16 Brick Rocket Stove

While much of the US is covered in forests, that doesn’t mean that you can count on readily available firewood during a crisis. Hoarding, over-harvesting, and simple supply and demand will make firewood hard to come by in many local areas (as it is in many third world nations). One way to safeguard your own supply is to set aside a cord of wood… But even then, you can’t afford to waste this precious resource. How can you stretch your cooking and heating fuel? Perhaps the best way is to build a  “rocket stove,” a simple stove design that will allow […]

5 Survival Items Within Arm’s Length

Initially, I was going to limit this list to items that fit in your pocket, but then I started digging around and found a few extremely handy items (which I call “hyper-multipurpose”) that I’d have to leave out, like newspaper or aluminum cans… Instead, I’ve settled on items that are most likely within arm’s length of you right now, as you’re reading this. My goal: To turn as many common household items into multi-tools as possible. Changing the way we look at everyday items sharpens our minds in the event that we truly do need to improvise in a SHTF […]

What the Heck is a Survival Tin?

It’s great to have emergency supplies stockpiled in your home. Unfortunately, that won’t do you much good if disaster strikes when you’re on your lunch break downtown or caught in traffic. When you think about it, how much of your day do you really spend at home? For some of us, that’s an hour in the morning, an hour after work, and however long we’re asleep… That’s why the concept of a “survival tin” has become a mainstay for those who live by the Boy Scouts motto: Always be prepared. What is a Survival Tin? Simply put, a survival tin is […]

Selecting the Right Rain Barrel

It’s springtime and the rain is coming down in buckets across many regions of the country. Aside from the farmers, however, few are capitalizing on the precious resource that’s falling out of the sky. Some are taking advantage of it though. And if you’re not among them, you sure as heck should be… Saying that water is essential to surviving a crisis is cliché. So I’m going at it from a different angle. If your goal is to become truly self-reliant, then you must have a way to provide your own water. In the movies, you’ll see folks collecting dew […]

5 Tips for Small Space Preppers

We can’t all live on a self-sufficient ranch in the foothills of Montana. And truth be told, most of us really don’t want to… despite our romanticized impressions of living in out “in nature.” There’s an awful lot to be said for living within a reasonable driving distance of a doctor’s office, grocery store, movie theater, etc. The truth is, not everyone is cut out for living in isolation, no matter how beautiful the views are. And that’s OKAY. Don’t think you can’t practice self-reliance because you live in a small apartment or condo or even a zero-lot line home […]

Top 7 Food Hoarding Blunders

Q: What’s better than a survival food cache?  A: A survival food cache that you can actually use in a crisis… You might think I’m being disingenuous, but I’m really not. Creating a survival food cache takes a lot more effort than just piling up some canned goods in the hall closet. And believing you have a comprehensive food cache when you really don’t can be more dangerous than not having one at all. Not only should you spend some time thinking about nutritional needs and how your store foods can be used to make actual meals… there are countless other considerations that can […]

9 Easiest Veggies for Beginners

Getting off the grid isn’t just about electricity. If you truly want to be self-sufficient, you have to get off the “food grid.” Shopping at your local farmers market is not enough… The local farmer’s market is a very good resource, however, because it helps you learn about what kinds of veggies are grown on local farms. It also puts you in contact with others who can help give you guidance as your start planting your own survival garden. Gardening is a learning process, to say the least. You’ll never know it all, but you want to avoid getting in […]

DIY Paper Log Hack [VIDEO]

It’s hard to beat the smell of seasoned pinion pine logs burning in your wood stove… but there comes a time when even the sweetest of smoke smells get pretty dang tiresome. During a long, cold winter like this one, you may get sick of smelling like a fireplace every single day. Even more likely, you’ll run out of seasoned wood and turn to burning junk or even fresh cut or green wood. While it does provide warmth, unseasoned wood isn’t the best, cleanest, or the cheapest option. In fact, wastepaper logs can burn for 5-6 hours, substantially longer than […]

How to Stack and Season Firewood

Summer’s over and the cold fronts are already starting to move across the country. Finally, it’s fireplace season (or fire pit season) once again. But of course, you’ll need something to burn… Stacking and seasoning firewood is by no means rocket science, but it’s not as simple as piling up a bunch of logs either. There are many subtle tricks of the trade that, when taken into consideration, can save you headaches down the road. Even if you do have a stockpile of firewood stacked neatly in the yard,  you may want to take a moment to check your work. 3 […]