How to Smoke Meat the Right Way

Before freeze drying or refrigeration, people would preserve foods by smoking them – especially meats. Smoke would extend the shelf life for the winter and add flavor while making the meats tender. Now, smoking has evolved into a fun way to add tons of flavor to your cuts of meat. You might think that it’s as easy as putting meat on the grill – but it’s a very different process. Here are some things to consider when you want to smoke meat: Choosing a Smoker You might think that smokers are just canisters that contain smoke, but they are a bit more complicated than that. Here are a few things to consider when purchasing a smoker. Price. Typically, they range in price from $50 – $10,000 depending on the quality  …

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Construct Your Own Rain Gutter Water Collection System

One of the first things that even the most prepared survivalist will soon have in short supply following a collapse is potable water. Unless you have your own well or creek on your homestead, you’ll have to rely on the water you have stored up – which will quickly dwindle. And even that water may become contaminated with runoff of pollutants, fecal bacteria, or other deadly poisons. One source of free and fresh water that you can collect without fear is rainwater. Rainwater may come sporadically, though, so you want to be able to maximize your collection when it does fall, and have a safe, secure means of storing it. A rain gutter collection system will allow you to do this. And even prior to a collapse, you can collect  …

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Build Your Own Wind-Powered Water Pump

One of the most important jobs when you’re growing your own food is ensuring that your garden is getting an adequate supply of water. If you are in a situation that requires you to grow a lot of your own food, keeping the garden watered by hand can be a time-consuming job. Following an economic collapse, electricity and other forms of nonrenewable energy will be very scarce, which means you won’t be able to rely on powered water pumps. Fortunately, there’s an alternative. Humans used wind power to pump water for centuries prior to the industrial revolution, and following an economic collapse, you can return to this technology – with a few modern additions. In fact, you can build a wind-powered water pump out of recycled bike parts and PVC  …

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Knife Sharpening Techniques

Nothing is more frustrating than getting out your favorite knife and finding the blade dull. Here is how to quickly, easily and inexpensively transform that dull blade back into the efficient, precise tool you have come to rely on. Why you should sharpen your knives A dull knife can be more dangerous than a sharp one when it comes to cutting yourself. Dull knives have a higher tendency to slip during use on the material being cut. They also require you to apply more force when cutting, which further leads to the blade slipping and a higher chance of being cut. A sharp knife makes for a much safer, faster and more efficient job. Also, a sharp knife will leave less damage to the material being cut. How often should  …

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Should You Raise Turkeys?

Raising turkeys can be a great way to become a little more self-reliant and show your independent spirit around the holiday times. While they are fairly easy to raise and similar to raising chickens, there are some differences, especially when they are young, that you’ll need to consider. You’ll have to consider how much space the turkeys will take, what breeds you should have, the cost of feeding and water and what you’ll end up doing with the turkey. Turkeys are a great way to be more self reliant! What Breed? There are a few different options to start out raising turkeys. One of the most common small-farm turkeys is the broad-breasted white – the “modern” version. They are the most common ones that you’ll find in grocery store. They  …

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How to Make Your Own Arrowheads

Learning how to make your own arrowheads is an important survival skill that helped our ancestors hunt game for thousands of years, and one that can keep you alive if you ever find yourself in a survival situation. The process of making arrowheads is called Flint Knapping, and it relies on making arrowheads from stone. The advantage of knowing this technique is that it allows you to make arrowheads from supplies that are plentiful in the wilderness, does not require a knife or fire, and gives you an arrowhead that you can reuse almost indefinitely. The process of flint knapping involves three basic steps: • Breaking open the source rock, called the core • Striking flakes of rock off of the core • Shaping the flakes into arrowheads The Source  …

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Make a Fishing Lure Out of an Aluminum Can

This article is intended to be a fun project for you, your family or any fishing outing. We will demonstrate how you can make your own fishing lure out of common household/office supplies. Just some basic background on what exactly a fishing lure is: A fishing lure is a type of artificial bait with the sole purpose of enticing a fish to bite. There are many different types of fish and each one has its particular likes and dislikes. If you know what type of fish you are going to be going for, do a little research and find out what types of food that particular fish eats. Knowing this information beforehand will save you time otherwise spent trying different lures and baits that don’t work. Since you are trying  …

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Build a Solar-Powered Water Heater

This is a very simple design for a batch-type solar water heater that uses a thermosiphon loop to move water between a solar thermal collector and a storage barrel. While it’s not the most efficient method for solar water heating and works rather slowly, it effectively demonstrates the operation of a thermosiphon and its connection to hot water storage. The system can provide useful amounts of hot water for an outdoor shower, washing garden produce, keeping a biogas generator warm, or any number of other uses you can think of. Because it uses water, the system must be drained when the weather turns cold. The parts list includes recommended materials and temperature ratings. Use materials that can withstand temperatures up to 180°F, such as metal, CPVC, or polypropylene fittings, as  …

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Should You Raise Pigs?

I’m sure you saw the title of this article and immediately thought, “I already live with a few.” However, whether you’re a self-reliant homesteader or just want to cut away from your food budget, raising pigs (of the porcine variety) is a great way to become more self-reliant and sufficient. If you raise your own meat in any scenario, you will have more control over how it is raised and fed, and you can make sure that it is essentially raised organically (whether or not you apply for organic certification). Raising your own meat is less expensive than purchasing meat that is not factory-farmed. And raising your own meat is sustainable in the event of economic hard times – the source is right there on your own land. In fact,  …

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Build Your Own Rabbit Hutch

There are two basic ways to build a rabbit hutch. One is with an outdoor self-contained hutch. These typically have wooden frames and wire cages, and two to four rabbits are kept in each of the hutches. These units are portable and can be moved around in the shade to keep the rabbits cool in the summer. In colder months, they can be brought indoors for protection of the rabbits from snow and wind. Another way to start is with steel wire hutches suspended from the joists or ceiling indoors. They can also be simply placed upon a framework inside and existing building. If you have basic mechanical skills, you can make these cages with wire bought at the local hardware store. Or you can buy ready-made wire hutches. Some  …

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