The Editors’ Preps for the Week

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. Steadily, we work on meeting our prepping goals. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities. They also share their planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, property improvements, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!


Dear SurvivalBlog Readers,

We’ve had a lovely week of seasonal temperatures and sunny weather.  Most members of our family caught the colds that are making its rounds in our region.  Thus, we kinda laid low, resting, until Friday. However, this week we moved a few large potted vegetables from the greenhouse into the house in anticipation of some hard frosts.  These are the plants I want to try to keep growing through the winter: a dwarf lemon tree, celery, green peppers and oregano.  We picked, blanched and froze a gallon of broccoli. I harvested seeds from cantaloupe, Hubbard squash, pole beans, green beans, and black beans for next summer’s garden.  I also reorganized one of our chest freezers. (We have two–one is electric and one is propane.)

Vegetables in the greenhouse are continuing to grow well despite some observed temperatures just below 32°F in the greenhouse according to the thermometer.  Despite these temperatures the tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers and butternut squash show no signs of damage and continue to grow. I surmise that the ambient moist air surrounding the plants or warm air coming from the raised beds themselves must be warding off the cold air above the plants.

We also burned several slash piles this past week.  (“Slash” is the slang term for the limbs and small diameter tree tops left over from wood cutting.  In some years these piles also includes tree stumps that we’ve excavated. This year, most of the piles burned in just one day. Just one pile had some stumps. So this one took three days to burn completely.  Typically, we use a bit of dyed (“off-road”) diesel to obtain some “woof” on each pile to help it get it burning well. We confess to enjoy seeing flames burning ten feet high. These burning piles must be tended to continuously for the first few hours, and then once every two or three hours. (This is for the sake of safety, and to readjust the contents with a shovel to keep them in close contact. All that tending is time consuming.  But all in all, it is gratifying to complete this chore each October. Another key item on on our winter prep checklist has been completed.

I’m looking forward to reading comments from readers about your preps for winter.

May you all have a blessed week, – Avalanche Lily Rawles


The Latimer household is still in the midst of practicing with their preps. An extended grid down (camping) challenge certainly brings out the weaknesses in the plans. So far, the Xantrax inverter is showing signs of not operating appropriately. The unit throws a fault but does not display a fault code. During that time, the power cuts in an out. Wouldn’t you know it, the two year warranty expired last month too. I guess it’s time to start looking for a different one. Other than that, it would appear that everything else is working.

o o o

As always, please share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments.


  1. Not much this week as my torn rotator cuff is really hurting, which limits my ability to lift anything over 4 or 5 pds. Received an order of 4 gal of Freeze Dryer vac pump oil, which has gone up in price $8.20 since the Harvey and Irma hit.

    My neighbor gave me a 20 pd box of grape tomatoes on Thursday; so Friday and Saturday I am canning salsa and bruschetta sauce and will freeze dry the rest.

    I found a 40×40 ft outdoor tarp on sale for half off so decided to order it to have on hand for emergency repairs. I’ve lived through 6 hurricanes and numerous wind shear events and know the value of a roof tarp. Have a great week!

  2. Amazing that it’s already freezing wherever it is y’all live! We still have another two months before it freezes. Winter here lasts only 2 months. And we don’t have a wood stove set up. I wish we did. Usually we cut a little wood for cooking outside, so as to keep the heat out of the house. We worry about the heat way more than the cold.

    1. Oh, and we also burn a lot of junk when trees fall. Usually, we burn it to get rid of it, since we don’t need much fire wood. It just attracts termites. We like the ashes as fertilizer.

  3. This week ordered three new batteries for my 1500W / 720 W hour battery generator on wheels. I have two of these units and one has not been holding a charge as well as the others. So finally took it apart to get at the batteries and found they were easily replaceable. $120 on Amazon for all 3 and have them swapped out.

  4. We bought our little over 50 acres of paradise in the hinterboonies in 2010, its rolling hardwoods with a wet area at the bottom that has a large spring which is the source of a year round creek. A side road off a side road off a side road with thousands of acres of public land near by,the property is frequented by moose, deer, bear, and partridge. Currently used for hunting I will retire on this property or another close by. But on to the preps, I got my Ford F250 stuck at said property for the first time this year cause of low tread all season radials and record rainfall. So this week I purchased All Terrain tires and researched winches that can be switched from front to back of truck as required. Yesterday, I bought a new-to-me rifle and will now as per recent SurvivalBlog contributed advice, pick out some safe queens to help pay for it. The squeaky wheel (and bold faced type) gets the grease–as my mother used to say.

  5. Busy week but still managed to get some preps in- picked up a #10 can each of Mountain House ground Beef, macaroni and cheese and lasagna; 500 round of CCI 22 mini mags; 100 rounds of .30 carbine, small ax replacement handle, claw hammer replacement handle (which I already put the head onto); black stove pipe for two small wood burners that will soon be installed at BOL; kerosene lantern, small plastic tool box and an inner tube (last three items all from Salvation Army). Made it out to the BOL and painted a wall. Got the building permit for the new pole barn ($2 for the permit). Got to sit in on a very interesting discussion concerning “Black Sky” events. Nice to hear the folks from the public utilities commission and some of the electric providers discuss EMP, geomagnetic storms and cyber threats.

  6. Big opportunity coming up. Thanksgiving (and Christmas too) usually offers turkey’s at bargain prices. My best deal was 18 cents a lb at Winco with a $50 purchase. I can the turkey AND the stock.

    I use a cook from frozen technique which saves a lot of prep time. This takes most of the day and I coll the turkey and then put into the fridge for the next day. Day two I remove all the meat putting all scrap/bones into a stock pot with about 12 quarts of water. Simmer the stock for at least three hours while the meat is returned to the fridge.
    Then it’s time to can. I divide the meat amongst 7 quart jars and top off with broth (18 lb turkey makes about 7 quarts of canned turkey) for the first canning. The second canning I try to get 7 quarts of broth. The broth makes an awesome gravy and is appreciated as much as the turkey is.

    Sounds like a lot of work, after all two days, right? But most of the time is just being there to watch over it. Also cooking the turkey from frozen often results in a not “perfect” turkey. Some spots still a little raw. But this is no problem if you are planning on canning the meat.

    I can assure you that pulling out one of these jars in July and making the broth into gravy and pairing it with mashed potatoes etc is sooooo good. Like Thanksgiving any time you want it.

    I try to can at least two turkeys every year but I have done four.

  7. Down South we’re still struggling with summer; the temperatures have been near 90 during the day and the nights cool down only slightly. Then our air conditioning/heating system died. We’re still comparing prices before buying a new one. Meanwhile we stay comfortable because I insisted on a room air conditioner for one room, which is where I live and sleep. In a real pinch we’re also prepared for winter; there are at least 8 space heaters in the house and two working fireplaces. Thankfully, our ranch-style house has distinct rooms which can be closed off and heated or cooled. I don’t like the modern “open” homes because it would be almost impossible to heat or cool them if anything goes wrong. There’s a fair stack of wood in the backyard, and I’m hoping for another rick before winter really comes. Hope ya’ll are feeling better.

  8. My wife was away on business this week, so I took the opportunity to test out some storage food recipes. The focus was on a can of Yoder’s Ground beef. I made a Sheppard’s pie, Spaghetti sauce, and Taco’s, all from one can. Results were excellent! Six hearty meals for about $15.00.

    I bought a tortilla press last week, so I made my own taco shells. Super easy, delicious and cheap as dirt. When preparing the instant milk to make some instant mashed potatoes, I added some evaporated milk to it as well. Maybe a half a cup or so to a quart made it taste so close to fresh milk I could hardly tell the difference.

    Next week, I’m going to try my hand at sprouts and also add two more 5 gal. cans of gas to my stash.

  9. I also live on the South and the weather is just now coming into fall with cool offs. Still well into the 80’s and infrequent days hitting 90. There is a lot of speculation around rifle and ammo restrictions and although the great majority of us don’t think much will happen outside of a ban on bump stocks and maybe binary triggers we don’t want to be caught with an empty ammo closet. I can say without a doubt we’re seeing a little bit of a run on .223 and 5.56, especially LAP varieties. .22 is in plentiful supply and I don’t think the profiteers who bought it all up last time will experience the same level of success reselling it. Other than that we continue to buy PMs in small planned quantities and add to food storage with careful purchases. We are also taking a very hard look at our water purification products and strategy because we think we’ve underestimated the true need in this area of our preps. Also prayerfully considering high quality night vision. We are somewhat new to the area (south Arkansas) and are having a tough time meeting like minded people but we didn’t expect it to be easy. Lots of apathy here, as in the checks will just keep coming. I long for the days we lived in the Redoubt. Preparing for the future continues though, and we are blessed to be able to do so.

  10. I was able to pick 4 boxes of unsprayed apples for free. I like to make pie filling as well as drying slices and making applesauce. I have a rather easy way of making pie filling. I peel and slice 6 generous cups of apples and mix them with around 3/4 cup of sugar (depends on the type and how tart they are ) 1 tsp, of cinnamon and 1/4 tsp of nutmeg and 1/4 cup of white flour. I let this set about 10 min. It gets moist and then mixes up well. I then pack the mixture in wide mouth quart jars (wide mouth are easier to clean)>
    Then I place a boiled canning lid on and screw down the canning ring. Place in a water bath canner and cover with water. They like to float so I use the rack from my pressure canner and place on top of the jars and weight it down with a washed rock. This keeps the water covering the jars. I then process(boil) them for 30 minutes. I have done this for at least 20 years and never had any problems. You won’t find this in the ball canning book but it’s a lot easier than the other ways. :}

  11. My wife came across a great buy on tri tip, so she bought several. I vacuum-sealed most of them. My wife cut the rest into steaks, which I also vacuum-sealed. Afterward, I told her to buy more, while the price was still low. “Pay for tomorrow with today’s dollars.” Vacuum sealers are great; not as good as freeze-driers, but good, nonetheless. A properly sealed hunk of meat will last an incredibly long time in the freezer. As long as power holds, you’ll have meat! They’re also good to seal things destined for the bugout bag!

    Hearing the neighbor’s generator woefully rolling due to clogged jets reminded me to run up my gennies. I “slept through” the reminder on my allegedly smart phone, so I got that done this weekend. A while back, I replaced the puny starting battery on my 3.6KW unit with a big deep cycle battery, which the generator charges while it’s running. I hook up an inverter to it to run the sensitive stuff. NEVER rely on one inverter. They DO go bad. Also; make sure you TEST the stuff you’re going to run off the inverter. Some electronics will balk at the modified square wave many of those things put out. Inverters are “you get what you pay for” things. Also; size the inverter to the load. Converting DC into AC is incredibly inefficient. Use the smallest one you can get away with, without overheating the thing. AS a matter of gasoline, do the same thing with your generators!

  12. Over a year ago we bought 90 acres of clear cut land in the country. It is enclosed by a canal that is about 4-5 foot deep and about 8 foot across, except for a small lane off the road. With bulldozers and harrows we have cleaned about 50 acres, replanted pine trees on about 10, and getting ready to fence off several 5 acre pastures for growing hay and containing livestock. For valentines day I wanted fruit trees(my orange and lemon trees are already producing), instead of flowers. For anniversary I wanted shelves built in the 52 ft container, and for Christmas I want a small shelter built to park equipment out of the weather. We either barter, trade, or scavenge for much of our supplies. We have a shooting range set up for target practice. There are several canals on the property that are mainly spring fed and the surrounding canal(I sometimes call it a mote because we have seen alligators in it) is fed by a creek. There is already one small pond and we are making plans to dig a larger pond. We have otter, beaver, turtles, bullfrogs, crawfish, fox, bobcat, coyote, squirrel, rabbit, deer and raccoons (not to mention the water moccasins and other snakes) on the property. Hoping this winter to complete the fencing, build the shelter, bring our cows and horse out, build a chicken pen and start on the pond dig. We usually have mild winters in S. GA, but the cold is WELCOME after this long hot summer. Suggestions welcomed!

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