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:

We had a pleasant, cool, week at the Rawles Ranch. Some out-of-State relatives came to visit for a few days, and we showed them the sights. Frosts are now a real risk, so we’ve been busily harvesting–now mostly tomatoes.

This week we rushed to harvest celery, mint, and tomatoes, before any hard frosts.  Many of the tomatoes were still green, and Lily simply pulled up the vines and brought them into the house intact, in the hope that the tomatoes would continue to ripen indoors. The sheer volume of tomatoes was quite gratifying. We have lot of work to do, to get them preserved!

I am itching to set our slash piles ablaze, here at the ranch. Despite the recent rains, our county government has not yet started the fall “open burning” season. At this rate, there may be snow on the ground before I can legally burn.  But I will defer to their judgement.

This week I had to make an adjustment to the latch on our poultry house.  It had to be tightened considerably, because one our mouthy mares was developing some expertise at fiddling with that latch. Her goal, of course was nosing into to poultry house to try to gain access to the grain bins. “Horses will be horses.”  The potential goes beyond mere equine naughtiness. If they were to gain access to a grain bin and eat their fill, there would be a risk of what could be deadly foundering. I urge SurvivalBlog readers to always take precautions to prevent foundering incidents!



The Latimer’s are in day 14 of the testing of the bugout trailer. So far everything is going smoothly. Each year we learn from the last.These long term test really bring out the weaknesses in any plan. The solar system is behaving well since the loose connections were identified last week and the panel has been mostly able to keep up with demand.This week’s weather dumped about 5 inches of rain in just a couple of hours, so the water shedding ability of the tent was well tested. As long as the tent is ditched properly, there is no issue, but it sure would be nice to have a portable platform that the tent sets on. If any of SurvivalBlog’s readers are familiar with such a product, I’d love to hear about it. The tent is a military 16′ frame type tent with a footprint of a little over 15×15 foot so the platform would have to break down nicely and store in or on the trailer. Weight is also a concern. Building one out of standard lumber requires too much room in the trailer.

o o o

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


  1. Frost will come any night now. Gotta get all the sweet potatoes dug PRONTO! Got lots of apples to pick too.
    Bought 3 riding lawn mowers in 3 weeks. My old ’07 JD shot craps and it was time to find something new-ish. First was a ’09 cub cadet with 141 hrs on it….too good to be true. with in 5 minutes of mowing it wouldn’t move, the hydro was toast. Next one was another Cub Cadet, this one a ’12. Got the whole yard mowed but the hydro was on it’s way to not working anymore. This one only had 240 hrs. Next up was a ’08 JD. This is a “real JD” not one built to compete with Craftsman, Yardman, MTD, Cub Cadet, etc. Has 700 hrs on it. The dealer told me who owned it and I went and talked to him. Old fella in his 80’s that mowed his grass 2X per week whether it needed it or not. Immaculate condition, engine runs excellent and the hydro is heavy duty with a filter and runs strong. Even has a bagger on it that mounts on and off in less than 3 minutes. Neighbor has one similar and has 1600 hrs on his. I think I’ll be keeping this one. Of course through all this I managed to fix my old mower but it’s time has come. The Briggs and Straton engine leaks oil like crazy, have to put in 1/2 quart before every mowing. My old mower is the LA series , and is cheaply built to compete with the other cheap mowers on the market. Seems like you always get what you pay for…..

  2. I found 6 inch high, 40×48 inch, black, hard plastic pallets on craigslist for ten bucks each. Bought ten. They stack well in the bed of a pickup. I use them for exactly what you need. To put tents on. I lash them together with regular size zip-ties. I then secure the tent through all the little slashes in the pallets. Paracord if it is very windy. Adjust for your needs accordingly. I use another one for firewood and stuff. Two of them together make a nice porch. All ten stacked is only 16 inches high so you can stack plenty of gear on them till you get to your final destination. I bit of imagination and you can easily find many other uses. Even a hasty dog kennel.

    1. I would also like to hear more about your experiences with mil surplus tents. Thinking about that as a backup to current housing if my area gets its predicted monster earthquake.
      Maybe a separate article about large tents for living?
      Please keep up the good work.

  3. Flocks of robins and blackbirds are coming around daily looking for fruit and berries to ravage. A good warning to prepare for food production security, and the need to reduce the likelihood of wild avians spreading disease to our future farm birds.

    Our new place yielded plums made into syrup now, and finally have at least one cord of firewood in the shed. More to come.

    Our heirloom apples varieties include some which we selected for hanging on the trees into the fall, and still are not falling off onto the ground. This gives some breathing room during the fall rush.

    I took advantage of the warning you gave us here to watch for cheaper meat prices, due to China tariffs. It worked. Bulk meats are on great prices right now. So I plugged in our second, second hand chest freezer and froze 90 pounds of chicken, beef, pork ribs bought in bulk packs yesterday on sale. Country-style boneless pork ribs for $1.28 works for me. My mouth is watering at the thought of fall barbecues.

    Our CSA share is rolling in weekly, and includes grains and flour. All the grain products go into cryo-stasis in our deep freeze.

    Also prepping for cheap, redundant comms. Bought the UV5R (Note, these are NOT the FCC-compliant UV5R2+) two pack of radios with extended use 3800 mAh batteries. Set of 2 was just $35 bucks. Also got another Nagoya antenna. Added them to the stockpile.

    Preps for soul. Listening to Christian radio station on a BF as I type. Joined a church small group Bible study meeting weekly. Attended the International Society of Christian Apologetics annual Northwest conference last week. Pastor Dr. Fernandez is one of three WA state Black Robe Regiment members, and is ISCA VP. Defend the Faith!


  5. We turned our ripe tomatoes into 4 quarts of crushed tomatoes. We still have green tomatoes that we plan to process in a few weeks. Heirloom tomatoes look and taste differently from the store bought varieties. The crushed tomatoes also look and taste differently.
    We are cleaning and organizing. We have green beans ripe, fall peas and radishes coming up, and big plans to winter over a small crop of celery and carrots in our green house.
    We also need to harvest carrots and potatoes.
    Our raspberries did not produce, our grapes did produce. Our apple trees should give us a batch of apple butter. Our plums failed after setting fruit. We believe we need to water them more deeply next spring.

    Growing some of our produce has been an adventure. We just keep working and learning.
    Developing skills now is both necessary and satisfying.

    I am going to put up one more cord of firewood. Wood cutters always need just one more cord.

  6. Use some of the green tomatoes to make chow-chow, a Southern staple relish that is excellent during the winter with a “mess” of beans and greens. You also can wrap tomatoes in newspaper or brown paper bags, place them in cool storage and they will ripen. We’ve had fresh tomatoes at Christmas using this method.

  7. It’s been about a year since I’ve posted about my preps. This time last year we were being advised of my wife’s perforated colon being cancer and with the tear exposing her body cavity to the cancer cells we’ve gone through a lot of treatments to ensure she is free of this. She has received a clean bill of health now and we both can start focusing back on living our lives. With that, I’ve now stepped up my plans for retirement and look to move out of the corporate world and into something I enjoy. Maybe I’ll get a job at a local gun store to help continue arming the American people. Last week I took four days off to mow (rough cut mower) several fields and miles of trails. Then I switched over to plowing and planting winter wheat and oats. I still have some deer food plots to plant in Alabama and will do that next week. On my Georgia property I had my fire breaks redone by the state forestry guys in preparation of the winter burning of my planted pines. Hopefully this will knock back the hardwoods that have manifested themselves amongst the pines. Today I had to do maintenance on both my four-wheeler and one of my tractors. For the tractor I put in a new start switch in. It is very annoying not knowing if the switch will work or not and frustrating having to start the tractor with a screwdriver on the solenoid when the switch does not work. On the four-wheeler I put a new carburetor on. The one I bought and put on last year developed a fatal leak that was dumping all my fuel into the breather box. I’m not sure what caused this, but it was a cheap Chinese carb that I got for around $20.00. The one I put on today was a Honda original that cost me $130.00. I video recorded both projects to add to my Youtube channel that I recently started. That’s a project I started to help me take my mind off of my corporate work. I’m about to pull my last pork ham out of the freezer so that can make some pulled pork bar-b-que tomorrow. This ham is from a wild hog I shot last December and I need to get me another one to fill the freezer again. I’ll soon start another project of building an AR platform gun. I’ve found that I have enough parts lying around to build it and I only need to purchase an upper and BCG. I currently have the lower, lower parts, buffer, buffer spring and tube, barrel, stock, grip and fore end. This will strictly be a build and sell for profit. Recently, my step father has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and I’ve been buying his guns from him. He doesn’t want to sell them, but given his condition it is for the best. Of the 25 guns he’s told me about I have purchased seven and he’s sold several more to others. He’s holding onto his Bushmaster XM15-E2S as he wants to shoot it some before he gets rid of it. I’ll have to take him out one day to burn up a few hundred rounds. Oh, one more thing – I purchased three Baofeng radios based on the recent info posted here. Two are the 5R EX and one is a UV-5RX3. The X3 is the one I’m using for scanning, but I have a learning curve that I’m going through with this at the moment. The other two I’ll set aside for resell at a later date or just to have in case of an emergency.

  8. Hugh,
    Did I misunderstand? Are you trenching around your tent? That’s a very destructive and mostly ineffective process. I think my OLD Boy Scout manual might have mentioned it but current thought is that it’s very damaging for little benefit.

  9. Hugh,

    Just had a thought- if this system is for Bugging out why not put 2 pieces of gutter and 2 rain barrels to harvest the water- if it over follows you can just redirect it with lite weight plastic pipe. Might take some thought on how to fasten the gutters to the side but I’m sure you can fiver something out.

  10. Lily,
    One year we had an unusually abundant tomato crop and a fairly early frost prediction. My mother picked the green tomatoes, wrapped each one in a sheet of newspaper, and put them in a box in our cool basement. They slowly ripened and we had homegrown tomatoes for Thanksgiving. The taste wasn’t quite as good as when they were ripening in the sun, but it was better than the tasteless grocery store variety.

    Don’t forget to have fried green tomatoes.

  11. Spent the last 7 days on a vacation road trip to see family and attend a reunion. It was a good time to try my “cash only” experiment. Food was easy, of course. But gas and hotel were different. Because gas stations (all?) no longer allow you to pump gas before paying, we had to do math, which annoyed Hubby because he likes to fill it up every time. Although he had a pretty good idea about the mileage for a tank of gas, estimating to get it close was more than he wanted to do in his head (even though he is quite intelligent – he likes convenience). So that’s one of the things I have to plan better for (and take the calculator?)

    Hotels were difficult to do cash only. First, we had to have a card to hold the reservation because we were in populated areas popular with tourists. (We have learned the hard way that hoping there will be a room can be risky because sports tournaments or games will wipe out every room for 30 miles or more from your destination.) Second, at two of the hotels I was told that we could pay with cash, but they had to have a card on file for “incidentals.” When I pressed, the gal told me it was basically a security deposit against damage. So if you have no card, you won’t be able to stay at those hotels. When we checked out, I paid cash and asked for them to remove my card from their system, which they did without question. (Of course I always chat a little to the youngster behind the counter about how big hotel chains are beautiful targets for hackers, and it’s MY job to protect MY financial security.)

    Yes, camping would be easier to do cash only, but I want to stay married …

    I also had little online activity during the week, which was WONDERFUL.

Comments are closed.