How’s your doomsday planning coming along? For many preppers the immediate answer will always be “fine and dandy, thank you very much!” Setting in place a plan of action should the worst happen, is, for many people a frightening prospect. For others, however, it’s manna from heaven.
Building a structure that you can hide away in and kitting it out with all the requisite gear is seen by some as the ultimate way of preparing for the worst. Let’s face it, Governments have been doing it for decades.
You only need to look back to the time of the Cold War to see how many megalithic structures were built (and then never used) to fend off the worst kinds of destruction and the inevitable death that follows.
Think about structures like The Burlington Bunker, The Cheyenne Mountain or the Raven Rock Mountain Complex. Increasingly complex buildings that stand testament to the full on paranoia of the world. Look a little more closely at these buildings and notice that they do all share one common theme. There’s no way you’d be able to live in them for any real period of time.
What are you going to do? Well, there are some doomsday preppers who are disregarding the notion that their hideout must be ugly as all get out – and finding ways to turn their spaces into stylish living accommodation that will keep them safe and living in relative luxury too. Here are ten ideas to turn your man cave in a prepper’s paradise.
1. Your Prepper's Man Cave Can Still Be Outside
You’d automatically assume that a prepper’s shelter would have to be deep underground or chiselled deep into the side of a rock face. However, it’s highly unlikely that a prepper’s shelter would come under any sort of fire. Therefore you simply need a space that will keep you safe from the outside and nothing more – and that means you can make your shelter look as cool as you want from the outside.
There seems to be a common theme of putting shelters either deep underground or bored into a mountain. This is almost unnecessary in a way, considering that it’s unlikely, your shelter will ever come under direct fire.
A shelter’s job is to keep you safe from the evils on the outside, a task being above ground doesn’t hinder at all, so long as it’s made from a solid material. Structures made from, or put together from materials such as stainless steel, corrugated iron or other strong metals make sleek looking, on trend buildings that are safe, sound and likely to keep you safe.
2. Rethink, Reuse, Repurpose
Your man cave doesn’t even have to be attached to your home. So long as it’s a ‘safe space’ it can be anywhere. For example, during the Cold War many structures were built, that were rock solid and impervious to nuclear attack. Many years later, once it was deemed safe enough and many people had realised the worst wasn’t going to happen there were a glut of empty shelters around all over the USA.
Some are in fact now being re-used for other purposes, whilst some are even considered as being prime real estate. Look to local property listings to see what’s available (if anything) and what’s within your price bracket.
Reusing and repurposing old shelters is one way of having a prepper’s man cave that will actually protect you, as well as being an interesting talking point for years to come.
Using the ideas of reusing and recycling means that you’ve got an impervious building, but then you can set about decorating it and making it your own, all the while knowing you’ve got a shelter that will protect you from the worst.
3. Look at the Potential For Development of Your Space
A renovation on an old structure, if you’ve bought one – can cost a lot of money. If you have th cash to go ahead and do that, then terrific! If you don’t, then what can you do to give the impression you’ve at least spent a bit of time making your cave look like a prepper’s dream?
Well, if you have a structure that will stand it – hire a pressure washer and hose down the walls to get them as sparkling as possible. If there are any windows, clean them up and check the glass over – is it shatterproof? If it isn’t, then make it so. Make sure the structure is as sound as it can possibly be and then you can turn your attention to making it look as ‘war ready’ as possible inside.
Of course you’ll need good, solid furniture to sit (and sleep on) plus camp beds. There are plenty of ideas for making solid furniture from wooden pallets that rely on nothing other than basic supplies from DIY chain stores and recycled wood!
4. Come Up With A Theme For Your Bunker
Just because it’s a fallout shelter it doesn’t mean it can’t have a theme. After all, if you’re going to see out your last days in it, it might as well have an impact. It’ll make you feel happier and safer and feel less depressing.
It’s no real secret that bunkers and shelters are pretty claustrophobic spaces. Man caves aren’t that much different, really. It’s just the purpose of the structures that is different. A shelter will give you protection from the world. A man cave might give you protection from a nagging wife, or noisy kids…
What could you do? Well, why not take some inspiration from Russia? Over there, some old war bunkers have been given a new lease of life as night clubs and bars. Fallout shelters actually have pretty decent acoustics, so provide a great space to play music and dance. They also have the added bonus of cutting out the noise from outside too. So for instance, in times of war, you wouldn’t be able to hear bombs falling. Your own man cave could offer the same. A safe space that cuts off the outside world, but has the feel of a night club, which only you and a select few others know about.
It doesn’t have to be a bar. It could be a cinema, or even a good old fashioned gent’s drawing room, with comfy leather chairs, a well filled book shelf and the comforting smell of cigar smoke and bourbon. You’re sealed off from the outside world. It’s your haven, and you should theme it as you wish!
5. You Could Make A Home Away From Home
Your prepper’s man cave might be underground, or it might simply not have any windows. What do you do to create a feeling of lightness and space, even though you might not be able to get outdoors? Look to the the famous Las Vegas bunker above for inspiration.
In the Cold War era there, a bomb shelter was built which has real bourgeois taste. It has light murals on the walls which look to emulate the outdoors. There are adjustable lights and even full electrical systems and plumbing too. It all gives the feeling of a home from home, even though in reality it’s anything but. Think about some of the same features in your own space – art which conveys the outside world and classy lighting that can be adjusted to suit the mood.
6. Fancy Being An Action Hero?
Look back to your favourite animated and film heroes. Superman had his own fortress and Batman had his unforgettable Batcave.
Are you more of a gamer? What about recreating Dutch’s Bunker from Far Cry 5?
Build your prepper’s mancave fit for a titan. Think about all the technology you could put in there if you’re a geek. Kit the place out with furniture fit for a superhero or gadgets that can help you survive should you need to.
You could even install surveillance equipment so that you can still see what’s going on in the outside world when you’re locked away (and of course for the real, sensible reason of keeping your property safe and protected – though no-one else needs to know that!)
7. Do You Have Enough Space To Be Able To Create A Room Within Rooms?
If you’ve been lucky enough to find some prime prepper real estate such as an ex-military facility then you’ll know that those types of property are often both above and underground and have more than one purpose.
Have you got enough space to be able to create different themed rooms or separate spaces within your man cave? You could have a brewery room, a smoker’s room and a separate room for partying or dancing, or one that’s just simply designed for relaxation, when you’ve finished a busy day’s doomsday prepping and want to unwind.
8. Pay for Prepper Real Estate and Then Spend on the Kit-Out
Once bomb shelters and bunkers are decommissioned they pretty much lose their value and so are often sold off cheaply as prime prepper real estate. Therefore, if you’re lucky enough you might be able to pick up a ‘new’ old man cave in a location close to your home that doesn’t cost too much.
Often these structures will have huge floor plans and plenty of scope for either yourself or a designer to come up with something that suits your tastes and plays on the prepper narrative. If you don’t spend so much on the actual structure, you can then splurge a little more on the decoration.
9. ..... Or Save Money And Make Your Own completely Badass Furnishings
Fit your cave out with some totally badass homemade furnishing ideas that give your space industrial amounts of prepper kudos. You could try putting together some hard as nails shelving from industrial pipes and reclaimed wood projects like this don’t rely on anything that you can’t get from regular hardware stores. Or look around to see what you have that can be repurposed into useable, functional furniture like these tyres that have been turned into a sink unit!
10. Make Sure You Have A Stash Of Decent Provisions
Canned goods and dehydrated and dried meals are your go to, though you’ll also need an adequate supply of chips and candy for when you’re simply going to relax and watch the game, or have your friends round for gaming evenings.
Think about the space you’ll require for storage of liquor, too. For the most part, you’ll be drinking it, but preppers always say that in the event of the apocalypse you’ll need alcohol for fuel, for sanitising and even to barter with…but let’s just focus on the drinking it with your bros for now shall we?
It’s easy and fun to plan for your prepper’s man cave and though we’re probably further than ever away from things being as desperate as they were during the Cold War, it can’t hurt to be prepared. Even if your man cave is never used for that purpose, it’s always nice to know that should it be required, it can turn into a safe haven for everyone. In the meantime, buckle up, kit it out and focus on making it the perfect space to chill out, relax and escape reality for a little bit.