Prepping for the Financially Challenged: A One Month Survival Plan For Under $300

by | Mar 12, 2012 | Emergency Preparedness | 161 comments

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    The following article has been generously contributed by Tom Chatham, author of the newly released book The American Dream Lost – Economic Survival Strategy for a New Paradigm.

    Many people are now waking up to the possibility that the future may not provide the great recovery we all expect it to be. They are begining to sense that something is wrong with the economy and it will not get better. Their first thought is the question, What do I do to protect myself and my family? They usually answer that question with the thought, maybe these preppers aren’t so crazy after all. How do you prep with very little money?

    Many start answering this question with buy this and buy that but that is not the first step to prepping. Every situation is different so your preps need to reflect your situation. The first thing you need to do is get a legal pad or a note book to write in and answer these basic questions.

    • Do you own or rent?
    • Do you live in an apartment or a home with a yard?
    • Is your home paid for or could you lose it if your income were cut off?
    • Do you have some place else to go if things get too bad or you lose your home?
    • Can you plant a garden or fruit trees in your yard?
    • Can you own livestock or even a few chickens?
    • How much can you afford per month to buy supplies?

    These questions are just a start but they will determine what you will need to get by in a difficult situation.

    An apartment dweller will have no need to get seeds and garden tools immediately while it might make perfect sense to someone in the country with a few acres of their own land. If you live in the suburbs and have a small yard you might be able to plant some fruit trees but what happens if you lose your home to foreclosure? Would the money for those trees have been spent better somewhere else? You need to decide what your emergency will involve and what your basic needs will be because of it.

    Lets look at an apartment dweller for a minute. They depend on water from the city, food from the grocery store, power for heat, light and cooking and sanitation, all of which has to be brought into the city or pumped out of the city on a continuous basis. If all of these systems shut down for any length of time you are now stranded in a cave on a cliff with a long staircase to traverse each way. Assuming that everyone is in the same situation as you and you are not evicted from your home, what supplies will you need to shelter in place and how long will they last?

    Being in an apartment you are limited to the types of supplies you may be able to store. For instance it would be a waste of money to invest in a generator if you know you can’t store a 30 day supply of gas. The two primary supplies you need no matter where you are involve water and food. In a system wide failure water would be the first thing you would run out of. You can only live about three days without water so it is a critical storage item. The only problem with water is that it’s heavy and takes up a lot of room if you want a several month supply. For someone in an apartment this is out of the question so how do you get around this? The solution has to be to store a small supply and have a plan to resupply what you need. The cheapest way to go is to get a supply of five gallon plastic food grade buckets to store water in. As a secondary storage device get a few thirty gallon trash cans and some food grade liners for them. These can be filled just prior to an emergency if you have any warning. Another secondary storage medium would be your bath tub. This can hold fifty gallons or more to last you quite a while. In addition to storage containers you need to get a good water filter. A gravity fed system is good but a portable reverse osmosis system is better. You may need to forage for water during a long emergency and you don’t want to contaminate your clean buckets with unfiltered water that you will have to carry home. Also you will need to filter water in your tub or other container that may not be completely clean. The reason to have some five gallon buckets is that you may need to carry water up to your apartment and more than five gallons is more than most people would be able to handle at one time.

    The next thing you need to have on hand is a supply of food. The cheapest things to start off with that will keep you fed are the following items. You might want to get 3lbs of rice, 3lbs of dried beans, 5lbs of cornmeal, 42oz of oatmeal, 2lbs of powdered milk, 26oz of mash potato flakes, 30 packages of ramen noodles and 12 cans of vegetables. All of these things will cost you about $35.00 and provide one person with three meals a day for 30 days. This list is meant to prevent desperation on your part for the least amount of money not necessarily a perfectly balanced menu. A good multivitamin can fill in any shortfalls of this menu. This short list provides you with a reasonable amount of food for a very small investment and all of it will fit in two five gallon containers to allow for easy transport if you decide to relocate with it.

    Another item you might want to get depending on your location is a good quality cold weather sleeping bag. This is a must if you are living in a cold climate without a dependable heat source. You can survive in a very cold place for a very long time if you have the means to stay warm and get a good nights sleep.

    The next item you should have is a propane stove, at least a single burner unit, and at least a one pound canister of propane for each week for the duration you plan for. This will allow you the means to heat water and cook food and also provide heat on a limited basis. To make your fuel go as far as possible you also want to have a small pressure cooker so you can cook things like beans and rice quickly.

    For light you can have a 100 hour liquid paraffin candle that will provide you with 3 hours of light every night for a month. You want to have a large box of strike anywhere matches and a disposable lighter to light your stove and candle. A hand crank LED light with a radio and cell phone charging port would be a good addition to this kit.

    The final thing you would need is a sanitation system. With the power off, you might be able to flush your toilet with your water stores but the pumps that carry the sewage away will not be working so the sewer lines will eventually back up. To avoid this you need to have a portable toilet with disposable linings that you can utilize until the power returns or you relocate. A simple totable toilet and a few liners can be had for under thirty dollars. You can also get disposable liners that fit your regular toilet bowl that you can use.

    Depending on how much you spend on your sleeping bag and pressure cooker, you can get everything listed here for around three hundred dollars. For that price you would be able to shelter in place for a month. If you increase the amount of food, propane and candles you get, you could shelter in place for months.

    Security is not covered here because it is something that could fill an article of its own. These are the basic things you should have for an apartment if you plan to stay in place for any length of time. These limited supplies can be the difference between remaining safe and healthy and becoming desperate. The small quantity of supplies listed here would be easy to relocate with even if you had to travel on foot. In the next article we’ll talk about expanded preps for apartments and things for single family homes.

    Tom Chatham is the author of the newly released book The American Dream Lost – Economic Survival Strategy for a New Paradigm.


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      1. Good Information, thanks for posting, Mac!

        • Oh, I just wanted to add, that the author mentions that you can buy a liner for the toilet. You could just use a large plastic garbage bag. Also, it’s possible to buy a seat cover that goes onto a regular 5-6 lb. bucket, for around $8-$10. There’s no need for expensive chemicals to put in either, if you want, you can simply use a bag of kitty litter, in a pinch (a 35 lb bucket at sam’s runs about $10-$15, depending upon brand). Anyway, thought it might help someone out. Sanitation is likely to be the #1 threat to your life after the SHTF. Take care and God bless.

          • How about a paper bag and a match? UPS directly to the White House, stand back and watch the fun. seriously, I’m just going to dig a hole in the back yard, build an outhouse and use lime to kill the stink. Thought about a composting toilet, but at over a thousand bucks……. naww. Didn’t have inside plumbing until I was 8 years old anyway. Ahhh, the memories of emptying the chamber pot after a good nights sleep…… full to the brim. Had to be real careful carrying it to the out house! Funny how a memory like that carries on for nearly fifty years!

            • Hey George, I wrote my response before I read yours, Great Minds they say. Peace Clay

            • George, you and I must have lived on the same rd.we didn’t get inside plumbing til 1952 and that was because the milk inspector was going to stop us from shipping milk if we didn’t, I still don’t know what an inside toilet had to do with our cows, they didn’t use the toilet.

            • I’m with ya on the outside johnnie. At granny and paw’s they only had cold water to a sink in the kitchen. I was born in ’56 and stayed there a lot until I got driver’s license. Aunts and uncles tried to get paw to let them pay for a complete bathroom including water heater. Paw said “hell no, Never had it and raised six kids here without it and I’ll die here without it.” The problem came in when you reached about six year old. If you had to doody after dark or before sunrise, it was a flashlight and a trip to the ole johnnie. Paw was a hardcore mountain man. Died in 1970. Only heat was a woodstove and cookstove, and never owned a chainsaw. I sure miss those days.

            • Look at the library for a book called “Humanure” which tells you how to build a indoor outhouse. You need a frame of plywood which you could hinge to fold up until needed. You need a toilet seat with lid, 5 gallon bucket, saw dust (which is lighter and more absorbent than kitty litter and can provide natural odor killing.) You use th bucket, sprinkle a bit of sawdust over it and close the lid. If you had a plastic bag liner you could haul the bucket downstairs to prevent the risk of the bag breaking and then pull the bag out and dispose of it. If you have a yard, put the contents into a dedicated compost pile and cover with more sawdust or leaves and leave for over 12 months to kill any pathogens.

          • Dave, Absolutely, Don’t forget a couple big bags of lime. If you dig yourself an outhouse. You will be happy you did. A couple of scoops every few days will help with the smell!

          • Used them many times, they are great. I hate squating in the woods. I would also recomend a scrub brush, If you have to bathe in your only water source, you don’t want to use soap, or you can take bird bathes with it, pour some water on ya and scrub.

            • If TSHTF and you’re living on a shoestring, bathing will be the least of your worries. Huge proportions of the human population never bathe, and I don’t just mean the French. In late medieval Europe bathing was considered a bad thing, (although the reason was the amount of sick sex that had permeated bath-houses in the earlier centuries). The population seems to have survived, despite bubonic plague snd all.

            • Have been having to keep an elder dog clean for months. He cannot reach his back end, due to arthritis. Walgreen’s has a great no-rinse shampoo that is good for the human body, as well. All you need is a damp cloth and a dry cloth. Works great on hair and hairless areas. Cheaper than wipes and a quart lasts about a month. You need very little at a time.

              For emergencies, a cheap Port-a-Pottie and some bags of chemical can provide sanitation for 2 adults for several weeks. Dig a hole for the sanitized waste and empty the Port-a-Pottie every day. We have used it for 2 weeks at a time during floods/blackouts.

            • Coach, The number of infections that could have simply been averted by preventive hygiene in mid evil Europe ie.. bathing is enormous. I have read accounts of Nostradamus (yep he practiced medicine too), pleading with the medical community of the time to wash their hands and bath on a regular basis. He was one of the first one to summarize a connection between being unclean and postpartum and neonatal infections. He laid the blame squarely at the feet of an unhygienic population, a medical community to full of themselves to realize they could do any wrong and contaminated wells in city centers.
              Hang onto your scrub brush Kevin!

            • Just because people in the past did not practice good hygiene (often paying for it with their lives), does not mean I want to have their life expectancy. Our retreat shower uses a solar-powered 12 volt pump to push rainwater through a wood stove coil (winter) or solar water heater (summer). Certainly, we will not shower as often, but since there are no nonrenewable resources involved, good hygiene is part of our disease prevention plan.

            • Actually Old Coach personal hygiene is quite important, and although you are correct their will be bigger issues to face in SHTF, hygiene will still be very important.

            • Old coach- I have spent alot of time away from civilization, in the mountains of utah(and all over the west), after about 12 days with no shower you can start getting skin infections, and a shower is a hell of a moral lifter. Recently(about 3.5 weeks ago) I went and camped at tuweep on the northwesterly side of the grand canyon, was planning to stay 3 days, on the third mornin, I awoke to a foot of snow, with the clay around there I wasn’t going anywhere, and it snowed more. Anyhow, I used snow to bathe, Grab a handful and start scrubbin. It works great on a warm winter day. @EVERYONE- When I realized I was going to be stuck there(took 5 seconds) I had a great feeling of calmness, I thought of those stories of people stranded and unprepared and thought of them. Knowing my outdoor skill level, and having extra mre’s, freeze dry food,jerky,backpacking pocket rocket with 6 canisters, and extra clothing, water,smokes, and bourbon in my emergency tote, along with my regular camping gear, I would be sitting pretty another week easily if I had to stay that long. Moral of the story: Its better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it.

            • forgot, I ended up being stuck there 3 extra nights. A beutiful place to be stranded thats for sure.

            • clamation- I am on my fifth one, use’em for camping. Speaking of holding on to it, buy one with a handle and get some 550 cord to handle and tie it to your neck. If your in a river during the snow melt with a strong current you can lose it. I lost one in the virgin river.

            • Another cheap item to stock up on that will add a day or two to your complete bathing routine is, WET WIPES. I spent eight days in a tent near the continental divide in the Rockies in 1989 on a backcountry elk and deer hunt. There was a lot of hiking with backpacks and guns, notice I said guns, because we were in grizzly bear country, and at close encounter I felt more confident having that ole 44 mag strapped under my left arm; and there was a lot of sweating. The worse thing you can do when hunting any wild game is to smell gamey-er than the animals. The first two nights, a good pit scrubbing with a wet one, then down to the nether regions. A wash cloth then to repeat the routine and you can sleep without a face mask on. I can’t go without washing my hair (what little there is) more than three days; I don’t care if I have warm water or not. When my head starts itching, I’m worse than a dog with the mange.

            • Kevin: You the MAN! Love the experience level you have. I once lived in the desert for about a year, with occasional trips into town.

              Yeah you don’t have to bathe/shower every day but every few days is a boost.

              GI showers will work well enough most days. I would never bathe in my water source. Better to build a solar shower. I used solar hot water of course rather than snow.

              Buy a toilet seat, put it on a HD bucket, my peeps. Use some water and chlorine to kill germs in the fecal matter. Swish in bucket vigorously. Dig a hole and bury it. Mark and segregate that bucket from others that you may have with you.

              One gallon of bleach (5%) is a buck at the dollar store.

            • Here is my limited water system for a full service bath:
              1. washcloth 2. cup measure 3. soap 4. half gallon of water
              Step into the tub and wet your washcloth. Wet the top half of your body with the cloth. Soap you hand and use that to soap the top body half. Now use the wash cloth to wipe it off. Use the cup measure to get some water to rinse the cloth and wring it out in the tub or over your body but not the water pan. Rinse the top half and repeat with the bottem. Take remaining water to pour over shoulders for a final full body rinse. You will get completely clean and probably not need all your water.

            • Dk- WOW A year, no, I would have to say your experience level is higher then mine. My record is about 6 months. That was about 3.5 years ago, fell on hard times(lived in my truck with a shell). The city(or a town) is not the place to hang out in during personel hard times, and I had the means to get out, so it was off to the hills. I wouldn’t give up that experience for $100,000, the amount of lessons learned are priceless. Most were little things learned, but they all add up, as you know, by the amount you learned during your year out there. To tell you the truth, with the amount of water I carry, and the weather at the time, nice and cool, and rain then snow(I never go out without ATLEAST 18 gallons of h2o, and collecting snow, which I started doing in tuweep right away when my situation changed) I could have stayed out there for a month, to tell you the truth, that would have been awesome(except I forgot my nook charger, and I ran out of beer)!!

          • Good stuff Mac. There are also other ways to save a bit by enlisting the help of your neighbors – which I just posted about.

            More people, more resources.

          • google “luggable loo”. It’s a toilet seat and cover that fits on a 5 gal. bucket (bucket included). It comes with 2 boxes of disposable bags that already contain absorbents and deodorizers, 6 bags per box. The advertising says that 1 bag will suffice for a family of 4 for a period of 1 day. It was right around $35 at ‘Wally-World’. This should give you at least a couple of weeks to make other arrangements or move on to another location.

            Git er’ done boys & girls, time might not just be on our side. God Bless and good luck to all.

          • I thought of the plastic garbage bag previously, but never thought of the kitty litter. Thanks for the tip!

      2. Maybe some basic books, like boy scout handbook, foxfire series…those are cheap too.

        • Good idea on the books.

          As for the food, I’d either skip the Ramen noodles, or eat them and rotate the stock, since they start going bad after about a year. I do that with mine… about a month before the expiry date, it gets taken to work as lunch, or munched on as a noon-time meal at home. I pick up more come the next shopping trip.

          • What are you referring to??
            I have 492 ramen noodles– had more but was eating the 3 year old ones– and they will last a long time.
            Maybe you mean the cup of noodles with veggies in them?

            People, stock up on all the ramen noodles you can get if that’s all you can afford..lots of us ‘ain’t’ Rockefellers.
            And even after 3 years, IF the package is bad, beef and chicken bouillon cubes with the noodles is great….pepper, a little butter, and dh loves them like that.

      3. Hey everyone I’m new to the sight, loving all the info you guys have on here. In regards to the water I’ve been looking around for rain water catchers but everything I’m finding is around $70-80 which I find ridiculous for a plastic container. Anyone know any good deals on these things or have any suggestions?

        • I used cinder blocks, built dry into a square and lined with a cheap tarp until I could afford a water butt, put a bit of non-perfumed bleach in to inhibit algae growth and cover with a board. Not pretty, not ideal but it collects water.

          Take care

          • Used the same thing for growing veggies when I only had a tiny concrete yard, a few holes in the bottom of the tarp, layer of gravel in the bottoml and off I went, worked pretty well. Nowhere near enough to support even one person on an ongoing basis but it was a way of getting into growing on a small scale.

            Take care

            • I found one of those gardening magazine specials, where a couple in San Francisco with a cement yard used all sorts of pots instead. I might do that on my upper deck as there are wildlife (deer, rabbits, slugs)problems here.

        • I found a retailer near Pittsburgh, PA using Craigslist that sells 50 gallon plastic drums that formally held olives for $14 each. They clean out easy and work great. Also, someone posted on our local Freecycle page they were looking for a place to buy them used and got a lot of responses. Maybe one of these two methods will lead to a seller near you.

        • 50 gallon plastic trash barrel works great at our house. Twenty bucks at one of the big box stores.

          • Check out water treatment facilities in your area. They will often let you have their 50 gallon barrels (for free). My uncle manages a facility in Indiana. His company usually has to pay around $10.00/barrel just to dispose of them. I went to the facility one day and picked up 30. Yes, 30! Also, some bottling companies dispose of their unused 50 gallon barrels

        • Hello there seeker, welcome!

        • Thank you all for the great ideas I’ll start checking into it more immediately. To all you out there reading this, stay sharp, stay safe, and keep prepping.

        • I have plastic 55 gallons drums filled, but for the last minute filling I have a 250 gallon kiddy pool ($29.00 Target) and a couple of twin size vinyl air mattresses from WallyWorld ($11.00 each) that hold a 100 gallons per mattress. Throw them on the floor in the living room.

        • a couple sections of plastic guttering on the house (or any building for that matter) and a couple of durable plastic trashcans with lids that lock on…a few plumbing fixtures and a garden hose oughta fix you up pretty good for probably under 75 bucks. or check out the 50 gallon drums from carwash that the soap comes in..might get some of those for free.

        • All right to the seeker .Yes check at local eatery.Newspaper printer’s?Check them out.Warehouse’s etc.Ask before you take I have three nice one’s all free.Keep prepping.

        • hello seeker. garbage cans are Ok for water but not ok to drink the water due to release of toxins if plastic. If you have any food places near you they usually have food grade buckets that you can get for free. use bleach to purify. If storage is not an issue basement or crawl space can hold a million full bottles. I have been saving AALLLLLL including laundrey soap bottle. You can not drink out of the ssaop bottles but you can was plates etc. with them. I save all my juice, soda etc treat, date and stoer. I have a large pool with a sand filter. Better than what city water gives ya.

        • I live in the Pacific Northwest… all I need to do for a drink is tilt my head skyward and open my mouth (and hope no seagulls fly overhead while I do it…)

          Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little.

          What you may want to do is get hold of a good filter set, and locate a nearby source of groundwater. A solid filter set can last for thousands to hundreds of thousands of gallons, and cost around $80 or so.

          If you want to catch rainwater on the cheap, get hold of a good used food-grade drum, and a bit of gutter pipe to re-route the pipe coming off the roof of your place.

          • Odd Questioner- speaking of water filters, I am a ceramist (potter) and right now, I’m firing a water cooler that I made in the kiln. I have just finished a plaster mold (own design) to fit the top of the cooler (also my design) and will fire one shortly. OK- get to the point here… I have made a mold also for a water filter, CERAMIC, that will rival a Berkey. Only cheaper. I’m working as hard as I can on getting these to market, but will take awhile. Google “clay pot filters” and see for yourself just how effective they are. 99.6% effective at removing bacteria and pathogens. I’ll need to write an air tight disclaimer to sell these, because our gooberment doesn’t want them sold in the US. The gooberment will allow US citizens to manufacture them in any other country, but I believe that’s because it’s a money thing. Make money at all costs… with no repercussions. Lawyers- can’t live with them, can’t leave them by the curb when you’re done with them!!

        • Look on Craigslist and get 55 gal drums that were used for food products. They are about $20 each in San Diego.

        • SOT: Try those grey plastic storage containers w/lids at Wal Mart. They are not that expensive and you can by them when you have an extra 5-10 bucks. They vary in size from 20 to 30 gallons, etc.

          For a few more dollars buy a black plastic trash container (50 gallons?) with wheels at Home Depot, and direct the rain water to them.

          • PS, I bought a couple thousand gallon plastic tanks for the mine; about 8 feet tall and 12 feet around.

            They are a bitch to move by hand when full, given that water weighs about 8 lbs a gallon.

            Plan accordingly. 🙂

        • I’m in Ky, and Lexington Containers has blue 30 gallon drums–10 for a $100.
          You might want to search your area for a container company; we drove 175 miles one way and were thrilled to get them.
          Have 20 and are going back for more; soon.
          Hope this helps. I tried Craigslist, but got nowhere with that.

      4. The best day to plant is today.

        • Plant in a flower pot. Right now, we have 3 12-inch pots growing lettuce, miniature bok choy and Peas-In_A-Pot (Burpee)which are 10″ high pea plants that bear the same as a 3-foot vine. In hydro, we have cherry tomatoes (keep the suckers trimmed. These are the stems that do not have flowers/fruit. Cutting them back allows the plant to make more fruit.), miniature red peppers and Space Saver Cucumbers (Burpee seeds). Yes, the minis are hybrids. You could possibly vacuum pack some of these seeds for extended use. Aldi’s carries the mini cukes (packaged as European Cucumbers), as does Walmart and you could try to see if the seeds breed true. Some supermarket hybrid cherry tomatoes do breed true (Sugar Baby and Campari). If you have a balcony, Sam’s has a 6’x8′ plastic green house, which is a large cold frame, for $100. You might want to get some shade cloth and an inside-safe propane heater for weather extremes. You can take the pots out of the greenhouse when it gets really hot or invest in the heat-reduction shade cloth that does not cut light. It is bright violet in color. Just use a search engine to find it, bulk.

          You may not grow calories, but you are growing vitamins and fiber and it will balance your beans and rice. People are pleased to get fresh sweet red peppers and they are a great trade item. People with free range chickens have a problem keeping veggie gardens, as the chickens will eat everything, so maybe you can trade with them. You can make pickles with the extra cukes and peppers. Bok choy is good raw or lightly braised. Excess lettuce can be braised until wilted, pureed and added to sauces or soups, or traded.

          Miniature citrus for indoors is expensive and cannot go below 40 degrees at night, so that depends on your income and location. If you like sour citrus, try Calamondin Orange. It is a trash tree, containerizes well, takes abuse,can do well on just enough water to keep it alive, survives low temps at night (40)and produces a tiny sour/tart fruit with edible skin. These things grow in the Florida Keys, so they are tough.

          All indoor food plants will need extra light in winter, but all the grow lights are now compact florescent and even a small generator can provide enough power to supplement daylight and run a small aquarium pump for a hydro set up. Add foil around your grow area to reflect back whatever light you have.

          There is a ton of information online as well as books on the topic for anyone interested.

          I wonder if folks in an apartment could get together and invest in a generator for their building. The landlord has to have some area where they store things like gas for the yardwork and perhaps would be amenable to the idea. Perhaps the neighbors would like to use grow boxes to grow various vegetables, instead of just flowers. Network. All they can do is laugh. After all, if the power and water go out, everyone is going to have to figure out water and sanitation, so you may as well think ahead.

          • The only problems with big generators are these: 1. If the grid goes down, where you gonna get fuel from. Even if it doesn’t go down, in an apartment complex you’ll need someone to guard it at night or it will be gone in no time. 2. I’ve seen too many people rely on a back-up generator to keep their big freezer and refrigerator, full of the bulk of their supplies, FAIL. Then they are left with the daunting task of cooking up everything to keep from loosing it or trying to get another one quickly. 3. If someone is counting too heavily on generator/deep freezer & refrigerator for long term food storage; they may then get slack on stocking up on dried foods and canned goods that could have carried them thru without a generator. Just sayin’.

        • Sweed if this warm weather keeps up long in my area, may try an experimental row or two of potatoes, usually to cold this time of year. This week I am starting some stuff indoors.

          My wife just reminded me,I’m planting peas tomorrow! Clay

          • Thumbs up on the early planting! I also am pushing it with this warm weather. Trying to get two nice gardens…one early, one late.Planted onions and spinach last week and cabbage today (love that homeade sauerkraut). I know I’m pushing it with the cabbage, but here in the NE it feels like May already. If it frosts, I’ll just have to try and cover the cabbage.

      5. Download resources from the internet now, while you still can.

        Look for first aid guides, survival guides, gardening and farming information, instructions for constructing basic structures and simple items….etc.

        Knowledge is power, and all for the cost of a printer cartridge and some paper!

        • Daisy,

          I agree. It is important to have some good reference books.

          Some of my favorites are:

          The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery – the book so many topics.

          Where There is no Doctor by David Werner

          Where There is no Dentist

          The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan – covers many topics. This book gives a lot of good suggestions on ‘making the most’ of the land you have, especially helpful if you have only a couple acres.

          Medical books, books about herbs, herbal medicine, etc. I like to check the used book store and have found some great books there for very low cost.

          • KY Mom – I also like to hit the used book stores – but not just because of the price. I find the older books tend to be a lot more frugal in their solutions and they do not rely on a trip to Wal-Mart to solve every problem.

            I have a great assortment of old cookbooks, old home remedy books and a couple of older books on canning and preserving that don’t rely on any gadgets.

            I currently have the Carla Emery book you mentioned on my “search” list. 🙂 I’m glad to hear that you recommend it.

            A recent title that I got a lot from was “Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs” – it is geared towards self-sufficiency on an acre or less.

        • Get a book that we have called “The Encyclopedia of Country Living” it has tons of knowledge. Even a recipe for racoon which is a good thing to have in my neck of the woods.

          • I have that book. It’s great, but I didn’t know about the coon recipe. My husband shot the offending kritter (she had killed 6 of my best laying hens) through the bathroom window! Hee Hee. Sounds like something off of Jeff Foxworthy. Anyway, now there’s a 22 hole in the screen. I replaced the hens and we ate some of the best coon I ever tasted. I didn’t have any sweet potatoes, so I used onions and apples to bake with it on a bed of brown rice. Yum, yum!

      6. Great article Mac, kind of puts things in perspective. I went into meltdown when I first started…still have the odd day like that come to think about it.

        I would add a dozen cans of fruit in juice, gives food and liquid in one package. I keep a couple of these(with ring pull tops) in the car kit.

        Take care

      7. Hiya Daisy how are you?

        • Hi Burt – doing great! What about you? How are you and your little one hanging in there?

      8. thats where it all start’d,, with me, in a apartment, someone had a infowars bumber sticker ,,,, look’d it all up and haven’t look back<<< thank [GOD] or that bumper sticker,,,, bin prepping ever since!<< moved on to 10 acres out 20 miles.. just to let you know,, it's SWf,,,, nothing but old people down here,,, and golf,, dont forget prepping 4 the pets,,,, they may save ones life. good liuck to all********

        • Were do we get our SHTFPlan Bumper stickers?

          • Clay, Try a flea market, there is one here that will print up anything you want.

      9. Oh yes thanks, still stocking up on bits and bobs but have had to change strategy.

        It was noticed by the school moms who all shop for food daily that I didn’t. It’s amazing what people notice about you and you don’t even realise. Bit by bit I have made a point of using the local shops every day or so just a loaf of bread or a couple of apples, I can’t have them thinking I am different can I?

        They are a totally a waste of oxygen to be truthful, buying pre made burgers in buns to stuff in the microwave and calling it a meal…poor kids can you imagine having that kind of crap day after day.

        I wouldn’t trust a single one of them, thank God I live further from the school than them and they have no cause to visit. I ave kids over to play with Gracie but I drive them back when they are ready to go, the parents are happy, it saves them leaving the sofa lol. I am apply, it keeps them away from my home.

        How are your little people?

        • Many, if not most, of our little people in the US are fed by their parents and schools the same way you described. Parents buy frozen meals and microwave them or simply drive by McDonald’s. Some kids eat at McDonald’s 3 times a day.
          It’s really sad.

          • Zen Monk, I have heard some of the people say that it cheaper for them to drive through then cook at home. I have always been confused by this. One trip through McD’s probably cost at least 15 dollars. I bet I could feed my family one heck of a supper for that money. Stay centered my Zen Friend

            • I absolutely agree, Claymation, home cooked meals will always be cheaper than any fast-food or take-out. The price of food excuse is often used by many parents (and schools), but simple math shows that home-made meals can be had for the same or less than prepackaged/fast/frozen food.

              I am trying to stay centered, thank you 🙂

          • Scary isn’t it? Why have the kids if you are not willing to take care of them? I could understand it more if such crap was cheap but it’s not, I couldn’t afford it, much cheaper to make a meal, and the leftovers usually make another one.

            So many kids in my child’s class are pale and tired all the time, more fresh air and some decent food would go a long way towards making these children healthier.

            Take care

            • Sorry Clay, wrote the post before reading yours. I couldn’t agree more, $15 would feed us, an adult and child, for two days.

            • No Prob Burt! Keep Safe. You never need to apologize. Have you seen silver is dropping, almost 33.00 USD a troy OZ. Hope it keeps falling! Peace

            • One of the problems I see is the lack of basic cooking skills by today’s parents. Cooking is becoming lost art.
              Another problem is, as you said, unwillingness by some parents to invest time into their child’s care.
              It’s much easier to swing by McD on the way home, throw bags of food on the table, kids will feed themselves while mom can get back to her Facebook or “Jersey Shore”.
              That’s what family meals became, unfortunately.

            • Yo Burt ~

              I don’t know about the young folks there in the UK; but many young folks here in the US are starting to figure out that they have been lied to about their future prospects and what tomorrow holds for them. Many are already aware that, NO, their lives are NOT going to be better than the lives that their parents lived. My own daughter is well aware that no matter how much they tax her today, Social Security, in it’s present format, won’t be there and available to her when she is ready to retire.

              A family member who has a small shop near no less than four major South Florida Universities tells me of students who he knows graduated last year, but are back again this year. They couldn’t find any sort of a ‘reasonable’ job with their BS or BA and so they are back again, going ever deeper into student load debt, while they try to get a Master’s Degree in anything remotely useful.

              The decent paying manufacturing jobs with benefits and perhaps a pension are a thing of the dimly remembered past. They no longer exist in the United States and they aren’t coming back. Just about the only alternative left anymore to those young people who aren’t going away to college or university is to see if they aren’t ‘lucky’ enough to be able to qualify for enlistment in the US armed forces.

              Things are starting to get stranger out there every day. It’s like we are in the eye of the hurricane where the seas are still fairly calm for the moment. But anticipation is high, you can feel it out there in the streets. The ‘natives’ seem to be starting to get restless out there; it’s as if they sense something unpleasant is headed their way.

              Please hang on tight from here on out ….. the ride could become just a bit rough and bumpy from this point forward.

              • What is wrong with the military or those of us that left the lie of “university” ruled by drugs and alcohol to defend this Country? I will survive a shtf scenario much better than any professor! I have learned to make due or go without. Something tenured academics consider below their lofty stations! And being able to shoot bad guys at over 500 yards is a gerat perk that has elevance to this day!

                But then again I guess, acoording to you, I was unlucky enough to serve, learn valuable survival skills and practice them… all the while earning a tax free retirement! Me so stoopid. You be great geenus!

                You ever spend time in the eye of a Desert Storm or a Gulf War? You write like a salty killer that spent time in an arena, like the commuter cafe in college.

          • The height of stupidity and laziness.Mc-E Ds three times a day.

          • AS a chef by trade, and still, for over 30 years..

            I can vouch for that..

            Most people can not scratch cook at is foreign to them..

            Unless it comes in a box with microwave directions or frozen,,they are lost!

            Most in my neighborhood go out to eat..when I do see them in the local stop and shop.. their carts are loaded with prefrozen crap,soda,hamburger helper etc, white bread and junk food snacks.

            Hell..with the money they spend a week I could prep for a month. easily..with nutritious foods to boot.


          • You sound like Obumer’s wife, what business is it of yours what people feed their kids? You have a strange idea of what a free country is Mook.

            • Doc- He is right, fast food and school food is junk. In a free country, people would be allowed to feed their children what they want. Right now parents and children are getting arrested and kicked out of school(respectively) because they bring school lunches from home. Sound like the good ol us of a to you??

            • I am assuming this was addressed to me, though I’m not a Mook.
              You’re right it is none of my business what other people feed their children. And as you can see I did not offer any advice, I just answered a question based on my personal experiences with friends and family.
              I am sorry if my answer pushed your buttons, this was unintentional.

            • I meant MONK. Sorry about that. They say playing with yourself can make you go blind. I am proof positive of that, I can hardly see to type and the hair on my palms also makes it difficult to type. I have to go now if my mommy catches me up this late I’ll be in trouble. Since I have moved into her basement she makes the rules.

            • Doc ~

              ZM wasn’t advocating laws on what the children be fed, he was simply making an observation about the poor nutritional choices and possible reasons for those choices.

              Personally, the fact that some of that garbage is allowed to be sold as food, and that it is what the schools provide to nourish the kids – THAT, in my opinion, is everybody’s business.

            • Kevin, who’s talking to you? You also have a very strange idea of what a free country is. It must be fantastic to know everything and be right always…get a life bozo

            • @Daisy, I really do love the fact that you stated “your opinion”. That is what an adult does right? The science of what the body needs and how it effects “the machine” changes often. Also, as in politics, it is filled with half-truths and down right nonsense.

            • I hate doctors and lawyers until I need one. These days I need them less and less.

            • Doc- I’m not right all the time(thats for damn sure), but you haven’t said a thing that supports your views. My view of a free country is 1st and foremost— RULE OF LAW, EQUEL TO ALL, AND I can do ANYTHING I WANT, without government approval,permits or interventions IF(and thats a big IF) my actions hurt NO-ONE ELSE BUT ME!!! Parents should be able to raise their kids how they want to!! Do you disagree???? Please tell me WHY?

        • We’re doing very well, Burt, thank you for asking.

          Foodlike substances are very popular here too, and as Zen Monk stated, many kids don’t even know what a home-cooked meal is. Eating fast food is a national past-time.

          When I was at my last job, my co-workers thought I was “poor” because I brought my lunch from home everyday – leftovers from the night before. They were microwaving $4 frozen “meals” or hitting drive-thru each day.

          What are people going to do when they have to actually cook from scratch, as opposed to a little “just add water” package?

          • Can you imagine the look on their face if they get Dried beans or regular rice from Fema? They better hope it comes with instructions. Clay

            • That’s funny Clay!

            • AZ, I enjoy your posts quite a lot. Daisy has her own Blog now. If you forward her your email, I will ask her give you mine. Just a thought. Keep safe Clay.

              Did you copy that Daisy?

            • yes those fema food essentials do come with instructions-sadly we have two generations of people who cannot follow directions and have absolutely no idea how much to cook, how to go about it, and what it is supposed to taste like. i have seen some fema ration recipients actually cook (or attempt to cook) a whole ten lb bag of rice at one time….and soaking beans before cooking? are you kiddding, they dont wanna wait all night long so end up making themselves sick on half cooked food and refuse to learn how to do it the right way.

            • Got it Clay. 🙂

            • Thanks Daisy!

            • daisy, how do i find your blog? i read here alot, just dont post often.

          • Right you are carynverell.

          • Just a thought…one thing thats overlooked too often is the fact that eating these “psuedo-foods” like McDs robs people…especially children of nutrients and such needed to build/repair the body and keep sickness/disease at bay…if folks have noticed it is clear the govt/corp(USDA/FDA) supports the consumption of these factory meals/foods and discourages real food…what better way to make/keep people sick and needing pharmas offerings then pushing/mandating the consumption of empty and poisonous foodstuffs…that way when something escapes from Kansas new bio lab or some such thing; folks immunity will be down…personally I dont eat that crap,havent for years and I dont get sick,go figure eh? Thanks!

          • Daisy–for all reading–I do cook, but hamburger and tuna helper are nice every now and then; dh hates them.
            I notice the circulars from Aldi’s and several stores and those frozen dinners are for #$%*!!
            I can take those prices for those and use that money and cook a nutritious great meal AND have left-overs and with those frozen things, I doubt you can get full.
            dh just called and raved about the ‘made from scratch’ cake I made yesterday.
            Hey, I don’t watch Oprah!
            AND I just made shelves in my pantry (that was a sewing room..hello??) with 8 ft. 2 X 12s. It looks good.
            Okay, dh wouldn’t let me use the skill saw for the 2 X 12s, but I did all the other work by myself.
            In some ways, getting old sucks.

      10. This bloody iPad is driving me nuts…it does not speak Burt English lol

      11. A window-mount rain-collector might be on the list for an apartment dweller. It can be very simple. A 2×4 panel covered with plastic and stuck out a window, funneling into one of those buckets, is cheap and easy to deploy. Old-time sailors used to deploy a sail held horizontally to catch rain. It often meant life or death to them.

      12. dont forget grits( if you live in the south). Hurricane lanters are awsome too. They provide a little light and heat for very little fuel.

      13. Some more ideas I have used:
        Store 100 gallons of water for $25; Treat 20,000 gallons of water for $8 calcium hypochlorite (pool shock); For those without cats, Oil-Dry works great in the bucket toilet; I picked up a used hospital toilet at a yard sale; $79 (sale price) high power rifle M91/30; kerosine lanterns double as heaters/cookers if you replace the chimney with a perforated #10 can; cheesy potato box kits store well and cost $1 – throw in a can a tuna and have a meal for 4; indoor tent made from blankets/cushions holds in heat; cheap solar sidewalk lights make a rechargeable light bouquet.

      14. You can get something called a WaterBob that will hold 80 gallons or so of water.

        You can use garbage cans to hold water but you can’t fill them very high. They aren’t designed to hold that much weight. They’ll collapse if you try to fill them up all the way.

        You can get snap-on toilet seat lids at Gander Mountain. Use a garbage bag as a liner and kitty litter to cover the smell.

        • Water Bob any relation to Sponge Bob? LOL Just kiding

      15. Man forgot sprouts…they require little time and space to grow and pending on which type, can provide vital nutrients.

      16. “Where there is no doctor” is the no. 1 text all preppers should have

        In Geneva the Swiss are voting away their freedoms. (That’s the home of the UN, banking & the red cross). £110K fine for protesting without gubberment authorisation.

        It’s time to bug in cos nowhere is safe from the sheer lunacy that infects the globe.

        Cheap preps:-

        A string of solar fairy lights & a dynamo torch/radio. In an urban environment you may not always feel safe using candles.

        Beans/peas/seeds for indoor sprouting – fresh food may be ard to come by if it all turns nasty and the smallest child can sprout a few beans in a jam jar for a healthy source of vitamins & nutrients. A bag of dried mung beans is still v. cheap.

        Re sanitation – if you know any young uns a dozen terry nappies will be very handy. Don’t forget to attend to ladies needs with a mooncup or a few homemade washable pads.

        A roll of duct tape is cheap yet that stuff is so handy for so many things.

        A bottle of plain bleach to help purify water. It’s pennies to buy here in the UK so plain dumb not to have one in the house.

        At a minimum get some antiseptic (savlon, tea tree oil etc) and ladies sanny towels to use for basic 1st aid dressings. A yard of clean plain white cotton is cheap and can be cut to size for bandages when you need it.

        Save any bubbblewrap packaging for insulation etc if you live in a cold climate to tape to windows.

        Keep your eye out at flea markets for a bicycle!

        • Anon, Great post. You should claim it with a real Avatar so we get to know ya better.

          • Twas me re the sprouts and Geneva Claymation.

            7 year old is currently conducting an “experiment” with sprouting to see which sprouts are tastiest (so we can buy them in bulk). So far he’s digusted by wheatgerm, loves broccoli and rates alfafa highly.

   has taster sized packs on sale, for any other UK bods who are rebelling against prepacked microwave cheese toasties (no wonder his friends wanna come to ours for tea!). Burt I sympathise.

            Fairy solar lights are better than the cheapo garden solar stick lights – we’ve found this out the hard way ; )

            I’m the one who gets lots of red thumbs for mentioning the Bush team weren’t squeaky clean.

            • anon… The remark about wheat germ brought back a childhood memory. It used to come in a jar and you sprinkled it over your oatmeal or whatever for breakfast. We liked it. It had a nutty taste. Not sure if is the same thing you’re taking about or not. I’m not sure if you can even buy it anymore here in the States.

            • JRS,

              They sell wheat germ in Walmart. The brand I buy is Kretschmer wheat germ.

              KY Mom

            • When I grind my own wheat, I sift it once. All the bigger flakes left in my sifter are wheat germ. So if you’re storing wheat, you already have it!

      17. I super insulated one room in the house. just add a few candles and arctic sleeping bags….no winter worries.

        • Very good idea I was a contractor for years and never really thought about doing that, it has made my list. Just remember if you ever get it air tight youll know when you wake up dead!

          • you crack the window as needed. the bags with fur hats keep us warm…

            my next prep….. heated cold type frame for winter gardening.

            bow to hunt rabbits silently if under martial law.

          • Yea! Lay off the pintos for supper or install a vent pipe!

        • Yup, and if you have enough or can find one in a garage sale..a nice canvas tent. not nylon..Canvas.

          I have slept many a night in hunting camp in the winter, above the 45th parallel. Good sleeping bag, a cot to get off the floor, a knit hat for your head, and a small wood stove about the size of an average mirowave made out of sheet metal with a 8′ section if stack. my tent is like 12X18 er so.

          plastic tarp for moisture barrier, and a few hay bales broke up and thrown on the floor.

          i was very comfortable and it got down below 0 at night easy…maybe as high as 30 during the day..but usualy average was in the mid to lower 20’s spent 3 weeks like this, never went into any town..had all I needed right there with me.
          good hunting

          If you do live in a climate that gets cold enough to kill you, you should have a plan to deal with that as a close prioraty to basic shelter and food….gotta have warmth

        • Quick, but not that good, test, light several of your candels in the room, Safely, shut the door, come back in 10 hours, if the candels are out or the room is full of black smoke, you are dead.

        • Lay off the beans or add tube venting.

      18. After reading this article,i feel
        better prepared than i thought i was.
        It’s never enough…

        Question for you fine SHTFplan folks’:
        Does white gas(aka coleman fuel)Go bad?

        • I have used coleman fuel years after I bought it.

            • Great idea there Highspeed. I’ve thought about this type mini-cooker but never seen a unit until now. Especially well worth the money for those that may be making a run for it in a total collapse situation. I’ll be building one similar on my land, but out of stone,and fire bricks.

            • Nothing and noone is seperating me from my ghilly kettle (also called a kelly kettle, Irish or Cornish storm kettle or storm kettle)


              Uses VERY little fuel and burns anything sensible from dry leaves to twigs to cardboard/paper packaging. So no worries about not having enough fuel stored in an emergency. Damn reliable bit of kit, especially as it works in all weather conditions.

        • its a petroleum naphtha product, as long as it is sealed in a bottle it should be fine…
          water, and evaporation would be its problem issues.

          • if I had to give it a shelf life..I’d say 5 years or more..

            and it might even go longer, I think its a pretty pure it could last even longer

        • I know that Kero has a very long life, which I believe is the same

        • asil…I have Coleman fuel (still sealed) from over 10 yrs ago (Y2K). I also had a partial can from the same time. Last year when power was out from Irene I fired up the stove to cook. The burner had a yellow flame but worked to cook.Maybe the fuel was old or maybe I should have cleaned out the spiders first. Anyway, the pots needed a good scrubbin after that day. Sealed is probably the best.

        • Good question–I have 10 cans.


          “An un-opened container of Coleman® Fuel stored in a dry area with no rapid extreme changes in temperature will remain viable for FIVE TO SEVEN years. An opened container stored in the same area will remain viable for up to two years though will be at its best if used within a year”

      19. Ah well time or bed, early shift tomorrow.

        If anything happens overnight….well it’s been great talking to you lol

        Take care

      20. its not gonna happen dont worry about it

      21. the time to prepare is now not later SHTFplan has the right idea folks…

      22. Mouthwash mixed with water.Say 50% It will even keep bug’s off.And will cool the skin.Use a wash towel.And you can clean small scatch’s also.Very nice to have.

        • I took a Microbiology course in nursing school. In our labs we used many product to try and kill bacteria. Listerine and its generic versions worked almost 100 percent of the time for staph and quite a few of the other nasty bugs.

          • Betadine at one time was the #1 water treatment in the World. Plain old vodka work in the right concentration too. Someone already mentioned bleach, 5 gtts per liter?

            • I think you can substitute iodine if you have it Doc, but Betadine has a longer shelf life. But very good info!

        • We use hydrogen peroxide to wash out cuts,etc. Don’t know if this is just an old wives tale or not, but it seems to work well.

          • Peroxide is a fine antiseptic, it does not store to well

      23. I’M A MONTANA SENATOR from district 3 KALISPELL MONTANA an i can tell all you folks as a PRESBYTERIAN man of gawd… you are all GONNA DIE a horrible death from our NWO DISEASE CENTERS BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS FACILITIES!

        We US Senators who are COWARDS TRAITORS TO AMERIKA, slaves to the NEW WORLD ORDER NWO.CFR , have sold our black souls, our wives souls and childrens souls to the nwo.cfr!

        All for more $$$ than any of you serfs will ever see in your entire pathetic lives, insider trading, government contracts for are gay JEW friends at AIPAC and the SPLC!

        I for one want to thank you amerikan dumb irs tax debt slaves! Sincerely… you people have made me a very rich political whore and now that i’ve sold out the state of montana to the nwo.cfr… I’M EVEN RICHER COMPARED TO YOU POOR BASTARDS!

        DON’T FORGET TO VOTE JUNE 2012 for me, cause i’m just the greedy NWO.CFR traitor coward you want running the montana state senate!

        This message has been officially given BRUCE TUTVEDT the montana jackass award for the montana senate race!

      24. IMHO if you are really short of cash First start writing down ALL of your expenses in great detail. Everything. At the end of every month, review and look at the things you bought you didn’t have to. Look at what you had to have to survive. Just dong this will cut most peoples expenses 10% or more. Rice, beans, Soup base.pepper sauce are cheap. You will also get to know how much T Paper, T paste etc you really need to make it a month.

        • Thanks Mac, for a great article to get people thinking. A lot of newbies just getting started and finding this site will find it helpful. For all you newbies, I want to give you some advice from an old pro at preparing for the worst and hoping and praying for the best. I’ve been at this for over ten years and trying to not bankrupt the farm at the same time. First and foremost, get prepared mentally(Spiritually is priority for me but I won’t get into that), DO NOT get overwelmed by all the choices and decisions. Start a priority list. For me it was clean drinking water. Start small to begin with so you can begin to feel good and confident. If you are an apartment/city dweller think about what I can do today or this week to get started. Go buy a couple of five gallon plastic water containers and fill them with distilled water and put them in the closet. Next week, use that same amount of money you spent on water storage and buy up dried beans/rice and instantcoffee/tea/coolade etc. Bam! You’re a prepper. Build off of that and set feasible goals and priorities. Good prepping!

          • Great, easily manageable advice, Don’t-Tread!!! 🙂

          • don’t tread…I’ve heard distilled water is hazardous to drink. Anyone else hear this?

            • Hey JRS, and thks Daisy. Distilled water or anything distilled is hazardous if it is boiled and condensed thru anything but copper,stainless steel, or glass. I’ve been using a stainless steel(boiler part) counter-top unit I bought from Sears about 25 years ago and it works like a champ. My wife and I have been distilling our water for drinking and cooking for over ten years and we have not been sick or had any problems from it. I have a sensitive stomach and if I drink coffee from anyplace where it’s made from city water, I have heartburn, bad. I can use distilled water and Taster’s Choice instant and never have a problem. I had read some articles about distilled water being not that good because minerals being condensed away. The crap that they add to city water and with all the crap washed into our reservoirs now; I “want” it to be “distilled” out. I recently read an article,can’t remember who the Dr. was, but he had done a lot of research and study on the matter, and concluded he would never drink anything but distilled water again. Something about the heavy particles being removed from the water gave it more absorbancy to pick up and remove toxins and waste from the body.

              • How to distill water

            • Distilled water slakes your thirst, but has zero minerals or any other benefits. A body needs minerals supplied in clean water to survive for a long time. Me? The only way I’d drink distilled water is in a DIRE emergency. Snow melt is a good supply of minerals, but also has airborne pollutants. Your choice.

            • It’s fine to drink, But it’s not what you need if you are sweating a lot. Will upset your electrolytes if that’s all you have. That’s why gatorade was invented. Body fluids are very similar to seawater. Maintaining balance requires both water and salts. Sweat and Kidneys excrete excess water and salts. Sweat a lot and you lose to much salt. Urine also has other waste, which you must get rid of so can deplete salt. IT’s all part of being alive

            • Oh, I forgot to add. Common sense goes along way. When consuming only distilled water with a sweaty work-out include salts and other electrolytes. I don’t have any problem with the salt thing because I am hypoglycemic and I have to eat something between meals and that is usually something very salty and possibly sweet. If I’m doing a lot of heavy sweating in hot weather, I use Tang,powdered gatorade, etc. to mix in my “distilled” water. Ice cold Yoo Hoo does a body good also. I’ll keep my regimine that works for me with distilled water and all you ignorant and lazy people can stick to the crap that comes out of the tap and from plastic bottles.

      25. Related to that paranoid. Try doing a “no-electric week” just to see how you get on. Dress it up to any kids as an experiment in how they lived in the “olden days”. If you can time it for when the weather is grotty to see how you REALLY cope, (hint – you’ll be making draught excluders for places you didn’t expect for your next project!)

        My biggest issue turned to be how to wring the laundry after handwashing before hanging it on the line. Bedsheets and blankets are a PITA! So now I’m on the hunt for an old fashioned mangle at yard sales like my Grandma had.


          Just how in heck am I supposed to post here?

          Ever think of that??
          I mean, c’mon, we’ve got to keep our priorities straight!!!

          • Steve…If you need your SHTF fix you can power your desktop with a marine battery and a small inverter. I know it works with dial-up…not sure with broadband.

        • keep an eye open for a wring-type mop bucket. it will work for clothes. good dual purpose item. i have a yellow industrial bucket, but am sure there are still good metal ones left, too.

        • Check the website for Means of cleaning laundry with out electricity:

        • lonelonmum – If you can’t find your grandma’s “mangler”, you could go to a commercial cleaning supply place & get the mop bucket that has a “wringer” on it. Not exactly the same thing, but it would be ok in a pinch.

      26. propaganda masters at the Office of Central Planning have decided to go for young American minds while they are still pliable. It appears that as part of its reenactment of Goebbels “economic education” curriculum, the Fed will now directly appeal to K 8-12 student, in which it will elucidate on the premise of “Constitutionality of a Central Bank.” You know – just in case said young (and soon to be very unemployed) minds get ideas that heaven forbid, the master bank running the US is not exactly constitutional – you know, that whole thing between Andrew Jackson and the Second Bank of the United States…

        • Relax, when they get the public dumb enough to believe them. It will be to stupid to earn enough to pay taxes. We will run Trillion dollar deficits, and shortly after that it will fall apart, Never gong to happen. Ah er humm

      27. Paranoid wrote, “It will be to stupid to earn enough to pay taxes…”

        And then… you missed a possible step.
        They band together to come take what you got.
        History is full of such examples, here are a few scary ones:

        The Single-Biggest Problem Facing the Liberty-Minded?
        It’s the zombies…

        Also, part of the answer to the question, “What do I do to protect myself and my family?” is avoiding the wrong kinds of People. Not just average criminals, but the one group described here, maybe you know one?:

        Two Kinds of Resistance to Tyranny

      28. Dear All members,
        before the shit hits the fan,
        we better redeem our ETF paper gold to gold coins,
        and redeem our ETF paper silver to silver coins.
        Our 15 Trillion debt, needs 7500 Trucks to load, with EACH truck load Two Thousand Million ( 2 Billion ) full of cash, will cause a long queue of 137.608 Km

      29. Greetings Everyone!
        I have a couple of questions.
        First,in a minor SHTF(tornado,power failure more than a day,etc..)Would a permanent backup power system be much use?Been looking at some that use LP tanks and wonder if they are useful or if something more portable is better.
        Second,I may be in position to get a well drilled.I live in a burb will a large backyard.Are the costs too high?
        As a last note I read the article at Blacklisted News:Broken Promises: Pensions All Over America Are Being Savagely Cut Or Are Vanishing Completely.
        It makes depressing but insightful news.
        We might not need a TEOTWAWKI event to put folks in a SHTF position.Some friends of ours who thought themselves “well off” and secure in retirement(“we’ll just have a cleaning lady in twice a month instead of once a week”)in retirement are suddenly looking for part-time work.Their retirement plans now are looking rather weak(I suspect that they thought that the “Wall Street Gurus(read thieves)” would keep growing the size of their pension funds indefinitely…..I did warn them,I REALLY tried to.
        Sorry if I went off topic,EXCELLENT topic Mac!
        Tip of the Hat to Ya!

      30. The author forgot the part about getting a 12 gauge because the sound of racking a round has been “documented” to scare off home invaders…

      31. This actually put me at ease. I have WAY more than that stockpiled in the year I have been prepping and I am doing it on a tiny budget ( I make $24k a year on a good year-and this isn’t one of them). Still, it also made me aware that I have some deficiencies that can be attended to inexpensively, like a portable propane stove, sanitation and that I really need to get cracking on the vegetable garden.

        For me, prepping is not just about the end of the world scenario but about the every day. I deliver pizza for a living and have found that I need to conserve cash wherever possible so that I have further to fall when bad times come (as they so often do). When your income can rise and fall by 50% in a week and stay down for months you tend to learn not to count on anything but the skills in your head and the people around you. When you don’t have the benefit of ever being able to indulge in the consumerism culture around you it tends to make you more self-sufficient. It teaches you the value of the barter economy and of not wasting scarce resources.

      32. One thing you should NEVER do, when obtaining food grade plastic buckets, is NEVER get them free from a restaurant. I used to work as a chef, and lots of poisons and garbage went into those buckets before they were tossed. Don’t forget, plastic retains smells and flavors. Also, NEVER used a kitty litter bucket to store food, even if you’ve scrubbed it out and cleaned it with bleach. The plastic still retains the poison (I put a plastic garbage bag in mine, toss in a desiccant bag, and use these to store ammo in).

        I would prefer to BUY a new bucket with a Gamma seal and a Mylar plastic bag for the interior. Just to be on the safe side.

      33. New to this site and prepping. Thank you for this. I am prepping on a budget and I’m trying to save my money to buy a piece of property outright. But I need to prep in my apartment.

      34. I’m a newbie apartment Preppers. Thanks for the great tips! Here is my bit of experience: a few yrs ago my car went off the road in a blizzard in northern Wisconsin. Within 25 minutes I was buried. I always keep a get home bag so I had 72 hours of supplies. What I didn’t have was a toilet. Since I have a dog and we always go to the dog park, I keep a roll of poop bags on my car. These bags became my emergency toilet and once tied shut here was no odor! Took some skill, but it worked!
        Ps I was found in 56 hours after I managed to tie a red scarf to the rack on my roof!

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