Small DIY Solar Systems are Easy to Make


small solar systemA small solar system designed to power lights and possibly your refrigerator for an emergency is easy to build.  It is something that you can do yourself without a lot of training.

If you have read this post, you know how to figure out how many panels and batteries you need. You can use either new or used solar panels.

To build your small solar system you will need

  • Solar panels — make sure they are matching panels, same size same manufacturer. You can mix some panels but it takes a bit of expertise to get this right.
  • Controller — make sure the controller you get will handle the voltage put out by your panels and it needs to protect your batteries by keeping them from being overcharged.
Posted in electronics, solar, Uncategorized | Tagged | 10 Comments

Seven Problems Older Preppers Face

Seven Problems that Older Preppers Face via Preparedness Advice

The older I get the more I see problems that older preppers face. Since prepping hit the mainstream back in 2008-09, we all have a good 8-9 years under our belts. My own kids were just 8 and 6 when my wife and I started prepping, and now our oldest is making college plans. Time flies.

I know you all plan to be that rare exception that is still able to walk long distances in your 90’s and not taking any medication. If that happens, then good for you! You were blessed with some amazing genes. Unfortunately, that will likely not be the case for most people, even the most devout prepper.…

Posted in medical | 18 Comments

Protecting Your Home or Camp with Early Warning Systems, Part 2

I’m not sure when I picked up the odd habit of looking over my shoulder and, in general, being paranoid about my surroundings, but I did. My wife tells me I “look scary”, even when I’m totally relaxed and on vacation in Disney World. So be it. That’s my lot in life and she married me anyway. When I think of scenarios in which my home and family could be in jeopardy, you can bet I’ve researched plenty of home security plans, gear, and, yes, weaponry. My paranoia will pay off someday.

If you haven’t yet read the post titled, Protecting Your Home or Camp with Early Warning Systems, Part 1, stop and read it now.…

Posted in security, self defense | Tagged | 3 Comments

Protecting Your Home or Camp with Early Warning Systems, Part 1

In a real emergency, it doesn’t matter whether you are bugging in or out, you may need to be warned of intruders.  Today many of us sit at home with the doors locked, window closed and air conditioning keeping the temperature under control.  After a disaster, we may have to keep all our window open, to try to stay cool.  This eliminates some of the security we normally have.  If you have people, who are trying to take advantage of the situation by looting you may need to rig up some early warning systems.

Fortunately there are many simple ways to give you early warning of intruders. …

Posted in security, self defense | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Free Manuals: Military Manuals & Books About Knot-Tying

Here are some free downloads of various books on knots and military manuals that you may find useful. You may want to consider downloading them to an older laptop and sticking it in a Faraday Bag. This will let you keep them handy, even in a worst-case scenario, without the expense of printing them.


Essential Fishing Knots

Pioneering Knots and Lashings


Knots, Splices, Attachments and Ladders

Knots, Splices and Rope Work


Free military manuals

Arctic SubArctic SurvivalB-GL-323-003-FP-001

Basic Food Preparation

Canadian Military Field Craft

Marine Land Navigation

Mountain Operations FM3976

Pressure Points Military Hand to Hand Combat Guide

TC 31 – Special Forces Caching Techniques 

Terrain Analysis

Topographic Operations

US Army fm31 70 Basic Cold Weather Manual

US Army Combatives hand to hand combat FM-325-150

US Army Field Manual FM 3-19.15, Civil Disturbance Operations 

US Army Map Reading and Land Navigation

Army stp21-1 Soldiers Manual of Common Tasks Warrior Skills Level 1

US Army stp21-24 Soldiers Manual of Common Tasks Warrior Skills Level-2-3-and-4

US Marine Corps Hand to Hand Combat

US Marine Corp Pistol Markmanship


Posted in books | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

5 Pieces of Overrated Prepper Advice

I’m a skeptic of just about everything. My wife will tell you I was born disgruntled and contrary, so when I hear certain pieces of prepper advice, again and again, I can’t help but question it. In no particular order, here are 5 pieces of overrated prepper advice that drive me crazy.

  1. Stock up on lots and lots of wheat. Okay, we did that and then realized that our family eats very little bread and we feel a lot healthier on lower-carb diets. My wife buys one loaf of Ezekiel bread (tastes like sandpaper to me, but she likes it), keeps it in the freezer, and it lasts for 3-4 weeks.
Posted in bugging out, EMP, food storage, Prepping | Tagged , , , , | 21 Comments

How to Use Google Earth to Make Your Home More Secure For Your Family

how to use google earth home securityThe capabilities of Google Earth should terrify you. Input an address, any address, in this website and the location pops up in all its 3-D glory. Your vehicles may show up, your backyard with its playset, even, possibly, you in the pool or sunbathing. Without a doubt, Google’s intrusion on our privacy is just beginning. This article provides more in-depth information as to what Google Maps and Google Earth are capable of.

On a whim, I decided to turn the tables on Google Earth, just a bit, and use it for my own purposes. I pulled up our address on Google Earth, and took several screenshots — one of our entire town, a few of my general neighborhood, then a couple of my street, and 2 very close shots of my home, with the idea of using these screenshots to help with my prepping and planning.…

Posted in bugging out, emergencies, security | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

15 Ways to Put Ratchet Straps to Good Use

Ratchet straps… most of us have them around in the garage or car trunk. I’ve kept one in the back of my truck for a couple of decades now! Over the years, it has come in handy more than I ever thought it would.

Ratchet straps come in a variety of strengths, widths, lengths, and hooks. The weaving of ratchet straps is similar to that of a seat belt, designed to keep things secure and in place.

Types of ratchet straps

There are three types of tie down straps

Lashing StrapsThese have a gator clip and are fairly easy to use for light weight objects.

Posted in equipment | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Is Firewood a Part of Your Emergency Preparedness?

We all know that water is the Number One consideration when it comes to survival. Three days without the wet stuff, and you’re pushing up daisies. Besides water, have you ever thought of the availability of wood as a survival must-have? Have you stocked up on firewood for survival?
firewood for survival
Back when we lived in the Phoenix area, I realized one day how desperate that city of 1.6 million would be without any fuel sources during a longterm grid failure. There are virtually no trees in that city that provide the right kind of firewood, and those that do, would take months to dry out and season.…
Posted in fuels, heating, survival | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

How to Make Bannock Bread

As my wife will verify, I do a lot of things in the kitchen, but baking is not normally one of them. Well yesterday, I felt like baking some fresh bread so I decided to make some bannock. Learning how to make bannock has been on my list of things to learn for a while.

How to Make Bannock Bread

Bannock seems to have originated in Scotland, but it became very popular in the wilds of Canada and the American West. It is easy to make and does not even require a pan to cook it. Kids would enjoy learning how to make Bannock bread, as it can be cooked directly on the hot coals.…

Posted in cooking, recipes | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments