Main Page

  Table of Contents


  Aiding and Abetting

    Original Aiding and Abetting

  Who are we?

    About the Site

    What the Site is NOT

  History of the book & wiki

    December, 1970 - Steal This Book Introduction

    July 2005

      i'm thirsty

      I am root

      Unidyne, present and accounted for!

    April 2007

      Steal This Wiki Introduction

      Main Page


        About This Wiki


        Things we REALLY need help with (Seriously):

        Why was my IP banned?

    Feb 2008

      Steal This Wiki launches alpha version of Steal This Book for 21st Century

    2011 - Main Page

    Nov 2011 – Temporary Removal

    Dec 2011 - Main Page

    May 2012 – Site Goes Down For Years

      STW Refugees Regroup on Rational Wiki

    June 2012‎

    Oct 2012

    Oct 2014

      Main Page

    Sep 2014

    Dec 2014

    Jan 2015

    Nov 2015

    Jan 2016 - DnE Year In Review.

    Nov 2021‎

      About, An Intro, & A Monologue



  --- Survive ---

  1. Security Culture


      Electronic Communication

      Web Sites








      Safe Sex

      Tough Love

      Unnecessary Criminal Activity




      Security of Your Security Culture


  2. Free Food


      General Guide

      Blood and guts

      Dumpster Diving

      Day Old Bread Stores

      Free Drinks

      Hotel Grazing

      Fast Food Chains

      Convenience Stores

      Movie Theaters


      Hospital Cafes

      Free Milk

      Free Candy

      Free Meat and Cheese

      Grocery Stores

      Sikh Temples

      Free Food For Your Own Church

      Bird Bread

      Own a Pickup?

      External Links to Free Food Resources

    Cooking Basics


      A Few Helpful Hints on Cooking

      Measurement Conversion Tables

        Temperature Conversions

      Planning Meals

      Waste Not


      Flavors and Spices

      Pressure Cooking

      Solar Cooking

      Basic Solar Cooker

      Using Old Cookbooks

      External Links



      What You need

      Firearm Observations

      Spotlighting Deer


      Urban Pigeon

      Gutting and preparing meat


      Furred animals





      General Guide





      Fish Tickling





      Avoiding Poisonous Plants

      Universal Edibility Test

      Ethical Foraging Guidelines

      Edible Plants




      False Dandelion(Catsear)

      Field Corn


      Miner’s Lettuce



      Palm Fruit

      Broadleaf Plantain(Plantago)


      Strawberry Tree(Arbutus)

        Strawberry Tree Jam



      NOT Eating Out

      Fast Food

      Sit-Down Restaurants

      Dealing With and not Pissing Off Restaurant Staff

      The Walk-out

      My Food is not Cooked Right!

      Turning Employees


      It Has Been a Long Time and My Food Is Not Here!

      Restaurant Waste

    Food Programs


      Food not Bombs

      Food Stamps (SNAP)


      Religious Organizations and Shelters

      Feed a Yippie



      Getting Food Extra Cheap

      Sample Surfing

      Discount Stores


      Shopping List


      Self Check-Out

      Lifting a Meal

      Marketing Scams

      Munchies and Hungries

      Papers Please

      Gift Cards

      UPC Tricks

      Bakery Coupon Scam

      Club Card Warning

      Working at a Store

      The Dumpster

      Wholesale Markets

    Farm It


      General Farming

      What to grow

      Farming Techniques


        Guerrilla Farming

        Tire Farming

        Trash sack

      Open Field

        Preparing a Field



        Plastic Sheet

      Open Source Ecology

      The Organic Way

      Organic Pesticide Solutions

      Organic Fertilizers


      Crop rotation

      Farm Animals



        Outer cover

        Inner cover

        Hive body and hive super



        Frame length

        Frame depth

        Frame width

        Bottom board








      Animal Medicine

      Canning and Pickling

      Canning Process

      Processing Times

      AgriBiz and Seeds

  3. Free Clothing


      Getting Clothes


      Thrift Stores

      Big Box Stores

      Hand Me Downs


      Donate and Give Back

      Make and Repair your Own

      Clothing Insights

      Outdoor Clothing

      Walking Billboards


      Work Uniforms

      Hidden Pockets

      Deodorant and Hygiene



      Apartment Laundry

      Campus Laundry

      Corporate Laundry



      Air Wash

      Piggyback Laundry

      Homeless Shelters and "Opportunity" Drop In Centers.

      Creek, Stream, and Ocean Washing



      Skinning and Storing



      Final Preparation

      Doing Business

  4. Free Shelter

      Free Shelter Articles

    The Street


      Reasons to Leave Home

      Physical Abuse

      Sexual Abuse

      Reasons not to Leave Home

      Dangers on the Streets


      Evil Helpers

      Choosing Good Helpers

      Personal Needs



      Getting Off Drugs


      Rape and Battery Support Groups

      State Welfare Services

      Foster Home




      Health Clubs

      Men, Women, Roommates, and Safety Pacts

      Crash Pad Romance

      Mental Illness



      Sympathy Psych

      Destitute Sheltering

      Alcohol and Cold

      Hot Water

      Other Tips


    Low Impact Crashing



      Portable Electrical Cooking

      Pots and Containers


      Pot-in-Pot Refrigerator



      Other Stoves

      BBQ Grille


        Newspaper Logs

      Chimney Stoves

      Hobo Stove

        Buddy Burner

        Hand Sanitizer Stove

        Advanced Hobo Ovens

        Box Oven

      Washing Clothing



      Bucket Wash

      Public Restroom

      Drying Clothing

      Improvised Clothing

      Clean Water


      Garden Hose



      Solar UV Sterilization (SODIS)


      Fire Sprinklers (and Why You Shouldn't Use Them)





      Indoor Bathing

      Shower Bottle

      Frugal Bathing

      Hot Water

      Outdoor Bathing

      Showers for Sailors

      Baby Wipes



      Power Jacks

      Pop open the meter

      Alternative Voltages

      Outdoor Power Taps


      Long Runs

      Free Electricity


      Stealth Light


      Staying warm



      A Word on Batteries, Solar, and "Wind-Up" Gadgets

      Pest Control

    Free Land

        Adverse Possession

        Repo Your Own House From the Bank

        Free Kansas land

        Undeveloped Land

        Should I commit to building a home?



        Questions to Ask Yourself

        How to Build A Home

        Cheap home, urban setting






        Internal vs. External Frame Packs


        Sleeping Gear

        Sleeping Bags

        Sleeping Pads

        Bivvy Sack


        Food Preparation


        Liquid Fuel

        Compressed Gas

        Open Fuel

        Solid Fuels

        Triangia Stove

        Drink Can Stove



        Pressure Cooker


        Mess Kit

        Forest Forage



        Drinking Systems











        HF Radio

        Handheld Radios

        Packable Sat-Com



        Power Generation


        Flashlight and Headlight

        Bug Repellent



        Walking Sticks

        Tools and Repairs

        Other Skills




        Where to Stealth/Free Camp


        Hot Springs

        Deep Wilderness

        Avoiding Vagrancy Problems




      Choosing your tent

      Cheap Tents

      Wear Prevention


      Tarp Tent

      Rain Protection



      Log Cabin


      Dutch Ovens





      Troubleshooting Liquid Fuel Pressure Stoves and Lanterns



      Water Conserving Cleanup


      Cold Caching


      Barbecue Grilles

      Other Options

      Fire Lookout

      Forest Fires

      Replacing Consumables

      Camp Farming

    Urban Living


      Moving Out





        Plumbing Basics

      Legal, Leases, and Landlords



      Starting Out Cheap

      Inexpensive Apartment

      Weekly Rate Motels


      Rooming Houses

      Roommate Situation

      Sofa Surfing

      Homeless Shelters

      Creative Methods

      Free Naps



      Spaces between and behind buildings


      Storage Space Rental

      Bike Locker

      Tent Cities


      Underground Structures

      Abandoned or Unused Structures

      The Street

      Suburban Living

      Garden Shed

        Garden Shed Kit


      Squat a House

      Fuel Up

    Free Furniture


      Improvised Furniture

      Plastic Milk Crates

      Free Boxes


      Foam and Bean Bags

      Recycled Junk

      Auto-man Furniture

      Lawn Furniture

      Kids Stuff

      Free Furniture


      Diving for Furniture



      Build Your Own Furniture

      DIY Japanese Screen

      Frame Bed

      Victorian Curtain and Canopy Bed


      Moving the Stuff

      Hand Truck


      Cycle Moving

      Find a Friend With a Truck

    Rural Living


      Rural Housing

      Communes and Compounds

      Stealth Camping

      Creative Construction

      Recycled Sea Shipping Container

      Straw Bale




      Mobile Homes

      School Bus

      Interesting Rural Places

      Slab City

      Immigrant Labor Camp

      Black Mesa Navajo


      Adverse Possession


      Remote Areas Development Manual

      Peace Corps Building Manual


      Original Rural Living



      Legal Issues

      Foreclosure Squatting

      Authorized Foreclosure Squatting

      Disputed Loan Hassle



      Leak Management



      Shower Enclosure


      Door and Frame

      A Warm Bed

        Cargo Pallet Bed


      Living Arrangements

      Stealth Squats

      Defense in an Eviction

      Original Content


      How to Form a Group

      Choosing Your Team

      Assembling Your Squat Team


      Finding a Building and Investigating It


        Triage Marks


      Inspecting the Building


        Major Code Violations


        Interior Inspection


        Floor Joists



      Getting In

      Outside Door

      Posting Your Claim


      Establishing a Claim

      Emergency Repairs



      Temporary Roof Repairs


      Frame Repairs

      Stair and Floor Repairs


      Debris Removal

      Asbestos Safety

      Document Homestead Repairs

      Light, Heat, and Fire Safety



      Kerosene Heaters

      Wood Stoves



      Makeshift Toilets, Water, and Cooking


      Food Storage

      Alcohol Stove


      Make it Comfortable



      Legal Hassles


      Registered Mail


      Neighborhood Association

      Bureaucracy and Eviction

      Welfare and Children

      Public Officers

      Legal Notices

      Public Safety Evictions

      Public Support


      Outside Links

    Free Electrical Power


      Free Electrical Power


      Basic Supplies

      Tapping Street Lamps

      Tampering With Electrical Meters

      Getting at your meter

      What you're looking at

        Decreasing Usage

        Reactivating Cut Off Power

      Cutting Power

      Generating your own

      Rotary Generators

        Alternatively Fueled Generators


        Free Hydroelectricity

        Free Wind Power

        Other possibilities

      Dielectric Generators

  5. Free Transportation

      Free Transportation Articles

      Outside Links to Resources

    Pack Your Bag






      Stash a Pack

      Pack Lockup




        Splashed Electronics



        USB Key/Disc

        Mobile Phone

        E-book reader

        Wake Up




      Wilderness Gear, and Urban Crash Gear

      Washing and Drying Clothes

      Washing Up



        Nail Clipper

        Warm Water



      Sewing Kit

      Toilet Paper


      Hair Dryer


        Diving Gear

        Immersion Boiler

        Travel Iron



      Fun and Games

      Quick Packing List

      Not Overpacking




      Phone Cards



      General Delivery




      The most important things to remember about hitchhiking are

      Who picks up hitchhikers?

      Truckers and CBs


      Road repairs

      Event Caravans



      Traveling Together

      Alternatives to the Thumb


      Helpful Links



      Getting a Bike


      Kinds of Bikes


      Cargo Bikes




      Ride Safe


      Crash Positions

      How to Lock Your Bike

      Disguising Your Bike

      Stashing Stuff

      Smart Security Tips





      Bikes and other forms of Transit


        Touring Gear

      Cross Country Camping

      Inner City

      Folding Bicycle

      Keeping it Working


      Portable Tools

      Road Crud


      Wheels and Tires



      Yellow-White Bicycle Share Programs

    Cycling Gear


      Cycling Gear






      Toe Clips and Clipless Shoes



      Super LED Lamps

      Sound Signals

      Weather Protection

      Safety Equipment

      Rain Suits

      Rain Capes


      Handlebar Covers

      Tire Studs

      Carrying cargo


      Handlebar Bags

      Saddle Wedge Bag



      Bucket Panniers

      Pizza Delivery

      Cargo Mule


      Types of Locks

      Tent Trailer

      Generators and Dynamos


      MP3 and FM Radio

      Motor Assist


      Bike types

      Magneto Electricity

      Legal Motors




      Passenger trains

        Abusing Open Returns


      Types of Rides


        General Manifest


      Getting on and off


      Finding the Right Train


      Hobo code of ethics

      External Links



      Don't Drive

        Walkable and Bikeable Cities

      Get a Motorcycle Instead

      Save Gas

        Steal Gas


      Car Co-op

      Basic Maintenance and Emergencies

        Starting and Trouble Gear

        How to Use Jumper Cables

        Rolling Start with Manual Transmission



        Check your Fluids

        Advanced Repairs and Tips


      Road Trips

        Roadtrip Checklist

      Car Dwelling

        Parking Tips

        Car Cover



        Truck Canopy


        Interior Decorating





      Cooking and Heating

        Engine Block Cooking

        Tailgate Cooking

        12 Volt Cooking


      Legal for Cars

      Candid Camera

      A Few Words About Biodiesel

      Smoke Screen

      Free fuel - The wood gas generator

      Steam Powered Cars

      Produce Your Own Ethanol

      Running Your Current Car on Store Bought Ethanol

      Recycling a Car

      External Links






      Fre-E-Ticket Hopper

      Missionary Position

      Around The World Tickets

      Air Courier


      Support Gear

      Beating the Luggage Surcharge

      Sky Phones




      Heavy Baggage

      Camping Gear


      Stowing Away

      Mail Yourself

      Fly Your Own Plane

    Sail Away


      Buying and Preparation






      Stowing Away and Cargo Cruises

      Pirate Radio

      International Maritime Law


      Outrigger Canoes

      Weblinks to cheap boat buying sites

  6. Free Education


        Free Education

        Free Database Access


        Teach Your Children Well

        Free E-Books, Audio Books, and Educational Resources

        Outside Resources

        Free Education Articles

    List of Free Universities

      List of Free Universities

    Internet educational resources


      Universities with free educational content

      Educational podcasts

      Language Education

      Other free resources

    Free High School


      Homework, Classwork, Exams

      Computers and Software





      Student Government


      Acting Nice


      Protest Movement


      Mediums for Public Expression


      The Principal's Office


      School Paper

      The Cafeteria

      Parental Issues


      Gulag Schools

      How to escape if abducted by a "boot camp"

      Surviving Gulag Highschool

      Alternative Graduation


      Post-Secondary Enrollment Option

      Sample Plan For Leaving Home

      Parties, Booze, Drugs

      Fake ID

      Parties and the Pigs

      Illicit Drugs



    Free College Life


      Choosing a College

      Rip-Off Colleges

      The Admissions Process

      College Level Examination Program

      College Life

      Freshman Shock

      Singles and Dating

      College Textbooks

      Withdrawing Classes

      Fraternities and Sororities



      Downsides of College Life

      Losing Revolutionary Thought




      Get Involved

      After College

      Student Loans

      Academic Probation

      Deciding to Get an Advanced Degree

      Get a Job

  7. Free Medical Care


      First Aid

      The Emergency Room

      Free Clinics

      Medical Tourism

      Stretching, Massage, and Exercise

      Old Vitamin Names

      Eyes and Eye Glasses

      Links and Further Reading

      Free Condoms

    The Free Pharmacy


      Common Household


      Over the Counter

      Recycled BigMed Prescriptions

      Write Like a Doctor or Nurse

        A note on forging prescriptions




      Prevent Infection


      Urinary Tract and Bladder Infections

      Boils and Abscesses

      Tooth Abscesses

        Brush Your Teeth

        DIY Toothpaste

        DIY Oral Rinse

        Dental Schools

      Fungal Infections

        Eliminating the Tinea Fungus

      Digestive System Bacterial Infections

      Clostridium difficile

      E. Coli



    Common Illnesses


      Rules for Illness


      Other Illnesses

      Chicken Pox/Varicella


      Tuberculosis or TB




    Diseases and Conditions






      Heart Attack



      NOT Getting Injured

      Cuts, Punctures, and Lacerations

      Broken Bones


      Trench Foot

      Frost Bite

    Mental Illness


      Psychology Basics



        Curing Depression in General

      Winter Blues

      Obsessive Compulsive Disorder


      Relocation Stress Disorder/ Stress


      Delusions and Hallucinations


    Pregnancy, Abortions, and Child Care


      NOT Getting Pregnant

      Emergency Contraception

      Symptoms of Pregnancy




      Birth Preparation


      Child Care



      Child Proof your House!

      Drug Use and Kids

      Potential Pitfalls

      Divorce/ Breakup

      Child Support and Visitation

    Skin Care


      Baking Soda

      Lemon Juice




      Egg Mask

      Powdered Milk Bath

      Stocking List


      Chapped Lips

      Chapped Hands

  8. Free Communication

      See also

      External links

    Press Conferences

    Use of the Flag

      Abbie Hoffman on the Yippie Flag from 1970




      Small Broadcasters

      Shortwave Radio

        Receivers and Antennas



        Related websites


      Crystal Radio

      Original Radio

    Making Music





        Make PVC Clarinet in A3


        Make a PVC Flute







      Home-made Instruments


      Digital Music DIY Now





        Recording Studio

      On Air


    Free Telephones


      Landline Phones

      Calling Cards

      Cellular Phones

      Prepaid Cellphones

      Phone Banking

      Cell Phone Security

      Phone Demo

      Sim Cards


      Your own Phone Company

      Your Own Mobile Phone Company

      Phone Taps



      GSM/CDMA hacks

      Onboard Vehicle Help Services

      Lifeline and Link-Up


      FRS Radio

      Radio Tricks

      Pig Radio

    Internet Communications

        Communications via the Internet


      Using Email Securely

      Looking at Web Pages Securely

      Social Networks & IM (Instant Messaging)


      Flash Burns

      Remember Pattern Matching

      Email - What it is and isn't! (and thoughts on security)

        The Bottom Line...


      Free email sites

      Local Email

      How to Post Information on the Web

      Domain Name

      Keep It Simple


      Social Media

      Blog & Micro Blogging

        Popular Blogging Services

        Micro Blogging Services

      Social Networking Sites

      College or Personal Web Space


      Photohosting Sites

        Photo File Security


      Video on Torrent or Video sites

        Vagabond Video

        Smart Phones

      Usenet and Listservs

      Internet Phone Communication - VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)

      Instant Messaging Anywhere

      Internet Relay Chat

      Free Webhosts

      Random Free Goodies

      Web Radio Streaming

      Network Printing


      Wi-Fi network



        Cyber-Hobo Code

        Where to Sit

        Car Surfing

      Cantenna, Antenna or Woktenna


      Community Wireless Co-Op

      Pirate Wireless

      Piggybacking Restricted WiFi Access

      HTTP over DNS

      Cellular GPRS and 3G

      Mobile Acess Point

      Bluetooth Sniping

      Wired Ethernet

      Subnet Sniffing


      PPPoE and VPN

      Mac Address Spoofing

      McDonald's Free Wifi



      pgp and gpg

      TOR Onion Servers

      SSH encrypted shell access

      Disk encryption

      Network Stealth

      Disguise Your Gear

      Covert Server

      Shell Accounts Game

      Wi-Fi and DMZ - A router to put your box on the net

      Dynamic DNS

      Generic Owned Box plugged into an Open Network

      Arousing Suspicion

      Anonymous Surfing

      Off By One

      Mozilla Firefox - Portable Edition


  9. Free Play


        Free swim

        Bonfire parties/drum circles

        The Mall

        Rent-a-cop Psyche 101

        Movies and Concerts



        Free Games

        Free Computer Games


        Pirated Computer Games

        Demo Game Systems at Big Box Stores


    Movies and Concerts



      MPAA Avoidance

      Walk In


      Press Tickets

      The Pit

    Records and Books






      Original Records and Books

    Skiing and Boarding


      Free Skiing and Boarding Through Hitching



      Riding for Free At the Resorts

      Getting Free Lift Tickets


      Resort Dorm

      Snow Camping



      Ski and Board Bum Survival Tips

      Cross Country

      Types of Skis


      Kick Wax

      Haul Sled


      Winter Nutrition

      Field Repairs

      Snowmobile Towing

      Snow Caving

  10. Free Money




        Asking nicely

        Authority figure

        Pandering to a tribe

      Windshield Cleaning


        Online Gambling

        The Lottery

      Selling Your Body




        Kidneys and other Major Organs


        Escort Service, Prostitution, and Strip Clubs

      Online Surveys/polls

      Lost Money at the Corpgov Treasury


      Loose Change





      Our Current Situation

      Personal Econ

      Supply and Demand


      Welfare / Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

      Disability / Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

      Food Stamps / Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)




      Cheating Employers



      Work the System




      Gun Buy Back

      Donation Boxes

      State Highway Administration

      The International Yippie Currency Exchange

      Grifter Tricks


      DIY Inflation

      Trying automated in store coin counters with foreign coins

      Edited 1969 Original The International Yippie Currency Exchange

    11. Free Dope


      NOT Doing Drugs

      A Cautionary Note

        A warning to those on the streets:

      Breaking Free of Propaganda

        Bad Sources of Drug Info:

        Good Sources of Drug Info:

      Drugs, Dangerous, Harmless, Everything in between

      Fairly Harmless Drugs

      Moderate Risk Drugs (Use sparingly)

      High Risk Drugs

      Extreme Risk Drugs (Avoid Usage)

      Making Plans & Not Getting Caught

        Tips for not getting caught:

      Free Dope

      The Stoner Culture


      Safe Use / Harm Reduction

      Getting Clean

    Cheap Thrills



      WARNING! Dangerous Additives in OTC and Prescription Medications

      Cold Water Extraction

      Dextromethorphan (DM or DXM)


      Benadryl (aka Diphenhydramine)

      JWH-018 and related chemicals/ "herbal incense"/ Potpourri

      Morning Glory Seeds

        Cold Water Extraction

      Hawaiian Baby Woodrose seeds




      Ephedrine and Psuedoephedrine


      Psilicibin Cubensis/ “Shrooms”

      Fly Agaric Mushrooms (Amanita Muscaria)




      Nitrous Oxide


      Non-Chemical Thrills

      Yogic Breathing

      Stroboscopic Lights

      Binaural Beats



    Buying Selling and Giving it Away


      The Burn

      Ask Questions

      Fake Dope


        Strains of Weed

      Medical Weed



      Giving It Away

      Drug Prices

    DIY Paraphernalia


      Makeshift Devices

      Bongs and Pipes



      Safe Materials

      Pipe and Bong Legal Considerations

      Residue and Cleaning

      Wine Bong Water Myth

      Joints and Blunts

      Rolling Papers

      Rolling a Joint


      Blunt and Joint Observations


      Joint, Pipe, and Bong Etiquette

    Growing Your Own


      Obtaining Seeds

      Sprouting Seeds

      Outdoor Growing

      Backyard Outdoors

      Guerrilla Farming

      Transplanting Outdoors

      Bugs and other Pests

      Indoor Gardening

      Special Concerns With Indoor Growing

      Starting Out

      Grow Lights

      Light Timer


      Stages of Growth and Sexing

        A note on "worthless" males








    Drug Testing


      Places and Times to Expect a Drug Test

      What Drugs Are Tested For?

      Kinds of Drug Tests

      Length of Time Drugs Stay in System

      Beating Urine Drug Tests

      Beating Hair Tests

      Common Myths

      False Positives

      more reading

    Strange Brewing


      Beer Brewing

      Brewing Tips

      Hard Cider



      Ice Shine





    Detox and Rehab Programs


      The BigMed Rehab System


      Inpatient and Behavioral Health Units

      Gulag Inpatient Rehabs

      Rehab and Behavioral Health Unit Life

      Half-way Houses

      Staying away from Future Slavery

  12. Assorted Freebies






      Drinks and Food




      External links



      Where to Find

      Dumpster Diving

      Free Samples




      Pound Puppies


      Food and Board

      Service Animals

        State rules

        Airplanes & Housing

        Free service animal

      Spaying and Neutering

      Medical Care




      Media Mail

      Library Mail

      Priority Mail - Flat Rate

      Mail Proxy

      General Delivery

      Original Postage


      Easy Clergy Ordination

      Real Ministry

  13. Get a Job


      Where to find Work

      What you need


      Quick Employment

      Legal Considerations

      Job Ideas

      Union Work




      Agricultural and yard labor


      Seasonal Work


      Micro Farming

      Online Sales

      Selling Crafts and wares


      Food Service


      Advertise Yourself



      Freelance Writing

      Mystery Shopper/ Survey

      Truck Hustling

      Get a Job Articles

    Join the Army of Your Choice



      Recruiter Promises

      Enlistment Process

      Getting out of Delayed Entry Processing

      Dishonarble Discharge/ Entry Level Separation and Jobs

      AWOL and Desertion

      Benefits as a Veteran

      Draft Dodging



      Las Vegas


      Theme Parks

      Permanent Vacation/ Drop out

      Working Vacations/ Travel Jobs and Agencies

      Medical Field Travel

      Teaching Abroad

      The Carnival/ Fair (Not the circus)


      Cruise Ships

  --- Fight ---


  1. Leadership


      Leadership Training



      Problem Solving



      Join In


      Delegate Authority


      Know your Troops


      Take Responsibility



  2. Problem Solving


      Problem Solving

      Use a Team

      Define the Problem

      Choose and Implement Interim Options

      Identify and Verify Root Causes

      Choose and verify Permanent Corrective Actions (PCAs)

      Implement and validate PCAs

      Prevent recurrence

      Congratulate your Team

    Starting a Printing Workshop


      Starting a Printing Workshop

        Put new stuff here.

      Computers and software

      Computer Printers

        Economy Hacks



        The free copy route:

      Binding Books

      Quick Binding Books

      Paperback Binding Books

      Jellygraph copiers

      Making The Printer

      Making the Master

      Using the Printer

      Cleaning the Printer

      Jellygraph Master Pens

        Mixing the Ink

      Silk Screen Printing

      What you need

      Making your Screen


      Buttons and Badges

      Bumper Stickers

      Using contact paper

      Using bumper-sticker paper and an inkjet printer

      Get them Printed





      Mimeograph Machines


      Electronic Stencils

      Silk Screening

  3. Tell it all, Brothers and Sisters

      Tell it all, Brothers and Sisters

    Underground Newspapers


      Basic Supplies

      Writing and Formatting



    High School Papers


      Why a Newspaper?



      First Amendment Legal Help

      The Killian Nine Story

    Wall Painting


      Wall Painting


      Stenciling Design

      QR Codes




      Cycle Pasting

      Hobo Code

      Using New Hobo Code

      Culture Hacking

      STOP Signs

    News Services


      News Services


      Guerrilla Underground Network (GUN)

      Independent Media Center (Indymedia)


      Real News Network

      Want To Know



      Original NEWS SERVICES

    Public Speaking

      Public Speaking

      Persuasive Speaking

      Group Education



      Banners and Signs

      Banner Drops

      Banner Hoists

      Modified CrimethInc Hoist


      Hoist and Drop

      Balloon Suspended Signs

      Balloon Choices

      Sticky Balloons

      Audio Signs

      Banner Construction

    Guerrilla Audio


      The basics



      Amplifiers and Power Supplies

      Sample ideas


      Effect of wire type and diameter

      Mobile PA vs. stationary event PA

      Full-spectrum music system

      Frequency Filters

      Speaker placement

      Troubleshooting a sound system

      Why is there no sound playing?

      low input voltage?

      line noise

      audio feedback

      Overloaded aka Bottomed-out Amplifiers

      Concert Systems

      Power supply



      Speaker placement

    Guerrilla Broadcasting


      Transmitter Kits

      Homebrew Transmitters


      Power Supply


      Playback Equipment

      Amp it Up!



      Antenna Feed Line


        Twin Lead


      Putting it All Together

      Coverage Survey and Publicity

      Radio Station Rebrodcast Override

      Shortwave Broadcast

      "Legal" Unlicensed Broadcasting

      Guerrilla Television

      Microwave Override

      Experiences of TV Signal Override

      Free-To-Air Satellite TV

  4. Computers


      Obtaining a Computer

      Older Computers

      Most Common Problems with older Computers and the Solution


      Linux Thoughts

      Linux Love

      Live CDs

        Damn Small Linux






      Recovering Files Off of Hard Disk

      Recovering Windows Passwords


      Computer Information recovery tools


      Notebook Computers


      Old Laptop Converted to Fast Linux

      Laptop Protection

      Laptop Security, Locks


      Smart Phones and Pocket Computers

      Closed Phones and Pocket Computers

      Wired Ethernet and Wi-Fi

      Mobile Power

      Portable Device Security

      USB Key

      OS boot

      File Security

        Wiping Flash Memory

      Portable Versions of your Most Used Software

      Hacked Linux Routers


      Packet Radio


      Other sound card modes of digital communication

      OSCARS Satellite communication

    Free Software




      Live CD




      Office Suites



      Instant Messaging




      The GIMP





      MPEG Streamclip



      Linux Audio Software


      Frets On Fire

      Liberal Crime Squad


      Wikipedia list of Open Source Games






      Related Websites

      Open Clip Art Library


      Other Software Download Points

    Information Warfare



        Cell phone jamming

      Physical Jamming

      Computer network jamming

      EMP bursts


  5. Community Centers


      Questions to Ask

      Finding Space



      Essential Services

      Information and Public Outreach


      Education, Seminars, and Events


      Radical Printing


      Media Center, Podcasting, and Broadcasting



      Identifying Plants

        Types of Plants:

        Preventing and Foiling Plants


      Security Culture

      Sabotage, Thievery, and Embezzlement



        Finding Communes

        Radical Communes

        Starting your own Commune

        Vision/Goals Statement

        Group Decision and Communications Process

        Start up Money

        Define Your Legal Structure

        Community Bylaws

        Get a Bank Account

        Collect Assessments from Members

  6. Demonstrations



        Shock Autograph

        Dildo Microphone


    Revolutionizing the Masses


      Revolutionizing for the Masses

      Talking to the Mainstream

      Avoiding Unnecessary Controversial and Offensive Comments

      Assessing Community Needs

      Radicalizing Oppressed Communities

      Assessing Incipient Revolutionary Groups



      Working Together

      Avoiding Conflict

      Cost to Benefit Ratio

    Tree sitting


      Where to Set up

      Setting up Camp

      Cooking fires

      Communal beds

      Kitchen bender



      Wood bender


      Post Box

      Climbing the tree

      Trees without branches

      Building your home in the tree

      Living in the tree

      Preventing Extraction

      Preparation For An Eviction

      During an Eviction



      Lock Down

      Suspended Platform Cable Lock-Ons


        Walkway Seats

      Act dangerously

      Keeping away climbers

        Climber-Proof Platforms

      Keeping away the cherry pickers

        Supporters on the ground

        Ladders and Poles



        Scrap Cars

        Tire Punctures


        Railway tracks





        Starting Off

        Tunnelling Basics



        Digging Further


        Tunnel Doors



        Fortifying The Entrance

        Living underground


        Tools and Equipment

        Eviction Stashes

        Imperial/Metric conversion


      Positive Defensive Tactics

      Banner Drop

      Build a Website

      Write an Article

      Call the local newspaper

      Witness Camp

      Other Tactics

      Sky Raft


      List of current tree sits

    Lock Boxes




      Scouting the Target, Planning the Action

      Gathering Materials

      Method Summary

      Design, Construction, Adaption, and Fortification

      Practice and Transport

      Once You're Locked Together

      Urban Lockup

      Police Reactions, Legal Consequences


      Extra safe

      Sleeping Dragon



    Monkey Warfare


      Monkey Warfare


      Shake, Shake, Make Your Own Scraper Quake


      Super Foam Distraction

      Tyre Fyre

      Killer Bees

      Intercom Fun

      Coughing Break

      Bitter Memories

      Moth Man


      Traffic Trouble

      Dumpster Fires

      Etch Glass

      Dissolve a Building

      Photo Radar



      Monkey Warfare, the Movie


  7. Trashing








      Action Camp

      Legal Preparations




      Communique and Press Coverage



    Weapons for Street Fighting

        Weapons for Street Fighting


      Molotov Cocktail

      Anti-tire Burrs

      Track Team

      Abrasive Personality

      Pigs on Horses

      Bike Locks for Pig Bikes


      Rolling Road Block

      Fuel Adulteration


      Pepper Spray Blaster




      Improvised Street Weapons


      Spray Cans

      The Slingshot



      Tear Gas and Mace

      Anti-Tire Weapons

      Authentic Pig Game

    Knife Fighting

    Unarmed Defense


      Unarmed Defense



        Incoming Attacks

        High Attacks - Block One - Slap

        High Attacks - Block Two - Crazy Monkey

      Fighting stance





      Break Falls

      Center of Balance

      Throws and Takedowns

        Leg Throws

        Hip Throws

        Hand Throws

        Fireman's carry/ Shoulder Wheel

        Shoulder Throw






      The groin




      Original UNARMED DEFENSE

    General Strategy Rap

        General Strategy Rap


    Underwater Trashing

  8. People's Chemistry

  9. Hip Pocket Law

      Legal Advice


      Legal Advice

      Pig Psyche

      The 'Attitude Test

      The Pig Game

      Endgame Scenarios

      911 is a Joke

      Remain Silent


      Pig Lies

      Be Smart

      Free Legal

      Real Law VS CorpGov Rule


      Petty Crimes

      Three Strikes

      Smart Tips

      Original Legal Advice

    Undercover Cops


      Identifying Police

      Cops Themselves


        Car Model


        False Ideas

    Organize a Labor Union


      Starting Out



      Using an Established Union to Represent You





      Strike Fund



      Lock in

      Sit in

      Hunger strike

      Banner Drop

      Hold Workshops

      Lower risk action

      Slow down

      Dirty protest

      Take over

      Terms of Settlement

      Union as a Vehicle for Radicalism

      Weak Union

    Prisoner Support


      Sending Stuff

      Legal Aid

      Outside Support

      Letter Campaigns



      Adopt a Prisoner


  10. Steal Now Pay Never



      Guns and Thievery


      Pawn Shops


      Car Rummaging

      Legally Stealing, CorpGov Approved Style!

      Original Steal Now Pay Never



      Supermarket and Retail Security Methods


      Admission of Guilt

      Product Placement



      EAS tags


      Found Receipts

      Getting Caught

      Trespass and Burglary

      Tips and Tricks


      No alarm


      Watches and Clothes

      Intentionally getting monitored



      Employee Arrest

      Tag Scanner


      Original SHOPLIFTING









      Metal Bag

      Small Electronics

      Just Run!

      Emergency Exit

      Brick in the Wal



      Under Cover

      The "Confidence" Method



      Stealing Makeup

      Mail Call

      Double Team

      Sidewalk Sales




      Quick electronics


      Original TECHNIQUES

    On the Job


      Anti-Employee Theft Techniques

      Pre-employment screening

      In-Store Employee Anti Theft Measures

      Common Methods

      The Trash Run

      Buffet and Restaurant Scams

      The Walk-in Cooler and Freezer

      Working at a bookstore

      Donation Bin Sorter

      Get Promoted

      Original ON THE JOB

  11. Piece Now





      Which weapon do I want?

        Other notes:

      Black Powder Firearms and Their Advantages

      Home Made Firearms

      Pipe Pistol

      Pipe pistol, cap and matches

      Pen Gun

      Silent Pistol, Bolt Action

      Improvised Barrels

      FP-45 Liberator Pistol

      Manufacturing and Reloading Handgun Cartridges

      Smokeless Powder






      Starting Out


      The M16/5.56mm is unreliable/has no stopping power/is a bad rifle

      The AK series of rifles is incredibly inaccurate

      Fully automatic firearms are easy to get


      A note on caliber


      Bolt actions

      Semi Automatic

      Other Mechanisms


      Build a Long Gun

      STEN Submachinegun

      Original Rifles



    Other Weapons


        Household Items Repurposed



        Bug Spray

        CB Antennae Rapier

        Aircraft Paint Stripper

        Melee Weapons


        Knuckle Dusters


        Ancient Warfare




        Repurposed/Improvised "Firearms"

        Paintball Guns

        Potato Guns


        Coleman Flint Install

        Piezo-Electric Install

        Camera flash ignition


        Alternate Ammunition

        Alternate Propellant

        Air Powered

        Dry Ice

        Baby Spud/Ball Gun

        Flare Guns

        Heavy Weapons


        Thermite Device



        Mortar Shell Launcher

        "M-16" (Mortar)

        Less Than Lethal

        Tasers And Stunguns

        Mace/Pepper Spray

        Homebrew Pepperspray

        Wear gloves during manufacture!


        Flash Guns

        Original Other Weapons



      Original Training

    Gun Laws

      Gun Laws

  12. S.E.R.E.


      The Bust

      Decision process - Fight or Flight

      Outstanding warrants


      On Foot


        Down a manhole

        Infrared cameras and helicopters


        Police dogs


        In the Wilderness


        Water Crossing

      In a Building

        Residential Homes



        Fire System

        Rope Escape

        BASE Parachute


      In a car



        Oil Slick

        Police "spin stop"

        Spike strips

        Police Bikes




      Squad Cars

      School and Charter Buses

      Holding cell










      Work Crew

      Drugs and weapons



      Tap Code



        Cutting Metal

        Sodium Chlorate





      Basic movements


      Surfaces and Structures to Consider


      Chain-Link Fence


      Emergency Use


      Training Grounds

      Parkour And Other Martial Arts

    Get the Hell Out of Dodge


      Prep Work

      Taking some money

      Civil Forfeiture

      Euros and Dollars

      General Delivery

      Gold and Silver

      Credit cards, Checks, or Bank transfers



      Getting Across the Border

      Canadian border

        Overland hike



        Legal surface crossings

        Air and Boat

      Mexican Border

        Over Land Hike

        Legal surface crossings

        Air and Boat


        Boat Crossing

      Air Travel and Stay ID Requirements




      East Asia

      Southeast Asia


      South Asia



      Middle East





        South Africa

      South Pacific

      South and Central America



      New Zealand




      Student Visa

      Religious Worker Visa

      Tourist Visa



      Get Married


      Extradition Treaties

      Making your New Home Work






      Dye and Hairstyle



      Piercings and Tattoos


      Hard to Change features





      Business Dress



      Insider Help

      Unhappy Workers

      Security Systems


      Motion and Infrared Sensors

      Alarm Line

      Hostile Situations





      Outside Links




      Car Door Locks

      Tubular Locks

      Picking Lever Locks

      Warded Locks

      Pin Tumblers

      Freeze the Lock

      Lock Bumping

      Traditional Tension and Pick

      Door Jack

      Push Knife


      Combination Locks

      Kaba Simplex Vulnerability

      Videx CyberLock

      Copy a Key

      Plaster Mold

      Align and File


      Tin Can Copy

      Hand Cuffs

      Prox cards

      Magnetic Stripe Cards

      Practice and Advice

      Stick a Lock

      Locks this guide can't cover

      Outside Links



      Food Caching


      Gun Cache


      Marking a cache

  13. The Underground

      The Underground

        The Pledge Of Allegiance Defiance

      11. Original The Underground

    Identification Papers


      Identification Papers

      Possible Sources

      My IDs Were Lost/Stolen/Destroyed!!!

      Fake ID Cards

      Using a Corporation as an Identity

      Real ID, Fake Person

      International Driving

      Other Notes




      Modern Communications

      CB vs Ham Transmitters

      Frequency charts


      Low-band frequencies

        Name Frequency Notes

      VHF frequencies

        Name Frequency Notes

      UHF frequencies

        Name Frequency Notes

      FRS and GMRS

      Pocket Radio


      J-pole Sat-Com Yagi Antenna

      Brazil SatCom Nuts


      Taped Broadcasts

      Secure SneakerNet

      Easy Cyphers

      Solitare Encryption and Decryption


      Book Code

      Original COMMUNICATION

    Asylum Seekers



      Law Enforcement Contact

      Safe Houses

      Legal Asylum

      Continuing the Fight

      Fugitive Support Kits

  --- Liberate ---

    Free New York

      General Guide




      Medical Care

      Legal Aid

      Armed Forces/Deployment Avoidance Counseling



      Underground Papers


      Public Transit

      Free Clothing and Furniture

      Assorted Freebies


      Original Fuck New York

    Free Portland, OR

      General Guide


      Dignity Village


      Goose Hollow Shelter

      Transition Projects




      Medical Care

      Legal Aid

      Armed Forces/Deployment Avoidance Counseling





      Underground Papers


      Bicycle Collectives

      Public Transit

      Light Rail


      Long Distance Bus


      Free Clothing and Furniture

      Assorted Freebies


      General Guide

    Free England



      Medical Care

      Legal Aid

      Armed Forces/Deployment Avoidance Counseling



      Underground Papers


      Public Transit

      Free Tube / Overland Rail Travel / London Buses

      Bunking Trains

      London To Portsmouth

      Somerset To London (South West Trains)

      London tips

      Abusing Open Returns

      Hopping the train between Cardiff and Newport, Wales, UK

      Free Clothing and Furniture

      Assorted Freebies


    Free Black Rock City AKA Burning Man


      General Guide



      Medical Care

      Legal Aid




      Free Clothing and Furniture

      Assorted Freebies

    Free Tibet



      Free Food and shelter

      Camp with nomads

      Stay at Buddhist monasteries

      Free Transportation

      Getting in

      Getting around

        Pilgrim Bus

        Mountain Bike

      Free Education

      Free Medical Care

      Free Communication

      Free Play

      Free Dope


      Assorted Freebies



      Legal Aid




  --- Misc ---

  Appendices and Tables

    Common Phrases in Different Languages





      Body parts





      Common Phrases in Different Languages

      Other Words


      Other Phrases

      "Pointy-Talky" books


    Cheap Chow


      Spanish/Latin American

      Spanish Beans and Rice




      Refried Beans

      Pan-Asian, Wok-Cooking, and Rice

      Wok Cooking

        Tools in Order of Need

        Stir Fry

        Water Fry

        Deep Fry


        Pot Sticker

        Wonton and Egg Roll


        Cleaning and Seasoning Your Wok


      Chinese Pancake Wrap






      Egg Noodles

      Garlic Bread

      Jewish Noodle Cake

      Italian Red Sauce

        Tomato Paste

      Misc. Meal Staples and Snacks

      Potato and Roots

      Tough Meat


      Indian/South Asian

      Lentil Curry with Chapitis Bread


      Tomato and Cheese Soup on the Cheap

      Split pea soup

      Oats and Grains

      Energy Bars

      Whole Kernel Wheat




      Simple Cookies

      Biscuit Mix


        Beer Bread

        Self-Rising Flour


        Sourdough Bread



        Store Loaf

      War Cake

      Hardtack Crackers

      Baking Powder Substitute


      Pie Shell

      Mock Apple Pie

      Cheese and Dairy

      Sour Milk

      Powdered Milk and Eggs


      Egg Substitute

      Mozzarella Cheese


      Cream Cheese

      Sour Cream


      Parmesan Cheese


      Fruit Juices


      Coffee Substitutes



    Roadside Chow


      Roadside Chow

      Cooking Under Pressure

      Spanish Beans and Rice

      Lentil and Rice Storage and Travel Soup


        Spicy Ramen Pasta and Soup

      Draining Pasta Without a Colander

      Pasta Sauce Leathers

      Creative Pizza

      Grilled Cheese Sandwich

      Mulligan Stew

      Roadside Soups

      Beggars Chicken

      Creative Cooking

      Car Cooking


      Hot Water Pot

      Sandwich of Irony

      Field Corn

        Plain Corn Bread

        Ash Cakes

      Stinger Soup

      Street Salad

      Coffee Bar

      Backpacking Biscuits




      Native Fry Bread (Aka: Bannock, A Canadian First Nations Staple)

      French Toast

      Upside-Down Cake

      Easy One Bowl Generic Cake

      Travel Food Planning

      Cheap Backpacker Chow



      Cereal Without A Bowl

      DIY MRE (home made storable pouch meals)

  Provisional Headings

    Loans, Credit, and Plastic Cards


      The Basics of Credit and Plastic Cards


        What Shows Up on Credit Reports

      Getting your First Credit Card

      Other Forms of Plastic Digital Currency

      Small Loans

      Friends and Family

      Pawn Shop

      Payroll Cash Advance

      Title Loan

      You Work, You Ride

      90 Days Same As Cash

      A Word on Credit Card Fraud

      Abandoning Debt

      Credit Cards

      Max Out

      Transferring Balance

      Stopping Payments




    Means of Production




      Precision cutting



      Scrap metal

      Lost Wax Method


      Scrap Plastic

    Piracy of Manufacture



      How Can I Use this to Make Useful Stuff?

      For Example

      Beyond the Current Fab@Home



    Creating Web Sites



      System Requirements

      Getting Started

      Tips & Tweaks


      Disclaimer and Warning

      External links

    Free Love


      What is Love, Baby Don't Hurt Me

      Types of Love

      Self Love




      Love of Purpose, Work, or Activity

Main Page


Thanks for visiting Steal This Wiki, a collaborative update and rewrite of Abbie Hoffman's seminal work, Steal This Book. And a special welcome to readers of Little Brother, Cory Doctorow's new book (available for free online), which we are excited to see reference our project.

The project is divided into three major categories.

  • Survive is a primer on basic level survival in tough times. Here, you will find information on everything from how to eat on the cheap, getting through high school, living on the street, knowing about drugs, and much more!

  • Fight is an advanced skills section for use after you have gotten your survival needs taken care of. Topics range from use of firearms, leadership skills, good use of the internet, getting the hell out of dodge, and even petty theft if you are desperate or crazy!

  • Lastly, Liberate is a section on individual cities written from a free spirit's viewpoint. If you are stuck in a small town going nowhere and want to leave for adventure, Free Cities may have some good information for you!

Read it!

You can browse the always-improving wiki online or download it in book format to your computer and print and bind a hard copy. Our already very useful beta release of Steal This Book Today includes both a complete edition (448 pages) and a condensed Survival Edition (138 pages). If you're feeling nostalgic, you can also read the original. But there is still lots of work to do!

Featured Great Articles

  • Parkour The urban sport that not only keeps you in good shape but turns you into a acrobatic, cop and bad guy evading ninja.

  • Camping When the homeless shelters are being oppressive assholes and there is no money to pay some asshole landlord, grab a cheap tent and live in the wooded patches!

  • Free Land Updated a while back with even more information about free land.

Write it!

We look forward to seeing what you can contribute to the project. Just take a quick look at our guidelines and then jump in editing and expanding. Or discuss the project, and related issues, in our forum.

Be sure to keep up with all the latest edits and changes on the Recent Changes page link in the right left hand box where contributors communicate and you can see what we are working on.

You can also help by getting the word out. You can tell others about the site, email out copies of the book, make it available for download in new places, give print copies to friends or others, leave them in libraries, or quote material in new work.

Throughout the wiki, you may find some typos or sentences that are out of place. Some of our contributors may be using shoddy smart phones or ancient laptops with no spell check. Or they may have more enthusiasm than writing skill. If you see something like this, correct away!

Help us! Our site uses quite a bit of bandwidth every day and, since we have no advertisements (and never will), we are completely dependent on donations to keep us afloat. The form on our home page sends donations directly to our hosting provider, where they can only be used for server costs. Thanks in advance!


Questions about the project should be addressed on our forums. There is also a link to the forums is in a box in the upper left hand portion of the wiki page. Someone will be glad to help. Problems with the site should be addressed to root at

Table of Contents

These contents began as the original, but should be constantly revised to reflect new content.

1. Security Culture

2. Free Food

3. Free Clothing

4. Free Shelter

5. Free Transportation

6. Free Education

7. Free Medical Care

8. Free Communication

9. Free Play

10. Free Money

11. Free Dope

12. Assorted Freebies

13. Get a Job

1. Leadership

2. Problem Solving

3. Tell it all, Brothers and Sisters

4. Computers

5. Community Centers

6. Demonstrations

7. Trashing

8. Peoples Chemistry

9. Hip Pocket Law

10. Steal Now Pay Never

11. Piece Now

12. S.E.R.E.

13. The Underground


Last updated: 14 September 2011

"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." - Thomas Jefferson

I’ve never been one for hippies. I don’t mean hippies as a name, because, of course, Abbie Hoffman was a Yippie, not a Hippie. But as a generation, I have always thought, the youth movement of the late sixties and early seventies, most commonly referred to as the hippies, have failed this nation greatly.

Those young men and women back then had tremendous courage. They risked their freedom and often their lives in order to force our government and our country to have to recognize decency and intelligence. It’s not right that our government had to be forced into such seemingly common decency, and up until a few years ago, we seemed surprised that our elected officials and decent American citizens could ever have been so wrong. And yet, here we are again.

When I was growing up in ordinary suburban America in the nineteen eighties, I idolized the everyman players of the sixties. Wavy Gravy, Bobby Seale, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, etc. I listened to The Who, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Dylan, The Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, Neil Young, Crosby, Stills and Nash. I read every Doonesbury comic strip since the ones published at his Yale newspaper while he was a student there. I was also fascinated with the history of the war in Vietnam. This fascination was recognized and possibly validated when my mother offered to take me to see Oliver Stone’s “Platoon.” I read First Blood, and one of the first courses I took during my freshman year at the University at Buffalo was a third-year course called “The Literature of Vietnam.”

And it wasn’t just me. Everywhere we looked, we found sixties nostalgia madness.

But it turns out that it really was simply cultural nostalgia.

Where are the hippies now? I don't mean, let's blame them because they are old and aren't on the cutting edge anymore. But, seriously, I can tell you where the hippies are. They are driving Volvos and living in McMansions. They are investing heavily in the stock market upon which Mr. Hoffman and his gang threw money back in the day. "All You Need Is Love" is featured in an ad for money-making credit cards.

George W. Bush grew up in the sixties, and, make no mistake, the baby boomers are the ones who voted for him, by and large. This largest generation has given us Enron and the war in Iraq. It's not just the administration, either. It's CEOs, it's false charities, it's a horrible tax system. By now, 30 years after Vietnam, our country should be enjoying the wealth of insight provided by the youth of that era. Instead, we wallow in what has nearly become a failed empire.

We don't want to be an empire in the first place, and I thought, neither did the hippies. And yet, here we are.

I see a nation in profound jeopardy of losing its very point of existing. Despite the failure of the hippies to provide many enduring changes, I find myself looking back to that very youth movement for inspiration.

Granted, it’s simply a different world these days, and in many wonderful ways. It’s easier to get from sea to shining sea these days, and even less necessary. The internet connects us with people in Australia, Egypt and Norway.

We have to embrace our world, this one we live in, not look back or ahead too far. We have to focus on the now. we can't change the past, we can't dwell on the future. But we can improve the future by listening to ourselves now, by always making the right decision, by always standing up for the very real things that we believe in. So instead of ruing the changes in technology and culture, we should be ruing the changes in our freedoms. Our technology has grown, our culture has created new traditions, but our freedoms have been squeezed, our intelligence has been insulted, and our lives have been threatened. And I don’t mean by the terrorists. Let me tell you a story about the terrorists.

I was in the hallway of my lower Manhattan office building on the morning of September 11 when the second plane hit the World Trade Center. It seemed the whole building shook, and it sounded like a bomb went off right downstairs. We had known that a plane had hit the north tower a few minutes earlier, but with the impact of that second hit all the resonance of its meaning dropped like half a million tons of bricks. At that instant we didn’t simply guess, but we knew that we were under some serious attack.

I saw for myself the south tower collapse -1 had to sprint to outrun the rolling ten story wall of dust. I had staff who lost family and friends. I breathed in toxic dust for months serving Guiliani and Bush and the federal administration in their effort to get things “back to normal so the terrorists don’t win.” Ever since then, our administration has done nothing except highlight the obvious differences in our daily lives and try to take advantage of us because of them.

What have we had since that day? Since that day they insisted that everything was ever and for always going to be all right?

  • We were introduced to the Patriot Act. Hundreds of millions of dollars were sunk into Halliburton.

  • We were lied to, baldfaced and criminally, about the military knowledge of a small country in the middle of the desert, despite what I knew when I was growing up, that the United States knew where every silo well was, where every truck moved, within the secretive and high-tech military complex of the Soviet Union, twenty-five years ago.

  • Children, young and old, have been murdered by mechanical weapons aimed by presidents of corporations.

  • Law-abiding groups have been spied on, their rights violated.

  • Freedom of the press has been compromised and directly and openly attacked by our government.

  • Our poorest and most in need were completely and arrogantly ignored by the government and corporations and yet at the same time attacked by right-wing media for having ever been on welfare.

  • Where were the huge corporations coming up with advertisements about how much they’ve donated to Katrina victims? I know I’ve seen that one about Halliburton in the desert...

  • The economic wealth of America, earned on the shoulders of millions of hard-working citizens, is almost completely in the hands of a privileged and deceptive few.

  • Our young men are being recruited into a capitalistic war, and are dying for the government’s betrayal of their patriotic sensibilities.

  • People have been refused their right to vote, including women and blacks, who, even post-first revolution, had to die in order to gain the right.

  • And the best critical commentary comes from The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Saturday Night Live, each and all simply comedy shows, filmed in closed studios and vomiting cash to the conglomerate owners.

  • A major part of our actual and existing workforce was declared illegal after decades of implied legality.

  • The control that religious fanaticism has over social and political control hasn’t been this strong in Western Civilization since the thirteen-hundreds, having somehow ignorantly leapfrogged centuries of scientific and philosophical discoveries.

  • And speaking of science, we have scientific proof now that our government and economic leaders are full of blinded and drunk medieval monks. Our planet is melting and instead of being a forest fire of global proportions, it’s been rendered by our system into a lobbyist political capitalistic propaganda game.

Now look at this. Nations firing ultra-modem technological warfare as well as muddy and rusty incoming mortar shells at the children and homes of other nations, well-armed militaries killing each others’ civilians.

And we complain a lot about the news, and rightly so. But we are also very informed, albeit restrictedly so. Even though our citizens are listening to biased information, they are really sitting in front of their televisions, aint they? So in that way, our nation has never been more involved.

They fucked us up pretending that we could prove everything was all right for them. Now they're fucking us up by pretending that nothing will ever be all right again.

The only thing that hasn’t changed since 9/11 is that the government is still fucking us up.

And now they even want to restrict this new technology that is bringing people together, facilitating the communication of the everyman. Even this, even now, the majority of citizens of America are being pushed back upon. They’re pushing back, pushing back, and how much is even left behind us anymore?

So, why this? From someone who thinks the hippies betrayed us, from someone who experienced first-hand the deadly nightmare of international terrorism?


Because we need it. Those most harmed by this new way of America life are the ones least able to communicate anything. The rich are fewer and more removed from the rest of the real world than they’ve ever been.

Look, man, we don’t want to hurt anybody here. But our government doesn’t want many of us to live. But our government is killing its poorest citizens, whether it be in New Orleans, Baghdad or a moth-eaten sleeping bag in a New York City alleyway, in the alleyway of any American city.

I may not agree with every bit of reference in this book, but that is why I’m involved in it. I may not hold values identical to each contributing writer or editor, and in some ways may differ critically, but that is why I’m involved in it, and that is why they are involved in it, too. This isn't about promoting one of those -isms, one of those broad beliefs. This isn't about promoting socialism or communism or capitalism or ism ism ism ism ism. This is about helping fellow citizens who, for a number of reasons and coming from a billion different points of view, feel the need for change. Dramatic change. But not a change to simply one thing, one ism or one source of cash. Rather a 3/4 change to the one original thing, the set of ideas that America was founded upon. The things we want are not new or revolutionary. That this can be considered revolutionary is an (appropriate) insult to our social, political and economic leaders in the first place, and it’s also an insult to us, rightly so.

Here is another not very new idea: citizens have not only the ability but also the responsibility to change things when they are not going well. That is something straight from Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. So this thing we’re in, it’s a thing of all of us. Yours, mine, theirs. And I don’t think they’re going to do anything about it, seeing as it fits them so well.

It’s not us you have to worry about, it’s them.

If you’re poor, you have to worry about them. If you’re a minority, you have to worry about them. If you live paycheck to paycheck, you have to worry about them. If you have children, you have to worry about them. If you like something they don’t like, you have to worry about them. If you believe something they don’t believe in, you have to worry about them. If you don’t have health insurance, you have to worry about them. If you don’t know your rights, you have to worry about them.

But they have one big problem that we don’t have. They have a lot more to lose. They have everything. They own us.

Love live the revolutions, and may gods bless America.

Original Introduction


Aiding and Abetting

Last updated: 9 September 2011

Who are you?

Dozens of Anonymous Contributors, Ploney the Expat, Unidyne, root (name unknown), J! of the Dumpstered, J.D. from South Carolina, Ryan Libberator, Zeerahks O'Connelley, Jacob the Mad, Jonathan M. Taylor, Bubbles, Sketchy, Jimmy McSqueeze, Jeffrey R Glenn, Jake Blohnson, Sean Hogan (firsty), Trevor Ruggles, El Almirante, Captain.telnet, Doctormatt, Moonmaiden 103, Michael Davis (manintweed), E.R. the gun nut, Jedite (Jedite83), vov35, Mill Creek "HIGH", vannieplustwo, recursive, Sarah, Actafool, leftyblack, Cow, Greenl

Thanks To:

Julian Assange who allegedly forgot his condom and Wikileaks, the EFF and TOR, Amnesty International, CBLDF, Scroogle, Linus Torvalds, Cory Doctorow's bitchun society, Little Brother, and whuffie economy, Tim Berners-Lee for HTML and HTTP, Tom Jennings and FidoNet, Neal Stephenson for HEAP and the Future, Rick Prelinger and the Prelinger Archives, Internet nerds, free WiFi, full dumpsters, donated laptops and PDA's, bicycles, people who stop for hitch-hikers, folks that feed street people, 3-D 'printers', whiskey-drinking radicals who founded the USA, AIM indigenous movement, old Black Panthers who won't talk, veterans of the Back-To- The-Land movement, IWW then and now, Joe Hill, Eugene V. Debs, hardware hackers, Sheldon Brown, war dialers and drivers, rebba and tahnedem, those who voided the warranty, old Elmers, expats, bloggers, radio pirates, Jessica Sideways, The Magna Carta, Berry Cooper, Frank Zappa, "Don't taze me, bro!", homebrews, months in the wilderness, solar cells when they cut the power, getting fired, disappointed and proud parents, annoyed but loving partners, ADD kids, stupid mistakes (and learning from them), George Orwell and his books Animal Farm and 1984, duct tape, Bram Cohen and Bittorrent, Multimachine, no rent money, cool teachers, forever role models, pranksters (Cassady most of all), Ken Kesey, Brazilian satellite hackers, Judi Bari, Darryl Chemey, Woody Guthrie, Harpo from Brooklyn, Ti Jean, J.R. "Bob" Dobbs, Malaclypse the Younger & Lord Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst, the original Omar Khayyam, Sarah's madre, lessons from blown off fingers, geeks and trolls, 300 Baud BBS's, multi-tools, soldering irons, security screwdriver bit sets, Swiss Army knives, long bicycle tours without destinations, TRS-80, Amiga & Commodore 64/128, BASIC & COBOL, rooftop farmers, prohibition moonshiners, Seth Tobocman, Peter Kuper, Eric Drooker, Pete Seeger & the Weavers, Holly Near, Free Tre Arrow, Marilyn Buck, D.B. Cooper, web 2.0, the Internet Archive, feeders, Peace Corps projects, growing instead of buying, barbers, Robert Anton Wilson, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, Usenet, performance-enhancing substances, flea markets, swap meets and garage sales, Guy Fawkes, Open Source, the Tank Man of Tiananmen Square, Michael Hoy, Claire Wolfe, most of the Dharma, neighbors and more, Noam Chomsky, Axis of Justice, the Coup, Phreakers, Rage Against the Machine, the Fugs and other leftist bands, those who got away with it and never told a soul, and especially Abbie for the first edition, RepubliCrats making back-room deals, Dick and Dubya in retirement and lost hope for change with Fanny Mae funded Obama/Biden which is just more of the same CorpGov monarchy.

Original Aiding and Abetting

What follows is the original text

Tim Leary, Tom, Geronimo, Pearl Paperhanger, Sonny, Pat Solomon, Allan Katzman, Jacob Kohn, Nguyen Van Troi, Susan, Marty, Andy, Ami, Marshall Bloom, Viva, Ben, Oanh, Robin Palmer, Mom and Dad, Janie Fonda, Jerry, Denis, LNS, Bernadine Dohm, a wall in Harvard Square, Nancy, an anonymous stewardess, Shirley Wonderful, Roz, Gumbo, Janis, Jimi, Dylan Liberation Front, Jeannie, God Slick, John, David, Rusty, Barney, Richard, Denny, Ron Cobb, the entire Viet Cong, Sam Shephard, Ma Bell, Eric, David, Joe, Kim Agnew, the Partridge Family, Carol, Alan Ginsburg, Woman's Lib, Julius Lester, Lenny Bruce, Hack, Billy, Paul, Willy, Colleen, Sid, Johnny Appleseed, the Rat, Craig, Che, Willie Sutton, Wanda, EVO, Jeff, Crazy Horse, Huey, Casey, Bobby, Alice, Mao, Rip, Ed, Bob, Gay Liberation Front, WPAX, Frank Dudock, Manny, Mungo, Lottie, Rosemary, Marshall, Rennie, Judy, Jennifer, Mr. Martin, Keith, Madame Binh, Mike, Eleanor, Dr. Spock, Afeni, Candice, the Tupamaros, Berkeley Tribe, Gilbert Sheldon, Stanley Kubrick, Sam, Anna, Skip Williamson, UPS, Andy Stapp, the Yippies, Richard Brautigan, Jano, Carlos Marighella, the Weathermen, Julius Jennings Hoffman, Quentin, the inmates of TIER A-l Cook County Jail, Houdini, 37, Rosa Luxemberg, the Kent 25, the Chicago 15, the New York 21, the Motor City 3, the Indianapolis 500, Jack, Joan, Malcolm X, Mayakovsky, Dotson, R. Crumb, Daniel Clyne, Justin, The FBI Top 10 (now 16), Unis, Dana, Jim Morrison, Brian, John, Gus, Ruth, Nancy Unger, Pun, Jomo, Peter, Mark Rudd, Billy Kunstler, Genie, Ken, the Law Commune, Paula, Robby, Terry, Dianna, Angela, Ted, Phil, Jefferson Airplane, Len, Tricky Prickers, the Berrigans, Stu, Rayanne, J.B., Jonathan Jackson, the Armstrong Brothers, Homer, Sharon, Fred Hampton, Jean Jacques Lebel, A. H. Maslow, Hanoi Rose, Sylvia, Fellini, Amaru, Ann Fettamen, Artaud, Bert, Merrill, Lynne, and last but not least to Spiro what's his name who provided the incentive.

Who are we?

"Let them call me rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul..." - Thomas Paine, "The American Crisis"

"You measure a democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists. - Abbie Hoffman, Tikkun Magazine (July-August 1989)

"Everything I see scatters the seeds of a revolution which will indubitably arrive, and which I shall not have the happiness to witness." - Voltaire, French Revolutionary writer (1694-1778)

We're libertarians, anarchists, socialists, communists, pacifists, vegans, black, white, Asian, Hispanic, Native American.

To get to the basics of it, however:

We are the vocal minority of the silent majority.

As of this writing, there is an enormous part of our population greatly dissatisfied with not only the mistakes of current administration, but also with the direction the world is heading -- governments are being lead by lobbyists, corporations and otherwise immoral, greedy and deceptive parties. Many see nations going down the path of a Big Brother state: where the government keeps tabs on you and determines what you can and cannot see/do.

We're looking to change that.

No matter what, however, the important thing is this: whatever revolution or lifestyle you hope to be a part of has to be started by you. When you know in your heart what you're doing is right and true, not even the most brutal opposition or secure jail cell can stop you.

About the Site

This site is intended to support and distribute information that is relevant to this day and age, which can be reasonably defined as one in which people are forced to deal with difficult issues (such as a military led by an unwise and unreasonable group of people) as well as with real and dangerous threats.

Hopefully as the content on this site evolves, it will become a new and useful work, holding true to the spirit of the original, and providing useful information to those who value freedom, peace, and justice.

This site contains the how-to information on everything from how to grow a garden to how to teach a college level class. How many revolutions were about putting the existing means of production into the hands of the people. We have seen that these revolutions, given enough time, always ended with a new power caste abusing the under class. We want to give the means of production for basic needs back into the hands of every person so they can choose to ignore the heavy hand of a government which has melded itself with the mega-businesses in a way that leaves ordinary humans with a voice or a choice.

What the Site is NOT

This is not The Anarchist Cookbook. The information in this site is not designed for senseless vandalism, theft, or "just watching shit blow up". This project was started by a pacifist (Firsty) who does not advocate violent methods of change. Using the information here for purposeless nonsense is downright stupid. It is included for a worst case scenario, and to remind those would use murderous oppression of the possible consequences. Good faith effort was put into verifying the new ideas within, we have even made jokes at some of the silly and incorrect designs in the 1971 book. Although we have editors who are engineers, students, chemists, hobbyists, doctors, ex-military, and dozens of other specialties who have tested or built nearly all of the designs, it is still up to you, our readers to use their own research skills and common sense. We are here to give you ideas, it is up to you to do your homework. The most sensitive instructions we give links to military documents that we host on our website. Those of us who can and do check the accuracy of submissions can't be on guard 24/7 to verify all of the information, some of what you read may be unedited, untested, impractical or downright inaccurate. This is a free to edit wiki, feel free to edit it.

Something else worth noting is that people these days seem to want to put a label on things. This site is not promoting a liberal, conservative or anarchist agenda...and it never will. It simply promotes what each and every one of us believes is our idea of a perfect world, and how to get to it. What may be one person's anarcho-capitalist dream is another's communist society. Each and every one of us feels an obligation to make our world more livable and create information for everyone to see on how to get to that moment. So, if you must put a label on this site, call it "idealist." We're not out to convince you to join our "cult," nor are we here to push our beliefs on others. It may seem hokey and unrealistic to some, but some of the best inventions and social movements had those stigmas attached to them for decades.

History of the book & wiki


December, 1970 - Steal This Book Introduction

It's perhaps fitting that I write this introduction in jail- that graduate school of survival. Here you learn how to use toothpaste as glue, fashion a shiv out of a spoon and build intricate communication networks. Here too, you learn the only rehabilitation possible-hatred of oppression.

Steal This Book is, in a way, a manual of survival in the prison that is Amerika. It preaches jailbreak. It shows you where exactly how to place the dynamite that will destroy the walls. The first section-SURVIVE!-lays out a potential action program for our new Nation. The chapter headings spell out the demands for a free society. A community where the technology produces goods and services for whoever needs them, come who may. It calls on the Robin Hoods of Santa Barbara Forest to steal from the robber barons who own the castles of capitalism. It implies that the reader already is "ideologically set," in that he understands corporate feudalism as the only robbery worthy of being called "crime," for it is committed against the people as a whole. Whether the ways it describes to rip-off shit are legal or illegal is irrelevant. The dictionary of law is written by the bosses of order. Our moral dictionary says no heisting from each other. To steal from a brother or sister is evil. To not steal from the institutions that are the pillars of the Pig Empire is equally immoral.

Community within our Nation, chaos in theirs; that is the message of SURVIVE!

We cannot survive without learning to fight and that is the lesson in the second section. FIGHT! separates revolutionaries from outlaws. The purpose of part two is not to fuck the system, but destroy it. The weapons are carefully chosen. They are "home-made," in that they are designed for use in our unique electronic jungle. Here the uptown reviewer will find ample proof of our "violent" nature. But again, the dictionary of law fails us. Murder in a uniform is heroic, in a costume it is a crime. False advertisements win awards, forgers end up in jail. Inflated prices guarantee large profits while shoplifters are punished. Politicians conspire to create police riots and the victims are convicted in the courts. Students are gunned down and then indicted by suburban grand juries as the trouble-makers. A modern, highly mechanized army travels 9,000 miles to commit genocide against a small nation of great vision and then accuses its people of aggression. Slumlords allow rats to maim children and then complain of violence in the streets. Everything is topsy-turvy. If we internalize the language and imagery of the pigs, we will forever be fucked. Let me illustrate the point. Amerika was built on the slaughter of a people. That is its history. For years we watched movie after movie that demonstrated the white man's benevolence. Jimmy Stewart, the epitome of fairness, puts his arm around Cochise and tells how the Indians and the whites can live in peace if only both sides will be reasonable, responsible and rational (the three R's imperialists always teach the "natives"). "You will find good grazing land on the other side of the mountain," drawls the public relations man. "Take your people and go in peace." Cochise as well as millions of youngsters in the balcony of learning, were being dealt off the bottom of the deck. The Indians should have offed Jimmy Stewart in every picture and we should have cheered ourselves hoarse. Until we understand the nature of institutional violence and how it manipulates values and mores to maintain the power of the few, we will forever be imprisoned in the caves of ignorance. When we conclude that bank robbers rather than bankers should be the trustees of the universities, then we begin to think clearly. When we see the Army Mathematics Research and Development Center and the Bank of Amerika as cesspools of violence, filling the minds of our young with hatred, turning one against another, then we begin to think revolutionary.

Be clever using section two; clever as a snake. Dig the spirit of the struggle. Don't get hung up on a sacrifice trip. Revolution is not about suicide, it is about life. With your fingers probe the holiness of your body and see that it was meant to live. Your body is just one in a mass of cuddly humanity. Become an internationalist and learn to respect all life. Make war on machines, and in particular the sterile machines of corporate death and the robots that guard them. The duty of a revolutionary is to make love and that means staying alive and free. That doesn't allow for cop-outs. Smoking dope and hanging up Che's picture is no more a commitment than drinking milk and collecting postage stamps. A revolution in consciousness is an empty high without a revolution in the distribution of power. We are not interested in the greening of Amerika except for the grass that will cover its grave.

Section three - LIBERATE! - concerns itself with efforts to free stuff (or at least make it cheap) in four cities. Sort of a quick U.S. on no dollars a day. It begins to scratch the potential for a national effort in this area. Since we are a nation of gypsies, dope on how to move around and dig in anywhere is always needed. Together we can expand this section. It is far from complete, as is the entire project. Incomplete chapters on how to identify police agents, steal a car, run day-care centers, conduct your own trial, organize a G.I. coffee house, start a rock and roll band and make neat clothes, are scattered all over the floor of the cell. The book as it now stands was completed in the late summer of 1970. For three months manuscripts made the rounds of every major publisher. In all, over 30 rejections occurred before the decision to publish the book ourselves was made, or rather made for us. Perhaps no other book in modern times presented such a dilemma. Everyone agreed the book would be a commercial success. But even greed had its limits, and the IRS and FBI following the manuscript with their little jive rap had a telling effect. Thirty "yeses" become thirty "noes" after "thinking it over." Liberals, who supposedly led the fight against censorship, talked of how the book "will end free speech."

Finally the day we were bringing the proofs to the printer, Grove consented to act as distributor. To pull a total solo trip, including distribution, would have been neat, but such an effort would be doomed from the start. We had tried it before and blew it. In fact, if anyone is interested in 4,000 1969 Yippie calendars, they've got a deal. Even with a distributor joining the fight, the battle will only begin when the books come off the press. There is a saying that "Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one." In past eras, this was probably the case, but now, high speed methods of typesetting, offset printing and a host of other developments have made substantial reductions in printing costs. Literally anyone is free to print their own works. In even the most repressive society imaginable, you can get away with some form of private publishing. Because Amerika allows this, does not make it the democracy Jefferson envisioned. Repressive tolerance is a real phenomenon. To talk of true freedom of the press, we must talk of the availability of the channels of communication that are designed to reach the entire population, or at least that segment of the population that might participate in such a dialogue. Freedom of the press belongs to those that own the distribution system. Perhaps that has always been the case, but in a mass society where nearly everyone is instantaneously plugged into a variety of national communications systems, wide-spread dissemination of the information is the crux of the matter. To make the claim that the right to print your own book means freedom of the press is to completely misunderstand the nature of a mass society. It is like making the claim that anyone with a pushcart can challenge Safeway supermarkets, or that any child can grow up to be president.

State legislators, librarians, PTA members, FBI agents, church-goers, and parents: a veritable legion of decency and order already is on the march. To get the book to you might be the biggest challenge we face. The next few months should prove really exciting.

Obviously such a project as Steal This Book could not have been carried out alone. Izak Haber shared the vision from the beginning. He did months of valuable research and contributed many of the survival techniques. Carole Ramer and Gus Reichbach of the New York Law Commune guided the book through its many stages. Anna Kaufman Moon did almost all the photographs. The cartoonists who have made contributions include Ski Williamson and Gilbert Sheldon. Tom Forcade, of the UPS, patiently did the editing. Bert Cohen of Concert Hall did the book's graphic design. Amber and John Wilcox set the type. Anita Hoffman and Lynn Borman helped me rewrite a number of sections. There are others who participated in the testing of many of the techniques demonstrated in the following pages and for obvious reasons have to remain anonymous. There were perhaps over 50 brothers and sisters who played particularly vital roles in the grand conspiracy. Some of the many others are listed on the following page. We hope to keep the information up to date. If you have comments, law suits, suggestions or death threats, please send them to: Dear Abbie P.0. Box 213, Cooper Station, New York, NY 10003. Many of the tips might not work in your area, some might be obsolete by the time you get to try them out, and many addresses and phone numbers might be changed. If the reader becomes a participating researcher then we will have achieved our purpose.

Watch for a special edition called Steal This White House, complete with blueprints of underground passages, methods of jamming the communications network and a detailed map of the celebrated room where according to Tricia Nixon, "Daddy loves to listen to Mantovanni records, turn up the air conditioner full blast, sit by the fireplace, gaze out the window to the Washington Monument and meditate on those difficult problems that face all the peoples of this world."

December, 1970 Cook County Jail Chicago

"Free speech is the right to shout 'THEATER!' in a crowded fire." -a Yippie Proverb

July 2005

i'm thirsty


thirsty for freedom, thirsty for change, thirsty for revolution.

i launched this site on july 4, 2005, in celebration of our nation's original declaration of independence. it's old news to declare independence. what we're doing here is producing (another) handbook for independence. anyone can declare it. the hard part is behaving like independent citizens.

this site is here to help.

everything all of you have contributed so far is wonderful. keep up the good work and tell your friends!

Libberator: i gotta say man this is a great site. when i first read your introduction i agreed with it completely. most of my peers don't share my passion for politics or any of this stuff so to find someone who had the same beliefs was great. hopefully one day we'll be able to make a change

firsty: hey libberator. i can sympathize with your situation. i know a lot of people who claim to be revolutionary writers but when it really comes down to it, theyre frightened of change. while on the one hand i'm disappointed that i wasnt able to pull more of my contacts into this project, i'm impressed, grateful and amazed at the contributions made by the select few of which you are a major part.

i believe that the "one day" is quickly approaching when we will make that change. i have to. otherwise i cant sleep at night.

all of my lines are for sharing, including my subject format. steal them as necessary. the last person i ever call to the scene is a cop.

i guess i should do more in the way of introducing myself...

i'm a remarried father of 2 young boys, of whom i have shared custody with my x. born in buffalo, ny, raised upstate, and went to school at the university at buffalo. not a scholar, tho. most of my college days were spent reading, writing and rowing. and getting very, very high.

i live in southern pennsylvania, perhaps one of the most "red" regions of the country. it's a good day when my girl and me can get to philly or baltimore or even nyc for an outing, just to be around normal people.

lived near nyc (hoboken, nj) for 5-6 yrs, during which time 9/11 occurred. i had just finished my first novel, a 1st-person "coming of age" thing that all bad writers must accomplish before moving on to bigger and better things. i have 2 other novels in the works, more or less 1/2-way done.

i've written short stories, essays and poetry that i've performed at readings in DC and nyc, published online and in a few small indie publications (one upcoming). mostly, i'm a writer. i also publish regularly at newsvine and sportingo (and my blog).

i do have a day job at a major international company which should go unnnamed. my professional success bothers me, but it pays the bills until i'm able to make a living off my writing.

i was staying at a hotel in nj last year, on a business trip, when i saw, for the 3rd or 4th time, "steal this movie," and something clicked, and i came up with this idea here.

my life is still relatively hectic. over the fall, i had to use caution on the internet for legal reasons not directly related to this project. but now, i'm as free and clear as one can be these days.

i'm approaching this project from two points of view - literary and political. i find great literary value not only in the original book and the spirit of it, but also in the possibilities that this new project holds. community is everything.

from a political perspective, one of the main reasons america is in this fucked position that we're in is because of simple physics. inertia is real. we're a large nation and it's very difficult to change the direction of the country, because you need the "buy-in" of literally millions of people simply in order to get attention, much less make anything happen.

which is why i believe that a community-created handbook for the new revolution is the only thing which will create enough energy flowing to change the direction of the country. to bring down the system, to break it so it doesnt work. because it's not working now anyway, not for the people. it's only working for those who abuse it.

thats my speech. sorry for getting carried away.

I am root

I'm the administrator of both the wiki and the forums -- that means I handle the technical side of things. If you have a problem with the site, I'll be the one who will train monkeys to fix it.

Unidyne, present and accounted for!

Being in my 40's, I was born in the 1960's, grew up during that turbulent decade, and saw the rebellious spirit of change become co-opted and commercialized. Tie-dye gave way to polyester, Folk Music and Psychedelica gave way to Disco and AOR, Love Bugs gave way to BMW's, Flower Power gave way to the Me Generation, headshops became Starbucks, and Granola went from something you mixed in your kitchen to something you bought from a multi-national food conglomerate (That probably explains why Punk Rock was so heavily dissed by the mainstream media in the 1980's: The Powers That Be couldn't cash in on the DIY ethic). With Global Warming, Peak Oil and the present world political situation staring us in the collective face, we need Abbie's free and mischevious spirit now more than ever, which is why I'm a frequent poster and avid supporter of this website.

firsty: the spirit never died, but the heroes of the 60s sold out, and laid a new, despicable foundation for the 80s money-grubbing nonsense.

you are my new heroes, all y'all. you're writing the new handbook for revolution. make no mistake.

April 2007

Steal This Wiki Introduction

"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." - Thomas Jefferson

I’ve never been one for hippies. I don’t mean hippies as a name, because, of course, Abbie Hoffman was a Yippie, not a Hippie. But as a generation, I have always thought, the youth movement of the late sixties and early seventies, most commonly referred to as the hippies, have failed this nation greatly.

Those young men and women back then had tremendous courage. They risked their freedom and often their lives in order to force our government and our country to have to recognize decency and intelligence. It’s not right that our government had to be forced into such seemingly common decency, and up until a few years ago, we seemed surprised that our elected officials and decent American citizens could ever have been so wrong. And yet, here we are again.

When I was growing up in ordinary suburban America in the nineteen eighties, I idolized the everyman players of the sixties. Wavy Gravy, Bobby Seale, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, etc. I listened to The Who, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Dylan, The Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, Neil Young, Crosby, Stills and Nash. I read every Doonesbury comic strip since the ones published at his Yale newspaper while he was a student there. I was also fascinated with the history of the war in Vietnam. This fascination was recognized and possibly validated when my mother offered to take me to see Oliver Stone’s “Platoon.” I read First Blood, and one of the first courses I took during my freshman year at the University at Buffalo was a third-year course called “The Literature of Vietnam.”

And it wasn’t just me. Everywhere we looked, we found sixties nostalgia madness.

But it turns out that it really was simply cultural nostalgia.

Where are the hippies now? I don't mean, let's blame them because they are old and aren't on the cutting edge anymore. But, seriously, I can tell you where the hippies are. They are driving Volvos and living in McMansions. They are investing heavily in the stock market upon which Mr. Hoffman and his gang threw money back in the day. "All You Need Is Love" is featured in an ad for money-making credit cards.

George W. Bush grew up in the sixties, and, make no mistake, the baby boomers are the ones who voted for him, by and large. This largest generation has given us Enron and the war in Iraq. It's not just the administration, either. It's CEOs, it's false charities, it's a horrible tax system. By now, 30 years after Vietnam, our country should be enjoying the wealth of insight provided by the youth of that era. Instead, we wallow in what has nearly become a failed empire.

We don't want to be an empire in the first place, and I thought, neither did the hippies. And yet, here we are.

I see a nation in profound jeopardy of losing its very point of existing. Despite the failure of the hippies to provide many enduring changes, I find myself looking back to that very youth movement for inspiration.

Granted, it’s simply a different world these days, and in many wonderful ways. It’s easier to get from sea to shining sea these days, and even less necessary. The internet connects us with people in Australia, Egypt and Norway.

We have to embrace our world, this one we live in, not look back or ahead too far. We have to focus on the now. we can't change the past, we can't dwell on the future. But we can improve the future by listening to ourselves now, by always making the right decision, by always standing up for the very real things that we believe in. So instead of ruing the changes in technology and culture, we should be ruing the changes in our freedoms. Our technology has grown, our culture has created new traditions, but our freedoms have been squeezed, our intelligence has been insulted, and our lives have been threatened. And I don’t mean by the terrorists. Let me tell you a story about the terrorists.

I was in the hallway of my lower Manhattan office building on the morning of September 11 when the second plane hit the World Trade Center. It seemed the whole building shook, and it sounded like a bomb went off right downstairs. We had known that a plane had hit the north tower a few minutes earlier, but with the impact of that second hit all the resonance of its meaning dropped like half a million tons of bricks. At that instant we didn’t simply guess, but we knew that we were under some serious attack.

I saw for myself the south tower collapse – I had to sprint to outrun the rolling ten story wall of dust. I had staff who lost family and friends. I breathed in toxic dust for months serving Guiliani and Bush and the federal administration in their effort to get things “back to normal so the terrorists don’t win.” Ever since then, our administration has done nothing except highlight the obvious differences in our daily lives and try to take advantage of us because of them.

What have we had since that day? Since that day they insisted that everything was ever and for always going to be all right?

We were introduced to the Patriot Act. Hundreds of millions of dollars were sunk into Halliburton.

We were lied to, baldfaced and criminally, about the military knowledge of a small country in the middle of the desert, despite what I knew when I was growing up, that the United States knew where every silo well was, where every truck moved, within the secretive and high-tech military complex of the Soviet Union, twenty-five years ago.

Children, young and old, have been murdered by mechanical weapons aimed by presidents of corporations.

Law-abiding groups have been spied on, their rights violated.

Freedom of the press has been compromised and directly and openly attacked by our government.

Our poorest and most in need were completely and arrogantly ignored by the government and corporations and yet at the same time attacked by right-wing media for having ever been on welfare.

Where were the huge corporations coming up with advertisements about how much they’ve donated to Katrina victims? I know I’ve seen that one about Halliburton in the desert…

The economic wealth of America, earned on the shoulders of millions of hard-working citizens, is almost completely in the hands of a privileged and deceptive few.

Our young men are being recruited into a capitalistic war, and are dying for the government’s betrayal of their patriotic sensibilities.

People have been refused their right to vote, including women and blacks, who, even post-first revolution, had to die in order to gain the right.

And the best critical commentary comes from The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Saturday Night Live, each and all simply comedy shows, filmed in closed studios and vomiting cash to the conglomerate owners.

A major part of our actual and existing workforce was declared illegal after decades of implied legality.

The control that religious fanaticism has over social and political control hasn’t been this strong in Western Civilization since the thirteen-hundreds, having somehow ignorantly leapfrogged centuries of scientific and philosophical discoveries.

And speaking of science, we have scientific proof now that our government and economic leaders are full of blinded and drunk medieval monks. Our planet is melting and instead of being a forest fire of global proportions, it’s been rendered by our system into a lobbyist political capitalistic propaganda game.

Now look at this. Nations firing ultra-modern technological warfare as well as muddy and rusty incoming mortar shells at the children and homes of other nations, well-armed militaries killing each others’ civilians.

And we complain a lot about the news, and rightly so. But we are also very informed, albeit restrictedly so. Even though our citizens are listening to biased information, they are really sitting in front of their televisions, aint they? So in that way, our nation has never been more involved.

They fucked us up pretending that we could prove everything was all right for them. Now they're fucking us up by pretending that nothing will ever be all right again.

The only thing that hasn’t changed since 9/11 is that the government is still fucking us up.

And now they even want to restrict this new technology that is bringing people together, facilitating the communication of the everyman. Even this, even now, the majority of citizens of America are being pushed back upon. They’re pushing back, pushing back, and how much is even left behind us anymore?

So, why this? From someone who thinks the hippies betrayed us, from someone who experienced first-hand the deadly nightmare of international terrorism?


Because we need it. Those most harmed by this new way of America life are the ones least able to communicate anything. The rich are fewer and more removed from the rest of the real world than they’ve ever been.

Look, man, we don’t want to hurt anybody here. But our government doesn’t want many of us to live. But our government is killing its poorest citizens, whether it be in New Orleans, Baghdad or a moth-eaten sleeping bag in a New York City alleyway, in the alleyway of any American city.

I may not agree with every bit of reference in this book, but that is why I’m involved in it. I may not hold values identical to each contributing writer or editor, and in some ways may differ critically, but that is why I’m involved in it, and that is why they are involved in it, too. This isn't about promoting one of those –isms, one of those broad beliefs. This isn't about promoting socialism or communism or capitalism or ism ism ism ism ism. This is about helping fellow citizens who, for a number of reasons and coming from a billion different points of view, feel the need for change. Dramatic change. But not a change to simply one thing, one ism or one source of cash. Rather a change to the one original thing, the set of ideas that America was founded upon. The things we want are not new or revolutionary. That this can be considered revolutionary is an (appropriate) insult to our social, political and economic leaders in the first place, and it’s also an insult to us, rightly so.

Here is another not very new idea: citizens have not only the ability but also the responsibility to change things when they are not going well. That is something straight from Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. So this thing we’re in, it’s a thing of all of us. Yours, mine, theirs. And I don’t think they’re going to do anything about it, seeing as it fits them so well.

It’s not us you have to worry about, it’s them.

If you’re poor, you have to worry about them. If you’re a minority, you have to worry about them. If you live paycheck to paycheck, you have to worry about them. If you have children, you have to worry about them. If you like something they don’t like, you have to worry about them. If you believe something they don’t believe in, you have to worry about them. If you don’t have health insurance, you have to worry about them. If you don’t know your rights, you have to worry about them.

But they have one big problem that we don’t have. They have a lot more to lose. They have everything. They own us.

Love live the revolutions, and may gods bless America.

Main Page

  • All scans of the original Steal This Book pages have been thumbnailed. The original pages are still there, and if you click on the thumbnail, you will be able to view the full-resolution page. This has been done to save bandwidth.

  • Big News! We are now hosted at See? The url is new. You dont need to do anything differently - the old page links still work, they just direct to the new domain.

  • And we've got a new place to discuss things that dont fall into the individual "discussion" pages. Head over to our New Forum and introduce yourself, talk about the site, or whatever. We're glad to have you aboard. If you'd like to promote StealThisWiki elsewhere, please take a look at our Promotion page.

  • Do you have any cool ideas for our logo? We already have a kickass logo, but we're looking for more ideas. After uploading your logo ideas, you can display them on our new Logo Ideas page. Have fun!

  • Please consider becoming active in the all-American efforts to free Josh Wolf.

About This Wiki

A collaborative update of Abbie Hoffman's seminal work, "Steal This Book".

Here is the General Plan.

Get started: Table of Contents

Please make sure you visit our Steal_This_Wiki:Community_Portal

Download the Original pdf. (created by one of our users!)

DIY guide, and pdf, for a more literal pdf hack

Link to original website.


Thanks for visiting and we look forward to your contributions. If you have any questions, please email me at or post a question on the appropriate discussion page.

One suggestion as a place to get started would be here:


Some things to get you started:

General Guidelines

Who are we?

Things we REALLY need help with (Seriously):

1. We had a very successful launch and we've some great activity so far. For the next step, I'd like to make a list, something we all consider and contribute to, of forums/blogs/news sites that we can reach out to for further collaboration. Most critically, I'd like to focus on these groups:]]

  • Low-income Americans

  • Students, particularly college-age

  • Those traditionally considered "Minorities" - Black, Asian, Native Americans, Hispanic - anyone in America who is being marginalized because of the color of his or her skin.

  • Immigrants, particularly undocumented

This list can be compiled on our new ReachOut page. Once we have a good, full list, we can contact these groups. Thats not to say that we cant invite anyone at any point, because we can!

2. We'd like to create a short web movie that takes new users through the steps of signing up and editing pages. If you have experience with that kind of thing and are willing to help, please email me at or respond on the discussion page. Thanks!

3. We need help with formatting and some extras for the site itself. Calling all revolutionary geeks! I know for one thing that we need to create an email notification for new users and potentially for writers who need to monitor page changes. Anyone experienced with adding MediaWiki extensions is encouraged to contact me at or just make a note in the discussion section.

Why was my IP banned?

Because you did something contrary to the spirit of the project.

We dont intend to be liberal with our banning of IPs. But, this is not the place to argue about the appropriateness of this project. This is the place to develop the project. If you have comments about a certain section, please keep them civil, keep them within some realm of focus that demonstrates that you have read the original text and that you somehow appreciate the text for its social and political meaning, and keep them within the discussion pages.

I am more than happy to address specific concerns from people who fundamentally disagree with the project. In those cases, please email the project founder and he will respond as quickly and thoroughly as possible. If you don't email him with your fundamental disagreements with the project, and instead post edits to articles that demonstrate your disagreement for the sake of making your point simply public and dramatic, you will be banned as soon as one of the moderators sees it. Disagreement is welcome in both the Talk pages and in the forums Basically, if you vandalize pages to support your view, you'll be banned. If you talk it out like a reasonable person, you won't.

If you feel that you have been banned in error please e-mail webmaster[at]

Note: any attempts to compromise the security of our site, or the security of our members will be reported to your ISP.

Feb 2008

Steal This Wiki launches alpha version of Steal This Book for 21st Century


For the past 18 months, the Steal This Wiki project has been industriously updating Abbie Hoffman's 1971 classic, Steal This Book, and now they're ready to ship. Ploney Almoney sez, "We now have our first alpha available for people to download as ODT or PDF, it is a huge bloated draft with minimal images but we have added just about every survival tip we could think of for shelter alternatives living out of a pack, cooking without a kitchen, escaping the United States, and even making a fabber, plus all of the protest and propaganda distribution in a more useful DIY format. Now we need lots of people to read it and help us get the edits done so it can be sent for printing."

This site is intended to support and distribute information that is relevant to this day and age, which can be reasonably defined as one in which Americans are forced to deal with difficult issues (such as a military led by an unwise and unreasonable group of people) as well as with real and dangerous threats.

Hopefully as the content on this site evolves, it will become a new and useful work, holding true to the spirit of the original, and providing useful information to those who value freedom, peace, and justice.

This site contains the how-to information on everything from how to grow a garden to how to teach a college level class. How many revolutions were about putting the existing means of production into the hands of the people. We have seen that these revolutions, given enough time, always ended with a new power caste abusing the under class. We want to give the means of production for basic needs back into the hands of every person so they can choose to ignore the heavy hand of a government which has melded itself with the mega-businesses in a way that leaves ordinary humans with a voice or a choice.

Link to Steal This Wiki, Link to download PDF of alpha edition

2011 - Main Page


Thanks for visiting Steal This Wiki, a collaborative update and rewrite of Abbie Hoffman's seminal work, Steal This Book. And a special welcome to readers of Little Brother, Cory Doctorow's new book (available for free online), which we are excited to see reference our project.

The project is divided into three major categories.

  • Survive is a primer on basic level survival in tough times. Here, you will find information on everything from how to eat on the cheap, getting through high school, living on the street, knowing about drugs, and much more!

  • Fight is an advanced skills section for use after you have gotten your survival needs taken care of. Topics range from use of firearms, leadership skills, good use of the internet, getting the hell out of dodge, and even petty theft if you are desperate or crazy!

  • Lastly, Liberate is a section on individual cities written from a free spirit's viewpoint. If you are stuck in a small town going nowhere and want to leave for adventure, Free Cities may have some good information for you!

Read it!

You can browse the always-improving wiki online or download it in book format to your computer and print and bind a hard copy. Our already very useful beta release of Steal This Book Today includes both a complete edition (448 pages) and a condensed Survival Edition (138 pages). If you're feeling nostalgic, you can also read the original. But there is still lots of work to do!

Featured Great Articles

Parkour The urban sport that not only keeps you in good shape but turns you into a acrobatic, cop and bad guy evading ninja.

Camping When the homeless shelters are being oppressive assholes and there is no money to pay some asshole landlord, grab a cheap tent and live in the wooded patches!

Free Land Updated a while back with even more information about free land.

Write it!

We look forward to seeing what you can contribute to the project. Just take a quick look at our guidelines and then jump in editing and expanding. Or discuss the project, and related issues, in our forum.

Be sure to keep up with all the latest edits and changes on the Recent Changes page link in the right left hand box where contributors communicate and you can see what we are working on.

You can also help by getting the word out. You can tell others about the site, email out copies of the book, make it available for download in new places, give print copies to friends or others, leave them in libraries, or quote material in new work.

Throughout the wiki, you may find some typos or sentences that are out of place. Some of our contributors may be using shoddy smart phones or ancient laptops with no spell check. Or they may have more enthusiasm than writing skill. If you see something like this, correct away!

Help us! Our site uses quite a bit of bandwidth every day and, since we have no advertisements (and never will), we are completely dependent on donations to keep us afloat. The form on our home page sends donations directly to our hosting provider, where they can only be used for server costs. Thanks in advance!


Questions about the project should be addressed on our forums. There is also a link to the forums is in a box in the upper left hand portion of the wiki page. Someone will be glad to help. Problems with the site should be addressed to root at

Nov 2011 – Temporary Removal

I figured if anyone on the web has heard of Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book, they might pass through here. Well there was actually a wiki dedicated to his book, called Steal This Wiki, and had an extensive collection of information on how to live in, off of, survive, and fight the system (60s-70s left-wing yippies, undergetit?). Steal This Wiki, Rational Wiki, and good ol' Wikipedia are probably the most useful sites for me. So a few days ago, I try to get onto Steal this Wiki. And what do I get? Conservapedia. Conservafuckingpedia. So I try the other links to other parts of the site: still Conservapedia. I try other browsers: Conservapedia. I try other computers on different internet connections: Conshitapedia. Now the site was low budget and run entirely on a few lame donations every few months or so, but I'm not understanding why the Cons suddenly have the keys to what was formerly a left-wing anarchist site. If anyone has any information on how or why the universe frowns upon my soul and the souls of other supporters of Steal This Wiki, please enlighten me.

Dec 2011 - Main Page

STW Supports #Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy X protests it has inspired.

Unlike eras past, it has been increasingly difficult for the elite to hide their oppression. With new tools that are increasingly more accessible and mobile, EVERYONE can share information - even information those who are in control may not wish to be made public. Corporations and even governments such as Egypt are starting to realize that there is only so much oppression that can happen before folks start talking. We here at Steal This Wiki are all about talking as well. With the decades old Steal This Book by Abbie Hoffman as our inspiration, we continue sharing information - just like we have been doing for the last six years! Much of what we write about are things the polite society and the elite does not think you need to know. And... just like those occupying various parks and places around Amerika, we have no intention of stopping. What is beautiful is that YOU can join us too.

To the revolution, and hopefully new bosses that will not be the same as the old bosses.


Steal This Wiki is a large collection of articles concerning topics of basic survival, activism, and privacy in an increasingly oppressive world written from a free spirit perspective.

In this wiki, you are likely to find material that maybe against some moral stances and even blatantly against the law. Like any good source, we encourage you to take what you wish and view the rest with an open rational mind. Information has no morals and can be used for good or ill. You decide that for yourself. Remember, just because you have the power that information gives you to do something may not mean you should.

The project is divided into three major categories. Check out our Table of Contents for a complete listing as some of the landing pages are only partially fleshed out.

Survive is a primer on basic level survival in tough times. Here, you will find information on everything from how to eat on the cheap, getting through high school, living on the street, knowing about drugs, and much more!

Fight is an advanced skills section for use after you have gotten your survival needs taken care of. Topics range from use of firearms, leadership skills, good use of the internet, getting the hell out of dodge, and even petty theft if you are desperate or crazy!

Lastly, Liberate is a section on individual cities written from a free spirit's viewpoint. If you are stuck in a small town going nowhere and want to leave for adventure, Free Cities may have some good information for you!

Read it!

You can browse the always-improving wiki online or download it in book format to your computer and print and bind a hard copy. Our already very useful beta release of Steal This Book Today includes both a complete edition (448 pages) and a condensed Survival Edition (138 pages). If you're feeling nostalgic, you can also read the original. But there is still lots of work to do!

Featured Great Articles

Parkour The urban sport that not only keeps you in good shape but turns you into a acrobatic, cop and bad guy evading ninja.

Camping When the homeless shelters are being oppressive assholes and there is no money to pay some asshole landlord, grab a cheap tent and live in the wooded patches!

Free Land Updated a while back with even more information about free land.

Write it!

Wiki shut down during transition for all users below sysop. We will be back shortly.

Help us! Our site uses quite a bit of bandwidth every day and, since we have no advertisements (and never will), we are completely dependent on donations to keep us afloat. The form on our home page sends donations directly to our hosting provider, where they can only be used for server costs. Thanks in advance!


Questions about the project should be addressed on our forums. There is also a link to the forums is in a box in the upper left hand portion of the wiki page. Someone will be glad to help. Problems with the site should be addressed to root at

May 2012 – Site Goes Down For Years

Permanently removed

This site has been taken off-line permanently.

Support the EFF. Fuck SOPA/PIPA and similarly bad bills.

STW Refugees Regroup on Rational Wiki

Puffpuff23: A day late for the anti SOPA/PIPA protests over the internet the wiki "Steal This Wiki" is now "permanently removed" with a redirect that says "Site Permanently Removed, fuck SOPA/PIPA and similarly bad bills". It has been this way for quite a while and I was wondering if anyone has the downloadable version so I can continue reading it. Any link would be helpful or better yet any explanation to why this is happening.

Douglas Barton: I don't know why it was taken down. But I have a download of the site. Contact me douglas.barton (at) to get this thing back online, or to get the files I have.

Unidyne: I was a STW contributor

After the routing of STW went to Conservapedia and was then finally restored in October of 2011, I took it upon myself to archive the pages of STW (except for the forums) and store it on a CD-ROM. And, yes, I am one of the contributors, but I'm more of a survivalist than any sort of revolutionary. I also wanted to make certain that the readers didn't end up getting injured, killed, or arrested by doing anything on the wiki.

I was approached by one of the other writers if I had any of the data saved. I sent the data on a thumb drive and said person is probably re-writing the data right now. If/When STW is re-established, the main problem will be spreading the word that it's back and on a new URL.

Until then, check the archive listed above and keep your beans and rice dry.

Green1: UNIDYNE!

Oh my goodness, man... I was hunting for you. I was in contact with Vovka, our forum mod and fellow sysop. Ploney and yourself I did not have contact info for. I was in the middle of practical research of techniques during that whole fiasco. I felt powerless. I have some great stuff to share when we get back running! I did the whole stealth camp thing in a major city undiscovered for months! You guys would have been proud. The place was hidden in plain sight and I was undiscovered for months. It was the extension of the bike trip from Baton Rouge to Texas me and a companion did last year. Keep me abreast of changes. I am looking forward to actually to editing again :) There are those of us that believe in a life of freedom.

edit- I hear you about some of the protest/revolutionary stuff. When I did the massive edit hammer to stuff, I considered moving or severely reorganizing Fight. From reading around forums, most of our readership loved our urban survival articles. The protest stuff, less so. Did not touch it because I wanted to respect the old guard. However, when we get back, I have some great ideas for layout and better organization. I think a new introduction is in order, too, like I mentioned in STW forums long ago. Firsty's angry rant really is not us. And, since he is writing ebooks on sports, I doubt he would mind :)

Unidyne: Green1

Greetings, comrade! It was Vov who requested the data. And, yes, it was sent on a thumb drive (I'm surprised as to how little space all the data from STW takes up).

Great to hear of your use of the information. I learned how to make my own pasta from STW! I'm eagerly awaiting the restart of the wiki, and plan to send out notices to the new URL once it's up. It's good to know some of us are still out there!

Green1: Vovka assuming r00t identity

I found an email buried in spam from him from about a month or so back. Of all the old gaurd, Vov seems like a good choice for the root mantle. He actually believes and contributes to the project and puts it into practice. He kept our forums kicking for a long time. We need the folks to have the keys to the site to be one of us instead of someone who is just along for projects just because. I have given him better contact info in an email if he needs to reach me. Of us that are left, we should really communicate more. Towards the end there of the r00t administration, we were starting to get a bad rep of always begging for money and always on the verge of shutting down. Not that we could do much about it at the time. BTW, I have been researching some of the contributors who where involved in the early days of the project. They had some pretty sharp folks on the roster including a college professor and direct support from Corey Doctorow. They had a falling out around 2 years into the project and not much quality material. A lot of cut/paste was there until some of us later guys got our hands on it. From reading, I am getting the impression that some of the original folks had lots of ego and were pricks to each other instead of writing great stuff. Could be wrong, though. The only stuff they did have was Ploney's pdf release that still lurks around in various places. Thank goodness we are not like that. I think that with Vov, we are going to start booming.

Vovka has hosting

In an email, Vovka is going to start manually copy/pasting from archives. Of course, all good things take time.

Host will still be Nearly Free Speech who we were with in the past. Not that our content was too bad. But still, we are paranoid about butthurt folks screwing with us. We have stuff about shoplifting and even (semi) violent stuff and legal highs. That is not all there is to it. There is great stuff if you get down and out and need to rise again. I would take our stuff over some canned web content article by some journalism major sitting behind a desk driving her SUV. We just present all options and let other folks decide. Just because you can do something does not mean you should. Thank you guys at Rational Wiki for being kind to us. Actually, I am learning stuff from you guys. I think STW will be a better wiki after hanging around here.

Conservapedia Troll: War against STW

A war is being waged against Stealthiswiki and the original members. As long as rationalwiki continues to host such material and STW fugitives, it will be harassed into uselessness with a barrage of escalating attacks starting with minor annoyances and ending in utter disaster. You still have time to purge yourself of such rats before TSHTF. Any who stand in the way will become casualties. That is all.


June 2012‎

Anonymous: Vovka has been arrested

In an email I received, I was informed of Vovka's arrest. FBI agents arrested Vovka outside his house. Apparently he was busted in an internet sting which led to a warrant to search his house. Combing his house, the agents found a large number of bomb components, numerous handwritten journal pages that included bomb-making instructions and descriptions of various crimes he committed and one live bomb. He is being held without bail on charges of domestic terrorism as well as various other lesser charges. If you wish to donate to his defense fund, respond and I will make arrangements via email.

Tmtoulouse: Tell us more! Have a name? Article?

Green1: Hmmm... makes sense. He did have a run in a while back for shoplifting. I would not recommend sending money to random, undocumented sources, either. Oh well. Oh, and sorry if some of the mods of this wiki had to deal with lame vandalizers. We had a very rough time with them when the wiki was open for some reason. Not sure if it is some basement dweller or a former contributor that got butthurt because they could not read our guidelines. They seem to follow us wherever we go. I guess it is good to have stalkers - but not that kind. That said, just get in touch with me if you other sysops want to do something between the rest of us.

Oct 2012

Vovka: Hello, I am vovka.

I was arrested, but not by FBI, and not on such a high level. There was a terrorism investigation, but only by Maryland State, to the best of my knowledge. I'm certainly not in indefinite detainment at present. I'm going to have to step back from the project, as I'm simply under too much observation, surveillance, and heat. I will continue to contribute if anyone manages to get the wiki back on it's feet.

There were no pipebombs and no hand written papers. This is false, but I can see how rumors could have turned it into that. It's good to know that someone on the internet missed me :p

I don't know how to post in the forum thread, I don't see any relevant buttons and I'm new to rational wiki. Hopefully someone will read the talk page! And uh, to rationalwiki, thank you for providing room to discuss the state of affairs of our wiki.

Edit: I'm aware of at least three or four people still interested in the project, Unlocking the thread or something would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks! Vov35

Oct 2014

A person called Sam uploads many of the pages to ‘Steal this fandom’, but in return for free hosting the site is plastered with pop up advertisements.

Main Page


Table of Contents

Thanks for visiting Steal This Wiki, a collaborative update and rewrite of the great and infamous Abbie Hoffman's seminal work, Steal This Book. A guide about everything, from ways to survive or entertain yourself in the major cities of the world, to free medical care, including dealing with pregnancies, to revolutionary skills and homemade defense/disruption tools, such as explosives, or public speaking and distribution of free media, even learning to cook. The value of this book could never be overstated, that goes double for this wiki.

Steal This Wiki used to be located at Unfortunately, it was taken down at the end of 2011. Fortunately, the entirety of it was archived as a static copy, but it saddened me to see great amounts of work and research be left sitting on a unstable, unchangeable, Dropbox file. In fact I was really surprised to discover that no other Steal This Wiki reboots existed. A wiki is exactly the kind of thing Steal This Book was meant to be written on, something that everyone can help build and change and update information on. If a wiki isn't one of the best representation of what Racialist/Anarchist/Yippie values are, then I'm sure it was something that was already fucked up by one of those great greedy bastards from Mars already.

Right now most of what we are doing is re-hosting the old pages here and connecting links, a pretty easy job frankly. Right here is the link to the Dropbox, and here is a simple guide to making sure the page conforms to guidelines. Soon enough though we'll be in the real work of bringing the book completely up to date, and writing whole new articles and guides.

Our project is divided into the three same categories Hoffman's book was. This doesn't mean that new sections can't be added though. We'd like to add a section with info on the many kinds of societies, or methods of living after a revolution.

Survive is a primer on basic level survival in tough times. Here, you will find information on everything from how to eat on the cheap, getting through high school, living on the street, knowing about drugs, and much more!

Fight is an advanced skills section for use after you have gotten your survival needs taken care of. Topics range from use of firearms, leadership skills, good use of the internet, getting the hell out of dodge, and even petty theft if you are desperate or crazy!

Lastly, Liberate is a section on individual cities written from a free spirit's viewpoint. If you are stuck in a small town going nowhere and want to leave for adventure, Free Cities may have some good information for you!

Read it!

You can browse the always-improving wiki online or download it in book format to your computer and print and bind a hard copy. If you're feeling nostalgic, you can also read the original. But there is still lots of work to do!

Featured Great Articles

Parkour The urban sport that not only keeps you in good shape but turns you into a acrobatic, cop and bad guy evading ninja.

Camping When the homeless shelters are being oppressive assholes and there is no money to pay some asshole landlord, grab a cheap tent and live in the wooded patches!

Free Land Updated a while back with even more information about free land.

Write it!

We look forward to seeing what you can contribute to the project. Just take a quick look at our guidelines and then jump in editing and expanding. Or discuss the project, and related issues.

Be sure to keep up with all the latest edits and changes on the Recent Changes page where contributors communicate and you can see what we are working on.

You can also help by getting the word out. You can tell others about the site, email out copies of the book, make it available for download in new places, give print copies to friends or others, leave them in libraries, or quote material in new work.

Throughout the wiki, you may find some typos or sentences that are out of place. Some of our contributors may be using shoddy smart phones or ancient laptops with no spell check. Or they may have more enthusiasm than writing skill. If you see something like this, correct away!

Sep 2014

About MbN

MbN stands for mutually beneficial network. Individuals in the DnE community, and sometimes groups within the DnE community, often work on projects, and this network is here to encourage and facilitate these projects. A “Project” can be defined as any goal someone or a group embarks on. It doesn’t necessarily have to produce something, it can also be a personal goal, like losing x amount of weight, or learning something by a certain date.

Examples include programming projects, writing a book or story, learning a new skill, improving ones fitness, and things of that nature. We do our best to try to provide necessary help to get someone to succeed at their goal, for example, providing hosting if possible, or encouragement, technical advice, or constructive criticism.

Dec 2014

DnE Blog The dankest, edgiest blog etc etc.

  • Authors

  • Creative

  • Entertainment

  • Humour

  • Misc

    • News

      • 2014

      • 2015

      • 2016

  • Philosophy And Culture

  • Science

  • Technology

2014 - DnE Year In Review.

by Absent

So, we have to put out a couple of more posts to meet our self-set post quota, and what better post on new years eve than a 2014 year-in-review post? The scope of this is basically to check out what this year brought to the site, like, what did we do? I’ll also touch on what we’re planning on doing. What do we have in the works? What’s on the agenda? Prior to this year, we were basically focusing on finding older members for the site. We were focused on retaining and getting members that we thought would be a good fit for the community since the sites inception, and 2013 continued this effort. Near the end of 2013, we started to get a little more ambitious, we wanted to branch out and start to build something more than a small obscure internet forum. We also figured we could probably make some money. From this came the idea of the secure DnE Email host…

Which, after lots of effort and patience, was (and is) functional, although most of the security features we were planning would, eventually, require us to sell the host to a third party in a country with better privacy standards than ours, so we essentially abandoned the notion of total-security in favor of “a useful and moderately secure email host”. Our Email Host efforts extended into the beginning of 2014, and we actually launched, if I recall correctly, the functioning beta version of the host sometime in February of 2014. You can find that right here (Although registration requires us to manually enter you for now, more on future plans for this below.)

We also upgraded from our previous hosting situation to a new and better host, so our downtime has been significantly reduced. On our first host we had a lot of problems, for example a major kernel panic due to some SAN issues. If I’m not mistaken, we haven’t had any downtime since we’ve gotten on our new host, at least, none that had lasted any extended period of time. I can’t, off of the top of my head, think of any instance in which we’ve been down yet. So that’s been very good. The cost has been well worth it, as far as I’m concerned.

Aside from hosting concerns, we also launched both the DnE Blog, and the MbN “platform”. MbN has, so far, mostly just been a concept that directs user projects. It’s not an integral part of DnE and often isn’t really a “platform” at all, just an idea we use to tie projects to the site and provide projects with a way to get their projects attention. This will probably change in the future and MbN will (hopefully) become more of a platform with more useful features.

The launch of the blog has, in contrast, become a pretty integral part of DnE. I suspect it’ll continue to grow and become a staple of what DnE is. We were basically discussing how we can provide more real content to drive more traffic to the site, outside of the forums. Basically we needed a better source of incoming members than word of mouth. We talked about setting up a wiki, and we actually did, although it’s mostly just for fun: DnE Wiki

Then Wes coined the idea of just starting a blog that worked as a publishing platform for users, which is what you’re reading now. Essentially any member of DnE can submit posts for vetting on the forums or via the submission form, and we’ll give suggestions and try to make them better, then once they are post-able, we post ‘em. We’re now setting goals for how many posts we make every year / month, and trying to become a more consistent content creator. That being said, we’re also looking to up the quality and perfect the back end.

Which essentially leads me to where we’re gonna take DnE in the future. The MbN and Blog back ends are essentially just werc with some minor modifications we made. We’re going to include even more modifications to our platform to make the blog easier to work with as far as editors / writers are concerned, and that’ll also benefit MbN. MbN will, hopefully, given the development work, become more of a platform for user projects.

Aside from the blog and MbN, uselessd was also launched on DnE’s domain. We’ve gotten quite a bit of attention from that, and it’s been an interesting year on DnE partially due to the popularity of uselessd. A few more big project launches are upcoming, as well, but I’m not gonna say anything about those until we’re ready for launch… As far as the email host is concerned, we’ve got a few things planned for that as well, like automatic registration via forums and such. So look forward to more from DnE, and here’s to another year of substantial growth… Feel free to comment or discuss if I missed anything or fudged some stuff.

Jan 2015

Steal This Wiki - Month One

by God

“If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” –Jesus, probably

One month ago today, we announced the revival of Steal This Wiki, the Yippie icon of rebellion and counterculture for the computer age. We’ve been working diligently to steal the old articles from a static archive, and between school, jobs, other projects, and the general stresses that accompany daily life in Amerika, we’re pleased to report that all the old articles that we managed to get a hold of have been moved over to the new Steal This Wiki. Now that the articles are up, we’ll be focusing our efforts on updating, cataloging, and vastly improving their contents. We continue to welcome contributors who wish to help edit, and spread the word. Any help - providing copies of missing articles, editing existing articles, creating new content, or otherwise assisting with Steal This wiki - is greatly appreciated.

Nov 2015

Free Software‎; . . (-30,398)‎ . . ‎Green1 (damn, I can't keep much of any of this. I mean, Linux and such has it's place but for just an article on free software, you do not need a paragraph on every single Linux distro out there.)

Table of Contents‎; . . (+26)‎ . . ‎Green1 (Free Software to be rewritten. Moved out of Fight>Computers into Survive>Assorted Freebies)

Hitchhiking‎; . . (-478)‎ . . ‎Green1 (The first paragraph is plagiarism from Crimethinc. It was originally on Crimethinc's wiki then adapted for their new book, Recipes for Disaster (2015). I am sure CT aren't anal. But I prefer original stuff.)

Free Money‎; . . (-18)‎ . . ‎Green1 (→‎Loose Change: Awkward paragraph.)

Jan 2016 - DnE Year In Review.

by absent

On New Years 2014 into 2015, I wrote this post outlining our accomplishments of 2014 and laying out some preliminary plans for 2015. Well, here we are in 2016. This year was somewhat strange. We paradoxically experienced quite a bit of growth while simultaneously neglecting a good deal of our original goals we outlined. No doubt some significant portion of this can be attributed to the several articles V.R. has written and allowed us to publish.

This has not only aided us in terms of SEO and other similar metrics, but it has gotten us some new members. SEO and friends are nice, but we don’t advertise and thus SEO isn’t a huge concern. New high quality members, on the other hand, tend to be much better for us. Personally I’ve had a lot of fun reading and (trying to) edit these things, as well as monitoring subsequent discussions. It has also given us time to work on other projects without having to worry too much about growing membership or things of this nature.

Besides publishing these articles, we also launched and began renovating our stolen copy of Steal This Wiki. This has garnered some minimal attention and gained us a few members. We’re planning to do much more with STW in the future, as well. We spent a good deal of time this year making slight improvements and preparing it for a larger audience, although it still has a ways to go. We were lucky enough to have a new member join who was heavily involved in the original STW, and he has been active both in planning and improving the platform.

Less publicly, we have also been working on a few other MbN projects and tweaking some things internally. Some of our smaller accomplishments include future funding plans, subdividing MbN into “DnE Labs” and “DnE Productions” which is a preliminary move towards larger goals, as well as several significant contributions to MbN from individual members working on their own personal projects. These include several programming projects for educational purposes, an album (soon to be two albums), and we worked out plans for some larger community projects.

Looking forward, I’m hoping we can achieve some pretty ambitious goals over the next two years or so. This year was stressful and full for most of our members outside of DnE, which has limited our ability to invest a lot of energy and resources into the site. That being said, incremental improvements have still been made. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect anyone to work excessively on DnE, but nonetheless we are taking on several ambitious projects which will, time and opportunity permitting, come to fruition.

Some of the things we’re planing include:

  • Significant contributions towards dneBB

  • Several technical changes internally and to the site.

  • Re-Launching our email host on a new server.

  • Much more focus on STW

  • Improve DnE Productions publishing ability and technical capacity for DnE Labs.

And of course, much more. Here’s to a good 2016, happy new years, etc.

Nov 2021‎

St123: The above mirror has gone down, but several others have been created. Additionally, some of the content has been reuploaded to Fandom Wiki.


I2P Link (I2P Client Required): http://tracker2.postman.i2p/index.php?view=TorrentDetail&id=61322

About, An Intro, & A Monologue

Time to tell you a little about the files and their history, and also maybe stroke my ego a few times. But hey, it’s a monologue, so you can’t stop me. You could just close the file, but then it’d bother you to the end of your days that you didn’t know what some stranger said.

In the 60’s the hippies were a thing, and Abbie Hoffman was a pretty notable figure in that movement. During his time in the movement he wrote the book “Steal This Book Today,” more or less a guide to being a radical hippy (radical as in fringe politics, not as in groovy), often referred to as Yippies (taken from the name Youth International Party and Hippies). As we all know, the hippies went from some new movement to that old guy with a beard smoking pot in his van after his Walmart shift, and the methods withing Hoffman’s book aged just the same with the changing technology of the coming decades.

In the mid 2000’s a group started up the Steal This Wiki site with the goal of rewriting the book for a modern world. It lasted until about 2013 when the project died out and the site went down. From what I found apparently at least one of the main collaborators has taken a long vacation to club fed after doing stupid things with the information of the project he was collaborating with. The rest of the group probably scattered when the govenment came knocking, lost interest, or grew up. At first a backup of the site was spread around and it persisted for a little while, but one by one copies dissipated and torrents went unseeded. At this time, the only thing that I could find was a sad incomplete copy of the wiki uploaded to Fandom wiki (I assume, like many of the big content sharing sites, they flip their shit at the idea of weapon and crime related information on their site). Luckily, still had a copy at the time of me writing this.

I’m neither a hippy nor a yippy and, it almost can go without saying, I don’t endorse many of the instructions and philosophies within this file. I work, as the Hoffman’s unique writing style puts it, for “CorpGov” and do my best to keep their systems online. Rest in peace (and prison) yippies, I can’t really say that I’ll miss you too much.

But I didn’t share this (solely) to trash on the yippies. I spent a lot of my teenage years checking out the “fringes” of the web, and read plenty of stuff like this, so I was honestly kinda disappointed to go looking for it again and realize that it seems to have been wiped from the web. I uploaded this for a couple of reasons: first, it’s an interesting read for sure. Additionally, with the way the world is going who knows if it will be useful for us to know how to dumpster dive and squat in abandon property. Finally, it’s certainly an interesting time capsule of the second wave of Yippies and how they tried unsuccessfully to revive the movement in the 21st century. This is all not to mention the fact that I also do not disagree with every bit of philosophy that these documents stand for, and I do believe that there is literary value within these documents.

All I did was grab copies of the wiki from and place them in a folder. I’ll throw it up on I2P, and IPFS and see if there’s some interest (I can’t register on Pirate Bay so I’ll leave the clear net torrenting to somebody else if they wanna get it going). If you want to help this project consider helping with the hosting process by seeding/hosting the content where you found it on the I2P or IPFS side of things. If you have money to spare then consider sending it to Doctors Without Boarders or your favorite charity, because I don’t need your money and sending it to a Yippie is probably not going to make the world a better place.

This whole set of documents is Licensed under GNU Free Documentation License 1.2, so no worries about copyright if you participate in hosting or decide to spread it around.


Someone registers the old website domain on namecheap, but as of Jan 2023, the website is still blank:


The site is born again once more (hopefully), by a hippie anarchist or two.

--- Survive ---

1. Security Culture

Last updated: 26 June 2011

Back to Survive

Security Culture is the most powerful tool to keep us in the fight. The pigs have their spies and they are ready to use them to defame, fracture, jail, and intimidate our movement — this is no bullshit. It doesn't matter if you're a church group bake sale volunteer or a militant environmental activist, if you've been spitting distance from an anti-war meeting, you've been spied on by your government. Keep all groups small and intimate, one is best although it might make you crazy; three is a the number to never exceed for actions; group together several threes for very big actions, but don't use these groupings for actual civil disobedience. Try to form affinity groups with those you have known for many years. This disperses the threat and the effect of infiltration.

But you still need to be careful, even in large groups. Take this advice seriously — you're not doing anybody any good if you're locked up without having done anything.


Main points:

  • NEVER BRAG about past actions!

  • NEVER USE NAMES when planning an action!

  • Only discuss action with those who NEED TO KNOW!

  • After an action, NEVER DISCUSS it with OUTSIDERS!

  • NEVER ADMIT anything to the authorities, even for a deal when they claim others have ratted out! If you haven't ratted them out yet, they probably haven't ratted you out either.


  • NEVER LIE about being in on an action or your part in an action!

  • DON'T ASSUME that a friend of a friend is a friend!

  • Keep involved members to a VERY SMALL group!

  • ONLY work with a TRUSTED affinity GROUP!

  • ONLY ALLOW those who would NEVER rat out the group INTO a TRUSTED affinity GROUP!

  • ONLY DISCUSS action in OPEN AREAS with background noise!


  • If busted use your right to REMAIN SILENT!

  • If busted NEVER ARGUE or try to EXPLAIN yourself!

  • NEVER! NEVER! NEVER! RAT out another activist!


  • NEVER TRUST electronic ENCRYPTION or codes to keep your communication safe!

  • ALWAYS CHECK your wallet and gear for incriminating documents and maps

A big thanks to our friends at for using a copyright ( the same as ours. Parts of what follows started out as material on their site along with our contributions and edits.


  • 1 Electronic Communication

  • 2 Web Sites

  • 3 Identity

  • 4 Phones

  • 5 Documents

  • 6 Fear

  • 7 Names

  • 8 Appearance

  • 9 Masks

  • 10 Safe Sex

  • 11 Tough Love

  • 12 Unnecessary Criminal Activity

  • 13 Practice

  • 14 Tips

  • 15 Planning

  • 16 Security of Your Security Culture

  • 17 Conclusion

Electronic Communication

A little story: I worked with a direct action group in ****** known as ***. One member of *** who was new and did not know the protocols of security culture sent out an e-mail that indirectly implicated specific members of the group in an action that had happened in the area. His e-mail resulted in four arrests. Two people went to jail for six months.

E-mail is never safe. Ever. Listservs especially sire monitored daily by local police departments and the FBI. If you’re planning a mass direct action event, you must use a spokescouncil meeting or other face-to-face organizing strategy. Never send specifics (date, time, or location) about a direct action over e-mail. Some e-mail is more secure. Hushmail provides encrypted e-mail service for its users that can be more secure than regular e-mail, and using an encryption program like PGP can greatly increase your security, but remember that Hushmail and any other email provider will give the private key and email contents to the cops with a just a phone call, no warrant needed, thanks to the (un)Patriot Act. Keep your private PGP encryption key block private and ready to securely delete and overwrite, not on any providers' servers! Even with what you think is good, hard crypto, it’s never a good idea to talk about specifics over e-mail. Keep any discussion of direct action extremely vague, and never give the location and time. So you get up every day looking for your chance to make your voice heard. Where do you look? Why, Indymedia, infoshop and, of course! Well guess what? Someone else is reading those websites too.

Never trust any kind of encryption, nearly all codes have eventually been broken, they are only meant to slow down the opposing side!!

There is one kind of encryption that so far if perfectly executed is unbreakable. The trade off is that key exchanges and getting sufficiently random numbers are more involved. This type of encryption is known as a One-Time Pad These can either be done with a ten sided dice shaken in a cup or a bingo number drum, a pencil and paper, or with a computer program http://www.scubaninja.eom/code/c/xor/ although computer generated pads are sometimes later found to not be truly random and can then be cracked, you or your computer program must also use a rotating mathematical algorithm that prevents letter frequency, word, and sentence pattern decoding attacks. The general idea with a OTP is that both the sender and the receiver have a set of "pads" filled with random data. Sending a message takes one "pad", which is then destroyed. This is the big tradeoff with OTPs: obviously, the unused pads must be kept secret, just like any other encryption key, but the used pads have to be disposed of properly, too. (Burned if paper, securely deleted if electronic.) Make sure you know what you're doing if you use this method. Secure deletion especially during a surprise raid is very difficult, hard disk platters are incredibly durable and take a long time to fully overwrite enough times, RAM memory chips which if quickly powered off and cooled may retain recoverable data for over an hour.

Web Sites

The State reads protest websites all the time. Why War’s website has received hits from most branches of the military. has been mentioned in the record of the California state assembly, so you bet the piggies are reading it. If you post specific details about a direct action on the Internet, you can expect there to be cops there when you show up. I believe that the best way to organize is to call a spokescouncil meeting and post the information on Indymedia. Always remember that everything you say on the Internet is there forever. Don’t make jokes. Even visually representing an attack on the president has cost one person a visit from the Secret Service.


Assume everyone is a cop. I am a cop. You are a cop. The only people you can assume are not cops are your mother (unless she is a cop) and your affinity group. If someone e-mails you saying they are from one group or another, they are a cop. (Not necessarily, in fact, probably not, but you need to treat them like they are.) Especially on the Internet, you can never assume anyone is who they claim they are. Nothing is less secure than the Internet, where anyone can read anything you say at any time. Still, after the passing of the Patriot Act, phones are not secure. Whistleblowers have exposed that communication companies have given the government direct links into our phone and data lines. They tapped our phones in Boston. The ACLU has its phones tapped. It’s not that rare. Using cell phones to communicate at an action seems like a really good idea, and it can be. But cell phones are easily monitored, and the special operations cops have the ability to monitor cell phones in a certain area. So don’t say, “Swarm the comer of 33rd and 5th!” Plan everything out ahead of time, and be able to say, “Are you coming?” or "Green team GO!" and have everyone know what that means. Body mods, drug use, and tattoos are by no means a sure sign of a person being on our side. Informants come in all shapes and sizes, and may be very convincing. Some are even trained by the military. (If you think that's a load of paranoid bull, just have a look here (https://web.archive.Org/web/20110904024855/ •)

Another measure of caution to use is to agree on a confidential codeword or codewords to identify others of your group. If a riot is ensuing and some guy is shouting "Asparagus!", other people might think he's a nut. Your group, however, will know he's one of yours.


For immediate actions, the phone can be fairly secure, if you can act before the police can react. However, unless you are using a payphone, this leaves your name implicated with whatever action you do. In general treat a payphone as if someone were listening. Never give specifics. There are ways to know if your phones are tapped, if you really want to know, but it’s best always just to assume that they are. Many payphones are tapped in accordance with the PATRIOT Act. The police also have the ability to listen to you through your phone even if you are not on the phone at that moment. They have to the technology to do this unless your phone is unplugged. This is why pre-pay cellphones are popular with the ignorant activist. Unfortunately they are incredibly easy to track — much more dangerous than a pay phone.


Every activist must remember that even if they do remain silent their vehicle, gear, and person will be searched for documents and clues to identity them as well as indicate connection to past or present illegal activity. Most people have a habit of making a filing cabinet of their wallet by keeping business cards of friends or businesses you frequent, at the least you cast suspicion on all of these people. Maps, trash, personal orgainser/phone number list books, matchbooks, business cards, campground or tourism directories, etc can all give away your plans, even more so the information in your mobile phone or SIM chip and laptop. Even unique equipment or clothing labels may give clues to the region of your origin, surely eliminate gear you have used on direct actions. A good plan is to leave behind your wallet and only take one piece of ID to events.


Perhaps the easiest (and most detrimental) time for security culture to break down is in the heat of a protest when the police begin their repression tactics. You see your friends being taken away by police and it is your first instinct to call out to them. Or perhaps the group you are marching with shatters and you feel the need to remind everyone of where your pre-planned re-convergence space is. It is at this point that your faith and trust in your friends is most severely tested; therefore, everyone should make the utmost effort to build these things beforehand.

Have a thorough briefing before an action (just like the Special Forces do!) Make sure everyone knows the plan cold. Work out any contingencies you can think of (remember Murphy's Law), so that if they occur, everybody's response is almost automatic. It's much easier to deal with a situation if you've gone over it beforehand with a cool head. Also be prepared for things to not go according to plan — they rarely do — and trust your friends to do what is needed. That's what it really comes down to.

There's a great mantra for fighting fear that's used in the book Dune. Maybe it will be of use to you as well:

I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my fear.

I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.

Only I will remain.

As an aside: remember to walk, not run, at any group march, even in a serious retreat. Running can be the start of a stampede which can kill many activists.


Don’t use people’s names at a direct action protest. If you want, use special nicknames come up with aliases or something, but concealing your identity from the authorities is important. You might not think they are listening, but they are. Another story: at a peace rally in ****town, the local radical groups held a spokescouncil meeting at the beginning of the rally to decide when we were going to break away from the main march. In the middle of our meeting, we were surrounded by police who then walked with us the entire way.


Don’t look sketchy. If you’re having a spokescouncil meeting in a public place, take off your bandannas! Put away the red and black banners, steal a “Peace is Patriotic” sign from a nearby liberal, whatever. Increasingly, the cops are targeting radical groups for arrest and “special treatment” (i.e. police brutality) and, increasingly, what the cops consider to be a radical group is becoming less and less radical. Black flags and radical banners are all well and good, but keep them out of sight while you're planning. Some of you might be saying, “Wait, take off our bandannas? That’s such a bad plan!” In some ways, you’re correct. As I said before, concealing your identity is important. The average American is photographed 300 times a day (every time you use an ATM, get gas, go into a convenience store, pay a toll, etc.). Protests are very well monitored by video and snapshots.


If you are engaging in autonomous civil disobedience (not a sit-in) and you don’t plan on being arrested (i.e. you want to get away with it) you should conceal your face using a bandanna, or other cloth. When combined with a hat (Simple is best) and some sunglasses, this getup makes you nearly impossible to identify via facial recognition. Wearing a bandanna can make you a target for police, since they associate it with radicals, so only wear one if you are actually doing something illegal and concealing your identity makes sense. Gas masks and ski masks certainly conceal your identity well, but they look extremely militant, and tend to both incite police violence and frighten other protesters. Unless you plan on directly and forcibly confronting the police, I would not recommend wearing a gas mask. (If you think that there will be teargas, you can always have a pair of swim goggles and a bandanna soaked in apple cider vinegar in your pocket.) Also remember that the foam in ski masks and ski goggles will trap teargas and other gasses, after a while this will expose your face to more teargas than wearing nothing at all. Swimming goggles are therefore more advisable.

Safe Sex

One of the most difficult areas of security culture exists between partners in a sexual relationship.

There is an implied special bond and dissolution of barriers between those who spend their naked time together. If potentially important information is not shared, there is often a feeling of betrayal. It is best from the beginning of a sexual or romantic relationship to let your significant other know there are or may develop activities you are involved in that you are unable to share. If they are really cool with the cause and secure in themselves they should understand, if not you have to choose. Drop them or drop out of direct action.

The problem with many relationships between activists (and ordinary people too) is that the relationship ends after a time, this sometimes gets ugly if hearts are broken. It is not an unreasonable concern that a jilted lover might even turn to the pigs or talk too openly to get revenge. This includes exposing Internet pen names, turning over cell phone history, or capitalizing on any other one of the number of different privacy fallacies we have about our lives.

Another consideration is the sellout for ransom, a person may choose to make a deal and narc out the whole organization when their lover is threatened with serious punishment where they might stand strong for themselves, the pigs are famous for this blackmail deal, done in a secret way where the significant other may never even find out.

Short term relationships or even one night stands can be very dangerous, there are those cops and civilian narc types who have a kink for playing the spy while having a little naked fun in the sack with their target. Never discuss any involvement of any kind beyond generic politics at all with a short term relationship especially if it looks like trading insider info will get you sex.

There is wisdom in the idea of our cells having a professional expectation of no romance between activists, this is often an unrealistic expectation, each group must decide what is acceptable.

And don't forget to use a condom.

Tough Love

A danger that we don't often expect and that usually hurts the worst is the loving friend, parent, or close relative intervention bust. A naive and police state propaganda addicted person who full of "tough love" for the unsuspecting victim hopes to rescue them from dangerous radicalism may destroy their life forever by calling the police in hopes that this bust will set them on the straight path. The interventionist truly thinks that by turning the youngster in instead of them getting caught the victim will only get a slap on the wrist to scare them straight, much like taking a five year old shoplifter back to the store, but this leaves our young radical with a criminal record or worse fighting for their lives in prison, even juvies under 18. These 'helpful' intervention sell outs are often for drag use or shoplifting not even for radical action where we are often more secretive but once they pigs have permission to dig...

Unnecessary Criminal Activity

Do not become involved in activities like shoplifting, reckless driving, or narcotics if you are an activist. Do not permit members of your affinity group to engage in these activities, either. It is already easy enough for the police to blackmail us. Most busts for "domestic terrorism" are the result of shoplifting or traffic stops. Once someone has been released and heavy charges dropped it might be wise to insulate them from serious direct action as they may have made a deal and are now working for the other side in exchange for their continuing freedom. It is important to realize that alcohol and many drugs make you much more likely to open your mouth and blab about your activities, think truth serum here.


Remember to practice security culture with your friends. This is the hardest aspect of security culture for many of us to perfect. You’ve just finished a successful and awesome direct action! Yay! The first thing you want to do is tell all your friends about it. Chances are, your friends won’t turn you into the cops. However, bragging/gossiping about direct action can be a chronic breach of security culture.


There are some things that you should NEVER talk about with people that you don’t know very, very well on a personal basis:

  • Your involvement or someone else’s in a specific illegal direct action. The only exception is if you have already been convicted of that action, or if you are outside the jurisdiction of where that action took place, or if, beyond any doubt whatsoever, the statute of limitations has passed, so that you cannot be prosecuted for the action or used as a witness.

  • Almost all the time, though, there are no exceptions. Don't tell anyone anything, ever. Even if you cannot be found guilty, talking about your past actions implicates you and increases police observation directed in your and your colleagues' direction. Even if you're being investigated, every lead you release could be the one that ends up getting you screwed over.

  • Your involvement or someone else's in an underground group (i.e. a group that has claimed actions for the Earth Liberation Front, etc.)

  • Someone else's knowledge of an illegal direct action.

  • Specific plans for future direct actions. With a good security culture, everyone is on a need-to-know, don’t-ask-don’t-tell basis. The less you know about an action that you will not be involved in, the safer you and the people engaging in that action will be. Obviously you can discuss future actions with your affinity group, but do so in a safe place and manner.


When discussing plans for a radical direct action with your affinity group, do not discuss them in a place likely to be monitored (i.e the place you usually meet, an activist’s car, Unitarian churches, radical bookstores, etc.). Find someplace safe for your discussion. There are some things that we as humans tend to do that can be extremely risky for us as activists. Using activism as a social device can be detrimental to security culture. There are liars: people who claim to have engaged in illegal actions in order to impress others. This is not okay. Those people are putting themselves and the people they lie to in danger by breaking security culture in this way. Bragging to your friends, I can’t emphasize enough, is dangerous. One on one, in a safe location, it is okay to talk about less radical direct actions, but only talk about secure things with people who know about security culture and won’t go and gossip it to others. This brings us to gossiping. If you’ve heard anything about a direct action that you’re not involved in, don’t say anything about it to anyone. You will jeopardize your security and the security of those planning the action.

Security of Your Security Culture

Security culture is not a spy game or a joke. Pretending to have an overdeveloped sense of security culture in order to impress others is no different than bragging about an action. This is not “I could tell you but I’d have to kill you.” If someone asks you a question that you don’t want to answer, or if you think someone is talking about something that they shouldn’t be talking about, just change the subject.


Before I end we should also note that there are informants out there. They infiltrate activist groups, (and sometimes even activist affinity groups) and jeopardize (intentionally) everyone's security. It can be hard to distinguish between new members of a group who want to learn about what’s going on and don’t know much about security culture and infiltrators who are trying to gather enough information to have you all arrested. If you think your group may have been infiltrated, check out the Security Survival Skills guide produced by the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality. It’s the most extensive guide to security culture that I’ve found on the web and it has a section that explains how to identify counterinsurgents within the ranks.

This is by no means a complete and definitive guide to security culture. Again I urge you to read the Security Survival Skills ( guide produced by the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality.

Always remember this: Just because we’re non-violent doesn’t mean that the police don’t see us as a threat, or that they won't pretend to see a threat if it suits them. It also doesn’t mean that we will not be charged with violent crimes if arrested. You can be charged for assault if you even brush against a police officer, for carrying a weapon if you have a pencil, and for reckless endangerment if you hang a banner on a building.

Maintaining a tight security culture is essential for creating a cohesive, safe, and effective movement based on the principals of trust and solidarity. This guide may seem harsh and paranoid, and you should always use reason. You’re probably not gonna get yourself in trouble by talking about some snake-march you participated in, but always be thinking, “Would I say this to a cop?”

2. Free Food

Last updated: 16 August 2011

Cooking Basics





Food Programs


Farm It

See also Appendices and Tables for recipes!


  • 1 General Guide

  • 2 Blood and guts

  • 3 Dumpster Diving

  • 4 Day Old Bread Stores

  • 5 Free Drinks

  • 6 Hotel Grazing

  • 7 Fast Food Chains

  • 8 Convenience Stores

  • 9 Movie Theaters

  • 10 Cafes

  • 11 Hospital Cafes

  • 12 Free Milk

  • 13 Free Candy

  • 14 Free Meat and Cheese

  • 15 Grocery Stores

  • 16 Sikh Temples

  • 17 Free Food For Your Own Church

  • 18 Bird Bread

  • 19 Own a Pickup?

  • 20 External Links to Free Food Resources

General Guide

Until several days without food it's difficult to really understand what hunger means. You get faint and weak, unable to concentrate, and your reactions will be slow. As you go longer, you feel an ache below your heart. You may fantasize about food and how to get some. You will feel cold in bad weather no matter the clothing or bedding you pile on, and weak and drained in hot weather.

Many will steal. Hours pass and it feels like your soul is being cut with knives. When you are starving, it is easy to hate fat, well dressed people in warm, air conditioned houses.

Let's make this clear - Corporate government really does not care about who is eating properly, that is your problem. In a 2006 pamphlet distributed to its laid-off employees, Northwest Airlines once advised its newly impoverished former workers to strongly consider rifling through trash for suitable food! Wage slaves like nurse aides typically feed their residents three meals plus a snack a day while having a sneak to eat or only affording one meal a day. Even fast food, hotel, and restaurant jobs can have unreasonable meal plans. Your need to feed yourself is considered disgusting (and cuts into profits!)!

Yet Amerika is the most wasteful nation on Earth, consuming the most food per person in the world and throwing it away. Country club members graze daily on huge brunch buffets, only taking what they are in the mood for. Huge conventions throw away massive amounts of food in order to offer choices the upper middle class may or may not want. Even grocery stores throw away much edible food.

We may not have a right to food in America, but surviving is important! So how do we eat?

Blood and guts

Picky Americans throw away lots of good meat that everyone else considers to be delicacies. Things like hearts, kidneys, livers, stomachs and lungs can all be had for cheap, if not free, and are not only nutritious, but also delicious if prepared properly. Although some people eat them, it's wise to avoid brains due to all the diseases they can carry.

This is especially noticeable in areas with lots of hunters. After they bag bambi, most hunters will only take the loins and some ground meat for their troubles, leaving lots of perfectly good meat available just for the asking.

Even blood (assuming it's fresh, NEVER use old blood) can be turned into food. It can thicken soups, make sausages and can be even used in pancakes.

In the rest of the world, this is haute gourmet. So why not use it to make 5 star meals for growing revolutionaries?

Dumpster Diving

No discussion of free food would be complete without talking dumpster diving, but remember that you can score great bike parts, computers, weird electronics, clothes, toys, paperback books, etc. Anything you can get through the front door usually comes out the back door and into the dumpster at some point.

Look through a phone book or tour the neighborhood on your bike to see what grocery stores, restaurants, and food services are nearby and check their dumpsters when no one is outside. It may take a few days to learn when the trash pick-up day is and what time fresh food is dumped, so keep checking. Don't ruin a good dumpster for everyone by throwing trash everywhere while rooting around. If you clean up the manager will have no reason to lock the dumpster, and the cops can't charge you for littering.

Be aware that a "No Trespassing" sign or demands by an employee usually mean that you do not have permission to dive there, which may cause trouble with the cops. However, if you are never asked to leave and there is no obvious signage you should be fine. Most state trespassing laws will not charge or even arrest you for trespassing if you have not refused to leave after being asked, which can be substituted by a "No Trespassing".

Rubber boots, work gloves, long trousers, and long sleeved shirts will help protect you from cuts in the dumpster if needed. Box cutters are useful for packaging, boxes, bags, and twine. Dumpsters are mostly safe, just really dirty. But don't gamble with sharp metal or broken glass, wear tall rubber diving or leather boots.

LED headlamps will give you light to see what you are grabbing. Use a red filter when possible at night to prevent your flashlight from being visible at distance. Removable car seat covers, trash sacks, or sheets of newspaper will protect your car seat if you have gotten really gooped up. Clean plastic trash sacks are a good way to protect your finds while wading in the dumpster, transporting your haul home, and when containing messy boots or clothes. When biking, line your panniers or backpack with plastic shopping bags.

Don't worry about getting sick until you start deciding what to eat. Always wash unpackaged produce; vinegar or diluted bleach soak for 30 minutes kills most bacteria to safe levels. If you come across any cans that are bulging at the top and/or bottom, leave them in the dumpster. They're known in the trade as being "blown" and are unfit to eat and ripe with bacteria.

Compactors and garbage smashers are really good at crushing bones. Don't disable compactors as that can get you in trouble with the police, and may not even disable the system. Most stores with compactors have fitted a metal collar to keep divers and raccoons out. We find that these are usually bent from careless truck drivers and desperate kids grabbing beer left by friends inside. You can usually grab for something you can see and reach, but you MUST use a grabber or you risk trapping your arm. We don't like compactor amputations.

You can purchase a "universal skip key," which will open many (if not most) dumpsters. Bumping a lock or picking it can also work.

Day Old Bread Stores

Ask for bread a bakery is going to throw away. Tell them it's for your pig. Most times they will squash it down in a buggy but squashed bread is still tasty. Remember to check for mold and pinch it off, but a spot of mold will not hurt you.

Many deli chains and sub stores have a "bread bin" with perfectly edible, scrap bread to be thrown away. It's sanitary, and if the employee is cool, they may give you some for free. Just remember that for many employees it is still cool to disrespect the homeless.

Free Drinks

Get your hands on a plastic cup from a gas station or fast-food restaurant. Swipe 'em from tables, ask for a cup of water, or surreptitiously peruse the trash bin. This guarantees you free drinks there for as long as you have the cup. If you're worried about germs, when you fill up your stolen cup, "accidentally" drop the cup, and ask for another one. Don't forget to clean up the mess.

Some restaurants will issue "courtesy" cups for non-customers asking for water. If a restaurant has drink fountains out in the open, as most fast food joints do, these can easily be filled with the beverage of your choice. Even if the minimum wage employees see you, it's unlikely that they'd go out of their way to stop you.

Fortunately the mono culture consumerism ensures that restaurant that lack branded cups will have have selected theirs from a small collection. Save your cups nested inside each other; often you can "select" a matching cup from your bag without suspiciously digging through the trash. You might think you are being sly, but reaching into the trash is one of those faux pas that store clerks catch from across the restaurant every time.

Hotel Grazing

Do not forget the wondrous resource that is your local hotel. Many hotels offer complimentary breakfasts, a fact which you can use to your advantage.

First, look at what hotels offer what. A small Super 8 or Motel 6 may not have much more than pastries and coffee. Mid-scale hotels like Hampton Inns offer a very generous free spread and a couple of free hot items. Higher end hotels and some independent establishments may not offer any free breakfast at all. The best ones to hit are business-styled suite hotels, which offer free hot breakfasts and often free dinner, snacks, and sometimes beer during the evenings. Since they are designed for the long-term traveling business man, looking respectable can guarantee you weeks of free grub!

You should (of course) make sure that they don't check that you have a reservation or a room key. Dont worry, most don't. Most hotels work on a shift schedule (7-3, 3-11, 11-7) so going in during shift changes almost guarantee complete distraction by employees at the front desk.

Once that's established you may want to dress nicely to make sure that you can enjoy a hearty breakfast. You should at least have a backpack/messenger bag with an extra shirt in it. Walk into the hotel early in the morning, looking like you're coming in from a long night on the town. Head towards your "room" and find the laundry, exercise, or any room that has both water and privacy.

Change into the fresh shirt, wet your hair and wash your face - make it look like you had a quick shower and changed your clothes. Stash the bag where you can retrieve it later or risk it and take the bag to breakfast with you Now wander on down, eat your fill. You shouldn't hang around more than a couple minutes once you've finished, but don't look overly rushed.

One thing you may notice (especially if you're a "repeat customer") is that a manager will make their rounds chatting with the breakfast diners. Don't be alarmed...they won't notice a thing with a halfway decent alibi.

Fast Food Chains

On a busy Friday or Saturday night, find the closest chain to the bar district in your town. After last call stand in the food line for about 15 minutes then approach a clerk. Often in the busy after hours crowd they wont notice you approach from outside, and the cleaning staff almost never get a chance to tell the kitchen staff of your scam. Tell them you've been waiting in line for any item off the menu for half an hour, and they will serve you right away!

Convenience Stores

Clerks get really bored at the dead hours or when they have to stock the shelves and they are often happy to let you lift in exchange for some company. If you make friends with the staff they'll often let you chew on their hyperinflated shelves and encased junk food. Don't insult them by being too open with your sticky fingers, let them turn their back, stock some shelves, or go in back, before you start filling your pack, give them some plausible deniablity in case you somehow get caught.

Sometimes loss prevention and the manager actually view the cameras, but this is normally only after a robbery, sometimes you'll meet an employee who is forever afraid of losing their job. Avoid the paranoid high strung type employee they probably wont even converse with you as it is against the company policy. Our best results are with the angry, burned out, or apathetic clerk.

Convenience stores have surprisingly useful services like western union money-grams, rolling papers, prepaid credit cards, prepaid cell phones, etc. The convenience store recognizes the needs of the underground economy of drug dealers and undocumented illegal aliens, and cater to their privacy needs in a way that rakes in huge profits.

Movie Theaters

Wait outside a movie theater on a Friday night and ask people leaving for a ticket stub to get in. Walk into a theater that is just letting out, or peek into the garbage cans and grab the largest bucket of popcorn and the largest cup. Most theaters provide free refills on popcorn and soft drinks, so dump out the contents and proceed to the food vendor. This works particularly well at the new megaplexes.

If you know anyone employed at the movie theater, ask them to get you a big bag of the gallons and gallons of popcorn that theaters throw away every night, especially on weekends. These can also be obtained from the dumpster after hours, but then it will most likely be mixed with popcorn that was swept off of the floor. Once again, this works particularly well at the megaplexes.

Many theaters have back side exits for safety reasons. Take a peek inside and if you see anyone other than an employee (they'll have name tag), knock and kindly gesture to be let in. Pat them on the back, say something along the lines of "thanks buddy", and then just pick a movie. Make sure there are a lot of other people seeing the film you choose. Occasionally (at some cinemas) audience members will be counted and compared to number tickets sold—if the numbers don't match up, customers will be asked to show their tickets. Nobody wants to interrupt the movie for a hundred people just to catch one or two freeloaders, assuming they did not miscount.


Most Coffee shops give away their remaining pastries at the end of the day due to their sales policies to refresh the stock each morning. In addition, most coffee chain baristas are cool, and will give as many free samples of different drinks and snacks as you want. Many chains have a very liberal customer service policy so make a fuss if they won't give you a sample. You may be able to walk out with a free drink or gift certificate.

Hospital Cafes

In addition, cafes inside hospitals provide a diverse menu, particularly focused on grab-and-go, and can be excellent locations to get lost in the lunch rush, and forget to pay on your way out. A busy worker bee mentality will help you in your appearance.

Free Milk

Many places that serve coffee also serve liquid cream packets. These are often provided freely, where the public can take as many as they want. They range between coffee cream and whole milk and if you a proportionate mixture in an 8 oz. glass of water you can easily make an approximate 2%, the same as sold at a supermarket. It won't really taste like supermarket milk however, because it has been added to water rather than having milk fat removed.

Free Candy

Super glue or tape a coin down to a rotating coin feeder and spin it as many times as you like for whatever is in the dispenser, be inconspicuous because in the unlikely event that you're caught this can be considered both vandalism and theft. It may not be nutrition, but we like free sweets too.

Find a grocery or department store that has the bulk candy/coffee bean racks and grab a handful of them. Walk around like your shopping and you will almost never be stopped for this. Since the candy has no intrinsic value as it is not priced unless it is weighed you will not be charged with shoplifting. Otherwise, nearly every parent you see in the supermarket would have a charge on behalf of their kids' sticky fingers.

The above trick is not limited to candy though. Trail mixes, dehydrated fruits, cookies, etc. Anything measured in bulk is difficult to prove as a theft and security will almost never bother you for it. If you are stopped you may be asked to leave the store, so leave.

Free Meat and Cheese

Many grocery stores will give away free samples of the meats and cheeses sold in the deli. Dress appropriately, fill a basket with products, and then ask the deli hand to taste a meat or cheese that interests you. They'll usually cut a slice or two for you to nibble.

Fool them into believing you're a customer and you can usually ask to try yet another meat or cheese. Repeat this as long as they'll allow and make up any excuse to not purchase anything. Take your samples and make a soup, sandwich or other quick dish with.

Don't hit the same deli day after day or they'll get smart to your scam. Have a grocery store for each day of the week and rotate them weekly. Obviously more grocery stores in your neighborhood makes this a lot easier. By changing the order from week to week and the time of day you should keep most staff from catching on to what you're doing, and keep yourself in a consistent supply of deli samples.

Don't worry, unless you throw the poor wiener sample lady into a freezer case and steal her tray, nobody cares if you raid a few times. These people get bored like everyone else, and chatting or flirting will help you fill your belly.

Grocery Stores

Your local supermarket deli, produce section, and bakery may sometimes have a free sample any day of the week. They, most likely, will gladly give it to you, this is often corporate policy. Wearing crappy, tom, homemade clothes made from rags will sometimes buy you another piece or a bigger sample to start with out of sympathy but will more likely get you nothing more than thrown out on your ass.

If dressed and acting casual, asking the deli counter for a sandwich, salad, etc in most grocery stores will give you a free meal - as long as you eat it in the store. Just make sure not to take the packaging with you.

Sikh Temples

The Sikh religion believes in charity that will benefit the neighborhood and culture they live in. As a result, most temples offer a free meal to the community at least once a week, if not every day. Their cooking is mostly starches and curry, and they often offer second or third portions with enthusiasm. A bean or lentil curry will give you needed protein, the starches will keep you feeling full for the day!

Free Food For Your Own Church

Join the Universal life Church, a free and legally recognized Church. Once joined, you will be a legally ordained minister. Then ask for donations to your food bank.

This might require talking to some managers but if you find one that has a cross on, it just might work, because they're usually the holy types that will help. It doesn't hurt to have a few business cards printed up stating that you're the minister of the universal life church. A shirt and tie also helps this undertaking, but if you really want to do it up, bring a black long sleeve shirt, a minister's collar, a cheap cross necklace, and ULC membership card. This getup costs around $50, but can scam thousands of dollars worth of retail.

Please have a conscience about this. You can easily hoard way more food and clothing than you'd ever need this way, so help out your less fortunate sisters and brothers. Keep a month's worth of groceries and give the rest out to the less fortunate. Not only does this help others, but it no longer makes this a scam, as you are genuinely starting a food program for the poor.

A bible verse which may help you, and should be memorized, is this; "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" - Matthew 25:34-40. If you memorize this and talk about the "social gospel of Christ" and "the Sermon on the Mount" you can sway even hardcore Bible beaters into giving up loads of perfectly good stuff.

You might consider contacting the Mormons RELIEF SOCIETY groups. These people function as the welfare for Mormons and give their members free food. Contact them to see where and how in your area they are getting food for their food banks. Then tell them that you also are trying to start a food bank for your church. While they might try to convince you to join them a little bit, they are usually more than helpful because they will see you as someone who is trying to carry out charitable work.

Bird Bread

Most jurisdictions don't allow stores to sell items for human consumption after their sell by date, but they can sell them for other purposes. Its not uncommon for bakery thrifts to sell "bird bread". This is simply smooshed up bread one day after its sell by date. Use it in meat loaf. We also show how to make cheese from just expired milk to put on a handmade pizza in Cheap Chow.

Own a Pickup?

Make up a convincing-looking pamphlet IN COLOR at your local copy store or off your computer. It should say "Cans for Homeless Mothers" or some such, followed by various heart wrenching facts about how a can of food can feed someone for a day, etc. (Copy some text from a charity website if you are unsure.) Now, armed with your pamphlet and your pickup truck, go to your city's neighborhoods. For some reason, poorer neighborhoods are best, especially trailer parks. (Sorry, it's sad but true.) Now, go up to the door, show your pamphlet, and say "Can you spare a can or two of food for those in need?" Tell them you do not accept money, this is important! It builds trust, and they will give you more cans. Bring grocery bags. After a day of this, your pick-up will be filled with canned goods.

External Links to Free Food Resources

These are proposed solutions that will work in today's world.*/

Cooking Basics

Last updated: 8 September 2011

Go back to Free Food

Hey McKids! Have you been raised all your life thinking that food comes from the drive through window? Do you grocery shop in the campus bookstore and 7-Eleven? Is your idea of home made food baking a cake from a box? Have you or your family just been dumped onto the street with no cash, or did you run out of cash on a trip across the country? No problem! This section will teach you tips on how to cook food for yourself, your family, your commune, your protest team, or your whole neighborhood with what is available. Also included are tips on getting ingredients or precooked foods, as well as tips on living independently of the prepackaged, super-processed existence that is the Amerikan food market. To make them easier to find Cheap Chow and Roadside Chow are in the appendix at the end of the book, these appendixes are not so much a recipe book than a diverse collection of low impact low cost lessons on preparing different easy to acquire foods.


  • 1 A Few Helpful Hints on Cooking

  • 2 Measurement Conversion Tables

  • 3 Planning Meals

  • 4 Waste Not

  • 5 Protein

  • 6 Flavors and Spices

  • 7 Pressure Cooking

  • 8 Solar Cooking

  • 8.1 Basic Solar Cooker

  • 9 Using Old Cookbooks

  • 10 External Links

A Few Helpful Hints on Cooking

Keep any loose clothing away from open flames, wash everything (especially your hands) that comes in contact with the food, always wash your hands after touching raw meats and eggs while cooking, use oven mitts, be careful how you handle anything sharp, keep a fire extinguisher handy, and remember that "Baking Powder" and "Baking Soda" are two completely different things (as are "Cream of Tartar" and "Tartar Sauce").

Grease and oil fires cannot be put out with water (It will actually make them worse by spreading the grease or oil over the surface of the water). If you don't have access to a fire extinguisher, be sure to keep a decent supply of baking soda or sand on hand whenever you cook, to control these fires. If need be you can also put them out by cutting off their oxygen supply, such as placing a lid on the pan. Always be careful of your appliances. Regularly check for gas leaks, holes, stripped cords, or other hazardous malfunctions. You may also want to see Cheap Chow and Low Impact Crashing for tips on living on your own and Farm It for tips on growing your own produce.

For consistency purposes, when reading the following recipes:

  • tbs represents tablespoon(s)

  • tsp represents teaspoon(s)

  • qt represents quart(s)

  • gal represents gallon(s)

  • lbs. represents pounds

  • oz represents ounce(s)

  • c represents cup(s)

  • C represents temperature in Celsius

  • F represents temperature in Fahrenheit

Measurement Conversion Tables

Cup (c) Fluid Ounce (oz) Tablespoons (tbs) Teaspoons (tsp) Milliliters (ml)
1 c 8 oz 16 tbs 48 tsp 237 ml
3/4 c 6 oz 12 tbs 36 tsp 177 ml
2/3 c 5 1/3 oz 10 tbs + 2 tsp 32 tsp 158 ml
1/2 c 4 oz 8 tbs 24 tsp 118 ml
1/3 c 2 2/3 oz 5 tbs + 1 tsp 16 tsp 79 ml
1/4 c 2 oz 4 tbs 12 tsp 59 ml
1/8 c 1 oz 2 tbs 6 tsp 30 ml
1/16 c 0.5 oz 1 tbs 3 tsp 15 ml
USA Standard Multiplied by = Metric
Fluid Ounce (fl oz) 29.75 Milliliter (mL)
Gallon (gal) 3.785 Liter (L)
Ounce (oz) 28.35 Gram (g)
Pound (lb) 4.54 Kilogram (kg)
Metric Multiplied by = USA Standard
Milliliter (mL) 0.043 Fluid Ounce (fl oz)
Liter (L) 0.264 Gallon (gal)
Gram (g) 0.035 Ounce (oz)
Kilogram (kg) 2.202 Pound (lb) Approximate Measurements (Used casually)
  • "Tad" = 1/4 tsp

  • "Dash" = 1/8 tsp

  • "Pinch" = 1/16th tsp

  • "Smidgin" = l/32nd tsp

Temperature Conversions


  • Fahrenheit - 32 + 1.8 = Celsius

  • Celsius x 1.8 + 32 = Fahrenheit

For times when you are moving around or on the road learn how to pinch out a teaspoon and tablespoon from your ingredients, it is not hard to learn just start by first pouring the measured dry ingredients into your hand when cooking so you get the feel for that volume liquids you just need to learn how much to pour to get the right amount. Mark your cup with measurements to use in cooking, get an idea of what one cup looks like, many small cheap disposable or kids cups are 8-9 ounces and might even be marked as such on the bottom.

Planning Meals

If you will be feeding a group it is useful to know some ways to get your crew to fill up on the cheap stuff so you can save on the expensive stuff. If possible start your meals with bread and simple soup, then let everyone fill up on the cheap starch like potato, rice, or easy steamed vegetables, finally serve the more expensive protein and fats. Many dishes can be served on a bed of rice which will absorb the gravy or drippings and prevent the waste. Make an attempt to serve meals that combine dark leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, healthy fats, and protein as well as meeting daily minimum calories for the work being done but not so far over that your group gets that All-American fatbody look. The kitchen is an egalitarian place and everyone is expected to take their turn, so if you are not cooking you should be cleaning up.

Waste Not

While dumpster diving can yield good stuff to eat even a trip into your fridge full of expired or soured foods can supply you with ingredients many people would throw out to help you stretch til your next paycheck or properly stored for tight times. Plenty more ideas in the appendixes Cheap Chow and Roadside Chow.

  • Sour milk actually lasts pretty long once it glops up, use it in recipes that call for buttermilk, it is also a rising agent when used with baking soda(sodium bicarbonate) so in a way better to bake with than fresh milk

  • Sour juice is just fermenting, you can keep it around with a loose cap for prison hooch but it can be subbed in for water when baking a cake adding flavor.

  • moldy solid foods, don't eat unknown mold, cheeses and vegetables can be trimmed or scraped of mold or soft spots often saving the majority.

  • Discolored meat, not a problem, even if it takes on a nasty smell washing and either long boiling or roasting it will make it safe to attempt to eat killing bacteria and toxins.

  • Smelly fish can sometimes be washed with vinegar, again boiling in a soup for 30 min will sterilize any food

  • Stale cereal, bread, cake, and snacks can often be put into a oven on low to bake dry to return crispness, cake and bread can be toasted for a snack or use in recipes.

  • Most random vegetables and meats can be chopped and combined in a stir fry, if they are limp or flavorless just add garlic, soy sauce, honey, pepper, or sugar to spice it up a bit.

  • For some people pressure canning leftovers in glass jars is less expensive than running or acquiring a refrigerator and leads to a far longer shelflife for food that just needs to be heated for a quick meal.

  • Many leftovers can be boiling water bath canned without a pressure cooker using canning jars and a pot of boiling water by vinegar or salt brine canning, consult a recent canning recipe book.


Instant potatoes, com, and instant rice might fill us up and give us starch to bum as energy, you might skip a few days but your body needs protein to survive and be effective, here is a quick way to estimate your minimum daily protein requirement, either multiply your weight in kilograms by .8, or weight in pounds by .37, so a person who weighs 100 lbs needs 37 of protein per day, one who weighsl50 lbs. should eat 55 grams, and a 200-pound person should get 74 grams. Below is a table of foods to help you calculate your minimum protein intake.

  • Tuna, 6 oz can - 40 grams of protein

  • Tofu, 14 cup 20 grams protein

  • Tofu, 1 oz, 2.3 grams

  • Soy milk, 1 cup -6-10 grams

  • Most beans (black, pinto, lentils, etc) about 7-10 grams protein per half cup of cooked beans

  • Soy beans, 14 cup cooked - 14 grams protein

  • Split peas, !4 cup cooked - 8 grams

  • Peanut butter, 2 Tablespoons - 8 grams protein

  • Almonds, % cup - 8 grams

  • Peanuts, % cup - 9 grams

  • Cashews, !4 cup - 5 grams

  • Pecans, !4 cup - 2.5 grams

  • Sunflower seeds, % cup - 6 grams

  • Pumpkin seeds, % cup - 19 grams

  • Flax seeds - % cup - 8 grams

  • Egg, large - 6 grams protein

  • Milk, 1 cup - 8 grams

  • Cottage cheese, 14 cup -15 grams

  • Yogurt, 1 cup - usually 8-12 grams, check label

  • Soft cheeses (Mozzarella, Brie, Camembert) - 6 grams per oz

  • Medium cheeses (Cheddar, Swiss) - 7 or 8 grams per oz

  • Hard cheeses (Parmesan) - 10 grams per oz

  • Ground pork 100%(check for fillers), 1 oz raw - 5 grams; 3 oz cooked - 22 grams

  • Bacon, 1 slice - 3 grams

  • Ham, 3 oz serving - 19 grams

  • Most cuts of 100% beef(hamburger may contain filler) - 7 grams of protein per ounce

  • Chicken meat, cooked, 4 oz - 35 grams

  • Most fish fillets or steaks are about 22 grams of protein for 3 14 oz (100 grams) of cooked fish, or 6 grams per ounce

Flavors and Spices

Since most quality spices and flavors tend to be expensive when purchased it is useful to learn how to evaluate available flavor enhancers and improvise. Firstly learn what spices grow naturally around your location, you can have several kilograms of free spices hanging around drying in your place. Learn to use leftovers like citrus peels in your cooking. Sometimes you will be presented with a new herb or spice, a sniff and taste test may be useful for integrating that missing link into your recipes. Often candies and processed foods have useful natural and artificial flavors that can be used either whole, crushed, or dissolved in boiling water although allergy problems may result from the artificial flavors or colors. Chocolate and nuts can be found im many forms but can be chunked or ground to use as a flavoring. Absent chocolate powder freeze dried coffee or even a cup of strong coffee can add color and flavor to your recipe.

Pressure Cooking

Consider acquiring a quality pressure cooker, if you can find a 15 psi model it will cut your cooking time for beans and meats to 1/4 the time making a hour of boiling in an open pot only take 15 minutes. Look at department stores and at Hispanic or India food shops, don't bother with the old steam bombs made from the 50's through the 70's. It is pretty cool when you can do lentils and rice in about 15 minutes, or a pot roast that tastes like it ran overnight in around an hour even with the cheapest meat. The real bonus is the fuel savings if you have had your electricity and gas turned off and you are using a camp stove. Just be sure that there is always some liquid at the bottom of the cooker to start with or you wont be able to build pressure and might scorch your food.

Solar Cooking

Cooking food with the sun can be one of the cheapest ways to cook a meal, other than by making fire by rubbing two sticks together. If you have the free time, you can make a decent meal once you have your solar oven set up.

Basic Solar Cooker

Don't fall for expensive solar cookers; There's little that they can do that a cheap homemade solar cooker can't. At least nothing that would make them worth $100+. An effective solar cooker can be made out of a car windshield reflector for less than $15. If you can't even afford that, you can cut/collapse a cardboard box and tape or paste aluminum foil to it. The advantage to the windshield reflector is that it is collapsible and more durable. If you're into long hikes in unknown territory, having a windshield reflector solar cooker may be a good way to conserve fuel, but unless you have a few weeks of experience and very hot and clear weather you will be eating cold or spoiled food.

The only other part you'll need for your solar cooker will be some kind of oven/microwave resistant bag or container for the food.

It's entirely possible to cook a whole chicken in a few hours using a solar cooker if there is enough sunlight. Place the windshield reflector in a way that is parabolic in nature(sunlight should enter and reflect inward onto the food). Fill your container with your chicken, and whatever seasonings you choose, and place it in the middle of your solar cooker. Then just aim it towards the sun. You will probably have to adjust the direction your cooker is facing due to the changing position of the sun in the sky. After 3 to 4 hours, with the right conditions, you will have a fully- cooked chicken ready to eat.

The possibilities with a solar cooker are seemingly endless. If the only fowl you have access to are wild birds and park ducks, a solar cooker will work perfectly to cook your lunch or dinner while you're trying to catch more food. Should also work well with fish.

While you will not get to boiling temperatures, the temperature created by a solar cooker should be sufficient for killing germs. If you can, obtain a thermometer and use it to make sure the food temperature reaches around 165 F or finish up by cooking to a boil over a fire.

Using Old Cookbooks

When looking for something out of the ordinary to make for a meal, you may come across a few older cookbooks. A number were written during the Great Depression using simple ingredients (such as "Aunt Sammy's Radio 5/7

Recipes" produced by the US Department of Agriculture). Some written during World War 2 may feature a number of meatless recipes since civilian sales of many foods were rationed so the Armed Forces could be fed. You may have to cut back on some of the fatty ingredients since such things as "cholesterol" and "trans fats" were not as widely known as they are today. Many of the older cookbooks were written back in the days before microwave ovens, and some terms may seem unfamiliar to folks today. Here are a few that you may come across.

  • Double Boiler: This is a two-tiered saucepan that is used to melt things like cheese and chocolate. It uses the heat from boiling water in the bottom to melt the item in the top pan, since direct heat from the flames can bum it. If a recipe says to mix something "over boiling water", this is what they mean. These are still being made, but you may have to buy yours at a specialty cooking store. You can also make your own by placing a pan over another pan, but be careful that they fit properly so that they won't slip or bum you from the steam.

  • Double Cream: An old term for Heavy Cream.

  • Hard-Wheat and Soft-Wheat Flours: Hard-Wheat flour was used for yeast breads and Soft-Wheat was used for pastries, cakes and quick-breads. Just use All-Purpose or Whole Wheat flour.

  • Nutmeats: These are nuts (often walnuts or almonds) chopped into little pieces. (Note: Peanuts aren't nuts; they're legumes, a kind of bean.)

  • Rich Milk: Back in the day when almost all milk delivered by the milkman was Certified (that is, nonhomogenized), the cream in the milk would rise and collect in the neck of the bottle. This was called "Rich Milk", "Top Milk" or "Top of Milk" and was used in a number of recipes. You can substitute Light Cream for this.

  • Scalded Milk: You're to bring the milk almost to a boil (using a Double Boiler). This often helps the cooking process in some recipes.

  • Single Cream: An old term for Light Cream.

  • Skim (or Skimmed) Milk: Another term for "Fat Free" Milk.

  • Soda: Not a soft drink, but Baking Soda, also known as Sodium Bicarbonate or Bicarbonate of Soda.

  • Top Milk (or Top of Milk): See "Rich Milk".

  • Yeast Cake: This is a small 0.6 ounce block of active yeast (about a tablespoon) that is used in baking. It is rarely seen in supermarkets anymore, since it is highly perishable and doesn't transport very well. Substitute it with 2 1/4 teaspoons of Active Dry Yeast (what you'll find in those yeast packets in the store). If the recipe calls for a 2 ounce yeast cake, use three packets or 6 3/4 teaspoons of Active Dry Yeast.

  • A Note About Pasta: Some cookbooks from back in the 1930's mention cooking pasta for as much as 20 minutes. This was when pasta was made with much denser dough than today. Ignore the time suggestion and just boil until tender unless you are using our home made pasta recipe. If the pasta is to be used in a casserole, undercook it, since it will continue to cook when it's in the oven.

External Links

Budget 101: Make Your Own Mixes and Convenience Foods -

The Cook's Thesaurus: "(A) cooking encyclopedia that covers thousands of ingredients and kitchen tools. Entries include pictures, descriptions, synonyms, pronunciations, and suggested substitutions."

Fankhauser's Cheese Page - College level cheese making with some easy Italian recipes.

Great Depression Cooking with Clara - YouTube videos of recipes from hard times, demonstrated by a woman who lived through those years.

Instructables: Home Made Bread without Breadmaker -

Instructables: Solar Powered Parabolic Cooker - An Instructable on zero-impact cooking.

Open Cola - The only home made cola released under the GNU General Public License!

Recipe Goldmine - "Better Than A Thousand Cookbooks!"

RecipeSource - "Your Source for Recipes on the Internet"

Wikibooks: Cookbooks - Recipes from Wikimedia


Last updated: 19 June 2011

When we talk about hunting, we are not talking about sport hunting. Nor or we talking about expensive "beer" camps for the rich and bored to escape their nagging trophy wives. We are talking about poaching, butchering, and cooking an animal with good meat to feed ourselves. We could care less about a bear rug, antlers over the fireplace, or other things. Never forget that by hunting you have removed a living, breathing creature from the flow of life. Whether it's a beetle or a buck, it has the same spirit and not to utilize the whole animal would be a waste. Give thanks and appreciate that a living being gave up its life for you.

See also Piece Now


  • 1 What You need

  • 1.1 Firearm Observations

  • 2 Spotlighting Deer

  • 3 Roadkill

  • 4 Urban Pigeon

  • 5 Gutting and preparing meat

  • 5.1 Birds

  • 5.2 Furred animals

  • 5.3 Snake

  • 5.4 Gutting

What You need

First, you are going to need some sort of weapon or trap. Bambi the deer and Thumper the rabbit are not exactly going to walk up to you and let you eat them. This means you are going to need a gun. If you have a felony or are opposed to firearms due to some moral code, you can still hunt with composite bows and crossbows (although bows take far more skill and practice). Piece Now has more information on firearms as gun self defense and hunting have many topics that overlap.

Firearms are good for the occasional target of opportunity but in terms of bringing home the meat traps and snares are far more effective. Browsing a military survival manual will show several humane and inhumane traps, you will have to decide the level of your hunger to balance it against the cruelty level of your traps, you must plan how to deal with a wounded or trapped live animal that will not get you injured or killed. Walk all trap lines as frequently as possible especially if you are using traps which could wound animals, laziness is cruelty when using traps.

There is a limited capacity renewal capacity in every ecosystem, it is quite possible to hunt out an area to the point where there are no food animals left, this can be expected especially if it has become common for the local population to hunt to provide sustenance food.

If you do not know how to shoot or have never hunted before, it is strongly recommended to practice or get training first before depending on this to put meat on the table. Air rifles and BB guns are excellent to get a feel for things then move up to a .22. It is also highly recommended you accompany successful, seasoned hunters many times to learn the tricks of the trade that really can not be taught in a book or magazine article.

Second, you are probably going to look into a hunting or fishing license to avoid oppression from Smokey the Pig. These are issued by each state. Usually, they are pretty cheap ranging from around 10 USD to 30 USD. If you are an American Indian, many states will let you forgo needing a license if you carry an ID identifying your race as such or have tribal membership papers. Some states will not issue licenses or revoke licenses to those that owe back child support or have committed certain crimes.

Third, you need a place where you can hunt. If you live in a rural area, you have it made. If not, the best you may be able to do is Urban Pigeon!

Firearm Observations

A .22 rifle is a great gun and a good starter weapon with not as much kick. Don't use it for large game (anything larger than a rabbit) unless you're a sadist. A .22 caliber rifle beats the others out for light weight and inexpensive ammunition, you can easily pack a 500 round package of ammo and it only weighs a few pounds.

Larger firearms will bring more success and less wounded run-aways, shotguns can take down flying birds but this requires skill and ammunition is very heavy. There are special semi-auto backpacking .22 rifles that disassemble and some even float, but again, unless you want to torture a deer to death, anything below .223 is not recommended.

If you are using a black powder firearm .32 is considered the small game caliber. Some air guns especially those in .22 caliber can rival a powder burning firearm. Slingshots with lead balls and lots of practice can be powerful enough to use for sustenance hunting although are mostly only useful at very short range. Learn to take careful shots and not rapid fire.

Wire snares and improvised traps are still a better way to collect animals for food but a firearm lets you grab opportunity shots and safely euthanasia animals in traps.

If hunting large game (Deer, elk, antelope, and in some states even turkey), .270 Winchester is a good round. JO- SO is also a very common and handy round which can take most game at medium ranges pretty much anything above a .223 or so will be sufficient. When hunting more dangerous game like bear, elk and moose, a .30-06, .308, or larger is commonly used (7.62x51 or 7.62x63 mm, respectively.)

Animals like bees, and most bird, can be smoked out. Building a leafy, smoky fire under a bee's nest can cause them to pour out, leaving their honey sitting there in the hive for you to take it. Birds require something different; they need the smoke to be blown in their face, it retards them.

Spotlighting Deer

Deer are naturally attracted to bright light. So much so, that sometimes they stand in the road staring at an oncoming car, causing wrecks. Some folks exploit this behavior. Usually, this involves driving a all terrain vehicle up on some land and shining a high powered spotlight towards the edge of the woods. When the deer gets mezmorized by the bright light, another person waiting with a rifle shoots it dead. Fresh venison and weeks of food follow after.

Be careful if you do this, though. It is ILLEGAL in most areas. If Smokey the Pig catches you, this is a HUGE fine, possible jail, community service, and loss of any hunting license.


If the animal just got a broken neck or thorax crushed and the flies haven't got to it often the meat will be in perfect quality, as long as the meat you are able to salvage is well cooked you're ok. For cycle campers seeing a squashed animal on the road is a daily occurrence; learn how to butcher your rabbits and birds before you leave and you're guaranteed an easy meal nearly every day. If you find you can't salvage the meat you can always use the guts and any maggots it's attracted for fish or trap bait. If you are really hard up even maggot infested meat is fine to eat once well cooked, the maggots actually clean away the rot first and fatten themselves up on the good meat second. Don't be squeamish, if you are close to the edge maggots are actually extremely nutritious as they have to store up for their metamorphosis into flies, more so actually than the roadkill meat. If possible save the valuable skin.

Urban Pigeon

If the soup kitchens are providing nothing but watered broth and the dumpsters are picked clean there is still an easy source of protein if you are careful and fits your philosophy. First of all realize that this is both controversial in that some will call it cruelty and secondly it could be an excuse for the pigs to haul you in.

While in China rat is sold in markets and raccoon, cat, rabbit, and squirrel all exist in the urban zones they are too often diseased or dangerous as they will fight back. Some birds like seagulls and crows are just too gross because of their diet of vermin infested animals and rotten garbage, but the occasional dove, goose, or duck while more difficult to trap should be good to eat.

The best meat we can get for free is the simple stupid urban pigeon. The easiest way to catch them is with a little bread trail for bait, a box with a stick holding it propped up, and about twenty feet of string. A cardboard box might need a rock or brick on top for weight to help it drop closed faster. It goes like this, bird follows trail of bread under box, you pull string, stick lets box fall, bird is trapped. You can use other methods like nets or a loop of string and hope to catch a leg but the box method seems the easiest and most humane. Put your hand under the box and grab your bird, he won't bite (if he does, it won't hurt), be quick so he won't hurt himself flapping, grip around his body pinning down his wings and covering his head which will calm him down a lot.

Look him over: are his feathers looking healthy or is he shedding and scabby? Is he infested with bugs or weak and sluggish? Are his eyes looking filmy or gross? If so let him go and wash your hands he is probably diseased. If he looks good snap or cut his neck quickly (with a new razor blade) so it will be over for him. Cut him open from neck to tail and look his insides over, are they glistening smooth and come out easily (good) or are they all stuck together and spotty(sick), if they look bad or wormy again chuck him out and let a cat or raccoon find him, he was not long for this world anyway. Rinse out the gut area with safe water before proceeding. You might consider plucking before cutting open (it is too hard after) to save the skin and fats, but most of us just peel the skin off and cook like a mini chicken. A pigeon soup would be the safest way to go, let it boil for at least a half hour, but an hour is better, drink or save the broth. For smaller birds like doves sometimes the breasts are all that is worth taking for pan frying but see what you can salvage of other parts at least for stew stock.

A rubber wrist rocket type slingshot, high power air pistol (.22 pellet is very good, not those wimpy BB guns), even a thrown stone can be used to zap birds at a bit longer distance but if you get caught shooting in the park expect a night minimum in the clink and your stuff confiscated for your effort. Alternatively you can build your own slingshot by using a Y shaped branch, a strip of inner tire tube (found at the local dumpster or tire shop trash) and some strong thread. Proceed to tie the ends of the rubber to the branch with strong thread loops, until it gets firmly attached. It will cost you nothing to build some, and you can even trade them later with other survivalists.

Anyone who eats meat but is offended by this idea must remember that at least this bird lived a completely free life and died quickly unlike the factory cage chickens you might be eating from the store.

Gutting and preparing meat

For people who've never done this before it may be a daunting task, but once you've learnt how to it is quite easy. Before you start, if possible sharpen your cutting tool as much as possible, it's always preferable to have a good sharp knife but you can get by in a pinch with a piece of sharp rock, a piece of clean sharp glass etc.


For feathered game such as pigeons, just flip it onto it's back and pluck away all the feathers on its front side surrounding the breast, they should just pull off pretty easily. After you've done this, feel around until you've got the very top of the ribcages and make a cut following them along, cutting all of the breast off as you go trying to cut off as much meat as you can. As soon as you've cut it off plunge it in a bowl of water and clean it thoroughly to get any dirt/blood etc off of it, be especially careful if the animal has been shot with a shotgun to remove any pellets that may have been embedded in the flesh. On pigeons the breast is the only meat worth taking, although on larger birds such as pheasant the legs have good (although sinuous) meat as well. If you have the time and are making stews or pies then the carcass can be used to make a very tasty stock, in this case pluck all the feathers off, gut as below and clean thoroughly.

Furred animals

The majority of animals that you'll find as roadkill or easily be able to hunt will be furred animals for which the procedure is a bit different. It is preferable to have a very sharp knife for this, so you can cut the skin cleanly and not cut too deep. Again flip the animal on it's back and make an incision from the anus up towards the throat. Try to cut only through the skin and not to make this too deep or you risk puncturing the guts, which is quite messy. If it's a large male animal some suggest tying some string around the penis so it doesn't leak urine and then cutting around it. From this point, you have to remove the hide from all of the animal, which can be used for a lot of different things once you've treated and tanned it. Make an incision along each of the legs now, either cutting the feet off or slicing a ring around the ankles and start cutting the skin away from the body. Start by pulling up the skin and gently cutting through the layers of connective tissue, trying not to cut into the meat. It should be pretty obvious where to cut, and with bigger animals once you've got a good portion of it off it should pull off with your fists underneath it. At this point cut the head and tail off, save the head as it can be used for tanning the hides. Now you'll have a large carcass and it should be pretty obvious where the meat is. Gut the animal (see below). After this, with small animals it can be easier just to put the whole carcass into a pot of stew, boil it for a good 40mins+, making the flesh softer after which the nice bits can be peeled off, put into a pot of stew and the carcass discarded. Larger animals such as deer need split up and either eaten quite quickly or preserved. With roadkill it may be easier to simply cut the legs off rather than going through the process of gutting it etc, there is a fair bit of meat on the body but if you're on the side of a road then it may be easier just cutting the legs off.


Snake is good meat! It is a bit on the bony side, though, but it more than makes up for it by being easy to get. One can kill all but the largest snakes with a decent club or rock, or even by stomping them. If you manage to kill a decent sized rattlesnake, water moccasin, or cottonmouth just cut of the head (and rattler if it has one) and slice down the underside. Snake is really good if you take it and shake the skinned snake up in a paper bag with com meal and fry it. Cajuns and folks out in Texas swear by it and there are even rattlesnake festivals in those parts. Careful though, many snakes are deadly poisonous if they take bites out of you before you can take bites out of them!

Hunting - Steal This Wiki


Now make an incision from the belly upwards, carefully cutting through the abdominal wall without cutting into the guts, which should now spill outwards. Put a hand inside and pull out the guts, cutting them away where they're still attached. The heart, lungs and liver on most animals are still very edible although strong tasting and can be used in stews etc chopped up finely.


Last updated: 18 July 2011

Fishing as a food source is a useful skill in some parts of the world. If you know what you are doing you might be able to supplement your protein intake with some lightweight gear. Forget about hobbyist fly fishing gear, we want the food.

Watch out for fish and game cops, they can take all of your gear, car, or boat as a punishment leaving you destitute if you are accused of poaching or using illegal non-sporting fishing methods. If you're really heavy into fishing, a license and state fishing rules book can usually be had for around $5 over the counter at any sporting goods store, and it’s better safe than sorry. Look up the local laws on fishing so you know how you are legally permitted to fish and how to identify the fish it is legal to catch! Your "friendly" local ranger can now carry a gun, tazer and pepper spray, so ask yourself if saving the money is worth it in the face of police brutality.


  • 1 General Guide

  • 2 Gear

  • 3 Rods

  • 4 Reels

  • 5 Techniques

  • 6 Fish Tickling

  • 7 Preparation

General Guide

In over fished areas forget about wasting your time. Sport fishers, hunters and gatherers are often out in huge numbers during hard times and will often cause many years of damage from taking too much from the ecosystem.

Fishing licenses are usually cheap too, but you can get away without if you stay away from heavily trafficked lakes or streams. Fish is one of the most nutritious meats around, and all you have to do is scale the fish and cut out the guts (Which can be used for bait, as well) to eat that fresh, slippery sucker.

Fish can be kept in a rocked off area of the river for future eating, or for fattening them up. If you're lucky enough to get a hold of turtle eggs, i'd recommend leaving them where they are, and coming back for them when they're little and hatched. Depending on how long you're out there, you could raise them up just like regular farm animals, and eat them! The shell makes a great pressure cooker, with them in it!


Cheap fishing gear can be found in any pawn shop. Bobbers, hooks and sinkers all sell for under a dollar at most sporting goods stores, but they're usually small enough to steal for the really cheap. Dig up worms in a rainstorm, throw them in a styrofoam cup with a soil and cornmeal mix and cast away.

A telescoping pole and spinning reel will do the trick without breaking your bank or back but a stick and floss will work in a pinch. Some six pound test monofilament line will bag most small river fish, but as said before, a pawn shop can hold a treasure trove of high quality fishing gear. Estate or garage sales are also worth a look.


A fishing rod is an important, yet durable tool for fishing. There are many different types and "actions" (strength) of rod. Stronger action rods are more suited to larger fish, yet are less sensitive to bites. That said, a medium-light action rod can catch most freshwater fish and anything too large for the rod will break the line first. Most rods are graphite these days, although fiberglass is stronger and more sensitive. Like most fishing gear, rods are being updated with all sorts of totally useless features designed to fleece the rich out of their cash, so you can often find "last year's" models on sale for cheap.


A good reel is a good investment. The third world made models will break down fairly quickly, but a good reel will last a lifetime. The two main types of reel are spinning and bait casting. Spinning reels are more versatile and easy to use, whereas bait casting reels are generally heavy duty, but harder to cast and use. As a rule, good reels are made outside of China, and can be found in pawn shops. You can also find good deals on discontinued, but perfectly good reels in many sporting goods stores. Many of these are just "outdated" models, which will still perform just fine and last as long as you want to keep them.


Ask locals their favorites but in general worms, com, insects, and dough balls all work good, it won't hurt to carry some flashy, rattly, and spinny lures with your gear. These can easily and cheaply be made. Walleye and pike fishermen throughout the world use a simple lure called a crawler harness, which consists of a spinner blade (Cheap, flashy stamped metal in a teardrop shape with a hole on the top for the line), colored beads and 2 hooks, allowing the use of a whole worm. Add some sinkers and you have a cheap, effective lure. If you have a little money, the supplies for making lures can be very cheaply obtained. Get a big assortment pack of fish hooks, they weigh and cost very little and are useful for a hobo on the move even if you just use a stick pole and dental floss. A bobber hangs your bait off of the bottom in still water, moving water requires casting out and recovering as it floats downstream, you can use a dry stick as a bobber if needed. For simple hook and bobber fishing, you'll also need sinkers, which are simple lead weights that go on between the hook and bobber. They are also very cheap, and you should get an assortment. Bigger weights make the bait sink faster and deeper, whereas smaller weights can be used to suspend it slightly off the bottom.

A small net at the end of a large triangle of rocks laid in the river to guide the fish in will make a good trap. A series of baited hooks in the water strung to tree branches above, the fish will stay alive as long as they are still underwater. Check your fish traps regularly as they are at risk from poaching by raccoons. Spear fish in the shallows as you are setting up your nets or hook traps with a barbed frog spear tip on a stick.

Bombing fish in a pond with chlorine bleach is classless destruction, it will bring fish to the surface but will often kill the whole ecosystem. Instead use rotenone from the organic plant store or crush green husks from butternuts or black walnuts. Throw the husks into still or slow moving water, it will do the trick just stunning the fish without killing the other animals, collect and eat or salt and smoke all fish you stun.

Fish Tickling

Although harder than other methods, fish tickling is a common method of catching fish without any equipment. It involves getting the fish you want to under a rock, or some other natural barrier it can't back out of, and slowly moving your hand towards it until you can tickle its belly. The fish will become relaxed to a point where you can grab it and throw it onto the ground or catch it in a net.


If you catch a fish it should have firm and elastic flesh, clear and full eyes, bright red gills, a clean pleasant odor, and an absence of reddish discoloration on the ventral side of the backbone, i.e. the side of the backbone that’s on the inside of the fish. Cloudy, sunken eyes and gray colored gills are the first recognizable signs of old, decaying fish. When the head, gills, and backbone are gone, like at a store, rely on your sense of smell and touch. Worn out or dying fish have much less nutritional value but cooking them will remove danger of illness and parasites.

To clean a fish smash the brain area to kill it, then cut from the anus to the throat, remove guts(these are good fish bait, and can also be used to trap minnows and crayfish), and use a dull knife to scrape off the scales. Some fish are best filleted from the ribs but small ones are easier to leave in and remove when you eat it. Pan-fry most fish with a little oil and spices, a favorite is to use banana or other large leaves with a pleasant or neutral flavor to wrap the fish for roasting, if possible rub the fish with oil, lemon and/or pepper is nice for flavor. Salt water and a smoke pit is a way to preserve fish for a longer time, even without salt a dry smoked fish will keep for a few weeks. Another cheap and tasty way of preparing fish is dredging fillets in egg, flour then bread crumbs, seasoning with salt, pepper and paprika, and frying With all cooking methods remember fish cooks quickly like eggs, over cook it and it will get tough. Pike and similar fish contain lots of small bones, so be sure to bone the meat before cooking.


Last updated: 23 August 2011

The gathering of food is a concept that has been almost entirely abandoned by modem man, making it a forgotten science and art(when it comes to preparation). During travel, survival, or when food is quickly needed. What most people don't realize is that perfectly edible food grows everywhere, making foraging a viable survival method.

Much of the information in this article comes from both user experience and the U.S. Army Survival Handbook.


  • 1 Safety

  • 1.1 Avoiding Poisonous Plants

  • 1.2 Universal Edibility Test

  • 1.3 Ethical Foraging Guidelines

  • 2 Edible Plants

  • 2.1 Acorns

  • 2.2 Chickweed(Stellaria)

  • 2.3 Dandelion

  • 2.4 False Dandelion(Catsear)

  • 2.5 Field Com

  • 2.6 Mallow

  • 2.7 Miner's Lettuce

  • 2.8 Mustard

  • 2.9 Opuntia(Cactus)

  • 2.10 Palm Fruit

  • 2.11 Broadleaf Plantain(Plantago)

  • 2.12 Thistle

  • 2.13 Strawberry Tree(Arbutus)


Many poisonous plants appear similar to other plants which would be edible. One example would be poison hemlock; appears to be very similar to wild carrot. The most important step to eating wild plants is to know your plant. It's good to study what kinds of plants are edible and how to distinguish them. That way when the time comes to use your knowledge, you can spare yourself from the danger of testing plants you are not familiar with.

One good way to prevent yourself from eating poisonous material is to avoid eating plants which have wilted. Some plants can become poisonous after wilting. Also avoid eating any fruits that don't appear ripe, because some fruits like Elderberry can be poisonous before they are fully ripe.

If you are inexperienced at foraging, it is best that you stay away from mushrooms all-together, even in a survival situation. Many mushrooms look similar and there are many kinds of poisonous mushrooms.

Avoid unnecessary contact with unfamiliar plants. Some plants can cause dermatitis(severe skin rash) which can be dangerous without proper health care. Symptoms can occur from minutes to hours. If your skin comes in contact with a poisonous plant, try to scrub off the plant oil using soap and water. If no soap is available, you can use dirt unless blisters have formed(since blisters open you up to infection). If a plant has spines or prickles, and you feel you must handle it, do so using gardening gloves or a durable material.

Ingestion poisoning can cause a variety of bad symptoms, from diarrhea, to hallucinations, to coma, and death. If you or someone else has consumed poisonous material, the best way to prevent the poison from causing serious damage is to induce vomiting. Vomiting can be induced from either tickling the back of the throat or consuming warm salty water. Whether vomiting can be induced or not, it is also important for the victim to consume a large amount of water or milk, as this will help to dilute the poison.

Avoiding Poisonous Plants

These are some general rules for avoiding poisonous plants. There are many exceptions to these rules when it comes to known edible plants, but these rules will make a desperate situation more safe.

Plant traits to avoid:

  • Milky or discolored sap.

  • Beans, bulbs, or seeds inside pods.

  • Bitter or soapy taste.

  • Spines, fine hairs, or thorns.

  • Dill, carrot, parsnip, or parsley-like foliage.

  • "Almond" scent in woody parts and leaves.

  • Grain heads with pink, purplish, or black spurs.

  • Three-leaved growth pattern.

Universal Edibility Test

From the U.S. Army Survival Handbook:

If there are no familiar plants available, or if there is any doubt of the edibility of a plant, it might be necessary to conduct an edibility test. The edibility test takes at least 24 hours to conduct.

To prepare, each part of the plant must be gathered and separated(leaves, stalk, roots, flowers, etc).

To test:

1 .) Test only one part of a potential food at a time.

2 .) Separate the plant into it's basic components - leaves, stems, roots, buds, and flowers.

3 .) Smell the food for strong acid odors. Remember, smell alone does not indicate whether a plant is edible or inedible.

4 .) Do not eat 8 hours before starting the test.

5 .) During the 8 hours you abstain from eating, test for contact poisoning by placing a piece of the plant part you are testing on the inside of your elbow or wrist. Usually 15 minutes is enough time to allow for a reaction.

6 .) During the test period, take nothing by mouth except purified water and the plant part you are testing.

7 .) Select a small portion of a single part and prepare it in the way you plan to eat it.

8 .) Before placing the prepared plant part in your mouth, touch a small portion(a pinch) to the outer surface of your lip to test for burning or itching.

9 .) If after 3 minutes there is no reaction on your lip, place the plant part on your tongue, holding it there for 15 minutes.

10 .) If there is no reaction, thoroughly chew a pinch and hold it in your mouth for 15 minutes. Do not swallow.

11 .) If no burning, itching, numbing, stinging, or other irritation occurs during the 15 minutes, swallow the food.

12 .) Wait 8 hours. If any ill effects occur during this period, induce vomiting and drink a lot of water.

13 .) If no ill effects occur, eat 0.25 cup of the same plant prepared the same way. Wait another 8 hours. If no ill effects occur, the plant part as prepared is safe for eating.

CAUTION Test all parts of the plant for edibility, as some plants have both edible and inedible parts. Do not assume that a part that proved edible when cooked is also edible when raw. Test the part raw to ensure edibility before eating raw. The same part or plant may produce varying reactions in different individuals.

Ethical Foraging Guidelines

Like a good friend, the earth provides us with free chow, so we must take the proper steps to sustain this relationship.

14 ) Never pick too much of a plant from one area. If you must harvest a large amount, pick a moderate amount from several locations. Picking too much from a single area can affect the edible plant population and effect the local ecosystem.

15 ) Always get permission when necessary! If a certain plant is on private property, contact the owner for their permission to harvest from their plant. Most people won't care and will allow you to do so if you are polite and honest. You generally won't need permission if you are picking a plant from a park or anywhere that's public property unless you are in a protected area or a county park. While you technically can pick what you want, it's a good idea to ask local experts what should be picked and what shouldn't be picked. Many edible plants are considered invasive or non-native, in which case you are free to pick what you like. Try to go for plants that grow fast and aren't endangered.

16 ) Make sure to leave enough for the animals!

17 ) If you happen to obtain seeds from a plant that you have eaten, it is a good idea to plant those seeds in the same area you picked from.

Edible Plants

Here is a list of relatively common plants that are edible and easy to identify.


You can collect wild acorns for free and then turn them into a meal similar to com meal! Just gather a decent amount of acorns and shell them with a nutcracker or a stone. Grind the meat inside in a blender with water until it is a smooth paste, or hand grind it into a similar consistency. Now, you must place the ground meats into a colander lined with a paper towel and rinse thoroughly several times. You will notice that the water that runs out is milky. You are draining a bitter substance called tannic acid that rendered the meal inedible unless it is drained out. Repeat until the water that runs out is clear. Taste the meal to make sure. Too much tannic acid in your meal makes it bitter and can damage your kidneys over time, so be sure the water runs clear. After letting it dry, you can use it in a manner similar to cornmeal or flour. Use it to make pancakes, muffins, biscuits, cookies, etc.

Another method for leaching the acorns is to pour the paste into a stocking and filter out the tannic acid by running the stocking under running water. This will make it possible to process acorns even without a sink; The stocking can by placed in a stream or a river like the Native Americans used to do.

During the Civil War, acorns were used as a coffee substitute. Take plump, round acorns and shell them. Brown them in an oven and grind them with a coffee grinder. Brew as you normally would coffee. If needed, you can use this as an extender for coffee. Just remember that they can be very bitter, and won't taste as good as regular coffee.

Acorns from the white oak tree are considered to be the best, since they tend to be very large and have the least amount of bitter tannic acid in comparison to other varieties of acorns. Native Americans used to fight over these trees because they sometimes have a very large yield, hence these trees became very valuable.


Chickweed is a ground-covering plant with small alternating leaves and little white blossoms. There are some other plants that are referred to as chickweed, such as Mouse-ear Chickweed, but these are not true chickweed. True chickweed is part of the stellaria genus, whilst false chickweeds are usually of the the Cerastium genus.

Location: There are many species of chickweed, all of which look very similar to one-another. The common chickweed(stellaria media) can be found on forest floors throughout North America, Europe, and even Australia. It has also been naturalized in Japan. Chickweed can also be found in fields and disturbed ground. While it usually grows on it's own, if you come across Miner's Lettuce, there is a good chance that common chickweed will be growing among it.

Identification: All true chickweeds are edible, but some false chickweeds are not. One way to identify chickweed is to examine the stem for a small single line of hairs growing up one side of the stems. In case you are not sure you have chickweed, you can take one of the stems and bend and twist part of it until the outer part of the stem comes apart; You there should still be a small white elastic fiber connecting the two parts of the broken stem. This might take a few tries. Chickweed tastes very similar to com silk, so if you are willing, you can taste one of the leaves to verify the correct flavor. If any of these 3 tests fail, you probably don't have chickweed.

Preparation: It can be consumed as a leaf vegetable in salads. Can be boiled, but like many wild greens, it will shrink significantly if boiled.


Dandelions are quite possibly one of the ultimate famine foods. Many people believe that they are a worthless and poisonous weed. They can't be further from the truth. Not only are they completely edible, but they grow just about everywhere and they contain more vitamins and minerals than other leafy greens such as spinach. A cup of dandelion leaves contains 112% daily recommendation of vitamin A, 32% of vitamin C, and 535% of vitamin K and 218 mg potassium, 103 mg calcium, and 1.7 mg of iron. The entire plant can be eaten and used for different purposes. The leaves can either be made into or added to a salad or blanched by boiling in salty water. The root can either be eaten and cooked like any other root, or can be roasted and ground up to be used as a coffee substitute(like Chicory). The flowers can be used to make a tea or can be made into fritters. If you can find an abundant amount of flowers, it's possible to use them for making wine. Keep in mind that dandelion greens are somewhat bitter, so you may decide to blanch the leaves by adding them to boiling salt water(make sure you have a lot of leaves because dandelion leaves tend to shrink significantly when boiled). However the bitterness isn't intolerable and it's possible to acquire a taste for it. A simple dressing made of olive oil and vinegar with a little salt and pepper will make the greens more palatable.

More misconceptions about dandelions are that they are harmful to your garden. Dandelions are very efficient growers and will not harm your garden as long as there are not too many of them. You may even consider planting some in your victory garden because they grow extremely quickly and can become quite large when taken care of.

Dandelions can also be used for medicinal purposes. They are already very nutritious, but they can be used as an antioxidant and a diuretic. It's said that they are also good for kidney and liver cleansing.

False Dandelion(Catsear)

Catsear is known as the "False Dandelion" because of it's strikingly similar appearance. An easy way to tell the difference between a dandelion and a catsear is to check the stalk to see if it's hollow; If it's hollow, it's likely to be a dandelion. If it isn't hollow, it's more likely to be a catsear. Dandelions also have only one flower per stalk. Catsear can have multiple flowers branch off of the stalk. Other plants have these traits though, so a better way to be sure it's a catsear is if it's leaves are similar to that of the dandelion.

Catsears are edible and can be used in most of the same ways that a real dandelion could be. However it's nutritional value is unclear.

Field Corn

When riding the rails or hitchhiking you will often find fields of com waiting to feed you hungry travelers. If you are lucky you will be near sweet com, but field or dent com(animal feed) while not sweet is edible, if it is dried out you can pound or grind into cornmeal. You can eat com raw but cooking will make it taste much better. Pull the silk out of the top but don't remove the husk(leaves covering the com). Some people will pour a little salty water in to flavor before cooking but it is optional. Wrap the husk tightly and either wrap in foil and place in the edge of the coals or place on a grille and cover, turn every few minutes. Add salt spices and butter to your liking, cooking 10- 20 minutes. If the com has already dried hard either boil it in a soup or crash into com meal and try the recipes below. (Edited from Dishes & Beverages Of The Old South by Martha McCulloch-Williams (1913) http: //digital, lib ects/cookbooks/)

Another alternative is to remove all but a thin layer of husk around the com cob, instead of using foil. The only problem with this is that the husk bums rather easily, so direct flame is not recommended.


The common mallow is related to the plant that was used over 100 years ago to make the original marshmallow. A mucilaginous substance was extracted from the roots and peas of the plant, and whipped with sugar to make the confection.

Identification: Common mallow can be identified by scallop-like leaves that branch off of a central stalk. The younger plants start off as something similar to a basal rosette. Most of the leaves grow off their own branches, and the leaves have a fine hair-like texture. The leaves of the kind of mallow that grows in Europe may appear more ivy-like, but will still grow in the same way as the American common mallow. When the leaves are chewed, you may be able to feel a slight mucilaginous texture(though not always). When the plant blossoms, the flowers have 5 pink-colored petals with purple veins. The petals may also be heart-shaped. Common mallow grows in every western continent. Ground ivy can be mistaken for common mallow, and vise versa. Ground ivy has a square stem whereas mallow does not. Ground ivy leaves are more round and are attached to their stems from the center of the leaf.

Time of Year: These grow pretty much all year in most climates, although they start growing rapidly in spring.

Preparation: Mallow has very little taste and most people find the hairy texture of the leaves to be unpleasant. Generally, you will probably only want to eat the leaves of this plant if you are desperate. If you decide to eat it, boiling the leaves will make it more palatable. Though it still won't taste great. Not bad flavor; just bad texture. Putting the leaves in a sandwich will help cover up the texture. The stalks and root can't be eaten because they are too tough and fibrous even when boiled.

The "peas" of the common mallow are likely the most edible part of the plant. While the plants usually don't bear that many peas, you can collect them and cook them like real peas. They aren't very flavorful, but they're still very good to eat. But they are the most mucilaginous part of the plant, so that may make some people turn away.

It is possible to use the plant to make the confection we know as marshmallow. You have two options: To use the root or use the peas. The root of the plant is around longer, but it also must be fairly large and the best time to collect it is during when the plant is flowering or when its producing peas. Your other option is to use the peas of the plant. The advantage in just using the peas is that you will not only probably get better results, but it means the plant itself can live to continue producing more peas. The disadvantage is that the peas only come around for one part of the year. If you want, you can use both the root and the peas.

The material should be cut up and placed in boiling water. You should use 2 to 3 cups of water for every cup of plant material you're cooking. Over time, the water should thicken to a certain point, and then you should filter out the plant material with a sieve. Take the filtered mucilaginous fluid and whip it with sugar. Add sugar until it's to your liking. You can either immediately put it on a dessert or you can make little plots on a sheet and let them dry.

Miner’s Lettuce

Miner's Lettuce actually isn't a true lettuce. It is a member of the Claytonia genus, whilst true lettuces are from the lactuca genus. Miner's lettuce got its name from the California gold rush in 1848, because it was consumed by gold miners as a source of vitamin C to prevent scurvy. Keep that in mind in case you haven't consumed much fruit on a long trek.

Location: Miner's lettuce is located throughout the pacific coast of North America, even sometimes up to Alaska. Though most of it is found in California. It has also been naturalized in parts of Europe.

Identification: It is very easy to identify and has no poisonous or non-poisonous lookalikes. When the plant is young, it bears lush arrow-like leaves, and soon after it will produce saucer-shaped leaves with tiny white or purple blossoms in the middle of the saucers. Each of the leaves and saucers have their own stalk, and the stalks become very tender near the bottom and are a silvery-white or purplish color. Miner's lettuce has very tiny roots and the whole plant can be uprooted extremely easily(it's often difficult not to pull out the entire plant when just tugging at one of the stalks). The plant thrives in a certain amount of shade, so you will almost always find it on shady hillsides. It will grow in a variety of altitudes. This contributor has found miner's lettuce from as low as 1,200 ft to as high as the mountains in Yosemite Valley.

Preparation: Pick it up and eat it! Every part of the plant can be eaten, and there are no spines or defenses that have to be removed. It can be easily grabbed and munched on during a hiking trip. Miner's lettuce is best eaten raw in a salad. The stalks can be fibrous, so one might want to remove them and just eat the leaves; That doesn't mean you can't eat the stalks too. Miner's lettuce can be boiled like spinach, but this isn't recommended unless you have collected an abundance of plant material. When boiled, the miner's lettuce shrinks significantly. Don't boil the stalks as they become tougher to eat, due to their more fibrous nature.

Other Uses: If you're low on drinking water, a long way from a stream, and have come across some full-grown miner's lettuce, then you're in luck. The tender stalks are very lush and juicy. Grab an entire plant and squeeze or chew on the stalks; They will provide you with a substantial amount of liquid good for drinking. If you squeeze the liquid out of a few miner's lettuce plants, it may help to hold you over until the next stream.


We all know the condiment, mustard, but did you know that the mustard plant itself can be eaten? Wild mustard makes for a wonderful green vegetable, and even has a mild to pungent mustard flavor. All varieties of mustard can be eaten, and they grow in many places around the world.

Identification: Wild varieties of mustard tend to have small yellow 4-petaled flowers with 6 stamen. 3 of them are tall and 2 of them are short. The flowers come off branches from the central stem, and long skinny seed pods also grow off the stalk. The leaves are broadleaved and fairly large.

Preparation: Mustard greens can be eaten raw, but some may not like the pungent flavor. The best way to be get rid of some of the spicy taste is to boil the greens for at least 10 minutes. After that, you can add whatever dressing you like. For simplicity, olive oil and vinegar with a little salt and pepper always works well. Only cook the leaves; While the whole plant is edible, the stalk is very tough and potent even when cooked. The root is nothing special, and you can usually throw it out. But overall, mustard greens make a great food which you can also use to add flavor to other meals. If you like the mustard flavor, they make an excellent salad green and can make for an entire meal on their own, depending on size.


There are other kinds of cactus that are edible, but here we are talking about the a kind of cactus common in Mexican cuisine known as opuntias. These are cactuses that are "paddle" shaped with small irritating hairs and often long spines typical of most cacti. There are two parts of this plant that can be eaten. The paddle, known as the nopalito, can be de-spined, skinned, and cooked like a vegetable. The fruit of the opuntia, known as the prickly pear, can be skinned and eaten as is or incorporated into a dessert.

Location: Opuntias grow in 46 of the 50 states in the U.S. They can also be found in Hawaii. The only states it can't be found in natively are New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. They can also be found in Mexico and throughout parts of Central and South America.

Identification: Cactus is made up of multiple paddle-shaped pads and often grow magenta fruits known as prickly pears.

Edibility: All opuntias are edible. Just make sure an opuntia is what you have. They are edible both raw and cooked, but most people prefer them to be cooked.

Preparation: When collecting parts of an opuntia, make sure to always wear gardening gloves. This is to protect you from the glochlids, which are irritaing little hairs that come from the "eyes" of the pads and fruits. Not dangerous unless you get them in your eyes; otherwise they are just irritating. People underestimate the opuntia and figure they don't need gloves because they only see large spines, and those same people end up getting their fingers covered in little itchy hairs. After you collect your pads/fiuits, make sure to wash them with water and pluck out long spines with needle-nose plyers. This will help get rid of some of the loose glochlids. There are a few ways to get rid of the glochlids. One is to bum them off with a torch, which won't be a problem if you plan on cooking the part. Another way is to remove the eyes with an apple-corer or with the end of a peeler. The outer skin is edible, but the most sure-fire way to get rid of all the glochlids is to skin the outside of the pad/fiuit with a peeler or a knife. The pad can be grilled or boiled and seasoned with some salt & pepper. You'll know when it's done when it turns into a more olive-green color similar to cooked green capsicum(bell pepper). It can then be cut into little strips and added to tacos or a salad, or just eaten straight. The prickly pears can be removed of glochlids and can be eaten raw, juiced, or added to flavor a dessert. Just beware of the very hard seeds, which can break teeth.

The pads can be very mucilaginous, which can be unappealing to some people. If you boil or saute your pads, you can remove them and dump off the mucilaginous byproduct. The opuntias can provide quite a bit of food because they don't shrink too much when cooked, unlike many other wild foods.

Other uses for the opuntia would be as a hedge for one's property, because they make for a formidable defense.

Palm Fruit

Yet another ornamental plant that, with a few exceptions, is generally considered inedible. Those among the exceptions would be dates and coconuts. But those aren't the only palm trees that bear perfectly good Suits!

Palm trees are very distinct, so we all know how to identify them. What makes palms even better is that none of them are poisonous! They also grow all around the world in both arid and tropical climates, and they're often planted as ornamentals.

If you find a coconut palm, then you're definitely in luck, and same goes for date palms. But other kinds of palms produce different kinds of fruit. One such palm is known as the pindo palm or the "jelly palm", which produces a bounty of orange Suits that are about the size of a walnut. Some are tastier than others, and usually the Suits are very fibrous making them somewhat difficult to eat. However, the fruits are excellent for making preserves. They're naturally mucilaginous so they do not need any pectin when making a preserve. All you have to do to make jelly palm fruit preserve is to place your fruit into a pot with enough water to cover most of them, and boil them. When the Suit becomes a little bit softer, use a potato masher to mash the fruit and get as much juice out of them as possible. Once you've squeezed out as much as possible, you have to strain out the fruits and then continue boiling the juice. The juice may be kind of bland, so add sugar to taste. That's all you need to do to make a preserve out of jelly palm fruit. You may need to boil the preserve longer to get the desired consistency; You can make a syrup or create more of a jam/jelly. There are other palm trees that produce a similar orange fruit, and they can be used in the same way. The preserve will taste similar to a fruity honey. Tastes great on ice cream, contains lots of calories, and is high in vitamin C!

There is also the "saw palmetto"; a palm that produces a black olive-like fruit. Their flavor is not considered very pleasant to most, as they are often described to taste like oily and peppery blue cheese. But they are very rich in fatty acids. Eat small amounts at first to get accustomed to it. The saw palmetto is a low-growing palm like the pindo palm, but with a more fan-like leaf and the stalks have sawtooth-like spikes.

Broadleaf Plantain(Plantago)

A native to Eurasia, the broadleaf plantain grows just about everywhere(at least in North America) during nonwinter seasons. It is considered an invasive weed, and in some areas it grows so wildly, so pretty much you can't harvest too much of it. The broadleaf plantain is small but has relatively large spoon-like leaves which are tough and fibrous when matured. They usually have a rattail-like seed pod which sticks up vertically. The older leaves can be eaten, but are very tough. The young leaves of the broadleaf plantain can be eaten because they are softer and more tender. The plant is a bit bitter with a taste reminiscent of spinach.

The large leaves can be used to dress wounds, as it contains natural antibiotics and a powerful coagulant. Because of this, plantain should not be eaten by those taking blood thinners. Broadleaf plantain leaves are known to also treat and calm insect bites; Some people chew up a leaf and stick it to an insect bite.


Thistle is another one of those foods deemed worthless by the general public. Different kinds of thistle, such as milk thistle, were somewhat of a common food at one time. They became unpopular in contrast to other vegetables due to it's spines. But the reason the thistle developed such a formidable defense is because it can make for a good food. Little do people know about how edible and useful these spiky plants are.

The thistle usually starts out as a basal rosette, and then after a year it will grow a stalk with a flower(usually purple with large spines around it). The leaves have little spines around the edges that hurt when touched, so you may want to handle the plant with gloves. The spines on some thistles will soften when boiled, like with the sow thistle and milk thistle. But if you don't want to boil the leaves, you can simply cut off the spines with a knife or snip them off with scissors. Depending on the kind of leaves you're dealing with, this can be a lot of work. The greens are usually not bitter and make a great addition to your meadow salad. All thistles are edible, but make sure the plant you have is indeed a thistle. Milk thistle is particularly bountiful in that they grow large and are more broadleaved, whereas some other thistles have narrow leaves. Milk thistle can be identified from other thistles in that the leaves have milk-colored splotches on them.

The inner stalk of the thistle can be eaten raw or boiled. To get to this tender part of the stalk, you have to carefully strip off the leaves until you are left with the part you want. The stalk is hollow and has a somewhat similar feel to celery when cut. Depending on the size of your thistle, the stalk can be of decent size, and the harvest is especially worth it if you find an abundance of thistle.

The leaves and the seeds can be used medicinally as a liver tonic. While research in the past lead to unclear results, a more recent government-funded study showed that the chemical in milk thistle, silymarin, showed promise in treating toxin-induced liver damage.

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When the plant dries out after the summer, the flower becomes a mass of soft white fibers with seeds. The fiber can makes great tinder for starting a fire and it can also be used as a replacement for down in a pillow.

Strawberry Tree(Arbutus)

This plant is somewhat common as an ornamental plant in suburban areas that are of a Mediterranean climate. The strawberry tree bears many fruits which vaguely resemble the strawberry. The fruits are red and berry-like with a bumpy outer-texture, about 3/5 the size of a golfball. Most strawberry trees are actually more bush-like than a tree, with flat green leaves. The best way to identify the strawberry tree is to look at the fruits. The fruit matures at the same time as the newer fruits develop, so there will be both yellow fruits and red fruits(the red ones are ripe and edible). The ripe fruits are soft, sticky, and orange inside with many little seeds. The fruits usually don't have much flavor, although some strawberry trees have better tasting fruits than others. The flavor is often referred to as a combination of peach and strawberry. Though the fruits are unknown by most people and considered worthless, they can easily be made into a tasty jam preserve and can even be used to make alcohol. The strawberry tree bears quite a bit of fruit, so a single harvest can yield a large amount of food.

Strawberry Tree Jam


  • 4 cups of strawberry tree Suit

  • Juice from 1 lemon

  • 1 cup of sugar

1 .) Wash the fruit thoroughly and remove the stems. The skin can be left on and will dissolve in the jam process.

2 .) Take a large spoon or a potato masher and mash the fruit in a large bowl or pot. Mash it thoroughly until there are no large chunks. You will now have a large orange mash with red specs from the skin.

3 .) Now comes the hard part. The seeds of the fruit are many and very tough. It's possible to have the seeds present in the jam, but it will make the jam tough and not as pleasant to eat. To filter out the seeds, you must pour the mash through a sieve into a cooking pot. This is a somewhat long process, depending on how much fruit you have. It might be necessary to add water to the mashed fruit to make it filter through easier(however this will significantly increase cooking time).

4 .) Add the lemon juice to the fruit mash, and then bring the mixture to a boil. Then turn it down to a simmer and stir occasionally for an hour.

5 .) Slowly add the sugar and let simmer for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste occasionally and add more sugar or lemon juice depending on your preference.

This jam can either be properly canned or placed in a container for short-term storage.


Last updated: 27 May 2011

The modern restaurant, fast food places, and cafes sell convenience at the expense of the lower working classes. Money is made off selling to folks who do not want to cook due to work, needing to feed many folks, or being in a popular location. The restaurant associations get away with paying waiters below the federal minimum wage legally (in many states)and force them to live off of patron's tips. Fast Food pays employees poverty wages for being covered in grease. Meanwhile, the district bosses, owners, and top executives lead country club lifestyles.

Restaurants currently operate under three main different models. Fast food is all about getting fed quickly and cheaply. Sit-down restaurants are about eating in a relaxed atmosphere where the customer has a servant making sure they do not have to get up (unless it is a buffet.) Delivery deals with getting food to the customers location. We will discuss all three.


  • 1 NOT Eating Out

  • 2 Fast Food

  • 3 Sit-Down Restaurants

  • 3.1 Dealing With and not Pissing Off Restaurant Staff

  • 3.2 The Walk-out

  • 3.3 My Food is not Cooked Right!

  • 3.4 Turning Employees

  • 4 Delivery

  • 4.1 It Has Been a Long Time and My Food Is Not Here!

  • 5 Restaurant Waste

NOT Eating Out

One could easily blow $20 USD (or more.. if you get fancy or get alcohol) for one person in a sit-down restaurant. This includes tipping so some wage slave does not hate your guts if you ever come back there. If you eat even only one time a day, this could easily be 600 a month just to eat! Yes, there are some ways to save. Not getting (or stealing) a drink, only getting cheap items from fast food, or going to only lunch buffets can bring down the cost. But, with the exception of fast food 'dollar menus', most of the time you can prepare your own much cheaper.

Don't get that 'sorry' feeling for blowing your precious survival cash on an overpriced junk. This really needs to be watched if you are in wage slavery or homeless! Our advice to you is to make a big breakfast and carry your lunch and a late snack or dinner. In winter plan a way to warm your "out" meals.

Many restaurant meals are nutrition poor but high in both fat and carbohydrate calories which can be useful to someone who wants to abate their hunger for longer than an hour or two and involved in some physical labor, foot or bike travel, or just be stuck outside in the wet and cold. Be aware that there is a movement especially directed at fast food places to reduce calories sometimes even by substituting diet non-digestible fat and sugar substitutes. You might soon find yourself spending your hoarded cash on fake food which is effectively flavored and textured cardboard and candle wax; you will be denied even the empty calories you were hoping to acquire.

Fast Food

Fast Food corporations market (mostly) high calorie food to folks that only have a short time to eat or are too busy/ too lazy/ can not cook. Fast food also markets to the poor with value deals and not having to tip. They draw in folks with kids by maintaining one of the largest cheap toy distribution networks and ad campaigns in the world. For all that money, it is common for non-management to be making below poverty wages and managers working 70 -90 hours a week.

Fast food places can be fairly cheap if you stick to 'dollar menus'. Most of the cheap specials are not very filling and can leave you hungry unless you get a bit of it, but it is a meal. Some offerings may be bad on your cardiovascular system when eaten regularly, so be mindful. You can get a burger or taco for a dollar or two which is cheaper than picking up all the stuff you would need at a grocery store to make it.

The biggest money maker for fast food is 'upselling' combos. The pitch is to charge a few dollars more for a small bit extra of a side item and drink. Every cashier is drilled to ask before every sale under pain of keeping a job. You do not really get much except for a few extra fries and a bit bigger overpriced drink.

Speaking of drinks... the fountain machine puts out soft drink for pennies, yet you get charged dollars. You can get a much better deal buying your drink from a grocery or convenience store. Some will frown on you bringing in outside drinks, though.

The biggest scam currently going is the fast food places that let you get your own drink and free refills. If you ask for a cup of water, you can generally just go get soft drink instead and rarely be harassed if common sense is used. With the possible exception of the manager, who usually has to work equipment as well, most employees really do not care or are too busy.

Sit-Down Restaurants

Dealing With and not Pissing Off Restaurant Staff

When you talk of sit down restaurants, you are talking of basically renting a seat unmolested by claims of loitering for a period of time usually for the duration of your meal. Some of these "rents" are fairly inexpensive while the upper middle and upper class 4 star places in good locations with name brand chefs and multiple waiters to suffer over your every swallow can run 60 USD a seat or much more...

Regardless, the staff at restaurants can sometimes be a source of free food. But, only if you do not piss them off and they are allowed to slide by greedy management. Like any culture, the service industry has a set of unspoken rules that can put you on 'good terms'. The life of waitstaff, especially, is feast or famine. On busy nights, they are easily the highest paid people in the building, but on slow nights they might not even take home enough to cover taxes.

  • Service staff hates people that do not tip with a passion. They may not mention this in front of a customer's face for fear of you complaining to their corporate overlord, but it can be guaranteed to be talked about in the kitchen to other waiters. Many states LEGALLY allow servers to make way below the minimum wage. In addition, they may be also responsible for tipping out other staff as well. A few bad tables combined with slow times can mean the server works for nothing.

  • When you tip, tip cash. Some restaurants hold credit card tips until the server's payday which can be up to two weeks or longer to make sure Uncle Sam gets his (and they do not have to pay compensation if the server does not report enough tips). Your server will appreciate this. Greedier places even deduct a fee from the tip to cover use of the credit card machine.

  • Do not be a piece of shit! This includes ordering staff around, snapping fingers at them, causing scenes, never being satisfied, etc. It is bad enough to be a wage slave. While some trust fund babies may get an ego out of this, being cool can attract much more than being a jerk.

  • Do not 'run' the waitstaff. Serving tables is A LOT of running back and forth from the kitchen and the assigned group of tables. During 'rush' times, this can be stressful and requires good memory and juggling many steps mentally at the same time. Be sure to tell them everything you need at one time and not 50 trips for small things. This really pisses them off.

  • If you have a small child, control your child or tip extra. French fries spread under the table mixed with crayons and spills all over the table is a lot of work. Many waiters make their money by turning over the tables frequently. A massive clean up may make that table not settable for a long time.

  • Do the little things. Offer to box your own to-go plates if the place allows it. Stack the plates. If you eat like a pig, do not leave big messes.

  • Do not come in right when they are about to close. The staff wants to get the hell out of there. It messes up closing duties and can delay getting off up to hours. Grease, sweat, managers, and dealing with people makes some want to erase their CorpGov abuse with an activity of choice as soon as possible. Late night bars after weekend tips and kitchen paydays are popular places they go. In large towns and tourist areas, there are even service industry bars that sometimes give discounts to them.

  • If they are not being slammed, chat with your wait-person. Sincere small talk and maybe a short travel story (rememberSecurity Culture) can make you appear human other than an endless conveyor belt of customers. If they think of you as a friend (and not simply another tip), they might want to draw you back for more tales of the road.

  • Asking outright for freebies is generally an alienating move until you have built a rapport.

  • ALWAYS make sure to tip as extravagantly as possible ANY favors to let the staff know that you are sharing what wealth you do have.

  • In our sexist society, you will find that a woman has a better chance to get free stuff with a male waiter, especially with a slightly cute, shy approach, while still letting him know you are running tight and relying on his compassion. Males usually also have more success with males if they can become interesting and respected; a male appealing to another male's compassion is more likely to elicit a reaction of disgust than sympathy.

Folks have suggested that posing as a charity and getting the restaurant to 'donate' food is a possible major food scores for the more charismatic. However, most of the time, managers are not going to do this because of food poisoning lawsuits. A few go as far as not even letting their own staff, but some will let staff. Better to ask a friend who works in one. However, we have known of some folks who claimed they had a bunch of dogs or pigs to feed and wanted the food for slop get this to work in rural areas. Of course, these folks looked the part of some guy in a trailer with dogs or on a small farm.

Being liked by the staff sometimes has perks. You may find that your coffee is left off the bill. You could be given a free buffet. Even another customer's unwanted entree may find its way to your table. Once you've cultivated a relationship with a restaurant, you might even be able to bargain leftovers if you hang around at closing time. People can be surprisingly compassionate and empathetic if they identify with you.

The Walk-out

Warning: If the server handles money, restaurants make the server responsible for PAYING YOUR BILL if you walk out! Leaving a tip does not help much. It is nice to stick it to the man, just make sure it is the man you are actually hurting!

Sit-down restaurant food is one of the few products where it is acceptable in society to consume the product and pay later. The walkout takes advantage of this. Walking out works really well with a partner. (a male-and-female duo works best for this kind of scam, but if you are two of the same gender, it might work to your advantage to pretend that you are siblings). As long as you appear clean and are dressed appropriately for the place, you should be fine. You may want to avoid the place for several months or years afterward, though.

To walk out, just watch the server and busperson for when he or she goes to the kitchen then nonchalantly disappear. Going for a smoke outside or the restroom is an acceptable excuse if questioned. Then leave promptly. If this is a place where they have a cashier or host at the front, watch for when they are busy, then walk briskly out the door and bolt! If escaping in a car, please be mindful of any chasing staff viewing the plates of your car. Once you are off the property, you are home free.

A good related trick to the walk-out, is the walk-in. This will work in most buffets, as you pay for a tray and not a plate. The trick works best if you are with a group of people or if you say you are meeting up with someone if asked. Simply walk past the register, maybe go into the bathroom if you see that the cashier saw you, wait a few minutes, and grab a plate. Many places give cups up front where you have to pay. But, to avoid attention, bring your own. Just be smart with it. While you have an unlimited source of food in front of you, you might as well stock up with plastic bags or something of that nature. Again, be smart, this trick is a lot better if you have access to refrigeration. If you need a paper cup, go to another restaurant, and say you just want a few cups for a 2-liter bottle of soda in your car. Get creative, the cup trick works well at smaller places, and doesn't work well at fast food places, foreign restaurants are perfect.

Don't dine and ditch unless you have no other choice! Leaving without paying your tab/ bill is a form of shoplifting and can get you hauled in. Only attempt this ruse out of town, because a waiter might remember "those bastards that ran off without paying."

My Food is not Cooked Right!

Most restaurants will refund your money if you complain about the food or have it sent back the kitchen. Your server may get annoyed, but all restaurant managers are allowed to give 'comps' to displeased customers.

This one is simple. Order something and say it's overcooked or undercooked. Naturally, do not eat more than a bite or two or some places will refuse to play along. However, if you complain convincing enough it should be possible to get another dish for free. Sometimes you can even get a full 3 courses gratis if one of them isn't done right! If you claim your 'dining experience' was ruined by your companions having to wait while your were still eating or their food held under a heat lamp while they were fixing your order, the better.

This one is remarkably easy to pull off and has a very high rate of success. There's no need for an elaborate setup, and it's perfectly legal, too. You can also call the corporate office with a complaint and sometimes get a comp even if the manager did not give it away.

Glass in the food, bug in the food, etc. is only urban legend. In the extremely rare case of this, you are pretty much expected to walk out if this is the case and never come back. If there is even the slightest suspicion by the manager you placed this in the food and walked out, you can be hauled off. Lawsuits are rare because more evidence is needed besides a wrapped food or plate. You would need an actual doctor bill.

Turning Employees

Use some charm and make friends at the pizza shop. Most places we have set down we find a pizza shop and we get free food and drinks and an air conditioned place to hang out during the day several times a week. For some reason the strip mall, no tips expected, lunch rush, single slice to go type pizza shop with one post high school employee on duty is just perfect for this hack once the lunch rush is over and they are bored during the 3-5pm lull. Fast food and other restaurants with better peak time management and inventory control give you little chance to talk to the staff and convert them to a free handout. Baristas at non chain places and sandwich and sub places during slow hours are also good targets but often there is not the filling food at a coffee shop like the pizza shop has.

After a few paying visits where you keep them company, leave a buck or two tip or share a cigarette. Once you establish a rapport ask for a free slice or two from the stuff that has sat for a while in the single slice case. Be cynical, you are hungry and broke, remember that you are there for food not to convert the unwashed masses so don't attack his political positions to harshly but play up his labor rights. If there is no tip jar complain how terrible that is and make one out of a cup and post-it for them. Once that door is open use it again, but don't attack the stale stuff every day at first and watch how they react when you do, some people get weirded out by the mooch so avoid that guy when they work. Even if you get toppings just ask to pay for the plain pizza. In the places where this mooching the stale stuff has worked several times we offer to let the employee smoke or stay seated and you will make yourself up a slice that you then pay for to get them comfortable with you in the kitchen. Wait until a day when there is no stale pizza say you forgot your wallet and ask permission to slap together a small pizza. Once you have permission to walk back there the first time to make free food just keep it up sometimes paying sometimes not, although only if there are no stale slices to mooch. This is all about pushing the comfort zone slowly.

Always clear and wipe your table and others nearby especially when he is busy so the person on duty feels like he owes you something. Our experience is that you should do everything except touch the register, when you do your own pizza or drink. Always show them that you are leaving the cash behind the counter near the register when you do pay, they are responsible for the total at the end of the day and if you ever touch or hang out near the register they will always blame you if they ever end up short and you will ruin the scam. Lastly once we know the employee is 'cool' a joint or two for after they get off work will probably lock up your free pizza scam for good.


Folks with a phone number, an address, and no food in the house can call some restaurants to take food to them. Most delivery places specialize in pizza or Chinese food because of good hold times on that food. However, bigger and more upscale areas may have more choices while someone out in rural areas may have none.

Delivery is not cheap. Most of the time, there are minimums to the dollar amount of the order and the prices can be inflated without deals. You are also expected to tip the delivery person.

Delivery can refuse to go to an area for many reasons. Sometimes hotels make deals prohibiting guests from purchasing any food in the hotel except theirs. Additionally, the management can refuse to go to certain areas for it merely being populated by certain ethnic groups, real or imagined high crime, or history of high complaints/no tips from drivers.

It Has Been a Long Time and My Food Is Not Here!

"30 Minutes or Free" type of deals have fallen out of favor due to concerns about speeding tickets and bad press. Instead, most businesses have a practice of adjusting the estimated time based on volume and weather. If the food takes longer, they usually have a policy based on how late it is as to how much money to take off. If your food really is late, use this to save cash.

Discounts can be given sometimes even if the customer is in the wrong. It is possible to give a bad address with a new phone number to get free cold food. Modernized delivery places keep a computerized database of phone numbers associated with first name, address, and what you order. If the first address given is wrong, the delivery driver will try to call you. If you cannot be reached, the driver will take it back to the store. Calling again after this can get it for free or at least a major discount for a future order from that phone and address. Do not do this too much as the manager can rightfully refuse to deliver to you as a bad customer.

Be sure to tip the delivery driver if you try to pull this. Having to redeliver cuts the amount of runs they do and total tips. Bad runs screw them out of the meager compensation for gas,vehicle wear, and cell phone minutes by the greedy corporate office.

Restaurant Waste

Much usable food is thrown away. Usually any food the staff does not claim gets mixed in with used plastic straws, dish room chemicals, and half eaten food. Any used grease gets recycled. The middle class calls thrown away food 'food cost' or 'wastage' and sets up rules to reduce this so the owners and stock holders can make as much money as possible. Sources of 'food cost' come from these sources:

  • Pre-prepared food past hold time is the majority of edible food waste. Some food takes much more time to prepare than a customer can wait. Typically, this food is kept in some kind of hot box or steam line with a date label. Using data from food researchers on the spread of bacteria, there are industry wide temperatures maximum length of time these must be stored. Good restaurant managers keep logs of how much food was used in the past on different days to try to keep from over anticipating sales and cooking too much food. Usually, only the manager on duty, cook, or dishwasher has access. Strict control over to-go containers and outside containers (supply cost) are designed to keep cooks from intentionally cooking too much to be able to take home or give away food. If you can get the food that is fixing to be thrown away off a steamline or hot box, you are in for a good meal.

  • Bad orders can be a major source of food cost if the place deals with finicky customers or staff mistakes. Most restaurant managers watch this, too. Industry accepted procedure is to immediately remove the dish that is being complained about from customer view. It gets handed to the manager on duty or the cook to decide the plate's fate. If it is something that can be fixed by being under cooked, it is recooked and put on a fresh plate or re-wrapped. If it has any bites out of it, most staff immediately throws this into an 50 gallon trash can. Anything without bites taken out of it can be offered to staff or done with what the manager pleases. If you are in good with the staff, sometimes you can get these bad orders if the staff has not dug in already.

  • Dishroom waste is inedible and is laden with chemicals. Half eaten food is combined with lemon rinds, bones, plastic straws and cups, broken glass, and mostly eaten food. Mostly eaten food is always removed from customer view as quickly as possible. The food from the plates is removed and thrown into garbage. Only front staff and the dishwasher has access to eaten food before it hits the garbage. Managers avoid this stuff. The workers usually have access, but meal plans and the stigma of appearing 'nasty' to the supervisor by eating this is a real concern. The only useful portion of this is limited to desperate staff in places without meal plans. Who wants something that has been slobbered on and may make someone sick? Many sit down food dumpsters have little edible food because it is mixed with this dishroom waste.

  • Used grease from fryers is inedible and is dangerously, permanently scarring hot when first taken out. Used grease is always poured into a large special dumpster to be collected and reprocessed to eventually be made into lady's cosmetics. No matter how desperate, NEVER try to dip into the grease container out back.

Food Programs


  • 1 Food not Bombs

  • 2 Food Stamps (SNAP)

  • 3 WIC

  • 4 Religious Organizations and Shelters

  • 5 Feed a Yippie

Food not Bombs

Ask around to see if your town has a Food Not Bombs chapter. FNB groups in cities across the US and several other countries serve healthy, free, vegan food to anyone who wants it. Most chapters serve at least once a week, some serve everyday. FNB groups usually serve in a public place, such as a park or town square. Food Not Bombs groups will also often agree to provide food at large gatherings, such as protest marches, picket lines, disaster areas, activist conferences, etc. provided they have the resources to do so. Go to for more info, including an (incomplete) list of active groups.

Food Stamps (SNAP)

The Food Stamp program is always around if you qualify. Food Stamps are now debit cards that can be used like real debit cards at supermarkets for storable food goods. More information is in the 'Welfare' section of 'Free



This is a state-run federal program that gives baby formula, juice, powdered milk, and cereal to folks who have just had a baby. The food can be either picked up from a central location or bought from a store depending on the state.

You can stay on it until your kid turns 5 years old. The income cut-off levels are also fairly easy to meet.

Religious Organizations and Shelters

Often, organizations (especially religious clubs) at high schools, colleges, and community centers provide free breakfasts and snacks.

In some major cities, there are a few Krishna religious groups that often give out a free vegetarian meal if you sit in for a seminar (Fair warning: The food they serve can be VERY spicy!). Be advised the quality can vary wildly. Some groups have good resources for ingredients and skilled cooks that can make stuff that tastes great. Others are not quite as lucky and/or good.

Also, consider helping or going to your local homeless shelter. Not only can you help those in need but you can also get a free meal or two. Most shelters also have way more than they serve. Much of the excess food goes to waste. Sometimes they will give their volunteers some of the extra. Many have a walk-in cooler, freezer and pantry that are filled to the brim and at least half of it gets thrown out every week. Browse the back and take what looks good to feed you, your friends, your family and others less fortunate. After all, we could all use a free meal!

Feed a Yippie

If you are not up to direct action at least support our kids in the streets, use the large group recipes inCheap Chow or whatever you can dumpster dive and support our troops! Please remember that we need to eat every day, put a chalk mark on the curb or sidewalk Wall Painting so we know you are willing to feed a traveling Yippie.

This page was last modified on 24 July 2010, at 14:07.


Last updated: 5 October 2010

Go back to Free Food

CorpGov spends big bucks in research to scientists to figure out what what motivates people to do things. Of course, most of this research is not in any particular best interest, but to motivate you to spend more than you need. Everything from simple store layout to what actors or actresses folks would identify with in commercials are heavily planned out. Some gas stations even have TVs now at the pumps to force you to watch ads to buy stuff and big stores like Walmart even have in-store radio to suggestive sell to you!

Supermarkets will go over frugal shopping, some things to watch out for, and some common scams.

Shoplifting is a amoral discussion if an emergency need arises to take something from one of these places.


  • 1 Getting Food Extra Cheap

  • 1.1 Sample Surfing

  • 1.2 Discount Stores

  • 1.3 Coupons

  • 1.4 Shopping List

  • 2 Scams

  • 2.1 Self Check-Out

  • 2.2 Lifting a Meal

  • 2.3 Marketing Scams

  • 2.4 Munchies and Hungries

  • 2.5 Papers Please

  • 2.6 Gift Cards

  • 2.7 UPC Tricks

  • 2.8 Bakery Coupon Scam

  • 3 Club Card Warning

  • 4 Working at a Store

  • 5 The Dumpster

  • 6 Wholesale Markets

Getting Food Extra Cheap

Sample Surfing

Many large chain deli's will give you a sample if you ask, enough corpgov fat and batter to tease but not enough to satisfy. Hit several stores and you might get enough to fill you up, many stores also have one day a week where vendors give lots of samples in the aisles.

Discount Stores

In some poorer neighborhoods, you can often find discount grocery stores that sell odd-lot packages of food. Often these are over-runs of stuff meant for regional chains with unfamiliar or ripoff brand names (Oat Loops instead of Cheerios, for example), stuff that's close to the expiration date or major label items that were meant for export with English-language labels slapped on them (so don't be surprised if you see Arabic corn flakes or instant oatmeal with Chinese text). Many of the major odd-lot stores like Big Lots, Dollar General and 99 Cents Only sell this kind of food at a major discount. If something is in stock and you like it, buy it, since the supply of these bargains is spotty at best.

Bakery Outlet type stores sell breads, crackers, cakes, pies and cereals that are weeks (if not days) before their freshness dates expire. If you have access to a freezer, stock up!


The Sunday newspaper sometimes has coupons in the circulars. Most of the time, these are for newer products or seldom bought items while coupons for staple items are rare. But, sometimes a decent coupon can be found. It usually is not worth it just to buy a paper for coupons. If you already have a Sunday paper, though, it cannot hurt to look.

Shopping List

Instead of reaching for the prepared foods try grabbing these foods which will last for a few days unrefrigerated. You can add or subtract items from this list by figuring the cost against the food value. Staple Ingredients (for staying put and saving money):

  • Flour white or wheat

  • Eggs

  • Oil, shortening, or margarine

  • Vinegar

  • Baking soda

  • Pasta

  • Vegetables, assorted for stew and stir fry

  • Dry beans

  • Rice

  • Oatmeal

  • Sugar

  • Tomato sauce packets

  • Liquid soap

  • Kerosene, charcoal, or Sterno fuel- as required for cooking

Used in smaller amounts:

  • Salt

  • Yeast- in a jar

  • Baking powder- sealed can

  • Aluminum foil-as needed

  • Spices and condiments- as budget allows

  • Ziploc and plastic grocery sacks

  • Parmesan Cheese-as budget allows

  • Vitamins

Ready to Eat(good to have in you pack if you have to move out):

  • Ramen

  • Fruits fresh and dried

  • Canned meat or fish

  • Crackers and bread

  • Peanut butter

  • Cheese

  • Canned soup and vegetables


Self Check-Out

Make the self checkout lane work for you! Ring up more expensive foods as cabbage or bananas; they tend to be sold pretty cheap by the pound. There is usually one employee (if that) not very closely watching over four or more self checkout lines. Be aware of any product recalls, because if a product has been deemed unsafe (salmonella, e coli, etc) the clerk will be alerted if you enter the code for that product. This is probably not too big of a risk, as this happens around the summer once at least every three years.

This also works quite well if your grocery store has a bulk foods section that sells grains, cereals, candies, cookies, etc. When purchasing bulk foods, you're typically asked to shovel the amount you want into a bag, then weigh it, enter the item's PLU, and print a label that gives the total cost and bears a barcode for scanning. In order to get a great deal of high quality food for very little money, you simply enter the PLU of a much cheaper product (ideally one that looks a lot like what you're actually buying) and print that receipt instead. For instance, you might have filled a bag with organic quinoa at $6.99/lb., but enter the PLU for conventional bulgur at $2.49/lb. The clerk watching the self-checkout line is guaranteed not to notice a difference. Of course, if you're especially bold, you could just fail to print a label at all and discreetly slip the item into your sack while checking out. Without a label, no alarms will sound when you leave the store.

Lifting a Meal

If you feel like eating, it is generally a better idea to load up a basket and then go into the bathroom and eat in one of the stalls. Leave a few items in your basket so you don't look suspicious. Then, you can put everything back or just take it. If you eat in the bathrooms, don't be stupid and remember to wash your hands. Nobody wants a sick Yippie. Another more risky option if the bathroom is out is you could eat some food (including deli food, just ask for them to bag it and you will pay with your other items) in a quiet aisle and ditch the container behind some boxes. Be careful, in some places you can be busted for shoplifting as soon as a security agent or employee sees you take only one bite, chances are they will probably kick you out on the first offense. But 'sampling' food can get you caught for 'theft for the purpose of consumption' or something sounding similar to that. Better to check the dumpsters in back and avoid a chance for quality time with Officer Friendly.

Marketing Scams

Most packaged, branded food is marked up like crazy. Healthier and noname foods tend to be cheaper. Good for you, if it turns out you have to pay. Look for these foods on the very bottom and top shelves. The brand name items the supermarket is pushing will be at the average person's eye level.

Munchies and Hungries

Most of us end up shopping (and shoplifting) when we are hungry or worse stoned and munchy. You will end up wasting your money on cheap packaged foods with little nutritional value. Plan shopping trips and take a list, stick to your well planned shopping list, corporations have special employees who plan the store shelf layout very carefully to seduce idiots into buying expensive junk. Plan your nutrition, make a diet to plan shopping, like an overweight person on a diet does, but count nutrients and calories for energy and value not weight loss. Marketing 101: Corpgov marketing strategies are known to work much better on hungry supermarket customers.

Papers Please

Another method is to enter a supermarket armed with shopping bags and a receipt(from said supermarket). Put what you want into a shopping cart. When you've got what you want, find a low traffic, low security area(The bedding section, garden center, discount aisle) and put your goods into the shopping bag(s). Then just walk right out(with the receipt in hand). If you're stopped, hand them the receipt, they usually won't take the time to check for each item. This works best during medium to peak business hours.

Gift Cards

Go to the corporate store and find the gift card on the shelf, the first one in the stack preferably. Walk around the store with it and memorize or write down the security information on the back of the card. It should be a series of numbers. Then return the card as if you decided against purchasing it. Then wait a month or two and check online to see if the card is activated because it was purchased. If yes, then use the card to make purchases online. Don’t worry about ruining Johnny’s birthday. Most of the corporate stores set up refund programs to stop bad press and keep people buying the cards. Please use the card in support of progressive causes (such as donations to legit nonprofits) because we should be using these skills to help everyone.

UPC Tricks

Many supermarkets have a section near the back with marked-down items that are old or damaged, with the UPC written over with a new price. Cashiers ring up these items using the new price no questions asked, so one can do this for any item.

If you can find an old CueCat or other cheap bar code scanner you can scan some inexpensive or generic item that you find in the trash and then print new UPC's on sticker paper to stick onto goods at the market, be sure the description is close to what you are sticking or a sharp checker might bust you. Don't try this scam too often with the same checker or at the same store in case the management starts looking for you.

Photocopying UPC's and gluing/sticking them onto more expensive items should work especially if you are in a self service scan point. It is important to remember that most self service checkouts weigh the items as you add them to the bag so only fake the UPC on same weight items.

Bakery Coupon Scam

One of our writers sent a letter to a large US bakery company saying that French students were coming to the high school and that there would be a presentation on American foods. They were asked to donate products for the exchange students to sample. One week later four coupons arrived worth five dollars each for that corporations bakery products. This is a great totally legal way to get some basic food if you are low on cash, because even most junk food companies also make bread and other products that are better for you. This also works if you write a polite letter to complain or compliment their products or just to ask questions, this sometimes also works if you call the 1-800 info number.

Club Card Warning

As tempting as a few pence off sounds, don't use a Clubcard. Ever. These little bastards will keep track of all your purchases, how you paid, when you bought them, and even what store you shopped at. Think of it not so much as giving you savings, but charging you for not being able to track purchases! A Clubcard is the easiest way to destroy any alibis you might need later on -- so don't use them. The best way to deal with Clubcards is to simply patron stores that still do not use them. But, if this is not realistic due to location or savings, there are ways around this.

Most stores allow use of your phone number in place of a Clubcard, since people can be generally forgetful. This allows two methods to get past this. You can use someone else's phone number or create a card with a fake name and phone number. You may be able to get another's phone number if you are watchful and happen to see someone key it in. However, be cautious in using this as sometimes they can tell if more than one person is on the card. Especially if you move to another city and use it. Creating a fake card is fairly easy depending on place. Some do not check for ID and most well let you fill it out anyway if you say you left your ID at home. You can just fill out an card application with a false name and number. Just make sure it is a non-local number that could be not taken.

By far the easiest way to get ClubCard discounts is to use the simple excuse, "I left mine at home". Most Supermarkets have generic ClubCards at each register, and the cashiers will have no problem swiping for you. Even if this is not the case, other customers will probably have no problem swiping in for you to move the line. The other easy way is to use the self check-out lane. Many Supermarkets either have a button on the bottom of the self check-out screen such as "Forgot my Card," or it would be under something like "Product Look Up" for things without bar codes.

The US Department of Homeland Security openly claims to purchase an updated database from all major club card stores and credit card companies (credit and debit) so that they have instant access to who is buying what and when to fight "terror". Even a stolen club card number can be quickly attached to your profile even if your name is unknown and can be used to follow shopping and travel patterns.

Working at a Store

If you work at a store where the dumpsters are kept outside, then they can be used to smuggle out stock from inside. Particularly useful is if you work at the kiosk: When restocking the shelf with cigarettes, dropping some into the waste paper bin will mean that the cigarette pack will end up in the dumpster as soon as the bin is emptied. Simply return that night and retrieve! Also can be done with multipacks of alcohol: With crates of canned lager, the cans are normally smaller than usual. Thus, if one of the cans is damaged, the rest will have to be thrown out, as they can't be resold individually (they normally lack a barcode too). Again, retrieve them from the dumpster that night!

The Dumpster

Of course, if all else fails, there is always the dumpster located usually in the back docks of the store. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you can find usable items in here. However, you may also be in for a gross, sticky mess. Avoid going into the compactor model dumpsters as most of the time it destroys anything useful and is highly dangerous. Dumpsters are also a place that attracts disease and maggot carrying insects and harmful bacteria that can make you very sick. Try to stick to packaged or canned stuff you may find or obviously fresh things if you must do this.

Some places may have a separate dumpster for expired produce, but more and more places are switching to the compactor models and box recycling to save money on trash disposal bills.

Wholesale Markets

In Hoffman's original book, he had a section on Wholesale and Farmer's markets. In a few cities Farmer's markets are open once or twice a week in season, produce stands can still be found in rural areas along highways, shop these local farmers first before using the globalist wage slavery stores. Wholesale markets are now mostly membership fee clubs like Sam's that cater to bulk buyers and small businesses, you might be able to buy from them if paying cash but the discounts are not that large. As such, these will not be discussed further.

Farm It

Last updated: 16 January 2011

As food prices spiral upwards, the personal and group garden will come back into vogue. This Victory Garden puts us somewhat above the heavy handed and regularly used strategy of people control through the selective distribution of food to the "good" people. Try to acquire and seed non hybrid seeds before times of trouble, as these seeds can be used generation after generation. Don't kill yourself with poisons; use natural insect repellents and fertilizers. Try to plant some staple foods, like spinach, cabbage, and squash, which offer more versatility for dishes. Even an urban dweller is not excused, you have greenspaces, rooftops and even suspended window platforms to farm from.


  • 1 General Farming

  • 2 What to grow

  • 3 Farming Techniques

  • 3.1 Urban

  • 3.1.1 Guerrilla Farming

  • 3.1.2 Tire Farming

  • 3.1.3 Trash sack

  • 3.2 Open Field

  • 3.2.1 Preparing a Field

  • 3.2.2 Watering

  • 3.2.3 Greenhouse

  • 3.2.4 Plastic Sheet

  • 3.3 Open Source Ecology

  • 4 The Organic Way

  • 4.1 Organic Pesticide Solutions

  • 4.2 Organic Fertilizers

  • 4.3 Compost

  • 4.4 Crop rotation

  • 4.4.1 Nitrogen fixation in legumes grown under irrigation of 8 inches of H2O/yr

  • 5 Farm Animals

  • 5.1 Bees

  • 5.1.1 Design

  • 5.1.2 Outer cover

  • 5.1.3 Inner cover

  • 5.1.4 Hive body and hive super

  • 5.1.5 Bottom board

  • 5.2 Chickens

  • 5.3 Goats

  • 5.4 Sheep

  • 5.5 Aquaculture

  • 5.6 Cows

  • 5.7 Donkeys

  • 5.8 Rabbits

  • 5.9 Animal Medicine

  • 6 Canning and Pickling

  • 6.1 Canning Process

  • 6.2 Processing Times

  • 7 AgriBiz and Seeds

General Farming

First, you need seeds. Most seed packets cost about a dollar, and can contain hundreds of seeds. More hardy plants, like squash, can go for about 15 cents a seed. Almost all packets have growing facts printed right on them, including best climate, harvest periods, and even how to plant them in the ground. Most harvest periods for solid, edible crops range from only 50 days to about 100 days. Be sure to look to see what seasons are recommended to grow your crops in and where to plant them. After replanting the hardier plants from your seedlings into the ground, most just need about a foot or two between each plant. Even a backyard a few yards across and a few yards deep, if devoted to your new plants, can yield enough food at harvest time to feed yourself for a few weeks.

Remember to rotate which crops you plant seasonally. If you only plant one type of plant in the same row for a few seasons, you risk severely damaging the soil and depleting it of various minerals. Try to first add crops that can be brought into operation in a few months so you can start cutting your food budget rather than for example waiting years for an orchard.

Be sure to contact your nearby university with an ag program they are chartered to run extension services by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in furtherance of the Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914.

What to grow

Plan for complete nutrition, this means something like corn and beans or potatoes and beans, some of the the natives of what many call North America, before they had their land taken at gunpoint, would base their agriculture on "the three sisters" corn, gourds, and beans. The corn stalk provided a pole for the beans to climb on to grab sunlight and the low crawling squash or pumpkins would keep the weeds at bay. Remember to either rotate or move fields every season to keep infestation and soil burn out minimized.

  • Roots

Root vegetables are easy to grow and have high food content per acre. The potato fed the Irish until the blight sent them packing to new shores due in part to lack of crop rotation.

Potatoes are one of the easiest plants to grow without access to a plot of land. The most important step is to acquire good quality seeds/eyes. You can often use a potatoes from the supermarket, unless they have been treated with chemicals to prevent eyes from forming, let them sit for a few weeks to see if they sprout. Most big box stores with a "garden" section will also have one or two varieties in early spring. Carrots, beets, and onions are also pretty easy to grow from seed.

Acquire a large garbage can or other large container and clean it out with a 1:5 ratio of bleach and water to kill any molds and fungi. When you are finished punch a half dozen holes in the bottom for drainage. Put about four to six inches/ten to fifteen centimeters of soil in the bottom. If necessary, cut the seeds up so that there are two to three on each piece. Place the seeds or eye sprouts on top on the surface of the soil, eyes up. Some suggest soaking the seeds beforehand others say dry them out to prevent rotting and others yet say don't do anything at all. Look at the package in your hands and see what it says and then use the grey matter between your ears. If something doesn't work do the other next year. Cover the seeds and keep the soil watered but not soaked, about an inch a week. Once the plants have grown about six to eight inches/fifteen to twenty centimeters cover the bottom third with soil. Continue adding soil whenever you get some new growth until the plants begin to flower. It is essential to keep the "seeds" and/or tubers covered with soil as exposure to the sun will cause them to turn green. Never eat any green part of a potato or potato plant, they are poisonous. You can harvest these as new potatoes or wait. Your choice. Once the flowering is over and the plants start to yellow stop watering. Wait a few weeks for the potatoes to settle and dig them up.

Optional variants: Use sawdust (non-pressure treated wood) and feed with liquid kelp or compost tea whenever you add a layer.

see Camping for wilderness potato growing.

  • Gourds

Most types of squash are good for carb filler food in typical meat dishes, such as chili. Cut up gourds and pumpkins are good in soups or as a filler for pies.

  • Corn

Corn is starch and sugar rich and can be dried and ground up for cornbread and stews in the winter.

  • Beans

Beans are high in protein and usually easy to grow, eat whole or shell out the inner seeds and dry in the sun for storage. Combined with rice you have a complete if boring diet since beans are rich in protien. Their roots have nodules that actually add nitrogen to the soil so they are very useful in crop rotation plans, allowing nitrogen grabbers like wheat to thrive the next growing season..

  • Grains

If you have a large field at least an acre you might try growing wheat, oats or barley. Once you harvest the wheat you need to be able to cut down, de-hull, and thresh away the chaff. See alsoCaching andCheap Chow

  • Bamboo

Bamboo is of the grass family but the wood can be used in place of trees. The stalks are quick growing, strong, and lightweight. Bamboo can be grown from a cutting placed in water and once roots sprout potted. Bamboo will take over a yard if allowed so caution must be used in planting especially near a water source. Bamboo rots quickly if allowed to remain damp. Young tender bamboo shoots are tasty if cooked.

  • Blackberries

Blackberry briar's not only provide supplemental food for pies or juices but it is also an excellent barrier plant, literally a quick growing spiky living protection. Blackberries grow quickly and care must be take to prevent overgrowth especially in wet climates or near water. Be careful not to overeat on berries as it can cause diarrhea. Blackberries are an excellent food to jar for winter desserts.

  • Hay

If you harvest hay during the fall and keep it dry you can feed your livestock during the winter, store feed is expensive. Be sure the hay is well protected and dry. Hay that is harvested green or gets damp will compost generating temperatures high enough to start a fire, this is a serious danger for hay kept in a barn or near an animal pen. Your goats and other livestock will help you determine which grass is the best hay by constantly grazing near their favorites.

Farming Techniques

If you have access to the internet a search on the US Government ERIC system should hopefully still find you a copy of the Remote Areas Development Manual ( accno=ED242881) It is one of the most useful farming and village life handbooks available especially if you can find the printed pocket size. It covers everything from fertilizer to blacksmithing to medical care everything a Peace Corps worker would need, and since it is a US FedGov publication there is no copyright on it, share, edit, print, and repurpose it!


If you can not access a piece of soil for a whole season fear not, you can still bring in a nice crop without spending too much money. You will probably want to find a place with good soil and a wheelbarrow to transport it to your alternate cement slab gardening area.

Guerrilla Farming

Our revolutionary warriors need never use violence to feed the people. By building an arsenal of seed bombs even the ignorant people can be equipped for the coming changes, plus this is fun to do even if you are mobile and have no garden of your own. Just mix one part clay, three parts compost, and edible vegetable seeds, soften with water, and roll into small balls. Deploy in any open areas. Easy to grow crops include onions, peas, beans, beets, rutabaga, squash, potato, and zucchini. Aim your bombs for areas that have the right sun/shade ratio and moisture, avoid mowed areas where the crops will be killed.

Tire Farming

A stack of tires filled with soil is the start of a vertical farm. Plant between the tires and wedge small openings for your plants. The tires help conserve water and space and are especially good for growing root vegetables.

Trash sack

Fill a double NON-biodegradable trash sack with soil and twist the top shut in a loose knot. Some people like to put a burlap sack or other cover over this to protect the plastic from sun damage and overheating the roots. Plant your seeds through small melted through holes so the double bag will stay joined and make slits over the holes through any cover. Water through the top to keep the soil moisture up, if done properly there should be little waste through evaporation. If planting on a paved surface you may need to shade your crops and water a little during the day because black top absorbs so much heat and might kill your roots.

Open Field

Even in urban areas it is often possible to find a real piece of land with soil that you can grow on. The best soil is often found in urban areas which started as farming colonies over a hundred years ago.

Preparing a Field

A new piece of land needs to be prepped before seeding. Choose a location near the bottom of a downslope or at the bottom of a valley, a place that is already green most of the year, this means there is water near the surface. Alternatively plant near a source of irrigation water, but choose wisely surface water is controlled by the government. Unless you can arrange drainage or plant swamp reduction trees over time avoid swamps or areas known to flood which could destroy a whole crop. If the area is very weed infested you might consider a controlled burn off but be careful this can lead to erosion of your priceless topsoil, quickly planting clover will enrich and anchor the topsoil. First off remove all large rocks down to fist size to at least six inches deep, worldwide the solution is to build stone fences around the field to get rid of these rocks. Add mulch and compost to enrich the soil, this will also encourage earthworms who aerate the soil. Turn over the soil and mulch, whether it is a cow pulled plough or a motorized rototiller you need to turn over and soften packed soil. Clay retains moisture but can become very hard, sand helps drainage but washes away easily, you need the correct mix for water conditions as well as good organic mass and nutrients to feed your crops.


The trick to watering a garden is to water it around dawn or dusk, when the plants are still warm, or about to get warmer, and to water until it starts to flood. Too little water, and you're only hurting the plant by teasing it. Too much will erode the soil, but this takes a lot of water. If you're in an area where it gets below freezing at night, water your plants before it gets there, then cover them with a blanket or tarp. Ice makes a surprisingly good insulator, and the blankets do too.

One of the best sources of free water is your roof gutters, it is best to store this in a rain barrel or cistern since the rain is already watering your garden that day, use the stored water on a dry evening. Replumbing your residence to store your shower and sink water for evening may supply your whole irrigation budget. Also look for ways to catch the runoff from parking lots and driveways, an artificial pond is one way to save this water.


PVC pipe and UV Plastic sheet are almost all you need to start a greenhouse, saving you water and increasing crops. It is important that the clear plastic you use will resist degradation, ask at a garden or hardware shop. Choose a site with well drained soil. If you will be growing only in summer build under the shade of a tree to reduce overheating, but place in direct sun if you plan to grow full life cycle plantings, shade cloth or white plastic can substitute for natural shade if overheating is a problem. Use environmental friendly ground contact pressure treated wood like CCA, untreated wood will rot quickly. When leveling the frame on uneven ground dig a trench on the upper side which will be easier to seal. The large 4x4 posts are to keep the greenhouse anchored in wind. Use Schedule 80 Pipe if possible, other pipe will be weaker. The mid rib PVC pipe is cut into about 22 Z? in long pieces and rejoined with the cross joints. EMT tubing in the mid-rib (number 14) or spine strengthens the rejoined tube. Use two or more people when bending and anchoring the PVC ribs into the EMT strap loops(number 4) to prevent damage to the joints and ribs. Stapling down the plastic cover is the best way to attach it, allow some extra plastic to extend and be covered with dirt to help make a seal. Find some old garden hoses and punch drip holes or use drip irrigation tube, it will stay under the ground sheet for drip irrigation. Lay down ground sheet plastic and punch holes for your baby plants, or a few inches of sand or gravel, these limit mud and weed problems. Bury the edges of the greenhouse plastic with soil or sand, it is important that the edges be sealed to keep rainwater and moles out. Even in the coldest weather be careful that a small heater or heat lamp doesn't overheat the greenhouse, in summer open the door if overheating. This greenhouse design will support four inches of snow, if there is more snow add additional prop supports Connect twine hanging from the ribs for vine and soft plants. As the plants grow help them twist around the twine for easier vertical growth. This works great for cucumbers, beans, and tomatoes. Flowers and food for sale can be grown year round in most areas. If you need more room extend the length of the greenhouse following this design, a wider frame will be weak in wind and snow. If you need to save money leave out the door but keep the door frame and use overlapping plastic flaps.

Illustrations and design courtesy of North Carolina State Cooperative Extension Service, modified for Steal This Book Today

Bill of Materials (print and take to the hardware store)

  • Item Qty. Description

  • 1- 16- % in. PVC Schedule 80 Pipe, 10 ft long

  • 2- 6- % in. PVC Cross Joints, Schedule 80

  • 3- 2- % in. PVC Tee Joints, Schedule 80

  • 4- 32- % in. Galvanized electrical metallic tubing (EMT) Straps

  • 5- 2- 2”x6”x14” Outdoor Treated No. 2 Pine Boards

  • 6- 2- 2”x6”x12” Outdoor Treated No. 2 Pine Boards

  • 7- 4- 2”x4”x7” Outdoor Treated No. 2 Pine Boards

  • 8- 4- 2”x4”x6” Outdoor Treated No. 2 Pine Boards

  • 9- 4- 4”x4”x2” Outdoor Treated No. 2 Pine Boards

  • 10- 2- 2”x4”x3” Outdoor Treated No. 2 Pine Boards

  • 11- 2- 1”x4”x12” Outdoor Treated No. 2 Pine Boards (to cut up for door parts)

  • 12- 1- Set of door Hinges

  • 13- 1- Sheet of Plastic 24 ft x 20 ft, 4 mil thickness

  • 14- 1- ‘A in.x 10ft. Galvanized Electrical Metallic Tubing

  • 15- 1- PVC cleaner

  • 16- 1- PVC cement

  • 17- - misc nails, screws, and staples


Plastic Sheet

In your greenhouse, an open field, or a small garden, bury old perforated garden hose or irrigation tube under black UV plastic sheet, cut or poke holes for your plants or seeds, this will reduce the need for herbicides and weeding and save huge amounts of irrigation water.

Open Source Ecology

This wiki is dedicated to the open, collaborative development of a basic and robust infrastructure for a Global Village economy, as embodied in the list of the 28 of the above products and services. Such a village is by design

  • one which promotes the highest autonomy and freedom

  • grounded in self-sufficiency

  • dedicated to voluntary pursuits, right livelihood, and quality of life

The basic assumption for a New Village economy is that humans are capable of transcending struggle for survival and resource conflicts, where this preoccupation is replaced by higher pursuits of personal and societal evolution.

At the time of this writing several of the core projects are in testing phase but together should form the core of a fully self sufficient settlement avoiding many pitfalls of depending on globalist commerce.

The Organic Way

As various studies can show, you don't need to dump fertilizers and pesticides on your plants to have a thriving farm/garden. The organic methods of gardening really took off in the 70's when many of the hippies, yippies, and yuppies took to the country in order to have a cheaper and peaceful life. After the conservative era of the 80's, and the party era of the 90's, people really began finding the advantages of growing organically in the last few years.

Organic Pesticide Solutions

When using even mild pest removers remember to wash your foods, there are all kinds of things in the soil and compost that could give you a rough few days and cause you to loose a great deal of nutrients through diarrhea. Always use safe drinking water to wash your food, wash your hands, and wash your plates and utensils.

  • Rotenone is the extract from the roots and stems of several tropical and subtropical plant species belonging to the genus Lonchocarpus or Derris. It was first used as a fish poison; its powder is an effective pesticide and is only moderately toxic to humans, birds, and mammals. Rotenone is allowed by most organic certifying agencies.

  • Tobacco leaf extract can be made as a tea from tobacco leaves which you can also grow in your garden. Spray the tobacco leaf tea onto your plants, one cup of shredded tobacco leaf to one gallon of water. Do not use on pepper (capsicum), eggplant (aubergine), or tomato (to-MAH-to) plants as this carries a very high risk of infecting your plants with tobacco mosaic virus. Nicotine from the tobacco tea is mildly toxic.

  • One clove garlic and 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper crushed and soaked in warm water will work effectively: filter and spray onto plants.

  • Mild soap solution (preferably an organic, vegetable-oil based soap) sprayed onto plants will often repel pests, as well as remove pre-existing insects. A mild salt solution often works too, but avoid spraying it onto your soil.

  • Most plants with strong odors or sharp flavor have these attributes to repel insects, try alone or in combination to eliminate insect problems.

  • Avoid planting the same type plant in the same location year after year. Also, remove and burn dead plants in the winter time to prevent providing a comfy winter home for insects.

  • Ladybugs are very effective at eating aphids, those tiny lime green bugs which attack leaves, ladybugs are available at most garden stores.

Organic Fertilizers

Organic farmers use animal manure, manufactured seed meal, home and garden compost, and mulching as well as several natural mineral powders like rock phosphate and greensand, a naturally occurring form of potash. Used tea leaves are very good for restoring nutrients to the soil. What else would you do with them anyway? Straw can also be used super effectively as an organic mulch.


Composting is the natural breakdown and return to soil of organic wastes such as garden and kitchen wastes. It is best to keep your home composting to the waste of vegetarian animals and vegetable matter, meat and dairy require higher composting temperatures, consider burying this waste instead. Once the composting is under way, start a new bin or pile and use the older heaps for garden fertilizer. Composted vegetable matter is even more important than nitrogen sources like manure for feeding your plants.

If you are involved in a food co-op or something similar, such as a commune, or even a group of like-minded individuals living on your street, you should designate someone as the official composter. Sending all of your organic waste to the compost cuts down on your waste output as well as that of the whole world. Once the compost batch is done, distribute it out to those growing food.

Most coffee places especially if asked will bag their used coffee grounds for people who want to use them to add to their soil. It's 100% free, and can be a great additive to your soil.

Crop rotation

Some crops like wheat will remove nitrogen and nutrients from the soil, while others actually increase available nutrients. It is important to remember that one crop grown continually will burn out a field and will attract pest infestation. Some examples of good rotations to improve overall soil nutrition are alternating rice then cotton, or soybeans then maize, old Europe farmers planted rye the first year, oats or barley the next year and nothing the third year. The Irish potato famine could have been prevented had crop rotation been used. Sweet-clover is a great fallow cover crop with very high nitrogen fixation but be careful as it can cause bloat in some animals if they get into it. Also remember to use all available compost and green manure to improve soil nutrition. Chemical herbicides and pesticides can kill the nitrate fixing bacteria in the roots of your plants. Here are some vegetables that do well when they are planted together: beans-potatoes; peas-carrots; peas-turnips; cabbage-beets; kohlrabi-beets; spinach-cauliflower; spinach-eggplant; corncucumbers and corn-beans.

Nitrogen fixation in legumes grown under irrigation of 8 inches of H2O/yr

Crop - Nitrogen Fixed Symbiotically (lb N/ac)

  • Sweet-Clover - 223

  • Fababean - 267 (Must have proper irrigation or nitrogen fixation drops greatly)

  • Field Pea - 178

  • Lentil - 134

  • Soybean - 134

  • Chickpea - 108 (good in dry soil)

  • Dry bean - 62

When we grow tired of war as a species there will be a great surplus of explosives and gunpowder, when the time comes consult a soil chemist as to which powders and explosives can be safely turned into valuable non-toxic nitrogen fertilizer.

Farm Animals


A fun way to commune with nature and help out your own crops is to start and run a bee hive. Try to be organic in your bee farm by not using weird chemicals. Bees like to stay in one place. Don't bother them by constantly moving their hive or smoking them. Leave them part of their honey for food. Don't completely substitute corn syrup.

A web search will turn out several good designs for beehives but the basic idea is a stackable wooden box with a small entry at the bottom and vents toward the top. Proper design allows enough ventilation for easy cooling in summer but closed enough that the bees can keep warm in winter as well as easy regulation of humidity, if your hive doesn't address these design issues the bees will have to waste energy fixing the problem thereby consuming more honey and and spending less effort collecting. Honey comb frames are slotted into the the box and beeswax sheet is attached to these frames, be sure there is gap enough for the bees to add honey or larva cells. Bees are calmed with a smoker, it knocks them out, a brush helps knock off the stragglers. You carefully remove your frames once they are full of honey and press it out, keep enough wax to roll out and restart a new honeycomb sheet. You can make a bee keepers hat by putting a drawstring around a mosquito net and wearing it over a wide brim hat, gloves and long sleeves, closed collar with scarf or tie, and long trousers to reduce skin exposed to stings. Expect to get stung occasionally as you raid for honey.



The Langstroth bee hive is made up from top to bottom of:

  • Telescoping cover or migratory cover

  • Inner Cover

  • 1 or more hive body / hive bodies or honey supers made of wood, polystyrene, or plastic

  • (optional) queen excluder between brood box and honey supers

  • 8-10 Frames made of wood or plastic per hive body or honey super

  • Foundation made of wax and wires or plastic

  • Bottom Board with optional entrance reducer

Outer cover

This is a wooden or polystyrene cover that fits on the top of the hive. In the north, where the cover usually telescopes down around the inner cover and an inch or so down over the top super, it is called a telescoping cover. Many commercial beekeepers use what is called a migratory cover, which is a solid cover that does not extend beyond the sides of a hive body.

Inner cover

The inner cover provides a barrier between the telescoping cover and the bees. In the more temperate climates a plastic foil may be used as an inner cover. (It is not wise to winter bees under plastic foil, as the hive would become wet and bees can be lost easily). In areas with a hot summer a solid inner cover with a communication hole provides dead air space for insulation against heat and cold. It prevents the bees from gluing the top cover to the top bars of the super under it. With an inner cover, the top cover is easy to remove from the hive. When the frame of the solid inner cover and telescoping cover is notched it can serve as a top entrance for the bees. A communication hole in the middle allows bees to reach emergency food placed above by the beekeeper if it becomes required.

Granulated sugar can be poured onto the inner cover near the hole and the bees will be able to get to it during even the coldest of days.

Hive body and hive super

Hive bodies and hive supers are four-sided boxes with standardized inside dimensions. There are generally four different sizes. Outside box dimensions vary depending on the type of material used. Polystyrene boxes have much larger outside dimensions than boxes made out of wood. Deep and medium hive bodies are provided to serve as the brood chamber, the part of the hive where the queen lays eggs and the bees care for the larvae. Medium, shallow and comb honey supers are used for honey stores and to harvest the honey. The inside width is 14 11/16 inches (373 mm) and the inside length is 18 5/16 inches (465 mm). The frames rest on a rabbeted side along both ends of each box.

The deep hive body is normally used only for brood as it becomes too heavy to manually handle if it is filled with honey. Commercial operations usually use one or two deep hive bodies for brood and additional shallow hive components for honey supers. Most hobbyists prefer to standardize on all mediums. Shallow supers are not ideal for the brood chamber of the hive because the bees need to form a single compact sphere during the cold winter months -- a sphere that can expand and contract without being divided by a horizontal plane in the middle caused by the gaps between combs in multiple hive bodies.


Deep body

Medium (Illinois) super

Shallow super

Comb super


9 9/16 inches (243 mm)

6 5/8 inches (168 mm)

5 3/4 inches (146 mm)

4 3/4 inches (121 mm)

Frame length

19 inches (483 mm)

19 inches (483 mm)

19 inches (483 mm)

19 inches (483 mm)

Frame depth

9 1/8 inches (232 mm)

6 1/4 inches (159 mm)

5 3/8 inches (137 mm)

4 1/8 inches (105 mm)

Frame width

1 1/8 inches (29 mm)

1 1/8 inches (29 mm)

1 1/8 inches (29 mm)

1 1/8 inches (29 mm)

The hive body or hive super holds 8-10 frames that are standardized in length. The frames hold the foundation and the honeycomb that is built on it.

Bottom board

The bottom board supports the hive. It must be strong to hold the weight of a hive that is filled with honey. The hive weight may exceed 300 pounds (140 kg). The bottom board is the floor of the hive with a 3/4 inch (2 cm) rim around three sides to allow the bees to enter the hive on one side. It also extends 2 inches (5 cm) in front of the boxes to provide a landing board for the bees. Because it is close to moisture in the soil, it is the first to show any sign of decay or rot and it is advisable to use bottom boards constructed of cedar wood. When the hive body sits on the bottom board the provided opening is 14 11/16 by 3/4 inches (37.3 by 1.9 cm). This opening may be suitable for a strong bee hive during the summer but it also may be reduced with a hive entrance reducer when necessary. A reduced opening allows a weaker hive to defend itself and prevents mice and cold winds from entering the hive.

Many bee keepers have screened bottom boards instead of solid bottom boards to aid in hive hygiene, air circulation and to screen for diseases. Some beekeepers add a slatted rack between the bottom board and the hive body. A slatted rack helps the queen in establishing brood comb closer to the entrance of the hive.


Even if you only have a small available run area, like an urban rooftop, raising chickens will help eliminate some bugs and provide you with eggs. Use a bright light after laying to shine through and find the unfertilized eggs if there is a rooster around. Unfertilized eggs will rot if not harvested. Have a dark box for the hen to lay in otherwise she will hide and bury the eggs, be sure to get the unfertilized eggs before the hen eats them which many hens do when not brooding, keep putting the hen in the box until she nests there. Let your chickens run wild if possible, as they will usually stay near the feed. Ducks, quail, pheasants, and peacock are also fun to raise for eggs. These birds can live off of fresh compost bin stuff, cracked grains and corn in winter. Placing a bright light over their run will tell their bodies to produce eggs even in winter, be sure to feed them enough that egg laying will not overtax their bodies, most hens produce an egg once a day or every other day. Save the high nitrogen manure soil for fertilizer. In an apartment with a balcony or rooftop lay a few square meters of soil on a tarp and provide shade. Chicken hens are fun safe pets for kids but teach them to not abuse them.

It is still possible to order chickens and other farm birds in the mail, do a web search, or take a drive to the country and visit a feed store, a rare pet shop might be able to help you. After Easter go door to door collecting live colour dyed chicks to raise for your brood, most of these will be male throw-away chicks, which is OK if you are a carnivore and plan to kill them anyway for food.

Speaking of killing, use a big knife or hatchet to behead your birds, hopefully a very quick death after a healthy free range life. Pluck the bird before opening, some people like to quickly dip the dead bird in a bucket of boiling water to loosen the feathers, although this will alter the taste. Cut open the abdomen and remove the guts, give them a quick look to make sure they are smooth and glistening, otherwise the bird might be sick, most guts are good for use in cooking, don't waste them. If you are still hungry after this, bon-apetit.


Goats are smart, probably as smart as a dog when compared to dumb sheep, they need stimulation to keep them out of trouble, once bucks (males) mature they can sometimes get aggressive depending on breed. Goat does (females) will start giving milk after having their first litter of kids, there are very small pygmy goats that still produce one to two liters of milk a day if they are fed well. Goats will eat almost anything and are useful for clearing a yard of blackberry overgrowth and mowing the lawn. But they will also tear plastic parts from cars, rubber tires, house siding, nails, and other non healthy things if they are too close, especially if they are bored and have nothing else to do. They will also eat a rope if they are tied up. They are less able to survive solely on scraps and also need hay if there is not grass to eat. As with chickens they need place to be free and they like a high place to stand on sometimes. Some goats can be trimmed for wool.


Domestic sheep are friendly although a little dumb, they need a lot of help which a smart sheep dog will provide. The natural maternal instincts of a Shepard dog pushes them to herd and protect these sweet dumb animals. Pick a breed that won't be too hot in your climate. Once a sheep has lambs you can start milking the sheep. Shear sheep right before hot weather sets in. Sheep are too dumb to move if they have eaten all of the grass and will mow an area bare, don't let your sheep cause erosion problems, keep them moving.


If you have a pond where you live or if you can lay down a plastic liner in a depression in the ground you can start raising fish and aquatic plants. You can start by stocking fast growing fish which you either catch or buy and then introduce them into your pond and feed them. You will need to watch water temperature and aeration (oxygen) as well as pH so you fish will survive. Adding aquatic plants both helps feed and oxygenate the tank the plants are also fed by the fish. Chicken wire fence will help keep robber animals like raccoons from stealing the fish.


American size cows take up too many resources to be practical. If used as a tractor to pull a plow or wagon having a cow might be justified. Cows are easily seen from the road by agriculture dpt. inspectors, a problem once compulsory animal registration is enforced.


A donkey is a great choice for a labor helper animal. They are usually gentle and sweet if treated well. Horses are mostly a wasteful extravagance in both food and care, you can walk while the donkey pulls a cart or carries a proper load. A harness or saddle must be fitted by someone trained in this skill, always check for rubbing and soreness. Never ride or work a new donkey until you have taken him to a veterinarian for a checkup.


Rabbits are the workhorse of meat animals. Two females (does) and one male (buck) can produce enough offspring in a year to provide at least one meal a week for a small family. Rabbits can be fed hay, commercially produced pellets, or vegetable scraps. Dietary changes should be made gradually to avoid gastric upset. Pelts can be tanned using salt/alum or even brain tanned.

Animal Medicine

Merck & Company, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, offers an on-line version of its book, The Merck Veterinary Manual: You can also buy the 2,700 page print version from the usual sources.

Canning and Pickling

REFERENCE: Complete Guide to Home Canning, Extension Service, USDA, 1994.

If you have a good harvest from your greenhouse or if you want to preserve a particularly good dumpster haul you should consider home canning. Canning is a way to preserve food by heating and killing bacteria and then sealing the food in with special lids so no new bacteria can enter ruin it. Most canned foods last around a year although the more acidity the longer the life even if the acid removes some nutrients. If you can find glass jars that fit canning lids it is OK to use them for canning as long as there are no chips around the rim and that there are no hairline cracks anywhere, but real canning jars are always the best. The very best canning system is to use a pressure cooker, this vessel might be expensive if you get a proper model capable of the 15psi, they might also be hard to find, especially in tough times, but watch thrift stores for deals but know how to recognize good form the cheap low pressure models. We will only discuss hot water bath canning which requires only a container of hot water at a minimum. As with many subjects that we cover read up on the subject before starting, we only cover the very basics.

Many stores sell canning lids, these lids have a special compound which seals to the jar rim. DO NOT REUSE jar lids, they are not designed to seal twice, especially do not reuse the screw on lids from store foods, these are just not safe. Jar lids are inexpensive and there is normally no reason to substitute. Most lids have sealing compounds that can be shelf stored five years from date of manufacture and after that may not seal properly. Some older books recommend using wax as a sealing compound for reusing lids on jams and jellies, this is not the best as the seal is questionable it often allows mold in.

If normal canning you food is not possible due to lack of proper lids and jars we suggest cutting the food into thin strips and sun drying fruits and veggies under a fly net or salting and smoking or oven drying meat and fish at around 100C(212F) until the meat is hard. Improper canning is a waste of your food, it will spoil, although cold vinegar and salt pickling in a reused clean jar should work for a few months on boiled eggs, and raw or slow cooked fish, and meats.

Always use your senses to tell you if the seal is good on your stored foods

  • Is the lid sucked down, and does it pop when you open it, or is it bulging from rot?

  • Is the coloration normal or do you see unusual spots or discoloration

  • Does the food smell wrong?

If any of these or something else makes you suspicious throw the food out, there is no reason to poison yourself, your friends, or pets with botulism, molds, or other toxins from improperly canned food.

The only foods that may be safely canned in an boiling water bath (non-pressure cooker method) are highly acidic ones with a pH below 4.6, such as fruits, pickled vegetables, or other foods to which acidic additives have been added, such as vinegar, citric acid powder, ascorbic acid, or lemon juice.

Canning Process

Here is what to do:

  • Pack food firmly into jars. Leave 1/2 inch headspace at the top of the jar.

Note: Some fruits will need to be precooked before packing into jars. This is called the "hot pack" method. To "hot pack," the fruit is brought to a boil in the syrup, juice, or water, cooked briefly, and packed into hot jars. Hot liquid is poured over the fruit. Hot packing helps to prevent fruit from floating in the jar.

  • Pour boiling fruit juice, water, or syrup over the fruit in the jar. Fill within 1/2 inch of the top of the jar. Run a non-metal knife or spatula along the inside of the jar to remove air bubbles. Wipe off the top of the jar rim with a clean cloth.

  • Place hot sealing lid on packed jar next to glass. Screw band on jar until just tight.

The canner(or large pot) should be covered during processing. The hot boiling water should cover the tops of the jars during the entire processing time.

After processing time is completed, remove hot jars and place on a towel or rack to cool. Keep jars out of drafts. DO NOT TURN JARS UPSIDE DOWN. When jars have cooled, check for sealing.

Processing Times

Processing Times For High-Acid Foods Using A Boiling Water Bath Canner (212° F)

Fruits & Vegetables | Pints(1/2 l) | Quarts(Liter) |

Apples (hot pack) 20 minutes 20 minutes
Apricots (raw pack) 25 30
Berries (raw pack) 15 20
Cherries (raw pack) 20 25
Dill Pickles (raw pack) 10 15
Sweet Pickles (raw pack) 10 15

{Fruit Juices (hot pack) | 15 | 15 |

iFruit Jams and Jellies 10 10
{Peaches (hot pack) 20 25
jPears (hot pack) 20 25
{Plums (hot pack) 20 25
{Pickle Relish (hot pack) 10
•Rhubarb (hot pack) 10 10
{Tomatoes (hot pack) 35 45
jTomato Juice (hot pack) 35 40 - If using the raw pack method, have the water in the canner hot, not boiling. Placing raw pack jars in boiling water may cause the jars to break.
  • If the rack does not have handles, leave the rack in the canner and place the jars in the rack using a jar lifter.

  • When fruit is hot packed the fruit is heated before it is placed in the jar. Raw packed fruit is not heated, but it is still covered with boiling liquid.

  • Tomatoes are normally considered to be an acid food. However, some varieties may have pH values above 4.6. Therefore, if tomatoes are to be canned as acid foods, they must be acidified with lemon juice or citric acid. Add 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid per quart of tomatoes. For pints, use 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid.

AgriBiz and Seeds

It can't be stressed enough that corporately designed and patented GMO seeds will grow GMO crops. Sadly, there are a number of seed companies that are owned by the largest agricultural businesses with the illusion that they are independently owned. Six companies (Aventis, Dow, Du Pont, Mitsui, Monsanto and Syngent) reportedly control 98 percent of the world's seeds. On every continent, these companies are opening research facilities and acquiring local seed companies.

The following is a list of seed brands that are known to sell GMO seeds (as compiled by at

  • Audubon Workshop, Breck’s Bulbs, Burpee, Cook’s Garden, Dege Garden Center, Earl May Seed, E & R Seed Co., Flower of the Month Club, Ferry Morse, Garden Trends, Gardens Alive, Germania Seed Co., HPS, Jungs, Lindenberg Seeds, McClure & Zimmerman Quality Bulb Brokers, Mountain Valley Seed, Osborne, Park Bulbs, Park Seed, Park’s Countryside Garden, Rocky Mountain Seed Co., Roots and Rhizomes, Rupp, Seeds for the World, Seymour’s Selected Seeds, R.H. Shumway, Snow, Stokes, Spring Hill Nurseries, T&T Seeds, Tomato Growers Supply, Totally Tomato, Vermont Bean Seed Co., Wayside Gardens, Willhite Seed Co.

The Council for Responsible Genetics maintains a "Safe Seed Resource List" of non-GMO seed dealers in the USA, Canada and France, complete with addresses, phone numbers and website links:

The following books contain information on saving seeds for future harvests:

  • Basic Seed Saving by Bill McDorman

  • Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener's & Farmer’s Guide to Plant Breeding & Seed Saving by Carol Deppe

  • Heirloom Vegetable Gardening: A Master Gardener's Guide to Planting, Seed Saving, and Cultural History by William Woys Weave

  • Saving Seeds: The Gardener's Guide to Growing and Storing Vegetable and Flower Seeds by Marc Rogers and Polly Alexander

  • Saving Seeds As If Our Lives Depended On It by Dan Jason

  • Seed Sowing and Saving: Step-by-Step Techniques for Collecting and Growing More Than 100 Vegetables, Flowers, and Herbs by Carole B. Turner

  • Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners by Suzanne Ashworth and Kent Whealy

  • The Zero Mile Diet: A Year-round Guide to Growing Organic Food by Carolyn Herriot

3. Free Clothing

Last updated: 21 April 2011

Corpgov propaganda posted in the break room walls and employee handbooks are more than happy to tell you how to dress. A name tag usually must be worn at all times so they know who to punish if a member of the upper middle class is somehow offended by your presence. Shoes are to be clean and only certain color slacks or skirts and socks are to be worn. More advanced slaves are required to wear ties and jackets. For many, this is a continuation of institutional life that is common in schools, work places, and prisons. Of course, none of this applies to “the man”. He can walk in with a Hawaiian shirt and tennis shorts if he wishes while talking to the 20 year old intern he is cheating with behind his battleaxe wife on his cell phone while walking through the halls. He will get his pit bull manager to fire you for a bad attitude if you bring this up, though. Firing folks himself is beneath him and interferes with golf, wine, and church.

Some people rebel against this in their “free time” (which really only is free because it costs your employer nothing). Taking their cue from the only free source of information they see in daily life, they try to imitate artists, musicians, actors, and models. Maybe they think that through osmosis that by dressing like those that have lots of freedom, they may appear to be free too. But, this is an illusion. All the stars where chosen by agents of BigMedia through a sort of fucked up lottery. The style and fashion of the stars is not picked by the stars but by large clothing firms that sell being able to dress like you are free to the masses. Indeed, some of these “fashions” are really silly and many not very utilitarian outside of the fake social event world or certain scenes and subcultures.

But, fear not. We here at STW have your back with good field tested advice from the pros. Plus, you will not have to pay us 100 USD for jeans with “STEALTHISWIKI” embroidered in 4 inch letters across your ass that we paid 12 year olds in China 3 USD a day to do in a sweat shop.


  • 1 Getting Clothes

  • 1.1 Charity

  • 1.2 Thrift Stores

  • 1.3 Big Box Stores

  • 1.4 Hand Me Downs

  • 1.5 Layering

  • 1.6 Donate and Give Back

  • 1.7 Make and Repair your Own

  • 2 Clothing Insights

  • 3 Outdoor Clothing

  • 4 Walking Billboards

  • 5 Shoes

  • 6 Work Uniforms

  • 7 Hidden Pockets

  • 8 Deodorant and Hygiene

Getting Clothes

Of course, this is “Free Clothes”, and we would not be doing our part without telling you how to get some.


If you are absolutely destitute or can play the part, The Salvation Army has been known to let folks get some clothes. But, like any “charity”, there is a chance of some off handed remark, questions into your judgment or character, or a small dose of Jesus that may not apply to your situation at all. Other times, they may actually show some compassion and dignity and let you have something no questions asked. Women and youth tend to get a bit better treatment. Do not expect it to be anything that will win you any modeling competitions or impress the bohemian coffee shop crowd with your fashion sense.. But, some guys' old faded Super Bowl Champion jacket from 10 seasons ago will keep your ass from freezing off till you can get something better or summer comes again.

Thrift Stores

Thrift Stores are a great resource. Often, these are run by the above mentioned “charities”.However, it is hit or miss. The quality of the goods really depends on the area, what time they get donations in, and how many folks pick the place clean each week. Of course, this is after the workers pick through the best stuff! The problem with thrift stores is that when the middle class “donates”, much of the time they are only dumping off their trash. But we know that one mans trash can be our treasure sometimes. It is common in thrift stores to find aisles of nothing but 4 year old tee shirts from an old advertising campaign to sell stuff to the lower class and pants that are either way too big or too small. Common sizes of stuff with no advertising tends to move quickly. You really have to search to find gems. Nice stuff like suit coats and ties are usually pretty easy to find and are usually in pretty nice shape if you need one. After all, most people hate these get ups and only wear them once or twice then get rid of them. However, be sure to take any suit or business dress to an alteration service so you do not look like a clown. The thrift store does not deal with socks, underwear, gloves, bras, or have a good selection of shoes most of the time. Not that you would want some old geezers shit stained drawers or someone's washed too many times socks, anyways.

Big Box Stores

You would be surprised to hear this from a radical site, but the big box stores have decent items. In fact, for socks and undergarments, this is pretty much the only game in town - that is, if you do not want to go to some “upscale” store and spend 20 USD on socks that may look sharp but will tear up in a month of hard use. If you get your clothes here, it is about 4 to 10 times more expensive than a thrift store. But, every size imaginable is here with the exception of stuff for the unnaturally tall or morbidly obese. Move past the racks they place in front with merchandise proudly displaying TV commercial sound bites and images, sports, and pop culture silk screened on them. (We rant on this Corpgov bullshit a bit later in this article.) A solid color, well made plain shirt and some okay pants are extremely versatile, will let you be accepted in a huge variety of places, and never become unfashionable. Socks are cheap here. We suggest the white socks. Black socks may be needed to infiltrate certain areas, but lack the absorbency or last as long as good white athletic socks.

Hand Me Downs

Some people's body type store fat easily and their weight fluctuates from year to year. If you have one of these folks in your social circle, and you notice them losing or gaining pounds, most of them will be glad to get rid of old clothes which have nothing wrong with them to get closet space. There is nothing wrong with recycled clothes.


If you find yourself with it turning hot to cold suddenly and often, it is very easy to layer and not look stupid with the right choice of outfits. That plain, collarless black tee shirt with no lettering can go from a single shirt to a decent looking undershirt with the addition of a button up shirt. Sweaters can be tied around waists of it gets hot. Of course, in a destitute cold survival situation you could put on 2 or 4 sets of everything at the expense of having to wash more often. No need to buy 50 sets of clothes if you stick with basic ingredients and mix and match as you need.

Donate and Give Back

Nothing pains us after struggling day in and ay out and watching our brothers and sisters struggle than the upper middle class lady with a room full of 200 pair of shoes she never wears or the guy who still has good stuff in five closets he has long not been able to fit in left as food for the moths. If the clothes are over a year old and you will never wear them again, it is time to give back to society. Someone, somewhere could use your clothes. Somewhere, someone just got out of jail and is freezing to death because he has no coat. That old, ugly coat you have not used in five years is worthless to you but can save this man's life. Some where, some kid decided he had enough of being raped in the butt by his or her step dad. He or she ended on the street with no pants and only shorts. We do not think he or she will mind wearing your 4 year old Lee Jeans with a hole in the knee that is too large for you.

In fact, we here at STW can only think of one reason why someone would need that many clothes. If you are an entertainer or socialite, it is usually very frowned and can cost a career to be seen in the same outfit twice for an event. Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac had to save every bit of her clothes because she wrote it off as a business expense. When the IRS started screwing with her like they do most big stars, she had to take them to rooms to show them all the outfits she had and that she needed them. But, chances are, you are no Stevie Nicks if you are reading this, so recycle!

Make and Repair your Own

A bit of fabric, a sewing machine, some thread and some creativity can go a long way. We have seen some real quality stuff come from knitters and tailors. You can also doTanning if you are an outdoors type. It takes time, practice, and skill, but once you get good you can repair your stuff and make your own.

Even if you never want to make your own clothes, we recommend everyone have a kit with at least needle, black thread and white thread, a few extra buttons, and some safety pins. Some nicer hotels give decent kits away to guests for free and you can score one if you can fake the part of a hotel guest. This way you will be able to mend emergency pants blowouts if they are not too bad and put a button on if you need to. It is not incredibly hard. Even if you are not that good at it, even a shoddy sewing job will hold a rip until you get to a good alterations place or get replacement clothes without your bare ass or other things revealed to the world..

Clothing Insights

In kindergarten, the teachers have little charts with pin up clothes to show developing minds about what clothes are best for what situation. We at STW really are not into any scene or culture. You provide that yourself. We can already hear the whining as we type this that having band tee shirts with pot leaf hats or showing your drawers and not wearing a belt is “revolutionary”. We are not going to argue with you. Indeed, it DOES give attention and displays your approval in certain groups and can give a sense of belonging. But, consider this story:

One martial arts instructor had been to Japan to learn ninjitsu. He then returned to his hometown with a little cash and a black belt to start up his own studio and teaching center for kids. The first day, all the kids came in dressed to the nines. They had all ordered the cheesy black ninja masks and the ninja gi from an ad in Black Belt magazine. The instructor shook his head and regretted not going over a dress code before signing folks up. He started a lecture. The whole point of the ancient ninja was that the ninja was being invisible. He or she could move into and out of any situation without attracting the attention of the pigs of that day or unsympathetic folks. Black garb and masks were only used in ceremonial occasions or just a simple, easily disposed of mask worn if identity needed to be hidden. The question he then asked is, are your clothes attracting the wrong kind of attention? Are they versatile and can get you in and out of many situations? Or, is it something the movies sell? The next class, everyone wore street clothes except for two students whose parents were probably pissed off they spent 60 USD on a costume and were hell bent their kid was going to wear it!

While that story is a cheesy story from the era of 1980s martial arts flicks, we tend to agree with the instructor. A true revolutionary is immune to mind control can drift in and out of any situation with ease. He or she chooses clothes that fit the occasion, are versatile, and does not paint a big sign on us that says, “mess with me!”. Our enemies in the Pig Empire are many. Right now, as you read this there are classrooms in police academies, retail sales offices, and advertisement agencies. They teach “profiles” gathered from premier sociologists and psychologists of behaviors, hairstyles, race, and dress to make their job very easy. There are crackheads who while are stupid, are very perceptive and know what a rich, dumb ass tourist looks like and will bash them upside the head and take their money just as quick as they will give blowjobs for another fix. They have been doing this for as long as anyone can remember and will not stop because it works. Why make their job easier by making us identifiable?

Bottom line: Look average, not rich, but clean, and nondescript and usually get left alone. Look disheveled, with eyes bloodshot red, and a “LEGALIZE NOW!” pot leaf or counter culture outfit and maybe get body searched or caged. Dress with obviously expensive stuff, gold watch, and a bulge where your billfold is and maybe get mugged. Reek to high heaven, laid out in public, obviously drunk and maybe get hauled in for vagrancy. The kindergarten teacher was telling some good stuff, but was missing some pin ups for the chart. Always wear the right costume for the right environment.

Do not get fooled by someones ideology that something must be worn to be considered part of that ideology, especially if you are not getting benefit from it. The old, classic “Che shirt” of past anarchist/socialist circles is a great example. Che never had to wear a shirt to say he was a revolutionary or remind himself he was part of some group. Capitalists came in to make some lunch money much later off that clothing line. He was revolutionary because of his actions. His only dress was a suit and tie for the occasional political social event and rugged, nondescript outdoor wear for everyday guerrilla operations. Dressing the part does not make one a revolutionary any more than wearing sports team jersey with all the equipment make you a player for that franchise. It just means you paid someone money.

Outdoor Clothing

If your activities lead to you being outdoors for extended periods of time or in really cold or hot weather, you need to be more selective with your clothes. Avoid cheap cotton because when it gets wet, it is worthless as insulation. Camping has more ideas on proper outdoor gear whether you are between shelter or just like outside.

Walking Billboards

The actors that make a living doing commercials get paid for their time after splitting the check with an agent. All the players in professional sports, even the bench warmers, get paid CEO salaries. But, what if we were to tell you that you can pay to advertise! That is right! Corpgov calls it brand recognition. The object of the game is to make the name of your product or service appear everywhere. If people see this every day, they will subconsciously think about the product in a purchase decision over a brand they have not heard about. No tin foil hat here, but it is almost mass mind control.

Wear what you want, but ask yourself this: Are the Dallas Cowboys breaking you off a portion of ticket sales or ad revenues to wear a jacket with a big football helmet with a star on it? Is the media company that makes anime paying you to have beautiful drawings of their trademarked characters on a shirt? Does Snoop Dog break you off a piece of his blunt for you to wear his shirt with picture of him smoking a blunt? And why in the hell does a clothing designer like Girbaud or FUBU need to plaster the brand name covering your entire ass and charge you 100 USD for the privilege? Shouldn't simple quality be enough?

Oh, and while you are at it, ask yourself why you never see “the man” or his wife wear anything like this unless he is an ex college frat type that still goes to ball games. Or why, on reality TV, they have to “blur” out anyone's shirt wearing brand name ads. It is because they are not getting paid for this.

As we say, dress how you would like. If it is a friend's heavy metal band and you want to support him, awesome. If it is a protest, go ahead and wear a protest shirt for that event. Just be aware of this trend that has been going on for a bit amongst the working classes and working poor to get them to pay for someone's ad campaign and further an agenda that may not mesh with your own.


You can cheap out on pretty much all clothes, but get good shoes! Nothing tacky that screams “rob me” like rapper Air Jordans, these tacky skull punk rock star BDSM Doc Martins that they sell nowadays, or crap like that. Only good, comfortable, quality shoes. You will be sorry otherwise! For walking shoes, nursing supply houses have the most comfortable white shoes known to man or woman. Avoid the Croc shoes, though. Only hospitals will let folks get away with that. For boots, construction boots are the best boot out there and can double as dress shoes (and hide white socks!) if they are black and polished.

Shoes are an issue. As much as we would love to run around barefoot like the pagan earthy crowd talks about, being barefooted is a safety and health issue and also a stigma. You will be run out of most legitimate public places without shoes. With parasites from pet droppings, athlete's foot fungus, broken glass, and all manner of other hazards, barefoot walking is limited to the realm of your own pad or martial arts classes. Shoes, particularly old or these cheap slave labor Chinese shoes they have been dumping on the market lately, tend to get three major problems towards the end of it's useful life.

  • Most common is that the insoul of the shoe gets covered in foot sweat and bacteria or deteriorates. This can be very uncomfortable and leave a very bad smell that can be very strong and ruins socks. New insouls can be acquired to extend the life of the shoe. Get a cheap box of baking soda and put this all in the shoe. This will draw out moisture and keep folks from getting pissed at you for smelling your feet. Rotate shoes if you can and have more than one pair.

  • Second most common is that the bottom of the shoe comes loose from the body of the shoe. You are going to get new shoes in this case soon, but you can delay this somewhat. Get some superglue. Superglue this back together. That should buy you a few days. Do not do like one contributor did (blush) and try to use construction caulk! It does not work and you really WILL have to find shoes then. If these are nice boots or dress shoes, many cities still have actual cobblers around that can take care of this for a few bucks. The cobbler businesses are usually located in downtown areas where there are lots of lawyers and such that have nice shoes. They usually will not fix ratty tennis shoes, though - only business attire type stuff and nicer boots. Don't think they're being snobs or anything. Higher end boots and dress shoes are still made to be repairable, whereas very few other shoes are. You can buy new soles for Red Wings and Allen Edmonds, but not for Nikes or Adidas.

  • Third most common is that the bottom of the shoe simply wears out from use and gets holes. If you walk a lot, walk with a slight limp, or even these cheap shoes that use cheap bottoms, you will have this problem eventually. Depending on the size of the hole, you should be okay for a bit. Problem is that if your feet get wet, this is miserable and will start smelling. Like the insoul problem, liberal use of baking soda will hold you over for a bit. If these are really nice shoes like the 1990s Doctor Martins or business shoes, a cobbler can reheel these for far much less than retail price. Red Wing boots are the best about this, as any city with a Red Wing store can repair them. Red Wings are also still union made (by hand, to boot) in Minnesota, too. Otherwise, this is pretty much a done deal. Shoes only last so long.

Work Uniforms

As we talk about later in Get a Job, many jobs have clothing requirements to be employed there. Sometimes this is something simple like just getting a certain color pants. Other times, this can be a scavenger hunt in order not to be ripped off. After all, you probably have just been unemployed and money may be short. Of course, while CorpGov want it's money up front, you could wait up to three weeks or more to see the first of your paltry paycheck if they hold back a week and pay every two weeks.

If the requirement is only a certain color pants, the thrift store has probably got you covered. If it is a certain color shirt, it is still possible to find a plain one like this

Banquet and fine dining waiters probably have it the worst. Tuxedos tend to run around 200 USD , jacket and all. That is on the cheap side. You probably will not find this in a thrift store, either. If you go to a tuxedo rental place, often they usually have damaged rentals in the back they well let go for very cheap if you explain that you have taken such a job. Be sure to get the hem taken up on the pants and you should be good to go. Look over the shirt. It will probably have a stain someplace. If it is not bad, you should be able to get by until you get tips. Bow ties, you may have to bite the bullet. They are only 10 USD to 20 USD, though. Many places will give you a jacket, which is good. If not, waiters must wear a jacket that shows their ass and are usually disallowed to wear long jackets like the upper class. It has it's origins in slave days where the “help” was not trusted with silverware and one actual silver fork melted down could equal up to an entire years salary for a slave! Tux shop may not be able to help with this, but you can ask. More likely, you will have to order online.

Scrubs are not just for nurses and doctors. Even if you only mop floors in a medical facility, you must wear scrubs. Nursing supply houses sell cheap stuff on clearance sometimes. Make sure the clearance scrubs have pockets! If you find 4 USD a pair scrubs, usually, this is the reason. Do not go to the big box stores. Most of the time it is only frilly girly type pattern stuff and much more expensive. Thrift store, you may have some luck. But, the clearance rack at the supply house will have better stuff for a dollar or two more and sometimes less than the thrift store most of the time. Even if you eventually quit or get fired, these make excellent lounging and work out clothes. They are loose and comfortable.

Nice clothing stores only hire rich kids for a reason. It is a scam. They make them buy several complete outfits from their line once per season, even if they work part time. The boss man/lady only hire those he or she figures will spend most of the check on clothes, anyways. Even at a discount, these clothes can take up most of a paycheck.

If you need a cheap actual suit and tie, the thrift store is your best deal. As we mentioned when talking about thrift stores, a good tailor is worth it for a recycled suit. When infiltrating the suit world, extremely perceptive people can spot subtle differences in actual class by noticing the tailoring job. Where it is most noticeable is what sociologists call the “proletariat gap” between side top collar of the shirt and the shirt collar. A person who lives and breathes in a suit and tie will not have this. A working class person who never wears a suit except when someone dies or gets married will have this.

Hidden Pockets

Whether or not you occasionally partake of bags of herb or other things that tend to attract bacon, hidden pockets can be a very valuable security measure. A folded hundred dollar bill carefully hidden in a sewn hem after a rough encounter can be a lifesaver. If you are carrying a large sum of cash, this can let you get away from a robber. Make sure your pocket is truly hidden and the item you are trying to hide will not be felt as a bulge during standard police search pat downs. Even if you get taken in on a warrant, you may have a chance to palm and dispose of any contraband before more detailed searches at the station or even in the squad car if you are stealthy.

One of our favorite tricks that works in tandem with the hidden pocket is the dummy wallet. Losing your identification can be more of a pain in the ass than losing cash in certain situations. It is not like a pickpocket will give your cards back to be nice, either. Keep your ID not in your wallet, but in a different pocket. Keep a wallet with a few bucks and maybe some old debit cards with the numbers melted off with a hot butter knife. If some one lifts this, they get nothing. If someone tries to rob you, throw the wallet down on the ground and run if you can. This has gotten a couple of folks out of tough spots in the past.

Deodorant and Hygiene

Hey, wait a minute? Isn't this supposed to be in a some stupid hygiene article? No. Most body odor that brings oppression to people that deal with anyone not homeless comes not from lack of bathing, but from sweat getting into clothes if they must be reworn.

If you find yourself in this position, your type of deodorant will help a lot, but you must do this before the sweat gets into the clothes. If sweat gets in and bacteria starts growing, it is too late. Get a deodorant that is an antiperspirant. The best kind are the name brand white stick deodorants. Do not mess with the gel, sprays, generics, or roll-ons. These suck. Women's deodorant for the most part suck as well. “PH balanced for a woman” our ass. Many ladies use only men's deodorant and swear by it. Your problem with this may vary and it is largely influenced by diet, genetics, and body type. The right deodorant and trying to stay somewhat clean may get you another day or two's wear in an emergency where there is no laundry access.

Freebreeze is some good stuff. Sprayed into the crotch area of pants, it will keep the odor down for a day or two. That is, if you do not start breaking down with chemical allergies! Do not over do it.

Do not neglect your shoes! Use baking soda.

And, no.. cologne or perfume over already smelly clothes does not help. In fact, it makes it even more gross smelling. It's time for Laundry.

Of course, some folks just do not sweat much and may not need this advice.

Common sense helps. If you work a slave fast food job and your boss works you every day but only gives you one uniform (common practice) you will need to look at Laundry's ideas because of grease.


Last updated: 7 May 2011

Go back toAssorted Freebies

Keeping clothes clean without access to a private washer and dryer can be expensive and time consuming. Also, the man does not like you showing up around his customers with clothes smelling like yesterday's body odor unless you work some outside job. No one is going to tell you you smell either. It can affect peoples attitudes significantly.

If you are between housing, Low Impact Crashing has creative ideas as well.


  • 1 Apartment Laundry

  • 2 Campus Laundry

  • 3 Corporate Laundry

  • 4 Bathtub

  • 5 Barter

  • 6 Air Wash

  • 7 Piggyback Laundry

  • 8 Homeless Shelters and "Opportunity" Drop In Centers.

  • 9 Creek, Stream, and Ocean Washing

Apartment Laundry

It is very possible to find a apartment complex with or without a gate or locked laundry room. Larger complexes are best to check. Go at night when landlords or nosey staff are away if you do not live there. Expect to extorted by the landlord if those apartments have no washer connections in the units and he has a monopoly. Many landlords charge outrageous prices for old, poorly working machines.

Bring stir sticks, cue tips, or zap strap for coin operated machines. Push the coin mechanism in, remove it a quarter inch, and insert these items as wedges about 45 degrees in angle. Force the slot in, and the machine should start.

Please note that some machines have a "coin gate" that will shut when you push in the coin mechanism, screwing up your picks and not allowing the machine to start. Also realize that this is technically a criminal offense, and if caught you may be charged with theft of services or mischief.

Campus Laundry

If you live near a college campus with dorms, they often have free (or cheap) laundry machines. Go to the nearest campus, wait by the door with your laundry, get let in by some sorority type, and make your way down to the laundry room. They tend to be placed in the basements of residence halls. Students often leave detergent around, so cop some of that, and you're golden. See also Low Impact Crashing for more ideas. Be careful as more campuses are requiring school name badges to be worn at all times. Be sure you look like a student.

Corporate Laundry

If you have inside information and are feeling crazy, some larger companies will have laundry rooms for their employees. At many these are free. You can wander around campus and just ask "Hi, I'm new here ... oh, I forgot my badge." Corporate rent-a-pigs assume you are a lost client and will usually gently escort from the premises at worse, unless they think you stole something. Companies are like cults or tribes, they often have their own specialized lingo. Be sure you look like you(and your container for laundry) belong there.

A problem is many places have RFID and keypad door locks. You really can't get too far without a badge or a code. Some places like casinos or hotels have staff that washes and presses the clothes for folks and will recognize you.

Some companies may have do it yourself guest registration; if you snag a registration badge and step out of the lobby security will mistaken you as "lost" and often ignore you.

Infiltrating has more information if schemes like this tweak your interest.

Of course, you can always work for a place that has this as an employee benefit. However, we have found most of the places that offer this tend to be in hospitality type fields like extremely large destination resort hotels or casinos and will only wash work related clothes under threat of disciplinary action. Of course, the boss man is immune to this rule. Still, not having to worry with scrambling to get clean wage slave outfits with limited time to get to work can be a good thing.


If you at least have detergent, hot running water, and a bathtub, you can wash clothes old school style. It is very labor intensive and does not take care of pet hair or some tough stains quite as well. Be sure to rinse the detergent out thoroughly as it can cause skin irritation. Cheap powder detergent can also leave residue on the clothes if not rinsed off very well. In general, use very little detergent because agitation of the clothes will do most of the work of removing dirt and grime. Be careful over soaking travel soiled white socks in bleach as it tears them apart.

Hanging dry may keep wrinkles down for most normal use. You will still need an iron for occasions where you must be clean pressed like waiter uniforms or business attire.

Quick drying can be done by placing a garment flat between two towels, and you will have to press on the sandwich to squeeze out the water so the towels absorb it. After doing this several times, the garment should only be a bit moist so the rest of the drying can be done by placing the garment near a heat source. Only do this if you have no other option and need a clean shirt quick.


If you know someone that has a washer who will not steal any valuable clothes you may have, you could make a deal to buy detergent, a pack of smokes, favor, or whatever for use. Some may not be agreeable to this, since they may not expect company for 2 hours every few days and it can get old.

Air Wash

In Amerika people usually machine wash their still clean clothing after wearing it for only a few hours, this is ridiculous especially in cooler or dryer climates where for most people socially unacceptable body odors are not produced in large amounts to linger in the garments. If the clothing you are wearing is not actually dirty or just has a few food spots you can often just spot wash the dirty bits if required. You may still have the funk smell, but even in winter a few hours of air and sunshine will often get the body stink out, rain is not a problem either as long as the wind doesn't blow your garments into a mud puddle, just let it drip dry after the rain shower. This method is much easier on your clothing than machine washing and will lead to much longer life especially for natural fabrics.v Synthetics and some colors are best hung in a well vented area indoors or in the shade to prevent sunlight degradation of the fibers and some dyes and pigments. The smell test will sometimes fail clothing after a few airing outs and you will need to use soap or detergent in a more conventional wash. Your underwear and socks which end up collecting most of the body odor are easily washed in a small container and hung to dry with your outer clothing.

Even if washing or hanging outside is not an option hanging your already worn clothing open over a chair or door as you sleep will let some of the smell dissipate and is quite a bit better than wadding your garments into a ball and throwing it onto the ground where the stank will just get a stale tinge.

Piggyback Laundry

This may not work but can be worth a try in public laundries. Wait in a laundromat. Tell someone with a light load that you will watch the machine for them if you can stick a small amount of your clothes in with theirs.

Homeless Shelters and "Opportunity" Drop In Centers.

Many cities have laundry services for the indigent. Sometimes this is part of a shelter's service and other times a separate facility. You usually have to sign up and pick up your clothes at a later time. Most will not let you wash them yourself for fear you may "break" something. Some charge very small fees while others are free. They will probably not wash weeks of laundry, either, and probably will set a hard limit of maybe 2 to 5 outfits. Of course, like any "charity", expect strict restrictions, rules, maybe some snide remarks,and regulations to be able to use this service.

Creek, Stream, and Ocean Washing

It is possible to wash in a creek, lake, or stream. The only problem is that many bodies of water like this are highly polluted with oil, pesticides, and other nastiness and have a high degree of sediment in the water. This includes almost all creeks running through major cities, near river ports, and heavy agricultural areas. It still may knock off some stench if it is not too polluted, though. So, in this case, whites and professional type stuff are out of the question as some creeks and lakes will ruin those clothes. A clear stream like those in the Appalachians or Rockies would work much better.

Be sure to let the clothes dry after dipping them in the lake or creek, especially if you have open cuts or sores, as these bodies of water carry bacteria.

The ocean can be an idea as well. However, your results can vary with this. Some beaches like those in Florida are crystal blue in places. Others, like the Mississippi Gulf Coast is nastier than most reservoir lake water.

Now, in the old days of our great, great grandparents and even in third world countries, this is still a viable way. If you are dealing with caked on mud or dirt, get an old school wash board and start scrubbing. Some of our ancestors would fill a wash tub full of creek water and heat it over a fire to help remove the tougher dirt. Of course, this was an all day event and took the whole family.


Last updated: 8 September 2011

Back to Free Clothing

Maybe you're just too cheap to pay for anyone else to do the job (local shops can ask up to $200 to tan a coyote hide). Use this method for rabbit hides, deer hides, moose skin, or coyote pelts, just to name a few.


  • 1 Skinning and Storing

  • 2 Ingredients

  • 3 Mixing

  • 4 Final Preparation

  • 4.1 Doing Business

Skinning and Storing

After hunting or processing livestock for the table, it's a shame to toss out a nice pelt. Use this low cost tanning method for mammal pelts to leave fur on the skin. It will result in a soft and workable hide which can be used as is or cut up for sewing projects.

Cool fresh hides immediately. Trim the flesh and visible fat from the hide and lay the skin flat and fur side down in the shade, preferably on a cold concrete or rock surface. When the skin is cool to the touch, immediately cover the fleshy completely with plain, uniodized salt. You will require three to five pounds for a sheep or deer skin. If the hides aren't salted within a few hours of when you removed the flesh they will decompose and lose their hair during processing.

Transport the skin flat and store the pelt out of reach of animals, who will gnaw the hides. Don't stretch the skin, but make sure it has no curled edges. Add more salt as some will have fallen off during the transportation, and fill low spots where liquids will pool.

Allow the skin to dry until it is crispy, which may take between a few days and a couple of weeks. When completely dry, the skin is very stable and won't change or deteriorate appreciably.


When you're ready to tan the skins, or you're getting ready to go out and find some, assemble the following:

7 gallons water 2 pounds (16 cups) bran flakes 16 cups plain or pickling salt (not iodized) 2 large plastic trash cans (30 gallon) and one lid 4 foot wooden stirring stick 3 1/2 cups battery acid (from auto parts store) 2 boxes baking soda wood rack or stretcher neat's-foot oil nails wire bristle brush

This recipe makes enough tanning solution to tan four large animal skins; or ten rabbit skins; or about six mediumsized pelts such as groundhog. (Cut the recipe in half for fewer skins).


Soak the dried skins in clear, fresh water until flexible for a few hours before you tan. Boil three gallons of water and pour over the bran flakes. Let this sit for an hour, then strain the bran flakes out, saving the brownish water solution.

Bring the remaining four gallons of water to a boil. Put the 16 cups of salt in a plastic trash can. Pour the water over the salt and use the stirring stick to mix until the salt dissolves. Add the brown bran liquid and stir.

When this solution is lukewarm, you are ready to add the battery acid. Read the warning label and first aid advice on the battery acid container. While wearing gloves and an old, long-sleeved shirt, very carefully pour the battery acid down the inside of the trash can into the solution and mix thoroughly. don't let it splash.

At this point, you can peel the dried inner skin. If you have fresh skins, use as is. Add the skins to the solution and stir, pressing the skins down carefully under the liquid until fully saturated. Leave them to soak for 40 minutes, stirring from time to time to make sure all parts of the hides are exposed to the solution. During the soak, fill your other trash can with clear, lukewarm water. After 40 minutes, soaking is complete.

Use the stirring stick and carefully move the skins one by one into the other trash can. This is the rinsing process, which removes the excess salt from the skins. Stir and slosh the skins for about five minutes, changing the water when it looks dirty.

You may want to add a box of baking soda to the rinse water at this point. Adding baking soda will neutralize some of the acid in the skin - this is good because there will be less possibility of residual acid in the fur that will affect sensitive people. This also may cause the preserving effects of the acid to be neutralized. If skin or fur will spend a lot of time in contact with human skin use baking soda, but skip it if the pelt will be used as a rug or wall hanging.

Final Preparation

Remove the hides from rinse water. They will be very heavy. Hang them over a board or the back of a firm surface to drain. Now, using a sponge, rag or paint brush, swab the still-damp skin side of the hide with an ounce of neat's- foot oil. It should be absorbed quickly, leaving only a slight oily residue. Tack the hide to your "stretcher." We use salvaged wood pallets. Gently pull the hide as you tack it so there's some tension in the skin. No need to exert excess pressure or overstretch. Set the hide in a shady place to dry.

Your acidic tanning solution can be neutralized for disposal by adding a couple boxes of baking soda. It will froth and bubble vigorously and release a potentially toxic gas, so give it plenty of ventilation and get away from the bucket while this is happening. Do not pour it down your drain.

Check the hide every day. When the skin side feels dry to the touch in the center, but still flexible and somewhat soft, take it down from the rack. Lay the fur side down and go over the skin with a wire bristle brush. This softens the skin and lightens the color. Don't brush heavily or excessively in one spot, just enough to give a suede-like appearance. After this, set the skin where it can fully dry for a day or so longer.

Doing Business

Once your friends know you can tan hides, be prepared for them to bring around their hunting trophies and livestock skins for treatment. Don't do it for free. Commercial tanners get $25 to $45 to tan a hide, and you should 2/3 price your work accordingly. Otherwise you'll find yourself swamped with every skin in the region and no spare time.

In exchange, give your friends a professional, quality job and an upfront understanding about what might go wrong. People get very sensitive about their skins and this precaution will prevent potential misunderstandings and keep your friendship.

4. Free Shelter

Last updated: 7 August 2011

All over the world, the promise of increasing wealth has left behind a huge population of people who are unable to continually afford the inflating price of housing along with other basic services.

Some people become homeless when that last paycheck is unable to cover rent for another month and they are evicted. Then, not having a home, and couch surfing to survive being hard on the schedule, they begin to experience trouble at work, they lose the ability to return to regular housing, and they become homeless.

Others see the problem of the inflating economy and the slavery of debt-based home finance or permanent payout to a slum lord and refuse to play by the crooked rules of their game, they opt out, they are now out camping, homeless by choice.

In the United States especially, homelessness is associated with the worst elements in society; the ones we are at war with; drug users, anarchists, the poor. This societal psychological distancing is required so the public will accept the regular abuses that they pay the police to perpetrate against those less than human. These protectors of justice strictly enforce that the laws forbidding the homeless to sleep in any but well hidden scarce shelters, thus protecting the public from seeing the reality and feeling the shame that they have not taken any real action to help the less fortunate.

Often programs to assist the poor and homeless are corpgov pork programs to steal from the taxpayer and grease the palms of a few cronies.

The homeless should be the ward of the radical since we are clearly the only ones who will take up their cause. There have been repeated stories of the homeless being paid by "corpgov activism" to picket for a cause; the homeless are our natural allies, not theirs.

One of the most frightening aspects of not having a permanent address is the loss of most of your civil rights. Since you likely do not own the property where you camp (even if you do) the police and courts will empower themselves to search and seize your property either for trespass or for possibly being stolen. If the police can leave the scene with your things and not give you a receipt they have become defacto owners of your things and you will have no way to retrieve them.

The most vile aspect of state abuse of the homeless is taken in the name of child welfare. If the state feels that it has a compelling reason, it will confiscate your child and place them in a home where they will be properly programmed as good corpgov citizens.

Many homeless people suffer from depression, as either a cause or effect felt by those who have been cast out against their will, without their corpgov insurance to pump them with prescription antidepressants. They often turn to taxed alcohol abuse or reliance on hard drugs. We must as brothers and sisters radicalize this population and give them something to strive for. If we let the welfare system do our job these people will be deactivated with a meager income just enough to keep them from trying to have a life. This tactic of depression and payoff has been effectively used to destroy (North American) Native, African originating, and other minority peoples movements in the United States and Canada.

In our world we are seeing the full extent of the greed and manipulation that banking and finance can exert onto the basic human need of a safe place to lay their head for the night. This basic desire along with the need for an expensive education have been harnessed through the use of loans at interest paid off over around half an average lifetime to enslave the Amerikan and much of the worlds population. Fearing for their house and confiscation of their worldly goods a person becomes a willing or unwilling robotic tool for the super rich who need a moving economy to harvest from. Because low cost alternatives to the traditional condo and house allow a way out of this contrived enslavement there is immense political pressure to destroy these alternatives in the name of keeping housing market prices up. When demonstrating against corporations let at least part of your wrath fall upon these banks.

Free Shelter Articles

The Street - Surviving houseless.

Low Impact Crashing How to crash in almost any building or room without needing traditional appliances.

Free Land Buying a small piece or squatting a National Park.

Backpacking - Stealth camping, staying in a hammock or bivy bag.

Camping - Living out of a tent.

Urban Living - For all the ways of finding undisturbed sleep, starting a housing co-op

Free Furniture - Creative methods for kitting out your dig.

Rural Living - Everything country sleep related.

Squatting Seth Tobacmans 1987 pamphlet edited and updated by the Steal This Wiki team

Not in Free shelter but useful:

Community Centers - Ask in infoshops and social centers.

Communes - Finding and starting your own.

Tree sitting - Live rent free supported by brothers and sisters while fighting corpgov

Get a Job - Volunteering on farms, all expenses payed, or cashing up.

Vacations - Drifting

Liberate - Finding free shelter in specific cities.

The Street

Last updated: 7 May 2011

Many of the homeless in the North America are youth turned out by hateful, abusive, or perverse parents or stepparents. This chapter is to address the needs of a street person during the first few hours to weeks until they find a safe support group and hopefully some kind of proper shelter. The language of this chapter is mostly directed toward teenage women but the survival tips apply equally to both sexes and any age. The streets are not an option in terms of living, the fact that you are out there means you had to run before there was time to plan, you must move quickly to find safe shelter and support.


  • 1 Reasons to Leave Home

  • 1.1 Physical Abuse

  • 1.2 Sexual Abuse

  • 2 Reasons not to Leave Home

  • 2.1 Dangers on the Streets

  • 2.2 Unprepared

  • 2.3 Evil Helpers

  • 3 Choosing Good Helpers

  • 4 Personal Needs

  • 4.1 Shelters

  • 4.2 Food

  • 4.3 Getting Off Drugs

  • 5 Services

  • 5.1 Rape and Battery Support Groups

  • 5.2 State Welfare Services

  • 5.3 Foster Home

  • 5.4 Stealing

  • 5.5 Mail

  • 5.6 E-mail

  • 5.7 Health Clubs

  • 6 Men, Women, Roommates, and Safety Pacts

  • 6.1 Crash Pad Romance

  • 6.2 Mental Illness

  • 7 Survival

  • 7.1 Shelters

  • 7.2 Sympathy Psych

  • 7.3 Destitute Sheltering

  • 7.4 Alcohol and Cold

  • 7.5 Hot Water

  • 7.6 Other Tips

  • 8 Other

Reasons to Leave Home

If you are seriously considering leaving the reasonably free supply of food, clothing, heat, bed, safe storage, secure space, and roof over your head you must have a very good reason. But NEVER trade sex or abuse from your alleged guardians for these! Leaving might be the right choice, but the street is what happens when you have no choice, think hard, don't you have a relative, friend, teacher, co-worker, anyone you can go to for shelter to avoid the street?

Physical Abuse

If you are in a situation where you fear for your personal safety or have already been assaulted you should do two things first of all file a police complaint and open a file with family services documenting the problem. It will probably save the whole family from the physical abuse of the type you have been suffering. Unfortunately abused parties like drug addicts suffer from withdrawal, you may be in more hot water for removing the abuser from the home by those who remain. If these actions cause no change and you have tried every other place to hide it might be worth risking a flight away even to the dangerous cold streets to escape worse violence at home.

Sexual Abuse

At the first sign of sexual abuse leave your house and open a file at welfare services and the police as well as demanding a temporary restraining order be placed that day. You must do this to protect not only yourself but any other vulnerable family members. If the police, court, or social worker takes no action attempt to find a friend or relative to hide with. Sometimes this separation is all that is needed. Especially in second or third abusive relationships you might not be able to expect even your mother to believe your claims of abuse, unfortunately this may be the end of your relationship with your sick family. Only as a last ditch emergency action should a girl go onto the streets to avoid rape or sexual abuse since a teen girl is also a prime target for street predators.

Just because you have been raped or sexually abused even repeatedly for a long time doesn't mean you are used up and there is no reason to resist. Survival sex is a slippery slope of being softened up often leading to the most abusive and undesired acts step by step while letting those with the money rule your body and often get their hooks deep into your soul. Previous victims of abuse often try to cleanse themselves by trying to grab the power back in the wrong way, by becoming a more depraved abuser they are chasing the dragon of becoming a whole person. Don't enable the abuse of others by feeding a dangerous addiction to abuse. You also risk becoming another abuser if you choose the wrong path toward healing and self empowerment.

Reasons not to Leave Home

Annoyance with your parents or siblings, discipline, or school related problems are probably best dealt with in your own home, you have no idea how bad the streets can be especially for a girl, a sexist world it is, most every perv wants to take a piece of a teenage girl, plenty like to find a boy to abuse too. We are not worried that you will remain homeless for more than a few days, our concern is that your leaky roof and stained bed will be owned by a brutal pimp and your rent will be paid in depraved sex acts with diseased strangers.

Dangers on the Streets

Since you have no safe storage on the streets everything you own must be with you at all times, this leads to the bag lady or shopping cart homeless that you have seen.

If you are underage you are unable to sign a legal contract for a car or apartment and are considered something similar to property of your parents or guardians, get a fake ID as soon as possible. Identification Papers has information on fake IDs and a hack to get past underage work laws.

Most cities make it illegal for the homeless to sleep hoping it will make them disappear or die, when you are asleep behind a bush or on a bench don't be too surprised if others rifle through your bags and pockets stealing any useful or valuable things they might find, not to mention placing you in a very vulnerable position for physical or sexual abuse.

Worse yet a young woman without any hand to hand combat training is at the mercy of a huge abusive rapist type. Your best defense is being in good shape and sprinting away from the first sign of trouble.

Sometimes you happen to be in a dead end street or the exit door is blocked there is no option of running away. While some naive feminists and well armed police may disagree, the idea that an armed woman is just some weakling who is only going to turn over her weapon to her attacker is just foolish. If you bring justice to an abuser through an act of self defense you must realize that the police, courts, appointed lawyers, prisons and parole boards all discriminate heavily against the homeless and minorities we feel it is almost impossible to give you good advice whether to hide the evidence and run or to find a good lawyer. There is much danger from the (un)justice system when a woman protects her own life but sometimes it's the only option.

If during your fight for survival you become somehow involved with someone who is in the drug trade and are arrested at the same time as them you can expect the system to attack you like a mother bear. Once you are convicted with a felony drug crime, almost all social services including healthcare, food stamps, and student aid can be denied to you for the rest of your life.

It seems to us that the system needs to maintain a class of people who only have the option of larceny, selling drugs, or prostitution. It is catch-22 laws like this among other abuses that make us realize the legal governance of our nation has been overthrown and we must fight a revolution to return our legal constitutional republic.


Most decisions to hit the streets happen in a fearful rage after an attack. Hopefully you got out with at least a warm jacket, shoes, and clothes. Unless you managed to grab a wallet or purse you have no money, ID, or phone. In this case you must find the first police station or hospital and report the crime, but be wary of giving identifying information - you don't want your abuser to convince the cops to send you home. Many people make the mistake of wandering the streets for hours or days as the evidence quickly looses its potency. Get help but be cautious if the help includes a lock down type facility.

As an aside, if you managed to grab your phone think hard about who pays the bill and who controls the account. Your abusers can easily file a missing person report or even a stolen phone report and track you down that way, you might just pull the battery out to be safe for a few days. Credit or debit cards also leave a trace where they were used. If you really need cash have a friend with a car withdraw cash from an ATM on the other side of town.

Evil Helpers

There are those men and women who prey sexually on the freshly homeless. Be wary of a single man or women of any age who offers you a place to stay with no strings attached in their own home. Never accept room and board for any kind of sexual favor. Never accept any drinks or drugs from strangers or those you have recently met.

Even churches cannot always be considered a safe place, the same is true with homeless youth shelters, unfortunately these low pay positions are an easy place for men who want to abuse young people to meet their prey.

Be on very high alert and avoid places where prostitution is common, pimps may recruit by coercion or they may just kidnap rape and begin to sell the body of a young woman. Many pimps use the introduction to hard drug addiction and controlled supply method to enslave men and women. Sometimes you will even feel pressure to engage in survival sex to get a place to stay or food.

Choosing Good Helpers

Only accept help from a Pastor, Rabbi, or volunteer once you see their home has what appears to be a normal husband, wife, and children, don't stay alone by any singles, widowers or divorced, a normal dinner with the family should usually be enough to scan for weirdness, especially watch how the kids interact with their parents, look for fear. Some Christian types may try to push their faith on you, you already know what you believe you don't owe them that, but for survival pretending that you are listening is a small price for a safe roof and food to eat until you can get on your feet. At the same time you can also be looking for another place to stay. DO NOT ABUSE THIS TRUST, DO NOT STEAL FROM THESE HELPERS!! If you need something ask.

There are cults that might take you in even give you a place to sleep, be careful and bolt if it appears that they are into locking down doors, brainwashing, punishments, or trading food for conversion or good deeds.

Personal Needs

Until you can find what is a safe place to stay the temptation is there to shoplift for your needs, this might indirectly solve your shelter problem with a night in jail but it could also dump you back in you abusive and now wary former home.


Most shelters require a sign up some time in the early afternoon, stop by a few of them and see which ones are clean and which ones will try to turn the underage back over to their abusers. Homeless shelters are one of the first places the police check during a man hunt. Expect to have your stuff pawed through as you sleep unless you are literally on top of it, stash valuables someplace safe before hitting the shelter for the night. Systems like the federal "Homeless Management Information System" are a real concern because many police agencies can tap into it without a warrant. See for more information.


If you knock on doors you would be surprised how most people will give you either part of a warm dinner or at least a can of creamed mushroom soup that was in back of the cupboard if you ask nicely, sometimes just to get you to go away. See Free Food for more ideas.

Getting Off Drugs

See Free Dope#Getting Clean


Before identifying yourself be sure that the service you are checking into will not inform your abusive family of your location.

Rape and Battery Support Groups

Some of the best services for women are rape and battery support groups, some will even match you with a safe formerly abused woman to stay with and counseling. Don't get freaked if some of these women are a little fragile or weird, they had to glue their shattered life together from some serious shit, you are part of their healing. DO NOT STEAL OR TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEM! Be wary that some groups are based on the premise that all men are evil, overlook this and work on your healing. Unfortunately there are few services for abused and raped males, ask at the free clinic though.

State Welfare Services

This varies from one state to another be careful since some states if they believe your story will throw you into something similar to juvie hall for abused kids with lockdowns and regular searches. As we know abused people learn to abuse be careful not to jump from the pan into the fire.

Foster Home

Most often a state welfare agency will send you to a foster family who will assume full parental power over you for at least a limited time. These people are often unsung heroes but like teachers may have become burned out and now do the service for the stipend. Keep your eyes open for potential abuse which rarely occurs and keep in good contact with your social worker. It is a good idea to set up escape plans now while things are cool in case the freaks at state welfare decide you are a liar and send you back to your abusers. Stashing escape gear, making deals with friends, teachers, and spiritual leaders for emergency shelter is vitally important. An effective tactic is to go for help where they wont expect, for example Catholic kids asking Jewish welfare agencies for help, Muslims going to Protestant aid institutions, etc. Take counseling seriously and if you feel that the worker is getting nowhere with you ask if another social worker could be assigned. O


In some times and places you may be forced to shoplift to survive (although if you look around there is usually an alternative.) No matter what, never steal from those who take you in to help you! You are first of all hurting yourself as you seriously risk being turned back out back to the cold street, you also burn the people they might have helped survive in the future. If you have a need for some survival item or cash just ask them, or get it in some other way.


In 1994, the Postal Service issued a ruling that the homeless are eligible for a PO Box if they can provide a piece of official identification, a way to be reached, or proof that the postmaster knows them. The rule also declared that homeless people are entitled to general delivery service indefinitely, not for just 30 days. See Postage for more info.


Most cities have at least one bookshop or cafe with a free public access computer.

Public libraries usually have free internet access, but aren't always the best place to log in (if you have a library card) because they often keep extensive usage records. They also sometimes put time restrictions on the machines. Library cards (often required for access) are hard to get if you don't have an address verification.

Just remember that no public computer can be trusted as safe. Don't do anything crazy. See Internet Communications for more information.

Health Clubs

Would you ever expect us radical yippie types to suggest you go for one of the biggest CorpGov ripoffs of all, the gym? Yup. Athletic clubs basically subsidise the price of membership because ninety percent of the overweight slaves who sign up never show up for the first week, but they are stuck in some crazy year contract. If possible beg the ID from a person who resembles you or modify the ID and use his key card to get in. Once the employees get to know your face they will check your ID less, don't get to friendly though since the homeless are really not welcome at these clubs. Women may want to find a women's only club so they don't have to put up with guys harassing or oggling them. Most gyms have the locker rooms in front of the desk, so if you just need a shower, you can usually just walk in. Even if you have to pay it is often worth the money if you are without a proper home for the following services:

  • Clean Showers - you have no idea how nice a private clean shower stall is when you are in a filthy squat or shelter hopping.

  • Therapy Pool(warm pool) - the streets are cold in the winter, it is amazing what an hour in a therapy pool will do for your back and muscles cramped from nights on the ground shivering.

  • Sauna - If we manage to find an abandoned room the chances of it having proper heating are pretty low, often we can find a dank damp moldy building to squat somewhere. An hour or so sweating it out in this dry air and cleaning the fungus and mold out of your lungs can make such a difference in your health and energy level. This is also an oppertunity to dry our your feet and prevent immersion foot.

  • Exercise Equipment - not that we really need it so much, we are on our bicycles or walking all day but it is a good idea to work your abs and back groups to prevent back injury. Use the stretching stations to limber up and prevent injury.

  • Locker - try to rent a big one, this may be your only safe storage space.

If you want this plan to work you need to visit a public restroom and pre-clean yourself, at least your visible areas, before hitting the club, also put on some bagged clean cyclist or workout clothing. The employees must NEVER know that you are homeless or they will surely terminate your membership!

Men, Women, Roommates, and Safety Pacts

A word to the young women (but can also apply to young men, TG's. and homosexuals of both sexes) who are forced out of their family home for whatever reason and into one of the many less desirable shelter scenarios presented in this book. Until you get a serious case of street smarts (don't ever fool yourself that takes several hard years and lots of very painful mistakes) be very wary of taking residence where there are any males in the mix.

Unfortunately thanks to a chemical called testosterone, that courses in amazing quantities through the veins of males from their early teens onward, the normal rational judgment of even the sweetest smartest guy is clouded to a varying extent when it comes to interaction with young women. If possible make your life easier by rooming or crashing in a female only environment, if at all possible with a strong locking door and secure windows. All of the catty female politics that might annoy you are infinitely simpler and safer than dealing with some confused guy who might decide to stalk you or get his hands on you. Please do not be surprised if you are attacked by these well meaning women as well. Women can be as vicious as men, even more so when they are being made to feel that only men cause pain. Just remember that psychological pain and jealousy can be even more powerful than sex hormones whatever their orientation do not stay with someone who is a threat to you, you need a place where you can be safe.

Your best plan is to make a long term pact with one or two trusted like minded people in a non physical relationship who swear to stay together and guard the safety of the others first above any other consideration. It is also every revolutionary's responsibility to watch out for the safety and care of newly homeless girl and boy and to guide them into them own safety pact group.

Crash Pad Romance

Nearly every guy in our movement is a decent honorable person but we want to leave no room for error with our most vulnerable, the abused run-away. Let your mixed social interaction take place only in public or group areas. Realize that an abused woman or man may have varying feelings toward romantic advances from either sex, from disinterest to active revulsion, pushing the issue can not only prolong and interfere with their healing but may also lead to a misunderstanding and serious allegations of misconduct against you.

Mental Illness

A reality is that an unfortunate percentage of those seeking or living in alternative housing are not there as a form of protest against a broken CorpGov system but because they have untreated and sometimes dangerous mental illness, do what you can to see them get proper treatment, at arms length if you must, but don't make them your problem as well. Choose your friends and roommates wisely.



The idea is to somehow get inside and warm and safe. Homeless shelters, squats, and alternative shelter can all provide some of what you need if you can get inside, anyone who has been out knows that emergency bed space for both men and women is a precious and limited commodity often denied for dubious reasons, especially considering the crazy rules and waiting lists that can be involved.

Sympathy Psych

If you can dress and clean up nicely and act the non-destitute, normally successful part people will actually have more sympathy for you as they see a small reflection of themselves and their life in your situation. This might get you into shelters, people's homes, and other options where a "gross" homeless guy would be turned away in disgust. Play to your audience for success in sheltering. Women should not overplay abuse or fragility. No matter how hard it is, acting as "normal" as possible will pay off in protecting and sheltering yourself and any children with you. It is amazing how a firm handshake, a steady look, and a confident posture will change attitudes on the homeless.

Destitute Sheltering

If all else fails and you are stuck overnight outside we would hope you have some wilderness camping gear and can get to a park or industrial area. Most homeless forced to sleep outdoors are not so well equipped due to dire poverty or theft. Even a cardboard box and a plastic trash sack is better than nothing at all. Try to insulate with cardboard and crumpled newspaper - this could save your life. Keep your torso, groin, neck and head insulated at all costs. Hide under anything that will give some protection from the elements.

Alcohol and Cold

It may make you feel warmer, but alcohol will speed the progression of hypothermia (getting too cold) by letting all of you heat out of your core areas to your arms, legs, head, and face. Hypothermia is the leading cause of overnight death in the homeless population. Don't drink alcohol to stay warm!

Nearly all drugs and medications interfere with the bodies natural temperature regulation of the body, either inhibiting blood flow and risking frostbite or by allowing heat to escape and risking hypothermia.

Hot Water

No matter how you do it, acquire a thermos and keep it filled with hot water, you should be drinking this hot water by the gallon every day and night. It is usually not to hard to walk right in to a restaurant, convenience-market, or gas station and fill up before the staff can even begin to complain or kick you out. The other good source for hot water is to use a pocket stinger heater Pack your bag#Immersion Boiler and plug in wherever you can find power, many outdoor signs have a place to plug in - keep your eyes open Power plugs are everywhere, even outside. Most hot water faucets you will encounter just don't put out water warm enough to keep usable heat even if stored in a thermos. Even if you are not getting enough calories in you diet, drinking the hot water will save the caloric energy you would have used to keep you warm in cool or damp weather meaning you can get by on less.

Other Tips

See Free Clothing for tips on increasing the warmth of your clothing.


Call 911 if you think the cops or ambulance can help you or get to a pay phone and dial these free numbers

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800 799 SAFE

Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) Hotline: 800 656 HOPE

National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 866 331 9474

See Free High School for information on how to get emancipated, becoming a legal adult before 18

See Low Impact Crashing andSquatting for more homelessness tips Find A Place To Go in Your Area Find a place to go in your area. these places are especially for runaway and homeless youth and children. Shelters, Homeless and Otherwise Doesn't list every shelter, but it's a good resource. Covenant House Listings if you need a place to stay or want to stop being a drifter/homeless and are under age 21, this is the place to go.

Low Impact Crashing

Last updated: 12 June 2011

When, for whatever reasons, you are homeless or living on the Streets (some of us like to call it "Being Houseless" because Home, Baby, is where the Heart Is!), cleanliness can help in so many ways, and yet it is one of the first things to get blown off by some people due to the foul attitude that sometimes accompanies being Houseless against your will. Stay cool, and dedicate yourself to remaining clean and healthy, no matter how bad The Man wants you looking nasty to give fearful yuppies another reason to avoid confronting the nastier problems in our society. Tell yourself that staying clean and healthy is your way of saying "Fuck You" to stereotypes of homelessness and poverty. Maintaining a high standard of personal hygiene can both keep you healthy and turn around people who would normally be quite hostile to brothers and sisters who are either down on their luck, or simply unable or unwilling to tolerate abusive employment conditions.

You will often find yourself with access to an abandoned building, open unused room, and maybe even a bed in a house but for social, security, or other reasons no access to a normal kitchen, laundry, or bathroom. Many of your needs will be met using your regular camping gear like sleeping bag, ground mat, and stove but often you can take advantage of the utilities and environmental control offered, but beware security systems.

Check out Pack your bag for easy packable urban crash gear.


  • 1 Kitchen

  • 1.1 Portable Electrical Cooking

  • 1.2 Pots and Containers

  • 1.3 Refrigeration

  • 1.4 Pot-in-Pot Refrigerator

  • 1.5 Microwaves

  • 1.6 Sterno

  • 1.7 Other Stoves

  • 1.8 BBQ Grille

  • 1.8.1 Charcoal

  • 1.8.2 Newspaper Logs

  • 1.9 Chimney Stoves

  • 1.10 Hobo Stove

  • 1.10.1 Buddy Burner

  • 1.10.2 Hand Sanitizer Stove

  • 1.10.3 Advanced Hobo Ovens

  • 1.10.4 Box Oven

  • 2 Washing Clothing

  • 2.1 Laundromat

  • 2.2 Detergent

  • 2.3 Bucket Wash

  • 2.4 Public Restroom

  • 3 Drying Clothing

  • 3.1 Improvised Clothing

  • 4 Clean Water

  • 4.1 Irrigation

  • 4.2 Garden Hose

  • 4.3 Filtration

  • 4.4 Boiling

  • 4.5 Solar UV Sterilization (SODIS)

  • 4.6 Bleach

  • 4.7 Fire Sprinklers (and Why You Shouldn't Use Them)

  • 5 Bed

  • 6 Humidity

  • 7 Bath

  • 7.1 Soap

  • 7.2 Indoor Bathing

  • 7.3 Shower Bottle

  • 7.4 Frugal Bathing

  • 7.5 Hot Water

  • 7.6 Outdoor Bathing

  • 7.7 Showers for Sailors

  • 7.8 Baby Wipes

  • 8 Toilet

  • 9 Electricity

  • 9.1 Power Jacks

  • 9.2 Pop open the meter

  • 9.3 Alternative Voltages

  • 9.4 Outdoor Power Taps

  • 9.5 Testing

  • 9.6 Long Runs

  • 9.7 Free Electricity

  • 10 Lighting

  • 10.1 Stealth Light

  • 11 Heat

  • 12 Staying warm

  • 13 Cooling

  • 14 Computer

  • 15 A Word on Batteries, Solar, and "Wind-Up" Gadgets

  • 16 Pest Control


Portable Electrical Cooking

You will likely have access to electricity once indoors. If that's the case, it is better to use this for cooking than risk fire and waste expensive fuel using your fuel stove. See Cheap Chow for some pocket immersion cooker (stinger) recipes and be sure that the whole coil stays underwater so you don't melt or burn out your water heater. If you are in a location where you will be staying for a while, a hot plate or coffee cup warmer and Sierra cup for minimalists might even be smarter to cook with than a stinger since there is no fear of gooping up your heater. A useful portable hotplate is a folding travel iron flipped over run at full power. Just be careful not to spill anything into the internals.

Pots and Containers

Camp pots and pans work great, as do cheap dollar store cookware, these latter may not have the strength or lifetime of high end kitchenware but you will probably transition to something better or different even when living a nomadic lifestyle.

We learned in rural India how big a treasure a Hawkins pressure cooker was. For a USA$10-20 investment a family could cut their kerosene cooking fuel bill in half. One of our teams used one while traveling in Asia and later found them to be sold in the US as well as other inexpensive brands. The Hawkins seemed to cook faster than some of the other brands, this is probably due to it having a higher operating pressure. One problem was if you don't pay attention and the cooker runs dry and overheats a special metal safety 'fuse" plug will melt and let off the pressure, we had to replace this plug twice due to careless visitors sharing the pot. Fortunately these fuses are cheap, in the meantime we found a small rubber plug to block the fuse hole. A spare rubber gasket is a good idea whatever cooker you are using, a web search will let you know what other if any spares to get. We have been told that nicer expensive pressure cookers are heavy but only require a new gasket every few years and cleaning the valves.

Acquire used plastic food buckets for washing and trash/compost/recycling, and plastic bags for storage. Large, empty and very clean cans can be used as cooking pots. Just remember that if the food inside is hot, so is the can. Use pot holders of some sort, or hold it carefully with a pair of pliers at the lip.

Keep your food in resealable containers like plastic bags or deli tubs. Food left out can either spoil or attract unwanted critters of all types. Remember to keep anything that touches your food (including your hands) as clean as you can. Also, zipper seal type bags can be washed out and reused. Turn them inside out to air dry.


If there is no refrigerator, get ice from the local convenience store or fast food joint and put it in a plastic bag with your food. If you buy a large bag of ice, keep it closed. When it melts, you will have clean drinking or washing water. If you can score a cheap Styrofoam cooler, do so and use it! Some of the pharmaceutical cartel cold transport boxes even come with an ice-gel pack that if you collect enough can be refrozen by sympathizers with freezers, water filled frozen soft drink bottles work good too and you can drink the thawed contents. Often just asking nicely will get the drug dealers (pharmacist) to save these cold boxes for you. Since it was free you won't be too sorry leaving it behind if the cops or security sweep and clear your squat.

Pot-in-Pot Refrigerator

The Pot-in-Pot refrigerator originated in Africa but has been proven worldwide to work to preserve food at about an average of 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The idea is that you take a large unglazed clay pot and place a smaller pot inside of it. Then you fill the space between the two pots with sand. The sand is soaked with water. The food is then placed inside the smaller pot and is stored. The device is then covered with a thick wet cloth. This will then use evaporative cooling to keep the food inside stored at a temperature of between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit higher in the hottest parts of summer. The only thing that is needed is that one adds water to the sand about 2 times a day and one keeps the thick cloth covering wet. Be sure to keep this cooler in the shade or it will still get hot. If you have a fan aim it at your pot-in-pot to cool not only your food but the whole room. Best results are obtained in arid climates, in very humid areas your results may vary. Below is a link to a picture of one of these devices, using two regular orange terracotta plant pots one large one small.


Make friends with the staff of a nearby convenience store, most have microwaves for heating up the junk they sell. If you ask nicely, you may be able to use these to heat food you've acquired elsewhere as well as the expired one day foods the employees let you "rescue".


If the electricity or gas is out, a Sterno-style camp stove that folds flat can be worth its weight in gold. While canned gel fuel burns for two hours on average, the metal "candle" types with liquid fuel used for buffet warming pans (often called "chafing fuel") can burn for as long as six. Just remember to burn them in a well-ventilated area. You can also use a taper candle cut into small sections and placed inside a tuna or pet food can. A variation of this, the old boy scout "buddy burner" discussed below. An upside down coffee can placed on top makes a good surface for cooking. Be sure to poke some holes in the top of the can to allow oxygen to the flame and a door at the bottom in order to access and control the flame. For baking, an improvised oven made of an aluminum foil tent over a pan or pot can serve well. One clever trick is to use a pair of aluminum pie pans and hold them together with binder clips.

Other Stoves

Petrol(gasoline or Coleman fuel, white gas, Stoddard solvent, naptha, lighter fluid, some charcoal lighting fluid) and kerosene(jet fuel diesel, fuel, furnace oil) stoves can only safely be used in a fireplace hearth or out of doors on stone or mineral earth, that said some are able to generate amazing heat, designed to quickly melt and boil snow for mountaineering teams. In many places in the US and the world liquid fuel or oil heat tanks are found outside or have a fill pipe outside, just ask permission and use a fuel transfer pump to fill up your fuel bottles, often a removable strainer is found on the fill pipe.

Alcohol and solid fuel stoves are discussed in Backpacking

Keep a pail of water and a box of baking soda, mineral earth, or salt handy should a fire break out, a wet towel works too if it is a small fire. Baking soda and salt snuff out grease fires, while water causes them to spread. Dry mineral soil, such as sand or clay but not dry organic duff or mulch, works as a good extinguishing agent for all types of fire.

BBQ Grille

Both kettle type and "Pyromid" foldup charcoal grilles are good for very secluded squats and longer term camping, those cheap flat bottom grilles at the grocery store never seem to work very well for us. REMEMBER! Never use any charcoal burning devices or barbecue (BBQ) grills indoors in a well sealed room, since the carbon monoxide can kill you! Always make sure that you are in a burn resistant area like on strictly sand or concrete or in a fireplace with a working chimney. The smell and heat of your stove, charcoal, campfire smoke, or cooking food may alert security or the police to your squat or activate fire suppression systems.

You can bake in your covered grille, for things that you don't want to have a smoke smell like bread and cakes cover the pan with a lid or foil. A cooking thermometer can help you figure out temperatures, don't be surprised to find burn spots on your food but most of it should be edible once you get some practice in timing and setup.

If you don't have a nice BBQ grille you can always improvise. One of the ways the classical American grille does its job is by holding the heated gasses under the hood to cook from all sides. Get ahold of a charcoal pre-heater can, the kind with holes in the bottom and a handle on the side, it is reasonably portable and pretty cheap. Acquire a grill from wherever, disposable foil BBQ grilles are a good source. Get a fire going and down to good coals, now put the grille over the top and follow with a large coffee can or cookie tin, the can will retain the heated gasses just like a grille hood or lid, poke a hole in the top of the can to allow some gas to rise out instead of just around the bottom edge.


Auto maker Henry Ford was a prolific inventor and industrialist who is credited with pioneering the assembly line form of mass production. He was also a racist, xenophobic, Nazi loving, fascist, antisemitic fuck and the only American favorably mentioned in Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf (Ralph Manheim's translation). At his Rouge River plant he ordered the leftover charcoal used in making Model-T cars recycled to make some extra cash. Turns out that bastard invented the Kingsford briquette (named after his brother in-law, businessman E.G. Kingsford). Today Kingsford is part of the Clorox Company and there are other briquette makers but our experience is Kingsford is still usually the best. If kept in a cool, dry place in a sealed bag, the briquettes will have an almost indefinite shelflife. In cheaper sheet metal grilles, stack the briquettes on edge so they get better airflow and cook hotter. You can use lighting fluid, or match light briquettes but they both cost extra. Sawdust mixed with wax can be purchased as sticks for an easy firestarter or you can DIY. To speed the warm up of your coals you can use a blower or hair dryer to move the air around. A piece of pipe works too but you might get a head rush from blowing too much.

Newspaper Logs

You can hand roll newspaper into longer burning logs if there is no wood or other fuels to burn. These will burn leaving plenty of wasted ash and sparks. If you have the time in summer you can wet roll newspaper logs which burn much cleaner when dry. Just soak the newspaper overnight and carefully roll into "logs". Smooth out the wrinkles and bubbles as you go. Use a one inch thick smooth PVC pipe or wood dowel so there is a hole down the center, this will make them dry faster. Make the "logs" no thicker than two to four inches thick. Slide off of the pipe and than let dry in the sun for several days, standing them on end will speed drying.

Chimney Stoves

You can get a much better ventilated fire using the chimney concept to accelerate the intake and output gas of a wood fire increasing the heat and greatly reducing smoke and smell. Find a piece of steel (other metals may melt) or clay pipe at least three or four inches wide. If all you have is a straight piece of pipe at least a eighteen inches tall cut or break a feed hole and light the fire, a cinder block or two can be broken into shape to make a stand to keep the chimney from falling over, cut several one inch wide half circle or v shaped holes around the top so the hot gas can escape around your pot. Even better is 18 inches of pipe for a chimney a 90 degree elbow and about a foot of horizontal feed pipe, this all increases the draft and makes for a hotter flame, you can partly block the intake side on the bottom to slow the flame, feed the fire with wood or charcoal pushed in with a stick. A covered ash hole at the back of the elbow will let you clean the stove while it is burning. Cement pipe and base will not last long unless you make a thick protective layer of clay mud and bake it hard, cement turns into lime at the temperatures of a chimney or rocket stove.

You can also build a great chimney stove with clay mud if you can find it where you are camped, dig out the fire area and just form a chimney, the heat will help fuse it into a usable long lasting stove, most cultures use a tapering cone shaped like a beehive.

Cardboard and newspaper balls in both the horizontal feed pipe and a few in the chimney section help get the draft jet started and blow the coals or wood to blazing life quickly. Be careful as this stove can make lots of sparks with some kinds of wood and almost always with paper and grass, some screen over the top of the chimney will stop almost all sparks.

Hobo Stove

During the Great Depression of the 1930's, many of the destitute cooked their meals with Hobo Stoves. These were made from large metal #10 cans (like one ones used for coffee), with holes cut along the sides near the top and bottom for ventilation, and a small covered opening at the bottom to put your fuel source (Cut a door, but leave enough for a hinge). Canned fuel works great for this, but put it on a heat-proof base like a cinder block, stone floor tile, or some bricks. If you use it outdoors, you can burn small scraps of wood, paper, or just about anything that will burn.

Buddy Burner

Often a buddy burner was used with the hobo stove, this was a tuna can with a strip of cardboard that is the same width as the height of the can, roll up tight like a snail shell to fit the can. Fueling with melted wax is best but food oil or kerosene can also be used although these are both a bit more dangerous and more difficult to carry, a powerful flame is produced. Be careful melting wax on anything but a double boiler, stove top melting can cause it to catch fire, liquid it is like a kerosene fire. The flame can get pretty big so you will need a way to control it, to regulate the flame use the can lid and cover part of the flaming surface to reduce heat, smother with a larger can or lid to kill the flames. To re-fuel the burner when cooking feed small chunks of wax onto the burning cardboard or spoonfulls of fuel. One fuel that is easy to find for free is used fryer oil, look behind restaraunts.

Hand Sanitizer Stove

This is easy, some businesses especially hospitals and clinics now offer a dispenser of hand sanitizer in the bathroom near the door. Clean out a small can like for tuna or even better dive for a cat food can as these sometimes come with a plastic lid. Pump out some of the sanitizer into a container with a good lid, pour into your can, light it. To extinguish cover with a can lid. The stuff burns like Sterno gel but sometimes leaves behind some goop, an added benefit is it doesn't splash. This will often goop and clog up Pepsi can stoves, just burn in an open top can.

Also, on many dispensers (at least purell) you can reach under the bottom up against the wall, and press up. That's the button to open it. Now take the whole bag of hand sanitizer for later use if you can't find a better stove by then.

Advanced Hobo Ovens The old buddy burner works well using charcoal, but an inside oven is useful in your squat. If you have a simple hot plate with a variable heat setting you can make a small oven.

You will need:

  • a coffee can or larger sheet metal box

  • the metal coffee can lid for a floor plate

  • a tool to punch holes

  • Steel electric fence wire for grate and to suspend the floor plate

  • an oven thermometer

  • a ceramic plate or pot lid

Both top and bottom of the can are removed and the can is placed onto the burner (an exposed coil type burner is better than a closed flat one). Three holes are punched about one cm. above the level of the burner. Wire is laced through these holes to suspend the loose can lid as a oven floor. Punch a ring of holes one cm. large about 2-3cm from the edge of this floor. 1/2 way up the can punch holes and lace wire to make a grate for food. A ceramic plate will sit on top to make the roof of your oven. Cut three or four small triangle vents in the top of the can to allow the heat to rise. A hole in the side near the grate can be punched so the thermometer probe can enter. Adjust the hotplate to set temperature, keep an eye on your thermometer for temperature drift.

If a hot plate is unavailable you can attempt to use a 100 watt incandescent light bulb. Leave the bottom of the can intact except for a hole that you can thread the light bulb bottom through, adjusting temperature by opening holes in the top under the plate. The "Easy Bake Ovens" sold in toy stores work this way.


Box Oven

Due to safety issues we mention this apart from the indoor ovens. A cardboard box can be used with a hotplate that has no overheat safety shutoff to cook or smoke food. You will often see these hotplates in thrift stores as the type with a large solid spiral coil and stainless steel reflector. Place the hotplate or a can with several hot charcoal briquettes at the bottom of the box. An optional can or cookie sheet with wood chips will add smoke flavor. A layer of foil above the cookie sheet will catch meat drippings. Meats can be suspended with clean wire clothing hangers carefully poked through the top of the box. It might be a good idea to double the box and be sure to remove all tape inside the box. A candy thermometer carefully pushed through a hole in the side of the box at the level of the food gives you an idea of temperature. ALWAYS USE THIS OVEN OUTSIDE!! Only use this box oven in an area where a burning cardboard box would be safe, always have a watcher seated nearby to unplug the hotplate and extinguish any fires. Aluminum foil can be used to cover the inside walls to lengthen the life of the box and for some extra safety.

Washing Clothing


If you have the change to spare sharing a washer and dryer at a laundromat you will get the best clean. Second best is a bathroom sink or bucket hand wash and laundromat dry, especially in cold damp weather. Since you likely are only carrying one or two changes of clothes, get some friends together and load up the machine to a full load. Pennies can be used to activate some washing machines that use quarters; Place the penny in the quarter return slot, press the coin return button and flick the penny up into the slot. Sometimes it will take a few tries but it will register as 25 cents. This trick works for some dryers too. Be wary that you are not caught using this trick, since it will become apparent to the manager if it is used too often in one place.


Regular laundry detergent powder works best but can stink up your pack and contaminate food and clothes. Some soaps claim to be concentrated, so look for the one that needs the least soap per load. Some places sell soap in the bulk section by weight. In some stores, you might find bars of washing soap. This can be used to pre-treat stains. Wet the soap, wet the stain, rub. Remember that some washing soaps like Fels-Naptha are strictly for clothing and not for personal use (although some swear by it for treatment for rashes caused by poison ivy and other skin-irritant plans). You can also grate up bars of ordinary bathroom soap although it takes much more bar soap flakes than normal laundry detergent for the same effect. Most health food stores sell Dr. Bronner's liquid soap in various size containers (from a 2 ounce tube to a gallon bottle). As an all-purpose soap that is also vegan and not tested on animals, it can be used to wash almost anything. It's concentrated, so you'll need to dilute it in another bottle to at least 1 part soap to 2-3 parts water. Look for the bottles with the text-filled labels (Note: They're all scented expect for the "Baby Mild" with light blue text).

Bucket Wash

A plastic bucket and laundry detergent or liquid dish soap (NOTdishwasher machine soap!) works great for washing clothing. There are metal agitators that can be bought through catalogs that specialize in non-electric households. Lacking that, you can use a rubber toilet plunger (preferably one that HASN'T been used in a toilet) and a large bucket or bath tub, using a long broom handle makes using the plunger/agitator easier as you don't have to bend over. A metal washboard can come in handy if you will be staying for awhile, but might be hard to find in some areas. Try a store that caters to migrant laborers. Remember to use your camp stove to boil some water to add if you need a warm water wash, or use your stinger immersion boiler directly in the bucket.

Public Restroom

A public restroom is also good to wash your clothes, especially socks and underwear.

  • Pre-treat any stains before you arrive with damp detergent paste, liquid dish detergent, stain spray, or stain stick

  • Plug the drain, packing a flat universal drain plug with you is a good idea here

  • Half fill sink with warm water and some detergent or the provided hand soap if you cant get real wash soap

  • Soak for a few minutes and squeeze occasionally

  • Drain dirty water and squeeze water from clothes

  • Add clean water agitate and drain, repeat if dirt or soap remain in the clothes but one or two rinses is usually enough in a rush

  • Dry small stuff with with the electrical hand dryer, wear the rest to dry it

Drying Clothing

A narrow bungie type cord makes a great dry line, but dont leave it outside when not drying clothes, sun and weather will make it rot. Make sure there is air circulation in the place you hang your clothes to dry or you might end up with a unhealthy mold problem in that room. If you need to wash and wear, you can carefully roll one or two pieces of clothing in a large dry cotton towel, then twist and hold for about a minute removing most of the moisture. Hold damp socks and thin gloves over the opening of a hand or hair dryer, be careful not to burn synthetics with a hair dryer. If you have no other option spend the money and go to the laundromat, this is often the safest and easiest way to dry a sleeping bag in winter.

Improvised Clothing

see Free Clothing for ways to increase the insulating power of your clothing

Clean Water


Irrigation systems can be tapped for water. This may be your easiest source if you are camped under a bridge, although it may not be safe to drink. Double check on that water since some irrigation systems, especially those in desert areas, often use "greywater" or "sullage" that is treated waste water (Yuck!) and is not safe for washing or drinking. If the nearby fire hydrants or junction boxes are painted purple, then that is the most likely case. Irrigation systems usually run on a timer and flow during the late evening so you will have to store the water you need for the day.

Garden Hose

If you have a friend in the forest or fire service they can likely get you the flat nylon jacketed garden hose that is thrown away after forest fires, you can also get this flat hose on a reel in garden stores, this packs small and light and is useful if you need to get water to your squat from a hose faucet or to wash up behind nearby bushes. Don't forget to get a light hose nozzle and valve.

The knob on most public water faucets is removed so the homeless can't get a drink or wash, but most are standard square and are available at hardware stores. Most useful to us is the key shaped faucet turner or even better a "fourway lawn faucet key" made to be carried in your pocket or pack. If you have the choice, get a key or knob with wider wings or a larger knob diameter as this gives you leverage when trying to open stuck faucets. You might need a way to shim or break a padlock in some parks and golf courses where the "water pump" looking faucets are in use. see LockSmithing

For all but assured clean drinking water use your backpacker's water filter or boil. Allow the hose to run for a few minutes or be careful to drain after every use to eliminate the problems of stagnant water. The FDA has standards for drinking water hose, so look for certification on the package if buying a new hose (The ones certified for drinking water use are often made of white plastic).


If you need a water filter and can't afford a proper backpacking model maybe you want to make the terracotta/organic water filter which removes most harmful bacteria. This design is by a team in Manatuto in East Timor including ANU materials scientist Mr Tony Flynn.

You will need:

  • straw and cow manure or wood for fuel

  • terra cotta clay (high clay mud)

  • used tea leaves or coffee grounds or rice hulls


  • 1- Take a handful of dry, crushed clay.

  • 2- Mix the clay with a handful of your organic material.

  • 3- Add enough water to make a stiff biscuit-like mixture.

  • 4- Form a cylindrical pot that has one end closed.

  • 5- Dry the pot in the sun.

  • 6- Surround them with straw.

  • 7- Place in a mound of cow manure or wood fuel.

  • 8- Light the straw and then top up the burning manure or wood as required.

In less than an hour the filters will be finished. Fill the filter and let the water slowly drip through the bottom into another container. As far as effectiveness against bacterial pathogens and larger Giardia this filter removes 96.4 to 99.8 of E-coli bacteria, well within safe levels.


When all that is available is questionable water but you do have a good fuel supply most parasites and other microscopic troublemakers can be eliminated with this method.

  • Filter water with a coffee filter, paper towel, or several inches of cloth stuffed tightly into a cut off bottle.

  • Bring water to a boil and shut down, it is pasteurized.

  • Collect and store water in a clean container free of contamination.

Why just to a boil? And what is with the city always saying 20-30 min with additional instructions water temperatures? The reality is that above 160° F (70° C) all pathogens become inactive within 30 minutes and above 185° F (85° C) within a few minutes, so in the time to reach 212° F (100° C) all the bad microbes will become inactive. The first filtration is to remove larger microbes and cysts like Giardia which are a bit stronger.

Solar UV Sterilization (SODIS)

This technique uses the ultraviolet rays of the sun to kill or inactivate the bacteria and virus found in untreated water. However, it will not kill larger cyst organisms like giardia but these are not difficult to filter out. See the sand filter design on this page. This solar UV method was researched by the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Sciences and Technology (

  • Use a Polyethylene Terephthalate or "PET" plastic bottle (the ones with the "1" on the bottom), that is clean, unbroken, has no labels, no colored plastic (a bluish tinge is okay) and is 3 liters or smaller.

  • Fill the bottle with water and tighten the lid (If the water is murky or cloudy, filter it).

  • Place the bottle laying on its side exposed to the sun for at least six hours (a sheet of corrugated steel works perfectly as a base for multiple bottles). During this time, the UV radiation from the sun kills pathogens that would make you sick.

  • If more than half the sky is covered by clouds, let the bottle sit in the sun for two consecutive days.

  • The water is now ready to drink. To prevent contamination, the treated water should be stored in the bottle.

Download an English language flyer here:


Unscented bleach can be used to purify water it you can't get it straight from a known safe faucet. This is the cheap Clorox type without any additives to improve colors or smell. Try to filter your water .

  • Filter water with a coffee filter, paper towel, or several inches of cloth stuffed tightly into a cut off bottle

  • 2 drops of bleach per quart of water

  • 8 drops of bleach per gallon of water

  • 1/2 teaspoon bleach per five gallons of water 10/21

  • If water is still cloudy, double the dose of bleach.

The treated water should be allowed to stand covered for 30 minutes, it should have a slight chlorine odor if it doesn't give it another dose and let the water to stand for another 15 minutes. If the treated water has too strong a chlorine taste let it stand exposed to the air for a few hours. Be careful the bleach will leave holes in your clothes if it spills or splashes, rinse out quickly. Warning: if you choose to use to use your leftover bleach to clean your floors, DO NOT, under any circumstances, mix it with ammonia. Bleach and ammonia create chlorine gas fumes that will give you an agonizing death. Ammonia is found in some products you might not expect, such as Windex. Watch out!

Fire Sprinklers (and Why You Shouldn't Use Them)

Don't try to tap a fire sprinkler system for water! You will set off the alarm and your squat will be discovered. Once you drain even a few PSI from the system it will fill with water and alarm, if it is an air pressurized system. Water filed systems are often filled with an antifreeze mix, these systems also alarm and call the fire department if any water flow is detected.


Several layers of corrugated cardboard on two or three wood freight pallets make a passable mattress getting you off of a cold or damp cement floor. A hammock suspended from pipes, ceiling supports, or eye-bolts anchored into a cement wall is a comfortable way to sleep dry. Of course your sleeping bag and pad will work almost everywhere.

see also Free Furniture, Pack your bag, and Backpacking andCamping for more bed options


If you are in an unheated room over winter moisture becomes your enemy. Moisture robs you of heat when you try to sleep in damp bedding, it also promotes the growth of mold which make most people sick when it gets concentrated in a badly ventilated room. Open or uncover a window every day and get fresh air into the room if possible. The condensation will saturate your sleeping bag or bedding and gear if you are not vigilant. Sleeping bag and bedding must be shaken out and hung to air out. If you don't air out after just a few cold nights you will have a damp bag, there is a risk of you trying to bed down and finding a frozen sleeping bag. Cook outside of your room, the steam will stick to the walls and condense on your stuff. Used properly a fan or electrical heater really helps keep stuff dry, just don't put everything so close to a heater that you burn or melt it. Kerosene heaters or safe wood burners can work well if they have a good chimney or ventilation, just be careful as theys present a greater fire hazard. If possibel 'cook' the room out for a few hours at least once a week, this will help you clean the crud out of your body and will help dry out the room, once you shut off the heat open the windows and let the hot moist air out.


Failure to properly wash hands, face, and food especially after going to the bathroom has been shown to be a larger cause and vector of Hepatitis, Giardiasis ("beaver fever"), E-coli Cholera, and Typhoid and other potentially deadly bacteria and viruses than even polluted water both in urban and wilderness environments. Wear sandals in any shower or communal bath area where foot fungus is possible; foot rot can ruin your best mode of transport.

Part of your hygiene regimen must be keeping your nails trimmed very short especially on your hands, this is a way insect and worm eggs or skin infection bacteria can easily be spread first by scratching your skin or hairy 11/21 areas, then later these are transferred to the mouth or other body areas during a meal or scratching itches. Your toenails should be trimmed straight across to prevent ingrown nails which quickly become infected at least immobilizing you and possibly leading to a life threatening cellulitis or other deep infected abscess in your feet.


Going to a hotel in around noon and asking maids with their cleaning carts for a few bars of soap is one way to stock up. Asking a doorman at a nice hotel, just walk up as direct and nice as you can, and say, "I am homeless, may I please have one bar of soap?" will work more times than not. Bring a plastic grocery bag into a fast food restaurant and squirt out a good five or ten pumps of liquid hand soap. Store it wisely, or else the stuff in your pockets or backpack will be wet with sticky cleansing goop. A bottle of liquid soap with a neck cord is great for quick commando showers, and won't fall down to a disgusting bathroom floor.

Indoor Bathing

You can buy a hose with either a standard faucet thread and rubber gasket or a stretch over connection that fits loosely over about half of the faucets you will find, both turning the faucet into a long-hose shower head. Both are available for a few bucks in the plumbing section of most of the big-box "Mart" stores, some pet stores, and hardware stores, it can turn a secluded public restroom with a floor drain into a private spa.

With the rubber universal shower adapters slowly turn on the water and keep the pressure down so the adapter doesn't pop off the faucet. These shower kits are reasonably lightweight as long as you get the all plastic ones. For adaptability you can remove the stretchy rubber faucet adapter and get a threaded plumbing adapter for your regular faucet, in addition try to get a garden hose thread. A warning for first time users of the universal adapter; it is known to spray water everywhere, sometimes even the screw down adapters will not fit quite right and can make a spray mess.

For more privacy while washing off you might use a door jamb lock available at luggage stores, or a door stop to lock the bathroom. Only use this option during off hours and at a location where there is another bathroom available for people to use. Leaving a hardware store lock hasp might work, but leaving that kind of obvious evidence of your activity might get a convenient bathroom closed by management.

Shower Bottle

Grab a milk jug cap and/or a soft drink bottle cap and either drill or melt with a hot nail a dozen or so 2mm holes. Since they are so light make one or two for different bottles in your area, they will be in your pack ready to screw onto what you find. A black plastic bag will let your bottle warm up in the sun even in late spring and early fall. Pre-mix heated water with cold, boiling water will deform most plastic drink bottles. Some bottle caps also match drinking system bladders which will also work for showering.

If you heat a large nail or bolt you can melt a hole to join two bottles so a cut off bottle can be used as a filler funnel (this also works for the cut off bottle sand filter) watch out for damage to the cap threads and seal edge.

Frugal Bathing

If you are overloading a squat or house and need to conserve hot water, are at a public restroom with a very small water heater, or you are dipper bathing from a bucket of warmed water, here is a way to not waste your limited supply.

  • 1-Wet yourself down with a washcloth

  • 2-Turn off water

  • 3-Soap up head, groin, armpits, and any places with tough dirt

  • 4-Rinse

If you are limited to a bucket, you should use a large cup to wet and rinse yourself, dumping the bucket over your head is a good way to accidentally run out of water while you still have soap on your body.

Even more frugal is to remain dressed and wet your hands or washcloth with water (warm if available) and wash first your hands, then your face, breasts(especially when nursing), armpits and abdomen, groin and butt crack, finally your feet. Be sure to then cleanse your hands and washcloth well so you do not contract or spread disease. This would be a good time to change and wash your socks, underwear, and washcloth. A large soft sponge with sudsy liquid bath soap is a helpful for situations with minimal water, especially for getting at those unsavory orifices.

Hot Water

Your electric stinger immersion water heater can be put into your wash bucket and used to warm around three or four gallons of water(20L), enough for a dipper shower or a washcloth bath.

In summer a dark colored garden hose laid out on the roof or pavement will collect solar heat and around noon you can take a quick hot shower by turning on the water.

If you have somewhere semi-permanent to stay and access to a garbage dump, a very good water heater can be easily made. Find a discarded refrigerator, even beat up you can sell the freon to a recycler making some cash and protecting the ozone layer. Take the collector off the back of a fridge (that is, the coils on the back or bottom), run two high temp hoses into it and tighten down with hose clamps from the auto parts store, one input (cold) and the other output (hot). Now, mount the collector on something shiny, be it cardboard covered with aluminum foil or the back of some insulation. Make sure it's nice and secure. Build a frame around it with wood or PVC, or something else which won't get damaged by temperatures around 150C. A glass or plexiglass cover is nice too, but if you can't get one it will still work. Now, you'll have to prime the heater by sucking some water through it. Once this is done, simply raise the cold water input higher than the hot water output and the unit will gravity siphon. This unit can get water VERY hot, and it can do it fairly quickly on a sunny day even in winter, so be careful. Let it drain when it's not hooked up, otherwise it will be filled with superheated water that can cause serious burns for the unsuspecting user.

If you can find an insulated container, either an old water heater or a sports team barrel type drink cooler connect the cold water (lower input) to the lower part of the water container and seal with caulk. Now do the same with the hot attaching it to the high side. Be sure both tubes stay below the water line and it will convection pump the cold water to the bottom of the solar collector and also pump the hot water to the top of your hot water container, no electricity or pump required. The key for the convection pumping is your insulated water container must be above the whole collector to work properly. If your collector works well you will need a supply of cool water to mix in for safe showering.

Outdoor Bathing

One editor used to wash up in back of a church with a garden hose and a bar of hotel soap, drying himself off with his own shirt or pants, whichever was cleaner at the time. The clothes dry off in minutes, even faster if you first wipe the water off you with your hands and flick it away, and it's a great feeling knowing you can keep clean and healthy under your own power under nasty life conditions. A trick used by a number of hobos and rail-riders is to carry a large squirt bottle with diluted baby shampoo. The idea is to wet yourself down, squirt yourself with the diluted shampoo, lather yourself from head to toe, rinse yourself and then dry off. You'd be able to clean yourself in about 3 minutes.

You can use your bucket and portable shower hose to make a siphon shower. Submerge the whole shower hose set into the bucket and let the bubbles go out. Hang the bucket from a tree branch, pipe, or other hanger, now quickly bring the shower head down to a level below the bucket allowing the siphon to begin sucking water from the bucket (it might help to tie the other end of the hose to the bucket handle). Be sure the adapter end is as close to the bottom of the bucket as possible, if you have two feet of hose drop below the bucket it produces a nice spray. If you break the siphon just suck on the shower head (for wide shower heads use the side of your mouth to suck and your cheek to seal most of the spray holes) until it starts flowing again. If this is too complicated you can hang a flower sprinkler and tip it with a rope to shower.

If you are camped out or can't find a bucket use your sleeping bag stuff sack and a plastic shopping or garbage bag liner to hold the shower water. Don't use the draw string on the sack as this will likely rip out when you hang it up. Instead insert your hose and make several wraps of cord around the neck of the bag now hang up the bag, to start a siphon shower squeeze the sack. Try to find a large flat stone or cement pedestal to stand on, clean it off as best as you can and place below your hang shower. In forested areas look for trees that drip pine sap which is very tough to get off your feet. If you just can't find a stone wear your sandals to keep your feet clean.

If you can't use your electrical immersion water boiler you can heat some water in a cook pot and add it to your bucket or bag of cold water to warm it up.

It is a good idea to hang up a privacy sheet using your hostel sack and clothing line or at least wear a light swimsuit while you wash down since straight neighbors might call the police for public nudity, that and the pervs who might get the wrong idea.

Showers for Sailors

If you want a good old fashioned hotel like bath and are in a coastal area here's a tip that usually works to find a good bath. Go to a boat marina during business hours with your pack in tow. Tell someone if they ask that you've just come in from a night out fishing and you want to clean up. They'll then usually leave you alone. If no questions are asked go to the restroom which usually has a shower in it and take your shower. Often the marina bathrooms will have little rooms that you can lock yourself into for a long awesome hot shower with no one bothering you for at least a half hour or so.

Baby Wipes

Baby wipes give you a refreshing clean feeling when you are away from normal bathrooms, especially if you are on the road, the downside is they are expensive, heavy, and wasteful. If the package is left open the wipes will dry out lightening your load, just add a small squirt from your water bottle to a balled up dry wipe in order to rehydrate them.

The good news is it is easy to make your own wipes. Flannel, terry cloth and plain cotton t-shirts can be cut into squares and make great cheap washcloths. Put a few drops of diluted soap in a plastic baggie and you can get clean wherever you are. If they dry out for some reason, just add a little more water.


A chamber pot or pee bottle is a good idea if you want your trips into and out of your toiletless urban squat minimal to avoid detection. Women need to find bottles with a large opening or a urine stream funnel which can be bought or made from a diagonally-cut 1 liter bottle. If there is no toilet, or it doesn't work, use a 5 gallon bucket (check the dumpsters outside the local fast food joints) and improvise a toilet seat (Anything flat that can hold your weight and with a hole big enough will do). Get some dry earth, sawdust, or cat litter to pour into the bucket after each use to kill the smell. If you can get the lid to the bucket, keep it and use it. Also, line the bucket with disposable garbage bags. Double bag it because you do NOT want it to leak when you're taking it out.

WARNING: DO NOT MIX CHLORINE BLEACH WITH URINE! It will produce chlorine fumes and in a closed room can cause lasting lung injuries or chemical pneumonia. It might also melt your bottle or bucket from the heat of the chemical reaction between the bleach and the ammonia in the urine.

If the toilet in your squat is not clogged but doesn't flush when you push the lever or you have no water pressure to refill the flush tank, a bucket of water dumped into the toilet will cause a flush cycle.

Toilet paper can be expensive or hard on the sewer or pipe system in some parts of the world. While it may seem disgusting to some readers here is the post toilet cleaning method we saw while in Jordan. The left hand is wet with the bathroom sink or a bottle of water if outside, now the wet hand is used to wipe your butt repeat until clean, then wash your hands really well.

A large soft sponge with soapy warm water and plenty of rinse water is a better alternative to getting your feces all over you hand.


Electricity is a big part of the magic of the modern world. Ask anyone who has had to hand wash laundry for a whole family, charge batteries with a stationary bicycle generator, or hand crank a wheat grinder. With electrical power we can heat our squats and tents, charge batteries, and run full size computers. Without electricity we are back in the 19th century either freezing our asses off or burning expensive, sooty, and often unsafe fuels.

You can check to see if you have electricity by switching the breakers off and on; if you have a power meter on the back of your building, you may be able to activate it yourself, but this should only be attempted with extreme caution. Pirating electricity may be as simple as running an extension cord out to an outlet at the foot of a streetlight, but if it's not, don't attempt it unless yoou are a trained expert, the same goes for messing with damaged wiring.

Working with electricity is a very useful skill to our movement but if you are not taking proper precautions can also easily be deadly. If possible find a free vocational electricians course or even take a electrical apprentice position for a few months.

Power Jacks

Power jacks are found in almost every room around the First World. If the jacks are turned off there are in-line light fixture adapters that screw in and still allow the light bulb.

If there is only fluorescent fixtures a few wire nuts and a chopped off extension cord or heavy speaker wire with a power receptacle on the end will let you tap into the power. Be sure that the power or breaker is off when you are doing your work. Tape over the switches so nobody surprises you with a ZOT of electricity when they enter the room. Sometimes there will be a blank panel of the right size where you might expect a switch or wall jack. Open it up and test the wires to see if they are live. Many institutions use a weird screw head pattern to open up electrical panels; a few minutes of work with an old screwdriver and a file should make the right tool.

Pop open the meter

If you're careful about how you remove the tamper indicator, you might be able to concealably open the meter, allowing you to short past it, preventing the power company from noticing your usage. A powerline going to a building has two opposite phase 120v lines and a neutral line, all of which you will find within the box, running through the meter. Stealing the meter from an active institution will cut power. Also, apparently one of the means the power company uses to shut off power is to cover the contacts on the meter with plastic caps, which you can remove. Since you can't shut power off in here, wear rubber gloves and exercise extreme caution.

Alternative Voltages

Think about 110/220v flexible gadgets when buying travel items - you never know where you will be globe hopping.

If you can score a fully charged vehicle or (even better) a deep cycle battery, consider investing in a DC to AC power converter/charger with battery clips. Be sure not to let the battery drop below 10 volts or it will cause wear on the battery plates. Some highway signs have a big 12 volt solar panel that will charge car batteries. Small 12v to 110 or 220 converters are now cheaply found especially in truck stops and gas stations. see Cars

If you can find a working car alternator it is possible to charge storage batteries using homemade windmills, exercise bicycles, water wheels or whatever creative way you can get some mechanical energy. This is much easier to find or build than solar panels. The batteries must have some charge for the alternator to create a charging field.

Outdoor Power Taps

’!!DANGER!! High skill required!! DANGER!!' A person with appropriate skill can remove a bulb or splice into wiring from public light displays or streetlights, appropriate safety and training must be used as there is no way to shut off power for this work, serious life hazard is involved. Remember power in light poles is live even during daytime or off hours, and can carry as much as 40 Amps of power and be over 480 volts (1/8th Amp is enough to kill you).'!!DANGER!!'

Know the voltage of the line you're tapping.

While using proper insulating safety equipment (gloves, etc. on a case by case basis), expose the leads you wish to tap into. Then connect the appropriate number of transformers. For example, when tapping a 480 volt streetlamp, you'll want a pair of euro-us device transformers in series to give you a nice approximately 120 volt output. Add more in parallel if you're pulling more power. Of course, if you can score a higher power transformer somewhere, USE IT. Some 120 to 35 volt toroids rated around 600 watts can be found for ~$30 online, and can be used on some street fixtures to step down the voltage to usable 100-120 volt AC that US appliances will accept.

Have we mentioned the '!!DANGER!!' yet?


A very small glow bulb AC power tester can be purchased in most hardware stores, these are safe, easy to use, and don't burn out. Use this tester to determine if there is power in the wiring of a building and if the grounds are connected on a plug. You can also use this to test where the electrical company has cut off power (sometimes it is right at the meter). On 220 volt systems both "hot" wires will give you a glow when connected to ground, on 110 only one "hot" wire will give a glow when connected to ground. The ground is the bottom round pin in Amerikan 110 volt plugs, the ground diverts power away from you if an appliance short out inside, this is important in metal cased appliances and tools especially when using them on wet concrete.

Long Runs

If you need to transmit electricity for a very long run 110 volts is often too low and resistance losses in the line will quickly reduce available electricity on long extension cord runs. The easiest way to get better distance out of narrow wire is to use a transformer and boost the voltage. High voltages require narrower wire and incur less losses for the same wattage but High Voltages are More Dangerous!

Use extreme caution using surplus military communication, network wire, or other other wires when stringing out to your destination, people will not expect a non-official power line to be running high voltage. Split the wires and run them parallel at least a foot or so apart, use electrical fence insulators where you hang wires in trees and buildings, inspect regularly for damage. A three or four amp rated four to one ratio transformer will convert 110 volt to 440 volt which is much better at transiting long stretches of line. You will need another four to one to step back down to 110v, be careful to install the second transformer to step down or you will be boosting to about 2000 volts! Consider installing a sensitive circuit breaker at your electrical source transformer box, on of a lower value at your destination power box should help you avoid a long hike to flip the breaker. You might get one USA to EU power converter and one EU to USA converter to boost up to 220 and back to 110 at the destination, this will require some additional adapter tips which often come with the travel converters.

Free Electricity

Contact your electrical company and relief agencies to see if there is a fund or discount for the indigent, some programs are for the elderly or homes with children. These programs are often part of the contract that the power company has with the community public utilities commission. Power to the People!!


A small, cheap desk lamp shining upwards can illuminate a whole room. A compact florescent lamp that screws into a regular light bulb socket will give lots of light (and very little heat) and be a very minor electrical drain; this is good if you are tapping the light socket power for other uses.

Small oil lamps and the oil used to burn in them can be had at the big box stores and hardware stores. Just remember that those things get VERY HOT after a while. If you use candles, never leave them burning unattended. You can increase the light by putting a mirror or aluminum foil behind the candle and reflect the flame. You can also make an improvised oil lamp using a glass jar and any vegetable oil (NEVER use motor oil or other petrochemical lubricants!). Heat up the bottom of the candle until it's soft, press it into the bottom of the inside of the jar, and when it cools, pour vegetable oil up to where the wick is exposed, then light the wick. The oil will burn with the candle. Some oils will be sooty and will smoke, so keep a window open. Keep it away from foot traffic, because if it spills, the spilled oil will spread flame VERY quickly! These type of open flames cause most of the deaths and property damage attributed to squatting.

For a DIY oil lamp, just make a clay bowl and use a cotton shoelace as a wick.

Many grocery stores sell a seven day candle often with religious images on it. Look in the Mexican foods section. These are great for night lights and the tall walls and splashing wax usually put the fire out if there is a tip over. If possible choose white wax and clear glass so you will get maximum usable light compared to colored candle residue and containers.

If you are in an underground squat, something like an old abandoned subway or utility tunnel a Coleman type lantern using pressurized liquid fuel which gives the best large area coverage might be a good idea, the propane type lantern might also be considered if you can get a big propane tank like is used for a barbecue grill, look at camping shops or online for a long adapter hose. Above all be careful with fire safety.

If you plan to spend hours or days exploring underground tunnels a carbide type lamp which is fueled with water and calcium carbide. The cheapest way to find a carbide lamp is in an antique shop but be sure that it is in good shape and the drip valves still work. Carry a backup LED light if you plan on using a carbide lamp. If you accidentally drop it or otherwise have the carbide lamp go out, you may need some lighting to see enough to reignite it

Stealth Light

If you are concerned with being noticed in your squat as you fumble about at night you should not use a full power flashlight or even a standard white LED light. Some flashlights, like the one used by the army, come with color filters: red to preserve night vision, and sometimes blue which is harder to notice on a dark night. In any case, if you really want stealth it might be smart to go a step further and poke a pinhole in some foil and blue filter the light too. Avoid swinging the light it is better that it not move as this attracts less attention. Blinking the light on and off as needed is what distress beacons do to get attention, bad idea for stealthy squatters. Do a light survey with a partner outside and assess the visibility, consider paper or cardboard over the lower windows to stealth your squat if they are too visible.


If you are lucky you will have access to electricity or find a heated room. There are ways to get the most out of heat even if you are paying for the electricity. Even in a large house move all appliances especially the oven, if possible the hot water heater, and refrigerator into your sleeping room and be sure to seal the window with plastic if needed and have a rolled rug or blanket to block the gap under your door, many interior doors would be helped with weatherstripping to further reduce drafts especially in windy areas. If the central heating is not in use be sure to block up the vent which might be drafting cold air into your room. A candle flame, smoke from an incense stick, or lit cigarette are all good tools if used carefully to survey your room for drafts. You may be surprised to see that we mention keeping the refrigerator in your room but in reality a fridge generates lots of heat as it works to cool the food inside so instead of keeping all of you food frozen outside why not let the fridge do double duty heating your studio. You will develop an eye for heat sources to keep in you room, a hair dryer is a great way to warm up your sleeping bag, a cheap air popper popcorn machine makes a snack as you warm your room, but be careful when cooking since just living in a cold room causes condensation which leads to mold related health problems so much more so with pots of boiling water. Running a fan in your squat while you are gone sometimes helps with condensation problems. If you just cant find a small room in the building you inhabit consider setting up a tent to live in or making a canopy bed (see Free Furniture) these are both small spaces you can cheaply heat if you have an electrical heater. Kerosene and propane heaters are available at most hardware stores and they produce great heat as long as you can afford the fuel although these also have a greater risk of fires if something flammable is placed too close. Do not fall into the temptation to bring in a charcoal stove for heat unless you have the gasses vented out a chimney, carbon monoxide is a known killer of squatters.

Staying warm

If you have no heat of electricity, insulate the walls with carpet or similar material, and use thick plastic to make tents for sleeping. You can use candles and kerosene heaters and lanterns, but don't store kerosene near them or leave them burning while you are asleep or absent. Steal a fire extinguisher or two, or leave around buckets of sand or water, and put up smoke detectors.

Watch for heating vents on buildings and sidewalks, hand-dryers in bathrooms, and other public sources of air that can be used to expand inflatables, which can be custom-made to fit these sites. One folk scientist made a series of inflatable tents that could be attached to the outtake ducts of building ventilation systems to provide housing and warmth for their homeless occupants

You can make a hand-warmer out of a used Polaroid film canister once you're done with it break the cartridge open, take out the battery to use for something else, and connect the wires - it'll be quite hot for a few minutes.

You can keep a little warmer on those cold, cold nights by eating foods high in fats an hour before you go to sleep. It may also help to switch the layers of your clothing, so the one beside your skin si not damp with perspiration. No matterhow cold it is, don't sleep in more than two pairs of socks - this will constrict your circulation, without which no amount of clothing can keep your feet warm.

You can make a pocket hand-warmer by filling a cloth bag with dry beans plus rice or corn and microwaving it; it should retain heat for a couple of hours and if you get hungry, you can always cook and eat your hand warmer.

You can keep warm in winter by lining the inside of your clothes with plastic; this will work best if you place the layer of plastic riht next to your skin, although it will make you sweat a lot.


If you can get a fan, all the better. We like the small cheap clamp-on models. You can make an improvised "swamp cooler" by putting a bowl of ice in front of the fan, and let the air blow across the ice. If you can find a rack to hang a towel or damp clothes in front of the fan (but not over it), wet the towel with water. As the water evaporates, it will cool the air. If you can get a hold of a small sprayer or ultrasonic fogger that generates a constant mist, you can spray the air in front of the fan. Just remember to keep the water away from the fan itself. Water and electricity don't mix.

During the real dog days of summer a cool bucket of water for your feet can really make a difference, add a well ventilated chaise lounge and you are ready for a nice siesta.

The heat of the day is the ideal time to bathe and wash your clothes and wear them wet, you will feel clean and your damp clothes should keep you cool for a while. This works best in dry areas, but even in a humid place sitting in front of a fan with damp clothes will cool you down.

If you have made a squat inside a building with HVAC there might be a thermostat for you to manipulate. Most won't allow you to set desired temperature but a hot pack in summer or ice pack or snowball in winter should get you closer to that desired temperature.


A PDA or small laptop gives you access to the net, if you are willing to pay corpgov for their cellular service you can get on almost anywhere but it is traceable to location and expensive. Better to hunt out a a free wi-fi hotspot, an open home network (a cantenna works great for these two), go to a local college / school computer lab or the nearest public library. Either find a program or write a script to download all of the websites you frequent at an open WiFi zone, that way you can quickly grab all of your daily news and reading in a minute or two and sit and enjoy it in your squat. A laptop, embedded device, or PDA with a DIY cantenna, yaggi, or patch antenna can often use wifi from a great distance if there is a line of sight

A good WiFi hacking tutorial can be found in the Internet Communications chapter.

Free internet can also be accessed in a library (sometimes you need a card, sometimes for a limited time). You can also go into your local Apple store and 'try' one of their laptops. They all have unlimited Internet access.

A Knoppix or Damn Small Linux disk lets you take over a Windows-owned machine and run your free unlimited system on it bypassing most blockages. A USB keychain drive lets you carry your files and photos as you document the fight and get your information out to the people. See alsoInternet Communications and Free_Telephones

A Word on Batteries, Solar, and "Wind-Up" Gadgets

You might see ads for various electrical devices (radios, flashlights, etc.) that generate their own power by wind-up motors. Many of the expensive ones often use a small rubber belt in the pulley drive that gets stretched out and slips after a few years. They are a bother to replace, if they can be replaced at all.

Others require LOTS of winding, since the hand crank is connected directly to the dynamo. It's best to wind these things up to charge the on-board batteries when you have nothing else to do, since you want the power when you need it. Gadgets with a small solar panel are best.

If you can score rechargeable batteries and a charger, great. Just remember that plug-in chargers need constant voltage (the town library usually has a few unattended outlets), and some cheaper solar powered chargers need about two days of steady sunshine to charge the batteries. Also, rechargeable batteries lose their power in storage, so check the charge and try to keep them refreshed. If you can find a larger solar panel like is used by the road department on signs or the little ones from car lots for keeping car batteries charged, these will work more quickly than the little solar clamshell chargers.

see Cycling for bike generator charging andBackpacking andCamping for larger portable solar cells.

Pest Control

  • Keep your squat very clean, you might even consider eating and storing food in a different location than you sleep. Leaving your food in your pack is an invitation to have a mouse or rat chew a hole.

  • Shake out and wash if possible all clothing and sleeping bags as bedbugs like to collect here.

  • Vinegar can sometimes get rid of ants and roaches, if this fails try boric acid from the pharmacist/chemist or the hardware store. Remember, these insects don't create or spread filth (in fact, they prefer to eat it or take it home), so instead of wearing yourself out smashing them individually, try to track down what's attracting them and clean it up.

  • Bay leaves, mint, and other aromatic herbs will help keep insects out of your gear.

  • Citronella candles are expensive; try to find pure citronella oil sold for cleaning, this is the extracts of the oils from the citronella plant, it can be burned with a wick to drive off flying insects but also gives away your position from its strong citrus-like smell.

  • A buzz haircut helps avoid lice but if you have long hair a drop or two of olive oil on you comb every the morning is healthy for you hair and skin but also prevents the lice from finding a dry spot for gluing their eggs to your hair near the root.

  • Eating raw garlic will repel many insects including mosquitoes, it is no substitute for a net in areas infested with malaria or other flying insect carried illnesses.

  • In malaria country remember to tuck the mosquito net edges under your mattress at night after you have inspected for holes and mosquitoes, fold up and store during the day.

  • Don't forget to take your malaria prevention meds every day in an afflicted area.

Hobos used to "boil up" every chance they got. What this meant was they would put their clothes and bedding into a tub of boiling water and hard boil any bugs or their eggs living in there. Frequently boiling up your clothes and bedding combined with buzzing your hair, pits, and pubes leaves very little place for the bugs to hang on.

Free Land

Last updated: 11 August 2011

A life without landlords is a common Americans dream real estate agencies love to sell. However, it takes a lot of work to own property without becoming a slave to financial institutions or the Government. A typical homeowner on a very small plot with a house in the suburbs usually has make payments for up to 30 years! If the owner loses their job or is forced to move, the property can be foreclosed, and sold at a fraction of the price to vulture investors with the banks still asking the difference .

Furthermore, because some Americans are worrisome creatures, there are many restrictions on what can and cannot be done to a piece of land. Zoning practices can keep you from setting up the front of a house as a storefront. In quite a few areas a home must be of a certain square footage to "keep up property values" (Read: more tax money for the slime balls in StateGov). Ritzy neighborhoods may have in place community covenants where your nosy neighbor could actually get you fined or force you to sell! Typical covenants range from required lawn mowing, not being able to change the oil in your car or even wok on it in your own driveway, even down to what colors you are allowed to paint your house.

However, some of the benefits of owning versus renting are great. There will be no landlord to tell you that you cannot grow eggplants in the backyard. Even if you want to knock out a wall to renovate, no one will stop you. Not to mention, even the worst loan contracts for buying a house or land are much more favorable than a renter's lease if hard times fall.

So get some free land and tell the landlord to shove it!


  • 1 Adverse Possession

  • 1.1 Repo Your Own House From the Bank

  • 2 Buying Cheap Land

  • 2.1 Free Kansas land

  • 3 Developing Undeveloped Land / Keeping Cheap Land

  • 3.1 Undeveloped Land

  • 3.1.1 Should I commit to building a home?

  • 3.1.2 Time

  • 3.1.3 Cost

  • 3.1.4 Questions to Ask Yourself

  • 3.1.5 How to Build A Home

  • 3.2 Cheap home, urban setting

  • 3.3 Building codes and how even anarchists can follow them

  • 4 Into the wild

Adverse Possession

Adverse possession AKA squatters rights is an ancient common law legal process now codified into law in most English speaking areas. It essentially consists of acquiring legal title to a piece of property belonging to another party after spending a specified amount of undisturbed time acting like you are the owner and sometimes also making certain improvements on the property. This law covers both rural and urban properties. If the family of a passed relative forgets about a property or you move in quickly and clean up an abandoned or foreclosed house as though you had purchased it there is no reason that anyone would suspect anything until several years later when you make your claim with the county or state for full legal title. It might even be possible to assure repayment for your improvements and place a lien on a property in case the owners ever return and demand the property before you can make your claim, in the face of the lien they may just leave you alone. Unfortunately one of the obligations of an owner is paying property taxes, but to make finding a property easier look on the county or state unpaid property tax rolls, this might help you narrow your search for abandoned property. So paying taxes is one good way to document that you are using the property, the good news is most counties will happily accept tax checks from both parties usually not telling the old owner what you are doing. A great way to establish a claim is to arrange for a friend with a squeaky clean look and record to 'trespass' on your squatted land as soon as possible after settling down, call it in to the cops, maybe they come by maybe not, this will leave a record in the police blotter that you are acting as the exclusive landowner.

It is important to be vague on how you entered a structure to occupy it, breaking and entering is hard to prove unless you admit it, in the US the 5 th amendment means you can't be forced to testify against yourself, if the cops or anyone else ever asked just say you legally entered the premises, your home, and moved in, nothing more. If neighbors ask just say that you have a deal with the state and bank be vague, some neighbors will be jealous if they see you grab a free house that once belonged to their friend and might expend foolish amounts of time an money to keep you from getting your free lunch.

All you need is the balls to do this easy task and for one occupation you a street kid can be picking up homes for free, the equivalent of a six figure income, more if you adverse possess something in downtown Manhattan or Hollywood hills. If you decide to adverse posses additional properties and rent them out this is also a way to occupy the property in order to meet the statutory requirements, ordinary property owners rent out houses all the time and so can you in addition the contract is legal proof that you are acting as exclusive property owner. Now is the time for the rebellion to legally grab the free unused land, buildings, and means of production before the laws change or property values return to sanity.

What is important is that you meet the following conditions:

  • You must actually occupy and use the property in the way a real owner would.

  • Your occupation must be open and obvious, stealthy squats do not qualify.

  • Your occupation must be exclusive, the current title holder must not concurrently enjoy any use of the property and you must be the only person openly acting as the landowner or landlord.

  • Your possession must be hostile as in it must not be with the permission of the property owner, and hostile to his interest in retaining ownership of the property.

  • You must be able to document that you have been acting as the landowner for the full period required by law without interruption.

  • Claim to legal title must be either based on what is assumed to be legal title or squatters rights as established in state law.

  • The statutory period or statute of limitations as established by law must have been met, it might be possible to count a previous squatters occupation and transfer to you as part of the legally required total occupation period.

A property owner may make the following defenses to block your claim to title in squatted lands or property by the following:

  • Permissive use, you had permission to use or live on the land from the owner, pretty much never talk to or have any contact with the former owner without a lawyer skilled in property law and adverse possession present.

  • Public lands may be exempt from adverse possession rights.

  • The owner may make a defense that you did not make sufficient use of the property to establish your claim.

  • The owner may claim that he or others also acted in the manner of a property owner during your period of adverse possession.

  • It may be claimed that your possession did meet the full required statutory period or that there was an interruption of your occupation.

Because you will likely assume tax responsibility it might be better for some squatters to claim easement rights to dwell and use the property while leaving the landlord in actual possession with tax liability. If he is somehow able to drive you off for a specified period of time after you win adverse possession without you suing him for damages or filing a complaint he regains full rights to the land under the same legal theory.

Repo Your Own House From the Bank

Especially now with the foreclosure mess and housing bust you may be foreclosed out of your house, if you go along with that and move your stuff to storage there is no reason not to move back. The trick is that banks don't want to be responsible for a foreclosed property but if they don't kick people out there would be no societal stick to keep everyone paying mortgages. They will foreclose in court but not take title, this is an easy search in county records to find out, you still have your paperwork right? You can move back in and tell your neighbors you made a deal and now own the home outright, make the vague deal sound heartbreakingly expensive so they wont get jealous and poke around. Your old paperwork will probably work fine to reconnect the utilities and everything should be ducky until you can ride out the often shorter with-paperwork possession time period have the court give you your clear title and you will own the home you were cast out of by the bank without paying another penny to the banksters. As always it is good to invest some money to have the advice of a lawyer competent in this area of law advise you especially since you wont have a mortgage to worry about.

Buying Cheap Land

If you are wishing for the ultimate retreat or the future site of your own revolutionary compound, rural land can sometimes be picked up reasonably. By reasonable, we mean around 5,000 to 20,000 USD for a usable large parcel of land out in the sticks ranging from 5 acres to 10. Of course, the price jumps exponentially the nearer to a city you get or if any resources like timber, or farm structures are located on it. Note, that this does not include the possibility that you may have to pay the power company and telephone company to run wires, a water company to lay pipe, or need to install a septic system. Nor does a land for this price usually include a house.

Craigslist and eBay can be good places for the frugal Revolutionary to look for cheap land, but do not shy away from a good realtor either. While the Realtor wants a commission, all state certified realtors have access to a database of all land being sold in the state they do business in - even many not listed in newspapers or on the web. That includes cheap land as well as luxury country club mansions. Most realtors will even offer free rides to the land to "show" it to you and will help you with the massive paperwork and financing. Be forewarned: Many of the really cheap properties listed are out in the desert, only accessible across miles of very rough road. Some may be located in flood plains than stay underwater every good rain or may be out in the swamps only accessible by boat. Most will have no utilities or cellphone coverage, or have no real farmible or arable land, and the nearest source of water may be miles away. If the main selling point is that the land is "affordable", it may be going cheap because no one wants to buy it. Also, get a property lawyer always to keep from getting screwed.

Speaking of rural land, you can still try using the antiquated free mining claim laws. Unfortunately, it appears that this frontier option is only left open for megacorps today with good legal departments. Even if a mining claim can be made legit, we are doubtful on the option of camping out on the land. The laws as we read them seem to imply actual documented mining activity and forbid all camping or residential structures on the claim without a prior waiver from the US Department of the Interior.

If being isolated out in the middle of nowhere just is not your style, there also deals to be found in many cities with a bit of research or the help of a realtor, if you tell the realtor exactly what you are looking for. Many cities have blighted housing which they cannot afford to tear down. Most of the time, you get a sliver of land with a dangerously messed up house for 2000 USD to 10000 USD. Problem is, most of the time, the city is going to give you a set time frame to demolish the house or make efforts to fix it or end up taking it back in short order. They may want to see that you have the funds in a bank to do this. Now, if you have useful trade skills like electrician, plumbing, and carpentry - you are golden. But, if you have no skills or the cash, it can sometimes take more cash to fix up than would be to go into debt slavery to buy a small place with few problems.

Free Kansas land

Kansas has a program to reverse certain county's negative population growth trend. Certain counties in Kansas offer plots of free land around the size of 10k-30k sq. feet, or about half an acre, or about a 1/3rd a size of a football field. They do this in exchange for the promise that someone will move to this land.

Usually the acquisition of this land requires that you demonstrate that you plan to build a house on this land soon after acquiring it. This means that you need to install a pre-manufactured home, have a contractor build on site, or build the house yourself. The land's still free and usually in an accessible area (and if there aren't roads, often the town will split the cost of developing a basic road with you), you just need to build a house. This program is only useful if you're looking for residential land.

Kansas Free Land (

Developing Undeveloped Land / Keeping Cheap Land

If you buy a plot, and you want to use it as a place to live without having to worry about occasional run-ins with the police, you will need to do three things.

1. If there is no residential structure (house/trailer) there already, build one or move one in.

2. Pay property taxes once a year.

3. Build/keep any residential structures up to code.

Doing these things not only keeps you out of the cross-hairs of the state, but it makes you look like a model citizen in the eyes of the public, even if you have weird ideas, and make unusual decisions about what plot of land.

As already discussed, here are the three ways to get cheap land.

  • buying/getting for free undeveloped land and building a house on it

  • buying/adverse possession of a cheap home in a run-down, depopulated district of a city or town

  • buying a cheap home in a rural area where property values are rock-bottom===

Let's examine how the above three obligations apply to each of these methods.

Undeveloped Land

If you're interested in "roughing it" out in nature (in which case, see the "Into the Wild" section below), you can get away (at least until you're found out) with building your own home that's entirely not to code, and not paying property taxes at all.

But in all other cases you'll need to pay property taxes or you'll get in trouble. It's not impossible to use property inspectors to your advantage if you feel the state is overcharging you, or simply find a state with very low property taxes. But taxes are the most basic way the government pushes people into wider participation in and support of the general corporate economy. In that way, they are very important to government, and tax evasion is one of most actively prosecuted behaviors. This is not a movie. You cannot take on the entirety of the government on your own. If you want to buy a piece of land just for you and a couple of people, you are generally going to have to pay property taxes. That's the game.

Likewise, if you build a home yourself in an area where it might receive electricity or water, then it's an area where it will be quickly found out that you're building a home. You're going to need a permit for that. Even if you're building an unorthodox residential structure, most local civil employees will actually be glad to work with you on licensing you to build it (cool, kooky eco-homes, or eco-communities could equal tourist money. Even with that out of mind though, municipal civil employees have slow workdays). It is a mistake to assume that just because you are doing some things which subvert a larger socioeconomic system, that the entirety of the legal system is angling to destroy you. It's not.

Should I commit to building a home?

Building a home yourself, and especially building a home to code, is hard work that requires dedication, lots of time, and lots of money. Building your own home is an expression of conspicuous leisure, won't overthrow the man, and is not the most efficient cost-effective way to get a home.

Are there good reasons for building your own home? That's for you to decide. But building a home is a commitment. You have to decide why you're doing this before you start.


If you have never touched a power tool in your life, then expect to take at least a year, and very likely more than two years. This will be the case even if you can occasionally enlist a friend, or have a partner who is working with you on it. In fact, this will be the case even if you are well-versed in some of the tasks that come into play in construction or remodeling (drywall, finish carpentry, tiling, etc.) The only way you can expect to beat the one-year mark or bring the home reliably close to the one-year mark is if you have spent years working in remodeling or construction.


If you are experienced, building a 1-story, 1000 sq. ft. home (including buying tools on site) may set you back only 10­15,000. If you are new at this, it will probably set you back 20-30,000. This is not including lodging and food for the time you spend building it. Unlike buying a house for $15,000, a single person (who hasn't run their own one-man construction business for the past few years) can't get a loan which they can pay back over years. So buying a 15,000 home will hurt your wallet less than spending $15,000 to make your own home

Questions to Ask Yourself

Although it would be really cool to build your own home and get you lots of street cred, it is wise to put aside those childish considerations when deciding whether to do it. Building a home is very isolating, will take up a large chunk of your life and will likely give you a back injury or two.

Before building a home, ask yourself these questions:

  • Why am I doing this? What do I get out of it? Is the reason I am doing this a good enough reason to be worth all the hours and dangers I will face in building a home?

  • Could I complete this home faster by simply working a job and then paying a few people or a company which is better and faster at building homes than I am to build it?

  • Am I building this house to live in, or am I trying to build it to a level of quality where I could sell it and get some money back? If I am building it to live in, do I really want to chain myself to this area for several years afterward? Would building it "worth it" if I might want to move away a year or so down the line anyway? What if I lose my source of income and must move far away?

  • (Let's be honest now) Am I building this to prove something to myself, impress my friends, or impress people I am attracted to (and then get laid more)? Do I really need to prove something to myself? And... do I really want to hang with folks that only like me if I have a house they can move into or crash and party at? Merely owning possessions that increases social acceptance does not solve issues like low self esteem or poor interaction skills.

  • If I am in a corpgov approved marriage with an actual marriage license (or been living with the same person for years under common law), have I made arrangements on who will get the property after all this work if the relationship turns sour? Selling off during a divorce can often mean selling at a loss or losing the place outright to a vindictive spouse with a good lawyer. Property owned before a marriage can be taken, too if the spouse can claim they contributed towards the equity of it. But, this depends on state.

How to Build A Home

Buy a book. Lots of books. Go to for building codes. Start reading. The majority of your time needs to be spent on research beforehand. If you do all your learning "as needed"/"as you go," you will make many, many costly mistakes and end up spending much more time and money on fixing those mistakes then you would have if you didn't make them in the first place. This will also give you a sense for how very much work needs to be done.

Altogether, this wiki is not the place for a complete guide on construction.

Cheap home, urban setting

As usual, property tax depends on the state. If it's based off of property value like in California, then that helps you out a lot. Then again, you might not want to buy in California as Prop. 13 has created a housing market where even broken down house's have an artificially inflated property value and cost.

That said, the problem of keeping this new cheap property by remodeling and keeping the building up to code can be approached three obvious ways:

  • Buy a home that may need substantial remodeling, and pay for the basics or do it yourself.

No need to make the place last another century, but this is an opportunity to take care of all those holes in the floor.

  • Seek out a home in a run-down area that doesn't need too much remodeling.

There are plenty of homes in Detroit which are on sale for $1 because they're in a largely-vacant neighborhood whose only residents are rabid dogs and career criminals. Many of the homes in neighborhoods are falling apart and need remodeling, but there are quite a few which don't and only have such a low property value because of the setting.

  • Seek out a home in a run-down area in a metropolis that is so busy with its own problems, it won't pay any attention to yours.

In many poor neighborhoods, say far far south (past 80th st.) Chicago, falling-apart homes in poor neighborhoods is just the way life is there. You're likely to get in trouble if you're squatting, as its a common crime there so police watch out for it, but there are plenty of other people there who do it. And if you buy your own place in the neighborhood, if you do anything to keep the home up, that's still much better then the landlords around you, and you'll be left alone. Of course, if you're white, you're probably going to stand out in the neighborhood quite a bit for blocks in any direction and no matter what you'd like to think your skin color is a force for gentrification and your neighbors being pushed out of their homes. But if you're concerned about the hostility from that, you can always go for the poor white areas. Nothing wrong with living like everyone else in this country does - flat broke.

Building codes and how even anarchists can follow them

Whether you buy a home, are building your own, or are trying to acquire a home through adverse possession, you will have to do construction or remodeling of some kind to keep it up to code. Most radical types I know scoff at building codes as just some capitalist obstacle meant to hinder their free-thinking. It's not that simple.

Building licenses and Building Codes are there for a good reason

They're part of the process by which our society makes sure buildings which the majority of the populace ends up in are safe and don't kill anyone. Although in a different society, a different process could be used with more friendly human interaction, this is a process that has been built to work within the capitalist system to put a limit on reckless corporate behavior. You will find that because of its undiscriminating gaze, though, that it also greatly constrains your small-time personal behavior in building a home. In that sense, codes do make building a home inaccessible for the "little man" who does not have a pile of money or time.

As unfair as it may seem, there is a good reason for all this red tape. What may strike you as a nice but usually unnecessary feature (mandatory height distances from floors to outlets in basements, GFCI outlets in all bathrooms) will occur in the same way to many a thrifty contractor, and many home-building contractors or teams are just as small-time as you and your friends are. If everyone got to build what they personally thought was "safe enough," and made that decision around avoiding personal inconvenience and expenditure, we'd have a lot of unnecessary deaths in this country. Although the existence of building codes could be posed as a sacrificing-freedom-for-security tradeoff, it is without doubt that if these codes were not mandatory (and thus home safety was determined by the capitalist market), no home that was affordable to the poor would adhere to them in the slightest, and thus choice of home design would be a "freedom" and a luxury that only the rich could afford. Instead of assuring freedom to the poor, most of the poor would still be confined in their choice of residence, only now to one which was manifestly unsafe to save development moguls a few dollars.

Getting city approval and cooperation doesn't have to be difficult

As a result, if you are building or significantly remodeling a home (rather than just, say, changing the flooring up) you're going to need to learn a lot about building codes, and interact with a lot of government employees (property inspectors, HUD clerks, courts, you name it). As mentioned above, it is a mistake to assume that just because you are doing some things which subvert a larger socioeconomic system, that the entirety of the legal system is angling to destroy you. It's not.

For example, municipal, small-time civil servants like these are often disconnected from the machine enough to appreciate (when presented to them properly) that the letter of the law is not the spirit of the law. If you are seeking to develop a unique home, do unordinary remodeling, or in any sense build your own home in their county most of them will be happy to work with you, guide you through the process, and give you leeway and flexibility when you're having trouble doing something. This is not always the case: some of them are hardasses, or will be antagonistic to you. The best way to get a municipal building inspector antagonistic to you is to assume a relationship of antagonism from the start.

How to make city approval and cooperation difficult

For example, if you are building a home, don't go in there having never built a house in your life with the clear belief that because you are an anarchist/communist/free thinker/environmentalist/whatever that you will be able to build in one or two years a specialty home that is safer, more efficient, and better designed than any home all of Western civilization has built in the last hundreds of years.

Drop the attitude. Don't be condescending or patronizing. Your worldview may be superior, they may be living an empty, boring life, and you might really be right about how much smarter you are than everyone, but be smart and keep your mouth shut about it while you're there. When someone feels that you don't respect them or are making fun of them, they're much less likely to help you out. You already know how radical you are, and they don't need to know, so there's no need to make this about how radical you are.

You are entering their domain and field of expertise and they are doing you a favor: show respect for their customs like you would if you were a visitor or intruder anywhere. Dress like them (business casual or blue-collar clothes when you go to their office, blue-collar clothes on-site), look like them (have someone go in there / meet them who doesn't have dreads or a rat tail, cover up tattoos at least to the elbow, remove piercings if convenient and possible), talk like them (keep slang to a minimum, especially "ironic" or mocking slang).


If you have unusual goals for building or remodeling projects, figure it out, do your homework, and go in there all­business about addressing that goal. Be assertive, but only about what you're there to do. You're just another person going in there to work on a building project. They are the place to go to for help, and they are there to help you. Don't bring your ideology into it. The average Jane or Joe is happily willing to help you with an unusual, interesting, or small­time building or remodeling effort. But they are not interested in indulging your ego. Don't bring it up.

Into the wild

In the 60s there was a big move of hippies living rough in national parks, some communities still exist today:

  • In Alaska you can stay in logging cabins undisturbed.

  • In Humboldt county people camp out growing masses of weed, too much for police to find and destroy.

  • In Berkley, yippies turned a barren parking lot into a community center with grass, swings, free-form sculpture and gardens. The University of California, with the aid of Ronald Reagan and the Berkeley storm troopers, fought with guns, clubs and tear gas to regain the land from the outlaw people. The pigs killed James Rector and won an empty victory. For now the park is fenced off, tarred over and converted into unused basketball courts and unused parking lots. Not one person has violated the oath never to set foot on the site. It stands, cold and empty, two blocks north of crowded Telegraph Avenue. If the revolution does not survive, all the land will perish under the steam roller of imperialism. People's Death Valley will happen in our lifetime. The Berkeley People's Park reopened in 1972 and is accepted by the University as a park. However, activists and police still clash over it sometimes, and the fascists from the '60s have no regrets for their actions, not even the murder. There is a very good article at the moment on the English Wikipedia ( .


Last updated: 5 April 2011

Backpacking and Camping are both viable ways to live without a permanent address. Backpacking implies much more mobility and deeper wilderness, the equipment is mostly suitable for touring both on foot and by bicycle. Camping is more stable and often involves more comfortable bedding and cooking equipment. A camper hitches a ride, drives, or even uses a trailer, while a backpacker can easily move on his own. See also Camping

  • 1 Backpacking

  • 2 Packs

  • 2.1 Internal vs. External Frame Packs

  • 2.2 Daypacks

  • 3 Sleeping Gear

  • 3.1 Sleeping Bags

  • 3.2 Sleeping Pads

  • 3.3 Bivvy Sack

  • 3.4 Hammock

  • 4 Food Preparation

  • 4.1 Stoves

  • 4.1.1 Liquid Fuel

  • 4.1.2 Compressed Gas

  • 4.2 Open Fuel

  • 4.2.1 Solid Fuels

  • 4.2.2 Triangia Stove

  • 4.2.3 Drink Can Stove

  • 4.3 Pots

  • 4.4 Refrigeration

  • 4.5 Pressure Cooker

  • 4.6 Insulation

  • 4.7 Mess Kit

  • 5 Forest Forage

  • 6 Water

  • 6.1 Purification

  • 6.2 Drinking Systems

  • 6.3 Giardia

  • 6.4 Hydration

  • 7 Clothing

  • 7.1 Footwear

  • 7.2 Clothes

  • 7.3 Jacket

  • 7.4 Hat

  • 7.5 Underwear

  • 8 Electronics

  • 8.1 Communications

  • 8.1.1 HF Radio

  • 8.1.2 Handheld Radios

  • 8.1.3 Packable Sat-Com

  • 8.1.4 Sat-Phone

  • 8.1.5 Primitive

  • 8.2 Power Generation

  • 9 Light

  • 9.1 Flashlight and Headlight

  • 10 Bug Repellent

  • 11 Navigation

  • 12 Toilet

  • 13 Walking Sticks

  • 14 Tools and Repairs

  • 15 Other Skills

  • 15.1 Cycling

  • 15.2 Skiing

  • 16 Ultralight

  • 17 Where to Stealth/Free Camp

  • 18 Washing

  • 18.1 Hot Springs

  • 19 Deep Wilderness

  • 20 Avoiding Vagrancy Problems


Contrary to what the magazines and gear shoppes would like you to think you don't need to have the most expensive equipment money can buy to take to the hills. There is sometimes a trade off in comfort, weight, and function with the expensive gear, but never let price keep you from choosing this option, we hope some of our ideas can get you out without breaking your budget. Often the price difference in the ultra$$ brands is because of expensive advertising. Just remember many successful hobos and cowboys only had a tarp, a blanket, a pocket knife, a spoon, some rope to make a blanket bundle bag and a old can or pot to cook stew over an open wood fire.

Don't forget to visit mom and pop army-navy surplus stores for lots of weird junk mixed with some useful and sometimes very high quality camping gear, unless you swiped it from a base a bit of the money from surplus supports some generals slush fund, but the deep discounts are worth it, just watch out for obsolete, worn out, heavy, or low quality gear. Unfortunately unless you move fast most of the best deals are quickly grabbed and sold at online auctions.

Lastly a good general rule especially for used or DIY gear is to test it out like you plan to use it. Eat your planned camping menu while you are working a heavy physical labor job or training for sports to ensure it really satisfies you. Cook a meal or two on a multifuel stove using diesel fuel or old gasoline on a windy day. Set up your tent at night or in the wind. Spray the tent, bivvy sack, or your rain gear with a garden hose. Wear your loaded pack and trail boots on several local hikes. Camp in the backyard or park in your sleeping bag. If you figure out the problems and limits in a safe environment you will be ready and equipped properly in the deep wilderness. There is something to be said for the power of learning in the school of hard knocks, but minimize the pain and save the knocks for bigger lessons.


A quality pack is very important, fit is very personal, you need to try on the loaded pack (take 30-50 lbs of well sacked sand bags or call ahead and see if the store has some) before you buy and walk around for at least an hour.

Quality external frame packs while not in vogue are often cheaper and let you carry lots of heavy gear, the internal frame packs hug tight to your body giving you more stability. Be sure the straps are comfortable on your shoulders and chest and that the sternum strap can be moved to a comfortable place Women especially need to find a pack with shoulder straps contoured to not rub their armpits or breasts when cinched tight.

The old US Army ALICE (All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment) frame pack is an excellent buy if you can find one in good shape on the surplus market and it fits you, don't pay over $30-40.

Care must be exercised since a high priced pack might have bad stitching or components and a really good pack might be sold for very cheap if it is a brand unknown in the US.

Things to look for: well ventilated back pad, anti-damp shoulder straps and belt pad, useful outside pockets, drinking system compatibility, gear attachment loops, modularity, quality zippers, and durability especially at the shoulder straps and seams.

A pack cover with a draw string protects your pack from rain and also makes it difficult for pickpockets to quickly find the zippers. A pack cover could be reversed to cover straps during air travel.

Internal vs. External Frame Packs

There are two main styles of backpacks: Internal Frame packs and External Frame packs. As the name implies, internal frame packs have frames inside the pack and usually consist of two metal slats that are molded to one's contours. Internal frame packs offer more control of weight and are often more comfortable. An external frame pack consist of a frame in which a bag and straps are attached separately. External frame packs allow more air flow between the packer's back and the pack. Also, external frame packs are offer more compartments allowing for better organization where an internal frame offers one main compartment and a few external pockets. While external frame packs can be loaded as much as needed by attaching more compartments and hanging items, the contents tend to be more exposed to the elements and the pack is noticeably heavier in deadweight than an internal frame. Talk to your local outdoor outfitter to see which one is best for you.


When traveling by train, bus, or airplane find a good daypack that is comfortable when either attached to the main pack straps or looped forward on your arms as well as when you wear it on your back. Keep your valuables in the front day pack where you have control of it an leave your bulky stuff in the main pack. This method makes you an easier target for robbery since you will have difficulty defending yourself and is best for moving in terminals or short walks to a hotel or hostel. A good daypack is useful if you are setting up a secure base camp and taking hikes or overnight trips from there.

Small light-duty backpacks and tote bags are available which fit into a key chain or back pocket and weigh almost nothing. Stuffable packs are good for unexpected shopping when walking or cycling, it is also a good place to stick a jacket or sweater if the weather gets hot.

Sleeping Gear

See Camping for picking the right tent and living out of it.

Sleeping Bags

The price difference in sleeping bags is mostly a factor of name brand style, weight, and packed size versus warmth. The difference is in the construction, fill material, the shell, and in the lining. The shell is usually nylon and is thin or thick depending on if durability or weight are desired, for any shell the weave should be tight to prevent snags. Fill material available is constantly changing, 600 goose down is the gold standard for insulation but is worthless if wet, we don't recommend it. Synthetics claim many qualities, but good fluff is what you really need; claims of new 3D fibers and such pop up every few years, be skeptical of amazing powers contained in the newest expensive fiber filling. Lining is usually nylon, coolmax, or a nylon-cotton mix, the cotton and coolmax synthetics make the liner more comfortable in hot weather, while nylon is lighter weight. Multi day camping trips or people in homelessnes situations should avoid sleeping bags with cotton as an ingredient in the bag liner and fill, synthetic mixes are now made which simulate the comfort of cotton but dry quickly. Cotton makes warm summer nights and entry during cold nights during indoor sleepovers more comfortable if it gets wet it is nearly impossible to dry out without a serious heat source. Construction is very important, some features mentioned only apply to a mummy style or rectangle bag, look for the following: neck and face draw-strings, quality (YKK is good) zippers, full length zippers, compatibility to zip two bags together, hang loops, mesh gear pocket, foot contour, thicker insulation on bottom, and box baffling of insulation.

A low temperature and a medium temperature mummy bag give you a modular extreme cold system, nest the smaller bag inside the larger for very cold nights, and in warmer weather if the zippers match you have room for two.

Many inexpensive sleeping bags can now be found to include many of the features needed to keep warm even in cooler temperatures, while not performing badly in terms of weight and packing. An army poncho liner blanket is very light and can be stuffed into any place in your bag where you feel cold.

A coton or silk liner makes entry during winter more comfortable althugh we recommend sleeping in your long underwear and some loose fitting fiber filled warm slippers. A bag liner makes keeping the sleeping bag clean easy too just wash that since you are not in contact with the sleeping bag, and you can use it as a hostel sheet in summer when couch surfing.

In nice weather a sleeping bag or blanket is enough, the dew that forms will evaporate quickly in the morning. Sleeping under the stars is great until the bugs arrive Sewing a section of insect net onto the opening of your bag or just including it in the stuff sack is a very cheap way to avoid the itchies at the least and nasty stuff like West Nile virus or even Malaria in some areas. If it stays on your head a baseball cap is a great way to keep the bug screen off of your face as you sleep outside.

If you're really down and out, one or more of the "lint" blankets given away by homeless shelters inside of a taped or melted-shut piece of visqueen plastic sheeting will keep you warm and block the wind, but the blankets and bag need to be seperated and dried out every day.

Sleeping Pads

The best choice for a sleeping pad is a well made self inflating pad, it is both light and durable. However, if you are on a budget, stick with the old indestructible closed-cell foam roll-up mat, it will keep you warm and dry, but packs big. Cardboard or newspaper can be used to insulate yourself from the ground. Be sure to avoid sleeping with little-to-no insulation, especially if in the woods, as temperature changes and dampness can make you uncomfortable and even sick.

Bivvy Sack

A quality Gore-tex bivvy sack will set you back about $300 unless you can find a military surplus one. These manufactured bags are of high quality, tough, and waterproof. A bivvy sack is almost weightless when compared with a tent and greatly increases the cold rating of a sleeping bag. Quality bivvy sacks usually load from the top only because it is very difficult to have a leak proof zipper. They usually also have a zip-shut bug screen for the face and a draw string to close the opening.

Gore-tex type waterproof but water vapor passable fabric can be found at some large fabric stores. You might mix a few unmatched remnants to save money, remembering that every seam is a potential leak point (so be sure to seal them well!), the bottom can be ordinary waterproof fabric if you need to save money.


Your hammock is a good way to stay stealthy, cool, and comfortable in hot weather, you also don't need to worry about how rocky or uneven the terrain is, even a steep hillside will work for a stealth campsite. If you are properly tied in with a harness or safety belt(if you don't tie into an anchor and your harness it is an easy way to die in your sleep) you can even hammock up on a rock face, building sit in, or tree sit using tree or rock anchor points or bolts. Best of all even a fancy tent hammock will weigh in at less than a kilogram.

Don't wear your shoes in your hammock, this causes wear on the mesh or fabric, lying on your side at an angle to the centerline can make finding a comfortable position easier. Try to use wide straps to wrap around trees or find another way to protect the bark. Check that a tree is strong before jumping into your hammock, a rotten tree might look fine especially at night but as you lay down the cord tension multiplied by pulling at an angle could pull a rotten tree down and easily smash a joint or snap bone, maybe your thick skull, a good hard shake or shove should do the trick for a safety check.

If you hang a tarp like a tent on a piece of cord strung over your hammock you will protect yourself from rain and gain a bit of privacy, it is a good to stake down the corners with a bit of cord if you want to have better wind and rain protection. If the weather is nice your tarp line can also be used to hang a bug screen, be sure to tie it below you or tuck under your sleeping bag. Use a bivvy sack if it looks like a real bad storm is coming. It is now possible to purchase one piece tented-over hammocks which are both bug and rain protection. A cut down sleeping pad will protect you from cold air below you, the hammock compresses your sleeping bag reducing its effectiveness on the bottom.

Don't be intimidated by the price of combo tent hammocks at high end backpacking and cycle shops, while well worth the money if purchased used, most $5-10 cheap mesh hammocks work good for starting out or lighter people and the expensive tent type hammock can be DIY made. The best DIY trick we have found is to double over the last six inches of hammock fabric and wrap your hang cords around the bent fabric about ten times and tie tight in a fisherman type knot. The Hennessey brand tent/screen hammock we tried was expensive but has two features worthy of copying, a centerline entry slit about 2/3 of a meter in the foot area which allows the bug net to be sewn directly to the medium weight nylon hammock and an angled rectangular asymmetrical hammock footprint allowing the sleeper to rest off of the center angle for more comfort, a last nice feature was a centerline adjustable cord which kept the bug net out of the face and held up a small pouch for our glasses or a LED reading light. The person doing the testing found that her silnylon rain poncho was a drop in replacement for the manufacturers rain fly saving her a few grams of weight.

Like in stealth tenting look for a little bit of brush between you and the public areas sticking to dull colors for gear.

Food Preparation

For camp and backpacking recipes see Roadside Chow

Liquid Fuel

For vagabonding, international, and back country travel real multi-fuel backpacking stoves with a heavy and light fuel jets tend to be the best as at least one of the following fuels: gasoline, Coleman fuel, white gas, stoddard solvent, drip gas(from natural gas wells), some charcoal lighter fluid, naptha, lighter fluid, should work on the light fuels jet; heavy fuels jet should burn furnace fuel, jet fuel, kerosene, or diesel fuel. Around the world you should be able to ferret out something that is available, but remember alcohol will ruin the seals so if that is the only stuff available make a pepsi can stove. Biodiesel has been shown to work in some kerosene stoves but you must be sure it is a lye processed biodiesel and not one that contains alcohol which will ruin your o­rings. Liquid fuel stoves generally put out the most heat, some enough for melting snow in large volumes. Some of us really like the MSR Whisperlite International(the regular Whisperite only burns Coleman fuel), and MSR XGK, although they are both expensive new (the Whisperlite will set you back about $100, the XGK is about $160.) They burn most any liquid fuel and can get volcano-hot, so be careful! The Whisperlite simmers better and packs smaller, while the XGK is tough and burns like an afterburner. They are still running years later with only the tools that they came with. It really comes down to the old adage, "you get what you pay for." There are other good stoves on the market like the Optimus Nova, MSR Dragonfly, and Primus Multifuel so visit a few camping gear stores, and do some research. Here is a good site to learn about alternative fuels

Remember that most of the pressure stoves on the market will do the job, white gas is for all intents and purposes gasoline, ordinary gasoline (NOT biogas or E85) will burn nearly the same as the far more expensive, specialized white gas. Used gear from a yard sale or junk shop can often be fixed by cleaning the generator tube and jet tip on better stoves or replacing the generator tube on the more common Coleman and clones small stoves. Be very careful to know what fuels your stove is rated to burn before buying; most better multi-fuel stoves have one jet for light fuels like gasoline or white gas and a second for kerosene and diesel, if the alternative fuel jet or other parts are missing you can often order another or just get a service kit with new jets and other repair parts.

Since these stoves require a warm up period especially with some of the heavier fuels always light outside your tent and use extreme caution even when you think you have the flame under control. Inside a building only light a stove in a real fireplace with open chimney and flue, use of a warmed up stove inside a kitchen on a large stone counter or on top of an oven might be safe if burning kerosene but often results in carbon blackening of paint especially the ceiling.

Compressed Gas

Compressed gas stoves are lighter, easier to control, and can be cheaper. Compressed gas stoves, with due caution, can even be used inside your tent fly vestibule to cook during rain and snow. Some gas stoves include a non-battery piezo-electric spark igniter.

Open Fuel

This category covers pellet, alcohol, and wood stoves as well as many other improvised stoves.

Solid Fuels

Fuel pellet stoves like the Esbit or butterfly stove fold small and light, are very cheap up front for both stove and a few days of fuel pellets, and you can mail the fuel to yourself to pick up as postal general delivery but are usually only used for emergencies due to fuel pellet prices over time. Esbit folding butterfly stoves are a good emergency stove and don't take up much room. The Hexamine fuel pills, which look like large sugar cubes or horse pills, burn hot and give off no smoke. The bad side is that they often give a strong smell and noxious fumes (so never cook food directly over them outside of a pot or pan), can leave a heavy residue on your cookware, and are expensive compared to other fuel sources.

There are also a few fan blown wood scrap burners which makes your fuel price free and you just need batteries for the fan.

An interesting improvised stove is one made from an old oil filter and some welded steel break line, a feed hole is cut near the bottom and ash holes on the bottom a steel tube several inches long is attached a few inches up and it looks like a pipe with a giant bowl. Plastic or rubber tube is attached and a small double bellows is connected to the tube to blow the flame or you can use your lungs, good heat and easy lighting make this a real winner even in damp areas especially since it uses wood and bark bits as fuel.

The hobo stove, DIY chimney or rocket stoves, and charcoal pre-heater cans also work as good camping stoves.

Triangia Stove

Triangia of Sweden makes an ultra light cook set which includes an open top alcohol burner, It's not as fast to boil as cartridge gas but it's cheaper safer than petrol/kerosene stoves indoors when it comes to fumes, although it shares the splashed or bumped fuel spill fire hazard with the DIY soft drink can stove. It can be difficult to find spirit/alcohol stove fuels in some countries but always check for liquid fondue fuel and chafing dish fuel also a search in the paint thinner section at different hardware stores, fuel line antifreeze like Heet, or the hard liquor section for 95% or higher alcohol. Don't use Isopropyl alcohol often sold as rubbing alcohol if possible, it is often only 70% with 30% water robbing a large percentage of its heating ability and often leaving behind water after burning the alcohol out, in any case it burns leaving soot on your pots and is poison, consider burning iso-alcohol straight in a small can instead of a jetted stove.

Drink Can Stove

An inexpensive spirit(alcohol) stove can be made from 2 soft drink cans. Both cans are cut about 4cm above the bottom and the center flat/dome of the bottom is removed from one, force the cut out center piece into the uncut half. Stretching one cut can with an unopened full soft drink can makes this easier, a few drops of water in the can to be stretched can be heated with a stove or lighter so it will pop off of the full can from steam. Make an inner wall up to the cut edge from left over can top and insert into the center hole of the stove. Punch small holes every 4mm. This stove can only safely burn methanol, ethanol alcohol(paint store), brake fluid antifreeze, chafing dish fuel, and rubbing alcohol, although isopropyl or rubbing alcohol will produce some soot. The stove is very cheap and light but over time the fuel is expensive when compared to gasoline, diesel fuel, or kerosene and produces less heat per ml.


CAUTION!! This basic model soft drink can stove has been field tested by us and it works well with care, but be careful as the fire that is caused by the Alcohol cannot be put out with water. One of our writers bumped his stove and almost had a room fire on his hands. Fortunately though he had an extinguisher close by to put it out with. But water didn't work. So be extremely careful with all of these open top alcohol stoves both manufactured and home made.


Stainless steel seems to be the way to go for durability although aluminum does win in a weight comparison. Some people are concerned that uncoated aluminum cookware might leach small amounts aluminum into your food, which some fear may cause health problems eventually, however this has not been proven, we suppose that non-stick coated aluminum should be okay though. Even so some of us still use aluminum pots in our ultralight camping gear. Non-stick is easy to clean until the non-stick coating scrapes or burns. Titanium is light and strong but very expensive.

River sand or wood ash will help scrape out most gunk in a steel pan. Be sure you have large enough pots for real trail meals and good handle or pot lifter. A kettle which nests in your pots is good for easy boiling and pouring. A few plastic containers are good for leftovers and mixing bowls. If you are part of a group a Chinese wok might be worth the weight. Look below for pressure cookers, some are small and light enough for backpacking. see also Roadside_Chow


Opposite of how to cook something up comes how to store something for a while that may go bad before you have a chance to eat it. In