What did I do to prep this week?

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Winter survival car bags loaded and explained.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Benjamin Franklin

 

 

What did I do to prep this week?

By Bev Sandlin

First, I want to thank so many of our subscribers who took time out of their day to comment, give ideas and in general support SCP! Read more on the comments last Sunday and Tuesday. Thank You!

I applied for and am working on my paper work for becoming a “Short Call” substitute teacher. In Minnesota, if you have a Bachelor’s Degree in just about anything, and a school district is short on substitute teachers, you can apply to become a substitute teacher; so I am. A friend who has been doing this for several years calls it “glorified babysitting” at $95 a day—a 6 hour day.

This week I got my three car bags ready for winter. For me, these are not “get home” bags, rather winter survival bags. About the only reason I can see that a person would have to walk home is an EMP attack (Correct me if I’m wrong!) and that is not part of my preparedness thinking—a solar storm and we would have some fore warning. And I have “cheated”…

 

I don’t remember where I picked this up, perhaps Sears or Harbor Freight. But I’m sure it was under $25 and is fairly complete. I have these in the vehicles year around.

 

Inside the food and water one are emergency ration bars and foils of water. Yes, they freeze and yes they thaw—it’s Minnesota. I really like the handy little bags.

 

Inside of the first aid and anti-exposure pack are really basic first aid supplies, a flimsy plastic poncho and a one-time use survival blanket.

 

The Tools and Gear baggy actually impressed me! A handy little multi-tool, radio, flashlight, survival whistle, duct tape, cards, waterproof matches, and I think I slipped the box cutter in there. I left the radio and flashlight in their plastic both for protection and because the batteries are likely to last longer—so I am told. I put some of the matches and some baby aspirin into the survival whistle.

I added two things to this packet, a. A good plastic poncho, and b. A good survival blanket, because my life may depend on it. So the final package looks like this:

 

So, I have a survival blanket and now two ponchos, why more? Because one winter I was about 150 miles away from home and the thermostat went out—no heater. Below zero, no heater, wind chill at 60 mph… The cheap emergency blanket ripped and its only use was to help keep my head warm, and I cut one poncho up to wrap my feet inside the boots to keep them warm. It worked, but a good poncho over a good emergency blanket and the cheap one cut up and wrapped around my feet and head with a stocking cap and maybe I wouldn’t have broken that back molar grinding and chattering my teeth from the cold. And why do I live in MinnesOta?

And then I keep a little car tool kit in each vehicle year around. Not much, but better than nothing.

 

Again, I keep the batteries out of the flashlight. An extra poncho, an orange vest, more first aid and super basic tools—but I’m no mechanic, so this is okay for me. Along with the other tools, I think it is adequate.

I have pretty much always kept tools and extra fluids in my vehicles through the years and that behavior has saved my tail more than a few times!

When my home burned, all my preparedness supplies went too. So did my winter car bags. And of course I have no old coats, etc. anymore. The first winter after the fire I was just too shell shocked to think about winter car bags. I was living in the barn and in survival mode.

Well, this year I am in a house so things are easier. I ended up going down to Goodwill and Salvation Army and picking up some extra coats, boots, hats, gloves, scarves and some miscellaneous bags. To that I added socks and an old pair of sweat pants (Because sometimes I wear a skirt or dress, AND they make excellent snow pants over jeans.). I have a car and a truck, one clothing bag for each, and I packed Bob’s coveralls, etc. in a bag for his car.

 

 

So, the two bags on the lower left are in the vehicles all the time. And those are my bags of winter clothing. I think I would like to add some of those nifty emergency heater cans. The candles I did have melted in the summer time. Perhaps add some kitty litter (Scavenged that this summer for kitty.) for winter traction.

 

Okay Rourke’s Patriots, what did YOU do this week to prep?

 

 

*****

A smile for you…

Baffle

THE GREATEST TYPO OF ALL TIME

A new monk arrives at the monastery. He is assigned to help the other monks in copying the old texts by hand. He notices, however, that they are copying from copies, and not from the original books.

So, the new monk goes to the head monk to ask him about this. He points out that if there was an error in the first copy, that error would be continued in all of the other copies. The head monk says, “We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son.”

So, he goes down into the cellar with one of the copies to check it against the original. Hours later, nobody has seen him. So, one of the monks goes downstairs to look for him. He hears sobbing coming from the back of the cellar and finds the old monk leaning over one of the original books crying. He asks what’s wrong.
“The word is ‘celebrate’,” says the old monk.

- AUTHOR UNKNOWN-

 

© 2012, Seasoned Citizen Prepper. All rights reserved. On republishing this post you must provide link to original post.

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26 Comments  to  What did I do to prep this week?

  1. Suni says:

    This week I used some food storage to prepare one of our meals. Not that I needed to but because I haven’t been practicing this peculiar skill and it is a bit different if you are using dried or freeze dried foods. The first was using freeze dried onions, carrots, potatoes and tomatoes and some home canned ground beef. Made a homemade pot-pie. It was yummy but required more liquid than I had anticipated so it was a little dry. Because I live in a rural area and about 120 miles round trip from the nearest town of any size I have been searching for a company that will ship large storage containers used for holding potable water. This has been a tough one for me. I have several 55 gal containers but would like to upgrade to several 500 gal containers. The trick is they will ship to a large town but not to my area and though I drive a pickup it would still require a larger than average trailer to get them home. I live in the high deserts of Texas and not a lot rivers or pounds around here. So water is my number one concern. Would love to hear if anyone would have a better suggestion for water storage. Our average rainfall per year is 11 in. and we have been in severe drought for several years now. Thanks for all that you do.

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  2. Bev says:

    Good for you Sunni! A couple of thoughts for you... Any ag place (Tractor Supply, etc.) will have the big plastic tanks often used for spraying chemicals. They aren't outrageously priced, and come in different sizes that will fit in the back of a pickup (one not two).
    Water bladders come in all different weights and grades and sizes. They collapse to a very small size when not in use. How durable is a whole nother thing.
    In desert areas around the world, a rainwater containment system that catches the water that runs off the roof is vital. That and low water usuage appliances and behavior.
    Perhaps some of our other readers will have creative ideas for you???

    Bev :)

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    • Suni says:

      Bev thanks for the info on the tractor supply I will try the next time I go into the big town. At least its a direction

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  3. Bev says:

    Sincere apologies to everyone! I have no idea what happened to the last few pictures.

    Bev :)

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  4. Wyzyrd says:

    I brushed up on my fermentation-pickling skills, starting small batches of sauerkraut, pickles and kimchi.

    Suni: mostly a short-term / quick and dirty solution, but you might consider some cheap "easy up" solid wall kiddy pools from a big box store, via mail order. They store small, and could probably even be shipped to you via USPS or UPS, cheaply. Hitting a store in September clearance time might be even cheaper.

    You'd also need some sort of evaporation barrier over top and a shade structure, like a tarp or a ramada, might also be a good idea, as plastic tends to break pretty quickly down in direct sunlight. Possibly a silly idea, but I have been considering a couple of these as 'settling ponds' for grey water recycling. Just a thought. Hope it helps.

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    • Suni says:

      Wyzyrd, Thanks for the idea. The biggest problem with a open container is evaporation. For the last week our day time temps are running around low 80's. But at least I could purchase one for doing the laundry and dishes. We normally only have about 6 weeks of cold weather and that will be next month and about 2 weeks into Feb. after that not so much. We do get really hot, in the summers in Aug. we usually have days well over a 100 with quite a few over 110. I really thank you for the idea of a pool though.

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      • Wyzyrd says:

        It may well sound even sillier, but for laundry and dishes, consider lining the the pool with some black agricultural mulch plastic, and a clear plastic top, in full sun. You will probably need to replace the clear every 6 months or so, and the black, every year or so, in your environment. Protect any other exposed plastics as best you can.

        When I was "broke and homeless" after the infamous 'dotcom crash', I used 3 black plastic "Dollar Store motor oil drain pans" filled with clean water and covered with plain ol' plastic sheet in the morning, and out in full sun all day, even in MUCH cooler VA summer weather, to cleanup for the evening's dinner. I usually had to wait to clean up until well after sundown to avoid burning myself. Stack some covered foam insulation board around the kiddy pool, and you have a 'free' water heater.

        YMMV.

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  5. Good quality blanets and even a sleeping bag are good additions. I wouldn't want to be out in a Minnesota winter without them... heck, not even a KC winter! Oh, and plenty of warm socks, stocking caps, mittens, etc. I know half of my trunk gets filled with this stuff for winter.

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  6. Wyzyrd says:

    Very good picks, milleniumfly.

    I'm a bit of a 'heretic' when it comes to blankets. Polyester fleece is nearly as good as wool, even wet, especially when combined with "Space Blankets". I can get 4 'fleece throws' at the local megamart for the price of 1 surplus wool blanket online, most of the time. (At the one whose name sorta-rhymes with "Voldemort", there are even green 'holiday' ones that could be a half-a*sed camo pattern, if needed.)

    Small, 'squishable' and pretty inexpensive.(Locally, $4.96) Last time I checked, I had 7 stashed in my vehicle. A friend stitches 2 together on 2 1/2 sides as "redneck sleeping bags" and cuts them up and sews them into hooded cloaks. (Exceptionally good survival gear year-round). I'm attempting to learn to use a sewing machine with her VERY patient help.

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    • Rourke says:

      Wyztrd -

      I love polyester fleece and your right - you can buy several of them for not too much money. I like the idea of sewing them together - often the ones I have bought will not cover my big, muscular :) body very well.

      Good one.

      Rourke

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  7. Bev says:

    An old glass paned window, tilted over a dark pan with water will heat it up sooo fast. I know people who use broken down cars for greenhouses as they heat up so well and the windows can be rolled down for insulation.

    So much is just creative thinking, "out of the box" type thinking. And it is Wonderful to brainstorm with other creatives for ideas because we all bring unique life experiences to the table!

    Bev :)

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    • Wyzyrd says:

      It was a bit difficult to be appropriately-parental when my step-son got busted for growing 'weed' in his backyard inside an old dead car with a sun-roof. Simultaneously wanted to "smack him upside the head" for being stupid, and "high five" him for being innovative, and paying attention to what I tried to teach about survival.

      He did his time for being an idiot, and that same dead vehicle is now producing off-season salad greens and (legal) herbs. Maybe there's hope.

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      • Rourke says:

        Wyzyrd -

        That's funny. I know what you mean. Sometimes I am furious with my oldest and then 2 minutes later he has me cracking up. I hope my kid is paying attention. Sometimes I think this next generation will find themselves QUITE confused when their keyboards and joysticks don't work anymore.

        Rourke

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        • Wyzyrd says:

          I'm an old SF reader (and fan). The late Marion Zimmer Bradley, wrote a interesting (not my favorite, but my ex-wife's) series called "Darkover" - a medieval-level "expat" human civilization that got "rediscovered" after a few hundred years. It had/has an active online fandom culture.

          The funniest (and maybe darkest) online joke there was "what happens when the escalators at the (don't City remember name) spaceport shut down ?"

          "30 Terrans die of starvation"

          Gotta make sure our kids can survive with or without tech. NOT easy.

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  8. Bev says:

    On that note, as I was trying to find heavy duty Mylar blankets I ran across numerous sites selling heavy duty Mylar film for indoor growing--we can imagine what :)

    The thing is, I think this stuff would be great for windows for reflecting heat inside and in summer blocking heat and reflecting it outside. Also passive solar water/air heating.

    Actually, I thought I might take one of my cheap emergency blankets and see if I can't "paper" the inside of a "cat house" I have and then put in a lightbulb to keep the barn cats warmer (Yes, I know they have the hay, but...).

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  9. Bev says:

    When I was young, I too was a SciFi fan. But I raised my kids homesteading.

    But I am guessing that 99% of our population is so far out of touch with "reality" that it is really scary. But it doesn't take much more than hunger to bring you back to what is real and will fill your stomach and the rest, well, how real is it all?

    Bev :)

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  10. Wyzyrd says:

    I realized that Bev had mentioned coveralls in the original post. Great idea and a potential lifesaver. Kept me warm on several occasions.

    Depending on when deer season ends where you are, check the sporting goods aisles in your local megamart, right afterwards.
    You can frequently get good deals on camo or blaze orange insulated coveralls for your vehicle kits while they are on clearance, before fishing gear reappears. The XXL+ sizes are frequently heavily discounted, and that's OK - you easily can put them on over your other clothing and shoes. You probably don't REALLY want to undress in a snowstorm, to fit into the 'right' size.

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  11. Bev says:

    Wow Wyzyrd, YOU are just sooo SMART!

    You know, all these comments are confined to just the original post. We NEED someway to get this info to the readers! Like this, you are just brilliant!

    Suggestions on how we can do this? Maybe, best comments of the week? Ahhh, maybe in the Sunday weekly thingy? Ahhh, got an idea?

    Bev :)

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  12. MsKYprepper says:

    I admit it, I didn't do anything. Nothing. Nadda. I feel like such a slacker. Of course, I have great reasons (excuses). Of course, I ran out of time and money - especially with the holidays. I did keep up with new YouTube videos - where I always learn a lot and with my blog postings. And of course, I've added a few new ideas for things to do next week. It felt kinda good to take a break and do "normal people" things. Feel free to verbally beat me up and help to get my butt moving.

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  13. Bev says:

    MsKYprepper, NO, NO! You were prepping and didn't even realize it!
    To me, preparedness includes rest, thoughtfulness, introspection, and you went out and searched out more information on YouTube. Perhaps the MOST important part of preparedness is thinking and information. All the supplies in the world will not do you any good if you do not have the "I can" mindset!
    Oh, and PLEASE share HOW you FIND those VIDEOS! I haven't figured it out yet and I'm sure others are in the same boat--new technology to me :)

    Bev :)

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    • MsKYprepper says:

      Bev, You are so sweet. Thanks. You made me smile.

      YouTube is a virtual training playground. If you search YouTube for "prep" or something similiar you won't turn on TV for 6 months, watching videos instead. After a while you begin to notice the people who post videos that you trust and respect. SUBSCRIBE to their channel then bask in their wisdom. Get about 30 or so channels that you have subscribed to and you'll never have to watch another Oprah-rerun in your life. For anyone just starting out, I suggest searching for Southernprepper1 for many thought provoking ideas. I aim to set up my backyard to be just like LDSprepper. I made my BugOut Bag after watching TheUrbanPrepper. and I've included a few home security aspects thanks to Survive2Day. I've never posted videos, I'm still learning from everyone else. But I have more confidence trying something new after I've watched someone else do it. Go check them out ...and don't forget the popcorn!

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  14. Bev says:

    MsKYprepper THANK YOU!

    Okay Guys, I need some help here! We HAVE TO figure out how to share all these Wonderful comments with our other readers!

    Just too much to go to waste!

    Bev :)

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  15. Wyzyrd says:

    Well, I haven't got a solar setup yet, but this YouTube entry led me back to good ol' Harbor Freight. (www.harborfreight.com)

    Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GhfN0qu348
    Setting up 3 of the HF 45Watt solar kits together.

    Checking the "related Videos" on the right sidebar can also lead to interesting new finds.

    Harbor Freight will send you a sales brochure every week or so, but then again every couple months or so they have a "60% Off Weekend" and a solar kit comes down well below $150. They also sell deep-cycle marine batteries. As with most places, some junk, some good quality, but a lot of 'unique' items. I found a pike-back "fireman's" axe there for (I think) $15, that sits behind my bedroom door in case I need to exit quickly in an 'unconventional manner". Every 6 months or so, they seem to get in a shipment of (unseasoned) 6qt tripod leg cast-iron Dutch Ovens with lids for about 30 bucks, as opposed to 60-70. (BTW, I don't work for them, or make any money from them, just a 20+ year customer)

    As to comments, probably the simplest thing to do would be to just cut and paste them into a weekly "Favorites" post. There is probably a WordPress plugin to let you just flag them and auto-extract weekly, but I know next-to-nothing about the Blogger platform. Sorry I'm not more geeky help there :(

    OOOOPPS.. noticed that SP is a WordPress blog - I'll check this evening ...

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  16. Bev says:

    Wyzyrd you ARE THE WYZYRD!

    How totally BRILLIANT! And I too am a fan of Harbor Freight! But I spend too much money when I go in there!

    I just have NO CONFIDENCE with solar :( But between you and John and beginning to learn!

    Bev :)

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    • Wyzyrd says:

      Solar Power is "just another brick in the wall" for survival. It can work pretty well when the sun is shining regularly. Wind Power works when you have a steady breeze. A propane stove works great as long as you have propane, a wood stove or fireplace works well as long as you have firewood.

      The more backups/alternatives you have, the better.

      Makes me smile to remember an old, departed acquaintance. When my Dad retired in New Hampshire, he set up shop as a sign-painter. One of his friends (an even crazier old coot than I am, who lived in a log shack, on a road that was snow-free maybe 6 months a year in a good year, and hadn't had a "real" job since the Korean War) ordered a BIG sign that started out with "Licensed Barber, Licensed Game Butcher, Reloaded Ammo, Hand-tied Flies, Nightcrawlers, Outboard Motor Repairs, Towing Service".

      Every time I would visit back up there, that sign would have 2 or 3 more 'businesses' listed. When I finally asked, he laughed and told me "Every time I learn to do something new, there's a better chance somebody will want it, eh?".

      Energy sources (and learning new things) are like that. Having Plan B is good, Plan C is better. Having Plan Z-prime is even better.

      Never stop learning new stuff :)

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  17. Bev says:

    Wyzyrd! YOU are a philosopher!
    LOVE the story!
    Have you checked out the discussion on today's comments?
    Solar, canning, donkeys (someday I should tell you about my ass), and beer.
    Bev :)

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