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!


We had a quiet Winter Solstice day, here at the Rawles Ranch. It is a boost to one’s psyche to know that the days are finally starting to get longer again! Living at this latitude, the darkness of winter can be depressing.  The weather has been unusually rainy. That is supposed to transition to more seasonally-expected snow, in the next few days. Perhaps I’ll be doing some snow plowing this winter, after all.

I do my best to practice what I preach. So this past week I’ve been busy buying various full capacity magazines and also AR lower receivers–both stripped and complete. With the new Congress starting to play their nefarious games one week from Wednesday (January 3, 2019), it is wise to stock up. GunMagWarehouse has been getting a lot of business from me. I’ve also been busy making lists of magazines available from other vendors, and comparing prices. That way I’ll be ready to pull the trigger on an even bigger magazine buy, if and when it becomes clear that a new ban looks close to a certainty.

This week I helped Lily and the kids with one of the regular muckings of our poultry house. This time, the kids did the shoveling, while I handled the usual hauling away the waste in a wheelbarrow–or this time of year, a sled. In the winter, everything is hauled directly to the garden, to rot down in piles. Come springtime, that will be rototilled in to the soil.

We now have stock tank heaters running in both of our tanks. I had to chain a weight to the floating one. This was to prevent one of our most Bovine Delinquent calves from flipping it out of the tank. They do get bored. Just another day on the ranch…

– Jim & Avalanche Lily, Rawles


We’ve successfully converted the spare bedroom from a kid’s bedroom into a guest room this week along with some much needed renovations and decorations in the main house bathroom. With the mad rush to ready the house to receive guests and family finally finished, the Latimers will be taking the next week off of all prepping. We wish you a wonderful holiday week and hope that you will enjoy this time with your family, generating memories for years to come.

o o o

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


  1. Taking advantage of the milder weather to haul in downed wood, cutting and splitting. Keeping that chainsaw sharp. Continuing planning garden. Researching electric fencing, medicinal herbs, etc. Attending special social events with friends and family. Today is baking day and delivering to neighbors.
    Our family would like to wish a very “Merry Christmas” to all our SB friends and their family and to their readers.

  2. Took JWR’s advice and purchased 10 more Magpul 30 round mags at GrabAGun ($7.99 ea) and also some extra Hornady and Sig self defense ammo in both 9mm and 45 ACP ( also deeply discounted). Will continue to build up reserves for all my guns as well as increase my reloading supplies. Got a bad feeling for what will happen now that the Dems and RINO’s got the bump stock ban through!

  3. Last month I moved off my 5 ‘homestead’ acres and into a one-story house in our small local town. I finally had to give in to the realities of genuine senior citizen status. In our cold, icy, snowy northern latitudes, it just wasn’t smart anymore to live alone where neighbors are beyond hailing distance, and there was just too much physical labor needed to maintain the property. I still have a garden plot at my new place, although smaller. Great neighbors on both sides, and a lovely tactical view of the valley and train lines below. My winter will consist of unpacking boxes, ugh. The greenhouse will be put to good use for seed starts in a couple of months. Life is good, just making some adjustments. Wishing a blessed Merry Christmas to all!

    1. We’re one step behind you. Want to downsize from 20 acres to two to five. Then after another ten year plan will go the half acre route closer to the city. Hopefully there will be sweet little cities still.

  4. My only prep this week was purchasing frozen turkeys at $.49/pd. The grocer had sold all the store-brand turkeys, so the manager put all the frozen Butterball turkeys on the special! Leaving the store with a couple of $26 turkeys for $6/ea is a major score for me. Today I’ll cook one up for my elderly neighbors then make bone broth and stock from the left overs.

    I wish everyone a safe and peaceful Christmas celebration!

  5. DEEP hibernation in Iowa. We had a couple of freakish *50 days last week that made me consider going out and jigging for walleyes. Never got past the thinking stage, too much gun work to do., I like pay days.

  6. TNFarmer here, wishing you all a (MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!)
    Right now the girlfriend and I are still stuck in this miserable town of (Free Stamp) city. Look it up. Would love to be at the farm during the holidays , but duty calls elsewhere. May 2019 be a greater year for all. XOXO

  7. Not much this week, some nasty stomach bug has hit us hard. I managed to clear out some more closet space for food items, plus we purchased more gasoline. We figured we would continue to buy as long as the prices are low, and there have been times in our lives before when having extra gas cans has really come through for us.

    While the rest of the family is focusing on cute stuff for gifts, I’m the one looking at things like extra ammo and magazines for Number One Son, medical gear for him and his fiancee, etc. Dad is always the practical one.

    We hope everyone has a Merry and Safe Christmas!

  8. While some would say I have only been “prepping” for the past year or so, as I open boxes, cabinets and drawers in the process of moving things from one home to the future “retreat” locale, I am realizing that I have been “prepping” for years. I just didn’t have a name for it. Or would it be considered “hoarding?” I always thought of it as “saving it for a rainy day” or “creative recycling.” We have both purchased backpacks to use as BOBs and have filled them. I still need to sort through mine a few more times and lighten the load. Boy, is that hard to do! As I think of one thing I can remove, I remember one more thing I should add. We have placed two new Conexes at the ranch and, thinking ahead this time, bought 10 sets of storage shelves at Sam’s Club and assembled them inside the containers before loading things into them. This time, we will try to start organized instead of “getting organized when we have time.” Also, we bought a vacuum sealer and enough supplies to get a good start on storing things like washing soda and dry goods (salt, tea bags) and some half-gallon and quart mason jars for storing rice and sugar. I am sure we will come up with other things that need to get vacuum sealed in canning jars. It is nice to be able to store things without using heat. I think it will help to keep foods clean and safe longer. And they are resealable, if you need to use some or need to add some to the jars or bags. Meanwhile, I am watching the snow come down at the old home in the mountains and waiting for my DH to drive up here tomorrow so he can join me for Christmas. Then, for the week after, we will empty out one of the storage lockers up here and transport the contents down to the ranch. Gradually, we are divesting ourselves of rented spaces and trying to save money while consolidating things in one place at the same time. When we get the new house built at the ranch, we won’t need to buy much in the way of furniture or household goods. We can use the things that have been in storage for the past 20 years! See… I’ve been preparing for the better part of my life!
    Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, a Happy and Safe Yule and hope your Solstice was wonderful. Hoping for lots of snow this winter because snow is just really slow water and that means fewer wildfires.

  9. Not much here lately. Took advantage of the cold UP winter down time and had a fast growing cataract taken care of that had me legally blind in that eye. I couldn’t let it go any longer as it was my shootin’ eye. Now, after almost two weeks of healing, seeing better out of the eye than I have since waaaay back when I was a teenager (was it really that long ago? Geez!), and not needing glasses for distance anymore. The other eye remains 20/20.

    We have had a very mild December here after a colder than normal November. We have areas without snow cover, which is very unusual for this time of year. I expect January will make up for that. It usually does.

  10. A very Merry Christmas and a most prosperous New Year from the “Ondarosa Farms” in the Ozarks. Pleasant weather (55 high, 30 low) the pass few days has really helped in increasing the firewood reserves. With all the wood cutting we do each year you would think I’d have a handle on sharpening chainsaw blades. The skill still escapes me and have to rely on our local nursery/garden supply store. Sure am open to any tips folks might have. Also continuing a major overhaul of our main garden area by installing 8′ tall fencing around the entire parameter to “hopefully” deter deer next growing season. Hydroponic systems have been “cranking” with sufficient greens for salads two-three nights a week and more herbs (parsley, cilantro, dill, basil, etc) than we’re able to eat. Been experimenting with a variety of different pesto recipes which are frozen in ice cubes trays for later use. Our 15 hens have enjoyed the pleasant weather as well as they provide us an average of a dozen eggs a day. Mucking out the chicken house is on the list of chores to do. Is it Spring yet?

  11. Woke up yesterday at 05:00 hours, minus 28 degrees below zero, a lot of snow on the ground … starting a 10 day mini vacation, the first true vacation I’ve had in many years … I wish everyone a very blessed Christmas day, and a peaceful, blessed New Year.

  12. What a week. I had a dental emergency (most of a tooth fell apart…I have soft teeth, I guess) and our local Christian dentist that takes our insurance decided to charge me extra above his contracted rate with my insurance. And he decided to charge me the fee for the procedure up front even though it is fully covered by the insurance . He wanted 975.00 up front for a root canal that my insurance covers 100%. I had to go and discuss the fraudulent extra charges, collect my x-ray, and referral. It was ugly and left me shaking for hours. We are live and let live people; however, fraudulent behavior from professing Christians needed to be addressed. Integrity matters.

    I went to a different dentist and the x-ray had to be retaken as their dentist said it was not readable and the tooth will actually need to be replaced with an implant. A temporary filling was put in and a program of antibiotics was started. Without charge.

    I thought about different times and am glad to have a temporary filling kit and the book, Where There is no Dentist, as part of our First Aid kit. I just pray that there is never a time we are without dentists, antibiotics or novocaine.

    Wood is pretty much split and stacked in the newly built woodbox for the winter unless it is an extra severe one this year. Plenty of logs ready to be split after Christmas.

    I keep checking the local thrift shop for gloves, hats (especially with ear flaps), scarves and boots. Finally had enough to stock cars and trucks for winter as well as both places. They are priced at 50 cents each. A bargain!

    My plan to get to know the “new” neighbors went splendidly. Much easier for me to arrive at the door with a gift bag of popcorn balls and a card in hand.

    Wishing everyone a blessed Christmas.

    1. A better alternative to hats are helmet liners for hard hats,they come in many varieties for different reasons the plain ones will keep your head warm to single digits and the synthetic fur lined one I have can’t be worn unless its double digit below 0f. They are affordable and roll or fold up small and available from anyplace that has uniforms or safety gear

  13. More fuel PRI-G’d.

    More stripped lowers.

    Declaration of biological warfare on our farm: we adopted two Farm (feral) cats from the Humane Society. From their behavior, I want to call them Shredtobits and Deathbiter, and expect them to deal with the rodents who moved in for the winter. FYI, at the Humane Facility, which is two counties away from us, there are no adoption fees for Farm Cats-just accepted donations.

    May our Lord and Saviour live in your hearts, and may you celebrate the freedom of being a redeemed soul in this corrupt world. In preparation for our celebration of Emmanuel’s birth, I’ll share two verses this week from Psalm 25:

    20. Keep my soul and deliver me; let me not be confounded; for I trust in thee.

    21. Let mine uprightness and equity preserve me; for mine hope is in thee.

    God Bless.

  14. Spent the day moving hay into the newly completed barn. My upbringing by depression era parents kept me from spending money on a new barn last year. As I wrote a check to the IRS this past April, I was determined to get the barn built rather than contribute additional dollars to the fed coffers.
    The new structure is 50×70 with feed leantos off two sides for winter feeding and loafing…..
    I have also been laying in more magazines. Found 30 round AR mags for $9. The Glock magazines are pricey! Ordered in a few…, anyone know of a good source to buy from…?
    Also taking advantage of the storage food sales. Amazing deals available.
    Have a blessed Christmas.

  15. Spending this holiday prepping for my salvation. Taking the time off to pray, reflect on Christmas and read Scripture. Giving deep thanks to Our Lord also for delivering me from a terrible situation in 2018. Also reading some history.

    Peace of the Lord be with all of you this Christmas.

  16. N.East received inches of rain +55deg.weather so no white x-mas this year,very depressing. Better luck next year. Wish all a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. Keep on prepping!

  17. As per Michele Cooper’s recommendation, I picked up some elderberry syrup today. After influenza led to pneumonia and hospitalization two years ago, I am eating garlic (picked up several weeks’ supply today) every day and started on elderberry syrup today. I thought my immune system could drive off the flu virus. Wrong.

    After buying my groceries, I discovered a bonus of more garlic and onions in the store’s dumpster. Free is better than cheap. I love telling my nieces and nephews about my “urban hunting and gathering” ways. When I serve them food that has been saved from disposal, they love it.

    Got the final gifts wrapped and lights put up with my sweet spouse. She is a champ. The lights will stay lit until at least the equinox.

    The streets were dry enough and temp high enough for me to bicycle to a doctor appointment last Monday. Saving gas money and getting an hour of exercise–win/win.

    May sweetness and light fill your days and your life.

    Carry on.

  18. Here at Almosta Farm, I am missing the lack of Christmas-time snow on our Rocky Mountains, but the mild temperatures have resulted in some of the unharvested kale in the garden still being fine enough to add to lentil soup. The cows are growing thick coats, so perhaps this warm spell will be short-lived. They always seem happy to see me. Maybe it’s the Christmas carols I sing to them , or maybe it’s the treats I bring? (I don’t sing well so I bet it’s the treats.) A mountain lion has been spotted in these parts and I hope he keeps his grumpy-growl-curmudgeonly-cat behavior at bay, but we are prepared just in case. Wishing everyone a Christmas filled with love and warmth.

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