Letter Re: New Year’s Resolutions

Hi Hugh,

I am interested in hearing from the readers about their New Year’s resolutions.

Some of mine are:

  • I will include daily prayer for my family members who are not prepared. (Yes, I have been guilty of leaving them out in my daily prayers.)
  • I will go off the grid for as long as I can using what resources I have at hand and keep up to military standards of hygiene, cleanliness, and good health. Plus, I will maintain communications. (My only exception is toilet flushing; I was thinking of digging a latrine and reminding myself and family when they use the bathroom that out back is where they would actually go in a grid-down event.)

What are yours? Hearing from you would assist me and hopefully others in some new ideas.

P.S I did the SurvivalBlog TEOTWAWKI “weekend” a couple times this past year. IMO only by doing a dry run of a grid-down event will reveal your strengths and weaknesses.

To whoever will listen, I personally believe I have been greatly rewarded by training “as if”, even on a smaller scale, and would highly encourage you to run your own scenario this coming year. All respects,



  1. Get out of debt. Put things out of reach of the bankers and lawyers.
    Get organized. Stop impulse buying cool cheap stuff. Cheap is defined as anything that costs less than a proper night vision scope. Wouldn’t the money for a third multi-tool have been better spent on a second tool roll for example.

  2. Continue my daily regime of weight lifting, walking, and stretching (I’m 68).
    Learn to keep my mouth shut among people I do not know about my prepping. One thing that frightened me was when I had quite a load of freeze dried food delivered to my house, and the truck driver said that he knew where to go if there ever was a food shortage. Now I have it delivered to a general site and bring it home myself.
    Be as kind as I can be to other people. My faith commands me to forgive, and I find that this helps me. My pastor once said to be careful when you ask for mercy for yourself and justice for everyone else.

    1. Libby
      there are some companies out there where you can specify to have them shipped in boxes w/o identifying what is inside, or the originator of the product.

  3. Adjust my budget to support funding a 30th anniversary vacation with my wife a year from now. Take off 40 lbs of fat. Get my blood pressure down from the OMG! (176/128) level it is now (preferably without the aid of pharma). Acquire a cheap piece of land somewhere in the woods nearby. Get more involved in local church. Finish my portable solar power system.

    1. You need to get that BP down in the next day or so, you will likely have a stroke if that continues long. Or, renal/cardiac failure. Personally, I would go to the ER . You will not be successful with non pharma methods, sorry.

  4. Now that the Dow just broke 25,000, I know what I’m doing in 2018: I’m selling all my silver, all my gold, all my guns and ammo and going full in on this puppy! I know it’s a meaningless, price-weighted index that has no connection to the actual economy and is used primarily for propaganda purposes but look at that baby run! It will never go down! Heck, my Uber driver just gave me a bunch of stock picks that he said are sure to make me a millionaire. Yes-Sir-ree-Bob, I’m going to be rich in 2018!!!

    1. Nothing wrong with that, if you don’t think you’ll need the preps.

      In my case I’ve had my beans, bullets & band aids for years and continue to fine-tune our preps.

      However, I’ve also been fascinated with the stock market, all my adult life. After finally getting some professional-level training, last year alone as a volatility trader I was able to turn $27,000 into over $100,000, then back down to $81,000 last month, as I tried to anticipate the market on the short side.

      Nothing wrong with what you’re doing, as long as the party lasts (all the long-term moving averages are still looking good. Bounded indicators are showing overbought. However, fractal analysis indicates a new historical bull breakout).

      On YouTube I highly recommend Kay Kim. He’s a really smart trader, along with Chris Chiavacco. Some of the best technical analysis on YouTube.

      When things decide to switch gears like March 2000, just be ready to get out, or even better, short after some confirmation.

  5. The “dry run” is a good one. We did one some time back and it was an educational experience. Cut water and power at the mains for a few days. Learned a lot about the unexpected and unanticipated. Ought to do another this year.

  6. Much like James, improving our comms. Currently have a General ham license, working on my rig for operating additional bands AND learn CW (Morse code). Also improving my low-cost preps and security measures along with being proficient in using my more expensive gear. Being frugal isn’t being cheap. Buying quality once beats buying cheap over and over.

  7. set 500 gal propane tank
    install tank less water heater
    build garden shed
    up grade ham ticket from tech to gen
    set up 2m/70cm go box for local ares
    set hf station at our homestead

  8. For various reasons, I am always running across deals (as in “Free- get it outta here!”) on all sorts of tools, machinery, and equipment. Over time, this stockpile of not-quite-functional stuff builds up.

    Since this summer, I have been examining this equipment and ordering repair parts. Now that the cold weather is finally here, it is time to fire up the wood stove in the shop and get all of those things back into Fully Mission Capable status.

  9. My resolutions are geared towards what I want to learn this year. Every year I pick three types of specific skills to work on:

    Introduction/beginner: something I know almost nothing about. I spend my time mostly learning what I will have to learn in order to know it.

    Intermediate: this is usually last years beginner skill. I know the basics, but I want to get good at it.

    Advanced: something I want to become an expert in.

    A number of these skills span several years, but I make it a point to identify at least three skills and focus on them this year. They can be related. As an example, here’s my list for this year:

    Beginner: ASL (sign language) – I know the alphabet, if I go slow. That’s about it for now. Lots to lear. Collecting books, recommendations, YouTube links, etc.

    Intermediate: electronics. Resistors, diodes, capacitors oh my. Making useful things with electricity. I’m almost done battling my way through an intrusion detection system that is portable, 9v powered, and has remote module sensors, plus gps. (Good for in home and hiking).

    Advanced: FCC Extra Class ticket, getting my CW closer to 30wpm.

    Every year, three things. The focus has really helped me improve my skill sets.

    1. Robert, NC
      Practice your sign in the mirror.
      I know many many words, and they are good words…But I cannot read them when someone “says” them to me. So, learn to sign, and learn to READ sign.

  10. I had to bug out during the recent firestorms here in SoCal. Did pretty good, had the truck packed up, dogs and all in less than 15 minutes. Problem was, the main evac route was in flames. My wife remembered a small side road we had explored years ago, and so thanks to her and the Grace of G*d, we made it out unscathed.

    My resolution this year is to scour the map of my area and to physically drive every conceivable escape route and commit them to memory.

    Seriously, these fires go from 10 acres to 500 in minutes, and you never know where they’re going to start, so having multiple escape routes is critical.

    Proverbs 22:3

  11. My approach for annual resolutions seems to work well for me – pick two areas to build hands-on expertise in.

    For 2017 my goal was to learn how to do basic repairs and advanced maintenance on our four family cars. Used YouTube and free internet resources to find videos and tutorials. Spent about $1500 on building up my tools inventory but we estimate we saved about $2500 in labor costs alone on four cars and household appliances. My son just bought a used truck with lots of
    Problems and we’re tackling them one by one.

    Second goal was to become a competent shooter. Dropped cable TV and visited the range almost every weekend. Thousands of rounds later and I can tell you it was well worth the time and money. Went from mediocre to accurate and confident with my concealed carry and combat pistols.

    For 2018 the two focus areas I want to concentrate on are learning to weld and taking at least two multiday classes on combat/defensive pistol shooting and then continuing practicing on weekends. My goal is to become far more competent than the average guy on the street. By the end of the year I want to be able to consistently draw my pistol out of its holster and get the first shot on target in one second or less, and develop confidence in high stress situations where I have to move and shoot.

    My wife has a similar approach. She’s very interested in upping her game on emergency medical care.

    I guess one other soft goal is to link up with other likeminded preppers in our area and consider starting a MAG group. Very difficult in our little town where nothing ever seems to change.

    1. Maybe it’s time for a new AO then;) Preppers/Survalist for so long have focused on themselves and OPSEC that they forgot the most important aspect of surviving and that is Community… There is a reason why throughout history towns and trade routes were formed and we as Preppers need rework our mindset and start building Communities not hiding away…Look at these articles about aging and not having anyone to help keep your property going…With Community you would have that help and you would be helping someone else out also… Something to think about…

  12. Resolutions? You may find this strange, but this city girl does not know how to shoot the guns that are in this house. I do not even know one gun part from another. So, that is Resolution 1 for me.

    Resolution 2: Prepare and plant a bed for blueberries and cranberries here in zone 4.

    Resolution 3: Get rid of stuff! We are retired and brought too much STUFF with us to the country. It is time for all of those previously precious work documents to be burned. For some stuff we need new shelves.

    Resolution 4: In the newly cleared basement space, prepare a useable storm shelter with a butane stove, a sink/counter set-up, and a lounging/sleeping area. We have it all (furniture, area rug, old sink/cabinet, food and water) just not in one logical place.

    Resolution 5: We use wild edibles often. Now I need to learn the medicinal uses of the plants around me.

    There is a lot more to learn. But, those are my primary focus.

    1. That’s great to hear. For the Morse Code checkout a Windows app called g4fon. I’d recommend setting it to 20wpm for characters and the spacing between characters between 2-7wpm. Add two to five characters at a time (per week). After you make it through the 40 chars in the app, increase the 2-7 wpm by one level each week. Focus on hearing first, sending after you are comfortable.

      Just my 2c

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