When it comes to books about survival and preparedness, one of the more prolific authors out there is my friend and blogging colleague, Jim Cobb. I have all of his books and can attest to their integrity, readability, and usefulness. Today, I am pleased to introduce you to his newest book, Prepper’s Survival Hacks: 50 DIY Projects for Lifesaving Gear, Gadgets and Kits.
So what is this book about? It is not so much an “about” book but rather a “to-do” book for do-it-yourselfers and MacGyver types. Does that sound like you?
Want to make some fire-starters using empty egg cartons? How about an inexpensive rocket stove fashioned from patio pavers? These two projects are in the book along with 48 others. What I like is that most are accompanied by photographs so you can not only read about the project, but follow along visually.
Why is that important? The photographs are visual proof that these projects are doable and not just the imagination of some anonymous eBook author. (Oops! Did I really say that?)
In classic Prepper Book Festival tradition, I have an all-new interview with Jim as well as three copies of his book up for grabs in this week’s giveaway. Enjoy the interview then be sure to check in below to learn about the giveaway and to read an excerpt from Prepper’s Survival Hacks.
An Interview with Jim Cobb, Author of Prepper’s Survival Hacks
This is your sixth Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival which speaks to your success as an author in the preparedness and survival niche. That being said, how do you differentiate this book from your previous books?
This book is all about the DIY end of preparedness. I believe that fostering skills like thinking outside the box and being creative are important ways to succeed when under pressure. Being able to improvise a solution when the “standard” isn’t available can be crucial.
Do you ever suffer “prepper burnout” and if so, how do you deal with it?
I think we all do from time to time. While preparedness is a way of life, it doesn’t need to be all-consuming. It is important to take breaks from time to time, to live your life. Go on vacation, just be practical and use some common sense to take reasonable precautions, that’s all.
What, in your opinion, are the greatest challenges we face going forward?
As a society, we are growing ever more divisive. I don’t know if this is something that is being done intentionally or not but the fact is, we seem to be headed for some sort of conflict within our own borders.
In the days following 9/11, the American people were, for the first time in many years, allied as one against a common foe, though at the time I don’t think we truly understood completely what had happened. In the years since, we’ve lost that feeling entirely and it has become much more of a everyone is out for themselves mentality. Sad, really.
Two acronyms are bantered about among survival and prepper types. They are SHTF and BOB. How do you feel about these two terms and do you use them yourself?
I use BOB in my writing far more than I use SHTF. Honestly, I never really cared for the SHTF acronym. I never use either of them when giving classes and such.
What advice do you have for a young person in their 20s who has shown an interest in preparedness?
Start saving money now, putting a little aside every single time you get paid and never touching it. Far too many people never learn how to handle finances and that’s actually a crucial part of preparedness.
Start learning some basic skills, too, like scratch cooking and food preservation. Preparedness isn’t all about the sexy stuff like firearms and bushcraft. You have to know how to feed yourself, how to keep clean, how to pay your bills.
Tell me about your own website. Was is its focus and who is the target audience?
SurvivalWeekly.com was started about 6 years ago as an attempt to combat the large amount of false information that was, and is, going around online regarding disaster readiness.
The target audience has always been the average person who wants common sense and practical advice on how to be better prepared for whatever life decides to throw their way.
Can you drop some hints about your next book?
The next book will harken back to my first, Prepper’s Home Defense. It isn’t a new edition or anything, rather something like a spinoff, I guess you could say. I’m very much looking forward to writing it, just gotta get the current one done first, LOL!
Do you have some advice or a personal message you would like to pass on to Backdoor Survival readers?
Do something every single day that moves you forward, that moves you closer to your goals, whatever those goals may be.
Life is short, don’t waste it.
Jim has reserved three copies of Prepper’s Survival Hacks: 50 DIY Projects for Lifesaving Gear, Gadgets and Kits for this Book Festival Giveaway.
To enter the giveaway, you need to utilize the Rafflecopter form below. Select one or more of the options after signing in using your email account or Facebook, the choice is yours. The best way to start is by clicking on “Free Entry for Everyone”. After that, each option you select represents an additional entry. There are a number of different options so pick and choose or select them all.
The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article. Please note that the winner must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.
Excerpt: How to Build a DIY Solar Still
If Prepper’s Survival Hacks sound familiar, it is because back in September, in the article Emergency Water for Preppers Part 2: Purification, I included Jim’s instructions for building a solar still. For your convenience, I am sharing these instructions below as well. And just for the record, I agree with Jim!
I’m going to be flat-out honest with you. I don’t in any way, shape, or form endorse the use of a solar still for acquiring water in a survival situation. I’m including it here for two reasons.
1. In any survival manual, it is almost expected that the solar still be mentioned, and its absence in this book would be noticeable.
2. I wanted to include it specifically so I could talk a bit about why you shouldn’t rely upon it.
Bucket or clean container
Large plastic tarp
Large rocks or logs
#1 On the surface, the solar still is a fairly straightforward project. Using your shovel, dig a hole a few feet deep. At the bottom of the hole, roughly in the center, place your bucket or other clean container. Next, stretch the plastic tarp across the top of the hole using the large rocks or logs to secure it in place. Finally, place a small rock at the center of the tarp, which weighs it down above your container.
#2 The idea is that the sun will heat up the inside of that hole, causing moisture from the ground to evaporate, then condense on the bottom of the plastic tarp. It will then run along the plastic to the point above the bucket, into which it will drip.
Here’s the thing. The amount of water you’ll gain through the use of the solar still is, quite literally, a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of energy you’ll expend by digging the hole and setting everything up.
Don’t believe me? Go ahead, set one up tomorrow and see how well it performs. If you get more than 2 cups of water, you’ll be doing fairly well.
The Final Word
Let me repeat the last words in Jim’s interview: Life is short, don’t waste it. Those are sage words, which, after reading them, I had to write down on a large piece of paper and set next to my desk lest I forget.
These days, it is all too easy to get bogged down in the ritual of preparedness. Finding an outlet, whether in the form of DIY projects or some other hobby, is something we all need to do. That, along with setting small, achievable goals, will bring a sense of focus and satisfaction to our lives.
As crazy and uncertain things are in our world, we can only do what we can do. Find some pleasure in each day and then, with a sense of smug righteousness, be comfortable in the knowledge that have taken steps to prepare.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Spotlight: Prepper’s Survival Hacks: 50 DIY Projects for Lifesaving Gear, Gadgets and Kits
When a catastrophic event strikes, you’ll need to rely on your skills and supplies to keep you alive. This book teaches you how to improvise solutions for the scarcities, deficiencies, and dangers that will arise in a worst-case scenario.
Prepper’s Survival Hacks offers a wide range of creative ideas for transforming cheap and widely available items into life-saving gear:
•Harvest water in a transpiration bag
•Catch food with a pocket fishing kit
•Cook using a handy hobo stove
•Craft quick fire starters in an egg carton
•Make a mini oil lamp using a mint tin
•Assemble a survival kit in a belt pouch
Plus: The Preppers Guide to Food Storage
No list of books would be complete without my own book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage. The eBook print version is available.
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