Sarah Latimer: Unrealized Expectations – Part 2

In continuing with the idea of not relying upon others for the “sweet” wants and needs we have, here are a few more ideas that you can provide for yourself (and feel quite good about your independence in doing so!): Fresh and Dried Fruits and Vegetables– Want organic, highly nutritious fresh or dried fruits and vegetables year around, economically? Plant fruit trees and bushes and grow a garden as well as consider using a greenhouse for winter produce. Then, can, freeze, dehydrate, and/or freeze dry your excess produce for later seasonal use. We are still enjoying freeze-dried cubed tomatoes from …




How to Use Old Cooking Oil: The Floating Wick

A few months ago, one of my consulting clients mentioned that she had over-stocked her supply of vegetable oil. She had also neglected to store it in her freezer, to extend its storage life. The result after four years was 10 quarts of corn oil and two quarts of olive oil that had gone rancid. She asked if there was anything she could do with the oil. (She bemoaned the fact that that olive oil was particularly expensive.) My reply: Buy some floating wicks, and burn up that oil as a source of light and heat, during power failures. Floating …




The Harsh Truth About Bugging Out of Cities, by Patrice Lewis

A common concern among rural people in a grid-down situation is the concept of marauding urbanites swarming through the countryside looting and pillaging — the so-called Golden Horde. I addressed this issue on my blog a few months ago when a reader noted, “You can hide yourself, but not your garden. Are you going to take your beef herd into your house with you? In any long-term crisis situation, your cattle and garden will be indefensible and therefore gone in a matter of months. You cannot protect them from a determined large, armed group.” This reader respectfully listed what he …




Wilderness Fire: An Unexpected Retreat From Our Retreat, by L.F.P.

We have a boat-in only glamorous camping (“glamping”) retreat on a large lake in the West on the very edge of Wilderness-designated public forest land. The nearest road is more than three miles away. We were there in early August on summer vacation from the city. Several small lightning-caused wilderness fires had been burning for more than a month during the ongoing drought conditions. These fires flared up in very rugged terrain due to a rare severe August windstorm with gusts above 60 mph. The smoke had started to get noticeable on the lake and light ash was raining down …




Letter Re: One Source of Emergency Fuel for Diesel Engines

Mr. Rawles, I really enjoyed your Christian-themed survivalist books and always wondered what my family and I would do under similar circumstances. Now I’m a little too old to be doing any of that;. But I thought I’d pass on something to you for for your future books and for the SurvivalBlog readership. I worked for more than 45 years in the electric utility industry in substation construction and maintenance. When our large transformer oil trucks were finished work at the end of the day, we’d always dump the left-over transformer insulating oil into our diesel truck’s “saddle tanks” and …




A Beginners Guide to Practical Prepping: Lessons From a True Story of Disaster, by R.L.

It was September 1989, a time in history that is forever burned into my memory. I was working as a firefighter in a small town outside Columbia, South Carolina. Hurricane Hugo had developed in the Atlantic, it was ripping apart the Carribean islands and it was headed our way. All the news on television and radio were inundated with updates on this killer storm; we were tuned into the Weather Channel at the firehouse carefully watching and waiting. The original forecast was that the Category 4 hurricane would turn north and only threaten the North Carolina coast. It was assumed …




Reality Checks for a Grid Down Scenario, By Blueleader

I sometimes hear misguided individuals who repeat the statement going around that if the grid goes down we will be thrown back to the days before electricity: The 1880s. The prevalent thought is that folks back then did fine so it wouldn’t be so bad for us to simply revert to that level of technology. Well, what if we examine your day in a post grid failure scenario? Here is a reality check for you to consider: Let us say you get up ‘the day after’ and you’re cold. Bummer. Well, in the 1880s if you got up and you …




Letter Re: A Year’s Supply of Food on a Budget by J. H.

Dear Sirs, Regarding a recent letter mentioning the use of rapeseed as a cooking oil, care must be taken in finding the right cultivars as natural rapeseed is not suitable for food uses. Wikipedia describes this in depth. In a long-term survival situation over many grow seasons, I’m not sure I would trust the use of rapeseed to remain safe for consumption of the oil. -Mike




Letter Re: A Year’s Supply of Food/Cooking Oil Alternatives

Dear Hugh, With regard to the discussions about a renewable source of cooking oil, bio-diesel, and perhaps lubricating oil as well, I’ve often thought peanuts (aka, “goober peas”) may be a viable option for those of us who live in the south. Obviously, they’re not as visible as sunflowers, and statistics at this website seem to suggest that they produce a higher yield of bio-diesel than rapeseed. I’ve read bits and pieces about backyard peanut growing, but I suspect large scale cultivation may be necessary for meaningful oil production. At any rate, their obscure growing nature, nutritional value (including protein), …




Letter Re: Scepter MFC and Water Can Repairs and Parts

Dear Hugh, I remember reading a post from JWR some number of months ago in which he was asking any of the blog readers who had a spare new Scepter MFC nozzle to contact him. I recently had my Scepter MFC can nozzle hose crack and split. A search of the Internet located this source. I ordered a few items from this source including a nozzle that supposedly worked on Scepter MFC’s. It did! Upon closer examination, I noticed that this vendor’s MFC nozzle used braided hose and that the hose contained markings indicating its size – 3/4in OD by …




The Care and Feeding of a Woodstove

Here, at the Rawles Ranch, we heat our house with a masonry wood stove. Because of the thermal mass of its masonry construction, the stove holds heat and, therefore, provides a much more consistent heating effect; well, that is the case for at least three-fourths of our house. Our stove’s wood box is large, so there is the risk of overheating the living room, especially in the fall and spring, when the afternoons warm up outdoors. In those seasons, we have to be careful to keep the stove’s air vent nearly closed almost all of the time. (However, we are …




Letter Re: Home Brewing for SHTF

Thanks for providing the warning based on scripture concerning alcohol. Please make sure the readers know and understand that distillation of any alcohol product, without proper state and federal licensing will land them in the federal pen. I don’t think the writer of that post was clear enough on that. We call it ethanol now, but the BATFE still calls it moonshine if the producer doesn’t have his ducks in a row. – G.F.




Home Brewing for SHTF, by C.K.

(Preface by HJL: SurvivalBlog neither condones nor condemns alcohol consumption. However, we stand by a biblical perspective that takes a strong stance against drunkenness. There are serious issues that must be weighed in regards to alcohol consumption and commerce, and each reader should measure them carefully to know whether home brewing is for you or not.) What is home brewing? I am not talking about brewing your favorite cup of coffee or tea; I am referring to the growing hobby of brewing beer, wine, and other spirits at home. There are many advantages of brewing in SHTF. However, like other …




Letter Re: Alternative Diesel Fuel

Hello Editor I have been using alternative fuels for diesel engines for about 12 years in my ’84 Nissan 720 diesel pickup, ’92 dodge Cummings diesel 12-valve engine, ’84 Mercedes 300 sedan, PC40 Komatsu excavator, and a Yanmar track dumper. I have not done any waste motor oil (wmo) yet but with vegetable fry oil being contracted up by all the big bio-diesel company’s waste motor oil (wmo) is going to happen soon. I’m just paying it forward 🙂 Have a great day My formula for fuel for diesel engines: Twenty-five gallons of non-hydrogenated fry oil or half and half …




Letter: Buying Gas for Storage

Mr. Rawles, I live where they switch between winter gas (Benzine, short molecule chains) and summer gas (pure, long molecule chains). Which is the best season to buy/rotate my gas supply for storage? Also, under normal circumstances premium octane is a waist of money or even bad for my machines, but is it better for storage? God bless – B. HJL Replies: In the past, JWR recommended buying fuel for long-term storage in winter months, because it had extra butane added (for cold weather starting) and hence it had a longer shelf life. However, since 2010 he has recommended buying …