There are three games that I hold in extremely high regard. As games go, they are my Big 3. Team Fortress 2 is one of them. Ōkami is another. The last one, which I have never once talked about before until now, is Minecraft.
I stopped playing Minecraft for a fair bit until the end of last year, and dropped right into 1.14 after stopping at 1.6.4 a couple of years ago. Not that I stopped playing by the time 1.7.2 rolled out, I just stubbornly stuck to 1.6.4 for quite a while. It was a newer and richer world that I stepped into when I first returned to Minecraft. My old favourite medieval texture pack is nowhere to be found, but I found Mizuno’s 16 Craft which is just gorgeous to look at. That is what I’m using in the screenshots if you guys are wondering.
Anyways, the exploration hut. After messing around for a bit and discovering the wonders of berry bushes and barrels, I came up with this hut that I now use as my first base whenever I joined a world, or when I am exploring somewhere far away from my main base and I need a remote base of operations.
Here’s how I build it (the basic version):
Step 1: Make a 2×2 floor out of two furnaces, a crafting table, and a plank.
Step 2: Place a bed above the two furnaces, and plant berry bushes in a 6×6 square, leaving a 2-block gap for the door.
Step 3: Put down the pillars at the corners, and six barrels on the left, right and back of the house.
Step 4: Complete the back wall (two plank blocks above the barrels), the front wall (two planks on one side), and add a 4×4 plank circle above the pillars.
Step 5: Add in the doors, trapdoor windows, and torches outside the house.
Step 6: The roof.
Step 7: A layer of slabs above the roof. Since mobs don’t spawn above half-blocks, this means you don’t have to worry about hostiles spawning on top of your house.
Step 8: Interior illumination. Don’t worry about the stair blocks, they are not really necessary.
For this hut, I used 8 logs, 22 stairs, 16 slabs, 17 planks, 6 barrels, 4 trapdoors, 1 door, 1 bed, 2 furnaces, 1 crafting table, 10 torches, and 18 sweet berries. The raw materials needed are logs, stones, coals (or charcoals), wool, and sweet berries. All the materials needed are quite easy to gather except the berries, which only spawn in taiga biomes.
The barrels give three large chests’ worth of storage, and having the furnaces and crafting table be the floor allows me to make the house smaller. Good thing I can still see and access blocks under the bed.
The trapdoor windows are there when I made this the first time in-game. It’s there just so that I can see if the sun is out yet. I didn’t manage to get wool before the first night to make beds, so I have to wait out the night. I spent the night opening the trapdoors to look outside, and slamming it shut before a Skeleton shoots me through it.
The berry bushes are my most favourite part. Not only is it a really convenient food source until a better one can be found (farming / hunting / livestock rearing / fishing / beekeeping / Creative-mode abusing), it can ward off hostile mobs too. It’s not as easy to find as seeds, but it’s much faster-growing. 18 fully-grown berry bushes can provide about 30+ berries a day, which is not bad at all. Granted, you’ll need dirt to grow it, but that shouldn’t be an issue on most biomes.
The lights are three blocks above ground. In my first build, I have just one torch at face level, and for some reason it crashes my game every time I try to sleep or after I used the crafting table. Moving the torches up by a block solved the issue, so that’s what I do from now on.
This is just the basic version of my compact hut. You can do quite a bit with this. For example, in my first remote outpost in the Realms world my friends and I have, I replaced the plank on the floor with a trapdoor, which leads down to a mineshaft. In my single-player world, I have Jack-o-Lanterns as my light source instead since I found a whole bunch of them around me when I spawned. The berries can be replaced with wheat for a slower but much better food source, or you can replace the plank block with water for a fishing spot. It’s Minecraft. Anything goes.
This is not the most efficient mini-base. This is definitely not something you can settle down in long-term. But it’s a relatively fast base to build that allows you to survive for quite a bit until you get things in order. Most materials are easily available in most biomes, with berry bushes being the sole exception here. I’ve used this for quite a bit, and I find it really helpful for starting up in new places.
Besides, it doesn’t look half bad.