Preparing for a crisis, regardless of what it is, requires organization. Far too often in our drive to stockpile supplies, we do so without a plan. We just buy ‘stuff.’ This can often create a bit of chaos as we begin to run out of room, or at least begin filling storage space that could be better utilized. You can wind up with a lopsided prep and a high risk of spoilage. Leading up to the presidential election, I was guilty of all of this and more. Instead of doing my usual targeted purchases once or twice a week, I was hitting the store nearly everyday, loading up as much as I could carry home. Rarely, did I return home from work without a trunk full of toilet paper, bottled water, canned goods and of course more shelving to store it all. I began buying items we rarely if ever used ‘just in case.’ Just how many cans of vegetable soup can 2 people eat? I was on a buying frenzy based on fear. Fear can be a great motivator, but can also lead to poor decision making. My once neat and organized bunker looked less like a pantry and more like a flea market. Continue reading “Are You Prepping, or Just Hoarding Stuff?”
Although looking out the window today it may not look much like spring, but the fact remains that spring is just around the corner. Think back to last year and all those “next year we’re going to…” and get going on them! In some parts of the country it’s already time to start seedlings indoors, in others you may have to wait a couple more weeks, but have you inventoried your seeds and ordered any new ones you might need? Are you going to grow in buckets or raised beds or maybe a new garden spot? Think about what were your successes last year and what failed and how you may address those issues.
We surprisingly (and quite by accident) had good success growing corn in plastic bins, we plan to add a LOT more bins for this. Jalapeno peppers went so crazy that we put Continue reading “Are You Ready for Spring?”
To be perfectly honest, I originally had no plans to review this product, but I’m so pleased with the results that I thought I would share them. The camera we’ve had facing the front door/driveway for the last 6 years finally died so we set out to replace it, inexpensively. We settled on this Wansview Outdoor WiFi Wireless Camera based on price (around $40) and customer reviews.
The camera is weatherproof and connects to your wireless router so you can link it to Continue reading “Gear Review: Wansview Outdoor WiFi Wireless Camera”
As the leaves are turning and beginning to fall, we’re very pleased with not only the successes (and a few failures) of the season, but that we are still getting some production. If you’ve been following, then you already know that we grew everything from seed and staggered our plantings in an attempt to extend our harvest.
Carrots and radishes have been a mixed bag, with some carrots still growing, while the last of the radishes went to seed long ago. The first planting of peas went well, but the second didn’t produce at all (possibly just too late in the season. The corn is long gone as we talked about in our last update, but will definitely be a great opportunity for us next year. Continue reading “Prepper Garden Update 10-1-17”
Part of the journey to a more sustainable and self-reliant life is eliminating unnecessary expenses. Analyze your spending and eliminate the fat; we’ve gone through this exercise several times over the years and we always find something that can go. One of the biggest ‘luxury’ items people spend money on is cable TV. Remember when TV was free? The average American is now paying $64 a month just for basic cable, not to mention all the add-on movie channels, sports channels or just expanded basic; I personally know someone who pays $230 a month for cable they rarely watch!
Time to cut the cord folks; YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc., can replace most of your TV watching for a fraction of the cost. How many channels are you paying for that you never watch? If you’re ok with wasting money, fine, but literally hundreds of thousands of others have dumped cable with many more to come. I know, some of you will insist that you have to have that local TV news, but even if that’s a priority for you, are you paying for other services you aren’t using? Some folks have gone back to putting an antenna on their house to pick up free broadcast HD TV (you do need a special antenna and converter box or HD ready TV to watch).
Still have a land-line? Seriously? Even my elderly parents have moved on to cell phones. When was the last time you even used that thing?
We cut the cord 2 years ago and never looked back. Not only are we saving money, we actually spend less time watching movies and more time actually talking to each other. What a concept!
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Ok, so we finally took the plunge. We just made our first, and probably not the last, investment in some solar equipment. Disclaimer: we are not trying to go ‘green,’ reduce our use of ‘evil’ fossil fuels, reduce our carbon footprint, or any of the other catch phrases often associated with alternative energy. No, we are simply trying to be as self reliant as possible. We want the ability to generate at least some energy independent of the grid.
Those who read regularly know that we have been researching this for a while, trying to find a reasonably inexpensive way to get started, not an easy task as we found. So many of the starter kits we found require quite a few additional items just to get the system up and running, the system we chose seems the most complete in it’s price range. This one actually comes with a battery, which is apparently very unusual, and an electronics friendly pure sine-wave inverter.
We will be posting updates regularly, starting next week when we begin the install. Wish us luck!
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst!
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.
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.