Monthly Archives: December 2013

10 Essentials

The Ten Essentials is a list of essential items hiking authorities promote as recommended for safe travel in the back country. Here they are:


1.  Map

2.  Compass (optionally supplemented with a GPS receiver)

3.  Sunglasses and sunscreen (a sunhat also helps in this department)

4.  Extra food and water

5.  Extra clothes

6.  Headlamp (outdoor)/flashlight

7.  First aid kit

8.  Fire starter

9.  Matches

10. Knife


Not every expedition will require the use of an essential item. Carrying these basic items improves the chances that one is prepared for an unexpected emergency in the outdoors. For instance, if a hiker experiences a sudden snow storm, fresh clothes and fire starter may be used to keep warm, or the map and compass and headlamp will allow them to exit the wilderness quickly; otherwise hypothermia becomes a prominent possibility, perhaps even death.


Reflections on 2013

At the end of the year I like to reflect on the last year and look at the accomplishments and failures. If you do not know what you completed this last year, how will you know what needs to be completed this next year.

The beginning of the year is a great time for new beginnings like new goals and habits. And what is really important to you.

How much have I done on the whole idea of prepping?

How many new skills have I learned?

How much has been added to food and other storage?

How much time have I practiced with equipment that I already have?

How much have I researched on products or procedures we want to use?

How much money and time has been just blown away on things that do not last?

Do you get the idea? If you have a journal to write the answers to these questions in it. If you don’t have a journal, now is the time to start one, just use a spiral notebook or composition book, it will make you accountable for the time that is spent. Also if you did not do well on the spending of money, now is a good time to start budgeting and keeping track of how your money is spent.

With as fast as our time goes the only way to really keep track of time and money is to write the information down daily. Okay, if you can’t do it daily then at least weekly.

Now, before the next year starts, decide a time daily or weekly that you can sit down and write down your time and money spent for the day or week and put it on the calendar just like an appointment along with how long it will take.

Also decide on a place to keep receipts and your paperwork and keep it there all year.  If you always know where it is, including a pencil and/or pen then you have no excuse to not write the information down.  Get all of your supplies now and put them in that space and do not move them from there. Your supplies can be as simple as a spiral notebook and a pencil, or as expensive as a computer program like QuickBooks. Whatever you use, decide now to use it throughout the whole year.  After you use it for the year, you can decide at the end of 2014 that you might want to use something else next year. But continue to use the same process for the whole year, so you are not beginning over and over again, which adds to the amount of time needed to complete the project and then you get frustrated & decide that it is not worth the time and effort.

This can be done in other areas of your life as well, however, I am concentrating on your Prepping area. Write down your goals on a sticky note or on a 3X5 card and tape them up in different areas of your home so that Prepping goals stay at the front of your mind. The bathroom mirror is a good spot to do this.

Christmas Truce

99 years ago today WWI was barely under way in 1914 in the trenches which were wet and cold. Two groups of men were dug in and facing each other.

Have your speakers turned to good level.

World War One Christmas Truce Song – Belleau Wood


The Christmas Truce is a good documentation.

May all of you have a Merry Christmas and a happier New Year.

SMART goals

SMART Goals If you are a preper you already set some goals. How would you like to get more done on prepping each day? Do you think that you don’t have time to set goals? Most of us go through life just going through the motions of the daily grind. You know the what I have to do each day just to get by.  The spouse, kids, work, school, house, all those things that have to get done each day, then at the end of the day you reflect on what you have done and ask yourself ‘Did I get anything done on my prepping today?’

SMART Goals are- Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Time-specific

This does not have to take hours upon hours to do. Start with something simple like. I will get 50 pounds of salt for my food storage bought and put up by February 1, 2014.

This is- Specific – salt Measurable – 50 pounds Attainable – 50 pounds of salt would be $37.50 approximately Realistic – Can you afford $37.50 in just over a month and do you-             Have time to put 50 pounds of salt up and –             Something to put it up in like clean plastic bottles? Time-Specific-Can you do all of this by February 1, 2014?

If you can answer these questions with yes then this would be a SMART Goal. It is this simple. Then you break down how much you would purchase each week or each 2 weeks when you get paid and as you purchase the item when exactly according to your schedule you would put it up in the clean plastic bottles. If you don’t already have the clean plastic bottle then you would need to decide when you would obtain these. Like for us, we drink pop from the 1 or 2 liter bottles, they are wonderful to put food up in because they are last a long time.  So when we are through drinking the pop then we wash them out well and allow them to air dry for at least a couple of days until they are completely dry then we put the dry food up in them.

So, say the first week you would write on your calendar which day you would go and purchase 12 pounds of salt and a few pop or juice plastic bottles and you would need a funnel. Then on your calendar in 4 days you write down to put up as much as you can on the 12 pounds of salt into the clean dry bottles. So you know that you have to drink the pops and have washed the bottles out and they are good and dry. Then the next week you would purchase another 12 pounds and put them up by the end of that week. Then the next 2 weeks you would purchase 13 pounds each week. So that by February 1st you would have 50 pounds of salt bought and put up in your storage. If you don’t get that much put up in the 4-5 weeks then you did not meet your goal, but you probably did more than you thought you would. Adjust your goal and try it again. One good way to do these goals is to reward yourself for doing this. It could be as simple as taking the day off and taking the kids to the park or if you have some extra money, buy yourself something for your prepping.

You can also use SMART Goals for just getting things done. Say if you already have everything to do some kind of a project, then use SMART Goals to write down on the calendar when to get each part of the project done until it is finished. Give yourself deadlines to work with, that will motivate you to get more done.

Goal setting is what the successful people use to get to where they are. If you just live in the moment then you tend to spin your wheels, but if you use goal setting you get more done in less time.

what things will disappear first?

What things would disappear from the grocery stores early on in a disaster situation? Statistically –Strawberry pop tarts more so than other pop tarts. What makes me think that? One place that I and most other folks shop at is Wal-mart. When you buy something, the home office of Wal-mart knows within 15 minutes of check out what all you have purchased. That is why when there is a hurricane forecast to make land fall, Wal-Mart will have extra Strawberry pop tarts shipped in to the area. Other things that are in high demand include Bottled Water, pasta, rice, beans, canned foods [soups, veggies, and fruits]  bread, butter, milk, cereal, beef jerky, cooking oil, soft & sports drinks, nuts, pickles, dried fruit, salt & spices, sugar, crackers, cookies, power bars,  candy, dehydrated entrees, drink powders, peanut butter, jelly, treats, salsa, ramen noodles, toilet paper, baby formula, baby food & diapers, and pet food. As an area begins to recover, IF the local Wal-Mart is still standing, all of that will be restocked along with fresh- fruit, vegetables and meats. Some of the items not included above, yet in very high demand are tea, coffee, alcohol and tobacco.  The last four items are good for trade if you don’t use them. And I would strongly suggest that if you do, that you should get off of it as soon as you can. They are addictive and in the case of alcohol un treated withdrawal is FATAL in 60% of the cases. That was the statistic when I used to work in a hospital based substance abuse treatment center.

lighting, low power

Lighting, low power

Electrical costs are going higher every year. Most of us want to control those costs as best we can. This being Christmas time there is a low cost way to provide good ambient lighting at low cost that also is decorative. The solution we use are LED Christmas tree lights. They give a festive air to whatever room you make use of them in. the light can be concentrated by rolling the string of lights up into a ball and this makes it so that you can read quite well. Another way to use the string LED lights is to outline the doors between rooms and up the stairs to light your pathway. We normally use the white lights, however for general lighting you can use whatever color you would like to. The lights come in a few configurations, steady on, blinking – slow to fast, blinking in several patterns too. If you want to they can be used for signaling as well. The 2 power sources that they come in are 110 plug in and battery operated. The battery operated ones are good for camping, mobile applications and during emergency situations. The ones that are 110 can be powered by 12 volt automotive batteries via a power inverter. The power draw of LED lights is very low so a set of batteries will last an extremely long time.

The best time to get which ever lights you want at a good [cheap] price is Christmas day or the day[s] right after Christmas as the stores generally put them on for half price.

contact info

Recently I was talking with a friend who is a scout master. They [the scouts] had been planning a trip to a local airport to experience helicopters. Sounds like real fun to me ;]. However at the last minute the flight crew called to cancel the outing due to the weather, it being below zero F and therefore unsafe to fly. Yes had it been a combat mission, they would fly it, but this wasn’t.

The point being that the leaders had to contact all the parents to cancel the outing. Of course the parents were not home as they had just dropped the kids off at the meeting place. NONE of the boys knew their parent’s cell phone numbers and the leaders only had the home phone numbers. So there was no way to contact the parents to come back early to get the kids. One of the kids told the leader that she could call the parents if she had an iphone…. No concept that regardless of type of phone that you still had to know the person’s phone number. :[ – this is something that every family should already have taught their kids years ago.

The discussion went that soon the troop would be having a ‘class’ assignment for the kids to learn the parents phone numbers.  I chimed in with the information that when our kids were younger we had made up dog tags with their names and our contact information on them and we required our kids to wear the tags at all times in case something should happen that we got separated or if they were at school and got hurt. To set an example, I still wear my dog tags, the ones the military issued me along with the current ones with family  & my main doctor’s numbers. My medical conditions are also listed.

This leads into this post- each and every one of us, including the children should have a hard copy list of the family’s contact information on them at all times when away from home. Most of us, me included, have phone numbers saved in our phones. What if we are out and about and something happens with our phones? For instance if your phone[s] are lost or stolen, if they power down and we don’t have the charger with us or what have you.

Your Family Disaster Contact Plan
Fill in the pertinent information regarding your household disaster contact plan in the space below or on another sheet of paper.
Once you have completed this form, make photocopies and supply one to each member of your family or team and to your out of area contact person. –Attach a current family / team picture to the back of this and laminate it. This is so that if someone is missing you can point to their picture when you are asking around for them.

In the event of an emergency in our home, we will meet at __________________ [location close by your home.]

In the event of an emergency and we are unable to return home, we will meet at: _________________________Location, _________________________ Address _________________ telephone number.

Emergency contact for our family is:
Name________________________ Address______________________
Daytime phone number _________
Evening phone number _________
Cell phone number[s] ___________
E-mail address ________________
Our web group site is ___________________________ it is suggested that ALL members of the family / team either be made ‘moderators” or that the site not be moderated at all.

Once you have the information filled in you can laminate it so it will be weather proof and then carry it in your wallet, purse or backpack. You could also get a pet id tag with the most important information on it and wear it as a necklace, bracelet or on your key chain. It may be wise to carry both in case you or the kids get hurt and cannot talk.

What are your thoughts on this [or any other] topic?


I have different feelings about couponing. If you put the time into it you can save some money, however if you do not have the time then don’t bother doing it. To use coupons you have to purchase name brand items, however if you do not care what brand you use then just purchasing off brand can save as much as using a coupon and purchasing name brand merchandise. You will have to keep a log to really see how much you are saving either way.  If you use the combination of sale items and coupons then you can really save a lot and if you cannot give to charities then this is a great way to be able to give and it will not cost you much if any [besides your time]at all.

Start off by subscribing to the email’s of the grocery stores that are close to you. Also if you live in a small town and frequently visit a larger city, then subscribe to their grocery stores also. Next, depending upon how much your ink costs for your printer, you can either subscribe to the newspapers which can become costly or have several email accounts which you can print off coupons on. If your ink is expensive you may want to look into getting a different printer depending on the price of the ink. Some printers cost as much as one ink cartridge. Go for the one that the ink cartridges are less expensive.  I have an HP and I have ordered ink from the HP site. Their regular price is the same as Wal-mart charges but then you have to pay for shipping, however if you watch and sign up to receive the sale ads then there are times that I have purchased ink for up to 50% off and free shipping and received the package within 2 days. I imagine that other products have the same type of deals.

Back to couponing. There are coupons in the newspaper, magazines and online.

You can ask your friends and neighbors if they are not going to use their coupons if you can have them to get more coupons to use when the product is on sale.  Magazines such as Family Circle, Woman’s Day, Food Network, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Parents, Real Simple, and Family fun. Cooking Light, Fitness, Better Homes & Gardens and All You, have coupons in them that are worth purchasing the magazines for. If you can purchase just the Sunday newspaper to get the coupon inserts it may be worth purchasing more than one. Some libraries, laundry mats and stores have extra coupons in one particular place for people to use and add if they don’t want some of their other coupons. You can also go to websites of particular merchandise such as and to get their coupons.

In conclusion there are a few things to consider when deciding whether to use coupons or not. You will need to weigh the pros and cons and especially about the time commitment involved.

Please share your thoughts on couponing. thx

Gun control

This has always been true and is one of the reasons the Japanese never attacked our west coast.  These gun owners are not crazed killers the anti-gun people want you to believe they are. Most are responsible persons who enjoy hunting, target shooting, fishing and to a large extent putting food on their tables. Tell two friends, then tell Bloomberg, Pelosi, the Clintons, Cuomo and the rest of the anti-gun notables including obummer.

I never thought of this.  Now I feel better because we have our own militia.


God Bless the USA

Interesting slant on things
Pretty Amazing!

The world’s largest army…America ‘s hunters!
I had never thought about

A blogger added up the deer license sales in just a
handful of states and
arrived at a striking

There were over 600,000 hunters
this season in the state of Wisconsin ..
Allow me to restate that number:

Over the last several months,
Wisconsin’s hunters became the eighth largest army in
the world.

More men under arms than in Iran .

More than France and Germany combined.

These men deployed to
the woods of a single American state, Wisconsin , to hunt with
firearms, and no one was killed.

That number pales in comparison to the 750,000 who hunted the woods of Pennsylvania and
Michigan’s 700,000 hunters,
all of whom have now returned home safely.
Toss in a quarter million hunters
in West Virginia and it literally establishes the fact that the
hunters of those four states alone
would comprise the largest army in the world.
And then add in the total number of hunters in the other 46 states.
It’s millions more.

The point?

America will forever be safe
from foreign invasion with that
kind of home-grown firepower.

it’s not just a way to fill the freezer. It’s a matter of national

That’s why all enemies,
foreign and domestic,
want to see us

Food for thought,
when next we consider gun control.

Overall it’s true,
so if we disregard some assumptions that hunters
don’t possess the same skills as soldiers, the question
would still remain…
What army of 2 million would want to face 30, 40, 50 million armed citizens???


For the sake of our freedom,
don’t ever allow gun control
or confiscation of guns.

bug out clothes – extra set

Extra set of clothes ready to bug out

I want to talk about having a set of clothes ready to bug out. This is a full set of clothes including underwear, of layered clothes ready close to your bed in case you need to bug out fast.  These would include underwear, a sturdy pair of pants not shorts, with lots of pockets, a leather belt, a tee shirt and a long sleeve shirt with pockets and a heavy jacket, long socks, hiking boots, gloves and a stocking hat and a wide brim hat. This set of clothes needs to be by the bed at all times and something that you do not wear other times.  You can switch out the clothes at times for the season, but always have this set clean and ready in a bag with you 72 hour kit by your bed so that even if you are in the middle of a shower or whatever, you can grab and go outside to finish dressing.  For the children the same thing even if you have to get used jacket and boots. And make sure that the clothes are changed out when the children and you change sizes.  This set of clothes and your backpack need to be by your bedside or near the door in case that you need to bug out quickly for any emergency that may happen.  If you hear a weather alert such as a tornado, then you can quickly dress in these clothes and grab your backpack and you are ready to take off.  If there is a fire just grab these things and go.  It is a good idea to have fire drills at home where you would wake up grab your things and get out.  Then when the time comes that there really is an emergency you know exactly what to do, and do not have to spend time gathering stuff when you should be getting out. Having the children also practice this then when you need to do it for real they are not just in shock, standing paralyzed screaming.

This act of setting clothes aside and a backpack will greatly reduce fears of ‘what if’. Being prepared decreases stress. Discussion of what to put into the backpack in another blog but this one I just want to stress having these clothes set aside and ready to go at a moments notice.  Imagine when you are notified of an evacuation that you have to find clothes to wear. Could you do it in 3 minutes? If the clothes are out and ready to go you could. Imagine not only finding your clothes and getting dressed but waking the children, finding their clothes and getting them dressed and everyone out the door. If you are prepared this way, you could take care of yourself instead of depending upon the government to take care of your family.  It gives you independence and confidence in your own ability to take care of your family.