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Prepping can be expensive, but one of the best ways to cut down on costs is to try a few DIY projects for preppers. The projects you find below will help you with everything from gardening to weapons.
Being a prepper means you need to have ingenuity and skills, including how to build things. Everyone starts without any experience, but by tackling one project at a time, you’ll gain knowledge and add something that you need to your prepper inventory.
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Here are some of the best (and easiest) projects for preppers.
1. Create a DIY Greenhouse
Greenhouses are an excellent project for preppers; growing food is a big part of long-term survival, and greenhouses give you a way to grow plants earlier and longer. Unfortunately, building a greenhouse is expensive, especially right now when the price of lumber is skyrocketing.
Instead, try building a greenhouse with plastic wrap and PVC pipes. While this type of greenhouse struggles under the weight of snow, it’s cheap (under $100) and will last for years if you take the plastic off when winter arrives.
Take a look at the plan created by Den Garden.
2. Build a Potato Box
Potatoes are one of the best crops to grow in your survival garden. Many gardeners find that growing potatoes is a little complicated, but building a potato box is the solution. It’s possible to grow 100 pounds of potatoes in this little space.
A potato box is essentially a 4×4 wooden box without any bottom. You can use reclaimed wood or wood pallets for this, but make sure they are food-grade wood. Pallets are often sprayed with chemicals that would make them dangerous to food production.
3. Make a Cold Frame
A cold frame is a valuable tool to extend your gardening season. Cold temperatures aren’t necessarily a problem for gardening; many plants handle low temps. Season extenders, like a cold frame, prevent frost from covering the plants.
It’s impossible to grow plants like tomatoes in a cold frame; if they aren’t cold-weather friendly, they won’t work. However, many leafy greens and other plants grow well in cold frames. Depending on where you live, using cold frames allows you to garden year-round.
Fine gardening has an excellent set of instructions for building an easy cold frame.
4. Create a Compost Bin
Compost is key to a successful garden, and preppers need to start taking gardening more seriously as part of their long-term survival plan. If you want to have large, bountiful crops, learn how to build a compost bin at home. Composting is easy, and it’s a great way to get rid of all kinds of scraps without putting them into the trash.
Check out how Young House Love creates a compost bin out of a plastic bin.
5. Use an Old Trampoline to Make a Chicken Coop
Do you have an old trampoline that your kids never use? Repurpose it and turn it into a DIY chicken coop and tractor. You can add wheels to it to make it mobile, moving it to fresh grass whenever you want.
This definitely classifies as a creative project for preppers. Keeping chickens gives you a solid food source if something happens that disrupts the food production again. It’s something that all preppers should consider. Plus, you’re using items that your family might not use anymore.
Take a look at The Homestead Survival to find out more.
6. Make a Wind-Powered Water Pump
A wind-powered pump is exactly what it sounds like; a pump powered by the wind that pumps water. It might not sound like something you need to have, but you never know when the electricity might go out, and you need water.
Instructables created a basic wind-powered water pump, but the design is still in the early stages. This would be a great project that you take and make it a bit better, giving it your creative touches.
7. Make an Oil Lamp
Before electricity and flashlights, people relied on oil lamps to light their homes. All preppers need to have oil lamps as a light source when the power goes out. Eventually, the batteries run out in your flashlights.
Modern oil lamps use lamp oil, but the old-style oil lamps initially used vegetable oil. Making an oil lamp is easy; all you need is vegetable oil, a glass jar, and a wick. This project is perfect for beginners, and you can use them when camping or hanging outside with the kids at night.
Check out these instructions from Joybilee Farm.
8. Build a Wood Rocket Stove
A wood rocket stove is a way to cook, boil water, and stay warm without much effort or fuel. Building a wood rocket stove is a great way to keep your family warm and fed if the electricity goes out.
Take a look at these instructions by Man Made DIY. His design is capable of boiling water and reaching temperatures up to 650℉ at the center. Make sure you use soft sapwood, like pine, to get the proper temperature without too much smoke.
9. Try a Brick Rocket Stove
If you love having a wood rocket stove but want a permanent option, build a brick rocket stove instead. The benefit of using bricks instead of wood is that bricks don’t smoke and won’t burn away over time. They make the perfect base for cooking meat or boiling water without filling your face with smoke.
A good brick rocket stove lasts for years. Take a look at these easy instructions by The Owner Builder Network on making a $6 brick rocket stove.
10. Make a Simple Solar Water Heater
Solar energy is all the rage right now, for a good reason. Unlike other energy methods, solar energy never goes away. If it does, heating our homes and water will the least of our concerns.
Making a solar water heater is a simple project that helps you save money while also preparing for a situation that you might not be able to heat water. Survivalism Page shows us how to make one of these with easy items that you already have in your home. You’ll find all kinds of uses for this DIY project for preppers.
11. Build a Smokehouse
Years ago, one of the only ways to preserve meat for the long-term was to use a smokehouse. Smoke preserves meat for months or years without the need for refrigeration. It’s an excellent project for preppers; you need a way to preserve the meat you hunt after the SHTF.
Take a look at these instructions by DIY Projects to make a smokehouse for less than $100.
12. Build a Composting Toilet
Off-grid living often involves a composting toilet, but have you seen the prices for those? They sometimes cost over $1,000 just to compost your waste. That’s not a price everyone wants to pay; using the bushes for a bathroom is a lot cheaper.
Another solution is to make a DIY composting toilet. These plans are well-made, but if you don’t have any previous experience building, it might not be the best beginner project. It’s more of an intermediate project.
Check out these awesome composting toilet plans.
13. Create a Survival Sling Shot
Slingshots aren’t a primitive weapon; they only came into play about two centuries ago. However, when used correctly and not as a game for kids, slingshots are a deadly weapon in the right hands. The original design was for recreational toys, but soon, plans came out as legitimate hunting weapons.
In the event of an emergency, a survival slingshot can feed your family, taking down small animals. You won’t use it to take down large prey. Take a look at the details at Urban Survival Site to learn how to make a survival slingshot.
14. Make a Cheap Blowgun
Want a cheap weapon that has been around for centuries? It’s time to make a blowgun out of PVC.
The instructions are easy, so if you’ve never made a homemade weapon, this is a great beginner project. All you need is a PVC pipe and some hose clamps. If you want it to be less obvious, try painting it black or using black electrical tape to cover the blowgun.
Take a look at the DIY instructions by Urban Prepper Chick on how to make a cheap blowgun.
15. Make a PVC Bow
Another easy DIY project for preppers is to make a PVC bow. Adding a homemade bow to your arsenal of pre-disaster hunting tools will help your family stay fed and happy.
A bow is an expensive purchase if you want one from the store, but PVC is a versatile material that is inexpensive and easy to work, adapting to whatever you want. It’s available at any local hardware store, so it’s the perfect material to make a homemade PVC bowl.
Check out these instructions by Art of Manliness to see how to make a bow out of PVC.
Give These Projects a Try
Don’t be intimidated by tackling projects. Even if you’re new, dive in and try some of these projects for preppers. You’ll learn a new skill and have something new that helps you feel more prepared.
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