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Ready for winter?

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posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 11:55 AM
Is your family ready for another long winter?

We all need just a few basics in life, food, water and shelter from the elements. Due to the fact that we all live in different geographical areas that all experience their own climates I will just focus on the basics.

There is a lot going on in the world right now, a lot going on in our own country that is just getting stranger as time goes on. It has always been a theory of mine that any major life changing national event might take place around this time of year. It is simply easier to control a cold and hungry populous who are in need of food and basic services. I have thought this for many years, and this fall seems to be fitting the mold, but we will see. I really hope not.

However, it is always a good idea to be ready regardless. I know a lot of people around here practice preparedness. I personally inventory my home at this time of year and plan accordingly. Food and water are the most essential, so I will start there. Here is a link to a food calculator that can help you to determine how much you may need of your basics for the number of people in your family or group.

Food storage calculator

We all need protein, carbs, fats, and fruits and veggies to stay healthy. In a survival situation we need to try and make sure that we have what we need for our bodies to stay healthy. Multi vitamins are always a good idea to fill in the gaps that may exist in any emergency situation. It is also important to realize that in most cases our physical activity levels will probably increase just to take care of the daily business of living.

This is harvest season, picking up what you can on sale and processing it yourself can make it cheaper and give you peace of mind that it is healthier for your family. I have been canning and dehydrating for weeks now. For example dehydrated carrots and apples weigh next to nothing and can't go bad on you. It is one way to have the preserved produce without spending huge amounts of money on the purchased emergency foods. I also can a lot of my own food, I am up to almost 150 jars so far this year, and I have more to go. I am glad I found half gallon jars. One of my cheapest has been my moose stock. A friend who went hunting gave us a ton of soup bones that would have been thrown away. Those along with 5 pounds of celery, 10 pounds of carrots and onions each have given me almost 10 gallons, yes, gallons of homemade stock. That's not to mention the veggie stock that I made up with just water and produce from my gardens that were not enough in amount or good enough in quality to do anything else with.

I have also discovered though that those #10 cans of powdered whole eggs and butter powder can be a life saver for stocking otherwise perishable essentials. Powdered milk is also a great food storage essential. With those items and flour, I can still make bread and other sustaining meals for my family without refrigeration. They make great camping food too, lightweight and easy.

Water is the most vital resource that we need to have access to. Living with regular power outages (we are under high wind watch now) I store my water in stages. I have 3-5 gallons stored in my kitchen and pantry for drinking water. During the summer months I also have my rain barrels outside with up to 30 gallons each in them. They make great toilet flushing and wash water for muddy kids. I have had to dump them for the season now since we are freezing some nights. I also have 70 gallons of potable water stored in my crawlspace, just in case the outage lasts more than a few hours. Then, in the event that any outage lasts longer than my 70 stored gallons of water, I have a freeze proof hand pump for my well.

Shelter can mean different things for different regions. I lived on the beach in
Hawaii briefly, and all I needed was a sweatshirt, a tent and a tarp. Now, at home in Alaska, and with kids to worry about, I have set my home up to run as efficiently as possible without power. We have a woodstove, and at least 6 cords of wood split and stacked under cover. We also have another 4 to 6 cords of tree segments cut and under cover. Ideally, the intact logs will be next years firewood, but they are available if needed. Just make sure you have plenty of matches. We also installed a Jotul gas stove that will continue to work without power. It runs manually or on a battery powered thermostat. That was an investment in itself, but when our house was still 70 degrees after a 27 hour power outage during below freezing weather, it was worth it.

My family has been working toward this goal for years, I understand this can't happen overnight. However, any back up that we can have could prove to be invaluable. We actually lived off of what we had in our home for a winter due to several chaotic events in our lives. That also showed me where we were lacking and what else I might want in the house.

It's also a way to insure that we can be in a position to help out our friends and neighbors, as well as any family that might be able to get to us. We have a heated home regardless of circumstances. I have also acquired extra blankets and bedding to accommodate any unexpected house guests.

We live in an uncertain world. Weather and governments alone are unpredictable enough for me to go into any winter season ready to come out the other side on my own. Hopefully some of this can be helpful to somebody. I will be happy to discuss any of this with you all in hopes that just maybe it can help someone.

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 12:07 PM
Oh come on now, do you have to remind me that winter is coming already. How depressing, your not getting a flag for this one. Couldn't you mention something like global warming is going to cancel winter or something like that instead.

I lied, I flagged you

I like the crystal eggs better, they taste better.
edit on 8-10-2013 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 12:20 PM
Hi Woodsmom,
Thanks for your ideas on being prepared for the unknown. This summer I created a 12'x12' vegetable garden on the location where a 70' white oak tree was until Hurricane Sandy knocked it down. I grew everything from seeds and did really well with cucumbers, string beans, okra, eggplant, tomatoes, sunflowers, watermelon, cantaloupe, hot peppers, and corn! This is the first time I ever tried growing veggies and I used starter trays and transplanted everything in a disorganized pattern in the garden and still had great results. My friend is reminding me that the past 2 Halloween time periods (2012 & 2011) we experienced a hurricane and a blizzard respectively, so we are getting ready for anything this year! I watch tv shows about Alaska and I'm really impressed by the beauty, but I just wouldn't be able to handle the long winters. I almost froze to death once so I'm not a fan of snow and ice.

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 12:30 PM
reply to post by rickymouse

Haha! Thanks for the laugh this morning!
That was what I thought a couple of weeks ago when we had our first hard freeze.
It is that time of year for me , and right now we are sitting under the beginnings of a huge storm system. They are calling for high winds, up to 70 miles an hour and some possible flooding, and that could mean closed roads and power outages. I love fall, but not when it does this.

That combined with our national and world issues, I figured I might as well toss it out there and talk with people about it. If I disappear though, I probably lost power. It's not windy yet though, so maybe we will get lucky.

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 12:39 PM
reply to post by Mikeultra

Hi, thanks!
Congratulations on your garden! It's always good to see life come from disaster, especially tasty food like that.

I love Alaska. I have actually tried to leave and have always ended up back here.

I am glad you made it through your ordeal . Extreme cold is a tough force, but its amazing how easy we acclimate to our surroundings. To us 60 degrees F is shorts and tank top weather. I have discovered in my travels that it is easier sometimes to warm yourself up than to cool yourself down.

Hurricane Sandy is a great example of why we should prepare ourselves and families for any eventuality. There are so many ways to be knocked off the grid temporarily, or even forced to leave our homes that it can't hurt to be ready for it.

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 12:46 PM
reply to post by woodsmom

Yeah, I got one more single of wood to cut shorter and split smaller for the kitchen stove. Then I got to stack it on the porch. I get my quarter of grass fed beef next month and have enough food on site to last the winter by the end of November. We keep a pantry so we don't have to run to the store every day. It saves a lot of money having a pantry, we buy most stuff when it is on sale.

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 01:07 PM
I have not much prepared more than usual for a winter. Couple weeks ago we had our woodpiles for winter ready 20 m2 no more and that has been more than enough for every winter. We have heat storing fireplaces which after less than two hours heating stores up to 24 hours warmth so usually we use them only once a day.

I have not stored water as we have own water well from where we pump the water to inside the house ( typical finnish house ) and water pipes are under the frost line so they do not get freezed. This should be ok unless there is a huge radioactive fall out.

I bake all our breads allready as we have glutein free diet. Moose hunting season has just started here so not much meat left from last season and we usually buy some reindeer meat too for winter. I have stored blackcurrants, blueberries and rasberries, gathered mushhrooms for winter also vegetables which come from our garden ( just like my parents and their parents used to do ) these all are part of common and traditional preparations for winter in my country. There is always fish in the lake even in the winter time and ice fishing is very common here.

Power shortages.. i can´t remember when we last had one in winter time, in summer time those are more common cos of thunderstorms.

Let the winter come

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 01:20 PM
reply to post by dollukka

Thanks for the insight. It's a yearly event for our home as well, I am looking forward to making up the yearly batch of goodies with all of our berries.
I also love your fireplace! I would be begging my husband to build a bread oven in that top section.

It is good to know that it is still a common sense seasonal process in other parts of the world.

ETA we lost out on our chance to get our own moose this year and had to take the route that rickymouse mentioned. We just stocked the freezers this past weekend.
edit on 8-10-2013 by woodsmom because: No moose meat for us

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 02:53 PM
reply to post by woodsmom

Yep, I am ready for winter.. will be nice with some colder weather soon.
I am tired of 90 F every day.

Greetings, from Florida.

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 04:11 PM
reply to post by dollukka

Nice fireplace.

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 04:47 PM
reply to post by rickymouse

I have read about preserving eggs that way.
How does it work aside from painting the substance on the eggs? Do they have to be specially stored afterward?
How long to they actually last and still stay safe?

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 04:50 PM
reply to post by tomten

I love your avatar.
I couldn't handle 90 degrees, I bet it's humid in Florida too.
You guys have hurricane issues don't you? Congrats on a quiet season this year.

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 10:35 PM
reply to post by woodsmom

When I said crystal eggs I should have been more precise. I was referring to a process of dehydrated eggs.

Powdered eggs don't taste right scrambled to me but these taste a lot better in my opinion. In cakes or even pancakes it probably wouldn't make much of a difference. The price is higher though, we got ours from Amazon with free shipping. We bought a twelve pack of pouches and opened one pouch. We made scrambled eggs, they taste like eggs. We also used some of it to make a cake one day when we were out of eggs.

Nothing beats real fresh local chicken eggs though.

posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 12:09 AM
reply to post by rickymouse

Ok, I thought you may be referring to a process where a chemical is painted on the fresh egg and it is supposed to last a year or so outside of refrigeration. I have read about it but never knew anyone who has done it and tried them after a year. I have always been skeptical of the process, that's why I was curious. Thanks for the clarification.

posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 12:17 AM
a bottle of Jack will keep you warm on a cold winters night

posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 01:08 AM
reply to post by spartacus699

Actually booze is the worst thing you can drink to try to warm up.

It'll warm your insides (temporarily), but it draws the circulation away from your extremities (legs, arms, etc). And because of the blood thinning from the alcohol, you speed up the process of hypothermia.

It's a great temporary relief, but you're actually killing yourself faster.

posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 07:46 AM
reply to post by woodsmom

If the SHTF it is important to be able to make cookies and cake if needed.
I haven't sent for canned butter yet, but I know how to bottle butter if needed. It is a lot cheaper to just freeze butter than to buy canned butter. We have quite a bit of butter in stock, it has been on sale lately for a buck sixty six to a buck eighty eight a lb. That is a lot cheaper than canned butter.

We do most of our prepping to save money. I bet we easily save a grand a year doing this, just in direct food costs. I think we save at least three hundred bucks a year in gas too, it costs about two and a half to three bucks to run to the store and back. I'm learning how to make bread like our ancestors did, the way they make it in Europe. Letting it raise overnight helps with enzymes breaking down the Phytates and makes it less of an antinutrient. A little whole grain rye can help, it contains phytase.

People think of tshtf as only widespread. Learning to choose methods of preparing food to make you stay healthy combats a private shtf. It doesn't matter if the shtf is personal or countrywide to a person, being very sick or lacking energy is important to every person on an individual basis. Knowing about the properties of foods that we eat regularly is important. I don't want to be regularly be seeing a doctor or taking meds all the time. Nobody can eat everything, some people think they can but their unclear thinking is a result of low level toxicity. Most people in America fit into this situation and our government promotes eating foods that cause lowered energy and unclear thinking. Most people have never even experienced clear thinking in this country, they can't comprehend it. They don't want to think clearly, they want to have fun without worrying about the consequences. This is good occasionally but the choose foods that depress their thinking. You do not need alcohol to get drunk. You do not need illegal drugs to be high.

posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 08:06 AM
As usual I have done little since a frost is still weeks away. I have 40 pure breed red and black star laying hens finally getting ready to start laying. It has been a long road since I got the chicks in early June. I only lost 14 of the original 54 all due to a flash flood during a very odd Fourth of July thunderstorm. Expenses so far I have kept below $1,000-which was the goal-and now rest at about $890. This low amount is due to having an existing structure and I did all the renovations myself. I knew from the start that making a profit was hopeless without at least 500 hens however this place has not been about money/profit for a long time.

An enormous-i mean enormous King snake that has resided in the main house has done a fine job of keeping down the rodent population. Part of the security is of course motion detectors at night time with bright pulsing lights and both a skunk and a weasel, that I believe was a Mustela frenata-long haired weasel(it was very small about the size of a small common housecat, or smaller and had very, very bright green eyes in a flashlight), wanted nothing to do with a snake that big and never returned-that I know of.

Sadly, the big, gentle but very intimidating, female Lampropeltis will be heading to it's hole soon. If anyone in the northern latitudes have seen a Mustela frenata I would be interested in it's size.

Anyway, about winter food supplies some of the guys that are leasing some of the hunting ground this winter sent me a real case of military MRE's-which for some odd reason are illegal. Damn those things are good-I can't believe I have missed this for so long. The little heater things is just damned ingenious and they keep for 3 years-so I'm told. Got to stock up on those things however my buddies tell me it's hard to keep them around because they are so easy and so good it's impossible not to chow down on them rather than cooking anything. I only have 3 left.

posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 03:53 PM
reply to post by rickymouse

reply to post by rickymouse

I have actually gotten lucky and found powdered butter, it is sold in larger #10 cans and lasts as long as I need it to, especially when out and away from refrigeration. I do know people who bought some of the canned clarified butter. They love it, but I am with you, I can't justify the expense. You can actually clarify butter yourself and can it I think, just for staying power, but I haven't gone that far either. I stock up on everything when it's on sale or when there is a couple of extra dollars on occasion in my food budget. I would love your prices! I typically pay around $2.50-$3 for a pound of butter, and that's on sale. I will still only use real butter, olive oil and coconut oil to cook with though, it costs more now but the health of my kids comes first. There have to be compromises made sometimes between the choice of healthy and cheap, but generally healthy wins out.

I try to do a lot of my cooking from scratch, and I will admit I am a sucker for breads and other baked goods. I even found out that I can bake a loaf of bread on top of my wood stove with just some bricks. It's an local old timer trick. My boys can go through a batch if wild berry muffins in a day, and are both still skinny as poles. One day I swear I will put some weight on them.
Jude11 has a great thread somewhere around here with survival bread recipes. I must admit, I have written a few of them down.

We got lucky this week and the storm went around us and hit Anchorage. It was enough to make me take notice. The freeze came early this year, and I honestly was so focused on national and international events that I didn't think about it twice until my husband came home Monday and told me to get ready to possibly lose power. That made me get into winter mode, unfortunately. It also made me think about the national stage that has been set and the seeming inability of people to see beyond what e mainstream media has to tell them. I am only lucky to live in a place that people naturally live by the seasons, and usually get ready for winter. That yearly preparation will give people a buffer of supplies if they end up being needed for whatever reason.

posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 03:56 PM
I got an outdoor timer for my headbolt heater, does that count? I think between that and my autostart, I'll be OK this winter.

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