Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring Babies

Well, Spring has certainly sprung here at High Prairie Acres. We have been blessed with a whole bunch of babies – eight rabbits and six goatlings. They are all hopping, eating, drinking and making messes. They are all adorable.

I’ve been working slowly and unsteadily on an addition to the barn. It’s basically a lean-to shed I am building on the side of the barn and it also houses (or eventually will house) the goat milking room, a goat nursery, a goat equipment storage space, and a catch all space in addition to the “meat factory” which is what I have named the rabbitry. It’s 16’ by 32 ‘ and work goes slowly. As for the meat factory, I have one cage for each adult rabbit – Fritz, Helga, and Ingrid and an additional cage I bought so that Ingrid could have her babies inside the house since her first two litters basically froze to death. She is my one rabbit that sprays when she urinates and lets just say our spare room was not suitable for human occupation for a while. The bunnies are now out in the rabbitry and the guest room in the house has been deconned so all is well.

Ingrid’s bunnies (kits) are now a month old and Helga is due to deliver (kindle) in a week. I have already pre-sold two of the babies and will probably sell the rest of Ingrid’s at a local joint that sells bunnies for Easter. Actually, they sell cages and feed and assorted rabbit toys – but they need bunnies to close the deal. We will likely end up eating Helga’s litter. Rabbit curry Thai-style – yum, yum.

We have four adult goats in our herd since we gave away our stinky buck. Between the four of them we had six kids. The white ones are Boer/Alpine crosses and came from our best milker. The rest are either Alpine/Alpine or Boer/Alpine and range in color from brown to black. We are bottle feeding 3 of them because it makes them easier to handle and gives us more milk from the mammas. The does get milked twice a day (except for our one Boer cross who we don’t milk) and the kids get bottle fed 4 times a day. So we are busy. Well, to be honest – my wife is busy.

The kids have all been sold but we will keep them until they are eight weeks old and then wean them. We banded two of the males to make them whethers and we have sold the two white ones as Billies.

Okay that’s it – no big words of wisdom. I just wanted to share a bit.

If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe

You can also join us to discuss this and other issues at Viking Preparedness Forums

Prepared Americans for a Strong America

Sunday, March 29, 2009


I don’t know Neil Strauss but I respect a certain part of his make up very much. It is a personal trait that I encourage all my readers to develop: Do stuff. Don’t just dream about it; don’t just talk about it; don’t just read about it – actually get out there and DO.

A few years ago, Neil was what we unkindly, sadly, but ultimately truthfully, refer to as a sheeple. A reporter for the New York Times, he was financially successful, urbane, hip – and clueless when it came to survivalism. But then he woke up. In a big way. He quickly realized what he did not know (a tough step for many that involves suppressing the ego) and then set about correcting this hole in his knowledge base. Again, in a big way.

He built a BoB, he bought a pistol, and he attended Gunsite. He took survival classes and edible plant walks, and urban escape and evasion courses. He started training in martial arts. He cached things. He got a milk goat. Heck, he even designed a bug out plan that included obtaining citizenship and a home in another country – and then took flying lessons (so he has a little money).

Now, as cool as all of this is (and it is very cool) the coolest thing is that Neil Strauss wrote about it in great detail so you and I can follow and experience his journey. And he writes well. He should – he has written several other books that have done very well.

If you have been flitting around the edges of preparedness and survivalism and just enjoy reading blogs like this one or maybe visiting a forum or two –you need this book. If you are already well underway on your own preparedness journey – you could use this book for some advice from a man who is there and has done that. If you feel pretty secure in your preparations – I think you will enjoy this book as you compare Neil’s journey to your own and I bet you will benefit from another perspective and probably find some holes in your plans and processes that need to be addressed.

Neil Strauss writes in an edgy and adult oriented style – this is not a book for your teen aged daughter. I think it’s his personality coming through and although you wouldn’t want to read some passages aloud in church, there is nothing gratuitous here. Just deal with it.

One of my favorite sections concerned a personal training plan Neil put together. See, attending all these courses and gaining all this knowledge was not enough (it never it). Neil wanted to own the knowledge. So he scheduled his weeks for a while were he had things like Fire Sundays (he’d build fires different ways); Shelter Mondays; and one of my favorites: Survivalist Dinner Party Wednesdays where he’d invite friends over and prepare a meal differently each time – rock boiling, coal cooking, steam pits, etc. I tell ya, he’s on to something here.

So, bottom line – get yourself a copy of Emergency by Neil Strauss – it’s and enjoyable read and you’ll learn some stuff and get motivated to keep moving forward.

By Neil Strauss
HarperCollins 2009

If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe

You can also join us to discuss this and other issues at Viking Preparedness Forums

Prepared Americans for a Strong America

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Money Is No Object

In the past and here again lately I have heard people explain in financial terms why they or their loved ones do not “yet” have a BoB. “I cannot afford one right now.” Or, “I’ll put one together after my tax return comes in.” I think these are poor excuses and in this entry I aim to show why.

The first thing we must realize is that BoB is nothing more than a bag of tools to help you get away from a terrible, dangerous, scary situation and assist you as you travel to a new and hopefully better locale. The next thing we must realize is that as Americans (and to our international readers – thanks, and bear with me, please) we are Consumers by nature. We also fall for the lame excessive spending excuse, “How much is your life worth?” We think that if we don’t buy the $300 Warthog Ruck, the $250 Combat Concubine knife, and the $700 Mt Niyiragongo expedition tent that we are just not taking this stuff seriously and might as well do nothing.

Expel those negative thoughts from your psyche and realize that any tool is better than no tool. Consider Tom Hanks’ character in Castaway: I’m sure he would have loved a full blown field dental set up complete with anesthesia – but at least he had an ice skate. It was better than nothing. And it was free. If you or your loved one must flee into the cold, dark night – anything is better than nothing. That anything must be packed and ready to go, however.

I was going to title this entry, The Five Dollar BoB but really, it probably does cost more than that if you add it up – but it’s still very inexpensive. If you are on the net and reading this, you easily have enough money to put one these together.

First the Bag
You need something to carry your gear in. It should be fairly comfortable to tote and tough enough for its intended purpose. I picked this up in a thrift store for a buck. It was some kid’s school bag and it got a bit worn so Mommy bought him a new one. It will do nicely.

Large trash bags. These aren’t even the “high speed out of the budget because you don’t normally buy them” Contractor Bags. Nope, these are just regular ol’ trash bags. Wear it like a poncho, fill them full of leaves to make blankets and mattresses, string a couple up end to end to make a (very tight) “tube tent”, sit on one to keep your butt dry – use your imagination.

Shower curtain. An old one that you wanted to throw away because some of the ring holes ripped through. It’s tough. It will make a great ground cloth, you can rig it like a tarp using little stones or acorns in the corner to tie off to, or you can drape it across your shoulders as a rain cape.

String. Yeah, it’s not Kevlar spider wire or even 550 cord but you know what? It will do the job.

Hat. Fifty cents at Goodwill – wash well before packing. Keep your noggin’ warm and life starts to be okay. Yeah I know, this isn’t the latest miracle fabric– but you’ll still be toasty. And grateful.

Water and Food
Water bottle. A two liter soda bottle I got from a friend (I don’t drink that junk!). Yeah I know – it doesn’t have a wide mouth, it’s not even close in design to a DromedaryHump water bladder and it is not made out of some space age plastic polymer. But it holds two liters of life sustaining water all the same.

Pot. From a coffee can and piece of wire. No, it’s not titanium and it’s not what Delta Force uses (although you may be surprised…) It works great – you can boil water to purify it, you can heat water for coffee or tea, you can stew up some road kill in it.

Chow. Throw whatever in there. Pop top cans of soup, tuna, Ramen, Girl Scout cookies – just nose around in the cupboards and get some chow. You will need calories in a fairly easy to store and prepare state. Plastic spoon or make chopsticks.

Meds. If you take daily meds, put a “pull tab” on the outside of the ruck to remind you to run up to the bathroom and grab them before you bug out. When you put the meds in your ruck, then pull off the tab. Ideally, you want to get a bigger prescription and rotate your meds through your BoB but we are doing this on the cheap so we have to take some shortcuts.

First Aid. Put together a first aid kit from the stuff you have laying around in the medicine cabinet or closet. Aspirin, bandaids, tape, ointment – whatever you think of. Yeah, I know, it’s not a commando blow out kit. But it will do.

Knife. It cost a dollar at a “used stuff store”. Make a sheath out of cardboard and tape. Or, just pull one of your extra knives out of the drawer and use it.

Fire. If you don’t smoke you may need to buy a couple lighters or matches. Wow – so expensive. Real cotton balls into which you rub some Vaseline make outstanding tinder – store them in an old pill bottle or film canister.

Duct tape. It rules the universe. Tape a hot spot on your foot, repair your shelter, make something – whatever. Wrap it around your water bottle or fold it flat.

Map. This is an old one. It will do.

That’s it
Guys and gals – is this the perfect BoB? Of course not. Can you make it better? Of course you can. Can you add to it as you find more stuff or funds become available? Yes. For all its weaknesses this BoB has one great strength: It is.

You can assemble one very similar in about 30 minutes. Heck, maybe even less time. Remember though, these are minutes you just may not have in an emergency. And when you assemble this BoB you will have the means to sustain life and facilitate a bug out.

So if you have putting off assembling a BoB due to lack of funds – just remember that money is no object. And you have no excuse – put one together this weekend.

And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it. And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law. And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. – Genesis 19:12 - 15

If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe

You can also join us to discuss this and other issues at Viking Preparedness Forums

Prepared Americans for a Strong America

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Be The First On Your Block

Isn’t that cool?

That’s the decal that has been on the back of my truck since late last year. We had some made up and have beta tested them for weather and sunlight resistance from the mountains to the sea and from sweltering humidity to freezing cold. They have been rained on, snowed, on and sunshined on – and they held up fine. I just took that photo about five minutes ago.

It’s vinyl at goes on the outside of the glass.

Here’s a shot with a dollar to show you the scale. It’s a perfect size.
And it looks cool.

Well now Viking Preparedness readers – you too can have one.

They are $6 a piece and that includes shipping and handling.
If you live anywhere other than the US the price may be more (I'd have to check with the post office) - email me if interested.

We have some of this batch left and we are getting a new batch in any day now. EDIT: The new batch is in and just like the prior batch.

Just PayPal the money to me at or you might wait until we get a button up on the forums. Either way, follow up with an email telling me the email address you paid from and the snail mail address to which you want the decal shipped.

We will also be selling them at Viking Fest 09 for a buck less.

And hey – I appreciate the support.

See ya out there.


If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe

You can also join us to discuss this and other issues at Viking Preparedness Forums

Prepared Americans for a Strong America