Lessons Learned from the Texas Deep Freeze, by B.B.

Texans had two weeks warning about the artic cold set to hit the state last month. Yet most Texans were not prepared. It is estimated that 80 people died from the cold and lack of power. Some froze to death from lack of heat while others died from carbon monoxide poisoning trying to stay warm in foolish ways. It started Sunday night with rolling blackouts in my area, but complete power outages in some areas. For my family, rolling blackouts continued through Wednesday night, ending in the early hours of Thursday morning. During this time, many lost water service, either …




Letter Re: 2021 Winter Storm Lessons Learned

Dear Editor: Regarding the 2021 Winter Storm Lessons Learned article, I have a few recommendations: I keep a 1800W variable speed inverter generator around to charge phones, run the internet and routers, power a computer, run a television and keep the refrigerator or freezer going.  It is quiet, doesn’t disturb the neighbors, and sips gasoline, especially with the variable speed.  It is small and light enough I can bring it into the house to keep it warmer for easier starting. For the car and the generator I keep a can of ether in the shed.  Most cars today do a …




2021 Winter Storm Lessons Learned , by Chill N. Texas

I am a long time reader of SurvivalBlog.com but this is my first time submitting an article to the blog. Much of this will be “train of thought” as I am reading through my notes that I was keeping during and immediately after the exceptionally cold winter storm that hit the Houston, Texas area in February, 2021. I have been “preparedness-minded” most of my life, but didn’t consider myself officially a “prepper” until about 10 years ago. I have generally had the support (or at least she humors me) of the wife when it comes to being prepared, but as …




Keeper of The Fire, by PJGT

This article is not about cutting wood, nor is it about the best chainsaw or other tools. It is about keeping the fire. About the life and warmth of a fire. If you are thinking about transitioning to wood fire heat, I’m hoping to help avoid some of the frustrations and shorten the learning curve of learning to keep a fire. I’ve lived in many different parts of the world, and there are different types of forests and wood available. Use what you have. Make it work. That’s my best advice. Getting things together and making it work is what …




PV Solar Panels Can Pay For Themselves, by St. Funogas

Author’s Introductory Note: Grid-tied solar panel payback time is less than seven years in most of the lower 48 states, and quickest in some of the New England states, so don’t think solar isn’t for you just because you live in North Dakota or Vermont. RUN THE NUMBERS which I’ll show you how to easily do. If you don’t care about all the details of how and why, skip to the last section called “Quick Way to Figure out Payback Time.” There are only three numbers to enter on your calculator and you’ll have your payback time in years. Then …




Learning Food Storage From Hard Experience, by PitbullRN

We all have our stories on how and why we got in to prepping. Mine began about seven years ago after reading One Second After, a 2009 novel by American writer William R. Forstchen. (I highly recommend this book, if you haven’t had the chance to read it!)  It is about how life changes for a small western North Carolina town following the collapse of the grid due to an EMP. As a nurse who lives in Western North Carolina, this book interested me not only for the setting, but how people with chronic illnesses would suffer and die if …




A Prepper’s Primer on Renewable Energy – Part 2, by Kevin R.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) If you are preparing a retreat to be abundantly supplied when you bug out, but are not always using and replenishing wood, make sure that the wood is protected from rain and snow. Rotten wood does not provide as much energy. Also, make sure that you know where you can get more wood, should you start living in your retreat full time. Do you own your own timber? (Good thing to keep in mind when buying land.) How will you transport your logs to your home if you are in a crisis …




A Prepper’s Primer on Renewable Energy – Part 1, by Kevin R.

Energy is a fundamental element in a prepper’s portfolio of resources and assets, along with food, water, medical, home, land, financial, and skills. However, some urban and suburban preppers who anticipate moving to a rural area when things get dicey often under-think their energy requirements. Organizing your retreat around dependence on hydrocarbon fuels means that you must store huge quantities of combustible fuels that will eventually run out during an extended societal collapse. But if you focus your energy use on renewable fuels, you will develop a system that will last indefinitely into the future, covering a wider variety of …




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 …




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 …




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 …




A Beginner’s Wood Splitting Journey – Part 1, by The Novice

Six years ago, my wife and I slipped the surly bonds of suburbia and sought refuge in less densely populated parts. We settled in a log home in the woods. The northern woods in winter are beautiful but cold. Keeping warm led to a discovery: propane is expensive. So in the interest of fiscal responsibility, we henceforth heated our home by the sweat of my brow. The details of felling trees, limbing, bucking logs, and hauling billets belong to a tale for another day. My story today concerns splitting wood: the experiences of a smooth-handed greenhorn reducing billets of wood …




Eight Lessons Learned From the Polar Vortex Plunge

The recent plunge of the Polar Vortex deep into the American Midwest should serve as a wake-up call for those who are preparedness-minded. Here are some recent headlines: Polar Vortex Triggers Coldest Arctic Outbreak in at Least Two Decades in Parts of the Midwest Minneapolis could break low temperature records originally set in the 1800s, and Chicago could challenge its all-time record low of minus 27 F, set on Jan. 20, 1985. (BBC): Polar vortex brings deadly cold snap to US states (BBC): Polar vortex: Ice quakes, burning railways and other quirky effects Polar vortex brings coldest air in a …