Looking for Archery Lessons in Toronto? Hire an experienced archery instructor.

Welcome to Project Gridless!

Hello! Project Gridless is dedicated to off the grid living, foraging / hunting / gardening for food, traditional survival skills and modern tips for alternative energy. Please Follow, Subscribe or Like.

12 Examples of Earthship Off Grid Architecture

Last month I did a post about 12 Examples of Off Grid Home Architecture, and at the time I was making that article I came across many examples of Earthship Homes. Thus this month I decided to do a similar post, but this time focusing solely on Earthship Architecture.

Here you go!

12 Examples of Earthship Off Grid Architecture

Snake in the Grass Archery Target, Snake Hunting

Some people like to hunt snakes.

Possibly because of pest control. Or possibly because some people also like to eat them. They really do taste like chicken.

Myself, I like to "practice hunting snakes" on fake rubber toy snakes, like the kind you can find at the dollar store.


Because it makes for very good archery practice and it is fun. The snake makes a very thin target, so to hit it you need a good deal of precision. Thus as an archery target, it is a hard one to hit.

For extra fun, tie a string or cord to the fake snake's head and ask a friend to drag it closer to you, thus you now have a moving target which is both skinny and a moving target.

Also if you can feel free to prank a few friends when you arrive to see if they jump at your fake snake. Always good for a laugh when someone jumps away when they think a snake is real.

Bowhunting for Snakes - the Real Ones

Now there are people out there who do hunt snakes - and eat them. And they use the snakeskin for a variety of leather products.

Tips for Bowhunting Snakes

#1. Make sure any venomous snake is dead before you interact with it. Sometimes snakes can play possum, so if in doubt chop its head off with a machete or an axe before picking it up.

#2. Wear gloves when interacting with any venomous snake's head. Even though it is dead, if you accidentally pricked yourself with the fangs you could still get poisoned. (Some people even collect and preserve the snake venom, which is useful for hunting bears, wolves and large predators. To do this you have to milk the venom glands, which can be done by massaging the glands manually while the snakes fangs are grasping a glass jar, or you can do the same thing using electricity instead of massaging the glands.)

Note - Milking a venomous snake is also a method for creating antivenom. Venom also often has multiple medicinal uses.

#3. Beware of other snakes in the vicinity. Where there is one snake, there is often many more of them - all gathered in one spot because of an ample food source, a great location for making dens, or because they are breeding.

Foraging for Food - Part Eight, Dandelions

Every part of dandelions is basically useful for something.

The flowers, the leaves, and especially the roots.

But actually digging dandelion roots out of the ground is tricky. Collecting the flowers or leaves, that is easy. The leaves are practically brittle, they rip clean from the root very easily.

The roots however...

They are surprisingly deep and hard to dig out.

I discovered this back in July this year when I went foraging for dandelion roots for the first time and I had neglected to bring any ideal tools for the task of digging.

What I found on the way there was a large sharp piece of granite, which I thought would suffice as a digging tool. Boy was I wrong...

So I was digging away, getting very little actual root and lots of leaves, the granite rock I was using ended up snapping in two.


Not kidding.

The dandelion root was so strongly held in place that it snapped a granite rock in roughly in half.

I then proceeded to use the slightly large half of the rock to continue digging, before eventually calling it a day. It was 7:45 PM and I needed to go.

I had lots of leaves and a little bit of root to show for my efforts. No flowers, they weren't blossoming at that time.


Update this another day.

The Secret Hideaway Home / Underground Bunker

Imagine you wanted to build an underground bunker (I hesitate to use the words bomb shelter), what is the quickest and easiest way to do that - and do it off the grid?


Large enough to fit in one or more shipping containers. Really depends on how big you want your bunker to be.

Easiest way to dig the hole is by using a tractor, backhoe, or similar machinery.

Make the hole with a large ramp so that the shipping container(s) can easily be taken down the ramp and placed in the position you want them to be in.

Once done, cement a floor at the bottom of the hole.

Note - Before choosing where to dig the hole, make sure the location is not on a flood plain. Last thing you need is your bunker to flood. You should also try to avoid any area that is swampy or has a water table.


Search for used shipping containers online that you can buy locally and have delivered. As-is containers starting at around $1,500 and like-new or modified containers will cost between $5,000 and $8,000. Make sure whomever you are buying from also delivers.

One shipping container itself will probably not be enough unless it is meant to be a short term bunker only.

If it is long term bunker, for 2 or more people, then you need to be thinking a lot bigger. Possibly as big as 3000 square feet, including a 400 sq foot greenhouse which will supplement the food supply.

Once you get them, tow the shipping containers down the ramp and into position.


You will need air vents, water, sewage disposal, and possibly electricity unless you are okay with using candles/lamp oil.

Build everything you need during this step, including:
  • Entrance
  • Secondary Exit
  • Air Vents with air filtration, multiple.
  • Water source and filtration
  • Sewage
  • Optional - 2nd shipping container with all your electricity and utilities.
  • Optional - Underground Greenhouse for growing food.
  • Everything else you think you need.
You need to make the shipping container "livable" on a permanent basis before progressing to any of the steps beyond this one.

If it is meant to be a long term bunker with a supply of food, you need to determine the logistics of how much food you need, for how much time, and how you disposing of your bodily fluids.

If you are building an underground greenhouse (and possibly using your waste as fertilizer) then you need to work out the logistics of that and get it working properly, and solve any problems first.

You will also need to store everything from light bulbs to food to cooking oil to anything else you might need, and storing all that stuff requires a lot of space.


You don't want your shipping container to collapse under the weight of any dirt or rocks you place on top of it. Thus you need to reinforce the structure so it can take extra weight.

Dirt weighs about 100 lbs per cubic foot. The amount of dirt above the shipping container can add a significant weight to the structure, enough weight that even 18 inches of dirt on top is sufficient to cause the roof of the shipping container to start caving in over time (see image below).

So how much structural reinforcement does it need?

Well it depends... how far down are you burying this bunker?

If you are burying it under 10 feet of dirt (1000 lbs per sq foot), then you should aim to reinforce it for 3 times that amount so that each square foot can support 3000 lbs if it needs to.

Even if you only bury it under 6 inches of dirt, you should still be reinforcing it in case any vehicles are being driven over the top or parked on top of the structure.


So here is the thing about dirt: Dirt is acidic, caustic, and wet - all of which causes steel to rust faster.

Wet, acidic and caustic dirt will slowly rust your shipping container away over a long period of time, causing it to eventually structurally fail. To prevent that eventual failure, what you need to do is place something in between the dirt and the steel.

Something like cement.

Now the good news here is that the cement will also serve to reinforce the structure, so you should take this into account when building it and determining how to reinforce the structure.

The bad news is that you better be done STEP THREE completely and everything can be repaired or replaced without needing to rip apart tonnes of cement, because one the cement goes in it will not be easy to bring back out if you need to conduct repairs.


Once everything else is done, everything works fine, then comes the dirt. Finally. This is the easy part. Just pile dirt on top of the structure and hope you did everything correctly...

Because the last thing you need is for the bunker ceiling to collapse in the middle of the night and kill you.


Can you make a shipping container bunker? Yes, but it is not ideal.

Should you? Not unless you are willing to put a lot of effort and money into it, because they don't actually make ideal bunkers. It would almost be easier to make a submarine than to turn one of these into a safe-to-live-in bunker.

So what about alternatives?

So you just used tonnes of cement to bury a shipping container, because by itself the shipping container cannot withstand the weight of the dirt, and the dirt and water will make it rust easily. When you really think about it, the shipping container is really a waste of time as a bunker. It is not ideal, as it is too small, not structurally sound, and rusts easily.

So why not just SKIP the shipping container entirely?

Option A. Just Use Cement

Build a round cement bunker. Or a square one. Whatever.

Design it with the greenhouse and living area in the middle and chambers around the sides for utilities like water, electricity, sewage, air filtration, extra living quarters, kitchen, bathrooms, machine shop, etc. For a family of 4 you will want at least 3,000 sq feet, including 400 sq feet for the greenhouse.

Option B. Buy An Old Nuclear Silo or Bunker

So in Northern Ontario there are a number of old nuclear silos dating back to the Cold War which have since been ripped apart and the missiles moved elsewhere. The properties have since been sold off and a variety of people now own such old missile silos.

Thus it is possible to just purchase an old missile silo or bunker. You don't need to build one.

Option C. Buy A Cave, Cavern or Mine

There are a number of places in Ontario which are privately owned caves. As well as old abandoned mine shafts. Buy the property, renovate and reinforce the cave or mine shafts to suit your needs.

Option D. The Ready-Made Bunker

There are companies that make and sell ready-made bunkers. More expensive? Yes. But this is also the fastest and easiest way to have a bunker made, and they could certainly build a giant underground home if that is really what you wanted.

Does your "bunker" really have to be underground?

Actually it does not.

If you are not near any place that is likely to be a nuclear missile target, then your "bunker" could be above ground and simply camouflaged and well hidden. You don't need to bury it.

You could paint it to blend in with foliage...

You could bury only part of it so that most people from a distance cannot see it, and add lots of trees, flowers, bushes, etc.

Or you could just build a normal "home" with them and trust that the trees on the property will keep away prying eyes. Why make it harder if it doesn't have to be?

The Final Say

Maybe just skip the bunker and build a home instead.

And if you are that worried about intruders or whatever, build booby traps and bear pits.

Popular Posts during the Last Year

Search This Blog

Sign up for archery lessons in Toronto by visiting CardioTrek.ca

Learn more about archery in Toronto by visiting the Toronto Public Archery Range Facebook page
or by joining the Canadian Toxophilite Society.

Compound Bow Repairs

This Week's Popular Posts