Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Prepping On A Budget Part 2

I am really excited about the feedback I have been getting on this article and please send me your ideas!

Dollar Stores

I love these for first aid/cleaning products and water purification. I can buy two bottles of peroxide, a tube of generic neosporin, a gallon of bleach (for water purification and self defense)......All for $1 each. I also buy a package of Kotex pads that work as a great as wound dressings.

Second Hand Stores

I like these for clothing, camping, building supplies and believe it or not vehicles. Some second hand stores are non profit such as Habitat for Humanity, Boats and Car Ministries, and of course Goodwill. Builders will donate extra building supplies to Habitat for Humanity for write off's on their taxes. If you are building your retreat you can get cabinets, counter tops, doors etc. all at deep discounts.  You can donate your car or boat to the Angel Ministries and take $500 off your taxes, I have done this when I donated a Dodge Intrepid when it blew an engine. They rebuild and resell.


This is a great place but buyer beware of what you buy and your safety. I'm sure many of you have heard about the Craigslist Serial Killer or the person that bought something that was totally a lemon. I will look thru these adds and you can find some gems. I purchased a Coleman lantern, cooler, and air mattress (all only used once) for $12. If you decide you have found something that you want to buy meet that individual in a very public place like MacDonald's and DO NOT GO ALONE!


I have to admit I am an Ebay addict. If I haven't bought anything in a month they are sending me a "We miss you" email. I purchased my truck on there in 2004 and I still have it and drive it everyday. It is by far the best vehicle I have ever owned. I purchased 46 acres in Maine in 2001 sight unseen, lived there for a year and sold it at a $10,000 profit. Ebay is a gamble on what you get so you really need to do your homework. On the land in Maine I did a title search to make sure the title was free and clear and I did the same with the truck.

There are gems for prepping everywhere and the biggest thing I want to stress is do your homework and make lists! I make lists for absolutely everything. Lists for what I need in food, ammo, first aid, storage, clothes, etc. With making these lists it will help you keep your spending in check and show what you lack in so you can prioritize.

Checkout the Newest Page..........How I Prepped This Week

Be prepared, not sorry

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Prepping On A Budget

Being a single woman and lately on the roller coaster ride of unemployment I have to prep on a very limited budget. This next statement is very sexist so I apologize but men tend to want the shiny new, things that go boom, explode, and or cause great bodily harm. But women tend to gravitate more naturally toward the practical and go for the needs versus the wants. Men may be the hunter gatherers but women are the hoarder, storer, and preparer for the next critical moment. I think it is that mother bear instinct where we are always thinking ahead. The problem with all this which I have seen in the prepper world is that the man tends to allocate most of the prepping budget to what he wants and the woman tends to go with the flow. But believe me you can prep on a limited budget and here are some of my favorites.

Yard/Garage Sale

I have purchased most of my prepping supplies at these little treasure chests. Canning supplies, camping equipment, fishing and hunting equipment, and the list goes on. When my sons were young I purchased a military cabin tent that could house 6 men and had a vent opening that a wood stove pipe could run through for $100 that normally run used for about $800. My sons and I wore that thing out,  it took all of use to put the it up but there was so much room that it was incredible and made out of the heavy canvas and not the flimsy nylon. I have purchased a $79 fishing rod and reel for $6, a water bath canner for $1, a -20 degree sleeping bag that look absolutely brand new for $2.50, the list goes on. One word of caution sometimes you are getting such good deals that you buy more stuff than you actually need. Always look at something and say to yourself "Do I really need this?"

Estate Auctions

I LOVE THESE! What I love about these is the variety of things you can obtain. I tend to lean toward the auctions that are farm. I purchased a counter top hand crank meat grinder for $5.00, a whole box of mason jars and canning supplies for a $1.00, and the best thing about these auctions is you will not have to drag your prepper man kicking and screaming to them because majority of the time these auctions have tractors, farming equipment, hunting/fishing equipment, and ............GUNS. A word of caution here also, because these are auctions and you are bidding against others you may get carried away and spend more than you intended. What I normally do is I go early and scope out everything that I want, write it down along with the limit I will pay for it and that keeps my spending in check.

Part 2 will look at some other ways to prep on a budget.

Be prepared, not sorry.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Mother Nature Provides The Lessons For Prepping Part 2

In November 2011 I published the first post of "Mother Nature Provides The Lessons For Prepping" and now in the aftermath of Sandy I wanted reiterate and update this. 

Growing up on a farm you have to be a prepper. We canned, butchered our own meat, hunted, and of course grew our own crops. It's just what you did.. After Katrina hit that's when I kicked prepping into high gear, I seen that Mother Nature is not bias in race, how much money you have, or where you live. She can unleash her wrath anytime and anywhere and it amazes me on how (sorry to say but it's the truth) foolish and unprepared people are. Our own government says you should have at least 3 days of food and water in your house for emergencies.  And it breaks my heart and angers me when I see people dumpster diving and standing in lines to just get fresh water.

It doesn't matter where you live..Mother Nature can hurl anything your way

I don't care where you live in this country Mother Nature can hurl anything at you...wild fires, earth quakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, drought, flood, and blizzards. I live in Michigan and our weather is relatively easy compared to some other parts of the country. But I remember when I was young we had the "Great Blizzard of 1978". That blizzard brought the state of Michigan to a grinding halt for 2 weeks. People died and froze to death because they were unprepared. Thank god we had plenty of food, both wood and fuel oil furnaces, my mother had the good sense of filling the bathtub and anything that could hold water before the storm hit so we had water to drink, she also had plenty of oil lamps, we filled 55 gallon drums of water prior to the storm, and we had a creek running thru our property so all we had to do was clear a path with the tractors and break thru the ice for the livestock to drink after the storm. The only disruptions in my life was no TV or school.

So what can Mother Nature do to you?

Be prepared for what Mother nature can throw at you. Now I'm sorry if this offends people and it's my opinion and blog so I can voice it, but in both cases of Hurricane Katrina and Sandy I seen the satellite images and thought "this is a Monster get the hell out of Dodge!" and both times I seen people on the news laughing saying "it was no big deal and they were going to ride it out". That is just stupid and how many paid the ultimate price for that?

Nothing you own is worth your life or families life.

Now most of us myself included plans on bugging in when SHTF but I am not foolish enough to think that plan will hold together forever and situations arise where I may have to have the alternate plan. I have plans A, B, C, and you?

*What if your location is overrun by individuals wanting what you have?

*What if Mother Nature makes it impossible to stay at your location such as a wild fire or flood?

If you don't have backup plans start NOW! Here are suggestions for plan B, C, and D

Choose 3 different alternate locations. All must be within a 3 day walk because in the case of an EMP or mass ciaos you may not be able to use your vehicle. Bury cashes along the way so you don't have to carry 3 days worth of food and water. Bury them next to a landmark you will easily remember like a huge tree or road sign etc because in a critical situation you don't want to be scratching your head trying to remember where your cashes are. I like to use plastic tubs because they are fairly inexpensive and very easy to make water tight.

My bugout bag is only designed to keep me for 3 days and or to get me to my next cashe' or bugout location if for some reason I can't get to my cashes. I have 3 different ways to make fire, a few protein bars, first aid kit, water filtration tabs and bottle, a small fishing kit, hand gun, rope, change of clothes, knife, and across the back my bow and arrows. Now I know I'm going to get people saying you need this or that in your bag but I stick to what I have said it is only designed for 3 days of survival MAX. And if you have every prepper gadget known to man in your bugout bag you will NEVER be able to carry it for a long distance so therefore it's useless and may cost you your life. You want to move quickly and efficiently to get away from the danger.

My cashes contain individual wrapped protein bars, a couple cans of ready to eat from the can meals that are high calorie and protein. 4 bottles of water. Bullets. A pair of socks, because you want your feet dry and comfortable to carry you to your destination. A small battery operated radio because if possible you want to know whats going on around you and if anything is standing between you and your bugout location. Hopefully you have your locations stocked and ready for when you arrive.

I can't stress this enough "have alternate plans" .

Be prepared, not sorry

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Should You Be Afraid Of What You Can't See?

Should you be afraid of what you can't see?

That would be a resounding..........YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This week Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta warned "that the United States was facing the possibility of a cyber-Pearl Harbor” and was increasingly vulnerable to foreign computer hackers who could dismantle the nation’s power grid, transportation system, financial networks and government.
Think about it, just about everything you come in contact with during a typical day is computerized, you go to the bank, grocery store, pumping gas, even checking out a book at the library is now done on a computer.

Mr. Panetta was also pushing for legislation on Capitol Hill. It would require new standards at critical private-sector infrastructure facilities like power plants, water treatment facilities and gas pipelines  where a computer breach could cause significant casualties or economic damage, but let's face it....

Do you honestly think a foreign country cares about our "legislation" and they WILL find a way around it.

Mr. Panetta also went on to say“cyber-attackers launching several attacks on our critical infrastructure at one time, in combination with a physical attack would cause physical destruction and the loss of life, an attack that would paralyze and shock the nation and create a profound new sense of vulnerability.”

What Mr.Panetta is saying in a diplomatic way is........WELCOME TO SHTF

Now the United States is also guilty of being the cyber attacker. Although it has never publicly admitted it, the United States has conducted its own cyberattacks against adversaries. According to an article in The New York Times in June 2012, during President Obama‘s first few months in office, he secretly ordered increasingly sophisticated attacks on Iran’s computer systems at its nuclear enrichment facilities, significantly expanding America’s first sustained use of cyberweapons.

So what can you do?

*Something I do to retain the information that I want is very simple...I print it out and put it in a 3 ring binder. I pay for ink, paper, and the binder.
*I also buy actual books, not kindle ebooks......books.
* I practice to understand whats in my binders and books so if for some reason I don't have them I remember how to do it.
* I only keep enough money in my bank account to pay my bills. Any extra money I have goes toward my preps because lets be real, when the economy tanks I would rather have food to eat over a greenback that is worth nothing. Same goes for gold. I know so many preppers buying gold and silver. WHY? If you go to barter with me for gold for food I'm gonna laugh at you! Unless  you have something I want that is going to actually benefit my day to day living such as a gun, ammo, livestock etc to me your Gold and Silver are worthless.

So take a step back from your computer and begin weaning yourself from it now. Put in to practice what you read on here. Actually do the manual end of prepping not just reading about it or watching it on You Tube because that screen you stare at, the light switch you flip, the faucet you turn not always going to be there.

Be prepared, not sorry

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Threat Of All Show And No Go

My grandpa used to have a saying about people who tried to pass themselves off as something they wasn't and that was "All show and no go". In the prepper community we have that and unfortunately they are going to be what I think, a huge threat. These individuals have the mind set of the most guns and stored food will survive and that may true for a "limited amount of time"....

But what happens when WROL goes into overtime?

With no skills to grow food, hunt, improvise or barter what will these people do? A hungry pseudo prepper is going to be a very dangerous person. I always use the aftermath of Katrina as an example because that's what it will be like. Being hungry, thirsty with just enough tactical experience and the moral compass lowered to the mentality of "It's you or me" they will, by force try to take what they need. If they have a military background they also know that strength lies in numbers and may recruit their own private army.

The harsh truth...

I'm sorry but the truth is harsh and a WROL situation is not going to be going back to the Little House on the Prairie days, its going to be survival of the fittest and the most adaptable. Within hours of Katrina blowing thru the looting, rape, and murder began. This past summer with the unbearable heat people were using their AC at astronomical rates and there was a suburb in Wisconsin where the power grid went down for three days. Within only three hours of that grid going down there were armed gangs that began robbing and looting. That was was only three hours what happens when it months or years?

Don't show your hand..

If your like me I like to attend the prepper conferences and network with other preppers but I always keep in mind not to give away too much and choose carefully who I network with. This also goes for the survivalist boards etc. because I have met some pseudo peppers that quite frankly scare the hell out of me and I don't want to be around them right now let alone in a WROL situation. But on the other hand I have met some fantastic preppers that I have learned so much from and very grateful for it. The reason I started this blog was to help women take an active roll in prepping and their survival but still I don't give away information that would put myself in danger in the future.

Skills, Skills, and more Skills...

As I wrote earlier I believe it will be survival of the fittest and the most adaptable that will survive. When I say the fittest I don't mean that so much in the physical sense but the person that knows how to hunt and fish, how to grow food and preserve it, how to barter, how build shelter and fire, first aid, and has tactical sense. I am always trying to learn new skills because you can never in my opinion have enough knowledge. Many preppers play and rely on their strengths because they feel that will get them won't. You have to be adaptable and the skills to adapt to the given situation. My strengths are hunting, fishing, and farming but yet I know this will not carry me thru. I need the tactical experience to protect myself and what I have so, I continue to learn. Work right now the skills you are lacking in so when the time comes you are not "All show and no go"

Be prepared, not sorry

Friday, September 14, 2012

What If You Knew....

As preppers we are always preparing for what we think will happen in the future, whether our scenarios of the future is a collapse of the power grid or economy, nuclear war, zombies, and the list goes on and on, we are are always preparing. BUT..

What if you knew.....

What if you knew for sure in 6 months to a year the scenario for which you are preparing is going to happen? What would you change or start doing right now at this moment?

*Are you going to bug in or bug out?
*Store more food?
*Store more ammunition?
*Learn new skills such as hunting?
*Create alternative power sources?

I urge you to spend some time considering this. We all would like to think we have more time to prep but we seldom give ourselves a date to be prepared by? I understand no one can be fully prepared for a life shift of this magnitude but seldom due catastrophes show themselves ahead of time or they wouldn't be a catastrophe right?

There are many shows out right now such as "The Walking Dead", Falling Skies, and soon "Revolution" that all show life being turned upside down and all the characters were caught off guard and thrust into this situation and having to cope the best they can. My personal favorite was "The Colony". To me this was about as realistic you could get (in a controlled environment) without the real thing.

This was a group of strangers that were thrust together after a virus wiped out 90% of the population. They all had to pull together to survive and thrive.

I asked you to sit down with pen and paper and write down what would you start doing at this moment if you knew in 6 months to a year your life would be the scenario you most fear? I would like to hear from you and ask you to share with others.

Be prepared, not sorry

Monday, September 3, 2012

Lessons Of Prepping And The Unemployed

Back in May I was layed off from my job, which in Michigan is no surprise. While my previous employers haggled about who was going to pay my unemployment, I was left hanging with no income.

Thank God I'm A Prepper

I went for 6 weeks with no money except for the occasional cash job and thank god I have a medical background so I was able to pick up a shift here and there at the local assisted living home. So there I am hitting my prepping stores hard. These are the lessons that I learned:


You hear this term all the time when it comes to a stock portfolio but never when it comes to your skills. In my life I have been blessed to have lived about a half a dozens lives. I have a medical background, real estate, farming, marketing, sales, and title work. In January I took some of my tax return and received my commission as a Notary Public which landed me the job I have now. I am currently saving to take my pharmacy technicians course.

Always move forward to better your skills.

Addiction And Comfort Foods Are Essential

Now I know you are looking at that sentence and the one word that jumps out is ADDICTION. I am addicted to coffee and I really went thru it. I also like my wine at night and thankfully I have been making my own for about year and have been tweaking the recipe. As far as comfort food I love my peanuts and peanut butter and I went thru that too.

As preppers we concentrate on the beans and rice. Let me tell you I learned that the addiction and comfort foods are HUGE! When everyday is survival and stress these will be a small comfort which can mean the world to your sanity and how you face the next day. I really urge you to take a step back and re-evaluate your skills and your prepping stores.

Are you a smoker?

Love chocolate/sweets?

Potato Chips?

These are things that you really need to evaluate and make a commitment to put them away just like you do any store.

Be prepared, not sorry

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bugout Location Options

When considering a bugout location many people think rural or forest locations. Here are a couple options you may want to consider.

Bugout Boat

Remember the old Kevin Costner film "Water World"? In a WROL situation it may be quite as apocalyptic as that but here are some pros and cons and a link you might want to take a look at.

-Isolation and relatively unreachable from the starving masses on shore
-Fresh water plentiful, assuming you have a sustainable way to disinfect it
-Fishing easily available as long as there's no environmental devastation or overfishing in your area


-Entirely dependent on the water for your food, unless you can grow food on the boat
-Fuel/mobility issues (You would need solar and wind)
-Extremely vulnerable to inclement weather. (One bad enough storm and your floating BOL could be gone forever, maybe taking you with it)
-Cramped quarters/very little storage unless you're willing to tether a bunch of boats or platforms together ala Waterworld
-Limited access to plants you don't grow yourself
-Inability to keep livestock (maybe chickens?)
-What happens if you can't return to shore at all? What if the looters/raiders decide they want what you have, and camp on shore to wait you out? Hope you have enough to eat and drink until they get bored and go away--assuming they ever do.

I would consider this a short term solution unless you are on a body of water and boat that are both fairly large. Check out this link

Floating Cabin

Bugout Cave

Now I have heard a rumor that a large survival group purchased a area of land in Arkansas that is a side of a mountain with many large caves. Well it should be a good idea if our ancestors supposedly started there right? Well lets take a look.


-A large enough cave will give you ample space out of the elements and allow for you to have a fire.
-Very little maintenance needed


-Rocks may fall from the roof on you while you're inside.
-You may have to share your cave with the wildlife there has been there long before you (bats, rats, salamanders)
-Moisture dripping from the ceiling (but its better than being out in a cold rain)
-Caves may be very bad places to be in a thunderstorm. (the path of lightning as it travels down from higher up through the rock. As it travels past the cave, the lightning sometimes leaps through the air, across the cave where you might be sitting)
-Caves are a very bad place to be during an earthquake.
-If attacked you may not have an alternate way to escape.

Again these are suggestions/options that if you are considering as I always say..PRACTICE PRACTICE. This is not something where SHHTF and your realize you are claustrophobic or you are not a good swimmer.

Be prepared, not sorry

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Fallout From Aurora

It is such a tragedy what a madman can do to ruin so many lives. This horrific thing will once again fuel the gun control debate. Like the saying goes....

"When you take all the guns from the criminals you can have mine". The fact is criminals will always have guns even if there were gun control.

I'm sorry but I can't help thinking if there were one person in that theatre that had a Concealed Permit the loss of life would have been less. I hate to get on my soapbox here but

"Why does it take something like this for people to think about their safety?

And then a sadder thing is in a month, life will be consumed with the next tragedy and this will fade to the back. People need to say "you know what? I am not going to be a victim, I need to take charge of my life and well being.

Many Years ago I was married to a very physically abusive husband. When I decided I had had enough and was seeking a divorce he stalked, harassed, and terrorized me. Back then they didn' have domestic abuse laws, women's shelters, or help lines. They issued you a personal protection order and unless they caught him in the act there was nothing they could do. After he had slashed my tires for the 2nd time and of course was gone before the police arrived a officer said to me "Well your ok you have a PPO." I looked at him and said "What am I supposed to do with a piece of paper, beat him with it?"

I realized that this was never going to quit until I was dead unless I took charge of my own safety.

So I decided that I was going out without a fight and made a plan. First thing was my dad brought me a rifle from his huge stockpile of weapons. I had been raised hunting and shooting so I was lucky that I was comfortable in handling it. But he would harass me at work, follow me shopping, etc, so I knew I may not have a weapon with me if he attacked me in public. I enrolled in a self defense class. I knew I didn't have time to learn something that would take years to master, I needed something NOW. So I found a class that was run by a former green beret and he taught us a combination of Krav Mago (self defense system of the Israeli Defense Forces) and down and dirty street fighting.

The combination of the rifle and the classes saved my life.

First was the rifle. He came to my home one night with a huge Rambo knife but he brought a knife to a gun fight. Once he was staring down a loaded weapon he left never to return to my home because I stated "the next time he would be leaving in a body bag". The next was when he tried to jump me in the parking lot of my work. I dropped him with a broken nose and believe me once I had him on the ground I nearly kicked him to death. He moved out of state 3 months later and I haven't had to deal with him since. Violence is going to increase with high unemployment and skyrocketing food prices and women tend to be the first and easiest targets....

Don't be a victim...take a proactive role for your own safety.

Take classes, both hand to hand combat and gun safety glasses. Get comfortable with both so if you are faced with being in danger it comes second nature to react automatically. Always be aware of your surroundings. I remember my instructor starting every class saying that. When your walking thru a parking lot who is around you, when you go into a movie theater were is the closest exit, walking down the sidewalk is there someone sitting in a parked car? He even went as far as to say "when you board a airplane count the seats to the nearest exit because if you go down there will be panic and thick smoke so you may have to feel your way out". My point is better safe than sorry and also taking responsibility for your own safety will give a that sense of empowerment that you will need when SHTF.

Be prepared, not sorry.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

How Do You Keep Your Sanity?

You know we concentrate so much on the basics of what will be required for the day to day survival in the WROL situation, after I watched this video I began to think "How do you keep your sanity or derive any pleasure'?

Alaska Man Goes off Grid

This man is bringing a dog and a Kindle loaded with books to keep him from going stir crazy, but there will be a period of time of withdrawal from society that we will all go through. No computers, tv, cell phone and perhaps for some the only human contact will be in a self defense mode.

Our sanity is just as important to our survival as food and water.

As humans we crave that interaction with other humans, and that part of our brain that needs pleasure. To some people it's music, others its reading a book, or for some like myself going for a run with a friend. I have planned for so many things but no plan for keeping my sanity. In a WROL situation going for a run will not only expend added calories that would be fool hardy to do, but suicidal. There will be no extra power to run mp3 players or e readers. Remember watching Little House on the Prairie? At night they would read and Charles would play the violin. That was the entertainment and pleasure they had.

So in the post apocalyptic world...where will your pleasure come from?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas on this.

Be prepared, not sorry

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Looking For The Perfect Bug Out Location

First of all I have to apologize for my long break from posting. I have been working 60 to 70 hrs per week and I just have to say I'm plain worn out. Extra money means extra preps that can be purchased. I am also looking to purchase my bug out location and begin building. I have already purchase plans for a cabin to be built totally off grid. So I am looking for at least 5 acres with a well and septic already present and close to another source of fresh water. 

A place fairly secluded and away from the larger metro areas. A area that still has good hunting and soil for growing within a 60 minute area from my present location.

This has been quite the task!

Its hard to find everything I want. I'm curious to hear from those that have purchase a bug out location as to what it is they have purchased and the criteria you had during your search. Did you have to sacrifice some of your criteria or did it change during your search. Can't wait to hear!!

Be prepared, not sorry

Monday, January 23, 2012

Walking The Talk

This post may ruffle some feathers with some but I'm hoping this turns on the lightbuld for others. I know plenty of people that spend countless hours watching You Tube videos, on the prepper boards, and email lists. They have the expensive bug out bag with every top of the line gadget known to the prepper world. They have a stockpile of weapons and ammo that could outfit a small army and just as much food.

But they haven't spent 1 minute putting it into practice.

I met a husband and a wife that were so proud of their bug out bags and these bags had everything you could imagine in it. I asked the wife if she had ever actually carried hers because I'm a pretty good judge of weight and that thing came close to out weighing her. She said "no" so I asked her to put it on and walk across the parking lot and back. She barely made it. If she can't carry it...then it's useless.

You have to have more than a plan.

One man I talked to said he was going to bug in as long as possible then he was heading to this state forest. I asked him "Have you ever spent any time there? Do you know the area? Where are your water sources? Any possible threats?" He just looked at me and said "No but I can make it there" Don't be foolish, have a plan. If possible have your bug out location stocked and ready to go but if that's not possible spend some time getting to know your bug out location. Take you BOB and spend some weekends there and see if its actually going to work for you. Find your water sources, practice building a shelter and fire.

What are you going to do when the cans run out?

I have heard so many preppers say "I'm going to live off the land, I'm going to hunt and fish" I then ask them "Do you know how to field dress what you kill?" and the answer I usually get is "Well no but it can't be that hard" Believe me it's very easy to ruin good meat and possibly making yourself ill by cutting into the stomach or intestines and contaminating the meat. Another thing I ask them is "How are you going to kill it?" and they look at me like I'm stupid and they say "I'm gonna shoot it". Why would you want to waste your precious ammo along with risking your safety by letting others hear the shot? I am not going to waste my ammo shooting a squirrel or rabbit when snares work just as well and they don't risk my safety. As far as bigger game learn to use a bow, it is a challenge but that knowledge comes in handy to have.

Put into practice what you have learned because you don't want to learn the hard way after SHTF.

Be prepared, not sorry