Forest ranger Mark Andre was marking trees in one of the Arcata Community Forest’s most remote sections when something odd happened. He saw something that was not there the last time he’d been in the area. He did not know exactly what it was from the distance, so he got a little closer.
What he found left him speechless. It was a cabin, and it was far from being the usual ramshackle, trash-strewn heap of debris, but a proper house, built for more than just a brief stay.
The cabin measured perhaps 8 by 12 feet and 15 or so feet high, featured a concrete block foundation, stout frame, peaked roof, a small porch with wooden awning, multiple windows and walls of plywood covered on the outside with brown tarps, black plastic sheeting and lots of concealing forest duff.
The whole construction was barely noticeable from the distance.
“I did not see it until I was 12 feet from it. It’s in the perfect out-of-the-way spot where it wouldn’t be detected”. Andre said
There were no trails that led to the small home and there were no trash piles, discarded clothing, no open-air latrine strewn with toilet paper; nothing to show anything but scrupulous regard for the natural surroundings.
In order to see what was inside of the cabin, the ranger had to make a decision. If it was used as a residence, then even though it was located on public land, a search warrant would have been required for entry.
However, if anyone were inside, possibly incapacitated or even worse, leaving him or her unaided would have been irresponsible. After multiple shout-outs to any person who may have been inside went unanswered, he decided to cut the padlock on the plywood front door.
He entered the cabin with gun drawn, announcing “Arcata Police!”. However, no one was inside, so he began to inspect the interior for clues to the user’s identity.
The cabin’s interior appointments were spare, tidy and yet more than ample for comfortable habitation in an idyllic spot. He found a mix between a kitchen and a living room, where well-organized cans of food and housekeeping supplies lined the walls, with their labels facing forward. A rocking chair was sitting next to a pot-bellied stove across from a cushioned seating area. Small lanterns were located around the room, while shelves held a variety of tools. All the storage cabins were rich in camping equipment and other long-term supplies.
Thick curtains and small wooden panels made to fit the window frames kept the light from escaping. The kitchen window opened to a gorgeous view and a ladder led to a roomy upper berth, where sleeping pad awaited. However, there was no bathroom.
Regarding decorations, a pair of crossed knives at the edge of the second floor and a postcard here and there. One slip of paper lists species of plants and trees found in the area, while another “To Do” list including tasks, some lined out such as “Build Bench” and “Big Spoon”. It seemed as if whoever built that location, did a pretty good job as nothing was missing. It almost looked as if it was put there as a safety net for anyone who might need help at some point. It seemed as a secret shelter in an emergency situation for people who found themselves in a difficult situation.
There was little identifying information found. A shipping label and a California driver’s license had two different names, but they might have been random objects found in the woods by the resident.
The thoughtfully composed, tiny house appeared to be the work of someone who knew a lot of things about survival and who was prepped for any type of situation.
It seems to me that people are already starting to prepare their bug out locations in a manner that is above the expected limits. Moreover, people could possibly be building shelters so that in the case of a disaster they have a place to go. In addition to this, little information is known about this type of actions. What you need to learn from this is that you need to take action and stop waiting for things to happen. Prepping beats waiting in a way nothing else ever could.
Do you think that there are such “invisible” shelters in your area? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.