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Winter preps (now more important than ever)

Yes, yes, I’m still working on “In Praise of Men.” Getting closer all the time. But meanwhile, life and blogging go on, however haltingly. And the topic of most immediate urgency is getting ready for what could potentially be a nasty winter.


So Paratus, the holiday for preparedness, was in September (thank you, Commander Zero). But prepping is forever.

Winter preps are vital this year. Because it’s 2020. And if that’s not explanation enough, 2021 is looming and shows no signs of being better.

If the combined upcoming COVID-flu season is everything politicians and the media wish it to be — and even if it’s not — we may all end up locked in our rooms like errant kindergardeners for the duration. Even if our masters allow us to emerge, our lives in the outside world will likely remain seriously curtailed.

If incidents like this are what they appear to be (which is unproven at this point), then even we who got far, far, far out of Dodge aren’t safe from fascistic “antifascist” brutes. Better to be prepared than sorry.

If the election yields an even remotely close win for Trump, we can expect chaos that (among other things) will shut down more businesses, further disrupt supply lines, and create both shortages and deepening economic chaos.

If the election yields a win for Biden Harris, we can expect … heaven knows what, but count on all of the above, plus an increased sense of entitlement on the left (and here you thought they couldn’t feel any more entitled), plus punitive taxes that put even more companies out of business.

If the weather lives up to 2020 standards, we’ll probably end up with sharknadoes in Alabama, simooms burying L.A., rains of toxic toads in Massachusetts, and polar bears strolling the streets of Kansas. The rural PNW, with a climate looking ever-more-benign by comparison, is already enduring rains of Californians, Seattleites, and Portlanders; we envy you who merely have to deal with aquatic carnivores spinning from the sky.

Because of all this, and because a dear friend is concerned enough about my well-being to offer substantial help, this fall has been busy with prepping here at Mo Saoirce Hermitage.

Here’s some of what I’ve been doing. How about you?

  • Acquired a used cartop carrier from a neighbor. Loaded it with food, water, spare clothing, and other gear. I already had all this in the KIA, but this made room in the car and enabled me easy and organized access to those preps. Doublechecked everything, tossed outdated carry foods, and made lists of new carry foods (aided by a discussion on the Living Freedom Forums).
  • Batteries. Power supplies. I ordered a fresh round of all the common household batteries, charged up the rechargeables, changed out the batteries in all my flashlights and smoke detectors, and charged up the emergency starters for the car. Had The Wandering Monk help me make sure my blessed Honda generator (thank you, dear friend) was ready to run. It is. It always is. But The Monk also showed me how I could better keep it running.
  • Bought a couple new flashlights. The very, very cool flashlights and lanterns of just 10 years ago (many gifted to me by readers, knowing about my cool-flashlight jones) now seem like literally dim relics of a past. All hail the LED Era!
  • Brought relevant ammo down from storage and cleaned and checked firearms. I hope and expect never to have to use them “domestically.” But … well, this is 2020.
  • Made sure all my alternative heat sources are fueled up and working. Especially a big deal (dear friend) was getting my disused propane fireplace hooked up again to a good supply.
  • Checked and upgraded gasoline supplies. Topped the KIA’s tank off with the oldest of the gas, treated in 2017 with Sta-Bil. I know, I know, I shouldn’t have kept gas that long. I’d have told you that myself. But … circumstances. In any case I can report that after almost exactly three years, it was still absolutely fine. But also I won’t let that happen again.
  • Scored unusually excellent protection for my house windows (dear friend) in case of earthquake, severe storm, or attack by roving fascistic antifascists. Huge windows are the glory of this house and one of three reasons I bought Ye Olde Wreck. They’re also a liability. Some days, I think it might be wiser to have nothing but little slits in the walls, like a medieval castle.
  • Reorganized my pantry and evaluated supplies as I went along. Concluded that my biggest need is for long-term bulk storage items like rice, beans, rolled oats, split peas, etc. Also need a place to store such large, bulky items, as the everyday pantry is maxed out. I’ll achieve that by removing the dishwasher that’s never worked and building shelves into its former spot. Soon.

Finally, although this doesn’t sound like a form of preparedness, I rearranged the house to create a small, pleasant area for myself — a corner to gather all the artistic/domestic/entertainment stuff that hasn’t had a happy home during 7+ years of construction chaos. And there I can nest and work and play as I wait out the chaos.

Being comfortable, as well as safe, in our little castles is a good thing.

So. That’s what’s happening here at Casa Claire. Are you making any extra or unusual preps this season? And (within the bounds of prudence and privacy, as always), do you care to share?


  1. Just Waiting
    Just Waiting October 19, 2020 12:15 pm

    I’ve made it a point to speak to my local and close by food store managers whenever I stop by. Out here at the edge of the world our supply never got back above 70% of orders since the Spring run on goods started.

    But both managers have clearly stated, one of them publicly on FB, that corporate has told them to anticipate disruptions and shortages prior to the Thanksgiving holiday and for the foreseeable future after. They would not say “after the election”, just “before the holidays”

    Their advice for locals is to stock up now on the things you can.

  2. srevefromMA
    srevefromMA October 19, 2020 12:30 pm

    I bought more long term food, checked ammo, wished I had solar.

    Misspelled my own name, bad sign.

  3. Comrade X
    Comrade X October 19, 2020 12:32 pm

    Good advice all. I’ve been doing just that, even attended a meeting of some like minded people some of which have reached out to me, we do all need to know who our friends are and ………..

    Practice makes perfect, so there should be some range time added too.

    On that subject of practice;

    I intend to bug in myself if possible but if not do you have a plan?

  4. Fred M
    Fred M October 19, 2020 2:27 pm

    Well you know the old saying…better late than never! Something that has been making the rounds is the impact of an EMP on our way of living. If the Chinese, Russians, Iran, or any other entity sets off one or more high altitude nuclear devices, not only will our electrical grid collapse, but all devices that use electronic parts made from the ’80’s on will be fried. That means nor radio, including ham, no cell phones, no heat, no power, unless you’re off the grid, and no hot water for a leisurely shower. In addition to storing foodstuffs and things that will disappear quickly from store shelves in the event of uncontrolled chaos, I have been working on providing some insurance for a major EMP event. Here are some websites and recommendations you may be interested in:

    This company has developed devices that attach to your car, and your home, which will intercept an electrical charge before it can do damage to your electrical systems.

    Jackery makes a number of different devices for those off the grid that are reasonable in price. I picked up one of their power banks and one of their solar screens. If the electrical grid goes down this will allow me to charge up flashlights, radios, ham radios, cell phones, or whatever needs charging (including some power tools and lights).

    Amazon carries a number of products made by MOS Equipment. I acquired one of their Mission Darkness X2 Faraday Duffel Bags to store the Jackery Power Bank and a number of other electronic sensitive items. You can use this to protect phones, radios, battery chargers (for rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries) et al.

    This company manufactures faraday pouches of all different sizes that you can store your electronic devices to shield from an EMP blast. I have picked up a number of their bag sets, including their extra large pouch that now houses the Jackery Solar Panel (too large for the Mission Darkness Bag).

    There are those who may think of all this as overkill. I look upon it as insurance. If I never have to use them then it’s just fine with me. We buy insurance for just about everything: homeowners;auto; boat; life, accident…et al. We also hope we never have to use the insurance policies but we are grateful to have them when we need them.

    For those who may be interested in what would happen to our lifestyles after an EMP blast, then I would recommend the book series by William R. Forstchen, starting with the first novel…One Second After.

    Be well ans be safe,

  5. Joel
    Joel October 19, 2020 3:02 pm

    Nothing extraordinary, mostly just going around checking existing preps. My happy circumstance means that the survivalisty stuff is also the everyday stuff so it gets maintained pretty well in the normal course of business.

    I did take action this summer on a serious secondary food/water hoard in a secure – and as reliably fireproof as any structure could ever be – location, since in case of a total fire at the Lair I’d otherwise lose all my so-carefully hoarded stuff. But that was something that bugged me for years and doesn’t really have to do with current unrest. Just getting readier for whatever.

    This past month has been dedicated to lots and lots of winter-prep wood cutting. Really sick of that now, but the woodshed’s almost full.

  6. Toirdhealbheach Beucail
    Toirdhealbheach Beucail October 19, 2020 8:33 pm

    Oddly enough, I am hoarding books. Given enough time, some may disappear and never return.

  7. larryarnold
    larryarnold October 19, 2020 9:55 pm

    Seriously considering a couple cases of Dark Chocolate M&Ms, for the “If Mama’s not happy, nobody’s happy” front. 😉

  8. Jolly
    Jolly October 20, 2020 9:35 am

    Up here in Cow Hampshire, we live in a 1770 house with a giant fireplace, which includes a rather large stone oven. Currently have two pellet stoves, and a wood stove, all going to lined chimneys. Two cords of firewood and plenty of pellets.
    For power – we have a Jackery 500, which can run one of the pellet stoves that is already lit. #1 son and I have been to the range multiple times in the past couple of months, and I’ve learned how to properly take-apart and clean all my rock throwers.
    We also have a half-dozen kerosene heaters, some of them over 100 years old, and have a fair amount of kerosene on hand. All in working condition, with enough wicks to last two winters.
    If we have to leave for whatever reason, we have a 5’x10′ cargo trailer that has been converted to a camper. The Jackery powers that nicely – and we have two reliable vehicles that can pull it. We’re waiting for a small portable solar panel now.
    I wholly recommend cargo trailers for preppers. It’s amazing how much stuff you can fit in them.


  9. Jeff2
    Jeff2 October 21, 2020 7:17 am

    Getting the first load of firewood tomotrrow.

    Have come a long way on a 1986 Bluebird bus. Got the bedroom built, a small temporary kitchen, and a tempory\ary workbench I use for electronics projects. It used to be connected to house power, but I installed 900 watts of solar and three 100 A/hr batteries. It is completely off-grid now with power to spare. I converted the original jack-knife door to a fixed swing door. I kept the original door panels, just took the break out of the middle. It still look stock from the outside, but I gained six inches in the doorway, and got rid of the opening mechanism clutter at the dash.

    Morrigantoo and I went through the pantry and the freezer and made sure I rotation system was intact. Both are full and filled with goodies.

    Still need to refill gas cans. Filled them at the beginning of summer and used some for gas cutting. We will put the remaing in vehicles and then refill for winter.

    Lots of new radios and capabilites in the ham shack. Updating computers and radio control/decode software.

    You never feel like you are done preparing, but we think we are good to go with whatever is coming.

    Y’all take care.


  10. ersatznaugahyde
    ersatznaugahyde October 21, 2020 11:03 am

    Stocking up on lots of canned goods, powdered food product, fresh batteries and various bottles of stuff from the State Liquor store over by Jolly’s place.

  11. Ersatz Naugahyde
    Ersatz Naugahyde October 21, 2020 11:07 am

    Stocking up on canned goods, dry food products, fresh batteries and various bottles of stuff from the state liquor store over by Jolly’s place. All other bases are mostly covered.

  12. Rick Burner
    Rick Burner October 21, 2020 12:15 pm

    I’ve been keeping mostly up to date. A few more canned goods and ten more liters of olive oil should do the trick. The one upside to hurricane Irma was that it showed me that my plans have been pretty good.
    And thanks for reminding me: it’s almost time to start my winter garden.

  13. Marda
    Marda October 21, 2020 5:11 pm

    Living in a condo limits what we can do. As a result we have stockpiled things that either have long life ( lentils, oats, wheat berries, split peas) or are quick (soups, canned bean, canned fruit). We have lamps and lanterns with cleaning burning fuel. We also have alcohol lamps and alcohol—the geek in me still likes the clean flame from alcohol lamps—I also remember heating water for instant oatmeal and hot tea during a multiple day power outage several years ago on one lonely alcohol lamp that nicely fitted under a teakettle that’s supposedly required canned heat. I am considering a small rocket stove that could burn the numerous fir cones that litter the ground in our area.

  14. Jorge
    Jorge October 21, 2020 8:39 pm

    Well, since my girl friend moved in a bit over a year ago we have been vivo paratus. We were both preppers before and now even more so. We just got our first pig. Learning how to deal with a new type of animal. So far so good. We make our own fruit wines and have just started growing our own yeast, both wild harvested and saved from from previous fermentations. Before the madness I would do a no shopping month twice a year of so, August & September were back-to-back no shopping. Interesting challenge, we learned a bit. Food & water we are not concerned about. We produce more than enough food and have plenty of water from various sources. These we will not run out of. As far as stuff goes, we are, as far as finances allow, ensuring that we have a two year supply of every non-food thing we need. A failure in this area is that we have run out of parchment paper and wax paper and the stores do not have any. Plenty of toilet paper to be had, but need something for baking, forget about it. So even in vivo paratus there are gaps. We ensure that our tools (guns included) are functional, we use them or practice with them regularly. We are looking into a 3D printer but have not made any decision in that area. But over all we are not doing anything different. Just living and enjoying our lives. Hoping the world will not go down the proverbial toilet, but being hopefully being ready to ride it out if it does.

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