My New Year’s Prepping Resolutions

It’s that time of year again; time to over eat and over drink, and wonder where on Earth 2016 went?
It’s that time of year again; time to over eat and over drink, and wonder where on Earth 2016 went?

Last Updated on December 31, 2016

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from S.S. Gregory. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.

It’s that time of year again; time to over eat and over drink, and wonder where on Earth 2016 went? So I write out small lists each year at this time and hope to focus on them. For literally nearly twenty years I wrote “get a degree” before getting one so it works but you still have to act on it. At my age time (52 or 364 in dog years) speeds up and the SHTF becomes harder and harder to physically deal with and life is busy so who has time for SHTF? Anyway the Government will save me or I will die in the nuclear fire-ball so why bother? Still, assuming you, like me, find these common arguments against prepping to be illogical then maybe you can add some good prepping resolutions for me in the comments?

Resolution One – Make sure I prioritize skills over toys

It’s that time of year again; time to over eat and over drink, and wonder where on Earth 2016 went?
My Meetup Group is a decent source of fun, free, and often prepping activities. Lots of hikes to do and who knows I am loading the ruck with weight as bug out or bug back practice?

This one is hard for me as I work too much (two full-time jobs) but bills need paying, career needs growing, and I do not have much time. I have health care covered but everything else is weak. Some really are weak. What to do? I have bought a planner for 2017. I am going to find things to do and go and do them. My Meetup Group is a decent source of fun, free, and often prepping activities. Lots of hikes to do and who knows I am loading the ruck with weight as bug out or bug back practice? Good to use the legs and shoes and clothes outdoors. Not much foraging until later on in the year but I plan to take full advantage of these hikes and free skills meet ups. Groupon often has decent cheap day events in martial arts, archery, and even survival. I have used both these sites before and really need to do this more often. There are many great people in my area offering great skills. Even actual prepping groups offer free meetups to learn and try skills. The Ontario Preppers Network is a solid and well led organization in my area yet I am always working weekends so never have attended. That has to change I think!

Resolution Two – Organize My Preps

I do go through my bug out and get home bags frequently but in all honestly most of my none food preps are shoved in a cupboard. In the Summer I laid everything out in the basement and saw huge gaps I was utterly unaware of. I bundle the extra hard gear and tools into a tote box and buried that at my cottage on the next trip. That reduced my prepping supplies nicely and has given me a lot of useful things in the ground at the cottage. If the forest burns down I will still have those tools and gear and frankly they were just lying in a cupboard so win, win.

It’s that time of year again; time to over eat and over drink, and wonder where on Earth 2016 went?
Having gear stored in one location is nice, but not always possible.

Still I do not use excel sheets or compulsively label and organize so this area will be a challenge. I need a bunch of decent tote boxes and to devote a day to sorting and storing the remaining gear. As I said I am not a list person so a permanent marker will be used to write the contents on the lids. This should work.

Resolution Three – Finish the Winterization Project

Being close to moose country it is easy to get decent winter clothing at reasonable prices and is vital as a prep. I’d say it is the key part of shelter up here in southern Canada as physical shelters might not be that warm in January. I have focused on it in 2016 and I am happy yet the gaps remain. I do not have decent boots only one pair of okay ones. I do not have decent trousers just okay ones. Worse I realized my girlfriend’s survival clothing it not decent at all. This has to be fixed and fixed quickly.

It’s that time of year again; time to over eat and over drink, and wonder where on Earth 2016 went?
My hope is to go to the cottage next winter and leave the power off and even snow camp next to it to really try out the gear.

I will soon have a three-layered ground system for myself and my girlfriend to sleep on (thank you Pat and the Prepper Journal readers for my recent prize) and the sleeping bags, liners, and wool blankets seem decent. My hope is to go to the cottage next winter and leave the power off and even snow camp next to it to really try out the gear. Minimally I intend at least one overnight in February by myself to try this system out.

Resolution Four – Food Prepping beyond One Year’s Supply

Some things people find easy and for me food prepping is the one area I am good at. I label, bag, and store great foods, in good variety, and can eat them all and create okay meals. As a new prepper in 2015 I realized the few tins of baked beans I stored under the stairs in the UK in 1980 for the nuclear war with Russia would no longer given me much psychological comfort. I read and thought and saw that the 72 hours (one to two weeks) the Canadian Government recommends would be of little use in a major regional or national SHTF. By adding to the groceries and using cardboard boxes we soon got to six months and I am happy to say now have a further six months in buckets with small Mylar bags inside them.

It’s that time of year again; time to over eat and over drink, and wonder where on Earth 2016 went?
What I want is a ten year supply for two people.

Still this is not the supply I actually want. What I want is a ten-year supply for two people. For me trying to survive a nuclear war and resultant nuclear winter is worth the attempt. That should cover most SHTF scenarios. So I am at 10% of my goal here and I am not leaping into prepackaged survival foods to finish it. As a vegan for the last six years (I knew you’d ask lol) I understand the importance of variety and minimal processing. This will be worked on in six months amounts. 12 five gallon buckets are about six months’ supply for the two of us. By year’s end I’d like at least at three-year supply but I’d like five years’ worth.

It’s that time of year again; time to over eat and over drink, and wonder where on Earth 2016 went?
Ball Mason Wide Mouth Pint Jars with Lids and Bands

Gardening is something we have been doing for the last five years and really enjoying it. A third raised garden is planned in the spring and a lot of five gallon buckets are getting buried in that one. Tarps, nails, and cords need to be bought and boxed to rapidly secure the soil in the three raised gardens from external elements in SHTF. We will continue to experiment with seed varieties and planting times.

Sprouting will continue but I am finding after five years the mason jars and lid grills are looking a bit done in. It will be time to add to that supply in the spring when I order sprouting seeds which are mainly stored. I order twice a year. Sure many seeds will dead in SHTF but even a few viable ones can be sprouted, eaten, and even planted. As I add to the store every year I am content to have some expire but will keep them and see if I can grow something in SHTF.

Seed saving started in 2016 and we are going to continue that in 2017. Black walnut processing also started in 2016 but the squirrels got every one of them as they dried out. I now have net bags to suspend from the ceiling and anti-squirrel coverings!

Resolution Five – Get More Personal Security

For me this means personal strength and endurance needs to get back to near the levels they were in 2007. Then I had been a sub three hour marathoner for years and had raced over one hundred ultra-marathons even wining a few smaller ones. Since then I have gone to seed and added about 60lbs (I am a fat vegan 5’10” and 228lbs). 2017 is the time to fix that as I think I am over my burn out. Start small and keep going. My body needs to be sharper than my mind and I do not think starting an exercise regime in SHTF is smart.

It’s that time of year again; time to over eat and over drink, and wonder where on Earth 2016 went?
For me this means personal strength and endurance needs to get back to near the levels they were in 2007.

Complete building my long bow kit and practice it. Consider a machined bow as well. Get more arrows and heads and learn more about archery in general.

Go and buy wood boards and cut them to size to cover the insides and outsides of the down stairs windows. Label, store, and have them ready to nail up in SHTF. Overall I consider this to be a major concern and one that I have simply been ignoring.

Keep talking to and enjoying my neighbors as they might well be a very valuable resource for me in many scenarios.

Resolution Six – Fun stuff

You have to have fun, right? We are focusing our summer on making sure we can both attend the Annual Preppers Meet  as I attended on my own last year and found it a lot of fun and met a lot of interesting people. If things work out we can go dog free to the cottage for a week and kayak and camp around Haliburton as I have always wanted to trip along Canoe Lake. Take the BioLite on the next unpressured dog walk into the forests around us and brew some tea. Get the girlfriend to build and light a few fires as she is fire phobic. Stay open; keep reading the Prepper Journal; and watching YouTube when on night shifts. Use my hands rather than my mind at every opportunity and generally focus on my weaknesses more than playing to my strengths.

Have a great New Year

  1. Those are great resolutions, practical and achievable. Mine are very easy also, get the new babies room finished, build the closets my wife wants, get that load of sand delivered, get the front garden on the go, build and get chickens going out back, and build the fence in the back yard so the kids can play out back and not with worry about them falling off into the gully. Have a great New Years and we’ll see you in 2017.

  2. Happy New Year everyone. 2017 sounds very sci fi to me. I’m on night two of four 12 hour nights so everyone have a drink for me. I’m setting a secondary goal to fess up to what I actually get done in 2017 next December.
    Pat there’s a minor error in your editor’s notes.

  3. Huples,
    You’ve written a good motivational article, and thanks. For myself, I have achieved three minor equipment goals and one long term food goal in the past month. Knowing what needs to be done is easy. Getting around to doing it is always the challenge. Best wishes to you in the coming year.

    1. Thanks Bolofia,
      Happy New Year to you and yours. I throw these together on nights in between pages when the muse moves me. I’ve learned so much from you and others on this site. Hopefully in December I can report decent goal success. If there’s internet still then 🙂

  4. I have a recommendation for you when you resort your preps. Write the contents of each box on paper and tape it to the top. Marker is bad. Because when you decide next year to resort in a different way, you can’t get the marker off the box. Voice of experience. good luck and thanks for the good ideas.

      1. Hey, H, nice article!

        I’m with Texas Cat – learned the hard way.
        I use notecards in baggies taped to plastic containers and taped directly to cardboard boxes.
        You can also try color coordinating with duct tape bands, where the color gives you a general category, and then write out a list with colored pencil. It doesn’t smear or run as easy, but you can erase it from pale plastic containers.
        That also lets you keep a notebook – “Tote #7 (or, Red #7) – items – expiration/maintenance/check date and-or pack date” so you can set up reminders on a physical calendar or an electronic. Your notebook is pencil so you can change what’s in there, and your notebook also tells you “2nd bedrm closet, garage, behind garage, under bed, X pine tree” etc. to limit the hunt time for rotations, maintenance and if you need it.

        You mentioned storage totes.
        For oversized stuff and bulk, price compare to trash cans with wheels, and you might see if you can get your hands on free or inexpensive 4-5-6 gal. buckets or the 3-4 gal kitty litter buckets. Good totes tend to be expensive, and inexpensive totes can be … limited in use. Some of the clear ones end up brittle depending on temp and exposure, and some wind up with lids that pop off. If you’re going to buy GOOD totes, check out barrels as well.

        The trash cans can be heavy, but they also have advantages in length and they can be nice with a couple of duct tape seams when you want to drop a bag with a base kit and a few supplementary packs somewhere.
        Our hurricane kit and my pony kits out West tended to live in various rolling trash cans for the ease of movement, I still keep some supplies in them, and the dog kits and camper kits are in them, although they can admittedly feel like they were packed with gold bricks.

        They can also be readily turned into significant water catchment systems even as a standalone all by themselves as gear comes out. Some might not be comfortable with them even after filtration or distilling, but they offer some washing options or garden options even if somebody doesn’t want to drink it.

        Rebecca Ann

  5. Good article, as usual, Huples. I always add “comfort” as a goal. At this time of year, staying warm is always on my mind. I look beyond sleeping bags and warm clothes. I’m thinking electric blankets, a steamy-hot whirlpool bath, or watching a movie in HD in front of a fireplace, with a bowl of popcorn. If SHTF turns into a long-term survival situation, I want to be as comfortable as possible while enduring it. I’ve built a robust off-grid solar electric system in an effort to accomplish my goal. Now, as long as I don’t neglect the other things, like food, water, and security, I suspect I’ll be fine. Happy New Year, and lets hope we don’t need to use our preps just yet.

    1. Can you please elaborate on your off-grid solar electrical system? That’s the one area that I need more info on so I’ll know what to buy….thanks!

      1. The main components are: Solar Panels, Deep Cycle Batteries, Charge Controller, and an Inverter. I’ll soon be posting an article on TPJ about it, and how such a system can be built on a limited budget. Mine was built over time, as funds became available.

        1. Make sure, never you do your article, you dumb it down for MY (selfish near illiterate) benefit, please!
          I want to learn how to do this, or have it done right the first time, as we do like all the creature comforts we can get, even in a grid down situation. We are getting there, slowly, but getting there nonetheless.
          Looking forward in great anticipation to a series of how-to articles for dummies like me.

        2. So how did you EMP proof it? I ask, because if an EMP hit, all those sexy solar systems would theoretically be shot. Seems to make more sense to built it, get it working to fill the need you require, then disassemble and protect it for later.

          1. Solar panels may, or may not be affected by an EMP. It depends upon the strength of the signal, the type, and the angle. I have spare blocking diodes, inverter, and charge controller, stored in a Faraday Cage.

      2. Hi Libs, I find it hard as well. Praxis Prepper on YouTube has a fast, easy, and clear video on the four components, how they fit, and how to avoid killing yourself. It’s a good site in general.

        1. I’ve found that used, < 1yr, fork lift batteries seem to have the best bang for the buck. Typically 12v/600+AH ratings. Not the cheapest, but very long cycle times. I started with a 400w Renology kit. The charge controller in the kit is marginal, and only came with a single 1000w 120vac inverter.

          It's enough to run the majority of my electronics, as well a 12vdc deep well pump I use to keep a mil surplus potable water bladder filled in the attic. With the more capable batteries I can connect the inverter in "dead" (free) UPS's to provide additional AC power when I need it.

      3. this might help .. i would recommend figuring out what you want to power. make a excel spreadsheet. go and buy a kill-o-watt meter (they are at Home Depot or amazon less than $20) and put on each device you have plugged in and fill out your excel sheet. once your sheet is populated, look at how much power your using and see where you can cut back( bulbs, tv’s etc) and what your priorities are. Now when i buy a appliance i always look at current draw. On a small system you will be limited. i bought my renogy panels (4) 100 watt 12 v from amazon as a kit. comes with a cheap charge controller which i want to upgrade. i bought (4) 12vdc 100 amp hour batts (ub121000) also from Amazon. then all the connector cables( some i made from battery cables from autozone). i have a 2300 watt powerbright inverter . a 24vdc system is more effecient, but i stuck with the 12v system since i use 12v for Ham radio alot also. i used a ac shutoff box outside between solar panels and controller for fire safety, also have inline fuses on solar panel lines & batteries and grounded the system(check controller on which side needs to be grounded positive versus negative, it can be different) andremember safety!. my cheap controller doens’t show voltage, so i bought a cheap meter from Amazon and added it. I won’t need it when i upgrade to a better controller which will have it built in.I run my alarm system, survellience system, desktop computer & router and Ham radios. my panels are semi hidden from view, so i dont get as much sun as i like or could, on panels, but hope to get a few more mounted higher.
        Deciding what you want or need to power, and build your system around those parameters will be key.

        1. Christopher is right. Determine your needs, find ways to use less electricity, and then plan a system to meet your needs. Also, get a PSW inverter, not a MSW inverter. It will cost more, but will be well worth it. I have an 1100 watt PSW inverter, and can power almost anything with that.

          1. A suggested correction to your 2nd sentence: Determine your REAL NEEDS. Needs should be categorized by critical, need, and want. Well pump = critical. Freezer = critical/need. Lighting = want. Something like that.

            Well pumps don’t need continuous power. Having bulk water storage above ground means they can be filled once a day, once every few days, or at whatever interval is needed to keep adequate water on hand.

            Freezers don’t need to be run continuously, but need daily feedings to keep meats frozen.

            Lights probably waste more energy than they are worth. Consider stringing a couple christmas lights in the 1-2 rooms needed to work after dusk.

            Minimizing your solar profile reduces your home’s profile, and that is a good thing. Minimizing power consumption could also put a complete replacement system in the barn, garage, or even buried in the garden.

            1. Re: bulk water – that’s why I have a 200 gallon mil-surp potable water bladder in the attic. The 12vdc pump runs off battery once daily, during max solar input to fill the thing, or if it falls below 40%. Being positioned high allows normal water pressure to the house.
              Next major project is a solar water heater. A hot shower weeks post shtf will be awesome.

  6. Nice one Hupes old chap your class, determination and solid thought processes shine right through this article.

  7. I wondered why under, get more personal security, or resolution 5, there was no mention of guns or ammo. Never mind, I just read the coming gun control article and its comments. Lmao. People who call themselves preppers but refuse to own legitimate weapons, can’t be taken seriously…

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