Trump Stuff, Just for Fun

I know this will offend some folks, but what the heck. Even though Trump was certainly not my first choice for President I am extremely relieved that Hillary is not in the White House. After 8 long years of Obama it’s rather refreshing to be able to criticize the President without being called a racist.

Exposing a corrupt media

Driving up the markets

Supporting gun rights

Driving the snowflakes insane

What’s not to love…

Trump is not the messiah some make him out to be and I’m prepping as much as ever, however we might just have a bit more time than we thought.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Happy prepping!

And one more for fun…

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Product Review: Kill A Watt Energy Usage Monitor

 

Whether you are looking to go off the grid, create a back up power system or just save on electricity; the Kill A Watt monitor is a great tool. You have to know how much energy different gadgets and appliances burn in order to know what you can power with what or what is running up that electric bill.

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You simply plug the unit into the outlet and plug the item you want to check into it – simple. You can set it to measure Volts, Current, Amps and more. You can even input your local rate per KWH and calculate your Hour, Day, Week, Month and Yearly cost of whatever you are testing. What we found most useful was being able to see real energy usage as opposed to what the owner’s manual says. A 300 watt appliance may not actually use 300 watts every hour; a 300 watt item used 5 minutes a day only uses 25 watts. For example: our new All-in-One Desktop” target=”_blank”>All-in-One PC is rated at about 65 watts (an hour), but actually uses 35 watts when in active use and 18 watts in sleep mode (I used to hate sleep mode). Add this to the 5 watts for the modem and 5 watts for the wireless router; we’re pulling 45 watts when in full use and 28 watts when idle. Watching Netflix on the PC turned out to be WAAAY more efficient than turning on the TV. We found that our rarely used TV/Entertainment center was burning nearly 50 Watts (per hour) while sitting idle – more than our all in one desktop PC when in use. Yes, most electronics use at least some power even when turned off. We found that adding power strips and keeping them turned off when the items are not in use eliminated this waste (or you can simply unplug them.)  

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Knowledge is power, just the exercise of testing and learning what gadgets are burning how much energy, led to 14% or $35 reduction in our electric bill in just the 1st month. That may seem small to you, but that’s $420 a year that was previously wasted and could better be spent elsewhere.

Bottom line: if you’re looking to reduce (or replace) your energy usage, this is the place to start. I picked mine up at Home Depot for about $29, Amazon has it for about $27.00.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Happy prepping!

Rethinking Our Water Plan

When we selected our property one of the main selling points for us was access to water. The property has 2 streams on it providing access to ‘clean’ water in the event of a ‘grid down’ or other SHTF scenario. Aside from a couple of pallets of bottled water, the streams, with the aid of a couple of gravity filters were to be our primary source of water should the municipal water facility fail. Seemed like a good plan, and continues to be our primary back up, but earlier this year we did discover a flaw – a draught. In the nearly 10 years we’ve owned the property, the larger of the 2 streams had always run strong even in dry conditions – this year was different. The extreme draught conditions we experienced here in the South this past year turned these streams into little more than mud – problem. Our once ‘flawless’ plan revealed a flaw. We have often thought about drilling a well, but in this mountainous area, wells were drying up during this event. Despite the fact that this was an extremely rare occurrence, we had to develop an alternative plan in case the SHTF during a draught.

We watered our garden regularly, but what if the municipal supply failed? Rain barrels are an ideal back up for drinking as well as feeding your garden, but during this time very little water found its way into them and using stored drinking water would prove less than ideal. The draught was so severe that even our trees were dying – in a grid down situation we would be in trouble quickly.

So what to do? A giant water tank was out of reach financially and would certainly draw attention to us in a SHTF scenario. So as simple everyday preppers we’re trying a few different things. Adding a couple of additional rain barrels to store water when rain is plentiful – a friend of ours now drinks only rain water –  will help feed the garden longer during such an event. Adding a couple more 50 gallon barrels of treated drinking water in ‘The Bunker’ will extend how long we can keep ourselves and our animals hydrated, but this along with the bottled water still doesn’t give us the warm and fuzzys. So we’ve begun filling empty 2 liters with water – not the ideal solution; but a simple, cost effective way to add more water storage. Stored on their sides, you can pile up a lot of water in a fairly small area. Sources on the web say it’s fit to drink for 6-8 months, depending on who you believe, and usable for cleaning, washing up, and flushing the toilet long after that. We feel we could probably extend its usable time by running it through a gravity filter for drinking water, and of course using it to feed our thirsty vegetables. This fits easily into our routine as we just add one at a time, no real cost, no real hassle. We’ve also stored 10 2 liters in the chest freezer as an additional back up.

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As preppers we all learn from each other and we would love to hear from you what you are doing to protect your water supply.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Happy prepping!

 

What if today were your last day?

Ever take a step back and look at where you are and where you’ve been? Ever stop and think, ‘how did I get here?’ This year has been one of loss for us; friends, aunts, cousins and even one of our beloved pets has passed on, gone from our earthly lives. Often times when we lose someone, we become reflective on life, vow to learn from it and to live life differently; unfortunately those thoughts are often fleeting, lost in the grind of our daily lives. Taking a hard look at where we are in our journey, and being more aware of my own mortality, I’ve been wondering ‘what if I was gone tomorrow?’ What would my eulogy be? Would my lovely wife be financially secure? How would others remember me and what lasting impression would I have left on others?

Worked hard/worked too much would probably be often mentioned. I have missed countless holidays, birthday parties, and special occasions because I was working – always working, rarely taking time off to enjoy life or spend time with family and friends.

Responsible would probably come up as I always planned and saved, and of course never missed work – probably too responsible, but as a result my wife would be left with a paid for home and substantial retirement funds.

These are all and good, but what impression would I have really left on others, what would I have really accomplished? Hard realities often force us to trade most of our years trading time for money – only to find we missed out on so much. I watched my parents work diligently their whole lives for financial security, to build a nest egg for retirement, only to find themselves too old to enjoy their retirement once they finally got there. I vowed this would not happen to me, but when I look at where we are, I realize that I may actually be on that same trajectory.

Prepping is all about preparing for survival in the face of the unknown, to try to be ready for absolutely anything, but ultimately we all leave this earth. Many of us dream of spending our final years living a simple life in the woods or mountains, but will we actually make that a reality? Are we really willing to give up that paycheck and all that goes with it for a simple life in the country? Will we face those fears and take that leap of faith, or will it all just remain a pipedream? We are currently facing that very decision. Keep working crazy hours, keep running on that hamster wheel, or take the chance at a different life. What say you? Where are you in your journey? What would others say about you? What if tomorrow, you were gone?

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Happy prepping!