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,

It finally feels like spring!  We had three days of nice sunny weather this week. Our order of baby chicks arrived in the mail from Murray McMurray.

With all this good weather, I was able to finish scraping and hauling manure from the barnyard. There are still two large corrals to be mucked out, but at least the barnyard now looks presentable.

I was also able to get out and cut some firewood. I should mention that I plan to cut one additional cord this year, since last year I hadn’t cut quite enough for a hard winter, and we had to use a bit of our reserve pile.

Avalanche Lily Reports:

This week I did some more work in the garden by spreading some fertilizer to boost the soil’s nutrition. Maybe more on that later. Our nights are at the freezing mark. But the forecast is for warmer temperatures for the end of April. So I’m thinking about planting our main garden plots in the first two weeks of May. Hooray!

I did move cucumber seedlings, broccoli and some tomatoes out to the Greenhouse last week.  The tomatoes and broccoli and cucumbers were all put under the hoops in the “greenhouse within a greenhouse”, but the temps got too low out there and the cucumbers died.  The broccoli and tomatoes have survived it.  Thus I will be again, planting cucumber seeds in the bedroom greenhouse, this coming week.

I brushed our horses, again, to help rid them of their winter coats.  They adore me for giving them this kind of attention.  One of our horses in particular, is a hairy monster.  This horse sheds boxes and boxes of hair every spring.  It takes me a month and a half of regular brushings every year to get it’s hair level to it’s summer coat.  It’s amazing.  The others are just about to their summer coats by this time.

Picking up the baby chicks at the post office, setting up their enclosures (we use old “leaker” low sheep stock tanks), setting up heat lamps, and training them all to drink (dipping their beaks in electrolyte water) took half a day.

With the recent good weather and upcoming fishing season, I’ve decided to learn a new skill: fly fishing for trout in our local streams and rivers.  I bought a basic fly rod  this week and spent a few hours watching a group of YouTube Beginner Fly Fishing tutorials (produced by Orvis) and personal trout fishing expeditions in the Northwest. Then I went outside to practice my dry fly casting in one of our pastures. It didn’t take me too long to get the gist of it. Now to perfect it and to study up more on flies and baits.  I can’t wait for the opening of the 2018 stream and river fishing season!

The children are still working on schooling, but took some time out this week to practice their shooting aim with their bows and arrows and slingshots.

Please continue to post comments about your own preps.

Thanks, – Jim Rawles and Avalanche Lily, Rawles


We were able to get some weeding accomplished at the Latimer Homestead this past week as several beds were cleared, measured, and marked in spite of high winds that made it difficult to work outside in the afternoons. We had begun work on our main vegetable garden water lines to adjust them for the changes in our annually rotated and modified garden water system when I had an accident with a box cutter. Sarah teases that I don’t do anything half way, and so this was no little cut up my arm. After a good deal of bleeding and many deep stitches, I probably won’t be working on the water system for a few more days.

Sarah was willing to sew me up but was glad she could get me in quickly to our local doc instead. She stayed right by my side and helped keep pressure on the wound to minimize blood loss during the hour or so it took before the procedure and then she watched the procedure carefully. (We don’t like to miss any learning opportunities, in the event at some point we don’t have access to their excellent care and have to deal with these kinds of accidents ourselves.) It’s our hope that with the family’s help, we will get back to the garden water system, laying of plastic mulch, and planting in this primary vegetable garden in the week ahead.

We are enjoying the growth of other veggies in the smaller garden thus far but need to get past the obstacles of weather, injuries, and projects to put this garden in! We’re determined! Also, this week, it’s time for a vet visit to do a well check on animals. After the excitement of this week, we’re especially grateful for our good country docs who look after our family and our animals!

o o o

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


  1. We fully understand cutting and splitting extra wood. We are still working on building our reserves and have a serious amount of wood work ahead of us in anticipation of the colder temperature trend I expect to continue. The trees are down and seasoned.

    Although the miserable cold, wet, snowy, slushy weather has prohibited much outdoor work, a bit of important work has been getting done. We are finalizing the final piece of family property into our name that gives ownership of a barn, field and woodlot. Now there will be no question of use in the future. This is a relief to all as my parents are getting older.

    On the ROTC front, my son successfully planned and executed a wilderness survival lab. The cadets should pass their inspections and will be in full uniform before the end of the semester.

    Our daughter graduates college and I was able to bring a car load of household items back to camp after Mom’s weekend. This will help us supply 2 places.

    We have found a secure place out of town in the American Redoubt to provide us with a safer place as we work toward buying and building what we really want. The summer will be spent moving and consolidating all our things from various friends places. At that point, we can reevaluate both places and see where we are at.

    I must say that it would have been easier to just purchase a retreat outright; however hindsight is twenty-twenty.

  2. Lot to be said for skill in suturing and butterfly band aids. A slicing cut can be difficult to mange if not closed, art is letting it drain and heal right. I am afraid that without proper treatment and antibiotics many deep puncture wounds will be fatal. I was working with a metal hand grinder about 6 weeks ago and abraded a wound on my finger. It was deep enough to remove the skin from the wound area and it is healing in from the sides and still healing. Scabbed over and healing, but in real world without proper care would have severely limited what I could do. Perhaps the best prepping lesson we can have is how severe the health and work impact minor injuries can have on your life without proper care. The hardest lesson I have had in that area was a broken collar bone, minor injury, but as a mechanic I was laid up for weeks and limited for months.

  3. Spring has finally arrived one month late in Iowa. I’ll be spending the day cleaning out the rabbit shed and tilling all those rabbit raisins into the garden. Wife plans to plant strawberries and potatoes this weekend.
    In any “spare time” I’ve been reloading for all the pre WWII Colt and S&W revolvers I have been buying lately. 45lc, 44spl, 44-40, 32-20 and 38spl. Great fun shooting that old iron, they just don’t make guns like that anymore.
    I have about 5 trees that need cut down and turned into fire wood this year, ought to get that done before they leaf out this week. Also been eyeing the log yard, got to get the splitter on the tractor and get crackin’!

  4. Sorta slow here in North Central Idaho , mostly because of a couple a-fib episodes that wear me out. Then it’s a day or so before I feel well enough to get back at it. So because we haven’t drilled a well yet, I set up a catchment for run off with half a blue plastic barrel. Using a submersible pump filled 2 1100 gallon tanks for summer stock water and 2 of 4 275 gallon totes. Those are for summertime container gardening. Amazing what can be done with a gallon or two a minute and all the minutes you need. Our seasonal Creek which is what we usually use is still chocolate milk, dries up 1st of July on avg. Sometimes slow but when you prioritize what needs to get done usually does. Having the time of our lives, hope you are as well!

  5. Been working cleaning out brush around our acreage. It’s been a few years, so it’s slow going. My seedlings were looking pretty weak, so I put a fan up near them and have been running it several hours a day to strengthen the stems and it’s working. I talked to the owners a large organic farm today and she said they had 20,000 plants in their greenhouses that are behind due to the colder weather this year. She seemed concerned, a common worry. On the spiritual/cultural side, hubby and I met with our pastor on Tuesday because we were concerned enough about some serious problems in the worship service to consider leaving. But it turned out to be perfect (positive) timing for all of us, and I had a chance to discuss The Benedict Option with him. He hadn’t read the book, but understood the premise of building a community with like-minded orthodox/traditional Christians to weather the continuing decline of Western Civilization, centered on a church with those doctrines. So it’s possible we will be part of putting down some strong and deeper roots in our church. As well, I have been working for several years on a three-day-per-week “school” option for parents who are not able to homeschool due to financial constraints. In Illinois — which his arguably the best state in the U.S. for homeschooling freedom — parents can hire teachers (“tutors”) with no restrictions, so it can be done easily and legally. It is Charlotte Mason/classical, with lots of outdoor time and practical handicrafts. I’ve almost got the Kindergarten year planned, and leaving the rest to God’s timing. Our church would be the perfect location, but we’ll just have to see!

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