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Old 03-29-2019, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Back and Beyond
2,989 posts, read 3,143,812 times
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I almost remember a thread like this but couldn't find it. Apologies if it's a duplicate.

I was wondering if anyone had any cool things/items/tools/etc. they have repurposed for survival or to help them around their homestead and wanted to share? Stuff that otherwise would have been discarded but is now very useful?

Buying new quality things is always nice, but the level of satisfaction from successfully repurposing/reusing something and making it useful shouldn't be discounted.

Repurposing items is a good survival strategy. When you have lots of stuff and parts laying around, you can get pretty creative on building and fixing things. This will help if you someday aren't able to buy new things as cheap and easily as you can now.



Which brings me to my next point, Survival Junkyards. If you have the space an old boneyard storage area is a great idea. I've seen some pretty impressive collections that seemed like they had two of everything and then some, stretching on for literally acres and if everything was new would be over 7 figures worth of stuff. Why not save the old vehicle and equipment and just store it in the boneyard?. At the very least it's good scrap metal.

Farmers especially have seemingly always been doing this, because it makes sense and can save them time and money on repairs and fabrication. Unfortunately there's a fine line between storing useful things for later and being a hoarder.

Anyone have a sweet survival junkyard going on? What do you store?
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Old 03-29-2019, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
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Boneyard, huh? Don't tell my wife!

But yeah, being on 33 acres of off grid Maine land, we natcherly gravitate to 12 volt stuff, and rv's, trailers, and old junk trucks are great sources of lights, heaters, propane stoves, fridges, small sinks, water pumps, and other marvels of mobile technology. Folks on vacation downstate think nothing of dumping good campers and just renting a car to get back to where they came from. We can get the campers for a few hundred $ , sometimes free. Campgrounds want them removed. Happy to oblige.

This stuff is very useful anyplace we need to set up camp, like our NH property still under development. Easy to set up with lights, heat, water, kitchen appliances - all the comforts. Just need a propane bottle and a 12 volt battery, with a portable solar panel.

Got a grandson who loves to strip old campers and sell the parts to people building the same. He has to demolish the remains, but he enjoys that even better. Boy after my own heart!
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Old 03-29-2019, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Back and Beyond
2,989 posts, read 3,143,812 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nor'Eastah View Post
Boneyard, huh? Don't tell my wife!

But yeah, being on 33 acres of off grid Maine land, we natcherly gravitate to 12 volt stuff, and rv's, trailers, and old junk trucks are great sources of lights, heaters, propane stoves, fridges, small sinks, water pumps, and other marvels of mobile technology. Folks on vacation downstate think nothing of dumping good campers and just renting a car to get back to where they came from. We can get the campers for a few hundred $ , sometimes free. Campgrounds want them removed. Happy to oblige.

This stuff is very useful anyplace we need to set up camp, like our NH property still under development. Easy to set up with lights, heat, water, kitchen appliances - all the comforts. Just need a propane bottle and a 12 volt battery, with a portable solar panel.

Got a grandson who loves to strip old campers and sell the parts to people building the same. He has to demolish the remains, but he enjoys that even better. Boy after my own heart!
Campers up by me are crazy expensive but I agree that the 12 volt and propane accessories come in real handy for off grid living. How is the NH property going BTW? Isn't it up a steep mountain?

I've found that you can get the best free deals on stuff if you're quick to take it away with a truck and trailer, no one wants to wait around for you to possibly come back when a good deal springs up.

I have a weakness for storing any sort of metal and building supplies myself . Tools and hardware are always nice too. And of course anything cool/unique/old. I especially like anything that could be of use long into the future.

I swear I'm not a hoarder, just practical, and it's all confined to one tiny out of the way spot on my land that you can't see .
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Old 03-29-2019, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6.7traveler View Post
How is the NH property going BTW? Isn't it up a steep mountain?
It's going well. Not really on a steep mountain, but it does have a nice view into Quebec. Biggest problem has always been the access road - much of it is swampy or boggy, and we have had to build it up. We can get to the interior via ATV or sled, but only part of the way with a F250 pickup.

Already have a couple bunkhouses built. That'll be where we stay while building the hunting lodge we have planned. Beautiful country. "We" refers to myself, my brother, and my wife's brother.

Agree with you about having a truck and trailer, it you're into scavenging!
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Old 03-29-2019, 11:15 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
5,519 posts, read 6,351,222 times
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We've got a boneyard on my father's place. Mostly old farm equipment, but a lot of old cars and trucks too. I have a couple pickup campers and one 30 foot gooseneck too. I made one of the pickup campers into a hunting blind. Pretty nice when it's snowing and down around zero degrees. The other I still use. It's older, but watertight, warm and has a great stove.

The 30 footer I'm using for storage, but I'll be breaking it down. I'll keep the metal siding, window etc for various projects, but the frame I'm going to repurpose into a lowboy utility trailer for hauling hay and wood. I'll have to redo the decking since the plywood floor isn't heavy enough, I'll add some supports to stiffen the frame, but its already wired for lights.

There's an old gasohol plant up there, a 1938 road grader, a couple tractors with cleated iron wheels, a post and pole mill for peeling and shaping rails. There's even parts from a couple of old sawmills. Lots of treasures for sure!!

Dad and I hit a lot of farm auctions. Last year I picked up a 500 gallon gas tank with its stand for $10. My brother is starting a junk yard I think. Got several rows of mostly trucks at his place. He's constantly trading and selling parts.

Personally, I find the steels I salvage to make great tools and knives in my blacksmith shop, old aluminum siding works just fine as roofing for loafing sheds, hay barns and woodsheds. Old trailer windows make great hotbeds for starting plants or in shops.

Love going to auctions and yard sales, always watch the free adds too as I've gotten some great walnut and other expensive woods I've been able to remake into cabinets and furniture. Never know what you might need, but a good bone yard is money in the bank for a survivor.
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Old 03-29-2019, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
5,519 posts, read 6,351,222 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nor'Eastah View Post
It's going well. Not really on a steep mountain, but it does have a nice view into Quebec. Biggest problem has always been the access road - much of it is swampy or boggy, and we have had to build it up. We can get to the interior via ATV or sled, but only part of the way with a F250 pickup.

Already have a couple bunkhouses built. That'll be where we stay while building the hunting lodge we have planned. Beautiful country. "We" refers to myself, my brother, and my wife's brother.

Agree with you about having a truck and trailer, it you're into scavenging!
Sounds a lot like where my cabin is. We usually can't drive in there until Father's Day after the 12 feet of snow melts and the mud dries up. It's magnificent up there until November if we're lucky, when the snow comes back. It's high country, the cabin sits at 6500 feet in elevation, and its at the bottom of a valley. 9 miles of 2 track goat trail to get in there, but you definitely have privacy up there.

Dad and I built the cabin from logs right there on the place. It was great spending all that time with my father and my uncle before he passed away. Lot of good memories at that cabin. I'll bet yours will carry the same feelings for you.
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Old 03-29-2019, 11:44 PM
 
Location: Back and Beyond
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^Ah, yes auctions and especially farm auctions are a great place for deals for the homestead, thanks for the reminder. I need to try and find some good auctions this summer to go to. Yard sales as well. Alaska is famous for moving sales where it's just cheaper to basically give it away than to ship it out of state when someone is leaving.

My collection of useful stuff is a maximum of 5 years old and relatively small, but you have to start somewhere .

My friends boneyard is very impressive. I would guess it has several hundred vehicles easily, including every vehicle he's ever owned personally or from his many businesses he has owned over the years. He doesn't sell anything. Several of his businesses have dealt with concrete and construction as well as a giant sized farm, so the amount of heavy equipment, semi trucks, trailers, cranes, tractors etc. is quite astonishing. He has rows and rows of conex storage containers as well. It's like it's own little town.

A set of oxyacetlyne torches or plasma cutter, an angle grinder, and a good welder are all must have tools for a successful boneyard as well
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Old 03-29-2019, 11:46 PM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,268 posts, read 8,719,590 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTSilvertip View Post

Dad and I built the cabin from logs right there on the place. It was great spending all that time with my father and my uncle before he passed away. Lot of good memories at that cabin. I'll bet yours will carry the same feelings for you.
I hope so. I'm now 71, my brother is 69, and my BIL is 76. So far, we are all well. Thoroughly enjoying the work we're doing over there - gives us all something to look forward to. All 3 of us went in on this property together. It isn't just mine. Logs can get heavy when you're putting up a large building with soaring cathedral ceilings (what we all want, for the view) so whatever logs we use will be for decoration. Trying to get that road done, so we can haul lumber in.

Biggest project we will have done so far. Lots of good hunting out that way!
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Old 03-29-2019, 11:50 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
5,519 posts, read 6,351,222 times
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Don't forget a good crowbar, jack and a hoist!! And always remember a sledgehammer. Some parts need some gentle coaxing to come loose.

The best parts are always at the bottom of the pile

And around here, at most of the yards, watch what you're doing because those old vehicles are havens for critters, especially rattlesnakes in the summer and yellow jackets in the fall.
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Old 03-29-2019, 11:55 PM
 
Location: Back and Beyond
2,989 posts, read 3,143,812 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nor'Eastah View Post
Trying to get that road done, so we can haul lumber in.
I know all about muddy boggy access roads! Last year for my driveway I finally went down all the way down to gravel with a 966c loader and then all the way back filled above grade and packed with new gravel (all off my property, I have excellent gravel about 2-3 feet down with muck on top of that). It didn't get wet at all during the snow melt and is rock solid now. It sure was fun digging those gravel pits with that big loader too.

It's always nice to haul in supplies during that sweet spot right after the snow melts, but the ground and mud is still frozen.

Good luck with your road! Although bad roads are a blessing disguise. Who wants someone to be able to easily drive up ?
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