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!


At this time of year we often have family and friends visit the ranch. This activity curtails a lot of our prepping, aside for the usual day-to-day tasks and livestock chores.  So this week you won’t be reading any detailed descriptions of our projects. However…

With the new Democrat-dominated Congress about to be seated (on January 3, 2019), I have been planning ahead with some preemptive mitigation for upcoming firearms legislation.  I’m pursuing two main avenues of mitigation:  Stocking up on full capacity magazines, and buying some extra AR lower receivers–both 80% complete and 100% serialized varieties.  By mail order, I’ve been buying large quantities of AR15, AR-10, and assorted Glock magazines.  I’ve purchased many of these from GunMag Warehouse–one of our affiliate advertisers.  I’ve also been attending more gun shows, to search for AR-15 and AR-10 lowers–either stripped or complete.

Just the introduction of proposed legislation in January and February is almost certain to throw the market into a panic. Surely, prices will escalate.  Right now you can find standard AR-15 MagPul PMAGs for under $10 each.  Likewise, serialized stripped AR-15 lowers are available for around $50 each. But once the panic develops, those magazines will be $30+ and serialzed lowers will be $300+. Count on it.  The clock is ticking, folks, so stock up! – Jim & Avalanche Lily, Rawles



This week the Latimer’s plan to clear the final garden of a few late root vegetables plus remove the remaining water system, add ashes, and till. We are told that the weather is supposed to be a bit above freezing, on average. With this, combined with initial preparations for guests, we should have a full week.

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


  1. We continue our preperation for moving to our BOL full time next summer. We took a truck load of furniture from both the house in town and the BOL to the auction house. We also moved addition preps to the BOL and spent some time organizing them. Today my son and I are going to build another shelving unit for plastic totes. I did manage to get some work done in the barn workshop putting away some of my last purchases from Lowes. Made a Sam’s club run on Monday. I found some great items at the Good Will, a new universal meat grinder still in the box, a food sieve, a woodland camo BDU top, and a quiver all for $18. My most exciting prep this week was purchasing Mr. Rawles “Tools for Survival”. I’ve finished 2 chapters and can’t wait to read more tonight after our work is done. I’ve read a lot is survival books over the years and this book Definately fills a void. As a near life-long prepper I find this book very useful in that the information is in line with my philosophy that we not only be prepared for The SHTF but also TEOTWAWKI. Folks, bug out bags are great but don’t expect to survive an EMP with just a BOB.

    My wife, who tolerates our prepping, is becoming somewhat more interested. Over dinner last night we discussed the trade war and if history is any indicator the real possibility the trade war could trigger a real war.

      1. Thanks Roger D. The kids are looking forward to having some animals. I’m looking forward to being out of the city. Our cost of living will go done a lot as well with MUCH lower taxes (we will save $8,000 on taxes alone), plus no sewer and water bills. Our garbage pick up will go down too. Big thing I’m looking forward to is the time. Most of our time at the BOL now is spent on mowing, snow blowing or other maintenance task. Now that stuff can be done on a weeknight verses monopolizing our weekends. Thanks again for the best wishes.

  2. Preparing for the celebration of our Lord. Finishing up garden chores and other winter outdoor preps. Processing fire wood, Taking into account the political happenings and adjusting accordingly. Getting our “2018” goal list out and getting ready to prepare our “2019” list next month. Ham club radio meeting coming up. Time with friends and family, church activities and reaching out to others with invitations to our Christmas celebrations. It’s been a good week.

  3. If there was ever any more reasons to prep, go to Youtube and type in Justin Knight “Tucker Carlson’s most disturbing yet critical message that every American needs to hear.”
    That being said, I have honed my rifle skills, bought more food, located a source of potable water, and in general, tightened security around the place. Garden produced has long been canned, food stored in our below ground pantry, and I have been looking up ways to support myself wtshtf. I think probably it will be mending clothing. I have also gone to thrift stores and garage sales to stock up on clothing for grandchildren (they do grow). We did add an extra layer of protection to the hen house–we poured a new foundation and strengthened fencing.
    Next week I plan to hit some library sales for books to home school the grandkids. I must have done something right because my own children are so sick of public schools that they refuse to send their children any more. It will be tough to homeschool, but I will help all I can and neighbors have also volunteered. We are tickled that one of them is a man who can tinker and fix anything. Another is a lady who gardens with the best of them. Our kids will get practical education and thinking skills.
    One funny thing was that we had planned to get some breeding rabbits for food. My grandkids were horrified to think we would eat Thumper. Darn Disney anyway lol.

    1. Awesome! May I suggest the Charlotte Mason method? She prioritized outdoor time, nature science, “living” books, real life math and handicrafts. In my opinion, her methods fit homesteading/prepping best. Good luck and have fun!

  4. Not sure it’s OK to mention particular companies, but yesterday I received a sales flyer from DS Arms. They’re excellent manufacturers — at the expiration of the federal assault weapons ban in 2004 I bought one of their excellent FN FAL rifles that they manufacture in-house, part-by-part. As of today is still fires 1 MOA groups and has NEVER failed to function. The flyer advertised matched upper-lower stripped receivers for $80! It’s an amazing price — I instantly ordered three sets, even though I have more AR-15s than I can count off the top of my head, already. The sale ends December 13, so I recommend making orders soon.

  5. Living in north Idaho, winter has begun to set in…. our rush goal is finishing the hay barn on the new ranch (160 acres). Tin should be on the roof by Tuesday, even though it should be snowing. We are currently shopping for a green house to be erected in the spring. The plan is to cut into a south facing slope to get a portion of the back wall and sides under ground for heat savings during the winter months. My perspective on food production may be different than most. I travel extensively as a crop consultant. Most of my clientele are in the western US. The current poor crop dollar returns cut across all commodities this year; grains to strawberries to table grapes to tomatoes….. We will see an economic shift in the next year or two with many producers exiting. Grow a garden, buy a green house if it’s in the budget, buy your beans.
    On another note, we are setting in fencing to be used in the spring as cross fencing on the new ranch. Cow rotation helps the pastures run at least triple when compared to letting them choose where to set up.
    Along with James, I’ve helped Palmeto Arms by setting away ar 10 and 15 parts. Can never have too much!

  6. Before the 1968 gun control law you could order firearms direct, no FFL interaction required. Watch for new demands to do the same for firearm parts, ammunition, and reloading components. Also watch for federal taxes on same. Taxes have already been achieved in some blue cities. “Death by a thousand cuts”.

    1. A (second) bill has already been formed in the CA legislature which would require background checks, registration, and FFL involvement for ‘precursor parts’ including barrels, uppers, trigger groups, magazines, etc. This failed in the recent past, but has been revived by the Dems in Sacramento in anticipation of Gov-elect Gavin “Nuisance” Newsom’s inauguration next month. In CA we’re already limited to 10-rd magazines, cannot have ammo delivered to our door anymore, will be required to undergo background checks and fingerprinting to buy retail ammo beginning next July, and now the Dems want to make home-built firearms registries.

      And as a result of the recent – and highly controversial – method of “ballot harvesting” that resulted in Dems miraculously sweeping nearly all offices across the board in the state (a new practice that they voted to implement), they now enjoy not only a supermajority in Sacramento, but they hold every single state-level office. Read that again…not a single Republican currently occupies any CA State office now. Those of us (and trust me, there are many) who already have their guns are keeping quiet to avoid having to put them on any future registry, and are stockpiling ammo like crazy before next July 1 arrives.

      To all those who live in “Free America” in the Redoubt, fight to keep your rights. Because as CA shows, once you lose them, they never want to give them back.

  7. The cold weather has settled in at our location and I feel like the Michelin-man putting on all the winter gear to take care of the farm animals. I have a huge respect for our northern prepper friends who brave 0 degrees (and lower) temperatures and blowing snow on a daily basis.

    Freeze dried a variety of items this week then flushed the oil in the freeze dryer. Received an order of 5-gal bucket size mylar bags to replace those used in repackaging the 150 pds of flour and grains last week. Got my first seed catalog in the mail on Friday! A bit early but still a positive thought in the overall winter forecasts.

    Drove to the warehouse stores in the closest city and stocked up on basics and hit the feed store on the way back so the truck was piled high. Made up some Christmas presents for the delivery people who make the drive to the country to let them know their long drive is appreciated!

    The Biblical prophecies are clear and the coming years are going to be difficult. We have thought ahead making plans and purchases to hopefully mitigate some of the perilous times we know are coming.

  8. Was purchasing a lower parts kit for a Glock 17 build on eBay and after putting item in my cart, couldn’t make the payment via PayPal. After contacting the seller, he said that PayPal pulled the plug on this account because he sold gun parts. The seller had over a 1,000 sales and 99.8% rating – very disappointing to her this decision – presuming this was the reason but ya never know…nonetheless, it’s disturbing for sure.

  9. Was purchasing a lower parts kit for a Glock 17 build on eBay and after putting item in my cart, couldn’t make the payment via PayPal. After contacting the seller, he said that PayPal pulled the plug on this account because he sold gun parts. The seller had over a 1,000 sales and 99.8% rating – very disappointing to her this decision – presuming this was the reason but ya never know…nonetheless, it’s disturbing for sure.

  10. I could not agree more with JWR’s suggestions right now.

    Might think about buying some brass too… at some point I expect ammo restrictions.

    I live in what has recently become California’s eastern most county (Nevada)… same problem, we now have a Democrat Guber and a Democrat super majority (lots of out of state donations and illegals). Our new governor elect promises that gun control will be a “high priority,” meaning, “assault rifle, large capacity magazines, suppressor and bump stock” bans. Oh yeah, and a “universal background check” (meaning, if you want to pass on to your son, his grandfather’s 22 rifle, he will have to undergo a background check first, with an additional fee charged by the state, of course… the FBI check is apparently not good enough for Nevada.)

    This is what we get for not banning illegal immigration, otherwise known as the Democrat voter breeding program. Just think of it as a sort of Liberal Lebensborn.

  11. Hi Jim,
    Great to read your encouragement on buying lowers etc. I just built my first 80% and was actually surprised how much I enjoyed building my first AR. My good friend coaxed me into building my first one, and helped me get the kit together, it only took a few hours.
    Hmmm, the bug bit me, I just ordered another and it should all be here tomorrow, I’m looking forward to getting it into my mill and getting started. I’m not what I would call a machinist, I’m an electronics engineer, but my mechanical abilities are very good and I think I have been missing a second calling at times.
    I must say when zeroing the first AR, it is a tack driver, more so than any of my other rifles.
    I am planning to buy more 80% lowers along with the trigger and spring kits. I agree with you and others that it would be wise to get them before any ban. And yes they would be a really good investment
    I am now also going to have to get more 5.56 ammo, since all my other primary is 7.62 X39 over the years I focused on what I could afford and the change is certainly going to cost a lot more, but I’m more financially able now and a lighter rifle for my older age is a wise move. I’ll deffinately check out some of the MAGPUL mags, you can never have enough loaded mags, in VN I usually carried two bandaleers and two taped back to back in the M-16, I never fired full auto only single shot, except when having to use the M-60, and it never took many rounds to accomplish the mission. I’ll keep the others for folks who need them when the SHTF

  12. This cold week has been ideal for patching a quilt, mending and such. I also dehydrated more apples, made delicious cockpot meatballs and some peanutbutter popcorn balls.

    Christmas is the season to accomplish my goal to get to know the new neighbors. Here at the cabin I have the opportunity to live near neighbors I have known all my life. There have been, however, a bunch of new houses built in the past 25 years. I need to get to know the neighbors should things go south before I get back west. I’m going to drop off a card and some popcorn balls this year.

    Success on the Christmas present front. When visiting a moving sale, I asked if they had any cast-iron. I especially want to give our son another Dutch oven as we have them back in the Redoubt. She took me down to the basement and there was a huge beautiful Dutch oven that will be perfect with a little elbow grease and curing. And only for 20$. My son is going up be very happy!

    Lastly, I finally managed studded tires on the Jeep. The good news is that both the allweather and the studded sets are on rims. No need to go to the garage each time they need to be changed out. And I had one of the back up allweather tires fixed. That means that we are set on tires for this vehicle for a long, long time.

    Getting our house in order.

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