Author Topic: Build Your Own Micro Shelter  (Read 3332 times)

121 Seconds

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Build Your Own Micro Shelter
« on: June 13, 2013, 05:25:51 AM »
Some time ago I had a dream about a smaller space. Somewhere I could retreat to in order to refresh the body and mind amid the hectic pace of city living.

A place to read, to stop and think, to make plans. An alternate sleep station, a library, a sun room and study all rolled into one. The thought of paying thousands of dollars to extend the house just didn't excite me. I was after a more grass roots solution. I decided that I would build a structure myself. This way I could be in complete control over the design and I had the ability to make improvements on the fly.


After several months of kicking this idea around in my head I started to design a Micro Shelter. I wanted it to be tall enough to sit up in and long enough to sleep in. I decided on three windows and a clear roof to let in more light and improve the view.


I have slept in the Micro Shelter several times already. It feels like I'm camping, but without having to leave the city. I love waking up to a view of the sky and the big gum tree in the backyard.



Has anyone else built a similar structure for themselves? I would love to hear about your design.

I shot a short film of the construction of this Micro Shelter. It is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paMst7UVtDg if you are interested. Anyhow, I hope you are all enjoying life, being creative and making the most of your time.
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limeandpepper

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Re: Build Your Own Micro Shelter
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2013, 05:57:52 AM »
Wow, that is awesome, you badass!  Love the name too, "outback shack" is catchy.

directionseeker

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Re: Build Your Own Micro Shelter
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2013, 09:26:01 AM »
Interesting idea. Your creation impress me after this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Y15dxUZN3s .

I just finished watching your video and I think this little space of yours look really nice, it gave me a cosy feeling and I believe it helps you to focus on what is on your hand.

Anyway, job well done and hope you enjoy your new space.
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netskyblue

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Re: Build Your Own Micro Shelter
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2013, 09:38:11 AM »
It doesn't get superheated, like the inside of a car?

Adventine

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Re: Build Your Own Micro Shelter
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2013, 09:51:22 AM »
Wow, looks nice and homey! Great job.

But yes, how did you solve ventilation issues?  Can you open up that window? (can't open the video right now on my phone so can't check if you answered those questions)

Heather

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Re: Build Your Own Micro Shelter
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2013, 10:44:18 AM »
A "fort"!   That's fun.
Put it on a trailer and you could have a travelling hotel room too.




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Heating and Ventilation
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2013, 12:45:30 AM »
How did you solve ventilation issues?  Can you open up that window?

I have installed a permanent air vent down one end of the Outback Shack Micro Shelter.


I made sure build it with a flyscreen to keep the insects out.


In addition to this, I have a sliding polycarbonate window that can be opened for even more air and to regulate thermal comfort.


If multiple people are using the shelter at once I can also open the door for a short time to let a huge amount of cold air through in short burst.


I chose to use a clear roof to let more light through, to make the Micro Shelter feel bigger and to improve the view.


As it is Winter in Australia at the moment, I am enjoying the passive solar gains that the roof and windows provide. During Summer I will wheel the Outback Shack Micro Shelter into the shade of a Gum tree.


Thanks for the questions, it took a while to build, but it is definately worth the effort.

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Adventine

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Re: Build Your Own Micro Shelter
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2013, 12:58:44 AM »
Nice! What a worthwhile project.

JellyBean

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Re: Build Your Own Micro Shelter
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2013, 06:33:50 AM »
Sounds like the wife sent you to the dog house and you decided to spice it up. :-)  just kidding

I haven't seen the video yet. Are small fans running off solar panels an option if it gets too hot/stuffy?

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Solar Powered Fans
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2013, 06:19:29 PM »
Sounds like the wife sent you to the dog house and you decided to spice it up. :-)  just kidding

Are small fans running off solar panels an option if it gets too hot/stuffy?

I have considered solar panels, perhaps a retro-fit will occur down the track. At this stage things are kept pretty simple in pursuit of the good life.


You can take a tour of the Outback Shack Micro Shelter at, http://youtu.be/32T3ZoSEA2Q
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arebelspy

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Re: Build Your Own Micro Shelter
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2013, 06:47:00 PM »
I'm very impressed.

I love it.

Would be awesome to see it mounted on a small trailer that a motorcycle could pull.
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Re: Build Your Own Micro Shelter
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2013, 07:08:48 PM »
is it comfortably big enough for the horizontal mambo? That would be a key design requirement. hehe

For the people suggesting transporting it for shelter, what advantage does this have over a car-camping tent or similar?
« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 10:50:11 PM by Joet »

DoubleDown

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Re: Build Your Own Micro Shelter
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2013, 10:18:24 AM »
I thought this was awesome. Great work.

I really don't know anything about patents but I'm guessing getting a patent for your design wouldn't really help since people could just change things a bit and not violate your patent. Which is unfortunate because now I've already thought about stealing using your very cool idea and mass-marketing/selling this concept.

I already looked up plastic or composite materials, such as used for patio storage or sheds and large dog houses, so that you could have a lightweight but durable shell that is easily mobile, and putting in all your improvements (windows, venting, etc.). I wonder if people would buy such a thing? I would also put in a firm foam padding on the floor (couldn't tell if yours had one). Since I'm planning to RE in a few months, I might have to build one and find out if it will sell. At some point though, I'm not certain that this doesn't just blur into things already available like outdoor play houses, tree houses, and yes, sheds.

If you can get that patent, do it before it's too late!

destron

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Re: Build Your Own Micro Shelter
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2013, 10:46:57 AM »
Really cool space you have created there and very inspirational. It looks like a great location to get away and read a book or think.
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Mass Production of the Outback Shack Micro Shelter
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2013, 07:44:18 AM »
I thought this was awesome. Great work.

 I've already thought about stealing using your very cool idea and mass-marketing/selling this concept.

I already looked up plastic or composite materials, such as used for patio storage or sheds and large dog houses, so that you could have a lightweight but durable shell that is easily mobile, and putting in all your improvements (windows, venting, etc.). I wonder if people would buy such a thing?

If you can get that patent, do it before it's too late!

Part of the appeal of the Outback Shack is that I made it with my own hands. I thought about a design that most appealed to me and met my needs. This Micro Shelter is quite heavy yet still mobile. All of the parts were sourced from a local hardware store. The materials are nice to touch, look at and occupy.

If you were to mass produce such a product I think you would have to decide which elements of this design you would keep and which ones you would let go. By far the biggest investment in this project was the time I spent building it.

Feel free to draw as much or as little inspiration from this project as you like. If you can find a commercial market for it, then please go for it. I offer up this design for free for people to do with as they like. I would love to see any sketches, design suggestions, business plans or funky alternative dwellings people can dream up. If a dollar can be made on a product that offers people the chance to slow down and enjoy life more then I see this as a worthy pursuit. So again, you have my unreserved blessing to copy the Outback Shack design as you see fit.

Thanks for the interest and all the best!

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Trailer for the Outback Shack
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2013, 08:06:06 AM »
I'm very impressed.

I love it.

Would be awesome to see it mounted on a small trailer that a motorcycle could pull.

Thanks.

That's a great idea about putting the Outback Shack on a trailer. I could easily mount it on a small car trailer with room left on either side. I could build a table for cooking and eating on one side and a small deck or bench seat on the other. These could fold up to store things underneath.

It could then be taken to music festivals or on road trips up the coast.

If a more permanent site was desired, I you could put the shelter on stilts and keep chooks below it. Or maybe build a few more and link them with pathways surrounding a well contained fire pit.


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DoubleDown

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Re: Mass Production of the Outback Shack Micro Shelter
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2013, 12:30:30 PM »

Part of the appeal of the Outback Shack is that I made it with my own hands. I thought about a design that most appealed to me and met my needs. This Micro Shelter is quite heavy yet still mobile. All of the parts were sourced from a local hardware store. The materials are nice to touch, look at and occupy.

This could not be more true. This is one of the reasons trying to mass produce such a thing seems somewhat counterproductive to me. You miss out on the whole value of building it, and building it in a way that's useful for yourself. That's kind of where I was heading when I started thinking about lighter-weight fiberglass or plastic materials, and then started thinking "I don't know, seems like now you're just producing a cheap plastic shed with some windows and padding" (even if it ended up being more portable and resistant to the elements).

Thanks though for sharing your idea and being so free with taking it wherever! Again, I'm impressed.

happy

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Re: Build Your Own Micro Shelter
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2013, 05:01:38 PM »
Love your blog also.

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Outback Shack on Relax Shacks
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2013, 05:54:49 AM »
The Outback Shack has just been featured on one of my favourite websites Relax Shacks. I love this website, what with all of its counter culture, DIY, Get Your Hands Dirty, Alternate View Point, Build your own Tiny Housing stuff and the like.


Are there any other MMM readers who also follow Deek's website Relax Shacks?

Anyhow, the link to the Outback Shack post can be read at,


Thanks for your interest and ideas.

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Micheal

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Re: Build Your Own Micro Shelter
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2013, 11:54:07 PM »
This reminds me of a teardrop trailer.  Love the idea, actually one of these is going to be my fall project.

kevin78

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Re: Build Your Own Micro Shelter
« Reply #20 on: July 03, 2013, 01:32:03 PM »
I might have missed it, but the big question... what did it cost in materials?

Leisured

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Re: Build Your Own Micro Shelter
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2013, 07:47:02 AM »
There is a topic on the Off Topic section which descibes houses made from shipping containers.

And for something different, see the link below. Perhaps larger bubbles, opaque and perhaps two layers for insulation.

http://bubbletree.fr/bbtree/racine/default.asp?id=1074