Prepping While Unemployed, by Paul H.

I am writing this because I have talked to so many people who believe that there is little they can do to prepare because they have no job.  There is a difference between having a job and working and although I have not had a real job now for over three years, I continue to work six days a week.  I had already been unemployed for almost a year by the time I started reading your books.  Having moved to this small city for a job in finance, I paid cash for an old mobile home in a trailer park …




Experience Building a Missouri Masonry Stove, by Tiasabaki

Thanks for the blog. I have been been one of those avid readers that does not provide very much input, but I have some useful “how-to” information on heating your house in the temperate climate.  I live in Iowa at the current time.   A lot of this is hard to even put into words, because this style of heating is unique, and even more unique as I built the heaters my self.  I recommend anyone trying to do these, to do additional homework before attempting any of this.  I also studied “The Book of Masonry Stoves: Rediscovering an Old Way …




Learning To Prepare, The Hard Way, by Barbara L.

I cannot even remember a time when I wasn’t a “prepper”.  Although until a few years ago, I had no idea of what I was preparing for.  Before the dawn of my awakening, I had serious urges to learn how not to kill plants and flowers. I wanted to grow my own food eventually, so I started with a trip to the local Big Box store, and bought some bare root fruit trees. Now in my mind, they are already dead, so if I could resurrect them, and keep them going, I was on my way. If they didn’t survive …




Burning Coal in a Cookstove, by S.G. in New Hampshire

While remodeling our kitchen several years ago we purchased an antique coal/wood kitchen stove.  This stove was a replacement for a wood-only cook stove that had seen better days. With the economy crumbling and living in New Hampshire where winters can be long and harsh we thought it would be a good idea to have an alternative to our all-electric kitchen.  Power outages are relatively common here as well. Several years ago we lost our power for 8 days due to an ice storm. We have lived in our current home for 33 years. It is a log home several …




Letter Re: 2011 Connecticut Power Outages

JWR; I am 69 year old Connecticut native, grew up on 100 acre farm in Eastern Connecticut during the 40’s and 50’s. [The late October 2011 snowstorm caused a lot of damage and the lengthy power failures upset a lot of people. See: Tempers flare over six days of Connecticut power outages.] I know most of the hardest hit areas, and am also a prepper!  Like most of New England, our state was clear cut during the 1700s and 1800s.  I have seen old photos of our rolling hills with nary a tree to be seen.  As a child on our …




Two Letters Re: Uses of Thermoses and Hot Water Bottles

Sir: Stanley no longer sells replacement gaskets for their older thermoses, but a large industrial O-ring will suffice. Find a hardware store with a large selection of O-rings and you’re good to go. In fact you can often find old Stanleys very cheaply at thrift stores or garage sales simply because they no longer have a good seal. – DB in Oregon   James, Just a quick note with some info that might help. One liter liter/quart Lexan Nalgene bottles (an presumably other brands, though I haven’t tried them) make great Hot Water Bottles when filled with boiling water and …




Uses of Thermoses and Hot Water Bottles, by BigSky

I have long believed that quality hot water bottles and steel vacuum thermos bottles and are very valuable survival tools. They are a wonderful intersection of high and low tech that can serve in a number of helpful roles. THERMOSES Fireless Cooking (retained-heat cooking) – I have cooked in WIDE-mouth thermoses many hundreds of times since the 1970s. There are a couple of other articles on this sight covering that fuel-saving application. I would amend the recommendation given re: Aladdin Stanley vacuum bottles, and I will cover that below. Using WIDE-mouth thermoses for “fireless cooking” is one very useful role …




Weekend Homesteaders, by R.M.H.

This is the story of how two middle-aged city dwellers became weekend homesteaders, and how we bumbled our way through planning and building an off-grid survival cabin. Top to bottom, the project took about two years to complete, working only on weekends. We started out naïve but ambitious, and learned everything as we went along. Our off-the-grid plans actually began with an intriguing documentary. The program posed a series of questions: What would you do without power for two days? For two weeks? For two months? The show went on to explain how incredibly fragile the power grid is, and …




Turning One Town’s Junk Into This Man’s Treasure, by A. Arizonan

My wife and I have been hard at work obtaining supplies, developing practical skills, knitting key relationships, and generally preparing for societal disruption for about four years now. Our journey into this endeavor began after some research into the nature of the U.S. dollar (or more appropriately, Federal Reserve Notes) woke us up to the fragility of our world systems.  For this and other reasons, we have taken the message of Proverbs 22:3 to heart: “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.” Achieving a level of satisfactory preparedness for what …




Prepping: It’s Not Just for TEOTWAWKI, by Choctaw Prepper

In this day and age of being able to go to a store and get practically anything you would ever need or want, the concept of preparing for a disaster escapes some individuals.  The time of “Victory Gardens” and canning your surplus vegetables and fruits have fallen by the way side in our current culture.  Our society sees people storing vast amounts of food and supplies as paranoid because they are simply not accustomed with the practice, nor do they see the need.  Most people cannot conceive the idea that they can be left without food or water, or that …




My Home Energy Backup System, by David L.

Introduction My home energy backup system was originally conceived to make a little bit of power for a very long time.  Rather than backing up the whole house with a generator for a relatively short power outage of just a few hours or days, I wanted a system that would function in an extended power “grid down” scenario.  I was working from the self declared principle that when the grid is down at night, a single light bulb makes a huge difference in how you feel.  In addition, I wanted to preserve critical refrigeration and freezer functions indefinitely. So why …




Letter Re: Home Heating in the American Redoubt States

Sir; I enjoy your site and have learned a lot from you and others of a similar mindset.  I enjoy the fact that the info you present is from the perspective  of  a Christian.  I have been looking at land in Wyoming and while there is some very affordable land I have to wonder how anyone is going to heat their abode when “cheap oil” is gone.  I cannot find land that is in my budget that has any trees. I have spent most of my life in the southern US and some time in Central America and I cannot …




Letter Re: Hurricane Preparedness Steps

Jim: Now is the time for those in the Southeastern United States to check their preparations for hurricanes.  Below is a list of steps I go through anytime there is a hint of a potential storm.  These steps were derived from past experiences and lessons I have learned from other Survivalblog.com posts.  I do this prep so as not to get caught up in panicked crowds on the days immediately preceding the storm.  Should the storm not hit me directly I consider this prepping chance to practice and shore up my supplies. 7 Days Out 1)    Water (1 or 5 …




If You Cannot Evacuate, by B.A.F.

Most of us do not have the funds to purchase and maintain a survival retreat, however there are effective things the ordinary citizen can do to help themselves and their families get through the troubled times ahead. I could write reams on this subject, but for the purposes of this article I will concentrate on a few basics to help your family get started on the path to survival. I have been watching in horror for months as the U.S. government races towards the abyss. The British press truly nailed it when, after the debt ceiling vote was announced, the …




Wood Cookstoves: The Alternate Source For Your Everyday Life, by Sarah C.

Wood heat: Is it really the best source, and why? This seems to be a popular question. I’m sure you have heard about the many benefits of an alternative energy source, but how much do you really know about wood heat? Maybe you remember that you grandmother used to cook on a wood cookstove back in the day, but you probably assume that wood cooking is old fashioned and outdated — think again!  How much do you spend a year to heat your home? Not to mention the additional cost of cooking your food, and heating your water. We just …