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!
Dear SurvivalBlog Readers,
We’ve had another quiet week, here at the Rawles Ranch. Most of our energy has been directed at homeschooling and Bible study. Our #1 Daughter also got some more experience with baking. The incremental firewood and hay hauling is continuing, per our winter routine. Ditto for stock tank filling and stock tank heater rotation. It is a mundane routine, but a welcome opportunity to get outdoors and check on our livestock. Avalanche Lily took advantage of one break in the weather to clean out our poultry shed. She also made a Costco run, to top off our supplies of pet food and fresh vegetables.
Our winter greenhouse crop has survived, but sprouting and growth has been slow. We are hoping the produce from these beds will give a “jump start” on our garden, this year.
Some rain early in the week settled the local snow pack, condensing three feet of powdery snow into about 20 inches of quite dense wet snow. For a while, this transformed our barnyard into the consistency of an enormous unflavored Slurpee. So I rushed to do some more snow plowing, before it all froze again. I also helped an elderly neighbor with some plowing.
January and February are usually our most quiet and sedate months, each year. We spend a lot of quiet time together in our living room, near our woodstove. The good thing about this bucolic time of year is that we find the time to be more consistent about daily gathering for our family devotional Bible studies. We are thankful that there are few outside distractions. Depending on the quality and depth of the snow, we often do some cross country skiiing and snoeshoeing.
The only down side to this time of year is that we spend so much time together indoors that we tend to develop Cabin Fever. By the end of February we feel that we’ve had too much “togetherness”! Thankfully, that is also the time when the snow usually melts. We can then get outside more, and do some hiking. This is when we usually search for shed deer and elk antlers. For some in our region, “horn hunting” is both a competitive sport and a source of extra income. In fact, there are some folks here that make their entire living from just huckleberry picking, morel gathering, horn hunting, gardening, and firewood cutting. Yes, here in the Redoubt there is still such a thing as “living off the land.”)
We are looking forward to reading comments from readers about your preps, this winter. – Jim Rawles
The Latimer Homestead is finally settling down from travel and numerous guests on our homestead, some which were fairly unexpected but welcomed. So, now that we think things will get back more to normal, we are planning to tackle the majority of our stores, which we need to rearrange and inventory. If weather permits, our chicken coup needs a good cleaning and some areas on the property needs to be dealt with, particularly out on the road where there is some litter that has blown our way.
Progress on the Shop
Progress on the shop ground to a halt this week as Hugh made several discoveries. Have you ever wondered how Chinese factories can produce hardware so cheaply even when they claim not to use slave labor? For those that have been watching, one of the pieces of equipment that is being brought online is a brand new Grizzly lathe/mill combo. This machinery is 1/4 of the price of what it should have been, yet Grizzly maintains that they have have strict control over the manufacturing of it.
Hugh was getting ready to make his first cut with it and noticed that the compound slide just didn’t feel right. Thinking that something might have gotten inside it during shipping, he decided to disassemble it and clean it. Upon disassembly, it was readily apparent how the Chinese save costs. Every moving part had bits of shaved metal from the manufacturing still in the inner workings making it feel like someone had thrown a fistful of sand at it. The manufacture had just machined it, then assembled and lubed it without anything more than a cursory brushing to remove most of the larger particles.
Every part that was opened up looked just like this. The machine will have to be totally stripped down and cleaned.
o o o
As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.