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My Experiences And Lessons Learned As A Suburban Prepper

from Survival Blog:

Food and animals. When you start storing food and grains, be prepared to defend it against hungry critters. I’ve had a mouse that got into one of my bug out bags and ate through all the MRE packages. (I now store all dry goods in plastic totes.) I’ve had neighborhood dogs smash through fences to eat my chickens. (I now use chicken wirewith electric wire on the outside.) I bought full-size metal trash cans to hold dog, fish, and chicken food and keep it away from rodents. I lost numerous fruit and other trees to insects because I try to stay away from insecticides. I had my heart broken when I came back from summer vacation to find I had experienced an algae bloom that suffocated all the fish in my pond ($2000+ worth). I also realized that the runoff from the chicken pen probably amplified the algae bloom, so I decided to purchase a commercial grade fountain pump to keep the pond aerated. (That was not cheap!) I found that one day of mild frost can ruin your whole year’s fruit harvest but leave your neighbor’s trees untouched.

However, trees are pretty self-sufficient and require little overall work. Chickens give eggs every day, but they also need attention every day with food, water, and shelter. (Hauling water by hand is NOT fun!) I learned the hard way that one good rain storm can put your low-lying garden under water and ruin any chance for that year’s harvest, but putting it high means you will have to haul water to it rather than use gravity if the power goes out. I now have two refrigerators and a small deep freeze that I use to take advantage of good sale prices on food staples as well as provide space for locker meat. I have experienced butchering a pig from start to finish and decided it is hard work! I’ve learned that my fish antibiotics, store bought medical supplies, and injectable penicillin can save me quite a few trips to the vet. I learned that if you’re planning on eating the chickens, don’t let your kids name them. I also learned not to wear flip-flops while you’re feeding them!

Fitness. I’m a middle-aged sized XL guy. I always have been, always will be. I love to cook, and I love to eat, but that’s about the only bad vice I have. I’m large-trunked and short legged (thanks to my northern European heritage), which means my BMI score is far into the obese range. My main form of exercise is from jogging and soccer, which I referee, coach, and play. I’ve definitely noticed that in the last 10 years my body is changing. I’m taking longer to recover from injuries, and it takes much more effort to get back into shape after the holidays. I’m not under the delusion that I am going to hike 20 miles with a full pack or be able to outrun a mountain lion, but I did hike 10 miles at 10,000 feet elevation in the Rockies this summer with my daughter. I’ve also noticed how various pairs of shoes will differently affect my feet, knees, and ankles. So make sure you’re not completely out of shape, you have good shoes, and that you’ve tried them out before TEOTWAWKI.

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1 comment to My Experiences And Lessons Learned As A Suburban Prepper

  • Ed_B

    “I now store all dry goods in plastic totes.”

    OK, that’s a step up, but… a hungry mouse can chew through wood, so a plastic tote should not be that big an obstacle to his dining on your preps. While a lot of my preps are also stored in plastic totes, buckets, and similar containers they are also protected by being on metal storage racks and not on the floor. I keep water jugs on the lower level and food of various kinds on the upper levels. These racks make it a lot more difficult for rodents to get to the food, no matter how it is packaged.

    If you don’t have a cat or cats, the next best thing is to have some good mouse traps and use them to eliminate these pests. I’ve found that a small blob of peanut butter on the trigger works well as bait. I put these out in our garage and in our food storage room for a couple of weeks about every 2-3 months. So far, so good.

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