If you've landed on this blog by mistake, please follow this link:


Please update your bookmarks and the links on your sites.

Join our forum at:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Building a Survival Library Part Two

I mentioned checking out the local library for magazines that have good survival information. While you are at the library check out the books that you might find useful. In order to do that you need to figure out what information you might want during an event or if TEOTWAWKI hits.

How are you on hunting and trapping? How about gardening? Oh, foraging for wild edibles? Building a chicken coop or digging a well? As you can see the list of items you may wish to have knowledge on runs the gambit. Since my major plan is to shelter in place and I know my farm and surrounding area fairly well from years of woodsrunning I already have a good idea where the wild edibles are. However, if we trade for a few chickens I will need a lot of info so we can protect them and make sure we can eat eggs regularly.

Go through the list of things you want to learn about and then find those books on the shelf. If things go to hell you may wish to run down to the library and check out those you really feel are important to your survival. I had a list like that years ago, but over the years I have managed to find most of the subjects in books I have acquired. Last week I stopped at a used book store and picked up two books, one on hunting and one on gardening. I bought the gardening book because it had notes hand written in it about different vegetables grown around here. Someone took the time to note what fertilizers worked best and what was the best time to plant certain items. I don’t have to work nearly that hard now to figure out what they already shared with me.

Over the years I have acquired numerous books for my survival library. I found the Reader’s Digest Back to Basic books at a garage sale for a buck each. Those books are chuck full of info that a prepper sheltering in place can use. I had Toolman’s copy in my library for a years and he was happy to get it back. On a field trip to Lehman’s Non-electric store in Kidron, Ohio I bought a copy of Carla Emery’s book, Encyclopedia of Country Living. I gladly paid full price for it. Tonto was with me and was jealous I picked up the last copy they had. It took him a couple years to finally buy his copy.

I was at the library in Edmore one time. I stumbled on John Seymour’s book on self-reliance and called my wife with all the info and had her order it from Amazon. I still refer back to it from time to time for information.

I paid 50 cents for a book on soap making. In a long term survival situation I am sure that will be useful knowledge. I have four or five books on mushroom identification, and I am always looking for a copy of the one Toolman’s father has on them, it is the best I have seem. His father knows more about identifying mushrooms then anyone I know.

I have a couple dozen books on wilderness survival. Most of them I picked up for a buck or so. I probably don’t need another one but if I find one cheap I buy them. I figure they might make good trade material for anyone of those survivalist that have the plan to head for the back country and survive off the land. (Note to Michigan readers. My grandfather and his brother both headed for a cabin in the woods to live for a while and their comment when they came back was; “The fat of the land is pretty damned lean!”)

I find most of the survival and self-reliance books I have at gun shows and used book stores. I think it was a used book store in Mecosta that had a whole section on self-reliance. That was the first time I every found that kind of section in a bookstore. There is one in the UP that has a nice section on self-reliance but they don’t call it that.

The drawback to a large survival library is that it is not very portable. Books are heavy. All the knowledge there is can not help you if you can’t get it when you need it. Fire and flood can render the best survival library useless in short order. Stored improperly they can be ruined by a silverfish infestation.

Ok Michigan, how about everyone send in a list of four to eight books you feel are essential for a survival library? Might be interesting and helpful to a lot of folks.

Join the APN Forum at www.AmericanPreppersNetwork.net
Visit the Michigan Forum at www.MichiganPreppersNetwork.net

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Building a Survival Library

As I started to lay this post out in my mind I realized that it will likely be a two or more part post. There is so much to say when it comes to building a post SHTF library. If you add to that a list of books the post could go on and on.
     I started building my survival/preparedness library back in the 1970s. Some of you old-timers like me may remember the Survivalist Expo that took place in Jackson, Michigan back in the 70s. Toolman and I attended. There was a lot of info and a couple of 20 year-olds were slightly out of place, but not totally. We picked up copies of most of Kurt Saxon’s books and a lot of handouts.
    We traded the books back and forth for a while trying to make ourselves more survival ready. I was lucky in that my folks, being Depression era children, embraced a lot of the survival ideals and we already had stored food and the farm was fairly close to being self-sufficient back then. When Carter got in office we did a lot of things to prepare for long term survival. Dad and I both bought a same make and model auto, a Toyota station wagon, so we could keep one running from parts of the other. Toolman’s family lived in town and they were still pretty self-sufficient.
    We made a lot of “mistakes” back then. The Ruger Ranch rifle, Mini 14 was very popular and touted as a great survival rifle. We bought a pair of them and after shooting one of them for an hour we sold them just as fast as we could. We felt our big accomplishment was buying 30 thousand rounds of Blazer .22 ammo and one hundred rounds for each of the other rifles we owned. Our plan was to hunt deer for meat. Yeah, like that would have worked out well during TEOTWAWKI.
     Another thing that Toolman and I did for our joint survival library was buy every issue of Mother Earth News we could find. We have over 80 issues out of the first one hundred. (On a personal note, the issues past one hundred and twenty are not worth having.) I still feel that those old MEN are worth having. We have a few doubles of early issues and our plan was to trade or sell those for the ones we are missing.
     Sometime in the early 1980s I discovered American Survival Guide. I bought every issue I could find and was able to find some older issues a different guns shows and flea markets. I have four large boxes of ASG and value them highly. While they do get a rap for having a lot of “product reviews” that are nothing more than three page ads they do have a lot of info that is still useful. One thing I did was go through a stack and photocopy out the articles that I felt were the most useful. I put all of them together in a binder and have a “survival bible” I can refer to when needed. ASG is another great tool to have in a survival library.
     Other magazines that can prove very useful in rough times are outdoor magazines. Outdoor Life, Field and Stream, Sports Afield, Fur-Fish-Game, and Michigan Out-of-Doors to name a few. I occasionally get a special in the mail that lets me subscribe to one or the other for ten bucks a year. For a dollar an issue I will do it. After I have gone through the issue I cut out any article I think is useful for the survival bible. Tap’s Tips usually have something good. I have the February OD in front of me right now. In this issue there is a one page article on beating hypothermia, a section on predator hunting, and a two page article on water purification. Using a little broader thinking you can take an article on camouflage for deer or predator hunting and apply it to what you might do to stay hidden during a SHTF event. An article on the best late summer or ice fishing spots just might help you put food on the table after an event.
    Another great magazine for preppers is one called Backwoodsman. (Full discloser, I write for them under my real name.) Backwoods Homes is trying to fill the void left by ASG when they went out of business. A new comer on the market is Complete Survivalist. Back Home as some good Homesteading tips from time to time.
    I love magazines. I usually hit a Borders or Barnes and Noble twice a month and check out all the latest issues. You can go broke buying all the issues that are out there so I get very selective. Also, my wife works for a large library system that gets a lot of magazines. If I need a copy of one I will have her bring it home. Use your library for all it is worth.
Next week part two on building a library.

Join the APN Forum at www.AmericanPreppersNetwork.net
Visit the Michigan Forum at www.MichiganPreppersNetwork.net

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Toolman, my son, and I had a nice time at the cabin deer hunting this year. Unfortunately we didn’t get any deer. My son came home on leave from the Navy for the week and I was really hoping he would get a nice shot anyway.
   We had cut a deal with one of the neighbors up there earlier this spring and the guy built a nice deer blind on the point of a hill on our property. He uses it during bow season and we use it during firearms season. Toolman and I were very impressed with the blind and want to build one down here on the farm and another one up north at the cabin.
     Being cheap we have kept our eyes and ear open and have come up with over half the material we need already. My latest coup was getting enough 2X6s to the floor bracing. A buddy at work told me he had some scrap lumber the wanted to get rid of. I never asked the size or how much I just told him I would come and get it. He said no, he would bring it into work. The next week he backed his truck up to mine and we tossed a bunch of treated 2X6s in the bed of my truck.
     There are a ton of useful items out there that people are getting rid of all the time. It takes little effort to put the word out that you need something. The surprising thing is that it will show up sooner than you think.
     Oh, and I need a few pieces of metal roofing for the two blinds, if you have some to get rid of just give me a call….

Join the APN Forum at www.AmericanPreppersNetwork.net
Visit the Michigan Forum at www.MichiganPreppersNetwork.net

Friday, February 4, 2011

Storing Gas and other Fuels

From: Wolverine

I bought a used Stihl chainsaw from a guy at work. He told me it needed a new air filter and he recommended I not use it a lot until I replaced the old one. I stopped at the local Stihl dealer and picked up the filter. While I was in the store the guy ahead of me in line asked the dealer if he had any old gas cans in the back. The store had a large display of gas containers in several sizes, but they were all the new safety valve ones.

The dealer laughed at the guy and told him that all the old gas cans were sold long ago. The guy lamented that fact and complained about the new safety cans. He said that he has been hitting garage sales and flea markets all summer and fall and just can’t find any old cans.

I must have had a half smile on my face because the guy asked me why that was funny. I told him that I started buying up all the old gas cans I could find five to ten years ago and they are now like gold. He nodded and wondered if I wanted to sell any. The dealer told me that I had made a smart move.

When they first started talking about having mandatory safety valves I decided that I would pay one dollar per gallon of gas for a can. I ended up paying a lot less than that most of the time. I bought two five gallon cans for a buck at one garage sale. My favorite cans are metal two and a half gallon cans that are sort of half rounded domes. I scored several of them for two bucks a piece last summer.

All totaled my gas cans hold over one hundred gallons of gas. I keep them full, but do use them from time to time if prices spike way up. I try and make sure I cycle through the gas every two years. When I buy gas I put a blue tape label on it with the date, 8-10, 1-11, or whatever. I also have close to fifty gallons of kerosene stored in metal five gallon cans. My stored Coleman fuel is left in the one gallon cans it is sold in.

One hundred gallons of gas will not last all that long in a SHTF situation, but it will allow me to run the tractor and chainsaws for a spell.

Before you ask, no I do not put anything in the gas. I have a bottle of PRI-G but I have found that if I use gas before the third year starts I have no problems. I make sure that the cans are air tight which I think helps a lot.

The last time I filled a lot of cans I used our Kroger fuel points and lowered the price thirty cents a gallon. I have heard that they have change the way they do that now. If not, I recommend it as a way to acquire cheaper gas to store.

While they are hard to find in the quantities I bought them a few years ago, I do recommend that you look for good gas cans and store up some fuel. If nothing more, try to get enough to fill the vehicle at least once so you don’t have to rely on a station if we have a large power outage or run on the station. Do you remember the run on gas a couple years back? I was on my way to the cabin when I found out about it. I filled up outside of Alma and assured myself enough gas to get home with if I couldn’t get more.

It is sort of ironic, but it seems like every situation that a prepper tries to be ready for has happened in the recent past or will happen in the near future and yet people still tell us we are not right with having a preparedness lifestyle. That’s ok. I will just keep doing what I have been; it sure seems to work out for me.

MichiganPreppersNetwork.com Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. Michigan Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.