Category Archives: equipment

Mothballing Small Engines for Storage.

mothballing small enginesOver the years, I have learned about mothballing small engines the hard way.  Years ago I failed to mothball engines correctly, just shutting them down and forgetting about them.  Several years later I attempted to start them and ended up taking them to the repair shop. It was not a cheap experience.

Since then if I am going to let an engine sit for any length of time I am careful to mothball it.  My limit is about 90 days, anything over that and I mothball.  Since I have been doing that, I have not had any further problems.

I mothball two and four stroke engines slightly differently. …

Posted in equipment | Tagged | 4 Comments

Yard Sales can Save You Lots of Money

yard sales

The candles I got for a dollar

Where I live the temperature has been in the mid 70’s and the garage and yards sales have started.  Yesterday morning was the first time this year I have been out and spent a couple of hours shopping.  Now every year it seems like I get great bargains at them.  Today was fair; I found several things that I can use.

At the first yard sale, I found a bunch of candles for a dollar.  It seems like I am always finding them.  I have been collecting them for some time now and storing them in a cool place. …

Posted in equipment, Self sufficiency | Tagged | 1 Comment

Thermal Imaging Devices, Pro’s and Con’s

thermal imagingA few months ago, I posted an article on hiding from thermal imaging devices, since then I learned a bit more about them.  So I decided to post a second article with some new information.  I see a number of people purchasing various infrared imaging devices instead of night vision.  Now there is nothing wrong with infrared imaging devices, they serve a good purpose.  But be sure you understand the pro’s and con’s of them prior to spending your money.

An infrared device or thermal imaging camera forms images using infrared radiation, similar to a common camera that forms an image using visible light. …

Posted in electronics, equipment | Tagged | 4 Comments

Electric Panels and How to Turn Off the Power.

electric panel

A typical newer electric panel

It seems that whenever I talk to a group of people, I find someone who does not know how to turn of the electric panel to their house.  This is something that everyone should know how to do, even your older children.  In case of earthquake, storm damage, fire or even an accidental electrocution you may have to turn the power off.

Most homes today have circuit breakers which are a simple switch, it is just a matter of knowing where they are and which one to turn off.  Some of your older homes may still have screw type fuses, how ever they are fast disappearing.…

Posted in equipment, Fire prevention | 1 Comment

Desiccant Packs, What They are and Why You Need Them

Desiccant Packs

The desiccant packs that come with many electronic items

I live in a fairly dry climate and have not had problems with preps rusting from the humidity.  However, I know that it is a big problem in parts of this country that are subject to high humidity, so I thought that I would write about the use of desiccant packs and how to use them.

As an oxygen absorber is to air, a desiccant is to moisture.  A desiccant pack will draw moisture from the air the same as an oxygen absorber will draw the oxygen from the air.  Desiccant packs are used all the time in electronics and can often be found at any store that sells electronics.…

Posted in electronics, equipment, food storage, Self sufficiency | Tagged | 2 Comments

Block and Tackles, Something Every Prepper and Homesteader Needs

block and tackleThe other day when I was posting about ropes, I mentioned using a block and tackle to gain an advantage when lifting heavy objects.  A block and tackle is a system of two or more pulleys with a rope or cable threaded between them.

The pulleys are assembled together to form blocks (snatch blocks) and then blocks are paired so that one is fixed and one moves with the load.  The rope is threaded, or reeved, through the pulleys to provide an increased mechanical advantage that increases the force applied to the rope making it easier for you to lift a heavy object.

Posted in equipment, Self sufficiency | Tagged | 7 Comments

The Kobun Tanto Styled Boot Knife by Cold Steel

kobun tanto

The other day I received a Cold Steel Kobun from Knife Hog (  First thing, I have never bought anything from them and have not had any business dealings with them.  However, I have not heard anything bad so deal with them at your own risk.

The Kobun that they sent me is a lightweight Tanto styled boot knife made by Cold Steel. I like boot knifes but where I live you have to be pretty careful or you can run afoul of the law. Before you carry a boot knife concealed, check the laws where you live.

The Kobun Tanto has a 5.5-inch blade with and overall length just under 10 inches.…

Posted in equipment, self defense | Tagged | 2 Comments

Ponchos are an Excellent Multi Use Piece of Equipment


A US woodland poncho

Today everyone is pretty familiar with a poncho.  You have seen them in the movies from the Clint Eastwood westerns to the WW2 movies.

There are two main types of ponchos that we commonly encounter.  One is made from wool or a similar fabric and is designed to keep one warm.  The second type is normally made from a waterproof material and is designed to keep one dry.  Ponchos have been used by the Native American peoples of the Andes since pre-Hispanic times and are a familiar sight in South and Central America and even the US southwest.…

Posted in Clothing, equipment, Seventy-two hour kits, Uncategorized | Tagged | 6 Comments

I love My New Reversible Griddle


Here are the two griddles side by side. The one on the right is my new one which weights of the one on the left

I have used a griddle since I was 8 or so, helping my grandmother make tortillas, of course the griddle then was a disk of an old tractor, but it worked great.  After several years and with my grandmother getting older, she got an actual griddle.  She would leave it on the wood stove because it was so heavy.  Eventually it was my Moms and then it was mine. That griddle went thru a lot.  I still have it, but man, it’s still heavy.…

Posted in cooking, equipment | 3 Comments

Improvised Knife Sharpeners

Improvised Knife Sharpeners

I like knives and probably have too many and I like to keep a good working edge on them.  Now I believe that a sharp knife is safer than a dull one.  It requires less pressure to use and you can use better cutting techniques.  So I have a whole pile of sharpening stones, see the link for information on stones Sharpening Stones, How to Clean Sharpening Stones.  But what happens when you don’t have good stones, can you make improvised knife sharpeners?

Now the secret to sharpening any knife, regardless of the type of steel used in its manufacturer and intended purpose, is to maintain proper angle alignment while sharpening.  …

Posted in equipment, survival | Tagged | 12 Comments