Preparing your survival compound for SHTF. Part 4: Water storage and Gardening.

Hello my friend, and welcome back!  In Part 4 of our series,   we are going to look at water storage and gardening in your survival compound.  These are two very important subjects when planning and stocking your compound.  Grab yourself a cup of coffee and have a seat while we visit.


Let’s start with water storage, because as we all know, water is the most critical supply a Prepper can have.  Without it, you will be dead in three days, so you need to have a good, renewable source for your compound.  While a deep water well is obviously the preferred source for water in a compound, there are other sources which could be used if needed.

A spring, stream or river which runs through your property would be the next best source.  There are things however which you should be aware of about these sources. If they originate close to the top of the ground or originate outside your compound, they are subject to contamination and could become a source for disease.

Let me give you an example of what I mean:  Let’s say, you have a river or large stream which runs through your property.  If other people up-stream use the river to bathe in or dump their sewer,  the water could quickly become undrinkable and a source for many diseases and you may not know it, until it is too late.  No matter the source of your water, you should always assume it is contaminated and purify it accordingly, by either boiling it or using chemicals to treat it with.

Believe it or not, even rain water can become contaminated and if you are using rain water for drinking then you also need to purify it. Don’t just assume that because it fell from the sky that it is safe to drink.  There are quite a few water filters on the market today, but not all of them are equal.  Some of them won’t filter out chemical pesticides or disease-causing amoeba so be careful and read about just what they do filter out before buying them.

I have read of some compounds using their water source to fill large containers, which are located on stilts above the ground.  They then use them to fill several large water barrels and treat them with chlorine to make them safe.  This provides them with a safe water backup in case something was to happen to their water source.  Think of it as a safety backup for your water supply.

Black drums placed above a shower and filled with water are great for creating warm water for showers.  Just remember that if there are dead bodies or sewer being dumped into your water supply up-stream, then that is what you are showering in.  Try to filter the water which goes into the barrel as much as possible unless you are 100% sure it is clean.

Amoeba can enter the body through any opening available to them including your eyes or an open wound.  In a world where antibiotics will surely be in short supply, it is best to take precautions now, while you can still get what you will need to be sure you and your group are safe.

Another concern when it comes to water is to be sure that you place all out-houses as well urinals as far away from your water source as possible.  The last thing you will need it to contaminate your own water source and it happens more often that you might think.


Gardening is another subject which you need to be concerned about when planning your survival compound.  Where is the best place to locate it?  How big of garden will you need to plant, in order to feed your group?  How will you water it or fertilize it?  These are questions which you need to be asking yourself when planning your compound layout.

Let’s start with “Where would you need to place it?  You will want to place it on a flat section of land so as to be able to hold as much water as possible.  If you live in an area where there are hills and no flat land, then you may want to consider building a terrace type garden much like the Aztec and many American Indians did.  This will help keep the water from running down hill and being lost.

You are also going to need to be sure you do not place it on low-lying ground because any standing water will kill most vegetable crops. It would introduce mold and disease into field and cause you to lose it all! Standing water is something you want to avoid at all cost when planning your garden.

Here is the big question; “How much land do I need to plant to feed my group?” This is just really hard to answer because there are so many variables.  The short answer to this question is to plant as much as you can take care of.  If you plant more than you can harvest or store, the rest is a wasted effort for the most part.  Granted it is better to have too much than not enough so consider this as well.

The rule of thumb that I have always heard for this is ½ acres of garden per person as a minimum. Let me also say that I would not include crops such as corn and wheat in this calculation.  You will need to grow as much of those two as possible because they are used in so many ways.  Yes I know some people will probably disagree with that, but it what I have always been taught.

Here is the thing; if you have access to a tractor, with its implements, you can obviously plant more, provided you have the seed to do it.   You also need to think about where you will store your corn and grain once it’s harvested.  Many people over look this simple fact that they will need to store it for long periods of time and it can’t be left out in the elements very long.

You will probably want to build your own grain silos for storing it like the settlers did. It is efficient and takes little land to put one on.  This is definitely something you should consider when planning your compound layout.

Greenhouses will also be needed, for starting plants and growing vegetables in the winter.  While I have seen some really large greenhouses, I don’t feel that you absolutely need to have something really large unless you just want to.  They are a necessity, but need to be balanced with the amount of land you have to work with.

You also need to be sure that all of your seeds are NON_GMO seeds.  Never plant GMO seeds in the same field as non GMO seeds as they could cross-breed and contaminate your non GMO seeds for future use.  The best bet is to just stay away from GMO seeds all together as they will not reproduce true plants when the seeds are used for future planting.

Planning is the key to surviving in a compound after SHTF hits.  Take the time now to carefully think through what and where you will be placing everything , so that when the time comes, you will have a safe and secure place to wait out the end of the world as we know it.

Until next time, stay safe, stay strong, and stay prepared. God Save America!

-The Sargent-

4 thoughts on “Preparing your survival compound for SHTF. Part 4: Water storage and Gardening.”

  1. Hooper, I would definitely take water. If I have rifle I will get food/meat and there are lots of food sources out there such as dandelions or fruits and veggies I could eat. Water can also be had from using a solar still so, I would use Sarges approach.

  2. Sargent, do you know what 1/2 acre per person is? 1/2 acre is 100 x 200 ft. My garden is 75 ft square , and I don`t use all of it. I use approx. 50 x 50 for my main garden+ greenhouse. 25 x 75 for my strawberries plants. There is 2 of us and I always give a good porsion on the produce away as it is too much for just us. Now I have a ? for you: If you had to Bug out from where your at and you could only take 10 pounds outside of a tarp and rifle, what would you take? food or water, you can only take one.

    • Yooper, as for the garden size, you need to grow enough food for men that are doing a lot of hard work and you need to feed them year round. Besides that you will want some to barter with as well…get the idea? 🙂

      Now for your question it would be water. Without it you will be dead in three day’s! Everything else can be gotten along the way. 🙂

      • I would take 10 lbs of potato`s. you got food and water at the same time. and no i don`t get the idea, you must see things differently than i do. In my garden, i do grow enough food year around. you said 1/2 acre per person my garden is less than 1/4 acre and i feed 2. so what your saying is i have to have 1 acre to feed the 2 of us. and I don`t understand what you mean by hard work. my land is a lot bigger than my garden and i work on it all the time and its not hard work to me. I think the different is, I`m a COUNTY Boy and I am use to hard work. you must be talking about CITY Boys.


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