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!
Tomorrow, I’m heading home to the Rawles Ranch. Hopefully, the drive will take me only two days. But it could possibly be longer, depending on the road conditions. There is some snow in the weather forecasts for much of my route. I thank the Lord for studded snow tires and four wheel drive! Now, over to Lily…
Avalanche Lily Reports:
I want to thank many of your folks that commented on my recent article, A Cowgirl’s Night Out. We appreciated all of the ideas and suggestions that you wrote in the comments section concerning clothing and light discipline for others to learn from. For me, I mostly enjoyed my night out with the animals observing them and acclimating myself to being outside alone at night on our ranch. It was also a fun article to write. As the Lord God gives me more adventures, I will be sure to share them with you.
However, I feel like I need to clarify a few things in my article concerning clothes and Light Discipline. It appears that I there was a little bit of flak/misunderstanding from a few folks who seem to think, that if I am the wife of James Wesley, Rawles that I should have all of the same wisdom, knowledge and experience as he has.
But, I don’t. I wasn’t ever in the military…
Another thing, is that we only have a small cattle operation and our cows are of a small gentle breed, which are perfect for small families and homesteading operations. They are my friends and almost members of our family, but I am under no illusions that they could never hurt me. I have been kicked, butted and stepped on and it hurts–and these were actions done by accident or in play…
At our peak, our large animals included 4 horses, 8 cattle, and 8 goats all at one time. We live in the wilderness and as I say there is a very fine line between maintaining a wilderness home and a beautiful property with farming and the raising of livestock. Livestock can be very destructive to the vegetation and we wish for a balance and harmony between the two. Hence, we no longer own goats, and this is why we keep our large animal population fairly low. We do not want to over-graze!
There was a purposeful reason why I didn’t dress more properly for the night out, which I should have stated in the article…
The reason why I dressed so poorly, is that I purposely didn’t want to be too comfortable. I did not want to actually sleep out under the stars without any kind of shelter from wildlife or cows and horses moving around. I was worried about predators and possibly being trampled. If I was too comfortable and warm, eventually, I would have fallen asleep, maybe… I do not fall asleep easily if something is not “right”.
Therefore, I purposely wore only one pair of socks and Slogger garden shoes, to ensure that I would develop cold damp feet, which would add to my discomfort and help keep me awake. 😉 This was in the back of my mind as I selected the shoes.
I also purposely only brought out my old sleeping bag, in case it got dirty, because, it is easier to wash than one of the huge beautiful Wiggy’s sleep system bags that we have. Yes, I knew that it wouldn’t keep me as warm. But I wanted to test just how warm that old bag could keep me outside in the winter.
Later, when I realized how much I was enjoying my time out there, I did decide that I would sleep out, but that I’d do so inside my tent for some protection. As you will note, I, also put the tent out in the open parking lot where it was easily seen by all of the large livestock, and by my girls who were sleeping in the house, if they chose to look out the window..
So now you have the truth of the matter! 🙂
I do know how to dress properly and we do have super nice Wiggy’s sleeping bags. I do have some awesome warm ski pants, long johns, socks, winter boots, etc.
I do know a little bit about night vision techniques. But, I was quite nervous in the beginning and not entirely sure how all of the animals would react to me being out there with them which is why I turned the light on and off to see where they all were and what they were doing, and thus didn’t achieve good night vision until the clouds moved away. This was not a tactical exercise. We do have night vision equipment, but frankly, I don’t know where it presently is in the JASBORR stash. Furthermore, I’m not interested in searching for it. If Jim had been home, then I might have asked for it. If I did have it and broke it out there, I would have felt very badly.
We’ve been married nearly ten years, but we have been extremely busy, with the writing of the blog and books, raising kids, homeschooling, gardening, etc. So Jim hasn’t given me much training in military tactics and light discipline, but we have played around with starlight and FLIR scopes on a couple of occasions.
I want to say one more thing: I am a minimalist when it comes to equipment and survival gadgets. My thinking is… You know you could have all of the best and first rate equipment to keep you warm, help you see, keep you fed, keep you sheltered. But could you carry it all in a fleeing situation? What if you lose it, or it gets stolen from you? Can you function without it? This is why, here at the ranch, we are not high tech Preppers. Equipment breaks, fuel runs out, batteries eventually die, Photovoltaic panels can break. If you relied entirely on these things and didn’t have many of the real basics, then could you survive?
This is why we never use our backup generator during power outages. I would rather use our low tech lanterns and candles for light and our wood stove to cook and heat the house. In a long term grid down situation, the stored liquid fuel will eventually run out. This is why we are moving away from using the refrigerator/changing our diet to reflect not needing to refrigerate food items or left overs, etc.
Wouldn’t be better to test your mettle while being very close to home??
So, my perceived “stupidity” of dressing poorly and having poor light discipline, DID garner some good discussion, here, but, I want you to know it was done on purpose, to keep me uncomfortable. To be honest with you all, when I chose to wear those clothes and chose to tell you what I wore, I just knew I would hear from someone about how it was a poor choice of clothing and I wouldn’t be warm enough. I just knew it. 😉
Now I do have a question for you ladies out there: How many of you would dare to spend the night outside, in the wilderness, during the winter, by yourselves/alone, with proper gear? How many of you ladies have actually done so? Really, truly, I haven’t, yet. If I went off of our property up into the national forest and spent the night by myself, then I would claim it, but, I have only slept out in a tent on our own land, which is completely fenced, so that doesn’t count, even though we have national forest on several sides of us. I don’t know if I have the guts to do so.
This week, I mostly worked with the animals and writing these articles.
I did check to see if those lettuce seeds that I had planted in the greenhouse had germinated yet, and no they haven’t….
I have begun to move manure to the Annex Garden to continue building up that garden. I feel that the Extension garden has enough on it, for now.
I have begun to read and translate the Book of Job in Hebrew.
Now concerning, Iran and Trump’s assassination of General Soleimani, are you ready for a possible WWIII scenario? It would affect us greatly, here in the USA. Keep praying for our leaders to make the right decisions. Keep prepping and wrapping it up, while we still can do so. 2020, according to many prophetic words, is going to be many times worse than 2019 in terms of cascading events taking place.. Get your physical and spiritual houses in order, repent, stock up, stand up straight and lift up your head, do not fear, because our Lord is returning soon.
Daniel 7:9-14 reads:
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.
As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
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.