A Get Home Bag Alternative, by Rick S.

Anyone who leaves home should bring a Get Home bag with them. We regularly hear of incidents in which people leave home expecting a 30-minute jaunt in their climate-controlled vehicle only to find themselves in a grim, hours-long ordeal without even a bottle of water to tide them over. In some instances the individuals could simply pull over to the side of the road and walk home, but they are wearing high-heeled shoes and have no coat: after all, they had no intention of doing any walking nor did they expect to be out of their warm vehicle any longer …




My Ten-Day Test-My-Preps Adventure – Part 3, by St. Funogas

(Continued from Part 2.) Day Four It was completely overcast by 06:30. Yes! I can fully test my solar panel output. Freezer temps before the morning solar-panel electricity came on: 24°F. I can deal with that if it never gets any warmer during the test, and it didn’t. This on/off freezer method could potentially work year-round so let the SHTF when it wants. As the days get shorter and less solar power is available, seasonal temperatures also get cooler making it easier for the freezer to keep up in my unheated shop. This will be an interesting comparison test for …




Rainwater Harvesting – Part 2, by K.R.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) Our Primary Rainwater Capture System When the time came for us to put in a new garage, we had the opportunity to install a larger rainwater system that could also capture snow melt, as well as store water during the winter. The collection system is an in-ground French drain running the 60-foot length of the building, between the eaves of the building and the hillside. The drain empties into a 1,000-gallon concrete underground cistern. We put in a septic tank for the toilet in the garage, so we just dropped a second …




Rainwater Harvesting – Part 1, by K.R.

Imagine that you have a 2,000 square foot cabin in the Inland Northwest and a spring rain shower thunders by that drops an inch of rain. If you were equipped to capture the rain that hit the roof of your cabin, you would have just picked up over 1,200 gallons of water. Rainwater harvesting is an easy win that can provide a significant supply of water. With a relatively small investment, you can provide a significant amount of water that you can use for gardens, washing, animals, firefighting, and–if treated–drinking. At the very least, capturing your rainwater as a redundant …




Lessons Learned: A Burst Pipe, by Kim F.

Thursday afternoon, I realized the full significance of the noise I heard running through my pipes. It wasn’t a dripping faucet somewhere, there was a leak under my slab. I live in hurricane country. I’ve had an abundance of experience with the aftermath of these storms in my more than half a century of life. You could say I’ve been prepping since I was 8 years old. In all that time, I’ve never lost water. Power, yes. Hot water, yes. I’ve never even experienced a “boil water” alert, except when I was volunteering for disaster relief in other communities. But …




First Aid: Accident Drill!, by K.B., M.D.

It is time for a drill! I am a retired, disabled physician who is going to submit to you real-life scenarios that have happened in my family—-at home. In this practice, you are to imagine yourself and your loved ones in each of the following situations. What would you do? Do you have what you would need? Pretend that you are the first responder and decision-maker due to a SHTF situation in your region of the country. (Otherwise, always seek help from a trained and licensed medical care provider!) The phones are down and the roads are impassible. Disclaimer: I …




An Emergency Household Water Supply, by St. Funogas

As we saw in 2021 here in the U.S., grid-down events lasting several days can occur at any time of the year. Some of the major ones making the headlines were caused by forest fires, multi-state tornados, and near record-setting wind storms. Most of us deal more regularly with local blackouts caused by wind and ice storms, outages that can happen anywhere at any time. Are we prepared? We take water for granted. It’s always there when we open a tap or flush the toilet and often we’re not prepared when it’s not readily available for a several-day period. Here, …




Sanitation for Survivalists, by Tunnel Rabbit

This article is an introduction to hygiene and sanitation for families, small groups, and communities. During early wars, dysentery was by far the cause of most of the combat ineffectiveness in the field. It can debilitate armies. Second to dysentery, were trench foot and frostbite. Sanitation begins with personal hygiene, and is important regardless of group size. Individual habits contribute to the health of others. We do not need to be spreading disease among ourselves and becoming sick and inffective. The broader issue of sanitation must be addressed and practiced at the group level. Having lived in austere conditions for …




Using a Dankoff Solar Powered Water Pump – Part 5, by Tunnel Rabbit

(Continued from Part 4. This concludes the article.) Spare Electric Motor The motors used in the Dankoff slow pumps are of the highest quality and would not need service except for brushes. However, it would be nice to have a spare motor just in case an armature fails, or a bearing fails, or if the original motor is lost to theft. If the spare pump motor was stored in an alternate location with a spare pump head and coupler, then we could eventually fabricate the missing parts.  A recent quote from the owner, Kenny at Dankoff Solar Pumps: $539 for …




Using a Dankoff Solar Powered Water Pump – Part 4, by Tunnel Rabbit

(Continued from Part 3.) Delivery Line Pressure Specifications Water pressure per foot of head, in the Dankoff chart indicates 60 PSI static pressure at 140 feet.  When water is pumped, if my gauge is accurate, 60 PSI was reached at about 100 feet. Note that 60psi is the maximum pressure rating of most 1/2″ drip irrigation that is the least expensive black poly pipe. As a quick reference when designing a system, download the PDF of this chart.  To save money, you can use inexpensive black poly pipe rated for 100 or 160 PSI for lifts above 120 feet. To …




Using a Dankoff Solar Powered Water Pump – Part 3, by Tunnel Rabbit

(Continued from Part 2.) If a 100-watt panel is used, the voltage could be 17.5 to 19 volts at its peak amperage, which is too high for long-term operation. As tested, I use two 100-watt panels, that have one cell covered with duct tape to reduce the voltage at the pump. Voltage is confirmed using a multimeter, and output measured with a one-gallon container, and a tachometer confirms that the pump head is turning at less than 1,725 rpm. Output should be slightly less 2.50 gallons per minute (GPM) if the Dankoff Model #1303 is used, and slightly less than …




Using a Dankoff Solar Powered Water Pump – Part 2, by Tunnel Rabbit

(Continued from Part 1.) There are clear advantages with the addition of electronics, and a battery-based pump system.  However reliable they may, or may not be, both of these options can fail at a future date.  As it is, if there are not the microchips to produce it today, so I would not expect it to be available during or after TEOTWAWKI. If we know how to work around a complex device normally used to run solar pumps, then we can also avoid the expense of either the pump controller or perhaps even a PV system altogether. Simplicity is better …




Using a Dankoff Solar Powered Water Pump – Part 1, by Tunnel Rabbit

The Mission: To “Survive and Thrive” In my opinion, the ability to irrigate crops is not covered adequately.  Few have a plan, or the ability pump water for decades without electricity from the grid.  And fewer still have a contingency plan that includes relocating with this critical ability. Not only is our currency at risk, at the same time, so is our food supply and the ability to grow it.  Famine could soon be in the land. What is occurring in the world today has no equal in modern history books, but has been foretold in the Book of Revelation. …




A DIY Solar Water Heater – Part 2, by St. Funogas

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) BUILDING THE BOX Again, if money isn’t a big concern, I’d recommend using a full sheet of plywood and corrugated polycarbonate greenhouse panels. This will not only give you a larger water heater, but be lighter and easier to move as well. I constructed a double-coiled version using a free recycled, double-paned sliding patio door which, on sunny days, supplies more hot water than I can use. The construction method will be the same regardless of which size you choose to make. For the full-sheet-of-plywood version, use two treated 2 x 4 …




A DIY Solar Water Heater – Part 1, by St. Funogas

If you had to list ten things that would be most missed in a post-TEOTWAWKI world, opening a tap and having free-flowing hot water whenever you want it would have to be near the top of the list for a lot of us. In this article I’ll present an inexpensive solar water heater (SWH) which has gotta be the most efficient for the cost. I use this on my homestead almost six months of the year and in a non-freeze situation such as a greenhouse, this could be used year-round. Even with minimal skills and hand tools, you can build …