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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Some Randomness

Toolman stopped by the other day and dropped off some scrap metal for the pile. I have ended up making a trip to the scrap yard four weekends in a row. I have used the money to top off the fuel supplies. I am still working on filling up some more kerosene cans, but most of the other stuff is completed. One thing I do regarding fuels is keep two five gallon cans of diesel fuel here. I do not use diesel fuel but the neighbor does and I want to make sure we can fire up his tractor if we need it. Also, there are a ton of ancillary items that you need to keep on hand to make sure your vehicles will keep running; things like oil, gas treatment, brake & steering fluid, and anti freeze to name a few. Storing supplies for when TSHTF can have many layers for total preparedness.

Toolman told me that the seeds I gave him grew well and he has been harvesting crops for a couple weeks now. Good to know that even those older seed packets will produce a decent crop of food.

I had to kill an hour the other day so I walked through a small flea market. I found some ammo cans there. I probably did not need to add more ammo cans to my stock but when the guy was willing to take $7 a piece for them I took them all. Ammo cans used to be a couple bucks each and then two for five and then they went to five bucks each. The last year or so they have gone up to ten each at all the gunshows I have hit. I feel they will make a great trade item down the road and well worth putting some extras back now.

Any of you readers in the southeast corner of the state might wish to stop by Worley’s Outpost. It is a new “bulk food” store that also sells freeze dried foods, silver & gold, MRE’s and other prepper supplies. I talked to the lady while at the flea market for just a minute and hope to visit the store in the near future. It is on Stearns Road on the corner of Jackman. I do not know the owners nor do I have any affiliation with the store, I am just passing on the info for any preppers that might want or need it.

As we prepare for uncertain times and events we sometimes get complacent. Tonto put in a nice garden this year and had kept us updated on the progress all summer long. He wrote last week that he would likely be busy as hell for a few days canning all the tomatoes that were about to come in. Last Thursday night a sever summer storm came through his area and the hail came down like a snow storm. His garden got “shredded” as he put it and he lost most of the above ground crops. He sent photos and you have to feel for him. Imagine if TSHTF and that happened just before winter; no food storage for Tonto and his clan. It is another reason to have back-ups for your back-ups.

We rescued a rabbit last night. Poor thing got abandoned in a house in Toledo. It was left in a cage with no food or water. The floor of the cage was a solid mass of rabbit pellets and the poor creature had to sit on a wooden piece to stay out of the crap. Some people should not be allowed to have kids or animals until they show they can take care of themselves.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Doing Some Seedy Things

I have mentioned several times in the past about picking up different items at flea markets, gun shows, and garage sales. I find wandering a flea market to be a relaxing way to spend some time. I don’t feel a need to buy something every time I go and if I haggle over a price and can not get it for what I think is fair I walk away, not hard feelings.

I rarely go looking for a specific item, but I do read through my prep notebook before I do go just to put the items I am looking for fresh in my mind. About the only item I am always looking for is cheap ammo. I bought eighty rounds of .30-06 Remington rounds for five dollars a couple years ago. I do not even own a .30-06 rifle but figured I could trade them if nothing else. I buy any cheap ammo I find. I usually manage to find some shotgun shells for around a dime each if I bargain well.

I stopped at a flea market a short time back and picked up a box of seeds. The box had three hundred and thirty seed packets in it. I offered five bucks for it. All the seeds were from the year 2004, so there is a likelihood that some of them will not work, but out of 330 packets of seeds I should be able to grow enough for a few meals.

Of the 330 packages of seeds there was one package of flower seeds. Everything else was a vegetable. I found 33 different types of vegetables in the box. I put away one pack of everything for myself. I then went through the piles and took one of everything that was left and made three different bundles. I gave one bundle each to Tonto, Toolman and E. My neighbor, Carhartt Warrior picked out a bundle of the ones he wanted.

The rest of the packets will be put away and saved for barter next spring. Yeah, I know they are old seeds. I also know that most of the seeds I have planted over the years have all been from older stock. My folks would buy out old seeds every fall and we would use some each spring. Some of the stuff we used was a decade old and they produced well. I offered some to folks at work and only one person refused any seeds because they were “old”.

I do not know what the rate of germination will be, but even if it is only 25% I will have one hell of a crop.

Speaking of seeds I was talking to Blondie the other day and he mentioned that one of the guys he works with has a small garden of heirloom seeds going. Blondie made a deal to help with the garden for some of the food and some of the seeds they gather. I am going to mail him am article I have in the Survival Bible on how to save seeds so he can make sure they get good ones for next planting.

Being a prepper can sometimes mean having flexibility in shopping, storing, and looking for different ways to insure you have the supplies you may need. That including doing some “seedy” things from time to time.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Stumbling Forward

What is the difference between survival and living? Come on, you know what I mean. You stay alive in both cases, but in one case you carry on some semblance of life. A debris shelter and a rabbit over a flint and steel fire is survival. A wood stove in your house with a meal cooking on it is living. Be honest with yourself. Which would you rather be doing after the balloon goes up? I for one do not want to be setting deadfalls if I can preplan ahead and buy traps and snares that work better. I have books on wild edible foods, but a garden would be better.

The old saying is that forewarned is fore armed. You are reading the prep blogs so you can have yourself better prepared for any future problems. It is important that you maintain a steady progress toward that magic point where you feel totally prepared. I personally doubt I will ever reach that point, but each week I get closer to it and feel better about my family’s chances.

A lot of e-mails and phone call were traded within our small group of preppers. The events of the Dow drop and the riots in London have made us step up our awareness. Tonto pulled the trigger on some planned purchases, Toolman came by and dropped off some “trade goods” and checked our supplies of defensive martial. E has kept us posted with some internet news articles from around the globe. My farm is one of several “fall back” locations for Tonto and Toolman. If things get beyond what they feel they can handle at their locations they are likely to show up here. All of these plans have been discussed already and everyone is kept in the loop. (E has a farm fall back location in Central Ohio waiting for him or he would be welcome too.)

While none of us feel we are totally prepared and ready we do know that with the help and support of each other we will weather the coming months, or we will band together and defend our supplies against all odds.

All of the talking, reading, planning, and prepping everyone has been doing is starting to look like “money in the bank” as it were. I hope that my fellow Michiganders are ready. Always remember that even when you stumble it is in a forward direction, so when all else fails, kept stumbling forward.


Friday, August 5, 2011


If you follow most any sport you will hear the coach or players say at some point that they are not playing well and that they need to get back to the basics. Everything that is successful is built on a strong foundation. Building a good preparedness plan needs to be built on the basics too.
What are the basics for survival? Listen to the Rules of Three and you will find that is pretty much the list, in order of what you need to do for preparedness. You can live three seconds without thinking, three minutes without air; you can survive three hours without shelter, three days without water, three weeks without food and three months without hope. There you go, a nice guideline.

Since you are reading this blog and hopefully others it is obvious that you are thinking and working on your survival, so you have that covered. I will also assume that you are not reading this underwater or in a vacuum and you have good air to breath. (If you are reading this on a computer powered by a running generator in an enclosed space refer back to number one.)

Why is shelter listed above food and water? Because the elements can kill you. The news this week has been about a number of folks that have died because of the massive heat wave sweeping the Midwest. We hear the same stories every winter too. Have a safe shelter is the highest priority in places like Michigan were the weather can affect you at both extremes.

Most of us have our home or apartment as our primary shelter. A tent stored away with camping supplies may be your back up for shelter. Whatever your future plans are, shelter in place, bug out, or pray for FEMA, make sure you include in your plan a way to shelter you and your loved ones from cold, wind, rain, and heat.

Water is essential for survival. Keeping hydrated is a key to personnel health and should be strived for. I live in Michigan and the state once bragged that in Michigan you are never more than eight miles from a lake, river, stream, or pond. Your home and bug out kit should have a good water filter so you can walk to one of those sources and drink to your hearts content. Plan ahead in your survival for several ways to filter and purify water.

Whether you have wheat to be ground, MREs, bags of rice, or Raman noodles, food storage is one of the prep items that gets a lot of attention. Over the long haul food will be the “make or break” item for a lot of preppers. If they do not have enough to bridge them until the system recovers or resets then they might become part of the Golden Hoard and be out looking for a meal. I am not sure what is the correct amount but feel that six to twelve months worth of storage can not be too far off.

Those are the basics. Once you start on the list you can fine tune it and add as you need to. Once you have your shelter plans you can add extra ways to heat it, you can plan for a generator or solar power, you can harden it against attack and a lot of other things, but first, you need the basics of a simple shelter. Preparedness has many levels. You can go into great depth or you can keep it simple. Regardless of where you take it, for a good preparedness foundation you need to start with the basics.

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