By Daisy Luther
Many preparedness books (mine included) are full of lists that tell you what supplies you need to survive a coming zombie apocalypse, an epic climate change flash freeze, or a plain old everyday power outage. It’s rare that you find a book that allows you to use things you’d normally throw away for survival purposes.
However, Prepper’s Survival Hacks by Jim Cobb is that rare exception to the preparedness book rule. You won’t find lists of extensive supplies or pricey gear. Loaded with 50 do-it-yourself projects, this book has lists that read more like the contents of your trash can.
Review of Prepper’s Survival Hacks
Broken up into practical categories, the book contains projects relating to the following topics:
- Food Acquisition
- Survival Kits
The thing I like best about the book isn’t just the projects, though. It’s the whole MacGuyver-style mindset. Jim makes it seem easy to create what you need from what you have. (I’m not the world’s handiest person, but I found the instructions super-easy to follow.)
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We did one of the projects
A review of Prepper’s Survival Hacks wouldn’t be complete without trying out one of the projects, so in the spirit of really testing out the book, we made the “Buddy Burner”.
Using a clean, empty cat food can, some old cardboard, some broken chunks of candle, and a couple of bricks that I grabbed from the garden, I made a nifty little stove. If I was doing more than testing how fast it could bring water to a boil, I would have used cookware that is designed to be used over an open fire, but for this quick test, I used my copper-bottomed stainless steel.
Did it work? Well, I timed it, and the Buddy Burner brought water to a boil on my counter in just over 3 minutes. To be exact:
If you wanted more of a simmer than a boil, you could elevate your pan on another layer of bricks. Pretty awesome, and all made from stuff that folks would normally throw away.
At less than $12, this small book would be an ideal reference to add you your bug-out bag. But more importantly, particularly for those who are new to the survival mindset, use it before disaster strikes and begin to train yourself to think outside the supply list.
I strongly encourage you to order Prepper’s Survival Hacks from Amazon. Jim is a very prolific author, but out of all of his very excellent books, this is my favorite, because it encourages the reader to get his or her hands dirty. With supervision, the projects in it are also great for kids. Not only will it teach them valuable survival skills, but it will help them to develop creative problem-solving skills. (We enjoy adding this kind of stuff to our homeschool curriculum.)
This one gets 5 stars from me!