Lessons Learned the Hard Way About Food Storage, by The Northern Prep

This is our fourth year of prepping, and we are planning to make a full-time move to our retreat location by spring. We believe the Lord is compelling us to move now, and we are working diligently to get there as soon as possible. By the way, if you have been paying attention, the world looks really bad. This weekend was a significant eye-opener, as we cleaned and inventoried our pantry for the move. I would like to share the experience. However, before we do so, you need to have a bit of our background for a full understanding, so please have a little patience.

In early 2010, we purchased an old farm for recreational purposes. It would be hard to find a couple with more predisposition to be preppers than my wife and I. Both of us have a healthy concern for the government; we home school our children; … Continue reading

Retreat Owner Profile: Mr. & Mrs. India

Mr. and Mrs. India

Ages: 34 & 33

SOs: Three children 6 and under

Profession: U.S. Military Serviceman


He: Grew up in Florida, raised in a self-reliant family, attend and commissioned from a military educational institution, married his sweetheart, completed pilot training, and is currently stationed at his sixth military installation.

She: Grew up in Idaho, raised by a self reliant and second amendment loving family, moved off to school, took work as a nanny, worked as an accountant, is currently a loving mother and supportive military spouse. For the most part she lives the self reliant lifestyle with things like grinding wheat and making bread while he spends money on the latest and greatest gadgets. Present Home: 4 bedroom/2 car garage, government house on a northern tier military installation. I would get paid a housing allowance if I lived off the installation and there could be lots of … Continue reading

Retreat Owner Profile: Mr. & Mrs. Enfield in Canada

Background – I am a 40-year old male, my Missus is a year younger and we have three children. The children are active in school, church and 4H. The eldest is a known “good worker” in the neighborhood and during summer vacation is in high demand for haying, etc. Middle child is interested in chickens and sewing. The youngest is an all round good helper and loves to go to the woods.
I have always been interested in farming and in non-electric tools and equipment. My off-farm job keeps me busy 50 hours per week. Missus does not work outside of the home.
I can build or fix most anything. I got those skills from my father although he is better and faster at it that I am. I have never had a high income so we “use it up, wear it out, make do or … Continue reading

Overseas Retreat Owner Profile: Mr. and Mrs. Zephyr in Trinidad and Tobago

A rental three bedroom roomy apartment in suburbs. One hour from capital city of 30,000 on a relatively large Caribbean island, with nearer smaller towns. Ten minute drive to large mall, and ‘Big Box’ mart.

Ages: 44 and 28

SOs: Two children, 12 year old and 2 year old.

ANNUAL INCOME:varies from $9,000 to $13,000.

PROFESSION: Photographer/Entrepreneur and Seamstress/Homemaker

INVESTMENTS: Various modest financial tools including stocks, CDs, savings, mutual funds, annuity, and Silver Eagles.

VEHICLES: Nissan station wagon (2000), 18-speed mountain bike

FIREARMS BATTERY: No firearms, due to excessively restrictive, outdated, draconian, colonial laws. Also, most government policy makers are hoplophobes. Unless one is wealthy, then the chances of affording the necessary bribe to senior officials for a firearms license is slim to remote.

MAIN BATTERY: No firearms. 2 air guns: RWS magnum .177 smoothbore air rifle. (1,000 fps). Webley Tempest .177 smoothbore air pistol. (450 … Continue reading

Two Letters Re: Mr. Romeo’s Retreat Owner Profile

Dear Mr. Rawles,

I read Mr. Romeo’s retreat plans, and I would like to add a couple of things to his preparations list. The one glaring omission I see in his list is a lack of HF communications gear. VHF radios are line of sight communications, which is great if you’re planning on staying within range of the coast. If he plans on heading out to deeper waters though, HF gear becomes a lifeline to Pacific maritime nets, weather information, and other useful resources. Even if he doesn’t plan on transmitting, an HF receiver would allow him to listen to shortwave broadcasts. Radio Australia and Radio New Zealand broadcast to the Pacific almost around the clock, as well as other world services. I would think he could even tune into a lot of American medium wave AM stations at night as these radio waves … Continue reading

Retreat Owner Profile: Mr. Romeo

Retreat: Live-aboard 30-Foot Sailboat

Age: One male 34 years old

Background: Grew up in small town next to Vandenberg Air Force Base, watching missiles being launched and sometimes blown up [“flight terminated”] over the ocean. I always knew that seeing one missile being launched meant “test” and that two or more mean “imminent death”. Grew up with most “toys” being bought at army surplus stores. My brother and I were the only kids who when we played “war” dressed in full army gear, complete with combat boots, helmet with outer cloth cover stuffed with branches, belt with two canteens, belt back pack, shovel, ammo cases, full camo clothes…the list goes on and on.

I moved to a southern California harbor 40 miles from Santa Cruz Island about two years ago to be closer to work (and distance myself from the nuke magnet–Vandenberg AFB). I have been getting everything … Continue reading

Retreat Owner Profile: Mr. and Mrs. Dulce in Chile

70+ acre Chilean Retreat, plus a 1,500 acre cattle grazing permit.

Ages: 43 and 41, and one child age 3

Background: Family is from upstate New York, dairy farmers. I grew up in NC, history major who went into the Army as an aviator. Spent time living, travelling, and working in over 50 countries. Separated from the army as a Major and went into investments. Retired to Chile in the 2000s.

Why Chile? – Chile is the best kept secret in the world. A strong democratic country with five major political parties, Chile is very stable. Chile has lived thru the tough times when a communist leaning government threw the country into chaos, and a military government took control to restore things. Chile has seen what social disorder can do to a country, and that memory influences the country today. The country runs a budget surplus (Chile is the world’s … Continue reading

Retreat Owner Profile–Mr. & Mrs. Tico in Costa Rica

Present home : Farm in Northern Costa Rica
Ages : 54 & 57
Two sons 30 & 32, who are living in North Carolina.
Income $50,000 USD/year secure (many diverse overseas investments) and a tourism business currently at $120,000 or so per year ( I own a botanical garden) .
Additional income from fruit groves and tilapia ponds $15,000/year.

Profession : Gunsmith, nursery grower, waterscaper, fish farmer .

Vehicles : Two 1970s Toyota Land Cruiser BJ40’s with 2.4 diesel engines, kept in top-notch condition and a 2 cycle Ez-Go golf cart set up [with tires and suspension] for all terrain.

Firearms : 2 Mossberg Maverick 8 shot 12 gauge shotguns (best pump gun ever made, never saw many broken in my 30 years of repair work ), Stainless Ruger 10/22, Stainless .223 bolt action in a custom bullpup stock, 2 Security Six … Continue reading

After 10 Years–Some Observations and Lessons Learned by a Y2K-Era Prepper

It was June, 1998. Y2K was a salient topic of conversation. It got my attention. When the electricity went off and there would be no water to drink, and no fuel to move food to the JIT grocery stores, I could see things getting very ugly. I had been willing to fight for this nation as a member of the US Army. Now it was time to fight for my household. I bought a Springfield Armory M1A. I bought a safe to store it in. I bought another M1A (for the spousal unit of course!) I bought ammo. Lots of it. I bought gear. I bought food. I became awakened to the idea of being self-reliant.
That was 10 years ago. Y2K didn’t cause a global melt down. (Although I have a friend in the service that sat in a command … Continue reading

Retreat Owner Profile: Mr. and Mrs. Foxtrot

Present home: Recently moved to new residence in luxury community in South Texas because of a job loss in the Northwest. we sold our our 40 acre retreat because prices were top of the market and it could help in Texas to have no mortgage and to continue preparations. Many acquisitions will occur within the next year including another retreat property (prices are about same as when we bought our first retreat and inventory up in the Northwest.)

Ages: 46 and 51

SOs: One adult child that lives out of state

Annual income: $61,000+.

Profession: Technology (him) and Homemaker (her).

Investments: Law Enforcement Degree for child (once graduated soon and in a job should come in handy), A mix of local real estate, conventional securities in retirement accounts, stocks/options, valuable collections and junk silver including coins in 1000’s face value.(currently turning the collections into cash)

Vehicles: Honda CRV … Continue reading

Retreat Owner Profile: Mr. Uniform

Present Home: 63 year old brick veneer over weather board farmhouse (1,300 square feet) built by my father. 25 acres, consisting of 3.5 acres of pine, 9 acres of old growth hardwoods, 1.5 acres of apple, pear, pecan, grape, muscudine, and scuppernong orchard/grove/vineyard. Additional 900 square foot house, 100 year barn (30’x30′ with loft and sheds), outdoor privy, detached 24’x24′ garage building, 140 square foot storage building, dog house/lot, hog house lot (not used at present). Approximately three acres in farmstead buildings, drives, and gardens. Balance of land in open arable land presently used by neighbor as native grass hay field. All but the very front of house is inside a fence. Yard and road frontage is behind a five foot chain link or five foot wood picket fence. Remainder of property line is behind an old five-strand barbed wire fence (needs upgrading). Property is in northwest portion of South … Continue reading

Reader Poll Results: Your TEOTWAWKI Resume — 100 Words and 100 Pounds

Some of these stretched the 100 word limit. (I skipped posting one that rambled on far beyond the limit.) The poll’s premise in a nutshell: “If someday you went to the gates of a survival community post-TEOTWAWKI and pleaded the case for why you should be let past the barricades and armed guards to become a valuable working member of the group, would you get voted in? Taken objectively, would you vote yourself in?”


I am a shoe maker (not just a repairman) can repair saddles tan leather have done ranch work mechanics weld gardening skills set a broken bone stitch up a bad wound can bake bread etc, shooting skills need work only 5.5 MOA on AQT. Can milk a cow make butter some basic carpentry skills can use a wood lave make one if needed to know how to set up … Continue reading

Retreat Owner Profile: Mr & Mrs. “FerFAL” in Buenos Aires, Argentina

AGE: 28
SOs: Wife 30, 4 year old son
Currently living in the southern Buenos Aires suburbs in a 2 story masonry house with independent reinforced concrete structure.
The houses share walls to the left and right, all around the block, completely enclosing the back yards which are divided by walls or fences covered with libustrina plants. You lose some privacy (noises, loud parties) but you ensure a rather safe garden and back yard for the children to play in since the streets haven’t been safe for a while now, and no responsible adult lets his children play on the street these days.
BACKGROUND: My parents are both accountants, and emigrated to Spain after the 2001 crisis. Both my grandparents emigrated to Argentina from Spain, escaping civil war. Its is ironic that their children and grandchildren escape the country that once sheltered them, back … Continue reading

Retreat Owner Profile: Mr. and Mrs. Oscar

Home/property: Located in eastern Wisconsin. 160 acres of mixed pine and oak forest. 32,000 trees planted in the last two years. Entered in tree management program. House 2,800 square feet. Principally heated by a soapstone stove with propane hot water backup. Built in 1981. Outbuilding shed/library/reloading room. A 40×30 pole barn. Shed has cast iron “cooking/heating” stove, wood fired…propane backup. 1,000 gallon propane tank. Inverter in place for addition of 6,500 watt diesel generator to be installed spring ’07. 200 gallons gasoline stabilized and in place. 70 gallons kerosene. 500 gallon diesel tank to be in place at addition of generator. Several solar panels in inventory and more to follow. Plan to get off grid by ’09 if there is time. Have 15 springs and an artesian flow into 18 acres of wetland with a five acre pond adjacent to home. Pond built as trout rearing facility by Continue reading

Three Letter Re: Internet and Search Engine Privacy

I’ve done a lot of experimenting on this and offer my take:

Rule Number One: The U.S. Government is monitoring domestic internet traffic. Anybody visiting Survivalblog is already suspect by the government because of it’s very subject matter. Assume that you are being monitored. Let’s not be naive here please.

Anonymizer is obviously monitored by the Government because it maintains logs of in/out IP Addresses.

Tor…the Onion Router is the best way to go if you have DSL or Cable high-speed internet connection because there is no central logging. I use it.

CCleaner [Cache Cleaner] at http://www.ccleaner.com/ is the very best way to keep your computer free of what snoops want. It is FREE, tiny, fast, easy, and I click on it after every internet surf. It instantly removes all tracking cookies. It also instantly removes all those useless internet temp files that clog/slow … Continue reading