To some, planning for the unthinkable is a silly notion. But to others, it is simply following the Boy Scout motto at its finest. In the event of a catastrophe, nobody will think you’re strange for being the only person on the block with enough food and equipment to live comfortably for years. You’re a prepper: If you wake up tomorrow and have no gas, electricity, or running water, you’ll still have a plan.
If your situation becomes more permanent, you’ll also have some brilliant solutions to get you farther than any bug out bag could. Why? Because you’ve been working on simple do-it-yourself projects like the ones below every weekend in preparation for such an occasion. Next time you have a few hours to kill, try one of these DIY prepper projects.
Fire and Cooking
1. Oil Lamp (Difficulty Level: Easy) – An oil lamp is a great source of light when your power goes out or your flashlight batteries die. Follow these instructions and all you’ll need is a container, some cotton, and olive oil.
2. Wood Rocket Stove (Difficulty Level: Easy) – The wood rocket stove is a great source of heat for cooking, boiling water, and even staying warm with minimal effort and fuel. It will take about five minutes and all you need is a drill and a log! Simple instructions here.
3. Brick Rocket Stove (Difficulty Level: Easy) – A more permanent solution than the wood rocket stove, the brick rocket stove allows you to have a very hot coal base perfect for roasting meat or boiling water. It’s also a great way to cut down on smoke. Here are the instructions.
4. Smokehouse (Difficulty Level: Medium) – With a little bit of time, a few tools, and less than $100 in supplies, the power of smoking and preserving meats can be at your disposal. Smoking your food is especially critical if you don’t have access to a refrigerator, so follow these simple instructions to create a crucial investment.
5. Solar Powered Stove (Difficulty Level: Medium) – A solar powered stove can be made out of any household items like CDs, mirrors, and even tin foil. Aligning these reflectors to one focal point—your cookware—can produce temperatures of well over 400 degrees (depending on your supplies and placement) and serve as a great resource for cooking if you’re short on fuel. Here’s one idea for preparing one.