The Land - Cabin Arrives, Solar Install, Construction Commences

This past Friday our Cabin finally arrived. We ordered a custom Shed from a local storage building company. The Cabin is 10ft x 20ft and has two lofts. We chose to have only one window. We needed a way to look outside toward the main path of entry but we didn't want more than one window for security reasons. The door is on the 20ft side. It opens up to our shooting range. First thing is first though. We had to load up and carry all our gear to the land to meet the guy delivering the cabin.

SHTF truck load

THE CABIN'S ARRIVAL: The dude who brought the cabin had the right equipment. He was able to maneuver down a  trail only 14' wide with limbs and trees to either side. When the trailer wouldn't line up, he use a remote to lift the entire trailer and cabin up and roll it to the side. There was even a stand that lifts up and can rotate the entire cabin 180 degrees. Needless to say, within an hour the Cabin was in place and leveled. All we have to do is anchor it. 

The cabin being leveledThe Off-grid cabin

WALLS: The first thing we did was put in insulation and wall boards. We are probably 35% complete. We are on a budget so we bought enough to do one side. We wanted to do the living room area first so that we could begin wiring. After the wall boards were up we installed the Kodiak.

SOLAR: The Kodiak lithium generator is impressive. We used to to power an electric stapler and a circular saw. The saw we used was a 13 amp 5800 RPM Makita. The starting wattage was about 2300 but after that it leveled out at around 600 watts. This is important because the Kodiak is rated at a peak of 1500 watts. So while we definitely exceeded that, it is not an issue as it only was subjected to that peak for 1-2 seconds. I spoke with the Inergy Technologies and they confirmed this would be okay for temporary uses. 


After using the Kodiak to power our tools; it was time to place it in a more permanent locations, bank it, and setup solar. The Kodiak was connected in parallel to two deep cycle batteries. I then used a solar calculator to determine the angle and direction that would be most efficient for my solar panel. We angled the panel at 55 degrees facing South by Southwest. We connected the 120 watt PowerFilm panel to the Kodiak too test, as it appeared to be working. I then used 550lb paracord to run through the grommet holes of the panel and hung it about 15 feet off the ground, ran the wire down a tree, into a dug out ditch, through conduit line, then back up into the cabin. We had to add about 8 feet of wiring as the 15ft line we had just wasn't long enough. We used 10g wire.

The Kodiak and two deep cycle batteries powered a 38" TV, xbox 360, 2 Basecamp lights, and 2 smartphones. We kept all these items charged for about 10 hours before going to sleep. After powering all of that and the power tools earlier, the Kodiak finally register about a 10% drain. By 10am the next morning the PowerFilm panels had already recharged our bank to 100%.

SECURITY: We installed the SpyPoint Cellular Trail Camera. We are still trying to figure out the right settings. We are using it as rural security to watch for trespassers. It was designed for watching animals. It's one of the smartest cameras I've seen but with more options comes more confusion. It just takes time to figure it out. As it stands we've decided on medium sensitivity, 2 photos per motion, and uploads after every detection. Since we didn't have a ladder, I stood on the back of my brother's truck to install the Spypoint near the front gate. The Boly Camera was setup in front of the Cabin so we could get some good footage in the event someone tries to break into the Cabin.

THE GRILL: By brother had welded his on camp grill a decade ago as a gift to his wife. Somehow we ended up with it. We set that baby up right outside the front door and enjoyed some brats and ribeyes. 

THE LOFTS: We didn't bring a ladder so getting up into a loft that is 78" high is tough. I didn't even try. I hung an ENO hammock and called it a night. My brother used a chair and some faith, and shimmied up there. It was warmer up high. I was a bit chilly even though we did have a propane camp heater going. We have the Pipsqueak woodstove but didn't have the stove pipes for exhausts. Soon we'll have it installed and never be cold again. 

Cabin Loft

SUMMARY: It was a great first couple of days out on the land. We made a rule. Everytime we go The Land, we must take a walk down to the river. So we enjoyed a stroll. We enjoyed the weather and surroundings. Get outside folks. Enjoy life. God gave us a beautiful planet. Don't waste time indoors.