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 …




Letter Re: On Surviving Hot Climates and Relocation

Mr. Rawles, Thank you for your service to our country.  In the deep south we are presently in the mist of a drought with high heat and humidity. As two-year preppers, my brother and I grow a few acres of vegetables and field corn for livestock that consist of chickens, hogs, milk goats and rabbits. A milk cow is in the planning. My brother is 71 and I am 68 and we were raised on the farm. I left for the air-conditioned work-force many years ago but still spend several hrs a week at manual labor. At my age I am …




Letter Re: Thoughts of Storm Shelters

Dear JWR: First let me say I don’t consider myself a expert.  However I have studied on the subject and would like put  forth what I have gleaned from my research. 1 Weather patterns shift.  When I was a kid in Louisiana  you never heard of a tornado’s there.  Now they are commonplace. 2 Stick built houses (2 by 4 construction) and trailers cannot stand up to even a weak twister. 3 Even in a weak storm the flying debris is deadly. I also found out that a large numbers of deaths were caused by this lethal debris as people …




Letter Re: Corn Burning Stoves

Sir, Just wanted to thank you for your blog and all the good information available through it.  Several times in the section on selecting the midwest for a retreat, you mention the lack of available fuel sources.  Corn burning stoves are fairly common in this part of the country.  They tend to be in the hands of those who don’t pay retail for corn at this time, and certainly given modern means of agriculture the Midwest (Kansas, Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska) can produce enough corn for its people and corn stoves.  Who knows if this would hold true in a …




Letter Re: Survival Architecture: Building a Retreat that is Defensible, Sustainable and Affordable

James Wesley: On March 25, we saw a post by Phil M. indicating that “At a point of 6′ below the surface of  the earth, temperatures stays constant at around 60°F.”  This may only be true for very specific locales.  For most locations, constant ground temperature reflects the average yearly air temperature for the locale, and ground temps are only constant at a depth of about 30 ft. and below.  At depths above 30 ft., ground temperatures begin to increasingly modulate up and down following seasonal air temperature.  In areas of the world with seasonal temperature changes similar to the …




Letter Re: Do-It Yourself HEPA Air Filtration for NBC Shelters

Friends, In the wake of the Japanese nuclear plant melt-down situation, I called a safe room manufacturer for a hand cranked air filter.  It was over $2,000.  Too much.  I did learn that you need both particulate (HEPA) and gas (carbon) filters.   I have jury-rigged an NBC air filtration system.  Here it is: Go to a hydroponics store or find one online.  Yes, the one’s that people go to in order to grow marijuana. You will need an inline fan.  I used a  continentalfan.com AXC150B-C fan.  It is a little more expensive but German engineering costs more.  (Quieter too). You …




Letter Re: Do-It Yourself HEPA Air Filtration for NBC Shelters

Friends, In the wake of the Japanese nuclear plant melt-down situation, I called a safe room manufacturer for a hand cranked air filter.  It was over $2,000.  Too much.  I did learn that you need both particulate (HEPA) and gas (carbon) filters.   I have jury-rigged an NBC air filtration system.  Here it is: Go to a hydroponics store or find one online.  Yes, the one’s that people go to in order to grow marijuana. You will need an inline fan.  I used a  continentalfan.com AXC150B-C fan.  It is a little more expensive but German engineering costs more.  (Quieter too). You …




Two Letters Re: Some Woodstove Experience

James: I’d like to suggest to Yvonne with the woodstove that she could mount a half inch thick [steel] plate to the top of her stove to get more cooking area.  The plate could hang out past the edges of the stove to give her more cooking area.  She could bolt or weld it on.  It sounded like she was tight on money, so this would be a cheap and easy fix. – Tim X. Dear Mr. Rawles, Tom in Juneau is correct. Tulikivi soapstone heaters from Finland are the cat’s meow. They are the gold standard for contra-flow masonry …




Letter Re: Some Woodstove Experience

Sir: For the true self-sufficient survivalist the Tulikivi soapstone heater (with bake oven) [from Finland] is the supreme method of heating and cooking in a home.   We replaced a dangerous old fireplace with a Tulikivi four years ago and admit they are very expensive, but worth every dollar.  A two hour fire heats our wel- insulated 1,200 square foot home via one two hour fire per day. On very cold days…15F and below. We burn two shorter fires in the morning and evening of one and a half hours each. The wood savings over a conventional wood stove is approximately 50% and the even radiant heat …




Some Woodstove Experience, by C.V.Z.

Being without electricity in the middle winter is cold. We didn’t have any heat during an ice storm. With that winter in mind, we finally purchased a wood stove for heat and cooking opportunities. As the wife and mother, I had this horrible image of an old black pot bellied stove belching smoke and catching the roof on fire. I could hear the neighbors complaining about the smell and my kids going to school smelling like they had just burned down the house. Images of black walls and ceilings and truck loads of firewood haunted me with every winter wind. …