Editors’ Prepping Progress

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 often 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,

This last week was mundane and bucolic. Mostly, we did a lot of manure hauling.

I also replaced a Marey brand compact 220 VAC tankless hot water heater in our tiny house style guest cabin. I discovered (the hard way) that simply draining the pipes in the cabin was insufficient. The heater retained some water, and it froze this winter. It began leaking profusely when I turned the water back on at the tap and drain valve. So the new heater now has an air compressor valve fitting installed, which will allow me to blow out any residual water, each fall. This is just one more item to add to my seasonal checklist. Oh well, that is just life in a northern climate.

I also bought a few dozen more full capacity magazines, just in case there is another Federal ban enacted. Why? I do not trust Paul Ryan and his RINO cronies. They seem all too willing to “compromise” away our right to keep and bear arms.

Avalanche Lily Reports:

I spent some time brushing our horses during the past three weeks, to help them rid themselves of their winter coats. This week’s brushing yielded a box measuring more than 1 cubic foot of horsehair!  We also recently trimmed their hooves. They are now almost looking as good as the horse in the featured image above.

Our garden preps are continuing well. Once every other day I’ve watered our garden seedlings in the greenhouse bedroom which are now between 2″ and 10 ” tall. Some of them are putting out their third sets of leaves. They are almost ready to be moved to the greenhouse.

Most recently we’ve been preparing for our annual Passover celebration. The first night is Friday night.

Please continue to post comments about your own preps.

Thanks, – Jim Rawles and Avalanche Lily, Rawles


The Latimer Homestead is so happy to have a functioning kitchen again! We have finally reached the point that the kitchen has been reassembled. Items are put away for the most part, though this coming week we still have the cabinet and drawer faces to paint and reattach. Still, it is functioning and adequate for our company for this holy weekend, when we remember the great redemption work our Redeemer did for us on the cross and in his resurrection and look forward to His return. In the coming week, we will also make a hard push on the gardens. We have water systems to re-install, seeds and seedlings to plant, perennial beds to clean, pruning and more.

o o o

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


  1. Spring (also known as mud season) is here in Middle Tennessee, so this week we planted the seedlings in our raised beds and began some fencing projects there and in the barnyard in preparation for our critters. This is our 1st spring on our homestead, so we hope to import 15-20 chickens in the next few weeks. Took advantage of some Harbor Freight sales and coupons to pick up an air impact socket, a few safety glasses, and an odd and end or 2. This weekend I will pull the lawn mower out and get that ready for the season (oil change, grease the grease points, tire inspection, blade sharpening etc. We will of course celebrate Easter Sunday, and try and spend some valuable time reflecting on Jesus’ conquest of death so that we might have eternal life. He is risen indeed!

  2. Just finished pruning the fruit trees. Now to pick up all the mess. Garden prep is next, plus harrowing the hay ground. Time to plant onions and peas. Last patch of snow gone. If one has not prepared for the upcoming fire season you better get at it. Now is clean up time.

  3. On one warm and rainy day we lost 2 feet of snow. As the water rushes downhill, I am again thankful for the rainy summer last year that directed where we put our little cabin. It is dry!

    My son finally got the snowmobile running enough to bring it to the driveway so that we can take it in to be fixed. We not only enjoy our sleds, but use them. Not being able to make paths with the last round of storms really limited our mobility to get up back…even with snowshoes.

    As I look out over the yard, I am amazed at how much we have done and how much is left. It is too wet to do anything but plan for now. Soon.

    We have about caught up on the doctor and dental preventive appointments. I do need to schedule a tetanus booster.

    Finally, I tracked down the local HAM radio club and am expected at the next meeting. It’s being held at the county emergency headquarters. I’m hoping to be able to expand my skills to reach our local club in the Redoubt.

    Cannot do much else except celebrate Easter this weekend. Joy of joys!

  4. Just picked up a new style tourniquet, it’s a ratcheting medical tq. I bought two. One adult size and one pediatric. I have the CAT tqs but I saw these and wanted to check them out. It seems their ease of use is outstanding. To me worth the extra ten dollars for each. Quality is excellent. The name is actually Ratcheting Medical Tourniquet.

  5. Our family was blessed to be allowed to thin a friend’s strawberry patch. We tilled an area in a corner of our garden and used the soil to make 18 feet long, two feet wide by one foot high hills to grow the plants. The two hills are four feet apart. We separated the plants spaced them six inches apart in two rows on the hills. When I finished those two hills, I looked at the boxes I had brought the plants home in and realized that I still had a third of the plants left. I knew we didn’t have time that day to till and build another hill, so I went back and placed an additional row in each hill between the two already placed. There were still plants left. Back again to add plants between some of the smaller ones until they were all in the dirt. Not ideal, but it will work until the menfolk have time to till for me again and I can transplant them. I decided to count the plants as I watered them, I lost count at 250. I need at least one more hill.

    I watched the weather forecast for my area that evening and realized that we were expecting a large amount of rain over the next weekend. I had nightmares of my little hills washing away and all my plants being at the bottom of the hill in the creek. The next afternoon, I put four short fence post down the center of the two hills, taped old rags on top of the post to protect the tarp that I put over them to block the rain. This has worked very well. I can un-stake one side and pull it over in the daytime so the plants can get sun. I have to water the plants, of course. Seems silly to have to water with the amount of rain we have gotten in the last couple of weeks, but it’s working. The hills are still intact and the plants seem to be flourishing.

    Expecting rain again this next week in SW Missouri. If it ever stops so the garden can dry out, we’ll start planting outside. I’m ready to play in the dirt. For now, I must be happy with the plants I’ve started indoors.

    I would have never been able to buy 250 plants at a time. Thankful for the blessing from God of loving people in our lives willing to share their extra plants with us.

  6. We began the task of cleaning up the broken trees and deadfall from winter. The bark beatles are killing lots of trees so those a being cut down for a hot fire as well. We’ll give our neighbor some firewood to set for next winter. I’m looking forward to having a healthy forest and being less concerned about fire. With a larger solar window cut from the trees the solar panels are providing more power from earlier in the day. The only drawback is google earth/map users will be able to study my property before deciding to attempt burglary.

    1. I used the same brand and a very similar model hot water heater. Using a PEX pipe crimping tool, I added a gate valve and a pneumatic (tire hose) fitting to the cold water supply side pipe–which is routed slightly higher than the hot water outlet pipe. I have a high level of confidence that it will “blow clear”, with air injected from my portable compressor at 10 PSI. The gate valve may have been overkill, but I’ve always been a “belt and suspenders” kinda guy.

  7. Great to know. This is a problem that plagues the off grid community whether it be a family cabin or hunting cabin or simply an unattended set-up. Amazing to me that the makers of various units have not put some fore-thought into the matter beyond the drain valve. Some units have an angle on the lines that do not allow gravity draining to occur. Thanks!

    1. JWR
      It has been my experience that even blowing them out will not gaurantee them from freezing. I winterize 12 or more seasonal mobile homes every fall and the only way I can be sure that there is no damage is to blow them out than pump RV antifreeze in them. It also seems to have the side benefit of removing some of the hardwater buildup in the heat exchanger over the winter.

  8. A drain valve could have been added to the house-plumbing below the heater, and let the siphon do the work for you, too!
    Finally getting a break from the rain in East TN, seedlings are a popping and the garden is starting to look like more than a mud pit!

  9. Well, I hurt myself again this year working outside, which seems to be an annual occurrence after a relatively sedate winter season. Naturally that put the kibosh on any outside work, slowed down most inside work, and sent me to the chiropractor twice to deal with extreme pain in my hands and lower back (from a lot of sawing on the ground). And here I thought I was being more careful!

    The seedlings in our big south windows are doing well: cabbages and beets are up, still waiting on the tomatoes. I am encouraged, since in prior years they did not do well. I now know I was over-watering. Now I just spray them about 50 times, twice a day, and so far having success.

    Have found eliminating my cell phone, limiting online time to an hour a day, and keeping shopping to a minimum — “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” — has created a lot of “extra” time to be productive. (Part of why I got hurt!) When I do need something, I take advantage of our several thrift stores and excellent antique malls and rarely have to purchase new. One of my adult daughters still lives with us, so I am appreciating the time to help her develop her sewing skills since we didn’t get that done when she was younger.

    Happy Easter/Resurrection Sunday, All!

  10. JWR This week I spent all of my free time writing to politicians fighting for our gun rights. My own version of hauling MANURE. I would have preferred to spend the week with you instead. Not much of the GRAY man I am afraid. Just finished a letter to the Gov of Vermont, Phil Scott, how appropriate. Their House and Senate has approved 18 – 21 yr old ban, background checks on private sales, ban on rifle mags over 10 rounds and no handgun mag over 15 rounds and no bump stocks,etc. The antis are attacking us one state at a time. Trump said that when one is attacked all are attacked. We are going to hang individually or together. I live in Floriduh, remember the hanging chad, the land of electile disfunction.

  11. My preparations for survival is simple. I can live off the land, know of several remote caves that are warm in the winter and cool in the summer, know how to make and use archery equipment, build traps and snares, and figure I and my family can survive short term any disaster short of radiation poisoning. If the world reaches that point, no one will survive to live a life as we know it.

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