What did you do to prep this week?

Before we start today, I would like to think Keith B, David P, James F and Andrew L for their generous donations this week. You all are the best – makes me proud to know that the content here has help you enough in your preps to warrant a donation. Thank you again…

I would also like to thank everyone for your suggestions on designing a new header for the blog – a couple of folks have sent in a few sample header designs but the designs did not compliment the current color or layout of the blog but crashed with it. Thank you for your help… we’ll get it right… eventually…

Okay, now let me see, what did I do to prep this week ?:-)

Spent probably 30 hours working on the layout of this blog – but that would be more of a prep to help you, than a prep for myself…

Put together a whole new total body work-out with my Weider Total Body Works 5000 Gym that I’ll be starting tomorrow. The Body Works 5000 works the same way as the Total Gym XLS Trainer but costs several hundred dollars less.

Bought paint to paint my chicken coop, come spring I’ll be adding ten more hens to the flock. I all have an order ready for several dwarf fruit trees, also looking into planting several dwarf nut trees. I like the dwarf tree because they’re fast growing (we don’t have time to wait 15 years for a tree to start producing) and they are easy to work with, I suggest that you plant some of these dwarf trees around your house and or retreat – here is a great article from the Mother Earth News (1986 issue) on how to do it.

Folks if you have an extra square foot of soil then I suggest that you plant something in it come spring. Plant a vegetables, plant herbs, plant dwarf trees, always plant something that you can eat or heal yourself with… Plant, plant, and plant some more. Hard times are here folks, money is tight and it’s going to get a lot worse for most of us, and if you’re going to eat well you’ll need to grow your own.

Here is a great book that will help you do that “The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!” you don’t have to own a full-sized farm or ranch to become self-reliant… Stock up, grow your own food and arm yourselves.

What did you do to prep this week? Let us know in the comments below… Let’s go!

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. Bought canned soup, canned veggies, canned beans, soap, and some laundry supplies this week.
    Ordered and received a set of scope rails for our Nagant, a lead melting pot, and two sets of bullet molds.
    Shot Tuesday night. Also shot in our league Monday night – I’m second in my league (small caliber pistol) and my son is third. He’s also shooting in the medium caliber – he didn’t do quite so well, but he’s having fun.
    Dealt with eBay sales – I sold ONE print for enough to purchase a new pistol. I packed and shipped that photo out very very very carefully. Obviously some folks aren’t hearing the prepping bandwagon – so I guess I should be glad that they are buying, huh?
    Got the last of the seed orders in – this one was mainly beans and backup, so we have seeds past what we’re planting. Still not totally complete on having enough seeds to plant a garden twice over, but getting there.
    We packed buckets last weekend – salt, sugar, wheat, and rice. Had to reorder mylar bags and oxygen absorbers … we used most of what we had. Need more buckets too, but we’re on the home stretch of getting the grains and sugars into buckets and sealed and stored away. Now to just find a place to put it all…
    Went to another gun show this Saturday. Didn’t find a single thing gunwise – but did pick up two military surplus sleeping bag systems for a very nice price. This gives us 4 cold weather sleeping bags – I would have bought the two more bags we need for the household but they only had two. Also got two Ruger Mark III mags, which we couldn’t find last weekend – so that’s good. Still no 7.62x54R dies – I think I’ll bite the bullet (ha! Bad pun!) this week and order online.
    Re-read a bunch of formative books for me – Heinlein’s “If this goes on…”, “Methusaleh’s Children” and the Lazarus Long stuff. Always good to remind myself of why I have the political beliefs I do.
    Found and bought 7.62x54R dies on ebay at a good price! Yay! Also bought some lead for casting bullets.
    Shipped a LOT of photos out to folks… which accomplishes two things – gets some money in for prepping and gets me some space for prepping in!

    • riverrider says:

      vic, you can buy a lifetime supply of 7.62x54r rather cheaply, cheaper than buying all the goods for reloading. many of the cases available are non reloadable as well. jm2c.

      • I firmly believe that we should have the ability to make most things we need – just in case. We do have a good supply of ammo for the Nagant, but having the ability to reload it just makes us more self-sufficient.

        This is the same reason I have horses (self-replicating transportation), why we garden, why we plant fruit trees, why I work hard to learn skills, and all that fun stuff. Prepping isn’t just buying stuff and putting it away, it’s learning how to do things for myself/ourselves – just in case.

        • Hunker-Down says:

          Victoria S,

          Have you considered finding a one bottom plow and breaking a team to pull it?

          We don’t have a horse, but there may come a day when we would pay a neighbor a few ounces of silver to plow for us.

          • Bernadine Newland says:

            Using horses to work the soil takes quite a bit of skill. It is something most people can learn but it is best to learn from an experienced teamster. I grew up riding horses and finally in my forties learned to handle a team pulling farm machines and carriages. It takes quite a bit more finesse than riding does and the dangers of a runaway are real and the consequences can be devastating to both the horse and handler. When done properly it is extremely satisfying and…well…fun!

            • Sw't Tater says:

              I learned to handle a single mule @ 12-14 or so, with my twin also learning from Dad.., for garden, we had our best garden that year..

          • It’s on my “list” – it’d actually be pretty easy to do our garden plot with a horse plow instead of our tractor but … gotta convince the Arabians that plowing isn’t beneath them. (Not to mention that using a park-bred Arabian for plowing is going to be … interesting!)

            Luckily, I have a QH too, and her daughter and granddaughter…

            • Hunker-Down says:

              Victoria S.

              I wouldn’t get near an Arabian pulling anything. A dopey Belgian would not spook as much.

            • I had a pair of ponies years ago trained to team harness that I used with my youngest daughter driving pulling a miniature stagecoach while living in California. She used to run around working the kids birthday parties with the coach and a pair of saddles and bridles since both of the ponies were also saddle trained. After a trip back home to Illinois and taking some pictures around neighbors who are Amish, I fabricated a sulky plow with two eight inch moldboard plows. The ponies could pull it in the sandy soil in California but I would have wanted two teams to try and plow back here. Was a lot of fun for a couple of years until my back started bothering me again. Equipment sold for a premium out there since daughter was too old (in her opinion) at eighteen to service the kids birthday parties. So ended the Quartz Hill Pony Express.

        • riverrider says:

          i can relate on most things, but some things like nagant ammo you can buy a lifetime supply once and forget about it and use the funds for other sustainable things. but to each their own.

        • worrisome says:


        • You go, girl!

      • You can buy civie ammo and reload it.Also you can buy civie brass that it actually brass to load up.I am going to start saving wheel weights for the same purpose.Since I work in auto parts it will be kinda easy for me to do.I can also get new wheel weights but that is not as cost effective for me.

      • RR:

        I discovered something about 7.62x54R ammo. Since I don’t speak or read the language printed on the can, I’m not sure what I am getting. By accident I got a can of 149gr steel core ammo. It’s from Bulgaria. It is supposed to be the most accurate and is steel core. Look for a silver bar in the middle of the can and the number 10 in a broken double circle. This is usually more expensive, but the seller knows what they have. Also the ammo itself has a silver tip.


        This is what I look for now.

        • riverrider says:

          jp, yes, thats sniper ammo for the draganov sniper rifle, very accurate, penetrates nicely too. one thing i don’t have.

        • JungleMan says:

          Perfect prep for the future werewolf invansion that will come on the heels of the Zombia Apoclopyse!! JK! Thanks for the heads up on the description.

      • I guess that depends on what you consider a lifetime supply. 1000 rounds, 10,000 rounds? I don’t know. It’s going to depend on the situation. We (by the way I’m Victoria’s husband) have a a few spam cans of the surplus ammo. Our theory though is we cant possibly stock up on a lifetime supply of every thing.

        If we were buying everything needed JUST to reload 7.62x54r you’d have a very good point about the cost of buying surplus ammo vs. the cost of being able to reload it. We’ve already got the reloading stuff though so buying a set of dies for $30 and a bullet mold for $26 is less that the cost of one spam can of 440 rounds that costs about a $100 in our area.

        • riverrider says:

          roger that, but in a bolt action nagant a couple of spam cans probably is a lifetime supply. they weren’t made to last forever, just cheap and fast to produce. most of the casings aren’t reloadable either.i just was suggesting money might be spent better elsewhere, but like i said, to each their own. sorry if i ruffled your feathers, wasn’t meant to.

          • Oh, no ruffled feathers at all. Just explaining more about why were doing it this way. I’d love to have a much bigger supply of all types of ammo than we have currently. (But then I’d just want more. Can never have enough ammo, or guns, or well… lots of things.)

        • Dang it… i tried to talk him into using “MrVictoriaS” but he didn’t go for it…

    • Victoria, Good for you! We are all proud of your weekly prep!

      Wish I was so productive.

      But, I suppose prepping is just like a joke a dear East Coast barber told me; he said, “You know, life is like a barber’s chair–NEXT!”

      take all things in their priority and order

    • Cliff in Douglasville says:

      I saw 4 or 5 dies on Ebay when I last looked (about 2 hours ago) at fairly decent prices. You might search there.

    • Allow me to recommend The Notebooks of Lazarus Long by R. Heinlein.

    • Hey Victoria,

      A good place to buy brand new 7.62 X 54 R casses is from Lapua. I bought 100 new cases for 30.00.

  2. AZ Rookie Prepper says:

    Hey wolfpack, kind of thin on preps this past week, too much work. Did order some additional ammo, with the coming restrictions, I dont feel good about our firearms future. All of us need to write our senators and congress-critters and ensure they know our feelings on the 2d amendment. Will pick up some additional first aid supplies later today, mostly antibiotic cream and some medicinal teas. Been sorting through garden seeds, figuring out what to plant this year. I agree M.D. with your assessment, plant plant plant stuff to help the larder !!! I’ve got a dwarf plum, a dwarf pear and a dwarf apricot to get into the ground. That was a late wedding gift from my stepfather. Prayers and best wishes to those in the pack who need them. Keep on preppin….

  3. HomeINsteader says:

    You’re right on every point here, MD.

    A few years back we started yanking out ALL (and I do mean ALL) of the expensive useless landscaping we installed when we built our house just a few years prior to starting this project. We have replaced useless landscaping with: fruit trees, berry shrubs, low-growing berry plants for ground cover, herbs, raised gardens in every inch of usable space (behind a 6′ privacy fence, as we do have to deal with ‘covenants and restrictions’, so the front yard needs to look somewhat “normal”)…if we can’t eat it, I’m no longer wasting my time or energy on it. But I do have some things growing in the front yard, too. I just have to be “careful”.

    We used the water bottles we emptied of good water and filled with city water as walls for cheap greenhouses, and I grow citrus in those, year around.

    I’ve collected an assortment of heirloom seeds, am growing from them, and am collecting seeds for coming crops from what I’m growing.

    I’ve created a compost, and I make my own soil. This will be necessary in the coming days, y’all.

    Now, what did I do THIS WEEK? Hit a great sale at a favorite 2nd-hand shop; picked up some beautiful clothes for a buck each; also got a copy of “Atlas Shrugged”, along with some older American History books for a buck each. Woo-hoo!

    • FreeRangePagan says:

      Wow, HomeINsteader, good on you for planting such and realizing how useless contemporary landscaping usually is.
      I’m constantly thinking as I drive by huge lawns and empty backyards how lucky those people are to have the land and how unthinking/unaware they are not to utilize it to the max.

      • HomeINsteader says:

        Thank you for word of encouragement, FRP!

        Yes, I “see” the possibilities when I drive by all of these metro and sub-urban lawns, too…and then I think of the people who have tried to turn their metro/’burb lawns into “victory gardens”, and the price some are paying….it’s a sick, sick world.

    • Millie in KY says:

      M.D., doggonit, now I put in an order to Amazon this morning and here you recommend another book. I put it on my wish list and will get it the next time I order.
      I did order several books, a book on hydroponics which is growing a garden and raising fish all rolled into one. That sounded really interesting and I was intrigued. A gardening book, How to grow more vegetables, and the hydroponic book was Aquaponic Gardening and then also The Dehydrator Bible.
      No action on the guy coming out to see the old well, I’ll have to call him again this week.
      WalMart, got two Christmas plastic containers for 4.00 each for storage and went down the first medical aisle. Some bandages, triple antibiotic creams, tape, gloves, bandaids, alcohol, betadine, hydrocortizone cream. I will double this week after next, at least the meds/creams. Next week I’m filling out the regular pantry to fill it up and make me feel better about what I have in there. I want it packed full, this will take a couple of weeks to do. I made a list of some things that will flesh that out and maybe let me see I am making some significant progress for “starting so late”.
      I had someone give me two baby aloe plants, she has more, so will see if I can get a couple more of them. I’ll get these into bigger pots and keep them in the house, too hot outside in the summer, too cold in the winter. The one I have is barely hanging on and I think it was just too hot last year. I want to take it out of the pot and see if I can salvage the part that still alive. When we lived on the Keys, my parents would go to Little Cuba in Miami and buy leaves for the week. I don’t know why they didn’t get plants of their own but then we had rock with very little dirt, although there was a lot of interesting plants around our very basic home. Daddy would peel it and slice it and put it in a water pitcher and they would drink it. I thought they were crazy. Daddy was a scientist (a whole other interesting story) and he did things WAY before what we are doing now, he was born in 1903 and came thru the depression, the knowlege he had was tremendous. He claimed it kept him and Momma from getting colds and they rarely did get one even though my brother and I ran around with them (from school). It seems to me he said that it had Vit. C in it but I’ll have to go check that out, I may be remembering it wrong. Anyhow, they are good for everything, wounds, sunburns, heat burns and abrasions. I’ve heard it’s good for your scalp, too.
      I was bored at work so spent some time looking at Slickgun, that is a nifty little site, check it out, it’s here on the page. It’s like a search engine for what you need, I think.
      On Thursday here, we had one of our state representatives come and speak to us about a bill he wants to sponsor for nullification of the nonsense that DC is passing on gun legislation, and someone suggested that they put in a penalty like a couple of other states have done. Our rep. is very much with us on this matter. About 75 people were there, I took off early from work to go but then had to leave early so I could get the livestock fed. The other good thing that happened is that I met a nice woman who sat next to me, her husband was quite outspoken on the matter (nicely) and she friended me on Facebook. I also met another person associated with the local shooting range where I will be learning to shoot and taking my CCDW, and we have had a couple of long converations about “things”. I took DH over yesterday to meet them, we missed the one person but did meet his son. Looked at a few rifles, DH wants a shotgun next. We also went to a couple of other gun shops to nose around. If the range is open this afternoon, we will go over and practice a bit.
      M.D., I am glad you have this part of the blog, when I sit and list the things I do, it helps me to see that I am making progress. I can look back and see that I did make headway and learned good things. thanks!

      • Good for you, Millie in the Commonwealth!

        I love Kentucky and a State Rep coming over to y’all to talk about nullification is great. Be like some western states–propose and pass a KY law: “…any federal agent who deprives or attempts to deprive a Kentuckian of their 2nd Amendment rights in any fashion, is guily of a felony…”

        Millie–we are living in exciting new history which we make by our actions. Actions speak louder than words!

      • Aloe is great stuff. We probably have a dozen in the yard which I keep pruned so they get quite big and send up a shoot about 4 feet to flower. The birds love to cling to the stalk and eat the seeds. Anything which brings in birds is a good thing, tho these are so dinky they don’t have much protein value.

        If you keep cutting or pulling the babies off the main plant and give it enough room to grow, the aloe can get over two feet tall and about the same diameter with great big thick leaves. We do use them occasionally for sunburn, and they work well.

        A neighbor mentioned that his wife eats the jelly inside the leaves, and the Wikipedia page does say it has been used as a purgative, but I tried tasting ours and they were really bitter.

        Last year we had a major outbreak of some nasty brown/black spots on all our aloes, with the spots severely depressed into the leaves. I asked other people who have aloe, and nobody knew what it was. I cut off the affected leaves and the plants have all come back fine.

        Another dry area plant you might consider is rosemary. Our Safeway has clamshell packs of spice plants, and a few years ago I bought one and realized it had three plants with the roots on. I trimmed the stalks a bit and planted all three in pots. Two died immediately but the other took off, and I eventually planted it in one of our driest garden beds It’s now up about three and a half feet. I tried the same again with another clam pack, with the same 1/3 survival rate. The survivor is far bigger than the first one. It gets up about five feet and about 4 feet wide. Zero maintenance, and again, birds love the pale purple buds/flowers. So do bees.

        When I prune it I can easily take of three to four bushels of kitchen grade rosemary off it, and give it to friends, neighbors, and my wife’s co-workers. The majority goes into the compost heap: three bushels of rosemary is a LOT of rosemary.

        When we need some for cooking, we just trot on out to the garden with a pair of kitchen scissors and cut what we need. I understand the Italians use it for a hedge plant, which sounds great. Just brushing up against it releases a strong aroma. Great stuff.

        In northern climates (we are in Hawaii) using much bigger pots than usual would let you grow both aloe and rosemary to full size. Most people seem to put aloe in 4 or five inch pots and let them crowd each other. I’d keep re-potting to bigger pots, and trim off the babies, which can also be planted.

        • Your aloe might have scales. Do the spots scrape off with your fingernail? Keep it away from other plants especially succulents and citrus trees. You can (if you’re not trying to be organic) use Volck’s Oil Spray for that. You use that in the winter when plants are dormant. Get it at a plant place.

          • Thanks, Penny Pincher. I’m not sure if the spots scrape off: I cut off all the affected leaves. All the dark areas were really deeply indented though. Organic is good, but I am not at all hard core. If the spots come back, I’ ll try the oil spray tho.

            No way to keep the aloe away from other plants: they are all planted. I do have a very small (24″ or so) Key Lime in a pot, and it has black all over the leaves. I can wash it off, but that really isn’t practical, especially if it survives to tree-dom.

      • Thanks so much for mentioning aloe!! I forgot all about it as a home remedy plant. It’s now on my list.

    • I highly recommend reading Atlas Shrugged.

    • +1 HomeINsteader
      In my quest to become an active gardener I spoke to our neighbor who knows everything about the neighborhood. Turns out many of our neighbors have active gardens year round and are eager to show off and share their skills. Being new to sustainable food sources I showed my green side by thinking that fruit trees gave fruit in the first couple of years. Haha the local nursery told me try eight or ten. Guess I need to look into those dwarf varieties. Thanks for the tip.

  4. Mystery Guest says:

    Foodsaver part du:
    I decided there was to much air in the bag for those 02’s to do
    a good job. So I planned an attack.
    I got out my yard stick and aluminum foil, ran out about a foot and a half of it, folded it lengthwise and then wrapped it around the yard stick. More
    heat conduction I figure.
    Then went and got my mountain climbing 20 ft. corded iron and plugged it in.
    Went and got the chair and set the bucket on it and cut the previous
    botched sealing job. Well it really wasn’t botched.
    Then I plugged in my foodsaver gizmo, which is really just the air sucker
    thing you attach the jar sealers to but I put a short 10″ piece of cooler
    water line to it.
    I ironed the bag upto about say 1/2″, stuck my homemade bag sucker tube in and sucked away. Worked wonderfully,after I closed the foodsaver latch.
    Ironed the hole shut and I am a happy camper.
    I have some duh!!!! things. I had taped the yardstick to the counter so it wouldn’t move. After I cut the old seal off, I came up short. The duh part is I could have put the blasted yardstick across the bucket. Yikes!!!
    The other thing is when you pull out the tube you had better be a fast draw with the iron, you can hear the air whoosing out.
    Well this week went to China mart to see what they had already started to get in at the Garden department. Not much, but they had started to move stuff around.
    I was looking for those starter trays with the 72 peat pellets. They did have them in but from last years price of $5.98 they had gone up to $11.98. I am hoping that is wrong but don’t think so.
    I had bought extra 72 starter sets last year and really never used all the peat pellets, so have those on hand.
    But they did have just the peat pellets 36 for $2.98. So payday will pick more than the 3 I got this time.
    They had those (1 box) expandable food saver bags so got the (1 box) to try.
    Then as I went through the grocery department on the end cap thing they had metal bisquit cutters, thought I would go ahead as they were metal and made me feel good to get another kitchen gadget thingy.
    Bought coffee filters.
    And paper plates.
    Prepping had better be foremost on our minds. Prices are going up at a horrible rate. And now if you use your bank card as a credit card you can be charged upto 4% (internet purchases). So for every $100 you can be tagged $4.00. We need that four dollars, just think of the food stuffs it would buy.
    I have been off kilter with prepping for the last year and a half. Seems more things take my money. In the next 6 months I have to get glasses, pay on some sudden bills etc. But as I don’t think I will starve with the food I have on hand I can concentrate on getting more long term storage food.
    The article about lettuce going from $20 a case to $40 which will make lettuce around $1.66 a head is ridiculous. So now you can’t even be a rabbit.
    There maybe more people turn to gardening after all of this even without the prepping attitude.

    • Mysteryguest –

      if you can’t find the pellet starters for your seeds these will work as well: keep your eggs shells – you can put your soil mix in them and then crack them in the soil as you plant the seedlings – instant food source. should be cleaned I believe.

      toilet paper/paper towel rolls – cut them in small 1-2 inch cylinders and put in soil. When ready to plant, cut the side of the cardboard cylinder to allow for plant growth and plant – compost

      Egg cartons – each little well will hold enough soil to start your seedlings – cut them apart at the beginning or end whichever makes it easier to plant.

      Paper cups will work the same way cut the bottoms off when ready to plant. Newspaper can be rolled and made into planting pots.

      Instructions for all of these are on the internet and for most of us free!
      I’ve been watching the food prices – very scarey. Anyway, hope these suggestions help a little but – keeps the money in your pocket.

      • HomeINsteader says:

        Yes, your egg shells should be well washed with hot soapy water before using, and well rinsed; otherwise, salmonella can develop and you will be growing and eating salmonella-tainted food source. Personally, I’d boil the egg shells (crushed) and throw them in the compost pile, then just use the paper cups for seed starter. The newspaper is probably an even better idea, as it is completely biodegradable and can be just dropped down in the earth at transplant time.

        I’m already hoarding my tp and paper towel rolls for “collars” to keep cutworms and other critters off my veggies this year. They also make great “fire starters” – just fill them with dryer lint (especially cotton) and use them to start fires, when you need them.

        • Nan in NC says:

          I have made the newspaper ones with my grandsons as a “craft project”. They take a while to get the hang of the fold, but it’s not really hard.

      • Mystery Guest says:

        granny j
        The main reason I was buying those pellet tray combo’s as they were much cheaper than if you ordered them. Plus although my house is chuck full of prepping stuff I can’t horde all the things to be so crafty and cunning. Sure wish I could.
        The pellets allow me to have more success with the seed as I would probably get the wrong dirt, and I have to wait to get a composter (or some kind of something to make a composter even) to make my own soil.
        I have newspaper in the garage and toilet paper cobs in the hopes of making biomass fuel. Yeah, right. But still have hopes.
        This prepping is a full time JOB. You can’t let up or break your rythum. I have to make another budget and lists to see what I can do the next months.
        I have though been able to get more kitchen plunder than I have ever had in my life. I consider that a super blessing. I have yet to get a set of stainless steel bowls.
        We are also going to have to get all things we NEED as soon as we can. Things just aren’t good.

        • Mystery guessI hear ya – time is short – and I know what you mean about where to put it all.

          Home, thanks for the input on the eggshells – I knew I read that somewhere…..and thanks for the others input – everyone has so many ideas and experience it amazes me at times.

    • Backwoods Prepper says:

      A tip for sealing the bags get you a womens hais straighting /flat iron. It’s easy peasy.

    • MG,
      I use peat pellets to start my thousands of seedlings. I put them in the recycled plant flat trays. You know, the whole flats of six packs of petunas they sell and use the tray underneath. I use the solid trays that hold water or use a plain kitchen garage bag line the ones with holes.
      They hold 72 regular peat pellets that are 3.00 this year for 36 at Chinamart. They went up 50 cents.
      I buy my pellets online. 1700 for 80.00.

      • holy moly mamaj – you tell us about that and don’t say where? That’s a good bargain! Teasing us eh? lol

        • Sorry bout that Granny J,
          I can’t remember. I think it was…. I will need to look at my invoice, which shouldn’t be too hard since I have my tax stuff all over my desk. I will let you know.

        • GrannyJ,
          Here is a source for the peat pellets. The shipping is high because the box is heavy.
          You might be able to find a better deal elsewhere, but this one is a start.
          I order wholesale because my farm is a business. My order in the spring comes in on a truck, but I can say that I will probably pay the same price above.

    • livinglife says:

      I have had a few bags lose their seal. one of my friends boils water then dunks the bag in to seal every inch. I haven’t tried that yet.

  5. I have nothing to report prep-wise this week. I did get another big project and have been knee deep in that. Prayers go out to the Pack. I wish everyone well.

    • Bam Bam, made up a batch of your salve/creme stuff. I am soooo hooked! In the batch I made, I used a flowery orange blossom essential oil I had. While I love it, the menfolk will need something a little more masculine……….any ideas what might be pleasant, manly and not medicinal in flavor? Love the stuff, you did great on that one. Don’t think I will ever buy a commercial lotion/creme again! Thanks!

    • BamBam – join the club. Preps have been small this week also. But even if all we do is buy to replace what we have used we are not behind.

  6. FreeRangePagan says:

    Lady and I got back from our vacation and I’ve been plodding on since.

    Let’s see, I started building a cheese press from “The Backyard Homestead” using scrap from work, cut out more toys to sell, donated two boxes of stuff to salvation army, put up six liters of water, organized the pantry, tried to bake carrot chips (bit of a failed attempt) and am canning butter right now.

    I’m so glad you recommended “Backyard Homestead”, MD. I got it last year and it’s been an awesome guide.

    I got out a book on blacksmithing from the library and Lady and I want to the two local butchers to check them out. Wow, are they awesome. 🙂 We got some meat for lunches this week and plan on going back or more.

    We also stocked up on printer paper, so now I can start printing out my survival recipes and tips 🙂

    Have a good week everyone!!

  7. The Prepper says:

    Howdy pack! I spent most of this week dealing with house issues. Had to pay the termite company to do a booster treatment, had our 14-year old water heater replaced because it was producing luke warm water, and had some roofers out to look at some roofing issues. At times like these home ownership isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. 🙁

    I did spend a good deal of time in the garden and yard. Got more blueberry, pomegranate, persimmon and raspberry bushes planted. Also dug up two raised beds and filled the bottom with dead and rotted wood. The dead wood will decompose and provide free nutrients to your plants. It also acts as a sponge which should hopefully decrease how much I need to water my plants this summer. You can read more about using rotted wood in your garden here:


    I’m looking forward to spring and getting the opportunity to plant a ton more vegetable varieties. MD — how are your trees from Burgess doing? Hope everyone has a productive and blessed week.

  8. Greetings to all the Pack. Fiscal spending wasn’t much but had other things going.

    DW’s car needed a new fuel pump ($500), and has developed an intermittent electronic security issue. So some days won’t start. Must like me, I can get it to start, so…….Back to the shop all week.

    Had a couple of Cold Steel knives I ordered on their sale come in. The Leatherneck Tanto has a VERY thick blade, and my be what I’ve been looking for for a specific application.

    Picked up another box of 100 CCI 22 Short HP’s while I was checking on my powder order. A mail order place got some in but it ended up about $35+/pound after shipping and HazMat so I passed.

    Food wise Bear Creak soup mixes have shown up on sale so we picked up a few more along with some other items. I notice that there is a company selling freeze dried seasoning in small jars (5 oz?). Picked up a couple to try. Other items were:

    1 boxes of coffee singles
    2 jars of Chicken Flavored broth mix
    1 jar of Instant Coffee (120 serve)
    2 pkgs Mountain House meals (2.5 serv/pkg)

    Getting another implant done. The base in in an healed. got the mold taken for the crown this week. Should be done in 3 weeks. Only 3 more to go (assuming nothing else goes bad). They are more expensive than a bridge, etc, but are now permanent.

    Picked up a little silver with some extra money that came from some sales of excess firearm equipment. 2 US and 3 – 1 oz rounds.

    Looking forward to another good week. Seems Congress is busy with hearings so they won’t get into much mischief. A friend recommended that I read “The Amateur” about our President. I’ll send M.D. a report when I’m finished; so far, interesting.

    I probably won’t report in until late next week as we have a Men’s Retreat out of town next weekend. Looking forward to seeing some new/old friends.

    Stay watchful and Keep Preppin’!

    • OregonMike says:

      On the coffee filters, Don’t forget if there’s no electricity a percolater will be the item to have and no filters required. Worked great on our wood stove when we lost power for 4 days.

      • Ozark Flower Lady says:

        On the subject of coffee pots, I found a drip 9 cup coffee pot way back in the 80’s. It is kept for when the electricity goes out which is often in the winter time. Usually for about 3 weeks. All I have to do is heat the water and pour into the to section of the coffee pot. Coffee grounds are in the middle part and made coffee in the bottom. It works great.

        I use a filter, but I do not think one would be necessary as the drainage holes are very small.

        • HomeINsteader says:

          I buy every usable coffee pot I find in yard sales, second hand shops, etc., if the price is right. I have a decent collection. Plan on using them for bartering tools when SHTF, because, unless the person is a prepper, almost no one else has anything but an electric drip coffee maker today. I don’t know about you, but I love starting my day with the aroma of and taste of a fresh cup of brew.

          Speaking of which: we prefer the Great Value Dark Roast from China…er..Wal-Mart (brown print label). It’s full-bodied and smooth. Highly recommend it!

          You can also tell you’re not in the presence of a prepper when they are selling such items in a yard sale!

        • I keep an old fashioned style percolator to run on the stove but also have a coffee press . All you need is hot water and coffee. The down side is its glass. I am working on making one out of aluminum.

      • I have wire baskets for coffee, but lots of uses for coffee filters. The coffee singles I was referring to are Folgers brand, kind of expensive with 19 in a box, but each is in a foil package. I have them everywhere, all I need is a cup and a way to heat the water.

  9. riverrider says:

    hi all, not much this week. ordered a couple of 22lr mags for the ar conversion kit, they claim to be in stock, we’ll see. read the rest of contact! and patriot dawn. got a few good ideas from both. hammered my reps with emails ref gun control and benghazi. watched the media “report” on the anti gun rally in dc. noticed the cameras only shot from ground level, never over to top. they said “thousands” but never let you see more than twenty, hmmmm, PRAVDA PROPAGANDA? went to III patriots site and ordered t-shirt/patch/stickers to show support for them. my 45acp ammo just shipped, yay! keep up the pressure on your reps folks, tdl is trotting out all the mothers they can round up to try n shame our reps into submission. oh well, i hope to do better next week. nicer weather on the way. take care, and bury it deep yawl!

    • Surviving in Ky. says:

      Congrats on the ammo shipping river. Checked mine again this morning and the 9 mm is due 3 months erlier than expected but still later in the year. The .45 and .223 is the same but alas, all is well. 🙂 I paid attention to a couple of close friends 2 years ago and now I’m just buying it when, were and on my terms instead of panic buying. I am still looking for a couple of odd mags for .22’s and .22 magnum if they come back around. They aren’t even high capacity either, that’s what’s strange about all the recent activity. Have a great week friend!

      • riverrider says:

        sik, roger that on low cap mags, even shotgun shells are sold out or outrageous. i’m loading up longterm food instead after this week. in fact i just ordered 200lbs of oats a minute ago:) next months prep budget is already spent :(… i need to start reconning cache sites. never can feel comfy about their placement. too many folks in the woods nosing around.

        • Surviving in Ky. says:

          Good job on the oats! I have 50 lbs. on hand and it doesn’t pack well. I hope you have plenty of buckets, it took 3 for just 50 lbs. Of course I love the stuff and with a little butter and sugar, I’m good to go. I’m with you river on the long-term food. Gun preps are pretty well squared away and I’m going to switch back to food or a little silver for a while until ammo is more stable. I’ve been thinking about cache sites as well but you would think I live in central park with all the people roaming around. This past summer and fall I ran off bark thieves, ginseng thieves, and just regular trespassers. I’ve got a couple of places in mind and will probably start when the weather breaks.

          • riverrider says:

            sik, ee superpails baby! stackin em high!….theres a bit of fed land up high nearby, my e&e zone. after a few must do items around here, i’m headed up. spend a couple weeks in the zone, maybe more to acclimate/recon. “they can’t take the sky from me…..”

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      riverrider, I noticed the same thing you did on the big march. A tempest in a little kettle, but that won’t stop the media jackasses. We have to be very careful, a bunch of congresscritters like Chambliss down in Georgia have announced they won’t run, so look for that rascal to switch sides and vote with Obama. They are also poised to push immigration reform through while we worry about the gun grabbers. If they can get the illegals in, this nation is finished. Only the House can save us now.
      I told my son to forget the guns/ammo right now and concentrate on long-term food storage. You get more bang for the buck right now.

      • riverrider says:

        ror, the resistance has to eat too:) frankly, i think its just a matter of time. the “law” will pass, states will nullify, then seceed, mr. lincoln wannabe will follow his footsteps. only this time might be diff, they can’t eat/feed the masses without us.

  10. Greetings Pack!
    Got in some practice this week. On Tuesday we spent part of the night without power thanks to a fire down the road at the WaWa gas station/mini mart. The fire wasn’t anything big,no damage or injuries and they were up and running the next day. No power means no heat,it was 7 degrees.But it was only a few hours it got chilly but wasn’t bad.
    The next day..water main break…no water all day! Annoying but not a major issue as we have a couple hundred gallons stored.
    Other than that not much in the way of prepping, just got a few more food and supplies.
    Have a safe and happy week!

    • Petticoat Prepper says:

      Great job on being ready! It’s nice to have short grid down times so we can see the holes in our preps.

      Wow, 7 degrees…I’ve been whining about 26 degrees; guess I’ll shut up now ;))

    • Big D!

      You’re getting a “warm up” for when a disaster happens!

      You fared well. Good for you. Keep it up.


      • Petticoat,Alvin,
        Thanx, it hasn’t been this cold here in 3 years. A week of nice winter weather topped off with a little storm 2 nights ago, 3 inches of fluffy powder. These are great for the little things,to see what may have been overlooked and what needs improvement.We don’t have a wood stove for when the main heater is down and only small propane heaters,which were ok for the short term, but definitely need to upgrade to bigger units or maybe add some kerosene heaters. Lighting was ok we have flashlights,candles,oil lamps,and solar landscape lights.Cooking would be ok we can light our propane stove manually.Will continue stocking more water,can never have enough.

        • I live up in the Sierra’s so I get power outage’s every winter running from a couple of hours to days at a time. One idea on lighting is small LED stick up lights. I use them in every room for an emergency. I have a small generator to run things like my fridge,tv,ect but these lights work great in the remote rooms such as bathrooms ect. Work well day to day in closets also. They are cheep and run on AA battery’s. Just a thought.

          • Poorman,
            A portable generator is on the list,looking to get a good one by Honda. Expensive but reliable and fuel efficient. I have seen the LED strip lights,some are hardwired others are battery powered, thought they would be good for in areas that don’t have power to them,closets,under stairwell,etc..Some even have remote controls,so they can be in hard to reach places. I am concerned with battery life, even though LEDs are very efficient,it could get pricey.
            One other thing I need to work on is some way of heating water for washing and cleaning without power.

  11. Hi Gang picked up a wood stove and the stock to hook it up all never used on craigs list got a great deal. We feel very good about having an alternitive heat source. The little cold snap is starting to break here I know the chickens will be happy if the snow melts. I hate the way things are going in this country never thought we all would be in the minority. Its great to see all of us keeping up the fight. God Bless the Pack.

  12. HomeINsteader says:

    And “THIS”, Big D, is why you do it! Well done, on being “ready”.

  13. Good Morning all!

    This week was very slow for us.

    Basically it consisted of trying and reviewing some of the things we have in out stocks to see if we will be stocking up on those come pay day and trying some new scratch cooking recipes.

    This week was a lesson on living on our preps and storage. (I’m a teacher and was paid the last day of school before Christmas Break -12/17- and won’t get paid again until 1/31 and my fiance did not get many hours at work over the holidays so things have gotten super tight.) I realized that we never want anything until there’s no money to go get it.

    Hope everyone had a great week!

  14. Backwoods Prepper says:

    Been a slow week here on the homestead all the snow and single digit temps. Had to buy feed this week so not much on the ole preps. I went to walmart last night and they had 4 boxs of 550 rd .22 I bought two of them. Also had birthday party for youngest DD she turned 4. I bought her a pink cricket .22 rifle. She has been shooting my cricket and loves to shoot so now she has one of her own. I did manage to get a old house just for the tearing down so soon as the weather breaks I will have my work cut out, but we really need the lumber and metal roofing. I have so many building projects this spring. Semper Paratus

  15. Not a whole lot of actual storing this week except a couple of replacement canned goods. I am planning my gardening plots. Will increase my raised bed from 4′ x 8′ adding another 4′ x 8′ section. Will also put in a 3′ x 10′ section along my north facing fence row. Plus increase my container growing to around 30 containers. I have found that my red potatoes love the container growing and I of course love red taters! Picked up some Blue Lake green bean seeds. I will be growing green beans, okra, tomatoes and potatoes. Hmmm, that sounds like a meal!

    Actually found two boxes of Rem. 30-30 at Bass Pro, last two on the shelf.
    Ordered a retirement gift for myself, a Cabela’s Lever Revolution scope. The only problem is now I can’t find the Hornady LEVERevolution round that the scope is geared to. I’m sure other rounds will work almost as well but would like to have the Hornady.
    Hope you all have safe and wonderful week.

  16. Got back late last night from the BOL. Now I know what the “surprise” was that the BIL and nephew had for me that they didn’t want me to come up last week end! Those boys have been busy! That’s what happens where there is no television yet to watch. Both bathrooms were gutted and completely redone; the kitchen sported a new tile floor; the pine floors had all been sanded and refinished; and the whole house had been painted! They installed the antique wood cook stove as well. The place looks sharp! They did all the work except the painting and they hired some help for that one. They made a small mistake on what I had planned on the painting colors and ended up swapping the colors in the bathrooms, but in the end, it looked better with the mistake I think. I was supposed to do that painting so I am really feeling blessed! They have been using sleeping bags and I brought up the bedding so we made short work of getting the beds up and making them up and decorating the place. “Decorating” meaning towels and shower curtains in the bathrooms and some area rugs where I had planned them.

    They plan on extending the deck on the front of the cabin and putting up a roof the whole length of the front. More room to clean up muddy foot prints from both people and animals. There will be an addition on the back of this same cabin, come spring for a smallish cellar with a laundry room pantry on top of it.

    The dogs went up with me. They took all of about 5 minutes to decide they were “home”. Hope is going to stay up there this week to get used to things and because the boys missed her. She will miss a couple of her classes but we decided the break was worth it.

    Next up for winter work is to clean up the large industrial metal building on the back of the property and install a ceiling mount propane heater in there so they can work in comfort on preparing for spring. And I came home with a lengthy list for the hardware store and a couple of other places.

    The guys are seeing lots of animal prints around. Deer are going to be a challenge for the garden, and BIL thinks he might want to try some trapping and is going to educate himself on when/how and what is legal.

    As for the rest of the week, I made and canned some stew, took some of it over to the neighbors and in return got the best orange cream cheese cake to take up to the guys. Ordered and received some ammo…some of it was back ordered. And made up some prototype “pink slips” that our little organization wants to use to make Feinstein’s life a little more accountable. We meet again next week.

    I agree with you MD, plant edibles everywhere! For those in urban settings even with restrictions, you can plant strawberries in the beds in the front yard. Stick pepper plants in amongst the flowers and call them “ornamentals”. You can probably get away with some cabbage and some lettuces that way as well. Get creative. Not everything has to grow in rows. Have a great week folks! Work hard and don’t forget to reach out and teach someone else if you have a chance!

    • HomeINsteader says:

      That was so sweet of the BIL and nephew; I’m happy for you re: your new “home” worrisome! I celebrate with you!

      Great advice, too.


    • Alittle2late says:

      Pesky deer work well in the freezer, just sayin.

      • I hear ya, alittle2late about the deer!

        pesky durn critters here in Mid-Ohio are so tame, you can go up to one and knock it on the head to harvest ’em.

        they are so busy munching our crops and vegetation around the house, they became tame!

    • That BOL sounds awesome! I am so looking forward to finding our place! Keep up the great effort, and keep telling us your accomplishments, it spurs us on to keep looking!

      • worrisome says:

        Mrs M. Do keep looking! Decide what the essentials are, know your skill levels, something will come along that will fit for you. I am blessed and very very lucky to have family able to help.

        • Rider of Rohan says:

          Wow, you hit the jackpot this week. I’m so jealous of you getting your BOL all fixed up. I’m looking for one to fix up, and haven’t had too much luck yet. But still looking. When I find one I hope I can get my relatives to come in and fix it up and I’ll feel like I’m right up there with you, worrisome. lol

          • BIL sold his home last spring and has spent the time since staying at my house and traveling around in his motorhome looking for a new place that was secluded, had water, etc….. I was looking on zillow.com in that same time frame and found this place and went and looked at it. I had no financially ability at the time as it is presently still tied up in a house that I am trying to sell. He went and looked at it, liked it, and bought it using a family trust for all of us. When my lake house sells, I will build another cabin on the place. In the meantime, the direction was to get the original cabin liveable because that is where the BIL wants to live. The cabin has 3 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths which is enough room for the moment. But additional structures will include a bunk house for additional family. Another nephew will be retiring from the Coast Guard in the next couple of years and he wants to join us there, we will see how it all works out over time. In the meantime, we have a lot of work to do 🙂

    • worrisome,
      Good job! The place sounds great.MMMMMM…..venison.

  17. georgeislearning says:

    Has anyone noticed the main stream news seems happier the last 2 weeks or is it just me. I dunno might just be Im watching it a lot less then I used to but I turn on the news and they dont seem to be harping on bad things as long, lots of laughs. I dunno prolly just me not watching it as much as I used to.
    On a side note :
    If the internet ever goes down to me it means they want to stop instant news from getting out to the masses. if they were gonna do some kinda gun grab or who knows what I would look for the internet to go down for what ever the reason is. Prolly something along the lines of hackers have control or some crap.

    What did I do to prep this week:
    Not a whole lot added some more foods to storage.
    Cleaned and oiled some tools
    Played the “What if game” with my daughter . Talked again about a fire in the house, how to bust out a window and to be sure no shards are left to cut her. Explained about crawling and making sure shes not in the smoke.
    Which reminds me think I’ll replace the smoke detector batteries today.

    Reading some of the comments on that “securing your home” article I think I’ll drill a hole into the fllor by the front door so I’ll be able to drop a dowel in maybe use a piece of rebar instead.

    been picking tomatoes almost daily. they are really growing great. Way better then the summer garden due to no bugs and with no florida heat they are producing very nicely. The mustard greens and lettuce are doing great too. All in all the winter garden is way better for me then the summer garden in this part of florida. I think where I was screwing up the last few years was planting to late and once that flroida heat kicks in I was doomed to fail. Would do a spring garden this year but we are moving in may-june so not going to do a spring garden this year.

    Have a great week pack

    • Seen this? It’s a floor mount but the door brace is wider so the force is spread out and makes it less likely to take damage to your door.


      We’re installing two new doors this year, front and back, and I’m putting Bar-ricade bars on them as part of the install.

    • For my doors I made some wood wedges for the bottom and then drilled a hole in them and will put a six inch spike in the hole and hammer that in the floor, with the metal door and replacing all the screws with 4 inch ones that should do a good job. If it ever gets real bad will put 2×4’s with 5 inch lag bolts into the frame also. That is how I will board up the windows also, have 3/4″ plywood cut in half and will put that on the inside window sill and then 2 or 3 2×4’s with the lag bolts in the fram. Will put those with the vert blinds on the outside so it looks like it is just the blinds closed. If someone tries to bust in it will take quit a while and I will be able to repsond with some welcoming lead thru the window. Will have a batt powered drill handy to take them down or put them back up as needed quickly. House is all brick and stone with metal roof and soffits so should be farely fire resistant. Weakest spot it the garage doors but they are metal , insulated and have made 2×6″s to put in the tracks on each panel so that should stiffen them up quite a bit.

      • georgeislearning says:

        When i put the new dead bolt on I used 3″ screws for the metal part that goes on the door frame instead of the 1″ screws that came with the deadbolt. Got a good hold on that jam. i’ve got a door catch near the top of the door. Now to get something going on the bottom it will be better then, atleast while I home. While Im gone its only the dead bolt still prolly pretty easy to kick in.

        I like the idea of teh 2×6 for the garage door panels. I have a bunch of 2×4’s not in use I bet I could put those to good use. Thanks for the tips.

        For the windows in the front I cut a large X into each wood panel. Gives me a decent line of site out the wood if needed. Hopefully I would only need to install those wood window panels for a hurricane 🙂

    • After our door got kicked in I drilled two holes in the floor. One near the door and one about 10 inches back. Before I open the door to a knock I place that 1/2″ bar of steel in place so if they try to push open the door they cant while I step back and thumb back the hammer.

  18. Petticoat Prepper says:

    Like many above it was a rather slow week for me prep wise. I’ve tried twice to buy some silver locally but either they were closed or so busy I couldn’t get a parking spot! Trying again this next week. I did manage to pick up 8 rolls of nickles from the bank as per MD’s suggestion.

    Food preps fell into the ‘fight food fatigue’ catagory as I spent my extra $ at a small ethnic market. Yes, inflation can be seen in food stuff. Replaced small cans of coconut milk; paper price tag on remaining old can $.45 tag on replacement cans $.1.29…yikes! I forced myself to get 5 replacement cans where as I would normally pick up 10. Picked up nori sheets, wasabi, thai tea, dried black fungus, red curry and 25 lbs of sweet sticky rice.

    I also added 50 lbs of sugar, cane so NOT gmo sugar. Plus I picked up more candy to add to that 30lb stock pile. If my DH knew I had this stash….

    Had a break in the cold, cold weather for all of about 15 minutes; so I managed to check my honeybees. The girls are still doing well and it looks like they’ll winter over, provided we don’t get an extended freezing snap or monsoons. Here in the valley I don’t feel we’re past that until at least March, so fingers crossed.

    DH had surgery on his eye for a HUGE cataract. He went from zero sight to ‘I can see everything’ in just a few minutes. Put a big dent in $$$$ but was definately a good thing to do! He’s thinking he’ll be able to out shoot me now; we’ll see.

    I also got DD to the doctor for much needed meds. That was a real challange as we lost our insurance plus had to find a new doctor. She’s too old for the ‘baby doctor’. She’s hypo thyroid and been without meds for like a month so I was in big mama worry. Thankfully we found a great doctor. I paid them a week before her appointment so they didn’t have to worry about my check. One more worry checked off my list!

    I discovered a new for me TV show on Netflicks called ‘man, woman, wild’. If you’ve not seen it and can I’d recommend it. It’s a survival program but the thing I really like is they show tons of different ways to start a fire. DH wants to try out the different techniques. While I have lots of matches and lighters in a SHTF for a loooong time scenario it would be a useful skill to have.

    I ordered a kitchen scale which will arrive tomorrow. I plan on trying out BamBam’s soap making article. I’m excited to try this. Don’t know if I’ll be able to do so this week but soon. Have to gather the remaining items and get the time.

    That’s all for me this week. Keep prepping, keep pushing back on the gun grabbers. Prayers for those in need.

    • riverrider says:

      i was told that all the 2013 silver eagles were sold already. my guy is out for sure.

      • RR:

        They made that announcement that they had sold out, but that was a temporary thing. I find it interesting that they have sold at a record rate this year, so far.

      • My thoughts are to NOT buy American Eagles. Why would you want to put money in the pockets of the govt that is trying to destroy this country. I’d either buy Maple Leafs or rounds.

        • Petticoat Prepper says:

          Not sure what we’re buying but I have thought about the Maple Leafs….just looking for something to ‘feather my nest’ so to speak.

    • Petticoat Prepper,

      You are going to love the homemade soap. Violet is my favorite scent. Or maybe cranberry pomegranate. Or maybe lavender. Definitely one of these three. Yep. I keep four or five bars of different scents in my shower so I can have a choice. I no longer buy shampoo. My dh and I just use the soap. It works just fine.

      • Mother Earth says:

        Bam Bam, I’ve made lavender and violet and love them both. Won’t ever buy soap again but I didn’t think to use them for hair! Thanks for the hint!

      • Petticoat Prepper says:

        Bam Bam,

        I’m so excited to try out the soap! My last try was years ago and I used lavender from my garden which turned the soap a deep dark brown color. DH employee thought the small bars drying in the kitchen were brownies…nearly peed my pants laughing!

  19. Alittle2late says:

    Well no spending for me this week or any week soon. It was really cold up here this week, restocked the wood pile in the back room of the house, Dirt floor with a spring pit. (house is 123 yrs old). Shipping container was delivered last week, been packing and sorting for what goes and what gets sold. A lot more getting sold than going so far, which is good gonna need the cash. I’m just going to have an estate/moving sale as soon as the weather breaks. Camper is at the dealers getting inspected/serviced and the roof coated ,new slide seals also.
    Pressure canned 3 of the 4 hams I bought 2 weeks ago. I Went through my seeds to see what I’m missing and what I’ll need for my new home in the warmer climate. Still nervous about the move, but more worried about things to come so I think its the right choice. Made yet another list of stuff needed before I go/as soon as I get there. Got to start making pet food for the dog and 3 cats, and slowly change their diets to it. I don’t want to have food shock along with new home shock. I don’t think the bunny is going to make the trip. She’s 9 yrs old, was a rescue, long story… A friend is going to take her when I go. At least I know I can raise rabbits lol. That’s about it for me.

    • Alittle2late says:

      Oh ya almost forgot 3 weeks smoke free! Food is tasting different now, using a lot less salt on everything now.

      • Hunker-Down says:


        Congratulations! Lost that cough yet? Breathing deeper? Soon it will be 4 weeks!

        • Tactical G-Ma says:

          Congrats on the clean lungs. You couldn’t give yourself a better gift.
          Don’t envy your move, though. We left NY for AL 6 years ago this month. What a nightmare but when all was done thank the Lord we did it. I love the country! Good luck.

        • Alittle2late says:

          Been lucky I guess, Never did develop the smokers cough, in the 20 yrs I did smoke. And thanks for the encouraging words everyone.

      • BlueCaribDreams says:


        • Rider of Rohan says:

          Hows that youngun’ doing, Blue?

          • BlueCaribDreams says:

            Thanks for asking… She is doing great. Almost 9 lbs now at 3 months old, sleeping through the night. She took her first road trip yesterday to Kentucky and back, did really good!


      • georgeislearning says:

        Congrats. things taste better, more oxygen in your blood and more green in your pocket. Way to go!!

  20. Thomas T. Tinker says:

    1. Put in another 90 days of dried meals for the two of us.
    2. Infected some ‘friends’ with the prepper bug and got possitive results on their lab tests. Using Augason Farms buckets as a media (I give em a bucket and a few MREs. We talk. It seems to work). They have responded well and are prepping on their own.
    3. Honey.

    lite week…. see ya next.

  21. Hunker-Down says:

    We didn’t make much prepping progress this week. Nighttime temperatures are way below zero and so is the wallet. I’m watching a mouse that has a den under a snow bank with 3-4 entrances. It could be a vole, but looks more like a mouse. He doesn’t stay out very long, neither do I. That’s all that is happening around here.

    Our Koi (carp) don’t like the cold weather so we ordered fish meds. We picked up a DAC ham.

    All the talk about generals getting fired, gun confiscation, vote fraud, lying about inflation, internet spying; I better stop; this is turning into a rant again.

  22. Brad in South FL says:

    Good morning Pack,

    I felt very lucky when at Wally-Mart, there were 4 100 rd boxes of federal .45 230 gr. FMJ for $32 each, I helped my self to all 4 boxes! Can never have too much ammo! I also hit the dollar store and picked up several more tubes of antibiotic ointment, tooth paste, zinc oxide and anti-fungal cream and some gauze. That about blew the prep budget for 2 weeks!
    Stay safe all!!!

  23. Didn’t get a whole lot done this week.

    I did stumble across this article today. It’s a very good read about the resistance in NY state.


    It’s a very good read and if NY state has the stones to go thru with it… it will show obummer what he’s up against with the country.

  24. Jim in SoCal says:

    Hello all,
    This week we were able to take advantage of local sales on canned tomatoes and beans and added two dozen of each to the pantry. The tomatoes aren’t as good as my home canned, but will supplement those nicely.

    Purchased a Hi-Lift jack for the BOV which has several uses.This will get mounted on the exterior for easy access. Traded a bunch of the oranges that we picked last week to a neighbor for some beautiful broccoli, and egg “futures” from their hens.
    Received the brass that I ordered, as well as a new set of reloading dies. Brass went straight into the tumbler. Will be doing some reloading in the near future.
    Although not a “mainstream” prep, I stocked up on more guitar strings and picks. Entertainment is and will be a must, and I can’t imagine not being able to play.
    Taking the Dr.’s recommendation and began back on the treadmill. A bit sore for the first few days, but happy to be on my way to being more fit.

    Well, that’s it for this week. Like the Eagle Scout in my head keeps telling me, “Be Prepared”.

  25. Went to some indoor yard sales and a couple of estate sales yesterday. Picked up a 12″ and a 14″ camp dutch ovens for $10 each and were not in to crusty shape , will burn the crud off this week and get them seasoned up. Also picked up a coleman lantern for $5 and a at least a few thousand screws and nails in jars for $15 , they wanted $3 a jar for them and there were 25 jars, I offerd $15 and these are all quart size jars that are all full. Will have lots of fastners if shtf.
    Will seal up 25 pounds of rice and beans today after being in the frezzer all week.
    Am looking at the seed catalogs and looks like everyone else here I am thinking of expanding and growing more this year..

    • Backwoods Prepper says:

      That’s what I am doing today seasoning to 10 inch chicken fryers with basting lids.

    • Love yard sales. You scored big time.

    • georgeislearning says:

      nice find onthose dutch ovens for sure! Those screws and nails are fantastic as well. Gotta love yard and estate sales. I need to get back into it. last summer the wife kid and I went every weekend.

      I want to buy a new chest freezer next and fill it full of good eats. Thats my next big purchase, after that I want to get solar panels and batteries to power it should we loose power.

      Hey George check these folks out for some seeds. I’ve got nothing but great stuff to say about em http://rareseeds.com/

      • Yeah it was a good score on the camp ovens. I already have a 12,14 and 16 inch one. So with these I am set to really cook off grid . Taught the cooking merit badge at scout camp for two years and can cook in a camp oven as well as a regulare oven. Have at least 200 pounds of charcoal stored and ready to go.

        • Schatzie Ohio says:

          We are still waiting for your camp oven cooking submission to M.D. ; -}

          • HA!! That’s real funny, I am no wordsmith and am half dyslexic. One of the best things about this site is no one makes fun of spelling and grammar!!! That being said there are some good websites that would do a way better job of educating the ways of the dutch oven. http://www.dutchovendude.com is a good one, it even has a calculator for how many briqqettes to use for the temp and type of cooking you want to do. One tip I can give is I like to cook with a pan or container in the dutch oven, no clean up and it is really hard to scorch you food on the bottom. I just look for pan and containers that will fit in the oven and use them just like you would in a regular oven. If you need to cook for a bigger crowd you can cook in the dutch oven itself just takes a litte more attention.

      • GeorgeIsLearning, will check out the seed site. Here’s one back at you http://www.fedcoseeds.com Hope you like it

        • georgeislearning says:

          For sure will check it out and add it in to my favorites. Word of mouth is the best form of referrals. thanks so much

  26. Surviving in Ky. says:

    Hello Pack, Hope everyone is doing well. Not a lot going on this week but I did manage to finally get the tree cut up that fell in the edge of the yard a month ago. I also received the majority of the rest of my gun preps this week. There are still a few on back order but they are mainly mags and I’m not too worried about them.
    Mossberg military safety button and ball
    Automatic bolt release for 10/22
    Tech-Sights for 10/22, Really Cool! Thanks again bctruck!
    Ultimate repair kit for AR-15
    2 Glock firing pin spring cups
    2 Glock firing pin springs
    2 Glock firing pin safety springs
    2 Glock guide rods and springs
    2 30 rd. P-Mags for AR-15
    150 rds. of 44 mag
    15 rds. of 12 ga. Slugs, store would only sell 3 boxes.
    I did manage to talk to a couple of people at work about prepping in a roundabout way and I am pretty sure they are preppers. It started with talking about how difficult ammo is to find and then kindly led into being prepared for emergencies. Good people they are and would be handy in a pinch. Still observing for now. That’s about it from the Commonwealth, God Bless and Prayers to all!

    • riverrider says:

      nice job, sik!

    • yessir, SIK! Back at you too, Buddy!

      Keep it up in the “Horse Capital of the World” state. Gosh, KY is such a beautiful place.

      Love how Kentuckians are no strangers to the 2nd Amendment! Last I hear, per capita, KY has some of the highest gun ownership rates in America. No THAT’S something to be proud of!


      • …sorry for the typo

        I meant to say NOW THAT’S SOMETHING TO BE PROUD OF!

        The good “Bud’s Gun Store” in KY has sold me many firearms.

      • Surviving in Ky. says:

        Thanks river and Kin_of_Sgt.Alvin York! We do believe in the 2nd Amendment for sure. Got this off the net, in 2011 there were 14 million background checks done in the U.S and 2 million of those were in KY. The next closest was TX., with 1 million. Don’t know if we like’em so good or just trying to catch up with everyone else. 🙂

  27. MD you are right on track advising folks to plant, plant, plant. Everyone, even apartment dwellers can plant and find places to grow. I have allowed dozens of folks grow on our farm through the years. Volunteer at a CSA farm for a discount on your veggie share.

    Find a farmer to hug right now, because they will become your best friend later.
    We do most of our tree planting in the fall when they are 50-75% off. We did 6 apple trees last fall. There are two perfect times to plant trees.
    Twenty years ago and today.
    Don’t forget to check with your local Conservation District to see if they have bulk seedling trees and scrubs for sale. In my state native species are grown by the Forest Service and distributed for conservation. Cherry, plum, wild rose (for rose hips), and many others. Every state will be different.
    An edible landscape is a wonderful thing. Especially deciduous and perennial plants that don’t need to planted every year.
    Have lunch in your own yard. I keep a sea salt shaker and a bottle of balsamic vinegar on a fence post by the garden gate.

    I didn’t buy anything for preps but I have been working on project.
    I have been trying to find sustainable ways to feed my poultry through a long snowy cold winter. Wonderful 50 lb bags of chicken scratch will be hard to find SHTF.
    I have been sprouting wheat, but I could run out of wheat seed just like the scratch. Right?
    I also have a weedy problem area on the farm. It is just a mess. The weeds are so thick the lawnmower will get choked out. I have been pondering organic ways to rid myself of these beastly plants.

    My brain did something that it rarely does. It had an epiphany.

    Soil can hold over 3000 dormant seeds per cubic foot at any time. This area should have double that. Or triple! I took my trusty wheelbarrow and my favorite shovel fondly named Manuel Labor and went to dig. Well, after -20 degree nights the ground was like glacial rock. Throw some black weed barrier down, 3 days of sunshine and I am digging.
    I have greenhouse but don’t heat it this time of year. However it is toasty during a sunny winter day. The warmed soil is smoothed into 40 nursery flats and 15 are taken into the house and placed in sunny windows. Most seeds need a minimum 52 degree soil temp to germinate, so the greenhouse won’t do for now.
    Yes, I have trays of soil all over the house. I don’t care. I like it. I like the smell, the texture and it is full of possibilities!

    Two weeks later. TADA! Some flats are full of green sprouted grasses and weeds. Chickens don’t care. It is green food. Two didn’t produce much, three were solid cheat grass that chickens love. It looked like sod. One didn’t do anything. I was able to pick some Amaranth seedlings and Sunflower sprouts for my own salad.
    The chickens get some nutrient rich food to eat and have rich eggs to share.
    I let the weed flats grow three weeks now. I feed one tray per day, and pick up one more to put in the house to sprout.
    The bonus is the soil left over after feeding should be mostly free of viable weed seeds.

    The Preptastic Sustainable Poultry Feed project was a success. Dollars spent $0. I haz a happy!

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Mama J,

      That ‘frozen dirt to chicken feed’ in the middle of winter is a $1,000,000 idea. It could mean someone may not loose an entire flock in bad times.

      • HD,
        I can’t believe I didn’t think of it earlier. After all the years spent working with Agronomists and studying the soil. The dozens of soil and organic seminars I have attended.
        Just goes to show how far we have been removed from the Earth. We have been conditioned to be Consumers.
        We can’t wrap our heads around the solutions that are right beneath our feet.
        A weed is simply a plant that happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. I am going to use that to my benefit. That patch of weedy soil has a purpose now and my thanks.

    • Mama J, Absolutely brilliant!

    • Very, very clever and thank you for sharing.

  28. HomeINsteader says:

    george, you could burn the crud off, or, soak the pots and lids overnight in Coca-Cola – the real thing – it has all the acid in it – (this will obviously cost more than just burning it off), then just scrub them off in the morning; wash, reseason, you’re good to go. I no longer drink Coca-Cola; a stomach ulcer healed when I gave it up, but I still use it to keep cast iron free of burned on gunk and rust.

    • Coca Cola applied to the sides of an empty dry toilet bowl will take all the old minerals and such off as well. We tried it this past week end on the toilet in the metal building at the BOL that was a mess from sitting so long with well water in it. Couldn’t get it cleaned up with anything commercial. Worked pretty well, this was one was so bad that it was going to take more than one application. Turn off water, drain bowl and tank by flushing a couple of times, dry bowl with a towel, let sit to completely air dry for a bit, then pour coke all over it and let that sit, then scrub and redo. The guys say it is looking pretty good, and they did not want to buy a new one for the garage as we just replaced all the ones in the house and were not feeling particularly rich. 🙂

  29. Added a new firearm to the collection, I’ve been eying a JR carbine in 45 for a while but finally ordered while… while we all still can buy guns. Also ordered a bunch of spare parts for it and 300rnds of ammo for it. Picked up some ammo for my 308 too. Ordered a mold for 45 bullets and a die set for them for my reloader.

    I ordered a bulk lot of wood and plastic buttons of various sizes and colors, was going through my lists and realized I had one small pack of buttons. Decided to hop on ebay and picked up 700 buttons for under $30.

    Freeze dried fruit – 6 cans, and veggies – 6 cans.

  30. MD, that book is in my pickup so when I bring my wife to her many doctors appointments I have something to read that interests me. Every doctors office has the same type of magazines and none of them interest me since I’m not a Cosmo girl or a sports guy. My only prep was selling one of my evil rifles for so much that I’m not even going to shame myself by saying. But I took some of that money and bought a set of shoes for the old pickup and the rest is sitting in the safe till the craziness blows over and I can by more guns to repair ,refinish ,resell while not jumping through the gunshow loophole the say exists. I’ve been doing a bunch of experimentation with home made fire arms in the .22 and 12 gauge calibers. When I perfect a simple means of constructing from nothing but readily available materials,ill let the pack know.

  31. Ozark Flower Lady says:

    This week I made a visit to the fabric store and both material for kitchen towels, dish rags, and female hygiene to replace disposable ones. I also bought a dozen ladies hankerchiefs at Salvation Army for 50 cents each to replace Kleenex. With winter setting in, I will have some extra time at the sewing machine. Also dried some more mixed vegetables and mixed a batch of several dried beans and lentils to make my own multi-dried bean mix that I love to make with a good salsa. The mix is easy to make. Mix one pound of any bean or lentil you want into a very large bowl and mix by hand. I store the mix in a half gallon canning jar. Be sure to date and rotate.

  32. Since I didn’t post last week due to being in Oregon, this is what I’ve done the the past two weeks

    450 rounds of .45 auto
    50 rounds of 12 ga shells
    Jeff gave me another 20 rounds of buckshot
    50 lbs powdered milk
    25 lbs northern white beans
    2 cans onions
    1 can carrot
    misc food and condiments
    60 lbs honey, 2 #10 cans buttermilk powder and 2 my choice cans imitation vanilla from EE
    got in my huge order of medicinal herbs (that always feels like Christmas to me)
    3 doz misc sized canning jars at the thrift store
    4 doz new pint canning jars
    a new carburator for my 4×4 Toyota PU

    The prospective Mr. Michele (Jeff) is working out well. So well in fact, he is now looking at what he would have to do to become licensed in CA. We are finding we work well together as a team, and even our preps are complimentary. I’m really good on food and the ‘householdy’ type stuff, he’s a former Marine with a lot of knowledge, training and skill on defensive and offensive tactics, has an impressive arsenal and a few (thousand) rounds per weapon.

  33. livinglife says:

    I decided to get rid of the teflon skillet two weeks ago and go with cast iron. Oddly enough I have a much higher energy level, not sure if there is a correlation or not. It also makes a great blunt object.
    Also practiced using my left hand instead of my right hand for day to day task, chopping with the other hand is pretty rough but practice makes a difference.

    • Living Life,

      Cooking in cast iron adds iron to your food. If you were iron deficient, you would see a significant difference.

  34. Nan in NC says:

    This week I bought a huge box of instant grits and made my own little packets and saved about 50% over buying the boxes of packets. Each little 2 serving sandwich bag contains 1 cup of instant grits, a pinch of salt and is later mixed with 1 cup of water for microwave cooking or 1 1/4 cup water for stove top cooking. I stored them in a large plastic container that bread crumbs came in, and will save the baggies (if they don’t get messy) for re-use in the same plastic container. We bought more 9mm , 380 and 223 ammo.

    I brought home a 6 gal bucket with gamma lid and O2 absorbers from the store to do another bucket of dog food. I think I need fewer big dogs, but I’m not about to thin the herd at this point. I use 12 cups of dog food per day! Plus I make chicken and rice in the pressure cooker and put a tablespoon or two on each dogs food instead of buying canned food (it’s really less expensive).

    Other than that we just hunkered down through the ice storm.

  35. OregonMike says:

    Hi Pack,
    Did some major staple shopping at Costco, Winco and Cash ‘n Carry.
    Ordered (finally) some mylar bags and 2000cc O2 absorbers from Amazon. Also ordered a crank/solar radio with shortwave bands.
    Canned 14 pts of applesauce with cinnamon only, no sugar. Continued garden planting via ap from Mother Earth News. Checked a local gun store and couldn’t believe the 3 and 4 thousand dollar asking prices for USED AR15s. That’s nuts. Today will be preparing and canning 7 quarts of beef barley soup. Hope your days warm up.

  36. Diana Smith says:

    We have had a no/low spend month. All meals made mainly with preps and only a few fresh veggies bought to supplement. It has been interesting doing this and stretched my cooking skills but no complaints from DH. Says he can’t complain when he has lasagna or beef tips on homemade noodles or his favorite chicken/barley soup. Even drinking canned milk. Just wanted to see if I could do this….plus the grocery money I would have spent all went to seeds,flooring for the greenhouse and an irrigation system for gardens.

    We’ve been working on a long list of little things that needed doing/fixing around the farm. Most at no expense but have been put off too long. Trying to keep busy until we can finally open the greenhouse up and get growing. Checking some old beet seeds to see if they’d germinate so now have them in a pot as 5 yr. old beets will still grow! Now have two yrs. plus in seed storage plus long term canisters of vegetables and herbs. With 120 acres we can expand our garden areas as much as we’d ever need.

    Son moving back here next month which will be a real blessing as we aren’t youngsters any more. Need to get into woords and start working on the massive piles of tops from logging last year. Has been a pretty mild winter here so far. Getting lovely rain today.

    Our Jersey now bred and still nursing a beef calf replacement for the calf we lost to coyotes. It is time to have a neighborhood hunt. They are howling right by the house anymore. Chickens laying well enough to sell excess to the feed store and cover their feed costs. Have heard people say Americanas don’t lay well but my girls have consistently laid a doz. eggs daily out of 14 hens all winter. We do use a light in the coop, heated water when really cold and I spout grain for their daily treat.

  37. Hello, everyone! I haven’t posted much the last month or two – January is sort of traditionally my “take stock of the house, fix whatever needs fixing, and budget for what I can’t do myself.” It’s gonna be a very “broke” spring, I can tell already. Going to replace the furnace (20+ years old, and this model has a reputation for suddenly dying). I’ve had some problems with it this winter already, so just going to bite the bullet and do it. Also have to get some major dental work done. Insurance will take care of a lot of it, but there will still be significant out-of-pocket. Also must replace my car – I’ve been babying it along for several years now (it’s 14 years old), and given that I am a single older woman, a dependable vehicle to get back and forth to work (especially since I live in a high-snow, high-freeze region) is a must. Much as I hate to spend the money, I’m tired of worrying about every little noise and whether I’m going to make it home from work in the dark. 🙁

    Spent the last several weekends cleaning out the empty second bedroom. It’s been empty for about 6 months (when I say “empty,” I mean no one is living in it). I’ve just been shoving stuff in there as I acquire it or organize other rooms, with no rhyme or reason, and it was time to organize. Gathered a bunch of stuff to donate, stuff to sell on eBay and our local classifieds site, and stuff to trash. Once it was cleaned out, I refinished the hardwood floors, painted all the trim, and cleaned it all up. Now I’m going to find or make some shelving for the closet so I can use that to store more preps. My son and almost DIL are moving out of my basement into their own place within the next month or so, so that will be a ton more work to straighten out down there, but it will also provide a ton more space.

    So as far as prepping, not much in the traditional sense, but a lot done in preparation/repair/planning. It’s still way too cold to do much outside (hasn’t gotten out of the teens here in almost a month), so spending all of my time indoors. I did can 30 quarts of dog food last weekend, and will do as much next weekend – that will keep her in healthy food for at least 4 months. I’m trying to do that as often as possible now, with the plan to get up to a year’s worth of storage…then I’ll just make it as I need to replace it.

    Got a lot of meat canned this winter – took advantage of the holiday sales to get turkey, roast beef, etc. Now I’m out of canning jars and the prices at the store are exhorbitant, so going to hold off on that for a few months until “canning season” and yard sale season comes around and I can pick up more supplies on the cheap.

    Hope everyone has a great week! 🙂

    • Millie in KY says:

      Girl you have been real busy! That’s practically a remodelling job right there!
      I do have a question. How do you can when shtf? I mean, some use a big old pressure cooker (they scare me, have since I was a kid, I can use a little one but the big ones upset me) or just a hot water bath, I think it’s called. Would you build a fire under a…grate? and try to do it that way? I’m thinking of “after” when we have gardens and have to save what we have. I’m exploring dehydrating because I really don’t know much about canning, did some jelly a few years back but that was easy and just in the hot water covering the jars.
      I don’t know whether to seek jars out this summer and stockpile some or just stick with the dehydrating. Any thoughts, anyone?

      • Millie in KY says:

        And I figured out why some of my mylar bags did not suck air down and get small and bumpy. There are three bags of lentils that I am redoing this afternoon. But…macaroni. Well, duh. There is lots of air “inside” the macaronis. Duh, duh, duh. It was sort of a light bulb moment. (Twirling blonde hair and looking vacantly at bags of macaroni.)

        • HomeINsteader says:

          Don’t be so hard on yourself; we all had to learn these lessons. I buy mac pasta in bulk and re-package it using my FreshSaver or just zip-lock bags, if I’m out of FreshSaver bags; then I mylar them with OAs.

          Keep in mind that the more full your mylar is, the less OA you need to reduce oxygen. Makes sense, doesn’t it? But if you have a container with a lot of air space (the mylar bag isn’t full enough), then you will need more OAs to do the job.

          I sometimes cut my mylar bags to fit the job. I use my trusty clothes iron and a thin piece of wood to seal mylars. If you cut them, you’ll need to seal the bottom, fill your bag, toss in your OA, then seal the top.

          I double-bag (in this manner) anything that might poke through a mylar, such as mac pasta, dried hash browns, rice, etc.

          Hope this helps you in some way,

        • I really like having instant meals. With the home canned stuff, it’s just open and warm. Last night we were so tired; I just heated up some home canned meatloaf, made some instant mashed potatoes and heated up a can of green beans. Instant meals. We do have home canned soup at least once a week served with homemade bread. My dog loves the bread crusts.

        • Pressure canning isn’t so terribly scary. Get a newer canner (if you can get a brand new one so much the better.). Take it to the county extension office (call first to make sure they do the following) and have them test it. If you use the dial gauge it will need to be tested yearly (more often if it is dropped or banged around). You should also make sure that the lid sits flats when up on a table and the pan also sits flat both on the bottom and on the top (just turn it upside down and make sure it doesn’t rock). Make sure that the gasket is in good condition and the vent is clear.

          The new canners have lots of safety features built in. You still need to watch the canner and follow all the safety procedures.

          If your county holds canning classes – take a few – most won’t cost too much – here they run $10-15 per class.

          Canning can be done on the base of your turkey fryer – some safety procedures have to be observed if you use this method. You will need to can outside and put up some sort of windbreak to keep the canner from developing cold spots and to protect the flame to keep the temp at the correct level.

      • Sw't Tater says:

        I am using mostly dehydration, right now, planning on doing more caning the coming year. My reason is: I desire some ready meals: stews and canned meats, soups. The dehydrated foods can be eaten without re-hydration, but you will need to have more water for consuming and preparing. Can use jars from gro. store goods for dehydration, pack with o2 absorber, and save new jars and lids for canning projects.. Get someone to help with first few canners of “ready” foods…and show you step by step..then it won’t be so scarey.

      • Hunker-Down says:

        Check out PickYourOwn.org and dehydrate2store.com

      • Ozarkflowerlady says:

        I canned in a pressure canner outside the cabin for 11 years with no available electricity. I used propane then but plan to used wood for water bath of jams and pickles to save the propane. Same goes for general cooking if possible. My 500 gallon tank is kept at 60%-80% at all times. That is the canning fuel. I agree that dehydrating is good. Turning into my favorite methods with vegetables and fruit.

        • Ozarkflowerlady,
          How long do you reckon a 500 gallon tank would last if you only used it to can? I was thinking of getting a two fifty gallon for my canning kitchen. It is fueled with natural gas right now.

          • Not Ozarkflowerlady but I cook on a propane cookstove. One person, not all meals at home or cooked, but no microwave. A 5 gallon tank lasts approximately 3 months on average. During canning season, I will change it more frequently. Part of how long a 500 gallon tank would last would be based on much canning was done and if it was used for the prep type of work (skinning tomatoes and that sort of thing.

            • Sarahy,
              Thanks. I have used the propane burners in the past, but never thought to see how long they would last.
              When I was using them I would have 4 pressure canners going at the same time. It seemed that the tanks didn’t last too long. A couple days.

      • HomeINsteader says:

        Hey, Millie! There are a number of experienced canners on this site, should you’ll probably get a number of responses.

        First of all, a PRESSURE COOKER is NOT synonymous with a PRESSURE CANNER – they are NOT one and the same. I know you will see the two terms used as though they are synonymous; they are not.

        It is possible to can foods using a pressure cooker, but not recommended. In order to safely can most foods, especially meats, temp must be held at min. 240 deg. F for not less than 75 minutes for pints and 90 minutes for quarts, assuming you live at 2000 ft. elevation or less. Above that, you would have to increase your pressure exponentially, for the same period of time.

        I was told it was safe to can foods using a pressure cooker, and so I did (a few years back). The food canned. It sealed. It made a child very, very sick. NEVER AGAIN.

        A pressure canner will either have a weighted gauge or a dial gauge. I use only dial gauge. You need to be able to know exactly where you are in pressure at all times.

        There are experienced canners on here who have and love their “All American” canners. I do not have one, as I haven’t been able to pop the cost of one at one time, but I do have several vintage Presto or National models of various sizes, and I use them all.

        You can not explode a pressure canner, unless it is a very, very old model with no pressure release valve (even my 1940’s models have these). I have canners from the 1940’s through the 1970’s. They are heavier, thicker metal, hold heat better than newer ones, and don’t require as much attending to, because they do reach and hold heat better.

        The Ball Blue Book of Canning is the “bible” for canners; you might ant to get a copy (any Wal-Mart should have them), or you can buy them off ebay, etc.

        There are also a number of online sites that will teach you about canning; MD had posted a link to the U of Tenn Canning Book here – I’ll bet it’s still here!

        I hope you will overcome your fear of pressure cookers (which are used for cooking fast and saving energy!) and pressure canners, as you CAN NOT blow them up! Sorry. Just took all the fun out of it – I know. ; )

        • you are wrong presser cooker an presser canner are the same only presser canner as a trivet in the bottom that is only differences in them.

          • HomeINsteader says:

            I am sorry, but, no, I am not wrong; you can not be sure of the temp on a pressure cooker at any given time; you can be sure of the canner. But if uses a pressure cooker to can and it works for you and you haven’t made any one sick yet, then, that’s up to you. Best wishes.

      • ladyhawthorne says:

        I’ve seen a video where a guy canned in a pressure canner over a homemade rocket stove. The trick is carefully watching your pressure and heat.

        • Make sure that if you get an older Ball Blue Book that you make sure the publication date is pretty recent. I believe back to 1999 is what my local extension office recommends. The reason for this is that procedures, times and pressures have changed over the years.

          They are constantly testing recipes and procedures to make sure the recipe/procedure is safe. For instance one reason they don’t recomment using great-great grandma’s pickle recipe is that vinegar’s acidity levels have changed over the years. You used to be able to get 7% acidity level now it is down to 5% and it isn’t safe to just add more vinegar. With homemade vinegar we don’t have the ability at home to test the acidity – so that is best kept for fresh uses. There may be a way to make great-great grandma’s recipe safe but it takes an expert

      • Millie? Canning jars work wonderfully when you dehydrate as well as can, pressure or otherwise. I dehydrate all sorts of things and depending on the amounts the seal it in whatever canning jar size fits it and vacuum seal it. I stick to all wide mouth canning jars for consistency in storing and for the vacuum sealer attachment. Pressure canning requires a consistent heat source, I am sure that in a horrible situation with careful watching you could can over a fire and grate, but it would be something you would have to watch over carefully and if your canner has any plastic on it, that could melt. In a total SHTF situation for a long period of time, I would opt for home made wood and screen trays to dehydrate products in a warm car, etc.

  38. ladyhawthorne says:

    I wrote my people in DC again. One I know is in our corner, the other 2, not so sure. At least they have my opinion in hand.

    I spent some money today I shouldn’t have but something was telling me I really needed to go to the discount grocery warehouse. I’m pleased with what I found:
    2 huge quart size jars of chicken bouillon at $4.59 each
    4-16.5oz jars peanut butter at $1.50 each~it was cheaper than the huge jar per oz.
    4 packets each chili & taco seasoning, the good kind for 50¢ each
    3-16oz jars of organic ground flax seed $2.39 each, good til 2017
    6 jars turkey gravy 50¢ each
    9 boxes of matches $1.39 for 3 boxes
    1-25.5oz ev olive oil $3.99
    3 boxes of canning lids 79¢ each
    and found they carry local honey, got 1-16oz jar for 6.99
    I spent almost $60 but I am not eating out, not even a drive thru breakfast, so that’s a savings. I’m making chicken pot pie later today and I think I’m ready to try my hand at making bread in the bread machine. Wish me luck!

    I used a gift card for Michael’s craft store that was given to me and bought 7 pairs of reading glasses. They are cheap but when they break I keep the parts for repair. I like these as they are very light weight and at $2.99 each I can afford pretty much as many as I want.

    Hoping the paycheck due at the end of the week is on time this time, I really need to take care of an unexpected bill and get the oil changed in the car along with the regular bills. It’s that time of year. Will have to wait till income tax comes in to pay property tax on the mobile home, seems I have to do that every year. The extra in penalty is not that much, maybe one day I can get caught up…yeah, right.

    Will be working on a special order this week for the pendants I make that will net me $100 if she doesn’t back out. I also need to get some other higher dollar items photographed to put up on Ebay and the local website. Geez all I need is time and money, what’s the problem? LOL.

    • ladyhawthorne says:

      Well the bread turned out great. I will certainly be making more and not buying it in the store. I made a half white flour and half whole wheat flour with a 1/4 cup of organic flax meal for good measure. Warm with butter it was delicious!

  39. Indianaprepper says:

    Replaced old dead Jeep with 200,000 + miles on it with a Pathfinder now trying to figure out how to set up as BOV. Not full time four-wheel drive like jeep so drive train should last longer and be cheaper to fix than Jeep was. Been scoping at a bol that has water in form of 2 creeks and small lake with good supply of fish off old logging trail. Also large amount of wild game found large cave entrance where BOV can park inside. More we look the better it looks to us. Only bad thing its on Fed. land.

    • HomeINsteader says:

      Greetings, Hoosier! Yep, that would be a definite BIG negative (a BOL on Federal land). How long do you really think you could keep a low profile on Fed land? Probably not long. What do y’all think?

      • riverrider says:

        depends on how close it is to population centers and how deep he goes. most refugees are going to quit when they reach the edges. hunters might go deeper if they been there before. the more rugged it is the better. i had a place in the middle of a state forest. first day of turkey season i was ducking the shots all around. people from 300miles away were everywhere, shooting at anything that rustled a leaf.

      • No one really knows how many people will retreat to the state and federal lands. My guess is there will be some fat carnivores and a large amount of human skeletons in a few years after SHTF.
        People want to find refuge in a place that they have no skills to survive.
        Hoosier might be completely prepared for living rough. Most people won’t make it. Especially in the winter.
        While there are Rangers working, there is a 14 day stay limit. Easy enough to just move every 13 days.

    • Yay my people. 🙂 Hoosier Preppers are great to see!

  40. Actually this is the past two weeks.
    1) We installed and began using our new cast iron wood burning stove in the basement. Using that and our LP fireplace on the first floor we haven’t had to turn the furnace on in a week, and it’s been below 0 several nights.
    2) Found a local tree removal company that offers free firewood if we pick it up. I’ll be getting every stick of wood I can all spring, summer and fall.
    3 )Made our list of nut trees to order next month.
    4) Bought 60 more packages of Heirloom seeds.
    5) Filled our 300 gallon gasoline tank.
    6) Wrote an order for more buckets from Uline. Have to wait to order them until next month though.
    7) Got a large assortment of over the counter medications, band aids, gauze, and tape.

    That’s about it. We’ll have to slow down a bit until our budget catches up.

    • I know a guy who heats his basement with wood and then uses his furnace blower to blow the hot air up into the house. He’s rigged it to run with the door open, and the gas off.

  41. ozhillbilly says:

    Hi. M.D. and Wolf Pack. My prepping this week was putting new tires on my wife’s car and my truck. If any of you haven’t bought tires recently be prepared for sticker shock. My truck tires almost doubled from last time five years ago. I was surprised to see the reaction of the employees at the store because I chose to keep my old tires. The old tires are a little less than half tread and certainly good for spares or to put on a farm trailer or other light duty use. I guess it’s because we live in a disposable society that their reaction seemed so strange to me. I forgot to check but hope Goodyear tires are American made.

    I’ve got a small greenhouse so have been thinking it’s getting close to time to start seeds for some of the early crops. I will probably start doing that soon. As I get older I’m noticing I’m slowing down a little. Gardening for me is enjoyable, therapy, exercise, etc.

    There are some crazy ideas floating around out there concerning the 2nd Amendment and our Right to Bear Arms. By now you’ve all heard what Feinstein wants. There is a lawmaker in Missouri that has proposed a bill to require parents to inform schools if they own a gun. The liberal news media are parroting the propaganda of the progressives in hopes of swaying the opinion of the dumb masses. Be aware that if we happen to win this current battle the war will not be over. We cannot be cavalier about this and must remain vigilant!

    There is one other thing I’d like to mention but I guess I’ll shut up. Thanks to M.D. for the opportunity and the Pack for listening. God bless you all and keep the faith.

    • worrisome says:

      Don’t leave us hanging Oz…what is that “one more thing”?

      • ozhillbilly says:

        worrisome, there were a few reasons I didn’t continue with my thoughts. These are in no order of importance but the first is I don’t want to expose myself as being any crazier than some folks think I am already. The second is, even though it’s hard for me to do, I wanted to stay on topic and the third is confidentiality. I’m trying to think how to keep this short and still tell the story.

        About one week ago I attended a meeting that I wish now I had kept better notes. The speaker discussed a friend that works for a company that collects data from all kinds of sources and puts this data in a super computer. The data is economic, political, scientific, weather, activity on the sun, etc. The computer crunches this data and spits out “Percentage of Probability” (POP) and “High Value Probability” (HVP) event statistics. I sure hope I’m getting this right. Anyway, in the past the statistics haven’t been so that one would lose sleep over it. It’s a different story today. Basically the speaker suggested the computer is putting out data that this year is not going to fare well, as it is predicting a society changing event for 2013.

        That is the basics of what I didn’t mention in my original post. If any of the Wolf Pack know more or if someone feels I have misrepresented anything please feel free to correct me.

        • Well hell, my computer (my brain) has been doing the same thing!!!! I don’t think you crazy in any way, a smart person gets all the information it can to figure things out. Some is good, some bad and some just does not make sense and then you make your mine up. My “computer” like most everyone else’s here has figured out something bad is going to happen for a long time , for me it started the second tues in November 2008….. Just waiting for the hammer to fall.

        • I watched a show about this, and read a couple articles on it. It intrigued me as well. I HATE it when people tell me I’m gullible, but for the most part, I am… lol.. Anyway, you’re talking about The “WebBot Prophecy” if you want more information on it, there are a LOT of articles out there on it. My friends all told me I was crazy when I ‘shared’ it on my facebook wall, and that it was all a hoax, and yadda yadda yadda.. I’ve stopped sharing so much these days.. and just keep things to myself now.

          • Schametti, please try to resist the urge to stop sharing? Better way is to pick you battles more carefully and to keep sharing what you have learned using non confrontational approaches. You never know when you plant a seed, when it will grow for sure and people are like that. Reach and Teach is a better way. The more people that eventually understand that there are “other” ways to do things and plan for life, the better all of us will be. Don’t let people define you, turn it around on them, define them.

            • Schametti says:

              That is such great advice, Worrisome. Thank You so much for the encouragement, and I will definitely try to stop feeling like it’s a lost cause to plant seeds out there, when so many people try to stomp on mine, lol..

          • There is Clif High of Half Past Human, who puts out the web-bot prophecies, but there are also others with their own predictive software etc. Gerald Celente is entertaining, but a lot less new-agey and more angry. He’s got this hilarious New York accent.

            • mountain lady says:

              Have you read the end of Dec. report from clif high? I was considering posting what he said about food prices, etc, but I cannot find my tin foil hat. Actually, what he said about food prices is happening right now. He said prices would really start going up in January and February. In March, the prices will be very high, and the shelves will not have as much on them. Stack it high, and stack it now.

  42. Picked up some ammo at the local Wal Mart. Limiting 3 boxes to a customer. Got some and then went back later and by that time they were almost out of what I wanted. The store had a lot of 45 caliber, but I heard that has sold out .

    Later in the week I was coming back from a doctors appt,( took a really bad fall, this old age thing is a bummer), and decided to cut across the AF base . The BX was putting out 9mm and 45acp but limiting sales to two boxes. Picked up two and had the wife get another two. At the commisary there was special on large containers of our laundry detergent, 130 loads per container. There were 1.00 off coupons which made the cost 7.99 each. We picked up 8 and are good for 1000 washing machine load.

    One never knows what is out there for good deals and it certainly helps to at the right place at the right time.

  43. Sadly, we did not get the homestead property. After a week and a half of offers and each “counter” not being on paper, and the pricing going up instead of down, we realized the owner was conflicted about selling his land. Sad for us, but we will keep looking. We found one nearby with an artesian spring. Going to look at that tomorrow.

    DH and I went to another town to pick up a couple of antique stoves. I had been looking for one for the BOL, and ended up getting 2 for a very good price. So I can resell one. Our local BX was there. Strangely empty on the weekday afternoon. But we wanted to check ammo prices. We found some great, normal, pre scare prices on boxes, and were allowed to purchase 2 boxes of each caliber. So my DH made his purchases, and then I made mine, doubling our amounts. No scare markups there on ammo or guns. But the gun case was limited. No AR’s had arrived in quite some time.

    Back in our own town, we chatted with the nice folks at Cabella’s which had very limited types of ammo left on the shelves… Found out they are still getting shipments of various types of AR’s in several times a week. It is always random amounts, and one has to just be there at 9 am to see if something arrived. One purchase per person… Hit and miss. But the prices have only gone up about $50. They pay cash up front on their orders, so they are still receiving shipments. If we get one, it would be an assembled spare parts item for us… So grateful for DH’s foresight on this matter.

    We received an order of 4 extra Mags for my caliber. Now I am set up as well. Our future purchases of Mags will likely just be for bartering stock.

    We put in a bunch of food this week. I also had to purchase a new shelf for my storage closet. When they are full, I will have to get very very creative about where to put anything else. We need a new place. Soon.

    At an auction yesterday, we purchased a neat old “trash burner” stove for $25.! As soon as I can, I will find the proper stovepipe for hooking it up. Worst case, it could heat a room or two, a greenhouse, or shop.

    I think that is about it for us. Added some water bottles, and some candles. I also worry we are not doing enough, fast enough, and then I look back on everything we accomplished and realize it isn’t as bad as I thought. My instincts are to keep pushing. Hard.

    We cannot plant here, too many big old trees over our neighborhood, shading
    our yard. I barely raised some tomatoes last year. So if you pray, please pray for our search for property.

  44. JeffintheWest says:

    I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned this or not, but according to the various Master Gardner web sites I’ve been looking at, the dwarf fruit and nut trees generally have poorer quality fruits and nuts (both in terms of appearance and, more importantly, nutrition) than do “standard” trees. Given that many of the varieties of fruits and nuts you can buy at the store are now produced on dwarf trees, that may also help explain why the stuff you get at the supermarket is of lower quality than it used to be. So while you may want a few dwarf varieties for early production (they generally produce within a year or two of planting, and they ARE much easier to harvest), you may still want to consider planting full size trees with an eye towards long term advantage in terms of life of the tree, quality of the fruit/nut, and general utility (in terms of shady areas for you garden plants that require some shade, and eventual wood use when the tree itself is finally harvested).

  45. You can get 5 Gal food grade buckets at Lowes – the white ones specifically, gray and blue are for general purpose. Put away some food stuffs. Local Dick’s Sporting got shipment of ammo. The clerk told me they were going to put it on the shelf Thursday night and they would open at 9 so for me to get there early. Got there at 0910. They didn’t bother stocking the shelves but were just selling it from the shipping boxes. Upon my arrival they only had one bucket of 22 LR left and very little else. By 0920 when I checked out, they were pretty much out of all the ammo that had just arrived the night before, and that was with a 6 box limit per customer. Things are a getting tight folks!
    Would love to plant my garden but hopefully will find my farm soon and be relocating so am putting gardening on hold. This is Painful with a capital “P”.

    • Shades of Green says:

      Be careful with the buckets you get from Lowe’s. I went in there to buy some just like you did but I noticed the sign they had stating that they were food grade was hand made. I picked up the buckets to see if the bucket said food grade anywhere on it and it did not. I asked an employee to help. She called the number on the bottom and got no answer so I left the buckets with them and got some from local bakery.

  46. Lawrence Roberge says:

    Greetings! ordered tools-Kreg jig and screews for futrue projects.
    Ordered some OPSEC materials for property.
    -ordered Predator protector to shoo away varmints from my gardens.

    -Keep in mind that shopping for materials is essential to locate, price, and calculate what you need and what is will cost you. shopped for some low voltage underground wiring and other electrical materials for property OPSEC. Also, completed work on generator interlock for the house.
    Clearing up things to start seeds in six weeks.
    Gardening will come after the cold leaves!
    Best wishes.

  47. Ozark Flower Lady says:

    I have been writing to Congress and President at the national level and to the Representatives at the State level the last two weeks. One in Washington is for gun ownership. The other is not and got an earfull from me yesterday in response to his politically correct response to my first letter.

  48. Sw't Tater says:

    Our thoughts are running along the same lines, as those posted so far. gardening, health, nutrition,security…. Planning for all areas in accord with recent assessment.
    A bit cool here to do anything but plan the garden, yo-yo temps are here, winter for 5 days ad spring for 3..the moisture levels are improved.. I have an area that I pile compost materials, not truly mixed, as in a blended balanced formula, but an area where I place cooked egg shells, coffee grounds, some leaves and grasses..made arrangements to obtain manure to finish off the pile and turn on the heater..
    ….continue to address underlying medical issues for entire family, dedicating more time to whole life family needs.
    …..found 5 books @ 3$ each.
    SMALL SPACE,BIG HARVEST, by Duane Newcomb, (200 lbs of groceries from 5x 5 ft.area,) includes planning information, composting,mixing directions, trellis ideas, interplanting instructions.. and feeding needs for many common vegetables, gives maturity days for many vegetables by variety, identifies specific needs of common varieties.
    FOOD YOUR MIRACLE MEDICINE,Jean Carper, Common foods and why they work for medical solutions..( ex.need a mild dieuretic, eat cucumbers.)
    THE SUGAR SOLUTION, Sari Harrai,
    WHO KNEW,Lubin, tips for uses of common items,.. has substitutions for spices in recipes, cleaning tips..etc.
    ….Not much money-so have worked on stretching and maintaining mostly. ..learning and gathering supplies for small projects.
    …. concentrated on cleaning items, vinegar, apple cider vinegar , laundry needs-borax and soda, soap,….
    Got in monthly necessary items for family and home.
    …..put up a few gallons of water in gallon (recycled) jugs
    …worked on short term chores list,
    …found garden seeds on sale..bought 55 pks, variety of seeds,2013 year, for 6$.
    …. Visited thrift store,Found replacements for some items…due for replacement…gave 39$ for suit Jacket( new tag of 300$ ) Name brand 50$ Jeans /for 12$, Dress shirt,5$ Couple of Blouses for 3$ ea, Candles-variety, craft materials,Brita filter pitcher, Double boiler, battery clock,exercise do-dad,
    BOUGHT a few things, .for quarterly,needs.all on sale,string beans, tomato sauce, spaghetti seasoning, gravy mix. reg jar lids, wide mouth lids. Parafin 1 lb, Splenda lg. bags, case Bama grape jelly, bacon and bean soup, coffee #10 cans, pasta, supplies for laundry detergent, 3 in one bath product.( to try) a Dried fruit.. Keep on Keeping on! Stay true to your roots and squeek!

  49. Goatlover says:

    Received my seed garlic and got over 360 cloves planted so far. Received 3 EZ-DUZ-IT manual can openers in the mail…..best can opener I’ve ever used. One’s in the kitchen, two are spares. Harvested lots of good stuff from the garden! Asparagus, green beans, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, carrots, and papaya. Did some dehydrating; made lots of cheese from my goat’s milk. Picked up (for FREE!) 8 more of those large citrus transport boxes that are about 4′ x 4′, and about 3 feet high. I use them for raised bed gardening. That makes 20 of those boxes in my garden now. Sure cuts down on weeds, and saves straining my back! Picked up more mason jars. Will be canning collards and green beans next week, Lord willing.

    I’m not just preppin’–I’m living off the land as much as possible NOW–and loving every minute of it!

    • Goatlover, Great! We’ve got to get use to a new normal; living on what we have and making do with a lot less purchased food and purchased “stuff”. JMO.

  50. Hunker-Down, I think I read somewhere that it’s safe to use human antibiotics on fish in an emergency. jk.

    Hi all. More thinking than doing this week. Still on the medical prepping kick, I come back to it every few years as a refesher but this time is different. Really think there might be some low-risk and moderately inexpensive medical preps that might really
    help in treating trauma in the longer term, beyond first-aid, if necessary. Anyone have any experience with clysis? Same equipment and purpose as a IV drip, but inserted under the skin instead of in a vein? Much easier, and with less chance of complications I hear. Besides a relatively simple and somewhat effective way to treat loss of blood, it could help keep a very sick person hydrated too. Sounds like a good way to begin learning how to administer IV’s if you’ve never done it beforeeither (i.e., me).

    Chloe or Old USAF Nurse, haven’t seen either of you post in awhile, any thoughts from the professionals?

    • HomeINsteader says:

      I think Chloe may have left us; sure do miss her!

    • Sw't Tater says:

      If I remember correctly it was commonly done in the abdomen.
      If you have ever had an IV infiltrate you know how it would feel. Critical would be the sterile supplies for the IV, solution, tubing and butterfly needles or such.
      Also need to remember if you have someone vomiting, the medication that can be given orally, can also be administered in other body cavities, effectively.
      Rectal admin. info.Rectal medications can be given in same form, pill, capsule, the more contained the medication is the longer absortion will take. Have patient lie on left side and pull knees up to relax muscles…Crushing an anti-emetic and placing it in a clean syringe, with a cc of warm water will speed absortion. Instill it past the rectal sphincter , against the intestinal wall… just hold a little pressure to the cheeks to prevent expulsion. .(.until the urge is past.)Hydration solutions can be given this way as well without sterile supplies…just make up oral re-hydration formula and administer in 3-4 oz instillations. Could use a douche bulb,, or one time type douche container… just sterilize with beach after this use. Have patient continue side laying with knees flexed for easier retention.
      For administering via vaginal vault..A vaginal application can be done with effectiveness, for oral meds…especially in case of gastric complications..More comfortable if medication is warmed..Can use rectal suppositories easily here., as well…Medications which cause gastric distress,May still cause some gastric distress , because medication goes systemic, but generally is better tolerated. if difficult to retain, just place a piece of saran wrap over short tampon for plug that will not absorb medication..

      • Alittle2late says:

        hope i never ever need to do that to my self or anyone else.

        • Sw't Tater says:

          But good to know. I have kept mine out of hospital..with such measures.When you are too sick to set up, it works quicker than a two hr wait at a hospital.

  51. my preps this week were more dehydrating (thanks BamaBecca & Judy for the hints). I’m amazed how easy it was to do the veggies I found on sale. Getting anxious for spring! 70* tomorrow!!

  52. Just a few cans of soup for rotation. Too busy with workplace, performance appraisals, and now the huge “narrative” and “answers” for my psych eval for firearm permit. Way too much to do all at one time.

  53. Went to the fabric store and bought thread, hand sewing and machine needles. The machine needles are the size for both the electric machine and the old treddle machine so can use either one. As long as there is electricity would prefer the electric–much less work–but I’ve used the treddle before and could use it again if necessary. I have enough thread in reserve now to take care of most situations as well as the sewing and mending in the foreseeable future.
    Went to Sam’s and bought toilet paper, toothpaste, machine detergent, liquid hand soap, lots of canned goods, and nuts.
    A neighbor gave us bags of clean, weed-free leaves that will go into our compost. He doesn’t have any desire to compost but saves us his leaves. He actually PULLS the weeds so no herbicide residue on anything. He gets several batches of greens and tomatoes in return when the garden gets going.
    We’re still eating the butternut squash and sweet potatoes from the fall garden as well as what we froze and dried from the earlier garden. Had to take out the kale and have been putting it into sautes with some of the frozen vegies. It had been right in the middle of the area that needed to be prepared for the Irish potatoes and onions. We still have Swiss chard and turnips in the garden that we pick when we need them. It’s time to start my spring lettuce as it bolts about the end of May so need to have it while it’s making a good crop. Had great lettuce in the fall garden.

  54. M. D. , you are right on target with the need to plant! I had bought the book you recommended back in October, and yes it is a teriffic guidebook for getting the most out of a small area.
    Lousy weather here this past week, so did not get a lot accomplished. Bought a new, more comfortable sling for my Hi-Point .45 ACP Carbine. Bought some gun cleaning, and maintenance supplies.
    Went to a live animal auction I found about an hour away. When I expand my flock in the Spring, I’ll definitely be going there to get more birds. They were running about 6.50 a bird for new layers. They had a billy goat, that I thought went on the high side at 155.00. All the other goats were pygmies, which aren’t good for anything but pets IMHO.
    So that was it for me. Keep your rifle close, and your powder dry Pack!!!

  55. Received my water filter systems from Texas Baptist Men’s Assoc….could not afford Berkey right now, but hope this will work as well. The history with these units has been excellent for use in mission countries….if America or my area is so bad that I need to filter water…could not be any worse than in these other countries.
    Also received my 5 gal. water jugs from Emergency Ess….were the best price I could find for 5 gal containers…7.95…heavy/sturdy plastic.
    My big purchase was 2 275 gal. water totes…150 each delivered in SC. Rather than buy and store 5 barrels…these seem to make more sense…. from rainydayb.com
    My main concern now….meds….I need an affordable place to buy Plavix…any suggestions?

    • Sw't Tater says:

      Many herbs have blood thinning ability.amino acids and natural compounds can effectively replace blood thinners, coumadin specifically. If your heart repair is less than 6 months, no one will want you to come off this medication. You should also know there is no antidote for it. If you start bleeding anywhere, you can bleed until you have no more blood.This happened to one of my neighbors, from an ulcer.
      My mom uses a natural combination to replace coumadin. Blood tests confirm her blood is @ rx’d bleeding time. The combination she uses is: ALA,/L-Carnatine 200mg/400mg one x a day, CoQ10 200mg day, Garlic capsule 1000mg 2 x a day, Cod liver oil, 1 1nd 1/2 TBsp, 2x a day, with Vitamin E-400 mg twice a day.Daily stuff she takes in am, 2x a day doses she takes about 12 hours apart.Cod liver oil also comes in capsules, takes about 6-8 a day to get results with capsules..but it is easier to take.
      I got this off a site about a year ago when Mom had an active gastric bleed. Her Docs do not want her off the coumadin even with an active bleed.Refused to take her off, so she took self off, She said they were “trying to kill this rat”.( her intestines went into shut down, couldn’t eat for about 10 days, had to go to hospital for IV after five days of not being able to keep water down.)
      .Her heart function with pacemaker has rebounded, beats going from 4 per min to 62 ,..Her heart Dr just has no idea why her heart function has re-bounded so.(.Coumadin- they don’t call it rat poison for nothing!) still needs pacemaker, due to irregular beat, but not so dependent on it she wouldn’t get to the Dr. if it suddenly stopped.
      You might want to write this down, try it as a substitute for a dose of your meds 2 or times a week, to enable you to build a supply for back-up. r-ALA is generally higher recommended than regular ALA in the mix from china mart.ALA relaxes the blood vessels. If you are taking any cholestrol meds, be sure to take the Co Q10 anyway..those medications deplete this natural enzyme. Hope this helps…

      • Oh Sweet Tater I am totally sending this to my BF who is on coumadin.

      • I’m a cardiac ICU nurse, and many of my patients are on blood thinners. Please be careful if you choose to try using an herbal blood-thinner. Herbal medicines can be every bit as powerful (and as dangerous) as synthetic medications. They can be less standardized in their effects on a person, as well (since plants harvested at different times of the year, or under different conditions, may have different amounts of active chemical in them).

        Above all, don’t “experiment”! I took care of a patient a month ago who suddenly stopped taking their coumadin. The patient suffered a devastating stroke and went from being fully functional to completely incapacitated (decreased mental capacity/memory, unable to speak, walk, or perform self-care…forever). Another patient I had (similar situation) ended up dying.

        Blood-thinners are powerful medications, and if you don’t need them that’s great. But if you DO need them, then respect the dangers that go along with “experimentation”. Like a firearm, blood-thinners can be both life-saving and deadly. Switching to an herbal version without expert guidance is like playing with a firearm when you’ve never handled one…it can kill you.

        Don’t go “do it yourself” on this…If you choose to go “natural”, find a healthcare provider who’s open to alternative medicine (they ARE out there). He or she can get you on a natural alternative and can order periodic blood tests to ensure that the natural drug is working effectively.

        Finally, keep a list of ALL herbs and supplements you take. Bring it with you when you go to the doctor’s office, and make sure that your family members know where it is (in case of emergency). Some herbs and supplements don’t “play well” with other medications. In an emergency situation, the list will help healthcare practitioners make sure that you aren’t given drugs that could interact badly.

        • Sw't Tater says:

          greed, Very valid points,..
          Each person must take responsibility for their own health, that includes changing our diets and supplements to address our health concerns. Legislation will not make our population healthier, but individual choices..and knowing your own bodily response to various foods will. My mom had an active bleed, 15 yrs.post- extensive gastric surgery which contraindicated blood thinners and any medication that can cause gastric irritation… not just the potential of having a bleed.. her Dr’s decided she didn’t have the info. to choose to come off medication that was making her bleed..
          ( I know personally of two persons who have died as a direct result of plavix.) Once a person is dead, it’s too late to find an alternate product. My mom made the decision she would not be a statistic!
          Both Dr’s who refused to listen stated there was no natural product to thin the blood, …yet they told her not to eat garlic, onion,.which tend to thin the blood.and greens or foods high in vitamin k, that thicken the blood. Inconsistent!
          Somewhere there has to be a happy medium, where the patient has adequate information and makes an informed decision. ..and takes personal responsibility.
          Each person must take individual responsibility for their health, if your medical professional will work with you great, if not you need to find one that will. the above regimine does work for my mom, it is not cheaper than some medications, but it is available without a Rx.
          There may come a time when prescriptions are not available, knowing which herbs, plants, enzymes, supplements have some ability to give benefit, to support our health has the potential to enable us to survive and even thrive with limited medications.
          Knowing how herbs work on our systems now, takes the guesswork out later and we can know what we need to have on hand for emergency care of our individual needs.
          Each person responds differently, to even different medications, because each person’s system is different. Example- benadryl is commonly given for allergic reactions, and insomnia, but some people respond to it with hyper activity…
          A list of All over the counter products and herbals you use , with the doses and frequency you take,should be given to those who care for you, along with the reason you decided to take it. If you have a side effect from a medication or other product., that side effect should also be documented… especially if the medication must be changed.

    • Might try this company, alldaychemist, with a www and a com at the end. They have Plavix 75mg tablets.

  56. One more thing…..are there any dwarf or smaller….fast growing pecan trees?

    • Since even a regular pecan tree has very brittle branches, I can’t recommend trying to find anything fast growing. Most pecan trees will start bearing after 3-4 years if fed and watered for those years. We have some that are 30 years old that need to be cut down because the falling branches (we get a lot of strong wind) can damage the fences and the shed. A neighbor had a near miss with one of his that is the same age hitting him across the shoulder and just missing his head. It was about six inches in diameter and bruised his shoulder badly even though it hit a glancing blow.

  57. Hello Pack!

    Have the book that MD mentioned in the car, read half of it. It’s good but a couple of things don’t apply to this location, such as cold weather. We are in the 70’s today. Doesn’t mean we won’t get hit with another cold snap. Normally winter pops up a couple of times in Jan and Feb.
    Looked over stored things this week. Didn’t do an inventory just looking to make sure nothing is bulging that should not be. Also checked ammo storage to see if there are gaps.
    Took a close look at the old chicken coop. It will get refurbished in the coming weeks.
    Put a couple of onions in containers to regrow. Also put in some garlic that was trying to grow in the kitchen. The onions already have green shoots.

  58. Hi everyone, We bought some more canned goods on our weekly grocery run and put up more bottled water as we almost ran out when the power was out last week. Picked up a box of 38 ammo at the flea market ok price from one of our regular sellers. Also if anyone is in the bristol or abingdon virginia area there is a coin dealer at roys flea market on route 19 just outside of abingdon. He is a stand up guy and almost always has some 90% silver for sale at very good prices and if you become a regular the prices get even better. Just thought I would pass this on as some folks seem to be having a hard time locating silver.

    • ladyhawthorne says:

      My mom’s family is from Abingdon and I have loads of cousins there. Wish I could get there for a visit. Haven’t been in about 10 years.

      • I moved here in 97 from Maryland to get away from the rat race up there. It is beautiful country down here. My wife is native to the area from the Brumley gap area. She may know some of your relatives. we just recently moved to Smyth county to 20ac farm to become as self sustaining as possible.

  59. Rider of Rohan says:

    Prepping this week took a lucky turn. I was able to purchase what I think is pretty much a lifetime supply of lead for $100 and some sweat equity. The General Manager of a newspaper offered me all the lin-o-type she had in the newpaper’s old print shop, which had been in existence since 1905. There is lots of it, and I mean lots.
    In other prepping I received an order of Mountain House food, a fire starter, a Cree flashlight, a shotgun shell holder that fits on the stock, an ammo can, 3 metal gasoline cans, some Sunshine Silver rounds cause I couldn’t get any Eagles, and a little ammo, very little.
    I went ahead and ordered more MH food, ordered some doxicycline, which backordered, and then decided to buy even more fish medicine so ordered it as well.
    I wrote all my congresscritters and urged them to stand tall on the 2nd Amendment, and all said I got your back except for one Senator. His spokeslady crawfished around the issue, so I’m calling him back and will follow up with an e-mail and personal letter. I intend to bug them, but in a nice way.
    Everyone have a great week prepping. Time is short.

  60. Mary, or anyone else who might know, you mentioned that the sewing needles for electric sewing machines can be used in treddle machines. Will any needle for any electric sewing machine fit any model treddle machine? I need to purchase some and didn’t know the first thing about where to get needles for treddle machines. Thanks!

    • Judy, another one says:

      Marti, needles for the 401A and 501A Singer machines will not work in any other machine that I know of. Those Singers are some of the best old electric machines out there but the needles are a specific to those machines. I would go to the local sewing machine repair shop and ask questions, then, buy a package or two of needles for the information. Also, ask if they have belts and bobbins in stock or would order you extras for your treadle. That’s what I did with my treadle.

      • We got a new belt for the treddle not long ago and have several bobbins. I’ve a Sears Roebuck electric machine and feel lucky that the needles for it fit the National treddle. Those Singer machines with the specific needles are the ones that you are always finding at garage sales! The owners get rid of them when they can’t find needles. My sister had a Singer like that–I found needles for her several times but then ran out of luck. She finally gave the machine to Goodwill just to end the frustration.

        • Ozark Flower Lady says:

          I just bought a 25 foot spool of treadle belt from Amazon.com. I just bought a new treadle operating sewing machine and bought the tread componets on ebay. Good to hear others going in this direction.

  61. ozhillbilly says:

    I’ve asked this question before but the Pack has added many new members since then. Keep security in mind but any of you out there from the southwest Missouri area?

    • I am not there yet Oz , but that is my destination when I can finally start looking for my homestead. Just have to sell what I have now and then I will start looking. Just hope I get the chance to get there before SHTF..

    • i live in central mo

  62. IndianaAli says:

    Replaced the usual food stuff in the pantry, no big purchases. Also of good grocery deals with coupons this week, so took advantage as much as the budget will allow. Well it has been a balmy 29 degrees yesterday and transferred a small wood pile up to the house for more convenience, hopefully enough to get us through to the Spring. Had a power outage last week and got out the genny, reminded DH that it never hurts to start that up occasionally, would make an easier go of it when the lights are really out. Good practice though and fortunately power was back in a 3 to 4 hours. New chickens are in full laying mode now, the cost of the feed is out of sight now and only getting worse. Can’t even talk about our electric rates, up, up, up… thanks alot Obummer and EPA regulators. Thinking about adding another day to my work schedule if possible… hate to but may have to…. at least I am thankful for the job… so many can’t say even that these days. Picked up a ham on sale and going to can part of it, have done beef in the past but never ham, but the principal should be the same. Will just keep on keeping on, what else can we do… that’s why we prep. Love this site and all the advice from everyone and MD. Keep prepping everyone… I’m afraid the time is short.

  63. canadagal says:

    Hi all! Yes Georgeislearning I’m picking tomatoes too. I just go into my pantry & pick a jar off the shelf. With a foot & a half of settled snow & -30degrees celsius the pantry & the freezer are the best places to pick any garden goodies in our neck of the woods.

    I have taken The Organic Preppers Jan. Challenge & have not bought any groceries to see if I had any holes in my supply & thankfully I am good. Only the fresh milk ran out & I have powdered & canned milk so I am still good. Cheese is running low but not out & also have powder cheese if need be.

    I have been reading, sorting, rearranging, printing etc instead of buying anything this month as my preps.

    God bless you folks in your resistence movements. In Canada we finally got our long gun registry cancelled. Took a change in govt into its 2nd term when it finally got a majority in parliment to do it though.

    • georgeislearning says:

      Burr but I bet it sure is nice grabbing a nice jar of tomatoes. Sounds like your preps are well in order. Spring is on the way 🙂

  64. Mother Earth says:

    Hi Pack,

    Having some needed work done by dermatologist, basal cell, cyst and still one more basal cell to go. Gives me a chance to get extra antibiotics …about the only good thing about it! Has anyone worked with black salve?

    Renewed Costco membership and bought cereal, crackers, choc chips, sugars, olive oil, butter, chicken stock, cheese and more.

    I’m trying to balance self sufficiency with prepping. I want to make my own and still have stuff stocked. Working makes me lean toward stocking as I don’t have as much time to make my own. Thinking of selling off my old broken gold jewelry to buy a gun, just not sure of the best place to do it. Anyone have experience with this?

  65. Schametti says:

    Late checking in today! Spent the day with my Mom, and the family. She made us her famous meatloaf.. mashed potatoes and corn. Mmm.

    Hi Wolf Pack, My name is Amy, I’m 34 from Indiana, and yes, I am still prepping.. (though, slowing down a little bit, since I seemed to have broke the bank in my rush to prep and prep FAST, lol).

    The things I did to Prep this week:

    1). Bought/Received a Food Saver Compact Vacuum machine, and two jar lid sizes. Didn’t realize I ALSO needed a separate accessory hose, so have ordered that as well, and am now waiting on that. I don’t know how practical it is, but I thought I would make some meals in a jar for the prepper pantry.

    2) FINALLY received my order from Emergency Essentials. (They sure do take their sweet time, don’t they? LOL), but what I got is pretty fabulous. I received:

    * Kitchen Sprouting Kit w/Book, and extra seeds.
    * Complete Emergency Totable Bucket Toilet, lol.
    * 55 gallon water barrel with hose/accessories.
    * 2 Potassium Iodide 14 pill packets.
    * 300 Piece First Aid Kit.
    * 5 Food Grade Buckets/Gamma Seal Lids, and Mylar Bags.
    * 15 Cans of food (Crackers, Beef, Chicken Breast Pieces, Ice Cream Sandwiches, Sausage Crumbles, Bacon Bits, Potato Soup Mix, Onions, 2 Kinds of Shredded Cheese, Potato Dices, Milk, Etc).

    I haven’t had the courage to try and get my rice/pasta into the bags and buckets yet though, lol.. I’m afraid I’ll screw it all up.

    It feels like I did more than that this week, but I guess slow weeks are still good weeks. Everything I add, is more than I had. Right? 🙂 Thanks for being here, and keeping me strong. *hugs* ~ Amy.

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Wow, you had a great week, Amy. I wish I could have some “slow” weeks like you. lol. And yes, slow and steady wins the race. I’ve seen people burn out by trying to do everything at once. And don’t worry about screwing things up, as there are plenty of youtube videos you can watch that show you exactly how to do it. Good luck, and let us know how you come out.

      • Schametti says:

        Haha Thanks RoR. I THINK it feels like.. so little, and such a ‘slow’ week, because I ordered my EE stuff like.. four weeks ago, and only just now GOT it, so really only bought and got the food saver system this week… but I only list it when I GET it. Since I’m new to this, and wanted a nice solid prepping foundation, I got quite a lot up front, but now I’ll just slow and stead add to the pile, and hopefully I have some time still to make a difference. I feel like I have SO much to buy, and learn, and I don’t know how much time I have to do it in, makes a girl nervous, lol.

        • riverrider says:

          schametti, if you go on ee’s website you can see what is in stock. order only instock items, late in the month, and they’ll ship very quickly. they run a new sale first of every month, so they’re hammered then. if one item in the order is out of stock, they won’t ship anything til it comes in. hope this helps.

          • Schametti says:

            Oooh, thank you, River! It was my first order, and I had no idea of the ins and outs.. so thank you very much for the advice on that. Hopefully I can put that to good use for my next order, when that comes. 🙂 Appreciate it!!

            • Shades of Green says:

              RR is right about going to EE site to see if something is in stock. I have even went so far as to call them to verify a few items and found out that sometimes their site is not in sync with their actual inventory and they did in fact have what I wanted. I do this every time I order from them now so my order will not be held up. I just wait to order anything that is BO.

    • worrisome says:

      Yes Amy, Everything you add is More than you Had! You can’t yet believe how much easier it will get when you have some reason to need it all and it is there, ready and handy. Whether it is an illness/snowstorm/flood/ or something much much worse, having what you need and not having to fight a crowd at a grocery store is a wonderful thing. You are doing well, keep at it…. there is so much info on this site….you can’t help but learn something….

      • Thanks! 😀 Even though, locally, I feel very much alone, since my family insists on making fun of me, while nudging each other.. “At least we know where to go when things get bad, eh” *Nudge Nudge* Well great. We’ll see if I’m feeling charitable enough to open my door!

        I’m super nervous now that my shelves are starting to fill up.. about how and when I rotate and replace.. I don’t want to do it until I have to, but when is that? I mean, just because it says ‘Best Buy’ – That doesn’t mean it’s not still decently edible, right>? I don’t want to waste anything. I need to look into making sure I rotate properly.. but I’m so fearful of doing it wrong..

        • Judy, another one says:

          Most ‘Best By’ or ‘Use By’ dates are cover-your-backside legalese by the manufacturer. Remember the maxim ‘buy what you eat and eat what you buy’ and you will be okay.

          The other is don’t forget the spices and flavorings. I can take a cup of rice and eat any where in the world just by changing the spices up and spices don’t cost that much. Rant on! And don’t throw the the spices out just because they are a year or two old, just use a pinch more. What a waste! Rant off! The best place to store spices is either in the freezer or vacuum packed in wide-mouth 1/2-pint jars. (I have never had much success in vacuum packing regular-mouth jars.)

          • Schametti says:

            Thanks Judy! 🙂 I JUST this week bought a compact food saver system with the jar tops, in two sizes, so hopefully I can learn how to do that. I only have one case (of twelve) jars at the moment, they were a lot more expensive than I thought jars would be, lol.. I have so much to learn.

            Thanks for the info on the best by dates. I know this will be one of the harder aspects for me.. to keep an eye on the dates, and eat stuff that’s on it’s way to ‘expiration’ or whatever. I’m nervous. I’m torn between wanting something serious to happen, (so I can actually use what I’m stashing), and wanting nothing to happen because.. change is scary as hell, lol.

            • Rider of Rohan says:

              I never want anything bad to happen, Amy, but bad things happen all the time. Think about all the people affected by the storm Sandy. Many of them were unprepared and are still waiting on help from FEMA, not that the media is covering their plight like they did the Katrina victims. But Republican president and all that stuff, I’m sure you see the difference, not that I want to bring politics in it.
              Being prepared gives you freedom. Freedom not to have to worry about anything that happens. For instance, I have a gasoline generator and a solar generator. So, if the power goes out, I have options. I have a fireplace, and gas heat, so if the power goes out, I’m not cold and I don’t have to leave my home to get food. All these things gives one options and takes worry away. Having food and energy for emergencies are good things, and furthermore, you are in a position to help others, whether that be friends or family members, or both. It’s good to be prepared, and it’s a moral imperitive as well. IMHO.

            • Tactical G-Ma says:

              Rider of Rohan,
              You can say that again.

            • Schametti says:

              Very good points. I’ve been struggling tonight with the urge to buy more big(ger) ticket prepping items, for me, bigger anyway.. and saving the money. I’m torn on whether or not the money is better left in the bank for.. whatever’s to come, or putting it into items that I might need. A larger water filtration system, a HAM radio, (I don’t even know If we NEED this. Do I need this?), a firepit outside for cooking, and charcoal, when the propane runs out.. These are all things on my current should I buy this, and should I but it now list? I HATE feeling so indecisive about things. 🙁

            • Re: wanting or waiting for something to happen. It already is happening. I keep track of the cost of my preps. I have used up all my 58¢ hormel chili, and am running low on 25¢/lb rice. The things I put into deep storage are already running two to three times what they were just a few years ago. Tracking the savings I figure I am already ahead, any relief from TEOTWAWKI will be a bonus. Ending need not be Armageddon an illness or injury, loss of your job, etc. can become a personal TEOTWAWKI being prepared for little things one at a time will lead to better handling of big things should they come your way. Some think my Ysss

            • Sorry my cat posted last reply before I was ready. Some think my Y2K supplies were wasted when nothing happened. I am still reloading ammo at 1998 prices, panic buying is not for me. Get ready then buy on sale and at the end of the season. Once you get used to thinking of what you will want next spring because you got this one covered, a whole new world of saving opens up.

            • Welcome to prepping!

              I got a ton of old canning jars for next to nothing on Craigslist (this young guy was cleaning out his grandpa’s old canning shed…I only wish I’d bought more!). Perhaps you can find a similar “steal”.

              Canning and dehydrating are two of the best ways, in my opinion, to build your food preps inexpensively. You can can meat, soups, chili, veggies, ect. And you can store dehydrated foods in mason jars. I have dried tomatos from my garden that are two years old…they still look and taste just fine.

              You don’t need fancy equiptment. A $30 dehydrator and a $60 pressure cooker will be enough to get you started. You can always “up-grade” your equiptment down the road.

            • Judy, another one says:

              My dear, you are going to make mistakes. We all do, it’s a given, so relax, have some fun and laugh at your mistakes.

              Also, something that works for me may not work for you in your situation. For instance, BamBam and some of the others have canned meatloaf and it has been very successful for them. On the other hand, I have several dozen quart jars full of what I consider to be dog food instead of meatloaf. (The dog is going to eat well in a SHTF situation. LOL) I will not be canning my ground beef that way again in the future. I prefer to can ground beef as crumble or dehydrate the ground beef into what is referred to as ‘gravel’ in the backpacking world. The mistake I made here was I canned up too much into something I thought was a good idea at the time but had never actually eaten that way before. Now, I can up a batch of something new, let it set a week or so and then try it before canning up several dozen jars of that particular recipe.

              You are on the right path, good luck and have fun!

            • Schametti says:

              I try to avoid mistakes when I’m not confident that I have the TIME to make them. I was reading some back archives on the sight tonight, and OMG, people were prepping YEARS ago, and thinking the same thing(s) were coming as they are now, and I’m like maaaan, a: I’m so behind, and b: what if, two years from now, I’m sitting in a giant pile of preps wondering why nothing happened?! LOL.

              I know, that many will say, like above, that it’s already happening. But 3x inflation isn’t really something I’d consider anything near doomsday. People just.. give up a little more fun, to buy what they used to be able to buy ALONG with their fun.. and go on about their regular every day life. (ie; Movies. At the theater. I miss those, lol.. SO expensive). Anyway.. I don’t know what’s coming.. but I feel in my gut that it’s something A LOT worse than a little inflation. I don’t know what. And.. maybe I’m wrong. Hey! Hopefully, I am, and that all those people calling me crazy right now, will be right, lol.. But if I can, I would like to learn from other’s mistakes as much as possible, so that I don’t make them today, wasting the time AND money on them, when both seem so precious to me right now.

            • Rider of Rohan says:

              Amy, let me give you a for instance that most people, even your doubting relatives, can understand. Last winter we had an ice storm that knocked out our power for 4 days. After I ascertained what happened, I went to my storage house and pulled my generator out, filled it with stabilized gasoline I have stored, and cranked it up. I have a dedicated power strip that has my frig, freezer, television, computer, and a light already hooked into and plugged it into my generator. Whalla! I had power. I ran this setup 6-8 hrs each day for the next four days, had plenty of wood for the fireplace, and cooked on a gas stove, although I had a propane stove for backup. We also have a 1 yr. supply of food stored. My neighbors were running around like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off while I sit inside my warm house sipping hot coffee. I had 50 gal. of gasoline stored, which was great considering all the service stations were without power as well. Had I run short of gas, I have a hand pump that will allow me to pump gasoline from any of our vehicles, which we always keep at least half full.

              Moral of the story=other than having to go outside a couple of times a day to get firewood, I sit in my easy chair watching tv or surfing the internet on my tablet. Being prepared rocks!

            • Tactical G-Ma says:

              There are conversion kits that make generators capable of running on gasoline, LP, and NG. LP is easier to store and has a long shelf life. And you already have gas to your range.

              Worth considering…uscarburetion.com

            • Rider of Rohan says:

              Tac G-Ma, 10 dash 4. I’ve been wanting to look into that.

    • HomeINsteader says:

      Amy, just a thought, sweetie. Way too much information in infospace about you here. Might not want to do any more posts using your name, your actual pic, and where you are….you’ll understand this better in time, too. OpSec (Operational Security) – it could save your life one day.

      • RoR, thank you for the perspective, that’s great. Hopefully, one day, I will be able to be in a place where you are now.. if I’m lucky, and keep on keeping on with the prepping. 🙂

        And hINs, that.. is a very good point. I have much to learn, thank you for letting the new cub know what NOT to say, I will make sure I don’t post that much info next time!!

        • Rider of Rohan says:

          Amy, one more thing while I have your attention. It doesn’t cost as much as you think. I bought my generator at a pawn shop for $275. Most used generators have only been run for a few hours. Visit local pawn shops and keep an eye out for bargains. I’ve also found firearms at low prices this way, and heck, many other things as well. Buying good used equipment is the way to go in my opinion. Saves lots of money. I have a good relationship with the owner of a local pawn shop, and if he gets something he thinks I might want he gives me a call. He recently called me about a Coleman stove he got off a guy, and sure enough I wanted it. Try to think outside the box.

          • Ooh that’s a good idea. I’ll have my husband drive me to some pawnshops next time we’re in town. (Yes, I can drive perfectly well.. but I never get the chance because my husband is a car NUT, and we have the one car, and he hogs the privilege, lol). Speaking of my NUT husband.. he gets it in his head, that he has to have new, and fancy, and expensive, and once he decides on something, it’s SO HARD to get him to change his mind. He’s so stubborn. But he has picked out this three thousand dollar uber generator, and thinks we NEED this one, that’s why it’s on the ‘overwhelming purchase’ list.

            • HomeINsteader says:

              That monster unit will make a TON of noise. They’re all very noisy, but the bigger, the noisier. We have a 12k. We also have a 3k on our BOL. It, too, is very noisy. There are ways to make it less “noticeable”, such as dig a large pit with “drive in/out” angled end; run the gen in the pit, but, you have to be able to cover this large area to keep people and critters from falling in and to keep rain out. A gen uses a TREMENDOUS amount of gasoline, unless you convert it to LP, which can be done, but, it ain’t easy. In which case you will need to store lots of LP. Then there’s the idea of “putting all your eggs in one basket”. If you buy only ONE really big gen, and it doesn’t start, you have no gen. “Two is one, One is None” – and 3 makes me happy!

              Do NOT run a gen in a basement or garage, due to emissions.

              Two or, even 3 smaller units might be a better idea. Then run each of them to specific areas, when needed.

              He needs to do some homework and determine how he wants to run the load from the gen to the house; will you be using multiple heavy-duty electrical cords, or will you try running the whole load from one gen? Will you burn the house down in that effort, and should you have an electrician in to “beef up” the system?

              There’s a lot about this I do not know, as this is an area I (thankfully) was able to leave to the DH, but I can tell you he did a tremendous amount of homework and determined that we WOULD need to get some electrical work done to carry the load and disperse to the areas we wanted to keep running in a grid down (and our house is not old). We called an electrician-friend in.

              Tractor Supply usually has people on board who can answer a lot of questions on gens; then there are the good folks here who can answer questions.

              What I personally WOULD NOT do is buy a cheap unit from Harbor Supply; I know, people get excited about a trip to HS, but, their gens are very cheap and notorious for breakdowns, parts issues, and the like.

              I’m surely not trying to be discouraging, but there are lots of questions one should be able to answer before making a choice in a gen – including how to deal with the cost of fuel and how to minimize the likelihood of discovery when SHTF.

              Hope this helps you and your DH in some way, Schametti. And I’m sure the Pack will have more solid suggestions.

          • HomeINsteader says:

            Just don’t wait until you need one to buy one because you won’t find one!

        • HomeINsteader says:

          You are a very intelligent young woman – you are eager (and willing) to learn. You will make a GREAT prepper! I’ll put you on my survival team any day of the week, Schametti!

          • Schametti says:

            Aww thank you. That is a GREAT compliment. I soooo wish I had someone, ANYone worthy around these parts to have on a survival team. But most aren’t concerned, and those who are, are too broke to do anything about it. (I’VE TOLD a couple of my girlfriends that just one can or bag of beans or rice a payday is more than they had before, but they think they need money to prep. Like, a lot of it. I suppose it’s partially my fault.. I’ve inadvertantly discouraged them by my quick foundation prepping. That’s just the way I do things. I got worried, and I wanted a lot fast. Now that I HAVE that base, I can add, and learn at a much slower rate. (Course I don’t do anything I’m determined about.. slowly, lol.. but.. slowER). Anyway.. I keep trying to encourage them, but they’re being kind of stubborn.

            Electricians won’t be hard to come by. Fortunately for me.. I have about three Unioned smarty pants electricians in my family, and aside from listening to their crazy union liberal talk.. they work for free, lol.. So I’ll have one of my uncles come and help when we need assistance with the generator, when we can afford one.

            Thank You for the great advice. I reeeaallly appreciate it. I am trying to soak up so much information every day, and trying not to get overwhelmed with it all. I know we’re definitely not ready to make a choice on a generator.. yet, but hopefully we can figure that one out soon! :):)

            • HomeINsteader says:

              You’re welcome, dear one!

              Steer your friends to MD Creekmore’s book, “31 Days to Survival”. It’s a good place to start., and you can find it on the homepage here. And encourage them – no, walk with them – as they start with a 3-day supply of water and food (bare subsistence will do for now), then build to 7 days, then to 10, then to 14….and so on. This is how MOST of us started! But if they never start , they will never be ready.

              I volunteered for some 20 years with the world’s largest disaster relief assistance agency, in every capacity they have. I don’t think I ever saw a single person or family who was “prepared”, but I assisted thousands who were screaming, “where’s my help?”; “why has no one rescued us yet?”; “we’re hungry!”; “we’re thirsty!”, “we’re sick and have no medicine!”; “I’m broke because I’m out of a job and can’t provide for my kids – what do I do?”….share this with them…and this, dear one, is why we prep.

              There are free resources available on this site, and many others, as well. Try to encourage your friends to get started. You’ll be the best friend they ever had, whether they know it, or not.

            • Oh yes, I’m definitely trying to gently encourage my two friends to get started. I was SO EXCITED when I had first made my choice to become a prepper, (and BEFORE I had the sense to keep my mouth shut about it, lol), because two friends who were important to me in my every day life said they wanted to be preppers too, and were also thinking about it. And as we excitedly talked about what we would do.. I started doing, and they just kept talking. I’ve never been one to make a choice, but just talk about it, but I jump in with both feet. I might have gotten a little bummed when so many people told me that I had lost my mind, but nothing stopped me. Last week, I bought MD’s 31 days to survival book, and am reading it now. And THIS week, I ordered Poverty Prepping. When I’m finished reading the both of them, I’ll send one home with each of them, and give them a bag of rice or beans out of my pantry and tell them, no more excuses, and no more just talking about it.. start doing!!

              I am not at ALL surprised about you having to deal with so many people with their hands out after a disaster. 🙁 That’s a shame, but it’s normal. I’ve not ever been ‘normal,’ but I consider that a good thing.

            • Rider of Rohan says:

              Actually, Amy, it’s not normal at this time and place in our nation’s history to be prepared. Most people are dependant on either the government or someone else for all their needs. I don’t want to throw everything at you at once, but after you put back some food and water, then you need to concentrate on developing skills like canning, etc. Most people on this blog make their own laundry detergent, many make their own soap, just about everyone gardens or has chickens, while others can and preserve food the old-fashioned way. These skills save you money in addition to giving you confidence. And all these things are fun to do, or at least they are to me.

            • Schametti says:

              Hey RoR! 🙂 I know you’re right about that. I was hesitant at first, to try and do my own things. (It was hard enough to feel my friends/families judgement when I put some food and water away, but when I even MENTIONED the idea of getting a couple chickens, the howls of laughter made me wince, lol.. But I know you’re right), and I’m already making SOME baby-step strides in this area. I bought a dehydrater this week, and did my first batch of dried mango slices. They’re delicious! When I get the skill down a little better, maybe I can get some bags, and start tucking some away for the prepping pantry. I’m just a little worried about messing it up and opening up spoiled fruit a year from now. I know dehydrating won’t be very helpful if the grid goes down though.. so I’m planning to try gardening this spring, and we’ll see how bad I can mess that up, haha.. But hopefully I’ll learn something. 🙂 I bought a canning book, but I’m little overwhelmed with that as of yet. Baby steps!! I have a lot to learn, that is for sure.

            • HomeINsteader says:

              Good morning, Schametti!

              Suggestion: do you have a FreshSaver? If not, perhaps you could put it on the “want” list? Vacuum pack your dried fruit like this; put it away in air-tight tins. I buy them wherever and whenever I find them. Small ones are good for storing matches; I prefer the “light anywhere” kind. This will be a bartering tool, and you’ll need a lot of them when SHTF.

              I used medium and larger tins for other types of foods, such as dried beans, rice, and even dried fruits. Put the dried fruits, vacuum sealed, down in one of these metal cans with a sturdy lid in place. You can also pack them all around with newspaper so that SHOULD moisture find it’s way through (someone left the lid ajar, perhaps?), then the newspapers will absorb that moisture.

              I shared instructions a while back on how to build a solar food dryer that works – and it does work. You might want to go to the solar link on the home page and find it, download it and print it off. When SHTF, you won’t likely have power to run an electric dehydrator, and, unless you have a gas oven, won’t be able to use the oven, either (and may not want to use it, needing to preserve that precious fuel).

              As to canning, start at simply with ONE food. Perhaps you could make a batch of soup or stew and home-can the leftovers?

              Email me at [email protected] if you like; tell me exactly what you want to can first, and I’ll walk you through it.


            • Tactical G-Ma says:

              I have always carried a GHB in my car ever since I became a mother. And have always kept the basic first aid, water, and food for about a week. My family were/ are farmers and ranchers but I chose a different way. So a couple years ago when I saw commodity prices going sideways I told my sister I was going to start buying double food,one to store because I saw that things just kept getting worse, her response was she was ready to be Raptured. It took a while but she finally realized there are 101 emergency situations that would cause the need for self-sufficiency. If nothing else we have become much more frugal. And when corn went high, and the drought caused a beef sell off, etc. my beliefs were justified. one doesn’t have to be an alarmist to want to be prepared.
              I now garden, can, freeze, have an expanded medical kit and library, alternative power and water, and greater security plans. You don’t have to be crazy to be a prepper. Of course, it helps!:-)

            • Hunker-Down says:


              If you give your friends a bag of rice or beans you are advertising that you are stocking food. OPSEC?

              Your definition of OPSEC is your business, I’m just trying to sharpen your security skills.

  66. Hi folks, this is probably an old question as well as maybe even considered a dumb question but here it goes anyway. Would the Mortons rock salt crystals be a wise investment during a “SHTF” situation? For trading and such? Thanks for your input.

    • Sw't Tater says:

      yes all salt, can pound it and make it smaller…use it for lure or storing meat without refrig.. takes about 3lbs salt per pound of pork shoulder from info I have read., mix with spices and brown sugar..for sugar cure… also can use pure pool salt…might find it on sale..abt 5$ per bag..@ china mart.

    • I think that it would make a great barter item.

    • Judy, another one says:

      And the only dumb question is one not asked.

    • You can never have enough salt. Any kind of food grade salt, especially sea salts. Salt licks for livestock.

      • Yes the key is food grade some rock salt contains impurities like gypsum or potassium compounds. Stock things that give you maximum flexibility. Pure food grade salt can be used for deicing whereas impure salts might ruin salt pork.

    • HomeINsteader says:

      Yes, salt! Lots of it! In the individual cardboard rounds, as many as you can stock. Why? Because when you barter, it’s easier to just grab one of these.

      Should it be iodized? There are arguments for and against iodized salt. I’ll leave you to do homework for yourself and decide for yourself.

      I would like to point out that salt comes with a “Best Buy” date, which is puzzling, since salt is a preservative and, as such, really NEVER “goes bad”.

      And it’s a very good question, Rzh. The DH and I always told our kids, “the only dumb question is the one to which you already have the answer”.

  67. Flower Child says:

    Went to the Tanner Gun Show yesterday and picked up more brass, primers and some misc stuff. There are so many more vendors selling reloading supplies now it’s great even though prices are higher than last year. We reinventoried current ammo and reorganized the gun safes. Made a Sam’s Club run for dog & cat food, coffee, tp & paper towels. On a funny note, DH swore he was almost out of shop towels, so we picked up another package. Went to put them in the garage only to see he still had 2 packages stored on the top shelves.

  68. I’ve expanded my garden by about a third in my suburban backyard. I moved my fence by pulling out the old 4×4 post and reset them and the fence. My rabbit hutches now have room in the garden too to keep the dawgs away. My first of three 16 x 3′ beds is built and I’ll put new dirt in tomorrow. I have 6 12 x 3 foot beds to put in too. Bought 25 15′ long bamboo to build a supports over my chicken enclosure. This is to keep out predators and small birdies that eat all the chicken food. I’ll buy some more later and enclose the entire garden too.

    • Ken, what will you use over your bamboo supports to keep the wild birds out? Thanks.

      • 4′ x 50′ one inch heavy duty bird netting. Should need two rows. I got it from lowes. I’ll just wiretie it to the bamboo!

  69. Light prepping week here…bought a case of quart jars, 8lbs of ‘organic’ chicken from the Amish mkt and made chicken broth! It was a lot of work to can only 4 quart jars! (other 2 quarts I used to make soup that night) Looking to can chili this week. Downloaded the ebay app and used iPhone to easily snap pics all over house to rid myself of extra junk and build more funds for preps. Addicting! Great tip of the plantings, MD! Need to start thinking of what I’ll plant this Spring! God bless you all! Have a great week!

    • Get a crock pot and make broth in that overnight. Then can it. That way you don’t need to stay in the kitchen while your broth boils. Crock pots are super time savers and there’s more you can do with them than make soup or chili – you can also bake with a pan inside the crock pot, or steam things, or pasteurize milk or juice, or turn one into a still – all kinds of stuff.

      • U2redneck says:

        great idea! I had even considered buying the premade stock at the Amish mkt, boiling it and canning it. But, I like knowing exactly what goes into it. I’ll try that with the next batch! My husband would love to know how to turn a crock pot into a still! He may just cross on over if he knows I can make ‘adult beverages’! lol

  70. Purchased a hand crank pasta maker and looked up and printed recipes to support that hand crank. Really that’s it for this week.

    Prayers for all the Pack.

  71. Hit the range, zero’d the new Aimpoint PRO and cowitnessed to the iron sights.
    Ordered some ammo, it’s on the way already! Was surprised to see cases of
    7.62 & 5.56 tracer still in stock.
    FYI Brownells own AR mags are backordered, but usually ship w/in 2-3 weeks. A buddy of mine ordered 2 weeks ago and rec’d a shipped notification on Thursday. 10 pk $127, no $ gouging.
    The Mako Group is another alternative. They have in stock Israeli steel AR 30 rd mags w/ white followers at $19 each.
    Rec’d a new book, Tactical Medical Essentials. Render aide & Treat wounds while covering. Situational awareness.
    Luggable Loo arrived.
    Picked up some new shovels and a rake. Cleaned my other garden tools.
    Stocked up on dog food for the Malinois.

    Thanks for all the great ideas as I’m new here. I did see that a few of you have BOL’s and are looking for alternatives to refrigerators and freezers. Here’s a link, no affiliation. On the spendy side, but it’s a once in a lifetime purchase & no electricity is required…. http://www.stonecoldsolarrefrigeration.com/pb/wp_ef5f4a36/wp_ef5f4a36.html

    The comment was made, why waste my time on lawn and shrub care when this expense and effort should be put to food that I can grow and eat. GREAT IDEA! Got me thinking. For appearances sake the front has to remain, but the back is nothing but grass and gravel. Time to start growing my own. My wife takes care of the food preps and wishes to get back into canning. Can’t think of a better time to do so.

    Thanks again!

  72. Once again, not much.

    Acquired a Leatherman Wave.
    And at the last minute I was given a hundred dollar bill and a Cobra .22lr derringer by my father last night. The former I’ll debate on what preps to blow it on, the latter I’ve decided to carry along with me in my Get Home Bag. While I’ve got a 10/22 Takedown on the bag, a Glock 21 in the glove box and either a Glock 26 or a Taurus Snubnose .357 on my ankle, I want it readily accessible. In a Bug Out scenario it could be used to take small game quietly, since I put two Aguila subsonic rounds in it, or palmed in case of an iffy encounter that I don’t want to draw a larger weapon for.
    Also, I’ve put an extra MRE and two bottles of water in my vehicle. If I were to have to abandon it, hopefully I’d have time to eat the MRE and drink one bottle before striking out on foot, carrying the second bottle.
    And I put up another 8 liter bottles of water in storage.

  73. Judy, another one says:

    Not much at our place, still treading water.

    Did another ‘Use it up, make do, or do without’ project this week. The neighbor kid (He’s younger than me! LOL) came over with a couple of pair of jeans and wanted to know if I could remodel his britches to fit better. I look them all over and said sure thing.

    So I have to ask the question, does someone in your group know how to tailor clothing? Being able to mend, dress make or tailor is going to become an important skill to have as things get rougher. We are all going to be taking up our clothing as we get less calories and more physical active.

    • Tailoring clothing is not difficult if you have ever sewed from a pattern. One thing you can do with the help of a friend is make your own dress dummy for cheap by wearing an old T shirt and duct taping yourself snugly all over it, then cut your way out of it and tape it back together, then stuff it with shredded newspaper or whatever and tape up all the holes. Stick it on a pole with feet (just make one from 2×4’s). Then you can tailor things on your dress dummy instead of trying to pin things on yourself and twisting all around in the mirror.

      • Another trick is to make a garment out of cheap muslin, or old sheets, make sure it fits, and then unsew it and use it as a pattern for the expensive fabric.

        You can also get a pattern from taking apart another garment, then use that as a basis to make other patterns. Sometimes you can just lay out the garment and trace around each piece on paper without taking it apart. Also if you have a basic pattern you can add details like a collar or cuffs or pleats to it or alter the neckline or length to make it different.

        If you make a lot of one pattern (bags and hats, for example) it’s sometimes good to make your pattern out of cardboard then trace on the fabric around it. It makes for less wear and tear on the pattern.

    • Judy,
      Jeans are hard to alter due to the thickness of the seams and waist band. It can be done, but it find it easier to look for new jeans at the thrift store or consignment shop.
      I save old jeans to make heavy denim quilts, and they make great wall insulation.
      Shirts, dresses and a few other items are easy to alter. Have you looked for some sewing classes? It would be best to learn from the beginning to learn all the little tricks and short cuts.

    • Judy, another one says:

      LOL! I guess I phrased that question wrong. I am an experienced seamstress who has made everything from evening/wedding gowns to three piece suits and everything in between. What I was trying to do, was a rhetorical question to nudge folks to learn skills that are useful for when you can’t go to the store and just buy.

      In my opinion, somebody in your group/tribe needs to know how to pick seams and rebuild clothing to fit. I believe it is valuable skill to have.

      • Judy, another one,

        I wish you lived here in Florida. I watched a video on how to make throw pillows. It looked so easy. I picked out some fabric. I got out the sewing machine that my mom gave me–but I couldn’t figure out how to thread the needle. My dh and I took the machine into our fabric shop and they showed us how to thread the needle. So I think I am ready to sew. But it’s far more complicated than it looks. I am thinking about taking a sewing class so I can learn the basics.

        • Judy, another one says:

          Take those classes BamBam! Garment making isn’t as easy as some of us can make it look. You are taking a flat pattern and draping it around and over a 3-d object. Look for simple patterns in the beginning for dresses and blouses (two or four piece patterns). Like these: http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/easy-stitch–n-save-pages-843.php.
          Simplicity patterns tend to be cut big, McCalls are usually cut about right, Butterrick and Vogue are dead on or a little small. Vogue patterns are couture patterns. I love making them because they are a challenge between the fancy fabrics and how the pieces go together.

      • HomeINsteader says:

        You are absolutely right, Judy, ao. Knowing how to sew will soon be a very valuable skill set, given that many people today don’t know how to sew on a button. When Mother Earth News runs a piece explaining how to sew on a button (and they did – about a year ago), you know we have a society that is not learning that particular skill! Of course, if people could mend, sew hems, replace buttons, they wouldn’t just run out and buy a new one, now, would they? Hmmm…ya’ think it might have been “a plan”?

  74. My brand new 870 had a 100% failure to feed and failure to eject rate today. I am a bit disappointed needless to say. Tried 3 brands and 2 sizes of shells. They all cycle in the Mossberg 500 just fine, not at all in the 870.

    • riverrider says:

      thats HIGHLY unusual. i’d take it back immediately if you can. if not try oiling it up. you’d be surprised how many guns i’ve “fixed” by adding a drop or three of oil. does it have the extended mag tube on it? if so there is a tiny protrusion in end of the original tube that will catch on the follower and/or spring. it can be filed down. look on the fired shell brass for scratches or gouges,indicating a defect in the chamber. never had this prob with an 870, so best i can do fer ya. good luck.

  75. This week was terrible. I had to cash in half my silver to fix the furnace. (at least I had it). But then I went to visit relatives and they had pity on me and gave me some money. I feel so non-self-sufficient but at least I’m not broke now. And I would not have cared so much about getting it done fast except I am a landlord and have to keep the place up. It got down to like 52 in the house, then I was using the oven to keep things warm near the plumbing. Bundling up in the house, I was pretty comfortable. I think I’m going to drop my thermostat a few more degrees to save money. I need to add some income to be able to keep prepping – thinking about mowing lawns this spring as well as adding a bookkeeping client and finding another roommate.

    Regarding planting, it’s time to start fava beans outdoors in zone 6, and you can start peas in February outdoors as well. You can start potato plants indoors now, or just wait till St. Paddys day and plant them outside. Get those high-carb high-calorie plants going now. Turnips are good too. They grow fast and need little care. If you are not familiar with eating turnips, you have to peel them if you want them to mush up when you cook them. For other things that take less care: grow cherry tomatoes rather than big ones, swiss chard instead of spinach, turnips instead of beets, zucchini instead of cucumbers or summer squash, also grow quinoa, it’s a weed and the seeds are a complete protein and you can eat the leaves too.

    • Schametti says:

      THANK YOU for some ideas of things to plant that take less care. (I AM NOT a gardener), but I’ve been buying seeds like crazy, because I know I might need to learn this. I’m going to buy a couple of big pots this spring, and try my hand at some smaller things, to start.. I’m nervous. I kill house plants for goodness sake, lol.. (except my bamboo, I love bamboo). I am not an ‘outside’ person, so I know it’s going to be QUITE an adjustment when/If I need to be.

      • HomeINsteader says:

        Maybe not (such a big adjustment, after all). Many things grow well year around, in pots, in the house – or on the balcony, patio, wherever!

        • Schametti says:

          I hope that you’re right!! I need to figure out WHAT plants to start out with, and what kind of pot/soil/etc… and more importantly WHEN to get them started. It seems like so much to learn, so I’m a little bit leery about it.

          • Hunker-Down says:


            Since most garden plants grow in an annual cycle, it takes a year to get a second chance at trying something. Failure can come from bad dirt, shade, sun, water, bugs, animals etc.
            Because a plants life cycle is so long I would jump in with both feet and plant as many different things as you have time and space. Get gardening books (the library?) and TAKE NOTES of your successes and failures. They will be of great value next season.
            Have questions? There are a half dozen master gardeners in the Wolf Pack that want to be the first to answer them.

            • Schametti says:

              Thanks HD. That’s a very good tip. A year is a long time to have to wait around to try something different that didn’t go right the first time around.

              Space and Time, I have. I’m probably more fortunate than most in that area. It’s ambition and energy that I need. :/ It’s a character flaw of mine that I can’t seem to shake off. I’m gathering seeds and books now while I can, so that I’ll have them when I can’t, and hope that I’LL FIND the motivation when my survival depends on it. (I know that’s NOT the way to go about it, so I need to try harder).

              I don’t think I’m capable, by myself, of tilling up a huge plot of space in my yard, and keeping my plants free of bugs, bunnies, and weeds, God, weeds are the death of me. I can just barely manage to keep them from swallowing me up around my fence-line every summer, lol. SO, I thought I would figure out some method of planter/container planting. I don’t know the FIRST thing about ANY kind of farming though.. so I will be reading extra carefully anytime one of those seasoned pack gardeners mentions something I can borrow.. and learn from.

              My next door neighbor, an elderly retired gentleman, named Bob, brings me gorgeous and delicious, fat red tomatoes every summer.. and I bake him cookied in thanks every Christmas.. 🙂 ..I’m thinking he might be a good ally when TSHTF (did I do that right? First time, trying out my first abbreviation, lol), and can probably teach me a thing or too about what does and doesn’t work here in our area.

            • Hunker-Down says:


              Sounds like Bob may be the go to guy for gardening, but on the way, don’t forget about OPSEC.

          • Some of the best things to start with are herbs. You can grow a lot of parsley and basil in relatively small pots. Then expand to things like romaine grown in window box-type pots. Tomatoes are good grown in very large pots as are peppers. After you have grown things in pots, you might try a small (4X4) raised bed. Build the sides up to 6-10 inches, cover the bottom with corrugated cardboard to kill any weeds and grass, put in the vegetable trimmings that you accumulate, add a few bags of topsoil mixed with compost, and plant plant plant. The cardboard breaks down to add more nutritive material. You can plant a lot closer together in a raised bed since you don’t have to allow for a path between plants.

            • Schametti says:

              Thanks for the tips you guys. I’m have excited, and half nervous, to start jumping in to gardening. But I KNOW how important that it’s likely to be in the coming years, so I reeeeally appreciate all the advice, so far. 🙂

              And yes.. It’ll be a fine line to walk between getting Bob’s planting advice, and not explaining to ole Bob why I’m suddenly out of the house for the first time in five years, LOL.

            • Hunker-Down says:


              Oh, no big deal. You just have a new hobby and need to get some sun.

            • Tactical G-Ma says:

              When I started gardening my plants were like my babies. I wept for them . I worried about them. And sometimes I did everything the books and other gardeners said to do and my plants died. Other plants I stuck in the ground and forgot about them and they thrived. Read, talk to others, garden for 50 years and you will get better but sometimes a crop will fail, plants will die, fruit will be bad or not at all.
              Sometimes success is beyond your control. Plant a fruit tree every year. I have had them freeze, wither, get disease and get struck by lightening. The thing is: do your best and keep planting.

  76. Tactical G-Ma says:

    Hey Pack
    Looks like everyone is persevering in spite of hardships.
    So many good tips and interesting posts. Welcome to the new cubs and welcome back to those who haven’t posted for a while. Finally got our garden beds prepped and a retaining wall built. 600 blocks and 16 cubic yards of topsoil and compost later and DH is sick as a dog and my body hurts all over. Still have a few odds and ends to do. The outdoor kitchen is done except for the 250 gal gas tank to run some of it.
    Got our half beef from processor this week. Have a doe there still being butchered. We should be set for the year with meats.
    Bought the jerky making kit for ground meat. Got 5 lbs. Of venison marinating.
    I did buy a 22 qt stainless steel pot and new bed sheets and tons of bags for the food saver.
    This time of year is more about doing than spending. Gotta start my seedlings.
    When DH gets better we are going to hit the golf course. And maybe a day or two fishing. All work and no play makes me grumpy.
    Hope you all have a great week. God bless you. You and yours are in my prayers.

  77. I love seeing what everyone is doing to prep each week. I am VERY new to prepping (like two months into it) so it is nice (and overwhelming) to see what the ‘pros’ are doing. Last week I added a few canned goods to my stocks, I got a propane tank for the grill refilled, and I ordered two seed catalogs and started planning my garden (considering the container garden to start with). I also used my medical flex card to purchase two prescription glasses and one pair of prescription sunglasses. I am nearly blind without my contacts and when things go bad I know that my contacts are not a long term solution. I already have a pair of older glasses that are about one prescription old but still work. When I went in to pick up my glasses the lady helping me told me I was “glasses greedy”. I just smiled as I tried them on. I also just finished reading the book “One Second After” and enjoyed it (in a creepy “Oh crap this could happen” kind of way). I have also been reading and researching as much as possible about getting my preps in order (and starting to prep).
    Thank you for the great ideas.

    • Schametti says:

      Hey Sparky! 😀 It’s nice to see newbies like me. I’m creeping up to three months, (next week), of being a new prepper. I’m glad I’m not the only one just starting out. I know how you feel, it’s overwhelming when you want to buy and get and learn SO MANY things yet, and you feel that sense of urgency that you started too late.. It can be scary. But you’re not alone, so borrow my new motto, from the great pack here.. “Anything you add, is more than you Had.” It keeps me going, one item at a time. 🙂 ~ Amy.

    • riverrider says:

      i hope you’ve clicked on the “survival guides”link at the top of the homepage. its a wealth of info for the new prepper. good luck to ya, and welcome if its not been said already. stick with us, we’ll get you thru it as best that can be.

    • Welcome Sparky. Don’t let it overwhelm you. You are already ahead of most just by being aware and starting to prep. Keep us up to date on your progress.

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      Welcome to the pack. When I just started, I felt like everything had to be done now! And I had always been prepared for one weeks worth for me and close family. If you take it slow and steady and taylor your preps to your needs. It is so much easier.
      The book “One Second After” should be required reading. It scared me good. You made a very good start recognizing your weakest trait was your eyesight. An excellent book is MD’s book “31 Days to Survival”. It is a checklist of the hows and whys. There are many good resources on this web site also. Good luck and God bless.

    • Welcome Sparky,
      You made me giggle when you said you enjoyed One Second After in a creepy kinda way. I think we all did. I read it four times and enjoyed every second, even when I was bawling my eyes out.
      Try “Lights Out” and the “Jakarta Pandemic”.
      Also try zennioptical.com for some great prices for the next greedy glasses episode.
      Try not to let yourself become overwhelmed. You will be suprised how much you can accomplish with baby steps that lead to big steps. Next thing you know you will be saying you need more space.

    • Ozark Flower Lady says:

      Welcome, Sparky. Sounds like you are doing what needs to be done. I have a book by Susan Gregersen that will help you and all others with food prepping–POVERTY PREPPING:How to stock up for tomorrow when you can’t afford to eat today. I also recommend both of MD Creekmore’s books–31 Days to Survival and Dirt-Cheap: Survival Retreat. MD, unlike many other “survivalist” is not coming from the position of have money to establish a fully defensible fort with all kinds of gimmicks that would be nice to own but is way out of our pocketbook.

    • Dies the Fire by S M Stirling is another good book. Wonders a bit into speculative fiction, but not in a bad way.

    • Sparky,

      Welcome to the Pack. It’s good to see newbies posting. If you have questions, feel free to ask. We have lots of answers.

  78. HomeINsteader says:

    Welcome to the Pack, Sparky! Sounds like you’re a fast learner!

    Please be sure your seeds are heirloom and not hybrid, non-GMO. Lots of places you can get those, but Baker Creek Farms or Seed Savers Exchange are just two such places.

  79. KR Prepper says:

    It’s been a min.

    Drew up the garden

    Purchased Jennings Devastator crossbow, bolts, broadheads,
    A rangefinder, rope cocking device and other archery stuff from eBay.
    purchases a red dot to replace the original sight.

    Its amazing the accurate range you can get with a crossbow,
    And how quiet they are. From 100 yards, by the time game hears the arrow
    It’s too late.

    Spent some time developing a portion if the garden primarily for medicinal plants

  80. PGCPrepper says:

    I bought a steak for dinner for friday night. I needed some red meat. And then I washed my bed sheets and cleaned my toilet on Saturday. I’ma prepping my ass off. Damn.

    Obviously my last post.

  81. This week I inventoried my pantry and figured out exactly how many pounds of staples (rice, beans, flour, ect) I have. Then I used a LDS website to figure out where the gaps were in my food preps. I’ve been slowly adding to our family food stores for the past year, and the calculator was very helpful in showing me where what stuff I was missing.

    I then went out and bought the stuff I lacked from my grocery store and local “Big Box” store. There are a few items that will have to wait until my next paycheck to purchase (extra coffee, spices)…but I’m happy to say that my husband and I have six months of food! Yeah!

    Some of the bulk supplies (beans and rice) I stored in a new, clean metal garbage can (rodent-proof) in the basement. Eventually I’ll re-packege it into mylar pouches and food-grade buckets. But, for now, the food will keep just fine until I’m ready for the project. I’ll keep adding to our food preps, of course. But its a real comfort to know that we have enough food on hand to last a long while without resupply. The “food security” will allow me to re-focus some of our time/money on other preps.

    Here’s something I’m doing this week that other people might want to try. I’ve recently started canning meat and broth in large amounts. I’ve found this to be a real money and time-saver, and I recommend it highly. I get meat (turkey, ham, ect) on sale, cook it up, and process it in my pressure cooker. I’m a nurse who works tweleve-hour shifts, and it’s really nice to be able to come home and pop open a can of meat or soup/stew for a quick meal. The broth is great for making rice with. My husband is also a real fan of the convenience of instantly ready meal components. No having to think about thawing meat ahead of time or anything. And its all completely shelf-stable!

    One last thing I did this week…I ordered a Pump-n-seal food saver device. Its designed to manually suck air out of mason jars or ziplock bags. Dry goods and dehydrated foods store a lot longer in jars without air. And you can avoid freezer burn by removing air from the ziplock bags you put food into. It arrived today, and it works great! After pumping the air our of a jar of dried herbs I uncrewed the mason jar ring and the lid stayed firmly sucked down onto the jar. The ziplock bag I tried it on sucked down around the contents just like vaccum-packed stuff you buy from the store. Not bad, and way cheaper than other food savers out there.

  82. Warmongerel says:

    Nothing too out of the ordinary this week.

    – Put more food away
    – Put more water away
    – Bought another 100 rounds of .40S&W
    – Bought a dozen rounds of 00 buckshot
    – Bought 60 rounds of 7.62. Half of what Gander Mountain had.

    Figured I’d have a little fun, so I became a troll on the DailyKos website. They had kicked me off years ago because I used that Kryptonite to Liberals: logic.

    I expect to be kicked off again, although I’m acting “innocent-stupid” when asking questions. But man it’s fun poking these fools through the bars of their cages.

    Hope all is as well as can be, Pack. And, as always, thank you, M.D.

  83. Kitchen Witch says:

    Bought 5 turkeys @99 cents a pound cooked them all up.
    canned 21 quarts of turkey soup
    canned 35 quarts of plain turkey
    went through the freezer and decided to can all the hamburger up 28 quarts.
    restocked what we have used in the pantry since november.
    son in law, daughter and grandbabes finally found a place they could afford and are moving out this weekend. still have 1 daughter at home.

  84. Went to local grocery store yesterday and a big sign in the produce dept – an update on the weather conditions in the midwest etc that may and are limiting the quanity and quality of produce – mostly things like lettuces, broccoli was mentioned and a few other things.

    I’m going to revisit it and get the full listing. Get your seeds! Plant them! Get that greenhouse up – it’s getting worse and worse.

    Blessings to all

    • HomeINsteader says:

      Thank you, granny j! This is a warning, y’all; the wise person does not ignore a warning.

    • mountain lady says:

      My friend told me yesterday to get some lettuce and chard planted in my half oak barrels. I think I will get them started pronto. The shortages were not supposed to start until April. Guess it is coming early.

  85. Home, you’re welcome. I saw it and my stomach just tightened up and said, yup, knew it was coming soon, and here it is. I knew the first place I needed to go was here, and spread the word.

    God bless us all…..I thank Our Father in Heaven for each of you each day, and the bounty of knowledge you share so freely because you care. Each of you are special – MD, thank you for being you and having us all in to visit.

    As soon as I can get back to the store, I’ll get the full list and post it.

  86. sheesh, hit the wrong button and deleted self…

    Stopped again at the store – the sign says the growing areas in Yuma,AZ and the Imperial and Coachilla, CA areas are the hardest hit by the drought and then the cold and freezing spell we just experienced. They are expecting another cold spell soon –

    Estimate is that lettuces and leafy greens will be affected with discoloration and such like we sometimes see on celery – which indicates damage from frostbite…edible (to an extent) but not pretty. Broccoli and artichoke crops are expected to be in short supply, reduced size, etc – by as much as 50%! Stock up on broccoli now – dehydrate – and buy your freeze dries asap. Better – plant your own!

    Besides my garden – I have two coworkers and another friend who I will ask about trading labor in their acreage for fresh foods. They have larger acreages and much more sun that I do….so I might be able to wing a deal. Two of them have offered buckets full of worms for my compost bins, soil…when I’m ready.

    I don’t have a lot of sun, and am having to completely redo parts of my garden plan….sigh. But hey it’s all making me stronger and smarter, yes?


  87. Ordered 5 yrs. worth (read below) of cleaning supplies and some spare parts. DON’T FORGET THE GAS RINGS and SPARE FIRING PIN!

    From FB; Doug Ross @ Journal: UPDATE: Status of Gun Industry

    Monday, January 28, 2013

    ATTN: To follow will be several IMPORTANT Info updates about the status of the gun industry currently, followed by an INVENTORY UPDATE: We traveled to Texas for Industry meetings concerning the shortages, here’s what we were told.

    Smith & Wesson: is running at FULL capacity making 300+ guns/day-mainly M&P pistols. They are unable to produce any more guns to help with the shortages.

    RUGER: Plans to increase from 75% to 100% in the next 90 days.

    FNH: Moving from 50% production to 75% by Feb 1st and 100% by March 1. Remington-Maxed out!

    Armalite: Maxed out.

    DPMS: Can’t get enough parts to produce any more product.

    COLT: Production runs increasing weekly…bottle necked by Bolt carrier’s.

    LWRC:Making only black guns, running at full capacity, but can’t get enough gun quality steel to make barrels.

    Springfield Armory: THE only company who can meet demand, but are running 30-45 days behind.

    AMMO: Every caliber is now Allocated! We are looking at a nation wide shortage of all calibers over the next 9 months. All plants are producing as much ammo as possible w/ of 1 BILLION rounds produced weekly. Most is military followed by L.E. and civilians are third in line.

    MAGPUL: is behind 1 MILLION mags, do not expect any large quantities of magpul anytime soon. (250 just arrived on island, picking mine up tomorrow for $30 ea., black, no windows)

    RELOADERS… ALL Remington, Winchester, CCI & Federal primers are going to ammo FIRST. There are no extra’s for reloading purposes… it could be 6-9 months before things get caught up. Sorry for the bleak news, but now we know what to expect in the coming months.

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      In other words, if you have not prepared before now, practice a lot with your bow and arrows!

      • +1
        But on another note, you can make a bow out of PVC and elbow grease. (caution shameless bragging ahead) I’ve started the kids on bows and they are doing fantastic. Both on paper at 10 yards. Makes you feel good when you teach your kids something that you know will stick with them forever. God bless Wolfpack, I hope the Lords light is keeping TDL in the shadows for you.

        Militia now, it has begun.

  88. HomeINsteader says:

    Hey, Mexneck! How are you, my Brother?

    I found this youtube quickly on how to build PVC pipe bows…don’t know if it’s the “best” one available.

    This will also show you how to get to 60 lb PVC bows youtube and shooting them.

    • Hi HomeINsteader,
      I think that’s the one I watched. I’ve been working on a couple of other projects so I haven’t tried to make the bow yet. Went out to the country this weekend and had a great time with DF.

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