Journey To Self Prepping, The Long Hard Way, by B.H.

Our journey towards prepping began approximately five years ago when my husband handed me a book called Patriots. Needless to say, he had been collecting all kinds of of things prior to my reading the book.

Husband a Firearms Instructor, Competitive Shooter, and Woodworker

My husband participated in many shooting competitions over the years and was a primary firearms instructor while in the military. He developed his skills and won many competitions. Then, he began reloading even to the point of making his own lead bullets from old wheel weights. He also had a full woodworking shop in our basement.

It seems “Enough!”

was the primary income provider and at times was not pleased with some of his purchases, as they seemed excessive. This did cause problems, because I began to complain, saying “Enough!”.

I Too Decided We Had To Prepare

After reading the book, however, I too decided we had to prepare. Living in a hugely populated area in the south, where every night the news reflected murder, home invasions, robberies, and other such criminal acts, we decided we needed to move to a less populated area.

Finding a New Location

We searched many areas for months and finally found a place I could get excited about. We found 20 acres on a county maintained gravel road with a full year stream located in a town with two stop lights. This would be our bug out location. We purchased the land, which was two hours from our current location and 90 miles from any significant populated areas. The property had about 12 acres that had been clear cut a few years before and was over grown with pine trees and thickets. But the attraction was about eight acres of hardwoods at the rear of the property next to a stream. We decided on a location to build a barn. Our first items were to build a road to the rear of the property, install a septic system and a well, and bring in electricity.

Moving While We Build

My husband designed a barn, except it was a little different than most. One quarter of the barn was used for an apartment. I called it my mini Resident Inn. In hindsight, it was a very good idea. It contained a bathroom with shower, sink, and toilet, and small kitchen. This allowed us to be on the property full time during the later building of our home. Since that time, the builder has stated he has completed many similar structures throughout the region.

Accumulating Supplies

Having the barn enabled us to begin prepping in earnest. We accumulated many of the things mentioned in the book as well as from the SurvivalBlog recommendations, such as freeze-dried food stores, cast iron cookware, and other things too numerous to mention. But we knew we could survive in the barn for some time.

Crime Pushes Our Schedule

Things continued to deteriorate in our present home location. Crime was moving out into the suburbs. And the more we analyzed our location, the more we were convinced that we had to move. Suburban life with the tennis courts and pools was not the place to be. Also during this time, I became one of the thousands of people trapped in the Atlanta snow storm. It took me over 13 hours to drive 30 miles. This sincerely caused deep anxiety ever since. We knew it would take us several more years to complete the move due to finances, current employment, and other factors.

Financing the Building

We obtained a construction to permanent loan from the local bank. The building of the home nearly broke us as the contractor basically provided nothing more than the shell of the home and was taking most of our money. After learning the contractor was not paying his subs on other homes, we took over the job ourselves. I ended up being the “general contractor”. We had to obtain several extensions from the bank in order to complete the home. Unfortunately, we lost all of our retirement savings in order to complete the home. It also required me to retire in order to supervise the construction.


We sold our previous house this year and made the move. Using U-haul trips and with help from family, we were able to finally get to our location. We are still not finished. We have an unfinished basement, and the barn is still full of boxes and equipment. But I concentrate on doing something everyday.

Help From Relatives

Our closest relatives were our saviors during this process. Our niece and her family were a god-send to us. We repaid them by giving them three acres and a well to help them begin their journey to safety and country life. They are thrilled, and so are we. They also see the need to relocate and develop a family community.

Work Still To Be Done

We still have a long way to go. When the weather is nice, I work outside. When it is raining and cold, I unpack boxes and try to organize. We took the proceeds from our home sale and paid off a lot of debt and had the upper acreage cleared. We continue to evaluate our sustainability and continue to prioritize which action to take next. Our  new home was refinanced for a 3% 15-year loan while the rates are still low.

Equipment For Future Projects

We have now purchased a tractor and equipment to work on the land. Our future projects include starting a pasture, a garden, fencing, hand well pump, solar systems, and installing a wood stove.

Not Gone As Planned

It has not gone as planned! It was very painful, both emotionally and financially. My parents survived the depression. My mother was dirt poor but obtained her degree by cleaning toilets and homes. She left the farm and never looked back. Now two of her three children have returned to the “farm” life. It’s funny how things evolve.

Praying, Learning, and Knowing The Move Was Worth It

Everyday, I start my day in prayer and then read the blog for better and smarter ideas. I am hopeful that there will not be an EMP, financial collapse, or any of the other destructive scenarios, but we continue to prepare as best we can. After all the problems we faced making this move, I can tell you truthfully it is worth it.

God has been good.

Recommended Reading:

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been another entry for Round 70 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate that is good for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,195 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper with a hammer forged, chrome-lined barrel and a hard case to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel, which can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools and a compact carry capability in a hard case or 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. An infrared sensor/imaging camouflage shelter from Snakebite Tactical in Eureka, Montana (A $350+ value),
  6. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  7. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  8. Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of (a $180 value).

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by,
  7. A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
  8. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
  9. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A custom made Sage Grouse model utility/field knife from custom knife-maker Jon Kelly Designs, of Eureka, Montana,
  3. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  4. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  5. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  6. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  7. Montie Gear is donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a $125 Montie gear Gift certificate.,
  8. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from (a $240 value), and

Round 70 ends on May 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.


  1. Congrats on finding a place and getting started. I too am on the outskirts of Atlanta and have recently procured a place to be my bug out spot. My place was a true GOD send. While looking at another property, a pastor next door turned me on to a property a relative was selling. It came with barn, house, well, pond, 14+ acres fenced and cross fenced. I still am looking for a tractor, and am beginning to form plans for altering to my purpose. Keep up the good work

  2. We too started our journey after my wife got me a copy of Patriots. It took us 2 yrs to get out of the city, but that didn’t stop us from starting. Our final destination has yet to be determined, but hopefully in the next year, we will know.

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