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Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => Lady Survivors => Topic started by: Crosstimbers on October 09, 2008, 06:01:55 PM

Title: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Crosstimbers on October 09, 2008, 06:01:55 PM
I'm curious...is there an area of prep/survivalism that you tend to focus on more than others?  Right now for me it is food storage.  I've learned so much and it has changed the way we eat at my house.  I cook more from whole foods like grains and beans.  I've even started grinding my own wheat to bake my own bread!
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: flagtag on October 09, 2008, 06:38:50 PM
I know we would all be better off (healthier) if we "cooked from scratch".  I think for many (myself included) it's a lost art.  But think about it - we wouldn't be able to run to the store to "pick up something for dinner "tonight" necessarily if something happened. 
I realize that many (most?) work outside the home and may not have a lot of time to devote to this, but we should try.

You are a lot farther along than I. For me, it's been first aid supplies.  But still not enough of different things.  I know I need to really find a way to stock up on food, but with tight finances, that is really hard. Most of the stuff I have, I got when I worked two jobs, but I'm down to one now.  I wish I had more when I had the money to do it with.

Everyone should get as much as possible asap. 
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: thomasx7 on October 09, 2008, 07:11:21 PM
Food storage, definitely. I am starting with the basics, and then start filling it out. I have guns, ammo, camping gear, etc. Food and water are my priorities.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: DarkEyes on October 09, 2008, 07:39:19 PM
I have food and water, first aid supplies, but the stuff I worry about is what I am going to do about shoes for my children.  My son seems to outgrow his shoes about every 4 or 5 weeks.  We have incredible growth spurts going on.  I was thinking of going to Goodwill and just buying bigger sizes of whatever I can find that he might wear, just to store.  It's hard to buy children's clothes with an eye on them getting bigger, he seems to grow out, then up. There's no way to predict how far out or how far up.  I don't sew.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: flagtag on October 09, 2008, 07:50:11 PM
You can do as you said (go larger) then, if the kids outgrow them before you can use them, you can sell/trade them for larger sizes.  (or keep some for the smaller child(ren)  Someone would be thrilled to have them.  And if you get them at a thrift store, you wouldn't be out that much. (hopefully, you will never need them.)
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: ColdHaven on October 09, 2008, 08:27:41 PM
I am trying to be well rounded in my preps. At first I tried to concentrate on the basics for life : air, water, food. I am concentrating more on food preparation, and how to obtain food whether it is vegetable or meat. We are planning for a garden on my mother's land. I am trying to learn how to hunt and clean. I am learning how to cook what I have and learn about other things that keep well. After setting up a BOB and the basics then I spread out into more specific areas. Learning how to grow food is another skill I am trying to learn. Always I have tried to buy things while keeping in mind their other uses. Not a single weapon I own can not be used for something else.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: DarkEyes on October 09, 2008, 08:46:49 PM
I've tried to be well rounded and practical, but a few weeks ago I found myself thinking about things I would never want to be without.  It occured to me that if things got bad, I might want a glass of wine.  I actually tried to make wine.  It's in there fermenting now.  I'll let you know how it turns out.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: DrGonzo on October 10, 2008, 09:39:28 AM
I started out by picking up a bunch of the cool toys out there for my personal BOB and GHB.  But after a while I started realizing that I needed to focus more on my actual home and lifestyle.  The focus has gone from the whiz-bang gear (although I still drool over a new knife occasionally) to practical, long term preparations.  Gardening, food storage, getting out of debt, alternatives to driving in the city, developing a network of like minded individuals in the region are some of the areas I'm focusing on now.  Once I was personally prepared, then I had to focus on getting my household prepared.  Then my community.  And on, and on. 

*EDIT* Sorry, I just noticed that this is the "Ladies" forum.  I'm glad there is a dedicated forum for y'all.  I'll leave my comment since it does directly answer the question. 
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Crosstimbers on October 10, 2008, 11:58:38 AM
....It occured to me that if things got bad, I might want a glass of wine.  I actually tried to make wine.  It's in there fermenting now.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

Actually, I've heard it suggested to store various kinds of alcohol. It can be used for medicinal purposes for one thing and would be very handy to barter with if the economy completely collapses.  Plus a little escapism is a good thing in a TSHTF scenario!
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: flagtag on October 10, 2008, 12:58:50 PM
Another good barter item would would be cigarettes.  Even if you don't smoke, others may.  They don't have to be expensive - the cheaper the better.  If you have a vacuum machine for food, you could use it for the cigs (individual packs) as well. Trade by the single cig or the pack.  Also sanitary products. Tampons and pads can be traded OR used for wounds.  Individual travel packets of wipes would be good for trade as well.  Travel size toothpaste/deoderants (on sale) would be good also. (Too expensive if not on sale)  Buy one, get one items are good to stock up on.  Rain panchos in the little packets cost about a dollar can be traded.

Don't only look for things that you and yours will use, consider what others might be willing to trade for - if you can get it cheaply enough. 
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: SkipOnStars on October 10, 2008, 09:35:33 PM
I am focused on food storage, but am also growing a winter garden.  I am going to the sawmill to pick up log end/splits, etc to burn in the fireplace.  They are cheap (about 10. a med truck bed full), and you don't have to have a chain saw or log splitter.  (I also got a tank of propane).  I've bought my seeds for next year's spring garden already.   I've also gotten some really swell books from Tractor Supply Co on concentrated amounts of "all country living skills".  I've also bought more fruit trees... plan to add even more permaculture.  Big item on wish list:  Big Berkey water purifier.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: susan1957 on October 10, 2008, 09:56:35 PM
My prep focus is food, money, and school books for the kids.  We have custody of our 3 great nephew and neices and I am concerned about their education in a shtf scenario which I am beginning to feel is approaching.  We see more and more anger in the McCain group, you hear things about the banks being nationalized.  I feel a revolt against the government approaching. Then there's the increase in taxes they are speaking of to pay for all this mess we're in.  I'm beginning to wonder if it's smart to believe our government about leaving our money in the 401k plans.  And I'm searching for solutions for diabetes during survival situations.  If I can't get my medication what to do etc.  I've stocked up on extra synthroid but it's difficult to stock up on the medication for diabetes.  My next prep focus is stress relief.  Stress relief is something we should focus on since stress destroys good health.


Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: flagtag on October 10, 2008, 10:15:36 PM
If you find a good product(s) for stress, please post it.  I think that right now we are ALL getting pretty stressed!.  Too much negatively charged air! (I agree with the revolt issue.  They are pushing false hope now, but I don't believe it.)
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: susan1957 on October 10, 2008, 10:30:32 PM
I go for walks right now and I have days where I just cut the tv off and play games with the kids and that's helped some.  The more I'm prepared the less stress I feel.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: DarkEyes on October 15, 2008, 05:41:04 AM
I also have tried to focus on the medication my husband takes for diabetes and heart disease.  We recently got his prescription for 90 day supplies, and wish there was a way to talk the MD into writing them for double strength of what he needs.  Then we could have had a 6 month supply.  Has anyone had any luck with Canadian Pharmacies.  I was thinking of getting a prescription on file with one so that maybe they could mail them to us.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Crosstimbers on October 15, 2008, 06:24:39 AM
The medication issue worries me also.  I mail order 3 mos supplies through our insurance and hope that TS DOESN'T HTF at the end of a prescription!  I've also heard it recommended to start putting back a couple of pills a month and then rotate them, slowly building a small back-up supply.  That would work okay on my Prozac but not so much on my husband's blood pressure meds!

For de-stressing, knitting helps me tremendously and also produces another item that provides for my family.

Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: susan1957 on October 16, 2008, 05:21:19 PM
My meds have concerned me but I think I came up with a solution.  The doctor writes me a 3 month supply, then I call in for a refill a month before it's time to go out on the orginal prescription.  So I have a month of my first then the second prescription comes in.  I don't have insurance to pay for the second prescription because most of the time they restrict or won't pay because it's too early.  I've done this once and it's worked. 
Find ways to help your husband's blood pressure not be so bad.  Cut out salt, encourage him to walk more, but don't stop the meds, maybe doing this for a while will result in him not needing as large a doseage. 

Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: GroundPounder on October 16, 2008, 09:41:24 PM
Right now mine is financial.  I have the beans and bullets covered so I want to protect my financial assets.  Been buying precious metals on the dips.  Been keeping an eye on Jim Sinclair's websites.  This guy has a lot of experience and I think will be proven right on his gold predictions.

http://www.jsmineset.com/ (http://www.jsmineset.com/) is his site.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Aunt Bee on October 19, 2008, 04:02:40 PM
Food and food preparation has been my main focus up til now.  None of us take prescription meds yet but I have stocked up on over the counter stuff.  I have all the toilitries and cleaning supplies covered too and have started on ammo but we are considering looking into reloading so I've put the ammo on hold for a while until we can weigh the costs and make a good decision.

I'm starting to focus on getting my household more organized and getting the finanaces where I would like them to be.  This economy has been an eye opener and even though our home and land are paid for, I would like to be debt free.  As far as the household organization...with all the stress that we've all felt lately, the last thing I need is a chaotic home.  I'm very busy and tend to stock up on stuff faster than I can get it put away or have a place for it. 

My main rule in preps is not to get anything we wouldn't use anyway.  That may change at some point but for now I have a ways to go in daily necessities.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Roknrandy on October 19, 2008, 06:44:38 PM
The medication issue worries me also.  I mail order 3 mos supplies through our insurance and hope that TS DOESN'T HTF at the end of a prescription!  I've also heard it recommended to start putting back a couple of pills a month and then rotate them, slowly building a small back-up supply.  That would work okay on my Prozac but not so much on my husband's blood pressure meds!

For de-stressing, knitting helps me tremendously and also produces another item that provides for my family.


I also take lots of meds and over the years have built a large supply (almost 6 months worth now) that I keep at all times. You can put aside a pill now and then and keep track that way or get your doctor to write it for an extra one a day. Talk to him and tell him that you trying to save up a small stash for an emergency and he should work with you on it. Blood pressure, diabetes and serious problem really require the individual to stash meds just because of the seriousness of the condition.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Mrs. ElyasWolff on October 20, 2008, 09:45:52 PM
I don't know if everyone has a GoodWill store near them or even heard of it and for those that haven't it is a second hand store. I love going there for jars, tins and all sorts of stuff for cheaper just used slightly. My favorite thing to look for though is how to books even though with the internet you hardly need books, but if shtf I am not going to be able to count on the internet so I like having hard copies. I just came back from Goodwill now with a treasure, a book called "Back To Basics" printed in 1981 and it has nearly everything in it, building log cabin, canning, gardening, winter gardening, making leather, blacksmithing, trapping, etc..., everything for only five bucks. In the back it even has old games and how to dance the do si do. lol   :D
I would like to learn all these skills but there is a lot so I like to have this hard copy to go by after shtf.
-Christi   ;D
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: DarkEyes on October 23, 2008, 04:54:21 PM
Well, the wine was a bust, not sure what I did wrong.  For stress relief I am storing good old Jack Daniels.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: GroundPounder on October 24, 2008, 09:34:35 AM
Well, the wine was a bust, not sure what I did wrong.  For stress relief I am storing good old Jack Daniels.

Good plan!  You get get the big bottles at Costco at a good price.  Problem is every time I try to stock up I always end up using it!  :)
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Stein on October 24, 2008, 10:19:34 AM
For the Stein family, it is financial and food.  Financial for everything we may need to buy and food for the possibility that money can't buy it.

Fortunately, we cook almost everything from scratch.  We have rice, flour, sugar, baking soda and baking powder stored.  I consider this the basics needed for survival and am adding more luxuries as we have the cash.

On the financial front, it is completing our Get Out of Debt program which will finally finish this year after 2 hard years of work.  It also involves keeping tabs on Wall Street to know how, when and where to move money around as well as having cash on hand.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Kara on November 01, 2008, 09:55:32 AM
Right now, my prep is focused on making sure my house is in good repair and that my storage space is increased. We've lived in our house for 8 years, and I think it just got tired. It's an old house, and has started to fall apart here and there, so I want to make sure it's solid before any SHTF scenario, especially since I live in North Dakota, and the winters here can be brutal and long some years.

I am also really into edible landscaping. My front and back yards are blank slates, and that will allow me to put all new plants in, all of which will give me food or fiber of some kind. After a few years of planting I expect that I won't have any grass left, so it will truly be an urban homestead. The fiber I am referring to is flax. currently I am researching how to raise and retrieve the fiber out of flax. I crochet and sew, and being able to have those skills, and the supplies close to hand in order to make things, could give me something to sell/trade with in a SHTF scenario. It looks time consuming, but it's not hard, and I think it will be fun. The spinning will give me something to keep my hands busy on nights when I have time to watch a little tv.

Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: kimrpeterson on November 01, 2008, 04:18:58 PM
My husband and I are focused on the following:
1. Financial - understanding (as much as possible) where our economy is headed,  Learning about gold and silver investing, starting up small businesses with skills and merchandise that can be bartered in a depression, downsizing and moving our net worth into more stable areas.
2. Gardening - We started 3 deep bed gardens this past year with some success.  I will be digging out more this month before we get too much snow.  We are purchasing a greenhouse and researching how to grow in an extremely short growing season.  I have planted several fruit trees this year. 
3. Animals - We will be purchasing chickens and putting up a hen house this spring.  I have raised chickens for eggs and butchered for meat in the past.  We are raising and training German Shepherd dogs (one of our small businesses) for search and rescue and protection. 
4. Guns/Ammo - I am taking a defensive handgun class in the next 2 weeks and will continue with my training.  I hope to apply for a CCW within the month.  My husband is starting to manufacture high power airguns. We are stocking up on ammo (just spent a hour at Bass Pro Shop last night)
5. Home - We currently live in a log home on a couple of acres, and are converting the fireplace to an insert so we can heat with wood.  We just chopped over a cord of wood and are stacking it this weekend.  We need to look into getting a generator and outdoor sheds for more storage of food, water, etc.   
6. Food - Because I am a backpacker and camper, I have learned how to dehydrate just about everything.  I also cook outside in cast iron dutch ovens and am always learning more about this type of cooking. 

We still have a lot to learn, but are well on our way to becoming fairly self sufficient.  Not bad for a couple of 50 year olds raised in the big city. 
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: CTF250 on November 01, 2008, 05:06:48 PM
Have to say I think its spread out across the board.  DW is always the functional prepper in our family .  Pre Y2k stratigies she worked so hard on have again fallen in to place here.  Alot of focus on food, protection, self suffiency, debt reduction, energy savings and independence from others. 

Each week I try to do something, not matter how large or small to add to the list.  A trip to the store reaps an extra package of food, ammo, battery or other usefull household consumed item. 

Concious of trying to save an extra $10 or $20 a week or so in cash to stow away.  Always aware to try to do "something every day".

For the last year due to early warnings in various websites we began to prep.  As of today we have a pretty good program in place, but we still know the need to it keep going.

If nothing else, I notice we dont shop for  things "we ran out of" as much any more.  So at least Im saving some gas and travel time to and from the convience store. And it feels good to just go down stairs and bring up that "extra item"  when needed.   

Currently we're planning on the upcoming new england winter and spring garden season so some garden planning and energy conservation is in effect here.

One step at a time I guess!

Sorry for the rant, just my two cents!
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: GroundPounder on November 01, 2008, 07:54:39 PM
Kim - I am really impressed with what you and your husband are doing.  You are very fortunate to live in a place you can make those sort of preparations.  It sounds like you are doing exactly what you need to do.  Please keep us posted on how you are doing and your lessons learned.  That is what this group is all about.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Slowfade on November 05, 2008, 05:44:17 AM
Food storage is also my focus...it's the one area I have the most control over.
But I'm trying to do at least a little in every area to at least some degree.
I'm also working on a small library...at first it was mostly Christian materials, but have recently started looking for any kind of educational books that might help with survival...I did find some first aid manuals to keep with the first aid kits.
Prescription meds were a concern of mine too. I'm taking antidepressants right now. They've helped me immensely, but I'm also pretty messed up when I don't take them. All I can think to do is cut back when/where I can and save up for future use. I have to be really careful doing that, and it has to be a really gradual thing. My long term goal is to get off of them altogther, but until then, I'll continue to put back as much as possible. Hubby is on blood pressure meds, so not sure about his.

The two things I'm most concerned about, and coming up short on the most, is water and some kind of security. I haven't really decided on how to deal with it, other than just buying a few extra jugs of water for the pantry, and then buying some pepper spray somewhere.

Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: GroundPounder on November 05, 2008, 08:06:28 AM
The two things I'm most concerned about, and coming up short on the most, is water and some kind of security. I haven't really decided on how to deal with it, other than just buying a few extra jugs of water for the pantry, and then buying some pepper spray somewhere.

For the water I would recommend some sort of filtration system and purification system.  There is a lot out there on the market.  Consider your 'stash' of water for short term emergencies and your filtration system for longer term.  DOnt underestimate the amount of water you will need.  At least 1 gallon per person per day.  You may even need more if its during the summertime and you are having to do a lot of physical labor. 

As for safety, nothing is more effective than a firearm.  Possessing one is a personal choice, but I think you will find that an overwhelming majority of 'preppers' possess them.  They are the great equalizer.  IMO a rifle is the best home defense weapon.  A handgun is excellent protection when away from home. 

Good luck.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: flagtag on November 05, 2008, 09:46:22 AM
Another possibility for those who don't want a firearm would be a Bow and some Arrows.  While still somewhat dangerous (deadly) they would be safer around children and more acceptable to family, friends, and neighbors.  Better than pepper spray or nothing.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: GroundPounder on November 05, 2008, 09:51:11 AM
They are a pretty stealthy weapon (in terms of noise).  A little hard to conceal carry though!  ;D
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: flagtag on November 06, 2008, 09:41:12 AM
VERY baggy pants?   ;D
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: DarkEyes on November 06, 2008, 05:48:52 PM
A blade of any sort never needs reloading.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Mrs. ElyasWolff on November 06, 2008, 11:46:11 PM
It is a lot easier to get dinner with a rifle than a knife or a bow though. And the knife still needs to be sharpened and arrows break... not sure how easy arrows are to make Im sure it can be done though. Myself, I prefer to reload ammo for food though archery is very appealing.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Conductor71 on November 07, 2008, 07:52:27 AM
We basically got into prepping about mid-July.  The economy was really showing signs of tanking so we started a slow run on our bank. I heard about bug out bags and 72 hour kits so I did a search on the internet and that's how I found Jack's podcasts.  Once we started listening we really started prepping with what Dave Ramsey (the finance guy) calls "Gazelle-like Intensity" aka "The Fear of God" (as in, "I'm a Gazelle and this lion's gonna eat me unless I can outmaneuver him with my gazelle-like intensity").  The one thing we learned from Y2K was that buying stuff you weren't going to use in your everyday life was a bad idea for the most part.

We started with my husband's safety so we got him a rolling bug out bag backpack.  He works in downtown Chicago and having both been downtown (me two blocks from the Sears Tower) on 911, really opened my eyes about how important it is to act quickly and decisively in "out of the ordinary" situations.  On the way to meeting my husband that day, I stopped and took out a couple of hundred bucks -- just in case things got weird.  I'll never forget how that idea just came to me as I was no prepper before then.

We did the run on our bank and stopped on our debt paydown momentarily and started at home on food and water storage and rotation.  It's difficult because we live in a teeny apartment but it has really caused me to clean and reorganize the place from top to bottom (man where did all those spiderwebs come from -- and when did I outgrow all of these clothes ;))... Once we got our place done well enough for a couple of months, we started on my mother's.  (We even have her listening to Jack's podcasts) She's good now and we just got everything for the car (including two more bug out bags).

Got into silver a month or so ago -- just buying some American Silver Eagles (for way too much money) and was able to transfer my IRA into a American Gold Eagle holding account.  It's taken a couple of months of prepping like a wildwoman (thanks in large part to some slush money I had stashed in my checking account over the year).  Fortunately, I think we're pretty well done on the food prep for now -- which is good because I think my husband was starting to get antsy about all the outlay for food, shortwaves, flashlights and stuff (although I have my eye on a steam canner ;)) and somewhere along the way we stocked up on clothes and shoes.  We start arms training in January with a certified instructor.  Now we'll be focusing more on replacing my slush fund, debt paydown and saving (as in Ramsey's steps 2 & 3) to get that 3-6 months of savings.

Thanks for your posts everyone -- it's good to be part of a community of thoughtful preppers who although they are preparing, aren't giving up their regular lives.  I've tried to subtly mention stuff to people I work with (like, hmmm with all of this weirdness going on, might not be a bad idea to have some cash and extra food around eh?) but they just look at me blankly.  Some have even said that the whole economy thing is all okay now (what?! no, I'm serious!)  We tried to mention it to my in-laws and they said there's no way there could EVER be a run on the bank.  (The didn't live in this country during the depression but one of them actually worked at a bank for like 30 years.) My husband just shot me a look like "forget it, there's no talking to them". 

Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: coffecat on November 09, 2008, 07:23:56 PM
Looks like I better focus this week on baby stuf.  Daughter had a boy - adorable - and broke her tailbone in delivery.  I saw her baby formula cans in the closet but it won't go all that far.  She is not able to get up on her own and we have to have someone there all the time.  For myself I need  odd stuff.  Need to get juice stocked for 2 children and am worried about my neighbors - young family hard working nice 2 boys but no worries about prep. I guess we shouldn't worry so about other people but I sure can't sit around and watch others starve. Read some on this site about trade goods and need to give that some sincere thought.   Read somewhere in this site that some thought had gone to prepping clothing which I think we have a tendency to forget. C.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: DarkEyes on November 10, 2008, 06:55:13 PM
With my last child, I got lots and lots of diapers--probably 10 or 15 packages.  I foolishly thought I would never run out.  Congratulations on the new baby.  I hope your daughter is up and at 'em soon.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: susan1957 on November 12, 2008, 07:56:36 AM
Working on a garden calendar for my zone. Christmas survival.  If you have kids right now childrenswearhouse.com has Gildan sweatshirts for 2.50 all sizes.  I stocked up for the kids and will applique some on them for Christmas.  They also have great buys on School uniforms if you need some.
Getting Extra Vitamin C in the family to ward off colds and flu after already going through one round.  Our new motto...Zicam is our friend.  Taking a tip from the President...forcing them to use a squirt of hand sanitizer.

Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: edibleyards on November 12, 2008, 06:50:37 PM
I replied about the yard a while back, but I don't even see it on here now. Am I missing something? I didn't want y'all to think I didn't reply!
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Kara on November 13, 2008, 06:14:05 AM
Hey Edibleyards,

You did post about it, but it was in another thread in the Lady Survivor's forum. There is a whole thread about edible landscaping in the gardening section (under permaculture) too though, if you are interested.

:)
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: edibleyards on November 13, 2008, 01:43:09 PM
Doh! I'm just a little confused. I was trying to do too many things at once!

And if I haven't already posted on this topic, I will say my prep focus is probably gardening and actually learning to cook food. Years ago, I was primarily a consumer of mostly prepared stuff, and really didn't grow up knowing much about whole food. So preparing whole foods has been a really major area I have focused on.

At this point, I am kind of focusing on earning money, because in that respect we are in sort of a SHTF situation right now! I also have been focusing since September on learning to play the mandolin, and I mention it here because, though it is not necessarily "prep" per se, it will be useful as entertainment when there's no electric. I have often ignored the creative aspects of life, and one day I heard this voice in my head that said, "You need to learn to play a couple of chords today. The time is now." I decided to listen to it instead of answering back with "No, I need to earn money, because that's more important. No time for fun and games." I see, though, that it opens me up to my full humanity and I can be more productive working because of it. It doesn't take time away, it adds to my life, and that makes it important, even though it may not be considered the highest priority. Does that make sense? I wish I'd known that lesson long ago, but at least I got it now!

So it doesn't sound like prep exactly, but for some reason, the mandolin is a prep focus for me. If for nothing else but to have that creative outlet to turn to when times are difficult.

This got a little long all of a sudden! : )
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Kara on November 13, 2008, 07:50:08 PM
That makes perfect sense, Edibleyards. Learning to play an instrument not only gives you a creative outlet, but you can possible trade that skill, or the ability to teach that skill to another person, for something you need if TSHFT. A skill is a skill, and there's always someone looking for something they can't do for themselves...you just never know. It makes me wish that I had kept up my piano and guitar playing... I've not touched either in years.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: DarkEyes on November 14, 2008, 09:53:41 PM
I have been buying instruments on www.shopgoodwill.com.  So far, we have a violin, a trumpet, bongo drums, 3 guitars, a flute, a clarinet, some sort of a long chili pepper looking thing that is supposed to be some kind of percussion instrument, a tamborine, 2 harmonicas, and a keyboard.  I learned to play the piano as a child, and rusty doesn't even describe how it sounds when I play now.  BUT, I still remember basic chords, and how to read music.  My son and I taught ourselves how to play the harmonica on a trip to our bug out location with a "how to" CD.  I can jam pretty well with Toby Keith now.  I want to get other how to CD's and books so that if we are stuck in for a while, we can pass the time doing something constructive.  My grandaughter plays the violin, and she is now working on the flute and french horn. (at school)  My husband has art supplies.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Kara on November 15, 2008, 09:06:56 AM
Wow! +1 for such good entertainment prep! That's something I think people forget about, is how we will keep ourselves amused after TSHTF.   ;D
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: DarkEyes on November 15, 2008, 11:08:37 AM
I would like to learn how to knit, bought sceins of yarn and needles, but alas, it seems I am all thumbs. I guess in a shtf deal though, it wouldn't matter if one sleeve was longer or wider than the other.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Kara on November 15, 2008, 11:30:35 AM
Dark Eyes, have you tried crochet? The directions can be really cryptic, but once you learn all the basic stitches, you can make your own blankets and stuff without a pattern. I tried knitting, but it is just too slow compared to crochet, and I just can't stand the clicking sound. Crochet is SO much easier and faster than knitting...at least imho.

I found a couple of basic crochet tutorials on You Tube that might be helpful:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w45qDIM5S9Y
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: DarkEyes on November 16, 2008, 06:40:57 AM
It's early and I thought you meant "Croquet".  I actually haven't tried crochet, that's a great idea, and thanks for the link to the how to video. Plus 1 on the Karma.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"? (Crochet)
Post by: Kara on November 16, 2008, 09:35:42 AM
Thanks, Dark Eyes...I hope you have lot of success with it. Be patient with yourself though, and don't give up too soon.

What I like best about crochet is, after you get practiced at it, you can almost go on auto pilot and make blankets while watching tv, or sitting around with friends. It's gotten to the point with me that I have a hard time sitting still without something in my hands. I've made blankets, bags, pillow toppers, doilies...all sorts of things. Right now I am making an afghan out of a two color, large granny square as a wedding gift for a friend.

And, if you lose your crochet hook in a SHTF scenario, you can always pick up a stick and carve yourself a new one as long as you have a means to sand it down to make it smooth. Sandpaper...another thing to stow a way. Good thing it's flat!!

If you, or anyone else, have questions about crochet, please let me know and I'll do my best to help out. It's really a useful skill.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Honorbound on November 28, 2008, 12:32:42 PM
I've focused on food storage and Whole Food Preperation for quite a while now, and it's resulted in our discovery of the lost arts of homemaking, which we have thouroughly enjjoyed.  We've been grinding our own grains, baking and eating fresh and in season more and more.  I've been able to focus alot on herbal and alternative medicine as well and have enjoyed the learning process.  Right now though we have gaping holes in the area of NBC preperation so I'm turning my energies toward that in reading as much as I can.  We can't dig here without hitting water, so I'm putting things away for expedient sheltering in place should the need arise.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: susan1957 on January 29, 2009, 10:47:57 AM
My new prep focus is work.  I am unemployed now so I'm working on doing what ever I can to find a job and get out of debt.  I had the food put up, and I had the meds worked out.  Thought everything was going great then I lost my job so now my focus is to make the best use of what unemployment I get and find a job.  My focus then will be applying every dime to savings, and paying off my house. 
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: TXChikk on January 29, 2009, 12:00:53 PM
Definitely growing and storing my own food and acquiring more water storage containers. While I am busy adding other necessary items (guns and bullets  ;)) my real focus is on the basics, food, water & shelter. I credit this forum and podcast with helping put the nagging necessities in perspective behind the important ones. I am working on debt and thank goodness I have very little consumer debt, the biggest part of my debt is from student loans so eliminating that will be my next major focus along with guns and bullets  ;)
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: BigDanInTX on January 29, 2009, 01:39:57 PM
Because my children are very young, my focus is on the Bug-In.  Work on building up a good store of food and water, provide a means of replenishing our stores (garden and filtering), knowing how to prepare what we're storing, and building up my personal supply of firearms and ammunition just in case.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: krymsonowl on February 02, 2009, 09:02:15 PM
I think I got into prepping when I was 19 and had a baby with my husband overseas in Vietnam.  I had a grand total of $20 a month to buy groceries for her and myself.  Most of the $20 went for her food and milk and the bit left over was for me.  I had enough to buy a jar of peanut butter and one of jam & a couple of loaves of bread and maybe a bag of rice or a box of barley.  Things were cheaper then.  I would take a walk to the butcher's and ask for dog bones (they were free back then).  I would come home and boil them up for broth and add the rice or barley.  After a year of that it made me a bit frugal and I felt a need to have a stock pile of food in case something like that happened again.  It helped over the years and now that I am alone, kids grown, I still prep.  I do worry now that I am alone and have no family near, but things in life do change, so perhaps I should not get to comfortable and keep on prepping.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"? (Crochet)
Post by: sassiesmom on February 08, 2009, 12:06:07 PM

And, if you lose your crochet hook in a SHTF scenario, you can always pick up a stick and carve yourself a new one as long as you have a means to sand it down to make it smooth. Sandpaper...another thing to stow a way. Good thing it's flat!!



Thanks for that hint.... +1!!  I love crocheting rather than knitting, I just could never get into the two needles thing!  But you're so right....once you get a rhythm going, you can go and go and go!  I made a king-sized afghan for our bed...took a long time working at it a bit at a time, but it's nice to have the extra blanket.  Have made scarfs, baby blankets, etc...haven't really tried my hand at wearables, but if need be, I think I could follow a pattern.


Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: sassiesmom on February 08, 2009, 12:14:28 PM
My prep focus has changed over the past several months...at first it was to get a BOB going for each of us (dh and 16 yo dd).  In the past, we had always just gone to the store and bought whatever we saw we wanted....but ended up using credit way too much and have accumulated a hefty debt load.  DH lost his job in January and was off work for about a month...just started with a new shop 2 weeks ago thank goodness....but it really taught me a tough lesson about how we spent our money and how much we really DON'T need.  At least because of all our spending (and hunting) we had a deep freeze full of meat and meals....and a pantry that could sustain us fairly well for a while.  Now that DH is back working...I'm going to get back to paying down our debt and NOT go back to my old spending habits.  We also have some assets that we will be liquidating (hopefully!) and will use that to help pay down the debts.

So after this long post..I guess our focus now is getting out of debt!!
 ;)
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: ebonearth on February 15, 2009, 07:59:26 PM
My prep focus is really just every facet of prep. admittedly I have made a lot more progress in some areas more than others. In fact, prep trumps almost everything else right now as the upcoming move (yay!) means I don't have to worry about employment outside of the home until things get settled near the end of next month. Well I worry but I would rather have my domestic infrastructure setup before another job keeps me so busy I can't work on being as prepared as I would like.

Now in no particular order:

Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: amberwolf on February 25, 2009, 02:31:57 PM
Learning how to cook on a woodstove with iron skillets is a never ending learning experience, I try to incorporate a different meal each time I do. I just used a small dutch oven for the first time last month, the dutch ovens with the inverted lid in order to place the hot coals on top. I made biscuits in it which wasn't as perfect as the electric oven but with practice I know they will surpass soon.
This fall I cut most of the flowering yarrow and put them in paper lunch sacks hanging the sacks from a small clothes line until they dried. Now I have plenty of yarrow for making herbal tea for female regulation, and I did work out a nice little trade with some of it for blue pumpkin seeds that will planted this year.
I think its important to share what's grown with the community, around here we do trading of veggies all the time and having the heirloom is really a great one that everyone seems to want such as the Cherokee purple tomato, they are very tasty and will come up again year after year if you leave a few to rot on the vine. I started this the first year we moved here in 2004 and since then at least ten different gardeners will bring in stuff to trade, so not only is it good for self its getting the whole community involved in something our ancestors once did for self-sustenance.
The one thing that has been pressing on my mind though for the past few years is cooking food without it emanating smells for miles. Anyone starving will try any means to get that food from you, I picture in my mind a group of individuals. I think also of standing in line at a fast food place during lunch and how unnerving some people - who have been hungry for just a few hours- and think what if it had been days without food for them- how will they react to what smells your food is producing. I read up on tagines, they are a sealed cookware that would good to cook in in such a situation and also pit fires. Has anyone else thought of these things also.
   
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: flagtag on February 26, 2009, 10:03:03 AM
Right now, my prep focus is on trying to get my truck's tranny rebuilt as still being able to get one of those "evil, black, "assult weapons" before they are banned.  (Bleeping tranny!  >:( )  Can't get what I want (AR-10), so will have to go with something cheaper.  (A kiss my big fat fanny, Obama! message)
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: PeaceChicken on February 26, 2009, 11:26:04 AM
I've only been "doing this" for about a month and a half, so I'm still learning a lot and realizing how much more there is to left to know. I scanned through the LDS Preparedness Manual and was instantly overwhelmed. I can't afford nor do I have space for all the things they think a family should have for a year. I finally decided they're at the far end of the Survivalist spectrum and I don't need to aim for where they are. I'm trying to live more simply, so I will never need to complete a 3+ pg. checklist of materials in order to feel prepared. People talk about getting livestock and bug out land, etc. and there is just NO way I can do that at this point in my life. Those are long-term goals, of course, but not realistic for me now.

That being said -- I am doing what I consider to be a fair amount of prepping within my current means. I'm trying to take small steps and be as well-rounded with them as possible. Mostly working towards getting a month's worth of food and water stored, which I think I'm at now, yay! I'm also planning my first summer garden (small but organic), working on my firearm skills, getting myself healthier, paying down debt, etc. I try to do a little each day to lessen the amount of dependence I have on the many systems to which we're enslaved.

Jack is good to remind us that in our heads we're thinking of the absolute worst-case scenario and always coming up short in readiness for that, when it's more likely that something smaller-scale will come up before then. As I stand now, I could handle another big Ohio ice storm, or a month of martial law and bugging in, and that's more than a lot of people can say. I try to find some confidence in that, realizing I'm not as far along as many people here on this forum, but even so, I'm doing better than a lot of Americans. And every day I do a little more and a little more, growing my independence one small step at a time.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: TXChikk on February 26, 2009, 12:05:35 PM
Excellent post PeaceChicken, some well rounded advice I can pass along to a friend just coming into awareness herself. Best of luck on your journey.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: PeaceChicken on February 26, 2009, 01:53:39 PM
Excellent post PeaceChicken, some well rounded advice I can pass along to a friend just coming into awareness herself. Best of luck on your journey.

Did any of you guys girls feel overwhelmed at first? Not knowing where to start because everything seemed urgent?
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: ebonearth on February 26, 2009, 02:02:27 PM
Did any of you guys girls feel overwhelmed at first? Not knowing where to start because everything seemed urgent?
Absolutely. Then I looked at it as priority: water, food, shelter. In truth other than training I haven't gotten past these three yet, that's a goal for this year.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: madashell on February 26, 2009, 02:39:37 PM
Food Storage and Gardening are my top two.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: TXChikk on February 26, 2009, 02:55:14 PM
Did any of you guys girls feel overwhelmed at first? Not knowing where to start because everything seemed urgent?
Absolutely. Then I looked at it as priority: water, food, shelter. In truth other than training I haven't gotten past these three yet, that's a goal for this year.

This statement applies to me as well. I had to start with what I felt were the critical items, water & food. For now shelter is good as in paid for so I will sit pretty until I can get out of civilization. I have simple food stores and have started a garden so that's good to go and for water, well, I seem to consume what I store so that's a work in progress. I was overwhelmed early on but I came to realize what I needed for me and everything has fallen into place since. All in all this journey of preparation is a great learning experience I would not trade. It's also quite gratifying to see friends 'come into the fold' without me even saying a word.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: flagtag on February 26, 2009, 03:45:29 PM
That's all you can do.  One step at a time. It won't be long before you have what you need.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: nikki1843 on March 07, 2009, 07:35:31 PM
I just started a few months ago but have been focusing on food to last 3 months for now. I am almost there and will soon begin working on longer term storage for food. I have also started planning a garden for the spring. My next step will be getting a riffle of some sort. I have never had experience with guns but as a single mother with 2 kids at home I want to be able to protect them and provide meat for them if I need to.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Winchester32 on March 11, 2009, 12:37:57 AM
Well, sometimes the order of importance varies, but it's most always food storage first, then ammo, medical supplies and gardening. 
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Heavy G on March 21, 2009, 08:03:05 PM
(This thread has been selected as a “best of” thread by Heavy G.  You can search for “best of” threads by using that term in the search mode.  Everyone on the forum is encouraged to reply to a post they think is “best of” worthy so we can all search for them.  For more information on the “best of” thing, see  http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=3423.0  (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=3423.0))
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: rustyknife on March 21, 2009, 10:31:07 PM
Our main focus is food, water and pet supplies. I've been into hunting, fishing and general bushcraft all my life so I've always had alot of stuff. The whole food, money, debt free stuff came into existence about 1982 when my wife and myself were both laid off from the high-tec world at the same time. Went from 96K yearly to 12K almost over night. Lost everything, except each other.  We learned some very hard lessons but emerged better for it. At first it was very hard to adjust to but through time we started seeing the benefits and after that just kept after it.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Heavy G on March 22, 2009, 08:07:17 PM

Lost everything, except each other. 
 

You are so far ahead of the general population.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: rustyknife on March 22, 2009, 09:45:40 PM
Thank you...I would say to everyone when the going gets tough, pull together, not apart.....I can not recall anytime that if I needed help lifting or tugging on something that it did not work better when we work together...same for this problem and this group...we share and work together even though we may be miles and states apart we pull and work together. Enough said.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Evie on April 14, 2009, 12:52:00 PM
My main focus is shopping and living in a frugal manner.  I shop sales, coupon, barter  and use freecycle.com  We waste very little anymore and compost what we can.  My husband and I both cook from scratch  and have cut out junk food...well he has to have his chocolate fix!  I've learned to make things that are clones of name brand products, such as Gatorade, chips, tortillas, crackers, dips, sauces and more.  I still do long term storage, canning and gardening.   We are fortunate that both our parents took such good care of their hand tools, treadle sewing machines and wood stoves.  In addition to being a pack rat for years, it has netted me many needful things as I de-clutter to make more storage space for essentials.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Winchester32 on April 14, 2009, 01:01:29 PM
My main focus is shopping and living in a frugal manner.  I shop sales, coupon, barter  and use freecycle.com  We waste very little anymore and compost what we can.  My husband and I both cook from scratch  and have cut out junk food...well he has to have his chocolate fix!  I've learned to make things that are clones of name brand products, such as Gatorade, chips, tortillas, crackers, dips, sauces and more.  I still do long term storage, canning and gardening.   We are fortunate that both our parents took such good care of their hand tools, treadle sewing machines and wood stoves.  In addition to being a pack rat for years, it has netted me many needful things as I de-clutter to make more storage space for essentials.


Gotta love those treadle sewing machines.  I am in my 40's, and that is all I have ever sewn on.  I tried one of the modern gadgets a few years ago........couldn't stand it. 

It sounds like are right where you need to be........and where I almost am.  Still got a few ends to tie up.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Gloria on April 24, 2009, 03:08:07 PM
After reading this where am I? where is my focus/  Just trying to make sure I haven't forgotten anything.  You know how something will nag at the back of your mind and you just can't put your finger on it?  So my focus I guess is learning what the others are doing and trying to see if that fits.  Great posts.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: fred.greek on April 26, 2009, 09:38:10 AM
Focus:  Transition to Long-term sustainability.

Can I do what I want to do / need to do, for some indefinite period, without depleting my resources?

For example, the purpose of food storage is to ensure the ability to transition from grocery shopping to grazing from the back yard...
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: BerserkerPrime on April 26, 2009, 09:45:33 AM
Short Term Focus: Learn to garden so as to rely less on food system.

Longer Term: Less reliance on public utilities.....wind/solar in the works

Log Term: 95% Self Relience (Can dig oil well on property  :))

Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: coffecat on May 03, 2009, 11:54:54 AM
Think I have finally worked into a kind-of survival mode with my two older girls.  I help a lot with their gardens and can garden some myself, and I can help with their children so they can get rest when they need it.  This week got one daughter's garden planted.  Serious yard saleing this sat.  Stumbled on a sale in a house of someone who went to nursing home.  They did not want to fool with shed, so I called SIL and he helped me dig out stuff - new boil canner for $5.00.  4boxes of jars and 12 lrings !!!!  Some other things too - someone on here mentioned clothing as preps and I am finding good socks and got 50 cent brand new sneakers !  Got some kero - good quality, and some sevin 10 which I think is wonderful, few other items.  SIL got some tools to complete two basic sets.  They have his tools and are completing her set "the upstairs" set with tools of sizes she can handle.  I got a Stanley Sawtooth saw - very manageable saw for me.  Love it !  I can't use the big saws.  I buy glass hurricane chimneys whenever I can find them.  Got one this week.  If I can add this to prepping, the wilderness survival forums has thru trapperjacksurvival some interesting little videos on using pine sap to do some things and use as fuel - very interesting.  C.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: SLOHomemaker on July 08, 2009, 12:20:18 AM
I have been working toward where I am since 1994, which is not as far as some of the other folks here. I revived my homemaker skills: sewing, baking, food storage, cooking from scratch and canning. I had a nasty fall a few years ago (long story for another thread) from which I received enough cash to pay off the accumulated debt from raising two boys with hardly any money and putting a few bucks away for later.

1. Cash - my old debt and car are paid off. DF was Mr. Frugal Forever and has no debt except the house. An FYI - he was about to take the cash out of his savings account and pay off the house. As he mentioned it to his brother, BigBro said: "hear these two words" Imputed Income". He explained about how Clinton in 1995 had thought up this was to move every homeowner in America up one tax bracket. I will post my research in the Financial thread. Bottom line - kept the mortgage. Also salted a bit of cash, coins and gold for a Rainy Day. We have His N Her tobacco cans of each. (Tobacco covers up the smell of paper...DF visits the ATM daily - just in case)

2A. Food  - We have about 75 lbs of various dried beans with which I am QUITE proficient at preparing in various combinations. We have serious stash of spices by the pound that I use in Indian and other ethnic recipes. I also have store-bought cans of beans, veggies and assorted fruits for ready-to-eat foods.  I am planning on getting dried milk, powdered eggs, oatmeal, nuts and more flour. I keep about 20+ pounds of ww flour for my bread baking (every Friday morning) and once-a-month oatmeal cookie bakeathon for the 7 grandkids. Bought a pressure canner and will be using it for the first time tomorrow when I can some chicken stock and chicken meat. Have 8 dozen quart jars and 3 dozen pint jars for canning with lids. Need to go to Wally World and get more. Have a stock of canning salt and pickling lime. I reckon the stuff on hand will last about 6-9 months.

2B. Garden - I dug up the perimeter of the yard a couple years ago and began preparing it for gardening. I have a nice patch about 11' by 45' on one side of the house and have posted on my blog at http://anotherjewishrepublican.blogspot.com/2009/07/garden-pictures-from-june-16.html. (http://anotherjewishrepublican.blogspot.com/2009/07/garden-pictures-from-june-16.html.)  If you look closely, you can see the drip irrigation system I installed. I have since planted the root crops, another batch of romaine lettuce, more tomato plants, more squash and cucumbers and broccoli/cauliflower and cabbage. And more fenugreek. I love fenugreek leaves stir-fried. I plan to plant the front later. Probably have to start some plants on my own in pots first and them transplant to the front yard. I also want to finish digging up the corner part of the garden and plant more tomatoes. One can never have enough tomatoes in the garden. Canning tomatoes gives meaning and purpose to canners.  They are also way too versatile: sauces, plain, ketchup, soups, pickles....

2C. Water - We have about 25 gallons on hand at all times. That will last about 2 weeks if we just it just for drinking/.cooking. Planning on getting a 55 gallon  rain barrel and filling it for the garden with a hose... just in case, for sanitation. Bathing will be optional and infrequent if the water gets knocked out. This area needs serious work.
I have 4 gallons of bleach, and some rudimentary water filter straws I bought like in 1994. Only used one once. The filtrate taste was enough for me to put them away and pray for water. We had a drought that year. Guess the Big Guy was not humored by my behavior.  ???
3. EEK/BOB bags: DF bought expensive EEK bags as a surprise before consulting with me. They were well stocked, but I supplemented with granola bars, better emergency blankets, a few additional first aid supplies (he is a doctor), can openers, canned tuna and organized them to where most important items were within reach. The bags are BRIGHT ORANGE, so I may switch it all out to other backpacks we have laying around. He also purchased new sleeping bags and a nice, but heavy tent. We have GOT to start COMMUNICATING...LOL. He also needs to put the EEK bag in his trunk. He travels too much and too far to not have it with him and available. In his office in town will do him no good if TSHTF and he is in the Central Valley. Although he does carry a case of water bottles and V8 juice in the car at all times. *sigh* One thing at a time....

4. Communications - I was going to go make friends at the LDS church. I have heard rumors (LOL) that many churches have HAM radio folks to help keep families in touch during emergencies. Since Son #1 (with the 7 kids & wife) is attending in KS, figure me in CA can keep in touch with him at least. Have cell phones. Which will probably be dead from an EMF or satellite problem with my luck.

5. Entertainment - We both gave up cable service several years ago, mainly to save money, but also to save our brains from the zombies. We listen to the radio in the car only. I may have SERIOUS withdrawl requiring MEDICATION and COUNSELING from the Internet when it goes down.  >:(  Good thing he's a trained Dr. Shrink! We are both  bibliophile and have invested heavily during our single years in books. He has books I haven't read and I have books he didn't know existed. Plus we have Hebrew books to study. He has a trombone and electronic keyboard (if there is juice) and I have a flute. We also both have computers if there is electricity. I have painting, craft and quilting supplies to last me FOREVER.

6. Protection - we are weak in this area. Have a 12 gauge Mossberg and .357 Taurus revolver. Enough ammo for a little practice (maybe 500 rounds each) and and some protection (maybe 50 rounds of hollow point and 200 rounds of 00 buckshot). 5 so-so folding knives and 4 good folding knives. Baseball bats. Need to get plywood and bolts so that windows can be boarded up, if it becomes necessary. Gotta find a class for him for gun safety. I don't want him to have to learn THAT on the fly.

7. Tools - Compressor, electric drill. Hand garden tiller, hoe, shovels, rakes, pitchfork, lots of small hand tools, hammers, crowbar, screwdrivers (can double as weapons), hammers, etc. Also have putty for reinstalling glass in windows, car tire repair stuff and emergency tools in my car. He has not gotten to this stage for his car.

8. Clothes - I have the electric sewing machine and 10 boxes of material, plus notions and needles. Also have patterns coming out my pattootie, even some from when the boys were small. Kids patterns from infant to when I was X-large. Men's, women's, kids. Easy and elaborate. (Confession: I moonlighted at a fabric store for six months. In 1993. But I was careful NOT to pick fabrics with obvious "dating".)

9. Transportation - We both keep our cars in good mechanical order. We have the BEST mechanic in the world who sees the cars every 3-4 months and keeps the records for us. I have a set of snow tires for my car and he is getting new tires for his. I suppose it is time to change the tires back to the regular radials now. (I was in Colorado Springs for 6 months and had the snow tires put on in October. Drove back to PSRK in January. Okay, will call Firestone tomorrow.) Haven't got any stored fuel.

10. Cooking - I have a plan for a solar cooker. Have a copper fire pit that I was going to put a tire on with a thermometer. Then a piece of glass over that. WIll make reflectors from old boxes and aluminum foil. Project for next week. Have all the piece but the old tire. I am not sacrificing good tire to this project. Another reason to call Firestone.

11. Most Important - Spiritual - He is better at this than I am. He prays and studies regularly...We at least talk about this together weekly on Sabbath. We have the necessary prayer books, Torah books and ritual items to go it alone in this area at home. I need to improve in this area.

12. SOC - DF has lived in this house for over 10 years, but, because of his heavy travel schedule, didn't really get close to the neighbors. I have started talking to two: the ones next door are elderly gentlemen who have a food dehydrator, food stores organized in the garage and are avid gardeners. Lady neighbor across the street has a big dog, chickens and a garden in the back yard. And an annoying cat that poops in my backyard. (I now close the gates.) Will be getting to know the other people in the near future, probably will bake cookies and pass out to them. Might even share some of the melons. Naw, I'll dehydrate them for snacks. Oh, maybe with the two families with little kids...
 
Okay - I'm rambling. Time to sleep. Tomorrow I'm trying out the new Pressure Canner. Chickens are cool enough to put in fridge now.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Beetle on July 08, 2009, 02:17:31 AM
I have been working toward where I am since 1994, which is not as far as some of the other folks here. I revived my homemaker skills: sewing, baking, food storage, cooking from scratch and canning. I had a nasty fall a few years ago (long story for another thread) from which I received enough cash to pay off the accumulated debt from raising two boys with hardly any money and putting a few bucks away for later.

1. Cash - my old debt and car are paid off. DF was Mr. Frugal Forever and has no debt except the house. An FYI - he was about to take the cash out of his savings account and pay off the house. As he mentioned it to his brother, BigBro said: "hear these two words" Imputed Income". He explained about how Clinton in 1995 had thought up this was to move every homeowner in America up one tax bracket. I will post my research in the Financial thread. Bottom line - kept the mortgage. Also salted a bit of cash, coins and gold for a Rainy Day. We have His N Her tobacco cans of each. (Tobacco covers up the smell of paper...DF visits the ATM daily - just in case)

2A. Food  - We have about 75 lbs of various dried beans with which I am QUITE proficient at preparing in various combinations. We have serious stash of spices by the pound that I use in Indian and other ethnic recipes. I also have store-bought cans of beans, veggies and assorted fruits for ready-to-eat foods.  I am planning on getting dried milk, powdered eggs, oatmeal, nuts and more flour. I keep about 20+ pounds of ww flour for my bread baking (every Friday morning) and once-a-month oatmeal cookie bakeathon for the 7 grandkids. Bought a pressure canner and will be using it for the first time tomorrow when I can some chicken stock and chicken meat. Have 8 dozen quart jars and 3 dozen pint jars for canning with lids. Need to go to Wally World and get more. Have a stock of canning salt and pickling lime. I reckon the stuff on hand will last about 6-9 months.

2B. Garden - I dug up the perimeter of the yard a couple years ago and began preparing it for gardening. I have a nice patch about 11' by 45' on one side of the house and have posted on my blog at http://anotherjewishrepublican.blogspot.com/2009/07/garden-pictures-from-june-16.html. (http://anotherjewishrepublican.blogspot.com/2009/07/garden-pictures-from-june-16.html.)  If you look closely, you can see the drip irrigation system I installed. I have since planted the root crops, another batch of romaine lettuce, more tomato plants, more squash and cucumbers and broccoli/cauliflower and cabbage. And more fenugreek. I love fenugreek leaves stir-fried. I plan to plant the front later. Probably have to start some plants on my own in pots first and them transplant to the front yard. I also want to finish digging up the corner part of the garden and plant more tomatoes. One can never have enough tomatoes in the garden. Canning tomatoes gives meaning and purpose to canners.  They are also way too versatile: sauces, plain, ketchup, soups, pickles....

2C. Water - We have about 25 gallons on hand at all times. That will last about 2 weeks if we just it just for drinking/.cooking. Planning on getting a 55 gallon  rain barrel and filling it for the garden with a hose... just in case, for sanitation. Bathing will be optional and infrequent if the water gets knocked out. This area needs serious work.
I have 4 gallons of bleach, and some rudimentary water filter straws I bought like in 1994. Only used one once. The filtrate taste was enough for me to put them away and pray for water. We had a drought that year. Guess the Big Guy was not humored by my behavior.  ???
3. EEK/BOB bags: DF bought expensive EEK bags as a surprise before consulting with me. They were well stocked, but I supplemented with granola bars, better emergency blankets, a few additional first aid supplies (he is a doctor), can openers, canned tuna and organized them to where most important items were within reach. The bags are BRIGHT ORANGE, so I may switch it all out to other backpacks we have laying around. He also purchased new sleeping bags and a nice, but heavy tent. We have GOT to start COMMUNICATING...LOL. He also needs to put the EEK bag in his trunk. He travels too much and too far to not have it with him and available. In his office in town will do him no good if TSHTF and he is in the Central Valley. Although he does carry a case of water bottles and V8 juice in the car at all times. *sigh* One thing at a time....

4. Communications - I was going to go make friends at the LDS church. I have heard rumors (LOL) that many churches have HAM radio folks to help keep families in touch during emergencies. Since Son #1 (with the 7 kids & wife) is attending in KS, figure me in CA can keep in touch with him at least. Have cell phones. Which will probably be dead from an EMF or satellite problem with my luck.

5. Entertainment - We both gave up cable service several years ago, mainly to save money, but also to save our brains from the zombies. We listen to the radio in the car only. I may have SERIOUS withdrawl requiring MEDICATION and COUNSELING from the Internet when it goes down.  >:(  Good thing he's a trained Dr. Shrink! We are both  bibliophile and have invested heavily during our single years in books. He has books I haven't read and I have books he didn't know existed. Plus we have Hebrew books to study. He has a trombone and electronic keyboard (if there is juice) and I have a flute. We also both have computers if there is electricity. I have painting, craft and quilting supplies to last me FOREVER.

6. Protection - we are weak in this area. Have a 12 gauge Mossberg and .357 Taurus revolver. Enough ammo for a little practice (maybe 500 rounds each) and and some protection (maybe 50 rounds of hollow point and 200 rounds of 00 buckshot). 5 so-so folding knives and 4 good folding knives. Baseball bats. Need to get plywood and bolts so that windows can be boarded up, if it becomes necessary. Gotta find a class for him for gun safety. I don't want him to have to learn THAT on the fly.

7. Tools - Compressor, electric drill. Hand garden tiller, hoe, shovels, rakes, pitchfork, lots of small hand tools, hammers, crowbar, screwdrivers (can double as weapons), hammers, etc. Also have putty for reinstalling glass in windows, car tire repair stuff and emergency tools in my car. He has not gotten to this stage for his car.

8. Clothes - I have the electric sewing machine and 10 boxes of material, plus notions and needles. Also have patterns coming out my pattootie, even some from when the boys were small. Kids patterns from infant to when I was X-large. Men's, women's, kids. Easy and elaborate. (Confession: I moonlighted at a fabric store for six months. In 1993. But I was careful NOT to pick fabrics with obvious "dating".)

9. Transportation - We both keep our cars in good mechanical order. We have the BEST mechanic in the world who sees the cars every 3-4 months and keeps the records for us. I have a set of snow tires for my car and he is getting new tires for his. I suppose it is time to change the tires back to the regular radials now. (I was in Colorado Springs for 6 months and had the snow tires put on in October. Drove back to PSRK in January. Okay, will call Firestone tomorrow.) Haven't got any stored fuel.

10. Cooking - I have a plan for a solar cooker. Have a copper fire pit that I was going to put a tire on with a thermometer. Then a piece of glass over that. WIll make reflectors from old boxes and aluminum foil. Project for next week. Have all the piece but the old tire. I am not sacrificing good tire to this project. Another reason to call Firestone.

11. Most Important - Spiritual - He is better at this than I am. He prays and studies regularly...We at least talk about this together weekly on Sabbath. We have the necessary prayer books, Torah books and ritual items to go it alone in this area at home. I need to improve in this area.

12. SOC - DF has lived in this house for over 10 years, but, because of his heavy travel schedule, didn't really get close to the neighbors. I have started talking to two: the ones next door are elderly gentlemen who have a food dehydrator, food stores organized in the garage and are avid gardeners. Lady neighbor across the street has a big dog, chickens and a garden in the back yard. And an annoying cat that poops in my backyard. (I now close the gates.) Will be getting to know the other people in the near future, probably will bake cookies and pass out to them. Might even share some of the melons. Naw, I'll dehydrate them for snacks. Oh, maybe with the two families with little kids...
 
Okay - I'm rambling. Time to sleep. Tomorrow I'm trying out the new Pressure Canner. Chickens are cool enough to put in fridge now.
Sounds like you got all the bases covered.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: sage0925 on July 08, 2009, 02:18:14 AM
Having been homeless and hungry before, my biggest focus is on those...well, we have no trouble with rent...so food is next on the list. We have a couple years worth of rice and beans (and pasta and wheat), all the vehicles are paid for, we have built a green house, I have more tools than one female should probably EVER be allowed to own (including a lot of manual tools that nobody even has anymore).

I have more clothes than god (just an expression, nobody get their panties in a wad), guns out the eyeballs...the only big thing we don't have that we are going to get soon is a hand pump or solar system for the well, and I'd like more in the way of ammo. Have 2 sawdust toilets built for compost.

Our house is heated with wood...bought a couple of 2-man cross cut saws, in case fuel becomes an issue. Bought a crapload of herbal seeds in case of no doctor in the house...including opium poppy...PM me if you want more info on that...bought vegetable seeds that are suitable to our climate...when we run out of anything (mouthwash, toothpaste), we buy 2 of everything (one to store, one to use)...Did I miss anything? Please tell me if I did.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Herbalpagan on July 08, 2009, 04:52:30 AM
I focus on food...buying it and growing it and finding ways to make it taste good. I also make sure we have the suppllies needed to run the house smoothly, including gas and genny. My "food" includes herbs and the knowledge to use them.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: madashell on July 08, 2009, 08:18:38 AM
I also tend to focus more on food. We just recently turned our 3rd bedroom into a food storage room for our dry storage foods and supplies, I have been canning the harvest from my garden and trying out new recipes for using my food storage. This spring I planted my garden from heirloom seeds that I started and I am thrilled with how well they have done. Yesterday I canned 3 pints of whole red tomatoes, 2 pints of green tomato salsa, 1 pint of yellow tomato salsa and 1 pint of yellow tomato preserves. I also sliced and froze about 10 peppers. We have 6 laying hens and will be inheriting more from our neighbors when they move this weekend. I'd like to start raising broilers soon. My husband and I are on the look out for a country home and hope someone will buy our place so we can move. Here are some pics of my place and our preps http://www.flickr.com/photos/mygarden2009/. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mygarden2009/.) Our goals is to pay off our last credit card this year then sell our home, truck and travel trailer and move to a cheaper country home with a paid for used truck.
 
MRS. DREYER
GUN TOTIN, BIBLE THUMPIN,
HOMESCHOOLIN, TRUCK DRIVEN,
REDNECK AMERICAN PATRIOT.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Louisiana Suvivor on July 08, 2009, 08:34:15 AM
i was a boy scout so i had the gear mostly so i focus on food, meds, money, then weapons (i live in an apt and don't have a gun safe so the mrs. says no go)
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Heavy G on July 08, 2009, 08:52:29 AM
My focuses are:

1. Knowledge
2. Mental preparation for bad times and getting through them
3. Guns/ammo
4. Stored food
5. Miscellaneous needed supplies (water purification, batteries, medical)

I am not set up for homesteading so I only have a working knowledge, but not active preps in, gardening, water supply, heating/cooling, advanced medical.  But I have basic knowledge and books on these.  So if a homestead situation presented itself, I could carry my preps into these areas.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: HelenWheels on July 08, 2009, 12:48:00 PM
My prep focus is to not sit down and weep in frustration, nor to run around in circles screeching like a banshee, nor to bury my head in the sand.

That being said, where I am right now, I'm still storing food. My new dehydrator will be here in less than a week (hopefully) and I am going to start drying as much food as possible. My 10-yr old car is with the family mechanic right now, getting a new tranny, all new brakes, tune up, oil/filters change and a general checkup. Should be good to go for another 50-75k (has 190k now).

My biggest concern/worry/issue is that it is me, alone, no one else. I can prep for myself but when TSHTF, I can't do it alone. Like I've read/heard, there are 168 hours in a week - I certainly have to sleep sometime. Gotta use the bathroom sometime. Gotta cook/eat sometime.

<sigh> ???
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Angie on July 08, 2009, 12:54:46 PM
Knowledge is #1 Heavy is right
next is food
then guns and bullets
emergency stuff - radios, compass, firestarter etc.
gas for the car

But number one is knowledge.  Without it I couldn't store my for long term.
Without it - I wouldn't know how to shoot, or what ammo to buy or what gun to buy
Without it - I wouldn't know how to use Sta-bile for my gas storage
Without it - I couldn't start a fire

The list goes on.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: JeanetteW on July 09, 2009, 10:20:38 AM
It seems like our focus has changed over time. Here is a rough sketch of the things we focused in the order of focus:


My current focus is self-sufficiency - especially my water supply. While I have a year round water just a couple of hundred yards away. I'd like to have full access to my well without being dependent on the grid. Sure, this has obvious SHTF advantages, but the pump is one of my largest energy consumers so getting it off grid will save me a lot of money too.

Once my water supply is self-sufficient, I'm going to focus on my food production. I'm doing well with livestock right now, but could do better. I experimented with a garden for the first time this year, but had disappointing results. I have problems with soil quality (too acid) and irrigation, so this is next on the list.

Taking care of these concerned should keep me busy for a year. :D
 --
 Jeanette



Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: madashell on July 21, 2009, 07:50:55 AM
I need advice on my prep focus and was wondering if you nice ladies could help me  ;) My prep focus had been 1) Food & Supplies 2) Security  3) Pay Off Debt  4) Save $$ but now I am thinking about changing my priorities. We have been spending our money on food, garden, guns, ammo, etc. and paying down our debt but by doing this we haven't put hardly any money into savings. We live paycheck to paycheck and a job loss would be catastrophic. We have a small travel trailer that was to be our "bug out" mobile in the case of an evacuation for hurricane (and we use it for vacations) but I am thinking about selling it. Question is...do we save the money or pay down our debt? The Dave Ramsey plan would have us pay down our debt but I think it would be wiser to hold on to the cash. My husband thinks we probably shouldn't sell the trailer at all but if we keep it we'd need to put money into it to fix it up. I'm not sure what to do. Thoughts?
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: LvsChant on July 27, 2009, 07:24:49 PM
madashell...

It sounds like you are doing very well on all your self-sufficiency and prepping... and your focus on reducing debt is key. I think you need to have some emergency savings first, though... (you may already have this in place). I'm thinking you are already pretty far along on the prepping... istm that you need to really put a plan together to get the debt gone as much as you can. The savings are important, but the debt is so toxic, that once you get your emergency fund together, I would consider putting all efforts into reducing that first, if it were me.

As for the travel trailer... you have to analyze it in terms of how much it would be worth to you vs. how much you can get for it. It may well be that you couldn't get enough by selling it to offset its value to you.

The value of sitting down and really putting the numbers on paper (debt, income, expenses, etc.) and making a plan together might be something to consider.

Best of luck to you (and I love the pix you posted).

Our prep focus is still mainly on growing/storing food and looking for a BOL.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: coffecat on July 30, 2009, 06:35:35 PM
Garden went nuts.  Calf manure rather than cow manure.  Learning to pressure can greenbeans.  Not hard - just a little scarey.  Working on small spaces to prepare for gardening here.  Ground was river bottom umpteen years ago - rocks every three inches in any direction.  Got 2nd kero heater and fuel.  Traded tote for small gas can.  Am trying to trade more.  Am impressed with the amount of skills women survivors have !  Trying to learn more skills.   Planting more trees for shade and winter blast protection. 
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Houstonmom on August 01, 2009, 10:06:39 AM
At first mine was food storage.  Now it is learning to cook tasty meals from the pantry.  Cooking from my pantry has made me realize what I'm missing in case we ever had to live from this food.  For example, I didn't have enough canned cream soups.  Also learning to cook with little energy:  pressure cooker, crockpot and solar oven.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Texasbound on August 01, 2009, 10:52:35 AM
Food preps are now adequate.  Home and personal defense are good.  Water storage is good. 

My current focus is a combination of getting my BOL improved and prepared, and learning/stocking medical and first aid.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Fhilip on August 06, 2009, 04:17:16 AM
Food accumulator I aswell starting in the basal method.

_________________
Thermostat (http://www.prothermostats.com/)
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: sarahluker on August 16, 2009, 02:33:03 PM
Seems food is always our first thought.  I hope to keep it at the top of my list while supplementing the other needs.  We have bought three bikes and I'm trying to collect the parts and tools that I would need to fix them.  Also the third bay of our garage is part of a tandem set and I'm trying to talk my husband (who thinks i'm abit whacky) to turn it into a large pantry/storage area.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: flagtag on August 16, 2009, 02:44:17 PM
Yeah - food, water, shelter, protection should be at the top of our lists.  If you don't have those, everything else would be worthless. (Since you might not be around to use/enjoy anything else.)

I hope your husband follows your suggestions for the garage.  (Must be careful what you store in there tho - temps need to be considered.)
I would be thrilled to death to have another yard barn to store stuff.

Good luck! :D
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: EmmaPeel on August 31, 2009, 09:06:08 AM
Our food stores are adequate right now.  I'd like more but we don't have much water stored and our city water goes out frequently.  I have "non-potable" water stored (old milk jugs with filtered faucet water).  It could be potable with some boiling.  It just has not been stored well.  I rotate it some.  I use it right now for toilets, handwashing etc when the water does go out.  We are set on protection, shelter and entertainment.  I would like more fuel stored for all the vehicles.
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: idelphic on September 15, 2009, 02:22:53 PM
I'm curious...is there an area of prep/survivalism that you tend to focus on more than others?  Right now for me it is food storage.  I've learned so much and it has changed the way we eat at my house.  I cook more from whole foods like grains and beans.  I've even started grinding my own wheat to bake my own bread!

I think it's commendable what you are doing,..  It's a skill that our house hold needs dearly, there is still a considerable amount of waste to cut out.  I keep working on it,.. but drop from time to time...

<needs a coach!>
Title: Re: What's your prep "focus"?
Post by: Texasbound on September 15, 2009, 04:43:56 PM
My biggest prep goal is getting my house sold and moving to my permanent BOL.  Everything else has sort of been put on hold until this is done.  Even making some real sacrifices to make it happen a little faster.