15 Preparedness Uses for Kiddie Pools

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Kiddie pools have multiple uses for the prepper! Check out our list. | via www.TheSurvivalMom.comSummer is upon us and that means summer items are now available. As you have no doubt noticed, some items are only available during certain seasons, and if you miss the opportunity to get those items when you can, you are faced with either waiting until next year or finding an online retailer carrying the item.

This summer, consider adding several kiddie pools to your preparedness supplies. These pools are cheap and come in both rigid plastic and inflatable vinyl. Despite the myriad of colors and patterns of these pools, they can serve very important roles in your preparedness plan.

How many of these pools should you keep on hand? Not every type and size of pool is best suited for each of the uses below, though any would probably work if that was all you had. You will need to size the pool to the task for which it is best suited. After reading the 15 preparedness uses for kiddie pools below, you may find yourself wanting more than just a few of these valuable preparedness assets and in varying sizes.

1. Emergency Water Storage

Among the first things you should do after a disaster strikes is to fill up the bathtubs with water (assuming, of course, you are home and there are no other immediate needs). But, why stop there? If you are going to need water, fill up as many containers as possible.

Small kiddie pools can hold between 30 and 250 gallons of water, depending on the size and construction. Larger pools, like those designed for an entire family’s summer fun, can contain between 1000 and 5000 gallons. However, even a small pool holding only 50 gallons can provide enough drinking water for a family of five for 10 days. Three of these pools filled would be an entire month of drinking water.

If storing outside, cover them with a tarp or sheet of plastic to keep out debris and reduce loss to evaporation. No need to worry about treating this water, you can treat it before using it, depending on the use. In addition to drinking, this extra water gives you additional ability to flush toilets, put out fires, and water the garden.

You can avoid your water storage becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes by using Mosquito Dunks.

2. Rainwater Collection, Expedient Cistern

A backyard full of pools during a rainstorm can collect quite a bit of water. If you are looking at an extended period without a working municipal water system, or as a back up to your well water system, being able to replenish your water storage is like having the ability to make gold.

With a little bit of creative ingenuity and some tarps or plastic sheeting, you will be able to maximize the water collection that each pool collects. Like storing water from the tap, this water does not need to be treated until it is time to use it. Unless you are only using to water the garden or if water is extremely scarce, do not collect water from roof runoff, as this water will be highly contaminated, particularly from bird droppings.

Unfortunately, this is the point where I need to remind you to check your local laws about collecting rain water.

If you have the ability to collect water from a spring or running surface water, especially if it is an intermittent water source, you can use the pool for an expedient cistern. By running pipe from one pool to another, you can expand the amount of water stored, only limited by the number of pools and amount of pipe you have on hand.

3. Decontamination Station

This is an often overlooked use for these small pools, though it is an important one. There are two major scenarios where you will need a home decontamination station: pandemics and radioactive matter.

During a pandemic, you can decrease the risk of getting sick from people, who may have come in contact with the virus, by decontaminating them before they enter your home. Likewise, if any of your family is caught in the plume of a radiological dispersal device, they will need to be decontaminated when they get home. The radioactive particles, from dirty bombs or from an actual nuclear detonation, must be scrubbed from the body to stop the irradiation and to prevent inhalation or ingestion of these particles.

When you decontaminate, you need to control the water runoff, so it does not further contaminate people or other portions of your home. Use kiddie pools to collect this water by having the person stand in the middle of the pool as you decontaminate him or her. The contaminated water can then be treated or disposed.

Please note there is much more involved with decontamination procedures but it is beyond the scope of this article.

4. Mixing Bulk Foods

If you like to mix your bulk ingredients before you package them for long-term storage, you can speed up the process by mixing up a pool-sized batch. For example, if you prefer a blend of hard red winter wheat with a little bit of hard white wheat mixed in, you can mix up several buckets worth before sealing. Another example is buying your beans separately and crafting your own blend of mixed beans. Pre-mixing allows you to have what you need when you need it, instead of having to open several or many containers to derive your mix.

When we were setting up our Square Foot Garden beds, a kiddie pool would have been the perfect container for mixing our soil and amendments.

5. Mixing Cement

Speaking of mixes, a kiddie pool makes for an expedient cement mixer. Handy if you happen to have no electrical power, but need to do masonry repairs. This is commonly used in Arizona by landscapers when they have stonework to do, but don’t want to drag along the large mixer when all they need is a small batch. The big drawback to this is the pool is not good for much else once you are finished.

6. Raised Garden Bed

Once the canary in the coal mine keels over, you will probably be looking for quick ways to expand your garden. Using rigid plastic kiddie pools, you may be able to add a raised garden faster than you could work the soil for a new plot, particularly if you live in an area with poor soil or your new plot was formerly occupied by grass. Among other aspects, raised bed gardens are easier for controlling weeds, waterine, and for avoiding grasses sprouting from recently pulled up sod. These also allow you to grow food where there is no dirt.

7. Bathing, Shower and Washing Station

It’s the apocalypse, but does that mean you have to fight the zombie hordes stinking of B.O.? Of course not! Rig up your solar water heater to a shower head, tie up a privacy curtain around the pool, and step in. Ah!

Seriously, though, staying clean is important to staying healthy. Whether your rigged shower is inside or out, the kiddie pool will collect the water for other uses (toilets, fires, garden, and so on). Additionally, the wide pool prevents muddy splashes that occur when you try to shower standing on the ground.

What’s that? No solar water heater or solar powered water pressure? No problem. Heat some water up with your favorite low-tech method and have a bath, or at least a sponge bath.

Lacking a washtub, these small pools can also serve for laundry purposes. Three pools (soap wash, first rinse, second rinse) and some clothesline and you can face the undead in a clean pair of jeans and shirt.

8. Expedient Fish Pool

Without refrigeration, meat spoils rapidly. If you can capture fish from your local fishing spot and move them to your expedient fish pool, you’ll be able to keep them alive and fresher longer. You may even decide to start breeding them (see aquaponics below).

9. Expedient Hydroponics

Hydroponics is an amazing way to grow food without soil. Once into a SHTF scenario, you may be faced with having to grow food everywhere you have space. Expedient hydroponics systems will allow you to grow food where there is no soil.

10. Expedient Aquaponics

If you have the fish in one pool and the plants in another, you might as well connect them into an aquaponics system. The fish water helps fertilize the plants on the hydroponics side, which in turn cleans up the water for the fish. While using pools would not be the best vessel for any of these last three (fish pool, hydroponics, and aquaponics), it will allow you to get things going until you can find more suitable containers.

11. Crib or Baby Pen

Watching a toddler or crawling infant often means you are unable to attend other tasks. An inflatable pool with sides high enough and thick enough to prevent the child from crawling or falling out, and filled with the child’s favorite toys, allows you the ability to take care of other things. This can be quite advantageous when outside of your home, like when the family is doing some “emergency camping,” by preventing the child from tripping and getting hurt on the uneven and rough ground.

12. Staying Cool in Hot Weather

Even with all these other uses, the pool is still a great way to stay cool by using it as a pool. Without electricity for air conditioning, many people will suffer heat-related illnesses. However, a small pool in the shade can provide needed comfort and emergency treatment for heat stroke and heat exhaustion. When you are providing your own medical care, a pool of water can literally be a life saver.

And not only for people, but pets can also overheat. As long as the water isn’t frivolously wasted on the ground (possibly impossible with pets), it can be used for the big three (gardening, fire control, and toilet flushing).

13. Large Solar Still

If you live in an area having a lot of sunshine, you can use two pools to set up a large solar still. Place a small pool concentrically inside a larger pool. You will need to start with clean pools and attach clear plastic over them, so the clean water runs into the larger pool. To prevent having to open up the plastic and pause the distillation process, rig up some tubing for putting dirty water into the inner pool, and getting distilled water from the larger pool. This large solar still is another way you can reclaim water used for washing or making other water safe to drink.

14. Emergency Raft for Gear or Pets During Flood

Back in the mid 1990s, this author lost about half of his possessions in a 500-year flood. The three days of deluge-like rainfall caused the local river to swell in a matter of hours and people awoke to find themselves in the middle of a half-mile wide flooded river.

One of the items people needed were large containers that floated, so they could drag their pets and whatever possessions they could to safety. Small pools would have worked well for this. While they would not make a sea-worthy raft in any sense of the term, they do work well for expedient emergency rafts.

15. Indoor Pet Pooping Station

You have provided for emergency sanitation for you and your family, including toilet paper, buckets, bags, sanitizing and deodorizing chemicals. The pandemic arrives to your city and you seal you and your family into your home, ready to wait it out. Just then, your trusty biological security system, AKA dog, looks up at you and whines to go “out.” Whoops.

Cats are already trained to use a litter box, but what about man’s best friend? Sure, you could put out newspaper, but who wants to deal with that on the kitchen floor when you cannot leave your house? Kiddie pool to the rescue again! With a little forethought, you can set up the pool for a pet relief station. Whether it be newspaper, sand, or even some artificial grass, having a place for your dog to go is important.

It’s not advised to let the waste sit there, but putting the pooping station in the garage is far more convenient than decontaminating the dog every time they go outside. Combining a small pool with one of those “Diaper Genies” is only one way to control pet mess and odors.

Rigid Plastic or Inflatable Vinyl?

Kiddie pools come in either rigid plastic or inflatable vinyl and, of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. It is likely you will want a few of each, depending on how you plan to use them.

Rigid pools are harder to store, but generally easier to put into use. They maintain their shape and they nest together, meaning you can stack them like measuring cups, allowing you to store a large number of them in the same footprint that one pool takes. They are less susceptible to damage, but more difficult to repair once a hole or crack appears.

Inflatable pools are easier to store, as you can keep them in their small boxes until needed, and refold when finished. This storage convenience comes at a price, as they require more resources to put into use. Unless it is a very small inflatable pool, you will need an air pump. Manual pumps will work, but electrical pumps are the quickest, although, it is likely the power grid will be down when you need to employ them. There are battery-operated air pumps, though without a way to recharge them, using them to inflate a pool may not be the best use for your batteries.

Inflatable pools are also more prone to puncture. These can be patched with a vinyl patch kit, and you will need to re-inflate them once the repair is complete. Many inflatable pools have separate chambers, or rings, which will help prevent a total loss if using to store water.

There are also larger pools, the above ground family sized pools, that have a plastic frame and do not require inflating. This material is less prone to puncture, but these types of pools are large and may be more difficult to set up and take down. However, if you had warning of a pending disaster, these would be space-efficient for water storage.

Though it’s clear they have been an overlooked preparedness item, given the many ways you can use kiddie pools, be sure to stock up on these the next time you head to your local big box store.

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Grow Tent Setup: The Complete Guide

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The post Grow Tent Setup: The Complete Guide is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

Are you wondering about setting up your very first tent? You’re in the right place! Grow tents are one of the most important tools when it comes to indoor gardening and setting them up is a simple process once you know what’s needed.A grow tent allows you to recreate nature under your very own conditions. […]

The post Grow Tent Setup: The Complete Guide is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

The Indoor ‘Egyptian Secret’ That Grows Vegetables 30 Percent Faster

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The Indoor ‘Egyptian Secret’ That Grows Vegetables 30 Percent Faster

Image source: Pixabay.com

When you live in a climate that experiences changes in climate, you know that there’s a limited time of year where you can successfully garden. By using hydroponic technology, you can grow a garden in the winter — and you can do it without soil. Hydroponics is an indoor gardening system that is completely soil-free and can be kept year-round. With this system you can grow pretty much any type of plant you’d like, as the only limitation is the amount of space you have in your home.

What Is A Hydroponic Garden?

Have you ever put a part of a plant clipping into a glass of water and watch it develop roots? This is, essentially, hydroponic gardening. Plants get nutrients from soil normally, but with this type of gardening the nutrients are dissolved into water or another nutrient solution rich with minerals. Depending on the system you have set up, the plants even may grow better than in a soil-based garden.

This technique for growing plants is not new and was actually used by ancient Egyptians many years ago.

How Does It Work?

The Indoor ‘Egyptian Secret’ That Grows Vegetables 30 Percent Faster

Image source: Pixabay.com

These systems work by using nutrients dissolved into water (or another mineral-rich solution) using mediums like expanded clay pebbles, gravel or mineral wool. Plants are grown with their roots in the solution while the plant itself is supported above the solution.

As long as the plant receives the nutrients it needs to grow, the soil really isn’t needed. This type of gardening allows for plants to grow in greenhouses or entire buildings dedicated to agriculture – or in your basement. Since, for some avid gardeners, space or environment might be the biggest roadblock to successful outdoor gardening, this system allows for everyone to garden year-round regardless of how much space they have.

Getting Started

Setting up a hydroponic system is not a small task, and it requires a consistently dedicated space within your home. While this type of gardening might be intriguing to you, you might find yourself asking whether it’s worth it to go through all of this when so many people can successfully garden the regular way with soil.

Looking For Non-GMO Vegetable Seeds? Get Them From A Company You Can Trust!

The biggest, and probably most obvious, benefit to this type of gardening is that it allows you to grow plants where regular agriculture just isn’t possible, such as in urban centers or northern climates where farmland isn’t plentiful or fresh produce isn’t readily available due to environmental factors.

Aquaponics: The Secret To Growing More Food Than You Can Eat

The second benefit from these kinds of system is for the environment. Studies have shown that hydroponics uses approximately 10 percent of the amount of water that its soil-based equivalents do. And since these systems do not require any kind of pesticide, there aren’t any chemicals or other damaging agents released into the air.

Finally – and for some gardeners most significantly – plants grow faster and produce a greater yield through hydroponics. When set up right, hydroponics plants will grow about 30-50 percent faster than ones planted in a soil-based garden.

There is more than one kind of hydroponic system, and which one you select will depend on what is right for you. The kinds of systems you can set up are:

  • Wick systems
  • Aeroponics
  • Drip systems
  • Nutrient film technique
  • Ebb and flow systems

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Hydroponic systems are flexible and can be created on a large or small scale to fit your space and budget. Even better, most of the equipment needed to start a hydroponics system can be purchased from gardening centers or home improvement stores, so you don’t need to place special orders or have everything shipped to you.

Have you ever planted a hydroponics garden? What advice would you add on getting started? Share your tips in the section below:

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IKEA Wants To Help You Grow Food Indoors With Hydroponics

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This May, IKEA is introducing an indoor hydroponics gardening kit called KRYDDA/VÄXER (rough translation: SPICES/GROWS) that will help you grow lettuce and spices year round

This kit certainly won’t save you from starvation in a famine, for that you need potatoes and such, but if you eat a lot of store-bought lettuce and herbs right now you can probably save quite a lot of money growing your own.

Here’s the pitch from IKEA:

From tasty lemon basil to crispy red romaine lettuce – KRYDDA/VÄXER series makes it easy to grow your own indoor garden all year round. You don’t need soil, sunlight or even a spot outside! How does it work? Just keep an eye on the water level and that’s it.

As mentioned this is a hydroponics system, with added grow lights to enable the plants to grow year round. Hydroponics simply means growing plants in water without soil. Growing plants involves just the right mix of light, climate, nutrients, and water.

This might come as a surprise, but a lot of the vegetables you buy in the store today are grown this way. For an example, check out this hydroponics farm (video tour) that grows 350 varieties of vegetables using hydroponics.

Helena Karlén, Swedish university of agricultural sciences

“The challenge was to make growing plants in a hydroponic system simple, so that anyone could succeed …”Helena Karlén, Swedish university of agricultural sciences

The system allows customers to sprout and grow plants without any soil, and it does have quite a few components. It’s not as simple as popping a seed into the ground. Here are the basic steps involved:

  1. You start by sprouting the seeds using absorbent foam plugs that come with the system, which keeps the seeds moist without over-watering.
  2. Once the seeds have germinated, you transfer the baby plant with the entire foam plug into its own pot and fill it with water-absorbing pumice stones.
  3. These pots fit into a growing tray equipped with a solar lamp that provides year-round nourishment for the plants even in rooms that don’t get any direct sunlight. Or, you could always place the tray in a window that get a good amount of sunlight.
  4. Now you wait and let mother nature do the rest. To help you keep the water level at the optimum level the growing tray is even equipped with a built-in water sensor.

The new hydroponics system sure is a departure from bookshelves and tables, but it’s in keeping with the company’s trend toward sustainability. As Inhabitat notes, “IKEA’s head of sustainability famously proclaimed earlier this year that the Western world had hit “peak home furnishings” and spoke about helping customers live more eco-friendly lives.”

Will we see IKEA expand into more areas of home scale self-reliance in the future? Solar panels? Vertical gardening containers?

The post IKEA Wants To Help You Grow Food Indoors With Hydroponics appeared first on Walden Labs.

Hydroponic Farm Grows 350 Varieties of Vegetables with 90 minerals

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John from Growing Your Greens goes on a field trip to Swank Specialty Produce that grows over 350 varieties of vegetables and uses 90 minerals to grow the best tasting food.

In this episode, John will visit a farm in South Florida growing both Hyrdoponic Shade House Grown and Organic Full Sun Production.

You will get a full tour of the farm including many of the crops they are currently growing, how they are growing them. You will learn how important it is to grow diversity in your garden and grow specific varieties of crops for success instead of failure.

You will also discover the special trace minerals they use to grow the best tasting food.

Finally, John will interview Darren Swank, the farmer who has been been in the business of farming for 13+ years now and ask him the following questions:

Questions answered in the video:

  • Is there any such thing as Organic Hydroponics?
  • What Nutrients do you use in your Hydroponic System?
  • How do you control pests using organic methods?
  • Why is it important to be proactive instead of reactive for pest control?
  • What organic control do you use for Powderly Mildew?
  • How important is growing diversity in crops?
  • What are the easiest vegetables to grow in South Florida?
  • How important is educating the public if you are a farmer?
  • How can people learn more about and contact your farm

The post Hydroponic Farm Grows 350 Varieties of Vegetables with 90 minerals appeared first on Walden Labs.

Judge: SWAT Teams Now Can Raid Homes For Visiting Gardening Stores

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Judge: SWAT Teams Now Can Raid Homes For Visiting Gardening Stores

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Buying hydroponic gardening supplies and putting tea leaves in the trash were probable causes for a search warrant and a SWAT-team raid on a family’s home, a federal judge has ruled.

US District Judge John Lungstrum found that sheriff’s deputies that held a family at gunpoint because they mistook tea leaves in a garbage can for marijuana acted in a legal and reasonable manner. The police were suspicious after the husband and his two children visited a hydroponics gardening store.

“It was like Zero Dark Thirty ready to storm the compound,” Robert Harte said of an April 2012 raid on his Leawood, Kansas, home.

The Hartes’ home was raided after a Missouri Highway Patrol officer watched Harte carry a small bag from a hydroponics store in Kansas City, Missouri, seven months earlier, Off The Grid News previously reported.

“With little or no other evidence of any illegal activity, law enforcement officers make the assumption that shoppers at the store are potential marijuana growers, even though the stores are most commonly frequented by backyard gardeners who grow organically or start seedlings indoors,” a lawsuit the Hartes filed in 2014 stated.

Lungstrum, though, disagreed, and ruled in late December that the officers had probable cause.

Learn How To Become Invisible In Today’s Surveillance State!

The Missouri Highway Patrol officer’s report led deputies to search the Hartes’ trash and field test it for marijuana. (Warrants are not needed to search trash.) Tea leaves in the trash tested positive for marijuana, and so the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team stormed the Harte home and held the family at gunpoint for two hours while searching for pot. A laboratory test later proved the material in the garbage was tea leaves.

Judge: SWAT Teams Now Can Raid Homes For Visiting Gardening Stores

Image source: armstronggarden

Field tests are notoriously unreliable, The Washington Post’s Radley Balko wrote in a column. In fact, Balko said that nationwide, everything from chocolate chip cookies to Jolly Ranchers have tested positive for illegal drugs using field tests.

“The sheriff’s department couldn’t wait for the more accurate laboratory tests to confirm that the ‘saturated plant material’ was marijuana before sending a SWAT team into the Harte home,” Balko wrote. “… It took all of 10 days to complete those lab tests. The lab not only concluded that substance wasn’t pot, the analysts added, ‘It does not look anything like marijuana leaves or stems.’”

Couple Loses Lawsuit but Changes Law

No cannabis was found and no charges were ever brought against Harte and his wife, Adlynn. Disturbingly, the Hartes had to file a lawsuit against Johnson County to learn why the raid had taken place. Under Kansas law at the time, police could keep probable cause warrants secret. The law has since been changed, mostly due to the Hartes’ incredible case.

“I didn’t think it was right that it took the Hartes a year and $25,000 or more in their own money in legal fees to obtain the information, the probable cause affidavit, that supported the warrant that allowed the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department to come into their home with weapons drawn,” Kansas State Representative John Rubin told The Wichita Eagle.

The Hartes were contending that Johnson County violated their Fourth Amendment rights by conducting a search without probable cause.

Under the new law, the public and reporters can get access to such records after raids have been conducted.

“Now the public has access to probable-cause affidavits without having to spend the kind of money the Hartes had to spend,” Max Kautcsh, the legal counsel for the Kansas Press Association told The Eagle. “It is extremely significant. Now the presumption is that the probable cause affidavits are open. Before, the presumption was that they were closed.

The Hartes are not done with their legal battle. Their attorney, Cheryl Pilate, told The Eagle that the ruling likely will be appealed.

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