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Editors’ Prepping Progress

As preppers work to make progress to achieve prepping goals, we took some actions this week too. The SurvivalBlog editors made some plans earlier in the week and now reflect upon these. Below, the editors share what we each accomplished. Please write to us in the comments and tell us what you did this week to get your preps in place and to be ready.

JWR:

Here in the American Redoubt, trees grow literally like weeds and if you don’t stay on top of it, you soon have a fire hazard. The chainsaw was wielded effectively, and we continue to put up firewood for the Rawles Ranch. The limbs and underbrush that was pushed into slash piles burned as well, and we are well on our way to keeping a fire-safe ranch and a supply of winter heat.

Sadly, we also had a set of eggs in the incubator and made the determination that none of them were viable, so out they went. We will try again soon though.

HJL:

The Latimer Homestead had pretty ambitious plans this week and for the most part things went as planned:

  1. The new roof is completed and now tested. The roofers showed up a day late due to rain and had to knock off with only half a day’s work done due to the same weather front. The rain allowed us to pinpoint some critical areas that needed improvement, and the following day they completed the entire roof. They weren’t kidding when they said two days! It looks good too. There were some casualties though. The bathroom light fixture couldn’t handle the herd of elephants on the roof and gave it up, ending up in little shards. After that, we took everything of value off the walls. They also did a good job of cleanup, but we’ll be picking up nails for quite some time I’m sure. Hopefully not in tires though.
  2. We repaired and braced the utility feed  and cut down the problem  trees (except for the stumps.)
  3. Mrs. Latimer finished planting the garden and now it’s a waiting game to see the miracle of growth occur. It’ll be about a week before we start wondering if anything is happening at all, and then the following week we’ll start making plans to replant. Soon after than, we see the little green tips start poking through the ground and everything will be okay. You’d think we would learn, but we worry every year like that.
  4. We laid 300 feet of one-inch water line and are now using it to water the garden. The water pressure is so much better through that. I built the headers for the water line out of copper and brass fittings. No leaks were apparent. We left the trench exposed just in case.
  5. The evaporative cooler on the food storage made it in, but it was a chore. Everything that could break on it did as we refurbished it. A one-hour job turned into a 5-hour job. Our store of food is protected now, not so much for the house though, as the roofing delayed the house cooler. We couldn’t get to this cooler before the week ended. We will just push it into next week’s projects. The family is disappointed, but they can always step into the shop/food storage area if they need to escape the heat. In the meantime, we have fans that we run all night long pushing the cool night air through the house to keep it bearable.

How did you do this week on the plans that you made? Did you run into unexpected difficulties? Did you accomplish all of your goals?  I was able to finish most of what I set out to do. But sometimes life happens and the plans go to pot. What life lessons did you learn if things went wrong?

If you see someone had a tough time with their goals and you have an answer for them, chime in and share your solutions! Please be mindful of OPSEC though. Don’t post personally identifying information in those comments.

Last Monday’s Plans [1]

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#1 Comment By JBH On May 13, 2017 @ 2:02 pm

Have struggled with a wet crawl space under the house for 20+ years due. My land has between 24″ to 36″ of soil over impermeable hard pan and the land is pretty flat. Probably no more than 5′ change in elevation over 5 acres. My house footing sits on or almost on the hard pan and so my crawl space becomes an excellent collector of ground water in the winter. To give you an idea of our ground water situation here, a guy probably 50′ down the hill and 1/2 mile away as the crow flies from me has a spring that runs about 10 months of the year.

Have used a sump pump and currently have a drain dug in low enough that I can use the small amount of fall I do have to get most but not all the water out. Currently installing a curtain drain around two sides of the house. Have dug about 4′ down for 130′ (with my tractor) about a foot into the hard pan. The lay of my land just allows me to put the collector pipe about 6″ below the level of the bottom of my footing and 6″ to 9″ into the hard pan in a bed of gravel. Hoping this will intercept the water and dry out the crawl space for good. Hope to eliminate my worries about water damage and also allow for some storage in the crawl space with the very even temperatures that are down there year round.

#2 Comment By A in Aloha On May 13, 2017 @ 3:33 pm

Reading HJL part about getting the garden in and then waiting for the sprouts. I was reminded that my Father had the idea to reuse plastic milk jugs with the bottoms cut off to cover up sprouted plants or starts he had transplanted from the cold box or window sill in early spring to help protect them from the some of the colder temps we would get in Southern Oregon before summer kicked into high gear. I am sure that it is a tried and true technique for many a gardener in the PNW and elsewhere.

#3 Comment By Cervus-Venator On May 13, 2017 @ 3:40 pm

My preps this week thus far have been in relation to gun modifications. One in particular related to behind-the-counter’s 4 part article, [2]

This is an article/series that I really enjoyed and gained some insight from. Having a suppressor already I was disappointed that my stainless takedown 10/22 did not have the threaded barrel so I ordered one through Ebay and installed it this week. Future upgrades to this rifle will take place based on recommendations in this article.

Other add on items were done to my .300 blackout pistol and my .300 blackout rifle. I added a bipod to the front of the rifle and since both pistol and rifle have scopes I ordered 45 degree mounts to move my Magpul sights off to the side so that these too can be used without removing the scope. This upgrade has been completed on both guns.

A quick note for AR pistol owners that use a stabilizing brace. The ATF has “clarified their stance” on shouldering the brace. Previously the January 2015 Open Letter implied that shouldering the brace was a “redesign” of the device because a possessor has changed the very function of the item. They are stating now that “an NFA firearm has not necessarily been made when the device is not re-configured for the use as a shoulder stock – even if the attached firearm happens to be fired from the shoulder.”

Lastly after having the last four acres of my five-acre field cleared by the state forestry guys I am now ready to plow and plant. I’ll prep the tractor today for the long haul and plan to spend Mother’s Day plowing the field. This is at my bug out location. The five-acre field will serve as a dove field and food plot for deer, but more importantly being located next to my cabin will serve as a large garden spot in a time of need.

#4 Comment By Libby Dunbar On May 13, 2017 @ 4:49 pm

Prepping around here on our farm is ongoing and plans are always disrupted by the rain in Oregon. This week we planned to get the garden areas all tilled, for some reason the shear pins kept “shearing” while tilling. The addition of steer manure seemed to make the tilling more difficult. But we got it done. Last calf born yesterday and that put a dent in my gardening plans, but all squash plants transplanted outside in different locations to avoid cross pollination. It is a real challenge when you grow open pollinated seeds! I realized this year I have 121 varieties of seeds in my own personal seed bank! I am really enjoying the seed saving, but a lot of work. I am patiently awaiting the tea plant seeds to germinate, it has been 5 weeks so far, and I really want to get this process down. I have 4 Russian tea plants that are doing well, and want more if times get bad and my husband’s coffee supply runs out he will still have black tea. All our grapes are starting to reawaken, all fruit trees are in flower, but the pruning is on going. Still have about 20 more trees to do. As anyone knows, self reliance is hard work. We still have three trees to remove off fence lines, one is a 200 yr oak…..lots of firewood. I did break down and purchase a park style grill. It has a hot plate on one side and I can use this in a grid down scenario to cook with wood instead of using up our propane supply. We got that set up. Spent several days placing batteries and electronics in faraday enclosures then making list on outside of contents. Also reorganized the food storage with stronger shelving and cleaned out the freezers in readiness for the 1/2 side of beef. Whew, I am still working on my list of things to do…today will move new chicks from their nursery to the big coop to get adjusted, 30 hens now and two roosters. My to do list is never finished, glad we are retired….HA! Going out to clean stalls, still have 8 horses……only two left to train……

#5 Comment By Gilpin Guy On May 14, 2017 @ 4:14 am

This week I gratefully borrowed my neighbor’s Kubota tractor/backhoe and set to work creating a bear and “snowflake” resistant garden enclosure that will protect both our fruits and vegatables as well as our livestock from harm. We had a bear wipe out our chicken flock, except for one, that is now the acting momma to our new chicks. Creating this barrier is harder than I have physically worked in years even with the hydraulic assistance of the tractor since digging is the easy part. Setting the wood posts, pounding in the supporting t-posts, and tying it all together with 8 foot, welded, wire fence is a serious endeavor. We also pounded in roughly 80 t-posts and built an electric fence to keep the alpacas away from our house. PHEW! Soon, we’ll tie the electric fence into the garden enclosure and re-aim our Dakota Alerts to let us know if the bear shows up again. Today, several cans of bear mace were delivered that we will gift to our neighbors so that the bear will learn that our neighborhood stinks and stings. Does anyone have a nifty way to turn a can of bear mace into a bear activated booby trap? I’m working on it.

MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

#6 Comment By CM Dutch On May 14, 2017 @ 3:45 pm

Dad had bear troubles a few years back tearing up the plum trees. Both bear traps occupied at the time so they gave dad some 12g rubber buckshot. Tricky part is you have to be close. Did not have much faith in them but the fish cops claimed that if shot at close range, in a few days they would get a call from your neighbors. It does work…
CM Dutch

#7 Comment By Jerry Erwin On May 14, 2017 @ 4:23 pm

This week:

Worked on the body damage done to the driver’s-side door of my 1990 Dodge Cummins Turbo Diesel, during the Winter of 2017.

This truck is completely restored and upgraded and is right out of the “Patriots” playbook: The entire truck (with the exception of the white aluminum canopy). is painted in flat coyote color, courtesy of Maaco Autobody and Paint (can provide paint color code on request).

BTW, there are no replacement doors at any junkyards, nationwide. However, someone got smart, and is selling brand-new stock doors!

[3]

PS: Just discovered this lower price! Don’t get it at Amazon.

#8 Comment By justin On May 14, 2017 @ 5:01 pm

I cant believe you cant find a door for a pickup that was manufactured from 1972 to 1993.

#9 Comment By Florida Dave On May 14, 2017 @ 5:00 pm

Urban Prepper – Hurricane Season Prepping:

1) Changed oil, spark plug and cleaned filter on the generator, ran on a load for 1 hour.

2) Upped the stored water to 30 gallons and cleaned the rain barrels.

3) Purchased AA and AAA rechargeable batteries. Tested the Solar charger.

4) Organized canned food, purchased what was needed for Hurricane season.

5) Checked the condition of Plylox, shutter fasteners and the storm shutters.

#10 Comment By Blackcat On May 14, 2017 @ 11:57 pm

Finished a rolling chicken coop some call a chicken tractor last week. Rhode Island Reds have already moved in.