Knife Throwing Techniques

Knife throwing is an ancient technique, and it has been around for centuries. It’s a known fact that American soldiers in the Civil War practiced this “sport” in camp to kill time so to speak. Since then, the technique survived as an art form, as a sport or for entertainment purposes.

Knife Throwing Techniques

Knife throwing is an ancient technique, and it has been around for centuries. It’s a known fact that American soldiers in the Civil War practiced this “sport” in camp to kill time so to speak. Since then, the technique survived as an art form, as a sport or for entertainment purposes.

Simple Facts About Survival Uses For Your Pee

Click here to view the original post.

Usually speaking, when it comes to prepping and survival, pee is not the hottest topic debated in the community. However, in an outdoors survival situation, one should take advantage of any resource available, including one’s urine. The question is, can you leverage urine as an efficient survival tool?

This article is aimed at emphasizing the practical uses of urine from a very realistic perspective. Rest assured: after finishing reading this article, you won’t become a pee-drinker.

To tell you the truth, so we get over the pee-drinking issue from the beginning, urine per se can be used as a survival-beverage, but only in absolutely desperate situations, when the danger of dehydration is that bad it puts your life at imminent risk and there’s no other option (you don’t have any water nor any means to procure water in a timely fashion).

Even if there are religious sects in countries like India which advocate drinking one’s pee (once a day for religious/mystical reasons), you should not make urine drinking your creed, even if those pee-drinkers in India don’t seem to suffer from adverse effects.

India aside, there are many survival stories about folks drinking their own urine to survive in extreme situations. In the vast majority of those cases, folks were stranded with no water available or trapped under various materials/collapsed buildings, pinned under boulders etc.

However, if you ask me, it’s not clear if people who drank their own (raw) pee survived because they did that or in spite of it.

Joke aside, the real answer to the question of whether drinking urine is a good idea in a survival scenario is to treat urine (a waste product by definition, filled with toxins and stuff like that) like seawater or contaminated water.

The thing is, NASA itself is well known for taking astronauts’ pee (and sweat) and recycling it (as in distilling water from urine) into pure water to drink when in space. It’s funny to mention it, but even Bill Gates took a sip of pee taken from the sewer and purified into potable water.

The issue about drinking “raw urine” to survive, besides its grossness,  is that it will actually accelerate dehydration, because of its toxic-waste content (pee is body’s way of flushing out excess salts, minerals and various toxins). The lesson to be taken home about drinking your own (raw) pee is that it will dehydrate you the same way drinking sea-water will. It’s a lose-lose scenario.

Another old belief which has some traction in survivalist circles is that you can rinse a wound with urine, due to the myth that a healthy person’s pee is sterile. Regardless of ancient folk tales, urine is not sterile, hence never pee on an open wound (I’ve heard a lot of so-called survivalists advocating that).

If you don’t have clean water, let the blood flow flush it.

Moving on with our story, since every one of us carries a free supply of pee at all times, learning its survival uses can be very useful, especially for outdoors enthusiasts. Here’s what can you actually do with your own pee to improve your chances of survival in a SHTF scenario:

You can distill water from urine.

Since pee is about 95% water, you can distill it into pure drinking water using an improvised distiller to separate the 5% bad stuff from good stuff. Even if pee is hardly my first choice as a water source, if you don’t have any other options, your urine may become a life saver.

Now, how can you distill water from urine? Well, think along the lines of solar water collection techniques, i.e. solar stills and the like. For example, if you have a plastic sheet available (and you should have one in your survival kit), all you have to do is to dig a hole in the ground, but be careful to pick a spot exposed to sunlight.

Then you put a clean container right in the middle of the hole, with the plastic sheet over it. The pee must be poured in the area around the container. Put a small rock in the center of the plastic sheet right above the container, thus making a small dip.

This dip will work as the condensation/distillation point. Remember to secure the plastic sheet with rocks on each corner so the sheet does not touch the sides of the hole, i.e. it stays suspended. During the day, the heat  from the sun will make the water from the urine evaporate, while the plastic sheet will collect the clean-water vapors, and condensing water will drip inside the container. Here’s a video.

If you’re a big Bear Grylls fan, check out this video with him demonstrating how to procure clean water from urine.

Finally, here’s another one that will teach you how to build a simple solar water/pee distiller for survival by using 2 plastic/glass bottles and some duct tape (an essential item in your survival kit).

Besides drinking, one’s pee can be used to keep cool or warm, depending on the situation. If it’s too hot and you don’t have water to spare, you can wrap a wet towel (as in you pee on the towel) around the back of your neck to keep you cool.

The evaporating pee will draw heat away. In extreme cold, you can pee inside a plastic bottle and keep it under your jacket, thus improvising a personal warmer of sorts. This is a pretty smart way to save body heat.

If you know your chemistry and geology, you can use pee to make gunpowder. This is not a joke; here’s a dude, Cody Reeder respectively, who actually did it and immortalized his experience on YouTube. To make gunpowder, you require charcoal, potassium nitrate and sulfur.

Burning wood will provide you with all the charcoal you need. Certain rocks are rich in sulfur, also elemental sulfur is easy to find around hot springs and volcanoes. Urine is the secret for getting potassium nitrate.

Another interesting factoid about urine is that it can be used for softening leather, as the urea decays in ammonia over time. Finally, you can start a fire with urine, provided you have a plastic/glass bottle available and enough (fairly clear) urine. Just read my article about how to start a fire using your pee.

I hope the article helped. If you have other ideas, questions or whatever, feel free to express yourself in the comments section below.

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

15 Survival Movies To Teach Your Kids Prepping

Click here to view the original post.

If you’re into prepping and you have kids, it would be wise to start teaching them disaster preparedness at an early age. There’s nothing better than growing up awake and prepared to face the unexpected, especially in volatile times such as these.

Having basic survival skills at an early age can be priceless and survival movies are a quintessential tool to use in this endeavor, as they combine learning with having fun, which translates into a win-win situation, especially if you’re a kid.

Of course, watching movies shouldn’t replace other “real life” activities, such as going camping with your bambinos.

Teaching your kids to survive on their own for a few days in an outdoors scenario is hugely important, not to mention that a camping trip builds confidence on their capability to be self sufficient, and also raises awareness on their personal hygiene in an off-grid scenario.

Furthermore, they’ll learn to be alert about the presence of dangerous wildlife and so forth and so on.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

It’s also worth mentioning that playing outside is essential for sparking a kid’s imagination (as opposed to pecking at TV/smartphones/tablets all day), as a pile of sand will quickly become a beach where the pirates of the Caribbean buried their treasures, and the trees and bushes behind the house morph into a luscious jungle, where monsters roam free, you know what I am talking about.

However, survival movies can be successfully used to prepare/teach your kids ahead of their real-life adventures, especially if they’re very young. So, let the games begin.

My number one choice is Walt Disney’s Swiss Family Robinson, a movie released back in 1960 and recommended for ages 8 and up. This Disney classic makes for the ultimate outdoor fantasy for a prepper’s family. The movie revolves around building a complex tree house on a Paradise-like tropical island, playing with animals (they are friendly, no worries), but also defending it all against pirates by using very sophisticated booby traps.

Let’s move to a more recent flick: Nim’s Island, a PG rated movie released back in 2008 (ages 8 and up), which makes for a contemporary thriller about a girl (Nim) and her dad, a science guy, both living on their private island. After her father goes missing during a storm, Nim is left (almost) alone on the island to take care of herself, with a little help from an agoraphobic visitor, but I will not spoil it for you.

If you’re looking for a good wilderness story for kids, Far from Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog comes highly recommended. Released in 1995, the movie tells the story of a boy and his dog surviving in the wilderness and it emphasizes the importance of practical skills, self reliance and the value of knowing how to survive outdoors.

Cast Away is one of Tom Hanks’ best movies, as it explores a modern day’s man ability to survive in a very hostile environment, yet it encompasses almost zero violence, which makes it perfect for kids.

Everything in this movie is centered on a Federal Express engineer whose airplane crashes into the ocean, forcing him to live in seclusion on a deserted and remote island in the middle of nowhere. This is a modern-day Robinson Crusoe’s story of survival and it’s also massive fun to watch.

The Day After Tomorrow is a catastrophic flick which depicts a world collapsing after the planet experiences a dramatic climatic shift, which results in a new ice-age (what happened to global warming?). The movie is very interesting (read special effects) as it depicts a frozen America from coast to coast, while emphasizing the importance of survival skills in sub zero temperatures, planning ahead and having good gear at the ready if SHTF.

The Day After Tomorrow is a PG-13 rated movie, but as far as I remember, there’s no violence to speak of. However, there are some scenes depicting horrific injuries, and some characters drink alcohol as a way to mitigate their sadness after watching the destruction of much of the world as they knew it.

The Impossible is a very tragic survival movie which tells the story of the 2004 Tsunami that obliterated parts of Thailand. The Impossible is focused on the survival of a tourist family in Thailand, whose members were split up in the aftermath of the disaster, making for a true story of the people who had to stay alive through an incredible SHTF event. The story is very intense and the movie is rated PG 13 due to the fact that it sometimes depicts people suffering severe injuries.

A Cry in the Wild is a nineties flick about the sole survivor (a 13 year old boy) of a plane crash that got unreported. The hero’s name is Brian and the movie is about him trying to survive in the Yukon wilderness by his own wits, as he’s all alone. Your kids will learn essential survival skills from this movie: how to find food in an outdoors scenario, how to find shelter and also how to stay away from dangerous wild animals until you’re found.

Against the Wild is a 2013 “lost in the wilderness” movie following a plane crash (this is a recurrent theme, you can’t help it) about 2 siblings (teens) and their faithful dog. The trio must learn how to trust their instincts, and how to combine their skills in order to navigate an untamed and beautiful terrain. The struggle for survival is kind of mild and pretty boring for my taste, but given the fact this is a family movie, it contains zero violence, hence it’s perfectly suitable for your kids, being filled with positive messages and having positive role models.

Life of Pi tells the story of a young man’s epic journey of discovery and adventure after surviving a disaster at sea. As he’s cast away, he makes an unexpected friend, a Bengal tiger (another survivor).

The movie is great for kids, as it makes for an emotional, intense yet beautiful story of friendship and faith, as the heroes are trying to survive against all odds. There’s virtually no explicit violence, sexual content nor strong language in Life of Pi, while its impressive CGI makes it a powerful movie that will make your kids cheer in triumph or shed a tear as the story develops.

Twister is a nineties disaster flick about a couple of storm-chasers who are trying to build a state of the art weather alert system by putting themselves in the path of violent tornadoes. While you’ll find some violence and strong language here and there, the movie is very fun to watch overall, and your kids will be taught everything there is to know about the dangers of tornadoes (read severe weather conditions).

The Blue Lagoon is a movie made in the eighties about two 7 year old cousins who survive a shipwreck and find themselves deserted on a beautiful island in the Pacific. The movie is centered initially on the basics of survival, but later on it evolves into a love story, as the marooned couple slowly discovers sex, love and loneliness in this incredibly beautiful tropical paradise.

Lost in the Barrens makes for another “lost in the Canadian wilderness” survival tale about a Cree Indian boy and a white teen working together in sweet harmony in order to get through alive.

Wall-E is one of Pixar’s best, a romantic adventure flick, filled with action and environmental subliminal messages, which makes it ideal for the young prepper. Your kids will learn the importance of recycling and scavenging in a fun way, i.e. knowing how to make the most out of your trash, survive loneliness and finding hope in a SHTF environment.

The Wave is a rare Norwegian disaster movie about an implausible SHTF scenario, i.e. a fjord collapses and creates a tsunami, with our heroes getting caught in the middle of it and trying to survive.

Flight of the Phoenix tells the gripping story of the survivors of a plane crash with zero chance of rescue, who work together as they’re trying to build a new plane in the Mongolian desert. The action takes place in a harsh (even brutal) environment, with scarce resources and it includes a self-defense scene, as our heroes are attacked by desert smugglers.

The main lesson to be learned from this movie is that strong and loyal people who are committed to working together for a common goal in a SHTF scenario will survive almost anything.

These movies are good at explaining that a major calamity might struck you when you least expect it but never giving up and always thinking positive is what matters in a SHTF situation. That’s the mindset that would help your kids survive, beside the skills that you’re teaching them!

I hope the article helped. If you have other ideas or recommendations, feel free to comment in the dedicated section below.

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

How To Build A Boomerang And Use It For Survival

Click here to view the original post.

When it comes to survival defense, which means self defense in a SHTF scenario, it would be best to have a firearm with you. That’s layer one of survival defense in my book. Guns are preppers’ best friends and they’ll never let you down.

However, sometimes one must improvise, and here alternative survival weapons come into play. When the unexpected happens, you’ll have to rely on more primitive methods to save your life, or to hunt or whatever.

Enter the boomerang, also known as the rabbit stick or the bunny stick. Would you know how to use it? Let’s see!

A Story of Many Continents

The boomerang is the Australian version of the Native American (let’s call it Indian for all intents and purposes) rabbit stick.

The thing is, almost all primitive cultures which relied upon hunting for survival invented something similar to the boomerang, i.e. a throwing stick used as an effective hunting tool via gradual improvements over time.

Both the Australian boomerang and the Indian rabbit-stick are basically the same type of weapon.

And to tell you a little known factoid, the real deal Aussie hunting boomerang does not fly in a circle when thrown. I mean, a proper boomerang does not return to its owner upon release, and there’s a simple explanation for this: a stick (as in a weapon) that flies in a circular trajectory when thrown would be almost impossible to hunt with, think about it.

The ballistics of such a gizmo would be almost impossible to master by a normal man, which doesn’t spend 10 hours a day practicing throwing a returning boomerang since he was a 5 year old bushman wannabe.

Don’t throw rocks at me, I am aware of the fact that returning boomerangs are all the rage for Indiana Jones aficionados and the like, and they do exist.

A returning boomerang can only be used in large-open spaces, like hunting in the desert (hunting what exactly in the desert?) or in meadows, basically in places where there’s no vegetation nor tall objects that may disrupt the boomerang’s flight path.

However, even on the ideal hunting ground, it’s incredibly hard to aim precisely at distance using a returning boomerang; I mean you’d have to be at least some upgraded version of Crocodile Dundee to do it. Maybe you are, I’m just saying.

Now, even if boomerangs were used by the indigenous people in Australia for millennia, similar primitive hunting tools were also discovered in Stone Age Europe. The most used version of the boomerang is the non-returning variety, which is basically a throwing stick,  yet more slimmer and aerodynamic.

The non returning boomerang slices through the air at amazing speeds due to its peculiar design: this bad boy has one arm longer than the other and is very aerodynamic.

You can use a non returning boomerang even for hunting large game, provided it hits the animal’s head or breaks its knee/leg or whatever. These boomerangs are great for killing/maiming a target, whether for hunting or self defense.

Video first seen on Throwsticks Channel.

Can You DIY a Boomerang?

When it comes to the DIY thing, to begin with, you’ll have to do a little scouting for that perfect piece of wood. Ideally, you’ll have to get your hands on a tree limb which is about 3 inches in diameter and also boasts a natural curve in it.

Hardwood is best for this kind of job and also look out for knots, they’re a no go. Your future boomerang should be as knot free as humanly possible (goes to balance).

After you have located the perfect limb for your DIY project, cut a 3 foot section of it, with the curved centered as closely as humanly possible. You’ll probably not use the whole 3 feet, but it’s nice to have a little extra wood to play with. In a perfect world, you’ll allow the limb to season in a dry, warm place for a few weeks.

Now, you’ll have to carve up your boomerang from the piece of wood and for the initial roughing up, an axe would be great. You’ll have to thin down the top and the bottom of the limb, looking for a thickness of about 1 inch.

Make sure the blade of the boomerang goes the full width of the limb. When the job is done, you should have something like a 1 inch thick by 3 inch wide board, featuring a curve in the middle.

Here comes the detailing work, i.e. take your survival knife and start adding the final touches to your boomerang.  One end of the boomerang/rabbit stick must be narrowed down/rounded off to make for the handle, whilst the blade should be 1 inch thick in the middle through its entire length, and tapered down making a rounded edge on both sides. If you leave the edges too thin, they’ll get dented/damaged when you hit rocks or trees with your boomerang.

Video first seen on Driftwood George.

And here’s a tutorial about making a rabbit stick for survival hunting.

Video first seen on OmegaGear.

Mind you, if you want to hunt using such a device, be prepared for long hours of practice. But in the end, this is what you’re actually doing with every skill you need for survival, don’t you?

Practice, practice and practice till you’re sure that you’re good enough to save you and your family, then you start practicing again.

I hope the article helped. If you have any ideas or comments, please feel free to comment in the dedicated section below.

How To Build A Boomerang And Use It For Survival

When it comes to survival defense, which means self defense in a SHTF scenario, it would be best to have a firearm with you. That’s layer one of survival defense in my book. Guns are preppers’ best friends and they’ll never let you down.

However, sometimes one must improvise, and here alternative survival weapons come into play. When the unexpected happens, you’ll have to rely on more primitive methods to save your life, or to hunt or whatever.

Enter the boomerang, also known as the rabbit stick or the bunny stick. Would you know how to use it? Let’s see!

A Story of Many Continents

The boomerang is the Australian version of the Native American (let’s call it Indian for all intents and purposes) rabbit stick.

The thing is, almost all primitive cultures which relied upon hunting for survival invented something similar to the boomerang, i.e. a throwing stick used as an effective hunting tool via gradual improvements over time.

Both the Australian boomerang and the Indian rabbit-stick are basically the same type of weapon.

And to tell you a little known factoid, the real deal Aussie hunting boomerang does not fly in a circle when thrown. I mean, a proper boomerang does not return to its owner upon release, and there’s a simple explanation for this: a stick (as in a weapon) that flies in a circular trajectory when thrown would be almost impossible to hunt with, think about it.

The ballistics of such a gizmo would be almost impossible to master by a normal man, which doesn’t spend 10 hours a day practicing throwing a returning boomerang since he was a 5 year old bushman wannabe.

Don’t throw rocks at me, I am aware of the fact that returning boomerangs are all the rage for Indiana Jones aficionados and the like, and they do exist.

A returning boomerang can only be used in large-open spaces, like hunting in the desert (hunting what exactly in the desert?) or in meadows, basically in places where there’s no vegetation nor tall objects that may disrupt the boomerang’s flight path.

However, even on the ideal hunting ground, it’s incredibly hard to aim precisely at distance using a returning boomerang; I mean you’d have to be at least some upgraded version of Crocodile Dundee to do it. Maybe you are, I’m just saying.

Now, even if boomerangs were used by the indigenous people in Australia for millennia, similar primitive hunting tools were also discovered in Stone Age Europe. The most used version of the boomerang is the non-returning variety, which is basically a throwing stick,  yet more slimmer and aerodynamic.

The non returning boomerang slices through the air at amazing speeds due to its peculiar design: this bad boy has one arm longer than the other and is very aerodynamic.

You can use a non returning boomerang even for hunting large game, provided it hits the animal’s head or breaks its knee/leg or whatever. These boomerangs are great for killing/maiming a target, whether for hunting or self defense.

Video first seen on Throwsticks Channel.

Can You DIY a Boomerang?

When it comes to the DIY thing, to begin with, you’ll have to do a little scouting for that perfect piece of wood. Ideally, you’ll have to get your hands on a tree limb which is about 3 inches in diameter and also boasts a natural curve in it.

Hardwood is best for this kind of job and also look out for knots, they’re a no go. Your future boomerang should be as knot free as humanly possible (goes to balance).

After you have located the perfect limb for your DIY project, cut a 3 foot section of it, with the curved centered as closely as humanly possible. You’ll probably not use the whole 3 feet, but it’s nice to have a little extra wood to play with. In a perfect world, you’ll allow the limb to season in a dry, warm place for a few weeks.

Now, you’ll have to carve up your boomerang from the piece of wood and for the initial roughing up, an axe would be great. You’ll have to thin down the top and the bottom of the limb, looking for a thickness of about 1 inch.

Make sure the blade of the boomerang goes the full width of the limb. When the job is done, you should have something like a 1 inch thick by 3 inch wide board, featuring a curve in the middle.

Here comes the detailing work, i.e. take your survival knife and start adding the final touches to your boomerang.  One end of the boomerang/rabbit stick must be narrowed down/rounded off to make for the handle, whilst the blade should be 1 inch thick in the middle through its entire length, and tapered down making a rounded edge on both sides. If you leave the edges too thin, they’ll get dented/damaged when you hit rocks or trees with your boomerang.

Video first seen on Driftwood George.

And here’s a tutorial about making a rabbit stick for survival hunting.

Video first seen on OmegaGear.

Mind you, if you want to hunt using such a device, be prepared for long hours of practice. But in the end, this is what you’re actually doing with every skill you need for survival, don’t you?

Practice, practice and practice till you’re sure that you’re good enough to save you and your family, then you start practicing again.

I hope the article helped. If you have any ideas or comments, please feel free to comment in the dedicated section below.

Survival Home Defense: How To Make A Flour Bomb

Click here to view the original post.

While making artisanal bombs at home may end up in a visit from your local FBI office, with agents Scully and Mulder asking you weird questions about your internet surfing habits, mastering the dark arts of home-made explosives might come pretty handy at some strange moment in one’s life; I mean, who knows what the future brings?

Life is stranger than fiction and maybe someday you’ll be required to blow stuff up for the resistance, or to plant some mines on your survival corn field, waiting for those pesky scavengers to trip on your traps and get lit up like on the 4th of July.

Joke aside, it’s pretty easy to make artisanal flour bombs for your home defense, provided you know your chemistry. Let’s see the magic of it!

If you’ve seen that awesome movie about anarchy as an ideology, you’re probably aware of the fact that if you know how to make soap at home, you’re a certified chemist. And to make soap, you must first render fat. The thing is, with enough soap, you can basically blow up just about anything.

Click here to get your guide to a layered survival defense!

If you have the recipe for  home-made soap, take a load of this: once the tallow hardens, you can skim off a layer of glycerin. If you add to that some nitric acid, you got, well, basically nitroglycerin, check out that bad boy. If you add some sodium nitrate and a pinch of sawdust, you’ll be as smart as Alfred Nobel. You know, the dude who invented dynamite.

But enough of this already.

How Dust Explosions Work

Today we’ll concentrate on more benign stuff, something called dust explosions.

If you are wondering what I am talking about, a dust explosion (the rapid combustion of particles which are suspended in the air) occurs when a dispersed powdered combustible material (flour, powdered sugar, , coal dust or whatever) is present in high enough concentration in an oxygen (or other oxidizing gaseous medium) rich environment.

Dust explosions happen due to the fact that compared to their mass, dusts have a huge surface area and burning only occurs at the surface of a liquid/solid, where the reaction with oxygen takes place, thus dust is way more flammable than bulk stuff.

Dust explosions are very dangerous, especially in industrial environments, as they spontaneously appear in grain elevators and coal mines (due to coal dust).

Pyrotechnicians, filmmakers and special-effect artists are relying on dust explosions on a regular basis, due to their spectacular appearance  and also the fact that dust explosions can be safely contained in a tightly controlled environment.

What you must know about dust explosions is that if they take place in a confined environment, they can cause massive damage and flying shrapnel due to the enormous overpressures that build up following the shockwave which occurs after the initial detonation. The shockwave will be produced anyway, both in open air or in a confined space.

How to Make a Flour Bomb

To create a dust explosion, you’ll require 4 things: a combustible dust, in our case flour and/or powdered sugar, a high enough concentration of the respective dust to be suspended in the air, an oxidant (in our case, the oxygen in the atmosphere) and finally, an ignition source.

The thing about flour is that it’s made up of starch mostly. Starch is a carbohydrate, which is a sort of sugar-molecule chained in a weird way (compared to regular sugar), and anyone who ever lit a marshmallow on fire is aware that sugar burns fairly easy. And obviously, the same principle applies to flour.

To begin with, here’s a flour and powdered sugar experiment, which results in cool outdoor explosions. These guys got their idea about experimenting with home-made explosives after hearing a story about a sugar factory which blew its roof off after a guy lit his cigarette inside.

There were so much sugar particles floating around in the air, that a flame occurred (via the cigarette), which caused a concussion that lifted the roof up and blew the windows out. So, keep in mind, these things (dust explosions) are very dangerous in confined spaces, i.e. always experiment with dust explosions outdoors.

For our first DIY dust-explosion project, you’ll require all purpose flour, powdered sugar, a flare and tannerite. Oh, and a 12 gauge shotgun (38 inch barrel), or at least that’s what these guys use. The end result is spectacular, but I won’t spoil it for you, just check out the video.

Video first seen on Iraqveteran8888.

 

The second experiment is more dangerous as it’s performed inside a home-made (improvised) chemistry lab (or so it appears).

This is basically a flour bomb demonstration, involving a paint can as a closed receptacle (it has the lid on, which makes for a confined space dust explosion), flour (the inflammable stuff for the dust explosion to occur), and a lit candle. Oh, and a pair of safety goggles.

The DIY job is as simple as it gets: the tin can must come with a relatively tight lid, and a hole must be drilled at the lowest point in the can’s side wall, large enough to fit a straw. In the next step, put a handful of flour inside the can and then place the lit candle inside.

Now it’s time to put your safety goggles on. Insert the straw in the can, close the lid and blow through the straw at the base of the can, so the flour stirs up inside, hopefully without extinguishing the candle.

Video first seen on kentchemistry.com.

This experiment is very neat for chemistry demonstrations regarding surface area reaction rates, but if you’re not paying attention and you’re a total amateur, you may end up with your ceiling requiring some repairs. Oh, and a very cool bang.

Unlike the guy in our experiment, don’t forget to put the goggles on, for safety reasons. Truth be told, these types of experiments should never be performed inside your house, as I already told you. Always play with fire outdoors, away from anything flammable.

Playing with chemicals is pretty dangerous stuff, but also massive fun if done nice and proper. Take care not to blow yourself up while preparing your home defense with these bombs!

I hope the article was as fun for you to read as it was for me to write. Feel free to comment if you have other ideas in the dedicated section below!

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitroglycerin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tannerite

Surviving In the Wild: How To Balance Your Eating

Click here to view the original post.

Let’s begin today’s article with the sad story of Christopher McCandless, the quintessential hipster whose decomposed body was found by moose hunters 25 years ago on September 6, 1992 in the close vicinity of Denali National Park.

This guy who became famous after a movie was made based on his diary has died of starvation inside a rusty bus that was used as an improvised shelter (prior to him) by dog mushers, trappers, and various other outdoors enthusiasts.

A note was found which reads:

“I NEED YOUR HELP. I AM INJURED, NEAR DEATH,  AND TOO WEAK TO HIKE OUT OF HERE. I AM ALL ALONE, THIS IS NO JOKE. IN THE NAME OF GOD, PLEASE REMAIN TO SAVE ME. I AM OUT COLLECTING BERRIES CLOSE BY AND SHALL RETURN THIS EVENING. THANK YOU,”
CHRIS McCANDLESS

Obviously, eating a diet based on berries and unicorn tears in an outdoors survival scenario is not the best idea in the world, as Christopher McCandless discovered the hard way. This guy died a horrible death by starvation, because of his naive and idealistic view of the world.

The thing is, Christopher McCandless died of starvation in an area that was bursting with wildlife, but due to a lack of skills and imagination, he chose to try to live (if you can call it living) on an ascetic diet.

An autopsy determined that at the time of his death, he weighed a mere 67 pounds and he had almost zero body fat. It has been speculated that he might have poisoned himself by eating wild potato seeds.

However, the lesson to be taken home is that one can’t rely on weeds and seeds for survival in an outdoors SHTF situation.

 

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

 

I mean, okay, eating the inner tree bark, pine cone nuts, acorns, pine needles, leaves, weeds, and other plant-based foods may keep you alive for a while, but in the long run, you’ll get exhausted and maybe even poisoned if you don’t know what you’re eating. Our bodies are not designed to function properly with that stuff (we can’t digest cellulose, for example).

Not to mention that staying healthy and powerful on a raw-vegan elf/squirrel-based diet is nearly impossible because your body needs more protein than you can gather from pine nuts, if for no other reason than you burn more energy extracting them than you gain from eating them.

Even if, theoretically speaking, most people can live for weeks in a row without food, you’ll not be able to do anything of value while starving. And most people are totally clueless when it comes to what to eat when there’s no McDonalds nor a 7-Eleven around. In a survival situation, you’ll require all of your strength and stamina to stay alive. As a friend of mine nicely put it, can you fight a bear while on a grass diet? Forget about it, right?

When it comes to survival eating, one must pay attention to details, especially if you’re an outdoor enthusiast. Don’t get me wrong; I am not downplaying the importance of plants and veggies, but eating grass and berries is not enough.

A true survivalist should master the skill of correctly identifying edible plants in the wilderness. In a survival situation, you don’t want to take any chances such as eating a mushroom or a plant that may poison you.

What to Eat Then?

With only a few exceptions, one may eat anything that swims, flies, walks or crawls the Earth. People confronted with the dire straits of starvation have resorted even to cannibalism, not to mention eating leaves and bugs for nourishment. A survivor must go past his or her personal bias and eat what is available to stay alive.

Plants

When it comes to eating wild plants and fruit, the first lesson to absorb is how to stay away from poisonous stuff. The first rule of wilderness survival eating is to stay away from what you don’t know. If there’s any doubt, don’t eat it. If you’re not the “botanical dude/dudette” type (you don’t have a mental list of wild edibles), the general rule of thumb is to stay away from plants with:

  • fine hair
  • spines
  • milky sap
  • thorns
  • seeds inside pods
  • beans and bulbs with a bitter/soapy taste (read alkaloids)
  • grain heads with purple, pink or black spurs
  • plants with 3-leaved pattern.

Obviously, you can learn a lot about edible plants, but you’ll have to go study the phenomenon thoroughly. And speaking of edible plants, there is one plant that may keep you alive indefinitely, and I am talking about cattails.

Check out this article for further reference. Cattails are an awesome survival food and they’re easy to find, as they grow spontaneously near ponds, lakes and rivers.

Bugs

Though it’s off-putting to think about, when discussing a balanced survival diet, insects are an excellent source of protein and  they also contain some of the most important nutrients required by your body, (besides protein): fat and minerals.

Edible bugs are an awesome survival food, provided you can get past your preconceptions. Regarding commonly found edible insects in North America, here are a few:

  • grasshoppers
  • crickets
  • locusts
  • caterpillars (including when in larvae stage/moth)
  • ants
  • June bugs
  • termites
  • mealworms
  • centipedes

Stay away from brightly colored insects, as they may be poisonous. Generally speaking, insects will provide you with 65% to 80% protein. Compare that to beef’s puny 20% protein, and you’ll see why insects are recommended by many survivalists. Insects can be consumed raw or in a stew. Or, you can mix them with edible plants.

Other Creatures

However, when it comes to putting meat on the table, the name of the game is fishing, trapping, and of course hunting.  Having the skills to set traps, snares, and nets will keep you alive and kicking for a long time in any survival scenario imaginable.

It’s important to realize one simple thing: if you don’t have the tools for hunting large game, you should focus on smaller animals. They’re easier to catch and also they’re abundant. And speaking of small game, fish is an excellent source of fat and protein, and basically all North American fish are edible.

The same goes for amphibians (read frogs, check out this piece) and most of the reptiles. You can DIY nets, fishhooks, and traps for catching fish in a survival scenario.

Field-expedient methods include using wire, needles, and pins (any piece of metal actually) for making fishhooks. Alternatively, you may use coconut shell, bone, plant-thorns or seashells. Another method for catching fish is to use fish traps and gill nets. Finally, there’s spearfishing, but you would require Rambo-like skills for that.

Next, all species of birds are edible (including bird eggs), but if you plan to capture birds, you’ll have to master the art of trapping, snaring, or laying bird traps. In a survival scenario, trapping is the most feasible method to maintain a steady supply of fish and other fresh meat on the table, provided you know the rules of engagement, meaning you are educated on the lifestyles and habits of the animals you’re hunting.

Snares, pitfalls, and deadfalls are among the best known and easiest to improvise traps. Check out this article for further reference.

Another method for hunting small game would be to use a slingshot or a bow and arrow, but you’d require advanced skills in order to use them in a comprehensive way, i.e. you’ll have to practice long and hard with a bow and arrow or slingshot before being able to put meat on the table.

Obviously, if you’d ask me, I’d never go out in the middle of nowhere without my .22 rifle and copious amounts of ammo.

Now, it’s your turn to share your survival food tips with others in the dedicated comment-section below.

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

Best Bushcraft Tips To Learn And Share For Survival

Click here to view the original post.

Bushcraft survival tips are a very hot topic in the prepper community, especially considering that old saying about “the more skills one has, the less gear one needs.” This “omnia mea mecum porto” (a Latin proverb meaning “all that’s mine I carry with me”) mindset is a prepper’s greatest asset, and I really did not mean it to rhyme.

To begin with, one may ask what on Earth is bushcraft?

In layman’s terms, bushcraft is what kept our ancestors alive and kicking for tens of thousands of years, well before the invention of agriculture, cozy cities, and our modern-day conveniences. Bushcraft is the ancient art of survival in the wilderness, using only the (sometimes scarce) resources provided by “the great outdoors.”

Keep reading to get the essentials!

Bushcraft is basically a fancy Aussie word for wilderness survival and it combines the know-how with regard to DYI-ing basic tools with how to use animals and plants at your disposal for outdoor survival in a SHTF scenario.

 

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

 

For true-blue preppers, learning bushcraft skills will increase your survival chances exponentially in a nasty environment/situation, via  increasing your ability to adapt to new challenges and unforeseen situations.

You Can’t Skips the Basics

The more self-sufficient and confident one is, the better. The quintessential bushcraft skills to master include hunting/trapping game, food foraging, shelter building, water gathering/purification, and fire making.

Basically, everything that revolves around food-water-shelter, the holy trinity of survival, is an essential skill to master for a survivalist.

Let’s make a basic list, so you could count them better!

  • When it comes to living off the land, as in food foraging, one must have in-depth knowledge of local flora, which is essential when it comes to efficiently harvesting edibles whilst at the same time avoiding toxic plants.
  • Camp cooking is also a must-learn skill for outdoor enthusiasts. And speaking of flora, remember that cattails are edible and easy to find in shallow waters along the shore. Read my article about cattails for further reference.
  • Trapping and hunting/stalking game is all about knowing how to build snares, how to use lures, how to fish (always remember to pack fishing gear in your survival kit), how to read animal signs while hiding your own (human) scent, making cordage, tying knots, cleaning/dressing/cooking game in the field, and the whole nine yards.
  • A solid survivalist must be able to gather and purify water by using an improvised water filter, and also know how to make a fire for boiling/purifying water, and so forth and so on.
  • Shelter building skills must include knowledge of how to make cordage, how to tie a good knot, how to harvest building materials (branches, fallen trees), how to use a knife for batoning, how to waterproof/make natural insulation for your shelter, etc.
  • Knowing how to start a fire in the wild using readily available materials is a must-learn art, including gathering tinder, collecting wood, building a fire pit, building a fire plough/a bow drill, or other device, and you should also know the different types of fires and their best uses in a particular situation.

If you’re just starting out in the fine art of bushcrafting, you should focus on basic survival skills, such as batoning wood, making simple tools, knot-tying techniques, basic fire starting, and building basic camp structures, including the tripod.

If you’ve already acquired basic bushcraft skills, you should concentrate on shelter building, foraging for food, building a fire without lighters/matches, basic trapping and making snares, and water purification.

For advanced bushcrafters (I am not sure that word really exists), you can engage in complex projects, such as land navigation (celestial navigation for example), making cordage and rope using plant fibers or animal tendons, tracking, and advanced structure building.

Now, let’s talk about some tips and tricks, because after all, that’s what today’s article is all about.

Tell Someone That You’re Leaving

To begin with, remember that communication is key. Before going out on a trip, tell someone about your plan, including where you’ll be going, for how long, and also share if you have a specific route set up (it would help with tracking you down in a SHTF scenario).

Don’t Lose Your Temper

Next, remember to keep your composure in any situation. Always remain calm, cool, and collected, think positive, and hope for the best while preparing for the worst. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but optimism goes a long way, even in a SHTF scenario. No matter how alone and scared you may feel, everything starts with your attitude in a survival situation.

If something doesn’t work as it should – let’s say starting a fire in the wilderness, for example – keep calm, don’t rush, and don’t panic. Just stop, relax, breathe in-out and try something else.

Proper Tools

Remember that at its most basic level, wilderness survival, aka bushcraft, is surviving out there in the woods with nothing more than an edged tool (say, a knife) and the clothes on your back.

Which takes us to the next tip: a blade (read survival knife) is one of the most important tools to have in a survival situation.

A light and sturdy blade is as important to the bushcrafter as the katana is for the samurai. And yes, I am  talking about a high-quality, full-tang blade, which may be used for a multitude of purposes, ranging from self-defense to digging a shelter.

Another must-have and highly versatile bushcraft tool is a hatchet or a tomahawk. Given its design, a hatchet is perfect for heavy-duty tasks such as chopping wood, splitting logs, hammering (posts or stakes), butchering large game, and so on and so forth. If two items are too much for your “money”, you can go for the ultimate bushcraft tool: the machete.

A machete can be described as the best of both worlds, being a hybrid of sorts between a hatchet and a knife. And yes, a high-quality solid machete can be used for digging, chopping wood, clearing bush, batoning, and more.

However, the best bushcraft tool is the one you have on your person, so don’t complicate things too much, alright?

Considering the fact that death from exposure is a regular occurrence when it comes to outdoor survival scenarios, you must always pack some type of shelter in your EDC survival kit (a poncho, a $1 tarp, etc.), together with a couple of large, contractor-sized garbage bags.

When filled with leaves, the garbage bags will make for awesome insulating pads on which you can sleep or sit.

Video first seen on KGB Survivalist.

You should  carry a good-quality fire starter with you at all times, tied and braided to your knife lanyard, and I am talking about waxed jute twine. Always remember to pack a couple of protein bars in your survival kit; they’re incredibly nutritious and lightweight. Also, they don’t spoil easily.

Learning basic body insulation methods may be a life saver in many survival scenarios. Think about stuffing leaves, newspaper, or dry grass under your clothes, so you’ll be retaining body heat in harsh weather conditions.

If you wrap plastic bags (remember those garbage bags?) around the leaves on a tree, the sun will evaporate the water from the inside of the leaves, which will then be forced to condensate on the inside of the plastic bag (read trapped inside).

The same trick can be used to extract water from plants.

Now that you know these survival tricks, would you make it on your own if stranded deep in the wild?

Now, it’s your turn. What are your favorite survival tips you’d like to share with us?

Feel free to comment below.

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

7+1 Survival Video Games To Play For Training Your Skills

Click here to view the original post.

What do video games and survival have in common? The simple answer is: not much.

However, considering the fact that we’re in 2017 A.D. and basically living inside of the (digital) matrix, maybe we should consider that it’s entirely possible for you to play video games, and at the same time, hone your survival skills.

That’s an interesting concept, isn’t it?

I don’t pretend to have a definitive answer to the fundamental issue of whether it will work for you. However, since prepping and survival are now mainstream things, as opposed to let’s say ten years ago, I’ve noticed an interesting trend: survival-based video games are actually becoming popular with the new generation.

I’m not a hard-core gamer (not a gamer at all, to be perfectly honest), but I’ve played my share of video games back in the day and this new idea has made me curious.

Another thing that video games and prepping have in common is that survival has been an intrinsic part of every gamer’s DNA since the days of old-school Atari.

The point of Frogger was to get across the road without dying. Basically, in almost any video game, if you’re still alive at the end, you’ve won. There are a few exceptions to that rule, but survival and video games are almost synonymous.

However, are there lessons to be learned from playing video games? Survival lessons that is?

 

The SEAL Survival Guide to Staying Alive in the War Zone Called “New America”

 

Well, the short answer is yes, there are things to be learned about survival/prepping even if you’re a pro-gamer who doesn’t get out much from his mother’s basement.

I’m kidding a little bit there, but there are a lot of games which make me remember my first survival book: Robinson Crusoe. Since survival revolves around the holy trinity of food, water, and shelter, Robinson Crusoe can be described as the quintessential survival book, as it makes for a fascinating journey inside the mind of a guy stranded on a remote island.

Survival in such conditions requires exploring, living off the land, scavenging for resources, hunting, fighting the elements, huddling around a fire, and so forth and so on. And if you think about it, all these trials would make for the perfect premise for a (survival) game.

Here are 7+1 games that I’ve picked for you and suggest you should try.

Minecraft

To begin with, I must confess that I firmly believe Minecraft to be the quintessential survival game. Yes, I am aware of the fact there are people in this world who have not (yet) enjoyed this thing of beauty, but that can be remedied easily, especially for preppers and survivalists. The thing is, your only excuse for not playing Minecraft is the fact you did not know it’s a survival game.

Minecraft can be best described as a castaway game which includes all the perks of Robinson Crusoe (the book) and incorporates all the cool elements required from a survival game. Minecraft is the legend of the 21st century, a phenomenon into itself, and before it got famous, it was, first and foremost, the first true-blue survival game.

Playing Minecraft will teach you the importance of building a home/shelter for yourself if stranded in the wild, of gathering resources, and of knowing how to defend yourself (well, against zombies in the game, but that can be extrapolated to anything else less other-worldly). Minecraft was also the first video game that started the modern trend of incorporating survival elements into basically anything.

Video first seen on TeamMojang.

Truth be told, Minecraft can be anything you like, but if you’re a prepper, you’ll definitely enjoy venturing into the wilderness trying to conquer the elements, hiding in the night,  and fighting for survival tooth and nail. In my humble opinion, it remains one of the best games to date in the survival genre.

Miasmata

Another must-try survival video game is Miasmata, a game that will teach you a little bit about homeopathic/traditional medicine.

The thing is, in Miasmata you’ll find yourself alone on an island whose population was affected by a deadly disease/plague, and of course, you’ll have to cure the disease via research. The trick is, the island is bursting with medicinal plants and your job is to find that particular species that will cure the disease.

The atmosphere is very jungle-like and playing Miasmata will make you a wannabe botanist if you’re not already one. Learning holistic medicine is a very important survival skill, at least in my opinion, and Miasmata would make for a great game to play with your kids.

Video first seen on GOG.com.

Rust

Rust is another hugely popular survival game. The game is cruel, harsh, and even bullish, but it will teach you a little bit about outdoor survival basics.

The game begins with your spawning into the Rust-World. This is a multiplayer game unlike Minecraft and Miasmata, both of which can also be played in single-player mode.

In the beginning, you have basically zero tools on your person (you’re a naked caveman), besides a rock. The game will teach you the importance of building a shelter and quickly gathering resources in a SHTF scenario (outdoors), along with other survival essentials like, you know, staying alive.

Video first seen on Surge.

Don’t Starve

If you want to learn about the importance of finding food in a survival situation, I must recommend the Don’t Starve video game. I just love it when a game’s title matches its game-play, and Don’t Starve is the perfect example of that philosophy.

The whole experience in Don’t Starve revolves around survival essentials such as finding food/resources for staying alive in the wilderness for as long as possible, but the game also captures one of mankind’s primal terrors, the fear of the dark, which I find to be a quintessential component of a survival video game.

Video first seen on Workard.

The Flame in the Flood

Another cool survival-based video game is The Flame in the Flood, provided you don’t have a problem with being a girl.

The main character in this game is a little girl named Scout who travels/stumbles upon the collapsed society of the United States together with her dog-companion Aesop. They’re trying to stay alive, obviously.

When playing The Flame in the Flood, you’ll learn basic survival skills necessary while traveling mysterious territories, i.e. rafting, gathering resources off the land, fending off wild creatures, how to avoid dying from exposure, and how to seek shelter.

Video first seen on GameSpot.

The Long Dark

If you’re into hunting/tracking/trapping/survival in the wintery wilds and the whole nine yards, in other words, if you’re a survival wilderness freak, you really should check out The Long Dark. While playing this baby, you’ll learn how to keep your calorie intake on the up and up in a wilderness survival scenario.

The game is basically a wilderness simulator in a post-apocalyptic world and it will teach you about the importance of having hunter-gatherer skills, with a focus on the former. Hunting is the name of the game in The Long Dark, together with avoiding being hunted by bigger predators than you.

Video first seen on Eurogamer.

Metal Gear Solid 3

Metal Gear Solid 3 is a good survival game onto itself, as it teaches you how to catch and eat wild animals and how to patch cuts and heal broken bones. For tricks to picking up those skills, it’s almost perfect.

Video first seen on José Mellinas.

DayZ

Last but not least, let me tell you about DayZ. The early version of the game’s best features were its gritty realism and realistic shooting mechanics as the hero is thrown in a post-apocalyptic world packed with aggressive zombies.

Video seen on Olga Okuneva.

Playing DayZ you’ll understand the importance of gathering basic essentials, including clean water and non-rotten/spoiled food, together with warding off diseases like hepatitis, cholera and dysentery.

There’s a big chance your character will get hurt during the game, but you’ll see that recovering from illnesses and injuries such as a gunshot wound is not that simple; i.e. you’ll have to bandage up the wound if you don’t pass out in the first place and so forth and so on.

 

 

These are what I choose, a selection that it’s far from being perfect or complete. Now, it’s your turn. What are your favorite survival games you’d like to share with us?

Feel free to comment in the dedicated section below. And don’t forget: play hard, go pro!

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

Size Matters? How To Choose Your Bushcraft Tools Wisely

Click here to view the original post.

You know the old saying that bigger is better, right? Well when it comes to bushcraft tools, one may wonder how to choose wisely the right tool for the job. Since the name of the game is wilderness survival, the perfect multi-purpose tool for the job is the proverbial blade also known as the survival knife.

And if you’re wondering why I am talking about knives when we’re supposed to be discussing bushcraft tools, a high quality, solid knife is the perfect bushcraft tool, at least in my opinion. Depending on its size and shape, a bushcraft/survival knife can be described as the quintessential multi-purpose tool.

For tens of thousands of years, the cutting blade was a man’s best friend in the wilderness, as it was an indispensable tool in basically any survival scenario. The bushcraft knife will serve you well when it comes to meeting basic survival needs, also known as the holy trinity: water, food, and shelter.

The 3-second Survival Hack That Gives You Superhuman Powers 

On top of that, a bushcraft knife will play a big part in making a fire. If we’re talking about a jack of all trades, a full tang-high quality blade is a must have bushcraft tool in any scenario imaginable. Which brings us to today’s topic, because size matters: how much blade (as in length) is enough?

How much blade do you need?

Are you playing in the Crocodile Dundee category or do you just want the perfect all-arounder to fulfill your specific needs?

Video first seen on Dave Hughes.

Well, this is an almost philosophical question because everything depends on personal preferences.

However, a proper bushcraft knife must help you survive, and for that to happen, it must be able to handle a variety of functions, including self-defense, digging (very important when building a shelter), slicing, cutting, food-prep, first aid (as a tool of sorts), hunting weapon, fire making, prying tool, hammering … you get the idea, right?

Why Bigger Is Not Necessarily Better

When choosing the perfect bushcraft tool, whether it’s a knife or anything else, you must keep in mind that less is typically more, as function always trumps styling, regardless of what you’ve seen on the lobotomy box (TV).

Which brings us to our initial problem: size matters, indeed, but bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to choosing the perfect bushcraft tool. If a blade is way too big, you won’t be able to use it for detailed tasks such as carving precision gear (think snare sets) or dressing small game.

However, there’s a flipside to that coin: a small blade can’t be used for heavy-duty tasks or rugged jobs like chopping and batoning. A bigger blade would come handy when splitting wood or cutting trees, provided you don’t have anything available but your bushcraft knife.

And there’s always the issue with the ratio between the blade’s thickness and its length. The thing is, a longer blade will provide you with more leverage for heavy-duty tasks.

There are disadvantages too; for example, as the leverage increases, so do the odds of breaking the blade. A long and thin blade can be compared to a kitchen knife, while a shorter and thicker blade is more like a chisel. Do you see where this is going?

A bushcraft knife should be thicker and probably shorter than a regular knife if you’re looking for sturdiness and reliability.

After using a number of survival knives, I think the ideal size for a bushcraft knife is about 10 inches, and I am talking about overall length, which puts the blade length at about 5 inches, give or take, depending on the design.

Obviously, a hardcore bushcraft knife must be a full tang-fixed blade – forget about folders as they’re not as reliable/durable as fixed blades.

A 4-5-inch blade, provided it’s made of high quality steel, can be used for basically any task imaginable, making for the ideal combo of portability and efficiency. And speaking of practicality, a 5-inch blade knife is very comfy to carry around at all times.

The thing is, the best knife/bushcraft tool in the world would not help you out a bit if it sits cozy in your closet or in your gear bag. What you have on your person when SHTF is what makes a difference in a survival situation, right?

Big knives like machetes or 10-12-inch long bowie knives are pretty cool looking and definitely usable in a survival scenario, but they’re not the definition of practicality. A large blade can be really useful when it comes to chopping wood, yet it would never match an axe/hatchet in this department and it would be completely useless at finer tasks.

And if you think you can’t fell trees with a 5-incher, think again; everything’s about technique.

Video first seen on IA Woodsman.

However, if you’re looking into serious woodwork, you should consider carrying a hatchet together with your bushcraft knife. A medium-sized, 5-inch blade together with a hatchet would make for the perfect bushcraft survival combo.

Carrying a large knife only (a 12-incher for example, or a machete) would fill an intermediate role but it would not excel at either end compared to a a 5-incher/hatchet combo.

So, now that we’ve been through all the reasons, hopefully you can see why I believe that a 5-inch blade would make for the best bushcraft tool.

It’s fairly easy to carry around and it can be used for a multitude of purposes, i.e. to cut branches for improvising a shelter, to prepare firewood, to clean small game/fish, and it’s also more likely that you’ll have it on your person 24/7, whereas a 12-inch bowie knife or machete is more likely to sit at home on a shelf or stuffed in your bug-out bag somewhere.

When all is said and done, a smaller knife would serve you best as a bushcraft tool. You can go a little bigger, but I’d recommend keeping it under 7 inches, with the ideal size being between 4 and 5 inches.

If you take a look at what bushcraft experts are carrying, you’d see that Ray Mears, Mors Kochanski, Les Stroud, and Cody Lundin are all using bushcraft knives of roughly the same size: 4-5 inch blades.

And forget about the appeal-to-authority fallacy: just try it for yourself, and bottom line, choose wisely and don’t skimp on quality when it comes to survival gear! Your survival might depend on this!

I hope the article helped. If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to comment in the dedicated section below.

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

Size Matters? How To Choose Your Bushcraft Tools Wisely

You know the old saying that bigger is better, right? Well when it comes to bushcraft tools, one may wonder how to choose wisely the right tool for the job. Since the name of the game is wilderness survival, the perfect multi-purpose tool for the job is the proverbial blade also known as the survival knife.

And if you’re wondering why I am talking about knives when we’re supposed to be discussing bushcraft tools, a high quality, solid knife is the perfect bushcraft tool, at least in my opinion. Depending on its size and shape, a bushcraft/survival knife can be described as the quintessential multi-purpose tool.

For tens of thousands of years, the cutting blade was a man’s best friend in the wilderness, as it was an indispensable tool in basically any survival scenario. The bushcraft knife will serve you well when it comes to meeting basic survival needs, also known as the holy trinity: water, food, and shelter.

The 3-second Survival Hack That Gives You Superhuman Powers 

On top of that, a bushcraft knife will play a big part in making a fire. If we’re talking about a jack of all trades, a full tang-high quality blade is a must have bushcraft tool in any scenario imaginable. Which brings us to today’s topic, because size matters: how much blade (as in length) is enough?

How much blade do you need?

Are you playing in the Crocodile Dundee category or do you just want the perfect all-arounder to fulfill your specific needs?

Video first seen on Dave Hughes.

Well, this is an almost philosophical question because everything depends on personal preferences.

However, a proper bushcraft knife must help you survive, and for that to happen, it must be able to handle a variety of functions, including self-defense, digging (very important when building a shelter), slicing, cutting, food-prep, first aid (as a tool of sorts), hunting weapon, fire making, prying tool, hammering … you get the idea, right?

Why Bigger Is Not Necessarily Better

When choosing the perfect bushcraft tool, whether it’s a knife or anything else, you must keep in mind that less is typically more, as function always trumps styling, regardless of what you’ve seen on the lobotomy box (TV).

Which brings us to our initial problem: size matters, indeed, but bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to choosing the perfect bushcraft tool. If a blade is way too big, you won’t be able to use it for detailed tasks such as carving precision gear (think snare sets) or dressing small game.

However, there’s a flipside to that coin: a small blade can’t be used for heavy-duty tasks or rugged jobs like chopping and batoning. A bigger blade would come handy when splitting wood or cutting trees, provided you don’t have anything available but your bushcraft knife.

And there’s always the issue with the ratio between the blade’s thickness and its length. The thing is, a longer blade will provide you with more leverage for heavy-duty tasks.

There are disadvantages too; for example, as the leverage increases, so do the odds of breaking the blade. A long and thin blade can be compared to a kitchen knife, while a shorter and thicker blade is more like a chisel. Do you see where this is going?

A bushcraft knife should be thicker and probably shorter than a regular knife if you’re looking for sturdiness and reliability.

After using a number of survival knives, I think the ideal size for a bushcraft knife is about 10 inches, and I am talking about overall length, which puts the blade length at about 5 inches, give or take, depending on the design.

Obviously, a hardcore bushcraft knife must be a full tang-fixed blade – forget about folders as they’re not as reliable/durable as fixed blades.

A 4-5-inch blade, provided it’s made of high quality steel, can be used for basically any task imaginable, making for the ideal combo of portability and efficiency. And speaking of practicality, a 5-inch blade knife is very comfy to carry around at all times.

The thing is, the best knife/bushcraft tool in the world would not help you out a bit if it sits cozy in your closet or in your gear bag. What you have on your person when SHTF is what makes a difference in a survival situation, right?

Big knives like machetes or 10-12-inch long bowie knives are pretty cool looking and definitely usable in a survival scenario, but they’re not the definition of practicality. A large blade can be really useful when it comes to chopping wood, yet it would never match an axe/hatchet in this department and it would be completely useless at finer tasks.

And if you think you can’t fell trees with a 5-incher, think again; everything’s about technique.

Video first seen on IA Woodsman.

However, if you’re looking into serious woodwork, you should consider carrying a hatchet together with your bushcraft knife. A medium-sized, 5-inch blade together with a hatchet would make for the perfect bushcraft survival combo.

Carrying a large knife only (a 12-incher for example, or a machete) would fill an intermediate role but it would not excel at either end compared to a a 5-incher/hatchet combo.

So, now that we’ve been through all the reasons, hopefully you can see why I believe that a 5-inch blade would make for the best bushcraft tool.

It’s fairly easy to carry around and it can be used for a multitude of purposes, i.e. to cut branches for improvising a shelter, to prepare firewood, to clean small game/fish, and it’s also more likely that you’ll have it on your person 24/7, whereas a 12-inch bowie knife or machete is more likely to sit at home on a shelf or stuffed in your bug-out bag somewhere.

When all is said and done, a smaller knife would serve you best as a bushcraft tool. You can go a little bigger, but I’d recommend keeping it under 7 inches, with the ideal size being between 4 and 5 inches.

If you take a look at what bushcraft experts are carrying, you’d see that Ray Mears, Mors Kochanski, Les Stroud, and Cody Lundin are all using bushcraft knives of roughly the same size: 4-5 inch blades.

And forget about the appeal-to-authority fallacy: just try it for yourself, and bottom line, choose wisely and don’t skimp on quality when it comes to survival gear! Your survival might depend on this!

I hope the article helped. If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to comment in the dedicated section below.

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

This Is How Summer Can Kill You

Click here to view the original post.

With summer comes great joy, but great dangers also lurk around almost every corner. Okay, the situation may not be as dramatic as I describe it, but the thing is, summer’s heat waves do present a clear and present danger to one’s health, especially in a survival situation.

The thing with summer is that almost all of us are gearing up for going out and experiencing epic adventures. Summer is vacation season and the best time of the year for businesses such as water parks, hot air balloon rides, bungee jumping resorts, para-sailing docks, and so on and so forth.

You see where this is going, right? Keep reading to find out!

Well, while you’re standing in line at any of these fine establishments, the thought that goes through your mind is probably, “This is how I’m going to die?”

Truth be told, this pessimistic state of mind is the logical consequence of years of horror stories pushed by the mainstream media, depicting terrifying accidents and misfortunes that people suffered during their summer holiday.

People died in all sorts of gruesome circumstances while having the time of their lives, i.e. when their hot-air balloon drifted into high-power lines, their parachute failed or their boat flipped at high speeds or on rushing rivers. Folks died or lost limbs while enjoying the ultimate ride at amusement parks or when hiking without proper training/guidance etc.

The nightmarish stories of good times gone bad go on and on.

And then there’s always death from exposure. To give you a grim statistic, heat exposure kills thirty outdoor workers on average on a yearly basis.

What we’re about talking here are agricultural, roofing, construction and landscaping workers; these folks are particularly at risk, especially during heat waves which promote heat-related deaths and illnesses such as heat stroke and heart attacks.

How will you survive when there is no doctor around? 

Keep in mind that the elderly are particularly affected by heat waves and in some geographical locations (like Arizona), air conditioning is not a luxury, but a necessity.

#1 Killer in the Summer Is…

So, let’s begin with the biggest killer during the summer season, which is heat, obviously.

Prolonged exposure to heat – especially humid heat – would have immediate effects on one’s health and state of mind alike. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are the most common issues associated with scorching heat, but sometimes the effects of prolonged exposure to excessive heat may take odd forms.

The most important thing one must realize during the summer is that dehydration is a killer. To stay properly hydrated, you should drink at least 2 liters of water per day (or approximately half a gallon), but that’s an average figure and it depends upon your age, gender, physical condition, and circumstances.

For example, you’ll require way more than 2 liters of water per day if you’re hiking in scorching heat or if you’re working out, rather than staying indoors in a house without air conditioning etc. That’s common sense, though.

If you don’t drink enough water to replace the loss of fluids which occurs via sweating, you’ll put your body in a state of emergency, as your body is losing salt and water and not getting enough electrolytes.

Salt, magnesium, and potassium imbalances caused by dehydration may cause cramps, cardiac arrhythmia, dizziness, and confusion – basically your brain doesn’t work right.

For people who aren’t used to heat, there’s also always the risk of heat edema and, worst case scenario, a fatal heat stroke when your body gives up and stops sweating. This occurs when you’re exposed to extreme heat for long periods of time and is called anhidrosis.

However, the most common problem that occurs during a summer heat wave is heat exhaustion.

Heat exhaustion is a consequence of one’s body losing significant amounts of salt and water; sans electrolytes, the body can’t cope with heat anymore. Salt and potassium are the two primary minerals that control your blood pressure and when you sweat, they’re two of the first that you lose.

Obviously, heat exhaustion and all heat related ailments are particularly dangerous in a survival situation, i.e. when you’re outdoors hiking, climbing, or whatever.

Heat exhaustion’s first symptom is when the core temperature rising above 98.6, your normal body temperature, resulting in intense thirst, heavy sweating, dizziness, and an overwhelming feel of fatigue. Your body is literally starting to cook.

The first thing that you need to do is get out of the heat if possible and hydrate, obviously. Avoid strenuous activities during the day in open sunny spots, especially if there’s a heat-wave warning.

Now, if heat exhaustion sets in, you must find a cool, shaded location and remove the victim’s clothes, including (especially) the shoes and socks then, apply wet clothes to the victim’s  face, head, neck, and if possible, their feet.

Spray with cool water if possible. Encourage the victim to drink as much water as possible. Sport drinks (if available) are great, as they contain minerals and vitamins (the famous electrolytes included) together with sugar, which gives the body a boost but push water, too.

Try to get medical aid as soon as possible, especially if you spot the early signs of a heat stroke (way worse than heat exhaustion), which include:

  • profuse sweating or hot,
  • dry skin,
  • a core temperature of around 104 degrees F (or higher),
  • feeling cold (yes, it seems strange, but it’s a fact),
  • loss of consciousness, and/or seizures.

All of these symptoms are signaling that the body’s mechanisms for coping with heat have failed and he/she’s at the death’s door. Heat strokes are very serious as they have a mortality rate of about ten percent, and yes, people really do die in extreme heat conditions, and it’s not rare.

Most people who die during heat waves are elderly folk living in big cities in the upper floors of buildings, especially old, inadequately ventilated condo buildings. Just in the US, over 600 people die annually and thousands visit emergency rooms due to extreme heat conditions.

Since we’ve already established that heat is a silent killer, as the weather gets more extreme, avoid the main danger by staying out of the sun. If you’re outdoors on foot, avoid traveling during the day, and do it by night, like Bedouins.

If you find yourself traveling or lost in the wilds in the heat, drinking lots of water and covering your head and your entire body in white (best case scenario) sheets would go a long way toward preserving your body’s reserve of electrolytes if traveling during the day.

The rule of the thumb is that when your core temperature gets above 104 degrees Fahrenheit, you’re in serious trouble.

Obese and elderly people are especially vulnerable to heat, and small children have tiny hearts which are not always capable of cooling their bodies efficiently. Kids also have a slow sweat response, which puts them in danger in extreme situations.

And here are a few more hints on surviving the heat:

  • try to avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages (they act as diuretics) during heat waves,
  • maintain a proper level of hydration at all times,
  • when indoors, try to eliminate extra sources of heat (computers and appliances left running, computers, etc.),
  • don’t eat big, protein-rich meals as they warm the body by increasing metabolic heat, be ready to recognize the early symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke and take action.

Beware the Dangers in the Water!

Another thing to keep in mind during the hot summer season is that jumping in public swimming pools, lakes and ponds are not the best ideas for beating the heat wave. You should think at least twice before diving in these cesspools, which are giant petri dishes by any definition, leaving aside that going into cold water when you body is overheated can bring on a heart attack.

Even chlorinated swimming pools are filled with chlorine-resistant bacteria (think Cryptosporidium, a bacteria living in the stomach, E.coli etc.) which can cause all sorts of disease, especially for people with immune issues.

Freshwater lakes and rivers are also home to a myriad of bacteria, viruses, and amoebas. All these tiny bugs that flourish in warm water may cause diarrhea and vomiting, which are exacerbating the dangers of dehydration, if you catch my drift.

And with dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are just around the corner, provided you don’t deal with it immediately. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes – less than 30 – for the situation to go from bad to worse if the conditions are right.

Besides the relatively harmless e Coli and Cryptosporidium, there are killer bacteria and viruses in lakes and rivers, which can infect you via water getting inside the nasal passage and then to the brain.

For example, Naegleria fowleri can cause a deadly infection of your CNS (central nervous system), called amoebic meningo-encephalitis.

There are dangers in paradise too, especially during the summer season when these places are packed full of people trying to relax and enjoy their vacations.

When Summer Turns into Disaster

The beach may look like paradise on Earth, but it’s not all fun and serenity. Beaches are also filled with dangers, and we’re not talking about heat stroke alone. Coastal areas in some parts of the planet are prone to tsunamis and others to hurricanes.

One may say that beaches are prime real estate when it comes to natural disasters, hence, stay frosty and learn your escape routes just in case disaster hits. Most coastal areas are using early warning systems including sensors which monitor storm and earthquake activity and issue hurricane/tsunami alerts.

Toxic algal blooms happen almost every summer in places like Florida, on its Gulf Coast especially. Algal blooms kill fish and shellfish and they also render them unsafe to eat. Remember to avoid eating shellfish and fish from areas affected by toxic algal blooms; also, avoid swimming in waters infested by these critters.

Even if shark attacks are relatively rare, keep in mind that where there are fish in the ocean, there also might be sharks, hence avoid swimming near fishing areas and also avoid murky waters and areas were fishing boats and diving sea birds abound.

It’s also important to remember not to swim alone, sharks or not, and never at dawn or dusk because that’s when sharks feed. Watches and jewelry gleam like fish scales in the water, so get rid of them.

Another danger for beach goers is rip currents, which may pull even the Olympic swimming champion away from the shore. These fast-moving currents of water kill at least one hundred people annually, especially at surf beaches, and those are just US figures.

If you’re caught in such a rip current, try not to fight it. Go with the current and swim parallel to the beach, and try to swim back to shore once you manage to pull out of the current. If that doesn’t do the job, try to float/tread water until the current stops and try to call for help.

Edge Sports Have Their Price

Parasailing is an awesome summer activity for thousands of Americans. If you’re not from this planet, parasailing means that you’re towed behind a boat using a parachute canopy while flying like Superman.

Even though this may sound safe as far as extreme sports go, the majority of fatal parasailing accidents occur as a result of high wind conditions. To play it safe, make sure the weather is friendly before engaging in such crazy activities, alright?

Scuba diving is another all-time favorite activity doing the summer season, but is plunging in deep blue waters safe? Well, pretty much yes, but there are caveats to that.

The most common causes of death during scuba diving are oxygen supply problems, cardiac issues, and emergency ascent. To play it safe when scuba diving, make sure you are prepared for the water and you’ve learned all the techniques from your instructor.

Next on the list is skydiving. Skydiving is immensely fun for those crazy bastards with no self-preservation instincts. I’m kidding, but yes, skydiving is becoming increasingly popular among certain folk during summer vacation.

Even though you’re more susceptible to death by a lightning strike or a bee sting than due to skydiving gone wrong, make sure to look for riggers, jumpers and pilots with proper certification before making the big jump into the abyss. The same goes for bungee jumping.

White water rafting is another dangerous summer activity and there are tons of potential hazards involved in this awesome water sport. To reduce risks associated with white water rafting, never boat alone, wear a life jacket and a helmet at all times, and don’t overestimate your skills.

If you’re a hot air balloon aficionado, make sure your ‘ballooner” has all the necessary paperwork and be aware of adverse weather conditions, especially wind, before getting in the basket.

Whatever you do during summer, stay safe and be aware of the dangers. Ultimately, learn your lesson about first aid and surviving without medical assistance. Click the banner below to get the knowledge!

I hope the article helped. If you have other ideas or comments, feel free to use the dedicated section below!

7 Survival Movies To Watch And Learn

Click here to view the original post.

Call me old-school, but when it comes to having massive fun indoors (especially with your friends and family), nothing beats watching a good movie while enjoying a cold beer and the traditional popcorn.

It’s also common knowledge that most people would enjoy a proper disaster flick, the likes of 2012, Deep Impact or Armageddon. Disaster movie stories are usually centered on people trying to survive extraordinary circumstances and events.

Now, from a prepper’s point of view, watching a survival movie is something like a sporting event for a normie, and I am talking about what tickles your fancy, so to speak.

While regular folk enjoy watching a good game of football or various TV series/shows (OK, we love doing that too), we preppers also like to watch and debate survival/disaster movies as a way to exercise their prepper mindset and to discuss what the hero’s next move should be, what he or she does good or wrong and what’s absolutely ludicrous.

Sometimes, they’re just a great comedy!

Basically, a good survival movie encourages preppers to think strategically and to imagine their own behavior in a SHTF situation. In my view, well-made survival movies (scarce though they are) are beyond entertainment, being more like a training session of sorts, if you know what I mean.

Also, watching survival movies with your family members (and prepper friends alike) and commenting “live” as things happen on the screen encourages you to think critically about SHTF situations. Also, you try to predict the outcome of a bad decision or a good one made by the hero, with an emphasis on boneheaded ones, which are  often the norm.

Even if Hollywood (read the motion-picture industry) usually produces tons of garbage, now and then a true gem of a survival movie appears almost magically. These rare flicks give us ideas and thoughts on how to prepare for when SHTF.

It really doesn’t matter what a movie is about, as long as we’re talking about a plausible scenario, such as in 2012 or San Andreas, or even a good old zombie/alien movie.

What’s important from a prepper’s perspective is to see and analyze how regular people may possibly react in extraordinary circumstances; that’s what will provide you with food for thought.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

So, after this relatively long preamble, let me share with you what I’ve learned after watching dozens of disaster movies, all of them loaded with awesome survival tactics.

First, teamwork is essential for your survival, despite the “lone wolf” mentality many preppers seem to (wrongfully, in my opinion) have. When a disaster strikes, chances are good that you’ll not going to be “solo.”

Working as a team will increase the chances of survival. There’s strength in numbers and there’s also a thing called the division of labor because you can’t do everything by yourself. That’s been obvious since the dawn of man on Earth.

Also, we’re social animals, centered on community (family, tribe, etc.). Lone wolves sound great in theory, but in real life, even wolves hunt in packs and are social animals.

Dawn of the Dead (2004)

To give you an example of fine teamwork from a survival flick, let’s take Dawn of the Dead, an awesome 2004 movie which tells the story of a group of survivors (and we’re using that word really loosely) taking refuge inside a shopping center during a zombie apocalypse.

As more of them arrive in the shopping mall, they realize that they’ll have to stick together and work as a team in order to withstand the hordes of (not so smart) zombies.

Also, Dawn of the Dead teaches you about the importance of planning and preparing: having a good refuge, an escape plan, of being able to determine who’s to be trusted and who’s not and, most importantly, that a group’s cohesion is given by its weakest link (there’s an asshole in every group of random people).

Oh, and on that note, you also learn that sometimes you don’t have to be the smartest one in the group as long as you’re not the dumbest one. I’m kidding, sort of.

Video first seen on Movieclips.

Another lesson learned from watching disaster flicks is that it’s critical to know the risks of your geographical location (as in knowing one’s strengths and weaknesses) in a SHTF situation.

Food for thought: if your city is close to a nuclear plant or in front of a big dam, in the case of a catastrophic earthquake or a nasty meteor impact, or why not, a terrorist attack on critical infrastructure, well, you’ll be forced to deal with some serious issues. Here, the value of an escape plan and escape route comes into play big time.

Also, it would help to understand the science of your region, especially if you live in places like California or Yellowstone. You got the picture.

San Andreas (2015)

Think along the lines of San Andreas, the 2015 movie which is loaded with awesome survival strategies and lessons. San Andreas depicts the horrifying consequences of a massive earthquake in California as a rescue chopper pilot makes a perilous  journey across the state to save his daughter.

Watching the movie, you’ll understand a little bit about human psychology.

For example, in a disaster, especially one of epic proportions, ownership of property becomes a fiction, i.e. emergency stuff can be found in a home or, in the movie, a car that isn’t yours if the situation really calls for it, and looting occurs in a matter of hours, not days. Hence, remember to have your gun for self-defense ready, locked and loaded at all times.

Also, the first few moments after SHTF are critical for one’s survival; if you panic and give in to mental chaos, you’ll just end up as yet another casualty/statistic. Do not freak out, and try to get over that state of shock ASAP, as this will give you a critical advantage over those unprepared for such an event.

Video first seen on Km Music.

The thing is, even in B-rated movies you can see a fact of life: people panic rather quickly and behave badly and stupidly, as life-threating events bring out the worst in many of us.

As shown in many disaster flicks, including San Andreas, the police and firefighters will bail in order to take care of their own families, and that’s quite understandable. The lesson to be taken home is that you can’t rely on the government to protect or save you.

Also, having some basic physics and engineering knowledge couldn’t hurt.

In the aftermath of a major disaster, whether it’s a terrorist attack or an earthquake or whatever, panicked people do the dumbest things imaginable, and that’s another true fact of life, unfortunately.

And that’s due to one’s shattered cognitive dissonance, i.e. modern-day people (especially city dwellers) are used to living their boring and safe lives in the complete absence of any clear and present danger.

They’ve become complacent and take that perceived “safety” for granted. When the universe explodes around them, they’ll behave like the proverbial chicken without a head, while others will be stunned, in shock and awe, and completely incapable of doing the most basic things like running for cover.

The Road (2009)

Another great survival flick is The Road, a movie released in 2009 that tells the story of a man and his young son as they travel by foot in a post-apocalyptic world through the mountains, searching for an illusory safe haven before the coming winter.

The theme of the movie is survival by any means necessary. What’s very shocking about this flick is the accurate way it portrays the dark side of mankind, the way people will resort to anything, even cannibalism, in order to survive.

Video first seen on 0noyfb.

The movie will teach you how to be careful when approaching strangers (not all people think like you, nor are they Good Samaritans), how to carry your survival gear over long distances, and that starvation is not an event but a long and painful process.

Also, having a gun and enough ammo will save your life, while keeping the fire (as in never stop fighting for a good cause) is quintessential. Your faith, provided you’re a “good guy,” will guide you and help your actions, yet you’ll have to be prepared to kill bad people, or you’ll end up getting killed. Also, you’ll learn that groups of desperate people are extremely dangerous and may kill you, or get you killed, for nothing really.

The Day after Tomorrow (2004)

Another disaster movie worth watching is The Day after Tomorrow. This movie depicts survival techniques in extremely low temperatures following the world freezing via a man-provoked ice-age.

Video first seen on Luis Trejo.

What to learn from? Big cities are very difficult to escape in case of a SHTF scenario, i.e. you’ll have to consider relocating if possible and always plan for bad weather conditions.

Zombieland (2009)

A very funny survival flick to watch is Zombieland, which makes for yet another post-zombie-apocalypse survival movie. Watching this gem, which is hilarious to say the least, you’ll understand why you should create a comprehensive set of rules to increase your survival chances.

The first rule of survival: cardio is essential! As in, stay in good shape. Also, people in distress will try to trick you, steal your stuff, and then leave you stranded; this is a trait of the human nature.

Video first seen on Video Clips HD.

Also, don’t scare folks if you don’t want to get shot and Twinkies make for the ultimate survival food (the last one is debatable).

The Edge (1997)

The Edge is the story of a billionaire who survives a plane crash in the Alaskan wilderness, together with two of his friends. This movie depicts in a very accurate manner how people react under stress when confronted with unfamiliar situations.

Also you get how important it is to have basic survival skills, such as knowing basic first aid methods, how to navigate sans gear, how to improvise a compass, how to build basic weapons such as spears, and how to defend yourself against predators.

Video first sen on blackruskie.

Finally, this epic saga emphasizes the importance of knowledge, smarts, and skills over the oh-so-common macho-ninja stuff and special effects.

Into the Wild (2007)

Into the Wild is the true story of a guy named Christopher McCandles who died stupidly as he abandoned his privileged life and adventured into the wild, searching for adventure.

Video first seen on carinemccandless.

The thing is that this guy had absolutely no idea about wilderness survival, no skills, and basically no gear. And yes, he died of starvation in a cabin, which is pretty pathetic, to say the least.

The lesson to be taken home after watching this movie is to never go out in the wild unprepared. Life in the wilderness is not romantic, but a savage and brutal struggle for survival 24/7/365.

The importance of having the right mindset first of all is not a matter to be taken lightly in an outdoors survival situation.

Bottom line, have you seen a good survival movie recently? What did you think? Do you have any survival lessons to add? Share your thoughts in the dedicated section below!

This Is How To Stay Clean In The Wilderness

Click here to view the original post.

Do you know that saying, “cleanliness is next to godliness?” Well, it may be true, but how about staying clean in the wild? That’s a pretty interesting concept, especially for modern-day potential survivalists who never get their hands dirty in any real sense of the word.

Today’s article is about funk removal or camp sanitation practices or whatever you want to call it.

It’s all about health and less about the aesthetics of the wilderness. The name of the game is about keeping away viruses, bacteria and other nasties (like foul odors which may attract wild beasts), as efficiently and as humanly possible in a given situation.

Let’s take cats for example: those lovely critters who keep themselves squeaky clean by licking only. Other wild animals also have their own methods of staying clean in the absence of modern-day utilities or running water that’s right there at the flick of a wrist.

Deer, bears, and wolves have automated cleaning systems at their disposal, i.e. they shed skin and fur regularly via a natural process, thus eliminating insects that feed on their blood and skin.

Also, wild animals like to rub up against rocks or trees to scratch themselves, thus removing extra fur and skin and eliminating the dirt and the parasites. And it’s worth mentioning that wild animals take an occasional bath when they cross a lake or a river, too.

Now, think about medieval Europe, especially King Louis 4th of France’s court, when people only bathed maybe once a year. Instead, they used something along the lines of dry cleaning; i.e. they wiped themselves with pieces of cloth impregnated in perfume, vinegar, and mixtures that eliminated of covered odor, plus they changed their clothes relatively often.

When you think of that, our modern-day obsession for cleanliness and sterile food and clothes may seem like an obsessive/compulsive disorder.

However, staying clean as a whistle at all times comes with its own advantages, like vibrant health and a general sense of well-being. So, how can one reconcile the problem of going camping or being stranded in the wild with the need for cleanliness, as the two are basically opposite situations?

The very act of going on an outdoors adventure means you’re getting yourself out of our concrete-made world. You’re going off-grid for real, to dance with the wolves and howl at the moon.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You IF You Would Survive a SHTF Situation

You’re subjecting yourself to the elements with no running water, nor a sanitary way to wash yourself. No plumbing, no toilet to speak of, and reliant on DIY cooking, sleeping and eating on the ground, and so forth and so on.

Even though a rustic camp-out is a must-master experience for any respectable prepper, staying clean throughout the entire endeavor will keep you occupied, provided you care about your physical/mental health and peace of mind.

Everything revolves around quality of life, whether you’re living in a modern city, surrounded by all the gadgets and amenities our 21st century lifestyle affords us, or living somewhere off the grid, with a tin foil hat on your head while reading subversive literature somewhere in a log-cabin in the woods.

I’m only kidding, of course, but in both situations, cleanliness is essential for preventing disease and infections. In a survival situation, things are even worse for folks with poor hygiene, as poor hygiene will reduce the chances of survival.

Now, some of my regular readers, if I have even one, may argue that it’s only natural to smell like a bucket of rotten eggs left out in the sun in 120-degree weather for two days, because after all, when in the woods, you do what the bear does, i.e. you stink; that’s the way it is.

The Sponge Bath

Well, the answer to that is: why don’t you take a sponge bath?

This is one of the main actions you can take in order to stay clean in an outdoors (survival) scenario. Yes, I wasn’t kidding; it’s very important to take a bath (well, sort of) each day, even when out in the wild. Remember my Louis 4th reference in the preamble of the article?

The thing is, you can use a camp towel and some water to wash your pits, your feet and groin properly. These are the main areas that will begin to stink up the place on an outdoors trip, and are also areas that are particularly susceptible to many harmful microbes, or even heat rash, jungle rot, or fungal infection.

Boil you water beforehand to kill all germs, if you’re obsessed with that kind of stuff, or depending on the nature of your water supply.

If you don’t have a towel, which would be weird, you can use a bandanna or something similar as an improvised sponge.

Whenever possible, don’t forget to dip your feet in running water.

If you’ll be able to do that at least twice a day for 5 minutes, then let them dry before you put your shoes back on and move on it will work wonders for mitigating potential blisters and eliminating bacteria and fungus.

This Is How To Survive When All Hell Breaks Lose

And while you’re at it, if you camp near a source of water, which is nearly always the ideal case with well-trained outdoors survivalists, wash your socks and let them to dry near the fire overnight on a daily basis.

The Air Bath

If water is scarce, you can take an “air” bath by removing all your clothes and exposing your naked body to the sun (read germ-killing UV light) and air for at least sixty minutes.

If you don’t have soap, you can use sand or ashes instead, for cleaning yourself thoroughly, provided you have a good water source nearby. Don’t do this if you don’t have a way to rinse thoroughly because the grit will cause irritation and sores that can lead to infection, or at least discomfort.

And don’t worry; you can always improvise soap from wood ashes and animal fat, provided you have the means.

To make “natural” soap, you’ll require some animal fat cut into small pieces then cooked in a pot for extracting the grease. You’ll have to add enough water to the pot to prevent the fat from sticking.

Remember to stir the mix frequently and cook the fat slowly until the fat is rendered. Then, the resulting grease must be poured in a separate container to harden.

The wood ashes (preferably from hardwood if you want your soap to harden) will be put in another container that has a spout near the bottom. Then, as you pour water over the ashes, you’ll collect the liquid dripping from the spout in another container.

That stuff is called lye or potash. Another method for collecting the lye is to pour the combo of ash and water through a filter made from a piece of cloth.

Both of these methods take a bit longer than if you just boil the ash in a bit of soft water – rainwater is best – for 30 minutes or so. Let the ash settle then skim the lye off the top and follow the directions below. Be careful because lye is caustic.

In the next step, mix 2 parts grease with 1 part lye and place the combo over a fire. Allow it to boil slowly until it thickens. After the (now liquid soap) cools, you pour it into a pan and allow it to harden, then cut it into soap bars and there you have it, DIY soap for emergencies.

You can now use a cloth and soapy water to wash your armpits, feet, and crotch daily now, not to mention being capable of washing your hands after going to the “bathroom” in the woods or before cooking food and all that.

Don’t Forget the Teeth!

Keeping your mouth clean is also very important. If you don’t have a toothbrush, you can DIY a chewing stick from a 4-inch-long/1-inch-wide twig. You’ll have to chew up at one end of the twig until you separate the fibers then brush your teeth with the resulting gizmo resembling a toothbrush.

Another method is to use a clean strip of cloth wrapped around your fingers for rubbing your teeth, thus wiping away food particles.

Willow bark tea makes for an excellent mouth wash, together with salt water. You can floss your teeth using fibers or a piece of string.

The campsite must also be kept clean at all times, i.e. do not soil the camp site area with feces or urine. Try to dig cat holes several yards away from the camp and cover the waste for best results.

We’re used to take everything for granted in our modern world, but only some of us would be able to face a major shift in our society. Interacting with nature and using its resources will provide you the means of survival.

Would you make it? Click the banner below for more!

 

I hope the article helped. If you have other ideas or comments, feel free to use the dedicated section below.

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

This Is How To Stay Clean In The Wilderness

Do you know that saying, “cleanliness is next to godliness?” Well, it may be true, but how about staying clean in the wild? That’s a pretty interesting concept, especially for modern-day potential survivalists who never get their hands dirty in any real sense of the word.

Today’s article is about funk removal or camp sanitation practices or whatever you want to call it.

It’s all about health and less about the aesthetics of the wilderness. The name of the game is about keeping away viruses, bacteria and other nasties (like foul odors which may attract wild beasts), as efficiently and as humanly possible in a given situation.

Let’s take cats for example: those lovely critters who keep themselves squeaky clean by licking only. Other wild animals also have their own methods of staying clean in the absence of modern-day utilities or running water that’s right there at the flick of a wrist.

Deer, bears, and wolves have automated cleaning systems at their disposal, i.e. they shed skin and fur regularly via a natural process, thus eliminating insects that feed on their blood and skin.

Also, wild animals like to rub up against rocks or trees to scratch themselves, thus removing extra fur and skin and eliminating the dirt and the parasites. And it’s worth mentioning that wild animals take an occasional bath when they cross a lake or a river, too.

Now, think about medieval Europe, especially King Louis 4th of France’s court, when people only bathed maybe once a year. Instead, they used something along the lines of dry cleaning; i.e. they wiped themselves with pieces of cloth impregnated in perfume, vinegar, and mixtures that eliminated of covered odor, plus they changed their clothes relatively often.

When you think of that, our modern-day obsession for cleanliness and sterile food and clothes may seem like an obsessive/compulsive disorder.

However, staying clean as a whistle at all times comes with its own advantages, like vibrant health and a general sense of well-being. So, how can one reconcile the problem of going camping or being stranded in the wild with the need for cleanliness, as the two are basically opposite situations?

The very act of going on an outdoors adventure means you’re getting yourself out of our concrete-made world. You’re going off-grid for real, to dance with the wolves and howl at the moon.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You IF You Would Survive a SHTF Situation

You’re subjecting yourself to the elements with no running water, nor a sanitary way to wash yourself. No plumbing, no toilet to speak of, and reliant on DIY cooking, sleeping and eating on the ground, and so forth and so on.

Even though a rustic camp-out is a must-master experience for any respectable prepper, staying clean throughout the entire endeavor will keep you occupied, provided you care about your physical/mental health and peace of mind.

Everything revolves around quality of life, whether you’re living in a modern city, surrounded by all the gadgets and amenities our 21st century lifestyle affords us, or living somewhere off the grid, with a tin foil hat on your head while reading subversive literature somewhere in a log-cabin in the woods.

I’m only kidding, of course, but in both situations, cleanliness is essential for preventing disease and infections. In a survival situation, things are even worse for folks with poor hygiene, as poor hygiene will reduce the chances of survival.

Now, some of my regular readers, if I have even one, may argue that it’s only natural to smell like a bucket of rotten eggs left out in the sun in 120-degree weather for two days, because after all, when in the woods, you do what the bear does, i.e. you stink; that’s the way it is.

The Sponge Bath

Well, the answer to that is: why don’t you take a sponge bath?

This is one of the main actions you can take in order to stay clean in an outdoors (survival) scenario. Yes, I wasn’t kidding; it’s very important to take a bath (well, sort of) each day, even when out in the wild. Remember my Louis 4th reference in the preamble of the article?

The thing is, you can use a camp towel and some water to wash your pits, your feet and groin properly. These are the main areas that will begin to stink up the place on an outdoors trip, and are also areas that are particularly susceptible to many harmful microbes, or even heat rash, jungle rot, or fungal infection.

Boil you water beforehand to kill all germs, if you’re obsessed with that kind of stuff, or depending on the nature of your water supply.

If you don’t have a towel, which would be weird, you can use a bandanna or something similar as an improvised sponge.

Whenever possible, don’t forget to dip your feet in running water.

If you’ll be able to do that at least twice a day for 5 minutes, then let them dry before you put your shoes back on and move on it will work wonders for mitigating potential blisters and eliminating bacteria and fungus.

This Is How To Survive When All Hell Breaks Lose

And while you’re at it, if you camp near a source of water, which is nearly always the ideal case with well-trained outdoors survivalists, wash your socks and let them to dry near the fire overnight on a daily basis.

The Air Bath

If water is scarce, you can take an “air” bath by removing all your clothes and exposing your naked body to the sun (read germ-killing UV light) and air for at least sixty minutes.

If you don’t have soap, you can use sand or ashes instead, for cleaning yourself thoroughly, provided you have a good water source nearby. Don’t do this if you don’t have a way to rinse thoroughly because the grit will cause irritation and sores that can lead to infection, or at least discomfort.

And don’t worry; you can always improvise soap from wood ashes and animal fat, provided you have the means.

To make “natural” soap, you’ll require some animal fat cut into small pieces then cooked in a pot for extracting the grease. You’ll have to add enough water to the pot to prevent the fat from sticking.

Remember to stir the mix frequently and cook the fat slowly until the fat is rendered. Then, the resulting grease must be poured in a separate container to harden.

The wood ashes (preferably from hardwood if you want your soap to harden) will be put in another container that has a spout near the bottom. Then, as you pour water over the ashes, you’ll collect the liquid dripping from the spout in another container.

That stuff is called lye or potash. Another method for collecting the lye is to pour the combo of ash and water through a filter made from a piece of cloth.

Both of these methods take a bit longer than if you just boil the ash in a bit of soft water – rainwater is best – for 30 minutes or so. Let the ash settle then skim the lye off the top and follow the directions below. Be careful because lye is caustic.

In the next step, mix 2 parts grease with 1 part lye and place the combo over a fire. Allow it to boil slowly until it thickens. After the (now liquid soap) cools, you pour it into a pan and allow it to harden, then cut it into soap bars and there you have it, DIY soap for emergencies.

You can now use a cloth and soapy water to wash your armpits, feet, and crotch daily now, not to mention being capable of washing your hands after going to the “bathroom” in the woods or before cooking food and all that.

Don’t Forget the Teeth!

Keeping your mouth clean is also very important. If you don’t have a toothbrush, you can DIY a chewing stick from a 4-inch-long/1-inch-wide twig. You’ll have to chew up at one end of the twig until you separate the fibers then brush your teeth with the resulting gizmo resembling a toothbrush.

Another method is to use a clean strip of cloth wrapped around your fingers for rubbing your teeth, thus wiping away food particles.

Willow bark tea makes for an excellent mouth wash, together with salt water. You can floss your teeth using fibers or a piece of string.

The campsite must also be kept clean at all times, i.e. do not soil the camp site area with feces or urine. Try to dig cat holes several yards away from the camp and cover the waste for best results.

We’re used to take everything for granted in our modern world, but only some of us would be able to face a major shift in our society. Interacting with nature and using its resources will provide you the means of survival.

Would you make it? Click the banner below for more!

 

I hope the article helped. If you have other ideas or comments, feel free to use the dedicated section below.

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

This Is How To Stay Clean In The Wilderness

Do you know that saying, “cleanliness is next to godliness?” Well, it may be true, but how about staying clean in the wild? That’s a pretty interesting concept, especially for modern-day potential survivalists who never get their hands dirty in any real sense of the word.

Today’s article is about funk removal or camp sanitation practices or whatever you want to call it.

It’s all about health and less about the aesthetics of the wilderness. The name of the game is about keeping away viruses, bacteria and other nasties (like foul odors which may attract wild beasts), as efficiently and as humanly possible in a given situation.

Let’s take cats for example: those lovely critters who keep themselves squeaky clean by licking only. Other wild animals also have their own methods of staying clean in the absence of modern-day utilities or running water that’s right there at the flick of a wrist.

Deer, bears, and wolves have automated cleaning systems at their disposal, i.e. they shed skin and fur regularly via a natural process, thus eliminating insects that feed on their blood and skin.

Also, wild animals like to rub up against rocks or trees to scratch themselves, thus removing extra fur and skin and eliminating the dirt and the parasites. And it’s worth mentioning that wild animals take an occasional bath when they cross a lake or a river, too.

Now, think about medieval Europe, especially King Louis 4th of France’s court, when people only bathed maybe once a year. Instead, they used something along the lines of dry cleaning; i.e. they wiped themselves with pieces of cloth impregnated in perfume, vinegar, and mixtures that eliminated of covered odor, plus they changed their clothes relatively often.

When you think of that, our modern-day obsession for cleanliness and sterile food and clothes may seem like an obsessive/compulsive disorder.

However, staying clean as a whistle at all times comes with its own advantages, like vibrant health and a general sense of well-being. So, how can one reconcile the problem of going camping or being stranded in the wild with the need for cleanliness, as the two are basically opposite situations?

The very act of going on an outdoors adventure means you’re getting yourself out of our concrete-made world. You’re going off-grid for real, to dance with the wolves and howl at the moon.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You IF You Would Survive a SHTF Situation

You’re subjecting yourself to the elements with no running water, nor a sanitary way to wash yourself. No plumbing, no toilet to speak of, and reliant on DIY cooking, sleeping and eating on the ground, and so forth and so on.

Even though a rustic camp-out is a must-master experience for any respectable prepper, staying clean throughout the entire endeavor will keep you occupied, provided you care about your physical/mental health and peace of mind.

Everything revolves around quality of life, whether you’re living in a modern city, surrounded by all the gadgets and amenities our 21st century lifestyle affords us, or living somewhere off the grid, with a tin foil hat on your head while reading subversive literature somewhere in a log-cabin in the woods.

I’m only kidding, of course, but in both situations, cleanliness is essential for preventing disease and infections. In a survival situation, things are even worse for folks with poor hygiene, as poor hygiene will reduce the chances of survival.

Now, some of my regular readers, if I have even one, may argue that it’s only natural to smell like a bucket of rotten eggs left out in the sun in 120-degree weather for two days, because after all, when in the woods, you do what the bear does, i.e. you stink; that’s the way it is.

The Sponge Bath

Well, the answer to that is: why don’t you take a sponge bath?

This is one of the main actions you can take in order to stay clean in an outdoors (survival) scenario. Yes, I wasn’t kidding; it’s very important to take a bath (well, sort of) each day, even when out in the wild. Remember my Louis 4th reference in the preamble of the article?

The thing is, you can use a camp towel and some water to wash your pits, your feet and groin properly. These are the main areas that will begin to stink up the place on an outdoors trip, and are also areas that are particularly susceptible to many harmful microbes, or even heat rash, jungle rot, or fungal infection.

Boil you water beforehand to kill all germs, if you’re obsessed with that kind of stuff, or depending on the nature of your water supply.

If you don’t have a towel, which would be weird, you can use a bandanna or something similar as an improvised sponge.

Whenever possible, don’t forget to dip your feet in running water.

If you’ll be able to do that at least twice a day for 5 minutes, then let them dry before you put your shoes back on and move on it will work wonders for mitigating potential blisters and eliminating bacteria and fungus.

This Is How To Survive When All Hell Breaks Lose

And while you’re at it, if you camp near a source of water, which is nearly always the ideal case with well-trained outdoors survivalists, wash your socks and let them to dry near the fire overnight on a daily basis.

The Air Bath

If water is scarce, you can take an “air” bath by removing all your clothes and exposing your naked body to the sun (read germ-killing UV light) and air for at least sixty minutes.

If you don’t have soap, you can use sand or ashes instead, for cleaning yourself thoroughly, provided you have a good water source nearby. Don’t do this if you don’t have a way to rinse thoroughly because the grit will cause irritation and sores that can lead to infection, or at least discomfort.

And don’t worry; you can always improvise soap from wood ashes and animal fat, provided you have the means.

To make “natural” soap, you’ll require some animal fat cut into small pieces then cooked in a pot for extracting the grease. You’ll have to add enough water to the pot to prevent the fat from sticking.

Remember to stir the mix frequently and cook the fat slowly until the fat is rendered. Then, the resulting grease must be poured in a separate container to harden.

The wood ashes (preferably from hardwood if you want your soap to harden) will be put in another container that has a spout near the bottom. Then, as you pour water over the ashes, you’ll collect the liquid dripping from the spout in another container.

That stuff is called lye or potash. Another method for collecting the lye is to pour the combo of ash and water through a filter made from a piece of cloth.

Both of these methods take a bit longer than if you just boil the ash in a bit of soft water – rainwater is best – for 30 minutes or so. Let the ash settle then skim the lye off the top and follow the directions below. Be careful because lye is caustic.

In the next step, mix 2 parts grease with 1 part lye and place the combo over a fire. Allow it to boil slowly until it thickens. After the (now liquid soap) cools, you pour it into a pan and allow it to harden, then cut it into soap bars and there you have it, DIY soap for emergencies.

You can now use a cloth and soapy water to wash your armpits, feet, and crotch daily now, not to mention being capable of washing your hands after going to the “bathroom” in the woods or before cooking food and all that.

Don’t Forget the Teeth!

Keeping your mouth clean is also very important. If you don’t have a toothbrush, you can DIY a chewing stick from a 4-inch-long/1-inch-wide twig. You’ll have to chew up at one end of the twig until you separate the fibers then brush your teeth with the resulting gizmo resembling a toothbrush.

Another method is to use a clean strip of cloth wrapped around your fingers for rubbing your teeth, thus wiping away food particles.

Willow bark tea makes for an excellent mouth wash, together with salt water. You can floss your teeth using fibers or a piece of string.

The campsite must also be kept clean at all times, i.e. do not soil the camp site area with feces or urine. Try to dig cat holes several yards away from the camp and cover the waste for best results.

We’re used to take everything for granted in our modern world, but only some of us would be able to face a major shift in our society. Interacting with nature and using its resources will provide you the means of survival.

Would you make it? Click the banner below for more!

 

I hope the article helped. If you have other ideas or comments, feel free to use the dedicated section below.

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

How To Make Pepper Spray For Self-defense

Speaking of non-lethal and hugely popular self defense methods, pepper spray is often the weapon of choice for both men and women. That stuff is so good that it’s actually used by riot control police and regular police officers alike.

And pepper spray’s popularity is due to its intrinsic qualities: ease of use, carry convenience and, last but not least, it’s actual effectiveness when it comes to stopping an attacker.

Another cool thing about pepper spray is that is completely legal almost anywhere in the world (except from some hard-core socialist countries in the EU where self-defense is almost a crime) and it doesn’t require any kind of special training in order to use it efficiently.

The only thing to take into account when spraying an aggressor in the eyes is the direction of the wind; that’s about all there is to training.

Using pepper spray is pretty safe even from the victim’s perspective, so to speak, because pepper will not cause permanent damage to the soft tissues or the eyes.

Pepper spray works, provided you use it correctly, by causing temporary blindness and an intense burning sensation on the recipient’s face, followed by skin irritation that may take hours to recede. But that’s hardly a real problem anyway, compared to shooting them, right?

Click here to get your Green Beret’s Guide to combat shooting mastery & active shooter defense!

However, the lesson to be taken home about pepper spray used as a self-defense weapon is its availability.  The thing is, if you don’t have your pepper spray can readily available for an emergency, it won’t help you a bit, i.e. if you keep it somewhere at the bottom of your purse, you’ll not be able to prevent an assault.

It’s also pretty straightforward that when using pepper spray in self defense, always aim for the aggressor’s face, thus temporarily incapacitating him/her by causing great pain, especially in the eyes.

The good news about this awesome self-defense weapon is that it’s totally DIY-able. Basically, pepper spray is made from chili peppers – the extracted juice to be precise. That means a homemade pepper spray is made from readily available ingredients in one’s kitchen, especially if you love spicy food.

If you want to add insult to injury, i.e. to add a coughing effect to those tears and swelling, you’ll also require some black pepper to be put into the mix.

Obviously, you should use the hottest kind of peppers you can put your hands on for maximizing the deterrent effect of your homemade pepper spray.

I’ve seen people using a pepper-spray solution put into long-range water guns (you know, those type of toys used by kids) to use on trespassers, including wildlife, the likes of raccoons and similar pests. Toy water guns have more range than regular spray cans when it comes to delivering the pepper blend.

Before getting into the fine arts of pepper spray DIY-ing, I must warn you that what we’re dealing with here is a self-defense weapon and nothing more.

Basically, you must use pepper spray for self-defense only. Unless you’re getting attacked, as in beat up, robbed or when trying to stop a crime/felony, there’s no reason to spray people with your home made pepper spray, alright? Depending on one’s location, even in the US, using pepper spray without cause may be actually against the law, so be careful about what you’re carrying.

And if you’re wondering what’s up with that, even pepper spray may have serious negative health effects on certain people suffering from asthma or on folks allergic to capsaicin.

How to DIY Your Own Pepper Spray

Now, if for some mysterious reason you prefer to DIY your own pepper spray, you’ll only need two main things:

  • a method to deliver the respective substance – the delivery system that is
  • a serious stock of dried chili peppers (or fresh ones if you have some in your garden.

If you’re growing your own stash, you may call yourself an off the grid survivalist, one hundred percent, at least with regard to DIY-ing pepper spray. If not, you can buy it from various places such as grocery stores, farmers markets, and specialty markets.

As far as the delivery system – the canister that is – the possibilities are almost endless, ranging from toy guns as I previously described to a simple spray bottle from one’s medicine cabinet. Bottom line, anything that sprays can be used as a delivery method, provided it’s water-tight. Canister aside, when speaking of efficient pepper spray, you must choose the best ingredients for the job, and by that I mean the hottest chili peppers.

How to Choose the Peppers

Pepper hotness is measured using the SHU rating system (Scoville Heat Unit). The more SHU a pepper has, the better. The idea is to use the hottest readily-available pepper variety, and the most common one  is Cayenne Pepper, which stands proudly anywhere between 30,000 and 60,000 SHU. Thai chili is even better, as it boasts a 50,000 to 150,000 SHU. Red Savina Habanero is the nuke of peppers for sprays, with 350,000 to 650,000 SHU. Of course, we have to mention the mother of all bombs, the Ghost Pepper, the hottest thing known to man, which will disintegrate everything in its path via its whopping 800,000-1,500,000 SHU.

The magic ingredient in pepper spray is called capsaicin, which is an irritant for all mammals, including you, dear reader. Pepper sprays used by law enforcement in the US have a payload of 2,000,000 to 6,000,000 SHU, which is up to three times stronger than what you can buy in the store as a “civilian”. Hence, making your own pepper spray is not such a bad idea after all.

Now, for DIY-ing pepper spray, the best way is to extract the active chemical in chilies (capsaicin) by using a solvent. Don’t worry, the procedure is fairly easy and it doesn’t require complicated chemistry skills or knowledge, but we’ll get back to that in a moment.

To begin with, when DIY-ing pepper spray, always wear rubber gloves and also safety goggles, for protecting your eyes and your hands from the oil. You don’t want concentrated capsaicin anywhere near your eyes or your skin.

It would be advisable to also wear a mask in order to avoid inhalation of toxic vapors, especially if you’re allergic or sensitive to peppers or strong odors. This isn’t a joke, so don’t take it lightly – the oils in these peppers are weaponized for a reason and it would be brutally ironic to injure yourself while you’re making something to protect yourself with.

Now, let’s get down to business.

How to Prepare the Pepper Spray

The simplest way to make your own pepper spray is this: take your dried peppers and chop them as finely as possible using a blender or a grinder, then put them inside a bowl. Six to ten dried chili peppers will suffice, provided they’re the strong kind.

Next, you’ll need 2 tablespoons of minced garlic to add into the mix, followed by 2 tablespoons of baby oil. The latter works as an adhesive of sorts, helping the substance to adhere to skin and clothes and making it very difficult to remove.

Finally, add twelve ounces of vodka (any type of alcohol actually) or vinegar, for increasing the shelf life of your homemade pepper spray. For best results, put the mixture in a blender for two to three minutes on the high setting. If you’re doing it by hand, muddle the garlic, baby oil, and pepper powder together until it has the consistency of a fine, smooth paste before adding the alcohol.

When ready, put the mixture inside a large container, a glass bottle for example, and let it rest overnight in a cold place. To increase its effectiveness, the mixture must be allowed to infuse for a while.

The next morning, you’re almost ready to pour the pepper mixture in your storage vessel of choice, but prior to that, you’ll have to filter it using a funnel and cheesecloth. The homemade pepper spray should be kept inside your refrigerator and it will maintain its properties for up to three months, especially if you’ve used alcohol. In the next step, you’ll just have to fill your spray bottle with the stuff.

Here’s a more high-tech method that will make about 3.5 ounces (100 ml) of pepper spray: you’ll require 100 grams of hot chili powder and about 7 ounces (200 ml) of ethanol (denatured alcohol), mixed together inside of a container. To make sure there are no chili powder clumps, run the mixture through a wire-mesh kitchen strainer and then put it inside a cooking pot. Heat the mixture until the ethanol boils and then evaporates. What’s left inside the cooking pot will look like orange goo, with the consistency of wax. Add to it 20 milliliters of baby oil until it you’ll end up with a honey-like consistency and that’s about it.

The stuff can now be poured in any type of delivery system after it’s thinned using alcohol so it can be sprayed easily (equal parts, one part alcohol, one part orange goo). On the bright side of the news, using this method, you’ll end up with pepper spray that will last you indefinitely if it’s hermetically sealed.

Now that you know how to make your own pepper spray, start practicing.

Learn from the experts the secret of self-defense. Click the banner below to grab your guide!

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

8 Ways You Can Signal for Help if Lost in the Wild

Click here to view the original post.

If you get lost in the wild, you should be aware that search and rescue teams will probably use air resources as the primary means of determining your location. Okay, there may be also ground teams looking for “the lost sheep,” but in any situation, being capable of signaling for help in a survival scenario is of utmost importance.

When it comes to air search and rescue, agencies fly search patterns using small planes or helicopters in a grid pattern, mostly during the day. It’s worth mentioning that if we’re talking about extreme cases, they do perform search and rescue missions even at night, but you’ll have to consider yourself extra-lucky in such eventuality.

Ground search and rescue personnel may arrive at your location on horseback if the terrain is extra-difficult or by using 4×4 trucks, ATVs and sometimes even motorcycles. Tracking dogs are also commonly used in searches.

Now, try to consider getting lost, then being found from a logical standpoint, and from the eyes of the rescue team. Think about what would be the best way to find somebody if you were looking at the ground from a small fixed-wing aircraft, a helicopter, or a ground unit crisscrossing the land, looking along country routes and trying to see through trees. What about the folks walking area trails or driving pickup trucks on remote and sinister roadways? What would draw their attention?

Find a Good Spot

The first rule of escape survival is quite the opposite of the first rule of being lost. You need to know how to signaling for help: the former requires silence and invisibility, which includes avoiding clearings and roadways. The latter stipulates that you should find a large, open area then get out in the open and do everything you can to get noticed; that would be the first step to take in a SHTF, being lost scenario.

Hence, the first thing to do is to find a large open area that’s easy to reach from your shelter (if any). Speaking of large open areas, the spot must be wide enough to allow for a helicopter to land; it should be very large and flat, with no obstructing vegetation/trees/rocks on the ground. That would be the ideal setup. However, in a survival scenario, you’ll just have to settle for what you have close by, so just do the best you can.

Always avoid shaded/shadowed areas beneath/adjacent to rocks, big trees, and other obstacles that will obstruct somebody in the air’s view of you. Shady areas are excellent for hiding, but you’re looking for the opposite if you’re lost. You want to be easily seen from the ground or from the air.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

Use Your Gear

The first thing you need to do after you find a good spot is take a look at your gear and at what’s readily available nearby. Check out and arrange/identify what can be used as a signaling tool. Evaluate each item and opportunity very carefully, as your life actually depends on it.

In our day and age, almost everybody carries a cell phone and/or a GPS gadget. However, high tech gear tends to die quickly and break easily. If you’re lucky enough to have a cell phone with a live battery and at least minimal network coverage, you can try to send an SMS message, even if you don’t have enough reception to initiate a phone call to 911 or a dear friend/ emergency contact. Try to send as much intel as possible in the simplest way, to the person you think most likely to see it immediately, or send the text to a group of people. Keep your text short, saying something like:  “SOS 50deg48 min 51 sec N 122 deg 29 min 31 sec W fall w broken leg injured call 911” or something similar.

But that would be the best case scenario, isn’t it? Find an elevated position, snatch a little bit of signal, send a clever SMS and wait for the Air Cavalry to arrive. In reality, things are rarely that easy, so you may have to settle for the old way: signaling your location by using rocks, sticks, dirt, shadows, signal fires, and so on.

As the general rule of thumb, it’s very important to remember the CLASS acronym with regard to ground to air signaling.

C stands for Contrast. The best way to signal your presence is by using colors which are in contrast to the background. For example, dig a trench, thus creating a black shadow/writing against white snow. You could also use branches. Or, if the soil is covered in green vegetation, an orange tent would draw attention.

L stands for Location, and it refers to the open area (close to your shelter) I already told you about in the preamble.

A stands for Angularity, meaning that in order to catch your rescuer’s eyes, your signals must have as many straight lines and sharp corners as possible, because ninety degree corners in nature are a pretty rare occurrence.

S stands for Size. Size is everything, right? The bigger, the betterMake your letters and fires as big as possible, without burning the forest down.

Finally, the S stands for shape. A large V-shaped sign means that you’re looking for assistance/help, an X signifies that you’re injured, big arrows can be used for communicating the direction you’re traveling to, etc.

If you’re on the move, it’s very important to leave crystal-clear signals, like notes and arrows indicating your intentions, the direction you’re traveling to, or other details that will help your rescuers find you.

Use Signal Fires and Smoke

Now, getting back to business, the best (as in field-proven) method to make your presence noticed regardless of whether it’s day or night is by fire. Fire has been used for thousands of years for signaling for rescue, and it works beautifully. During the night, fire makes for the most effective visual means when it comes to signaling one’s presence.

The international distress signal follows the rule of three, i.e. you must build 3 fires in a straight line (25 meters between the fires) or in a triangle so that you’re not mistaken or a regular camper out having a good time. Always remember to build your fires somewhere visible from the air/distance, i.e. in a location where the foliage/natural obstacles will not hide it.

An excellent way to attract attention is to set a tree on fire by placing dry wood/combustible material in its lower branches and setting it ablaze. For producing smoke (during the day), add green leaves/small green trees to the fire. For best results, when signaling for help during the day, the color of the smoke should contrast with the background, i.e. white smoke against a dark background and vice versa.

Video first seen on Travel and Escape

A large fire smothered with moss or green leaves will produce white smoke. To get black smoke, you must add oil soaked rags or rubber to a fire. However, keep in mind that smoke signals are only effective on clear days, sans snow, rain or high winds.

If you want to get noticed by search and rescue teams in an effective manner, think along the lines of putting yourself at odds with your surroundings. That would require motion, contrast and sound.

By contrast, I am talking about displaying colors and shapes that are strikingly different from your natural surroundings. For example, you can use a space blanket, bright clothing, tarps, tents, ribbons or improvised flags. Searchers are constantly looking for camping equipment/manmade stuff, provided it’s obvious (as in visible) from both ground and air. Motion translates into creating movement that’s different (at odds) with a still landscape. Think along the lines of a flag pole.

In addition to signal pyres, you can also try to reveal your presence by building mounds, i.e. 3 large rock-made piles forming a triangle that can be easily noticed from the air (in an open area obviously). The taller the mounds, the better, as taller structures will cast larger shadows, thus making them more visible from distance.

Write a Message on the Ground

Depending on your location, you can also try to write a message/sign on the ground that can be noticed by search and rescue teams flying overhead. On sand, you can use a big branch to write an SOS/HELP ME message. On land, you may go for branches, rocks or anything else that can be gathered to create (as big as possible) letters.

Use a Mirror

Signal mirrors are used for both motion and contrast in sunlight, as they’re pretty good at providing directed flashes toward ground or air searchers. This type of signal goes a long way and it’s especially effective from an elevated position, such as a mountain or a tree-top.

If possible, try to get to the highest point available when signaling, thus maximizing your chances of getting rescued.

Video first seen on TJack Survival

Use a Whistle

Audible signals are also worth considering, whether we’re talking about shooting your gun (3 shots spaced 5 seconds apart) or by using a whistle. Seriously speaking, there’s no excuse for not having a whistle in your EDC survival kit. Whistles require little effort (compared to yelling) and they never run out of ammo. Always remember the rule of threes when signaling, including when using a whistle.

Wave your Arms

If everything else fails or you don’t have anything else available, you can always try to attract attention via body signals by waving your arms to the side and down. But don’t hope for much when you’re using this method because you’re a tiny person in a world of waving trees, etc.

Finally, I’ve saved the best for last. Remember, we live in the 21th century and it’s the Year of the Lord 2017.

Use a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)

What’s your excuse for not having one of these little bad boys with you every time you’re adventuring outdoors? Or even better, a PLB (personal locator beacon)? I know, they’re a bit expensive, but better safe than sorry, right?

Know that you know how to signal for help if lost in the wild, will you be able to protect your own in a life or death scenario?

Click the banner below and find out!

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

How To Survive A Train Accident

Click here to view the original post.

In one of my recent articles, I talked about surviving an airplane crash. Today we’ll contemplate another catastrophic scenario: how to survive a train accident. I know, it’s holiday season, so let be happy and all that, but better safe than sorry, right? After all, what’s happier than being alive?

The thing is, airplane crashes are a rare occurrence and most of them are not as horrible as one may think, i.e. the survival rate is pretty high. The same is true with train accidents; I mean, they don’t happen very often and the number of casualties is relatively low, all things considered. Now, if you enjoy traveling by train, you’ll have to pay attention to today’s article, as I’ll share with you a number of tips and tricks that may save your life in a rail accident.

With regard to train accidents, there are basically two main things that can go wrong: a head on collision with another train (the worst case scenario), or a collision with a vehicle (truck, SUV etc) in level crossings or derailments.

I know that you’re thinking that trains are safe and all that and I agree with you. However, it’s common sense to maximize your chances of not only surviving, but getting back home in one piece.

To begin with, there’s a lot of debate among rail transportation experts when it comes to what passengers should do in order to survive a train accident. If you’re paying attention to the news, you’ve probably noticed the recent derailments and crashes, especially those involving New Jersey Transit and MTA trains. They’ve been pretty shocking for commuters (and residents alike) in New Jersey and New York.

Here are some facts for your viewing pleasure:

Just to recall a few recent high-profile rail accidents, in February, 2016, 6 casualties were recorded and 15 were seriously injured when an MTA train hit an SUV in the Westchester hamlet of Valhalla, on the Metro-North tracks.

Then there was the Amtrak incident in April, 2016, when a train traveling to Georgia from New York through Philly killed 2 and injured scores more. Finally, there was the one that occurred in September of 2016, when 108 passengers were injured and one died when a NJ Transit train crashed at Hoboken. Three in the same year, though that’s an anomaly at least for passenger trains.

Judging from Federal Rail Administration statistics, in 2014, there were 1700+ train incidents, including almost 150 collisions (most with other vehicles), and 1200 derailments, but the vast majority of the crashes involved freight trains. Between 2011 and 2014 there were only four (4) fatalities from train crashes anywhere in the US.

In other words, your odds of dying in a train crash in the US are statistically less than your odds of drowning or getting bitten by a shark (about 1 in 19 million, actually). Now, let’s see about some tips and tricks for maximizing your chances of not only survival, but also for reducing the odds of getting injured in the improbable eventuality of a train crash.

Just like with airplanes, despite what the Federal transportation authority claims, not all seats inside a plane/train are created equal. Everything in life is about location; hence one’s location (as in where you sit) can really make a difference in the eventuality of a train crash.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

Avoid Front Cars

The general rule of thumb when picking a seat on a train is to head for the middle section. If you want to pick the safest spot to sit on a train, disregard what the talking heads on TV are telling you as well as the so-called expert advice; you must go straight to the data, i.e. reports/statistics from federal agencies, the same folks that set the safety standards for both plane and rail companies.

The first thing to take into account: head on collisions are very rare. You should worry about derailments, as a train is 9x more likely to derail at some point during a trip than to slam into another vehicle or train head on. The data was scooped from the Federal Railroad Administration database, and this fact should be enough to change your “seat-choosing” patterns.  According to various studies, in case of a train-derailment, the cars toward the middle of the train are the less likely to tumble off the rails. The same studies revealed that the first to go off track is the lead locomotive/the first vehicle/car, but that’s hardly a surprise.

Bottom line, the sweet spot when choosing a seat is in a car 1 or 2 back from the center of the train.

The next thing to remember when traveling by rail is to not linger in the Café Car. This is not a safe place to be in the eventuality of an accident, whether we’re talking about a derailment or a collision. While the undeniable benefits offered by the Café Car such as overpriced beer and nuked hot-dogs may lure some of my readers, the reality is that you’re better off to eat, swig, and run. The fixed tables and other pieces of furniture will transform in veritable weapons of mass destruction if SHTF and a train experiences a harsh impact or has to suddenly break prior to an accident.

Tables were the main culprits in many crashes, being responsible for countless internal injuries and the Federal Rail Agency is currently redesigning them for improved crash safety. They are contemplating using air bags (yeah, you read that right) for the tables and also crushable edges, the same tricks used in the automotive industry.

A “mainstream” idea pedaled by so-called safety experts is to choose a rear-facing seat. The concept is that a rear-facing seat will prevent you from being thrown forward (in the absence of a seat belt) during a collision. While this may sound like common sense when it comes to a head-on collision, just like all cute but wrong theories, the reality is that side impacts are far more common than rear-end or head-on ones.

Data scooped from the US Department of Transportation d-base shows that side collisions outnumber rear-end/head-on ones by a factor of 9 to 1 (especially on commuter trains), so forget about the nice view and go sit in an aisle seat. And to play it 100% safe, make it rear facing, just to be sure. Bottom line, the safest place to sit is in an aisle  seat, rear-facing, towards the back of the train.

Follow the Instructions

Obviously, in case of an emergency, you should pay attention to PA announcements and follow the instructions to the letter. These guys are trained for SHTF scenarios, especially the train conductor.

If the circumstances really call for it, one should contemplate jumping off the train prior to a catastrophic crash. While this is very dangerous, you should be prepared for the worst case scenario. Try to do this at the end of the last car. If that’s not an option, jump from the door (if you can open it) or from the space between cars.

You can protect your head by using a blanket or something similar (you can secure some padding around your melon with your belt) and the same goes for your elbows, knees and hips. Before you jump, try to pick a landing spot free of trees, rocks, bushes, or  anything that may injure you during the big tumble.

Don’t try to land on your feet because it’s almost impossible to keep your balance, especially at high speeds; get as low to the floor as possible before you jump by bending your knees so you can leap-frog away from the car and jump at a ninety degrees angle away from the train, thus avoiding rolling towards the tracks, and cover your head with your arms while rolling like a log as you land. Keep your body straight so you will absorb the impact over the widest area possible.

Now, following a train crash, provided you’re still inside the car and the train comes to a full stop, don’t linger inside, but go for the nearest emergency exit/window ASAP.

It would be advisable to get accustomed to the emergency procedures prior to an eventual accident. Just like with everything in life, plan ahead, be aware of the situation and the nearest exits, and also try to visualize how to get there.

Will you be able to protect your own in a life or death scenario?

Click the banner below to find out!

If you have questions or comments, feel free to use the dedicated section below.

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

How To Survive A Train Accident

In one of my recent articles, I talked about surviving an airplane crash. Today we’ll contemplate another catastrophic scenario: how to survive a train accident. I know, it’s holiday season, so let be happy and all that, but better safe than sorry, right? After all, what’s happier than being alive?

The thing is, airplane crashes are a rare occurrence and most of them are not as horrible as one may think, i.e. the survival rate is pretty high. The same is true with train accidents; I mean, they don’t happen very often and the number of casualties is relatively low, all things considered. Now, if you enjoy traveling by train, you’ll have to pay attention to today’s article, as I’ll share with you a number of tips and tricks that may save your life in a rail accident.

With regard to train accidents, there are basically two main things that can go wrong: a head on collision with another train (the worst case scenario), or a collision with a vehicle (truck, SUV etc) in level crossings or derailments.

I know that you’re thinking that trains are safe and all that and I agree with you. However, it’s common sense to maximize your chances of not only surviving, but getting back home in one piece.

To begin with, there’s a lot of debate among rail transportation experts when it comes to what passengers should do in order to survive a train accident. If you’re paying attention to the news, you’ve probably noticed the recent derailments and crashes, especially those involving New Jersey Transit and MTA trains. They’ve been pretty shocking for commuters (and residents alike) in New Jersey and New York.

Here are some facts for your viewing pleasure:

Just to recall a few recent high-profile rail accidents, in February, 2016, 6 casualties were recorded and 15 were seriously injured when an MTA train hit an SUV in the Westchester hamlet of Valhalla, on the Metro-North tracks.

Then there was the Amtrak incident in April, 2016, when a train traveling to Georgia from New York through Philly killed 2 and injured scores more. Finally, there was the one that occurred in September of 2016, when 108 passengers were injured and one died when a NJ Transit train crashed at Hoboken. Three in the same year, though that’s an anomaly at least for passenger trains.

Judging from Federal Rail Administration statistics, in 2014, there were 1700+ train incidents, including almost 150 collisions (most with other vehicles), and 1200 derailments, but the vast majority of the crashes involved freight trains. Between 2011 and 2014 there were only four (4) fatalities from train crashes anywhere in the US.

In other words, your odds of dying in a train crash in the US are statistically less than your odds of drowning or getting bitten by a shark (about 1 in 19 million, actually). Now, let’s see about some tips and tricks for maximizing your chances of not only survival, but also for reducing the odds of getting injured in the improbable eventuality of a train crash.

Just like with airplanes, despite what the Federal transportation authority claims, not all seats inside a plane/train are created equal. Everything in life is about location; hence one’s location (as in where you sit) can really make a difference in the eventuality of a train crash.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

Avoid Front Cars

The general rule of thumb when picking a seat on a train is to head for the middle section. If you want to pick the safest spot to sit on a train, disregard what the talking heads on TV are telling you as well as the so-called expert advice; you must go straight to the data, i.e. reports/statistics from federal agencies, the same folks that set the safety standards for both plane and rail companies.

The first thing to take into account: head on collisions are very rare. You should worry about derailments, as a train is 9x more likely to derail at some point during a trip than to slam into another vehicle or train head on. The data was scooped from the Federal Railroad Administration database, and this fact should be enough to change your “seat-choosing” patterns.  According to various studies, in case of a train-derailment, the cars toward the middle of the train are the less likely to tumble off the rails. The same studies revealed that the first to go off track is the lead locomotive/the first vehicle/car, but that’s hardly a surprise.

Bottom line, the sweet spot when choosing a seat is in a car 1 or 2 back from the center of the train.

The next thing to remember when traveling by rail is to not linger in the Café Car. This is not a safe place to be in the eventuality of an accident, whether we’re talking about a derailment or a collision. While the undeniable benefits offered by the Café Car such as overpriced beer and nuked hot-dogs may lure some of my readers, the reality is that you’re better off to eat, swig, and run. The fixed tables and other pieces of furniture will transform in veritable weapons of mass destruction if SHTF and a train experiences a harsh impact or has to suddenly break prior to an accident.

Tables were the main culprits in many crashes, being responsible for countless internal injuries and the Federal Rail Agency is currently redesigning them for improved crash safety. They are contemplating using air bags (yeah, you read that right) for the tables and also crushable edges, the same tricks used in the automotive industry.

A “mainstream” idea pedaled by so-called safety experts is to choose a rear-facing seat. The concept is that a rear-facing seat will prevent you from being thrown forward (in the absence of a seat belt) during a collision. While this may sound like common sense when it comes to a head-on collision, just like all cute but wrong theories, the reality is that side impacts are far more common than rear-end or head-on ones.

Data scooped from the US Department of Transportation d-base shows that side collisions outnumber rear-end/head-on ones by a factor of 9 to 1 (especially on commuter trains), so forget about the nice view and go sit in an aisle seat. And to play it 100% safe, make it rear facing, just to be sure. Bottom line, the safest place to sit is in an aisle  seat, rear-facing, towards the back of the train.

Follow the Instructions

Obviously, in case of an emergency, you should pay attention to PA announcements and follow the instructions to the letter. These guys are trained for SHTF scenarios, especially the train conductor.

If the circumstances really call for it, one should contemplate jumping off the train prior to a catastrophic crash. While this is very dangerous, you should be prepared for the worst case scenario. Try to do this at the end of the last car. If that’s not an option, jump from the door (if you can open it) or from the space between cars.

You can protect your head by using a blanket or something similar (you can secure some padding around your melon with your belt) and the same goes for your elbows, knees and hips. Before you jump, try to pick a landing spot free of trees, rocks, bushes, or  anything that may injure you during the big tumble.

Don’t try to land on your feet because it’s almost impossible to keep your balance, especially at high speeds; get as low to the floor as possible before you jump by bending your knees so you can leap-frog away from the car and jump at a ninety degrees angle away from the train, thus avoiding rolling towards the tracks, and cover your head with your arms while rolling like a log as you land. Keep your body straight so you will absorb the impact over the widest area possible.

Now, following a train crash, provided you’re still inside the car and the train comes to a full stop, don’t linger inside, but go for the nearest emergency exit/window ASAP.

It would be advisable to get accustomed to the emergency procedures prior to an eventual accident. Just like with everything in life, plan ahead, be aware of the situation and the nearest exits, and also try to visualize how to get there.

Will you be able to protect your own in a life or death scenario?

Click the banner below to find out!

If you have questions or comments, feel free to use the dedicated section below.

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

How To Survive A Train Accident

In one of my recent articles, I talked about surviving an airplane crash. Today we’ll contemplate another catastrophic scenario: how to survive a train accident. I know, it’s holiday season, so let be happy and all that, but better safe than sorry, right? After all, what’s happier than being alive?

The thing is, airplane crashes are a rare occurrence and most of them are not as horrible as one may think, i.e. the survival rate is pretty high. The same is true with train accidents; I mean, they don’t happen very often and the number of casualties is relatively low, all things considered. Now, if you enjoy traveling by train, you’ll have to pay attention to today’s article, as I’ll share with you a number of tips and tricks that may save your life in a rail accident.

With regard to train accidents, there are basically two main things that can go wrong: a head on collision with another train (the worst case scenario), or a collision with a vehicle (truck, SUV etc) in level crossings or derailments.

I know that you’re thinking that trains are safe and all that and I agree with you. However, it’s common sense to maximize your chances of not only surviving, but getting back home in one piece.

To begin with, there’s a lot of debate among rail transportation experts when it comes to what passengers should do in order to survive a train accident. If you’re paying attention to the news, you’ve probably noticed the recent derailments and crashes, especially those involving New Jersey Transit and MTA trains. They’ve been pretty shocking for commuters (and residents alike) in New Jersey and New York.

Here are some facts for your viewing pleasure:

Just to recall a few recent high-profile rail accidents, in February, 2016, 6 casualties were recorded and 15 were seriously injured when an MTA train hit an SUV in the Westchester hamlet of Valhalla, on the Metro-North tracks.

Then there was the Amtrak incident in April, 2016, when a train traveling to Georgia from New York through Philly killed 2 and injured scores more. Finally, there was the one that occurred in September of 2016, when 108 passengers were injured and one died when a NJ Transit train crashed at Hoboken. Three in the same year, though that’s an anomaly at least for passenger trains.

Judging from Federal Rail Administration statistics, in 2014, there were 1700+ train incidents, including almost 150 collisions (most with other vehicles), and 1200 derailments, but the vast majority of the crashes involved freight trains. Between 2011 and 2014 there were only four (4) fatalities from train crashes anywhere in the US.

In other words, your odds of dying in a train crash in the US are statistically less than your odds of drowning or getting bitten by a shark (about 1 in 19 million, actually). Now, let’s see about some tips and tricks for maximizing your chances of not only survival, but also for reducing the odds of getting injured in the improbable eventuality of a train crash.

Just like with airplanes, despite what the Federal transportation authority claims, not all seats inside a plane/train are created equal. Everything in life is about location; hence one’s location (as in where you sit) can really make a difference in the eventuality of a train crash.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

Avoid Front Cars

The general rule of thumb when picking a seat on a train is to head for the middle section. If you want to pick the safest spot to sit on a train, disregard what the talking heads on TV are telling you as well as the so-called expert advice; you must go straight to the data, i.e. reports/statistics from federal agencies, the same folks that set the safety standards for both plane and rail companies.

The first thing to take into account: head on collisions are very rare. You should worry about derailments, as a train is 9x more likely to derail at some point during a trip than to slam into another vehicle or train head on. The data was scooped from the Federal Railroad Administration database, and this fact should be enough to change your “seat-choosing” patterns.  According to various studies, in case of a train-derailment, the cars toward the middle of the train are the less likely to tumble off the rails. The same studies revealed that the first to go off track is the lead locomotive/the first vehicle/car, but that’s hardly a surprise.

Bottom line, the sweet spot when choosing a seat is in a car 1 or 2 back from the center of the train.

The next thing to remember when traveling by rail is to not linger in the Café Car. This is not a safe place to be in the eventuality of an accident, whether we’re talking about a derailment or a collision. While the undeniable benefits offered by the Café Car such as overpriced beer and nuked hot-dogs may lure some of my readers, the reality is that you’re better off to eat, swig, and run. The fixed tables and other pieces of furniture will transform in veritable weapons of mass destruction if SHTF and a train experiences a harsh impact or has to suddenly break prior to an accident.

Tables were the main culprits in many crashes, being responsible for countless internal injuries and the Federal Rail Agency is currently redesigning them for improved crash safety. They are contemplating using air bags (yeah, you read that right) for the tables and also crushable edges, the same tricks used in the automotive industry.

A “mainstream” idea pedaled by so-called safety experts is to choose a rear-facing seat. The concept is that a rear-facing seat will prevent you from being thrown forward (in the absence of a seat belt) during a collision. While this may sound like common sense when it comes to a head-on collision, just like all cute but wrong theories, the reality is that side impacts are far more common than rear-end or head-on ones.

Data scooped from the US Department of Transportation d-base shows that side collisions outnumber rear-end/head-on ones by a factor of 9 to 1 (especially on commuter trains), so forget about the nice view and go sit in an aisle seat. And to play it 100% safe, make it rear facing, just to be sure. Bottom line, the safest place to sit is in an aisle  seat, rear-facing, towards the back of the train.

Follow the Instructions

Obviously, in case of an emergency, you should pay attention to PA announcements and follow the instructions to the letter. These guys are trained for SHTF scenarios, especially the train conductor.

If the circumstances really call for it, one should contemplate jumping off the train prior to a catastrophic crash. While this is very dangerous, you should be prepared for the worst case scenario. Try to do this at the end of the last car. If that’s not an option, jump from the door (if you can open it) or from the space between cars.

You can protect your head by using a blanket or something similar (you can secure some padding around your melon with your belt) and the same goes for your elbows, knees and hips. Before you jump, try to pick a landing spot free of trees, rocks, bushes, or  anything that may injure you during the big tumble.

Don’t try to land on your feet because it’s almost impossible to keep your balance, especially at high speeds; get as low to the floor as possible before you jump by bending your knees so you can leap-frog away from the car and jump at a ninety degrees angle away from the train, thus avoiding rolling towards the tracks, and cover your head with your arms while rolling like a log as you land. Keep your body straight so you will absorb the impact over the widest area possible.

Now, following a train crash, provided you’re still inside the car and the train comes to a full stop, don’t linger inside, but go for the nearest emergency exit/window ASAP.

It would be advisable to get accustomed to the emergency procedures prior to an eventual accident. Just like with everything in life, plan ahead, be aware of the situation and the nearest exits, and also try to visualize how to get there.

Will you be able to protect your own in a life or death scenario?

Click the banner below to find out!

If you have questions or comments, feel free to use the dedicated section below.

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

3 Ways To Make A Torch In The Wild

Click here to view the original post.

A simple hike can suddenly turn into a Bear Grylls episode, a struggle for survival, if you’re unlucky enough to find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Basically, in a matter of hours, you may very well find yourself stranded in the wild with no help in sight, completely on your own.

And I am talking here about a sudden change of weather conditions, or you may simply lose your way, which may lead to numerous days of no one (including you) being aware of your whereabouts.

When it comes to wilderness survival, fire is one of the essential things to take care of, as it provides a number of benefits, including warmth, which helps with avoiding hypothermia. It also allows you to cook your food, boil water (read sterilize), signal for help or keep wild animals away.

Today’s article will teach you how to make a torch in the wild.

The first lesson to be learned is to never go into an adventure unprepared! The thing is, if you’re planning an outdoors trip or a hike or whatever, always take survival gear with you, the essentials so to speak, which must include a compass, a map, a flashlight, a knife, a first aid kit, proper clothes, emergency food, waterproof matches/a fire starter kit, and always expect the unexpected.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

Speaking of torches and fire, one of the most underrated benefits of fire is the light it yields. And here’s where torches come into play.

Torches were used by humankind for thousands of years to illuminate the darkness of night, long before we discovered kerosene lanterns or electricity. When SHTF, DIY oil lamps and candles may be the preferred method of lighting for indoors use, but torches are the way to go in a wilderness survival scenario.

DIY-ing a torch using readily available materials is the perfect way to bring light wherever required; hence it’s an essential skill to master if you’re in the survival business.

To begin with, many folks have their minds warped by Hollywood movies that always make everything look incredibly easy, including making a torch in an emergency. If you think about a scene with someone, let’s say Rambo when he’s stuck inside a tunnel or a cave in Afghanistan, you’ll remember how our hero just grabs a femoral bone from some expired explorer, then wraps it up in rags and lights the gizmo on fire. And obviously, the fire lasts for hours and lights up the place like Frodo’s magic light of Earandil (if you know your LOTR). As you may imagine where this is going, reality is not as simple as Hollywood portrays it to be.

How To Make A Primitive Torch

In medieval times, torches were improvised from sticks of wood (or branches), preferably wet/green wood for preventing the fire from burning up one’s little digits. River cane, cattails, reeds and bark can also be used. However, certain types of torches must be bound using twine or similar stuff for keeping them sturdy. Obviously, certain varieties of bark, wood, etc. burn better than others, but in a survival situation, one can’t always be picky.

The most straightforward torch design is composed of a stick featuring a bundle of rags bound to one end, then soaked in tree sap, pitch, oil, or animal fat. In case you don’t have rags or clothes to spare, you can wrap bark around the stick’s end and stuff it with dry grass, moss, small bits of wood or leaves.

You’ll still need to soak some flammable material on the end (animal fat, pitch) to prevent your improvised torch from burning too fast or blowing out when you least expect it.

To get more specific, the most primitive torch that will last you for a while can be improvised from a freshly picked cattail. If you can get your hands on some grease or animal fat, not to mention lamp oil, this incredibly simple survival torch may last you for hours and hours. Here’s a little video.

Video first seen on bushcraftbartons

How To Make A Minimalistic Torch

Provided you can’t get any cattail, you will have to use the good old method of using a frayed branch along with some method for improvising your torch. As I already told you, the idea is to add a slow-burning fuel at the end of the branch, so the torch will burn for a longer period of time.

Rather than simply lighting the end of a branch (which is the most basic type of torch, because it really works, for a while at least), the idea is to create a proper torch that wicks and burns very much like a candle.

It would be ideal to carry some fire accelerants in your EDC survival kit, the likes of paraffin or cooking oil; these are excellent additives for a survival torch. If you don’t have them at your disposal, you’ll have to settle for animal fat (bacon grease if you’ve packed food, for instance) or tree sap.

A minimalistic torch can be improvised from a branch or green stick at least 2 feet long and 2 inches thick, cloth/birch bark, and some type of flame accelerant (animal/vegetable fat, paraffin, kerosene, etc.).

The torch will require a wick of sorts, which can be DIY-ed from strips of cloth. You must tear the respective fabric from a shirt or something similar. Alternatively, you can go for soft barks such as birch; i.e. find a tree and peel off a strip that’s about 2 feet long and 6 inches wide.

In the latter scenario, you’ll also require rope, twine, string or similar stuff to tie it securely into place.

Video first seen on Survival Elements

The wick must be attached firmly to the torch then soaked thoroughly with the flame accelerant before you light it up. A birch wick already contains natural resins that will burn for a long period of time, so you don’t have to soak it.

In the case of fabric/cotton wicks, make sure you saturate the fabric thoroughly with the stuff, whether it’s oil, gasoline, wax, animal fat, or whatever. If it’s dry, the wick will burn rapidly and fall away. Remember, it’s a wick, not firewood; your goal is to burn the oil, not the bark.

How To Make A Tree Resin Torch

One of the most effective torches to be used in the wild is the pine pitch variety. Even if you don’t have access to fuels, pine pitch, also known as pine sap, is an outstanding fuel and also readily available. All you have to do is to find a pine tree then to cut off a branch.

Afterwards, you’ll have to split one end of the stick 4-5 times then jam a handful of thin pine shaving into the gaps of the split end. Upon lighting it, the fire will wick the sap from the branch and it will burn for at least an hour.

Video first seen on OutsideFun1

If you’re lucky enough to have some toilet paper with you, you can DIY a nice  torch with this humble material. You’ll require 1 greenwood stick and about 50 ft of TP of any kind, together with flammable materials, such as cooking oil/animal fat (a cup).

The trick is to wrap the toilet paper around the end of the stick while spinning it, so it will end up looking like rope. The loose ends of the paper must be tucked into the torch head, so it resembles a huge Q-tip. In the next step, you’ll have to stick the wick into the oil and let it soak properly for 2 minutes or so. That’s about all there is to it; now you’ll just have to light it up. This one will last you for up to thirty minutes.

Now that you know how to make a torch, take a moment and think: are you ready to use this knowledge to survive?

I hope the article helped. If you have questions or comments, feel free to use the dedicated section below.

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

How To Build A Rabbit Coop

Click here to view the original post.

Food and water are essential survival items in every imaginable survival scenario.

Buying and stockpiling most of your emergency food may be the only option for urban dwellers, while learning how to grow and raise your own survival food, provided you have the possibility i.e. you live in “flyover America”, is an essential skill to master for any prepper.

However, there are numerous other reasons why you should learn how to grow/raise your own food. Food that is easy to grow and breed, and multiplies like rabbits.

The cost factor comes into play more often than you may think, and that’s why many preppers are starting to farm at least a portion of their (decorative) gardens in order to grow fruits, vegetables, herbs, and medicinal plants. And even if you’re an urban dweller, you can grow something using containers on your balcony and things of that nature.

Moreover, if you live in the countryside, the possibilities are almost endless, and that brings us to today’s article, which will teach you a thing or two about how to build a rabbit coop.

Why rabbits, one may ask?

Well, to begin with, rabbits breed like, well, rabbits. And their meat is exceptionally tasty and healthy, i.e. low in cholesterol, low in fat and a great source of high quality proteins. Truth be told, rabbits are the multi-purpose tool for any twenty-first-century homestead.

Learn from our ancestors the old lessons of growing your own food!

Rabbits are awesome for numerous reasons: besides being a quasi-infinite source of survival food if SHTF, they breed fast, their fur is great for DIY-ing survival clothes and making wool, and they also make for an excellent source of manure for your survival garden. Also, rabbits are terrific pets for your kids and they require minimal space, time and relatively little money to raise.

Not to mention that if you’re getting serious about raising rabbits, you can sell what you can’t eat and make extra money for your homestead. With rabbits, it’s a win-win situation.

What Kind of Rabbit to Grow?

There are many different breeds of rabbits and each one serves best for a different purpose.

For example, Angoras are great for their wool, while Giant Chinchilla, New Zealand, and Californian are the best choice if you want high-quality and tasty meat.

Also, regardless of the breed, rabbits will provide you with 1 pound of potent, seed- and weed-free manure per week for your survival garden, which makes for an awesome fertilizer, especially for demanding (as in heavy feeding) plants.

When it comes to raising rabbits, the breeding part is the easiest, as they are very enthusiastic about fornication. Female rabbits will breed at any given moment, as long as they meet a buck, i.e. there’s no set estrous period for female rabbits (they’re just like humans in this regard).

The rabbit’s pregnancy period is approximately a month (28-30 days tops) and within hours of giving birth, the female rabbit will be ready to mate again and spawn another “batch” of little darlings! One buck will take care of up to thirty does, but to keep the gene pool in tip-top shape, you should use one buck to “service” 5 does max. A mature and healthy doe (female rabbit) will give birth to 5 -10 young 4-6 times a year.

The ideal meat breeds are New Zealand and Californian, or a combination of the 2.

But don’t worry; the rest of the “deal” is equally hassle-free, as rabbits only have basic needs in order to flourish—food, water and shelter—together with a cozy place to nest.

As per food, rabbits thrive on high-quality hay. High-quality hay has a nice sweet smell, but watch out for water damage, i.e. make sure there’s no mold (your rabbits may get sick). Besides hay, rabbits love to eat birds-foot trefoil, red clover, Kentucky bluegrass, alfalfa, timothy and basically every type of native grass you can put your hands on.

Besides food, your rabbit coop should be furnished every day with clean water, but be extra careful so your rabbits don’t contaminate the water source (the same goes for the food!) with their body waste, as they’ll get sick pretty quickly and die in droves.

Keeping your rabbit coop clean is essential for the well-being of your rabbit population.

How to DIY a Rabbit Coop

And here’s where the rabbit coop comes into play. DIY-ing your own rabbit coop/hutch will cost you less than purchasing pre-made, commercially available models and the building process is not very complicated, regardless of one’s skill levels with regard to basic carpentry.

Building a decent rabbit coop will only require some elbow grease on your part, along with some time, a little bit of money, and readily available tools. Very basic carpentry skills would be sufficient for building the nesting box, the feeder, the watering device and eventually a wire hutch.

And if you’re asking why use wire, well, the answer is simple: wire is cheap, durable, light, and, unlike wood hutches, rabbits can’t soil/gnaw through wire hutches.

Standard rabbit coops are built using wire and wood and depending on your preferences, they can vary greatly both in terms of shape and size. Also, the number of rabbits you’ll be keeping is a factor.

Obviously, there are many ways for designing/building a rabbit coop (or hutch, which is actually the more common name), but there are some things to remember regardless: the rabbit must have enough room to literally stretch out, and to sit up on its back legs.

The cage itself should be (at least) approximately 4x the size of your rabbit. Rabbit coops are typically separated into (at least) 2 compartments or sections, in order to provide separate sleeping areas for the rabbits.

Outdoor coops should be built on 4-feet tall legs as a method to repel predators. Rabbit tastes just as good to them as they do to us!

Here’s the first video tutorial on how to build a rabbit coop/hatch.

Video first seen on amybrett95. You could also check Part 2 and Part 3 of this video.

The lesson to be taken home is this: wire flooring is preferable to wood flooring in rabbit coops, as a rabbit living/walking around in its own body excrements (feces and urine accumulate  quickly on the wood flooring) will quickly become sick and will probably die.

Wood flooring is extremely hard to keep clean. The only issue with wire flooring can be elegantly resolved with resting pads for your rabbits.

Here’s a cheap and easy version, i.e. how to build your rabbit hutch nice and easy without breaking the bank in the process.

Video first seen on Great Cove Adventures.

Easy DIY for Your Rabbit’s Water and Food

Here’s another video tutorial about a simple DIY rabbit feeder.

Video first seen on Stan Sullivan.

 And here’s how to make the best DIY rabbit waterer.

Video first seen on Martin Olivares.

Or, if you like, a DIY gravity-fed water feeder using plastic bottles.

Video first seen on High Standards Everything Poultry.

I hope this article helped give you some ideas for how to build your rabbit hutch. It will help you take one more step to your food independence, and live the healthy life our parents used to live.

Click on the banner below to discover more of their secrets!

If you have any suggestions, idea or comments, feel free to use the dedicated section below.

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

How Many Ways Can You Use Duct Tape For Survival?

If you’re a serious survivalist and most of all a DIY aficionado, you probably know that saying: if it doesn’t work nice and proper, bring the duct tape, Sally!

Duct tape is that kind of a “jack of all trades” piece of survival gear that can be found in any respectable prepper’s paraphernalia, along with paracord, tarp, a Toblerone candy bar (just kidding) and all that jazz.

Joking aside, duct tape can be described as the quintessential multipurpose survival-item and even if you don’t have it in your EDC survival bag (though you should) or in your bug out bag or whatever, you probably have some at home.

Now, if disaster strikes, or who knows, maybe you just like to play with duct tape, it would be nice to learn a trick or two about duct tape projects for your survival.

I mean, in the worst case scenario, having a few rolls of “duck tape” it won’t hurt you a bit and, on top of that, you’ll be that uber-fun guy (or gal) at the party who can make origami using duct tape.

Now, let me state an axiom (duct tape rules!) by asking you a simple question: is duct tape the ultimate survival tool? That was a rhetorical question, i.e. I already know the answer. But, to tell you the truth, I really can’t tell for sure if the humble duct tape deserves such a glorious definition. However, duct tape can be used in so many survival scenarios that it will make your head spin.

I can safely proclaim that if you twist my arm hard enough, I’d be able to build you a (small) pyramid using super glue and large amounts of that glorious duct tape.

Hence, even if it doesn’t necessarily qualify as the ultimate survival tool, “duck tape” is pretty close to it. To begin with, if you don’t already have a few crates of duct tape, don’t worry; you can buy it from Amazon before SHTF and the internet goes missing.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

Now, let’s talk about a little bit of ancient history: duct tape, just like many other marvelous inventions (read A-Bomb) was created during WW2, as necessity is the mother of invention. The US military required some miraculous stuff in order to be able to easily perform repairs in the field of battle.

The first duct tape (a strong version) was thus created by a division of Johnson & Johnson and Permacell respectively for this purpose.

And if you were wondering about the “duck tape” thingy, well, duct tape comes from “duck tape”, which is what the GIs called the miracle tape, because it’s waterproof, just like ducks, see?

A Few Survival Uses for Duct Tape

Now, boring details aside, let’s take a look at some uses and projects involving duct tape, shall we?

Let’s suppose you’ve just arrived at the campsite and you notice a little tear in your tent. Obviously, this is hardly a problem if you have a roll of duct tape in your bag. All you have to do is to cover the hole using a patch of duct tape and to make it extra-safe, mirror the patch on the inside. Weather and pesky insects will be secluded outside, where they belong in the first place.

You can make a rope using duct tape, did you know that? And if you wonder how, well, you’ll just have to twist one or more lengths of “duck tape” into a rope/cord of sorts. The same procedure can be utilized for DIY-ing an emergency clothesline from twisting a long piece of duct tape.

As per its initial moniker, “duck tape” is excellent for waterproofing your gear in a survival situation, hence pretty much anything (food, money, survival gear) can be waterproofed using duct tape, including leaving a (waterproofed) note for rescue teams/family members in the aftermath of a disaster.

In a very harsh winter survival scenario, you can use duct tape to cold-proof your boots. By applying duct tape on the insoles of your boots (silver side up) you’ll basically perform an insulating job, as the duct tape will reflect the body-heat from your feet into your boots (it really works!).

It is not uncommon for people to lose their minds in a crisis situation and here duct tape restraints come into play. You can always use duct tape for immobilizing the threat of that odd person in your group who is either incredibly stupid or openly hostile. To prevent the rogue element from endangering the safety of everyone around, just duct tape (yes, it’s a verb) his/her hands around a strong pole or tree and let nature take its calming course.

Are there any other uses for duct tape? Of course there are:

  • Duct tape can be used for keeping the feathers inside a punctured sleeping bag by patching the hole, and voila—no more feather loss, no more body-heat loss.
  • You can reseal partially opened food containers (yes, it works for cans too) with duct tape.
  • If you have a tent with a damaged zipper, its door will flap in the wind, making you cold and miserable. But with duct tape, you can stick the door shut in a jiffy, keeping the cold and the bugs out.
  • Duct tape is excellent for sealing leaks, as in stopping leakage from a pierced container, like a cracked bottle or a hydration ladder. To do the sealing job nice and proper, you’ll have to make sure that the surface of the bottle/bag/whatever is completely dry before applying the patch.
  • You can also stabilize a broken limb using duct tape. When the going gets tough, you’ll have to improvise utilizing very basic available stuff, so using duct tape and padding, together with splint material, you can DIY a rope or a holder for keeping your broken arm into place until the cavalry arrives.
  • You can use it for repairing a broken fishing pole or tent pole with a little bit of duct tape.
  • You can use duct tape for catching pesky insects (while fishing for example) by hanging a couple of foot-long strips of “duck tape” from a branch. Of course, the same trick works inside of your tent or cabin or whatever.
  • You can improvise a medium-range weapon from a tent pole (or something similar) and a knife by strapping the latter to the former using—guess what!
  • Shelter can also be improvised with a little help from your trustworthy duct tape and a couple of trash bags. Putting the two together, (duct tape + trash bags) you’ll end up with a wind-break, a survival shelter-roof or a sleeping bag cover; the possibilities are endless.

DIY Projects to Try

If you’re bored at home and want to give purpose to your life, you can always try to build a kayak using wood glue, cedar strips and the always awesome “duck tape”. I’ve also heard stories about boats built entirely out of duck tape and cardboard. And that’s because duct tape makes for an awesome waterproofing material (applied over cardboard that is).

During rainy days, you can always wear duct-tape pants, especially if you’re out of rain gear. Here’s a video about how to make a duct tape suit.

Video first seen on umthuggee.

Also, you can DIY duct tape pouches, which are fairly easy to manufacture and, most importantly, they’re also waterproof. You’ll not have to worry about your gear getting wet. Here’s how to DIY a knife-sheath with duct tape.

And here’s a survival belt pouch made from you-know-what.

Video first seen on JJR SURVIVAL.

Obviously, you can make a duct tape wallet too.

Video first seen on MonkeySee.

Speaking of improving one’s life, duct tape is excellent for building hammocks. If you think I’m kidding, well, click here and you’ll learn how to make your own hammock for camping trips and what not. Shoes made using duct tape are every bum’s dream, but joking aside, having proper footwear in a survival scenario may save your life some day. Click  here and see how it’s done using just cardboard and “duck tape”.

And since we’re in the survival racket, you can DIY a duct tape fish net, just like Jesus said: give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish using a duct tape fish net … you know the rest; just click here.

Duct tape also works great for bandaging wounds or to affix bandages and even for blister care. The blistered area should be covered with some cotton glaze, then duct-taped.

 

Video first seen on Survival Common Sense.

For homestead use, you can improvise a temporary roof shingle by wrapping plywood (cut to size) in duct tape. It’s nothing fancy, but it will close the gap and keep you dry until you can properly fix your roof. Also, you can duct-tape a broken window (crisscross the broken pane) before removing all the broken glass, thus making sure shards will stay into place.

If you wrap “duck tape” around your broken (eye) glasses, you’ll definitely look like a nerd and a weirdo. But in an outdoors survival situation, being able to repair your damaged glasses so that you can see properly is more important than fashion issues, isn’t it?

This concludes today’s crash course into duct-tape uses. Now, take a moment and think: are you ready to use this knowledge for survival?

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

How Many Ways Can You Use Duct Tape For Survival?

Click here to view the original post.

If you’re a serious survivalist and most of all a DIY aficionado, you probably know that saying: if it doesn’t work nice and proper, bring the duct tape, Sally!

Duct tape is that kind of a “jack of all trades” piece of survival gear that can be found in any respectable prepper’s paraphernalia, along with paracord, tarp, a Toblerone candy bar (just kidding) and all that jazz.

Joking aside, duct tape can be described as the quintessential multipurpose survival-item and even if you don’t have it in your EDC survival bag (though you should) or in your bug out bag or whatever, you probably have some at home.

Now, if disaster strikes, or who knows, maybe you just like to play with duct tape, it would be nice to learn a trick or two about duct tape projects for your survival.

I mean, in the worst case scenario, having a few rolls of “duck tape” it won’t hurt you a bit and, on top of that, you’ll be that uber-fun guy (or gal) at the party who can make origami using duct tape.

Now, let me state an axiom (duct tape rules!) by asking you a simple question: is duct tape the ultimate survival tool? That was a rhetorical question, i.e. I already know the answer. But, to tell you the truth, I really can’t tell for sure if the humble duct tape deserves such a glorious definition. However, duct tape can be used in so many survival scenarios that it will make your head spin.

I can safely proclaim that if you twist my arm hard enough, I’d be able to build you a (small) pyramid using super glue and large amounts of that glorious duct tape.

Hence, even if it doesn’t necessarily qualify as the ultimate survival tool, “duck tape” is pretty close to it. To begin with, if you don’t already have a few crates of duct tape, don’t worry; you can buy it from Amazon before SHTF and the internet goes missing.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

Now, let’s talk about a little bit of ancient history: duct tape, just like many other marvelous inventions (read A-Bomb) was created during WW2, as necessity is the mother of invention. The US military required some miraculous stuff in order to be able to easily perform repairs in the field of battle.

The first duct tape (a strong version) was thus created by a division of Johnson & Johnson and Permacell respectively for this purpose.

And if you were wondering about the “duck tape” thingy, well, duct tape comes from “duck tape”, which is what the GIs called the miracle tape, because it’s waterproof, just like ducks, see?

A Few Survival Uses for Duct Tape

Now, boring details aside, let’s take a look at some uses and projects involving duct tape, shall we?

Let’s suppose you’ve just arrived at the campsite and you notice a little tear in your tent. Obviously, this is hardly a problem if you have a roll of duct tape in your bag. All you have to do is to cover the hole using a patch of duct tape and to make it extra-safe, mirror the patch on the inside. Weather and pesky insects will be secluded outside, where they belong in the first place.

You can make a rope using duct tape, did you know that? And if you wonder how, well, you’ll just have to twist one or more lengths of “duck tape” into a rope/cord of sorts. The same procedure can be utilized for DIY-ing an emergency clothesline from twisting a long piece of duct tape.

As per its initial moniker, “duck tape” is excellent for waterproofing your gear in a survival situation, hence pretty much anything (food, money, survival gear) can be waterproofed using duct tape, including leaving a (waterproofed) note for rescue teams/family members in the aftermath of a disaster.

In a very harsh winter survival scenario, you can use duct tape to cold-proof your boots. By applying duct tape on the insoles of your boots (silver side up) you’ll basically perform an insulating job, as the duct tape will reflect the body-heat from your feet into your boots (it really works!).

It is not uncommon for people to lose their minds in a crisis situation and here duct tape restraints come into play. You can always use duct tape for immobilizing the threat of that odd person in your group who is either incredibly stupid or openly hostile. To prevent the rogue element from endangering the safety of everyone around, just duct tape (yes, it’s a verb) his/her hands around a strong pole or tree and let nature take its calming course.

Are there any other uses for duct tape? Of course there are:

  • Duct tape can be used for keeping the feathers inside a punctured sleeping bag by patching the hole, and voila—no more feather loss, no more body-heat loss.
  • You can reseal partially opened food containers (yes, it works for cans too) with duct tape.
  • If you have a tent with a damaged zipper, its door will flap in the wind, making you cold and miserable. But with duct tape, you can stick the door shut in a jiffy, keeping the cold and the bugs out.
  • Duct tape is excellent for sealing leaks, as in stopping leakage from a pierced container, like a cracked bottle or a hydration ladder. To do the sealing job nice and proper, you’ll have to make sure that the surface of the bottle/bag/whatever is completely dry before applying the patch.
  • You can also stabilize a broken limb using duct tape. When the going gets tough, you’ll have to improvise utilizing very basic available stuff, so using duct tape and padding, together with splint material, you can DIY a rope or a holder for keeping your broken arm into place until the cavalry arrives.
  • You can use it for repairing a broken fishing pole or tent pole with a little bit of duct tape.
  • You can use duct tape for catching pesky insects (while fishing for example) by hanging a couple of foot-long strips of “duck tape” from a branch. Of course, the same trick works inside of your tent or cabin or whatever.
  • You can improvise a medium-range weapon from a tent pole (or something similar) and a knife by strapping the latter to the former using—guess what!
  • Shelter can also be improvised with a little help from your trustworthy duct tape and a couple of trash bags. Putting the two together, (duct tape + trash bags) you’ll end up with a wind-break, a survival shelter-roof or a sleeping bag cover; the possibilities are endless.

DIY Projects to Try

If you’re bored at home and want to give purpose to your life, you can always try to build a kayak using wood glue, cedar strips and the always awesome “duck tape”. I’ve also heard stories about boats built entirely out of duck tape and cardboard. And that’s because duct tape makes for an awesome waterproofing material (applied over cardboard that is).

During rainy days, you can always wear duct-tape pants, especially if you’re out of rain gear. Here’s a video about how to make a duct tape suit.

Video first seen on umthuggee.

Also, you can DIY duct tape pouches, which are fairly easy to manufacture and, most importantly, they’re also waterproof. You’ll not have to worry about your gear getting wet. Here’s how to DIY a knife-sheath with duct tape.

And here’s a survival belt pouch made from you-know-what.

Video first seen on JJR SURVIVAL.

Obviously, you can make a duct tape wallet too.

Video first seen on MonkeySee.

Speaking of improving one’s life, duct tape is excellent for building hammocks. If you think I’m kidding, well, click here and you’ll learn how to make your own hammock for camping trips and what not. Shoes made using duct tape are every bum’s dream, but joking aside, having proper footwear in a survival scenario may save your life some day. Click  here and see how it’s done using just cardboard and “duck tape”.

And since we’re in the survival racket, you can DIY a duct tape fish net, just like Jesus said: give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish using a duct tape fish net … you know the rest; just click here.

Duct tape also works great for bandaging wounds or to affix bandages and even for blister care. The blistered area should be covered with some cotton glaze, then duct-taped.

 

Video first seen on Survival Common Sense.

For homestead use, you can improvise a temporary roof shingle by wrapping plywood (cut to size) in duct tape. It’s nothing fancy, but it will close the gap and keep you dry until you can properly fix your roof. Also, you can duct-tape a broken window (crisscross the broken pane) before removing all the broken glass, thus making sure shards will stay into place.

If you wrap “duck tape” around your broken (eye) glasses, you’ll definitely look like a nerd and a weirdo. But in an outdoors survival situation, being able to repair your damaged glasses so that you can see properly is more important than fashion issues, isn’t it?

This concludes today’s crash course into duct-tape uses. Now, take a moment and think: are you ready to use this knowledge for survival?

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

How Many Ways Can You Use Duct Tape For Survival?

If you’re a serious survivalist and most of all a DIY aficionado, you probably know that saying: if it doesn’t work nice and proper, bring the duct tape, Sally!

Duct tape is that kind of a “jack of all trades” piece of survival gear that can be found in any respectable prepper’s paraphernalia, along with paracord, tarp, a Toblerone candy bar (just kidding) and all that jazz.

Joking aside, duct tape can be described as the quintessential multipurpose survival-item and even if you don’t have it in your EDC survival bag (though you should) or in your bug out bag or whatever, you probably have some at home.

Now, if disaster strikes, or who knows, maybe you just like to play with duct tape, it would be nice to learn a trick or two about duct tape projects for your survival.

I mean, in the worst case scenario, having a few rolls of “duck tape” it won’t hurt you a bit and, on top of that, you’ll be that uber-fun guy (or gal) at the party who can make origami using duct tape.

Now, let me state an axiom (duct tape rules!) by asking you a simple question: is duct tape the ultimate survival tool? That was a rhetorical question, i.e. I already know the answer. But, to tell you the truth, I really can’t tell for sure if the humble duct tape deserves such a glorious definition. However, duct tape can be used in so many survival scenarios that it will make your head spin.

I can safely proclaim that if you twist my arm hard enough, I’d be able to build you a (small) pyramid using super glue and large amounts of that glorious duct tape.

Hence, even if it doesn’t necessarily qualify as the ultimate survival tool, “duck tape” is pretty close to it. To begin with, if you don’t already have a few crates of duct tape, don’t worry; you can buy it from Amazon before SHTF and the internet goes missing.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

Now, let’s talk about a little bit of ancient history: duct tape, just like many other marvelous inventions (read A-Bomb) was created during WW2, as necessity is the mother of invention. The US military required some miraculous stuff in order to be able to easily perform repairs in the field of battle.

The first duct tape (a strong version) was thus created by a division of Johnson & Johnson and Permacell respectively for this purpose.

And if you were wondering about the “duck tape” thingy, well, duct tape comes from “duck tape”, which is what the GIs called the miracle tape, because it’s waterproof, just like ducks, see?

A Few Survival Uses for Duct Tape

Now, boring details aside, let’s take a look at some uses and projects involving duct tape, shall we?

Let’s suppose you’ve just arrived at the campsite and you notice a little tear in your tent. Obviously, this is hardly a problem if you have a roll of duct tape in your bag. All you have to do is to cover the hole using a patch of duct tape and to make it extra-safe, mirror the patch on the inside. Weather and pesky insects will be secluded outside, where they belong in the first place.

You can make a rope using duct tape, did you know that? And if you wonder how, well, you’ll just have to twist one or more lengths of “duck tape” into a rope/cord of sorts. The same procedure can be utilized for DIY-ing an emergency clothesline from twisting a long piece of duct tape.

As per its initial moniker, “duck tape” is excellent for waterproofing your gear in a survival situation, hence pretty much anything (food, money, survival gear) can be waterproofed using duct tape, including leaving a (waterproofed) note for rescue teams/family members in the aftermath of a disaster.

In a very harsh winter survival scenario, you can use duct tape to cold-proof your boots. By applying duct tape on the insoles of your boots (silver side up) you’ll basically perform an insulating job, as the duct tape will reflect the body-heat from your feet into your boots (it really works!).

It is not uncommon for people to lose their minds in a crisis situation and here duct tape restraints come into play. You can always use duct tape for immobilizing the threat of that odd person in your group who is either incredibly stupid or openly hostile. To prevent the rogue element from endangering the safety of everyone around, just duct tape (yes, it’s a verb) his/her hands around a strong pole or tree and let nature take its calming course.

Are there any other uses for duct tape? Of course there are:

  • Duct tape can be used for keeping the feathers inside a punctured sleeping bag by patching the hole, and voila—no more feather loss, no more body-heat loss.
  • You can reseal partially opened food containers (yes, it works for cans too) with duct tape.
  • If you have a tent with a damaged zipper, its door will flap in the wind, making you cold and miserable. But with duct tape, you can stick the door shut in a jiffy, keeping the cold and the bugs out.
  • Duct tape is excellent for sealing leaks, as in stopping leakage from a pierced container, like a cracked bottle or a hydration ladder. To do the sealing job nice and proper, you’ll have to make sure that the surface of the bottle/bag/whatever is completely dry before applying the patch.
  • You can also stabilize a broken limb using duct tape. When the going gets tough, you’ll have to improvise utilizing very basic available stuff, so using duct tape and padding, together with splint material, you can DIY a rope or a holder for keeping your broken arm into place until the cavalry arrives.
  • You can use it for repairing a broken fishing pole or tent pole with a little bit of duct tape.
  • You can use duct tape for catching pesky insects (while fishing for example) by hanging a couple of foot-long strips of “duck tape” from a branch. Of course, the same trick works inside of your tent or cabin or whatever.
  • You can improvise a medium-range weapon from a tent pole (or something similar) and a knife by strapping the latter to the former using—guess what!
  • Shelter can also be improvised with a little help from your trustworthy duct tape and a couple of trash bags. Putting the two together, (duct tape + trash bags) you’ll end up with a wind-break, a survival shelter-roof or a sleeping bag cover; the possibilities are endless.

DIY Projects to Try

If you’re bored at home and want to give purpose to your life, you can always try to build a kayak using wood glue, cedar strips and the always awesome “duck tape”. I’ve also heard stories about boats built entirely out of duck tape and cardboard. And that’s because duct tape makes for an awesome waterproofing material (applied over cardboard that is).

During rainy days, you can always wear duct-tape pants, especially if you’re out of rain gear. Here’s a video about how to make a duct tape suit.

Video first seen on umthuggee.

Also, you can DIY duct tape pouches, which are fairly easy to manufacture and, most importantly, they’re also waterproof. You’ll not have to worry about your gear getting wet. Here’s how to DIY a knife-sheath with duct tape.

And here’s a survival belt pouch made from you-know-what.

Video first seen on JJR SURVIVAL.

Obviously, you can make a duct tape wallet too.

Video first seen on MonkeySee.

Speaking of improving one’s life, duct tape is excellent for building hammocks. If you think I’m kidding, well, click here and you’ll learn how to make your own hammock for camping trips and what not. Shoes made using duct tape are every bum’s dream, but joking aside, having proper footwear in a survival scenario may save your life some day. Click  here and see how it’s done using just cardboard and “duck tape”.

And since we’re in the survival racket, you can DIY a duct tape fish net, just like Jesus said: give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish using a duct tape fish net … you know the rest; just click here.

Duct tape also works great for bandaging wounds or to affix bandages and even for blister care. The blistered area should be covered with some cotton glaze, then duct-taped.

 

Video first seen on Survival Common Sense.

For homestead use, you can improvise a temporary roof shingle by wrapping plywood (cut to size) in duct tape. It’s nothing fancy, but it will close the gap and keep you dry until you can properly fix your roof. Also, you can duct-tape a broken window (crisscross the broken pane) before removing all the broken glass, thus making sure shards will stay into place.

If you wrap “duck tape” around your broken (eye) glasses, you’ll definitely look like a nerd and a weirdo. But in an outdoors survival situation, being able to repair your damaged glasses so that you can see properly is more important than fashion issues, isn’t it?

This concludes today’s crash course into duct-tape uses. Now, take a moment and think: are you ready to use this knowledge for survival?

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

12 Ways To Build A Survival Tent

Click here to view the original post.

When it comes to survival in an emergency situation, everything revolves around the “holy trinity”: water, food, and shelter. The rest are luxuries.

Without water, you’ll die in a matter of days, 2-3 days tops depending on the climate and your physical fitness. Without food, you’ll last for up to 2-3 weeks or maybe more, but after the first week you’ll be pretty much disabled, both physically and psychologically, i.e. it will be all spiraling downwards from there.

The importance of finding or building adequate shelter in a survival scenario is pretty much obvious to anyone. If you’re facing extreme weather conditions in a SHTF scenario, you won’t make it for 2-3 weeks so you can die of hunger, if you know what I mean.

Now, if you can secure these three items – food, water, shelter regardless of the nature of your emergency and/or your location, you’ll be able to “hang in there” indefinitely.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

Then, you can concentrate on building a fire, assessing your self-defense options, and even some basic luxuries, such as gathering leaves for a softer bed and making a cup of coffee if you’re lucky enough to have any.

Let’s talk about the basics of building a shelter via an improvised tent, as a primer of sorts.

The idea is that one the most common mistakes of wilderness survival is one’s incapability of building/finding a proper shelter.

Actually, having no shelter in a SHTF situation is a 2-fold mistake that may cost you and your family’s life: the first mistake is adventuring outdoors unprepared, i.e. not having the means to DIY a proper shelter in your survival kit (read tarp, poncho etc.). The second mistake would be one’s lack of knowledge to DIY an improvised shelter using readily available materials, i.e. nature’s tools (snow, branches, sand etc.).

When we hear news about folks dying out there in the wilderness, they usually die of exposure; this is the common reason that you’ll hear coming up time and time again.

Whether we’re talking about heat-stroke or hypothermia, the lesson to be taken home is that those guys either did not carry the means to build an improvised shelter (a sleeping bag with bivy, a tarp or a regular tent) or they lacked the skills and the knowledge to DIY a suitable shelter for shielding themselves from the elements. One of the most important rules of outdoor survival is to stay dry; remember that folks.

Getting back to our business, in order to improvise a tent, you’ll require time, effort, a good location, and, obviously, the materials needed to build it.

With regard to wilderness survival in harsh weather conditions, shelters can be improvised from readily available materials with relative ease in order to protect you from wind, sun, rain, snow, cold/hot temperatures, insects etc.

Here are a few ideas for building an improvised shelter using a piece of tarp, a poncho, or something similar (plastic sheets, parachute canopy etc.):

And speaking of materials and survival gear, always remember to pack a quality piece of tarp in your EDC survival kit in your car or your hand baggage. You never know when you’ll need it, right? And I’ve mentioned the tarp for good reason.

4 Ways to Make a Tent from a Tarp

You can improvise a pretty cool tent using a piece of tarp, preferably with reinforced corners and solid 1/2” grommets if you’re lucky enough to have the respective supplies with you (the tarp that is).

The tarp will be used in conjunction with a wooden-made frame to create a cozy shelter for the night. The frame can be improvised relatively easily. All you have to do is lean poles against a tree trunk or a lower branch in such a way that you’ll be able to fit snugly under your tarp.

Here’s how to make a tent from a tarp using readily available materials, such as wood branches and nothing more. You can configure this design in both open front and closed front by using canvas, nylon or poly tarps.

This type of improvised tent will work great with a fire in front for keeping you warm during the long winter nights.

Video first seen on Far North Bushcraft And Survival

Here’s an even simpler design using an 8×10 tarp and a bunch of sticks, which will come handy in an emergency situation.

Video first seen on Oregon Mike

A more comprehensive tutorial about tents improvised from tarp in storm conditions can be visualized in the video below. The idea is to build an improvised tent that can be used effectively in windy conditions.

Video first seen on PHARRAOH

Here’s a very easy DIY project for improvising a partial tent for a quick overnight or just to keep the snow away.

Video first seen on Jarhead Survivor

The thing is, there are many ways one can improvise a survival tent out of a piece of tarp or a plastic sheet or a poncho. However, what’s important is to know the basics, the theory so to speak.

This one can described as a life-saving skill by any metric, and the only thing to remember at all times is that the bigger the tarp, the bigger the shelter, so keep that in mind when assembling your EDC survival kit (and don’t forget the paracord).

The Poncho Survival Shelter

Besides a tarp, you can improvise a survival tent of sorts using a poncho. We’ll refer to this little project as the poncho survival shelter if you like. Here are two ideas to contemplate upon.

Video first seen on Snowalker13

Here’s a comprehensive tutorial, with variations of the poncho-shelter.

Video first seen on UglyTent Bushcraft & Survival.

How to Improvise a Teeppee

You can always improvise a native Indian-styled tent also known as a tipi/teepee, just watch this video. This is one of my favorite projects as it’s simple to set up and fairly easy to DIY.

Video first seen on Wilderness Innovation

And here’s a pull-up tipi, or an improvised tent/survival shelter that’s not supported by poles, by rather pulled up with cord/rope. This is the ideal emergency shelter for one person.

Video first seen on Wilderness Innovation

Here’s another cool idea for a no-pole improvised tent.

Video first seen on mc outdoors

How to Make a Shelter in the Woods

If you know how to use an ax, then log tents may also be an option. Log tents were built by native Indians for centuries, as their primary winter houses in North America.

This is a very basic idea for building an improvised log tent, or how to make a shelter in the woods if you don’t have a tarp or something similar available.

Video  first seen on Videojug

And here’s a more complex one, a frame super-tent if you like, using green wood for the horizontal beams.

Video first seen on Birch Point Outdoors

If you think you have what it takes, here’s a picture depicting native American log-tents of the ancient North, which make for an excellent warm winter camp, especially if the logs fit well together and they’re properly calked with dry grass and moss.

Now that you know how to build a survival shelter, start practicing!

Will you be able to protect your own in a life or death scenario?

Click the banner below to find out!

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

6+ Tips That Could Save Your Life In A Plane Crash

Click here to view the original post.

Usually speaking, the general public believes that the vast majority of plane crashes leaves no one left behind alive to tell the story.

However, there are many exceptions to that rule. If we’re talking about science, well, there’s a whole science behind the concept of surviving a plane crash.

Actually, plane crashes are incredibly rare.

Statistically speaking, you’re more prone to dying while driving your car, i.e. in a car crash, than to be involved in a plane crash. Airplane-related incidents are a very rare occurrence and today they are at an all time low, due to the huge advances in flight security and technology.

What Are the Odds?

To give you a scientific example using statistics, the odds of the average Survivopedia reader being killed in a plane crash even providing that he/she flies regularly are 1 in 8015. The chances of any single flight being plagued by an incident are 1 in 1.2 million. The chance of you getting killed in a plane crash are over your entire lifetime 1 in 8015.

To put things into a broader perspective, your chances of being killed in a car accident are anywhere between 1 in 112 (over your entire lifetime) or anywhere between 1 in 4000/8000 every time you’re on the road, as there are many variables to take into account: what kind of vehicle you drive, how often and far you drive on a daily basis etc.

However, if you  compare these aforementioned figures to the odds of dying in an airplane crash, you’ll have a hard time comprehending people’s fear of flying, or, for that matter, our utter nonchalance when it comes to driving for the most meaningless of purposes, but let that one go.

It’s also interesting to mention than a whopping 96% of all victims involved in an airplane crash survive. If that figure sounds very high, well, it’s because the vast majority of airplane crashes are not as catastrophic as one may be inclined to think watching TV all day.

Catastrophic airplane crashes, where the plane just drops out of the sky for some reason, aren’t typically survivable (except from blind luck), but they’re very rare. “Regular” plane crashes are totally survivable provided you don’t lose your head and you learn some tiny bits of essential information.

To make things real simple, an airplane is basically a long, combustible aluminum tube filled with people; go figure it out for yourself what happens in a crash landing, which defines the vast majority of airplane accidents nowadays (80% of plane crashes happen during take-off/landing procedures).

But modern-day airplanes are specially designed for allowing all of the passengers to be evacuated in 90 seconds tops, and that’s important because most of the injuries/victims when it comes to plane crashes are due to fires.

One thing that really grinds my gears is that almost ninety percent of the passengers fail to read the safety cards and half of them don’t watch the pre-flight safety presentations, even if the information regarding flight safety is a matter of life and death.

Simply put, actions have consequences and every action you take prior, during, and after a plane crash plays a vital role with regard to your chances of survival. To begin with, according to flight security experts, almost 33% of all casualties due to plane crashes in the past could have been prevented, provided the passengers had known their survival basics, i.e. what to do during and after the plane crash.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

Choose Your Airplane Seat Carefully

Lesson number one: everything in life is about location, hence choose your airplane seat carefully, as per the picture below:

However, let’s be honest about it: surviving an airplane crash is not an exact science. Even if you choose your seat as per the illustration above, which, according to statistics, shows you the safest position inside of an airplane for surviving a crash, there’s no guarantee you’ll make it out alive if SHTF.

The thing is, even if certain seats are safer than others using probabilities, it all depends on the nature of a particular incident, i.e. if you sit in the front of the plane in the business class and the impacts occurs primarily in the rear, your chances of survival will be higher in this situation, right?

Still, the FAA claims that there’s no such thing as a safe space inside of an airplane, because there is no seat that’s safer than another. Airplane manufacturers are saying the same thing, arguing that all seats are created equal, provided you’re using the seat belt.

But, recent studies analyzing  survival patterns of many catastrophic airplane crashes suggest that the rear third of the plane is the safest with regard to one’s chances of surviving, with the last row being the ideal spot due to its proximity to the rear exit.

Speaking of emergency exits, there’s always the five-row rule, which states that your chances of surviving a plane crash are pretty good if your seat is within 5 rows of an emergency exit. This theory makes perfect sense: the sooner you get out of the plane, the better.

The least safe seats in coach are in the middle third of the airplane and the same goes for seats located in the very front of the entire cabin (business/first class). The fatality rate of those passengers having to travel more than 5 rows to an emergency exit is significantly higher, so remember that next time you book a seat.

Overall, the lesson to be taken home is that middle seats in the rear third of the cabin are the sweet spots for surviving a plane crash.

Wear Flame-resistant Clothes

The next thing to contemplate is your clothing. Yes, you read that right because the biggest danger in an airplane crash, provided you survived the impact, is the combustible parts of the plane igniting and provoking a huge fire; therefore, your clothes are the first and last line of defense.

While there are flame-resistant clothes on the market, it’s not always possible to wear these, especially during business trips and all that. However, remember to avoid nylon, polyester and acrylic , as these materials are very dangerous in a fire because they melt (and burn) at relatively low temperatures, compared to other materials. That means that they will stick to your skin if heated enough, provoking horrible injuries as they burn.

Wool and cotton are way better and remember: do not wear skirts, dresses, shorts or flowing/loose fitting clothes during flight. Also, pay attention to your shoes. The best choice is to wear laced-up, comfy and sturdy leather shoes, made with solid soles and good traction. As you’ll be trying to escape from a burning plane, these details are very important.

Learn How to Operate the Safety Equipment

Always pay attention to the back seat pocket card and the safety presentation, as every aircraft model has its own safety procedures and features.

Learn how to operate the safety equipment and know where the emergency exits are, how to open them, and so on and so forth.

Know the +3 / -8 Rule

While it’s recommended that you stay alert and aware at all times, not only during flight, when it comes to surviving a plane crash, there’s the +3/-8 rule. This rule refers to the fact that most airplane crashes (80%) take place in the first three minutes after take-off and in the final 8 minutes of the flight.

During these periods of time, don’t read, don’t get distracted, and stay alert and ready to execute your plan if necessary.

Buckle Up for Safety

Seat belts are a no-brainer; always remember to buckle up for safety both while driving and flying. What’s crucial to remember with regard to airplane seat belts is that they’re somewhat different from their car brethren and it was widely reported that many passengers have difficulty and lose valuable time trying to remove their seat belts in the aftermath of a plane crash.

The thing is, unlike a car seat belt which releases at a push of a button, an airplane seat belt uses a different mechanism so you should familiarize yourself with removing your seat belt by both sight and touch, so you’ll be ready and able to release it instantly if SHTF even if the cabin is dark.

Also, remember to fasten your seat belt as tight as you can, as any loose inch matters in the eventuality of a high-speed crash. Every half inch of slack will triple the G-force you’ll have to endure in a crash.

Even if it may sound uncomfortable, I would advise you to keep your seat beat fastened even when you’re sleeping, especially when you’re sleeping.

Be Ready to Act

Now, with prevention taken care of, the “good news” so to speak is that you’ll probably be aware of the imminence of a plane crash long before it actually happens. That’s why it’s important to develop a plan, thus to dramatically increase your chance of surviving a plane crash just by taking a few minutes to think about what you’ll  have to do to survive in the eventuality of an accident.

Be ready to act quickly, calmly, and efficiently in any crisis situation. Know where the emergency exits are located and count the rows to the nearest exit both behind and in front of your seat so you can navigate the cabin easily even in the dark.

Before the Crash

If the plane will have to perform an emergency landing over water, put your life vest on, but don’t inflate it until you’re out of the plane—this is important. An inflated life vest will impair your movements, making it harder to get out of the plane quickly.

Try to pad your head prior to impact, if possible, using pillows, a coat or blankets. Also try to protect your ankles and shins if possible and secure any loose items near you.

Empirical evidence teaches us that bracing for impact, i.e. assuming the proper position prior to a heavy impact, will maximize your chances of survival. The crash position is taught in the pre flight safety presentation and not only increases your chances of survival, but it also minimizes the risk of getting injured (neck, head, leg injuries) if you do actually survive the crash.

As soon as the oxygen mask drops, put it on. In the eventuality the cabin becomes depressurized, you’ll only have fifteen to twenty seconds to put it on before your rendered unconscious. Put your oxygen mask on before assisting other passengers or even your children. If you pass out, you’ll not be able to help anyone anyway.

After the Crash

After the crash, try to get out of the plane ASAP. Pay attention to the cabin crew instructions, as they’re well trained to respond in the event of a plane crash. Follow their instructions and remember—the first 90 seconds after a plane crash are essential, i.e. after 90 seconds, if you’re still inside the cabin, your chances of survival will drop dramatically.

Get out as fast as you can and as far away as you can – think kerosene exploding in a huge fireball.

Forget about your luggage, valuables, Mac Book, engagement ring or whatever. It’s not worth losing your life over stuff.

Don’t try to climb seats unless there’s no other way out. I must repeat, even if speed is essential after a plane crash, stay calm and try not to panic.

Don’t be stunned by the horrific events, move as fast as you can, and don’t lose your head. Most fatalities following a plane crash are due to fire and its derivates, i.e. smoke inhalation and fumes.

If there are smoke and fumes inside the cabin, lay low (don’t crawl though, stay on 2 feet) while evacuating and try to cover your nose and mouth using a piece of cloth (moistened would be ideal). You can also consider carrying a heat-resistant portable smoke hood.

Proceed to the nearest safe exit and move away from the crash scene, at least 500 feet away in an upwind direction. Then, assess the situation, take care of your wounds and/or assist others using basic first aid methods if you can. Stay close to the scene and wait for the rescue to arrive.

Will you be able to protect your own in a life or death scenario? Click the banner below to find out!

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

Heating Using Compost? Why Not?

Click here to view the original post.

I bet you never thought about using compost to generate heat, did you? Mulch and compost are basically biomass and as it decomposes naturally, biomass creates heat as a byproduct. Why wouldn’t you make use of this heat?

We already published a few articles about the numerous benefits of compost and mulch for your household. We talk about what mulch and compost is, how can you DIY, what can you use it for, what are the best kinds of materials to use and so on. Just follow the links to get the general idea.

Long story short, let’s to put the compost to work for us again!

The Magic Behind the Process

The idea behind using compost or mulch for heating is to capture as much of the generated heat as possible and use it for various purposes around the house such as reducing your electricity bill, heating bill etc.

Since any pile of compost, if big enough and healthy enough, produces a reasonable amount of heat during the decomposition process, you can use the respective heat for warming water. When I say healthy, I mean that it has a good ratio (1:1) of nitrogen and carbon.

{adinserter usf}Of course, you’ll save money on your energy bill by doing this and you’ll also reduce the amount of garbage that you send to landfills (again, saving money in the process).

It’s a win-win situation, regardless how you look at it.

Biodegradation is the process that makes the magic things happen in your compost pile and that means that the trillions of microorganisms living in your compost or mulch must be “happy” if you want to obtain the best results.

For a high rate of biodegradation (as in successful composting) you must achieve an optimum level of aeration, balance (in terms of nutrients) and moisture in your compost mound.

All these elements, working in harmony with the fungi and bacteria that “feast” on the waste matter which is part of the compost, end up turning it into humus, water and carbon dioxide. Humus is basically the “end product” of composting and heat is the highly beneficial byproduct of the process of biodegradation, i.e. the conversion of organic matter after it has been eaten by microorganisms.

It sounds a bit complicated, but actually it’s very straightforward after you begin to grasp the concept.

Now, if you want to use the heat that results from composting, you must know that a faster compost rate results in more heat generated during the process.

If you want to achieve the best results, i.e. the most heat, you’ll have to use big piles. The heaps must be at least 3 cubic feet or more while the perfect compost mound measures 4-5 feet in all directions. Only mounds this size or larger are able to generate temperatures over 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

The most heat is generated in the center of the compost mound; that’s the “hot spot”. The hottest temperatures obtained in such piles can be as high as 160 degrees Fahrenheit in “hot” setups.

This is a respectable figure if you’re taking into account that the USDE (the Department of Energy) recommends 120 degrees Fahrenheit as the ideal temperature for heating the water in your household.

 

 

Source : www.survivopedia.com

 

            Check out these related articles from our site:

The post Heating Using Compost? Why Not? appeared first on .

7 Survival Uses For Cattails

Click here to view the original post.

Cattail can be best described as the swamp supermarket of preppers, and I am being very serious about my statement. Actually, the legend says that the US was on the verge of winning War World 2 with a little help from the humble cattail.

And if you’re wondering what on God’s green’s earth I am talking about, let me give you one flabbergasting fact: cattail produces more edible starch than almost any green plant (starch per acre that is). From this point of view, cattail is more nutritious than rice, potatoes, yams, or taros.

And speaking of War World 2, the US gummint’ was on the verge of feeding GI Joes with starch originated from the cattail plant right before the war ended.

The only plant that’s capable of beating cattails in terms of carbs (starch is the essential carbohydrate) per acre is lichen, but that’s not a green plant. However, an acre of cattails will produce, on average, 6.5K pounds of flour annually.

Are you starting to get the picture? Cattails, food, survival, the end.

Well, that’s just one small step in our journey aimed at discovering the survival uses of cattail. Truth be told, there’s so much to know about this miraculous plant that I could write a book.

Survival Uses for Cattails

To begin with, there are 2 species of cattail to be found in North America: Typhalatifolia and Typhaangustifolia. However, the cattail got its name from its mature brown cylindrical flower spike.

The dried spikes make for excellent torches while the end-of-season fluffy cattails are the ideal tinder. American Indian folk used cattails for building mattresses, for insulation, and for absorption.

Cattails are so great from a prepper’s point of view that if you’re  lost out there in the wild and you managed to get some “tail”, you’ve basically covered four out of five essential survival items: food, water, shelter and fuel for making a fire (the dried stalks are a great source of heating fuel).

It’s important to point out that cattails grow near the water, and regardless where the water flows, you’ll find civilization downstream everywhere in the world.

There’s an old survivalist motto that goes something like this: You name your problem and we’ll improvise a solution from cattails.

As I already told you in the preamble, cattails are very close to a prepper’s seven eleven, the store that never closes out there in the wild.

The fresh (they look like cob) tips of cattail are edible and the same story goes for the white bottom of the stalk, the rootlets off the main roots (they look like spaghetti) and the spurs off the roots. These parts are also rich in vitamin A, B and C, together with essential minerals like phosphorus and magnesium.

The pollen from cattails was used as flour for thousands of years. Eastern Indians were known for their heavy use of cattails, not only for their nutritional value (which is great), but for stuffing and hemp. The fluff was very useful for menstruation and for making diapers.

Discover the survival things the Pioneers took with them when they traveled for months!

Survival Food

Cattails are excellent for their starch content. Here’s a video depicting how to get the starch out of a cattail root. And if you’re wondering why, well, once you got the starch out, it would make for the essential ingredient in your survival kitchen, just like any other flour.

Video first seen on The Apocalyptic Cookbook

However, remember not to eat the fiber, you’ll end up with stomach ache.

Here’s a video about how to cook and eat cattails.

Video first seen on David’s Passage

You can even make pickled cattails! Here  is how.

Video first seen on The Northwest Forager

So, with the food part taken care of, let’s move on to other uses for cattails, shall we?

Let’s enumerate some other survival uses right now: cattail can be used for making pillows, tinder, torches , fire, insulation, for fire transportation. arrow shafts, hand drills, hats, mats, cordage, baskets, bedding, shelters, syrup, bandages for wounds, burns, stings, cuts, bruises, and for mitigating toothaches.

Pretty amazing stuff, isn’t it?

Fire Starting

Now, let’s see about the cigar-shaped  cattail seed head, which contains myriads of seeds. When ripe, you can use these seeds as tinder, as they’re dried and highly combustible.

Video first seen on usframe

I bet you did not know that if you soak it up right in fat or animal oil, a cattail will burn for up to 6 hours (this is fire transportation by any metric).

Video first seen on bushcraftbartons

Here is how to start a fire with cattail using hand drill fire.

Video first seen on gundog5

Insulation

The same seed hairs are incredibly fluffy and soft and if the force is strong in you i.e. if you can gather enough seeds, you can stuff them in pillows. Obviously, if you’re incredibly industrious, you may end up with a mattress made out of cattail seed hairs.

The fluffy cattail seeds make for excellent insulation which can be used to line the inside of clothing or your DIY shoes (think moccasins).

Early civilizations used the seeds for diapers, headgear, bedding, and cushions for cradleboards.

Here’s a tutorial about how to insulate mittens using cattails.

Video first seen on Gregory Logajan

Making Arrow Shafts

Considering their length and the fact that they’re  pretty straight, the cattail stalks are excellent for making arrow shafts. Seeing is believing, so check out this tutorial.

Video first seen on baref00tbushcraft

All you have to do is to remove excess leaves and allow the stalks to dry out thoroughly in the sun. When they turn brown, that means they’re sturdy enough and they can be transformed into a veritable plethora of arrows.

Making Survival Rope

The leaves can be used for making cordage, due to their broadness/thickness; i.e. you’ll never run out of survival rope (and arrows because cattails are abundant). Check out how to make cattail cordage by clicking here.

Video first seen on Bushland Living

Making Baskets

Obviously, you can also use cattail leaves for making baskets if you’re skilled and patient enough. Check out the tutorial.

Video first seen on jodajean1

 

Making Shelter

You can build yourself a shelter from cattails – a teepee-like structure built from freshly uprooted plants. Here’s the video, check it out.

Video first seen on Shawn Woods

And you can even heat it with hot stones!

Video first seen on Shawn Woods

Medicinal Uses

When it comes to medicinal uses, you’ll have to burn cattails and treat abrasions and wounds with the ashes, which have antiseptic properties. The lower part of the stems is rich in amber, a honey-like syrup which is great for treating toothaches and small wounds.

Insect bites, burns and scratches  can be mitigated with a poultice made from the mashed core of the root, while cattail’s young flowers treat diarrhea when eaten.

That concludes today’s epic journey into cattail universe. But there are many other survival secrets that helped our forefathers survive during harsh times.

Click the banner below to uncover them!

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

How To DIY An Expensive Water Filter On A Budget

Click here to view the original post.

Have you ever wondered which are the first items to disappear from the shelves in an emergency situation? If you did, I bet you’ve reached the same conclusion as yours truly: water, food, and guns, in no particular order.

Because water and food are essential survival items needed on a daily basis – never mind an emergency/SHTF situation – they’re among the first to make the “extinct” list at any grocery store or seven-eleven.

And while you can live for a couple of weeks sans food, the story with water is way more dramatic; you’ll croak in 2-3 days tops without water.

And what’s even worse, even if you manage to get some water from a – let’s say dubious – source, drinking impure water is almost as bad as not drinking at all. Besides the fact that you can get sick from bacteria/chemical pollutants, you may spread the disease you’ve contracted from unfiltered water to the members of your community, to your children etc. You got the idea.

You should also be aware of the fact that a community’s water supply is one of the first essential resources to be compromised/contaminated in a disaster.

This short preamble is aimed at emphasizing the fact that water filters are essential, must-have items in every respectable prepper’s paraphernalia. Some of the water filters on the market can be described as the rock star of water filters, one of those inventions which made prepping great again in North America!

Contaminated water after an emergency can put your family at risk. Protect them now!

About the Best Water Filters on the Market

For example, Berkey water filter systems are arguably the most popular brand among preppers and regular folk living in areas where water is not safe for drinking for various reasons: disaster sites, rural areas etc. Using one of these bad boys, you’ll be able to produce potable water from various sources like rain water or water from rivers, streams, lakes, or wherever.

They are so popular thanks to their high quality and their performance, and that’s due to their proprietary/state of the art cleanable micro permeable ceramic filter elements. This type of ceramic filter is long-lasting, highly effective, and if we’re talking about a gravity fed water filtering system, it requires no electricity. This type of water filter system will cost you around $250-$300 (depending on your location) and I am talking about the 2.5 gallon system. The Imperial Berkey, which is a 4.5 gallon system will easily cost you north of $350.

Now, for example, if you take a look at the Big Berkey, which in my neck of the woods will drain around $400, what you really have here is a couple of fancy-looking, stainless steel-made, big buckets, and that makes for an accurate description if there ever was one, at least in my opinion. I’m not saying that it’s not worth the price, but if you can’t afford to spend that kind of money, relax; there are ways around it.

What’s not so great about the the best water filters on the market is that it will cost you beaucop dollars. However, the good news is that you can save a lot of dough DIY-ing your own water filter in the same style. I am talking about saving approximately $200 here, which can be used for more useful things, like stockpiling food and ammo, or paying your bills.

How a Ceramic Walter Filter Works

This water filter works something like this: the top bucket contains the aforementioned state of the art ceramic filters. The water leaves the top bucket, gets filtered through the filters, and then it drains into the lower bucket. That’s all there is to it, really, simple and effective. All gravity-fed water filters work the same, regardless of the brand.

However, there’s another, less expensive way to get your own high-quality water filtering system by using just the Berkey filters and ditching the rest of the fancy-looking assembly.Yeah, you got that right: you’ll still use those top notch Berkey-made filters, but you’ll DIY the rest of the device, saving big bucks in the process.

How to DIY Your Own Expensive Water Filter on a Budget

Of course, since you’ll most likely be using plastic buckets for the DIY job, your homemade filter will lack the “wow” factor of a stainless steel-made one, but the water quality will be just the same, and that’s all that matters in final analysis. This is not a beauty contest.

What You Need

As per materials required, you’ll need a couple of 2- or 5-gallon food-grade plastic buckets (pay attention to the food grade part) with lids.

The buckets can be usually procured for free from restaurants or grocery stores. Stay away from pickle buckets if you can, as the smell is hard to wash out. If you can’t find free food-grade buckets, you can go for the out-of-pocket option and buy them new. They aren’t very expensive; 5-10 bucks. You can go for stainless steel containers (especially if you already have them) instead of plastic buckets, as stainless steel is more sanitary than plastic.

Besides the plastic/steel containers, the main component in your DIY water filtering system is the Berkey filter element. You’ll need two of those (they always come in pairs) and they’re easy to get on the Internet from places like Amazon.com.

And here comes the crux of the trick: a genuine Berkey replacement filter costs anywhere between 30% and 50% of the whole water filter; here’s where you save the big bucks. If this filter is too much for your budget, don’t worry; there are many other brands to choose from on Amazon which are cheaper. Just look for .01-.02 micron ceramic water filters and make sure you read the reviews, thus making sure you’re buying the good stuff.

Finally, you’ll need a spigot, and obviously you can get a Berkey system spigot or that kind used for water coolers from Amazon or Ebay.

As per tools, all that’s required for a basic DIY water filtering system is a power drill.

With the gear taken care of, you’ll have to drill some holes through the plastic buckets and then attach the water filtering elements and the spigots. It’s a pretty straight forward job and very simple.

Keep in mind to prime the filters prior to installing them into the pails; i.e. flush them with water at your kitchen sink. Don’t worry because there are instructions for doing this included in the package.

Another thing: after you’re finished with assembling your water filtering system, discard the first 2-3 batches of filtered water.That’s because you’ll want to flush out all the potential residue left inside the filters from the manufacturing process.

If you want to filter the fluoride from the water (regular black Berkey filters don’t do that) you’ll have to go the extra mile and buy a couple of optional fluoride filters. They’re easy to install, as they just screw on the bottom of the regular filters. There are attaching instructions in the bundle.

Black Berkey filters are good enough for providing you with 6000 gallons of crystal clear water before requiring replacement, meaning that they’re last you for at least a couple of years if not more. Fluoride filters must be renewed sooner: every 1000 gallons or so, approximately. If you’re going to use 5-gallon buckets for your DIY job, you’ll have to buy replacement filters for the Imperial Berkey system.

And here come the video tutorials.

The simplest of the bunch, this is a guy using 2 recycled plastic buckets and a screwdriver (not even a power tool!) for DIYing his own water filtering system. It’s a 15 minute job.

Video first seen on Steve Spence.

And here’s another, with the whole DIY job made by a nice lady.

Video first seen on namegatherer

Finally, a higher-end job: a water purifier built using 16-quart stainless steel stockpots with lid. This job is a little bit more difficult, as it involves cutting through steel and all that, but it’s doable.

Video first seen on thebossoftheswamp

I hope the article helped. If you have any question or comments, feel free to speak your mind in the dedicated section below.

Never worry about having safe water again.

Click the banner below for more!

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

DIY Projects: 4 Ways To Build An Alcohol Stove

Click here to view the original post.

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast or just well versed in the fine arts of prepping, I bet you already know about alcohol stoves, either DIY or commercially available ones. The thing is, if you’re looking for the lightest, cheapest and most reliable stove possible, the alcohol stove is the one for you.

There are plenty of companies out there who manufacture and sell alcohol stoves, but the good news is that you can build your own for next to nothing while using basic tools and skills.

There are a few myths and lies out there about DIY alcohol stoves. For example, some say that they don’t really work and they’re not reliable. Yes, they actually do work in real life, just ask old school hikers or your local bum.

Alcohol Stove – Myths Debunked

An alcohol stove is not suited for just any situation, as it has obvious limitations.  For example, a small DIY alcohol stove is not the ideal tool for melting large amounts of snow or for cooking food for a family of ten.

A homemade, lightweight and compact alcohol stove makes for the perfect companion while camping, hiking or backpacking solo. Thousands of outdoor enthusiasts have been using them regularly for decades now with zero complaints, so yes, alcohol stoves do work admirably in their niche.

Another myth about alcohol stoves is that they’re not reliable. Very fake news folks. A well-built alcohol stove will last you forever, as it has no moving parts, i.e. it’s that kind of “Russian design”, simple and sturdy. Also there are no filters to get clogged and so on and so forth.

The most common type of DIY project is a soda-can alcohol stove; the point is, even if it “breaks”, you can build another one on the spot with readily available materials (back to that in a jiffy), so the reliability issue is pure nonsense.

Some say that alcohol stoves are dangerous. Again, very fake news, considering that playing with fire is always dangerous, hence in that regard all stoves are “dangerous” if you’re not paying attention.

The problem with alcohol stoves is that if you knock them over while cooking, the fuel inside can easily spill.

Just remember a few simple rules while cooking with these bad boys and you’ll be fine: don’t cook on flammable surfaces, keep flammable materials away from your lit stove, always keep a bottle of water nearby when cooking (or a fire extinguisher, whatever), be careful when cooking during the day as the alcohol flame is almost invisible (don’t get burned), avoid cooking in windy weather as it makes controlling the flame difficult, don’t add fuel if your stove is already burning, never cook inside your tent, and avoid using your alcohol stove in enclosed areas which lack proper ventilation (think carbon monoxide poisoning).

Also, never leave the burning stove unattended and, after using it, let it to cool down for 10 minutes before handling  it.

Another thing about DIY alcohol stoves is that they have a bad rep for crushing easily. That’s somewhat true, considering that they’re often built using soda cans, which are basically thin sheets of aluminum.

Even the ones manufactured from (tougher) tin cans can get crushed if you step on them, but that’s a feature, not a bug! I am only kidding; however, the simple solution to the issue is not to step on them. Store them inside a hard sided box/container like your cook pot when you’re not using’em.

Finally, there’s another myth about alcohol stoves not working at high altitudes and/or in low temperatures. I can tell you from firsthand experience that a DIY alcohol stove works just fine at 6,000 feet above sea level, so for all practical purposes, assuming that you’re not climbing Everest using DIY alcohol stoves, you’ll be just fine.

The thing is, given the fact that the oxygen content in the atmosphere decreases with altitude,  an alcohol stove (or any other open-flame type of stove) will not be as efficient at 5000 feet as it is at sea level, but then again, that holds true for any type of fire.

Also, I’ve used soda can stoves in temperatures as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit and without noticing a degrading in terms of performance. Just to give you a picture about how efficient these babies are, I’ve read that the Finnish and Swedish army uses alcohol stoves all year round, and it gets pretty cold out there in northern Europe (think -10 Fahrenheit winters).

ENERGY SAVING PLAN – Find out how you can save energy following two simple steps! 

How to DIY an Alcohol Stove

Now with the misconceptions taken care of, let’s concentrate on the DIY part.

Why DIY instead of buying one? Well, first, it’s lots of fun doing things on your own, especially if you’re into prepping. Secondly, you’ll save money in the process and third, you may end up caught in a hairy situation someday with no hardware store around, so you’ll be forced to improvise your own gear.

And yes, a DIY alcohol stove can be improvised with ease almost anywhere in the world, provided you have the fuel available. The simplest alcohol stove can be built using nothing more than 2 empty cans of soda, a nail for puncturing holes, a razor blade, a penny and a thumbtack. Yes indeed, it’s that simple folks.

As per the fuel, you can buy large amounts of (at least 70%) methanol/methyl alcohol/rubbing alcohol at any hardware store for a few pennies.

Alcohol Stove Comparison

If you’re the picky type of person, take a look at this alcohol stove comparison and make up your own mind about what type of “design” you want to concentrate on.

Video first seen on ITS Tactical / Imminent Threat Solutions

The Beverage Can Stove

The easiest DIY project is the beverage can stove. There are other ideas, usually more complicated, but the beverage can stove is the hikers all-time favorite. Its beauty is its simplicity, like a Swiss watch, if you know what I mean.

In the first step, you’ll have to cut the bases of the 2 cans approximately 1.5 inches from the bottoms.

Next, drill the burner holes in the top can, including the fuel drainage hole, then there’s the cutting of the top can. The base of the bottom should be filled with a material that will soak up the alcohol (acts like a wick); for example, fine sand or even more fancy stuff, like perlite (a siliceous rock, easy to find at gardening centers).

In the next step, you’ll fit the 2 parts of the stove together; just take a look at the next video tutorial and you’ll see about the fine details.

Video first seen on IntenseAngler.

Just remember to prime the stove before use, i.e. you’ll have to pour a tsp. of fuel in the dimple of the stove (on top) and light it up. In this way, you’ll heat the fuel inside, which will evaporate, and your oven will magically start working.

Here’s another video about how to make a soda can/beer can stove, which compares 2 types of designs.

Video first seen on Andrew W

The Tornado Wick Jet Alcohol Stove

Here’s a Tornado Wick Jet Alcohol Stove, a fancy DIY project by all means and a more elaborate one, which is more of an exercise in cool design and mad skills.

Video first seen on tetkoba’s Alcohol Stove Addict

The Tin Can Stove

An alternative to this relatively flimsy (yet very easy to DIY) beverage can stove is the tin can stove. This baby is not made of aluminum but from tin, which makes it more stable, hence more difficult to knock over.

Also it’s stronger and less prone to accidental crushing. Finally, steel retains heat better than aluminum.  Soup/baked bean cans are made of tin for example.

The problem with this type of DIY alcohol stove is that tin is harder to cut/process than aluminum.

Here’s an idea (this guy doesn’t use tin cans but that’s not the point) and you’ll see what type of tools are required for processing stronger tin.

Video first seen on Nick Van Leuven

The Cream Box Stove

Video first seen on Mr. Llega

Here’s an idea for an alcohol stove improvised from a Nivea cream box (made of tin) and it makes for the best of both worlds, i.e. it’s not aluminum made (it’s stronger) and it doesn’t require too much effort to build it (all you have to do is to drill a few holes).

If you have any question or comments, feel free to speak your mind in the dedicated section below. Good luck, have fun!

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

14 Survival Uses For Lip Balm

Click here to view the original post.

I already know what you’re thinking: what does lip balm and survival have in common?

Also known as chapstick, this inconspicuous piece of gear which is to be found in almost every woman’s purse has quite a lot of survival uses.

Ideally speaking, when it comes to DIY EDC kits, survival kits and bug out bags, the best thing would be to pack those with items which have multiple uses, for space saving reasons obviously. And lip balm definitely qualifies.

Lip balm is not just for protecting one’s lips, though this was its initial purpose. It can also be used as a survival tool. Just as many preppers never leave the house without duct tape, after finishing reading this article you’ll probably carry lip balm on your EDC from now on.

Another great feature of lip balm is that it’s available pretty much everywhere. You can find the stuff in gas stations and drugstores, on the Internet, in big box stores and so on and so forth.

Also, there are many brands and different varieties of lip balm, which are all making wild claims about their magical properties and what not, including the level of awesomeness they’ll deliver.

Regardless of the marketing, you should always go for the tube lip balm, this is the best option as it has multiple survival uses.

Discover what survival things the Pioneers took with them when they traveled for months!

Start a Fire

Lip balm can be lit up and used for starting a fire! Yeah, you got that right. Lip balm is a petroleum based product and that makes it flammable, hence if you’re out there in the wild and you need to start a fire real quick, just smear a small quantity of lip balm on any flammable object, like a cotton ball, cloth, lint, dry bark, gauze or whatever (they all work well) and they’ll ignite very quickly.

Lip balm is awesome for igniting tinder without wasting precious fuel or matches.

Make a Candle

Here’s a neat trick for maximizing your chances of survival in the dark: if you stuff a matchstick vertically down into the lip balm tube, a half inch or maybe more, thus creating a balm-coating, you’ll end up with an improvised/emergency candle that burns slowly and also makes for a pretty good fire starter.

You can also melt the lip balm and insert a wick in the container, hence ending up with an emergency candle.

Video first seen on SensiblePrepper.

Treat Small Cuts

Lip balm can be used for a variety of medical emergencies. To begin with, you can protect abrasions with the stuff, treat small cuts (thus preventing them from infecting), ameliorate scrapes from grime or dirt just by smearing some lip balm on the affected area.

Keep in mind that you’ll only require a light coating.

Stop Minor Bleeding

Lip balm also stops minor bleeding. If you’re going to hike long distances, you can prevent your heels and other areas on your feet from getting blisters by rubbing a little lip balm on them.

Protect Your Skin

Lip balm will provide you with some sort of lubrication and thus it will prevent you from getting blisters.

Another thing to remember: if you’re outdoors in extreme weather conditions, you can use lip balm to protect the skin on your exposed body parts from cracking and drying, think fingertips or your nose.

Also, you can reduce glare from extremely bright places (like in the desert or snowfields) by making a mixture from lip balm and ash, which must be rubbed under one’s eyes.

You can use lip balm as sunscreen in an emergency, as most of them include a sun protection factor of 15 to keep your lips from getting burned by the sun.

Camouflage Your Face

Another cool thing about lip balm: if you mix it with a little bit of dirt, you can use it for camouflage.

Video first seen on Erkin

Reduce Irritations

A soothe and irritated nose can be a pest, especially in a survival situation. However, you can get fast relief from that irritated skin around or inside your nose by applying some lip balm with your finger over the respective areas.

Protect Pet’s Paws

Lip balm is great for protecting a pet’s paws from ice in wintry conditions. You’ll have to coat the paw pads with lip balm before walking on snow or ice, as the lip balm will work as a barrier to protect sensitive paws.

Lubricate Your Gear

Lip balm is great in emergencies for its lubrication properties. For example, you can use it for unlocking a zipper, to prevent nails from splitting wood (you’ll have to rub some over the hardware before hammering in nails) or to rust proof gear. You can also use lip balm for sealing up a leaky seam in your jacket or your tent, or to wax a bowstring.

Keep Blades from Rusting

Lips balm also makes for a great blade protector for your survival knife. Keeping your knife well oiled when you’re not using it will prevent it from rusting.

Protect Leather Gear

Speaking of protection, lip balm is an excellent leather conditioner, whether we’re talking about your skin or the leather on your shoes and boots or the sheath of your survival knife.

Remove Stuck Rings

Lip balm is great for removing stuck rings pr other items. For example, if your ring gets stuck on your fat finger, whether we’re talking about a wrong fit or from swelling, a little lip balm will save the day.

Defog Glasses

If you’re wearing glasses, you can use lip balm as a defogger. Just rub some lip balm on the lenses then polish them thoroughly with a clean cloth. In this way, you’ll leave an invisible film of lip balm on your lenses that will prevent them from fogging (works with goggles and binoculars too).

Hide Small Survival Items

Even the empty container can be used for storage purposes. Once you’ve used all your lip balm, the plastic tube will make for the ideal place to store things like basic survival gear, i.e. matches, a fishing hook and fishing line etc.

Next time you’re cruising your local convenient store, don’t forget to grab some tubes of  lip balm. Is dirt cheap, easy to carry and an essential item to have in your EDC/BOB or survival kit.

Now that you know how to use lip balm in an emergency situation, discover more valuable survival secrets from our forefathers.

Click the banner below for more!

If you have questions or additional ideas, feel free to comment in the dedicated section below.

This article has been writen by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

How To DIY An Emergency Water Bag

Click here to view the original post.

When it comes to survival, water is of utmost importance. The problem with water is that it’s pretty hard (as in heavy and voluminous) to carry it on your person, especially when you’re on the move.

That makes the problem even more difficult: if you don’t have water with you when you’re hiking, walking, riding your bike, or whatever, chances are you’ll get dehydrated, and then you’ll be in a world of hurt. Dehydration is a very serious problem, especially in extreme climates (very hot and very cold), as it sets in quickly and makes your life miserable.

That’s why hydration packs were invented in the first place –keeping your body hydrated at all times is absolutely crucial for staying healthy, especially for elderly folk.

As you get older, your body literally dries out, causing your ligaments and tendons to lose their resistance and flexibility. Staying hydrated if you’re a senior citizen is critical to maintaining optimal health.

Regardless of one’s age, poor hydration leads to dry/itchy skin, which is a pest for women, not to mention constipation, nose bleeds, fatigue, headaches, sinus pressure, sneezing/coughs, urinary tract infections (the body can’t wash out the germs accumulating in the bladder if you don’t drink enough water).

All of these conditions result of toxins accumulating in your body. Also, poor hydration is the main enemy of your immune system and it leads to all sorts of imbalances: pH, nutritional, and chemical.

Chronic dehydration is the main cause of daytime fatigue, which seems to be endemic in our modern society, especially among teenagers who rarely drink water nowadays. They have Gatorade, right?

Overall, we lose 3 quarts of water per day and half of that is through breathing alone. If you have a dynamic/active lifestyle, i.e. you walk a lot or you’re into physical labor. If you jog or you’re a workout aficionado or whatever, you’re playing in a different league.

The simplest way to determine if you’re properly hydrated is to check out the color of your urine. If it’s light yellow, you’re okay; if not, chances are you’re not drinking enough water.

Keep in mind that eating certain foods like carrots, beets, fava beans, or asparagus may turn your urine orange, green, red, or brown and the same goes for certain types of medication.

This preamble brings us to the camelbak idea, an interesting piece of gear that is currently used in various scenarios by both civilians and military forces, basically in every type of strenuous outdoors activity.

Now, the question is: do you want to spend (at least) 40-50 bucks on a water bag or would you rather DIY? I bet you fall in the latter category; that’s why you’re reading this article.

The good news is that you can DIY your own water bag with minimal costs and you’ll end up with a very convenient way to carry half a gallon of water on your person – a nice trick which comes handy during camping trips and what not.

This proven-to-work portable device provides clean fresh water 24/7! 

How to DIY a Water Bag

A CamelBak water bag is basically a fancy looking plastic bladder/reservoir with a straw. That about sums it up.

The hydration capacity ranges from 1.5 to 3 liters (50-100 oz) and it comes with all sorts of bells and whistles you’d expect from a professional piece of gear.

But simply put, what we’re dealing with here is a bladder filled with water with a straw which can cost up to 150 bucks. Paying that kind of money for a plastic bladder is a little bit rich for my taste.

So, the main thing to do to make a DIY water bag is to get yourself a dirt-cheap/free-of-charge bladder, and that’s not very hard if you know where to look for it.

To begin with, there’s a school of thought that says something along these lines: DIY-ing your water bag (the bladder respectively) is not very smart, as most plastics and glues are not food-safe and, after all, you’ll be filling them with water and all that jazz (think BPA).

However, you can still buy a food-grade bladder from a local camping store, but the price may be a deal breaker now and then. The best things in life are free, right?

Project 1

That brings us to the first DIY water bag project. This guy recycles the innards of a Dunkin Donuts Box of Joe. The bladder inside these bad boys is not made of plastic, hence it doesn’t leave that unpleasant taste of plastic, water-hose like, in your water supply. And that’ s because the bladder inside that box is made from Mylar.

In order to prevent the bladder from getting punctured and what not, you may use a dry-bag for protection.

Video first seen on Don Yackel

Project 2

Here is another guy with a pretty cool idea about how to protect the Mylar/plastic bladder from getting punctured.

Spoiler alert: he uses 12 feet of duct tape for creating some sort of armor/outer shell for his water bag.

Video first seen on Snowalker13

Project 3

The second idea is to use  the bladder that can be found in certain types of boxed wine. The bladder can be removed and re-used as a water container.

The bag inside the boxed wine is just as good as the more expensive platypus, not to mention that you’ll end up with 2 liters of wine in the process (if you don’t pick up the box wine from the garbage, like our guy).

Video first seen on 123Homefree

Another interesting idea about how to make a sleeve for your water bag (regardless of what type of bladder you end up with) is to use a large envelope. Just think about those 3M bubble mailers cushioned with plastic.

Now that you know how to make your own water bag, discover how to DIY your own portable device for an endless water supply.

Click the banner below for more!

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

References:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Camelbak-Unbottle-DIY/

Best Ideas On Growing A Garden In 5 Gallon Buckets

Click here to view the original post.

Container gardening – growing plants in 5-gallon buckets, for example – is usually discussed in the context of (not enough) space.

The idea is that if you don’t have a “real” garden because you live in an apartment or your backyard is too small, container gardening would make for the best option. And-5 gallon buckets are the ultimate containers both in terms of availability and shape.

Also, they’re highly mobile, meaning that you can put them in the best spots to catch the sun and so on and so forth. Due to their versatility, resilience and low cost, 5-gallon buckets are already famous in the prepper community and they’ve also captured the imaginations of home gardeners.

Now, if you have enough buckets and you’re ready to put them to good use, just keep reading folks!

Eeven if you don’t have them yet, just poke around a little bit and you’ll discover that 5-gallon buckets are the definition of “readily available,” “dirt cheap” items. Just go cruise your nearby stores and restaurants or check out Craigslist.

Getting back to business, gardeners are doing remarkable things with 5-gallon buckets, things that you can’t even imagine actually. This humble piece of plastic is a tool of a thousand uses, which makes it extremely valuable to a prepper.

However, keep in mind that you must stay away from secondhand buckets that were used to held toxic stuff, like paint or what not. The ideal 5-gallon bucket to use for gardening purposes should be made out of food grade plastic, at least in a perfect world.

Now, if you’re going to grow flowers (as in non-edible stuff), you can forget about the food grade thingy, but keep an eye on toxic materials just in case.

Speaking of bucket supply, you have 2 choices: to buy brand new 5-gallon buckets from building supply stores or hardware stores, or to go scavenging bakeries, local restaurants, grocery stores, and similar places. These buckets often come with plastic fitted lids, so remember–it never hurts to ask, alright?

Now and then, you may be asked to cough up a couple of bucks for a sturdy, clean, used 5-gallon bucket, but that’s definitely worth it if it’s the right type. Even if they smell a little weird (they are used often for storing pickles and/or frozen products), don’t worry – the smell will go away relatively easy if you clean them right.

This proven-to-work portable device provides clean fresh water 24/7! 

With all these considerations taken care of, let’s see about some projects involving 5-gallon buckets, shall we?

Project 1 – DIY Alaska Grow Bucket

If you’re already scratching your head, an Alaska Grow Bucket is the scientific term for a bottom watering container. There’s nothing complicated, just fancy talk. These are the easiest DIY watering containers anyone can make to grow their own food at home.

The materials required are cheap and easy to acquire. Besides the famous 5-gallon bucket, you’ll need a fabric shopping bag and a plastic kitchen colander – you know, that piece of gear used for draining rice or pasta.

You’ll have to drill some ventilation holes (the more the better) and another irrigation hole for the water feed line. Ideally, you should use a power drill, but you can always improvise if you’re a meat eater. The irrigation line should be drilled as low on the bucket as possible, and then you’ll insert a plastic, T-shaped connector.

Video first seen on devineDiY

Project 2 – The Hanging Bucket Planter

If you don’t have much space, e.g. you’re living in a condo, you can DIY a hanging bucket planter for growing organic tomatoes. Obviously, you can use hanging bucket planters for growing a large variety of stuff, not only tomatoes, those are just a suggestion because tomatoes are a popular choice.

Also, if you have a small yard, this type of project will suit you like a glove. Making the best of one’s available space is next to Godliness for a true prepper, right?

For making tomato gardening great again, you’ll need:

  • a hook
  • a 5 gallon bucket
  • steel cable (galvanized utility wire)
  • a wall (the bucket will hang by the hook hammered/drilled in the wall).

The idea is that hanging a bucket planter outside your condo’s wall will provide your plants with plenty of sunshine, which is a necessary ingredient for growing big fat tomatoes (along with water and carbon dioxide).

Video first seen on Peter P.

Project 3 – The Raised Bed Bucket

Here you’ll learn how to grow veggies successfully in a raised bed garden using the famous 5-gallon bucket, thus making for a garden within a garden or something along these lines.

With this cool technique, you’ll be able to grow more food in less space and that’s the definition of efficiency and sustainability (don’t worry, I hate Agenda 21 too).

Here’s an interesting video about the reasons for growing vegetables in raised bed gardens.

Video first seen on Learn Organic Gardening at GrowingYourGreens

The concept behind this project is that plastic buckets are used for providing more soil depth for the plants thus allowing for more nutrients, more space for root growth and less frequent watering. This technique makes for a cool hack which will enable you to grow deep-rooted plants in a shallow garden.

Project 4 – The Self-watering Planter

This DIY job makes for the easiest way to build sub irrigated self-watering planters using PVC pipe, a 5 gallon bucket, and a milk jug for practically next to zero costs. You’ll have to cut some holes in the bottom of the bucket that are large enough for the water to drain through, so you’ll not flood your plants. It’s easiest to use a drill for this.

The jug must be placed inside the bucket with the PVC pipe stuck on the top of the milk jug. The jug gets filled with water (you’ll have to drill some holes in the upper part of the jug too) and then the bucket must be filled up with dirt, then you put a plant in it. Pretty simple and highly efficient.

Video first seen on Growing Little Ones for Jesus

Project 5 – The Hydroponics

Finally, here’s a cool idea about how to build a hydroponic DWC system with a trellis-type system for growing cucumbers, and obviously it involves a 5-gallon bucket. This project is a little bit more complicated, but it’s doable with a little bit of research and elbow grease.

The supply list includes a 5-gallon bucket, a 6” bucket lid net pot which can be bought online or at a local hydroponics store, a small airstone and air-pump (from Walmart), black hose for the airline, vinyl tee fittings, clear vinyl tubing, rubber grommets and wire green border fence.

Video first seen on Jksax914.

Now that you know how to grow a garden in a 5-gallon bucket, you could learn how to DIY your own portable device for an endless water supply.

Click the banner below and find out how to build your own portable device which provides fresh water 24/7!

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

How To Make A 5 Gallon Bucket Survival Kit

Click here to view the original post.

 

If you love buckets and survival, you’ve landed in the right place, as today’s article is about 5-gallon buckets and survival, or how to use an already-legendary item in the prepper community for building a survival kit.

And yes, I am talking about the famous 5-gallon bucket, which seems to be at the top of the list when it comes to survival and sustainable development.

Besides gardening, building pyramids, and putting a man on the moon, this inconspicuous item can be used for improvising an emergency/survival kit as it’s large enough to hold quite a few items of survival gear, it’s tough and water resistant, and it’s pretty easy to carry around depending on what’s in it.

These DIY emergency kits are easy and cheap to made, and in a crisis situation they’ll prove to be highly valuable.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

The idea is to have as many as possible placed in strategic places, i.e. one in your car, one in your basement, one in your vacation home, one in your office – you know what I’m talking about.

To begin with, let’s concentrate a bit on the bucket itself. Not all buckets are created equal; you need to get a good one that hasn’t been used to store toxic chemicals.

How to Choose a High-quality Bucket

Here are a few places where you can get a high-quality (as in solid) 5-gallon bucket for free:

  • Wendy’s
  • Tim Hortons
  • Dunkin Donuts
  • Sam’s Club
  • Chick Fill A.

You can also try Mc Donald’s, Walmart and Subway but these guys are so environmentally conscious that they usually recycle their plastic buckets. It’s worth a try anyway.

Also, you should go for food grade buckets at all times, because you never know what you’ll be storing inside after all, besides your emergency survival kit, alright?

Another important factor to consider is that your bucket is strong enough to withstand pressure and comes with a plastic lid – that’s quite important.

If cruising the multinational corporations proves to be unsuccessful in terms of acquiring free 5-gallon buckets, you can always go for the unthinkable option and buy some from Home Depot, Foodland, McHappy’s, Lowes or FireHouse Subs. A brand new bucket from these guys will cost you anywhere from 2 to 5 bucks, lid included (the lid may cost extra).

These are just a few ideas, so don’t start throwing rocks; I’m only a messenger. If you’re not happy with my tips and tricks, just use your imagination.

If you end up with free but stinky plastic buckets (the ones which were used for storing pickles are the smelliest) don’t worry, they can be cleansed in a jiffy with a solution made of 1 gallon of hot water and 1/3 cup of bleach. The same stuff can be used for cleaning your bathroom by the way, but don’t tell anybody.

Another interesting factoid to consider: the best food-grade buckets are marked with a 2 on the bottom. The number represents the type of plastic used in its construction and 2 is the least toxic variety. However, if you put Mylar bags inside, you can forget about the food grade status of your bucket.

If you’re definitely never going to store food inside the bucket, it doesn’t really matter what you use.

With the “how to choose the ideal-5 gallon bucket for my prepping endeavor”  science taken care of, let’s move on to the most important part of the story.

What to Put in Your 5 Gallon Bucket Survival Kit?

Well, there are various schools of taught about the actual content of a proper emergency kit, but let’s play it safe and follow the golden rule of survival, or the holy trinity.

The trinity of survival goes something like this: regardless of what you’re thinking about, whether it’s an alien invasion or a natural disaster, you’ll have to take care of 3 main things if you want to stay alive and tell the story to your kids, friends, or favorite pets: food, water and shelter, that about sums it up.

With all these simple things considered, your survival emergency kit must be able to provide you with the necessary items/gear/stuff or whatchamacallits for allowing you to eat, drink and stay safe for at least 3 days (the more the better).

Video first seen on Robert Martin

With water being a crucial survival item, you should pack 3-4 water bottles in your survival bucket, along with a quality water filter. The problem with water is that it’s voluminous and heavy to carry around, so you’ll have to figure that out for yourself (I am talking about how many bottles of water to store in your emergency kit depending on your geo-location).

Freeze dried meals are also must-have items in a survival emergency kit, together with a few protein bars, chocolate, and other long shelve life, easy to carry, light, compact, and high-calories foods. A rip stop tarp is essential, as it can be used for a number of purposes, including as a makeshift shelter (a 6×8 would be enough, and grommet holes are a must).

Tip: disguise your 5-gallon bucket survival kit into an Ottoman and hide it in plain view (think along the lines of easy to grab if SHTF).

Video first seen on Emma Catherine

These are the most basic items to store inside your 5 gallon bucket survival kit, i.e. food, water and shelter. But there’s plenty of room left, so let’s go a little bit more high tech: a gun would be nice, also a quality survival knife, which is essentially a multi-tool. Being able to protect yourself and your family, especially in a crisis, is crucial. A few extra rounds of ammo wouldn’t hurt either. 

A fire starter kit/BIC lighters, some weatherproof matches, duct tape, a mini multi tool (I’d go for a Leatherman), a whistle, and some wet wipes would be nice to have in any emergency situation I can think of, so keep those in mind too. A compass, an LED lighter with some spare batteries, a couple of N 95 dust masks and a small sliding saw would be also advisable to add to your survival stash.

A shortwave radio is essential in a catastrophe as it gives you the possibility to gather essential intel from local authorities, so throw one in just in case – the smaller the better.

Paracord! Need I say more? Check out my articles about paracord if you have any doubts. 25’x2 would do.

A cool addition for your survival kit would be several 30-gallon trash bags, as they can be used for various purposes, including as a makeshift rain poncho.

A first aid kit is a must, together with some over the counter/prescribed medicine, depending on one’s health condition.

A couple of Mylar thermal blankets would be nice as they’ re awesome if you have to camp outdoors and they take up so little room it really doesn’t matter.

If you still have room left, you can consider split leather gloves, extra batteries (for your radio/flashlight, remember?), glow sticks, safety goggles, a can opener, a sewing kit, a bar of soap and even some toothpaste/toothbrushes.

Another handy item to have in your emergency survival kit provided you have enough room for it would be a solar charger for your cellphone (I’d go for an old-school feature phone with long-lasting battery and all that). You can find those on the Internet (Amazon etc).

A 5 gallon bucket survival kit is a life saving equipment to grab in a crisis situation when panic is the greatest killer.

How long will you survive in a SHTF situation?

Click the banner below and find our more!

Banner_620_273_7

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

How To Recover Gold And Silver From Scrap

Click here to view the original post.

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably a gold bug, or maybe a gold digger. Either way, you probably don’t know that in 100,000 cellphones there’s about 2.4 kilos of gold to be collected (as in recuperated) by a competent gold digger.

Yes, I know – 100,000 cellphones is quite a lot of old hardware. Besides gold, you’ll also find 25 kilos of silver and more than 900 kilos of copper (that’s almost a metric ton).

Considering the fluctuation in market prices, all that stuff combined makes for a cool quarter million dollars, give or take. The problem is, where on Earth can you get 100,000 cellphones and how can you get the gold out of those darn circuits?

How to Recover Gold from Electronics

Recycling electronics can be a lucrative business provided it’s done on an industrial scale. For regular folk, this kind of enterprise is quite difficult and time consuming, especially if not done nice and proper. Now, if you want to make your own personal scrap fortune, today’s your lucky day, so keep reading, I’m giving pearls here folks!

Besides cellphones, gold and other precious metals can be found in almost all types of electronic circuits, ranging from computer main-boards to processors and what not.

The idea is that instead of throwing your old gear in the garbage, considering that there’s a small amount of gold in all types of circuits, how about putting that gold in your pocket instead of making some scrap metal company rich?

Phones, laptops, cameras and the like are packed full of gold-plated circuit boards, due to the precious metal’s excellent conductibility. Even scanners and printers have silver, gold, copper, and sometimes platinum inside their guts.

Besides being pretty expensive, as in precious, gold is a highly conductive and pliable metal which was used for thousands of years by humans as a highly valuable commodity, as it retains its value better than almost any other commodity.

Until Nixon nixed (pun intended) the Bretton Woods system in 1971, even the US dollar was backed by gold. Since then, the dollar lost a lot of its value, i.e. $1 in 1971 had the same purchasing power as $7 today (official figures), but take a load of this: back then an ounce of gold was $35, now it’s like what, $1200 (it was almost $1900 at some point)?

So, you do the math and ask yourself if scrapping gold from old electronic gear is worth your time and effort. I am digressing – of course it is!

Let’s recap: due to its excellent properties, gold is the material of choice for manufacturing various electronic parts in computers, cellphones and what not.

Removing the gold from scrap parts requires access to various equipment and it’s a pretty complicated process. However, if you’re well-armed with the right tools and knowledge, you can extract, refine, and maybe sell scrap gold, provided you have enough raw materials to extract it from.

As a general rule of thumb, considering that you’ll have to deal with highly corrosive acids, you should perform all these operations outside and always use protective gear, such as gloves, goggles and even a respirator.

Start your own woodworking business – $9500 per month guaranteed! 

Here’s a short list for starting a gold recovery enterprise:

  • rubber gloves
  • goggles
  • a rubber apron
  • hydrogen peroxide 3% from your local pharmacy
  • muriatic acid 31% (it’s available at hardware stores)
  • methyl hydrate (this is basically 99% methyl alcohol) available at automotive supply stores or hardware stores (it’s used for fuel line antifreeze)
  • a couple of large glass-made containers (a coffee pot would do the trick.
  • a funnel filter (a drip-coffee filter)
  • a stir stick made of plastic or glass
  • a blow torch powerful enough to hard solder
  • an accurate weigh scale (at least to one tenth of a gram)
  • borax
  • clay bowls or anything that has a melting point above gold
  • a measuring cup
  • and of course, a lot of scrap electronics.

The general rule is that you should collect any type of electronic scraps which are prone to contain gold inside, including computer processors, jewellery, gold tooth crowns, and old telephone wiring with an emphasis on outdated electronics, which may contain parts with a higher level of gold than modern ones.

Video first seen on indeedItdoes

In the first step, you must sort the gold into gold-plated parts: circuits which require cleaning, gold fingers, gold plated pins and so forth and so on.

Before working with chemicals, don’t forget to put on your safety gear.

In the second step, you must put the clean circuit boards and the gold fingers  inside the coffee pot. Using a different container, mix one part hydrogen peroxide with  2 parts muriatic acid and add the mixture to the coffee pot until it just covers the gold-containing stuff inside (gold fingers for example).

You’ll have to wait for about a week for the process to complete and don’t forget to stir your concoction on a daily basis.

After 7 days have passed, it’s now time to collect your gold. You’ll see that the acid has darkened and there are flakes of gold floating around inside the coffee pot. If you pour the acid through the coffee filter, the gold flakes will be captured by the filter.

Save the acid though, don’t dump it. The remaining circuit boards/gold fingers must be checked out, the clean parts thrown away, and the uncleaned parts saved for re-dipping.

Now, pour some water through the filter and then flush using methyl hydrate to clean it.

In the next step, you’ll have to add borax to your “mined” gold. Borax works by reducing the melting point of gold from its regular 1063 Celsius. By adding some borax to your cleaned gold flakes, you’ll be able to melt your gold out of the heavy mineral concentrate to salvage it.

Next you’ll have to heat the clay bowl (don’t worry if it splits or cracks) and add borax. When the borax melts, put the gold flakes in too and add more borax, then heat it continuously until you end up with a nice bead of gold. Let it cool and weigh it. There you have it, your own gold from scrap electronics.

That’s one method, the simplest actually.

Here’s an interesting tutorial about the top 10 most valuable computer processors, as in the ones with the most gold inside for recovery by weight counted down.

Video first seen on eWaste Ben

Here’s a detailed hard drive tear-down video tutorial, teaching you how to look for precious metals (gold, silver, palladium and aluminum) inside your old hard drives.

Video first seen on Rob The Plumber

Good luck and scrap hard!

Click the banner below and find out the easy way to earn part-time income!

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

How To Build A Privacy Fence

Click here to view the original post.

There’s an old saying about good fences making good neighbors.

Until Donald Trump entered the White House, borders, which can be described as the ultimate fence of sorts, were not regarded as very important for our nation’s well-being by the progressive Obama administration. Now that old saying makes sense again.

So in today’s article, I’ll tell you a thing or two about how to build the perfect privacy fence.

Just like a nation’s border, building a privacy fence on your property is useful for a number of reasons. The most important one, which depends very much on where you live, is the fact that a properly built fence will increase your safety, security and privacy.

Of course, I am not talking about those nice white picket fences; those are mostly about aesthetics. A privacy fence will keep your children and pets safely enclosed and it will eliminate sight lines beyond your property.

According to various statistics, security and privacy are among the most common reasons for which Americans go home shopping.

The type of fence you have installed around your property limits plays a key role in both privacy and security, together with improving your home’s exterior design. Whether you’re using wood, wrought iron, or chain link, a properly installed fence will provide you with the true sense of home security and ownership we all desire.

Find out more on how to improve your layered home defense to survive disaster! 

And once you understand the basics of installation techniques and the materials required, you’ll see that DIY-ing a privacy fence can be a fun activity and fairly easy to accomplish.

Here are some important issues to consider before starting building your fence.

Why are You Building a Fence?

Decide on the height before getting knee-deep into the project.

A normal privacy fence is ~6 feet high (or more). Determining the fence height in the early stages of the project is pretty important, as it will influence various other things like post-hole depth and things of that matter.

What Type/Style of Fence are You Looking For?

Prior to DIYing your fence, make sure you have an accurate understanding of the whereabouts of your property lines. Talk to your neighbors and check your property file to make absolutely sure the fence is on your property.

Check with your local utility companies before you start excavating (if that’s the case) for underground utility mains which may be located on your property. Also check zoning laws and, if required, apply for a building permit before proceeding with the job.

Then what materials/design will blend best with the architecture/landscaping of your home?

There are different fence styles and different fence panels to choose from, which may differ in the fine details, but basically there are 3 main prefabricated fence panel styles available:

  • Solid – mostly used for containment fencing as they provide complete privacy and they’re mostly used between property lines and for surrounding swimming pools and the like. These fences are usually 5-6 feet tall and they use closely spaced pickets.
  • Spaced Picket – popular for keeping pets or children (some may argue that’s the same thing) in, and/or for defining boundaries.
  • Shadowbox – a mix of the two

For our intents and purposes, we’ll concentrate on the solid variety, because the name of the game in today’s article is privacy.

The PVC Fence

If you’re looking for the cheapest way to fence in your property, PVC is hands down the best option.

Even if PVC is not as sturdy as wood, it will last you forever without requiring any type of “servicing” and as far as privacy goes, PVC fences are just as impenetrable as wood fences.

The Vinyl Fence

A more high-tech option is vinyl fencing. According to some manufacturers, vinyl fences are 5 times stronger than comparable wood fences and 4 times more flexible.

The caveat is that vinyl  is kind of elite price-wise, but it will resist indefinitely to elements and even paint (read graffiti). All you have to do is to soap it up and put the hose to it and it will look as good as new in a jiffy.

The Bamboo Fence

And there’s bamboo, which is another type of wooden fence but with a more sophisticated touch, as bamboo is a relatively exotic type of wood. Other than being exotic, a bamboo fence is just like any other wooden fence; it just looks more interesting.

However, considering “regular” wood’s versatility and availability, most folks will go for an old-school wooden fence, due to its low-cost maintenance and building. You can also buy prefabricated wood fence panels, which will provide you with more flexibility and greater control in terms of quality (material wise), not to mention that wood is way more aesthetically pleasing compared to PVC for example.

The Wooden Fence

The most popular fencing material across America is wood. Wood fences are not very expensive compared to, let’s say, aluminum fencing. Also, wood gives you a welcoming and warm feeling, together with the sense of privacy wood fencing provides.

A wooden fence can easily be built to last forever, depending on what type of wood you choose. The quality of your fence can be compared with hardwood floors. There’s cheap stuff and more expensive stuff, woods that are better than others, and so on and so forth.

Video first seen on MyFixitUpLife show

The most common species of wood used in privacy fences are fir, spruce, cedar, pine, cypress and redwood (always go for heartwood  instead of sapwood, the former is older, has fewer knots and it will last for longer).

Keep in mind that if you’re choosing the wrong wood, your fence might only last you for 5 years before rot sets in. If you’re going for a high quality wood and you treat it well, a wood fence will last you for more than 20 years. Chemically treated woods are arguably the best option.

How to Build a Privacy Fence

First of all, you’ll have to stake the corner locations and place stakes at the corners, approximately where you wish your fence to go. In the next step, you’ll have to square the corners by tying a string around the stakes then running it between the respective stakes.

Once you’ve squared your corners, stake the middle posts, then dig the holes (step 4) at the locations you’ve staked.

As a general rule of thumb, keep in mind you’ll have to bury the posts at least 33 percent as deep as they’re tall. Then place your posts, get them aligned, then use a post leveler to make sure they’re straight and the corners are still square.

Remember to put 3-4’’ of gravel at the bottom of each hole then pour the concrete footing (instant concrete is best).  Then fill in with dirt once the concrete bed has set.

You can add a mason’s line at the top of the post from one post to another at equal height above the ground, thus keeping the height of your fence equal along the way.

Now it’s time to add your support boards and, in the final step, the privacy boards. Remember to treat the boards for increasing the longevity of your fence by painting them or applying a weatherproof finish.

Video first seen on Brandon & Meredith

If you’ll have to build a wooden fence on a slope, check out this video.

Video first seen on DIY Landscaping

And here’s a wooden fence with metal posts that will last you forever. You may have to change the privacy boards after a number of years, but the skeleton will last you indefinitely.

Video first seen on CAmericaProjects.com

Tips and Tricks on Building Fences

  • Let your wooden fence set before you seal it, as it’s very important that you allow it to dry out. If you try to preserve the wood by staining/painting it ahead of time, the substance will probably not be absorbed by the wood if it’s not dried properly. Remember that painting is required every few years if you care about the longevity of your fence.
  • A common mistake when building fences is failing to anchor down posts. A fence is only as strong as its posts – that’s an axiom – hence posts are essential for a solid fence and also pretty expensive. You must take your time and install the fence posts nice and properly.
  • Another mistake is improper gate placement or size. Gates must be placed out of the path of erosion, in well drained areas. Traffic must be taken into consideration, obviously. Proper gate size is equally important. The gate gets the most wear and tear, so remember to build it using high quality materials, including solid and properly sized hinges. Also the posts supporting the gate must be set much deeper than regular ones and you must add more cement around them.

Interested in keeping you and your family safe? Click the banner below for more!

invisible-bph-banner_2

Surviving Off-grid: Hot Water From Your Wood Stove

Click here to view the original post.

Survivopedia_Hot_Water_From_Your_Wood_Stove

Whether we’re talking about off-grid survival or just having the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of living in the 21st century in our cabin in the woods, having hot water for taking a shower, shaving, or taking a nice long bath is one of the yardsticks of well-being.

What can be nicer than enjoying a hot shower after working all day outside in the cold? And even better, if that hot water is completely free of charge? It doesn’t sound bad, does it?

Moreover, it would be pretty nice to have hot water at your disposal without being dependent upon a utilities company, whether we’re talking about electricity or gas.

We’re Reviving Ancient Techniques

What I am trying to tell you is that nowadays, heating water is one of the most overlooked functions when it comes to the archaic wood stove.

Just a few decades ago, many wood stoves were built with a water tank (it was called a range boiler) behind/beside the respective wood stove, for producing free and virtually limitless amounts of hot water. A two for the price of one kind of a deal.

Basically, whether you’re looking to save some dollars on your utility bills or get hot water in some place remote without breaking the piggy bank, the main idea is that you can use your wood stove for more than warming your homestead, cooking and whatever else wood stoves are usually good for.

Truth be told, domestic wood stove-based water heating systems are not new; they were invented centuries ago.

The Romans constructed incredibly clever central heating systems for public buildings (and the rich also had them, because they were too expensive for plebes) in an era sans electricity, and we’re talking 2000+ years ago. I know it sounds incredible, but yes, they actually had central heating through the floors 2 millennia ago; that’s how smart Romans were.

The Roman system was called Hypocaust and it worked by producing and circulating hot air below the floors (even walls in some cases) using a network of pipes. Hot air passed through those pipes and heated the floors/walls and obviously, the air was heated via furnaces burning wood and/or coal, because there was no electricity or piped gas back in the day.

In the event of a grid-down situation, how many of you are planning on heating their home with wood?

Learn from our forefathers how to install an emergency wood-burning stove!

How the Heater Works

Hence, getting hot water using a wood stove uses the same basic principle as a Hypocaust, but with a twist: water is used in our case instead of air, because it’s difficult to take a shower without water, right? I know – there’s an invention called dry cleaning, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Joking aside, to keep it simple: a regular water heater is nothing more than a tank of sorts, sitting on top or next to your wooden stove. As water rises when heated, hot water is drawn from the top and cold water is piped at the bottom via a piping system, obviously.

How does it work, you may ask? Well, it’s pretty straightforward: the stove water heater uses heat exchangers for transferring heat from the stove to the water. Depending on the design, the heat exchangers can be mounted inside of the stove, on the outside of the stove, or in the stovepipe.

Water is circulated through the heat exchanger when a fire is burning in two ways: naturally, via the thermosiphon principle which relies on water rising when heated or by using a pump.

The heat exchanger device is available in 3 main varieties:

  • a serpentine coil made of, in most cases, copper pipe
  • a small absorber, like a solar-collector
  • a box-like mini-tank. Most heat exchangers are mini-tanks or coils mounted inside the stove.

The heat exchanger can be built using copper, stainless steel, or galvanized iron, and they’re commercially available or they can be built in local shops or DIY-ed depending on your skills. For our intents and purposes, we’ll have to rely on the thermosiphon system, because this system works wonderfully off the grid and it doesn’t require fancy stuff like pumps and all that jazz.

The Tips that Lead to Success

“Keep it simple stupid” is the name of the game in a survival situation. As things get complicated, the probability of something failing rises exponentially.

Whenever the stove is used, water must circulate through the heat exchanger in order to prevent it from boiling. The storage tank must always be located higher than the heat exchanger and as close as possible to the stove.

Thermosiphoning-based systems are better than electrical-pumped ones not only because of their simplicity and availability, but also because in the eventuality of a power outage, the pump will stop working, leading to overheating the water in the heat exchanger.

This is a DIY project that can provide you with endless hot water without requiring electricity, as it’s based on the thermosiphoning process. This one uses a therma coil – a homemade unit – which consists of a serpentine made of copper, which is put inside the wood stove and connected via plumbing to a water tank.

This is a hot water-on-demand heater which can help you in a variety of situations. And best of all, everything is made using scrap materials, more or less (except for the copper piping, I guess).

Video first seen on engineer775 Practical Preppers

As a general rule of thumb, for best results, you should isolate all your hot water lines more than 3 feet away from the wood stove using slip-on foam insulation, which is designed for temperatures up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Don’t forget to spend 10 bucks on a thermometer; it’s well worth the investment and it will help you with eliminating all guesswork with regard to determining water temperature.

Copper is one of the best piping materials out there, as it’s very easy to work with when building coils (the heat exchanger gizmo), but remember that when used with iron, the latter will corrode.

The second DIY job is made by the same guy but this time, instead of a copper serpentine placed inside the wood stove, he uses a simpler water coil made of stainless steel. The rest is basically the same, check out the video.

Video first seen on engineer775 Practical Preppers

The third project also uses the thermosiphoning principle (hot water rises) and copper tubing for making the serpentines, but this is a “larger scale job” compared to the previous two, and more complex.

Video first seen on convectioncoil.com.

The fourth and last DIY project uses an interesting design, i.e. a double-walled water heater (a double-walled 6-inch pipe, basically) and between the walls there’s copper water pipe circling the inner wall, thus transferring the heat from the wood stove to the water circulating through the piping.

Video first seen on thenewsurvivalist.

That about sums it up for today folks. There are still many lessons to be learned.

Remember that knowledge is everything in a survival situation and take our ancestors’ example – they survived when there was no electricity.

Click the banner below to uncover their lost secrets!

tlw_banner6

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

5 total views, 5 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

DIY Hot Tub For Your Off-grid Hygiene

Click here to view the original post.

Survivopedia DIY Hot Tub For Your Off Grid Hygiene

When it comes to off-grid survival, personal hygiene is one of those delicate subjects preppers seldom talk about.

Ok, I know that women preppers consider personal hygiene a priority even after a plane crash, but generally speaking, surviving off-grid means that you must have a roof over your head and some chow in your belly, and eventually a cushioned place to sleep in. That about sums it up until cavalry arrives and gets you outta’ there.

However, living off-grid is slowly becoming a trend among outdoors enthusiasts and maybe student loan beneficiaries who cannot afford to pay both the rent and what’s owed to the good ol’ Feral Gummint.

Here is where the off-grid lifestyle comes into play. But living off-grid is not easy; not by a long shot. There are so many problems and challenges in a world without electricity that I don’t know where to begin.

One of them is the aforementioned issue, the personal hygiene thing – an issue that never occurred to you until now because you’re probably living the 21st century life style, with hot water pouring out of the faucet and the whole nine yards.

Basically, we all take modern hygiene conveniences for granted and that’s normal, because we’ve benefited from these cool things for almost 2 centuries now.

But, if you’re living off-grid together with your family, you’re probably aware of the fact that cleanliness is next to godliness, not to mention that keeping you and your family members squeaky clean is actually a matter of survival in its own rights.

The secret to a long and happy life is to live in a clean environment, and you can take that statement to the bank. The lack of proper personal hygiene may get you sick very easily and also you may pass the disease around and all that jazz; that’s how epidemics occur.

The good news is that there are ways to maintain adequate hygiene even if you’re living somewhere in the neck of the woods, as off-grid as it gets.

These ancient survival lessons teach you how to stay clean when there isn’t anything to buy!

There’s an old saying, about “Real men building their own [insert item here]”. In our particular case, real preppers built their own hot tubs.

Why hot tubs, you may ask? Well, the hot tub used to be regarded by many as a luxury if not a whim. Remember that old saying: that one needs only two baths in his/her lifetime – one when you’re born and the other one when you’re dead?

Especially back in the day, hot tubs were pretty rare not too long ago (circa 1700s), when  getting one was a rare experience, familiar just to kings and queens. Alright, and the rest of the infamous 1%, maybe.

One of the benefits of soaking yourself for hours in hot water is that such activity relieves pains and aches, beside getting you clean in the process.

But after reading this article, you’ll understand how hillbilly hot tubs changed the world for ever. And you’ll also understand that getting your fingers pruney is a God-given right for every American, even for those living in the back woods.

Also, let’s not forget that one of the most popular pieces of gear for outdoors survival after a hard and long day doing God-knows-what is a hot tub, right?

I am only kidding folks, but if you don’t know how to build your very own personal hot tub, well, that’s why I am here. I’ve scoured the depths of the Internet and I brought together some of the best tutorials in the world for helping you building your little piece of heaven.

Building the Tank

To begin with the basics, a DIY hot tub consists of two main things: a tank which makes for the bathtub itself and a device for heating the water inside of the tank. That’s all there is to it; it’s pretty straight forward.

As far as tanks go, you have two options: to use a prefabricated one, like an IBC container or a stock watering tank, or to build your own bathtub from scratch from wood; just imagine a big barrel of sorts.

Soaking in a wood-fired hot tub requires some planning, at least a couple of hours in advance, but the involvement in one’s bath is part of the attraction.

Here’s a video tutorial about how to build a cedar wood hot tub using planks of cedar and lots of skill and materials.

Video first seen on Heritage Craft.

The end result is a reminiscent of a big barrel, which looks pretty cool actually, but you’ll require some mad skills to get this done.

You’ll also require beaucoup gear, like cedar wood suitable for cutting and shaping, saws, chine joints, nails, a power drill, a carpenter’s level, screws and insane wood-working skills. But it’s doable, after all that guy did it and it looks pretty awesome.

However, there are other ways.

The hardest part of our first project is to build the tank itself, as it requires serious carpentry skills, but you can always go for a hillbilly hot tub that uses an IBC container using, for example, a prefabricated hot tub, then you just have to worry about the water heating device.

Here are two different projects, both involving a DIY wood-fired hot tub. The first one uses an IBC container, a steel cage, an old gas cylinder and pallets, plus some plumbing connectors. Except for the container, the rest of materials were free scrap.

Video first seen on Chris Jamieson.

The IBC container holds 1000 liters, which is more than enough for a hot tub, while the steel cage and the pallets are used for making the structure that will keep the water-filled container firmly in place. The pallet wood is used for decorating the steel frame; it makes it look better and all that.

The Heating Source

As for the heating device, here’s where the old gas cylinder comes into play. Basically, you’ll use a stove water heater. How does it work, you may ask? Well, it’s pretty straightforward: the stove water heater uses a heat exchanger for transferring heat from the stove to the water.

Water is circulated through the heat exchanger when the fire is burning (the gas cylinder makes for the stove in our case) whilst the heat exchanger is basically a copper serpentine made from copper pipe mounted inside the stove.

In this project, the hot tub is filled with water which is slowly flowing via a garden hose through the copper pipe and it’s getting hot as it fills. The process is relatively slow, but it produces very hot water.

The second DIY wood-fired hot tub system is very similar to the previous one, just that it uses a galvanized stock tank instead of an IBC container. Also, the heat exchanger system is the same serpentine made from copper pipe, but for heating the water, this project relies on the thermosiphon principle.

Video first seen on HomeMadeModern.

Think about our ancestors. They didn’t have the luxury of the modern industry but they were able to create their own hygiene products from simple, readily available stuff.

Do you wonder how our forefathers took care of their personal hygiene when they traveled for months? Click the banner below and uncover their long forgotten secrets!

tlw_banner6

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

6 total views, 6 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

Emergency Fire-starter: Start A Fire With Bare Hands

Click here to view the original post.

Starting a fire

Starting a fire with your bare hands may sound like the manliest activity you can do, doesn’t it? Bear Grylls has a couple of episodes about how to start a fire without any gear available, for cooking some crunchy worms, right?

I am kidding, of course, but knowing how to start a fire in a survival situation is a pretty useful skill to have. Without fire you can’t cook your food, you can’t get warm, you can’t dry your clothes, you don’t have light, you can’t signal your presence, you can’t disinfect water for safe drinking, and so on and so forth.

We rely on technology to survive; even when it comes to wilderness survival. We are comfortable thinking that it will be OK because we have a cool survival knife, even better than Rambo’s, not to mention our top of the line survival/emergency kit, which contains all the things we’ll ever need if SHTF, including some cool BIC lighters, impermeable matches and what not.

However, life has the unpleasant habit of ignoring our plans, and emergencies don’t seem to care about our personal inconveniences.

The question to be asked and answered is — what are you going to do if SHTF and you don’t have your survival gear on your person?  Well, you’ll have to improvise or die trying, right?

This scenario is pretty far-fetched at first glance; I mean, finding yourself alone and close to butt-naked somewhere in the woods, without any type of gear and all that jazz.

Find out how this little survival stove that fits in your pocket can save your life!

Fire is what separated the humans from the animal reign, along with the invention of the wheel and Facebook. (I’m kidding again, of course!)

But I can bet that even the invention of the wheel was somewhat related to fire, i.e. there are “cultures” in remote parts of the world who didn’t invent the wheel, but they know how to make a fire without a Zippo lighter. The idea is that if some troglodyte who still lives in the Neolithic period, technologically speaking, can make a fire using what’s naturally available, so should we.

And obviously, making a fire with minimal gear that you can do yourself will require a paleo approach, i.e. we’ll have to see how primitive cultures mitigate this problem.

As far as primitive fire starting goes, most of the methods (all of them actually, if I come to think about it) involve the 2nd law of thermodynamics, and I am talking about mechanical energy — friction in our case — which is converted into heat, another form of energy which leads to fire and a happy ending.

So, as the Greek philosopher and inventor Heraclitus said back in the day, everything changes, and so does energy. But enough with philosophy and let’s get down to business.

How To Start a Fire Using Sticks

The simplest method for making a fire via friction in dry climates is the hand drill. The concept is pretty simple: you’ll have to cut a V shaped notch into a piece of wood, or fire-board if you like, then to use a rock/knife or whatever you have at your disposal for making a small depression adjacent to the notch, where you’ll place a piece of bark which will eventually catch the ember and burst into flames.

In the next step you’ll have to put the spindle (a stick basically) in the depression and roll it vigorously between the palms of your hands. You know what I am talking about. You’ve seen endless “Wild Survival” documentaries about it.

Some tried it in real life and failed miserably, but this guy seems to have got the hang of it.

Video first seen on Videojug

It’s worth mentioning that two persons can do it better, i.e. one person will apply downward pressure to the drill constantly, while the other will use a shoelace or a piece of string to rapidly rotate the spindle.

How to Start a Fire by Friction

If you’re alone, you can use this method , which is way better than rolling the spindle in the palms of your hands, especially if you’re not used to manual labor. This method involves using a little bow for rolling the spindle and it’s order of magnitude is more efficient than doing it with your hands only.

Video first seen on AZ Film Company

How to Start a Fire Using a Cord Drill and a Pump Drill

Check out this guy who makes it all look very easy. Watching this clip, you’ll learn how to make a cord drill first, then to upgrade it to a pump drill (this can be used for making holes in things, which may prove useful). The cord drill is a spindle featuring a flywheel attached basically and it works very well for making fires and more.

Video first seen on Primitive Technology.

How to Start a Fire With the Fire Plow Technique

Another primitive method for making fire is the fire plow technique. The concept is pretty straightforward, as you’ll cut a groove in a soft piece of wood, which will be the fire-board for all intents and purposes, and then you’ll rub/plough the tip of a harder shaft up/down the groove.

This technique produces its own tinder as the sticks rubbed together will push out tiny particles of wood ahead of the friction.

Video first seen on Survival Lilly

How to Start a Fire With a Fire Piston

Here’s a cool method called the Fire Piston and it works under the principle that air gets very hot when compressed at high pressure.

If you’ve ever used a bicycle pump, you might have noticed the heat that is created in the cylinder. When you compress air inside a fire piston, it happens so quickly and efficiently that it can instantly ignite a piece of tinder placed at the end of the piston.

Video first seen on Discovery

Ancient methods of making fire pistons involve hardwood for the tube or even a horn. The tube must be closed at one end, accurately bored and very smooth inside. The gasket can be improvised from fiber or leather for creating a seal for the piston in order to get the compression required.

How to Start a Fire With Flint and Steel

A classic in the field of ancient fire making is flint and steel. If you strike a softer steel against flint (which is harder), you’ll produce sparks to ignite your fire. But you can also make fire with just what’s available out there, i.e. flint, marcasite, pyrite, fungus, grass/leaf and quartzite.

Video first seen on freejutube

Remember that fire provides you with a cooking flame so knowing how to start one with your bare hands will make your survival cooking easy as 1, 2, 3!

pocketstove_728x90_1

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

19 total views, 19 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

3 Steps To Start A Fire When Everything Is Wet

Click here to view the original post.

Start a fire when everything is wet

Starting a fire in adverse weather, whether is rain or wind or both is a very important survival skill every outdoors aficionado must possess. The ability of igniting a fire when things are less than perfect is a fine art which must be learned and practiced until mastery is achieved.

The thing is, nature doesn’t care much about our best laid plans, mice and men alike and an emergency never comes alone. I mean, when confronted with a survival situation, you’d at least expect fine weather, cool breezes and sunshine.

In reality, your survival in an emergency situation will become much more complicated than initially thought and I would dare to say nine times out of ten, as you’ll end up not only lost in the woods or wherever, but you’ll also have to deal with rain, cold and high winds.

Emergencies almost always bring bad weather with them, it’s almost like a 2 for the price of 1 deal. And that’s fine as long you’re prepared both physically and mentally.

However, in critical times, your survival may depend on your ability to light a fire under rain and/or wind and any hardcore survivalist, even Bear Grylls will tell you that you should always carry at least 2 primary and 2 secondary tools for starting a fire.

The idea is that a regular fire starter may not always provide you with the best results, especially if it’s raining and it gets wet. Also, if it’s windy and rainy, your chances of igniting a fire with just one match are pretty slim. If it’s freezing cold, your BIC lighter (which uses butane) may not work at all.

Basically, starting a fire when it’s windy, cold and rainy is one of the worst situations imaginable, other than starting a fire under water, which is a skill only Chuck Norris masters (he uses phosphorus by the way).

I think I have already told you a dozen times in my previous articles about the holy trinity of survival, which includes fire as a means of providing you with (cooked) food, (safe) water and shelter (warmth, protection from wild animals etc), but also about the importance of location.

But do you know which survival essential is the first most important?

Find out how this little survival stove that fits in your pocket can save your life!

1. Find an Adequate Location for Making the Fire

Everything in life is location, as Van Helsing used to say back in the day, and the same mantra is true when it comes to making a fire.

The first thing to look for is an adequate location for making a fire in harsh weather conditions. The idea is to provide your fire with as much protection possible from both wind and rain if possible. And if you’re not in the middle of a frozen desert with no snow around, that’s not impossible.

Shelter means three basic things:

  • shelter from the wind
  • shelter from the rain
  • shelter from the ground water.

2. Shelter the Fire

Ideally, you should shelter your fire on more than one side (upwind).

Build a Windbreak

You can protect your fire by building a C shaped windbreak with the open side downwind. You can build a windbreak using wood, rocks, snow, dirt, just use your imagination.

To shelter your fire from the rain when outdoors is the hardest job, but it can be achieved.

Make the Fire Under a Tree

But pay attention! The easiest way is to make your fire under a tree, as evergreens can be regarded as a natural tent of sorts. All you have to do is to pick a big one and make your fire under the lowest branches.

Making a fire under a tree may not seem like the best idea, as there are inherent risks attached, like setting the tree on fire, but if you’re paying attention and keeping your fire under control, the chances of such an event happening are minor.

You can minimize the risks further by building a good fire pit with no combustible materials around the fire.

Build a Fire Pit

The third requirement is how to protect the fire from ground earth, with the previous two taken care of by now. The easiest method is to use rocks for building a fire pit on a spot where the ground is raised from the floor.

Or you can do that yourself, i.e. you can build a little mound and on top of the mound you’ll put a layer of rocks, thus preventing your fire from staying directly on the wet ground and also making sure any running water will be drained ASAP.

3. Tinder, Kindling and Fuel

So much for location folks, let’s move on to the next issue and I will start with an axiom: if you don’t have the Bear Grylls flame-thrower with you, starting a fire using wet wood is basically impossible and a no-go under any circumstances. You’ll waste your time and your gear, bet on a dead horse and the whole palaver.

Video first seen on CommonSenseOutdoors

However, there are ways, as Gandalf used to say, but ideally, you should try to find something dry for starting your fire. As a general rule of thumb, a fire gets started in 3 stages: tinder, kindling and fuel.

The tinder is a combustible material which is very easy to ignite, i.e. it will catch fire quick and easy.

The kindling can be improvised using pieces of finger-thick wood that will be lit from the kindle.

The rest is pretty straight forward, as far as your kindle gets ignited you’ll start the main fuel and you’ll have a fire burning in no time.

Two of the best survival-tinder (fire starters actually) which can be used for igniting a fire in adverse conditions (even with wet wood) are cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly and dryer lint mixed with paraffin. These will burn for at least 2-3 minutes, thus providing you with plenty of time to get your fire started. I’ve already written an article about this issue.

As an interesting factoid, even in the midst of a rainstorm, you can almost surely find dried branches under the bottom of big/old pine trees. Another great place to look for dry combustible is the underside of uprooted (or dead) trees.

Video first seen on IA Woodsman

How to Make the Best Fire Starter for Wet Wood

The best fire-starter for wet wood can be home-made using black powder (gunpowder) and nail polish remover (the one that contains acetone). The acetone will be the solvent for the gunpowder. The idea is to make something that burns slow and as hot as possible and the gunpowder/acetone mix is by far the best in this regard.

Making the mix is fairly easy, as you’ll start with a small quantity of gunpowder the size of a golf ball put inside a ceramic/glass bowl. Start adding nail polish remover so that the mound of gunpowder is totally covered then mix it together slowly and thoroughly (always wear rubber gloves).

Once the stuff inside the ball gets in a putty-state, you can pour off the extra nail polish and then start kneading the putty, just like when making bread. i.e. folding it over time and time again.

The purpose of the kneading is to create layers inside your fire-starter. In this way, the burn rate is more controlled. The more layers, the better your fire-starter will be. The finished putty can be stored in an airtight container, but keep in mind that you’ll want to use your putty when it’s still moist. If dried, it burns too fast.

This fire-starter burns at 3000 degrees Fahrenheit and a golf-ball sized piece will burn for more than 3 minutes. Basically, you can set anything on fire with this baby and even  dry out damp wood in the worst conditions imaginable.

One final thing, it would always be nice to use fire accelerants, like gasoline (or alcohol, paint thinner etc), for starting a fire in rain or wind.

If you have your car around, the better, as you can siphon out some gasoline from the tank and start a fire even with damp wood in a jiffy. Okay, you’ll not receive those extra bonus style points, but that’s okay.

You’ll always have the peace of mind knowing that no matter where you go and no matter how bad the weather is you’ll be able to start a fire and safely cook food and boil some water. Click the banner below to grab this offer!

pocketstove_728x90_1

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

0 total views, 0 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

How To Build Your Best Camouflage

Click here to view the original post.

Survivopedia How To Build Your Best Camouflage

When talking about camouflage, there are basically two types of gear: camouflage clothes and ghillie suits.

Camouflage gear is is a must have piece of gear  if you’re a sniper, a soldier or a hunter. Ghillie suits were originally designed for hunting purposes, but later on they were used by military forces, because they’re great at making people invisible or very close to it.

Basically, regardless of your intents and purposes, if you want to blend into your surroundings, camouflage gear is essential.

The key elements for efficient camouflage are inspired from the animal reign (think polar bears or chameleons), i.e. the color scheme is essential, together with  efficient 3D dimensional textures, which is aimed at diffusing and blending your figure/silhouette into the surroundings, thus fooling the eye.

If these two work together as a whole, the color scheme and the 3D (three dimensional) textures, you’re hitting the sweet spot in terms of good camouflage, being basically unrecognizable and virtually invisible from the distance.

It’s just like in the cool meme, with the apprentice sniper being admonished by the sergeant, something like “Smith, I haven’t seen you at camouflage practice” and Smith going like: “Thank you Sir”.

Let’s take a closer look about camouflage basics and start from there.

So, commercial or home-made regular 2D (bi-dimensional) camouflage is pretty good at helping you blending into all sorts of backgrounds, but it can’t mitigate one of the most tell-tell signs of you presence, i.e. your silhouette.

Hard core hunters and veteran hiders, such as military snipers or undercover spooks always rely on 3D camouflage, which consists of entire suits that are built using billowy materials, which help with blurring their outline, thus allowing them to become virtually invisible or to disappear in plain sight.

So, there’s regular 2D camouflage and the ultimate 3D camouflage, namely the ghillies.

Ghillie suits were first invented by Scottish folk, game keepers who probably were pretty good at tax evasion too using those suits (just kidding).

To begin with, let’s quote Sun Tzu, the Chinese general who wrote The Art of War thousands of years ago:

“Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.”

Find out more on how to improve your defense techniques to survive disaster! 

Camouflage Clothes – the Basic Gear for Ghosts

The first step is to determine your required 3 base-colors i.e. the top three most prevalent colors which are to be found in the environment you want to blend in. Don’t worry about exact tones and hues, just choose general colors.

For example, go for dark green/dark brown/black clothes and don’t waste your time trying to find pine needle green or chestnut brown.

If you’ve already determined the color scheme required for your camouflage purposes, buy plain colored T shirts/long sleeve/whatever you need in the respective color and stay away from fancy/expensive brands, the name of the game is utility and economy, otherwise you can buy commercially available camo, right?

The same concept goes for the hat and pants. Here’s a video tutorial with a guy who made his own camo shirt and pants using just a few common items besides the clothes themselves, namely a spray paint, some spare newspapers and some foliage with leaves.

Video first seen on Random Things.

The trick is to spray paint the leaves pattern onto the clothes and that’s about it, you’ll end up with home made camo for dirt cheap prices, especially if you’ll be using old clothes. The end result is pretty convincing.

The Ghillie Suit

Ghillie suit Now, with the basics taken care of, let’s see about the really good stuff, namely the ghillie suit.

Ghillie suits are arguably the best type of camouflage one can wear, as it helps you to integrate seamlessly (if it’s proper made obviously) into your surroundings, as it uses branches, foliage and/or leaves to break up your silhouette.

You’ll start with your already-made camo clothes, i.e. normal clothing spray painted (you can also use fabric patches) to match your desired surroundings.

A ghillie suit is basically 3D camo and it’s usually built using burlap, netting, sewing needles, dental floss and glue. Nothing fancy, nothing expensive.

The thing is, there are two basic designs for ghillie suits: the simple net for fixed positions and the suit construction.

The simple net design has advantages and disadvantages. For example, it’s pretty hard to use while on the move through forests/brush and it’s also very difficult to crawl in. The bright side is that simple net ghillies are light weight, hugely adaptable to fixed positions and they roll up forming a small bundle.

You can use camouflage netting which can be bought at army surplus stores, else you can always choose shrimp net or fish net (the former is the best as it’s treated with anti rot coating).

Suit construction requires a decoy bag, raffia grass, burlap, fabric dye, rubber bands, jute twine and seam reaper. Here’s a video on how to build a ghillie suit from the ground up using readily available and dirt cheap materials.

Video first seen on Zachary Crossman.

The most important customizing option for your ghillie suit it the use of natural vegetation, but this trick comes with the disadvantage that natural vegetation will wither and brown in a couple of hours. Here raffia grass comes into play, as it’s perfectly suited for dyeing and it’s extremely effective in desert, grassland and winter environments.

Other options include using spanish moss, carpet moss or even artificial vegetation and there’s a wide selection of artificial vegetation at hobby stores. You can mitigate its glossy appearance which is common with plastic made plants by using a flat spray paint in your desired color. Plastic vegetation can be painted/repainted ad nauseam,

Don’t worry, building your own ghillie suit doesn’t require mad skills, you’ll just have to know how to tie simple knots, to recognize plant shapes and mix different colors together.

What’s important before proceeding with your DIY job is proper fieldwork research, namely taking notes and photos that will help you with color matching your ghillie suit. Yes, you’ll have to do some scouting, going out to the grasslands/woods/desert plateau or wherever you plan to use your camo and observe the coloration of the terrain with your own eyes.

Building your own ghillie suit offers you some advantages and tactical options vs the commercially available ones (which are also pretty expensive).

For example, you can add a recoil pad pocket if you’re using your suit for hunting purposes, or a hydration pack for wearing it in warm climates, not to mention waterproofing on the areas that come in contact with moisture, thus helping you stay dry in wet environments.

Another advantage of a home made ghillie suit is that it will match accurately the color of your desired environment you wish to blend into, as opposed to commercial ones which are usually available for just 2 environments.

That about sums it up for today. I hope you enjoyed reading the article. If you have questions or comments, don’t hesitate to use the dedicated section below. Good luck, and stay prepared folks!

invisible-bph-banner_2

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

8 total views, 3 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

Wilderness Survival: 5 Self Feeding Campfires

Click here to view the original post.

Self feeding fire

If you’re an outdoors aficionado and you go camping often, today’s article will tick you in all the right places, as I will present you, dear readers, with 5 ways to start a self feeding campfire.

Making a campfire is arguably one of the most fun and interesting parts of camping, as it keeps you warm and safe on cool nights, not to mention that it gives you the opportunity to make the best barbecue you’ve ever had in your life.

You know, food cooked outdoors on wood-fires tastes best. However, there’s a downside to this kind of activity. I am talking about the boring job of keeping the fire alive and kicking.

We’ve all been in this situation – sitting and chilling by the fire, trying to relax and all that, when once again, we’re forced to get up and tend the fire. That’s pretty unpleasant when your belly is full of your latest barbecue, not to mention during the night when you’re sleeping like a baby, yet you awake frostbitten and what not.

However, there’s an answer to these problems with regard to camping, and I am talking about a self feeding fire. Think about our forefathers, they were the experts of this basic skill as for them, a self feeding fire lasting all nigh long meant they could take a nap after a harsh journey.

This may sound nothing short of miraculous to you, but I’ll present you with some videos and you’ll see that I am dead serious, as usual.

So, considering that you can’t really enjoy the warm glow from your campfire if you’re forced to constantly feed it with fresh logs, let’s see about some self feeding ideas which will keep your fire going forever and ever.

1. 15+ Hours Self Feeding Fire

The next idea is about a 15 hours-plus self feeding fire, which sounds pretty awesome providing that it really works; i.e. a fire that will burn for more than half a day all by itself, requiring zero maintenance. That almost beats central heating, don’t you think?

The self feeding fire was invented by the pioneers that had to travel for months. We still have a lot to learn about their skills, as they are depicted in Claude Davis’s book “The Lost Ways”, who unearths the long forgotten ways and lifestyles of the ancestors of ancient times.

Discover the ancient secrets that helped our forefathers survive in the wild!

This type of fire will work if you’re doing it right and proper. The idea is that you’ll have to work a little bit in order for it to function, but it will be worth it. The concept is pretty simple: you’ll have to build two ramps opposing each other and load them with big logs.

The logs will self-load as the ones in the middle get consumed by the fire, but check out the video tutorial about this method depicted in “The Lost Ways” book, and see the concept in action for yourself.

Video first seen on Know More.

As you have noticed, the ramps are constructed in a very easy-to-understand way; there’s nothing fancy involved here.

In order to get the fire started, you’ll have to remember to leave a gap in-between the two logs at the bottom by putting a couple of pieces of dead wood in there to keep them open. In this way, you’ll be able to start the fire, and that’s kind of important.

You’ll also have to cut pretty big (and flat-that’s crucial) logs and the trick is to start the fire from below and make sure the logs burn completely all the way down to succeed.

2. The Upside-down Fire

The second self feeding campfire idea is called the upside down fire. The general idea is that you put the biggest stuff at the bottom, like the big logs, in layers, in a crisscrossed pattern, and as you build the logs up, the woods will get smaller, ending up with the tender pile of the top.

This is a very efficient way of building a self feeding campfire and here’s a comprehensive video tutorial.

Video first seen on NorthSouthSurvival.

The idea works and it’s pretty easy to DIY, ending up with an almost maintenance-free fire which consumes itself from the top down. This method is also known as the fall-down fire.

3. Self Feeding Fire Cigarettes

The third idea is called self-feeding fire cigarettes, just another moniker for a self feeding, long-lasting campfire. The goal of this project is to build a small scale fire as opposed to the previous idea which involves big logs for creating a heavy duty campfire.

So, what we’ll be dealing with here is a minimal campfire, ideal for cooking and lighting your cigars and, you know, keeping the lights on, so to speak.

The concept is to make a hole in the ground and stick 4-5 fire cigarettes (wooden sticks basically) inside, light them up from the bottom and as they burn slowly, the burnt parts collapse under their own weight. This is elegant, very easy to put into practice, and it really works. You must remember to dig out the ventilation tunnels required for keeping the fire alive.

Video first seen on Redfuel Bushcraft

4. 18+ Hours Self Feeding Campfire

Next on our program is how to make a long-lasting, self-feeding campfire that will stay alive by itself for approximately 18 hours, give or take (depending on the size of the logs).

First things first: you’ll have to find 2 big logs. The thicker they are, the longer your fire is going to last.

The general idea is that you’ll put these 2 thick logs on top of each other and set a fire in between them using dead/dry debris or something similar. You’ll have to use 4 stakes, 2 on each side of the logs, for keeping the logs from rolling out; something like a safety precaution. It’s best to use green wood stakes, as these don’t burn so well.

It’s important how you set up the fire; i.e. it works especially well if you set up in the direction where the wind blows, as it will fan the fire for you.

Video first seen on coydog outdoors.

5. Finnish Rakovalkea Fire

Lastly, let me present you with a clever system to build a self feeding campfire which is very popular in Northern Europe, in Finland and Sweden respectively, where it’s known as rakovalkea and/or nying.

This self feeding system uses for two notched-out short logs for its base that keep the fire lifted up off the ground for better ventilation, or more oxygen if you like.

The rest of the job is pretty similar to the previous project; i.e. you’ll have two logs on top of each other with the fire being set in the middle. Both the log on the bottom and the one on the top have a flattened edge as they’ll be facing each other, and in between you’ll have to put the combustible materials required for starting the fire.

Two poles are used to keep the logs firmly in place (via nails). But take a look at this video tutorial and you’ll see what’s up.

Video first seen on Far North Bushcraft And Survival.

Click the banner below to discover more long-forgotten secrets that helped our forefathers survive the long journeys in the wilderness!

tlw_banner6

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

4 total views, 4 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

6 Ways To DIY Emergency Firestarter Kits

Click here to view the original post.

Survivopedia ^ Ways To DIY Emergency Firestarte kits

To begin with, I’d take it as an axiom that any respectable prepper should know how to start a fire in an emergency. Also, I am a firm believer in the theory that any bug out bag or survival kit should pack a fire starter, together with a couple of Bic lighters, just in case.

If you’re wondering why, well, you should contemplate the fact that fire is maybe the most important invention in the history of mankind.

For starters, fire keeps you warm and that’s quite important during the winter season, especially when confronted with a survival situation, i.e. you get lost out in the big bad wood or whatever.

I am aware of the fact that we live in a day and age when people don’t go out much, especially in the woods/in the wilderness. Getting lost is a pretty rare occurrence as we’re surrounded by high-tech GPS capable gadgets, Google Maps at our fingertips, mobile internet, offline maps and whatnot.

However, nasty things can happen at any given moment. The likes of earthquakes, hurricanes, terrorist attacks or good-old power outages may render your central heating system useless in no time.

There are also still folks out there, in flyover country, so to speak, who still go out hiking and hunting (in my time it was called having fun), even in the winter, so you may face a situation where having a fire starting kit will save your life.

So, ranting aside, besides keeping you warm and preventing frostbite from incapacitating you in an emergency, fire will allow you to cook your food, purify water for medical treatment or drinking, keep wild animals away, and signal your presence during the night or during the day via smoke signals.

Survival isn’t all that fire is about though; it’s also needed for complex things that made civilization possible, like metallurgy or pottery.

Yes indeed folks, fire is pretty important in almost all aspects of our modern life, yet we seem to take it for granted, as we got lazy due to our high-tech dominated and lavish lifestyle.

Start a fire anywhere using concealed fire-starting tools worn right on your shoes. Click here to grab these amazing fire laces!

Getting back to our story, let’s talk about a few ideas with regard to DIY-ing emergency fire starters.

To begin with, I bet you’ve already watched a dozen movies where Crocodile Dundee or that weird dude which has the improbable name of Bear Grylls is rubbing 2 sticks together and somehow a fire magically appears. Believe me folks, that’s next to impossible if you’re a regular guy who never tried that before (like 200 times).

Here, the fire starter kit comes into play because, after all, we’re living in the 21st century and we’re supposedly smarter than your average troglodyte in the Amazonian jungle (I am not sure all of those guys discovered fire yet).

An emergency fire starter kit is aimed at making your survival story more pleasant and interesting to tell to your friends, and also more probable, as in “Staying Alive”, if you know that Bee Gees song.

What I am trying to tell you is that even if lighters or matches, are the easiest way to start a fire, having an emergency survival kit is pretty cool and it will make you stand out in the prepper crowd.

Joking aside, the main purpose of a fire starter kit is to help you with making a fire in adverse weather conditions (read rain, wind, snow or any combination of 2), when a simple lighter will not suffice.

1. Mini Fire Starter Kit

The first DIY project is the Micro Fire Starter Kit and it’s my personal favorite because it involves a Bic lighter, obviously.

The genius of this DIY fire starter kit is its simplicity. All you need is an old empty Bic lighter which is cut in half with a saw/knife or whatever. This creates a very small fire starter.

The striker still works obviously, and you’ll also use the storage chamber underneath (where the lighter fluid used to be) for your fishing hook.

You’ll also use cotton and the phosphorus paper, all of which are the must-have ingredients for an old school fire starter, sealed and waterproofed with hot glue for using in survival situations. I know what you’re thinking: you’d prefer a  brand new/working Bic lighter instead of that DIY fire starter kit, but life is not always easy folks.

Video first seen on American Hacker.

2. Micro Emergency Fire Starter Kit

Here’s another idea for DIY-ing an emergency fire starting kit using another Bic lighter for creating an ultra-light and uber-tiny keychain survival tool.

This project involves some tinkering with the lighter, but you’ll end up with a very small emergency fire kit which uses the same principle, i.e. the working striker of a Bic lighter combined with cotton balls mixed with petroleum jelly as combustibles, that are stored inside the cut-down lighter’s innards.

Video first seen on MeZillch.

3. Pocket Size Fire Starter Kit

For another idea, take a look at this pocket-sized fire starter kit which is made from an old pain reliever tube and nothing much else. By nothing much else I mean old wax, a Ferro rod and a striker. But just watch the video and you’ll discover a very clever way for making a fire starter from scratch, and most importantly, one that really works well (I tried it myself).

Video first seen on supergokue1

4. Self Igniting Fire Starters

Here’s a (clumsy) compilation of some of the best DIY self-igniting fire starters and combinations – a kit of sorts – which contains cool stuff like:

  • a self-igniting pine pitch fire stick fire starter
  • self-igniting dust fire starters
  • pine pitch fireball fire starters
  • pine pitch fire bomb fire starters
  • fire crackle fire starters, fatwood fire stick fire starters

This also includes char rope, char cloth, and a fire light candle. The idea is that you can buy all these gizmos from eBay and see how they’re made, then try to reverse engineer them if you think they’re worth the stretch.

Video first seen on The Tera Farley Channel

5. Chemical Based Fire Starters

Now with the old-school fire starter kits taken care of, let’s see how a chemist would make a fire in the absence of lighters, matches, Ferro rods, sticks and stones, etc.

Truth be told, this is something resembling a chemistry class, as the video tutorial will show you some pretty cool chemical reactions – four oxidation processes respectively –  which will all result into an open flame, provided you have the materials at the ready.

Basically, you’ll learn how to make a fire without matches if you get lost in your chemistry lab or something along these lines. The idea is that you’ll require sulfuric acid, potassium permanganate (these are hard to get over the counter), potassium chlorate, zinc powder, glycerol, acetone, ammonium nitrate and several other chemicals. It’s never a bad idea to know how to make fires this way because you don’t know what situation you may find yourself in.

However, as far as chemistry experiments go, these ideas are among the best out there, being nothing short of spectacular. Just don’t let your kids see the video, okay?

Video first seen on Thoisoi2 – Chemical Experiments!

6. How to Make Fire With a Lemon

I saved the best for last, as you can imagine. Now, sit down, take a deep breath and learn how to make a fire with a lemon.

Yes, folks, you can make a fire with a lemon if you’re from Sweden and you have a thick accent. Okay, and you have lemons, obviously.

This is not a joke, as the principle behind the lemon fire starter is pretty straightforward: the lemon is an acidic fruit, the juice inside is the electrolyte, and sticking a few copper/zinc pins (think electrodes) into the lemon will make for a primitive circuit which provides you with electricity when closed. You see where this is going, right?

The battery will be used for creating basically a short circuit via a thin wire, which will go incandescent in the process, meaning that you’ll be able to use it for lighting up dry tinder, thus making for a good fire starter by any measure.

Take a look at the video and see for yourself. It’s massive fun. As far as out-of-the-box workable ideas go, this one is the best in the world. I mean, if life gives you lemons, make a fire with them.

Video first seen on NorthSurvival

And yes, it works, I’ve tried it.

If you have other ideas or comments, feel free to express them in the dedicated section below.

fire-laces_728x90_2ee

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

1 total views, 1 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

How To DIY A Paracord Survival Grenade

Click here to view the original post.

DIY Paracord Grenade

If you’re an outdoor aficionado, you’re probably checking constantly for survival tips and tricks and, as you may already know, paracord is one of those special items you should have on your person when SHTF. In other words, always have it within reach.

When it comes to survival gear, there are 4 basic things you should be capable of doing with it: shelter-building, filtering water, gathering food, and starting a fire. In an ideal world, your survival kit must be able to resolve all these issues without problems.

If you’re able to achieve this goal, you’ll be able to survive for a few days until help arrives, or possibly even indefinitely, in case the cavalry is busy somewhere else. You know what I am talking about – if you can procure water, food, shelter, and make a fire in a survival situation, you’re pretty much guaranteed for winning the prepper academy award.

This brings us to today’s topic, how to DIY a paracord survival grenade. Truth be told, a well-made (as in smart) paracord survival grenade can be described as the mother of all survival gear.

That’s because a properly made paracord grenade will provide you with all the basics of survival, i.e. you’ll be able to hunt and fish, start a fire, build yourself a shelter and, why not, even boil water.

The devil is in the details. That’s an old saying which is truer than ever when it comes to paracord survival grenades.

The thing is, you can buy a pre-made one. In case you’re wondering why, well, paracord survival grenades have already achieved legendary status among the prepper community, which is growing exponentially year after year. Because of that, this pre-made item sells quite well indeed.

13 Essential survival items are included inside this Paracord Survival Kit. Grab this offer now!

In a nutshell (pun intended), a paracord survival grenade has a core which contains essential survival items, all wrapped with paracord, which in itself is another crucial survival piece of gear, ending up in a nicely-wrapped, portable, space-saving packet of survival goodies.

Now, talking about commercially available items, some of them are wrapped together using a cobra knot with the paracord. This style knot makes the grenade look great, but looks won’t help you survive if it’s not functional.

The problem with the cobra knot is that despite its cool appearance, when the rubber hits the road and you need to use it, it is pretty hard to deploy. It’s not as quick as you may need it to be at the critical moment when your life depends on it.

Now, the problem with using other types of knots is that you may end up with an ugly looking paracord grenade, but in my book, usability trumps beauty, so fair warning.

As per future reference, I would suggest DYI-ing your paracord grenade using the quick-deploy type of the cobra knot, which is the solomon bar.

This type of knot requires some practice and patience, but it’s fairly easy to do after you get the hang of it, and it’s lightning fast to deploy if so desired. Here is an example, take a piece of paracord and start practicing.

Video first seen on TyingItAllTogether

Moving along with our story, nowadays almost everyone has heard about paracord bracelets, which actually became more like fashion pieces rather than survival items for the urban prepper. A survival paracord grenade has more than just plain rope, but what’s inside is what matters the most. It’s here that you must pay extra attention.

A basic survival paracord grenade holds about twenty feet of paracord. Ideally, you should go for mil-spec paracord, but any type of high-quality paracord, rated to at least 500 pounds, will do the job if you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere, in the wilderness and all that jazz.

Obviously, you can create a bigger or a smaller one, depending on your needs and personal preference, but as a general rule of thumb, 20 feet, or roughly 6 meters, of paracord are marking the sweet spot, dimensions-wise. The idea is to strike the perfect balance (as in portability/convenience) with your survival grenade, else you can choose to carry some rope and a bunch of survival tools in a bag if you’d rather.

As I already told you, one of the key issues with DIY paracord grenades is to be able to take them apart easily. For example, consider that you’re out there in the cold (it’s winter after all) and your hands are frozen stiff. Struggling to untie the knots of your paracord grenade for deploying your survival gear in order to make a fire is not the best idea in a survival situation, right?

Video first seen on MOD

5 Essential Steps to DIY the Perfect Paracord Survival Grenade

So, if you want to build the perfect paracord grenade, you must follow a few simple steps, together with knowing perfectly well what survival tools to include inside.

1. Built it around a carabiner

A paracord survival grenade is built around a carabiner. That’s what makes it look like an actual grenade. Aesthetics aside, a carabiner is a staple item in any respectable survival kit.

2. Put some fishing and trapping gear inside

Next, considering that one must eat in order to live to fight another day, you must put some fishing and trapping gear inside your survival grenade. Items such as snare wire, small game trapping items and a small fishing kit would be perfect.

3. Add a small LED flashlight

A small LED flashlight would come handy when in need, i.e. starting a fire is not possible and you can’t find your way in the darkness. After all, the sun has a tendency to disappear for hours, especially during the winter, and if you’re afraid of the dark … I’m kidding of course, but an LED flashlight is an excellent item to have in your survival kit in any situation.

4. Include a small blade and a Ferro rod

Another item to consider is a small blade and a Ferro rod, as an additional fire-starter item. Ideally, one should carry a survival knife at all times, but having a backup is always smart, hence the small blade recommendation.

These are the bare minimum survival items to consider, but use your imagination and don’t be afraid to improvise (a small lighter or match sticks, striking sheet, etc).

5. Wrap the survival items in tin foil

Last but not least, once you have decided what to put inside the core of your survival paracord grenade, don’t forget to wrap ’em all up using a tin foil. Besides keeping your survival gear inside dry, the tin foil sheet can be used as a water container and you also can boil the water in it, thus destroying the bacteria.

Remember – all items must directly contribute to base survival in one way or another.

Video first seen on LittleMtnOutdoors

This particular paracord grenade hides essential survival tools inside:

  • 6 feet of fishing line
  • a razor blade
  • 2 small hooks
  • 2 split shot sinkers
  • a small strip of sandpaper
  • 6 strike-anywhere matches,
  • 2 band aids
  • 1 foot of jute twine for tinder and aluminum foil
  • the paracord itself.

Click the banner below to grab your Paracord Survival Kit! 

paracord-grenade

 

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

2 total views, 2 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

7+ Tips To Survive When Camping In Winter

Click here to view the original post.

Survive When Camping In Winter

For the average Joe out there, myself included, winter camping usually means renting a cabin somewhere nice in the mountains and spending the holidays with friends, family, and a few bottles of booze while chatting, listening to CCR and enjoying the downtime. (Still I would survive out there without these, if I have to.)

However, there are hardcore outdoors aficionados who actually resent the idea of camping in a heated cabin by a romantic wood stove. That’s not camping – it’s glamping.

Moreover, there are adventurous folks who prefer to grab their backpack, rent a snowmobile, and go somewhere in the wilderness away from the mad world, the rush, and the insanity of civilization for a few days or weeks.

Regardless of what your pleasure is about camping during winter, there are a few tips and tricks you should know before going out in the cold.

Hypothermia is a very “cold” (pun intended) fact to consider if camping outside in extreme weather conditions. If you want to return home in one piece, with all your thumbs and toes in working condition, then keep reading, as I will share with you some important information about how to stay warm even in -45 F. Okay, maybe not toasty warm when it’s that cold, but you got the idea.

To begin with, you should be realistic and realize that winter camping is not for everyone. However, if you’re properly equipped and trained, you may very well have the time of your life even on Everest.

Let’s begin with the basics: pre-trip planning. Pre-planning prior to any type of endeavor is the key to success, especially if we’re talking about camping during winter.

If you remember that old Bob Dylan song, you don’t need a weatherman to tell you where the wind blows. In other words, regardless what the weather forecast says, you must always prepare for the worst winter conditions possible. Better safe than sorry, right?

1. Plan Your Trip

Even if it may sound like overkill, make sure you’ll be packing all the emergency supplies you’ll ever need in a winter survival situation, such as extra food and water supplies (or means to procure water by melting snow and ice), extra clothes, etc., especially if you’re going somewhere remote.

Also, if the weather conditions are likely to bad, as in dangerous bad, you should play it safe and postpone your trip, that is, if you don’t want to win the Darwin award, if you know what I mean. If not, Google it. It’s fun in a macabre sort of way.

Pack light, but don’t scrimp on essential gear, like a camping snow shovel, plenty of lighting, spare batteries, a first-aid kit, ski poles/walking poles and always go for a strong/sturdy waterproof tent.

20 Survival Uses For An Emergency Survival Blanket. Get yours today! 

2. Take a Friend With You

Another crucial rule when it comes to winter outdoors survival is a rule I’ve learned from a Jack London novel. Never travel alone. Period.

3. Research the Campsite

Research the area you’re going to visit, check the surroundings, see if there’s a forest nearby (read firewood), see if there are any villages or small towns around, learn how long it will take to get from point A to B, etc. We’re living in the age of Google Maps and satellite imagery, so you don’t have any excuse not to get proper intel before going in!

Choose the right campsite (the sun is your best friend during the winter, so check out where it rises), start your fire first thing, before anything else, plan ahead, and stay warm folks.

4. Inform Your Family & Friends

Also, remember to inform your friends and family about your whereabouts, i.e. where you’re going to be for the next couple of days/weeks or whatever, thus making sure you’ll be able to get help if SHTF. If you can give them a detailed map of your route, that’s even better.

5. Keep Warm

Now, let’s talk about keeping warm. Obviously, the main thing to consider when camping outside during the winter is the right clothing. That’s the detail that will make all the difference in the world.

Dress in Layers

Layers is the word. Wear layers of clothing, as layers are the outdoors explorer’s best friend, besides a good fire. Layers work by trapping air between them, thus insulating your body from the cold. A few layers of clothing are more efficient than a single one, regardless of how thick it is.

Also, stay away from cotton clothes, because cotton absorbs moisture (you’ll get sweaty at some point during your trip) and damp or wet clothes are your worst enemy when it’s cold outside.

Basically, you should use three layers of clothing: the base layer, something like a second skin which helps you trap the body heat (synthetic materials/merino wool are the best for the base layer), the mid layer, which works as the main insulator (you can go for fleece lined trousers/heavy fleece) and the outer layer, which must be waterproof.

Dress In Layers

Keep Your Feet Warm

Feet are the infantry’s secret weapon, as my old drill sergeant used to say, so when you go out camping during the winter, pay extra attention to your feet.

To avoid cold feet, keep your cotton socks at home and go for polyester socks or wool socks. Specialty stores stock special foot gear (read socks and boots) designed for hiking. Obviously, the boots are very important too, as they must be waterproof and grippy, especially if you’re going to hike through the snow or ice.

Never Neglect Your Head and Your Hands

A huge amount of body heat, almost half of it in fact, is lost through the head during the winter, so make sure you wear a hat that’s going to block the wind and keep your heat in. Finally, don’t forget a nice pair of gloves.

6. Know Your Gear

The sleeping bag is an essential piece of gear when it comes to winter camping, so know your gear well if you want to survive low night-time temperatures. The idea is that you’ll require a high-quality sleeping bag if you want to be comfortable during the night and wake up healthy.

Or, double up your existing one just in case by putting one inside the other. Remember to always put a foam roll mat (or 2) under your mattress.

The idea is that shelter is pretty important when camping during the winter, as you may experience snowstorms, strong winds, and the whole palaver. Don’t get cheap on your tent, nor on your sleeping bag. They can make the difference between waking up relatively warm and safe and having somebody find your popsicle body.

7. Know Your Body

Together with knowing your gear, knowing your body is very important. Some folks sleep cold, others sleep warm. There are variables, like your age, sex, fitness level, experience, the amount of body fat and lots of other factors, which differentiate between the comfort levels achieved by different people using the exact same gear.

If you’re not familiarized with winter camping, it’s better to be over-prepared than not prepared enough. I am talking about layers of clothing, sleeping bags, and just about anything else that counts toward survival.

Go to Sleep Already Warmed Up

Always remember to go to bed, (inside your sleeping bag that is) already warmed up. The idea is that warmth cometh from within, while the sleeping bag is playing just the insulation part, so if you’re freezing and sleepy, do a few press ups/sit ups or just jump around a little before getting inside your sleeping bag. You’ll thank me later.

Eat Late

Another trick for a good night’s sleep while winter camping is to eat late, ideally a hot meal just before going to sleep. The ideal meal would be fatty (as opposed to carbohydrates), as fat gets metabolized slowly by your body (it lasts longer) and, needless to say, you’ll require fuel to make heat, right? Cheese, olive oil, bacon, pork; you know what I am talking about.

Eat high-energy food at all times, preferably in the form of warm meals. If you can’t, go for nuts, chocolate, and energy bars. Cover your exposed skin in animal fat or vaseline, just like the Inuit have been doing forever, thus preventing frostbite and windburn.

Keep Your Sleeping Bag Dry

Keep your sleeping bag dry at all costs, add more layers outside eventually as you need them. This doesn’t have to be clothes; it can be as simple as putting a metallic survival blanket over your sleeping bag.

This Emergency Survival Blanket helps retain 90% of your body heat. Get yours now! 

Video first seen on Survival Frog

Avoid breathing into your sleeping bag while sleeping (it introduces moisture) and sleep with your boots in your bag. Put them at the bottom of your sleeping bag so they don’t freeze during the night.

Leave your water filter at home and concentrate on boiling the snow. Chemical filters work painfully slow in the cold while mechanical ones may crack/fail due to the cold.

Hydrate

Don’t forget to drink enough water, even if you don’t have your usual thirst reflex, which is common in extreme cold. However, dehydration is a serious danger in sub-zero conditions, especially if you’re sweating. Also, a lot of moisture gets lost while breathing in and exhaling the cold air, as the air is very dry during the winter.

Try to prevent your water supply from freezing, but that’s easier said than done.

If you have other ideas or suggestions, feel free to comment in the dedicated section below.

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

3 total views, 3 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

DIY Winter Water Heaters For Chicken Coop

Click here to view the original post.

DIY Water Heater Coop

If you’re a chicken farmer, you may already know that chickens actually thrive in colder temperatures, as they’re designed with a unique ability. They are excellent at regulating their body temperatures – way better than humans actually.

However, with the winter upon us, it would be nice to help our little feathered friends as much as we can.

The thing is that during the winter, your chickens require at least as much water as they do during the summer in order to generate body heat, so it’s still crucial that they receive an adequate supply of fresh, clean, unfrozen water. Going without water for even a couple of hours can decrease egg production for up to 2 days.

Keep Your Chickens Hydrated During Winter

Dehydration sets in quickly with chickens, especially in extremely cold environments. Even though your hens will drink significantly less water during the winter – about 3 times less on average than in the summer – it’s critical that you keep your “girls” properly hydrated during the winter.

Also, depending on where you live, wintertime survival for your chickens can be anything from a walk in the park and a day of busting bricks, if you know what I mean.

Another fact is that chickens are basically 65 percent water and shuffling back and forth to the chicken coop 3 or 4 times a day carrying heavy buckets of water in freezing cold and/or heavy snow is pretty far from my idea of having quality time during the winter months.

The problem with harsh winters and chicken coops is that water tends to freeze rather quickly in sub-freezing temps. Since your chickens need water on a daily basis, you’ll have to find a way to provide it to them without breaking your back in the process.

Water is involved in all aspects of poultry metabolism, which essentially means that if they don’t get enough of it, your girls will not be able to regulate their body temperature properly among other things (food digestion, body waste management etc).

Also, water is very important in the production of eggs, as an egg is made roughly from 74 percent water. If your girls don’t have access to enough clean/fresh water, you can kiss your egg production goodbye during the winter.

Just like humans, poultry are more sensitive to a lack of water rather than a lack of food, so you must be extra careful that they always have access to fresh and clean water (water no older than 24 hours would be ideal).

Discover how to easily build an attractive and affordable backyard chicken coop!

How To Stop Your Chickens’ Water Freezing

Now, during the winter, your biggest problem is preventing your chickens’ water supply from freezing. I know I am stating the obvious here, but just like with so many other issues, this is easier said than done.

Even if chickens come equipped with pretty tough beaks, they’ll never use them to pierce through heavy ice to get to the water. In other words, this will be one of your many designated jobs during the winter.

There are 2 main strategies when it comes to mitigating the freezing issue:

  • the hard way is to manually replace the water when it freezes
  • the easier way is to prevent it from freezing in the first place.

Carrying water may be quite fun – some may even say idyllic – during the summer, when it’s nice and warm outside, but it will make for a miserable experience during the winter’s freezing dark conditions. While this is basically the most passive option, it’s pretty far from the ideal one, at least in my book. It’s labor-intensive because you’ll have to refill the chickens’ water at least 3 times/day. Which brings us to the second option: prevention.

It pretty much goes without saying that in order to prevent water from freezing, you’ll have to summon a little bit of magic to apply some heat to the water container in your coop 24/7.

I must emphasize the word “little” here, because chickens aren’t very fond of drinking lukewarm water, pretty far from it actually, so you’ll have to pay attention to that issue. You should concentrate only on keeping the water from freezing because, as a matter of fact, chickens really love sipping freezing-cold water.

Again, there are 2 strategies involved here: if you’re not DIY friendly, you can always take the easy approach and buy an electrically heated pet bowl, though you’ll have to cough up a few bucks in the process.

Also, this solution only works if your chicken coop has easy access to a source of electricity (solar panels would work, but that’s overkill for your budget). These bad boys will do the hard work for you, but you’ll have no fun in the DIY-ing process and that’s a bummer.

Now, the flip-side to that coin is to use that big brain of yours along with a little elbow grease and build your own water heater.

Start building your own chicken coop. No special tools required. Get your free easy plans! 

DIY Winter Water Heater Using Electricity

As long as you’re handy with a screwdriver and you don’t have a problem with getting your hand dirty whilst saving a few bucks in the process, you can do this. To improvise a water heater you’ll just need a few basic materials and tools, including:

  • a stepping stone
  • a cinder block
  • a light bulb (the good old-school incandescent variety, alright folks?)
  • a fixing bracket.

The fixing bracket will be used to secure the light bulb firmly in place to the side of the cinder block. Also, you’ll have to drill a tiny hole through the side of the cinder block, so you’ll be able to run an electric wire to the light bulb.

When turned on, the light bulb will provide enough heat to keep the cinder-block warm provided it’s strong enough. It needs to be at least 40 watts. Obviously, if you place the chicken’s water bowl on top of the cinder block, it will stop the water from freezing without making it so warm that they won’t drink it. Depending on how low your temperatures drop, you may need a stronger bulb, or a weaker one.

Make sure you isolate all the electrical parts properly, because you don’t want to wake up in the morning and discover some fried chicken inside your hen house.

Video first seen on Gustavo Monsante

DIY Winter Water Heater Using Sun Light

If you don’t have electricity available or you just don’t want the fire hazard or you’re afraid of electricity, wiring and what not, don’t despair just yet. We have another solution for you: the Sun-is-your-best-friend approach. The idea behind this DIY job is to use the sunlight (if any) for keeping the water from freezing.

Since chickens are usually sleeping during the night, they’ll only need water during daytime, when the sun is presumably up and shining.

For this DIY job, you’ll only need:

  • a tire
  • styrofoam
  • a rubber tub
  • sunlight.

The idea with the tire is that, being black, it will absorb the sunlight, thus keeping the water from freezing.

The styrofoam is used for insulating. Remember, this neat trick only works if there’s enough sun, which is a best case scenario during the winter. This may not be reliable enough if you don’t live in an area that gets lots of sunny, albeit cold, winter days, though it’s worth mentioning.

Video first seen on Lisa of Fresh Eggs Daily

The easiest way to prevent water from freezing is to float 5-6 ping pong balls in your water container. The ping pong balls will float around the container at even the slightest breeze, thus making tiny waves on the surface, which will prevent the initial layer of ice from forming. That’s right – ping pong balls can prevent water from freezing as long as the temperature doesn’t dip much below freezing.

It’s essential to remember during the cold season to never use a metal water container. Always go for dark-colored (ideally black) plastic or rubber containers during the winter. For example, a deep-black rubber container alone, if placed in the sun (if any) will prevent the water inside from freezing to temperatures several degrees below freezing.

Also, the larger the surface area and depth, the longer it will take for the water to freeze. A 40-gallon rubber-made water trough will rarely freeze during the winter, but it all depends on where you live.

You can build your chicken coop on a budget with these ready-made easy to follow plans! 

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

4 total views, 4 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

Winter Survival: How To Start A Fire In The Snow

Click here to view the original post.

survivopedia-winter-survival-how-to-start-a-fire-in-the-snow

With winter here and global warming a thing of the past (now it’s climate change or something), knowing how to start a fire in the snow may save your life someday. I don’t know about you, dear reader, but in my neck of the woods it’s been snowing for days.

If you’re asking yourself why you should learn how to start a fire in the snow, well, the simple answer is: you never know, so be prepared for any situation.

Winter time is arguably the hardest in terms of outdoor survival and if you can’t build a fire, you’re dead meat regardless of the gear you have at your disposal.

And if you’re out there, stranded in the snow in the middle of nowhere and waiting impatiently for help from above, knowing how to make a fire will make the difference between life and certain death.

As night falls, the temperature will plummet, making you feel like you’re in an icebox. If you can’t make a fire, you’ll find yourself in a life-threatening situation if there ever was one. In addition to keeping you from freezing to death, fire keeps wild animals away and it allows you to cook (or defrost) your food, and even make water by melting snow or ice.

Fire is your best friend when it comes to wilderness survival, as it takes care of all that’s important for a prepper: food, water, and shelter (warmth).

For most modern folk, especially youngsters who live their lives pecking at their smartphones, starting a fire in any type of outdoor scenario is a rare occurrence, let alone making fire in extreme weather conditions (snow, wind).

On the other hand, if you never leave your house or the city, you may think bad things will never come to you. That works for hobbits, yes indeed, but then again, there are plenty of scenarios when your bubble can burst in a matter of hours.

For example, what will you do as you get trapped in the snow during your vacation in the Rocky Mountains or wherever, with a blizzard coming out of nowhere, blocking the roads and/or your car somewhere in the middle of…well, you see where this is going, right?

How to Start a Fire in the Snow

Getting back to our “story”, starting a fire in the snow is the second hardest thing after trying to do it during a rainstorm.

Starting a fire in the snow will present you with two basic problems.

First things first – snow will definitely melt at some point and the water may quench your hard work, together with the flames.

Another thing to contemplate about fires, snow, and winter is that cold comes into play, i.e. you’ll have to raise the temperature of your combustible materials farther than in the summertime in order to ignite them. That means that making a fire during the winter is more difficult than in the summertime, as it starts slower than “normal”, provided you know what normal is.

Video first seen on The Outside Files

Choose the Right Spot

Everything in life is location, and the same principle applies to starting a fire in the snow, obviously. Selecting a proper site is the first thing to consider and is exceptionally important for your success (survival). The location should ideally be protected from wind, water, and snow.

Folks traveling outdoors during the winter prefer to make a fire under a tree most of the time, but be aware of trees carrying a lot of snow on their branches, as the snow may fall into your fire as it melts and put it out. And then you’ll be in a world of pain.

If you’re going to start your fire under a tree, make sure you knock the snow off the branches first. That eliminates the aforementioned risk and also, it will make sure you don’t have to clear your spot twice.

Start with a Clean Spot

This brings us to the next step: clearing the snow from your desired fire location. You can’t actually make a fire directly on snow, maybe on ice though, provided you can build a platform from rocks/logs.

You can clear the snow by brushing it away or you may walk on it in order to tamp it down. If you’re going for the tamping, you must realize that the snow will melt at some point, so make sure the water resulting from melted snow can drain away from your fire.

Also remember to clear the snow off the ground on a place near the fire for storing your extra wood, and, if possible, try to use rocks for raising your wood storage spot above the ground. If you don’t have enough rocks, you can use sticks laid cross-ways or make a platform using branches (the same can be used for the fireplace itself in case you can’t find rocks).

Both ways are good for keeping the wood from coming in contact with the ground, thus offering it the chance to get as dry as possible before using it.

When it comes to starting a fire in the snow, or in rainy weather for that matter, it would be ideal to use a large, flat stone as the fire-floor.

Video first seen on ExploringWithGeorge.

Prepare Your Tools

Raising the combustible materials just 1’’ or 2’’ above the ground will make all the difference in the world by offering the water the required drainage channels to run off through.

Another thing to consider and that is hugely important is the heat reflector because, after all, starting a fire in the snow is all about keeping you warm, and a good heat-reflector is aimed at accomplishing exactly that.

A cliff face makes for a good heat reflector, also a big tree or a large rock. You can always improvise one from a blanket, the silver survival types, using the silver side which will provide you with the best reflection.

Read more about these 52 ways to save your life while laughing!

Starting the Fire

Now, with the “preamble” taken care of, let’s talk a little bit about the actual fire-starting procedure. Lesson learned the hard way: along with a first aid kit, always carry something that can be used as a fire starter. A packet of waterproof matches and a couple of BIC butane lighters are a must-have item in any survival kit.

Ideally, you should also carry a dedicated fire-starter kit, which consists of a block of paraffin and sawdust mix, available just about anywhere. You can DIY a good fire starter using cotton balls soaked with Vaseline (petroleum jelly), carried inside a film canister.

The idea is to use a fire starter that doesn’t die out fast whilst providing a lot of heat at the same time.

If you don’t have a dedicated fire starter, you can always use small pieces of dry wood, which may be a problem, but these fellas are usually easy to spot near the trunk of trees. Avoid wood that was in contact with the snow, as it definitely has a high moisture content.

If you can’t find small dry pieces of wood, get your knife, find the driest dead  branch possible, and whittle down until you hit dry wood. If you don’t even have a knife, I don’t know what you’re doing outdoors, really. You’ll have to get creative.

Tips to Remember

  • Always collect enough fuel to keep the fire burning for a long time. You don’t want to stop in the middle of the “show” to get more wood, as the fire may die out while you’re hunting for combustibles and you’ll have to start again from the beginning.
  • Always remember to gather large pieces of wood if possible, along with tinder kindling and smaller pieces for the initial fire.
  • The big chunks of wood are excellent for keeping the fire burning overnight, thus keeping you warm and allowing you to go to sleep without worrying about your fire dying and all that.
  • To get the most out of your fire, you’ll have to make sure that the fire and your shelter (if any) are as close together as possible.
  • Try to build your fire right at the shelter’s entrance and to use rescue blankets on the roof and at the back of the shelter for keeping the heat inside, thus keeping you warmer.
  • Don’t set it close enough that it’s going to catch your tent or shelter on fire, though.
  • Always travel with several rescue blankets in your survival kit; they’re hugely important and you’ll always want one of them between you and the ground, right?

You can also heat rocks into the fire and use them for warming your bed before going to sleep, or wrap a heated rock using a sweater or something like that and use it as a heater (yes, sleeping with a rock, a true love story). If it gets cold enough, you’ll see what I mean.

One thing to remember: coals generate the most heat in a fire, so make sure you keep adding enough wood to your fire so it can burn and turn to charcoal.

If you have any ideas or comments, feel free to comment in the dedicated section below. Stay safe, stay warm.

If you want more tips, click the banner below and discover the survival secrets that helped our ancestors survive harsh winters!

the-lost-ways-cover_wild

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

5 total views, 4 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

Projects For The Urban Survivor: DIY Tripwire Alarm

Click here to view the original post.

DIY Tripwire Alarm

Tripwire alarms are among the simplest yet most effective ways for setting up a home security system.

If you don’t want to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on sophisticated pieces of equipment, today’s article is aimed at helping you to design and build a tripwire alarm for your home, dirt cheap and crazy simple – as in budget-friendly and easy to install.

As far as DIY jobs go, making your own home security system is among my top ten best ever. It’s fun, instructive and, most importantly, embraces the essence of prepping: “be prepared, son, be prepared.”

What Is a Trip Wire Alarm

Let’s begin with the basics: what’s a trip wire alarm? Well, as the name suggests, you just run a “wire” across a pathway you want to protect: in most instances, a door entrance, or a gate on your property, or whatever.

Then, if an intruder walks through and trips over the wire, an alarm is activated. Keep in mind that what I’ve described above is the most basic type of a tripwire alarm, as it refers to an actual wire and all that. Obviously, as we live in 2016, there’s always room for improvement.

Now, speaking of “traditional” tripwires, they’re incredibly simple, very intuitive and fairly easy to set up. But in our modern day and age, when wireless technologies and electronic components are dirt cheap and readily available at any Radio Shack or hardware store, we can go a step further and go a little bit more high-tech.

Regular tripwire alarms – the classic variety, so to speak – come with a built-in inconvenience, i.e. you’ll have to actually run a physical wire or line from the tripwire to the alarm itself.

If you want to protect a far-away location or a room or door inside of a building, you’re going to need a lot of wire, making it pretty difficult to set up.

However, you can get around this logistics nightmare fairly easy via high-tech (dirt cheap, don’t worry) gear, by using a small radio transmitter that will activate the alarm without requiring 5 miles of wire and what not.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s start with the basics, shall we?

The conventional tripwire alarm, the one I’ve told you about in the beginning, consists of a line stretched across a path. Once an intruder trips over the respective line, the alarm is triggered.

Wired tripwire alarms are the most commonly used setups when it comes to homeowners installing them themselves, because they’re cheap and easy to install basically anywhere.

And learning how to DIY a tripwire alarm is very easy and fun.

If you want to learn more survival hacks, we recommend these Urban Survival Playing Cards that every prepper should have. Relax, have fun and learn more than 52 life-saving tips.

urban_survival_cards_optin_620x350_1

Types of tripwire alarms

  • Classic direct-tripwire alarm, i.e. the line stretched across a path, directly connected to the alarm using a wire/string/cord;
  • Laser/infrared tripwire alarm, which, instead of a wire/cord stretched across the path, uses an invisible laser/infrared beam;
  • Radio frequency tripwire alarm, when the tripwire assembly is connected with the alarm wirelessly via a radio transmitter.

The good news is that you can DIY at home basically any of these three using dirt cheap gear and basic tools.

Let’s begin with a classic in that field: the BANG tripwire alarm. The BANG particle refers to the actual alarm, which consists of ring caps.

So, for this low-tech and highly effective DIY project, you’ll require the following materials:

  • a mouse trap
  • fishing line
  • tent pegs
  • ring caps
  • screws
  • nails
  • rubber bands.

This type of tripwire alarm is the ideal solution for securing outdoors objectives, such as the perimeter of your home or a camp site. Needless to say, this project is very cheap, fairly easy to DIY and it works awesomely (the BANG part will scare most intruders away in a jiffy).

The basic idea behind this DIY project is that once the intruder trips over the wire, the mouse trap is activated and as it triggers, it detonates a ring cap, making a loud BANG. Pretty smart, huh?

Video first seen on kipkay

However, there’s even a simpler design for a classic tripwire alarm. First, you must select a location to set up the actual tripwire. Again, this is mostly an outdoor project that can alert you to the approach of a wild animal or various intruders. You must choose wisely, i.e. a place where you’ll have to actually walk to get into.

As the intruder passes by, his feet will catch the trip wire and trip an alarm. Obviously, the tripwire must be inconspicuous at a casual glance, or else your alarm will fail miserably. You’ll have to attach the trip line to a fixed location, between two trees for example, or between two rocks, roots or whatever. The idea is that the assembly must be stable enough to pull on the alarm itself when somebody trips over your wire.

Now, as per the alarm, you can use anything, including your imagination. Here are some suggestions: a string of noisy tin cans or an actual siren or whatever, provided it’s loud enough to warn you about an incoming danger. For example, you can use a string of tin cans stretched in a network-fashion hung between trees or something similar.

However, in our day and age, tin cans are kind of obsolete, so instead, you can use a cheap electronic siren. Here’s an even cheaper version of this type of trip wire alarm, which uses a battery and a clothes pin for creating a short circuit upon triggering, i.e. no sound, but a flame. This one works best during the night, obviously, provided is someone watching.

Video first seen on southernprepper1.

Here’s a project about DIY-ing a remote tripwire alarm, which requires building a small radio transmitter to activate the alarm via radio-waves.

Video first seen on Make.

Last but not least, this is the uber-high tech laser tripwire alarm, a fairly easy DIY project for your home security that will require a couple of mirrors, a cheap laser-pointing device and 10 dollars’ worth of electronic parts available at any Radio Shack or on Amazon. Using the laser tripwire alarm, you’ll be able to secure your entire house via an array of light beams which, unlike in B rated movies, are totally invisible and impossible to avoid.

Video first seen on Make

I know there are a myriad of designs and solutions with regard to tripwire alarms, but I’ve tried to select the easiest to build and to install. Try the project that suits you the best and start practicing your urban survival skills.

Get more than 52 survival secrets to survive any urban disaster or breakdown. 

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

34 total views, 34 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

Winter Survival: How To Build A Snow Shelter

Click here to view the original post.

survivopedia-winter-survival-how-to-build-a-snow-shelter

Do you remember the holy trinity of survival? Food, water, shelter: does that ring a bell? Also, do you know the rule of threes? You can survive for 3 minutes without oxygen, for 3 days without water and for 3 weeks without food.

Well, how about hypothermia? Do you have any idea how long will you last out there in the cold during a wintertime apocalypse?

The thing is that in an extremely cold environment, if you cannot find or you cannot build an emergency shelter, you’ll die from exposure in a matter of hours. It’s also worth noting that you’ll be totally incapacitated a long time before your actual death. Cold has this effect on people, you know.

In a winter outdoors survival situation, your worst enemies are frostbite and hypothermia along with other conditions like dehydration, but let’s concentrate upon what will kill you first.

Besides wearing the proper (layered) clothing, knowing how to build a snow shelter in an emergency situation in order to maintain a proper body temperature should be mandatory for any outdoors enthusiast.

Winter presents many survival challenges but also a lot of lessons. Now is the time to practice unique survival skills.

CLICK HERE to subscribe to Survivopedia’s newsletter and get this month’s Free Report about how to practice your survival skills during winter.

The best thing about snow is that it makes for an excellent insulator. We’ve already talked about it in our article about how to insulate your homestead using snow during the cold winter months in order to save on your energy bill.

How To Build a Snow Shelter

Snow can be used for building a survival shelter, also known as a quinzee, which is basically a large pile of snow, a mound of sorts, that has been hollowed out, thus making for a cave-like place to rest, sleep, keep yourself alive and so on and so forth.

Basically, a quinzee is a man-made snow cave inspired most probably from what dogs and wolves do when a blizzard’s coming their way: i.e. they dig a hole in the snow and they wait for the storm to pass.

The thing is, for building a quinzee you’ll definitely require a snow shovel or something similar, as you’ll have to move around and dig out a lot of snow.

quinzee

The best design in an emergency survival scenario, especially if you’re out there alone and you lack basic tools, is the snow trench shelter which is easier to build using just your hands. To begin with, you should be aware of 2 main things:

  1. First, practice makes perfect. Therefore, you should practice building a snow shelter in your backyard using meager means for as long as it takes. Don’t use snow blowers and high-tech stuff. That’s cheating. I am talking about acquiring the skills first because theoretical knowledge alone won’t save your life in a survival scenario; it’s just not enough.
  2. Second, while practicing DIY-ing a snow shelter, you’ll realize the amount of effort and elbow grease that it takes for piling and packing snow, then removing some of it for just a one-person space.

Even if it’s 10 degrees outside, you’ll be breaking a sweat constantly, and that’s particularly dangerous from multiple points of view in a real life winter survival scenario, because of the risk of dehydration and hypothermia, not to mention exhaustion.

Most experts agree that building a snow shelter is not a feasible endeavor for just one person, especially if you try to do it in a hurry and you lack basic tools (like a shovel), so fair warning. However, it’s also very true that when confronted with imminent death, humans actually gain superpowers in the form of adrenaline kicks, hence you might have a chance after all, so don’t despair just yet.

Another thing to remember is to never travel alone, even if we’re talking about short distances. You can easily get lost in a blizzard and find yourself in a world of pain.

Now, the equipment you have at your disposal and the environment will determine the type of snow shelter you can build: a quinzee or a snow trench.

Step 1. Find a proper location

As usual, location is everything, so before starting digging, you should select the proper spot for your snow shelter. Always avoid windy slopes and areas of rockfall. In other words, never dig your snow shelter in the path of a potential rockfall or avalanche.

Also, if you’re building on a windy slope, where the wind blows against your shelter, is very dangerous as snow can easily clog the entrance of your shelter overnight when you’re sleeping, thus preventing fresh air to get inside. You know what happens with asphyxia, right? In short, you’ll be dead without even knowing it.

Step 2: Find an are with deep snow 

Next, try to find an area with deep snow, thus saving a lot of work. Ideally, you should look for a snowdrift that’s at least 5 feet deep. The consistency of the snow is another factor, as fresh snow tends to be powdery, thus pretty difficult to work with because it’s prone to collapsing when you’re trying to make a cave.

The good news is that once disturbed, snow tends to harden, so if time is on your side, you should pile it up and wait for nature to take its course.

So, considering that you’ve already determined the size of the snow shelter you want to build and you’ve located the sweet spot for it, you should begin with stomping out the diameter of the snow shelter (a quinzee in this particular case) while wearing snow-shoes (provided you have them) thus packing the interior down.

In this way, you’ll create a strong platform upon which to build your snow shelter by eliminating layers in the snow.

Video first seen on OutsideFun1.

Step 3: Pile up the snow 

Now it’s time to start piling up the snow, assuming you have a shovel. As I already warned you, this may take a while, especially if you want to let the mound set up for a few hours, during which you may start building a fire, take a bite to eat while you wait, etc.

This wait time is essential when building a quinzee, as it allows for sintering to kick in. Sintering is a fancy word which depicts the energy released by snow while moving inside the mound you’ve created, making for the snow crystals to bond together, thus acquiring structural integrity.

Basically, sintering prevents the cave from collapsing over you while you’re sleeping inside; that’s the lesson to be taken home.

Step 4: Dig a tunnel into the snow pile 

Now, provided your mound has firmed up, you have to start digging your hole and you should begin with punching a few sticks (a foot long) through the mound, as they’ll serve as guides while you dig up your slumber chamber.

In the next phase, you’ll start digging the entry tunnel. You can plan on spending 2 or 3 hours digging the chamber area.

You can use tarps, pans or snow shoes to scoop out/remove the snow that resulted from digging. When you’ve reached your guide sticks, stop digging.

The ideal wall thickness is about 10 inches, so keep that in mind when designing your quinzee and putting your thickness markers in. Always remember to punch a few fist-size holes to let fresh air in.

How To Build a Snow Trench Survival Shelter 

If the quinzee is not an option because you don’t have the time, the energy, the tools or none of the above (or you’re alone), you must go for a snow trench instead.

Video first seen on Snowy Range Survival.

In an emergency survival scenario, the best alternative is to dig a trench in the snow and use a tarp or something similar (wood branches covered with snow for example) as a roof of sorts.

You can use tree branches or ski poles to prop the tarp up. Snow tranches are easier and faster to dig, but they’ll lack both the comfort and the warmth of a proper-made quinzee. Also, you can be buried in case of a heavy snowstorm, so keep that in mind too.

As for my final words: if you’re the outdoors type and you’re roaming in the wild during the winter on a regular basis, always make sure you have the proper clothing and equipment that you’ll require in a survival scenario, including a compact snow shovel and never travel alone.

Think about our ancestors, how they survived during the biggest winters in history and what mistakes they did – you don’t want to repeat them, trust me!

the-lost-ways-cover_wild

If you’ve ever built a snow shelter or have any questions, please share them with us in the comment section below.

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

6 total views, 6 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

DIY Basic Project: How To Build A Ladder

Click here to view the original post.

DIY Ladder

Who doesn’t need a ladder?

In this article, we’ll explore a few ideas about how to build a ladder for your homestead. This project is fun and it has its purposes, but the main thing is that you can save a few dollars in the process while learning new things, especially basic carpentry, and that’s always fun and useful for a true prepper/homesteader.

If you take a look on Amazon for example, you’ll find cheap Chinese-made ladders starting from $30-$40 apiece; ladders that look pretty frail and fragile; truth be told, I wouldn’t bet my life and limb on their sturdiness if I’d ever have to use’em.

Not to mention that you can’t use one of those for decorative purposes, which is the case with an authentic wooden ladder.

Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a little bit, but you understand what I am talking about. Now, if you want to buy a rustic-looking, genuine solid-wood ladder, you can get one of those bad boys from specialty stores, too, but the price tag will skyrocket.

The idea is that, provided you have the willpower, some minor carpentry skills, and a few tools, you can DIY your own wooden ladder for a fraction of the price and you’ll also have some fun in the process.

Building a ladder is a super easy endeavor and, considering that the price tag of an authentic wood-ladder starts from $249 and goes up to $400 and even more, you’ll understand what’s up with today’s article.

How to Make a Rustic Ladder for $20 or Less

Let’s begin with the supply list. I would advise you to get cedar boards instead of pine ones as cedar has a rough side, which works wonders in terms of the rustic look and feel.

Here’s what you’re going to buy for DIY-ing a 6-foot-tall and 18-inches-wide wood ladder with 4 rungs. Obviously, if you want a bigger or a smaller ladder, you can always adjust the amount/dimensions of the lumber required in order to fit your desired size.

Supply list:

  • 2 pieces of 1x2x8 cedar boards (or pine or whatever wood fits your bill)
  • 1 piece of 1x4x8 cedar board
  • 20 wood screws
  • a saw
  • a drill
  • a level
  • any type of black paint
  • wood-colored stain
  • gray stain
  • 3 paint brushes (go for the cheapest ones, it doesn’t really matter).

With the supply list taken care of, in the first part of the DIY job, you’ll have to cut the lumber to your desired size. In our case, the 2 pieces of 1x2x8 must be cut to 72’’ long (each), as they’ll be the sides of your ladder.

The 1x4x8 cedar board will make for the rungs, i.e. you’ll have to cut it in 18’’ long pieces.

Next, you’ll have to assemble the pieces and build the actual ladder, so put the two  1x2x8 cedar boards side by side at sixteen inches apart and make sure they’re parallel, i..e the tops and bottoms line up.

Keep in mind that if using the cedar boards I’ve recommended, you’ll need to turn them with the rough side up before proceeding to assembling them.

Now, you must measure and mark the location of each of the rungs, then attach the rungs one by one to each side of the cedar board using 2 wood screws each. When you’re attaching the rungs, you should permit room for each to hang over the side boards by one inch on each side, thus making for an 18’’ wide wooden ladder.

Video first seen on Home Hardware

Be very careful that they’re level from one side to another, or else you’ll end up with a wobbly ladder and that’s a no-no procedure.

As an alternative building/assembly method for your rustic-looking ladder, instead of using wood screws you can cut out notches for the rungs and put wood-glue inside the notches for securing the rungs firmly into place.

You’ll have to make sure that the rungs go all the way in and that the notches are centered and even, whilst the two 1x2x8 cedar boards are perfectly parallel after all the rungs are in. This design is more complicated to build but it’s sturdier. You can use the ladder for practical purposes anytime you want with much more confidence.

After you’ve assembled your rustic cedar ladder (don’t worry if you didn’t get your rungs spaced out evenly, it will add to the rustic flavor), it’s time to give it its final finish.

CNCbanner

Here’s where the paint and stain come into play. You can use whatever paint you want, especially if you’re going to be using leftover stuff.

For the sake of argument, let’s say you’ll use black paint. Be careful to apply it strategically via the dry brush method, i.e. you’ll dip the top of the brush into the paint then use a rag/cloth/whatever to wipe most of the paint off.

Try to begin with the minimum amount of paint on the brush, as you can always add more if required. The other way around is more complicated, as you can easily imagine.

Using the dry brush method for painting your ladder is a strategic trick for making it look old, like it was sitting for a hundred years in your barn accumulating dust and dirt. Obviously, if you’re not into the old-looking/vintage school of thought, you can paint your ladder using the classic method. Just make sure you paint it, as paint protects the wood from rotting and pests.

After the paint job is complete, allow it to dry and then, provided you enjoy the look of vintage ladders, apply the gray stain using the same dry brush technique. Once it dries, apply the wood-colored stain. The end result will be a brand new cedar ladder that looks old and as vintage as it gets.

The advantage of a vintage-looking wooden ladder is that it can be used outdoors as well as indoors for decorative purposes. For example, you can use it for hanging your blankets or towels; there’s nothing like a unique, hand-made piece of furniture for storing your things.

Here’s a video tutorial about how to build a very simple lean-to wood ladder using common tools and pressure-treated 2 by 4s. Unlike the previous “vintage” job, which is more on the decorative side, this baby is everything about functionality; it’s like art vs engineering.

Have you ever tried to build your own ladder for your homestead? If you have any comments or ideas, feel free to contribute in the dedicated section below.

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

5 total views, 5 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

8 Survival Hacks Using Plastic Wrap

Click here to view the original post.

Survival Hacks Using Plastic Wrap

You’ve probably battled with your fair share of plastic wrap while trying to cover a bowl of leftovers, but that stickiness is one of its biggest assets when it comes to using it for survival.

That’s right – you can use plastic wrap for many different things if SHTF, so keep several rolls of it in your stockpile!

When I say plastic wrap, you can use the kitchen plastic wrap in a pinch, but you can also buy an entire roll of clear or green translucent plastic wrap at the hardware store that they use to wrap pallets. This type is much more durable than the plastic wrap meant for use in the kitchen. It’s dirt cheap, too.

1. Staying Warm and Dry

Possibly the best thing about plastic wrap is that it’s pretty much impermeable. That means that air and water can’t pass through it, so if you’re stuck in a storm or have to venture out in the cold, plastic wrap can be one of your best friends.

Not only does it keep air and moisture out, it keeps body heat in, so if you wrap your torso, limbs, and feet in it, you  can preserve a ton of body heat and stay dry at the same time, which will also help you stay warm.

The only thing to remember when you’re using it this way is that your skin needs to breathe. That means that as soon as you get someplace warm and dry, you need to take it off.

2. Collecting Rain Water

There are a couple of different  ways that you can use plastic wrap to collect water. The first way is the obvious way –hang a sheet of it so that it’s horizontal to the ground and let it collect either rainwater or dew.

If you have a bucket or container, even better – set the bucket underneath the plastic and use a stone to tilt it to one side, so that the water pours off of the plastic into the bucket.

If you just set the bucket out when it rains, you’ll only catch the water that directly drops into the bucket, but the plastic wrap will give you a larger area for the rain to hit, thus collecting much more water.

3. Create a Solar Still

The second way that you can use plastic to collect water is to build a solar still. This sounds a lot fancier than it actually is.

Dig a hole in soil that is in direct sunlight – this is important because you’re using the sun to dehydrate the moisture from the damp soil.

Solar Still

As the soil dehydrates, the water evaporates and rises, creating condensation on the plastic. Here’s how to do it:

  • Dig a hole in direct sunlight, preferably early in the morning. Make the hole a foot or two deep – the more damp soil you have exposed, the more water you’ll get.
  • Place a mug, bowl, or some other vessel to collect the water in the center of the hole.
  • Fill around the cup with any damp vegetation that you can find. The more moisture, the better.
  • Cover the hole completely with plastic wrap.
  • Place sand, dirt, and rocks around the outside perimeter of the hole to seal the plastic wrap to the ground.
  • Place a small stone or some dirt on the plastic directly over the center of the cup so that it forms a V into the cup. The plastic can’t touch the cup, though.
  • Leave the still there as long as possible – either until the dirt dries up or the sun goes down, whichever comes first.
  • If the hole dries up, either dig it deeper to reach more damp soil, or dig another hole and start over.
  • Enjoy the water. You won’t collect much this way, but in a survival situation, some is better than none!

You can also use plastic wrap to make a solar still to distill dirty water or salt water into drinking water. For a better visual for this purpose, check out this video.

Video first seen on desertsun02.

4. Build a Shelter or a Greenhouse

Yup, you read that right. You can build a shelter using plastic wrap. As a matter of fact, we just built one to use as a make-shift paint booth. We used the skeleton from a picnic tarp for the frame, but trees would do just as well.

Simply wrap the plastic wrap around the trees, or poles that you cut, then cover the top of it, too. We used a piece of cardboard to fashion a door, but you could just as easily cut a small, 3-sided entrance in the hole then wrap a stick around the vertical side and stick it in the ground to “close” the door.

Seal it up from the inside with another piece of plastic. You’re creative – I’m sure you can figure out an entrance.

It also collected dew on the top, so your plastic wrap house serves double duty as a water collector. This will make a wind-proof, waterproof shelter that is actually fairly durable and will hold heat inside.

This trait would also make it excellent material for building a greenhouse.

5. Start a Fire

You can use plastic wrap to start a fire. I didn’t really believe this was possible until I found a video that proved it. The idea is that water in a piece of plastic wrap acts as a magnifying glass.

Video first seen on The Outdoor Adventure.

The paper actually caught fire fairly quickly – within a couple of minutes, so it’s not something that I would discount.

Actually, starting the fire with the plastic and water seemed easier than using a bow, so if those were my only two options, I’d probably try the plastic wrap and water first. We have other great ideas for staring fires.

6. Waterproofing Your Gear

There’s nothing worse than trekking through a downpour and stopping for the night only to find that everything in your pack is soaked, too.

Maybe you’ve dropped it in a stream that you were crossing, or had to swim at some point. In any of these scenarios, plastic wrap would have kept your gear dry.

It’s not a total waterproofer, but I have used it when I’m out on a long distance ride – I don’t have saddlebags – to keep my pack dry. I just have a piece folded up in the bottom of my bag and when I need it, I unfold it and wrap my bag in it.

It probably wouldn’t do a lot of good if my bag was submerged, but it would give me a few extra seconds to catch it if I dropped it in the lake. You could also use it to cover things such as your firewood in camp to protect it from a downpour.

7. Rope or Lashing Material

Yes, rope is always good to have on hand. There’s no doubt about it. Plastic wrap used for shrink wrap is extremely strong and if you twist a piece into a rope (you have to twist it), it will stretch to about three times its original length then hold there. We tested it and it held 115 pounds without threatening to give.

That’s pretty solid for some plastic, especially when you consider that you can untwist it and use it for other things.

8. First Aid

There are several ways you can use plastic wrap for first aid.

First, a sucking chest would needs to be covered with plastic. You could also use it as a non-stick covering to keep water and debris out of a wound. It would work as a sling, or you could wrap it around as a binding. Throw some in your first aid kit.

In a survival situation think of what you can do with what you have. This is what our ancestors used to do.

Click the banner below and discover their most valuable survival secrets!

tlw_banner6

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

5 total views, 5 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

DIY Fuel: How To Turn Wood Into Briquettes 

Click here to view the original post.

DIY Fuel

Let me start today’s article with an axiom: despite the fact that DIY-ing briquettes is a hard and messy job, if you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty, you can make a reasonable income by selling (your extra) charcoal/wood briquettes.

The idea is that you can make DIY briquettes for your homestead provided you’re fine with “dirty jobs” whilst making an extra buck by selling some of them to your neighbors.

The demand for these babies is pretty high, so there’s definitely money to be made from briquettes.

Just remember that the coal industry in the US is expected to boom under Donald Trump‘s administration after it was eviscerated by the global warming cabal. Let that sink in real good folks.

So, not only you can save a lot of money on your heating bill by DIY-ing briquettes for your homestead, but you’ll be able to supplement your income by selling what’s extra. I don’t know about you, but to me this sounds like a definite win-win situation.

Now, as per the dirty part of the job, the hardest and dirtiest part of DIY-ing briquettes is represented by the charcoal dust, which must be crushed and mixed.

To begin with, briquettes are blocks made from compressed charcoal dust, coal dust, wood chips, sawdust, biomass etc, which are used as a fuel in boilers, stoves and what not.

Basically anything that burns can be used in making briquettes, but some materials are better than others with regard to their caloric output. In other words, some burn better and give more heat than others.

Today we will concentrate on the best stuff around for DIY-ing briquettes, which is wood and its derivative (charcoal).

How to Transform Wood into Briquettes in Three Easy Steps

Of course, I am not talking about getting out in the forest and chopping wood like an old school lumberjack. The idea is to use wood shavings, wood chips or sawdust which are byproducts of wood processing factories. Also, these materials are almost the ideal stuff for making fuel briquettes.

Actually, many of these factories (furniture/woodworking businesses) are buying wood briquette machines for processing the wood residues and making a few bucks from what others may consider waste.

Now, if you’ve got what it takes, i.e. the will power, skill, the briquette-machine, and the aforementioned raw materials, let’s talk about the specifics of DIY-ing briquettes from wood residues.

1.Prepare the Raw Material

First things first: you’ll have to take your wood raw material and get it ready for the manufacturing process. You’ll have to transform the big chunks of wood chips and/or wood shavings into sawdust, which is much smaller and thus more malleable. If you’re already in the possession of sawdust, you’re all set.

Generally speaking, sawdust can be more or less humid, depending upon how it was transported, stored and so on.

If there’s too much moisture trapped inside, you’ll have to dry it with a the dryer or whatever means you have at your disposal, as moist sawdust is not suitable for making briquettes. You’ll have to do this if the moisture level is over 16 percent. The lower the moisture, the better.

Truth be told, dryers are regularly used in large scale briquetting operations, but you can always air-dry your sawdust by spreading it out on the ground and letting it dry.

Obviously, the weather is key in this endeavor, so you’ll have to choose a sunny period that’s as close to dry as the Sahara desert as you can get. Just find a piece of smooth, clean ground and have patience. Drying your sawdust indoors would be the best idea, provided you have the means.

2. Put the Raw Material Inside the Briquetting Machine

Now, for the second part, you’ll have to put your nice and clean sawdust inside a briquetting machine. Usually, the feeding mechanism is an elevator, but you can feed the machine yourself, though you’ll have to be cautious and take care about the feeding-speed, so you don’t block the machine.

Video first seen on Rajkumar Agro Engineers Pvt Ltd.

There are basically two main types of wood briquetting machines: the screw briquette machine and the mechanical stamping wood briquette machine.

The latter can be used for making both thick briquettes and thin pellets while the former is regularly used for charcoal briquettes and/or barbecue briquettes. These are the droids you’re looking for. More about charcoal in a moment, right after the break.

3. Prepare the Briquettes for Storage

In the last step, after you’ve already made sawdust-briquettes, they must be cooled for storage and stored or sold, or whatever.

The idea is that if you have plenty of wood residues available, spending some money  on a wood briquette machine would be a clever investment, as you will become more energy/fuel efficient, get off the grid in small incremental steps.

Also, you’ll be able to make some extra money selling your excess briquettes to your friends and neighbors. Go in together with a friend on a second-hand piece of gear if you need to. Ideally, you should go for a briquetting machine which can build both wood and charcoal briquettes.

How to Make Briquettes from Charcoal

If you were wondering what’s up with the charcoal briquettes, well, charcoal is made of wood, alright folks? Hence, charcoal briquettes are basically the same thing as wood ones, just better.

The only messy thing about making charcoal briquettes is the crushing and the mixing of the charcoal dust itself, which is a dirty job by any measure.

Video first seen on Primitive Technology.

Transforming the charcoal dust into fuel briquettes will require a binder – something like the Force, which binds the universe together. I am talking about an agglomerating material which must be added to the charcoal dust to keep it together after enough pressure is applied to transform that dust into a solid and stable briquette.

Video first seen on roonymanfo.

Charcoal briquettes have higher caloric power than wood briquettes; they burn for longer and they produce more heat and less (almost zero) smoke. Also, they’re lighter.

In order to DIY charcoal/char, you’ll require wood scraps. The best material for making charcoal is hardwood such as birch, beech, hickory, maple and oak.

Charcoal briquettes are basically 90% charcoal/char dust and 10 percent “minor” ingredients, including the binding agent I already told you about above, which is typically starch made from wheat or corn, an accelerant (sawdust or nitrite for hard-core chemists), and lime as an ash whitening agent.

Here are some recipes for making your own charcoal briquettes:

  • 10 kilos of charcoal/dust fines and 0.3 kilos of starch or
  • 40 kilos of charcoal/dust fines, 4 kilos of sawdust, 2.5 kilos of starch, 1 kilos of lime (or calcium carbonate) or
  • 100 kilos of charcoal/dust fines, 3 kilos sodium nitrate, 7 kilos starch, 2 kilos of lime.

Video first seen on fireman7753.

The accelerant is important because charcoal briquettes need the stuff to burn faster because, due to the compacting process, the briquette cannot absorb enough oxygen for a proper combustion, unlike a lump of charcoal for example. Here the accelerant comes into play.

You’ll require 3-4% of sodium nitrate (this is an oxidant which releases oxygen when heated and accelerates the burning process)  in your charcoal briquette or 10-20 percent sawdust.

Keep in mind that if you’re using uncarbonized sawdust, your briquettes will be smoky; hence if you’ll be going for sawdust as an accelerant, it would be ideal to ferment it for 4-5 days by keeping the sawdust in water in order to reduce the smoke.

The ash whitening agent is an indicator in charcoal briquettes. When the briquette are burning inside your stove turn white, it means that they’re ready. The white ashes are very appealing in briquettes especially if you’re going to sell them.

To use starch as a binding agent, you’ll have to gelatinize it first, which in laymen’s terms means that you’ll have to make a porridge from your starch and then use the porridge to bind the charcoal dust together. You can also use mashed waste paper pulp as a binder if you don’t have starch or it’s too expensive.

Now that you have enough info to start making your own briquettes, it only takes some will to proceed with this project. Or maybe you already have any experience in making this type of fuel? This is a great skill that you would need for surviving an energy crisis or even an EMP.

Click the banner below to find out more about surviving this disaster, and even much more than that!

EMPCover1

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

12 total views, 4 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

How To Make Briquettes From Daily Waste

Click here to view the original post.

Briquettes

Do you remember that old saying that one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure? The same principle applies to our daily wastes.

In case you did not know it, Americans are among the most wasteful civilization in history. Actually, I would dare to say that we are the champions, my friends, and that’s nothing to be proud of.

We waste at an incredible rate: absolutely anything, including food, where we lead the world by a wide margin. Also, as a nation, the United States generates more municipal solid-waste per person/per day than any other developed/industrial country in the world, boasting 7.1 pounds of solid waste a day, per person.

If you crunch these numbers– 365 days a year x 330 million people x 7.1 pounds of solid waste – you’ll come up with astonishing numbers.

Putting Waste to Work for Energy

It was a Greek philosopher who once said 2000 years ago that nothing gets wasted – everything gets transformed, or something along these lines. To follow this guy’s axiom, we can transform waste into an excellent and basically perpetual source of energy.

We, the preppers, can help mitigate the “disaster” and put that amount of waste to good use, by making briquettes using daily wastes.

Briquettes are traditionally defined as compressed blocks of combustible material – usually coal dust, wood chips, paper, peat or sawdust – that are used to start a fire. The terms derives from the French language and it means “brick.”

Biomass briquettes are starting to become all the rage nowadays and daily waste is basically biomass. Traditionally, biomass briquettes are built from agricultural waste and they’re used as a “green” replacement for hydrocarbons (coal, oil etc) in all sorts of applications, including industrial stuff like heating boilers and whatnot.

Currently, almost half of the world’s population is using charcoal and/or wood for heating and cooking purposes.

Cutting the forest for subsistence farming or for cooking your food or heating your home is not a great idea if you have better alternatives, and that’s the whole purpose of technology: making the world a better place and improving the quality of life for humans, right?

Any household can reduce their need for charcoal and wood by creating their own fuel so to speak, by making “fuel briquettes” using waste plant material which is readily available in their own environment.

How to Make the Briquettes

So, what type of wastes can be re-used for making fuel briquettes?

  • Paper
  • Sawdust
  • Leaves
  • Husks
  • Charcoal fines
  • Any other type of agricultural waste.

It’s important to realize that not all waste is created equal, and this is where the calorific value of each type of waste comes into play.

As a general rule of thumb, the aforementioned materials are the best when it comes to DIY fuel briquettes (sawdust, paper etc), but you’ll have to use a home-made press for achieving legendary status, i.e becoming energy self-sufficient as much as humanly possible.

There are also commercially available presses. You’ll just have to look for them on the internet or in your local hardware store.

The fuel briquettes are being made around the world using mini Bryant and Peterson presses. You can also make them by hand or using a plastic mold.

Video first seen on The Do It Yourself World.

You can also use a plastic mold.

Video first seen on The Do It Yourself World.

Basically, you can use a plastic bottle or any other type of plastic container in order to shape the briquette. You’ll also need something that you can use as a piston that fits into the respective container to press it, in order to get the water out of the mix. You can use something like a tin can or a piece of wood as the piston along with a plastic bag, a knife and some wire.

Here’s a cool idea about DIY-ing a mold-press biomass fuel briquette using an old DVD container. The possibilities are basically endless.

Video first seen on nobodyprepper.

How to Make Briquettes in Easy Steps 

Step 1 – preparing the briquette mix

For example, if you’re going to use waste paper and sawdust (the simplest to DIY and very efficient and cost effective), you’ll have to soak the paper in water for a couple of days in order to soften it and to allow the fibers to be released, as these fibers will later bind the materials together.

In the next step, you’ll have to thoroughly homogenize the soaked paper using your hands until the stuff reaches the consistency of porridge or mashed potatoes, i.e. no pieces are evident in the “soup”. This step is very important but it takes some time and you’ll have to do it well.

To speed up the process, you can use tools such as a mortar and pestle or a dedicated pounding tool for processing the paper mix quickly and more efficiently.

The simplest mix for homemade briquettes consists of one part soaked paper and 3/4 parts sawdust. You can also add pine needles, rice husks, chopped leaves/grass, charcoal fines and any other flammable materials you can think of into the mix, as they’ll add to the flavor. You’ll have to use roughly 20% paper though – that’s the lesson to be taken home.

You can alternatively swap paper for cassava peels/flour, which can replace the paper’s binding properties into the sawdust-mix. You’ll have to boil the cassava until it gets very soft, but in sufficient amounts, the cassava paste will successfully replace the paper for the purpose of binding the sawdust together.

In the next step, you’ll have to mix the paper or cassava mixture with the sawdust along with enough water. The mix must hold together if squeezed; that’s how you determine the ideal consistency.

Step 2 – prepare the press

This step depends on whether you’re using a cool home press or an improvised device. Let’s say you’re on the low-tech side and you’re using a plastic bottle mold as an improvised briquette-making device.

You’ll have to cut the upper quarter of the plastic bottle (a soda bottle will do) and perforate the bottom, making 10-12 drainage holes. You can use a hot wire to burn the holes.

Then you’ll require a thin plastic bag to be used as a liner to help you remove the finished briquette from bottle. Don’t forget to punch drainage holes in the plastic bag too, both on the sides and in the bottom, so the water can be expelled during the pressing process.

Obviously, you can use something bigger than a plastic bottle, like a plastic bucket or a plastic flower pot. Ideally you’ll have two of each: one for playing the role of the mold and the second to act as a piston.  Don’t forget to put drainage holes in the plastic liner though – otherwise, the water won’t drain and you’re wasting your time.

Step 3 – press the mix

In this step, you’ll have to put a quantity of briquette-mix inside the plastic liner (bag) and then insert the bag into the mold. Then you’ll have to add more mix to the bag and press it with the improvised piston (a can, the other bucket/another bottle or whatever fits into the mold) so the water gets pushed out of the mix.

Push as hard as you can – the harder the better. Then you’ll have to pull the bag out of the mold and here’s your first briquette, folks.

Step 4 – dry your briquettes

But it’s not over yet. You’ll have to dry your briquettes for about a week outside in the sun. If they’re not properly dried, the briquettes will smoke when burned and that’s unpleasant to say the least.

If you can’t improvise a mold and/or a press, you can always make fuel-briquettes with just your hands, squeezing the mix in your bare hands and building fuel balls and you’ll have to dry these out too, obviously.

There are so many survival things you can do by yourself. Click the banner below to discover how to make your own wood creations.

cncbanner_20

 

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

5 total views, 5 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

5 DIY Survival Tools To Make From Scratch

Click here to view the original post.

DIY survival tools

Let’s begin today’s article with a question: do you know what homo sapiens means? Well, I bet you do. But then again, how about homo faber? What’s the relation between homo sapiens and homo faber?

Translated literally, homo faber means “man, the maker.”

To put it simply, let’s assume that dolphins are very intelligent creatures since that’s what I hear constantly on National Geo and the Discovery Channel.

But that intelligence doesn’t help them much; they’re just the same as they were 500,000 years ago. Cute, intelligent creatures that constantly get caught in our fishing nets (by mistake) and they can’t get out. They often end up in tuna cans (that’s why I never eat tuna, but I’m digressing).

Are you starting to get the picture?

Homo faber is a peculiar creature, and I mean us, the people, the only “animals” on the planet which are able to control their environment through the use of – you guessed it – tools. Okay, tools and a juicy brain-to-body ratio. Some say that we control our fate too with those same tools, but I have my doubts about that.

Regardless of what you’re thinking about your fate or the lack thereof, tools are pretty cool to have, especially in a survival situation. But then again, tools aren’t necessarily defined by what you can buy for $3.99 in your local hardware store.

Actually, some while ago, I saw an octopus on TV that was using a small rock to break a clam’s shell. By most accounts, octopuses are pretty stupid compared to humans.

The idea is that when confronted with an outdoors survival scenario, you can improvise tools from scratch, thus living to fight another day. If an octopus can do it, so can you, right?

So, if early humans were able to manufacture tools using first animal bones, then stones, then metal and then via 3D printing, what’s there to stop you from learning from your ancestors?

Now that you have the general idea, let’s see about a few primitive-technology ideas which may very well save your life someday, or at least improve the quality of life for you and your family in a survival scenario, which is the next best thing.

1. How to build a fresh water prawn trap from scratch

The idea is very simple and straightforward: one must eat in order to stay alive. So, with the prawn trap you can catch prawns and eat them. The trap is very easy to build using lawyer cane, vine, and sticks. Prawn/fish traps are very easy DIY traps which can successfully be used to catch aquatic life thanks to their peculiar shape.

Basically, you’ll have to build a simple basket with an entrance designed in a funnel-like fashion so that the prawn will get funneled in, but it will not be able to get out. Here’s the detailed video tutorial about the DIY-ing job itself.

Video first seen on Primitive Technology.

The trap must be placed under some tree roots or something similar in the water and it doesn’t require bait, as curiosity kills the cat … err, prawns. You’ll require a little bit of basketry practice but if you’re into outdoor survival, learning this skill may prove very useful some day for many different tasks.

2. How to make a survival spear from scratch

Spears were among the first hunting/self defense weapons used by mankind and this video tutorial will teach you how to make your own survival spear  from (almost) scratch.

Video first seen on Animal Man Survivor.

All that’s required is a cutting tool, which may very well be a knife or a stone with a sharp edge. and a piece of wood of the desired length. Watching the video will also teach you how to make a fire using what’s available in the woods, i.e. almost nothing.

Oh, I almost forgot – here’s how to make a rock knife if you don’t carry a survival blade on your person 24/7 (not good).

Video first seen on Captain Quinn.

3. How to build a grass hut from scratch

You do remember the holy trinity of survival, right? Food, water and shelter. I know that a grass hut made from scratch is not a tool per se, but it’s a shelter by any definition and it can be built basically anywhere on Earth, provided there’s grass available. Which means, almost anywhere.

This project is easy to build, with a simple yet effective design and you’ll only require a sharp stone (or a knife) and a digging tool (stick, shovel, whatever). Here’s the video tutorial.

Video first seen on Primitive Technology.

4. How to DIY a Bow and Arrow from scratch

While hunting with a spear requires some mad skills, bows and arrows are the ideal hunting tools for long-term wilderness survival.

This video tutorial will teach you how to DIY a bow and arrow outdoors, using primitive “technology” – natural materials and tools made from scratch, i.e. a stone chisel, a stone hatchet, fire sticks and various stone blades.

Video first seen on Primitive Technology.

5. How to DIY a cord drill from scratch

Check out this video tutorial and you’ll learn how to make a cord drill from scratch. This baby consists of a fly wheel, a shaft, and a piece of cord and it can be used for making a fire without getting blisters on your (soft) hands or for drilling holes.

Video first seen on Primitive Technology.

Now, with the “survival stuff” taken care of, let’s see about a few life-hacks, i.e. some “more benign” tools made from recycled materials.

Next time you destroy a tape measure, you can improvise a depth gauge using a piece from the broken tape-measure by cutting out a twelve inch section using a pair of tin snips. To get an usable zero to twelve inch scale, start cutting at the beginning of a one footmarker and then use the ultra-thin, elastic material for measuring stuff in small/confined places

You can use scrap wood from the shop for improvising a table saw push stick for keeping your hands and fingers on the safe side when feeding wood to the saw at a consistent rate.

Video first seen on Adam Gabbert.

Here’s how to make a scratch stock cutter from an old hand saw which can be used for scraping/scratching a decorative profile into a piece of wood, a method used by furniture manufacturers on historic pieces for creating a hand-made appearance.

Video first seen on Wood By Wright

You can improvise an adjustable marking gauge by driving a dry-wall screw into a piece of wood.

Video first seen on Paul Sellers.

You can use an empty bottle as a glue dispenser, thus saving money by buying glue in bulk. You’ll require an empty bottle that features an extendable cap, which allows you to distribute a consistent amount of adhesive for, let’s say edge-gluing boards.

When closing the cap, you’ll prevent the glue from drying out. The best bottles to use are bottles with sports caps, such as water bottles,, Gatorade bottles, or dish soap bottles. An expired credit card is excellent as a glue spreader.

If you want to drill perfectly perpendicular deep holes without a drill-press, just use an old piece of mirror and position it against the drill bit.

You’ll have to fine-tune the position of the drill until the reflection and the bit are combined in such a way that they look perfectly aligned. That’s all!

Or you can make your own smart saw at home. Click the banner below to find out how to transform your ideas into real projects.

CNCbanner

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

5 total views, 5 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

3 Remedies From Medieval Europe To Heal The Common Cold

Click here to view the original post.

Remedies For Common Cold

I think it was Hippocrates who said something along these lines: “let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food”.

Today’s article is about trying to find a cure for the common cold or, more precisely, reviving ancient remedies from medieval Europe.

And speaking of cures for cold, there’s another saying in my neck of the woods: if you take cold medicine, you’ll get better in seven days, otherwise you’ll be sick for a week.

Do you see where this is going?

Let me tell you another interesting little story: despite the fact that there are only a small number of basic ingredients to be found in OTC (over the counter) cold-medicine—around ten, give or take (ephedrine, ibuprofen, paracetamol, aspirin, pseudo-ephedrine etc.)—the number of cold-related drugs in your pharmacy is in the hundreds.

Each major pharmaceutical company that has a hand in the cold industry typically has at least 10 different types. Many have 20 or 30 or even more.

That’s pretty confusing, especially when you’re knocked out by a bad case of flu or cold, you can’t think straight, and you just want something to get you out of your misery. You’ll gladly spend a bunch of money to feel better.

Little do you know you’re wasting it on pure crap. Do you think I am exaggerating?

Basically, in the cold medicine racket, the name of the game is making money via marketing and brainwashing. Have you noticed the huge number of drug-ads on TV? 70% of the money a television is making outside an election is from Big Pharma, so let that sink in really well.

I am writing this article because last week I suffered from a bad case of cold, which rendered me pretty much useless until I started making and drinking an old cold/cough remedy that I learned from my grandmother.

Onion tea

It worked from day one, put me back on my feet, allowed me to think straight, to breathe and to write; you know what I mean.

And then I realized that for us preppers, knowing ancient remedies for a disease that is wreaking havoc this time of the year would make for an interesting article. So, if you’re into staying healthy without taking drugs, keep reading.

Let me tell you how it all began: awake at 4 AM. Can’t think, can’t write, can’t breathe, stuffy nose, sore throat. Does it sound familiar?

Well, I managed to crawl to my car and hit a local pharmacy. I bought some stuff pompously titled “cold medicine”, got home, medicated myself, hit the bed, and woke up 3 hours later still feeling horrible.

Then, it hit me: my grandmother used to make onion tea when I was little and I had a bad case of cold. I remember it smelled awful and tasted like rotten pig guts, but if I was a good boy and drank a lot of it, it worked.

With these things in mind, I went to the kitchen, gathered 3 onions, washed’em up pretty good, and put them in the kettle to boil.

The idea is to take 2-3 small onions and boil them slowly in a full kettle until the water is reduced by half via evaporation, then drink the tea as hot as you can stand it.

Trust me folks, it really works: sore throat-gone, stuffy nose-gone, I was alive again. It does taste hideous, unless you’re a die-hard onion lover, but it’s a small cost to pay.

Basically, with this magic potion you’ll be able to function, to be active: to be alive, so to speak, from day 1.

You must drink two 3/4 cups of tea per day, essentially one in the morning and one before bed, that’s important.

If you manage to squeeze 3 more in during the day, it will work like a Swiss watch.

If all you have in the house are big-fat onions, you’ll just have to cut them in half before boiling it, but remember: don’t remove the peel. That’s essential; just wash the onion thoroughly.

How does onion tea work? I really don’t know. There aren’t any “official” studies that I know of, probably because you can’t patent onions and sell them for 5 bucks a pop. It just does, provided you drink it hot as hell and you follow the recipe above.

Vitamin C

Besides onion tea, supplementing with vitamin C and D3 is also very important when it comes to mitigating colds and flu (these vitamins play an essential role in immunity overall), but it’s important to take big doses. The RDA is a joke.

For example, I am talking about 2-3 grams of vitamin C per day, together with eating lots of fruit: oranges, grapefruits, lemons, kiwis, apples and, again very important, raw onions and garlic (natural antibiotics).

The RDA is the minimal amount of Vitamin C (or whatever) to be taken daily in order to avoid getting scurvy (speaking of vitamin C). To be healthy, it takes for much more than that; remember that.

Vitamin C

Tomato Tea

Another way of naturally treating a stuffy nose/nasal congestion is tomato tea.

The recipe is:

  • 1 cup of tomato juice, (but I’d use 2-3 tomatoes cut in half instead of tomato juice)
  • a teaspoon of fresh garlic (basically a clove)
  • half a teaspoon of chili sauce (I’d use a small red hot chilli pepper instead)
  • one teaspoon of lemon juice (again, I’d use a whole fruit instead).

Add a pinch of salt into the mix and heat them together in the kettle until they start boiling, then drink the tea as hot as you can take it.

During the day, you can drink a mix of green tea and ginger tea with honey, as these ingredients boost the immune system and they break up phlegm naturally (the drugs are called expectorants).

Streptococcal pharyngitis or strep throat is a common occurrence when it comes to seasonal colds and flu, and besides my aforementioned magic onion tea recipe, you should try 2 additional tricks if you want to get better ASAP: first, gargle with apple cider vinegar after you dilute it in a glass of warm water (1-3 teaspoons of vinegar in 8 oz of water).

Second, gargle with salt-water and if you’re hardcore, you can try rubbing your infected tonsils with salt (using your finger that is). It’s not a pleasant experience, but it works amazingly well. You can boost the recipe’s effectiveness by adding powdered cayenne pepper into the mix.

Add one teaspoon of cayenne pepper plus one teaspoon of salt in an 8 oz. glass, and mix well together, obviously. Gargle vigorously with this formula until you get better. It will definitely break up the bacteria coating in your throat so expect to spit profusely for a couple of minutes afterwards.

It’s very important to use high-quality, organic salt; not refined/processed stuff. I would recommend Himalayan salt (the pink variety), or salt-mine salt (the one that looks dirty). Processed, refined, snow white salt doesn’t work too great as it’s stripped of its essential trace elements.

I hope the article helped and I can’t wait to see your comments in the dedicated sections below, AFTER trying my onion tea, obviously.

Stay healthy folks and click the banner below to discover more ancient secrets that helped our ancestors survive harsh times.

TLW_banner1

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

6 total views, 6 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

5 Great Survival Uses For Whiskey, Beside Bartering

Click here to view the original post.

whiskey

Let’s begin today’s article by agreeing that having the perfect tools and/or supplies at your disposal in a SHTF situation is a pretty rare occurrence.

The idea is that you’ll have to deal with an emergency using what’s available at that particular time and place.

That’s why, from a prepper’s point of view, stocking multi-purpose items is the way to go. That brings us to today’s topic: whiskey.

I know what you’re thinking – Wait a minute, whiskey and survival? What do they have in common? The answer is – much more than you think, my young Padawan.

With these questions in mind, let’s take a look at the answers.

To begin with a little bit of history, alcohol has been well known for its health benefits for hundreds, or even thousands, of years. Whiskey is a beverage with a high alcohol content that can be used in a multitude of ways during or in the aftermath of a SHTF event.

Regardless of whether you’re a big fan of Prohibition or a whiskey aficionado, the fact remains that many folks will always need their whiskey in a survival situation for various things, including drinking it or using it for trade, fuel, or medicinal purposes.

620_waggons

Are you ready to head to the liquor store? When the going gets tough, whiskey may be one of your best friends, because it’s a true multipurpose tool which may very well save your life someday. If you’re not stocking whiskey yet, keep reading.

Since humanity’s earliest days of trading, people literally risked their lives in the pursuit of happiness, which often included whiskey, wine, beer, or any alcoholic beverage. If disaster strikes and society breaks down, whiskey will be useful for lots of things, including bartering, for that very reason.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Even though society is infinitely more complex than it was 300 years ago, whiskey will still likely become a form of currency during a crisis situation. It’s just the kind of “stuff” some people must procure for themselves at any cost.

But there’s more to whiskey than a valuable commodity in times of peril, though just that would make it a must-have item in your survival stockpile.

Use Whiskey as Combustible

Besides trading it, you can make fuel with it. It’s great to help start a fire when your combustible is damp. Whiskey is great as a fire starter provided its alcohol content is over 40% or 80 proof, so keep that in mind when shopping for your survival whiskey. Also, you can use it as a fuel for your lamp, or as a fire accelerant.

If you’re stocking a higher-proof whiskey, something like 100 proof or more, you can always use it as emergency combustible for certain types of engines. And yes, that will increase its value significantly as a barter-item in a survival situation.

Keep in mind that powering a traditional engine with high-proof whiskey is not a child’s play, as it requires significant tweaking to the ignition timing, the idle circuit, etc., but it’s possible if you know what you’re doing.

You can use it even as a last-resort, self-defense tool,  in a Molotov cocktail. And if the going gets really tough, you can always break the bottle and use the shards as a cutting tool or even as a weapon.

Whiskey Works as a Solvent

For the engineers out there, alcohol is a great solvent.

That means whiskey can be used successfully for cleaning your guns, an engine, electronic components and even for rust prevention.

Whiskey Kills Bacteria and Odors

Another cool thing about whiskey is that if mixed with water, it kills harmful bacteria, hence you can always use it to disinfect water procured from dubious sources (after filtering it). Also, if you add some whiskey into your water supply, it will last much longer without spoiling (and it will taste better for sure).

You can use whiskey in an emergency for its hygienic properties, as it efficiently kills odors and bacteria. You can use it as a deodorant, as a perfume (seriously), or as a toner/facial astringent (think aftershave). You can always refresh clothing with whiskey if there’s nothing else available or you can use it to repel/kill bugs.

Whiskey Helps You Staying Healthy

Whiskey can be used to treat/prevent swimmer’s ear due to its excellent antiseptic and drying properties (you can even disinfect medical instruments with the stuff) and it’s great to use as a medicinal mouth wash, especially when confronted with a tooth ache. Just don’t try it before a job interview, all right?

Since we’ve already started, let’s talk about whiskey’s health benefits from a scientific point of view. All types of whiskey decrease the risk of blood clots, help prevent stroke and dementia, and promote healthy cholesterol.

According to various studies, if you drink it in moderation, whiskey not only alleviates boredom but it will decrease your risk of diabetes. It actually destroys cancerous cells. This is especially true for bourbon, which is  required by law to be aged in oak barrels for a minimum of 2 years. During the aging process, anti-oxidants such as tannins and vanillins found inside the wood are passed into the bourbon.

Are you sold just yet? If not, let’s take a look at other medicinal uses for your precious whiskey reserve.

Whiskey can be used as an antiseptic agent, but topically only. You should avoid using it for treating deep cuts, though if nothing else is available, whiskey will do.

Also, whiskey is a pain reliever when ingested in small amounts for sore/aching muscles. If you mix whiskey with honey, it will help alleviate a sore throat, and a tiny quantity works miracles as a sinus cleanser. Just try it once; it will clear you right up.

Whiskey Makes You Happy and Warm

There’s also an even better reason for drinking it that you think; that warm and fuzzy feeling is more than just an imaginary experience; alcohol is a well-known anxyolitic, which means that it reduces anxiety.

It’s also a vasodilator, so it actually makes you feel warm, and it’s an antimicrobial. Because of these chemical reactions, it gets you warm, gives you hope when you’re under stress, and kills bacteria and viruses. More on that in a jiffy, right after the break.

The bottom line is this; stockpiling whiskey for the end of the world is not a bad idea after all, as it comes with numerous benefits, not to mention the fun-factor included in the deal.

Just remember to stock up on cheap whiskey with a high alcohol content – 80 proof or higher – as this guarantees it will ignite, and disinfect, better. For your personal drinking pleasure, feel free to stock some of the good stuff; there will certainly be plenty of people willing to trade with you if you find you have extra!

To store it long-term, always purchase your whiskey in glass bottles instead of plastic. That way, your whiskey will store indefinitely as long as you keep it in a cool, dark place with the bottles upright, like in the old days.

tlw_banner6

I hope this article helped, folks. If you have other ideas or suggestions for using whiskey in a survival situation, feel free to tell us about it in the comments section below!

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

5 total views, 4 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

This Is How To Fireproof Your Home

Click here to view the original post.

Survivopedia how to fireproof your home

Fire is a prepper’s best friend in an off-grid survival situation, but your best friend can turn into your worst enemy in a matter of seconds.

Fires were a common occurrence two hundred years ago (give or take), when most houses were built from wood and other “fire-happy” materials. Electricity was still a dream for most of the people and fire was used on a daily basis for all sorts of things, ranging from cooking and heating to illumination (candles and stuff like that).

The general idea is that if you’re surrounded day after day by open flames, (such as the situation of your off-grid home out there in the woods by the way), a fire is an accident waiting to happen. That’s why you have to consider fireproofing your emergency bug out home before anything else.

Out there in the wild, there’s no fire department to call if SHTF. Unless you’ve thought to stock them, there probably there are no fire extinguishers available. If a fire occurs, you’ll lose all your means of survival in a matter of seconds: your shelter and everything inside, including your food supply, your gear, your clothes, not to mention human lives.

And that means you’ll be in a world of hurt, right?

The answer to that is fireproofing, as fireproofing is arguably the best way to prevent a disaster from happening in the first place, especially if you’re dealing with a survival scenario, i.e. you have a small log cabin in the woods or something like that. The last thing you want is to watch it disappear in flames at the worst moment imaginable.

So, keep reading as I share a few ideas about how to keep fire away from your home.

5 Steps to Fire Safety at Home

Before getting to ideas about how to make DIY fireproofing substances, aka fire retardants, consider a few basic facts first about how to fireproof your home:

  1. Minimize the chances of a fire-occurrence inside your house by storing your combustible materials somewhere else where it’s safe, like not inside, doh!
  2. Keep all the flammable debris out of your yard, especially during the fall when leaves, twigs and branches are all over the place. You must keep your yard clean not for the sake of cleanliness, but as a survival strategy.
  3. If you’re using a solar powered device or a generator (anything involving electricity) inside your home, NEVER overload your power-outlet and unplug any appliance if not used.
  4. Be extra careful around open flames, especially candles, and watch out where you throw your cigarettes.
  5. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand, and learn how to use it properly.

fire extinguisher

Fireproofing Made at Home

Now, with the basics taken care of (sort of), let’s see about the fireproofing itself.

Almost any flammable material can be made fire-proof using a fire resistant solution which prevents the respective material from being ignited when exposed to an open flame/fire. Now, if you want to make any kind of fabric (curtains, things of that nature) or surfaces inside of your home fire-resistant, you can DIY a fire-retardant solution using several basic ingredients.

The main substance to be used in creating a home-made fire retardant solution is boron, which if saturated into fabric, cloth, paper and all sorts of other cellulose-based material (wood included) prevents them from burning.

The idea is to get the respective materials saturated with boron salts. The best things about fireproofing with boron is that the color of the cloth will not be affected (nor the wood for that matter) and also, boron is not poisonous.

DIY Fire Retardant Recipe

Things you’ll need: 7 ounces borax, 3 ounces boric acid, a spray bottle, safety goggles, a container, a wooden spoon, a paint brush and a measuring cup.

Step 1: Boil 2 quarts of water and pour it into a glass (mixing) bowl or any heat resistant container. Remember to wear your safety goggles at all times, nota bene.

Step 2: Add 7 ounces of borax and stir it for thirty seconds using the wooden spoon. Before you ask, borax can be found at any respectable store that is selling detergents (it’s a laundry booster). When all else fails, try the powers of the Internet! (Amazon.com would be a great point to start).

Step 3: Add 3 ounces of boric acid and stir for another thirty seconds using the same wooden spoon. Boric acid is a relatively common substance which is used in the cosmetics industry and/or insecticides, being well known for its fire proofing benefits. You can buy boric acid from Amazon.com, yes, yes.

Step 4: Allow the solution to cool down and dissolve for half an hour and there goes your DIY fire retardant folks.

Step 5: Next, you’ll have to fill the spray-bottle with the fire retardant you’ve just made and spray it generously over any type of surface, fabric or whatever you want to fire proof. If you’re applying your homemade fire retardant on fabric/clothing, dowse a small, inconspicuous section of the respective fabric and allow it to dry for 10 minutes or however long it takes.

Use a cigarette lighter upon the “treated” piece of fabric to spot test the solution. If the fabric doesn’t burst into flames, there you have it. Continue applying the fire-proof substance to the rest of your stuff. If it does start to catch fire, just go on and add an extra-layer of your home-made solution.

Step 6: If you want to fire proof wooden surfaces, use the paintbrush for coating the wood with your homemade solution and make sure the entire area is thoroughly coated. Before applying a second layer/coating (just to make sure, right?), allow your fire-retardant to dry out for at least fifteen minutes.

Remember that I told you previously that borax and boric acid are non-toxic, right? The good news is that you can use the stuff (with the recipe I’ve just provided above) for fire-proofing basically anything, like your children’s clothing, household drapes or stage curtains. The substance is harmless, easy to apply and washes out in a jiffy. That being said, you’ll need to reapply if the material is washed or gets wet.

I hope the article helped. If you have other ideas or comments, just use the dedicated section below. Good luck, have fun folks!

CNCbanner

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

1,587 total views, 322 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 10    Average: 3.7/5]

How To Use Concrete: 5 Projects For Your Homestead

Click here to view the original post.

Use Concrete for DIY Projects

Concrete is a homesteader’s best friend, at least in this writer’s opinion (and that of Marcus Aurelius). Why, you may ask? Well, since the Romans, concrete can be described as the yardstick of modern civilization.

Basically, we live in a world made of concrete, while “urban homesteaders” hunt and forage in the concrete jungle. You see what I’m talking about? Concrete is the most widely used building material and it’s the ideal choice for building lots of stuff, ranging from roofing to furniture and everything in between.

Hence, today’s article is aimed at giving you a few DIY ideas about making and pouring concrete and to offer some suggestions for its uses around the homestead.

If you’re ready, let’s get to it!

First Things First: Learn How to Pour Concrete Yourself

First, let’s begin with the basics: the do’s and don’ts of how to DIY concrete.

The general idea is that knowing how to pour concrete yourself will definitely save you a few dollars if we’re talking about small scale projects or a bucket full when it comes to bigger things, like a garage floor or a swimming pool.

The good news is that pouring concrete is easy and relatively straight forward, as you’ll only require basic tools every homesteader already has in the garage or tool shed or whatever.

If you want to achieve better results, you should first determine which type of concrete to use, depending upon your project’s specifics. There’s a wide variety of concrete available on the market and ready-mix concrete is the most popular choice, because it’s very easy to use, i.e. all it requires is water.

However, if you want to get involved in a large-scale project, ready-mix concrete is more expensive than other varieties. If you’re the lazy type, there’s always the revolving barrel truck which will supply you with transit mix concrete at your doorstep, but if you want to save the most money and have tons of fun in the process (and also lose weight), buy the dry ingredients by yourself and mix ’em up.

Even if it will take some elbow grease (pouring concrete in large amounts is arduous labor folks!), it will be worth the stretch provided you own the proper mixing tools and the will to achieve!

When it comes to mixing your own concrete, keep in mind that there are 4 basic elements coming into play: the first is the Portland cement itself, then a fine aggregate like sand, a coarse aggregate like gravel/crushed rock, and finally, water. Gravel and sand are the main ingredients in finished concrete, but be extra careful and make sure there are no debris, such as dirt or leaves.

The best water to be used when pouring concrete is alkalide/acid/sulfate/oil-free water, which makes for filtered water by any definition. The quality of the end result of pouring concrete will only depend on how well you mix the four main components, so keep in mind that stirring thoroughly is key, regardless of the quantity.

If you’re working with wet sand, you must add 6 ¼ gallons of water for each bag of cement (standard bags have 110 pounds) if you’ll be building heavy duty stuff, such as walls, concrete-foundation or retaining walls.

Depending on the dampness of the sand, you must adjust the amount of water (more about that in the video tutorial) and always read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully for mixing concrete. Remember – Murphy’s Law.

Keep in mind that concrete is best poured when the weather is not very hot (the temps are between 40 and 80 F) and there’s no direct sunlight, as it may cause your concrete to cure too rapidly, causing cracks. Air that is colder will prevent the concrete from drying/setting properly or at all, so you should choose a period with moderate temps for a few days in a row.

Do the job during that time frame. Need I remind you, folks, that there’s a thing called The Weather Channel just for that, not to mention countless smartphone apps like AccuWeather.

Now, here’s the fun part, i.e. the YouTube video tutorial(s), actually there are 6 vids for you to watch carefully and then you can start pouring!

Video first seen on DoItYourSelfBuilder Brian Monroe.

If you’ve watched and learned your concrete-pouring/manufacturing techniques properly, let’s talk next about a couple of fun projects for your homestead using your own DIY concrete, alright?

Project 1: How To Make A Micro-concrete Roof Tile

First, let’s see how to make a micro-concrete roof tile. Roof tiles are pretty expensive to buy from the hardware store and if you have a giant house (implicitly a big roof in terms of real estate), you’ll save beaucoup bucks if you can manufacture your own tiles, won’t it?

The video is pretty straight forward: you’ll require a vibrating table, a plastic sheet to put over it, and the respective cement mixture. The rest is in the video. This is an easy, straight-forward job; the secret is to make the right mixture for roof tiles (or buy it directly from Home Depot or Amazon or whatever).

Video first seen on TAO Pilipinas.

Project 2: How To Build Custom-made Concrete Countertops

Here’s an interesting tutorial about how to build custom-made concrete countertops. The project is a much more complicated concrete-pouring job that will require lots of gear and materials, including things like glass fibers, glue guns, melamine-faced particleboard, plywood, furring strips, steel wool, various adhesives, and professional tools.

In the end though, it will at least be worth watching and afterwards imagining yourself doing it in a Sunday afternoon (just kidding, of course – anybody can do it with the right materials and equipment).

Video first seen on This Old House

Project 3: How To Pour Concrete Floors

Now, for a bigger, burlier job, let’s take a look at this YouTube video in which the people are pouring a variety of floors using techniques and tools such as floating the concrete, steel trawlers, bull floats, power trowels etc.

Basically, this is how professional contractors (masons) are doing it (as in pouring floors, this is a family show), so you can learn a few tips and tricks from “the Man” himself.

Video first seen on Mike Haduck.

Project 4: How To Build Concrete Furniture

Even furniture can be manufactured from concrete. I bet you never thought about that, did you? Here’s a cool idea about how to build a concrete table, an idea that came from Holland (thanks Leon) and which can be expanded further using your imagination (like, building two tables).

Video first seen on Leon Raymakers.

Project 5: How To Build Concrete Garden Pots

Last but not least, you can always build your own garden pots by pouring your home-made concrete and putting some not-so-intensive physical labor into the mix (pun intended). The process is very intuitive and fun to do: you’ll have to mix the concrete and then pour it into molds, thus making your own custom garden pots.

Just check out the video. It’s as easy as it sounds.

Video first seen on TheGardenerMag.

I hope the article helped. If you have other ideas or comments, just use the dedicated section below. Good luck, have fun folks!

CNCbanner

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

11 total views, 5 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

5 DIY Cooling Devices For Your Off-grid Survival

Click here to view the original post.

Survivopedia DIY cooling devices

I’m not sure how the weather is in your neck of the woods, but here in Survivopedia-land I’m dealing with 93-94 F on a daily basis for the last couple of months.

Being hot as hell, the air-conditioner works full time during the day. Now, the question is, how can you deal with a heatwave when it comes to off-grid survival? I mean, our ancestors managed to get through it, but what would happen to you, dear reader, in a survival scenario?

The idea is that there’s nothing wrong with trying to improve your quality of life even when it comes to life in the wilderness.

Now, off grid survival means that you’re basically out there somewhere on your own, without a hardware store nearby and likely without power, right? Can you improvise something to mitigate a bad case of scorching heat, at least temporarily?

Well, let’s talk about a few ideas about how to DIY your own air conditioner in case you need it, shall we? Let’s begin with the basics.

Since we’re talking about off-grid scenarios, the point is to build an air conditioner which doesn’t eat a lot of power, like the regular ones do, i.e. we want to manufacture a cooling device that can work well on solar power or using a car battery.

Project 1: The Dirt Cheap Cooler

Our first DIY project is about an air cooling gizmo that is manufactured from readily available, dirt cheap materials. It’s fun and easy to build, yet strong enough to cool you off some on a day like this (today was a real scorcher).

The materials required for this baby are an ice-chest (a hard-sided/plastic one), PVC pipe, a small fan, and ice. Easy as pie, right? The trick is how to get the ice, but if you can sort that one out, well, the world will be your (cool) oyster.

To power this device, you’ll have three choices: solar power (you’ll have to put a solar-panel on the bucket-list), a battery, or your own automobile using the car’s 12 volt cigarette lighter plug.

The specs of the fan are 12 VDC 10 watt 0.8 amperes. If you’re going for solar power, you’ll need a 15 watt/1 ampere system. Also, this DIY project works best in dry climates, as dry air cools faster than humid air.

A block of ice will last for five hours (empirical evidence) while larger blocks will last you twice as that, up to ten hours. The DIY job is very straight forward and here’s a video tutorial with easy to follow instructions.

Video first seen on desertsun02.

Basically, you’ll have to cut 2 holes in the ice box. At one end you’ll install the fan, which will suck air into the ice-box (you must put a chunk of ice inside). At the other end, you’ll have to install a PVC pipe that will blow the cooled air into the room.

You’ll need a cutting tool to make the cuts in the plastic ice-box but, truth be told, this is a 15 minutes job tops if you’re good with your hands and you own the proper tools. This improvised AC is able to deliver very cold air – 42F more precisely – but when the ice runs out (as in melts away), you’ll start sweating again.

Project 2: Another Ice Cooler

This is a variant of the first DIY project, as it uses basically the same principle and materials as the first one, sans the plastic ice chest.

Instead, you’ll be using a Styrofoam ice-box, which is way cheaper and easier to cut for installing the fan and the PVC pipe. The rest is basically the same, i.e. a solar panel/battery for powering the fan and some ice.

As I already told you, in these 2 DIY jobs, which are massive fun if you’ll be involving your kids, the essential ingredient is the ice. If you can’t get the ice, you’ll be doomed. Here’s the video tutorial with detailed and easy-to-follow instructions.

Video first seen on desertsun02.

Project 3: The Bucket Air Cooler

This home-made air conditioner is an internet classic known as the five gallon bucket air cooler. Also, a variant of the previous two, using the famous five gallon bucket instead of the plastic/Styrofoam ice-box. The materials and tools required are the same: the fan, the PVC pipe, etc.

Remember folks, all three of these projects are non-compressor based, hence getting the ice is the catch 22.

However, one frozen jug of water put in the five gallon bucket air conditioner lasted for six hours, so we can describe these DIY “sans compressor” air-conditioners as the “redneck’s cooler”, provided you have power (via solar, generator, etc.) and a refrigerator available to make ice.

It’s also good if you can’t afford or don’t want to buy a regular AC unit for various reasons. I almost forgot the most important part: here’s the video tutorial.

Video first seen on desertsun02.

Project 4: The Geo-thermal Air Cooler

The next project doesn’t require buckets or ice chests and it has a fancy name too: the DIY geothermal cooling system. This is a rather complicated project which requires some skills and some tools and materials. The general idea is pretty simple, though.

Video first seen on luke Fugate.

This guy is using the water from a deep well and a small electric pump to recirculate it via hoses. There is a copper-hose section and also a bunch of recycled parts from an old AC unit used to build a very interesting air cooling device. It basically recirculates the cold water from the well to cool the air via a copper radiator mounted inside the house.

This is a low-energy-sans-compressor air conditioning unit, but it doesn’t require ice for doing the cooling job, hence it’s a true off-grid air conditioner, provided you have the gear and the well.

Truth be told, the geo-thermal cooling device makes for a very interesting idea to say the least, as this DIY air conditioner can be powered using a solar-panel installation or a car battery for extended periods of time (it’s not power-hungry).

Project 5: The Vortex Cooling Gizmo

Last but not least, enter the pompously named DIY Homemade Vortex Cooling Gizmo. Keep in mind that you’ll need a source of compressed air for running this DIY air cooling project, so there’s a catch 22 built into it from the beginning. As long as you have compressed air available, (as in a compressor which requires power), here’s the video-tutorial depicting all the stages of the project (there’s a part deux too).

Video first seen on Otto Belden.

Provided you have all the tools, materials, and skills required, you can build a very efficient air conditioner that can decrease the temperature anywhere between 10-15 degrees F when it comes to cooling. The idea is to build a vortex cooling tube (it has no moving parts) which separates hot and cold air using a compressor.

Thus, going from high pressure to low pressure, you’ll create a temperature drop, i.e. air conditioning. The same basic principle is used in commercial refrigeration systems like your AC unit or your fridge.

To make things simpler (less DIY that is), you can buy an expansion valve or an orifice-tube setup from an auto parts store (20 bucks or less) and save a lot of assembly work.

I hope the article helped. If you have other ideas or comments, just use the dedicated section below. Good luck and have fun folks!

CNCbanner

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

5 total views, 5 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

How To Build Your Own Irrigation System

Click here to view the original post.

Survivopedia diy irrigation system

In the summer time, when the weather is hot (actually scorching hot in some places), what can be more important than knowing how to build your own irrigation system for your garden?

DIY irrigation systems will save you some of your hard-earned dollars, and they also make for an interesting learning experience. They help you with acquire new skills and that’s a big part of a prepper’s way of life, isn’t it?

Now, irrigation systems are essential whether you’re growing roses in your back yard for winning prizes or what not, or, more importantly, for your survival garden. Hose-watering your plants is quite a chore. You’ll have to move the hose around every 30 minutes or so and then store the hose in your yard afterward etc.; basically it’s a waste of time and resources.

Today’s article is built around a few ideas about DIY drip irrigation systems, as they’re very efficient and simple. As a matter of fact, their beauty is their simplicity, like a Swiss watch. Oh, and they’re also dirt cheap and easy to build using readily-available materials. That’s a huge plus in my book.

Soaker Hose vs. Drip Irrigation System

Taking into account that not all irrigation methods are created equal and obviously, there are quite a few systems of irrigation available, let’s begin with the basics.

While soaker hoses are the most common irrigation method for “amateurs”, i.e. home gardeners, they’re rarely used in commercial gardening for several reasons. One of the reasons is they will end up costing quite a lot. They’ll also cause you more problems than they solve.

The biggest problem with soaker hoses is that they don’t water your garden evenly. Due to their intrinsic design, i.e. they seep water all along the hose’s length, the water delivered at the beginning of the hose will always be considerably more than the quantity delivered at the end of the line; that’s a law of physics folks. Basically, there’s no way of delivering the optimal amount of water for all of your plants using soaker hoses.

Long story short, that’s inconsistent watering and it’s a big no-no for your survival garden, as it leads to rotting in some places (too much water) and your plants dying of thirst in others. Also, soaker hoses don’t function properly on slopes because they’re not pressure-compensating. The maximum length of such a system is less than 200 ft.

Another disadvantage of soaker hoses is that they’re prone to clogging easily and that leads to even more inconsistency over time. When left in the sun, soaker hoses are also prone to damage, as they’ll harden (rubber doesn’t cope too well with UV light) and get brittle in time, breaking over when you’ll need them most.

To make things worse, the soaker hoses are also prone to bursting, making a huge mess and leaking large amounts of water. And yes, a burst soaker hose is pretty hard and expensive to repair if needed, especially if it’s hardened and brittle from sun exposure.

Just check out this cool video about soaker hoses vs drip irrigation; you’ll see with your own eyes what I’m talking about. On the good side, soaker hoses are cheap and fairly easy to install compared to drip irrigation systems.

Video first seen on CaliKim29 Garden & Home DIY.

Now, talking about drip irrigation, these babies are built using flexible plastic tubing that features tiny emitters (holes basically) that allow water to drip slowly into the soil.

There are a few advantages of using drip emitters over soaker hoses: they are not wasting as much water as the latter, they’re totally fixable when they break, and even if they require some maintenance, many of the parts are re-usable. They’re one hundred percent repairable, which is very important in my book.

Besides the almost–zero waste of water, a drip emitter puts the water directly where it’s needed, with pinpoint accuracy so to speak. For example, you will be able to space them (the drippers) so the water drips exactly over the root zone of your plant.

How to DIY The Drip Irrigation System

Project #1

Now, let’s see about how to DIY a PVC-made drip irrigation system. Here’s an extremely interesting video depicting the advantages of a homemade drip irrigation system compared to regular flood irrigation.

Video first seen on Utah State University Extension.

This PVC-made drip irrigation system will help you save money, time, and water. A fabulous advantage of using this design is that you’ll be able to reduce water use by up to 75%, and that’s quite a lot, especially in a survival situation. All you’ll have to do is turn it on and forget about it, as it doesn’t require monitoring or supervision.

This system uses water wisely and you’ll end up with a beautiful garden that will provide you with fresh veggies for you and your family all summer long. Also, this project is not expensive: the estimated cost for a 15ftx15ft garden is under $50 and the time to build it is approximately 5 hours. You’ll only need ¾-inch PVC pipe, a drilling machine, and connectors/fittings. These are intuitive to use, user friendly, easy to set up, and lots of fun.

Project #2

The next project is about a small-scale DIY gravity-fed drip irrigation system. The complete plans for the project can be downloaded from here. Here’s a video tutorial depicting the system working and most of the DIY details.

Video first seen on Ross Lukeman.

The materials required for this project are dirt cheap and readily available; you probably already have them lying around your property somewhere. You’ll need a 5 gallon bucket for the reservoir, a drill, garden hose fittings, irrigation tubing, some planks of wood for building the structure that holds the bucket in place (you’ll have to cut them), and that’s about it.

For added precision, you can throw in a digital irrigation timer, which gives you a lot of flexibility because it allows you to do whatever you want. For example, if you want to water your plants every morning at 8 AM with a predetermined amount of water and so on and so forth, you can arrange it; just take a look at the video.

Project #3

Now, let’s talk about the easiest way to DIY a rain-drip watering system for keeping alive a relatively large garden. This DIY project is very efficient. It uses an electronic timer, a back-flow system, and a water filter to prevent clogging. It will help you with your bills and also with conserving water if you’re living in a remote area.

Thanks to the electronic timer, this irrigation system will save you a lot of physical labor, as it will basically automate the whole process and you’ll not have to water every plant by yourself. Also, this system is expandable, adaptable and relatively cheap, and it can be used with basically anything: flowers, veggies or hanging baskets. Take a look at this video and start working.

Video first seen on RedneckResponder.

Project #4

Last but not least, here’s an interesting idea about DIY-ing a self-watering container garden. The main benefit of a container garden is its efficiency, as the plants will draw the exact amount of water required from a reservoir placed below the soil; no more, no less. Also, there’s no loss of water through evaporation.

Video first seen on XoletteLife.

This project will provide you with better-tasting veggies and fruits, as the plants are free to use as much water as needed for optimum growth. The main benefit of a self-watering container garden is its relative self-sufficiency, i.e. you can go on vacation for extended periods of time. As long as you set the hose on a timer, the plants will take care of themselves.

The total cost of this project is about $50, so you’ll not have to break the piggy bank either. Materials required:

  • Commander 27-Gallon Tote
  • 10′ Orbit Polyethylene Riser Flex Pipe,
  • FLEX-Drain Corrugated Pipe with Filter Sock 4″ x 25′
  • Apollo 3/4″ Polyethylene Drip Irrigation elbow
  • Miracle-Gro 64 qt. Moisture Control Potting Mix
  • Apollo 3/4″ PVC Drip Irrigation Female Adapter

The rest is up to you.

I hope the article helped. If you have any other ideas or questions, feel free to comment in the dedicated section below. And click on the banner below to discover one amazing tool that any prepper should have for building what he needs for survival!

CNCbanner

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

3 total views, 3 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

How Many Ways Can You Build A Water Container?

Click here to view the original post.

Survivopedia water tank

Preparedness comes in many shapes and forms, but water storage is one of the main problems to be taken care of in any survival scenario. Storing food for long term is not a big problem anymore, since freeze dried foods became affordable for the masses, but water storage is another discussion.

We can’t live without water, or at least we can’t live without it for more than three days anyway. Regardless of your situation, whether you’re an urban prepper or you’re already living off-grid somewhere in the countryside, storing water in a big tank on your property as a backup system would be a great idea.

I am talking about building a water tank and hooking it to a rain water collector; now you can see why DIY-ing your own water container would be a good thing for long term survival, because rain is a given regardless of your geographical location.

Generally speaking, the vast majority of people are getting their water from the public water supply system, which is totally dependent upon power to work. If the power goes, everything goes, including your source of potable water.

Hence, today’s piece about a few DIY ideas about how to build a water container, because there’s no way around it: if you don’t store enough water, you’ll get in trouble in no time if the power grid goes down.

Now, if you’re looking to build your own water supply system (as a backup for irrigation purposes, for your livestock or things of that nature), the water tank is usually the most costly part of the project.

Plastic water containers are generally a good idea as they’re fairly easy to set up and install basically anywhere, but they are pretty expensive if you order them in large sizes. So, you’ll have to look elsewhere for the answer.

Project 1: How to Build a Concrete Water Tank in Your Backyard

Concrete water tanks are used for thousands of years, I think the Romans were the first civilization to implement them on a large-scale.

However, you can build your own concrete water tank in your backyard for relatively little money and without requiring mad-engineering skills. This particular tank is 12 feet long, 3 feet wide and 3 feet deep and it is capable of holding 4 tons of water or 4 thousand liters (1000 gallons give or take).

Also, it’s built very close to the house itself, for making it easy to connect it to a rain-water collecting system. Unlike plastic water storage containers, concrete-made ones are cheaper to build and they will last longer. Also, plastic is not the best material for storing water long term, as it encourages bacterial growth and also leaks BPA, which is a well-known endocrine disruptor.

The materials used in this DIY project are mild steel rods for the frames and the edges, concrete, an electric welder and a few basic tools like a vice, nuts and bolts, a few planks of wood and small mesh chicken wire. Just take a look at the video tutorial and you’ll get the general idea.

Video first seen on Davethe Biscuitman.

Project 2: How to Build a Rain Barrel System

This project is a lot easier to DIY as it ‘s composed basically from 4 plastic barrels (50 gallons each) hooked to a rain water collecting system and it’s mainly used for providing clean/fresh rainwater for a veggie garden. However, if SHTF, the water stored in these containers can be used for survival, so it’s a win-win situation.

The barrels are installed very close to the house and they’re hooked to a rainwater collecting system which keeps them filled with pure water, provided it rains enough.

The materials required for this DIY project (beside the barrels) are relatively common: a few cinderblocks, a diamond blade, plywood and a plywood cutter, water sealer, a drilling machine, bulkhead fitting and threaded adapters, a garden hose fixture, garden hose, a slip locknut wrench, Teflon tape, mosquito screen, a hot glue gun, a hose mender kit, door&window caulk and some basic skills.

Just watch the video tutorial, it’s pretty explicit and straight forward. If you plan to use this system for potable water storage, it would be advisable to use food grade approved parts when you’re building it (caulk can be toxic, regular water hose contains lead and so on and so forth).

Video first seen on BubbleBeet.

Project 3: How to Build a Water Tank Using Plastic Bottles

This project uses plastic bottles for building a water tank and it arrived to us courtesy of Peace Corps USA in Tanzania, as they were helping the locals with a rainwater collecting system.

Basically, the water bottles are used as bricks for the water tank itself, being filled with river sand. In the first phase, you’ll have to build the foundation for the water tank and make sure it’s perfectly leveled. In the next step you’ll have to make the bottle-bricks, i.e. to fill them thoroughly with dirt/sand or whatever, making sure they’re very well filled. The dirt-filled water bottles will be used as bricks in the water tank and the gaps will be filled with cement.

To reinforce the water structure, you’ll be using a wiring/mesh system. Using this clever method, you’ll be able to build a 1000 gallon water tank spending next to nothing and using readily available/recycled materials. Watch the video tutorial below.

Video first seen on oldsoul247.

Project 4: How to Build a Sand Water Cistern

In our next project, we’ll explore how to collect rainwater from a roof, storing it via a sand cistern and re-using it for irrigation purposes or survival if SHTF.

What’s interesting about this experimental project is the fact that it’s a closed system which stores water in the pores of the sand, keeping it cool. The water is not exposed above ground at all and that’s an obvious advantage if you think about mosquitos and other insects that thrive in stagnating water. Also, being stored in the ground and away from sunlight will prevent algae from growing inside the system.

Usually, the word cistern is associated with a large water container (plastic/cement made) placed above ground. But this particular system once completed will totally disappear in the landscape. Are you amazed yet? Well, check out the video tutorial below and start building!

To get the general idea, using this method you’ll be able to capture 600 gallons of rain water in a 1 inch rain over 1,000 square feet of roof. And one big advantage of this clever system is that as water percolates into the sand, it gets filtered free of charge!

Video first seen on OklahomaGardening.

Project 5: How to Install a Rain Water Capture Cistern

This project is about digging a 500 gallons exchange system that will capture rainwater from the roof of your house for sustainable gardening or, who knows, for helping you in a survival scenario.

Keep in mind that this project requires some serious excavation and a water pump/filtration system, other than that it’s pretty straight forward and massive fun. Check out this video tutorial and start working!

Video first seen on Shawna Coronado.

Project 6: How to Build a Typical Water Storage Tank

This is not your regular DIY project, but watching the following video tutorial will make you understand how big-industrial sized water storage tanks are designed and built and maybe you’ll get ideas about how to improve your own home-made projects. It’s like a lesson in engineering and you may be able to translate some of these macro-ideas into your micro-DIY project. Enjoy!

Video first seen on Wessex Water.

I hope the article helped. And if you are interested in more ways to obtain water, click on the banner below to find out more!

6_620x140

If you have any other ideas or questions, feel free to comment in the dedicated section below.

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

4 total views, 4 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

Prepper Project: 5 Ways To Build A Chicken Incubator

Click here to view the original post.

Survivopedia diy incubator

Even if I don’t like chickens very much personally, I am aware of the fact that raising chickens on your own homestead is becoming increasingly popular, especially among preppers.

Raising your own livestock is a big step toward getting off the grid. If you own a small farm or you have enough room in your back yard, chickens are a great opportunity for providing yourself and your family with fresh meat and eggs, totally organic and the whole nine yards.

However, keep in mind that free range chickens tend to forage in your garden (if you have one) so be extra-careful with these pesky birds.

In my opinion, from a prepping/homesteading point of view, chickens are very close to perfection when talking about raising your own livestock, especially for beginners. Home-raised chickens are way more tasteful (and better for you) and also significantly cheaper compared to the commercial variety.

A home-grown chicken will be free of hormones, antibiotics, growth stimulators and the rest of the pharmacy you will find nowadays in store-bought chicken.

The same story goes for the eggs, which are an excellent survival food. If you’ll be raising your own chickens you’ll have fresh eggs on a daily basis for you and your family.

Last but not least, a backyard chicken farm will provide you with top quality manure for making compost, thus your veggie garden will benefit enormously from these beautiful critters (or creatures, whatever you want to call them).

Oh, and I almost forgot: raising chickens is incredibly easy, as they require very little maintenance and they will be able to take care of themselves provided they have enough space to forage for food (I am talking about free range chickens here). Basically, if you have a chicken coop, a little bit of space and some spare time, raising chickens will present no significant problem.

However, at some point in time, you’ll have to deal with the incubator problem. Any chicken farm operation will require an incubator, if you want to hatch your own chicks. Commercially available devices are pretty expensive, north of $200, but the good news is that you can build your own chicken incubator for as low as $3.

hatching eggs

The 3$ DIY Incubator

Okay, for three bucks you won’t get all the bells and whistles available on a name brand variety, but even the simplest and cheapest DIY incubator will succeed in its main goal: hatching chicks from fertilized eggs.

So, if you’re resonating with my preamble and you’re copacetic with raising your own chickens for scratch (that’s eggs), check out my first DIY project which will cost you just $3, no change. Remember, it doesn’t get any simpler/cheaper than this, so keep your eyes peeled:

For the $3 chicken incubator project, you’ll require:

  • a light-bulb socket
  • a regular extension cord
  • a thermometer/hygrometer (that’s like a thermometer which measures humidity)
  • some scrap wood for building the frame
  • an incandescent light-bulb (the wattage/power depends on the size of the box)
  • a Styrofoam box
  • a screen to wrap over the frame (a piece of fabric/hardware cloth)
  • a cup for holding water (an empty sour cream box will do the job with flying colors).

If you already have some of the gear available, as most homesteaders do, this project will cost you next to nothing. I mean, everybody has a light bulb around somewhere, along with Styrofoam boxes and pieces of cloth, right? The only high-tech piece of gear is the hygrometer and if you don’t already own one, well, you’ll have to cough up 7 additional bucks at your hardware store.

As per the DIY job, check out this instructable, it’s very straight forward: first, you’ll have to assemble the wooden frame to match the inner dimensions of the Styrofoam box, then attach the screen to the wooden frame, leaving enough room behind to fit a cup of water (hydration is always important).

Next, you’ll install the light bulb inside the box, put some ventilation holes in place, and in the last step you must install the thermometer/hygrometer inside. The assembly part is very easy and it will take you maybe 45 minutes. The general idea is that once you put some fertile eggs inside your home-made chicken incubator, you’ll just have to wait for three weeks for the fresh chicks to appear; that’s the boring part.

Now, whilst building the incubator is the easy part, the problem is with fine-tuning the environment, i.e. temperature and humidity. The general rule of thumb for hatching healthy chicks is that you’ll require a constant temperature of 99-102 degrees Fahrenheit 24/7. That temperature must be kept constant for three weeks. That’s why you need the thermometer inside the box, in real life the hen takes care of the temp problem.

Also humidity is important (here’s where the hygrometer comes into play), as it must stay around 40%-50% for the first eighteen days. In the last three days, it must be increased to 60%-70%. If it’s really cold outside, this may become tricky (cold weather means drier air) but you can mitigate the problem using a wet sponge placed inside the incubator.

Regulating the temperature inside your incubator is way easier; all you have to do is to cut additional holes in the lid until you hit the sweet spot (the optimal temperature). If you cut too many holes, don’t worry, you can always put duct tape over them.

Also, you can play around with the brightness of the light bulb and you have two options: you can switch the light bulb with a lower or higher wattage one or you can buy a dimmer switch for around $5. Either way, you’ll be able to get the ideal temperature relatively hassle-free. Additionally, you can purchase a thermostat and wire it to your power source; in this way, the light bulb will be switched off and on automatically when it gets too hot or cold.

Finally, you must turn the eggs a few times every day in order to prevent the developing chick-embryo from deforming (if you don’t turn the egg, the embryo will stick to the shell wall). Three times a day will do it.

That concludes our first project – the simplest, cheapest, yet very effective one. It’s the perfect DIY job for beginners.

4 Other Ways to Build an Incubator

Now, let’s take a look at a few more complex ones, shall we?

Here’s a video tutorial about a home-made incubator, a variant of the first but instead of a Styrofoam box, these folks are using a commercial cooler box but the rest is basically the same: a heat/light source, a hygrometer, a thermometer and a few happy chicks at the end of the video.

Video first seen on Sefa O’Reilly.

Take a look at this cheap home-made incubator, which is almost identical to our first $3 job, but with additional bells and whistles, i.e. a fan for controlling temperature/humidity better and a motor from a can opener for spinning the eggs automatically via vibrations (that leads to ADHD chicks, check that out).

Video first seen on Caton Domke,

Now let’s take a look at the next-level DIY chicken incubator, the fully automatic version. It’s homemade and uses an old fridge and some gear including water heater elements, a PLC Smatr Relay and a homemade rack.

Check out the video for more info, but keep in mind that this is a complex job. You’ll require some serious hardware and skills to pull it through. What I like the most about this project is that it turns the eggs automatically, industrial-style without the vibrations.

Video first seen on findrive.

Here’s another variant of the home-made incubator with an automatic egg turner. This baby uses a window motor from a Ford automobile with a PWM speed controller to turn the eggs, two limit switches, a timer and a Repti 500R thermostat. Again, a more complex DIY job, but check it out anyway.

Video first seen on gamecoker77.

I hope the article helped. If you have any other ideas or questions, feel free to comment in the dedicated section below.

CNCbanner

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

5 total views, 5 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

7 DIY Safe House Projects To Hide Your Valuables

Click here to view the original post.

Survivopedia hidden safebox

You know that old saying that everyone’s got something to hide except for me and my monkey? Well, nowadays even my monkey has something to hide, so we put up today’s article about DIY safe house projects.

When speaking of things to hide, I am not referring to your dirty past, but valuables, stuff like jewelry, cash, sensitive information/documents or even gold which may very well be subject to confiscation.

It was in the past, if you remember the good old pre-World War 2 days and 1933’s Executive Order 6102. If you don’t remember, well, it’s time for a reality check, because history has a bad habit of repeating itself, whether you’re a scholar or just the average Joe Public.

Now, regular folk tends to keep their valuables in a bank safe box or at home, under a cipher lock or something similar, in case they can afford such luxuries.

However, keeping your stash in a bank safe deposit box is not the best idea in the world, if you’re familiar with the notion of bank runs or the aforementioned confiscation policies, in which case your valuables will disappear like fresh driven snow in the Kalahari Desert.

The other option is to keep your valuables at home, in a classic safe box, but these things tend to be really expensive and also they draw attention, if you know what I mean.

Another thing to contemplate if you’re a proud safe-owner is that a burglar who was tipped that you have such an abomination on your premises will be perfectly able to force you at gun point to open it; you know what I’m talking about, right?

Basically, could be pretty hard to maintain OPSEC when you have installed a safe-box in your house. I’m not trying to downplay the notion of safe-boxes, they sure as Hell have their uses, but a smart prepper (especially a prepper on a budget) should look at alternative means to hide his/hers valuables.

Now, from what I’ve learned about the psychology of a home invader, whether he’s a police officer or a burglar, I discovered a modus operandi which can be summarized in three basic rules: home invaders first look for openly displayed valuables, after that they look for juicy-looking (as in appealing) storage spaces (like classic safe boxes) and after that they’ll look at any other type of place which may be harboring valuable things like cash and jewelry.

Basically, all home invaders follow this simple algorithm for maximizing their chances of success, given the fact they only have a limited amount of time to spend in your home.

And here our DIY safe projects thingy comes into play, as they look inconspicuous generally speaking, making them the ideal choice for storing your valuables, sometimes even in plain view. And you know, stuffing money inside your mattress is getting old, get over it and keep reading.

The Lego Safe Box

My first project is about how to build a safe box (yes, you got that right) using your old/left-over Legos, thus turning them into a hidden/secret/magnetized/whatchamacallit safe. It sounds pretty darn’ interesting, doesn’t it?

The beauty of this project is its “in your face” simplicity. I mean, who would think that you’re hiding cash or jewelry inside a Lego block? All kids have Legos and that means you’ll draw next to zero suspicion hiding your valuables inside a Lego-made safe box, right?

Another cool thing about this project is the fact that you’ll not require spending lots of money on materials and tools and you probably already own a Lego set. It doesn’t get any better than that, believe me folks.

Now, just take a look at this video and learn how to turn your left over Legos into a magnetized safe. By magnetized I refer to attaching a bunch of magnets to your safe, making the secret drawer accessible only if you already know where the internal magnet is located.

The general idea is that you’ll be creating a Lego structure which features a hidden drawer inside, the perfect place to hide some cash or your engagement ring (use your imagination, ok?). The magnet gizmo makes the secret drawer to open only when using another magnet.

Video first seen on HouseholdHacker.

Pretty cool concept, don’t you think?

Hidden Wall Safe

Moving along with the article, the next DIY project is a secret/hidden wall safe. You may be familiar with the concept or not, but just take a look at this cool instructable video below and you’ll learn how to securely hide your cash/other valuables almost in plain sight via an easy to make wall-safe box which comes handy for storing even things like guns and ammo.

This particular project uses a fake wall-socket which masks a relatively small safe-deposit box behind, the perfect spot to hide some money and jewelry, but the limit is your imagination when it comes to hidden wall safes.

You can make them as big as you want, for example building a secret (and very big) compartment behind your TV using the same principle.

Video first seen on PostmasterPrepper.

The Fake Air Vent Safe Box

Another idea is to build a secret compartment/safe box using a fake air vent as a cover. The idea is basically the same, making for a clever and inexpensive way to hide your valuables in plain sight.

Obviously, you can use all these different ideas for keeping your stash safe, as in “don’t put all your eggs in the same basket”. Redundancy is the name of the game.

Check out the video and you’ll learn how to install your fake air vent securely using just a hot glue gun, screws, a jig saw and sheet rock saw, it’s a fairly easy project which may be completed in a couple of hours.

Video first seen on DIYeasycrafts.

The Floating Shelf Safe Box

How about a floating shelf featuring a secret compartment? I know, the idea is not new, I’ve already seen dozens of movies in which the hero draws a gun from a secret compartment inside a shelf and stuff like that, but that’s hardly a problem.

Video first seen on Moy perez woodshop.

I mean, can you think of a house where there are no shelves around? Shelves are ubiquitous, they’re an intrinsic part of the American culture and way of life sort to speak. And that makes them the perfect place to secretly store your valuables, don’t you think?

The Hollow Book Safe Box

Another idea for secret compartments to stash your valuables/guns or whatever is also borrowed from the movies: a hollow book (usually a Bible) and this one is a true classic. And the best thing is that you can find a hollow book for sale almost anywhere, they’re that popular.

However, here’s a video about the DIYing just in case.

Video first seen on Von Malegowski.

The Keyboard Safe Box

Now, if you’re a PC owner, you can create a small secret compartment in the unused portion of your keyboard, the Number Keypad respectively, as per this video. This is as cool as it gets, the bummer is the space is relatively small.

Video first seen on kipkay.

The CD Safe Box

Last but not least, this is one of my all-time favorites: how to build a secret safe using old CDs. Provided you’re old school, just like yours truly and you’re still using CDs, you can easily make a  secret-safe-hidden-in-plain-sight by using a cake box full with DVDs or CDs, whatever you have lying around the house.

The idea is to cut their inner hole and then glue them together, thus creating a secret hiding space inside where you can keep diamonds, rubies or some cash.

Video first seen on Shake the Future.

Try one (or more) of these clever methods to protect your cash or your valuables, use your creativity and get back to us with a comment in the dedicated section below.

13_620x110

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

2 total views, 2 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

This Is How To Use Styrofoam For Survival

Click here to view the original post.

Survivopedia styrofoam

When confronted with a survival situation, you will have to make the most of what’s available for getting through the day. Styrofoam is one of these items.

Today’s article is about Styrofoam, which may come handy in a variety of scenarios, being a versatile and useful material especially when you’re strapped for resources.

To start with the basics, let’s define our terms: Styrofoam is basically a commercial term/a trademark brand for expanded polystyrene, which is often used for building food containers and all sorts of housing insulation.

Styrofoam is also common as cushioning material in packaging, for making disposable dishes/coffee cups, for building coolers and things of that nature, due to its excellent insulating properties. Styrofoam is very lightweight and buoyant, as it’s made from 98 percent air.

Styrofoam for Starting Fire

Considering the holy trinity of survival in any imaginable scenario, i.e. water, food and shelter, let’s see how/where Styrofoam comes into play. Starting with shelter, one of the most important things related to outdoors survival is the ability of making fire. Fire keeps you warm and keeps predators away and that’s kind of important in my book.

Fire is also essential when it comes to purifying water and for cooking your food, thus being able to make a fire in a SHTF situation is crucial in this writer’s opinion.

Check out the following video that will make you think twice before throwing Styrofoam in the garbage bin instead of transforming it into something resembling home-made napalm.

Video first seen on MarcelsWorkshop.

The general idea is that mixing gasoline with Styrofoam you’ll get a sticky substance that burns slowly which makes for an awesome fire starter. Just imagine you’ll have to make a fire in an outdoors emergency situation and all you have for combustible is damp wood/cardboard, it’s windy and you’re cold and tired, you got the picture.

The Styrofoam fire starter is a must-have item for your bug out bag or your survival kit as it’s dirt cheap and highly efficient. This home-made napalm will transform you into a modern Prometheus in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.

Styrofoam for Insulation

Now, if you remember that Styrofoam makes for an awesome insulating material, how about using it for protecting you from extreme cold weather?

To upgrade your clothes with Styrofoam for surviving in harsh climates is relatively easy and it doesn’t require mad sawing skills or special tools. All you have to do is to gather a few pieces of Styrofoam, a sharp tool (a knife will do), very large shirts/pants, Velcro strips and a can of urethane glue.

The idea is to use the Styrofoam for filling your mittens, lining your parka etc. by trim fitting your clothes/shoes with pieces of Styrofoam. This procedure is simple and highly effective, but remember: for best results, the Styrofoam must be worn next to your skin.

You can also make knee pads/bun pads from Styrofoam in case you want to sit/kneel on snow or ice for extended periods of time.

Basically, using Styrofoam you can live comfortably when confronted with extremely low temperatures and even if you’ll look fat, at least you’ll be warm and you’ll live to fight another day. And that’s the name of the game when it comes to survival, doesn’t it?

Also, speaking of insulation, you can build yourself an improvised shelter in a very cold environment, something like a cardboard shelter to preserve your body heat. A tight and well insulated shelter will use your body heat for warming it up and for best results, you should use Styrofoam due to its excellent insulating properties.

For example, you can take a big cardboard box, like a refrigerator box or a big screen TV box or whatever is available for improvising an outside shelter, wrapped in plastic sheet on the outside to keep the moisture away and insulated on the inside with Styrofoam. You can use duct tape or glue for fixing the Styrofoam plates on the cardboard.

Styrofoam for Boiling Water

I bet you never thought about boiling water using a Styrofoam cup, did you? Well, it’s doable. Check out the video below and you’ll see how.

Video first seen on Zack Of All Trades.

Even if most people can’t believe you can achieve that, the trick is to let your fire burn down into a nice bed of coals. The next step is to put your water-filled Styrofoam cup on the coal bed, not on the open flame, that’s all there is to it.

Boiling water is the best thing to do if you want to get rid of bacteria and microbes, hence here goes another survival use of Styrofoam.

Styrofoam for Lifesaving Jackets

Styrofoam pellets can be transformed into improvised life jackets (you just fill a bag with the stuff and hang on to it) or you can even build a life raft from Styrofoam planks, as it’s highly buoyant. Here’s a video about DIYing a cool Styrofoam life jacket for emergencies using basic/readily available materials and tools, like wrapping film, stockings and blocks of Styrofoam.

Video first seen on waqashassanansari.

And here’s another video about homemade rafts using Styrofoam, with the frames welded together and the Styrofoam taped onto the respective frames, making for an excellent survival raft which holds the water impeccably.

Video first seen on RedneckInnovation.

Styrofoam for Casting Metal

Another interesting and potentially survival-related feature of Styrofoam is to use it for casting purposes. Check out this video and learn how to use Styrofoam for casting metal in an emergency. The possibilities are endless.

Video first seen on Grant Thompson – “The King of Random”.

This technique is called lost foam casting and it can be used for building any number of basic tools or even (stabbing) weapons, provided you have the ingredients, i.e. aluminum, sand and enough Styrofoam.

Now, let’s see about a couple of not-so-dramatic uses for Styrofoam.

For example, you can use a small piece of the respective stuff to hold small nails into place instead of using your fingers for that, thus avoiding bashing your thumb/forefinger.

If you’re in a SHTF situation, hands are very important and you’ll have to remain functional 100%, right? So, use a small piece of Styrofoam for steadying the nail against the wall instead of your fingers and live to fight another day!

Also, you may use Styrofoam peanuts for buffering sharp objects like awls inside your tool box, thus avoiding injury and staying healthy in an emergency situation.

TLW_banner1

I hope the article helped. If you have any other ideas or questions, feel free to comment in the dedicated section below.

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

References:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/make-your-own-cold-weather-clothing.aspx?SlideShow=4 

http://www.practicalsurvivor.com/urbansheltercoldweather 

3 total views, 3 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 1    Average: 5/5]

DIY Projects: How To Re-purpose Old CDs 

Click here to view the original post.

Survivopedia Re-purpose Old CSs

Today’s article is about an almost extinct technology, the dinosaur of today’s modern digital media. Yes indeed, the good ole compact disc is near the end of its life cycle because it’s been almost completely replaced by USB drives, flash sticks and things of that higher-tech nature.

But what can we do with the zillions of CDs already in existence? Throw them away in the garbage can?

That’s not what a super-prepper would do; au contraire, waste is not cool in my book, as I’m all about recycling when it makes sense and repurpose as much as possible. Hence, today’s piece will present you with a few ideas about how to re-purpose your old CD collection.

solarstove

Are you ready? Let’s start with…

1. How to make a solar panel (using your old Metallica CD collection, boot legs included)!

It sounds relatively implausible, I know. I mean, how on earth can you build a solar panel using shiny old plastic disks? Well, this is not a “real” solar panel, but it makes good use of the CD’s reflective surface for creating a solar heating panel. It’s a very simple and efficient project that even your kids could finish in a couple of hours.

Materials required for the CD solar panel:

  • super glue,
  • cardboard,
  • measuring tape,
  • a couple of dozen CDs (depending on the size of your window),
  • a utility knife,
  • a pencil,
  • a clear plastic drop cloth,
  • a few S hooks,
  • scissors,
  • an awl,
  • black spray paint,
  • masking tape.

You probably already have the gear, so let’s move it along.

Directions: The first step is to measure the width and the length of your window. Use your utility knife to cut a piece of cardboard using those measurements and adding four inches to the previous window measurements – add8 inches extra for the width and 8 inches extra for the length. For example, a 20 inch by 30 inch window will require a cardboard piece of 2 inches by 38 inches.

Next, use the black spray paint on the cardboard piece, and paint one side completely black (black is excellent for its heat retention capability). Let the paint dry completely and if necessary, add one more paint coating for best results.

In the next step, you’ll have to form a box from the cardboard piece, by cutting a four inch square from each of its corners, then bending the sides of the cardboard in such a way that the corners meet i.e. making for a box with the black painted side inside. Now you must use the masking tape for taping up the corners.

The CDs are now ready to be put inside the box in rows with the shiny metal side out. Make sure the rows are as even as humanly possible. You’ll have some wiggle room left, but that’s not a problem. Just make sure that the bottom row of CDs touches the bottom side of the cardboard box, and the same story goes for the top row – it should touch the top of the cardboard box.

Next, use a pencil for tracing the center holes of the CD rows (both top and bottom), then remove them and using your utility knife, cut the holes out. Next, you’ll glue the CDs with super glue over the holes. After that, you’ll glue down the rest of the CDs, but remember to leave a tiny space below the top and above the bottom row. Also, allow for some space below and above the center row.

It’s time to cut 4 rectangles out of the left-over cardboard, four inches wide and 3 quarters of your box’s width. Glue the rectangles into your box like maze walls, on the edge. The first rectangle will be placed above the bottom CD row/against the left side of the cardboard box, the second below the center row/against the right side, the 3rd above the center row/against the left side and the 4th below the top row/against the right side. After you’ve finished, allow the glue to dry for a few hours.

The final step is to cut a piece of plastic drop cloth, three inches longer/wider than your cardboard box then stretch it over the top, gluing it well over the sides,  making it as airtight as you can. Let the glue dry overnight, then make 2 holes in the upper corners of your cardboard box and introduce S hooks in each hole.

Now you can hang the solar thermal panel on your window, preferably on a south-facing one for best results, and benefit from free heat.

2.  Tesla CD powered-turbine

Using plain old recycled CDs, you can actually build a working turbine.

The Tesla turbine is very different from regular ones, as it uses just disks, working on the boundary layer effect principle. For this DIY project, you’ll require

  • CD spindle,
  • CDs,
  • glue pipe fittings.

Obviously, this is a beginner project and functions on garden-hose pressure. However, the same idea/design can be used with an air compressor. It’s extremely versatile and useful.

The CD turbine project comes with a unique design which doesn’t require bearings, seals, or a moving shaft; it’s almost frictionless. This particular design can run on either air or water pressure, mainly for fun purposes.

The materials required are half a dozen hot glue sticks, methylene chloride for welding the CDs to each other, ABS to PVC cement, PVC pipe primer, ¾ inch PVC plastic pipe, garden hose shut off valve, 1-1/2 inch plastic tube or straw, CD spindle with cover, Orbit WaterMaster Extension Nozzle Model 91129 and of course, CDs.

The tools needed for the job are a utility knife, a glue gun, sand paper and a dremel tool if you have one (optional). Here’s a video tutorial or read this Survivopedia article for detailed instructions for this project.

Video first seen on MrfixitRick.

3. Secret Safe

Too much high tech for today? Let’s see about how to build a secret safe using old CDs, and keep it simple folks!

Check out this cool video tutorial. I find it very interesting – I mean a stash of old CDs transformed into a secret safe for your money and valuables? Pretty smart, don’t you think?

Video first seen on Shake the Future.

4. Old CDs for Pest Control

The next project is even easier and more fun, as it involves using CDs for pest control, and I don’t mean playing your favorite CD from a boom box to scare the crows out of the field (though that might work, too).

The idea is to hang old CDs from a fishing lane around the perimeter you want to secure from pests, and as the wind blows, they move. Their random movement, together with the prism effect, will (hopefully) scare the garden-gobbling birds away from your property.

Video first seen on eHow.

5. DIY Lamp from Old CDs

Now, let’s see about how to make a lamp from recycled CDs in just 2 minutes with absolutely no tools required. If you still own stacks and stacks of unused CDs lying around your room (like your truly, I just can’t let them go), why not put them to good use?

The easiest and smartest way for DIYing a lamp using old CDs is to slide a source of light down the middle of the CD stack. Pure genius, right?

The problem is that you’ll have a hard time finding a fluorescent tube thin enough to fit that tiny hole, so you’ll have to buy under cabinet LED lights, as they come in thin strips that will perfectly fit the core of the CD stack.

Also LED lighting doesn’t produce much heat like regular bulbs or fluorescent ones, hence you’re in no danger of setting your house on fire. Here’s a video tutorial, enjoy.

Video first seen on HACKADAY.

The CD repurposing adventure stops here, with an interesting video that depicts even more uses for old CDs, such as turning them into USB-powered fans or even a clock.

Video first seen on MultiPenat.

I hope the article helped and you’ll have tons of fun tinkering around with your old CD collection.

If you have questions or comments, don’t hesitate to use the dedicated section below. And if you are in the mood for DIYing something bigger, click on the banner below to find out how to build the ultimate survival shelter on a budget! Good luck, have fun folks!

usf1new

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

1 total views, 1 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

Prepper Project: 3 Ways To Make Seed Bombs

Click here to view the original post.

SVP seed bombsI don’t know about you, dear reader, but I really hate those barren vacant lots on city streets or on the side of the roads, you know what I am talking about? Every single time I pass by these urban wastelands, I fantasize about planting a garden there, in one of those blank lots.

However, in this day and age, I bet it would be against the law and I’d end up raided by SWAT teams, under suspicion of aesthetic terrorism or discrimination against urban decay. Ok, I may sound a little bit dramatic; it’s just for the artistic impression.

Regardless, empty lots are a common problem these days, and plant transplants will end up costing you an arm and a leg if you want to really make a difference.

Enter the latest seed-bomb technology, just for you, the new Captain Planet, the Eco-warrior. Seed bombs are a cheaper alternative compared to buying plant transplants, and as organic and natural as Mother Earth.

The Anatomy of a Seed Bomb

Make no mistake: the bomb particle in a seed bomb has nothing to do with terrorism. This is a bomb that, once “detonated”, will bring peace and harmony, fresh air, beauty, life, the whole nine yards. If I may use a metaphor, the seed bomb can be described as the weapon of choice for urban guerrilla gardeners, as it gets the job done in two shakes of a lamb’s tale.

A seed bomb is fast, precise and laser-accurate! Okay, now that I’ve got your undivided attention, do you know what a seed bomb is? Let’s begin with the seed, which in itself is an amazing thing, as it contains the key that makes life on Earth possible and livable.

The vast majority of plant seeds will require next to nothing for germinating/giving birth to a new plant. In most cases, all a seed will ever need is to get buried in moist soil, safe from direct sunshine or dehydrating winds, and away from predators, insects, or animals that would eat it  instantly…yes, it’s a hard job being a successful plant seed.

Nature mitigates these survival problems by spreading the earth with a huge number of plant seeds, as becoming a plant from a seed is a very risky business.

But there is another way, and that’s where the seed bomb comes into play. Using a seed bomb, you’re basically hiding the plant seeds inside of a ball made from an absorbent material, usually a mix of soil/compost and clay. As the ball dries and its shell turns hard, it becomes very easy to spread the respective balls (these are seed bombs actually) on the barren area you wish to bring back to life. The hard shell of the seed bomb keeps the predators away until the planting time is near.

When the right time arrives, i.e. when it starts raining, the hard coating of the seed bomb will soak up with moisture, releasing its “cargo” (the actual seeds) onto the ground and providing a protective layer which holds the moisture near the seed, helping it germinate and develop into seedlings and then into a new plant. This is an elegant and beautiful concept, don’t you think?

However, this is not a new idea – pretty far from it. Seed bombs were used traditionally by many Native American tribes for protecting their planted corn kernels from predatory birds and drought. About 40 years ago, a Japanese gardener invented clay seed balls as an efficient way for planting his next crop of veggies and grains, but without disturbing what was left from the previous crop.

Seed bombs are the perfect way for planting all types of seed in places that are not very easy to take close care of, such as roadside strips, meadows or stream banks.

Also, seed bombs are a great method for planting grains or veggies without tilling or digging the soil, or for adding patches of color in already established gardens, without disturbing the plants that are already there.

If you’re a free range chicken-farmer, seed bombs will help your newly planted seeds to survive the chicken attack, and, as a plus, seed bombs are really fun to manufacture and to use, especially for kids.

guerilla gardening

Now, let’s see about the DIY part of the deal, i.e. how to make your own seed bombs.

Seed Bomb Recipe 1

Ingredients:

  • five parts pottery clay mix, available at your local art store,
  • two parts potting soil,
  • 1-2 parts seeds (whatever you desire),
  • 1-2 parts water,
  • a big tub for mixing the ingredients,
  • a big box for drying/storing the seed bombs.

Instructions: blend the clay, the soil and one part of water together thoroughly and stir vigorously, removing lumps. Add more water slowly, until the mixture has the proper consistency. It should be just like canned molding clay you buy in the store.

In the next step, you put the seeds into the mix and keep kneading until the seeds are mixed in well; if necessary, add more water.

Now it’s the time for building the bombs by taking small amounts of the mixture and rolling them to form a ball about 1 inch in diameter. If the balls tend to crumble, i.e. they don’t hold together easily, just add more water.

Let the seed bombs dry for one or two days in a shady location before storing or seeding them, for example put them inside a cardboard box, but never in plastic containers. They need the open air to dry or else they’ll mold.

After they are dried, you can place them/toss them on your desired location, but remember, don’t add water and don’t bury them. The rest is up to Mother Nature.

Seed Bomb Recipe 2

Ingredients:

  • seeds of your choice,
  • colored paper torn into pieces (3 pages for example, orange, pink and red),
  • two cups of water,
  • a silicone mold if you don’t want to use your hands,
  • 2-3 pages of newspaper torn into pieces, a strainer,
  • blender.

Instructions: All the paper must be torn up and the pieces put inside the blender. Add two cups of water into the blender and blend, baby, blend, until everything turns to mush!

Place the strainer over a small receptacle and pour the contents of the blender into the strainer. The filtered “pulp” will be scooped out of the strainer and mixed with the seeds; this is basically the raw material for your seed bombs.

The raw material must be gently mixed and the excess water squeezed out, using the mold or your hands for making the same 1 inch-diameter ball as described in the first recipe.

In the final step, use a paper towel for pressing gently on every seed bomb, to soak any excessive moisture. You want to prevent the seed bomb from germinating prematurely; that would be bad. Now, allow your seed bombs to dry for two days and you’re ready to go. It’s best to store these seed bombs inside paper bags, remember that folks.

Or watch below for the video version about making the perfect tools for guerrilla gardeners and a great way for propagating seeds on a large scale or in not-so-rich soils!

Video first seen on Emilie Lefler.

Seed Bomb Recipe 3

Ingredients:

  • seeds,
  • sawdust,
  • natural glue,
  • seaweed extract.

Instructions: Mix one part seeds with five parts sawdust, and add some natural glue to the mix (read my previous article about glue here) along with a little bit of seaweed extract. The mix shouldn’t be too wet, or too dry, but just moist enough to form and keep a ball shape.

Allow the seed bombs to dry out thoroughly for at least a day, by placing them on a sheet of newspaper for example, laid out in your shed or something similar.

Remember to consider the habitat when you’re in the process of selecting the seeds, i.e. do you desire seeds that will build a brand-new habitat or you want to add some variety inside your garden?

Good luck, and have fun folks in your prepping!

TLW_banner2

This article has been written by Chris Black on Survivopedia.

4 total views, 4 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

Prepper Project: 5 Ways To Build An Oven

Click here to view the original post.

SVP big ovenI remember that when I was a kid, I used to play cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians and stuff like that, but the girls were busy baking mud pies like crazy. You know what I’m talking about, right? Mud pies and earth ovens, these are the memories of my childhood; well, among many others I can’t write about here, because we have a family audience.

Mud pies are just a childhood memory, but wood-fired ovens are maybe the best things invented by humans, since…I don’t know, the biped posture? I mean, the best pizza in the world is made in wood-fired ovens, and so are many other foods.

Cooking in wood-fired ovens definitely improves the flavor of almost any type of food, not to mention that, if properly insulated, an earth oven will maintain its internal heat for days, making it quite efficient at cooking lots of food with minimal fuel spent.

So, today’s article is about how to build your own wood-fired, or earth oven, a skill which has the potential to save your life in a survival situation. And since we’re talking about SHTF scenarios, we will focus on oven designs that are dirt-cheap and easy to build using simple and readily available materials and tools.

1. The DIY Barrel Stove

Let’s begin today’s journey with the DIY barrel stove, also known as a wood-heater oven, which is any hobo’s dream.

In case you did not know because of today’s political correctness, the hobo stove is actually a specific design, representing a model of an improvised cooking/heat producing device, which is often used in various survival scenarios. After all, who knows more about how to survive a crisis than homeless people?

Why a barrel stove/hobo stove, you may ask? To put it bluntly, because the design is pure genius, due to its simplicity and efficiency. You can use a barrel stove for various purposes, ranging from outdoor cooking to boiling water for purification during power outages or what not. This type of stove can be improvised using readily available materials, such as basically any type of tin can or barrel, regardless of the size.

In the following video tutorial, the “hero” uses a recycled steel barrel for building a hobo stove, but you can also use a trash can, an old oil drum (make sure it’s clean or else you’ll have a bigger fire than you bargained for!), a gas canister or something similar; even a large can of ravioli/veggies will allow you to build a small stove and cook your diner.

Video first seen on RealWorldReport.

The advantages of the barrel stove/hobo stove are that it’s very easy to manufacture and it’s incredibly light, versatile and efficient. You can also transport it easily if required, and you don’t need high tech tools, nor skills, for manufacturing it.

Another advantage is the price tag, because there are many places where you can acquire an old oil drum basically free of charge; for example just pay a visit to your local garage and ask your mechanic. Demolition yards and scrap yards are also viable options.

The DIY job is very straight-forward and it consists of removing the top of the barrel first, and then punching a dozen or so small holes near the upper edge. You’ll also have to cut a larger opening on the side of the barrel near the bottom for air and fuel, and that’s basically it.

The wood is placed inside the barrel and ignited, while the bottom and the side orifices draw air inside through convection, keeping the fire alive as heat gets out through the top. You can use anything for combustion; not only wood, but even animal dung or wax. If it burns and isn’t toxic, you can use it.

2. The Ground / Earth Oven

Moving on with the article, let’s see about the ground/earth oven, your best friend when it comes to outdoor cooking, survival or just plain fun. You will find below a clip featuring a dude (pun intended) who builds his own ground oven while out in the woods, doing who knows what. He looks like he’s up to no good; however, don’t judge the guy from his looks, because he does an excellent job in the end with that roast (just kidding, here.)

Earth ovens, also known as cooking pits or ground ovens, are the simplest and oldest methods of cooking, and they’ve been around for thousands of years. They’ve been used all over the world, by almost all cultures and peoples. Earth ovens are an excellent choice in a survival scenario, being the best tool for cooking your food when you’re out there in the wild with next to zero equipment available.

This primitive yet highly efficient cooking method consists of digging a hole/pit in the ground, which is then cobbled with rocks. You’ll have to go find fairly flat rocks for lining both the pit’s sides and the bottom; that’s the hardest part of the job. Stay away from stream bed stones, as they tend to explode when exposed to heat due to the water which is trapped inside.

Just enjoy the video for getting the fine details (you’ll have to build a fire presumably) and remember, practice makes perfect folks!

Video first seen on NativeSurvival.

3. The Clay Cob Oven

Here’s a video tutorial which depicts the DIYing of the ultimate clay cob oven. Be aware that this is a complex job that requires medium to high skill levels and some elbow grease in the process.

But the end result is absolutely outstanding, as you can see from the YouTube video. Owning a backyard clay cob oven is a delight, especially when it comes to making your own wood fired pizza, garlic bread or jacket potatoes. Remember, nothing tastes better than food cooked in a wood fire, thanks to its wonderful smoky flavor.

Video first seen on Gavin Webber.

For building a cheaper/more basic cob oven, you can use recycled materials and cheap local resources (let your kids for help you with making the cob, which is a simple mixture of sand, clay, water and straw).

The materials for DIYing a clay cob oven are pretty basic: clay, sand, straw, gravel, rocks, tarp and water, together with a little bit of hard work and skill, but I bet in the end you’ll find that it was worth the stretch!

4. The Earthen Oven

The earthen oven, another great and relatively straight-forward DIY job for making your own food using wood fire and dirt-cheap materials. Earthen ovens are thoroughly documented way back to the ancient Romans and they were widely used in the US until the 18th century.

You can find them even today in various places, due to their excellent characteristics, the ease of use and the simplistic build. The design is relatively rudimentary; hence building your own earthen oven is by no means complicated, meaning that you don’t need previous building experience.

Needless to say, this project is a great confidence booster upon completion! You’ll require dry clay, sand, straw/dry grass, fire bricks, canvas tarp and plenty of water. The work itself is a child’s play, literally, as it resembles playing with sand, like on the beach when you were a kid.

You just follow the instructions in the video tutorial and later on, you’ll enjoy baking your own bread and pies using your own earthen oven!

Video first seen on Jas. Townsend and Son, Inc. 

5. The 24 Hours DIY Earth Oven

Our last project is another version of the earthen oven, made even simpler than the previous design. It’s a project that it can be finished in just under 24 hours.

Based on an 18th century design, this earthen oven will require minimal quantities of dirt-cheap materials and the least amount of time, going from bare ground to a baked pie in under 24 hours. Basically, the previous idea has been taken to its simplest and most primitive form.

Video first seen on Jas. Townsend and Son, Inc. 

As for materials required, it doesn’t get any simpler and cheaper than this: 2 bags of cat litter, play sand (from the hardware store, about 4 bags), water, straw/dried grass, sticks, bending sticks, a shovel, scrap fabric (not synthetic), a mixing tarp, firewood and a sacrificial board (a plank of wood basically).

That about sums it up for today. Think about your DIY oven project, and if you have questions or comments, don’t hesitate to use the dedicated section below. Good luck, have fun folks!

usf1newThis article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

3 total views, 2 views today

Rate this article!


[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

The Easy Way To Make Natural Glue At Home

Click here to view the original post.

SVP diy glueToday’s article is not for glue-sniffers, but for preppers and/or homesteaders who want to make glue for their projects in a post SHTF world, or want to use home-made glue instead of buying it from the hardware store. Or maybe they like art, or have kids that are art-project happy etc.

There are a few reasons for making your own natural glue at home, and if you twist my arm hard enough, I can think about 100 survival uses of glue after an apocalypse. Don’t make me go there right now, okay?

One of them, is that making your own glue is way cheaper than buying it. Another one, and this is important especially if you have glue-happy kids, is that commercially available glues are usually filled with petroleum-based products and all sorts of chemicals. And kids, you know, are kids. Letting them play around with highly toxic stuff is not the best idea in the world, is it?

Truth be told, there are actually tens or even hundreds of DIY glue recipes available, many of them have been around for quite a while since, until commercial glue was invented, people had no alternative but to make their own. So, these recipes have seen some action and they’re “combat-proven”. Some of them are made with milk, others are flour-based, others use natural gums, and some use pine sap.

Another truth, and I must warn you folks, is that commercially available glues are still more effective than the homemade varieties, especially when it comes to heavy-duty stuff, so don’t try to use home-made glues for jobs they’re not suited for.

Just to let you know, you can easily DIY glue from junk, in case other ingredients are not available. See how this guy is making glue using a piece of styrofoam and a few drops of gasoline:

Video first seen on starspoter productions.

But there are so many other ways to DIY glue. Let’s see how to make the best &