Letter: A Raspberry Pi Computer is Recommended Gear

Consider setting aside one or more Raspberry Pi 3 computers. They run on 5v and have a complete operating system with compilers, web browser, word processor, spreadsheet, database, etc. Combine with references on USB drives and we are much more quickly on our way back to civilization. Note: The Raspberry Pi needs a USB keyboard, USB mouse and any screen that takes HDMI for human interface. You do not need a keyboard to run it as a server (web server, file server, communications device, etc.) Applications to connect to the server, control it and program it are available for Android and iPhone (phone service is not needed, the Raspberry Pi can be the Wi-Fi server for the phone to connect). Essential – make sure you have set the device up how you want to use it and have tested it in your End of the … Continue reading

A Stitch in Time- Part 1, by a Florida Mom

On a practical note, are you including a basic sewing repair kit in your preparations? Whether you’re aiming towards self-sufficiency or a large scale disaster, there are some basic tools that you need to keep on hand. I’m talking about more than a few pre-threaded needles, a button, and two safety pins! I keep a basic sewing repair kit with the above items in my emergency bag, but my supplies at home provide a multi-purpose repair kit, as well as supplying what will be needed to make and repair clothing and pack items. Are you ready to repair, reuse, recycle, and re-design?

Basic Repairs

What needs repairs?

  • Backpacks and straps
  • Tents and tarps
  • Leather items- belts, shoes
  • Clothing- patches, buttons, zippers, rips and tears

Backpacks and Straps

Depending on the construction, this could require carpet or nylon thread and a heavy duty needle; or, if a nylon webbing … Continue reading

The Editors’ Preps for the Week of June 12th, 2017


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 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 also welcome you to share your planned activities for increasing personal preparedness in the coming week. (Leave a Comment with your project details.) Let’s keep busy and be ready!


At the Rawles Ranch we are in full Summer Mode, which usually means lots of gardening, fencing,  and construction projects.  Since we live at a fairly northern latitude, the days are very long when we get close to the … Continue reading

Homestead and Financial Ledger Books- Part 2, by S.T.

Ledger Books

We have been looking at the use and benefit of Homestead Ledger Books. In Part 1, we looked at documenting activities, items harvested, canned or dried, and items sold or orders received. We have looked at a possible scenario from January through September and left off at September after participating in the farmer’s market. Furthermore, let’s look at what activities we might record in our ledger for October.


In October, the family could take time to plan out the next year’s garden and locate free buckets. The buckets that could be used to expand the garden output by growing additional plants in these containers. The family could try to locate other containers to use for the plant starts for which we took orders. The children could log information into their own Homestead Financial Ledgers. They then plan out any future income producing projects they wanted to work on. This … Continue reading

Homestead and Financial Ledger Books- Part 1, by S.T.

Ledger Books

Looking back in time, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and the other founding fathers of the United States all maintained Homestead and Financial Ledger Books of one kind or another. Some, like George Washington, had one for each of his businesses (grist mill, whiskey, et cetera). With the advent of computers and the move to city life, these ledgers have gone out of fashion. But they remain an important tool, and it is to sad that families do not use them anymore. We would spend less on unneeded items if more of these were used.

What Are Homestead Ledgers?

Benjamin Franklin was a printer of many of these Blank Ledger Books .

What are Homestead ledgers? Homestead ledgers are nothing more than simple ledger books that chronicle the every day life on a homestead. They show what is grown, what is made, what is preserved, … Continue reading

Editors’ Prepping Progress

Prepping Garden

As preppers work to make progress to achieve prepping goals, we took some actions this week too. The SurvivalBlog editors made plans earlier in the week and now reflect upon these. At this time of year, gardening is at the top of our lists. Below, the editors share what we each accomplished. Please write to us in the comments and tell us what you did this week to get your preps in place and to be ready.


Dear SurvivalBlog Readers,
My, what a busy, wonderful week!  We had beautiful weather during the beginning of the week and rain at the end of the week.

Outdoor Skills Acquisition

First of all, we worked on boating safety and paddling skills in the river that flows through the Rawles’ Ranch, several times.  One of those times was with friends.   That day was a beautiful day and a … Continue reading

Building Or Purchasing Your New Country Property – Part 2, by S.T.


After our move across the country and decision to purchase rather than build our new country property, we had some work ahead of us. Our home was more than 30 years old and needed considerable work. In this section of the article, we continue to review the improvements made and plans for the future.

Year 3 Property Improvements (cont.)

New Flooring and Wall Storage

The floor was updated and unused space appropriated. The original lino floors were replaced with new tile floors. The back wall of the kitchen had not been used. I installed four open shelves with the bottom shelf just above the height of my bulk food storage buckets. These shelves now hold all of the food that had once been stored in the linen closet and a basement storage room.

Remodel Efficiency On A Budget

All of the kitchen remodel was completed in just eight days. (The … Continue reading

Building Or Purchasing Your New Country Property – Part 1, by S.T.


Our Journey

We left the Peoples Republic of Kommiefornia in 2013 for the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains with a list of the minimum requirements for our new county property. After making this journey of more than 2,300 miles to start the second half of our lives, we opted to purchase a home rather than build one. Our decision was mainly due to time issues and the discovery of a house within one mile and on the same country road that my aging father and step-mother lived on.

What we left:

  • 3 bedrooms
  • 2 baths
  • 1400 sq. ft.
  • California city lot
  • over $4,000.00 per year in property taxes
  • 3 car garage
  • over $500.00 per year car registration on a 2010 car
  • over $200.00 per year car registration on a 2001 truck
  • no mineral rights
  • Town population of 130,000
  • County population of 360,000

What we wanted:

Review Of The Jøtul F 50 TL Rangeley Wood Stove, by S.T.

First let me state up front that I have heated with a wood stove for over 20 years, so I am not a novice and I understand the use of wood stoves. Additionally, as a person who worked for over 30 years in the defense industry, I also understand that there are products that are ill or poorly planned by engineers who never used the product and/or have large egos and refuse to accept any feedback from the end users of a product.

Our previous wood stove was a Regency brand, which we located in a single story home. In the more than 20 years we owned the Regency wood stove, we had zero problems with the stove.

When we purchased and moved to our new country homestead property, it was equipped with a 1940’s Warm Morning Coal Stove, which had a sheet metal housing that was just warm to … Continue reading

Starting Life In The Country, by J.E.

Sitting here in the living room with a hot fire in the wood stove and arctic winds blowing the snow across our property, I smile at just how lucky we are. The power has been out for a couple of days, and the snow and ice make driving into town not worth the risk. Just over twenty years ago, we decided life in the city was no longer for us. Now, reflecting on how good we have it, I would like to write my first post and share with those of you considering a move into rural life.

The first thing we did right is move years before we planned. It was a nice summer day and we decided to take a drive into the country to look at a piece of land that had been for sale for over a year and kept coming down in price. We … Continue reading

Letter Re: Hurricane Preparedness

That was a great article about his experience and some practical advice [for hurricane preparedness]. For those interested in a possible simpler solution a product named “Generlink” at www.generlink.com is available. It is a collar that fits behind your meter at the power pole, and it allows you to control your power usage through your current breaker panel. The only cord needed is between the Generlink collar and the generator. As long as the power pole where your meter is located is intact and you have underground wiring to the house, you should be okay. It’s worth a look. – A.K.

The Get-Home Cache, by The Feral Farmer

Bugout bags are a popular topic, and the content lists are long and varied, sometimes reading like a LRRP combat loadout. However, they have a couple of obvious problems, including that you have to carry it and keep it handy.

It takes a good degree of conditioning to carry a load any distance and a great degree of determination to do so while injured or frightened. Additionally, (unless your kit looks like a baby carrier and diaper bag), your chance of hitching a ride plummets the larger your bag appears to be. Any situation that requires a bugout bag automatically makes the holder a target to both criminals and authorities, and it would be a shame to surrender all those neat things at a check point, after carrying them so far.

Keeping a bugout bag within arms reach at all times is, for all intent and purposes, an impossibility. Employers … Continue reading

Giving Thanks in 2016, by Sarah Latimer

I don’t know about you, but I greatly enjoy the “Quote of the Day” section of SurvivalBlog. They often put a big smile on my face and get a “wow” response. Some people really know how to put use words to put a situation into perspective. Recently Hugh posted one such quote that was quite timely. The quote seemed so relevant to our experiences of late, with our nation’s liberals literally breaking down in tears, marching, and going so far as to turn their backs on our nation by leaving and giving up their citizenship and even some who are publicly announcing murderous intention by making social media statements that they are planning assassinations (or encouraging others to do so). It is just crazy how those who claim to want “a kinder” nation are behaving this way and tearing our nation apart through hateful speech, threats, and actions! It is … Continue reading

Making The Move To The Michigan Wilderness As A Corrections Officer, by M.M.

My wife and I are originally from the northeastern U.S. Our particular area, which had consisted primarily of farmland and small towns while we were growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, increased in population by about 20% between the years 2000 and 2010. The region had become noticeably over-developed, with many corn fields and woods being sacrificed for housing developments and strip malls, and it had become busy to the point that driving during daytime hours involved more waiting in line than actual driving. We like to experience the serenity of the outdoors, and I have always been a bit of a survivalist; the annoyance and constriction caused by this population explosion was becoming intolerable.

In 2010, we took up an offer to go camping on a friend’s wooded lot at the east end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (UP). The UP is almost entirely northern forest with a scattering … Continue reading

Five Acres and Independence- Part 2, by D.C.

Get By With Little and Barter

We slept on the floor on blankets for two years, used a Coleman camp stove to cook on, bought a $25 used fridge and a $50 yard sale clothes washer, dried our clothes on a line, traded a .22 pistol for a freezer, and hand dug and turned in a new garden with pitchforks. We have put many deer in the freezer that were taken off our land every year with no cost of a hunting license. We can everything possible from the garden. We stopped getting sick, because our food is simple and wholesome and as homemade as it is possible to do. I spend two weeks each fall with my backpack digging Ginseng, yellow root, and other herbs. That pays all our taxes, plate fees on our vehicles, and a few other things. I worked at … Continue reading