Some Thoughts from Cascadia Clusters on Sanctioned Camping Sites

Andrew Olshin

Some Thoughts from Cascadia Clusters on Sanctioned Camping Sites 
Our community is focusing on developing six, 100 person camps - each on 2 - 4 acres with the option to grow each camp to 250 units.  
Two acres = 87,120 sq ft.  

We thought it might be helpful to draft an outline of what a 112 unit village on 90,000 sq. ft. might “look like”.  You folks are the first to see it. 

ALL COMMENTS ARE WELCOME - please comment directly to Cascadia Clusters via email @ Andrew.Olshin@...; (503) 407-8494 

  • a 900’ x 1000’ rectangle with a 25’ setback around the perimeter;  
  • each home is on a platform with a useful life of 3++ years;
  • none of the homes would be designed to be ADA accessible - but we could easily do so;
  • platforms are no closer than 6’ apart;

Cascadia Clusters Ideas - PLEASE COMMENT
  • Each platform could be 12’ x 12’
  • Insulated tents will be anchored to the platforms - they are NOT waterproof;
  • Each tent will be kept out of the weather under/inside a simple shed-like structure that could be built in a production-like manner by sober houseless/formerly houseless individuals;
  • We suggest building seven clusters of 16 units each = 112 units 

  • Platforms:  12’ x 12’ platforms framed as a subfloor w 2”x6” & 2”x4” (xtra bracing) and skinned, using ceramic coated 2 ½” screws (star 25 bit) w 3/4” exterior ply (painted w ZPrime and an Exterior Topcoat);  Platforms should be set on top of x-cut concrete pierstones, leveled using PT 4x4 chunks screwed thru simpson brackets to the framing as needed and skirted by ¼” hardware cloth with an overlap into the ground and gravel (crushed concrete is better) to reduce rodent access. 

  • Tents: Insulated tents like the Eskimo Fatfish 949i (94” x 94”;  80” center height) @ $400; Clam x-400 Thermal Hub (8’ x 8’; 82 “ center height) @$600 - will last 3 +years if taken care of but ARE NOT WATERPROOF.  Just ask the folks we gave them to last winter across from Outside In.  Given how late in the “season” it is, 600 of these tents may not be available.  The Clam shelters are manufactured in MInnesota.  The Eskimo shelters - and most of the other similar units are manufactured in China.  We’ve identified the Chinese company that makes them and wager they could be persuaded to produce a “run” with a nice rose on the side.  They may also have some ideas on a more waterproof fabric - but, given the ventilation, condensation, mold etc. I believe the current insulation-filled fabric with a shed-roof (below) would offer our best shot at a “1 and done” approach. 

  • Shed-like structure:  If a “shed” is  included in the initial platform design scope, 4”x4” posts (PT NOT required if bottoms are encased in a plastic sleeve) could be integrated into the platform design with 2”x4” framing, a shed roof, a locking door, painted ½ ply walls, polycarbonate “windows” and a motion sensor spotlight over the door.  This would be a very cost-effective approach.

  • Heat and Power:  Generators suck.  They are noisy, smelly and eat a lot of fuel. Individual propane heaters (ex. Mr. Heaters) are dangerous.  If electricity is available, a sealed, oil-filled radiator is a great option.  Ex. Tristar KA5103 500W Oil-filled Radiator.  If electricity is not available (or even if it is) a solar microgrid could provide enough juice to keep a 12-volt under mattress heating pad on for approximately 6 hours - assuming a 20 amp hr lithium ion battery is charged throughout a gray, Portland day.

Next STEPS:  Without knowing where the sites are I thought it simplest to spend a short time creating Very, Very Rough drafts of how 16 units could make up a cluster and 7 clusters could be part of a village.