What did you do prep this week?

Before we get started with this weeks super-duper, “what did you do prep this week” blog segment, (it is super-duper isn’t it) I would like to say thank you to Linda C, Linda S, Jana M, Brad C, Josh B, Kelli M, and Brenda C. Thank you all very much for your support of this blog and of what we are doing here. If you want to make a donation you can do that here.

I would also like to thank everyone that posted new reviews (and the older ones too) for my book “31 Days to Survival” on amazon.com. Thank you. Personally, I think it’s the best general prepping book every published, but then I am kind of biased toward the author… But then the book does cover everything that a prepper needs to know – food, water, weapons, tools, kits, and skills that are needed to survive the next disaster or total collapse.

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

Added fresh straw to the chicken run and coop...

Added fresh straw to the chicken run and coop…

Added a heat lamp over the roost area for the nights when the temperature drops below freezing.

Added a heat lamp over the roost area for the nights when the temperature drops below freezing.

1,000 rounds of .308 from LuckyGunner. These have been put away in a secure location until the time of need.

1,000 rounds of .308 from LuckyGunner. These have been put away in a secure location until the time of need.

What else… I ordered Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the Government’s Secret Germ Laboratory and The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance.

Well folks that’s it for me this week… What about you – what did you do to prep this week?

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. Ordered and received some herbs to try some new tinctures and teas.
    Made marshmallow root and red clove tinctures.
    Ordered a gas siphon hose and two new-to-me herbal remedy books.
    Picked up some canned soups on sale to add to the stock.
    Made fruit leather.

    Busy at work this week after the holidays so didn’t get as much done as I wanted.

    • Hunker-Down says:


      I read a couple of articles on the internet about red clover, thanks for pointing us in that direction.
      I’m wondering if red clover tincture could be used as a blood thinner after the DW runs out of her warfarin. Is there a better alternative than red clover?
      We have made a couple of tinctures but don’t have a recipe for red clover. Would you share yours? Thanks.

      • Old USAF Nurse says:

        If all else fails, aspirin has anti clotting properties.

        • we use aspirin as one first aid tool when we (first responders) treat possible heart attacks.

      • Hunker Down, I did 1/3-1/4 of the red clover and filled the rest with vodka. I’m not sure about other alternatives, I’m just getting started with herbs. Bam Bam and Michele are my inspirations around here and I bet they can weigh in with experienced advice.

        • Hunker-Down says:

          I follow those two around like a puppy dog.

        • Daisy,

          Good job with the red clover tincture – perfect amounts – and is the same for most herbs.

          Also, for natural blood thinners I’d recommend garlic, hawthorn and ginger. All are excellent, have little to no side effects (just be careful about adding hawthorm to digoxin – I understand there can be a SMALL problem there -hawthorn may reduce the effectiveness of digoxin). All three are also effective in reducing blood pressure too and both have MULTIPLE other good medicinal uses.

          Also, fish oils are blood thinners.

          While aspirin is a very good blood thinner (and the herbal alternatives, white willow bark or meadow sweet both of which have amounts of salicylates) and my favorite pain reliever, I usually suggest going with something with fewer possible side effects – if they produce the same result.

      • H-D,

        I will be interesting to see what Michele says on this. I would look for foods high in salicylates. In ayurvedic medicine you would go for the warming spices. Here’s an article for you.


        • Hunker-Down says:

          Thanks Bam Bam, we can use this every day!

        • Florida Gal says:

          Bam Bam,

          New to herbs, but just received all my elderberry supplies today. Do you have any suggestions for migraines. Had them for 40 years and fear when the shtf I may not be able to get RX and longer for relief. Any suggestions vary much appreciated!

          • Florida Gal,

            Have you ever gone in for a massage? Tell the therapist that you have migraines and have her check for knots in your neck. Another thing to check is diet. Keep a diary especially of dairy and wheat products. See if they aggravate your migraines. Here’s a website I like for tinctures.


            • Florida Gal says:

              Bam Bam,
              Thanks for the web site, I will get on this right away. I have done massage but it is expensive and only works for about a week. After we get moved to TN this month I will track my diet better, things are all up in the air right now, tension is up as well. Love this blog you guys are so helpful!

              • Florida Gal,

                Welcome to TN.

              • Florida Gal,

                Actually, that’s very telling. Massage works for a week. That means it is probably something you are doing. I have a couple of suggestions.

                First, check the soles of your running shoes. Are they worn evenly or do you wear the outside much faster then the rest of the sole? If so, you may need orthotic inserts. (The muscle knots could be caused by bad posture and bad posture is usually caused by the foot striking the ground at the wrong angle.)

                Note: in getting fitted for orthotics, a reputable physical therapist will fit you and give you a loner pair to try for two weeks. You are only charged if they work. (Check out Quadra Step.)

                Another thing to try is paying attention to hydration. Sodas, especially diet sodas, dehydrate. For a week try eliminating soda and dry sugary drink mixes. Increase water intake to one gallon.

                The last thing to look at is unreleased trauma. If you’ve been in a terrible car accident or experienced some other trauma, that trauma stays in the body until released. It is released by journaling, meditation, exercise, talking about the incident and most importantly locating where your body holds the trauma.

              • Florida Gal,

                I should probably explain my comment further. “Something you are doing” sounds vague. Conventional medicine fixes migraines with drugs. Holistic medicine looks at migraines as a symptom and seeks to address the underlying condition that causes the migraine. Address the underlying condition and you deal with the symptom.

                • Bam Bam, Florida Gal,

                  Conventional medicine does not ‘fix’ migraines. I’ve had them for 30+ years. You have determine the cause, be it stress, food allergies or some other trigger. Avoid the trigger as best as possible. Example: MSG is a big trigger, and it is found in common foods. Alcohol can be a food trigger as well. Loud noise, bright light and lack of sleep are physical triggers. Sometimes a poor diet can cause a migraine because of something you need that is missing.

                  • Schatzie Ohio says:

                    I had to give up on rock concerts because I would get a migraine and throw up. That was back when a lot of people would smoke and not just cigs. Last concert was either George Thorogood or Steve Miller don’t remember. I so much wanted to go to concerts but getting migraines wasn’t worth it.

                • Florida Gal says:

                  Bam Bam & All
                  Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. The big move to TN will take the next three weeks but then I plan to start a food diary again and put all your suggestions under consideration to see if I can’t determine a pattern and get to the bottom of this. It was once diagnosed as hormonal but after a certain age they should have stopped, but that ship sailed about 5 years ago and left me with continued headaches. I have about 7 days a month I need rx for relief. thanks again everyone!

          • axelsteve says:

            My wife says that she has had migranes for 27 years. Kinda funny that is how long that we have been married.

          • Floria Girl, I used to have complex migraines several times a month. Since I went gluten free I almost never have one. Good luck!

      • patientmomma says:

        Feverfew and Hawthorne both have blood thinning attributes. I was able to cut my prescription blood thinner dose in half by adding them to my regiment. Then I save, label with name, dose and date and vacuum pack the remaining pills for future needs.

  2. I had hoped to be reading this blog from a fav restaurant up by the bol this week. But the folks working on getting the house back together here had other ideas…it looks like another week before I can escape. But the end is in sight, I can hardly wait.

    Bought a book called Week by Week Vegetable Gardener’s handbook in order to figure when to do what at the bol. Ordered up some seeds for it and did a layout for it. I asked the boys to run the tiller around the garden area since it is dry and easy to do right now. They have some compost they can add. Ordered a kit to do micro greens. Micro greens are kind of cool, the vitamin content is high and in those of us that are allergic to lots of things, micro greens kick up less histamines than the full grown equivalents. I asked the boys to hook me up a couple of grow lights in the shop so we can get some of the plants started when I get there.

    Added some more tools, plumbing and electrical parts and pieces to the order from the boys when I do make the trip up the hill.

    We have two more of our folks from work (yes I am retired, but I am in touch) in the hospital with the virus. It appears that both of them will make it. One was on life support for 3 days though…very scary! Ages are 45 and 52. The one that was on life support is a smoker.

    I went to a water board meeting about the drought we are having the other night. Since I am not going to grow a garden this year and may still own this place if it hasn’t sold, I was there only to offer up my well to the local fire department should they need it for their tanker trucks. That should help take the burden off the local lake resources.

    There was a couple at the meeting. They were very obnoxious and kept trying to make the point that the drought we are experiencing is “from global warming but that it was also the local area “power brokers” in a conspiracy to prevent them from having water to grow their pot this summer.

    When someone on the board brought up that resources were going to be limited as relates to having water hauled in some cases due to cost, this couple told the board that it was not money that was keeping the water flow low, it was because the board hated Obama. Strangest conversation I have heard in a long time. I felt bad for those having to deal with them, I just got to sit and listen as if I was in an alternative universe. Blind belief of such an emotional nature can sure screw some people up is all I can say.

    Anyway I made my statement of help and told them I would come back and talk with the director later in the month about ways and means to set it up and then left. As I came outside, they were by my car and when I walked up and asked them what they were doing. They actually told me that they were getting ready to key my car as I was just another bad ass. At which point I took my phone out of my pocket and dialed 911. They were ranting and yelling and actually were dumb enough to wait for the police to show up. They both ended up in hand cuffs with a ride to jail before they were done. I can’t remember when I have seen such nonsense. I walked away wishing that Hope had been with me and reminding myself that there went two perfect examples of why I prep and why I am moving. I also walked away saying that there are times when no good deed goes unpunished.

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      What slimers! I, too, am glad you are getting out.

    • sounds like your buddies at the town meeting have been doing too much quality testing on their maryjoanna crop!
      i bet they don’t have a physician–they go to a witch doctor for the juju.

    • Wow, worrisome. Good thing you called the cops- either the wierdos may have learned a lesson or there will be a record of past offense if they do something to you later.

      It does sound like they are on the emotionally unstable side, not just partisans. Take care with them. They do not sound entirely rational. And you might tell the Board members about this, if they don’t already know. Petty violence against any of you could escalate into something more serious. They would probably appreciate the warning.

      • worrisome says:

        Board members all know about it as they were all coming out to get in their cars at the same time. It just happened to be my car that they decided to start on first. It is doubtful that there were any lessons learned for them. People have to want to be open minded to other realities and these folks showed no signs of any such. Someone once said…”self deception and self delusion is one of humanity’s most universal trait……….” Think it fits these two completely.

        • that is done right scary. why do people have to be so mean spirited and nasty – simply because you don’t agree with them.

        • Rider of Rohan says:

          Wow, worrisome, that was quite an encounter, and not unlike many I’ve had on Twitter with these prog types. I use Twitter to help me in my business, and my business(O&G) just seems to attract these people. I can’t tell you how many threats I’ve had, though none have had the guts to confront me in person. But with crazies one is never sure. That’s why I carry. 24/7/365. I’m glad you came out unscathed, but I’ll feel better for you when you get the heck out of that place. Stay vigilant, worrisome.

        • Donna in MN says:

          I am glad to hear you are moving out of that area. These are troubling times and those who can’t deal with it act out violently. Is this our future nearly everywhere when things get worse? I pray not, but I hope you find a place that is not nearly everywhere.

      • Most Obama chumps are not rational.

    • patientmomma says:

      Sounds like members of Obumer’s brown shirt brigade. Protect yourself.

    • Sounds like they needed to be …. Water Boarded!

    • It just shows you how intolerant the so called enlightend ones are.The ones defending the constitution are not the enemy.

  3. Not much, still trying to recover from the flu. ordered and received(the fastest shipping times!) fish anti’s, replaced my brush/ice torch, cycled new sewing supplies in my kits( thread dry-rots),picked up more can goods,re-organized ammo and gun cleaning supplies.

  4. I don’t think I did much to prep this week. Have been lying about with a minor bout of the flu. Cats have been very sympathetic, lying on my pillow and patting me on the head.

    I did order some 3M N95 masks from Amazon yesterday.

    • Hope you feel better but dont be fooled! The cats are just checking to see if you are tender enough to eat yet.Now dogs on the other hand,would bring you hot tea and honey. 😉

      • Oh, BCtruck – my first chuckle of the day. Thnaks

      • Lauri no e says:


      • Babycatcher says:

        AND they would lick the dishes clean afterwards! Lol

      • If we had a dog, she could wear a little cask under her collar with hot buttered rum with a stick of cinnamon in it. And a spigot.

        Hmmm….that sounds kinda good, actually….

        I guess I need to add those to the supply list. Purely medicinal, mind you.

      • Florida Gal says:

        that’s right dogs have masters, cats have staff!

        • mom of three says:

          Oh my gosh you are so right. Cats, are just little masters, and we are the slave’s. This pass week I have had to spray out our shower, because miss priss, peed in it to make a point of some kind 🙂

        • ladyhawthorne says:

          Cats were once worshipped as gods and have never forgotten it!

      • ozhillbilly says:

        bctruck, my neighbor and I spar over my dogs and her cats all of the time. Course my dogs always win. She gets mad cause her cats like me. My only explanation to that is, animals can see ones soul so they know what you are all about. Unlike humans who can’t.

        • Ozhillbilly,

          I like that explanation. My dog can stare down a questionable person from 100 feet away.

      • Cat’s jaws cannot move from side to side and so they cannot eat large prey such as human beings. Like a toddler, they need help cutting their meat. 🙂

      • That explains why my barn cats have been trying to sleep with me. I thought it was the cold weather. Also explains that bottle of BBQ sauce on the nightstand.

  5. Nebraska Woman says:

    It’s supposed to get up to 42 degrees here. A tropical heat wave! I noticed the cows and horses in the fields seem happier.
    1. I ordered some water brick containers this week from amazon. You can go to the paratus familia blog and see a review and a picture.
    2. Thanks to Bam Bam and others, I am going to refocus this week on flu preps. I have ordered the elderberries and have the 100 proof vodka if I can keep it away from my friend; it’s hidden. I may put some in a water brick. It will surprise me later if I want some water and get a swig of vodka instead.
    3. There was a crack in my outside caulking so I temporarily fixed it. I could feel a breeze across my face at night, so I went on the treasure hunt. Duct tape is wonderful for just about everything.
    4. MD, a wonderful week of articles and posting. Thank you so much.
    5. I started a series of praying 7 times a day with follow up readings from Psalms. So far so good. The midnight one is hard as I am asleep by then, but I try to do it when I am awakened in the night by a call of nature. If anyone is interested, I could write an article about that.
    Enjoy the life, praise God, and keep healthy.

  6. MD, love this site and will be ordering your book asap. I feel I have more in common with the folks here than my own relatives. We’re ice-bound today, but hoping warm temps break us free (ice in lane too thick). Hubby got a new front slide and stock from Magpul for the Remingtom 870 so I could use it (I couldn’t work it before). He’s inventorying ammo now. He made me some shelves so I can put all my empty canning jars in one go-to place. I got paranoid last fall so we bit the bullet and had a soapstone masonry heater with bakeoven put in in just in time for bad weather! I’ve been learning to bake in the oven – have baked biscuits, a cake, and a roast. Medicinal Herbs (Rosemary Gladstar) and Herbal Antibiotics (Stephen Buhner) came this week. I need to order some elderberries. Does anyone know of a quiet key-wind clock? The ones Lehmans sells are too loud for the bedroom.

    • Speaking of the Remington 870, I want to get my dh a thingie for his birthday and I will probably have to order it. Right now you can only put five or six shells in it. He has been talking about a “thing” that extends beyond the barrel but where you can load 10 shells. What is this thing called? And where can I get one?

      • Howdy!
        They are called “magazine extension tubes”. I obtained mine from Wilson’s; you can get them on Amazon for a decent price’ usually around 50 clams.
        Mine is only a 1 shell extension, but you can get several different sizes, for different capacities.


      • Bam Bam:

        We almost came home with a “tactical” 20 ga 870 this weekend. It had the extension tube already, and was matte finished. It still needed a youth stock for my DW, though. But it was a pretty package for $400.

        • Thomas The Tinker says:

          JP that is the sweetist dang 870 made… light.. fast… and with a limb saver…. a bare tap on the arm to fire. You just don’t see them that often. I’m thinkin that’s cause of folks like me… I collect em like old 22s. They make nice stocking stuffers for the family and it just makes no sense to leave on the rack.

      • axelsteve says:

        Extended tube or side saddle? Or a sling that is a bandoleer?

        • It’s the extender tube I was looking for.

          • Hunker-Down says:

            Don’t get just a single shot extender, say from 4 to 5. Talk to the folks at the shop you go to.

            • H-D,

              I was hoping they made 10 shot extenders. I will have to do some research, now that I know what they are called.

              • I think 8 might be as high as they go but not positive

                • Bam Bam, you might be able to find a 10 shot mag extension, but unless you have a very long barrel it will stick out further than the barrel. That’s a real pain.

                  Best bet IMHO is to get an extension the same length as barrel.

                  You should also be aware that the extensions, when full, add a lot of weight to the muzzle end. That slows down swinging the gun. That may well not be a deal killer, but is something to think about.

                  I have an old 870 with the relatively short deer hunting barrel which has rifle sights, and put an extension on it. Works fine.

                  The extensions also replace the original magazine spring with a longer one. If you plan on keeping the gun loaded, or foresee a time when you might, consider getting a spare spring or two.

      • Thomas The Tinker says:

        BamBam… I’m not the grammer cop….. honest…. remember gender agreement…. male “thangie”.. female… “thingie”.

    • Jeanne, I think really quiet mechanical clocks are pretty expensive. Tiffany has one, but you can imagine…$400. Of course, it should last several generations.

    • Keith Doster says:

      You might want to look for an old folding travel alarm on eBay or at an antique store, Goodwill, etc. They are reasonably quiet, small, and obviously very portable. Wind it and twist it back and forth to start it running BEFORE you buy (unless you’re ordering from eBay, of course) just to listen to it. There are some that are rather loud. However, if you were to use it all the time, you’d get used to it and not even hear it at night. I have two antique chiming clocks and a cuckoo clock in the room adjacent to our bedroom. I seldom hear them at night, unless I’m already awake. And no, I’m not hard of hearing. 🙂

      • Travel alarm clock – great idea! We want a cuckoo, but can’t swing it yet (Cabelas has some pretty ones). We have a lot of non-electric clocks, but they’re mostly battery operated.

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      I have my father’s wristwatch that I have to rewind by hand. It’s one of the handiest clocks I own because we are always having electric glitches here. Of course since I am retired I don’t really care what time it is! Truly I don’t!

    • I love listening to the clock tick, I got use to it within two nights! Have you considered putting it inside a box with cotton batting under the clock? I was raised listening to a clock tick, I guess that is why I like it.

  7. Did some canning this week—I harvested LOTS of greens in advance of the cold air, so the refrigerator was FULL until I spent the next afternoon blanching and canning. I despise the process of blanching, but it’s a must for canning mustard, collards, and other greens because they shrink so much when the are heated. I kept saying to myself “For the love of greens!” while making a total mess of the kitchen…

    I made a couple of different batches of what I call Farm Soup and tried them on the family—I used whatever leftover meat was in the refrigerator and added whatever vegetables I had harvested from the garden (carrots, green beans, asparagus, etc.) Both soups were a hit, which is good because that’s the kind of eating we are most likely going to do when the SHTF. (I have cases of home-canned meats to use then.)

    Also, I made a spreadsheet and took a PM inventory. The DH bought a nice safe and has been making silver purchases! WOO HOO! I’m recording type (Bar, Coin, Junk), amount, price per ounce, and totals to keep up with his newest obsession. Glad he’s on board with prepping.

    This morning, I pulled in the green beans I had left on the plants for seed saving. Will let them finish drying and then remove the seeds from their pods, store and label them for future use. I believe seeds will be an amazing barter item in the future…….along with the knowledge of how to grow food.

    Keep preppin’!

  8. riverrider says:

    hi all. well new years resolutions and icy cold weather finally got me off my prep funk. so this week i rotated and re-org’d the can food isle, consolidated the ammo supply, built a dip station and a pulldown station for working out, actually worked out a couple of times, put mag pouches on my rifle plate carrier, checked out radiac meter, got a topo map of the area with the military grid on it and the right mil scale for navigation(i aim on learning every inch of the surrounding area), checked my battery supply, found corroded chinese battery, bought 10 battery storage cases to remedy that and tossed all chinese batts out, ordered spools for bankline to put in bob,ghb etc., went thru prep boxes,found the shelter box only had a tent so added tarps,cordage and a shovel, added can opener to kitchen box(still needs stock pot and fry pan), cleaned some guns, also checked the medical box where i found outdated cold packs had burst open, got rid of them and repacked iv bags to their own box jic they leak later. i also renewed membership in the gun owners association and va. citizen’s defense league and joined the va. ready reserve. they do a lot of commo stuff, a real big weakness of mine. that’s it for me, good week for a change. prep on folks!

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Wow, amazing week of preps, riverrider. Single digit temps and the flu slowed me down, but have pretty much recovered. One of the things I need to do is get a topo map as well, you reminded me of that need again. I’d better do it ASAP. Good to see you out of your funk and back at inspiring the rest of us again. What is the VA. Citizen’s Defense League and the VA. ready reserve? If it’s any of my business.

      • riverrider says:

        rider, glad you’re on the road to recovery….the vcdl is a pro gun advocacy group like the nra but for local/state level. they have been very effective in richmond at holding the delegates to their word. the vrr is sort of a cert group, mostly prior service guys. their official goal is to establish commo and assist the public in a shtf situation, but they are also very….defense oriented….i got the map from mytopo. you can print them but i wanted it all in one piece and on waterproof paper. you can customize them 100 ways. one bad thing was our area only had been mapped back in 1989. even so, i found my e&e route covered up with developments. i plan on recc’ing the area for better routes, caches, etc.

  9. Ordered more baby limas dry, oats whole ( have a roller) and buckwheat. I do buckwheat pancakes most Sunday mornings . Ordered a resupply on CR123 batteries. With the shelf life on this being 10 years min. why run low?
    Started my working on my next group presentation for the end of this month.

  10. We did our monthly, out of town, shopping trip. With a little shopping in town we found some #10 cans of FD fruit and Creamy Wheat cereal. Bought the sm. red beans out of the 2 Wal-Marts, bought instant oatmeal on sale. Dropped $300 at Costco, including the things that we couldn’t get from our own business anymore. Found ammo in 22 LR, 357 Mag, 5.56×45 62gr LAP, 45 ACP, 44 Spec, 22 Mag, even some subsonic 124 gr 9mm I want to try. Plus some extra brass and bullets. Nothing in large quantity, just enough to fill a few wholes for myself and friends.

    Biggest “expense” was when I stopped in at a gun shop where I know the family and bought a CZ 455 22 Mag with a full stock. Plus and extra mag, plus Mag-Pul Gen2 brown mags (“need” a different color in case I ever get the 300 AAC upper). There was over $600 I had not intended to spend. Been looking at one for years, just the money and the opportunity never came together before. Now you know why I don’t “go to town” without an escort very much.

    There has been some great and timely information put out on this blog this week, thanks to those who submitted and commented. I’ve taken some of the “suggestions” that were brought up and put a few things on order.

    For us, things are just rolling along. My younger daughter has to have some tests done, but things came out good. Although with her family history, they want to do more tests, more often. Since they we diagnostic vs. preventative, her insurance covered them. I asked her to check on what the “uninsured” price was because I think waiting 5 years is too long between checkups for her.

    Elections are coming so I half expect the administration to play a low-key game for a while. Sure hope so. I don’t think our fragile economy can take any more major crisis.

    Keep your heads down and your powder dry!

    • I also picked up a copy of “Zone 4”. It looks like it’s a quarterly for gardening in the Rocky Mountains. Got it for the DW, but it certainly looks interesting.

  11. Well, here where I live in SW West Viriginia, NE Kentucky and SE Ohio we are wreathing the “H2Opaclypse” because a coal company leaked a chemical into the Elk River and now over a 100,000 people aren’t allowed to sue their own tap water., though I’m not affected. Yet,,,
    So I took 25 gallons up to an ex-girlfriend’s parents two hours away. Kinda hope it ticks her off…

    Other than that I picked up 50 rounds of 9mm and a couple pair of tweezers. Still looking at houses.

    • I saw that on the news last night, people were lined up to have water pumped into jugs/containers they had brought. Is it only effecting the city water? Or are peoples wells contaminated too?

      • Hunker-Down says:

        I wonder if the water filters advertised on prep sites can purify that W. Virginia water?

        • I am a long time lurker, first time poster. From what I understand the chemicals that leaked can not be boiled or filtered out. So you can’t even use your city / county water to shower. Can cause skin irritations, breathing issues and burns. Thank the Lord I live in the country and have my own well! Thank you M D and gang for such a great site!

        • Hunker-Down, my impression is that most filters don’t do much with dissolved chemicals: They filter out stuff bigger than .2 microns or so.

          Purifiers may do much better, but the only one I am familiar with is AquaPail, which comes in several different sizes, all on Amazon. We have a 1000 gallon size, but have never used it, so can’t say anything about it. There is little feedback on Amazon about them, either.

          I’ve asked here is anyone is familiar with them, but so far no replies that I know of.

          I just Googled, and the company has a much more polished website than it did a few months ago, a new corporate name, and some new products, so they may have been bought out. The website says they filter out both organic and inorganic chemicals, using all natural filter materials.

          If interested,: http://saganfilters.com/about-water-filters/

          If these do what they say they do, I think they would be very useful for chemically polluted water.

          • Hunker-Down says:

            I would like to see the water purifier vendors step up to the plate and demonstrate what their product can do with that chemical contamination.
            If they cant purify the water, we need to know. People could die.

            • Tactical G-Ma says:

              Hunker, I don’t know that any remove chems and hvy metals do they?

              • Tactical G-Ma, the AquaPail site says “The main function of the middle layer is to remove heavy metals, hydrocarbons/oils, and toxins.”

              • Hunker-Down says:

                I was under the assumption that the better filters could make any water drinkable. Not true?
                If we cant depend on using water from New York harbor or the Chesapeake Bay, or the Chicago river, or the pond behind McGurks lead recovery business, do we have to filter it through a horse before putting it in a commercial filter?

                • Hi Pack. Haven’t posted in a while. Been down with various ills for the past 3 months. On the mend finally.

                  Has anyone here tried the H2O Survival Straw on Amazon?


                  (I hope that works, I’ve never posted a link before. )

                  They say it can filter down to 0.01 microns and remove even aresenic, cadmium, lead, & chromium. Chromium is a big concern for me as I work at, & live with 7 miles of, an electroplating factory that uses chromium heavily in the process among other dangerous chemicals. They’ve never had a spill and work very hard to comply with all EPA & DNR regs, but…. you never know.

                  I’m ordering 2 today. I’m going to try to talk the chemists in our lab into testing water samples from this straw. If they will do it, I’ll report back and let you know the findings.

                  • It would be fantastic to get a lab to check these things out. There really is no other way to know what they are accomplishing.

            • Donna in MN says:

              I know diluting the contaminated water with fresh clean water will help make the chemicals less potent. In the long run these people may have to deal with it in that respect.

    • Kermit5575 says:

      That was great taking water to the Ex’s parents, good for them and great for you….I love Jedi mind tricks…..

      Kind of makes me happy sitting on all this water we stored up.

    • Tiernan,
      Lol about ex. my brother had both his ex-mother in laws for thanksgiving!

      • Seeuncourt says:

        A little gluttenous, but tastey!

        • How does one serve mother in law? How do you remove the bitter after taste??

          • seeuncourt says:

            This one made me laugh until I coughed myself half to death. So clever.

          • Thomas The Tinker says:

            Bc…. they are somewhat like Carp! You’ll want to soak them in a lite brine for a day. I’d suggest only using them for barbeque though……. the long cook time does take a lot of the toughness out of em.

            Just sayin….. you did ask!

            • Im thinking chicken feed would be a better use.Perhaps the bitterness would not be transffered to the eggs. Though thats just what i need at breakfast is eggs that dont think im good enough for my wife. A conundrum for sure.

              • I laughed so hard at your exchange DH came over to see what was so funny, when I read it to him he almost spit his coffee out!

            • Cook with seaweed to avoid gas.

              • Nebraska Woman says:

                My 1st MIL was Polish: I would suspect that cabbage, beets, and smoked fish would be tasty.

    • Another reason to prep,fer sure!!!!!

  12. Kermit5575 says:

    Got two more pellet guns and three BB guns. 1000 pellets, 12000 BBs. The DW loves squirrel over rice with gravy…. received my MR. Funnel, been having problems with water in my 1-K fuel. you would think at $5.00 a gal they would have a filter on their system. Had to replace two wicks in my heaters because of water in the fuel. Good thing we had wicks stored back. love this heatwave and the rain…..

  13. ladyhawthorne says:

    I received 2 books I ordered ‘Desert Gardening’ by George Brookdale and one on garden structures. I highly recommend the desert gardening book, very well done with lots of pictures and specific info–for AZ, CA, NM, NV & TX. I’m not in a desert but it is plains and we are in a drought.

    We also got the supplies to construct another 28″ deep garden bed (3×8′) and a 4×8′ greenhouse. The greenhouse is made with a 50″ x 16′ cattle panel hooped over and covered in plastic. I only want one to start seeds in so 4’x8′ will be perfect.

    Mom had shoulder surgery yesterday for bone spurs and a torn ligament so I am helping her a lot. It’s her right shoulder and thankfully she’s left handed, but it’s hard to do a lot of things one handed.

    And while I’m sitting in the house with Mom I am sewing along on my quilt top.

    Everyone stay warm and safe and look out for those tornados in the SE.

  14. Well,i saw a craigslist ad for 4 free hens and a rooster and i went and got them. They have settled into the routine of my birds and the rooster has been much more kind about “introducing” himself to my hens. so far it looks like i really lucked out because they seem to be getting along just fine. I went out there with a flaslight to look in the henhouse last night and they were all just as close to the rooster as they could get. Went to a yard sale this morning and picked up about 40 yards of fabric for my wife (5 bucks) a brand new in the box breadmaker for me (5 bucks) and an e-zip 750 electric scooter for 20 bucks. Just checked and the MSRP is nearly 500 bucks. I just need to repair a flat tire then on craigslist it goes for 200 bucks. still getting over the crud and now the wife is getting sicker. We went many years without getting sick,i guess we were do. Have a great week yall.

  15. After hearing good reports of Zaycon foods, I registered and they wil be delivering chicken in my area the middle of February. I think $75 for a 40lb box of boneless/skinless chicken breasts is very reasonable. I plan to divide and freeze a third for current use, cube and pressure can a third then the last third I’m going to chop and try and dehydrate. I
    received dehydrator for Christmas, so I’m still learning how to use it/correct timing. The bananas last week were not the disaster I originally thought, they are not pallet able to snack on but I had a handful in my cereal this AM and they weren’t bad (my other option had been to toss them out in the rain and let the chickens eat them).

    DH has just gotten over strep throat and I’m finally done with a head cold that lasted 10days,, I find all BamBams articles helpful, but the recipe for elderberry tincture came at the right time,, I ordered elderberries off MDs amazon link and plan to hit the Class6 today for the vodka. We have a long winter ahead and I want to be ready. I had to buy a pound of the berries and will only need a cup. Does anyone have any ideas on the best way to store the rest or another use for

    What a difference a week makes, last week it was 9degrees, today 65 and raining (just very glad we didn’t have the rain when it was below freezing for all those days) there was one fellow who had his sprinkler on and pointed up,, and that turned his yard into a winter wonderland,, very pretty but Im sure he did damage to his trees, branches can’t take all that added weight.

    Today I’m going to read through Survival Medicine Guide, another Christmas gift, and update my list of “band-aid” prepps. I’m sure my first aid kit is lacking.

    • worrisome says:

      I put the elderberries in a canning jar and use my vacuum attachment to my bag vacuumer to get rid of the air. I reseal every time I open them to get any out. Works great.

    • I make up three quart jars at a time. We seem to go through a lot of elderberry tincture around here.

      • Do you use it profalacticly or just when you fell something coming on? I only bought a quart of the vodka but the elderberries haven’t arrived yet (I used the free shipping amazon offers so it could be a week or so)
        I can always run out for more vodka

        • R-Me,

          I put a tablespoon or two in my tea every morning. When I feel something coming on, I will take the tincture every couple of hours.

  16. Patriot Farmer says:

    I ordered a new trigger for my 1911, added a few can goods to the shelves and picked up 250 rounds of 00 Buck.

  17. Mrs. K in MO says:

    In the weeks since my last post I have been doing some dry canning of beans, rice and flour. Boneless chicken breast was on sale this week so some of what I bought will get canned. Some will get made into quick meals for the freezer. The last couple of weekends were spent cutting wood for the stove. I think we have enough stacked up to last the rest of the winter, unless we get more of that -10 degree crap. Today and tomorrow are supposed to be nice so I’m headed outside to work on my compost bins. They need stirred and all the sawdust from the wood cutting scooped up and added to it. I finally got around to watching Jericho on Netflix. I’m on ep. 9 seas.1. Good series, but how did the mayor manage to get this terrible flu that nobody else in the town got? Just wondering. lol
    Have a great week everybody!

    • Mrs. K. in MO I enjoyed that tv show. Skeet Ulrich is not a very good actor but it was a good story and I enjoyed watching it.Do you ever watch the Jerimiah series? Not the best actors with Luke Perry and Jamal his side kick. I forget his last name. That was a good series also.

    • I loved Jericho. Have any of you guys been following Falling Skies? This rates right below Walking Dead for me. The show is about an alien invasion and a group of humans fighting to survive.

      • axelsteve says:

        Living in komradfornia I live in a real alien invasion. I want to watch fallen skies now though.

      • I love Walking Dead and Falling Skies!

        • Ditto for Walking Dead, but Falling Slies sounds good,, I’ll try to get past seasons from Netflix
          (Norman Rebus is one hot bad a$$,,,,just saying!)

      • I don’t know if anyone will read this as it’s late Sunday. But my dh and I just watched an excellent WW2 movie called “The Book Thief”. The movie is along the lines of Life is Beautiful and The Pianist. This was just such a moving movie.

  18. Well did not do much. I bought 300 rounds of 22 lr from my nephew,then I realized that he already owed me 200 rounds .DOH, well I am saving him for trading stock for the slavers that I did not shoot anyway. That just upped his price. At least they were the good ones.They are the blazers that run good in my m60 and sons 10/22.I have been doing the pink floyde routine and last night I took my Wifes chocolate lab with me.He weighs about 105 lbs and he loved running.I do enjoy running with my dogs,I do hate running in general it reminds me of retreat.

    • “I do hate running in general it reminds me of retreat.”

      axelsteve, don’t think of it as retreating, think of it as boldly going where no prepper has gone before.

      Just don’t forget the “where angels fear to tread” part…

      • axelsteve says:

        My grandfather fought in ww1 and my dads older brother was in the 101 airborn in ww2. From what I have been told is retreat is for the Germans and French to do.And the Itilians under le duece.I am going to have to think of it as a strategic prepping option .

  19. mom of three says:

    Bought some more tea, bought bulk oatmeal, couple of cans of hams and tuna fish. I cleaned out the fridge, dump several bottles of condiments. (They were almost gone) Getting a head start on spring cleaning, I have three bags going for donation. We are going to look at a couple of properties, going into foreclosure. Living in the city, is to expensive now our property tax jumped from $1600.00 to $2600.00
    and they are going to put in metered water, in our area this year who know what that will cost. Stay warm, and prayers to those who are sick, we are over what we had too.

    • mom of three
      what kind of canned ham did you get? What do you think of it?

      • Thomas The Tinker says:

        Ron… Try “Dak” brand…. try one. it is canned chopped ham. We like to heat it and pour off most of the ‘juice’ then use it.

  20. – Received the rest of my prize from the Survival Mon giveaway, my daddy’s diaper bag, which is actually a very nice, black, backpack with a front strap.

    – Took a very wierd course for this semester, but figured it could help in a survival situation : My stress without distress. Stress and anxiety management in everyday life. 1 credit = 100$. No need to move my bucket to get there, it’s a web-course =P An investment, I’d say. For comparison, a normal course is 3 credits (300$) and a bachelor’s degree is 90 credits.

    – Added 3x20x600ml water bottle cases in my stash. It’s not that we NEED water up here, in Québec, we got plenty, but figured it could be useful. And I’m rotating it, I love room-temperature-water. It’s so easy on the stomach.

    – Send my father-in-law on a quest to find me huge bags of salt (not calcium) for driveways and roads, but the kind one could use to preserve food. He says it should be very cheap, and I trust him.

    – Still considering buying a generator, but can’t affort it right now.

    – Tobacco is done. After months of growing and months of curing during which I actually FORGOT it, it has gone too dry. DARN! But I managed to save it by humidifying it with honey mixed with water. We’ll see how long it last. The humidity level is now perfect, so I’m going to switch it from a plastic grocery bag to a plastic tobacco jar. Hope it won’t rot.

    – And COMPLETELY out of my preps… I bought meself a Keurig coffee machine ^^ 50$ wasted in keeping my morale high during this terrible winter. And over time, we’re going to save on energy drinks, though it might take a couple months to pay the machine cost back at this rate.

    School starts next monday, and HECK, I’m stressed. I took one business administration course which should take me 10 hours a week, at least. I’m not used to that. Normaly, I can make it in 4 hours a week. Well, I guess it’s good on the resume.

    Cya, Wolfpack!

    • Seamus Finn,

      Please report back on the big bags of salt. That would be a wise investment.

      • plantlady says:

        I get 50 lb. bags of food-grade, non-iodized salt for $6 at the feed store. You might try a restaurant supply co., but would be more expensive. Or ask a taxidermist.
        Salt is an absolutely critical supply, so I won’t rest easy until I get more than a few 55 gal. barrels full. One 50 lb bag fits nicely in the large square walmart frosting bucket.
        And I have studied old maps to find the entrances to the old salt mines under a nearby town – during most of human history salt was literally worth its weight in gold. Seems like a good idea to know the closest source.

    • rehydrate tabac-quarter an apple lay one quarter skinside down on top of tabac and seal tin. used to use in the round tins of pipe tabac.

      • Yes, I know the trick. Unfortunately, my tobacco was WAY too dry for this to work. I had to “paint” it with warm water/honey. Honey will keep it sticky and makes it softer to smoke. Up to now, it’s working, and the taste isn’t bad, but it’s completely different from what you buy at the corner store…

        Bam Bam : Will do if in-law doesn’t forget me again. 2×20 pounds seems like a reasonable start, that, of course, if this salt is “clean” enough to be used as food. If not, well it’s SO going to come in handy at the BOL, stuffed in green apples to lure deers or home, to de-ice the driveway…

        • Not sure about where your at, but I can get 3 kinds of salt here. Regular table salt w/iodine, in 1 lb and 5 pound cartons. Table salt without iodine, 1/5/25 lb packages. Then there’s pickling salt (courser?) in 1 and 5 pount packages. I keep a large amount of the kind w/o iodine for curing, etc. and several of the table salt w/iodine.

          Up in the mountains salt is not something you can get locally (at least that I know of). So during “troubled times” it would have to be imported. What with my assumption that there will be no electricity too, I plan on using it for preservation of meat.

          • JeffintheWest says:

            You bring up a good point. If anyone has a local source of salt — that’s a really, really good barter material in worst-case scenarios. Salt is an incredibly needful thing, especially when refrigeration is out of the question thanks to the grid failing. The term “worth their salt” comes to us from the Roman Army, which used to at least partially pay their troops with salt in addition to gold….

          • Often seen 20-40lbs bag of “just salt” used as a de-icer. No iodine, no calcium, no sand, just salt. What I need to know is if it’s food-grade. If not, I’m going to use it to thaw the driveway and the entrance. If it is, I’m going to buy a hundred pounds. Salt isn’t exactly common when you don’t have access to a mine or the sea. And it’s almost as essential as water…

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            What about swimming pool salt?

    • You can order salt in bulk from Morton salt.That also sell curing saly

  21. Seamus Finn. I have been looking for an old school coffee percolator that you can run on a stove or campstove type of setup. I want to be able to make coffee off grid, I am afraid id I can`t get my coffee that I may shoot some non slavers . I think it may keep me out of trouble that way.

    • axelsteve, I am not for sure, but I think cabelas has the percolator that you are speaking of.

      • Coleman makes a drip coffee stove top model. Works on a propane or white gas stove, guess it would work on a wood stove top as well. Consider the French press style, add boiling water stir then strain, saw a stainless two cup at a used sporting goods store. Black tea with yerba mate is plenty strong in caffeine (mate has matiene but it works just like caffeine.)

      • axelsteve says:

        thank you dog log,I will look into it

      • Walmart has them in their camping section.If you want a stainless steel on,you can get it on line at Vermont country store

    • Just search stovetop percolator at amazon, you’ll find them in glass, stainless, graniteware, moka pots and more. Most stores that sell camping supplies have them as well.

      Or just make it the old school way in a tin can and to complete the experience drink it from a metal cup. That really wakes you up quick….lol.

    • judy, another one says:

      Also, Sportsman’s Guide had them in several sizes. http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/Main.aspx
      I got the largest one to heat water in (take the guts out) for washing dishes and such, and then a regular sized one for making coffee.

    • steve, im thesame way. no coffee ,no peace!!! i got this at wamart for around 30 bucks. i tried it out on my woodstove and it makes some dang good coffee.

      • worrisome says:

        BC you are so funny! Just went and watched your coffee making project! Next thing we know we are going to be checking out your gourmet dinner skills over a wood stove.

        I have several of those older percolators, I used them over campfires for years…the boys use one over the scraps fire they build every morning before everyone goes to work up at the bol. They never wash their cups out afterward. They all have different ones, they just take the new day’s coffee, drop a bit in the cup, swirl it around, throw it out and pour a fresh cup.

      • axelsteve says:

        Brad. Thank you for the videos! I saw the coffee one and the 10/22 video.I would like to make a 10/22 video on just mods that you can do without changing out everything.Like polishing up and cleaning up the bolt and etc like you shown in your video.Remodeling that plate to make it an autobolt.Add scope , sling , drill the stock for storage.Keeping it stock but improving what it came with.

    • JeffintheWest says:

      Me too on the coffee pot! They used to have them everywhere, now you have to go to a thrift store a lot of times to find things like that — I think having as much as possible that you can run by hand or by old fashioned wood fire is a huge investment in the future. Also looking at cast-iron pots and pans and the like; a pain in the butt weight-wise, but they cook evenly and well once broken in, and they can do a great job over an open fire. My SO actually baked chocolate chip cookies over an open campfire once, so we know a lot of things can be done that way with a little planning and effort!

    • I have three of those. All you need is a steel kettle and a Melita coffee percolator. It’s just some kind of plastic cone that fits over a cup or another container in which you insert a filter and some coffee. Works fine in camping, as long as you have a way to boil water.

      Check this website : https://shoponline.melitta.com/items/COFFMKRSPROVER

      For 15-20$, you get the cone, the glass container, and filters cost like 2-3$ a pack of 40.

      Before I bought my Keurig, that’s what I have been using all my life. I was too poor to buy a real percolator.

    • All I do is boil water, then I have the plastic cone from a coffee machine, I put the coffee grounds in a filter in that on top of my teapot and pour the boiling water in that. It takes 4 times filling the filter to make a pot of coffee in my teapot. You can even use any container, and you can improvise a coffee cone with an old cottage cheese pint container by poking holes in the bottom.

      • WOW! You & I think the same.REPURPOSING is a good thing. The filter holder of an old coffee maker can be used the same way,just put on top of a large drink mug & take out the little drain plug & pour hot water thru the coffee & filter.
        I also have a couple of those little one-man coffee makers that use the #2 filters. I cannot live w/o coffee,my whole getting up in the morning routine revolves around it.

    • Percolators can be found at Ace Hardware here and several other places. I chose the “pour-over” pot so I just have to boil water and pour the water over the coffee in the basket on top of the pot. Others mentioned a similar type that you can put directly on your cup. Mine is made by Melita and I bought it at Ace Hardware. I wanted it in case the power went out but use it all the time now instead of the drip pot. My little drip pot now gets used to keep my canning lids warm when I’m canning.

    • I have purchased several stove top coffee makers on Ebay. I prefer the drip kind that you pour water though, mainly because I forget to check a percolator and end up with mud instead of coffee. With the drip type, I boil water in a whistling teakettle and I can hear that over the vacuum cleaner.

  22. I have had a busy week. The refrigerator in the garage has gone ka-put, so we ordered a new one. That has been on the back burner or a while. The new frig is scheduled to arrive Friday. Now I have more room to store food. We made a run to Sam’s club to restock the larder, and we rotated our short-term food supply. We picked up some meds at China mart. And stopped by the liquor store for some 100 proof vodka. I ordered six pounds of elderberries. I am glad temperatures are back in the 80s. That polar vortex crap is for the birds.


    • Jeff, I bet you were less stressed than the unprepared!

    • Jeff,

      How about writing an article on how much water you use each day? How much water does it take to get everything done? This is one of the most important topics there is.

      • ok Bam Bam
        There are 5 of us in my house right now, me, my wife, 19 year old son, his girlfriend, and my 11 year old son. I have tried to conserve as much as possible, as a family we are using about 4 gallons a day. So far we are sponge bathing, and not putting water in the tub. we having been eating on paper plates, and cups, with plastic forks and spoons. when we do have to wash a pan we use about a quart of water to wash it with. We all drink what we need to keep hydrated, but this has been a good lesson learned. Most of this has been a huge inconvenience, more than anything. There has been plenty of water at distribution centers, we went by one today, drove right in has handed a case of bottled water, and they filled up my 7 gallon water can. All in all it has bee a good experiment for me and my family, we have learned what we would need to do to make what water you have last. I have also learned that I need to put more water up, and with fairly large amounts of water available for a fairly small amount of money, it is nothing more than an insurance policy.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Major Ditto Jeff… Please let us know the kind of H2o you need… needed to get through this thing and How those around you deal with this mess.

      • Update to all
        Our state government announced today they are ready to start flushing the water system in zones. he downtown area first due to that is where our 3 hospitals are found. I believe that I am in zone 3, hope to have water back in the next couple of days. I have learned a few things from this, first you can never have to much water stored, I know now that I can store water in my attic without worrying about it freezing, we had temps about 2 weeks ago that were down to 4 below zero, and my stored water is fine. So I will replenish and add a whole lot more. The people around me were ok for the most part, 169 people ended up in the hospital due to being sick from this chemical spill. There was plenty of water to go around, water stations every where. People need to realize this was a small event in the bis scheme of things, it affected 9 counties, and 300,000 people. If this was a bigger event there would not have been this much water coming in from other areas. Wal Mart, Target, Kroger, all had plenty to sell, stacks of it everywhere. Groups giving out water at many different water filing locations. Like I said I will be storing much more than I had before, because if this was a multi state event instead of a multi county event I could see this getting very ugly, very fast. So to all thanks for the concern and please put your essentials up in large number. Water, dried food, medical, cant have enough of any of these.

  24. I saw that one of my old stomping grounds had a black rain cloud for a couple of days, almost washed Delray beach off the map! I did pick up a old style peculator coffee pot at the feed store, brought back memories, when I was a kid, we used to visit a great aunt in Long Branch, NJ, she always had this little aluminum coffee pot on the stove, we used to call it the magic pot, no matter how many people stopped by(the house was filled with people all day) everyone would get a cup of coffee from this little pot, and we never saw her make a fresh batch, she just kept “refreshing’ everyone’s cup, and amusing us with her incredible stories.Years later she told me her secret, although I have never been able to duplicate the results to her level. Some secrets you keep.

    • Donna in MN says:

      Campfire coffee made the old way was to put grounds straight in the pot and put in egg shells to keep the grounds on the bottom. When it got towards empty, we’d put in some water and throw in a teaspoon more of grounds as long as it was still hot. It didn’t need to boil, just keep hot….oops, did I spill a secret?

      • Rider of Rohan says:

        Donna…best coffee I ever had was on a hunting trip in Wyoming when our camp was blown away by a Blue Norther(that’s what we call them in Texas). We found a boiler and a can of coffee stopped by a fence a quarter or so away. I got a fire started, put the grounds in the boiling water for a few minutes, let them settle, and then poured the coffee off the top. Hit the spot in -19 deg. wind chill.

      • Close, but not quite 😉

      • JeffintheWest says:

        In the old days out west, the cowboys would put the grounds in the bottom of the pot, boil the coffee, and then drop some cold water in to “settle the grounds.” Worked pretty well.

  25. Donna in MN says:

    I got my cost of food down to an average of $1.20 a day this week. That’s because I found good deals at the store and free giveaways. I planned out a menu including beverages and desert for $37 in the month of January for one person. That ought to get me back to my girlish figure again!

    My goal was to get down to $1 a day, but if I do, it will be when my garden and wild eatables start growing and fishing season starts.

    • Donna,

      I would love to read a post on how to make a month’s worth of meals for one person for $37. That’s excellent, especially for this time of year. Share the expertise.

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      Me, too. You are a woman for all seasons, Donna.
      I spend about $35 to $40 per week for me, but I do entertain and take meals to people.

    • worrisome says:

      Donna, please do an article on how you are keeping your food costs down. I am my own worst enemy. I don’t know how to cook for one so I buy for 5 or 6, make stuff and then have to freeze it, can it or give it to the neighbors.

      would love to hear your tips on this.

      • I do the same thing, Worrisome. When I make spaghetti sauce, chili or soup I make it in the pot for my water bath caner. But we have plenty to freeze.

        • I do Brunswick Stew and “clean out the freezer” stew in my water bath canner. It’s an excellent stew pot.

    • Donna in MN says:

      LOL I wrote it up but deleted it because I thought it would get lost here.


      Yesterday I ate $1.28 worth and was pretty full, but went over the budget 8 cents which will be corrected. I get so much free and discounted food and use last years garden and wild pickins and fishins.

      Today I made free waffles except the oil with my wild blueberries and free syrup from a trade that cost me nothing. I am having now stewed tomatoes from the garden for lunch I froze in one cup containers. I got porkchops for 60 cents each on sale so it will be added to my generic mashed potatoes, and yellow beans from my garden for dinner. That and coffee and penny-a-serving tea, I am set for about $1.17 for the day.

      Tomorrow will be cheaper as I will eat left over waffles and fried fish from yesterday, glazed carrots from my garden, and I plan to make a berry cobbler from my wild berries and half a cake mix on sale for about 15 cents a serving.(1/6 of a pie pan)

      I have to write down meal plans to make it work. When it looks too boring I add the cobbler!

  26. Victoria S. says:

    Absolutely nothing accomplished this week. Irritated my throat last Sunday struggling to get some hay bales into the paddock during the snowstorm and spent all week trying to recover.

    Not going to get anything done today because its my birthday and I refuse to be productive on my birthday.

    Hope the pack is well!

  27. Rider of Rohan says:

    Great score on the am-mo, MD. I’m jealous.

    Still recovering from a bout with the flu, and single digit temps, but it’s beautiful outside today, so some yard work. Ugh.

    Already been to Wally this morning and bought 100 large trash bags, extra duct tape, peroxide, Advil, Mucinex, Tylenol, Benadryl, Zyrtec, Imodium, 24 rolls toilet paper, 12 bars soap, 2 gal. vinegar, and 1 gal. Clorox. Then off to the trusty pharmacy and got Sambucol, a box of 20 N95 masks and box of 100 pair of gloves. I spent over $100, but is money well spent I believe. Since I got to Wally’s at 8:00 am, there weren’t 15 people in the entire store. That was a big plus. Note to self: Do this all the time.

    Finally got to try out my 1894 Marlin, and it performed very well, though I am not used to shooting a lever-action, and it showed, especially trying to shoot it rapidly. Not good, will take more practice for sure.

    That’s about it, hope everyone is well or getting well. I did see this piece this week that really upset me. People living off the grid, and bothering no one, have been set upon by the commies in Los Angeles County. They will never let us just exist, they want everyone to be in the gov’t hive. SWAT teams used against ordinary people just trying to make a living and be free. This has to stop.


    • Rider of Rohan,

      LuckyGunner has it in stock…

    • worrisome says:

      Rider, this made the rounds on Facebook as well. People were pretty much having a fit over it. I have friends that live near there. He says that he thinks it is because they are wanting to put a freeway through there and are trying to run down land values.

      Of not, all these tactical military style vehicles………..is this stuff coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq and getting distributed out? If not, what an incredible waste of tax payers money! And for the code team to need one is insane!

      • I’m wondering if it’s just a way to get rid of the vehicles and keep them “in the family” so to speak?

        These MRAP’s are only good where there are roads or flat areas to drive in. They are not tanks. They also get very crappy mileage and according to some vets I know, break down a lot. And, people are offended by them. What’s not to love, heh.

        The only uses I see for them are: Free toys from the feds (but not really free because maintenance); keeps SWAT team and their radio guys from getting shot by their drug bust or some riot while inside one; looks impressive during the town parade.

        Not good off-road.

        • riverrider says:

          and roll over very easily.

        • “looks impressive during the town parade.”

          Yep. Like a Soviet May Day Parade. And just as heart warming to a formerly free people.

          There isn’t anything positive about drug abuse, but the whole so-called War on Drugs has been one of the biggest foundation stones for expanding federal and state government control, and militarizing the police forces of the country.

          It’s getting to the point that I’d rather have pot heads next door than a police station.

          • Rider of Rohan says:

            We have a one-man code operation in my town, and he drives a single cab pickup truck, and that’s just right.

            To have a SWAT Team and armored vehicle appear for code enforcement means there is another agenda at play here. One of intimidation. That this crap is allowed by the County and the State along with the Courts just goes to show how corrupt this country has become. The Bill of Rights is being used as toilet paper by these people.

  28. patientmomma says:

    This week was mostly getting ready to move the preps and getting the POD picked up and moved to the farm. I took a pickup truck full of water barrels, potted plants and small tools plus 2 dogs and a kitten to the farm. Got the barrels filled with water just in time to learn West VA had a chemical spill. Then later found out the chemical is actually made in TN. Bummer, praying for those poor people.

    Picked up a few extra medical supplies, and several boxes of puppy pp pads at Sams.Puppies are getting the hang of eliminating on the pp pads; but they’re not there yet. Hopefully it will return to mid-south normal temps so they can begin to go outside. The puppies are annoying the heck out of the older dogs so there’s a lot of growling and snapping going on to teach the puppies manners and dog pack pecking order. Found an old wooden baby gate to use to keep the puppies in place and picked up some hog pans to feed the growing puppies. It is a laugh a minute to watch them! Found out today that Tractor Supply has early puppy meds so only have to go to vet to get rabies shots when they are old enough. Looking for a cheap place to get momma fixed (quickly) before she goes into season.

    Trying to empty out some of the freezer contents before the movers come and get the heavy stuff. I canned up most of the meat, chicken and pork but still have some veges and fish. Think I’ll throw it all in the crock pot and can some soup.

    Off to a funeral; one of my dearest friend’s 30 year old daughter was found dead last week at her home. No report from the coroner yet so we don’t know what happened.

    Thanks to all of you who have written articles; all were really helpful. BC keep those videos coming!! God bless you all!

  29. PGCPrepper says:

    * Ordered two 50 cal ammo cans

    * Picked up a few rounds of 9mm ammo

    * Ordered some L-glutamine due to rotation

    * Finally bought the book Grain Brain since reminded by someone here last week. Thanks!

  30. Had put up 75 gallon of water before the sub-zero temps last week and glad I did. Looks like that Elk River chemical spill in West Virginia may connect to the Ohio River. Though the tributaries do not connect where I live, it reminded me of the importance of having sufficient water stored. 4-methylcyclohexane methanol is not something to be exposed to.


    • OwlCreekObserver says:

      I noticed that the water processing plant was just DOWNstream from the chemical plant. Not sure what the logic was there. The city fathers might want to consider rebuilding the water plant UPstream or forcing the chemical company to move DOWNstream from the water plant.

    • I just looked up the MSDS for Methylcyclohexane. Here is a link.

      This stuff is lighter then water and floats. It is also not water soluble. Seems they could have have used containment boom and vac-sucked off the surface. Just have to get the boom in front of it.
      If a municipal water facility is removing water from mid-depth or bottom of the river they should have no problems. Better safe then sorry. Since most people don’t understand this type of stuff they are making decisions to protect themselves from claims afterwards. Water wells near the river are safe too.

      • It also has a boiling temp that is within a couple degrees of water, so it cant be distilled out either. There is only one way to remove it and i would only attempt under the most dire of circumstances. The chemical is lighter than water and will not mix unless agitated or stirred. The chemical floats on top of the water,so you could remove the water under it very carefully. (as in a spigot at the bottom of a container) Im not sure what micron the chemical is so i would not try filtration unless i could then pour it over ACTIVATED charcoal and im not certain even that is safe. Reverse osmosis would be the most logical filtration method if filtration was attempted since there are no filters that are capable of the fine micron of reverse osmosis,unless there some im not aware of and even then it would have to be put under pressure like osmosis.

      • Thomas The Tinker says:

        Good work Sir… nice to know.

  31. Made it thru surgery in good shape although I didn’t want to give back the ventilator so they let me keep it for a few extra hours. Payback was that I got to spend an extra day in the hospital. Now 6 weeks minimum recovery time so probably not a lot happening in the prep area for a while. On the other hand maybe I’ll make better headway than I think. In the meantime I’ll enjoy reading everyone else’s entry.

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      I am glad that is behind you, Suzy. May you have a peaceful and good recovery. Rest. You’ve earned it.

    • worrisome says:

      Glad you are through it. Take your time to get over it and I am keeping you on the prayer list for awhile just in case… 🙂

    • Donna in MN says:

      I hope you feel better in your peaceful recovery…don’t watch the news if you want peace.

    • suzy q
      Nice to hear you are on your way to recovery.
      Prepping is not always items we put away for the whatever day, it is also the preparing for the unknown be it the mind, body or spirit. You have done well our fellow prepper.

  32. Received several orders of grains to replace the ones eaten by mice! Got them all repackaged in sealed bags and put away in the Sterilite containers. Well, actually credit goes to my wife for 90% of the work involved! I’m at a point to actually begin working on the construction of the Portable Power Panel as most all of the parts have been found and ordered/received. They await my attention up in my shop. My small furnace in the shop quit working before Christmas and it’s just now fixed and running again. Had a small milk barn heater doing duty to keep things warm while waiting for parts. My shop cat is happy and warm once again! We’ve had snow this week so some time was spend on the tractor blowing snow while more was falling! It’s warmed up and raining today so the roads will be icy tomorrow.

  33. I have been offline for a bit, missed this blog the most. In Benson AZ this weekend for a square dance my Dad doesn’t dance anymore but likes the company. Colder here than Tucson but still mid 60°s and dry.
    Bought 200 lbs white rice on sale last week 33¢/lb. I feed my dogs rice with milk along with dry food. They always eat the rice first, sometimes I’ll add canned pumpkin or cooked carrots.
    My memory seems to be getting better, mnemonic exercises help but mostly memorizing songs on the harmonica, this months song sloop john b.

    • did you go see “the thing”? i love the rock formations up texas canyon but i doubt you went that far. only place in this country ive ever seen those rock formations, every trucker thats ever been through benson ,knows where the praying hands are.

      • JeffintheWest says:

        Man, I haven’t heard about “the Thing” in years! Amazed that old tourist trap is still around. I remember the “praying hands” too. Thanks, bc. In 45 words you gave me a trip down memory lane that’s lasted for hours! I kind of miss driving on the old I-10 headed west….

      • Never been in, sat in parking lot while my brother did the thing. Just not my sort of ‘thing’.
        The time you broke down and had to walk to the TTT i was living in the crazyhorse rv park right next door.

        • I still have flashbacks of that day. To this day it amazes me that no one would pick up a fat old guy walking down the road with an armload of truck parts in 115 degree heat and give him a lift to his truck. It sure taught me a lesson about how little people care about one another. Im certain beyond a doubt now that you can only depend on yourself in an emercency. That was perhaps the most important lesson i learned in a long while.

      • People in Benson are real nice.

        The Texas Canyon is amazing. First time my Dad went through he saw a sign warning people against taking the rocks. He said, Hell, they should make everyone take a rock!” We laugh about it every time we go through here!

        Never stopped at the thing, maybe some day!

      • Donna in MN says:

        Gosh! I saw the “thing” back in the 70’s during my ramblin days. LOL saw the biggest taranchulas there too. uggegch!

  34. Bought another can for kerosene and worked on getting my blacksmith shop set up. It finally broke 0 on Friday,should get more done this weekend (the nipco couldn’t keep up in the shed)

  35. cynthia rafler says:

    This week I started paying more attention to this prepping blog as my favorite. I had subscribed to it, as well as a few other and prepper-web catalogs when the Prepper show on Nat Geo aired. I also, started seeing the writing on the wall, that we will not recover from this financial-collapse we are heading for. The prepping on the Nat Geo show has of late become outrageous and I feel inadequate as well as overwhelmed when I watch.
    But I felt at home when I began reading the articles and comments on this blog. A renewed sense of hope.
    This week we talked about keeping chickens in the backyard and how to keep the house cats out after the Cockroach Infestation at Foster Farms this week in the news.
    We planted potatoes and potatoes and onions and will plant more, we have a producing tangerine tree.
    Stocked up on more canned goods.
    25 year old daughter finished gun class.
    Was very impressed with the Conflicted game and made a long term plan for an EMP scenario as well a long term plan for a flu pandemic. We plan to make long term goals and plans for all scenarios and preps.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Most folks use an alias when posting. If someone can identify you from the information you post here, like “stocked up on more canned goods”, they might try to take them from you after the mobs burn down the empty grocery stores after TSHTF. So for OPSEC (Operational Security) reasons, think about changing the name you use for posting.
      OTOH, if your real name is George, my bad.

  36. Black Rose says:

    I started my first batch of elderberry tincture and in the process of taking down the Christmas Tree. It would be much easier to just hang hearts then colored eggs, then little flags, followed by little pumpkins and then I could hang the Christmas ornaments back up.

    • There have been years I’ve considered that, sometimes it just looks overwhelming To start dismantling it all (and I like the tree)
      But then once it’s down I like my house back to normal!

    • Happy Camper says:

      I generally leave my big tree decorated and just put it in a storage cupboard I have. But this year I had a new small tree that I’d decorated in Miley Cyrus wrecking ball decorations (my teenagers thought this was funny). I just dumped the whole thing in the bin. Next Xmas, will be good to go again with my pre decorated tree 🙂
      And to be honest, I’d bought the big tree already decorated in 2010 from a local store after Xmas as it was their display model. I think it cost me about $15

  37. NWGhostRider says:

    The DW and I completed the major part of our relocation, still need one more trip to complete. It’s amazing how much unneeded clutter you accumulate over the years, will use it to try and set up a local barter system. Met another survivalist from our old home town and referred them to a local group.

    • worrisome says:

      Tell Michelle hi for us 🙂 😉

      • Hi sweetie! I’ve been watching your posts and have been so envious of the progress you’ve all made with your bug out/retirement home.

        You’ve probably said before, and I certainly would NOT want you to blow OPSEC, but what is the GENERAL area you’re moving to if you don’t mind repeating it? I’ll be happy knowing a section of a state – like NE CA (that should be pretty general).

        • worrisome says:

          Ok………I am just over the Cal Nev line coming off the east side Sierras, North of 80 and still in the trees. North West of Reno sort of… We are in place where property is rarely available and pretty much surrounded by government land.

          I80 is the main corridor and I will be glad when I am settled and no longer have to worry about going over the mountain.

          Truly, I am not the one that has made the progress work…it is all the bil and nephew. I am the organizer, the buyer, and keep everyone’s books for them. They were in high school together and have been in the construction business together for all these years since…. I am blessed that they want me up there with them. My husband was bil’s oldest brother and I met him through them. BIL has been married twice, no kids but has been an active uncle to all of my kids, both adopted, natural birth and fostered. Nephew, well I raised him and his sister as well as my sister was unable.

  38. huckleberrylady says:

    Purchased another box of 20 N95 mask, worried about this flu going around. A man I know is in the hospital with the flu and developed pneumonia.
    Picked up 2 more bottles of peroxide and 2 bottles of rubbing alcohol, 6 pack of bar soap.
    That’s it for me this week! Have a great week everyone

  39. Just got back from the gunshow not bad, Well I picked 2 moisin nagants , 1 spam can ammo(440 rds.) scope and mount, ordered 2 bolts with downturned handles, slings and mag pouches, a spare mag for Baby Browning, 2 mags rugar 10-22 25 rds.each, 1 emergency fire starter, no rg revolvers and 1 1/75 litre canadain club, 2-2.1 lb. coffee, got an order in for 4 cases roast beef, I just hope I can get 2 more moisins before POTUS gets his ex. orders fix in.

  40. Has anyone heard from Schametti?

  41. Rob in Ontario says:

    Nice buy on the ammo MD,, this week I picked up a 54 cal. flintlock rifle looks like a hawken and power, also a mold for minie ball, stopped by recycle centre and for $15 got 21lbs of lead, have some here but its under 3 feet of snow and ice

    • Rob in Ontario says:

      forgot to mention that I just finished a Mel Tappen book and moved on to reading his “Survival Guns” looksgreat so far

      • good book!

        • Agreed! I got mine when it first came out, and it is one of my most scribbled in books. A lot is pretty dated now, and lots to disagree with with, but that is good: It made me think about issues. That aspect is timeless. It’s well worth the read.

  42. Teresa Farrow says:

    What did I do to prep?
    – I ordered two of your books; Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat and 31 Days to Survival.
    -ordered a book for my children ( two are adults ) The Little Red Hen.
    -ordered the Conflicted Card Game
    -Updated two bug out bags
    -Brought in a very nice flahslight and battery supply
    -Added to the sundry supplies
    Have been looking for a place that meets our needs.

  43. MentalMatt says:

    Nothing on physical preps this week, I did however renew my N.R.A. membership for me and my 11 year old twins. Oh and I did renew my G.O.A. membership also. Counts as a prep doesn’t it?

    • riverrider says:

      you bet it does. they are doing good work on the hill. glad to see you still with us. be careful out there.

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Hey, Matt, what’s all the hullabaloo about the artwork owned by the City of Detroit, and why it can’t be sold to help cover pension costs?

      • MentalMatt says:

        Not quite sure, it wasn’t appraised for as much as they thought, everything is still a big fight down here, with the workforce taking it on the chin.

        • Rider of Rohan says:

          Yeah, the little guy always gets the crumbs after the politicians and their buddies feed at the public trough. Good luck, man.

      • Hi Rider of Rohan, I’ve been following the story a bit and from what I can tell, there is a very strong argument for being able to sell the art in the Detroit Institute of Art.

        Unlike most art museums, DIA is not only owned by the city of Detroit, but since the 1920s the city used tax money to buy pieces for the collection. Not all of the art was bought with tax money, but quite a few important (read: valuable) pieces were.

        In any case, the entire collection is owned by the city, whether they bought it or it was donated. My understanding is that the Christie’s appraisal covered only those pieces which were bought with tax money.

        As I recall that appraisal was something like $500-600 million. However, the rest of the collection is likely worth billions, and because it is owned by the city, is a city asset open to forced sale in a federal bankruptcy. While the state constitution bans selling the art to pay off debts, this is a federal bankruptcy, and federal law trumps state constitution or state law.

        The collection is a financial asset of the city. The city is deeply in debt, mostly to employee pension funds. One can argue that the pensions were abusively generous, but that does not change the fact that the pensioners have a legitimate claim on city assets.

        Politics is likely to play a huge role in settling all this, so who knows how it will shake out?

        It would be terrible to sell off the collection, but it would also be terrible to stiff a bunch of 80 year olds who made plans based on politicians’ promises.

        At some level I hope the collection does get sold. The pensioners may well have to settle for reduced pensions, and if they were abusive to begin with, well, this is a crisis and everybody suffers.

        Selling the collection, or major parts of it, though, would be a huge wake up call to the dozens of other cities around the country which are moving in the same direction with their debt.

        As the saying goes: That which cannot continue, won’t. Better that other cities and states put bridles on their politicians before they collapse as Detroit has collapsed. If it takes forcing Detroiters to take responsibility for their own debts, good.

        • JeffintheWest says:

          “It would be terrible to sell off the collection, but it would also be terrible to stiff a bunch of 80 year olds who made plans based on politicians’ promises.”

          Which is pretty similar to what Obama and Congress (including that traitor Ryan) are doing to veterans right now. Stiffing us so ILLEGALS can claim a tax refund that they shouldn’t even be entitled to. Thanks Mr. President and Congress — especially you RINOs.

          • Rider of Rohan says:

            Yeah, the RINOs are a pretty sorry lot, but compared to the Democrats, they’re saints. That worm who heads the Senate, Harry Reid, stopped the vote on an amendment that would have restored veteran’s benefits. He and Obama are the two most to blame in this sorry affair. Jeff Sessions of Alabama was the hero. Too bad he’s not the Senate leader.

            • What’s happening to Detroit Institute of Arts should motivate all citizens of all cities to forbid their city councils from owning museums of art. The Declaration of Independence gives the only valid purpose of government: “to secure these rights….” It does not say to secure museums of art.

  44. We just got back from another round at Shop-Rire, for the can-can sale.
    An entire cart of canned goods (and some extras) for $90.00.
    Beans, corn, coffee, more beans, sauerkraut, non-dairy creamer, a million 16 oz bottles of water, beans, cold medicine, and some beans.

  45. Someone posted a question about homemade vinegar this past week, and the recipe for breaking it down.

    I use a ratio of 1:19. Each ratio is ¼ cup. Use ¼ cup of your vinegar to 19, ¼ cups, which equals 4 ¾ cups of water. This gives you 5% vinegar, which is what store bought is.

    • POJO the question was about the strength . Yes store bought is 5 % but homemade or commercial neater one starts at 100 %. The test to find % of strength you start with is done using a wine acidity test kit.

  46. ozhillbilly says:

    Hi Pack. Pretty much stayed in the house this week still trying to get well from this pneumonia thing. Sure has drug me down. Anyway, did get out and bought two new books . . . Gunsmithing the AR-15 by Sweeney and Wayne Goddard’s $50.00 Knife Shop. I’ve always wanted to build my own AR and guess now is as good a time as ever. The knife thing? What is the deal with a boy and his knife? That’s all I can say about that. Back to the AR. These rifles are fairly inexpensive right now so you can buy one cheaper than you can build one in most cases.

  47. OwlCreekObserver says:

    Applied for concealed carry license, since this state finally stumbled into the 21st century and authorized the process starting this month. It’s one of those things that we all hope we’ll never need but as our society continues to degrade, I feel better knowing that I have another tool for the toolbox if I happen to be away from home when TSHTF.

  48. Mother Earth says:

    Well I’m off work again, so I’m doing a major clean out and reorganization of the basement. I need to make room for more preps and less “stuff”. When the kitchen cabinets get here, I will have a lot of tubs free to organize my preps and put together a spreadsheet of what I have and what I need more of. It will definitely feel better to have preps more organized…funny thing…I seem to have purchased quite a bit of chocolate!

    Take care pack, seeing a lot of flu out there! Based on MD & Bam Bam’s articles and what I’ve read, seems like a pandemic is in the works.

  49. Seeuncourt says:

    4 out of 5 person’s surveyed in our house have the flu (one with complications of pneumonia). It’s been a long week. I need something natural to boost immune systems! Any recipes for a flu-clouded brain? Before i caught the flu i butchered two more of the 45lb turkeys. Broad breasted bronze are NOT a healthy vivacious bird. Next year, I will buy naragansets. Lots of meat for the investment, but they don’t forage well, and are top heavy. I have 4 more to butcher along with 2 300+lb pigs. As soon as I am well, I’m firing up the smoker! Wrote an article on self employment for the blog competition.

  50. Schatzie Ohio says:

    Bought a box of Sambucol from Walmart. Ordered and received a Merino wool base layer shirt for the husband. We had a power out this morning from 6:40 to 10:20 and we didn’t even fire up the generator. We did sit around and talked about maybe getting one of those stack-able 160 gallon water tanks from EE to put in the basement with the other 55 gallon barrels that we have. I don’t think one can ever have too much water stored.

  51. Tactical G-Ma says:

    Hey M.D. and cubbies. Still lurking but sometimes don’t read everything but this is my greatest source of info. Love you guys.
    Since last commenting I bought a motorhome and a jeep to tow behind, got my ham tech license and uhf/vhf radios, continued with general preps, and helped form a local group. This week I bought a Katadyn Vario water microfilter and some steripen pre-filters for my ghb.
    I am finally recovering from the flu while DH is deep in the throws of it. We got the flu shot but didn’t help much. So glad that @#$%! polar vortex has gone back north. This old girl don’t do so good in cold weather anymore.
    Love and pray for you all and am truly impressed with the articles still coming from this group.

  52. The CDC just released the latest figures on H1N1. The disease is widespread in 35 states, up from 25 states the week before and 10 the week before that. They are close to declaring an epidemic.


    • Nebraska Woman says:

      The headline in the city paper that is closest to me reads, “Influenza Returns but Activity Is Low.” Ha. According to my nurse friends who live there, people are falling more and more each day. It’s not critical but getting there.

  53. Wild Weasel says:

    On the list for the new Glock 42, but not much other than that slow week, funds are low with the beginning of new year.

  54. bernie in texas says:

    hello Bam Bam and M.D. been a long time wife was sick sons house burned down but now i am back plus i feed 7 famileys with bread and vegs like my wife sead we are blessed hope yall have a great year keep prepping

    • Curley "Bull" says:

      I’m in East Texas. If you are anywhere near the Marshall/Longview area, just let me know what I can do to help out.


      • Bull, im in marshall once aweek. My freind cant drive anymore so once a week i pick her up in waskom and take her to marshall to go makr groceries. I live past shreveport about 40 miles.

    • Bernie in Texas,

      It sounds like you’ve been through it. Prayers out to you and your family.

  55. Curley "Bull" says:

    What did I do this week? Well, I did what a gunsmith told me I could not do! I put a Moss 835 barrel (24”, ported, vent rib, changeable choke) on my Moss 88 Mav using Uncle Mike’s sling adaptor kit for a Moss 500. Made a spacer from 1” PVC and had to find the right flat washer (painted them black). Ops check great and now has a sling also. I can change the barrels in 2 minutes if need be.

    Made a gun show in Marshall last Saturday and picked up a few primers and some powder. No .22 ammo to be had.

    Stay warm and safe Pack,

  56. Hi Pack!
    This week I valiantly fought off a cold but it got me in the end. (hack cough). I’ve been drinking a lot of herbal tea to keep the phlegm loose.

    I also pushed through my general cold-related malaise to renovate some of my own space in my house, and advertised my rooms for rent. I had a bunch of clutter out of one room to paint it and I put it back but got rid of some of the clutter. You don’t realize how much clutter you have till you have to move it to paint or whatever.

    My decluttering/prep-hiding adventures are probably fodder for an article, so I will stop here and write the article.

    • No kidding! We’ve done 2 – count ’em – 2 – 26′ trucks in this move so far, and we had mover helpers who packed those suckers to the ceiling – so tightly a few bags of sugar, oats, dog food, etc, got injured when we tried to get it out. We still have to go back next weekend with a 6×12′ trailer for the last of it.

      Not even half of my stuff is up here – most still in CA, and we have WAAAYYYY too much stuff. We’ve discussed making a list of the stuff we don’t want or need, and thought about doing a list of things we do want and need – and hanging it up in the Post Office/store/gas/bar/restaurant (all one building) here in town.

      As this is a farming community, I am hoping to be able to acquire goats and chickens that way.

      I also have way too many sets of fancy heels that I’ve either never worn or worn once or twice. Thought I’d offer them for free to the local teens here (and ruin their feet). I used to manage rock and roll bands in the DC area, so have the clothes and shoes to match that part time profession. The shoes are here, the clothes (several closets full) are in CA.

    • Try 8000 IU of vitamin D a day.

  57. Black Rose says:

    I went by bev n more for 100proof vodka, I did not realize it would be so hard to find. I only found 2 brands one was 23 a quart and one 28. Is that a normal price or is there cheaper 100 proof. Oh it for extract and not for drinking :0

    • Black Rose,

      I get store brand and pay $16 for a half gallon. That’s at ABC. I don’t know if this chain is national through.

      • Black Rose says:

        Bam Bam I haven’t seen an ABC out where I’m at. West coast. I’ve been googling elderberry extract receipies and have see anywhere from 2 weeks to months before you strain them and they are ready to use. How long do you leave them in vodka? Oh and they were dried organic elderberries so I did not wash them first. Should I have washed them?

        • Black Rose,

          Two weeks is fine. Assuming you are using the dried elderberries, you don’t have to wash them. Scrolls down a few posts back. I wrote a short article on elderberry tincture.

          • Bam Bam
            I made a batch of Elderberry & Sumac wine a couple of years ago but haven’t tried it yet, they say it takes a while to “age”. Do you think that will have any medicinal value – or just numb the pain?

      • Bam Bam & Michele:

        What would happen if you use 80 proof instead of 100?

    • I have the same problem, 80 but no 100.

  58. What did I do this week? Continued without running water: Thank goodness for a backup sump pump and a bucket from my below ground cistern. Pump problems almost solved-venturi tube is stuck open. THEN this freeze froze all straight PVC on the output side of the pump. I had a heater going but it did not keep the cement top of the cistern warm enough in this cold. My neighbor was going to replumb for me today but went to the ER with a possible hernia (was not). I learned by doing how to remove and then replumb everything on the output side to include the supply from the pump, to a stack holding t-s for the PVC going into the cistern and then to the house and the new frost-free pipe to the faucet on the outside of the pump house. I also had to replace the PVC to the two 35 gallon pressure tanks attached at the bottom of the stack. At 73, my hands were rebelling something awful, but I now know I can pumb the pump house as long as I have the fittings necessary (buy extras and store).

    If the venturi tube gets cleaned out tomorrow by my neighbor (yes I will be watching very closely), I may have running water again!!

    • docj, Sure hope that works out for you!

    • Donna in MN says:

      This cold snap has given us hell hasn’t it? I found out my septic tank froze up and it will be frozen till May. Strange as it seems it may be running clear while under 25 below 0, but when it warms up to 30 degrees, it freezes up. Yeah, I said “Huh?” too when people told me thats the way it is up here.

  59. JoJo, my beautiful bride, and I ordered a half case of mixed meats from Wearling. I check the prices every few months and they are consistently the lowest and their product is very good. This order was to replace what we have used and to round up a few to what I consider minimum levels. I wanted to order another half case but had to replace the alternator in my 98 pickup.
    Everyone, please be careful out there. I am concerned with this flu and a few other things going around. Please, pray as you prep.

  60. I have restarted my army exercise regime, with a couple of deletions (no Black Hat yelling and screaming at me to step it up; I miss that) I realized that I have let myself get completely out of shape (even though I have an excuse and that is a demon call cluster headaches) and it will do me no good if I cannot hump a BOB for more than a mile without collapse. I have also started eating a lot healthier… I have cut down on my meat intake for a while and increased my vegetable intake so that I can cut down on my weight before I start looking at adding muscle mass. I plan to be able to do a 12 mile hump by the end of March and a continuous 5 mile run at the same time. So this is my prep started yesterday for the foreseeable future.

    I have been ruminating over the Conflicted game since it came out… I am an avid reader and read about 1000 page a week (sometimes more). I read most of the responses for this weeks Conflicted scenario and caught the reference to the “Going Home” series. As the series takes place less than 35 miles away from my location I was hooked fast and have read all three books in two days…. well written and the characters and superbly fleshed out. That said:

    Scenarios like this are an excellent tool to make you stretch and build up your most important muscle: your brain. But for everyone who has a prep plan, a bug in/out plan and BOL site, what have you done to look outside the box in any scenario that are looked at in our community as set in stone. For example (and I will pirate A. American’s plot here): an emp or MC event that kills most complex electronics systems in the blast/event radius. We are aware that electronics will go down and that planes, trains and most automobiles will die and we have some idea what we should do in this situation. Prep food, water systems, shelter, defense systems and possibly be able to protect smaller electronic systems with homemade Faraday cages. Some of us in the community have prepping partners or extended family with whom we share responsibilities and reinforce each other with dissimilar skill sets to give depth to (lets call it) our “survival quotient”. We have our bug out routes and we dissect them as to time, traffic and terrain. We preposition caches along the way.

    What are we missing when we follow a preset plan and Murphy finds us. Some of us live at our BOL and know what is surrounding us (and the community) like the back of our hand, some of us might use the BOL as a vacation spot and be less familiar and lastly some of us are bugging in and/or don’t have a specific location. Plans are done. Bags packed. Weapons cleaned. Family around.

    I do not think I am paranoid just very imaginative. This is my out-of-the-box scenario brain exercise wherever I go:

    I am off on a trip. What do you see around you? The pretty sunsets, the river and the old semi rusted 5 blade plow that used to be pulled by a team of horses on the side of the road. The large stand of cane that is just exploding on a persons yard. The log transfer yard. The cement company… or the county sewage treatment plant. If I can see and recognize resources along my route or surrounding my BOL I will remember them and record them. These are important because after the first couple of weeks or months in a bad event we will need anything we can lay our hands on to increase our chances at survival.

    I have read and seen (and so have you) plenty about what we have done to prepare for large scale scenarios but most of what we have planned for will be for a smaller group. The only way that we will have covered all the bases in this scenario is with a fricking huge budget and enough people with the diverse skill set to implement it safely.

    The only problem that I have with “Going Home” is that there is so little trust in the protagonists’ community. It is a modern day problem in large cities, suburbs and communities around the country. I mention this because trust is such a huge issue that plays a major role in all of our scenarios. Our prep group has got to be trusted… without question. But what if that group is not large enough? In “Going Home” you get this lesson shoved in your face and it is a bitch slap. (French)

    I will ask you to read the book “The Last Centurion” by John Ringo… it has the most perfect section on trust that I have ever read or hope to read in my lifetime. We will have to grow our groups with people that have the skills or the resources we need to survive. Doctors, engineers, chemists or soldiers (both active and those called farmers) or even the nerd who can help you rewire a generator motor for your dammed stream. I mentioned in my first post that morality and civility are going to be essential in a post event society, well, trust is the strongest leg to hold it up.

    By thinking outside the box and accepting that we will not be able to survive alone (unless we choose to stay in a 19th century scenario), we not only short circuit a linear cause – effect plan, we make our overall situation more robust and have the ability to deal with Mr. Murphy if he visits.

    I am sorry if this ran on and it is a little disjointed… these headaches hurt.

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      ChandlerX, I love the Going Home story. I grew up in Tampa in a modest middle class neghborhood. My neighbors were from all over the country and rarely got to really know one another. Same thing when I lived in San Antonio. Now where I live, I, the outsider, am the exception. Everybody knows everybody. Most are related and after almost 10 years and working my way into the community, have been accepted.
      During a crisis, I will not trust people I don’t know well or if I don’t know their kin who vouch for them. I think the amount of conflict or contention will be directly relative to the neighborhood.
      I will check out the The Last Centurion.

    • Nebraska Woman says:

      I thought your post was just fine, and I hope to read more from you, Chandler X. We were taught by my father, a military survivalist who grew up in West Texas, to always be alert to where you are and what is around you. He amazed me with his intuition and his knowledge.

    • ChandlerX, “If I can see and recognize resources along my route or surrounding my BOL I will remember them and record them.”

      Thanks for that. I recently went to Google maps and searched out the swimming pools in the neighborhood, printed out the map, marked the pools in walking distance, and threw it in our supplies. None of the pools are visible from the street, so we have to know ahead of time where they are.

      If a hurricane or other disaster knocks out the water system or the electric plants which power it, we will be highly dependent on stored water.

      We have stored water, but swimming pools are the biggest storage units around, and we hope to trade filtering service for water with the neighbors.

    • C X, About those cluster headaches, I read in the book “Grain Brain” that some people suffering from cluster headaches got relief from them by going gluten free. You might try that if you haven’t already.

  61. Well busy week ordered our new gas range just have to set up delivery after I pull gas line to it. After power outage last year we decided we are done with electric stove’s. Also bought 350 rounds of 9mm. Some one in last weeks post asked me what chislic was It is basically deep fried cubes of meat that you season right out of the oil with garlic salt and pepper. Traditionally done with sheep but deer is quite popular as well. It is a North and South Dakota thing.

  62. not this week but I did just recertify as a medical first responder in our rural area. I guess that is prepping too!

  63. Trying to remember if I did anything other than work, argue with the YTC and pay bills this week. We did send the oldest home with a bunch of food, laundry detergent and fabric softener as her second job hasn’t had work in three weeks and the first job reduced her hours so she’s having a bit of trouble making ends meet. She’ll be fine in a couple of weeks because job 2 will be back in full swing as long as schools aren’t closed due to any screwy weather. I’ll be headed to the store later to restock some of what went home with the oldest. I think that’s all for the week. Time to read what everyone else has been doing.

  64. 19Pinky67 says:

    This week we started constructing shelves to store jars of home-canned goods. We completely ran out of shelf space halfway through canning season 2013. Purchased 2 boxes of shells. Been perusing/drooling over some of the heirloom seed catalogs that have arrived, and are making plans. Trying to read and learn more about herbs and herbal remedies. That’s about the size of it for this week.

  65. Added about 80lbs of nilgai meat to freezer, that’s in addition to the axis deer and one whitetail buck.
    Canned tomato products were on sale, added stewed tomatoes and tomato puree to pantry.
    pollen counts have been sky high with the cedars so keeping indoors. The plants are so loaded down, when a gust of wind kicks up the pollen blowing off makes it looks like they’re on fire. Ugh!
    Figured out when draining pipes outside during freezing weather, once system is off, and drained, the individual cutoffs have to be opened back up to drain last little bit of water out because even just an inch of water in the pipe to freeze will blow apart 1″ PVC ball valves. That’s my new prep goal for the month.. Putting enough fittings by to redo kennels and horse pens twice over. I also put some of those cheap mylar blankets to cut into strips and wrapped other pipes underneath foam insulation.
    time to start getting the garden worked to think about planting.. If the polar vortex stays put, I can start planting the first round of tomatoes around Valentines day. I hear you all groaning out there, but with the temps getting into 90s and above in May, they earlier I start the better. I wrap the cages with saran or shrink wrap. By the time it disintegrates the freezes are gone. I start with a half dozen, and begin to add a couple every week. St Patricks day usually is when I get the beans and cukes planted. Peppers and summer squash are good about the middle of April. Ordered some medicinal herb seeds, including that desert parsley that someone mentioned earlier in the comments on Bam Bam’s excellent articles. Decided to make backyard landscaping mostly herbals, as it is protected from the brutal afternoon sun in the summer. Already have two variety of honeysuckle,one native in place and multitudes of plantain that I had no idea about until recently!! Have an area with large dry stacked rocks that has kept some chamomile, chile petins and a rose bush alive due to the heat sink property of the boulders.
    Tired of being sick, have had two stomach bugs and the flu since Thanksgiving, these immunosuppressive drugs for the RA have there disadvantages, including not working as well as they used to on their intended purpose.
    Took 4 old tshirts and cut them into 1″ wide strips to make tshirt yarn. Braided the strips together and now sewing an oval rug out of it. I am very pleased with the colors, green, blue and black. The 4 shirts is going to make a rug that’s easily washed, cushy and perfect size for in front of the kitchen sink!
    Our vet loaded us up on antibiotics (!) doxycycline, clindamycin, and metroconizole. He’s good like that. With 20+ dogs its a necessity. He said he’s been having trouble getting doxycycline, so it was pretty expensive, but having it handy for the times he’s off fishing or at a game at Texas A&M… We had a pointer get snake bit on the nose, and the snakebite vaccine works like a charm. His head swelled up like a volleyball, but he wasn’t dead!! The tiny bit of necrosis that came up on his muzzle was tiny little spots. Poor guy looked like a sharpei for a couple of days, but between the pennicillin injections and the dose of deximethisone, he looked normal with no infection after those two days. Btw, Tractor Supply has the pennicillin for sale, safeguard cattle worker is the same as the panacur wormer, and the heartworm meds are ivomec pig wormer. Doses are tiny in relation to larger animals, but very effective.
    off to laundry land… :-P. Stay well pack, this flu is just getting started, hopefully this will burn out soon. I had done some research on family history a while back, had a great aunt who was a nurse who died during the Spanish flu epidemic. My mother was named after her. That super bug is really scaring me. DD told me that there was a meeting at the nursing home she works at about it. She said they think there is little incubation on this bug. Shudder…
    Thank you everyone, for your care,for your knowledge, for being aware. Maybe whenever things in this world settle down, we can throw a gathering or something along those lines and actually meet! Oh,well..its a thought!

    • worrisome says:

      Could you tell us where you ordered the desert parsley seeds from? I was able to get some of it liquid form but would love to grow me own…?

      • I’ll post the link tomorrow, Worrisome. I didn’t bookmark it and I have to reconnect the desktop that just got repaired to pull up email. Already in bed, otherwise I would do it now. I’m hoping I can get it to grow here. Technically, my micro climate is at the convergence of the coastal plains, great plains and the desert. The altitude might be an issue, but if that desert parsley likes heat, I think I can manage to supply an abundance of that starting as soon as March, maybe… And yes, my tongue is firmly in cheek.

      • Seedstrust.com they’re out of Colorado. Evidently the desert parsley is a perennial. Major plus there. What I ordered was a medicinal package. Somewhere in the vicinity of $16 + shipping. Haven’t received it yet, but should soon.

    • Texanadian says:

      Are you near College Station or in the Houston area. I am in the woods near the Renaisance Festival.

  66. What I did I do to prep this week…not as much as I would have liked to. Living paycheck to paycheck right now and things are a little tight. I will however have a little wiggle room later in the month. I am trying to re-organize a spare bedroom to make room for prep items and I plan on ordering Elderberries next week from Amazon (Thank you BamBam for the article and all your help last week) I also did an assessment of my water situation after reading BCtruck’s article. We have (5) 55 gallon barrels in the yard for a project the Treeman has been working on for rain collection but not nearly enough for immediate drinking water storage so I decided to take over one of the barrels. I have owned a Berkey water system for several years and everything we drink goes through that. I decided to use some of these 2 liter pop bottles for water storage as well but finding the room for them is a challenge.
    On a personal note this week, I caught the local news on Wednesday and found out a man I showed a rental property to, was arrested for rape of two little girls ages 7 and 10. It was just another confirmation that getting my CCW was a smart move. Scary people and situations are everywhere. My heart goes out to them and their families. What a creep!
    I have made it to Chapter 6 in M.D.’s 31 Days to Survival. I will be giving a review of the book as soon as I finish it. I really like it so far and I love the fact that it is written in “realistic” terms. Everyone has been so great here and I am truly grateful for the advice to the rookie!

  67. Hunker-Down says:

    Thanks for the nice pictures. Check the cord on the heat lamp; small birds (sparrows?) may try to build a nest near the cord or lamp and the lamp could catch that material on fire.

    We printed instructions for propagating aloe Vera plants. Our goal is to use them as a barter item after TSHTF. With an unusual burst of fighting procrastination we even set up a barter section in one of our survival manuals. We found a mail order source for the plants but are waiting for warmer weather to place an order.

    We searched the internet for rabbits in our area. If TSHTF, we would attempt to raise meat rabbits in our basement, but it would not be tolerated by the boss until after a cat-as-trophy. The internet was a big disappointment because the only bunnies we found were pet show rabbits. My worry is that buying a buck and does after TSHTF will be very expensive. We also need wire and lumber for cages. Bummer, I’ll have to read the classified ads and keep looking.

    Thanks to Bam Bam keeping the pack current on the flu situation, we ordered Kirkland Mucus Relief tablets, and received a few ingredients to make elderberry cough syrup We ordered the book ‘Herbal Antibiotics: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-resistant Bacteria’. Didn’t want to spend the money but good health is important.

    Our big box hardware store held an 11 percent off sale and we bought another 30 pound propane tank. Our goal two years ago was to get 4 of them and this is the fourth. Please send money so we can fill the tank 🙂

    I wonder what the next crisis will be? TDL needs another one to distract us from all the others.

    Don’t forget “Fast and Furious”; Eric Holder is still not in jail.

    Don’t forget Benghazi; Hillary will want your vote.

    • Texanadian says:

      Check at a feed store they can probably put you in contact with someone.

    • bunnies are said to need sunlight on their ears to process vitamin D. if you put them in the basement you might read up on this issue.

      • Hunker-Down says:


        Thanks for the heads up. The more I read the more I think the basement is not a good idea. It would protect the bunnies from being stolen, but I don’t want to bring hay into the basement, we cant seal off a room for them. We live pretty far north, so that means if they were outside I would have to take water to them twice a day in the winter and collect the frozen waterers to thaw.
        I had to do that on the farm around 1950-ish and stabbed myself in the hand many times with an ice pick trying to get the ice out of their frozen pound coffee can waterers. That was way before plastic and this time around I wont use an ice pick.
        Bunnies can handle cold weather to -20 but we just went through a few days around -35 so I’m looking for plans to build a shelter that can be closed off in the winter and opened up during hot summer days.
        We have so many prepper projects started, most of them involve a lot of learning and money. I hope we can get to the point of raising our own meat before we run out of time.

  68. I made our Elderberry syrup (sambucol). I found a cast iron Dutch oven with lid for free. My brother was going to throw it out because it has some rust on it, so I am going to sand and season it and count myself lucky. I have a good collection of cast iron cookware because more people are switching to glass top stoves and getting rid of the cast iron.
    Other than that I am working on crocheting my first blanket from scratch. I found about 40 skeins of yarn in the back of my MILs closet when we were cleaning up and she was going to donate it until I said I wanted it. Not colors I would choose if.I bought it, but free is free. This might sound silly but I never learned how to sharpen a knife until this week. Dear Hubby always did it, so I had him show me this week. Now we are taking the kids to the roller skating rink and going to relax. Yesterday was an insane day. Had a huge family gathering for a nephews BDay and while at my brothers we had a tornado and later a fire. Seriously a crazy day, but later a good opportunity to see how different people reacted in the very moment of crisis. The tornado missed the house, thank you God, but we had wind gusts that knocked my brother travel trailer about 5 feet and off its hitch blocks. It also blew over a wooden swing set. I got all the kids in the downstairs bathroom and was in the hallway watching 4 adult men (big guys) trying to keep a set of French doors closed while the wind shoved them back. (Stupid but lucky) luckily it was over in minutes. Later that night the grill which had just been turned off caught fire and was shooting flames up 6-8 feet to the side of the house. We had a deep freeze 3 days earlier and the hose was detached and not ready to go. Luckily he had a fire extinguisher but they are a one time use so the hose was a better option. I am not worth much during fire so I just stayed out of the way and grabbed the phone in case it spread to the house. Once that was over I was ready to scan the sky looking for locusts but instead sat down to the best barbeque chicken ever and made myself a drink.

  69. Thanks to BamBam’s article earlier this week, I started my elderberry tincture last Monday. We could only find 80 proof vodka, but will continue to explore the liquor stores in the area. Today I cooked up the syrup after going by the local health food store yesterday for the star anise. Husband has a cold with cough, so he is being my guinia pig. He says it tastes better than the store bought cough syrup and that it seemed to help calm his cough pretty quick. Money is tight this month due to tuition and books times two. Will be working on ways to cut our disposable income (ie, food and gas money). That $37/month food plan could be helpful. Have a good week pack. Prayers for the pack.

    • Husband took a nap this afternoon and woke up worse. So, off to the local walk in clinic he went. Seems he has pneumonia. Prayers are appreciated as he is insulin dependent diabetic and illnesses really mess with his blood sugar levels.

  70. It’s a beautiful 66 degree day in central Arkansas. I had a good productive week. Bought a few more cans for the pantry. Had to “fix” my HE clothes washer, all the freezing temps caused a lot of rust in the water pipes to turn loose and clog the filter screens in the back of the washer. So I pulled them out and cleaned them and flushed out the lines. It only took a few minutes, I don’t know why I dreaded doing it. Made some 15 bean soup out of “storage” and was not impressed. We like plain old beans a lot better. One less thing to stock.

  71. Hello Pack.
    The past couple of weeks some food has been put in the pantry to replace what was used. Also caught up on some old bills. My work schedule and that of DS2 usually don’t match up well. However I got to visit with DS2 and his family a couple of times. That was thrill, especially playing with the grandkids. The W. Va water problem has been motivation to add to our supply.

  72. mrsahotline.com/dd/WWAntibiotics.pdf

  73. Fenland Prepper says:

    Just ordered a three man inflatable fishing dinghy (has built in rod mounts), one, so I can go lake fishing in it and two, because we get a lot of floods here. The floods have been getting steadily worse over the last three years with each year getting closer to the house! Damn that global climate change!|
    It should help us to increase our natural food resources by giving us more fishing options.

  74. Seeds trust.com. Colorado

  75. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    Accidentally found out that Nutella has a pretty good storage life. I opened a 2007 sealed jar and the taste was virtually the same as the just bought. High calorie – high energy – tastes good food – nice to know. The only downside – not inexpensive, but for a pack food – not bad!

  76. so, i was thinkin' says:

    This week I stocked up beans, lentils, and split peas. Also bought loads of pancake mix, canned juice, pasta, and chili. Also added some supplies to our first aid gear.

    This weekend I took my (mandatory) hunter’s safety course. I was the oldest person in the class, but it was good. I learned quite a bit as we grew up without guns in the house. I have been shooting quite a bit at the range over the past few years, but am not very familiar with hunting rifles or hunting. I am excited to go hunting at the first chance I get… know it won’t bother me as i butcher my chickens. Might be another story with large game, though.

  77. Pack members, I am proud to report that the dh is now in a rehab hospital, he has jump two major hurdles(two emergency surgeries) within a week of each one. Yes, it was a very touch and go, so now I am hoping he will start to regain weight and health.
    All your prayers for our dear family have been greatly appreciated. I am happy to announce my brothers cord donor blood graft took and he is free of blast cancer cells from his AML. It has been a trying year for us and I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your good wishes and prayers
    Mama J, you can almost blow out that candle you lit for my dh. It could be another 30-60days, when I have time I will let you all know. Bless each and everyone of you. I can not wait to be back on the pages sharing and arguing(nicely)with all of you. Have truly missed this posting site.

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