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

800+ Free Survival Manuals

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I was recently made aware of a huge survival guide resource at It seems this page alone has over 800 free resources (by my rough count) which you may freely download, though the subheadings claim nearly 3000 resources… I’m not quite sure where the other 2200 are at.

Regardless, every topic seems covered, from NBC to wilderness survival, medical, water, food, fire, gardening, shelters and so much more… you’ll find plenty to make use of I’m sure.

The only request the site owner has is that if you want to save yourself loads of time and download the provided ZIP or RAR files that you consider making a donation to help with bandwidth costs which, I’ll attest, really do cost website owners money and can do so quickly.

Here’s the link again to this wonderful resource page if you’re interested… and, of course, be sure to share this with all who may be interested.

Cassareep Preseves Meat Indefinitely? (link)

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This sounds almost too good to be true and, to some extent, it is. The good news is that you can purchase Cassareep, it seems, in the U.S. which means you can then use this idea to preserve meat but it appears that it’s a continual process of adding more Cassareep (and more meat) to the mix time and time again.

Doing so does make this an “indefinite” preservation process but I am calling FOUL here because my feeling is that this should be something which you can do once and you’re good, not something you have to do over and over again. Buy a good [easyazon_link identifier=”1580174574″ locale=”US” tag=”rethinksurviv-20″]book on meat preservation from Amazon[/easyazon_link] and you’ll find better ideas, in my opinion.

That said, it may still be worthwhile to understand how another culture preserves meat and maybe you’ll even find a new recipe to try:

“Native Indians of South America used this root to make a black juice called Cassareep that preserves meat for long periods of time.

What is sure is that the PepperPot was their freezer. The PepperPot was was the pot where the meat was preserved, and also the preserved dish.

Nowadays, most Cassareep is exported from Guyana, South America and is available in bottled form. It can be bought in many stores in the USA, Canada, UK,  Australia or on Amazon.

Cassareep purpose is twofold…”

Read the full article here

5 Minute Hammock Tarp (video)

Dave Canterbury shows us how to turn an 8×8 oilcloth tarp into a hammock in about five minutes. You’re going to need a few more items besides just the tarp, specifically two metal rings (not sure where he gets them but perhaps large carabiners would work instead) and two [easyazon_link identifier=”B001QL2C26″ locale=”US” tag=”rethinksurviv-20″]lengths of 1″ webbing[/easyazon_link] (he carries two 25-feet lengths), but the idea is fairly simple to implement as he demonstrates…

3 Quick Tips For Storing 550 Paracord (video)

Have you ever failed to properly wind your cordage when done? I have. It can turn into a jumbled mess! And  regret it every time. In this video JJ shows how to wind paracord so that it easily dispenses when needed, how to daisy-chain it together for easier storage (or maybe just to look cool), and how to hang paracord in the woods around a tree so it doesn’t get lost…

Can You Really Boil Water in a Plastic Soda Bottle?

I had to burn some papers today and it dawned on me if I could actually boil water in a plastic soda bottle like I’d seen in various videos?

As luck would have it, I had an empty soda bottle and so I gave it a shot.

I strung up the bottle about two-thirds full of cold water like this with the cap removed:


I didn’t want to get the bottle too close to the fire (the fire was just getting going in the photo above) because I worried that the bottom of the bottle would melt. As it turns out, I should have got the bottle a lot closer.

Only several minutes in it was obvious that some bubbles were forming on the sides of the bottle which was encouraging:


I decided to pour out a little bit and test for hotness. It was slightly warm but nothing to get excited about. Several minutes later I noticed the neck of the bottle was beginning to deform quite a bit:


After a good thirty minutes hanging over a decent, albeit relatively small, fire I decided to call it quits because it was starting to sprinkle and I didn’t want to spend all day messing with this.

So, I checked the temperature with a candy thermometer and saw it reached about 135 degrees Fahrenheit (it shows a bit lower by the time I snapped the photo). I know it’s hard to see but the red bar reaches just above the difference between 100 and 150:


Though encouraging, this wasn’t quite as easy as I’d hoped for or expected. I’m afraid I would have to give this quite a long time over a good fire and maybe even to lower the soda bottle even closer to the fire.

The good news is that the bottom of the bottle was still well formed but the bottle overall was a bit deformed to say the least:


If this is something I had to rely upon to ensure my water was pasteurized I would have been hard-pressed to make it a reality. I’d say that if I really HAD to get it done I could have but to actually bring the water to a boil? Well, according to the following video it’s possible:

Which brings me back to the point where my design wasn’t going to work well at all… I should have actually placed the bottle on embers instead. Perhaps I’ll try that next time.

Of course, I wouldn’t absolutely need to boil the water; I’d simply need to get the water to reach a high enough temperature to kill pathogens and for long enough and that would have sufficed.

According to this reference I was close:

63ºC (145ºF) 30 minutes Vat Pasteurization
72ºC (161ºF) 15 seconds High temperature short time Pasteurization (HTST)
89ºC (191ºF) 1.0 second Higher-Heat Shorter Time (HHST)
90ºC (194ºF) 0.5 seconds Higher-Heat Shorter Time (HHST)
94ºC (201ºF) 0.1 seconds Higher-Heat Shorter Time (HHST)
96ºC (204ºF) 0.05 seconds Higher-Heat Shorter Time (HHST)
100ºC (212ºF) 0.01 seconds Higher-Heat Shorter Time (HHST)
138ºC (280ºF) 2.0 seconds Ultra Pasteurization (UP)

Another ten degrees and I was in business.

The moral of the story?

Watch somebody else do it first… then do what they did. 😉

30 Uses For Wood Ash You Never Thought Of (link)

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I just watched this video on what to do with hot wood ash and, though good recommendations, the video only touched on two possible uses. I knew there were plenty more and so did a brief search and found this post on 30 uses for wood ash you never though of and figured it was an appropriate article to share assuming you’re heating with wood this winter.

I do find it interesting that wood ash can be used in many ways as a cleaner seeing as though most people (me included) tend to consider ash dirty! It’s so amazing that nature provides for us if we only bother to pay attention. 🙂 Besides as a cleaner, ash can be used to ward off animals and insects, in the garden, as a water filter, and so much more.

Here’s a bit of the article, please click the link below to read the full article:

“1. Make lye water out of ash. You can boil 2-3 spoons of ash (clean white/grey fluffy ash) with water and then filter it with a coffee filter. Lye water is a great cleaning agent and sanitizer for clothes, floors, windows, silverware, plates, and even rust in marble. You can also make lye by adding the fluffy white ash in a cheesecloth.

2. A paste made out of ash and water, can remove stains from furniture.

3. If we want to remove a stain from clothes the moment they happen, we add a bit of ash and after about five minutes, we rub it with the crumb of a bread (not the crust, the soft white bit).

4. Ash is a great odour repellent, just add a bit over the area that smells. eg, kitty litter.”

Read the full article here