Gravity Fed Water Systems, by J.S.

Gravity systems are simple but very complex at the same time. Having lived on spring water that was fed by gravity for over 50 years, I have some experience in making these systems work and easy to maintain. I hope that my simple overview will help you design, build, and enjoy a gravity-fed system, too. There are four basic elements to a gravity water system: source, intake, sediment removal, and storage. Of course, you may have to deal with some troubleshooting down the road as well. Source The source can be any supply of free water. Spring, creeks, lakes, rivers …




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 …




The Water Solution, by E.G.

I am writing this article because most of my friends are still living in major U.S. cities and I feel that this information could be very valuable to them. In a grid down situation, one of the most important items to have on hand is a quantity of stored water. According to the Rule of 3’s, in an extreme situation, you cannot survive three minutes without air, three hours without shelter, three days without water, and three weeks without food. I went off grid in October of last year, and I have learned a lot. I live on top of …




Letter Re: Clorox Changed Formula

Dear Hugh, It is the “splashless bleach” that is to blame. It is not sodium hypochlorite 8.25%, and if you look on the label you can see that it has a different active ingredient. Look for a “non-splashless” formula. The last one I bought a couple of months ago did say “Concentrated,” Clorox,” and “Regular” on the label. It whitens my sink like you wouldn’t believe! – Pat o o o Hugh, Regarding your questions about Clorox bleach, according to my Registered Sanitarian/microbiologist wife, for disinfecting Clorox Regular brand is the best. Avoid scented and splash proof products; they are …







How the Average American Can Prepare for the Coming Collapse, by R.M.

It is very difficult for the average middle class American to prepare for the coming collapse; those that recognize the need still see it as maybe too late to do anything or there is too much to buy and prepare to be completely prepared.  Unless you are independently wealthy, that may be true, it is nearly impossible to be 100% completely prepared for all eventualities. The first thing you need to do is to prepare your soul and your family, they have to understand and be on board.  Your family and yourself must first get right with God if you …




Learning To Prepare, The Hard Way, by Barbara L.

I cannot even remember a time when I wasn’t a “prepper”.  Although until a few years ago, I had no idea of what I was preparing for.  Before the dawn of my awakening, I had serious urges to learn how not to kill plants and flowers. I wanted to grow my own food eventually, so I started with a trip to the local Big Box store, and bought some bare root fruit trees. Now in my mind, they are already dead, so if I could resurrect them, and keep them going, I was on my way. If they didn’t survive …




Letter Re: Taking the Plunge and Buying a Rural Retreat

James,   I may be a little late to the party, but I have spent a considerable time lately worrying about what to do if this economy of ours crashes.  I started thinking about what I would do if TSHTF. I had no answer. I have read about lot of peoples concern over solar flares, and 2012 scenarios, and while they may happen, I am more convinced of the coming collapse of the dollar and the global economy. I think this is much more of a probability and certainly less speculative that the other fears—at least at the moment. So, …




Community Crisis Planning for Societal Collapse, by J.I.R.

I believe that in a severe crisis, most of the problems are going to have to be solved at the local level. State and federal government are too big and dependent on technology to survive a severe crisis once the grid drops and all services start to erode. Local governments, too, are ill prepared to assume this crushing responsibility, but they are much more resilient because their scope of control is smaller. Most of them have never even considered what they would do. This article is a discussion piece to stimulate thought on the subject of small community recovery after …




Lessons Learned from Hurricanes Ike, Rita, and Katrina, by TiredTubes

In September, 2008, Hurricane Ike–a Category 4 hurricane–pounded the Gulf Coast of the southern US. Some coastal communities like Crystal Beach no longer really exist. Inland, life was severely disrupted. For those of us on the South Coast hurricanes are a frequent reality. We were quite well prepared, but used the disruptions and dislocations as a test and opportunity to tune up our preparations. 1. Be ready to help others and to accept help We didn’t need much during Ike, but the power went out before a neighbor finished boarding up his house. My 1 KW inverter, hooked up to …




Preparedness Beginnings, by “Two Dogs”

I am a retired Marine Corps officer and Naval Aviator (jets and helicopters), commercial airplane and helicopter pilot, and most recently, an aircraft operations manager for a Federal agency. I graduated from numerous military schools, including the U.S. Army Airborne (“jump”) School, U.S. Navy Divers School, Army helicopter, and Navy advanced jet schools. In addition, I have attended military “survival” courses whose primary focus was generally short-term survival off the land, escape from capture, and recovery from remote areas.  Like most Marine officers, I attended The Basic School, an 8-month school (only five during the Vietnam era – my case), …




Survey Results: Your Favorite Books on Preparedness, Self-Sufficiency, and Practical Skills

In descending order of frequency, the 78 readers that responded to my latest survey recommended the following non-fiction books on preparedness, self-sufficiency, and practical skills: The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery (Far and away the most often-mentioned book. This book is an absolute “must” for every well-prepared family!) The Foxfire Book series (in 11 volumes, but IMHO, the first five are the best) Holy Bible Where There Is No Dentist by Murray Dickson “Rawles on Retreats and Relocation” Making the Best of Basics: Family Preparedness Handbook by James Talmage Stevens The “Rawles Gets You Ready” preparedness course Crisis …




Letter Re: Last Minute G.O.O.D. Versus Well-Considered Early Relocation

James – We think along similar lines, as my wife and I relocated to Central Idaho in 1995, raising and homeschooling our four children here. We’re electrically functioning off the grid, engage in animal husbandry, grow what vegetables we can, and stock up on essentials we cannot produce and always meticulously rotate the stock. And we hunt, big time. I read the entry on your site today about the fellow who intends to travel ore than a thousand miles in a blink of an eye, and use this blur to make a life-changing decision based on distorted glances at sixty …




Letter Re Advice for College Students Living Abroad

Hi, I’m a student from Singapore studying overseas in Australia and I’m also a Christian. I have been following your blog for quite awhile, and there are some things I would like to ask. First, what advice can you give to students studying overseas? As a student, I stay on my own in a rented place, and probably will have to move every six months or so, so stockpiling food and goods are only feasible for about a month or two worth of food, as I will have to shift everything I own on my own to my new place …




Letter Re: Learning the Details of Self-Sufficiency

Jim, I’d like to add an additional perspective on the letter on “Learning the Details of Self-Sufficiency” — the conscious competence learning model. I’d like to pull back the shade a bit on why ‘just buying stuff’ and reading books isn’t going to cut it when the balloon goes up. Many folks are ‘buying things’, reading books, searching the internet with the thought that when the time comes, they will begin living the self-sufficient lifestyle in the country. The aforementioned letter points out the folly of this approach. I just want to take a step back and look at why …