A Beginners Guide to Practical Prepping: Lessons From a True Story of Disaster, by R.L.

It was September 1989, a time in history that is forever burned into my memory. I was working as a firefighter in a small town outside Columbia, South Carolina. Hurricane Hugo had developed in the Atlantic, it was ripping apart the Carribean islands and it was headed our way. All the news on television and radio were inundated with updates on this killer storm; we were tuned into the Weather Channel at the firehouse carefully watching and waiting. The original forecast was that the Category 4 hurricane would turn north and only threaten the North Carolina coast. It was assumed …




Reality Checks for a Grid Down Scenario, By Blueleader

I sometimes hear misguided individuals who repeat the statement going around that if the grid goes down we will be thrown back to the days before electricity: The 1880s. The prevalent thought is that folks back then did fine so it wouldn’t be so bad for us to simply revert to that level of technology. Well, what if we examine your day in a post grid failure scenario? Here is a reality check for you to consider: Let us say you get up ‘the day after’ and you’re cold. Bummer. Well, in the 1880s if you got up and you …




Letter Re: Good Use of Your Dog’s Waste

SurvivalBlog, We live on 1.3 acres in a semi-rural area of Colorado. We have one dog, and used to pick up after her and put it in the trash for collection. When we stopped mowing our large deer-fenced front yard that has a number of small- to medium-sized evergreen and shade trees, it occurred to me to stop throwing this high nitrogen fertilizer away and stop buying fertilizer. I collect the stuff from the small, fenced and mowed back yard in a bucket with the usual scooper and distribute it in the drip line of the trees. The result has …




Letter: Reducing Need for Detergent

Mr. Editor: Reading your news links this morning, the article from Venezuela regarding military protection of food distribution caught my eye. One of the things the article specifically mentioned is the lack of detergent for washing. Recently, in our research we came across the opinion that bathing with soap on a daily basis strips too much oil from the skin, upsets pH balance of the skin, and leads to loss of Vitamin C through the skin. Even bathing in hot water can disturb the balance somewhat, according to this research. Obviously, we don’t need a needless, artificial drain of Vitamin …




Guest Article: Is Your First Aid Kit Complete? by Dr. T., DMD

Traditionally, survival medical advice has sounded something like this: “Have a medical first aid kit and make sure your dental work is up to date.” This is very good advice. However, I believe the advice should instead be, “Make sure your medical and dental needs are up to date and you have a comprehensive first aid kit.” No comprehensive first aid kit is complete without critical, dental medicaments and instruments. What happens when there is a dental need without a dentist or a functioning dental office anywhere around? Is your first aid kit complete with the necessary materials for such …




Letter Re: Getting By In Wyoming

Hugh, Concerning the Sears Catalog serving as toilet paper, I can personally vouch for the effectiveness, reliability, and expedience of this method of providing for that part of the daily routine. Before being married, I would make regular (once, maybe twice yearly if I had a lot of company) requests for what would become my favorite supplier of this resource– an electronics supply company called Digikey. Their catalog is both free and voluminous with the added benefit of being printed on thin, matte paper. This method served myself and the occasional fellow young, single buck just fine for years. However, …




Letter Re: Stomping Laundry Clean in TEOTWAWKI

Hugh, Another alternative: Take two laundry baskets. Put the wet clothes in the first, nest the second inside the first, and stomp away. Water will flow through the holes. You may have to drill holes lower in the basket, if the floor of the basket is solid. Alternatively, you can use two buckets. Drill large holes in the bottom bucket. – CDV




Letter: Stomping Laundry Clean in TEOTWAWKI

HJL, My grandmother lived in a small village in Vermont at a time when there was only one washing machine in the village. The lady who owned it made her living taking in other people’s wash. My grandmother mostly did her own, in the big farmhouse kitchen sink. I remember the corrugated washing board and seeing her scrubbing clothes on it. During TEOTWAWKI we will be in a similar situation, but there is a much easier method of washing clothes, which I have adapted from traditional methods of pressing grapes to make wine. It involves a bathtub, soap, water heated …




Letter Re: Several Articles

Sir, First, thank you for all you do. I find this blog to be a wealth of information and inspiration. Second, regarding the piece about the Mosin/Nagent, thanks for a well-written article about Mosins. I recently purchased two of them for around $120 a piece. One was a piece of art manufactured just before WW2. The stock was a rich red and the brass pieces were screwed in. I cleaned it and gave it to my Dad as a “just because” present. The second Mosin was manufactured during WW2 and was much more rough. I ended up replacing the trigger …




Letter Re: Protecting Your Home, BOL, and Supplies from Pests

Hugh, Regarding Protecting Your Home, BOL, and Supplies from Pests, A cheap mousetrap can be made from a 5-gallon bucket, some sweet feed (molasses and grain), and a board. Take your 5-gallon bucket, add some sweet feed, and use the board as a ramp for the mice. The mice will climb up the board and jump into the bucket. Once in, they can’t get out. There can only be one mouse in the bucket, otherwise they kill and eat each other. The wonderful smell of the molasses will draw the mice in quickly. I’ve seen eight mice in the bucket …




Two Letters Re: Septic Tanks

Dear Editor, Recently there have been comments regarding septic tanks, how long they should last et cetera. As of today, if you want to spend money to pump them out every few years, more power to you. However, if there is a true TEOTWAWKI situation, you might want to take steps to add decades to the life of your septic tank. Actually, in such a case, you may want an outhouse that is way way away from your home and a septic tank right at your home. Here is why. In many countries, like Mexico for instance, it is common …




Letter Re: Septic Systems

Mr. Hugh, My house was built in 1978. I don’t know if you would consider it “modern”. It is built on a concrete slab with brick veneer and is air conditioned. I noticed in your comments about things going into the septic tank, especially water from the washing machine. This a source of major problems for septic systems. When my plumber stubbed out the sewer drain lines there were three. He offered me some good advice, which I followed. The larger 4-inch line I ran to my septic tank, which was the waste from my toilets, bath tub/shower, and lavatories. …




Letter Re: An Essential Prep, The Outhouse

There seems to be a general misunderstanding about what constitutes a septic system. I keep reading about the need to pump them out annually or some such. If you don’t mistreat a properly designed system by flushing materials that don’t belong there, it should work for decades with no maintenance. If it needs to be pumped out every year, you must have some kind of storage system, not a septic system, or maybe you’re using toilet paper that doesn’t break down. There is a difference, and the glamorous TV ads ignore the needs of country folks. Also our state agency …




Protecting Your Home, BOL, and Supplies from Pests, by JC

Pest control is an industry that touches almost every part of the average person’s life. From the food we eat to the items we buy, each step along the process chain is protected in some way by pest control services. So what will happen in an event or breakdown scenario? Will all those Pest Control Operators (PCO’s) unselfishly leave their families to report to work along with the truck drivers and grocery store clerks? The answer is “no”, of course not. That is why we prepare our supplies now. The coming dangers and breakdowns will effect so many aspects of …




Potential Bioterrorism Agent Found in Colorado, by Cynthia J. Koelker, MD

July 2014: One of the deadliest diseases on earth is right here in our own back yard, so to speak…with no vaccine, fatal without antibiotics, and on the CDC’s “Category A List” of potential bioterrorism agents. Don’t panic just yet. The disease also occurs naturally, as is the case in this month’s outbreak. However, overnight I’ve changed my outlook on the disease. What I’ve recently described to my students as highly unlikely is instead alive and well on the prairie. I’ve gone from believing I’d never encounter this infection to thinking it’s entirely possible. The next time I see a …