What did YOU do to prep this week?

Good morning pack! I hope that you all are doing well today… Wow, another week has passed already. Were does the time go? It won’t be long until we’ll all be out and about dressed in our summer cloths, planting our gardens, collecting eggs, small-scale homesteading, building and yard work everyday. :sun:

Okay, before we get stated with this weeks segment, I would like to thank; Christy, CKRockett Enterprises, Mike H, Alden W, Debra P, Charles P, James P, Cheryl D, Hannah and Lee O for their generous donations this week via PayPal. Thank you all.

Over the years, I’ve had a lot of readers ask that I put an Amazon.com button or link in the sidebar, that they could use as their Amazon entry point and allow the blog to receive a small commission on orders placed through Amazon. Okay, I finally broke-down and done it… look in the left sidebar under the top LuckyGunner ammo and text link ads… see it? It says click to shop Amazon.com. I hope it helps…

Alex Jones and the InfoWars.com shop are offering a Preparedness Planning Special consisting of my book “31 Days to Survival” and the Strategic Relocation Documentary DVD.

Now let me see… What did I do to prep this week?

Well as bugs bunny would say, that’s all folks. What about YOU…? What did you do to prep this week? Please share with the rest of use in the comments below, so we can probe your mind for ideas for things we might have missed, skipped over or never thought of.

We all learn from each other here… After all 30,000 minds are better than one…


  1. As usual, I spent a good 20 hours this week (actually more) looking for books to share with everyone–and thanks to you all for encouraging this! http://preputilityvehicle.blogspot.ca/ There have been lots of great prepping books this week. So don’t forget to check every day. For example, today there’s Making Primitive Weapons, and How To Build A Log Cabin (“A 30-year log home building pro tells how and shares tips most builders won’t share with DIYers.”) and of course more: http://preputilityvehicle.blogspot.ca/2013/02/free-books-available-feb-10-2013.html

    This week I also found a bunch of books at the thrift stores:
    Alternative Cures: The Most Effective Natural Home Remedies for 160 Health Problems: big and thick book
    Indian Herbology of North America: big and thick book also
    Ordinary Men – how a unit of average men became cold-blooded murderers…including “how they were transformed psychologically from the ordinary men … into active participants in the most monstrous crime in human history.” I think this would be very eye-opening as to how ordinary people can change into “monsters” and maybe even what to watch for in our acquaintances– and in ourselves.
    Robinson Crusoe
    Lovingly Yours, Nellie (letters of a woman who moved from Maine to the Canadian prairies and then to remote Ness Lake, B.C. in 1920)

    Children’s survival or pioneer books:
    Flight of the Fugitives: taken from true story of Gladys Aylward, “The Small Woman” who took nearly a hundred orphans across the Chinese mountains in dire conditions to save them from war and death.
    High Country Adventure: “City boy George Allen has a lot to learn about the danger and beautify of the great northern wilderness, and about survival. The lesson begins in the Canadian high country when George’s tiny bush plane crashes – 300 miles from nowhere!” 1967
    Trapped in the Ice. 1962
    By Secret Railway. Two boys help a slave escape via the underground railway.
    The Cabin Faced West.
    In Grandma’s Attic and Treasures From Grandma’s Attic—two true pioneer era story books

    Plus a bunch of Reminisce Magazines to add to the ones I already have. I thought I might start occasionally posting scans of interesting articles on the blog, that maybe have to do with the Great Depression, canning food, or other things that you guys might be interested it.

    So as you can tell I am much more of a researcher and reader than a do-er–but in this case that’s only because of family. When I read what all the rest of you are doing, it inspires me (and reminds me how “baby” I am! 😀 )

    I wanted to say a big thank you to those wonderful people who posted in response to my post last week. I hate it when I don’t reply in a timely way. I hope to go back there tomorrow morning and do that. So if you so kindly wrote me last week, please know I saw and will reply. Thank you so much.

  2. Oh, I forgot to mention my 4 year old had a mild bladder infection which the doctor prescribed antibiotics for, but thought she may well be able to deal with without them. So, good stocker-upper that I am, I got the prescription, with the thought to store it if not needed. Imagine my embarrassment when the medicine turned out as *liquid* and of course won’t store! I wish I could have got the powder in the bottle without them adding the water but I know they wouldn’t do that. Grrrrr!

    • The Pharm here will give the powder not mixed if you tell them it is for back up on the “vacation” you are taking.

  3. Myabe the Pack can help me clear my head. Gas has a short shelf life (at least from what I’ve been told) whereas Propane seems to store for a very long time.

    What would it take to convert a vehicle to run off Propane? … and would that not be a worthwile converstion to consider?

    Seems you could store 20lb bottles of propane for a lot longer than 5gal of gas and be much more secure with quality fuel for the long haul.

    • MountainSurvivor says:

      Check here http://alternativefuels.about.com/od/propan1/a/propaneconvert.htm because they have a few places where you may be able to get the kits for the various cylinders on the market, the cost of conversion, etc.
      AND:>:>:>THIS ONE http://www.propane-conversions.com/ is, in my personal opinion, better than the site just above.

    • I am not an expert by any means, but I would recommend a diesel instead. The fuel stores longer.
      They can be converted to be run with vegetable oils.
      Propane will be finite resource.
      I would love to have truck that was fueled by a wood gasifier.

      • I’ve got a ’95 Chevy 4×4 that eventually I will be rebuilding the motor. I’m wanting to put in a 383 Stroker, but I thought about modifying for propane. I know the rock buggies run off propane.

        • I only know three guys who have propane fueled trucks. Two of them welding trucks. It was way popular inthe 80’s.
          It is less expensive to run, but more inconvenient. You can’t get fuel on a Sunday unless you do it yourself from your own tank.
          How much propane can you store if SHTF?
          I will call my welder buddy and ask him about his truck.

          • Thanks. The thing with getting fuel on Sunday is you dip into your stash of cylinders. And since propane doesn’t go bad like gas does… I guess you’re limited to space and $$$ on how much you can store.

          • Mama J –
            Can you explain the no propane on Sunday? Is that a local law? First I’ve ever heard of that.

            • There was something on Tom Baugh’s site that mentioned the idea of fractional distillation to make gasoline from oil. The product might make your engine knock but it’s better than no gas. I have no idea of the chemistry involved, but since he thinks it’s possible… maybe it’s not the rocket science the industry wants us to think.

              Also one can run an engine on coal gas. I think the Germans had trucks that ran on that in WW2. Maybe someone could run on on gassified charcoal as well?

  4. Grumpy Vermonter says:

    For preps this week, I bought 9 lbs of apples, 3 bags of celery and 10 lbs of potatoes to dehydrate, some tuna in pouches, extra peanut butter (hubby loves his p.b.), a box of 22g needles for our oldest furbaby’s sub-q daily treatment, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol and baking soda, extra t.paper and read M.D.’s book Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat (thanks, M.D.- great read). Had long conversation this am with hubbs about where to go from here. I just want to get the hey out of New England, and he wants to make sure we make a good decision. I feel time is getting short, and he says yes, but then again it may not be. We balance each other well 🙂 Looked at cheap used RV’s on Craigslist, printed off info about kitty care in case web goes down, reached out to a dear friend about what’s going on, as she was “feeling the darkness” but felt helpless. And worked on a wall quilt I’m making to get my self less upset. Doing something creative with my hands and heart helps me a great deal during this time!
    Prayers for all of you starting new jobs – for your safety and strength. And God bless you all!

    • ladyhawthorne says:

      I’ve been quilting too, putting a new backing on a quilt my grandma made me about 40 years ago. I too find crafting and especially sewing of any kind helps me de-stress. Maybe it’s the simple repetition, but it works.

    • Nurse Jane says:

      Hi Grumpy, I am so with you on feeling the urgency to get out of New England! It is making me so anxious to stay here! But S.O.’s job is area specific,his children are here, and he doesnt feel the urgency to leave as I do. We live on Cape Cod, less than 1 mile from the ocean, and very few people prep here at all. It was amazing, going into this storm, folks had no food or water stored up, alot of them!
      I also think about the RV idea.
      I have been working on knitting. I find comfort and solace in creating as well!
      Best wishes, and may God bless and guide all of your decisions!

      • Grumpy Vermonter says:

        Bless you both – I think God gave us art and craft to give us an outlet for the light within us that he wants us to share with others. I feel best when I am using what gifts God gave me to share with my brothers and sisters.
        Nurse Jane, I am praying for all of us caught here in the East. I am considering M.D.’s way of getting to relative safety because we could just take the preps and things that are dear to us in a U-haul which I could drive, then rent a truck to drive the RV and leave. M.D. didn’t have a big job lined up and I fear time is getting short. I pray God will move our hubbies if it is His will that we are to move. Hubby says if Texas were to secede, then the fight would likely be in Oklahoma or Arkansas. He is worried about the Muslim population in TN, and so forth. But there is no perfect place. There are only relative degrees of safety, and I’m feeling like a stranger in a strange land up here. I never, ever thought I’d want to leave my beloved state – it’s so beautiful it makes me tear up to think of it. But Europe is beautiful as well, so isn’t Russia and I wouldn’t want to live in either place due to the politics rising. God bless you and keep you safe as well!

        • B Casparius says:

          Grumpy Vermonter – If I had the opportunity to leave Massachusetts, Vermont would be my first choice. You don’t feel safe there?

        • I grew up in VT. I find KY quite pleasant – same kind of rolling hills, only warmer. And we have Rand Paul. Come to KY!

          • I agree Penny Pincher. KY is Great! I moved here from IN and my hubby came from NH.

          • Devon M. Dougall says:

            Penny Pincher , B.Caspar and Cheyenne,
            Just seeing your notes, sorry if I’m late in replying. Penny P- you grew up in VT? Where were you when here? I grew up divided between Craftsbury, Richmond and Essex Jct. Craftsbury was my favorite place of all. If I could find some “junk land” around KY that could be re-made nice, I’d be pulling DH by the ears right now 🙂 We’re in central VT at the moment.
            B.Casparius, NO, I don’t recommend VT to anyone anymore. The flatlanders have come and taken over. It is most definitely not safe, as once the SHTF, all those whiney liberals will be expecting to be taken care of – or else. I’ve never seen people with such thin veneers of civility as libs, damn true. They have taken over the statehouse and local governments and things aren’t going so well. We just went last night to the state house to be in a “mixer” put on the the VT Federation of Sportsmen” and the state reps just kept talking about hunting and fishing, like that was our worry. The president of the Vt. Federation then got up and did his speech and the first thing he said was: “you say you hear us. We say you aren’t listening.”
            I wanted to jump up and applaud!! But it’s so true, they aren’t listening. They have an agenda and it’s going to go through, regardless of what we want. Sound familiar? Like D.C., maybe? Makes me so mad! So no, unless you like foul language, pushy people who think they’re special somehow, taxes up the wazoo and increasing regulations on everything – don’t count in Vermont as a possibility. It may very well become the next California, sad to say. It’s also very anti-business, so jobs are getting scarce as hen’s teeth.
            Looking like maybe KY or TX. Cool, because Paducah has the big quilt show and museum I could go visit if within a day’s drive, and TX – well, TX has balls!

            • Devon, With the interstates here in KY you can get from one side to the other in 5 to 6 hrs. Getting to the interstates in some areas take some time tho. We have a saying, “You can’t get there from here.” Because of the hills and hollars you have to go round and about to get there. Unless you are building a new house you do not need permits yet in our area. Taxes are low. You can find land cheap out side of towns. Not sure about the cities but they are bound to be expensive and have a lot of rules. Good luck and stay safe!!!

            • Grumpy Vermonter says:

              You might have no idea how helpful this is! Every scrap of information from a fellow prepper is much more trustworthy to me than reading a bunch of info from elsewhere. M.D. in his book said to visit the land and don’t buy sight unseen, but it’s nice to have a narrowed down area to check. We definitely do NOT want to be near a city, unless it’s very small like Burlington, Vt. And only if it’s mostly conservative, unlike Burlington, Vt 🙂 Am used to roundabout ways to get to places – it’s like that in VT as well. Being an artist who likes to do realistic cloth pictures of trees and hills, sky and water, I prefer the countryside always. I like quiet. Thanks again.

            • Devon, I loved how you put that. “thin veneers of civility”, quite the same in Massachusetts! My guy grew up in southern Vermont, Landgrove, and the Vermont he describes is nothing like you all dezcribe it now!
              Does anyone have any input on Northern Utah? That area attracts me, and prices dont seem too bad, compared to here in “Taxachusetts”. I have found a few places with some land, and wonder what the political climate is like. Im inactive member of the church, so that part doesnt bother me. Mostly good peeps, in my humble experience. . .

  5. FreeRangePagan says:

    Hello all!!! Was at work most of today, so extra hours this week. Not planning on getting many preps done, if at all. We’re loading in the new set starting tomorrow and its a big one.

    We restocked flour, sugar, TP, and some meat Lady’s cooking up in the slow cooker for the week. Also got new work gloves and cucumber, chives, and squash seeds to start up. We have to container garden, and we’re thinking of moving soon, so keeping it small to start.

    Built some more shelving and put together a table with storage in it. Plan on hiding some emergency cash and such in it. Have been using the oil lamps on and off to save some on the electric bill. Almost bought a book on chickens, but figured the internet would be cheaper and have the same information.

    My hands got pretty cut up at work this past week, so little else got done. I have two 2 liter bottles to clean and fill with water and Lady and I have begun a winter clean out. We already have a pile of things we no longer need and a bag of clothes to get gone. With less things we’ll be able to move around that much easier.

    Hope the week will be productive for everyone!!

  6. Hello All,
    This week i found a great buy on rain barrels. Food grade for only 12 bucks each. I’m gonna use them for rain to water the garden. I also learned to use my pressure canner. I canned chicken and chili. I dehydrated some more fruits and veggies and am teaching my oldest grandson (he’s 10) to make a solar oven and a rocket stove. Who knows, maybe he can use it for a science fair project. lol Hope everyone has a Blessed week.

    • Encourager says:

      NanaBlue, if you have a Menards near you, they have the kit for turning a barrel into a rain barrel. We bought two sets last year and they work great. If the barrel is full, the rain goes down the pipe like normal (you don’t cut it off).

      • Encourager,
        Thanks for the tip. I went to Lowes and they couldn’t help me. Then i went to my local True Value and they knew exactly what i wanted to do but didn’t have the kit. I’ll look around for the store you mentioned. Thanks again.

    • HomeINsteader says:

      NanaBlue – YOU GO GIRL!

  7. Not to break a thread, but have any of you watched the movie “For Greater Glory”? To me, this is us today.

  8. earlier this week i decided to try the cisco emergency candle . picked up 2 – 16 oz tubs (couple bucks ea.) and a pack of 9 in. candle wicks (2-3 bucks) the wicks have the little metal disc . you turn the disc so it is in line with the wick press into cisco until it bottom of can , trim wick – your done . have not tested it yet to see how long it will burn . but i’m thinking for about the same as you might pay for a 50 hr. candle in a can you get one that may burn twice as long

  9. My husband’s nephew brought us apples again. First time the horse got a big treat. This time we are using the apples for us. I use a crock pot(s) to cook the apples down, since I do not have the time to watch it on a stove. After they are cooled down I put the cooked apples through a Ninja blender, then into a pot to cook with spices and prepare them for canning jars. It cuts down on the preparing time table.
    I do not add spices when the apples are cooking down in the crock pot just a little water. The spices are added to the sauce during the 2nd cooking process , depending on the type of apples you use. Let the sauce set over night to can the next day, it will give the apple mix time to absorb the spice flavors.

    • Jim in SoCal says:

      Becky, do you reheat the sauce to can after letting it cool to absorb the spices?

      • Yes, by setting over night the sauce absorbs the flavors better.

        I bring the sauce to just under the boiling point so when I ladle it into the canning jars every thing is hot. The filled jars go into the water bath canner (water already heated just under the boiling point), when the water starts boiling I set the timer for 20 minutes.
        Spices were(2 Tbsps of cinnamon-1/2 tsp nutmeg-1/4 tsp allspice), you can add more to your liking while it is cooking.

        I am not sure which type of apple we were given, they have a great flavor. Close to a Jonathan, but not a Jonathan. In this area of N. Cal we have old varieties of trees that still produce. I would love to get a hold of the plum trees we had on the old ranch for jam…….sweet and tart mixed together. My mom did not have enough of each for jam so she mixed them..awesome!

    • Spices shouldn’t be overcooked anyway, so you’re doing it the right way as far as I know.

      • You are correct, if you add the spices before hand it distorts the flavor of the applesauce.
        2 buckets done, and three more to go. Not the small buckets, these are 10-15 gallon size full of apples.

  10. Nurse Jane says:

    This week, I made sure my car kit was complete, because I knew I would have to drive home here in all the snow from my job at the hospital. I updated my food in there, and also my guy added a sleeping bag to it. It was indeed white out conditions, for part of my ride home. It made me feel that much better to have a car that was prepared for emergencies (and 4 wheel drive!).
    I tried to make ice in the zipper type baggies by filling them with water, and putting them in a cooler, on the back porch. This was a fail! Turns out the water leaked out, and none of it froze. I thought these would be good to put in the fridge if we lost power, which we didnt! My S.O. said that the cooler will only keep cool what is in there. That the cooler actually prevented ice from forming. (I went into nursing back when it was mostly a “caring” profession. A scientist, I’m not!)
    I found out that we need to purchase a butane stove and a solar powered charger for communication devices like cellphones and such. I am looking also at those little stoves that are powered with twigs and brush and such. Also, I realize once again, how fragile a system we live in, and we need to shift to long term preparedness! I was amazed at the number of people at work that had a well as a water source, dependent on electricity, yet they had no alternate source. 130,000 homes in this community lost power! I feel we had a fairly good supply of water.
    A scary thing, when the “blizzard” was coming, not even here yet, the pharmacy just up and shut down! It happened to be the day for me to fill my 2 prescriptions, but, luckily, I have managed to be able to store up some medication, so I didnt need it then. But I got to thinking, What about all of the elderly and the diabetics and such, what if THEY were out of meds that day? It reopened on Sunday, and the tech told me, Oh, one of your medications is out, and wont be in until Monday, after 3 pm. Wow! It makes me want to try and store up more!
    T.T.T., I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your fur baby. I believe we will be reunited with our beloved pets in the next life!
    M.D., I am glad you put the Amazon button up! I use them alot, and will come through this site to purchase my reading materials and all supplies. God bless you for the work you do here!


  11. Hi guys, I just got back from out of town where I was visiting a friend who was recently injured in a car crash. I recommend that people get CB radios for their cars on long trips. You might just detect trouble further ahead on the road that way, or get alternate routes from truckers.

    This week I threw together a sort of Bat Utility Belt – it’s an army pistol belt (or equipment belt if you like) with a giant snap buckle, and I hung a bunch of pouches off it and a small stainless water bottle. I made a cloth sleeve for the water bottle. This, stuffed into a bag, is a good bag organizer, or I can wear it.

  12. AZ Rookie Prepper says:

    Hey Pack,

    Not a lot to report, got my additional raised beds materials in, then the weather hit so didnt get them built yet. Found 250 rds of .45 for 50 cents a rd, not terrible but not great. Continued my new exercise regime, feel better about it. Added some more groceries to the larder. Had a parent teacher conference, seems my new daughter is a “superstar” at math. Hope all are well, prayers to those that need em, best wishes to all.

  13. Bought off the books Russian SKS and 400 rounds of ammo, converted an 870 to pistol grip stock, and extended tube, ordered buckets, and picked 75 lbs of wheat

  14. Gary in Bama says:

    MD i have that same sign over the door of my teardrop camper. It gets a lot of laffs at camp grounds.Also have this one on the side.http://www.amazon.com/Rivers-Edge-Large-Enemies-H-Tin/dp/B004KNB1EM/ref=sr_1_112?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1360591045&sr=1-112 WAS true 3 years ago even more so now.

  15. Went to the gunshow and bought a small handgun and .22 rifle..that almost completes our home defense..ordered some herb seeds in preparation for our move out of Alaska to Idaho where we could actually have more of a garden..figured out that my TEOTWAWKI skill could be herb gardening and my husbands will be reloading. Other than that can’t do much more in the way of food preps until our move is finalized!

  16. Tactical G-Ma says:

    All the Pack,
    On this blog and many others I see Power4Patriots advertised.
    Has any purchased this?
    If so, is it worth the investment?

    Also, has anyone actually converted their gasoline powered portable generator to LP gas? Are you satisfied with the performance?

    • Hello T G-Ma
      We purchased a tri fuel generator in 2005 for our place, love the propane over the gasoline. We live in the idiot state of CA, our gasoline is terrible on combustion engines. This is our second generator that we have owned that runs on propane. This generator can use natural gas, propane or gasoline to run it. We live so far out that propane is our option of choice, and it never goes bad where gasoline breaks down over a period of time.
      Now running time on gas versus propane. If I remember correctly a gallon of gas was one hour of running time, where propane equals about four hours of running time. Propane is easier on the vital parts of the generator, the wear an tear is reduced quite a bit. We purchased ours through a business supply catalog, and our neighbor purchased his in Oregon via welding supply business. If you live in CA you have to order it and have it delivered to another address outside of CA. It it now against the law to have one delivered to our home(Nanny state).

      • HomeINsteader says:

        A gasoline-powered gen can be converted to propane. Anyone who wants to know how can use duckduckgo.com and search “convert gas generator to propane” and get the youtube instructions, etc. It may, in fact, be in the archives on this site.

        • Tactical G-Ma says:

          HI,Have you converted one?

          • HomeINsteader says:

            Not yet, TGma. On the list – gonna convert the one at the BOL, ASAP – which means after we build a roof over the TT on the BOL….long list! But we have the instructions! (DH and I always do this kind of ‘stuff’ together.)

            • Tactical G-Ma says:

              I would really like to know someone who has done it and if they are satisfied.

            • HomeINsteader says:

              I hear ya’; this is not something I’d take on without the DH”s help (he’s much more mechanically experienced than “moi”), but if I can get him moving on it (that’s always the kicker), hopefully, “one of these days”, I’ll have something to report. But I do know it will be a while; it’s been weeks since we’ve been to the BOL (waiting for spring thaw) and we have to get a roof system built, starting from support poles. We’re also talking about building a room onto the TT for “storage”, so that will take a little longer – using only materials we have on the BOL, which will take a little longer. We have lots of raw material, just gotta make it “usable”.

              So, yeah, it would be nice to hear from someone NOW who has already made the conversion, other than a you-tube poster.

            • Tactical G-Ma says:

              My budget is so tight, I would like to hear from someone from the pack if possible before taking the leap.

  17. Let’s see… this week I finished my garden plan for this year, and worked on clearing a new planting area. I planted snap peas (the rain started before I was able to plant the rest of the early spring garden). Transplanted a couple of young fruit trees before they break dormancy. Ordered several types of berry bushes and kiwi vines. Ordered potatoes and sweet potato starts. Started working on next year’s wood supply. Bought more rechargeable batteries (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0058N6JUE/ref=oh_details_o01_s01_i03) and another solar battery charger (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0042Z14FO/ref=oh_details_o01_s01_i02).
    I think that is about all, other than the normal day-to-day chicken-tending and homeschooling my little people. 🙂

    • I especially like that battery charger because it has a dual input/output setup…. you can use solar or your computer USB port to charge batteries, or you can use solar to charge any device that has a USB port…. pretty handy!

  18. This week I bought a five gallon cube-shaped water storage container with matching spigot, a 25-foot “drinking water safe” hose, and two dozen quart-size canning jars plus extra canning lids. I then “dry canned” enough instant oatmeal and instant enriched rice to fill up those 24 canning jars and packed them in the two boxes the jars originally came in after reinforcing the box bottoms with mover’s tape. I now have enough quick-to-prepare carbs to get me through the initial stages of a grid-down situation until I can set up my solar oven and gather enough fuel for my rocket stove for more traditional cooking with regular raw rice and other re3id grains and dried beans and lentils.

  19. Jim in SoCal says:

    Good morning Pack!
    This week was a slow prep week. Added some more to the pantry. Used the last of my mylar and O2 absorbers on 50lbs of rice. Found a new supply of food grade buckets, 4 & 5 gal.

    Purchased, assembled and tested out a new smoker. Pulled pork was great! This will be used for smoking meats to be preserved for longer term storage.
    Garage sales on Saturday yielded 2 brand new tarps, still wrapped, for $1 ea., and a servicable 20lb propane tank for $3.

    Started looking into some land in a more “friendly” state, as we feel that time is growing short here in CA. We will be sad to leave , but reality trumps nostalgia every time.

    Keep calm and carry on..

    • Encourager says:

      Jim, smoking is addictive! My son bought one and has smoked bacon (it was awesome!), chicken, hams, pork for pulled pork, spareribs; he even tried cold smoking cheese. He also smoked our turkey for Thanksgiving and it was the best turkey I ever ate. The broth from the carcass was so good (cooked in the crockpot). It seems every week when the weather lets him, he has something new in that smoker! He lives in an apartment and smokes on his balcony…drives the neighbors nuts with the smell.

  20. 7 Lean coming says:

    Hi all,
    I am stocking up in such small amounts compared to you 🙂 but i am keeping on keeping on.

    As a pep I read the book Beyond Collapse and it made my Husband rather aggravated :-). He does not like the ‘doom and gloom’ and sure are not impressed by my outlook on the highly likely and imminent economic collapse. He just wants his world to continue as it is now and to retire as planned. Well to say the least we talked about it, as we share great respect for each other’s views, and thus i am not forcing the issue.

    I will continue to stock up although he is absolutely not down with me having more than 3-6 wk food saved…..

    How do i, with the most tack and honesty, convince him that all will not be as it is for ever, and that a much as we may WANT it to be, he may not retire as planned. That in only a few months/year from now we may look at half or less of a 401K than he has worked for so very hard….

    I need to sit at the feet of the masters (You all) for some help here.

    My great Grandmother lived through the most horrific years in a concentration camp in South Africa during the late 1890’s Anglo Boere war, thus i am ‘bred’ with survival genes 🙂 I will not give up and will continue to put one foot in front of the other….

    • Jim in SoCal says:

      Hi 7LC,

      It took me a while to get DW on board too. I think the strongest case made was when I got her to think of preps as insurance. We have auto, homeowners, health, life, FDIC, etc., etc. Why not have “bad stuff might happen” insurance in the way of extra food and security, as well as a contingency plan? That was when I saw the light go on.

      Good luck and keep prepping. it may just mean the difference someday.

      • 7 Lean coming says:

        Jim in SoCal
        You gave me a great idea.
        Thanks for your feedback.

        • Encourager says:

          7Lean coming, if he will read it, the book One Second After is a good one. It is about a small college town in the mountains that survives after an EMP event. It was the book that got me prepping.

      • I agree with him. Another point on the insurance aspect. This insurance can never be canceled and you’re rates will only go up with prep prices 🙂 The best part about the insurance idea…. even though you’re spending money for this peace of mind… you’re not giving it to someone else… so you’ll never loose your money. The food can always be eaten when you rotate your stock.

        In this economy it’s always a possiblity that someone may loose their job and if you have a few months to a year of food stored up then that is one less stressor you have to deal with while looking for a job.

        • 7LC
          I understand where you are coming from, it is hard for one to be the prepper and have our spouse think we have lost our minds somewhere. Of my siblings, my youngest sister & I know that something is coming the other two (older)have their heads in the sand pit.
          If you can find an old movie titled “The Grapes of Wrath”, watch it (if you have never seen it before). It shows a time when American(and American’s) were not prepared for the devastation that happened from New York to the food production belt of the U. S. We do not like having our comfort zoned messed with, when someone wants to change that, they go into the withdrawal mode.
          If they see that a disaster has occurred here before, and we have been given a chance to be better prepared for such an thing. He should come around, it is not doom and gloom.

          Remind him our forefathers were self reliant and that is something most American’s have forgotten–to be independent. That is what you are trying to strive for. I wish you the best of luck from a daughter who parents survived the depression years here in the good old USA.

          • Thank you all for your words of wisdom. I will keep reading your posts and incorporate your ideas as much as I can.

    • 7LC,

      I didn’t try to convince my wife of anything. She has always ignored things of this nature, especially coming from me. Attempts to talk about it were and still are rejected.

      However, her friends have been talking about it. That has caused her to become somewhat aware. She has seen some of the food stash in the house and did not question any of it. She has even asked about a BOB/GHB.

      In your case maybe you know a prepper who can get through to your husband.

      • Papabear

        Funny thing is he has several friends at work that are also Preppers and he has discussed this with them in the past. While only mentioning that to me in passing he still think it is good for others to prep, just not for us….. mybe it is a bit of a ‘head in the sand’ situation i am dealing with. 🙂 got to love him.

        I will continue to stach in a non confrontational and honest way.

        Last night I suggested that we can reach a balance where we are both comforable. Knowing that I have done all I can to provide for my family and that we will have enough for some time. Respecting his opinion that there are some events that we just can really not prepare for :-).

    • 7LC,
      Jim and SW both touched on it, but in addition to being a form of insurance, any food you buy today will almost certainly be cheaper than it will be a year from now, and the increase will be way more than you’d earn in any kind of savings account or CD. In addition to “SHTF insurance”, food stores are a hedge against inflation. Food prices where I live have gone up way faster than the official inflation numbers, and I don’t see any end to that.

      • HomeINsteader says:

        The official gubment release tells us food inflation was at about 4% last year. My grocery receipts – which I actually DID tally – show numbers around 30%. When I buy food storage items, in particular, I use a black marker to mark the package or can or jar with the exp date AND the amount I paid for the item. That not only gives my an idea how much $$ to set aside for that one “line item” when it’s time for more (I do keep a tightly controlled budget, because we pay cash for everything), but helps me keep a close watch on “inflation”. Obamanomics.

        • Hunker-Down says:


          30%????? I was bummed out thinking it was around 15%. Apparently we don’t watch our money close enough, like you do.

          The government says 4%, reality is 30%. Is there ANYTHING published by our government that contains a thread of truth? Every congressman and representative needs to be reminded daily of the falsehoods they protect and support.
          Who is the real enemy?

          • Come on… surely you know that the real enemy is the people that make those dreaded Easter Cream Eggs… the damage they do each year is incalcuable.

            • Grumpy Vermonter says:

              LOL, ‘specially the maple cream eggs! And the coconut cream, and the vanilla cream.

            • Hunker-Down says:

              Lake Lili,

              Inflation at our house is measured by any chocolate candy that contains nuts. I’m nutz about nuts if their covered in chocolate. I weep over the inflation in c h o c oooo l a t e.

              • HomeINsteader says:

                HD, I get my best dark chocolate values in the baking section of the grocery stores.

                WallyWorld carries different semi-sweet brands; the best price I find is the Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate; stock up on these – vacuum pack them (still in original bag is fine – even though the bags will retain some air inside) and keep them in a cool, dark place; or mylar and OA them, if you want.

                Melt these in a double-boiler over low heat and dip your strawberries, mix with your favorite nuts, etc., to make inexpensive but VERY TASTY homemade candies and treats. If the chocolate separates, you’ve applied too much heat; take it off the heat and add about a teaspoon of Crisco, or coconut oil, if you have it (would be better).

                I also recently bought Baker’s dark chocolate in bars from the baking section, 1/2 lb blocks for 89 cents! Perfectly good; just marked down – I think it was after Christmas. You might want to check the markdown aisles every time you go in, but, particularly after big “candy” holidays, such as Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc.

                But you’re right – we can deal with The Potentate, EMPs, and even nuclear war, but – a world without chocolate is just too much to survive! ; )

          • According to Grandpappy, “Over the entire five year period beginning on January 9, 2008 and ending on January 2, 2013 the total combined impact of inflation on the One-Year Emergency Food Supply has been 39.4%”.
            .http://www.grandpappy.info/hfood1yr.htm for details.

        • Encourager says:

          HIS, great idea marking the cans, etc with the price! I never thought of that. It used to be there was a prices sticker on the item, but most stores no longer do that.

        • HomeINsteader,
          I trust your numbers more than Obama’s.

  21. Greetings Pack!
    This week we actually got some things done. Went to get our taxes filed, our tax prepper told us that we need health insurance by next year or we have to pay $300 each to Obamacare. Got an order from Amazon and Full Belly Ins. 800 feet of paracord in different colors, various connecters and hardware to make bracelets, necklaces, belts, and other neat stuff. Got a couple of books, The Modern Survival Retreat by Ragnar Benson, Building a Log Cabin in Alaska in Four Months by Charles E Underwood Jr and a manual for my Mossberg shotgun.Also recieved Rescue Tape silicone repair tape.
    Organized, cleaned, took inventory of supplies and made lists of what is needed. Practiced on getting ready for the big snowstorm, had a smaller one a few days before, then just got a few inches as’ Nemo’ passed to our north.
    Still working on filling in a few holes, but making progress.
    Have a safe and happy week!

  22. Hi MD and Pack: This week We plowed and shoveled snow. Decided to sell one of our dairy heifers.Knowing ones limits as we age is difficult. We need to downsize our farm production. I did order more bees and worked on hives
    for the spring expansion.
    Rotated stored food .
    Went sledding with the grandchildren -great for renewal and destressing. God bless . Arlene

  23. This week I started seeds for the spring garden: onions, swiss chard, spinach, parsley. I’ve ser up the guest bedroom closet with shelves and homemade grow lights (I don’t have many sunny windows). I also ordered more tomato, pepper, amaranth, and herb seeds.

    My winter garden is slowly growing. I have cabbages, lettuce, romaine, endive, oregano, and onions snuggly tucked under agribon cloth and hoops. Hopefully it will give me a headstart on production early in the Spring.

    I canned a bunch of meat this week (VERY convenient for quick meals!)

    The chickens are laying even more eggs, now that the days are slowly getting longer. I sell the extra eggs to friends at work ($4/dozen), which pays for chicken feed and straw. I need to make a few improvements to the chicken coop once the weather gets a little nicer.

    I’m planning on getting some electric fencing and a solar fence charger so that my chickens have a safe enclosed area to run around in. Has anyone else done this? I’m wonderign what I can do to cut down on the risk of hawk predation.

  24. Well, I pulled out my list of preps, but I think this mornings news has prompted me to blow off listing the scores I made this week and have decided to put together some prayer flags to put up outside. You’ve seen them in anything regarding Tibet fluttering rags all over the place. The ones that can be purchases are in sanscript, prayers for prosperity, peace, etc, but the premise is, that you hand them up and the wind and rain takes the prayers to wherever/whatever you believe in. Take some old rags, and write your prayers on the, attach to a length of, well, in my case, some handy paracord then tie to whatever you feel they will do the most good. I keep them on the garden fence, helps scare off deer. These will include my family, of course, DH is having really hrd time with back and will likely have his 5th surgery soon; for the Koreans, for Pope Benedict and his successor , for Chris Kyle who is being buried in the Texas state cemetery this morning, for the child who was shot in Minnesota this weekend, the leaders of our great country, for all the children in the world, for rain for all of us who are having drought, and I am sure I will think of more. Hang em up, and let the elements spread the prayers. You’re supposed to let them rot basically but each thread carries the full intent into nature. I will be glad to add any requests the Pack has for me! Have a great week, Pack, Spring is coming!!

  25. I’ve been working on a project for the past few weeks. I’m building a sawmill. It’s mostly complete…the bed is welded together, still have to insert two cross pieces. The carriage is about complete, working on the elevation control still, but have all the parts. I have the 13 HP Honda engine for power. My plan is to fell and slice up enough timber for my house, shop and barn. I have enough yellow pine on my property to build several houses. I’m not even gonna plane it, just dry it out and go to work. I also have thousands of western red cedar my DW wants sliced up and put in for interior walls.
    Next big purchase will be a Stihl 660 chainsaw witha 36″ bar. That happens the day the sawmill is complete. DW indicated if she bought it any sooner, I’d just start cutting down trees.
    DW has been supporting my efforts by taking over the prep shopping. Heck, I don’t even know what she’s bought so far 🙂

    • Survivor –
      Wow that sounds like a heck of a project! Hows about doing an article here so we can all learn from your work and experience.
      You’ll love the 660 – after you get used to the weight of course! You didn’t say what size timber you’re cutting, but from my experience, they balance really well running a 25″ bar. If you do need to be running the 36 full-time, you might want to talk to your Stihl dealer about installing a faster (bigger) chain oiler, just for safety’s sake. And be sure to have plenty of fuel on hand, they do like to drink.

      • K
        Thanks for the advice, man! I’ll take your suggestion concerning the article for action.
        I have 6 acres and I have several of my DW’s family with land all around mine. I have PLENTY of yellow pine that ranges up to 36″. The guy behind me has about 12 acres of yellow pine that’s about 30″ diameter. Those trees are packed in tight together so there are few limbs. Those pines are about 60 feet tall, I guesstimate.
        Since I have access to that much lumber I’m building a fortress…3″ thick steel reinforced doors and shutters, natural rock exterior, metal roof, a good well that produces some very sweet water… and all this 12 miles from the nearest town. Just wish I had gotten this far a long time ago 🙂

        • Survivor –
          Sounds like you’ve got a real dream of a place! I look forward to hearing more about it as you progress making it into a viable homestead.

          • Thanks! I hope everything works out. I have a plan and working towards my goal. Your idea of a journal, even a simple picture journal is very appealing. May have to invest in a tape recorder and some voice recognition software – I hate typing! With a smartphone I could snap pictures, record the caption/description of the picture and then marry up the type to the picture to go along with the rest of the story…I jumped several important steps in there – I hate typing! I would love to share that story with the Pack 🙂

            • HomeINsteader says:

              Wouldn’t it be easier to run a small camcorder and just keep changing out the media, as needed?

  26. HomeINsteader says:

    Survivor, have you been keeping notes? Would you be willing to post your directions on building the sawmill? We need one! Plenty of trees waiting to be processed…

    • Yes, yes I have. I will share my drawings and design. I have it in soft copy so can forward it on to you. I also took lots of pictures!
      The biggest issue I ran into is the bandsaw head. With much head scratching I finally broke down and bought the head. With protective shields and 20 extra blades the whole thing came to $2500 and some change. I saved up my perdiem money from the many company trips I make…. so much for my climbing tree stand and canoe I was saving up for 🙂

      • HomeINsteader says:

        OH, YAY! Thank you! And Bless You!

      • HomeINsteader says:

        Got it! THANK YOU! YOU ROCK!

        • As I scan the other documents I will forward them to you. These are my personal drawings that I drew up after studying other sawmills. If anyone might want a copy…you have but to ask!

          • Survivor: Having all wood in the house sounds wonderful. Just one word of advise for the interior – don’t leave those boards rough sawn. They collect dust and cobwebs and are very difficult to clean. If at some point in the future you decide that rough sawn is no longer something you want – it will be time consuming to sand those walls smooth.

            I have cleaned both types of houses – where they left the boards rough sawn and where they took the time to sand the boards smooth and put a finish oil on them. The second house was much easier to clean and to keep the spiders under control.

            • HomeINsteader says:

              Hmmm…I hadn’t thought about this, sarahy, but, you’re absolutely right! Rough boards do make for “rough” living, don’t they?!! Of course, if you’re a hermit, you weren’t planning to clean, anyway…

  27. Hey pack….I need food dehydrating 101 I ordered the 5 tray excliber but I am pretty clueless on what all to dehydrate…..how to store…..storage time and how to reconstitue and use ANY advice will be much appreciated 🙂 sorry I sound so clueless!!!!! Thanks in advance!

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Summer B,

      http://www.dehydrate2store.com/ will get you started.

    • You can check with your county extension service regarding pamphlets on dehydrating. Not everything dehydrates well and some things are best left to the professionals (i.e. Honeyvillle, etc) to dehydrate as they have the equipment to do things safely. For instance outfits like Dole, Skippy, etc. can preserve in the plastic jars but the home canner does not have the equipment to can in plastic safely. Does not do any good to preserve food only to find that our method of preserving makes the food unsafe.

      That being said we all use dehydrated foods weekly – pasta, most herbs and spices, flour, sugar, instant potatoes, instant milk, etc.

      Dehydrating opens up a whole new learning experience and can be fun and a valuable way to increase ones’ food supply while taking up very little space. Don’t over think it, but do learn the basics so that you will be around to tell us all your wonderful experiences.

  28. Millie in KY says:

    Checking on land in S. Central KY, if you need me to go see a look see and take some photos, etc, I can go from Bowling Green to Columbia down to the TN state line if you need someone to just check it out for you before you make a trip. I’d be happy to do that for you, gets me out on a little road trip. I can check barns, quality of fencing, etc. I didn’t have much time to look here when we moved (we had an unexpected offer on our house/business and needed to move FAST and got down here in 14 weeks which sounds like a lot until you factor in 3 horses, a dozen goats, a dozen dogs, and a household of 30 years in one place). We were lucky and this place had just been put on the internet the day before I saw it. I was down here and came to see the next day, walked the property and signed the papers at 5 that evening. I was relieved it was all over.
    Now I hope someone buys our other 35 acre property in Northern MIchigan so I can pay this place off…just north of Wolverine and backed up to a zillion acres of state land if anyone is interested.

  29. Grumpy Vermonter says:

    Millie, thank you so kindly! That is a very generous offer and I will surely bookmark this and ask again when we get down to it. I truly appreciate it!

    • Millie in KY says:

      Grumpy, just give a yell, M.D. can pass along my address to you…happy to take a look for you!

  30. Grumpy Vermonter says:

    Will do!

  31. We are going to a gun show today. I am excited. This is my first gun show.

  32. HomeINsteader says:

    Oh, goodness, BamBam! Try not to get carried away – as in “bought everything, I got so excited”!!!!

    • Oh, Home’r, the gun show was dreadful. There were 300 booths and no one had a 50 cal. ammo can or 9 mm ammo. The stuff they did have was way overpriced and it was junk, complete junk. I did get a paracord bracelet. We ran into a couple of friends who are gun collectors and they said if you came empty handed, you were going to leave empty handed. I was just really amazed. And annoyed because my dh kept getting into these long conversations with people and I wanted to get in and get out. Actually I think I am annoyed because I fear I am coming down with Strep–I’ve got big red bumps on the back of my tongue and throat and I feel like crap. (I’ve been on antibiotics for 10 days now too.)

      We did stop by Sams on the way back and picked up quite a few things we needed, paper supplies and canned foods. My dh noted the prices at both Sams and the gun show and remarked how wise I was to stock up.

      • Bam Bam, sorry to hear you’re ill. Are you familiar with heating compresses? Just read an interesting blog post on that topic, and thought you might want to consider it.

        Basically, you soak your feet in warm/hot water for 5-10 minutes til they flush, immediately put on wrung out ice-cold cotton socks and dry wool socks on top of that, then hit the sack.

        Apparently, the cold damp socks rev up your circulation as your body tries to warm your feet up. That boosts your immune system. Not sure whether that means there are more white blood cells attacking the infection site or that the existing white blood cells just keep getting cleaned up and back to work faster–but either one seems like it’d be helpful.

        More details here, if you’re interested: http://www.sustaincreateandflow.com/magic-socks-a-natural-remedy-for-cold-and-flu/

        • Lantana,

          I might have to try that. I do soak my feet in hot water and epson salts and essential oils when I am sick.

          • HomeINsteader says:

            And for those who don’t know WHY you do this, not only does it “feel good”, but it is one of the best ways to detox the body!

  33. HomeINsteader says:

    So sorry you’re not well, BamBam. I know you know what to do; sorry the gun show was a disappointment, as well – but at least you made the Sam’s run, so, it wasn’t a total bust!

    Take care of you. You are NOT replaceable – not here at the Pack, and not by your DH, I’m certain!

    • Grumpy Vermonter says:

      Can I ditto what HomeINsteader said? And we went to a gun show last weekend and didn’t get anything, either. The guns I was drawn to were too old to get ammo for – some sort of Spanish things. I know diddly squat about guns, but pretended to be looking at things while I listened to conversations. I got the feeling that people are worried and angry. Outside there were the usual twits protesting the gun show – if they only knew how close we all are to living in a police state, then they might be in there with us!
      Hope you fell better soon, Bam Bam!

      • Grumpy,

        Yes, jump in. I think your assessment is spot on. The people that were buying at the gun show were panic buying, and the people that were selling to them knew they were taking advantage of them.

    • Thanks, Home’r. I took a nap and I am feeling better now. I had been looking forward to this gun show for a month and a half–I had never been to one before. I sprang out of bed this morning ready to go have fun. And then the show turned out to be a bust. But like you said, at least we made a Sams run. Now I have to go play nice with my dh because I was so grumpy this morning. He’s fixing dinner right now.