Share your knowledge & learn from experts

Because prepping and community go hand in hand

News for the week of 2024-06-17

Make a top-level comment for a new story/topic. Discussions about the topic should be in the replies to the top-level comment. That way things stay organized and every main comment as you scroll down is a different piece of news.

Read More
1
1 Featured

Masonry heaters or other custom heating solutions

Anybody had experience with Masonry Heaters? They seem very useful, but also very expensive (especially for retrofit of a traditional fireplace). My wife generally doesn’t like the small viewing window on woodstoves and inserts, and it seems like the viewing window on masonry heaters is larger. Does anyone have any suggestions for good ways to wood-heat your home (in the event of power outage in wintertime) while still having a nice-sized viewing window? Feels like for the cost of Masonry Heaters (all-in of $20k+) I could get something custom-built…  

Read More

Neutrality for the sake of survival and how to manage the full spectrum of ideologies

First most, politics are not allowed.

It’s very clear that society for Americans is rapidly transforming due to several factors and people are largely polarized in what they believe, how they choose to exist and what they expect others to be like in terms of their own beliefs.  

In terms of prepping and long term survival from a SHTF event that could play out for the medium to long term changing society as we know it today,

What are people doing to prepare in terms of which side you may be on when things go bad?

Do you find yourself welcoming to all type of beliefs and ideologies?

Do you hold strong opinion and are more narrowly focused in an ideology?

Do you find it dangerous to be around certain types of ideologies more than other types?

Are you concerned about being subjected to aggressive type ideologies (cults, criminals, hordes) or even passive type ideologies (hippy, no-violence, share-the-wealth types) compromising your safety and survival during troubled times?

Do you just plan to go it solo or work with a small group of folks knowing that strength in numbers can also backfire at a certain point?

Please share your thoughts, you don’t have to answer any specific question from above. 

-Watchtower

Read More
0
1

News for the week of 2024-06-10

Make a top-level comment for a new story/topic. Discussions about the topic should be in the replies to the top-level comment. That way things stay organized and every main comment as you scroll down is a different piece of news.

Read More
1
0

News for the week of 2024-06-03

Make a top-level comment for a new story/topic. Discussions about the topic should be in the replies to the top-level comment. That way things stay organized and every main comment as you scroll down is a different piece of news.

Read More
1
3

Recipes for cooking with only non-perishable food

I was wondering if anyone could share some recipes for cooking with only non-perishable ingredients? I’m thinking canned fish and chicken. Thanks in advance  🙂

Read More
14
69

Atmospheric water generators

Has anyone heard of atmospheric water generators (particularly for home use)? If so what are you thoughts and is there one you’d recommend?

Read More
1
1

News for the week of 2024-05-27

Make a top-level comment for a new story/topic. Discussions about the topic should be in the replies to the top-level comment. That way things stay organized and every main comment as you scroll down is a different piece of news.

Read More
1
0

Is a portable solar-powered generator practical for powering my home?

I don’t have solar panels on my house and I don’t have the money to invest in a rooftop array. I want something to power my home…the refrigerator as much as needed, lights at night, our on-demand water heater. Is a portable system with panels I can set up in my backyard practical for this purpose? I like the idea that we can take it with us if we need to. I would love your thoughts and thanks in advance.

Read More
4
10

News for the week of 2024-05-20

Make a top-level comment for a new story/topic. Discussions about the topic should be in the replies to the top-level comment. That way things stay organized and every main comment as you scroll down is a different piece of news.

Read More
0
0

Altoids First Aid Kit

I’ve been making up some kits lately and thought I would share. 

Here’s my Altoids first aid kit (including packing order):

Moleskin, Pre-cut and Shaped Pieces (1)
Bandage, Gauze 2”x2” (1)
Alcohol wipes (2)
Bandage, Knuckle (1)
Bandage, 1”x3” (2)
Bandage, Butterfly (2)
Sting relief wipe (1)
Triple antibiotic ointment (1)
Ibuprofen 200 mg (2)
Benadryl 25 mg (2)
Glue, super (1)
Tweezers (1)

Read More
2
4

Lahaina Fire: Deadliest US Fire in a Century

A wildfire destroyed the historical town of Lahaina, former royal capital of Hawaii, on August 9, 2023. Many people burned alive in their homes, unaware that a fire was approaching. Others burned in their cars, stuck in traffic while trying to evacuate, or drowned while trying to escape into the harbor.  Bodies are still being counted (93 so far), but the death toll could be up to 1000.

As fires become more common and more intense, we need to learn fire emergencies like Lahaina so that we can prevent them, or at least reduce the loss of life in the next fire emergency. Please join me in collecting information about what went wrong and what could have been done differently. What challenges did the people of Lahaina face as they tried to escape the flames. What could individuals have done differently to improve their odds of survival? What could the community have done differently to prevent the town from burning or to get people out in time?

Read More

You are stranded on a deserted island, you can choose four items…

First post here. Wanted to share something I saw on Facebook that I thought would be fun.

I took out that spot near the hunting rifle because it had weed in there. I don’t think that’s a very good survival item so lets place an ax there instead as an option.

Don’t just list four items that you would take though, tell why you would choose those over something else and how you would use those items to keep yourself alive.

Read More
14
21
191166302_319543009682531_5678136958491695092_n

News for the week of 2024-05-13

Make a top-level comment for a new story/topic. Discussions about the topic should be in the replies to the top-level comment. That way things stay organized and every main comment as you scroll down is a different piece of news.

Read More
1
1

News for the Week 2024-04-29

Make a top-level comment for a new story/topic. Discussions about the topic should be in the replies to the top-level comment. That way things stay organized and every main comment as you scroll down is a different piece of news.

Read More
1
2

News for the week of 2024-05-06

Make a top-level comment for a new story/topic. Discussions about the topic should be in the replies to the top-level comment. That way things stay organized and every main comment as you scroll down is a different piece of news.

Read More
1
1

Has anybody blood tested the Oroweat keto tortillas?

Anybody monitoring blood glucose actively? They have the modified/resistant starch as a primary ingredient. Research around the web suggests pretty dramatic blood glucose elevation, though not as sharp a spike as normal starch. Would love to hear from people directly.

Read More
3
2

News for the Week 2024-04-22

Make a top-level comment for a new story/topic. Discussions about the topic should be in the replies to the top-level comment. That way things stay organized and every main comment as you scroll down is a different piece of news.

Read More
1
0

News for the Week 2024-04-15

Make a top-level comment for a new story/topic. Discussions about the topic should be in the replies to the top-level comment. That way things stay organized and every main comment as you scroll down is a different piece of news.

Read More
1
2

What is the best camp stove for an emergency power outage or camping?

I would like to get a small portable camp stove that I can use if the power is out or if I want to go camping. It’s not going to be an every day user, so keeping the cost of the stove and fuel as low as possible will allow me to buy it sooner.

I could go as cheaply as $20 and get a butane stove that runs off little butane canisters.

But for $13 more, I can get a similar one that will work on those same butane canisters or the small propane tanks. I like this idea because I believe it would be cheaper in the long run to use propane, but if I wanted to just go camping I could use butane and take the smaller and lighter tank.

And for $17, I can get an adapter hose that will allow me to use one of those large BBQ propane tanks that should be even cheaper. I wouldn’t bring this camping but if the power is out for days, it would be comforting to have a ton of fuel available. 

For $48, there is the classic Coleman propane camp stove that will give me two burners, has a wind guard, but only runs on propane and is larger and heavier if I were to take it camping.

Or I can go all out and buy this camp oven and stove combo for $330

Do you all have any other recommendations or experience with any of these? 

Read More
14
37
Screenshot from 2022-05-31 15-01-25

Chickens for preppers: Important considerations

I wanted to put out a guide for preppers who are interested in keeping chickens or other poultry for long term food security reasons. This is a discussion of important concepts for improving self sufficiency in flock management, not a guide for basic animal care. Please add your thoughts/comments/additions!

1. Select the right breeds and flock mix
For preppers, I recommend going with a mixed flock of hardy, dual purpose breeds that are bred for egg production levels of about 200+ eggs/yr. These birds are big enough to make a good soup/stew bird when their laying days wind down and produce higher amounts of larger eggs than fancy and bantam breeds. You want a bird that can forage well, and safely manage all season conditions without heaters or other special care requirements. Popular breeds in the dual purpose category include barred rocks, Rhode Island reds, New Hampshires, orpingtons and australorps, among others. Hybrid production/efficiency birds like ISA browns/red stars can be added to amp up egg production. I also recommend keeping a couple hens of dual purpose breeds that tend to go broody, like brahmas, in the event you want/need to produce chicks without the aid of electric incubators and brooders.

2. Size your flock for your anticipated long term needs
Egg production varies by breed, age of hen, the animal’s health, and environmental/seasonal conditions. Birds under 2 produce more eggs than older hens past their prime, and the dark days of winter can dramatically reduce egg production on a cyclical basis. Even very high temperatures in summer can throw a bird’s laying schedule out of whack. This means that a very small flock of only 3-4 birds is unlikely to produce enough eggs for a family over time, even if they produce enough when they are at their peak. So if you want 3-4 eggs a day from your birds, you will probably need about 6 hens to consistently achieve that.

3. Buy vaccinated chicks from reputable hatcheries/breeders
Many backyard keepers buy, sell, and trade the chicks they produce at costs that are much lower than big hatcheries. The trouble is that most small keepers and breeders dont manage their lineages for health and performance (they just breed whatever rooster they have to whatever hens they have) and more importantly, they ususally don’t vaccinate their chicks for Mareks (https://www.merckvetmanual.com/poultry/neoplasms/marek-disease-in-poultry). Every year, I see backyard keepers on chicken forums looking for help with sick and dying birds infected with Mareks. Many times they lose multiple birds, and the surviving birds become permanent carriers (which means they will infect any unvaxxed new birds the keepers try to get to replace the dead ones). In my opinion, for preppers, it is especially important to maintain a vaxxed flock if at all possible because you don’t want to be losing your birds in a time of food/chick shortages. A 100% vaxxed flock also means that if you want or need to breed your own birds without access to the vaccine, those new birds will be safe. You also don’t want to be contributing to the spread of Mareks in backyard flocks in your region if you sell your birds to others, as that can destabilize the local food supply when you need it most.

4. Use a multi-flock/purpose 20% protein feed in anticipation of changing flock needs
There are a number of different bird feeds out there – chick, grower/raiser, maintenance, layer, etc – and it can be hard to know which one is best. I recommend going with a 20% protein all-flock grower/raiser as your standard feed for your birds once they are off chick crumble for two reasons. First, a 20% feed can be used at all stages of life and for a wide variety of birds – meat, layer, males and females, winter, birds in molt, birds without access to forage, turkeys, ducks, etc. Conversely, layer-specific or general adult maintenance pellets don’t have enough protein for the rapid growth required of young and meat birds, have too much calcium for male birds, and often don’t have enough niacin for waterfowl. This means that if you have your hens on layer pellets and then you get a rooster, now you need to switch feeds. Or if you get ducks, or turkeys, or broilers. You get the idea. Second, as preppers, you should be storing extra feed. If you don’t know how your flock might change over time, you want to make sure whatever feed you have stockpiled will work for everyone in the future, or else you could end up with hundreds of pounds of food that is poorly suited to your animals.

5. Plan on rotating in new layers to keep production consistent
Due to the natural decline in egg production over a hen’s lifetime, your flock’s production will dramatically decrease after a few years if you don’t keep resupplying it with younger hens. Many keepers follow the 1/3 rule: replace/add 1/3 of your flock size every two years to keep egg production high. So if you have 6 hens in 2020, that means you should plan to add 2 new birds by 2022. Older hens do continue to lay, just at a reduced rate, so if you don’t plan on culling older birds to make way for the new additions, be sure to make your coop big enough for a larger flock than you start with.

6. Have a multi-faceted backup feeding plan in the event of feed shortages
The obvious first line of defense for feed shortages is storing enough feed for your animals to get them through at least a couple of months without needing to resupply. Long term situations though, like a complete collapse in the supply chain, will require mutliple other backup food sources in case you can’t resupply when you run low. Fostering a healthy pasture environment for your animals to range is one important strategy. This means preferably offering your animals something more than the typical lawn, and adopting grass/property management strategies that maximize seed production and insect populations (basically the exact opposite of what most suburban lawn care seeks to do). But even with a good pasture available, poultry need supplemental feeds. You can make your own scratch feed by grinding/crushing a mix of dry corn and grains from your own food stores, and you can crush/powder cooked animal bones, eggshells, and crustacean shells for calcium supplementation. Kitchen scraps can help round out the diet. A mix of pasture, kitchen scraps, homemade scratch feed, and carefully rationed amounts of dwindling commercial feed is hardly ideal, but it should hopefully allow you to keep your birds alive longer in a true crisis scenario than if you don’t take advantage of all these methods.

7. Have a backup bird resupply plan in the event of chick shortages/shipping issues
When the pandemic hit, there was a run on chicks and hatcheries were overrun with a surge of orders (https://blog.cacklehatchery.com/the-pandemic-triggers-a-run-on-chickens/). But eggs hatch on their own time frame regardless of how many humans want birds and why. So the orders got backed up, important production breeds sold out, and many people had to wait far longer than usual to get the animals they did manage to order. Issues struck again just recently when problems with the USPS resulted in serious shipping delays, causing thousands of chicks to die enroute to their destinations (https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/20/farmers-chicks-arrive-dead-usps-399372). USPS is the only shipper of live birds in the US. If they can’t get the chicks to farmers and keepers, then only people/businesses local to the hatcheries can get birds from them (and there aren’t many hatcheries). These problems highlight the importance of having a backup plan to restock your birds as needed. Keeping a rooster in a laying flock can be a major PITA but it has the major advantage of allowing you to make your own chickens without relying on the agricultural supply chain. If you live in an area where you can’t have a rooster, or if you really don’t want to deal with their general ridiculousness, you can still plan on hatching your own eggs by connecting with other local keepers who are willing to sell/trade fertilized hatching eggs or chicks to you (the pro of hatching eggs vs chicks is that they are cheaper and you don’t have to worry about disease introduction, the con is that hatch rates can be dodgy).

Read More
25
17

Alexapure

Does Alexapure filter out PFAS? 

Read More
1
1

Plants with Saponins

I’m now getting into the gardening stage of being a prepper, and started to learn about different plants that contain saponins. Saponins are a mild soap that help remove dirt, although they aren’t reported to be effective against oils. 

This summer I’m going to grow:

Yucca Glauca: root is best for soap, but videos indicate that the inner parts of leaves can also be used, but you have to scrape away the outside layer of the leaf first.

Soapwort/Soapweed/Saponaria officinalis Alba Plena: both leaves and roots can be used, but it’s best to make “tea” with them first. This plant is reportedly invasive via seeds and roots, so I’m going to keep them in containers and try to deadhead them before they spread seeds.

Mock Orange/Philadelphus x virginalis: leaves and flowers should be possible to use as soap without any preparation step. I actually didn’t know it contained saponins when I bought it.

In addition, I’m also growing several Luffa plants and hope to have a number of Luffas to use for scrubbing dishes and in the shower.

I also read that horse chestnuts contain saponins that can be used as shampoo, so I’ll plan to forage for some next fall, but don’t have space in my garden for a chestnut tree. Do any of you have experience growing and using plants as soap? 

Read More
2
1

News for the week of 2024-04-08

Make a top-level comment for a new story/topic. Discussions about the topic should be in the replies to the top-level comment. That way things stay organized and every main comment as you scroll down is a different piece of news.

Read More
1
0

News for the week of 2024-04-01

Make a top-level comment for a new story/topic. Discussions about the topic should be in the replies to the top-level comment. That way things stay organized and every main comment as you scroll down is a different piece of news.

Read More
2
3