Letter Re: The Water Solution

I liked the article and the follow up comments noting the sanitary issue raised. My plan is to drill a hole in the bottom of the right side of the water closet tank and put a separate filler valve supplied by water from the catchment system via a separate pipe. I have an abrasive edged hole saw and am about to go test it out on some decommissioned 5-gallon flushers. It’ll be interesting to see if I can successfully drill porcelain. I think this solves the sanitary issues of hooking up a catchment supplied system in a useful way, saving …




Three Letters Re: Preparing Now For Good Sanitation After SHTF

Hello Hugh, I liked the article on Sanitation, although I have a different idea for my shower. I too will install my handpump. It has a hose bib connection for it (Bison pump), so I plan to run a hose into the house or to my out door shower that is sitting stored away for future use. It involves fours sheets of plywood cut to 6 feet 6 inches, two pallets of equal size, a box of good screws and even carrage bolts to assemble the shower room and a few extra 2X4’s for framing all precut for assembly. I …




Preparing Now For Good Sanitation After The SHTF, by S.T.

Good sanitation is paramount in a survival situation. So, protecting and extending your septic system and drain field in a long-term SHTF situation is very important in providing good sanitation. This is something that should be considered before SHTF happens. I do not have the money to purchase two fancy composting toilets or the money to install them, nor will my county approve it. I will be using a hand pump on my well to get water after SHTF, when there is no electricity. Therefore, I had to look to other ways that would provide good sanitation for my family, …




Letter: Hoarding

Hello Hugh. I have been following what is going on in Venezuela and the hoarding situation. Now of course their regime has made it illegal to hoard anything. So, I have been following what items that are in short supply. Not in any particular order they are: toilet paper, milk, powdered milk, coffee, corn flour, wheat flour, diesel, all soaps of any kind, and tires for cars and trucks. A black market is thriving, of course. The penalties for hoarding range from 6 to 14 years in prison. The very government that created this mess is now trying to lay …




Building a Backyard Water Treatment Plant, by J.S.M.

Clean drinking water is critical to your survival, because without potable water you will die within a few days. I don’t intend to hammer away on this point, because everyone who visits this blog generally knows how important it is to have access to clean water, and this subject has been covered many times from many different angles. Many of us have several hundred gallons of water stored away in containers, some more portable than others. Some plan to rely solely on a Berkey water filtration system to filter surface water collected from ponds or rain catchment barrels. While the …




Letter Re: When The Schumer Hits (Literally)

Dear Editor: In response to the article titled: When The Schumer Hits (Literally), by Prepper EMT: I am on board until we reach the recipe, which calls for lemon juice and lime juice. Unless you live in a citrus grove or in  a state where you can grow citrus and are lucky enough to get sick when the fruit is on the tree you are going to be in trouble here.   I suggest that [instead] each person stocks the ingredients to make a simple electrolyte solution that uses common and easily stored ingredients. There are several recipes to be …




Soap Making Before And After Interesting Times, by Laura and Jim Fry

Over the years there have been occasional posts on SurvivalBlog about making various “homemade” soaps using easily found commercial ingredients. These often include store-bought washing soda, Fells Naptha, Zote soap, baking soda and such. Simply grate them up in the right proportions, mix and there you go. There have also been posts going a step further that explain how to make soap from easily purchased oils, meat counter fat or suet, commercial lye and fragrances. It’s just not that hard if you make use of the ingredients and instructions easily found these days. But what do you do in TEOTWAWKI if the stores close, either from lack of product to sell or from looting? What if …




Letter Re: Toilet Facilities for Plan B

James Wesley; In building our retreat, we will have multiple modern bathroom facilities in various buildings. The septic system was recently installed. However, we are thinking for long-term situations that a more primitive back-up would be desirable just to have on the property. So, the question is: Which is better: An outhouse that could utilize fireplace and oven wood ashes and simply relocate as time dictates or a composting toilet? We have researched both outhouses and composting toilets. We can see reasons to have either. Interestingly, this old property only ever utilized cesspools. They are dried up and have composted …




Two Letters Re: Homemade Soap Making Instructions

Mr. Rawles, I’ve been making my own laundry soap for a couple of years now and I’ve found that Zote works a little better than Fels Naptha or Ivory.  Our whites have been whiter since we switched from Fels Naptha to Zote.  I estimate that I’ve spent perhaps just s $15 on laundry supplies over the past two years.  That’s much better than $10 to $12 for a bottle of liquid detergent! Keep up the good work and God bless your efforts. – Emily S. Mr. Rawles, I would like to add to the suggested recipe for laundry detergent presented …




Letter Re: Homemade Soap Making Instructions

Mr. Rawles: Here is a recipe for soap, not food,. This has saved us a lot of money and aggravation over the years. We decided to make our own laundry soap after my daughter (now four years old) was born. Her skin wouldn’t tolerate any artificial perfumes or dyes and she would break out in horrible acne if exposed to artificiality of that sort. The basis of this recipe we found online, then modified it to meet our needs. It includes only shelf-stable materials and is suitable for both washing machines and hand-washing. The ingredients include: –One bar of soap, …




Three Letters Re: Your Retreat’s Privy

Jim, I just finished reading the article by Stephanie M. titled “Your Retreat’s Privy” and I’d like to add a couple of ideas. First off, let me start out by saying that I, along with my wife and 3 boys, live remote and off-grid here in Alaska. Our only form of a toilet is an outhouse, or as we call it here in Alaska, the Long Drop 🙂 The first suggestion I’d like to add to this article is if you live in colder climates, find yourself a piece of 1″ thick styrofoam and cut it out the same size …




Your Retreat’s Privy, by Stephanie M.

Have you considered an outhouse/privy as part of your preparedness plan? If you could no longer flush your toilet because you were having plumbing problems,   or your commercial water supply was cut off and you didn’t want to use your water stores for flushing, do you have a good backup plan,practical even for long term? Going in a bucket with a toilet seat attached to it in your bathroom is one option, but then you have to keep dumping it somewhere. This doesn’t seem like a good long term plan to me. Now, if you happen to have a …




Letter Re: Remembering Dear Aunt Flow

Dear Editor, I really do appreciate Kali for bring up our Dear Aunt Flow because is something I don’t think a lot of women have thought about. I did want to bring up a concern I have about using tampons and menstrual cups that I don’t think has been brought up yet which is the risk of toxic shock syndrome. From what I remember learning in nursing school it’s basically when bacteria gets introduced into a dark moist place in the body is allowed to grow and gets into the bloodstream  through thin skin and becomes life threatening. I’ve heard …




Letter Re: Remembering Dear Aunt Flow

Dear SurvivalBloggers, I have used folded up cloths as pads for years for my monthlies.  As long as you use a cotton cloth at least as big as a bandanna, bleed-through of a pad is surprisingly not that likely.    Have several, that way you always have a dry one and they can hand wash and hang dry in shifts.  There is no reason why they can’t be as sanitary as the commercial ones.   To wash one, soak it in soapy water.  Once it’s soaked a bit (like 10 minutes), rinse it and wash it again with soap until …




Letter Re: The Blackout Docudrama

Hi Jim, The really bug thing about long-term black outs, is the failure of urban (and not-so urban) water systems.  Few care where their clean, safe, drinking water comes from, since it’s been gushing out of their pipes all their lives.  Electricity pumps water into towers and tanks on high ground where gravity does the rest.  No power, no water.  Even the FEMA planners in New Jersey I lectured to a few years ago didn’t quite grasp the implications of a post-EMP America….they all thought they’d be inconvenienced because they couldn’t use their computers. Toilets need water to flush, so …