Solar chimney

Solar Chimney: Awesome free-energy design to cool any building for little $$.:

A solar chimney – often referred to as a thermal chimney – is a way of improving the natural ventilation of buildings by using convection of air heated by passive solar energy.


I would add a small 4inch Computer fan to pull the cool air in

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Bucket Berkey Faucet Upgrade

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Introduction to Building a Storage Shed – Part 1

Introduction to Building a Storage Shed – Part 1

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4.1/5 (69) Why would you want to do this?  Look at the name:  STORAGE Shed.  Most everybody “needs” more storage because they can’t bear to have less stuff.  And someone preparing for bad times probably has more stuff than a person who doesn’t believe anything bad can happen and expects their parents and/or government to take care of them no matter what.  Some of that extra stuff you really don’t have room for in your house, and some of your prepping supplies you REALLY don’t want to have IN your house.  Such as a generator and fuel, oil and vehicle parts, battery banks and so on so building a storage shed makes a lot of sense in some situations.  You can, of course, rent storage space; there is a large industry devoted to just that.

There are a few problems with that solution though.  One, you have to go there to get your stuff, and that assumes that you have a working transport AND that they can or will let you have access if they have no power or their computers don’t work or the people in charge are honesty challenged.  Two, you have signed your stuff over to them if they don’t receive payment for any reason (such as banks being closed).  Three, you are usually contractually obligated NOT to store some of the things you don’t want in your house.  And four, they can raise their rates whenever they please unless you have a long-term lease.  The place I am at currently is charging me TWICE what someone walking in off the street pays, and won’t reduce it.  I could rent another unit, move my stuff over, and cancel the first place, or move to another location, but I know the new price will just start moving up again.  The cost of a storage shed may seem large, but I did the math, and it will be paid off by two years of storage fees, and that is assuming they don’t raise the rate again, which is a very poor assumption.

Look at the other part of the name:  Storage SHEDDo you have a “post Apocalypse” trade planned or set up; blacksmith, gunsmith, leather worker, seamstress/tailor, weaver, or the like?  This could be used for your business or the tools and supplies.  Plus, a shed looks like a shed, but it does not mean it must be ONLY a shed.  It could provide camouflage for an entrance or exit from an underground area.  It can be built with concealed areas.  Some sheds are designed as, or can be converted to, a green house, if you are interested in growing your own food and/or medicinal plants or setting up an aquaponics system.

Ok, let us assume you have decided you want a storage shed.   But can you have one?  Like it or not, there are a number of people or organizations who have control over what you put up.  Do you own the property?  If not, the owner has complete discretion over what you put up, if anything.  And if you don’t own the property, do you really want to make improvements to it?  An option in this case might be “portable” storage, like a trailer, or one of those transoceanic shipping containers.


Do you belong to a “Home Owners Association”?  If so, you have contractually agreed to give them complete control of the exterior of your property.  Read the bylaws to see what is currently allowed.  Figure out what you can do which abides by any restrictions.   And once you come to agreement on what they will accept “today”, get documentation which grandfathers your shed against any future changes to the bylaws.

How close are the neighbors, and are they reasonable?  If you follow all the legal requirements, they may not be able to prevent you from doing what you want, but if they get annoyed enough, they can still cause you plenty of grief.

Dealing with Governments

And then there is the city, town, township, parish and/or county.  Each level of government will have restrictions on what can be done, based on the “zoning” of the property in question.  The less remote the property is, the more stringent the restrictions are likely to be.  These include things like the percentage of the property which can be “covered”, height restrictions, required distances from property lines and other buildings, and many other things, collectively known as “Building Codes”.  Your safest bet is to get a “building permit”, but this has some downsides.  First of all, as a survivalist, you should attempt to stay “under the radar”.  You would be hard pressed to be more obvious than having your plans on public accessible file with the government, and having inspectors checking you out each step of the way.  Second of all, it will cost.  The building permit has a fee, often based on type of building and square feet.  I once wanted to put up a carport, and they told me I would have to pay $5 per square foot just for the permit.  For posts and an aluminum roof; the building permit would have cost more than the carport.  Not only that, but it is likely they will factor this “improvement” into your property value when computing future property taxes.

By all means, find out all the restrictions on what you can put up; violating restrictions has potential for serious annoyances if the government wants to raise a fuss (and they usually do if violations are brought to their attention).  However, if you can avoid getting a building permit, that might be a good path.  For instance, here, if the shed is less than 200 square feet, you don’t need a permit.  That means a 12′ by 16′ shed (192 square feet) can be put up without a permit being required.  Just because a permit is not required, does not mean the restrictions can be ignored; you just won’t have the public records and government monitoring.


Ways to Get a Storage Shed

The “easiest” way is to have someone build it for you.  This will not be the cheapest option, and a competent builder will likely insist on a building permit, meaning not only public records and government monitoring, but the builder and perhaps others will know all about your shed.  The incompetent builder will refuse the permit and perhaps build something which violates code, with potential for eventual legal challenges or structural problems.  For smaller sheds, you might be able to have it pre-built and delivered.  You could build it yourself, which means you have to come up with a viable design (not that hard) and get the materials, which may be a challenge.  I don’t know about your location, but the lumber here is crap; warped, twisted, split, insufficiently dried.  As my dad said when we were trying to get lumber to replace a rotted porch, “I wouldn’t use this stuff for firewood”.  The remaining option is a “kit”.  This has the advantage that the design, acquisition of materials and much of the cutting are already done for you.  A good kit will have better quality material than you may find locally and instructions which most everyone should be able to follow.

Types of Storage Sheds

There are a number of architectural shed types.  Chose what you like, and what fits your landscape and restrictions.  I’m partial to the “barn” style, because it gives you more height, and even “lofts” in some models.  Possible materials include wood, steel, aluminum and various “plastics”.  Plastic and aluminum tend to be the hallmark of cheap “department store” sheds, great for lawnmowers and garden tools, but not what you would call “durable” or “secure”, and usually limited in size.  For a substantial shed, wood or steel is usually the way to go.  I’m more comfortable working with wood, so that is the path I chose, although steel seems like it might have some advantages.


Depending on what you will use the shed for, you may want to make modifications or additions.  For instance, wiring it for electricity may be useful.  But since there is no guarantee electricity will always be available, make sure you have the ability to plug-in a generator (via a transfer switch), or add solar or wind generation capability.  In some cases, you may want to add plumbing.  Note that no matter how much of the electrical or plumbing work you are willing and able to do yourself, you should consider getting a permit for this work and having it inspected.  Unlike the structure, which is hard to mess up (especially if professionally designed), a mistake in the design OR execution of electric or plumbing can cause fire, electrocution, leaks, odors or rot/rust.  And if not up to code, an insurance company may refuse to pay off on a claim.  Wherever practical, have the shed “completed” so it looks like you are “adding” the electrical or plumbing and follow all requirements for what must be visible to the inspector(s).  Of course, if you got the permit for the shed in the first place, follow their instructions on when in the process the various inspections should be scheduled.  If temperature control is a concern, you may want to add insulation, cooling or heating.



This foundation (literally) of a shed is an important decision.  The common choices are concrete, or joists with flooring panels.  Concrete may be “better” and in some cases easier; pick your location, set up forms and rebar, and have it poured.  It may be more expensive, and less versatile (it is kind of hard to dig through concrete if you decide a partial “basement” would be handy), and “impossible” to move.  Joists are likely to be less expensive and more versatile, and if the ground is not even, may even be more practical.  There will be beams running the length of the building, with the joists running across the building between the beams.  Flooring panels are laid across the joists and fastened in place.  Note that the beams and joists are in contact with the ground and so are at risk for rotting and/or insects.  Thus pressure treated lumber or corrosion resistant metal is critical here.

Site preparation is highly important, since in order for the floor to be flat and level, and stay that way, the ground must be flat, level and stable.  If it is not, you may be able to compensate by having a variable thickness concrete floor, or building a foundation or partial foundation for your beams out of blocks and concrete.  A “better” floor system is to have runners the length of the building, on which the beams and joists sit.  As long as the runners are flat and level (and adequately supported), it does not matter if the ground is, plus it also allows ventilation below the shed, which can help with cooling and reduction of condensation inside.  It also puts the flooring higher, which may make entry more difficult, but on the other hand, gives more protection against minor flooding.  The runners, of course, must also be pressure treated wood, corrosion resistant metal, or even concrete and/or blocks, and a ramp can compensate for the step up.

What Next?

Does this sound like something which might be of value to you?  Check out Part 2 of the Introduction for some more pre-build details.

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Good for a perimeter border.

Short but hard spikes easily puncture tire or boots, like Russian Olive. Tree form with low wide crown when growing in the open along a fence row. Its called a hedge row in central US. and planted as a windbreak to combat wind erosion during the great depression.

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(how to make) simple saw horses with 3 legs

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Self Feeding Fire That Lasts 14 Hours Video Tutorial

We were so excited to come across this brilliant idea and if you love to go camping, this is one hack you need to know! Imagine having a fire that burned 14 hours continuously without any effort on your part!

Self Feeding Fire

If you love the great outdoors and let’s face it, it’s the best place to be, now you can stay toasty warm for a decent length of time with what can only be described as an ingenious idea and you are going to be blown away!

Bob Hansler is the face behind this great idea and it’s hardly surprising that it’s gone viral! It really is the case that the most simple ideas are often the best and this Self Feeding Fire proves our point.How to Build a Self Feeding Fire

The one thing you don’t want to have to worry about when you are getting up close and personal with nature is getting up in the middle of the night to put another log on the fire!

It is hard enough getting back to sleep. Now you don’t need to leave your sleeping bag! Now you can sleep tight through the whole night knowing that everyone will be toasty warm. It’s also peace of mind knowing that any unwelcome visitors will be kept at bay by the flames.

The best part is that this Self Feeding Fire burns for an amazing 14 hours. Yes, you heard right. We’re excited and you should be! Bob has created a detailed video with full instructions to show you how to make your own. We have also included a link to another super popular post for a Swedish Torch.

This is essentially a Log Stove that becomes a fire that you can cook on. You will be amazed and keen to try out this very easy diy.  Be sure to scroll our page to check out all the ideas and don’t forget to Pin your favourite ideas.

How To Build A Self Feeding Fire -:

Like to see your self feeding fire in action? Click the link above to view ^^^

Log Stove Tutorial

This Swedish Torch or Log Stove as it is also referred to is another exciting idea that will take your camping adventures to a whole new level. You can check out the details at the following link and we’ve included some campfire treats too – view — Log Stove Tutorial

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How to Make a Gas Mask from a Coke Bottle: Man Hacks

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Complete Beginner Video Tutorial Series on setting up your own DIY Off Grid Solar Power from Start to finish

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How to Turn Salt Water into Drinking Water

Even though you can’t drink salt water, otherwise known as saline water, what you can do is turn it into fresh water, through a process called desalination. This process is being used more and more as a viable means to get freshwater for those who need it. It’s also very applicable in a survival or grid down scenario where freshwater may not be so available.

Throughout most of the United States, the overwhelming majority of people are able to access more than enough freshwater.  However, in some areas of the country, freshwater is in shorter supply. With the population of the country growing, this means that freshwater shortages could become more prevalent, making it a major issue our country and other countries could face.

As a result of our freshwater supplies becoming more strained, seawater is becoming more of an important resource across the globe.  Many nations have debated the use of renewable-powered, solar desalination power plants and several have already begun to set them up.  Only time will tell if these power plants are successful or not.


It’s ultimately more dangerous to drink high quantities of saline or salt water than it is to not drink it at all. Consuming excessive amounts of salt can destroy the kidneys. The human kidneys are simply not designed to be able to handle such a large volume of salt. Furthermore, a large intake of salt makes you thirstier, and could cause you to want to drink more saline water.  For every gallon of salt water that you drink you’ll need to drink at least one gallon of freshwater to ‘get back to normal’ so to speak.

When your body does not receive the freshwater it needs, it starts to shut down beginning with your internal organs and then your brain. Once your brain becomes affected, you will begin to lose your normal mental cognition, start hallucinating, and maybe even go crazy. If you get literally no freshwater into your body, you can die in about three days.

To put it in broader terms, drinking large volumes of saline water without getting any freshwater into your body only increases the speed of dehydration. If you’re out in the sun and sweating while this happens, then the process of dehydration occurs even faster.

This is why it is such a valuable skill to be able to turn saline/salt water into freshwater. Desalination is easily your best defense against dehydration if you have nearly unlimited access to salt water but absolutely no access to fresh water.

Unfortunately, turning saline water into freshwater is a skill that not very many people know. But it’s also an incredibly simple skill, at least in theory. The reason why this skill could be considered ‘simple’ is because all that it involves is removing the dissolved salt in the saline water in order to make it freshwater. The only thing that makes this process not so simple is the actual process for doing it.

Fortunately, we’re going to teach you three different methods for how you can turn saline water into fresh water. Anyone who lives in or near an area close to the coast should absolutely learn desalination. If you lack access to rivers and lakes or if you encounter a drought, gathering water from the ocean may be your only realistic option. In this scenario, it could very well be that this skill is what saves your life.


Saline water is defined as water that contains a significant concentration of dissolved salt. The concentration of salt is measured by the weight of the salt in the water, or parts per million (abbreviated as PPM).
If the water has a concentration of around ten thousand PPM of dissolved salt in it, then that means that at least one percent of the total weight of the water has come from those dissolved salts.
Here is how water is classified in regards to PPM:

  • 1,000 PPM or Less = Fresh Water
  • 1,000 PPM – 3,000 PPM = Slightly Saline Water
  • 3,000 PPM – 10,000 PPM = Moderate Saline Water
  • 10,000 PPM to 35,000 PPM (and beyond) = Heavy Saline Water

You might be wondering what category oceans fall into out of these four categories. Oceans have a concentration of at least 35,000 PPM, meaning that they are heavy in saline water. But since the three methods of converting saline water into fresh water works for saline water from the oceans, you can take comfort in knowing that it will work for all of the other categories as well.

Next, let’s start with our first of three methods for turning salt water into fresh water:


This method is the most commonly used of our three methods, which is why we will discuss it first. To do this method properly, use the following steps:

  1. Make sure that you have enough sunlight for an extended period of time, since this process will take several hours to complete.
  1. Collect your desired amount of salt water in a watertight bowl, but do not fill up the bowl all the way.
  1. Place a smaller cup into the center of the bowl slowly, so that none of the salt water splashes or gets into the cup; if this happens, the fresh water will be contaminated as it is collected and you’ll need to get a new cup.
  1. Ensure that the lip of this container remains firmly above the water as well.
  1. Cover the entire bowl with a sturdy type of plastic wrap, but without making the plastic wrap too loose or too tight.
  1. Confirm that the plastic wrap is completely airtight with absolutely no holes, slits, or escape points whatsoever.
  1. Seal the plastic wrap around the rim of your main bowl.
  1. Place a weight of some kind, such as a small rock, in the middle of the plastic wrap and right above the cup in the middle of the bowl; if the weight is too heavy, it will tear through the plastic wrap and you’ll have to start over.
  1. This will result in your plastic wrap dipping towards the center, so that fresh water can more easily drip into your cup.
  1. Next, take everything that you have so far and place it under the direct sunlight. The sunlight will heat the water and you’ll see condensation begin to form underneath the plastic wrap.
  1. The droplets of fresh water forming underneath the plastic wrap will then slowly but steadily drip into your cup.
  1. Within a few hours, you should begin to have enough water in your plastic cup to drink.

You can repeat this process as often as you want until you get your desired amount of water. The freshwater that forms out of this method is also completely desalinated and therefore safe to drink.

A good visual demonstration of this method can be found here:


Using this salt water to freshwater conversion method, you’ll be able to get more freshwater than with the previous method. But the trade-off is that this method requires you to use a little more energy to do it.  However, if you’re desperate for water, then expending that little bit of extra energy may be worth it.

Here is a step-by-step process for completing the evaporation distillation method properly:

  1. Take a metal bottle with a cork, and make a hole in the cork that is big enough for tubing to fit into.
  1. Fill the bottle with saline water, but leave a little space near the top, just like with the bowl of the previous method.
  1. Place your tube through your cork until it reaches the bottom part of the cork.
  1. Place the cork with the tubing through it into the top of your bottle.
  1. Run your tubing to another container or bottle that is shorter in height than your first bottle.
  1. Place the bottle over a source of heat, but be sure that the tubing does not get excessively hot.
  1. The water in your bottle should begin to boil and steam should form.
  1. The steam should then travel through the tubing and will convert into water when it drops out of the end of your tube and into the new container.

As with the previous method, the water in the new container will be completely desalinated and safe for drinking.

For a visual demonstration of how to do this method, click here:


The third and final method, we will explore for turning salt water into drinking water, is the pot and stove method:

  1. Take a large pot that has a lid and an empty water glass or metal cup. The glass should be short enough so that you can put the lid over the pot.
  1. It is advisable to use a Pyrex cup or metal cup; plastic cups will melt. Other types of glass could possibly explode when they are exposed to intense heat.
  1. Pour salt water into the pot, but as with the previous method, leave some empty space near the top.
  1. Either before or after you pour in the salt water, place the cup into the pot as well. Make sure that absolutely no saline water gets into the cup, otherwise, your fresh water will become contaminated.
  1. Place the pot on your stove over a moderate to low heat and wait until the water boils. A slow boil is better than a rapid boil to prevent any of the salt water from getting into your cup.
  1. Turn the lid for the pot upside down, so that when the water vapor condenses onto the lid, it will more easily drip into the glass.
  1. The pot lid needs to be positioned so that its handle is hovering directly over the cup.
  1. If the upside down lid is not already sealed over the edges of the pot, seal it. If it’s not sealed, much of the steam, and along with it the freshwater, will escape.
  1. Within about twenty to thirty minutes, there should be enough water inside your glass to drink.
  1. Use an oven mitt or towel to remove the pot from the stove and wait before touching anything. Both the glass and the water inside will be extremely hot.
  1. When removing the glass, be careful that none of the remaining salt water in the pot gets into your glass.

Drink the water when it has cooled down to an acceptable temperature.  You can watch a visual demonstration of this method here:


What’s ironic about Earth is how water is in great abundance all around us, but less than a percent of it is actually safe to drink. As we discussed earlier in this article, drinking salt water can cause kidney failure, rapid dehydration, and can even lead to death. This is why it is so important that you know how you can convert salt water into safe for drinking freshwater when you only have access to salt water. Not only can learning this skill save your life, but it could save the lives of your family members as well.

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Altoids Survival Kit

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