Category Archives: DIY

Thinking about building some Tracks for my Car

When speaking with some of my friends from the 4×4 community, they were rather scathing of my choice of off road vehicle.

I have a 2001 RAV4 4WD as my hunting/general day to day car.
and apparently this isn’t very good in “real off-road” bashing


But, the thing is ..
I already own it.
Its paid off.
its in great condition and has done low mileage.
They are common as dirt and parts are still easy to get and cheap.
Its lighter on fuel than many others.

some down sides
no diff lock, only limited slip EBD/abs
not great ground clearance.
Tyres are more for road then off road as its in use mostly on road
Continue reading Thinking about building some Tracks for my Car

Surveillance of a homestead

Ultimately surveillance is about using ears and eyes to gather information about a possible enemy and your surroundings, to get forewarning, to give you the largest tactical advantage, to plan an ambush or evacuate with as much warning as possible.

Extending coverage of these senses gives a longer warning, and more time for reacting to, or preparing for, a security threat.

In a scenario where our security is left up to ourselves (Without rule of law or WROL) we need to find Continue reading Surveillance of a homestead

Nuclear War and Pandemic Survival tips

First off

get a Gieger counter NOW …. you can get cheap ones that will do well enough that plug into the audio jack of a cell phone  .. and cost under $35.

Decide whether you will  bug in and convert a basement room into a bunker, or setup a bug out fall out shelter far from your home either way Continue reading Nuclear War and Pandemic Survival tips

How to build survival fortifications

Readers have requested I do an article on how to build a survival fortification.

So here it is.

-I often hear of people in America living in wooden houses who have storm shutters that cover their windows, made of ply wood-so long as you understand these are only storm shutters and a wooden house wont stop bullets, and in no way make your house a fortress , then go ahead, they may help for storms … but thats not what we are discussing.

Firstly we need to establish your strategy, to determine the answer to the question of fortification.

Are you bugging-in or out, are you planning on building them before or after an event, what are your foreseeable threats, how big will your labor force be to build it and how big is your garrison that need shelter and food stored inside for a siege , what force could you expect to attack you and finally what is your budget ?

Continue reading How to build survival fortifications

High intensity lighting using gas.

 Useful retro tech to make search lights and other light types to illuminate fortifications — dont forget to read my other article on how to apply this  ie use a reflector and harden your lighting

…or elsewhere in my blog where to get gas from I.e methane from a biomass digester .

“Limelight (also known as calcium light)[1] is a type of stage lighting once used in theatres and music halls. An intense illumination is created when an oxyhydrogen flame is directed at a cylinder of quicklime (calcium oxide),[2] which can be heated to 2572 °C before melting. The light is produced by a combination of incandescence and candoluminescence. Although it has long since been replaced by electric lighting, the term has nonetheless survived, as someone in the public eye is still said to be “in the limelight.” The actual lights are called limes, a term which has been transferred to electrical equivalents.”from wiki 

The role of Ferro-cement for Fortifications

Sand bags are good but soon rot … i prefer this method

Ferro-cement is a method of construction ( there are many ways to do it but here is mine) where you make a frame of steel mesh (about 2 inch mesh) … and attach chicken wire to it every few links. 

or start with EMPTY  Gabion’s   , ones of the right dimensions,  — preferably a thinner type like 1 a foot thick or less  – they are made in many sizes — 3 foot by 4 foot by 1/2 a foot and use them as you would bricks .. tying them together with wire, obviously with the 1/2 foot being the width of the wall.

kinda like this (please excuse mspaint art)

Then attach the chicken wire to the outside of the wall and what will form the inside and plaster .

Plaster with a very fine plaster mix on the chicken wire — let it set and re-plaster until its quite thick .. maybe 1 inch

Continue reading The role of Ferro-cement for Fortifications

Rat packs and other stuff

Now that brings back memories — dont eat the cheesie’s they give you gypo guts (jippo guts)

quoted from the site link

“Not a whole lot of information available on the current SANDF (South African National Defense Force) ration pack, but here’s what I found out.
Continue reading Rat packs and other stuff

My idea for a survival spade/shovel

My idea for a survival spade/shovel

You can buy a shovel from lasher – looks for what is known as a “ladies spade” with a square blade LASHER link —product 162—

This spade has a steel shaft made of the same steel as the spade blade, that is hollow and can be welded closed at the bottom. Weld this opening closed. or use “Pratley putty” to close the opening. ( easier than welding)
Continue reading My idea for a survival spade/shovel

Importance of Concrete

Link to importance of concrete
Concrete has made building what it is today
Make sure you can partly improvise concrete it will help build fortifications and is paramount in the rebuilding of law and order.

Portland cement is the most common type of cement in general use around the world because it is a basic ingredient of concrete, mortar, stucco and most non-specialty grout. It usually originates from limestone. It is a fine powder produced by grinding clinker (more than 90%), a limited amount of calcium sulfate (which controls the set time).

Portland cement clinker is made by heating, in a kiln, a mixture of raw materials to a sintering temperature of about 1450 °C for modern cements. The aluminium oxide and iron oxide are present as a flux and contribute little to the strength. The major raw material for the clinker-making is usually limestone (CaCO3) mixed with a second material containing clay as source of alumino-silicate.

Normally, an impure limestone which contains clay or SiO2 is used. The CaCO3 content of these limestones can be as low as 80%. Second raw materials (materials in the rawmix other than limestone) depend on the purity of the limestone. Some of the second raw materials used are clay, shale, sand, iron ore, bauxite, fly ash and slag. When a cement kiln is fired by coal, the ash of the coal acts as a secondary raw material.

Perma-culture VS Aqua-phonics

Perma-culture VS Aqua-phonics
To feed my family is important to me and i have research many ways to do this.

I was looking at installing an aquaphonics system, as these can be hidden in plane site, and was considering a flotation method may be the easiest and least expensive (float the plants on the surface in styrene) but then the pond has to be really big and the plants have to have really small root systems.

After I did some research i discovered Perma-Culture and maybe its a good ideas to do permi-culture instead of aqua-phonics — they yield is lower but its way lower profile, requires less to setup and is lower tech so the natural balance is maintained, you also don’t have to worry about pumps, tanks etc.
the trade off is the lack of fish protein that would be a nice addition to the table.

Well i bought the book from this site and am working through it – maybe perma-culture is the way to go?
will let you all know how it goes.

Bug out food tubes – an alternative energy food


I bought some of these tubes the other day – wasn’t to sure what i would do with them but at R10 for 2 at the local Mr Price sport – cause they were “shop soiled” ( which was only the packaging i might add ) it seamed like a good buy.

Initially i had no idea what i might do with them but it dawned on me this morning, the ration bars I have posted on my blog before are not so great to eat because they are very dry and hard .. which in itself is good but with these tubes i though to make them easier to eat and more appetizing, the idea is to put the ingredients in the tubes dry, other than the honey, and add a little more powdered sugar to make up for this, then when needed open the clip, add warm/ hot water, enjoy, well at least thats the theory, will have to test and get back to you all.

I will see when I test, but the tubes may not be big enough for a full ration which wont help much.

The tubes also might work well for peanut butter which is very high in nutritional value – although I have read of people who use this for holding anything liquid having issues with the clips that break or leak , so I would stick to the dry stuff when on the move … 

Micro hydro power systems

links to micro hydro generators

Micro hydro is a sustainable energy system that takes us back to the time of the water wheel —

Electric lighting is still the most efficient way to produce light, converting mechanical energy into light is one of the most important developments in human history, lengthening the time people can work , as there is light to work by, and effectively making us more efficient as a species.

Electrical lighting is safer than candles and provides a cleaner and more steady light and doesn’t burn anything, it is also available at the flick of a switch and from a distance, gas lighting and other methods of lighting have many flaws when compared to this .

If used for nothing other then lighting, electrical systems are a very good candidate for hydro power, as it is constant and predictable.

Hydro-power i.e water wheels should be used directly, with gearing, if mechanical energy is needed, (like to run a mill, or lath , or bellows for a forge) as losses in generators are quite large especially in improvised ones, unless power is needed far from water and then you have no choice but to run cables, and use generators. This should be avoided, if possible.

But it is my opinion that using water to power electrical lighting is the best way to do lighting

The new age of sail

please go and read this article i know its long but its relevant

I read this article some time back an found that the information was rather inspirational, a move towards sail powered craft with the knowledge of modern nautical maps and charts as well as combining this knowledge with something like the concrete submarine – or a ferro cement hull, and modern refrigeration, possible steam power , might be an option for a post SHTF scenario when the immediate danger has subsided and you need to find a way to feed yourself and your family … fish stocks in the ocean will soar without the fishing trawlers taking large numbers of fish…

Long term, fishing will be a real option .. and as most rivers lead to the ocean . a life there could be better over all rather then inland … of coarse living near the sea pre-SHTF is not necessarily wise with all the possible natural disasters that accompany it .

any way read the article it speaks for its self.

The 3 sisters – corn , beans and squash

Simple gardening with the 3 sisters can provide all you need in nutrition to feed you family.

The three crops benefit from each other. The maize provides a structure for the beans to climb, eliminating the need for poles. The beans provide the nitrogen to the soil that the other plants utilize, and the squash spreads along the ground, blocking the sunlight, helping prevent establishment of weeds.

Maize lacks the amino acids lysine and tryptophan, which your body needs to make proteins and niacin, beans contain both and therefore maize and beans together provide a balanced diet.

links to info

Improvised Jam Jar light bulbs

Jam Jar light bulbs
Electrical light bulbs were a great innovation simply because they provide light on demand and are safer than candles, they don’t smoke and provide light that doesn’t flicker, this is why they were such an innovation in their time.
Simple homemade light bulbs are useful if you have a source of electrical power, and can be made using a glass bottle or jar ( if using a bottle with a neck then you don’t even need a lid just enough wax to plug the neck ) , some steel wool – or thin wire ,some thicker insulated wire , a match or two and some wax to seal the holes
If using a jar,
Open the jar, make 2 holes in the lid , strip about half an inch or 1 cm of insulation off, of the thicker insulated wire, on each end of each wire , thread 2 of the thicker insulated wires through the holes and seal around them with wax –
Take some of the steel wool or really thin wire and link the two thicker wires that will meet inside the jar, experiment with this a little as to the number of these and the thickness that works best with the voltage you are using, I find 4 of about 1 inch long threads of steel wool, works well at 12 volts, they last about 2 hours, then burn out … this is expected, they don’t really last long., also making them into a coil makes them provide more light.
For bottle based bulbs just use the wax as a plug for the bulb .

Once done light a match and throw it into the jar. And screw the lid with the wires gently, but quickly, back on, the match will burn up all the oxygen inside the bulb and allow this bulb to work,
You should have a working bulb now – turn it on and experiment …
They don’t last long and don’t provide that much light but can help in a pinch

Making keys instead of picking locks

Lock smithing is a skill I picked up some years back- and one of the most useful skills to have is the ability to quietly make a key for something like a pistol safe when you need to get into it without breaking in or making too much noise,

This technique was detailed in a CIA manual that I had access too some time ago and maintained that it was quicker in some instances than picking.
Continue reading Making keys instead of picking locks

Plant a Hedge to provide a light barrier when fences are not availible

Hedging is surprisingly simple and our ancestors understood the advantages of a natural barrier –

Hedging, if done correctly, can provide fruit, a thick barrier of thorn ridden, and foothold free cover, that weapons can be fired through,
difficult to climb as it is something thats outside yields but inside is solid. they can also contain hidden razor wire fences.
Continue reading Plant a Hedge to provide a light barrier when fences are not availible

Uses for PVC Conduit

Uses for PVC Conduit

This is a just a few of my idea’s surrounding pcv conduit

1. A good bow and arrow can be made
2. Can be used to make structures like chicken coups and greenhouses
3. Pedal carts for kids can be made with this
4. As a base for working with fiberglass
5. ground up can be added to black powder to make smoke bombs
6. Fencing support for hedges
7. Shafts for spears. Fishing poles

Hot plug Diesel engines

Some technology of yester-year that is not very well know is that of hot plug engines.

These engines use a system similar to long stroke diesel engines and but do not develop the pressure that normal diesel engines do and so require a “hot” plug to be heated to ignite the fuel ,
these engines were common in tractors in the 1890’s and so on, until diesel engines were more reliable.

Wiki info on hot plug / bulb engines

This technology is interesting to us because it requires less precise machining
These engines were slow running (300-400 RPM) and mostly with cast iron parts including pistons,
the engine uses a carburettor because the charge only ignites when the mixture is compressed into the bulb .
A big attraction with the hot-bulb engine was its ability to run on a wide range of fuels. Even poor-burning fuels could be used since a combination of vaporiser- and compression-ignition meant that such fuels could be made to combust. The usual fuel used was fuel oil, similar to modern-day diesel, but natural gas, kerosene, paraffin, crude oil, vegetable oil or creosote could also be used.

Compared with steam, petrol, and diesel engines, hot-bulb engines are simpler and therefore have fewer potential problems. There is no electrical system, as found on a petrol engine, and no external boiler and steam system as on a steam engine.

Budget Bug out vehical idea

If you are making a teardrop trailer try look at this link for idea’s as too how to make a tear drop trailer out of cardboard ( yes not a joke)

On browsing the web looking for ideas to build a teardrop trailer for bugging out with my car i found this
a very interesting idea, turn your urban Sedan into a camper by building yourself or purchasing a swiss room box ….

“Thanks to an ingenious modular system installed in the boot of your car, you can cook, eat, take a shower and sleep during your outdoor adventures!”

Wax burners

Instead of using expensive non renewable propane burners create one of these

take a tuna tin can or any can that you can find that is convenient..
preferably with a replaceable metal lid

Roll up some corrugated cardboard, and place inside,
fill half up with molten wax or molten fat … and let it set …

You now have a burner that is inert and wont explode in your bag .. can be refilled from rubbish you can scavenge and be stored indefinitely (even when using fat, rancid fat might not smell nice but it still burns. )

SHTF transport Bug out vehical considerations

One of my favorite options for a bugging out vehicle is the URAL side car motorcycle

this is very mobile on and off road,and can be pushed should it need to be by its crew, it can maneuver on foot paths and uses very little fuel but can carry a large number of people and equipment for its size, making it an ideal savaging and scouting vehicle, it can effectively be used for raiding and very mobile warfare.

high tailer go anywhere vehicle 1967

Continue reading SHTF transport Bug out vehical considerations

Hole in the ground bio gas generator

Works best on hot climates

Bio gas is usually methane that comes from rotting biological carbon based matter

An effective and simple bio gas generator can be made by getting a barrel and cutting the bottom open – (or if the barrel has no lid just turn it upside down)

if using this method there is no need to feed the digester or have a sludge outlet .. cause its setup to use batches.

but this pretty much sums it up

Plumb in some gas fittings with a tap to control the flow so that you can close them for the period needed to start the procedure

Dig a trench (the reason for the trench is to do more then one barrel at a time in the same area to provide enough gas and you can space them apart in time so that you always have some usable gas ) in the ground as big as you need to fit the barrel inside without touching the walls – and almost as deep as the barrel is high (don’t want the plumbing clogged with the slop) – the ditch or trench can be dug to include a number of barrels in a row, line the trench with clay , or plastic sheeting and fill with pig/chicken manure or any other material and water in a sloppy mixture about the consistency of loose oats porridge (experimentation gives results of what works and what doesn’t)

place the barrels open side down into the mixture with the taps open so as to form a seal with the slop,
and close the taps ( the weight of the barrel provides even pressure)

Continue reading Hole in the ground bio gas generator