Chapstick-Handy Uses

If you carry chapstick in your packet, like most people do, then here are some neat ideas you can use during your next outdoor adventure.

  • A DIY fire starter – Combine some chapstick with a cotton ball for an improvised and reliable fire starter.
  • An Improvised First Aid kit – Use the chapstick to cover and protect minor, topical injuries. It’ll keep it protected, clean and prevent minor bleeding. Make sure you use non-flavored for this!
  • A gear lubricant – Chapstick is petroleum based, so it can be used to stop squeaks in gear and lubricate sticky zippers.
  • A Temporary Water-proof tool– If you find a small leak in your gear, a temporary field repair can be done with chapstick. It’ll act as a temporary fix to prevent water seeping through the tent, jacket, pack or what have you.
  • An Emergency Candle – A surprisingly effective homemade, emergency candle lantern by twisting a cotton ball into a wick and coating it in the chapstick.

How to Preserve Tomatoes and Apples With a Homemade Solar Food Dryer

I saw dried tomatoes selling for $10/pound at a food coop and thought that price was outrageous. Now that I make and eat my own dried tomatoes, I think they’re priceless.

You can pretty much eat year-round from our small Ohio homestead. Preserving the summer harvest is an important part of doing this, but when I can find a new way of processing food that results in more variety for winter meals, I’mdrying tomatoes especially pleased. Drying apples and preserving tomatoes with a homemade solar food dryer condenses their flavor into incredible winter treats.

We learned to both make and use the food dryer by following Eben Fodor’s excellent directions in his book, The Solar Food Dryer. The body is made from recycled cortec and the hardware bought locally. We ordered the polypropylene screen that the food sits on from the reference given in the book. We didn’t want to risk galvanized metal or aluminum screens interacting with the food.

One thinks of summertime as having long days and the sun high in the sky—perfect for a solar dryer. In reality, the days are getting shorter and the arc of the sun lower by August and September when most fruits ripen. Fortunately, the plans include a built-in light bulb that provides backup electric heat if the day becomes overcast or if the food needs drying into the evening.electric cord and themometer

The one design detail I would change for our latitude is to tilt the dryer a bit more to face the lower arc of the late summer sun. The original angle was calculated by taking our latitude and subtracting 15 degrees. So far, we’ve only use ours in late summer, and have increased the angle by elevating the back legs on two-by-fours. We may soon commit to that angle by shortening the front legs.

A thermometer tells us the internal temperature of the dryer as we rotate it during the day to face the sun. Our goal is to keep the temperature in the 120 to 150 degree range. If it gets too warm, an additional screened vent can be opened as much as necessary.

I make it sound as if we’re standing by the dryer monitoring and adjusting its progress throughout the day. In reality, the homestead’s too busy for that, but the dryer does well with two or three adjustments during the day as we’re walking through the backyard doing other projects. It wouldn’t work, however, to put it out in the morning and leave for work until late in the day. It needs help in following the sun.

Preparation of the food for drying is pretty fast and easy. I prepare the tomatoes by giving them a minute or two in boiling water so they’ll peel easily, and then slicing them as uniformly as possible. I’ve even dried paste tomatoes by just halving them. It’s amazing how small and intensely flavored they become when most of their water is gone.

Preparing the apples for drying is easy and fun if you have a manual apple peeler-slicer-corer. This even gives you slices of equal thickness. The apple slices require no treatment to keep them from discoloring—the drying results in a slightly darker color anyway.apple peeler-slicer-corer

I judge when it’s time to take the food out of the dryer by making sure it’s beyond the sticky stage, still a bit leathery (a good excuse to taste-test!) but not brittle. Then I put it immediately in a container where it won’t re-hydrate in the humid summer air. Glass jars with tight lids are a nice option, but need to be kept in a cool place. I sometimes freeze the fruit indried apples labeled plastic bags, though I’m trying to wean off plastics.

There are books that give recipes for making “fruit leathers” when drying, but I really dislike adding sugar to food that tastes so great with just its own fructose. I dry the apples and tomatoes plain, and I often savor them as “plain” winter treats. However, these dried tomatoes are great in pasta or soups, and the apples add incredible flavor to even vegetable dishes.

DIY Survival Flare Grenade

diy-survival-flare-grenade

Most survival kits do not include this item, but I personally think that it is important to have at least one of these. The reason being that if you hear a helicopter hovering above searching for you, you can then immediately light up one of these diy survival flare grenades to help them locate you.

It will only cost you about $2 to make one of these, and most of the materials can be found in any dollar store. You may want to try make a few of these varying the amounts of sparkles inside until you find the perfect quantities for your full impact grenade. You can also use these to light fires.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • sparkles
  • match box
  • plastic tube
  • electrical tape
  • striking matchbox surface
  • zip tie
  • steel wire
  • utility knife

Step By Step Instructions:

Step 1

Cut two holes opposite each other in the
top of the plastic tube using your knife.

Step 2

Lay a strip of electrical tape on a bench
place 5 match sticks with on it and a sparkle
on one end. Roll them together so that the
sparkle is in the middle of the match sticks.

Step 3.

Make a ring from the steel wire and then tape
the striking surface with the surface facing
inside onto the ring using the electric tape.

Step 4.

Tie the wrapped sparkler inside the striking
surface with a zip tie, make sure its below the
match heads before tightening it.

Step 5

Crush your sparkles and then pour them about
halfway into the plastic tube.

Step 6

Insert the igniter you made in Step 4 into the
sparkles in the tube and hold it in place with
two match sticks, through the holes in the top.

Step 7.

Take some paper and stuff it around the igniter
to increase the pressure in the grenade.

Step 8

Wrap the whole tube and the top, in more electric
tape so that it is completely covered with tape.

Your flare grenade is ready for action. To use it just pull the ring, that should light up the matches and ignite the sparkles causing a flare. Make sure you move a safe distance away from the grenade after you pull on the ring.

You can watch the video below on how to make a survival flare grenade…

Linked from: http://surviveandprepare.com/diy-survival-flare-grenade/

How to make a pocket grill

DIY-Pocket-Grill-01-696x464

There are lots of portable grills out there for camping and other outdoor adventures, but we’ve discovered that ‘portable’ usually means ‘luggable’. But wait ‘coz the one featured here is pocket size and yes… it’s an easy DIY project.

A grill that you can carry in your pocket has to be as good as it gets as you won’t even feel its weight when added to your backpack!

As the title indicates, this really is a DIY grill compact enough to can carry in your pocket, yet it expands to a realistic, usable size! How’s that for packing light?

And what makes the pocket grill really perfect for outdoor activities is that it is easier to clean compared to the regular portable grills. Just disassemble it (which only takes about ten seconds) and clean the parts with ease!

Worried about the materials used? Aside from aircon tubes and gas lines copper is also used to make pots and other cookware, with many people regularly using them to make jams and other delicacies. The ‘grill grate’ on the other hand is made with stainless steel rods… So this pocket grill is totally safe for cooking.

Materials:

  • 3/4″ diameter Copper Tube
  • 5/8″ diameter Copper Tube
  • 2 Copper Tube Caps (size that will fit the larger diameter pipe)
  • 1/16″ diameter Stainless Steel Bicycle Spokes

Tools:

  • Hacksaw
  • Cutting Pliers
  • Drill
  • Utility Knife
  • File (or Sandpaper)
  • Ruler

The materials: Of course these are not mandatory, you are welcomed to improvise, but please wear safety gear and respect work security guidelines (or suffer the consequences of your foolish actions).

Basically you need two pieces of pipe, one must fit in the other, I used 18mm (3/4 inch) and 15mm (5/8 inch) copper tube; any metal should do, but I used copper because: it is relatively lightweight, doesn’t bend much when exposed to fire, it has thin walls and most importantly I had them lying around the house (leftovers from the heating system) so they were free.

Two copper tube caps that fit the larger diameter pipe (also lying around and also free).

Handful of approx. 2mm diameter bicycle spokes (1/16 inch). I can’t give you an exact number, you’ll see why in a bit. Make sure that you use stainless steel spokes, you’re going to eat off of them.

Pro Tip: If you have a bicycle repair shop nearby, you should ask them for broken spokes, you may get them for free (I hacked my old bike tire to death for this).

The measurements are pretty simple since you’ll need to cut everything to the same size (you will get a rectangular grill).

Pro Tip: The bigger you make your grill the more spokes you’ll need, make sure that the number of spokes you intend to use all fit inside the smaller diameter tube.

I made mine 20 cm wide (7.87401575 inches, just make it 8) since I found that about 25 2.2mm spokes fit inside the 15mm diameter tube

.DIY-Pocket-Grill-1

Cut tubes to length: Cut the two tubes to equal length and file the rough edges, as I previously mentioned I made them 20cm (approx. 8 inches).

DIY-Pocket-Grill-Step-01

Measure, mark and drill holes: Now that you’ve got your tubes cut to length, you need to mark and drill the holes for the spokes. (The only holes drilled through both sides of the tube are the ones where the nipples attach.)

DIY-Pocket-Grill-Step-03

Cut spokes to length: By now you have the exact number of spokes you’ll need, just count the holes. The spokes need too be the same length (or smaller) as the tubes, since they need to fit inside.

DIY-Pocket-Grill-Step-04

Pro Tip: You will need 2 spokes with intact threads on one end and 90° bend on the other so cut them about 5 – 10mm (1/16 – 3/8 inch) longer than the rest, please keep this in mind.

DIY-Pocket-Grill-Assembly-1

DIY-Pocket-Grill-Assembly-2

DIY-Pocket-Grill-Assembly-3

Assemble the grill: I’m not going to lie to you, this is painstaking to do until you do it a few times and get used to it.

DIY-Pocket-Grill-Disassembly

Disassemble and pack the grill: This is a “piece of cake”. Just unscrew the nipples and it falls apart. Packing it up is also pretty easy.

DIY-Pocket-Grill-27

Final Thoughts: Some of you expressed concern that copper emits harmful gasses when heated, I can’t scientifically refute this, but I couldn’t find any source on the internet proving it…

 

Linked from: http://diyprojects.ideas2live4.com/2016/01/29/how-to-make-a-pocket-grill/

 

How to Make Your Own Bug Spray and Bug Bite Sticks

How-to-Make-your-Own-Bug-bite-sticks-and-bug-spray

Summer time brings on the bug bites like crazy. You can make your own anti itch sticks that work wonderfully to take the itch out fast. I love making my own products because I know what’s going on my skin and my kid’s skin.

Make your own bug bite sticks for itching and stings, little sprouts learning

bug bite sticks, homemade, little sprouts learningI am leery of all the harsh chemicals we have available for our use on our bodies. Most of this stuff can be grown in the garden or bought locally, or you can order it in bulk from amazon. Either way, using pure ingredients will help protect your health.

making your own bug bite sticks that take itch away, little sprouts learninganti itch sticks, saving money, natural products, little sprouts learning

infused oil, bug bite sticks, little sprouts learningDEET is the main ingredient in most insect repellents but it’s not good for our health and can be particularly dangerous for use on children. If you want to learn more about the dangers of DEET and other ingredients in conventional bug spray.

natural products, essential oils, little sprouts learning

I love being able to make my own remedies and help protect my kids and my family from miserable itching throughout the summer.

Natural Bug Spray
Bug Spray made with all natural ingredients to repel bothersome insects.
Ingredients
  1. ¼ C. Apple Cider Vinegar
  2. ¼ C. Distilled Water
  3. 1 Teaspoon Homemade Vanilla (Click here for the recipe)
  4. 15 Drops Lavender Essential Oil (I use DoTerra brand oils and have much less reactions with my allergies)
  5. 10 Drops Lemon Grass Essential Oil
  6. 10 Drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  7. 20 Drops Melaleuca or Tea Tree Oil
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients and shake well.
  2. Shake well before each use.
Notes
  1. You should always test any product on a small patch of skin before use. Use caution when using essential oils on children.
By Christina Kamp

natural insect repellent, bug spray, little sprouts learning

Natural Bug Bite Sticks
Sticks to rub on bug bites to take out the itch or sting.
Ingredients
  1. 2 Teaspoons Dried Plantain Leaf
  2. 3 Teaspoons Dried Lavender Flowers
  3. 1 ½ Teaspoons Dried Echinacea Leaf
  4. 1 ½ Teaspoons Dried Echinacea Root
  5. 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  6. 3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  7. 1 Tablespoon Lanolin
  8. ½ C. Beeswax
Instructions
  1. Combine oils with dried herbs in a crock pot and turn on the lowest setting
  2. Leave 2-3 days watching carefully so it doesn’t get too hot. You can turn it off at night.
  3. Strain your oil with cheesecloth or a strainer.
  4. Clean out your crock pot.
  5. Return your infused oil to the crock pot.
  6. Add beeswax and lanolin and stir until dissolved and combine.
  7. Pour mixture into empty chap stick tubes or small tins.
 

Please be cautious when using essential oils or any products on children.

Information shared on this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, and has not been evaluated by the FDA. These are simply recipes that I use.

This post may have affiliate links. If you click on these links it may allow us to earn a small commission with no added cost to you. We are working hard to keep this blog free to you and these commissions are part of the plan to do that.

 

How to Make your Own Bug bite sticks and bug spray

Linked from: http://littlesproutslearning.co/make-bug-spray-bug-bite-sticks/

12 Rainwater Collection Tips

rainwater-collection-tips

Why is it important to learn rainwater collection methods?

Living in such a modern world nowadays, most people don’t worry about much at all. They can mostly get what they need at home with just a push of a button or a flip of a switch. Even going camping outdoors is more like “glamping” these days, with food, water and even internet easily accessible.

But what if you run out of water, either at home or while spending time outdoors? What if there’s no way to get water elsewhere? Even if you were able to collect water, how would you make it safe to drink?

The following rainwater collection tips are for those who may find themselves in dry spell conditions, or even those who might like to save some money on their water bill.

Rainwater Collection Tips for Preppers

1. Check State Laws Before Collecting Rainwater

state laws rainwater collection

 

Are rainwater collection systems legal in your area? A water permit is required for some states in the US, while others don’t allow you to collect any rainwater at all. Better safe than sorry.

 

2. Collecting Rainwater At Home Using Food Grade Rain Barrels

rainwater barrels

Place the barrels beneath your downspouts. You can use cheesecloth, a coffee filter or a screen trap will help filter the water from sediments.

 

3. Make Your Own Rain Barrel

This tip will help you go through the Do’s and Don’ts in making your own rain barrel.

3. DIY Rainwater Collection System

five gallon bucket

This tip will help you collect rainwater mostly using materials that can already be found lying around your house. It may take a few hours of your time every day but it will surely put your power tools to good use. Plus, you don’t spend much for by paying someone else to do it for you.

 

4. Make An Emergency Water Filter

Using an ordinary bucket, you can fill it with different layers of certain materials that probably won’t cost you a cent. Just don’t forget to place a hole at the bottom.

 

5. Build An UltraModern Rainwater Harvesting System

rainwater collection system

Collecting and transporting a rainwater barrel outside your home can be tiring and time-consuming. Installing a system with a more complex design may help. Some systems have an overflow pipe that releases excess rainwater to a designated location in your property.

 

6. Install A Greywater System

If rain is scarce in your area and you’re just trying to save on your water bill, you might want to consider installing this system. You can recycle water from dishwashers, sinks, showers, and washing machines for use other than drinking.

 

7. Make A Belowground Still

This would increase your chances of survival for outdoor enthusiasts. This is a very basic way of collecting water if there isn’t any fresh water source for miles.

 

8. Make A Solar Still

solar still infographic

This is another ingenious way to collect drinking water in the wilderness. Just choose an inclined surface then dig a trench. With a stick, plastic bag and a few rocks you’ll quench your thirst in no time.

 

9. Plant Condensation

plant condensation

If there are a lot of plants nearby you can collect water through the process of condensation. You will need a plastic bag and a 550 cord or anything similar to that material. Wrap the plastic bag around the end of the plant or a branch of a small tree then wait for the water to condense at the bottom of the bag.

 

10. Use Rags To Collect Dew

wringing out rag

Dew is most heavy right before sunrise or shortly after that. By tying rags on your ankles and walking through grass covered with dew you can wring the now wet rags into a container. It may not be enough but it will get you through a couple of more hours.

 

11. Purify Water Taken From Unreliable Water Sources

water purification tablets

Purification tablets or 2% tincture iodine can come in handy when you need to purify water to make it safe for drinking. Make sure you purify water taken from swamps, lakes, streams, springs and ponds.

 

12. Use Tiny Zinc Oxide Wires Made In The Form Of  Spiny Cactus

cactus

These cacti spike inspired design was able to collect water from the air five times more efficiently than its original counterpart. This will work wonders for those that run out of water in the desert. If caught unprepared, collecting water from miniature cactus spines can suffice.

Just surf the web and you can find a lot more tips in collecting water from a variety of sources. Regardless of your location or type of environment you are in, knowing how to collect water in different ways is crucial for everyday living and survival.

Linked from: http://survivallife.com/rainwater-collection-tips/

Build a Bamboo Survival Bow in 30 Minutes

Bamboo has been used for millennia to make fine bows. It is tough, straight grained, very flexible, and easy to work. Bamboo is used for backing on many traditional laminated bows. This bow is neither fine, nor traditional, nor laminated; but it is quick and easy to make, and it works.

To build this bow you will need a nice large cane of bamboo. The walls of the cane should be at least three-eights of an inch thick, and the cane need s to be about five or six feet long. Pictured below: Bamboo for bow making

Use a hatchet, or heavy knife to split the cane in half. Pictured below: top, Splitting bamboo; bottom, two pieces of the split cane


Now take one of the pieces of bamboo and use your hatchet or knife to split off the sides and narrow the part that you will use to about two inches in width. Pictured below: top, Splitting off sides; bottom, two inch wide stave


Use you hatchet and knife to shape the front profile of the bow. It should be about two inches wide in the middle and taper to about one inch on the tips. Pictured below: top, Shaping bow with the hatchet; middle, tapering the limbs; bottom, finished profile



Next you can use your knife to carve a couple of notches in each end for the bowstring. Pictured below: Carving notches

Now it’s time to make the handle. Cut a stick that is about an inch to an inch-and-a-half in diameter and about a foot long. Taper the ends of the stick as shown below. Pictured below: tapering the handle stick

Carve out any joints in the area where the handle will rest then test the fit of the handle. Pictured below: top, carving out a joint; bottom, handle resting in place in the cane


If the handle fits you can take some cordage and wrap the handle to secure it in place. In the illustration below I am using some yucca cordage that I had made earlier, but you can use para-cord, a shoelace, or anything else that you have. Pictured below: Wrapping handle

All you need now is a bowstring. I used some more yucca cordage for my bowstring. Pictured below: Finished bow, strung and ready for use

This particular bow, which is only about a quarter inch thick, is not all that powerful, about twenty pounds; but thicker bamboo will make a more powerful bow. I wouldn’t hesitate to use this bow to try and take a rabbit, coon, possum, or other small game. Pictured below: Bamboo bow at full draw

Linked from: http://sensiblesurvival.blogspot.com/2012/03/build-bamboo-survival-bow-in-30-minutes.html

Make a DIY Raft Out of Trash Bags

Capture

Whether it’s a natural disaster like a flood, or you simply need to cross a body of water to get to safety, a raft will be very handy.

It’s important to remember that it’s not always a good idea to swim in these situations, even if you have the skills. The risks involved may be too many. After all, there is no point in trying to be a hero in survival situations. The goal is to come out alive.

Carrying a life raft is not a good idea, and stuffing it into your bug out bag is impossible. But with a knife, some long branches, cordage and trash bags you can build your own emergency raft.

Check out the following video to learn how!

 Linked from: http://survivallife.com/diy-trash-bag-raft/

DIY Zero-Electricity Air Cooler From Plastic Bottles

Plastic-Bottle-Air-Cooler-2

Have you ever heard of Bernoulli’s principle? It’s a cornerstone of fluid dynamics. Without an understanding of fluid dynamics the modern air conditioner wouldn’t be possible. Ah, the modern eclectic air conditioner, some can argue it is the greatest invention of the twentieth century. Viewed by some as a convenience, in truth, it has made places like the American southwest hospitable.

Even though efficiency of these units has come a long way, the average window unit still draws a massive amount of power, easily drawing a hundred times more than a LED lightbulb. So how can we keep cool in a grid down situation? This video shows how simple ingenuity and recycled materials can take advantage of Bernoulli’s principle to provide some relief from the heat!

Linked from: http://prepforshtf.com/diy-zero-electricity-air-cooler-plastic-bottles/

DIY Treatments for Sunburns

homemade-sunscreen

Summertime is an excellent time to get outside, but with hot temperatures, there comes the possibility of getting sunburned. Since the Earth’s axis is tilted, the sun’s rays hit the planet at a steeper angle during the warmer months, increasing the amount of light that strikes at a given point. Plus, the longer daylight hours mean that there’s more time for the temperatures to rise.

Consequently, there’s the potential for you and your loved ones to suffer sunburns. Depending on their severity, sunburns can be extremely painful. They can also lead to blisters, swelling, infection and even headache, fever, chills, and fatigue requiring medical attention if the sunburn is serious enough.

Most minor sunburns, however, can be treated at home using items you already have around the house. There are a few different options.

  1. Use compresses – Immediately after getting sunburned, the skin is often inflamed. You can minimize the inflammation by applying a compress. Try dipping a cloth in cold water and applying for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. For inflammation, you can also apply witch hazel with a cloth or cotton balls. For relief from itching, apply a powder with aluminum acetate.
  2. Apply natural remedies – For pain that often accompanies sunburn, you can apply several natural remedies either directly on the burn or via a cloth. These household items include water and oatmeal, boiled lettuce, yogurt, tea bags soaked in cool water, cornstarch with enough water to be mixed into a paste, and fat-free milk mixed with water and ice cubes.
  3. Take a bath – It’s important to never use soap following a burn. Soap dries and irritates the skin that’s already been damaged. Avoid bubble baths and soaking in soapy water. Instead, rinse the skin with cool (not hot) water, and consider soaking the affected area in cool water. You can also soothe the pain by adding baking soda or vinegar to the bath.
  4. Use Moisturizers – Sunburned skin is dried out, so it makes sense to add moisture back to your skin by applying moisturizing lotion. (Lotion with aloe is a plus.) Be sure to drink lots of water to add moisture back into your body as well. It also helps to eat a balanced diet to provide the nutrients your body needs to heal.
  5. Get some rest – Your body will need lots of rest in order to heal. However, sleeping on a sunburn can be a challenge. Sprinkle talcum powder on the sheets to make your bed more Plus, satin sheets can help provide relief to dry, itchy skin.

Of course, prevention is the best way to minimize the damage that sunburns can do. Use sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15 when going outside. Reapply sunscreen as necessary, especially after sweating and swimming. Wear protective clothing like hats that shade your face and lightweight fabrics. Try to avoid the hours between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. when the sun is strongest.

Linked from: http://www.survivalbased.com/survival-blog/8841/diy-treatments-for-sunburns/

7 Badass Weapons You Can Make at Home

No Arsenal is Complete Without These DIY Survival Weapons

Want to make some awesome homemade weapons?

In a SHTF situation, you’re likely going to need a way to protect yourself.

Weapons, though very useful, are also a lot of fun–especially when you can make them yourself.

With a multitude of DIY weapon techniques mastered and under your belt, you will never be without the ability to be armed or entertained.

Check out our step by step instructions for 7 badass weapons you can make at home.

1. PVC Pipe Compound Bow

This instructional video shows step by step how to make a compound bow from inexpensive, readily available materials. Anyone can do it if you have some patience and are willing to try. This is a good project for anyone who wants to get into archery with a compound bow but doesn’t want to pay for such an expensive item. Or you could just make it to learn about how these types of bows work and gain experience working with this sort of thing.

2. Mini Cannon

Here’s how to make a mini combustion cannon sized to fire airsoft pellets. The only materials required are a BBQ lighter, a few screws, epoxy or other strong glue, and a drill.

3. Stun Gernade

Made from simple PVC pipe and baking soda and vinegar, these relatively harmless grenades are cheap and safe to use. These grenades are less for physical harm and more for their startling ability. 

4. Pump Action Rocket Gun

This inexpensive gun is a fun project and a cool item to have around. The DIY is very simple and relatively cheap as well.  The entire project, including a bunch of ammo, could easily be made for around $20.

5. Mini Stun Gun

This is a really easy project which anyone with a little soldering skills can make. All you really need is a continuous piezo electric sparker, a lighter that takes a battery. These are used to light gas BBQ’s, heaters, etc.

6. Primitive Club Tool

 

If stuck in the wilderness with limited resources, knowing how to make this tool could come in handy. This simple technique will quickly transform a few items into a very useful weapon and tool.

7. Pocket Dart Gun

This easy DIY will allow you to shoot your own darts out of a syringe. It won’t work for very long distances or with a huge amount of accuracy, but if your need a dart gun in a pinch it will get the job done!

How to Make PVC Ice Packs for Coolers

When camping, tailgating or going on a picnic, keeping food and drinks chilled is top priority. Instead of using ice, which melts and creates a slushy mess, make your own ice packs using PVC pipe. This is a more efficient method for transport and cleanup, and you can personalize the ice packs with your own signature style, such as your favorite team colors.

Things You’ll Need

  • Tape measure
  • 2-inch PVC pipe, 10 feet
  • 2-inch PVC end caps, 8
  • Chop saw or 2-inch PVC cutter
  • Clear PVC cement
  • Paper towel or rag
  • Spray paint (optional)
  • Clear sealant (optional)

Step 1: Cut the PVC Pipe

Measure the inside of your cooler to determine how long you want the ice pack to be. Subtract 3 inches off that measurement to make room for the end caps.

Use the chop saw or PVC cutter to cut your PVC pipe into the desired lengths. In this project, we cut two 18-inch pieces for a large cooler and two 10-inch pieces for a smaller backpack cooler.

If using a chop saw to cut the pipe, be sure to clean off any debris inside or out.

Step 2: Close One End of the Pipes

Seal off one end of the PVC pieces with end caps. Apply a liberal amount of PVC cement on both the inside of the cap and the outside of the pipe. Push the end cap firmly onto the pipe, and use a damp paper towel or rag to clean up any extra cement that may have seeped out. Allow the cement to dry completely, about one hour.

Be careful not to get any PVC cement on your skin, and refer to the warnings on the canister.

Step 3: Fill Pipes With Water and Seal Other End

Once the PVC cement is dry, fill the inside of the pipes with water — fill them only about three-quarters of the way up, since the water will expand when frozen. Seal off the other end of the pipe the same way you did in the last step. Place the pipe upright while it’s drying, so the water doesn’t mix with the cement

Step 4: Paint the Pipes (Optional)

Spray paint the pipes any color you’d like. Be sure to do this in a well-ventilated area (ideally, outdoors). Allow the paint to dry completely.

You can also use a clear sealant after the paint has dried to help keep the paint looking pristine over time.

Step 5: Freeze the Pipes

Place the pipes in your freezer and let them stay there overnight. Presto! You now have your very own ice packs to use on camping trips, tailgating parties or picnics on the beach

Build a Jig to Slice Plastic Bottles into Rope Project

This step by step tutorial of how to build a jig to slice plastic bottles into rope project in a way to re-purpose a soda pop container into a useful item. The project is extremely to follow and in no time at all you will be making all the rope you could need for your crafting. The completed jig is equally simple to use and with just a few bottles you will soon have a huge pile of crafting material.

When it comes to making crafts you can use a wide variety of materials in order to create your unique beautiful artist items. Whether you choose to use supplies you find in a craft store or prefer to use materials that come from recycled stuff, it is totally up to you.

One of those materials that are often used for crafting is called plastic rope. This can be used to make a number of unique items and it is really easy to acquire. Clear, green, blue and brown are just a few of the colors choices of plastic bottles on the market. The plastic strips can be cut in different widths, customized to your need.

This Do It Yourself project offers to help you to create your own way to turn an empty plastic soda bottle into tons of plastic rope.

Materials and Tools:

A Wooden Surface(2×4 works great)

2 Screws(Long enough to go through all of the washers and into the wood)

8 Washers(Holes in the middle must be smaller than top of screw)

Exact-o knife

Cordless Power Drill

A marker

2 liter soda bottles

Benefits of using the Build a Jig to Slice Plastic Bottles into Rope project

● The project includes a complete listing of all the materials, supplies and tools you will need

● It also includes a complete, easy to read and follow step by step instruction guide

● It has several full color photos that help to depict some of the steps

DIY: Antiseptic Ointment

For treating minor cuts, scrapes, abrasions and whatnot, most people will reach for the Neosporin or some other antiseptic ointments.

For treating minor cuts, scrapes, abrasions and whatnot, most people will reach for the Neosporin or some other antiseptic ointments.

These are great items to keep in your first aid kit, but hold on just a second before you rush out the the pharmacy to stock up on these…

Did you know that instead of wasting $5 to $10 on ointment, you can make your own DIY antiseptic from scratch?

This homemade antiseptic ointment is packed with germ-killing properties that will help treat those everyday minor cuts, scrapes, and abrasions you might have, and best of all, it’s really easy to make.

Here’s all you need:

    • 1 1/2 ounces beeswax, grated
    • 1 cup olive, almond, or coconut oil
    • 1/4 teaspoon vitamin E oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon tea tree oil
    • 20 drops lavender essential oil
    • 10 drops lemon essential oil

Ointment Recipe Directions:

1. In a small pot, and melt the oils (except the lavender and lemon essential oils) and beeswax using low heat (very low heat).

2. Remove pot from the heat and add Vitamin E oil, lemon, and lavender essential oil. Stir with a chopstick or a small wooden spoon.

3. Pour the mixture into a small sterilized jar(s) (or a mason jar). Then let stand and cool on the counter.

4. Store it in a dark cool place.

When you get a cut, scrape or abrasion, use this ointment as needed on the wound(s).

It should keep for roughly 5 years.

How does it work?

The antiseptic properties include:

    • Tea Tree Oil: antibiotic, anti-fungal, antiviral, antibacterial
    • Lavender: analgesic (pain relief), antibiotic, anti-fungal, antiviral, and antibacterial
    • Lemon: antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial

*For those who don’t like the smell of lavender, you can substitute chamomile essential oils for lavender and fir essential oils for lemon.

DIY Portable Bucket Air Conditioner

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If you had to come up with a top 10 list of uncomfortable situations, being stuck inside on a hot day without air conditioning is probably on there. Having a fan blowing hot air around is little relief, but you can take that same fan and turn it into a portable AC unit with only a few additional supplies. This portable bucket air conditioner can easily and cheaply be put together and serve as a personal cooling device making life a little more comfortable.

Things You’ll Need

  • 5 gallon bucket
  • Styrofoam inner bucket (minnow bucket)
  • 1 1/4-inch PVC, about 12 inches
  • 1 5/8-inch hole saw
  • 7-inch portable fan
  • Utility knife
  • Gallon jug of water, frozen

Supplies for this project are cheap and readily available. Five gallon buckets can often be recycled from painters or bakeries. Making these devices and distributing them to those in need would be a great community service project during the hot summer months. Some people without air conditioning, especially the elderly, can be extremely vulnerable in hot weather.

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Set the fan upside down on the lid of the bucket and trace the outline.

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Using a utility knife and being very careful, cut along the traced line. Cut slowly using a sawing motion. You might need to trim slightly to get a good fit with the fan.

Note: If the lid is made with thick, rigid plastic, it might be easier and safer to cut the hole with a jigsaw and fine-tooth blade, a rotary tool or a fine-tooth keyhole saw. Make a starter hole for inserting the saw blade by drilling just inside the marked outline with a 1/2-inch bit.

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Depending on the type of fan you are using, it might be necessary to cut away supports or stands. A hacksaw works well for this.

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Fit the fan into the cut hole and set aside.

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Clamp or hold the bucket securely and drill three holes in the side of the bucket with the hole saw or Forstner bit.

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Cut the PVC pipe into three pieces about 3 to 4 inches in length. A hacksaw works well for this.

Learn How To Wash Clothes During An Emergency

Are you ready to learn how to wash clothes during an emergency? Remember the month of September is National Emergency Preparedness month. Today I am going to show you my new and improved portable emergency washing machine. Well, it’s actually two buckets that fit inside of each other with one new change to my original style. Yesterday I shared my laundry detergent recipe.

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Are you ready to learn how to wash clothes during an emergency? Remember the month of September is National Emergency Preparedness month. Today I am going to show you my new and improved portable emergency washing machine. Well, it’s actually two buckets that fit inside of each other with one new change to my original style. Yesterday I shared my laundry detergent recipe.

Clean Underwear

Here’s the deal, I could go a few days and not wash my shirt or pants. Its the underwear. Yep, lets just say it how it is. We all want to wear clean underwear. Its no secret. I remember growing up and my grandmother would always shout “be sure and wear clean underwear” if we were getting ready to go somewhere. Heaven forbid the you’re in a car accident and you end up in the hospital wearing dirty underwear. Enough said, this little washer bucket set can wash clothes very well. Oh, we could only wash clothes a little at a time but that beats bending over the bathtub.

No Laundromats To Wash Clothes

If we had an unforeseen emergency the local laundromats will more than likely not be working, unless the power outage is confined to a very small area of our city or county. Another reason we need to keep up on our laundry, it’s hard when life gets hectic and we are running kids to ball games or lessons. I did learn something from one of my daughters about our washing machines. She tried washing her clothes in the short cycle. Its like 26 minutes. Hmmmm. Why didn’t I think of that? I would use less water and my clothes would be done in half the time. Keep in mind we do not have anyone in our family at the moment that has a large amount of grease coming from work. Therefore the 26 minutes works great.

Two Six Gallon Buckets

You will need two six gallon buckets, the five gallon buckets are just not big enough. I use Gamma Lids for the top because it holds the plunger in place. Yes, I am colored coded with my Gamma Lids. The color green is for the laundry. I had a friend drill the two inch holes in the Gamma Lids a few months ago.

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Drill Four Holes

Here, my husband is drilling the four holes in the top bucket. This is my new technique to give the emergency washing machine a little more friction with the water going up and down with the plunger. There is about a three-inch area to give the water to swish around a little more when wewash clothes. Plus, this added feature will be great when we need to rinse clothes as well. I have two set of these, one for washing and one for rinsing. The four holes drilled inside the inner bucket will let the soapy water drain from the clothes after washing them. You will then put the soapy clothes into the second set of my washing machine design and “plunge” the soapy clothes in the fresh water to “plunge” and rinse the soapy water out of the clothes. Now the clothes are ready to hang on a clothesline, clothes rack or a fence.

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The Blue Washer Plunger To Wash Clothes

Here is the washer plunger. It is totally different than the usual toilet plunger. It has four parts as shown and can really move the water around in the buckets.

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Easy To Store & Ready To Use

Here I am assembling the washing machine for storage until needed. I place paper towels between the buckets because they are so hard to get apart when they have been sitting in the heat in my garage for an extended amount of time.

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If you have this ready to use you will be ready for the unexpected emergency or disaster. All you need is water, about 1/4 teaspoon of my homemade laundry detergent to wash and rinse clothes. I hope I never have to use this, but I am at peace knowing I have this ready to go. Just add water, detergent and clothes. Woohoo!

There is one more item I want to mention. Do you have a clothesline or a way to hang up your clothes after washing and rinsing them? I found a clothesline about a year ago from Earth Easy.  I had been looking for one just like this one. I can fold it up and put it away, or leave it out all the time. It has a bag to store it in as well. Are you ready to wash clothes during an emergency?

Mommy, I Have to Go Potty! Make Your Own Emergency Toilet

We have talked about what we’ll do when the paper eventually runs out, but what about when the toilet doesn’t work anymore?

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We have talked about what we’ll do when the paper eventually runs out, but what about when the toilet doesn’t work anymore?

Consider this: You’ve had a major local disaster where the water has gone out. There is no water available to your house because water mains have been broken, the city water supply has been tainted and shut down, or one of the various other reasons that cause city-wide services to be shut down. What happens when Little Susie says she has to go to the bathroom?

Do you let her? Sure! In the beginning, it won’t be so hard. If you’ve got plenty of water stored up, you can use some of the non-potable water to pour it quickly into the bowl to help create a vacuum to flush your toilet. It’s kind of messy, and splashes a lot, which means you’ll have to clean up each time you do it. The real problem comes when the sewer lines become full and your poo isn’t going anywhere. Once that backup happens, it will be a stinky situation, in more ways than one.  (This would be a good time to think about filling your bathtub with water that can be used for non-potable things like watering plants and force flushing your toilet – you can also use a WaterBob to contain it if you don’t want to keep an open tub full of water.)

But it doesn’t take too long for the sewers to get backed up and you can’t flush any longer. THEN you’re in big trouble. Susie REALLY needs to go, but without a working sewer system, that potty water has no where to go. What on earth do you do now?

The problem you are faced with now is how to be able to go to the bathroom and not get your family sick and still not feel like your house smells like a sewer. You’ll always have to worry about cross-contamination of your water supply or communal area with human waste, so you’ll need a way to dispose of it safely and effectively.

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How to Make a Quick Emergency Toilet

Supplies:

  • 5 gallon bucket
  • Bag of scoopable kitty litter (regular works, too, but the scoopable helps alleviate urine better)
  • Heavy-duty garbage bags (you don’t want the cheap ones that easily rip
  • Toilet seat – these toilet seats are available at most camping stores and online. They fit most standard 5 gallon buckets you can get for a few bucks at your local DIY stores.
  • Toilet paper – unless of course you’ve come up with a few ideas of things to use when the toilet paper runs out!

Directions:

  1. Remove the metal handle from your 5 gallon bucket and thread the toilet paper roll on. Return the handle. This is an easy way to keep toilet paper handy without it getting dirty on the ground. Another great option is inside one of the plastic coffee cans  that can serve as a protective home for it.
  2. Fit a 13-gallon trash bag into your bucket and cinch it tight around the top.
  3. Place your toilet seat on top and secure into place.
  4. Keep kitty litter nearby in another waterproof canister

How to use the Emergency Toilet

  1. Pee or poo as you normally would.
  2. Take a scoop of cat litter and cover your ‘stuff’ up
  3. As bag becomes full for you, remove and cinch the top. You can then bury it in a safe location, well away from a water source

There’s an indoor option to this. You can turn off your water supply running into your toilet, empty out the water with one more flush, scoopy out any remaining water and drain it dry, and use a similar set up as the emergency toilet above. It will give everyone a little comfort of something familiar, even if the procedure is somewhat unfamiliar. You’ll want to be sure to plug up the hole to make sure no sewer gas smells seep out over time (just as if you were replacing the toilet and had to plug up the sewer hole). This is a great solution when you know this hack will only be needed for a short time.

For our family, though, this wasn’t going to be the best option for more than a few days. For one, it is hot more often than not. Our house is also not set up with a great ventilation system of cross breezes, etc., so the inside of the house can stay hot for a long time. Having a bucket of poo sitting in the house all the time isn’t the best option for us. So we’ve scoped out a place in our garage where we can make a potty station. If worse comes to worse, we also have a great nook on the outside of the house where we can set up a similar station if needed, including a bolt in the fence to stick the toilet paper on when we’re out there. That’s why we love this plan.

Storage

You can keep a small bag of scoopable litter, the trash bags, scoop, toilet paper and some cleaning wipes stored inside of your bucket with the seat nearby in the event of an emergency.

Things to consider

Someone taught me was using 2 buckets. One with the liner for your solid waste and one without the liner for your liquid waste. The liquid waste can be used in the yard or garden safely (as long as you don’t have someone who is carrying a major disease). Then you only really have to deal with the solid waste in your first bucket.

Consider a 2nd set up for your sick-room preps. You don’t necessarily want to be using the same ‘potty’ as someone who has a gastrointestinal issue. You need to cordone off an area as a sick room and make sure cleaning procedures are followed closely, including NOT disposing of the waste anywhere near your water source or where you are growing food.

You may want to find a way to stabilize your camp toilet. Besides using the pre-made versions that give you a little stability, you can use a milk crate + legs to give yourself less chance of tipping over.

The Pool Noodle Emergency Toilet

You’ve no doubt seen the Pinterest and Facebook phenomenon of the Pool Noodle Emergency Toilet. We made one up in about 3 minutes to show you how easy it is to set up.

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My son actually thought it was pretty comfy. But, it wouldn’t take long for that comfie to wear off as the noddle will eventually split from use, from weather, etc. Also, the minute you get that noodle dirty, it is forever contaminated. With all of the holes in the make up of the foam, you could never be certain you’ve completely sterilized OR sanitized it when cleaning. There is no lid so the waste is open all the time.

Ready Made Emergency Toilets

Campers everywhere have already come up with some awesome ideas for ready-made toilets that will be easy to store and use. There are also bags specially made for this set up  if you want to stock them specifically. But you can also think of things like bedside toilets that you would use for folks in a hospital that are on metal frames. They may not store as easy, and might need to be maintained a little differently by pouring the contents into a bucket set up each time, but would be easier for folks who need a little extra help up and down. You might also want to consider, if you’re having to use this for more than a few days in an open area,an enclosure to give yourself a little privacy.

Now don’t completely freak out over this stinky situation  This is one of those situations where it is easy to prepare yourself for a short term problem that probably won’t last more than a week or two. If, in the event of a major issue, you’ll want to look at some more permanent solutions like an outhouse. But for now, be ready for the most likely scenario!

How To Make Pemmican: A Survival Superfood That Can Last 50 Years

Packed with calories and nutrition and able to be packed and stored for long periods, pemmican is often called the ultimate survival food.

Packed with calories and nutrition and able to be packed and stored for long periods, pemmican is often called the ultimate survival food.

Created by Native Americans and adopted by European explorers of the New World, pemmican is a concentrated blend of fat and protein from lean, dried meat. The word “pemmican” is derived from the Cree root word “pimi” for “fat” or “grease.” Traditionally, the meats used in pemmican included bison, moose, deer and elk.  Beef can be used as well.

The secret to pemmican’s long shelf life is in properly rendering the fat from the meat. The pemmican can be stored in airtight containers without refrigeration in a cool, dark and dry place. If made and stored property, it can last for years or even decades. There are reports of some pemmican lasting 50 or more years.

Let’s look at the steps to making pemmican.

1. Dry the meat. Cut off all the fat, and then slice the meat as thinly as possible before placing it on a drying rack in full sunlight. Another option is to place the meat directly on your oven rack with the oven temperature at its lowest setting. The meat needs to be dry enough that it cracks when you try to bend it. Adding salt will extend the shelf life. The more salt you add, the longer it will last.

2. Grind the meat. Now you need to grind the meat until it is powder form. If you do not have a food processor, mince the meat and then grind it in the blender. If you are in a survival situation, chop the meat into small bits and then crush it into a powder.

3. Render the fat. Now heat the fat in a crockpot, in the oven or on the stove. Use a low setting for several hours, and be sure to stir the fat occasionally until it has stopped bubbling. Then pour it through a mesh strainer to filter out any pieces.

4. Mix the meat with any dry extras. If you are using any nuts or dried fruit, such as raisins, dried cherries or cranberries, mix it with the dried meat in a large bowl (leaving room for the fat). Note: These extras reduce the shelf life.

5. Add the fat. Next, add one part of fat per every two parts of the dried meat mixture (add more fat if needed). Slowly pour the hot liquefied fat into the meat mixture and stir well.

6. Add any wet extras. If you are adding wet ingredients such as honey, maple syrup or peanut butter, mix them in now. If the mixture seems too wet, you can add a little almond meal to get it to your desired consistency. You also may add salt to taste if you like. Note: These extras will reduce the shelf life.

7. Form the pemmican. A popular method is to spread the mixture into a casserole dish. Let it get firm before cutting it into squares or bar sizes. If you prefer, you can form the mixture into balls.

8. Store the pemmican. Once cut, place it into airtight containers and store them in a cool, dark and dry place. You also store your pemmican in zippered bags in your freezer.

There are many varieties of pemmican, but they all use the basic instructions. Many other recipes begin with a 1:1:1 ratio of basic ingredients such as:

1 cup of dried meat

1 cup of dried fruit or berries

1 cup of melted animal fat

Pemmican is surprisingly filling and can supply energy for hours.

You can experiment to find the recipe that works well for you. Label the pemmican you make with the ingredients and proportions you used, so you will know what combinations work well and how you might want to tweak a certain recipe a little in the future.

5 Easy Tips On How To Make A PVC Blow Gun

Real quick before we get started, if you don’t know how to make a PVC blow gun (or even if you do), you need to watch this video first.

Not only is this a Do-It-Yourself project, but it’s also an incredibly cheap, effective, sturdy, and FUN gun to shoot (and, best part is you can practice shooting darts at home before you get yourself into a real survival situation).

Real quick before we get started, if you don’t know how to make a PVC blow gun (or even if you do), you need to watch this video first.

Not only is this a Do-It-Yourself project, but it’s also an incredibly cheap, effective, sturdy, and FUN gun to shoot (and, best part is you can practice shooting darts at home before you get yourself into a real survival situation).

Now you might be wondering, “Well that’s great and all, but how is that really going to help me in a survival situation?” Little do you know blowguns have been used to hunt game for thousands of years. In fact, it’s one of the most primitive weapons the world has used.

You might not be able to take down a bear with one of these bad boys, mind you, but you can certainly go after small game with your own homemade blowgun and darts.

Aside from hunting game, these PVC blow guns are great for protecting your home and your garden as well. The darts are astonishingly quiet, leaving you the ability to sneak up to your window (or the perpetrator) unannounced and get their attention real quick. If you’re in a dangerous situation, this could help give you the advantage and allow you to take matters into your own hands.

I like to make things simple for you. And while written instructions for making a blowgun are useful a video with instructions is even easier to follow.

Check out how to make a pvc blowgun.

1.) Take Your Time:

The PVC blow gun fires its darts silently, so your game won’t know what’s coming until it’s too late. Plus, you can quickly fire one dart after another, so take your time and make sure to aim correctly.

2.) Get An Upgrade:

Once you’ve mastered the basics with a PVC pipe, you can move on to a steel or aluminum pipe instead. These materials are tougher than PVC, and are sturdy enough to not bend quite as easily when you’re handling it.

3.) Utilize Your Spare Time For Target Practice:

Now that you’ve made your very own weapon, you’re going to want to be sure how to use it and use it well (luckily these guys are fun to use, so you’ll want to practice). Grab an old dart board to do some target practice on your off-time; it’ll prepare you well for the long-term.

4.) Change Up Your Darts:

Nail darts are effective, but they’re not the only solution. Bamboo skewers (like for kabobs) can be used, as well as black locust wood, which is traditionally used in the southeast due to its weight and strength.

5.) Keep It SAFE:

Blow guns are fun, but they’re NOT toys. They should be treated with respect, just like any other weapon. When misfired, projectiles shot at close range can cause bleeding and infection – not to mention loss of private/public property if you hit a window (or the neighbor’s cat) by mistake. Use caution and common sense when operating this blow gun.

Now we recognize that sometimes, well, life happens. And when life happens, either the arrow doesn’t quite hit the target, the target moved, or someone was just being outright dumb.

When you think about it, and all the randomness and curveballs life throws at you, you really can’t afford tonot have one of these first-aid kits around.

Budget Friendly Ground Beef Jerky Recipe

Homemade ground beef jerky is easy and economical. You can use lean beef or venison – whichever you have available – and common pantry ingredients (except the liquid smoke, which I did buy just for jerky making). My jerky gun came with seasoning and cure packets, but these were full of all the ingredients I’m trying to avoid in commercial jerkies (MSG, hydrolyzed soy protein, nitrates, etc.).  (Those little packets are expensive, too, if you purchase them separately.)

Homemade ground beef jerky is easy and economical. You can use lean beef or venison – whichever you have available – and common pantry ingredients (except the liquid smoke, which I did buy just for jerky making). My jerky gun came with seasoning and cure packets, but these were full of all the ingredients I’m trying to avoid in commercial jerkies (MSG, hydrolyzed soy protein, nitrates, etc.).  (Those little packets are expensive, too, if you purchase them separately.)

Do you need a jerky gun to make jerky with ground beef?  Nope – but it’s rather handy and somewhat entertaining.

Why Use Ground Beef for Homemade Jerky Instead of Beef Strips?

I prefer ground beef jerky for three main reasons:

  1. It’s cheaper. I can get ground beef or venison much cheaper than a roast.
  2. It’s easier to make. Working the jerky gun or rolling the meat out thinly is much easier than wrestling to cut strips out of a piece of meat with bone and connective tissue intact.
  3. It’s easier to chew. Eating a piece of regular beef jerky can sometimes be like chewing on an old shoe, especially when there’s a lot of connective tissue. Ground beef jerky has the meaty, salty jerky taste we love without the bits that get stuck in your teeth.

This recipe has been adapted from Mary Bell’s Complete Dehydrator Cookbook – “All American Marinated Beef Jerky”.  Mary makes hers with beef strips, but it worked well as a ground beef jerky recipe, too.  For the soy sauce, I prefer grain free organic tamari. Most soy in the US that is not organically grown is genetically modified, and non-organic wheat may be sprayed with glyphosate prior to harvest.

Homemade Ground Beef Jerky Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or venison

Directions

In a glass bowl, combine all ingredients and let sit (refrigerated) for at least two hours.  I mixed this up at bedtime and let it sit until after lunch the next day, and it wasn’t too strong.

Load the mixture in the jerky gun and use the gun to load your dehydrator trays.  I do recommend using the mesh inserts or fruit leather trays for your dehydrator. This mixture is fairly soft because of the added liquid, which makes it easier to fire through the gun.

If you don’t have a jerky gun, roll the mixture out very thinly (1/8 inch thick) and score lines where you would like the pieces to break apart.

Dry at 145° – 165° F (63° – 74° C) for 4 to 12 hours, until jerky is hard but still flexible and contains no pockets of moisture. For extra safety, heat finished jerky in a 275° F (135° C) oven for 10 minutes.

Jerky will last in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 – 2 months. For longer storage, place in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. Vacuum sealing will extend shelf life.

How Much Homemade Jerky Do You Get from One Pound of Raw Meat?

The weight of the jerky will decrease by about two-thirds during the drying time, so for every pound of raw meat you use, you’ll get around one-third pound of finished homemade jerky.

How Can I Be Sure My Jerky is Safe to Eat?

The University of Wisconsin suggests the following two options for safe jerky making at home:

  1. Dry meat at 145° – 155°F for at least 4 hours followed by heating in a preheated 275°F oven for 10 minutes. Drying meat at a temperature below 145°F will produce a product that looks done before it is heated enough to destroy pathogens, and before it has lost enough moisture to be shelf-stable.Only a few dehydrators currently on the market will maintain the necessary temperature of 145° – 155°F: the Gardenmaster by Nesco/American Harvest and the Excalibur are two such units. Each of these units has a large heating element, strong air flow, and adjustable temperature setting. Dry for at least 4 hours (6 hours is preferable) and remove jerky from the dehydrator. Place dried strips on a baking sheet, close together but not touching or overlapping. Heat in a pre-heated 275°F oven for 10 minutes to an internal temperature of 160°F – strips thicker than ¼” (when raw) may require longer to reach 160°F. In our research, strips removed from the oven were sizzling hot. Remove oven-heated samples from the oven, cool to room temperature, and package. Always include the post‐drying oven‐heating treatment as a safety precaution.
  2. Steam or roast meat strips in marinade to an internal temperature of 160°F before drying; heat poultry to 165°F (internal temperature) before drying. The USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline currently recommends this method for making safe jerky. The pre‐heating step assures that any bacteria present will be destroyed before drying and a lower dehydrator temperature (130° to 140°F) can be used. After boiling, dehydrate meat for 4 to 6 hours. No post-dehydration oven-heating is necessary. Since it can be impossible to accurately measure the internal temperature of a thin strip of meat, consumers can boil meat in marinade (or water) for 5 minutes before drying. Unfortunately, this USDA‐recommended method produces a dried, crumbly product that would be judged inferior by Wisconsin standards for chewy, flexible jerky.

Do I Need a Dehydrator to Make Jerky?

No, it is possible to dry jerky in the oven.

Process homemade jerky in a 250° F (120° C) oven with the door slightly open for 2.5 hours. Rotate baking sheet and bake for three hours more.

You may be able to reduce drying time slightly by flipping the jerky over at the 2.5 hour mark so the underside of the jerky is exposed.

With the Excalibur dehydrator, a batch of jerky is done in about 4-6 hours, depending on the humidity level. Drying overnight gets the jerky a little too dry for my taste. It’s still good, but a little too crumbly.

The last time we made jerky, my eldest mixed up the jerky marinade and meat one day and my youngest loaded up the Excalibur the next morning. The jerky gun makes nice, thin strips about an inch wide when you use the “double barrel” attachment.  The gun also has option of a single wide strip or a tube shape.

We made some of the wide strips (he wanted to try the different barrels) and perforated them with a thin bladed spatula so they broke apart easily when dry. (You can use this same scoring technique for jerky that’s rolled out instead of made with a jerky gun.)

Scoring the jerky Scoring the jerky After drying, the jerky breaks easily apart.   After drying, the jerky breaks easily apart.

This has become one of my favorite snack foods since we’ve been working to reduce our carbohydrate and grain intake.  It’s relatively quick and easy to make, and the gun was pretty inexpensive.

Do you have a favorite jerky recipe?  Have you tried making jerky with ground beef?  Has anyone tried making jerky out of organ meats?  I’d love to hear from you.

Ground Beef Jerky

Easy and economical jerky recipe that’s great for lean beef or venison.

Ingredients

  1. 1/2 cup soy sauce
  2. 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  3. 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  5. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  6. 1 pound lean ground beef or venison

Instructions

  1. In a glass bowl, combine all ingredients and let sit (refrigerated) for at least two hours. I mixed this up at bedtime and let it sit until after lunch the next day, and it wasn’t too strong.
  2. Load the mixture in the jerky gun and use the gun to load your dehydrator trays. I do recommend using the mesh inserts or fruit leather trays for your dehydrator. This mixture is fairly soft because of the added liquid, which makes it easier to fire through the gun.
  3. If you don’t have a jerky gun, roll the mixture out very thinly (1/8 inch thick) and score lines where you would like the pieces to break apart.
  4. Dry at 145° – 165° F (63° – 74° C) for 4 to 12 hours, until jerky is hard but still flexible and contains no pockets of moisture. For extra safety, heat finished jerky in a 275° F (135° C) oven for 10 minutes.

Notes

  1. Jerky will last in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 – 2 months. For longer storage, place in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. Vacuum sealing will extend shelf life.
  2. Ingredients
  3. 1/2 cup soy sauce
  4. 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  5. 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  7. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  8. 1 pound lean ground beef or venison
  9. Instructions
  10. In a glass bowl, combine all ingredients and let sit (refrigerated) for at least two hours. I mixed this up at bedtime and let it sit until after lunch the next day, and it wasn’t too strong.
  11. Load the mixture in the jerky gun and use the gun to load your dehydrator trays. I do recommend using the mesh inserts or fruit leather trays for your dehydrator. This mixture is fairly soft because of the added liquid, which makes it easier to fire through the gun.
  12. If you don’t have a jerky gun, roll the mixture out very thinly (1/8 inch thick) and score lines where you would like the pieces to break apart.
  13. Dry at 145° – 165° F (63° – 74° C) for 4 to 12 hours, until jerky is hard but still flexible and contains no pockets of moisture. For extra safety, heat finished jerky in a 275° F (135° C) oven for 10 minutes.
  14. Notes
  15. Jerky will last in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 – 2 months. For longer storage, place in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. Vacuum sealing will extend shelf life.