Summer’s Over – What Are You Doing To Prep For The Winter?

A hint of fall color during a recent sunset, exaggerated by the setting sun

I can’t believe it’s September 1st already – Labor Day – the traditional end of summer. Most of the kids are back in school; vacations are over, and the leaves are already beginning to change color where I live. Where did the summer go?

While there’s still some good weather to come, the clock is ticking till winter. I still have all sorts of outdoor things I need to get done before it gets too cold and the snow flies. More preps to procure for the winter. More projects to finish around the house and property…

Now that the season is changing to Fall (different depending on where you live), what are the things, the preps, the projects, that you would like to get done before winter?

A few recent photos I snapped on the MSB property:


Even the animals know that winter is coming. I’ve been seeing lots more of them on the property lately, and they’re fattening up with whatever food they can gorge on. Deer are plenty as are the turkeys. Just last evening before dark I saw a BIG black bear not 50 yards away while taking the dog out for his last potty for the day. That big bear just lumbered along while not paying us any attention (wish I had the camera ready).

So what are you doing to ‘fatten’ up, or to be better prepared for the winter season?

Even if you’re already ready – what are the things that you suggest others think about before it’s too late with the cold weather and all?


  1. Hi Ken, great article! We fill our LP tank in July for the cheapest prices. We have also been preserving food as fast as possible (canning, drying, freezing). We will be replacing two very leaky windows in the house and make sure our plow tractor is in tip-top shape with all repairs made, chains at the ready, etc. We need to fence in any young orchard trees or shrubs, finish wood cutting/moving and clean up our garden to plant some winter rye cover crop. There are so many other things besides this list but my hands would be tired from typing. We are working hard as ants as we don’t want the fate of the grasshopper! We send good luck to everyone getting prepared for this upcoming cold and snowy season.

  2. Working on clearing the garden today and turning in some new compost and soil for next year. I figure with work all week I have aprox 16 days ( 2 a week ) till the rain and snow come. That means I need to get going on cleaning the gutters,getting in more wood for heat,making fire starters ect. I will be tuning up the generator today also and freezing some veggies that will come out of the garden. With a little luck I can get the rest of the tomatoes dehydrated this afternoon also.

  3. I have to winterize the rv and cover it, build a shed, and stock up on 1 lb. Propane cylinders for the buddy heater. It’s our only backup source of heat.

  4. Canning salsa, tomatoes, pickles and a surprise batch of green beans today. Will do pears in a month when they are ready. Two windows to replace as well. Tractor is ready to go. Need to find time for those last few family outings too!

  5. Started stacking 2 cords of wood that my son-in-law brought over. Also collecting the sticks and small branches around the yard to use as kindling.

  6. Sept 1st, 1st day of Dove season, here in Arizona its 107 in the shade. We will have at least 2 more real hot months. November we hope it will be in the 70s., then we go to work, building a new shop for my wife, and a lot of welding to do this fall/winter.
    On the super cold nights (30s) we burn a little wood so we don’t forget home and the good ole days.

  7. Ken, loved the photos and the tone of your column today. There is hard work to get ready for winter but much creativity as well. In the autumn (seen and sensed in the tiniest shift of color and slant of sunlight), preparations arise out of the perennial need to harvest and store, and are not so driven by anticipated crisis’s born of world events. The earth gives back in abundance; what began as a tiny seed is now a huge tomato, pepper, cuke or squash. Cooler weather means more greens -kale, chard, lettuce. More canning, drying, freezing and filling the pantry with color. And while there can be moments of melancholy at one season’s passage, I wish you and your readers joy in this interlude before the stillness of winter sets in.

  8. Like others, much canning/freezing or food. Dehydrating tomatoes, which I use as a snack, or add to soups/stews. Will dig potatoes in a few weeks when the tops are fully dead.

    OFF TOPIC: I believe that 2015 is going to be a very tough year.
    #1 Barry has nothing to lose as it’s his last 2 years
    #2 Continued “Blitz” of Illegals invading
    #3 Possible ISIS terror here/Europe
    #4 NATO/Russia heating up further
    #5 FED to stop QE-ing economy

  9. Don’t tell anybody but I’m building a hidden prep storage room in my home.
    Winter will consist of filling that baby up. :D

  10. Test run the genie, check stored gas condition/fill up gas cans. Install heat lamp in the new dog house (never know, might be for me). Test fit snow chains on the new (to me) truck since it’s a bit bigger tire. Light the pilot on the gas furnace and check for proper operation (might wait a month or so for that, still in the 70’s at night here). Really would like to acquire a wood stove for real emergencies. I’ve got 2 old natural gas wall units in the house that don’t need any electricity, but what happens if the gas stops flowing?…

    1. If you are even remotely thinking of a wood stove, then you need to start getting your wood now. Even if you wait until the balloon goes up to get the stove and install it, that is only a short install and be done anytime kind of thing,And can be done even after it all goes down.Unlike getting firewood.

      Firewood, Well split and properly seasoned, takes time. Period.

      There are people that suffer burning wood for years and never have seasoned wood,(my dad comes to mind) and are always having trouble with creosote and smoky, hard to start, hard to regulate wood stoves and never correlate that nine times out of ten it is poorly seasoned wood that is the problem.

      Regrettably, it wont do you much good to install a stove to use when you Really need it, if you haven’t any seasoned wood cut and split and ready to burn in it!

      Most people need a minimum of SIX…hear that 6 full cords to get though a winter just on wood. That is way more than most non wood burning people think.And way more than you will be able to get in a day or two by yourself unless you buy it all.(and even if you do buy it already cut it most times wont be “even if assured it is” seasoned…Trust me).

      Even if you buy it it needs to be stacked (AND Split)not either or…BOTH STACKED AND SPLIT At least one or more summers to be seasoned if oak minimum two.

      The good news is though,once you have six cords(or more…some folks have 20 full cords at all times) if you have split it and keep the wood off the ground stacked on rails and covered on top or in a shed and it is kept dry, it is better than money. because unlike dollars in you wallet,seasoned firewood will only gain in value year after year till you do use it or sell it to someone else.


      That is why it is best to start figuring out how to do wood now. Kind of like hay or gardening…you can not wait till you actually need it, to get it and utilize it.And you need to do it and get it when IT is ready to be done, not when you are. Those two conditions almost never meet at the same time … Good luck

  11. Canned 34 qts of green beans, getting a Generlink installed on my meter this week, Starting to cut and split for 2016 season, weeded the garden electric fence to make sure the coons dont get my ripening sweet corn. Will be planting about a dozen heirloom apple trees.

  12. Always adding more long term food. However, after several years of prepping I am spending this September getting some of my prepper comrades ready. They are young couple without much disposable income and the better prepped they are the better for me and the wife. Think of what you can do for others in your prepping community as well as getting you and yours ready.

  13. Winter? What is that? Haha, just kiddin’. I will organize my pantry and have a better rotation system. I will be learning how to can this winter. Reading books and learning some skills.

  14. Finish getting wood up for heat. Going over the roof tarring it as needed. Checking the outside of the house for needing paint or putty for the windows. Filling in pot holes on the access road. Checking stocks of fuel and food in case of being snowed in. Realizing that winter is a whole different ball game

  15. I bought a GoBerkey and a BioStove! Also bought more buckets, gamma seal lids, dry black beans, dry lentils, instant rice, bulk canned veggies, bulk canned tuna, chicken, beef, condiments… now into containers haste.

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