When Resupply Breaks Down


There is one thing that we all count on in this world, and that is the ability to resupply. And for most people, this literally means “everything”.

What are you going to do during a time when it is no longer possible to resupply?

Here’s what I suggest:

First, you need to get an understanding for what it is that you already regularly consume and resupply the most. Logically then, these will probably be the supplies that you will want or need the most during a time when you can’t get them. So first, you need to identify them.

Second, you need to assess your own risk tolerance and choose a length of time that you wouldn’t want to be without these supplies. This then will become how much you should acquire and store for preparedness.

Third, you need to procure these supplies and store them appropriately in your home or other designated place.

Fourth, unless you believe that every potential disaster will be relatively short lived, you might consider your own resupply plan for when your storage runs out. This presumes that the regular distribution networks are down or no longer exist. In other words, you might need to provide for yourself, do it yourself, make it yourself, grow it yourself, barter and trade for it yourself, etc..

While for some the fourth step may seem unrealistic or not necessary, and while the probabilities of occurrence may seem relatively low for a long term resupply outage scenario, the fact is that it’s certainly possible. A given disaster could actually become a major SHTF long term event. Some worse than others, and potentially lasting a very long time.

Is 1 week of supplies enough? For some, yes, that will seem like enough. What about 1 month? Would that be enough? That seems like it’s pretty easy to do… For others, does 3 months ‘feel right’? Still others, 1 year? There are even those who have gone beyond 1 year of storage as an insurance policy in a world that depends on resupply.

When resupply is not possible, you will need to supply yourself.
When The Truck’s Stop, It’s Over

To discover the necessary and practical supplies that you’ll need, simply keep track what you currently consume. This will help you discover some of the consumables that you may want to store for preparedness.

Ask yourself some questions:

What are the foods that I regularly eat?

Could I purify my drinking water if I needed to?
Big Berkey Countertop Water Filter

What are the consumables that I go through on a regular basis?

What if there were shortages of some or all of these things?

Could I survive okay without them? Which ones would I really need? Like do I have enough TP?!

Have I really thought about how long something lasts around the house before I need to resupply and buy it again?

Which categories should I be thinking about beyond just food?

If resupply was disrupted, what would everyone around me do? How would that affect me?

During a disaster, lots of times the electricity goes out. Am I prepared for that too?

Will I always live in a world of plenty without worry of distribution problems?

Am I somehow immune from being affected by a disaster in which “just in time” distribution channels break down?


  1. I think everyone on this site will have a different set of priorities. I live near two rivers and the Town says they can supply water indefinitely, thanks to our artesian well. So the priority would be to have a way (ways) to purify it. Coming up with enough water for crops, though, would be difficult or impossible. People living in a rainy climate wouldn’t have to worry as much.

    Here in Northern Wyoming my priority would be heat. I now have a 500 gallon propane tank and a lot of other fuels. Since I bought the lot next door, I now have a garage with shelves to store flammable fuels. I had been worried about storing them in my basement.

    If you live in a hot climate, you need to have a basement or at least dig a hole in the ground outside.

    If you are insulin dependent, you need a cool, but not freezing, place to store insulin. Perhaps a root cellar or a deep hole in the ground. Even then, it will expire and those people probably will have a short life expectancy.

    I think we will all be surprised at how many inexpensive, easy-to-store things will be in short supply: salt, matches, soap, tp, insect killer/repellant, tampons, diapers, batteries, garbage bags, etc. Many of those are things we will use a lot more of than we do now, and many of them are things that don’t have expiration dates and could be easily stored.

    Everyone who needs glasses should have a couple extra pairs stored in different places. Those would be very hard to replace any time soon.

    1. I’m trying very hard to stay away from my glasses. I have one short sighted eye and one long sighted–with the glasses all the effort is being taken up by one eye and the other is getting exponentially worse. When I don’t wear them the long sighted eye is forced to do part of the work.

    2. DaisyK, in the book “One Second After”, one of the ongoing struggles of the main character is to find insulin for his diabetic daughter, who actually winds up dying from lack of it.
      Somewhere online recently I ran across an article on how to make insulin but I can’t remember where I saw it.
      One of my biggest worries is that my youngest son has asthma. I’m always urging him to stock up on his medication. I hope he takes me seriously.

      1. Research Epsom Salts in relation to asthma. It is an interesting subject.

        1. @ SNanna…agree. Magnesium is in the nebulizers they give to asmatics who are in th ER. Take a hot bath in it (epsom salt) and really huff down the steam to get it to your lungs. Topically works as well, but not as fast or efficient.

      2. And my greatest worry is Keppra for seizures.
        I have researched several times and only found Melatonin–a pill I take to help me relax and sleep–to be suggested as an alternative.
        There are many that will die if distribution to pharmacies is blocked.
        I have a small supply but today it was hard to lie to the new doctor about how much the dose is.
        Yep–many will die.

        1. I looked in the book ‘Prescription for Nutritional Healing’ and came up with DMG, L-Carnitine, Magnesium, L-Tyrosine, Omega 3, Selenium, Bcomplex, calcium and zinc. Also alfalfa. Black cohosh, hyssop and lobelia. There was more but that is the gist of it and may give you something more to research.

        2. @JJ
          We have a nice stash of Keppra for our husky. We’ve lowered his dosage from 2,000 mg per day to 1,000 mg per day (administered in morning and evening). We are going to be cutting his evening dosage of 500mg to half that and see how it goes. He has never had any seizures with the Keppra so it’s been a good drug for him.
          Thankfully our vet keeps prescribing the standard dosage. We keep buying the full prescription, just in case. It runs $64 each month for the dog and we are holding back half that.

        3. I also take Keppra. My short term work around involves a 90 day script, and early refills, so I usually have 5-6 months on hand. My neuro is sympathetic to stockpiling it.

          I also know how to wean. If we have a protracted SHTF scenario, my plan is to save some, as Keppra is fast acting. I wouldn’t recco in normal times, but have heard of ppl taking it only when they get an aura.

          I’d also like to add some rescue meds. Maybe I need to have a bout of anxiety and save the rx? Sounds bad, but my E was originally misdiagnosed as anxiety, so I know benzos help. (Mine is caused from a brain tumor, resected years ago, knock wood.)

          I also have some Rescue Remedy pastilles. The pastilles are alcohol free, vs the drops. Knowing and managing any triggers too, of course. Mine are almost exclusively partials post op, stress,lack of sleep, hormonal changes contribute.

          No idea if MJ works, but I’ve also seen ppl claim it does. I don’t smoke, but might be something to consider as a SHTF option.

        4. My husband and I have suspected that our rescue husky developed seizures because of the stress and chaos he was dealing with before we adopted him. He had been caught by an Animal Welfare officer and turned in to the Shelter when he was about 3. He was tested and evaluated, treated for worms and then neutered. He was young and gorgeous (and super sweet), so the Shelter ‘invested’ in him.

          He was in and out of 5 homes before we got him. Most people wanted a guard dog and since he looks like one, somewhat like a Shepherd (he’s a Shepherd/Husky mix), the people thought he’d pass as a guard dog. He doesn’t have any meanness in his disposition and, sadly, he was returned. One elderly woman wanted him but after a short stint, she brought him back because he is extremely difficult to walk on a leash. He’s 100-pounds and a ‘puller’ (think sled dog!). With the last family, the dog began to have seizures and was returned. That’s when we came into the picture. That was 2 years ago this month. He’s been a great dog and he’s done really well here.

          So with his up and down life, I have suspected that his seizures might have been brought on by too much stress. He only had a cluster of 3 seizures with us and it was after he’d been with us a month. He was given Phenobarb on top of the drug he had originally been put on (Zonisamide)…he almost died due to the toxicity of the drugs. After visits with a specialist and many tests, I returned the dog to our regular vet and asked to have him taken off those drugs and put on a different anti-seizure medication. That’s when he improved. He was put on the Keppra and has never had another seizure. The vet is super-pleased, and so are we. But if we could reduce or eliminate Keppra, it would be great. He is now showing clinical results of some minor kidney function issues and we are now changing his diet.

          He does really well with routines and he actually has the internal mechanism to know when it’s time to eat, go to bed, etc. He thrives on those routines and his life is very stable — that’s why we continue to reduce his dosage. The more ‘routine’ his life is, the less stress. To me, it is so logical.

          So reading comments like yours makes me believe that our suspicions may be right. Stress, too much sensory-input, etc. Thanks for sharing and for your comment!!

      3. Do you know where you found the info to make insulin? A good friend has had type 1 forever. I would love to find out if it’s hard to make or what the process would be. I thought I read years back about making it using two sheep a month or something. Any info would be helpful!1 Thanks!!

        1. It involves a lot of lab work from what I remember, and I was pretty good in the lab in HS. But where there a will there’s a way.

      4. The herb, Everlasting / rabbit tobacco., works well for asthma, it works as fast as albuterol and does not cause nervous side effects. can take a few puffs off of a cigarette of it, or light a peice of brown aper sack, maybe a 1″ square, and drop 4-5 leaves in the fire and breath the smoke. Does not sound reasonable but it really works . also can drink it as a tea for chest congestion, helps expectoratation. My DH uses it regularly as smoke , for asthma.and i use it as a tea for intestinal gas and irritation. pull up info on it by putting in name ” rabbit tobacco” and name of author and herbalist Daryl Paton. it grows wild acrosss the south east…Tn ,Ms, Alabama and other areas.
        For directions on how to make insulin…do a search on it. There are several different postings on it.
        one method i read involved harvesting pancreas of rabbits…and processing. with basic lab equipment.
        I have been what is now called pre diabetic since for more than 25 years.
        I stock bitter melon and gymnea sylvestere so my blood sugar stays stable.. I take them intermittently..neither are really expensive and a years supply can be bought for close to 50$ for both.
        I have also used cinnamon, fenugreek, ginger, selenium and chromium in the past…to help maintain. just depend s on what helps each individual… should work with boosting immunity to prevent diabetes.it is a bad immune response.

    3. The glasses are a biggie for me-I am practically blind without mine (rx is like -13/-14 range), and one of my kids has a pretty strong rx too. I always keep our old glasses, just in case. I think I have 3-4 pair for me and my son has 2-3 (he breaks the darn things way too often-9 yr old boys ugh lol). Good reminder!

      1. Let’s not even talk about Glasses, last time I went to Dr. he asked if I wanted Tri-Focal or Progressive lenses.

        Been wearing glasses since 4th grade….. :-(

        1. NRP
          Have you considered having surgery on your eyes to correct the vision to one in which you do not require glasses all the time?

        2. Antique Collector

          Yes I have considered it, but having been in the Construction Industry and still am vary active in all sorts of things that like to fly about… I can not tell you how many times my Glasses have stopped something from stabbing me in the eyes. I actually had a 16D nail stick into the plastic lens while framing.

          I guess I’m old school, I’ll stick with Glasses for a few more decades.

        3. When I was examined for new glasses, I felt I was in another universe and I worked for an optometrist years ago!!
          The $350 got me a frame, exam, and lenses…the person didn’t get me the solar lenses I demanded–I am sun sensitive.
          So, instead of returning the glasses and adding another $80 to my cost, I got my prescription and went to the vision center at Walmart(is not related to walmart at all, just rents the space!!)
          Cost for frame, lens, solar lenses–$109.

        4. NRP
          FWIW, you might want to research the latest Lasik procedures. I had the surgery about 18 years ago (was VERY nearsighted). At the time, they were able to make certain corrections in your vision, but couldn’t correct future age-related issues. That may have changed by now.

          After the surgery, found I needed a prescription for reading. Being in the habit of wearing glasses, I just got bifocals with a clear top lens for distance. Even had them slightly under correct my right eye so I could still focus on my front sight even if I wasn’t wearing my glasses.

          Age is again catching up to me as my prescription continues to increase. Now the Doc is talking potential cataract surgery in a couple of years, which I’m actually looking forward to, since it will give me another go at better vision.

          If you had the surgery, you could always get a pair of glasses with clear lenses to protect your eyes (and keep habit routines in place).

      2. Do some research into pinhole glasses. They’re not perfect but they’ll work decently in a pinch. Enough to not walk into walls anyway. I’ve tried them and can even make out distant text.

      3. Svzee and NRP

        I used to have vision that was minus 13.25 in my right eye and minus 13.75 in my right with up to an additional minus 1.75 diopters for astigmatism. When I passed 40, I started needing 2 pairs of glasses, one for distance and one for reading. I couldn’t tolerate the bifocal line.

        I was saved when I got cataracts when I was 60. I had surgery and had implants. I asked that I be under-corrected a little, since I wanted to be able to read without glasses. I had always needed glasses and didn’t mind needing glasses for driving. It has transformed my life. The surgeon was even able to correct most of the astigmatism by the way he made the cut. I still wear glasses, but now the correction is about one and one half diopters.

        The glasses I used to need made everything seem half its real size. So I never saw 20/20. Everything was too small. Without glasses I couldn’t go swimming without someone to guide me to the pool, the locker room afterward, help me find my towel and locker. If I dropped my soap in the shower I had a very hard time finding it. And so on.

        I looked at lasik but I was not a candidate due to steep corneas, which was also the cause of my nearsightedness.

        If either one of you can get cataract surgery, your life will be changed. They used to refuse to do it on someone without cataracts, but I understand that now, some doctors will do it for extreme cases.

  2. After the trucks stop there are only three options. Grow/catch it, barter for it, salvage and repair yourself.
    Beyond food and water the considerations in order for me would be heat/fuel, medical/hygiene, repair parts.
    My neighborhood is full of snowflakes that would all run off to who knows where (I doubt they even know). If I feel they will be gone for good, I have no reservations about becoming a vulture on what’s left behind. Gardens, tools, batteries/power supplies/fuel, clothes and any food and medical supplies just got appropriated for my groups use. I also doubt anyone who runs off is going to take their water heater with them so there is an extra 40-65 gallons of water at a crack. There are also a lot of LEOs in my neighborhood, so who knows what I may find there.
    Stocked up on small size gold and silver coins, mini booze bottles and small travel size hygiene products for barter as well as what ever I may scrounge up.

    1. Yes, Jon agree about repair parts…sometimes that whole category is overlooked….
      Tarps, nails/screws, duct tape, gorilla/super glue, bungee cords, zip ties, extra wood/plywood and more…good to have a stock now before there is a widespread need.
      Peace Bro :)

      1. I would also recommend a few rolls of solder and a butane powered pocket torch for fixing broken wires and circuit boards. Just grab extra butane!

        1. Careful about the butane. I do have a butane soldering iron and love it. Interestingly, butane is now a major player in processing marijuana for hash oil extraction. A recent explosion in a neighboring county was caused by lowlifes doing that. Buying one container is no big deal but buying a box full of containers could cause your license plate number to be jotted down by concerned salespeople.

        2. @ me… get it from a tobacco shop. Around where l am at, it wouldn’t surprise me if the clerks are the ones cooking up batches, lol!

      2. Shepherdess,
        Thank you. I just spoke to DH about prepping the toolshed. As he is more of an observer of prepping, maybe this task will get him more involved. If, in a hardware sales flyer I see something we might need I will ask him about it and offer to pick it up. This could just be the start of something good.

    2. Shingles and roofing supplies. Your shelter is literally your life in that kind of situation.

      1. If I was going to replace my roof I’d go with metal instead of shingles. I’m getting a lot of grief from DW who wanted to go with metal 8 years ago when we had new shingles put on. Now I’m putting up zinc strips under the roof trying to cut down on the amount of moss that grows up there. The shingles we chose are rated for 50 years but you can’t drink rainwater coming off of them. The deciding factor when we put them up was cost was three times higher for metal and I didn’t think we could afford it at the time. I’m now thinking about putting a small cottage on the adjoining acre and if I do build it will have a metal roof.

  3. Good morning, Everyone,
    This is a really valuable basic topic that is worth thinking over…
    Nice pic Ken, I was at a WM yesterday…
    Water is so vital….I even stocked up on some more bottled water various sizes
    can be used in a BOB, GHB, helping a neighbor, mixing in some salt and sugar for oral rehydration solution if ill or dehydrated- even though we have catchment systems here on homestead and a spring… yes filters too
    At WM, I like to keep a good stock of items that I would really miss if JIT broke down:
    dental floss, toothbrushes, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, sugar, cooking oil, bleach, detergent, bar soap, matches, can openers, first-aid, salt (though I buy some of these items elsewhere) a lot of basic preps do not cost much $, and it is easy to stock up – these also would be good barter items…
    Thing I would miss would be fresh bananas and juice, and also bird’s eye frozen veggies that I love to make in stir fries with rice and a protein. So we have made efforts to procure long term freeze dried fruits and veggies, as well as some canned items of that variety…
    We raise 99% of our protein (various meats, eggs etc..) yet we still keep a stock of canned salmon, sardines, dry/canned beans (usually $1 a pound for a bag dry beans/peas/legumes at WM in ethnic isle)
    Last tip, when ever I go to WM, there is always something in my cart that is a prep…low cost insurance my friends :)
    Be Blessed in your preps today :)

  4. The frequently used items are not the problem for most of us who visit or comment here. Unless it’s something so ordinary you use it without really thinking about it. I am going to try to assess our daily life for a week and see if there are things we use without thinking about it, then consider stocking up. What would it be; I have no idea that’s why it’s important to assess. Maybe somethings as simple as pens and pencils or paper clips.

    To me the biggest problem is the very necessary items that are used infrequently; Colloidal Silver, Airborne, Arnicia Cream and there are others not just in the medical line. But when they are gone they are gone, unless we learn how to make them ourselves. Then we have to stock up the components for that.

    Soap is another daily use item that comes to mind, how many of us could make soap when our stored supply runs out? Ken’s article made me think I better figure out the way to make the items or just plan on managing without. I have been making soap for quite sometime no big deal. Then I saw one of us post about making homemade lye from wood ash, never thought about the ingredients just the end product. Or someone else mentioned making colloidal silver, I better figure that out. If we can’t make the item what can be used instead. All things to learn now instead of when TSHTF.

    Another mind blowing article, thanks Ken.

    1. I would also suggest that you try different brands to make sure that you (or your body) likes it. I have a terrible time with things that touch the skin. Right now I have a nasty red very itchy blob rash bigger than a hand print from some soap that I was trying.

      1. aka
        If you have a health food store in your area go there an ask for Calendula suave, or check out Amazon for this product.
        It works, we use it on dh for his rash.

        1. AC
          Thanx- it’s now on today’s shopping list. I’ve had more severe reactions than this- swelling eyes etc..

      2. My spouse has that issue every time he uses antibacterial soap. He now sprays the colloidal silver on it to lessen the impact. Some people use this soap and it is not apparent until too late.

    2. @Preparednana
      I make soaps. I have also made soap ‘the old fashioned way’. My husband and I went through the process of teaching ourselves and it’s very different than making cold-process soaps using oils. Making the homemade lye is not difficult but it does take some planning. Then you ‘test’ the lye and the egg-trick really does work. However, the actual process of making the soap and keeping the soap from being runny is where we had difficulty. We’ve done 3 separate batches — the first batch was ‘liquid soap’, not by choice. LOL

      We decided it was better to keep plenty of the fats around so that we don’t have to rely on making soap ‘the old fashioned way’. The soap wasn’t nearly as nice as the regular bars I enjoy making (goat-milk soaps, calendula soaps, castile soaps, etc). If you do make it, be sure to post your results — would love to hear your thoughts after batching some.

      1. It’s funny that the soaps i typically react to are the good natural soaps. Seem to do fine on stuff like “Basis” brand. The one raising cane with me right now is goats milk, saponified coconut,olive and palm oils. Nothing else. : (

        1. You may be reacting to leftover lye. If the soap maker isn’t careful you end up with residual lye in the soap, which will definitely burn.

        2. Hmmm—-could be. starts as a few itchy bumps and spreads into a solid red mass that does make a good comparison to a burn. Itches and stings- looks angry

        3. As Lauren said, it very well might be a lye issue. Put the dried bar of soap up to your tongue — don’t lick the bar…LOL…but just let your tongue rest on it for one or two seconds. If there is residual lye, it will “sting” your tongue.
          Your other ingredients are so safe, it seems to me to be either an incorrect lye ratio, residual lye, or maybe the bar was not hardened enough. The tongue test may help to determine that.
          The whiter a goats milk soap bar is, the better. It is an indicator of whether the milk was ‘cooked’ inadvertently during the soap process or if it was preserved. I always froze my goats milk in ice-cube trays and worked with the milk in the frozen state. At the point where the lye-water was added to the milk, it would simply melt iced milk cubes. With other people, it ‘cooks’ the goats milk (since lye-water is usually around 200-degrees at mix-time).
          Now you probably know more about soap than you ever wanted to know. Ha!

        4. This soap and actually their whole line of goat’s milk soap is a light brown and it says fresh goat milk.. Tried the taste test : ) and it doesn’t sting but there was a slight tingle.

        5. That tingle is likely a level of lye remaining in the soap. Most soap makers try to adjust their recipes so that all the lye is used up and there’s a tiny bit of oil left over (a perfect balance, where all the lye AND oil are used up, is almost impossible). Particularly working with so many different oils there’s a chance they got the saponification percents wrong. If this is the case, you’ve got a chemical burn.

          It’s also possible that the batch was mixed badly and a patch of lye wasn’t mixed in completely, again resulting in a chemical burn.

        6. Replying here because a bunch of comments are posting with no reply option at the bottom.
          Guess that would make sense that it just happens with certain hand made soaps and my known touchy sensitive skin.

        7. @aka
          You are using caustic soap. Please discard the soap — it is much too harsh for skin, and evidently it is destroying your skin tissue if you have a rash and a red, burned-looking area.
          Lye (which is caustic soda, aka sodium hydroxide) is an alkali and it’s necessary to make soap. But when the process goes wrong or the mixture is incorrect, caustic soap is the result.
          Begin treating your burned skin with the best method your body can handle. I use aloe, and sometimes honey, because neither will cause further damage to tissue. Take care of yourself!!

    3. Ppep’dNanna, I am with you , it is hard to keep things we use infrequetly up to date (meaning functionable/serviceable.) for me my glucometer and strips fall in this. I check sugar maybe once a month…strips and batteries will be my issue. I just did a reassessment and added 2 more months of TP.. some other things I thought of that are intermittent use/buy for us…… Scrubbing pads for assorted needs… what ever you use to scrub pots, dishes, body,vegetables…Index cards,copy paper, notebook paper, GOOD pencils, (ink pens will dry up)… refills for a mop, an extra broom? elastic, buttons, thread, needles. straight pins.safety pins, patterns for things “you want to make someday” like crocheted rugs from old clothes., quilts from backs of blue jeans/denim scraps. Other items that are hard to have enough of :,vinegar ,baking soda, laundry soda ,borax,sugar,DE, goat/horse stall refresher. Soap of all kinds, bar, laundry, dish..antibacterial mouth rinse, cleaners for dentures. sharpeners of several kinds…
      There are several sites that have posted how to make collodial silver generator. with the silver needed in hand, supplies to make are simple, batteries, clips to secure and a couple of peices of wire. do search on you tube. several examples are there there.. Just get supplies and put them and the directions together…Know/write down complete insrtructions…and uses and cautions…. how to use,? Did you know that gastric juice destroy much benefit of Collodial silver. best absorbed in mouth. take the dose, (mine is 10ml)for your formula… hold it under tongue or swish it in mouth for 90 seconds to 2 min. then swallow….also consider Food Grade Peroxide. (My DH) did the oral method as well ,like the collodial silver, with 12 drops of Food Grade 35% Peroxide in 60 ml of distilled water.. He alternated every 4 hours while awake. These are the two things he used to beat the Hospital Aquired Pneumonia he had post recent (surgical) visit.
      Both collodial silver and Food grade peroxide work on bacteria and virus’ alike. and work extremely well on resistant germs. read “the one miute cure.”.. I got it as a free pdf.,some time back. collodial silver and natural honey or manuka honey also work well for burns.. If mixing tea tree oil for a burn , I got best results 2oz natural unprocessed honey to 10 drops tea tree oil, mix well, apply with sterile tongue blade, or sterilized spoon. Keep dressings sterile.and non stick…if required.
      Be sure to get tea tree oil for wound care. combined with natural honey 2oz honey to 10-14 drops of tea tree oil, mimics effect of manuka honey for wound dressings. kills MRSA.
      RE: airborne.. look at the ingredients and get those. then take them in portions in the remedy. won’t taste exactly the same, but can add a little honey to them to help them absorb faster.
      Things for allergic reactions…. benadryl caps, benadryl cream, hydrocortizone cream, lidocaine creams(vagicane) and oral versio pain/gum pain reliever.
      Plaintain tincture stops rashes and swelling of insect bites and poison ivy.. Plantain grows in most ppls yards, unless you have posisoned it.. Indians called it “white man’s footsteps” Also,,,.allegra/fexafenodine comes in childrens doses in 30 mg(meltaways) and 60 mg(generic)… can buy without a rx. Adult dose for most people is 180 mg… I take 120mg and DH uses 60 mg for insect bites.bec of intolerance /side effects of other antihistamines.

    4. Speaking of making soap. I usually make hot processed soap in a crock pot, it doesn’t need to age as long after cooking because cooking helps the process along. I practice the KISS method and use two maybe three oils at most and I usually leave them uncolored and unscented. When I make soap for gifts I usually use lemon grass scent and soft green colorant or wild orange scent and a soft orange colorant. I don’t wrap the bars just tie them together with yarn with a little note about the process or the scent. By not wrapping the bars they can continue to age until used by the reciepient. Not difficult at all but making the lye first would definitely change the process, think I’ll just stock up on lye.

      Thinking the same about colloidal silver, the process doesn’t seem difficult but don’t think it’s something I really want to do and it still requires a supply of the items necessary to make it. All things to consider.c

  5. Good piece Ken, almost everyone i have ever spoken to about being prepared really had either no plan or a poor plan, only one other guy who says anything about long term, but everyone else doesnt even or hasnt even considered stuff like laundry detergent, soap, paper towels, dish soap, or med supplies beyond a simple box of bandaids.
    Its really kinda amazing really.

  6. On the note of WM, I’ve noticed a lot of useful items continue to “out of stock” online. Partly due to hurricanes, but it’s been an ongoing issue for a few years. Ditto Amazon. I’ve checked out, only to have orders cancelled a few days later, and also for items that appeared available to suddenly also be out of stock.

    So, if you resupply to any degree online, my suggestion is to really stay on top of it.

    1. Yes, i have had that issue with my cart being reduced when I go to checkout Or told a couple days later it is no longer available.

  7. We can manage for food and water. Our big problem is insulin. DW is diabetic and takes 3 types of insulin. They are very expensive and the insurance will not let her get it even one day early. It is impossible to stock up in this case. We have checked into the cheap insulin that you can get without a prescription but it doesn’t work very well for her. When shtf we will not be eating any processed food which will help, I hope, but she will definitely be in a bad place. The Dr. is trying to get her on an insulin pump. I hope this will work better for her.

    1. @ car guy… look into the “insulin plant”. Grows in S. America and northern India and is shown to help with glucose control in some types of diabeties. Might be able to get some growing indoors or in a greenhouse.

    2. car guy, my heart goes out to you and DW. It is easy for the rest of us to talk about the preps we can purchase with ease. The need for insulin is a serious business. I hope something can be figured out for her.

    3. car guy
      IF you are able to cross the border down south, find a physician for your wife to see. They doctor should be able to write a script for her medications. YOU fill them there at the local pharmacy, bring them back a cross the border. If need be have the physician who saw your wife provide a medical note to get back across the border.

      The other prospect is to check out the pricing in Canada for her medications. If the doctor will write her a script, you can send it to a Canadian pharmacy, they will call your doctors off to verify the medication required is a legitimate requirement for the patient. When confirmed the Canadian pharmacy will have one of their doctors write a script through their office. Then will call you to have you pay via credit card for the meds.

      How do we know, dh had Lyme disease a few years back and the antibiotic was no longer available here in the USA. Only Canada had it, so we ordered it through them, paid for the meds which were sent down to our PO box. You are looking at about 2-3 weeks, up to 5-6 weeks depending on how quickly they get all the paperwork processed for you.
      Hope this will assist you on acquiring the medications. If you have any other questions please let me know, will try to help.

      1. car guy
        Mind works faster than the fingers will type…plus I have an assistant this morning trying to climb on top the laptop. She is rather insistant as the cat is cold..lol
        1) The doctor 2)will call your doctors office

      2. 4th step in the article. that’s the way I think….no trucks in foreseeable future, .not sayin that is right, wrong, or indifferent, that is my mindset.

        I am gonna reveal my darkest fears..haha..My 2 biggest long term concerns…..? Sugar….and Salt. I have some, not enough of either. I need to have several hundred pounds of both. Salt for curin meat, salt for animals, sugar for obvious and not so obvious reasons.

        On the subject of fixin it or makin it. Learn youself some blacksmith skills. The basics are not that difficult. If you don’t wanna learn, find out who your local smith is. There’s probably one closer than you think.

        If you have medical needs, I would implore you to consider plants, roots, etc., expecially native to your area. I do not mean to imply you can manage any given medical condition, but there are a lot of natural cures that work very well indeed.

        1. You can find starts for sugar beets and sugar cane online. There are also other sources of sugar, such as tree sap (think beyond maple) and sorghum. There are also plants that collect salt in their leaves or pull it from the soil. If one of them is native to your area, you’re home free. If you can import it and grow it yourself, you again have the resource you need.

        2. I like your way of thinkin.. I am not aware of plants and salt Is that plants that uptake traces of salt? Please elaborate. Thanks for your comment.

        3. Yes, all plants contain trace amounts of salt. Some concentrate it (such as salt grass or mangrove) and are able to actually cleanse salty water. Other plants do the same. I’m told that hickory is one, and possibly purslane.

          Many years ago I did an experiment with a houseplant. Put it in 1%, 3%, and 8% saline. It grew in the two lower amounts but put salt out on its leaves. The leaves then died and fell off, but there were salt crystals on them.

          All soil has various levels of sodium, so I’m pretty sure the native plants have ways of dealing with it.

        4. yes ma’am I am familiar with plant uptake of available nutrients, minerals, etc. I actually should have a few hundred pounds of salt in stock. thanks for your comment.

        5. Yes, you probably should. But when it’s gone, it’s GONE.

          Some plants collect salt in their tissues (this is my understanding with hickory) and others collect and then extrude it through their leaves. If you know which plants, and how they store or extrude it, you can harvest the salt they’ve collected for your own use.

        6. wood56gas,
          Definitely stock quantities of various salts and sugar. Sugar substitutes will likely be easier to come by (honey, sorghum, maple syrup, etc.), and those with bee hives or other sources will likely be a source for barter.
          Salt has been historically valuable, but you might find yourself not too far away from an active salt mine. I was surprised to find one not too far from me! If you’re near a coastline, I’m sure some enterprising sort will also find a way to harvest it from the sea.
          Of course, what barter price someone will require is another subject!

    4. car guy
      Also along the lines of Canadian meds, you might check out powdered insulin. Somewhere I read it’s available there, but not in the US, and has a longer shelf life than the ones that require refrigeration. Dosing and administration may be significantly different, but worth some research if you have someone who needs it today.

    5. Try her on Bitter melon, one capsule a day for 15 days of every month. ( a years supply will be 3-4 bottles@ 5-7$ each depending on source. check mail order health supplement companies.
      (it re juvenates beta cells and #2 gymnea sylvestere(sugar destroyer)…usually one capsule 2x a day., everyday…. They both have helped stabilize my sugars. i would start one and wait 2 weeks and start other one. fenugreek capsules and cinnamon also helps some people.
      see article put in search bar ” all about beating diabetes,” for a list of other herbs that can help her regain control of sugars/insulin resistance.
      .. herbs can help her to reduce her dependence and dosing now, enabling her to build a small supply. also look at articles on making own insulin from small animals. possible has been done in war time and inaccessability. see my posts above…

    6. Car guy,
      A friend of mine is type one. He started growing green tea plants on his homestead so he is doing alot more physical labor tending to them. He found that he needed very little /no insulin Monday thru Saturday when he worked hard out in the field. He takes Sunday off and finds he needs his regular dose Sunday night.
      Staying physically active helps him. He figures he can last about a year with the insulin he has saved up. He too is looking for ways to procure it. Tough to be the guinea pig tho.
      I also read some interesting articles on eating Okra helping with diabetes out of the UK and India.
      Tough spot to be in car guy. I really hope some of the suggestions folks have given you here bear fruit for your situation.
      Keep us in the loop…

  8. The Bible can shed light on many of the questions posed here.
    According to God’s Word, there is definitely a time of lack and famine coming. You can read about it in the book of Revelation chapter 6. This prophecy states that because of the war, disease and famine which are coming, 1/4 of earth’s population will die. This passage of the Bible is my number one reason for prepping. So how long will the time of “no resupply” last? Hard to say, but it will be long enough for a whole heck of a lot of people to die of starvation.
    I have a lot of food squirreled away in my home. One thing I did that others may find interesting is I bought a second refrigerator/freezer some years ago. I use this to store all my canned goods. I figured that if canned goods already have a long shelf life, refrigerating them would extend it for a longer time. I also have a rain catchment system and two countertop water filtration systems.
    Fortunately my wife is pretty much on board with my prepping ways, as long as I don’t spend more than we can afford.

    1. Interesting take on the Bible’s take on famine! My wife and I were discussing our mutual feelings of “famine”coming to our country, Now wether or not that is just plain a physical/temporal famine or just a spiritual famine or, even worse, both, doesn’t make a great deal of difference, we, are under-prepared for an6 biblical famine. We are trying to to be as prepared for both kinds, as our circumstances will allow. It just adds another dimension to our preparations.

      1. There are several reports on line of plants/forests dying due to high ultra violet and chem trails. Last week somewhere I heard about problems with oranges. Dane Wigington of Geoengineering is a good source of info.

        1. The “problems with oranges”announcement last week came from Florida Dept. of Agriculture, after their assessment of the Florida citrus crop post-Irma.

        2. Interesting the Florida problem came from a different source than Dane Wigington. I’ll have to keep a better check on him and see how his info pans out

        3. aka
          If you are looking for information you can request that information from the following business. You will have to ask if they can send it to you as I am not sure what there agreement is with Dane. Here is the address Orchard Nutrition Center, 221 Locust Street Redding, CA 96001 (530-244-9141). We listen to him when we are up early enough.

        4. Many insects are dying, as well as trees of all kinds. There is too much aluminum and heavy metasl being dispensed….from substances that are protected solutions to life.

      2. I always took it as a famine of food. The relevant verse says, “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beast of the earth.” – Revelation 6:8

        Here’s an interesting Bible fact:
        That little phrase (above) “beasts of the earth” apparently means “microscopic beasts”, as in bacteria and/or viruses.
        The word “beast” in the original Greek is “therion” (Strong’s Concordance #G2342), which means “diminutive” beast.

  9. Coincidentally the only grocery chain to operate in several counties here went into bankruptcy forcing residents to travel in some cases 70 miles to grocery shop.

    1. Sounds like an entrepreneur could make a lot of money by opening a grocery store where you live. If there are that few grocery stores in your area, they probably went bankrupt because of poor management.

      1. You are right, poor management. The Dollar stores have been doing a very brisk business in canned goods and farmers’ markets are doing well. A garden and a well-stocked pantry has been our practice so we are not affected.

  10. One of the areas of supplies I have stepped up in the last three months is weapon parts and weapon cleaning supplies. Do you have a extra lower build kit or bolt carrier group, firing pen. extractor and spring? Just picked up a quart bottle of No.9 and a full kit of Italian Gun grease products. All the tools in a kit to completely build or rebuild any AR-15 or AR-10 may just be more valuable than any of us know. I personally run a wet bolt so gun oil and Shell Arogrease are a must have. Hate to have a $1.00 spring turn my AR into a poor club.

      1. Agreed, I have been finishing those builds I procrastinated on, after Las Vegas, who knows what the politicians will do?

  11. Excellent article — this is one that makes everyone really think.

    When the grid goes down, or we are deeper in the collapse-state, we will all need to change our ability to go shopping. Not only for safety reasons but because store inventory/supply will not be as it used to be. Those of us who are somewhat self-reliant or prepping won’t have nearly the life-changing “habit” to kick than the vast majority of our population who shop daily.

    When resupply isn’t possible, most of us will use our own stored items and will depend on our own gardens more. We will all probably become more frugal with what we have, too. We will quickly begin to conserve our cooking fuels, or we will change how we are cooking altogether. Most of us will be adjusting our meals and foods as time goes on. So we’ll change what we cook and how we cook it.

    Instead of using 2-4 stovetop burners as many of us are conditioned to use, we will all be making more ‘one pot meals.’ This is how American pioneers survived…it can be done. This is also how 3rd world countries prepare many of their foods. Cooking fuels, utensils, and cook-units are hard to come by when you’re poor — the same will apply when the grid goes down or we are deeper in the collapse.

    We might make one ‘one pot meal’ per day on our propane or wood stoves. We might be cooking on open fire. We might be cooking on a kerosene or white-gas camp stove, or a volcano stove. We will all do what we can with what we’ve got — but we will all be changing our methods of cooking and we’ll all be simplifying what we cook.

    Many years ago, I used to think about the foods I would make during long-term grid-down scenarios, or in a collapse setting. I stupidly stocked up on the ingredients to continue making my beef stroganoff and so I bought DH sour cream and DH mushrooms so I could keep making my favorite meal. Now I realize how dumb that was. LOL I suppose when it gets realllly bad, I could concoct a similar dish, but there wouldn’t be sour cream because would no longer have fresh milk. I do have the culture to make sour cream, but would I have THE TIME for such a lavish ‘treat’? I doubt it.

    As things worsen, and we all know they are, we’ll all see that some people will garden more. A few more people will begin foraging, and I suspect there will be more hunters this Fall — just to ease the financial burden of the cost of food on families now. As things worsen, people who are prepared will depend more upon their stored foods (FD, DH, or canned foods) — especially when a resupply is difficult or not possible.

    One thing I do believe: our diets WILL change. Right now, we eat like spoiled people. With grid-down or a worsened collapse-state, we’ll eat more simply and have meals with fewer ingredients, I’m sure. There’s nothing wrong with a pot of bean soup, but personally, I would like some variety, just like many others here want. So our stored foods afford us that little benefit of being prepared for some variety. As things worsen, our gardens will also change and we’ll focus on more nutrient-dense foods to provide the proper nutrition without having to depend on vitamins and supplements. We’ll also grow-the-garden larger to accommodate larger yields. Most of the foods we believe that we will be making in our own household will be stir fry meals, soups, and one-pot dishes. Rice will become a staple, as will our variety of beans. And this is how I have planned our long-term food storage — to accommodate what I believe we will be prepared to grow and cook.

    I also believe the methods we use to cook our foods will change. Oven-baked casseroles in the regular oven are only going to be available while the fuel is there, so we’ll learn to make them in a dugout with hot coals to roast the meal, not ‘bake’ it. We will limit our own propane use to stove-top burners, not ovens. At that point of fuel conservation,the baked casseroles, baked breads, and other ‘baked’ foods will need to be cooked in a different type of “oven” (ie solar oven, dutch oven). Or we’ll need to adapt and modify how and what we cook. Personally, I envision many more flat breads in our household.

    When the grid goes down, or we are deeper in the collapse-state, my biggest ‘fear’ is going to be the lost people — the hordes…I don’t believe we will personally become overrun but it won’t be easy because people are mostly dependent on ‘the easy life’, the supermarkets, the fast-food joints, and the addiction-circuses of TV, internet, and smart-phone apps. Thankfully, most people are trained to “go to town” for stuff because most are either suburbanites or urban-dwellers and have that mindset to “go out” to get everything. They won’t go to the country or the forests. But then, they don’t have the ability to endure the long-walk to get there, anyway.

    1. Hi MT,
      You hit on a number of important points, and one in particular that I am thinking about more now, and that is how I will be cooking if we are grid down. I came to the exact conclusion you did – a lot of one-pot meals, and some things I make now will be too complicated or require too many pots, too many ingredients or too much fuel to bother with.

      When I broke it down (as I wrote about a few weeks ago) I realized that I would be using plenty of potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, rice and other basics that are versatile and can be used in a lot of one-pot meals, and adjusted my purchasing habits to go heavier on those items. I have also been looking for recipes for flat breads, corn cakes, tortillas and similar bread-like items that I can make without a proper oven and not too much work. Great post!

      1. We eat quite a bit of kale — it has potassium and calcium, and an excellent choice for a veggie. Those dark, leafy greens are often forgotten but we will all need them in our diets for the nutrients they provide.

        With us, we can grow kale really well and we have a big harvest per square foot. We aren’t nearly as fortunate with spinach, another quality green veggie. So we have lots of DH spinach and lots of kale seeds. LOL Our gardens are geared for production with a few trials of tomatoes every year, plus usually a new ‘fun’ veggie to grow. Our main veggies (based on harvest quantity and foot-print) are green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, squash, peppers, onions, and smaller rows or blocks of other veggies like carrots, eggplant, etc.

        We don’t buy any of those veggies since we have our own. And what we do preserve by canning, we make sure we have enough to last for 2 year just in case a drought or disease wipes out our garden harvest.

        Going with what you are using or plan to be using is the best way to organize and plan out the family food storage. Those who are really good with numbers could even calculate how much of an ingredient it takes to make certain dishes. They could then plan out menus for a specific duration of time and then make the purchases for everything needed. I’ve written down a 3-week rotational menu plan for two, but have not gone so far as to calculate what that would take for a ‘full house of family’ for a year. If 10 people were here, we would be eating very basic foods with an occasional treat to stretch it for a year. I hope it never gets THAT bad.

      2. What are ya’ll talking about? Yesterday we had potato cakes, tomatoes, and biscuits!!
        We eat like that every day!!
        Give me one item and a tomato/biscuit and I’m very happy!!

    2. I totally agree.
      My two choices for cooking – the large cast iron dutch oven and my pressure cookers. Thankfully, I had very simple eating habits. A bland and unvaried diet is not a problem around here.

      1. You are really fortunate to already be living-the-diet!! I have been switching over my regular breakfast to just having cereal right now. That’s because I’m eating up the stash intentionally. The Heritage flakes that I love don’t have a really long shelf life and so I’m not going to store them any longer.

        Once those cereals are gone, it will be oatmeal every day. I really like oatmeal so it’s not a problem and it will keep breakfast simple. As you say, “unvaried.” At that point, cereal will become a ‘treat’. And bacon will be a highly-coveted mouth-orgasm (heck, it already is, but I’ll limit myself to once a week or less).

        So thats part of my goal. I am wanting to simplify foods for breakfast so that I can focus more on the main meal of the day, whatever that will be. That will be my big ‘diet prep’ over the next couple of months.

        1. Homemade pancakes and homemade maple syrup.
          I have maple syrup canned in mason jars.

      2. Same here, Hermit. Meat, salad, eggs and cheese are pretty much my diet. Dining just isn’t that important to me. If it’s stew everyday, no problem.

    3. Modern Throwback & So Cal Gal
      Have either of you thought about having or building a brick pizza oven on your properties? This type of baking goes back before the electrical/gas oven came to fruition. I have seen a few of these on pinterest, and been fascinated by them.

      1. AC, I thought about having a brick oven built on the end of my carport, Mother Earth News had a simple plan for one. I decided to go with a large smoker. It has indirect heat and a thermometer to gauge temperature, plus I can put wood or charcoal inside it to grill things. It is on wheels, so I think the portability will be useful. I haven’t baked bread on it yet, but I am now inspired to do so. I’ll see if I can’t try it this week.

        1. RoughRider
          Saw the one in the M Earth, and then those shown in pinterest. There is an outdoor kitchen, believe it was from either Greece/Spain that was set up for cooking outside. It was so pretty/ utilitarian idea for ease of working outside. It would have required walls & roof here due to the weather we experience, but was a nice concept…

      2. Hi AC,
        I think it would be a kick to have one, but do not have enough space in suburbia to fit one in (everyone is built to limit lines). Also, in a true emergency, I think cooking that way would attract too much attention. I don’t know about the new house… have to think about that one.

      3. @Antique Collector

        Instead of making a pizza oven, we went and bought it ready made. We can wheel it around although it weighs a good 200 lbs. Ours can also be used as a smoker. Most importantly, if we move to another property, it can come with us. We have the Mother Earth plans for building one, just in case we need to.


      4. A couple years back I purchased an Ecozoom to cook on outside. It uses sticks like a rocket stove. You can do canning on it. I need to put it to the test shortly because I haven’t gotten around to it.

      5. AC, would love to have one but we just don’t have the spare time to build one right now. And we have so many alternate ways to cook that I just can’t justify the time at this point. We have a wood cookstove as a back up to our propane stove and oven. Also have a smoker, a grill, a volcano stove, and a BBQ setup for open fire cooking. Now if you want to drive over here and build me one, I’m in! :-0

    4. I have a solar oven–works as long as there’s sun. In this type of supply-down situation it will be priceless.

      I have extra hinges. When I have the money for it I’m going to have two more pieces of glass cut–one as a replacement top, the other with a vent so it can be used as a solar still.

      1. I’ve got a solar oven too. Just bought it. Expensive but it has been on my wish list for a couple of years. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve been watching a lot of You Tube videos and it looks like it may be great.

    5. Great points! I’ve also been thinking of cooking habits and most likely we’d end up using the top of one of our wood stoves (nice open space), with a dutch oven type set up. I’ve already requested a heavy duty dutch oven for Christmas, but I may try to get one before then, if I can squeeze out the funds. We’d also use our grill initially, until our 3 small propane tanks run out, and one of the family members in our ‘village’ has a charcoal grill, so that’s another short term option. We also have a gorgeous stone outdoor fireplace that was used for cooking years ago (our house is 150 years old and we think the fireplace is original to the place). It’s full of dirt/debris, but I’m determined to get it cleaned up and in working order before winter hits :)

      1. Svzee

        You mentioned getting a “new” Dutch Oven, be forewarned the New Lodge Cast-Iron is absolutely horrible. It’s very rough casting, and will require a lot of sanding and grinding to get it smooth and useable. I have quite a bit of Cast, and simply HATE it when I need something new and have to buy it if it’s Lodge Brand for I know I’ll spend time smoothing and re-curing it.

        Personally I LOVE cooking in Cast, but I do look for the older Cast from Yard Sales, or Junk Shops. I clean it up, even if rusty and it’s GREAT to cook with.

        1. NRP-thanks for the heads up, I did have a Lodge one bookmarked on Amazon, but I’ll keep looking!

      2. Hi Svzee,

        I don’t think I’ve had the chance to welcome you yet – welcome!!!

        Your outdoor fireplace sounds fantastic – it may be a heck of a clean-up project – but once it’s done hopefully you’ll love it! As you think about the cooking methods you will have available in an emergency, that will help you menu plan, and from there work on stocking those items that you use most often in your menus. Taking that approach changed some of my buying habits as I came to realize just how much of certain foods appear in my “emergency” menus. I was glad to have figured that all out while the shelves are all still well-stocked. : )

        1. Thanks for the welcome :) The fireplace will be a pain in the bum to tackle, but I think it will be well worth it!

    6. I actually plan on cooking inside our wood stove once we start heating with it. I have a large cast iron Dutch oven to use. I figure that I need to start practicing now before I really need it. I think initially I will start with soups and stews, then experiment with other foods.

    7. Hi Modern Throwback!
      Just one quick suggestion for sour cream. I purchased freeze-dried sour cream. Can’t remember from which company. It’s probably available somewhere. I too love my sour cream and make beef stroganoff. That’s one meal I would miss terribly! luv ya’ll, Beach’n

      1. @Beach’n
        Yes, I have that — I bought 6 cans of it and think it may have come from The Ready Store, but it was years ago and I’m unsure.
        It’s been my understanding that dairy doesn’t have that 30-year shelf life as so many of the FD/DH foods have. I have 5 cans of it now — I opened one to give it a try. Have you tried yours? Mine was a powder that had to be reconstituted and allowed to ‘sit’. It’s not nearly as good as real sour cream, but I did use it to try and make stroganoff ‘prepper style.’ So much for trying to maintain decadent dining during a collapse. lol

        All this talk of stroganoff is making me want some….

        1. It’s been a couple of years ago but I was told that the fd sour cream will not turn into the stuff that we spoon on to food. It is only intended to add to recipes.

    1. Keep getting ;

      500 Internal Server Error
      An internal server error has occured.


      1. I had that exact error several times the other day. I finally gave up tryin to post.

        1. wood56gas

          I found my problem, or one of my problems (before hermit us says anything) I like to type some of my comments into Word, well it seems Ken’s server does not like that cut & paste so much anymore for some reason…..

        2. NRP

          thanks for info, I was just typin when I got my error” haha . thank you very much for offerin help.

        3. NRP
          I believe that error 500 is a personal cognition error. Symptoms are slurred speech, blurred eye sight, difficulty in walking the straight line, surly attitude, ….. take two more aspirin and send me $50 tomorrow.

        4. Nope, I wasn’t doing that the first time. But then I did because I didn’t want to lose the info.

      2. Me too! I have s post I wanted to give wood56gas and it will not post without the 500 error. I tried two different computers.

  12. Great article Ken:

    A good reminder that if you buy one because you need it, buy 2 in case you cannot make it to the store next week. I have an unwritten rule that if I have an open bag with no extra unopened bag of any item, It is time to place it on the shopping list. this applies to cleaning products, canned foods, batteries, bags of rice, cat litter, pet food, medications etc. I believe NRP calls this: “living the lifestyle.”

    For items like soap: I use a concentrated Castile soap that gets diluted with distilled water. I use Dr Bronners Peppermint soap that has multiple uses such as cleaning and removing ant trails and cleans window glass as well as my backside. A little of this soap goes a long way and I have several unopened bottles. It can be tough on skin when used regularly so I also keep several bottles of skin lotion on hand as well. The bars of Dove soap are very convenient but Dr Bronners and some lotion will do in a pinch.

    I hesitate to bring this up after that bozo went sideways in Vegas on Sunday butt rather than hoarding ammo, I buy and use reloading components for centerfire rifles and handguns. Some one else already mentioned spare parts for your AR platforms. I agree and would recommend replacement spring kits for whatever you carry or consider what you have to have a “limited lifetime” and use it until it stops working well/begins to malfunction. Most of my time as a gunsmith was fixing things that others have discarded. I specialized in working on old, wood stocked bolt action sporters in 30-06. The only thing more satisfying than a successful hunt with a rebuilt rifle is having a happy customer come back and thank me for my help in their successful hunt with one of my rebuilt rifles.

    To Car Guy: Are you able order insulin if the insulin user is traveling out of country? I advised my father in law to obtain extra insulin when he was planning an extended motorcycle ride from the US down into Central and South America. This is also how he obtained extra test strips for the accucheck as well. Insulin is measured in International Units but things may be very different in Tierra Del Fuego or in Eastern Europe. An extended road trip is the last place one should be experimenting with a “different type of Insulin” as it takes several weeks for your body to get “dialed in”. I probably do not need to remind you to pack along a snack of crackers or carbohydrate in your pockets at all times. I am now a nurse in town but as a first responder, I have lost count the number of times I have had to respond to medical emergencies and the solution was the bottle of sugared soda from my lunchbox. ( I also carry the soup crackers that come with the bowl of clam chowders they are sealed and ready to use.)

    1. Clean windows with w tablespoon of cornstarch in warm water. Use a wet rag to wash and a lint free dry rag to dry. Perfect job! Try it out and you will become a believers.

      1. DAMedinNY
        Is that a gallon of warm water or less to the TBSP of cornstarch to clean the windows?

        1. It is about a gallon….I don’t measure exactly. My grandfather taught us this and he has been gone for 50 years.

    2. CaliRefugee
      re: reloading components…..how/where do you store your powder and primers? I’ve been interested in doing reloading (did so many years ago at a friend’s gun shop), but am a little put off by their potential explosive nature, especially since it can get pretty hot here, and I’m not too keen on keeping them in the temp controlled house. Wouldn’t you need to store a LOT of both in a “no more resupply” situation?
      Maybe we need to learn how to make black powder and knap flint? :-)

      1. Making your own might require a little exploration if you’re going to do BP. You’re going to need sulfur, aka brimstone. Best source would be your nearest local volcano. Then you’ll need saltpeter, decayed bat guano is one source, others involve chamber pots. The charcoal is fairly simple to obtain although alder and willow make the best for BP. One other point to consider is the frequency of powder mill explosions even in the most controlled industrial environments. But you can do it. How many times is the question.
        Now about those primers. Heat, as in a house fire or a sharp blow delivered in such a way that it violently compresses the priming compound against the primer’s anvil are required to detonate the priming compound. Interior storage isn’t particularly dangerous. If it were, gun shops and outdoor retailers wouldn’t keep them on the shelf.
        Of course your local ordinances and your insurance company may have a different opinion.
        Probably the best hunting/weaponry for ‘from scratch’ production are spears and bows and arrows. You’ll still need that flint.

  13. I was looking at my supply room this morning and I got to thinking of the things that I could do without if I had to. I made a list of my needs and wants, the want list was a lot bigger than my need list. When SHTF and I think it will you can forget about getting resupplied. That Walmart store will be empty in about 4 to 6 hours.

    1. running bear;

      AND those 4-6 hours could be some of the most dangerous in your life.
      Imagine 100,000 people all heading out for that last loaf of Bread….

    2. If I were in a town of any size, I would be usin those 4 to 6 hours to get OUT of said city. Those same people will turn their attention to much worse things and It won’t be long till they will be really HUNGRY for the first time in their lives.. Hunger and Desperation will be motivation for truly primal behavior, the likes of which we have never imagined.

      I would rather be totally naked in the woods with nothing but a butterknife than to try to deal with the PEOPLE. just my humble hillbilly opinion

  14. Although this topic is always timely (IMHO) it should be front & center based on what is happening in Puerto Rico. Any of us could end up being on an island of sorts – cut off from regular supply routes due to any number of emergencies.

    When you think about what it takes to manufacture, transport, warehouse and stock local shelves it’s an amazingly fragile system. Labor strikes, bad weather or fuel shortages can cause local problems. Factor in natural and man-made disasters including financial melt-downs, terrorist attacks, wide-spread civil unrest, an epidemic, and so on, and it’s easy to picture those store shelves being empty for quite a while.

    I know the folks who regularly post here are all on board, but if anyone is reading this thread who is on the fence about preparedness, or has been reading but not yet taking action, I urge you to get started today. Some water and a few cans of food can get you going, and there are plenty of nice people here to answer your questions along the way.

    1. So Cal Gal;

      remember the other day you were asking about some of the ‘warning flags’ to watch for?

      I believe we are seeing some of those now.
      WITHOUT turning this into a discussion on the LV shootings, what is most concerning to me, is the comments being made and the total disrespect for lives that were lost all blatantly spouted on MSfN and the Social Media. People are losing their minds.

      THAT is some of the things to watch for….

      So you are exactly correct —- “but if anyone is reading this thread who is on the fence about preparedness, or has been reading but not yet taking action, I urge you to get started today”— Better advice has never been spoken.

      1. The normalicy bias:
        Hurricane Harvey – rarely happens
        Hurricane Irma – it’s normal there
        Hurricane Maria – very, very rare
        Forest fires- well, it was a drought. Rain will come again
        Earthquakes – they don’t happen here. We’re safe from that.
        Las Vegas massacre – that sort of things always happens in the big cities.
        Twenty one trillion dollar debt – they’ll figure something out.
        Corruption – it’s always been around.
        And then there’s us figuring out what to do after our supplies run out.
        Oh right, we must be crazy and wearing a tin foil hat

    2. Just a couple of years ago, a hurricane stalled out and dumped the remainder of its water in our West Texas area. We were living on an approximately 8 square mile island for ten days with all access to our community cut off by floodwaters that in some cases were 4-5 feet deep.
      DOT was not allowing any vehicles to attempt the roads, due to the number of flooded-out cars and trucks. Fortunately, we did not lose power as expected, and our one store wasn’t overwhelmed with the unprepared. (Hmmm)
      All told, it was a nice exercise of our preps, without anyone getting too uncomfortable. I just managed a few days off from work without any repercussions. The roads were not officially open for two weeks, but we did have work-arounds to get out after the tenth day.
      – Papa S.

  15. Ken, you said, “If resupply was disrupted, what would everyone around me do? How would that affect me?”

    Recently, someone approached me about being prepared. We have about 30% LDS in our state and he is active in LDS. He wanted to have someone come into my house to help me with some of my chores. That is part of their religion — they help old people and people in need. He also mentioned he could get me some literature about how to prepare for a disaster. I didn’t take him up on his offer, but something he said gave me another reason to prepare.

    He said, “If you are prepared for an emergency and don’t need to run to the store at the last minute, that takes some of the pressure off of the rest of the community.” So we are preparing for our community, not just for ourselves. Our good deed.

  16. A couple of items I’ve noticed from my own supplies that are lacking is dish soap & bleach.

    Bought about ten gallons of bleach on sale about a year-and-a-half ago and yes it does go bad. By the time I got to the last few bottles you’d think it was just water, no smell at all. I have a few bags of the pool shock that is 78% sodium hypo-chloride but that would be used up in a week with a Harvey or Irma scenario. Planning on more of that after my bleach experience. Sanitation will become a big, big deal in grid down. We take it for granted now days. If you do decide to put away any pool-shock granules for a longer term solution, do your homework, they’re not all created equal and not all suitable for sanitation, and especially not all suitable for sterilizing water to drink. Do the homework.

    And again, when supply lines stop, dish soap is gonna be a major. I have a good bit but not nearly enough for my comfort level. Think about cleaning dishes, pots, pans, silverware from a meat dish with bar soap, laundry soap, or sand-water. Not so good.

    I just reread Selco’s “A Year In Hell” article. Great refresher points.

    1. We have discussed what we would need to do with a lack of dish detergent. Our plan at this time is to issue everyone their own dishware and silverware. If water was the only option for cleaning, then germs could pass on to others with improper washing. Everyone would be responsible for keeping their own dinnerware clean. Not a perfect solution, but at least we would be less likely to pass germs around.

      1. If enough water is available, to wash thoroughly, can sterilize glass/ceramic, ironware/etc in boiling water. wash as possible first then dip each peice in water ,use tongs, or jar lifters, if can’t leave them in til cools.

        1. Dang, such a simple idea, I’m surprised I didn’t think of that. Thanks Just Sayin.

  17. Great post, perfect for me as I’m just getting started with all of this and trying to get myself sorted/prioritize. We live off of a river, and we also have lots of natural springs, so I read up on how to boil/bleach water and I think we’re good there. I just bought 2 bottles of bleach for us to use, short term initially, and then I also want to get a few gallons of distilled water, just for convenience-on next week’s ‘to buy’ list. After that all runs out we’re onto boiling, though the natural springs are really clean/kids have drank from them already ‘as is’.

    We live in the Midwest and can have pretty harsh winter weather, but we have a pellet stove as our main source of house heat, and it’s the kind that inserts into a fireplace, so if we couldn’t convert it to regular wood once pellets ran out, we could always remove it from the fireplace and convert that back, (I think).. We also have a fireplace in our master bedroom, a wood stove in our garage (I think we’d use this as our cooking stove), and then we also have another wood stove in a shed. We live in a very wooded area so we should be all set for heat-except I realized this week we don’t own an ax! See how much of a newbie I am lol. So, that’s now on the ‘to buy sooner than later’ list.

    I think food is our weakest area and right now I’m focusing on getting 3 months worth of food stored in the house. I also spent some time printing out instructions on how to clean/cook fish, field dress a deer, how to clean small game etc. We’re not hunters, but I now have some of the basic instructions in hand, in case we ever have to learn. I also ordered a big vegetable seed set and that should be here soon. That would give us a potential garden down the road. I also want to get canning supplies/learn how to can-especially meat, at some point in the near future.

    On a side note: my husband recently did some work at the water filtration plant that supports one of the biggest cities in our state. He got to talking to one of the guys there and after they got friendly the guy started opening up a bit more about the logistics of the facility. Come to find out- in a catastrophic event it only has the capability to run for 30 hours (using whatever back up system they have). Less than 2 days and hundreds of thousands of people could be without water. Scary to think about.

    1. Svzee, once you do some canning, you will find that it is not hard at all. Yes, can your meat; you will not be sorry. If you can, order Jackie Clay Atkinson’s book, “Growing and Canning Your Own Food.” Also, you can pick up a copy of the “Ball Blue Book” at WM or Amazon. That is all you will need to learn how to can most anything (including game). I wish you the best on this adventure. Most of us were where you are now just a few years back. It is a journey well worth the effort. Also, about canning jars. I spent a small fortune getting started then got smart and began asking folks if they knew anyone getting rid of any. Wasn’t long before I had more than I could possibly use. For Free!

    2. if some of the springs are on your land consider digging it out and make a spring house to protect from critters contaminating near source. secure with fine mesh/screen wire, make shelf to store butter/milk. add sand around opening and bottom..etc. will depend on your needs/wants.
      consider keeping and cleaning out all gallon jugs and 2 liter soda bottles, use those to store water or dry goods in, wash, sterilize with bleach or vinegar, rinse well dry, drain and let sit with a paper towel wick in neck…neck down….fill with tap water if you can drink yours from tap, tolerate the chlorine? it is already treated. no further treatment necessary. use plain bleach bottles for water storage if you drink chlorinated water….if you don’t drink chlorine in water can still use for bathing, cleaning washing dishes.(..very low cost) can also get the oil jugs from fast food places and wash with dawn and hot water… can use those for flushing potty, washing dishes.. keep the box they come in, jugs are not substantial, but will hold 4.5 gallons of water.. so 3 or 4 will give you a buffer of storage for a short time.6-9 months, (while you are trying to get initiala storage amounts up)until you can afford the expenses of the standard 6 gallon water jugs… if you have animals they would drink this water. Jugs are food grade,/thin handles… but it is very difficult to get all oil out. to get the oil out…it. takes 1.5 gallons of very hot water, concentrated dawn, put in and shake well, but FIRST drain out all oil and save it aside, in clean container. unless allergic to it, usually peanut or canola oil. after shaking thouroughly( and hard, like you are shaking a gallon jug of milk for making butter. ) pour into the next prepared jug,, and rinse the jug with very hot water…I usually wash one jug, with two suds and one hot water to clear… the first water becomes the first wash water for the second jug, and the third… and continue.process.
      ..consider… water catchment if legal.. look up simple homemade filters get directions for the bio filter … will need sand, rock in several sizes, , charcoal and large food grade container to layer those… screen and a large t shirt or similar to use on top as a pre-filter… a spigot/fittings to place thru the bucket/barrell. and a container.to drain filtered water to.
      Anyone can learn a lot from instructables and you tube!
      Consider getting EXTRA veggie seeds of your favorite items, in several different varieties.. ie 3 kinds of tomatoes, okra at least 2 kinds. 4 kinds of beans , several kinds of squash… and enough to plant 3 seasons. (consider..”what if “the seasons change , a late frost hits plants already up, there are heavy rains and they have trouble swimming…etc)
      The pinto beans, the dry ones, you buy at gro store,( that swell and sprout when soaked)… can be planted..they will grow a half runner bean, good small for snap and older for seed and dry ones.
      Keep on learning!

      1. Wow, thanks for all the info! My husband has been working on channeling the springs, since they’re making the area soggy/marshy and we want to use the land for a picnic/fire pit area, and possibly a garden. We also talked about making a natural pool in the area too. We’ve found crayfish in the spring channels , so there’s a potential food source there too lol.
        I picked up 1.5lb bags of pinto beans at the dollar store (have 8 bags so far and working towards 20). Didn’t even think about planting them-thanks for the tip!

        1. svzee

          I read in your post somewhere ya’ll were plannin on wood heat in an emergency. I heat solely with wood. I think I also read ya’ll were plannin to use an ax. Please be aware of sheer amount of labor usin an ax entails. If a chain saw is not available, a 2 man cross cut saw is probably the next best option.

          While we are talkin about wood, don’t forget about a method to split wood. You can get by with a maul, an 8 or 10 pound sledge hammer and wedges.

          I would suggest to keep an extra handle or two for ax ,hammer and maul in stock. Firewood can definitely be processed by hand, but it is labor intensive. It is surprisin how much wood you can burn when it’s cold. You should be proud for preparin your family.

        2. wood59gas4
          “If a chain saw is not available, a 2 man cross cut saw is probably the next best option.”

          A cross cut saw is fine, but only useful for really big logs. And only when two men on hand to use it.
          Good intermediary choice is a bow saw. Available in several sizes, inexpensive, & gets the job done.
          When you buy one, be sure to buy at least several extra blades at same time.
          I’ve got a small chain saw I keep on hand for times when a big wind storm leaves a huge redwood limb across the drive & it is too heavy to drag out of the way.

          I hung up my chainsaw a couple years ago—my current new one’s compression is too tight for me to pull./start. I keep it on hand, tho, & consider it part of my homestead gear.

          Always keep gasearmarked for chainsaw use ONLY. In SHTF, it will prove to be one of the very best last uses of gas. Don’t forget to store chainsaw mix, files, & spare chains too. And don’t forget spare pairs of leather gloves.

        3. marilyn

          I respectfully disagree, Havin used both crosscut and bow saw. If I had to choose one only for firewood, crosscut would win. Larger, much coarser, teeth. Not only that, there is somebody on the other end. . As far as “really big logs”, i am not talkin about a mammoth crosscut. We use a 6 foot crosscut saw. Will handle firewood from 3inches to 2 ft diameter well. thanks for comment.

      2. Excellent point about the spring house. That’s what my granparents used. It’s not a refigerator but it’s a sight cooler than summer weather. I hope folks will research “spring house”. Lots of people could benefit if there were no refrigeration.

  18. NRP,
    Some of the comments have been truly disgusting… I agree people are losing their minds, and their civility. I can just imagine these very people fighting it out over the last of the supplies as stores empty out. Once again, I am reminded of Ken’s post about the thin veneer of society. Ken, a lot of your posts have stuck with me, but I think of that one time and again. NRP is right, as people become more brazen in their divisiveness and hatred, they become more dangerous, and will be a real threat in an emergency where the supply chain breaks down.

  19. One more comment-in regards to tp, back when money was really tight we made cloth tp out of an old flannel sheet. Once you get past the ick factor it actually works really well-I just had a bucket with a bit of bleach water in the bathroom for them to go in after use. We also used cloth diapers/wipes and feminine hygiene pads. It’s amazing how creative you can get, when necessity calls for it :)

    1. Svzee

      OHHHHH you have a to catch up on all the discussions on TP I see…. HAHAHAHA

      Always a subject that’s difficult to bring up, but something that’s necessary and as I have said before…

      Ya want to see a real TSHTF, wait for 3 seconds after ya run out of TP with a house full of ‘Wife, DIL, DD, DM, and so-on….

      600 rolls of TP is not really that much…. Is It?

      1. Ha, it really is an item people freak out over lol. My family can’t even handle it when the spare tp is in another bathroom in the house :p

        1. Svzee
          I have to tell you that we had a resident expert, CaliRefugee, say that it is possible to see the NRP TP stockpile from space. Most of us agree that this is hoarding and feel he should share with everyone before SHTF.

  20. I do believe that we really need to step up our personal preparations, the sooner the better. Sickened by the actions on Sunday night, but thrilled at seeing the concentration on the acts of everyday ordinary peo0le doing extraordinary things for their fellow human beings without thought of politics, religion.

  21. Being fairly new to prepping and only able to build up supplies slowly, I realistically know that when the grid goes down my life expectancy goes down also. We have enough for 60-90 days for food and 30-45 days water based on storage, and rationing, but after that it’s a downhill game as I will be forced to become a scavenger, which I can do, that’s not the problem, it’s those thousands upon thousands of other surviving scavenging folk out there we’ll have to deal with. You better know it’s going to be a dog eat dog scenario, plus, where will these supplies still be available? At what cost?

    1. Broadwing

      Your at 60-90 and 30-45, you do realize your 100% better off that 95% of the people in the country?

      Your doing GREAT, just keep going as you can….:-)

      1. NRP, Do you really think that the non-preppers are at 95%? I would have guessed more like 98-99%.

        1. me;

          Actually yes, but I’m taking into account the LDS, Mennonite’s and Amish communities, plus a lot of others that keep the OPSEC very quiet.

        2. Don’t use Mennonites…the girl across the street in the long dress tans in a bed, whitens her teeth, uses a cell, and I’ve been in her house–addressing canning abilities–she looked shocked!!!
          I was shown her house–not any food there.

      2. NRP,
        Yes, I realize I’m better off then most but that still doesn’t make me comfortable looking beyond my supply state. I’m still collecting, buying, reevaluating, and planning. Lately it’s almost become a full time job as indicators for distress and SHTF appear to be getting worse. Maybe it’s just me being a worry wart. I’ve seen indicators get bad before yet nothing went to terribly wrong. I’ll keep my fingers crossed on it not happening this time. Regardless, I just can’t seem to feel I’ve done enough with all the extras I could and should be doing. Being on a tight budget after retirement makes it tough so I have to prioritize what I need to get. Food and water is #1, followed by shelter, heat, etc. I have my own home so no problem with shelter, it’s just maintaining it in a SHTF scenario.

  22. Great discussion today!!!
    When we first decided to start prepping we labeled everything we bought with a month and year we bought it. Using this method we were able to keep track of how many of any item we used for a whole year. Now I buy big bottles, packages, containers at a year at a time from a bulk online store. Of course these are household items. And I tend to add an extra to the order, just in case.
    Our daughter has asthma and so far have been able to get 3 months stocks of meds. Everytime we go to the Dr we ask for samples of her meds. Sometimes they have them sometimes they don’t.
    We also have plans in place, incase we run out. We know how to make soap, feminine napkins, stock up on all the supplies need to make all sorts of things. That way if anyone comes in and “helps themselves” to our stash. Chances are they don’t know that this, this and that makes shampoo.

  23. For those who use insulin….cold storage will be an issue as you already know after tshtf. Remember drinking beer while fishing w/o a cooler! If you have a creek, brook, spring, river or pond (not the best for this) on your property that has a current, keep checking the water temp throughout the warm part of the year in your area. If I remember, insulin must be kept below 81•. If your water temp stays below that, pad and put your insulin into a latex/neoprene glove and tie it off so it is watertight. Drill a few holes in a 5 gallon bucket to let water flow in and out and sink it into the bottom. Drop some weight in so it doesn’t float off on you and set your insulin down in the bucket so the water flows over it and it will remain the same temp as the water. Put the lid on and tie a short leash on it for extra safety and voila! You can keep pretty much keep anything cool by doing this. Just scale up to whatever you need.
    Another plant to consider for blood sugar control is fenugreek. My wife was on it to help ward off post-natal diabetes among other benefits for new moms.

    1. Jon
      Ever heard of a company that has refrigerator’s that run on ac or dc power, American made. You can find them listed on Amazon, SUN FROST. They also have a small unit especially for vaccines. They have a page on the net if you need more information about how they work, company has been around for quite some time.

      1. AC… thanks for the input. I don’t need insulin myself (got lucky as both grandfathers were). I just put out a tip for a powerless way to keep things cool. I will look into mini fridge just for luxuries as I have a few power inverters for car batteries in my stash. Thanks much!

  24. If you can’t afford to buy gold/silver coins, one thing you can do is scrap old electronics for the precious metals they contain. Granted, an old computer doesn’t have much gold in it, but if gold rises to (a hypothetical) $10,000/oz, it doesn’t take a lot of gold to have a significant amount. I got into scrapping for a while and accumulated a couple of grams of gold before I stopped. Keyboards also contain silver. The older the electronics, the more gold/silver in them.
    Search YouTube for scrapping videos if you’re interested.

  25. I read somewhere today that Buffet is buying, going to buy, or is trying to buy the Flying J truck stops. I see more control of the trucking industry coming, therefore breakdown of the supply chain. Beach’n

  26. When resupply is not possible? Prepping on the cheap (tight budget)? I’m (me and my family) are good, no problems for about 3 months. Better than many, less so than some.
    My plans, if things go totally bad, and there appears there will a long road back to normal, is to go into long term survival mode as early as signs indicate. This means strict monitoring of caloric/protein consumption and immediate incorporation of wild edibles and game into our diet to take pressures off our long term food storage, hopefully stretching a three month supply of stores, to six or more months.. Even though I live where these things are abundant,,,,,, NOW……., I fully expect that the increased pressure by a universal event will deplete these free resources fairly fast. Call me selfish, but I want to get what I can before the lines start forming in the woods. I have no doubts that the shelves in the wilderness surrounding me will go bare fairly quickly.

    1. Dennis
      Two types of hunters, them that know what they are doing and the urban hordes bringing out their quads side by sides. and dirt bikes You will hear them for miles until the fuel runs out. We noticed that when some areas were shut to motorized vehicles due to fire hazards, the game in the other areas were pushed back many miles and to much higher elevations due to motorized hunting pressure. Get out there early if the SHTF.

    2. Get the meat you can as soon as legal and can it. On the shelf and secured,you won’t need to stand in line. I highly recommend Beef Stew seasoning for venison of any cut. makes it more digestable . I add heavy garlic granules. and also meat tenderizer with papin. one pint = approx one pound cubed. one quart approx 2 lbs.

  27. A Story About Wild Hogs – – – Or Is It Americans?
    From securityandselfreliance dotcom
    I apologize for the length of this parable.


    Some years ago, about 1900, an old trapper from North Dakota hitched up some horses to his Studebaker wagon, packed a few possessions— especially his traps—and drove south. Several weeks later he stopped in a small town just north of the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia.

    It was a Saturday morning—a lazy day—when he walked into the general store. Sitting around the pot-bellied stove were seven or eight of the town’s local citizens.

    The traveler spoke. “Gentlemen, could you direct me to the Okefenokee Swamp?”

    Some of the oldtimers looked at him like he was crazy. “You must be a stranger in these parts,” they said.

    “I am. I’m from North Dakota,” said the stranger. “In the Okefenokee Swamp are thousands of wild hogs.” one old man explained. “A man who goes into the swamp by himself asks to die!” He lifted up his leg. “I lost half my leg here, to the pigs of the swamp.”

    Another old fellow said, “Look at the cuts on me; look at my arm bit off!

    Those pigs have been free since the Revolution, eating snakes and rooting out roots and fending for themselves for over a hundred years. They’re wild and they’re dangerous. You can’t trap them. No man dare go into the swamp by himself.” Every man nodded his head in agreement.

    The old trapper said, “Thank you so much for the warning. Now could you direct me to the swamp?” They said, “Well, yeah, it’s due south— straight down the road.” But they begged the stranger not to go, because they knew he’d meet a terrible fate.

    He said, “Sell me ten sacks of corn, and help me load it in the wagon.” And they did. Then the old trapper bid them farewell and drove on down the road. The townsfolk thought they’d never see him again. Two weeks later the man came back. He pulled up to the general store, got down off the wagon, walked in and bought ten more sacks of corn. After loading it up he went back down the road toward the swamp.

    Two weeks later he returned and again bought ten sacks of corn. This went on for a month. And then two months, and three. Every week or two the old trapper would come into town on a Saturday morning, load up ten sacks of corn, and drive off south into the swamp.

    The stranger soon became a legend in the little village and the subject of much speculation. People wondered what kind of devil had possessed this man, that he could go into the Okefenokee by himself and not be consumed by the wild and free hogs.

    One morning the man came into town as usual. Everyone thought he wanted more corn. He got off the wagon and went into the store where the usual group of men were gathered around the stove. He took off his gloves.

    “Gentlemen,” he said, “I need to hire about ten or fifteen wagons. I need twenty or thirty men. I have six thousand hogs out in the swamp, penned up, and they’re all hungry. I’ve got to get them to market right away.”

    “You’ve WHAT in the swamp?” asked the storekeeper, incredulously. “I have six thousand hogs penned up. They haven’t eaten for two or three days, and they’ll starve if I don’t get back there to feed and take care of them.”

    One of the oldtimers said, “You mean you’ve captured the wild hogs of the Okefenokee?”

    “That’s right.”

    “How did you do that? What did you do?” the men urged, breathlessly.

    One of them exclaimed, “But I lost my arm!”

    “I lost my brother!” cried another.

    “I lost my leg to those wild boars!” chimed a third.

    The trapper said, “Well, the first week I went in there they were wild all right. They hid in the undergrowth and wouldn’t come out. I dared not get off the wagon. So I spread corn along behind the wagon. Every day I’d spread a sack of corn. The old pigs would have nothing to do with it.”

    “But the younger pigs decided that it was easier to eat free corn than it was to root out roots and catch snakes. So the very young began to eat the corn first. I did this every day. Pretty soon, even the old pigs decided that it was easier to eat free corn. After all, they were all free; they were not penned up. They could run off in any direction they wanted at any time.”

    “The next thing was to get them used to eating in the same place all the time. So I selected a clearing, and I started putting the corn in the clearing. At first they wouldn’t come to the clearing. It was too far. It was too open. It was a nuisance to them.”

    “But the very young decided that it was easier to take the corn in the clearing than it was to root out roots and catch their own snakes. And not long thereafter, the older pigs also decided that it was easier to come to the clearing every day.”

    “And so the pigs learned to come to the clearing every day to get their free corn. They could still subsidize their diet with roots and snakes and whatever else they wanted. After all, they were all free. They could run in any direction at any time. There were no bounds upon them.”

    “The next step was to get them used to fence posts. So I put fence posts all the way around the clearing. I put them in the underbrush so that they wouldn’t get suspicious or upset. After all, they were just sticks sticking up out of the ground, like the trees and the brush. The corn was there every day. It was easy to walk in between the posts, get the corn, and walk back out.”

    “This went on for a week or two. Shortly they became very used to walking into the clearing, getting the free corn, and walking back out through the fence posts.”

    “The next step was to put one rail down at the bottom. I also left a few openings, so that the older, fatter pigs could walk through the openings and the younger pigs could easily jump over just one rail. After all, it was no real threat to their freedom or independence. They could always jump over the rail and flee in any direction at any time.”

    “Now I decided that I wouldn’t feed them every day. I began to feed them every other day. On the days I didn’t feed them the pigs still gathered in the clearing. They squealed, and they grunted, and they begged and pleaded with me to feed them. But I only fed them every other day. And I put a second rail around the posts.”

    “Now the pigs became more and more desperate for food. Because now they were no longer used to going out and digging their own roots and finding their own food. They now needed me. They needed my corn every other day.

    So I trained them that I would feed them every day if they came in through a gate. And I put up a third rail around the fence. But it was still no great threat to their freedom, because there were several gates and they could run in and out at will.”

    “Finally I put up the fourth rail. Then I closed all the gates but one, and I fed them very, very well. Yesterday I closed the last gate. And today I need you to help me take these pigs to market.”

    1. Sounds like a FEMA camp to me. EBT and SNAP cards every month until you get them in the corral.

        1. Cinderella
          Na, my foot is always in my mouth. :)
          Or in a work boot – my formal attire.

  28. To: FinallyOuttaCA:

    Primers are stored inside where it is temp controlled. Powder is kept in garage next to a wall and far away from sparks, heat or flame. During ammo shortage of 2012, powder was purchased in 8 lb kegs and sold to fellow shooters through a swap meet at my local club. (sold by the pound. Bring your own container, masking tape and marking pens).

    These days, pressure is off and powder is easy to find. The 2 biggest consumers of powder are: magnum pistol and rifle cartridges. Shotshell reloading is also a fast consumer of powder and trap or game loads are cheaper to buy than to reload. Reloading of shot shells these days is reserved for teaching others and/or making my own personal use loads like “light buckshot loads” that will launch 12 pellets of buckshot at 1100 fps without ripping your shoulder off.

    Reloading in times of shortage meant I was shooting and reloading for my 22 Hornet a lot because: it uses small pistol primers which are easier to find/locate. Each reload only uses 10 grains of H110. ( do the math and realize 1 lb of powder will give you 700 loads at 10 grains per round of loaded ammo.) With this rifle, I could chase squirrels all day and use relatively small amounts of resources. Other economical rounds to reload included the 38 special because I could also cast bullets from lead ingots and 9 mm which can shoot lead in a pinch but works well with plated bullets.100% of the time with small amounts of powder used per round.

    To compare relative cartridges and powder usage: 223 Remington: 21 grains of 4198 powder per each loaded round. 30-06: 57 grains of 4350 per each loaded round of ammo.
    12 gauge trap load: 17 grains of Red Dot for 1 and 1/8 oz load of #8 shot. ( Red dot is also used in 45 ACP reloads at 4.7 grains per load using cast lead and 3.5 grains in 38 special also using cast lead bullets.) More bang for your buck in tough times.

    The enemy of all powder either smokeless or black powder of black powder substitute is heat. I keep mine stored in original containers as much as possible in areas close to exterior walls of my house and garage. Fire department will not go into a burning house if they know there are large amounts of powder or loaded ammo inside. If in a storage unit where temps can fluctuate, place the powder inside of a dry ice chest to blunt the temperature extremes.

    1. Calirefugee

      thank you for posting that.. I imagine in the event of a calamity, there will be a lot more interest in reloadin. excellent info.

  29. I moved to an area where nature is my store when everything is gone at stores and heating supplies are gone, plus I have some neighboring farmers who carved a nitch out of the forest for cows, chickens, pigs, etc. Seeds I saved will plant for another garden. Nature is wonderful most the time.

    1. @Stardust… nature is wonderful all the time. It just depends on your point of view.

  30. Hello all, I am from Puerto Rico. As you may heard, we got hit a month ago by a Category 5 Hurricane Maria. Still no power. I am so glad i found this blog. Not only we had to learn the hard way how to survive a long lasting blackout. But i started yo learn for future preparedness. We will prepare a closet with plenty of things so we don’t have to go through this again.

    any tips you can send our way are welcome

    1. @ Muriel G… Hello and welcome aboard! Your already on a good path. Today’s topic is persistence and determination which you have doing for a while now. You have persisted in your daily life after Maria and are determined not to let it happen again. GOOD ON YA!!
      Start with the basics. Non-perishable/canned foods, water (or a means to boil and filter) and medical supplies including any prescriptions you and yours have. Build from there according to what you will most likely be facing. A low cost battery or solar radio would also be a good starter prep. Something like a Running Snail am/fm/weather radio. It’s solar or hand crank to power it. It can also be used to charge up USB devices. If you have the means, a small generator or solar system to power a thing or two. I see power and easy access to clean water as the most pressing issues. Do you have a way to filter and boil water? If you can, then you can cook as well. Just please, please don’t burn treated wood for cooking if possible.
      There are many more here who have been through hurricanes as well and I am sure they will chime in and give you better lines of thought than I. I get tornados, not hurricanes. Keep calm and prep on.

    2. G Muriel, I am curious to hear your comment about what was the worst things you had to deal with during the aftermath. What did you miss the most and what was the most difficult to get?

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