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!
I’ve been quite busy with writing, editing, and radio interviews in the past week. And of course there were the usual winter chores: firewood hauling, livestock feeding, and stock tank filling. The weather has been mixed, and generally colder. This winter, I don’t expect things to warm up until late February or even early March.
We’ve had a young stray (or full-on feral?) cat hanging around the Rawles Ranch for the past two months. It is so skittish that we can’t get within 50 feet of it. It has been freeloading cat food from the outdoor cat food bowl that we maintain for our two regular barn cats. (Those two cats are very friendly, since we raised them from from kittens. Truthfully, they’ve become beloved house cats.) I’m wondering if this new cat will stay, and if it does: will be a good mouser? If so, then he/she will be welcome to a share of the cat food.
Avalanche Lily Reports
For me, this has been the perfect winter weather week. Cold temperatures (between 2 and 26 degrees Fahrenheit) with fresh, fluffy, dry snow, and white all over. Beautiful!
I’ve been able to ski or hike for about five hours this week.
Eloise did some hiking in our driveway and on the county road with her Bugout backpack.
This week I accomplished these things from the list of things I wanted to do:
I did not sleep out in the tent in my Wiggy’s bag, as I had planned. However, I did snuggle in it outside on our porch swing for three daytime hours, wearing only my regular clothes (jeans and t-shirt, socks, and a wool sweater) a warm hat. I did so while searching the Internet and doing my duoLingo language lessons. The outside temperature hovered around 26 degrees F. The bag kept me comfortably warm. I imagine that I could stay in it all day and night outside and be fine. I was driven inside only because the wind changed direction and blew our woodstove smoke down to me. I waited patiently for the wind to change direction again but after 15 minutes, it hadn’t changed direction and I had had enough of it and went inside.
We acquired winter weight polyproplene long underwear for everyone in the family and they have passed the winter workout sweat test for warmth and wicking abilities. (Not that one should be sweating too much outside in the winter if you are going to be remaining outside.) I will continue using them from now on with my workouts. They were Wal-Mart specials. They are doing a great job.
Silk long underwear is not for winter workouts as they definitely retain the perspiration and make one feel wet and cold, almost immediately after a workout. Silk is best for that soft extra layer of warmth during sedentary activities.
I did try out my Lixada miniature twig burning cook stove . I set it up on a large slate stone on the potting bench in our garden. I took fat wood that Jim had cut to size for me, and cotton balls soaked in Vaseline, both of which I carry in my bugout bag. I lit them and got a fire going. It was windy and the fire burned quickly and wildly out the top, bottom screen and through the side slits. For being such a tiny little stove, about 3” by 3”, it put out some big flames, about 18 inches from it’s base. It would definitely benefit from a fireproof windscreen, but then that would be another item to add to the bugout bag. The burning fat wood caused a lot of soot to build up on the stove and little pot. You will definitely want a separate cloth to wipe the extra soot off and a separate plastic bag to store it in so it doesn’t get other items in your bag sooty dirty.
One would not be able to use this stove during hot summer drought conditions in our local national forests, especially on a windy day, for fear of causing a forest fire.
I boiled water for tea on the little twig stove, which came to a boil in about eight minutes.
I tried the dehydrated coconut milk  that arrived in the mail a week before, adding it to the tea that I had steeped. It was coconut tasting and creamy with a little bit of grittiness. It’s ingredients are all organic: Dehydrated Coconut milk, Tapioca, Maltodextrin (derived from Yucca root), and Acacia Fiber.
As far as I know, I have never eaten Yucca root or Acacia Fiber, before. Anyhow, the next day I think I had a reaction to it? I’m not sure exactly what the reaction was from, since that same day I had also made an almond flour quick bread with Egg Replacer, which was the second time this week I had ever used it, and ate it, having never used it before. These two new things, may have had something in them that my body has said “No” to.
So… I will try the coconut milk, again, later, when everything feels normal again. And I will not use the Egg Replacer again, just the Baking Soda.
We used some gift cards we received as Christmas gifts. From those, in the mail, we received a tent footprint groundsheet for my Salida 2 Tent, a Hydroblu GO FLOW 10 Liter Water Gravity filter bag , four Lifestraw water bottles , two self-inflating air mattresses for the girls, two pairs of hiking Trail Runners for summer hiking, three pairs of Ice Bay Glacier Gloves  (these are waterproof fleece lined neoprene gloves for hiking in the rain or ice fishing, et cetera), and an Eskimo brand 7-inch hand ice auger .
For prepping this coming week, Lord willing, we’d like to try ice fishing on a nearby lake, continue to ski and hike, continue to dehydrate foods and get some dehydrated meals together and taste-tested.
I have been spending more time in prayer and reading the news, listening to Believers on Youtube and feeling in my spirit that we are living in the very, very last of the “peaceful” days before all of Satan’s hell breaks loose (The Tribulation) and God’s judgement begins to fall in earnest on this sinful world. I want to remind our readers that God is not to be mocked. What He has said in His Word, the Bible, is true, and it will take place. It hasn’t happened yet, ONLY, because He is merciful and doesn’t want to see any of his elect perish and lose eternal life in Him. But a day is coming very quickly that in His mercy he must bring down the hammer and judge His people and this world. He is warning and warning and warning the people of this world! For those with ears to hear, it is time to clean out the house of your heart. It is time to purge out all sin and all things: idols, thoughts, bad attitudes and behaviors that are not pleasing to the Lord, or that hinder your relationship with Him. It is time to REPENT and get right with Him.
It is time to fast and pray and read and memorize His Word, as never before.
If you don’t know the Lord Jesus, from Nazareth, the Son of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, please acknowledge your sins, confess them to Him, repent (turn 180 degrees away from them) and ask Jesus to take over your life and to change you. If you do this, sincerely, and with all of your heart, He will forgive you and give you eternal life and bring you into His Kingdom. The time to do this is now! We are running out of time. Once you have come into His kingdom, pray and ask Him what He would have you to do for Him and to prepare for what is coming onto the face of the earth. Jesus said, in John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no one comes to the Father, but by me.”
May you all have a blessed and safe week, – Jim and Avalanche Lily Rawles
This week at the Latimer homestead we spent most of the week working on the living room. The house has a great room in the shape of an octagon with a fireplace in the middle. On one side is the living room, on the other is the kitchen. It’s a nice, open setup, but it was built in the 1970s. The original owner made his own laminate beams by nailing/gluing 2x10s together to great a beam that is 18″x10″x 20ft (8 of them). It certainly works, but they are stained dark and ugly. It is readily apparent that they are home made beams. We spent the week sanding the varnish off of them, then putting metal corner edging on the exposed corners of the beams, and then filling in the cracks, smoothing the surface with drywall mud. Once that was dried, we had to repeat the process a couple of times due to the thickness of the mud in some places, but the overall result is a smooth beam appearance that will now be painted. They are not as pretty as solid wood beams, but much better looking that what we had.
We would also like to thank all of those who had suggestions for finding the “end of line” wire on our mystery switch. Being a tech guy, I have a toner system for Cat 5 cable that will probably work. This coming week, we’ll give that a try.
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As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.