Don’t Stop Prepping

Have you found yourself waning lately when it comes to your prepping duties?

It occurred to me the other day that I have not been as focused on my prepping as I was a few months ago.  Maybe it is because the weather has gotten colder (which makes me want to hibernate), that my garden is looking really sad and alone, or that my shelves are full.

No, the true and honest answer is:  Nothing bad has happened yet.

For five years I have been prepping.  I have endured the laughing heads who call me a crazy conspiracy theorist, plus the reality that much of the food I have stored away–is aging.

I admit it.  Although I still feel that something bad is looming on the near horizon, nothing bad has happened.  So far, so good, right?  But, my electricity went off the other night just as I was preparing dinner.  It was 17 degrees outside.  My thoughts immediately went to:  what if this were for real?  What if this became MY LIFE?  Am I ready?  I will never be ready.

Whew!  I knew exactly where my candles and matches were.  I reached on the shelf for a different choice for dinner.  I also smirked a little when I thought of my friends who delight in making fun of me.  This tiny jolt of reality brought me right back to the prepper mentality.

As I sit here writing, a news flash just came out:  China has announced that it can turn off the US infrastructure at any time, including our power, fuel and food supply.  Well, that is not comforting.  But, then again, we who are preppers have assumed this, or something similar, can and probably will happen.  Will I go into complacency next week because nothing happened this week?  No. If nothing else, this announcement renews my reason for prepping.

So where do I go from here, and how do I keep focused?  I THINK I am fairly well prepared, but I remind myself everyday how quickly, HOW QUICKLY things happen. How long can I sustain with my current prepping supplies?  I am going to spend the next weeks finding and filling in the gaps of my plan.  I am determined to stay the course.  Prepping for me has become a way of life.  Here are just few of the things I will be working on this winter.

I am fairly well organized, but that does not mean my supplies can just sit forever.  I need to revisit the medical supplies I have packed away.  Is the tape still sticky?  Has the ointment expired?  Are the vitamins and aspirin still viable?  Prepping is more expensive when I try to buy or replace everything at once.  All the more reason to keep rotating and replacing a bit at a time.

The shelves that I have canned goods on are drooping in the middle.  I started with sturdy plastic shelves several years ago, but they began to give way.  I traded the plastic shelves for metal ones with thick (and I thought) sturdy wood shelving.  That doesn’t work perfectly either.  The shelves haven’t fallen yet, so my new plan is that, as I rotate through the canned supplies I currently have on hand, I will not replace them with heavy canned goods.

I am going to go for lighter weight, more long term food storage.  I really hate to give up grocery shopping in my storage room, but it is not the best plan.  As much as I would love to have Thanksgiving dinner for every meal during the hard times, it is just not possible.  I switched my thinking to:  just have food to eat so we don’t starve!

Pasta.  Pasta is inexpensive, light-weight and versitile.  Canned tuna, clams and salmon are all food stuffs that have a long shelf life.  I can mix them with the pasta!  They don’t weigh as much as canned beans or vegetables and take up less room.  If you are not a seafood lover, consider them as barter items. Jars of my favorite spaghetti sauce will remain in my cache even though they are heavy and a little hard to stack.  Some things I just refuse to give up on!

I need to add to the toilet paper stash.  I believe in as much comfort as possible!  I read somewhere that putting the toilet paper rolls in a plastic vacuum bag and removing all of the air with the vacuum hose is a great space saver.  I am going to try this.

Honey is the only food stuff that will not go bad.  I think I am doing good here.  I have been purchasing honey for some time–real honey–not the highly refined off the shelf kind, although I do have some of the cheaper honey for bartering.  Not all of my honey is in the raw, but some is.  Honey has marvelous medicinal properties, as well as nutritional and other amazing uses.  One of the uses of honey that surprised me is that raw honey, or even the refined version, can be put on gapping wounds to keep out infections!  There are some grocery stores that have raw honey, and, of course, it is available online.  Every prepper should have some.

I still have some mylar bags that I purchased online a couple of years ago.  As I buy flour, I put it in the freezer for 48 hours (to kill any larvae that could eventually hatch).  I will be transferring more flour to mylar bags for longer term storage.  It is a bit cumbersome, but easy to do. Just pour it in the bag, push out all the air and seal with an iron from the laundry room.  Mylar bags keep bugs out, protect the contents from light, as well as seal out air.

Canning jars are fairly easy to get right now since it is canning season.  Walmart has them.  I bought the gallon canning jars and filled them with dried beans.  I didn’t throw away the box they came in, but placed my filled jars right back in the box for easier stacking.  The same with dried rice, only I put the rice in quart jars.  (You do know, don’t you, that any speciality rice, like black rice or pre-seasoned rice will not work for long term storage?  The oils in them will go “off” spoiling the entire batch).  I use dried white or brown rice.

Just as an FYI:  I do not depend on frozen foods for my prepping needs!  Frozen foods are as reliable as a casino or the stock market.  A deep freezer is great when all is well with the world, but when, as preppers say, the SHTF, your freezer is going to be useless.  You will need to cook everything quickly and invite the neighbors for a feast!

Included in my prepping supplies are barter items.  My neighbor has chickens, I don’t.  They might trade me a few eggs for a bit of coffee, honey, or even soap!

Buy things while they can still be had!  That isn’t exactly proper English, but it makes a good point.  Five years ago I could buy a gun and ammo without any problem.  Not so today, right?  The same principle applies to food and supplies.  How quickly things can change.

While this article focused mainly on food, there are so many more things that go into prepping.  Maybe I will find the time to write my thoughts on those things too.

Springtime will bring more prepping ‘must do(s)’, so keep busy for now!

There is a really good (fiction) book entitled ‘One Second After’.  If you want to know how bad things could be in the blink of any eye, read it.  In a nutshell, after an electromagnetic explosive device (EMP) is set off in the atmosphere, everything electronic dies in an instant; your car, your computer, electricity, phones, everything.  The scary thing is that some of our leaders in Washington wrote forwards in this book proclaiming that is not a matter of IF this will happen, but WHEN.  Our enemies have the capability already.  What are they waiting for?  Who knows.

There are so many reasons to continue prepping.  There is still much to do.  I am ecstatic that my prepping supply has not yet been needed!  I will be even happier if it is NEVER needed!

We prep for a reason.


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