Editors’ Prepping Progress

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities and planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, ranch improvements, bug out bag fine-tuning, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. Note that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!

Jim Reports:

I’m again traveling out of state, to assist a elderly relative. So my entries in this column will probably be fairly brief and scant. Meanwhile, my lovely wife is looking after our ranch and livestock, so she will have far more to report.

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,
Well, there isn’t much to report. This week my projects consisted of homeschooling, and organizing our pantry hallway.

Now the girls and I are off the ranch, too, for a few days to take care of our grandsons. There was a need for their parents to be with parents-in-law (our son’s wife’s family) during a time of illness.  So now it is a time for all of our immediate family to attend to our family needs in various places of the western USA. We’re glad we can lend a hand in difficult and very sad times. Thankfully, our neighbors are attending our large and small livestock, while we are away.  At least it is fun to read to, feed, talk to, and play hide seek with the little guys.  We don’t see them often enough, because of distance.

May you all have a very blessed and safe week.

– Avalanche Lily, Rawles

o o o

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


  1. Hard fact about survival living on a farm, if you are going to survive, it is a total job. You can’t take a vacation, you can’t call in sick, you can’t put most things off, you have to prepare for the future. While others can help you, in the real world it is your responsibility. If cows or goats aren’t milked, they quit giving milk, and it doesn’t return until they have new young, if they are not fed or watered, in a few days they are dead or if out doors with food water and shelter, they may wander off, be stolen, or eaten by wild animals. The wheat you harvest requires that you prepare the soil, have the seed, do what is needed when needed, and have enough food to live until it is harvested, stored, kept safe from all the other things that eat wheat, requiring protection from weather, insects, 2 and 4 legged animals and birds, and have enough surplus to plant next year and to eat to stay alive until it is ready. LDS one year survival plan will keep you alive until the new crop is ready, it does nothing to prepare you for reproducing that years supply for the next year or leaving a safety margin if the sea gulls do not arrive and the grasshoppers eat all of your crop. Best lesson from Mr Rawles is that if things really do fall apart and FEMA or some one else doesn’t show up, in the long run no matter how well stocked with survival supplies , you are dead. Might be 3 days, 2 weeks, 1 year or 3, but if you don’t get replacements for your survival supplies after you have used them, you are dead.
    May do it as individuals in ranch by unnamed river, as a group, or as an organization, or community, but if you are going to survive, it has to be done. History is full of stories of individuals, groups, and even civilizations, that failed to meet those minimum requirements. We know about Jamestown, but Roanoak is a mystery and the results on Cape Cod weren’t much better, if not for eating the Indian’s stored seed corn and more supplies fro England, it would not have survived the first couple or 3 years.

    1. You sure lay it out there, Duane. Some of what you say flies in the face of the stories we were in grade school history. The “heroic white settler” stories, that is.

      Reality is a bitter pill to swallow, even the more when one is living it.

      Carry on

  2. Picked up my on-line order supplies including 10lb each of galvanized 6d 2” and 8d 2 1/2” nails; 2lb of galvanized 20d 4” nails. All through my “secret” supplier where I paid less than $4.50 for all those nails.

    The online order included numerous sockets, various pieces of small diameters of black pipe, copper lugs and 20’ of 6ga battery wire for some solar projects. Picked up 3 auto body hammers and the 3 dollies at the Salvation Army, thought if they can be used to work with sheet metal on cars they can be used to work on other metal sheets.

    Had a truck load of bank gravel delivered to fill in the ruts. Spent a few hours this week trying to move it where it needs to go. Sure wish I had a tractor!

    Finished up building the new shelf in the prep storage area and adding 2×4 supports on the existing shelving. Re-organized everything on the existing shelf and gained a lot of space, now that’s priceless!

    1. 3ADscout,the body hammers are designed to be used with backing tools called “dollies” in many shapes and sizes to fit the job(shaping,stretching,shrinking),working without these will not give good results. A basic set(3-5) is not very expensive.

  3. Company this week, so not much extra done. We don’t know many of our neighbors yet, so decided to have a Christmas party to meet them. Looks like we will start getting to know our neighbors with some cookies and a few hours this week. Between the few neighbors we know and have met out walking, it looks to be a nice diverse group of people. It takes me effort to know neighbors as I prefer to keep to myself; however, I can see the importance of developing these relationships if for no other reason than knowing who is trustworthy to call upon when needs must.

    1. That is a very interesting way to meet your neighbors. Thinking I might modify that for summer since it would be easier to hold outside. Speaking of neighbors we are getting a new neighbor this week. The couple next door are moving down to Florida. Hoping and praying that we get a like minded neighbor.

    2. This is an excellent and wise thing to do. My husband and I did the same thing and were pleased to learn we were surrounded by like-minded neighbors. That was years ago. We are now part of a community that feels like extended family. Our community has expertise in a wide array of professions, from construction to medicine to livestock/farrier/gardening endeavors. When there is a need, we all pitch in to help. This has included praying for each other, bringing meals when someone is sick, plowing roads, watching each other’s homes and caring for animals when folks are away, finishing construction projects before bad weather sets in, and sharing knowledge about many homesteading skills. None of us are alone. We all look after each other, and we all feel very blessed that God led all of us to this same special place.

  4. This is the first time I’ve written about prepping progress, however my wife and I have been preppers for several decades and long time readers of Survival Blog. We and now finished construction on our home and shop and have moved to our retreat located in the Olympic Peninsula, a temperate rain forest. I’m temporarily operating at a somewhat reduced capacity with a broken foot, but still making progress in my Spiritual and Prepping life. I’m truly enjoying the folks in the Bible study class that we attend as they are so receptive and responsive to my questions as I continue to grow my faith and understanding. Many of us feel End of Times prophesies are being fulfilled and I feel there is limited time to complete our preparations. I feel driven to expedite my preps as we are never finished and I think it is the Holy Spirit that is urging me on. On the physical side of prepping I’m a bit limited in the time I can stand or walk, so I sat at the reloading bench finishing the 357s I started last winter for a total count of 700 and another 300 of 38 shotshells…just because. I’ve started working on 9mm which should take most of the remaining winter. I also upgraded springs and followers in factory 1911 7rd mags to expand them to 8 rd capacity. I previously spent a small fortune to upgrade to factory 8 round mags for my 1911s and had all the 7 rounders set aside as backup and then I found a limited source of springs and followers with enough to upgraded a third of my 7 rd mags. This is something to consider if one is already contemplating replacing springs as the only other part needed is the follower. This was something I hadn’t realized earlier and it makes good economic sense so I wanted to take the opportunity to pass along the idea. Additionally, I won a Seismic Intrusion Detector Kit on eBay and it arrived yesterday. It’s the complete kit and it appears to be new old stock. I’m really excited about this and I know right where I want the detectors to go and once they are installed that will close up the ol back door that I’ve been concerned about. I’ll be installing conduit and wire next summer once the ground dries out. I also took advantage of the wonderful black Friday internet sales and purchased three more cases of #10 cans. We are truly out of storage space in our large pantry. We are soooo Blessed and ask God’s Blessing for all of you.

      1. I’d like that too. I’ve noticed your posts and it’s always good to meet fellow preppers even though we are a bit far apart to be neighbors as I’m further South. But still it might just be a good idea and it appeals to me….Maybe after the Holidays we can meet someplace in the middle?

  5. Neighbors and community are certainly necessary but they can be both a blessing and a curse. Most of my neighbors would come to feed and water the animals if I asked, but that would be only in an emergency. Most of us are 50+ and only a few young families around who want this life style. In a 15 mile stretch of road there are only 3 young families, who spend all their time commuting to the city for jobs.

    Cleaned out the rabbit hutches and added new straw; put birthing boxes in for the pregnant females. Cleaned out the large chicken coop and replaced the straw.

    The local grocer had chicken leg quarters on special for 29 cents/pd. I put 25 pds in the pressure cooker and baked the rest in the oven I use the skin and drum sticks to make dog/cat food. Use the thighs to make jerky and put in pot pies. Plus I got a gallon of chicken broth; all for less than $10.

    FD more turkey, brussel sprouts, blueberries and blackberries. Fresh oranges and apples are next.

    Made beef jerky, chicken jerky and lots of cookies. Put together home-made treat bags for the the UPS and FedEx delivery folks who come out in the country for us and put a gift card in the box for the regulars.

    Mailed gift boxes to the grand children. Postage has certainly gone up since I last USPS’d a box!! Usually I have Amazon deliver since it’s free, but this year was different and it was expensive.

    Started working on food gift boxes for my elderly neighbors of soups, chili, chicken pot pie, summer sausage, cheese and cookies. I want to put together a vegan gift box with home-made soup, pasta sauce, salsa and cookies for new folks down the road, but had to stop and hunt for vegan recipes and special ingredients so that project is on-going.

    Have a safe and productive week!

  6. But for real, if you are not about willing to die for what our forefather’s have done for us . at the drop of a hat die to defend the United States, stand for God in our schools communities and churches.keep moral ethics of men, women, and family. And I could go on but in the Rockies we still fight, still have faith. And love our neighbor. My point is: If you do not want to be part of this, to live by this I don’t want to sound frank. But maybe you should stay in the city. Thanks for your time. And Bless this country, God Almighty, and our President. Amen

  7. The new wood shed is finally done.It is 12×30 and I didn’t think it would take so long to finish.
    We got our white spuds canned this week(83 quarts) and the yams (24 quarts & 11 pints ).
    The pressure canner asked for the week off and we need to find more jars.
    The neighbor kids help us a lot with chores that are hard on us,so we had a pizza/ ice cream
    and movie party for them last night.
    Our book on growing micro greens arrived along with Granny’s peach tea bags.
    We watched one of President Reagan’s old speeches.Its the one where said “ liberals aren’t
    ignorant it’s what they know and say is wrong”.
    What a great man.

  8. Finished having the plumber hooking up the new jet pump for the water cistern. We now have 5000 gallons all underground storage in concrete. Plastic water cisterns kept deteriorating after a spell.

    Filled the hot water tank and inside storage tank. Fired up the heaters in the crawl space and now we’re ready for winter.

  9. Longtime preppers here. After a long-overdue inventory and organization of our med preps we added two books: ‘The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way’ By Joseph Alton and Amy Alton A.R.N.P., and ‘Where There Is No Dentist’ by Murray Dickson.

    Other books we have include: ‘Nuclear War Survival Skills’ by Cresson Kearny, ‘Back to Basics’ by Abigail Gehring, ‘Bacteriological Warfare’ by Larry Wayne Harris, ‘The Prepared Family Guide to Uncommon Diseases’ by Enola Gay, and ‘Where There Is No Doctor’ by David Werner.

  10. It’s a preppers’ Christmas in our family except for a few, small stocking stuffers. Everyone’s on board so all enjoy the really useful stuff. Since all will be driving this year, I am actually sending them home with a big bag of rice and some extra flour and sugar. I promise I won’t wrap it as a gift, but maybe a farewell in the driveway gift. I always add, it’s all so easy now. We’ve started our Christmas jam deliveries to our neighbors. This year’s featured jam is cherry, a new one for us. It’s pretty tasty. We’ll see what feedback we get. Walmart had cute jelly jars with cherries on them so I couldn’t resist. Adding essential oils and also spices. Bland food is not much fun to eat.
    Prayers for the Rawles family.
    Be sure your family has a code word that signals when it’s time for everyone to spring into action.

  11. Thank you folks for your prayers. There is great sadness and loss in our son’s extended family this weekend.

    Thankfully we know the destination of our loved one. We all loved this woman of faith and will miss her terribly!

    Despite our deep sadness, the girls and I are very much enjoying our time with the grandsons. They are jolly well behaved little fellows, so much fun to hold and hug, play games with, talk to, cook with, reading stories both secular and from the bible: David and Goliath, and get their ideas of things. They learned some key hiding strategies from their old granny of which they hadn’t seen before, courtesy from my own father 45 plus years ago. 🙂 Their laughter and delight at these new revelations is totally contagious. 🙂 What fun!

    Again thank you for your prayers for our families. May you all be blessed this weekend.

    Now I need to get back to those boys.


  12. This week’s efforts, besides the upcoming Holiday:
    – Tore out an old wall and replaced some framing, put in much better insulation (its a very old house) and rewired the receptacles.
    – Hardware store run. Taking advantage of cyber week deals saved us a lot of money on planned purchases this year. Added rechargeable batteries, a new battery powered panel light, a mobile workbench, and miscellaneous items. I favor Ridgid brand for battery powered tools as they offer the ONLY lifetime warranty on the tools and the _batteries and chargers_ when purchased in a kit.
    – Seasonal checks on the heating system completed this week, including changes to the humidifier.
    – Stenciled some of our new storage containers. We are using the Plano Sportsmans Trunks. They are available in three sizes, have tie-down points, are lockable and are nearly waterproof (except for submersion) and the best price we’ve found is at Cabela’s.
    – Helped a neighbor fell and cut down some trees.
    – Finished sealing the new shop addition, now ready for insulation.
    – Drove around with the mini-truck and collected large rocks from the roadways. We use them all around the property as bed markers, small barriers, retaining walls, erosion control, etc.
    – Helped a neighbor install his new propane heater.
    – Seasonal batteries hooked up to their trickle chargers and stored.

    On a non-prepping note, I also broke a bit while making a platter for a Christmas gift. The leading blade edge fractured off but fortunately didn’t cause any damage to me or my equipment. A 1/2 inch piece of blade flinging across the room at 2800rpm could real damage – so remember your eye protecton, gloves, and body position when working. It’s not just power tools either – be safe in all you do.

    1. Just make sure you register your rigid batteries as a personal expense. I have bought several rigid tools and batteries. I have also registered them with my company name the same day I purchased. All three times, three weeks after I registered them I got a letter stating that my registration had a problem and was invalid. In the future I will only register with .m
      y personal information not my companies.

  13. First, prayers to you dear Rawles family members.

    Then, a couple small victories.
    Wednesday, we had a very successful micro-greens workshop with community education. Lively discussion with lots of questions.

    Saturday, finally caught up with a friend who lost his farm three years ago. We been long time wonderin’ about the status of him and his family. He told me a story of government overreach and “tyranny”, his word. I am just grateful to see all of them again and to support them with buying their excellent maple syrup and produce.

    Carry on

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