The Editors’ Preps for the Week

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 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!


Dear SurvivalBlog Readers,

This week, while celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles, things have been fairly quiet at the Rawles Ranch.  Most of the week was devoted to homeschooling.

Jim completed assembling a couple of AR-15 PDW-style pistols, using 11.5″ 5.56mm Wylde chamber barrels, Franklin BFS-III binary triggers, and Maxim arm braces. He also added a few more bits to his KDG Optics Hub spotter’s tripod. (That is turning into a multi-month project. This has been slow, in part because we are bidding on mostly used components on eBay–to avoid paying full retail prices.)

And Jim mail-ordered a significant quantity of Fostech Echo triggers, Tac-Con 3MR triggers, and full capacity magazines–to round out our supply.  (This is a hedge on possible passage of  the dreaded H.R. 3999 by the U.S. Congress.)

We finished burning the last of the slash atop a large, pernicious tree stump. (Perhaps that stump will all be consumed next year, or the year after.)

I planted another batch of lettuce and spinach for winter harvest, in our greenhouse.

I’m looking forward to reading comments from readers about your preps for winter.

May you all have a blessed week, – Avalanche Lily Rawles


The Latimer household is still on vacation performing an extended test of our preps this week. However, the tests will be ending this week and we will be putting our noses back to the grind. I expect several updates in the coming weeks over our processes as some things worked and some things didn’t. We did have lots of fun though!


o o o

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


    1. These tripod arrangements are typically used by the spotter in a two-man counter-sniper team. Group retreats with anticipated engagement ranges of more that 300 yards will want to have at least one, for perimeter security. The optics hub housing is available directly from Kinetics Development group, or from third party sellers. Leupold spotting scopes can be found used on EBay for around $1,200. Look for one with a Mil Dot reticle. Bushnell CONX rangefinders are excellent, but hard to find used.

  1. Signed up for a tactical skills practice day. Sort of un-official training and time for you to run and gun through some stages they setup. Also researched training schedules for the next 3 months and planning to do at least 3 others. Handgun, Combat Medic, and 2 day intermediate carbine. Get out and train! Even sell an extra gun or two to cover the cost if needed. Less is more, and get your skills up.

    Also started to get back into running and went twice this week.

  2. JWR,
    I have found that on a dead tree stump, a good method is drilling 1″ holes as deep as you can and filling them with diesel. Check each day and refill the holes with more diesel as needed. After 4 -5 days, refill and try again to burn the stump with slash piled against it. Usually, the diesel has soaked into the stump and catches fire once the slash fire is not enough, thus burning the stump from the inside.
    Second option, pour molasses over the stump and let the deer eat it away. Never combine these two methods!
    Keep up the good work.

    1. Drill 3 or 4 holes vertically in top of stump down to base. Using a coring bit, core out a section including the holes (making it easier to have a Stove flu) and use a chisel/crowbar to pull out the center cored material if possible). Drill three holes horizontally to center of trunk. Expand holes if possible. You have now in essence made a rocket stove. Soak flue and air vents with diesel if available. Put in several pieces of kindling, cut up tire strips, and eventually wood strips/branches (check local laws first as some have ordinances about what can be burned, i.e. tires). NOTE: This fire will create thick dark smoke when burning a few tire strips, so it may attract attention. The tire strips will get it going fast and burn very hot! When getting the fire started, you can intensify the heat in the stove by introducing more airflow. A simple handheld hairdryer works wonders turning the stove into a veritable forge. You don’t have to do this for long to get it super hot and going well. It burns the stump out from the center, and you should be able to have a self sustaining fire. Make sure to do it on a damp day. Have a water source and tools handy (just in case). Be safe!

  3. In one word, APPLES.
    Good golly we gots a lot of apples to process.
    Oh, muzzleloading deer season starts today and runs through the week. Supposed to rain through Tuesday, I’m not sitting in the rain with the flint lock up under my armpit for several days so I’ll wait till it quits raining. All the deer are going to be in standing corn anyway….

    1. Ended up hulling walnuts in my old hand cranked corn sheller all morning with one of my old shootin buddies. Had to finally call it quits so we could shoot his new (to him) S&W model 36 in .38 special. Sweet little gun. I could hit a man sized silhouette 3 out of 5 shots (single action) with it at 80 yards… lazy to walk closer to the target. Short little barrel too, 1 1/2?

  4. Fuel was my big prep of the week. I keep a 1969 Ford F100 ranger as my EMP proof vehicle. The gas tank holds about 24 Gallons which I keep topped off to guard against condensation in the metal tank. I only drive it about 1-2 times a year so the gas in the tank was getting near 4 years old besides the few gallons I used each year. So I drove it to work a few days to burn out the old fuel and then refueled with premium and added Stabil. I should be good for a few years now, its good knowing I will have at least 1 working vehicle in the future.
    I also topped off the tractor and refilled the 100 gallon diesel tank in the back of the Ford, so all my fuel preps are done for this year.

  5. We picked up our old boar American Guinea hog we sent off to butcher. He was ~18 months and producex ~97 lbs of cuts and a little lard on nothing more then kitchen scraps, hay, pasture, and whey from our cheese making. The american guinea hogs don’t produce as much meat as fast as other breeds, but it is top quality pork and no grain required! We now have one freezer with pork a d goat and the other freezer is defrosted and ready for this years elk and deer. Hoping to head I to winter with 500 lbs of meat in the freezer, turned into jerky, or canned for quick meals. I also spent some time this week cutting, hauling, splitting, and stacking another 1.5 cords of firewood. Probably have room for another 1.5 – 2 cords in the wood shed. I like to keep 3-4 years of wood on hand ready to burn.

  6. Ready for one more getting-rid-of-the-stump solution? Dump a few pounds of epsom salts all over it. Then totally cover it with black plastic – like a big black plastic bag. Secure it tight with clothes pins or whatever you have on hand. Just leave it alone till the plastic shreds. It worked great for me. Nothing toxic, no muscle needed. I found that idea on line.

  7. Just a question: Can you recommend a brand or two of high capacity, high quality magazines for the Ruger Mini30? I am also interested in legal upgrades and conversions to a Russian SKS, detachable magazines, lighter stock, etc. I’m not much of a gun guy (yet), too busy working, but now learning as I go along. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

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