Editors’ Prepping Progress

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 review their week’s prep activities. They also often 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 always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!


Dear SurvivalBlog Readers:

We had cooler weather in our part of the American Redoubt for the past week. We are now at the peak of gardening season, and harvesting most of our crops in great abundance. We picked and froze more red raspberries. We also picked, blanched and froze broccoli and green beans. The zucchini squash is now being harvested and either chopped and frozen or given away to neighbors and friends. At this juncture I should mention that the standing joke in our region is that the only reason people lock their car doors when they go to town is to prevent their friends from leaving them sacks of zucchini, without their permission.

The firewood splitting and stacking is now nearly complete. It always feels good to stack that final poke of wood, and feel truly ready for winter.

May you all have a very blessed and productive week.

Many Blessings to All, – Jim Rawles and Avalanche Lily, Rawles


At the Latimer homestead, we are extremely busy harvesting, crushing, cutting, dicing, canning, freezing, drying, and dehydrating. Like ants, we are spending hours and hours each day collecting and putting food away for the cold of winter, and we’re enjoying a lot of it right now, too. Last night’s dinner with friends was complete and full of our fresh garden vegetables, herbs, grains, and fruit. We, of course, gave thanks to the LORD for the bounty we enjoyed from the earth.

o o o

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


  1. My son and I spent Friday starting to insulate the room our new pole barn. Started to layout the wood for the workbench. Will spend today staining the post for the lean to part of the barn. Will be installing hooks to organize our shovels, rakes, sledge hammers, etc.

    Found some items on clearance at Wal-mart to add to the preps such as additional drill bits and Dremel tool accessories. Picked up some very small diameter aluminum and copper tubing, screw post and rivets at Hobby Lobby.

    Our addition/work on the BOL home is progressing. Block work is done and they will be pouring the floors on Monday.

  2. I have resorted to putting up quarts and quarts of zucchini and summer squash pickles. Every conceivable variation is now housed dozens deep on the shelves. I think this Christmas everyone I know will be receiving jars of my version of the Christmas pickle! It’s really getting a bit ridiculous but folks here lock their car doors as well and the food pantry folks are not as receptive as one might wish…I think they are inundated as well.

  3. A couple years ago I decided to try drying zucchini for rabbit feed. I just cut it up about 1/2 inch thick and an inch or so squarish, and dry until it snaps. I stored it in used plastic bags, and stored the bags in a 55 gallon drum with a tight lid.

    The rabbits ate it all.

    I did the same thing with chopped green beans, but the rabbits wouldn’t eat that, and neither would the chickens, oddly enough.

  4. Hard work and persistence pays off.
    We grew tomatillos this year. I had no idea that the fruit was inside of the Japanese lantern like skin.
    Now I get it.
    We picked up a pressure canner. We plan to use it outside on my large propane burner. The heat required to bring the cooker up to pressure and control the pressure will need to be closely monitored. I plan to ramp the pressure up at about 1/4 valve then taper down to just a crack.

    I may need to get a burner with finer control but I was able to hold 10 and 15 lbs during our test run.
    In every thing give thanks:

  5. I knew a lady who did all her pressure canning out on her deck using a propane bruner. She said it worked well. She just had to watch out for the wind factor so creating a wind barrier would be a good idea. If the pressure canner you picked up has a pressure gauge you should be sure to have it checked out to make sure it’s reading accurately. They can get bumped around and can be off on their reading quite a bit which could be very dangerous.

    1. Thank you Sis. I have checked the gauge using the weighted pressure regulator. I had not given thought to wind/breeze. I will construct a wind barrier. That is a great tip.

  6. Completed installing a new roof on our house; last winter was very hard on the old original roof (1974) and this was a major concern for our final step in winterizing our home. This is something that is taken seriously up here in the arctic interior.Our greenhouse garden fed us for most of the summer considering how cool it was this year.
    I’ve inherited a gunsmithing business so the plan is to build a shop to house it all, and hopefully get my garage back … winter is just a few short weeks away now so the new shop has a priority. The fuel tanks are 1/2 full, and we need to split and stack the last of the firewood. We use wood as our primary heat source, and oil as a back up and if we have to go away for more than a day. Next years big project is a 40 X 24 hip roof greenhouse.

  7. A few weeks ago we moved a family of six from Colorado to Pat Cascio’s neck of the woods. The long journey required a necessary and welcome paring down of the excess, and we had to leave behind our vegetable garden and enormous storeroom of long-term foodstuffs.
    So now instead of a 3200 square foot house we are in a 1300 square foot house. How does one move ten-months food reserves into a tiny home? The 5-gallon buckets became bedframes. The 27-gallon totes became bedframes. The boxes of dry goods became shelf supports. The upright freezer became a lovely wall adornment in one bedroom. The water stores and camping items were moved outside to a shed (we left the bi-polar vortex behind in Colorado so we will likely never see negative temps again). We are working at creating new garden beds, and we are enjoying fresh strawberries, blueberries, pears, and apples which grow all around the 1/4 acre property. We will crank up the canner and the vacuum sealer by summer’s end and put up some fresh foods to augment the dry goods should SHTF.
    The point is, we did what it takes and we are making it work for the best. We put our storage things out of the way by sacrificing the space in the adult bedrooms which are inhabited primarily for sleep; those rooms are jammed with extra gear, gun safes, medical supplies, and other important stores, but since the rooms have little daytime purpose it is fine; we left space in the kid’s rooms for critical support items such as building blocks, stuffed animals, and books. At the same time we created vital living space in a family room where we gather and do family activities because that is so important with wee tykes.
    Ideally this is a temporary lodging and a substantial property will come available soon, but we retained the necessities for thriving should the nation or region take a bad turn.
    Prepping is a lifestyle choice, not a hobby.

  8. A young couple and I learned together how to make a rocket stove out of old cans. Having done this before, I simply smiled quietly at their amazement when I set a fire in it and put an already soot-covered pot on top.

    They took one home and I put the other one to use in my summer kitchen. Cooking out there helps keep the house cooler on these sultry summer days.

  9. Living in north Idaho with all the smoke and red flag warnings have made gardening a challenge. The recent smoke warnings were rated as unhealthy. Harvesting the garden necessitated using n99 masks and being outdoors taking care of stock etc. we’re limited to only necessary chores. Relief indoors helped with all the windows and doors always closed. A recent purchase of an Austin air 400 medical grade air purifier has brought much relief. This is the second year the smoke from fires were heavy during the gardening season. I’m thinking about more long term storage food to supplement a difficult environment for gardening.

  10. Construction next door has netted quite a bit of wood stacked and ready to split next summer. It is good to be preparing ahead. Finally!

    We live in a lovely log cabin in the woods, but it is rented. Now begins the 2-3 year plan for our own place in the American Redoubt with a greenhouse. It is a bit unusual, but I am the farm daughter and the one most concerned with the future. I will have some negotiating ahead to avoid city living.

    That said, it’s off to our rural east coast cabin to keep working and get the last child through college and into the Military.

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