A Home-Built Wood-Fired Oven, by Mr. W.F.O.

In the spirit of “off-the-gridness” and in an effort to be more self-sufficient, my wife and I recently tackled a new project at home.  We built a wood-fired oven (WFO). A few times a year we loose power for various reasons.  We can cook (and have) on and in our woodstove.  During the summer months, this makes the house very hot.  An outdoor wood-fired oven gives us another option for many kinds of cooking.  It also provides a great accompaniment to the barbecue.  The WFO is a lot of fun to built and use.  It provides a lot of feel …




Letter Re: Introduction to UV Air Treatment

Dear Editor: Can Michael M. provide a bit more detail in his process of developing a UV air treatment solution?  The part about” “Slack tube manometer and did a static test with the air handler running and the house closed up tight. I had a negative pressure of .45″ water column vacuum. I concluded that I needed a fresh air return duct if I was going to use my air handler to try and pressurize the house” is difficult for me to visualize.  Is the manometer on the upstream side of the Air Handler fan or the down stream?  Also …




Introduction to UV Air Treatment, by Michael M.

My interest in ultraviolet (UV) light systems began a number of years ago with the introduction of a UV system in the discharge effluent stream of water at the wastewater plant where I work. If it works in water I thought, then why not air! The removal of pathogens from the water was most impressive and a mystery, So I hit the books and the Internet to learn more.   Here is a light summary of what I learned: The sun generates ultraviolet rays. These rays are natures way of purifying the air. When sun passes thru a prism it’s …




Letter Re: Constructing an Aboveground “Root Cellar” in Florida

Jim: In regards to running a small “window” air conditioning unit off of a solar powered system, I can convey some of my experiences. I have a total of 3,160 watts of solar panel power on the roof; about 1,700 watts feeds my 24 volt DC “house” system (mostly lights, computer, entertainment system, ½ of the kitchen outlets, and the fridge) while the remaining panels are wired for a totally separate 48 volt DC water heater system. Two 2,500/5,000 (peak) watt inverters are used for each system, each “slaved” to the other of the same voltage to synchronize the alternating …




Constructing an Aboveground “Root Cellar” in Florida, By R.R.L.

First , to tell you a little about myself.  I was a prepper in anticipation of Y2K, had the property, cabin, most of the works and of course nothing happened. (my family thought I was nuts) We all went back to our living.  Unfortunately sold our property, because of an illness.   I never thought of continuing on for future problems.  I was awakened by talking with my brother earlier this year when he told me about SurvivalBlog.  So needless to say I am a prepper once again, but this time my whole family is.  I am preparing my parents home …




Letter Re: Priority and Redundancy in Retreat Electric Power

In an attempt both to think through the issue and to stimulate other to do likewise, I present my personal analysis of our family’s current and future electric power usage. First some background: We live in a 2,400 square foot two-story home the suburbs of a southeastern city. Currently there are 3 of us, with one child away at school. Our summer temps are as high as 95F and winters can drop to the 20s. Currently is is between 50 and 80, which is great – windows often left open.   We have grid power, for which we pay $150-300/month. …




Back to the Basics–Heating, Cooling, and Water All in One, by Mike C.

Description A quick “how to” system that will gather air on one end, run it underground, and output it to another system that collects the moisture from it in order to produce drinking water while altering the temperature of a living structure to a level that can sustain life.  Please note that every house, landscape, and geographical location can be vastly different than the next and it’s therefore impossible to give a thorough how to, independent research must be conducted by the reader. Introduction Preppers have the amazing talent of separating need from want in life, and the need factor …




Keeping Cool: People and Food by P.J.

I’m writing from the Mid-West – the sea of corn (mostly) and other grains. As of this writing we are getting some relief from the humidity. “Hearsay” says corn is a guilty culprit for contributing to our high humidity. Corn is in high demand for purposes of food and fuel. Besides corn syrup, a byproduct is humidity, and perhaps, rain – which eventually leads to the subject of this letter – ice. Something that I think will be tremendously missed, is refrigeration – either for food or humans. Having stated the obvious, think of keeping leftovers at a safe temperature, …




Letter Re: Returns on Investments

James: Being married to an accountant, former government financial inspector and a finance director for a company opened my eyes to the concept of getting a return for my investment. For large tangible items, that concept is important. Oh, I certainly could fill a wall with a 55 inch plasma television, but what do I get in return for that investment? A wannabe movie screen that has a limited lifespan and sucks a chunk of energy? Will it help my long term bottom line of being financially independent and ready? The idea of investing in tangibles in a serious downturn …




Home Design Choices for the Prepper, by S.L.S.

When purchasing or building a home, there are no shortages of choices that must be made. From type of home and features needed to financial matters, literally hundreds of choices must be made. Though some decisions may not have a direct impact on your prepping (the color of the countertop will not matter in a SHTF scenario) many will have a direct impact on the sustainability of your home, your financial well being and thus, your ability to prep. This article’s purpose to introduce the new homeowner-to-be some of these choices and to give you some background on each so …




Some Hope for the Low Budget Survivalist, by D.L.

You’ve heard it before, “Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.”  That principle can be, and should be, applied to every facet of your survival preparations.  It applies to the possession of material items such as food, weapons and first aid.  It applies to your skills such as how you find your food, use your weapons and administer first aid. It applies to your physical abilities such as endurance, speed and agility.  It applies to your state of mind such as courage, honor and ingenuity.  And, of course, it applies to …




Letter Re: The Disappearing Suburban Basement–Questions and Answers

Dear Jim: There has been such a great response to the article I wrote about using the basement in my home as a survival retreat, and I want to thank everybody for taking the time to read both parts—and to respond with some great questions. I wanted to take a moment and address a few of the questions, and perhaps give a little deeper insight into the arrangements, processes, and the solutions I have found to each of the various questions. First, and most importantly, I would like to stress that I’m not claiming this to be the ideal solution. …




From Zero to Prepared in Five Years, by Jon the Marine

At the young age of 17 and a half after having completed High School earlier than most of my peers and with parental consent, I joined the United States Marine Corps. The date was June of 1999. The next four years of my life would be interesting, exciting, dangerous, and eye opening. Quickly making me leave the naive boyhood I had then, and realizing what a dark place most of the world really is. At the end of my four year commitment, I returned home from a year deployment in Afghanistan, and chose to discharge honourably once my contract was …




Practical Steps to Preparing a Family for TEOTWAWKI, by Mitch D.

Author’s Background I live in Northeastern Minnesota with my wife and four children ages: four to seven.  I teach and am a sports coach at the local high school in town (population 1,200).  We live two hours away from any type of big city, which in our case is Duluth, Minnesota (population 85,000).  My wife is a stay-at-home mom.  Three years ago, we built a new house four miles outside of town on 15 acres that my parents gave us.  Combined, we make just over $56,000 a year.  In just this past year, my wife and I have started making …




Suburban Survival, by The Suburban 10

I am a public school teacher with five kids and one income. There is little in the way of extra cash to protect the family, but I will do my best to prepare for TEOTWAWKI. If you want to plan well; plan as if it was a lesson plan and you are going to teach it to a class. My class is my family the the goal being not to get anyone panicked (Refer to # 9 below). Having a receptive audience is difficult, because of what I deem…complacent comforts. These are built into the core and routine of our …