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 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!


Jim Begins:
Dear SurvivalBlog Readers,
We are still in Snow Shovel Mode, here at the ranch.  We have three feet of snow on the ground.

The snow is so deep that one of our yearling steer calves jumped the fence, and was found wandering around our barnyard–even though there was no source of feed for him on that side of the fence. We just muttered our usual comment: “Bovine Delinquents!”  Putting him back in the pasture took 20 minutes of shoveling to get him through a gate.  As we used to say in the Army:  ‘That was real. And that was fun. But that wasn’t real fun.”

Lily Continues:
Now that the holiday’s celebrations, visiting, and traveling are past, and deep winter has set in, for the Rawles’ household, it is time for very serious Homeschooling mode.   This means Lily’s intellect and physical energies need to be entirely focused in that direction.  They must!  My New Year’s resolution:  We will study diligently from 8-to-4.  We will turn all distractions aside. Currently, as a family and as individuals, we’re studying the book of Acts, Geography, Biology, Piano, Algebra, Hebrew, Latin, Cursive, and Literature. We are also reading a book on Eusebius, doing some essay writing, spelling, English Grammar, etc.  I come up for air by making dinner, cleaning the house, and running outside to check on and feed the beasties.  We’ll be trying to fit in the time to cross country ski and snowshoe, but that depends on weather, too.

I’m going to make a list of the seeds we need to order for this coming summer’s gardening, but after that, I must be down periscope for at least the next two and a half months with homeschooling the children.  Jim will keep you informed on his prepping activities.

We are looking forward to reading comments from readers about your preps, this winter.  May you all have a peaceful and prosperous New Year, – Avalanche Lily Rawles


The Latimer family didn’t get much done on the prepping front this week. The family spent the week traveling across the country to attend the memorial of a dear loved one.

o o o

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


  1. We don’t have three feet of snow to content with but it has been unusually cold here in the South. We live in the foot hills of the Appalachians and haven’t had to deal with extended below freezing temperatures in the 8 years we have been here. Daily chores of feeding the cows, sheep and chickens have gotten more labor intensive as the water as to be thawed every morning and evening. We have two tank warmers but those cows love to pull them out of the water. Most days the hoses or hydrants are frozen even though the hoses are left straight to drain out. For the chickens and sheep we carry gallons jugs of hot water to be poured on the frozen water in their smaller containers.
    The good news is the chickens have started laying again and we hope as the days inevitable lengthen and get warmer we will have more eggs then we can use.
    I was reminded yesterday how close lambing is and hope we can have a break in this cold weather. I must get the barn filled with shavings this week before we have freezing rain or ice.

    1. CD, same here in the mid-south; 4 days ago our wind chill was-6; a record in my state. Everything froze and the containers with the water heaters had ice in them. The girls haven’t laid an egg for 3 weeks but we are supposed to return to normal temps on 7 Jan so hopefully the eggs will return. Makes me appreciate our 40+ degree weather!!

  2. It’s exciting to see messages from the Rawles family and see they like to stay connected to their readers. It really shows you all care about the community!

    My “manageable goal” for this year is to work on the “prep one month at a time” principle. I found a good outline here: . I would love to see what you all think.

    Also, I will be re-starting my second read of “Patriots” and I have (I believe) the rest of Jim’s books. Is there a way to contact him? I have questions about extrapolating some of the key notes and ideas outlined in his books and how to break them into manageable chunks, as well as starting and engaging my own group.

    1. Stephen, the 12-month list is passable but many important items–like OTC meds and first aid–are not mentioned. Suggest you read the site review of the LDS Prep Manual a privately published e-book (it is NOT endorsed by the LDS Church but follows their guidelines). The web link is: Their link to the ebook is no longer active but I have a pdf copy I can upload; but I think it has to go thru the survivalblog webmaster.

  3. Burning brush piles (with permit of course), and clearing fence lines. The deep freeze forced us to have to upgrade the heating situation in our wellhouse. It’s electric-dependent, so good reminder to install some additional insulation this year as time and money permit.

  4. Like Rawles Ranch, we are in the same mode with the exception of homeschooling (that ended 21 years ago, times flies). One must remember to keep in shape with a good exercise regimen. Too easy to fall into the sit by the fire in winter mode when you get to “duffer” age (70-80; “old duffer”s are 80 and beyond).

  5. ENJOY your time focusing on your children! Time so well spent. We are busy with most of the same tasks. Wouldn’t trade it for the world!

    Also, sorry about the loss of a loved one in your family.

  6. Up here in the arctic interior it’s been a relatively warm winter with the coldest temps about 22 below zero; and a lighter than usual snow load. For us this will continue until mid- April then in about two weeks it will all disappear. We’re concentrating on stocking more dehydrated food, I was off for a deployment last year so we fell behind on that area. Also improving my field deployable comms gear, the remaining task being to build a portable power supply using solar, battery, and internal battery use for my radio an Elecraft KX3 system. I’m also building up my CW speed and building some tube type comms gear for EMP resistant use.
    My bride is working on her sewing skills, and we are planning to buy a freeze dryer system. I have the drawings for a large heated greenhouse to be constructed this spring ( we call it break-up up here) which will be all above ground type planting to supplement our food supplies.
    Our bible study and tithing has grown as we have grown, so the most important need is being blessed by His Majesty King Jesus, creator of the universe, because HE loves us all. Keep warm, relax the bears are asleep, but watch out for the moose.

  7. Spent this past week in-between jobs (waiting to go to on-boarding) at our family lake home in Southern Iowa. The weather, as most of you know, was acute: it got to -17F three nights in a row. What I learned from this is the advantage of having firewood prepped and stacked in ‘waves’: we have three woodpiles. The farthest out from the house is a mix of split and un-split wood, and it is the largest pile. The next-closest is on a concrete pad just outside the house (used to be Dad’s shuffleboard pad-sorry Dad…). It has all split pieces and a separate stack of arm-sized kindling. The final bunch is split and very dry, and we stack it in one of this big woven outdoor furniture crates, like you would stash a hose in. It’s weather-tight, and probably 4′ wide by 2′ deep and at least 2′ high, probably bigger but the point is it’s big enough. The cold snap has slacked off a bit, just in time for me to go out East and then really East to the Mid-East.

    JWR- can you run a solar set up of one strand of wire on top of your fence? Seems like you could run it pretty easy, splinting the little store-bought posts onto your existing fence. Cheers-

  8. At our camp we are still splitting wood as all the insulating and sheetrocking this fall put us behind. This cabin is a two year project and we are just about a year into it. Good news, we are warm!

    The next job that we are planning will be this spring when we start to prepare a garden spot. That also will be a two year project. We have plenty of aged pig manure to work in.

    This week I was able to order some food for our storage. I hope it will still be there 20 years from now not needed and just being rotated out. But if it is needed, we have it at the ready.

  9. The big news here in southern Colorado is the sudden upsurge in people interested in buying land out here in the boonies.

    Had a nice 80 acres with all utilities listed since September with very little action. As soon as the year turned over– bang (I try to avoid the now ubiquitous “boom” thing). Talking with the septic inspection guy, he’s booked solid all month just doing the necessary State inspections prior to any land transfer.

    Weather about typical out here. We get about two weeks of Minnesota cold every year between Christmas and New Year’s, which coincided with the dreaded Arctic front that everyone is talking about. Only down to about -2 on one night, so nothing to worry about. Not much snow but we got a fair amount of rain this summer.

    For new ideas, I paid the rental on the propane tank this year but didn’t get any propane as an experiment. So it’s been firewood all year and no problems so far except for occasionally running a space heater in the sun room where all the citrus and bananas are.

    Also been rebuilding all the not-so-gently-used stuff I accumulated this summer. Spent most of today rebuilding a nice 1.4 Honda generator that was in perfect condition except the moron who owned it left it next to a leaking battery that ate out the bottom of the crankcase and rendered the whole thing into scrap aluminum.

  10. Well I’m harvesting and freezing tomatoes here in Northern California. Also harvesting and drying 4 kinds of peppers. Will dehydrate some of the tomatoes. Also have lots for salads. I purchased more non-patented thornless berries so I can propagate them. Rooting lots of citrus cuttings and froze grapefruit juice. I have many , many lemons to do also. edible pod peas are about to flower and the bok choy coming up from dropped seeds is prolific. Re-planting walking onion bulblets. Will be starting next years tomatoes outside in three weeks. I do love California winters!! I hate the summer heat but get up as soon as it is light and work until 10:30 or 11:00. Then it is in the house activities . I don’t use the air conditioner. Walls are 2×6 and all sheathed in plywood and stucco. Two years ago I took out the hardwood floors and put down tile. It keeps the house cool. Windows are all opened at night and closed by 6:00 A.M. After living in northern Canada for 11 years and eastern Washington for 3 the winters here are worth the summer tradeoff. I have the fireplace going at night in the winter to heat the house.

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