The idea of bugging out is popular, and mostly for good reason, among survivors. If you are ever forced by the authorities to leave your home or area or if death is inevitable if you stay, then bugging out is really your only valid option.

Bugging out may not always be always the best option, of course. With bugging out, there are a lot of dangers, with the most noticeable ones being that you are leaving the area and abandoning your property and stockpile while also rendering yourself highly vulnerable to criminals on the open road.

Therefore, you’re going to need an acceptable bug-out place to mitigate the amount of risk you’re taking, which will keep you mostly safe at least.

In other words, you need to have a plan in place if you are forced to leave your house, and that plan needs to consist of where you’re going to go and how you’re going to get there. There needs to be a lot of thought put into your bug-out area. It is not just some random place that will work.

There are specific variables that need to be taken into consideration and specific features and luxuries that your location would also need to provide, and that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

When searching for a new bug-out location, here are the top things to look for:

It Must Be Within A Reasonable Distance

Your bug-out location can’t be on the other side of the country. It must be within a fair driving distance, instead. The idea is that the location of your bug out would be out of the immediate vicinity of danger (so outside your town or city) but still close enough to access it by car or even on foot if you are forced to.

A hundred miles may not sound like much, but driving that example with heavy traffic will take a long time in the middle of a disaster, and it will take a long time on foot, particularly. Your bug-out position must therefore be somewhere that you can hopefully drive to within a few hours via vehicle.

It Must Be Accessible

Your bug-out location must not only be a safe driving distance from your house, it must also be available, and that means being accessible by car.

That’s a concern if the dirt roads get so bad that you’re forced to embark on the rest of your journey on foot. For starters, what if you have a lot of stuff stored in your vehicle? Are you just going to give it all up, or are you able to go on multiple trips?

You’d most likely answer no if you’re like most people. That is why, just as it needs to be within a safe distance from your house, your bug-out position needs to be accessible by a car, but also …

It Must Be Hidden


Yes, at the same time, your bug-out position needs to be both accessible and hidden. Too much to ask, is that? Not at least at all. What you need to do is do some more digging.

Your bug-out place needs to be away from highways and freeways, at the very least. Hopefully, it’s going to be far enough that you won’t even hear vehicles driving by on the main roads.

Either by trees or by natural terrain such as hills and mountains, and ideally both, your position would need to be covered. In other words, individuals should not be able to see your bug-out location from the road. You can prepare to receive company if they do, or even for individuals to turn up at the place before you do.


It Must Be Easily Defensible

In any disaster situation, one of the greatest priorities is security and protecting yourself. No matter how well your bug-out position is hidden, if possible, you must always be ready to defend it, just as you must always be ready to defend your home as well.

By the way, when it comes to securing your bug-out spot, the terrain will either be your greatest friend or your greatest enemy. The last thing you want is to be in the lower part of a valley or ravine for your bug-out spot, where the attacking force can easily be given the high ground.

Defend Using Fortifications

Through setting up defensive fortifications as well, you can also make your bug-out location more defensible, similar to how you could set up defenses in an SHTF scenario around your own house.

You may build a perimeter with barbed wire fencing or thorny bushes, for example. You can further build trenches or bunkers to give you cover positions as well. Creating all of that would definitely take a lot of effort, but it can be accomplished.

One of the most powerful defensive fortifications to be set up will be to build one layer of barbed wire fence around the property area in a perimeter, followed by a layer of nail boards (flat pieces of plywood with nails pounded through them and then turned upside down), and then followed by another layer of fencing of barbed wire.

Setting all of that up would definitely be a time-consuming process, but if you value keeping your bug-out location as defensible as you can possibly, it would certainly be worth setting it all up.

It Must Have An Abundance of Natural Resources

How long would you stay at your bug-out place? If you accept that it is likely that you will be there for several weeks or months (if not longer, in the worst of conditions), then it will be completely important to have an abundance of natural resources.

The natural resource examples you will need include, but are not limited to:

  • Natural Water
  • Fish
  • Agricultural Land (for farming and growing crops)
  • Timber/Wood
  • Sunlight (the entire area can’t be wooded)
  • Wild Game
  • Edible Plants

Each of those resources cannot be understated in terms of its importance.

Natural Water

Getting a flowing body of water such as a river or stream would be preferable to have a source such as a lake or a pond as far as a natural water source is concerned. A water well would also be an option, but it is costly to get it installed. This is because there are normally more pollutants in still water.

Water is important for drinking, washing, personal hygiene, and growing crops. If an area that you are considering for your BOL does not have a natural water supply, you should automatically not consider it.


There still needs to be enough land and soil for you to use for growing crops because if you need to be, you will be self-sufficient over the long term. An open clearing would be perfect here with good soil and plenty of sunshine.

Although you certainly want your BOL to have open clearings, you will also need to have plenty of wooded areas for timber as well. To help build shelters, perimeters, or campfires, you’ll need to use wood to heat up your stoves. An open prairie would not only be a bad choice for a bug-out location because it is exposed and easy to find, but also because it also lacks timber.


Finally, what is the situation with your BOL for wild edibles and game? Do you ever see the wild game, like deer, turkey, or grouse? Are there fish in the water? Are there any wild edibles and berries you’ve come across?

It is not a deal-breaker in a BOL to not have access to wild edibles and games, but there is no denying that it would be good to have backup choices available for food.

In other words, you don’t want to depend on food for game, fish, and wild edible plants, but it’s always undeniably good to have the choice when it gets hard.

It Must Have a Shelter

It’s important to have shelter, and whether you have an RV or a trailer or something similar, you can’t just continue to sleep all the time and hang out in your car.

The good news is that you have a number of different ways to set up a shelter at your bug-out location, such as:

  • Tents
  • Yurts
  • Cabins
  • Shipping Containers
  • RV’s/Travel Trailers

For shelter, it would be enough to simply park a travel trailer at your bug-out location or have a tent ready to set up.

So really, all of those alternatives are going to do it, but what’s important is that you already have a shelter already set up so you don’t have to spend all of your time setting it up when you arrive.

Some individuals like to prefer a piece of property for their BOL that already has a house built on it. It instantly provides you with shelter as well as storage spaces, even though the house is a bit of a fixer-upper. Speaking of areas for storage …

It Must Have A Storage Area

A storage area for you to stock provisions is something else that you would need to set up at your BOL, just as you would at home.

With all you need in your car, you can’t expect to bug out. You simply won’t be able to bring anything you need with you in your vehicle, even though you have a Suburban or an RV for bugging out. You simply won’t.

That’s why you need to build your provisions in a shed or a cabin or something for you to house. You would need to have a healthy stockpile of food, water, medical/first aid supplies, cooking equipment, clothing, ammunition, tools, and sleeping items such as blankets and cots, much as you would have at home.

Dividing your stockpile, at least into two halves, might also be a smart idea. This way, if someone arrives at your location before you do it and takes your supplies, they can not actually locate the second stash.


Without having an appropriate place for you to actually evacuate to, no bug-out plan is really complete.

You would be very wise to keep the above information in mind when checking out various properties that you are considering for your bug-out place.

In short, each of the following conditions must be met for your bug-out location:

  • It must be out of the vicinity of danger (so away from an urbanized area)
  • It must be within reasonable distances
  • It must be easily accessible by vehicle
  • It must be concealed and away from any main roads
  • It must be easily defensible
  • It must have an abundance of natural resources
  • It must have a shelter (you’ll need to build this yourself)
  • It must have a storage area (you’ll also need to build this yourself)

Even if the position you’re looking at fits all but one of the above conditions, it’s a major red flag. Be picky and have patience.

The good news is that if you have an ideal location that fits the selected criteria above, you will be comforted to know that when disaster hits, you have a (hopefully) safe place to bug out.

Other Self-sufficiency and Preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)
Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)
Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)
Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)
The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)
The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)


The idea of bugging out is popular, and mostly for good reason, among survivors. If you are ever forced by the authorities to leave your home or area or if

As you look around, you are aware that electricity and electronic devices have made permanent changes in how we all live. It is one thing to say you can do without electricity, and then actually be able to achieve that goal.

In fact, many people that lose access to electricity for one reason or another either wind up extremely sick or dead in a matter of weeks. No matter whether they are unable to refrigerate foods or keep the house warm, surviving without electricity may not be as easy as it looks.

Since an EMP will disrupt both electrical power distribution and ruin devices that use it, the wise prepper will do everything possible to prepare for an EMP blast.

There are two basic ways that electronics will be damaged by an EMP. Protecting them from an EMP means protecting them from both of these potential sources of damage.

  • Direct EMP radiation from E1 & E2 – The first two pulses of the EMP will send massive amounts of electrical energy into the atmosphere, where it will be attracted to anything metal, like wires. This will enter electronics, burning out circuitry. But the key here is the wires, which act as an antenna, capturing that electric energy. Devices which don’t have wires attached to them are less likely to be damaged.
  • Voltage surge from E3 – The third pulse will affect the Earth’s electromagnetic field, which will end up causing a massive voltage surge in power lines. Any electronic device which is plugged into your home’s electrical current will receive this surge, blowing through any surge protectors you might have and overloading the device’s electronics.

With all those risks in mind, it only makes sense to be prepared for the potential risk of an EMP attack. While it may never come, that’s not a chance we can afford to take. So here are some new ideas of how you can protect yourself from an EMP.

EMP Protective Phone Case

A number of companies are now manufacturing EMP protective phone cases. These cases are essentially a portable Faraday Cage, just the right size for your phone. The case has the necessary metal shielding hidden away inside the cover, making it portable protection that’s not particularly obvious or obtrusive to your day-to-day life.

The one problem with these cases is that they will cut down your signal somewhat, due to the shielding. You may find yourself missing some calls, especially if you are at the edge of a cell’s coverage area and you don’t have a strong signal. To mitigate against this, be sure to use one that fits your phone well. If it is too big, it is more likely to cover too much of your antenna.

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EMP Computer Cases

Most people use laptop computers today, rather than desktop computers. This is advantageous, as you can buy EMP protective covers for laptop computers. These cases won’t protect your laptop if the case is open and you are using it, nor can they protect it from the voltage surge; but when the laptop is closed up and not in use, as well as not plugged in, it will be protected.


Bluetooth devices are naturally protected from EMP, because they don’t have electrical connections attached to them, bringing in the E1 & E2 pulses. Nor are they going to receive the voltage surge caused by the E3. Even if they are plugged into recharge, the E3 pulse will probably destroy the charger, which will prevent it from reaching the Bluetooth device.

The advantage here is that buying Bluetooth devices, especially small ones, provides you with a level of protection that you wouldn’t otherwise have. Even if those devices are in operation during the EMP, they are likely to continue working. The trick then will be charging them.

 Related: A Gold Storm Is Coming  (Even the most prepared Americans will be blindsided by what’s about to happen.)

Solar Panels

Most people don’t know it, but solar panels are naturally resistant to EMP. While the EMP will cause minor damage to them, it will only reduce their output by about five percent. Considering that solar panel systems are already designed with a buffer to account for inefficiencies and cloudy days, you should be able to use your solar panels more or less like normal.

The problem will be in using the power coming from the solar panels. This normally flows through a solar charge controller, then on to charge a battery backup system. The power can then be drawn out of the batteries directly or run through a voltage inverter to turn it into a house current for use.

The solar charge controller would definitely be destroyed by the EMP and the voltage inverter probably would as well. But the batteries should be able to ride out the EMP without damage. So, having a spare solar charge controller and voltage inverter would allow you to have your own power generation capability back up and running, within an hour after the EMP shuts off the electricity.

That replacement solar charge controller and voltage inverter should be stored in a place where they will be protected from the EMP, like a Faraday Cage. If you don’t have a Faraday Cage, they can be kept in any metal enclosure, such as a galvanized metal trash can, a steel filing cabinet, a metal toolbox, a metal cabinet, or even the trunk of your car. As long as it is in its packaging so that the device doesn’t touch the metal skin of where it is stored, it will be protected.

 Related: A Gold Storm Is Coming  (Even the most prepared Americans will be blindsided by what’s about to happen.)

Other Self-sufficiency and Preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)
Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)
Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)
Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)
The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)
The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

As you look around, you are aware that electricity and electronic devices have made permanent changes in how we all live. It is one thing to say you can do

Everybody loves it, and everybody hates it – that’s what I like to call the Coca-Cola paradox. Even though the doctors scream at the top of their lungs that Coke’s as poisonous as arsenic, we cannot conceive a cozy family meal or a game night without at least one uncorked bottle of coke.

As far as I’m concerned, I can’t say I have any love for fizzy drinks, no matter their backgrounds. Of course, I would prefer a glass of freshly-squeezed lemon juice any time, but that doesn’t mean that I want to see the Coke factory burnt to the ground.

There’s no denial of the fact that people who drink too much Coca-Cola expose themselves to all manner of nasty diseases such as leukemia, thyroid cancer, morbid obesity, tooth decay, COPD, asthma, heart disease, and the list goes on and on. Still, it doesn’t mean that this type of beverage doesn’t have its uses. No, you’re not going to die if you drink a bottle of Coke every now and then, but don’t make it into a habit.

Anyway, since my dad’s been a big fan of Coke since the early ‘50s, I spend a lot of time doing research on this drink’s side effects in an attempt to convince him to tone it down a notch. Can’t say that I had too much success, but I did uncover something really interesting. Coke can be used in SHTF situations. Yup, you read that right. How? Stick around to find out.

Boost the efficiency of your compost

If your compost’s not good enough for the plants with munchies, add a bottle of Coca-Cola. It will increase the acidity of the compost and, at the same time, it will give those tiny organisms all the sugar they’ll need.

Get rid of dirt and stains from the toilet

If you don’t have anything else on hand to clean the toilet bowl, try using Coca-Cola. Pour half a liter in the toilet, wait 15 minutes, then flush the toilet a couple of times. There you have it! No more stains or smudges and, best of all, you didn’t even have to scrub it.

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Remove gum stuck to your hair.

You really don’t have to cut away those precious locks if get gum stuck in them. Instead, soak them in a bowl with Coca-Cola for a couple of minutes. You can now remove the gum by hand.

Set a trap for pesky bugs

There’s nothing worse than having to dodge stinging insects like wasps or bees when you’re at the picnic. Want to take your revenge on them? Try this trick. Fill a small bowl with Coke and place it as far away as possible from your picnic area. Attracted by the sweet smell, the suckers will go for the Coke and leave you alone.

Get rid of congestion fast

Yes, I know that drinking too much Coke can lead to all kinds of intestinal mishaps, but, apparently, this stuff can be used to relieve congestion. Take a pan and add one can of coke and some water. Bring to a boil, wait a couple of minutes for that stuff to cool down a notch, and serve.

RelatedA Gold Storm Is Coming  (Even the most prepared Americans will be blindsided by what’s about to happen.)

Hack away windshield ice

Tired of having to wait around for the engine’s heat to melt away the ice on a windshield? Pour a bottle of Coke over it and wait to see what happens.

Make a diversionary device

If you need to get out of Dodge fast, it’s possible to create a diversionary device using a big bottle of Coke and a couple of Mento’s pills. Unscrew the cap, get a couple of Mento’s pills inside, put the cap back on, shake for 10 seconds, and throw.

No more nausea

If you feel like your stomach makes a loopty loop, open a can of Coke and let it go flat. Take on a teaspoon of that stuff every hour or so, and you’ll be up and kicking in no time.

Hack away the powdery corrosion on car battery’s terminals

Tired of seeing that white and blue stuff on your battery’s terminals every time you pop open the hood? Use Coca-Cola – pour a small amount over each terminal and wait. Finally, use a clean cloth to remove the smudges.

Make a grown bolt budge

If a rusty bolt’s preventing you from opening something, pour some Coca-Cola over it to unloosen it. By the way, this beverage works wonders on rusty screws and bolts. Don’t replace the rusty ones. Instead, dunk them in a bowl filled with Coke and let them soak overnight.

No more scorch marks on pots and pans

Did I tell you how much I hate scrubbing them pans after cooking? Well, I’m going to say it a thousand times if it’s necessary. Luckily, I have discovered a secret weapon – Coke. If there are too many burn marks on your pots and pans, pour some Coke inside, and let them soak overnight. Drain, wash, rinse, and you’re done.

No more ouchie from jellyfish stings

Remember the last time you went for a swim and ended up getting stung by those jellyfish? Well, if you feel like your skin’s about to melt, pour some coke over the sting site. Coke’s ingredients will neutralize the poison.

Kill slugs and snails

I really don’t have anything against slugs, snail,s or lummoxes. However, every time I see them munching on my veggies, I go berserk. If you’re having the same problem, use some coke on them. The acid inside America’s favorite fizzy drink will make them curl and die in agony.

Remove blood from clothes

Well, this might sound a little odd, but Coke’s very useful in removing blood stains from just about any type of clothing or fabric. Just so you know.

Coca-Cola for hiccups

Again with the hiccups? If holding your breath doesn’t solve the issue gargle some ice-cold Coca-Cola for a couple of seconds. Works like a charm.

That’s it for my ways of repurposing Coca-Cola. Think anything’s missing from the list? Head to the comments section and let me know.



Other Self-sufficiency and Preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)
Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)
Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)
Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)
The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)
The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

Everybody loves it, and everybody hates it – that’s what I like to call the Coca-Cola paradox. Even though the doctors scream at the top of their lungs that Coke’s

A Swimming Pool is Like a Personal Reservoir in Your Backyard. But is the Water Safe to Drink?

The quick answer is yes. But there are a couple of steps you’ll want to take before you hoist a glass of pool water to your lips. In the grand scheme of things, water from a properly maintained swimming pool is safer than any wild water you might find in a river or pond. But regardless of the source, you need to treat any water you harvest, whether it’s in your own backyard or in the wild.

All manner of pollutants can find their way into streams and lakes, from animal manure to pesticides and herbicides, heavy metals, and of course bacteria and viruses. Many of those same pollutants can find their way into swimming pools in addition to human skin cells, human and animal urine, fecal matter, and whatever the wind carries to the water’s surface.


 Related: A terrifying disaster is upon us (What you can do to keep your loved ones safe during the coming chaos)


Fortunately, heavy metal and farm-strength pesticides and herbicides rarely get into a swimming pool. However, a natural weather disaster like a tornado or hurricane can dump just about anything in your pool from the surrounding area, and that’s a time when you might need a water source like your swimming pool the most.

The good news is that swimming pools are usually filtered and treated with chemicals (mostly chlorine) to keep the water clear and pure. Pool owners also spend a good amount of time skimming the surface, and most pools have automatic skimmers to remove floating debris. But what about those swimming pool chemicals?

Traditional Water Treatment for Swimming Pools

The filtering process for most swimming pools involves running the water through a tank filled with diatomaceous earth. It’s a white, powdery substance made from crushed seashell fossils. It’s safe and is used to filter everything from commercially produced beer to water from municipal water and yes, swimming pools.

But What About Those Chemicals?

Two chemicals typically find their way into swimming pool water to effectively treat the water. One is chlorine and the other is cyanuric acid.

Chlorine is added to kill germs. It’s that simple. What’s complicated is the source of the germs. Here are a few of the vectors or sources that bring bacteria and viruses to swimming pools:

  • The wind.
  • Branches and leaves fall into the pool.
  • Our feet deliver everything we’ve stepped on and in, to the water.
  • All parts of our bodies and everything that clings to them, everywhere.
  • Bathing suits T-shirts or anything else someone wears in a pool.
  • Insects that fall into the water.
  • Bird droppings.
  • Mucous, sweat, and other human secretions.
  • And the family dog when we decide it would be cute for him or her to take a dip.

Just going down that list is enough to make any pool owner want to throw another batch of chlorine in the pool. But while chlorine won’t hurt you if you accidentally gulp down a mouthful, drinking highly chlorinated water over a period of time can do some serious damage to your organs and your gastrointestinal system.

In fact, the first sign of mild chlorine poisoning is diarrhea. The chlorine kills the good bacteria in our intestines that help us to digest food. Diarrhea is the result. The simple fact is that you have to get the chlorine out of the water before you drink it. Bromide is sometimes used as a chlorine alternative for sanitizing pool water, and that’s not any safer to drink.

If you have a for chlorine, you should know that water with chlorine levels less than 4 ppm (parts per million) is considered safe to drink. However, there may be other chemicals or pollutants present, so don’t assume potability (water that’s safe to drink) is all about chlorine levels.


 Related: A Gold Storm Is Coming  (Even the most prepared Americans will be blindsided by what’s about to happen.)

Why Would Anyone Add Cyanuric Acid to a Pool?

Algae will often grow in swimming pools. It’s slimy and encourages bacterial growth. The appearance of algae in the water is typically a sign of high alkalinity and an improperly maintained swimming pool. Cyanuric acid is often added as a pool conditioner to raise the acidity of the water to inhibit the growth of algae.

It also stabilizes hypochlorous acid which is a product of the pool chlorine and the cyanuric acid resists the destabilizing effects of ultraviolet light on the chlorine. It’s relatively safe to swim in water treated with acids if they’re used in the proper proportions but they’re also not safe to drink in quantity.

Are There Any Other Chemicals to Worry About?

Yes, but they’re not added intentionally. Ammonia will often show up and its source is urine. Say what you will, but people often pee in the pool. Complicating matters, if sufficient ammonia finds its way into a swimming pool, it can actually interact with the hypochlorous acid to create chloramines that can irritate the skin and eyes and smell bad as well.

To put it bluntly, swimming pool water may look clear and clean, but it has the potential to be a witches-brew of stuff you don’t want to drink.

Even if the pool looks like this, don’t just scoop it up and drink it.

How to Make Swimming Pool Water Safe to Drink

Filter It

A good water filter design to will effectively allow you to filter swimming pool water and make it safe to drink. Look for carbon and ceramic filters built-in.

The carbon filter will remove the chemicals and the ceramic filter will remove any bacteria that have survived the chlorine. Giardia is a good example of a bacterium that is highly resistant to water treatment, so don’t assume the chlorine has killed all the germs.

Expose The Water To The Sun

The ultraviolet radiation from the sun breaks down chlorine. This can happen in a matter of hours unless the pool has been stabilized with cyanuric acid. In that case, chlorine can resist ultraviolet light for weeks.

One way to accelerate the UV process is to harvest a small amount of water in a clear, sealed container. Start with a gallon. Allow it to sit in the sun. It’s like making sun tea without the tea. If you know or suspect the pool water has been treated with cyanuric acid, this can take two weeks or more. That’s not much help if you’re out of the water, so a water filter is your best bet.

Make Your Own Water Filter

There are ways to make your own water filter using an empty 2-liter bottle and layers of sand and gravel; charcoal (activated charcoal is best, and you can make that too), and fabric. This filter design assumes muddy, wild water, but if a storm has left your pool filled with debris, this filter will do the job just as well.

If you do improvise your own filter, you still might want to let the water sit in the sun in a clear container for at least a few hours, just to be safe.

If you do improvise your own filter, you still might want to let the water sit in the sun in a clear container for at least a few hours, just to be safe

What About Bathing and Laundry?

If you’re positive that the pool water has been properly maintained and there’s no sudden buildup of debris as a result of a storm, you’re okay to launder clothes or wash up. Make sure you use detergent with the water in case any residual bacteria have survived the chlorine.

You don’t need to worry about the chlorine bleaching any clothing because the chlorine levels in the water are not strong enough to bleach fabrics.

A Swimming Pool as a Water Source is Actually a Good Idea

If you find yourself without water after a disaster, a swimming pool in the backyard is an easy and convenient water source. It’s much cleaner than a local pond or river and, because it’s close to home, you can filter water in bulk for continuous use much more easily.

If you think about it, the chlorination of swimming pool water is a good first step in any water filtration process. Now if we could just get people to stop peeing in the pool…


Other Self-sufficiency and Preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns

Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need

4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis

Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps

A Swimming Pool is Like a Personal Reservoir in Your Backyard. But is the Water Safe to Drink? The quick answer is yes. But there are a couple of steps you’ll

Storage of emergency water is essential to any system of preparedness. Your ability to access clean water sources will assure you have the water your family needs in a disaster. And it’s just not effective to store bottled water in your home.

While the standard is 1 gallon per person per day, you would actually need about 3 if you are factoring in things like cooking and cleaning, and probably much more if you have a garden that needs watering, which is a standard for the majority of preppers.

For a family of four, storing 3 gallons of water per person per day for a month will be 360 gallons per month! A 24-pack of 16 oz bottles of water will only amount to about 3 gallons of total water. Simple math dictates you’ll need 120 cases of water each month for a family of four! How does this all go?

So several preppers set up 55-gallon rain barrels to store rainwater on their downspouts. There are 55 gallons per clip and can be used from drinking to washing to cooking for anything. Of course, nothing is perfect and when collecting rainwater there are certain drawbacks that you need to avoid.

Let’s look at 7 mistakes to avoid during rainwater harvesting.


My earliest barrels of rain were simply sad. They still went leaky. After a rainstorm, they would be full and then hours later the water level would be down below my badly installed spigot. If you have rain barrels or have them badly built it will defeat the intent.

To keep the spigots in place, you need a way to cut these barrels effectively, and a waterproof adhesive. When you cut a jagged hole without leaks it would be more difficult to screw the spigot in. Take your time and do it right the first time.


7 Mistakes To Avoid When Harvesting Rain Water

Probably you are used to seeing a spigot at the bottom of the rain barrel. This is where you hook up your hose so you can easily access your stored water. You can also place another spigot on top of your rain barrel a few inches down. This will become on your overflow spigot.

Once mounted, the overflow spigot should be angled upwards to allow a gradual release of water along this fill line. You don’t want a bunch of water to spill over the edge of your rain barrel and settle about the foundation of your home.

The overflow helps your barrel to remain full but does not expose the base too quickly to a massive overflow.


7 Mistakes To Avoid When Harvesting Rain Water

The worst of all is mosquitoes. The best thing to do if you really want some bad mosquitoes is to build a 55-gallon mosquito larvae farm to terrorize you and your neighbors. These little blood suckers will pop out of the surface of your rain barrels without a fine screen, and they’ll be hungry.

The screen will also keep your water free from debris that could blow in or make it down the gutters during a storm. The screen is easy to work with, and cheap. Cut it just slightly larger than the rain barrel’s mouth and use a large rubber band to secure it.

I use a screen, and I also add a few bleach caps to my rainwater! These troublesome mosquito larvae will be captured.


7 Mistakes To Avoid When Harvesting Rain Water

Not all mistakes happen at level with the rain barrel. Rainwater harvesting also includes your roof and the gutters. If your gutters are full of debris it could restrict your rain harvesting capability, it could cause your rain barrel screen to be damaged by sticks and other debris. Also, your water will filter through all kinds of leaves you may not want in your drinking water.

Gutter guards or consistent cleaning will ensure you have clean water and that the rain harvesting system is fully operational.


7 Mistakes To Avoid When Harvesting Rain Water

Wherever you stay, or wherever you collect the rainwater, be sure you are treating it. It should be filtered and sanitized to kill any bacteria or parasites by boiling or using bleach. Never assume your drinking water is safe.

You run the risk of contracting waterborne diseases if you drink water directly from your rain barrel, which will require you to use much more water and resources to recover.

The market has some pressurized jerry cans, and they are a great tool for this. The jerry can fill up to about 4 gallons of water, and the filter included is good for around 10,000 gallons! Buy some unscented bleach, and store it for a number of uses, including water sanitation.


7 Mistakes To Avoid When Harvesting Rain Water

Not every barrel is fit for rainwater harvesting. Most barrels contain dangerous, flammable, or toxic materials until they end up poured out and treated as a possible barrel of rain. If your family drinks these bottles, you want to be sure that they have washed bottles of food grade. Nothing less to settle for.

If you have money to throw out on this rain barrel issue to collect rainwater, there are some great premade choices out there. You can buy decorative barrels, or you can buy barrels that have little grow areas on top of them. There is cool stuff out there.

Local Regulations

7 Mistakes To Avoid When Harvesting Rain WaterThis is where things get interesting. Some people aren’t happy with the idea of you harvesting rainwater. Some local governments claim they own the water that falls out of the sky and even create laws to keep you from having and using a rain barrel.

If you find yourself in this situation you have two options:

  • Don’t harvest rainwater
  • Establish a cover rainwater harvesting system.

Now, number 2 might sound like a complicated ordeal. Nonetheless, a cover rainwater collection system is not that hard to achieve. You will have more work to do than the average person and it will cost you more …

It is possible to bury rain barrels and use a simple pump to fill buckets or containers. Rain barrels can be well hidden in a home’s backyard, with something as simple as a fig tree. These barrels will be covered by Foliage and only those seeking them would know they exist.

Be a good neighbor, too! Most of these infractions are reported by neighbors.

3rd option: Move away from the crazy place that thinks it owns the water.

Water is important and it’s a scarce resource without which you’ll die in a short time. Our hyper convenient lifestyle means we overlook the infinite water supply that runs through our house. When an emergency cuts everything off, life in a panic is radically different.

A secret to surviving any SHTF scenario is from hygiene to hydration emergency water supply. The populace will be suffering from something like the ‘water shock’ as they know that nothing comes out of the tap.

I don’t recommend storing all your water indoors. Use rain barrels to harvest rainwater because, for most of us, it’s cheap and easy. Be sure you have filters and sanitation methods for water, including a little bottled and stored water for convenience. Avoid the 7 mistakes we mentioned, and you will be prepared for a water emergency.

Storage of emergency water is essential to any system of preparedness. Your ability to access clean water sources will assure you have the water your family needs in a disaster.

Living outside of a car is never an ideal condition. In a perfect world, you would buy a truck, SUV, or a van, which you would change and customize to optimize the comfort and use of space. We do not live in a perfect universe, and your home on wheels will end up being whatever vehicle you are currently driving. So in the unfortunate event that you will be forced to call it ‘home’, what would you do to plan your current car?
A lot of articles are written about living out of a car. This one aims to have a couple of tips and items that might not have crossed your mind to think about.


Keeping your car well maintained and properly insured is number one on your to-do list. A simple tool kit, plus a set of spare fuses, a tire repair kit, at least one replacement bulb for each form of a bulb on your vehicle, a replacement fan belt, and spare oil and the air filter is a good idea.

If you have the space available, it is also not a bad idea to take a set of fluids for your vehicle.

Gather all the gear that you think you need to live out of your car, and then try it out for a night or two. It will show you what you have missed and what you do not need before you have to do it for real. Your bug-out bag might be all that you need to survive out of your car, depending on your ability level and attitude.

I like to think of it as setting up a car, but on a more permanent basis, for camping.

Your Number One Priority

Your number one priority must be safety. There are many dangers involving living in a car and you need to be prepared for them.

Whenever you sleep in an enclosed room, especially if you leave the engine idling, carbon monoxide is a concern. Battery-operated CO detectors and those that are specifically built for automobiles are on the market. A CO detector is invaluable if you plan on living in a car for some amount of time.

Since your car is now your home, if your car gets lost or stolen or you need to unexpectedly leave it you can keep all your valuables, essential papers, a change of clothes, toiletries, water, food, etc. in a backpack. This bag should be called your ‘bailout bag’ and it should be on your person and never left unattended while you are not in the car.

Lastly, when sleeping in a car in an urban area, you are vulnerable and it is important to protect yourself. First and foremost, as your first line of defense, it is always best practice to disengage from a threat. Know that you are driving a two-ton vehicle and your best course of action will probably always be to flee.

Second, note that even though your car is now your home, after all, it’s just ‘stuff’ and not worth protecting for serious bodily harm or death.

Choose the one where you keep breathing when given the choice between your life and your vehicle.

All this being said, you may be forced to protect your life, and you must choose strategies that are legal in your area and that you have the experience and temperament to perform successfully in that situation.


Open every door and your car’s trunk. Check for storage compartments for each door, inspect where the spare tire is, glove box, center console, and pockets for the bench. Plan out how you’re going to outfit your car once you have done this. Take into account how many people may also be staying with you.

In places like seatbacks and the pockets in the doors, keep items that you will need frequent access to. The bailout bag for every person should be small enough to fit on the floor between their legs.

The trunk will be the main area of storage and you need to think about organizational maximization. Buy containers that can be stacked on top of one another with tight-fitting lids. To minimize the dead space between and around them, try finding totes and containers that fit tightly together.

Label these containers with their contents, so you can easily and quickly identify what you are searching for. Keep similar objects or goods in the same containers that serve similar purposes (cooking, washing, entertainment, sanitation, clothes, etc.).

There is also a large amount of space in the area where the spare tire is, so you can store things that you do not often need ready access to. For tool kits and spare parts, this is a good spot.

Keeping It Comfortable

You’re going to find that sleeping in a car is not a lap of luxury unless you have a truck or van. A small backpacking tent and air mattress can make your sleep much easier were pitching a tent is legal.

Solar-powered fans are available that fit into a vehicle’s windshield. They’re going to expel the warm air and hopefully get the cool air in. It would also help to keep the interior of the car cool by using sunshades on the windshield.

Whenever it is possible, try to park in shaded areas. Otherwise, bring a tarp or two and some paracord and bungee cords to rig up some improvised shade while parking, or to create an outdoor area hidden by rain.

Number One for Survival

We need water to survive and it is important to have some on hand in your vehicle as well.

Fortunately, in urban areas, water is not difficult to come by so holding a 5-gallon jug with a spout in your trunk would be enough, given you have free access to water.

It is also a good idea to have a few reusable water bottles for each of the individuals staying with you in the car. For combining sports drinks, juices, protein shakes, etc., use one bottle for water and the other.

Cooking and Sanitation

For every meal, you can’t eat fast food, so you’re going to have to do some cooking. For most cars, a basic two-burner camp stove is compact enough and offers you the opportunity to cook a lot of meals. In your nearest camping supply shop, it is fairly easy to find pots and pans that nest together as well as bowls that fall flat, and cutlery.

Acquiring camping-designed cookware ensures it will be lightweight and portable.

Sanitation would be a concern. You can use your camp stove in a pinch to heat some water and to give yourself a sponge bath using soap and a washcloth. However, this is not a permanent solution, so you’re going to have to think about where in your area the most available showers and washrooms are.

Note that in areas like community centers and gyms, where one will usually be able to shower, COVID-19 has shut down or imposed limits. You can buy camp showers that are bags of water with attached showerheads, or you can wash in rivers or lakes. Another alternative is to rely on your social network to find some friends or family who will allow you to clean up using their washrooms.

Going to the bathroom at night is also a challenge that you need to remember in an urban setting while sleeping. One way to overcome this dilemma is to park outside a 24-hour Walmart or other stores that have washrooms open to the public. An empty gallon jug is another choice for storing liquid waste, making sure it is clearly labeled and securely sealed by the lid if this fails.


In 2020, GPS was omnipresent and most of us used either the GPS onboard vehicle or one of the handheld devices. There is GPS inside every smartphone and Google Maps is good at taking you where you need to go.

But in your center console or glove box, you need to have some paper maps and a compass.

More importantly, you need to learn how to read a paper map and orient it. Although this sounds like an ancient navigation method, it allows you to understand how the various streets and neighborhoods connect to each other by getting a paper map or a map book. Your ability to get around the city will significantly increase after you’ve used a paper map for some time.

I come from a period before smartphones and recall how I can get around traffic issues with a look at a map book. You would be better at getting around a city or finding an address than Google will ever be with a little practice.


We live in an electronic age and you will want alternative ways to charge your devices when parked, even though you will be living inside what is basically a two-ton generator.

On the car roof, large roll-out solar panels can be laid out to directly trickle charge battery packs or devices.

If your car is an older model and lacks USB charging ports, power inverters are available to plug into the 12V power outlet of your car that can provide hundreds of watts of power.

To save on data rates, locating public Wi-Fi is also something you’ll need to do. Such unlikely sites are organizations that serve the public, such as medical/dental offices, retail/grocery stores, coffee shops, etc to find some unsecured public Wi-Fi.

Some people enjoy living out of their vehicles, but calling a vehicle “home” for most of us is almost always the result of some kind of disaster. Although it is not convenient to drive around with a car that is always prepared to be home, it is never a bad thing to have totes, containers, and a bailout bag ready to fill up.

Living outside of a car is never an ideal condition. In a perfect world, you would buy a truck, SUV, or a van, which you would change and customize to

And I’m holding my car set for survival. This is something that I have been doing for years. My car’s trunk is a fully stocked emergency closet, with a wide array of items that remain there all the time, so I’m ready for anything that might come.

When you think about it, odds are relatively good that you won’t be at home when an SHTF situation happens. You’re going to be at work, at school, or in any of a hundred other things that consume our time. Yet you can be just about sure your car won’t be far from wherever you are. It makes your vehicle a perfect place to store an assortment of emergency supplies, just for those moments you need it.

And what sorts of things are you supposed to carry in your car trunk? Well, that list can get a bit wide:

Get Home Bag

15+ Survival Items To Keep In Your Car At All Times For SHTF

A get-home bag is the starting point. It is a package for survival, with enough gear in it to make sure you can make it safely, no matter what.

It could involve doing so on foot when there is anything happening where the roads are blocked or the bridges down.

Speaking of bridges, if you’re working on the other side of the river from where you live, if the bridge is down, it may be hard to get home. Holding an inner tube in your car’s trunk might sound a little crazy, but if you have to cross the river and the bridge is down it will be handy.

I mix my Get Home Bag and my EDC pack, and my pack has plenty of other useful things in it, such as personal care products, paper clips and extra flashlight batteries. I’m trying to make it enough complete to take care of anything and everything that I may need, not only for SHTF, but the regular challenges that I face in my life.

One of My Most Used Items

Rain happens, just in case you didn’t notice it. How many times were you away from home when they began to pour? We always say we have to carry an umbrella with us, but that doesn’t mean we have to. Whether we have one umbrella, or we only have one, and it is never where we need it.

In both our cars, in the building, and in both the office of my wife and mine, I have umbrellas. That way, we always have one open, regardless of where we are. I keep a decent rain poncho in my car’s trunk. This is one of the things that are most used there.

Good Walking Shoes

When you’re dressing up in professional clothes at work, then you want to make sure you have some decent walking shoes in the car’s trunk. If you have to walk home from work, an old pair of tennis shoes or even loafers that you don’t even use anymore would make things much easier.


Even in the summer, you will still have a jacket, hat, and gloves at your side. I change these with the seasons and make sure I still have something to use seasonally. I wear a hat in the summertime which provides good shade, while in the winter I have one which is better insulated.

I’m thinking of two different things when I say gloves in here. Clearly, if you live somewhere where it gets very cold you want to have some warm gloves or even mittens. So the other thing is to have some good work gloves, to cover your hands if you’re going to have to do anything like dig out your vehicle, whether it’s stuck, or move a branch of the tree that lays across the lane.


15+ Survival Items To Keep In Your Car At All Times For SHTF

I carry a pistol every day, but I don’t leave it in my car unless you count the knife that’s next to the seat.

Yet I carry an extra box of ammunition in the car, just in the event that I find myself in a firefight situation. Chances of that are slim, but with all the turmoil going on in the world, I’m not willing to take this chance.

I would recommend carrying a gun in your vehicle if you do not carry concealed and the laws in the state you live in allow it. So if you do, get it a lockbox and bolt it down into the trunk. So someone who tries to steal your weapon has to break into the trunk and then into the lockbox.


I always keep some food in my car, mainly high-energy foods and stuff like granola bars and jerky that will keep me going for a while. Although living for many days is possible without food, it is not pleasurable. Keeping some food in the car only makes it simpler if I’m trapped in it somewhere.

Extra Water

I guess it comes from owning old cars, but I’ve still got a few gallons of water in the trunk. It’s perfect for those occasions when the engine overheats, and when you overheat.

If you have some soap in your get-home bag, after changing a tire or dealing with some other problem, you can wash your hands with water.

Trauma First-aid Kit

15+ Survival Items To Keep In Your Car At All Times For SHTF

You never know whether you could get hurt or run over someone else who is. I’ve kept a first aid emergency kit in my car for as long as I’ve been driving.

There were also occasions when I was the first on an accident scene, even when the incident was nothing more than a kid falling off their bicycle.

I would at least start taking care of them by getting a decent first aid kit in my trunk before the ambulance gets there.

When you are going to be carrying the trauma kit, of course, you need to know what to do with it. So take the time to watch some good videos of first aid on YouTube, or take the Red Cross, first-aid class.

A Great Tool to Have

This is a great tool and not too bad a weapon. I’ve got a machete attached to my BOB and I have one in my car’s trunk too. Mine has a blade on the back edge of a saw. Overall, a machete is more effective than a hatchet or has been used as a general survival weapon and will freak out anybody who tries to give you a difficult time.

Pry Bar

15+ Survival Items To Keep In Your Car At All Times For SHTF

If the S really does hit the fan, you might find that you need to do some scavenging. Although this can be a little messy on the ethical and legal issues, life comes first.

Getting a pry bar could allow you to get into somewhere that will provide you with vital supplies for survival, or even get into somewhere so you can get a rainy night’s sleep.

I’m tempted to swap my pry bar with an infringement tool that could act as a walking stick, but I’m concerned about it. Besides that, I’m not sure if it’d be a little bit overkill. I don’t want to end up bringing so much gear that it’s slowing me down.

A Godsend Tool

If your car gets stuck, a lightweight, collapsible shovel might be a godsend. I’ve had opportunities to dig a car out of the snow, the sand, and the mud. Though it’s never enjoyable, it’s easier to leave the car there. The one I’ve got is a little big and heavy to bring in my BOB which is how it ended up in the car’s trunk.

Basic Mechanic’s Tools

I still have a set of tools in my car, so I can make repairs in case of an emergency. You need essentially box-end wrenches, a socket kit, screwdrivers, and a pair of pliers. For just that, you can do a lot of repairs.

Of course, you need to learn more than the tools, what to do with them. But even if you don’t, take them along. You never know who has the expertise that could come along but doesn’t have the resources.

Vehicle Liquids

Holding a few extra quarters of grease, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid into the trunk is also a smart idea. While you can test those frequently, from time to time we all forget. Our cars have an awful propensity to confuse us when we do. Carrying along those few bottles will spoil our cars’ surprise.


15+ Survival Items To Keep In Your Car At All Times For SHTF

A good flashlight is a nice thing to have in your vehicle, but a good headlamp is an even better thing to have. You get light that way, thus keeping both hands free.

I would recommend that you go for one that gives you a wide angle of light and not just a spotlight. I would also suggest you buy the best one you can find. You would like the extra light when you’re trying to repair something in the dark of night.

But those lights that are very bright appear to go through the batteries, so make sure you have extra batteries on hand. As neither lithium nor alkaline batteries handle heat well, test your batteries regularly. They can go wrong and you won’t even know.


While I was traveling a lot in Mexico I began to carry rolls of toilet paper and paper towels in the trunk of my car. You can’t always be sure to find TP in the bathroom, except though you do find a toilet to use. To have your own is clearly prudence. However, you can go just about anywhere you can find some privacy, if you have it.

I still bring the big, blue shop towels for paper towels. That started for repairs to emergency vehicles, but I find they’re great for a lot of things. They’re always great when I have to disinfect stuff, in the COVID-19 world we’re living in now.

Masks, Gloves & Booties

Finally, on this side of the COVID-19 pandemic onset, we can’t go anywhere, without being prepared to defend ourselves against infection. That’s what the paper towels disinfectant up there is for, and the masks, boots, and booties. I am one who still believes in wearing latex gloves in the grocery store, but I throw them away when I get out. Whether you are going to use disposable gloves or masks, you have to make sure that they are disposed of.

I buy Tyvek booties to put on my shoes too. As with the gloves, when I come out of the shop, that gives me something I can throw away. But if you find yourself caught in the mud and have your nice shoes on, they’re still useful.

And I’m holding my car set for survival. This is something that I have been doing for years. My car’s trunk is a fully stocked emergency closet, with a wide

There are so many projects that you can do on your homestead. Have you considered DIY projects with PVC pipes? There are a number of things that you can do from animal care to garden hacks. The projects can be very simple to more complicated depending on what you are going for. You can be very colorful or plain when you are building your projects.

PVC pipes are lightweight and easy to use. They are bendable and easy to use. Working with PVC can be done on your own or very easily a team project. The pipes are durable enough to withstand the wind. The pipes won’t change shape or expand with contact from water. PVC pipes are also non-toxic so they are safe for use for animals and human contact.

Let’s look at some fun and creative ideas to make out of PVC pipes. I will list them in part of how you would use the project on your homestead. Garden jobs and hacks, animal care, and even clothing help for chores. There are so many other projects that can be done by using PVC pipes but these are aimed more at homesteading.

Garden Uses

Being that the PVC pipes do not react to chemicals they are perfectly safe to start seeds in. They are also safe for your food and soil to be in contact with the pipes.

Tomato Cages

These are a handy and reusable cages for holding up your tomatoes. You can make the cages according to the type of tomatoes that you grow.

Also, the cages can be made small for individual plants or for several plants such as in a row.

Cucumber Trellis

Cucumbers can be grown on the ground but they do better growing up a trellis.

The trellis can be shaped however you desire.

The PVC pipes will keep the trellis sturdy and give you space to run lines for the cucumbers to climb.

Cold Frames

When you work with PVC it can be shaped how you like.

A cold frame is a small tunnel-shaped ground cover.

These PVC frames are great for fall and winter gardening.

Deep Irrigation

This is a great way to really water the roots of some of your plants.

With this irrigation system, you simply take a pipe and drill a few holes and then insert it into the ground next to the plants and dump water down the pipe for a good deep watering.

Handheld Seeders

This handmade contraption is a back saver when it comes to planting your seeds.

The seeds can also be made to your height for added ease and comfort.

Take the seed and drop it through the pipe at the bottom is making a hole in the ground for the seed.

Ground Irrigation

This form of irrigation can be more complex. You can make as many lines and cover as much of your area as needed. This requires more work to build but saves a lot of work and watering once it is finished.

Garden Tool Holders

This PVC holder is very handy for organizing your tool shed.

Be sure to always put your shovels, rakes, and hoes away when you are finished and you will always know where they are and this helps to keep the tools out of the weather.

Garden Hose Holder

When making this hose holder you can add wheels for toting it around with you.

This can hold your hose wrapped up on it and allow a place to hang your spray nozzle also.

Aquaponics Growing

A PVC pipe is great for holding water so it makes a great aquaponic garden.

Cap the ends and drill holes to the desired size for the plants.

Window Gardens

The PVC can be cut to heights and lengths needed for either horizontal or vertical growing in your window sills.

In the PVC window gardens, you can grow whatever you want inside.

Container Gardens

With the various sizes of PVC pipes, the options are endless for making containers for a container garden.

The containers will do great in the garden, on the patio, or raised beds.

Small Greenhouse Frames

There are many types of greenhouses that can be made out of PVC pipes.

The pipes can frame a hoop greenhouse, a small square one, or even one that is built onto a wall for half a greenhouse.

Tomato Stakes and Waterer

This is an awesome idea for helping grow your tomatoes.

We all know how crazy the tomato patch can get.

With this, you can tie your plants up the height of the pipe and also our water down the pipe for good root watering.

PVC Berry and Fruit Picker

This is a great way to reach the fruit in those tall trees.

A little tweaking on the tip and a piece of pipe round enough so that the fruit can be picked and travel down the pipe to your basket.

Easy Peasy fruit collection.

Animal Care

The safety of PVC makes them great for use in animal care. There are so many options for animal care from feeding to comfort.

Chicken Feeders

My chickens eat a lot of feed and like to get in my way when I am trying to feed as they are ready.

Making a PVC chicken feeder is genius as it holds lots of feed, eliminates waste, and keeps them from flocking around your feet.

Hog Waterers

Now this hog waterer can be huge or small depending on the pen size and the number of hogs you are watering.

For fair, we made small round but tall pipes.

Purchase a nipple and thread into the pipe, cap, and waterproof then you have a waterer.

Milking Stand

A milking stand can even be used as a shearing stand.

This project will be a lot more difficult to complete but if you have milk goats or sheep then your back will appreciate the extra effort.

You will need to make sure that the stand is sturdy for being able to hold the weight of your livestock.

Chicken Tractor

A mobile chicken coop is nice.

A lightweight mobile coop is even better.

The Chicken tractor can be made to fit the size needed for your flock.

Chicken Waterer

A PVC waterer takes some work to not leak.

This waterer is somewhat of an automatic waterer as it can hold several gallons.

Bird Feeder

Hanging bird feeders are appreciated by the wild birds, especially in the winter months.

The bird feeder can be made very simple or even can be built to deter squirrels from getting into it.


The wild birds will also appreciate a birdhouse.

The PVC birdhouses can be decorated in very nice colors and can be spacious enough to be able to comfortably make a home for a bird or even a nest of them.

Dog Cot

Not all of our pets are allowed on our furniture. Some may not even like a big fluffy bed or pillow to sleep on so make them a cot.

For the smaller dog, you can build the cot low to the ground or vice versa. You can also use some really cute materials to make the cot with.

Frozen Tubes for Keeping Cool

This project is nice to have around. It serves the same purpose as a frozen two-liter bottle but will hold ice longer.

The frozen pipes can be put in pens to keep animals cool by laying against or they can be put into water bowls to help keep the water cool.

Dog Food and Water Stand

This PVC pipe project is very appreciated by your taller dogs.

My mastiff is very tall and it is a stretch to eat from a bowl on the floor, he usually just lays down to eat.

The legs of the stand can be made to height and adjust them to the size of your food and water bowls.

Small Animal Pen

With some PVC pipes and elbows, you can build a nice little pen for your pet to play outside in.

I used to have guinea pigs and they liked to be outside but couldn’t be loose or tied up so a small pen was perfect.

This pen can even be taken apart for easy storage.

Homesteading Chores

When working around your homestead it is always helpful to have a “life hack” to make your chores easier or more fun. These projects can be very helpful to be able to finish your chores,

Gutter Cleaners

The PVC gutter cleaner is a whole lot safer than climbing a ladder.

The pipe hooks to a hose and then reaches up to the gutters for spraying and cleaning out.

Camp Chairs

You can never go wrong with chairs.

These PVC chairs are lightweight and easy to move around.

Build your chair and then take it around with you for when you need a break from your chores.

Tapestry Loom

Not every homesteader needs a tapestry loom but if you do or would like to give it a try this is a cheap way of making a loom.


Every homestead needs a wagon. This PVC wagon is lightweight and mobile.

Frame the walls of the wagon and place it on some wheels and you have the means to move around a lot of items on your homestead. You can also pull the kiddos around on it for fun.

Clothes Rack

This clothes rack is meant to be smaller than a regular clothesline.

You also have a mobile drying rack to take with you on trips or camping or when swimming to dry your wet towels.

Target Stands

On my homestead, we like to shoot.

A PVC target stand makes for different levels and paces for shooting. The stand can be made to hold different items for target practice.

Trash Bag Dispenser

This is a very simple project. Make a wide cut into the side of the pipe and you can even mount it onto the wall or cabinet.

Slide the roll of trash bags through an end and pull them individually out the slit in the side.

Outside Shower

An outside shower is not a requirement but it sure is nice to have.

Having an outside shower will make it easier to rinse off from the real hot sweaty days from the hayfield.

Or when you have been out cleaning the hog barn and stink from high heaven and don’t want that trailed into your house.

Pipe Spool Holders

This project is more for organizing.

The pipes make nice organizers for hanging things such as ribbon, tape, and even wire from.

Recycling Bag Holders

This holder is an easy project to accomplish.

Build a frame that will stand and put a large trash bag in it.

Now for parties or yard work you have a light open container to discard trash or recycle items into.

Waterproof Cache

Make a waterproof cache out of PVC. You can store anything of importance to you in this cache. You can make the cache as long or as big around as you like with the pipe of your choosing. Cap and waterproof the ends to be sure that your stuff is protected. Food, money, or even medicine are great items to put into your cache and store.

Take your packed belongings and then you can dig a hole in a secret location for security and not have to worry about it until it is needed.

Working with PVC doesn’t require many tools. Most of the needed tools are simple hand tools that can be used by a single person making these projects very doable. The projects can be cut, shaped, and fitted together easily for fun and handy projects. Paint even sticks well to the plastic to make for the projects to be decorative along with useful. With some measuring and a little work, you will have homesteading projects to make your life easier.

There are so many projects that you can do on your homestead. Have you considered DIY projects with PVC pipes? There are a number of things that you can do

I live in a small desert town. There is the Truckee river, but that is a big problem for us downstream.

During the Gold Rush in our area, our river water was indefinitely tainted with Mercury… not good for drinking. In addition, access is difficult and miles away.

While pondering the idea of survival if things go south, I had to think of creative and AFFORDABLE ways to store water, and not just a little water.

My thoughts are 3 months of water if things were bad. I started with the usual things most of us do.

How To Store Water When SHTF

100 gallons over months from the store.

Of course, this is fine for drinking and cooking, but at a gallon a day per person, and additional water for some bartering, it just will not be enough.

So, I filled my few 5-gallon jugs like most of us have.

I knew I had to have more water. There’s cleaning, dishes, and even bathing.

If we were able to even get to a water source, it could be very dirty. Water from puddles on a rare day might rain or snow, low-lying muddy areas, and drainage ditches would not be safe to drink.

My next step was to purchase a coffee machine (to distill it), heavy-duty pans, and a 5 Gallon Zero Water filter with extra filters that might last 3-6 months.

How To Store Water When SHTF

If my emergency power source could not operate a coffee pot, I would have to boil any water in a large pot on my grill.

I still did not feel I had enough, so I purchased a large water filter.

110 Gallons of water, with the ability to convert dirty water, was a plus. I had to store more.

I tried to look up those 55 Gallon Jugs for water storage. 150$ for just one container seemed a lot for my budget.

34 Gallon Rubber Made cans

I went to my local hardware store and purchased several 34 Gallon Rubber Made cans for app. 15$ a piece.

There were another 90 Gallons of water with decent lids. I keep these in my garage to avoid freezing temperatures and possible theft.

Then I watched a YouTube video, one of those doom and gloom prophecies of imminent disaster. Fearful an apocalypse might last 3-6 months, I knew we would need thousands of gallons of water, not 200 gallons.

As I sat on my backyard patio, enjoying a sunny day, I pondered the problem. I tried to think of an affordable solution. Where would I access that kind of water? How would I store so much water without spending a fortune?

Just then one of the kids called out:

“Hey, Ma, look at me” as my son held his breathe and ducked into the water of the 3 x 10-foot pool I bought last year. I looked at the pool and I looked at the old pool box that was still used for odds and ends.

‘Holds 1074 Gallons of Water’ the box touted. I observed the 30$ pool cover off to the side, the filter that ran most days, and the bleach/shock treatment used every so often to keep it clean.

I quickly recalled watching ‘Hotel Rwanda’ about the civil war in Uganda in 1994. The Hotel used their pool water for cooking and feeding their guests during the long weeks/months of power outages due to the war.

pool water storageThere were my thousand gallons of water, right in front of me. I ran to the computer and bought a second one.

Yes, there are concerns. When the power goes out, the filter will not work, so someone would have to move the water around with the pool cleaner a few times a day.

You would have to continue to test the water with the little tester strips overtime to help decide if it was safer to drink if it came to that.

The water would stay clear for weeks, if not months if treated properly and covered. It might not be perfect, but if you had to use it for drinking you could boil it then filter it in the 5-gallon filter.

It would be ideal to not have the inflatable tops but to have the hard-sided pools but be grateful for what you have. Use what you can.

I know with the winter comes the chance of a freeze or two, guess will just handle that as it comes. Upon our freezes last year, the pools did not freeze and held up well.

Overall, I credit my resourcefulness and creativity in finding ways to come up with this much water. There could be other issues such as security, which I have also addressed in other way… best saved for another article.

All in all, this brings our water stores to 2,348 gallons of water to date.

Mama always said, ‘Look around you, be smart, and use what you have. You might surprise yourself.’ Got to love your Mom.

Some will agree, and others will have issues with my water storage, but I am on a tight budget, and this best suits my family’s needs just in case S does HTF any day soon.

I live in a small desert town. There is the Truckee river, but that is a big problem for us downstream. During the Gold Rush in our area, our river water

One of the best ways to ensure your family is prepared for no matter what is to have a useful, and plentiful supply of stored food. I love MREs and freeze-dried meals, specifically, because they are so easy to prepare and work so great if we have to bug out. However, to supplement your supply, there is nothing like storing some basic food staples to make sure your family never goes hungry.

Most of these items, perfect for long-term storage are extremely basic, and generally cheap to obtain, but they pack a major nutritional punch and can be cooked and baked into hundreds of different meals to keep your family, fed and satisfied. In addition, most of these items will have excellent barter potential too.

1. Rice

All kinds of white rice are acceptable for long-term storage. When stored properly, rice can stay good for 30 years or more making it a perfect long-term storage food item. To Properly Store Rice: Pack it in an airtight container, or food grade bucket, to keep oxygen and pests out. Keep it in a cool, dry area.

2. Flour

Flour, wheat, or white, can stay good on the shelf for 5 to 10 years. If you have space; freezing your flour can extend its life exponentially. To Properly Store Flour: You can store it in the traditional paper sack they come in if you can keep it refrigerated, but it is better to pack your flour in an airtight bag or storage bucket and keep it in a dry, cold place – the colder the better.

3. Honey

Honey is a great item to have on hand, not only is it a great sweetener, but it has medicinal properties and is enjoyed by kids and adults alike. The best part is, that it will not go bad. Honey may change its color or even crystallize a bit, but none of that changes the fact that it is still good to it. You can actually buy granulated honey, which is all ready for long-term storage and can be used like sugar or reconstituted the gooey stuff itself. To Properly Store Honey: keep it in an airtight jar and keep it in a cool dry place away from sunlight if possible. If the honey crystallizes, you can run warm water over the jar, or add small amounts of water and stir, to reconstitute it.

4. Salt

Salt may be one of the most important items you can stockpile. Not only is it important in everyday cooking, but its ability to preserve food will make it a popular item to not only have, but to barter with as well. To Properly Store Salt: Salt is easy to store, just keep it in a cool, dry area away from sunlight.

5. Sugar

Sugar, much like salt, will likely be a popular bartering item and it makes sense why. Having sugar on hand will go a long way to provide our family with some home comforts when times are uncertain and hard. Like honey, sugar can crystallize, but it simply does not support any sort of bacterial growth, so no matter what it will be good. To Properly Store Sugar: To prevent crystallization, store in an airtight container, but no matter what store it in a cool dry place.

6. Popcorn

Aapkidukan Pop Corn Kernels(Dried Corn) 2 KG: Amazon.in: Grocery & Gourmet Foods

Popcorn or dried corn can stay safe indefinitely, that is why it was such an important resource to the indigenous people of this country… it could be used fresh, then dried to be used throughout the winter. Dried corn can be ground and used as cornmeal or in any recipe that calls for fresh corn too. To Properly Store Popcorn: Once dried, keep it in a cool, dry place. Store in an airtight container or bag to keep out pests and keep away from light and heat.

7. Cornstarch

Cornstarch is a great tool in cooking, especially if you are trying to stretch your food supply with gravies and sauces. You don’t need much, and it doesn’t take much to store either, so it’s really no wonder so many preppers keep this on hand. To Properly Store Cornstarch: Keep it in a dark, cool, and dry place. Pack tightly to minimize air and contaminants getting in.

8. Vinegar

White vinegar lasts indefinitely on the shelf, and having it on hand is a must for the smart prepper. It is good for cooking and canning, but it is also a powerful natural cleaning agent and will be no doubt a popular barter item as well. To Properly Store Vinegar: Keep in a bottle with a tight lid or cap, and store in a dark, dry place.


9. Pasta

Even packaged the way it comes from the store, the pasta will keep a few years. It is a great item to store, and a crowd pleaser and comfort food especially in survival situations. To Properly Store Pasta: You can buy pasta that is packaged for the long term, or you can store them in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. Store in a bucket, or in another cool, dry place.

10. Pinto Beans

Beans are so cheap, easy to store and pack serious nutritional value that they are a no-brainer for any prepper to consider in their stockpile. Dried pinto beans can last for many years. To Properly Store Pinto Beans: For the longest shelf life store them in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. While they won’t go bad, they may get drier and hard over time. Even if they do get dry you can still grind them up and use them in most of your cooking, they will still be edible and nutritious.

11. Dried Peas

Dried split peas have an indefinite shelf life and can be used in soups, stews, or just as good ole peas themselves. To Properly Store Dried Peas: Much like beans and other legumes, the best method is to pack them in a mylar bag with oxygen absorbers, once packed they will last for many years. You can also stock up and buy a bucket, which is already packaged to last up to 30 years.

12. Baking Soda

Baking soda has a variety of uses, for cleaning, baking, and medicinal purposes. If stored properly, it will last for years; though it can lose potency over time. To Properly Store Baking Soda: Keep in an airtight container and store in a cool dry place. Remember that baking soda absorbs odors, so you will want to keep it airtight and away from any of your other storage items. To test if your baking soda has lost its potency, add a little vinegar to a small amount of the baking soda… if it bubbles, it’s still good.

Food grade buckets and mylar bags should be used whenever possible, and if oxygen is an enemy, oxygen absorbers. I also like to upgrade my buckets with gamma lids, that allow you to screw the lids on and off easily so you can access foods in your stockpile without fumbling around with difficult bucket lids. They stack nicely too. Food Bricks are also great for stacking and accessing your foods, so you might consider them too.

One of the best ways to ensure your family is prepared for no matter what is to have a useful, and plentiful supply of stored food. I love MREs and

The electromagnetic pulse has become one of the great supervillains of our day, and understandably so, whether released from the atmosphere or generated from a high-altitude nuclear explosion. Such weapons will change the game as a whole.

Imagine a world forced into self-reliance, near-total convenience, and dependence. If almost 100% of electronics had stopped working, others may have adapted. Others will dive into a pit of desperation. Many experts paint horrifying portrayals of this situation that are unfolding here in America.

There are places we go in our daily, comfortable lives which seem secure. The same areas may become coffins in the event of an EMP. I want to think about some of those places, and why they are so dangerous.

In some of these situations, you’ll see you should take measures to help with your survival. You can just be out of time, in certain cases.


With monitors, breathing tubes, and the many other accouterments that would be in place to keep you alive the most terrifying place to be when an EMP strikes would be in the intensive care unit. For most this would be an area of recovery for those injured or healing after surgery.

Your access to medicine and treatment would go down significantly because the hospital would be plunged into chaos. Emergency evacuations would take place, as would a whole host of calamities. It would be easy to neglect the patients.

Depending on the situation, you can die right away but without oxygen or anything else that keeps you alive you’d suffer for those seconds. The reality could be even more frightening if you were better off than those around you. As you’d just hover over death before you’d been identified. If they discovered you.

Related: Fresh survival food on demand?


The subway’s calamity is too much to tackle on a good day! The subway cars are electrically driven as are the doors and lights.

There would be hundreds if not thousands of people on those cars. We will be packed in like sardines and a huge amount of fear will ensue when the car stops and the lights go out. Citizens would push and shove, and the trampling and smashing would likely cause a few casualties.

Stay close to exits when you take your seat in the subway and make sure you understand how to use them. This gives you first dibs at the exit. Use your EDC phone or flashlight to shed light on the situation too. That’d ease the tension.

Related: What does Bill Gates’s acquisition of farmland mean for our food?


There are somewhere between 12 and 13 million registered boats in the nation. For many, this is the best possible version of relaxation. Whether it’s heading down river or out passed the continental shelf, boating can be a tremendously rewarding experience. Though these machines run on the same kind of electronics as anything else.

During an EMP attack, boats or any other form of electronics may be made inoperable. Just imagine when you were 10s of miles off the east coast for a second. You will immediately be exposed to the ebb and flow of the tides. Your strong boat has no masts and sails to return you to the home country’s sandy shores.

But no question, right? It would be the coast guard out to save you, wouldn’t they? Even though their vessels were inoperable, too. Depending on the ocean’s path you could be stuck for days, weeks, or even months. You may have a small survival kit on your boat but for weeks under the searing sun, how do you get clean water and food. How about a stormy ocean’s battering waves?

You would have to fish for food and create some sort of still in order to remove the salt from your water. If you had the right materials aboard, building a solar could still work.


You are going down. Plain and simple. The Americans always fly. The tragedy would happen if anything like this were happening during the day or night at any time. An approximate 4,000 commercial flights are open in the sky at any time. This does not include in-air private or military flights. When those planes drop, it would be like a nationwide bombing campaign. Some plains have protective levels against solar EMPs.

If you were on one, remaining calm and following the instructions of others more experienced than you would be your best bet. The shock of the accident will kill you in most situations, so it could be safer. You wouldn’t want to be buried under debris or stuck and burned alive by jet fuel.

Read the security manuals provided when boarding a craft, and take note of the different exits. If you do survive a crash, these could become your only way out.

Related: Will YOU be able to survive the greatest crisis ever?


Per the energy information administration:

There are 61 commercially operating nuclear power plants with 99 nuclear reactors in 30 states in the United States.

We all witnessed the very real consequences of nuclear power in the Fukushima reactor disaster. We are ill-equipped to handle a disaster of this magnitude. In fact, we are ill-equipped to handle a disaster at all when it comes to nuclear power. How do we cool 99 reactors when we failed to cool one using the OCEAN?!

Or take a look at the map of US Nuclear Power Plants:

us nuclear power plant map 2


If you are living or staying in close proximity to a nuclear power plant be sure to get as far away as possible in the event of an EMP attack. How would you know? Glad you asked. This link: Nuclear Power Plants will tell you the location of all the power plants in your proximity. You just need to click on your state.

It’s difficult to imagine a version of the world like the one you’d see following an EMP. It will be left empty and deserted. The surviving souls who wandered through this partially incinerated and partially radiated landscape would be in a desperate struggle for survival.

The electromagnetic pulse has become one of the great supervillains of our day, and understandably so, whether released from the atmosphere or generated from a high-altitude nuclear explosion. Such weapons

After any SHTF scenario or major natural disaster, food is going to be one of the most vital things to have available. You won’t be able to rely on what’s in stores – panic buying or looting will probably have cleaned them all out unless the police or the military have secured them first. Either way, the goods in them won’t be available to you. Unless you already have a working smallholding it’s going to take time before you can grow your own, as well. If you want to get through the initial months after the event you’re going to need to have substantial food stocks to hand– ideally enough for at least a year, but even two or three months’ worth will buy you time to become self-sufficient.

The food you store needs to be nutritious enough to keep you healthy, and have enough caloric value that you’ll be able to work hard for long days without feeling fatigued – surviving isn’t an easy task. It also needs to have enough variety not to become monotonous, and stocking up on a few favorites will help keep your morale up in stressful circumstances.

Unfortunately, you can’t just store anything you like. If you don’t have your own generator power will be unreliable, so you can’t depend on anything that needs to be kept frozen or refrigerated. That rules out most modern ready meals. Tinned food is a better bet – much of it can be safely stored at room temperature for years – but some tinned goods will also deteriorate. That’s also an expensive way to build up a reserve, so for most people, the realistic option will be to stockpile some staples – mostly carbohydrates – and use foraged or grown items to supplement them.

Many bulk foods, like pasta, beans, or dry white rice, can be stored almost indefinitely. Others can’t; over time they will go stale or rancid, and they can also attract pests. Here is an introduction to the main goods that you either CAN’T store or should do so with a lot of caution.

#10 Baked Goods

Baked goods can’t be stored for more than a few days without freezing, so it’s tempting to stock up on enough flour to let you bake your own for a few years. Unfortunately, this isn’t a great idea. Flour can be stored for a while, but it isn’t viable as a long-term option. Wheat flour will only last around eight months before deteriorating badly. Refined flour does a bit better, but even then it can only really be kept for around two years.

The major problem with flour is infestation by psocids, or booklice, which are tiny black or brown insects. Once the flour has been opened it will quickly attract these pests, and once they get in they’ll multiply quickly. To deter them always store flour in sealed airtight containers, and make sure it’s absolutely dry. Flour usually comes in paper packages, and psocids are well known for their ability to get through paper. If you want to store a few months’ supplies of flour then seal the bags inside plastic ones – if you can vacuum-pack them that’s even better – then store those in a plastic bin with a tight-fitting lid. Keep the area around the store clean and sweep up any spilled flour immediately (don’t mop it) to avoid attracting psocids. Never mix old and new flour.

If the SHTF you can’t rely on having more than two years’ supply of flour, why not store grain instead? This is protected by its natural husks, so it’s much more resistant to insects. Mice and rats can be a problem, though, so again pack wheat or barley in plastic bags and store them in a bin. Rats can chew through plastic – consider a thoroughly cleaned steel trash can.
Another option is to buy flour and bake it into hardtack. You will find plenty of recipes for this traditional military and seafaring food. It’s extremely simple to make – just flour, water, and a pinch of salt – and if you keep it dry it will last for years.

#9 Canned Bread

There’s a popular recent trend for baking home-canned bread and cakes. These are simple to make; usually, you pour batter into Mason jars, bake them in the oven, then seal the jar and cool it. That creates a partial vacuum inside the jar, which will preserve the contents for a while. Canned baked goods, especially cakes, are often given as Christmas or birthday gifts, and that’s usually not a problem. However, a lot of people also say that they can be stored for up to a year; some claim they can be stored indefinitely.

It might sound tempting, but this is a really bad idea. The problem is a bacterium, Clostridium botulinum. This organism grows from tough spores that are found almost everywhere but will only grow in certain conditions. It thrives in moist, nutrient-rich environments with little or no oxygen – and unfortunately, the baking and canning process creates an environment that’s just about perfect for it. As the bacteria grow they produce a toxin, commonly known as botox, that can be lethal when it contaminates food.

There is no guaranteed way to make Botulinus-free canned bread at home. The spores are heat-resistant enough that baking won’t kill them, and although some scientists have developed bread recipes that are designed to prevent the bacteria from growing it’s just too easy to get it wrong. Canned bread is fine as a gift or treats that will be eaten within a few days, but it should never be stored long-term. It is definitely not safe, and the consequences can be deadly. In a survival situation, botox poisoning is untreatable. Don’t risk it.

#8 Canned Tomatoes

Most canned foods can be stored for a long time – often pretty much indefinitely. Tomatoes are one of the exceptions. The problem is the juice, which over time will attack the can. When you hear people complain about issues storing canned foods, a lot of the time it’s going to be a tomato product. Possible problems include bulged or leaking cans and even split seams.

Even if the can looks fine and there are no visible leaks it could have tiny perforations that mean it’s no longer airtight – and so it’s no longer safe. If you open any can of a tomato product and it’s discolored or has an unusual smell, don’t risk it – throw it out. Few preppers can resist keeping some canned tomatoes because they’re so versatile but don’t keep more than about six months’ worth and make sure you rotate your stock regularly.

#7 Canned Fat Meat (some)

There are risks in storing any kind of meat because it can host so many bacteria and parasites; canned varieties are among the safer ones but there are still limits. Meat contains fat, and fat is made up of acids; the contents can be acidic enough to damage the can. The quality will also go downhill after a while, so even if it’s still safe it won’t be very appetizing.

Canned tuna will also deteriorate – it tends to become mushy after long storage. Other canned foods are usually safe to keep for several years at least; texture and flavor may deteriorate, but they should stay edible. For best results keep cans in a dark, dry place with a constant cool temperature. Avoid uninsulated attics or garages, as these often have dramatic temperature changes. Basements are ideal as long as they don’t have a dampness problem. Damp conditions will eventually corrode cans, and this can let air in long before there are any visible leaks.

#6 Homemade Jerky

Compact dehydrators are becoming popular and a lot of preppers now have them. They’re a great way to make tasty and healthy fruit snacks, and of course, they’re a Godsend to any jerky fans. Commercial jerky is expensive, but you can make your own from cheap cuts of beef and it tastes just as good. Unfortunately, it isn’t as safe to store. Commercially made jerky is processed in industrial dehydrators that let the moisture content be very precisely controlled. Home models aren’t as predictable – even the humidity in your kitchen can affect the moisture content of the finished product. Homemade jerky is pretty safe for normal consumption, but if you store it for months or years there’s a risk from any bacteria that survived the drying process.

If you’re determined to store homemade jerky, vacuum pack it and include a silica gel sachet with each batch to soak up any excess moisture.

#5 Graham Crackers

These seem like a simple, trouble-free items to store, but they’re not – they develop a rancid taste over time. Don’t rely on them staying tasty for more than a year. You can extend that another year or two by repackaging them in vacuum-sealed packages, or in an airtight container with oxygen absorbers.

Long-term, a better idea is to have the ingredients to make your own graham crackers. It isn’t hard and you can find plenty of recipes online.

Many other crackers are also bad choices for long-term storage. Unless you take a lot of care to seal them in an airtight package they tend to go soft and lose their texture. Many also pick up a stale, unpleasant taste. It’s fine to have a few boxes of crackers in your SHTF stash but make sure you rotate through them regularly. Saltines are an example – these won’t stay fresh for more than about six months.

#4 Eggs

Eggs keep a lot better than most people realize; even if you don’t refrigerate them they still last for a week or more, and in the fridge, you can keep them for three weeks or so. Few people would seriously consider adding them to a long-term food store, though. Then again, there are some who believe it’s possible. Spend a lot of time around other preppers and somebody’s most likely going to tell you that, properly prepared, eggs can be kept good for months, or even years. Usually, two methods are suggested:

  1. Dipping the eggs in petroleum jelly
  2. Dunking them briefly in boiling water

The idea behind both of them is that they will seal the inside of the egg from any bacteria that could get in. This is not the case, and neither of these methods will extend the storage life of an egg. If you want to add eggs to your emergency food stash go for the powdered kind. They’re less flexible, and a bit less appetizing, but unlike fresh eggs, they can be stored safely for longer than a couple of weeks.

#3 Breakfast Cereals

The packaging on these isn’t sturdy or airtight enough for long-term storage. After a year or so they’ll soften and start to taste stale. If you’re looking for a breakfast carb option, consider oatmeal instead. It will last for years and it’s also a lot more nutritious. If you do decide to keep a supply of cereals don’t buy it in huge bulk boxes – once it’s opened the slow deterioration will speed up dramatically. Opt for standard-size packs that you can eat in a week or two.

#2 Butter

Butter will last a lot longer than most dairy products except hard cheeses, but it’s still not a good choice for long-term storage. Wrapped or home-canned butter should be completely avoided; commercially canned can be kept for a while, but be sure to rotate it regularly to avoid old cans turning rancid at the back of your shelf.

#1 Nut Oils

A lot of people think these are healthy alternatives to vegetable oil. They definitely produce tasty meals, but they don’t keep well. Avoid nut oils if you can.

Other cooking oils are generally safe for long-term storage, but some care is needed. Don’t buy large containers; once they’ve been opened the oil will begin to oxidize, which isn’t just bad for the flavor – it can produce dangerous chemicals when the affected oil is heated. Don’t try to save money by buying in bulk and then decanting to smaller bottles – you’ll also mix air in, and that will just oxidize it even faster. Instead, buy oils in standard bottles. That way it should be used by the time it starts to deteriorate too badly.

Some of the items on this list make planning your food storage awkward – flour is probably the worst because it’s so widely used. You can keep your carbohydrate intake up with other choices, though, with pasta and rice being favorites. If you have the skills and equipment to grind your own flour it’s possible to store large quantities of wheat, and this will stay edible for years (or more likely decades) as long as you protect it well from vermin.

Any food will last longer if it’s properly looked after; equally, they will all deteriorate more quickly if the storage conditions aren’t right. If there’s something you’re not sure about asking local preppers – they might be able to tell you (although some have their own ideas, so always get a couple more opinions before splashing out a few hundred dollars on foods you can’t store. Finally, use airtight outer packaging when you can to deter pests, and keep your food in the right conditions. Consider investing in vacuum-packing gear. Good luck!


After any SHTF scenario or major natural disaster, food is going to be one of the most vital things to have available. You won’t be able to rely on what’s