Practical Survival Radio Communications – Part 2, by G.H.

CONTROL THE AIR Controlling the air often means transmitting, when necessary, large quantities of information accurately in poor conditions in a short amount of time. Even operators that are interested only in the hobby side of radio may fall into an emergency with the radio being the only source of working communications. Communications in an uncomfortable situation or actual emergency requires a much different style than “ragchewing” with friends on the radio as a hobby. If an emergency is the first time an operator faces a communication challenge, the likelihood of successful communications is poor. Practice, Practice, Practice Radio operators …




Rocket Water Heater – Part 2, by St. Funogas

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) The Finished Project Since there is a lot of information on building rocket stoves on SurvivalBlog and elsewhere, I have not described any construction details on the stove itself. The following photo shows what my working rocket water heater (RWH) looks like, with an explanation of the number and letter annotations. This small building was later covered with bat and board siding, with a small door covering the on/off switch and thermometers. Here are all of the key bits and pieces: 1. Inflow and outflow water temperature thermometers. (Thread these into the …




Rocket Water Heater – Part 1, by St. Funogas

Have you ever considered the things you’d miss most in a TEOTWAWKI situation? I think a nice hot shower has to be pretty high on my list. It is right up there with coffee. So, once I got my nearly-off-grid little cabin built, I set out to build a prototype rocket water heater. There are a hundred and one different ways to make a rocket water heater (RWH). But as an introduction, I’ll show you how I built mine. I’ll also mention a few things that I wish I had done differently, just to give you some ideas on how …




Living Off The Grid – Part 2, by V.F.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) In October of the first year, I remember going out to take a shower in the “shower room” outside. By the time I had finished I was sobbing, crying incoherently, full of pity for myself. You see, it was already freezing cold and while I thought of solutions like adding a heater and so forth, I realized that I just didn’t want to have to deal with this anymore. But I had made my bed and I was going to have to sleep in it as the old saying goes. I let …




Living Off The Grid – Part 1, by V.F.

When I was a child, my mother moved to a very remote area of Eastern Washington and we lived off the grid. This was long before the term had been coined, as far as I know. The property did not have a house. We lived in a little travel trailer. We went to town once a month and did laundry at the laundromat. We boiled water from the creek to wash dishes. The creek was also our refrigerator. We ran a PVC pipe in the creek and placed a horse trough in the creek. This is where we kept drinks …




Powering Tube Radios with Batteries, by Brian H.

DISCLAIMER: USE THE INFORMATION PRESENTED HEREIN AT YOUR OWN RISK. HIGH VOLTAGE DIRECT CURRENT, SUCH AS DESCRIBED BELOW, CAN BE LETHAL. IN ADDITION, EVEN SMALL GEL-CELL BATTERIES CAN PRODUCE HIGH CURRENTS WHEN SHORT-CIRCUITED AND QUICKLY MELT WIRE, DESTROY COMPONENTS, AND START FIRES. IF YOU ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH ELECTRICITY, THEN ASK SOMEONE QUALIFIED TO CHECK YOUR WORK BEFORE ENERGIZING ANY OF THE CIRCUITRY DESCRIBED. Older vacuum-tube radios are popular in the prepper world (and rightly so) for their resistance to EMP damage. One useful fact about them that is often unrealized is that many of them can be powered by …




JWR’s Recommendations of the Week:

Here are JWR’s Recommendations of the Week for various media and tools of interest to SurvivalBlog readers. The focus is usually on emergency communications gear, bug out bag gear, books and movies–often with a tie-in to disaster preparedness, and links to “how to” self-sufficiency videos. There are also links to sources for both storage food and storage containers. You will also note an emphasis on history books and historical movies. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This week we shift the focus more toward  potential Christmas and Hanukkah gifts. Pictured is a Goal Zero Nomad 7 folding …




Getting Out of Dodge – Part 3, by Doc

(Continued from Part 2.  This concludes the article series.) Getting back to the construction details:  I welded up a steel frame and built hinges using 1” bolts and pipe and 3/8” steel plate for the roof of the patio on the East end of the building. I used metal roof material supported by 6”x2” heavy tubing and 2” angle and a lot of rebar and a 3/8’ steel plate for the hydraulic cylinder to lift against. I bought a 5” diameter hydraulic cylinder 48” long and welded a trunion to steel plates on both ends. With the cylinder attached to …




Getting Out of Dodge – Part 2, by Doc

(Continued from Part 1) Two slanted walls were poured on the East end. They were 22′ wide at the building and 14′ wide at the East end and went from 8′ to nothing at the end. This was for a roof for the patio and security when I was traveling. Then I had the messy job of coating the outside with tar to seal it. Next a layer of 2″ closed cell styrofoam was installed on the outside walls. Then part of the ditch was back filled to hold the foam in place. The temperature was hot and I was …




Getting Out of Dodge – Part 1, by Doc

In 1993, I was practicing in a large city and had a home on a lake in the suburbs. I had an attractive younger wife and life was good. I bought a new computer and was stopped in traffic on my way home while ahead of me, a backhoe was digging a hole in the street. I was hit from the rear by a truck loaded with pipe fittings. The truck had a sprinkler company sticker on the door, and was driven by a Mexican with no insurance. The impact was so great that my car was slammed into a …




What I Learned From the Recent Power Outage – Part 2, by A.K.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) The house is located in a rural locale with only two other homes on the road (friends of theirs). They have a well and septic system. And they even have a decent amount of food stored such as canned goods that I could access in an emergency(and pay them back for later). I was pretty pleased to realize this. I actually felt the best here (and safest) that I have felt during my entire time traveling. I figured that in an emergency I’d be okay here for a while. It’s even located …




A CONEX Cabin at Our BOL, by Montana Guy

Editor’s Introductory Note:  This article (in shorter draft form) was originally posted in 2016 at Survivalistboards.com, and is posted with the author’s permission. (He retained his copyright.) Author’s Introductory Caveat: Some government authorities may not allow living like this. It worked for us in Montana but then we chose to not seek permission from them. — Our first Montana winter was spent in an 8′ x 10′ shelter. We survived. And yes, we are still married. This article is directed toward folks who: Live far from where they would like to establish a bug-out, and May want to eventually move …




Using a Slow Pump in a Well, by Tunnel Rabbit

This is a follow-up to my recent  SurvivalBlog article: My Solar-Powered Dankoff Slow Pump System. (See: Part 1 and Part 2.) In the SurvivalBlog comments section, Homer asked for some details on using a Slow Pump in a Well, and he gets it.  It is good to know just how versatile the Dankoff Slow Pump is.From the Dankoff literature: It is possible to use the Slow Pump should the well casing be at least 6 inches in diameter.   The filter and foot valve in this situation, should be the Dankoff model, a 30 inch in length filter and foot valve …




My Solar-Powered Dankoff Slow Pump System – Part 2, by Tunnel Rabbit

(Continued from Part 1. This part concludes the article.) The #1303 model of Dankoff Slow pumps has the highest ‘gpm’ (gallon per minute) rating of the less expensive 1300 series. The #1303-24 pumps the most water for the money, and to a height that it will pump that is adequate for most situations. The advantage of a 24 volt system over a 12 volt pump, is that most surface water sources would likely be in a shaded environment, so the panels would need to be located some distance from the water source to obtain the needed amount of sunshine.  We …




My Solar-Powered Dankoff Slow Pump System – Part 1, by Tunnel Rabbit

This article is essentially a poor prepper’s guide to the affordable solar-powered Dankoff Slow Pump. In my case, I put together a portable DIY solar water pump for only $1,500, including photovoltaic panels. Water is life and the more ways we can get it, the better. For surface water, the Dankoff Slow Pump is what I would use in many situations.  There are so many pumps to choose from, but to make a simple and easy choice; if I could only afford the least expensive, and most reliable solar pump for all surface water sources, it would be this pump. …