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By April 23, 2012 Read More →

BuggedOut! Hoop Houses and Lazy Sundays

My brother in law, Josh, came to visit today with his kids!  We’ve got a bunch of tomato starts that I want to get moved somewhere safe so we started building a hoop house out of scrap materials here on the homestead.  We built it down on our lower field where it’s close to the creek and it will be easier to water.

The construction was very simple to do and we had it built in a very short time.  We’re planning on extending it and putting a front and back on it.  We started with scrap 3/4 PVC pipe and fitted a bunch of them together, then cut each of them into18 foot lengths.  We then gathered a bunch of 2 foot re-bar and pounded them into the ground so that about 8 inches was sticking up.  Once we had 5 pieces of re-bar every 3 feet, we fitted the PVC lengths across and then cut the plastic to length.  The 6 mil plastic we had was only 10 feet wide so we made two lengths and duct taped them together.

Once we had the plastic stretched over the pipes, we used staples to secure each side of the plastic to 2×4’s that run the length of the house.  We then turned the 2×4’s so they pulled the plastic tight.  To hold everything secure, we put the 2×4’s on their side against the house and then used re-bar against the 2×4’s to hold them in.

Play Area

Down by the creek there are huge stands of locust trees – thorns and all.  Josh and I spent much of the day cutting and pruning trees from there to create a nice, big shady place for the kids to play by the water.  After several hours work, we only have about 1/4 of it cleared out – but it made a HUGE difference!  The kids had a lot of fun today playing in the area we cleared and had a blast being able to get to the creek easily.

Once it’s completed, the play area will have two bridges over the creek and will consist of several hundred feet of nicely shaded area.  We’re planning on putting a couple park benches down there and building a fire pit.  I’m excited to be able to spend some time just hanging out there and enjoying all the work we did!

Kids in a Bug Out Situation

Family is a huge part of this experiment!  To help the kids remember what we’re doing later and to give them a routine, this is how we spend the evening:

We start making dinner around 6:30 so we eat at 7:00ish.

After dinner, it’s time to brush teeth, use the bathroom and get ready for bed.

Around 8:00, we come in the RV and do a quick clean-up.

Then it’s time for the kids to climb in their bed over the driver seat and call mom to have prayer.

Then the kids write in their “Farm Journal” for about half an hour.

After Journals, it’s time to read scriptures and then we finish the night with a chapter from Little house on the Prairie.

After that, it’s lights out while I get to work on the computer for a few hours.

By this point, the kids are completely exhausted and fall asleep pretty quickly.


Posted in: Bugging Out

About the Author:

Phil is one of the co-owners of The APN. He was raised in a Preparedness Oriented family, living a self-sustaining lifestyle as a third generation, LDS, Prepper. He grew up farming, canning and learning to live off the land in the forests, mountains, rivers, oceans and cities of Missouri, Tennessee, Hawaii and Utah. In early 2008, he co-founded as a blog to talk about and teach Prepping. Over the next couple years, they produced hundreds of articles about Preparedness. Prior to UtahPreppers, he had been actively blogging elsewhere about building his self-sustaining farm and raising his 8 children in a preparedness lifestyle.

6 Comments on "BuggedOut! Hoop Houses and Lazy Sundays"

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  1. Kris Watson says:

    What fortunate kids you have!
    You know, I think I could build a hoop house after that description.

  2. Sherri says:

    If you are not living on what you have we used a broken trampoline for our hoop house.    This pipe one looks awesome!   Your kids are really lucky!

  3. i want a hoop house!! That would be awesome if covered in green vines or something. It would make a great fast hide out if there’s trespassers.

  4. Phil Burns says:

    Thanks everyone!  It was fun and easy to build!  I’m hoping to add on to it quite a bit, for now I’m going to be getting raised beds put in it to keep plants safe and eventually build it into a much bigger hoop house.

  5. Mark Z says:

    I use a similar method for keeping my square foot garden beds from freezing in the winter. I use 1/4 inch PVC pipe and conduit clamps. Drape the plastic sheet over the PVC and staple to the wood boards of the garden. Instant little covered wagons. Have lost only one plant to the cold.

  6. chickenhugger says:

    Thanks for the pic and instructions for the hoop house. My chickens would love a windbreak as would my seedlings. Thanks for making it look doable!