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!


This week was a fairly typical winter week at the Rawles Ranch. The daily routine of small and large livestock chores was largely without incident. We leave a light on 24 hours a day in our poultry house every winter. This keeps our hens happy and laying. For the past few weeks we’ve been collecting an average of 10 eggs a day.

At mid-week, we made the long semi-annual drive to Costco to stock up. This time of year, that is a nearly a three hour drive, each way. I also took the opportunity to visit a family-run gun shop, in the same city. With the Trump Slump, the owner was willing to dicker a bit. Using cash, I bought a lot of extra magazines for investment or eventual barter. I will sleep a little better, knowing that I’m well-stocked on magazines. With Angry Democrats now in control of the U.S. House of Representatives, it is best to err on the side of caution. Stack those magazines deep, folks! Someday you may be very glad that you bought them at Commodity prices instead of Panic prices.

Our daughters have been doing more baking than usual. They recently made several loaves of delicious bread, using a mix of hand-ground flour from our stored wheat, and some commercial white flour from the big Costco sacks that we store in 7-gallon food grade Super Pails. Next, they plan to experiment baking poppy seed muffins. That should be fun. And they always like to make chocolate chip cookies. There is nothing better than a fresh-from-the-oven warm chocolate chip cookie for dessert on a winter’s night.

– Jim & Avalanche Lily, Rawles


This week was an interesting week at the Latimer household.The 18 year-old oven finally gave it up. The failure mode was to turn the burner on and leave it on so that the only way to turn it off was to turn the breaker off. It’s a good thing that Mrs Latimer was paying attention when it happened. This oven has been a good oven, but repair parts are getting harder and harder to find. The relay board hasn’t been available for at least 10 years and I couldn’t even find one on Ebay or any of the online appliance repair stores. I briefly considered just pulling the board and replacing the relay, but the board was showing signs of age and heat and the repair would have been somewhat of a kludge. Mrs Latimer is a good cook, but she needs the proper tools.

Of course, there was sticker shock when we started looking at new ovens. We don’t plan on staying in this house for more than a couple of years so there was no need to go all out on the stove. But even the basic stoves that fit the existing hole were close to $1000. In the end, Mrs Latimer found a brand new (old stock) stove for sale on Craigslist. Originally listing new at nearly $2000, the owners had  purchased it from a friend and were going to put it in a house they were building. The economy being what it is, they had given up on that dream and needed to sell it and were asking  less than $700. It was a perfect fit in the cabinet and only had to be cleaned out due to the dust and dirt that had gotten into it while it was in storage. The stove still had much of the factory plastic protection still attached to it.

That being said, installing it was another matter. I’m pretty sure that original builders of our current house did not have a clue what they were doing. Every time I work on something original to the house, I end up having to yank it out and redo the entire project. This stove installation was no different. It took a full day to install and included wiring 4AWG wire while reaching through a hole in a corner cabinet that I could only get one arm through while contorting my body in positions it was obviously never intended to be. It’s a good thing the standard cuss words are not part of my vocabulary or the family may have had to evacuate the house.

In the end, it all worked out and Mrs Latimer is a very happy cook again.

o o o

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


  1. Did a second coat of Drylock in our basement at the BOL in the room that will be the family room. I installed metal roofing on the ceiling and as I was taking a break watching the paint dry I thinking about how to house extra people in the room. One of the ideas I came up with for some privacy was using magnets to hold up sheets to devide the room. I was lucky enough to contract some type of bacterial infection in my lungs which has been making life interesting so did do a lot this week. I did manage to get our Three year Plan done. I was thinking about doing a SurvivalBog entry on how I went about do that. My wife was excited to see my vision of the property on paper.

    Move more food out to the BOL. We only have a few buckets left at our city home. We are try to use more of our “everyday” food stockpile so we done have to more all of it. The wife, who isn’t a prepper but tolerates my “hobby” doesn’t like the nearest grocery stores near the BOL. So we actually plan on stocking up even more canned/jar food. Since I work close to the Sams club she even told me I can do the shopping. I don’t think she realizes what she did.

  2. A little mild weather is here. I desperately want to go walleye fishing but I have to get a gun done for a show in KY in February. WORK WORK WORK…….Hopefully I’ll have time to go hammer those walleyes in the spring.

  3. Followed JWR’s advice and picked up pmags from PSA with the coupon; also picked up ASC steel mags from gunbroker, and another good deal on mags from another dealer. Looking at picking up more pre-65 silver.

  4. I’ve the midwinter blues and am looking forward to more sunlight! Returning to work/school amid rain and more rain is a bit depressing. I’ll be picking up some items from freecycle this month. A win-win solution for those trying to rid themselves of extra fabric, farm hand tools and a headboard/footboard set. I’ll start making some 9 patch quilts for extra blankets.

    As much as I appreciate the many things for free or nearly free from the thrift store, I am concerned about the mentality some have of needing things new, shiny and electric. Seems many of their possessions are not all that useful or multi-useful. I do have a smart phone and use computers daily at work, but keep things rather simple at home. Gotta keep the skills up.

    Keeping on with daily life like everyone else. I like the cycles of country (farm) life.

    1. PJGT, love your post~so true as skills are no longer taught and most folks just don’t seem to care, SAD. We love to sew and are getting ready to sew more dresses for little girls around the world. Quilts are a beautiful work of our hands.

      May God bless you and your family.

  5. also followed JWR’s advice and had a good supply of mags arrive yesterday from the good people of gunmagwarehouse. also used gift certificates i received for Christmas to buy books for my library.

  6. Today is the first full day of sunshine we have had since Christmas; fortunately it has been rain instead of ice and snow. Members of my family suffer with seasonal depression so I look forward to the clouds leaving and the sun shining.

    Made a run to the feed store for our small livestock, dogs and cats. This past year went maintained a two-month supply of animal feed, but this year we are pushing to increase to a three month supply of multi-grains and protein pellets. The animal feed is stored in 55-gal food grade barrels with lockable lids so we need to gets a few more barrels from the trading post which sells them for $15-$20 depending quantity purchased.

    I repackaged family food basics from 50-pd bags into food-grade 5-gal buckets with mylar liners and gamma lids. I also put frequently used items in one-gal bags inside storage containers so I don’t have to run to the basement all the time.

    While I was ill with a bad chest cold I read several articles about rural towns and counties planning for 4-6 month disasters recovery and how to supply basic needs for their populations. Necessities such as water, alternate heating fuel other than electricity, emergency medical treatments and combating looting and gang invasions. One of my extended family members is a mayor of a small town out west who was attending a 6-county meeting to include mayors of many small towns to discuss such actions and to organize working committees. For example, only one town in a 60 mile area has a small hospital, only one town is located near an interstate highway, none of the towns had sufficient water storage or fuel storage to last more than three weeks, yet most of the towns had agra farms and cattle ranches nearby. It is a lot to think about.

  7. This week I met the Ten Cent Challenge.

    Yesterday I went to help clean up the December tornado damage in another county. I got an inbrief from a volunteer redneck coordinator. Bottom line is, it is incumbent upon us to network with lots of others, and then later on screen for people we might want to have as a select group of confidant LMP. His network resulted in a group of 51 people on a weekday bringing their tools, 12 pickup truck with large trailer combinations, chainsaws, and support, to clear out huge trees and all the tornado damage and debris.

    A lone wolf cannot do this or expect this kind of help. Network now, and then later select your inner circle out of a larger pool of people who actually demonstrate a ‘pay it forward’ with a willingness to give time and resources. At least they have shown be their actions what they’ll do. In our case, we have layers of circles, and others have layers of their circles.

    This week I greeted three shipments from PSA, and S&G with a ‘Welcome to your New Homestead’.

    Our biological warfare buildup is progressing. Deathbiter still roosts under the garage soffet whenever human noise alerts him, but Shredtobits will let us touch her slightly at feeding time if she is hungry. I keep a sock full of catnip close to their feed dishes.

    On the dark side of awareness, we had four murders in our little rural county since Christmas, a month after a task force arrested 11 in a drug conspiracy. Hmmmm. All murders so far are without known suspects. LEO have asked for locals to share any photos, vid cam footage, trail cam data if they have any of the access route to one location. I carry my little friend more regularly, in all circumstances now.

  8. Totally understand HJL’s thoughts on his houses construction. The wife and I just relocated west of the Mississippi and south of the Missouri. This houses construction is the result of numerous owners, since previous to the Civil War, that were not well equated with any kind of construction other than perhaps a tent. In spite of that I do like the place, the people, and the location.

  9. I’ve had a desire for sometime to acquire an AR10 but don’t know if I’ll ever get around to it, but with the Dems taking control of the House who knows what might happen should another major shooting take place. So I purchased some Hi-Cap mags for the AR10 in case I ever buy one, and if I never buy an AR10 I feel that those Mags will still be a good investment. I also like PSA but I found an even better buy a Primary Arms, don’t know how long they’ve been around. Trekker Out

    1. Remember the mags are not standardized as with AR-15s. Know the difference between the platforms you’ve chosen, and keep your powder dry, my friend.

  10. I too took time today to meet the Ten cent challenge and would like to take a minute here and Thank you and your team for all the valuable information that is presented here along with the feedback from the readers as well.
    Well with this new year some of the items we have started in on are (1) doing a full inventory on our medical supplies and equipment and to identify where lacking. (2) Started in on a minor re model on the basement bathroom this morning and Hugh i can relate to the problems that you are having with your stove, there are reasons building codes are put into place and industry standards are established, Having spent my career in the building trades it is frustrating to see some of things that people have gotten away with.
    That is why it is a good to remember “buyer beware” and to do your due diligence when making any investment.
    I too had taken JWR’ advise and first order of mags arrived this week but appears others have the same idea too as some of my other mag choices our currently out of stock, or to expensive, will have to be patience for the moment!
    Cleaned out the chicken coop this morning the girls are done molting so it’s back to full production, last month was the first time in 10 years that i had to buy eggs!
    (3) After this weeks guest articles by 3ADScout i will be taking a harder look at fortifying our basement for a more safer fallout shelter area as i believe that the basement would serve our needs due to the location where we are in redoubt.
    And finally after reading today’s guest article and with the new congress taking their seats we will be in prayer for our president and country and for all our brothers and sisters in Christ that we persevere until the end…………..Blessings

  11. In California, Los Angeles is giving a $1,000 reward for turning in those that may have mags the are over the legal limit of 10 rounds. That’s not a conviction, it’s just turning your neighbor or friend into the authorities to get the reward.

  12. Local utility grant for insulation came through and work finished yesterday,all outside walls blown full and 16 inches in attic at zero cost(paid enough in energy bills),had to move everything and clean everthing(maybe worse than moving) but rotated canned goods and barterables. Worker violated opsec by uncovering gun safe(covered in black plastic) and commented on it(he indicated he may be lmi and wanted weapons training)

  13. What an opportunity my neighbor offered in his trash after moving. Left behind some quality tools and sewing machine replacement needles and bobbins. A good winter’s pastime…sorting found tools and hardware. Looks like I’ll have some giveaways. C’mon over.

    Cary on

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