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jbell1981

Hunting Shack Ideas

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I'm planning on building a small shack (12x16) with a loft next spring. The below pictures have my current concept and estimated cost if buying all new materials. I plan to get as much as I can second hand to help keep costs down. Any other suggestions or things I should change to help keep the costs down? I have toyed with the idea of going with an A-Frame but haven't priced that out to see if it would be cheaper or not. I am hoping that buy getting materials second hand or while sales are going on that I can get this to about half of what I have estimated now. 

 

Shack.PNG

Shack1.PNG

Shack3.PNG

shack cost.PNG

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I'm assuming this cabin is in Northern Minnesota? If so, you can usually source some rough sawn lumber locally and save that way too.

 

At the small, rustic campground where we have our camper parked, they just built all new roof trusses with home-sawn lumber that came from trees that the township cut down along the side of the roads. Just saying, there is lots of ways to acquire lumber, especially in the north woods and there is usually someone nearby who can saw it for you.

 

For more ideas I would suggest reading the posts at http://www.small-cabin.com/forum/ lots of info on building small cabins there.

Edited by Big Dave2

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How many folks are you planing to have use it?  Then how many more relatives might you add in a few years once they find out you have some nice hunting land?  😊

 

Knowing how many people will help you with the size when you look at where they will all sleep, tables and chairs to eat and play cards in the evening. Small living room space to hang out at the end of the night and watch the game or just talk about the hunt. It's nice to have a large over hang on the front to sit out under if it's raining or snowing to have a cigar or a bump if anyone does that.  We use to bunk about 8 guys in an old 10' X 12' log skinning shack.  It's pretty fun having that many folks trying to get dressed in the mornings!  🤪Just a few thoughts to start with.

Edited by leech~~

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A few other questions for you....

 

What kind of foundation will the cabin be on?

Is there water/sewer/electricity available?

Is there easy access from a road for delivery trucks, etc?

 

I'm not sure how feasible this would be but another building material to consider would be cement blocks if you have accessibility to get them in and the know-how to set them. 

 

My wife's great uncle re-built his small hunting shack in the 80's with blocks but he was a block layer by trade and there was logging going on at the time in the area so he could get cement trucks and delivery trucks back there, something we would not be able to do right now.

 

The building is on a poured slab and the great thing about it is with the steel roof and steel door, we never worry about anything rotting and not even mice can penetrate it! We call it the bunker. 

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Yeap,  it's in northern Minnesota near Warroad.  It will be pretty rustic.  No water,  electricity or sewer.  It will just be built on blocks.  It will be a couple hundred yards from the road and will only be accessible by my jeep (or similar sized 4x4) or an atv.

 

I'm sticking with wood framing since that's what I know but thanks for the suggestion. 

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What is your total budget for the completely finished building?  You planning on water or electric?  What's your plan for heat?

 

I completely understand wanting to keep costs down on something like a hunting shack but while you go through the process try to be smart about where you cut costs.  If you cut costs and end up with a building that you end up not being happy with long term it may end up costing you more in the future.  I would probably plan on more space than you think you'll need.  I'm thinking of room to set up a small kitchen, table/chairs, couch/chair, etc.  If its a dedicated hunting shack I'd also make sure to have a good place to hang up your hunting gear at the end of the day so it can dry if needed.  I know when my buddies and I come in from a day of hunting we can easily have a big pile of gear and clothing and in a small space its nice to have a good place to hang it up and get it out of the way. I'd also plan on having some additional storage space somewhere to keep things out of the way.

 

If budget is a big issue I'd probably spend all of it on the shell this season making it as big as possible, on a good solid foundation, good insulation and good heat.  Then you can spend the next several seasons adding to the inside piece by piece.  A plywood floor, bare insulated walls, and some heat will get you through a few years while you work on adding all the extras.

 

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I have considered a steel roof though.  It would be easier to maintain but more expensive and I'm not sure I'd like a steel roof when it's raining in an uninsulated building. 

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1 minute ago, jbell1981 said:

I have considered a steel roof though.  It would be easier to maintain but more expensive and I'm not sure I'd like a steel roof when it's raining in an uninsulated building. 

 

Steel roof is the only way I'd go. Easier to get to your shack with and easier to lift up onto the roof without a Lull. 

 

Why no insulation? Hunting season can be cold and that's the one building that will pay for itself if you do any heating with propane.

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2 minutes ago, Big Dave2 said:

 

Steel roof is the only way I'd go. Easier to get to your shack with and easier to lift up onto the roof without a Lull. 

 

Why no insulation? Hunting season can be cold and that's the one building that will pay for itself if you do any heating with propane.

 

It will be heated with a wood stove and it will be toasty warm.  Insulation can be added later if we feel the need. I won't be finishing the walls or anything now so it will be an easy add later.  I'll probably wire it for a generator down the road too. 

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The one thing I would for sure do is insulate the floor while you're building it.  Much easier to do now than later.  Then you can wait to do the rest of the insulation if you really want to. 

 

Heating with wood will work, its probably the easiest and cheapest initial cost.  Personally I don't care for it.  Splitting wood, tending the stove overnight, the time it takes to get it going when you arrive, or stoking the fire to rewarm the house after being in the field all day just make it too much of a hassle for my taste.  I'd rather have a set it and forget it style of heat.  Of course its more expensive and its easy for me to say when its not my money going into the shack.  I also suppose refilling propane tanks out there might not be the easiest.  

 

 

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3 minutes ago, nofishfisherman said:

The one thing I would for sure do is insulate the floor while you're building it.  Much easier to do now than later.  Then you can wait to do the rest of the insulation if you really want to. 

 

Heating with wood will work, its probably the easiest and cheapest initial cost.  Personally I don't care for it.  Splitting wood, tending the stove overnight, the time it takes to get it going when you arrive, or stoking the fire to rewarm the house after being in the field all day just make it too much of a hassle for my taste.  I'd rather have a set it and forget it style of heat.  Of course its more expensive and its easy for me to say when its not my money going into the shack.  I also suppose refilling propane tanks out there might not be the easiest.  

 

 

 

Actually, I love heating with wood but I like to have a supplemental heat source so I don't have to get up at night to stoke the stove and so it doesn't get too cold inside the shack when you are out for the day. 

 

That said, a propane heater can easily be added later. 

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Supplemental heat would alleviate most of my issues with wood and you're right it could easily be added later.  For a situation like this wood with supplemental propane would probably be the way to go.  

 

If you don't already have a wood stove you can usually find them on hsolist pretty cheap.  Personally I've hauled several of them out of the basements of friends and family that no longer wanted them.  Just hauled out my aunt and uncles wood stove a few weeks ago, not much fun getting those those things up a flight of stairs.  

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The things I would change in the small hunting shack I talked about earlier is:

 

1. The supplemental heat source.

2. I would wire it for 12 volts like a camper so we could have quiet power at night.

3. I would hook up some sort of water tank with pump like an RV so it would be easier to run water.

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19 minutes ago, nofishfisherman said:

The one thing I would for sure do is insulate the floor while you're building it.  Much easier to do now than later.  Then you can wait to do the rest of the insulation if you really want to. 

 

Heating with wood will work, its probably the easiest and cheapest initial cost.  Personally I don't care for it.  Splitting wood, tending the stove overnight, the time it takes to get it going when you arrive, or stoking the fire to rewarm the house after being in the field all day just make it too much of a hassle for my taste.  I'd rather have a set it and forget it style of heat.  Of course its more expensive and its easy for me to say when its not my money going into the shack.  I also suppose refilling propane tanks out there might not be the easiest.  

 

 

 

I prefer wood to other heating options. Probably because I grew up in houses where that was the main heat source. 

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My crew hunts out of a primitive shack that basically just gets used during the firearm season. Was just a pup when it was built, so no idea about what went into the actual building process, but here is what I know based on what we have:

 

1) Go bigger than you think you'll need. Especially once you get any furniture in there at all you'll wish you had more room.

2) Try to keep the wood stove out of the way as much as possible - pain in the you know what trying to walk by it when it's piping hot.

3) If you have bunks, put small windows up there if at all possible. The guys on the top bunk will be dying of heat and having a small window to get some air can be a lifesaver.

4) The area right behind the wood stove, and the hole in the roof the pipe runs through- rotted the quickest in our shack. Not sure if there's anything you can do about it, but maybe you have some ideas.

5) Once you get it wired for a generator, a ceiling fan is great to move the heat around - and clearing the air if people smoke in it.

 

Glad to hear you'll be able to add insulation later. November in Warroad - I'm guessing it will be added before year 2!

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Not sure what it cost this guy to set this up but he has a ton of nice videos of building it and now when they use it as a hunting shack and cabin.  It's always fun to see how other guys setup their camps.  The bottom one is from last winter and shows how far he has come with it totally enclosed with a roof and sides.  He is some where up in the Arrow head of MN. 

 

 

  

 

Edited by leech~~

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Oh, also, critters. We get tons of mice in there, which is to be expected. What wasn't as expected is the amount of wasps that start dropping under from the ceiling panels when the wood stove gets fired up the first time. And the skunk that made it's home under the shack. I don't think you can do much about any of that, accept stock up on Decon, fly swatters and moth balls. You mentioned yours will be built on blocks, that's why I mentioned certain critters might find it a nice place to live under if they can.

 

Edited by Getanet

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2 minutes ago, Getanet said:

Oh, also, critters. We get tons of mice in there, which is to be expected. What wasn't as expected is the amount of wasps that start dropping under from the ceiling panels when the wood stove gets fired up the first time. And the skunk that made it's home under the shack. I don't think you can do much about any of that, accept stock up on Decon, fly swatters and moth balls. You mentioned yours will be built on blocks, that's why I mentioned certain critters might find it a nice place to live under if they can.

 

 

Yeah, I'm hoping that there will be enough air flow under the shack to keep larger critters from calling it home. 

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18 hours ago, leech~~ said:

Not sure what it cost this guy to set this up but he has a ton of nice videos of building it and now when they use it as a hunting shack and cabin.  It's always fun to see how other guys setup their camps.  The bottom one is from last winter and shows how far he has come with it totally enclosed with a roof and sides.  He is some where up in the Arrow head of MN. 

 

 

  

 

 

That's really cool. Sort of like a modern day "One Man's Wilderness". 

 

Leaves many questions to be asked though.....

Why doesn't he use one of his 2 snowmobiles to reach the property?

What's with the beautiful "back woods cabin"? If you have something like that, why stay in a tent?

Looks like he has electricity to this tent? But he can't drive to it?

 

Those are by far the nicest outhouses I've ever seen though.....

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20 hours ago, jbell1981 said:

Yeap,  it's in northern Minnesota near Warroad.  It will be pretty rustic.  No water,  electricity or sewer.  It will just be built on blocks.  It will be a couple hundred yards from the road and will only be accessible by my jeep (or similar sized 4x4) or an atv.

 

I'm sticking with wood framing since that's what I know but thanks for the suggestion. 

 

Just curious but are you absolutely stuck on the idea of building a small cabin? If you want to save money, I would consider clearing out enough of a driveway to pull in an old camper. You could buy one for less than your budget and it would probably already include many comforts that you would need to spend money on like a furnace, air conditioning, water system, refrigerator, stove, lights, electrical system, etc. All you would have to do is buy a generator and you could have everything you need up and running in no time.

 

Just a thought because I am getting lazy in my old age and I also like some comforts even when I am roughing it!

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33 minutes ago, Big Dave2 said:

 

That's really cool. Sort of like a modern day "One Man's Wilderness". 

 

Leaves many questions to be asked though.....

Why doesn't he use one of his 2 snowmobiles to reach the property?

What's with the beautiful "back woods cabin"? If you have something like that, why stay in a tent?

Looks like he has electricity to this tent? But he can't drive to it?

 

Those are by far the nicest outhouses I've ever seen though.....

I follow this guy very closely and also enjoy his content a lot. He dosent own any sleds any more and said he always enjoys the walk across the lake more than have to drag up some sleds (Only about a 3/4mile walk) The “ back woods cabin” is his parents place. His dad along with the help of his son (who owns the tent) built that entire place and strarted by clearing trees. His dad came up 4-5 years ago while his son has been there for over 10 now. He use to use a Honda generator but a few years ago had a line dug in for electric and installed a hand pump well. His is the owner of a construction company and builds long furniture on his down time and believe me the guy makes some AWSOME stuff. As far as driving in he drives in from the end of April till thanksgiving but between there during the winter the roads he uses to get in are all groomed ski trails that don’t allow vehicles. The location is about 1-1.5 hrs straight north of Two Harbors right on the BWCA line. Hope this helps you answer some of your questions Big Dave.

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19 hours ago, jbell1981 said:

 

Red-Bucket-with-Toilet-Lid.jpg

JBell,

forget about the plastic pail. What we did in our old deer camp was to take an old metal folding chair, knock out the seat and mount a toilet seat in place. The first duty for the kids was to dig a hole under the chair, and the last was to fill in the hole. Much more comfortable, and you won’t tip over after having a few drinks.

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