It’s a brand new year and you have another 12 months to finally do all the prepping projects that have been in your mind for some time now.
Simple Prepping Projects
You can’t always depend on the power grid to light up your world. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can have light without electricity. You can always use flashlights, lanterns, glow sticks, and even torches. There’s also the possibility of investing on a generator so you can still have electricity even when power’s out. Of course, the best option would be to use solar power.
You shouldn’t limit yourself to these options, though. Aside from those mentioned, you can prepare for the possibility of a blackout by making your own oil lamps.
This prepping project is something you should learn early on so you’d know what to do in case the need for one arises. That’s why we’ve included DIY oil lamps in this list of projects every prepper should learn this year.
Homemade oil lamps are pretty easy to do. The first thing you have to do is open a can of tuna (or anything small and flat) and drain its contents. IN the days after a disaster or apocalyptic event, you should set aside your cans once you finish the contents so you can use them for other things such as this DIY lamp.
It’s also a good idea to have a number of can openers in your prepper pantry. Make sure you have one of those that open from the side of the can so there won’t be any sharp edges when you use them. One such can opener is the OXO Good Grips. This can opener comes with large, cushioned and non-slip grip handles and knob for more comfortable and easier use.
Pour olive oil into the can after cleaning it empty. As a prepper, you should stock up on olive oil. This is the best oil for your lamp since it doesn’t produce that much smoke and has a flashpoint of 550 degrees or so. Plus, there are lots of other uses for olive oil aside from cooking and making your salads yummy.
Next, roll a piece of paper towel then twist it so it resembles a wick more. Cut it in half then place one end in the oil. Wait for the paper towel to suck the oil up before lighting the exposed end. There you go, instant oil lamp for emergency purposes and a pretty easy prepping project at that.
If you want a little challenge for your prepping projects, “forever candles” may just be what the doctor ordered. Candles are another prepper must-have. They’re pretty useful yet cheap so you could easily stock up on them. However, one piece of candle only lasts for a few hours. You can prepare for emergencies better by turning your ordinary candles into 100-hour candles.
You’ll need Mason jars. Most preppers already have these in their pantry or stockroom since they’re useful in canning foods and other tasks. Might as well use them for making 100-hour candles, right? Watch the video below to see 35 creative ways to use Mason jars, many of which are pretty useful in the homestead.
Fill the jars (up to two inches from the top) with vegetable shortening. If you have jar funnel, use it so you don’t get too messy. It’s okay to just use a spoon to scoop and pack the vegetable shortening into the jar, though. Just place a large piece of baking paper or a small garbage bag on your working surface so it’s easier to clean up when you’re done.
You can add fragrance to your vegetable shortening if you like. It’s great to smell something nice when you’re holed up in your home trying to survive a hurricane or something. It will at least help calm your mind and sooth your nerves during such stressful situations. Be wary though that the scent can attract people and lead them to you and your supply. This is something you must avoid when SHTF and unprepared people will do anything to survive.
Now back to our amazingly easy prepping project. Stick a candle into the middle. It should be about an inch higher than the shortening. Use your finger to make a moat around the candle. This will catch the wax from the candle once it melts.
When you hear about solar stoves, you probably think about GoSun and its popular line of solar ovens and other impressive products. The GoSun Sport Portable Solar Oven, for example, is one of their best-selling products. It’s great for your outdoor cooking needs as you only need the power of the sun to make your meals and even desserts. The Sport can roast, bake and steam a meal for two as fast as 20 minutes. The portable stove can still cook during cloudy or cold days though the cooking time can be a tad longer than usual.
Since you’re looking for prepping projects to start this new year, you can opt to make your own solar cooker. The good thing about this DIY project is that you use recycled materials, particularly a discarded satellite dish and lots of old CD’s. That means you don’t have to spend that much and you’re helping Mother Nature, as well. This prepping project can generate up to 400 degrees of heat, which is great for cooking.
The homemade solar oven above is the parabolic type, which is rather complicated considering you need an old dish to make it. If you don’t have access to such recycled materials, you can do the simpler box type solar cooker project.
The prepping project above calls for a small cardboard box, thermocol or Styrofoam, aluminum foil, thick glass, and lots of glue. Check out the video for the complete instructions.
More Complicated Prepping Projects
Build Your Bug Out Bag
If you’re new to prepping then you probably need some help building your bug out bag. Such prepping projects are relatively easy as long as you know which survival gear to buy and if you have the means to buy them.
Even if you don’t have much to start with, you can buy the basics first then add one item at a time until you have everything you need when SHTF. Of course, it’ll for your own good if you can build your grab bug immediately in case something happens.
(Related: 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Prepping)
If you have enough money to buy a pre-made kit, then that is a good enough option. There are lots of pre-packed BOBs available online and in specialty stores.
The LifeShield Mini Tact Survival Kit by Frog & CO comes with nine pieces of essential survival gear. It has a survival whistle, mini tact flashlight, waterproof matches in a weatherproof case, 7-in-1 spork survival tool, P-38 can opener, stainless steel camping cup, pocket stove with smokeless hexamine fuel tablets, a Tact Bivvy 2.0 emergency sleeping bag, and a green polyester drawstring bag to pack everything.
If you prefer to start from scratch for this particular prepping project, you need the right bag first. The Reebow Gear Military Tactical Backpack, for example, comes with a 40L tactical backpack. The waterproof backpack is double stitched for durability and uses heavy duty zippers.
There are a couple of pouches in front along with a Molle webbing for more ways to carry your gear. The back area and shoulder straps are padded with mesh for better ventilation and comfort. The Reebow Gear backpack is also compatible with hydration bladders.
Canning is one of the many prepping projects you should learn early on. Since it’s the start of the year, it’s a great time to make new stocks for your food pantry. Aside from purchasing your usual prepper or survival food like canned goods and grains, you can also start making your own canned food.
(Related: Top Tasty Pickle Recipe You Should Be Making)
To start your canning project, you need the right equipment, tools and ingredients. Invest on a Granite Ware Enamel-on-Steel Canning Kit to get your canning project going. Thus kit includes a 21-quart canner with lid, a rack for 7 jars, 9-inch colander, funnel, tongs, jar lifter, magnetic lid lifter, and a lid wrench.
The Norpro Canning Essentials Boxed Set comes with six of the tools you need for this prepping project. This includes the vinyl coated jar lifter, magnetic lid lifter, wide mouth funnel, jar wrench, bubble popper and measurer, and long tongs.
You’ll need a pressure canner such as the Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker if you want to can different kinds of food including fruits, vegetables, and meat. The Presto pressure canner is made of heavy gauge aluminum that’s resistant to warping. It heats evenly and fast so your prepping projects would be a breeze.
You’re lucky if you have your own garden since you have fresh produce for your canning needs. If you have to buy, though, choose the ones that are in season. At the start of the year, the fruit and vegetables that are in season include grapefruits, lemons, oranges, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and turnips. Check this list of canning recipes to give you a good idea on what prepping projects to do this year.
Follow Gentleman Pirate Club for more prepping projects and other topics about survivalism, homesteading, outdoor sports, and, of course, prepping.