Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
When it comes to survival projects, most of us already know about the projects we need to tackle, like growing and raising our own food and harvesting rainwater. But what are some other tasks you could undertake right now that could be essential to your family’s safety in an emergency?
Here are 11 survival projects you may have overlooked.
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1. Build a Composting Toilet
The concept of using fresh, clean water to flush away human waste has never seemed as careless as it does now, especially with much of our world suffering from severe drought conditions.
You can conserve water and save money now—and have an alternative if your water supply wanes in a crisis—by building a composting toilet.
There are many approaches to this project, ranging from the relatively simple to the more complex. But all of them involve the biological process that leads to the decomposition of human waste that turns it into compost-like material. Many of these toilets use dry materials such as sawdust, wood ash, or crushed leaves to help with the composting process.
This article does a clear job of explaining some of the different designs and can serve as an introduction to this important project.
2. Create a Smokehouse
In the event of an electrical grid failure, keeping the food you have safe becomes a high priority. Throughout the centuries, traditional smokehouses have served as ways to preserve and store meats. Smoking also gives meat incredible flavor.
Building your own smokehouse is ambitious as a DIY project, but it is one that will pay off big time. Once again, you can find DIY smokehouse ideas that involve a wide range of skills. An excellent place to begin is by reading this article.
You also might want to check out this DIY smoker that you can build with pallets and just about $100 worth of supplies.
3. Plant Fruit Trees
You may have gotten vegetable growing down to a science by now, but what about growing your own fruit?
Fruit trees require surprisingly little maintenance and, as they mature, they can provide a considerable amount of food for your family.
You can begin with this article that goes over some of the basics of selecting and growing the fruit trees in the space and soil you have. Spring is the best time to plant fruit trees, and some dwarf varieties are suitable for container growing.
4. Dig a Firepit
Backyard fire pits are popular with homeowners these days because they provide warmth and add atmosphere to an outdoor living space. But when the grid is down, the right fire pit can be an essential survival feature. It can offer both warmth and an alternative means of cooking.
You’ll find the DIY how-tos and helpful links in this article. And this article describes how to build a smokeless fire pit.
5. Make a Root Cellar
Our ancestors created root cellars, below-ground or partially underground rooms, mainly to store root vegetables. However, these rooms are useful for storing other vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, legumes, and gourds and keeping them safe from heat and sunlight.
You can make a root cellar of any size you need. This article explains how to build your own root cellar, and this video shows how to create a simple, small, and inexpensive root cellar using a metal trash can. You can find some other DIY root cellar tips here.
6. Build a Water Pump
We all know that water is essential to survival. So, knowing you can pump water in an emergency can offer you valuable peace of mind now and in the future.
This article lists 17 ways to create DIY water pumps. And this video shows how to make a 12-volt water pump for home use.
7. Add a Greenhouse
You already know that growing your own food can be key to long-term survival. When you have a greenhouse, you can extend your growing season and the types of plants you can grow. Here are some ideas.
- This article offers some low-cost options for building a greenhouse with PVC pipe.
- This video shows how to make a lean-to type of greenhouse.
- And, you’ll find links to lots of cool greenhouse ideas here.
8. Build a Potato Box
Did you know that potatoes are one of the best foods to grow in your survival garden? However, these versatile and long-lasting root vegetables can take up quite a lot of garden space.
Here’s a solution: build a potato box. With a potato box, you can grow as many as 100 pounds of potatoes in a small area. You can use wood pallets or reclaimed wood for this project but make sure the wood is food-grade. (Some pallets are sprayed with chemicals that would make them dangerous for this project.)
Here’s what you need to know to build a potato box. And, this video shows the process of using salvaged pallets to make potato boxes.
9. Install a Backup Power Source
If you’ve been putting off having a backup power source for your homestead, it’s time to change that. A backup generator can lessen or eliminate the hardships associated with a power outage.
This article lists some of the information you need to know before you undertake this project. Here is a video that shows how to install a natural gas generator as an emergency power source. And if you would like to harness solar power as an energy source, you might want to read this article.
10. Dig a Fish Pond
Fish is a great source of protein, but if you live a long distance from a lake or river, it might be hard to go fishing during a crisis. You can raise your own fish by digging and stocking a pond on your property. Although the process is involved, it might be worth it in the long run.
Here are a few resources we found to help you determine if this project will work on your property and within your budget:
- The Basic Steps of Building a Fishing Pond
- 10 Things to Know Before Building a Fishing & Hunting Farm Pond
- Eight Things to Consider When Building a Pond on Your Woodland Property
11. Create a Beehive
Many people have been ringing the alarm bells about the dwindling honeybee population lately. After all, these industrious insects are essential to our food cycle.
Building a beehive on your homestead may be another survival project you haven’t yet considered. By becoming a beekeeper, you can help the bee population, put pollen in your plants, add fresh honey to your pantry shelves, and earn some money by selling your honey to others.
Here are some resources if you’re interested in trying your hand at beekeeping:
Preparedness comes in many forms. It can be both a mindset and a series of planned action steps. We hope this list has given you some helpful information for taking the next step to prepare your household for a crisis.
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