Letter Re: Grey Water for Toilets

Hugh, I have an idea to provide rain water for toilets when other water is not available. My thought is to place a small broad flatish tank (10 gallons or so) on the rafters in the attic above the bathroom. Then I would modify the vent through the roof to feed the tank and to still provide venting. When the tank is full, the rain would just flow over the “roof drain”. A sort of V shaped channel dam on the roof could divert additional water to the drain into the tank. There are many possible ways to fill the …




Sanitation Considerations for Long Term Emergency Situations- Part 1, by D.Q.

If you go out onto the Internet, whether it is YouTube, one of the many prepper websites, any of the preparedness forums, and so forth, you are always treated to a wealth of interesting and useful information. Information on food storage, bug out bags, fire starting, EDC reviews, and all sorts of other subjects are common, with the issues of food and clean water being the most important. While many would think personal defense is the next most important issue to be discussed, the truth of the matter is that the need to defend yourself is a potential and not …




Letter Re: Maintaining Your Household in the Post-SHTF World- Part 2

Hugh, This was an excellent article from S.T. Sanitation and cleanliness will become a major concern post SHTF. In his writings, JWR has commented on the advantage of having spring water on your property, and we can attest to that. Here’s how it works for us. Our spring is located up at the head of our holler up behind the house. It is piped into to a 500 gallon holding tank and that is piped down to the house. From there it feeds into a wood-fired water stove (hot water and baseboard heat) as well as all the faucets and …




An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure- Part 2, by L.W.

Clean Clothes The first line of defense in protecting the skin is your clothing. Protect the hands by always using gloves appropriate to the task at hand—medical gloves for caring for the sick and injured; heavy duty rubber gloves for washing dishes and a completely different set for bathroom cleaning; garden gloves; and leather work gloves. Beyond the gloves, we also need to use clothing to protect the rest of the body. The better covered the body, the better the defense. Understand that sunscreen will eventually run out or lose its efficacy, so protecting the skin from sunburn (and the …




An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure- Part 1, by L.W.

In 2007 the British Medical Journal polled doctors about what they considered to be the most important medical advance in modern history. While not necessarily a medical advance, clean water and sanitation—the number one answer in the survey—have undoubtedly prevented more early deaths than any other single advancement. The question for us is: What do we do to ensure we have clean water and to promote sanitation when TEOTWAWKI hits? The black plague killed over 75 million Europeans. Why? Rats and their fleas were the major source of spreading Yersinia Pestis– the cause of the black plague. Why were rats …




Letter Re: Shaving Problem/Solution

HJL, As we have been reminded this year in the Northwest and elsewhere, power outages can occur at any time for a variety of reasons (fires, floods, wind storms, snow, ice). As the utilities shutdown, electricity goes off. If we have been diligent, we have been getting ready to the best of our ability and means for at least short-term self sustainment. We have food, several gallons of water, and various supplies on hand. As I was updating the health and hygiene portion of being prepared I discovered that shaving could become a real problem for me. I have stocked …




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 …