Low-Budget TEOTWAWKI Preps – Part 1, By E.J.H.

I am here to teach you some practical tips for preparing and surviving the end of the world without fancy preps or high-dollar retreats. I will also share some practical uses I have found for everyday items.

As much as I would like everyone in America to be able to afford nice, expensive things for their preps, that just cannot be. Let’s face it, Mr. James, not everyone has enough money, time, or space for prepping, or maybe it is just not a big aspect of their life. Yes, I would love to have a multi-million dollar retreat, but some people are just not blessed like that. It is kind of sad to see people who don’t care about prepping and who waste their time saving the trees and whales. These people just think everything will be fine and that nothing can happen to them, but some do care. To those who do, read on, and I hope you can learn a bit from this.


First, I am going to say that I am in no way telling you to use these methods over conventional and practical methods and equipment, nor am I advertising for any specific product or brand. I simply mean to present an informative and useful guide for when any of the conventional methods fail or become unavailable. Also, it might be handy to take a few notes, as there is a ton of information in here.

Duct Tape

Now I know you’re probably thinking “Not another of these Beaver Dam duct tape idiots.” That is not what I am about to say here. Duct tape does a lot of things, and while you may think it is just one of those prepper fads and that it is not all it’s cracked up to be, duct tape can save your life. Think about Apollo 13! When stuff breaks, duct tape fixes it. In WWII, when it was first officially invented, the soldiers soon discovered more applications for it than sealing ammo cans. The bottom line is that you need duct tape. It can be, will be, and will always be a valuable resource before, during, and after TEOTWAWKI. So I am going to give you a list and helpful guide to things to use it for.

Wrist splint

One of its many uses is making an improvised splint for sprains and breaks. Once again, I advise you not to use this as opposed to a real splint. It is simply a substitute until medical help can be found. Also, never use this if there is protruding bone. This design works best for wrist injuries, as a leg splint will require a lot more duct tape and sticks. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Gather some sticks. (Thin ones work the best.) Gather sticks that are longer than how long the splint needs to be. Too long is better than too short. You can always cut them down a bit.
  2. Make the splint for flat sides of arm (the sides facing up if the palm is up and down accordingly). Take a strip of tape long enough to go about halfway down their forearm. Place the sticks close together on the sticky part of the tape. Make sure you put the sticks very close, as it needs to be stiff. Cover with another piece of tape on the other side and make sure no sticks are protruding. You may need to tape the sides, if it is too thick for the tape. You will need to make two of these.
  3. Now do basically the same thing for the other part of the arm except it will have to be about half as thick.
  4. Wrap the patient’s wrist and forearm tight with tape, sticky side facing up so it does not stick to them. Then stick the splint parts on the tape. Wrap the parts as tight as you can without it being uncomfortable for the patient with tape above the spots where the first tape was to keep the splint tight.

This method will also work for full arm splints, but for leg splints it is better to get some thick, long, and flat pieces and tape them in place.

One of the best things about duct tape is how inexpensive it is. Another great thing is how easy it is to tell the quality of the tape. The different tiers of quality dictate how you can use it. I use a 1-5 scale with three criteria:

  1. Strength. This is how much stress the tape itself can take.
  2. Adhesive. This is how strong the glue is and how well it sticks.
  3. Ease of use. This is how easy the tape is to wrap, bend, and stick to unusually shaped objects, and it’s how easy it is to work with.

So for Gorilla brand tape, I rate it

Strength: 5
Adhesive: 5
Ease of use: 3

The gorilla brand tape is exceptionally strong, but it is so thick it is very hard to wrap around oddly shaped items, and it’s hard to get perfectly flat.

Another good brand is Duck brand tape. It works well for average jobs.

Strength: 3
Adhesive: 5
Ease of use: 5

It has very strong adhesive and is very easy to work with. It is slightly thin, making it very useful for odd items. It’s only downside is that the coating over the cloth mesh on the inside will wear down quickly, if it is used on surfaces getting a high amount of friction and impact.

A few other tried and true uses for duct tape are to:

  • Repair a ripped tent,
  • Make a butterfly bandage,
  • Keep those inexpensive band-aids that never stick correctly on tight,
  • Tie down that loony who is trying to raid you,
  • Fix your shoes temporarily, and
  • Wax your chest (probably a dumb idea).

Even if you despise the thought of duct tape being used in practical survival, you should still stock up on it, as nutcases like me will want to buy or trade for it in the end if we don’t have any.

I have really bad OCD, so I can go on and on and on about duct tape rating scales, loonies, and Jerry rigged CO2 scrubbers, but I know by now you are probably ripping out your eyeballs with boredom, so I will move on.

Improvised Security Systems

In a post-TEOTWAWKI America, you will need to develop a few early-warning systems to prevent people from sneaking up on you, especially if you do not have enough people for exhaustive security routines or if you are against the prospect of taking a person’s life in defense. This is actually more common than you might think. I am not against taking a life to save yours or your family’s, but a lot of people are. My mentality is that by taking his life, I am:

  1. Saving the lives of others he will likely kill, and
  2. Preserving my life so I can assist others. If he kills me and loots my things, I will not be around to share, and he will most certainly not share them.

Of course, that is your decision to make, and I am not here to change that. I just wish to inform you. So I recommend a four-pronged system called D.T.A.D (Dee-Tad), which goes like this:

Deter: Make them not want to come in. This might be a fence, sandbag walls, Concertina wire, or something else. Whatever you put, it should deter and protect from them, but don’t rely on them alone. There will be lots of desperate, hungry people willing to cross it for a bite of your food.

Make sure you have at least two layers of this prong of defense, such as fence, followed by wire, followed by sandbags. That would work well.

Trap: Make them have second thoughts about raiding you. Tripwire, disguised holes placed at random, or fishing line strung between trees (to get the Saran Wrap effect; there’s more about this later) will get their attention and maybe make them think twice about you. I believe things like Punji stakes to be fairly brutal and inhumane, as you will have to execute the victim or they will die of a raging infection and be in unbelievable agony from the stakes. You also run the severe risk of stepping in them yourself, and that could be crippling to your family’s survival chances. All in all, Punji stakes are a really bad idea and so I do not recommend using them.

Alert: Make it known that the enemy is there. You can use bells, airhorns, or even wind chimes, and pans or anything that makes enough noise so you know someone is at you property. Use these by your door and by any tactical points or easy entry points, such as gates.

Defend: This is the last prong; if they get through your gauntlet of security, kudos to them. This is commonly broken into two divisions: lethal and non-lethal. I will explore the non-lethal area, as all people using lethal options already know how to use them. There are many options for less lethal weapons. You can use real guns loaded with rubber bullets, pepper spray, or even wooden spoons. There is one goal of defense, and that is to make the attacker stop. Less lethal options use to modes to accomplish that. The first is pain. This involves making them stop by hurting them or incapacitating them. The other way is intimidation, which involves making them soil themselves either by sheer force or by making them think you can/will kill them. The point of less lethal methods is to not kill/maim/permanently hurt your assailant. You want to stop them, so that you can take them prisoner or make them get the heck outta’ your way and also tell their buddies something to the effect of “Those people down there are complete lunatics! Stay away from them.”