Letter Re: Backup Electric Power Design Considerations, Expat and Other Thoughts

HJL: Welding cable is a fine way to cut amperage loss in your line. However, since it is intended by the manufacturer to be used for welding and not solar system, it is labeled for welding and not labeled for building installation. Code inspectors want to see a certain label. They will not accept deviation. After all, an abundance of engineering went into what is in that code. Welding cable use would make pulling a system when bugging out much easier. (I am assuming there are a range of “bugging out” versions with regard to situational haste.) Since you cannot …




Letter Re: Observations of An Old Alaskan Bushrat

Hi Mr. Rawles, I just ran across your site and have been browsing it. Your Precepts of Survivalist Philosophy are superb. Best is that you are a 100% sold out Christian. You may find a few observations of interest, from one who has lived extensively off the grid. First, some background. I grew up in a tiny community with the surf out my front door and a thousand-year-old forest that stretched for miles in back. My father grew up on a homestead and trapline among the Sarcees of the Alberta Rocky Mountain foothills. He never had a pair of shoes …




Response to Making a Final Run, by Jim Fry

I must confess that I haven’t had a chance to read every single post on “Making a Final Run”. A farm in winter can be a very busy place. So I hope I’m not just repeating someone else. In the main I agree with most posters, a final run is possibly/probably not a good idea, maybe. If you’re talking about a last run to Walmart, then maybe you run the chance of getting into the middle of where you don’t want to be. However, there are lots of other sorts of “final runs”, such as to the bank, the gas …




Letter Re: Long-Term Gas Storage

Dear Hugh and Jim, Here is my anecdotal knowledge relating to long-term storage of gasoline. I grew up on my family’s dairy farm in northern Wisconsin. My dad had a 300-gallon steel gas tank that sat on a stand about six feet off the ground in the shade of a White Pine tree. He refilled it every year or two, and that gas powered our two Allis Chalmers WD 45 tractors and the other gas-powered engines, lawn mowers, etc., on the farm. So far as I know, he never used any stabilizers and we never had any fuel-related problems. Of …




Letter Re: Gas and Diesel Storage

Hi Hugh and Jim, I am from Southeast Asia. Thank you for this article. I have been searching for answers to this topic for awhile, but I have not came across anything helpful out there. I have consulted with reps from oil and gas companies, but none were willing to share their insights on the matter. Since long-term storage for gasoline seems slim due to its inherent problems, would long-term storage of diesel to power generators, trucks, et cetera be a better option. Would the same problems related with quick expiry (instability), requiring special containers and flammability associated with gasoline …




Letter: Long-Term Gas Storage

Hi Hugh and Jim. I am trying to figure out what to do regarding safe long-term gas storage. There are some that recommend treating gasoline with Pri G and sticking it in a HDPE plastic drum filled to the top. Others suggest that if you treat the gas every year with Pri G it will last “forever”, even ethanol gas. There seem to be a few common sense caveats, like cooler is better, temperature swings are bad, and you need to keep the tank full, et cetera to give themselves an out. I find this hard to believe. I have …




Why You Need a Rocket Stove And How To Build Three Types- Part 1, by Charles Fockaert

It finally happened. You knew it would. It took longer than you expected, but the Schumer hits the blades scenario you knew was coming is here. It is now “Your. New. Reality”. To survive, you are going to have to cook food and heat water daily, for yourself, for your family, and perhaps for your friends but maybe without electricity, propane, or natural gas. All you have available for fuel is wood. Your New Reality The Federal Reserve Note, a fiat currency created out of thin air by the multiple trillions over the last 100 years, has been rejected finally …




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