A good prepper is able to use any resources at hand to build the things he needs to stay alive. A well prepared survivalist has versatile materials on hand. Recycled wood pallets are a great source of cheap (read: free) lumber that can be converted into anything from an emergency shelter to a chicken coop or piece of furniture.
Rocket stoves are highly efficient for cooking and heating. They use a simple combustion chamber coupled with an insulated chimney to burn small amounts of material at high temperatures. A few sticks of wood will have water boiling in minutes. A couple more will keep your house warm and cozy through the harshest winter months at a fraction of the cost of a wood, pellet or gas stove.
In any survival situation from natural disaster to nuclear war, shelter is a primary consideration. Unless the disaster is one that requires an underground bunker, a yurt will meet all your shelter needs. These inexpensive homes can be made from everything from small trees and animal skins to metal posts and heavy canvas. They are mobile yet solid.
By building your own grey water treatment plant you can save thousands of gallons of water. Recycled grey water can be used to water a garden, do laundry, wash dishes or flush toilets. Combined with a filter it becomes drinkable. Managing your own waste is an important step to self-sufficiency. If an apocalyptic event occurs large waste water treatment plants may shut down.
Being able to construct shelter from local resources is a key survival skill. If you learn how to properly construct a cob home, you can build more than just a temporary home. Cob houses are known to last well over a hundred years. All you need is a clay based soil and straw or pine needles.
If you are serious about survival prepping, you should have a system in place to collect rain water. It is a smart way to save water in normal times, especially if you live in a region with drought or a long dry season. It is also a back-up system that could sustain you during a natural disaster or other crisis.
An important part of survival prepping is sustainability. To be truly ready for disaster on any scale, you must be prepared to provide your family with food and shelter. Ideally you are able to generate your own power and heat, collect your own water and process your waste. An Earthship home is designed to do all of this. It collects and recycles water, generates power, stabilizes temperatures, processes sewage and grows food.
J.R.R. Tolkien captured the hearts and minds of the American people. The Hobbit came first, then The Lord of the Rings. Perhaps not surprisingly, his writing, and later the films based on his books, inspired people to build real life hobbit homes. These homes are dug into the earth. They are not dirty, dark holes but rather, as Tolkien writes, “they are Hobbit holes. And that means comfort.”
You might be wondering what all the excitement over DIY 55 gallon drum projects is about. Well, like pallets, these barrels are really cheap if not free. Do a little poking around your community. Try a soda bottler, olive importer or local breweries for plastic drums. For the steel ones you could ask at a local auto garage or metal scrapper.
Aquaponics is a type of farming that grows both fish and produce. You arrange a garden bed and a fish tank with a pump and pipes running water between them. You feed the fish, the waste from the fish feeds the plants, the plants filter the water before it goes back to the fish. You get to harvest both vegetables and fish.