How have your preps evolved?

A place to discuss special considerations involved prepping and reacting to a disaster with children, pets and other family concerns.

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M813
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Re: How have your preps evolved?

Post by M813 » Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:57 am

Uh, I think it's called a "Fat Tail" gecko. It was dumped on my wife by her cousin who had to abandon it to move to California.
We feed it, we water it, and it has a heating element in the tank to keep it comfortable in the winter, but we largely ignore it.

As pets go, it is fairly useless and a burden. I enjoy observing animals like this in their native habitats rather than in an aquarium.

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Re: How have your preps evolved?

Post by XaqFixx » Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:23 pm

I spend more time helping others and working towards cooperation. This weekend I helped a friend who convinced me to become both a firearms trainer and an NRA distinguished expert on pistols/handguns (and expert on small-bore rifles) install a 160m loop antenna on her property. She, and the mutual friend helping out, have inspired me to get back into archery for the first time since working as a Boy Scout Camp Counselor in High School.

I've also been focusing on expanding skills - I'm taking classes on 3D printing, CNC milling, software development, machine sewing, welding, blacksmithing, and helping develop a mesh network (and low power, wide area coms) at the local Makerspace.

Basically - I've shifted from acquisition and self-reliance to education and community development.
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Re: How have your preps evolved?

Post by Andimia » Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:47 pm

Basically - I've shifted from acquisition and self-reliance to education and community development.
I'm kinda in the same boat. I'm in an active community where we help our neighbors. I'm getting more involved with community leaders and we have been fundraising and getting food and supplies to people that need them. I'm also learning how to share my knowledge. I know a lot about foraging and living in the wilderness with minimal supplies. Teaching people how to source some of their food from their surroundings or start and care for a garden can make food stockpiles last much longer. We're getting into fall and I'm putting together some resources on fall and winter gardening for a community group I'm apart of. Most people don't know that carrots can grow through the winter or about gathering and storing seeds for your next growing season.

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Re: How have your preps evolved?

Post by cave » Sun May 09, 2021 1:16 am

Things that were really useful during the lockdowns in Melbourne last year:

- High gluten (bread) flour. Or baking flour + vital wheat gluten. Sourdough is easy, finding good flour not so much. With added gluten you can make supermarket-grade flour good for bread and pasta.

- The vegetable garden came into its own. Invest in crop protection (nets, snail pellets, etc).

- Also chickens. Although food waste much less of a concern with us eating at home, no school lunch leftovers to throw out every day. The chooks were great to have.

- Microgreens. Salad greens and herbs within a couple of weeks, to supplement the garden.

- Sprouts. Learn how to make long, good bean sprouts from Maangchi on YouTube https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-m74YYPVbWU

- A cast iron Dutch oven for stove-to-oven and bread.

- A cast iron pan

- Toilet paper. OMG I can’t believe how fast this sold out - crazy. We had our usual supply from buying in bulk so no problems. But OMG.

- Fresh veg and mince (ground meat) sold out fast. Also tinned fruit and veg, pasta, rice.

- Being able to cook with a variety of ingredients. For some reason there was a surplus of beef cheek at my local supermarket, but no minced meat and little affordable stewing meat. So, unusual but delicious meals because apparently no-one else was adventurous enough to open a cookbook. Also, whole chickens much more available, affordable and useful - one chicken makes a roast, leftovers for noodles (with the bean sprouts and garden veg), and soup from the bones.

- Storable meat is hardest. Rice, pasta, beans, tins all easy. Whole/large pieces of ham, salami, salt pork etc. worked well. Substitutes such as halloumi (Cypriot cheese, lasts forever and you can cook with it) or various legume dishes are good. I guess freeze-dried would fit in here but not something I tried.

- Rice, pasta, beans - easy to store. Buy quality - much better to get from a specialty nut/legume shop, or a Greek or Indian or Middle Eastern grocery, than from a chain supermarket. Costco was great for pasta and rice though.

- Fast internet super useful.

- Tools and materials (plywood, glue, hardware, wire, screws, wood finish). Plenty of time to make desks for the kids to do school from home, and garden projects. Also helped keep me sane.

- Bicycles. OK for transport, good for meeting up with friends for exercise together.

- Exercise equipment. Resistance bands, a step, pull up bar and dumbbells used the most.

- Mobile phones, radio, torches (flashlights), headlights. And a backup battery for charging (didn’t use this time but have before).

- Musical instruments. Plenty of time to practice.

- Board games.

Nb. didn’t shoot a rifle once all of last year - shooting ranges closed and no roving hordes even when the toilet paper had run out.

-edit-

Also - almost forgot - sewing machine, sewing supplies (needles, thread, pins/clips, interfacing, elastic, Velcro). Used to make face masks, bags, and to patch a few things

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Re: How have your preps evolved?

Post by RoneKiln » Mon May 10, 2021 1:41 am

cave wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 1:16 am
- Storable meat is hardest. Rice, pasta, beans, tins all easy. Whole/large pieces of ham, salami, salt pork etc. worked well. Substitutes such as halloumi (Cypriot cheese, lasts forever and you can cook with it) or various legume dishes are good. I guess freeze-dried would fit in here but not something I tried.
I learned this last year it's pretty easy to can meat. A small pint size jar of canned chicken goes perfect with 2 or 3 lunches at work. Lately I've been putting it on salad and drizzling some olive oil over it. Most of last winter I'd take a jar of homemade curry sauce, a tupperware container of rice, and heat it all up together in the microwave.

Nice thing is I can essentially cook the chicken for 2 months worth of lunches in an evening. It significantly increased how much meat I could keep while improving the quality of my lunches.
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Re: How have your preps evolved?

Post by PistolPete » Wed May 12, 2021 11:26 am

Less focus on guns, more focus on gardening.
Less gear, more investing for financial security.
More education and effort into quality every day food I can rotate and less on 25 year storage stuff.
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Re: How have your preps evolved?

Post by boskone » Wed May 12, 2021 11:44 am

RoneKiln wrote:
Mon May 10, 2021 1:41 am
cave wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 1:16 am
- Storable meat is hardest. Rice, pasta, beans, tins all easy. Whole/large pieces of ham, salami, salt pork etc. worked well. Substitutes such as halloumi (Cypriot cheese, lasts forever and you can cook with it) or various legume dishes are good. I guess freeze-dried would fit in here but not something I tried.
I learned this last year it's pretty easy to can meat. A small pint size jar of canned chicken goes perfect with 2 or 3 lunches at work. Lately I've been putting it on salad and drizzling some olive oil over it. Most of last winter I'd take a jar of homemade curry sauce, a tupperware container of rice, and heat it all up together in the microwave.

Nice thing is I can essentially cook the chicken for 2 months worth of lunches in an evening. It significantly increased how much meat I could keep while improving the quality of my lunches.
Canned chicken and chili worked great for me.

My experiment with canned hamburger--despite following FDA guidelines--ended up in the Near Death Experiences in Food thread. :ohdear: I still have a jar of canned burger, but I'm afraid of it.

Re:chicken, does yours stick together into a giant clump?

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Re: How have your preps evolved?

Post by RoneKiln » Wed May 12, 2021 10:09 pm

boskone wrote:
Wed May 12, 2021 11:44 am
Re:chicken, does yours stick together into a giant clump?
Yes. It wierded me out a little at first. But it breaks apart real easy with a fork and then has the same texture as the canned chicken I used to buy at costco. I've been eating it fairly regularly since late last summer. My later batches came out better than the first. Just took me a few batches to get used to the pressure cooker. I'd never used one and I learned from youtube and a canning book put out by Ball.

Also canned a bunch of squash curry and pasta sauce. Home canned curry and chicken made the core of my lunches at work last fall and winter, as well as a few dinners.

So back to the original topic, I guess learning skills has been a big shift for me too.
"Seriously the most dangerous thing you are likely to do is to put salt on a Big Mac right before you eat it and to climb into your car."
--Raptor

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
https://ufozs.com
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Re: How have your preps evolved?

Post by Black Beard » Sun May 16, 2021 1:59 am

<Nb. didn’t shoot a rifle once all of last year - shooting ranges closed and no roving hordes even when the toilet paper had run out>

If your local rules allow you to use one on your property or locally then an air rifle might be a viable option. They are a bit expensive to buy for a good one but really cheap to run.

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Re: How have your preps evolved?

Post by boskone » Sun May 16, 2021 3:02 pm

Black Beard wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 1:59 am
<Nb. didn’t shoot a rifle once all of last year - shooting ranges closed and no roving hordes even when the toilet paper had run out>

If your local rules allow you to use one on your property or locally then an air rifle might be a viable option. They are a bit expensive to buy for a good one but really cheap to run.
Or airsoft. I can't shoot my pellet rifle in my back yard, but I can shoot my airsoft pistol.

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Re: How have your preps evolved?

Post by Halfapint » Mon May 17, 2021 9:15 am

Hell I’ll update it’s been 3 years, and with pandemic2020 had some good experiences. Realize this turned into a long post, sorry!

First: Got married in 2020, that was interesting. We moved onto our property in December of 2019. We had planned to start gardening anyways and after working on the property for 2-3 years I knew it would be difficult. Gardening was an epic failure. We just don’t have enough sun on our garden to grow anything. So shift to buying fresh veggies/meat from our local Winco and canning, dehydrating, freezing it.

I started making my own stock again. We’d buy bone in thighs and debone them, get wings for twice monthly wing night, and throw the tips in the bag of bones, then buy one of the young chickens and put all the bones and wing tips in there and make a great stock. Use the meat that came out of the stock and can it to make spreads, and put a few days worth in the freezer for easy taco meat. We dehydrated literal gallons of veggies and out them in mason jars to use throughout the year. We made bacon, and practiced making some salt pork. Got a bunch of food grade 5 gallon buckets to store some long term food like beans, rice, lentils. Bought gallon mason jars to store more expensive things like quinoa, fero, and others.

My big plan 3-4 years ago was go off grid, well we are mostly, minus grid power. But for now with the property and said problem with trees we don’t get sun. And the wind power would be too expensive to be efficient currently. So shifted to a large genset and fuel stores for that. We were without power for over 2 weeks last year. The genset was a life saver, literally. Not so much for us but the grandparents we help take care of on the property. We went 4 days without external power in our trailer (live in a 5th wheel) and could have gone longer but wanted to see what we could do. It was an interesting experience. It made me realize that small house living is far superior to conventional, for now. We are basically a free standing house, everything minus the wall sockets, microwave, and AC is 12v and super low wattage. 4 days and we were only down 25% battery so could have probably made it at least another week.

Also shifted from guns and reloading to archery and airguns. Less expensive to continue using than guns, and it’s easier to do on our property. Didn’t sell any of them, just didn’t take them out and go shooting a few times a month like prior.

I think this pandemic shifted the way the wife and I think about preps. I still have a ton of MH meals, and quite a few cases of MRE’s. But why eat those when you can have real food that you’ve stocked. It also helped us get a lot closer to the neighbors we’ve found that most our neighbors are of like mind and are willing to help on a whim. It also made us realize that we need to look at other income streams Bessie while. Either of us lost our jobs, she was 30 people away from getting furloughed. So we started selling firewood, renting out tractor work, we invested in a tree service and made our investment back in 2 months and has been a continue small side flow for us. All in all, this has been a great year, which is sad to say because so many people have had it much harder.
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Re: How have your preps evolved?

Post by Black Beard » Tue May 18, 2021 4:09 am

I realised that basic food may last a long time but it it is really dull. Junk food is comfort food.

Dried peas are good. So is coconut oil- it lasts for a long time on a shelf and should last for many years in a freezer.

Finding out where things are produced is a good idea. The UK toilet paper shortage was demand driven as we manufacture enough for everyone.

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