What are your 2022 prepping goals and plans?

Even though time is a construct (ahem, indulge me) and new years resolutions are often moot, I find it useful to use the new year to take a step back, reflect, and see where I am with my needs and goals. Especially in prepping, where you are never finished preparing, it is easy to get overwhelmed and lost in the millions of things you need to do (at least that’s true for me). So these are the things I want to focus on this year:

CAR: Last year I moved my BOB permanently in my car and added a full level 3 IFAK kit that is separate from the BOB and easy to access (it’s redundant, but this way if I have to leave my car quickly I don’t have to worry about the IFAK as there’s already one in the BOB ). This year I’d be happy if I only added: traction pads, flares, and a triangle (yup, I’m still without a triangle). I’m also thinking of adding a wool blanket in case I get stuck in a wildfire and need to protect myself. The thought is terrifying but I live in CO and wildfires are a grim reality I have to deal with. The BOB already contains a half-face respirator and goggles, and because of Covid I also have a few N95 respirators laying around in my center console, which would help with smoke inhalation.

GARDENING: Last year I set up a very small raised garden bed and managed to grow only a few things (I started late in the season and didn’t know what I was doing). I still have a variety of seeds from last year and, even if I still don’t know what I’m doing, I want to be organized and start planting anything I can from the leftover seeds as soon as possible and on time. My goal is not to rely solely on this garden for fresh vegetables, but rather just to get in the habit of planning a garden, and learning new things. It’s also going to be a good test to see if those seeds still germinate.

MISC: I’m training to hike my first 14er this year and, apart from it being a good fitness challenge on its own, I want to take the occasion to learn how to find water in the wild by using a map and reading the environment. I’m not planning to rely solely on wild water during the hikes and will be always carrying the min. 2-3 liters of water that’s usually recommended, but it’s going to be a great opportunity to use those map skills often and become more confident in them. It’s also going to be a good way to start training to carry a BOB for a long time. Although the pack I’d be carrying on the hikes is not going to be as heavy as my BOB, it’s still going to be filled with basic survival supplies, water, etc and it might reach 15-20 lb. Once I get the confidence that I can carry a pack for hours in any type of environment and terrain, I can see challenging myself to carry a full-on BOB regularly on walks or hikes.

There are still bazillion things I want and need to do, but I’d be totally happy if I just got these things done. What are your plans for this year?

P.S. Check out this excellent forum post about prepping challenges and experiments.


  • Comments (133)

    • 4
      1. Gradually increase my exercise habits. Recently added morning walks, with my bug out bag on my back just to practice with the weight. I’ve also spent a bit of time exercising every evening (back-and-forth cardio and strength) since about a year ago.
      2. Find a less exhausting way to protect my family from COVID infection. Wearing a full face mask is very effective but requires constant effort.
      3. Review and upgrade safety and security features of house, such as doors and alarms.
      4. Upgrade first aid kit and bug out bag contents to mostly match ThePrepared’s guide (level ~2.5). Current contents are based mostly on what I already had lying around the house. 
      5. Select some emergency items to keep permanently in car. Currently just a case of bottled water, but should have jumper box, snacks, first aid kit, and some of the level 1 bug out bag items.
      • 1

        When you say full face mask, do you mean something like this?


      • 2

        “When you say full face mask, do you mean something like this?”

        Yes, similar to that. I’m currently wearing a 3M 6900.

        And I’m thinking about upgrading to the 3M FF-402 which prevents the wearer’s voice from sounding muffled.

        Both of them practically guarantee that I’ll never catch COVID – far more effective even than N95 masks. And after two years of COVID, random people on the street are mostly okay with seeing an unusual mask. No one has given me a hard time about it, and “I like your mask” compliments are fairly common.

      • 1

        Yeah, I don’t think anyone looks at these precautions in a weird way anymore.

        What about wearing a half-face respirator + (industrial) googles instead? The combo should accomplish the same goal, but keep it more manageable and reduce the effort?

      • 2

        “What about wearing a half-face respirator + (industrial) googles instead?”

        Also a possibility. I see that combination as very similar to a full face mask, without really addressing the problems I have with the full face mask.

        The main problem with depending on any mask for protection is that sometimes you need to take it off:

        • Show your face for security checkpoint
        • Eat or drink
        • Dental cleaning
        • Take picture for passport or driver license renewal

        And every time one of these issues comes up, I need to get creative and/or avoid an activity. I value the safety of my family and myself enough to keep making these sacrifices if needed, but after two years of keeping my guard up I’m also eager to find an alternative.

      • 1

        Ah ok, I think I get it: it’s less about the specific type of mask and more about the fact that you can’t always avoid potential exposure.

        Have you flown with a full-face respirator, by any chance? I’d be curious to know if they’d be satisfied with the better visibility the full-face offer, or if they’d want you to take it off anyway (although the mouth would still be covered by the respirator part, so I guess not)?

      • 4

        Yes, it’s more about the situations where I need to either take a mask off or avoid the situation. Such situations come up all the time.

        I have a DMV appointment coming up in a couple weeks. Very much hoping to get through an address update without taking the mask off.

        I have a jury summons coming up in a few weeks. That’s a full day of hanging out in a courtroom, during which I’ll almost certainly need to eat or drink. Hopefully there will be opportunities to leave the building, in which case I can just eat outside.

        No, I haven’t flown since the pandemic started, or had a dental exam, or ate at a restaurant. Many activities require some adjustment to be safe during a pandemic, and it’s almost implausible to me that those adjustments still haven’t happened after two years of this. So I just avoid.

      • 4

        I hope you didn’t feel judged because of me asking if you’ve flown – I was genuinely curious about how they’d deal with a full face respirator 🙂 

        But I hear you: even if we’re vaxxed, boosted, avoid places, take precautions etc it’s always unnerving to have to deal even with the simplest thing – and after two years it’s just exhausting. 

      • 3

        No offense taken. Just explaining further. Yes, two years of constantly being careful is exhausting. At every point in this pandemic I thought we were a few months from being done, for different reasons, and the horizon keeps moving. Starting about a month ago, due to Omicron, I no longer see the horizon at all. Will keep looking for that exit ramp.

      • 2

        I’ve eaten and drunk in indoor public spaces with a half-face respirator on. I do it like this:

        Water (must use straw): Get as far away from other people as possible. Undo neck strap. Inhale. Lift up respirator. Stick straw into gap. Drink. Put respirator back down. Redo neck strap. Exhale.

        Food (only narrow foods like granola bars): similar procedure, but one bite at a time, and using the hand-not-holding-the-granola-bar-wrapper to hold the respirator in place while I chew (to make sure all the jaw movements don’t break the seal). I generally don’t redo the neck strap until the end, since I’m holding the respirator in place with my hand anyway.

        It’s not perfect, and with Omicron about I’m not even going to think about doing it again until my booster kicks in (got it as soon as I could, which was not as soon as I would have liked), but it gets the exposure down pretty far.

        I don’t mean to push you to do anything outside your risk tolerance, just offer some possible harm-reduction tools for your toolkit (and the toolkits of everyone else reading).

        As for medical procedures performed on my face, I’ve reconfigured my annual dental-checkup and my every-two-years vision-checkup schedules so that they both take place in the summer, to take advantage of seasonality.

        (My dentist also has a *lot* of air purifiers, although their masks were mostly of mediocre quality. The masks at the optometrist were even worse, but now that I have some disposable N95s on hand I might be able to wear one of those without it sticking out enough to interfere with the equipment.)

      • 3

        You have some very clever techniques for reducing exposure.

        I am committed to not getting infected at all until I have some assurance that infection will not result in long COVID. Even boosted, Omicron is ridiculously infectious, so I’m not inclined to risk small exposures.

        Lots of air purifiers at the dental office is a very good sign. If at least the dentist/hygienist that’s in your face has a well-fitted N95, that really could be safe. I wonder if that quietly became standard dental equipment. Last time I saw an announcement about dental safety procedures it involved scrubbing door knobs, but the procedure might have been improved substantially without announcements.

      • 4

        Just wanted to add my two cents in this discussion.  I work as a respiratory therapist & have worn a half-face respirator w/ goggles for most of the past (almost) two years & have managed to dodge COVID in my ICU to this point. 

      • 1

        Greg, that’s certainly a much more difficult situation than I’ve had to face. How do you avoid infection when you need to take the respirator off, such as eating and drinking during your shift?

      • 4


        We utilized a report room that is far removed from the ICU.  In retrospect, I guess we also trusted each other that our co-workers were taking precautions to not get infected.  We  had to fill out a symptom questionnaire on-line before every shift & get a temperature check to reduce the risk of someone coming in sick.  We all took it very seriously because we were (and still are) losing multiple patients every day to this disease.  Nothing like seeing people die right in front of you on a daily basis to encourage you to be vigilant about precautions.

        Obviously, we all got vaccinated and boosted at the first opportunity.  I’ve been off since October; I’m burned out.  May go back soon, but I could retire – maybe I will.  

        Sorry to go on a tangent, but sometimes it’s good just to write about the experience.  It makes you focus your thoughts & vents some of the emotion around it all – at least it does for me.

        Stay safe!

    • 5

      This is a year of changes I think. Someone said humans tend  to overestimate short term change and underestimate long, and I may be guilty of that here.  Energy production especially is under severe strain., perhaps it is covid perhaps not. Only one shale oil basin in the US is really rebounding. Regardless, much of the fracking miracle is now being exported to make plastic clamshell containers in China. 14 of the 18 OPEC+ countries are not making target. Natural gas, our Bridge To The Future is also being exported now, exposing the US to severe global price pressure. (sorry to sound so nationalist, the exceptionalism that is America is really just access to virgin resources and you gotta go with your luck) The world fossil energy market is in turmoil and will possibly see a peak in flow in the next few years—if we haven’t already past. The economy is on a knife edge, inflation has taken root and the decade-long helicopter money-drop that sustained growth and the fracking  “revolution” is about to end. If history is a guide, raising interest rates  in this “everything bubble” only has one possible result.

      My wife and I have been flipping houses on a 2-year cycle and we are one year into the current episode. We’d planned to sell this fall and buy a small plot and build a tight little house for our “golden years” but land, even in the Ozarks, ha appreciated outrageously. And lumber, after falling for a short while, is back in the stratosphere. I’ve done graphics from home for 25 years but covid squashed my biz. Unemployment didn’t even acknowledge my application for a solid year, so we had to take early SocSec or deplete savings. We survived that fine, even made a little money on a house last year. But now I’m on pins about being stuck in a fragile little town on city services in a 125 year old house in an economic/energy crisis. We have some cash but like everyone else we’re losing 5% year.

      On typical prepper list stuff. We have a decent amount of long term food and some water stores and cash on hand along with a decent pantry. The best thing about being somewhat independent and moving on a 2 year cycle is fitting everything into a POD or two limits my natural hoarding tendency, LOL The worst thing is not having the personal infrastructure that can allow some self-sufficiency.

      My goal is to have this place ready to sell this fall. it will be in a good price range and somewhat desirable location. Hopefully timing the move precisely to catch the tail of the crazy-tight house market while getting a good deal from a discouraged seller on some land.

      Yeah right, LOL

      • 3

        Sorry to hear about the pandemic affecting your business. I really hope you can get a good deal from your current house. As for a good deal on the land, well, we’re looking for land ourselves and I can feel your pain lol.

        You mentioned having the personal infrastructure to allow self-sufficiency. We were talking about this with my husband just a few days ago: we want to buy land that can be the base for our ‘forever home,’ but we also travel a lot (pre-pandemic, at least) and so we were discussing for the umpteenth time if this is really what we want (i.e. do we want to be tied down to a place, or are we ok to take a more carpe diem approach and ride the climate apocalypse in different places and deal with potentially suboptimal conditions). And one of the main reasons for us deciding that yes, that’s what we want is precisely because we don’t want to depend on a grid that, no matter where we’d live, it’s not ready for the type of disruptions that we are experiencing more and more often. 

    • 3

      My first goal for the year was to add a Noco Boost GB50 to my truck, and it came in today.  It is a 1500 amp lithium 12 volt jump starter.  It also is a power bank that has USB out for charging phones & other such devices.  As a bonus, it has a 200 lumen LED flashlight, with multiple modes.  I added an optional hard case for the unit.


      • 2

        Cool little gadget. Is this powerbank charged off of USB? If so, you could also have a small solar panel in your car and keep this device powered up for a longer term disaster. With the 12V out port, you could plug in a power adapter and power AC devices off of it too like a laptop.

        I would get a DC air compressor that you could plug into the unit as well to puff up flat tires. 

      • 3

        Yes, the included USB charge cable attaches to USB in.  A cigarette lighter to USB adapter comes with the unit.  Good idea on the compressor.

      • 1

        Love the idea of the compressor. I was just thinking about how to deal with flat tires when I was writing this post. 

      • 2

        Instead of a compressor that requires electric power what about a bike floor pump?  I use a bike floor pump for my car tires when I notice pressure is low at home.  I also carry one in my car.  

      • 2

        With all the sacks of dog food, horse food & other items that get thrown into my truck, I’d be afraid it might get bent or busted.  But that is a good idea & I’ll look to see if I have a safe spot to store it.  Maybe underneath the rear seats?

      • 2

        I used a 3 litre Dive bottle as a tyre inflator, I also use it to charge my air rifles.  You can also buy Aerosols of tyre inflator air / puncture repair gas.

      • 1

        These are great. We have a Zeus which for now we share with my husband and take turns to use on longer journeys. I know he had to use it a few times last year when his battery was suddenly dying and saved him from being stuck in the mountains with no cell reception. Eventually, I’d have one of these in my permanent car kit, too. Which reminds me, I should at least have a couple of cheap jumper cables anyway in car (my car is really my weak point in my preps).

      • 2

        But in 2022 your car is going to be one of your strong points!

        Also check the pressure of your spare tire. I often forget it is there and had to crawl under the car to get to it but I checked and it was only at like 10psi! It’s now filled and I feel much better.

      • 1

        Thank you for the reminder (and the encouragement)! I was thinking about the best way for me to remember to do that regularly, and I think I will make it part of my annual prep review (i.e. when I review my BOB – which is actually actually twice a year: spring and fall).

    • 4

      Thank you for sharing this post and motivating me to make some goals. I am hoping to work on some estate planning this year. I am not planning on dying anytime soon, but covid, car accidents, and other disasters don’t care what I think.

      Those wildfires in Colorado were pretty scary, good that you are preparing against future fires.

      • 3

        Kudos for wanting to get that sorted! Estate planning was one of my first ever preps when I started taking prepping seriously. Same as you, I would never have thought to even do it (I’m young!) but my husband actually encouraged me: he’s the one that is on top of these types of things. I don’t really have any large estate to settle so for me is more about the peace of mind that if anything happens to me, my husband can have easy access to all my accounts and take care of things. And as you said, the pandemic really makes you think about these things even more. 

      • 2

        Hi Carlotta, regarding you asking me about my fruit trees and cows, fruit trees figs, banana, grapes ,passion fruit, paw paw , dragon fruit, tropical plum, lemons, lime, pomegranate , guava ,olives ,mandarins, coffee, mango, custard apple, chocolate pudding, lychee, mulberry , and blueberry,   cows ,I was going to milk my jersey [ name Bonny] but got a shoulder injury so I bought a 2 week old bull calf and put him on Bonny with her heifer  and they have both done really well, they are both nearly one year old so the bull will go in the freezer in the next few months and the heifer  will make a really nice house cow. Bonny is pregnant again so I am hoping for better luck when she calves again. I have kept cattle  before but I have to say there something about a Jersey cow that is very endearing .

        All the best


      • 3

        Hi John, while perusing your list of trees two jumped out at me  -” custard apple, chocolate pudding” – just wondering where one can find a chocolate pudding tree?  My wife would love it.   Before I sent this on, I Googled it & my mouth fell open as I realized you weren’t joking!  I have “regular” persimmon trees nearby & have harvested some of those.   Learned my botanical(?) fact for today re: chocolate pudding.   I’m fortunate enough to have some wild paw paw trees near me, but haven’t been lucky enough to catch them with fruit.  Wish I had some space to plant some other trees, but in the meantime I will continue to work on my foraging knowledge base .



      • 2

        I had to google chocolate pudding trees too, but sadly they don’t grow here.

        Greg – Are you sure the pawpaws near you ever make fruit?  What usually happens with wild pawpaws is that they spread through the roots, forming what appears to be a large grove of individual trees but is, biologically speaking, a single organism.  They aren’t self pollinating, therefore these groves don’t fruit. 

        If you get some fruit from other wild pawpaws and toss the seeds out in the woods near yours, some of them will grow, and just as soon as the genetically distinct specimens are old enough to flower, all the mature trees should start producing too.

      • 3

        Forager & John,

        Thank you for the info on pawpaw trees – I didn’t know that.  I’ll have to be more vigilant about checking this year.  I also have a friend in more southern Indiana who has some trees on his property so perhaps I’ll hit him up for some samples & improve my odds with the wild trees.

        Thanks again – this site is so full of folks willing to share their knowledge.  I really appreciate it!

      • 2

        Hi Greg, with the paw paws I grow you must have a male & female or a by sexual otherwise they wont fruit maybe that is the problem



      • 1

        Those fruit trees sound amazing – I agree with Greg P. Thanks for explaining about the cows.

    • 5

      I think my goal is working through the beginner checklist and getting as far as I can.

      • 3

        I like that goal! Mind if I borrow it? Even though I’ve been prepping for a while, its always good to go back to the basics and make sure you have those down and mastered. 

      • 2

        Go right ahead! I hardly have an exclusive claim 🙂

      • 1

        Are you starting from scratch, or have you already started? If the latter, where are you now in the checklist, and what do you think you’d realistically accomplish this year?

      • 4

        I’ve already started but where I’m at is kind of piecemeal so it’s hard to summarize.

        I think Step 1 is mostly good-enough-for-now – although I should look at estate planning.

        I figure it makes sense to work on Step 2 (prepared home) and Step 3 (go bag) [for some reason I don’t like the term “bug out”] in tandem, since things in your go bag are also good for home.

        I’m gradually accumulating things for a go bag, and I’d like to finish at least a Level 1 bag this year. I think the hardest part of that will be the bag itself, but that’s probably mostly a matter of building up my budget for it over a few months until I can afford a good one. (Currently I have my go bag items in a suitcase, which I know is not ideal, but at least it will keep them together until I get a proper backpack.)

        For home preparedness, I’ve bought water storage containers but still need to get around to cleaning and filling them. I also need to put together a less haphazard food storage plan and make sure I will actually use and rotate the things I buy. I also need to figure out where in my small apartment I can store enough food (I was using the space under my kitchen sink for cans, but now it’s half full of my water storage, so I need another place for cans), which probably means cleaning out stuff that doesn’t need to be in my apartment, finding storage boxes that can fit under my bed, etc. I also need to deal with most of the other items on the home checklist. It’s hard to say how far through that I will get.

        For Step 4, the only applicable part is everyday carry (I don’t have a vehicle, and there’s no away-from-home location where it would make sense to keep a get-home bag). I already have a pretty substantial but haphazard everyday carry in the form of my backpack (and pocket contents); I would like to do review that to see what I think I should add (I think I’ll add a LifeStraw, for instance), and probably also remove some items that realistically aren’t that important, or overlap too much with other items to be worthwhile. Ideally I’d also organize it better so I can more readily find what I’m looking for.

        Steps 5 and 6 (learn/practice and share) I don’t have much of specific plans for, but I am talking about preparedness with family and friends, and I do want to try out my gear and practice for some basic scenarios like power or water outages.

      • 2

        Awesome, you’ve got a lot accomplished already and it’s clear that you a have plan! I think piecemeal is just the norm – I still haven’t met anyone that has everything sorted to perfection. 

      • 1

        Estel, I am at the same point. I have the guts of a go-bag but not the bag itself. So that is one of my top goals for early 2022. 

        Luckily The Prepared has a great article that will help educate me on what one I should buy.

      • 2

        The article is very helpful but even with its help, choosing a bag is still daunting.

        I’m somewhat inclined to buy myself a new everyday backpack first and let my current everyday backpack serve temporarily as my go bag until I can get an upgraded go bag backpack.

        My everyday backpack is a second-hand Eddie Bauer 29L Cargo Pack, and it’s almost exactly what I want for an everyday backpack except that the previous owner cut off the hip belt straps and sternum strap. More and more the lack those straps is bothering me, and since it’s something I wear all the time, fixing that problem seems like a fairly high priority. So I might just get a new one of the Eddie Bauer bag for everyday and use the old one for my temporary go bag. A 29L bag should be big enough for a Level 1 go bag, and maybe when I’m ready to progress to Level 2 or 3 then I can upgrade the bag to something bigger and more purpose-specific.

    • 4

      Simply to survive the oncoming tsunami of rampant inflation (7% at time of typing) , food and fuel shortages, growing civil unrest and anarchy by the militant minority groups in the west. and trying to decide if we are going to war with Russia or China or both.  Thats before I address the assorted viral outbreaks we are facing.

      So I’m once again stocking up on food, vehicle fuels, propane bottles, fire wood, script medicines and ammo.

      I also need alternative intel sources to the Internet as more and more tech giants are censoring anything their little hearts desire, closing down debates, silencing political opponants etc    The internet is no longer condusive to fair, balanced and impartial news sharing, fact finding or debate.

      I’ve closed my FB, Twitter accounts, and left just about 95% of forums I used to frequent. One reliable (so far) source of shared intel and news is a chain of E mail sharing like minded people. Its similar to TP’s Blog but free of the neccessary constraints blogs have.

      I’m going to buy a better world band reciever and antenna so i can start listening to distant international news sources.

      • 3

        I’d like to hear more about your world band receiver when you get it. That sounds interesting. 

      • 3

        The world band receiver is really a cool idea. Do you by any chance use Radio Garden, or anything similar, to listen to worldwide news? It’s definitely not the best option for long-term prepping (you needed an internet connection etc etc) but I’m just curious.

      • 4

        Wow no I have never seen radio garden before, But I’m downloading the link now.

        I do use https://worldradiomap.com/   and thats also internet reliant.



      • 3

        Oh cool! I never knew about those two other websites – bookmarking them now.

      • 4

        We just published my review of the C. Crane Skywave SSB, which I think is the best receiver on the market.

    • 5

      First of all I would like to thank everyone at prepared for this really good chance to share with so many like minded folk please keep up the good work. What I am doing this new year is trying to produce more of our own food ,  my wife and I live on 5acre property and we are both retired so we have some time to grow vegetables we also have about 40 fruit trees which have all been planted in last 4 years which some are starting to produce  , we also have a jersey cow and 2 calves and we keep bees all this takes some time and effort and commitment, but I do know that if you can be even a little self reliant it not only feels good it can be a real help in a SHTF situation . Here in Queensland Australia we have gone from 56 cases of Covid  on December 13 to 130947 yesterday so our plan is to stay at home more and only go out if it is really important so the more we can produce the better .

      We are fortunate that we are off grid with solar electricity and solar hot water our on water supply [ rain water tanks 10000 gallons]  fire wood [only 3 months per year] and a good pantry . We have a freezer full of our own meat and a well equipped work shop plus our own septic tank  all this has taken a lot of time money and effort but is worth it 

      I would encourage anybody to try and grow something  even if you live in a apartment once you realise you can it could change the way  you live that is what happened to me my wife would grow a little vegetables and she was away with work years ago and one day I just picked a beetroot and eat it straight from the ground and had never had a beetroot like it I was sold and life has never been the same. We all understand that supply chains can not always deliver and the cost of living only goes one way and no one knows what is around the corner so my advice is try and grow something this new year, I bet your grandparents etc where good at it 

      kind regards


      • 2

        Wow, 40 fruit trees (plus all the rest)! What kind of fruit, if you don’t mind me asking? I’m secretly wishing you’re going to say something exotic. What about the jersey cows, do you keep them for milk, meat, or just company😊?

    • 4

      Wow, 2022 already?  Interesting question Carlotta, might be cool to do a follow form next December on progress.  One of my more interesting ones:  I live in the coastal Southeast.  I’m not on the beach (my parents are) but I am close and I am very close to major river, marshlands etc.  It’s an interesting spin versus the mountain, forest, urban or desert locations.  It’s beautiful and people flock to the area for good reason.  I like focus on the area I’m in with my prepping; the pros and cons.  As an example, the soil can grow things but it’s not common on the direct coast and we also don’t see a lot of larger game animals – both are a bit more inland.  So that means improving fishing, crabbing and shrimping skills for food.

      It also means a focus on different methods of post-SHTF travel and escape.  I own several kayaks and practice regularly for sport, relaxation and…prepping.  Kayaks are great:  they are human-powered, silent, low-in-the-water and can easily carry a person with supplies around the area and more if needed.  You can fish from a kayak and you can fire a Ruger 10/22 from one as well, with no adverse tipping. 

      I’m developing an alternate Bug Out plan to evac my family from the area in kayaks.  Like everything, it takes practice (sitting and paddling for hours on end) to do well.  Vetting out this idea, and practice in this area is one of my goals for 2022. 

      • 1

        Wow, 2022 already? I told you time was a construct hahaha But yeah, I thought about making this type of review a regular feature – thanks for the feedback.

        It’s definitely interesting hearing about your unique environment. See, I would never have thought about a kayak being your go-to method of transportation, and all its features (being silent, low profile, can fish from it, what gun can you use safely, etc – all this blows my mind). I’d love to catch up next year and hear about what you’ve learned.

        I have a tangential question (feel free to ignore): do you know if and how climate change might affect your environment in the near future, and how that might affect your preps? Climate change is of big interest to me, and I’m always curious about what are people seeing (or not). Like, here in the West droughts and wildfires are not even funny anymore. We keep getting more restrictions about water usage, and when we thought we were safe from a fire because of being relatively away from the mountains, we got the Marshall Fire. So I’m curious if you’ve already seen anything affecting your environment, or if you’ve seen some predictions/modeling that you’re worried about?

      • 2

        I like to hear about the area-specific things people are doing.  Our surroundings are one of our first challenges when dealing with disaster but they can also be a strength if we know how to use them properly.  The idea came to me as I was out on the water in my powerboat.  I was telling my kids about the waterways of yesteryear were utilized as the highways of their day. 

        Good question.  I have lived in this area all my life.  As I said, it’s coastal southeast US and I’ll share that the coast is Atlantic to narrow it down a bit more but still keep some anonymity.  It’s an area well known in the US and even more broadly than that. It’s a very popular area for people to visit but also move into.  I have seen an enormous increase in development over my 40+ years.  That increase in population has had a clear impact on the environment from multiple facets.  A complex example is the massive increase in development on barrier islands.  One of the natural features of a barrier island is that they provide protection to the mainland from the battering of tides, storms, hurricanes (more on that in a minute), etc.  As those islands are developed for more expensive and complex construction they must be built up initially and then rebuilt constantly.  That ongoing construction changes the geography and in many cases can increase erosive power to the barrier islands.  This hastens the damage to that area and removes the protection the mainlands.

        <stepping off my soapbox> I could go on but you asked about climate change.  I guess that’s probably my main answer. The shorter term impact to the area from the sudden influx of people is so much more impactful and evident than any mid to longer term climate change.  Of course, there’s a school of thought that what I am describing is climate change of a certain type, or at the very least related.  That’s an interesting question and I am not sure that I have an answer.  More broadly summers are as hot as I remember when I was a kid and winters are as cold.  I’m different and tolerate one better than the other but dislike both 🙂

        Hurricanes.  This is maybe the most evident area of climate change.  I’ve directly been through about a dozen hurricanes of varying strength over 40 years.  If you count tropical storms (locals usually don’t) as tropical cyclone activity; together it’s north of 20.  It’s hard for me say for sure but I feel like the number of tropical storms and hurricanes  has increased.  I don’t know that I can say that the storms are also increasing in strength.  Again, I’m different now than my youth.  The perception of storm strength is filtered through the fact that I am homeowner with a family (“will a tree fall?”) but also older and more relaxed (“it’s just stuff”). 

        I’m not sure if that’s the answer you wanted or I just rambled.  Either way, I appreciate your reply.

      • 1

        No rambling at all – it was actually a very thoughtful reply. I was surprised by you saying that the people moving in your area are one of the bigger issues. And how this creates this vicious cycle of more people => more barriers islands being built (a good thing) => more coastal erosion. I don’t think we always understand the consequences of seemingly well-meaning actions (although one could argue that coastal developments all around the world seem to always create some kind of a problem, especially if they’re left to hawkish developers).

        We have a similar, but not quite the same, issue: WUI (Wildland Urban Interface). It’s less about creating a direct ecological impact, and more about exposing more people to the risk of wildfires. If you add that most newer developments are built with cheaper materials and without really considering any type of fire mitigation strategy, you get a lot of people exposed to fire risks. I realize that the topic of new human developments is a whole new can of worms, so I’ll just leave it at this for now – could be a good topic for a future post.

      • 2

        WUI is also a big risk factor for starting new pandemics, due to diseases crossing over from other species.

      • 1

        Excellent observation! I had not considered that.

      • 2
    • 4

      Great question, and interesting answers so far from everyone else. 

      1. Mouse proof the garage, both to stop cars being chewed up, and to make it more useful for additional storage.

      2. Insulate the crawlspace under the half of the house that doesn’t have a basement – in the last decade we are getting colder winters than this house was built for!

      3. Clean out a shed that’s mostly full of junk, so we can use it for extra firewood storage.

      4. A year of wildcrafting for medicinal purposes, as suggested to me by River.

      5. Sometime in the spring or summer, spend an extended period of time – probably a month – doing all my cooking outdoors over an open fire.

      I guess the first three are only prepping adjacent, but they would make me feel more prepared.

      • 2

        whats your plan for mouse proofing the garage forager?

        as for my 2022 goals, i need to get outside more often. hiking, camping, and just sitting outside. this past year i have spent way too much time inside.

      • 3

        I think there are three ways mice can get in.  1. It’s a dirt floor, so first of all I’m going to trench around it on the outside and bury aluminum flashing that goes a foot down and then bends a foot and a half out, which is supposed to work.  If it doesn’t, I’ll have to pour a cement floor.  2. Where the metal roof meets the tops of the walls, each ridge in the metal has a corresponding mouse hole underneath, the foam closure strips being long gone.  I think caulking that dries hard will do the trick there.  3. I’m strongly considering putting big swinging barn doors on it, because I haven’t come up with a way to seal the top of a regular garage door and still allow it to work.

    • 5

      Regarding 2022 prepping plans, I am working with a structural engineer to figure out how to reinforce my older house to better withstand storms. With climate change, I think storms will be even more severe. It’s hard to find contractors (they’re all very busy, and I’m sure covid is making staffing unpredictable).  I understand the home may also need different / better fire-resistant material separating the house and the attached garage.

      Once my home is as prepared as I can reasonably afford to make it, I will try to figure out how and where to set up an alternative location if I can’t use my house. 

    • 4

      1.  Organize the prepping supplies on-hand and figure out any gaps.  I know that water storage containers for home are high on my list.  Someone else mentioned going thru the basic checklist.

      2.  Forage for more food this year.  I got interested about 3(?) years ago and have been slowly roaming farther afield.  I highly recommend Samuel Thayer – he has three books on foraging.  The descriptions of the plants, recommendations for use of the same & maps on plant habitat range are quite useful.  I know that there are numerous other authors out there, but I like his writing/organizational style the best.

      3. Get my dear wife more involved.  A recent post on TP talked about looking at prepping as insurance & that really resonated with me & has with her as well.  The recent storm on the east coast with the I-95 mini “disaster” was the perfect opportunity to impress on her about what can happen on an everyday commute.  Her vehicle is now pretty well equipped with water, food, sleeping bag, etc – I feel better about her going off to work now.

      4.  We bought a small towable RV this past week, so I’ve got to sort out what that can carry. I haven’t really given much thought to a bug-out location.  I’ve always figured that sheltering in place makes more sense, but it never hurts to research and maybe combine an RV trip with that in mind.

    • 4

      I think the biggest prep goal that we are closing in on is cleaning up the last loose ends of our estate planning, partly because we’ve moved tangibly closer to needing all those details attended to.  Not dwelling on calamity as a life motivator (excessive thought about what preposterous disaster we need to prepare for) is helping me develop mental resiliency.  Otherwise “prepping” can make me very depressed.  Seeds are bought, garden plans are made.  Preserving food is ongoing.  Overall, we’re generally steering a fairly sensible course so far this year.

    • 6

      Hi Carlotta Bonnie in the middle bull calf on left honey [ heifer] on the right  20211222_164910

      • 1

        What a great picture (and beautiful setting!). So this is what Jersey cows look like! They’re cute (they’re food, but still cute lol). My aunty worked most of her life on a dairy farm and I always enjoyed helping her (I think they had Holsteins – the black and white ones – I had to check that up). Thanks for sharing.

      • 3

        Cute cows! 🐮

    • 4

      My biggest prep goal this year is catching up more on home maintenance that otherwise could lead to critical appliances failing at bad times, water damage, etc if we wait too long.

      • 1

        Great goal. Do you usually take care of this stuff, or do you rely on others for maintenance?

    • 5

      So splurged out today from our savings, why ?   Because interest rates are at 0.25% in the UK but inflation is 7% which means my cash is losing value in the bank. So we used some of the cash reserves to go after Special Offers in multiple supermarkets / stores.  We spend around $500 in your currency on foods, cleaning materials, domestic supplies, extra fuel stores  etc.  its no good just sitting in a bank losing value due to inflation, and I know the cost of the goods we bought is only going to rise, so bulk buying stuff on offer make the cash go further.

      • 3

        Bill, I’ve been debating the same idea. But the highest inflation is in certain categories, housing, energy, used cars, meat, hotels, but almost nil in services, which makes me still think this is transitory—checking accounts here were a couple of thousand higher on average in ’21 than ’19 but they are falling fast.

        I’m still thinking the sharp increase in demand during the pandemic, the switch from “going out” to ordering in from Amazon and the various stimulus is to blame. Retail consumption was up here by 20% some months of lockdown. That might explain both the inflation and the shortages/ backlogs in shipping.

        I’m riding it out so far with my money in the bank. I know I’m losing some but the long-run helicopter-drop of “easing” and negative rates is about to expire and we’re almost certain for a “correction” as the market shills like to call recessions.

        Anyway, 2¢ worth
        (which ain’t as much as it used to be, LOL)

      • 2

        Guess that is one way to look at it, and you are right. Financially it is better to buy some goods now rather than over time with your money just sitting in the bank.

    • 6

      Estate planning:  Finally followthrough and DO it.  It’s incredible how this has been neglected while other areas of prepping are basically full up by comparison because they are more tangible. 

      Check insurance coverage and compare costs:  I did the checkup part a few years ago between (as it turned out) fire evacuations.   I learned that in my location at least, there is no way to insure for earth movement such as mudslides or retaining wall failure.  With costs increasing dramatically, the cost comparisons may not reveal much, but worth checking. Finishing a home inventory should be part of this. 

      Check/restock BOB and GHBs:  This wasn’t part of previous years, but as I have learned here, I need to do this consistently.  I now have inventories for these including expiration dates on the consumables.  

      Take CERT Training:  I recently learned my employer offers this training and has on-site CERT teams.  I’m already a fire marshal (called a floor warden at my company) that help with building evacuations and received CPR/First-Aid/AED/Fire Extinguisher training.    

      Get A HAM Radio license:  I’ve had a HAM radio as part of the BOB for over a year now, but haven’t actually gotten licensed.  I don’t think the test will be overwhelming, but I’ve yet to schedule studying and taking it.  Testing the HAM system for the local terrain between home and work is the next step. 

      • 1

        I started a CERT class in April and finish in a couple weeks!  I learned of it by chance and so can only take partial credit on being proactive here.  And my husband is taking it with me!  Next would be studying for the HAM license. I may sign us up for a study course based on the structure of the CERT keeping us committed.  

    • 4

      Hi Carlotta,

      Coming in a little late to this one but my goals for 2022 are:

      1. Improve myself – take a First Aid course (my last one was decades ago), start learning self-defence (I know I’m not as “bullet proof” as I once thought I was), get outside more (many of my hobbies are solitary, sedentary and are best achieved indoors. I need to do better for my body by going on walks, and working my way up to hikes.), get back into archery (I’ve let myself slip over the last few years).
      2. Prepare a back-up utilities plan – getting rainwater tanks isn’t going to be as easy as I thought and solar is expensive. An action plan to achieve these things is a good start.
      3. Maintain my current preps – I started my prepping journey in August and planned to review my preps every six months, March (my birthday month) and September (just before the official storm season starts). My first review is only weeks away.
      4. Review food store goals – up to this point, my main goal was to ensure my partner and I could live off our food stores for two weeks, in the event of a massive storm or we caught Covid. I want to see if I can push that time out to a month with our available storage and budget.

      On a side note, seeing overseas spikes in Covid transmission, and knowing it was only a matter of time before things ramped up with borders opening, I stocked up on essentials before Christmas. Now, I’m giving myself little pats on the back anytime I hear about a decided lack of toilet paper and other basics on supermarket shelves and RATs, masks and hand sanitiser being hard to come by. Gotta love being prepared!

      • 2

        Those sound like worthy goals for this next year.

        In regards to wanting to take a first aid course, just in case you weren’t aware The Prepared has a great video first aid course that teaches many things your traditional class won’t teach. One of the main focuses of this course is being able to treat things yourself when help is not on the way or is delayed. 

      • 1

        Great goals, GB! I hope you find suitable backups for your utilities. If we do a follow-up at the end of the year/start of next I’d love to know how that went.

        FWIW apart from the course mentioned by Gideon, there are also some good free guides, mostly on wound caring, that might be helpful. If you go to any of them, let’s say the How to stop bleeding one https://theprepared.com/survival-skills/guides/stop-bleeding/ you have all the others listed on the left column.

      • 2

        Hi Gideon and Carlotta,

        I did have a look at the TP course, but at roughly AUD$180, it’s beyond my budget. (A local, traditional first aid course, with Aus. recognised certification, is $80.) For this year, I need to focus on getting our off-grid back-ups started. It’s firmly in the “One Day” column of my preps though!

        I’ll definitely have a look at the free guides to supplement what I learn in the first aid course. Thanks for the reminder!

        I love this planning thread. I’m hoping it keeps me on track and accountable.

      • 2

        GB – you were seeking accountability. 🙂  So how is your progress?  I found this thread again because I am doing one item, but the rest have definitely slipped….. 🙁 

      • 1

        Thanks Alicia! Sorry to hear that your list has slipped, but life happens and you just pick it all back up when you can. 

        On my list, I have yet to book myself in for a local first aid course, but I have done my homework and know where I will go.

        My fitness stalled between Feb and April, but I’m back on the wagon now, walking and cycling a few times a week. Being rather “Ruben-esque” I struggle sometimes with my fitness level, my weight, the perceptions of myself and my relationship with food. Lately, I read “Big Fit Girl” by Louise Green and that has given me a lot to think about and an enthusiasm about fitness I didn’t have before.

        I have reviewed my preps, and everything was honky dory (phew!)

        Still working on the water tank plan, which I worry won’t manifest itself by year’s end (for Reasons).

        Food storage won’t create itself unfortunately, so I have to stick with the two-week plan. The next step is to improve our vege patch and better plan our crops for year-round harvest to supplement the food stores.

        Thanks for keeping my accountable! 🙂

    • 4

      It’s a bit cliche, but my big prepping focus for 2022 is health. I’ve been hitting the gym, cleaning up my diet, and losing weight. It’s already paying off. I have COVID right now and feel fine, and heavy lifting around the farm is already much easier.

      My other goal is to successfully raise a litter of meat rabbits. I’ve had so many failures, some my fault, others out of my control.

      • 2

        Another goal I forgot to mention: training with my guns at least once per month. I’ve been miserly about ammo for the past couple of years as supplies were short and prices high. Things are much better now, though still not great, but I figure I can at least shoot a magazine per month to keep my skills up. If time permits I’d like to take some more advanced shooting courses.

    • 2

      Ok, at great risk of being blasted as a luddite I will tell you my most immediate prepping goal this year: I want to get Omicron and develop natural immunity.

      I work in a hospital (non-clinical) and am fully vaccinated but not boosted.

      I am over 60 and in good health with no comorbidities, other than a bit overweight. I am not taking any medication.

      I am not an anti-vaxxer but support personal health decisions – talk to your doctor.

      Omicron is a game changer; it’s much more mild and there is growing evidence that post-recovery protection may be superior to boosters.

      I agree vaccination protects the vaccinated from severe outcomes or death to a significant degree, particularly with the Delta variant, but several clinicians I speak with are disappointed with the story we were told about the value of the vaccine and what is seen on the ground – especially with Omicron. They don’t seem to offer much protection from infection or transmissibility and wane fairly quickly.

      I have watched COVID19 since inception at work and am under no illusions about the past but Omicron looks like a very valuable opportunity to build natural protection.

      • 3

        “at great risk of being blasted as a luddite… I want to get Omicron”

        I don’t blame you. And I don’t think you’re a luddite.

        When someone crawls across the desert trying to reach an oasis, then one day realizes they can’t go any further, you don’t blame them for not trying. You acknowledge that they made it further than many would have, but that everyone has their limits. So it is with this situation.

        Avoiding infection is hard, and getting harder. You made it this far, and there’s value in that. After two vaccinations, COVID will damage you far less than if you’d allowed yourself to be infected earlier. I wish you could make it a little further, and at least get that third shot first. If not, it’s still good you made it this far.

        I will keep crawling. And I will wish that more had done the same. I blame the virus. I blame our leaders that were too willing to sacrifice all of us. I do not blame you for doing your best, however much that turns out to be. And I hope you will still be okay when this is over. Good luck.

      • 3

        I will tell you my most immediate prepping goal this year: I want to get Omicron and develop natural immunity.

        I disagree with you but certainly won’t blast you.  You have a right to make your own choices.  And yes, it seems folks that get a breakthrough infection after being immunized do develop “super” immunity.  My son is in that group.  However, that being said, I would never wish to get infected by this virus, even with me being fully vaccinated & boosted.  Yes, Omicron seems to have milder symptoms however, if you note, hospitalizations are at all time highs with many deaths.  This thing can still kill but seemingly not as many.

        Kinda like saying you want to get shot now with a 22LR as opposed to maybe getting shot later with a 44 magnum.  Yes, you stand a better chance of surviving the 22lr… but not everyone does.  And no guarantee you would get shot by a 44 magnum in the future.

        I will take every booster they provide and hope I never get infected.  I will take every precaution possible, but still live my life.  With the spread of Omicron, I have gone back to mandated masks at my business.  I wear a mask whenever I’m out amongst others.  My wife & I have greatly restricted going out food.  We are both in our mid 60s and would prefer not tempting fate.

        My one suggestion to you would be to get boosted prior to getting infected.

      • 2

        Ok, mission accomplished.

        Two weeks ago I got COVID, probably at work, although I can’t be sure. Six days of fever 101-103F. I was tested Sunday (day 1) and back to work Monday (day 9). I teleworked for the duration but dozed off a few times each day for 30 minutes. Considerable muscle and joint pain in addition to feeling like I had a sunburn from the top of my head to my feet (this went away Day 4).

        Since I am back to work I have had a dry, unproductive cough which only now is abating.

        I still have waves of exhaustion and many coworkers told me that lasted a month for them.

        My wife tested positive 2 days after me and I am sure I gave it to her because she has been house-bound for 10 weeks with a broken neck. She is recovered too and thankfully did not have the dry cough but she had the same symptoms I had. A cough would have been a problem for her in a neck brace. We were concerned for her because she has MS and ulcerative colitis too.

        I am grateful we got Omicron and not Delta and hope the antibodies last a long time. I believe COVID19 will become endemic if public health estimates are correct.

        What would I do to prepare for the next time? I would lose weight and exercise more.

      • 1

        Glad to hear you’re both feeling better.

    • 2

      We have Omicron now and so far it’s been like a mild cold, other than my wife losing most of her smell and taste (though it already seems to be rebounding). I figure it’s Omicron due to its mildness and three-day onset from what we presume was the exposure event. We both had two shots of Moderna but no boosters. We’ve also been taking a ton of supplements, and I may write that up if people are interested. But in any case I’ll wait until after we’re in the clear as COVID is a sneaky virus.

      • 1

        I’d be interested in hearing more about the supplements 💊 you are taking. Are they to just make things more bearable or to fend off covid?

      • 0

        Both? Here’s my current regimen. Don’t take this as medical advice or even recommendations. This is me throwing the kitchen sink at COVID:

        • Two shots of Moderna around spring 2021, no booster
        • Magnesium chloride and/or magnesium glycinate mixed in my drinking water
        • Black seed oil. I usually take 1 tablespoon per day but I’ve upped it to 2-3 tablespoons
        • Vitamin D, 20,000 IU per day. I usually take half that and have been for some time.
        • Zinc – 50 mg twice per day
        • Lumbrokinase, 20 mg twice per day (breaks up blood clots)
        • Baby aspirin twice per day (for blood flow)
        • Mucinex, twice per day (keep my lungs clear)
        • Cod liver oil, two capsules twice per day
        • CO Q-10, 200 mg, twice per day (heart health)
        • Vitamin C, 750 mg per day
        • Herbal tinctures: Astragalus, Licorice, Rhodiola, Eleuthero, nettle, plantain, and marigold. One dropper of each mixed with water, twice per day. All of these are anti-inflammatory and/or antiviral. For more on herbal remedies for COVID, look up “Buhner Protocol” or check out Herbal Antivirals Second Edition
        • 3-6 mg of melatonin at bedtime (for sleep and anti-inflammatory properties)
        • Spray of magnesium chloride mixed with distilled water applied to the skin to reduce inflammation
        • Fenugreek seeds to reduce inflammation 

        I was taking Pepcid twice per day on day one, but Stephanie Arnold warned me against it since it could increase the chance of foodborne illness. The data on Pepcid is inconclusive.

        Twice per day: Neti pot flush with room temperature distilled + boiled water, pink salt, baking soda, and three droppers of iodine. I also gargle with this mixture. This is standard protocol when I’m sick as I’m highly prone to sinus infections, and neti pot rinses without some kind of disinfectant are problematic because the water gets trapped in my sinuses and sometimes gives me an infection. I’m also hoping it’s keeping my viral load down. My positive line was very faint, so hopefully, it’s working.

        I also take my O2 multiple times per day. It hasn’t dropped below 97 so far. Plus I’m running a daily ECG with my Apple Watch.

        Diet: Mostly keto with a focus on fat and protein-rich whole foods: eggs, liver, cheese, pepitas, bone broth, sardines in olive oil, and lots of fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi. I avoid seed oils like canola because they’re inflammatory.

        I’m also adding to the mix:

        • Inositol, both myoinositol and IP6 (increases blood oxygen uptake and ATP)
        • Taurine
        • Flush niacin (Not a fan so far, it makes my face burn. It’s supposed to help blood flow and flush crap out of your system.)
        • Quinine tincture (Antiviral. Natural form of hydroxchloroquine.)
        • Vitamin C adrenal cocktail with sodium and potassium

        Most of the day, I feel great. Better than I have in years actually. Until the COVID catches up and I get very tired all of a sudden. Other symptoms have been: mild sore throat, slightly runny nose, mild headache, and mild body aches. I address the body aches immediately with a hot shower, magnesium spray, and anti-inflammatory tinctures.

      • 2

        Wow thank you for taking the time to write up all that you are doing in such great detail. That’s wonderful you are feeling so well doing all of that. 🙌

        My friend had covid the other week and asked me to go to the store and pick up some of that black seed oil for her. I don’t know if it helped her or not but that’s something on your list that I recognized.

      • 2

        I crashed pretty hard yesterday and spent most of the day in bed. I’m back on my feet today and my heart rate is lower (it had been hovering around 100 the past few days).

      • 2

        Just to update on this. I tested negative Sunday after about two weeks. It never got too severe. The main symptom was fatigue. I was having to take a nap every afternoon because I was so tired, and that was after 8-9 hours of sleep at night. More annoying than life-threatening.

        The scariest symptom was an elevated heart rate for a few days, but it’s since come down.

        Out of all the interventions I tried, I think the most helpful were the 2x day Mucinex (I never got any congestion) and the diluted iodine neti pot rinses (my nose never got very runny). And presumably the vitamin D and zinc, which I take regularly anyway. And I’m glad I took the baby aspirin and lumbrokinase, because you don’t want to take chances with blood clots.

    • 4

      I want to get my car 🚗 in better shape with a good checkover by a mechanic, and to tune up my body more by exercising at least three times a week. Both are important modes of transportation that I need in good working order for any future emergencies.

      • 3

        I like how you think about your body! 

      • 2

        >tune up my body more by exercising at least three times a week. Both are important modes of transportation that I need in good working order for any future emergencies.

        I like this analogy. Good way to frame it.

    • 4

      My goals for the first quarter of the year:   Building up a Bug out bag/blackout bag: they share a lot of functionality, they’re both just camping, one in the car, one in the house. 

        I haven’t been as directed as I should be, kinda buying small bits of gear here and there; a small solar panel, some battery packs, battery fans for the summer, the emergency radio, camp stove, like a lot of the more basics.  

      I also put together a basic wood carving set for sitting outside to babysit the solar.

         For Christmas last year, we had a black out for about an hour and a half. We do have some basic food prep, but the range is electric. Water was still running and heating is gas, so it wasn’t that bad. 

        It kinda woke me back up that winter stuff is a bit more funky than summer prep and I was a bit beside myself about it.  

      I did have the camping stove with fuel and went and dug out an alcohol stove. We didn’t need it but I think I need to work on my shelf ready meals,, though I had a couple cases of Soylent for myself on hand. 

        I specifically want to get my blackout bag up with a dedicated camping set up through the alcohol stoves, get some inexpensive cooking pans for it for water,, basic cooking, then standard blackout stuff.  

      My mom picked up a old Swiss gear backpack, it has a little mp3 player port, panel bags are good for organizing, so I was thinking of throwing important documents, cash, the alcohol stoves,  eventually some smart water bottles and that filter that fits those, some extra underwear. Maybe a weekend mountain house pack cuz it’s not that expensive and would give us a day of meals.

         Next up: my physical shape  

      I need to go get a basic check up but the current situation at my usual clinic is nnot great. No doctors and likely no imaging or higher echelon care than a CNP that’s been rushed into work.  I injured my knee from sleeping bad and was messed up for a couple weeks before messing it up again, so it was weak for a while. I’m able to go up stairs now with both legs and it’s much less swollen. I need to move around more in general, two years of pandemic isolation isn’t optimal.  

      I also want to look into getting an SDR, the day the power went out, we had no info in and the last few weeks there’s been a lot of noise, so scanning hamchannels and others would be nice. One of those and a USB c hub would work with my electronics, and the hub would also work with a steam deck gaming PC if those actually come out this year and also charge device while scanning. I’d also run the steam deck to download a bunch of music and other things for when the internet dies, having that on a couple of SD cards would really help that kinda situation. We didn’t have internet for 3 weeks last year, and something other than sat TV would’ve been mint. 

        I also want to play with alcohol stoves more, I recently made a larger cat food can style one and haven’t used it for anything. I’m considering a Trangia knock off as well but I’m going to see what I can make myself first. I’m also going to invest in some Clipper lighters, as they’re refillable and have replaceable and refillable flint sparkers for similar prices to BICs . Going to get a some candle lighter ones for the stoves.  

      I’d also like to get a survival blanket to put up in the porch when the power is out so cooking out in the cold isn’t as bad, it blocks people from seeing us cooking, and reflects the heat back in. That, some candles and like, finding a reasonable reciprocating saw blade handle.

         That would like, do the first layer bug out bag system, and also a nice way to store blackout stuff.  

      I have a lot of bits and pieces for gear but not really organized. Like I have a Trangia fuel bottle kicking around.   I think alcohol would be nice cuz stoves are cheap and so is the fuel. I would want to use that along with some of the other stuff out of the bag so when things actually are down, we’re familiar with everything and it won’t be that hard to transition.  I have glow sticks, lights, regular batteries, knives, a multitool I’m throwing in the bag, I have some shrink wrapped space blankets somewhere. I’m going to also make a rope kit for it with the hank of 550 cord I have.

      I think I also need to do a step by step instructions for blackouts, like taping the fridge closed so food doesn’t go bad and whatnot.

      • 4

        My introduction to prepping was when my Dad had that same winter realization when we didn’t lose power and the rest of the county did when I was a kid.  Glad you’re learning from it as well.  And you are making a good goal – start thinking and planning with what you already have.  Good plan!

        My husband and I had fun making alcohol stoves last year and plan to do more. You tube is a goldmine of options.  They typically include their test results in the video to see bloom times and boil times of a standard of water (1L I think).  The good news is that you don’t need special tools or equipment to make a really good lightweight alcohol stove.  I loved that I could carry that skill and make it work in the wild if necessary with items from a drug or grocery store (91% rubbing alcohol and a soda can) – or teach a neighbor if necessary.  Also you don’t really need to go to that effort either as the empty can or a can filled with a flame resistant material will work pretty well for less space.  I got this one for our BOBs.  

      • 3

        It’s so terribly easy to fall into that “just need a few more things” mindset, cuz its just easier and new gear to play with, I’m trying to keep away from that and buy as bare minimum as possible, but so many shiny things.

        Like that stove is really neat, I haven’t had a manufactured stove yet, only diy ones.

        I made a super cat style stove out of a mushroom can and like, a shorter olive can, I actually used a metal cutting reciprocating saw blade to score between one of the ribs, then folded it over with pliers and packed it with tissue instead of something fancy; I’ve heard that anything that acts like a wick will work except plastics. The greatest sin I’ve yet to commit is I haven’t tested it yet. I also ordered some candle lighters just for playing with the stoves and filling out the other gear bags and staches.

        I’m excited to make the rope kit though, the applications sound so optimized

      • 2

        I’d love to see a forum post about your stove when you get a chance to try it out! Sounds like a fun project.

      • 4

        The  forum on the Virginia I-95 overnighter also had a link to a similar setup  to heat a car.  

      • 2

        I like the concept, though I think that would be overkill for my needs. I think the super cat could do it just fine, but I think an emergency candle with a lantern set up would be a bit safer, and with proper space blanket set up, could easily warm things up by at least a few degrees .

    • 5

      Love this thread (and many related ones that have come up recently such as estate planning, and backpacking and other activities as practice).

      I have to make some serious updates and changes this year for several reasons, and things I’ve read here and elsewhere have helped me focus and prioritize. Also, in the past couple of years events here in California have showed me that my preps are not completely up to snuff, nor reliable, nor always relevant (we’ve experienced extensive smoke, short-notice extended power shutoffs by our state monopoly utility company, comms failures rippling through to us due to cable and cell companies not having adequate battery backups for their services during the extended power outages, just to name a few!) I thought I was well prepared, and by some standards I was, but it’s not enough.

      So, time to address that and more.

      Over the years I’ve gotten lots of training in various pursuits that have some relevance to bigger-picture prep: to name just a few, I’m an instrument-rated private pilot; I’m certified as a bareboat skipper for sailing; I was certified as a Wilderness First Responder, and I got a HAM license. I’ve done countless backpacking and camping trips, flown and driven across country and into Canada, sailed in many locations, and traveled extensively with the “one bag” philosophy—all good practice for some skills and tools I might choose to avail myself of in various scenarios. In addition to my car, I have a pop-up tent trailer and a sailboat, and I also have a great deal of equipment, gathered over years of outdoor activities, aviation, and beyond, so there’s very little I need to acquire at this point.

      What I need to do is to go through, winnow, then update and organize the equipment I have (restocking the perishables as needed, including first aid and food supplies). I’m still weighing the idea of dedicated emergency gear, but for now will focus on making sure the camping gear and trailer, and the sailboat and all of its provisioning, are useful both for current recreational use as well as for projected emergency scenarios. I’ve created some modular kits in the past but will update and improve those with all of this in mind. The sailboat needs some repairs that are necessary and prudent if it is to be reliable even for recreation, so I have to weigh doing that versus perhaps selling it to free up capital.

      Equally urgent, I need to get my finances and estate planning in order (great advice on that in another thread). I have a son who will still be with me at home for several years, and though I plan to be around for many decades more, I need to make sure he’s set up well on multiple fronts. With Covid and all the other insanity in the world, nothing is guaranteed.

      I additionally intend to focus more on fitness and skills; I’ve let my fitness slide some during Covid and it’s time to reclaim that (I live near easy access to outdoor recreation, and also have exercise equipment at home), plus continue to share those activities—and the importance of keeping in shape—with my son.

      I also need to set up better comms to assure voice and internet capabilities during failures and outages (I have all the things I need, but they need to be better organized and tested.

      Slightly longer-term, I’m keeping an eye out for the right place to get a longer-term home, ideally with some land. I enjoy urban and suburban conveniences so I’m not sure yet exactly where and how that plays out, and geopolitics plays a role in that decision as well.

      Anyway, that’s already a lot of goals for 2022! They’d be easy to postpone, but events over the past few years have really made it clear that these goals are important and timely, and there’s never a good time to postpone things to. Thanks for the great discussions here.

      • 2

        I like how you describe the realization “in the past couple of years events here in California have showed me that my preps are not completely up to snuff, nor reliable, nor always relevant”.  I am in California as well and can relate.  I’ve adjusted some, but probably not enough for wildfires, weather events and power outages.  

    • 6

      Our plans focus on our homestead activities:

      1. Expand the summer veggie garden by 30%

      2. Get a root vegetable storage rack for fall/winter to keep our apples from rotting so quickly and provide better airflow for our squashes, pumpkins, and potatoes

      3. Grow enough peas for freezing and store more root veggies than last year (we usually eat almost all of our produce right away so I need to get better at saving more of it)

      4. Raise a couple dozen pastured broilers for the freezer

      5. Replace a couple of dead apple trees with new ones

      6. Continue to expand our small native blackberry patches by transplanting the errant babies we find scattered about the property

      7. Add new layers to the laying flock to keep egg production elevated as my older girls’ production declines

      8. Reseed the back pasture for the broilers in early spring so they have better forage 

      I have my seeds waiting in the pantry, and my chick order is in. Everything else will have to wait until the weather warms up. Our biggest challenge is time. We have a gaggle of young kids under 6, including a toddler and a baby, so it’s a bit of a juggling act trying to find the time to get everything done!

      • 5

        Have you tried growing commercial varieties of blackberries?  I too have lots of native blackberries around the farm but my patch of commercial ones, developed by the Univ. Arkansas, are far superior.  They are much more productive, much larger fruit, much sweeter… plus they are thornless.

      • 3

        I can vouch for Redneck here. I lived in the country growing up & we had native blackberries everywhere. So when I bought a house in town I really missed them but don’t have room for blackberry bushes to spread. I was pretty skeptical but I bought a few commercial thornless plants & put them in planters. They’re actually delicious & I had a pretty good turnout the very first summer I planted them. 

      • 2

        Redneck, might you share the variety name of your blackberries?  I went on the U of Ark. site and they have several.  As it happens I’m in the midst of thrashing back a monster patch of wild blackberries below my garden that harbors all sorts of garden varmints.  I have lots of room for cultivated berries but wasn’t sure commercial varieties would be as sweet as the feral Himalayas.  Thank you.

      • 5

        I have grown Navaho, Apache, Quachita & Natchez.  They are all large, thornless, mostly erect… and incredible.  I really can’t distinguish any real difference between them.  The literature says they don’t need support but my vines need it, so I have trellis wires supporting mine.  They just get so lush & full of fruit, there is no way they can support themselves.  Some canes will run 10 -15 feet.

        I find Ison’s to be a great source for such plants but you can get them lots of places.  I get my blueberries here too.  https://www.isons.com/product-category/berry-plants/blackberry/

        Here is a short video I took this past spring of our short row.  I planned on a 2nd row but this one row produces as much as we can handle.  The plants are always loaded with fruit, front to back & top to bottom.

      • 2

        Thank you so much!  It really is time to get the young plants NOW!

      • 3

        Not yet! The thornless varieties would be ideal for the kids, but I am also intrigued by the primocane blackberries they’ve developed. Maybe I’ll add that to my goals this year!

      • 4

        Kids hell.  🙂  Thornless are great for everyone!  I really doubt the primocane varieties produce as heavy as the normal 2 year type.  But just a guess.

    • 3

      Excellent thread, Carlotta. There are many inspiring ideas here.

      My projects and goals for 2022 include:

      1. Add to our garden space. Grow more food. I will be trying a new ‘fast’ type of winter squash this year to see how big it can grow in our short season.
      2. Set up a water barrel to collect rain water. I have spent several dozen hours researching which downspout diverter system to try first.
      3. Passive house improvement DIY. Working to make our home more passive and stay warmer in winter/cooler in summer is a full time project. This year I want to add some insulation in the attic, and continue to seal and block airflow.
      4. Plant at least one more food perennial. This will likely be haskap/honeyberry bush.
      5. Volunteer with our local tree planting group. I would like to lead at least two outings, and have several families interested to try it this year for the first time.

      If covid ever settles down and our company returns to all staff working in the office, I want to organize first aid training at work.

      • 4

        I’d be interested in learning your downspout diverter research results.  We have a round downspout and I started on that research many times.  It’s pretty much what has stalled my rain collection projects.  That and finding a flat back barrel that would go with our landscape decor.  

        And you reminded me that my workplace is starting to collect interest in on-site CERT training (it’s a large facility) and I signed up.  Who knows with Covid when that may occur.  Thanks for the nudge.  

      • 5

        Here are some diagrams for a downspout flush rig. Basically you fit a ball or water bottle into a pipe with a loose screw-in cap at the bottom and a fitting at the top smaller than the ball. This is your flush pipe. The first rain flushes the leaves and poop into the pipe and raises the ball. Eventually the ball rises enough to seal your flush-tube and the rest of the now sorta-clean rainwater goes to your catchment. The screw at the bottom of the flush-pipe is loose and the flushed water eventually all leaks out so the pipe is ready for the next rain.

        flush pile

      • 1

        Pops – thank you for sharing. Have you built or set up a rig like this?

      • 3

        Thanks. I had seen some of these in my research.   It is much more sophisticated than what I plan to attempt. I just want to start diverting to a barrel to have dirty water to augment the stored clean water and haven’t got there yet. I hope you get this installed this year. 

      • 3

        I’ve done a couple, the farm in the Ozarks and an 1880’s house in the Sierras. I just used  off the shelf stuff from Lowes and for floats, a mostly deflated kids ball from walmart in one and a heavy gauge water bottle in the other. Our current fixer is lacking gutters and I’m pretty sure we’re flipping it in the fall, cool old 1900s house that it is.

        I think we’re going to build a retirement shack next and it will have this same setup but an underground cistern to receive the flow.

        They aren’t finickey to set up, you don’t even need to glue the joints at first. Who cares if it leaks a little (the bottom screw plug is supposed to leak in fact) and it’s rain, everything gets wet anyway, my kind of plumbing!

      • 2

        Thanks for the tips.  Probably would have been better to leave the round downspout – darn.   That’s on the “utility side” of the house. One issue I have is the aesthetics when it will be quite visible to public entertainment spaces.  I’m assuming that the off-the shelf stuff was PVC piping.  Or did you use something more streamlined?  Generally I prefer function over pretty and work to minimize the impacts (paint hides many ills).

      • 2

        The diverter flush setup is a bit of a kludge and looks it. If you have a good water filter or will be using this for toilet flush etc you could just run the downspout into one of the nice looking drums, put a couple of trailing vines on top.

      • 2

        If there’s no hard date for the training, you should be able to find the local flavor of the training books online. It was a lot of information when I took it some decade odd ago, so you can go in knowing it and have that information before the initial training to use as needed.

        It’s not like, extremely detailed but there’s a lot. I did the trainer and the participant courses and they gave us some extremely large binders with all the course info

      • 2

        Thanks!  I’ll do a search or two.  

      • 3

        I’ve been researching rain harvest systems for quite some time and even made a forum thread about it years ago. https://theprepared.com/forum/thread/does-anyone-have-a-rain-water-harvest-system

        In one of my research sessions I came across a video about first flush diverters and if they are truly necessary. It got me thinking and I need to look into it further.

    • 4

      Given the economy and inflation, my only prep for the next while is my finances.

      • 1

        You can never go wrong with that!

    • 2

      It’s May already!  How’s your progress towards your goals?  

      • 1

        My progress has slowed mainly to stop me from doom spiralling 🌀! But I now have my car pretty much prepped – just need a jump cables. I have some in the garage but was also considering a jump starter. 

        I’ve been working on my fitness and have improved my strength to a level that I’m happy with. But now I want to work on my cardio fitness and stamina.

        My third goal for this year was to work on my food storage but with teen locusts eating pretty much everything in sight it’s not going too well – upside is stock rotation!

      • 1

        Teen locusts…LOL!  I am going to use that term. Good going in fitness improvements.  

      • 2

        And sewknot, I can recommend the jump starter option.  We used ours several times before we finally figured out the issue that was draining the battery.  It doesn’t require another vehicle, has several jumps in it (we barely reduced the charge level with several jumps), has other uses (charge your phone) and is much smaller to store.  Jumper cables are rugged and work without charging a thing, though. 

    • 4

      Water, water water! I had a “bug out bag” that I developed myself, years ago – but then I found this website and realized how woefully inadequate it was! After doing a risk assessment I decided to begin by preparing my home for “shelter in place.” Since I almost always have a good amount of food on hand, I installed a generator to be able to easily cook it. And now I’ve moved onto water. I’ve picked up a couple of Scepter cans (and will pick up a few more) and picked up a 55 gallon barrel this week that I just disinfected and am getting ready to fill. Once I’ve got enough water stored at home, I’m going to pick up water-related items for my BOB. The “rule of 3” really struck me when I read it – and was shocked to realize what a world of hurt I’d be in if the faucets were inoperable for any reason.

      • 3

        Same story here. Thought I was prepared until I found this site and was lead to all there is to do. It wasn’t an “OH MY!” kind of shock, but a relief kind of shock that the articles here guided me by the hand on how and what I should do. 

      • 1

        Agreed! 🙂 Now I’ll (hopefully) never find out the hard way that I’ve missed something!