5 Ways to Incorporate Pallets into Your Survival Plan

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    Whether it is at your local grocer, feed store, or big box store, you've probably seen a pile of wooden pallets at some point in your travels. Used to transport stock, pallets are often discarded outside of such businesses once their usefulness to the store ends. That does not mean they are useless overall, however, as there are seemingly endless projects that can be done with pallets and most stores will let you have them for free or at minimal cost.

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    Upcycling and repurposing are all the rage and many people who embrace these practice favor pallets. Although it may sometimes seem like pallets as home dcor trend is getting carried away, perhaps as survivalists we should take note of the trend and adapt it to our own way of life. After all, pallets are made of wood which can be used to fulfill many needs upon being broken down, but the entire intact pallet serves a purpose, too. Here are five pallet projects to get you started:

    1. Pallets can be used to create a makeshift fence to contain livestock animals. You will need some type of post to secure pallets in position, but once those are in place, all that remains is to slide pallets into place atop posts. This will give you a secure enclosure to keep animals from wandering off.

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    2. If shelter is what you need, build a shed or barn out of pallets. It will necessary to supplement another material to create a roof, but the overall shell can be made of pallets, as can dividers for stalls. Wind and moisture still may be able to pass through and into your structure, but it will be greatly reduced.

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    3. If you need a place to grow a garden, create raised beds or planters out of pallets. Simply break pallets down with a Sawzall and piece them together to form a raised bed. Should this seem too labor intensive, just lay pallets on the ground and fill them with dirt to grow shallow root vegetables.

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    4. Firewood is essential for creating warmth and a heat source for cooking. Keeping firewood dry and protected from the elements is important. Tear down pallets and use them to build a containment area for firewood or use pallets themselves as firewood if need be.

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    5. Should you find yourself short on furniture post TEOTWAWKI, new furniture can be made from pallets. Whether it is a bedframe or a lounge chair, pallets can fill the void. In some cases, all it takes is the strategic stacking of pallets to make a bedframe whereas in other cases they can be pulled apart and stained with items most survivalists will have on hand, such as coffee, tea, or vinegar, to make something beautiful.

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    Keep in mind when using pallets is that they are often pretty basic and made from unfinished wood. This means they are very likely to be course and can give you splinters. If you plan to use them for furniture, you may wish to sand them to prevent splinters or clothing snags. Fences and structures will need to be treated with some sort of protective barrier to keep them from rotting when exposed to the elements.

    When selecting pallets, be sure to collect those that appear clean and are free from spills or stains. Check for printed codes and be sure to only select those that are safe for your intended purposes. For example, pallets stamped with MB have been chemically fumigated and could be unsafe depending on its age. A guide for deciphering pallet stamps and codes can be found here.

    Do you have pallets in your survival stockpile? Have you already used them for different projects, survival or otherwise? Tell us about it in the comments.

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