What did you do to prep this week

Before we start with this weeks “What did you do to prep this week”, I would like to thank Jana M, Mark H and James W for their generous donations via PayPal. Thank you all very much.

If you ordered a copy of my “ITEOTWAWKI – And I Feel Fine” survival CD, I thought you would be pleased to know that those will be mailed first thing Monday morning and you should receive your copy by the end of next week.

By the way, I only have 12 copies left so act fast before they are gone for good… :clock:

And on another note, the winners of our most recent non-fiction writing contest will be announced next Saturday – I still have 8-10 more posts that have not been posted and I have to get those posted before choosing a winner.

Folks, I’m sorry for the delay, but toward the cut-off date for entry, everyone decided to enter the contest at the same time ultimately, filling my inbox will a wealth of great articles. It will be worth the wait… :-)

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

What did you do to prep last week? Tell us about it in the comments below… ?:-)

Comments

  1. Chonte' in MD says:

    been dealing with back issues this week so i didn’t do much but lay around with a heating pad. i did make a couple lists of thing i need to get.

    • Chonte,

      You should report that you spent the week taking care of yourself and letting your back injury heal. Taking care of yourself and giving yourself time to heal counts as prepping!

    • chonte- i hope your back gets better soon. take care.

      • Heating pads are wonderful things when it comes to making us feel better.. hope you heal quickly.

      • Chonte' in MD says:

        thanks ladies. it comes and goes ever since i had my mini me…i gave her life and she gave me back aches lol :)

        • Chonte’ in MD, I had a really bad back thing last August and I kept using the heating pad without it getting better but a massage therapist suggested switching to ice packs after the first 24 hours. I didn’t expect much but it made a big difference once I switched to the ice. Just a suggestion.

          • Home made ice packs.
            Bottle of alcohol (rubbing) and two cups of water. Use a zip lock bag inside a ziplock bag and place in freezer. It will turn to icy slush but not totally freeze. Reusable.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Chonte, sorry you have back issues. Here’s hoping you get better real soon.

    • Copperhead says:

      Chonte’, I so feel your pain!! I’ve been friends with my chair and heating pad this week, too! Agravated sciatic nerve. But mine is better so hope your back is also. Take care. Prayers for you.

    • hope you will be feeling better real soon,

      love and prayers

      suga

    • I posted my weekly prep blog where I highlight each week what I did to prepare. This week was a bit more focused on finance and defense but each week is different.

      Regarding the back issues – Chonte, I would take a read of Dealing With Bain Pain by Dr. John Sarno. Absolutely changed my life without any kind of procedure/drugs. Highly recommend it.

      Love this blog BTW.

  2. I got a few things done this week. Now that we’ve had our first freeze, I’ve started cleaning out the gardens. The green onions and celery I planted a few weeks ago are producing. I just go out and cut some off for salads and they grow back. I planted more green onions. I swear the green onions must grow half an inch a day.

    I picked up 500 rounds of Federal FMJ for my Glock. Walmart had the 100 count boxes for $22. I ordered some snap caps so I can practice trigger control without burning up my ammo.

    I also ordered and received a couple of things for my BOB—a sierra cup and a camping cutlery set.

    I placed an order with EE: 6 cans pancake mix, 1 can blueberries, 2 cans butter, 2 cans apple sauce, 1 can scrambled eggs. When the SHTF and we are forced to eat from food storage, I plan on serving oatmeal five or six days a week and serving scrambled ham and eggs or pancakes as Sunday breakfast (I already have 42 cans of ham and plan on upping that by at least 20 cans). I opted to get the six grain pancake mix and then to add real blueberries instead of ordering the pancake mix with imitation blueberries. In a SHTF scenario, the plain pancakes can be used as bread for soups or can be spread with peanut butter and jelly for sandwiches. And pancakes are quick and easy to fix.

    • When I was really starving-poor I discovered you can make pancakes with nothing more than flour and water (and oil for the pan). They’re not as fluffy but if you have something to put on them, it’s not bad.

      Also, you can make dough instead of batter and fry that, and it’s like chapati (Indian flatbread). All the recipes I have seen for pita bread involve yeast, but again you don’t really need yeast. You can also take cooked chickpeas or potatoes and fold the dough around them, flatten it and fry it.

      I sometimes put olive oil and a Middle Eastern spice called “Zatter Greens” on mine. It’s kind of like thyme, salt, and sesame seeds. There might be sumac leaves in it too?) Why do pancakes need to be sweet?

      And if you get food fatigue from oatmeal, you can mix oatmeal in with the flour when you make pancakes.

      • And dont forget Bisquik

      • There’s a great Korean dish which is basically unsweet pancakes with green onions, garlic, finely chopped meat, and anything else you can toss in. Cheap and delicious.

        • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

          zastros, I love the Korean pancakes, ate those many times when stationed there. Can add mushrooms too.

  3. Well we got the oldest grandson back to school this week, so I got my day back. Just in time to put the wife’s car into the shop. So I’m still stuck at home.
    Getting things ready for the gun show next month. We have 2 promoters that do shows in Butte, one does 2-3 per year (but they are poorly attended and expensive w/daily entrance fees) the other does one but its a much better represented show (2-3x as many vendors). So the guy that puts on the ‘lesser’ show decides to put his show on the same weekend as the good show. It’s an ego issue. I’m really interested to see how many venders that he shows up with.
    We have pasta on sale at Albertson’s for $.50/lb and Progresso soup for $1. Both are on a coupon and limit of 4 but I have several ad copies.
    My GAMO 22 cal Whisper w/scope, came in yesterday. I’m looking forward to getting it outside. I got the 22 cal because I am much more interested in impact than velocity (900 fps vs 1200). This allows use on larger animals.
    Got my KnifeCenter order. Not impressed with a couple of the items I got but the price was right so they go to the gun show.
    We also had Bear Creak soup mixes on sale here for $3, so stocked up on more of them.
    Picked up some rifle and pistol ammo, as it was in stock and I had some extra money in my pocket.

    That’s it for now.

    Keep the radar on and the preps going!

    • Speaking of gun shows….

      Getting ready for The Nations gunshow in Chantilly, VA. Received paracord bracelets, 3 cases of packaged water, 3 cases of 2400 calorie freeze dried survival biscuits, all sorts of medical equipment, and about 6 cases of other equipment.

      Whew.

  4. Went through my GHB and rotated food and water in it. Also added a 5′x5′ clear plastic drop cloth. I recently took my 6 and 8 yr olds out on a home. And we built a solar still. At the end of the hike we had water in it. Kids still think I’m magic.

    Traded for a couple of air rifles. One is a pump the other is a Co2 cartridge gun.

    Recent changes at work and a bunch of our old shotgun ammo is no longer approved. Traded some of the guys for their old stock since they said “I have no use for it”. (it is amazing how I’ll prepared some of the people are at work and if I bring up prepping I’m viewed as the crazy old guy).

    Cleaned out a spot in the garage and a cubbard for our ever expanding foods and material prepps. What a pain trying to get my wife to get rid of stuff.

    Got back to the gym after being out for 8weeks due to an injury.

    Took stocks of prepps and added some items to the list.

  5. Tinfoil Hat says:

    Well, as I wrote last week, we had our budget grocery store announce store closings in my area last week, so starting Wednesday they slashed prices and then took 25% off at the register, so this week was a food prep week. I got 2 cases of family sized cans of Dinty Moore beef stew (a personal favorite) 2 cases of spam, a case of chicken noodle soup, a case of cream of chicken noodle soup, 25 lbs of dry mixed beans, 10 boxes of cornbread mix (another personal favorite), several pouches of instant mashed potatoes, 4 bags of tortillas, a variety of various spices, and 100 lbs of rice, all for $133.68. I’m going back today to see why’s left, but so far that’s a pretty good haul, IMHO…

  6. Haven’t posted in a while but I have been reading your posts! Here’s what we’ve done lately.

    Placed an order with Gurney’s Seeds which is 50% off up to $200. Ordered seeds, cherry trees, blueberry & blackberry bushes until early February.

    Pulled our mid 2012 expiration date food out of the storage closets & moved it into our pantry so it gets eaten. Made a list of what we removed & replaced it.

    Bought a ton of nickels (the banker was perplexed, she said that was a “first” for her).

    Our teenage son visited a blacksmith, made a few things and has started accumulating the items needed to start the trade. Great shtf skill!

    Bought more silver. Bought more ammo.

    Did some target practice. (need to do more).

    Spent lots of time trying to analyze the economy, the market & the worldwide situation. It’s dismal.

    Our cabin is done except some shelves that we want to put in. It’s so nice to have it even if it is tiny.

    Have a great week everyone!

    • meant to say Gurneys special runs til early February.

    • Lake Lili says:

      That is terrific of your son! I know that the blacksmiths and farriers in Southern Ontario are begging for apprentices but are having a hard time finding them, same with saddle/harness makers, cheese makers and just about every other skilled trade and craft. I blame an education system that devalues any occupation the does not involve pushing paper on Bay Street (Canadian equivalent to Wall Street). Your son should end up with an amazing future.

      • It is kinda funny how higher education may look down on tradesmen.Then look at the percentage of people with degrees who work outside of there degreed field.I do not remember the percentage but it is hi.

        • Steve,

          I am not sure that it is “higher education” that looks down on the trades. I think too many parents push their kids to go to college when the kids would be better off studying a trade. The problem in academia is that if you advocate vocational high schools, you will be labeled a “racist”–no kidding. (I am a proponent of vocational schools and get this whenever the topic is brought up. They say, “Which kids do you think will be pushed off into the trade route and which kids will pursue the college track?”)

          I fear we have become a nation of over-educated, lazy people.

          • axelsteve says:

            I fear that allot of education is overrated. I know a young lady with a degree in soceology went back to a jc to take dental hygenist so she could support herself.She could not with her degree.

          • Grannytraveler says:

            I am in academia and am all for vocational high schools. I think it is horrible that we send kids out into the world without any skills necessary to secure employment. Kids can only get jobs at fast food places. The only vocational class at our high school is auto body repair and they are discussing getting rid of that. It is not the teachers against vocational training, it is the powers that be at the district, state and federal levels.

          • Encourager says:

            It is so sad what these kids are saddled with after going to college. My son’s girlfriend went to college year round so she could finish early. She had great grades. She also had a huge debt. Upon graduation, she could not find a job in her field (education). She ended up working 4 jobs, lived at home and is almost done paying off the college loans. She is still not working in education 3 years later. She works as a cook at a country club. But you have to love her attitude – she told me at Christmas that no job is worth not having, she will do whatever job there is to make ends meet and to pay off her debt. She is an amazing lady!

            • Please tell the young lady that you were bragging on her, and that her can-do American spirit make us proud!

              Your son must be quite a young man, to have captured the heart of that gem.

        • Gerald Celente calls them “Degrees in Worthlessness”. Plus many have tens of thousands in student loans.

          I’ve told both my kids that if they go to college they must aquire a specific degree skill – RN, MD, Pharmacist, Nurse, Engineer, Architect but don’ t go & get a sociology or music degree – they won’t pay off anymore.

          • axelsteve says:

            GA Mom. My mom used to teach nursing. It is a great secure(unless obamacare goes through) field to be in.

          • Skip Architect too, there are very few needed. Computer CAD design can generate millions of building designs in a minute. One Architect can design every building (to be built) in a state in one month.

        • GA mom, funny thing back in the 1400- 1800 era the blacksmith was the man parents were trying to mary their daughters off to if they couldn’t score someone of nobility.

          Congrats on your preps and your sons interest in a true skill/trade.

    • urielsword says:

      Hi,

      Why did you buy nickels?

      • We had been considering it for a while. Nickels are worth more than 5 cents – their metal value is 7.3 cents. The current nickel will be phased out by the US mint within the year.

        I see saving them as a win-win. They will never be worth less than 5 cents and they can only go up in value due to the metal content.

        Here’s a great article that explains the whole thing.

        http://www.survivalblog.com/nickels.html

      • urielsword:
        If you check on Coinflation.com you will find the metal value of US minted coins. This includes current and past minting. This is not the collectors value of them.
        Currently Nickels are worth 112.47% of face value or $.0562.
        Pre ’82 Pennies (copper) are 247.06% or$.0247.
        These can be found in your everyday change. One of the other major blogs has been an proponent of saving nickels, in quantity, due to the increasing value of the base metal, and the possibility of changing the base metal (like the pennies).
        It is an inexpensive way to increase the future value of your preps.

        Another thought I got from a book that was talking about reconstituting the government after a SHTF scenario when the paper money was being reprinted, was that minting new coins would be prohibitively expensive so the old ones would remain in circulation at the new, inflated value.

      • Grannytraveler says:

        Their metal value is higher than their face value. They are the only coins like that currently being produced here in the SA. Word is that they’re going to change to steel nickels. I have been keeping all of the nickels I receive.

      • charlie (NC) says:

        Todays “melt” value of a US nickle is about 5.6 cents.
        It’s illegal to melt them down but it’s a pretty good hedge on inflation. Sooner or later the US Mint will get tired of making a coin it cost them 12% more to make than it’s face value.

      • Cliff in Douglasville says:

        The metal content of the nickel actually is worth more than the face value. Not much more and right now it is illegal to melt them. Many people collect them as an inflation hedge and because of the cost the government is going to replace the metal with something cheaper before very long. So, people buy a few rolls a week, put them up as a hedge and once the law against melting them is repealed then they expect them to rise in value, very much like the silver coins did in 1965 when silver was removed from most of the coinage. People also go through the cents and pick out the pre 1982 as they have a higher value due to their metal content. They too are illegal to melt at this time. But all pre 1982 cents have about 1.5 cents worth of metal in them. There is a mixture of 1982 cents, some are still of the old metal, some are of the new cheap metal and you can weight them or use other means to sort them out. It’s a good family activity, rolling nickels, getting rolls of cents and sorting out the good metal ones, and if you can get them, get half dollars from your bank. The 1964 Kennedy is 90% silver and worth about 12 dollars each, the 1965 to 1970 are 40% silver and are worth about 4 or so dollars each. Not a bad return on some time. You have to ask at the bank to see if they have any half dollars. I keep all the half dollars that I get even after I sort out the silver and just save them as a rainy day savings account. The silver aspect only applies to half dollars. There are a few other coins that have been made for collectors that contain silver but you aren’t likely to find many and they really aren’t worth the search.
        Good luck and start looking at your coins.

    • It is so cool your son is getting into blacksmithing. He will be busy and sought after.

  7. Very slow week for us again. We did order and receive two sizes of fish and frog gigs. We live about a mile from a river so them may come in real handy. Also our pond right next to the house is FULL of nice size frogs.

    Dehydrated another two pounds of hamburger this week. We tested some out on some Chili last Sunday and it worked great! Not to package it with seasonings in one person servings for our GHB. I figure the protein added to ramen noodles would be good for us. Or will make up some packages of beef and veggie mixes.

    Looking forward to seeing what everyone did this week. Hope everyone is healthy!

    Lint, I think of you and smile every time I go into my laundry room. My pile of lint is getting out of hand and needs to be bagged up! Hope you are healing fast!

    • templar knight says:

      CR, I bag my lint up in plastic storage bags and put them inside empty plastic coffee cans. I also have waterproof matches, bic lighters, firesteel, and some shredded paper in there as well. One large coffee can holds a lot of firemaking.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      LMAO, I’m glad you like lint as much as I do. It’s just like me – cuddly. LOL

      I’m doing pretty well, thanks for asking.

      • T.K. Yeah we store ours from recycle vacuum sealer bags for our GHB and around the house.

      • Lint, glad to know you are better……not sure I’m “cuddly” but I sure have some soft tender to get sealed up!

      • Carl in W.V. says:

        Lint i was watching a youtube video’s and thought of you also if i could remember the lady i will post it. but she was using small potato chip bags, packing them full of lint and a cheap lighter and sealing them like any other mylar bag. I thought that was the neatest idea.

      • LOL! And extremely flamable. Lint, you are fu-unny.

        I stuff mine in tp rolls, then leftover food saver wrap them for BOB’s.

      • Repair Mama says:

        does that mean you are soft, fluffy, and smell good

    • dehydrated hamburger? I never thought about doing that. I made some beef jerky recently and after a couple of weeks, it grew fuzzy mold :( Do you store the hamburger with oxygen absorbers? I don’t have any, but it might be time to get some.

      • Encourager says:

        Yes, I want to know the steps in dehydrating hamburger! What a great idea! Do you season with salt and pepper first? I am assuming it is cooked hamburger, right? Do you rinse the fat off the cooked hamburger? (Thinking it would keep longer, not turn rancid as fast.)

        • encourager…look up ‘hamburger rocks’ on google…I don’t season mine – just cook in a cast iron skillet – and keep draining off any fat – when cooked and browned well – rinse the mince to get as much fat out…rinse as often as necessary -then cook again to get rid of last amount of moisture – then dehydrate – I dehydrate mine for many hours (depends on the size /wattage of your dehydrator… then I let cool, and vac seal.

          or, divide a food saver bag into 4 squares -by sealing and then just rotate the bag and seal again – so you have an ‘+’ pattern on the foodsaver bag – then on one side with 2 compartments place hamburger rocks, and seal.

          then fill other 2 compartments with dehydrated mixed vegetables of your choice…

          when you are ready to eat contents where ever you are…you will have 2 separate and complete meals…allow time for contents to rehydrate for a while first…remember to pack some cubes/powdered stock powder…enjoy.

  8. MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

    MD…I am confused. I have been working on an article to submit, but I have held off sending it in as I thought the contest that was happening when I started was ending, and I figured I would just hold it for the next one. When did the last one end…or hasn’t it ended? Very confusing..start and end dates not clear.

  9. Well did some security things around here. I could only afford to get one of those chain latches for the front door for now. My front door is old and heavy, with many small heavy glass panes so don’t feel that they will be using their shoulders to break in. And this will do till I can figure out some other things.
    But have it now to where I can look out without opening up the door even.
    My front door is 42″ great for moving stuff in and out but awkard.
    Put a new door knob on the back door. It had needed it for years. Works like a dream.
    I still have my ice pick out and then another form of protection that I will leave nameless.
    My sister gave me some towels and some throws. The towels are thick and will be heck to wash by hand in a dire situation. The throws I added to my blanket/cover stash. Going to have to dye the one it is snow white and it needs to be a darker color so the dog don’t leave it’s signature on it all the time.
    Other than that no food preps and played checkers with the stuff in my bedroom so it is a little neater.
    Read more doom and gloom. The one thing that stood out is the subject of how much food to store. I say there never is enough. I have told the kids I will move my bed in the living room if need be.
    Looked at seeds on a lot of different sites. I am making out a list. I am going to store a lot of seeds. This year will have to work harder at gardening.
    I want to get berry vines this next year. And learn how to take cuttings. But I love berries. And going to look into dwarf trees. Going to try and keep the stuff growing kinda low so it is not so obvious. Going to try bush beans and such.
    Man I have blathered on. But seems plans get ahead of the actual doing.
    Keep prepping guys it is well worth it. Now, Whenever and the future.

    • cooolwoods says:

      Ellen, i dont know if you have weeping willow trees in your area but. the young tips of the willow can be picked and crushed up with a tiny amount of water and is a great natural rooting hormone! soak the end of your cuttings in it for a half hour and depending on what your rooting plant or keep in the willow juice(remove the debris & add water).

      be safe

      • Encourager says:

        Cooolwoods, I forgot about the willow soak! I want to make some living fences along the edge of our property. I have been thinking blackberry cuttings, but most of the area is sunny all day and the soil is sandy. Does anyone know of any other thorny plant that would work in those conditions?

        • Wild strawberry or wild rasberry. There are other thorny plants but not with berries.

          • cooolwoods says:

            I think the best living fence would be rasberrys on one side and those (dont know the name) light green sticker vines we had in maryland on the outside. those things were tough, sharp and completely brutal. you know just to keep people from “wading in” to pick berrys. I wish I knew what they were called. my dad called them natures barbed wire

            stay safe

            • Encourager says:

              Cooolwoods, if you remember what that light green plant is, post it, please? If it grows in MD maybe it will grow in MI.

      • Thanks to all that replied.
        Thanks for the info on the willow soak. I am writing it in my book of acquired prepping knowledge.
        Yeah the thornier the better for some plants as a deterant.

  10. riverrider says:

    high all. busy week. ordered a set of german army gortex(35.00), a 3 pack of surplus overpants(17.00), .38 special shotshells(10.99) from sg… picked up the 2 .38′s i ordered, yay! painted the rest of my front sights, added sling swivels and scope mount to my 10/22, installed a side sling swivel on an m4, added a rail and bipod to an m4, cleaned several guns, ordered new grips for the .38′s, and cleaned them. switched barrels, uppers ,stocks etc to get ar’s in propper configuration( A1 toA1, M4 to M4, A2 to A2). gun show tomorrow, weather permitting. we had sleet,snow and ice last night. no biggie, but the first “wintery mix” of the year. odd weather. 50 today, 30 sunday, 50 monday. take care all. stack it high.

    • River, enjoy the gun show. I’m debating another lower for the 24″ or Remington 700PS 26″ barrel in .223.

      • riverrider says:

        j, i don’t think the remington will give you that much better accuracy than the 24″ ar, and 2 is better and all that:) jm2c

        • riverrider says:

          j, oh i blew off the show. finances been taking hits lately and i’m waiting for the verdict from the tax lady. maybe i’ll be able to get something nice:)

        • River, I agree. I have three uppers and two lowers. The 24″ is a nice tack driver at 200 to 300 yards and have had no problem hitting 12″ bulls eye targets at 400 and 500 yards but it would be nice if the groups were tighter. I want to move back up to a 308 but its tough justifying another caliber, I’m happy with being down to five calibers. The only way right no I could see doing it is if I got rid of my AK and SKS. The AK is easy to part with but the SKS was my first gun.

          • riverrider says:

            j, yeah its hard to part with them. i’d like to pare down calibers too. then i went and bought 2 38′s like a dummy..don’t have an ak, but they tug on me when i see one, don’t know why. the way things are going, osama will get another term and ban them forever. if i had to start over i think i would get a glock21 and an ar in 6.8spc as my defense arms. some days i’m tempted to sell everything and do just that. throw in a 22 and a 20ga, maybe a compact glock .45 for concealment. four calibers, heaven.. only reason i don’t is that it might come to pass that tdl will send the troops to pick them up,so i need some to hide and some to show. that, and i’m too invested in the others now. take care my friend.

            • River, I have an opportunity to buy an AR upper chambered in .50 Beowulf and 100 rounds for $600. The upper goes for over $700 and ammo isn’t cheap.
              Debating because although its a new caliber, technically its not a new rifle and it would make for a nice pig gun. Going back to the 45-70 debate a while back, its the same ballistics and GI 20 and 30 round mags can be modified to accept ammo by widening the feed lips.

              If I do, it would put the Remington 700PS on hold.

            • riverrider says:

              j, don’t know what to tell you there except if you don’t buy it, how far would that money go on food or ammo? thats always my deciding factor. that and i ask myself “will this purchase give me a capability that i don’t already have?” good luck:)

            • River, he said he would hold it for me for a month to decide. It is tempting, about $1 to $2 a round and I can put it on my AR or M4 lower, drop a pig or bear and an engine block.

              Its promising! It won’t take up much room with one upper and a small ammo can can hold plenty of rounds and magazines. Wouldn’t take up much room.

  11. NorCal Ray says:

    Good Morning To All,
    M.D. I want to thank you for running such a great site as this. I hope your Mom and Girlfriend are doing great.

    Sorry I didn’t post last week but thiings have been very hectic the last 2 weeks.
    My Daughter interviewed with Brown University, and University of Pennsylvania awhile back and was accepted to both. She has now decided to attend Brown in the fall. Because of that I had to get her a decent vehicle she could use in a bugout situation. She would try to get to my niece in Va. So 2 weeks ago I bought her a 1997 Geo Tracker 4×4. I pulled the engine and rebuilt the engine, Tranny, Transfer Case and front and rear Differentials. I was a mechanic for 21 years so I decided to do all the work myself. I just finished all the work and DMV paperwork Yesterday about 11:00 am. In the meantime I was notified by a customer they were shutting down and needed help disposing of their inventory.
    So as you can see it has been very busy and I just didn’t have time to post anything last week.
    Hope all is well with averyone here.
    Ray

    • Ray

      They are doing fine – thank you for asking my friend…

    • Ray,
      I have a son going to college soon, and one of the things I look for is a small storage unit close to campus so he can keep his BOB, BOBike, and other supplies. At least while he is living on campus. He has a nice car, but if he is dealing with gridlock or fuel shortage, he can still get around. And/or haul the bike on the back of the car until he needs it.
      I am secretly hoping he will decide on a school close to home, but I am not going to pressure him.

      • NorCal Ray says:

        Mama J,
        Thanks for the idea. Iam in the process of setting up a BOB for her as well as a vehicle kit. I could use some advice from some of our East Coast members such as river rider on what she may need for the specific area.
        Thanks,
        Ray

        • riverrider says:

          ncr, warm polypro clothes and light rain gear. frogg toggs are great and cheap at sg. lots of dry(wool or poly)socks and goretex hiking boots. other than that not much dif than anywhere else. not sure where brown is, but my sis just moved to delaware. frankly her situation is hopeless unless we can see it coming and bug her out early. i told her to get a pilot license and use a cessna to bug out. no way she’ll get thru traffic up there.

          • NorCal Ray says:

            Thanks riverrider, I appreciate the input. Brown is in Rhode Island. She will be in the same boat as your Sister unless we can see it coming and get her out early enough.
            Ray

            • riverrider says:

              ncr, ‘in the same boat” yeah, that was my backup plan:) buy a cheap 20foot sailboat n sail it down the coast and up the james to richmond, then i’d have some troops pick her up. she won’t go for it tho. she wants to bug in and hope for the best.

    • Grannytraveler says:

      Congratulations! You must be very proud of your daughter – Brown is a great school.

      • NorCal Ray says:

        Grannytraveler,
        Thank you and yes I am very proud of her. 6 years ago when she came here from China she could not speak a word of English and she is taking A/P English this year as well as A/P Statistics & A/P Calculus.
        Ray

        • Grannytraveler says:

          I am impressed! Higher math is my weak point. I just did the minimum to graduate- Alg. 1 & 2, and Geometry. The only thing I remember about Geometry is that President Kennedy was shot during my class.

    • axelsteve says:

      Ray. Congradulatons about your daughter.You should be proud of her.I am glad that you are busy in a good way.I bought 2 lachmiller presses and need to set one up for 30-06 and maybe sell the other one.Take care Steve.

      • NorCal Ray says:

        steve-
        Thanks. yea I am very proud of her. Setting up the Tracker for her is giving me some peace of mind. Let me know what you want for the other one and if I don’t buy it for myself I can probably sell it for you.
        Ray

        • Ray. we can trade for dies if you have some used 30/06 dies that would be great.One press has a shell holder for 38/357 that is the one that I will trade. The other has a 30-30 shellholder which is the one that I will keep. The primer catchers are missing on both though.

    • NC Ray. Bug out should include a good set of maps with directions out of the area? A couple of innocuous looking items that can be used for weapons if need be. Having a small storage locker where a folding bike and some supplies could be kept. And maybe an alternative bug out spot? Virginia could be very difficult to get in or out of. I am sure you will cover all the basics for proper clothing and hiking boots etc.
      Congratulations to her and you and family for a good job on giving her an environment that she could grow and learn so well!

      • NorCal Ray says:

        worrisome,
        Thank you. It is much appreciated. Will look for an alternative spot also.
        Ray

        • riverrider says:

          ncr, if i may, i suggest you look on getting her to go west out of r.i… a very short distance westward the terrain changes abruptly and becomes less populated and less “diverse” if you know what i mean. just a suggestion.

          • NorCal Ray says:

            riverrider,
            yes I know what you mean. Thanks for the suggestion. It’s appreciated.
            Ray

  12. Hunker-Down says:

    Our prepping money was spent at the dentist.

    Ordered a garden planning chart $5. http://cdmplanning.hypermart.net/
    I do have gardening experience, which tells me I am always late in getting indoor seeds started on time and hopefully the chart will keep me on schedule.

    Ordered more O2 Absorbers and Mylar bags from USA Emergency Supply, because they sell the 5 mill thick bags.

    • HD- I get my bags from USA Emergency too and those 5 mils are really thick. I think they are much safer to store in than some of the thinner and cheaper ones I used in the past. My last order came really fast too. Good company to deal with.

      • blindshooter says:

        Have y’all tried the bags that have a zip lock? I want to bag smaller amounts and this seems like a good way to seal up the remainder after the heat seal is broken. They cost a bit more but if the zip lock works it would be worth it for me.

        • I haven’t used the zip lock type of mylar bags because I read on another website forum (it was before I found this one) that they weren’t 100% protection against air getting back in. The only thing that they might help with is storing things in a BOB that weren’t edible but that you want to protect them from getting wet. Like a first aid kit, matches, etc. I use the freezer ziplock bags or foodsaver bags for those things.

          • blindshooter says:

            These have extra bag above the the “zip” to use the heat seal. The zip part is for after you break the heat seal. I think I’ll order a few and test them, if it looks like the zip part will cause problems I’ll cut it off and seal below it. I haven’t figured out how to do a short term test, any ideas?

    • Kate in GA says:

      Hunker-Down,

      I will always be happy to help with gardening questions from the pack.
      And the start dates are only a suggestion. I routinely start mine later then what ‘the charts’ state.

      • The Prepper says:

        Kate — I have a question for you. What are the highest yielding tomato varieties that do well in Georgia? Also, any tips for dealing with bugs from the initial planting on? Most of my tomatoes got mangled by spider mites last summer. :(

        • Kate in GA says:

          The Prepper,

          I can’t answer that question without some additional info from you. Briefly talk a bit about what you are looking for in a garden and I will be happy to help.

          What do you want the tomatoes for? (Fresh eating?, canning?, drying?)
          Do you plan on saving your own seeds? or are Hybrids OK too?
          How much time do you have for gardening every day?
          How many tomato plants did you plan to grow? Where are you planning on putting them?
          What type of soil amendments did you use/will you use?

          Yes, you can keep the bugs aways from tomatoes without poisoning yourself. (I don’t advise using chemicals unless you are calling ‘broken arrow’.)
          One of the simplest ways you can keep bugs away is to plant the tomatoes in pots. If you get an infestation, shower the plants well and move the pot to the other side of the yard. It is amazing to me that most of the bugs won’t move with the plant. (It is possible to pick up tomato plants that are taller then you without breaking your back – I do it every year; I am not that young and I have arthritis.) If you don’t want to plant in pots, there are still ways to keep the bugs off of them.

          You can also use chili pepper powder to keep the bugs away. I will talk more about that this summer – it is my secret weapon!

          Spider mites usually don’t bother tomatoes, so I must wonder if you had a severe infestation on your landscaping plants and that is how you got them on the tomatoes. Check your landscaping plants in April and see if they have spidermites. If so, spray them with seven or any chemical that will kill spider mites and then you shouldn’t have a problem with them on the tomatoes this year.

          • The Prepper says:

            Hey Kate!

            Looking to grow approximately 4 – 6 tomato plants in Earthboxes (I have limited space at the moment). I would like the tomatoes for salads and fresh eating, and I would prefer to find an open pollinated variety that I can save seeds from. I usually devote 30 minutes each morning to gardening, and 30 minutes at night. If I’m dealing wit specific issues I will spend more time, but with self watering containers I’ve found my time commitments have significantly dropped. I’m planning to use an organic soil mix along with the Earthbox re-plant kit:

            http://store.earthbox.com/EarthBox-Organic-Replant-Kit/productinfo/1010092/

            The Earthboxes have wheels, so I’ll definitely have to keep the spray and move approach handy once they start growing. I currently live in an apartment so there really aren’t any landscape plants around.

            • Kate in GA says:

              Brandywine are the first ones that come to my mind. There are lots of varieties of Brandywine, lots of colors too: yellow, pink, red. They are an Amish variety and a favorite of gardners everywhere. Excellent taste. Prolific. There are other varieties out there that are more prolific, but these do well in pots.

              Earth boxes are a great idea. If you get spidermites this year we can discuss then. But I still believe last year you had an outbreak somewhere near you.

          • cooolwoods says:

            neem oil is pretty rough on spidermites! natural too. i had spider mites a couple of years ago they suck….
            http://www.altgarden.com/pest-disease/beneficial-insects.html

            wow prices went up. anyway altgarden.com has natrual things to get rid of bug of all kinds and you can always look for better prices once you know what to look for

            stay safe

            • Kate in GA says:

              Neem oil is great for fruit trees as a dormant oil in the fall. I am not sure you want to use it on anything you woud eat.

              Normally, spider mites don’t bother tomatoes.

            • Neem Oil is great product, but I wouldn’t use it on food crops either. Unless you can find a way to Not get it on the fruit.
              I got a bad case of thrips, and aphids in my greenhouse a few years ago. All from some plants I bought from another nursery.
              I had 200 large tomato plants, and 15 large orders of greens that were getting slammed. Many hanging baskets of flowers. A big cash crop. The soap wasn’t working and I was freaking out a bit. I tried apple cider vinegar in a Miracle Gro type sprayer, and it worked! After only 3 soakings. And the plants loved it. I have no scientific evidence, or a reference to give you. But, it saved my crop that would have been burned otherwise.

            • The Prepper says:

              Awesome! What the best beneficial insects to bring into your property? The obvious ones are bees, lace wings and lady bugs. Any others I’m missing?

  13. Good week! Picked up the butchered pork legs and got ten hams out of it at a combined total of $1.47/lb. Got two flats of Spam at $1.90 a tin and 10 packages of pasta at a $1 each for 950gm. Also got 3 packages of pull-ups for $14.00 each – they are normally $21.99 each!

    Other than that we are all finally healthy…

    Jarhead – hope your nephew continues to improve from his injuries.

    Lint – hope you are continuing to heal too.

    MamaJ – meant to say last week how impressed I was in how you are teaching your child about situational awareness. Have you done pictographic maps with her?

    • Thank you LL. I have not done picto maps, but that is a great idea for the littler kids! Flash cards with exit signs, street signs, policemen, etc.

      • Lake Lili says:

        We did picto maps because I wanted to know what Monkey thought the landmarks were. While I would say left at the stop sign, he would say left at the barn with the three horses. Or I would say right onto 1st Street and he would say right at the two white trees that grow like a “V” and have orange flowers with lots of bees. So when we drew the map to get home, those were the items he drew. It was almost more instructive for me.

        • BamaBecca says:

          Ladies, that is a great idea to have directions using landmarks too. After Katrina, there WERE no street signs. But on second thought there weren’t many landmarks left either. ;( But still….great idea

    • templar knight says:

      I’m glad to hear you and Monkey are back to good health. Great week prepping for sure, and I envy you all the hams. Have a good weekend.

      • Lake Lili says:

        Thanks – we eat a lot of pork and I was really pleased with the deal. Monkey was more pleased with the Spam as he really likes it fried with mushrooms, onions and hashbrowns. It is what an English friend called “pemican” and so does Monkey now.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Lake Lili, how are you feeling? How’s Monkey doing? Miss your updates about him, but I guess no news is good news. eh? (I add the “eh” just so you Canadians will feel more at home. LOL)

      I’m dong well, thank you.

      • Lake Lili says:

        Hi Lint – not reporting much news on Monkey because our surgery to clean him out was bumped because of a higher priority case. That is the challenge of our medical system. You will be seen and you won’t have to pay but you may have to wait. There is no point in taking him elsewhere as the majority of the top doctors in the field trained at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. So we wait. In any event we have just finished studying Asia – he learned about Japan and China and at his request South Korea – we watch a lot of M*A*S*H and he wanted to know where everything was. We start Russia (lots of hockey, Cossaks on horseback, the Bolshoi, mamoths in Siberia and Peter the Greats inovations)on Monday and move west from there.

        • Candy in Nebraska says:

          Monkey would getalong with this house. DH has every mash movie and series. Grandson is just a yr oldmakes us sit and watch themallthetimewith him.

        • Louis L’Amour’s book The Last of the Breed, is a great read about Siberia, and survival skills.

    • Hi Lake Lili

      Great job on the pork legs, and all the other sales, so glad to hear you are back to yourself in regards to health.. Hope you are getting some of these blue sky’s and bright sunshine even if it is Cold out there :)

      • Lake Lili says:

        Thanks farmgal! Sunshine is great even if we can’t open the cutains without the heat getting sucked out. Now have the windows covered with matress pads as well as the full lined curtains. Am thinking that I am going to get black flannel and build blackout curtains. Any experience making those?

        • Hi LL,
          I made quilted blackout curtains with a roman shade pattern that can be lifted and lowered. They have a 2 inch flap all the way around on the edges that velcro tabs attached to the window sill for a tight fit when lowered.
          I used dark brown felt, because I got a large bolt of it at a garage sale, for next to nothing. But, I wished I used a fabric that doesn’t absorb moisture, because the ice that builds up on the inside of the windows. (Yes, we have double paned windows.) My shades were getting damp and making the problem worse. I am highly allergic to black mold and stay diligent keeping that out of the house.
          I have also used the styrofoam board insulation for house building. I cut to fit the windows, painted and installed a handle. I walk around at night, snug them in the windows and in the morning take them out and slide them in the closet and under the bed. They really make a great black out window covering. Sometimes I didn’t need blackout because the snow was covering the windows to the second story!
          It gets cold here in Colorado at high elevation, but not near as cold where you are for sure! We get below zero temps at night, but hardly ever during the day. Maybe because we are too close to the sun!

        • Hey there Lake Lili;
          I did the following in my camper and the results are great for windows.

          Find some big bubble wrap plastic, fold over so the bulbs are touching each other and the flat sides are out.
          Next, put the bubble wrap next to the window, now your option is to put a clear plastic wrap over the window, or to put a clear plastic sheet, such as Optix or the cheaper version.
          The bubble wrap helps to keep the cold out, keep the warmth from the sun in the windows. It make a big difference for me.

          I was thinking another option would be to put a few bottles of water, say the 2 ltr bottles beside the plastic, so that they get warmth and do a passive release when the temps fall.

        • Hi Lake Lili

          I do the bubble wrap, a little different then Wilderness, for the two panel big windows in the one part of house, I stuffed the whole window with them, worked amazingly well and then take them out in the spring, but they do take up a huge space when not in use (I got 6 full garbage bags of them free from free cycle, otherwise the cost would have been scary) but for in the house, I get the bubble wrap and just do a light water spray on them and the window with a tiny bit of dish soap mixed in, and then place and push, it sticks and dried on, (fair warning, you have to give the window a very good scrub in the spring as the little bubble rings will all be showing on the glass) and then I have quilts that I made into heavy winter curtains.. it works for me, I only tend to have it up for maybe 2 months out of the year when its really cold, and they come down in the main living rooms as soon as possable, as I find as good as they are in keeping heat in, they also keep alot of solar heat out!

        • I bought a roll of Reflectix at HD and am considering making some blackout/Roman shades for my windows. Supposedly, you need 3 layers, like a quilt.

          The first layer, facing the window, then the reflectix and then the inner layer, facing the room.

          Look up thermal shades on the Internet, all kinds of advice and projects, especially from people who live in their vans/RVs.

    • Lake lili thanks for asking. He is doing better. He will see his doctor on Monday to cast his hand.

  14. Grannytraveler says:

    I received my order of Honeyville Grains (thanks for the heads up on the discount). Picked up a few cans of free olives from Albertsons thanks to a contest they’re running. I accomplished my New Year’s goal of organizing my storage room. It only took me an entire weekend. It will probably be the only New Year’s resolution I keep. Might have luck on my other goal of losing the 15 lbs though I have packed on since the beginning of summer. Entered a weight loss contest at work. It costs $5 each, begins this Monday with a weigh in (the nurse does it and it is confidential-yippee!!!). We weigh in every Monday for 6 weeks and the person who loses the highest proportional weight gets the kitty. So far we have 15 and the numbers could go up by Monday. It is way cheaper than weight Watchers LOL. Wish me luck in losing the weight, winning the money would just be a bonus. I’ve also started lifting some light weights (have a shoulder problem) and walking for exercise.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Grannytraveler, you don’t look like you need to lose any weight from where I sit, but that’s your choice. ;) Good luck with the contest.

      • Grannytraveler says:

        You are so sw-e-e-e-t. Problem is that my GERD has come back. I’m lucky in that I am tall so the weight is spread around, only my waist band is getting tighter and the pants are getting shorter! Of course it never goes where I want it to go. ;-)

        • Buy a piece of ginger root. Every morning and evening, slice off a nickel-sized piece, put it in at least 4-8 ounces of hot water in a mug (you can nuke it in the microwave for 2 minutes or so, or boil water and let cool a little), then drink this ginger tea.

          Alternatively, you can use powdered ginger spice, about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon in hot water and drink that. (This gets expensive, though).

          Every time your GERD starts acting up, drink some then, too. It will settle your stomach within 15 minutes.

          You will find it works better than your meds. Ginger, over time, will not only heal your esopheagus and stomach lining, but will also heal intestinal lining, too.

          You can add honey to the ginger tea for flavor.

          I’m not a doctor, and you take this advice at your own risk. :)

          • Grannytraveler says:

            Sounds good to me. I will head to the store today and pick some ginger up. Will let you know how it works out. Can’t stay on the meds for long because they leach calcium from your bones. Can’t afford to lose any of that. Thanks for the heads up. I love getting advice from this blog. Everyone is so helpful.

    • Hi Granny

      We are having a family weight loss challange, I wish the kick in was 5, big brother made it 50, with the winner getting the pot, but the second place getting their money back.. its for 12 weeks plus you have to keep the weight off for at least a month at the final weigh in.. to make it fair for those that are not that heavy, he also went with body present, raither then straight up pds.

      • Grannytraveler says:

        Yikes, $50 is harsh but then $50 over 12 weeks is a lot cheaper than Weight Watchers which is around $44/month and you don’t have a chance of getting it back! I think the larger amount of money makes you more serious because you don’t want it to go to waste. If our first 6 weeks is successful, we will do it again for another 6 weeks. Good luck!!!

  15. MD
    I have this gun in blue synthetic, what would be the difference with this overmold?

  16. Schatzie Ohio says:

    Bought and organized into a tote cans of chili, hash and stew. Pressure canned 5 pounds of browned ground beef into pint jars.

    I miss read posts from a number of people like Luddite Jean, Denise from Ireland, the guy from Korea Steve and Barbara that use to get into it with Wit. Also The Other Judy and Judith. I hope that they are okay still here.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Yes, I miss them, too. And Christine, who was looking for a job, found one, threw it back, and went looking for another.

      Hey, once you post on this blog you are part of the Pack forever, whether you want to be or not. LOL Judith, come on back and give me a tongue lashing – I’d enjoy it.

    • HeyMickey59 hasn’t been here either.

    • Also AZNZ, forgot his handle but think some of you know. Last post he was living in a national park and got to see his grandchild. That was before the storm came through a few months ago.

  17. Oh yeah I bought 10 cans of kidney beans from Aldi’s for 55 cents a can. Also butter beans for 69 cts
    2pks of22lr 550
    Savalot has chicken breast on salae for 99cts a pound so i stocked up. Went to the gun show on the 7th. Got a couple of 25rd mags for my Ruger 10/22 ( i love that gun)
    Bought a 410 rifle also, haven’t shot it yet though. I have alot of those Bear Creek soups got most of them from Publix on a 2/6 sale and I had 20 coupons. Yeah I”m a coupon queen too, I actually started as a prepper this way. Ok thats all I can remember. God Bless Everyone.

    • MsFedUp,

      That’s how I got into prepping too. Our grocery bill was just getting out of control, so I started stocking up–buying 20 packages of this or that when they were BOGO so I didn’t have to pay full price.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      MsFedUp, that .410 (shotgun?) will be a real handy little gun to have when you need some squirrel for stew meat or a few doves for the grill. Keep ‘er clean and she’ll keep you fed.

      • Carl in W.V. says:

        20 years ago i killed more deer with a 410 bolt action single shot than i have killed since. never under-estimate the value of a good 410

        • I’ve been perusing this site since MD sold out of his last ITEOTWAWKI dvd… (managed to snag one this time!). I’m new to the whole prepping thing and feel like I have SO much to do.

          The tips and hints you all have been providing are gems. I can’t thank you all enough.

          The recent notes on the .410 reminded me that I picked up a Rossi .410/.22 for the the kids to practice with. They like the single shot 22 alot better (the .410 has a bit of kick).

          This week I purchased a large crew pack of non-gmo seeds from Sustainable Seeds… and took advantage of sales happening due the trade show going on in Vegas this weekend. It will be a nice addition to a very new collection.

          I’ve been buying extra cans of tomatoes and other staples as I find them on sale.

          Now, I wish I had just a little cash to buy a few acres. We’re a big family….urban dwelling in the event of a shtf scenario scares the bejeebies outta me.

          Anyway, just wanted to say thanks and let ya know I’ve been lurking!

          • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

            Glad to have you come out into the open and post a comment. Hope you’ll post comments often. Welcome to the Pack.

          • Hexi, Welcome to our growing pack. Wonderful people here, it has helped me so much reading everyone’s ideas to gather what I feel my DH and I need to be better prepared. A little over a year ago I was very frustrated at the feeling that things were going very badly and I needed to DO something but I wasn’t sure what. I was watching Glenn Beck’s show every day and when he started talking about food storage and preparing for hard times, a little light bulb went off in my head. I started searching the web and eventually landed here. Since Dec. 2010 I managed to get enough food for two us for two years and the people here have given enough tips that I have added lots of emergency supplies. Don’t get overwhelmed, just write out a plan or a list and start working and you will get there.

    • robert in mid michigan says:

      .410 was my first weapon as my father wanted us to be 18 before we owned a riffle. nice light weapon that gets the job done. ironically we are looking at for a 410 pump or semi auto (not sure they even make one) for the wife for deer hunting. she doesnt like the 30-30, .308 or the 12 as they kick to much for her. she wont ever be able to shoot a weapon that she is afraid to pull the trigger on. a very capable weapon that fits its role very well. unfortunatly the ammo is more expensive than that for a 12 for some reason.

      • Robert in michigan, Mossberg makes a home defense .410 model with a pistol grip pump handle. Also Saiga makes a .410 semi auto and it is very nice handling. I have a friend that has one and he has used it for pig and deer with the slugs.
        The cost is more on the ammo because it isn’t produced to the volume of 12 gauge. I like the slugs and 000 loads. You don’t often see 12 Gauge with 000 loads.

  18. MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

    MD…I am confused about the contests’ starting and stopping dates. I thought you were beginning a new contest….is this one still the same as the last month or so?

    • The stop date is the date when I stop taking posts for that contest. When I get all of the posts published I will announce the winners. Then we will start another contest. All posts sent after the January 11 2012 will be reserved for our next contest.

      I could have posted 20 posts all at once but I don’t think that would have been fair to anyone – do you?

  19. MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

    Crap…my bad….sorry…posted twice…must be my computer…so sorry…delete at will….

  20. Greetings Wolf Pack,
    Not a lot of prepping got done around here this week, too many hours at work and too many plans that fell through. However, I did get a couple of things accomplished.

    I finished my water filtration system using two- five gallon buckets and a Monolithic water filter. My plan is to test it this week with some river water and then take a sample to the county extension office to get it tested. The literature on the filter says that it is great but I would prefer to know for sure before I have to rely on it.

    I received an order from EE and got it put up. It wasn’t that large, just a couple of cans of freeze dried fruit and a few odds and ends but every little bit helps. I also managed to get about 20 lbs of oatmeal put up along with some assorted canned goods.

    I would like to thank everyone who has written articles on couponing and getting sales items. I have been able to significantly lower my grocery bill each week leaving me more money for preps.

    I now have about 6 months of food on hand for my family, longer if we ration a little. I realize that I should have more but I think that I am going to slow down a little on the food and focus more on defense. I would like to be able to keep what I have when and if the SHTF. To this end I will be spending some time at a local gun store tomorrow trying to see what is out there. If any of the Wolf Pack is willing I could certainly use an article on building/buying a AR platform. There seems to be a 1000 different manufacturers out there and some advice on brands and specs would be very helpful.

  21. Oh, I LOVE Robert Frost! My favorite is The Road Not Taken, lol,my motto ;)

    I haven’t kept a running list of the things I’ve done to prep over the past few weeks. We’ve had a lot of family sickness lately and I just haven’t had time. I HAVE dehydrated what seems like tons of potatoes, they have been on sale a lot this past month, so I’ve taken advantage of it. I’ve probably dehydrated more than 100 lbs. of red and white potatoes. Soon, I need to try some soups and stews using them.

    Last week I bought an old fashioned perculator type coffee pot and a carbon steel kitchen knife. I can’t think of everything else right off the bat, but prepping is never far from my mind, especially with all thats been in the news lately. I’m sure I’ve missed some great posts the past few weeks, hopefully I can catch up soon.

    I have an appt on tuesday to get some much needed dental work done and as soon as I get mine finished, DH is next in line. The LAST thing I want when TSHTF is a toothache…..makes me cringe just to think about it. Its gonna cost me a pretty penny, but will be worth it.

    LP, thanks for telling me to stop worrying about the job situation. I’ve made it through the last 2 layoffs….still working. ;) And everywhere I turn lately, I keep hearing that “God has a plan”……oh YES He does! ;)

    BTW…I’ve MISSED yall!

    • BamaBecca,

      It’s good to hear from you. I have been waiting to hear from you since Alabama killed LSU.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      BamaBecca, sorry to read that your family has had health problems. Glad you are helping them out, shows you are good woman. Your DH is a lucky man.

      You like poetry? Here’s one for you – written by yours truly. Enjoy!

      A skunk is a handsome beast
      His stripes are quite distinct.
      What a shame, it seems to me,
      That he has such an awful stink.

      • BamaBecca says:

        ahhh Gayle, that WAS awesome, wasn’t it? !!! :D

        lol, Lintpicker, you truly missed your calling. ;) You remind me of another online friend. I wonder if you are one and the same ;) That would be Reel Nice ! ;)

        • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

          Nope, I only post comments on this blog. But if it were me, I’d never tell anyhow. hehehehe

      • Lint, lol perfect timing to read this. My gf has been having skunk issues so I read it too her.

    • Kate in GA says:

      BamaBecca,

      I too am having dental surgery next week. I have to have an implant and I don’t have enough bone to support it. I need a bone transplant. A bone transplant for a stupid tooth!

      I will be thinking about your dental work while I am having mine!

      • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

        Shucks, Kate, that sounds horrible. Good luck. Heal quickly.

        I’m going to go brush and floss now.

      • BamaBecca says:

        Thanks Kate, I am literally terrified, lol. I am a major wimp when it comes to even the tiniest bit of pain and have made it clear to the dentist that I want to be sent home with pain killers and antibiotics, (just in case) I also asked for a week off of work….hopefully I can go back b4 then, but at least its approved if I need it :D I’ll be saying a prayer for you too hon! Good luck!

        • Hey Becka,
          Our family has taken dental prepping to new levels this year! We are all cleaned, filled, pulled and implanted to the hilt! Our dentist gives us Halcion to take 30 minutes before our appointment. It will help you relax like you have never relaxed before! Of course, you will need someone to drive you. And the leftovers are great for your prep med cabinet.

          I won’t use a dentist unless he is gentle and cares about your anxiety levels. Ours is so good, you can’t tell you are getting an injection of novacaine. My daughter, doesn’t know she has ever had a needle in her mouth. She calls it getting a “puffy cheek at the dentist.”
          My hubby got 5 teeth pulled and didn’t even notice when it happened. He did miss 3 days work after, and he is tougher than boiled mother-in-law. Well, he secretly liked the attention too.
          So take it easy and make sure you are kind to yourself!

      • Kate, can’t they do synthetic? They did for me when I had dental surgery.

    • Lake Lili says:

      Hi Becca… I enjoy Robert Frost too but I love Robert Service. You can find his complete works on-line at http://www.mochinet.com/poets/service/index.cgi
      I’d start with The Spell of the Yuon and Other Verses and with the Cremation of Sam McGee in particular.

    • BamaBecca,

      I too am an affficiando of Robert Service. Way back when, the USAF reassigned me from Mobile(Brookley AFB) to Anchorage (Elmendorf AFB) with another mobile radar/electronics repair squadron. Was able to see a lot of Alaska and the Yukon. One treasure I still have is a Hank Snow, 33 1/3 record called ” Tales of the Yukon ” and he does many Robert Service poems to a musical accompianment. Your mentioning caused me listen to it again. Brought back a lot of memories. I also have a book of the complete works of Service.

  22. MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

    My father is degenerating exponentially mentally…and my care for him is increasing…limiting my prepping time. I am in the process of looking into what options there are for outside help…it’s becoming too much for me. Not much money here, so those options look slim.

    Did go through my 72 hour box and first aid backpack…re-organized and made lists of what I need. I want to get a wheeled ice-chest to keep my 72-hour stuff in…double duty and easier to haul than the plastic storage box I have it in now. After reading the SBlog for awhile now, I am able to streamline my prep goods…thanks y’all.

    I also took a batch of fossils I’ve collected to a local high school and donated them. This counts as prepping, as it lightens my load and makes room and time for prepping. :)

    -”Doomsday Prepper” show coming to NGC in February: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/doomsday-preppers/

    And a massive CME is coming our way. This is the biggest one in awhile, and may actually create auroras as low on the map as Kansas, as well as mess with satellite communications and other electronics. Scroll down to “incoming CME”…it’s impressive: http://www.spaceweather.com/

    • robert in mid michigan says:

      ice chest as a storage option, why didnt i think of that i have like ten of the things in the garage. i know its a lot but when we do family get togethers at the campground you need a lot of them for food and adult beverages, ( no i dont drink) it always seems i forget the cooler for adult beverages and we buy another.

      would make for a great way to move some of the stuff thx for the idea.

      • MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

        That’s what I’m thinking robert…wheels and a handle will make it easier to move, and they come in all sizes.

        • NorCal Ray says:

          MtWoman (N Central Texas)
          Just be very careful sitting on the ones with the wheels. They have a tendency to shoot out from underneath you when you sit on them. Experience talking. LOL
          Ray

    • Hunker-Down says:

      MtWoman,

      We hope you get the help you need for your father. Charity to another is the only positive thing we take into eternity.

      Thanks for the NGC heads up, I usually miss the normal announcements and thus, the shows.

      I hope those sun farts don’t reverse polarity on OhioPreppers electronics.

    • MtWoman, Is your dad on Medicare? If so, he may qualify for hospice care depending on how bad his dementia is. Check online to see if there is a hospice service, not a hospice facility, in your area. It generally is visitation about 3 times a week that includes bathing and evaluating his medication needs. It also provides caregiver respite that you seem to desperately need. We did that for my FIL and it helped plus when he got worse, the service was able to get him into a hospice full time facility. If none is available, definitely check with his doctor to see if they can recommend a home care nurse through Medicare, a senior center or if there is anyone in the area that provides adult daycare. Unfortunately, all of this costs $ and it seems no one will recognize you need help until you start spreading the word you are really stressed out. Been there, done this and you have my prayers.

    • mtwoman-i wish we were closer, i’d be glad to help you with your dad. i’ve also been keeping up with the CME, it gives you something to think about.

    • blindshooter says:

      MtWoman (N Central Texas), I’m so sorry your father is getting worse. My sister and I had to take my Dad to the ER and tell them we didn’t know what was wrong with him to get him evaluated. His primary doctor seemed reluctant to come out and say that he should not be living alone and that he needed help. We made sure the ER folks knew he was alone and they finally helped us get him in a nursing facility. That whole process was terrible but we were at the end of what we could do on our own both physically and mentally. He passed away before he had been there long enough for them put a lien against his estate but they would have. That crap about you not losing your home if you go to a nursing facility is just that, crap. They won’t just take the home but they get dibbs on the estate after death. There may a way to lawyer out of it but I don’t know how, maybe a trust or something.
      Anyway, what I’m trying to say in my bumbling way is let others help you even if you have to go through the stupid system like we did. I will pray for you both.

    • Chonte' in MD says:

      thanks for the heads up about the show. looks interesting. i was just watching some of the videos on the site the Self Sustaining Suburbia video is neat idea for a pool!!

    • Kate in GA says:

      MtWoman,

      I am sorry about your father. All you can do is your best. I will include you in my prayers, and I hope God blesses you with the needed coping skills.

    • MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

      Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts and support. What needs to happen in this is that his other 3 kids need to step in, and they are about to get booted right into doing that. I did some research last night (couldn’t sleep) and found a couple of ideas: my father had a doctor awhile back that seemed to see the change in him. I’m going to get in touch with him, and see what he can do. What has to happen now is a diagnosis so I can pursue the help my father needs. …along with getting the other kids involved. My problem is I “will do it all”….a curse, that is. And I just can’t anymore, so it’s on to the next right thing. It will be a fight…my father will admit he’s changing, but won’t go see anyone about it. Tough old German guy! I take after him, so I can probably get it worked out.

      I think the real challenge is the anxiety I feel when I consider the changes in the world and want to do what I can to prepare for what’s coming, WHILE needing to be present so much in dad’s life. Definitely a challenge.

      BUT….there may be a break on the horizon….a chance to go camping with my son…thet could be a big help.

      • Candy in Nebraska says:

        Here in Nebraska they have an aging office that will evaluate and help with the extra care. They helped get my mother into a nursing home, helped with shower seats, bath rails, what ever the needs are they help. They had even helped at getting her back out and file charges against the nursing home for improper care. We would be going to them now for an actual nursing home, but she helps with paying the bills and untilworkmens comp settles we have to help each other.

      • Plant Lady says:

        Mt. Woman,
        First, steel yourself…there just isn’t much real help available for your dad – or moreso, you. And second…the other kids not helping or sticking their noses in is a good thing – that often causes far more problems than not. I ran into this with my grandpa…one sister and brother helped us with Gramps – but no one else..not even my mom or her sister. Didn’t even call or visit. But when it came time for us to “take over” and care for Gramps – all hell broke loose. They scented money in the wind (even though gramps only has SS and a $200mo. pension) and got evil…we ended up with Adult Protective Services here twice! Luckily with Hospice here daily for MIL I had lots of backup on what was going on and how I was caring for Gramps. Trust me…leave well enough alone…if they aren’t helping now, they aren’t going to. And trying to make them will only make things one whole heck of a lot worse!
        First: Make sure you have durable legal and medical power of attorney. And MAKE SURE that your medical power of attorney ALSO covers psychiatric care…most don’t…because dealing with dementia you need to be able to get psych care for your dad, especially as he declines.
        Second: Contact your local Council on Aging. If your dad is unable to get out of the house on his own, he can get Meals on Wheels delivered. Yes, you can cook for him…but, this is sort of the entry point into “the program”. It gives you a break two ways: not having to cook for him and being able to use the money he would spend on other things. Someone will come out to evaluate your dad and tell you about other services they may offer in your area. Here they can send out someone to do light housekeeping (less for you to do). There is no money for respite care, but you can work it so the housecleaner is there when you need to go to town or just have a break. And if you are real lucky, the Council on Aging/Senior Center may have an Adult Day Care program. Here it is free – you just have to get them there. Luckily we have a Dial-A-Ride service where seniors can travel for $1 per ride. Our Adult Day Care Center is open from 8:30 am-2pm, and they serve them a free lunch. It was a lifesaver for me when MIL was so mean and more mobile. The little bus would pick her up at 9:30 am and bring her home around 1:30. Those 4 hrs. a day gave me time to tend my chickens, walk my dog, tend my gardens and pray for strength. I sure miss those days…MIL doesn’t wake up early enough to go anymore.
        Second: Your dad probably won’t qualify for Hospice Care – MIL doesn’t and sounds like she is far more advanced than your dad…plus she dies for a few minutes onceor twice a month during one of her 2-hr. strokes. Doctors are real leary about using an Alzheimers diagnosis, because the Hospice rule is that they must be expected to die within 6 months…and who knows with Alzheimers. When MIL was on Hospice, she was under a “debility” diagnosis…after she fell and broke 5 ribs then refused to eat while in the hospital then nursing home for rehab…losing more than 20% of her body weight in 6 weeks (from 145 lbs. to 93). She got kicked off Hospice in August after she gained weight and got up to 120 lbs. The doctor’s hands are tied…its all Medicare and private insurance rules…they can bend the rules a bit but they risk a lot (their livelihood) to do so.
        And as far as trusts and the like go to protect assets…it is already too late for your dad…but not for you. As you find out what to do to get your dad set up…do it for yourself…will save you time and cost later. Medicaid goes back 5 years (over your dad’s finances) and if they see anyone trying to hide assets, they go to jail. Your best bet truly would be to contact an elder care lawyer – they are the only ones that have a clue on what to do – it will be the best investment you can ever make. If he needs to go on Medicaid to pay for nursing home care and he owns his home, they can’t take it (as of this moment)…but they won’t allow him to keep enough money for taxes or maintenance. We just went through this with my Grandpa. He is allowed to keep $2,000, have a prepaid burial/funeral plan and the money to pay for a medical insurance supplement plan and Part D prescription plan. Of his Social Security and pension plan – he is allowed to keep $60/month from them, but the rest (determined by Dept. of Social Services) goes to the nursing home. If he has more cash on hand than $2,000, you can “spend it down” on allowed items…needed home repairs/improvements, medical & dental work and eyeglasses, clothing, a new vehicle (which you can drive. But only one car is allowed) He is not allowed to give or loan money to anyone to hide assets…they will get the money back and jail time may be involved. A good elder law attorney can save you far more money than they cost…and help keep you out of jail! The Medicaid rules are extremely tricky and change all the time…and if you dad has any assets other than a home and a vehicle – get an elder law attorney!
        I’m here to talk if you need more pointers…or just someone who knows what you are going through!

        • cosmolined says:

          Plant Lady:
          WOW! I strongly agree with you Ma’am. You should copyright your knowledge, it is Priceless and Spot On.

          • Plant Lady, very valid points. Went thru something similar with my dad and sibblings. My brother lives out of the area so didn’t expect him to help. My sister and her husband moved to “help” with Dad but often their help was only on their terms or they just totatlly were not available. If I had it to do over again I would never have made that phone call that got them more involved. Now that Dad is dead I can hardly wait to be a position to leave.

          • Plant Lady says:

            Thanks, cosmolined…but would rather help others with what I have had to find out “the hard way”! There is so little help for folks trying to do the right thing for their elders, and it is such a hard job – especially when dealing with dementia.
            For example – Hospice was great…for calling a nurse 24/7 when MIL would stroke out and temporarily die, the volunteer (when one was available) who would come and visit with MIL once a week for a couple hrs. and for the 5 days of respite we would get once every 60 days, where they would pay for MIL to go to our local nursing home. Those 5 days were heaven and I sure do miss them! The Hospice we went with is a non-profit and they were the only one in our area that could offer the respite time…so choose your Hospice carefully! And be aware that if you don’t like the personnel, you can ask for someone else…or if you don’t care for the Hospice program, you can also change to another.
            The rest of the time it was pretty much a waste of time, at least for us. We had a nurse coming twice a week, a CNA (certified nursing assistant) 3 times a week to wash MIL, a social worker once a week and a chaplain a couple times a month. They fit you into their schedule, rather than coming at your convenience – they do try, but the schedule is tight, especially out here in the boonies where they cover 6 counties. This means that I was using what scant free time I had getting the house “company clean” (and making sure the preps were all hidden away) and sitting around talking to Hospice folks. Without the reassurance of having a nurse on call 24/7 and the 5-day respite benefit, I wouldn’t have bothered with Hospice.
            What caregivers need is a little time free of caregiving so they can accomplish other things…like walking with the dog, tending livestock, working in the garden or making out bills without constant interruption. I checked into hiring a home healthcare co. to help occasionally. Insurance doesn’t cover this, so it would be self-pay. MIL has been rated as a two-person transfer since she can’t walk on her own and is pretty much helpless, and with the dementia often can’t understand what is going on – so it takes two people to safely get her to the toilet or out of the house in case of fire, etc. That means I would have to hire two people to stay with her so I could get out…at $20 an hour each…just plain not affordable. I force my sister to accept pay for coming over to help a couple hours a week, so I can at least get out into the yard and tend chickens, walk the dog and do a bit of gardening…but have to stay real close, since she can’t get MIL to the toilet alone. At least now I know why God made me so big and strong…so I can do this job on my own. Caregivers have to know their limits, because its awful easy to permanently hurt yourself.
            If anyone has a free minute and wants to build up some goodwill in heaven, help a caregiver however you can. Be prepared for them to be so pathetically grateful they may cry!

        • Plant Lady, Very good advice on the elder law attorney. The one we used for my Dad helped tremendously as in many cases the state workers don’t know the current Medicaid manuals and will turn you down in a heartbeat. The elder law attorneys are usually right on top of these things plus they know the ins and outs of the “system”. As far as hospice is concerned, it still won’t hurt to ask a hospice service for an evaluation. It may vary from state to state, but in GA the one we contacted said the usual criteria is 6 months but it won’t hurt to ask. If there is a senior center anywhere close, they may have some contacts for local caregivers who can help with what they call ADL’s (activities of daily living). Wish I lived closer, I learned a lot the last 4 years on dealing with elder issues.

          • Plant Lady says:

            Nuttbush: A good elder law/estate planning attorney is almost a necessity nowdays – even if you think your elder (or yourself) doesn’t have an “estate” worthy of the cost. I am so glad that MIL’s lawyer is a great one! The Medicaid/Medicare laws are a moving target…and if you think the govt. employees are there to help you, you are in for a rude awakening.
            And you are right – it doesn’t hurt to check into Hospice…I just didn’t want Mt. Woman to get her hopes up. Even if they should be able to enroll her dad, they can’t offer the kind of help she needs. They are great for end of life medical care…but are not set up to deal with dementia caregivers’ needs.
            And one thing everyone needs to be aware of…the state Council on Aging workers (meal delivery, housekeeping help, etc.) are often those “forced” to work to continue receiving welfare benefits. Enough said.

      • Mt Woman, is your dad still able to feed himself/care for personal needs? If so, there may also be some churches in your area who offer half-day respite care so caregivers can have a break.

    • MtWoman, the large ice chest with wheels and handle is great for that. I have a few and while one is for food and drinks the other I use as storage for my camping basic necessities pack inside with extra bottles of water and wrapped snack items. They can be used in place of totes and the lining makes for a decent climate control I’d imagine.

  23. Good morning Wolf Pack. I hope everyone has had a good week of prepping.

    I’m a newer (less than 6 months) subscriber who has gotten a lot of helpful information from this site.

    I’m looking to add more protein to my long term storage and would like some help/suggestions/advice on if Tofu might be an option. On the Internet I’ve come across a few recipes which say to take a firm block of Tofu, slice it into strips, marinate the slices in Teriyaki sauce, then dry the strips in the dehydrator. Sounds great but the last instruction was to store in a zip lock bag and use within a month.

    The goal for me is to have more options with flavor, avoid “food fatigue” and still have a good source of protein. The chicken, beef, bacon, ham TVP (which I already have) just won’t do it for me. For example, I’d like to use the strips in a stir fry.

    Has anyone experimented with drying Tofu and then vacuum sealing (plastic bag or a jar)? And how long it might be safely stored? Since I don’t know if the flavor, texture, food value, etc. would be adversely affected after “a month”, is there anyone among the food preserving experts on this list able to offer their opinion?

    • http://www.dehydratorbook.com/tofu-jerky.html
      Is this what you saw?
      I would say, just give it the royal treatment: vacuum pack it in mylar. You could add some salt. They sell miso soup powdered mix in mylar with cubes of tofu and dried green onions in it, so I assume it’s possible to preserve tofu that way.

      Hmm, is it possible to can tofu?

      • Hi Penny Pincher,

        Thanks for taking the time to reply. That’s a great link and I’ve saved it for future reference but I think what I first saw came from a blog reader’s reply at another site . . . . somewhere. I’m hoping someone reading my post has already gone down this road and can give a thumbs up or thumbs down on the long term vacuum packaging. I hadn’t thought about the packaged miso soup, it’s not anything I’ve bought from the health food store. Thanks for pointing this out to me!

    • Kate in GA says:

      I am not sure what protein you have now, but beans provide protein for very little cost. You can fix them in many different ways and use lots of different spices for different flavors.

      • Hi Kate,
        Thanks for your input. I do have several bean varieties ready to go. Since tofu is considered a complete protein I was looking to have it available (flavored and dried) for a quick meal addition. I’ve actually gone ahead and cooked up a package of dry beans, then dehydrated them before storing. Add some hot water later on and in a few minutes you have your cooked beans back. Along with the cooked rice that I dehydrated for the same reason. I do my cooking prep ahead of time to save time later on. Beans are hard on the digestive system and a good long soak (12-24 hours. I do 24) pretty much eliminates the problem. Can’t imagine trying to do all that in an emergency scenario so I do it now.

    • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

      Leilo, there is a variety of dried tofu that you can find in asian food stores. It is in a long package, kind of a yellow/gold color, looks like shredded bark sort of. Lasts a long time. Rehydrated it is more like a noodle than tofu, but has the same nutrition from what I’ve been told. You might try that.

      • Hi AZ

        Thanks for the suggestion to try an Asian market. I had not thought to see if there was a dried product already out there. I do not have access to Asian markets but will try to see what Amazon.com might carry. Might even save me time/money . . . .

  24. Luddite Jean says:

    Hey guys, did you miss me?

    I’ve been rather busy with Christmas and getting DD back to uni, and catching up on work and DH has been poorly, phew!

    Hope everyone is OK.

    This week I’ve bought tinned sausages in lard x 12, lots of vegetables in tins, beans, beans and more beans, tins of fruit, stock cubes and 10 x 2kg of ex-MOD cooked steak in mylar packs.

    Over Christmas I bought 5 x 2kg MOD minced beef and 10 x 2kg MOD cooked chicken. Cheap as chips at £3.99 a pack, and army quality – very good indeed.

    • Luddite Jean
      Sure did, glad to know you are okay…

    • mountain lady says:

      Jean, I was just thinking of you this morning and hoping everything was okay with you and yours. Hope your DH is doing better. So good to have you back with the Pack.

    • were glad you’re back. we were getting worried.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Jean, I was so concerned about you that I placed a phone call to M15 and asked for Bond, James Bond. They hung up on me!

      Glad you’re still alive and kicking. I missed your pilchards, too.

      • templar knight says:

        Luddite Jean, let’s just say I’m well chuffed now that we’ve heard from you! Sorry to hear about health problems in the better half, I hope they resolve quickly. And we did miss you, Jean. Kind regards.

    • Lake Lili says:

      Hi Jean – great to have you back! You were missed. Sorry that the DH is not well. Hope that DD has a good term.

      • Luddite Jean says:

        It’s nice to be missed. Thanks for thing of me and all your good wishes.

        Lili, it’s not been too good for DD so far (dreadful landlord) but I think things are improving as of yesterday. She’s on the last stretch and is finishing in May; results in June, ceremony in July when she gets to shake Professor Sir Patrick Stewart’s hand – he’s their chancellor. It’s not everyone that gets their degree certificate with a Star Trek captain’s DNA on it :)

        She’s doing well work wise, though. Her tutor told her on Wednesday that if she stopped work now and just handed in what she’s got, she’d easily pass, but she wants a first-class honours, so she’s carrying on with her dissertation.

    • axelsteve says:

      It is good to hear from you luddite Jean!! I hope your dh gets better, I would like to pray about it if you don`t mind. I supprise people sometimes I do not look like the god fearing type I guess. I will sometimes refer to a bible passage and I get a funny look like,How did you know that?an yway it is good to see you. Steve

      • Luddite Jean says:

        Thank you, axelsteve, I would welcome prayer. DH has had an increase in epileptic fits and it’s affecting his mood and mobility.

  25. robert in mid michigan says:

    real slow week here trying to get past the no work thing. i am still working back to first shift a good thing but its a temporary thing and wont last to long. wife is still looking so bills are the focus of our cash.

    built a couple of self watering 5 gallon containers for gardening, really thinking about setting them up in a window and doing radishes and some loose leaf lettuce cant hurt to try rite.

    been doing a lot of cooking from scratch food is better and a lot cheaper. not to mention i get to practice for a bad day.

    worked on a lot of to do lists and plans for putting things away.

    good luck all, keep prepping
    keep praying we wont need them

  26. i hope everyone had a great week. d.h. just returned from a hunting trip to florida. he got a deer and a wild pig. he had them butchered and had given them to his mom. while he was at his mom’s he went through some of his boxes we had in storage and he brought back 2 oil lamps, some cast iron cookware and several wool army blankets. does anyone know how to clean wool blankets? they smell from mothballs.
    i had to bring another one of my little ones into the vet’s office this week. (in the last two months we’ve had to take five in for emergency care). just a warning to anyone that has cats, even if they have had their feline luekemia shots they can still have it. “little b” is an inside cat, has had her shots and last week just conked out. i rushed her in, they did blood tests and found her positive. doctor said she most likely got it from her mother and it was dormant for 5 years. so the doctor has put her on a new med. he said the disease is fatal but with this new med. she could live another year to five years. i’m keeping prayers said. as long as she is not suffering and she is acting normal now. sorry to keep on about my pets, i just love’em dearly.

    take care everyone.

    • Copperhead says:

      Pam,
      So sorry to hear about your little feline friend. You really have had a rash of pet problems…hope they end soon.

      Don’t know for sure about the wool blankets, but my mother, back in the day, stored them in her cedar chest and before winter started she would get them out and hang on the line in the sun til they smelled better.

      • thanks copperhead. i tried with hanging the blankets out today but they still smell rancid. i remember my mom doing the same with hanging blankets on the line. funny how you forget about things your parents would do.

    • Pam, thanks for the tip about dormant feline leukemia. And I’m sorry to hear about Little B’s diagnosed. I have had several “Grand” cats…I’ve spent at least that much on each of them to save their lives.

      As for the wool blankets, my first thought was to soak them in a washer full of water and liberal amounts of baking soda. Run it through the cycle, then wash as usual (maybe with a vinegar rinse).

    • cosmolined says:

      Pam S:
      I wash mine in the wash machine on Gentle. I use a small amount of dish soap and dry them on my fence. A dryer will make them a lot smaller each time. (My Woolrich shirts can fit a 3 year old.)

      • cosmolined, the next warm day we have i’ll try the washing and line hanging. (my d.h. had a wool sweater that went through the dryer and it now fits our smallest dog).

      • Make sure that you wash them with cold water as well. Even slightly warm will shrink them some.

        • worrisome-i’ll wash them in cold. once i made the mistake of letting d.h. do the wash and he washed everything in hot water so that load ended up tiedyed. so now i make sure the washer is always set on cold. thanks for the reminder though.

    • nobodyssister says:

      Sorry to hear of your kitty’s illness. Glad that she is responding to treatment.

      • nobodysister-thank you for asking and she is feeling better. i’m still giving her meds. (i think it’s just a matter of time though).

    • templar knight says:

      pam s,

      I honked the horn Thursday as I came down Hwy 371 somewhere around Lamartine. That was when I thought I was the nearest to your home. Did you hear me? I saw the cop sitting under the oak tree just outside of Waldo, but thanks to my spy I knew pretty close to where he would be hiding. Hehehe.

      I got to see the grandbaby, have some interesting things to contemplate, and will reveal it in due time. If you’re interested, that is. Hahaha.

      Sorry to hear about the cat, you seem to be having quite a hard time with the furry ones here lately. And here’s a good story, I went to get gas today, took the pup along, and she proceeded to lock me out of the vehicle. Dummy me left the keys in the ignition, and the pup stepped on the electronic lock switch. Good thing the DD was less than a mile away, and went by the house and picked up the spare key. That’s one of the advantages of a small town. Have a great week, pam.

      • hi templar-i missed your honk, but i’m glad you didn’t get the ticket. how is the grandbaby?
        i am interested in knowing what’s happening and i’m glad you haven’t taught your pup how to drive yet or is that your next project? take care and let me know when you can.

  27. Since moving to Houston I have, off and on, spent some time looking at maps trying to find the shortest and easiest route from work to home IF I should ever have to walk it.
    Since I have some arterial blockage in my legs I cant walk too far before having to stop and let the O2 level catch up. The route I drive is 13 miles and I could make it home in 1.5 to 2 days
    Wednesday I was looking at the RR tracks that run behind where I work. Wondering where they went I googled mapped the area and then followed the tracks. Bingo! Once past a large city park its a straight shot almost to where I live. Cuts off at least 2 if not 3 miles.
    Now I need to get out and check the neighborhoods along the route. I can do this by driving the intersecting streets. I am thinking that this might be safer then the city streets I could also take. After all… when the SHTF not to many goblins are going to think, “Lets go to the train tracks and rob people”.
    I’d be interested on the Packs thoughts on this.
    Thanks.

    • Ohio Surveyor says:

      Ron
      Oh I just had a great idea when I read about the railroad tracks . I believe for only a few dollars you can make mabey a “railroad pump hand cart” like in the old western movies where 2 people pump the handles up and down. now ive seen somewhere a single model that is really small. mabey if SHTF you can take one out of your car trunk say and put it together and use that to speed along the tracks. just thinking here how you can utilize the tracks and speed home past all the bad areas.

      • I once saw a moped fitted with an outrigger and casters for running on rail tracks, could you do the same with a bicyle. Or perhaps a bike with a 50 cc two stroke motor added.

      • Ohio Surveyor.
        I got a good chuckle out of that. Those carts are heavy and getting it out of the back of my truck, out of a parking garage, and over to the tracks on the otherside of the fence and ditch… I am getting tired just thinking about it.
        Thanks

        • Ohio Surveyor says:

          Ron .
          I was thinking more along the lines of these ones. I know the prices are outrageous but the first one looks real simple to make for alot cheeper that $1279.22. The most money would be the wheels and that guy is carring it with one hand. I bet you could even make one that folded in half. Mabey even a small electric motor hooked to your car battery. Just a though.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Ron: Until I got out of Los Angeles, my bug out plan included the RR routes out of the Northern end of the San Fernando Valley. I’m not foolish enough to believe I was the only one to think of these routes….. just letting ‘hope float’ and betting on far less traffic along them. It was a better bet than the normal choke points along the the major and even minor street routes… all of which will route you in and out of …. less.. friendly sections of L.A. Only my opinion…. the detail oriented ones my think about this route…. dosent’ mean all those folks have your best interests in mind. Ooooh… juz a lil paranoia creeping in.

      I once read a book in where a couple of folks actually walked out of Chicago Ill. via the local storm drain system….. no S – - t!… and then used the RR routes to make it most of the way to Nebraska! Nice read…. but one would have to accept the staggering amount of assumed …luck.. attached to the plot line.

      Crappolla Ron…. You gotta plan… I gotta a plan and I’m thinking they will both depend on planning…. recon… and some simple ‘Luck’… and timing.

      Yaknow your recon of the route and the like would make a good artical. Just the mechanics of what you did to decide if the ‘route’ was a do-er or not. Bound to get a disscusion going in here. Just my silver dime on the thing Sir.

      • Tom,
        It might make an interesting article. Thanks for the feedback

      • Thomas, I live in the San Gabriel Valley and used to walk the train tracks in the 80s because as a kid it was the only way I new how to get there (6 miles) a a 10 year old kid instead of the left here and right there. She lived 4 houses from the tracks. I only walked on the sidewalk when I passed over the flood channels.
        A lot of bad guys along the route changed my mind and I started riding a bike taking streets.

        City/urban areas are not my preference during the day due to taggers, gang members and other unfriendly’s. I’m not concerned by the homeless camps as much. My brother and I used to hike down the LA and San Gabriel River as well as train tracks in LA county and the bad guys thought we were cops and the homeless never bothered us.
        We took a few small rolls of trash bags and would offer it to them sort of a safe passage and conversation along with a flask. I strongly believe you can learn a lot from the homeless.

    • robert in mid michigan says:

      when i was i kid used to walk the tracks to get to and from friends house and such and was amazed how many people used them for the shortcut. went and looked at 9.8 acres for 15k this week, unfortunatly tracks ran rite through the middle of it, which meant i had 4 acres on one side and 5+ on the otherside. the agent showing the property pointed out that a lot of the property fell into the rail rite of way and thier were limitations as to what i could do and where. walked along the tracks for a bit and thier were human tracks along that as well. didnt buy the land and a lot of people use the tracks for travel, doesnt make them bad just dont plan on being alone.

      • Robert, I know people use them for shortcuts and expect to see other people but not as many as on the streets. I wouldnt buy that property either unless I could sell the other half off.

    • Ron, the train tracks around here can be a hit or miss situation. The tracks close to my house run right along a major road that leads right into Houston and then who knows where they go from there. So for my area you might as well be on the road. Maybe once you recon the tracks in your area you will be able to better asses the situation, if the tracks are in bad neighborhoods or if they run along a major road way like they do in my area. If not then I think that traveling by railway would be a great idea.

      • What part of Houston area are you in… generally speaking?

      • Ron and TG, when scouting/recon the area, I jump on google earth to get a satellite/aerial view of the area and you can create real time maps that way. Not sure how often they are updated but when the GF wants to hike an area I’ve never been to I go online and get an satellite recon of the area. Nice to know if there are streams, rivers, trees, homes etc.

    • axelsteve says:

      Ron. I would be very careful and most likely armed to go that route. The train tracks seem to go through the seedier parts of town and allot of rougher types are there year round pre shtf.At least in my area.I can`t see that to be any different in Texas. I would be packing heat with a walking staff with pepper spray as bear minumim.

  28. Things have been slow around here this week. I have been the go to person for a couple of friends and their issues, and today is my sons b-day so been busy with other things.
    With that said, I did manage to pick up some more canned goods, toilet paper, gatorade, and a few snack items that were all on sale.
    Got some more printing done, and some more info saved. The problem is I run out of ink faster than I can print everything.
    I puttered around in the garden a bit. I am really itching to get going on it, but am being cautious in case of a late freeze. They are rare but do happen. So in the mean time I am counting all the seeds that have sprouted.
    I did move my roses. They were showing signs of new growth, so I got them moved to where my tomatoes will be this season, got them pruned and then put in garlic. I also started my tomato, jalapeno, and bell pepper seeds.
    Oh, we did change locks on our front door. We put in one of those locks that require a key for both sides. One of the kids decided to go adventuring while Mom was in the bathroom, so we nixed that real quick. Also put a new lock on the bedroom door. A lot of the preps are kept in my closet (as it is huge) so I wanted a way to keep people out.
    I think that is about it for this week.

    • Ohio Surveyor says:

      TG
      I would mabey reconsider using the double keyed dead bolt locks for only one reason. If there is a fire you may not want to be fumbling around with keys (or looking for them)as you try to get out of the house. Im not trying to cause any trouble, but what my daughter did when she had “adventourious” kids who liked to sneek out, was she installed cheep battery operated door alarms like these http://www.walmart.com/ip/GE-Wireless-Window-Alarm/10258476 just trying to help.

      • Candy in Nebraska says:

        If you have a doller tree store nearby or even order the alarms online. Way cheaper and pretty much the same alarms.

      • Ohio Surveyor, since putting that lock on I have become paranoid (ok ok, I was paranoid before, but that doubled it) and the key has been glued to me. LOL. I have a slider lock on the door that I keep locked, but the kids know how to open it. I only use the keyed dead bolt for when I leave the room and have an extra key next to the door (hidden) just in case. There is also a window close to the door so if it comes down to it, we can go out that too.
        We thought about one of the alarms but decided that since it doesnt stop them from opening the door.
        Thanks for the concern, in case I hadnt thought of the fire hazard.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      TG, happy birthday to your son.

      OK, I don’t mean to rain on your parade, but those locks that require keys for both sides give me the heebie-geebies (?). What if you NEED to leave in a hurry and can’t get the key or lose the key or the key breaks off in the lock? Then you’re s-c-r-e-w-e-d, unless you want to break out the front window and climb out that way.

      Consider something like a lock placed higher than your kid’s reach. Or a lock that requires a combination entered into it. Or maybe a shock collar for your kid (just kidding).

      • Lint, thank you for the birthday wishes. He loved being able to go around saying it was his “birfday” lol.
        As for the shock collars, I have thought about it a time or ten. My kids are monkeys that escaped from the local zoo. But I wouldnt trade them for the world.

    • conmaze (nofla) says:

      TG
      I am getting ready to start planting my garden too. Getting itchy even though I’m harvesting stuff from the winter garden – carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach. They are all delicious but, to me, very boring. I LOVE spring/summer gardening – so much variety and colors and flavors.

      I would also like to comment that I’m with Ohio Surveyor on your new double-keyed lock. I have an autistic grandson that lives with me and he is a runner…gets upset, has meltdowns and runs for the door and takes off. I almost bought the double-keyed deadbolt to keep him in, but then thought twice for the same reason…fire, what if. Okay, so you could put a small nail up high out of reach of the kids right by the door and keep a key there, but I didn’t trust myself in that if there were a fire and I panicked, would I be able to remember the key in the first place and in second place, would I be calm enough to actually get it in the lock (right side up, turn it in the right direction, etc.) ? There was just too much uncertainty on my part so I opted out of that idea.

      The alarm is great and I did this, but if you’re in the shower with a head full of shampoo…..Well, not a prevention, but at least you know someone escaped and better finish up fast!

      The only thing that made me feel okay was to take my grandson into the bathroom with me with a book or toy to occupy him while I took care of business. He is almost 15 years old now and still a runner and too old to take in with me when I’m home alone with him, so over the years I’ve learned to “hold it” until it’s a good time when he’s occupied or sleeping and then I run in and get ‘er done as quickly as possible. Amazing what you can train your body to do! LOL

      Just my own thoughts on this. Safety is always my first concern and I felt with that lock I could possibly be trading one peril for another. As always, in the end folks need to do what is right for them.

      Maybe you could do an “emergency drill” in the middle of the night. Have a neighbor or friend come in, at your request but unscheduled so there would be no anticipation on your part, and set off the smoke alarm (test mode?) You won’t know if it’s a real alarm or not, you’ll be groggy and not thinking straight and that way be able to see if you can do it.

      My dad used to do things like this when I was a kid. We lived in a two-story house and each upstairs bedroom had an alternate way to get out other than the interior stairway. When we did drills, we had to use the alternate route. Taught me a lot and I knew if there were ever a fire I could get out safely and not panic and not be afraid of having to jump out the window and break my neck or worse!

      God bless you and your family and I pray you never have to experience any of the what-ifs. I just wanted to share some food for thought…..

    • I just want to say thank you to everyone for your concern. It is nice knowing that I have an extended family here that is truly concerned about the safety of my family.

      Fire hazard is one of the things we talked about before deciding on the double keyed lock. We decided that the only time we would have that lock engaged is when I will be out of the living room area for any length of time and at night. The way our house is set up, I have a door that is closer to the bedrooms for an escape that way. If we cant get to that door, then we would have to go out the bedroom windows. We have 4 exits out of the house not including windows, and do fire drills regularly, sometimes at night and sometimes during the day when I give them a location of the fire. “the fire is here, so which way do you leave the house?”
      Even still, I keep a key on me at all times, (you know those springy style bracelets, I have the key on one of those), a key hidden above the door frame, and like I said, only engage that lock when I will be out of the room for longer then a couple of moments, and at night.

  29. Grr! I hate it when I type out my preps and then lose everything when I hit the wrong button. Spent part of the day in the basement with some tornado warnings but everything okay now. Storm kit needs to find a better hiding spot that is easier to get to.

    Preps this week were good: Walmart run and picked up 2 boxes Qtips, some more 75 watt USA light bulbs, and some tummy meds. Also picked up ice scrapers and boxes of tissue for the vehicle kits. At the grocery I bought 4 boxes quick oats, pickle relish, 10 lbs boneless chicken at $1.68 /lb (!), a rain check for half price brownie mix, and at Publix 4 boxes of BOGO free Aunt Jemima pancake mix. Gayle I know you love pancake mix, the sale is through Wednesday.

    I put up the oatmeal, 1 large container of hashbrowns, 2 lbs. black eyed peas and 4 boxes of microwave popcorn in mylar with O2 absorbers yesterday. Also sealed up some packets of hand warmers since I read that helps them last longer, and those will go in the vehicles. I still need to seal up the pancake mix and 4 more containers of old fashioned oats that didn’t get done yesterday. The best I can tell, we are up to 2 years of stored food for the two of us. That makes me sleep better these days.

    I hope everyone is getting over their illnesses and injuries. It will be hard to survive if we aren’t up to our best. Everyone please stay safe and keep prepping as if your life depends on it. It does!

    • Knew I would forget something, I also ordered some #10 cans of corn, OvaEasy egg mix and freeze dried beef chunks from Honeyville when they had the 20% off sale this week. I think that is it! Brain is definitely not working right today!

    • Nuttbush,

      Thanks for the heads up on pancakes. Yum. I love pancakes. I need to pick up more syrup. So far I have 8 boxes of pancake mix and six #10 cans. I need more syrup.

      • Maybe instead of storing more syrup try this recipe: 1 c water, 2 c sugar and maple flavoring to suit. Some think it is too sweet – so might want to try a little less sugar. Just store leftovers in the frig. I know it’s not the real thing but it’s pretty simple, easy to store ingredients and limited preservatives.

        • Syrey If you add a little bit of butter while it is cooking, it adds some extra punch to it. I grew up with a mom that made her syrup like this. She did it because it was so much easier to store a small bottle of maple syrupflavoring that it was to store the big syrup bottles. She had a tiny kitchen. And it also tastes good if you throw in some fruit chunks while it is heating. Peach and Apples were always good that way.

    • templar knight says:

      Hahaha…don’t mean to laugh Nuttbush, but I did the same thing last week and didn’t bother to retype them. I’m glad I’m not the only one who is computer challenged at times. Best regards, Nuttbush.

  30. This week I racked some peach wine. It is extremely dry. Which is weird with a peach taste – you expect it to be sweet. I also started digitizing records I have only on paper, as a backup for if I had to bug out; and also to reduce clutter. A good digital camera works a lot faster than a scanner, once you figure out where to aim. I am blowing through the AA batteries though. Walgreens had a nice sale on AA batteries the other week, yay!

    Last month I was running my dehydrator a lot, also I got given something like 4 or 5 free old PC’s so I had a PC up on the desk that I got distracted and let run all month with DBAN in it, plus I replaced my perfectly good gas water heater with an electric one because the chimney collapsed inside where it vented out, and replacing the chimney would have been a lot more. Got my electric bill and it was about 95 bucks! (as opposed to like 40) So, I think I’ll quit dehydrating stuff until I get a solar dehydrator built, and I’ll get my butt in gear and get those PC’s done, then sell most of them. Not much I can do about the water heater. The tenants like to do tons of laundry. Well, maybe I can wrap it. There is a nice tutorial to super-wrap a water heater in http://www.iwilltry.org. And I’m hoping to turn the old water heater into either cash or a rocket stove some day.

    Or maybe convert it to a rocket stove water heater.

    • I realize some people think paper is better for if there is an EMP. But I plan to put mine on DVD’s or CD-Roms, so it’s optical. I am keeping some things on paper but a lot of it is going bye bye. Perhaps it will become fuel for the rocket stove…

      • Ohio Surveyor says:

        Penny Pincher
        Great idea going with dvd/cd’s. F.Y.I. for all of you who want to keep info stored on paper ,you need the right kind of paper. I collect ancient Bible’s . The paper they use is “high % cotton rag paper” I have bibles over 450 years old and the paper is still supple and can be used as a daily reader. You can find high quality paper at places like scrapbook stores or on line…..remember most books printed today are only going to last mabey 50 years.

    • ShadesOfGray says:

      Penny Pincher,

      In my experience, lithium batteries really are worth the extra cost for use in digital cameras. I prefer (Sony) cameras that use the AA instead of having to keep a special battery charged. One thing to watch, though, is that alkaline will fade out where lithium suddenly just quit.

      Another thing that I do is to turn the flash completely off, except when REALLY necessary. Flash uses a lot of battery.

    • Repair Mama says:

      i would dance the jig, naked in the middle of the street for a 90.00 electric bill. i just paid ours,
      410.00 for home and almost 300.00, for the office.

      • Kate in GA says:

        Repair Mama,

        You can decrease that bill by putting everything on serge protectors. Then turn the protector off when you are not using the appliance. I do that with all the TVs, DVD and VCR players. No need to pay for those phamtom loads.

        In our office, everything is on a serge protector to include the clocks, modem, and telephones. When I leave the office, all of it gets shut off. Not phamtom loads there either. If a client needs to speak with me, I have a business line that rings in the kitchen so I can still answer it.

  31. conmaze (nofla) says:

    This was a big week for my prepping strategy. I’ve been saving for a long time for this and finally bit the big one. I finally ordered my Simple Pump deep well hand pump. My well is 225 feet deep so I had to go big or go home. It cost me almost $1700, but in the long run I feel it’s money well spent. Peace of mind knowing I will have water and I can pump into my pressurized tank and use all of my indoor plumbing. Pumps at 5 gals/min. so even if I have to go out a couple of times a day and pump, it sure beats the heck out of having to carry buckets and having to use a lug-a-loo to do my business! I will be installing myself in the next few weeks, so I will keep you updated on how it works. I also ordered a pocket electronic Wickipedia for 14.99. It has 3 million entries and can be updated every quarter. There’s a lot of good info on there. I just looked up MRSA because a friend’s baby just had to have surgery on his leg to remove the infection. It had full color pictures of what it looks like, how to treat it and how to prevent it. I figured that info alone coud be lifesaving. It runs on 2 AAA batteries. Stash it in the faraday, pull it out every quarter to run updates and I will have a complete updated encyclopedia on hand and I can even throw it into my BOB.

    Great bunch of articles on here lately folks. I check it daily and read all of the posts. Thanks for all of your info – I learn great things every day!

  32. I am offically OUT. OF. ROOM. IN. THE. HOUSE. I can not shove anymore cases of food under beds that are all lifted higher than normal. Every closet is packed to the ceiling. My daughters bed is actually resting on five gallon buckets of sugar, and rice. Talk about the Princess and the Pea! We move all our BOBikes out of one of the storage sheds to put my canning jars and supplies in.
    The 800 sq ft. dry storage building my husband is HAPPILY building, is on hold until it is warm enough to pour cement.
    I needed a jar of jalapeno jelly. I looked for an hour before I could find it, in my closet under six cases of green beans. Behind the 10 cases of t.p. I had to lean over the 20 ammo cans that I can barely lift, and found that silly shoe I have looking for, for a year. Brother. I think I crossed a line into OCDville and need to enroll in the 12 step prepper program.
    At this point I have no idea how much food we actually have, but my goal was to feed 8 people for 3 years. I will excited to get all this out of the house and see how well I have done.

    This week, I am looking at my homeowners insurance policy. Doing a photo journal and pulling my receipts to prove how much I have spent on preps. Also, put a value on the all the food I have grown and canned. How much is 400 lbs of frozen elk meat worth? If my house burned, my agent would crap a golden brick, right in the driveway, if I told her I had $10,000 in food stores, and twice that in ammo. Better to have the receipts, picts and documents in the a safe place. Three safe places.

    BTW…Girl Scout cookies are for sale this week. Everyone needs Thin Mints and Samoas in their food stores for moral support! I have 2000 boxes of cookies in the back of my truck as we speak. No, they are not for me. Well, some of them are. Ok, I already ate a box! Just one box. Jeez.
    Have a great week!

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Ma’am, put that box of cookies down and step away from the truck. LOL

    • Chonte' in MD says:

      i agree with the thin mints!! they go on sale in my area in February and i can’t wait!!

    • Kate in GA says:

      Mama J,

      Mormons have problems with storage all the time because they are required to have 1 year of food in storage. Try these tips:

      Do you have any booksheves? I have cans of food behind every row of books on my book shelves.
      Is your couch against the wall? Move it out 6 inches and place a row of #10 cans behind it. Place a board over the row of cans and add another row. You can stack them up to the level of the couch.
      Do you have end tables? Cover them with a table cloth and put food under them.
      Where do you store the paper towels, napkins and toilet paper? You can move them to the garage or attic and free up some additional space.

      I am sorry I can’t help with finding stuff. I have all of my food storage listed in a binder with a column for where it is stored. However, one time I went looking for noodles and couldn’t find them. I looked for over 1 hour and then sent my husband to the store to get some more.

      • I used to do inventories of car parts, one very old store had a few unusual locations. One was USBSW which turned out to be under stairs by south wall. I managed to find quite a few scattered all over the store that were listed in location OGK, which turned out to mean, Only God Knows.

        • Kate in GA says:

          Azyogi, That is funny! I am going to use that one!!

        • axelsteve says:

          WE had a location of by map. Well if the map was covered which it was normally you would have no idea where it was if you did not work there.

        • Luddite Jean says:

          When I worked in a hospital, we often used to see either OGK or GOK in the box for diagnosis on a lab request.

      • We made a shelf just below the ceiling in the bathrooms to hold toilet paper. In the guest bathroom, I put up a spring rod and curtain, to hide it from view. People just think its towel storage. Each bathroom holds a year supply of toilet paper. When I need to replenish, I just look up.

        That said, I use personal family cloths, so between us we only use about a roll of toilet paper a week.

        The toilet paper is stored for the other people who will be bugging out to our location. Of course, when it runs out when TSHTF, they will be using personal family cloths, too. I am making extras when towels and t-shirts wear out, and storing them away, too.

      • axelsteve says:

        My grandparents bought a home from a Mormon family. They sold there house to move to Utah. The had a partial basement and was probably the only house with a basement on Fidalgo island.Islands usally have to hi a water table to have basements.

    • Ohio Surveyor says:

      Mama J
      We purchased a seperate “rider” to our homeowners insurance policy for prepping items. It’s only pennies per $1,000 and we had to show every item with serial #’s and photo’s and then the agent was so confused why we had all this “stuff” he had to come to the house and see for himself. I think every prepper should have extra insurance to protect the prepping investment.

      • LOL. My agent will definitely want to come look. Trust me. She shakes her head at my outdoor shower next to the back door and my bathtub with hot water in the garden. And that is just the beginning.
        She just sent an inspector over to take picts of the property because I think they are little afraid of what I might be concocting next.

    • Mama J, I remember a tractor trailer back up to our house to unload cases of GS cookies. Funny, it was the last year that my Mom ever volunteered for the Cookie Commitee….

      • Thats what we had for the cookie delivery too! And big guys with pallet jacks
        It was cookies for the whole area, three counties. 40,000 boxes. Even though it was alot of cookies, we had plenty of help and they were very organized. We managed to get it all sorted and loaded into vehicles before it starting raining and snowing!

    • riverrider says:

      mama j, better check w/ your agent. they only cover so much in food replacement. you may need a rider on your policy to cover that and the cost of ammo, guns etc over what the basic policy covers.

    • I don’t even think I would want an insurance agent to know what I had in my house as far as preps go. Anymore makes me quezy just giving out my name or phone number.

      • Ellen,
        I understand. Sometimes I cringe. To me, the only thing worse than someone knowing what I have, is losing it all because I didn’t insure it. The risk is acceptable to me because we are already “out there” in the communtiy. I run a co-op farm, teach farming, food preservation, and basically prepping. We are also known for being gun loving and we are building a 8 ft perimeter fence. So I hope our security and reputation will keep folks out who need to stay out. Plus, I have great neigbors on a long private road, so we watch out for each other.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Mama J,

      Get a bigger purse.

  33. Well, seasonal rains FINALLY started here this week so timberwork for me is now over until spring and boy am I glad! I think this may have been the last season for me; I’m just too damn old to do this work any longer. Found myself making some dumb mistakes during this last harvest that I never would have made a few years ago – mind wandered thinking of my brother-in-law’s recent death too often I guess – but, besides that, it’s just not the type of work I have the stamina to do safely any longer. No retirement plan available for me though, so I’ll have to see what I can come up with.
    Second realization came from the physical checkup I had the week before Christmas, they found a tumor and after a biopsy, found it to be malignant. Something called a GIST. They said it was contributing to my lack of stamina, as my hemoglobin rate was very low. They are holding off on surgery for a bit till I recover some strength, so it probably won’t occur till sometime next month. I usually head south for a while this time of year to escape the cold drizzle, but obviously not this year. But the good thing is that plans were already set for folks to take care of my homestead during the winter, so I don’t have to worry about keeping things together here during and after the surgery. Ah, 2012 is starting off to be a very interesting year.

    • blindshooter says:

      K Fields, prayers for your recovery.

    • k fields-i’m sorry to hear about your health, i’ll keep you in my prayers.

    • axelsteve says:

      K I hope that all goes well with the surgery.We got rain this weekend with allot of wind with it.I did not get much done this week except food. That is the way it is sometimes. Steve

    • Kate in GA says:

      K Fields,

      I will put you in my prayers.

    • Copperhead says:

      K Fields,
      Sounds like you have a real challenge ahead for you to go through. Will be keeping you in my prayers. Please keep us updated on how it’s going.
      Blessings!

    • cosmolined says:

      K Fields:
      You are in my prayers…. Last year was my interesting year. The ping-pong ball at the base of my 19 year old son’s brain has decided to remain benign for now. (Pray for all it’s worth.) Cos

    • SaratogaPrepper says:

      K Fields
      Prayers for you.

    • mountain lady says:

      Will be saying prayers for you to have a successful recovery from your problems.

    • conmaze (nofla) says:

      K Fields
      You are in my prayers for the best doctors, a quick healing and peace of mind.

    • The Other Ellen says:

      K Fields, I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Oh boy. So sorry to hear about the tumor. Time to rest and stay strong for your healing to begin.

      • K Fields. I am saying prayers for you and hope that all will be well for you. I am also praying for your doctors to reach wise decisions and to do their very best in your case.

      • templar knight says:

        K. Fields, I’m truly sorry to hear about your health problems, and sincerely pray for you to have a good resolution of them ASAP. I know some folks don’t want to get unsolicited financial advice, but it would be beneficial to go ahead and apply for Social Security Disability now that you know you won’t be able to work. That is what it was created for, to help folks who are disabled. Again, I wish you the best, and a return to good health.

    • Grannytraveler says:

      So sorry to hear about your diagnosis. My prayers are with you.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      K Fields,

      We pray for you and your doctors.

    • I hope this makes you feel a little better. Last year one of my best friends had the same thing. He had the surgery and recovered quickly with no problems at all. His was in his stomach. I pray for a speedy and problem-free recovery for you too.

      • Thanks everyone for the words of encouragement; they are truly appreciated.
        Gretchen – mine is in the small intestine but I’m hoping it will be a simple operation and I’ll be up and about soon afterwards.
        Temp. – I’m hoping I won’t be “disabled” for very long, but I’ll keep your suggestion in mind and do a bit of research just in case.
        So long as I don’t run out of brie, wine, chocolate and coffee I should get through this just fine.

        • mountain lady says:

          And here I thought that I was the only one here that has to have brie, wine, chocolate and coffee. I would also add champagne, but that is only for special days.

  34. The Prepper says:

    I spent a lot of time learning this week. Watched the awesome video Back To Eden (a HUGE thanks to the person who posted this):

    http://backtoedenfilm.com/

    And ordered a copy of Geoff Lawton’s permaculture series:

    http://permaculture.org.au/store/geoff_lawton_52ddvd_set.htm

    Hoping to make my land work for me vs. having me work for the land.

    • conmaze (nofla) says:

      Ditto on the Back to Eden video. Can’t wait to try it.

    • The Prepper, I posted the link to the Back to Eden film last Saturday. I was so blown away when I watched it that I couldn’t wait to share it with others. I love the gardener’s mindset of working smarter, not harder. Please keep the Wolf Pack updated if you begin this journey. I’m interested in hearing of your source for wood chips. ;-)

  35. The Prepper says:

    MD — what benefit does the hogue 10/22 stock bring over the stock that ships with the rifle?

    • Feels better, points better. Better grip angle and better forarm design…

      • axelsteve says:

        Better all around. I would get one for my 10/22 but my son took it over so he has to if he wants it.

    • The Prepper:
      Best way to describe a Hogue stock’s feel is to try one. You will not go back.
      I have one rifle in a Hogue and one in a folder.

      • cosmolined says:

        For folks who are not familiar with Houge, they also make pistol grips that feel better than the factory ones and I think they reduce the felt recoil.

  36. Wellrounded says:

    It has been a busy couple of weeks since my last post. We now have our cool room standing, silo roof is constructed (waiting on a mate with a crane to lift it on for us), plenty of progress with our living quarters and loads of general tidying up. Vegetables are very good this year, heavy crops of just about everything, picking zucchini, squash, tomatoes, runner beans, lettuce, rocket, radish, pumpkin, potatoes, cucumbers, carrots, beetroot, kohlrabi, silverbeet, onions, shungiku and plenty of fresh herbs. A week or two away, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, okra, spagetti squash, watermelon, honeydew melon, corn, waterchestnuts, artichokes and garlic.
    We have also had a few problems and sad times over the past few weeks, a badly injured horse (recovering well now), illness for everone at the farm (nasty cold that put us out of action one by one for a few days), on Friday my daughters beautiful faithful dog was mauled by a wild (possibly just a stray) dog while protecting the house and farm and did not make it through the day, she has had him since she was 9, she’s now 22.

    • Schatzie Ohio says:

      Sorry to hear about the loss of you dog. That is always hard to bear.

    • Chonte' in MD says:

      im very sorry to hear about your daughters dog. losing pets is an awful feeling. i still have a hard time looking at pictures of my “Princess” and she has been gone for a few years and my dad can’t bring himself to get another.

    • wellrounded-i’m sorry to hear about your dog. it feels like a part of you is lost.

    • Wellrounded says:

      Thanks guys, we miss him.

    • blindshooter says:

      Sorry about the loss of the dog. I had to put one down before Christmas and I still expect to see him when I come home.

    • Sorry to hear about your dog! I don’t know what I would do if my buddy wasn’t there to greet me when I came home everyday.

    • Wellrounded says:

      He was a great companion and friend.

  37. offshore day says:

    This week started out slow,

    Bagged up 90 lb rice in mylar

    While visiting my parents this morning, there’s an estate down the block from where I grew up. The couple there recently passed away and I got something I’ve been looking for, an old fashion vintage rolling pin for 20 cents. the new ones in the stores are so chinacheap. They also have a antique foot pedal driven sewing machine made by White. The pedal system works but I couldn’t get the needle mechanism to completely work so am going to go back with some tools etc to see if I can get it operational. Might come in handy when shtf.

    Shopped some other estate sales this am. Got 5 books for $1, an old edition of Joy of cooking, a book on bread making, Pennsylvania dutch cooking, medieval history, and an illustrated world atlas.

    At the next sale got 2 nearly new thermarest sleeping pads, a nice REI groundcloth, a never been used stainless cook kit, & a whisperlite camp stove all for $20.

    • Worrisome says:

      Offshore………….check in the lower mechanism of the sewing machine for a needle that may have broken off and is clogging it up from underneath. I bought two old pedal machines and both were very cheap because they didn’t work. Both of them had broken needles stuck under the plate near where the bobbin goes. Once they were picked out and the machine oiled and cleaned up, they both worked just fine. Then I gave them to two of my daughters…who don’t use them…….thinking of asking on of the daughters, who has hers in her garage if I can have it back so I can play on it.

      • cosmolined says:

        Worrisome:
        I have a Singer Treadle that doesn’t have needles or bobbins. Do you know where I can go to get them and maybe another leather drive belt? Thanks.

        • Worrisome says:

          Cosmo, I don’t where to tell you to go for the needles and bobbins, but I took my falling apart drive belt to a shoe repair shop and using plain “people” belts, he sewed me a drive that works quite nicely. If is a Singer Treadle, I would start by writing the company for the bobbins and some needles and see what they say/do. There were extras in the drawers when I bought mine.

        • blindshooter says:

          cosmolined, I have my moms old Singer and need a belt for it. I have thought about getting a big o ring, we had some at work once that could be cut and the ends melted back together for custom lengths. I never think about things like that until I read about them here….I need to work on that memory thing…..where was I?

        • Schatzie Ohio says:

          Try treadleon.net

      • offshore day says:

        thanks for the tip, got it working but there is no bobbin for the machine. From what I researched, for this model there are no boobins made anymore and they are very scarce. Am trying to get a bobbin to make sure I can use the machine

        • Encourager says:

          Offshore day, did you say it was a White? The bobbins for White Sewing Machine are not round, they are a round stick type, about 1 – 1 1/4 inch long but very narrow.

          If you will ask around at antique shops or small quilting shops (not Joanne’s), many times they have info about a group that uses these machines. There is one in Mason MI that meets. (Found this out from the quilt shop in Mason). They are not a Treadle Sewing Machine group per se, but a group that wants to bring back many different types of old machines that do not use electricity. Also, check with an Amish family – they may be able to tell you where to get the bobbins and any other parts you may need. Good luck!

    • robert in mid michigan says:

      would love to get ahold of one of those sewing machines, mother used one growing up. unfortunatly i can only find them at antique dealers and they want both my arms and legs plus a child for it. gl i hope you get a working one.

  38. This past week has been quiet and steady in our neck of the woods, we added in a new electic stand alone fireplace in our bedroom, twenty min and it warms the room up very nicely before bed.

    Got 12 pairs of winter thermal socks on sale in clearance at the local feed store, so as it was 3 packs for the price of one pack, it was a very good sale indeed, also picked up a new big 2012 calander for 2 dollar that was orginally 20, it not only has nice big space for writing but has a pocket for you to store paperwork for the month in.. I like it..

    I also got a buy 3 get a 4th bag of feed free sale, so that was in effect a 33% saves on feed, and with the costs of feed these days, every little bit there helps.

    I did make two of the “odd bit” recipes, one using blood and the other using lung, both turned out very well and I am glad I learned how to prepare lung for use in different recipes. I have been busy lambing with a number of new sets of wee ones born, which gives me a couple part time milkers and one girl who lost her twins, so one full time milker..

    That means its time to make sheep milk feta along with lots of yogurt or fresh soft cheese this week..

    While it does not take place until feb, I paid and booked my spot this week for one day out of a weekend of local small farm seminars, It was hard to pick just two, but finally went with a 3 hours seminar on pruning and grafting fruit trees or vines, and a 3 hour seminar on proper care and deydrating of hard and soft fruits and vegetables, plus the key note speaker and a small farmer round table lunch and meet and greet and it gets me into the trade show to see what all is new etc

    But the biggest hightlight of the week was the annoucement of a big sale coming on guns, ammo, traps, its a preppers dream.. sad that the big store is closing but awesome that its a auction with no reserves on anything, its taking place in late feb. I have my eye on a few things but we will need to see what the prices are like when I get there.

    Look forward to reading what everyone else is up to!

    • The Prepper says:

      Awesome farmgal! I just signed up for a pruning and grafting class myself. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on your event.

    • Awesome job as always Farmgal! I take as many classes as I can also. And have given a bunch too. I sponsored and held a large healthy soil conference a few years ago and we have 110 people come! We are fortunate to have a very active Extension Office, Conservation District.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      farmgal,

      So, we anxiously await your tome on grafting and dehydrating when you get back from the February class! Have fun!

    • axelsteve says:

      that reminded me a couple of years ago ,I guess. A sporting goods store caught on fire and they had a big fire sale afterwards.A man I know bought a gunsafe there and he repainted it since he owns a auto body shop.some fixable firearms were sold cheap and a bunch of misc and etc was sold cheap since it was in complete or smoke damaged.I know a guy who bought a nice jacket for pennies and just took it to a dry cleaner and it was back to new. Later they moved next door into a newer building.

      • I will post back about the courses and hopefully you will do the same, I hope that we can get some good buys at the sale, we will see, in truth I would not mind buying some of the display racks etc Can see how I could use them around the place in a right handy manner.

        Have a couple folks that have asked me to host a hugelbeet building party this spring, its so simple to make but I have said yes, last year we had a building party/get together as well but it was for a friend, who really wanted one but with three little ones under the age of 5 at the time, it was just impossable to find the time to get it done..

        I look forward to working with second year ones this year in terms of being able to plant more/different choices.

  39. Hey everybody….

    I am actually not a prepper…yet! I am abroad at the moment for quite a while now (3 months), but always felt you got to be prepared for certain events (didn’t do much though). For example in my region in Germany a few years ago was a heavy snowstorm that caused power failures and blocked roads for up to 5 days. Luckily, it missed my place by only 10kms and I only had 5min of power failure :) but what if it wouldn’t have :o ?!? So when I stumbled across this blog I decided to prepare at least for a couple of weeks plus a bug out bag (I only have a small flat, but you can always prepare for a few weeks!).

    So my preparation was to make lists of what and where to buy as soon as I get home in 8 days .

    Thanks to everyone to all that great input and thesurvivalistblog to be such a great resource of info!!!

    • PA-B:
      Welcome aboard!

      You could certainly do a lot worst than starting your prepping with this group!

    • You’d be surprised what you can pack away in limited space. The house I am in is small (I know larger than your flat) but I have stuff under everything and figure for the security it brings and the wonderful peaceful sleep it is worth it to have the food stacked around.
      I gave up on decorating and having a house beautiful. To me it is more wonderful now than I ever had a place before.
      Good luck.

      • Thanks for the warm welcome :)

        I already pictured in my mind where to put what :) I’ll definateley will be able to build a decent stock. The advantage of living in a small flat in a city, I have a few supermarkets near by so if the SHTF in a lot of cases I’ll be able to go and “emergency stockpile” even more….

  40. Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

    MD, don’t overlook the fine poetic works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. His epic tale, Song of Hiawatha, would be great to read around the woodstove in the dead of winter. A few family members or friends taking turns reading it aloud would be a great way to spend an evening.

    And for those who like the Great White North, there are the fine works by Robert Service. His poems about the Yukon and the hard life of the sourdough will make all of us appreciate what we have in comparison.

    Well, what did I do to prep this week? Hmmm, not a lot. But I’ve got at least half a dozen new lists started for when I can get out and about again.

    Cleaned up the raised beds in the backyard. The leaves and pine needles were dumped under the black landscape fabric so they will rot faster and hopefully build up the soil. I also dumped some of the household composting materials into the beds and raked them in. The soil was warm, even after all the rain we got the past 2 days.

    Speaking of rain, it appears that mountain lady’s rain stick did the trick. Thanks, ml. Good job!

    Ordered some stuff from Amazon. 4-solar outdoor lights for the tops of the fence posts. 2-Maglites (it’s been so long since I bought a flashlight, now I feel good again), 1-wrist brace, 1-elbow brace, 1-knee brace, and 1-lightweight ankle brace. And also ordered a couple of DVDs for my viewing pleasure. No, not porno! Ordered 2 movies that are often on TV, but may not be available to me someday. So as long as I have power, I will be watching Jeremiah Johnson and True Grit (with John Wayne). I’ll be adding more DVDs to my pile as I can. Then it’s so long to Cable TV!

    Wolf Pack, you are the greatest! May the Good Lord keep watch over you and yours, and keep you from harm.

    • “You know that thern elk is arn!”

    • mountain lady says:

      LP: You and the rest of us in norcal are welcome for the rain. Will put the rainstick back into the umbrella stand until we need it again.

      I gave up my TV about a year and a half ago and hooked up the old video player as well as the dvd player. I found an old copy of “On the Beach” at the thrift store last week and watched it the same night. Old cold war scare stuff, but I suppose could be still in play. Enjoy your old movies.

      • I bought a large chunky pine dresser with drawers to use as a TV stand to keep our movies in and nicely sorted, and out of sight. It holds 600 easily. My daughter calls my favorite drawer, “Moms, end of the world section.” With a nice eye roll and flick of her hair. Silly brat.

    • Worrisome says:

      By the shores of gichigumi (spelling)……… my mother read that to me as a child. It was the beginning of my love for forests and indian people.

    • ‘Wait here an I’ll go get you a bear’

    • LP- You and my DH must be long lost twin brothers. His two favorites are Jeremiah Johnson and Trud Grit too. John Wayne is his favorite, when even once had a dog named Duke! LOL

      • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

        Unless your husband is nearly 62yo, then we are merely kindred spirits – not twins. LOL Yes, John Wayne is always going to be my favorite actor, too. Another couple of his films that I want to acquire are The Shootist and The Searchers. Great stories, great scenery, and some good lessons to be learned.

        • templar knight says:

          Well…well…now you’re talking, LintPicker. For us Texicans, The Searchers is the best John Wayne movie ever made, with Red River being a close second. They both have a Texas theme, haha! And he looked pretty awesome in those Condederate breeches in the Searchers!

          Actually, I think The Searchers is the best western ever made period, with High Noon second, and the Outlaw Josie Wales third. You Californians might have a different view. LOL.

  41. Vienna (Soggy prepper) says:

    Oldest DD’s battery died in her vehicle, so our prep money went to buy her a new battery. Guess even when the “kids” are adults and out of the house they still cost money! lol It has a two year warranty so I consider that a “prep” for her car.

    I did normal grocery shopping and was shocked at the price increase from just a couple weeks ago. 4.87$ for a pound of Darigold butter! Holy dang! Off brands were 2.59$ lb. I won’t even talk about the coffee.
    I do so like buying like a prepper when you see the sale (or bogo) and buy tons of it followed by the odd looks. I’d rather get the odd looks for buying large quantities for cheap. I give the shocked looks when I see what is charged at full price AND see people buying it at that price!

    Keep prepping strong. News is ugly. World Bank said disheartening stuff also this week and if they are actually acknowledging a problem you know it’s getting to the tipping point. It’s a slow slide down from here.

    • Chonte' in MD says:

      don’t even get me started on butter!!! i bake alot for extra cash. birthday cakes/cupcakes and pies around the holidays and butter is unbelievable!! i only buy it from aldi now unless safeway has a coupon for their store brand then i grab as many sales flyers as i can and stock up

      • Me too Chonte”, I am sick of the prices of dairy. And sick of being sick from the tainted GMO fed milk. We are prepping for a dairy cow this spring. I found a gas powered milker on Craigs list and we are waiting for few other projects to finish and Mama is back to milkin.

    • mountain lady says:

      Those shoppers still buying even when the prices are high are probably using SNAP cards.

      • riverrider says:

        ml, i saw a thing on tv that the stores that have high usage of snap cards raise their prices because they know the cardholders will pay it. some folks said they go across the nearby state line to get cheaper food because there are less snap users there. kinda like the yankees coming down south n paying too much for the land, so we can’t even afford it anymore. pure greed.

      • No kidding about the SNAP cards and people buying “whatever”. I have a weird hobby of checking out what people buy at the store in the checkout line. Warning, I am going to profile here. The welfare moms with the four children 10 months apart, buy the worst food! Sugary cereals, soda, white bread, american cheese, all processed and garbage that I refuse to feed to my chickens. Although I did see a lady checkout a $30.00, 4 pack of t-bones with hers.
        In general, most who pay with assistance buy terrible food. That is only from my limited observation though. I would hope that Social Services would have some kind of nutrional counseling at some point.
        I gladly noticed that WIC has fresh fruit on the vouchers now.

        • riverrider says:

          mamaj, eons ago i worked in a grocery. i feel for the folks that actually need the assistance, but there is a lot of abuse of the system. i bagged up cartloads of groceries(mostly precooked,preprocessed) and took them out totheir cadillacs and bmw’s. i’m eating baloney sanwiches everyday and driving a 400.00 car at the time, they’re eating steak. one time a really obese one was in line w/ the usual junk and another cart of beer and wine when her kid ,clad only in a diaper with snot running down his nose, reached for a candy bar on the display. she backhanded him with her gargantuan paw right in the face.’ bout knocked him out of the cart. i lost my cool and my job.

      • What are SNAP cards? Are they a form of food stamps?
        And WIC?

  42. Kate in GA says:

    I tested my calcium hypochlorite this week. Based on the problems Hunker-Down had last week, I think it is good advice for everyone to test their water santation procedures. You could have a bad batch of calcium hypochlorite or a bad test kit. Work out the kinks now while you have time to learn!

    Having said that, my water santation procedures worked just fine. I tested with both calcium hypochlorite and bleach. I did this because my instructions say that you may smell a chlorine odor. I didn’t – at all! Even when I used bleach I couldn’t smell anything. However, the test kit says the chlorine is in there.

    Hunker-Down,
    I recommend you get another test kit. If you want, email me and I will give you the details of what I did. MD has my permission to give you my email address.

    Oh, the other thing we did this week is my husband bought a new shot gun. It a Mossberg Field and Deer Combo. Our gun collection has doubled this past year!

    I may go back to lurking until spring and the gardening questions start to pop up. I will be happy to answer any gardening questions the pack has. (For all the newer people here, I am a master gardner.) I really don’t have much else to do to get ‘ready’.

    The only thing I am lacking on my list now is a cow and the neighborhood nazis say I can’t have one. We have moved our search for land to Texas. We just can’t find any land we like around here, it is just too cold for me. My idea of preping for winter is to wear socks.

    • Kate,
      Darn good idea. I do need to test my water systems. Thanks!

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Kate,

      I asked M.D. to send your email address. It’s comforting to have companionship when wading through chemistry set stuff.

      So far I’ve learned that I need to climb the learning curve of “chlorine test kits”. I bought the first cheap one that popped up on Google and wasted our money.

      Three kits that disappoint are; “Water-Works free chlorine ultra-high” range 0-750 ppm, and SenSafe, range 0-6.0 ppm. They are litmus paper kits. And Hatch model CN-66 that is a liquid chemical color match kit in the range of 0-3.4 mg/l.

      The kit that I have some confidence in came from guidance in a post by AZYOGI last week where he spoke about titration test kits. I am using the Hatch Model CN-21P kit with a range for total chlorine of 10-200. This is the kit I use to record the chlorine in the water in our 6 thirty gal. food grade barrels. The range I mixed in the barrels is from 50 ppm to 80 ppm (some chemist I am!). The problem here is that the low range measured by this kit is too high for drinkable water, and the high end at 200 ppm is too low to be used as a disinfectant. We will run this water through filters before drinking. If our well pump cant pump water, we have 180 gallons in storage that won’t grow green goop.

      So, I am hunting for a titration type kit in the range of 0-6 ppm, to measure for safe drinking water. And also a titration type kit in the range of 500 ppm for 2 reasons; 1) to disinfect the barrels, and 2) to dilute at the rate of [1 part 500 ppm solution] to [100 parts of water] to get into the range around 2-3 ppm for drinkable water.

      For the low range kit, I’m looking at
      http://www.hach.com/chlorine-total-test-kit-model-cn-65/product?id=7640219529&callback=qs

      To test a disinfectant solution of 500 PPM, I’m looking at this kit
      http://www.hach.com/chlorine-total-reagent-set-digital-titrator-mid-range/product?id=7640188361

      When I can find the money I will get both kits, maybe March or April.
      If anyone can show where this is not a good path to take, please, shoot it down.

      I know there are alternatives to make and test safe drinking water, but I find comfort in being able to store powdered calcium hypochlorite ten times longer than the shelf life of bleach. I think being able to make safe drinking water and a disinfectant for cleaning, long after TEOTWAWKI is a healthy thing to do.

      • Kate in GA says:

        Hunker-Down,
        Do you really think you need two test kits? If you test at the low end (the water you will drink) and it says 5 ppm, then you know your disinfecting solution is at 500 ppm.

        I know you have other needs like cleaning the barrels and such. May I ask, did you plan to test each time you make up a batch?

        • Kate in GA says:

          Oops! Hit submit too soon.

          I only planned on testing a few times and then mistake proofing my procedures. For example, fill the water to the line marked on the bucket, only use the designated measuring spoon and cup, etc. After that, I only planned on testing when I opened a new package of calcium hypochlorite. Maybe we all need to hear how you plan to manage this and adopt your procedures.

        • Kate in GA says:

          One more thing- to everyone:

          Do NOT drink water with the chlorine level at 5 ppm. This is higher than swimming pool water (1.5 – 3 ppm).

          The level of chlorine in water should not be more than .5 ppm to 1 ppm when you drink it.

          You can remove the chlorine in the water by running the water through a filter. Test again at the post filtered end to make sure.

        • Kate in GA says:

          I apologize for all the posts, my comuter is acting weird.

          Hunker-Down,

          I didn’t plan on testing each time I made a batch. I planned on testing a few times at first, then mistake proofing my procedures. For example, fill the water to the line marked in the bucket, use the designated measuring spoon and cup, etc. Then I would only retest when I opened a new package of calcium hypochlorite.

          Can you tell us what your procedures are? Maybe we all need to re-evaluate and adopt yours.

          • Hunker-Down says:

            Kate,

            After learning that bleach will disintegrate into water I was concerned about how to disinfect lake water after the grocery stores shut down. Others have posted about using calcium hypochlorite and I decided to go that route because of its long shelf life.

            I need two test kits because there are two problems. I need to make a solution of 500 ppm calcium hypochlorite, or higher, to disinfect the storage containers for long term water storage. I want to get as close to 500ppm as I can because the procedure I selected says to use that same solution to prepare the drinking water.

            I printed instructions from 2 sites after checking several others that the information was, at least, consistent.
            Readynutrition.com and
            http://www.archchemicals.com/Fed/ICM/Docs/FLOOD_EMERGENCY_DISINFECTION_WITH_CALCIUM_HYPOCHLORITE_68.pdf

            I use the 500PPM solution to disinfect the storage containers (test kit 1) , then dilute that solution by 100 parts water (test kit 2). Test kit 1 will not test in the range of 0-4 PPM and test kit 2 will not test in the range of 500PPM.
            When I followed the procedure I did not get the results expected. After adding 2 gallons of water to 1 heaping teaspoon of CH powder the litmus test paper kit I bought said the strength was greater than 750PPM, not the expected 500. I continued with that solution and disinfected the barrels, then filled with well water. The second kit (Hatch CN-21P) measured the water in various barrels from 50 ppm to 80 PPM. The difference is due to my varying the volume of the disinfectant solution used to clean the barrels. Since we cant drink it, we will filter it through a Berkey or ceramic device.

            So, we have 180 gallons of water stored in case the well pump loses electricity, and we have the supplies and equipment to make more even if the electric grid shuts down or the grocery store closes. (We still have to buy the filters). Even if the PPM came out exactly at .02 for drinking and 500 ppm for disinfecting, I still would opt to run the water through a good filter before drinking if it had been stored in a barrel for several months.

            • Kate in GA says:

              Yes, I see your point.

              Lets take this conversation private. I would like to know more details about your measuring and the calculations you used. The 500 ppm disinfectant should be reduced to 5 ppm not 50 ppm when you use 1 part to 100. Again, that may be your testing kit.

              Also, I have a disinfectant sheet from the Army with excellent instructions on it that I would like to send you. Email me when you can!

  43. Col. D in Nashville says:

    We have a local grocery store going out of business and discounted everything in the store 25%. Boy did we load up on all sorts of items, canned goods, storage bags, dry foods, cooking supplies and other items. Next week what ever is left will be discounted 50% or more. I’m debating on purchasing charcoal and canning supplies that no one seems to want.

    • Worrisome says:

      No Debate! If you can get charcoal….(fire and/or use it for water filtration) and canning supplies at 50% off, it is a deal! I just read that canning supply sales have increased 40% in the last 3 years. Cited reason “much more popular to do so now and helps folks control the amount of sodium and other preservatives that are put in commercially canned products”. I am thinking to myself that perhaps more and more people are coming to the conclusion that they need to take care of themselves….

      • Col. D Nashville says:

        Worrisome, you have convinced me, I will buy up all that I can tomorrow. Thanks for the encouragement.
        Col D.

    • Do it! Buy as much as you can afford! Canning supplies are not going to get cheaper.

  44. I guess you might say, I see the light. Around Christmas I added 12 small flashlights for use. Have one in each room and vehicle. This was in addition to all our other lights for hurricanes and just hanging around the house. About that time the local BX put Rayovac (plastic) LED 2C flashlights on sale for 2.99 each and I bought four. On Weds, the BX and had Maglite LED 2D’s for 21.45 and LED 3D’s for 22.65 on a special. I bought one of each along with a Rayovac 9 LED headlamp. The Maglites throw a beam about 500+ feet and I have been having fun outside illuminating everything!! Maybe Lint is right, one can never have enough flashlights.

    Also picked up 6 eight packs of Duracell C and D batteries for 6.11 an 8 pack with 1.00 off coupons, and some deals on pork and chicken this past week.

    Also part of seeing the light, our youngest son and his family are now prepping so I gave them a case of freeze dried veggies, one of entrees, and a Wise 60 serving bucket to get them started. He has about 45 days of pantry foods put up. Gave him a few flashlights, a spare coleman 2 burner stove, and propane cannisters to help them along.

    • Ain’t it grand when family sees the need to prep. I worry about some of the one’s that have to do it on their own and even the spouse ridicules them. And I really get upset where in some cases you read that the no prepper person has given the preps away. Galls me to no end.
      Glad your family is on board.

  45. Sooooo…..Santa brought us Ruger SR9′s (9mm) for Christmas. The DH shot 200 rounds through his today. One minor adjustment and he says he is in LOVE! Absolutely loves it. I asked him what his favorite part was and he held up the target with a tight grouping of holes in the middle.

    • Mama J

      Bought an SR9 about two years ago and I really like it. I had one problem at first—the front sight moved after about 300 rounds. Sight moved to the left and really had me at a loss for why my “aim” suddenly was so bad. Put the sight back where it belonged and put some super glue on both sides of the sight and it has not budged in about 1000+ rounds.

      I also shoot a CZ 75 9MM and also really like it. It is all metal with retro plastic grips and is much heavier than the SR9.

  46. blindshooter says:

    Some relief at work this week, only drove 1200 miles! I actually got home from work before dark Friday and crawled up on the roof to fix some blown up shingles before the rain set in today, we’ve had strange weather so far this winter, more like spring with the wind and warm temps. I backed up my shtf computer files and made a few changes in the way I do that from now on. Found some good deals on canned goods to replace/rotate what I’ve used. I also bought a new gas heater at half price, I guess the warm weather have caused slow sales.

    My brother in law goes for a heart cath next week, they are pretty sure he will need a valve replacement and I guess this test will be more definitive. He is a good guy and worth your prayers if you will.

    Hope everyone has a great week!

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      blindshooter, I said a prayer for your BIL Heart surgery, if he needs it, is so much better than it used to be. Your sister need not fear the worst.

      Glad you had a bit of an easier week with work. But maybe you got home before dark on Friday only because daylight is longer now. lol

    • Copperhead says:

      Blindshooter,
      I’ll keep your BIL on my daily prayer list. Keep us posted.Warm weather here, too. Was 73* yesterday!
      Blessings!

    • mountain lady says:

      Will pray for his speedy recovery.

    • blindshooter- have said prayers for your brother in law. i hope all goes will next week.

    • templar knight says:

      Will say a prayer for your BIL, blindshooter. And I’m glad to hear your work let up a little, I know how it is not being able to get things done while it’s light. Hope you have a great next week, and a better weekend.

    • blindshooter says:

      Thanks for the good words and prayers, I really appreciate them all. They are in good spirits so far. We know the deal here, my poor old Pops had a metal valve for last 17 years of his life. The blood thinner is a pain but so is life at times anyway. From what I understand if they use a pig valve he won’t have to use so much, guess the cath next week will tell.

  47. Texas Nana says:

    Number one prep this week was new sewer and water lines, we’ve been putting it off but decided we better get it done, while we could still get the parts.
    Cooked and canned a 2o # turkey,
    Canned 6 qts of very nice steaks
    purchased 24 pints jars, at one of the local thrift stores

    DH is having some dental work done, he also saw the knee doctor, got a clean bill, after the Nov surgery. Now he has to continue at home therapy, along with strengthening work.

    That’s about it this week.
    Keep the faith and keep on prepping

  48. Hey MD, how’s you mom and them? I haven’t posted in a while…the computer that was not long for this world finally left it…so we got a new one! My dad had a kidney removed the first of the month. It looks like they got all of the cancer, so no chemo for him, Praise God!

    One of the benfits from my employer is a deal at Sam’s Club on membership. Sign up and get a gift card. We went shopping today and discovered several items that we could really save a lot money in the long run. We’ll recover the membership fee from the savings of our next shopping trip. BTW> Has anyone ordered Auguson Farms from Sam’s? They don’t stock it at any of the local (2-3 hr drive) stores.

    We went to the gun show today. I bought .22 LR stingers for $6.50 a box (I got two!), a pair of wool socks, and a black map bag/pocketbook to carry around at the shows. I saw some ammo label “zombie loads”…had to chuckle at that.

    I’m putting beans and rice in mylar this evening. I’ll watch the primary results from our neighboring state as they come in. We have a big decision to make, folks…let’s get it right!

    God Bless America and Prep On!

    • Mominem,

      She is fine… thank you for asking and welcome back to the blog.

    • Copperhead says:

      Mominem,
      I ordered the Augason Foods through Sams website and they came quite quickly and in good condition. Delivered by FedEx Ground truck. Couldn’t beat the price at the time. It isn’t stocked at my Sam’s either.

      • axelsteve says:

        Fed x always get lost looking for my house. There is a street and ave in my street.name I live on the avenue and the street is across town they always try to find my house number on the street and We have to tell them we are on the avenue.Nothing serious sometimes I just wish they would use google maps.

    • robert in mid michigan says:

      as far as i can tell no sams stocks the stuff but you cant beet the price. i order from them on a regular basis. i just wish they caried the whole line not just some of it. they do however add to what they offer on a regular basis. watch the shipping it hurts but it is still cheaper.

    • Just like Copperhead, I ordered some of the Augason Farms from Sams online and was pleased with the order, the price and how quickly I received the order. They don’t a huge selection but they seem to be carrying more items the last few months. I would definitely recommend getting some of your emergency supplies through Samsclub.

  49. I didn’t get a lot of prepping done this week, the end of the month is always tight for us. My main concern as things grow more unstable is the lack of prepping we’ve done. Without a home, it’s difficult to do any kind of long term storage. We do have a week’s (maybe two) worth of food in our storage unit, as well as some camping supplies and such, but otherwise, except for our BOBs and EDCs, we’re sorely lacking. Our hope is that when we move to the Pacific Northwest this summer (my husband will be going to school up there), we can finally get a stable living environment and really get started on some hard core prepping.
    Glad to hear everyone’s stories… as a newbie prepper, it gives me lots of ideas and direction!

  50. Not a big prep week, but scored another 275 gallon water container and 3 55-60 gallon metal barrels with lids that come off, and have a ring around them to seal shut again. Got the blueberries planted in the ground in their ‘real home’ now just before it started raining, and put deer netting around them. They have a lot more room to spread and they are off my back deck..

  51. Hey Wolf Pack,

    It’s been awhile since I’ve checked in. Our preps this week were having well serviced, had them check depth of well, depth of pump. Also got estimates on hand pump on existing well and second shallow depth well with solar pump. Lot to think about and research now.

    Still working on learning to crochet, finally found good instructions for lefties.

    DH picked all turnips and is going to dehydrate them. Repaired one rain barrel and got seedlings started for spring garden.

    Have a good week and stay safe.

    • conmaze (nofla) says:

      Sunny,
      I already posted earlier today that I ordered my well pump this week as part of my prepping. If you’re shopping around, check out simplepump.com. I am in no way affiliated with them, but I shopped around and really like the pump – deep well – and the fact you can remove the handle and slide the pump down into the casing to make it almost disappear – keeps it protected from damage and top secret! Pump piping fits in right alongside other plumbing and I have a 4″ well casing. Will also pump into pressurized tank. So easy to do you can install it yourself – watch the video on their site. Super cool. Once I get the well pump in, pumping out the septic tank is next on my list. Sure wouldn’t want problems with that – ever! Ewww! Good luck on the well.

      • When I was talking to a well company about putting a hand pump into my existing well, they told me most of the time when people do that, they do not regularly use it, and when they need it, it no longer works – because they didn’t use it occasionally.

        Check with your manufacturer and see what they say about that – and if you put one in – be sure to use it to keep it working.

        • axelsteve says:

          Michele. Many things are designed to be used not sat around for years. My friend had a huge generator that the starter froze up from sitting.Many motors will do that also.Autos are designed to move not sit and many things degrade when they sit even in a garage.

  52. Carl in W.V. says:

    I got a really good deal on a j-frame Rossi 38 special from a neighbor. I also picked up two 50lb bags of rice at Sams for 18.97 each. watched some you tube videos on southernprepper1. I also bought 5 box’s of 12 gauge 00 buck 15 rounds to a box.

  53. Copperhead says:

    Hi all!
    Didn’t do any stocking up this week except for some U. S. light bulbs but did do quite a bit of reading and planning. Received my U. S. Army Survival Guide…awesome! I caught a couple of programs on the Discover channel–Dual Survival and Man, Woman, Wild. Anyone else watch them? Was interesting in what they could come up with to build fire, catch food and keep warm. A little hokey at times, but did enjoy them.
    Was very warm yesterday, so worked a while in my raised garden beds. Is to blow a gale tomorrow, so won’t work on them for a while again.

    God’s blessings to everyone. Praying for healing for all our sick/injured ones. All take care.

    • Chonte' in MD says:

      i watch them too! no matter how corny some of it is, i always learn at least 1 new thing!!

  54. Diver Gal (South Fla) says:

    Hey Wolf Pack:

    Good Prepping week here, Got a ton of stuff… not looking forward to hauling it all to my place after my sister leaves and I go home but I couldn’t pass up the deals…

    8 tubes of toothpaste – free w/ coupons
    15 cans of Spaghettios – .39 with sale and coupons
    8 free dental floss – free with coupons
    4 – 12 paks of razors – free with coupons

    6 cases fd fruits – still trying to fill that huge gap
    10 cans asst fruits

    smoked 2 Amber Jacks – funny how much the small things make you miss someone. My husband was a master of fish filleting, I think we are mostly going to be eating fish chunks instead of nice pretty fillets. Luckily it all tastes the same.

    Read a book called “The Illuminati” by Larry Burkett.

    Here is Amazons excerpt about the author:

    “Larry Burkett 1939~2003, Biographical Information

    Widely Known For His Economic Warnings

    In The Coming Economic Earthquake (Moody Press, Chicago, I11. * 1991), Burkett delineated growing federal deficits and the ever increasing use of debt by business and households out of control. Burkett points out those severe economic times will appear sometime shortly after the millennium unless current polices are changed. Burkett believed that Keynesian economic policies, with ideals for continuing federal deficits and the implicit preference for higher levels of credit and consumption, reduced saving, and a larger role for government in the economy are a means to disaster. As Burkett states in the book that as interest on the debt consumes a larger and larger portion of the yearly federal budget, and more money is borrowed each year to pay the interest on what was borrowed in previous years, there will be a temptation to “monetize” the debt at an increasing rate leading to a calamity not seen since the Great Depression. Burkett questioned whether or not elected leaders would take action in time to prevent fiscal chaos, and believed they would not. Larry gave no time-line for this prediction, other than a forewarning, foreshadowing current events of the time, with a little common sense added for good measure.”

    Essentially there is economic collapse, and takeovers of word finance through a system called Data-Net. Through this they control who gets food, supplies, etc. And Christians are seriously persecuted and placed in prisons, etc. It was a good read, and had some scary similarities to things we see going on today. That said, it IS fiction so other parts you just enjoy for the story it is.

    I found this copy at a thrift store for $2.00 but they have it on Amazon for $0.76. (Just be sure to use MD’s link so he gets credit no matter how small it is.)

    Hope everyone who is hurting or ill fells better soon, you all are in my prayers. Happy Prepping all!!!

    DG

    • templar knight says:

      DG, I think we’ve either reached the point of no return on our debt, or we are very close. The next $1.2 trillion dollar authorization failed the vote in the House, but the Senate will have to refuse it by a 2/3rds majority or it will automatically go into effect. I heard or read this week that we can now expect another round of Quantitative Easing(that’s buying our own debt, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the term) if the economy stumbles as Obama wants to be able to point to a growing economy, even if the growth is anemic.

      DG, I’m 99% sure no one, even a fiscal conservative, will be able to cut spending and raise taxes in the amounts needed to balance the budget. I’ve been buying small amounts of silver every chance I get. Good luck to you and yours.

      • The Prepper says:

        There is absolutely no way for the gov’t to pay off the debt at this point. We’ve gone over the 100% debt/gdp ratio and even with doubling taxes it wouldn’t make a dent. Once all the bankers profit from the current “false recovery” I fear the ship will come crashing down and the currency will be de-valued and re-based. Jack from the survival podcast had some interesting insight on this:

        http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/nature-of-the-debt-crisis

      • Vienna (Soggy prepper) says:

        I learned what QE was from the xtra normal “Quantitative Easing Explained.” Want a giggle and a simple yet sarcastic explanation check it out,
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTUY16CkS-k

        And if they are doing it again, what is that, the fourth time now? Insanity = doing the same thing expecting a different result.

    • Life I think imulates fiction.
      I will probably the first Christian jailed as I collected Bibles and a lot of hit and miss books. Don’t think I will deny the fact and do not ever think I will hide them in a so called safe place.
      Well maybe a couple in hopes that they miss where they are hid, so I can continue to enjoy the contents.

    • Digital_Angel_316 says:

      Larry Burkett was quite familiar with the Illuminati in general. He spoke at my church circa 1995 and brought some good insight. More recently I have been reviewing the video series by a former Illuminati 3rd level witch named Doc Marquis. In this series he goes through what he claims is an original copy of the Protocols of Zion and discusses the plans and approach. The financial aspects are of course a large part of that Protocol, but there is much more, and we see it all around us, but many cannot relate or quantify the actions. Here is the link to the series for those who may be interested:

      Doc Marquis – The Arrival of the Anti-Christ
      (22 parts, lecture to the Prophecy Club)
      http://www.youtube.com/user/davymatheny#p/u/45/gTGADyAUhEM

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      DG, for an accurate description of what’s to come, I recommend Mark 13 in the King James Version of the Holy Bible. It explains the persecution we Christians will face. But don’t despair, the final chapter is great!

  55. Candy in Nebraska says:

    All we have done this week is organize organize organize. Hard to do when you have a 1 yr old tearing behind you and undoing all your work..lol
    Had 20 lb of potatoes givin to us so made from scratch cheesy potatos with beef sausage. turned out very good no left overs at all. Dehydrated cranberries and celery.
    Printed more information and stored them in plastic protectorsheets in binders. Which reminds me walmart.com if you order online can get 200 protector sheet for us was $12.8. we had store delivery not home. We used a friends card instead of ours.

  56. Well,

    I’m on call for work and got called out this weekend (we rotate every three weeks off, one on of on call) and didn’t think I was gonna have time so far but I think I’ve done ok.

    Now have a Mosin Nagant 7.62mm from a friend who is storing it here…100 more rounds of 12G; 1000 more rounds of .22 cal

    Got another security door installed…

    Put 40# of rice in Mylar with o2 absorbers….

    Put 30## of beans in Mylar with o2 absorbers…

    Filled up a couple more 5 gallon buckets with various grains and sugars…

    Now if the weather would let me work on my chicken coop tomorrow I’m still not done with the bloody thing! I’m so close it hurts but we need a couple more sheets of plywood and a few more 2×4′s to finish. I’ve not spent much money on this thing and I’d like to keep it that way.

    Wife asked me when the goat pen is gonna be finished. I had to laugh…still not done with the coop now I need to build a pen for goats. The place I want to do it is under discussion; we have a gazebo we don’t EVER use sitting on a 10×10 slab of concrete that would be perfect for it. As soon as she acquiesces, then she gets the goat pen tee hee….where she wants it I want to build a butcher shop/dairy, which would be already covered and attached to the garage. Just needs to be framed in.

    Oh the decisions….

  57. breadmomma says:

    Not much prep this week…big winds kept us all pretty busy with the fire dept. lots of downed trees and wind damage in the area so we were out clearing trees, putting out flares for traffic management, emergency runs, lots of medical calls, fires from damaged transformers, the standard storm stuff.
    it was a good exercise in what would happen in an emergency…most roads to the I -5 main artery of Oregon were blocked from the coast inland, passes with snow, …lots of landslides and roads giving out…so we played what if….made sure all vehicles topped off, back up generator turned on and run, lived off of stores, used this to see where we might have some gaps…all in all a great exercise…flashlights everywhere…I really like the LED ones I got…bright bright bright….lint would have been jealous!
    I have a group question…got a beautiful nickle plated German made lantern…and need to find some sort of mantle for it…Brytelite 500CP…supposed to burn any type of fuel…no information with it, or manual…it is beautiful …I need a source for mantles and more importantly, what type of fuel it could use…It looks amazingly sturdy and well built…I want to get this thing running, picked two of them up for 10 bucks at an estate sale as the family had no clue as to their worth…I think this was the proverbial steal!

  58. No preps to speak of this week. Still busy with the impending move which has been delayed once again due to workmen needing access to the house. I’m frustrated but I’d rather get everything done before I move in.

    I read a blog post that showed photos of dehydrated apple and pear slices stored in 1/2 gallon Mason jars for short term storage. I really love using my Excalibur and my fruit gets put in the pantry where I never think to nibble on it. Out of sight, out of mind. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Michael’s (the craft shop) sells 1/2 gallon Mason (Ball) jars. I never knew where to purchase them. They usually have a 40% coupon in Sunday’s newspaper so this becomes a terrific deal. I bought one jar, which also has an attractive fruit cluster on the side, and plan to drop by with my coupon each week to stock up. I’ve read the 1/2 gallon size isn’t recommended for pressure canning so this purpose suits me fine.

    • Grannytraveler says:

      My Michael’s doesn’t carry canning supplies. You’re lucky. Hobby Lobby carries them but I haven’t seen any of the 1/2 gal ones at their store. Someone told me that there is a Ball facility about 15 miles away so I am going there next. If you order that stuff online it costs as much to ship as to buy.

      • Hi Granny, ask specifically for 1/2 gallon Ball/Mason jars at Michael’s. I think they consider them craft items. Don’t ask for canning supplies. ;-/

    • conmaze (nofla) says:

      You can purchase the Ball 1/2 gal. canning jars at Ace Hardware, my store stocks them and you can order online.

      • Just adding my 2 cents’ worth here …. I buy my canning supplies at my local Ace Hardware, which either carries or can order to the store just about any size canning jars you want. When I pointed out the store’s manager how neat it was that I could order Ace Hardware items on Amazon, she said not to do that. If I order through her — which will be just as quick — I’m putting those dollars back in my community and paying a local worker. It will keep her store open and goods available to me locally. Makes perfect sense.

        • conmaze (nofla) says:

          bmerry,

          That’s good to know about buying locally. I do buy at my Ace and have ordered stuff through them, as with my local Tractor Supply. I never really thought about it this way, I was mostly trying to save on shipping charges (o; Makes perfect sense. I always want to do things to support my neighbors/community. Thanks for posting that.

        • bmerry, I lovelovelove buying local and keeping my money in the community to help my neighbors. Great idea!

      • Thanks, Conmaze. I always forget about Ace Hardware. Need to frequent them more often.

      • Grannytraveler says:

        Our closest Ace closed down last year.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Lane,

      In Central Wisconsin there is a small chain of stores run by 2 brothers. They split up and each now has his own chain. One is called “Fleet Farm” and the other is “Farm & Fleet”. The Fleet Farm in Oshkosh Wisconsin stocks 1/2 gallon Mason jars all year. We use them to vacuum pack sugar and salt.
      If you Google the stores and see the type of merchandise they have, you may be able to find a similar store in your area.

      • Hunker-Down, I’ve read of Fleet Farm and Farm & Fleet, and all I can say is I’m jealous. I’d love to find a similar company locally. An aside: my son gave me a generous gift certificate to my new local feed and seed store for Christmas. Is he a great kid or what!

  59. Tricia in NC says:

    I organized the pantry and made room for more food. I also made a list of frequently used items to purchase to get me through the year–food and cleaning supplies mostly. Keeping up with sales and coupons is a full time job. I installed a hot water heater timer about two months ago and saved $27 the first month. Purchased some second skin after being called to a neighbor’s house to give my opinion on a laceration– I was out of liquid band aid items. Better than a ER visit in some circumstances.

    We have a heat pump here in NC thinking of buying heavier curtains etc to block out drafts? Now is the time to prep, we all have our reasons or thoughts. Take care until next week!

  60. SurvivorDan says:

    Went to the Army Navy and Military Expo and the S.H.O.T. show in Vegas. The latest in guns, holsters, knives, night vision, lasers, tactical vests, body armor, firestarters, sleeping bags, boots, outdoor and tactical clothing, freeze dried-dehydrated and MREs, armored vehicles, electronic shooting simulators, portable solar chargers, water filtration systems, ETC!!!! Too busy to get into any detail now but will report later on some of the interesting products. As any money I spent attending the shows means less preps, I feel guilty. But not very! ANME was good and the SHOT Show was spectacular. Though I was shocked at some of the scantily clad beautiful women manning some of the booths. Shocked, I tell you! ;)

    • riverrider says:

      sd, i’m shocked too!…… get any pictures?:) looking forward to your review. what was the “feel” there? undercurrents, what people are saying. i’m interested in what folks that visit the show are thinking. there’s a lot of police oriented stuff, what are the cops saying? are they gearing up for martial law? would they enforce a gun ban/collection?

      • SurvivorDan says:

        Not much discussion at the show about gun bans by LEOs. Definitely no scuttle butt about gearing up for martial law. (A new comer might suspect such from all the riot gear, body armor and less-than-lethal equipment displayed, but it was no more than at any previous show.) But as a former reserve deputy sheriff I still have a lot of contact with active duty officers. They all say they would quit before following orders to confiscate guns or enforce an illegal declaration of martial law but when push comes to shove will they really give up their jobs? Perhaps forfeit pensions? I am not totally confident that they will not cave to financial pressures under those circumstances. I would not count on the majority of my brothers to choose correctly when choosing between the constitution and feeding their kids. I hope I am wrong.

        • SurvivorDan says:

          Of course riverrider, there was the general preaching-to-the-choir about being disgusted with Obama and his minions. I don’t believe I heard one kind word about that SOB and definitely not among the LEOs and the Marines I chatted with.
          The Prez and his ilk were universally reviled by the show’s vendors and buyers. .

    • Yeah those booth babes at Vegas trade shows are just despicable I agree. I often return to the same booth 3-4 times to reinforce my original perception!!

    • Survivor, I am glad you noticed how deplorable it was. I bet their parents are proud of them lol. I always take a gf with me so I don’t get duped by a pretty smile while they detract the junk they are selling. I couldn’t get out of work to go and I live about three and a half hours away.

      • SurvivorDan says:

        Yeah this was the first show in Vegas that my wife didn’t go to. I went with a prepper friend but he constantly reminded me not to look at the beautiful women. “Oh my God Dan! No! Don’t look!”
        That worked well………..Seriously though, it was a good time had by all. Great gear and like minded folks. Anyone who hasn’t been at least once, should go. Get your local gun shop to ask a vendor to get you in as a guest. I used a related biz and paid the $25 registration. Lotta fun. Cut myself three times reaching through knife displays. Smashed my head clambering around inside a high-tech APC. Wore my bad knee out walking the huge rooms. Pulled a muscle handling a big Barret. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand loving it!

        • Well worth it lol. Disappointed I didn’t go. My friend iss a rep and invited me to give opinions on some equipment he wanted to buy or trade.

          • SurvivorDan says:

            Sorry you missed it. Next year, Jarhead. Maybe we can have a cup of coffee there – we’ll wear balaclavas for Opsec. lol

  61. M.D. I have been considering the Houge stock also ,was wondering which color you chose ..blk…tan…or grn…? I’m leaning towards blk. ty

  62. templar knight says:

    Had a great two weeks of prepping. Last weekend I hit a couple of garage sales and cleaned up, folks. I got a 28 vol. set of books called Combat and Survival, and I’ve spent several days going through them. They are a little dated, but are still full of great info on combat and small-unit tactics. I also got Speer Reloading Manual #10, which is dated, but I feel it was well worth the dollar I paid for it. And to top it all off, I bought a Coleman 2-burner stove, a Hoppe #9 Deluxe Gun Cleaning kit that had never been opened, 2 BB guns, a box of 1000 BBs, and a machete. All for less than $50. I’m still jumping up and down.

    I also bought more AA, C and D Nihm batteries for storage. A trip to the clothing store yielded two flannel shirts, a pair of wool insulated underwear, and best of all a pair of wading boots, which I think would be good against snakes.

    A trip to Gander Mountain was rewarding as well, as I was able to obtain 8 #10 cans of Mountain House freeze-dried food, Beef Stroganoff, Beef Stew, and Eggs and Bacon. I love Mountain House food, to me it tastes the best of all the freeze-dried. Prayers for all our sick in the Pack, and good prepping everyone.

    • riverrider says:

      tk, good job man. i’m interested in more info on the book set.

      • templar knight says:

        river, the books were originally published in the UK, and were published in the US in 1991. I will say that they are full of small-unit tactics, weapontry, small arms, skills, and stories from actual soldiers in combat. I can’t wait for my son, who is an 11-B grunt, to get a look at them.

      • River, I have the same set. Its a great set to read and there is some useful info for small unit tactics, defense and field craft.

    • templar-that was a great haul at the garage sales but most important what did you get for the mrs?

      • cooolwoods says:

        Tk, the dated reloading books are better(acording to my dad, ex military, part time gunsmith) he freaks out about the new books with the “sissy ass loading data! guns are for defence! NOT FOR PUNCHING HOLES IN TARGETS!!!” he really freaks out…. although all the “home loads” with the old out of date books really bark, and I mean bark way more than the production ammo I have.
        he swears you gotta know for sure that it packs a punch, who cares if your 100 yard pattern is 1/4″ bigger. “if it doesnt penetrate and kill the sob, what good is the 1/4″?”

        wow, I can still hear him loud and clear…target loads wont win a war
        miss you Dad

        stay safe

        • templar knight says:

          Yes, cooolwoods, you’re right about the loads, as the dated books were pre-lawsuit. I was thinking more of powder selection. Your dad would be the kind of man I would like to know. There are too few of them around these days.

          • cooolwoods says:

            He’s an old school prepper, also stuck in the mud. I mention anything its “where did you learn that” if its the internet I dont know what i’m talking about. we dont talk as much as I would like to. seems to me there is tons of great info on the net, look at this place! guess I’ll always be a child. on the upside he’s a ton of info mind like a steel trap. booby traps survival damn near anything you would want to know! I’ll always be thankful for everything he taught me. I’m in central PA what part of the planet you from?

            stay safe

            • templar knight says:

              The Ozarks in No. Central Arkansas. As for the internet, it’s the best place for info these days. Get him to look at MD’s blog, perhaps taking the tack that his knowledge would be beneficial to the rest of us here. Someone, I think it was Cliff in Douglasville, asked a question about reloading earlier today. Your dad would be a great asset to MDs blog.

  63. Bought 4 cases of salmon and 3 cases of mackrel, 2 cases of jam, found an organ in mint condition for $125 (want to teach myself as a stress reducer and an alternative to overindulging in television).

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      My organ is a great stree reliever and it definitely gives me something to do besides watching tv. Yep, I love my organ! ;)

  64. Col. S. Gray (Ret) says:

    Good Morning Pack:

    I have a question for the members: “What do you use, or have you planned/prep’d in anyway for communications?”

    The reason I pose this is that I havent really seen any discussion on the topic as I sift through the posts…perhaps I am missing a complete thread however.

    In my case, I use what most of our fellow military members would refer to as a FOP, actually five (5) of them. These are all family member homes equipped with radios. There is a complete fallback plan included should the need arise. There are also portable 800mhz radios with encryption complete with tactical throat mics etc. For me, onsite immediate intel is cruical, hence the communication myself and family have put in place.

    So, what does everyone else do? I look forward to responses.

    Sincerely,

    S.G.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Col. Sir: I work at a refinery and we use Motorolla job coms. They ‘burn’ through the steel and concrete rather well and that is why all contractors on site have picked them for crew use. I have taken a pair home to test in my neck of the hood. KISS…. the range is much better than the ‘retail’ options I have found on the market. As to durable….. very… made for an industry that actually beats on them daily. 24 x 16 x 5 channel options with multi page tones, ear and hand mike options, AC chargers and or AA drop in at +/- $100.oo ea. These are my families comms. KeepISS

    • Col. S. Grey….

      Three sets (six units) of German field phones with 2500 meters of wire. Three sets (six units) of FRS/GMRS radios…two Midlands and one TriSquare. The TriSquare is frequency hopping and even permits texting…very secure, relatively speaking.

    • Col. D Nashville says:

      Col. S, I came across this review the other day on you tube for a handheld ham radio. It’s about $100 and maybe worth a look. The downside is that it’s made in China but has some built in functionality according to the presenter that may be advantageous. You would need to get a ham operators license to legally use the radio but I’ll bet that someone on the blog can provide information on how to do that. He compares it to a Kenwood handheld ham which he claims is 3 or 4 times the price of this model. Here’s the web address and good luck http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In0e1w0BRpk
      Col. D

  65. Hi all! Having a bit of bad luck these days! First I got computer hacked and while I am fixing that, I am making notes for an article for here about the experience, what I learned and some idea on how to protect ourselves. And then we finally had a good rain here in Northern California and I had a roof leak in a brand new remodeled bathroom, grrrrrrrrrr. The roof isn’t that old, 5 years and it is a steel roof, the culprit is a bathroom vent that goes through that same roof. Contractor will be here Thursday to see what the fix is. At the least, there will be a new ceiling in the bathroom…again…..
    Preps this week were light. Part of the family was here last week end and we worked on cutting up some firewood and stacking it. One of my daughters and I went online and ordered some garden seeds. We took the grand kids shooting for a while ’twas fun watching them improve. Also found a deal on some woven flannel shirts, so bought some for all the boys in the family. For those boys that are growing they got one for the size they are presently in and one for the size they will be next year. Price was $5 each so well worth it.
    Hope all of those north of us here in California made it through the snow and flooding ok. Have a good week folks!

  66. cosmolined says:

    My Deepest Thanks to the Pack for your prayers!
    My niece, Barbara, has seen the size of her cancer reduced so much with just one Chemo that the radiation has been called off. Now she is just scheduled for more Chemo before the surgery. Please pray one more time for her. Thanks…. Cos

  67. 1) ordered additional seed for our seed bank, and our garden from Baker Creek Seed
    2) Worked on gun safety, loading and target practice with family
    3) Ordered 2 DVDs (one Stargate Season 7 – okay it’s a stress relief, and a DVD “Homestead Blessings: The Art of Soapmaking”
    4) Prepared garden
    5) Purchased one item from each category on Master List
    6) Made bucket toilet, been having everyone use it, then showing kids how to deal with human waste.

  68. Wolf Pack than you for your prayers and kind words! I told my sister the prayers sent for my nephew and she said thank you very much. He sees the doctor Monday morning to review the X-Rays and see if he needs a cast (which I hope he does, he doesn’t like the splint.

    I didn’t do much prepping this week but received a mail order of two Glock 21 mags, twenty stripper clips for an SKS from back east and with the cost being less than what I would have paid at a local gun shop.

    Again. Thank you!

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Jarhead0311………. take a look at

      Bowietacticalconcepts.com

      scroll down ‘pictures’ to the mod.21 on the left with the tac lite. I have big hands but this modification package has made my ‘Beast21′ as control-able as my 17s and 26. Yeah I know….. $$$. I have been using Glocks for 13 years now and this guy has made using ‘tupperware’ a pleasure.

      from another 0311….. Hotel, 2/9 3rd. FMF

      • Thomas The Tinker, Semper Fi! I was with 3/1 in the Gulf and Somalia, 1st Mar Div Division Schools HRST/Pre-Ranger Instructor, SOI Instructor MOUT and LINE/MCMAP Instructor and SOTG. I was injured in a training accident before 9/11 and tried getting back in but an 03 with a quarter of the knee cap missing is a bad thing.

        Thanks for the info on the G21. I have owned Glock since 93 and it was the G22. My dad wanted to send it to me when heading to Somalia because I was a Squad Leader and he was concerned if I needed some support. My grandpa was at the B Woods in WW I, all my uncles from his side were in the Pacific, dads cousin was with Chesty, my moms uncle was a Corpsman at Inchon and my cousin with Hotel 2/5 at Hue and was at the Citadel battle. It runs deep in my family lol.

        My friends wonder why I use the G21, I show them my grouping. Rapid fire isn’t as tight on grouping as a 9mm but I love it. They say its too heavy, When carried an M16A2, M249 and M16A2/M203 with all the ammo and gear as well as the M40A1 and M82A1 before failing Scout Sniper School. A fully loaded pistol is no big deal lol.

        Thomas Semper Fi brother!

        • axelsteve says:

          Jarhead 03. My grandpa was in b woods in ww1 also.My uncle was in the 101 in ww2.Is the g21 a 45? forgive my ignorance of glocks. Steve

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Jarhead 03, your nephew and sister are lucky to have you in their lives. And so is the Wolf Pack.

      • Lint I thank you as well. Many of you have taught me new ways to prep especially when I went through Uncle Jerry Brown’s tax levy.
        My food preps doubled in 2 months since my first introduction to the Pack. I now have enough food to last almost a year. I plan on getting into canning and dehydrating after my tax return.

        • jarhead-i think you also taught a lot of us new ways to prep. thank you

          • Pam, thank you. I don’t know how to can or dehydrate but have experiences from growing up poor, the military, executive protection, camping, hiking and firearms instruction, martial arts etc.

            Some of my suggestions may go against the grain from other “professionals” but many “professionals” I have witnessed are text book professionals that have never done anything outside the classroom or controlled environment. So I try to share what I can based on my experiences. I’m still alive lol

            I thank you and appreciate your contributions and kind words.

    • axelsteve says:

      Jarhead. I like the sks I bought one for my son a few years back. They are getting expensive nowdays. I am kinda losing interist in them because of that.They are cool guns though.

      • Axel, I love my SKS! People knock the Chinese $79 rifle I bought when I was 18 but it was dropped coyotes, deer, pigs, feral dogs and is my go too gun if I need to put some weight down range.

        I forgot to mention the SKS buffer, it absorbs the recoil a bit and its helpful on follow-up shots. The old one was worn out. The rifle has gone up in price and can’t justify buying another one at $300 plus. I have been looking at various caliber uppers in for the AR lower to avoid buying new rifles.

        • axelsteve says:

          I saw a russian sks for 650 dollars last weekend. Ouch!! For that kind of money I can look around for something else.

          • Axel, for that price you can purchase a self built AR or a lesser known manufacturer AR, Mini 14/30 etc.

          • axe;steve:
            I’ve seen the same thing, telling me that the Russian version is a better made rifle. I think I’d rather have 2 of the $250 ones and some ammo.

  69. MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

    Has anyone tried “Sorbent Systems” for food storage items? Looks like they have a high minimum purchase, but a good variety of sizes for mylar bags and other items.

    http://www.sorbentsystems.com/longtermfoodstorage.html

  70. urielsword says:

    This was a slow week for prepping.

    I was a bit disappointed when Ron Paul got booed for expressing the “Golden Rule ” for foreign policy during one of the South Carolina debates.
    Then he placed 4th in the South Carolina primary.

    This coming week I will reach out to more like minded people to build a stronger circle.

    Check out this video on the versatility of the 410 shot gun.
    http://youtu.be/wAnbDvLIAac
    I think I’ll pick one up.

  71. Thomas The Tinker says:

    My prepping tour for week ending 1/22/2012

    1. 2 rolls of duct tape ala Home Depot.
    2. Another visit to Wal-mart and one case lot of smoked kippers. (all they had.)

    That is all..

    • Thomas The Tinker,

      Wow, you must be the Kipper King. I assume you mean a case of 144 tins. I am partial to Brunswick brand for Kippered Herring and King Oscar for sardines–Mediterranean Style.

      I have a tin of one or the other nearly every day. Cardiologist said one can’t have enough fish oil. I am paying .76 each per tin of herring, up from .60 only last summer of 2010. I keep about 45 tins of herring and 30 tins of sardines in reserve and 24 cans of red (sockeye) salmon on hand. Wife likes tuna which I will eat, but am not that fond of.

      • Thomas The Tinker says:

        Eagle: Much to my regret, the ‘Super’ Wal-mart only stocks two cases of smoked kippers, 20 each. Polar brand! Your stock count pretty much matchs ours. I trade out two ‘energy’ bars for a can each of sardines and kippers from spring to late fall. Alas my DW will not let anything that swims… nor crawls in the water to pass her lips……. with the exception of Tuna….??? Yeah I can’t figure that one. She just tells me…. “… Well… tuna is different..”

        Any of you in the Pack that has not attempted a grilled kipper and cheese is missing a life changing event! I would take that with a side of thick blue cheese……………….

        • Tom The Tinker,

          My mothers parents were from the Baltic states and they ate herring with everything. Ate fresh herring salad, with mushrooms, marianated with tomatos and cucumbers. Also smoked, fried, baked and on sandwiches. Never tried it with blue cheese. Had quite a few herring sandwiches on either Latvian or Lithuanian dark with onions and a cheese I don’t remember the name of. You have made me hungry.

    • Thomas, I had a bud in Lima 3/1 that took kippers into the field every time. One time he forgot to bury the can and we had a couple bobcats fighting over the can. One of those wish I had a camera moments. I’ve used them for bait lol

      • Jarhead 03,

        If you save the oil from sardines and some of the liquid from the herring you have an unbelieveable attractant for critters. A few years back I saved up some and started putting it outside where I have motion detector lights. Had possums, racoons, foxes, coyotes, and the neighborhood cats all show up. I cut it out as black bears have made a comeback around here and didn’t want Yogi and BooBoo bears at my back door.

        You said you were once an active duty Marine. Had two uncles in WWII, one was at Saipan and the Philipines, the other Okinowa and later the Korean War. Also had a cousin that the judge back in 1959 gave a choice or jail or the Marines. He was so outstanding the Marines put him through “Motivation Platoon”.

        • Eagle, true on the oil. Where I live in southern California I have seen what happens when they are tossed in the trash as well as on camping trips especially with black bears. They can smell that can like nothing else.

  72. Ridge Runner says:

    -Moved south fence to allow for small orchard.
    -Planted three trees (so far): 1 blood orange, 1 peach and 1 tangerine.
    -Purchased a Ruger LC9. Going to the range today to try it out. Will report back if anyone is interested.

    • Prep Now [so.fl.] says:

      Peach and Oranges? You must be within about 200 mi. of us.

    • Patriot Farmer says:

      You going to love the Ruger LC9. I’ve shot one several times. Never miss fed or jammed and it is very accurate. My daughter-in-law put a laser on her’s and she loves it.

      • Ridge Gardner says:

        Considering the crimson trace laser that fits the trigger guard. Normally not a big fan of lasers. Thanks for the feedback. Didn’t make it to the range yesterday. Maybe some day this week.

        • I have one of the crimson trace lasers for my 9 mm. Glock 26. I have been using it to help me learn what I was doing right or wrong as I started to pull the trigger. I didn’t realize I was still flinching right as I pulled the trigger, and that was why my shots were going low and to the left. Overall I really like the crimson trace but am leaning toward going to the Glock 19 that my DH has been using. It seems to fit my hand better and the DH says he can put the laser on the 19.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Sure, your report on the Ruger would be interesting. Thanks.

  73. Prep Now [so.fl.] says:

    We planted more bush beans, cukes, gr.onions, bell peppers, squash, 2- sapote trees, and 1-jujube tree. Snow peas about 6″ tall/long now, about ready to train to the trellis, have 3 generations of lettuce, cabbage and spinach growing, picked about 12 lbs. of tomatoes this week, sprayed everything with Neem oil mix, got our Tattler canning tops in [ 300 total].
    Jujube tree it pretty neat. When green it tastes like an apple, when brownish it tastes like roasted apple.
    Bought 60 rds of .223 ball ammo and a bore site.
    Tasted another tropical fruit that is like chocolate pudding, didn’t buy.
    We now have 15 different species of tropical fruit trees planted with various harvest dates that cover about 9 months of the year.
    This is also our first serious attempt at serious suburban farming. So far so good.

    • Lucky you! It was 72 degrees here in South Alabama and I was ITCHING to get my fingers in the dirt…but I know it won’t last! I did see tulips trees (Japanese Magnolias), Quince bushes, narcissus and daffodils blooming…..and robins looking for worms. Those are usually our signs that spring is just around the corner. Only problem is that it is only January. We don’t usually see these signs til the end of February. ???? Strange…..

      BTW,I have 3 grapefruits in the fridge about to go bad cuz I hate them and DH just hasn’t eaten them….wonder if they would grow if I put them in some dirt? Anyone tried?

      • I doubt they would grow. All of our citrus here is grafted onto lemon tree root stock due to disease resistance. They also like the sandy , well drained soil,,, hate wet feet. The first day of temps below 32 f would kill them as well. Stick with your apples,pears,peaches,berries,cherry’s and grapes which don’t grow so well this far south if at all. We do have a mucadine though.
        The trees now are:
        sapote-2 [2 crops
        avacado-1 [1crop
        jujube-1 [2 crops
        coconuts-3 [ all year
        lemon-2 [1 crop
        jacobatoa-1 [2 crops
        bananas-10 or 15 [all yr
        honeybell-1 [1 crop
        carambola-1 [2 crops
        mango-2 [1 crop
        guava-2 [1 crop
        papaya-3 [all yr
        persimmon-1 [all yr
        tropical strwberry-1 [all yr

  74. MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

    This is an older article, but something that I thought of recently and want to share. Our printer ran out of ink, and we couldn’t get any for a couple of weeks. I had some important papers to copy (medical), so went to the Office Max store and copied them. On the way home, it occurred to me that the big copiers there are probably digital, and ‘save’ what’s printed out on them. I’m not very concerned about what I copied that day, but it’s something to think about.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/04/19/eveningnews/main6412439.shtml

    Here’s some more recent news about addressing the situation:

    http://www.huntonprivacyblog.com/2011/04/articles/states-attempt-to-address-privacy-risks-associated-with-digital-copiers-and-electronic-waste/

    • blindshooter says:

      I make my living in this industry. Much ado about nothing. On the four major venders I work with you have to “try” to save files/documents on the machine. All machines that we take out of the field get the drives removed and left with the customer or they sign off on our release forms. All lease returns get the all data clear done and HD formatted. Most new machines come out of box with encryption or data overwrite already running. Needless to say this is a huge headache in a HIPA eviroment. We sold over 500 units to a large hospital system last year and on each and every box we had to disable all usb ports and disable all scan to folder options. Most of the lost data is caused by the customer saving things they shouldn’t in on board document servers with no security or user controls. We all advise the customer not to save anything on the machines, they break! I suspect they fail a lot more than the average secure server;^)

  75. MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

    Any suggestions for a good compass for under $20? I want to do some compass mapping of my area. Someone’s comment about all landmarks and signs disappearing after a tornado or flood made me realize that being out here in the country….I might really need compassing skills.

    • MtWoman look at Suunto A-10 and. A-30 compasses. They go for $15 to $25 and I have the A-10 in my GHB and the A-30 is the back up to my military issue compass I kept.
      They are thin, clear and work.

    • MtWoman, there are many aids to learning land navigation. Many good books at hiking/camping stores such as the REI and Sports Chalet chain as well as military manuals. Don’t know if your purely in flat lands or have mountains and hills around. Learn to identify key terrain features like a point on a hill or mountain or fingers (the down slopes that tend to slant up that look like it would be a trail) and if their are rivers key bridges since not every bridge is made the same. Also gully’s, flood control (natural or man made) etc.

    • Sportsmansguide.com has some good military ones cheap. Use hils, mountains, and streams for your bearings. Those rarely change.

  76. Just bought a small alcohol still to make 97% alcohol for fuel from Steve Harris at knowledge publications. Once I get this down I’ll start looking for a bigger one.

    • Ken, that’s a great idea. You could also make some hooch with it lol

      • That would invite government regulators to my house. Permit not needed to add to gas. After teotwawki is another story. Most cars will run just fine on a 50/50 mix. That’s my goal with this. It will also work for cooking food after then too.

      • Once you get gassed you can put the rest in your tank.

  77. Northbound says:

    Got 10 food grade buckets from local bakery.
    Looking for sales on gamma lids.
    Reading about gardening in cold climates.
    Borrowed 3 books on lasagna gardening (where you build a growing medium on top of soil that may not be all that great).
    Roughed out drawing for raised kitchen garden bed to be built next spring.
    Started studying seed catalogs for vegetable/herb garden for next spring.
    Reorganizing kitchen and making inventory of food, supplies and equipment. Packing up unneeded items to donate.
    Reorganizing budget and financial records. Preparing for tax time, and beyond.

  78. Hi Wolf Pack,

    Although I was traveling on business this week, I still managed to have a very productive week for my preps.

    The real estate agent alerted me to another nice parcel of land in the Sierras. I will be checking it out next week.

    Ordered and received via Amazon the Victoria hand grain mill, dental emergency kit, Minor surgery kit, Heirloom seed vault, emergency sleeping bag for my own bug out backpack, a book on dehydrating recipes and JW Rawles book “Survivors”. Also managed to clear out the toiletries and coffee packs in my hotels. As someone commented earlier, they make great barter items and you did pay for them.

    Also met with an old friend who runs a disaster preparedness company and learned valuable tips regrading food storage and temperature, specifically MRE’s. I will share the spreadsheet when he sends it to me as it was very enlightening. Signed up for handgun and shotgun training classes in early March and convinced a buddy to join me.

    Last night I came across this article on the drudge report:
    “Subculture of Americans prepares for civilization’s collapse”
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/21/us-usa-civilization-collapse-idUSTRE80K0LA20120121

    I took the opportunity to share this with friends and family to encourage them to start getting on board. Still can’t get the wife to embrace this philosophy. Oh yes, I almost forgot I watched “Contagion” on my flight to the East Coast. As luck would have it I had a bronchial cough for most of the flight and was glared at by my fellow passengers as my coughs eeked out!

    Have a great week!

    • I forgot to mention that I also made it to Costco and picked up cans of Mandarin oranges, Lemonade powder and Beef Stew.

    • Digital_Angel_316 says:

      Interesting article there on civilization collapse. I was particularly intrigued by the likening of preppers to Millerites as I was born in the same town that William Miller founded his movement. Miller later moved out of New England altogether as did many others at the same time (most notably Joe Smith from New Hampshire which became the Mormon Religion). From that (Millerite) movement came the Seventh Day Adventist movement with its call to a health focused lifestyle. Timing prophecies aside (and for another forum), the prophecies of problems in health care and disease and the plagues of the fish, meat and dairy industries in particular as well as the cola and coffee houses that abound, and the food industry in general are upon us again for about all of the same reasons. Perhaps the article will awaken some to the signs of the times.

      An old song I remember goes something like this:

      Oh people, look around you
      The signs are everywhere
      You’ve left it for somebody other than you
      To be the one to care
      You’re lost inside your houses
      There’s no time to find you now
      Your walls are burning and your towers are turning
      I’m going to leave you here and try to get down to the sea somehow …

      ?? bug-out song??

      • D-A- 316, those lyrics are music to my ears! Yeah, I thought it was interesting that Reuters reported this story. Hopefully others will wake up and take care of their own broods and clans.

  79. Patriot Farmer says:

    Been treading water the last few months dealing with flus, colds, and family emergencies. We seem to be getting back on our feet now and getting back to taking care of business.
    I added $50 face value of junk silver and purchased several boxes of rifle and pistol ammo.
    I re-packed my two bug out bags and began to put together a third.
    I sold an old generator, my camper, and scrapped several hundred pounds of metal. I put the money from these away for future purchases.

  80. Horsieprepper says:

    I am late in posting as we arte just coming out of Seattle Snowmageddon. We actually live in the foothills just outrside the city, but still considered the mtro ara. We got a bit more snow and lower temps than Seattle, and have been out of power for the past 4 days, which here includees no running water and no phone. So this has been a use and evaluate preps week. Overall we did well. We had stored water for people, pets and livestock. We had ample food for all. We had back up power (main genie cord broke but we had a back up) and heat (2 big buddy’s and wood stove) and an indoor butane cookstove. I stuck to add water foods (not wanting to be in almost 2 feet of snow on the grill or campfire) which got a little monotonous so I need to splurge and get some more Mt House. And someone here got the flu and we were stocked for meds! I am definitely going to invest in a manual well pump, look into a real land phone line (we use cable, which went out), and a booster for my cell reception. I also need to practise some wood stove cookery.

    • Didn’t you just feel wonderful knowing you and yours were all taken care of? ;) Glad you all are ok!

  81. This past week I’ve had a major cold that continues to linger. However, my EE order arrived with 5 gall buckets, gammo lids and mylar bags. Picked up some canned food at Big Lots for good prices and reorganized my food storage. Starting a paper inventory using an excel workbook for food, paper and medicine supplies so I can better understand how much I actually have of what. Watched videos on gardening and pressure canning. Also picked up 3 doz jars on clearance at a grocery store and plan to start a garden. I did manage to attend a hand gun class and got some target practice at a gun range. Ammo order arrived adding 400 rounds.

  82. Hello everyone! It’s been taking me so long to read through everyone’s comments that I never get around to my own post… I’m still here lurking though ;)

    - bought fall/winter clothes for my oldest on clearance for next year, and actually a few things for two years ahead since it was a good buy and quality

    - watched the “Back to Eden” film that a few gals mentioned here, considering a thin layer of mulch for my square foot garden boxes which already contain mel’s mix, I already mulch my eight blueberry boxes

    - found a great soft handgun case at walmart for $5 and it’s made in the USA, even has a tiny amount of pink camo on the trim

    - helped the DH bottle and cork 22 bottles of orange blossom meade, every batch gets better and better as we learn, today’s activity is starting 5 gallons of buckwheat meade

    Best wishes to the pack

    • cosmolined says:

      Nessie:
      Don’t store a pistol in a soft case unless it’s a “Bore Store”.
      They hold moisture. I’ve actually seen someone have to cut
      a rifle out of one. The rifle was rusted beyond repair even
      thought it was under a bed in the house.

  83. LonghairCountryboy says:

    Where to start… Working on weaving another Paracord Survival Belt. For the wife this time. Have about 75 feet of Paracord in mine. Will not be quite so much in her’s.
    Did some practicing with my new Hi-Point .45ACP Carbine. Bought many Tactical Accessories for it, that will really improve it’s functionality, for me at least.
    Combed the Internet for additional How To’s that will be useful WTSHTF. Saved all to PDF’s and saved to my thumb drive. Also found several really good videos on how to set snares for various animals. Made copies of all those as well, and saved to thumb drive.
    And right now, headed back out to the shop to complete construction of my re-loading bench. Keeping things, neat, clean and ORGANIZED is the key to good re-loads. My new bench will help improve me speed in re-loading. Then I can take on some of the side work many of my buddies who want me to re-load for them.

    • Longhair, if you pick up some of those stackable plastic trays you can easily grab at each item you need for the bullets and primers.
      I throw my brass into 5 gallon buckets and stacked with them labeled. The powder I have a semi fire proof cabinet and a sticker label for what loads they go to.
      I keep a cheat sheet laminated on the bench so I know what powder, powder loads, primers and bullet weights for each purpose. Its laminated for spills or exposure to anything.
      If can save some time and increase the amount of loads you produce especially if making a few $$$ I hope some it helps.

      • Cliff in Douglasville says:

        Jarhead,
        You are knowledgeable about reloading. Since I keep ending up with more calibers than I can feed, how do you feel about the Lee Loader kits for specific calibers? I was thinking about getting a bunch of them and then powder, bullets and primer and putting them away for a while. It looks like with the Lee Loaders that there is a kit for each caliber, mostly around 35 or 40 bucks on ebay and with those and the other bits and pieces it would be a slow process. I never thought I’d reload and when my brother in law died I sold off his reloading stuff pretty cheap, he had some “rock chuckers” and a lot of dies, scales, calipers and stuff like that, now I wish I’d held on to it but didn’t. So, is the Lee Loader a viable reloading opotion?

        • axelsteve says:

          sure is Cliff. They are slow but make great ammo.Nor Cal Ray also sells loading stuff

        • Cliff I own one for 45 and 223 for individual loads. I want a Dillon 650, used to own one and loved it.

          Its slow to reload but in an SHTF environment and you conserve ammo you will be good and its well worth it.

          • cosmolined says:

            Cliff in Douglasville:
            I’ve been reloading for 40′ish years. I now have a Dillon 550. The Lee loader powder measures seem scary as all get out to me. If you get one, try to verify your powder weight with the powder you will be using to reload. I measure each 10th powder charge even with a Dillon.
            Not disagreeing with Jarhead 03, but in a SHTF case, you will shoot what you have. Reloading is for practise and keeping expenses to a minimum. If you want proof, run for about 50 yards firing a semi-automatic and then go find your brass. (Even without the possibility of being attacked during your search, I think you’ll understand my train of thought.)

            • Cosmo, I agree with you on reloading isn’t always the most practical way. My reloads are more for tight group shooting or handloading hunting/varmint loads and the 45 is tight groups when shooting with friends.
              Its why I buy range ammo in bulk. Its cheaper than I can reload and with light commercial 223 you are lucky to get 3 good reloads, I use LC brass for reloading 223.

      • LonghairCountryboy says:

        Thanks for the good input Jarhead. I like that laminated load chart idea. Gonna use that one. Being in construction, I have built a 2 hour rated fire cabinet for my explosive items so have that covered.

  84. Huckleberry says:

    I’ve been doing more research this week than anything. One thing I’ve been seriously thinking about getting is a GORUCK bag. Anyone have any experience with these? It’s a bit pricey but, aside from being prepared, I’m a minimalist and feel that quality trumps quantity in many areas. This is one. My DW and I plan on finding a retreat and I don’t want a bag that can’t hold up to heavy usage and adventures.

    • riverrider says:

      huck, just can’t beat an old army ALICE pack w/frame in my opinion. they can be had cheap if you shop around and are about bomb proof. there are more comfy packs but none more sturdy. this comes from 28 years of carrying one and spending thousands looking for alternatives. jmho.

  85. Nothing much here on the preps side of things, still have to wait and see how the tax situation shakes out. Found a copy of One Second After at a used bookstore for $2 and could not put that down for the last couple of days. Damn , I hope it never gets that bad, think I like it more than Patriots since it was not all technical and paramilatry and more realistic on what would happen in a small town. Did go look at a property that was close to being perfect. A small 10 acre spot with a decent house, 20×30 garage and nice 1.5 acre pond with a small cabin and two docks. About 50% woods and hilly type pasture, so spots for some good garden beds and fruit and nut trees. Only problem is it is vinyl siding and a few roof leaks and the house is right off the gravel road. At least it is about 2 miles back off the main highway and is about 10-12 miles each way from two small towns of about 1500 people. Bank forclosure and has been on the market for year and half and they want $99,000 wonder if they would take 60 for it(it will need about 15-20,ooo of work to get it going) , but alas until I sell the spot I am in now I am not ready to do anything yet. Looked at it on monday and found out yesterday that someone put an offer in on it. Know someone at the agency so they will let me know what it went for if deal goes through. Sure wish the price of silver would go down a litte , kick myself for not jumping when it got down close to $25 a few weeks ago. Glad to hear what everyone else is doing and Prep On! Now gotta watch some football!!!!

  86. Hi Wolf Pack,

    Have been working a lot the past few weeks, which kept me away from a computer and reading what you have written. You have all been in thought and prayer.

    Over the past 3 weeks this is what has been picked up…
    -food storage
    several kinds of seasonings
    tuna singles
    spam singles
    misc canned goods
    #10 can of 9 grain hot cereal

    -first aid
    muscle rub
    alcohol wipes
    cold packs
    butterfly closures
    decongestant spray

    -general
    16 count 100w light bulbs
    sewing needles
    2 LED flashlights
    N95 dust masks
    2 trips to the range with .22s

    Finally finished reading One Second After. Parts of it were tough to take because of personal experiences.

  87. Just noticed this on yahoo news
    http://education.yahoo.net/articles/most_useless_degrees.htm?kid=1KWNU
    Notice that 3 are ag or along those lines, the rest we knew was useless.
    If agriculture and anything connected is considered useless degrees from college then what does that say for our food and animal production especially for the masses?
    This is really getting bad, weird and syfy-ish.
    I truly think the world as we know it has gone C-R-A-Z-Y.

    • Ellen, both city people and the ‘experts’ think ag degrees are useless. After all, everything is high tech now, or so they tell us. High tech jobs will bring them lots of money so they can buy what they want.

      Maybe they think that steak they are eating was manufactured somewhere. Or the bread – the bakery manufactures it. They have no concept of what it takes to produce the food they eat or the clothes they wear.

    • Diver Gal (South Fla) says:

      As someone who loved school and has returned several times for what my family terms my ‘useless’ degrees, I can attest that what is one person’s useless is another person’s great job. There was a time not too long ago when the only degree worth getting was in business. Recently, I read that an MBA was NOT the degree to get because the market was flush.

      Nautical Archaeology should have stuck me in a moldy classroom at who knows what university teaching core classes till the cows come home. Instead I get to spend 6 months a year diving, have gotten to dive at historical sites all over the world, and have a career that I love every day. Are there lean times where I wonder how I’m going to fuel the boats…. of course. But as in any career, there are good times and bad times.

      These articles talk about useless degrees by today’s trends, but those same degrees will be the ones that feed us tomorrow when big agribusiness has to stop feeding us with GMO’s and substandard food. And frankly, there are far too many people that have jobs that they hate going to every day. With perseverance and a love of what you are doing, there is no reason you can’t be successful in ANY field that you choose.

      Just my $ .02. And hey, if the world goes the way of Noah then that degree in underwater basket weaving is going to be damn useful.

      • axelsteve says:

        hahahah diver Gal. I had an uncle who was a diving instructer and owned a dive shop. I know what you are feeling.

  88. Not much in the way of prepping this week. Did pick up some buckets from the deli of the local grocery. Also cleaned and organized the working pantry.

    Prayers for all of you who have requested them or who seem to need them.

  89. Vienna (Soggy prepper) says:

    I’ve been tossing around an idea my husband thinks is crazy. I don’t.
    Trading houses.

    There have to be people out there that want to move to the city (probably not prepper types) as much as I want to move to the country with some land. But how does one propose something like that?

    “Hey, I see your house is for sale… Wanna trade?”

    Our house is big (3,600 sq ft, 3 ba, 3 fireplaces, ect), on a little lot.
    I would take a significantly smaller home, but I want 3 acres or more in a rural area.

    Any ideas on how to go about something like this? It can’t be as nuts as my wonderful DH thinks. Has anyone done this or know someone who has? Can you tell a real estate agent about it and have them hook you up? Dunno how the agent would benefit. Ideas?

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Real estate swaps have been going on for a long time. Just contact several agents or brokers in the areas you like and ask them to contact you if somebody wants to move to a city. They get a commission for putting the two parties together and filling out the paperwork, and if the properties are fairly equal in value, the tax implications may not be too harsh. Good luck!

    • conmaze (nofla) says:

      Vienna (Soggy prepper)

      My bil successfully did a trade for their home in FL for land in MA. So, yes, it can be done. It really only works if both parties don’t have a mortgage on their home/property. You can’t just trade mortgages and you certainly don’t want to leave the responsibility of paying your own mortgage to someone else. That would be no different than being a landlord – good grief! There are websites for real estate trading. Try googling it and see what you come up with.

    • I’ve done a couple deals like this. Usually it’s a City Couple that trades with an older Farm Couple that want to give up the farm and move to town. They aren’t super easy…but they can be done. I would suggest finding an agent that specializes in Farms (Not residentual) and then go from there. Here in my N. Calif. County we had loads of City people purchase 10 acre Ranchettes…well they are now either losing them or feel they bit off more than they can chew: “Too small to farm and too big to mow” and they are a perfect scenario for a trade. Good Luck…there are deals out there, just keep looking.

  90. Hi Wolf Pack, I am a newcomer to this sight and to preparing. I have enjoyed reading your comments on a daily basis for the past few weeks. Your knowledge and information has been very very helpful as I begin my journey to preparedness. I hope that one day I can have myself and my family (especially my stubborn headed husband) as close to fully prepared for any of life’s unexpected events. I thank you for all the information and comrodery that you all have shared with myself and so many others. I look forward the seeing what all are doing and truly appreciate everyone sharing their preparedness tips.

    • hi summer b! welcome to the pack. i know you will find the people here some of the nicest around. i know i have.

      • Thanks Pam s…I am enjoying reading and learning…..I am sure I will have many questions to come:)

    • Chonte' in MD says:

      welcome aboard Summer!! good luck with the hubby. my fiance is not really on board with me but he doesn’t give me any grief about it. i just remind him how sorry he’s gonna feel when something happens and thanks to my efforts he’s not starving :D

      • Thanks Chonte’ The hubby is like your fiancé doesn’t give me any grief…..but I am sure he will come around and see my point!!!! I enjoy learning and hope to do as much as I can:)

      • welcome aboard! I am also a relative newcomer with a stubborn spouse (wife). This blog has been great for tips and ideas. I found that doing a little something each week goes a long way.Good luck!

    • riverrider says:

      welcome to the crowd. show him how much money can be saved on the grocery bill, he might get on the wagon.

  91. Got the garden cleaned put this morning before the games started. Tomorrow I’ll add quail manure and till it in. Looks like a warm winter here in SE Texas so it may be time to start the seedlings for an early planting. My garden is on gardenforyourlife.blogspot.com. Plan to build a quail brooder this week.

  92. Being a bit smug this week. I live in the Pacific NW at the focus of that nasty storm, 2 feet of snow followed by an inch of ice…and wind. Power went out at 6PM Wednesday, and we’ve been on generator ever since, taking in friends who weren’t prepared. Before someone can stay here, they get my prepper lecture! The gas stations ran out of power and/or gas, but I had/have over 100 gallons stored so we are one of two lit buildings for several miles. One can literally drive for miles on the freeway and only see sporadic lit areas, looks like it could be a few more days. I sit here warm and smug, surfing the net. Preppers here 1, chilly scoffers 0! I guess a test of gear rates as a prep, right guys?

    • When your testing your gear, take a walk and drive around your place and see how well your place can be spotted at night. You might just want to invest in shutters.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Congrats on a job well done, Legion7. Now that you know how few and far between the smart people are, you might want to think about blackout drapes or dense foliage to block prying eyes and potential zombies.

    • Worrisome says:

      Good Job!

    • So glad you were prepared, and glad you were kind enough to help others!

    • hi legion 7
      i am from the PNW and have prepped for years we just got our power back tonight but i was more excited about trying out preps and where we needed to touch up . keep safe

    • Legion7

      Lint made the suggestion of blackout curtains or dense foilage. He is right about the curtains. I don’t know if foilage would do the trick.

      After Hurricane Ivan our area was without power for 7 to 30+ days depending where you were on the power grid. We were without electric for 8 days. I walked around at night and could see anyone using any light for quite some distance. What I later did was cut out sheets of cardboard from major appliance boxes to windows and turned the lights on. The cardboard did block all the light. Cardboard is light and easily stored. Something to think about.

    • riverrider says:

      great job. just keep in mind some of your nieghbors might not enjoy a loud genny running all night n day. i run mine sparingly, just enough to keep the fridge chilled and pump up the water tank. i built a quiet room for it, but its still loud. in a longer term situation that noise will breed contempt and may lead to violence or sabotage or theft. we have to temper our pride of being smarter than non-preppers with sensativity to their feelings of inadaquacy:)

      • Cliff in Douglasville says:

        Riverrider,
        I remember on a few deployments where we dug holes and buried the generator below ground level. Maybe there wasn’t much rain or ground water, I’m not sure, but I do know that with it underground and a camouflage cover over the top you could almost step in the hole without hearing it and that was when you were right on top of it. Of course I also grabbed the vertical antenna on the front of the truck when I tripped and someone was transmitting. I don’t know how long they had the mic keyed but it sure wasn’t a pleasant wait.

        • riverrider says:

          cliff, see thats why i come here. forgot all about digging them in. don’t know how i forgot, since i was doing most of the digging….course, might not want to dig up the yard:)

      • cosmolined says:

        Regarding neighbors and Generators:
        During my 3 days without power in SoCal, I made closer ties with my neighbors by wheeling my Gen across the street twice a day (into a secure driveway) with 2 #12 cords to plug in two neighbors refrigerators at a time. I started on the second day. Did it in the morning and evening right before dark. Also had extra batteries for their kids games …. In a long term situation, I’d be Toast.

        • Cosmo, staying dry after the rain we got? Stormwatch 2012 and it was a much needed lackluster “storm” lol

          • cosmolined says:

            Good Morning Jarhead!
            Yes, I managed to stay dry by eating a vacation day. I’m still sore from being ran into 10 weeks ago and didn’t have the courage to brave LA traffic during a storm.

  93. This was a slooooow prep week. Added just a few food stuffs…sugar, salt, powdered milk. More hydrogen peroxide, cotton balls. And got 2 camper’s eating utensils (for the BOBs) on clearance $5 each. My to-get list seems to be never-ending, but I still feel good even getting a few things here and there. I’m hoping to get some bigger ticket items soon, depending on what the tax return and/or hubby’s bonus looks like. Crossing my fingers we have enough to buy the big stuff in one shot!

  94. They’re talking about us !!

    Hey WolfPack.- Even though D2prep beat me to it , I pasted the link below.. It feels weird to read this MSM articles about “preppers’ – as though Being Prepared is “news”.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/21/us-usa-civilization-collapse-idUSTRE80K0LA20120121

    As alway ….. BP !

    • Glad to share and thanks for helping to spread the word!

    • loved the comment where they said they feel sorry for those preppers being taken advantage of. Man I feel so so so so violated, because those people know that I am paranoid and want my money! LMAO

  95. I always have to think about the 25 dogs we have in our rescue. What would I do if we had a real SHTF event? I always plan for hurricane season and other natural disasters. I normally keep one months worth of food on hand. But, we use 600 pounds of dog food a month so I have a real dilemna! Dry dog food will go rancid in long term storage, so I bought several cases of canned food and extra rice (150 lbs.)

    We also bought a few small animal traps. We could trap small animals and cook them for the dogs.

    We are training some of them to be good watch dogs to alert us to unwanted visitors. A good watch dog will be a plus in a crime ladden society. We will gladly give them to people who need extra protection.

    I got the raided bed garden mulched and ready for planting in a few weeks.

    Bought a new Smith & Wesson 38 special revolver w/moon clips! Love it….

    Spent hours reading/planning my garden using the Baker creek catalog.

    Bought a few extra clothes at the Goodwill Store.

    • Swampy Paws,

      I just checked out your website. What great work you guys are doing! I tell you, these people who mistreat animals–they should be treated like they treated their pets. Chain them up out in the sun all day without water.

  96. MtWoman,

    I have used Sorbent Systems for quite sizeable orders about 3 times. My experience each time was that their customer service stinks to be blunt. I ended up having a few defective mylar bags in one order and I had to go thru so much red tape to get a replacement that I gave up. I found another vendor on the east coast and although the bags were a bit more expensive, the customer service was well worth it. I just don’t bother with Sorbent Systems anymore. Interestingly that vendor had dealt with Sorbent before opening his business and had the same negative experiences.

    • Cliff in Douglasville says:

      Dang, I thought you type “soylent green” and went off on a flight of fantasy of dead bodies and potatoes and what color you got for what day of the week. I hope we don’t go there soon. The movie was soylent green and it may be too old for you but is pretty interesting.

  97. ok i am back now chonte this is for your back it is grate it stops pain in mins. the name is SOOTHANOL X2 you can get it at North Star it is sold by NDI SOLUIONSL.L.C.TEL NO.18008952108 WE HAVE BEEN USEING IT FOR 5 YEARS

  98. OK I AM ON A ROLL I BOUGHT 100 LBS.of salt 10 DOLLARS I Built A SOLAR OVEN A FRENCH ROCKET STOVE IT WORKS GRATE JUST TYPE IN HOW TO MAKE A 16 BRICK ROCKET STOVE -YOU TUBE also i made a silver colloid generator it works so i had a good 2 weeks thank you all

    • Bernie,
      look to comments to you down below this one.

      I have seen that rocket stove one before, though lost the link so thank you. There is another rocket stove that only uses some concrete blocks. That one might be easier to move around as it only has 3 concrete blocks as its parts.

    • Cliff in Douglasville says:

      bernie,
      how much colloadial silver are you able to make and what is your plan for it? How did you build it or where did you get the plans?

  99. Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

    Where is chloe? Summertime down under, maybe she’s water skiing? LOL

    • Hello one and all…thank you lint – for enquiring, however its only been a day or so since I posted, not like your 4 + days…haha…and am very tired at the moment.

      Re the water skiing – I love being in and around water, however can’t seem to get my a*se up out of the water.

      Have been busy – just yesterday had SIL here yesterday (sunday) – gave my m/bike a service, while DD and I vac sealed rice, pasta, salt and lots of assorted condiments in cans and glass jars 5 hours of non-stop prepping…not counting the hours of vac sealing I have done past few days on my own…

      and have also rinsed more empty plastic bottles ready for dried beans and wheat berries that will be bottled up with O2 absorbers when I get back in a few weeks…

      Today drove to one of my rentals – did a handover, locksmith re-keyed locks, carpet cleaner coming tomorrow to steam clean carpets – left a key where he can find it…also called into one other tenant’s place as I was leaving…checked all was okay there…and got back about 40 minutes ago…big day – tired now.

      so, tomorrow will load up the car with some extra stuff – and will depart my retreat Wednesday morn and stay at the vacant property till re-tenanted…will take wireless and laptop so can stay up to date with pack.

      Lint, how is your ankle and when do you think you will be up and out of the house again, and out driving your car etc?

      Got to have an early night – and still a few things to do…it’s after 7pm Monday evening here already – dark out…too tired to banter just now, however just give me a day/week or so – and there will definately be some bantering…till next time. cheers.

      • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

        Good to hear from you, chloe. Talk to you again when you are rested and have some time. Bye for now.

      • Cliff in Douglasville says:

        Chloe,

        Are you all settled in to your rental house now? Do you have good leads on a good tenant to move in?
        We have a very strange thing happening here, at least in Georgia. There are a lot of foreclosed houses just sitting empty and people have just been moving in to them, forging a lease document and getting the power and water turned on and are living there rent free until the bank figures out what is happening and it’s really difficult to make them move out. I know that the same thing was happening when I was in England in the early 70′s with squatters moving in to peoples houses when they went on holiday and it was darn difficult to get them out too.
        I hope it’s all working out well for you and hope you can get back to some serious posting and good stories soon.

        • Lake Lili says:

          The squatter thing is still an issue. Friends of ours here also have a place in Glasgow and they alternate but they never leave the place empty for more than two weeks. So he’ll go over and be alone for two weeks, then she’ll join him for two weeks, then he’ll come back and she’ll stay on for two weeks. Then she’ll come back to Canada and they’ll be here for two weeks. Then they start again. Its exhausting and expensive. They never leave the place empty for more than two weeks. None of their neighbours know that it is not their primary residence. And they do it for exactly that reason – squatters! And their seems to be a feeling within the judiciary that it is a luxury to have a second home while others don’t have one, so as long as all the bills have been paid (rent excluded) the Courts side with the squatters and then mandate a rent based on what the squatters say they can afford…

        • Hello cliff and all, got here last night about 5.30pm…(Wednesday) – torrential downpour and lightning etc..

          mt woman’s rain stick is ‘powerful medicine’ …

          there is also major flooding in Brisbane – many miles away…

          As I manage my own rental properties (and I do a better job than all the past rental property managers I’ve paid – some, (2) have even let tenants in without a bond, or only half the bond!! – idiots!!) I need to be there to show any viable prospective tenants the place…instead of driving back and forth…the local newspaper has a bi-weekly print that I place my ‘for rent’ adverts.

          So, I see it as yet another perfect opportunity to give my BOB and mess kit/contents etc a whirl.

          The rental I am staying in at the moment is partly furnished, all they need is a bed and a washing machine…it even has a dryer..

          I just unroll my swag, throw my s/bag and pillows on it – bed made. Unpack my kitchen backpack – with 1 burner gas stove – open up food bag…toiletries in bathroom etc..towels hung up…clothes sorted and ready.

          Showed house to one couple last night about 6pm…then I went out and had a pub meal. Another couple came today at 12noon. And another person is on their way.

          And it is Australia Day today.

          so, as soon as dwelling is rented – and until another property comes vacant – it is all fun/bike ride/prep time.

          Just as an aside, tenant in the Big Smoke house said wants to renew her lease when it come due for renewal next month – so will drive there (I could mail the documents), as regular 3-monthly inspection will be due then, and will incorporate a trip to the restaurant supplier store, and our ‘home depot’ store (Bunnings) and lots of assorted thrift shops etc.

          So, the main reason is that I need to be here to show/re-tenant the house – 2nd reason is don’t want any squatters.

          Without a tenancy agreement with commencement and completion dates – would have to rely on common law to evict them…and that takes time – and what about all the damage people can do in a very short amount of time – thank goodness I have been lucky – have to vet people properly before they get in – and I am very frank and blunt with prospective tenants, and fair – I have had past tenants who have come back and asked to re-tenant the same house.

          Whereas with a lease, all I need for a tenant who breaches their agreement, is a Termination Order and Warrant of Possession – takes 14 days – plus the bond is available (normally 4 weeks rent). There is specific legislation that deals with tenancies in Queensland (QLD).

          However, it rarely gets to that stage…I am able to articulate to the tenant/s that it is in their best interest/s to do what I suggest, or, it is a trip to the Queensland Civil Administrative Tribunal for them…plus, a listing with TICA (a tenancy blacklist database).

          I also have Landlord’s Insurance Cover – but still does not cover everything.

          People are having to stay in caravan parks and hotels/motels as there as just not enough houses/units available…house prices have fallen, property taxes (rates) have increased shockingly – so many houses for sale – because the aged owners can no longer afford the rates.

          I have seen the housing situation worsen. Our mortgage interest rates are anywhere between 5-7%.

          I own my houses, so for me it is the bi-annual property taxes that are creeping upward every 6 months…shocking…the people who purchased between 2003-2006 (boom/bust) cannot afford to pay any extra apparently. And the pensioners are selling – fixed income, and no spare income as it is, without year after year rate increases.

          This town has much higher property taxes than my houses in the big smoke…better weekly rental – yet capital growth is bad…whereas in the big smoke – huge capital growth and good rental…however – I get $550 p/week for just this one property that cost me $20K in 1975. That is a good return. The other 3 are just as good – but money comes in, and money goes out.

          There is a greater chance of squatters in the big smoke…as most people do not know their neighbours, and/or are working all day. I have good neighbours – and I will phone two of them alternating weeks for a few weeks, at the start of a new tenancy, just to see if there are any problems – they invariably reply that all is good.

          As an investor/business owner – I only pay tax on what is left over at the end of the financial year – that was the sole reason I choose tax law as an elective during my degree – I wanted to know if I was doing everything I could to maximize my rental income and legitimately minimize my tax liabilities…my study buddies thought I was crazy – that I would choose to do such a hard subject (and it was hard) as the lecturer was a hard marker…

          but once it was done, I changed accountants – (they were not doing as good a job as they could have been, but I did not know that at the time, but after I completed tax law – they had to go).

          And it has been so much better for me financially – one of the reasons why I later gave up my job tutoring law at uni, and manage just on the income from my capital assets.

          However, have to watch my money too – prepping is expensive – I am buying – weekly, huge amounts of prep items.

          And am always looking for things on special, and I get most of my clothes etc from thrift shops – so don’t go thinking I am wealthy – (my good health is my wealth) as I have to make sure that I pay for the best building/contents/landlord’s insurance cover that is available – not cheap, and premiums have also increased.

          Yet I am not eligible for cover -because of my past health – terminal – yet I am the ‘ASSET’ (with God’s blessing) – not my houses etc..

          Without me, the houses would not bring in the money they do. So, my life is worth more than a set of new tyres – so the car that I travel around in gets serviced regularly, to ensure I arrive safely and can take care of the houses, that in turn provide me with an income, which in turn pays for the assorted preps, and maintaining 2 separate retreat locations that are not included in my rental properties.

          So, remember, all you preppers – all your preps/cars/BOV etc are not the ASSETS. You and your family are…so you/they must come first – everything else is then in order of priority.

          When I have reached my spend limit for the week/month, then I allocate spend-free days in my diary, where I will stay home and organize, tidy, pack, plan, or scout around for through roads, bike around looking for possible cache sites…prepping is a time intensive, fun and full-time activity.

          And just so you know, in case you think I am organised – I lost track of the amount of stuff I have years ago – what I have is buckets marked with the month/year – and stack them in a line…so I know where the oldest/use first are situated…and that is it…

          too much for my mind to try to keep track of – more important to keep stacking, and when I need stuff, I look in the oldest buckets for what I want. And I keep adding more buckets/cans/bottles.

          However I do keep all my receipts, and I write what each item is and the price in ball point pen beside the printed (and fading) amounts, and these are all filed in a 2 ring binder, and the info is also categorized in QBs.

          Whereas once a dwelling is tenanted – may take a few days/weeks to find a viable tenant – and lease signed for 6/12 months – that is it, work/time wise.

          So, am always entering my receipts into QuickBooks, watching and balancing things – keep myself financially independant, keep houses in excellent condition so they bring me in the maximum they can, keep stacking prep items
          in their order of priority.

          If I die before SHTF – then DD takes over.

          if SHTF first – and the State takes all our private property, I have already said goodbye to the houses back in the ’90′s when I was terminal – but still here, and then another cancer ’06 – but still here, so I/we will live as best we can – just like everyone else…

          but until that happens….

          purchased:
          4 litres of organic apple cider vinegar with the ‘mother’ $28 (supermarket has 1 litre for $38).
          3 x 500mls bottles of Iodine $21 each. (supermarket has 100ml bottles for $19.98 – bargain – last time were $18.95).
          3 kgs bucket of organic CHIA seeds $59. (I normally buy a 500gm bag of chia seeds for $19 from the supermarket…bargain).
          and, a 20kg bag of wild bird seed…they have stripped all the plants (millet/sorghum/sunflower).

          Bought heaps of packets of paracetamol, aspirin, ibuprofen (ranging from .79cents to $1.97 for a packet of 24 tablets), and 4 bottles of hydrogen peroxide ($4 each) – gave some to DD…as I read on some internet sites that Greeks are experiencing difficulty in accessing some OTC medications.

          Have only been skimming through the comments these past few days…had to stay focused as had to get lots of preps all vac sealed etc and put away b4 I left my retreat.

          Also, bought a Dorcy lantern/zoom flashlight that takes 4 x AA batteries $10, plus 3 x 21 LED flashlights with AAA batteries included ($5 each).

          to all the pack…wish you all good fortune, good health, and strong resolve to keep eyes and ears open…till next time…cheers.

          • templar knight says:

            Happy Australia Day, chloe, and Aussies everywhere! I’ve never met an Aussie I didn’t like, so I’ve been lucky, or all Aussies are likeable. LOL.

            chloe, I have a question. Are you able to access antibiotics in Australia without having to have a doctor’s prescription? And, if not, will your doctor issue antibiotics for storage? And thank you for the reminder, I need to go through my medical bag and check the dates on all my OTC drugs. I hadn’t heard that there were drug shortages in Greece, but it makes sense given the circumstances there.

            There are shortages of prescription drugs here in the US, with some cancer drugs being in extremely short supply. TDL’s regulations and rules are taking a toll. Of course, his solution is more of the same. Ok, no more gloom and doom.

            Have a great day, chloe!

            • templar knight…thank you – and I am finding you guys are all likeable also…

              Regarding antibiotics – no – there is no access to these without a Dr’s written prescription.

              And have no idea if Dr’s will issue same for future use on a general scale.

              However, what I have done, is – whenever I am at the Dr’s and they write me a script for antibiotics etc for whatever reason…I ask for a repeat script, just in case.

              So I don’t need to come back and take up valuable time/space in their busy shift etc…they see the wisdom – and I come across calm, and not behaving like a wild-eyed paranoid tin-foil hat wearing chicken-little, when I suggest the Dr write that repeat.

              So far, no Dr has refused my requests for a repeat. (My DD does the same).

              Then when I have finished taking the course of antibiotics, I go into the pharmacy, and get the repeat filled, and put that away for future use.

              Nor can human use antibiotics be ordered from overseas and enter Australia…on prohibited list and are stopped by Customs.

              There is a Dr Bob that dispenses antibiotics for SHTF use – and he is in the US…google and should find it.

              Also google/check out armageddon medicine – good info there for US preppers wanting to get good info.

              The Dr who owns the site has an article on expiry dates on medications…in a nutshell…and please do not rely on what I type…look up the article for yourselves…some medications can be used way past their use-by dates, albeit with less potency. And that tetracycline (use instead if one is allergic to penicillin) now has different fillers – so, expiry date not critical as before…please read article if you are interested.

              templar knight…a simple google search will show articles from net regarding the trouble pharmacists are having accessing simple OTC like aspirin…

              Also, please do buy lots of iodine and hydrogen peroxide – I am seriously stocking up on these items.

              As water becomes scarce in a grid down situation – and less than best practice hygiene methods occur…skin rashes will be prevalent…

              Once the body has been compromised with dirty water, and then skin breakages…your body can not perform as well as normal under the added stress of grid-down life…if you have a cut on your ankles/wrists, and are scooping water out of a creek…those cuts can get infected fast…and if your body is not strong – takes longer to recover.

              Also, get LOTS of feminine hygiene pads – individually wrapped – liners/normal/super – all thicknesses – can use these cut to size for different sized scraps/cuts etc. Not sterile, but can be used over those precious remaining sterile gauze squares.

              Also, can buy a roll of combine dressing instead in case some of the men are shopping and don’t want anyone to assume they are cross-dressing… etc.

              Hope you have all metal stainless surgical steel scissors + + + in your packs…so these can be sterilized in boiling water. It is the little things.

              When I go to the big smoke next, I am going to get more sterile suture cutters…(for the sewing people, these can also be used later for unpicking seams etc). and these suture cutters can be-used.

              Have you got enough ‘gully pots’ – small stainless steel bowls to hold sterile swabs, alcoholic chlorhexidine etc – for when preparing to clean and dress a minor wound.

              How many sterile packs of plastic disposable trays/forceps/swabs/gauzes squares do you have.

              An easy way to wipe clean an area of broken skin surface…is to boil water in a stainless bowl, and lay a long thin strip of cotton sheet –
              middle part in the water and the two sides well away from the open flame under the bowl…
              boil cloth in this water for 10 minutes…
              let water cool down with cotton cloth still submerged in the boiled water – to point that will not burn limb (touch the outside of pot briefly – you will know when cooled down enough – then, twist ends of cotton cloth like a lolly wrapper to remove excess water – and use the cooled sterile cotton part to gently wipe away any dirt/grit etc…

              You can place 10 of these thin narrow pieces of cotton cloth in pot at one time…and take one out at a time, twist/wring – and discard….then use another fresh cotton strip.

              If you have no more sterile dressings/swabs etc…I would use this method…this is not medical advice…it is just what I will do if SHTF and no more hospitals or medical supplies.

              So, lifesaving antibiotics are not allowed in, yet more and more illegal drugs – that are impure and kill people are available on our streets – and no controls…things just getting crazier by the day.

              got to go…got a friend coming around…catch up soon…

            • templar knight says:

              Thank you, chloe, for that great info. Take care.

  100. I canned 14 quarts and 14 pints of beans: small reds, canary, and navy.
    I dehydrated 4 quart jars of carrots and celery mix (from the garden).
    I planted lettuce, leeks, cabbage, basil, tomato, pepper, chard and kale seeds in transplant trays. I butchered two nasty old roosters, threw one in the freezer and the other in the crock pot for chicken and dumplings (yum…froze the leftovers).

    I took another load of almond wood to the cabin, 2 buckets of wheat, a bucket of dried beans and a bucket of rice. While I was up there I drained the waterlines, drained the well pump, limed the outhouse, cleaned the fireplace and shuttered the windows…the first storm of the season is on it’s way.

    I worked at my job and was greatful I have it…took some of the leftovers to feed the chickens (I cook for a school)…I dumpster dive after the kids throw the food out they don’t eat…and they throw away a ton of food. This is a new job for me and it’s been an eye opener. We usually raise a couple hogs every year…this year I’m getting half a dozen…I can raise them for free with the “kitchen garbage” butcher for the freezer and sell the rest. I went back to work to *fund* my preps and I’m finding it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve been able to do lots of work on the cabin (my bug out) and stock it with supplies. Now, I have the ranch home, the town home and the bug-out stocked for a couple years each…sounds like over-kill, but I have a large family and I want to make sure we are ALL okay.

    • i think you are doing great. wish i was as well prepared.

    • Harold Dean says:

      I think you are doing just fine with your attitude. For years we had to do the same thing since we were a very poor family and the pickings were not nearly as good back then as they would be now. We did not have school lunches but took extra biscuits from breakfast with maybe a piece of fresh side or ham if we were lucky but usually just tomatoes for our lunches in an old syrup bucket. I notice you butchered those roosters. I had a bunch of heavy white rock hens some years back when the youngest daughter was a teenager and they got so fat they became eggbound. I slaughtered them and my daughters would not eat any of those chickens. One son gladly ate them along with my wife and I. One of my daughters friends was so aghast that I actually slaughtered them and wanted to turn me in for animal cruelty. After that incident, I had to “harvest” the chickens. Harold

  101. Gosh I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m using food from the school to stock up! I use my PAY CHECK to pay for fixing up the cabin and I raise my own food…I grow a huge garden and keep chickens (I don’t eat pre-packaged/processed food..well maybe a Quarter Pounder with Cheese once or twice a year). I only take items that have been throw in the dumpster by the janitorial staff. I actually park my pick up right next to it so it’s easy to load up.

    • Plant Lady says:

      Never even crossed my mind! I was just thinking how wise you are. My grandpa recycled all the food scraps from our sorta-local diner through his livestock before retirement with seriously tasty results, then wildlife after retiring. Would be a great idea for everyone to try to make arrangements with schools, restaurants, nursing homes, grocery produce depts., farmers markets, etc. now, because who can afford to turn down free livestock feed when that money could be better spent on preps you can’t get for free.
      Do be careful and make sure to wear rubber gloves…kids aren’t known for having good hygiene skills and can pass on nasty things. I am the eldest of 6 sibs…and the younger ones were always known collectively as “the little plague carriers”!

      • Sadly, the grocery stores will no longer allow folks to take the odd bits, and produce. Actually, most of the produce they throw out is almost perfect. Sad. Liability issues.
        My best source of good feed was a Golden Corral Restaurant that let me have the cuttings and scraps from the HUGE salad bar. I would get 2 large trash cans full every few days. I burned down. And they didn’t rebuild it. Boo.
        Like I wrote below, I am feeding only grass and some locally grown organic grains now. To all my food animals.

      • They certainly are “plague carriers”…I’ve been sick more since taking this job then I’ve ever been! Thank goodness for my homegrown honey and elderberry syrup…my plague only lasts a few days. I not only wear gloves, but I have been known to wear a mask…especially when I notice a bunch of kids absent from school…a sure sign sickness is amiss!

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      As a taxpayer, I’d rather know the wasted food is salvaged and used by a prepper like you than just go to the landfill. Carry on, so long as nobody from the school complains.

      • Lint no one dares complain. I think they think I’m a bit off of my rocker and I may scare them. First of all it’s not common in this area for most Farm Wives to hold employment off of the farm (unless they have professional careers…being a Cook at a school if you don’t have to work is grounds for being committed to the looney bin around here). BUT to dumpster-dive is REALLY an eye roller. We farm, so I don’t have to dive, but I’m telling you…all that food going to waste just makes me nutz! I figure I’ll raise the hogs…sell a couple and maybe donate one for a fundraiser for several of the non-profits we have…homeless shelter, food bank…I can’t donate the food, but I can donate the monies raised by a raffle.

    • LOL. I knew what you were talking about. I have done the same thing to feed livestock. I used to get the food scraps form schools and restaurants too. Now, my fuel costs outweigh the benefits and I have switched to grass feeding our meat animals as much as possible. But, you have it all right there! Sweet.

  102. I have to tell you guys my gamma lid story. A while back, I bought a large bucket of wheat. I couldn’t get the lid back on because it cracked, so I ordered gamma lids after reading about them here. Well the lids don’t fit the bucket that the wheat was in. So I bought some food grade buckets and came home and tried to put the gamma lid on. Well it doesn’t just go on. You have to take the lid apart and snap part of it on the bucket and THEN the lid screws on! DH had to bang it on to the bucket with a mallet. So now I finally have buckets that fit the lids ( I like to do things backwards) I am always learning something new.

    • You definitely have to put the rings on first without the lids. And I know getting the ring on is tough, but at least you know they won’t come off! We found that warming the ring up a little by blowing on it with the hair dryer, it goes on easier. Then I use a hammer instead of a mallet but put an old dish towel over the ring, then lay a 2×4 on that and hit the 2×4 with the hammer, working my way around. I try to keep my weight on the board to keep it from popping back up. It IS a workout.

  103. BamaBecca says:

    Wow, Scout, thanks for the link. I’ve been reading the comments for nearly an hour and still am not half finished. The more articles we see like this….the more need for OPSEC is my thinking.

  104. BamaBecca says:

    I should have saved this one for next week, but I’m so excited! DH just built MORE shelves in the shed for me and my preps and lately a lot of his comments are geared towards prepping. In Wallyworld today, we were going through the sports/hunting section as we usually do….he picked up a pack of water purification tablets and asked, “Don’t we need some of these?” lol, I just said “Sure” and put them in the buggy fast! Then he went over to the toy section, looking at bicycles and wanted to know which one I wanted. We didn’t buy it, but its on his mind. Then on the way home he said that his next project was going to be to fix my plow that my daddy gave me and break up a spot for a garden. lol, sounds like I’ve about got him convinced, don’t you think Wolfpack??? Its taken months and months of me spending money on things he just laughed at….and reading articles and comments from this blog…and pointing out things in the news, but it has been worth it. I doubt if he will ever officially say he’s a “prepper” but I don’t care, lol….as long as he’s with me on prepping.

    SummerB, just keep at it, he’ll come around ;) And welcome to the Wolfpack!

    • Copperhead says:

      That is exciting news, BamaBecca! It becomes so much easier when hubby and/or family is on board.

    • Thanks BamaBecca…..He is a good guy it just seems to take a lil longer for some people to catch on!!!! O and we are in Bama also,better watch the weather tonight:)

    • Becca,
      Woot Woot! You go girl!
      Try to give him a small research/ project to do. Something he is interested in. But, good for preps. For me, it was “Babe, do you think you can help me design and build a solar oven.” And then it was “Hon, would you help me build…well, he is still building stuff. He gets to butcher wood, and I am happy too.
      I was lucky. My hubby jumped right on board. Well, I convinced him in my own special way. Hhhummm. Not like that! He almost always agrees with what I think is best for the family,….thats why I married him!
      As I mentioned earlier he is a bit frustrated that he can’t get around all the stuff in the house and sheds, so he is building a new storage shed. Win~Win.
      Keep up the good work girls (Summer B, too). All will be well.

      • Good idea Mama J…..the hubs likes to build stuff,will try that approach !!!! Thanks

      • BamaBecca says:

        LOL, of course it helped things along that I bought MD’s “Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat”. Once I’d finished reading it, I put it in the bathroom for “reading material”. :D

        • BamaBecca,

          Did you get any of that storm in your neck of the woods? From the news reports, it looked pretty bad.

          • Gayle, thanks for thinking about us. We got a good bit of rain and some thunder and lightning but no tornadoes thank goodness! We were under a tornado watch for a while but it was lifted finally.

            SummerB, its great to see someone else from Alabama here. I dont see many.

            Yall please say a prayer or 2 for me tomorrow. Its my big day @ the dentist…and I am scared to death! It may be a day or so before I can report back. I intend to be in lala land for a few days, lol.

            • Bama becca….saying prayers for you now!!!! I hate the dentist also,but the good Lord will see you through:) And yes proud to be a BAMA girl!!!!

    • Repair Mama says:

      becca,
      that rocksaaaaa!!!makes me so happy for ya!! score 1 for the team

  105. If this question has already been answered than I am sorry for the repeat, but I am trying to determine which would be better an air rifle or a BB gun? I know that it isn’t a 22 or anything, but taxes are coming and I would like to start the family out slow.

    Thanks for any input that I can get.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Air rifle.

    • cosmolined says:

      Just my 2cents NorCal:
      I started with a BB gun. BB’s are cheaper and you still learn the basics of aiming and ballistics. Pellets are more expensive, not reusable and come in smaller packs.

    • Chonte' in MD says:

      im glad you asked this cause i was wondering as well.

    • riverrider says:

      nc, well a good air rifle will actually kill something for food and a bb gun is hard pressed to do the same. in 22 caliber an air rifle is quite effective and quite quiet too:) frankly a good air rifle is as expensive as a good .22 firearm. on the other side, a bb gun is less lethal to learn on.

    • Nor Cal Ray, I would start off with a good BB Gun, something that has at least 800 fps that accepts both BBs and pellets.

      I used to hunt rabbits all the time with both BBs and pellets all the time and take it hunting its a Daisy Powerline 856 and came with 4 power scope. Its accurate and I have also drop skunks and opossums in the back yard from time to time since its quieter than my RWS .22 and my Gamo .177/.22 combo switchable barrels.

      When you get used to it and like it, then move up to the more expensive pellet air rifles.

      My 2 cents.

      • Thank you to one and all. I knew you guys would help me with my question. And as an aside I’m stuck in the Great Central Valley of Kalifornia.

    • Plant Lady says:

      I don’t know anything about BB guns…I got my first .410 when I was 5 and know I already had a .22 by then, so I can’t compare BB vs. pellet.
      But I have to tell you, we – and everyone who has shot it – just love our new air rifle! It is a Diana RWS 34 .22 breakbarrel…and it is awesome. Right on the money out of the box (no scope), very quiet and discreet and far more powerful than we had imagined possible. Won’t have any problem taking down small game instantly and could put a world of hurt on something larger with a good aim. Wasn’t cheap (about $250), but really wanted a quiet meat harvester…aside from the traps, snares, bows and slingshots. I have to do some research, but figure it should be possible to cast our own pellets come TSHTF…just have to figure out what we need.
      If you do get an air rifle (especially this one) figure out how many pellets to buy then multiply that by at least 10. It is just plain fun to shoot! That reminds me…need to order more pellets…again. Out here in the boonies apparently most folks have the .177 caliber, because no one local sells .22 pellets. Have to order them. Got the gun and pellets from Pyramyd Air – they were very helpful.
      There was a nice show on one of the DishNetwork outdoor channels called “American Airgunner” that had lots of great info on air guns – and they have a website.

  106. templar knight- let us know how you made it through the night. we had some bad weather here.

    • templar knight says:

      Whew…I was watching Channel 7 detail all the bad weather to the south of us, pam s. I was worried about you folks in South Arkansas. We only had more unwanted rain. Whoever had that rain stick out better hide it. Geez.

      Did you have any damage, pam? And did all the critters come through it?

      • mountain lady says:

        That would be me, and I put it away until it gets really bad out here on the left coast, again. I sure hope I did not overdo it.

        • Cliff in Douglasville says:

          Mountain Lady,

          Which coast is the left coast? I’m in Georgia but depend on which direction I’m sitting the left coast could be either side.
          I will say that it rocked and rolled last night and Alabama got beat up pretty bad. We got a lot of wind and rain and a lot of trees down because the ground is over saturated from the recent rains. Good luck where ever you are.

          • I believe the “left coast” is California/Pacific Coast…because of the liberal leanings…

          • mountain lady says:

            Cliff, Lynda is correct. I am in Northern California in the foothills for the Sierra Nevada Mtns.

            • Cliff in Douglasville says:

              Mountain Lady,
              OK, I’m going to turn my chair around and I’ll have a better perspective of where you are. I’m left handed and am always being told I’m using the wrong (left) hand but I still get most stuff done. My sense of direction is horrible. I’m in Georgia and if I leave home and hit ocean I know I’ve missed my exit. The key though is finding out if it’s the Atlantic or the Pacific or the Gulf of Mexico…….

        • templar knight says:

          Just kidding, mountain lady, but it sure seemed like you opened the spout when you pulled your stick out. I do realize that the rainy season was late starting in California. I sure hope you get the rain you need. As for me, it was drought this summer, and flooding now. My greens are sitting in a mudhole. LOL. Good luck, mountain lady.

          • mountain lady says:

            We did have 3 good storms pass through which should hold us for awhile. So sorry to hear about all the bad storms back east. I assure you my rain stick does not have that much power. Keep well.

      • templar-we came through it okay except a couple of tree limbs bit the dust. just worried about all of you up north. the weather channel said we are to have another round wed. take care

  107. BamaBecca says:

    I know I’ve made more posts than usual (catching up for lost time!) but I found a site I want to share. It has a lot of old, simple recipes and some real good “how to’s”.

    http://oldrecipebook.com

  108. AZ Rookie Prepper says:

    Been another fairly slow week for me, although I did pick up some more dak ham, canned vege’s, and rice. Bought a little junk silver too. Still working on the wedding plans, my new family and I are heading to the beach in a few weeks for some well deserved R and R. Not sure if I mentioned before, moved a couple of my raised beds, slowly filling them in now with compost and fresh dirt. Really looking forward to this spring’s garden. Hope everyone has a great prepping week.

  109. ARK Prepper says:

    Got a copy of Storey’s Basic Country Skills to add to library has lots of good info. it is a practical guide to self-reliance. bought some more sea salt to add to pantry. had hand surgery done so I will be able and ready to plant garden this spring. Doing lots of reading and planning on things I need to do to get ready for what the future brings.

  110. Hunker-Down says:

    Markdown.com is selling “2 Sport Berkey Water Bottles”.
    Regular 49.98 on sale for 29.99 plus 3.99 shipping.
    Limit of one per customer.

  111. This week was a busy week. I took the test to get my Ham Radio License. I bought a VHF mobile radio. I bought a solar powered am/fm/shortwave/weather band radio with a crank in case the sun isn’t out. I went out to the retreat and cleaned up a few years worth of trash left by the previous owner. I had a controlled burn out in the back forty that will eventually be a 1/4 acre food plot for wildlife (hunting and such). AND last but no least canned foods were on sale (January inventory time is a great time to find bargains EVERYWHERE) so I bought another weeks worth of for for my family of 5 and stocked up on a couple more oil lanterns and wicks and took it all out to the retreat.

    • Cliff in Douglasville says:

      Ted D, congrats on joining the ranks of the Hams. There are fewer of us every day. Even though the FCC made the test easier and got rid of the Morse code requirement, a lot of people don’t understand the job of getting on the mich. and calling CQ CQ CQ DX DE callsign. I’d post mine but if I did and you went to http://www.qrz.com all my Opsec would be gone with the wind. As a Ham you might have to work a little harder making contacts than just jumping on “facebook” but in a grid down situation, you and your battery backed up station may be the only comms out of your whole town/city/hamlet.
      73′s

  112. Cliff in Douglasville says:

    I just bought a used S&W 686 .357 magnum revolver in stainless from a friend. I’m getting more and more calls from friends that are in trouble financially and are looking to get out of their guns and I pay a lot more than the dealers or pawn brokers.
    Might be a good way if you are looking for a 2nd or 22nd gun to kind of let your friends know that you are in the market for something and there is no telling what may come across your path at a good price. If you do get something like that, please ask about the history of the gun since you don’t want to end up with something stolen and check it out carefully. As well as I can tell this pistol had probably less than a box or two of rounds through it.
    Don’t pass up a good deal on something used as long as you are sure of what you are buying.

    • Cliff, great buy on the 686, favorite wheel gun.

      On that note I can use some input: I was recently asked if I wanted to purchase a .50 Beowolf AR upper and 100 rounds. I’m trying to avoid another gun in another caliber and avoiding another caliber.
      Since I love to pig hunt, it would make a great pig gun, its only an upper and stock maybe the 100 rounds and buy a box here and there since its not cheap.

  113. Ok since I am new to all this sometimes it’s hard to know where to start….I have started small with some basics food,lanterns,camp stove,extra toiletries etc but I will have an extra 500 or so to spend next month so I would like some advice on the best way to spend it?

  114. Cliff in Douglasville says:

    Minor score I just wanted to share. Had to run to the vet to pick up meds for the dogs. While the lady was giving me changed she pulled out a half dollar and looked at it. I asked if I could buy it and she said “sure, I’m not real sure what it is” but turned out that of the 7 I bought 2 were the 40% silver ones and today they each have a melt value of $4.76 (or 9.52 for the pair). I guess as things get worse more people will be pulling out the coins they had put aside to buy necessities and you never know when you’ll pick up something good for face value.

    • SaratogaPrepper says:

      Nice score! I got a silver dime as change yesterday. I think you are right about people using those coins they had set aside. Keep your eyes and ears open. They definitely sound different when they clink together.

      • riverrider says:

        or it could be that theives are stealing them and spending them because they don’t know what they have. usually it is a relative that does it.

        • Cliff in Douglasville says:

          If I found rolls of them or several high grade pieces I might think that, or even a date run of silver coins but the intermixed way they show up it is more likely someone’s change jar getting used to pay the bills. I wouldn’t think that someone stealing coins would try to pass them off at the veterinary hospital. I did read where someone’s grandson stole grandad’s coin collection and dumped it all in to the coinstar machine and got something like 200 dollars for several thousands of dollars worth of coins. Granddad ended up getting his coins back and grandson went to jail.

  115. SaratogaPrepper says:

    Class M9 solar flare set to hit Earth starting at 0900 EST 01/24/12.
    That is a fairly large one. For those of you who worry about CME’s, now would be a good time to fill those EMP containers.

    • Cliff in Douglasville says:

      SaratogaPrepper,
      It’s not often that I read something that makes my butt pucker up but that just did.
      Good luck and hope we are all up and running tomorrow night after the event.

      • SaratogaPrepper says:

        I work for the electric company up in the great Northeast and we get these warnings occasionally. 99% of the time nothing bad happens, but never hurts to make you guys aware. Sorry about the butt puckering thing.

      • Vienna (Soggy prepper) says:

        I don’t end up getting every post sent to my email box, but I do get plenty. This one with the “butt pucker” came through so I had to follow it back and find out what the heck the thread was that this comment came from!
        lol

        • Cliff in Douglasville says:

          My butt has now unpuckered. Didn’t notice any serious problems last evening but was over on facebook and one of the prep blogers had posted asing about any interference. I had email connection issues off and on during the evening through the bellsouth.net system here in Georgia. Several other people reported some interference with electronic devices but I’m not sure any of it is related to the CME or just SOP (Standard Operating Paranoia).

    • MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:
    • I *think* this is the 3rd solar flare to hit us in the past week alone. What caught my attention is that in the email (I get solar flare email alerts from space weather) they said that the magnetic field is still
      reverberating from a cme that hit yesterday.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      SaratogaPrepper,

      Funny, none of our weathermen on 3 different channels mentioned it.

      So I guess the National Weather Bureau is a department of the Federal Reserve, or at least they use the same statisticians.

  116. Heads Up: Two Berkey Water Bottles for $29.99

    http://www.markdown.com/

  117. Another Heads Up: Publix has Campbell’s Soup 4-pack BOGO this week. So you can get eight cans of soup for $1.99.

    Whoot! Whoot!

  118. Coleman Co. is having a sale on thier CPX power gear 25% off with code TWCPXJAN at checkout.

  119. Last weekend I picked up two sizes of ammo cans from two different guys. 50 cal and 40mm. I washed them out with a product called “simple Green”. It is an all purpose cleaner and does not leave the odor that other posters complained about. I also ordered a bucket of dehydrated food.
    This weekend, I went to a garage sale and picked up another sleeping bag. zero degree for $10. Also got an air mattress. but it leaks. Bummer.
    One item I never see on ANYONE’s bob list is their Bible. I can’t image trying to make it without the Word every day.

    • Hi, are you our regular David with an avatar, or a new David? (laugh) Good deal on the sleeping bag. What is the brand of your bucket of food? I’ve seen Wise advertised lately. A+ on the Bible.

    • Cliff in Douglasville says:

      You can get a repair kit for that air mattress and patch the leak. My oldest one looks like it has patches all over it but that’s because when I sleep in my pants in the woods either my keys or my handgun are going to snag it sometime during the night.
      I don’t carry a Bible with me but I have a lot of favorites I can fall back on when I need the comfort. The big Bibles are too big and the small ones are too small for me to read, even with my bifocals. I’m pretty sure that in a time of need, the right passage will come to me.

  120. Col. S. Gray (Ret) says:

    What a Monday folks…lol

    Prep thus far (Monday) I made a trade with a fella to do his divorce and he provides me with 3000 rounds of .223!! Now thats a bargain in my book and a great Monday for the prep!!

    S.G.

  121. cooolwoods says:

    I drool, 3000 .223 what a great day! congrats.

    stay safe

  122. Repair Mama says:

    hey guys, i called heymicky and she is ok. laptop bit the dust, so may be a bit before she is back.
    been sick here for weeks. first a cough you would not believe, the migrains and visual disterbances. today, had two dizzy spells. dont know what is going on. felt verry weak after the spells.
    question does antone hhere use advair?
    if so, have MD give you my email address.
    i will post more tomarrow.

    • Repair Mama, Thanks for checking on heymicky. I was hoping she was okay. When I was making my quilt, she gave me good advice. Heck, everybody here gives good advice.

      I hope you get better soon. Haven’t used Advair, sorry.

    • Copperhead says:

      Hope you get to feeling better soon, Repair Mama. Nasty stuff going around for some people…hard to get over and cough lasts forever.
      Prayers for your recovery.

    • Repair Mama,

      That sounds terrible. Have you reported these side effects to your doctor or called your pharmacist? I hope you get back to feeling like yourself soon.

    • cosmolined says:

      M.D. I use advair. Have used it for almost 15 years. Would you please give Repair Mama my email address? Thanks. John

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Repair Mama, how are you doing today?

  123. I was just at a mexican meat market with my DH waiting on him to pick something out, when I noticed on one of the top shelves a grain grinder. It showed corn in the picture on the box (as a lot of “traditional” Mexicans will grind their corn for corn tortillas) but it had a way to anchor it onto a counter or table and is a hand grinder. I didnt catch a size or anything, but it was $35. Not sure if this would be a good deal or not, but thinking about it the meat market usually has its stuff marked up so I could probably get one at a flea market around here for cheaper. Any thoughts?

    • cosmolined says:

      TG:
      I believe just a corn grinder would grind a coarser product than the wheat or meat grinders. I think if you only plan on grinding corn, that is a good price.

  124. To Offshore Day – sorry if am repeating anyone else’s observation – no time to read all posts today. re Sewing machine needle mechanism for the treadle operated machine. Could it be that you are using a needle from anothet type of machine? On some the length etc of the needle is critical and you can be fooled into thinking the mechanism needs adjusting when it doesn’t. Been there.

  125. MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

    I thought this article might be helpful to the Wolf Pack. (I am not associated with this person…I just found this article while researching solar flare protection using faraday containers).

    http://www.futurescience.com/emp/emp-protection.html

  126. MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

    For those of you who have a Big Lots store in your area, they are advertising 6 packs of Del Monte veges for $4 each (making each can 66 cents). Says “as long as supplies last” and “supplies vary from store to store”. Just thought I’d pass this along….

  127. MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

    Peas, corn, green beans, and french-cut green beans…

  128. Cliff in Douglasville says:

    Thought I had hit a gold mine today, found an ad for 19 acres of forest land backing up to a national forest for 17,000 and it was owner financing with $450 down and $315 a month. That sounded perfect and looking at the pictures of mature pine and hardwood really had me thinking. Then I got a chance to look at the plat. The whole plot is only 425 feet across on the road frontage and 350 feet across where it meets national forest. Long but not very wide and totally unsuitable for what I wanted. Have to admit I pouted a little bit. Not very manly for a 61 year old but something looks too good to be true you just have to keep looking to find out what the catch is.

    • Harold Dean says:

      And here I have been griping because mine is only a 735 foot frontage backed up against the railroad in a deep cut with my little 140 foot wide strip of woods between me and the railroad. You forgot to mention what the orientation was North/South ongways or East/West. Makes a difference and keeps the moss from growing, if in the right orientation

  129. SickSkilz says:

    ** Attention **

    If anyone is interested in a $500 gift card to beprepared.com at a big discount, I know a guy. (first come first serve of course) He and his sister in law got them for Christmas. I bought one from him 2 weeks ago, received it, and placed my order. If interested, respond here and I will send you all the info you need.

    If anyone is interested, here is what I got with mine:
    Order Detail:
    Item: IN WP F820 – Katadyn Gravidyn TRK – 1 – $219.95
    Item: IN CM R977 – Kaito® Black VoyagerT – 1 – $49.95
    Item: IN CU T200 – High Uinta GearT Multi-Function Tool – 1 – $3.99
    Item: IN MP G020 – N95 Particulate Respirator Mask (box of 20) – 2 – $12.99
    Item: IN KF F397 – 397-Piece First-Aid Kit – 1 – $28.99
    Item: IN ZF T100 – Transpore 1″ Plastic Tape – 4 – $1.50
    Item: IN MF G125 – Box of Vinyl Gloves – Medium (100 Gloves) – 2 – $5.95
    Item: IN ZF G100 – 2″ Sterile Roller Gauze – 5 – $0.75
    Item: IN ZF S120 – Sterile Gauze Pad 4×4 – 10 – $0.16
    Item: IN CH T080 – DentempT Teeth Filling Kit – 2 – $3.50
    Item: IN KF F182 – 182-Piece First Aid Kit – 1 – $16.99
    Item: IN CM B475 – Solar 4-in-1 Plus Battery Charger – 1 – $29.95
    Item: IN FN B115 – PROVIDENT PANTRY® Freeze Dried
    Roast Beef #10 (Cooked) – 25 oz – 1 – $41.99
    Item: IN FN T105 – Freeze Dried Seasoned White Turkey – 18 oz – 1 – $38.99

    Item Subtotal: $487.03
    Basic Shipping: $12.00
    Order Total: $499.03

  130. CVS has Dak’s Hams on sale for 2/5 and then you get a $1 coupon back when you use your CVS card. These hams are usually around $3 something at Walmart.

  131. Let’s see, so far this week, I’ve ordered four medium size Alice packs from eBay, started to replace the facia and sophet on my house, built more shelves in my storage room, got a bunch of canned veggies from Walmart ( my local Walmart had some for .50 cents a can) bought 5# of rice and 8# of dry beans. My wife and I only recently started to prep but everyone has a 72 hour bag as well as the car. Now we are just trying to build up the stock pile.
    I’m so glad I came across this site. All of you have given many good ideas and much to think about. Seems like a very friendly community.
    Oh, quick question, my dogs are family, especially my lab, any suggestions for storing dog food?

    • Foxtrot,

      A lot of folks keep dog food in metal trash cans with lids–that keeps the rodents out.

  132. bernie in texas says:

    well i guess no one reads my little strip becouse no one seaids any thing about it i guss if you are not in the group so i am going to go back to my short wave radio you all get reddy its comming and its not going to be nice take care

    • Cliff in Douglasville says:

      Bernie in Texas,
      A lot of us read every post, some multiple times, but we don’t always comment on every post. Some are for going away and thinking about, some are just observations. If you post here you are as much a part of the family as everyone else. We are strangers with many common bonds.
      You owe it to yourself to come back and read more and learn more. Did you comment on anyone else’s post?
      If you do decide not to come back and stay a part of the wolf pack then I will wish you good luck and God speed and hope that you make it through to the other side.

    • MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

      bernie…not every comment gets a comment…don’t take it personally, unless you need an excuse or something.

    • Lake Lili says:

      Hi Bernie – looks like you’ve been a busy man. Looks like you have got some good skills there. What type of salt did you purchase and to what purpose? For general usage or preservation? Not everyone’s comments get commented on every week. Somethimes the best way to get a response is to ask a question or to respond to someone else’s post.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      bernie,

      Next week try to respond to everyone’s post, only 500-600.
      Or try 50-60.
      Or try 5-6.
      Most of my posts don’t get any respect, but 2-3 week later I spot a reference to something I posted so I know I’m not ignored.

      Some people fall on their butt, like Lint Picker, and don’t post for weeks. Then they play ketch-up and respond to things everyone already forgot.

      • Cliff in Douglasville says:

        Hunker-Down,
        I always read your post and you do post some good stuff. I spend a lot of time replying to messages and then cancelling the reply because I tend to have a warped sense of humor and word play and sometimes what I write can come across really twisted so when I try to reread my reply I have to hit cancel. Doesn’t mean I didn’t try to respond, but my response was not the most appropriate for people who are serious all the time. I figure if you can’t have fun and make people smile now and then, then what the heck can you do? I can only preach prep for just so long before I have to ask them if they’ve ever seen a bullet like this, or “did you know I’m carrying a gun” or “wow, I can’t believe that good looking woman married you”. Sometimes it just doesn’t work…..

        • SaratogaPrepper says:

          Cliff in Douglasville
          LOL!!! I have about 10 of those “canceled” posts a week. “Nah! I better not!” I take my prepping fairly seriously, but geez ya gotta laugh once in a while or why bother.

        • Hunker-Down says:

          Cliff,

          I do the same thing for all the same reasons. I wrote a post 5-6 months ago almost WORD FOR WORD!
          Well, except the bullets and guns, I used Twinkies and flashlights.

      • riverrider says:

        hey hd, i respect you and respond to you all the time:)

      • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

        H-D, I can read ya know. Sheesh!

    • Bernie…I read your post re salt etc…the best buy I got was 25kgs for $10…stay in touch…

      and I am going to specifically watch for your next post…hope you don’t start nagging me though, so take care and relax…

      we are all awake and prepping, eyes and ears open – just like you, and we can share anonymously – too dangerous to talk prep talk with neighbours who are not prepping…none of us know where/what you have…

      once you get to know the different personalities/preppers it will take you hours just to read and respond – and everyone’s time is precious…so, we banter when we can, share vital info when we have it…and just keep prepping with like-minded people…

      In case you have not noticed, I don’t usually respond to gun posts – because I have no idea what anyone is talking about, yet I thoroughly enjoy the fast paced occupation-specific conversation between the veterans…wonderful to read, even though the terminology goes right over my head… have no idea what they are talking about.

      So, see you back here when you can…and soon, the pack will be wondering where you and many others are if you/they have not posted (for even one day)…cheers.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Geez, bernie, don’t go away mad. Just post again and ask a question or say something controversial.

      • cosmolined says:

        Just NEVER say Lint Picker’s flashlights are pink….

      • Bernie,

        If you would like feedback next week, here’s a suggestion: Announce that you will be voting for Obama because you believe in gun control. Further, you think there would be fewer murders if the government mandated that all firearms sold in the U.S. were pink–gangbangers would think twice before carrying a pink gun.

  133. I just read an excellent article from the NY Times on whether Israel will attack Iran. Here’s the link if you are interested.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/magazine/will-israel-attack-iran.html?pagewanted=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&src=ig

    • Cliff in Douglasville says:

      Read the article and am pretty sure that it’s more a “when” question and an “if” question. I hope we will help Israel out at least for the cleanup but hope we don’t get trapped into fighting the war with/for them. It could seriously kick off TEOTWAWKI

      • Cliff,

        I agree with you–it’s a matter of when and that when is likely to happen in the next eight months. The most likely scenario is that Israel will do a preemptive strike on their nuclear facilities. Iran will retaliate. And that will draw the U.S. into a war.

        • cosmolined says:

          Gayle:
          I don’t think just Iran will be involved. Syria, Lebanon and… oh yeah, RUSSIA will get involved. The U.S. lacks both leadership and will to fight. (I am a Christian, so it doesn’t matter because I know who wins.) Prep now but don’t forget to pray. Cos

          • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

            Right on, brother.

          • Cosmo,

            I think you are right that Syria and Lebanon will get involved. The issues with Russia are too complex for me to wrap my head around. I suspect that Russia will not actively get involved but will be selling military equipment to Iran and Syria. I don’t think the U.S. or Russia will put boots on the ground. I think this will be an air/sea campaign designed to “assist” Israel.

            I would be interested to hear what others think on this issue.

            • Gayle, I agree. I don’t think anything will happen but if I does our response will be air and navel assets.

              The only way I see boots on the ground is recovering a downed pilot or Special Forces. This country made the mistake of a two front war with Afghan and Iraq when they knew we couldn’t do it without borrowing from China and look where it got us economically.

              Unless our assets are attacked and may lives lost, the people will not support it. Their assets can’t compete against ours but they are better prepared for a conventional war than the Iraqis and Afghans were.

  134. M.D.- Wanted to let you know I got my ITEOTWAWKI cd. Lots of wonderful information in there! Thank you for putting it out once again for purchase!

    Bernie in Texas: I’ve posted a few things myself and have yet to get any feedback. I just figure I’ll keep lurking and posting as I feel inclined and hopefully someone is gonna who the whacked out chick with 6 kids is! lol ….. So you play on HAM radio? I was thinking about getting one of those. Are there many on here that have those? I’ve been considering it, but have no idea whay would be a good, inexpensive radio for a novice…. Input here would be appreciated!

    • Heximom and Bernie,

      The quickest way to get feedback is to ask for the Pack’s recommendations or advise. Ask a question and you’ll get plenty of answers.

      • HexiMom,

        I posted before I finished reading your comments. You did ask a question. I know nothing about radios so I can’t comment but I am sure there are plenty of folks who are knowledgeable when it comes to communications stuff.

    • Cliff in Douglasville says:

      Hey HexiMom,

      Wow, 6 kids, how do you find the time to prep and do all that good stuff.
      You asked about Ham radio. There are quite a few us here that are licensed. I’ve had my general class license since 1981 and have had the pleasure of having radio stations in Greece, Japan and England as well as Alaska, Texas and my home station now in Georgia.
      The test is much easier now and the ARRL post all the questions so you know what will be on the test before you get there. They did away with the Morse code requirement so you don’t even need to learn that now. I will a Morse op in the military and had a pretty good fist (means I could send nice, clear code pretty fast). You could get started pretty easy with a used rig, look around on craigslist and ebay and then read the reviews of anything you look at. You have to have a power supply (and hopefully a battery backup), a transceiver (a unit that will transmit and receive), a feed line of coax, a good ground and some sort of antenna and possibly an antenna tuner and you are good to go. There are frequency limitations as to what and where in the spectrum you can transmit but you can either go to the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) site of just google on Ham license and have more info than you could ever want. Right now I stick to the High Frequency bands but lots go to VHF and UHF stations. My antenna is currently well hidden and is a multi-band dipole that I tune through an external tuner. My rig puts out 100 watts but when conditions are right you can talk all over the world to people with less than 5 watts. You don’t need a massive station and antenna towers and a belt buckle with your callsign on it, you just need to pass the test, find an Elmer (ask around your neighborhood for an old Ham that might take you under his wing – we call them Elmer) who might even fix you up with equipment at a good price, find out if you like it and then go for it. If you have battery backup and the power goes out due to a storm or something you’ll still be in communication with other people and might be the only communication link out of your part of town.
      It’s a great hobby. If you like electronics you can get in and do all sorts of really neat things and if you just want to ragchew (just have a conversation) that is always an option too. If you have any more questions or I’ve confused you, jump right in and ask, you’ll get more than just me talking back to you. I’d give you my callsign but with that every one that reads this message would be able to go to http://www.qrz.com and look me up and have the coordinates of my station and a lot more information about me.
      Good luck and take care
      73′s

      • Cliff- WOW! That was alot of info on ham radios! I sit next to a guy at work that does it, but Im not really that comfy asking him too many questions. He also told me that there’s a free study guide you can do online and just keep practicing til I can get all the questions right and I should be good!

        As for the kids, the eldest, DS, is back home in San Diego. The next, DD, is 18 and a freshman at ISU….after those two, it gets tricky!  Twin 9yo girls….4yo son & a 2yo daughter.  Things stay poppin’!

        I have found this group has given me a bit of sanity since I started feeling a “pull” to prep. To say I was concerned for my little ones would be an understatement. You guys have helped me focus a bit. Thank you.

        I could ramble on & on, but I just got home from work and need to get some shut eye.

        Bless you all!

      • cliff, when I go to the big smoke next…they have a club there for ham operators…looked it up ages ago – but never seemed to move it up to a priority…maybe I will this time…maybe…no promises…am focused on the big picture – but – stay tuned…cheers.

        • Cliff in Douglasville says:

          Chloe,
          The Ham clubs are a lot of fun but you’ll find them mostly populated by old farts like me. It’s older technology but it’s proven technology. The equipment is more complex but easier to use these days. I still have some stuff that takes tubes and I have to dust them off before I fire up the rig, else it smells like the first time the furnace comes on after summer time, smells really bad.
          It’s always good to find out if you have a Ham or two in the vicinity. You don’t have to have a rig and be ready to talk but if you know someone who does, stay in their good graces, they might be the only people that can put you in touch with family members or bring in the news from the outside.
          Good luck and keep on prepping. Preppers are basically the future of the world. When all else is said and done, the survivors are gong to be left with a very tired, very beat up planet and it’ll be up to us to nurse the planet back to health while keeping the folks still here in good enough shape that they can work and take on the responsibility.
          Have a good evening and don’t be a stranger.

          • cliff…I am not that much younger than you…sport/fitness was just part of my life for so long…and that is probably why am still reasonably fit and active today (some days)…

            There is just so much new stuff to learn – and just have to fit it all into my life in some kind of order.

            catch up next time.

    • HexiMom, just curious, when you go to the grocery store do you get a lot of stares and people asking how you do it with so many kids? I get that a LOT!

      • TG- Before the younger 2 were born, I remember taking the older 4 to pick up a couple things at the store and a guy behind the deli counter said, “You guys are so cute! You look like the Partridge Family!” lol …. Yeah, we get looks… ALOT! ;o) How many in your family?

        • HexiMom, 6 here too. Thats why I had to ask about the looks. Every once in a while a brave soul will come up and ask me how many are mine, as I have 3 blonds and 3 brunettes. When I tell them they are all mine I start getting “blessed” and “prayed for”. Lol. Cracks me up every time.

          • Harold Dean says:

            That is interesting and somewhat similiar to an incident that happened to us years ago in the San Fernando Valley. We have 5 children all blue eyed and light hair from blonde to light brown. The neighbors had three girls who exactly fitted in between our children who are two years apart. A black family moved in on the street and as girls will their little girl practically lived at our house with the rest of the girls. She stair stepped in neatly between the youngest two. We were at a thrifty drug store up in Sunland one day and the kids were lined up at the ice cream counter getting their cones. As I ended up at the end of the line to pay up, some fashionably dressed middle aged lady asked me how many of those kids were mine. I told her all of them lady and she nearly had a heart attack. Really made my day and made the ice cream worth it. Harold

            • Harold…too funny…can’t stop laughing…reminds me of when my DD was in high school…the girls in her class were given a doll -that looked quite lifelike, and would cry etc…and this doll had to be with my DD at all times…

              well, DD was standing at the entrance to a shopping mall with the ‘doll/baby’ – that started crying…this was a black doll/baby – and my daughter is blond and yes, I know you can imagine what horrified and disgusting looks my daughter received from some shoppers…and she was standing there with 2 of her school friends – in their school uniforms, and holding their crying ‘doll/babies’…your post brought it all back to me…

            • Harlold, that is too funny! People really should learn to mind their own business.

  135. Just placed my second order of Thrive food products today……does anyone else use there product? If so what do you think of it:)

    • Summer B,

      I haven’t ordered through Thrive. I go through Emergency Essentials or Honeyville, depending on which company has the best prices. Make sure you check on the LDS online store for basic staples. You can order from them even if you are not a Mormon. The options are limited–oats, pinto beans, rice, etc. But their prices are the best, hands down and they have free shipping.

    • Vienna (Soggy prepper) says:

      I’ve ordered Thrive and had the Q set up for awhile. DH wanted freeze dried meats. I figured if he’s on board with all my food storage I best get him his meat! Damn expensive.

      I only Q’d 50.00 a month and it actually worked fine. I’d get a can of freeze dried hamburger or chicken. I got tomato powder from them in the pantry size cause it’s easier for me to use now in that quantity. I also got the small chicken and beef bouillon.
      I haven’t taste tested any of it other then the tomato powder, which tastes like…. tomato powder!

      The next couple months I have other things I want to spend $ on so I put the Q on hold. Thrive is expensive. Gayle is right with EE and Honeyville being better priced. Honeyville for their fruit and vegie packs are awesome! And I have tasted them, they are good! Freeze dried broccoli is really good! Guess I thought it would taste gross, but it doesn’t and I use it for chicken broccoli alfredo.

      If you can make it physically to an LDS cannery, do it. It will be the best thing for bulking up your food storage. You can download their order form for taking in and those prices will make you giggle with glee! LDS milk, apples, carrots, onions are terrific.
      Thrive is great, don’t get me wrong. But for prices, other then the meat, everyone seems to be cheaper. I haven’t compared meat prices since this summer when Thrive was better. Although Honeyvilles meat pack may beat them.
      Shoot, now I have to go check!

      • Thanks for the feedback….I will check out EE and honeyville!!! I did use the Thrive pintos the other night…they were not bad,I think if I could have cooked then a lil longer they would have been really good:)

        • Kate in GA says:

          I have had many of the freezed dried meats from EE. They are really good. We always comment that we can’t believe it really is freezed dried!

          You will not be dissapointed!

          • SickSkilz says:

            Kate – me too!!. Actually their meat is the only thing that I am storing a true long term supply of. We are building up a large. (~1 acre) garden/farm but meatwill probably be the first thing we are short on.

  136. SurvivorDan says:

    S.H.O.T. show. handled the Heizer ‘Double Tap’ .45 derringer.
    Coolness factor = 8. .665 inches thick. 14 oz. Self-ejecting cases. Extra 2 rds in the handle. Nice hold-out/back-up weapon.
    I took 2 pts off because (even though I know it’s a last ditch defense back-up) I secrete a 5 shot .22 magnum NAA sigle action on my person and though lower caliber (but half the weight of the Double Tap) it gives me 5 shots for point blank range. Consult the studies on your average, successful, citizen self-defense gunfight. Three rounds by the winner.
    -1pt. Just sayin’… Still a neat back-up weapon. But $499 – 799 per? Hmmmm. I’ll wait. And a newly released weapon (-1pt more) I’ll wait for the bugs to be ironed out .
    But of course, if y’all want to take up a collection for me to test one out………..I’d graciously accept one.

  137. Hunker-Down says:

    Markdown.com has a sale for $59.40 for an Emergency Herb Seed Bank ($99 value).

    I think Markdown.com is owned by Glenn Beck. He had experts on his GBTV show on Wednesday discussing the ways data is being collected on EVERYONE from credit card transactions, utility bill usage, health history, food preferences, gasoline usage, school and church activity and more. A part of the discussion was about how the primary objective of Google is not to be a search engine, but to collect data about those who use it.
    I get adds on my home page today from sources that I linked to yesterday so I have, in my face, proof of that activity.

    I have three questions.
    1). What can we use as an alternative to Google?
    2). How to delete Google from our computers without crippling the operating system?
    3). How to prohibit Google from being reinstalled during regular software updates?

    Also, some rhetorical questions, just for discussion.
    Should we continue to use Google? Why?
    Should we stop using Google? Why?

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      I have never liked Google. Their data collection is nothing new and they went along with China’s suppression of news just so they could gain a foothold in China’s IT industry. They are also big supporters of TDL.

      I use Yahoo! However, they are also big time into using your search history to then bombard your sign in page with advertisements that directly relate to previous searches. Nothing on the internet is safe – nothing. It’s only going to get worse. And if Obamacare kicks into high gear next year, you will be blackmailed, harassed, and swamped with threats, ads, and other unwanted emails and such as a result. Imagine having some cancer and then being inundated with advertisements from various cancer treatment centers. It’s going to be a nightmare.

      I have come to the conclusion that it’s time to dump my laptop and my cable tv and stick with AM radio. I was going to do this same thing last summer and never followed through. Now, however, the more I see about what’s going on in this country and the world in general, the less I want to be connected to it. I’m cutting the connections soon.

      • Copperhead says:

        OH, LP, you can’t leave us…sob, sob…..what will we ever do without you…wiping tears running down chin….we count on you and your knowledge and encouragement and prayers and gentle teasing and pink flashlights!!! Please say you’ll stay…laying on floor, pounding the carpet…… ;)

        Seriously, Lint Picker, you are so well liked and cared about, stay with us for awhile. I learn so much from you and all the rest.

        Blessings!

      • What about TOR? Has anyone tried that?

      • Well that stinks! I kinda liked your posts…as a lurker, of course! Add to that the fact even though I live in Iowa, I use to live in Siskiyou County, Cali….and sorta felt a kinship!

        So, what can you teach a newbie prepper in the time you decide to continue hanging out?

      • Lint…we are all being tracked – our card use, our bank statements are not private, our photo on our drivers license, our car rego plates – all connected and recorded – everything…
        and the nonsense on TV – trivial nonsense – all causing deliberate sensory overload – and draining people…

        I could see it happening to a particular good friend of mine, every time I would go over to visit…the blasted thing was always on – noise for no reason – and nobody watching it. I would always say, ‘let’s turn it off so we can talk’.

        Go to supermarkets and malls – more noise – all competing.

        I got rid of my TV – best thing I ever did…am much more energetic, productive, focused and active.

        I also listen to AM radio – I get local/national/international news – and I can get so much done while listening – as opposed to sitting still in front of the TV. I listen to news from all over the world – and lots of interviews from educated and awake people, that actually make sense – that are talking about the economic state of the world.

        I won’t get rid of my laptop – I need it for my work and I like looking for the source documents of items I see on the internet to just check that what I have read is in fact true – I have to stay informed, as too much evil is afoot – and don’t want to get caught unawares.

        And now they are also sending texts to my iphone regarding sales at a major supermarket chain…blatant intrusion into our lives, and attempts to make people keep spending on consumer items – that are all designed to fail/break –

        and then there are the items that have to be upgraded regularly – as software too diverse (deliberately) to fit with older hardware…

        People are being drip feed rubbish, served up as comedy, instead it is really a violent and depraved movie on TV, passing as entertainment – it is shocking…and the pornagraphic ads late at night…unbelievable.

        I have never regretted getting rid of the TV. The ads shouting to ‘buy’ were never ending – and the items were not prepper items.

        Now I wonder why I watched TV.

        My life is much better now…maybe it is just your time – you have started to wake up and can now see the programs on TV for what they really are – a waste of your precious time and life…it would be different if one learned important skills/info from the programs.

        and, just think of all the time you would have putting new batteries in all your pink flashlights…that would take up so much time…and can all be done with the radio playing in the background.

        have fun…

      • mountain lady says:

        LP: I have some of the same feelings that you have about the computer and TV. The TV is basically gone, except for what I can pick up with an antenna, and it is very little. I try to stay away from google, but I do read a lot of sites that I am sure the govt. is watching. Stay with us until you move, and then just say goodbye. AM radio around here is really bad. News comes in soundbites at the top of the hour, and the afternoon news lady laughs through the news. Only one really good show per day and that is Tom Sullivan from noon til 3pm. Evenings are Hannity reruns. This house gets almost too quiet. I now get most of my international news from zerohedge. I am personally not ready to let you go.

    • Vienna (Soggy prepper) says:

      Okay. I’m halfway done watching Becks Wed. 1-25-12 show.
      Damn. Cliff spoke of “butt puckering” due to scary stuff coming, well this show is better then 55 gal of witch hazel!

      Very disturbing. We are turning into a third world with a dictator. Makes me wanna cry. I’m just so glad I know how this will end. Just sucks watching the slow slide down.

      I feel I’m screaming, “HOP FROG!” But the reply is, “the waters fine come on in.”

  138. templar knight says:

    HD, you can use Bing instead of Google, but frankly I like Google better. Right now it’s a neccessary evil for me. If I understand it correctly, the information Google is collecting is not private, but who really knows what they do with generic info? I wouldn’t be surprised if Bing didn’t do the same thing. At some point the question will be nil, as none of us will have the internet if the SHTF. I wish I had a better answer.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      tk,

      I used to build relational databases as a database designer/administrator. Its very exciting to set policy and standards for programming teams to follow, and to see their efforts in data mining begin to answer business questions that, before relational databases and languages like SQL were impossible. The use of index files to effectively scan millions of records opened up the ability to cross index data and meta-data in seconds.

      In my earlier post I listed some of the data that is being accumulated about you, and Google is one of the main data collection tools. If your water bill increases by 200 %, the government can check the address of everyone in the nation, compare it to your address then take those matches and compare it to all the scholastic records in the country to see if the new group at your house has any exposure to suspicious classes or trips to common foreign countries. They can check the history of every web site you ever clicked on and compare that to the others in your supposed group. This data will be matched to the credit cards of the ‘group’ searching for travel patterns and purchases of suspect items.
      And that isn’t even the spooky stuff.

      Dang, I go to Google 4-5 times a day searching on topics folks post on this blog. My, and your search history is a blueprint of our individual interests. Interests lead to motivation, which leads to action. I don’t like knowing that that data is being cross referenced against my credit card and bank statements, but it is.

      I worry that if TDL looses the election his minions will cause riots to the extent that Martial Law will be enforced and the newly elected will be prohibited from taking office. Then, all that
      data about me setting in those relational databases will be used to send the shock troops to my house.

      This post will be parsed then stored by the government for future analysis.

      • hunker down…a little off topic…$1000 paid to people who snitch on people they know who have guns in ??New Jersey…

        see, the goons already have a lot of info…background checks before gun licences issued etc…

        but if they come and try to take your ammo/guns – will be a sh*tfight at your front door – and a high likelihood that they are going to get hurt.

        But, if a p*ssed off neighbour snitch