Anton and Rachel in Wisconsin have started growing fruit using an organic perennial cropping system and they want to live in a home that is energetically self-sustaining. But without prior farming and building experience, or the marketing dollars to promote the undervalued fruit varieties they love and care about, the story of trying to reduce their impact upon the earth is inspirational.

Their farm is Mary Dirty Face:

The Most Important Food for Surviving SHTFOne of the foundational pillars of civilization is agriculture. On a smaller scale, it’s called horticulture. And that’s important because the only way to survive a severe grid-down experience is to have the ability and the knowledge to grow your own food.

In this Youtube video from Canadian Prepper, he talks about a one-year test he did to plant a survival garden. He started with a small, 10 x 10-foot plot and primarily grew potatoes, carrots, onions, and some green beans. The question was, which of these foods is the most important for survival?

To Heirloom or not to Heirloom

Heirloom vegetable seeds are a great thing to have and grow, but don’t depend totally on heirloom seeds. They don’t present a lot of staple crops providing calorie-dense foods, although they do provide a nice variety.

The Importance of Calorie Density

The best survival foods you can plant are calorie-dense, providing more calories per pound. You also want a hardy variety that will grow in numerous plant hardiness zones.

Some Key vegetables he planted were:

The Importance of Micronutrient Density

You want to plant vegetables that provide you with high amounts of vitamins and minerals and also have a long shelf life. Off the grid means no refrigerator so you’ll need to think about root cellars and vegetables that store well.

You need to think about not only how a vegetable or fruit tastes, but its versatility. There’s only so much you can do with rice, but there’s a lot of things you can do with potatoes:

Think Russet

One of the best known and longest lasting potatoes for storage and versatility is the Russet Burbank potato. They can store for up to 165 days, which is enough to get you through the winter and still have some potatoes leftover to replant for the next crop.

What’s the Catch?

Potatoes are high in starches or sugars and can raise your glycemic index if your blood sugar is a problem, so remember to supplement your garden planting with a range of vegetables, particularly onions, carrots, and squash.

The Rototilling Key

Make sure you turn, loosen, and if you can, rototill your soil. Potatoes need room to expand and grow and tightly packed soil doesn’t make it easy for them.

This post is just a brief summary of the video below. For more details on growing potatoes for survival food, watch the full video.

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In this articles, I will discuss some considerations for selecting and preparing your Schumer Hits The Fan (SHTF) vehicle.

Nearly all post-disaster/prepper/survivalist/etc. novels follow one of two plot lines. The first, our heroes are caught away from home and forced to travel on foot when their vehicle ceases to operate due lack of fuel, mechanical failure, being stolen, etc. The second, our heroes are at/near home and are bugging-in, using the vehicle for short trips until bugging-out when the situation deteriorates. Either of these plot lines show how vital reliable and capable motorized transportation will be when the worse happens.

Over several years now, my Bug-Out Vehicle has changed several times and I have made numerous modifications with the goal of maximizing what I thought to be the required capabilities. During this process, my thought process, goals, equipment have all changed many, many times as my thinking matured, routes and destinations evolved, and new equipment and vehicles have entered the market. I hope that my latest line of reasoning and evaluation will provide you with a springboard to start your own Bug-Out Vehicle Project.

The first place to start your considerations is to clearly define your needs, operating environments, and capacities. Someone that is bugging-in in a major city with a bug-out route over the Rockies will need a much different vehicle than some in a minor suburban area going thirty miles across the Plains. Try to use actual numbers, not just “Well, this should be plenty” or “Hmm, better take few off.” Doing so will help define the type of vehicle that is required.

To define your needs, consider some of the following items. Please take this outline as a starting point–not a completed list.

If the local situation is to the point where evacuation is being taken by substantial parts of the population, then it can be guaranteed that traffic conditions will be a mess and will resemble a cross between Mad Max and the end of major sports or entertainment event. Include the likelihood that law enforcement will not be pre-positioned to deal with traffic accidents and keep lanes open, a gridlock situation is almost guaranteed. This would require a vehicle that can: a) maneuver between and around vehicles easily, such as a micro-car, motorcycle or dirt bike, or b) maneuver off established roads onto secondary state and county roads or onto bare dirt, mud, grassy terrain at a variety of inclines without the risk of loosing control, such as a Jeep, a 4 wheel drive truck, or a side-by-side ATV, or c) be physically robust and powerful enough to force its’ way through, such as a large military surplus diesel powered truck.

Don’t forget non-motorized options for bugging-in transportation such as bicycles. These can greatly increase your range of operation, are quiet & highly maneuverable, low maintenance, and are easy to store. A small pull behind cart could be a great addition for transporting items.

What are the possible, worse-case weather conditions that could occur? We are all aware of how even moderate weather events can turn even the best roads into unpassable, crawling-along nightmares. Would the highly maneuverable micro-car or motorcycle still be a good choice if trying to move around gridlock with 6” of snow and ice on the roads? How stable will a lifted Jeep with mud tires be traveling at interstate speeds in a downpour? Will that surplus 2-1/2 ton truck diesel start or run when the temperature drops below zero for days on end?

For most, this would consist of your immediate family. Don’t forget to include pets, other members of your prepper group, or close friends and neighbors as they may apply. Try to be realistic in how many people can comfortably fit into the vehicle, particularly if your bug-out route is more than several hours long at best. As anyone who has drawn the short-straw and had to ride in the back of Camaro/Mustang/sports car, just because it has four seats, doesn’t make it a four adult passenger car.

This will vary wildly from individual to individual. Someone that has an established bug-out location that they visit regularly, such as second home, hunting cabin, etc., will most likely already have that location supplied. If so, the vehicle will only need to handle individuals, their bug-out bags, and perhaps a last round of “nice-to-have” supplies and luggage. At the other end, someone who’s bug-out location is several days away and is set up for short term visits may have to bring as much food, clothing, ammo, etc. as possible to have any chance at all at surviving.

Weight and Volume Test Loads

Once you determine how much “stuff” will need to be transported, you can begin estimating and test fitting for volume by using moving boxes, egg cartons, or ammo boxes to fill the cargo areas. It is best to try to pack as much weight forward of the rear axle as possible. This splits the weight onto the front and rear wheels instead of pulling weight off of the front wheels and making the vehicle “float” in the front. Weight can be estimated by packing a test container full of different supply types such as ammo, dry foods, canned foods, clothing, etc., and weighing with a bathroom scale. Another option, and the most highly recommended, is to do an actual test loading of all of your survival supplies and equipment.

Protecting your supplies and equipment is obviously of vital importance, as all the equipment in the world is of no use to you or anyone else if it arrives at your bug-out location damaged and unusable. Packaging gear is fairly simple if it is going inside an enclosed cab vehicle such as the hatch area of an SUV or back seat of a car and should be little different from loading up after a trip to Wal-Mart. Packing gear for extended travel in possibly poor conditions can be more complicated if using an open cargo area such as the bed of pickup truck or a hitch cargo rack. Options include installing a camper top shell over the cargo area of the truck, packaging supplies in weather proof containers such as Pelican or RubberMade cases, use cardboard moving boxes and then wrap each box with a plastic stretch wrap, or completely load the cargo area and then cover with a tarp. Each option comes with it’s own set of pros and cons and will have to be an individual choice. Be sure to adequately secure the load to prevent movement and damage. If using a tarp, the tarp needs to go around the outside of the vehicle cargo box and secured, not tucked inside. Tucking the tarp inside allows water to pull in the bottom of the cargo box and infiltrate your cargo.

Tow-behind trailers will depend highly on the individual locations and routes. Someone that is trying to bug-out from a city via the interstate to their bug-out location will most likely not want to use one due to the decreased maneuverability, additional vehicle length, reduced fuel mileage, and reduction in off-highway performance. Someone who is traveling along a lightly traveled secondary or lower ranked road from one rural or suburban community to another may not encounter conditions where a trailer is a hindrance. Most likely a loaded trailer– open or enclosed–would be a very tempting target for those taking advantage of the breakdown in social order.

As anyone who has ever went on a road trip gone bad knows, even the most comfortable vehicle to travel in is among your worst options for places to sleep. This condition will be much worse when every seat in the vehicle is filled with either an individual or supplies which may or may not be weather sensitive. Several options are available to minimize this challenge. Having a rotating driver schedule so that more distance can be covered before having to stop. Keep caffeine supplements on hand. Pack all-weather camping equipment that allows for sleeping outside of the vehicle, there are also roof-top pop-up tents are available for a wide range of SUVs and pickup trucks.

Defining the operating range of the vehicle should generally be defined as either a) the longest route practically possible to travel from your bug-in location to your bug-out location or b) the maximum range of your vehicle carrying as much fuel as possible. There are few options available for shortening your bug-out route aside from planning and even than you are still at the mercy of Mr. Murphy as to how far you may have to travel to reach your final location.

Options for Extra Fuel

Increasing the amount of fuel you can carry is an area you can have meaningful effect. For almost all vehicles, it’s possible to somehow carry an additional 2 to 90 gallons of fuel. Multiple manufactures make saddlebag fuel cans for motorcycles, standard 5 gallon metal jerry can or plastic fuel jugs can be found at many local gas stations and nearly every hardware store. Vehicle specific enlarged replacement fuel tanks or in-bed transfer tanks can be sourced at most farm and equipment stores. It should be noted that fuel cans should never be transported inside the cabin of a vehicle and that federal law limits what kind of tanks and jugs that can be used for gasoline.

Vehicle Modifications

Now that your needs, environments, and capacities have been defined, let us consider how to prepare your vehicle with some useful modifications, tools, and equipment that can maximize the performance of your vehicle.

Hopefully the preceding outline will provide you with starting points in evaluating your vehicle needs to bug-in or bug-out.

This content was originally published here.

(Natural News)
Air conditioning is a common part of most households, but like most modern appliances and devices, it relies on electricity to function. With the U.S. power grid on the brink of a breakdown, one intense heatwave could fry the grid and millions of households would lose electricity. If this happens, would you know how to keep cool without air conditioning?

In a grid-down scenario, preppers make good use of their resourcefulness. Here are some ways to keep cool without electricity. (h/t to

Sustainable ways of keeping cool

High temperatures may lead to discomfort, dehydration and even heat stroke. This is why it’s important to know how to keep cool when the air conditioning fails.

Solar-powered attic fan

One of the best sources of power is sunlight. A solar-powered attic fan can keep your house cool while preventing humidity. A 40-watt cooler costs around $175. This can cool off spaces of up to 2,200 square feet. (Related: Stay cool without electricity: New “radiative sky cooling” system may prove useful for preppers.)

DIY solar-powered cooler

If you don’t have the budget for a solar-powered attic fan, you can improvise with a DIY solar-powered cooler. It’s simple, effective and a great sustainable method of cooling your home.

This portable air conditioner works by letting cold water flow through a bucket, cooling a window screen and dissipated by a fan. (h/t to


(Note: A fountain pump is a device that spouts up water in a pond or aquarium.)



If you want to use this DIY air conditioning while camping, you can add a 90-degree piece of PVC pipe and dryer vent hose to isolate the air.

Hang up wet sheets

Back when civilizations had no electricity, people kept their homes cool by hanging wet sheets. Damp sheets or towels hung around the house — even on the headboard of your bed — can cool through evaporation.

Open the windows

Open your windows once the sun starts to set to let cooler air in the house. You can keep them open well into the night, but consider your location and level of security before doing this, especially if you’re living in the city or suburbs.

Use curtains or blinds as cover when the sun starts coming in through the windows. You can use reflective window panels if it gets too hot.

Plant trees

Planting trees is a long-term solution for keeping the air around your property cool. Big trees provide natural shade and fresh air. If you start right now, you can enjoy the benefits of growing trees after a few years.

Plant the trees in locations around your property that receive direct sunlight, especially during summer.

You should also learn how to spot heatstroke in humans and pets, so you can take the necessary actions in case one occurs. Learn more about keeping cool the prepper way at

This content was originally published here.

(Natural News)
Preppers know that when SHTF, safety is a priority. Before you bug in at home or head to your emergency hideout in your bug-out vehicle, you must first decide which will be the safer option: Mobility or defense. (h/t to

On a normal day, you’d be planning vacations months in advance to get the best bargains on plane tickets and hotel rooms. It makes sense to do the same for your bug-out plan.

Weigh the pros and cons of bugging in versus bugging out, and set up your preps for both scenarios. If you’re living in an area prone to storms, it might be best to make bugging in preparations.

On the other hand, if you’re worried about impending civil unrest in your area, it might be best to be on the move.

Setting up an armored bunker for bugging in

Nothing beats a heavily armored bunker for long-term bugging in. If your hideout is deep enough underground, with limited access in or out, you would be safe when SHTF.

Building a bunker involves a lot of planning before you start digging your backyard. Some things to consider include:

It’s reassuring to wait out a disaster in a bunker with steel and concrete walls. Consider this option if the outside world is getting chaotic.

If your hideout is well-made and properly camouflaged, your bunker may remain untouched during times of conflict.

Bugging out and staying mobile

You should also have a plan B for when the situation escalates to a point where staying in your bunker is no longer safe. In this scenario, it’s crucial to get moving. Get as far away as you can from the chaos.

When bugging out in a jeep or truck, you may need to sleep in a tent or portable shelter at night, so pack accordingly. Another option is to bug out in an RV so you won’t have to worry about finding shelter.

An RV is a great choice for a bug-out vehicle because it offers a lot of storage room and you can treat it as a home away from home while you’re on the road. RVs are also a civilian vehicle, meaning you can blend in with the crowd while bugging out. (Related: 5 Must-haves for your bug-out vehicle.)

A jeep or other military-style vehicle might draw unwanted attention; with an RV, it will be easier to slip past others who might be targeting you or your supplies when SHTF.

Maintaining overall health when disaster strikes

Once your armor, mobility and weapons preps are done, you need to prioritize your well-being before SHTF.

Stock up on survival essentials such as:

Finally, get enough quality sleep. If you opt to have someone assigned on lookout duty, make sure the people in your group take turns so the others can rest when they need to.

Before you decide to bug in or bug out, consider your options and set up your preps accordingly to ensure that you have whatever you may need if SHTF.

This content was originally published here.


When the world as we know it collapses into anarchy, most gun guys talk about which rifle they’ll grab first, but what about the secondary weapon? Sometimes handguns get brought up as an afterthought in
“Shit Hits The Fan” discussions, but I’d like to focus on why handguns are just as important. I plan on grabbing my trusty CZ SP-01.

While this article is about my choice for a handgun, it’s by no means my only go-to gun. James already succinctly covered my choice for an AR-15 equipped with a low power variable optic (LPVO), but this series would get pretty boring if we all repeated the same aspects of gun use to be applied during any given SHTF scenario. It’s my belief that handguns will also provide a vital ancillary role for those just trying to get by.


1. Disruption of food, medical and fuel supplies and lack of utilities.

2. Natural or man-made (EMP) disaster diverting all national resources.

My area is very rural, interspersed with small towns. I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by do-it-yourselfers and knowledgeable people, willing to lend a hand, but it’s not that there aren’t some ne’re-do-wells nearby. My area is mostly farmland, with a mixture of small wooded patches, so a scoped rifle will come in handy, but subsistence living requires a lot of hands-on work, and slinging a rifle on one’s back won’t always be an option.


The pistol I plan on taking to the edge of the world as we know it, is the CZ SP-01 Phantom that I reviewed last year. I absolutely fell in love with the SP-01 platform from the moment it was in my hands. If you told me a few years ago that I’d actually be voluntarily switching back to a DA/SA pistol as my go-to over Glock for the apocalypse, I’d have laughed in your face. I’m certainly not bashing Glock, and if it’s your go-to, you’ve certainly got a reliable, proven pistol, and a lot less parts to keep track of. I’ve been slowly picking up some spare parts for the Phantom from Brownells and Cajun Gun Works.

Since my review of the SP-01 Phantom, I’ve put close to another 1000 rounds through it without a single hiccup and it eats everything I feed it. Putting the time into shooting it whenever I can has helped me get more in tune with the Phantom’s trigger and I shot my state’s law enforcement qualification course better than I did with my duty pistol. Although, I’ll freely admit that that style of test only induces some stress by adding time constraint, compared to the real stress of a deadly force situation involving rioters, raiders from the next town over, or (according to the wild-haired guy on the History Channel) aliens.

The CZ SP-01’s have quite a variety of offerings, some of which include night sights, suppressor sights and threaded barrels. However, the polymer-framed SP-01 Phantom I reviewed (and purchased) only came with photo-luminescent (glow in the dark) sights, which require you to charge them with a flashlight if you want to see them at night. The charge lasts long enough to check out a strange bump at o’dark-thirty, but when you’re pulling guard duty on your livestock and gardens, you don’t want to be giving your position away by shining your flashlight at your hip every once in a while. To alleviate this issue, I changed the front sight to a Meprolight night sight to start turning my SP-01 into a modern fighting pistol. I’ll change out the rear sight in the future when the budget allows (assuming there’s a future to be had). By upgrading the front sight, it at least gives me a point of reference for where the muzzle is pointing in the dark while it’s in my hand, as well as lets me know where the gun is when it’s on the nightstand.

I also added a Streamlight TLR-1 weapon mounted light to the accessory rail on the SP-01’s dust cover. This allows me to keep my aim on a threat. A separate flashlight will also be at my disposal to help identify threats.  Feel free to check out Pete’s guide to weapon lights HERE, in which the TLR-1 HL is included.


Finding ammo that my SP-01 Phantom likes wasn’t a problem, it’s eaten everything I’ve fed it, from Federal, Hornady, Fiocchi, Blazer and others. One load I like to keep on hand for the end of the world is Hornady’s American Gunner in 9mm. It’s an affordable defensive load for those with budgetary concerns, but still loaded with a little extra oomph (very scientific term) and their hollow point XTP projectiles, although that projectile can be a bit of a wild card according to Lucky Gunner’s gel tests.

The two, 18 round magazines that came with my SP-01 Phantom work great, but to be honest, they’re a little pricey for this family man’s budget, so I tried one of the cheaper options Brownell’s had to offer, which are Act-Mag’s 17 round magazines for the CZ 75. I tried one at first just to make sure, and it worked flawlessly, so I bought two more for the time being, with more to follow in the future. I filled in the numbers on the witness holes with fingernail polish as I covered in a previous DIY article.


Okay, it’s larping time. I set up a budget-minded battle belt that’s still a work in progress, but it makes for a quick and easy way to kit up if people start running for the hills, particularly my hill. Amazon was an easy stop for most of what I put on the belt, which I’ve collected over time. I wanted to keep the belt light but practical, so I kept it limited to my SP-01’s magazines, a homemade hammer/tomahawk handle loop, Gerber fixed blade knife and the SP-01 Phantom in a Safariland holster. The only changes I plan to make on the rig is to add a tourniquet and some belt keepers to secure the battle belt to my everyday belt.  I ordered the belt on the slightly larger size so I could adjust it to wearing over winter coats if need be.

While my set up isn’t flashy or pretty, it was within my means to acquire, and I think men and women with a family to care for during a major societal or geological upheaval would be well served by something similar with a CZ SP-01. By including the pistol as a go-to loadout, it gives you more leeway to defend yourself and your loved ones with one hand if the other is occupied with children or other necessary gear. It should at least give you time to get to your rifle kept nearby. The CZ SP-01 is also easily manipulated without needing lots of hand strength and easy to teach family members that may have previously been unwilling to learn about firearms.

While we all know that handguns aren’t that great at ballistics when compared to rifles, they serve their purpose when rifles become a hindrance or aren’t suited for the task ahead.  A reliable pistol in a good holster on a sturdy belt gives you the ability to tend to duties that don’t require a gun, all the while being ready at a moment’s notice.

What pistol do you plan on strapping to your hip when the feces hits the wind generator?

This content was originally published here.