living in a bender

Welcome to UKHIppy2764@2x.png

UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

  • anyone on here doing it? living in a bender that is. have sold my caravan and have built myself a monster of a bender on some land, all a bit hush hush and that... but am loving it and plan to stay indefinitely.. or until we get chucked off. kids think its great, family have disowned me, employers not impressed, some friends won't even come (that bucket loo just too much daaaaling). would like to hear from others who are doing the same, swap tips, point and laugh, you know, that sort of thing... all the best,


    zed. x

  • really? are your folks ok about it now or do they still vomit merely at the words low and impact?! mine kicked off whenwhen we started home educating the nippers. then my sister in law was horrified to discover we grow our own food... "what's wrong with waitrose?..." "they must be growing drugs... so moving into a bender was the last straw. my family are our best source of amusement!

  • Go for it! Don't worry about family disowning you...ours done that ages ago, quite peaceful now LMAO


    Any pics of your bender? - I had to google what is was :S

  • Good on you. I built a bender for my daughter when she was 17. I was happy knowing where she was and really only yards away from my DD bus. She was never short of visiting friends. At times it resembled a night club. Summer was great. I bought her her own touring caravan for winter. Society views bender living as the lowest possible option. Images of refugees under plastic sheeting, hiding in the woods. Would your family have the same view if you lived in a tipi? Tips: canvas directly laying on the ground outside the bender will rot. Especially if held down by rocks/bricks or soil. A good tip is to push a pebble into the canvas from the inside and twist the canvas round the pebble. Then tie some string/cord around the canvas covered pebble. Tie a tent peg to the other end and peg down the bender tarp.

  • thanks re pebble tip. yes my tarp bottoms are all on the floor, didn't think of them rotting... so will be spending most of the afternoon sorting that out! any tips on insulation? without having to take the tarps off would be good... i like my fingernails pointing the right way! getting them on on my own was horrific. its over 30 foot long. will try and post pics but don't have a computer. how lovely to have your daughter that close to you but getting her own space. genius. yes we look like refugees but i felt like one living in a house in a community i didn't really fit in to. this feels kind of natural to me... xxx

  • Good luck with it all. You are going to need it with the winter months looming, hey.
    I take it that you dont have permission to be on the land? Good luck again!

  • Even if you have permission and the landowner wants you there, you can still get chucked off :(


    Which is totally fucked up IMHO.

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

  • any tips on insulation?

    Several layers of skin. Again using the pebble technique to suspend a inner layer of sheeting inside your bender. Tying this time the inner sheet back to the hazel/bender poles at various points. The more times you tie back the more internal space you recover. A wood/sawdust burner would keep in/smouldering all night. Do you have a open fire or woodburning stove installed?

  • its a communal space, some peeps been here for years. the authorities know we are here but turn a blind eye... it sounds ideal but it is hard graft living here sometimes. i do worry about winter when i try to visualize what it might be like. but for now we think its paradise! and at least the bucket loo won't freeze up. we do have a woodburner and it stays in all night but wood is in short supply as we have not been here long so we don't have a huge stock pile. am concentrating on building up layers of insulation on the inside and maybe put some more tarps on. its only one skin thick in some places. that can't work in the winter? wondering whether to line the inside with blankets? wish i knew what i was doing!

  • A few weeks ago I was sat in a yurt and actually had to go outside for a bit to cool down! They had all their clothing, blankets, possessions, etc. hanging from the walls and it was uncomfortably warm in there with a burner. It only had one layer of canvas, from what I could see, but it was bloody hot! Also, it's a good storage solution!

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

  • the not knowing it all is half the fun !?!


    have you considered building a raised floor, an awful lot of the cold comes up through the ground
    pallets cut to the shape of the floor, with the gaps on the top side filled in with the strips off of other pallets
    you dismantle is the easiest way
    breaking pallets without destroying the strips of wood can be tricky cos they usually use spiral "grab nails "
    to put them together, but experiment & u should be ok


    also stand your burner on the biggest flat stone or blocks u can get, cos they will act like a heat sink / radiator


    hope this helps & enjoy your new home


    revel

  • cool stardust, I've only ever been in a yhurt once and experienced a similar thing... it was toasty warm and full of hanging stuff! i think my bender is too big to get that warm. am considering partitioning off half of it with a duvet wall if it gets really cold. we are also infested with mice! they are tearing it up with their mates all night. so noisy! and when we first moved in we had moles appearing in the lounge room floor. it was brilliant!

  • thanks revel that's a really good tip re pallets. i will stop chopping them up as firewood and consider how to retro fit them into the bender. that is def better than just mud. and yes, i did stand burner on them flat stones as you suggested. was a fluke tho ! cheers x

  • why not start the pallets with your sleeping area.
    if you fix a space blanket to the top of the bottom layer of the pallets ..if that makes sense
    it will really keep the cold from coming up & you wont get the condensation probs you get if you try
    to sleep wrapped in the spaceblanket, or directly on top of it


    revel

  • aha my beds now have space blankets under them! have also started to insulate the walls where the beds are. they are bunk beds which now I've read some of your posts, perhaps should not have been built so near to the floor.... will see how we go. we are also taking in water by the burner, looks like its coming up through the floor rather than from the sides or roof.. got my work cut out here for next two days me thinks..

  • hi
    if youve got water coming in / up try digging a trench right around the outside of the bender,
    depending on how level your spot is the water will start to pool at one point in your circular trench
    dig a channel away from your bender at that point to drain away the water.


    what is prob happening is the heat from your fire is drawing the moisture up, this even happens in old stone houses with no foundations n stone / concrete floors


    what your trench is doing is stopping the flow of water in via the surronding land
    in the same way you drain a field by putting your ditch above it not below


    depending on the type of soil / ground your on decides how deep you need to go
    start at say 6 inches or the depth of the spade your using


    honestly this does work, ive even see it work for benders on irish bogs


    hope that helps & good luck


    revel

  • im up and digging! done half of it already. what an excellent tip. thanks so much! i have put some plastic down where the pond is inside, just for now. till i work out what to do about it. i didn't know heat could draw water in...we now have tons of pallets to play with (hippy lego!) so will use some for flooring and some for burning. should i line the trench with plastic then put pebbles in or just leave it?

  • well i did think that, but im not sure what else to do. i could put a little fence around it and put fish in it!! will monitor the situation and if it starts smelling like the inside of my sons wellies i will take it up and think of something else...

  • Is the water, rain that is creeping down the outside of the stovepipe? Could it be a poor seal where the stovepipe exits the bender tarp? When the stove is lit, you wouldn't notice it so much, as it would probably evaporate? Try knocking in a metal stake several foot into the ground, making a series of holes in the soil around the stove. Once the stake is about 18" down. Wac the metal stake on the sides, near the top, several times with a hammer. This will make it easier to pull up the stake, without breaking up the soil surface. It will also penetrate any panning in the soil. Fill all the holes up with sand to work as a soak away.

  • Is the water, rain that is creeping down the outside of the stovepipe? Could it be a poor seal where the stovepipe exits the bender tarp? When the stove is lit, you wouldn't notice it so much, as it would probably evaporate? Try knocking in a metal stake several foot into the ground, making a series of holes in the soil around the stove. Once the stake is about 18" down. Wac the metal stake on the sides, near the top, several times with a hammer. This will make it easier to pull up the stake, without breaking up the soil surface. It will also penetrate any panning in the soil. Fill all the holes up with sand to work as a soak away.


    Soak away is a very good idea, and put that simply, won't take any time to do.


    Do bear in mind that you need very good ventilation when burning pallets as they are treated with nasty stuff.


    :-)

  • ok, finished my "moat" and made a pallet drawbridge. am quite pleased with it, i mean who doesn't want to have a moat surrounding their home?! this should alleviate the water coming in to the north wing.. if it continues its impression of the Titanic, i shall do Alice's idea with the stakes. so will put the fish buying on hold! did check the flue pipe for leeks, none found. and thanks about the heads up re pallet wood burning, i didn't know that. so really, without you guys i would be cold, wet and probably dead. so thanks!!

  • With moat and drawbridge beware that lady might come round and tell you how to make a tearoom in the stables and marry peeps in the ballroom, just drop the portculis if you spot any suspects. :reddevil:
    Sounds like your getting things sorted keep warm and have fun, esp like the kids having a ball:wub::D

  • keeping warm tip?
    burn ash (wood) if you can get it.
    it will give you loads more heat from your burner than stuff like pine
    - and it will burn as soon as cut.


    bon chance!