What are your softcore preps?

Even though flashy crises are more fun to talk about, a prepping mindset has a big impact on day to day life. Do you have any creative everyday/non-SHTF prepping that you’re particularly happy about?

For example, I finally got tired of never being able to find new heads for my razor (yay supply chains), and I am not shaving under my arms with my Leatherman, so I started to use a metal razor. It can use any razor blades (which can be resharpened) instead of proprietary ones only, it means I have a pile of spare blades (safely) stored, and I’m not worried about it breaking anytime soon.

I’ve also moved towards wearing more durable and easily repairable materials like leather and using mechanical pencils and refillable pens instead of disposables. This won’t save anyone’s life, but moving away from disposables feels like prepping to me because it increases resilience both materially and financially in the long run. In the short run, they’re just nicer to use.

Even in the more traditional EDC, my bike (hex key) multitool sees more use than my Leatherman or Swiss Army Knife, but that’s probably because I’m still in the Ikea stage of life.

All that said, do y’all have any creative softcore prepping tips?


  • Comments (46)

    • 6

      >creative everyday prepping that you’re particularly happy about?

      Kudos, great topic. Good work on finding more durable solutions in razors, pencils, and materials.

      I also tried to take a look at: what are the habits and supplies I use most often, and how can I make these more durable, healthy, or robust? A few:

      1. Eating rolled oats for breakfast. I buy plain, large flake rolled oats in bulk quantities. This is much cheaper than buying grocery store breakfast cereals. Rolled oats seem to be healthy and keep me feeling full longer, as they take a while to digest. They store well. You can add milk, honey, fruit, seeds for more variety, nutrition, and taste. Or soak them as “overnight oats”, etc.
      2. Practice intermittent fasting. Supposedly fasting is the key to health and long life. They say it helps your body to remove old, unhealthy cells and build new ones. The book that impacted me the most was “The Diabetes Code”, by Dr. Jason Fung. Fasting was difficult and strange for the first 2-3 days as my body got used to the concept of not just constantly eating during every waking moment. But this was helpful for me to learn how my body reacts with less food, and to get used to it. Over time it has become easier and easier. Now I can go much longer periods without eating and it feels healthy and wholesome to do so. I even lost a bit of weight (though that’s not my main goal). I try to spend 3 to 5 days per week simply compressing my eating window – only eat between the hours of 8am and 4pm. This just means eating dinner 2 hours sooner, which is often doable with only a minor adjustment to schedule. It also forces me to seek out foods that contain healthy protein or fat and leave me feeling full for longer – e.g. peanut butter, eggs. This often means eating healthier foods than the typical quick sugar snacks.
      3. Buy two things to start, then always replace one. Building on the idea of always having a backup, and stocking a larger pantry. I began purchasing two of items I use regularly, and then buying another when I use the first. For example: rolled oats, dog food, car air filter, furnace filter, jug of laundry soap, propane tank. This helps to make sure you always have one on hand, and gives you time to replace your supply.

      Everyday preps I want to do more of:

      1. Improve skill at sewing + mending. In addition to choosing durable materials, being able to quickly sew and repair things I own would go a long way toward reuse. I’m bad at this and need practice. I have several boots, pockets, coats, etc. that currently need fixing.
      2. Meal prep. I want to get better at planning weekly sets of meals so I can combine + reuse ingredients. And improve at creating meals in advance so they are ready to go.
      3. Cooking.

      Edit: Kira – are there any other everyday skills or preps you would like to do, or plan to do in the future?

      • 5


        Those are some great habits!! I often have oats for breakfast as well with flaxseed, fruit, and peanut butter mixed in. I’m trying to balance prep-friendly food with fresh fruits, veggies, and eggs, but I’ve got a ways to go. 

        The 2 in 1 out method sounds like a great plan. I haven’t quite gotten the family on board with it yet, but I’m trying. Intermittent fasting sounds like an amazing prep, and I’ve heard great things from friends and family who do it. I’m not to that level–if I ever will be–but I am trying to be mindful about what, when, and how much I eat. 

        Cooking and mending are two areas I’m trying to improve in as well. I can sew… kind of, but I’m far from where I want to be. There’s a few recipes I can make, but I’m not to the place where I could easily make dinner every night. Mom is adamant that I learn how to feed myself before I head to grad school and has been teaching me, so that skill I’m pretty confident will click with more time. 

        Oooh, good question. When I have a more permanent adult home (maybe grad school, maybe post grad school), I’d love to garden. Even if it’s just a few vegetables in a window, I love to get my hands dirty, and localizing food production is great for prepping and the environment (those often seem to go hand in hand).

        I also want to learn basic car maintenance. I’m not going to invest too much time into the ins and outs of a combustion engine because I’m not sure how much longer those will be standard, but knowing how to change a tire or how to jumpstart a battery both seem like important driving skills. 

      • 3

        I think just knowing your cars make and model are the most helpful things. Mostly because you can usually find many videos specifically on your vehicle, especially something like jumping the battery on a newer vehicle.

        Like a Buick Lasabre we used to have had the battery under the rear seat instead of the engine bay. Never would’ve known if I hadn’t looked it up before I started jumping it.

        Then if you want and feel able to, a Hanes or Chilton book will give you instructions to break your car down to the axles, which isn’t what you probably want, but you can do more advanced maintenance like clearing error codes, brake jobs, spark plug checks, etc.

        And for me, I learn new recipes by getting excited about them. Watching Kenji Lopez Alt and others really exposes you to what is out there. I watched a back packer food chef make a pasta carbonara with dried eggs and pre cooked bacon, and that got me into making it with my prep dry eggs and bacon. I recently tried it with fresh eggs and it’s even better. 

        You have at least 3chances a day to cook, so you have plenty of opportunity to practice. Though do have a backup plan just in case it doesn’t come out like you’d like Pfff.

        Also why not start with your favorite herbs? A small herb garden could be easily fitted to your situation I’m sure, get those skills growing before college takes up all your energy to pick it up

      • 2

        >I watched a back packer food chef make a pasta carbonara with dried eggs and pre cooked bacon, and that got me into making it with my prep dry eggs and bacon

        I love this idea of learning how to improve cooking skills by watching someone do it in a minimal environment. Great idea.

      • 2

        Kudos and good on you for learning useful skills. Best of luck with the gardening.

        >I also want to learn basic car maintenance

        Knowing how to jumpstart a battery and how to change a tire are definitely great places to start.

        Another easy bit of maintenance is changing your air filters – the engine air filter and cabin air filter. Mechanics often charge $40 or $60 to do this, plus the cost of the filter itself. Depending on the car model, it is often easy to do and only requires adjusting one or two screws. Could save you money each time.

      • 2

        I have been working on intermittent fasting the past few months and it took a little getting used to but I can now go until 11 or 12 before I finally have my breakfast. I like not being so “hangry” and have more control over my body.

        It’s good to give your body a break from the constant deluge of food that we usually give it. 

      • 1

        Kudos Robert, that’s great if intermittent fasting is working so well for you.

    • 4

      I’ve been thinking about this thread. The first thing I thought of was also to buy an extra of anything I need to buy. Be it a machine screw, bag o’ fertilizer, pair of socks, bottle of Ragu, whatever. 

      The other was -also- to try to do your own repairs and maintenance. This is a) a frugality thing, b) an interesting thing, but c) it teaches you about your surroundings, how things work, and how to be more self-sufficient—the ultimate prep.

      I guess #3 is to build a tool collection because you need some tools for both #1 & 2! Doesn’t have to be a huge expense, get some imported junk, add some castoff garage sale & thrift store stuff, get better stuff every time you complete a job your old self would have had to hire out. (I buy old houses and fix em up, my wife says it’s only so I have an excuse to buy tools… she’s right).

      • 1

        That’s some great advice! Self-repairing is definitely a massive step forward for preparedness. Thrifting for tools never occurred to me, but that does sound like the perfect way to start building a toolbox. 

    • 5

      I love this topic Kira. The doomsday bunkers and end of the world stuff gets tiresome after a while, it’s the small every day preps that you use more often and make life so much better.

      For me, it’s improving my EDC. I use my Leatherman multiple times a week, lighter and pocket knife every day, water bottle every few hours and more. 

      • 2

        I feel you on that one! My EDC is used constantly, especially the charger and pens. My water bottle is not EDC yet but really should be. 

    • 7

      I recently went back to changing the oil and doing other vehicle maintenance myself so that I can teach my kids how to do it.  Same thing with the family bicycles.  Those activities fit in to my larger philosophy of buying quality things and then repairing when something breaks or fails.  

      • 4

        Oh yes! The good ol’ days when dad is teaching how to maintain a bicycle. Not only is it a valuable skill but certainly are good memories.

      • 1

        That’s so awesome! Vehicle maintenance is a great thing to pass on to kids because it’s so important and it’s so important not to break your car while you try to do it. 

    • 6

      Great topic, Kira! Here are a few of mine off top of head, in no particular order:

      1. Leather shoes that can be resoled. Outside of running shoes and beach flip-flops, this is the only type of footwear I own. They are comfortable, long-lasting, can be dressed up or down (I have four pairs, each in a different style, ranging from tall boots to a pointy-toed flat), go with everything, look better with wear, and would be recognizable as shoes to my great-great-grandparents. Definitely one for the “buy fewer high-quality items and spend less over time” bin.
      2. Reusable period products. Slowly accumulated 8-9 pr. of Thinx underwear and bought and learned to use a menstrual cup. Feels great to be mostly free of orange and pink plastic and bleached cotton that end up in the trash.
      3. Wearing wool. It’s coming back in endurance sports, less itchy than it was in my childhood and super versatile. It really is warm, warm when wet, and pretty long-lasting (though I definitely want to learn to sew elbow patches).
      4. Digital hygiene practices like using DuckDuckGo and a password manager (though I have a lot of work to do in this area, still!).

      I feel like there are probably some others… these are, again, just the first to jump to mind!

      • 5

        Great list! Hard core agree about anything wool and solid digital hygiene. I just built my own VPN and started using TOR for specific searches. 

        Just a heads up, the Thinx period underwear are soaked with PFASs, which increase risk of reproductive cancers. No amount of washing will take it out of the fabric. The EWG.org and Mamavation.com have a breakdown of which period under wear is safest and works. Trying to spread the gospel of PFAS-free living, which is even in organic food (untested water in the irrigation systems). 

      • 1

        @Renata T — Do you find that many sites either add additional captchas or block your connection when you use TOR? I haven’t used that browser very much but have heard it can be a chore to use at times.

      • 4

        Ughhhhhsdjfgaaiewhk — cannot tell you how bummed I am to learn that THE ONE BRAND of period underwear I chose is the one coming up with high fluorine levels. (I also wasn’t aware that there were so many others; when I started making the switch circa 2016, Thinx and Dear Kate were the only brands I could find— though I know LunaPads has been around for like 20 years, back then they did not have period underwear in their product line.)

        That said, I’m curious how the brands that tested better for total fluorines are meeting their purpose without PFAS. As you may know, one of the many problems with emerging contaminants is that when the public gets wise to one and there is a backlash against it (e.g., BPA, PFAS), chemical producers develop something else that provides the same benefits as the original, now-demonized chemical. There is no evidence that the new, substitute product is harmful— but that’s only because it’s new. If it does what the original chemical does, there’s probably a decent chance that it has the same properties that made the original harmful. (And the company making the end product might not even be aware that any of this is happening, because they don’t have a ton of control of what happens to these textiles before they are cut and sewn into whatever product they’re ultimately supposed to be.)

        And for the benefit of anyone reading this besides me and Renata: None of this means that you should forget period underwear and use regular, disposal pads and tampons, since they are full of all kinds of garbage chemicals, too. I’d bet the worst reusable period products are better than 99% of commercially available disposable menstrual products.

      • 4

        @pnwsarah — Great job using DuckDuckGo and a password manager, you already have more digital hygiene than most people. 

        Would you like some homework/a challenge in that space? You mention still having a lot of work to do in that area.

        Pick either or both of these to implement: 

        1. Look through your phone and computer and delete old applications and files that you no longer need or use.
        2. Try getting family and friends to use a more secure messaging service like Signal with you. This was hard for me to get my family converted over and took probably three attempts over multiple years. Finally I said to them all the only thing I want for my birthday is for you all to use this app to call or text me, and they did it. Hopefully your family will be more receptive or are already using it. It’s nice to know that whatever I say between myself and my spouse is 100% only visible between us, where a normal text message can be seen by my cell provider, logged for 2 years, and could possibly be stored by the government as well.
      • 3

        Hey Supersonic, thank you. That’s a good idea to start pushing to move to Signal, though tbh this is probably the last thing I will do in the digital hygiene department because there is nothing I hate more than being messaged on multiple messaging apps (and there is no way everyone I text will go to Signal with me… maybe I can ask on my next decadal birthday?). For a while I had my phone’s native messaging app, Snapchat, and WhatsApp, and it was a huge source of stress; I felt like it was noticeably degrading my memory and attention. When I got my new phone I didn’t install any additional messaging apps.

        Relatedly— to both that point and your other suggestion— I have a new laptop (January) and a new phone (May), and I did not migrate my old user profile from the original devices because I wanted to start fresh, without all the ancient ghost applications that had followed me through my last four laptops or whatever. And I’m really trying to keep the phone lean, with only the apps I regularly use and legitimately need. Importantly, though, neither of those purchases were driven by a desire for a new device so much as by the old device going into a stark and patently irreversible death spiral, so I got both during a period when I really didn’t have the time and energy to set up a new device well.

        Maybe one of my projects today will be to do that— to make sure I have all my settings properly toggled (and to install the VPN to which we have a paid subscription but which I haven’t actually installed on my new devices! For shame!). I will look here on TP for some guidance on what this project should entail, but if you have any other ideas (or favorite guides), feel free to kick them my way! (Also, if you have other suggestions for “challenges” given that Signal will be a longer term project and I’m looking good for unused applications, I’m all ears…)

      • 2

        150% don’t move over or try and move others over to other messaging platforms if it is detrimental to your mental health and stress. That comes first and stick with what you like and what works for you.

        That was a smart and very “hygienic” move to set up your new devices from scratch. Great job!

        Just to clarify, the project you are going to be looking on TP for and are asking if I have any guides on is making sure settings are toggled correctly and your VPN is installed? Just want to make sure I give you the advice you are looking for. 

        If so, what devices would you be doing this on? eg Apple iPhone, Windows laptop, … 

      • 2

        Thank you for following up to clarify! I was going to install the VPN and also look for basic settings I should configure away from the defaults for enhanced security on both the laptop and the phone. My husband sent me an article for how to configure a new iPhone that I now can’t find in my Gmail, so that was going to be my roadmap but now I am… without a roadmap. The NYT has some good guides for people who aren’t especially tech savvy, so I might start looking there unless you can send me elsewhere. I’ve got an iPhone and a MacBook Air.

        I just read through Rich DC’s great thread on digital preparedness, but everything on there either falls into the “already done it” (cloud and local backup; credit freezes; two factor auth) or “way over my head” categories. It’s really this basic configuration stuff (e.g., turning off location tracking for everything other than my navigation app) that I need to review/check. 

        My husband also just told me that the VPN hasn’t been working well for him lately, including with Google Drive, so he only turns it on when he’s doing something for which it is super necessary, so I may need to table that for a bit. :/

        Thanks for the affirmation on setting up both devices from scratch. It was a real pain in the butt in some respects and definitely wiped out all my old, carefully-plotted (but since forgotten) configurations. Still, it feels good knowing I got a fresh start!

      • 3

        Gottcha! What you should do is just browse through the settings and toggle off anything you don’t want/need/or think is creepy. Most settings are very user friendly and you should be able to tell what they all are. Many settings are very personal though so I can’t recommend everything to you because what I like is different from what you like. You may want app and message notifications to show up on your lock screen for convenience but then again if you have a tendency to leave your phone laying around, that could allow anyone to pick it up and read what you have going on.

        Here are some simple toggles you can do, but again if it interferes with your productivity or stress then don’t do it.

        • Turn off your WiFi when you are out of the house. (Just made a whole forum post about this, but that’s the basic summary)
        • Turn off Bluetooth when you don’t need it.
        • Turn off location services when you aren’t using an app that needs it.
        • Change your network’s DNS. (I made another forum post about that but might be a bit beyond what you want to do today) Here’s a simple little step-by-step walkthrough to change the DNS on your iphone to one that is more secure, MUCH faster, and more private

        -Go to Settings > WiFi.
        -Select the ‘i’ icon next to the WiFi network you are connected to.
        -Scroll down and select Configure DNS.
        -Change the configuration from Automatic to Manual.
        -Select Add Server.
        – Type in the following servers:

        On macOS —

        -Go to System Preferences. You can find it by pressing Command + Space on your keyboard and typing System Preferences.
        -Click on the Network icon > Advanced.
        -Select the DNS tab.
        – IPv4 section enter in:

        -If there is a section for IPv6 enter in:



        -Click OK > Apply.

        • On macOS, make sure your computer is encrypted. That way no one can get into any of your files unless they have your password. System Preferences>Security&Privacy>FileVault and follow the prompts.
        • Here’s a pretty simple and decent macOS guide that might help with various other settings https://www.bejarano.io/hardening-macos/
      • 2

        @Supersonic — Thank you! I started in on this list over the weekend and made some progress, though I still have work to do (especially factoring in the great link you provide at the end). I saw your other forum post about managing wifi and thought that was excellent advice, too. So, really, just: Thank you! Big help!

      • 2


        Those are all awesome! Have you found re-soling shoes to be challenging? Is that the sort of thing you bring shoes to a cobbler for? (Are there still cobblers?) 

        I have massive respect for every woman who’s taken the dive into reusable period products. That’s thankfully not a concern for me because I’m on birth control, but I’m sure I’ll try those out at some point in my life. (They still scare me a little to be 100% honest with you). 

        Wool seems perfect for the PNW! Thanks for the reminder to look for that wardrobe wise. 

        Digital hygiene is something I need to work on for sure. It’s not the worst, but it could be a lot better. I switched to using Ecosia (which at least claims to not track you) from Chrome and have started strengthening logins, but I still use Gmail and Google Drive and Google Docs for school/work. Major tech companies are a system you can’t not participate in right now, at least for a lot of people/lifestyles. Still, using stronger passwords can’t hurt. 

      • 2

        Hey Kira,

        Resoling is not a problem— though admittedly I’ve only had to do it on the brown leather boots, which are probably the most straightforward of my leather shoes. They’re incredibly versatile, and the flip side of that is that they get the most wear. I think I’m on the 4th set of soles in 10+ years. And yes, cobblers are still a thing (!), and they do the resoling. In my experience they’re harder to find outside of big cities (or small cities with state capitals— lots of leather shoes in the legislature). My mom took her dress shoes to the cobbler when I was growing up, so I’m not worried about the more frivolous pairs when the time comes.

        And yeah, reusable period products aren’t totally the most fun thing in the world. The cup was NOT fun to learn. There was a stretch when I would go pee and my friends would come knock on the restroom door to check on me because it had been 20 minutes (of me trying to get the cup back in, i.e.). Also shot blood all over my now-husband’s bathroom wall one time. But in the end, feels worth it (though fingers crossed my PFAS uptake through the reproductive organs hasn’t been catastrophic… do bookmark the resources Renata recommended so that if you do decide to try reusable underwear, you don’t spend bank on the wrong product like I did).

        Sounds like you have a healthy attitude re: digital hygiene. We could all drive ourselves crazy with this stuff, but unless you’re in tech and getting compensated to have expertise that’s at least somewhat related to all this, it’s a huge burden to do everything and do it right, so I’m down with doing what I can and not making the perfect the enemy of the good. And totally get that you basically can’t be a university student (or teacher) without getting hauled into a dependent relationship with the Google suite against your will. My husband’s strategy has been to give up on Google (because it’s hopeless) but keep Apple and Amazon out of his business, so at least he’s only exposing his data to one of the big three. Too late for me— I’m stuck too hard to both Google and Apple. But, I am trying to ween off Amazon, so there’s that.

        Again, great thread!

      • 1


        We live in a rural area and the nearest shoe repair shop (cobbler) is about 30 miles away. My wife found a tack shop nearby that will resole shoes too. She buys Frye boots at Goodwill stores for $50-75. All they need are new soles for about $75. Frye boots are $400 new. A tack shop is an equestrian supply shop.

      • 1

        Interesting facts about the constituents of some tampons. Largely cotton and wood pulp…but the manufacturing process is another matter and they’re a lot less open about it.


    • 8

      Recent experiment: Staying cool without an air conditioner.

      It’s been hot where I live – hovering around 100 degrees F for many days this summer. I live and work in a poorly-insulated house with a black roof.

      Although I’m blessed to have an air conditioner, I decided to see how I’d do without it. I am using electricity for fans and refrigerating food, but little else. It’s been comfortable in my home every day until about 4 or 5 in the afternoon. Then things get a little stuffy and warm. It does cool off at night, so that helps.

      Here’s what I do, starting in the evening:

      – Open all windows and doors in the evening as soon as the outside temp is lower than the inside temp.

      – Use two big floor fans to push out the hot air and draw in cooler air.

      – Tie one of the fans to the windowsill of an open window so it pulls cool air more efficiently

      – Run the ceiling fan in the bathroom to further push out warm house air.

      – Cook outside or not at all. (Salad anyone?) You don’t want to heat up the kitchen any more than needed.

      – When we want pasta, I bring the water to a boil in a kettle, then pour it over the pasta in a pot. After a quick stir, the pot goes outside for a half hour and the hot water cooks the noodles. That way, the heat stays outside the house.

      – Squeeze half a lemon into a gallon or two of water and put them in the fridge to cool. That way, the refrigerator compressor (which throws a lot of heat) will work at night and the big jugs of water will keep the air inside the fridge cooler during the day.

      – Run the dishwasher and clothes washer or bake at night so the heat has a chance to leave the house while it is cool outside.

      – Use the clothes dryer only at night, or even better yet, hang laundry outside in the morning. It’s surprising how quickly clothes dry on a hot day.

      – Shower at night so all that hot steam has a chance to get out before morning.

      – Use a spray bottle to mist the sheets and lie down on a cool bed.

      – Ceiling fans over beds are a wonderful invention.

      – Leave the fans on all night to keep blowing out the heat hiding in warm pockets or corners.

      – Get up in the morning while it is still cool outside and shut all the windows. Turn off the fans.

      – Close the window shades or curtains to keep window-heat out.

      – Close the doors to unused or warmer rooms to keep the rest of the house cooler.

      – Drink that cold lemon water throughout the day. The lemon helps it go down easier and more often, and doesn’t have sugar. Stay hydrated, pee often.

      – Spray the dog and people down with the hose or in the shower then sit in front of a fan. If that’s not practical, I carry a spray bottle of water and mist myself down throughout the day.

      – Dampen a shirt and wear it wet, especially if you have to go outside. But stay inside if you can.

      – Do desk work or quiet activities during the day, and heat-generating activities like housework when the windows are open and fans are blowing.

      So far this hot summer, I ran the air conditioner only once. Then when the house was cool, I turned it off and sat in front of a fan.

      My body has adjusted to the heat, and I’m comfortable almost all day.

      I’m sure results will vary depending on your house’s orientation to the sun, shade from trees, and other factors. I live in a somewhat dry climate, so humidity would add a whole ‘nother level of complexity.

      But these are simple steps I’m trying in my day-to-day life to help me prepare for a hotter world.

      • 4

        I’d like to see your electricity bill this year compared to last, seems like what you are doing is going to help out with that as well. 

        I hadn’t thought about appliances putting off heat but they do. After a two hour movie, my television is hot and you can feel a heat radiating off of it when you go near it.

      • 3


        Where do you live or what are the current temperatures?

        I applaud your effort but I am not optimistic my wife and I would do well with only a fan while the real feel is 108F in the Midwest with steady 8 MPH gusts out of the south.

        My wife’s health will not tolerate heat well this summer with MS and a C-collar for a broken neck.

        I started working from home in June and would not like to spend the day in the 90’s indoors.

        My Plan B was a window air conditioner but it has been ‘borrowed’ by one of our kids.

        My ‘New Plan B’ will have to be a generator and a new window AC unit.

      • 2

        Hi, Shaun,

        I hear you. The conditions in my area are such that these tips work pretty well for me. If the nights didn’t cool off or if the humidity was high, they still might work some, but not nearly as well.

        I live in a fairly dry part of the Mountain West. For example, right now the humidity is 39%.

        The temperatures vary throughout the summer, but I kept my routine all during the hot weeks. Mostly highs were in the mid-nineties to just over 100 degrees. On the hottest days I stayed cool all day until about 4 in the afternoon. Then my house was fairly warm, but doable. Mostly it just gets stuffy.

        If things got unbearable, I guess I’d head to the library to cool off. Or just use a spray bottle with cold water in it to mist myself down.

        High temps are rough on folks who have medical conditions to complicate things. It’s a concern. Seems like we just need to keep trying stuff and then share what works for us.

        All the best to you and your wife. I’m sending prayers for her to heal quickly.

      • 4

        These are great recommendations and I intend to put some to use when I get back home– thanks in advance for helping me impress my husband. 😀 The one thing we’ve done that is not already on your list and which has been a huge help is to fashion reflective window shades out of old packing envelopes. We found a box of metallic ones discarded on the street a couple of summers ago. I freaked out when my husband moved to take them (“We have no place to put those! Why do you even want them? What if they are dirty? Someone might have peed on them!”) but I am totally sold on their efficacy. It’s the difference between turning on the AC and not when it gets above 80°.

      • 2

        A handy tip with drying clothes on a line instead of in the dryer – hang them up as straight as possible and peg them up in places where you can’t see when the garment is worn. When taking them off the line fold them as you would store them in your wardrobe, or if they will be hung up, leave those last, drape them over the folded stuff and skedaddle inside to hang them up straight away. 

        Same applies if I’m drying clothes inside during wet weather, just without the pegs.

        I don’t think I have ironed anything in years and my dryer only gets used maybe twice a year in cases of desperate need.

      • 2

        Hey, GB,

        I do the same thing, and I haven’t ironed in…I forget how long it’s been.

        And nothing smells as fresh as line-dried clothes. Even when we had forest-fire smoke in the air last summer, the clothes still came in smelling good.

      • 1

        Thanks so much for some AC-less ideas! Shifting things like showering to later in the day would never have crossed my mind. 

        For windows, I’m a fan of covering them with aluminum when heat is intense, especially if your curtains don’t block all the light. You can put the foil on cardboard to reuse it, but I’ve been guilty of just taping rolls straight into frames when I’m desperate and out of cardboard. 

    • 5

      Love this topic! I recently moved to using “Stasher” silicone bags for all of my food storage that I used to use plastic bags for. They are GREAT. I love being able to wash them in the dishwasher, pop them in the freezer, and even know that I can cook in them if needed (I did it just to try it and it worked fine).  I use them when I travel to carry my snacks and often end up reusing them to bring handy leftovers back to my hotel room or something.  And if I take care of them I’ll never need to buy new plastic bags again.  I just buy whatever color is on sale – they all work the same! I have ever size and was surprised to find that the smallest size is the one I use most often, as it is the perfect size for snacks. It looks tiny but really isn’t. 

      I also bought an eyelash curler with replaceable pads! (Perhaps all the dudes on this site are thinking, What? But who knows, maybe they curl their eyelashes too?)  It is stupid to buy a new eyelash curler when all you need are the pads. I bought one curler and dozens of pads and that should last me for decades!

      • 2

        My wife has been talking about and wanting to buy some Stasher bags for months. Where is the best place you have found to buy them? What sizes and how many of each do you recommend someone starting out get? Maybe I’ll surprise her and get her some this week.

      • 4

        I have found the Stasher site itself to be the best source (though they will inundate you with email afterward – just unsubscribe).  Probably a good idea to just give her a starter bundle, which has a variety of sizes, and let her decide which one she likes best.  The “stand up” ones are a bit easier to work with. 

        I have a LOT – at least a dozen each of the two smaller sized (“pocket” and “snack”) – but I use them a LOT too.  I used to obsess about the colors but they all work the same so if you want to save some money you can just go to their sale page and pick out whatever color is listed there. Except I do reserve the red ones for first aid products. 

        The “bowls” are a new product I bought recently and haven’t tried yet.  My main challenge is getting my husband to remember to use them! He is SO used to reaching for the plastic bags that he forgets we have the Stashers and somehow magically does NOT see the food stored in Stashers in the fridge (which I sometimes use to my advantage – ha!)  I recommend buying this gadget from Lehman’s to help them air dry after you take them out of the dishwasher.  I pop them on this and they’re fully dry inside in a a few hours. Do not – I repeat, do NOT – look at anything else on the Lehman’s site.  It is a festival of fun and you’ll never get out……

      • 2

        Curiosity got the better of me and I browsed away from that link and saw some of the rest of that site. There goes the rest of my night. 

      • 5

        ROBERT! I told you NOT to look!

      • 2

        Oooh, Stashers sound amazing. I’ll look into those. The reusable sandwich bag I have sees pretty constant use. 

        Reusable makeup tools are a very real prep! My eyelash curler does not see a ton of use to be totally honest, but it’s great thinking to use one with replaceable pads. Reusable makeup remover pads seem like they could work well in that area too, but I haven’t tried them yet. 

    • 3

      I use my flashlights all day, everyday and a lot of the night.

      I originally got one for working on stuff but it works so well for EDC that it lives in my pocket.  It also helps me look at things, and not have to turn all the lights on at night when I have to go to the bathroom.

      The little flashlight lamp I have gets used to keep bugs off me at night when I’m surfing the net as well.

      I also used to use my camping knife sharpeners for my shop tools and kitchen knives. Now I just use some ceramic dog bones, but everything is pretty sharp now at least.

      Last year we also bought some rechargeable fans in case the power goes out but where I hang out there’s little air movement so it’s on almost all the time. Does great at keeping me cool even when we do have power.

      We also recently used the mesh veil I’ve mentioned in another thread this last heat dome to great effect; my mom was having issues with the heat cuz it’s just so hot and no AC, so I pulled the veil out, soaked it with hot water, and waving it around cooled it off in a minute. Gave it to her and her temp was stabilized in 30 minutes with just that. She just gets it wet now, throws it over her legs while sleeping with the fan on, and immediately was able to sleep even with the house barely cooling down.

      We ordered like 5 more, one for her, a handful for my siblings family who live down in the hot and spicy Texas, cuz they just work so well.

      Originally I started buying Soylent as a snack, and then it rolled over into being an accidental prep food/liquid since I started hanging on to 3 cases at a time. A case is 12×400 calories, 4,800 altogether, so like two days of active food that needs no prep or water a case. I used it a lot when we had a rodent in the kitchen and my brain problems were very high. Would hate to have 6 days straight of it, but it’s quick easy calories.

      Granted it only has a 6 month or so shelf life, but a case only sits for two or three months before I use it up. Still a neat snack.

      I think another thing that’s nice is the honing of my critical thinking and research skills from trying to prep better. I got really good at deep diving things and aggregating information, then picking the most important things from it, then utilizing it.

      The veil is an example, I saw it on a B Thomas video and he was talking about how it worked and it seemed reasonable enough and when there was a sale, I was able to grab a manufactured alcohol stove,a tarp, cords and other things to round out the preps I had, and the veil on sale.

      It’s results speak for themselves, my mom was able to sleep through the last 95 plus F days easily and wake up refreshed and cool. 

      • 1

        Newer soft stuff I’ve picked up is more sewing. I’ve done it before but only recently I’ve actually really fabricated some more refined things.

        I’ve been making my own bandanas out of muslin cloth cuz it’s thicker than the stuff at the store and probably has less chemicals in the dye, and feels much thicker. I’ve been using those and my tissue use, for my face at least has dropped down to like, maybe 3 or 4 a week. The boxes last infinitely longer, and while hand washing is a bit of a hassle, I like not having used tissues all over.

        I’m going to turn one of my worn out orange shirts into a pair of bandanas for my bug out bag, patch any other holes in it I don’t remember it having and they should work nicely.

        I’ve also been embroidering small holes on my pillow cover closed so it lasts a bit longer. Gluing pocket seams and belt loops back on on some of the pants I have too.

        I think another one would be getting a proper electric razor for face fit. Every time I use it, I’m still impressed about how well it does and it’s nice to grab a shave without having to deal with slightly longer stubble or having to wet things up. I do want to try my safety razor as well for my face, I sort of want to put one in my BOB so I don’t have to ever worry about batteries but maybe after I try it a few times I’ll know if I should or not.


      • 1

        Went to a family event today and took a little travel bag with extra masks and bag and snacks in it and a small folding umbrella cuz it was raining quite a bit. It was very weird nobody else brought an umbrella, but I had two. It’s mostly to keep rain off my mask but I was pretty much dry even after a handful of trips to put food in the car. The extra bag in the bag we used to catch some other items, and having those reusable grocery bags helped get the huge amount of food we got in the car with little issue.

    • 3

      It’s the small things, really. Like taking a raincoat with me to work in case it rains. Since becoming a prepper my mindset has shifted from “it’ll be fiiiine!” to “let’s not catch cold”. It’s a huuuge shift in mental attitude.

    • 2

      Also along the shaving savings advice, I use solid soap and a brush with a standard razor blade. It lasts a lot longer and works out significantly cheaper in the long run. Plus you are not throwing/using pressurised containers with foam/gel in them.