1 Year of Prepping: A Month-by-Month Breakdown

Avatar Gaye Levy  |  Updated: June 28, 2021
1 Year of Prepping: A Month-by-Month Breakdown

The very first time I wrote about 12 months of prepping was back in September 2011. Needless to say, I was excited and highly motivated to share monthly checklists with the beginning prepper.

Leading up to the 12 months article, I had done a lot of reading and a ton of research. More than anything, it was overwhelming to finally learn just how much I did not know. The good news is that this was a huge blessing in disguise.

Most assuredly, I had some gaping holes in my own preps, but what better way to fill the gaps than to break things down into manageable chunks?

To provide you with the best tools and knowledge, this updated guide serves one purpose — a clear and concise breakdown that covers everything you need on your journey to preparedness, month by month.

12 Months of Prepping, One Month At a Time

A Note Before Getting Started

The overwhelming popularity of the 12 Months of Prepping series took me by surprise. I was astounded. What started as a basic roadmap for a modest number of readers, expanded and grew to wherein each month, I was receiving hundreds of emails asking me questions, offering tips, and lending support for my monthly articles.

Thrilling? Yes. Humbling? You bet. Challenging? You have no idea.

Now, as we approach the end of the calendar year, I am updating the original article and posting it again with a few more tips plus links to the individual monthly posts. If you’re new to the world of emergency preparedness, I hope you find this just as useful as I would.

And for the experienced prepper? This guide will help you review your supplies, gear, bug out bag, and skills to fill in any blanks just as I have done.

The Ultimate Prepper’s Guide: Year One

On the journey towards preparedness, countless roadblocks will greet you.

Time, money, and the lack of moral support from reluctant family members all play a role in procrastinating when it comes to your efforts. And then there is fear — not only the fear that something may happen and you will not be ready but also the fear of the something itself.

For now, let’s put those fears and concerns aside and instead, focus on moving forward.

The goal is to have a manageable number of things to do in a finite amount of time, even if you have a limited cash outlay. And instead of looking at a task list 10 pages long, you’ll have a list with links to each month so that you can jump in anytime.

Month 1

Link: Getting Prepared Month 1: Supplies, Gear, and Tasks to Get You Started

SUPPLIES & GEAR:

  • Water: 3 gallons per person and pet
  • Hand-operated can opener and bottle opener
  • Canned meat, stew, or pasta meals: 5 per person
  • 2 flashlights with batteries

TASKS:

  • Inventory the disaster supplies you already have on hand, including your camping gear.
  • If you fill your own water containers, mark them with the date they were filled.
  • Date cans of food and food containers if you have not already done so.

Month 2

Link: Getting Prepared Month 2: First Aid, Personal Hygiene and Home Safety

SUPPLIES & GEAR:

  • Canned vegetables: 4 per person
  • Toilet paper: 3 rolls per person
  • Sanitary napkins: 2 months’ supply
  • Instant drinks: Coffee, tea, powdered soft drinks
  • Family-sized first aid kit

TASKS:

  • Change the batteries and test your smoke detectors. Purchase and install smoke detectors if you don’t have them.
  • Make an inventory of home contents for insurance purposes. Take photographs (digital are easiest) of your house and contents. Store a copy away from your home.

Month 3

Link: Getting Prepared Month 3: Special Foods, Fire Drills, and Home Safety

SUPPLIES & GEAR:

  • Canned fruits: 3 cans per person
  • Any foods for special dietary needs: This should be enough for 3 days
  • 1-2 bags of hard candies
  • A large plastic tub or bin for storage of food and other emergency supplies

TASKS:

  • Conduct a home fire drill.
  • Locate the gas meter and water shutoff points and attach/store a wrench or shutoff tool near them. You should also store special shutoff instructions if any.
  • Establish an out-of-state contact to call in case of an emergency.
  • Identify a location for storage of your plastic bin or tub.

Month 4

Link: Getting Prepared Month 4: Prescription Medicine, Cash, and Things to Keep Us Warm

SUPPLIES & GEAR:

  • A minimum of a 7-day supply of critical prescription medicines
  • $100 (or more) in small bills
  • Pet supplies
  • Infant supplies
  • Extra storage containers

TASKS:

  • Pack your prescription medications in a storage container with a date for annual rotation purposes.
  • Stock up warm blankets, sleeping bags, socks, and other cold-weather items.
  • Put any stray items in containers that are well marked.

Month 5

Link: Getting Prepared Month 5: Sanitation Supplies and Establishing a Community of Like-Minded Folks

SUPPLIES & GEAR:

  • Liquid dish soap
  • Plain liquid bleach
  • White vinegar
  • Empty spray bottles
  • Liquid hand soap and hand sanitizer
  • Bar of soap
  • Disposable hand wipes
  • Disposable latex or nitrile gloves
  • Canned, ready-to-eat soup: 4 per person
  • Portable AM/FM radio with batteries

TASKS:

  • Make two photocopies of important papers and put one in your emergency storage and one away from your home.
  • File an electronic copy of your important papers on a flash drive.
  • Talk with neighbors about organizing a neighborhood preparedness group.

Month 6

Link: Getting Prepared Month 6: Fitness, Energy Bars and Face Masks

SUPPLIES & GEAR:

  • Box of granola or power bars: 1 per person
  • 6 rolls of paper towels
  • Box of N-95 or N-100 face masks: 1 per person

TASKS:

  • Check to see if stored water has expired and needs to be replaced.
  • Put an extra pair of eyeglasses in the supply container.
  • Find out about your workplace disaster plans and the disaster plans at your children’s schools.

Month 7

Link: Getting Prepared Month 7: Gear, Tools, and Skills to Save Lives

SUPPLIES & GEAR:

  • NOAA alert weather radio
  • ABC fire extinguisher
  • Jug of juice: 1 per person
  • Vitamins for adults and children
  • A pair of pliers and/or vise grip
  • 100 feet of paracord

TASKS:

  • Take a first aid/CPR class.
  • Show family members where and how to shut off utilities.

Month 8

Link: Getting Prepared Month 8: Adding Supplies, Tasks, and an Emergency Preparedness Kit for Your Vehicle

SUPPLIES & GEAR:

  • Box of crackers or graham crackers: 1 per person
  • Dry cereal or instant oatmeal: 1 weeks’ worth per person
  • 1 box of large, heavy-duty garbage bags

TASKS:

  • Make a small preparedness kit for your car; include food, water, blanket, small first aid kit, a list of important phone numbers.
  • Secure water heaters to wall studs (if not already done).

Month 9

Link: Getting Prepared Month 9: Duct Tape and Drills

SUPPLIES & GEAR:

  • Extra batteries for flashlights, radio, and hearing aids (if needed)
  • Duct tape
  • An additional 3 days of water to your supply per person and pet

TASKS:

  • Follow up on efforts to organize a preparedness initiative for your family and your neighborhood.
  • Conduct an earthquake drill at home: stop, drop and hold, then go outside. (Remember, an earthquake can happen anywhere as recent events have demonstrated.)
  • Swap out stored medications with fresh versions. Review your prescription medicines and add those that are missing from your kit.

Month 10

Link: Getting Prepared Month 10: Practice Going Off-Grid

SUPPLIES & GEAR:

  • Take the month off from purchases. Yay!
  • Or, for extra credit, add:
    • An axe
    • Hatchet
    • Pocket knife
    • Portable (folding) shovel

TASKS:

  • Practice becoming earthquake-ready by taking steps to secure appliances, shelves, cabinets, and drawers to prevent them from falling and/or opening during a tremor.
  • Imagine your house with no electricity. Better yet, shut off the power for 4 to 24 hours and try to live off-grid.

Month 11

Link: Getting Prepared Month 11: Stock Up on Disposables & Build a Neighborhood Contact List

SUPPLIES & GEAR:

  • Paper plates
  • Napkins
  • Package of eating utensils
  • Paper cups

TASKS:

  • Exchange work, home, and emergency contact phone numbers with neighbors for use during an emergency.

Month 12

Link: Getting Prepared Month 12: Food, Water and the Motivation to Keep Going

SUPPLIES & GEAR:

  • Expand your food supply
  • Purchase some comfort food or condiments
  • Purchase heavy work gloves

TASKS:

  • Check your water supply and rotate if necessary.
  • Check over your stored food and rotate if necessary.

Month 13

Congratulations! You have successfully completed your year of preparations.

From here, you can go back to month 1 to review everything you’ve done so far. This is a good opportunity to replenish your rations and tools and also conduct drills whenever necessary to ensure that you’re at the top of your game.

Moving Forward to the Next Stage: Year 2

Once you’ve been bit by the prepping bug, your life will undoubtedly change. Trips to the grocery store will now include searching out bargains on dry goods and canned goods so that you can purchase one for now and one for later.

As we move forward to year two, you will find a greater focus on singular skills such as building a shelter, learning how to start and maintain a campfire, and cooking with the merest of basics. You’ll find a handful of these topics covered at Backdoor Survival which will equip you with everything you need.

In addition, you’ll also gain insight, tips, and strategies to help with food preservation, gardening, and the gear you will need if you are required to bug out (hopefully not) or shelter in place.

There are suggested activities, recommended purchases, viable alternatives, budget-saving strategies, and references to more reading material in each of these articles.

The Final Word

Perhaps not readily evident is that as I write and as I research, I am standing side by side with you during this journey. Like you, I continually strive to expand my knowledge and increase my survival skills. For us, our common goal is to learn to depend on ourselves not others for our basic well-being — no matter what.

I consider myself to be an ordinary citizen who, again like you, is just trying to get by in these uncertain and chaotic times. And as trite as it sounds, I hope that what I learn, what I do, and what I share will make the road to self-reliance just a bit easier for the next person.

The final word for today is this:

Emergency prepping is your journey and should be unique to your circumstances, your family, your geographical location, and your financial resources. Yes, it can be a chore, but as I have said before, it should be a chore with a happy ending.

My book on Prepper's Guide to Food Storage

And if you’re looking for some books on the topic, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage will provide you with all the details you need to create everything from an affordable food storage plan to a bug out bag, including what to buy and how to store it.

Nothing scary and nothing overwhelming — you really can do this! Now available at Amazon.

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63 Responses to “1 Year of Prepping: A Month-by-Month Breakdown”

  1. Very Nice Site. I love how you have the months broken down. You can really be prepared if you plan. Lots of good information. It feels good that I can still survive if the stores had to close down

    • Thanks! You are very welcome, Bruce. If you would like to read a basic list which I wrote up shortly after Hurricane Sandy zapped the East Coast, please check it out here: //wudndux.blogspot.com/2012/11/disaster-preparation-basics.html

      I geared it toward people who have made few, if any, preparations for a disaster, but are interested in the possibility. I also made it pretty generic – no specific type of disaster in mind. Ramping up from a three day supply to several weeks or even months is pretty much a matter of just adding more of the same stuff, so anyone can can customise it easily for whatever situation they envision.

      My rough estimate was that, food aside, you could do it all for around $400, get nearly everything from Amazon.com, and would not have to do it all at once. Food would be nearly free because for anything up to a year one could easily (and in my opinion ideally) simply store more of one’s normal canned goods, pasta, etc. MREs and freeze dried food are not normally necessary for short term disasters, and they are both expensive and, because they are a change in diet, stressful.

      Any situation for which a year’s worth of food is insufficient would be an apocalypse, and that requires a whole different level of prep which very few are interested in taking on. It’s just too low on the probability scale. Knowing you can get by comfortably, with good, familiar food for two to six weeks is very reassuring, though.

      BTW, I don’t get any revenue from Amazon. I like them for prepping because they are so convenient, and the prices are usually very good, especially if you have Amazon Prime.

  2. I’ve started to read up on prepping, but I’m curious as to what we are prepping for? What are some scenarios? I see some stuff is “only enough for 3 days”, so I wasn’t sure what the situation would be. The only prepping I’ve done was for hurricanes since I live in New Orleans. Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Ari, Prepping for hurricanes is a really good start. That’s what my wife and I do in Hawaii. It may well be a bigger issue here than New Orleans because no one will be trucking in relief supplies from the next state a couple days after the storm passes. Out here we should be prepared for at minimum a couple weeks on our own, and a month is better still.

      After Katrina, our politicians, who are fervent lovers of state action, loudly told us that we Individually need to be prepared for at least a couple weeks after we get solidly hit by a big one. A month would better still.

      What you see as appropriate to prepare for is up to you as you know your situation best. Serious preps for a major hurricane will prepare you for the vast majority of disasters in your area, so to a significant extent, prepping for one will prep you well for most things.

      You might consider other possibilities such as the social and economic dislocations which would accompany a serious bout of inflation, and the likelihood of seriously counterproductive government responses such as wage and price controls. Serious inflation rewards those with large fixed-rate loans like mortgages— so long as you can keep making the mortgage payments. If you have a big mortgage and can’t make the payments you are in big trouble. There is plenty of advice out there for inflationary times, and I suggest that if you are concerned, read several opinions. Deflation may also be a significant possibility. Don’t rely on the single source.

      Another possibility is a major medical disaster, natural or man-made, such as a pandemic so serious that the supply lines for food and other necessities are interrupted for a meaningful time. Your hurricane supplies would go a long way towards getting you though that, though you would need a lot more than three days food.

      In some areas something so prosaic as a wildfire can be a serious issue, although it may not be one in Louisiana. One of my wife’s extended family had less than ten minutes to evacuate her house in Pocatello, Idaho, last summer when a wild fire swept the mountainside suburb where she lived. The road in front of the house acted as a fire break, but all the houses across the road were destroyed: there was nothing left but chimneys and some stumps. That sort of disaster requires instant evacuation, and that is very different from a disaster in which one shelters in place.

      Only you can decide what scenarios are likely for your area, and how many resources to devote to preparing for them. Living downwind of a 40 year old nuclear power plant might well be worth some effort to avoid, especially in an earthquake zone. However, if you are already there, you might decide it is appropriate to prepare for quick evacuation, and have a supply of iodine tablets, rather than endure the cost of relocating in anticipation of an event which might never occur.

      While we worried a lot in the 1950s through the collapse of the Soviet Union about all out nuclear war, the chances of one or a very few nuclear devices detonating in a US city are actually greater today than during the Cold War. The governments of the world are doing a great deal to prevent that from happening, so far with success. Will that success continue? Probably, but maybe not. Each of us can think about what we think the probabilities are for our location, what the likely consequences would be, and then decide whether and to what extent to prepare.

      There are lots of possible scenarios for disaster, but many are low probability events. It is easy to get caught up in all of them and let the possibilities take over one’s life. Prepping for a fairly generic disaster is actually pretty straightforward, involving providing water, food, the means to cook it, cash, first aid supplies, means of getting out of town if sheltering in place doesn’t work, defense, and so forth. if you enjoy camping a couple times a year (what I refer to as heavy camping I.e. driving to a prepared site with your tent and cooking gear etc. rather than backpacking) you will already have a lot of the gear needed and know how to use it. Add the canned and dried food you usually eat, sufficient for a week or a couple months or whatever period you think appropriate, and you will be in better shape than 95% of your neighbors.

      Don’t get too grim: Have some fun with it.

    • I live in Florida with lots of Hurricane season, Tornado, Flood, Ice Storm, Blizzard, Tsunami, Earthquake, Zombie Apocalypse. here is one people arent familiar with, a trucker strike. if they dont run the trucks, there will be no food delivered and the grocery store shelves will go bare. how serious is this? hubby bought me a greenhouse so we could start growing our own food. when the Obamacare deal goes through, many people will be looking for food when they lose many hours and pay. With a truckers strike and empty grocery store shelves, thats not a good combination. when the shelves sent bare during the hurricanes, there were riots at Walmart over water and baby formula.

    • “when the shelves sent bare during the hurricanes, there were riots at Walmart over water and baby formula.”

      Hi Kamiko, strikes are rarely mentioned, but they can be a serious issue. We live on Oahu, and I have heard that whenever a shipping strike has been threatened, there were runs on the stores for the basics like toilet paper. “Just in time” re-stocking is great for efficiency, but the downside is a fragile system vulnerable to disruptions. Since the stores don’t keep big reserves, it is the responsibility of individual families to do so.

      A neighbor told me that when it became clear that Hurricane Iniki was going to hit, he went to Home Depot for something unrelated and left because he saw fist fights in the parking lot for parking spaces. His family was well enough prepared that he didn’t need to shop, so he avoided the violence.

      One of the nice things about prepping well for the most likely events is that one is usually thereby well prepared for the less likely or less severe ones as well. If Floridians are well prepared for a hurricane, they should be in good shape during a truckers’ strike.

      We used to prepare for hurricanes, so we had the means to store water (collapsible 5 gallon jugs and a tub liner) to be filled when we were sure we were going to get hit.

      Then in 2006 we got hit by an earthquake, which gave no notice. It wasn’t a real bad one, but it made us realize that to be prepped for a bigger one we needed to have some water stored ahead of time.

      All we needed to add to our hurricane supplies to also be ready for earthquakes was water. So now, in addition to the empty jugs and tub liner, we also have full 5 gallon water fountain jugs, a 55 gallon water barrel, and water filters and bleach for sterilizing water from our neighbors swimming pools. That puts us in a much better position for both hurricanes and earthquakes, and anything else which might occur, including dock strikes.

  3. I coupon so I already have a lot of items stockpiled. Im starting on Month 1 and got to thinking, should I put these items in a special spot or tote instead of just looking on the shelves and saying , Yeah there is more than 3 rolls of TP per person on there? I do run out of TP occasionally when there are no good deals to be had, so maybe I should be collecting things and putting them somewhere separate?

    • Jen – Oh my gosh – definitely. Even if your storage location is under a bed, it is so helpful to have it separate from your day to day items. Also, it makes it easier to keep track of the stuff you “borrow” from your storage closet when it is not co-mingled.

      Congrats on starting with month 1. If you have any questions along the way, be sure to ask 🙂

    • Jen: TP is the most important paper in the whole world!! Thou shalt NOT run out of TP. They don’t send out catalogues anymore, so not only do you have nothing to read, you’re SOL.
      Join Costco if there is one near you. They have their own brand, Kirkland, all of which has been very good in quality and cost. And national brands of TP. Which reminds me, we only have 2 36 roll bundles left, so it’s time to get 3 more.

      You can eat out of your stockpile BUT every time you do, buy 3 to 5 items to replace each item and so continue to build your stockpile. Coupons are good, but not for much when you need the TP and there ain’t any!? Don’t get too hung on coupons-they are good for things you will use. Costco doesn’t take coupons. But the prices are low enough that they make coupons unnecessary.

      Respectfully

    • Costco is a great place to start prepping from. as far as coupons, they have their own and I use them to buy just about all my paper goods and toiletries. We also buy dry beans and rice which we put in mylar sealed bags (add a 2000cc oxygen absorber) into a 5 or 6 gallon bucket,with gamma seal lid or regular lid which you can buy at home depot or lowes and are very cheap. I prefer gamma seal lids as you can reseal the mylar bags and the gamma seal also helps keep out oxygen and pests. quite often during the summer home depot has charcoal on sale. we buy several bags and store them in buckets .

    • Also, Costco online often has great deals on 6 gallon buckets with gamma seal lids. It is worth checking out. I have purchased 20 of them online. Shipping was free as I recall.

    • DH, that is how we got started on building our pantry! Started meal planning and deciding what ingredients we would need to make those favorite meals. Then every time I went to go buy ingredients to cook one meal, I would buy enough to make two more. Than as I continued on, I started picking one ingredient or item each month and every time I went to the store that entire month, I would pick up 1 or more of that particular item. Adding a few dollars to every trip is not nearly as intimidating and really helps add to your pantry quickly! My word of advise about bulk food stores is to really know your prices! Not every item sold in bulk is the better deal… But there are many that are. Happy Prepping everyone!

    • I eat out of my stash, there is only hubby and i, so sometimes food need to be eaten or they go to waste after a year or two. i shop at discount stores and off the clearance shelves. so i end up with a lot of food for a smaller amount of money. i dont buy anything name brand, unless i have a coupon or there is a deal to make it cheaper. i coupon big time too. i have food in several spots in my home. i am looking into making a fake wall to store food into as well. so if we get raided, they wont get all of the supplies. i reuse all jars for making jar meals, so we can more or less stay make our food last longer. i also reuse kitty litter jugs for toilet and bathing water, as well as for making my own laundry soap, and i reuse my laundry jugs and make my own fabric softener for over a year now. i still use Oxi Clean instead of bleach for my whites and uniforms. Dollar Tree sells a spray called Totally Awesome for laundry, that takes the place of Shout, it works better and there is more of it for $1. Happy Stashing!

  4. Thanks! I will definitely clean them out first and then add some colloidal silver to the water. I don’t use laundry soap or fabric softner… I use 2 really strong magnets and it cleans my clothes really well. And they are just as soft as ever without any residue from soap or softners. And for cleaning, I simply use vinegar & water for most everything.
    But I can always use the water jugs for flushing the stool if it isn’t too long of a period. Then I wouldn’t be wasting drinking water… I’ll find a use for them somehow.

    • Can you explain how the magnets are used? It would be a great alternative if water was scarce.
      Thanks, Dee

  5. I have 6 cats and go through a LOT of cat litter. And I was wondering if I could use the 20# jugs for water. I wouldn’t want to drink it, but the water could be used for a lot of other things. These are HDPE 2 jugs. I just hate throwing them in the garbage…

    • I totally agree that you should re-purpose those jugs. Before using them, I would use a generous swish of bleach to clean them and then store water for cleaning purposes and also, how about using them for your DIY cleaners and laundry soap?

    • I use kitty litter jugs for gray water after rinsing with bleach water. Also when I empty a laundry detergent bottle, I fill it with water, and label it soapy water for cleaning. I’ve used these to wash the car.

  6. Recommending hatchets is usually recommended by those who have never had to use one in the field. A machette is a much more useful tool. Anything you can do with a hatchet you can do with a machette. Get a good one. Only buy Ontario brand machettes. Mine is now 40 years old. Served me in 21 years of the military. Through a tour of duty with the Peace Corps in Africa. Twenty years of work as a civil engineering technician. Still used weekly on my 5 acres of rural land. The machette has a much longer reach for use as a personal weapon. Because it is an extension of the arm the end of a moving machette has much more force to it than a hatchet. Easier to sharpen.
    My African Fulani tribesmen with whom I lived for a while all used machettes. No axes or hatchets. In Egypt and Edcuador where I also live and taught school the hardware stores sold machettes with very few hatchets displayed.

    • Can you chop wood with a machete? I do not own one so pardon my ignorance.

      Also, I see that the Ontario brand is readily available. Is there a particular model you would recommend for both myself and my readers?

    • >>Can you chop wood with a machete?<< Oh, boy, you sure can. You can take down small trees with a machete. Chopping into firewood lengths would be a pain compared to a full size ax, but you can do it, and they are a lot lighter than an ax as well as usable in tighter quarters.

      I have seen, but not used the Ontario machetes which Joe Cullen mentioned, and Ontario Marine Raider Knives, which are very similar to short machetes but adapted for fighting purposes as well. (They have clipped points and guards ie are big Bowie knives for dual purpose.) Both look very good. Also the kukri style machetes by Ontario and Ka-Bar seem pretty popular, but I haven't used them, so can't give an opinion.

      I have several machetes, including a couple hand made Philippine examples from the local swap meet, but far and away my favorite is a Ka-Bar Cutlass Machete. The Ka-Bar has an 11" high carbon blade with a lot of weight out toward the tip so it has plenty of momentum even in tight quarters. I use it around the yard for pruning hedges where I can't get a long swing. I also have used it on two or three camping trips to the North Shore of Oahu where I used it to split ironwood/Australian pine (casuarina) logs up to 5" diameter for kindling. Last summer I used it while camping on the Salmon River in Idaho, mostly to fell dead Ponderosa pine up to 5" diameter, trim the branches, and split the logs into kindling.

      For videos on how to baton firewood with a short machete (or really big knife like the Marine Raider) go to YouTube and plug "baton firewood" into the search field.

      Amazon carries the Ka-Bar Cutlass Machete as well as the Ontarios for around $50-$65. In my experience cheaper brands are cheaper because they use junky steel blades: they twist, they bend, they fold. I strongly recommend spending the money to get an Ontario or Ka-Bar.

      I think any of the Ontarios or the Ka-Bar would be excellent choices for utility choppers. The Marine Raider might not be as durable for batoning as the pure machetes as the clip point makes it weaker, and that is where you hit it for splitting wood. On the other hand, if you want a dual purpose chopper and extremely intimidating personal defense weapon, the Marine Raider would be something to consider. It's based on the WWII Marine Raiders' knife/machete, the Collins #18. I have read that the Marines in the Pacific Theater absolutely loved them, both for felling palm trees and other utility purposes, and as fearsome knives for hand to hand fighting. (Google "Collins #18 knife" for pics if interested)

      As does Mr. Cullen, I greatly prefer a machete to a hatchet. For my purposes the short ones (c. 11" blade) work much better than the long ones, but other people, other circumstances, other lengths.

    • @Tom – Thanks for sharing some detailed information about machetes. We still have not purchased one for our own use I but am leaning toward the shorter Ontario. They seem to be well priced and universally loved. I will look up the Ka Bar Cutlass too – but we may have to “grow” in to that one.

      — Gaye

    • I looked at the website for Ontario Knife Company, but didn’t see the “Marine Raider Knives.” Do they possibly have another name?

    • Oops…spoke too soon. I used the “search” field on their website, and it said there were no results. But after looking at various categories of knives on their site I found the SP10 Marine Raider. Thanks for your website Gaye. I really enjoy and learn from it.

  7. I just found your site. I also live on San Juan Island and am also a prepper. Are there many of us on SJI? I tried to use your email link, but it must be down. David

  8. It’s amazing what can actually be done when you set out a plan and follow it. I’m sure a year felt like an eternity when you got started but as we all know can fly by like it was just yesterday.

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