Over the course of looking into separating needs from wants, and distilling what's left to absolute necessities, I kept noticing that the specific problems I'm trying to solve are less about the technology and more about how it's packaged. Knowledge and experience are everywhere, if one spends the time to seek them out. Specific functions need to be separated to independent tasks which can be tackled with various methodologies and devices, if needed.
The things I need to get done are basic at the core level: To be fed, clothed, and sheltered. To be sheltered is what the cabin is for. The wood stove is an extension of this. Arguably, the library is as well as sheltering in comfort and safety is an extension of my needs, blending into wants. I haven't sorted out clothing yet, but feeding myself is not far down on the list.
Every action I'll take as part of cabin life will have a specific list of functions. The tasks and functions within these necessities need more attention. Every process needs an order of execution as well.
Before getting most of the work done, I'll need to charge the batteries for my tools, which means building the solar power shed and deploying the associated wiring first.
A rough breakdown of the cabin process, adapted from the previous list:
- Build the solar power shed and deploy charging infrastructure
- Build the main cabin relying on the power shed
- Build the wood stove while sheltering in the main cabin
- Build the library before the winter
- Build the farm at first thaw in spring
The mechanism of the composting toilet will be for another day. I'll likely be staying in a tent or trailer until the main cabin is built.
The solar power shed can hopefully be built with a single charge of each tool so that once the wiring is complete, the shed can sustain itself and provide power to charge the tools used. I can then proceed to
build other structures as long as I can procure raw material. Von Neumann cabins with human intervention.
The power shed is also the single largest financial investment of the entire project. There's no escaping needing to buy a bank of batteries and solar panels. I'm not comfortable utilizing used panels, especially due to the large initial investment, and since I'll be running 120V cables underground to the main cabin. The reason for separating the power source from the main shelter, as mentioned in the "On Cabins" post is so I can place the main cabin in the shade and I won't need to worry about cooling in the summer. It's quite easy to heat a small shelter in winter. It's also to decouple "tech" from "non-tech" aspects of cabin life.
The power shed will also serve as storage for all my tools when not in use so I can better enjoy the main cabin unmolested by the ambiance of construction. The library will hopefully be built quickly with the leftovers from the main cabin build. Since I'm not running power to it, the structure will be the least complicated.
I've talked before about walking tractors and farming, but I haven't really looked that closely into the mechanisms of land movement. Eventually, I'll need some kind of farm to supplement what I can get at the store, and there will be a greater need to move earth in bulk at some point.
To build or to farm, I'll be moving earth. It would be nice if I can use just hand tools to accomplish this, and that is likely the first step in building the shelters, but it's impractical to rely on hand tools alone when there's no guarantee I'll retain my health as-is in the future. I'd like to try my hand at building an excavator once my welding skills are up to the task. This too will be another unit of functionality in the cabin life.