Prepping Projects for this Spring and Summer – A Baker’s Dozen
I live outside the city with just over two acres on my lot. You may have a different set up but I thought it might be useful to review top prepping projects for someone with their own house and lot so here we go…
I am going to skip the bug out bag, your medical and survival kits, and purchasing weapons and ammo – those should be foundational to your prepping plan.
►Sustenance – water: rain catchment. If you don’t have a well, you might consider doing a rain catchment project. A cheap and simple project is just to put 55-gallon plastic drums at the bottom of your downspouts (four recycled rain barrels should be about $300). A more expensive project would be to install a below ground storage tank with a hand pump as backup. If you have some sort of filtration device, at least if the water goes out, you have a source of water to treat for drinking or for non-potable uses such as washing. Large gravity fed home filtration system <$300. Small portable filter pump <$75.
► I hope you are storing some drinking water already, at least in old two-liter soda bottles. We store about 18 gallons and then rotate usage (use one, re-fill it, use the next one, etc). Remember – plan for one gallon per person per day. Family of four needs 84 gallons for three weeks. Store as much as you can manage comfortably. Cost <$50 and you get a great sugar high from consuming all those soft drinks…
► Sustenance – food: if you haven’t planned a menu yet and are building your stockpile, I hope you are at least starting to stock up on non-perishable food a little bit at a time. You may not go out and buy 800 pounds of wheat berries but try to pick up some extra of whatever food you normally buy (canned soup, corned beef whatever). Get some UHT milk and juice. Get a supply of salt, sugar and baking soda plus whatever other spices you like. If you see a special “shipping only” deal for freeze dried survival rations, snap it up. Monthly budget $50 or less.
► Long Term Sustenance: plant some fruit trees this spring around the yard. You might want to get some raspberry and blackberries plants (plant them around the edge of your property – they spread rapidly and soon you have a boundary hedge that is difficult for intruders to walk through). Plant at least some vegetables, expand your planting year over year as you get comfortable. 4-Get some rabbits: a buck and two to three does. They don’t require much space. 5-Get some chickens or ducks. 6-Get a couple of goats. You now have a source of fruit, veggies, meat, eggs, and milk. Not bad for a beginner. Total cost around $500 if you build your own hutch and coop – but fencing for your goats might run a little money. Next year, you might consider building a greenhouse….
► Do you have an area that can serve as a root cellar (even a corner of your basement that stays cool and dark)? This can double as a fall out shelter or tornado shelter.
► Install a wood burning stove as an alternate source of heat / method of cooking.
Medical Hygiene / Waste Management
► Begin your compost pile – you will need fertilizer for your garden. Simple to do, if you aren’t doing it already, you need to ask yourself why not? (<$25 if you get some pallets free, try seeing if department or grocery stores will let you haul some away at no cost).
► Build an anaerobic digestor – you now have some methane for cooking. Cheap and easy to set up. (<$150 for materials).
► Install an outhouse – don’t have to start using it but at least it is installed.
► Security: review access to your home – do you need to upgrade your security? Bar ground floor windows, reinforce ground floor doors. We already talked about your dual purpose perimeter hedge of raspberries and blackberries.
► Pick up some prepper equipment: Wheat mill (<$100), canning equipment (<$100), water filtration system (<$200), a solar oven (you can make your own or buy one for about $200), a small wind or small solar generator (<$2000).
► Set up your Faraday cage (galvanized garbage can and cardboard lining <$35), place essential post SHTF electronics inside.
► Invest in Knowledge – review your personal library and pick up some more reference books. Take some classes on a survival related skill. Do some prepper related activities like bike riding, hiking, camping hunting, fishing. Join ASP (ok, that one seems a little self-serving but I had to get my commercial plug in somewhere….:-)
There are plenty of other things to do if you have already completed these projects: but this quick review covers almost all of our five categories including water, food, waste management, heat, power, cooking, and home defense.
Personally, I am looking at replumbing my house to use rain catchment water for shower and toilets and watering the lawn. I will use the municipal water for sinks only. While I am installing the underground storage tank, I might as well look at a Ground Heat Exchange system. Plus I want to re-do the fencing in my yard but that won’t cost much money, just sweat and effort. My sons may wonder about the exact definition of “volunteering to help” but they will get over it…
What types of projects are on the top of your priority list?
De Oppresso Liber