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Sunday, February 15, 2009


All good preppers need lists. You shouldn’t go to the supermarket without a list. Lists will help you to minimize or eliminate impulse purchases. Food gets eaten. Bandaids get used. Ammo gets shot. You need a way to keep track of what you’ve used and what you need. If you go through your equipment, gear or supplies you may find out what else you need. Add it to your list. I hate shopping so to eliminate wasteful trips to the store I’ll keep a list so when I go to the sporting goods store, the gun store or Walmart I know exactly what I need to buy. A list will save you money and time.

I organize my food shopping list in the same order as the store. That way when I get to the frozen food aisle I don’t have to go back to the produce aisle. You should organize all your stuff by date so the oldest stuff gets used first. When you are organizing you may find that you have less shells or oil than you thought you did. Add it to the list.

I also like the idea of a Bug Out List. I don’t have unlimited resources so it’s impossible for me to have seconds and thirds of every item in my shop, another set in the car, another set in the Bug Out Bag and another set in my camping gear. My tools are spread all over the place. Then I got my sheds and the garage too. My big first aid kit is in the bathroom closet. Coleman fuel is in the shed. I got stuff everywhere.

The point is, if you need to split because of some natural disaster or because your home/neighborhood becomes dangerous you need to be able to grab what you need, pack it in your car and hit the road before everyone else does. When you are under stress and rushing it is not the time that you want to be running around wondering what you need to grab. If I had to bug out there is no way that I could grab everything that I wanted to bring with me without leaving something behind.

So the solution is to keep a Bug Out List. I keep mine near my bug out Rubbermaids. I keep it thumb tacked to the wall with a pen nearby so that I can add stuff to the list right when I think of it.

Anything that you keep somewhere other than your bug out equipment needs to be added to your Bug Out List. I don’t care if you know what you need to grab. Stress and adrenaline plays games with our monkey brains and you will forget something.

Things on my Bug Out List:

  • first aid kit
  • sharpening stones
  • Coleman fuel and cans of propane
  • prescriptions, extra glasses, vitamins (you have vitamins as part of your preps, right?)
  • bow saw, axe, maul
  • food - don’t forget veggie oil - keep empty milk crates or Rubbermaids or whatever so that you can throw some cans/boxes/bags right in the containers.
  • pots/pans
  • kitchen knives, cutting boards, spices/herbs/salt/pepper
  • stored water
  • gasoline jugs
  • extra clothing
  • extra blankets, sleeping bags
  • cooler
  • camping chairs
  • turkey fryer
  • Coleman stove
  • walkie talkies
  • gun accessories - holsters, cleaning equipment
  • toilet paper
  • precious metals and stored cash that you may have hidden around your home
  • laptop and charger
  • cell phone chargers
  • your jump drive that has copies of all your important documents
  • your important documents - passport, birth certificate, insurance policies out of state gun or hunting licenses
  • tent(s)
  • address book - so if you’re away from home you can still call friends and family. You might even have to call someone out of state or the country to arrange a place you can bug out to.
  • stored water
  • your GPS
  • extra batteries
  • pet stuff - unless you already have dog food, dog bowls, leashes and your dog’s Valium already in your Bug Out Bag.

Then you need to practice loading everything at least once or twice so you know for sure what you can and can’t fit in your car. Then based on your actual Bug Out practice you can prioritize things. If you’ve been prepping any amount of time you know that lists are never finished. They just keep changing. That’s like the Prepper’s Prayer, “May my list never be completed. May my list always need work. May my lsit drive me to strive to work towards the things that will save us.”

News of the day-

Are you guys familiar with Mike Morgan’s Blog? Mike is one smart cookie and he understands finance and commerce like few others. Mr. Morgan called the collapse and he is still able to make a buck trading.

“It is time to start pushing more money into short positions and gold. When the weather breaks this summer, I believe we will see riots. I have said that before, and each day I see things like this, I grow more certain of what I see coming. Please brace yourselves, because it is just now beginning. Look around the world. More than 100 dead in economic riots in Madagascar. How about Latvia, Greece, Connecticut, France, Russia, Chicago, China, Spain protests. When it comes down to food for your children or killing someone that stole from you, so you can feed your children . . . what do you think is going to happen?”

A Salam Alaikum.

Get outside everyday.

Some days are sunny and warm your body and soul.


If you look real close way at the back of this field towards the right you can see an real old farmhouse. It’s probably 300 years old. People much richer than the original farmer who lived there now live there.

p1010004Other days are cloudy and warm your body and soul. Really though the more you get out the less the weather will bother you. You’ll learn how to dress the right way and even rainy cold days will be good days to get outside.

Original: http://hotdogjam.wordpress.com/2009/02/15/lists/

Money Saving Wednesday…gardening

garden flower

Since we are planning to grow our own food this summer, at least part of it, now is a good time to think about how we can accomplish this with the smallest financial investment. Fruits and vegetables are not our only gardening concern, however. We want to keep our homes looking beautiful and places our family looks forward to coming home to. Here are a few ideas to help you do this on a slim, or no budget.

Craigslist and FreeCyle: This is a great place to get free plants or to trade plants. I did much of my yard getting plants thinned by friends.

Friends: Let your friends you’re interested in adding to your garden and you’d be happy to help them divide thin their plants in exchange for plants.

Nursery: While you wouldn’t typically think about getting free plants at a nursery, they can be an excellent place to get them. This is especially true of the chain stores that have a nursery department, just ask them if any are being tossed. Most of the time they can be revived but look too sad to be sold.

Landscaping Crews: If you see a landscaping crew working on a job where they are replacing or tinning plants ask them what they are doing with the old ones. They are probably just going to throw them away.

Community Garden: Many churches and communities now have a community garden. Sign up for a plot. You can get free advice from others and can usually even score some free seeds that they have left over.

Volunteer Plants: Keep your eyes open as you work in your garden, for plants making their way up on their own. Be careful not to damage them and transplant the seedling to the area you want them.

Save Seeds: This year save the seeds from your flowers and vegetables to use next year. Not all seeds will germinate so save more than you think you need, then you can share too. Heirloom seeds should be used for fruits and vegetables if you are planning to harvest your own for next year.

Cuttings: You can glean your own cuttings from woody stemmed type shrubs.

Divide plants: Flowers like lilies, dahlias, calla lilies, and begonias come from tubers that need to be divided regularly. Divide and create new beds or share.

Seeds: Growing plants from seeds can save you lots of money. Now is the time to purchase seeds and to begin growing them. Growing plants from seeds is fun for the kids and really rewarding for you. Many vegetables can be started indoors and planted outside when the danger of frost has passed. Be sure to start plants at different time so you will have produce all summer long.

Original: http://blog.totallyready.com/?p=335

Pandemic Prep…Sanitation

Common rubbish in a bin bag.

I had a slight set back with my finger healing yesterday so this post will be short and sweet.Have you heard that Panasonic has told all their employees in South America, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Russia, and former Soviet states to move their families back home by September 2009? Their reason was concern that families could not be protected and moved quickly enough in the event a pandemic occurs. We are not the only ones thinking a pandemic may be coming.

One of the very most important considerations when planning for a pandemic is sanitation. Once you are self quarantined you want to make sure your family remains healthy and safe. There are a few things to consider.

First cleaning: You will want to guarantee, as much as possible that the surfaces and items in your home remain free of germs. Even a common cold during an outbreak of a pandemic illness can weaken family members and make them more susceptible to other illness. For cleaning surfaces and clothing you will want strong disinfectants. In the past I have advised you to store a few sets of white sheets that can be bleached when laundered. When possible you will want to wash items in hot water, detergent, and bleach. Bleach is also one of the cheapest ways to clean surfaces. Simply add 1/4 C of bleach to a gallon of water.

Trash: You will need a generous supply of plastic trash bags for use during a pandemic. Tissues, paper plates, food containers, food waste, all will need to be disposed of, preferably outdoors. That is the easy part. What happens when there is no trash pick up because trash collectors are self quarantined and caring for their families? When we lived on the family farm several years ago we had a burn barrel. It was a 50 gallon metal barrel in which we burned much of our trash. You see those in old movies when they depict life on “skid row” but we actually used one. Now it would probably be illegal, but during a pandemic who is going to come issue the ticket? How will you dispose of trash? Bottles and cans can be rinsed and placed in plastic bags but what of the rest? As we talk about planting a garden this may be a good time to consider learning to compost, great for the garden and also a great way to “recycle” food scraps during a pandemic. At the very least we will need to think differently about the trash we generate and be prepared to separate trash into several categories for disposal, those we can burn, those we can stockpile until trash service resumes, and those that can be composted.

Do you have more than one large trash can to separate items into? Do you have a way to wash and dry laundry if the electricity is out? Do you have the items needed to compost? Do you have sufficient bleach, laundry detergent and other cleaning supplies for a 3 month self quarantine? Something to think about and them plan for…


Original: http://blog.totallyready.com/?p=338

Hobbies for preppers

Let's face it. No matter how bad the news gets there's always that chance that things will once again turn around and things will start to look good for humanity again. We will always have our upturns and our downswings. Things seem pretty bleak right now but all is not lost. Things aren't so far gone that there's no hope of a recovery. If things do recover then it will likely result in another period of prosperity that could last for another decade or two. Maybe what's going on right now really is the final nail in the coffin. Maybe it isn't. Maybe we're at the cusp of another depression that will last for years. Maybe we'll eventually bounce back. Maybe in 50 years automobiles will be remembered as mythical, magical artifacts and the average person won't even know what paper looks like, let alone know how to read words that are written on it. I've never been a gambling man. I like to hedge my bets. When it comes to prepping I do that by sticking to hobbies that I think could have some serious advantages if the S ever really HTF.

Camping, bushcraft, hunting and the like are obvious hobbies for preppers. If you can't stand roughing it or eating stuff that didn't come off of a supermarket shelf then you might as well quit now and hope to god that the system never collapses. A guy who has no interest in prepping but who camps a lot, knows how to shoot, owns a gun or two (and shoots them well) and who has some decent gear is going to have a distinct advantage over most of the "sheeple". For the prepper these hobbies are just an excuse to practice survival skills and buy lots of cool kit. It's also a good excuse to turn it up a notch and spring for stuff like land, campers or even a cabin. If you prep then you probably see all of these things differently than a "normal person" would. A prepper will keep his camping gear packed up and ready to go. A regular guy will probably just unpack everything and throw it in boxes until the next time he needs it. A prepper will keep his camper packed full of provisions whether he intends to use it or not. At best a regular guy will just take what he needs for the trip that he's going on. Even land and cabins will differ. A prepper will, once again, keep his cabin stocked with everything that he'll need when he gets there. If that's not safe due to threat of theft or vandalism then he'll maintain a nearby storage unit or just bury what he thinks he might need on his land. The regular guy will just leave his cabin empty when it's not in use. The prepper will also think about things like accessibility, defensibility and the logistics of actually having to live there someday. He'll plan the purchase/construction based on those things. The regular guy will just daydream about dropping everything and moving out there full time every once in a while right before he packs up everything and heads back to his real life.

Gardening is another no brainer. Learn how to garden well in the area where you want to do it and you probably won't go hungry if you've planned properly. With experience will come all of the gear and tools that you need to do it properly. The tools that an experienced gardener will acquire are exactly the types of tools that you'll want to have in your shed when things go south. I'll take an experienced gardener who knows what it takes to produce a bountiful crop over a "hardcore survivalist" with a dozen guns and thousands of rounds of ammo buried in his backyard any day (whether the world is ending or not).

Homebrewing and winemaking are things that I write about every once in a while. This is one of my favorite hobbies. The only thing that I dislike about alcohol is how expensive it can get. Honestly, you won't save a whole lot of money by homebrewing unless you do it a lot but there's something satisfying about sitting back and relaxing with a brew that you crafted yourself. The equipment is what really makes it expensive. Once you have that then you really do start to save money. If you ever really get hardcore then you can save a ton by buying your ingredients in bulk. Besides having the means to open up your own speakeasy you'll also have a lot of useful equipment. The huge pots, heavy duty stands and propane burners are ideal for canning, rendering fat, making big batches of soup/stew/chili or even just boiling large batches of water. I'm sure that there are plenty of other alternatives that aren't coming to mind right now.

Motorcycling is by far my favorite hobby. It can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. There are guys who buy old vintage bikes that get 80 mpg loaded down, fix them up for a few hundred bucks and travel all over the world. Then there are guys who spend 10s of thousands for all of the best gear to travel the world with. There aren't many places that you can get to on foot with a fully loaded pack that you can't get to with a capable bike with twice as much gear. Motorcyclists tend to be some of the most adventurous, free spirited, self sufficient people that I've ever met. They know the roads better than anyone, they can thrive with very little and they'd rather do things rather than make excuses as to why they can't. Check out this guy's story as a perfect example. Sure it's dangerous. It's not an option for everyone. It can be expensive. Pick the right bike and it won't set you back much and it'll be damn near bulletproof. Choose your gear wisely and you'll be almost as safe in a crash as you would have been in a car and you'll be able to live off of your bike for days or even weeks with few outside provisions. I plan on making more posts on this subject in the future so I won't go too crazy about it this time.

So there ya have it. Besides the internet and a few other little things that I do when I just can't do any of the above that's what I try to focus on during my free time. Once you get those beans, bullets and bandaids squared away it's easy to get anxious. You start to think about all of the bad things that could happen. It doesn't take long before you honestly expect or sometimes even wish that society would just tank. At some point I realized that I was starting to think like that. If I didn't do something I was either going to have to unplug completely and put my head in the sand or I was going to wind up in a cabin in the boonies waiting for the blue helmets to start coming over the ridgeline. I decided to start focusing more on prep related hobbies than what I was prepping for. It does a great job of keeping the edge off. If the world never collapses I don't have to worry about being an 80 year old man looking back at my life and wondering why I wasted it waiting for "the inevitable" to happen. Then again if things do go down the crapper I'll have the tools and the know how to be better off than 95% of the other people out there. Anticipating the collapse, firm in the belief that it's going to happen any day now and acting accordingly is every bit as dangerous as denying that anything bad could ever happen.

Original: http://theurbansurvivalist.blogspot.com/2009/02/hobbies-for-preppers.html

Tax Refund Preparedness

We are coming to the time of the year that has become the second Xmas for many Americans. And I purposely chose to write xmas because it has nothing to do with the real Christmas we should have celebrated so recently. What I’m talking about is the look people get in their eyes as they get some portion of their taxes back from government. To many people this is the only surplus of cash they will see during the whole year, and our business world thrives on the swing in spending this influx of cash creates.

So, if you are one of those looking at receiving a check from Uncle Sam in the next month or two, why not put a little more thought in how it can be used for preparing your family for the year ahead? The following list of ideas might help stimulate your family in a way far better than buying some toy you’ve been looking at recently. Each of the following is a simple idea, that will later be posts of their own with all the details you’ll want.


“Debt is the slavery of the free” Publilius Syrus (Roman author, 1st century B.C.)

Do you have any? Especially any consumer debt such as credit cards? Have you paid off even your Christmas bills, much less things from before then? This is the first place your money should go, no doubt about it. You’ve already spent that money, and you will have no greater comfort than seeing the debt go away.


Hate living between paychecks? Do you always seem to have an emergency car repair or medical bill just when you have no money left? Don’t you wish you just had a stash of cash. Well, it’ll only happen when you put it there, and now is your chance.

Open a new savings account, put the money there and forget about it. That way it will be there when you REALLY need it. You also wont be tempted to buy that big TV on sale if it isn’t burning a hole in your pocket.


Last year, my wife and I saved most of the tax return we got (we usually keep our withholdings tight, so we don’t get much), and had them ready for when the local stores had their spring caselot sales.


Many people now are looking at the joyous occasion of bringing their first firearm home. While I definitely don’t think people need to buy the most expensive guns out there, especially for a first firearm, they are still quite expensive. Especially when you understand that the firearm is only part of the cost. Proper safety gear, locks, etc add to the expense, and ammunition has been climbing at an amazing rate. This is the chance to get some of what you need.


I cringe at mentioning this, as many people want nothing more than to spend that refund check on new clothes. But probably not on the same kind I am mentioning here. Would you be willing to walk home from work in the shoes you are wearing? Do you have clothes tough enough to do some real outdoor labor in (I know many readers here are desk-jockey’s like me!). Some quality clothing that can last through hard work is what you need.


An important thing to have on hand is a supply of medicines you often need, or could need in an emergency. For common usage think of allergy medicine, contact solution, and other over the counter items.

If possible, also look at getting longer terms of any prescriptions you need. Often you can get your normal 30-day dosage in a 90-day quantity for a cheaper price through certain pharmacies.


If you have money after the previous ideas, well, you’re ahead of most. And now it’s springtime, and time to look at that garden, and those can rollers and shelving you’ve wanted to build. Now you need some good quality tools to do all that. I’m not talking about the latest gadgets to simplify your life. What I mean are the tried and true tools that will last forever, and allow you to work in a rewarding manner on your home, and for your food.


There is a wealth of information on the internet, and hopefully we can be a part of that. But what do you do when you don’t have power? What about just the comfort of reading from your easy chair to learn a new skill? As big of a geek I am, there is a lot to say about having a “Dead-tree” version of information you want.


Have you finished your Bug out Bag, Get Home Bag, 72 hour kit? (or any other term that fits your needs) If not, well, no excuse now. You’ve passed over many other things that should have such a high priority in your life, it’s time to finally *finish* your bags. Get them ready to use, after all the kitcamp will be coming, and you don’t want to miss that.

Taxes are the way the government has of artificially inducing the rainy day everybody has been saving for