The results are in. Recently, I asked our readers: What topics would you like to see covered in SurvivalBlog feature articles, in the coming months?
The intent was to give folks ideas for SurvivalBlog writing contest topics. None of the following listed topics are in any way reserved. Anyone can plunge in and share their experience on any of them.
Update: As articles are submitted, I will mark up the following list with
strikethroughs for topics that are addressed.
We started with this brainstorming list:
- Herbs — Medicinal and Cooking
- Wildcrafting with plants and trees
- Foraging and recipes with wild edibles
- Assembling a set of ham radio shack equipment
- Ham radio antenna trimming
- Home Gunsmithing
- How to restore kerosene lamps
Basic DIY veterinary science
- Horse hoof trimming
- Basic home carpentry projects
- Dry-pack canning
And here are the feature article ideas that were sent in by readers, greatly expanding that list:
- Prescription drug preparedness. More than just animal antibiotics, we’d appreciate some detailed recommendations by a medical professional, including some warnings on drug interactions.
Cautionary tales – true stories of people who embarked on big prepper, survival, homestead ventures and quickly bailed for one reason or another.
Small construction projects/advice
Jerry-rigging solutions to remote plumbing and electrical problems.
Weather-related considerations for safety, costs, food, other.
Small engine maintenance and repair.
Accurate butchering cuts.
Aging in place in remote locales – hacks, helps, advice.
Clever building designs (and those that did not work) for dealing with cold holes, storage, water wells, etc, heat/cooling, etc.
Best purchases in this/that category. Biggest money wasters in this/that category.
Assisting birth of mammals, including human people.
The humble power of human touch.
Mobility without petroleum or electricity.
How to get prescription medicine without a prescription, and what alternative medicines can I use in a disaster, such as veterinary antibiotics.
Details on how to repurpose a DC motor or a car alternator, to make a pedal-powered DC generator.
- How to, make do, think outside of the box articles could be helpful as well as more emphasis on where to find supplies outside of the traditional stores. “We need to reject the ‘I can’t’ a replace it with the ‘how can I?’ mentally. We can’t always have the best, most efficient way but we can still achieve the goal as we can update to better more efficient ways.”
- How to properly clean antique firearms.
- Using manure tea for aquaponic gardening.
- Foraging for wild edibles.
- Home security.
- Communications in SHTF.
- Precious Metals – how to invest, stocks in silver/gold mining, how to securely store physical metals, e.g.- is a bank safe deposit safe?
- Basics on communications. “From my view there is the ‘classic’ ham approach which works well but in an emergency situation some additional ‘tactical’ methods and styles may be very useful.”
- An article on interpersonal skills. Someone should cover “basics on how to have a meeting that is structured and not just a get-together session or how to develop and pass on community information. Just thinking out loud but a ‘town square’ posting idea for messages and the like should be discussed.”
- How to build structures from green wood
- How to reuse old technology. to make new things.
- Goat and sheep hoof trimming.
- Survival food strategies and storage, to include types, how much, cost-effectiveness, a breakdown by date, use, and storage life.
Articles on homeschooling, especially the nuts and bolts of the daily implementation of a home classroom.
- Traversing terrain in rural, suburban, and urban landscapes would be of interest. Not just navigation, but rather things to do and avoid when moving over the ground in each environment.
- Spinning fibers
- Dyeing fibers with natural vegetable dyes
- Basic sewing
- Making cleaning agents for fabrics
- Soap-making (re-batch or lye-based)
- Storing grains against insects
- Keeping books (and other ephemera) safe.
- Basics on musical instruments.
- Step-by-step butchering all different kinds of wild game.
- Home pantry building and organization tips.
- Off-grid power systems will be increasingly important. An article needs to address whether new battery technology (lithium) may or may not be compatible with older charge controllers and inverters.
- Many published wild food suggestions are for leaves to make tea or for items that can be used as an additive to combine with other food. But often berries must be combined with sugar (perhaps lots of it) to make jelly. In other cases some wild food item must be fried in oil, but this means you must have the oil—and oil may contain most of the calories in the final preparation. We can’t live on tea or wild food additives to flavor regular food unless we also have the regular food itself.
- We used inexpensive kitchen sprayer units to make bidets for our toilets. The sprayer hangs in the wall next to the commode. We don’t need as much toilet tissue as we used to. Perhaps someone could include this idea in a longer article on grid-down sanitation.
- Prepping Regrets and Failures. (This could include: What you broke and why you broke it. How something didn’t live up to expectations. How your plans utterly failed once they came into contact with “the enemy” (or just reality.) What didn’t work in your garden, shop, pasture, garage, chicken coop, and so forth.
An article on “aging out” of being an active prepper. “Things that sounded so doable 20 years ago are no longer possible for us. Looking at TEOTWAWKI from closer to 80 than 50 is a whole different kettle of fish.”
- An article with a calendar of the homesteading year (chores that should be done at different times of the year, times to start seedlings, firewood, livestock activities, etc.) — especially in the American Redoubt.
- Raising chickens for eggs and meat. A lot of cities now allow it. That would be very timely, given the recent jump in egg and butchered chicken.
- Home hydroelectric systems — including set up, water requirements, maintenance, etc.
Articles for women’s ‘stuff’
- How to bake in a solar oven – it’s different!
- How to convert an electric sewing machine to work using a battery-powered drill or a treadle base
- How to avoid redundancy by careful selection of tools
- Preparing give-away bags for wanderers.
- Using mail instead of phones, typewriter instead of computer (can’t be easily compromised).
- Sourcing various fats and oils — and safe storage of same.
Mobile ham radio equipment (mainly batteries/power and antennae (especially concealable).
Homestead defense (alarms/notification and obstacles).
- An article with a realistic and practical list of hand tools and garden tools to keep on hand.
- More about restoring old cast iron frying pans. Perhaps this topic could be expanded to old cookware.
How to hide a trail camera.
Electronic perimeter security.
Implementing an Integrated home/farm/ranch security plan.
More about practical ham radio. Is HF really useful?
Traditional recipes and cooking techniques.
Foods used during the Great Depression.
Home dairying and cheese making.
Using/repairing old tractors and setting up implements for farming.
Lost crafts — weaving, shoe making, clothing making, spinning wool, wood carving, making a chair, spoons and cooking utensils, etc.
- Experiences building underground: Cellars/Bunkers/Walk-in Coolers/etc.
- Experiences building a Nuclear Fallout Shelter.
- Knowledge on what are the key staple foods to grow after a collapse: planting/growing/harvesting/storing/preparing/nutrition.
- Protein from plants versus meat: pros/cons/personal conclusions.
- Experiences with Harvest Right Freeze Drying machine: costs/food prep/storage/nutrition yields/etc.
- Thoughtful commentary on Biblical Prophecy versus Current Events, and commentary on The Chosen.
- Anything having to do with herbs, wild harvesting, herbal medicine, etc.
- Gardening, especially growing animal food and alternative sources of food, such as banana stalks.
- Farrier work at home.
- Do-It-Yourself veterinary.
- Lactic Fermentation for human and animal consumption.
- Water management: How to manage rainwater in a very wet environment or a very dry environment. (Example: raised beds versus sunken beds)
- Lathe and mill work.
- How to recycle things (trash) into very useful things to survive.
- How to harden our homes, and farm/retreat/home security. Specifically breaking it down to a few things like hardening doors, security screens, and various window coverings of different levels, as well as surveillance of approaches to homes.
JWR Adds: I hope that these poll results will inspire many folks to write articles for SurvivalBlog. Please share your knowledge! The writers of the most useful and well-written articles will receive some great contest prizes. More than $800,000 worth of prizes have been awarded since we started running the SurvivalBlog writing contest.
Round 105 ends on March 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how-to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging. Thanks! – JWR