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Shipping Container Cabins and Shelters

19.01.2014 - Posted by Updated On 19.01.2014    

Shipping container housing and modification projects can range from the very elaborate and expensive, to the completely utilitarian and inexpensive.  In the end, as long as the shelter satisfies the ultimate purpose of the resident it can be considered a success.

A Prepper building a SHTF cabin typically leans towards the latter - utilitarian and inexpensive.  The container cabin probably won't be used on a daily basis, and needs to better than sleeping on the container floor, but not quite dreaming away on a king size water bed.  After all, if you're in the cabin either things have gone horribly wrong or you're training; either way the focus isn't on comfort.

Our staff has been working with a well-known University that needs a container cabin just like this, and we've started to document the process in the article "How to Build a Shipping Container Cabin – Getting Started".  While it may not be perfectly in line with what every Prepper needs, the core design can be easily manipulated and modified to meet a wide variety of Prepper needs.
The starting design contains the following:

  • Hard sleeper bunked cots for up to 24 people:  You'll sleep off the ground, but sensitive sleepers may want an air mattress.
  • No bathroom facilities:  You're in the woods, no discussion needed.
  • Man door at one end, and long slim windows around the top:  One door for security, small windows for daylight and ventilation.
  • Vinyl Flooring:  Easy to clean, very durable.
  • Walled off storage area on swinging door end:  Storage area with a man door inside, and wide doors outside.

Customize the Container Cabin

Our original design is laid out to house the maximum number of people for a short period of time.  The students will only be using the cabin in the event of extreme weather conditions where they would normally be forced indoors (flooding, thunderstorm, etc.). 

Additional Rooms

Most cabins will not need to sleep 24 people.  The easiest change is to remove some of the bunks and extend the storage area, or even create an additional room to serve as a food locker or some other type of safe room that doesn't require outside access.

Electrical Services

Basic electrical services can be quickly and easily installed in any container.  By running a channel from one end of the container to the other prior to installing any walls, you can quickly and inexpensively provide basic power to the cabin.  The question that follows is how to power the outlets – solar, generator, battery?

Our Next Step in Building a Container Cabin

If you're planning on building your own shipping container cabin you can follow along with our progress, we'll be posting regular updates over the coming months and including plans, pictures, and costs.  If you are building your own we'd enjoy seeing your progress and you can send pictures directly to us, or post or post them on our Facebook page to share with everyone.

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