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!


Here at the Rawles Ranch, we received just a few inches of inches of snow this past week. Much of that melted on Wednesday and Thursday, when the temperature soared to around 36 degrees F. Our old reliable snow plow is now attached, but I haven’t yet put it into service this year. We’ll wait and see how the winter weather pattern develops.  Perhaps it will be much more mild than last year.

I recently helped a consulting client select a gun vault to give to his son, for his new home. I recently began recommending vaults from Rhino Metals. That is a company located in Caldwell, Idaho. They are now one of our affiliate advertisers. Rhino is currently offering a 15% discount on their safes and 25% off all their safe accessories. When sales like that come along, I encourage folks to jump on them. My client says that he will be not only helping his son and daughter-in-law with the vault purchase, but also by stocking it well with a variety of investment tangibles, primarily for his grand-kids. A wise and oft-quoted old American saying: “Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket.”

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Most of our family was down with the Common Cold this week. But early in the week I took the one-hour drive to town for shopping errands and made a special trip to a Dollar Store. There, my goal was to stock us up on some additional first aid supplies. These included: An ice pack bottle, several three-packs of 2-ounce dispensers of hand sanitizer (also useful for kindling fires), some foam toe bandages, 10 packs of paper dust masks, rolls of bandage gauze, boxes of individually-packaged alcohol prep pads, rolls of waterproof bandage tape, and some 4-packs of single use 1/2-gram Super Glue (CA glue) tubes. That glue is quite handy for wound closure. Total expense: $34.

I’m hopeful that we’ll get over these colds and be more productive, next week!

– Jim & Avalanche Lily, Rawles



This week will see our children coming to visit us and preparations are underway to make their stay more enjoyable. The spare bedroom is being turned into a guest bedroom and basically redone. It’s doubtful that we will have time to repaint it as we don’t want the smell of new paint to permeate the room while they are hear, but the carpet is being ripped out and all of the outlets and electrical switches are being replaced. This is a continuation of the renovation of the house one-room-at-a-time. While the house still has a somewhat 70s feel to it, it is slowly coming around. Along with the guest room, the main bathroom is also getting some much needed updates in the form of new towel racks.

o o o

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


  1. Quiet week here as finals, preparations for the trip back West and Christmas are central. I picked up 4 large empty popcorn tins for more rodent proof food storage. They cost a quarter each!

    Having the new studded tires on the old Jeep has made life much less stressful. The tire place fixed the all weather tire, so we now have two sets on rims to change out without any garage or special tools.

    We, too, are wondering at what the winter weather will be here this winter. We are taking advantage of the break in the weather to catch up on wood.

    Inside, I am finishing up a blanket made from two old fur coats and a piece of wool fabric I had on hand. I have enough pieces left to make couch pillows. The blanket will be very warm in the Rockies. The pillows will just be nice. I’ll need to start searching the thrift shops for two pillow forms that match. A good use for unwearable vintage coats.

    Off to make those popcorn balls for the neighbors and my students. As stated last week, my get-to-know-my-neighbors plan begins. I’m naturally reticent, so need to set goals to meet others.

  2. Mild temperatures this week has melted much of the snow making it easier for bringing in dead timber to split and stack. Reviewing our favorite You Tube channels and web sites for next years gardening/homesteading ideas and taking notes. Continued preparations for the celebration of our Lord. A trip into town to top off several types of fuel. It’s been a good week. Blessings to all. N

  3. Just the usual farm chores this week. We have had rain instead of snow from the last winter storm, so we are muddy everywhere. Only fed the animals but next week when it dries out I’ll be cleaning animal enclosures.

    This week our hoop house was delivered and it was the most unusual packing we’ve ever seen. Instead of three- 4’x8′ boxes for metal parts the vendor shipped one 900 pd 4’x16′ box on a 16′ pallet and the poly carbonate sheets, weighing just under 400 pds were shipped standing-up on a 16′ pallet. Our tractor has 8′ forks so it was impossible to use the forks to get the pallets off the truck. My son ended up emptying the 900 pd box on to our trailer and then he and the driver push/pulled the other 16′ pallet off the truck on to the trailer. Note to self: ask for description (length/width) of delivery pallets when negotiating order. Gave the driver a gift card for dinner and some home made goodies for being so helpful.

    Have a safe week!

    1. Animal House,the packing method are for #1 cost of shipping is based on number of crates and dimensions #2 the sheet goods have a better chance of arriving undamaged upright.

  4. Last week the temps grew colder, night temps hit 21 degrees below zero. When I arrived at work the temps warmed up to minus 18 so I lugged my jeep in. When I left work for home I forgot to unplug my jeep and drove off with a long portion of the cable dragging under the jeep. The cable somehow got wrapped around the front transfer case drive line and now I am facing the possibility of expensive repairs to the 4 wheel drive line. Moral of the story: maybe consider moving to the redoubt and not have to plug my jeep in for 9 months out of the year? Or just simply don’t forget to unplug? The thought of having four seasons beyond June, July, August and winter is very appealing … most often August is a very short month since half of it is getting much darker and colder …

  5. In spite of temps in the 20s and lower, the bacteria in my large (8×12′) compost bin are busily digesting the carbonaceous matter I have fed them. I stir, add kitchen waste, marvel at the heat and steam rising from the material, pull the tarp back over. Go on my merry way for a few more days.

    That compost will feed the beans, greens, and tomatoes next summer. They, in turn, will feed me and my sweet spouse.

    Carry on.

  6. Lt.Mike: I lived in Northern Canada for 11 years. Coldest it ever got was 39 below zero. Every year it got to 30 below for a few days and 20 below zero for several weeks each year. These temperatures are in fahrenheit. I didn’t have a block heater. Drained the oil each night from the car. Heated it up and put it back in before starting the car each morning. Not fun. I was a single parent and when my son would throw-up on the way out of the house in the morning when I was headed to work his snowsuit would freeze solid before we could get inside to change it. Then I lived in Eastern Washington on Lake Roosevelt. I’d wash my hair in the morning before work ( in the washtub we used as a bathtub). My hair would freeze finishing up chores and getting to the car. No more! I now live in Northern California . My nearest neighbor is a mile away. I wouldn’t trade these temperatures for cold ever again. I am still harvesting tomatoes and summer squash. Winter squash is just about ready. Edible pod peas are coming on strong and of course we have chard and bok choy year round . The citrus (many kinds) are coloring up. I am harvesting olives and pomegranates . Not having to deal with frozen animal water and frozen hoses (though this does happen a few days most years) is wonderful. I am not moving to where it is cold ever again.

  7. I was just reading about you in the NY Times Style section. I was intrigued as to why the lead article of the Style section was on a possible stock market crash in 2019. When I flipped to the second part of the article, I understood. It featured an article on “war-core” clothing, i.e. expensive fashion inspired by combat or emergency clothing. That’s where I read about you and first came across the word “prepper,” which I immediately understood ( I too can imagine the worst). I just imagine that you can do so in greater detail. At what point does a preparation anticipate its own fulfillment, yearn for it even? I don’t mean you, I mean everything that surrounds you, like skin, like dumpling skin I want to say but also don’t because I don’t like the way it sounds, unless I drown it out with a tail. I won’t edit this text, I’ll make edits to its image, as it should be written in haste, like the last text you send before the apocalypse, and what would you send? Would you send an image or words or both? And to whom? Is a mass-mailing excused by the circumstances? But do you want them to be looking at their phones when the world ends? What I mean is that everything you’ve gathered and structured, organized even, in anticipation of perils too great to be skirted, how strongly does all of it desire an end? How much do your guns crave to be fired, your cans to be eaten, or your underground shelters to be occupied and lived in for far too long? I’ll end with the quote in the purple bubble at the top of the NY Times article “Shop the Apocalypse” on p.9 of the Style Section, in the December 16th, 2018 issue:

    “People like to mentally prepare for the end of the world.”

  8. For the price, I didn’t see anything special about Rhino. (IIRC, I first saw these as a traveling display at costco).

    For the price and even the costco price, you’re ahead to await a Ft Knox sale and then add upgrades to body, door, and internal liner if desired. I also like FK’s redundant lock availability.

    Similar to Rhino spec-wise (usually w/ a higher fire rate) and often found cheaper are the Browning safes.

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