Below are my recommendations for products that I personally own, and use, these products have my highest recommendation and will help you increase your level of preparedness and overall self-reliance. This list will be continually evolving as I find different resources that are worth mentioning here.
This is a very short list since it only includes my top picks…
1. All American Sun Oven w/Dehydrating and Accessories Package
Rust-proof, highly polished, mirror-like anodized aluminum reflectors Sets up in minutes. Lightweight with carry handle. American made with uniquely American features! Will reach temps of 360 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. I use this for most of my cooking needs during the summer months…
- Cook for free
- Bakes, Boils or Steams Any Kind of Food with the Power of the Sun – No Fuel Needed!
- No learning curve
- Create your favorite recipes as you feast upon natural sun baked treats!
- Just like your home oven
- Reaches Temperatures of 360° to 400° F!
- Totally Safe – No Danger of Fire – Never Burn Dinner Again!
- Versatile, Easy-to-use, Portable as a Small Suitcase!
2. 200 Watt Solar Panel Kit : This is the Panels and Kit That I Use
This kit is the basis for my solar system – I don’t have the money to put in a $10,000 solar system to power my entire home so I use this set up to power 12 volt lights, 12 volt fans and communications equipment and to charge batteries and cordless tools. I’ve also added a SunJack 20W Portable Solar Charger and a USB Battery Charger for Rechargeable AA/AAA Ni-Mh and Ni-Cd Batteries.
So as you can see my solar set-up is not extensive, complicated or expensive, but will take care of my needs when the grid goes down and this simple set up will take care of your needs as well.
What’s Included and Features
Fast and east set-up.
- 2 Renogy Premium Grade A High Efficiency 100 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panels
- 30Amp PMW Charge Controller which allows system expandable up to 400W 12volts and 800W 24volts.
- Branch Connectors allows multiple panels to be wired in parallel(MC4 Branch Connectors)
- 2 Sets Unique Z brackets for Mounting Total 8 pcs (Z Brackets Mount)
- 2 UL Listed 20′ Solar Extension Cables with MC4 connectors on each end
3. Dakota Alert MURS Wireless Motion Detection Kit, Base Station Radio
I’ve had a Dakota alert set-up (with four sensors) for over two years and have never had a problem with it, besides a few “false alarms” caused by animals passing in front of the sensor and having to change the batteries every few months. These are also great to put up inside your workshop, garage and food storage areas to let you know when someone is trying to steak in and steal your stuff at 3:00 am.
- Monitor activity in remote locations up to several miles away
- Alert signals are in spoken English
- Allows two-way voice communications between other MURS transceivers
- Consists of one MURS Alert transmitter and one M538-BS base station transceiver
4. SimpliSafe DIY Home Security System
I started using the SimliSafe security system after hearing Glenn Beck promoting it on his show, and while I don’t always agree with Glenn Beck, he was spot on when he recommended this system.
- 100% Wireless Entry Sensors protect vulnerable doors & windows. Sensors have a 400ft range of communications (so if your home fits inside of a football field, SimpliSafe has you covered).
- Insanely easy to self-install, plug-n-play solution. No wires, no hassle.
- Get 24/7 Peace of Mind with SimpliSafe’s 24/7 Alarm Monitoring-no contracts, no commitments, cancel anytime-just $14.99/month.
- Cellular, GSM, No Phone Line needed: All SimpliSafe systems come with built-in cellular technology so your alarm will reach our monitoring center without the need of a phone line.
5. Wonder Junior Deluxe Hand Grain / Flour Mill by Wondermill
The Wonder Junior mill is my top choice for a hand-operated grain mill. You can read my full review here. But most of the time I use an electric grain mill to grind my grains, and keep the Wonder Junior mill for a back up for when the grid goes down.
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
- Burr grinder works with wet/oily grains; legumes, coffee, garbanzos, seeds, nuts, etc.
- Powder-coated for easy cleanup
- Large octagon hopper fills easily and holds more than 1 quart
- World’s only patented dual clamp secures to surfaces up to 2″ thick, will not slip like other mills.
6. Zoom Versa Stove
The Zoom Versa Cook Stove is my number one choice for a long-term grid-down situation, because it’s well made, fuel is easy to find and it works. You can read my full review here.
- Abrasion resistant, lightweight ceramic insulation
- Refractory metal lining and 6-pronged universal cast iron stove top
- Two internal grates to hold both wood and charcoal
- Painted sheet metal body with reinforced doors
- Comes with stick support and adjustable galvanized steel pot skirt
7. Big Berkey Water Filter System
The Big Berkey Water Filter system is my #1 water filter recommendation for having clean, and safe drinking water now and during a long-term grid-down situation. If you drink water, (you should) you need a Big Berkey Water Filter System. And please don’t email me about the “filter issue” that was a “problem” years ago, and then only affected a limited number of filter units and has been fixed and is no longer an issue.
- Complete stainless steel water purification system
- Can filter up to 3.5 gallons per hour
- 2 Black Berkey Purification Filters
- Holds approximately 2.25 gallons of filtered water
- 2 PF-2 Fluoride and Arsenic Reduction Elements
Order your Big Berkey Water Filter System from LPC Survival. Or if you prefer you can order from Amazon.com…
8. Excalibur 3900 Deluxe Non-Timer Series 9 Tray Food Dehydrator
My first dehydrator was a cheap $29.99 model from Wal-Mart that was loud (sounded like the fan was going to fly out of the side any minute) and I only got to use it a couple of times before it stopped working altogether. After that I decided to order the Excalibur 3900 and have had no more problems or need to buy another dehydrator. Sometimes you do get what you pay for.
- # Deluxe Non-Timer Heavy DutyFamily Model
- 9 Polycarbonate Trays with Polyscreen inserts: 15 square feet of tray space
- FREE! Preserve it Naturally Book
- Heavy Duty 7″ fan, 600 watts, Adjustable Thermostat: 85º – 145ºF – Built In On/Off Switch
- American Made – 1 Year Manufacturers Warranty – 10 Year Extended Warranty Available
9. Gold Complete Beer Equipment Kit (K6) with 6 Gallon Glass Carboy
I don’t always drink beer, but when I do I brew my own. If you like the taste of fresh homebrew then this is the kit you need to get started. Everything that you need is included with this kit.
- Our Equipment Kits are assembled using the finest quality materials available.
- True Brew Ingredient Kits are assembled using the finest ingredients available.
- Each ingredient kit makes 5 gallons of top quality homebrew.
- With our easy to read instructions your assured a great brew every time.
10. All American 921 21-1/2-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner
Folks the All American 921 is the top of the line when it comes to pressure cookers and is the one I use for my pressure canning. If you don’t know how to can then you need this book.
- 21-1/2-quart pressure canner holds 19 pint jars or 7 quart jars
- Made of durable, hand-cast aluminum with attractive satin finish
- Exclusive “metal-to-metal” sealing system for a steam-tight seal; no gaskets
- Geared steam gauge, automatic overpressure release; settings of 5 psi, 10 psi, and 15 psi
- 15-3/8 inches high with 12-1/4-inch inside diameter; made in USA
11. Benjamin Titan GP .22 caliber air rifle
The Benjamin Titan GP .22 caliber air rifle is my top choice for an affordable .22 cal hunting air rifle. You can read my full review here.
- All Weather air rifle from Crosman’s Benjamin brand of guns
- Features durable, all weather wooden stock and rugged break barrel design
- 0.22 caliber weapon provides 16% more downrange power than common 0.177 calibers
- 23-foot-pounds of muzzle energy fires at velocity speeds of up to 950-feet-per-second (FPS
12. Heirloom Organics Non-Hybrid Farm Pack
The Heirloom Organics Farm Pack is designed for farms, large-scale storage, seed investment and for groups, large and small. This pack includes very large amounts of many vegetable, fruit, grain and legume varieties. You can read our comparison here “Hybrid vs. Non-Hybrid Garden Seeds ” for a better understanding of the different seed types.
Survival, Prepping and Emergency Preparedness Books
The best survival books for preppers. Learn, Plan and Survive. Achieve new levels of preparedness and self-reliance with our extensive list of recommended survival books covering a broad spectrum related topics…
31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness
“ M.D. Creekmore’s 31 Days to Survival is a fine addition to any prepper’s library. The book is well written, and the steps are clearly described. Each day ends with an assignment that is meant to turn what you read into what you really know. ” Dr. Arthur T Bradley author of Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family.
“M.D. Creekmore of thesurvivalistblog.net has long been known for his commonsense, walk-the-walk approach to preparedness. He never sends readers off on quests for exotic, expensive weapons. He won’t intimidate you into thinking you have to have Mark Zuckerberg-sized fortune before you can make adequate preps. He never says preparedness must be “his way or the highway.” Claire Wolfe author of Don’t Shoot the Bastards (Yet): 101 More Ways to Salvage Freedom .
“I have been a fan of M.D.’s blog since before I wrote my first book. The fact that someone practices what they preach adds creditability. This is a great book for those just starting out in the self-reliance lifestyle. Clear, professional and well structured.” Joe Nobody author of Holding Your Ground: Preparing for Defense if it All Falls Apart.
“I was impressed with this book because it takes important elements of survival and preparedness and breaks them down into small, do-able bites. The reader can start from the beginning and progress through the steps in order or skip around, according to their own priorities and level of preparedness. This book is worth owning as a valuable resource.” Lisa Bedford author of Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios.
Dirt-Cheap Survival Retreat: One Man’s Solution
The standard survival retreat advice has always been to find a remote place in Idaho or Montana, with at least 20 acres, a 2,000-square-foot log cabin and a bunker underneath, a barn, pastureland, and a stream running through the property. But how many of us can afford such a spread without a crippling mortgage? If you can’t make the hefty payments on your survival retreat, the bankers will evict you, leaving you worse off than those who failed to prepare in the first place.
M.D. Creekmore’s motivation for finding a low-cost retreat was the need to live on a lot less money after he lost his job and got divorced. He started living in a travel trailer, parked on two acres he’d bought a few years back to use as a campsite and bug-out location, never dreaming he’d be living there full time. But he has called his trailer home for the past four years and says that “for the first time in my life, I’m actually content.”
Living off the grid in a travel trailer isn’t for everyone. But if you are looking for a way to own a debt-free home—and enjoy the security that comes with it—here’s the author’s dirt-cheap plan for finding suitable land; buying a used trailer; securing it against the elements and intruders; providing alternative power sources; dealing with water and waste issues; maximizing your space; and establishing a workable storage system for food, water, medicine, tools, and other equipment.
My Most Recommended Titles
- The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery (covers a wealth of information)
- The New Self-Sufficient Gardener by John Seymour (the only gardening book you will ever need)
- Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook and Where There is No Dentist by Hesperian Foundation (medical and health under primitive conditions)
- Cookin’ with Home Storage by Vicki Tate (cooking and using basic storage foods)
- How to Live Without Electricity – And Like It by Anita Evangelist (name says it all)
- Barnyard in Your Backyard by Gail Damerow (a beginner’s guide to raising chickens, ducks, geese, rabbits, goats, sheep, and cows)
- Putting Food By by Janet Greene (freezing, canning, and preserving food)
- Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook by Peggy Layton (food storage and emergency preparedness)
- Boston’s Gun Bible by Boston T. Party (firearms and gear)
- Survival Poaching by Ragnar Benson (wild game procurement)
- Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton (surviving a nuclear nightmare)
- Eating Cheap by Ragnar Benson (as the title implies)
Disaster and Emergency Preparedness
- Making the Best of Basics – Family Preparedness Handbook by James Talmage Stevens (food storage and prep)
- When Technology Fails by Matthew Stein (self-reliance, sustainability, and surviving the long emergency)
- The NEW Passport To Survival by Rita Bingham (basic foods and cooking)
- When All Hell Breaks Loose by Cody Lundin (general survival info)
- 98.6 Degrees by Cody Lundin (general survival info)
- Long-Term Survival in the Coming Darkages by James Ballou (tools and improvised projects)
- Attack Proof – 2nd Edition by John Perkins (personal protection)
- Self Reliance During Natural Disasters and Civil Unrest by George R. Bradford (general emergency preparedness)
- The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes – and Why by Amanda Ripley (psychology of survival)
- The Urban Survival Handbook Harry Cook (general preparedness and planning)
- SAS Urban Survival Handbook by John “Lofty” Wiseman (survival in the urban jungle)
- Tom Brown’s Guide to City and Suburban Survival by Tom Brown (personal survival within the city)
- Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales (psychology of survival)
- Secrets Of Street Survival – Israeli Style Eugene Sockut (Staying Alive In A Civilian War Zone)
- PREPAREDNESS NOW! by Aton Edwards (emergency survival guide for civilians and their families)
- Ragnar’s Urban Survival by Ragnar Benson (A Hard-Times Guide to Staying Alive in the City)
- Crisis Preparedness Handbook by Jack A. Spigarelli (a comprehensive guide to home storage and physical survival)
- Just in Case by Kathy Harrison (general survival)
- The SAS Self-Defense Handbook by John “Lofty” Wiseman (A Complete Guide to Unarmed Combat Techniques)
Gardening, Homesteading and Self-Sufficiency
- Storey’s Basic Country Skills by John and Martha Storey (an assortment of self-reliance skills)
- Back to Basics by Reader’s Digest (shelter, alternative energy sources, growing and preserving food etc.)
- Live Off The Land In The City And Country by Ragnar Benson (great book – skills not covered in other books)
- The Self-sufficient Life and How to Live It by John Seymour (covers a wide range of topics related to survival)
- Gardening When It Counts by Steve Solomon (gardening with basic tools after a collapse)
- One Acre and Security by Bradford Angier (How to Live Off the Earth Without Ruining It)
- All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew (growing food in small spaces – Grow More in Less Space!)
- The Self-Sufficiency Handbook by Alan Bridgewater (general info)
- The Urban Homestead by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen (self-sufficient living in the heart of the city)
- Rodale’s All-New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening by Fern Marshall Bradley (The Indispensable Resource for Every Gardener)
- How to Grow More Vegetables and Fruits by John Jeavons (great gardening info)
- The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible by Edward C. Smith (high-yield system for all north American gardening regions)
- Micro Eco-Farming by Barbara Berst Adams (prospering from backyard to small acreage)
Seed Saving, Canning, and Drying
- Saving Seeds by Marc Rogers (Growing and Storing Vegetable and Flower Seeds)
- Trail Food by Alan Kesselheim (drying and cooking food for backpacking)
- Seed Sowing and Saving by Carole B. Turner (collecting seed and growing more than 100 vegetables)
- Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth (seed saving and growing techniques for vegetable gardeners)
- The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest by Carol W. Costenbader(freezing, canning, drying and pickling fruits and vegetables )
- Root Cellaring by Mike Bubel (cold storage of fruits & vegetables)
- The Busy Person’s Guide to Preserving Food by Janet Chadwick (freezing, drying, and canning)
- Preserving Summer’s Bounty by Rodale Food Center (a quick and easy guide to freezing, canning, and preserving, and rrying what you grow)
- How to Dry Foods by Deanna Delong (revised and expanded)
- The Solar Food Dryer by Eben V. Fodor (how to make and use your own low-cost, high performance, sun-powered food dehydrator)
- Putting Food By by Janet Greene (freezing, canning, and preserving food)
- Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning by Deborah Madison(traditional techniques using salt, oil, sugar, alcohol, vinegar, drying, cold storage, and lactic fermentation for preserving)
Relocation, Home Security and Retreat Construction
- Country Property Dirt Cheap by Ralph C. Turner(finding inexpensive rural land)
- Rustic Retreats by David Stiles(a build-it-yourself guide)
- Getting Out by Mark Ehrman(your guide to leaving america)
- Survival Retreat by Ragnar Benson(a total plan for retreat defense)
- Survival Retreat by Ragnar Benson(a total plan for retreat defense)
- The Modern Survival Retreat by Ragnar Benson(a new plan for retreat defense)
- Defending Your Retreat by Delta Press(a manual for combat after the collapse)
- Building a Log Cabin Retreat by Michael Mulligan(a do-it-yourself guide)
- The Fifty Dollar and Up Underground House Book by Mike Oehler(build your own underground – on the cheap)
- Secret Rooms Secret Compartments by Jerry Dzindzeleta(hide your stuff – hide yourself)
- The Secure Home by Joel Skousen (home safety and security)
- Travel-Trailer Homesteading by Brian D. Kelling (setting up a cheap homestead with a used travel trailer)
- Rancho Costa Nada by Phil Garlington (the dirt cheap desert homestead )
Investing, Finance and The Economy
- Financial Shock by Mark Zandi (a look at the subprime mortgage implosion, and gow to avoid the next financial crisis)
- The Trillion Dollar Meltdown by Charles R. Morris (easy money, high rollers, and the great credit crash)
- Empire of Debt by William Bonner (the rise of an epic financial crisis)
- Goodbye America! by Michael Rowbotham (globalization, debt and the dollar empire)
- Hubbert’s Peak by Kenneth S. Deffeyes (the impending world oil shortage)
- The Coming Economic Collapse by Stephen Leeb (how you can thrive when oil costs $200 a barrel)
- Game Over by Stephen Leeb (how you can prosper in a shattered economy)
- Investing in Renewable Energy by Jeff Siegel (making money on green chip stocks)
- Crash Proof by Peter D. Schiff (how to profit from the coming economic collapse)
- The Collapse of the Dollar and How to Profit from It by James Turk (make a fortune by investing in gold and other hard assets)
- Manias, Panics, and Crashes by Charles P. Kindleberger (a history of financial crises)
Saving Money, Living Frugal
- Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin (transforming your relationship with money and achieve financial independence)
- The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn (tips on saving money and making due)
- Living Well on Practically Nothing by Edward H. Romney (tips on saving money and living on the cheap)
- Eating Cheap by Ragnar Benson(easy ways to cut your food bill)
- The 99 Cent a Meal Cookbook by Ruth Kaysing (saving on food – cheap eating recipes)
- How to Survive Without a Salary by Charles Long (learning how to live the conserver lifestyle)