A Homesteaders Guide To Water


I originally wrote this as a request from one of my readers who wanted a guide on everything to do with fresh water for his homestead. After working on it – I thought to myself “why not share this on your blog for others out there who are interested?” So here you go – its long for a blog post so you may want to download a pdf of it or book mark this page and come back to it. As always leave me any questions in the comments section below.

For a FREE Pdf of a Homesteaders Guide to Water Click Here


As most of my readers know I grew up in Australia before moving to the Northern Hemisphere 26 years ago. Australia is pretty much the same size land mass as the lower 48 states of the USA, yet we have less people than the state of California with most of those people living very close to the coasts. The number one reason for this is, lack of a decent water supply in the inland areas. Without fresh water there is no life. Australian fresh water supplies coupled with a growing population since I left the country have meant heavy financial investments in desalination plants. Which are basically ways to turn Sea water into Fresh water at a very very expensive price. Can you imagine what happens to these water supplies in a long term grid down situation? Yup you guessed it. All gone. Those who are not prepared will be S.O.O.L. (Sh*t out of luck)

My mother traveled through Papua New Guinea in the early 1960s and saw tribal warfare over who got to control the local watering hole! Forget Mad Max style marauding gangs for “Gazzolene” for their muscle cars! Without fresh water they won’t be alive to get their precious gas.

Ok you say, that’s Australia, most of the country is pretty much desert – that can’t happen here in the U.S of A. Wrong. just look at what is going on in California and most of the Nation’s southwest for that matter. The very same thing that I have seen for years in Australia. Water shortages, lake’s drying up, farm land turning to dust bowls. Things are getting bad and in my opinion only going to get worse. Its up to us to take the right steps to ensure that our families are taken care of in times of drought or disaster.

In this blog post we are going to cover the following important water  topics for Homesteaders.
* How to Collect Rain water

* How to purify water from lakes, streams and rivers

* How to disinfect your own well.

* How to check a potential property for a Seep or Spring

* How To Daisy Chain Rain Water Barrels together

* How to dig for a well

* How to keep water safe over a long periods of time

* How to test if you water is safe to drink

* Is Collecting your own Rainwater illegal?


How to Collect Rain water

In my opinion the most ideal water supply set up for us homesteaders is a gravity fed spring water supply. Not every property is going to have this so next best scenario would be a fresh water well, followed by a rain catchment system. Now you see why I am saying if you are currently located in the Southwest you might seriously want to consider moving to some where there are far more abundant water sources.

If you do find you have a fresh water spring on your property do make sure that any feeder pipes that you have going to your water holding tank are covered with screens to act as filters for any debris that may end up blocking your pipes . Speaking of holding tanks – we went for a concrete one. From some of the homesteaders I talked to regarding plastic holding tanks versus concrete ones they found that plastic ones did not fair so well buried in the ground. We have a 1500 gallon one on our property, price wise you can pick up a 1500 plastic holding tank for about $750 but a concrete one will set you back approximately $1750. Its the old adage though that you get what you pay for. My mind set right now is I would rather pay extra now for something that will last my lifetime versus saving $1000 only to have it fall to bits, no doubt at the most in-opportune time.

Even though gravity feed is ideal I would also like to suggest that you install a pressure pump system too. While I truly believe that you should be 100% off grid and self sufficient  the amount of energy a pressure pump system uses to have water pressure just like your suburban home or apartment is miniscule. I am literally talking a couple of minutes a day.  If the grid was to really go down long term using a pressure pump system with a solar battery pack would really not be much of a drain at all compared to the convenience it offers.

If you have been reading my guides for any length of time you know that I am huge believer in back up supply systems, we also went with a rain water catchment tank system as a back up supply of water for our homestead.



How to purify water from lakes, streams and rivers

I would like to think that everyone understands the health risks of drinking polluted water and the fact that even though water might look “clean” it may contain Bacteria, E.coli, Coliforms, Nitrates and other nasties that remain unseen with the human eye. Dirty water can cause, nausea, cramps vomiting and diarrhea which can be deadly for young children and the elderly.  So its extremely important to understand how to clean your water to make it safe for drinking

There are pretty much six tried and tested ways to purify water for drinking purposes. For watering your garden, washing clothes, and showering you can be a little more lax on your purification methods, but still I believe its of importance to stay safe. All you need in a long term grid down situation is to mess up and swallow some unclean water while showering and get yourself bedridden for days on end.  Not worth the risk in my opinion. Before we being I hope everyone knows WHY we need to purify our water before consumption? If not lets quickly review the little unseen nasties that can exist in our water supplies, whether from a nearby lake or stream, rain water storage or your preferred method of water storage. They are Bacteria, Protozoa, Parasites and Viruses.

* Boiling

Boiling water is the worlds oldest  known method of making water safe to drink. If you are stuck in a jam and your water supply is in question a metallic pot with a nice seal-able lid and a heat source (gas source, camp fire, etc)  will see you right. A seal-able lid is advisable  not only because you bring your water to boil faster using less energy but you can let it sit and cool to one side after the water  has boiled. Contrary to popular opinion you really only need to boil your water for a minute or two, to kill any pathogens in it, boiling it for 30 minutes at a time is over kill and in a grid down situation is not very functional either esp if you are relying on a wood fire to purify your water.

* Bleach

In the modern age one of the easiest and simplest ways to purify your water super is to use household bleach. Make sure you get the kind that has no dyes, perfumes,or phosphates in it. Just plain simple bleach that you can find at your local supermarket or dollar store. It goes without saying that if you were to sit there and chug a couple of pints of bleach you would more than likely get seriously ill. Although I doubt you would die. However in very small amounts bleach is probably the number one method most homesteaders use when it comes to making sure their water supply is safe to drink. The general rule of thumb is 2-4 drops per quart of water and let it sit for 30 minutes. If you water is cold it is advisable to use a couple more drops and or let it sit for a bit longer. I usually go for 1 hour tops on cold water.

I also think that it is worth mentioning – if you are in a bind say your well or water storage tanks have been compromised and you are going for lake or stream water, it is best to do some serious filtering first. As a general rule the chunks of plant life etc that you find when you scoop say, lake water will not kill you it is of course all the little unseen bacteria and parasites that will get ya. However if you use Bleach to purify your water the chemicals in bleach can bond with some of the harmless particle matter in lake water rendering it ineffective for killing parasites and viruses. So strain thru a t-shirt, or even a home made water filter before adding your bleach to your water.

* Iodine treatments

Iodine is another chemical treatment method of purifying your water supply. Iodine treatments kills bacteria, parasites and virus’s but doesn’t kill protoazas. The most commonly sold bottles of Iodine are the 5-7% solutions but for water purification only a 2% solution is needed. The general rule is 20 drops of iodine per 1 gallon of water and let it sit for 30 minutes, however if your water is cloudy looking or suspect you will need to leave it for longer. I would suggest filtering any cloudy water before begging your iodine treatment – if you are in a jam even using a t-shirt (or any woven material you have to hand) to strain your water before commencing treatment will help. The same goes with cold water  which you will need to leave your iodine in for up to 3 hrs to be effective in killing pathogens. The down side with Iodine purification of water is that some people do have an allergy to it and might be best served using the bleach method mentioned above. Also you will notice on the bottles of iodine tincture there is a little skull and cross bones dangerous if ingested warning, this of course if taken in large does (undiluted) with all that in mind I would not use iodine treated water for more than 30 days straight. Its worth me mentioning too, always go for the bottle and not the iodine tablets they sell in camping and prepping stores, they can easily go bad with  heat or poor storage conditions.

* Filtering

Pretty much any time I pick up a prepping magazine these days I see one of those ads for those portable filters, that look like oversized straws that hikers, campers and survivalists can carry in their bug out bag. Designed for people to be able to grab safe drinking water from even a filthy puddle of water when on the move. They are supposed to be able to filter out dangerous waterborne pathogens for the user.  For Homesteading purposes filters work in a similar fashion to these, however I do want to point out that filtering water of sediment , toxic chemicals and pollutants will not always take care of nasty viruses. For that you need a purifier after your filter.

For off grid living, Gravity fed water filters are the best bet, even if you are still using the cities power lines, keep in mind that in a long term grid down situation all your electric powered filters and pumps will be rending useless. Most times after a serious natural disaster when the city power lines go – so does the water supply, you run the risk of not just sewage waste backing up and ruining your water supply but also even dead bodies. Think the Tsunami disaster in Indonesia and Thailand or the Japanese earthquake /tsunami disaster. A solar powered pump / filter combo actually uses very little energy and should be seriously considered over relying on the cities power supply.

Large size water storage tanks and filters can be purchased relatively cheaply from your local Home Depot, Lowes Home building supplies store. The more expensive the water filter the more effective it will be , I have to add that even with the top of the line models the filters will wear out over time and need replacing. The more effort you can take before your water enters your filtering system to remove sediment and pond scum the longer they will last. From all the homesteaders I know the general consensus with them all is that gravity fed filtering systems are the way to go.

* Distilling

Distilling water requires boiling it and catching the steam. The process removes salts, Heavy metals and toxic chemicals in your water. Very similar to water desalination plants that convert Salt water to fresh water its an energy extensive method of creating safe drinking water, but beats drinking salt water when dehydrated, which can be very deadly. An example of a home created distilling water process would be to have a large metal pot half filled with your unclean water, on a fire or stove with a sealable pot lid tipped upside down with a smaller pot hung from the upside lid handle to catch the water droplets as they reach the lid and slide down towards the center.

* Ultraviolet Light

Using UV rays from the sun has been a method of creating safe drinking water for over 4000 years now. Records show the people of Ancient India utilizing this method back then. Using UV rays kills the waterborne pathogens that can cause, Diarrhea, Ecoli, Salmonella and more. This method isn’t advisable for those of us in the frozen north (where we have an abundance of woods to use in water boiling methods anyways) but much more suited for homesteaders based in the Southwest or Australia.

Anyways with that said the basic method require you filling up a clear plastic water bottle (do not use colored plastic bottles as they have a tendency to not let the necessary UV rays in and the sun’s handiwork will not be effective.) and laying them  on its side in the sun usually for about  5-6 hours. Try to not use bottles big than a liter as this method is most effective in smaller size bottles. You also don’t want to lay your bottles out say in the morning sun as when the sun swing around from the East then you will not be getting the full effects of the suns rays. A south face roof top would be ideal. Also keep in mind the following :

1) placing the bottles directly on a very hot metal roof may cause them to warp or be damaged

2) placing the bottles on paper or dry grass may cause the grass or paper to catch fire. Surely everyone remembers starting fires with a magnifying glass when they were a kid..don’t they?.

If you do not have any 1 liter or smaller plastic bottles heavy duty freezer bags will work just as well, in fact some people say better as they lay flat on the surface and there for the water get more evenly blasted by the suns rays.(again quart or maximum gallon size bags only !

If you are traveling or bugging out to your homestead during a disaster you may want to invest in a Steripen. It’s a small hand held device that uses ultraviolet light to make safe drinking water for yourself. Depending on your situation and budget you may want to consider purchasing one they can be picked up for anything between $49-$99.

* Chemical purification tablets

Iodine treatment (mentioned above is one form of Chemical purification method) there are various other treatments (such as chlorine tablets etc) that can be purchased from camping and sporting stores. I  would only recommend these for people with allergies to Iodine and only for small does of water. Eg if you are bugging out to your homestead.

* Life straw

No one water purification treatment is ideal in eradicating 100% of the nasties that threaten you and your families health and well being. When it comes to this KEY resource always be safe and over cautious, taking extra care and diligence in purifying your water whatever method you prefer. Leaving your water bottles out in the sun for an extra hour because you were worried that the sun went behind a couple of clouds earlier in the day is a minor inconvenience versus fighting off Dysentery right?



How to disinfect your own well.

Well water can become contaminated over time. I would recommend picking up some household well water test kits – you can grab them for under $20 from Amazon (click here) These affordable kits will show you if there are any toxins in your well and they also show you dangerous bacteria levels too.

You can disinfect your well using the bleach method mentioned above. Before you start you will need a gallon of non scented household bleach , rubber gloves, safety goggles (or some form of eye protection) a plastic funnel and  some old clothes (as to not damage your good ones).

1.Before you begin if your well water is cloudy or muddy run the water from an outside spigot with a hose attached until the water becomes clear.

2.Check what type of well you have and  the best way to pour the bleach in. For example some well’s have sanitary seals so you will have to remove those before you add the bleach. Others may just have an entire cover you can lift off to add your bleach.

  1. Take your bleach and carefully pore it into your well. Use your funnel if needed
  2. After the gallon of bleach has been added, run an outside hose into the well casing until you smell the chlorine from the bleach coming from the hose
  3. turn on every cold water faucet connected to your water supply and let it run until you smell the chlorine then shut it off. If you have a water treatment system switch it to bypass until you have finished.
  4. Wait 12-24 hrs before using your water system again. Right now your system contains high amounts of Chlorine and will not be safe to drink.
  5. Once the waiting period is over run a hose to a safe area where it will not affect your plants, lakes, streams or septic system, until you cannot smell chlorine anymore. Your water is now safe to use.
  6. Its recommended to retest your water supply 7-10 days after disinfecting to see if there is any bacteria remaining. Use the kits that I talked about above.

How to check a potential property for a Seep or Spring

the best time to review potential sites for your off grid cabin is during the late summer and early Autumn. If you check properties in the winter or spring time you are going to see the best case scenario for water supplies on that piece of land which will not really give you the fairest indication of the water supply potential. Ask the realtor to show you the seep or spring,, if they’re not much help then search for depressions in the land that appear extra green or the earth is mossy and soft.. Any signs of vegetation changes in a piece of land are pretty good indicators of a seep or spring so keep your eyes open. If the property has a seep but not a spring it can still be used as a potential water supply. My way of testing the strength of a seep is to use a gallon water bottle or jug and  time how long it takes to fill up. For example 2 minutes to fill a gallon jig is  a pretty good yard stick. Mountain type terrain with a water supply is a great way to have a gravity fed spring – so keep that in mind.


How To Daisy Chain Rain Water Barrels together

If you want to collect rainwater from your roof to use for watering your gardens and you live in a climate with a decent rainfall you have probably thought about connecting more than one 55 gallon barrel together to save your water. This is a great idea and relatively simple and fairly low cost to do. Even though I can this water is not going to be collected for drinking I do suggest that if your budget allows it to purchase brand new FOOD GRADE water barrels and not pick up free ones from craigslist or used ones from ebay. In my opinion the risk of using barrels that may have stored toxic chemicals or waste is just not worth the cost of a few hundred dollars. (You can purchase 55 gallon food grade water drums for about $70 each at home depot.)

There are two main ways to daisy chain the barrels together – one school of thought is to cut the over flow holes near the top of each barrel and the other at the bottom. I have only tried the top (over flow method) so I can’t really say whats best, but people that I spoke to were pretty evenly split on which method they preferred. Make sure that before you start that you have enough space near one of your house’s gutters and that the space is level and clear of all debris. Pretty much everyone I spoke to used cinder blocks or wooden pallets to elevate their 55 gallon drums off the ground.

I started with the first drum I purchased an Atrium grate from Home depot (which costs about $4.00) and turned it upside and drew around the widest part to trace where I would cut the top of my collection barrel as a template. An Atrium grate is used to keep leaves, sticks twigs etc out of your water barrels. If you live in an area which is besieged by mosquitoes it is highly advisable to cover your grate in drain sleeve a fine cloth that’s used to prevent them getting into your barrel and laying their eggs in the water.

About 6 inches down from the top of the first barrel and on the side I drilled a hole using a 3/4” spade drill bit to act as the over flow outlet. Using 3/4” garden hose adapters I screwed into the hole , and I used plumbers putty to seal the adapter with a locking nut on the inside of each barrel. Then I measured off a length of garden hose that would reach each adjoining barrel and used a female hose adapter to attach the hose to the barrel. You can then repeat for each respective drum. I used a spigot set up at the bottom of my final barrel to be able to run off the chain and to fill buckets and watering cans for my vegetable gardens.

Tip for those of you living in cold climates: If you have freezing temperatures in the winter, you definitely want to drain the barrels, and leave the valve open, Divert all the water from going into the barrels in the winter, otherwise your plumbing on the bottom will burst when the water in it freezes.

How to dig for a well
Hiring a company to come out and dig a well on your property if there isn’t one there already can prove to be a costly affair, with local companies quoting me around $5000 to get it all done for you.

Before you get started you will need to check with your state’s geological survey department to find out what type of soil you have on your property. Obviously drilling down through sandy/loamy soil is going to be easier than clay and rocky soil. They can advise you on how deep you will have to drill down tp find quality water on your property. It is worth mentioning that why you may get lucky and find a decent water supply at say 30ft down, most quality well water (at least from the homesteaders that I talked to was found at around the 100ft level.

State by state there are different rulings on set backs (how far your well must be away from your septic tank or sewer lines) and a quick search on the internet for your specific state for your requirements shouldn’t take you long, but as a general rule you want to be at least 50 ft away from your septic tank and on higher ground as well. You will also want to check before you start drilling that there are no utility lines or existing pipes below that you may damage once you have figured out your drill site.

Depending on how far out you are in your country you may or may not require a building permit before you start to drill your well.

There are do it yourself kids available on the internet, I recommend you pick up a kit from these guys : http://www.howtodrillawell.com/

I actually like their method a lot – no hiring of rigs and heavy equipment to master. Its a simple system with a drill and air hose that pumps the water up and out creating a vacuum so that your drill bit doesn’t get stuck in the mud. If this sounds like something that interests you then go to their website (link above) where they have a couple of videos explaining how it works in detail. Its definitely a low cost alternative to hiring heavy duty equipment and a bunch of guys to dig your well for you.

How to keep water safe over a long periods of time
* Outside of having your own well, water tank or spring I think it pays to have some water stored away separately in the event of emergencies. Most homesteaders and preppers that I spoke to whilst working on this guide recommend a minimum of a two week supply of water stored , ideally more if you have the room. Working on the gallon per person, per day rule that works out to be 14 gallons for 2 weeks water so if you are part of a 4 person family you are going to AT LEAST need 56 gallons stored for a 2 week period.

Best bet for keeping your water safe over a long period of time is food grade plastic 55 gallon containers, you can find them for sale online for less than $100, I would definitely go for new and not used in this scenario. Steel 55 gallon drums are no good as chlorine (which you will use to treat your water damages the steel)

I would definitely suggest that do not use a common garden hose to fill your water bottles but a dedicated drinking water hose which you can find on Amazon from about $10 and up. (depending on the length required etc)

Dedicated drinking water hoses are lead free, BPA free, phthalate free and don’t give your that weird plastic taste you used to get as a kid drinking from the garden hose on hot days.

There are two school of thought when it comes to long term storage of water and treatment with chlorine, many preppers believe that if you use city supplied tap water to fill your barrels that you do not need to include any added chlorine to your tanks since city water is already heavily chlorinated. However if you are using water from your well to store I do believe its wise to add some chlorine to your barrels. Keep in mind water does not spoil, its CONTAMINATION that makes it go bad. So be sure to seal your barrels correctly after filling.

Some of the homesteaders that I talked to like to store their plastic water barrels on wooden pallets in their garage as opposed to letting the containers sit directly on their concrete floor, this is done out of the belief that there could be a potential chemical reaction between the concrete and water barrels, which I am not entirely convinced is necessary. But hey if it helps you sleep at night its a low cost step to take.

How to test if you water is safe to drink

The easiest and simplest way to test if your water is safe to drink is the DIY test kits that you can find these days available on Amazon. They are going to set you back about $17 and are very easy to use. However they are not always 100% accurate in general they will give you the general idea if your water is safe or not. They test for Ph levels, chlorine levels pesticides, lead, nitrates and of course bacteria.

Search on Amazon for “First Alert WT1 Drinking Water Test Kit”.

I must add that no cheap DIY test kit is going to be as detailed and as accurate in their analysis as a full blown lab that tests for everything but in a grid down situation I do not think any of these labs will be open for business even if you could afford their fees, if you get what I am saying.

Is Collecting your own Rainwater illegal?

If you have spent anytime at all on the internet and Facebook in the last 2 years I am sure you have seen articles or links that friends have posted and shared about someone getting arrested or even imprisoned for collecting their own rainwater! Most of these sensationalistic articles are designed for nothing more than to get you to click the link (these are called “click bait” in the blogging business) they are pretty much all a re-hash of the same thing exaggerated claims backed up by little and or no facts.

The truth is rainwater harvesting is NOT ILLEGAL. It has been restricted in some states but even those states (Utah, Washington State and Colorado) have relaxed their laws in recent years. In some other states rain water harvesting is regulated, meaning you will have to obtain a permit to do so no different then getting a building permit to work on your house. If you have seen  the article about the Colorado man who WAS jailed he had applied for his permit, got denied But went ahead and built 3 reservoirs regardless. That was his real crime, not collecting rainwater. If you are still concerned make sure you contact your local state authorities and double check what the laws are in your particular state.


Water is essential for all living things, without it we die. I truly believe that as the world goes on we are going to have more and more issues with our personal water supplies.  Higher costs in getting water from the city, more recycled water and a lot more de-salinated water as well. If you have yet to purchase your own homestead I sincerely urge you to make sure it is in an area with a good annual rainfall and ideally the property has its own well or spring. Far better to take these steps now instead of leaving it for a few more years where properties with well will only increase in price far faster than those without.

As always thanks for reading and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions

Alex The Prepper

A-1 Survival.

For a FREE Pdf of a Homesteaders Guide to Water Click Here



Living Off the Grid: Essential Tools (Best Hand Saws)

In this video we want to share with you the hand saws we use on our homestead. In a day and age where power tools seem to prevail, the benefits of hand saws can’t be ignored – especially when it comes to off grid living as that often goes hand-in-hand with having limited power!


We use hand saws frequently on our property whether we’re cutting joinery or cutting branches. We have quite the collection of saws at this point and want to share with you what the different saws are and what saws may be best for your journey.

Tiny home packs storage stairs, 2 lofts, tub in 136 sq ft

Julie Olson needed a traveling home for her mobile dog training business. With no architecture training, she drew up plans for exactly what she needed and sent them to Jason Dietz of Molecule Tiny Homes. Over a couple of months he built her home to her specifications: a fold-out porch, storage stairs, 2 lofts (1 for sleeping, 1 for storage or 2 sleeping quarters), a slim closet, and a bathroom with tub, composting toilet, tiny sink and escape window/door for viewing nature.

The 136-square-foot home can run completely off grid with rooftop photovoltaic panels, solar batteries, a propane tank and a tankless water heater. Total cost was $45,000, but Dietz says you could bring that down by about half if you built it yourself. Part of the reason small homes on wheels cost more per square foot is because they require structural support to survive on the road. The home was built in Santa Cruz, California and it made its first trip over 3,000 miles to Maine where Olson moved in with her cats and dog to travel and study.

How We Found $7,000 in Recycled Building Materials in Four Days

Many of you know that we spent a solid four days last week in a demolition project! We found an ad on Craigslist advertising a bunch of roofing for just $300 if we were to remove it ourselves so we went to check it out. It turns out that the entire house and barn was scheduled to be demolished in two days’ time, and the contractor let us know that we were free to take anything we wanted as if we didn’t, it would simply go to waste by being burned.

We got straight to work and were able to salvage 70 panels of roofing, cedar sheathing, barked cedar posts, bricks as well as loads of usable lumber. We are already putting these materials to use and have saved over $3,000 in our little winter add-on for our RV! Follow us on Facebook to see all of the little mini projects we are using these reclaimed materials on!

Homesteading : TedsWoodworking 16,000 Woodworking Plans Review


Ever wanted to create woodworking projects easily and quickly?

I just came across a site with over 16,000 downloadable woodworking plans at:

Here is an honest review of TedsWoodworking.com


If you want to start a woodworking project, you need all the necessary information, including schematics, blueprints, materials lists, dimensions etc. That is where TedsWoodworking comes in. The plans are clearly drawn and there're step-by-step explainations of how the plan should be done and put together.

There are several other sites whose collection of plans have the dimensions totally wrong without any indication of parts lists, material lists or the tools needed. If you're one of those people who have bought plans like this in the past, TedsWoodworking will change your perception.


In Ted's Woodworking you will get everything you need: 
-Diagrams which are detailed with a full set of dimensions 
-Step -by-step instructions how to start your project 
-The necessary materials for that particular project 
-All the woodworking tools you will need 

If you are a beginner or have done some woodworking you will find these plans easy-to-follow as the instructions are very clearly written. The woodworking plans are straightforward so they are not complicated at all. Even if you are a total newcomer to woodworking you will simply be able to master all the techniques that are needed and the woodworking skills very quickly by following the concise and clear instructions. 

Another thing which is so great about these woodworking plans is that there have been some videos included and there are some to guide you in how to build benches home furniture dog houses bird feeders sheds and much much more. 

There is also a lifetime member acess included in the package and you get these extras for no cost to you as they are free with no additional charges at all! This alone is worth the entire price for TedsWoodworking.

Ted Mcgrath is a very dedicated and experienced woodworker who knows what he is talking about when it comes to woodworking and DIY projects s he has been a woodworker for many many years.

There is only one drawback that we could find and that being with 16,000 woodworking plans you are bound to get some which look a little disorganized but that is understandable as it is very difficult to place all these plans into their proper categories. Secondly, it might take you a little longer to do the downloads on because of the size of them. But the members area include an option to upgrade to the DVD so you can save time on downloading. 

Bottom line:
Truth is, I've been a carpenter for almost 36 years, and I haven't found anything like this for less than 10's of thousands of dollars.Here's the bottom line: If you are planning to start on your woodworking project, this isn't something you SHOULD use, it's something that you would be insane not to.

Click Here to check them out: Ted's Woodworking Plans


Lloyd Kahn on his NorCal self-reliant half-acre homestead

At 80 years old, Lloyd Kahn is an icon of alternative housing. In the seventies he was a poster child of the geodesic dome (he published Domebook One and Two and he and his dome home were featured in Life magazine).

He got his start in publishing when Stewart Brand made him the shelter editor for the Whole Earth Catalog. The book that put him on the map as a publisher was “Shelter”, an international survey of alternative housing that he continues to sell over 4 decades later.

Kahn’s enthusiasm for shelter extends to “building every place I’ve ever lived”, including his current home which started as a dome and is now a more traditional shelter capped by a 30-foot-tall hexagonal tower (the only remnant of the dome).

His home is only a small part of his half-acre homestead where he and his wife Lesley Creed believe in doing things for yourself, when possible. Besides tending the organic gardens (and dozens of free-range chickens), Creed is a natural dyer, quilter, sourdough bread-maker and believer in the “value of actually working, not just trying to figure out how not to work”.

On our visit to the homestead, Kahn showed us his wild-caught pigeons, his seaweed harvest, well-fermented sauerkraut, home-cured olives, oatmeal grinder and workshop (where he still keeps his father’s “nuts and bolts box”). We caught Creed baking her sourdough bread (from her kitchen-harvested starter) and drying “bread seed” poppies.

Years ago the couple were pushing the boundaries of self-sufficiency to include goats and harvests of wheat, but Kahn found his limits. “With self-sufficiency you never get there, you never become self-sufficient. I mean we tried back in the seventies. We had goats and chickens and bees and I was trying to raise grain. Pretty soon I realized that if I want to raise enough wheat for the bread for a year here, it’s better left to a specialist, like I can’t be my own dentist. So you do, it’s a direction self-sufficiency. You do what you can do as much of it as you can.”


Are There Any Cheap Ways of Getting Energy?


With so many different things to spend you money on, there is no wonder that your income is never enough to cover all your expenses. Yet, how could it be enough when more than a quarter of the money you earn each month must be given away on the electricity bill. There are lots of electrical appliances without which you cannot live, so you must be sure that you do not get disconnected because you failed to pay your bills.

When you have so much money to pay on the electricity bill, you start thinking that looking for an alternative source of power is the solution for getting cheap energy and manage to save some money.


This may be quite a good judgment, especially when thinking about energy gathered from nature, such as solar power or wind power. Yet, in order to benefit from that energy you need special equipment, which can be very expensive. Even though on the long run investing in such equipment may pay off, for those people trying to save a few hundred dollars from their electricity bill, investing thousands in such and equipment is certainly not the best idea they could come off with.

Thus, you may be inclined to say that there is no such thing as cheap electricity and you have all the rights to claim this if you have not heard about the electricity coming from the phone line. Every moment, even now while you are reading this, power runs through your phone lines, from the phone company. Your phone bill covers all that energy, so why waste it and not fully take advantage of a cheap source of power which will change your future and decrease your power bill?


You will need a special system for this, too, but unlike the systems needed for solar, water or wind power, this system costs very little and can be done by yourself, inside your home or your garage. With this device you will be able to gather electricity and use it to power small electrical appliances. You will enjoy this source of cheap power and at the same time you will be able to save some money, with which you can fulfill some of your dreams.

Why give it up when the cheapest source of power is right besides you? Learn how you can use it and start saving money efficiently, without giving up your own comfort and your pleasures.

All for today

Alex The Prepper

A-1 Survival


How To Start A Backyard Chicken Coop


Raising chickens in your backyard is a great way to get started rearing animals and providing your own food. Not only do chickens supply you with a plentiful amount of tasty eggs but they also teach you some important skills which you can then use if you choose to raise other animals in the future. In this article I’m going to be running through everything you need to start your own backyard chicken coop.

Sheltering Your Chickens

The first thing you’ll need when starting your backyard chicken coop is somewhere safe and warm for your chickens. There are three main shelter options depending on the age you want to start raising your chickens and I have listed these below.

1) Hatching Chickens

If you want to hatch your own chickens and raise them completely from birth, you’ll need some fertilized eggs and an incubator which can both be purchased online.

2) Chickens Less Than 2 Months Old

If you’re raising young chicks, the best shelter for them is a cardboard box lined with newspaper and pine shavings which you keep warm with a heat lamp. The ideal temperature range for chicks that are this age is 95 degrees Fahrenheit in the first week and then to drop the temperature by 5 degrees Fahrenheit each week until the two months are up.

3) Chickens Older Than 2 Months

If you get chickens that are older than 2 months, you can place them straight in an outdoor chicken coop. There are plenty of different coop designs out there which you can either purchase or build yourself. When choosing your chicken coop, make sure you consider all the factors listed below before making your final decision:

  • Nesting Box: Most chicken coops now come with nesting boxes as they make laying and collecting the eggs much easier. However, it’s worth checking that your chicken coop definitely has one before you buy.
  • Mobility: While mobility isn’t an essential feature of a chicken coop, it does allow you to move your chickens around your yard and ensure that they always have access to fresh grass.
  • Security: Once your chickens start to live outside, they become exposed to a variety of wild animals that can potentially prey on them. Therefore, you need to make sure you purchase a coop that’s fully covered by a wire cage and strong enough to resist potential intruders.
  • Size: Your chickens need space to run around, exercise and get some fresh air. A 4 foot by 8 foot chicken coop will generally provide enough room for up to three chickens to roam around and stay healthy, so use this as a base point and choose a chicken coop that’s large enough for all your chickens.


Things You Need To Keep Your Backyard Chickens Alive & Well

Once you’ve purchased or built the necessary shelter for your chickens, you need to keep them alive and well. The good news is that chickens are simple creatures and as long as you provide them with adequate amounts of food and water, they’ll stay healthy. The sections below outline how to best provide your chickens with food and water.

1) Food

Chickens can live off standard chicken feed. However, if you want them to lay tasty, full flavored eggs then you should feed them leftover fruit and vegetable scraps as well. This will add a wide range of vitamins, minerals and nutrients to their diet and you’ll really notice the difference it makes when you try their eggs.

To provide them with the food, you’ll want to invest in a high quality chicken feeder and make sure you clean it every other day so that the food stays fresh.

2) Water

Like with the food, you’ll want to purchase a good quality chicken watering bucket. Ideally, you’ll want one that’s heated so that the water doesn’t freeze if the temperature drops.


I hope this article helps you successfully setup your very first backyard chicken coop. If you follow the steps above, you should be rearing happy, healthy chickens and enjoying fresh, tasty eggs in no time at all.

All for Today

Alex The Prepper

A-1 Survival