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Depending on our age, when prepping, most of us usually only consider what the average healthy person needs in times of a crisis. A healthy person in their prime happens to also be the easiest type of person to prepare for the worst. What about those that are not in their prime? Life situations are…
Being able to carry loads in a wilderness situation is a vital element of survival in such a situation. If frees up your hands and allows you to carry a good quantity of goods that will be useful in the near and longer term future. When your wilderness adventure is planned, it is easy to…
Compared to regular paraffin candles, soy candles might not seem all that different at first glance. A candle’s a candle, right? The similarities between paraffin candles and soy candles are only surface-deep. There are many reasons why these vegetable oil-derived candles are much better than regular ones. Because they’re made from soybeans, they’re natural and completely renewable. Soy candles also burn longer and cleaner than paraffin ones, producing less black soot once they’ve finished burning. They’re non-toxic as well, unlike paraffin candles which have been shown to release carcinogenic chemicals when melted.
Picture it: you’re enjoying a nice night at home when the power suddenly goes out. You stumble through the darkness to get your box of emergency candles. You light them up them up and wait for the power to come back on. The candles burn quickly and leave soot behind. These store-bought candles will do in a pinch but they could be better. You could do better…and you can by making your own soy candles.
You don’t need anything super fancy to make your own soy candles. You just need a few materials and time. You would need:
- Soy wax flakes
- Containers (Canning jars, normal glasses, and even tin cans will do)
- Tabs and wicks (If you don’t have access to these, rolled cotton is a good alternative)
- Double boiler or two pots
- Optional: wooden spoon
- Optional: scented oils (We recommend lemon and lavender)
- Optional: Aluminum foil
- Prepare everything beforehand. Melted wax solidifies quickly, so you’ll want to make sure that you’ve have your jars or cans ready. Place your wicks and tabs inside their containers.
- Place your double-boiler on the stove. If all you only have two different pots, fill the larger pot with water a third of the way and then insert the smaller pot inside the larger one. Turn on the heat, bring your double boiler (or pots) to a boil, and then add the soy wax flakes.
- Wait for your soy wax flakes to completely melt. You can stir the melting wax with a wooden spoon to speed up the process. If you want scented candles, this is the time to add the scented oils. Remove the pot from the stove and then stir in your scented oils. For every pound of melted wax, use one ounce of essential oils.
- Once the soy wax flakes have fully melted, pour them into their containers. Don’t fill the containers up all the way toprevent the wax from spilling out. Leave a one-inch margin between the rim of the container and the wax. If you used rolled cotton wool, be sure to add them after you’ve poured in the wax to prevent the steam from making them soggy. Use aluminum foil to center the cotton wool inside their containers.
- Cool down your soy candles and wait for them to harden. It’s best to let them sit overnight at room temperature to prevent the soy candles from cracking.
That’s all it takes to make your own soy candles. These are great to have for around your home because they’ll burn for hours at a time. If you’re planning on making soy candles for camping, it’s best to use aluminum cans and keep them unscented for safety purposes. Otherwise, you’re free to make and use them as you wish.
Source : naturalnews.com
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Vermicomposting (aka worm composting) is a great way to rapidly compost your food waste. They are hugely efficient at breaking this waste down into high quality compost.
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People sometimes refer to biltong and beef jerky interchangeably, and admittedly, they have some similarities. Usually, biltong is cured in larger slabs of meat, whereas jerky is cured in strips. Biltong
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How You Can Start A Fire From A Portable Cell Phone Power Bank
We have all seen videos around the internet on starting a fire with steel wool and a cell phone battery. That is a great way to start a fire in an emergency. The issue is that many phones now have sealed batteries. So I wondered Can Start A Fire From A Portable Cell Phone Power Bank? With phones dying so fast many people carry these portable charging devices.
For this build, I bought the cheapest power bank I could get. It was $4.88 for a 2,000 mah battery bank. Which should, it states, provide you with one charge. For our needs, this will be plenty of juice. The usb battery pack came with a tiny usb cable. also we will need steel and tinder. I used some charcloth and a cotton ball. Note do not get the steel wool with soap in it. It was all I could find and it
Note do not get the steel wool with soap in it. It was all I could find and it doesn’t work well. I had to wash it off and let it dry all day.
We will need to cut the end that plugs into your phone all of the mobile battery pack. Mine only had to wires. Strip off a little of the wire to expose the bare wires.
Starting The Fire
I tried several times with just the cotton ball with no luck. I added a piece of charcloth under the steel wool and got it to work right away. Once the charcloth caught I started slowly blowing it to get it to burst into flames. It took just a few minutes to work.
Can Start A Fire From A Portable Cell Phone Power Bank? The answer is yes. Save your phone and just
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Brandon Burroughs from Infidel Anvilworks Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps” On this show we have a special guest, Brandon Burroughs from Infidel Anvilworks. Brandon has been a guest on 7P’s of Survival show and recently he came into some forging materials and wanted to start his own forge. Tonight he will be talking about his passion and … Continue reading Brandon Burroughs from Infidel Anvilworks!
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The good ol’ reliable slingshot has gone by many names in its day: “bean shooter”, “flip”, “kattie”, “ging” “wrist rocket” and “hand-catapult” to name a few.
In modern times, the handheld slingshot has become associated with mischief and youth vandalism. But this stealthy projectile-flinger has an extremely wide variety of useful survival applications.
This weapon depends upon strong elastic materials to operate and so it was invented around the same time as vulcanized rubber – which puts the sling in slingshot – and patented in 1844. That makes this tool about 172 years old, but the basic concepts behind the slingshot are actually thousands of years old.
The “Sling” was one of the most widely used projectile weapons used for both hunting and combat since the Stone Age. Slings were mentioned by homer in The Illiad and Troy, used by the Romans, and of course, was the weapon David used to defeat Goliath in the Valley of Elah.
A slingshot is virtually the same thing – just more accurate and simpler to use.
A slingshot makes for a perfect do-it-yourself survival tool, but there are also many advanced modern models available for purchase today.
The Survival Slingshot Is Item #16 Of My #104 Item Bug Out Checklist. Click Here To Snag Your FREE Copy Of It.
So this article serves to guide any slingshot hunting enthusiast about:
- The legal and safety forewarnings
- The benefits of using a survival slingshot
- The best slingshots to buy and where to buy them
- How to build a custom slingshot for hunting
- The best slingshot ammunition to use
- The best bands to use and how to attach them
- Hunting with a slingshot
Safety and Legal Considerations
First and foremost: a slingshot is not a toy, it is a serious survival weapon. So always treat it as such.
Without the proper respect for this weapon, someone could get seriously injured. Google slingshot accidents if you dare…
So here are a few basic safety rules-of-thumb:
- Wear eye protection when you shoot slingshots. They don’t need to be rubber science goggles or even expensive marksman glasses – sunglasses are preferable to nothing. Just take the time to protect your eyes, they are crucial from a survival standpoint. Projectiles moving at high rates of speed tend to ricochet and if your eyes are in the path you could lose your eyesight.
- Do not shoot at your friends. They are your friends.
- Do not shoot at your enemies, unless you must. It is considered assault if it isn’t justifiable self-defense.
- Do not shoot at animals unless you are:
- Your 100% certain it is not an animal someone will miss (i.e. someone’s pet). Don’t shoot people’s pets.
- Make sure it is not an endangered or otherwise special animal.
- You’re hungry enough to eat your kill (unless it’s a pest you are hunting).
- You’re proficient enough to drop your kill with headshots only. I will explain why shortly.
There’s also some state by state “legal standards” you need to be aware of.
While there’s is no federal consensus on the legality of these weapons, you should still look up what the deal is in your state. 32 states have no laws restricting slingshot hunting while others might ban them outright.
Map of States With and Without Slingshot Hunting Regulations
I always think it’s better to be safe than ticketed, or worse, arrested for some kind of slingshot tomfoolery. Your state’s Natural Resources and Game Warden’s office should be able to answer all of your questions.
8 Benefits Of Using A Slingshot For Survival
- One of the most silent weapons available = total stealth.
- Hunting with a slingshot is challenging and will increase your stalking skills as a hunter overall.
- Finding ammunition is both easy and abundant.
- Few parts, low maintenance.
- Easier to carry in urban areas, concealable, packable, and transportable.
- Doesn’t attract nearly as much attention as a firearm.
- Legal for open carry (in most states).
- Only a fraction of the cost compared to other hunting and target tools.
The Survival Slingshot Is Item #16 Of My #104 Item Bug Out Checklist. Click Here To Snag Your FREE Copy Of It.
Selecting A Slingshot For Survival
As I mentioned before, there are hundreds of slingshot brands competing to provide consumers with the highest powered, most accurate, lightest weight, compact slingshot ever designed. And they are great!
Many of them are used in competitions or by enthusiasts for target practice, but some are also cheap. Do your research if you plan to invest and seriously pursue this as a hobby. Here are a few resources you can reference:
- National Slingshot Association (The other NSA, the one that is not listening to your calls and reading your emails)
- Slingshot USA
Here are a few buyer guides for the most well-reviewed slingshots on the market:
- Best hunting slingshot buyers guide
- So, What is the best slingshot?
- The Best Slingshots for survival
For those who are more interested in crafting their own handmade custom hunting slingshot, the following is a quick How-To describing what you need, and how to best create a slingshot on your own.
- “Y” shaped branch w/ a minimum 30-degree fork.
- ¼” latex surgical tubing.
- Leather strips.
- Dental floss or similarly fine string
- 4 small pieces of plywood (optional)
- 2, 40-watt light bulbs (optional)
- Awl (optional)
Finding a Fork
Dogwood, Hickory, and Oak are the best types of wood for the job. Buckhorn also makes some nice “Y” shapes and has the required flexibility/rigidness.
Do not bother looking for a perfectly shaped “Y” frame. First of all, you will rarely find any in nature. And second, you want the main branch to be ~30-degrees bent and the protruding branch to be ~45-degrees bent.
Once you have found a fork similar to this, go ahead and cut it out. Then, let it dry for three weeks to one year.
Depending on how you intend to dry the frame, will affect how long you dry it for. You can elect to build a drying box using the 4 pieces of plywood creating a box and one 40 watt bulb on each end to act as a heat source for drying. Or you can leave it on a shelf for a year. Another method for drying is to set the “Y” frame next to a campfire for a day or two – once the wood stops hissing, the frame is dry.
Another method for drying is to set the “Y” frame next to a campfire for a day or two – once the wood stops hissing, the frame is dry.
But, if you do not want to wait (even a couple of days) use the more modern method and dry your frame in the microwave. Wrap it up in a towel to prevent burning and pop it in the hot box for about six 30-second bursts (or until wood stops hissing). Do not just throw it in there on high for 20 minutes though – that thing will definitely combust.
Notch the Fork
This step is pretty straightforward: use your knife to create a notch on each prong of your slingshot fork, these notches will hold the bands in place and prevent slippage.
There is a fine balance throughout this step because too-shallow of notches will not hold the bands in place. And too-deep of notches and the bands will shear off your “Y” prongs when you add intense torque.
So be careful. It’s like haircuts – it’s better to shave away less initially than more. Test and then take a bit more as necessary until you get the perfect notch depth.
Selecting and Attaching the Forks
Here is the rub: rubber only lasts a few months before it needs replacing. So, every so often you are going to have to do some modest slingshot maintenance. That’s all right. Replacing the bands is easy, but we will get to that in a second.
Because slingshot hunting is not that popular of a hobby, if you go into a store and grab a bag full of replacement slingshot bands, chances are those have been sitting on the shelf in that very bag for several months at the very least.
So in almost every case, it is better to just go and make your own.
Nearly every hardware store in America will sell rubber tubing. Theraband gold is the slingshot industry standard. Make sure to replace your band when you start to see signs of rubber decay (cracking, splitting, or drying out).
To attach the bands, simply wrap one end of each precut section of rubber around each fork of the “Y” frame. Fold the extra bit of length back over itself, and tie it off with a bit of wire or zip ties.
Creating A Slingshot Pouch
Cut a rectangle out of a leather strip, approximately 2-inches wide and 4-inches long. Then, cut the corners off and create an octagonal shape for the pouch. Poke a hole in either end of the pouch and run the loose ends of your attached rubber strips through both holes. Wrap the excess bits of rubber around themselves and tie off with dental floss or other string.
Fair warning: you may need to readjust the lengths of the rubber bands. Shorter bands give you more power but are more inclined to snap. Find the middle ground that is perfect for you and stick with it.
This is the most beneficial aspect of using a slingshot. Ammunition is almost everywhere.
Rocks and pebbles are not the most accurate projectiles because their odd shapes can divert their trajectory, and their sharp edges can cause damage to your leather pouch. But they are plentiful and you can almost always count on finding one you can use if you run out of other, more accurate forms of ammunition.
The best ammunition for this type of weapon is steel or lead shot. Lead has an excellent weight ratio, so it can fire further distances. Steel slingshot ammo (on the other hand) is lighter, but because it is magnetic, steel projectiles are far easier to recover after firing.
Even small arrows, nails, and darts are useable with a slingshot.
You can easily create an attachable shaft cradle that will allow arrows to line up shot and fire a shafted object straight as an arrow. See the video below on how this works.
Hunting With A Slingshot
Before you take your slingshot out into the wild to hunt live game, there are some things you should know.
Primarily, you must become a sharpshooter with your slingshot.
The ammunition you will most likely use causes blunt force trauma rather than piercing injuries, so you must be able to hit your target in the head and you must be able to get close enough to administer lethal force.
If you fire a lead ball at a squirrel or small bird and hit it in the body, you will only cause internal bleeding and the animal’s meat will be ruined.
Which means you just killed a living creature in waste. That’s not cool.
So make sure that you are capable of hitting a target about the size of a golf ball (or smaller) at ~30 feet or further, repeatedly before you take to hunting live game. Just remember: Headshots only…
Because slingshots are not the most powerful hunting tools available, the game you will be looking for will not be large game. Rabbits, squirrels, quail, pheasant, dove and other small birds or rodents are your best bet.
If you decide to attach an arrow or dart cradle on your slingshot, you will be able to hunt some medium sized game – but once again, make sure you can shoot to kill.
It’s bad form to go around filling live animals with shallow arrows and letting them run off to suffer and/or bleed out.
But slingshots are great in a pinch – if you are stranded or lost, or otherwise incapable of going to the grocery store, and have no other means for hunting, make a slingshot and go get ‘em.
The Survival Slingshot Is Item #16 Of My #104 Item Bug Out Checklist. Click Here To Snag Your FREE Copy Of It.
If you are well practiced, you will be much more prepared with a slingshot around.
But also, hunting with a slingshot makes you a better hunter overall:
- You must be able to sneak up on small unsuspecting prey, you have to be relatively much closer to the target before taking the shot.
- You have to be accurate with a notoriously inaccurate weapon.
If you can effectively hunt with a slingshot, you can probably hunt with anything.
The Final Word
Slingshots have a lot of survival purposes. They can be built to satisfy a DIY hankering, they can be used to practice target shooting, or for slingshot hunting and warfare. Hell, today modern militaries use slingshots to launch drones into the air.
I even once saw a fisherman using a slingshot to spread bait across the water surrounding his line…
This is all to say, a slingshot is what you make of it. When you pick one up, it is up to you how you use it and what you use it for.
These clever tools have many uses and are very simple to create and maintain. Everyone should have a survival slingshot, even if it rarely gets used.
Keeping one of these in a bug out bag, in a hiking backpack or in the back of your car might prove to be more useful than you ever imagined. If you find yourself in a serious survival scenario, it may be the tool that saves your life.
Here are a number of other solid slingshot hunting articles and forums that you can reference for further survival slingshot insights:
Article By: Will Brendza
The post Slingshot Hunting: A Simple But Badass Survival Weapon appeared first on Skilled Survival.
There are lots of reasons you should build a survival retreat: Maybe you want to prepare for the threat of a doomsday or a “sh*t-hits-the-fan” scenario. Maybe you just want to have a backup shelter in case you someday lose your primary place of residence. Or maybe you’re just desperate to get off the grid – for criminal, personal, or recreational reasons.
Whatever your motive, having your very own survival retreat is one of the best ways to ensure your safety should you ever have a real reason to get-out-of-Dodge. Such a retreat can act as a large personal survival cache for necessary survival supplies, or as a sustainable place to hunker down and defend yourself.
A survival retreat also acts as a permanent “bug-out-location” – a place where you and your family/friends meet up if things get real bad.
Even if you never actually use this refuge retreat for survival, it can still be an incredibly rewarding DIY project. Working with your hands to create your very own shelter is a primal experience that most human beings never get to experience.
What project could be more satisfying than building your every own roof over your head?
And besides, in times of peace this little sanctuary can function as a great place to get away from the monotony of social life. A place to bask in the glory of the natural world, hike, fish, hunt, ski, mountain bike, meditate, and breathe the cleanest freshest air available.
This article serves to guide you through the process of creating your very own survival retreat. It will cover the following:
- Budget considerations
- Legal Considerations
- Where is the best place to build a survival retreat
- Several kinds of structures available and how to create them
- Storage and supplies
- How to fend off unwanted guests (both human and otherwise)
Before you start any construction realize that this is no light undertaking. You can get yourself into a lot of legal and physical trouble if you do not take this project seriously. But when done right, this can be one of the most useful survival projects you’ve ever created on your own.
But when done right, this can be one of the most useful survival projects you’ve ever worked on.
Where To Build Your Survival Retreat
It is a good idea spend a lot of time searching for the right piece of land to purchase. A project like this only requires a small acreage. Heck, one acre is enough, anything more is a bonus. However, this decision is very dependent on your budget.
Unfortunately, more land costs more money.
The more money you are willing and able to spend, the better the piece of property you will get. But if you skimp yourself on this investment, or just don’t plan this step out, you will surely regret it later. Here are a few considerations:
- Water is necessary. If there is no natural water available or a way to dig yourself a well, it is not going to be a safe place for survival. Ideally, there is a creek, stream, or river nearby that can act as a source of both food and water. Not only will there likely be fish, but animals also hang out around water sources for the same reasons you want to.
- Fertile soil is best. If you decide to take refuge in the desert, this might be difficult to find. But in forested areas or the mountains, buying land that you can till and sow to grow food is important. Especially, for survival scenarios.
- Wherever you place your cabin, adobe hut, earth sheltered home, or other structures, you must have adequate cover. Be it big rocks, sandy dunes, trees, shrubs, brush, or cliffs – whatever – making sure that your survival retreat is naturally camouflaged will boost your chances of avoiding unnecessary confrontations. So cCover it up.
3 Types Of Simple Survival Retreats (And How To Build Them)
There are numerous directions you can go at this point. You can build a tree house like the Swiss Family Robinson (although it is inadvisable considering how difficult it would be to get food and water up into the tree).
So instead of trying to cover all possibilities, I will focus on three types of buildings that are the most common and most effective for survival purposes.
1 – Survival Cabins
The Advantages: Cabins are without a doubt one of your best options. When built correct, they are sturdy, durable, long-lived, and relatively cheap and easy to construct.
Designing the layout of a cabin is simple – often, it’s just a square. Because they are built from thick timbre, they naturally blend into the environment (like forests or mountains) and are highly windproof, and can be waterproofed with ease.
Buy a Cabin Kit or DIY? If you search online, there are a lot of pre-designed cabin kits online that you can purchase and have delivered and constructed wherever you want. Here are a few examples:
But many people strongly urge against buying a cabin kit. These shelters are built at a factory, disassembled, shipped to you and rebuilt on-site. But worse than that, they are highly susceptible to excessive “settling”.
Settling happens over time as the wood dries, and warps. Settling creates gaps in the floor and wall planks and causes other deformities to emerge. These kits produce shelters that are expensive, challenging to set up, and all too often of poor quality.
So it is highly recommended that you build the cabin yourself especially if you’re a DIY survivalist.
Now there are many variables and options to consider when planning to build your cabin.
The first decision is the species of tree you will be using for your log cabin.
Here’s an excellent article providing an overview of all the options and pros and cons to help you with your selection process: Choosing Your Wood Species
And if you plan to use trees that are abundant on your property, it’s still good to research the pros and cons of that particular species before starting your build. That way you’ll understand the pros and cons of the species and can plan accordingly.
It’s also imperative that you understand the debarking and seasoning process. If not properly debarked and seasoned you will get premature rot and excessive settling with your cabin.
The second decision you must make is the stacking and interlocking method you intend to use.
Here are some of the options you can research further:
- Full-Round Butt & Pass
- Handcrafted Saddlenotch
- Traditional Butt & Pass
- Swedish Cope Saddlenotch
- Timber Dovetail
- D-Log Dovetail
- Variable Stack Height Butt & Pass
- Hand-Scribed Saddlenotch
- Round Vertical Post
- Square Vertical Post
This web page has a close-up image of each of these options for you to get an idea of how they work.
Again, each of these building methods has positives and negatives. However for simplicity, I recommend sticking with either the “Butt & Pass” method or the “notch” methods.
Here’s a video using the simple saddle notch method.
Here’s a video using the square notch method.
The third and final part of the log cabin build is the chinking process. Chinking is the process of filling in the gaps between the logs to improve insulation. When this is done correctly, chinking keeps the bugs, rodents and the cold out; while keeping the warm in.
Final Log Cabin Tips
One way to try and save a few dollars on this project is to use timber from your property. I’ve heard some examples of survivalists building a simple log cabin for around $500 (doesn’t include your time tho!)
In my opinion, a simple one-room log cabin is easiest to build using the “butt-and-pass” method. Here’s a useful resource that provides some extra insight into a “notching” vs. a “butt-and-pass”.
2 – Earth Sheltered Homes
An earth shelter is my favorite survival retreat options. It uses the Earth as a natural layer of insulation, it is extremely energy efficient and blends in with the natural environment better than any other style of shelter.
There are two main types of earth-sheltered homes:
Some are built into the sides of hills, like hobbit holes – this provides warm insulation through cold months and cool insulation during hot ones.
It conserves rainwater, heals its scars on the environment, and because the body of the structure is mostly underground these are tough to spot from a distance.
Caves make for great homes – although there are not many windows. Some people will accentuate a cave by hollowing it out to a greater extent, making it deeper and creating more living space. The only construction you need to do is at the mouth of the cave where you install a front door.
These types of shelters are also largely impervious to hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires and other natural disasters. Earth sheltered homes make for some of the most sustainable and efficient survival shelters in the world.
The roofs are typically covered with soil and vegetation, so these buildings survive well in any harsh weather environment (especially involving high winds).
Here’s a 2-minute time-lapse video of an Earth Bag House being built.
3 – Survival Adobe Huts
These are your best bet if you are planning your survival retreat in the desert. Native Americans have used adobe huts for centuries.
In fact, it is one of the oldest building materials currently in use, and for a multitude of reasons: adobe huts are made from the soil and dirt of the surrounding earth, so they blend into their environments perfectly.
They also offer fantastic thermal mass material holding both hot and cold and are simple to build. Because most adobe huts have flat roofs, they are not a good choice for any region that gets snow or heavy rainfall.
But again, they are ideal for dry desert environments.
Here’s a primitive abode hut being built with only primitive tools. I know you can do it with the advantage of some hand tools (worth watching the entire video!)
Storage Areas And Supply List
To keep a stash of goods hidden, you’ll need to create a space for supply storage:
Storage cellars are a simple solution, just dig a hole beneath your cabin, earth shelter, or adobe hut – making it as large as necessary and lining the floor and walls with stones. Cover it up with some planks of wood (like floorboards) or a hatch door.
This also serves as a type of cooling chamber because it’s subsurface, dark and lined with stone. So it will help keep perishable food fresh for a little while longer. Don’t expect miracles tho.
Storage units can be created in smaller versions of your survival shelter: build a smaller adobe hut outside your larger one, a little wooden shed outside your cabin, or another miniature earth shelter storage unit.
This is effective for storing just about everything, but you will need to invest in solid doors and good locks to keep out wild animals.
The stash of supplies you keep in your survival shelter is extremely personal, but here are a few staples to get you started:
Non-perishables are invaluable in just about any disaster or survival situation. Canned goods, packaged and sealed goods, dehydrated foods, Hostess Twinkies – anything with a long shelf life. Bring a basket full of non-perishables every time you visit our survival shelter and add to your stash.
Packaged seeds for planting produce. Storing these could prove invaluable in a situation where you had to make a home out of your survival retreat. Including a variety of vegetable, fruit, and legume seeds stocked up and preserved is always an excellent preparation idea.
Tools like handsaws, hammers, and nails, screws and screwdrivers, axes, hatchets, shovels are extremely useful. Gardening tools and cooking supplies (i.e., pots, pans, utensils, plates, and bowls, etc.) make life a lot easier too.
Weapons and ammunition. Everything you can think of that falls under this category is on the table – it all just depends on what you trust to keep at your survival retreat.
Entertainment can be just as important as any tool or weapon you bring to your shelter. If you end up staying there for a while, books, board games, instruments, and puzzles will be the best method of fighting off cabin fever. Your sanity is important to your health.
Medication and medical supplies are paramount for survival. You can leave it as simple as a first-aid kit, or you can custom build an emergency medical kit for your survival shelter. Here is an excellent guide to making a medical kit.
But be warned: medications all have an expiration date. If you keep these stored, you will have to diligently replace them as they expire – which can be time-consuming and expensive.
Supplies like band-aids, bandages, gauze, splints, swabs, etc. never go bad.
Fishing and hunting supplies are critical for obvious reasons.
Keeping Out Unwanted Guests
The most consistent chore that every owner of a cabin or second home struggles with is the threat of invasion. And it is especially difficult with small, off-the-grid shelters.
Animals and insects are your worst enemies. Keeping rodents, birds, beasts and bugs out will be a constant endeavor.
- Tightly seal windows and doors, and make sure to close up any spaces in doorframes.
- Try to avoid having high rafters as birds like to nest in areas like this. Similarly, do not let the overhang of your roof become infested by birds.
- Keeps sticky traps and snap traps for mice, rats and any other rodent that want to burrow or sneak in. Lay these by entrances and especially around the food cache.
You should also prepare to secure your shelter against other human beings. Even if you think your shelter is well hidden and camouflaged, it would be a shame to lose your backup survival stash or worst have someone commandeer your survival retreat altogether.
Make sure you invest in a few home fortification techniques.
- Install heavy doors, deadbolts, and padlocks
- Reinforce doorframes
- Add window bars and window locks
- Keep everything inside hidden – if someone can see you have valuable things inside, they are more likely to try and break in. Do not tempt people. Create spaces to hide everything; it is best if your shelter looks abandoned when you are not there.
- Be conspicuous – you do not have to disguise your survival shelter as some long abandoned ruin (although that would probably deter a lot of would-be intruders), especially if you plan on using this place recreationally. There is no reason you can’t make it look nice. But the bigger you build and the more lavish the house becomes, the more attention it will draw.
- Consider a few non-lethal booby traps to deter anyone trying to sneak onto your survival retreat property.
A Survival Retreat’s Budget Considerations
I am sorry to say, but a survival retreat costs time and money. You can achieve it on a shoestring, but the more capital you have, the better equipped you are to tango with this DIY.
Throughout my research I found drastically different estimates and reports – the cheapest was $1750 and the most expensive being in the six-digits.
There is no upper limit to what you can spend on the construction and preparation of your survival retreat, but there is a minimum price.
Whatever you choose to devote to this project is totally dependent on your current financial circumstances.
If you’re on a shoestring budget, you can consider teaming up with friends and family to share the costs and labor. You could also investigate some financing options.
If you don’t mind a small monthly payment in exchange for a quaint survival retreat, you may be able to make it happen that way.
Why? You ask. Why can’t someone go deep into the wilderness, find a special, super-secret hiding spot, harvest the lumber right there and build a squatters cabin for next to nothing?
Well, that is an excellent segue into the next section:
Pioneers, miners, loggers, hunters and trappers all used to have the freedom of posting up on any mountain or within any forest they so desired. This is sadly not the case anymore.
Erecting a structure on private or government property without the proper paperwork could lead to fines, or worse – some US states, like Nevada uphold “stand your ground laws” that might authorize property owners to open fire on squatters.
It is in fact very rare that squatters are awarded property rights. You are more likely to get shot at and quickly evicted.
So you are going to have to buy some land, and wherever you choose to buy it might have unique building laws or structure codes.
In most cases, for building a small one or two room survival shelter, a building permit will not be required – but if they are you will be looking at a hefty fine. Better safe than sorry, and it only takes a couple of minutes to check.
A quick internet search or a call to your state government office or building inspections will tell you all you need to know to get started.
The Final Words of Wisdom
Having a survival retreat will offer great peace of mind. Knowing that you have a bug out location stocked, armed, and ready for you to occupy should a major disaster strike.
And in the meantime, before the apocalypse, it can be used as a quiet recreational vacation spot. Your reason to get outdoors and be at peace with nature.
There is very little downside to owning a piece of property and building a survival shelter there. You could even live their full time if you plan properly.
There is no downside to owning a small remote piece of property and building a survival shelter there. You could even live their full time if and when you’re ready.
One article is not nearly enough information for one to make any final decisions investing in land and constructing your survival retreat.
I recommend you continue to do more research if you are serious about this project and ensure that you properly plan and prepare before you do anything drastic.
Here are some further survival retreat resources:
- Sustainable Building and Living
- Earth Sheltered Homes, Inspiration Green
- Off the Grid News
- Building Earth Sheltered Homes
So which design interests you most? Do you already have a survival retreat? If so, which kind and would you pick that options again knowing what you know now?
We’d appreciate your input so leave us a comment!
When pulling together the nuts and bolts of your family’s preparedness plan, one of the biggest bolts to make sure you turn is long term food storage and it can be a daunting one. The first thing you have to do is figure out how you define “long term” and then appropriately slot that into your overall food storage plan. Once you have figured that part out, it really does not have to be difficult to square away your long term food storage. To prove it, I wanted to share a quick project that I knocked out in just a couple hours.
We continually add to our long term food storage and we do our best to cover a wide spectrum in the type of foods we choose to stock, but for this project I addressed a couple of the staples….beans and rice. During a recent trip to our local big box warehouse store I picked up some food supplies, I grabbed a stack of food grade buckets at a local bakery for $1 each and ordered the oxygen absorbers and Mylar bags from Amazon.com. What follows is the quick and easy way I package them for long term storage. Hopefully you will see that it is a really straight forward process and that you can do it too.
The project list:
- 2 ft aluminum level
- standard household iron
- Sharpie (red)
- 2 cup measuring glass
- 1 gallon Mylar bags (bulk)
- oxygen absorbers (bulk)
- food grade plastic buckets with lids
- 25 lbs dry pinto beans
- 50 lbs long grain white rice
To begin, I used the 2 cup measuring glass to measure out ten cups of dried pinto beans or 10 cups of long grain white rice into each 1 gallon Mylar bag and dropped in the oxygen absorbers.
Next, I pulled the top of the Mylar bag together at the top and pressed out as much trapped air as possible, then I folded it over the one inch wide flat edge of my aluminum level and used the hot iron (set to the highest setting) to seal the Mylar bag closed by pressing the one inch strip of the Mylar bag between the iron and the aluminum level across the entire width of the bag sealing it permanently. After a few hours, the oxygen absorbers pull all of the excess air out of the sealed Mylar bag essentially vacuum sealing the food safely inside. Once all of the bags are sealed and labeled, I placed the bags inside my food grade buckets with locking lids and then placed an external label on each of the buckets making them ready to go into storage.
As I hope you can see, this process is not as daunting as it may appear at first and that you can do an awful lot to bolster long term storage food supplies and deepen your larder quickly and inexpensively. Remember, at every level of your family’s food storage, you want to store what you eat and eat what you store. Stick to what you know your family enjoys and stack it as high and deep as you deem necessary to meet the requirements of your family’s preparedness plan. If you have questions or comments, please leave them below and I’ll get back with you as soon as possible.
How To Make A Longbow – Introduction
The hunting longbow was the most advanced and innovative invention of its day. Equally silent, stealthy, simple and utterly lethal. Whoever created the bow and arrow, surely had no idea how greatly they were carving out the future of humanity.
This clever tool became the standard for long-range hunting and combat for thousands of years. And it is still to this day and is still widely used. So whether you plan to learn how to make longbow for survival purposes or just because it’s badass, it’s worth the time and effort to learn.
Just follow this detailed guide on how to make a longbow and soon you’ll be notching and drawing one made with your own hands.
This particular method yields longbows similar to those used by Native Americans and hunter-gatherers for millennia.
Longbow Article Table of Contents
To give you an idea of what we are going to cover in detail in this article here is the table of contents of what we are going to cover.
- Key Bow Making Terms
- Materials and Tools You Will Need
- Getting Started
- Picking the Right Type of Wood
- Choosing the Right Tree
- Chunking off Staves
- Shaving the Stave
- Drying and Shaping the Stave
- The Art of Tillering
- The Final Word
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Key Longbow Making Terms
- Bow’s Back: The side of the bow that faces the target.
- Bow’s Belly: The side of the bow facing the sting.
- Set: Bend in limbs when a bow is unstrung and relaxed.
- Limbs: The parts of the bow on either side of the handle
- Tiller: The shape of the limbs as they bend.
- Tillering: Shaping the bow to have the desired curvature when drawn back.
What You Need To Make A Longbow
Making a bow is no simple endeavor. Some of these resources are optional, of course. Hunter-gatherers and Ute tribesmen did not have fancy drawknives, shellac or fletching jigs, yet they built wonderfully functional longbows. But the fewer tools you choose to use, the harder and more painstaking this project becomes.
Some of these resources are necessary – those with marked with *s. Make sure you have what you need before getting started.
- Time * – Do not kid yourself. This project isn’t the kind of project you are going to be able to knock out some lazy afternoon after a long day at the office. It’s a time-consuming, highly involved undertaking. Make sure you have the time to invest. Otherwise, your bow will be half-assed and likely useless.
- Wood and materials
- Tree Trunk/Pole * – This can be ordered at a lumber or hardware store, collected in the woods, or bought online. There are some places where one can acquire this essential piece. Choosing the right type of wood to use can be difficult, but we’ll get to that later.
- A 2X4 – The wooden block should measure about 40” in length (no shorter than 30” ).
- 2 to 4, 40 Watt Light Bulbs
- Several Pieces of Plywood
- Parachute Chord – Eventually, you’ll string your bow with this, but not for archery purposes.
- Bowstring * – B-50 bowstring material (or your preference).
- Shellac *
- Guerilla Glue (or another type of wood glue).
- Finish – Choose the color yourself.
- Satin, and clear polyurethane.
- Tools (one can build a bow with nothing more than a hatchet, but it is significantly easier to use specific tools):
- Hatchet *
- Drawknife * – This is probably the most important tool you will use while building your bow, so don’t skimp on this. You can buy a decent one for $45, and the middle-shelf draw knives will be even cheaper.
- Rasps * (hoof/farriers, Nichelson #49 & 5#50)
- Cabinet Scraper * – You may not HAVE to use this, but it could come in useful.
- Pocketknife – hopefully you already own one of these tools. If you don’t: get out there and buy one! Pocket knives are unbelievably versatile tools.
- Sandpaper * – 80-, 150-, and 220-grit.
- File * – Chainsaw files will work best because of their small, detailed function.
- Vice – Most woodworking projects require that you use a vice at some point or another. These are available at several retailers; you should have no problem finding one of these.
- Sledgehammer *
- Wedges *
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Getting Started: Making Your Longbow
The more effort you put into the design and construction of your bow the better the outcome. Patience and meticulousness will help to improve the results of your labors exponentially. Toys are easy to build, but useful survival tools are often difficult.
Wood longbows are traditionally fashioned from of the core of trees. It takes a lot of attention to detail and patience to shave away one growth layer at a time, but it is how you create a flexible and functional bow shaft.
There are several steps involved in making a longbow, so prepare yourself:
Picking the Right Type of Wood
Opinions differ on what is the best wood to make a bow. There is a degree of personal preference involved in selecting the right wood for you. It depends upon your skills as a carpenter, experience with the tools, or size, strength, skill as an archer, body type. Here is a list of different types of wood that are up for the job:
- Yew – Very popular for centuries throughout Europe, this lightweight wood is good for simple, short-lived bows with a light draw weight. Yew is the only non-hardwood that is suitable for creating bows, and it is one of the best! Yew is good for beginners because it usually has fewer knots.
- Elm – Creates short, stout bows with thick limbs. Similar to Yew, the bows Elm yields are short-lived and have a lighter draw weight than other woods.
- White Ash – Yields shorter, stouter bows that are less climate-sensitive and last a little longer. Has a moderate draw-weight, but is prone to compression cracks on the belly of the bow.
- Oak (White Oak/Red Oak)
- Elm (American Elm/ Red Elm)
Picking the Right Tree
This step is just as important as selecting the right wood. If you choose a short, stumpy, knotted section of some timberline defect, the results will be disastrous. Here are some criteria to follow when selecting the right tree:
- 6-8 feet of straight trunk section.
- The tree’s bark runs vertically without “spiraling”.
- As few knots, limbs, bumps or swales as possible (ideally none).
As soon as you cut the tree and remove your desired section, it is best to coat the wood with shellac or wax to prevent any cracking and to avoid rot when brought inside.
Splitting off Staves
Apparently, you cannot just stain and string an 8-inch diameter log and call it a longbow. The wood must be divided into staves first, and an 8” diameter will roughly produce six bow staves (so don’t worry if you mess up on the first one… or two).
If you have a circular saw and something similar you can kerf the log to ensure it splits along exactly the right lines. With the wedges and hammer split the log lengthwise until you have some staves that are larger than the intended, finished length – roughly 2-3” in diameter. Once again, as soon as you have these staves split, shellac them to prevent cracking.
Shaving The Staves
The first part of shaving your staves is to note the growth rings: summer growth rings are fatter and more distinct, and winter growth rings are small denser laminations. You will want to select a summer growth ring for the belly of the bow.
Secure your stave in the vice and begin to draw off layers. Shave away wood until you have reached the winter growth ring just above the summer ring you have selected for the belly.
Pare away this final growth ring with the cabinet scraper, following the growth ring from one end of the stave to the other. The more precise you are with this step, the better off you will be down the line, so take care to shave, draw, and pare as carefully as possible.
Once finished, shellac the stave to prepare it and protect it from cracking during the next step.
Drying And Shaping The Stave
Pare the stave with a hatchet and drawknife so that it is only slightly larger than the intended product. Shellac the back.
You can build your drying box out of a few pieces of plywood and a couple of 40-watt light bulbs. A drying box is a relatively easy device to build, and it is pretty cheap for what a difference it makes. Drying on a shelf in the garage will do, but you probably will not be able to get the wood as close to the desired moisture content.
Now comes the tough part: testing your patience. The stave should dry for 3-4 weeks at the minimum, and some bow makers even suggest you let the wood dry for an entire year. Regardless of how long you let the bow sit, when you pull it out, it should be around 15% moisture content (8% is ideal). Moisture measuring devices can be purchased at almost any hardware store.
When the time has finally come to move on with the project, extract your stave from wherever it was drying and very carefully draw the outline of your finished bow onto the stave with a marker. On Native American bows, the center 8” is narrower than both the limbs for the handle, and the belly tapers off at the end of the limbs. Mark the shape you want to cut out.
Using the drawknife, reduce the stave to your drawn outline and refine the form with a pocketknife to get the final details. Lightly sand the edges and tips and smooth out the front and back surfaces. Finally, using a chainsaw file, create two deep 45-degree notches on either end of the bow for the string.
The Art Of Tillering
That’s right. It is an ART. And it is perhaps one of the most important steps in this project. When you look at an unstrung longbow, it is not straight like your staves. It is curved slightly. Tillering is the method by which you achieve that curve.
Start by removing wood from the belly with a file and cabinet scraper until the libs are thin enough to start bending.
Floor Tillering – Holding one tip in hand, and resting the other on the floor securely against your foot. At first bend, the bow gently to test the flexibility.
Begin to shave off small amounts of wood between each bending session, creating more and more arc. But be VERY CAREFUL not to crack the stave – otherwise, start starting over. As you do this, keep a weary eye open for any flat spots or points of resistance and shave them away.
The amount of wood you shave off should get increasingly smaller as you get closer to a finished product. Inspect regularly along the process for any cracks or imperfections – if anything but small cracks on the back develop you will have to start from scratch.
Once the bow is bent enough to string, bust out that hemp or parachute chord and tie off. There should be about seven inches between the bow’s belly and the string on a properly strung bow.
Tiller Tree – This is why you need a 2×4. Stand the block up on one end and use a file or saw to create angled notches every inch or half-inch along the long side. Here is an image of a tiller tree.
Fasten the tiller tree upright against a wall and place the belly of your strung bow on the top. Carefully start to draw the string and rest it in the tiller tree’s notches to gradually increase the draw of your bow. Leave the string on each level fo a few minutes so the wood can adjust.
A typical draw length is about 28-inches, so when your bowstring hits the 28-inch mark on the tiller tree, you should be good to go. Once again, shave away any flat or compromised points of weakness as you do this.
The end goal of tillering is to create a perfectly even bend in both limbs. Once this has been achieved, take the bow and draw it in front of the mirror. Do this repeatedly until you identify which of the two limbs is the stiffer one. The stiffer one should become the bottom of your longbow.
Use your file to create a small indentation on the handle for the arrow (right or left depending on which hand you shoot with).
Finishing Your New Longbow
Sand the entire bow with 80-, 150-, and 220-grit sandpaper and shellac one more time for good measure. At this point, you can decide if you want to finish your bow or not. It is a personal choice, but remember, the darker the color of your weapon, the harder it will be to spot in the brush or woods. Seal with three coats of clear gloss polyurethane and one final coat of satin polyurethane.
Wrap your handle in nylon cord, hemp cord, or leather chord using the “whipping” technique. Apply a light coat of clear glue (like Tightbond III) and let it dry.
Finally, you can string your bow with an actual bow string, and you are ready to get out there. You have a completed, one-of-a-kind handmade hunting longbow – enjoy!
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The Final Word
There is nothing quite as satisfying as hunting live game with a longbow you made with your own bare hands. It is a very human experience. But more importantly, it’s a survival skill once mastered, can never be taken away from you.
Even if you are not into hunting, using a handmade custom bow to practice archery is ideal for survival.
It is the original long-range weapon and a tool that helped our species proliferate from a few small bands of wandering tribes into the great and comprehensive society we live in today. It may also be a weapon that keeps your family safe if society collapses back into ancient times.
Gardening season is here!
Well, okay. Technically, gardening season is almost here in our neck of the woods. But as any gardener worth their salt will tell you, dreaming up your garden plan is half the fun! Just thinking about how you’re going to orient this year’s prized plantings easily helps you push through the final stretch of winter that occupies the weeks before you can actually get to play in the dirt again once planting season finally arrives.
We are especially looking forward to getting back in the game this gardening season because our efforts were obviously subdued last year with Riley’s arrival and we’re chomping at the bit to get things cranked up. So much so that we decided to add a new piece of infrastructure to our homestead by building two new cold boxes. Eventually the plans are to build a full size greenhouse, but these cold boxes will certainly meet our needs for now.
A cold box is essentially a mini-greenhouse that allows you to start your seeds, protects your seedlings from frost during the late winter months and allows you to “strengthen” them by exposing them slowly to the elements before eventually transplanting your seedlings into your full size garden. Cold boxes can also be used to grow smaller plants with shallow root systems if you are so inclined.
We were able to up-cycle a couple of reclaimed window frames from a friend and we knew precisely how to put them to good use. One of the frames was missing two panes of glass, but this was easily remedied. I picked up a couple of acrylic sheets to replace the panes and left the job to my wife Alice. Moments later she had trimmed them up to the right size to replace the missing panes and I added a little weather caulking to seal them into place. The two boxes framed up turned out to be 32″ x 31″ and 36″ x 28″ respectively. I made a quick trip to my local lumber yard to pick up one 2 x 12 x 12 and one 2 x 12 x 10 to use for the frames and got to work. A little bit of quality time with the circular saw and the power drill and we were set.
Up-cycling reclaimed materials, gardening and power tools. How could this day and this project not turn out great? These cold boxes will be a tremendous addition to our homesteading infrastructure and we look forward to getting years of use out of them. I’m certain we will pretty them up a bit in the near future and we will let Riley lead the way on that portion of the project. I honestly can’t wait to see how they ultimately turn out. I promise I’ll keep you posted!
One of the main themes that we promote at Practical Tactical is that personal preparedness should not be restricted to one part of your life, but rather be just one part of an overall lifestyle of preparedness that is dictated by your current situation, by what is happening in your life today.
We try to practice what we preach here at Practical Tactical and the main focus of our lives for the last year has been our beautiful baby girl Riley and this DIY project is dedicated to her. Of course, she is amazing in every way and she keeps us on our toes at all times. Riley was sitting up at three months, pulling up at six months, walking at eight months and running around and talking up a storm at one year old. She loves all of her toys and reading time is her favorite, but she is always challenging herself and looking for new challenges. So with this in mind, I wanted to do something special for my little girl by building her a toy board. In an effort to keep her little mind working and prevent her from quickly becoming bored, I chose to build her toy board using common household hardware that would not only be fun and entertaining for Riley, but also help her work on her motor skills, dexterity and problem solving at the same time.
After a quick visit to my local home superstore, I was ready to get started. Here is a list of the items I picked up for my project during my visit:
One 2 x 2 ft pre-cut panel
One expandable key coil with clip
One LED moon light (touch to activate)
One light duty door stop
One door stop
1 1/2 ft plastic yellow chain
One castor wheel
One spinning castor wheel
One combination lock
One sliding bolt door lock
One sliding bolt gate latch
One eye hook latch
One padlock hasp
Several different key chains / stretch loops in different colors
A little quality time with the power drill and zip-bang-boom, we had ourselves a toy board!
How you want to build your toy board is completely up to you. Just use your imagination and take cues from your child. The items for your board can be picked up inexpensively at any number of locations, so have fun with it. Few projects will ever be more rewarding than building something for your precious one.
I think ours turned out really well and Riley really seems to like it. We decided to mount it on the side of a cabinet in an area that Riley plays in often. You don’t necessarily have to mount your toy board, but we just didn’t want to take the chance that Riley might pull it over on herself and get hurt. Riley is walking everywhere and loves to take her toys with her so we plan to add a velcro patch to the board so she can have a tear away option for a toy or two as well. We also plan to let Riley decorate the board soon. Riley’s hand prints are the leading candidate right now, but we’ll see.
Thanks for stopping by and checking out my daddy DIY adventure with Riley’s toy board. I hope this sparks a few ideas for you. Please let me know what you think in the comments below and be sure to share this post with your friends.
Whatever your future projects may be, just remember that you can absolutely get them done and know that the ones you love will appreciate them and you more than you will ever know.
Before the invention of the sawmill, cutting logs into flat boards was a tedious, time-consuming and physically intensive process involving the use of wedges, mallets, axes and a tool called an adze, plus draw shaves and hand planers. It could take a day just to make a few boards, and the surfaces were rough and the boards were often twisted and warped.
All of that changed with the invention of large circular saws. Some were driven by water power and later by steam power. The logs were set on a large table and slowly moved toward the saw blade to cut boards. The result was a cleaner cut and the ability to saw more timber in a single day.
Unfortunately, the large circular sawmills were expensive and complex and required a large, dedicated space for both the mill and the equipment surrounding it.
An innovation that emerged in the 1900s was the band saw. This allowed for a horizontal cut as opposed to the vertical cutting of the circular saws, and was smaller in size. It started in the cattle butchering industry, and someone figured out it could probably cut wood as well.
Unlike a fixed, circular saw blade, the band saw itself moved down the course of a log to make the cut and was then pulled back and lowered to do the next cut.
Some skilled do-it-yourselfers have figured out how to build a band sawmill, but it requires significant technical and mechanical skills, plus a good amount of investment in time, money and space.
The Chainsaw Mill
Finally, there’s the chainsaw. This was largely used for harvesting trees and cutting logs for firewood, but there are some simple and inexpensive attachments that would allow you to create a portable chainsaw mill that you can take into the woods with you to cut rough boards and timber. This is the do-it-yourself sawmill we’re going to explore.
Most people prefer the chainsaw mill because of its low cost and portability and the ability to store it easily. (When looking for supplies for your own mill, search for “chainsaw sawmill.”
Let’s begin by taking a look at this video.
Story continues below video
The prices for a chainsaw mill rig range from $100 to $250. Based on reviews and my own experience, I’d spend more to get the best quality and performance. It is way less than the thousands you might spend for a bandsaw or large circular sawmill.
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to use a chainsaw sawmill:
- You need a powerful and well-built chainsaw. You will be putting a tremendous amount of stress on the saw as you make long, rip cuts along the length of logs that can be a foot in diameter or more.
- The blade needs to be at least 16 inches, and larger blade lengths would be better. The more you can get the belly of the blade into the wood, the easier the rip, especially when you get into the dense heartwood of the log.
- You absolutely must buy a “ripping” chain. All chainsaws come with a standard “cutting” chain. These are designed to cut against the grain to turn a downed tree into logs usually used as firewood. A rip-cut is when you are cutting with the grain. A standard “cutting” chain performs poorly for rip cuts because the teeth in the chain are aligned and shaped differently.
- You might consider having an extra rip chain on hand and a sharpening kit.
- You’ll want to have extra gas and chain oil and oil for the gas mix on hand. You are going to be burning through gas and oil at about four times the usual rate because of the duration of your cuts at full throttle. It’s not like cutting firewood, where you have short duration cuts interspersed with idles. These rip cuts go on and on.
Rest the saw now and then. This type of sawing puts a lot of strain on the saw, and you want it to cool down before adding gas. You also might have to check the chain oil with greater frequency than the gas, so keep an eye on the chain oil chamber.
- Take your time and let the saw do the work. Like anything else involving large rotating blades, this is dangerous stuff if you get complacent or impatient.
Chainsaw Mill-Cutting 101
- Only rip-cut well-seasoned logs that are thoroughly dry. If you think cutting green firewood is tough, wait until you try to rip through the log of a green tree.
- Isolate those logs that are as straight as possible. When you start ripping, you’ll be cutting on a straight, level line. Curves in a trunk will reduce the amount of useable timber you harvest.
- Think about your end-use. Is this for framing? Then use a softwood. Is this for rustic furniture? Think about a hardwood. Just remember how hard it is to cut hardwoods.
- Cut your first slab of curved wood/bark to get a flat side, and then support that flat part of the log above the ground. Keep slabbing until you get a long, squared timber. Now you can start cutting your boards. Think ahead once again to what your final use will be and the size or sizes you want.
- Know when to quit. If you or the saw seem to be getting a bit worn out, call it a day.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Start with a smaller-size log about four feet long to get the hang of how to handle this chainsaw mill rig. I’d also start with a log no larger than 12 inches in diameter that is well-aged. This will give you a chance to get a feel for how to best manage the saw and the braces to make the best rips.
In time, you may find it provides you with a good resource for timber across a variety of construction projects, from sheds to barns to your home.
Have you ever made or used a do-it-yourself sawmill? Share your advice in the section below:
During the winter season, the human body’s resistance is affected and outdoor activities take a toll on your energy levels. Cold weather slows the body’s heat production and makes survival a difficult task. When you are moving through heavy snow, proper intake of trail survival food is needed to maintain the optimal body temperature … Read more…
Performing a quick Google search for “DIY Survival Gear” yields 2,030,000 results.
That means there’s a mind-boggling number of DIY Survival Gear ideas at your fingertips any time, nearly anywhere.
However, only a few of these results are both interesting and useful. The vast majority are less than impressive. Not to mention the ones that belong in the trash heap.
The point I’m making here is that there are thousands of DIY survival gear sites, guides, and articles you could sort through. And that’s before even mentioning YouTube….
So with that said, my purpose for this article is to wade through all the B.S. DIY survival gear ideas and hone in on a few of the best. 11 of the best to be exact.
But before we get started, what makes a DIY survival gear project one of the best and worth our time?
I considered a DIY survival gear project one of the best if:
- It creates gear and tools that are desirable in most survival situations.
- It can be accomplished with a basic set of tools.
- It can be completed in less than a day (assuming you have the material needed at hand).
- I was able to find a comprehensive step by step video instruction that shows you exactly how to do it.
With that criteria in mind, here’s SkilledSurvival’s favorite DIY survival gear projects that can be made by the average Joe, quickly, at home, and without an insane amount of technical knowledge.
- DIY Fire Starter
- DIY Water Filter
- DIY Rocket Stove
- DIY Cordage (from 2-liter soda bottle)
- DIY Survival Slingshot
- DIY Cigar Tube Fishing Kit
- DIY Survival Knife
- DIY Bow and Arrow
- DIY Survival Spear
- DIY Solar Battery Charger (for phone or USB)
- DIY Ranger Band
1 – DIY Fire Starter
There are lots of ways to start a fire, right? But we all know some better than others.
Fire starting can be accomplished with something as simple as a BIC lighter and a wad of paper or as challenging as using sticks and friction.
I sorted through a bunch of different fire starting gear ideas and options, and in my opinion, the easiest to make, to store, and to use is this one:
With this DIY survival project, you can make fire starting a breeze. It’s a DIY survival gear idea that is both simple, and nearly foolproof.
Bottom line: All you need is a jar of petroleum jelly, some cotton balls, and a zip lock baggie; that’s it.
Just put the petroleum jelly inside the baggie, add some cotton balls, gently rub the balls around so they get a coating of the petroleum on them.
Make sure not to over saturate them, or they’ll get difficult to light. Just coat them with a dab and you’re done!
Roll the baggie up, zip the top, and put it in your bug out bag, backpack, glove box, or anywhere where you can find them quickly when the need arises.
Fire Starters Are Items #31 through #37 Of My #104 Item Bug Out Checklist. Click Here To Snag Your FREE Copy Of It.
Sure…this one seems too easy when compared with the more elaborate DIY fire starting setups. However, complicated is rarely a virtue when it comes to survival.
Instead, simple yet effective is what you want, and this one works in all sorts of conditions: cold, hot, wet, dry. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. So give it a try.
2 – DIY Water Filter
There are tons of ready-made water filters available for purchase, and you should own one.
A Small Portable Water Filter Is Item #4 Of My #104 Item Bug Out Checklist. Click Here To Snag Your FREE Copy Of It.
But if you don’t have one yet, can’t afford one, or lost yours, you still need safe drinking water. So it’s a good investment to learn how to make one using only a few basic readily-available materials.
I researched many elaborate DIY survival water filters setups. Most were pretty decent, and it was tough to decide on just one. So I settled on this simple design because I was certain I could make it myself in the wilderness.
Again, you may be thinking this DIY survival gear setup is overly simplistic but in my opinion, that’s the point. Complex gear can break, fail, and leave you helpless.
Simple gear just works and saves lives.
3 – DIY Rocket Stove
There are so many unique rocket stove setups that it’s impossible for me to describe even a portion of them. To prove this point, a YouTube search will reveal 144,000 videos on the topic.
So here’s the good news, I’m going to save you the trouble and hours sifting through all these videos. Helping you avoid the unnecessary rubbish and showing you just the hidden gems.
Trust me when I say that the rocket stove set ups I watched run from the ridiculous to the sublime.
At its fundamental design, a rocket stove has a combustion chamber, an air intake, and a chimney (or flue) to vent the exhaust.
They can be made from many different types of containers. Empty cans, 55-gallon drums, cinder blocks all have been used to create a rocket stove.
I once found an old, rusty oil drum and modified into a stove. I found it in an old log grain storage building on my ranch.
Even though it looked like it was a hundred years old, it still was perfect for this DIY survival gear project. Since a having a stove is an essential survival tool for cooking and heating, you would be smart to make your own too.
There were so many how to videos to choose from, but I finally settled on this one. The basic concepts are all the same so feel free to get creative after you watch:
I really like the way this guy explains everything and kept it simple. It’s not as light and portable as I prefer, but it’s still a solid design.
4 – Cordage From A 2 Liter Soda Bottle
I don’t know about you, but in my life having paracord, rope, baling twine, and an assortment of old lead ropes is a necessity. I live on a small ranch, and I use the aforementioned types of cordage for all sorts of useful tasks.
For A Limited Time, Skilled Survival Is Giving Away Free Paracord Grenades. Click Here To Learn More About This FREE Offer.
Tying water hoses to fence rails, impromptu horse bridles, tying loose tractor hydraulic hoses, the list is long and varied. In any DIY survival gear scenario having some type of cordage is essential, and a “no-brainer”.
You’ll need it, but if you don’t have any, you can make your own.
I’ve seen and read hundreds of videos and articles that show how to make cordage from natural plant fibers, straw, hay, grasses, etc. They are all okay, and some are pretty darn good assuming you can find the right natural materials.
But one unnatural material that you can typically find just about anywhere is plastic bottles. So when I discovered making cordage from a plastic 2 Liter Soda Bottle, I was thrilled.
Littering is terrible (don’t do it!), and I don’t like it, but I’ll take advantage of it and use it for my survival.
If you’re like me, you probably have more of these empty bottles lying around than you care to admit.
That’s why I think this guy’s idea is great. So I did a quick little test using my pocket knife, and the plastic cordage is both flexible and strong.
Try it out, it’s useful and just as important, it’s easy.
5 – DIY Survival Slingshot
Ok this one is more of a modification than a build from scratch but it’s badass. If you ever had a slingshot as a kid, this project will resonate with you. You can carve your own handle, or just modify an existing one.
This example claims to be capable of bringing down “big game” animals. It shoots arrows and is designed on a “wrist rocket” platform.
The mods are easy and inexpensive, and the video is well made.
No matter how many firearms you may or may not have, the slingshot is an easy to make and incredibly useful survival weapon to have.
A Slingshot Is Item #16 Of My #104 Item Bug Out Checklist. Click Here To Snag Your FREE Copy Of It.
Besides the video I linked to, there are a lot of other good slingshot ideas on YouTube. Whether you use it for hunting, or perhaps self-defense, a slingshot is an inexpensive, simple, foolproof weapon.
6 – DIY Cigar Tube Fishing Kit
Easy to make, use, and small this is one DIY survival gear that everyone should have in their survival stash.
If you smoke cigars that come in tubes, you already have the main part of the tool. If you don’t smoke cigars, you could still just buy one, give the cigar away and keep the tube.
If you still don’t like that, you can substitute a piece of wooden dowel about 6 inches long.
Now just take some fishing line of your choice, wrap a couple hundred feet at most, around the tube and tape it. Use the inside of the tube for hooks, sinkers, flies, whatever. If you use the dowel, wrap up your accessories in a separate little bag.
There are lots of possibilities here and many variations on the same underlying theme.
For instance, I have an old Cohiba tube, from a Havana that I used for this project. It adds a cool factor to my little DIY survival kit. Even though I don’t smoke cigars anymore it still smells faintly of Cuban tobacco.
Unfortunately, I was unable to find any videos that used a cigar tube, but I did find one that shows how to make a “Hobo Fishing Kit”, and it’s the same idea.
Just using a protein drink cylindrical bottle instead of a cigar tube.
7 – DIY Survival Knife
Knife making is an art and an ancient one at that.
But even if you lack that particular skill set, you can still make yourself a basic version that will cut and stab. You can make it with just a hacksaw or a Sawzall blade.
You’ll also need some paracord to wrap the handle. And of course, you’ll need either a metal file or a grinder.
By grinding, filing and beveling the edge, you will end up with a simple blade. Not the tough one ever, but one that can still be useful in a survival scenario.
A Survival Knife Is Item #65 Of My #104 Item Bug Out Checklist. Click Here To Snag Your FREE Copy Of It.
I watched a lot of videos that were pretty advanced in the knife making skills department but I decided to share one that is more “homespun”. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but it’s easy to make, especially if you have a grinder.
Also, this method is easy on the wallet.
8 – DIY Bow and Arrow
Even though my archery experience is limited to shooting at hay bales, missing them completely, and punching holes in the wall of our barn, a bow and arrow is a deadly weapon. Not only that but they are fairly easy to make.
As with all my selections in this article, I searched my faithful YouTube lists until I found a few I thought worthy of presenting to you, my readers. Well, it was sort of a difficult choice between hand-hewn, sustainably harvested, tree limbs and store bought PVC pipes and fiberglass rods.
Though the Grizzly Adams approach appeals to my inner frontiersman, I’m a city slicker at heart, so it’s the plastic and fiberglass project for now.
The guy in the video I’m linking to is good on camera, knows what he’s talking about, and if you follow his directions, you’ll have yourself a pretty awesome DIY survival bow and arrow kit.
9 – DIY Survival Spear/ Walking Stick
Easy to build, with readily available materials, the spear has a long history. With this simple but effective weapon, Paleolithic hunters harvested mastodons and fought off saber-tooth cats.
Roman legions used them against their enemies too. They were modified into the pike too, which is a spear with an extra long shaft.
Anyway, before I get carried away with historical rants, I’ve found some very good videos that will show you how to make a spear with a removable point.
The shaft is a broom handle essentially. The blade is a Cold Steel knife, which has a hollow, tapered handle that allows it to be mounted on a shaft.
Of course, you can also go primitive and cut your own shaft, mount a DIY survival knife, like the one I described earlier in this article.
The video I’ve selected uses the Cold Steel blade, and I think it’s the best one. I think you’ll agree.
10 – DIY Solar Battery/ USB Charger
A small portable solar charger is a useful gadget to have. I doubt I need to explain why you should have one of these, so I won’t insult your intelligence.
The most difficult skill you need to pull this off is to use a soldering gun. You’ll also need to locate all the parts. However, you may be able to scavenge them from stuff you may already have in your garage.
I watched a bunch of videos on this subject to see how hard it would be for a guy like myself to build.
I built a Heathkit radio when I was a kid and swapped out the pickups on my first electric guitar when Jimi Hendrix was still alive.
So for what it’s worth, it means that this is a pretty straight forward project for most preppers and DIY’ers.
11 – DIY Ranger Bands
I have a lot of old bicycle tubes.
I used to look at them all piled into an old cardboard box, gathering dust and bird poop, and being the kind of guy who never, ever throws anything away, I’d tell myself there must be a use for these things.
I never actually found one until I learned about Ranger Bands. A Ranger Band is a cross section piece of an inner tube. Usually from a bicycle.
Assuming the rubber isn’t rotted, and still has some stretch, you’ll have the raw material to make Ranger Bands.
Ranger bands are a badass DIY survival gear project anyone can do in minutes.
DIY Survival Gear – Wrap Up Remarks
There are many more DIY survival projects out there. I’ve only scratched the surface here, but I hope you found these DIY survival gear 11 projects simple, useful, interesting, and enjoyable.
They were the best ones I found after sifting through hundreds of potential videos to share.
However, that doesn’t mean I was able to watch them all and I’m sure I missed some great ones. So if you know of any I missed that you think should have made the list, please share it with the SkilledSurvival audience in the comments below.
– Jonathan Hands
The post DIY Survival Gear: 11 Of The Best You Can Complete Today appeared first on Skilled Survival.
Self Reliant, breaking free!
Brett Bauma “Makers On Acres”
On this episode of Makers on Acres Tech, Build and Grow Show we are going to be discussing breaking free from the social norm and becoming self reliant and self-aware.
What do I mean by self-aware and self-reliant? Being self-aware is knowing about your needs, controlling your desires, learning your strengths, weaknesses and knowing how to better your life and yourself. Now self-reliance is a great by product of self-awareness.
Being self-reliant takes extreme discipline which is created by developing self-awareness. The discipline needed to be self-reliant takes time and it takes sacrifice. Self-reliance is not just growing your food, making your own systems, or generating your own income, it is all those and then more. Reliance on the social system to drive your desires, thoughts, purchases, attitude and personality are all systemic problems that affect almost all of us to some extent. If we are to be truly self-reliant we need to be aware of when we are allowing the social system to control our actions and thoughts, and we need to work on our self-awareness to break free.
Join me in player below as I discuss the process of breaking free and starting on the road to true personal freedom! If you are trying to control your life and become self-reliant, this is a must listen show for you!
Join us for Makers On Acres “LIVE SHOW” every Saturday 9:00/Et 8:00Ct 6:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat
Listen to this broadcast or download “Self Reliant, breaking free” in player below!
What happens when the potting mix runs out of nutrients? What about pests, especially when insecticides aren’t available? What about winter and early spring, when even the hardiest veg refuses to grow? These are a few of the questions that I want to tackle. I’m not a survivalist, but I am a gardener with an … Read more…
The post Urban Survival Gardening: A Comprehensive Grow Guide for City-Dwellers appeared first on Prepper’s Will.
David Nash is a former U.S. Marine Corps non-commissioned officer, correctional supervisor and firearms instructor for the Tennessee Department of Correction. He currently works full time as a shift supervisor for an emergency management operations center, as well as the owner of The Shepherd School and the land owner and partner at Dual Homestead. Dave […]
Treating wounds using alternative healing methods will become a vital skill when there is no doctor around. Besides providing you with the much needed food, your pantry also holds two items that will help you treat wounds: honey and sugar. These two ingredients are very effective at cleansing and healing traumatic wounds. Treating wounds with … Read more…
What is it to live Off Grid?
DJ Cooper “Surviving Dystopia”
First, right now I do not live off grid… While wishes I do think come true…there is much that must be overcome sometimes to get what we hope for. A favorite saying of mine is the 7 p’s (a military adage) “Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance”
As I said “right now” I do not live off grid, this does not say never have I!
I have to an extent prior and am pretty well versed in many aspects of the lifestyle.
Circumstances sometimes place us in a position where what we wish and what we must do come in conflict. This is what I might like us to talk about on this show. Right now I live in a big old farm house that I rent with lots of acres but that is NOT where I’m going, just where I am paused! I think many of us are often times in the same place. Knowing where we want to be but unsure of how to get there.
With the 7 p’s it is clear, I feel, that one cannot simply “go off grid” at least not and hope to be successful…Money makes the world go round, whether or not we like it…we need it…
UNLESS….your off grid land is fully paid for and taxes paid in advance… you have all the materials and needs taken care of prior to, and even then you need to have an established means to take care of your future needs be it a job or business that will pay the mortgage or taxes & buy things like for example canning lids….
I know many skills from gardening to canning it…critters, cheese making, soap ect… Walked the path all my life, spent years researching concepts I wish to implement such as solar, wind and hydro power… solar water heat and even geothermal technologies and how they work… will again use grey water reclamation with rain water catchment along with other things such as utilizing the south face of the home. But again the 7 P’s keep me in check.. gotta work to make the money to get what I want in the end.
I have done a show in the past on things like this, I’ve explored intentional communities and found many good points and many flaws… There must be an outline and things set in stone…flying by the seat of ones pants….And while I am a well-known pantster in my writing and even on this show… in some cases this would be a recipe for little more than disaster.
I’ve had the opportunity to view a number of different styles on such topics and this week would like to try and establish some ideas as to how we can implement these without being “The Pantster”.
Surviving Dystopia Get The Book HERE!
Join us for Surviving Dystopia “LIVE SHOW” every Wednes 9:00/Et 8:00Ct 6:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat
Listen to this broadcast or download “What is it to live Off Grid?” in player below!
Doing laundry in the old days was no easy task and it involved heating the water, using a washboard and overall, it was an intense labor. If you live off the grid or if you worry that one day there will be no more electricity, you should learn how to make an off the grid … Read more…
Sugardine is a homemade antiseptic that uses the antibacterial proprieties of sugar and iodine to prevent and kill infections. Sugardine was developed in the old days as a primary method to treat abscesses and thrush on the hooves of horses. However, only a few people know that this homemade antiseptic is also effective for humans. … Read more…
By Richard Bogath Food Storage – Are you sure you wanna eat that? If you missed my previous discussion about cooking with uncertainty please take a moment to step back and read our last post here. Cooking With Uncertainty Cooking with uncertainty means that the food has not turned funky shades of green and grey, […]
If you’re a prepper who likes DIY projects, this is sure to keep you busy. Todd from Survival Sherpa compiled 33 awesome do-it-yourself projects all in one post. Some of these are pretty simple and won’t take very long, while others could take hours or more. These aren’t […]
Holiday Gifts, Odds and Ends!
I thought instead on one general theme, I would touch on several different things today. It’s fast approaching holiday time and it shows in all the markets. I enjoy baking for the holidays and giving holiday gifts of of food to people. This is a great thing to do and if you think about it, there are very few people who you can’t do this for.
Baking is one method of gift giving and sharing, but I also make herbal tea gifts and holiday gifts of seasoning blends. Many people make “gifts in a jar”, these last a long time and people can make them after the holidays at their leisure. Consider doing something like this instead of spending money (that most people can’t afford) on traditional gifts. Of course, “traditional gift” is a misnomer, since food gifts are far older than what people have been giving for the last 20 years! Even children can be won over to gifts of food.
When my nieces and nephews were young, I couldn’t afford to give them each a bought items as holiday gifts. So, I’d make them each their own “goodie bag”. I would sit and talk to them ahead of time about what their favorite things were…what jam, what pickle, what bread and what cookie. Then I would put together a bag of goodies that were their favorites.
Now, the one thing that every pre-adolescent and teen loves as holiday gifts is food, but what makes it special is that it is their OWN food. They can eat it in front of anyone and not have to share…they wouldn’t have to share if I’d given them a doll or truck, so I made that rule with the parents…no pinching the kids food! The kids got quite creative, learning what their parents hated (nuts, coconut, raisins etc) and would have me put it in their goodies. Then I would make labels for any jars or bags with “Melissa’s Cookies” or the like on it. Of course, said goodie bag was heavy on the cookies, but they were also personal, personalized and JUST what the kiddo wanted. You can be as creative as you want for all the people you give gifts to, but by making it yourself, you can know that it will be appreciated.
Now is the right time to start making your plans and lists to get the ingredients for the things that you will use for these gifts. It’s also the time that stores put many of the more expensive baking items on sale. I take this time to stock up on all of that stuff, there may come a day when it is hard to get. I know of no cocoa trees or coconut palms planted in the northeast, so I pay particular attention to items like this. Are they necessary to life? Absolutely not, but comfort food is important as well. A holiday should be special if your family celebrates them and will perk everyone up if you can make it special. I have had no problems keeping most baking items for 5 years, if I have vacuum packed them.
While you are searching for nifty gift items to make, check out recipes using dehydrated food, long term storage food and home made mixes. I was thinking that one of the habits I find hardest to shake, is the one where I want a “quick meal”. dehydrate2Store.com, has plenty of mix recipes you can make up. I’m planning on putting together quite a few mix packets for my storage. You take the base ingredients and put them in a vacuum bag. Before sealing the bag, you print out the recipe and put that in. Then you take the seasonings and late addition items and vacuum seal them in a smaller bag and add them to the big bag. Then seal the whole thing and label. You are making “quick meals” using your own stuff and get the best of both worlds!
Now is also a great time to stock up on turkey. Make sure you pick up a couple of extra birds while they are on sale. You can bake them a couple at a time and either freeze or can the meat for later. Don’t forget to cook the carcass down and can up the delicious broth you make from it. Ham too, is usually a bargain at this time and well worth getting more than one. I always wait until a few days before Christmas and pick up lots of hard candy (you can wait until the day after too). Hard candy will seal well and last for a long time. Hard candy is what our mothers and grandmothers gave us when we had a sore throat, instead of fancy cough drops.
Condensed and evaporated milk is also more available this time of the year and has a fairly long shelf life. While not my favorite way to drink milk, it can be done and is certainly good for baking. The cans will last several years on the shelf, so that makes it a good buy to me.
Temporarily, prices are down on sugars and flour, these being staples, your should really stock up. Don’t forget the “fancy” sugars like brown and powdered, as they keep well if packaged right. I usually pick up both light brown and dark brown sugar. We use it on oatmeal around here, plus it has many different recipe uses. I know one of the most frustrating things is not to have on hand the one item in a recipe that is vital!
When you are out doing all of this shopping, another thing to look for is flavorings. Vanilla, lemon,raspberry are our favorites, but my mother always kept almond and a few others on hand.
Don’t forget to only shop the sales and use those coupons! As always, I welcome comments and additions to this blog post.
Books on homemade candy recipes HERE!
Original post archived from APN
Powdered eggs are simple to make and very versatile.
Stored properly, powdered eggs have a very long shelf life. They are good for all sorts of baking – from cakes to french toast. You can even make omelets and scrambled eggs with them.
They are lightweight (and don’t break), making them an excellent camping or […]
If you have shelves full of books in your home, a properly constructed book safe is a great place to hide valuables.
There are many commercially available book safes on the market (see examples here) but I prefer to make my own because I can choose any book I want – giving a bit more […]
What is EMP? For those of you who are not familiar with the term EMP, it is an acronym for Electromagnetic Pulse which is a sudden burst of electromagnetic radiation that operates on a principal called “induction” which causes a sudden spike in voltage in all unshielded electric circuits within its range that causes the […]
So you’ve got your bug out bag or BOB, you’ve squared away your EDC or Every Day Carry and you’ve packed your INCH bag (I’m Not Coming Home). Did you know there is another pack that is just as, if not MORE important? One that you absolutely must have in your home that I bet many […]
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What are some items a prepper should never throw away
It’s National Preparedness month in September and you’ll see a lot of information about getting prepared and the types of things you should have on hand. An important aspect of getting prepared should also include making the most out of the things you might already have on hand.
If we pay attention we would see that there are items a prepper should never throw away that we might need in an emergency. What might that be?
- Broken crayons, candle stubs, and any other form of paraffin wax can be used to make new candles, or along with other items to make fire starting tablets.
- Dryer lint can be used as tinder, or when combined with paraffin wax or petroleum jelly, to make fire starting tablets.
- Cardboard egg cartons can be used to sprout seeds or as the container for fire starting tablets.
- All types of wood. Lumber can be used for construction and scrap wood (not pressure treated) can be used as fuel and in hugal beds/permaculture.
- Water jugs/soda bottles can be used to store water, rice, beans, etc.
Read the entire list here >> 19 Things a Prepper Should Never Throw Away
Over at how to survive it they point out that the key is knowing what to keep and what to throw away. Otherwise, you go from being prepared to being a hoarder. That’s both inefficient and unhygienic.
We’d like to hear your thoughts. Are there other items you would add to this list? Let us know by commenting below
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Jeff “The Berkey Guy”
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