Picking a BOL by Pete Thorsen

Many people think that there are very troubled times ahead for the United States. Some who think that realize if that comes to pass their current residence could make their very survival problematic. So what to do? Move now or if tied down, like because of a job, etc, then maybe set up a bug-out-location (BOL). Great but where would you go? And what would be the determining factors in BOL selection? The “where” and the many deciding factors will likely be different for just about everyone. And anyone who has ever been house hunting knows that buying a house …




Property Scouting in the Redoubt, by Pickled Prepper

Like many others SurivivalBlog readers, I hope to one day move to the American Redoubt. In the summer of 2018, my wife and I took the first step: an eight-day trip to Montana and Idaho to look at properties, get a feel for the places in which we were interested, and to meet people. Our goal was not to buy a house or property this trip, but to start what may be a multi-year process that ensures that when we pull the trigger we hit our target rather than making a decision we come to regret. We also want to …




A Greenhouse for Your Homestead, by Ozark Redneck

“Breathe in. The air is rich, humid, fragrant and full of life, warm on your face. It’s comfortable. What is it about a greenhouse or sunspace that feels good to almost everyone? It’s more than just stimulation of the senses. It goes deeper, further back. The tropics were the womb of human life, and the greenhouse is a connection to our origins.” – Shane Smith, in Greenhouse Gardener’s Companion Having a greenhouse can extend your growing season, allow you to start plants earlier and perhaps allow you to grow food that couldn’t survive in your outdoor garden. We started our …




Shelter Preparedness, Pt. 2, by Pete Thorsen

(Continued from Part 1. This part concludes the article.) Obviously, the best bet is to stay with your vehicle if possible. You can carry a lot of stuff in your vehicle, and the vehicle itself can always be a temporary shelter. You might have to leave your vehicle to be closer to a water supply or for a different reason. Once you are bugging out and away from your residence, you might have to be much more flexible in your thinking. Such as: Your shelter can be anything, depending on the circumstances. If it is hot, maybe all you need …




Shelter Preparedness, Pt. 1, by Pete Thorsen

We know to be prepared we need certain things. We need water, food, security, and shelter. This article concerns shelter in a future possible emergency situation. This situation could be anything from a gas leak in your apartment building that requires your evacuation, a wildfire approaching your home, a chemical spill that requires your evacuation, maybe even up a nuclear bomb going off and you are in the fallout drift zone, or maybe it is just civil unrest and you want to stay off the streets for awhile. For many things the best shelter is likely your house or apartment. …




How NOT to Build a Retreat, by The Jewish Prepper, Pt. 4

(Continued from Part 3. This part concludes the series.) Final Electric Up until this point, we had been working off generator power. Flashlights and battery powered LED lights were our only light source, and a kerosene heater and an old window AC unit were our only climate control. Once I had the drywall up, the inspector signed off on permanent power. This meant I was legally allowed to have the power company hook up a line to the house. There was only one problem: they needed to be able to get a truck in to set a pole. To get …




How NOT to Build a Retreat, by The Jewish Prepper, Pt. 3

(Continued from Part 2) Windows and Siding You will often see people recommending salvaged windows for construction projects. Ignore those recommendations! You want new windows, and the ones with a complete rectangle of vinyl trim that snaps into place on the front. I got a good deal on windows that had no interior frame and no exterior vinyl fins, which meant I had to cobble those parts together myself. Every time I drive by a house with beautiful vinyl-framed windows, I feel a pang of jealousy, because mine not only took far longer to install, and they will always look …




How NOT to Build a Retreat, by The Jewish Prepper, Pt. 2

(Continued from Part 1) A Word On Showers & Toilets I can tell you that no matter how much you like hiking and camping, you will quickly get tired of working construction all day and not being able to take a nice shower. You also get tired of relieving yourself in the woods. Early in the process, I built a small out-house, which I used for years. For a couple of years, I maintained a membership at a local gym for $10/month, just so that I could have a place to go shower each night I was up there working. …




How NOT to Build a Retreat, by The Jewish Prepper, Pt. 1

Introductory Note: Please forgive the length of this essay, which will be posted in four parts. My project took me 10 years, so I have a lot to include. As a public service to those of you who are considering building a retreat for your family, I humbly offer a few of the lessons I’ve learned through the blood, sweat and tears I spilled to build a 480 square foot cottage in the woods. Prior to this project, I had no real construction experience, and no clue what to expect. The effort wiped out my savings, caused tremendous stress, and …




JWR’s View: Storage Space Planning for Your Stuff

As a survivalist since age 14–and now 58–I’ve reached the stage of life where I’ve accumulated a deep larder and a lot of stuff. Just writing can’t help but remind me of the classic George Carlin stand-up comedy routine on “A Place For Your Stuff.” (Be forewarned of Carlin’s foul language.) But seriously, every well-prepared family has mountains of stuff. Storage space planning presents three major challenges: 1.) Where to fit it all. 2.) How to keep it safe from deterioration. 3.) Keeping it organized, so you can quickly find, retrieve, and replenish it. I will attempt to address all three …




Family Preparations for Nuclear War

Today, I’m addressing a subject that I suppose should have had more emphasis earlier in SurvivalBlog: The risk of nuclear war, and how families can plan and prepare to survive it. The Risk The risk of nuclear war is now actually greater than during the bad old Cold War. Back then, there were just a handful of nuclear powers that were divided into two or three camps. But today, there are umpteen factions and even terrorist groups with potential access to nukes. Face the facts: We live in a dangerous world. Someday, one or more of hose nukes is going …




The Family Stockpiles: Everything in Its Place and a Place for Everything

I’ve been a prepper now for more than 40 years. The good news is that there hasn’t been a major nationwide crisis, and that means that I’ve only had to break out my gear for localized/minor emergencies and family crises. And the food that we’ve gardened and bought in bulk has meant that we’ve enjoyed substantially lower food costs. (Not to mention less processed food additives.) But the bad news is that I own a home that is now almost too well stocked. First, some background on our situation: The Rawles Ranch is comfortably remote. It is nearly a 20 …




Letter: Earthbag Shelter

Regarding the Odds ‘n Sods entry last month: Owen Geiger has several earthbag shelter designs that are inexpensive but labor intensive and that are an option for radiation protection. Examples Earthbag Survival Shelter September 20, 2010 by Owen Geiger [I would like to see this design in an above ground configuration.] Triple Dome Survival Shelter April 12, 2011 by Owen Geiger Mother Earth News Earthbag Dome July 15, 2009 by Owen Geiger Step-By-Step Earthbag Building [YouTube Video Play list] Earthbag Natural Building, Last updated on Jul 1, 2014 http://www.earthbagstructures.com/basics/basics.htm




The Mythical Group Retreat: Survival Preparations are Not Like Car Detailing

The mainstream media has recently featured many articles about multi-millionaires buying opulent shelter spaces marketed by companies like The Survival Condo Project and Terra Vivos Reportedly, these swank leased shelter spaces are being gobbled up by the rich and famous. (Important Caveat: Those are just two well-publicized examples among many similar ventures, and I’m not criticizing them, per se. I have serious doubts about the efficacy of all such leased retreat space ventures, if and when things fall apart.) Survival preparations are not like buying a service, such as car detailing or house painting. You can’t just “have it done” …




Letter Re: Sanitation Issues: Understanding Home Septic Systems

Dear SurvivalBlog Readers, Recently SurvivalBlog has presented several articles on sanitation issues. I’d like to add to those. Many homes are equipped with septic tanks to perform as a holding tank for waste allowing waste decomposition to occur. Reduction of solid waste through bacterial action works, but is a slow process and often incomplete; additionally, a large number of chemicals we regularly introduce into our septic tanks, such as common soap, dish washing and clothes detergents, bleach, commercial toilet cleaning solutions, etc., are toxic to the bacteria performing the job of decomposition. Septic tanks are one part of the equation, …