A Prepper’s Primer on Renewable Energy – Part 1, by Kevin R.

Energy is a fundamental element in a prepper’s portfolio of resources and assets, along with food, water, medical, home, land, financial, and skills. However, some urban and suburban preppers who anticipate moving to a rural area when things get dicey often under-think their energy requirements. Organizing your retreat around dependence on hydrocarbon fuels means that you must store huge quantities of combustible fuels that will eventually run out during an extended societal collapse. But if you focus your energy use on renewable fuels, you will develop a system that will last indefinitely into the future, covering a wider variety of …




Healthy Livestock for Self-Sufficiency, by Brad N.

The term sustainability has been defined as “the ability to provide for today, without taking away from tomorrow”. Most of our modern agricultural practices today are anything but sustainable. Our selfishness and get rich quick mentality leave many producers making choices that benefit in the short term, but are actually causing long term damage to both our land and our livestock. In a TEOTWAWKI situation the livestock owner who has been using good management decisions will have little trouble adapting. Those whose management is based on short term success and follow the advice of those who are selling the “magic …




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 …




Escaping the HOA Hole

Suburban America is sinking into the Homeowner’s Association (HOA) Hole. About 24% of the nation’s population (about 63 million people) now live under the rigid strictures of HOAs.  According to some fairly recent statistics from PropertyManagement.com, there are: 40 Million households living in HOAs 351,000+ HOAs in the United States 8,000 new HOAs formed every year in the U.S. 24%+ of U.S. population is living in HOAs HOAs usually have lengthy sets of rules and bylaws that are subject to the interpretation of either elected or un-elected HOA boards. These rules are generally called Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs). Some …




Our Prepping Journey – Part 1, by Elli O.

This article describes how we began our self-reliance path, and where we are now. Our Background I am a retired career public safety employee with a secondary career of teaching disaster preparedness. My husband is in sales and has a past career in carpentry. We are both in our 60s and have four grown children. We were raised and still reside in Ohio. The Move to the Farm When our children were still pre-adolescent we moved from a small city (50,000) to our present location. There was something within us that preferred a country setting even though we weren’t exactly …




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 …




Thoughts on Survival at Rosh Hashana, by Ze’ev

Editor’s Introductory Note:  This essay describes a SurvivalBlog reader’s thoughts on the nature of survival and the meme of survivalism, from the perspective of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana. This was celebrated just one week ago. Rosh Hashana is a holiday, but a serious one. It is a time of introspection and renewal of faith.  L’Shana Tovah Tiketevu!  – JWR — What does it mean to ‘survive?. There are different levels of survival for human beings. And even those ‘levels’ are subtle–based on how we perceive notions of survival. For more than 15 years I’ve oscillated between binges of …




Adventures in Beekeeping by K. in Tennessee

I’ve been a regular reader of SurvivalBlog.com for years and had developed an interest in keeping bees. I started researching online, got a book or two from the library, and after a few years felt I was ready to give it a try. Then we moved 800 miles away, bought some land, built a house, and started a little hobby farm in southern Appalachia. Life has funny ways of getting in the way, but I’m much happier for it, and now I have a great place to try out the hobby of beekeeping. I was quite daunted with all of …




Still Prepping After All These Years, by Tony T.

I have written this to encourage others that may be getting weary with the never-ending labors of preparation. I have divided this into four parts: 1. Learning from my family. 2. Adjusting to my own family. 3. Persevering through the years 4. Where we are now. Learning From My Family I’ll start by describing my father and his family. I was raised in a family that by modern standards would be considered preppers, at least by some. Prepping is not universally defined, to my knowledge. Be that as it may, I say we were preppers, but were unaware. It started …




Letter: Converting Edison Lamps to 12 VDC

Jim, Would you mind offering a link for a 12-volt bayonet mount adapter [for standard 120 Volt AC floor and table  lamps to use automotive interior and tail lights] that you referenced in your novel Patriots? Thanks, – Marc JWR Replies: Marc: Sadly, those bulb adapters are no longer cataloged by Real Goods. These days, with the profusion of inexpensive LEDs on the market, I would instead opt for Edison base 12 VDC LED conversions. This makes sense because LEDs draw so much less current than traditional automotive filament bulbs, and they have a much longer service life. NOTE: These …




My Toolbag, by P.G.

One of mankind’s distinctives from the animal world is in our use of tools. While other creatures may make use of twigs to fish insects out of cavities, or crack shellfish by banging them with stones, only man has exercised his mind and used tools to make so many things possible. The history of tool making is a fascinating study in itself, as our parents have progressed from the simple to the complex. Today it’s quite possible for a person of modest means to have a hobby woodshop or machine shop with astonishing capabilities. But what about most of us …




Are You Building Capacity or Capability?, by 3ADScout

First let’s define “capacity.” Capacity is how much of something we have. Think about your “capacity” in terms of beans, bullets and band-aids. For food, your capacity might be 72-hours’ worth of food in a bug-out-bag, or 1-year supply for 4 people. Your capacity for bullets might be 1,000 rounds for rifles and 500 rounds per pistol. For band-aids, you might have 10 boxes of 4×4 gauze pads, 2 boxes of gauze rollers and 2 rolls of tape enough to dress one small wound for about a week. When your capacity runs out, you have no more unless you somehow …




Garden Lessons – Part 2, by R.R.

(Continued from Part 1. This installment concludes the article.) There are numerous videos on the web about this process in building your seed-starting set up. It’s simple and again a one-time effort and expense. I’ve never even had to change a bulb after three years. I also have a surge protector that the three lights and three seed mats are plugged into. I then plug that surge protector into a timer so the lights and mats turn on/off automatically for around 10-12 hours each day. The next thing you have to plan is: when to start what  seeds or seedlings. …