Tips for putting together a survival library by an information junkie

This guest post is by Patty and entry in our non-fiction writing contest .

I have been prepping for the last 8 months, so I still consider myself a newby. The very first thing I did when I started prepping was research, research, research, copy, paste, and PRINT. I figure the one thing that can never be taken from me is my knowledge and experience. These are the most valuable “items” a person can possess.

I am an information junkie. I access my search engine several times a day. If I don’t know something, no matter how trivial, I have to look it up. I can’t help it. What would I do if we lost electricity and I no longer had access to my search engine? What a horrible thought! So, as I’m sure most pack members have done, I started my personal survival guide, with information that would be beneficial to MY family under MY circumstances, in MY geographical location.

Although I have a nice library, my survival guide is very specific to my needs and can and will go with me in the event my family absolutely has no choice but to bug out. I worked several hours a day for about 2 months filling my survival guide. I reached the point where I could not think of anything else to research and I put it away for about 5 months.

I recently started looking through it again and not only added many more pages to existing chapters, but added two completely new chapters that I had absolutely no information on. One little piece of information could be the difference between living and dying. Let me give you an example. A severe case of diarrhea can kill you within a matter of days due to dehydration. You have exhausted your OTC diarrhea medication in your first aid kit and health care is unavailable. What are you going to do?

You can’t search for information online, because you no longer have electricity. So, you pull out your handy-dandy survival guide. You have information on pomegranate peel tea which helps to control diarrhea, and you know that your neighbor across the street has a large pomegranate bush. Better than that, you already have a storage of dried pomegranate peels, but could!
Can’t remember what they were used for. Now you know. That one little piece of information just saved your life. So, as I was adding information to my survival guide I started panicking, wondering what information was I lacking. I thought to myself, “I sure would like to see the table of contents of other prepper’s guides to give me ideas.” Like I said, one little piece of information could save your life.

Although each prepper’s guides are going to be very specific to their own needs, most if not all of the ideas can be researched to fit anyone’s needs. So, I decided I would like to share my Table of Contents. Maybe I have something that you haven’t thought to cover, and it might accidentally save your life, or at least make life more bearable, and visa versa. I would like the wolf packs input. What subjects am I lacking information on?

Also, If I have information on a subject that you would like for me to share, I would be more than happy to. Some of the information in my survival guide was printed from posts here at Some of them I referenced, and some I did not (since it is only for my own personal use).

Table of Contents Book 1

Chapter 1 Check Lists
• First Aid Kit
• Survival Kit
Bug-Out Bags
• Vehicle Emergency Kit
• The Rule of 3 Checklists
• FEMA’s Disaster Supply Kit lists
Prepper List: 10 Things To Do Now! By M.D. Creekmore

Chapter 2 Water
• Water Purification, Distillation, and Solar Pasteurization
• How Much Water Should You Store
• Effectiveness of Water Treatment Methods
• Solar Water Heater & Pasteurizer Made From Everyday Recyclables
• Homemade Charcoal Water Filters
• SODIS Method of Purifying Water
• DIY Distiller
• DIY Solar Still

Chapter 3 Recipes
• Dried Pinto Beans
• Homemade Stuffing Mix
• Pemmican
• Rendering Fat
• Black Bean Burgers
• Campfire Foil Packs
• Five Minutes a Day for Fresh-Baked Bread
• Cinnamon Roll Pulls
• Potato Pancakes
• Indian Fry Bread
• Homemade Flour Tortillas
• Oven Pancake
• Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookie
• How to Make Butter and Buttermilk
• Amish Friendship Bread Starter
• Amish Friendship Bread Recipes
• Plain and Simple Sourdough Bread
• My Simple Recipes From Emergency Food Stock
• Polenta
• Cornmeal porridge
• Creamy rice pudding
• Corn bread
• Corn tortillas
• Hush puppies
• Corn pone
• Pioneer hoe cakes
• Cornmeal mush
• Corn dogs

Chapter 4 “Uses For” and Natural Remedies
• 75 Extraordinary Uses for Baking Soda
• Borax
• Ancient Herbs, Modern Uses: Aloe Vera
• Ancient Herbs, Modern Uses: Flax
• Ancient Herbs, Modern Uses: Garlic
• Ancient Herbs, Modern Uses: Turmeric
• Colloidal Silver
• How to Make Colloidal Silver Ointment
• Nebulizing With Silver for Bronchitis and Pneumonia
• Dandelion Tincture
• Epsom salts
• Honey & Cinnamon Remedy
• The Health Benefits of Honey
• Hydrogen Peroxide
• Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar
• Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Remedy
• Willow Tree
• Cures in Your Cupboard: Herbal Remedies for Common Ailments
• All About Adaptogens
• The Health Benefits of Pomegranates
• How to Dry Pomegranate Peels

Chapter 5 Growing Your Own Food
• Vegetable Planting Guide Worksheet
• Container Vegetable Gardening
• Growing Broccoli
• Growing Brussels Sprouts
• Growing Cauliflower
• Growing Chinese Cabbage
• Growing Potatoes in Containers
• How to Make Potato Vodka
• Sprouting: How to Grow Sprouts at Home
• How to Make Flour From Sprouts
• Growing Tomato Plants Indoors

Chapter 6 Food Preservation
• Food Shelf Life
• Canning Basics for Preserving Food
• Meat Canning
• How to Can Chicken
• How to Make and Can Homemade Chicken Broth
• Canning Turkey & Turkey Broth
• Homemade Kahlua
• Canning Apples
• Apple Jelly From Apple Juice
• Canning Peaches
• Peach Peel and Pit Jelly
• Peach Jelly
• Salsa Recipes for Canning
• Canning Spaghetti Sauce
• Canning Summer Squash and Zucchini
• Dehydrating Bananas
• How to Dehydrate and Use Potatoes
• Root Cellaring
• Principles of Meat Drying, Curing, and Smoking
• Safely preserving eggs

Chapter 7 Local Wild Edibles
• How to Find Wild Edible Plants
• Eating Dandelions
• Dandelion Bread Recipe
• Cream of Dandelion Soup Recipe
• Dandelion Jelly Recipe
• Dandelion Root Tea Recipe
• Dandelion Syrup Recipe
• Dandelion Tempura Recipe
• Hedgehog or Claret Cup Cactus
• Maple Pods
• Mesquite
• Mesquite Bean Jelly Recipe
• Mesquite Flour
• Uses for Pecans
• How to Make Pecan Milk
• How to Make Pecan Flour
• Pecan Recipes
• Prickly Pear Cactus
• Prickly Pear Cactus Jelly Recipe
• How to Eat Prickly Pear Cactus
• Wild Plum Trees

Chapter 8 Alternate Fuel and Energy
• Fuel Briquettes
• Solar
• Wind Turbines
• All About Alternators for Use in Wind Generators
• Instruction & Operation Manual for GUS VAWT Wind Turbines
• Build a Savonius VAWT to make Electricity
• Make Your Own Olive Oil Lamp
• Turn Any Mason Jar into an Oil Lamp
• 9 Ways to Start a Fire Without Matches

Chapter 9 Communications
• Getting Started in Ham Radio by Raybiker73
• Getting Ready to Set up and Operate Your First Ham Radio Station
• 10 codes
• Phonetic Alphabet – Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet
• Morse Code
• CI-V Direct Digital Synthesis Controller
• Schematics for Basic Telegraph Machine
• Schematics for Wireless Telegraph Machine

Table of Contents Book 2

Chapter 10 Hunting, Trapping and Fishing
• Guns
• Build Your Own Traps
• How to Tie Popular Knots

Chapter 11 Alternate Cooking
• Build a Solar Cooker
• Making and Using a Solar Cooker
• Windshield Shade Solar Funnel Cooker
• Solar Cooker Guidelines and Tips
• Meat Temperature Chart
• Solar Cooker: Bread – Helpful Hints and Recipes
• Solar Cooker: Soup Recipes
• Solar Cooker: Casserole Recipes
• Solar Cooker: Chicken Recipes
• Solar Cooker: Meat Dish Recipes
• Solar Cooker: Dessert Recipes
• Solar Cooker: Beverages
• Build a Solar Food Dehydrator
• Soda Can Cooking
• Thermal Cooking
• How to Make a Haybox Oven
• The Tire Cooker
• Open-Fire Cooking Iron Stand

Chapter 12 Make Your Own
• Laundry Soap
• Glycerin Soap

Chapter 13 Preparing and Protection From What?
• FEMA Natural Disaster Maps
Faraday Cage & EMP Protection
• National Defense Resources Preparedness executive order
• Avian Influenza (H5N1)
• Flu Facts
• N95 Mask Facts
• Potassium Iodide Tables, 130mg Description & Dosage

Chapter 14 Farm Animals
• How to Slaughter Chickens
• Incubator Tips – Chicken and Poultry Tips
• How to Butcher Chickens
• Raising Goats For Fun and Profit
• Raw Goat Milk Benefits
• How to Make Goat Cheese

Chapter 15 Entertainment
• Introduction
• Blackjack 21 rules
• Farkle rules and score cards
• Poker rules
• Spades rules
• Yahtzee rules & score cards

Chapter 16 Misc.
• Fish Antibiotics for Human Consumption?
Shelf Life of Prescription Medications by M.D. Creekmore
• Teardrop Bug-Out Trailers
• Is There Poison in Our Food?
Bugging In or Bugging Out
• Home schooling
• Surviving Being Stranded
• List of books in Survival Library
• Resources

I hope something in here is helpful to someone. Stay safe!

This contest will end on December 16 2012 – prizes include:

Well what are you waiting for – email your entries today. But please read the rules first… 1x1.trans Tips for putting together a survival library by an information junkie

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  1. bwright1553 says:

    This just a great idea. Thanks!!

  2. Mystery guest says:

    Very, very good. I have yet to punch and section off my many printouts. I live in fear of a gust of air in even the smallest measure and the papers going all over the place.
    For some reason I have avoided this project except for printing out more to save.
    You have inspired me to get some kind of organization done.

  3. Although you do have a section on making soap, I have one on “do-it-yoyrself” projects. This is kind of a catch all of projects that looked like something I could do, would want to try, or should be done by somebody in the group.

  4. The Grey Wolf says:


    Your thorough and comprehensive approach to prepping is remarkable and insperational! I realized now there are gaps in my own knowledge after seeing your table of contents. In a SHTF scenario, who wants to have to look through 8 different books on one subject, when instead you can populate everything in one place like a binder. I love the cut and paste method you mentioned. I never thought of using that to such an extent. Great job!! You have many traits of a more than a successful author!!

    • Thank you Grey Wolf! My survival guide now comprises 2 notebooks that are 2″ wide and still growing. No one can have too much info!

  5. Information “junkie” sounds so downbeat with its narcotic etymology. Similarly afflicted, I prefer to be called an “infomaniac”, but please enunciate clearly. ;-))

  6. Petticoat Prepper says:


    Yes indeed I do have a notebook of info, however yours has ideas I can use. Printed the chapters outline and will begin adding to my book tonight. I also like looking up info on the web. I’m excited MD is going to put everything on CD(?).

    Sandy has shown just how ill prepared most folk are. This morning on Fox they interviewed a woman in public housing, in a town of 11K…5K lived in the public housing; that’s almost 50% of that town!

    I look at my preps and feel much better about my ability to provide for my family and friends. Still need much, much more for a very long term problem but I’m much farther along than 1.5 years ago when we consumed most of my preps thanks to loss of income.

    Heirloom seed saving is part of my preps as long term I may need to be able to grow food without being able to buy seed. I’ve got a stash but it’s not enough either. Good article with lots of room for thought.

    • Petticoat,

      Right now, seeds are on sale at Lowes Marketplace (and I’m sure many other places as well). I bought enough to fill 2 gallon size zipper bags at 5/$1 and placed them in the freezer for safe storage.

      • Patty,,, love your notebook,,,but you should not freeze your seeds,,, they are alive,,,should be stored in a cool, dry area, but not frozen,,,,you are drasticly reducing the germination rate.

        • Lee,

          I am soooo confused on this subject! I read it both ways … I hear it both ways … I just don’t know which way is best. Maybe I should experiment. Freeze half, don’t freeze half, plant and label both and keep a record comparing them. Which one’s sprout first, which one’s produce the best … idk, just an idea.

          • Wellrounded says:

            Some seed can be frozen and freezing will damage others. As a general rule anything frost tender has frost tender seed. Some seed types like or need a good freeze, it simulates winter in cold climates and thawing will signal growth time (spring). The best place to store seed is in a cool spot with minimal temperature fluctuations. I’m not all that fussy with seed storage on the whole, I have packets of seed that are 20 years old and they are just hanging around the house and I’ve had reasonable germination from them. Some varieties of seed won’t store well no matter what you do, parsnip is one of those, use as fresh as possible.

  7. Prepin in Pa says:

    Thanks for helping me expand my search. Sometimes I get stuck and need some motivation.

  8. I commend you on your efforts to be prepared. Even though you may know how do to some things or know what somethings are good for, there is always the chance you may have forgotten one crucial little item. In aviation in the military we always used the manual every time we worked on the aircraft to preclude this happening as there is no place to pull over and park up there. My solution has arrived with the advent of the cheaper Ebook readers. I have acquired a number of them an put them through exhaustive testing. I have isolated a couple of makes that seem to be affordable, stay working through all kinds of abuse and are rechargeable through PV cells, USB port or chargers, cigarette lighter plugs, etc. I have several of one type that I keep in metal faraday type containers with the information library contained on the micro SDHC cards. I have found that one 16b card more than holds my ready library of PDF’s with a lot of room to spare. I have a second card with videos that are playable on the machine in case the instructions and pictures in a PDF are not clear. I have redundant cards for each library. I generally update the cards I have in the pair I keep for personal use and entertainment and then swap the cards with the ones in storage periodically to keep them up to date. I sure hope I never have to use them but one can never tell. I have a couple of the hand crank lanterns and one I wired in a USB port for power and with the aid of a grandson who likes to play with stuff like that, found that the reader battery could be recharged with approximately 500 turns of the crank. I also stock some replacement battery with a larger maH capability just in case a battery becomes unable to accept a charge. So far I have less than one hundred fifty dollars in this experiment and have set several other family members up with a like system.

    • L.A. Mike says:

      Some brand recommendations for tablet readers would be great. Awesome ideas, bro.

      • I finally settled on the Slick ER-701 of which I have bought a number of them for around one dollar plus shipping. Some of them have had the switch actuator pin broken off inside the case which I replace with a micro screw. Some of them had nothing wrong with them. Most expensive one was sixteen bucks plus shipping. No WiFi, no touch screen just a basic reader. Has a 2100mAH battery but will accept a 3300mAH battery as a replacement. Charges from the USB port on a computer, a USB charger 120vac charger, or anything that has the capability of charging through a USB port including the hand crank LED lanterns I have. Will accept a 32gb micro SDHC card but takes a little longer to load than a 16gb. EBay has had a number of them for sale. I have bought an even dozen now and all were functional except one which someone had mistakenly erased the OS which is contained in the preloaded books. A reload of the books from one of the other units brought it back into operation. One thing to remember is that any of the units I have bought with the rockchip technology have been junk and not worth the money. Slick has boxchip with android OS.

  9. I would love a copy of Chapter 4 and most of Chapter 7, plus your potato Vodka recipe.

    I need to make a copy of your table of contents to see what I’m missing – which is a lot.

    Good information and thanks for sharing!

    • GA,

      I do not know how I would get complete chapters to you :-(
      However, I got my potato vodka recipe from Here it is:
      How to Make Potato Vodka
      By braniac
      Learn how to make potato vodka.

      Many people are becoming interested in making common items at home, such as brewing their own beer or mead. Some may even make potato vodka. This can be a fun and inexpensive way to enjoy adult beverages as you will be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

      Follow these steps to make potato vodka.

      Difficulty: Moderate
      Things You’ll Need

      Pressure Cooker
      Collection Container
      To make potato vodka you need the following for 1 liter, double the recipe for 2 liters:
      -2.5lbs of potatoes by weight, peeled and diced finely
      -1 Pressure cooker
      -A distillery, if you do not have one, you can make one by using a large pan with a lid that has a heat safe hose.
      -A large collection container
      Put the finely diced potatoes in the pressure cooker with enough water to cover them with plenty of water to spare. If you have never used a pressure cooker before, please read all the directions thoroughly before attempting to use one. Burns hurt and pressure cookers can cause severe burning if not used properly.
      Cook the potatoes for between forty five minutes to an hour. You may have to cook them a bit longer or a bit shorter depending on how small or large you diced the potatoes. Once they have almost liquefied, you will know you have it correct.
      Let the potatoes and water cool to room temperature. Once it has cooled, strain the potatoes out of the water by using a fine mesh strainer. You will want to save the water as this is what you will make potato vodka from.
      Once the potato water is cooled, the distilling process that will make potato vodka will begin. You need to put the potato water in to the large pot. You should have a lid for the pot that fits tightly and you will need to have the hose connected tightly as well.
      Distilling is the means of turning steam back into liquid and this is where you get your potato vodka from. Once you have secured the lid and made sure the hose is tight as well, you will need to put your collection pan underneath the hose to collect the liquefied steam.
      Once all the potato water has steamed out, you will have single distilled vodka. Single distilled vodka is not very tasty, so you may want to go through the distilling process a few more times before it is tasty enough for drinking.
      Once you have made potato vodka, you may flavor it with berries or any type of fruit you choose. You simply need to add a handful of berries or chopped up fruit with 250g of sugar by weight to a liter of vodka.
      Shake the bottle every day for a week and your vodka will have a lovely fruity flavor to it. Keep in mind, the longer you let the fruit sit in the vodka, the more fruity it will taste.
      Now sit back and enjoy your first batch of potato vodka. It might take some time before you master the art of making potato vodka. Just remember that commercially made vodka has been being perfected for several centuries. So don’t worry if your first few batches aren’t perfect.

      I have yet to make it, but atleast I have the instructions printed out if I ever need them. I figure this would be a great barter item, or even a self defense item. I am also going to add How to make Wine and How to make Beer to my survival guide. I’m not much of a drinker, but something to take the edge off in a very stressful situation might just be priceless.

      • One more thing GA … I labeled each item exactly as I found it online so I could go back and reference it if I needed to. So, if you type it in a search engine exactly as I have it listed, you will probably find the exact info that I have printed out. Hope this helps.

        • Thanks Patty – that will help me a lot. I just have to get organized and have the time to do it. My home computer is on top of the stereo next to the TV. My printer is on my kitchen table which is on my sun porch and not connected to a computer. My desk is covered in papers and can’t even be used as a desk. I mostly use an iPad to read e-mail and the blogs. Organization is not my strong point but I’m getting better as I do more prepping.

          Thanks again for sharing. I’ve saved the vodka recipe – now I just need my potato plants to make potatoes.

          • Ok GA … here is your motivational speech:

            Right now, as you are sitting in front of your computer, you suddenly lose all power. You are sitting in complete darkness. You’ve been prepping for a while. You know you are prepared, so you don’t panic. You know you have everything you need … somewhere. How hard is it going to be to find what you have worked so hard for if you are in complete darkness??? I rank organization right up there with cleanliness, which we all know is next to godliness … lol. I give myself this motivational speech every time I need to get up and clean house :0) Hope it helps!

            • Patty:

              Good points. The 2 main things I might need quickly are within 4 feet of where I spend most of my time at home, my flashlight and my handgun. The rest can be gotten too quickly (in relation to their need), but the organization is always under review.

            • Thanks! :-)

              One thing I do know is where the flashlights, candles and matches are located. I can find those in the dark. The phone also has a flashlight app I can use quickly. I am working on cleaning and organizing.

            • Tactical G-Ma says:

              Everyone should be able to easily negotiate their home, garage and yard and any out buildings without lights. This is a tactical drill that should be practiced over and over. Weapons, phones, flashlights, family members, egress, and hidey-holes need to be practiced over and over. A 13 yo girl shot thru a closet door after an intruder broke into her home while she was alone. We don’t want our kids living in fear but age appropriate defense should be taught just like dialing 911 and stop drop and roll.

  10. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    It is a good idea. You can also make a master index and color code your topics for quick reference (i.e. green for land information, red for medical advice, etc.) for finding the relevant topic more quickly. The information which is VERY COMMONLY NEEDED like procuring potable water can be laminated for long term use and lending out to others you feel need it.

    Some feel converting these to Adobe.PDF documents are worthwhile or other electronic reader (Kindle ex.) but hard copy doesn’t require electricity to work. It sure does take up storage room though.

    Thanks again for article.

  11. Cant have too much information , I’m on a Mac , so I can save any good article I find on the net to a pdf . , I put them all on flash drives so I can read them on my kendal . Got a solar charger for it as well so out in the field I can read and practice .

    • On a PC everyone should install a free program called PDFCreator which allows you to save anything that you can print as a pdf. Once installed you will simply see an additional printer in your printer list called “PDFCreator”. Select it, give the document a name if the supplied one doesn’t fit your needs, pick a folder to save the document, and you now have a pdf.

  12. Well done and it helps me alot to see the gaps in my knowledge base – thanks for sharing!

    One of the things that I did for storing vital research was to invest in a good Laminator and 8 1/2 x11 pocket sheets. You can buy them at Best Buy and Print out and laminate whatever pages you want for a permanent library. It eliminates some problems about document storage.

    Today’s almost everything is printed electronically, including documents like receipts, mortgage payoffs, etc. It is printed on cheap paper and will deteriorate rapidly. While real archival paper is the best for long term storage, it is expensive. Electronic inks fades quicker than calligraphy, indian or handmade inks. By laminating documents printed from the computre onto regular copy paper, and then storing in plastic ring binders, you have bypassed alot of the expense of officially archiving them.

  13. LONEWOLF ED says:


  14. Sw't Tater says:

    Good info,…with lots of good ideas,
    I am not an information junkie, and am grateful for those that I have access to in my life. Thanks PACK!
    I also could use your info in chapters 4 and 7, those are part of my holes….slow and steady progress.
    If you have cattails in your area, you need uses and recipes for them. I don’t have said info but know that the whole plant can be eaten in some form from flour from the tops and to the roots.
    We should be careful to avoid picking from areas that will be contaminated by agricultural and spraying programs, so it is important to be very aware of the uses land around you has been used for in the past. If you have specific areas that are contaminated, you might want to record those places and their contamination levels and products needed to assist in that cleanup,to enable use of that land.
    ..I have been intending to look up and print,The stuff on cattails, but my big computer internet connection has been I have difficulty downloading to an already full laptop…I am very blessed to have another nearby that I can go to for downloads.

    • Thanks Sw’t Tater … I had no idea cattails were edible. I don’t know of any right around my area, but we do have them at our lake house! I just read how to make cattail flour. I could gather them when we go to the lake and bring them home to make flour to store. I also read where they are a “year-round” crop. This is really good to know! This will definately be going into my survival notebook!

      • OMG Sw’t Tater …. I have found recipes for Cattail Chowder, Scalloped Cattails, Cattail Pollen Biscuits, Cattail Pollen Pancakes, Cattail Casserole, and Cattail Flower Griddle Cakes. AND, I found out we have them on our ranch. Guess who’s going to be cooking with cattails … super excited!

        • Ate my first Cattail based meal about 50 years ago on a Boy Scout survival weekend, and it can be a great resource both for food and for raw materials for things like cordage. I have one warning about where you get your Cattails, which grow in swampy areas, often along the edges of highways. Beware of what is in the water where they grow. The ones growing in the low areas and ponds along highways and in areas where they may receive farm chemical runoff can have these chemicals in the plants. This is true of many aquatic plants and animals, and is just something to be aware of.

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            Good tip. Same is true of animals feeding off human rubbish or locations that may have septic waste runoff. Wild Plants and animals grown in a urban or suburban can be bad news.

  15. Tactical G-Ma says:

    Good article. And the best thing about it is anyone in your group can pick it up and in minutes at least know where to start solving situations.

  16. G-Ma,

    I’ve also considered making complete copies and giving them as Christmas gifts to family members. My brother lives about 1 1/2 hours away and would not be able to easily access my info. That, along with an auto-shade solar cooker and a hand crank/solar flashlight for each of them. I figure the more prepared they are, the less they will depend on me later :0)

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      Great idea Patty!
      Even if they bury them in the junk closet, you know they now have tools! Hmmm, got me thinking. Maybe throw in a jar of jelly or something lie that!

      • Good idea G-Ma! I’m having a hard time spending money on Christmas right now since I’m trying to frantically to get prepared. Maybe I’ll make them all a “go-box” and include some rice and beans as well :0)

  17. PJ Prepper says:


    Ref. Chpt 11 and Solar Ovens….

    Have you built yours yet? I have many ways to cook should no power be available, and was considering adding a Solar Oven to my inventory as well. I read quite a few reports where the food ended up tasting like it was seasoned with a sprinkle of plastic. Obviously that is was is preventing me from moving forward…

    Can’t go wrong with a rocket stove and dutch oven!

    Thanks and good job on the library.


  18. PJ,

    My DH built a solar cooker out of a repurposed dresser drawer, painted black, lined with some kind of foil-covered insulation and topped with a piece of glass. He cooked a chicken and rice casserole dish and it was just as good as cooked in the oven!

    • PJ Prepper says:


      Thanks for the info, maybe materials make all the difference. The power of the sun is amazing, I’ll look into it.

      Thanks again


      • PJ,

        Since you have a dutch oven, you can also practice thermal cooking. Bring the contents to a boil (uses little energy), wrap the dutch oven in a wool blanket, stuff it in a cooler, and let it sit for a few hours, about 6 hours for red beans. The existing heat continues the cooking process.

  19. I have alot of gund and jest saw you post. I agree and i will show this list to guys right now,

  20. This is a wonderful idea! I have a suggestion to make it even better: if you’re collecting stuff off the Internet, use EverNote. First off, it’s free. Second, you can download an extension to all the major browsers so you can clip webpages to a notebook. This notebook gets stored on their website. Third, download a copy of the standalone program for your computer, and it will automatically sync with the copy on their website, so if you lose access to the Internet, you will have a locally stored copy. Fourth, you can arrange the pages in your notebook as you suggest in your article, and you can tag the pages too. Of course printing out copies are good insurance against TSHTF.

  21. Dont forget how to knit and crochet, along with simple sock and hat instructions. There are pleenty of simple sweater instructions as well. Most of the yarn companies, like Red Heart, And Lions Brand. Hobby Lobby’s websit has some too. good idea is to browse for simple clothing and other items and print them out too if you are deficient in those skills.

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      And all the baby patterns. What about quilt patterns and pillow case dolls patterns. Might want to put up some embroidery thread too. We will be back to making gifts if the bottom falls out. I have all my needles put can’t find my hoops. Will be a project for yard sales!

      • Yup, T Gma! Us grandmas will be keeping all the threads together. Er, it’s not pun day is it? Another thing for babies/children are teddy bear patterns and maybe some “old style games” like pick up sticks and those button on a string zinger thingies. That will keep a kid occupied for a while. Will try that one out on DGS this afternoon. Some printable word game stuff might be a good idea too now that my brain is in that gear. SERIOUSLY need to get more printer ink!!!

    • Shai,

      That is a really good idea. Once upon a time I knew how to crochet and knit. With some simple instructions I’m sure I could pick it up again. In fact, if you had some light weight paracord and needed it to be stronger, you could crochet a simple chain and triple the strength of it! In fact (my mind is churning), you could crochet a belt out of paracord. Multi-purpose. I just love multi-purpose! Thanks for the ideas!!

      • I’ve found small tear off sheets at craft stores in the yarn section with simple how-to’s, but Lions Brand Yarn’s website has them as well. Remember, you also have to have the yarn and such prepped as well. Sock yarn is WAY different than what you would use for hats and sweaters. And to make seamless socks requires double pointed needles. Those collecting afghans from thrift stores and g sales are way ahead as those can be unraveled and re used with some patience! I have also seen small handheld thingies that will produce a tubeless sock via a crank handle. Might be useful …. Hmmmm….. Methinks needs go search Amazon!

      • Patty, I have actually done that with about 10′ of cord, attached to my keychain, I rarely lose them anymore. Can just loop over neck when running into store and the end always is hanging out of my purse, no digging! Not to mention the cord is always handy and easily pulled free unlike the cobra or macramé knots. That would work with work badges and id’s as well.

  22. WOW! I am so printing this! This was extremely helpful.

  23. Hunker-Down says:

    WOW! I wish we had your organization skills. We have 4 very full notebooks each with 4-5 sub-sections, but nothing like your library.

    You might want to print out instructions on how to make your own bleach, vinegar and yeast under conditions with no electricity and refrigeration.

    • Thank you, Hunker-Down. I did not have those 3 things covered. I have an above ground pool that holds over 5,000 gallons of water. This is my back-up water plan. I did not have a “recipe” for converting pool shock to household bleach though. I will have it printed out tonight! I just read where pool shock has a 10 year shelf life, whereas bleach only has about a 3 month shelf life. Really good information to know! And, right now would be a great time to stock up on pool shock as it will probably be on sale since it is out of season. I will look up and print info on the vinegar and yeast as well. Thanks!

  24. here is a link for general DIY interest , some may not be legal but …….uhhhhhhhhh …..things are good to know anyway .

  25. Patty,
    Still studying the contents. I love lists and will be merging this into my current ones.

  26. Surburban Housewife says:

    Oh my gosh! Could this be any better?!
    Just this afternoon I decided I needed to be better organized and to stop being so hap-hazard in my prepping. So I sat down and started to figure out the holes in my prepping (there are MANY), printed out a bunch of stuff, went to Walmart and got a 2″ binder and page dividers. Then came home to this post! Wow – you have helped me more than I can tell you! – I am a compulsive researcher too, but lack your highly refined organizational skills – I do OK but it would have taken me a very long time to get where you are. Thank you -thank you – thank you!!

    • SH,

      I really debated on whether or not I should submit this. Now, I’m really glad I did. I’m glad it was helpful!

  27. Very well organized, I commend you for it. Mine pales to your lists which brings me to a discovery— Our ancestors in the 1800′s had a better education than we have now, and we thought we progressed far beyond the 19th century!!

    • Donna,

      I think you are exactly right. That’s why I’m trying desperately to learn as much as I can about being self-reliant and teaching my children everything that I learn. I worry much more about their future than I do my own. I try to make it fun, like taking them camping, teaching them to fish, build a fire, that sort of thing. I think society in general has gotten so soft, lazy, and dependant on modern technologies that they don’t have a clue. That includes myself, but I’m trying to change that.

  28. I have considered writing about how I organize my food stock, inventory, menu planning, calculating how much food is needed to feed my family for different lengths of time, and my SHTF recipes. I wonder if that would be beneficial to anyone?

  29. Good job with the reference library. Now how many of these things have you practiced? Practicing is the key to remembering and once you are familiar with how something works, or what it takes to make it work, then you can expand on your knowledge. And if you lose your library in a fire all will not be lost :)

  30. AJ,

    You are right about practicing. I do practice many things on my list. Not only is the practice good in case living it becomes a necessity, but everything we “practice” also saves us money now. I take care of all the food stuff … gardening, raising chickens, inventory, preserving (canning, dehydrating), local edibles, herbal medicines, etc. I also prepare my SHTF recipes to check for taste and serving size. My DH takes care of all the alternate energy, building the coop, building a wood-burning stove from a 55 gallon barrel, that sort of thing. We make our own fire starters and paper logs. We practice by taking the kids camping and surviving using only our BOB’s. There are still many things on my list that we haven’t gotten to yet, but we are learning as fast as we can. I figure I’m still atleast one step ahead of many. Even if I don’t know how to do it all, I have the instructions printed and filed so I can learn as necessary.

  31. My DH was just reading on about making ethanol fuel for your vehicle at home with a distiller. Does anyone know anything about this? Is it really legal to own a distiller for water and/or fuel?

  32. Where is the chapter on personal and home security/defense?