Hardening Your House, by R.R.

Preparedness has gained a lot of attention and a whole new meaning in 2020. First, everyone got hit with the threat of infection. Next, a lot of supplies which some households stock regularly, while others buy as needed, went out of stock in the stores causing further panic. Next came civil unrest because folks could not seem to obey simple instructions and suddenly the bad guys became saints and poor victims, but I digress. Altogether, I have to be honest – I’m waiting now for a threat of a meteorite strike or an alien invasion! It seems that in 2020 …




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 Prepping Reality Check – Part 1, by Mama Bear

(How-To Think, Plan and Make Decisions in Preparation for When the SHTF) Let’s have a reality check for all preppers, survivalists, and conspiracy theorists. How serious are you about being ready for TEOTWAWKI? I read many articles on the blogs about guns, food storage, politics, etc. But one thing that I read very lttle of is anything on the issue of decision making, attitude, commitment and how to think about surviving the coming TEOTWAWKI. All the guns and food storage in the world will be of no benefit to you or your family unless accompanied by decision making, priorities, survival …




Building the Castle – Part 2, by Jake R.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) Metal Siding Metal siding is common on a lot of the newer barndominiums and shop houses. Essentially, it’s the same as the metal roofing used on the building. These are becoming more and more popular and have their advantages and disadvantages. Pros Durability – This type of metal is typically durable and has good longevity. To top that off, it’s also easy to maintain. Easy Installation – The installation of this is also straight forward which reduces the labor costs to have it installed. Fire Safety – This material is also good …




Living Off The Grid – Part 2, by V.F.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) In October of the first year, I remember going out to take a shower in the “shower room” outside. By the time I had finished I was sobbing, crying incoherently, full of pity for myself. You see, it was already freezing cold and while I thought of solutions like adding a heater and so forth, I realized that I just didn’t want to have to deal with this anymore. But I had made my bed and I was going to have to sleep in it as the old saying goes. I let …




Living Off The Grid – Part 1, by V.F.

When I was a child, my mother moved to a very remote area of Eastern Washington and we lived off the grid. This was long before the term had been coined, as far as I know. The property did not have a house. We lived in a little travel trailer. We went to town once a month and did laundry at the laundromat. We boiled water from the creek to wash dishes. The creek was also our refrigerator. We ran a PVC pipe in the creek and placed a horse trough in the creek. This is where we kept drinks …




Getting Out of Dodge – Part 3, by Doc

(Continued from Part 2.  This concludes the article series.) Getting back to the construction details:  I welded up a steel frame and built hinges using 1” bolts and pipe and 3/8” steel plate for the roof of the patio on the East end of the building. I used metal roof material supported by 6”x2” heavy tubing and 2” angle and a lot of rebar and a 3/8’ steel plate for the hydraulic cylinder to lift against. I bought a 5” diameter hydraulic cylinder 48” long and welded a trunion to steel plates on both ends. With the cylinder attached to …




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 …




How Plastic Saved Our Homestead – Part 2, by H.P.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) For covering all of the crop rows, we use a black on white 1 mil UV stabilized poly film. This versatile material must be replaced every year after the grow season ends. Depending on which crop is being planted, we roll it out either white up or black up. The white, best for greens and brassicas, has a cooling effect on the soil by reflecting sunlight. The black warms the soil by absorbing sunlight and is used for the majority of crops. When used in the hoop house, drip tape would be …




How Plastic Saved Our Homestead – Part 1, by H.P.

A Disclaimer: I have zero commercial interest or connection to the plastic industry or any link contained herein. All links and references below are provided for informational and educational purposes only. I strongly encourage readers to use locally owned suppliers and make your purchases face to face for all of the products I recommend. Or better yet- source them via second hand, scrap, or salvage. All photos are originals and taken at my property. — Plastic has been getting a lot of bad press lately. Plastic pollution in our waterways is certainly a problem that deserves our attention. Leaching of …




Prepper House Hunting – Part 2, by Mrs. AK

(This installment concludes the article.) — We do have towns here in Vermont that lack any zoning. While some might consider this good, it can get ugly when people turn their properties into junkyards or want to start noxious commercial operations in a residential area. I’d like some protection from that sort of thing, while not living in a place that controls every aspect of your life. I want to avoid large commercial dairy operations and their associated spreading of liquid manure. The odors, traffic, dust and noise can be unbearable and has really caused a diminished quality of life …




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 …




Family Winter Greenhouse, by T.M.P.

We moved to the American Redoubt five years ago, from Northern California. We wanted something located away from any big cities, with some acreage, well water, a septic system, a big shop, and with wild game. While surfing the net for real estate which would be suitable for long term sustainability after a SHTF event, I found a listing of a property with a description of amenities that sounded ideal. In fact, on the way to see the property with our Realtor I commented to my wife that it really sounded too good to be true. Included in the description …