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!


Now that the local lakes have frozen over, we are now seeing many more Bald Eagles cruising up and down The Unnamed River (TUR). That is the river that flows through the back end of the Rawles Ranch. This Eagle Surge is an annual  phenomenon, because the river is mostly fed by springs so it stays free of ice, in most years. Meanwhile, the nearby lakes get ice thick enough to walk and skate on. Ice fishing here is popular here in January and February. So it is only natural for the predators that lack ice augers to shift their feeding patterns.

This time of year the eagles can also be seen feasting on road-kill deer. This is actually our best chance to see them close up. And it is when it becomes obvious just how much larger a Golden Eagle is than a Bald Eagle. The Goldens seem huge, by comparison.

We are now in our winter routine, and itching for the days to get noticeably longer. Lily is already digging through her seed catalogs. For optimists like us, spring is not far away! – Jim & Avalanche Lily, Rawles


Here at the Latimer’s, we have said goodbye to extended family who visited us during their winter break. Now we’re left with precious memories, photos to organize, mountains of laundry, and cleaning. With exceptionally cold temperatures expected, the family will likely pursue prepping activities indoors this week. Specifically, Sarah hopes to get some long-awaited sewing accomplished and to write some letters of encouragement for the new year. There will also be a couple of batches of elderberry syrup being made.

Hugh will be working in the shop prepping for the building of some storage cabinets.

o o o

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


  1. High hopes to visit Idaho ” someday “. In the meantime, here in the northeast our nearby lake is ” open ” since we have been having a very mild winter . When frozen over however, our nearby river is also visited by a pair of bald eagles that actually live within a mile of my abode. In fact, there was a yearling that sat on the post of my garden fencing a few years back as we came back from a store run. Looking for voles I suspect. Speaking of which, with the mild winter I have just now covered our productive asparagus bed. I like to give them a good cover of cow manure, leaves, half inch mesh ( guards against the vole activity ! ) then more leaves and finally 2 x 4 fencing to keep everything from blowing away. A fair amount of work – but gotta tell ya …. the good Lord works HIS work and we are rewarded in the spring !
    Peace to you all

  2. Ron, thanks for the tip on the half inch mesh. I am old enough to know these things but I still learn everyday.
    HJL, thanks for the elderberry syrup thought. We think we might try our hand at making some as well.
    Rawles family, yes the seed catalogs have arrived, the beauty of winter has us indoors more than usual but seeing the magnificent and strong creatures that our Lord has put on this earth is a great blessing.
    Never a dull moment on Gods earth!

    Blessings to all in the New Year.

    1. Just an afterthought , Lee …. I usually run the leaves through my lawnmower set on mulching – they start to decompose over the winter till I remove them a week or two before the asparagus usually starts to emerge. Also, I use 36″ hardware cloth so the rows being only about 18 inches wide, there is plenty of overlap and ” discouragement ” for the voles. Last, weigh the heavier turkey wire down with plenty of bricks to press the whole thing to the ground and general area . Really works well…

  3. While a bit late, finally adjusted our solar panels for winter operation. The increase in performance was quite noticeable and fast, as advertised.
    Our seed catalogs are also rolling in and each is perused with visions of vast bounties of tomatoes, green beans, potatoes, and a wide variety of herbs “dancing in our head’s.”
    Our learning curve for hydroponic growing inside the house continues to expand. One “new” item in a number of 2019 seed catalogs is, “kalettes,” which sound intriguing.
    Visited a turkey farm of a church friend yesterday. He’s one of a very few of the “phase growers” left in the area. Three phases means three separate turkey houses, each about 70′ wide and 300′ long. Phase 1 houses about 4,300 one-day old Tom poults. He holds them there for about six weeks. Phase 2 in the second house which holds about 3,900 six-seven week old juveniles. Lastly, Phase 3 houses about 3,500 adult birds each weighing nearly 50 pounds! Impressive but we’re going to stick to our 15 chicken hens and one rooster.
    Weather forecast is for cold and wet (rain) for the next couple of days. We’ve got everything primed and ready to go to finish the “deer-proofing” of our garden complex. Once that’s done, we’ll prep/winterize the individual garden plots and be all set to plant when spring arrives. Sounds like a good plan, by golly.

  4. I am on break back home in the Redoubt until I fly back for work next week. I thought nothing but a little organizing, reading some history and gardening books, and lots of outside exercise; however, I was able to procure quite a few veggies and some fruit from the local free food table that I am freezing or dehydrating. I prefer to dehydrate them and add to our pantry.

    I found some mending that needs to be done. Otherwise, I’m busy keeping house and tending the fire, and using up the not so good wood while I am able to pay close attention to the fire.

    It is not quite so exciting to sit still and pay off bills. We have the basics and are putting all other purchases on hold. There are some things we do need to get done (finish some dental work, tires, plant some apple trees this spring, and finish off the cabin), but mostly we are trying to live on as little as possible while making good wages. This working girl needs to keep on keeping on. Must be time for tea.

    So, while the world is probably spiraling into utter chaos, we are working as much we can to be free of any bills and rebuild the emergency fund. Sacrifice now for the future – whatever it may bring. Win – win all the around.

  5. The eagle surge is going on in my area too. I saw 3 in one tree yesterday! Our TUR is about half frozen. Also a herd of Bighorn sheep is in the area lately. They just don’t care if you are late, they will get out of the rode when they feel like it! Other than that I am doing inside organizing of supplies.

  6. Picked up a new book entitled “Self-sufficiency for the 21st Century” by Dick and James Strawbridge. Lots of good information on alternative energy and homesteading in general. I have been painting at our house in town getting ready to put it on the market in the Spring. Have been dry locking various parts of the basement at the BOL getting ready for the move there in June. The wife and I went through all the kitchen cupboards deciding what we are keeping and what we are getting rid of. We had some older plastic storage containers for food that we were not using that I will be using now in the barn. Packed up more of the reloading bench. Starting to work on the goals and objectives for 2019. Will also be starting a longer range plan for two and 3 years out as well.

  7. Some folks in our community are starting up a new restaurant, based on this model: https://www.google.com/search?q=same+cafe+denver+co+80206&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1

    The organizers have put out a request for kitchen ware like knives and serving spoons. My church has a great abundance of thaose items and I just made a request that we consider donating our unused surplus to support the new venture.

    On a different note, it was fifty years ago this last week that I qualified as a “sharpshooter” with the M-14. I was proud to finish in the top 20% of my platoon.
    Carry on

  8. Been buying MTM tactical ammo boxes and the like. Amazing when you put it all in one place how the holes in your supply stand out. Amazing the space savings when you put the ammo in the mags. I was worried about springs. Silly me.

    Checking dates on things. One of the first things I bought, well, the first thing I bought was a 30 day supply of alleged food made of something called textured vegetable protein. The first thing I bought worth trying was some Tactical Bacon. I open a can a week much to the delight of my children and the amusement of my wife. 1. Open can. 2. Receive bacon. It is pretty good stuff for 10 year old bacon. The paper packing drenched in bacon grease is great for giving a cast iron skillet a once over.

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