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!

JWR Reports

This week I did a my usual writing and my livestock chores. I also made the time for some target shooting and AR immediate action drill practice sessions with our #1 Daughter (Eloise.)

I’m still on my hunt for private party SIG P320 trigger group modules and a few more AR lowers. (A man can never have too many, especially with Democrats in control of congress.) My goal is to be fully stocked before S.42 comes up for a vote on the Senate floor. If I wait and it passes, then prices will sure skyrocket. $50 lowers will become $300 lowers. Hopefully it won’t pass, but I always hedge my bets.

Avalanche Lily Reports

Dear Readers,
This week again flew by very fast for us.  We had great winter weather of snow showers and some sun.  I really enjoy this time of the year.  This week, finally, both girls joined me for cross country skiing for four days in a row and we skied for a total of about seven hours.  The snow conditions and temperatures have been perfect.  We skied in flat land and then up in some hills.  I feel that I have really built up some endurance and muscles during the past five weeks of skiing.  It feels really good.  I’m hoping that we will continue to have good cold and snowy conditions for skiing for the next four weeks. And then, may the rains come and melt all of the snow chick chock, so I can get the garden in ASAP this year. I’m hoping with the girls, to go right from skiing to running without any break.  Jim should join us with the running! Jim?  My husband is a California-born boy and just doesn’t do too well on skis. But nothing is stopping him from trail running, right? Jim?  🙂

This week, I did some shopping to get a few more items in case of an SHTF event, soon.  I bought more tarps, new hatchets for backpacking and for each vehicle, lamps, lamp oil, and kerosene, Sterno cans for backpacking, and winter waterproof ski gloves.  Some of these items we will add to our stash and/or barter with, if need be. I also bought another 50 pound bag of oats and some other groceries.

I bought a size-adjustable Ecogear Pinnacle 65L backpack for Miss Violet.  Her body stature demanded an adjustable internal frame pack to fit her correctly.  As soon as she got that bag home, she immediately, and with great excitement, packed all of her gear into it.  Once our second set of Wiggy’s bags arrive, hopefully this coming week, we will have rounded out most of our needed gear for backpacking trips. This coming week, we will be carefully going through all of our gear, and will be making some semi-final decisions of what is appropriate for us to hike with/bug out with in our packs and we’ll give you a basic list of what we think is important, for our region and for the appropriate season.  Then this spring, after taking a few trips, we’ll tell you what more we think we need to adjust.

The local farrier came this week and trimmed the hooves of our equines.  One of our horses has had some ongoing trouble with her hooves during the past two summers, which puts a damper on our riding of them.  Currently, all hooves are healthy.  We’re hoping that we can mitigate the problem this summer and get them back into shape and ride them more often, maybe even go horse back camping, too?  It’s time for them to again be more than expensive beloved pets/lawn ornaments.  🙂

May you all have a blessed and safe week, – Jim and Avalanche Lily Rawles

o o o

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


  1. Plans are moving forward on the time line for my return home to the Redoubt. It’s looking like I can return earlier than expected if I can land a job locally. With only 2 years remaining, our son should be transferring and moving to a city to finish his schooling and AFROTC training. He qualified to try to be a pilot, but it is entirely dependent upon the needs of the AF. We just continue praying for the right place for this God loving young man.

    So, we are upping our work on our cabin here in the East. Lots to be done to have it in turnkey shape earlier than planned. Fortunately it will not be too costly as we still have financial obligations to attend to.

    We have been at this a long time and are still not where we want to be. So many obstacles popped up that we could not have foreseen or planned for that really hindered our progress. But God!…always the Lord provided and showed us a way. I say this to encourage those of you who are in the midst of setback – whether false legal persecutions or illness or house fire or a rebellious child or death or just stupidity; we’ve been there, done that. The important thing is to move forward every day. One of the best things I ever learned from my parents was faith-filled grit, and grit with a smile is worth all the gold in the world! Keep the faith. Prayerfully, PJGT

  2. Our mail carrier ran down my wife yesterday to tell her she had dropped off a large box of goodies on our front porch. It was my uppers from Palmetto State Armory! Only 3 days from the time of order. Can’t tell you how happy I am with that purchase. Next, I need to find some lowers so I can get these girls together. Suggestions would be welcomed. Thanks to JWR for the daily deal tip from PSA. God bless and stay safe all.

    1. 80percentlower.com

      purchase the more expensive jig and because you don’t need a drill press. Have fun over the winter building your “undocumented” lowers. Oh, did I just say “undocumented” – liberals will be ticked now!!!

  3. Today I am doing my bit for community preparedness. In Bremerton, WA, the Peninsula Fruit Club will be hosting it’s annual Spring Show and Grafting Clinic. I’m heading out right now for the 90 minute drive.

    For very low prices, we’ll let the public pick from over 400 varieties of apples, pears, apricots, cherries, kiwis, berries, and we’ll graft the apple and pear varieties to regionally-suitable root stock for them.

    Most of the apple and pear varieties are heirloom, some being favored for up to 300 years for various qualities such as storage quality, cooking, canning, pies, or fresh eating.

    One club member intensively manages 1.5 acres, and a few years back produced and sold 56,000 pounds of fruit off that small acreage. Many other members are small producers as well. We also have information tables, mason bees and houses for sale, classes on pruning, grafting, berry production, plant diseases and management.

    Club members also bring in various potted plants, bulbs like garlic, etc., for sale at nominal cost, the funds going to the club to pay for the facility use and materials cost for the clinic.

    God Bless

    1. Wheatley Fisher-

      Our local conservation district does a similar sale but probably about a 1/3 of the choices. I didn’t have any experience or knowledge with planting root stock, only ever planted stock with a root ball. After talking to several people who had I am glad I can say it is easy and I’m happy so far with the outcome. Of 8 Apple trees, 7 are doing great, one needs a little more help. All 3 of the blueberry bushes are strong too. My elderberry however didn’t make it at all. Which is odd since I thought they would do the best. Will be trying again since they have lots of Vitamin C and antioxidant in them.

      1. Thanks for the note, I got 70 assorted bush seedlings a week ago from our conservation district as well. I suggest you do three things, given that these crops are perennial you never have to replant, just care for them like I do:

        1- Establish more redundancy through additional plantings through more producing trees and bushes of the varieties you prefer, or if limited space then getting the three-in-one or four-in-one trees.

        The book “Eating On The Wild Side” by Jo Robinson, caused us to make life changes in varietal selection for us.

        Sell, store, or barter any excess fruits in the future. I bought another used chest freezer for $100 for that purpose, and store hundreds of dollars of fresh frozen cider, berries, apples, plums, and other fruits in it.

        Some cider (like the mixed Pear/Apple/Grape, aka PAG in our family) becomes family favorites and I give to young families in our church.

        2. Establish much more crop resiliency and diversity. We just moved to our new homestead so I am restarting myself. You have a good start, so look at adding the following like I did:

        Honeyberry- 3 varieties
        Grapes- 4 varieties now, and yesterday I got 6 more varieties of cuttings yesterday and our Show
        Currants- 3 varieties
        Goji Berry
        Aronia- 2 varieties
        Medlar ( I’m ordering 2 varieties this spring)
        Seaberry (I’m reordering 2 varieties)
        Plums -2 varieties (but 4 would be better)
        one club member has grafted five varieties onto one sturdy tree as it grows
        Cherries- 2 kinds but 4 is better.
        Raspberries- Tulameen, Meeker, Caroline are the most nutritious.
        Nut crops for your area- i.e.Chestnut, Hazlenut/Filbert, Walnut. Chestnuts produce terrifically with modern US varieties grafted onto hardy foreign rootstock to avoid disease.

        3. Spend the equivalent protection for your crops as you do for your 2A collection.

        Build strong fencing, and overhead netting to keep out wildlife. Take your pick of deer, black bear, coyotes, racoons and dozens of bird species. All have decimated crops and will pillage and destroy yours. Domestic animals will too.

        Prepare for bird depredation threat by regular trimming to a hedge and build an easy removable cage with netting and PVC, that goes clear to the ground. Robins repeatedly crawled under our netting gap in a single spot one year.

        Small birds will strip crops in a couple days.

        Our paper just published a page today documenting that flocks of geese and trumpeter swans absolutely ravaged 10 acres of overwintering cole crops on an organic farm here.

        The same paper today noted that on this 3rd day of March in 1944 our county officials and game department asked “everyone with a shotgun in our county to go out and shoot the winged teal flocks” that were ravaging all the field crops.

        This winter we’ve had flocks of geese, teal, and mallards repeatedly stripping the clover in our hay pasture down to the dirt.

        God Bless

    2. Wow, Wheatley Fisher, I want to live near you. I guess I’ll stumble along here with what fruits are available. Looking at serviceberry and elderberry for tis summer.

      Carry on

    3. Wow, Wheatley Fisher, I want to live near you. I guess I’ll stumble along here with what fruits are available. Looking at serviceberry and elderberry for this summer.

      Carry on

      1. In our county in the Redoubt at 4500 feet, we’d harvest chokecherry, serviceberry/juneberry, some buffalberry, currant bushes, and fruit trees selected for the northern plains, and grew big gardens with a few livestock. But now we’re living in the PNW, things are greener but the fight for freedom is grittier.

  4. If you haven’t already tried Wiggys fish net underwear and his socks you owe it to yourself to try out a pair. I spend approximately 75 to 80 days a year out in the field and used to swear by wool socks.. I always found that no matter the weather I would have to change my socks several times a day to keep dry feet no matter the temperature. With Wiggys socks I can wear the same pair for days and be comfortable.. I used to have and wear several types and weights of poly pro but was never truly comfortable and they always developed that funky smell we all know after extended wear. I’ve since changed to fish nets and have eliminated all my problems. Where I hunt in north Florida the winter temp swings from high teens to mid 60 in one day. Difficult temps to stay comfortable to say the least.

  5. Question for Miss Lily:
    On Jim’s recommendation I bought I Wiggy’s bag for each member of my family several years ago…and they are great bags but very bulky. My wife and I are in process of becoming newbie backpackers and planning some several day trail hikes in future. How do you backpack a Wiggy’s? Or is there another model that I am not aware of?
    I could have directed this to Jim but…. Jim? Jim? 🙂

    1. Dear John,

      We have three different weights of Wiggy’s bags: a heavy weight and a light weight that when zipped together form FTRSS.

      We also, just last week, ordered three of their medium weight bags which Wiggy’s advertises as an Ultra-light.

      They are, I think they are 3.4 lbs in weight, which we will use for Spring-Fall backpacking. As of last week they were on sale for $150 dollars. We are waiting for them to arrive in the mail and are looking forward to seeing how functional they are for us. See last weekend’s Prep Post for the link to the bag we bought.



  6. I have to wonder Lily, how a Wiggys system would work up here in the arctic for winter camping? The idea of a light weight system is attractive … but …

    1. Yes, Trump will probably veto S.42 if it reaches his desk as a standalone bill. However, the real risk is if congress rolls it into a larger bill. That is exactly how we got saddled with the Form 4473 and dealer licensing in the first place: Back in 1968, President Nixon signed the Omnibus Safe Streets Act, which was a raft of legislation including the Gun Control Act of 1968. Packaged legislation is sometimes difficult for a president to resist. In Trump’s case, if a big “safety” legislative bundle includes both H.R.8/S.42 AND border wall funding, then what will Mr. Let’s Make Deal decide to do? Pray hard, folks. And hedge your portfolio into ARs.

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