What I Did This Week To Prep

There’s some irony that the biggest thing I do to prep these days is write a prepper blog –  and it takes a lot more time than I would have thought. But the focus and direction it provides in my life are invaluable (I keep telling myself that, over and over…)

My son, Ryan, & our new rain barrel

The rain barrel project was successful this time. Originally I had bought an inline all-in-one downspout adapter; it didn’t end up being what I wanted (or one I thought would last). So Ryan and I made another trip to the hardware store. Combining PVC pipe, downspout elbows, and a couple more hours of effort, we now have two functioning 55 gallon rain barrels. Just in time for the rainy Washington fall (and winter and spring).

I have a prepper friend, Rick, who is a HVAC/R technician. Earlier this summer he helped me develop and build a backup battery bank (more in a future post). This week I was able to repay the favor by teaching him first aid. We looked at, and discussed, his first aid kit (FAK) and mine. Then we did some ‘how to control bleeding’ hands-on training – you can’t learn first aid from just talking. It’s nice having a like-minded friend with a different skill set, who is both willing to teach and learn.

Rick also showed me a bacon grease candle. Simple concept, filtered animal fats to make tallow have long been used for making candles. My daughter, Brynn, and I tried it ourselves with a used tuna can. It worked, but needs a bit more enhancement. We also tried making an olive oil lamp, but so far that hasn’t been successful.

A friend gave us a used bread maker this week. I had recently heard Bread From Gasoline by Steve Harris, and thought it was an interesting concept I’d like to learn more about. I also plan to learn to make bread from scratch. Bread is great to use with SWYE preps; and in a tough time freshly baked bread makes almost everything a little bit better.

What did you do?

(Monday: When Others Are In The Dark)

(10/2/11)

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4 thoughts on “What I Did This Week To Prep

  1. Isn’t it amazing how long a quick post to your blog can take? I typically come up with my idea during the day and do a little research. Then in the evening I can get it written and posted with any pictures or links.

    How did you filter the bacon grease? Is there anything else that you have to do before putting in a wick?

    • Yes it is. It takes as much time as a part-time job. But it’s important to me to put out a quality product & that takes time.

      I just filtered the grease through a fine strainer to get out any remaining chunks of meat. The problem I ran into is the grease, as it heats up, turns to liquid & the wick falls over & goes out. Next time I open a tuna can I’m going to leave part of the lid attached to the can (clean the tuna out), make a hole in the center of the lid & feed the wick through it (I just used an open paper clip at the base of the can to keep it in place), fill it with the grease/tallow, and close the lid down. That way the wick will only be exposed & won’t fall over into the grease.

      • Why not make up a wick holder like used for olive oil lamps? It would keep the wick standing tall even when the grease melts.

      • I’ve not had good luck with olive oil lamps yet; I tried, but after the oil in the wick burned out it went out – not sure what I’m doing wrong. What kind of wick holder do you make?

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