Properly storing fuel for the Apocalypse!

Click here to view the original post.

Properly storing fuel for the Apocalypse!
Micheal Kline “Reality Check” Audio player below!

This week we are going to be talking about some of the common techniques for storing fuel. This topic has been covered before, but it bears repeating since tornado is starting and hurricane season isn’t that far off. In this show, we are going to be talking about some of the common fuels to store and the industry practices to prolong the life of such.

Continue reading Properly storing fuel for the Apocalypse! at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Plan B heating

Click here to view the original post.

Montana is awesome in the summer and lethal in the winter. So, for my needs, it seems a good idea to have an alternative source (or two) of heating in case something happens that causes the normal heating system to be unavailable.

First and foremost, if youre going to burn anything…propane, wood, kerosene, fiat currency, whatever….for indoor heat you absolutely must have a carbon monoxide detector (or three) in place. And if it goes off, don’t ask questions….walk outside immediately.

I have a fairly decent supply of kerosene sitting here. In the last fifteen years I lucked out into two sales on kerosene that were just too good to pass up.

Kerosene heaters are a mixed bag. For one reason or another (mostly .gov nonsense) the really good kerosene heaters (like the Toyosun) are hard to come across new. Fortunately Craigslist provides a ton of used kerosene heaters at very decent prices. I mean really good prices…like $20-50 for a heater that was $150+ when it was new. So, since one is none, I have a couple heaters. But…I almost never use them. (Thats the problem with living in an area that is basically disaster-free.) As a result wicks dry out, things get dusty, batteries go dead, that sort of thing.

I decided to get around to taking care of some preparedness tasks I’ve been letting go and one of them was making sure the kero heaters were up to snuff. Nope. Both are sitting on “E”. And they’re dirty. So…time to institute a preventative maintenance and readiness program for the stupid things.

I sat down and disassembled things as best I could. I wiped down everything to, tightened all screws, cleaned the glass, applied some kerosene to the exposed wick, filled the tank, and lit the wick. And…it ran fine.

Some people don’t like kerosene because “it stinks”. Yeah it does…when you start it and when you shut it down. When it runs, it usually runs without any smell. I set my heater on my porch, light it, wait five minutes, then bring it inside. When I want to extinguish it, I take it outside, turn it off, and leave it for a half hour so not only is there no smell but it’s also cooled down nicely so i can handle it and put it away.

And speaking of putting away, I really need to make up some sort of ‘dust cover’ for these things. I don’t like leaving them sitting in the basement where they get dusty.

And, I really need to put together an accessory package for these things. A tall .50 can with spare wicks, batteries (for the ignition), barbecue lighter, matches, fuel handling materials, etc. By the by, even though kerosene is extremely safe to handle, I always fuel them a) outdoors b) when theyre cool/cold, and c) there is always a fire extinguisher handy.

I need to go into Evernote and create a category for the kerosene heating supplies. I should probably also set up a scheduled set of reminders to inspect and test the heaters as well. So, yeah, a little bit of work but they payoff when the heat is out should be quite worth it.

Off-Grid Tricks That Will Make Your House Warmer (And Lower Your Heating Costs, Too)

Click here to view the original post.
Off-Grid Tricks That Will Make Your House Warmer (And Lower Your Heating Costs, Too)

Image source:

No matter where you live, staying warm in the winter takes much more work than being comfortable the rest of the year. But it can be done — no matter your heating source.

Be Creative When Insulating

Keeping the warm air in and the cold air out is priority No. 1 when it comes to home heating. If replacing old doors and windows or adding to existing insulation is an option, consider one of these other insulating methods:

  • Use heavy drapes or even blankets over older windows to protect from cold.
  • Seal around door jambs and window casing with expandable foam to prevent drafts.
  • Replace weather stripping around leaky doors and windows.
  • Add window film or bubble wrap over windows to increase their insulating values.
  • Keep unused rooms closed and use draft stoppers along the floor to keep cold air from leaking into occupied rooms.
  • Install outlet and switchplate gaskets to stop cold air in exterior walls from seeping into living spaces.

Heat the Person, Not the Room

Turn the thermostat down a notch and still stay warm by focusing on the person and not heating an entire home. Throw blankets, lap quilts, and afghans are all good ways to keep a person warm and lower your heating costs. Extra blankets or even heated blankets provide a comfortable place to sleep if the air in your bedroom is cold.

Take Advantage of the Sun

Some of the coldest days of the year are usually the sunniest! Take advantage of solar heating by opening drapes and curtains on windows that get the most direct sunlight during the day. You also can build or buy solar window boxes which harvest the heat of the sun and allow it to pass into your home via open windows.

Kill two birds with one stone and consider putting in a lean-to style greenhouse attached to your home where the excess heat can be let into the house by opening a window, or enclose a porch with polycarbonate panels for the same effect. Not only can you help heat the house, but you can grow or start your garden veggies, as well!

Become a Fan of Fans

It may seem counter-productive, but using fans to push air around in the winter can save you big bucks on your heating bills. Use ceiling fans to bring warm air down from the ceiling, small corner fans to push air down hallways or into small rooms, and box fans or woodstove fans to move air from one room to another.

Waste Not, Want Not

Using the oven? Leave the door open when you are done cooking to let the heat escape into the room. The same can be done with the clothes dryer. Just keep in mind that if you have lights in either of these appliances that can’t be turned off, you’ll want to be diligent about getting them closed when they aren’t providing heat to the room.

Think Outside the Box – Recycle and Upcycle

If you’ve got a wood stove, consider making your own firebricks and firelogs out of old junk mail and newspapers. You also can use catalogs, food packaging boxes, wood scraps (no pressure treated, plywoods or chipboards which contain glues, chemicals or resins) and even pinecones in place of firewood.

For radiators or wall-mounted propane heaters without fans, use a wall shelf mounted above to steer heat into the room instead of straight up towards the ceiling. Just be sure to check with the manufacturer to determine safe clearances.

You also can use leftover greenhouse building materials to build solar heating boxes as mentioned above.

Use More Than One Heating Source

Don’t be afraid to diversify and use more than one heating source for your home. If you have electric heat but live in a wooded area or have access to inexpensive firewood, consider adding a wood stove, or wood furnace as well to save money. If you already have propane for cooking, look into adding a propane fireplace or heater if propane in your area is cost effective. By using more than one heating source you have options if there is suddenly a spike in propane or oil costs, or if your usual firewood cutting area gets closed due to fire.

What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

7 Off-Grid (And Overlooked) Ways To Heat Your Home

Click here to view the original post.
7 Off-Grid (And Overlooked) Ways To Heat Your Home

Image source:

The most common methods in the United States for home heating are electricity, gas, oil and wood. However, when it comes to keeping your home warm in the winter, there are countless options available — especially for those who live off grid.

Corn Burning and Multi-Fuel Pellet/Corn stoves

If your parents or grandparents were alive during the Great Depression, chances are they burned corn during the winter to stay warm due to the much lower cost of it compared to coal. Today, true corn burning, and multi-fuel stoves, are making a comeback.

Shelled corn burns at roughly 8,000 BTUs which is similar to wood pellets, and depending on where you live, a bag of shelled corn for heating may actually cost you much less. If you live in an area where the cost of both is about the same, consider a multi-fuel stove that allows you to burn either one, giving you greater flexibility, particularly if there is an unexpected price hike.

Masonry Heaters

Masonry heaters are a very old design that are being re-imagined for today’s green homes. Built of brick, tile, soapstone, natural stone or a combination of those materials, a masonry heater consists of a firebox and channels or partitions used for heat-exchange.

Get Free Backup Electricity — That Works Even During Blackouts!

Because of the way the materials absorb the heat and release it, the heat itself only burns wood for a short time and then radiates it back into the home for up to 36 hours.

Wood-Burning Furnaces or Boilers

If you like the idea of a wood stove or fireplace but want the convenience of a complete home heating system, you many want to look into the ever-expanding market of wood-burning furnaces. Some are easier to retrofit on to an existing home then others, so be sure to do your research. Both indoor and outdoor units are available.

Rocket Stove Mass Heater

Rocket stove mass heaters were developed from the highly efficient wood burning rocket stoves, and masonry heaters. The idea behind it is that the wood fuel is burned at extremely high heat while a large thermal mass absorbs the heat from the exhaust gases. There are a variety of videos and tutorials online, and they can be built in just a few days.

Air-to-Water Radiant Heat

The concept of using hot water to heat your house isn’t new, but these two ideas may never have crossed your mind.  If you have a backup generator that uses liquid cooling to keep the engine cool during use, one idea would be to plumb the cooling system through a radiator inside your home and possibly have it selectable to only use an outside radiator during summer and the inside radiator during the cooler months.  A second idea could also be to use a small pump to circulate water through solar heating tubes outside and then plumb those water lines inside the home to the radiator.  This could work on those sunny days when the temperature is cold, but the sun will heat the water or fluid used to transport the heat inside.

Air-to-Air Radiant Heat

In a similar manner to the previous idea on radiant heat, a system could collect cooler air from outside and pass it through a solar heat collector that would heat the air before being piped into your home. Again, this would work on cold days that had sun that can heat the solar tubes before a pump pushes the air inside.

Solar Window Boxes

Depending on where you live, Solar Window Boxes may be more of a supplemental heating source than a whole house solution. The idea behind them is pretty simple; they are an airtight box made of translucent materials which allows for the sun to warm the air. In turn the warm air enters the home via ducting or other openings into the window of your home.

Solar Window Boxes can be constructed fairly cheaply, although there are also commercially made products available. Several good videos and tutorials are available online.

There are many ways to heat your home. The true limitation is just the depth of your imagination.

What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

How to Install a Wood Stove

Click here to view the original post.

How to Install a Wood Stove The cold winter is quickly approaching. I was talking to Glen Martin a survival author and owner of the Prepper Broadcasting Network. On Wednesday he was watching the first snow fall in his area. We humans have been fighting off the cold forever. Our struggles through the ice age, …

Continue reading »

The post How to Install a Wood Stove appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

Pellet Power: Fossil-Fuel-Free Heating

Click here to view the original post.
Pellet Boiler, Wood, Heating, Renewable, Self Sustaining, Carbon neutral, cheaper,

Pellet boilers beat oil for price and efficiency

A clean, cheap and carbon neutral way to heat your home – sounds good. Its a reality for thousands of families and businesses in Europe and North America.

Pellet boilers are growing in popularity; with grants and incentives offered by various states and governments – often in the form of financial assistance towards equipment and installation, depending on location. Ecoheat Solutions, a pellet boiler provider, have put together a summary of incentives for US based consumers here.

Why a pellet boiler?

Pellet boilers function exactly like an oil or propane burner with fully automatic operation. The only difference being instead of oil, wood pellets are being used as the fuel. Pellets are a cleaner source of fuel, being completely carbon neutral. The reason for this is that for every tree burned as pellets, another tree is planted to take up the carbon released. Not only this but wood pellets are readily available in North America and Europe – a local renewable fuel source. This not only bolsters the local economy but pellets are also much less volatile than oil or propane. Pellets are also much cheaper than fossil fuels – try 60% cheaper. One pellet boiler owner cited a saving of upwards of $1,500 per year on fuel – you can watch the full video of their boiler experience here.

There are a couple of downsides to pellet boilers. Fuel tends to be a little bulkier to store than oil and the ash bin(s) from the boiler need to be emptied every month or so. However, due to this ash by-product containing natural minerals, it can be spread on lawns, gardens or back into the woods; acting as a mineral fertiliser. Some pellet boilers also have motors, just like a pellet stove, and so some noise can be heard. However if the boiler is housed in a boiler room or basement, the noise levels can be much reduced.

The upfront cost of a pellet boiler is also higher than an oil fuelled counterpart. Depending on the model chosen; average prices for a pellet boiler come in at around $15,000 compared to a more conservative $10,000-12,000 for a fossil fuel boiler. However, with the pellet fuel being much cheaper in comparison (and don’t forget those state grants), the long run savings will more than make up for the initial investment.

What’s the difference between a pellet boiler and a pellet stove?

These two terms can sometimes be used interchangeably because they use the same fuel, but there is a fundamental difference between the two. Pellet stoves are room appliances, meaning they heat the room they are in. Of course, depending on the size of the house, this could be an ample heat source (tiny houses I’m looking at you).  A pellet boiler however, replaces an oil boiler and is connected to a heating system and so is more suitable for larger houses and commercial properties.

The post Pellet Power: Fossil-Fuel-Free Heating appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

The Most Efficient Wood Stoves For Off-Grid Heat

Click here to view the original post.
The Most Efficient Wood Stoves For Off-Grid Heat

Photo by Stephen McKay. Creative Commons license:

Heating with wood is a great option for many households – and a must for most off-gridders and homesteaders. Wood stoves are easy to use and the feedstock is renewable and easy to obtain. If you live in a heavily wooded area, are living without electricity, or simply want to reduce your fuel bill, wood stoves often make a good deal of sense.

In this article, we are going to explore the different types of wood stoves, their features, and differing levels of efficiency. Not all wood stoves are created equal, and they can range from something as simple as a 50-gallon steel drum to something more complicated, like a circulating stove with a catalytic converter.

Open Fireplace

We’ll begin with one of the most iconic kinds of wood-burning heaters: the open fireplace. Open fireplaces are popular because they’re romantic and make a nice visual addition to a room. Who hasn’t imagined themselves relaxing at the hunting lounge with a big, stone fireplace in the center of the living room? The problem with open fireplaces is that they are extremely inefficient.

Crazy Gadget Makes Every Window A Cell Phone Solar Charger

Why? Because they actually suck all the heat out of a room, sending it outside via the chimney. Because of this, you will rarely find fireplaces in homes where wood is the main source of heat. Not only are they hugely inefficient, but fireplaces are also extremely smoky. This is an annoyance, but it’s an indicator that you are not getting a very clean, and therefore efficient, burn of the wood itself. Modern fireplaces typically only covert 10 percent to 20 percent of wood burned to heat.

Radiant Heat Stove

Another common wood stove is a radiant heat-type wood stove. These wood stoves heat the area around them by radiating the heat from an enclosed chamber. Common types of radiant heat wood stoves include potbelly stoves and rocket mass heaters. Because the combustion chamber is either enclosed or insulated, radiant heat wood stoves will be much more efficient than an open burning fireplace, and the heat will be radiated into the room for a much longer time after the fire has gone out.

The Most Efficient Wood Stoves For Off-Grid Heat

Image source:

There are varying levels of efficiencies within radiant heat wood stoves, with perhaps the most efficient being a rocket mass heater. Rocket mass heaters use an insulated burn chamber, are designed for more draft, and have heat-exchange passages that capture exhaust gases before they escape through the chimney, resulting in a cleaner burn that can be up to eight times more efficient than traditional radiant heat wood stoves. The heat created from a rocket mass heater is then radiated into the room via a thermal mass (concrete, adobe, dirt, etc.) that surrounds the heating components.

Get Free Electricity — And Never Be Without Power!

Radiant heat wood stoves can be inexpensively built out of something as simple as a 55-gallon steel drum with a chimney attached. Although this can be a great option if you have the materials lying around or can procure them cheaply, keep in the mind that the life of these wood stoves will be much less than something built out of sturdier material like firebrick, concrete or cast iron.

Circulating Heat Stove

The more modern kind of wood stoves that you can purchase at many heating supply stores are circulating stoves that use air to heat the living space. Circulating stoves are double walled with an inner combustion chamber. There is an air space between the two walls where air is passed over the inner wall near the combustion chamber, and then pushed out into the room, conveying heat. These types of stoves can achieve 70 percent to 80 percent efficiencies and are popular for families with children, since the outer wall of the stove does not get nearly as hot as with radiant-type stoves.

As air pollution became more and more of a concern, many circulating wood stoves started to integrate catalytic converters and secondary air combustion chambers to reduce emissions and increase efficiency. Catalytic converters are simply platinum grids that are placed in the firebox of the stoves, capturing the exhaust and combusting it for a cleaner burn. Modern circulating stoves that do not have catalytic converters have a damper that directs smoke from the stove into a secondary chamber, where hot air is added and reignites any unburned fuel.

Non-catalytic circulating stoves are often cheaper than catalytic stoves and easier to maintain. A wood stove with a catalytic converter is more efficient than one without, but the catalytic converter will need to be replaced every five years and may require yearly maintenance.

Wood stoves are a great way to reduce you heating bill, reduce your reliance on the electric grid and make use of a renewable natural resource. When choosing one, take into consideration your budget, the size of space you want to heat and your desired efficiency for a warm, happy home.

How do you heat your home? What advice would you add for a new buyer or homeowner? Share your tips in the section below:

Are You Prepared For Extended Blackouts? Read More Here.

Tent Heater, Propane

Click here to view the original post.
I need another propane tent heater and was going to purchase another one of the Coleman Sport-Cat’s. This week while online shopping I discovered Coleman stopped selling the Sport-Cat Heater that I already use and they’re not commenting about a problem, a recall or legal action at this time. What’s up? I don’t know! Naturally there are many product critical stories on the web but nothing with facts from reliable sources. So if you own one like I do, maybe it’s time to dispose of it just to be on the safe side.
This is the Coleman Sport-Cat Heater.

Keeping Warm with Winter Preps!

Click here to view the original post.

Keeping Warm with Winter Preps! Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps” Audio in player below! BRRRRR! Getting cold out there! What are you doing to keep warm in the beginning months of winter? Well fall is almost over and winter is right upon us. In this episode I will be talking all about how to keep warm. … Continue reading Keeping Warm with Winter Preps!

The post Keeping Warm with Winter Preps! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Alternative Energy!

Click here to view the original post.

Alternative Energy in Depth! Brett Bauma “Makers on Acres” What are some of the benefits of adding alternative energy to our homes and farms? What are some of the negatives? We discuss many of the different types of alternative energy and the benefits and downfalls of each. From wind power to solar and everything in … Continue reading Alternative Energy!

The post Alternative Energy! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Low Tech Prepping!

Click here to view the original post.

Low Tech Prepping
Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps

Prepping for a Low Tech Life Powers-outElectricity is a great thing, until it is no more. We get so used to having light at a flick of a switch. But what happens when those lights go out? On Survival and Tech Preps we have talked about high tech vs low tech in previous shows, now I want to talk about prepping for a low tech lifestyle.

2-29-16 imagesElectricity is great to have and a lot of preppers are planning solar, wind, and other means. The fact is these other sources are temporary, it is not sustainable. Batteries die, the solar panels wear out, the chargers go bad. So what then? Well in my opinion the best thing to do is prepare for the ability to survive without electricity.

2-29-16 images (1)In this episode I will talk about key aspects we need to think about when going low tech. How do we cook? How do we prepare water, how do we communicate. All of this might sound simple to some and hard for others but I hope to bridge the gap between what is myth and what is realistic.

We all have heard those say they can survive for years by themselves, well lets back up there a second it isn’t that easy. Those that claim this will most likely fall very short. This is not a topic that will be summed up in one episode but I hope to get a little stepping stone for those of you that might want to plan on going off grid if shtf happens.

I will also talk about diet, weapons that are low tech, bug out items, food preps, and other things that we may need to start our journey on the low tech life. There are many aspects to this that you may or may not have thought of, but with a little knowledge and a little planning one can thrive if done right, so sit back and enjoy the show and hope you and I can learn something!
Join us for Survival & Tech Preps “LIVE SHOW” every Monday 9:00/Et 8:00Ct 6:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat

Listen to this broadcast or download “Low Tech Prepping” in player below!

Get the 24/7 app for your smart phone HERE! 
Put the 24/7 player on your web site HERE! 
Archived shows of Survival & Tech Preps at bottom of THIS PAGE!

The post Low Tech Prepping! appeared first on The Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Staying warm with no power!

Click here to view the original post.

Could you stay warm if the power were knocked out?
DJ Cooper “Surviving Dystopia

Staying warm with no powerAlthough the Punxatawny Phil the groundhog predicts an early spring, it is as yet only February and a cold blast is on the way for much of the US.  Blizzard conditions predicted for the midwestern north and with blizzards sometimes comes the dreaded power outage!

Staying warm with no powerHow would you fare?  Do you have an alternative heat source for your home or work?  Many people rely on a fire place or wood stove for their supplemental heat but there are many other ways to heat your home.

2-10-16 kero-world-heatersSome of these, however, are dependent on a resource that seems everlasting but only when it is out… that would be the sun.  A wonderful and essentially underused form of unlimited energy and heat this resource is often under used and the ways it can be used unknown to many.  It does have one downfall…it needs to be visible in order for it to be useful.

2-10-16 solarbox_1453_resizedThis week I also want to think about other ways we can generate heat for ourselves in an emergency.  Some things can also help lower our monthly heating and cooling bills like geothermal.  Making sure we have the means to stay warm if the power goes out is paramount to survival.  Hypothermia is a deadly condition and should be taken seriously, heat, like water, shelter and food is one of the things on our most important for survival list.

There are many ways to be sure you can keep your family warm and hopefully comfortable as well.

Make sure to check out for a full article and instructions for some of the alternative heating and cooling ideas found while lurking and researching, along with some great links.

Up next week: Book review… The “Wisdom and know how series” another excellent preparedness must have.
Surviving Dystopia Blog:

Join us for Surviving Dystopia “LIVE SHOW” every Wednesday 9:00/Et 8:00Ct 6:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat

Listen to this broadcast or download “Staying warm with no power” in player below!

Get the 24/7 app for your smart phone HERE! 
Put the 24/7 player on your web site HERE! 
Listen to archived shows of Surviving Dystopia at bottom of THIS PAGE!

The post Staying warm with no power! appeared first on The Prepper Broadcasting Network.

How To Heat Your Home Using Only The Sun

Click here to view the original post.

How To Heat Your Home Using Only The SunPassive solar is a building design approach that incorporates certain materials into the roof, walls and floors that collect solar energy to heat a home in the winter, cool it in the summer, and heat water year-round. It’s called passive because it requires no electric devices or mechanical devices to operate and performs various functions.

This is not about collecting solar energy through dedicated solar panels to generate electricity. It’s about temperature management. In its simplest form it involves the use of windows with a southern exposure that simply allow the sunlight to enter the home in winter, and are shaded with blinds or window shades in the summer. Many people take advantage of that sunlight by installing special, thermal tiles in their floors to absorb the heat during the day, and release it slowly during the night. There are also wall panels that perform the same function. Certain types of floor tiles and wall boards collect the heat.

You have to be able to shade windows in summer. Otherwise, you can get something referred to as passive/aggressive solar heating. The result is a house that is too hot during the day, especially in summer. You want that “Goldilocks” factor, where the temperature is just right. Shades and shading can help you manage variable heat and sunlight conditions.

Hot Water Heating With Solar

A rooftop set-up for hot water heating involves a series of tubes encased in a black box on the roof and covered with a sheet of glass or plastic. The sunlight enters the black box through the glass and heats the interior to allow the enclosed water to heat.


Often, there is a tank above the arrangement that allows the hot water to rise into the tank, and the water is drawn by gravity down into the house. The temperature varies depending on the amount of sunlight and the ambient temperature outside, but the water can range from hot to warm with no effort, other than pumping cold water up into the tank.

Southern Exposure Is Necessary

The key to successful use of passive solar is the orientation of the home, its windows and the rooftop solar water heater. An unobstructed, southern exposure is ideal for heating, in addition to generous windows both in size and number.

New Solar Oven Is So Fast It’s Been Dubbed “Mother Nature’s Microwave”

It’s not just about staying hot in the winter, but also about staying cool in the summer. There’s one simple solution: trees. Trees have leaves in the summer to shade a home, and they lose their leaves in the winter if you live in a temperate zone. The result is that sun passes through the bare branches of trees in winter, and is blocked by the leaves of summer.

There are also ceramics that absorb cooler temperatures at night and continue to cool during the day. It’s the old thermos joke: “How do it know?” Many solar tiles have this characteristic.



There are some simple and remarkable DIY projects and even new technologies that allow you to cook a variety of meals with solar power. The critical success factor is bright, direct sunlight focused directly into the solar oven. Once again, these are passive solar approaches that require nothing more than direct sunlight to effectively function.

Insulate, Insulate, Insulate

Any passive solar heating set-up assumes that you are going to collect and release heat. What’s essential is to contain the heat in a properly insulated structure. It’ s easy to get complacent, especially if you have a high-efficiency wood-burning stove blasting out the heat. But passive solar is different. The heat that is collected and stored will vary depending on cloud cover and time of year. Unfortunately, winter months have the shortest duration of sunlight when we need it most.

As a result, high-efficiency insulation is critical. This is especially true around door frames, windows and electrical outlets facing the outside. The idea is to trap and collect heat, and insulation will give you a better chance to do that.


How To Convert Your Home To Passive Solar

Have you heated your home with passive heat? What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

Are You Prepared For Blackouts This Winter? Read More Here.

Building your own systems!

Click here to view the original post.

Building your own systems. Why buy?

Makers on Acres 160x160On this episode of the Tech, Build and Grow show, Brett is discusses new build ideas for our preps, homesteads and more. Moving beyond the greenhouse with our automation and build ideas where can we better our lives and make them more efficient?

Building fireBeing now in the heart of the cold weather season, we should be focusing our attention on backup heat options for our homes, greenhouses and livestock facilities. The question that many may have is where do I start?

12-26-2015 chipsCreating heat options and systems can be fun and challenging at the same time, and now is time to get the creative engineering juices flowing. We can take a simple wood stove idea and put it on steroids to run all on its own, send us updates and heat more efficiently.

12-26-15 Straight-tube_heat_exchanger_1-passWe will discuss how to transform our thinking from “What do I buy?” mentality, to “What do I build?” mentality. Getting to the point where you start designing and building your own systems is a huge step forward.

By building and creating all your new systems you start to learn the ins and outs of all the components, science and technology involved. Learning all the aspects of each build creates more knowledge for the next build and creates an awareness in the mind for troubleshooting and problem solving in the systems. Transforming in to a “Maker” is a one way street and once you get the building bug, it’s usually with you forever!
Makers On Acres Website:

Join us for Makers On Acres Website “LIVE SHOW” every Saturday 9:00/Et 8:00Ct 6:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat

Listen to this broadcast or download “Building your own systems!” in player below!

Get the 24/7 app for your smart phone HERE! 
Put the 24/7 player on your web site HERE! 
Listen to archived shows of all our hosts . Schedule tabs at top left of page!

The post Building your own systems! appeared first on The Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Don’t Throw Away Your Wealth

Click here to view the original post.

I met Dr. T.H. Culhane a couple of years ago at a National Geographic conference. He is on a lifelong mission to help the world’s poor, both urban and rural, bootstrap themselves out of poverty and improve the quality of their lives.

How?  He shows people how to avoid throwing away wealth.

Specifically, he teaches them that the food and bathroom waste they produced every day (about thirty percent of the energy they consume and most of the waste) can be transformed by a biogas digester into:

  • the fuel (methane) they can use to cleanly cook their food and
  • a composted slurry they can use to fertilize their crops.

DIY Biogas Digesters

Biogas digesters aren’t new.  They are in use in many places.  However, there are many, many more places, both intensely urban or spartan rural, that need them but don’t.

To give you some insight into how these systems work, here’s an example of an in ground biogas system that TH initiated in the Philippines (see TH’s blog for more detail on the entire project).   This system is set up so that the wife/kids can feed the digester biological waste every day and get methane gas and fertilizer in return (he teaches people to treat it as a family cow).

The system they are installing is essentially a septic tank with some minor tweaks that allow it to be manually fed and output methane/fertilizer.

To build these in ground tanks, they bought Chinese molds and shipped them in. You can see them below.   It cost TH about $8,500 to get them to the island and another $2,500 to get them past the bureaucrats.

The mold takes about two hours to stitch together. The majority of the labor is digging the hole it is going in and pouring the concrete. Once bought the mold can be used thousands of times.  Below you can see two tubes. One tube (near the kitchen) is for feeding the digester waste and one is for the fertilizer to flow to the garden.

One interesting twist on the installation is that TH builds vertical walls inside the tank using cinder blocks. Why? To provide more surfaces with a greater degree of temperature variation so that more bio films can form. Bio films are the most productive part of process. Here’s what it looks like (the photo is a bit blurry, but you can see the walls inside).

If cost is the primary factor, here’s an example of an above ground system.  Note the stand alone tank.  The blue bladder is to hold the methane produced.  Very simple.

Here’s how the methane is used.  Note the tube piping it in.

What’s the bottom line?

  • This system costs about $750 in materials, plus labor (mostly digging a hole and pouring concrete).
  • It generates 20 hours of cooking fuel a day (or 5 hours of electricity generation) per day, plus fertilizer.
  • It operates forever.

What’s the point of this example?

Don’t throw away wealth.

With some creative thinking, it’s possible to turn waste into wealth at the local level.

You can do this yourself (above ground) or with some neighbors (below ground) or you can contract for it.

If the community has the willpower, a municipal sewage system can use large biogas digesters to generate electricity — likely more than enough to operate a sewage treatment facility and power some community buildings.

Your not happy about throwing away wealth analyst,

John Robb

PS:  Here some of the ways biogas digesters reduce poverty and improve lives:

  1. It eliminates biological waste that can cause a health hazard.
  2. The methane produced burns cleanly inside the home (as opposed to wood/garbage smoke).
  3. It makes it possible for kids to go to school/play, since they aren’t required to spend 3-6 hours a day gathering fuel for the stove.  If they are buying bottled gas to cook, this saves them income.

PPS:  Bureaucratic road-blocks.   Here’s an interesting nugget from TH.  He found that municipal authorities and development agencies are often stopping people in developing countries from building DIY digesters for methane production.  Why?  They believe that they are dangerous.  So, the authorities have been telling people to shut them down and wait for electricity deliveries from a plant to be built-in the far future. TH maintains, and I think he is right about this, that the small volume of low pressure gas produced by these systems is safer than the alternatives available, and much healthier.

The post Don’t Throw Away Your Wealth appeared first on Walden Labs.

Five Emergency Backups Every Home Should Have

Click here to view the original post.

According to the International Disaster Database, the number of natural disasters reported between 1900 and 2011 has steadily increased, as well as the number of people affected. While this should seem natural with rising populations, the interesting fact is the number of deaths from natural disasters has declined sharply in the last 50 years. This is due, in part, to better education and preparedness. Whether you’re outfitting your first home, or are just concerned about your emergency preparedness, there are supplies every home should have.


If the electricity goes out, you’ll still need light to make your way around the house safely. Candles are a good option, but can be a fire hazard. It’s best to keep several good flashlights and plenty of batteries on hand. If you live in an area with frequent outages, investing in a battery-powered camping lantern to give you hands-free light for hours. Some models also come equipped with red LED lights and a mode to flash as an emergency beacon.


Though preventative maintenance is often the best way to combat heating problems, outages do happen. New Jersey heating repair companies like Team Electric, Plumbing & Air, warn that without proper heat, pipes could freeze and cause water damage. While you’re waiting a heating repair service to arrive, you will want to keep yourself and the family toasty. An electric blanket and a small space heater are both excellent, as long as you are careful with them to avoid fires. A hot water bottle is another great idea for keeping you warm in a pinch.


For those who live in areas with intense heat, the breakdown of a home’s cooling system can be deadly. This is especially true for babies, the elderly, and any pets in the home. Even if you have whole-house air conditioning, you should still have enough fans to keep the air moving, and help everyone keep cool. If you live close to a source of ice, such as a gas station or grocery store, you may want to keep a homemade swamp cooler around, too, just in case of a cooling outage.


Even a mild snowstorm often throws people into a panic when they can’t go out and fill the pantry. In an emergency, your family will need plenty of calories for healing any injuries, cleaning up in the aftermath, and staying healthy. Stock your pantry with shelf-stable supplies like granola bars, cereals, canned meat, and other ready-to-eat foods. If anyone in the family has a restricted diet, make sure you have emergency foods that respect the restriction.


A heavy rain can overtake a municipal water systems and make tap water unfit for human consumption, as can many other disasters. Keep several gallons of water available in your house, and don’t forget about any pets or livestock you have.

Being prepared for an emergency is an important facet of having a well-stocked household. These tips will help you be ready for whatever nature throws your way.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and recent graduate of the University of New Mexico. She writes for many online publications and blogs about home improvements, family, and health. She is an avid hiker, biker and runner. Contact her via twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Emergency Preparedness for Winter

Click here to view the original post.

Here’s a look at the wood pile we’ve set aside here at our place in preparation for winter’s cold. That’s locust in the front and a like amount of oak you can see poking out from behind. We typically burn them together, since the locust puts out a higher level of heat BTUs but burns faster, while the oak burns milder but also slower. The two together make for a nice fire.

The stack isn’t as big as it might have been, simply because wood isn’t our primary source of heat here at the house in town. What you are seeing here is an emergency preparedness effort to ensure that we are able to remain…

{This is a content summary only. To read the full article, please click the article title, and feel free to share your comments!}

100 Items to Disappear First in an Emergency

Click here to view the original post.

The following is a list that has been floating around the internet forever of the 100 items that disappear first in an emergency. I came across it as a text file I had saved to my computer a long time ago and thought you might find it useful as a guide on preparedness.

1. Generators (Good ones cost. Gas storage, risky. Noisy; target of thieves; maintenance etc.)
2. Water Filters/Purifiers
3. Portable Toilets
4. Seasoned Firewood. Wood takes about 6 – 12 months to become dried, for home uses.
5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First Choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile ANY!)
6. Coleman Fuel….

{This is a content summary only. To read the full article, please click the article title, and feel free to share your comments!}

National Preparedness Month is September!

Click here to view the original post.


National Preparedness Month is Here.

National Preparedness MonthIf you haven’t recently, now might be a good time to access your overall preparedness during National Preparedness Month.  With so many reasons to have some of the essentials you’ll need on a daily basis at your disposal, it makes sense to take some time to do a needs assessment.  Unfortunately, this is something we should all be doing on a regular basis and not just in September.  But for those who are fairly new to self reliance and preparedness it’s a start.

Most of the time “Preppers” are not thought of as anything more than crazy people preparing for the end of the world by the media as we have seen on television.  However, being prepared or prepping is not defined by “Doomsayers” but actually includes over 3 million Americans from all walks of life and from every corner of the country.  Why is this you might ask?  There are a few good reasons that prepping is growing and it has mostly to do with living a more sustainable lifestyle and getting back to basics while realizing the government isn’t going to be there to help  when a major disaster strikes.

Amazingly, according to a new survey conducted by the Adelphi University Center for Health Innovation, 55 percent of Americans believe that the authorities will come to their rescue when disaster strikes. We have news for you,  FEMA is not going to come to anyones rescue anytime soon if disaster strikes.  If we think back to Hurricane Katrina of any other natural disaster in recent memory, or consider some of the potential scenarios including a major financial collapse, It’s time to get prepared so you can take care of your own family if need be.

So what are just few of the things you and your family can start to do today?  We compiled a short basic list to help you to start to get your “Preparedness”  house in order.

Air> Air is the most important thing we need to survive.  It is said that you can live “four minutes without air, four days without water, and forty days without food.”  So, are you CPR certified?  Can you help someone if they stopped breathing? If not get certified.  Here is how to get certified 

Water > Water is an essential to have on hand.  30 gallons per person (2 gallons per person per day for 1 week). This might sound excessive, but look at your water bill this month! This figure assumes that when at home, you will occasionally want a sponge bath, or to cook something like pasta or rice. You might even wash your hair or clothes, and will eventually flush a toilet. Large food grade 55 gallon plastic drums are ideal for bulk water storage. A good location is in your detached garage. Remember that your water heater in the house is typically 50 gallons, and may be used if your dwelling survives. Additional water may be purchased in single use plastic bottles, and should be stored away from the house or garage. Remember that these water bottles will need to be rotated out since they have a limited shelf life unless water treatment is used.  A portable water filtration system is a must.  These systems can provide a very high quality of clean fresh water.  A good water test kit is also recommended so you can evaluate your stored water on an on-going basis.

Shelter > Where would you go if a disaster struck and left you without your home?    FEMA recommends that you know that information now as well as some other important evacuation routes in your area. Do you have a temporary shelter at home that you could use if needed?  If not get one and keep it dry and easy to get too.

Fire > We have all seen survival television shows and each and every time lighting a fire is paramount to survival over the long haul.  We may need it to keep warm, to cook, to disinfect water, for light and protection.  Can you light a fire if needs be?  How to build a fire so it will light – survival 101

Food > If you’re considering a food storage system at your home, than a food storage calculator is going to be required so you have the right amount to meet your families needs. The type of food you store can vary but it might include canned foods long term food storage systems to MRE’s, grains, legumes and alike canned fruits and veggies from your own garden.  Cooking and heating tools for survival incase of a disaster or emergency are easy to use and not very expensive to get.  Wondering how much grain to store? You might be surprised.  Read more at

First Aid Kit > A good first aid kit could save a life during a disaster  Make sure you have a good one.   Off Grid Survival recommends “30 Things you Should Have in Your Medical First Aid Kits

Survival Kit > A survival kit is a short term kit of essentials to last you approx three days.  It can be kept in your car incase you get stranded in an emergency. > Learn more

BOB or Bug Out Bag > A Bug Out Bag is more of a long term survival kit designed to help you get out of town or “bug out”.  It would include all of the above mentioned items to a greater or lesser degree plus much more.  Some examples of items included might be weapons, shelter and bedding, clothing, a heat source and tools to name a few.  A good example can be found right here.


There is so much more that you can do to get your self prepared both in the short and long term but this will be a good start.  Remember the Internet is a great source of information on all things “Preparedness”.

If you start today you will be better off than most Americans are in case of a natural disaster or National emergency.

Follow our Facebook page for more info on all things preparedness.


Jeff “The Berkey Guy”



The post National Preparedness Month is September! appeared first on LPC Survival.