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!
It was a beautiful winter week here at the Rawles Ranch, with mostly cold and clear or partly-cloudy skies. This coming week is expected to be substantially warmer, with highs in the mid-30s. Lily will be sad to see her good skiing powder snow turn to slush. She’ll soon need to turn her attention to sprouting our greenhouse seedlings.
I did some snowshoeing this week. I got down to the the Unnamed River that runs through the back of the ranch, on Tuesday, March 5th. I was surprised to see that the river was mostly frozen over. In my 12+ years here at the ranch, this is the most ice that I’ve seen on the river in the month of March. Thanks for that “Global Warming”, Al Gore!
Although I also have some larger snowshoes, my current favorites are what are commonly called modified bear paws. They measure about 9″ x 30″. With any that are any longer, I have difficulty on steep hillsides, and/or in dense woods. And I’ve tried using smaller ones. With those, I sink in too deep, and that is too tiring for long hikes. I’ve found that there is a requisite minimum surface area, especially with the extra weight of carrying a pack. I also often use a pair of very lightweight white ski poles when snowshoeing. Those are particularly important when carrying a pack, for balance.
I also got plenty of exercise this week, shoveling snow from “the usual”: outdoor steps, in front of various outbuilding doors, the trail around our house, and the gate out at the county road. Because we have a blade style plow rather than a rotary plow, the process of plowing seems to create more shoveling work around that gate. Oh well, it is all good exercise.
I had planned to go to a gun show last Friday, but the weather turned bad. But no worries, I have another show planned for late March. There, I will be on the prowl for some private party purchases, namely: serialized SIG P320 trigger group modules, AR-15 lowers, and AR-10 lowers. Perhaps I can find some complete uppers, to match. But recently I’ve been finding those more inexpensively available via mail order. I buy a lot of my uppers from Palmetto State Armory. Their parts selection and build quality are quite good and their prices are amazing. And of course while at the show I’ll be looking for a few nice pre-1899 cartridge guns. Hopefully, my grandchildren will appreciate inheriting them.
This past week I also took advantage of the big “Freedom Fuel” rebate sale, and ordered some Federal brand 5.56mm M193 ball ammo at $299 per thousand from Natchez Shooters Supplies — with a further 5 cents per round factory rebate. They are one of our affiliate advertisers. BTW, you can get in on teh Federal ammo deal if you use Promo Code FS190309. Their free shipping offer ends at midnight on March 10th, 2019.
A man can never have too much ammo. Especially a grandfather with several grand-kids that need to be supplied.
Avalanche Lily Reports
For me, it was a week focused on schooling the girls, researching current events, studying the Word, Hebrew Language, keeping us well fed, and keeping our home well-organized and clean.
Miss Eloise wishes to graduate this year, so it’s crunch time for her until the end of April. She needs steady encouragement to keep on keeping on it.
I froze four quarts of chicken broth and one quart of chicken soup left over from a large chicken that I had boiled down and made into a soup. From a quart of frozen apple nectar left over from making apple sauce last fall, I mixed it with a cup of honey and boiled it down to make a cup of apple butter to spread on bread. Yum! Lately, I’ve also have been making a lot of gluten and dairy free fruit crisps with our frozen berries, rhubarb, and dried apples. Another Yum! I have been using/experimenting with the top of our wood stove much more often for slow cooking and warming up soups and stews. It has a soap stone top and is actually conducting heat much better than I thought it would. I am finding this to be a fun way of cooking some of our meals. I experimented with cooking a very thin unleavened bread on it in our cast iron skillet. The bread was made with 2 cups of almond flour, about a half cup of coconut cream and some salt and some water to moisten the dough. I mashed the dough very thinly and put it on the skillet and cooked it on the wood stove, flipping it every ten minutes for about 45 minutes. It was quite hard (Almond Hardtack?) and tasted okay with honey.. But it was nothing major to write home about. One of our freezers is beginning to become emptier. Soon we will be transferring what left in there to our other freezer and thawing it and cleaning it, to ready it for this coming summer’s harvest.
The kids and I skied only once this week for an hour and a half, and we walked for an hour. You know some weeks I just get tired/not in the mood to play/don’t feel like exercising as much as I should and then it’s hard to get the kids out, too. Also, the beginning of the week was very cold. My body is properly covered and can handle the cold, but I don’t like covering my face…which cannot handle that kind of cold when there is any amount of wind. Then the snow warmed up and was that in between snow of wet/cold that forms ice on the bottom of the skis…Not pleasant. When Jim went snowshoeing, I was kinda in the middle of something else. The kids, too. I know… Excuses, excuses.
We did receive our Ultralight Wiggy’s bags, via UPS. They’re still biggish/bulky for backpacking. (But not nearly as bulky as our Wiggy’s FTRSS bags.) We’ll give them a try, anyhow. I have to remember that we’re not Ultra-lite hikers. We’re combining backpacking with bugging out for our region. I need to repack and reassess my backpacking/bugout bag this coming week. We’ll do that on Sunday afternoon.
I cleared a shelf off under a window in our hallway where I plan to start my seedlings in about two more weeks.
May you all have a very blessed, safe and productive week, – Jim and Avalanche Lily Rawles
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As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.