Showing posts with label self-sustaining home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label self-sustaining home. Show all posts

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Fourteen Everyday Household Items That Can Improve Outdoor Survival

By Karen Roguski


There are so many items that you use everyday that can improve outdoor survival, help achieve a missing item in your camping kit, or make it easier to eat outside. More often than not survival items can be just about anything if you take the time to think outside the box a bit.

That being said here are our top fourteen everyday household items to help make life a bit easier, dryer, safer, and all around more functionable.

  • Shower Curtain or Garbage Bag
An everyday shower curtain or garbage bag can have numerous uses. They can be used as a ground tarp, shelter, a means to catch rainfall, or a watertight means of storing items.

A fun outside the box idea can be digging a hole and then use the shower curtain or garbage bag as a liner - instant outdoor bathtub.

  • Watch
Besides simply a means for telling time watches are great makeshift compasses, timers to ensure water safety, or even a blade when taken apart.


  • Can - Aluminum Or Tin
The aluminum or tin can can be the perfect pan in a pinch, fill with kerosene for a lamp or torch, a popcorn popper, a candle holder, a scoop, when strung can become a noisy alarm, poking a  hole in the sides can make a lantern, or they can even used for a campfire cake pan.

  • Ziplock Bags
Some of the many uses for ziploc bags can be found by reading this article.

When thinking outside the box the ziplock bags can be filled with water and then hung from a tree in the sunlight to warm the water. When ready poke small holes in the bottom for a makeshift shower. For a bit more showering privacy use the shower curtain or trash bag from above to shelter your backside from others.


  • Tool Belt or Apron with Pockets
Yet another item that is often overlooked as a means of outdoor use or survival. They can be attached to trees for clean storage, storing items away from critters and animals, or any other hack one can come up with when thinking outside the box.

  • Rope, Bungee Cord or Shoe Laces
Ropes, bungee cords, and shoe laces can have complete books written about there many outdoor and survival uses, For example these can be used for virtually anything from a  tourniquet, a snare, a splint, a clothesline, or even bundling wood.


  • Dental Floss
Dental floss is great for way more than just great oral hygiene. Dental floss is also great for fishing line, a means to hang food bags, patching or sewing holes, for snares, trip wires, cutting food items, and even for clothesline. Dental floss is a must have in every home, kit, or pack.

An outside the box hack that many look is using dental floss to fix pack or backpack straps.  


  • Bandana
The square cloth bandana can easily make life easier or possibly even save your life. For this list we think bright colored bandanas are the best as they are easier for you to be spotted if hurt, lost or otherwise in need of a quick rescue.

Other uses for the bandana also include water straining, face coverage, bandages, splints, a sling, or a means of keeping the head cool and shaded.

  • Nail Polish
Waterproofing matches can be done by using nail polish. Simply paint the match about halfway down the stick for a guaranteed way to light a fire every time.


  • Gallon Jug
The gallon jug is another item with more uses than many possibly consider. Obviously they can be used for water storage. When cut can become a scoop, or even a spoon.

When thinking outside the box one should consider filling the gallon jug with water and freezing it to make the perfect outdoor refrigerator.

Another creative outside the box idea can be to poke numerous small holes in the cap, add water and place in the sun to warm, hang at an angle for a quick shower.

  • Book
The book is great for reading and helping to pass the time. But thinking outside the box a book can also be used in a pinch for toilet paper, or a great fire starter.

  • Coffee Can
Much like the aluminum can, tin can, or gallon jug the coffee can (the kind with a lid) can be utilized in a number of ways such as a toilet paper holder, food strainer, bowl, utensil holder, or even a scoop.

  • Paperclip
The common paperclip cannot be forgotten when it comes to improving outdoor survival and outdoor hacks. They can be used as fishing hooks, as a hook for hanging items, keeping packages closed, a zipper pull, and even a sewing needle.


  • Duct Tape
Duct tape ideas are too numerous to list. I mean seriously what can you not do with duct tape?


As one can obviously notice this is by far nowhere near all of the items around that can be utilized in a number of ways or for alternative means but merely the top fourteen my family have used personally.

We would love for you all to let us know of any everyday items that you use or have used to help with outdoor living or outdoor survival.

Monday, July 17, 2017

An Earthship Overview

Earthships were first heard of in the 1970’s when Michael Reynolds, an architect, decided to design a home that would do three particular things:

  1. It would be constructed of sustainable materials, recycled materials or materials that came from the local area where the home was being built.
  2. All of its energy sources would be natural, leaving it completely off the grid.
  3. It would be possible for someone with no knowledge of construction to build one.


They are constructed primarily of tires filled with rammed earth and usually built in a U-shape. This method came about since it’s hard to construct ninety-degree angles with tires. Each tire holds an average of an entire wheelbarrow load of dirt, which is put inside the tire, and then rammed into place with a sledgehammer. As such, each tire weighs about three hundred pounds. It’s one of the most secure structures at this point.

Earthship Water
The roof construction is usually based on wooden trusses and heavily insulated so little to no heat will be lost. Water is collected from the roof the local environment, from rain and condensation for example. Normally collected into a cistern, it is used for all water necessities except toilet flushing. That is accomplished by greywater that has been recycled throughout the home.



Earthship Power
Power for these homes comes from both solar and wind sources and then inverted into electricity for use in the home. Batteries are stored in special rooms built just for that purpose and collect the power harvested. This electricity is used for just about anything in the home. However, the Earthship is neither heated nor cooled using electricity.



Earthship Food Production
Part of the home is known as the “Earthship wetlands”. These planters make use of the greywater from sinks, showers and other household uses to grow fresh fruits and vegetables to help feed the family throughout the winter. There is no better way to get organic food you can trust, and have it fresh when others cannot.



Earthship Toilets
All of the sewage from an Earthship is treated and composted for other uses. Whether it is for fertilizer or landscaping, it is treated so that no pollution is created. They are also treated in a way that completely removes the “smell” often associated with the subject.



Earthship Benefits
In addition to growing food in the greenhouse planters that utilize greywater, you can also add other food amenities. For instance, you can install a fish pond and grow your own preference of fish to eat, or you could add a chicken coop for all the eggs and meat you might need.

There’s no self-sufficiency quite like that acquired by living in an Earthship. You will have no monthly bills, you don’t have to work for survival and you are literally making the world a better place by reducing your carbon footprint. Between the natural power options, the extraordinary water recycling abilities and the composting sewage treatment facility, you are creating little to no pollution at all.

Earthships really couldn’t be easier to build. Many people have built them with up to three levels in as little as three months time. Furthermore, there was no hired help nor were there any expensive pieces of specialty equipment used. And there’s no home that’s any cheaper to build. The most basic Earthship, known as the Simple Survival Model, costs about $7,000. But even the most sensational models top out at about $70,000.

Probably the best part about an Earthship is the fact that it causes us to think about the world we live in. Not only are Earthships a model in green living, it can even give back to the environment for cheap, simple, hearty living.


It might be time to think about our own Earthship!