete necessary repairs that will ultimately arise over time.

Wind Turbine

Turbines will offer yet another sustainable and renewable power source for the survival compound.

Hydraulic Power

If the compound is positioned along a flowing creek, harness that power to help fuel any number of activities and necessary functions on the survival retreat.

Battery Bank

Wire your power collection bank to either a 24 volt or 48 volt bank. Many lights, water heaters, and water pumps can function easily on only 12 volts. Both solar and wind generators are also manufactured in 12 volt varieties. Power inverters and charge controllers need to be stockpiled so all the traditional AC devices on the compound (computer, DVD player, microwave oven, etc.) can be connected properly and prevent over-charging.

Food and Medicine Production

Growing your own groceries and apothecary must begin in earnest on day 1 on the prepper compound, even potentially before any structures are built. The more growing options you have, the more stable your food source will be during a doomsday disaster.

Long-term shelf stable food should be stored in great abundance. Consider this your, “crop insurance” stash and do not touch it unless absolutely necessary. In addition to storing shelf stable food inside the home and basement, use PVC pipe to make underground caches that can be buried throughout the property in case you have to evacuate quickly either permanently or temporarily.

Each LP/OP should also have at least three day’s worth of food, water, and first aid gear stored inside the covert structure.

Traditional Garden

The size of the garden will depend upon the number of acres the prepper compound encompasses. Ideally, crop production should comprise about 10 percent of available space.

Container, Vertical, and Raised Bed Gardening

Maximize all available growing space, even if you have a 50-acre survival compound, by using raised beds, container, and vertical gardening. Growing medicinal herbs in raise beds near the home and medical clinic, will keep the harvestable natural medicines readily available for preservation and for the making of tinctures, salves, gal-capsule medication, and ointments.

The landscaping around the main house and attached or adjacent buildings should all be either of the medicinal or edible variety. Turn the sides of buildings in vertical gardens for growing lettuce and other greens that thrive in shallow soil.

Wood Pallets make great inexpensive vertical gardening containers. Plastic barrels are perfect for growing potatoes and other root crops. Deep flower pots can be placed right on the patio or deck to cultivate tomatoes.


The prepper retreat should have as large of a greenhouse as possible so crops and apothecary plants and herbs can be grown year around. Do not opt for a typical glass-window greenhouse, they will be too difficult to repair after the SHTF. Create an enclosed porch greenhouse so the space can also be used to generate heat and warm water for the home via a solar-powered fan, and can be used as a brooder for poultry as well.

Keeping rabbits in the enclosed porch greenhouse generates a superb small compost area beneath the hutch. To save money and utilize geothermal heat from the ground, you can also dig a trench or pit greenhouse and cover the semi-exposed roof area with a thick grade clear plastic.

Cold frames should also be created near the greenhouse area so seedlings can be started as early in the season as possible and cultivated late into the fall, as well. Use scrap lumber to build the frames and old windows to create a firm-fitting top. The cold frames can easily be converted into a solar oven or solar-dehydrator during the summer months.

Check out the masterful attache insulated greenhouse my prepping mentor, Rick Austin, created at his hills of North Carolina home. With such a greenhouse, it is possible to grow non-native miniature trees, like coffee, orange, lemon, and apple, year around.

How the Secret Greenhouse Of Survival Works!

Food Forest

Grow you crops in guilds like ancient farmers used to, and help hide them from prying eyes that could be violently desperate for even a scrap of food. None of the growing options you choose (engaging in each of them is highly recommended) should be done within either sight or smell range of the perimeter of the prepper compound.

Walking Down the Path of the Secret Garden of Survival


Liquid gold not only tastes delicious, but has a copious amount of medicinal properties as well. An apiary should be established on the survival compound and beehives placed in or next to all growing area to foster the ultimate possible level of pollination of crops.


Livestock must have a barn, a pasture, and a pasture for rotation and/or hay cultivation, in order to survive. Situate the barnyard near a natural water source if the area is not visible from the road. Allow the animals to free-range around the fenced in prepper compound so they can feed themselves (healthiest and cheapest diet they can have) and eliminate any need to waste fuel, energy, and time on lawn maintenance.

Prepper Compound Building Materials

The main house and all structures at the survival retreat should be fireproof, weather proof, and protect against armed attackers firing semi-automatic weapons, as much as feasible.

  • Construct the buidings out of cinder block and poured concrete walls. The floors should also be comprised of concrete – you can cover the fire resistant material to make it more attractive, or simply paint it. The thick walls will help curtail bullets of multiple calibers, as well. A fire could still start inside the home and cause the loss of personal belonging and stockpiled preps, but you will still have a strong shelter to protect you from whatever is outside.
  • The roof of each building should be metal so it too is fire retardant.
  • Build a protective metal case around the chimneys with a firmly affixed cast iron (or similar fire resistant material) top – and line it on both sides with as small of a gauge of hardware cloth as possible. The metal case will provide added protection from a maruader attempting to wreak havoc on the home from the rooftop.
  • Create a fire break around the main house and all other portions of the survival retreat to the extend feasible. Wildfires spread rapidly during the summer months or whenever there is a drought – and fire may also be used by attackers to take what’s yours as you flee.


In addition to security patrols around the clock on the homestead, you should also invest in low-voltage closed circuit security cameras, trail cameras, and solar-powered motion detector lights – among all other off grid preppers security traps you can create to alert you to an unwanted visitor.

Tannerite is an ingredient often used in exploding targets sold both online and in brick-and-mortar stores without the need of any special permit. The binary explosive can be placed in containers around the perimeter of the home and inside wildlife decoys and explode with a single shot from the individual on duty in an LP/OP to scare off intruders and warn others on the prepper compound of approaching danger.

When planning a prepper retreat, start with the basic and work you way out from there only after laying out a blueprint for what you want the survival retreat to ultimately become. The importance of fining the right piece of land simply cannot be overstated – start wrong and you will not live long during the apocalypse!

18 thoughts on “How to Create a Prepper Compound”

  1. In todays cost this would be in the millions. I am not sure I would want my hog pen next to the creek or any animal pen. I could only dream of something like this. Well back to work.

    1. Evan, depending on where you build your prepper retreat, this design would likely be far more affordable that you think! Based on market values in Appalachia, this home and retreat set up would cost about $190K to $225K on roughly 55 to 60 acres. Livestock routinely waters from creeks that flow through the county here, without harming water quality during health department tests. I hope you find the right land, at the right price, and can build a prepper compound to see you and your loved ones through a SHTF disaster – best of luck to you!

    1. Terry, I hope you can find a way to economically start building a survival retreat, on some level, in the near future. There are a host of loan programs geared to agricultural land that how very low down payment, extremely low interest rates, and even though they are intended for farming or homesteading, can easily be used to buy land to build your prepper retreat upon as well. Also, the Fannie Mae HomeReady program has helped a lot of buyers get far more bang for their buck – and it even allows non-borrower household members and “renters” to have a portion of their income factored into the DTI of the actual borrower to help increase buying power. Just a few possible option that might be worth checking into to help get you onto some land and start building!

    1. Michael, Thank you, and I hope others find it to be a useful jumping off point to help them design the ideal prepper compound for their tribe!

  2. Tara,

    My compliments, perfect subject, well supported with redundancy, and, well written.

    Thanks for sharing and caring.


    1. Dave,

      Thank you. Our survival compound is still a work in progress, and I imagine we will still be enhancing and fine-tuning, and adding on until either the money runs out or the apocalypse happens!

  3. Excellent article, very comprehensive but needless to say financial, manpower and employment challenges make much of this difficult if not impossible for most of us. Speaking from experience, I have a fourteen acre homestead with poultry, livestock, a garden, solar, with a shop, hen house and two barns. All of this is extremely time and money intensive.

    Use this article as a framework and incorporate as much as possible into your lifestyle. I can assure you you’ll never have enough manpower or money. Finding like minded preppers is almost impossible and the only help you can expect from family is their assurance that they’ll show up if a crisis occurs. Prepare accordingly.

    1. Fifth-Disciple,

      A prepper compound definitely needs all committed hands on deck. Building expenses and the beautiful land in our area are not expensive – we do not have zoning, permit office, you can do the work yourself, etc. That all helps keep down on expenses.
      We have multiple extended family living on site and campers for nearby tribe members who work the land with us now and can arrive within 5 to 10 minutes of SHTF. It took us about 4 years to cultivate the group and to fine tune our plan and routine. It sounds like you have a wonderful homestead, and a lot of work to do everyday – no better way to live, right? I love waking up in the morning and doing barn chores. Our animals all free range during the day, so watching them walk to one of the ponds or the creek for a drink is also one of the many beautiful daily scenes around here. We are a typical solid middle class, yet still basically paycheck to paycheck family, so the survival compound began humbly and then advanced as we all put work into it and as my husband and I could afford to build on. Best of luck to you and your homestead!

  4. Well done, I disagree to a large extent with some other posters, thecdescribed scenerio is very doable. I think whats holding up some is the concept of doing things now vs post event. Everybody is so accustomed to “calling the guy’…visions of fresh white clapboard, wrought iron, manicured lawns and picture perfect rows of crops, all created and maintained by “the guy”, tip yourself 15% on the vis a card life… Think all that ass backward and reality starts to form up. Labor intensive, damn right, cost prohibitive, probably, but when the cost of not doing it yours and loved ones life prohibitive will have a different definition. Or not. Sheep or wolf? Most won’t know till after, and honestly, Everybodies probably gonna be amazed at the massive numbers of people that are neither. They’re mostly just bugs that are gonna get squished so fast by one means or another they might as well have done it themselves at the first flicker of the first lightbulb. Sorry, just real talk. Most people in what used to be America are so far removed from the natural world they’ll be unable to adjust, especially under the stress of an event. Lots are aware they are unconditioned and soft, but they underestimate. A cold snap dipping only into the 40°s recently killed I believe 84 people in Japan simply because they were caught ill prepared due to season. They were in their homes, and accustomed to no central climate control, far better adjusted than 99% of americans. And didn’t even get close to freezing, died anyway. SMH, folks, its gonna be bad. Harden the fuck up. Good luck.

    1. Liam, so well said about the disconnect from our natural world and far too many of our fellow Americans getting soft. Our rural community often laughs at the city folks when they can’t drive because their is an inch or two of snow on the ground or their air conditioning goes out. Sadly, too many of the younger generation of rural Americans are now becoming addicted to technology, those damn reality shows, and Facebook include and are getting soft as well. When you set your priority and budget accordingly, you can build a solid survival retreat and prep it for SHTF, size of the land and home will vary of course. It’s all about having your priorities right. We haven’t taken a single week of vacation in 4 years, but have plenty of fun here on our dream land, with sunset 4-wheeler rides replacing dinners out on date nite, and mending fence together, adult beverage in hand, counting as quality time. Best of luck to you, Liam!

  5. steve bramschreiber

    Great info….I personally would not want my medical clinic, workshop(reloading activities) near the main house just in case something goes wrong…that way you don’t endanger your crew/medical staff/patients with an explosion.
    The butcher shop would also be moved somewhere other than next to the main house(think of the smell from “harvested” animals invading your living room….the manure is going to be the other issue…kept downwind of your main house to be sure!! I spent time on my grandparents farm in rural Wisconsin and that can be an issue.
    I sure as heck don’t want my animal pens down near the creek…you might want to use that water for supplemental drinking/bathing water. put those pens on the other end of the compound. you can also use rose bushes, or other thorny plants as a barricade…think brambles! saves on $$ and has the benefit of fruit bearing as well!!

    1. Steve, Natural fencing like rose bushes, are always a great idea. We use natural fencing that doubles as edibles for various types of livestock, to supplement other existing fencing and in the hills at the far end of the property.

      We weighed the pros and cons on our compound design, which is very much like the one in the diagrams. Another posted mentioned concerns about livestock near a creek, but that has not posed any worry for me, it is a common practice in our region and has not caused any contamination issues – none that can’t be boiled out, anyway. I have actually never seen a farm that didn’t use a creek or pond to self-water the livestock.

      As far as the butcher shop smell, that would probably depend upon the type of building materials used. The home on the land we purchased had been a hunting lodge. It has poured concrete walls and a butcher shop attached. The walk-in cooler actually shares a wall with a bedroom, and there has never once been any type of odor. The meat is butchered, the stainless steels counters cleaned, the concrete flour with a drain, sprayed, and the remains disposed of by feeding to the dogs, and hogs.
      My barn is locate about 200 to 225 yards from the house, it is downwind and no nasty smells there either, but amazing views of watching the critters wander past at their leisure. I particularly like it when the goats and mini donkeys wander up by the shelter house and playground to graze – means n mowing or weedeating that area for me 🙂 Best of luck to you!

  6. Excellent information. I live i n a higher elevation, in a quite wooded area on a very large lake, so I’ve got some natural advantages to use. Your article is an excellent refresher course.

  7. I want to become a prepper and I have enough money to pay for everything I need and a lot of stuff I don’t need. What I don’t know is enough people to become a part of it. I am planning to buy a few thousand acres in Arkansas and building a compound to survive there. I am interested in finding people with the know-how to build and staff it.
    I have also thought to rent land or space for people who want to be part of the life but may be low on money but high on ability. Since I will be living there full time I could also possibly be able to cache items for people to live there or even passing thru.
    Anyone interesting in joining me? Let me know.

    1. You sound like me, if I had that kind of money. If you are truly loaded, consider bankrolling completely one or more dedicated prepper/homesteaders to become your backbone, upon which you can grow the rest. Consult with them as to what ‘they’ need and help them get it built. All you’d need other than them and what they build is a decent off the grid home for yourself with plenty of storage and guest quarters. There are many knowledgeable people out there who lack the financial means but do have a lot of the know how to make a retreat function.

      I’d go one extra step. A few thousand is enough to lay aside sufficient food stores for an adult for two years. Multiply that by whatever you can afford and store it. That will give you the opportunity to ‘not’ turn away select refugees. If a surgeon or a mechanical engineer or the like shows up, you really want to have the wherewithal to let them stay.

  8. Nicely thought out. I do wonder about getting a 2 story house if you are attempting to conceal your location.

    You noted the use of thorn bushes in another answer though I would recommend against edible berries on the perimeter. I would add these are excellent for covert cover. To give an example, I had a brother who got busted growing weed on our family farm – he was only caught because he drove to his plots on a minibike after a rain so my father just followed his tracks. I was surprised where he had his plots – most were in the center of thorn bush groupings – I had walked by hundreds of times playing as a child but never thought they might be concealing something, I just walked around. Earth berms can be made to look natural as well.

    If area isn’t a limit, you might consider the main compound in a circular shape – the circle shape provides the most enclosed area with the minimal perimeter to maintain. 1 central watch tower can have equal and tangent view in all directions (not trying to look down a fence line at an angle). The land is likely rectangular, but the corners can be the woodland for fuel.

    If the outbuildings are being built from a material similar to a home, might consider making them look like homes from the outside to exaggerate the capacity of the compound – install fake shutters and have doorways facing inward.

    Any opinion on bamboo? Strong, fast growing, fast spreading, easy to work with. Could provide a deep vehicle barrier without giving cover to unwanted visitors (can’t hide behind a bamboo stalk) – dense shading and growth of most species leaves little ground cover underneath. Different varieties can be used as wood, fencing, and even food and animal feed.

    Instead of propane, I would suggest biogas (methane) because it can be replenished. Construction of biogas plant is cheap, though a small appropriate type compressor would be recommended to store in tanks. Can use the same appliances, etc. with slight modifications.

    Standardizing on gasoline and creating an ethanol distillery also provides for a long term resource. You don’t need corn as feedstock, any plant matter works (just not as productive without high sugar content). You don’t need a massive column if you plan to use fuel sparingly.

    If you are in an area that experiences freezing weather, an ice house is a definite bonus and a cheap addition. I would suggest 1 change from most designs that use multiple layers of insulation – leave an air gap between the layers of foam and seal the foam tightly – static air is the bet insulation.

    You noted home cooling in the summer. The wet cloth in a natural draft actually works.

    I really like your idea on the blacksmith/metal shop and multiple uses of a greenhouse. Also the use of raised planting beds – makes maintenance and infestation control a lot easier.

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