Editors’ Prepping Progress

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make both 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.  We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in your e-mailed letters. We post many of those — or excerpts thereof — in the Odds ‘n Sods Column or in the Snippets column. Let’s keep busy and be ready!

Jim Reports:

After nearly a three-week delay because of my head cold, I finally got back to firewood cutting at my usual pace.

For the first time ever, I’ve been cutting deadfall in the adjoining National Forest. Up until this year, I had only been cutting wood on our ranch.  The USFS domestic firewood-cutting permits are issued in four-cord increments and are free of charge for cutting up to 16 cords per year. One stringent limitation is that wood can be cut no more than six feet long. This is to prevent people from cutting wood to mill into framing lumber, rather than for firewood. And the permits are intended only for personal domestic use — no firewood selling is allowed.

I’ve been busy packing and mailing out Elk Creek Company orders. Our current sale on all of our percussion revolver inventory has resulted in a burst of sales.

Now, Lily’s report…

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,
We had a beautiful week here in the Redoubt, after heavy thunderstorms early in the week.  With the cool down from the storms, afternoon high temperatures gradually climbed from the high fifties to the low eighties as the week progressed.

This week, Miss Violet and I went and helped Jim bring in the wood and stacked it.

This has been a week of heavy deep cleaning.

We have a corner cupboard in our kitchen stuffed with food products that were being used and with food products that I am not regularly using.  Those that were not being used were brought out to our food storage cool room, or were fed to the chickens, or thrown away.  Now only those that I really use are left in that cupboard.  It feels good to finally get that cleaned out and organized.

We cleaned out a closet in the guest bedroom that had all of our sleeping bags, tents, pillows and blankets, five totes of packing materials for Elk Creek Company, and camping gear. I consolidated several totes. Now it is all consolidated the way I like it. There were also in that closet lots of crafts and mementos from when the Memsahib was with Jim.  Some of the pillows and blankets were taken out and washed.  Jim ordered special bags to put them into, since there is an intermittent mouse problem. All but one tote of packing material was brought out to the shop. We put aside many boxes filled with crafts and mementos that Jim will deliver to the youngest son to go through, photograph, and distribute among the brothers.

We also deep cleaned one section of our barn that was in horrible shape with an old pack rat nest, old broken tools, tarps, animal feeders, cages, et cetera. There was also horse, cow, rabbit, and Guinea Pig paraphernalia, old stock water heaters, propane tanks, sleds, sports equipment, canoe/kayak paddles, and so forth.  A lot was thrown out, some was put in the shop, some animal equipment was put into renewed use, some was moved to our horse trailer tack room. Some old tools were brought to the shop to be re-handled or otherwise repaired, et cetera.

I think we can safely say, that except for the garage, we have mostly deep-cleaned most areas of the ranch infrastructure at this point. We have squirreled away so much stuff!  It can be seriously overwhelming at times.  Now I think we have a good handle on what we have and where it is now located.

I planted more potatoes and worked on the third garden bed, scything the tall grass and chickweed and using my new hand plow and the mechanical rototiller.

Last year I started from seed some pineapple strawberry plants.  This week they began producing yummy sweet pineapple-tasting berries. I also harvested our first red strawberry from the orchard garden patch.

Our senior bull went to the butcher this week.  I was very sad for him most of the week. It really depressed me.  I hate our original sin that makes us need to eat meat.  I had a real friendship with him and he had relationships with each and every one of our other large beasties here on the ranch. So sad.  It’s one thing to butcher a yearling or two-year-old that you didn’t develop a relationship with and it’s quite another situation when you have had five or six years with a bovine!  A sad week. I have sold our last cow and heifer.  Lord willing, our first new A2 cow and her heifer calf will arrive at the ranch to join our A2 bull and to begin our new herd, next week.

May You All Remain Safe, Blessed, and Hidden in Christ Jesus,

– Avalanche Lily, Rawles

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As always, please share and send e-mails of your own successes and hard-earned wisdom and we will post them in the “Snippets” column this coming week.  We want to hear from you.