What did you do to prep this week?

Good morning!

It’s a cold 19 degrees here, and to be honest I don’t like it and I’m ready for summer… Ah the warm weather, the sun, the green vegetation, gardening, the pretty women in their summer cloths and just relaxing on the porch. Ah summer. :sun:

Anyway, before we start with this weeks “What did you do to prep this week?” segment, I would like to thank Brad C for his donation this week. Thank you sir – it is appreciated and has already been used to pay a subscription payment for a premium plugin for the blog.

Let’s see what else before we get started with the segment…

Yes, all copies of my “ITEOTWAWKI – And I Feel Fine” CD have been mailed and everyone should get their copy by the first part of next week. Sorry, for the delay, but a couple of things came up that threw me off-schedule and my getting all the orders out on time.

Now lets see… what did I do to prep this week… ?:-) Unfortunately, not a lot… mostly planning for spring and drawing diagrams of my garden layout and making a list some other stuff that I plan to get done in a couple of months – like painting my chicken coop, covering my storage building with vinyl siding, putting in more shelving, hooking up solar lighting inside that building, finish fencing my property, building a better rabbit hutch etc…

Remember the proverb: “He who fails to plan, plans to fail” read this post “Survival Planning For Smart People” average Wolf Pack member IQ 150+ 8-).

I also subscribed to Urban Farm magazine, I’m not urban but I’m sure there the articles will pertain to rural areas as well.

That’s it for me this week – I would have liked to have been able to tell you that I had build a fortified survival bunker, with an anti-aircraft gun on top and a two mile long escape tunnel that leads out to my bug out plane, that’s ready to fly to my personal bug out location on my personally owned island retreat…

Oh well…

Well come on let’s get started… What did you do to prep this week?  (By the way; this is post number 130 of this segment!)

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. The Prepper says:

    Howdy fellow wolfers! Like MD, we had cold weather which didn’t allow me to get much done outside. 🙁 I did pick up 200lbs of 10-10-10 fertilizer to store long term (I would use this if I ran out of compost during a collapse), as well as some Jersey Night Asparagus crowns. This week I plan to prune my fruit trees and bushes to get them ready for spring. Not much else to report, just happy to alive and close to god. God bless everyone in the wolf pack!

  2. Mtb wv rider says:

    Well I bought the It’s The End of the World as We Know It – And I feel Fine Survival CD. Sold a motorcycle I never had time to ride. Then went down to lowes and got some shelves and finally stoped at SAMs club and picked up $200 worth of food. Next on the list is to read the info on the cd.

  3. Kept the chickens laying enough this winter to eat homegrown eggs nearly every day. Still studying for my tech license for ham radio. Almost ready.
    Our sourdough culture is still bubbling along, 3 months old & I haven’t killed it yet.
    Working on a flavor profile for beef jerky. We know we want soy sauce, garlic, pepper, hot pepper flakes &a sweet flavor. Brown sugar? White sugar? Molasses? Honey? I don’t know which. Is it possible to make the chewy, juicy kind at home? Or is it all chemicals?

    • PJ my neighbor gave me a sourdough culture he had gotten from a friend & didn’t know what to do with. It’s in my refrigerator now…I’m kinda of scared to start messing with it. Can I just take it out & let it warm up before trying a recipe? I noticed it’s starting to separate. Is this good or bad?

      • Judy, another one says:

        When is the last time you fed your culture? Your culture separating is no big deal, just stir it all together and feed it. How much do you have? If it is about 1 cup add 1 cup water and 1 cup flour stir in well and let set on the counter overnight and then use. The only time you have to worry about your culture going bad is if it changes color. There are a ton of web sites that will tell you all you need to know to keep your culture going. But do feed it at least every two weeks.

        • Be careful. How big is the container? If you add that much fresh food it may grow (rise) out of it pretty fast and you’ll have sour dough starter all over the refrigerator.

          I have a sour dough culture that’s been going for almost three years now. I usually feed it every 4 days or so when I make a loaf of bread. My sour dough lives in a 1 quart crock that’s just under 1/2 full after I take out enough for my bread dough. My recipe calls for milk, sugar and flour. I add 1/3 cup milk, 1/6 cup sugar and 1/3 cup unbleached all purpose flour. If I add more than that, I usually have to keep agitating it to keep it from growing right out of the crock.

          Don’t let it go too long between feeding, you’ll starve it to death. If you’re not using it to make bread or whatever just yet, you can take a 1/2 a cup or so out and throw it away and then add in some new food so the container doesn’t get too full.

          I have a very simple sour dough bread recipe that I like pretty well. If anyone is interested I guess I could post it.

    • I have a good recipe for basic jerky with all easy ingredients.

      1 1/2# lean boneless meat (venison round works well)
      1/4 cup soy sauce
      1 t worchestershire
      1/2 t onion pwdr
      1/4 t pepper
      1/4 t garlic pwdr
      1/4 t liquid smoke
      vegetable oil cooking spray

      cut meat, in a glass bowl (or any bowl that’s not aluminum or plastic) combine soy sauce, worcestershire, onion pwdr, pepper, garlic pwdr & liquid smoke. Stir to dissolve seasonings. Add meat & mix until thoroughly coated. Cover tightly & refrigerate until the next day. Occasionally stirring but covering tightly after every time.

      Coat dehydrator racks or metal racks with cooking spray. Shake liquid off meat. Arrange meat so it’s not touching. Dry 140* until it cracks but doesn’t break when bent (8-10 hrs). Pat any oil on jerky dry…cool…freeze for 72 hrs & then store in airtight, insect proof containers in a cool, dry place or freeze or refrigerate.

      * Be careful not to overdo the liquid smoke…too much & it will taste like you are eating it in the smoker!!
      **I have a lot of jerky recipes but this is a favorite. Let me know if you would like another one.

      • Thomas T. Tinker says:

        Kate Darlin…. How long would that Jerky be lastin in the vac bags… and could I do this in an oven?

        • Yes you could do it in the oven. Jerky around here typically last less then a week. I have frozen some for a good hunting snack & it tastes fine.

        • sw't tater says:

          Thomas you can also dry can that jerky or pack it in a sterilized jar with an O2 absorber, the jar will seal, mine has not lasted a long time, because we like it, but I have hidden a few jars,to try in soups and stews,later.

    • OregonMike says:

      I usually make jerky when I find petite sirloins on sale for $two something at Safeway. I cut it a little thicker and it ends up chewier than the thin sliced. Like you, I prefer a little chewiness. And using the petite sirloin, it’s also tender.

      • Petticoat Prepper says:

        Well, this is on my list of things to learn to do. I’m checking the ads today for what’s on sale. Looks like I’ll be trying Kate’s recipe. I remember when in grade school, my friends grandpa made venison jerky. Wow, was it good; we gorged on it!

    • PJ, if I am reading your question correctly, you want the jerky to be easier to eat?,,,run it through a tenderizer first,,,very inexpensive, hand crank,,cut the meat in strips and run it through, then turn it into jerky….

      • or make a jerky out of burger…use a jerky shooter to make little strips. It’s not as good as strip jerky but will do in a pinch. You don’t have to marinate as long & it comes in the consistancy of almost venison sausage. It’s not a favorite around here…most of my ground burger has other uses. The only thing bad about jerky making is that it uses so much “raw” meat to make such a small amount of jerky.

    • With electricity I first marinade whatever meat I’m using in either soy or teriyaki sauce then dust with either jerk seasoning or just plain New Mexico green chili powder and smoke it after it’s dry. Without electricity I just dry it in the smoker. Thicker cuts tend stay more tender but I seldom do soft jerky as I find hard crisp jerky is better for shredding for soups and stews or pulverizing for pemmican.

      • Thanks all for good suggestions. Lee, I can eat the dry stuff (we call that road kill) I just really like the beef steaks style jerky. I do know to cut it across the grain for less stringiness. I didn’t marinate very long either. Doesn’t much matter; ds eat most of it already, lol.
        Oh t2rs! Smoked after dry, yum! I’ve added liquid smoke before, but real smoke!

      • I use jalapeño powder in the spice mix and curing salt if using the dehydrator. I don’t use the curing salt if using the smoker.

    • When I had a Excalibur, I used a recipe that came with the unit. I used soy sauce with brown sugar, and other ingredients for my husband’s sweet jerky. I do not recall white sugar in the mixes. You might find a used dehydrator book at Good Will, or check the used book stores in your area. They are getting hard to find, you might find what you are looking for at “All Recipes.com”. I use that site when I can not locate a special recipe. Hope you find what you are looking for. Just to let you know it is not the chemicals, but the choice of beef for your jerky it can make a big difference in the taste and quality. I would buy roast meat, use our slicer so that I got the thickness I wanted, then prepared the mix and let the meat marinate over night before placing it in the machine. Much better than anything you could ever purchase.

    • Chewy jerky is easy…just dry it for however long it takes to reach the consistency you like. It won’t last as long as bone-dry jeky will (and I’d refrigerate it). But usually my husband eats the jery within a week or two anyway, so that isn’t a problem for us. I use brown sugar, but I don’t think it matters all that much what kind of sugar you add.

    • PJ,

      Soy sauce, lemon juice, yellow mustard and garlic.

      I like mine tangy and not sweet, but I’d bet that adding some molasses or brown sugar would be good for that.

  4. m.d. i feel your pain:) i worked at clearing a thicket area for fencing later(long way to go), and received my seed order from last week, very pleased. signed up to zaycon, they have scheduled a drop-off soon in my area. linked up with a lmi, and found a new one that i didn’t know about right next door. my hood is looking better all the time, with the exception of the dopehead on the other side of me. he’s just plain weird. maybe he’ll be good for something, i don’t know what. thats it for me this week. stack it high folks, this ain’t no game anymore. sic semper tyrannis.

    • Alittle2late says:

      your dopehead neighbor…Maybe a decoy or a meatshield?

    • Surviving in Ky. says:

      Hey river, Watch the dope head, especially if the shtf. He probably has buddies and could be a problem, at least for a little while. Watch your six old buddy!

      • riverrider says:

        i don’t think he has any buddies. i’m nervous about his step daughters buggin in with perps tho. knowing how he’s on the dole, he’ll probly bug out to the fema camp. that storm/outage we had, he bugged to a hotel for the 10days. i bet he’s still payin onthe bill?

    • Backwoods Prepper says:

      The way I clear a thicket WV style. throw up one strand electric wire all the way around thicket put in 2 pigs, sling about a gallon of corn into area you want cleared once a day for 5 days. Nothing hardly left to clean lol.

      • riverrider says:

        lol,very effective! my luck they’d get out and root up the neighbor’s prized flowers. i’m thinkin on getting a couple goats to keep it knawed down, once i get it good enough to see what i got. made good headway with the tractor loader blade today. good exercise.

        • Backwoods Prepper says:

          I would like to see your goat eat your dopehead neighbors prized plant lol

          • I’m afraid of what a dope-induced hunger would do to the goat. Just what might he eat next.

            • Tactical G-Ma says:

              OMG…Can you imagine a goat with the munchies? He’d eat the siding right off your house!

              • ROFLMAO – we had a goat when I was growing up. We used to pen her where she could keep the ivy off the trees. She wouldn’t eat it if there was other stuff around but she’d get to it eventually.

  5. My first time posting.. but long time reader. I’ve learned so much from everyone!
    This week I purchased oats and 3 water filtration bottles from the LDS website. I’ve found their prices on staples- are cheap and include free shipping. It was a nice way to stock up on basics.
    Paid an extra car payment. Trying to knock that loan out by year end to be debt free except a mortgage
    purchased a small 5 cubic foot stand up freezer.. Will be doing a better job at cooking from scratch and freezing meals
    Tried looking for my Springfield 9MM XD.. Still appears to be sold out EVERYWHERE. Thats what I get for waiting to long to purchase.. 🙁
    Used tax refund to stock up on toilet paper, napkins and paper towels so should be good for the next 6 months plus! While not always cheaper.. amazon is sure convenient!
    Have a great day!

    • Dawgfan11, welcome to posting to the Pack. Are you using a Food Saver to freeze your meals? Gets rid of all the accumulated frost/ice and keeps meals from freezer burn.

      • I can’t afford a food saver myself, but use a poor mans sealer with airtight freezer bags and squish the air out of it, then suck on a corner of the zip bag until the bag molds around the food. Otherwise I add enough water in the bag to prevent freezer burn–with fish and veggies.

        • Encourager says:

          Donna, try using a straw to get the last of the air out. Stick it in the corner, zip shut until tight against straw. Suck out the air, pull out straw quickly and snap shut.

        • Donna, I bet that sucks when you freeze raw fish! Lol. I do the same thing.

        • I use a pump-n-seal food saver…it cost around $30 (I bought it online) and it works every bit as well as the expensive ones. You can use it to vacuum seal regular ziplock bags, and it can seal mason jars, too.

    • Petticoat Prepper says:

      Welcome Dawgfan11,

      I second the foodsaver vacuum sealer. I’ve been using mine for years and it really helps keep things from freezer burn. Plus, you can thaw out and toss the bag into a pot of water to reheat and that makes for easy cleanups!

      • Actually.. that is on my list! So far, its just basics… fixing a few extra meals when I cook something (i’m single).. So its helpful to have lunch for work and extras.

        Thanks for the welcome!

        • Welcome Dawgfan! I’m pretty new here too, (I don’t know how long you have to be here before you’re NOT new any more, lol… but this is my.. fifth week posting,…Sixth? I think?). I wasn’t a lurker beforehand though.. I found the site a week before I was posting on it. I’m a dive in head first kind of girl. 🙂

        • Lol, I’ve worn out two in the past years, first one I bought from the infomercial before they were in stores! I buy the Cabela’s brand bags. They are way cheaper and tougher than the Food Saver brand ones. AND not to mention they have larger sizes that a 5 lb bag of flour will fit in as well as a mini 6X8 size. I guess having one of their stores almost in my backyard is sorta an advantage…. Just heard they are putting a smaller store in Waco, Tx for those in that area of our State. Imagine that means more across the country as well.

    • I have one too and love it.

      I have been looking into one of the hand pump models (not a food saver brand) that can be use post-electricity, Does anyone have one? What do you think about it?

      They are very inexpensive and so that makes me wonder if they work or not.

      • We have one from ziplock that we use all the time. We finally broke the pump after 3 years and just bought 2 more.

      • Cabela’s sells a vacuum sealer that is !@ volt.

      • I have one, and it works really well. I use it all the time. No expensive foodsaver bags to buy, you just use regular ziploc bags. And you can even re-use the “bandaids” that you use to seal mason jars with…

        Mine cost $30 on the internet. It takes two seconds to pull out and use. Doesn’t take up counter space or anything.

        Even if you have a Food Saver, I think it’s a good idea to get a Pump-n-seal device for use when you don’t have power. I’m really happy with it.

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      Dawgfan 11,
      Is that WA or GA? Both are good!
      I have a sealer too, a Food Saver. Sometimes the bags won’t seal or lose the seal. Sometimes I double bag. But for years I used ziploc bags, a straw, and a curling iron.
      Either way, it is good to hear from you and hope to hear more.

      • Love my Food Saver also. Instead of double bagging, I double seal them, about a 1/4 inch apart.
        Keep the Faith

    • Dawgfan

      These are in stock at Cabelas-Richfield, WI. I don’t know your area but the local Cabelas will transfer this gun to your store.

    • Thomas T. Tinker says:

      Nice to see you Dawgfan11……….. Chip chip chip away at it.

    • Hello Dawgfan 11
      Xd 9 and many of them at gunbroker.com
      Be ready

    • Welcome, Dawgfan.

    • Dawgfan1:

      Welcome to the Pack.

      Remember we all started somewhere. Do what you can, when you can. And don’t stop learning.

      M.D.’s “31 days…” book is a great guide.

  6. This was a very heavy week on preps.

    All my orders came in. They were for the Excalibur drier I have been saving for, the SUV bag recommend by someone on this blog, the pine soap, 20 MRE’s to try out for taste, 6 books from Amazon for my survival library, 10 air space blankets, and a lot of canned goods on a buy one get one free sale at Publix supermarket, all my Cansolidators are filled except one (will fill it on the next sale). Also some sundry small items too many to list.

    I have always been interested in astronomy as a hobby, and I am known to tell my kids and grand kids about the danger we have from asteroids, comets, and space junk. They love to rag me about my interest in space, but this week I feel I was vindicated. A not in the radar asteroid became a meteor and hit Russia without none of the space agencies having a clue. Call me crazy but I loved! I did feel for the people hurt, but it was a grand story. So now I will now tell my folks I am also prepping for unknown asteroids.

    Pray for our country, the Pack, our troops and everyone in need. The crazies are now getting crazier every day.

    God bless, Linda Lou

    • Linda, I realate to the family thinking you’re nuts!! I was like the little kid in that kids movie The Incredibles the one on the tricycle who said that was AMAZING!!!! Earlier in the movie he was asked what he was waiting for and he said “I don’t know”. Sounds like a lot of us here!

  7. I too am sick of the cold. Even though our days have been unusally warm at 35 degrees. Now the snow is melting and by noon, it is a mucky muddy mess everywhere you go. Forget about clean vehicles, clean boots, clean floors and the mop doesn’t not get put away, but left out for quick clean ups.
    I butchered 15 roosters and canned the meat. I didn’t bother with the plucking, Just peeled the coats off, a quick clean out and into the pot. The dogs were especially happy to get all those yummy cooked livers, hearts and kidneys in the doggy bowls.
    Found someone to help me do the heavy work on the farm. Finish the fences.

    Commited to and started learning Spanish with the girl child. That is an important prep! The Mexican immigrant population is growing at a steady rate. If they are bilingual, so should we be. I do not like it when folks are talking around me and I can’t understand them. In my own town, We need to adapt and learn as needed.
    I do not mind that our demographics are changing. We are country founded by immigrants that did not assimilate well with the Natives. I would like to see that we try to do it right in this day and age. I might just immigrate to Mexico or another Spanish speaking country one day. A swap. A warmer swap.

    I was looking over our beautiful valley from a hike and could easily imagine being under attack, or what it would be like without electricity. The morbid prepper part of my mind took over. I could see all the roads leading in from all directions. Only one road leading to my location (that could be blocked) and a hour hike. A cliff for protection from some of the elements. Water, seasonal? I think I found another safe location. No human tracks, but there is snow now. I will be back in the summer to check again. Maybe a cache will in order. I hope I don’t ever have to live there. Especially in the winter. The minus zero nights would be rather miserable. Sure, humans can endure the elements, but I don’t want to only survive, I want to thrive.
    That bunker, escape tunnel and island retreat is looking really good right now.
    Have a great week everyone.

    • Being bi lingual is a plus. It is nothing that I have looked into though.Allot of spanish speaking folks know some english and are just being lazy. They know some english they just prefer not to if they can get away with it.I also worked with a Russian and Asian who spoke spanish and the look of the spanish people we trot out the russian or asain for translation purposes.

      • PGCPrepper says:

        When I was in then-West Germany back in ’89 I knew some expatriated American soldiers that retired there and they spoke our language all the time. They barely knew Deutsch at all. It seems sort of the same honestly.

        If you are with your kind, you would like to speak the language you’re comfortable with. I’ve never had as big a the folks who say “If dey in Amerika, dey needs to learnt our language” folks for that reason. My dear X once actually said while we were shopping on their economy up near “The Wall” that if they want to sell me they need to learn English. LOL. We married young. Commendable, Mama J to learn their language if you want to know what they are saying and quite astute w/respect to understanding. Props.

        • PGCPrepper says:

          When I was in then-West Germany back in ’89 I knew some expatriated American soldiers that retired there and they spoke our language all the time. They barely knew Deutsch at all. It seems sort of the same honestly.

          If you are with your kind, you would like to speak the language you’re comfortable with. I’ve never had as big a problem as the folks who say “If dey in Amerika, dey needs to learnt our language” folks for that reason. My dear X once actually said while we were shopping on their economy up near “The Wall” that if they want to sell me an iron they need to learn English. LOL. We married young. Commendable, Mama J to learn their language if you want to know what they are saying and quite astute w/respect to understanding. Props.

          • PGCPrepper says:

            Was trying to cancel the first reply and fix with second. Sorry. Need an edit function bad for those of us whom are too stupid to proof before posting. I’ve gotten lazy in my old age.

          • Thank you. I hope you are feeling well.

            • Was bed ridden for two weeks and had tremors, stomach pains and high intensity tinnitus the last week. The “T” was so loud I have to mask it all day. Had a better day today. My wife cried all night last night but I actually left the house today for first time in the two weeks. Thanks for everyone’s prayers and/or well wishes who have given them. God bless.

        • a buddy of mine is from switzerland and speaks 5 languages. He has no desire to learn spanish for the same reasons that I brought out. Personally I would like to learn some Finnish since that is what I am.

          • Yep, I took 12 qtr hours of Deutsch when assigned to West Germany for three years from 87/89. I liked to surprise them in my travels but they almost all knew English and would rather have practiced their 2d language skills. The only time I could impress anyone with my 2d language skills was in Greece; a population who speaks “German” but little English. Germans vacationed in Greece a lot. Kind of ironic if you know the Euro problems but that’s an aside.

            Heck, when I travelled to Prague before the USSR disintegrated and the “Wall” fell I had no problem finding someone who could speak our language. Amazing. I was told that the then-West Germans began to learn Latin and English in the fourth grade.

    • Mama J.,

      If you want to pick up another language, go to your public library and get Rosetta Stone. I had to pick up a number of languages to finish my degree and Rosetta Stone is by far the easiest way to learn a language–and you actually learn real-life conversational Spanish and not Castillian Spanish, like they teach in school. With Rosetta Stone, you can pick up enough Spanish to be functional in a matter of weeks.

      • Bam Bam,
        We are offered Rosetta Stone for free through my daughters home school program.
        I did go to the library first, they did not have it, though they would love to.
        That was the only reason I put it off was because of the cost. All three levels for Spanish were $750.00. I did find some on Craigslist, but what if they the CD’s were scratched?
        We are very fortunate to have been offered these for free.
        They have almost every language that Rosetta Stone has available.

      • Petticoat Prepper says:

        Ok, that’s a slap my forehead and say, ‘duh’ moment…. I never thought of my library for Rosetta Stone.

    • That’s why I learned spanish (or Tex-Mex as the case may be) many years ago. Always pretend not to understand so I keep an ear on what’s going on around me. Came in handy in the oilfield and in construction. Plus with spanish under your belt it makes all the romance languages like italian or french much easier.

  8. BlueCaribDreams says:

    Last weekend, my refrigerator died. Since it had multiple problems I decided to just get a new one. So… My prep this week was the purchase of new fridge and tons of food to fill it.
    Everything else is filed under OPSEC.


    • BlueCaribDreams says:

      It was a micro-shtf event when it failed… at least that is what it felt like to me! LOL


      • Thomas T. Tinker says:

        Hey… did ya ‘wake up to it’ or step in the puddle in front of it… or was it the luke warm milk?

  9. OH! I forgot to mention my thoughts on the Walking Dead episode.

    Meryl, the obnoxious, racist, beligerent, jackhole of a human being! I could not live within a mile of a person like him. It rubs every part of who I am the wrong way. I can honestly say that he is a waste of oxygen. How many guys (woman) are like that out there? A lot. Dangerous, he does nothing but create pain and misery.
    To lose an asset and a part of the team like Daryl because he can not leave his brother would be devastating to a Survival Group.
    A hard choice that has had me pondering all week.
    Would you take in Doctor or another highly qualified person, if they came attached to someone like Meryl?

    • Petticoat Prepper says:


      Ohhh boy do I agree with you about Meryl! I was not happy that Daryl took off with him. Good question about taking the good if coming with a bad. I’m not sure what I’d do but Walking Dead does give one things to think about. (Sure wish they’d put Jericho back on.)

      • mountain lady says:

        I read somewhere this week that they are looking into bringing Jericho back. Sure would beat some of the shows now on the TV.

        • Mountain Lady,

          Jericho was one of my favorite TV shows of all time.

          • Tricia in NC says:


          • Love, love Jericho. I didn’t see it while it was on TV, but bought the DVD set. I really had withdrawls when it ended and watched it again.
            My husband is happy when I find something I like to watch becasue all his shirts get ironed!

            • HomeINsteader says:

              OH, MY, Mama J! So glad to know there is at least one more person on the planet who still irons!

              • LOL. My DH is the boss in the oil/gas field, so I feel like he needs to look nice. Even if it is pressed jeans, FR shirts and boots and a hard hat.
                It is mindless work, and I like to watch a show or listen to a book while ironing.
                Plus, I am too cheap to pay someone to do it. Takes away from my preps!

        • Mountain Lady! Jericho was riveting wasn’t it? Loved that show. I bought the dvds. Every time I watch it, I get something different out of it. I wish they would bring it back.

          • mountain lady says:

            I agree with you on seeing something I missed every time I watch it. Now that I am finished living at Downton Abbey for the past few weeks, I think I will watch Jericho again.

        • Mountain Lady,

          I’m not a big TV watcher, but I watched Jericho all the way through on Netflix in a week.

          Oh…The Batchelor’s on! Gotta run! 😉

    • I thought of what would happen taking Meryl in. Some people in the group would die because of him. I would not let in a survival group a person who you are trying to protect against–remember he was the looter, the murderer, pure evil. He is more dangerous than the walking dead. This show gives perspective on good and bad decisions when the world is in chaos.

    • I wouldn’t give up Daryl, but I think I would seriously consider taking Meryl out the first time he gave me an excuse in a real SHTF. Probably take him about 15 minutes, right?

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      Mama J
      I agree. And no. Meryl is toxic. So under NO circumstances could he stay.

    • Guess Im the only one in the pack with regular TV… and it stays on PBS most of the time 🙂

      • SW,
        I rarely watch TV except for a few shows like Walking Dead and Sons of Anarchy. I tried to watch Revolution, but it wasn’t very good. I might watch something on Nat Geo or History Channel. My DH watches the Military Channel every night before bed. LOL. For about 6.5 minutes.

        • I liked revolution for about 15 minutes of the first episode.I also liked the first couple of years of the sons.There was a character in the walking dead that was in Jericho. I liked him in both shows.

      • sw't tater says:

        We have only basic free tv as well, we have about 15 channels, most of which become advertizements after 2 am. I spend more time on ion and pbs than any other.

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      The Walking Dead is television, real life is different. My BIL is a racist, that’s all I can say. He’s a large part of my plans for TEOTWAWKI because he has been at this quite a bit longer than me, and he has way more resources.
      I’m not walking away from him because of what he thinks. He’s family and I’m not argueing with him about it any more. Sometimes real life is more difficult than tv shows.

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        Well looks like Daryl may be returning to the group. I hate that the writers have introduced the mystical spirit of his dead wife. Ghosts are so boring and it’s a stretch to have zombies but mystery phone calls and apparitions are a little trite.

        • Tactical G-Ma says:

          Sorry, that is Rick’s dead wife.

          • Sounds like they killed her off before her contract was finished. It would be easier for me to believe in ghosts than zombies.

        • T-GMa,
          I groaned in pain when I saw the ghost. Probably because I couldn’t stand Lori’s character. You are right. Ghosts are boring. They are going to say that she saved them by drawing Rick outside to defend them for the ambush. He didn’t hit anything though. LOL.
          Several lessons I took from that episode are….
          Don’t get too comfortable standing behind a chain link fence, when guys with rifles want to hand your grey matter to you.
          You would think that after shooting Zombies for a year, they would be better shots.
          Don’t let the ghosts of your guilt ridden ptsd mind take away from the task at hand.
          Ricks needs a shower, a hot meal, a massage and a nap. BTW, with a whole world full of new clothes just there for the taking, why don’t wear clean clothes?
          Until Merle ends up with one in the brain. All of them are going to need to keep a watchful eye on the outside of the prison AND on him now.

          • It is rare when I watch The Walking Dead but I did catch that episode. We were cracking up when they couldn’t hit the side of a barn when shooting at the bad guys, but were dead on (pun intended =oP) when shooting a zombie in the forehead. Seriously??

        • Me too–all this stuff about Rick loosing it and seeing his dead wife is completely pointless, unless of course it turns out he is suffering from something like Lyme Disease.

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        Rider of Rohan,
        You can pick your friends, your nose, your seat, but family is family. I don’t condone racism but in a grid down situation, a healthy dose of skeptisism and bias may be a benefit. Just saying you both may have valuable talents.

        • Rider of Rohan says:

          Yes, it is so. I don’t talk to him about it any more as he grew up in Louisiana and that’s how he was raised. He’s a good man, and sometimes I’ve seen that his actions bely his words. He just commonly uses racial slurs when talking in family circles, but I’ve never heard him do it anywhere else. Sometimes I think his bark is worst than his bite, but I’ve expressed to him that he would be better off keeping some things to himself. He has gotten better over the years, I will say that in his defense.

  10. Went to Sam’s and bought 90 cans of beans/stew/veggies. Then off to Wally world for “pool shock” I didn’t realize liquid bleach is useless after 6 months. Bought 20 lbs. of pool shock, more than enough but great for barter. Ordered 2 gas masks from Amazon with 2 extra NBC filters.
    Purchased Zoom Versa rocket stove a few weeks ago. In the process of building a first aid kit. Skin staplers/quick clot etc…

    • I have been using calcium hypoclorite 52% as a “long term” bleach alternative for about two years now. When first purchased I transferred the contents of the package to a glass container to protect it from air/moisture and to limit its “off gassing”. I have noticed lately that it seems to take more granuals to achieve the same strength liquid. It seems to be losing potency even in glass. Any ideas on better storage? Or is this just a use it or lose it item that must be rotated and/or replaced annually?

      • TEXAS Chic says:

        I have read that it has a shelf life of 2 years, and have read the shelf life is forever. I honestly don’t know which is true. I also bought the 52%. I bought 2 boxes of 10 1 lb. bags, I have not transferred it to another storage option, it’s in plastic bags away from anything dangerous. I just learned about this yesterday… I still have a lot to learn.
        BTW – 1 heaping tsp. to 2 gallons of water makes 2 gallons of bleach. 1 part of this bleach to 100 parts of water for purification.

        • I once used ten year old HTH (71%) to treat the effluent when the chlorinator broke down. This was stored in original drums next to the heat exchangers and the drums showed considerable deterioration. I shoveled it into the mixer then checked the residual. Later calculations showed I used about 15% more than I should have needed. Never did test the stuff but a loss of 15% potency in ten years was not unexpected. Some would say that it was unacceptable for 71% HTH but it was hardly unusable.

    • Keep it away from break fluid it will cause a fire . Cowboy

  11. Petticoat Prepper says:


    We’ve had some warm weather this week a much appreciated thing for me. I sure hear you about wanting spring and summer. Sometimes a warm day is such a tease. Come on summer!

    Judy, another one mentioned a web site dedicated to dehydrating foods last week http://www.dehydrate2store.com I’ve been spending lots of time there. It has fired my desire as I see a way to get to longer storage! This prompted a run to a restaurant supply house and a nearly continuous running through the week of my food dryer.

    20 lbs hash browns
    5 lbs each peas’n carrots, peas, 4 veggie mix and corn
    5 lbs celery
    5 lbs garlic
    2 lbs ginger
    4 blood orange peel

    Then as I was traveling home from said supply house I thought…gee I’m close to the used book store and I’ve trade credit. Added to my library:

    Therapeutic Herb Manual, A Modern Herbal vol I & II, The Rodale Herb Book, Herbal Tonic Therapies.

    After asking The Pack for their input regarding dehydrated foods I did buy a #10 can of each of these; cheese blend powder, beef stroganoff, butter powder and whole eggs.

    Ordered essential oils; bergamont, campor, eucalyptus, sandalwood, and tea tree plus some pipettes

    Last night we spent time with an older couple. The gentleman is a Marine; I say is because I don’t think they ever really retire. He served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. He was wounded twice. While he doesn’t really share his experiences of those wars he on occasion does speak a bit. Last night we were talking about drinks and he said something that made me go hummm.

    He was speaking about being in Korea and Vietman with lots of mosquitoes and remembered the thing to drink was gin and tonic. I smiled and asked if it was because of the quinine? He said yes. So, I see something that I’m missing in my preps. We don’t have tons of mosquitoes and as far as I know no malaria but should ITEOTWAWI happen, who knows? Mosquitoes love me so tonic sounds like an idea. Although I think I should stock up on vodka as I don’t like gin ;)) Yes we did have malaria in the US and Canada~ http://www.malariasite.com/malaria/history_parasite.htm and I’m wondering what the chances are if we no longer had spray going for the mosquitoes.

    That’s it for me this week. Prayers always for The Pack.

    • ladyhawthorne says:

      A friend of mine likes gin & tonic and says mosquitoes never bother him.

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        First off, MD, I hit the wrong button. Nothing to report here. Sorry.

        Ladyhawthorne, after a couple drinks they don’t bother me either. They still bite but it dont bother me! 🙂

      • Petticoat Prepper says:

        Well, maybe the mosquitoes don’t like gin either…

      • hilarious. My father in law just introduced me to the summer glory that is gin and tonic and it just so happens that the mosquitoes that normally see me as a Country Buffet, have not bothered me as much! So funny that I never put the two together! A great excuse to enjoy them more often! hee hee

    • HomeINsteader says:

      If it’s the quinine, then, just drink Tonic Water. Add a twist of lemon or lime for flavor. That should do it!

      • I once used ten year old HTH (71%) to treat the effluent when the chlorinator broke down. This was stored in original drums next to the heat exchangers and the drums showed considerable deterioration. I shoveled it into the mixer then checked the residual. Later calculations showed I used about 15% more than I should have needed. Never did test the stuff but a loss of 15% potency in ten years was not unexpected. Some would say that it was unacceptable for 71% HTH but it was hardly unusable.

      • It’s the quinine. Mosquitoes don’t like it, and it is good if you have leg cramps at night. 🙂

    • rob in ontario says:

      Sorry I was trying to comment not report— I was sick about 20 years ago with basicallywhat I call malaria was sweating for days sleeping for 20 hours at a time was deleaious- doctors never didfind out what it was

    • Malaria isn’t a problem at present in this country, but it could very easily become one if society takes a tumble (no mosquito spraying, more standing water, ect)…especially in the South.

      My husband goes on medical missions frequently, and I always send him with the following:

      1) insecticide-treated mosquito netting to cover his bed at night (they have foldable, portable versions available on Amazon)

      2) Insecticide spray

      3) A prescription for malaria prophylaxis (prevention) medication (doxycycline is what he takes, but there are a number of medications available). You can get a prescription from any medical travel clinic. You would have to take the medication long-term in an “event”, so I don’t know how helpful it would be, but it is a useful tool.

      4) Wear light-colored long-sleeves and pants, a hat (perhaps one with face netting).

      It sounds like a lot of hassle, but it sure beats a lifetime of malaria (which can be very difficult to treat/cure nowadays, let alone in a grid-down situation). Other suggestions: limit the amount of wet areas or standing water on your property; make sure that any lakes, ponds, water cachement on your property has fish (even goldfish will work) in them. They’ll eat mosquito larvae and keep the problem somewhat under control.

      There is a lot of great information on malaria (signs and symptoms, treatment, prevention) at the World Health Organization’s website.

  12. Greetings Pack!
    This week we stocked up on more foods and supplies from BJ’s. We went to the Philly Expo Center to see the Outdoor Show. Had a good time, it was very busy.A lot of the vendors said they were having a good show, but that it hurt them when the big show in Harrisburg was cancelled. Those in charge decided not to allow ‘modern sporting rifles’, which caused half of the vendors to pull out. People were disapointed, but they supported the idea of taking a stand. Picked up a few items,a Therm-X backpack with built in foam pad to keep my butt warm and dry when sitting in the woods, a new phone case that actually fits my phone, and a kife sharpener for serrated blades by Denny’s sharpeners.
    Watched the damage the meteorite caused in Russia. That could have been much worse, thankfully everyone will recover.
    Have a safe and happy week!

  13. Hunker-Down says:

    It looks like defensive tools and supplies will be overpriced for the next nine months, so while they are out of reach we are stocking up on feel good foods. We vacuum sealed 6 jelly jars of M&M’s. The manufacturer’s expiration date is November 2013 but last year, pack members were posting that they opened 2 year old jars and the contents passed the taste test as well as new product. Our FoodSaver machine is paying for itself.

    We are still learning more about raising, harvesting and using hazelnuts. Our garden is so small; two raised beds 4 x 24 plus seven 30 gallon and five 50 gallon food grade barrels. We grew potatoes in the 50’s; strawberries and peanuts in the 30’s last year with about average results (except the peanuts decided they were too far north to have babies). I was raised on a 300 acre central Illinois farm and we now have a lousy ½ acre with a house in the middle and neighbors growing 100 foot fir trees, blocking the sun. That doesn’t leave much room for a garden, and NO room for a herd of Black Angus.

    The hazelnuts will give us an easily storable food source, providing nut-butter and cooking oil neither of which our northern garden could produce. Cooking oil will turn rancid over time so we need to add a nut press and a nut cracker to our wish list; each is over $150. Yikes.
    It seems hazelnut trees need 4 years to produce. We purchased 2 year old bare root trees that will be planted next spring. I hope they produce in 2 years; but the economy surely will collapse before then.

    We purchased 250 lb braided line, barrel swivels and hooks so we can make trotlines to procure fish as a source of protein, after the grocery stores are burned out. I will probably use such a tool more like a throw-line or bank-line to avoid having to expose myself by using a boat to set and run the lines.

    We live in zone 4 and are very limited as to plant variety and number of growing days. The addition of long storing nuts and fishing trotlines will add important food sources, especially for winter survival.

    Last night it was -14 degrees, so we have about another 3 weeks before garden planning and layouts are needed to develop our heirloom seed orders.

    • Hunker-Down,

      Were the peanuts in a black barrel? You can not give the peanuts too much heat. Mine grew in the ground last year but the year before they were in tires and did extremely well.

      I would think if you put them in black pots in a full day’s sun you would get about 2-3 lbs per plant foot. (I get about 7 lbs.) You need to use more sand than compost.

      I do understand that it may be too much work to make it successful in your neck of the woods. Hazelnuts may give you more return for less work.

      Can you tell me what happened to the peanuts? What other things do you grow in your garden?

      In zone 4 you should have great success with asparagus and all other cool season crops. (Personally, I have the opposite problem, I can’t get enough peas to grow to make it worth my while. I can eat them fresh, but I can’t seem to get enough to can for a rainy day.) You should also have good luck with early varieties of things like tomatoes and green beans in the summer.

      I envy your ability to grow potatoes. In my yard, the plants look beautiful but the potatoes won’t grow bigger than the size of large marbles.

      And remember, hybrid is not a dirty word. Store bought hybrid seeds save well too. I always buy hybrid carrot and spinach seeds.I only have marginal success collecting seeds from cold season veggies because of the heat here.

      You can also save seeds from the hybrid fruits – they just won’t mirror the parent plant. I have a distant relative who routinely saves seeds from hybrid fruits. She says some are a huge successes and some are not. This relative lives in MN, not GA!

      I believe you can also extend your summer growing season with plastic hoop houses. I understand they are fairly inexpensive to set up. They do wonders for things like peppers and melons and others that need more heat then your growing zone usually has.

      I wish you the best of luck with your garden this year! You can always email me if you have a specific problem. I will be happy to help!

      • “And remember, hybrid is not a dirty word. ”

        It is if you want to save your seeds. I’m all for surprises… but not when I am trying to grow things to feed myself. I’ll just have to stick to my heirloom variety of plants.

        • SW,

          Well, the world hasn’t ended yet! You can learn a lot about plants and how the genes are passed down by saving seeds form the fruits of hybrids.

          Since I am a Master Gardner, maybe I am the only one who has such interest.

          I still stand my by statement. There is nothing wrong with hybrid seeds. I grow quite a few. Mainly, cool season crops that are crossed to remain tolerant of hot weather.

          I bet you are confusing GMO with hybrid. They are not the same.

          • I used to breed snakes so genetics is something I understand. I was in the process of creating color morphs that had never been done when I sold my business.

            The problem I have with hybrids is the seeds you save don’t stay true to the parent plant. They are usually one of the plants that was used to create the hybrid.

            As a Rookie Gardner I haven’t gotten to the point of trying to create my own varieties… but in time that may come. 🙂 Right now my interest is getting things to grow and saving the seeds for next years garden. My thumb is light green at best… but I’m getting better each year. Now if I could just get the benificial insects to visit my place because I am growing organic.

            And no… I’m not confusing GMO and Hybrids.

          • Got a question for ya. Is there a way to naturally control blister beetles. Last year they lit me up and I let them have the ‘mater patch.

            • HomeINsteader says:

              I’m going to give you more info than you need ‘cuz no doubt there are readers who don’t know what a blister beetle looks like. They are black flying beetles, about 1/2 inch long, and very often will have yellow stripes down their back. DO NOT HANDLE WITHOUT GLOVES, AND WASH THE GLOVES. Skin contact will cause PAINFUL blisters, from which they get the name, obviously.

              The blister beetle larvae does consume grasshopper eggs, just as an FYI. The beetle develops into the Spanish fly.

              If you see these beetles AND they are slow-moving, simply kill them, but don’t touch them with your bare skin, or you will regret that decision.

              These beetles in your garden can spell the end of your garden. If a “swarm” gets in your garden, try literally “chasing them out” (which probably won’t be all that effective, but, try).

              Chickens won’t eat them, so, don’t rely on the chickens to get rid of them for you. Nematodes are not effective against their eggs,either.

              LIME is your best defense here; a lime spray works well, and also dusting DAMP plants with lime will chase them out of your garden to a more desirable area. As a last resort, use a soap and lime spray, or use pyrethrums. Be sure you know the effect of lime on the plants you will be spraying BEFORE you spray.

              Source: “Dr. Bader’s Pest Cures – Natural Solutions to Things That Bug You”, by Dr. Myles H. Bader

              • In my area they are a solid silvery gray color…. and painful is an understatement. That’s why I let them have the ‘mater patch. I was hurting for two weeks after contact.

                I had a swarm of them… they were everywhere and I accidentally brushed up against one in the grass. I have the reflexes of a cat since I deal with venomous snakes… but these things tagged me three times on the ankle before I could retreat.

                Would the Diatomaceous Earth work on these beetles?

      • Hunker-Down says:

        Kate from GA,

        The peanuts were in a blue plastic food grade barrel. Our frost free days are from the end of May until the end of September. I could paint one of the the barrels black and try again. We had good sized plants, but very few blossoms. Besides a short season I think part of our problem was a learning curve about the water retention characteristics of a barrel full of peat, vermiculite, manure and trace minerals. Maybe the soil mixture was too dense because of a lack of sand.

        We grow peas, radishes, carrots, beans, cucumbers, bell peppers, onions, zucchini, dwarf cantaloupe, dwarf watermelon and tomatoes. We locate each one in a spot it did not occupy the previous year. Sugar Snap Peas and radishes always do well at the beginning of the season.

        I’m investigating the use of discarded rain gutters, nailed to one end of our pole bean tower, stacking them one above another with 18 inches of space between them. At this point I don’t have a list of veggies that would do well in such a container with only 3 inches of dirt.

        Our pole bean tower is not movable and we planted pole green beans there for too many years, the soil is depleted. I’m considering pole butter beans in that soil, is that a bad idea?

        I found a zone 4 blackberry and intend to order 3-4 plants next month.

        • Spinning Gramma says:

          Hopefully the Master Gardener will reply here, but butter beans are still legumes, just like pole beans. If you want to rotate, pick something else. Farmers rotate several years of corn with a year of beans so that the beans will replenish what the corn took out. Do you use plenty of compost and mulch?

        • Your peanut problem sounds like too much nitrogen. Peanuts don’t like a lot of fertilizer (they do like and need a good amount of calcium.) If you want to try again, take the dirt you used last year (or a new mix that is about the same makeup) and mix it: 65 % sand, 35 % your soil mix.

          Unless you are in a drought, they don’t need much water either. The plant does better if side dressed with calcium half way into the growing season. Bonemeal works but so does TUMS.

          As far as the pole green beans are concerned, there isn’t any need to worry about the beans in the same spot if you are not bothered by lots of bugs. The rotation is really to help control bugs. To fix the depleted soil, incorporate lots of compost into the soil and go ahead and plant the beans. (Yellow beans need the same soil conditions as green beans so the two are not considered rotation crops for each other.)

          Compost will fix the soil and you can keep your green beans there for years (again, if bugs are not an issue. Oops! – I forgot to add that diseases count as a reason for rotation as well).

          You can rotate the green beans with anything that vines. Gourds, squash, the dwarf melons should all be able to tie to the bean poles if your poles are sturdy enough. (Some people use plastic poles and some use metals poles that is why I mention it.)

          I have seen rain gutters used before. Anything planted in them really need 4 inches of soil not 3. Can you do something to modify them so they are 4 inches deep? Like run some plastic around the edges to give the extra depth? (Just an idea) What should do well in them is herbs – of all kinds. Many herbs like it hot and dry and the rain gutters will allow that to happen. Lettuce and other greens will also do well in rain gutters. Really, you can do both since the lettuce and other greens can be started before last frost and then do succession planting with herbs. Green onions will also do well in the rain gutters.

          Lots of fruits do well in zone 4. I am glad you found a blackberry that will work for you. Blueberries should also do well in your area. Blueberries grow from zone 2 – 9. They even grow in Alaska! (Different varieties do better in certain zones so be sure to get one that does well in zone 4 – you may need to modify the soil of yours isn’t acidic enough.) Do you have room for apple trees? They should do well too – get a dwarf tree if room is an issue.

          I hope this helps. And I really mean it, if you have a specific question – email me and I will be happy to answer it!

          • Lots of good info… thanks for posting. I had thought about the rain gutters on the front of the porch as well. Now I’m gonna see if I can figure out a way to get an additional inch.

          • Hunker-Down says:

            Kate from GA,

            Thanks Kate, I printed your response. If I can find a ‘safe’ black paint, I may dedicate one barrel to peanuts and try again.

            We love blueberries, the DW likes their ability to fortify against cancer. We have several pints in the freezer and they are in a lot of our zucchini bread loaves. We planted 3 dwarf apple and 2 dwarf pear trees last year and don’t have room for blueberries, unless they would do well under very tall pine trees.

            Last year we made (hopefully) enough zucchini bread loaves for 2 years so we can grow Delicata squash and save the seeds. As you know, the two will cross so our plan is to plant Delicata this year, save the seeds then plant zucchini next year and save those seeds.

            • The blueberries can do very well under the pine trees if they get at least 8 hours of sun. The pine needles will keep the soil acidic and the bushes happy.

              That 8 hours of sun can be anytime of the day. My blueberries are under cypress trees. They don’t get sun until 1:00 in the afternoon. But then they are in the sun until it sets. They are doing fine in that spot!

              I switch back and forth between zucchini and squash myself so the seeds stay pure. My yard is fairly small and I can’t give proper spacing to grow both and still have pure seeds. I did squash last year so this year it’s zucchini for me!

              I planted dwarf apple trees last year too! I only had room for 2 trees. When they are full grown, I am going to have to move one of my raised bed gardens. The trees will shade them to the point that I won’t be able to get anything to grow. In small yards everything is a trade off.

              If you decide to try the peanuts again, remember the key is 65% sand. I used sandbox sand from Walmart. The sand is needed to keep the peanuts well drained when it rains and to allow the soil to heat up. Peanuts will rot if the soil stays wet. My soil is pure clay – just like the clay you can purchase in craft stores. I dug out 6 inches of the clay and replaced it with the sand/compost mix I mentioned before. My peanuts are all growing in the 6 inches of sand/compost mix. They really don’t need more then 6 inches of soil. If you want to see pictures of mine they are on my blog or I can email the pictures to you.

              Post updates here if you decide to try the peanuts again. I would love to read about how they are doing!

      • HomeINsteader says:

        Rhubarb! Grow rhubarb and I’ll buy it from you!

    • HomeINsteader says:

      HD, you can join us in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas anytime you want Bro! We have room for y’all!

  14. Excited to read the blog on the day it came out!! Kids went to the range with a friend to shoot and left me home alone!! Yeah. Not a lot of preps…working on the chicken run for more chickies to come in the next month. Decided on a plan finally & working on repairing the damage from the dog attack to the coop from the destroyed run.
    Hope everyone has a safe & productive week. Now to go finish my brownie & read the rest of the comments!!

    • OregonMike says:

      Hi Kate,
      To protect our garden this spring and summer we decided to to use dog kennel fencing for a chicken run. They currently have 100sqft and we’ll be adding 200 more to that. Not free range like they’re used to but that’s easier than protecting all garden plants from them. Adding 10 chicks later this month and may give them their own run until we can merge the flocks. Found 4 panels (10’x6′) on Craigslist for $125 for all.

      • Oregon Mike that’s my second option. I built my coop as an “A” frame on legs & made a run that was knee high & reinforced garden wire with a smaller guage on the bottom & larger on the top. The dogs broke in & killed my girls & smashed the wire. My problem is I have to now get the run so I can attach it to my coop. Did you have to reinforce the lower part with something little coon hands can’t get through?

  15. Hi Pack it’s been cold and snowy here to windchill of -5 right now. Well we finished building our rabbit hutch it holds 4 cages we will get the rabbits in the spring. The chickens are still laying a fair amount of eggs.I bought a new belt thats good for concealed carry from Bullhide Belts good quality and reasonabley priced. Thats about it stay safe gang.

  16. I don’t post often, but sure do enjoy reading what others are doing! It gives me some great ideas and keeps me inspired in my prepping. This week, I ordered 2 books–cooking with Lard, and a replacement for my Ball Canning Book that has mysteriously disappeared. Also ordered in $100 of organic vegetable seeds, canned 2 gallons of green beans from my garden (boy, those Tattler Re-Useable Lids are AWESOME), and placed an order with Zaycon Foods for 40 pounds of chicken that I will also can. I also adopted a young guardian dog this past week—he’s doing a fine job of protecting the dairy goat herd out back, PLUS he provides lots of entertainment and exercise for the other guardian dog. Eli should top out at over 130 pounds when he’s done growing….love them Great Pyrs! Keep preppin’…..

    • Goatlover,
      Green beans? I am so jealous. I can’t plant until June.
      I also like the Tattler lids. Every month as I empty jars, I make sure I have Tattlers to use the next time around.
      I adore my Prys.They are amazing creatures. I have a new girl that is five months and 60 lbs. She is so sweet. Her mother was 125 lbs and the Sire 150lbs. The biggest dog I have seen in awhile.
      Just in case…FYI.I keep their dew claws trimmed or they will grow around and become painful. Start early, so you don’t have a fight later.I would never have them removed, they need them for launching power.

  17. Mystery Guest says:

    I didn’t do any prepping type stuff other than printing out stuff to add to the growing pile of information I have already. Which includes all aspects of prepping.
    I have, to relieve my brain strain, have been working on a story board picture book of “Lonesome Dove”. One of my all time favorite movies.
    We fell in love with the novel when my husband used a record player from the braille library and he had ordered the book on disk (really floppy long playing records). We must have listened to it over a dozen times. We loved every minute of the reading of it. The person did an excellant job of defining each character.
    When the movie came out my husband was skeptical as one would be that a movie wasn’t as good as the book. But when he sat down with us to listen to it he enjoyed it as well as he could just by listening. And he had to admit it was very good.
    The memories of sharing this one thing is so delightful that they are precious indeed.

  18. This has been a big week for me, prepper-wise. I downloaded several free books on my kindle, but haven’t had a chance to check them out yet. I also ordered 3 paperback books on medicinal herbs and plants. One of which is specifically related to antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria, and how to treat them. I ordered 2 solar/crank lanterns, the lid for my volcano stove, and the Sawyer point 2 zero water filtering kit with the faucet attachment. We will “make our own” system using two buckets, probably 5 gallon ones. My other big score was 6 – 65 gallon pickle barrels for $17 each for rain barrels. That used up part of the money I was saving for my grain mill, but I couldn’t pass that up.

  19. Monster prep this week, 1970 Kaiser M35A2. That’s a Deuce and a half with a Multi-fuel Turbo diesel. Low hours in great shape. the possibilities are endless. We joke that it will be running on rendered down zombies.

    Mama J, I would like to use the bug out story that you posted a while back for our Wildfire Evacuation Expo that we are going to having in April. Everyone that read it thought it was as good as it gets in explaining how practice makes closer to perfect.

    Walking Dead, Meryl is a real bummer, hope that Darryl comes back soon. I say fortify the prison and hunker down, grow crops, kill zombies, and start a community.

    • Pineslayer:

      I have one of these as my main vehicle in Europe in the early 80’s. Lived it! Mine had a full sized maintenance hut on the back and would still go to the “i” in miles on the speedometer!

      Just be careful in the back country. I hit a log on the trail and the steering wheel whipped around on me and I thought I broke my thumb! Keep them away from the spokes.

    • riverrider says:

      man i wish i had a duece. are you going to bob it or leave it long? we were dx-ing them a few years ago, some had just come back from complete overhaul, like new. they were a much better truck than the new ones.

    • Pineslayer,
      Lovin the duece! I was looking at one here. I thought it was a bit much for hauling firewood. But, they are so dang cool!
      Rendered Zombies!……..Ewwwwww….Can you imagine the stench? ” Hahahaaa

      Of course you may use the story. We would love it, if it helped another family from going full retard like we did.
      However, I would ask MD also, since it was posted on his blog.
      Maybe give Mad Dog some credit?

    • Those dueces are great rigs!I would like to have one of those and a m37 or a m715

  20. Planted seeds to get them started for transplanting in six weeks. Also ordered seeds for direct planting. Got broccoli and cabbage planted for the early garden harvest. Potatoes and onions are in the ground and onions doing well (will have to wait a while for the potatoes to get started). We’re getting a lot of chard now that the insects were killed by the colder weather. Love chard–can take moderately cold weather and fairly hot weather and keep producing and can go in salads and stir-fries and be cooked like spinach with a nicer flavor than spinach.

  21. Millie in KY says:

    Hi, everyone, first I have a question, about 10-20 years ago on a Christian station there was a woman who had a way of cooking that appealed to me. You would take one or two items from each list and then combine them for a cook in the skillet dinner. Does anyone remember this? You chose, say, tuna fish from the meat list, you would need 2 or 3 cans. Then you chose a “grain”, or a type of noodle or rice. Then you chose some kind of sauce, spaghetti, white sauce, cream of mushroom soup, etc. then a couple of veggies from the veggie list and then some spices. If you remember this or where it was or even the lady’s name, I’d sure appreciate it.
    Bad news, SHTF for this family this week. On Friday I lost my job. I’d been anticipating it for about a year, fortunately one of the people I worked with came in and gave me a quick heads up before the boss showed up to do it. That gave me time to compose myself, to look sufficiently shocked and upset without crying, and to leave with a shred or two of dignity. I will call and ask for a good letter of recommendation on Monday. Didn’t think of that on Friday. I was paid for my sick and vacation days and told to definitely apply for unemployment and that they would not contest it at all. So many positives here. I went to the employment office to get some info, have several possibilities on the horizon and then headed home, called my sis on the way. When I was on the highway I realized how much I was relieved that it was over, it’s been hanging over my head for nearly a year now.
    So. Please, everyone pray that I find a decent job with insurance. They can be found here, many in factories and I don’t mind being a factory rat. I can take a little time doing it as by the time I subtract my gas money that I used each week, I’m not too far down below what I was making. Also, please, please, pray that we sell the piece of land in N MI, it would just about pay off this place and it would be another thing off my mind.
    Now, what did I do to prepare? Well more than last week and I have to admit my mind is definitely free to go into more depth on the subject now. One thing I did was buy several months’ worth of dog food, a place where I have an account for my now defunct business has “short dated” food for sale, food that will expire in the next six months. I had gotten the list this week and called and ordered around 1100 lbs. I think I mentioned that i have a lot of dogs. Most of these are super premium foods, $50 a 30 lbs bag type of stuff which I was getting for $5-8 a bag. A great help and it will be delivered on Monday. I have to go and get it, though, as they cannot come up my driveway.
    I did go to my CCDW class yesterday, passed 100% on the test and 100% on the shooting skills. Never mind that I have no skills, I focused on what they told me in class and did it and it worked! I wish we had a place to post pictures, I’d love to share the target with you. Very nice people at the shooting range, there were 7 of us in the class and it was fun although the two hour video on state laws about killed me. Droning voices from state officials who are not actors…kill me now. They thought that my pistol was something that I would need to get used to, so they loaned me a nifty little .22 revolver and some ammo and I killed that target! I am so very pleased with myself, I have only really shot a rifle a few times as a kid. So will be going over there to get some instruction when it is just a wee bit warmer. I was shivering so bad (I’m on the same basic lattitude, I think, that MD is) that I wasn’t sure I could hit it but then I would just breathe in and out, in and out, squeeze the trigger, the gun will do what it is supposed to do. Loved it! Built my confidence up a lot.
    I got more seeds on Friday from Wal Mart, they are cheap and although not heirloom, I can plant these this year and save the heirlooms for next year. This morning I planted Stupice tomatoes (Heirloom), peppers, brocolli and a ton of spices, lemon balm, a ton of basil and several others. I am using the plastic 3 oz drinking cups, put a hole in the bottom, potting soil and then aluminum trays from the dollar store. Bottoms can be cut off the plastic cups, slid up a ways and planted, no cutworms can get past that (I’ve been told). Oh, yeah, life handed me some lemons. I took one and cut it up with a capsule of cinnamon that I take every day for my vitamins and put in a pot of water to simmer on the stove and make the house smell nice. Hmmm. Some lemon seeds. What the hell. I planted 5 of them, will try and cultivate some lemon trees in tubs, kept well pruned and maybe they can live in the garage in the winter time, I could have lemonaid and lemon flavoring when the Big SHTF. 🙂
    I’m trying to feel bad about the job, but really, I’m not. Like I said, it’s kind of a relief, there is some money available from unemployment and I’ll just have to bear down and not spend money although I do want to order some more seeds on line and get some from the local farm store where you can buy in bulk.
    Thanks everyone for listening to me ramble. I am looking forward to the next warm day, Jacques, my sweet gelding and I will go riding. Haven’t been on him in 1 1/2 years, way too long. I love this horse so much! This will be great mental therapy for me and he needs to be ridden more.

    • Millie in KY,

      I am sorry to hear about your job! Take some time off for yourself. Then go apply for new jobs. I got tired of being laid off and 7 years ago, I incorporated a business with my husband. It was the best decision we ever made! (Although health insurance is quite expensive!)

      I wish you well in getting the lemon seeds to germinate. They tend to germinate better if you rub them over with a nail file to rough up the seed shell. When they germinate, you will get a lovely plant. Unfortunately, lemon trees (all fruit trees for that matter) are grafted. It is unlikely that you will get lemons from the tree.

      Best of luck on the job search!

    • Keep up the good cheer and in no time God will show you He is looking over you and loves you. My mother always said that most things happen for the better, I also think of the Mother Superior in the Sound of Music movie saying that “that when God closes a door He always open a window”. I will keep you in my prayers and hope everything will turn up fine. I am not a religious nut, I just learned very young to let God guide my life. Every day is a gift and one should be grateful and appreciate it.

      God bless, Linda Lou

    • Millie, so sorry to hear about the job loss; but since you were expecting it and are actually relieved to have it over with, enjoy the time off. I will pray for you finding just the perfect job with all the benefits!

      As to that land in Michigan…I need more info. Is it in the Upper Peninsula or Northern Michigan? How many acres, type of land, etc. If you want to email me, I will email M.D. and give him permission to share my email. Just contact him for it, okay?

    • A little late but here’s a mix and match skillet dinner list. Maybe it’s what you’re looking for.


    • Millie,

      I found the silver lining in losing/switching jobs years ago: you just ask for more money at the next one. I doubled my income in about 5 years that way. I got an $8000/year raise after being fired from one job. Was tempted to call my old boss and thank him. That would have been very satisfying. 😉

    • Pam And Peggy’s Crisis Casserole
      1 6 oz. can tuna (or any ground protein)
      1 c. cheese (any kind)
      1 can cream of anything soup
      1 onion, chopped (dehydrated, green or yellow)
      1 garlic clove (powder’s okay)
      1/2 c. chopped celery
      2 c. noodles (any shape) OR
      1 1/2 c. rice (minute is okay)
      3 c. seasoned water (add a couple of bouillon cubes)

      In a casserole dish sprayed with Pam, mix all ingredients. Cover and bake for 45 minutes at 375°. If you have a little more cheese, sprinkle on the top. Serves 5 people.

      • This sounds like a great meal, and since I can use any meat other than tuna fish, it will be wonderful. I like cold tuna fish, never could choke down the tuna fish casseroles. So for my hubbie and I this will work our fine. Thanks for the recipe.

    • sw't tater says:

      Millie, I use a similar system for my skillet stretchers,..Approaching food storage with skillet stretchers… My article was posted on this blog jan, 22,13…it’s in the archives.This is not the article you were referring to but maybe it will help.

  22. ladyhawthorne says:

    No money to buy anything with and too much other stuff to do in house so the only prepping I did was to download some of those free Kindle books from Amazon. The ’15th’ paycheck won’t be here until Wednesday and since it’s a short month the next payday will only be a week away after that. Sure hope the boss can pull off something!

    At least I have plenty of food for me & the cats!

    I do my sewing, embroidering and such in the evenings after work and listen to movies on Netflix or YouTube vids of Coast to Coast. This week I found a YouTube channel that has books being read! http://www.youtube.com/user/CCProse
    They even have the Declaration of Independence.
    I personally recommend Walden by Thoreau. It was a great influence on me when I was a teen and is even better to my old ears now.

    About the asteroid in Russia…An American who lives in that town called in to CoastToCoast the other night and he said there is talk it was really nuclear weapons that were shot down. Could be hype but something to think about.

  23. This weekend was the Wild Edibles Walk and Talk that I organised and had Karen who runs EdibleWildFood.com come out and share her knowledge. This is especially important as most people can muddle through the summer wild foraging, but winter is way more tough.

    There were tons of tips and hints of what and where to look for Foragable food and information.

    Rob in Ontario made the couple hour drive over to the location at the conservation area, managing to help pull someone out of a ditch all at the same time, he is a nice guy ! (ps He is single for those Ontario Ladies! )

    Storing food is one thing, finding and learning about Wild Edibles, Foraging is another which goes along with seeds and planting your own food. Self Sufficiency and Self Reliance which I believe to be at the hearts of most Survivalists and Preppers (same thing, just call themselves differently )

    • I took the Native Plant Master classes so often they asked me to start teaching them. I have 4 classes a year in the warm months.
      We have so many micro climates in our area that you will never tire of learning. We have high country, alpine and tundra. Middle high plains plateau. The high desert and also the different riparian areas.
      I learn something new every year. I get especially excited about MUSHROOMS!

      • MamaJ
        I am allergic to mushrooms so am afraid of them to be honest.

        Glad your out teaching, this was good especially in the Winter, I am also planning on a spring, summer, fall and then another winter one.

        Honestly surprised at the differences in the plants, how they look and what you can eat in winter, so much different really.

  24. Start shooting zombies with a 22 before you destroy your shoulders and go deaf.

  25. Just a bit of meds and first aid stuff along with some hardware put away. Found a sale on reading glasses at Ace to go along with their Bag Sale and bought a supply to put in for emergencies – a bunch of different magnifications.
    Got one article done and into MD. The other isn’t moving very fast but it’s coming along. Got most of the books I’ve ordered in, so that’s good.
    Went to the Amish bulk store and got wheat, sugar and some spices. Also picked up some apples at a new Amish produce market that opened up near the bulk store. Made applesauce from the apples. The market sells fruit trees in the spring – picked up an order form and that’s a good thing.
    I’m a member of Seed Savers Exchange so finished up looking through the yearbook and figuring out what I want to order. Got the paperwork done and will mail out the orders this week.
    Still ebaying – sales are steady and that’s good. Haven’t gotten much listed this week, hopefully next week will be better.
    Went to a gun show today and got primers (small pistol and magnum small pistol) along with bullets and some brass. Son bought a Ruger 10/22 used at a very nice price. Got a surplus pack for the hubby for a bug out bag, so that was nice.
    It’s been a very … slow … week. Son and I were in a wreck on Thursday – he blacked out briefly and we ended up in a ditch at speed. He recovered quickly – managed to steer away from really nasty stuff and we walked away from the crash. The SUV may even be salvageable still – we’ll see. I had two small bruises – and very sore shoulders from the whiplash, so that cut down on what I got accomplished.
    Oh, got the Country Living grain mill attached to it’s table. That’s another article once we finish up hooking it up to some stuff to make it easier to mill.

    • Is anyone else a member of the Seed Savers Exchange? Got a thing in the mail about them and was thinking about joining but would like some real world recommendations first.
      Keep the Faith

      • TN Sam,

        I am not a member, but I know lots of Master Gardners who are.

      • Hunker-Down says:

        TN Sam,

        My experience with Seed Saver Exchange was frustrating. They expect you to have a lot of gardening experience. I do, in some things. I found their variety of choices to be larger than almost every seed seller. The problem is when I choose a new veggie or variety I have never planted before, I need instructions. Most of the seed packets I received had only boilerplate legalese on it and no guidance.

        If I were ordering a plant variety that I had in-depth knowledge of, I would feel safe.

        • SSE is really two different things – there is the actual SSE farm in Iowa that sells seed on their website – the directions are a bit terse but they are pretty decent.

          Then there is the actual exchange – which is done through the Yearbook between various members directly. These directions can likely be quite useless to the beginning gardener as they are from other gardeners.

          If you’re not a very good gardener, I’d stick with ordering from the website and going with a good gardening book for help.

          I gardened when I was young with my father and on and off while I was in Texas, so I’m certainly not a total beginner. It’s amazing to me how much I remember from helping my dad garden!

    • On the Country Living grain mill, when you have the opportunity use it, could you tell those of us who want to purchase one a yes or no, on the performance of the machine. I know they make several different hand crank models. I am trying to decide if we should go for the deluxe model, even if it is over our budget. Your review will very much appreciated.

  26. Got in my Country Wisdom and Know How from Storey and HOLY CRAP did not know they could make print that small !!!! Looks like I will have to get out the microscope to read it, or my eyes must be older than I thought..

    Much like the rest of the pack I am planning for the coming garden season and look to trying new things this year.

    Made appt. for the yearly physical and dentist appt for next month and will start on taxes this week hopefully all will turn out well.

    Painted 120′ of baseboard trim for a friend and woke up with the worst crick in my neck and shoulder on the right side, amazing what little things will mess your body up. Can’t help to wonder how many aches and pains the body will start to have come shtf, guess need to store more advil and ban gay to get ready for it.

    • George,
      me too, now I have different reading glasses of different strengths, so the 3x power readers have become my carving, close up glasses and I take them into the grocery store so I can read those tiny little print jobs or ingredients on the package, way too small.

      I buy them from the dollar store, so have lots and one real pair of glasses. Just remember to put them in cases in your BOB or carry all, that way they do not get scratched and damaged too early.

      • Yeah I use the 1.25 and buy bunches from the dollar store also. Next time I guess I will have to buy a selection of stonger stregths. I have been very near sighted my whole life and a few years ago I asked my eye doc if since I was near sighted I would not have to worry about reading glasses he said no it did not work that way it was more of a focusing stregnth thing and not if your were near or far sighted. I’ll be damned if not that same day I noticed I could not read the menu at lunch without pushing it out with my arms, had to buy some reader cheaters tthat day!!!! I have reg glasses , bifocal, readers and contacts all packed in my GHB and BOB so I will be ready.

  27. M. D. I’m right there with ya on the planning end of things. My wife says I overplan everything, but hey, I accomplish a lot of my goals doing it. I already had my garden layout done for this Spring, and have all seeds in hand. This week I got my Cayenne and Bell Peppers started in the greenhouse, as well as my Cauliflower. I have 65 White Sweet Spanish Onions coming up, and expect to see Ace 55 Tomatoes, as well as Large Cherry Tomatoes popping up any time.

    I sat down and mapped out all the average growth cycles to harvest, for all of the various vegetables I’m growing. Then based off of first harvest, what and when I could either grow another crop of the same, or plant something else entirely in that spot before the end of the season. Going to make the most use of sequential gardening this year as I can.

    On top of that, I put the final finishing touches on my Top Bar Beehive, and am now ready 100% for my package of bees on April 7th. Hindsite being 20/20, I wish I would have built 2 hives at the sametime. So now, I will be purchasing morse Cypress, and going to build 2 more hives. Ultimately I would like to have 5 or 6 total hives. (Petticoat Prepper did an awesome job on her Bee’s Series!!!)

    Did the monthly trip to Sams Club to re-stock the larder. Other than the normal, keeping up with the chickens, and generally maintaining, that is it for me this week.

    • Petticoat Prepper says:

      Thanks LHCB,
      I’m pea green you’ve already got your greenhouse going. I was outside today looking around and am just thinking about getting out there. I was way too early last year so I’m stalling some. Which probably means spring will come early and I’ll be late.

      Had a bunch of birds out in my apairy today. Went out to see what was going on. I’ve not raked the dead bees up yet and the birds were doing clean up for me. Ick! but helpful…

  28. My dh and I went to Sam’s Club this week and although we spent $150 it doesn’t seem like we got all that much–mostly paper products. I ordered five cases of oatmeal from the LDS Online Store. We opened our first can of Mormon oatmeal this week and it was excellent. My dh has projected that we will go though one case a month.

    It is very cold here in Florida–our high today is only 53 degrees. We went to an art festival (dh is a trained artist and I am a photographer) but it was almost too cold to be outside.

    About Walking Dead . . . I am not surprised Daryl went off with Myrle. They are blood. Would I let Myrle into my group–it depends on how much I needed capable defenders. Characters like Myrle only act out because they get attention–remove the reaction they seek to elicit and they don’t know how to act. Personally, I would have let him into the group just to keep Daryl on board . . . but if he continued to rip apart the group, I would see to it that he had an accident.

    • Bam Bam,

      I like the term ‘Mormon oatmeal’! That is because it is grown by volunteers from the church. So are the carrots, apples and most everything else they can (both dry can and wet can). Those who need a helping hand can get commercial cereal at the storehouse as well (with approval from the local Bishop). I saw boxes of Raisin Bran and Special K there last week.

      There is also a big Mormon beef farm somewhere near you. Have you ever visited for a tour? I bet they have lots of advice there on animal husbandry. If I ever get to move to Florida, I am going to volunteer there!

      • Kate,

        Where’s it at? I would love to go visit. I think the Mormons got it going on–except for the no coffee part. I wouldn’t like that too much. LOL Joking aside, the canneries are such a wonderful service to the community. I just wish more people would wake up and become self-sufficient.

    • Bam Bam,

      How can one order directly from the LDS store?

      I would also like to know where their farm is since we live in the central Florida area, around Ocala, and if they have tours we would like to visit it. We are not Mormons, but they are food people, we had some ladies in my office where I worked. Retired now and moved away, lost contact with them. Thanks for any info, and God bless, Linda Lou

    • I would allow Merle in and he can have an unfortunate accident. I was really wondering about Rick losing his mind. In a total breakdown scenario, what do we do if one of our group goes nuts? Do we lock them up? Try and get some sort of meds?

  29. Harry the hat says:

    Hello Pack

    I have been studying for the Technician Ham test next Saturday. My training pistol came back from NH. Now I am setting up training for 3 neighbors and one coworker. Expect to do a Costco run tomorrow. Next I have brass ready to reload for a few calibers and my bullet order and new electronic scale have arrived.

    Be safe, be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to what is going on in the world.

    God Bless,


  30. Turned in a bunch of coupons that resulted in 3 bags of items leaving the store that cost me just over $2.50.

    • Sarahy that is very impressive! I can never find good coupons anymore or they are for stuff I don’t need.

  31. Another week of mild weather and sunshine here: spent it mostly doing clean-up chores – replacing fence boards, maintenance on the tractor, spraying the orchard –that type of thing. Will have some kids around this coming week; schools are on holiday so I’m helping out by playing sitter so friends won’t have to lose work or spend money on day care. Employment is tight here this time of year and folks can’t afford to lose the income. Figure we’ll do some gardening, mend some more fence, ride the mule around, play with the chickens, hunt for snipes – kind of looking forward to it.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      k. fields,

      As a kid, every time we found a victim, we went snipe hunting at sunset with a gunny sack.

    • LOL That sounds like fun. My little brother and I once took a group of his city-boy frat brothers gator hunting with broom sticks at 2 a.m. before the Florida/Georgia game. They were scared as hell. We were trampling through the marsh with nothing but moonlight. Of course it was 25 degrees out, so all the gators were all tucked in their dens and not moving–but city boys didn’t know that.

  32. finished off another bug out bucket last night. found a shotgun and will get that purchased this week. planning some gorilla planting by the river below my house does the pack have any suggestions on plants they need to be cold tolerant and a short growing season. stay on top of fitness trying to walk further each day

  33. Pack I’m looking for some info on treadle sewing machinies. My DW has one but it’s missing the belt. Would also like to get some additional parts for just in case. Any help would be appreciated.
    Keep the Faith

    • HomeINsteader says:

      You can order a lot of these parts off ebay, but a local sewing machine repair shop will likely have them, as well, especially belts. See my post today on the great find of a Singer with vibrant decals – didn’t buy it – don’t need it – but it looks like a great find!

    • Petticoat Prepper says:
    • TN Sam,
      I actually found the round leather sewing machine belts on ebay. There were loads of listings for them. I got the roll that comes with the big staples to make your own belts. I have looked for sewing machine needles at “normal” stores; but, they all seem to be shorter than the one that was in the machine when I bought it. I will have to check elsewhere for extras of those as well. Good luck in your search for parts. If you find a wonderful source, please let the pack know. It sounds like there are several of us with treadle machines.

  34. Greetings to the Pack!

    This week was steady for us. Some personal issues, but nothing to complain about.

    Finished the reloading component inventory this weekend. Go a good/better idea on what to look for at the upcoming gun shows.

    Some of the items I had on order came in:
    12 x Merlin wool blend socks
    1 x padded oversized ammo can (NVG case)
    5 books from Amazon (3 fiction, 2 non)

    Went in to get my implant finished at the dentist. The crown didn’t fit so, took a new mold and wait another 3+ weeks. Got a little farther on our prescription med stockpile. Plus I’ve reduced my insulin requirement by about a third with the new diet. Only lost 5 lbs but that will come off once the meds are stable.

    Picked up a few food items that were on sale in stores or on line:
    3 x 1 lb cans of Hot Choc Mix
    4 x bags of Bear Creek soup mix
    1 x case of 72 cans of Bega Cheese
    2 x cans of Red Feather Butter
    25 x MRE deserts

    Silver finished the week under $30/oz but ran out of cash to convert (but then isn’t that the usual story).

    The news outlets are starting to report a reversal in anti-Christian actions. I seem to remember a case FOR keeping the 10 commandments posted outside a government building. Guess we’ll see what this week will bring.

  35. Tactical G-Ma says:

    Hey Pack,
    Sounds like some of us had better weeks than others. But praise the Lord for the many blessings we do have. You are always in my prayers.
    M.D., sounds like you got a head start on spring. I am interested in your new rabbit hutch. Look forward to the pics.
    Well we got over 8 inches of rain this week and then woke up to freezing temps this morning. But did get plants covered or into the green house.
    All my seedlings are started in peat cups for the spring garden. Will plant the direct sow in a couple weeks.
    Got all the stuff I ordered the week before: seeds, (2) 5′ hazelnut trees, the book Medicinal Plants of the Southern Appalachians.
    Restocked staples and papergoods from Sams and local grocers, baked a few loaves of bread, picked up some jars and bottles from Goodwill.
    I ordered M.D.’s CD. Not much else but routine stuff. I was busy all week but doesn’t seem like I got a lot done.
    Well everybody take care, God Bless, and keep prepping.

  36. HomeINsteader says:


    Picked up a perfectly-seasoned, beautiful “Made in USA” 12-inch cast iron dutch oven. No, the real thing. 3 legs, coal-cookin’ lid, solid bail, the whole 9 yards – for a mere $35!!! SCORE!

    Hauled out the Dutch Oven cookbook and gettin’ busy.

    We were talking about pedestal sewing machines here recently (original, people-powered sewing machines). Came across a BEAUTY in a 2nd hand shop – Singer with vibrant decals and a perfectly-good cabinet; only thing missing was bobbin cover, as far as I could tell. $200!!! If you’re in South/Central MS and you need to know where, email me: [email protected] and put “Singer” in message line.

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Good score on the Dutch oven, Home. I love cooking with cast iron above anything else, and have gathered as much as possible over the years. Nothing makes better cornbread, or fries anything as good.
      Now, If I could only sew! LOL. Have a great week.

    • BlueCaribDreams says:


      I need to shop where you do. Can’t beat that price for Dutch Oven. Although that “people-power” singer is something I’m looking for, I will have to sleep on it. I figure it would be around $150 – $180 in gas round trip to that area. Add that onto the price tag and WOW!!!


  37. Honeyville is having a sale Feb. 18 through the 22nd. 10% off – use Coupon Code: ORGANIC

    I put together a Get Home bag for my 23 year old son. He thinks I’m nuts but I asked him to humor me, so he did. The bag is in his car. It gives me a little peace of mind.

    Picked up a few extra items at the grocery store on sale.

    Trying to start some seeds for the garden. So far only have a couple peas sprouting.

    That’s about it. Take care all.

  38. I have a gun question. At the gun show yesterday we were looking at an AR-15. I saw the size of the .223, which didn’t look to be significantly bigger than a .22lr. Give that the AR is going for $2,000 and the fact that you can pick up a 10 22 for a lot less, why are people so interested in the AR? More precisely, what advantage does the AR give over the Ruger 10 22? And, do you think this advantage warrants the extra expense–given that you can buy half a dozen .22lr for one AR?

    • Bam Bam,

      The .223 is a lot more powerful than the .22LR the actual projectile is only slightly larger in size and weight but the .223 travels at over 3,500 fps with a muzzle energy of around 1,495 while the .22 LR hyper velocity rounds travel at around 1,500 fps and 165fps muzzle energy, depending on the rounds being used.

      Consider a 9mm carbine such as the Kel Tec 9mm carbine – would be a good choice with that Glock 19 because they will both use the Glock 17 magazines.

      • The Hi-Point Parabellum 9mm carbine is inexpensive ($259) and got good reviews. I have an ex-Marine friend who has one and likes it. Their 9mm pistol is really large for something that only holds 7 rounds in its mag. It’s bigger than a Glock. But it’s way cheap as guns go. Just not a great conceal weapon, cause it’s so big, but on a budget if you needed something, it’s a third the price of a Glock.

    • And if you want to take it a step further… Look at the 22-250. It uses the same projectile as the .223 but has a LOT more powder behind it. Thus more knockdown power and it will shoot a lot farther than a .223

      The 22LR, .223, and 22-250 all have their place. The 22LR is good for small game like squirrels/rabbits. The .223 (AR15) is good for people sized targets (thus the military using it). And the 22-250 can be used for deer hunting or for a sniper type platform for shooting targets out to around 600-700 yards.

      • Thank you for the answers to the gun questions, M.D. and SW.

      • My dil has a 243 and I like that round. Bigger then the nwo and 22/250.

      • SW
        The military uses NATO 5.56mm rounds which are just a tad bit different than a .223, although their ballistics are the same. The NATO brass is 1/16 of an inch longer than the .223.
        If you buy a .223 I would recommend selecting a weapon bored to WYLDE (basically the NATO bore) so you can shoot both the NATO and .223. I would not recommend shooting the NATO round from a .223 bore. Since the NATO round is longer it builds up more pressure in the barrel and has caused issues.

    • Bam Bam
      A very good round to have is the .17 HMR. It’s a BAD ASSED round!! Jay Paul (Swamp People) uses one. They’re good out to about 120 yards. They shoot farther and hit harder than a .22. I’ve also noticed boxes of .17 cal ammo on the shelves at Wally World. I use a Savage model 93 (same as Jay Paul’s) and so far the biggest game I’ve brought down with it was a full grown bobcat at 50 yards. Jay Paul kills gators in open water!!
      A good .22 is accurate out to about 75 yards but already has significant bullet drop. I think at 100 yards the bullet drop is about 5 inches.
      I use hollowpoint ammo in mine, but typically try for a head shot. I shot the bobcat in the left eye and there was no exit wound damage.
      I placed a nice little 3×9 scope on her (yea, I name my guns in the feminine) and dialed it in to 1″ high at 100 yards. I would have devalued a 50 cent piece 8 out of 10 times.
      I would also recommend the .223 (WYLDE bore) from Tikka. I traded a .30-06 for mine. Lemme tell you!! This bolt action rifle is very well made. It’s gotten some rave reviews. It ain’t as expensive as the AR Bushmaster, but for accuracy..I throw rocks at the AR. Check them out http://www.berettausa.com/products/tikka-t3-lite/
      Oh, and while I’m in a writing mood I have a suggestion for the Pack… create a computer spreadsheet that lists your possessions along with the serial numbers. Take (a) digital picture(s) of those possessions and link them in the spreadsheet. Place all this data on a thumbdrive and secure it! You can also scan important documents (birth certificates, pictures…) to the thumbdrive(s). If you can’t replace a destroyed/damaged document, at least you can reproduce it.

  39. And one more question, given that the AR takes a NATO round (non-lethal), wouldn’t a Remmington 870 loaded with 00 buck be more effective than an AR?

    (I think I am trying to figure out what all the hoopla is about the AR.)

    • Bam Bam,

      The 5.56 / .223 is very lethal but no more than most other center fire rifle rounds and less “powerful” than many rounds that are used for deer hunting such as the .30-30 and 30.06. As for the 12 gauge with 00 buck it depends on the distance under 35 yards (most shooting are under 10 yards) the shotgun wins. Past that the AR wins – I have a Mossberg 590 in the corner by my bed the other is in the safe so that should tell you which I think is a better choice for home defense…

      btw: I don’t have any kids to worry about getting hold of the shotgun if children were in the house it would be secured…

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Bam Bam, I don’t claim to be an expert, but my preference for shotgun shells for defense is #4 buckshot, not 00. As for the 5.56 NATO, it’s a high-velocity round that is very flat-shooting over distance. It has enough velocity to cause a condition called hydrostatic shock, which is not something that most shotguns or handguns do. As far as short range is concerned, nothing will beat the shotgun, although it can be a bit unwieldly in tight circumstances. My preference for a day-to-day carry is a Glock 19, but I have a Glock 36 in a holster hooked to my bed. And a Remington 870 in my bedroom closet. Wow, I think I got carried away, sorry about that, Bam Bam.

      • A hacksaw can turn any unwieldy, old pump shotgun into a dream home defense weapon. Any three inch load from #4 on up will clear a room in short order. Hack off that buttstock into a pistol grip and shoot from the hip. Take it out and pump a few down downrange to get to know your newest, bestest buddy. Even if there are multiple targets, after the first blast and rack the rest of the morons will leave their buddy on the ground and run. There’s just something about a smoking shotgun that morons don’t like 🙂

    • BlueCaribDreams says:

      Bam Bam,

      Here is my little 2 cents… NATO does not mean Non-Lethal. I “used-to-own-one-before-my-boating-accident” own an AR-15 and absolutely love it. I use it foreverything from squirrel (head shot) to deer. I also use it as a home defense weapon (time and training in the USARMY helped). I have been considering purchasing one as an investment due to the possible AWB.

      Due to its short length, available power, accuracy, and ease of maintenance, and reliability… I recommend the AR-15!

      Ok, I’m done now.


      • BlueCaribDreams says:

        Ok, I’m not done yet. I forgot to say… I recommend the AR-15 only IF someone can afford it and the ammo. I personally keep a few 22lr’s handy. They are much cheaper to own and shoot.

        In a major SHTF event, my 22’s will get more action (meat gathering) while my AR-15 will be protecting me and my home (zombies).

        Ok, NOW I’m done.


    • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

      Bam Bam, the “hoopla” over the AR is that the gun grabbers think of the AR and weapons like it as the “killer” in mass shooting incidents such as what happened in CT a couple of months ago. The killer was the trigger puller, not the firearm, but the gun grabbers dont want facts to get in the way of their arguments that no one should own these “lethal” weapons (if it isnt lethal, it shouldnt be called a weapon). A lot of the hype is about the “military” features that an AR has…particularly the ability to hold a magazine that can hold more than a few bullets. I am no weapons expert, but did 20+ years in the Army and fired more than a few rounds from various weapons both before and during my service. Lethality is in the eye of the aimer and in the brain that decides to pull that trigger. Hope that answers your question about the “hoopla” surrounding the AR.

      • Hey AZ,
        I believe the powers that be indicated the Bushmaster wasnt even used at Sandy Hook. Yet again, let’s not let our benevolent. loving politicians let go a good crisis and speak truthfully that which they know.

  40. I have a question or more like asking opinions. For how many people do you prep? Just the people in you home? Extended family? Friends? Neighbors? I live with my son and his family but the Momna in me feels like i should be prepping for my three grown girls and their families. I talk to them about prepping some are on board but i feel they are not working fast enough. Oh! Going to look at a BOL tomorrow. Very excited. Hope it works out. For anyone who has a BOL, are you thinking about what to do for electricity? I have solar panels on my home but the company didn’t tell me they wouldn’t work if the lights went out. (they are tied into the grid) . Was thinking about installing my own with some help from my kids. I’m still kind of a newbie when it comes to prepping and i feel like i think about it a lot. I guess it’s better than not thinking about at all. Thanks for you’re help and hope you all have a blessed week.

    • NanaBlue;
      You prepare for you first, then for family you live with. In your case you son and his family, then work out from there…now here is the big “if” you can afford it. Since you will doing it for those whom you live with, the daughter in law might assist when you explain that it just putting a few extra groceries away for the family should an emergency arise. Use what ever happens in your area to be prepare for it will help get them on board for the future. Use the same tactic with your daughters and their families. Take the kids to yard sales, give each a list of what you are looking for, make it fun, and maybe the daughters and daughter in law will see the wisdom, if not you and the grand kids will have a good time(treasure hunting)

      2) Extended family should be taking care of themselves, you can only advise them, and assist with knowledge that you have or learned recently. It will be hard but remember tough love.
      3) Friends & Neighbors; They are adults, time to treat them that way. Tough, yes, but we all learned that the best lesson growing up. You had to pull up your own boot straps, and so should they.
      Would you be willing to let your family go hungry to feed the neighbors–friends? Life if is a bowl of cherries, yes they come pits!
      4) If you are facing the turtle and the rabbit situation you are not alone, let them come on board at their speed or they will resent you, or ignore you all together. Better for a slow member coming along then one that pretending they hear you.
      5) Make sure you purchase the inverter that does not have to be tied to the grid, like you we had the same thing happen to us. If the power goes out we are in the dark unless we power up the generator.
      Just remember we were all newbies at some point in our life. Like you we listened, read, asked questions, the only dumb question is the one not asked. So read, ask and like us learn, I have been doing this since I was little, I am still learning many many years later. Just did not have the title that they give it now a days. I wish you the best of luck, have been in your shoes with siblings.

    • Nana
      My DW has a HUGE family, all very close by. We have wrestled with this very same question, but we are talking to them about teaming up to make it easier for everyone. So far it has been frustrating, to say the least.
      We have decided to go large with everything…garden, food critters and wild stuff, we’ll take care of ourselves first and then pass out what’s left. By that time we’re hoping they’ll be on their feet and listen to us next time!!!
      As far as electricity goes, I’m planning as if there it’ll be off for extended periods. I have most of the issues worked out. The biggie was hygiene. DW goes nowhere or does nothing without a shower at the end of the day. Since I got that detail worked out she’s been onboard with prepping.
      I tried telling her that in the middle ages people only bathed once or twice a year. Once in the spring and is why marriages used to occur during this season 🙂 Why is it that marriages only used to involve a bath, clean clothes and a pig for the dowry…now, geesh!!

    • I’m single, no kids, so I’ve expanded my preps to include my parents. I couldn’t afford to do it for any larger group.

      You may want to grab a few things for “trade goods”. When I picked up calcium hypochlorite for water treatment, I picked up a case — 12 lbs? 20 lbs? — which is way more than I’ll ever need. I’ve printed out a stack of papers on how to use it for water treatment, so if the SHTF I can buy some favors by helping people get drinkable water.

  41. While I am asking questions, I just thought of one more: why is it that some people alternate between 00 and 04 in their shotguns? If you are planning on using the shotgun as home defense, wouldn’t you want all rounds to be the most lethal, and so load it all with 00 buck?

    • Never heard of this before. I keep my 12ga loaded with slugs for home defense. Talk about punching a hole and I don’t have to worry about taking everything else out between me and the target.

    • Judy, another one says:

      I’m not a gunny, but having seen the hole that a quail load can make at close quarters; any shot load will work! Use what you got and can get a hold of.

    • riverrider says:

      bam, until recently many LE depts used number 4 buck. kicks less, more projectiles, spreads better. at close range, like in your house, 00 buckshot does not spread hardly at all. this is good for terminal force,but bad if you are trying to hit a moving target in the dark. also consider that once they are in your house, the shotgun has a better chance of being talen from you than a handgun, and it is harder to shoot around corners with. it is a myth that shotguns are safer for others in the house. it WILL penetrate many layers of wallboard. i suggest you go to theboxotruth and spend a few hours(thats right) checking out all the myths and legends those two old gunnies debunk. don’t forget to check the sandsothruth while you’re there. frankly i see ak47s and ak ammo coming back to the market faster than ars. if i had to start over now, i think i’d go that way. jm2c.

      • It also makes a difference if you get long brass or short brass as far as recoil. All I shoot is the long brass (more powder, more punch). Short brass is about 1/4″ long and I guess the big brass is somewhere between 1/2 and 3/4″ long.

  42. Rider of Rohan says:

    Ready Made Resources has a big sale on MH freeze-dried food and I ordered 4 buckets for emergency use, 1 case of chicken and rice, and one case of rice. Spent a little money, but it will be worth it when my kids show up.
    I also lucked out this week and was able to buy .22lr cartridges. One local store had 4 bricks, and I made a trip to a Gander Mountain store, took a number and waited 4 hrs. and got 2 CCI ammo cans. SCORE!
    I also continued rotating my supplies, and swapped out 2 jars of peanut butter and 1 of coffee. I also bought 6 cans of Folgers coffee for $6.99 ea., and ordered a case of green coffee beans from Camping Survival. My wife’s grandmother gave us an old coffee grinder, so I’m anxious to use it. Gotta learn to roast coffee as well. I also finished filling up a 2 lb. coffee can with lint, and added a fire steel to the can and taped it shut.
    That’s about all I can remember, have a great week, everyone.

  43. Hi y’all,
    We are finally over the flu and the brain cells have started working, again (minimally). This week, we got rid of the television and the dish. It was taking up too much time; and, not providing enough mindless entertainment for the price we were paying.

    I made a trip to the thrift store and got a few cheap clothes that are Several sizes too large. My goal is to Look like I have lost a LOT of weight, when everyone else does, after it hits the fan. I am also saving my oldest, nastiest gardening shoes “for effect”. For about six bucks and a hound dog expression, I can look as poor and pitiful as the next zombie if it becomes necessary.

    That has been about the highlight of the past couple of weeks.

  44. Judy, another one says:

    Hubby and I were in the local grocery store; tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and jalapeño were all on sale. Salsa! I found this recipe which is the closest to what my family likes minus the black pepper. http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_salsa/chile_salsa.html

    5 lbs tomatoes (as purchased)
    2 lbs chile peppers (as purchased)
    1 lb onions (as purchased)
    1 cup vinegar (5 percent)
    3 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper

    I use a combination of bell and jalapeño. I also add 3-4 cloves of garlic and we needed 1 TBSP of sugar to cut the vinegar taste. Then I water-bath canned it for 20 minutes because we are over 1000 feet. This recipe minus the vinegar dehydrates quite well. Use about 1/4 cup of the crumbled bark in about 3/4 cup of hot water to rehydrate and let set for about 20 minutes before enjoying.

    The extra bell peppers and tomatoes I had left-over I dehydrated for soups and casseroles. The left-over jalapeños were pickled in half-pints with these two recipes.

    2 1/2 LBS of jalapeños sliced
    6 cups of white vinegar (I used half white/half cider for a more mellow flavor.)
    1 TBSP salt
    Pack your jars with pepper slices. Boil the vinegar and salt; pour over pepper, seal jars and process for 10 minutes.
    NOTE: I added a half clove of garlic and a quarter of a tsp of mustard seed to each jar before sealing them up. I also processed them for 15 minutes because we are over 1000 feet.

    1 1/4 c. honey
    2 1/2 lb Jalapeños
    5 cups cider vinegar
    Boil honey and vinegar together. Wash jalapeños; slice in halves or cut rings. Remove seed (I didn’t). Pack into sterilized jars; cover with hot syrup; seal. I also processed this batch for 15 minutes in my water-bath canner.

    Like a dumbie, I forgot to make note where I got these recipes; although on the second one, she said, she originally got it from Cooks.com.

    Yup! #2 is from Cooks.com http://www.cooks.com/rec/doc/0,1636,152173-228198,00.html. With some re-searching I found the first one http://www.gettingfreedom.net/canning-jalapenos/. Okay, I feel better now, I gave credit where credit was due!

    That’s about it for us this week. I will be writing up my bean experiments and send them into M.D. to publish if he wishes to.

    Everybody have a blessed week!

  45. OregonMike says:

    Hi Pack,
    Getting ready for a shipment of 12 chicks this month. Buff Orpingtons (favorite), Morans and Delawares we will have for the first time. Replaced straw in the coop with sand so cleaning will be like raking a kitty litter box.
    Some inside seeds have sprouted and outgrown the height of the seed case top which is 8″ tall. They love the heat from the brooder lamp.
    Still clearing oak, madrone and pine trying to make a space big enough for new fruit trees to receive sufficient sun.
    Good luck to all this coming week and hope to read of new jobs and great health next week.

    • who did you order your bird thru and to they sell golden laced wyndottes?

      • OregonMike says:

        I ordered the chicks from my local Grange. Yes, they had Wyndottes already in. I don’t they ship chicks and they have multiple suppliers. The best way to find the breed is to find what local businesses sell chicks and have them check their suppliers. Then when they come in they’ll just call you to come pick ’em up. This will be my first experience with young chicks (so to speak).

        • Yeah… I got my first batch thru TSC but the next year they didn’t have the breed. Found some online from a reputable hatchery but man they are lots more expensive than what I paid for them. My GLW rooster is so mellow whereas my Leghorn will tear you up. Gonna be getting rid of the white birds and stick with my laid back Golden Laced Wyndottes. I know the Silver Laced is cheaper but I don’t know about their temperment.

  46. Hi Pack,
    I am new to this site for posting, have been lurking (reading and learning) for a few months. We have been preparing for a few years, but not in earnest, till end of 2011. We have acquired a BOL last summer and working on improving it. The land had been logged and left with lots of stumps and tree tops. It is looking better after over 100 stumps & tree tops have been removed. It is hilly (steep) with a very shallow stream, 10 acres, It is also rocky, but I still have high hopes of a garden in a flat area around 1/3 to 1/2 acre. with lots of sunlight.
    We have planted some blueberries, 2 north star cherry trees, 3 apple (all dwarf, golden delicious., black arkansas,, and a jonathan. also 3-4 peach, 2 pear, 1 persimmon.
    So, it takes me forever to post something. Writing is not my strong suit. So, I meant to post last week for prepping , now I have 2 weeks worth.
    1. Info. Ordered MD’s TEOTHAWKI CD. Thank you MD for offering it again.
    DH, DS, and I watched bctrucks signaling device video – thanks bc,
    also DH watched how to make a shotgun by bctruck – thanks again!
    will watch chicken coop video later.
    2. Purchased the pressure canner- the one MD rec. (I had ordered the canner before you added the Amazon credit button sorry MD)
    bought some canned chicken at Sam”s. Previously purchased the 3 pack of merino wool socks for $15.00, great price for wool socks. You can also get them online if you don’t have a Sam’s near you. The men’s med. fits ladies. Bought 4 packs of 3each.
    3. Mylar packaged the 25lbs of hard red spring wheat (Great River Organic Milling Co. Amazon) My son helped. It was the first time we mylar packaged anything. The seal and O2 worked great! Yea!
    Second week.
    1. Info. reviewed how to make hobo stoves online. reviewed Gazeteer maps will purchase a 5 state set to learn and include in BOB $75 for 5 state set. Read how to make tinctures in Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs. will put on list to purchase alcohol to make them. Reviewed Keystone and Pleasant Hill canned meat. Until I learn how to use the pressure canner, will get a case of canned meat to try with my canned meal recipes from 100-day pantry by Jan Jackson.
    Have a Sawyer Water Filter, will review the BIg Berkey, so you know 3 is 2, 2 is 1, and 1 is zero. Want a back up water system.
    3. DS and I mylar packaged into 1 gallon mylars, 42 lbs of oat groats, and 25 lbs of rice. Wheee – it’s getting faster.
    DS Installed the special that MD offered for the VPN on my husband’s computer. Thanks MD, we used the link, hope that you got credit, also more of the pack should take advantage of the increased computer security.
    Questions for the Pack.
    Kate from Ga – My wonderful DH has grown 6- 7 orange trees from seeds, they are 4 years old now. Will they produce oranges in a couple of years or are they like the lemons you mentioned earlier, and never produce fruit?
    Bam Bam What is the online site to purchase the cases of oats from the LDS?
    MD – You mentioned that you got some hazelnut trees. Are you growing them as a hedge or a perimeter for your property? What type of fencing are you using for your property? Suggestions?
    Thank you,

    • Alittle2late says:

      Don’t underestimate your hilly land.get your self a copy of Sepp Holzer’s book titled Permaculture. lots and lots of great ideas on how to terrace the land and use existing landscape to your growing advantage.

      • HomeINsteader says:

        Absolutely! His website is: http://www.permies.com/t/21783/tnk/upcoming-kickstarter-connecting-networks

        and most of his permaculture work can be found here; but a copy of the book would be a very good idea, for when SHTF.

        • HomeINsteader,
          Thank you for the website. You are always so helpful and have lots of good info.

      • Alittle2late,
        Thanks for the suggestion, I will check out the book. The fruit trees that we planted are on the hillside, south facing, and kind of terraced. We had to build up and rock up the downside of the trees. We eventually want a chicken coop and a barn/shed/storeall unit. Also, grape vines.

        • Hannah
          Goats love rocky steep hillsides facing South. A feller close by has goats on his flat property, but he has huge rocks jutting up from the earth. Those goats spend a LOT of time on those rocks. His property is mowed right down to the ground because they eat everything and they fertilize the ground while doing it. Goats can be trained to pull a small wagon for your tools or seeds to get down to your terraced landscape. Good luck!!

  47. Rob in Ontario says:

    Hello cubby’s not much done around here lately, did go on a winter eatable nature walk yesterday was nice to see so many out to learn what plants -fungus and lichen are survival food— wasn’t to bad of a day out but to see so many people leave before the end was re-enforeced that so many will buckle when things happen. Also picked up a Peggy Layton book “Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook”

    • Great to meet you and look forward to buying you a coffee in the future as well 🙂

      Yes.. they can not even dress warmly up here, the city dwellers have no clue! Sad state of a fares which addresses the question what would happen in winter if a SHFT event!

      • That really bites that they left early. So many people don’t wear coats to the store in a blizzard! If they slide off the road they would freeze to death. They don’t wear proper shoes, or have any supplies in their vehicles.
        They would not even think to look at Natural Resources as food. If they did they would probably get sick.
        Simple. They would die.
        I always laugh out loud when people tell my they are heading for the hills if SHTF.
        #1 They would heading right back down in 24 hours even in the summer.
        #2 They would not make it up in the winter, with 12 or more feet of snow.
        Someone once told me that they built a snow cave and camped there overnight. They had a stove, nice sleeping bags and lots of booze and food. I do that with my Girl Scouts.(minus the booze)
        If they had to survive without the beer, brats and rice crispy treats they would be in for world of hurt.
        The Native American children I work with have no idea what the native plants are. The knowledge is lost.

  48. Hello Wolfpack! MD, I understand your unhappiness with 19 degrees! That IS cold! We had a spot of that earlier, but lately the coldest in the region is in the low 30s.

    This week. I got back on budget and back on what to do and when via my calendar project. I bought the Skouson, relocation book. Also picked up several bundles of sandbag bags for nearly nothing. Took two loads of non perishables up to the bol. There is now a years supply of toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, bath soap, dish soap, shampoo and conditioners, light bulbs, batteries, plastics spoons, forks and knives, laundry soap, bleach and bleach substitutes, laundry softener, etc for 6 people.

    In the meantime, the nephew and bil dug a “a just in case latrine” out behind the metal shop building. It has a crescent moon carved in the door & has a sliding wooden lock on it. And has shelves in it for reading material, extra tp, some lye, a lantern with extra lamp oil, matches in a tin box. They created a toilet paper holder using an old paint roller handle…….it holds two rolls on it. Didn’t know this was in the plans so it was a surprise. They were very proud of themselves. Not needed at the present time, but it was a good “just in case” idea and it is done except for putting some metal roofing on it over the plywood. Oh I almost forgot, just over the door on the inside, they created a holder for a shotgun out of a couple of old rakes that they found at the dump…they are the old metal kind, so they cut off the handles, turned them upside down, bolted them to the wall and put the shotgun up there. I suggested they needed to put a do not disturb sign somewhere on the outside. Sometime the two of them make me grin!

    The cabinets that I ordered for the metal shop building are coming in this next week so the guys will be down tomorrow to rent a truck and move them up. BIL is buying a gun safe sometime this week as well.
    We are also going to turn over the garden if the weather cooperates. There is some maintenance needed to the fencing and a break in the electrical wire fencing in one place that they will attend to while here. It is always something.

    There was a neighborhood meeting this week regarding the “odd couple” that is suing the rest of us. We have contacted an atty. We lucked out because he is apparently one that has never lost a case against the one that they have used to sue us. Two neighbors have gone out and bought very small video cameras and have set up a plan to watch him a bit when he is out working. Not sure how that part of this will turn out. However, our atty says that the case is definitely frivolous and there isn’t a judge in the area that will let it go far. Ya gotta wonder whether some people will ever understand that there are consequences to some of the fights they start, we will see.

    As per the news and what MD has been posting here, I continue to see the long slow decline of our country financially and an even bigger decline in our constitutional rights. Keep prepping folks, time is getting shorter. Also take a long hard look at the how the end came for that character in So Cal. Not saying he was right or a good person, but look at the tactics used, look at the mistakes LE made, look how trigger happy they got with the public, remember and take no chances. Back to my comments on the normalcy bias, “it aint normal no more”

    • mountain lady says:

      Sounds like some good news on the lawsuit. I also wonder about the guy in SOCAL, Me thinks he knew too much. Do you really believe the LAPD does not have a bit of corruption in there! I love hearing about your BOL.

      • Thanks Mountain lady. I don’t know enuf to call it corruption, but I do enuf because of the random shootings of vehicles that did not look like the suspect’s truck to believe that some officers need more training. I also believe what I heard from the news folks that heard officers at the scene of the cabin were telling each other to burn the place down. I understand the moment was such and some “brothers in arms” were killed, but that kind of emotion let lose and out of control, could be a situation that other people could experience if we have serious problems here in this country. And having said that, I think it is worth thinking about those reactions that were shown and try to learn from them to take care of ourselves in the future.

        Yes, we are all feeling a bit better about the lawsuit. It is the nuisance of it all that has depressed us and the fact that there are folks in their age bracket (40;s) that still think they deserve something for nothing.

        • Worrisome,

          I listed to the tape of the officers saying “burn it down, burn that f. . cking thing down, burn it down”. This was clearly audible. Having listened to the recording, there is no doubt that at least one of the officers on the scene wanted to burn the suspect out rather than grant him his constitutional right to a trial.

        • Encourager says:

          What really scares me is the way the officers were so out of control. Where was their training? Shooting at cars that kinda looked like the fugitives…seriously? So little self control? Yes, I understand that fellow officers were killed, I get that. But that does not give them license to kill and shoot at anything they feel like. I am wondering if this is just SOCAL or is it widespread. I have seen too many videos, like the officer that shot that man in his yard what, 30 times? Never gave him a chance to surrender or even speak. Just blew him away.

          In a SHTF scenario…one thing it seems we can’t count on is protection from the folks in Blue…I, for one, will be staying far, far away from them. They cannot be trusted and that is so sad. I was raised that a police officer was who you ran to if you were in danger. Now they are the danger.

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            Pack, Enc,et al,
            I have heard over and over again that police are not trained to protect us. They are trained to protect themselves and LE. It is our misassumption that they will rescue us. They are just trying to hold back the hoardes and survive.
            Citizens must be proactive and avoid both the criminals and LE cause they frequently shoot first if they feel threatened.

  49. KendiRaeBee says:

    I started to put together my survival binder. Now need to figure out where to hide in the house and have it easily accessible. Working on seed order now. We are in the process of moving so I haven’t been stocking up on supplies here recently. 🙁

    • HomeINsteader says:

      You could try hiding it in plain sight. I have several – I download and print recipes all the time; I place them down in plastic protective sleeves, and file them according to “type” of recipe; I have then clogging up a bookshelf in my kitchen, along with all my other “cookbooks”, most of which – are cookbooks. Mark one “Casseroles and Soups”, or, “Miscellaneous Recipes”, or, something that won’t get much attention. Use it for your prep binder. Just a thought.

  50. Alittle2late says:

    Bad week for vehicles here. Had to replace the front hub on my truck, bearings went bad. So I changed both sides just to be safe. keeping the still serviceable one as a spare.
    So all prepping funds went into the truck this week and next week and probably the following week too.
    But on the positive side I may have found a potential MRS. 2late.

    • Thanks for your previous post to my post regarding hilly land, and congrats on finding a MRS. 2late.

    • Encourager says:

      A potential Mrs. 2late? Good prepping! Hope it all turns out like you want it to!!

  51. ozhillbilly says:

    Hi friends. My prepping this week has been limited due to spending time getting paperwork ready to go see the tax guy tomorrow. Don’t want to go but don’t need the government knocking on my door either. I also listed a vintage car on eBay. I like the old car but it’s time to let someone else enjoy it. I plan on replacing it with a more reliable pre computer model. Suggestions are welcome. On the fun side I started a homemade forge project. I saw a YouTube video recently of a fellow making one out of a large truck brake drum. The next day I started scrounging parts. It’s coming together nicely. I hope to have it done this week. Now I just have to figure out how to sneak my wife’s hairdryer out of the house without her noticing it. I plan on using it for the blower on the forge.

    On an encouraging note; I talked to a neighbor, a couple of doors to my east, yesterday and the subject of prepping came up. His son works security at our local gun show and I always greet him when I see him. Apparently he and his father (my neighbor) discuss this stuff so he knows my interests. Seems he is starting to see the writing on the wall and is starting to prep himself. At least it seems he is. He mentioned his first project is building a rocket stove out of an ammo can. I immediately came home and fetched him a 1500 round 7.62 can and donated it to his project. He also asked for suggestions about long term food storage, etc. Folks as much as I’ve knocked my head against the wall trying to discuss this stuff with people, this is real encouraging. Also, my wife told me our neighbor immediately to our west told her that they just purchased $500.00 worth of ammunition. Hee Haw, life is good!

  52. MENTALMATT says:

    What up pack! Picked up a gun safe today as it has really been overdue. I didnt get a fire proof one as I figure all the extra money and it will only last for 30 minutes in extream heat. Not to mention it killed me and my buddy hauling this thing into my house and upstairs, the insulated ones way a ton more. Any thoughts? I was able to pick up 5 30 round mags for $20.00 apiece, lucky deal, I dont think I will see that again… A few cans of Keystone turkey meat… Thats all

  53. Pretty cold here, too…I’m looking forward to Spring! This week, I added a few cans of fruit, 5 cans of crushed tomatoes, and added to my supply of feminine products. Bought ingredients to make vegetable soup for pressure canning this week. OH! I snagged three food grade buckets for FREE from Chick-fil-A this week…need to air them out a bit to get rid of the pickle smell (although I don’t mind it). Apparently, they throw them out every day! God bless you all..have a great week!

    • HomeINsteader says:

      U2, I’ve had a real challenge with the dill pickle buckets, as well. I finally just left mine outdoors, let them fill with rainwater, and left them sitting for several days, as nothing else actually removed the dill pickle odor. Being a severe asthmatic, all odors are problematic. So, free is good – but that dill pickle odor? Not so much.

      • I have been snagging free 5 gallon pickle buckets from a local restaurant; and, have decided that the best thing so far is to put charcoal briquettes in them and put the lid on tight for a few days. It has done surprisingly well at removing the pickle sting. The latest thing I have tried is filling it with fresh cat litter. Keeps the litter dry: and, I will check in a couple of days to see how good it is at odor control. I also have a problem with strong smells aggravating my asthma.

    • U2redneck, we had luck getting rid of the pickle smell by washing the buckets in very hot water with lots of soap and some bleach. Let it sit full of that solution over night then rinse well, dry the bucket well and stuff full of newspapers and seal. Leave it for a few days or even a week. It was amazing how well it worked!

  54. We’ve had a pretty busy week here. I spent all week studying for my Ham radio technician’s license. I passed that test Saturday! So excited. Can’t wait to get my call sign within a few days.My DH took his test last month and passed. Next month we will both test for our General license. There is only a handful of local Ham operators, but they have been so helpful in getting us started! In the last few days we have been given a CB base station, 2 car mount CB units, a tripod for the antennae, a 6 meter radio, a power supply, 100 ft of RG-213 coax, adapters for our hand talkies, and lots of info! My DH and I both have the Baofeng UV-5R Dual Band portable radios. We ordered the extended batteries for them. My DH has been working on getting all of the different types of antennae mounted on the roof. He’s also mounting our solar panel while he’s up there. However, we may not be able to leave it up there for very long. This past week our wonderful City Inspector tried to make a man remove his solar panels. He told him to either get on city power or get out of town. He is now working on getting a city ordinance passed so that we cannot use solar power. We will be at that City meeting to protest.

    Today, we slaughtered our first chicken. It took team work from our whole family. My DH chopped the roosters head off, my oldest son plucked the feathers, and I gutted and cleaned him. I was really proud of us. This may not be a big deal for most of ya’ll, but we’ve NEVER been exposed to it, and it was a learning experience. I didn’t really feel any remorse over killing the rooster i’ve raised for the last year cuz he was meaner than a hornet. He’s left so many knots and bruises on me I lost count. Tomorrow, roasted chicken for dinner!

    I’ve been making homemade Artisan bread. It is so easy and so wonderful. I found the recipe and instructions on Mother Earth News: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/Artisan-Bread-In-Five-Minutes-A-Day.aspx#axzz2LCyHmIEw
    I just love how this dough stays good in the frig for up to 2 weeks. You just pull out the amount you need, let it rise 40 minutes, bake 30 minutes, and viola! And NO kneading! Tonight I used it to make homemade buns for our pulled pork sandwiches!

    Received a dozen new pint jars from my brother. Dad gave us 35 gallons of milo for the chickens. Lookin to buy another 10 chicks but trying to decide which type of chickens I want.

    That’s about it this week. Hope everyone has a great week.

  55. For the Pack members in VA…. ya might want to give this place some business.

    Got a gun? If so, All Around Pizza and Deli will take 15 percent off your order, local news outlet WTKR NewsChannel 3 reported.

    Jay Laze, owner of the Virginia Beach, Va., shop, is offering a special pizza discount to gun owners who come in carrying a weapon or furnish their concealed carry permit.


    • Hunker-Down says:


      That business now has a buffer zone of CC customers. The bad guys will leave that business alone. I hope they get maximum publicity.

      Shop owners….are you listening?

  56. scott kittle says:

    Its pretty cold here in savannah ga but I still managed to go get some sheets of 1 inch plywood and build the window coverings for my home. I cut each one to fit and then mounted a steel grate on each one. I also built the base to my homemade generator and mounted the engine to it. My wife and I know that we cannot bug out, so we have made the decision to fortify the brick home we live in and be prepared to defend our home as best as possible. We dont live in a major city but do live in a neighborhood so home defense is vital to us.

  57. Wow, late to posting tonight. *Yawns* I spent the day today making a 55 gallon barrel drum garden planter. It took a lot longer than I expected it too, but I got the hang of the heat gun and wood wedge system eventually, lol.. The 55 gallon one is finished, and on Thursday I’ll be working on the two thirty gallon drums I bought.

    I got all three barrels from a truck driver who delivers for a Mexican restaurant. They had lime juice in them. He sold them to me for ten bucks a piece though.. I found him on craigslist, and was super excited to find them for such a deal. He had TONS of them, so I might have to go back and get a few more, next payday. .

    I’ve been diligently tending to my little seedlings. My cherry tomato plants and green onions are adorable little baby plants now. I’m still waiting for my strawberries to poke their heads up. No sign of my sweet and spicy mesclun, or the beef steak tomatoes, but I just planted those in their starter planters, so I’m sure it’ll be a little while yet. I’m still REALLY new to this gardening thing, but hopefully, as the spring marches on, I’ll get better at it. When we get a little more pocket money, I’m going to get another self-watering tray, and plant some radish.

    If anyone knows which plants you CAN NOT plant together, pretty please let me know? I’m getting conflicting reports from google, and since I’ll be planting in barrels, I don’t want my plants not getting along, lol. I’m planting cherry tomato, regular tomato, strawberries, green onions, Mesclun lettuce, radish.. and I think that’s all in the workd at the moment.

    The Sprouting has been going great. This was the first week that we got to add them to our salads and sandwiches, and we love them. I ordered more clover, radish, mustard and alfalfa, and a second four tray sprouter.. and it’s going phenomenally. I figure, even if I fall flat on my face with the OUTdoor gardening, I’ll at least have sprouts to keep me healthy(ish), lol.

    I dehydrated another batch of mango and pears, and added strawberries to the mix this week. I cut them, and dried them, and vacuum sealed them in their little jars, and my hand took one, and my MOM wanted one, and my husband wanted some, and now there isn’t any left. *Sigh* HOW am I supposed to accumulate a stash of dried fruits for my prepping pantry, if there isn’t any leftover when I’m finished? There’s ONE lone jar on my shelves from LAST week that I was able to hide away, and that’s all I’ve accomplished as far as dehydrating goes, lol.

    More doing for prepping this week, than buying. My 35th birthday, and my husband’s and my 13th wedding anniversary were both this week, so the free spending money went on a new computer for me, and a new fancy Keurig coffee pot for him.. and a nice dinner out on the town for Valentine’s Day. The second week of February is our week to celebrate and spoil each other, so we didn’t buy any preps this week. Hopefully next week, we can get back on the wagon.

    Off to read what YOU guys have been up to this week. 🙂 Take care Wolflets.

    • SCPrepperPoppa says:

      Congrats Amy on number 13! My wife and I just celebrated our 33rd Valentine’s Day ( and anniversary BTW) on a lamb farm in NC! She is finally onboard with prepping and agreed to get her CWP! I am so elated and relieved about this “normalcy bias” change of heart!
      You are doing the right thing, and sometimes, it IS hard to do the “right thing”

      • Mmmm, Michael, I can’t think of a better place to spend a 33rd Valentine’s Day than someplace with mutton chops on the menu, hehe. Happy Anniversary to you and yours!!

      • HomeINsteader says:

        Happy Anniversary, M, and Happy DW on Board!

      • Rider of Rohan says:

        Congrats on the 33rd Anniversery, SCPP. And for having your wife on board. I wish mine would do more than tolerate an old guy’s passion.

        • SCPrepperPoppa says:

          Thanks to all for the congrats! Really doesn’t seem like it should be 33 years, amazing to contemplate. Getting ready to make deer jerky out of 11-12 lbs of venison cube steak. Gonna keep that dehydrator going this week! A good week to all the Pack!

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      LOL, I blew 50 bucks on steaks and truffles, Amy, but count it well spent. This will be our anniversery number 32 in October, and I had a birthday on Valentine’s Day myself. It doesn’t hurt to take a week for building relationships as that’s awesome prepping in itself, so don’t feel bad. Have a great rest of the week.

      • Hehe.. RoR, since I started prepping, ANY money that I spend, (our steak dinner, our presents.. fixing the water heater last week, when some idiot bird decided to lay a nest and get stuck and die in the flue, *sigh* lol), EVERYTHING is weighed in prepping money terms. How much could I buy to prep with this money!? Ugh, lol. I am trying to find a nice balance between living ‘regular’ life and prepping, but with time getting short, prepping stays priority one right now.. (learning as much as buying. I know now that it’s not enough to store and stash, I have to teach myself valuable survival skills while I’m at this, thus the sprouting, the gardening.. the reading, and researching, etc). I have so far to go, but I know that I’M SO much more prepared than I was six months ago, and that is something. So when is dinner, those truffles are calling my name. :):)

    • HomeINsteader says:

      Good morning, Schametti! You might want to invest in a good gardener’s book, hard copy – you can’t go wrong with any Rodale’s book; meanwhile, there are online sites that DO give good advice on gardening based on Rodale’s (organic) gardening, for example.

      Don’t “google” – “duck” – http://www.duckduckgo.com

      Duck does not collect, sell, or give your info to the gubment; google has always done all of that.

      Here are your search parameters: Rodale companion planting

      Here’s one to get you started: http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/companion-planting

      Also, many of the better seed sites provide excellent information: Baker Creek Farms, Seed Savers Exchange, etc.

      Hope this helps.

      Happy Monday!

    • Amy, had to laugh about the disappearing dried fruit. The first time we dried apples, they were all gone in a week. We gorged on them! The next batch I was able to tuck away in the freezer behind some meat so it is still there.

      • Encourager.. omg, I’m glad it’s not just me haha.. Between the familial vultures, and my OWN addiction to the dried mango, I still just have that one lonely jar for my pantry, LOL. I’m hoping that eventually, we’ll all get tired of nomming on it, and be able to put a little back, but I’m not holding my breath, haha!!

        HOME: Thanks so much for the links, I will most definitely check those out!! I really appreciate it!

    • Schametti,

      I will be happy to give advice about companion planting. I need a few details about what you want to place together – but I will be happy to help.

      BTW, sometimes strawberry seeds are a little stubborn and take a long time to germinate. Don’t give up! Make sure they are in a sunny window.

      • Hi Kate! 😀 Thanks I’ve definitely been trying to read your replies to other folks carefully, and not get overwhelmed. This is my very first adventure in gardening, and I’m bracing myself for complete and utter failure the first time around, but hoping for the best, LOL.

        I am beginning my first season into planting with one 55 gallon drum, ( with 35 side holes, and the open top ), and two 30 gallon drums with the open top, and PROBABLY 28ish side holes. I have to say probably because I’m not doing them until Thursday night, when my stepfather comes back with his reciprocating saw, to make sure I don’t dismember myself, LOL.

        On my kitchen table right now, I have.. five spicy mesclun plants, five sweet mesclun plants.. about 20 cherry tomato plants, (way more than I need, I know, lol), and about ten green onion plants, all already popping through their germination stations…. Planted, but NOT sprouting yet.. are a few beefsteak tomato plants, a few radish plants, and several strawberry plants.. of at least a couple different types.. Alpine and Wonder, or something like that.. no sign of them, and I planted them first, and with the most excitement, isn’t that always the way it goes.. lol. I read a little bit about their stubborness. I’m keeping their soil very moist, but not wet.. and they’re in a very sunny kitchen, (on my table, but just two feet from the giant window), so I’m hoping they’ll make an appearance.. at some point. I HAVE cucumber and sweet corn seeds, but have no planted them yet, because, I’m not too sure they’ll container appropriate, so they might not get planted. But that’s what I have going so far.. I would like to plant some more radish, and probabaly some more green onion and mesclun when I am able to get another starter set.

        • HomeINsteader says:

          Some varieties of corn transplant just fine, and others will not survive the transplant. Might want to check with your seed provider as to which variety you have and whether it will transplant well. Cukes will be just fine.

          • My brother transplanted Golden Bantam when we were kids. My mom kept telling him it wouldn’t work but he did it anyway and it grew really well.

      • Hey Kate.. when/if you come back to reply, (or someone who might know), I have another question.. I just harvested my first bit of wheatgrass, that I sprouted in my sprouter, (a rough draft, so to speak, before I tried planting it in thin soil, like it recommended on the bag of seed), well we just ate the first batch in a salad, and it looked great and tasted great, sweet, and crisp.. and quite nice, nothing like the horror stories that I had heard on it’s taste, lol..

        Unfortunately, within minutes of eating it, my face and scalp started tingling, and my my mouth is itchy. I did some googling and read that some people who have allergies to grasses and molds, (which I do, naturally, lol), can sometimes have a reaction to eating wheatgrass. Buuut, I also read that eating wheatgrass can relieve/cure some allergies, so now I’m confused.

        Clearly, I’m having a reaction to the wheatgrass. (I have this same reaction to mushrooms). But my QUESTION is.. Do you/someone/anyone think that if I keep eating the wheatgrass regularly.. might this reaction fade, with time>? Or am I doomed to be smacking myself in the face to relieve the tingles for the rest of my days?? LOL. If anyone has any feedback, I would be most appreciative..

        I have this large bag of hard red wheat seeds, and just put on a new large batch to soak.. so Imma be mad if I can’t eat it……

        • HomeINsteader says:

          Morning, Schametti!

          Do you have any reason to believe you have a known gluten intolerance? This COULD be a culprit, according to some things I’ve read, but, then again…wheat grass is 70% chlorophyll and has high concentrations of things like magnesium.

          I think the problem is most likely the Phytic Acid (phytates), and that means the wheat seeds need longer soaking and more rinsing. Wheat has the largest concentration of phytates; try spelt, which does not have phytates at all.It was spelt that saved the Roman legions (they carried it as food).

          Another thought: wheat seed is good for about 5 years, unless prepared for long-term storage (such as professionally done using professional-quality vacuum-pack equipment, then mylar bags and sufficient OAs). After 5 years, more or less, the seed will be rancid. Are you sure the seed was not rancid?

          Also, most seeds contain toxins ranging in concentration from “trace” to “significant” amounts of these toxins per seed; this is a defense mechanism built-in by our Creator/G-d in His wisdom, to be sure the species goes on…controlling how much gets eaten by the critters who eat them. So, if you’re directly sprouting and then eating or juicing, you’re swallowing these toxins. Thus, the need to soak for hours and rinse repeatedly in the sprouting process.

          So, the seed toxins could very well be the problem.

          If you’re going to persist in the wheat grass sprouts experiment (given your reaction), try first soaking them for several hours (not less than 8, according to some sources); pour this water off; rinse them thoroughly, and now sprout them, continuing to rinse and change out the water at least once a day. Eat only a small amount and see what happens before you eat more (crawl before walking!).

          You might want to read this:

          Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/547662-can-i-eat-wheat-grass-from-wheat-berry-sprouts/#ixzz2LRdpXGHe

          Hard red wheat is suggested as best for sprouting. I get my wheat from http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com, and it arrives ready for 25-30 year storage.

          By the way, sprouts CAN be cooked, though you will lose nutritional value when heat is applied. But the cooking does kill these toxins, if the heat is applied for at least 10 minutes of cooking time.

          You might look here for more sprouting info, as well:


          Hope this helps!

          • HI – your information triggered another thought with me on the allergic reaction – magnesium. I tried taking a magnesium supplement a while back and my face started flushing. When I quit taking the supplement, my face returned to normal. I tried it again to make sure it wasn’t something else with no luck. Looks like I have a problem with high concentrates of magnesium.

            • HomeINsteader says:

              Well, dadgum it! I had a comment in the above on magnesium…wonder what I did with it?!! Oh, well…yes, wheat grass is very high in magnesium, so, this could be the culprit, as well. Thank you for pointing that out, GA Red.

            • Tactical G-Ma says:

              GA Red,
              I took glucosamine with chondroitin and my hair fell out in handsfull. I’m allergic to chondroitin.

              • HomeINsteader says:

                Wow. First time I’ve heard this one, TGMa. You obviously had a SERIOUS reaction to the combination. Either that, or some of the other meds you take didn’t play nicely with one or both of these! Either way, glad you stopped taking them! I’m sure you look right purdy, bald, however… : )

              • Oh my! I’d be mortified if my hair fell out.

                • Tactical G-Ma says:

                  I am highly allergic to shellfish and chondroitin is made out of shrimp shells or something like that but instead of breaking out in hives my hair fell out and when I read possible side effects, it lists hair loss.

          • Heya Home! Wow, thanks for all of the info!! 🙂

            I can’t recall ever having a reaction to gluten in the past.

            The hard red wheat seed I’m using came from Handy Pantry, and isn’t old, and came in a mylar bag, prepared for long storage, but I started using it right away, so I don’t believe it’s old/bad or rancid seed.

            I followed the directions more from the sprouter tray(s), more so than the seed directions, (the first time, so I could see how it grew, and how long it took, etc). It was about two inches tall in a week, with 2-3 rinses a day, and I harvested it then, instead of letting it grow a: in dirt, and b: to it’s full 6-8 inches recommended harvesting point.

            I had PLANNED to put this second batch on a thin level of soil, like the seed directions recommend, but I was reading that apparently, when grown indoors, and on soil, you have a high risk of developing mold, and aside from my GRASS allergies, the only thing I’m MORE allergic too.. would be horses, and MOLD, lol.. so I definitely don’t want to encounter mold on top of grass.. It would probably kill me for all I know, haha. (I’m mostly kidding there, but I’m sure I would be pretty uncomfortable).

            ANYWAY.. On the batch I have going now, I soaked it for about ten hours over night, rinsed it VERY well, this afternoon, put it back on the tray, and not in dirt, like the directions recommended.. and covered it with the paper towel (for three days, starting now), like the directions said, but I’m not sure what to do after that. Like I said, I definitely don’t want to be growing mold, so maybe I won’t add it to the soil. I’m just not sure if it’ll grow to it’s full height like it’s supposed to if it just gets water rinses every day, and no soil….?? I have no idea.

            Thank You for the links, I will try and read up. I really hope the tingles and itching goes away though. I hate wasting time and money on things that don’t work out. Darn it, lol.

            • Wheat meant for planting could be treated with fertilizer and fungicides. I only use food grade seeds for sprouting.
              re: magnesium the OTC ACID blocker Omeprazole citrate, can cause a loss of magnesium, either by blocking it’s absorption or binding with byproducts. If you need take this long term consider the omeprazole magnesium variety.

  58. Bought some food and plan on selling a couple of tools for prep money.I am working more on spiritual preps then physical.looking for a good deal on a 22 and a gi spec 45.

  59. Scarecrow1989 says:

    As well, cold here too. I’ve started my cabbage plants for this spring, ordered a cherry tree, & bought some peat moss for starting other plants. One large package usually lasts me three or four years for starting plants. Also picked up a used Mossberg 500 at a local pawn shop fairly cheap – came with an extra barrel, so I may finally try to build a tactical shotgun for home defense. Picked up another 20lb bag of rice, but still have to get some buckets for putting it up.

    • HomeINsteader says:

      SCORE! on the Mossberg, Scarecrow! Good job!

    • Surviving in Ky. says:

      Scarecrow1989, I would recommend a military style safety button for the Mossberg. I’ve had one for years and recently added the new safety button. Works alot smoother than the original and is a little taller. This allows for easier grip to push it forward. In a crisis, it might make the difference. It might bag that next rabbit on the jump as well. lol You can get them at Midway USA. Great gun!

  60. Here’s a question for all of you “gunnies” out there. What kind of gun should a 73 year old female get, one who has never touched a gun before? My current defense weapons are a baseball bat at each door and a can of wasp spray at my bedside. I live alone and use a walker outside. I have no neighbors within shouting distance and no dog, but 4 “watch” cats. Whenever a strange car pulls in or someone comes to the door they scatter in four directions. I know that I’ll need lessons and hope that I can find something without a lot of kick, that I can use in an emergency without shooting off my big toe.

    • GrannyEm,

      If possible get an alarm system such as ADT installed, have good locks, with deadbolts installed. Motion lights would be good around your house and are only around $25 each at Wal-Mart. As for guns take a look at the Kel-Tec PMR-30 .22 Magnum Pistol it’s light weight, low recoil, has a 30 round magazine and will put a good hole in an intruder.

      • I agree w/M.D.

        First you secure your house, then a way to call for help. Then a gun. The PMR should cost you under $450. But they are a little hard to come by. If you end up going with a 22 LR, I’d make sure they handle the 60 gr Agulila Sub Sonics. The Walther P22 and the Ruger SR22 both do.

        • Thanks, JP.
          I keep my keys with car alarm and my cell phone near me at night. I figure that the alarm might wake a neighbor or not, but an intruder wouldn’t know that and, hopefully, would flee. I don’t know what a “60gr Agulila Sub Sonics ” is, but it’s on my shopping list and I’m sure the gun shop owner will know.

      • M.D.
        Thanks for the ideas. Can’t afford ADT, but will get the deadbolts and motion lights. I’d thought of the lights before, but was afraid they’d be flashing all night, with the deer and ‘coons around, not to mention the neighborhood bear. I have to bring in my bird feeders every night in the spring and summer. Will look for that gun and some classes.

        • Granny
          If you have the resources, try guinea hens. They pretty much fend for themselves, sleep in the trees around your property and raise the roof if anyone gets near, even at night. Just a handful of feed a day keeps them tied to the home grounds. They eat ticks, small snakes and all kinds of nasties that attempt to creep up to the house.
          Geese will do the same thing.

          • Granny, when we moved here over 30 years ago, someone nearby had peacocks. They were great alarm birds. My city born-and-raised in-laws were very leery about being out in the country; we had no curtains and were in the middle of no-where but they put up black garbage bags on all the windows for privacy in the upstairs bedroom. During the night, they woke us up and said somebody was prowling about outside – they could hear them in the tall grasses. We got up, used the spot light, to find a herd of deer. Then the peacocks started at dawn. Oh my goodness, my MIL freaked out. She said it sounded like a Tarzan movie and they were thinking of finding a hotel to stay in. We laughed for years about that. Welcome to the country!

        • sw't tater says:

          Check out one of the fall alert companies…their services can also be used to call police and fire…in addition to medical cal assistance…some of them are as cheap as 19$ a month, attach to a phone line, they will mail equipment to you, and you plug it in. Pull up search bar and search for first alert companies…you should be able to get info on several different ones to compare services, billing…just tell them you are trying to gather information for a possible purchase. Be sure to ask each company the same questions, so you can adequately compare. I did this for MIL. some companies offer discounts that are substantial for yearly or bi-yearly billing options, and some offer monthly billing only.Most come with a necklace or bracelet that will give you assistance even if you are out of ear-shot of your receiver. So if you fell going to get the mail you would be able to call.

    • GrannyEm,

      I took a female only gun class with a female instructor–and that made the intro to guns easier. There was another class where you get to shoot a number of different guns to see what feels right to you. I was going to take that class but then I picked up my brother’s Glock 19.

      • Bam Bam,
        I hope that I find an all female class, and will ask to handle the Glock 19 as well as the one M.D. mentioned when I shop. I can’t believe I’m contemplating this at my age, but it’s a whole new world today. God help us all !

        • Encourager says:

          GrannyEm, I took an all female class taught by a man. He was great. By the time the class was over, I could shoot straight and had confidence I could take care of myself. He invited me and two other women to come have an afternoon of shooting at the range. He brought every gun he owned – I think there was over 15. We tried every one. He would stand at your shoulder and quietly talk to you, correcting poor stance, fingers in the wrong place, whatever was needed. I have recommended him a dozen times over to other women.

          He won’t teach men because them come with an ‘attitude’ of already ‘knowing it all’. He said more accidents happen with men who ‘think’ they know it all then the same number of women who show up scared and shaky.

          Have you thought about getting one of those Life Alert buttons on a chain for your neck that connects you to help instantly? They would be cheaper than an alarm system. I am not sure, but check to see if Medicare covers them, if your doctor would write a Rx for one.

          We also bought a 20 gauge shotgun. I have arthritis in my shoulders and can shoot that 20 gauge with no problem.

  61. Spent the week dealing with medical issues. Will share some learning experiences.
    1 – Always get a leaflet on medication description when picking up a prescription. Pharmacy didn’t want to give me one until I insisted. Glad I did as no grapefruit products can be used while on this medication.
    2- Review with the doctor your diagnosis and meds that are being prescribed before leaving his/her office. Due to a busy schedule, doctor forgot to tell me about one lab result, yet the pharmacy had an anticibiotic waiting for me with the rest of my scripts. Had to call dr. back and get the real scoop.
    3- One new med was incompatibable with another. The pharmacist is generally the one to catch this and not the doctor. Pharmacists love to educate patients and not just “dispense pills”, so tap into their knowledge. Make sure to read all accompanying literature before starting a new med as the info just may save your life.

  62. Hello and Prayers for the Pack!
    U2, If you bag the food you put in those buckets..it’ll be ok…especially if you get hungry!
    It’s been a slow two weeks here due to the cool temps and illness.
    I have been having withdrawals from lack of computer time, but have survived with re-runs from Andy and the Waltons…from tv.(On borrowed unit tonight) read the comments am looking forward to reading the posts I have missed the last two weeks.
    The Pneumonia got me on the 4th and is just now letting me go. The cold with us enough to keep me in all but a few minutes each day.Lows running mid 20’s and some highs around 38, every few days we’ll get a 58…enough to make me want to garden!.
    .We both have been thinking about crops we deem absolutely necessary,…and planning how we can get it all in the area we have allotted, with the soils needed… and devising methods to enhance our deer resistant ability. .don’t want to interfere too much with the fall crop…but keep the veggies safe.. The electric fence worked somewhat, but still not to the effectiveness we need.( Deer small enough they went thru the fence..or under it..) I used a commercial spray repellant around the fence. It helped… but those deer love our key crops of squash, okra and beans.
    My blackberry plants are beginning to give me a few leaves, and most stems are green- this is due in part to our crazy weather of 23 at night,40 during day and some lows of 46 and highs of 62 in alternating patterns.
    We have gotten lots of moisture, which we needed due to a deficit last year. Mulching is in the plans, but Oh, so carefully due to the presence of cotton mouths, copperheads and two different rattle snakes being present in the immediate area.Am searching for some rotted/ partially rotted hardwood sawdust.
    .Gathering more materials for raised beds, closer to the house.easier/quicker access.
    Managed to replace most items used last two weeks and have made priority lists for next months needs . and repair purchases for necessary repairs on housing and transportation.
    . We have done some improvising with temporary heaters -#3 rule applicable,- heaters since our #1 and our #2 back up failed…about a month ago, too sick to do all the plumbing and moving necessary to hook up #4 back-up.
    I have been watching the events in news as reported by MSM, not so impressed with their coverage of events, nor the events that received coverage.
    Noted same old info being reported as it is new…Folic acid reports have been reported as being necessary for infant growth and development for 20+ years- why would it not assist in nerve and brain development…sure it will prevent autism.. and…who did they with-hold it from to document this “find”?
    Computers have taken a dive from various electrical events over past two weeks…the laptop and the desktop, with different issues.
    Someone has dropped a really pretty male pup ..? heredity..on us this week, He came to us with each rib visible, and is quickly getting a bit of coverage…we are calling him Winston Churchill. If we can get him to take to training he may be a keeper, even tho we weren’t wanting another mouth to feed-that can’t feed us..Protection and warning activities are acceptable reasons to keep rambunctious critter..If we can’t keep him, we’ll find him a home. Have a good week.take care..

  63. This week: plans to leave Chicagoland area; wife has job opportunity in Naples, FL… exciting to think about getting out of the Soviet State of IL but – based on past posts about where to relocate – not sure if extreme SW FL is ideal, although for other hopefully obvious reasons. Hope it’s not off-topic. Long time reader, 1st time poster. Thanks for all the great ideas/advice on multiple topics this past year.

    • Get a metal detector and do Palm Beach area with it. I hear the rich there are always losing their diamond studded dog collars on the beach. Well, maybe not, but it’s a fun idea.

      • Exothermic says:

        If correct, your idea could go a fairly long ways towards funding additional preps! My dad used to do that at TWU in Denton. We found lots of Mercury Dimes, lost class rings, pennies, etc. I was about 3rd grade. Good times.

  64. Rod Zeigler says:

    Stocked up on a few items. (Found 4 cell MagLight flashlights with non-LED bulbs and GOOD batteries for a GREAT price!) Finished my bug-out bag and have it in my vehicle. Also work was completed on my families bug-to facility. Now to start stocking it…

  65. re: The Deuce, not going to bob it, love it just like it is, although those bobbed units are sweet. If I had a lot more money then I would buy one to modify, bobbed, super singles, ooh-la-la! My daughter is begging to be picked up from school ASAP in that unit. Will be working towards the PTO, winch, and Arctic Heater. In local parades it will be filled with kids and vets I hope. There is a hooch up in Laramie for sale, good price, I need to make some more money quick. I find myself out in the yard just staring at it, wife has not gotten jealous, yet.

  66. Finished the bat-utility-belt, although it was mostly finished for a week.

    I have had some misfortune: my brand new homeowners insurance got snotty and dropped me over peeling paint, no warning, no chance to cure anything, and it’s winter so how can I cure peeling paint? Tell me, what the heck does paint have to do with fire insurance? This is the 3rd insurance co in almost as many years that has gotten cute with me, am I redlined?

    Came home tonight to discover the furnace has died for the third time this winter. Tried to drain out the exhaust pipe and reboot it but it’s deader than a doornail this time. The other apt.’s furnace exhaust was full of water, which I emptied, hopefully averting a second conked out furnace.

    Other than the debacles, I bought a 16 oz wide mouth thermos at the thrift for a buck, and cooked lentils in it by pouring boiling water over dry lentils in it, screwing the cap on, and waiting 4 to 8 hours. If you do that, go back and reboil the contents for a couple minutes then put it back another 4 to 8 hrs, or boil the lentils for a few minutes first them put them in the thermos.

    Without a re-cook they were a little crunchy but still edible.

    • Furnace is back on. Furnace man said:

      With a hi-eff furnace one expects condensation water in the exhaust pipe, it is supposed to drain into a pump, so no worries there.

      I just didn’t wait long enough to reboot the thing, it sometimes takes 15-20 minutes. I am assuming this means with the power to it cut off for 15-20, because I tried several times by shutting the power off and back on right away. Some models you even have to wait 24 hours (that’s stupid design there).

    • My insurance company that charges a membership fee to use it dropped me because of “condition of property”. The weeds in my raised veggie beds were too high when they came and INSPECTED the place. They even took pictures of it. Needless to say, they lost all of my auto and business policies as well. Something must be up. I think they want to raise the rates quite a bit and have to get rid of customers with lower premiums.

  67. Let’s see, put together a small cache of clothes, 3 liters n 16oz of water, MRE’s, knives, blanket and a few other supplies in an old igloo cooler. Still looking for a place to bury it, probably 3 – 7 miles from my house.
    Put away 5 more liters of water and a pound of pinto beans.
    A friend of mine’s father passed away a few weeks ago and among hs thinks he found an old revolver chambered in .32 S&W with only two rounds. I had one, it was stolen a few years ago. Trading my two boxes of ammo for some .223 and .22lr.
    Put a second BoG/Get Home bag in the Explorer. I figure either a passenger or a coworker can use it.

  68. AZ Rookie Prepper says:

    The DW and I built two more raised garden beds, lots of work but worth every drop of sweat. Sorry M.D., but the temp here was 69 yesterday….hope those of you in the northern states get a break from old man winter soon. Obtained some more seeds for this years garden, sweet corn, okra and watermelon. Planned for the garden, and that is very important. Remember the 5 “P”s…Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance (sometimes known as the 6 P’s…). The wife is fully on board with preps although sometimes wonders how we’ll ever “use” all that food…:). Keep on prepping folks, prayers to all who need em.

  69. Orwellian States says:

    Purchased an assortment of canned food to add to the growing stash. Picked up some more .40 hollow point and .357 hollowpoint. I intend to do an ammo inventory this week. I should have enough for a decade or two. This weekend I purchased a big cub Cadet front tine tiller. I am ready for spring. I wanted to buy some onion sets, but the wife reminded me that we still have snow on our East TN mountain. We are planning a trip to the prepper store in Waynesville, NC.

  70. mountain lady says:

    Not too much to report here. Did stock up on spaghetti sauce, 48 cents a can sale. Also bought 4 lbs of spaghetti pasta. Wanted to get a few cans of corned beef hash, but thought the cans were too small at the dollar store, only to find out that the grocery store cans are now the same size, but cost 2.48 a can. Gasoline up here on the hill is now $4.00/gal. That really forces me to stay home most of the time.

    • Mountain lady, are you planting a garden this year?

      • mountain lady says:

        Yes, I am planning to have some garden. I would like to have a large one, but not sure if we can pull it off. I have some half wine barrels ready to put in lettuce, chard, and one other green, but have not decided on which one. The big garden needs a ton of work. Maybe we can get at least half of it done.

  71. Hi all – it’s been a while since I posted much and even longer for WDYDTPTW. Since the beginning of the year, we have paid off the hubby’s car and another loan. We are currently working on refinancing our house and combining it with the home equity line to reduce our total monthly payments and set the payoff of both in 15 years. The interest rate is about half what we have now on the home loan, so ultimately we will be saving a lot of cash out of our pockets.

    In other prepping, I keep reading and keep buying what I can store easily when I find it at a really good price.

    On Saturday, one daughter and I spent much of the afternoon cleaning out freezers and making stew. I freeze leftovers when I don’t get to eat them for lunch then make stew later. I found leftover pot roast from 3 or 4 different times, plus all kinds of other stuff like beans, peas, chicken, sausage patties, etc. I had some for lunch today and it is quite tasty with a bit of a kick. Since I used my 21-quart water-bath canner, I had plenty of stew to put back in the freezer (no pressure canner yet).

    On Sunday, we baked gluten-free goodies that we can eat for breakfast – brownies, blueberry muffins, blackberry-mango muffins and banana bread. Again, I used things from the freezer (all the fruit).

    All the baking and cooking gave me a good chance to clean some things out of the freezer that should have gone to the outdoor critters a long time ago. Now I’ll have room for freezing squash over the summer.

    The weather here has been wet and cold or dry and even colder. I’m also working on planning my garden and we may be doing the majority of our planting in early April, as long as the weather cooperates.

    I hope everyone has a great week. Thanks for sharing all your knowledge and experiences!

    • GA Red,

      I know you live near me. You can start your seeds (tomato and such) indoors now if you want to. Also, if you want to plant cool season crops like carrots, spinach or peas, now is the time to plant the seeds in the garden.

  72. Hello Pack.

    Someone told me today that a friend of his who works at Federal Cartridge, which is right up the road from me, told him that the company has quit making “sporting rounds” (aka .223 and 7.62, etc.). Been trying to confirm it. He didn’t know the reason.

    Seems odd to me that they would quit making them at this time when they could be making !!$$$$$!!. Maybe they know something we don’t? Or maybe someone had a “friendly talk” with them? Or maybe it’s just a rumor. But this guy doesn’t seem the type – if he said it’s his friend, I tend to believe him.

    There’s a guy at work who’s daughter works there. I’ll ask him & try to get back to ya.

    – Received and mounted a laser sight on my Sig P250. So far seems OK. We’ll see if it stays zeroed. Adjusting screws seem kind of loose.
    – Bought 100 more .40S&W rounds for above. So far, that’s still easy to get around here.
    – Did a recon at Fleet Farm. No “sporting ammo” to be had there, of course. A lot of other stuff missing, too.
    – Went to the gun show up the street from Federal Cartridge. Nothing that I needed. Packed full of people. Un-Godly prices, of course. Bought my daughter a spring-assisted knife and that was it.
    Interesting note: women seemed to be buying many more guns than men.
    – Stopped at the discount grocery store. Picked up 3 bags of long-term stuff for $25. Would have cost me $75 at normal grocer.
    – Signed my daughter up for gun safety course in April. She’s hyped.

    Think that’s about it. Good luck and God Bless Pack.

    • Oh…forgot to ask: anyone know where to get SKS parts? Looking for replacement springs and I’d like to rebuild the gas system.

      Surfed for hours and couldn’t find more than one here and one there…and some of the sites looked pretty shady.

  73. SurvivorDan says:

    Re-thinking retiring to a banana republic. There might be some advantages in terms of what kind of retreat I can set up for the money. (not to mention the little brown girls), but the thought of being stuck in a Third World country when the balloon goes up….gives me pause. As I would have to acquire firearms “discretely”, they and the ammo would be limited. Don’t like that much. Also, escape from such a locale might not be easy in a total TEOTWAWKI scenario. I am in a quandary. I have slowed the prepping pace in anticipation of vamoosing to the tropics. Starting to worry that I may regret my vanishing act to the Third World. Just sharing , in case anyone else is pondering such a move. Any thoughts?

    • SurvivorDan. I gave a serious look at Belize. The love of my life actually bought a farm in Chile and was improving it for all of us. Bottom line? I couldn’t do either as long as I had family responsibilities here in the states. 4 children, multiple and high paying careers with children of their own mean that I will stay here, somewhere in the US as long as I can. There is always the issue too,that these United States have given us a lot in our lifetimes, is it not worth fighting for? And here is my other question, if the balloon does go up? Wouldn’t it make a third world country poorer still? Because of those questions, I am concentrating on the BOL we, as a family are creating as a family trust. On it is a well; a stream and a couple of small ponds, there is a nice meadow to plow a garden, plenty of room for chickens, rabbits and perhaps a cow, maybe two and room for a couple more buildings. Just on the Nevada side of the California Nevada border. 1/2 half my family is in California, 1/2 of my family is close to DC. There we bought land 4 hours due west of DC and had a cabin built. There is a big basement, a well, a large garage/storage building with a lake nearby. That cabin is all stocked up and ready and is presently used by family for recreation. Getting out of DC if the balloon does go up will be crazy for them and some might not make it. I worry about that daily. We are additionally looking at getting something going up along the US/Canada border. I bought Joel Skouson’s book for help on that issue. I am very very blessed. Despite the economy, despite lots problems we have a solid family; everyone works hard; everyone is very thrifty and we have managed to do a lot with the idea in mind that the future looks dicey. I think the urge to run, is driven by all of the crap we are facing. I know that I fight that feeling all of the time now, sometimes I don’t even sleep well because of it. So we are preparing ourselves to be as self sufficient as we possibly can get and hoping that if we do buy property up along the border, we really never have to use it.

  74. Bought more canning jars, lids and rings for dry canning baking mixes and dehydrated or freeze-dried bulk fruits and vegetables. Also bought the jar sealer lid and hose for my Food Saver machine so I can vacuum seal the dry goods in the canning jars rather than using oxygen absorbers. Buying cake mixes, biscuit mixes, pancake mixes, instant dried milk, instant mashed potatoes, instant rice, etc. in the usual pasteboard boxes and plastic bags at the local supermarket and then doing my own dry canning is so much cheaper than buying the same stuff commercially packaged in #10 cans by mail order.

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