Survival Sanctuary | About Us

Meet the authors

Lex Andrews

About Lex Andrews...

Lex is the co-founder of Square2, a Bucharest-based graphic design studio, an avid blogger and off-grid aficionado.

A child of communism's demise, Lex is no stranger to MacGyver-like DIY solutions when the government fails to help, having learned the "basic essentials" of jury-rigged generators, home-grown food storage and even how to build a water well from scratch at a young age. Never forgetting that the best safety net, in good times and bad, is your own self-sufficiency.

That's why, after graduating as an architect, and completing his master's degree, Lex poured himself into designs that weren't only super-effective, long-lasting and beautiful, but would provide their owners with as much flexibility as possible, rain or shine, hell or high water, as well as the biggest, quickest and most effective off-grid bang for your buck.

Lex Andrews
Mark Johnson

About Mark Johnson...

Mark is the CEO of Survival Sensei, LLC, well-known writer on preparedness, survival instructor, consultant and the director of the Survival Brain Trust.

A descendant of pioneers, Mark was raised in the tradition of self-reliance. He grew up scouting, hunting, camping, fishing, working archaeological digs in the Southwest and managing work crews in Arizona, before starting his own IT company (which he pleasantly left) to hike South America, and build on his earlier experience teaching desert survival skills to the commanding officer of the Brazilian Airforce Jungle Survival school, as well lecture at events like PrepperCon, volunteer as the program manager of his local CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), practice as a competitive shooter and firearms instructor and build the Boy Scout Program in Portugal (among many other adventures).

Mark currently lives in an undisclosed location with enough food, water, munitions and gear to host a small (fully functional) battalion, as well as his own off-grid electricity. Now he devotes his life to helping others, abstaining from his usual penname here (aka Cache Valley Prepper) to better connect with readers.

Mark Johnson

The Philosophy



The Philosophy

On my way to self-reliance I read countless books, attended dozens of classes and spent a fortune to realize my dream of living off-grid in a way that was disaster resilient, but I never found any single book or class that was a shortcut to self-sufficiency.

If someone had taught me back then, what I know now, it would have saved me a great deal of time and money. That's why I created this site. To prevent you from repeating all that difficult work. Giving you the fastest, cheapest way I know to become self-sufficient.

The Philosophy

"In short, I wanted this to be the self-reliance guide I needed but couldn't find."

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We believe knowledge is more powerful than any gadget. One that will ultimately degrade, malfunction or break anyway-leaving you up c**p creek in a pinch.

That's why, inspired by the concept of anti-fragility, and countless examples throughout history which prove adaptability, and resourcefulness, are the ultimate traits that lead to prosperity, we set out to give you the resources to achieve just that. To protect you from those unexpected "black swan" events, predatory business practices and over-engineered fair weather gizmos that promise you the earth but could in the end harm you.

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"A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one".

What's more, we do this with 'just enough essential parts', not a truck-load of tools. Many of which you can salvage for free. With simple straight-forward language and beautiful easy-to-follow illustrations that make self-reliance feel like child's play. Because peace of mind shouldn't cost you a fortune or require an engineering degree.

What's more, specializing in a narrow skill might look efficient (when things go well) but the moment things change this narrow-sightedness may send you the way of the dodo.

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day;
teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."


That's why we cover it all. Every climate. Every need. From water in the desert, to crops in Alaska. And while what we do isn't flashy or "tacti-cool" it works, better than many ready-made solutions and stays ugly for longer.

What's more, we won't just say what to do, but how to do it. Because one of my biggest frustrations, early on, were guides and gurus who'd recommend something-say, putting up a wind turbine but didn't have a clue about how to do it without amassing debt, inciting accidents, or inviting the law to your door.

We're proud of what we've done, and we expect you will be too. As you save money, shield yourself from disaster and acquire some of the freedom and independence our forefathers took for granted. Even if you've never lifted a hammer before in your life.

So, if you've ever dreamed of taking a step off the grid, but didn't want to pay the extortionate costs, or if you've already tried but you've been burned by predatory salesmen dumping fragile fair-weather systems onto your head, this is the place for you.

Mark Johnson

Survival Sanctuary:
25 Quick-and-easy Projects for Off-grid Living

Survival Sanctuary

Bad things happen, but the prepared can overcome anything. That's why we've collected dozens of the very best, self-reliant, DIY projects in one place. Giving you peace of mind, no matter what life throws at you.


  • How to build a wind turbine using a treadmill motor-and 3 more ways to generate power at home.
  • 4 simple ways to store your food long-term. Including a DIY dehydrator, freeze dryer, root cellar, and more.
  • How to cool your home without AC (using a pot and saucer).
  • 4 low-space, high-yield farming hacks that keep you fed all-year-round, including an indoor vertical farm, underground greenhouse, self-watering, zero-energy wicking bed, and more.
  • Uncover the low-tech secret that will pump, clean AND heat your water. Even if the taps run dry.
  • How to make a radio from paper clips (just like POWs did in WW2).
  • And more...

Survival Sanctuary

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