Next Level Water Purification: GRAYL Ultralight Bottle (video)

Want a whole other level of water purification? Then apparently this Grayl ultralight water filter bottle is it!

Perhaps one of the easiest of backpacking water filters to use, it’s not without potential drawbacks. For example, like he says near the end there may be some concern for contamination after purification due to design but if you’re careful that shouldn’t be an issue.

On the other hand, it works fast and according to their specifications does a wonderful job purifying all sorts of contaminants…

Food Dehydrating By Pilot Light (link)

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Got an old stove with a pilot light? Why not make use of it by dehydrating food. Apparently it’s actually possible…

“I have a really old oven that that has a pilot light flame rather than an electric ignition. I wanted to see if the oven was hot enough to dehydrate food with just the heat from the pilot light. Since the pilot light is lit and burning all the time, if this works I will be able to dehydrate food for free and also not have the expense of buying a dehydrator…”

Read the full article here

7 Rainwater Harvesting Mistakes And How To Fix Them (link)

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If you haven’t started rainwater harvesting because you’re afraid to get it wrong these seven suggestions will help you for sure! The author talks about saving money, getting the flow right, keeping the bugs out, and more.

Finally, I couldn’t agree more with his rationality for choosing to collect rainwater, after all, water is among the most critical needs we have and is, in my opinion, among the most overlooked of resources most folks do nothing about until it’s too late…

“Harvesting rain water should be a priority for any serious prepper or gardener.

Did you ever go on a long hike, then find yourself parched with thirst? The need for water catches up with you quickly.

If the city water or your well shut down for a week, would you be able to survive or would your house become unlivable? Stockpiling guns, gold and food is a good idea – but having a way to hold on to water is of paramount importance.

Fortunately – in most climates – God gives us a ready supply from above if we can just figure out how to capture it. I’ve been harvesting rainwater on a budget for years and have figured out what works and what doesn’t.

Today I’ll share my top 7 mistakes to avoid when harvesting rain water…”

Read the full article here

Very Efficient? Rocket Mass Smoker and Cooker (video)

Paul Wheaton really loves his rocket mass heaters and so it stands to reason that he would make a rocket mass smoker / cooker at some point, lol. I’m assuming this is rather efficient since it employs the rocket mass heater design but I’m only guessing here since he didn’t specifically say so.

Anyway, keep this idea filed in the back of your head for SHTF since this could be a great way to preserve meat or just as an efficient cooker. Skip to about the 0:40 mark to bypass the intro and get to the smoker…

TAC-BAR: Tactical Food Rations (video)

The Urban Prepper does another one of his 72 emergency food ration challenges, this time with the Tac-Bar Food Rations, something I haven’t tried before. The neat thing is that he does a cost and calorie comparison of these survival bars as compared to the others he’s tried which is a real eye-opener.

If you don’t mind spending a significant more amount of money (as compared to the other survival bar options, that is) these could be a useful way to go. At the very least you’re getting more than just the survival ration bars, including items such as an emergency blanket, compass, minor fishing supplies, and water purification tablets, all in a handy container…

How To Build An Off Grid Gravity Fed Water System (link)

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This is an easy way to get water flowing for small uses, such as washing hands or doing the dishes, and if you include an in-line water filter such as the Sawyer mini water filters then you’ll be well on your way to ditching your indoor plumbing, lol…

“An off grid Gravity Fed Water System is a great  option for  running water. Since many of us off grid dwellers and tiny house owners do not have running water.  Yes, you can live without running water. Indoor plumbing has been around a long time but mostly for the wealthy. Your average 16th century English Farmer would have to carry in water. The same still holds true for many parts of the world today.

The system I’m going to show you how to build is not a whole house solution. The principles will scale up, though. This is a cheap and easy solution to get a gravity fed water system for a sink. So this is perfect for doing a few loads of dishes, brushing teeth or hand washing.

Best of all this build is both easy and cheap. I built the system in just a few minutes. I spent the next few days tinkering with it to try to optimize it…”

Read the full article here

Oven Canning Crackers for Long Term Storage (video)

Warning: I’m told this may be both unsafe and dangerous. Attempt at your own risk! See comments below.

I’ve never tried to can crackers for long term storage but if you don’t have kids who consume all snack foods as soon as you buy them, then this may be a good idea. I think I’ll give it a shot soon just for grins.

I did notice that at the end she used the vacuum foodsaver to remove excess oxygen from the jars after she cooked them in the over; I’m wondering if it wouldn’t have been better to remove the oxygen first and then cook them in the oven? I really don’t know the answer to that one.

You can skip roughly the first half of the video as that’s mostly just her adding crackers to the jars…

Cooking With The “Solar Death Ray”

If you’ve been following my blog for years now you may remember when I used to post about my sun oven cooking experiments… I miss those days. 🙂 Sadly, all of the large trees around my house tend to block out most of the sunshine and so my lack of willingness to work around that problem has caused me to find other uses for my time.

Fortunately, other folks carry the torch so-to-speak. Today, Wranglerstar does so and he does it with flare using the One Earth Designs Sol Source Solar Cooker. I found it funny that his kid calls it a “Solar Death Ray” about twenty seconds in which I thought may seem to be a great way to describe this type of solar cooker to a young boy, lol. Henceforth is shall be named the “Solar Death Ray.”

Since it’s a huge parabolic solar mirror you could, of course, use this for more than just cooking. It could be a great way to start tinder for a fire, perhaps as a signaling device, to extend or amplify a light source, and much more.

Most of the video is of assembly and setup–which was a bit too tedious for me–but you can skip to about the 15:30 mark to see the solar oven in action…