by Todd Walker
My blogging buddy, Patrick Blair (Survival at Home), is credited with the idea for this post. He recommended I share all my DiY stuff in one photo. Haha… that’s a challenge which would take a wide-angle camera lens.
Instead, I thought I’d share some of the stuff I’ve made over the years in hopes of inspiring others to make their own.
We promote skills over “shiny object survival” gear around here. But honestly, I’m a gear junkie as much as the next guy. We’re members of a tool-using species!
Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.
~ Thomas Carlysle
There’s more to self-reliance than just buying gear and tools though…
It’s about making your own and living this philosophy… Prepare modern but practice primitive.
Could the 10 C’s of Survivability be reproduced in a 72 hour survival scenario?
Yup. However, specific skills, resources, and time are needed, which may be hard to come by. So, Buy it… but learn to make most, if not all, of these essential kit items.
- Cutting tools – Unless you’re a very talented craftsman or artisan, I recommend buying the best knife, ax, and saw you can afford.
- Combustion device – Learn to make primitive fire via friction and flint and steel. Flint or quartz can be used on the spine of your high-carbon steel cutting tool to light charred material. You carry a next fire kit, right?
- Cordage – Finding natural resources suitable for cordage expends calories. Making indigenous cordage is a good skill to learn though. I practice making cordage because I enjoy primitive skills. If you don’t, buy cordage for your kits.
- Cover – A USGI poncho or emergency space blanket doesn’t weigh much and can be found for under $20. I hammock camp with my bed sheet tarp but carry an emergency space blanket I purchased.
- Container – You must stay hydrated. Yes, you can make containers from the landscape but a metal container gives you anti-fragile options!
- Cotton – Never made it… buy this item for sure.
- Cargo tape – Practice making natural glues but buy and keep Gorilla Brand duct tape in your kits. If it can’t be fixed with duct tape…!
- Cloth sail needle – My metal repair needle is mounted on the back of my primary knife sheath with Gorilla tape. Primitive needles or awls can be made from bone, but, again, time and resources area factors.
- Candling device – Buy a quality head lamp that takes “AA” batteries. I carry a candle and have made fat lighter’d torches and oil lamps but a flashlight is too easy to pack.
- Compass – Navigation is the primary use for a compass. If that’s all your compass can do, you should consider buying another one. My multi-functional Alpine compass can also be used for combustion, signaling, self-aid, and tick removal.
Even if money isn’t tight for your family, there’s no better satisfaction than using gear made by hands… your hands!
Today is a celebration of making the stuff of self-reliance. Click the title links in the photo essay for details on how to make your own stuff.
Made by Hand
Below you’ll find DiY projects in two broad categories: Outdoor Self-Reliance and Homesteading.
By the way, if you’re on Instagram, give us a follow at… ToddatSurvivalSherpa.
How do you know when it’s best to Make it or Buy it? Skill level, tools and equipment, space, time, and resources are determining factors on which project to tackle. The ultimate goal of making stuff is… making us more self-reliant.
What kind of person are you making?
Mountain Man MRE’s (Pemmican, Parched Corn, and Dried Fruit)
Char Material for Your Next Fire
Self-Watering Container Gardening
Being a student of self-reliance, my expertise is limited in making a lot of the gear I own. However, it’s good enough to get the job done. For instance, the bed sheet tarp has been through extensive field testing and has performed like a boss!
Then there are DiY projects I’ve tried that failed miserably. The journey to self-reliance depends on failing forward.
Your turn. What’s your favorite gear or equipment you’ve Made by Hand? Let us know in the comments.
Keep Making the Stuff of Self-Reliance,
P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on Twitter, Pinterest, Google +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network.
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Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!
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