Product Review: Plug & Farm Tower

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I waited until I had a chance to actually grow some plants in the tower before writing this review. Because I live in a warm area of the country (zone 9b) I’m able to have a year-round growing cycle, but I don’t have a lot of space.

This seemed perfect for me, so I’m recommending it to any prepper interested to grow its own food and save some space and money.

And here’s why!

Building the Tower

The tower itself was easy to assemble and get started and came with all of the necessary tools and parts, as you can see in the unboxing video below:

The drip system was logical and was organized in such a manner that it worked with gravity.

With a standard soil-based drip system, this usually means that the bottom plants don’t get as much water as the top plants, but since this system is made in such a way that it recycles water from top to bottom and uses a planting medium that’s much less dense than dirt, the water flows freely through it so that the bottom plants get just as much water as the top ones.

All in all, with the exception of the instructions, I’ve had a good experience with the tower.

Save Yourself $24,000 Instantly Using This One Easy Prepper Hack!

Each section is well-constructed, as is the base, though I did mount it to a wall for stability. It’s easy to use and easy to assemble, and works with gravity.

It also uses very little water, which is, of course, a huge deal, especially in a drought or survival situation. I can even see where it would be perfectly good for indoor use if you were so inclined.

What to Plant

I chose to plant strawberries, green peppers, tomatoes, basil, and lettuce. I sprouted the seeds and grew them to seedlings, then transplanted them into the tower.

I had a mishap a few weeks after I planted my seedlings and lost the whole crop, so I had to start over. I’m now starting to see the beginnings of fruit from the new batch, so I’m excited to see what happens.

I also reevaluated the positioning of my plants the second time through. Originally, I’d place the tomatoes in the middle because I thought that it would be easier to stake them using the side of the tower and letting them grow down, but I rethought that and decided it would be better to have them on the far left so that I can use lattice to support the plants if need be.

If you’re looking for a great way to grow vertically in small spaces using very little water, this tower is a great option.

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This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

Book Review: Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill

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There is perhaps no bigger or more important issue in America at present than youth violence. Columbine, Sandy Hook, Aurora: We know them all too well, and for all the wrong reasons: kids, some as young as eleven years old, taking up arms and, with deadly, frightening accuracy, murdering anyone in their paths. What is […]

The post Book Review: Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Going Off The Grid By Gary Collins First Thoughts Video

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Going Off The Grid By Gary Collins First Thoughts



This week I got my hands on my friend Gary Collings New book, Going Off The Grid. Unlike most of my u

Unlike most of my unboxing videos, I wasn’t sent this book. You always want to support your friends so I bought this copy as soon as It was available. 

Like many of us, Gary got the bug to live a simpler life. And luckily for us, he has documented the whole process. 

In Going Off The Grid: The How-To Book Of Simply Living and Happiness, he provides a step-by-step guide for how to find a private piece of land and build a self-sustaining home. 

This doesn’t come from research alone but from experience. Gary has been building an off-grid home in northeast Washington state. 

You can watch some of the trials and tribulations on his Youtube channel.

Learning from others troubles can save you time and money. And from honest upfront people. 

If you watch many of the DIY tv shows you will have an unrealistic view of the process. Building an off grid home takes a lot of time and effort.

The reward is worth it, though. 

So if you are thinking about living a simpler less hectic lifestyle this is the book for you. Pick it up now before you need the info in here. 

Are you off the Grid? Wanting To Be? Let me know about your plans in the comments!





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Urban Altoids Survival Tin

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The Urban Prepper has a very cool urban survival tin. Most survival tins only have things you would need to survive a disaster: lighter, knife, fishing line, water purification tablets, and the like. But this is more of an “urban convenience” tin. It’s made up of things an urban dweller might find useful on a […]

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H1R Nova Unboxing. The Best Headlamp Made Better!

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H1R Nova Unboxing. The Best Headlamp Made Better!

Previously I have reviewed a few Olight lights and loved them all. Recently I got my hands on the Olight H1R the rechargeable version of the H1 Nova Headlamp

You can pick up one at the Oficial Olight Store, Ebay, Or Amazon.

All of the things that made me love the H1 Nova have been improved upon in the H1R. Notably the ability to recharge it. 

My only issue with the H1 Nova is that on the bright mode, of 500 lumens, it will use up batteries quickly. And CR123 batteries are not cheap easy to find. 

I have looked in my local big box stores several times over the past few months looking for CR123 batteries. They have been sold out every single time. 

I know I can order them from amazon. But In an emergency, I would like to be able to pick up some. 

With the H1R Nova, the battery issue has been alleviated. You can use a rechargeable CR123 and the built in charger to recharge. 

I really like that the charger is a USB cable with a magnetic cap that snaps onto the tail cap of the H1R. The cord can fit into any cell phone charger or car charger. 

And you could use an USB battery pack to charge it. 

I plan on buying spare rechargeable CR123 batteries and a backup charger. That way I can standardize to all rechargeable CR123s. 

The H1R Nova also features 100 more lumens over the H1 Nova. You get a blinding 600 lumens at the brightest output. 

You only get 3 minutes of the 600 lumens. After that, it tapers down to 180 for 80 minutes. 

On the lowest setting, you can run it for 6 days. 

And then you can just recharge it and go. No worrying about finding batteries. 






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Hand Drill Friction Fire Step-by-Step Tutorial: Making Drill to Starting…

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This is not an Australian video, but the same applies if you are using the grass tree plant, also know as Yacca. This is the brother of one of our group members on our official forum. Great video & well worth watching.

Not getting sick

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With winter in full blast mode, people are sniffling, sneezing and coughing all around me, I work in the public, not necessarily with the public, but I’m still exposed to all sorts of nasties during the week. I haven’t been really sick in quite some time, I have those down bla days from time to time, but haven’t had a full blown case of anything since last year, and I intend to keep it that way.

Last week, I thought I might be coming down with something, I had a sore spot in my throat, it lasted a full day but fortunately never turned into anything worse. I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help keep me in tip top shape, it’s not 100%, but I believe it helps. When I very first noticed the sore spot in my throat, I immediately grabbed an Emergen c fizzy packet, it’s packed full of nutrients, specifically the vitamin C and zinc were what I was wanting.

A few weeks ago, in one of the stores that I service (as a merchandiser), I saw an employee that I hadn’t seen in a while, I went over and shook his hand in greeting, it was after that handshake that he informed me that he was at the tail end of a cold… oh great I thought, I stayed out of his air stream and air bubble, that area in which viri accumulate en masse. I noticed him coughing a lot.

After washing my hands, I decided to purchase a hand sanitizer, now this is something I don’t typically use, but thought it prudent for now. Another thing I do is I try my utmost to not touch my face, especially my nose or eyes with my hands, especially if I have been handling the shopping cart handles, those have got to be the germiest place to touch.

If I hear someone cough or sneeze, I will stay away from their air space, if I am already walking past them, I’ll hold my breath until I am well beyond them. I know that might sound silly, but I’m not interested in breathing in whatever made them cough or sneeze, you should see the videos created that show sneezes and coughs in slo-mo, here is one

Now do you still think I’m being overcautious? I didn’t think so 🙂

If I have to cough or sneeze, I will often pull my shirt up as I duck my mouth down and sneeze or cough into my shirt, I don’t want to use my hands to cover my mouth, especially when I’m working because I’m handling items that the public will be buying, I’m also shaking hands with people. I don’t typically wear long sleeve shirts so I’m not going to cough or sneeze into my inner elbow. So into my shirt it goes, it might not catch 100% of it, but it’s going to prevent a major spray of potentially virus infected droplets from spewing into the air.

Of course, washing hands, even if you just rinse them well with water it’s better than nothing, keeping my hands away from my face, getting plenty of sleep, eating well and taking vitamins all work together to keep me from getting sick.

What do you do to keep from getting sick?


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Zen Goats Homemade Soaps And Beard Oil Unboxing

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Zen Goats Homemade Soaps And Beard Oil Unboxing

I hope everyone had a great holiday. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with my Serenity, Mike and seeing my mom. And getting gifts like This box from Zen Goats homemade soaps and beard oils. 

I love homemade soap. Being a bit of a crazy hippy, commercial soaps bother me. They are all full of chemicals.

You would think that I would make my own soap. But the last time I tried to make soap resulted in the loss of an eyebrow. 

So I leave it to my friends to make soap for me. 

I have been using the pine scented soap and Gambler beard oil for a few weeks now. 

The soap works great. It smells good and manly. So sissy smells here. 

Zen Goats soap does not leave my skin dry and itchy. Many commercial soaps leave me itching all day. 

The beard oil I’m still getting used to. I have never used a beard oil before and let my beard grow out some just to use it. 

The smell last all day. My girlfriend liked how good it smelled after working all night. I can’t say for sure that Zen Goats, beard oil made my beard softer or not. 

I have not remembered to use it daily which I’m sure helps.

If you are like me and want high-quality homemade soaps and don’t want to or can’t make them yourself try Zen Goats. 

You will support a friend of Survival Punk and a great family. 






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Off Grid and Preppers Beware. It is coming here!

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The government is set on making Australian citizens totally dependent on their services. In some places they are trying to charge land owners for the use of their own dam water, in some towns rainwater collection is banned. This in a country as dry as ours! We live off grid, & yet we have to pay rates/taxes for services that they do not supply, nor do we want or need their services. We are even charged a fee for our use of our own compost toilets!!! Meanwhile the government still has disarmament of all civilians high on its list of restrictions. We have already lost so many of our rights & freedoms in the name of safety from terrorism!!! 
There may come a time when we will have to go silent on the net. The local councils are corrupt & already know of people like us who are off grid, but we can at least do our best to lower our profile.


My thanks to Stephen M.C. for bringing this news video to my attention.

Flower Pot Heaters Don’t Work Stop Sharing Them Rant

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Flower Pot Heaters Don’t Work Stop Sharing Them Rant

Flower Pot Heaters Don’t Work. In case you were thinking about making  one. 


In the past, I tried to make a clay pot heater. With Tea lights and metal bolts and all that. I tried all the variations I could find on the internet and come up. 

I ran the heater an entire day in a tiny bathroom. Adding new tea lights whenever they went out. 

It did not make a measurable effect on the temperature nor warm me up on the toilette. 

So once again flower pot heaters don’t work. For heating at least. Unless you want to hold your hands about three inches away. Then yes they will warm your hands. 

What brought up this rant video is a guest post on a blog I was reading. And left a comment on. 

It was yet another post on how and why you would want to build one. 

Face Palm…

The only image was one that has circulated around the web. So the writer has no idea what he is actually talking about. 

I’m so sick of this being spread around. Flower pot heaters do not work. You can not heat your home, no matter how tiny, with a clay pot heater. 

Even worse is when this bad info is shared by people I respect. 

I never ask for likes or shares of my videos but please share this one. With your help maybe we can finally end this retarded clay pot heater crap. 

Flower Pot Heaters Don't Freaking Work Rant
Flower Pot Heaters Don’t Freaking Work Rant




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Silver Fern Brand Low Carb Baking Mixes First Thoughts

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Silver Fern Brand Low Carb Baking Mixes First Thoughts

A lot of times when I’m sent food for review I have to wait for a cheat day. With the Silver Fern Brand Low Carb Baking Mixes, I’m not going to have to. 

Silver Fern makes some high-quality low-carb items. Looking through their baking mixes and had a hard time picking only two. 

I went with Lemon bars and chocolate chip cookies. I was going to have Serenity make help these for me. So we will have to wait until Christmas to eat them. 

Reading about the ingredients I came across Kakato™ a naturally high fiber sweetener. Which is a proprietary sweetener blend. 

The Kakato is Contains: Natural Isomalto-Oligosaccharides, Tagatose, Stevia Extract, Monk Fruit Extract, Natural Flavor. The monk fruit extract worries me. 

Years ago I tried Monk Fruit extract and I had pounding headaches every time. So we will see how I fare with the Kakato. 

I’m thinking about ordering just the kakato sweetener for Couch Potato Mike to try. He can’t stand any sweetener that does not have calories. Except for xylitol. And that gives him the poops. 

If I do I’ll make sure I’ll let you guys know how it works out. 


Silver Fern Brand Low Carb Baking Mixes First Thoughts
Silver Fern Brand Low Carb Baking Mixes First Thoughts



I have an Ebook on  Paleo Pumpkin  Recipes I worked really hard on for you. I would love for you to make some recipes from it and enjoy them. 

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How To Build A DIY Pocket Slingshot For Cheap

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How To Build A DIY Pocket Slingshot For Cheap

I really like the design of the pocket shot. I want one. Badly. However, I am also a cheap ass. And $25 is a lot of money for a something I will just play with.

I have been working out a way to build a Pocket Slingshot from scratch. The only part that was tripping me up was the pouch part . I was overthinking it. Trying to use a heat gun to form one from rubber. 

Then a video from The King Of Random solved that part for me. Use a balloon.  

I tried to look around for a bigger balloon. Or a whoopie cushion that would have more power.  For version 2.0 I will add that and an arrow ring. 

This video is only the build video. It was so dark outside you wouldn’t be able to see any shooting. 

I’m already working out how to improve the design. The balloon worked great for small ammo. When I tried shooting an arrow it barely went 12 feet. 

I’m on the lookout for a stronger balloon to shoot further. Or to double up on the balloons. 

For shooting rocks and ball bearings it is very effective. I think it would be effective on small game at close distances.

It is well worth the $3 I spent building it. It’s a fun project.  


I have an Ebook on  Paleo Pumpkin  Recipes I worked really hard on for you. I would love for you to make some recipes from it and enjoy them. 

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Olight H1 Nova And Olight PL-1 II VALKYRIE First Thoughts

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Olight H1 Nova And Olight PL-1 II VALKYRIE First Thoughts

For today’s video, I have some cool gear from Olight. I unbox and give my first thoughts on the Olight H1 Nova And Olight PL-1 II VALKYRIE

Both lights take a single CR123 Battery. Good for standardizing your lights. 

Today is not a full review of either. I have much more testing to do. I don’t like to pencil whip reviews out. 

The H1 Nova

The H1 Nova is a headlamp and pocket light all in one. They took the inspiration from the much-loved Olight S10 baton

This headlamp can be removed from the headband and the pocket clip attached. While I love headlamps in my systems The versatility makes this even better. 

Oh did I mention that the H1 Nova has 500 lumens? I remember my first headlamp had a whopping 60 lumens and I thought I was carrying a collapsed sun on my head. 




PL-1 II VALKYRIE is a powerful weapons light. It is designed to work with both MIL-STD-1913 and Glock sized rails. 

This weapons light features a 450 lumen light. I looked up the settings and there are no other brightness settings. It has On, Strobe and off. The strobe mode is activated by pushing both buttons. 

In the video, I didn’t realize that the Valkyrie could be mounted on Ar rails. I said I didn’t think I have anything it could mount on. Oh, I certainly do and I’m loving it.




Check Out My Ebook On Paleo Pumpkin  Recipes

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WrethaOffGrid vlog 02

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This is a semi-quick video where I’m chatting about what’s been going on this week. The main things are that my daughter and my 2 grandchildren came for a visit, they only stayed overnight but it was nice to have them out. Tomorrow my son is flying in for a longer visit.

It’s easy to forget that we don’t live like “normal” folk, our setup is unconventional at best, not just the off grid parts, but things like the hot water. If the water gets too hot, you would turn it down, but at our place, you would turn it up to get more water flowing through the propane fire, that cools it off. Our toilet is very unconventional, being a composting potty, and the such.

There are also privacy concerns, basically living in 2 rooms, cleaning up and dressing is something that will have to be coordinated so we don’t embarrass anyone (or ourselves).

It’s been a while since we have had any real visits from far away family & friends. My dad used to come out and stay for a month every summer, I’d say it’s been a good 5 years since the last visit like that.

If you have any questions about how we live, or anything else, please write them below and I’ll do my best to answer them in the next vlog. Enjoy!

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Zombie Books And Movies You Need To Check Out Now!

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Zombie Books And Movies You Need To Check Out Now!

Toda’s video is all about Zombie Books And Movies You Need To check out. What I’m calling Zombie Week 2016 is in full swing. I have seen and read a lot of zombie fiction over the years. Much of it pretty terrible. Like Zombies On A Plane…Other are great.  

I have seen and read a lot of zombie fiction over the years. Much of it pretty terrible. Like Zombies On A Plane…Other are great.

In the video I talk about the Zombie Books And Movies that I like. And mention a few I don’t like.  



Zombie Reading

On the list of recommended reading, I have World War Z and Day By Day Armageddon.  Both are my top picks for zombie books. Followed by the Walking Dead Comic. But Only about the first 12 volumes of the trade paperbacks. 

I lose interest in the comic about there. The Tv show lost me in season 2. 

Zombie Movies

I talk about a few of the many zombie movies I own. With my top picks for ones you need to watch. I keep coming back to the original Dawn of the Dead (the only one on amazon is $45 go look at a pawn shop). To me, it is about the best. Zombie Land is another great one. More fun and 

Zombie Land is another great one. More fun and less social commentary. 

What’s your favorite zombie movie? Or Zombie book? Let me know in the comments!


It’s Fall and that means Pumpkin Spice! Check Out My Ebook On Paleo Pumpkin  Recipes

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2 Self-Defense Handguns For About $50 Each

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There are many people out there who would love to purchase a gun for concealed carry or home defense, but they just don’t have any extra money. Ever since the Great Recession began, more and more people have been living paycheck to paycheck with barely any spending money to speak of. If that sounds like […]

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How To Tie A Boot So it NEVER Comes Untied On Accident

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How To Tie A Boot So it NEVER Comes Untied On Accident


The only thing worse than your boots coming untied is quiter socks. With the video I have for you today learn How To Tie A Boot So it NEVER Comes Untied On Accident. Once you tie it like I’m going to show you It will stay tied untill you untie it. And not I won’t be showing you how to tie it in a knott that can’t ever be untied. 

It’s easy to learn and to start doing. Basically you just make two surgeons knots. That’s it. they won’t back off unless you pull the knot out. The knot won’t get stuck. Not matter how tight you get it you can always putt it out easily. 

The only real downside to this way of tying your boots is that it won’t work on most tennis shoes. You can’t use it to tie a low top shoe well. I have done it in the past with varrying degrees of sucess. The main reason being the looping it around the back of the shoe. Without the shoe top and padding it will bite into your leg. 

How To Tie A Boot so tight that you can use it like an ankle brace. I have used this method to tie my boots when I have sprained my ankle in the past. It acts similar to a cast. Having a boot that tight cmpresses your ankle well. I have been able to walk on a sprained ankle like that when I otherwise couldn’t have. 




It’s Fall and that means Pumpkin Spice! Check Out My Ebook On Paleo Pumpkin  Recipes

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How You Can Start A Fire From A Portable Cell Phone Power Bank

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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. 


How You Can Start A Fire From A Portable Cell Phone Power Bank

How You Can Start A Fire From A Portable Cell Phone Power Bank

The Parts

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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The Blackout Series by Bobby Akart

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~ by Bobby Akart, Contributing writer to the American Preppers Network, host of the Prepping for
Tomorrow program on Prepper Broadcasting
and nine-time best selling author of The Blackout Series,
The Boston Brahmin Series and The Prepping for Tomorrow Series.

I have written about the importance of prepper fiction as a tool for convincing the non-prepper family member or friend to consider a self-reliant and preparedness lifestyle. A well-written story may be fabricated but it helps us comprehend the world nonetheless. As Stephen King once wrote – Fiction is the truth behind the lie.

After my success with The Boston Brahmin Series, readers and friends within the American Preppers Network encouraged me to tell the story of a non-prepping family. Those of us within the APN family become used to interacting with like-minded individuals. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember that the vast majority of Americans are not only unprepared, but they have no idea of what prepping entails. I wrote The Blackout Series for this purpose.

Bobby Akart 36 Hours

 What would you do if a voice was screaming in your head – GET READY – for a catastrophic event of epic proportions, with no idea where to start, or how, or when.

This is a true story, it just hasn’t happened yet.

A catastrophic solar flare, an EMP – a threat from above to America’s soft underbelly below is hurtling toward our planet. In book one, the Ryman family has never heard of prepping. But they learn while they run out of time. An EMP, naturally generated from our sun in the form of a massive solar storm has happened before during the Carrington Event of 1859, and it will happen again.

The Blackout Series is a story of how our sun, the planet’s source of life, can also devastate our modern world. It’s a story of panic, societal collapse, and the final straws that shatter an already thin veneer of civility. It is a warning to us all – never underestimate the depravity of man.

What would you do when the clock strikes zero?

I’d be honored if you’d give my new post-apocalyptic fiction series a try. Here is a link:

The Blackout Series

Enjoy this video trailer produced for The Blackout Series.

Because you never know when the day before … is the day before.
Prepare for tomorrow.

Bobby Akart is a Contributing writer to the American Preppers Network, host of the Prepping for
Tomorrow program on Prepper Broadcasting
and nine-time best selling author of The Blackout
, The Boston Brahmin Series and The Prepping for Tomorrow Series.

For more information and social media contacts, visit and

Follow Bobby Akart on Twitter: @FreedomPreppers and @BobbyAkart

Follow Bobby Akart on Facebook: FreedomPreppers and BobbyAkart

The post The Blackout Series by Bobby Akart appeared first on American Preppers Network.

How To Build A DIY Ballistics Plate Body Armor For Cheap

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How To Build A DIY Ballistics Plate Body Armor

How To Build A DIY Ballistics Plate Body Armor



How To Build A DIY Ballistics Plate Body Armor

Today I have not one but two youtube videos for you. You get a DIY build video on How To Build A DIY Ballistics Plate Body Armor and then the test shooting of that DIY ballistics plate. 

I really want a real body armor plate. I also want to shoot the hell out of one. There in lies my problem. If I had a ballistics plate, like the great guys at AR500 (hint hint) I would want it for a SHTF scenario. But I also want to try to destroy one as well. 


DIY 2 Survive!

My solution is to build and show you How To Build A DIY Ballistics Plate Body Armor. Will it be as good as a professionally made one? Nope. Will it stop a bullet? Hell yes, it will! I don’t recommend you building one of these and going out to fight ISIS. In a SHTF I would wear one of my DIY ballistic plates over wearing nothing. 

The cost for this was around $30. I used a steel I-beam piece, a ceramic floor tile, duck tape and a can of plastidip. This thing is heavy as shit.  And tough as a hell. 

Shooting The DIY Plate Armor

The second Video is Couch Potato Mike and I shooting the ballistic plate. Now that you know How To Build A DIY Ballistics Plate Body Armor it’s time to destroy it. For the $20~30 bucks I spent building this DIY body armor it was money well spent. No bullets got through the plate. The ceramic tile was demolished. And shrapnel went everywhere. 

So although no vital organs would be ventilated you would likely be shredded from the shrapnel. The pastidip did not work as well as I had wanted. For version 2.0 I will use a truck bed spray on liner. If you want to buy one I found the Cheapest One on amazon. To me $80 to shoot is still pricey. 

Enjoy these videos. Go build a DIY plate armor for yourself. If you have any build suggestions drop them in the comments! 


Want to hear yourself on the podcast? Call in with your questions at (615) 657-9104 and leave us a voice mail. 

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Prepare Wise Legacy Premium Food Storage First Thoughts

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Prepare Wise Legacy Premium Food Storage First Thoughts

The great folks over at Prepare Wise sent me some Legacy Premium long term meals for review. The two meals sent to me are the old fashioned pancake mix and enchilada beans and rice. Neither were tested in this first video. I filmed on a Monday and can’t eat any of that till Saturday. That’s my cheat day. 

I like that both of the meals sent to me are GMO-free. The stuff you get from mountain house are pretty much a toxic storm. 

These meals have high ratings on flavor. They were voted best tasting with 4 out of 5 people preferring them. 

Prepare Wise also offers free shipping on all orders. And With bulk long term food that can get costly. They also have the cheapest price per pound on long term foods. So the average is $7.75 per pound. Compare that to Wise Foods at $12.54 per pound. 

I am highly interested in their gluten free options. And It’s hard to find good gluten free options that are affordable. I may not be celiac but I know I feel and perform much better without gluten. In a disaster where I need to be on my A-game. So why do something to hinder myself? 

I will have the full review out next week. So expect to see a mountain of Pancakes on my Instagram page btw. I have been wanting to have cheat day pancakes for a few weeks now. With these, I can’t wait to try.


What are your Favorite Long Term Storage foods? What do you take camping with you? Let me know in the comments?



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Come Join Me For A Tour Of My Off Grid Tiny House

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A Tour Of My Off Grid Tiny House

Join Me For A Tour Of My Off Grid Tiny House

I finally did a Tour Of My Off Grid Tiny House. After several requests on YouTube to do a tiny house tour. I kept putting it off till I could clean up my house. To get it done I decided to set a deadline and shoot the video tour of my tiny house whether it was clean or not. Well, It is not perfectly clean but I’m a man and a messy one at that. 

I realized that I forgot to show the loft. Also, I didn’t talk about the walls. I’ll answer some of the things here. If I get enough questions I will do a Q&A Video on my tiny house. 


Stained Plywood Walls

Stained Plywood Walls

Stained Plywood Walls

So for my walls, I took a unique approach. I didn’t want to do plain old drywall. After lots of searching on google, I came upon stained plywood. I went with a dark red stained which ended up looking like walnut to me. The great thing about the plywood is hanging pictures. I can put a nail anywhere and it will work. Plus I like wood over drywall. 

The Loft

The Loft Is 8 foot long by 12 ish feet wide. So it gives me plenty of room for a queen sized mattress and storage. I somehow totally forgot to video the loft in the Tour Of My Off Grid Tiny House.  The platform is stained plywood. The center braces were removed above the loft for more head room. With sturdiness of the plywood to hold it together, I was not worried about losing strength. Also, the 2×6 frame of the loft pulls the walls together. 



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How To Build A Free Alcohol Stove Fast And Easily

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How To Build A Free Alcohol Stove Fast And Easily



How To Build A Free Alcohol Stove Fast And Easily 


Today I have a video on How To Build A Free Alcohol Stove Fast And Easily. I have built several of these homemade alcohol stoves in the past.  Before I followed instructions with measurements. Mostly followed. I improvise and make things up as I go. Today I wanted to show you how fast and easy you can build an effective alcohol stove. 

Building an alcohol stove is not hard, time-consuming or difficult. You can really geek out on designs. Go check out Zen Stoves and see the tons of designs that are out there. Some of them are really efficient at boiling water. Some are insanely difficult to build. The guy from Minibull  Designs machines his stoves from solid aluminium. They are gorgeous. But not cheap. 


How To Build A Free Alcohol Stove Fast And Easily

How To Build A Free Alcohol Stove

To some, all the designs and measurements turn them away from actually building one. The design I show you is easy. It is cheap to make. I grabbed two empty monster cans from my trash can and built this alcohol stove in a few minutes.  If you fuck it up its only garbage. No big deal. Get two more cans. They don’t even have to be perfect to work. Or pretty. 

Alcohol stoves are best when they are light and cheap. The big appeal of alcohol stoves is in how little they weight. That is the reason that ultralight hikers love them so much. That fact that they can be made from garbage in a few minutes is icing on the cake. 








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Art in the desert

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Amazing see-thru cabin built in California

You can see many things in the desert, some see desolation, others see stark beauty, yet others take what they see and transform it into an even more interesting and ethereal vision. Light is one of the driving forces in the desert, by adding mirrors to this run down shack, this artist took what would be ignored and passed by into a reflection of the surrounding beauty. The wood appears to float, seemingly supported by air. At night it transforms yet again into an ever changing palette of color. Have you been there or seen this?



The post Art in the desert appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Endless Match Unboxing: A Great Cheap Survival Tool You Need

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Endless Match Unboxing: A Great Cheap Survival Tool You Need

I unbox the Endless Match I bought from Wish. With shipping, this great survival tool set me back three bucks. You are supposed to fill it with lighter fluid before use. Which I didn’t know because it does not come with instructions. In my case, I could smell lighter fluid in it. So the two times I light it didn’t damage it. Using it is simple. I figured it out in a few seconds.

It has a tiny ferrocerium rod on the side. The match has a tiny striker and wick on one end. You just strike it till the wick catches. The flame that this little match puts off is pretty impressive. Using it to start a fire would be no problem.

The Endless Match claims to be waterproof as well. I have not tested that yet but it screws in tightly with a gasket. This also hopefully retains the lighter fluid as well. The last thing I want is lighter fluid leaking out my endless match all over my pack or pocket. I don’t want to become the endless match myself.

Even though it is made to be carried on a keychain I would rather throw it in a pack or pocket. The tiny keyring to attach to a keychain is very flimsy looking. I am rough on Key ring EDC items and most don’t last. Either they break, get lost from poor retention or damage my pants. I had to stop wearing P38 can opener because it kept shredding my pockets.



Amazon Link


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13 year old kid invents free energy device for under $15

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You think of 13 year old kids as playing with their game machines or their iPods, but this kid has invented a real free energy device, he is really harvesting energy from the air, he is modeling his life after Tesla in many ways, I like this kid! It makes me wonder just where he will be when he grows up.

The post 13 year old kid invents free energy device for under $15 appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Late summer 2016 SkyCastle update

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Things are happening at the SkyCastle, as you may or may not know, late last winter I spilled a very large, very sweet cup of coffee (complete with melted marshmallows) into my laptop, I was able to get it rinsed out and dried pretty well, but things did not operate correctly after that, my keyboard pretty much died, I limped by using an external keyboard. Other things quit working or didn’t work right, I really hated to give that computer up, I had it set up just the way I liked it. Fortunately I had a Square Trade drops and spills accident warranty on it (I HIGHLY recommend them), I contacted them and they shot a prepaid return box to me, they had my computer the following day, then a few days later then let me know they couldn’t get parts quick enough so they cut me a check for what I paid for my laptop.

I hung on to the check for a while, not ready to buy another laptop yet and not wanting to take the chance of touching that money, I realized it was getting dangerously close to the time when the check wouldn’t be any good, I deposited it and began the process of picking out another laptop. Fast forward to now, and I’m writing this on my spiffy new laptop, an Acer Aspire E 15, 15.6 Full HD, Intel Core i7, NVIDIA 940MX, 8GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, Windows 10 Home, E5-575G-76YK. Not having my laptop meant I had to do everything on my tablet, that’s why my articles here have been so thin on words, it’s not easy to type on a small screen, especially the amount I like to write. 🙂 I’m still getting this setup like I like it, installing my old software and getting used to Windows 10.

So now to the rest of the update, this will be a video update of the west side of the SkyCastle, PB has been busy working on the roof area over the laundry room, it’s also the deck area (3rd floor) where the round tower is situated. We have wanted to make that a small nook like place where we could sit down and survey the neighborhood, maybe even have some friends over and some meals. The original roof leaked, and leaked badly, whenever it rained we would have to go in there and move things (my clothes mainly), put out buckets and plastic to protect what couldn’t be moved. That is all fixed now, PB used a product called Redguard on the new plywood he laid down, that is a paint on coating that is used in shower pans to waterproof the wood below it, the idea is to keep the wood from rotting should moisture get to it. Then he used wide flashing as the next layer, now we have to decide what to put on top of that, until then, we are careful when we walk up there as to not do any damage to the metal.

PB also put in a bump out on the front in the form of a semi-circular walk way that goes in front of the round tower, it gives a more castle like appearance. He also added a semi-circular wall below on the south facing side of the laundry room to match the profile of the round tower above, giving the appearance that it is one big round tower, he will continue that profile down to the ground, but that is for a future date to complete.

You will see in the video, I am walking up the stairs in the square tower (on the north or back side of the SkyCastle), the stairs are narrow, you can see as I walk up. I walk out onto the 3rd floor deck and around the round tower, then back down, I pause the camera as I walk down the steps and go out to the front of the SkyCastle. Next I show the updated face of where PB has been working.

Here is the video, hope you enjoy watching it, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask.


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Why The Leatherman Warranty Rocks! Free Replacements

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Leatherman Warranty

Leatherman Wave Warranty


Why The Leatherman Warranty Rocks! Free Replacements

The amazing Leatherman Warranty has cemented me as a customer for life. A while back I broke the Flathead screwdriver bit on my Leatherman Wave. It broke in the prevention of an explosion. A small one anyway.  I was trying to unscrew a rusty screw on my kerosene heater. Which was unusable because I dropped a mini bic lighter deep inside it. I flicked my bic too hard and it flew inside.

First I grabbed my Leatherman Wave Multi-Tool  to unscrew the heater case. I got the heater used and it was a bit rusty. Not that I’m complaining. It was free and could kick out some heat. The leatherman was no match against this screw, though. The tip if the screwdriver snapped off. I was pretty furious.

I then proceeded to break at least one more screwdriver before finally getting it off.



I found my Leatherman Warranty booklet from my warranty drawer and set it out. My plan was to read the instructions to use the Warranty on it. I left it laying out too long and forgot to empty Bjorns litter box one day. This resulted in a destroyed warranty booklet.

Luckily I found the Leatherman Warranty Page. It is a basic form of what it is and what’s broke. No questions on why it broke. No hassling you over whether it was your  fault the tool broke. Yes, I’ll admit I have miss-used my share of tools. Leatherman didn’t even care.

I popped down to my local FedEx store and mailed it to them for $14. That was for a box, printing the shipping label and sending it. Pretty pricey but worth it for a $90 tool. FedEx was the slowest part of the wait. Once Leatherman got it I received my replacement in a few days.

In conclusion, I could not be happier the  with Leatherman Warranty. I got either a brand new or refurbished one. I could not tell. It was in perfect condition.  That is the kind of company I want to spend my money with.

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Hugelkultur, pronounced hugle (like bugle but with a “h”) culture, it’s really simple, combining raised beds with lots of organic material under and on top of the mound. You take wood logs and twigs, preferably older ones but fresher ones can be used, cut them to the length of the bed you want to create, lay them in a pile then put dirt on top of them, you will be planting in this dirt. The idea is the wood logs decompose and hold lots of water, meaning you don’t have to water as often. It’s a win win situation. Some even work swales into the hugelkultur beds to help capture water that would otherwise run off too quickly.

I know it’s the end of the summer gardens for most of us, but this is the perfect time to begin planning and building our gardens for next summer. I still want to make a keyhole garden, I might incorporate some of the hugelkultur into a keyhole garden by using decaying wood logs and twigs that we have an abundance of around here, putting it in the base of the keyhole garden. Also working with the rocks and wood when the temps are cooler will be safer (for me) from snakes, scorpions and other creepy crawlies that sting and bite.

Here are a couple of videos about hugelkultur gardening.



The post Hugelkultur appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Off grid tent living

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This is interesting and unexpected, it’s a 4 season tent,  the video shows it in winter with a blanket of snow.  Unlike a yurt, this really looks like an old style tent,  it reminds me of being in Girl Scouts.

The tent is divided into 4 sections, a sleeping area,  living, kitchen and dining.  It can sleep up to 4 people, though you’d best be good friends or family, there is no privacy to speak of.

The toilet is an outhouse down the trail, one nice thing about an outhouse in winter is less to no odor and no bugs.

The post Off grid tent living appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

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Here is another take on a tree NY apartment,  this time in Paris. When architect Julie Nabucet was asked to fit the rooms of a full-sized apartment in a 129-square-foot (12 m2) flat in the center of Paris (Montorgueil quarter), she stacked functions: she elevated the kitchen and rolled a bed-slash-sofa underneath (pulled out halfway, it’s a couch; pulled out fully, it’s a bed). To separate the cooking area from the sleeping/living room she used plywood boxes stacked as a wall. The boxes facing the kitchen are used as cabinets; those facing the bedroom are used as bookshelves.

In the two-square-meter bathroom (21-square-feet), she squeezed an “Italian shower” (wet bath). There wasn’t enough space for a sink so she placed this outside the bathroom. To separate it from the kitchen she created a wooden netting that gives a sense of isolation, but allows light to pass through.

The post appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

130 square foot apartment

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I like writing about tiny homes and alternative housing,  this is an interesting look at how some people live in South Korea, coming in at 130 square feet,  this is tiny, barely enough room for any furniture, but having everything one would need to live.

I like the bathroom,  being a “wet” bathroom, meaning you take a shower in the middle of the bathroom, no separate shower stall or tub.

The price seems high for what he is getting,  $500 a month,  he explains how rent works there,  the bigger the deposit you can put down (which apparently you get back)  the cheaper your monthly rent is,  he was throwing around numbers in the tens of thousands of dollars, but you can do it with less deposit and pay more rent.

Enjoy this peek into S Korean apartment living.

The post 130 square foot apartment appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Hard core van living

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In this episode of our Van Life adventure we find a very rare VW mechanic and get to work putting right what “The Mother of All Hills” made wrong. Only the constant battle to keep Co’Pito alive gets to us and we start to go a little Volkswagen Crazy!

If you think that this Season 2 Finale is tough going, wait until you see what the next episode has in store for us…

The post Hard core van living appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Woman living full time in an RV…

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Jo has realized that the traveling lifestyle can be had for much less cost than most realize. With even a modest budget and plenty of foresight, just about anyone can live and exciting, adventurous life full of happiness and fulfillment. Join us as Bob catches up with her to discuss her 4×4 truck, slide in camper set-up, minimalism plus much more. What a delightful lady!

The post Woman living full time in an RV… appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Raising and Butchering Rabbits Part 1

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When it becomes mandatory for us to raise our own food to feed our families, space can become an issue for many reasons. You may have thought that raising and butchering rabbits was out of the question if you live in urban areas, within city limits, or live in a small town but still live in an apartment or perhaps even rent a house.

Well we have good news! It is possible to accomplish feeding your family the old fashioned way verses the supper market way if you live in tight quarters. Raising rabbits might be an option for you. It is very cost effective, delicious and taste better than processed store meat. You avoid paying sales taxes, all the chemicals and antibiotics that are added and is overall healthier for you as well.

The New Survivalist provides us with a series of videos that walk us through how to get started and what you need.  In part one, (shown below) he shows wonderful tips and tricks to maximize space and keep the environment clean for the rabbits. He shares everything from what kind of rabbits to choose when starting, the supplies you will need, manure pros, how he sets up a simple watering system, nesting boxes, baby saver wire and many other things you will need to know.

In part two of his series he goes over his rabbits habitat, breeding them and birthing the bunnies according to “Story’s Guide to Raising..,” by Bob Bennet. He shows us how to prepare the nesting box and the bunnies that were just born in one.

We hope you enjoy this video and please feel free to leave some comments and advise in the comment section below!

Part ThreePart Four- Killing and skinning (warning, not for children or the weak)Part Five- Butchering 

Video By The New Survivalist
Please support their channel by subscribing here 

Provided by American Preppers Network

Number of speakers: 1 (The New Survivalist)
Duration:  9 min  22 sec

The post Raising and Butchering Rabbits Part 1 appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Kids and off grid can work

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Got kids and want to live off grid? Think it’s not possible? Maybe you should check out this family in Canada,  they are doing it very much on the cheap.  One suggestion I would make is to ditch the upright fridge and replace it with a chest freezer to fridge conversion ( it is so incredibly efficient, they could cut down tremendously on their power outlay.

Other than that,  I think they are doing a fantastic job!


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Haversack! What’s in Yours?

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Haversacks were in use during the American Civil War, as recounted in Grant’s memoirs, “In addition to the supplies transported by boat, the men were to carry forty rounds of ammunition in the cartridge-boxes and four days’ rations in a haversack.”

In 1910 the U.S. Army adopted the M-1910 haversack (or M10) as the standard back pack for all infantrymen. The pack is essentially a sheet of rugged khaki-colored canvas that folds around its contents (bedroll, clothing, daily rations, and assorted personal items), and is held together by flaps and adjustable buckle-straps. The two shoulder straps are designed to attach to a web belt or suspender configuration. – Wikipedia

Brought to us by Shamans Forge Bush-craft, Blackie talks to us about some of the items he carries in his haversack and their purposes. He really brings things into perspective about how we should carry our items by explaining why he carries them that way. He introduces us to his pal Nugget and tells us a little bit about how he came to know his woods buddy. He has a trick to store duct taps that is amazingly simply and genius.

What’s in your haversack? Otherwise known as a knapsack, rucksack, or small pack. Do you try to carry everything in one bag or  in different locations on your body? Please feel free to leave a comment or your story in the comment section below. For more articles on every day carry items lease click here.


For more articles on every day carry items lease click here.

The post Haversack! What’s in Yours? appeared first on American Preppers Network.

How To Hang A Ridge-line

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Krik of Black Owl Outdoors shows you the basics of hanging a ridge-line. Whether you use it for a clothes line or for a tarp shelter, knowing how to set up a secure ridge-line is an important skill to know. Especially if you need to hang your shelter relatively fast because a storm is coming or dark crept up faster than you thought.

Tying knots to secure ropes and go fishing is one thing a lot of people tend to over look. Not knowing how to tie a good knot can mean the difference in dinner and hypothermia.

To hang this ridge-line you need to know how to do a Siberian Hitch Knot to secure one end of the para-cord to the tree. Krik also has another short video showing you exactly how to tie this sort of knot. Please feel free to view that video here.

How To Hang A Ridge-line


Video By Angry Prepper
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Number of speakers: 1 (Krik)
Duration: 5 min 45 sec



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Video: James Comey Vs. Hillary Clinton In Viral Must-Watch Montage (It’s 90 Seconds You Won’t Regret)

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FBI Director James Comey may not have recommended any charges for Hillary Clinton, but he undercut just about everything she had said about her use of a private email server. This video (below) of Comey vs. Clinton is going viral:


Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

Opening 15 Year Old Oats

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As an avid prepper I have always been a huge fan of and promote storage your basic staples in sealed Mylar bags; stored in a 5 gallon bucket with O2 absorber. I have had oats, rice and wheat stored that way for about 5 years now and I’ll admit, I was starting to get curious if they were still storing well.

As you can imagine, I was very excited when I came across this video showing TexasPrepper2 opening up a bucket of oats he has had stored for FIFTEEN years! I feel it is very important to share things like this with the prepper community and new preppers so that they know the best way to go when it comes to food storage. This day and age we can not afford to learn the hard way and waste money.

I hope you enjoy!!

Opening 15 Year Old Oats

Video By TexasPrepper2
Please support their channel by subscribing here 


The post Opening 15 Year Old Oats appeared first on American Preppers Network.

AR-15 Armorer’s Essentials Kit – Unboxing (video)

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Many of us would rather build our own AR-15.  It can be much cheaper, depending on the parts, as well as customizing it to our own specifications.  Then there are those of us who want to, but have no idea where to begin.  So we hit YouTube and Google for research.

Wheeler Engineering’s “AR-15 Armorer’s Essentials Kit” contains several of the tools needed for building an AR-15. In this video OIFEagle will unbox the kit and discuss what tools you can expect to see, and why the kit grabbed his attention.  He goes into detail about each tool that you need, and even some you might not know you need, what their function is, as well as the cost.

He purchased his kit for $89.99 at (Item Number: WX2-294372) He also encourages people to shop around for a better price; however that is the cheapest he found.

OIFEagle is a U.S. Army Officer, Gentleman, and Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. (OIF) He is a Free-thinking Conservative, Christian, Husband, and Father. He is also currently stationed at Fort Bragg, NC.

The main purpose of his video blog is to discuss politics, firearms, gunsmithing, and preparations for the zombie apocalypse.

Video By OIFEagle

Please support their channel by subscribing here 

Article by American Preppers Network


The post AR-15 Armorer’s Essentials Kit – Unboxing (video) appeared first on American Preppers Network.

The truth about solar

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The truth about solar

A current and interesting look at solar power today,we have truly come a long way. Of course battery technology is still pretty far behind, prices for solar panels have dropped significantly over the past few years making it affordable for more and more people,and the solar panel kits make it simple to get exactly what you want to get started.

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Barn shaped blueberry

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Laura and Rory’s barn shaped blueberry tiny home,  they designed it themselves,  I love the little touches that makes it theirs. With clever ideas,  they have made the most out of the small space they call home.

The gambrel roof is a great idea,  it creates so much more usable space in the loft area,  and the ventilation in the roof area,  it’s something I want to incorporate into the SkyCastle.

Here is their video walk thru, enjoy.

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WATCH: Nutty Californians Sign Petition To Add Urinals In WOMEN’S Restrooms For Transgenders

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Prankster Mark Dice is at it again, and this time he tackled the transgender issue. Dice asked people in California to sign a petition requiring that urinals be added to women’s restrooms – any most people on the street signed. Dice, in fact, said that no one argued with him. The petition, of course, is fake. Watch the incredible video below. (Warning: You may not want to watch this one around children.)

Tired Of Losing Freedoms — And Looking For Another Country? Read More Here.

Jaw-Dropping Video: Heroic Mom Fights Kidnapper Trying To Steal Daughter In A DOLLAR GENERAL

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Jaw-Dropping Video: Heroic Mom Fights Kidnapper Trying To Steal Daughter In A DOLLAR GENERAL

A new dramatic surveillance video out of Florida shows the necessity of always being prepared to defend yourself and your family.

On Tuesday a mother was shopping at a Dollar General in Hernando, Florida, when a man grabbed her 13-year-old daughter and began dragging her through the store, attempting to kidnap her. The mom, though, wouldn’t give up, and fought back, even laying on her daughter to make it more difficult to kidnap her. Eventually he gave up and fled to the parking lot, where an off-duty policeman, Deputy Jonathan Behnen, blocked the man’s car and arrested him.

The attempted kidnapper was 30-year-old Craig Bonello.

My Personal Defender: Low-Cost Way To Defend Yourself Against Lowlife Criminal Scum!

The names of the mom and daughter have not been released.

“This was a chaotic scene with a lot at stake,” Commander Buddy Grant said, according to local TV station WFAA. “Thank goodness the girl’s mother jumped into action to prevent this man from kidnapping her daughter. And, thank goodness Dep. Behnen used his training and experience to stop this man from escaping. This is obviously someone who needs to be behind bars. He won’t be getting out anytime soon to do this again.”

Watch the dramatic video below:

A woman living off grid

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As a woman living off grid, I can speak definitively about this. But apparently I’m not the average woman. Many women I speak to, they tend to say things like “that is wonderful but I could never live like that…”, I suppose they think I’m living like a cave woman. I can assure you that I do not live like a cave woman, but I am more comfortable with a level of primitiveness (is that even a word? It us now, LOL) that most city dwellers might not find pleasant.

I watched this video talking specifically about this subject, I will say that I personally agree with most of what they discussed, but some of it, we’ll IMHO I think they have some learning ahead of them.

Guys, this is where you can skip ahead or skip altogether if you wish, though if you are planning on bringing along some female company, these are things you will deal with directly or indirectly. Either way, you have been warned. 🙂

The monthly curse, I like the use of the menstrual cup, I have one, I’ve used it, but with my age comes that other M, menopause, so that is becoming less and less of an issue for me, and for that I am eternally grateful. The thing I personally don’t agree with is the requirement of a daily shower. Especially if you have limited water, if you have to haul it in and such. Of course if you have unlimited water, a well or some other source and have the fuel to heat the water, then daily showers are fine, but for many living off grid, it’s a luxury that is best saved up for when it’s more necessary.

For me, I’m quite happy taking a sponge bath everyday, I take a full on shower once a week or so, of course if I do something that makes me grimy, yes I’ll take a shower as needed. In the summer I’m likely to hop in the shower and just do a quick rinse between regular showers. But I do not require a daily, full on shower. No I don’t stink, I don’t look dirty, I do work in the public so I have to be presentable. I also don’t wear makeup or bling, it’s just my personal choice, to each their own. 🙂

Here is the video, watch and enjoy.

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Root cellars

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With spring in the air, summer right around the corner, many of our gardens are booming with lots of produce, much of it we eat right away, but it’s nice to be able to save some for later in the year, that’s where root cellars come in handy, they keep the temperatures moderated (not too hot, not too cold) and keep the humidity consistent so our fruits and veg stay fresh longer.

Root cellars, as the name indicates are dug into the ground, if you have a hill or slope you can incorporate that into your design making it unnecessary to dig a hole but rather tunnel into the hill. You can also place a structure on top of the ground and pile dirt around the sides, even over the top if it’s strong enough.

There are many ways to create a root cellar, from creating a large walk in space to burying an old fridge or freezer in the ground. Here are a couple of ways to do it. Do you have a root cellar? If so, how do you use it and how do you like it?

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Cheap wood burning stove kit

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I know it’s spring going into summer for most of us, but winter is coming, I am always on the lookout for other ways to keep warm, this is a standard 55 gallon drum wood burning stove conversion, actually this one is a a double 55 gallon kit, using two 55 gallon drums stacked one upon another. Of course this isn’t anything new, but in this video, there are some interesting tweaks added to the system to improve how it works.

Don’t forget, winter will roll back around before you know it, and if you are looking for a way to keep your space warm, consider trying this method. If you have one of these type setups now, let me know how it works for you.

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Modern old school wind power

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Wind power, here in the US and other countries, we use wind power on small and large scale, mostly to generate electricity, but the Dutch really harnessed wind power long before the era of electricity. As I watch these two videos, I see an orchestra of gears and cogs playing out a symphony of work in beauty, grace and power.

There is an elegant play of massive wood timbers and steel, pushing, pulling, vibrating, it’s almost a living thing, needing constant tending to tighten and loosen, to bring into and away from the wind. I am fascinated by how this works, and even though I’m a major homebody if I were to travel somewhere, I’d love to see one of these windmills in action.

And just for fun, this is about those iconic wooden shoes

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Door Armor

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Most burglars break into a house via a door (56%), so it is important to make these entry points more resilient to forced entry. According to the FBI, over 1.5 million burglary attempts were made on residential structures in 2010. It makes sense to protect your home against this type of crime, one way to […]

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DIY Projects: How To Re-purpose Old CDs 

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Survivopedia Re-purpose Old CSs

Today’s article is about an almost extinct technology, the dinosaur of today’s modern digital media. Yes indeed, the good ole compact disc is near the end of its life cycle because it’s been almost completely replaced by USB drives, flash sticks and things of that higher-tech nature.

But what can we do with the zillions of CDs already in existence? Throw them away in the garbage can?

That’s not what a super-prepper would do; au contraire, waste is not cool in my book, as I’m all about recycling when it makes sense and repurpose as much as possible. Hence, today’s piece will present you with a few ideas about how to re-purpose your old CD collection.


Are you ready? Let’s start with…

1. How to make a solar panel (using your old Metallica CD collection, boot legs included)!

It sounds relatively implausible, I know. I mean, how on earth can you build a solar panel using shiny old plastic disks? Well, this is not a “real” solar panel, but it makes good use of the CD’s reflective surface for creating a solar heating panel. It’s a very simple and efficient project that even your kids could finish in a couple of hours.

Materials required for the CD solar panel:

  • super glue,
  • cardboard,
  • measuring tape,
  • a couple of dozen CDs (depending on the size of your window),
  • a utility knife,
  • a pencil,
  • a clear plastic drop cloth,
  • a few S hooks,
  • scissors,
  • an awl,
  • black spray paint,
  • masking tape.

You probably already have the gear, so let’s move it along.

Directions: The first step is to measure the width and the length of your window. Use your utility knife to cut a piece of cardboard using those measurements and adding four inches to the previous window measurements – add8 inches extra for the width and 8 inches extra for the length. For example, a 20 inch by 30 inch window will require a cardboard piece of 2 inches by 38 inches.

Next, use the black spray paint on the cardboard piece, and paint one side completely black (black is excellent for its heat retention capability). Let the paint dry completely and if necessary, add one more paint coating for best results.

In the next step, you’ll have to form a box from the cardboard piece, by cutting a four inch square from each of its corners, then bending the sides of the cardboard in such a way that the corners meet i.e. making for a box with the black painted side inside. Now you must use the masking tape for taping up the corners.

The CDs are now ready to be put inside the box in rows with the shiny metal side out. Make sure the rows are as even as humanly possible. You’ll have some wiggle room left, but that’s not a problem. Just make sure that the bottom row of CDs touches the bottom side of the cardboard box, and the same story goes for the top row – it should touch the top of the cardboard box.

Next, use a pencil for tracing the center holes of the CD rows (both top and bottom), then remove them and using your utility knife, cut the holes out. Next, you’ll glue the CDs with super glue over the holes. After that, you’ll glue down the rest of the CDs, but remember to leave a tiny space below the top and above the bottom row. Also, allow for some space below and above the center row.

It’s time to cut 4 rectangles out of the left-over cardboard, four inches wide and 3 quarters of your box’s width. Glue the rectangles into your box like maze walls, on the edge. The first rectangle will be placed above the bottom CD row/against the left side of the cardboard box, the second below the center row/against the right side, the 3rd above the center row/against the left side and the 4th below the top row/against the right side. After you’ve finished, allow the glue to dry for a few hours.

The final step is to cut a piece of plastic drop cloth, three inches longer/wider than your cardboard box then stretch it over the top, gluing it well over the sides,  making it as airtight as you can. Let the glue dry overnight, then make 2 holes in the upper corners of your cardboard box and introduce S hooks in each hole.

Now you can hang the solar thermal panel on your window, preferably on a south-facing one for best results, and benefit from free heat.

2.  Tesla CD powered-turbine

Using plain old recycled CDs, you can actually build a working turbine.

The Tesla turbine is very different from regular ones, as it uses just disks, working on the boundary layer effect principle. For this DIY project, you’ll require

  • CD spindle,
  • CDs,
  • glue pipe fittings.

Obviously, this is a beginner project and functions on garden-hose pressure. However, the same idea/design can be used with an air compressor. It’s extremely versatile and useful.

The CD turbine project comes with a unique design which doesn’t require bearings, seals, or a moving shaft; it’s almost frictionless. This particular design can run on either air or water pressure, mainly for fun purposes.

The materials required are half a dozen hot glue sticks, methylene chloride for welding the CDs to each other, ABS to PVC cement, PVC pipe primer, ¾ inch PVC plastic pipe, garden hose shut off valve, 1-1/2 inch plastic tube or straw, CD spindle with cover, Orbit WaterMaster Extension Nozzle Model 91129 and of course, CDs.

The tools needed for the job are a utility knife, a glue gun, sand paper and a dremel tool if you have one (optional). Here’s a video tutorial or read this Survivopedia article for detailed instructions for this project.

Video first seen on MrfixitRick.

3. Secret Safe

Too much high tech for today? Let’s see about how to build a secret safe using old CDs, and keep it simple folks!

Check out this cool video tutorial. I find it very interesting – I mean a stash of old CDs transformed into a secret safe for your money and valuables? Pretty smart, don’t you think?

Video first seen on Shake the Future.

4. Old CDs for Pest Control

The next project is even easier and more fun, as it involves using CDs for pest control, and I don’t mean playing your favorite CD from a boom box to scare the crows out of the field (though that might work, too).

The idea is to hang old CDs from a fishing lane around the perimeter you want to secure from pests, and as the wind blows, they move. Their random movement, together with the prism effect, will (hopefully) scare the garden-gobbling birds away from your property.

Video first seen on eHow.

5. DIY Lamp from Old CDs

Now, let’s see about how to make a lamp from recycled CDs in just 2 minutes with absolutely no tools required. If you still own stacks and stacks of unused CDs lying around your room (like your truly, I just can’t let them go), why not put them to good use?

The easiest and smartest way for DIYing a lamp using old CDs is to slide a source of light down the middle of the CD stack. Pure genius, right?

The problem is that you’ll have a hard time finding a fluorescent tube thin enough to fit that tiny hole, so you’ll have to buy under cabinet LED lights, as they come in thin strips that will perfectly fit the core of the CD stack.

Also LED lighting doesn’t produce much heat like regular bulbs or fluorescent ones, hence you’re in no danger of setting your house on fire. Here’s a video tutorial, enjoy.

Video first seen on HACKADAY.

The CD repurposing adventure stops here, with an interesting video that depicts even more uses for old CDs, such as turning them into USB-powered fans or even a clock.

Video first seen on MultiPenat.

I hope the article helped and you’ll have tons of fun tinkering around with your old CD collection.

If you have questions or comments, don’t hesitate to use the dedicated section below. And if you are in the mood for DIYing something bigger, click on the banner below to find out how to build the ultimate survival shelter on a budget! Good luck, have fun folks!


This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

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How To Build A Survival Tarp Shelter In 2 Minutes

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 How To Build A Survival Tarp Shelter In 2 Minutes This method can be done anywhere and doesn’t need trees or cordage. The other reason I like it is because it has a floor, roof AND sides and an opening for the warmth of the campfire. The stakes and poles can easily be replaced with …

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Updates on the SkyCastle

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Building up and across is what PB (Primitive Bob) likes to do, here is an update on 2 of his projects, works in progress, or Bobbage as we like to call it around here.

The first of the two is the bridge, it had been put on hold for most of the winter, the plan is to eventually be able to drive across it, for now it’s a walking bridge. To recap, the frame of the bridge was made from the frame/chassis of a defunct mobile home that was being dismantled up the road from us. It was pulled across the seasonal creekbed, PB added some plywood decking so we could walk across it. The support beneath is concrete that is dug down quite far into the creekbed, it has already withstood some heavy storms and the accompanying water deluge.

We had a shorter trailer that was used to bring the last load of our stuff from the DFW area of TX to our west TX home, PB hauled that frame over the bridge and extended the bridge quite a bit. As you can see from the pictures he didn’t have any room for mistakes, the wheels were only touching the edges of the bridge by a few inches. But in true Bobbage he did it, all by himself, he tends to wait until I’m gone to work to do these things.


You can read more about the bridge here
The second project is hardening the front door, making it even more castle like. PB wanted the stairs to draw up and by golly, he has done it. Not only do they draw up, you can do it one handed thanks to the counter weight. Of course, like everything else, this is a work in progress. There are essentially two doors, one glass door, then the stairs then a heavy wooden gate, the stairs-once raised become sandwiched between the two doors.

Here are PB’s own words describing this feat of engineering
“This was a test to see if I could raise the steps and film it all without falling off the porch. Success! A little refinement and clean up and it’ll be in the history books. The chain and sheave blocks will be replaced with a streamlined counter weight soon, probly a 4 inch pipe stub,12 inches long filled with sand. The ‘C’ clip came loose in one bearing. The glass door in the video is dirty/foggy, so that birds and dogs and old white guys can see it. I’ll try to get a better video soon. (the glass door must be closed to raise the steps)”

Watch the video and enjoy, I especially love the sound of the stairs moving up and down, sounds like a creepy old scary movie 🙂

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“Death Touch” Does It Exist?

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“Death Touch” Does It Exist?


Is there such a thing as a “death touch”? In this video I describe what a real death touch is. Throughout history martial arts have claimed a secret “death touch” which has also been described as one punch one kill or even Dim Mak as seen in the Bloodsport movie starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. In all of my research I have never found a true “death touch”, but I am going to show you how a single punch can kill, and how you can survive this devastating blow.

To learn more check out and join over 150 students in just the last two months.


Coach David


How to Fight for Real Self Defense. Click Subscribe to see my videos before anyone else!

(Disclaimer: American Preppers Network does not recommend you try this at home. You should always be trained professionally before ever trying anything at home. We are not responsible if you decide to practice martial arts without being properly trained.)

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How to Save Carrot Seed

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Save Carrot Seed Like a Pro

Here’s a great video from Seed Savers Exchange that will answer all of your questions about how to save carrot seed.  Dr. John Navazio is a veteran organic seed saver, with a PhD in plant breeding from the University of Wisconsin.

Here he shows you the different stages of seed maturity in carrot flowers (or umbels).  The videography is great and you really get a good visual example to know when the seed is ready to take.

As you’ll see, the only tools you’ll need for this task are two hands and a cookie sheet.  John has some really nice screens for separating the seed from the burrs and dust, but you can manage just fine without those.

Cleaning Your Carrot Seed

When you save carrot seed, the hardest part is usually separating the seeds from the rest of the drying plant.  You don’t want to store all of the dust and debris from the dead flower.  And if you’ve ever handled carrot seed, you know that we’re talking about some really tiny bits and pieces.

In this video, John uses screens to separate the seeds from the dust and dead plant matter.  That’s a great approach, but many of us don’t have a set of screens for this purpose.

One alternative is to keep rubbing and blowing the seeds, as shown in this video – indefinitely, until the seeds are separated enough for storage.  Using an electric fan to blow away the dust is another popular technique.  With tiny seeds like these, you won’t want to put your work directly in front of the fan, but arrange it somewhat to the side of the fan, so that you only get a gentle breeze to blow away the dust and crumbling leaf bits.

Storing Saved Carrot Seeds

All of the carrot seeds in the world won’t help you if you can’t find them next season at planting time.  Check out this helpful video Marjory made to show you how she stores her saved seeds: Organizing Your Seed Collection with Marjory Wildcraft.


Thanks to John Navazio and the Seed Savers Exchange Heritage Farm for producing and sharing this helpful video.

The post How to Save Carrot Seed appeared first on The Grow Network.

She built this

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It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention, well this mom and her three young kids were very much in need of a place to call their own and a purpose & direction. After her divorce, Kelly Lewis decided to build her very own tiny home, she did get help with the shell and a few other things, but for the most part, she and her young children did the majority of the work. Watch and enjoy 🙂

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Will it become illegal to live in a tiny home?

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There has been a lot of chatter on the internet about upcoming (potential) changes in HUD regulations about tiny homes and RVs in the USA. There is quite a bit of speculation and disinformation about what is going on, I found these 2 videos explaining some of what is going on.

Here is the link to the government site!docketDetail;D=HUD-2016-0013

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Living underground? It’s complicated

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Going underground using 2 shipping containers, sure you could just dig a hole, plop them in and backfill, but that isn’t going to last very long, but Steve Rees did things right. The only “regret” I heard them express is that next time they will use 3 shipping containers instead of 2.

He went to the local officials to get a permit, they told him they didn’t have a permit for underground containers, so he went ahead and built, seems it was no problem for anyone. Rees did hire a large excavator to dig out the space, once the 2 containers were placed, they used thick foam on the outside to help insulate and keep the moisture away. Gravel was also used next to the containers so water will run off.

I like how he finished the inside, preferring not to put any holes in the skin of the container that might start rusting, you can see how he has done all of this in the video below.

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Portable shipping container homes

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Taken to the next level!

Check out this amazing expandable shipping container home design! Take a standard 20′ shipping container and expand it out from both sides and the ends. This more than triples the original square footage of the shipping container. Total square footage is about 581 square feet when expanded. The platform is a basic shipping container, meaning the infrastructure for transport and deployment is already in place for shipment by rail, ship, and truck to just about any location in the world.



It takes a standard sized 20′ shipping container and turns it into an amazingly practical and affordable portable home perfect for an off grid home.

It also has man other practical applications from portable business locations, event buildings, and disaster relief scenarios. And in the event of a zombie apocalypse, it’s the perfect bug-out house, and long as you have a Mad Max style tractor trailer to pull it with.

Solar Power: Though these units do not currently have a solar power option, one could easily add a solar power system for a few thousand dollars purchased from a third party solar panel distributor.



























Here’s the description and product information direct from the EBS Block website:

EBS Block is a uniquely designed modular, prefabricated, fully functional portable house created from a 20ft shipping container.

Dimensionally, traditional individual container homes can create awkward living/working spaces. Taking into account added insulation, you have a long narrow box with less than eight foot ceiling. To make an adequate sized space, multiple boxes need to be combined. This is not the case with EBS Block as our unique innovative design opens up to be 6 metres long X 8 metres wide X 3.5 metres high and provides a total live-able area of 54m2 which encompasses the pull out bathroom/kitchen on each side of the house.

EBS Block is opened via remote control using the integrated mechanical and electrical systems. It takes approximately 5 minutes to complete the process of opening or folding up your EBS Block. As the opening process is fully automated, the assembling becomes extremely simple without the need for construction, thus reducing the cost of building a house of similar size by a faction of the cost compared to traditional methods.

EBS Block is designed to adapt to harsh terrains and weather conditions, providing a spacious and comfortable living area. A major advantage EBS Block provides is the reduction of internal building temperature down to 80% in comparison with the outside temperature, thanks to new thermal insulating technologies used in our properties. This keeps the house maintain it’s temperature, staying cool in the summer and warm in the winter.


This off grid home has the potential to be a breakthrough housing product capable of changing the portable housing industry worldwide. The off grid applications are almost unlimited, not to mention the humanitarian applications including refugee housing for political and natural disaster relief. The ability to deploy a portable building anywhere in the world at a moments notice will save lives and could provide housing for millions of people.

But if people don’t know about it, it won’t be able to help anyone. So please share this article with all your friends and family because it’s not just about the off grid applications and housing for those of us who can afford it, it’s also about those who really need it.

This is a beautiful idea and an amazingly practical idea with hundreds of uses, all for an affordable price.

Please get the word out about this amazing product.


EBS Block Expandable Shipping Container Homes

Original story can be found here

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Martin Jetpack climbs 5000 Feet

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Martin JetpackHigh above the Canterbury Plains, there’s a beautiful view; birds, trees, clouds, not to mention all the literary history floating about the dead air, but in the 21st century, you’re more likely to see the futuristic Martin Jetpack.

Before the Martin Jetpack set off for its iconic voyage into the sky, it had only practiced a handful of times, going up only a few feet as if it were a weak bird. Glenn Martin had many Americans excited during his first launch at the Oshkosh Air Show, but left many disappointed due to the fact that he couldn’t raise himself higher than a few dozen feet. Though many still found it exciting, it wasn’t nearly as exhilarating as what would occur just a few years later. Despite the lack of the Martin Jetpack’s success, the engineer stated that the schematics and updated math on the machine could now potentially launch a man not just a few hundred feet in the air, but thousands.


“You spend 29 years designing something you love,” Martin stated to a reporter, a hurtful look in his eye, “So it hurts very much to hear negative things about something I was so excited to present … It just makes you more determined.”

For the second time, Glenn decided to do many indoor practices beforehand, and after a few months of getting to know the machine, finally give the real test outside the Canterbury Plains. As he stepped outside and tried the futuristic looking suit on, his wife had only one piece of advice for him: “Don’t look down.” Before this test flight, no single man in a jetpack had ever flown higher than over a hundred feet, making the mission not only dangerous for the device, but Glenn as well. If the engine were to fail, it would drop like a rock, bringing Martin down with him, but when the moment of truth arrived, Glenn soared.

So how high can the Martin Jetpack go?

Not only did Glenn Martin exceed his own personal record of a few feet above the ground, he trumped beyond the height of the helicopter that was following him around. Flying over 5,000 feet above sea level, the Martin Jetpack became a huge inspiration for human air travel when it successfully launched, prompting several investors, but more importantly, inspiring the hearts and minds of inventors around the world.

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Paul Elkins Reinventing the Wheel

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Paul Elkins in tiny camper

Paul Elkins displays tiny camper

“If you really want to accomplish something, you eventually figure out the puzzle and there’s so much satisfaction in figuring out that puzzle,” claims Paul Elkins. Ever since Paul was a young boy, he was always driven to redesign objects, whether it be on a bicycle, a door handle, or his father’s car. One day, Elkins’ father took him to a car show, and a small section of personally designed bicycle caught his eye. That day, according to Elkins, changed his life. There were several bikes, all designed in very strange and intricately unique ways, provoking the young designer to think differently about vehicles as well as the art of designing them.


With countless drawings of intricate designs, Elkins is known for his introspective way of designing. “You have to design around yourself,” he states to the filmmaker of the documentary, An Original Maker, “Once you design it around yourself, the rest of the piece comes together.” The maker has ADD, which may attribute to his obsession with vehicles, but definitely in a positive and proficient way. Elkins at one point feared for the discoveries of his genius, eventually realizing the implications of creating a small-sized vehicle that was able to travel at 55-miles per hour at jaw dropping 155 miles per gallon. This offered him an awe-inspiring idea of the potential of where we as a society could go with transportation.

“I’m working on that idea,” Elkins claims, stating that creating a vehicle on a mass scale is one of his many lifetime goals. “At one point I started getting on YouTube,” the designer said with a glimmer in his eye, “and I saw a man in Paris living in a box that was very similar to a vehicle design that I had made.” Each vehicle, scooter, or personal-living facility Paul Elkins makes, which are typically showcased on his YouTube channel, is more innovative and thought provoking than the last, offering innovative ideas for tiny homes and minimalist lovers alike.

Watch the video below “An original maker: Paul Elkins, Pacific Northwest polymath”

This article first appeared on American Preppers Network and may be copied under the following creative commons license.  All links and images including the CC logo must remain intact.

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Can You Survive Quicksand?

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Reporter examines whether or not you can survive quicksandWhen people think of quicksand, they think of cartoonish flailing and waving as a person sinks to their neck, only to be saved in the knick of time, but is it really that easy to be saved from the clutches of such a strong force? When water floods areas with sand, it forces the sand to dilute into a mix of weighted earth that becomes so weak and so mushy, it can’t even support the weight of a human being. It’s not one of the strangest phenomenons that happens in mother nature, but to an innocent bystander taking a stroll on what looks like a soppy beach, it can make for a terrifying ordeal.

So Can You Survive Quicksand?

During an experiment, a National Geographic reporter visited an English village known for having plentiful patches of the deadly watery graves. He agreed to not only step into the quicksand, but allow filmmakers to record it. “I appear to be sinking,” he said nervously. As the reporter wriggled and struggled, he stated that it felt as if it was moving the weak earth below him at a faster rate, essentially making him sink quicker the more he moved. Experts from the village stood by with grins as the sand reached the reporter’s knees.


“Okay,” he said, “I’m starting to feel nervous about the whole situation now.” At the fast pace of eight minutes, the reporter was beyond waste deep in the sand, to which he had to be pulled out by the local professionals who claimed that the beach couldn’t have signs warning of quick sand because it is typically a fleeting phenomenon.

“Tomorrow this won’t be quicksand because quicksand moves,” an official stated, “and it moves day in, day out with the tidal movements.” While waist deep, the reporter asked the official whether there was anything a person could do to survive quicksand on their own and the professional stated that the best method was to not struggle, but to slowly lay on one’s back, essentially pulling their legs up with their upper shoulders and back. This, however, wasn’t an option for the reporter since the official stated the method only works if one is ankle deep.

The reporter in actuality had to be helped by four professionals with several powerful tools, and the entire ordeal still took over ten minutes. So the chances of surviving quicksand? Not too good.


This article first appeared on American Preppers Network and may be copied under the following creative commons license.  All links and images including the CC logo must remain intact.

The post Can You Survive Quicksand? appeared first on American Preppers Network.

How to Make a Gas Mask

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How To Make A Gas Mask - Supplies

Supplies For DIY Gas Mask

Black Scout Survival demonstrates how to make a gas mask.

Surviving an apocalypse can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. With a few household items, anyone can turn the everyday innards of their home into full-on protective gear that would save them from a nuclear fallout. Although it’s scary thing to think about, better to be safe than sorry, and hey – who’s to say this can’t be fun?

To start off, you’ll need the following items:

  • 1 two-liter bottle

  • A soda can

  • Some rubber bands

  • A few cotton pad rounds

  • Duct tape or medical tape

  • Activated Charcoal (found at all aquatic stores)

    How To Make A Gas Mask

    Step 1:

    Cut out the bottom of the two litter bottle so that it is completely open. Next, cut two vertical slits into the bottle, upward toward the cap. Make sure each slit is about six inches.

    Step 2:

    Sever the section between the two slits along the two-liter bottle so that a funnel-like shape is created with the bottom missing as well as a rectangular cut-out. This is what is going to fit over your face.

    Step 3:

    Use duct tape to seal up the sides of the plastic to protect your face from the rough edges while you’re wearing the bottle.

    Step 4:

    Once the edges are sealed, poke several holes at the bottom of the aluminum can. Scissors are a safe and efficient tool for this task. Next, use these same scissors to cut out the bottom of the can, similar to how you cut out the bottom of the two-liter bottle.

    DIY Survival


    Step 5:

    Next, place one cotton round within the canister you have created (the bottom of the can with holes at the base) and sprinkle a layer of charcoal on top. This is what will work as the filtration/ventilation system.

    Step 6:

    Next, sandwich the charcoal with another cotton round, adding an extra layer of filtration. Be sure to spread the duct tape around the edge of the can, also to avoid cuts.

    Step 7:

    Create a hole at the center of your filter and slide it over the tip of the two-liter bottle. Tape both sections together with more duct tape.

    Step 8:

    Before this step, be sure to make sure you can breathe through the canister by trying on the mask. Poke two holes at the top corners of your mask and connect the two holes with a rubber band to keep it strapped around your head.

The post How to Make a Gas Mask appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Beth’s van conversion

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Vandwelling is an interesting way to live, having your home and your vehicle all in one, this lady converted her van into a home herself, I do wish we could have seen her in this video, she still managed to give all of us a tour of her home.

I really like the toilet, it’s called a C-Head, it’s one that is used in boats, it takes up very little space and is simple to use. I had heard about many different kinds of composting toilets, this is a new one on me.

I’d love to see how she is living today, perhaps we will find her again, until then, enjoy the video.

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How to Make Recycled Paper Fire Bricks

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See How It’s Done

My friends Kim and Bill recently showed me how to make recycled paper fire bricks, and they graciously allowed me to film their process (though they didn’t want to be on film themselves).

These paper fire bricks they’re making aren’t the “fire bricks” used in creating a baking oven or chimney – they’re really just compressed paper “wood” for burning. Like paper logs.

You can make paper fire bricks from just about any scrap paper. Kim and Bill don’t use any glossy paper in their paper fire bricks so they can later add the ashes to their gardens.

Watch my video about making ovens: Building an Oven with Cob

Making Recycled Paper Fire Bricks

First, get yourself a stack of scrap paper. Newspapers, paper plates, napkins, cardboard, shredded paper from the office, $100 bills… whatever.

Then, take those and soak them in a bucket of water until they’re saturated. Bill and Kim recommend letting them sit for quite a while – even a few days – so the fibers can break down.

Once you have them all nice and soppy, shred them up with something. They use an edger blade attached to a drill. An industrial blender would likely work well, too.

Now it’s time to press your paper fire bricks. Any kind of multi-holed receptacle with a follower will work. Bill and Kim used a second bucket with lots of tiny holes drilled in it.

Throw in a good portion of shredded paper. Then press hard and get that water out as much as possible, then put the brick somewhere to dry.

Watch another video: How to Revive an Old Cast Iron Pan – Quick and Easy

Keep it Out of the Landfill

These paper fire bricks look very much like something I want to eat. Hard. To. Resist.

Once dried, they’re ready for use… then the ashes can be used to add calcium and alkalinity to the garden.

Consider it another form of composting.

Though I’ve yet to be convinced of the input of labor to output of fuel efficiency of this project, I greatly admire the ingenuity and the fact that paper is being kept out of the landfill.


The post How to Make Recycled Paper Fire Bricks appeared first on The Grow Network.

What is it? Look to find out…

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Kind of cabin, kind of small house, kind of cave-underground home, this house has it all. I love the color concepts and the design of the home. This truly is a man cave, but in the most tasteful way.



And the views from this tiny abode, well you just have to watch to believe.

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Hobbit house vs high tech underground homes

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These two videos demonstrate the vast differences you can get in an underground home, personally I prefer the more rustic home, I don’t think I would ever be comfortable in a modern structure, they are too sterile and cold for me, but each person has ideas about how they wish to live.

This first video shows a very rustic hobbit style underground home, in fact you can’t stand upright inside the main space, I would want to be able to stand up, but wouldn’t require extra headroom besides that.

The second video here showcases more modern underground homes, enjoy!

What do you think? Would you live underground? Would you prefer rustic or modern?

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How To Make Pemmican, The Ultimate Survival Food

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I’ve got a confession: I’ve wanted to make Pemmican ever since I found the recipe for it in The Lost Ways, an awesome compilation of survival information edited and published by Claude Davis.

Invented by the natives of North America, pemmican was used by Indian scouts as well as early western explorers. These people spent a great deal of time on the go and depended on having portable, high-energy, highly nutritious, and filling foods that would last for long periods of time.

My friend Alan had mentioned on other occasions that he, like me, wanted to enhance his food reserves with this nutritious food. So, last weekend I cancelled all my awesome plans of staying at home and watching TV, in order to surprise him by showing up with the necessary ingredients to make a DIY pemmican video.

I grabbed my camera and headed out the door. On my way, I stopped at a local supermarket and purchased what we’d need to make a batch of pemmican. It’s super simple; here’s all you need:

  • 6 lbs. Beef
  • 2 lbs. Rendered Beef Tallow
  • 3 oz. Blueberries

When I arrived, Alan was pretty excited about the idea. We decided that he’d do all of the talking and I’d do the filming. So here it is:

I wanted to film this so that all of our readers here on Survivopedia can use this video tutorial to make their own pemmican. In addition to being nutritious enough to be a stand-alone survival food, you may be surprised to learn that pemmican doesn’t taste bad, either. In fact, with time, it will grow on you.

I hope you’ll enjoy the video and that it inspires you to try making pemmican yourself. And remember that many other survival secrets of our ancestors are still to be discovered if you get The Lost Ways book! Click the image below for more!

the lost ways cover

This article has been written by Alec Deacon for Survivopedia.

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Balcony Gardening – Big Food Production in Small Spaces

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Balcony Gardening Basics

If you’re balcony gardening, you may be feeling sorry for yourself.


View it as an exciting challenge instead.

In my film 13 Tips, Tricks and Lessons for Homesteading an Acre, I share the story of how I used to long for a large space, wishing for 10, 15 or even 20 acres I could farm.

After working my acre for over five years, I no longer feel the need for a big space. I’ve even caught myself looking with longing at small urban backyards and apartment porches.


Because of the power of focused effort. Balcony gardening allows you to create a little paradise oasis without killing yourself.

Why Balcony Gardening Rocks

When you spread all your work across a large space, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. It’s hard to make everything look the way you want. It’s hard to keep 100 trees healthy and happy unless you’re a full-time gardener or farmer. It’s hard to pick the bugs off 600 cabbages. It’s hard to harvest 10 beds of potatoes.

But if you have a small space garden, you can make it incredible with much less time and effort.

I learned this lesson when I owned a small cottage in Tennessee. The cost of fixing up that little 3/1 house was cheap. We had to replace the roof: it cost $3,500. Sure, that’s a chunk of change — but it’s NOTHING like the cost of fixing the roof on a big, complicated multi-story house.

You could repaint a room with a gallon of paint in an afternoon. You could sand and varnish all the floors in a weekend.

It’s the same way with balcony gardening. If you only have a little area, you can really make it look incredible for only a little bit of money.

Sure, you’re not going to be able to grow everything you like. A pecan tree is out of the question (unless you make it into a bonsai!) and grain corn would be a bit tough; yet you could pack in a lot of plants by growing vertically and sticking to species that are miserly with their space considerations.

Trying to grow food in a window sill? Check this out: Grow Sprouts and Microgreens Indoors All Winter Long

Plant what you love. Make your balcony an escape from the madness. Put a little table out there amongst your plants and start writing your novel.

Here are just a few edible plants I would grow on a balcony.

Plants for Balcony Gardening


Ginger needs shade, so if your balcony doesn’t get a lot of direct light, plant ginger! Roots from the store will usually grow. Bury them in a pot about 4-6″ deep and wait. They’ll come up. A year or two later, when they go dormant in the fall, you can tip the pot out and harvest the mass of roots — or just break off a little here and there as you need it.


Basil is a no-brainer. Start from seeds in a pot of well-drained soil in at least half sun. If you can find African blue basil, great. It’s a perennial version you won’t have to replant. Just know this: you need to buy your first African basil as a plant, or beg a cutting from a friend. It doesn’t grow from seeds.

Bush Beans

Bush beans are so easy to grow that it’s almost embarrassing. A half-barrel planter should be able to host about 12 plants, which will each give you a couple handfuls of pods. Beans like lots of sun, so if you have a shady balcony you likely won’t have much luck.


Strawberries are the consummate container plant. They even have their own special planters. A few years ago I bought my sister-in-law a hanging basket of strawberries and she’s been keeping them alive for years and harvesting berries off and on. Strawberries will take about half sun but produce better with more.


Blueberries work remarkably well in good-sized pots. Plant them in rotted pine bark (not normal potting soil) and they’ll be quite happy. Blueberries also love coffee grounds, so just empty ’em all in the top of your blueberry pots.

Dwarf Mulberry

Dwarf mulberry varieties are shrubbier than their tree relatives and can easily be kept growing at only a few feet tall. Some will produce through the year. Just know this: dwarf mulberries have vigorous roots and will fill a pot right up, then get thirsty all the time. I’d put the bottoms of their pots in trays of water so they always have some to sip.


Oregano is really easy to grow in pots and will take shade or sun. Don’t overwater it. The vining habit of oregano makes it nice for hanging baskets, though my permaculture side would encourage you to just grow it as a ground cover around the base of one of your larger balcony gardening additions, like the following small tree.

Japanese Persimmon

I love Japanese persimmon trees. Though they may not be the most productive addition to your balcony gardening plans, they do make marvelous fruits and are easy to grow in a large pot. Unlike many fruit trees they can be kept small as well.


The kumquat is another excellent small tree, and likely more productive than the Japanese persimmon. They do well in pots and will handle half to full sun. I’ve also seen some citrus growing in full shade and fruiting; however, I wouldn’t count on that.

Key Lime

The Key lime is a nice small tree, so why not add Key lime pie to your balcony gardening? The downside for this little tree is its brutal thorns. Be sure they’re off to the side where they won’t scratch limbs and tear your visitors’ clothing off. Unless that’s the idea.


Lemons are also easy, easy, easy to grow in pots. They’re not very big trees to begin with and the constraint of growing in a pot will help keep them from getting out of control. Half to full sun.


I covered this tree in two videos last year — first, one on the fruit in general, then a second one on how my wife and I made whiskey sours from this incredibly flavorful little citrus. Calamondins are very beautiful trees with nicely-scented blossoms. They’re worth growing just for the way they look. Bonus: some trees will fruit twice a year.


Turmeric is a form of ginger and is a high-value crop that gives curry its yellow coloration and earthy spice. Grow it the same as ginger. Curry on your balcony — how cool is that?

Hot Peppers

Hot peppers do really well in pots — I’ve seen some huge ones growing like shrubs. They’ll live for years under the right conditions. Add some spice to your life. Make sure your balcony has plenty of sunshine before planting peppers — they like it bright and hot.

Cranberry Hibiscus

Cranberry hibiscus is a dark red-leafed perennial hibiscus with tart leaves that are excellent in Caesar salads, plus it makes a nice hedge. They also have wonderful flowers and can be pruned as needed.


Coffee is a great potted plant for shady spaces. If it’s freezing cold outside, let it live in your living room until warmer conditions return. The yields aren’t high but the novelty is great. Bonus: you can use the leaves for tea!


Rosemary likes lots of sunshine and not too much water. Give it a well-draining mix and a place in the sun and it will live for years and spice up your life.


Tomatoes may actually be easier to grow in a pot on a balcony than they are to grow in the garden. The pest problems are fewer, plus they get perfect soil from the beginning. Make sure they have lots of sunshine and some breeze for pollination. If there’s no breeze, shake the plants now and again when they’re in bloom to jostle the pollen into the right place.


Lettuce is really easy to grow in pots. It’ll take sun or shade. Buy a packet of leaf lettuce seeds, fill a good-sized pot with soil, rip open the seed packet and sprinkle the seeds around, then lightly knead them into the soil. Water, and in a week or two little lettuces will start emerging. In a month, you can start picking leaves… and you’ll have free salads for months.

Read about fertilizing your container-grown edible plants here: How to Fertilize Your Container Gardens

More Inspiration for Balcony Gardeners

Here’s a YouTube video where I answer a couple of questions from people without much gardening space. In it, I also pretend to be John Cougar Mellencamp:

Low light? See a functioning indoor fodder growing system here: How To Grow Food In Small Dark Places; Indoor Fodder System

And here’s Bill Mollison, co-founder of the permaculture movement, showing you how to do balcony gardening: (he starts talking about balconies at about 9:06)

One of these days I may write a book on balcony gardening and gardening in small spaces.

I’ve also considered deliberately creating a small, fenced in patio at my new house as a test small space garden. Say a 6′ x 10′ space I could use as a proving ground for some of my ideas. That way I could be more help to the many of you who are living in apartments, rental houses or urban locations. I could then plant as much as possible in that space and record yields just as I do on the rest of my homestead. I’ll bet you I could pull off at least 200lbs of food in that size space over a year — probably more.

Think trellises. Deep pots. Tight crops. High-dollar vegetables and roots.

I’ll think on this idea more. For now, balcony gardeners: don’t be upset with what you have. Embrace the challenge and let me know what you grow in 2016 — I’d love to see it.

The post Balcony Gardening – Big Food Production in Small Spaces appeared first on The Grow Network.

Veg-oil powered bus

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“Buses convert really well to motor homes…” says Jade, a builder who transformed a school bus into his beautiful home on wheels. The first thing you notice is all the warm, buttery wood, but even with that much wood, it’s not too much for the senses, he really has a magical touch for building and decorating.

Watch and enjoy

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Tiny home for less than $500

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Here is one of the tiniest tiny homes I’ve seen to date, coming in at 83 square feet, it’s 8X12 feet, but the high ceiling gives it the feel of a bigger space. Scott is a big guy as you can see in the video, even he feels like this is a roomy situation for him.

I thought he might sleep on his couch, it appears to be a futon style, but his bed is actually a Murphy style bed right above the couch, it stays folded up when not in use, but once folded down, there is plenty of room for Scott to stretch out, and those high ceilings really come in handy here, I’ve seen many tiny homes with nearly no head room when in the loft, this isn’t an issue here.

Scott has a living room space with a couch, a bed above his couch, he even has a kitchen area of sorts built in to the end of the table/desk that runs nearly the length of the front of the house. It’s clear he keeps his clothing hung up in the entryway. What he is missing in the cabin is a bathroom and running water.

Of course being a guy, I suspect he waters the trees when he feels the need, he has an outhouse and shower facility on the property to take care of his other needs.

The home looks like it still needs some finishing touches, especially on the outside, but it’s a good start, and definitely livable, kudos to you Scott for what you have built and how you live.

Update, it seems that Scott moved out of his tiny home, you can read more about him at his blog (link above).

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This Is Why gun control aimed at Licensed gun owners does not work.

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Gun control is aimed at law abiding licensed gun owners, not criminals. Criminals are NOT licensed. They get there guns illegally from the black market. They import them from overseas, & the labor government refuses to help stop this, WHY?

The government in total wants to disarm Australian citizens, probably because this government is so corrupt that they are worried that the Australian people will turn against them. WE CAN’T vote them out of office, it will never happen.

This video shows you why gun control does not work & never will work. Disarm law abiding citizens & the only ones with guns will be the military, the police, & the criminals!!!

Pipe Shotgun
Bad guys are gonna get guns no matter how many laws are passed.
Posted by Bigfoot Gun Belts on Saturday, 12 March 2016

Watch Clueless Americans Draw Blanks On Who Washington, D.C., Was Named After

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Watch Clueless Americans Draw Blanks On Who Washington, D.C., Was Named After

Image source: YouTube


About half of Southern California beachgoers interviewed by prankster Mark Dice did not know who the nation’s capital – Washington D.C. — was named after.

In his latest funny-yet-disturbing video, Dice found that many everyday Americans he encountered did not know that Washington was named after George Washington.

Two Italian tourists, it should be noted, easily answered the question.

“Who is our nation’s capital named after?” Dice asked one woman.

“Why do you ask something like that?” the woman answered. “Can I Google it? … I don’t know. I give up. I plead the fifth.”

Want To Know About The REAL Constitution And What The Founders Truly Intended?

Two other women were even more clueless.

“Our nation’s capital?” one answered before the other responded: “I have no idea.”

Dice tried to help the women by saying, “The capital of America. [It’s] named after a certain person.”

But the women still didn’t know.

The fourth person on the video that Dice asked did know the correct answer.

“George Washington,” the woman answered.

“Are you sure?” Dice asked.

With that, she grew uncertain.

“No. I don’t really care,” she said.

One surfer answered, “I’m going to have go with … I don’t know.”

Finally, one man answered the question correctly, and drew praise from Dice.

Discover The ONLY Way Back To True Freedom And Liberty In America…

“You’re going to have to talk to the Millennials,” Dice said, laughing.

One of the more amazing exchanges took place when Dice encountered a man wearing an “I love DC” T-shirt. He did not know the answer, either.

“I don’t know. Man, I just woke up.”

When Dice asked him what his shirt stood for, the man looked down and said, “I love Washington, D.C.”

“Who was that city named after?” Dice asked.

“Washington,” the man answered, “The president, Washington.”

“What was his first name?” Dice asked.

“I’m having a blank right now,” the man said. “It’s not coming to me right now.”

One woman actually answered, “Lincoln.”

What is your reaction to Mark Dice’s latest video? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Tired Of Losing Freedoms — And Looking For Another Country? Read More Here.

Survival Garden: DIY Cold Frames

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Cold FrameToday’s article is aimed at preppers who aren’t lucky enough to live in warm or temperate climates yet are willing to try to grow their own survival garden.

Cold frames are basically mini-greenhouses and they work by collecting natural warmth to take care of your seedlings in the spring, and to keep your organic veggies alive and kicking through the fall and winter.

Basically, if you want to grow your own survival garden regardless of your climate (well, ALMOST regardless), keep reading folks.

Unlike a regular greenhouse, a DIY cold frame project requires less space, less work and less spending.

Being a do-it-yourself thingy for those of you working on a tight budget or a small scale operation, I will try to enlighten you about how to use readily available materials from around your homestead for protecting your survival garden during the cold months of the year.

To put it simply, a cold frame can be described as a regular box, featuring a transparent cover or a lid, which works by passively collecting the energy from the sun and also acts as a reservoir for your tender plants, seedlings and what not.

Just like a solar panel, the energy radiated by the sun heats the soil and the air inside the box and during the night, the absorbed energy (in form of heat) is released, keeping your mini-survival garden alive and well.

Cold frames are very useful especially early in the spring, when they provide an optimal environment for starting your veggie seedlings or transplanting the annual flowers you’ve already started indoors.

Basically, almost any type of seed can be started directly inside the frame and developed in a controlled environment until it can be safely transplanted outdoors, in your garden.

During hot summer months, the lid may be replaced by using shade lath or cloth, thus providing something like a nursery of sorts for rooted cuttings.

Now folks, everything in life seems to be about location, and the same theory applies to DIY-ing cold frames. You should choose a well-protected site for your DIY project to keep it safe from harsh winds. Choose a spot near shrubs, trees, a wall or a fence. Also, make sure you choose a place which is exposed to sunlight as long as possible during the day, and that your cold frames are oriented properly, to face southwest or south.

Another trick is to sink the frame ~10 inches into the ground, thus maximizing its heat-retention capability. Be advised that your desired location should have good drainage so that you avoid rain water collecting around your frame.

How to Build a Cold Frame

Next, let’s take a look at the basics of DIY-ing cold frames. Let’s start with the obvious: the dimensions. Since the most important thing in a cold frame is the transparent cover/lid, start by selecting your desired cover, as its dimensions will determine the frame’s dimension.

The best choice (and also the cheapest) would be to recycle an old storm window or a window sash; you may even have one in the attic or in the shed – go check it out. If the “going gets tough”, you can always use an old shower door. There’s little to no difference between all these options. Any of them would do just fine for your DIY cold frames project.

If you can’t find anything laying around, go cruising garage sales, keeping an eye out for recycled windows and things of that nature. If you’re skilled enough and patient, you can even build a cover by sandwiching fiberglass sheets or clear acrylic between strips of wood (the corners should be strengthened using metal plates). Even polyethylene film can be used, carefully stapled to a wooden frame. All of these methods are quick and cheap, but will only last for a limited amount of time. They’ll be good for about a year or so.

If you’re using old windows, make sure they’re not covered with lead-based paint (lead is very toxic and lead poisoning is a no fun). Also, check the wood for signs of rot and make sure that the glass is firmly secured in its wooden frame.

For those of you living in the extreme North, where below zero temps and heavy winter snows are on the menu for 3-4 months every year, you should stay away from glass covers, because the accumulation of snow will almost certainly break your glass covered cold frames.

In such areas, the best options are thick sheets of window-strength plastic, such as Lucite. There are other brands, some better, including  Lexane, which are extremely resilient against elements, such as ice, snow, sleet and rain.

Some professional gardeners are using 4×8-foot panels made from corrugated fiberglass for their cold frames. These are sold for building green house walls, so they’re as tough as they come and made exclusively for this job, but they’re relatively expensive.

However, the corrugated fiberglass panels let tons of light inside and, most importantly, they’re durable and they don’t turn yellow after prolonged exposure to sunlight; hence they’re ideal if you want to build a cold frame that lasts for years and years. If you look at the cost from that point of view, they’re actually not that expensive.

Keep the cover as light as possible so that it’s easy to lift and try not to make it too wide to allow for easy access to the plants inside the cold frame. Two or three feet of width would be as small as you’d probably want to go, while a length of four feet will allow you to grow almost any variety of plant inside while still being able to handle the lid without too much difficulty.

The frame itself can be built from scrap lumber, a cheap and readily available material. You can also use cedar, cypress or redwood (they’re naturally rot-resistant) or even dirt cheap plywood. Stay away from toxic materials, such as pressure treated wood, which may contain (almost surely) highly toxic substances, such as arsenic.

The simplest and maybe the cheapest frame can be built using hay bales. All you have to do is to arrange 4 bales of straw or hay into a nice square shape, the bales being basically the sides of your DIY cold frame project.

The transparent cover/lid goes on top of the bales (a plastic cover or a sheath of glass) and that’s about it. The straw can be used next spring for mulch after you finish with your frame and disassemble it.

If you’re making this a more permanent cold frame project, i.e. lumber-made frames, remember that the edges of the box should be weather-proofed using weather stripping on the top edges. Also, try to use galvanized steel hinges for attaching the cover/lid.

Remember to slope the frame with at least a 6-inch slope from the back to the front of the box for trapping as much heat as possible and to allow the rain water to run off. Vertical posts should be used for reinforcing the corners of the box to lend additional strength.

Another option for a permanent and very solid DIY cold frame project is to build the side walls from stone and mortar. Stone walls will definitely require more work and skills, but if you have these materials on your property, they can be very cheap, and you’ll learn a thing or two in the process (like pouring concrete, making mortar etc).

An interesting alternative for your cold frame side walls are cinder blocks, if you have them around your homestead and/or you can’t get your hands on bales of hay, straw, lumber or whatever. Cinder blocks are extremely durable and they insulate very well; just remember to arrange them in such a way that the holes point up and down or else the air will circulate freely.

Remember to keep the top holes covered, to keep your frame warmer during the coldest months of the year. You can also fill them with dirt to insulate them further.

If cinder blocks aren’t your thing, you can always use PVC to make a cold frame. The frame is built using PVC piping and a thick, strong sheet plastic for cover. This type of cold frame design is extremely light and portable, and also dirt cheap.

To prevent overheating, which translates into dead plants just as quickly as freezing does, make sure that you properly ventilate your cold frame. Proper ventilation is possibly the most important consideration when it comes to growing a survival garden inside a cold frame.

For keeping track of the temperature fluctuations, you should install a min-max thermometer. If the heat inside the frame reaches/exceeds 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, be ready to prop open the lid using a dowel or a sturdy stick.  In the afternoon you must close the lid, for trapping the heat inside.

Remember to make notches on your prop stick. This way, you’ll be able to prop open the top cover at various heights, in correlation with the outside temperature.

As a high-tech option, you may use an automatic vent in your cold frame design, which opens and shuts your cold frame automatically when the desired temperatures are achieved.

However, the automatic vent is only usable if you live in a temperate geographical area, where snow is a rare occurrence, because accumulated snow on the lid will render the auto-vents useless, as they’re not strong enough to cope with the additional weight.

If the weather gets very cold, be prepared to drape the frame using a piece of carpet or an old blanket for additional insulation.

The last question we need to answer is: what can you grow inside a cold frame? The answer to that question is “anything you grow in your regular garden”. People commonly sow seeds of lettuce, spinach, choy and kale in cold frames during the fall months in order to enjoy them in the winter.

Also, in certain areas where the growing season is very short, your only chance of growing warm weather crops is a cold frame.

Take a look at the first tutorial, which details a cold frame DIY project step by step and than the second one which shows a 4×8 over a raised bed.

Video first seen on Fine Gardening

Video first seen on Bill Farmer

I hope the article helped and if you have suggestions or comments, feel free to express yourself in the dedicated section below.


This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

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DIY Projects: 4 Ways To Heat A Greenhouse 

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Heat greenhouseIn one of my recent articles I thoroughly discussed the “how to’s” of DIY-ing your own greenhouse.

Now, let’s address another issue: how to heat a greenhouse during the harsh winter months, because even if a greenhouse is an excellent environment for growing plants and veggies, stabilizing the temperature inside is of major importance to your crops.

If you’re wondering what I am talking about, consider this: even in October and  November, the temperature inside a glass-covered greenhouse can fluctuate considerably, ranging between 30 degrees F lows and 100 degrees F highs.

This massive fluctuation in temperature happens regularly in certain climate conditions. Why? Well, the glazing of a greenhouse does a great job when it comes to letting in the sunlight and therefore the heat, but it’s also very good at letting heat out. That’s because glass or plastic does a relatively poor job in terms of insulation.

Actually, almost all greenhouses tend to overheat during the day if they’re not “temperature controlled”.

During the night when the temperature drops, the greenhouse loses all the heat, causing the plants to freeze. As you can easily imagine, plants (just like people) are not very happy in these circumstances.

So, what can you do to mitigate the problem? In order to control the temperature swings, you must install either a heater or a cooler inside the greenhouse. The cooling job is easier, as it’s basically taken care of by an efficient ventilation system.

Today we’ll take care of the heating thingy; that’s the hardest part of the job.

The smartest and also most sustainable way for mitigating the temperature swings inside a greenhouse is to capture the “extra” solar energy getting in during the day, then store it and use it later during the night when the temperature drops. That’s one solution.

Another solution is to build an efficient heating system that uses renewable or cheap fuels.

When building a greenhouse, remember to design it in such way that it doesn’t require very much cooling or heating in the first place. Good design is key and I discuss that in my article about building a greenhouse.

To revisit that topic briefly, that involves properly insulating the structure, using high-quality materials for roofing, and orienting the greenhouse facing south.

Now, let’s talk about heating solutions, tips and tricks, and the whole nine yards, right after the break!

1. Additional Insulation

Let’s begin with the simplest method: additional insulation. For blocking icy winter droughts and significantly reducing heat loss during the winter, the easiest and cheapest way is to add an insulating layer of bubble wrap, attached with clips to the inside frame of your greenhouse. This trick works very well even when it comes to unheated greenhouses.

For best results, go for horticultural bubble wrap insulation, which is available at garden centers. Unlike regular bubble wrap, this one is tougher and also UV-stabilized. Remember that the bigger the bubbles, the more light they let in.

Besides bubble wrap, you may also use horticultural fleece for further insulating your greenhouse and adding a few extra degrees for your plants during extra-cold winter nights. Just remember to remove the fleece during the day to ensure that your plants and veggies receive proper light and ventilation.

2. Heating System

Now, these are temporary, palliative solutions for heating a greenhouse. A better option is to invest in a heating system. Ideally, you should use electric fan-heaters, which can be easily moved around the greenhouse, thus preventing the apparition of cold spots and reducing the risks of plant disease.

When using an electrical heating system for your greenhouse, remember to save energy and money by investing in a thermostat, which will allow you to start the heaters only when necessary, i.e. when the temperature reaches a specific value. Also, invest in a high quality thermometer and check it daily; in this way you’ll be able to use and adjust your greenhouse heater more efficiently.

Try to avoid wasting money and energy by choosing the optimal temperature inside your greenhouse. Remember that most plants will thrive at temperatures as low as 45 degrees F and some of them even below that. The idea is not to transform your greenhouse into a tropical paradise; that’s not really necessary.

Remember to position your electric heaters carefully. Place them in a central spot, out in the open, or at one end of the greenhouse at a time, and heat only the areas that you need to.

For example, if you have a big greenhouse and only a few delicate plants, you just group them together and try to partition the greenhouse into smaller areas (use bubble wrap insulation curtains for example) which can be heated easily and economically.

But, there’s a problem with electric heaters: they are relatively expensive and they require a power supply. If you don’t have electricity nearby, you can go for paraffin heaters.

3. Heat Sink/ Thermal Mass

However, if you’re a die-hard off-the-grid prepper, you should opt for building a heat sink or a thermal mass (they’re the same thing basically). The thermal mass is the smart solution I was talking about in the preamble of the article.

Thermal mass can be defined as any type of material or structure which is able to store thermal energy. And, obviously, almost any type of material is capable of doing that; it’s a basic energy conservation principle, but some materials are better than others at storing heat.

The heat sink or thermal mass works by trapping the extra heat generated by the sun during the day and releasing it slowly when the temperature drops during the night, thus heating your greenhouse free of charge. Basically, it works like a battery, storing energy during the day and releasing it during the night.

Now, how much energy you can store in your “battery” is directly dependent upon the size of the thermal mass and also the heat capacity of its building materials.

Water is excellent at storing heat when compared to concrete or soil, having a twice the specific heat capacity volume of concrete and 4 times the heat capacity volume of soil. Hence, the best and most common method for building thermal mass/heat sinks is to use water barrels, due to the water’s excellent heat storing capacity.

The general idea is to stack 55 gallon barrels filled with water inside the greenhouse. How many you use will depend on the volume and size of your greenhouse. The barrels must be located where they receive the maximum amount of direct sunlight, i.e. near a north-facing wall.

The water inside the barrels will get warm during the day and the energy (heat) stored inside will be slowly released during the night, keeping your crop warm. Easy as pie, right? And cheap as dirt, too. Well, almost.

Remember to place the tender plants (seeding trays or warm-weather crops) near the barrels, which will be the warmest place in the greenhouse, for better results.

4. Heat Exchanger

Now, if the thermal mass idea, aka the water filled barrels, are not enough, you can go to the next level and incorporate a heat exchanger into your DIY project.

The heat exchanger is also called a Climate Battery or a SHCS (subterranean heating and cooling system) and it works by circulating the air through the heating mass.

There are lots of versions and designs for heat exchangers, but they all work using the same principles. The mechanisms of energy transfer and storage are identical: as the greenhouse heats during the day, the warm and humid air from inside the greenhouse is pumped by an electric fan via a network of underground pipes. The temperature drop produces water-vapor condensation; hence energy is released during the process (it’s called phase change).

The released energy is stored in the soil in the form of heat, thus creating a big mass of warm soil under your greenhouse, regardless of the season. During the night, when the outside temperature drops, the electric fan starts over (via a thermostat) and it circulates the air again through the underground pipes, which, this time, extract the heat stored in the soil and warm the greenhouse.

There are additional methods for building a heat exchanger, as the battery material may vary. For example some people choose to dig and backfill with stones or gravel the area underneath the greenhouse, as stone and gravel are better in terms of heat storing capacity than dirt.

It sounds a little bit complicated, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. This air-heat-exchanger system is relatively simple and time-tested for decades in homes and greenhouses all around the world.

Heat-to-air-exchangers are very efficient for two main reasons: first, the size/volume of the battery/thermal mass is huge when compared to a water-filled barrel (generally speaking, two times bigger).

Secondly, because the air is pushed actively through the thermal mass, this significantly increases the rate of heat exchange, making it more efficient when compared to “static” barrels.

Also, this system does three jobs at the same time: during the day, the greenhouse gets cooler, during the night it gets warmer and on top of that, ventilation is taken care of by design, making sure there are no cold pockets inside! Awesome, right?

You can use a thermostat to kick the fan on and off when the desired temperature is reached, offering you total control over the thermal mass, and that means it’s as smart as it gets, right?

Here’s a video which depicts how a heat sink helps with keeping the greenhouse warm during cold nights.

Video first seen on Michael Dibb

Here’s another idea about solving the problem of freezing during the winter when growing inside a greenhouse, called a Zero Energy Thermal Mass Greenhouse, which requires no power and it’s totally off the grid. It will work anywhere and it allows you to grow produce even in the winter.

Video first seen on Ted Pasternack

I hope the article helped and if you have suggestions or comments, feel free to express yourself in the dedicated section below. Also make sure to comeback on Sunday as we continue to talk about our survival gardens!


This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

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DIY Antbiotics, Plus grow your own garlic

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Sign Up Free for the Home Grown Food Summit Now! (Starts March 7th) 

Yes, you can make your own anti-biotics at home. I’ll show you how to make a really super powerful one (it’s easy to do). Anyone can do it. Most people will want to do this in their backyards or on a patio. But I suppose you could do it indoors too. This one I’ll show you how to make is way more complex than anything the pharmaceutical companies can produce, yet it is simpler and easier to make. No, you won’t need a lab of chemistry set. No, you won’t need microscopes or chemicals. Nope, you won’t even need a spectrum analyzer….

This is so simple it’s just amazing you aren’t doing it right now.

This particular anti-biotic not only helps boost your immune system for any time you have an infection, but it is also good for when you have a cold, it’s known to help lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, it’s been known to help balance blood sugar, fight cancer, fight fungus, and more.

Seriously, you have to check this out.

Sign Up Free for the Home Grown Food Summit Now! (Starts March 7th)


The post DIY Antbiotics, Plus grow your own garlic appeared first on American Preppers Network.

How To DIY A Greenhouse: 9 Projects For Your Homestead

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GreenhouseToday’s article is as green as it gets, because it’s about DIY-ing greenhouses. How do you build a greenhouse, you ask? The easy answer is: you build a house and you paint it green.

Ok, I am kidding, but today’s article is about the basics of DIY-ing your own-personal greenhouse, the types you can build, tips and tricks, and what to beware of. You know, the whole 9 yards in DIY for the self-conscious prepper.

The first question to answer is: why do you need a greenhouse?

Well, maybe because gardening is a very rewarding hobby, especially when it comes to building your survival garden for when SHTF. And, it’s also a very relaxing one (hobby, that is), combining something very useful with lots of fun in the process.

So, if you’re that kind of prepper who tries to be as independent as humanly possible, today’s article will fit you like a glove.

If you seek to get off the grid, a greenhouse will definitely help you in your endeavor. I mean, growing your own food is more than rewarding; it’s the definition of survival. And growing your own food in a greenhouse means that even cold weather is not a problem.

Plant life and veggies are particularly sensitive when it comes to harsh weather, but a greenhouse is very effective in mitigating that problem. Moreover, when it comes to a do-it-yourself job, a greenhouse is the perfect solution, both in terms of complexity and costs.

So, let’s talk a little bit about greenhouses, or, better, about how to DIY them. There’s an inside joke about this type of projects: a DIY project will cost you twice as much, it will look half as good and it will take twice as long as you initially anticipated. The time part may be right, but if you follow the directions well, the cost and appearance parts are rubbish! Well, it will cost you a bit, but not nearly as much as if you paid somebody to come and build you one.

Hence, brace yourself, because DIY-ing a greenhouse is not exactly a child’s play, but the end result will be awesome.

When it comes to building stuff, first you must define the terms: what’s a greenhouse after all?

Simply put, a greenhouse is a type of structure which creates an ideal micro-climate for plant life to grow and develop, so it can be used to start plants such as veggies or to grow them from seed to…well, the end.

The first thing to contemplate is the location of your desired greenhouse. For optimum results, you must choose a south-facing area which will provide your greenhouse with good, consistent sunlight. Remember that all structures around must be to the north of your greenhouse.

You should opt for locations which offer morning light vs afternoon sun; however, ideally speaking, an all-day-long sun would be the best, as it will lead to better yields and it will speed up the growth of the plants.

Also, pay attention to nearby structures (like your house), trees and bushes and make sure they do not cast a shadow on your greenhouse. It would be wise to choose a spot that has easy access to electricity, as most greenhouses require some ventilation and sometimes additional heat for maintaining an optimal temperature inside, especially in very harsh climates.

Look for a well-drained area and remember that you must siphon away excess rain water, but the best thing would be to design your greenhouse foundation in such way as it would encourage drainage naturally.

With the location issues taken care of, let’s move on with our DIY journey.

Let’s begin with the basics: what type of greenhouse should you build?

It all depends upon several factors, including the geographical area you live in terrain, humidity, climate, and temperature. All these issues must be addressed. For example, if you’re living in a county with million-mile-per-hour winds, especially in the winter and in the spring, well, that means you’ll have to use a sturdy design in order for your greenhouse project to last and withstand those pesky winds.

Check out this self-explanatory video for further info about what type of greenhouse to build.

Video first seen on Bigelow Brook Farm (Web4Deb)

Another issue is the budget: how much money do you intend to spend on your DIY project? And here are a couple more questions: how big do you want your greenhouse to be? What do you want to grow inside your greenhouse? All these elements come into play and you must figure them out before you start building a greenhouse.

Note that any garden lacking a greenhouse is in fact incomplete, as a well-built and well-designed greenhouse will help you with planting fall and winter crops, thus extending the growing season by almost 100%, not to mention that you can grow produce all year long right in your backyard.

Now, let’s take a look at a few budget-friendly greenhouse building plans. None of these are really expensive and all are fairly easy to build with simple tools and moderate skills.

1. The Barn Greenhouse

If you’re not exactly a master DIY-er, you should start with a smaller project; something like a mini greenhouse. In this case, the barn greenhouse would suit you perfectly. The wall framing can be cut from wood-boards if you have them available on your property. If not, you can simply buy them from a hardware store for just a few bucks.

The side paneling can be built from roofing tin and you can trim the corners of the panels by metal flashing. This model of greenhouse is covered with corrugated roofing. For the detailed plans just follow the link in the photo source.


Photo source: Ana White

2. Lumber Frame Greenhouse

As the title says, the lumber frame greenhouse is basically an eight foot tall structure that’s very light and easy to incorporate into your garden. The frame is nailed together and you can fix it with stakes.

It’s built using a lumber frame for the skeleton, window frames for proper ventilation and a door. All the materials can be recycled from old stuff laying around your property or picked up from junk sales. For detailed plans, just go to the link from the photo source.


Photo source: How To Specialist

3. The Hoop Style Greenhouse

This project requires wood for the foundation and PCV pipes and rebar for the structure; the amount of material depends upon the desired area you want to cover. The hoop stand is made using rebar and then the PVC pipes are fixed on the hoop stands.

After the wood/PCV structure is built, you can cover it with plastic sheeting and attach the cover to the skeleton using a lathe. In the end, you can add a simple wood frame and a door to your greenhouse, and that’s about it. See the photo source for detailed plans.


Photo source: Alberta Home Gardening

4. The Fifty Dollar Greenhouse

As you will see for yourself, you can DIY a greenhouse for just $50, in a hoop-like greenhouse design. This is a hugely popular design, very similar to the hoop-style one, and you’ll end up getting a tunnel type greenhouse, ideal for confined spaces.

The basic frame can be built using lumber and for covering the top, clear plastic sheet is the best and the cheapest. On the sides of the wooden structures you can attach PVC pipes for enhancing rigidity and maintaining the shape of the hoop. For detailed plans, go to the link in photo source.


Photo source: Door Garden

5. The Dome-Shaped Greenhouse

This DIY project is aimed at art lovers, as this structure built from broken triangles looks absolutely beautiful. The detailed plans in the photo source, but keep in mind that this is a tougher project, requiring proper measurement and a well-thought plan for achieving that beautiful dome-look. Assembling it will take some time and after building the wooden structure, you can cover it with special greenhouse sheeting, available at hardware stores.


Photo source: Northern Homestead

6. The Scrap Window Greenhouse

As the title suggests, this DIY project will make the most of your old and, until now, useless window frames that are lying in your attic or wherever. Basically, you’ll have to build the foundation from wood and use screws to assemble the recycled window frames on it. You can finish the mix with some tin roofing. You’ll find the lots of ideas in the photo source.

greenhouse from old windows

Photo source: Inspiration Green 

7. The Scrap Door Greenhouse

This is a variation on the previous project, this time using scrap doors instead of windows. If you have enough old doors laying around in your junkyard, now is the perfect time to recycle them and make the most out of them. This is a very simple project, with scrap doors used instead of side paneling, with plastic sheets or tin roofing put into the mix for additional awesomeness! See photo source for more DIY details.


Photo source: Mother Earth News

8. The Plastic Bottle Greenhouse 

This project is perfect if you’re obsessed with recycling plastic bottles, as it requires hundreds of them, and you’ll save the environment in the process. The structure is very simple, made from wood, with the plastic bottles inserted in between, acting like a transparent wall. This is a recycler’s fantasy for getting the greenhouse of your dreams. This DIY project is perfect for small places and it is very friendly on the budget. Here’s a video detailing the how to’s.

Video first seen on: Wild Urban

9. The Sturdy Greenhouse

If you live in high wind and/or snowy areas, here’s a video detailing the proper DIY greenhouse project for you. These are built to be sturdy, which supports strong winds and heavy snow loads.

 Video first seen on LDSPrepper

I hope the article helped and if you have suggestions or comments, feel free to express yourself in the dedicated section below.


This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

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To upgrade, or not to upgrade, that is the Windows question

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Privacy, it’s something we all appreciate, those of us who live on the edge of society, ie living off grid, we really look for ways to stay on the down low. At the same time, many of us want to us modern technology, ie computers, but using modern technology exposes us to the potential to be spied on, by the software companies and from the government.

You know what they say, it’s not being paranoid if they are actually after you, LOL… Who me? Paranoid? Naw… But with this new version of Windows, I was suspicious from the beginning, I’ve worked in the computer industry in the past, I’ve been “in” computers since the latter days of DOS and the beginnings of Windows, I promise you, they have never given this operating system away en masse before, you might get an upgrade to the next version, maybe, if everything was right and the planets all aligned at the right time.

Now suddenly, they want everyone to upgrade to the newest version of Windows, for free, just like that. I have resisted, for a couple of reasons, I know for a fact that I will lose my free version of Microsoft Office Starter and I use that suite on a weekly basis, I haven’t found anything that does exactly what I need it to do, yet… The other thing is I have an older version of Photohop and I don’t know if it will come through unscathed, the rest of my programs I believe will be OK or I’m not worried about losing them.

So back to the”free” upgrade, I have found over the years that free is never free, there are always strings, and in this case, one of those really big strings goes directly to your privacy, or rather lack of privacy. I’m sure that many of you have committed to the upgrade, and that’s fine, I hope you did some research before the upgrade and took measures to protect yourself.

Some folk do not care one way or the other. For me, I assume that everything I do online is being tracked by someone, or several someones, bottom line for me is I don’t do anything in the privacy of my browser that I wouldn’t want the world to see. I have to trust that my financial data is secure, I do my best to protect my finances, but there is always the risk.

The big issue is the fact that many of the software companies we trust may or may not have our best interests in mind, and that goes double (triple?) for the government. I did find a video explaining the security/privacy issues with Windows 10, and even better explains how to disable the spying parts of Windows that are turned on by default.

It’s a longer video, but well worth the time, watch it, bookmark it, take notes, and unless you have some programs that you worry about coming through the upgrade, or you are just hardcore about not wanting to upgrade, I’d say go for it and utilize the instructions below to take back your privacy and security.

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