Author Topic: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists  (Read 35985 times)

Offline AHA

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Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« on: December 25, 2009, 05:57:42 AM »
A bit exotic, but let's discuss  ;D

Maybe we can make the Bug-Out Tunnel the new must-have of 2010 ;)

Hare of Caerbannog

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2009, 10:15:45 AM »
I live in a town that was an active stop on the Underground Railroad from about 1800 right up to the end of the War Between The States.
Pretty much every house in town that remains from that period has secret rooms, escape doors, tunnels, etc, for hiding and supporting runaway slaves.
Back then it was just natural to make preparations for such things as you built a home.
They also had a series of signals to transmit information around a neighborhood. Things like hanging a specific quilt on the drying line, then flipping it over for a different signal.


Here's a site I like.
http://www.hiddenpassageway.com/

Offline AHA

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2009, 10:27:05 AM »
Interesting. I want to write an article on this, so am VERY interested in people who have done work in these fields...

Offline “Mark”

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2009, 01:13:16 PM »
I'll probably build something like this when I build my home. I've always wanted a secret room, a secret passage, etc.
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Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2009, 05:54:20 PM »
Me too.  This sounds amazingly nifty.

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Offline mobilus

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2009, 07:23:36 PM »
SW, my son and I watched Young Frankenstein again a couple of weeks ago.  That was a funny scene with the secret door.

I love those "cult comedy films" like Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs, etc.  My wife doesn't get it, and doesn't do the slapstick comedy stuff.  When we went on a camping trip with two other couples, we sat around the fire pretty much reciting the movie...my wife looked at us like we were crazy.  Of course, that was funny too.

I'd like to put up a false wall in one of the extra bedrooms now that the kids are gone.  Maybe even complete with bookcase.

Hare of Caerbannog

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2009, 08:37:36 PM »
Would you give me a hand with the bags?

Certainly. You take the blonde, I'll take the one in the turban.


Love that movie.

AHA
I have several ideas running around in my mind for when I build on our bug out property.
If you do an article on the topic, be sure and let us know here on TSP Forum.
I'd love to read it.
I was poking around on your Mag last night.
Cool stuff.


Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2009, 09:35:51 PM »
Young Frankenstein is one of my very favorite movies.  Love that flick.

I've got a ton of ideas for either a new home or add-ons to an existing home when we buy our property as well.  The "secret door" will come into play in several areas.  Mwahahahahaha


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Offline idelphic

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2009, 09:37:52 PM »
I'll probably build something like this when I build my home. I've always wanted a secret room, a secret passage, etc.

While it's not completely impossible to do,.. I think it is increasingly more difficult.  While DW and I were building our house in 2005, we walked through other houses that were under construction.   Tried to imagine what the spaces would be used for.

With inspections and code regulations today, everything has to have a reason, ...  And if you have someone else build it for you, then someone knows about it.  I believe in Egypt that when the pyramids where being build, they would entomb the craftsmen when done so that the secrets would not be disclosed,..  Can't exactly get away with that now.  
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Offline idelphic

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2009, 09:45:03 PM »
Young Frankenstein is one of my very favorite movies.  Love that flick.

I've got a ton of ideas for either a new home or add-ons to an existing home when we buy our property as well.  The "secret door" will come into play in several areas.  Mwahahahahaha

Just watch your fingers,..  I'm trying to remember the show that had it,.. or details about the house, but a man build a 4,000 sq ft shelter under his house in the 70's, he build his own blast door, had several entrances, generator, battery shack and more under his pre-existing house...  It's been on Discovery and TLC a time or two, just can't remember the show.
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Offline survivininct

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2009, 09:51:50 PM »

Here's a site I like.
http://www.hiddenpassageway.com/

Totally cool!   It has mad me think of some ideas for the space under the cellar stairs - a super secret hideaway - no one will ever know!!  I just have to keep this a secret and not tell ANYONE! 

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Offline Who...me?

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2009, 12:15:31 AM »
LOL...too late.

I have considered burying spiral rib pipe to use as underground passageways between the house and out buildings.  I am defiantly (no not a misspelling) going to incorporate these and other design features in our house when we move to the "Big Sky".

The key to nobody knowing about your special features is to do all your excavating site work yourself.  After any inspections that are required for your area you will be the one doing the back filling. The more you can do labor wise the more you can hide.  Learn to frame, lay block, pour concrete, electrical, plumbing, run heavy equipment.  Or have someone in your group of insiders who can. After the final inspection add that secret room to the basement or that tunnel to the barn.

 A weakness is the need for larger volumes of concrete that need to be delivered by truck. One way around this is to use a backhoe as a ferry, have the truck park where he can't see what you are doing and fill the front bucket with concrete.  Just tell him that there is no access for his truck. Happens enough that most drivers would not be surprised or suspicious.

One other thing I have thought about is the SHTF OP/LP and the need to keep it secret.  Need to install an underground access to it. Not much use if you can be observed going to and from it ya know.  Think about Randy Weaver"s house being observed from the next mountain over by the feds.  If you can see it you can be seen from it.
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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2009, 05:48:39 AM »
When I built my cabin I naturally thought about trap doors, tunnels, false walls...

Yeah...no.  Not a lot of room for false walls in a 12X16 structure, and to trench far enough in the rocky ground for a useful tunnel...well, that wasn't a pleasant prospect.  Easy to come up with excuses reasons not to.

But when I figured out that the wood stove would have to stand right next to the stairs to the sleeping loft, well, that didn't seem like a good idea, either.  If anything caught fire during the night, I'd have few alternatives to sitting there and sizzling.  Not acceptable.  So I'm building a kick-out hatch over the front porch roof, in the back wall of a closet.  Won't be much help if the MZBs come calling, but it'll work for escape in case of fire or similar emergency.  I plan to stucco over it on the outside, so it won't show from the outside.

Offline AHA

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2009, 04:37:36 AM »
Joel: I'm liking it! You should send in some pics and a short description.

Offline Capt Cook

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2009, 07:17:15 AM »
In my home town of Oak Park, Il., they had many tunnels downtown that were used by the railroad cars to deliver coal to the business's. They were still in fine shape in the 80's when we walked around down there to check them out.
Near to downtown was a nice house. In the basement was a door that led under the yard to the garage. It came out in what is called a "Pit" that was used to work on your car from underneath.
It was pretty cool seeing this & it would make a great bolthole if you didn't park a low-rider in the garage ;D
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Offline Capt Cook

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2009, 07:41:13 AM »
I tried to edit the last post but took too long so now I continue.....
The best thing about this is that you can put it in place without any suspicion of ill intent. You can do the same thing with a "root cellar". Just put that name on the plans with your tunnel & an exit door to the outside. Later you can cover over the exit door to hide it from view.
Skylights which open can later have a ladder set up to act as a roof exit. This can also be done in the attic with louvered vent windows on the roof ends that you set up with hinges & a lock. Add a rope ladder & you have your way out. Might come in handy when the Zombies break in & corner you in the attic ;)
You can also make slim false walls with 2x10's. Just call them "Vent Walls" in the plans & you have a place to hide a safe, store supplies on shelves, etc... & you can hide it with some paneling that lifts out of place.
You can also do this with a false floor. Make a split level area with a 10' ceiling & then an area say 2 steps high with an 8' ceiling but the floor continues underneath. Put in a trap door or false floorboards & you have an area 18-24" deep that is perfect for a floor safe & any amount of storage you need.
There are lots of low tech ways to hide stuff from the casual observer & even from those that are looking for something suspicious. Remember the old saying, "Hide in Plain Sight!"
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Offline liftsboxes

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2009, 07:47:46 AM »
I probably love the idea of this stuff than the practical aspect of it, but it is sooooo cool.

Offline “Mark”

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2009, 09:52:07 AM »
You can also make slim false walls with 2x10's. Just call them "Vent Walls" in the plans & you have a place to hide a safe, store supplies on shelves, etc... & you can hide it with some paneling that lifts out of place.

If you heat with wood, such vent walls are actually good to circulate air... you're giving me ideas :D

Quote
You can also do this with a false floor. Make a split level area with a 10' ceiling & then an area say 2 steps high with an 8' ceiling but the floor continues underneath. Put in a trap door or false floorboards & you have an area 18-24" deep that is perfect for a floor safe & any amount of storage you need.
There are lots of low tech ways to hide stuff from the casual observer & even from those that are looking for something suspicious. Remember the old saying, "Hide in Plain Sight!"

That's brilliant!
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Offline HYRYSC

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2010, 10:30:51 PM »
Here are a few pics of mine from when I was finishing up.  My house is about 100 years old and has a few nooks and crannys that are in odd places.  This current one is a semi-small closet that is under an eave of a dormer behind a bathroom and inside my bedroom.  I have measured myself and it is really tough to come up with any empty space for this, so even a "more than casual" observer would more than likely never notice it.






Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2010, 11:35:53 PM »
Young Frankenstein is one of my very favorite movies.  Love that flick.

"Rrroll, rrroll!  Rrroll in ze hay!"

I've actually found two secret compartments in our manufactured home.  No way to get into them at present -- they're up above closets and entirely sealed up with wallboard.  I'm really tempted to put hidden doors on them, but I'm pretty clumsy on getting that sort of handyman stuff to come out neat and clean.

In Pasco WA, the Moore Mansion is reputed to have a tunnel to the Columbia River and another to a spot hundreds of yards away, built during prohibition to move naughty bottles of liquor.

Offline redneck

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2010, 07:37:14 PM »
When we did the living room I put in a half wall.  Using 2 X 6 construction.  The top is a satined 1 X 8.  The cool part is it gave me a chance to put in a small compartment under the top about 5" X 5" X 6'.  I built it like a small box.  The lid (1 X 8) has a lip the fits snug in to the lower part.  It is great to hide the remotes, dog toys, and maybe my 9mm.  The bad think is I was proud of the compartment and showed about everyone that comes over.  I guess the bad guys wont know about it.

We will soon be doing the bath room I will try to come up with something for it too

Offline Capt Cook

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2010, 07:42:04 PM »
Hey HYRYSC, that's a pretty sweet spot you got there!
Plenty of room to hide your goodies from the bad guys!
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Offline HYRYSC

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2010, 07:55:38 PM »
Thanks Capt Cook!  I have my gun safe in there now so I feel that it is doubly protected, firstly, easy to keep fingers off of something no one knows about, and secondly, if they do find it, then they have to get into the safe.  I had some thoughts about lining the entire closet with some 1/2 inch steel, welding it up and putting a safe door directly on it, but that plan quickly got expensive.  Not to say that I won't do it, but just not right now.

Now my next project is a large crawl space safe for my good stuff!

Offline “Mark”

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2010, 10:20:24 PM »
When we did the living room I put in a half wall.  Using 2 X 6 construction.  The top is a satined 1 X 8.  The cool part is it gave me a chance to put in a small compartment under the top about 5" X 5" X 6'.  I built it like a small box.  The lid (1 X 8) has a lip the fits snug in to the lower part.  It is great to hide the remotes, dog toys, and maybe my 9mm.  The bad think is I was proud of the compartment and showed about everyone that comes over.  I guess the bad guys wont know about it.

We will soon be doing the bath room I will try to come up with something for it too

Put a closet by your bathtub. Make a door from the inside of the closet to the area inside shell of your tub.
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Offline KC8SON

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Offline Hraz

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2010, 09:13:40 PM »
Ive always been fascinated with hidden rooms since I went to the House of Seven Gables, in Salem, MA when I was kid.
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Offline Hraz

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2010, 09:17:50 PM »
Here is a company that installs them:

http://hiddenpassageway.com/
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Offline onesureshot

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2010, 09:50:02 AM »
I have a friend that has some cool hidden drawers built into his stairs. There are about 10 step down into his basement. In the basement there is a closet just to the side of the steps that used to be open under the stairs too. The previous owner made a drawer system that rolls out towards the room and is deep enough to hold a dozen rifles or shotguns. The "room" end of the drawer is finished as part of the stairs and is as solid as the rest of the staircase, and you can't tell it is there. The open area under the stairs was closed in with sheetrock, so if you look in the closet you can't see the secret drawer. This leaves all the rest of the  area above the drawer as wasted space though. I thought about doing something similar, but framing in smaller drawers on the underside of each step to store various items. Make the drawer front be hidden in the riser of each step, just have the tread stick out far enough to hide the top of each drawer front. The only issue would be having something to allow you to pull the drawer out without it looking like a pull.

Offline mobilus

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Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2010, 07:48:50 PM »
Has anyone seen this setup?  Not that I'd want it for growing pot, but wow, what a hide-out for a SHTF situation.

http://www.ssqq.com/archive/vinlin19.htm