Make a Roll-Top Table

Whether you believe me or not, the truth is I conceived of this table BEFORE I ever saw one or knew that they were being manufactured and sold. Scouts honor. I’m not trying to tell you I invented it, just that I thought of it on my own.


The finished table is 14″ x 14″ by 12″ high. Yes, it’s little, like a side table, but it also fits in my backpack. So there. If you want a larger, taller, heavier table that you need a wheelbarrow to shuttle around, by all means, please scale accordingly.

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Coffee Can Fire Bowl & BBQ Grill

I really wanted one of those fire bowls (sometimes called a fire pit) they sell now at the house we’ve been spending much of the summer. But the cheapest one I saw online was still over $100 (they do seem to be coming down in price. The one pictured here is from Amazon, $91 as of this writing). I finally got around to making one, and it works pretty good as a barbecue grill, too.


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Portable Power

Most of the time survival manuals will tell you not to rely on electronic gadgets to get you through a survival situation. The primary reason being that electronic doo-dads require electric power of some variety; batteries, plug-in to the wall. Secondly, electronics have an uncanny ability to sense when you need them most and thus choose that time to fail, short-circuit, have a drained battery. And worst of all, electronic things break. Then add insult to injury that you wouldn’t be able to fix your iPhone if you wanted to… that is, if you could even get the damn thing open.

HOWEVER… Let’s be realistic here. Everybody on the planet now has a Smart Phone or Tablet (iPhone, Android, Windows8, iPad, Nook, Kindle, etc). Ok, not strictly _everybody_, but my mom does (strangely my more techno father does not).

I’m not going to discuss in this article how important it is to be familiar with non-electronic options — using a compass instead of relying on GPS — The focus here will be how to charge up your stuff.

Look at what great lengths people in the northeast went through to charge their cell phones in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and tell me that we don’t rely a great deal on our electronics.

After Hurricane Sandy, New Yorkers gather around the modern day campfire to charge their phones. Courtesy of CoolMomTech.

But, I bet you’re not reading this because you have no need for portable power. Therefore, read on…

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