Starting Over, What’s Ravn up to?

Greetings from my hideaway.

I am such an asshole. My sincerest apologies for dropping off the face of the earth once again.  I keep getting ‘likes’ on this page and I notice that there is traffic here.  I miss blogging so much, and I didn’t realize that my little prepper blog got so much attention. I suppose there are not many prepper blogs that come from a transgender perspective.

I had a realization today that for me I’m not prepping for when SHTF, because shit has hit the fan for me in the present. I need to get my ass in gear now.

A few updates on what has been going on in my life without getting into too much detail:

  • June, moved back to my college town, worked full time at a homeless shelter
  • July, went through a painful break-up (relationship of 6yrs)
  • Fall, started EMDR for my complex PTSD–it’s going well, healing and growth however is painful.
  • Fall, issues at work, interpersonal issues with coworkers,
  • Winter, quit full time job due to too much passive aggression among co-workers
  • January, I turned the big 30!

  • January, got hired on the spot at the same Foundation I worked at in the town before at the branch here.
  • February, working only part-time, hours are not being met, learning frugality.

I reached some fitness goals too. I can dead-lift 225lbs, and I weigh only 132lbs. I reached my cut goals and my lifting goals.

I’m lifting heavier than I ever thought possible. I go to the gym 5-7 days a week. I’m now working more on endurance and flexibility—what good is strength if you can’t have agility, dexterity, and stamina?  My goal for this year is to be able to touch my toes. (Damn short hammies!)

I lost my health insurance when I quit my full-time position, but I did qualify for MNcare insurance.  However, I was in an insurance purgatory for a bit where I needed to pay for my scripts out of pocket. My health insurance starts next month and I will get reimbursed from the pharmacy.  I am hopeful that within the year I will get bumped up to a full-time position and have more hourly stability on the job. Meanwhile, my finances took a huge dive. It made me really learn how to manage my money and where it goes.  It’s these sorts of things that people don’t seem to understand that prepping is all about—-preparedness for anything–that includes job loss, illness, job change, etc.  I had plenty of food stored away this month and managed to only spend about $70 for food (You can do so much with potatoes).

In 4 months my lease is up and I well be venturing forth into finding a place of my own—no roommates. I need my own place.

I’ve been doing a lot when it comes to taking care of myself.  I feel like a loner most of the time now, but it’s given me time for deep introspection and reflection.  Along with counseling, I’m putting the pieces together of my fragmented sense of self. When it comes to prepping, I want to take a holistic approach and have all bases covered. It’s not just about stock-piling a bunch of stuff and doing bug-out drills. To me, Prepping is becoming self-reliant and learning to truly depend on yourself when you can’t depend on anybody else.

It’s so hard to trust anyone in this world, but I can trust myself to get my needs met and survive.  I do long for community someday. But right now, I need to get my shit together.

Thanks for reading,

Ravn Thor

The Transgender Prepper



Checking in, herbs, potions, surplus, and more


I’ve had a busy couple of weeks. I just returned from the Twin Cities a couple days ago.  Here’s a little update of what I’ve been up to:

Herbs are sprouting!

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Things are starting to really spring up and my goji berry plant has rooted and is standing tall and strong. I’m really relieved that it worked out. For the first couple days the poor plant had transplant trauma and was very wilty.  I gave it a few drinks of sugar water and it perked right up. Now it’s almost as tall as the bamboo stick!

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I stopped at a Herb shop and picked up a few ounces of adaptogen herbs for focus, energy, and virility.  Really decent prices. I spent under 10bucks.  Buying loose-leaf herbs is so cheap.
Ravn’s Virility Tonic
2 tsp Schizandra berry
2 tsp Horny Goat Weed
2 tsp Ginseng
Ravn’s Focus Potion
2 tsp Ginko
2 tsp Ginseng
2 tsp Schizandra berry
(For more of a focus kick use some green tea also)

Add more of each for a stronger potion. Pour the herbs into boiling water and turn off the heat. Let set for 5-10 minutes.

Or you can make this into a decoction. Put herbs into a boiling pot, turn heat down to a simmer, and let simmer for 30-45minutes.

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I made a stop in Fargo at Mills Fleet Farm because they have a really huge selection of military surplus gear.  Military Surplus is a great resource for prepper gear because it’s high quality and affordable.  I have been wanting a good durable bug-out bag that I can double use for camping and backpacking.  I got an “Italian San Marco Backpack” for around 20$.  I plan on saving up for an A.L.I.C.E Pack Frame to use as well.

Fitness Update

So a month or so ago I weighed in at 129lbs. Yesterday I weighed myself and landed at 141lbs! I am 3lbs away from my bulking goal.  Once I reach that goal I start on cutting.

I’m looking forward to spring rolling around so I can put myself to the test on a long hike.

In the next couple months I will be moving back to my college town.  When I move I will start planning my garden.

That’s all for now,




Herb Planting!

Good evening,

I decided to start my herb garden indoors.  There was a sale at a home improvement store and so I figured I’d take advantage.  I planted some culinary herbs as well as medicinal.  I hope to plant more in the future.

I planted what I like to call  Scarborough herbs:

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme 

and the rest:

Basil, Oregeno, Chives

Cayenne, Chamomile, Lavender, and Lemon balm

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I was really surpised and happy to find a goji berry plant! I’ve always wanted one to nurture indoors.

I even got a grow lamp so it can receive more rays when the sun isn’t shining through the window at certain parts of the day.

Here is my complete set up thus far:


It’s pretty modest but it’s a start.  I hope what I have sown will reap successfully.

The links throughout this post are to various covers of Scarborough Fair. It’s one of my favorite songs. It’s so timeless.  I used to play Irish Tin whistle(and mandolin) and this was one of my favorite songs to play (besides Greensleeves).

Until next time,

Ravn Thor

“Are you going to Scarborough Fair:
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
Remember me to one who lives there.
She once was a true love of mine.”


Refusing to be a Sitting Duck. Defending oneself if you can’t own a firearm.

I have been working on this post all week, and then this happened:

House rolls back Obama gun background check rule

“The Republican-led House voted Thursday to repeal an Obama-era regulation that required the Social Security Administration to disclose to the national gun background check system information about people with mental illness.”

“The rule sought to limit the ability of those with mental illness to purchase guns but drew criticism for casting too wide a net and not providing the opportunity for due process. Opponents of the rule, including the National Rifle Association and the American Civil Liberties Union, also said the broad range of reasons that could be used to designate someone for the SSA database include conditions that should not stop a gun purchase.”

I’m actually relieved about this. However, I have a lot of decisions and reflecting to do.

When people think of or hear about mental illness the first thought that comes to their mind is usually a dehumanizing one.  Media representations and stigma has created a complete misunderstanding of mental health and those who deal with it every day.

I need to lay down some facts and dispel some myths.

Mentally ill more likely to be victims, not perpetrators, of violence, study shows


Myth: People with mental health problems are violent and unpredictable.

Fact: The vast majority of people with mental health problems are no more likely to be violent than anyone else. Most people with mental illness are not violent and only 3%-5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals living with a serious mental illness. In fact, people with severe mental illnesses are over 10 times more likely to be victims of violent crime than the general population. You probably know someone with a mental health problem and don’t even realize it, because many people with mental health problems are highly active and productive members of our communities.

I want to be able to protect myself. I want to be able to hunt for my food. After doing much reflecting and heated discussions with my significant other, this has lead to a bit of existential dilemma.

I mentioned in my first post about having bipolar disorder. Indeed, it is something I did not ask for, but it is something I have learned to cope with and deal with in a healthy way. I take my medication, take care of my body, I do not use drugs or alcohol, I go to the doctor and therapy.  I recently got a well paying job. I graduated college.  I am a productive member in my community and very involved.  I’m stable.  My partner has a .22 rifle and I have never touched it or sought it out because it’s hers.  I have shot guns before, as I have grown up on a farm.  I understand the responsibility of a gun and that it certainly is not a toy. It’s a tool. It’s a weapon.

Check out this study


Four assumptions frequently arise in the aftermath of mass shootings in the United States: (1) that mental illness causes gun violence, (2) that psychiatric diagnosis can predict gun crime, (3) that shootings represent the deranged acts of mentally ill loners, and (4) that gun control “won’t prevent” another Newtown (Connecticut school mass shooting). Each of these statements is certainly true in particular instances. Yet, as we show, notions of mental illness that emerge in relation to mass shootings frequently reflect larger cultural stereotypes and anxieties about matters such as race/ethnicity, social class, and politics. These issues become obscured when mass shootings come to stand in for all gun crime, and when “mentally ill” ceases to be a medical designation and becomes a sign of violent threat.


Yet surprisingly little population-level evidence supports the notion that individuals diagnosed with mental illness are more likely than anyone else to commit gun crimes. According to Appelbaum,25 less than 3% to 5% of US crimes involve people with mental illness, and the percentages of crimes that involve guns are lower than the national average for persons not diagnosed with mental illness. Databases that track gun homicides, such as the National Center for Health Statistics, similarly show that fewer than 5% of the 120 000 gun-related killings in the United States between 2001 and 2010 were perpetrated by people diagnosed with mental illness.26

Gun crime narratives that attribute causality to mental illness also invert the material realities of serious mental illness in the United States. Commentators such as Coulter blame “the mentally ill” for violence, and even psychiatric journals are more likely to publish articles about mentally ill aggression than about victimhood.5 But, in the real world, these persons are far more likely to be assaulted by others or shot by the police than to commit violent crime themselves. In this sense, persons with mental illness might well have more to fear from “us” than we do from “them.” And blaming persons with mental disorders for gun crime overlooks the threats posed to society by a much larger population—the sane.

^these are all facts. Facts are still true whether you believe in them or not.

We(my sig o and I) talked about how my owning a firearm would up the percentage of endangering me-myself. I said that it was my choice and my right, and for every gun owner there is that statistic. I told her I trusted myself and that I do not want to be a target or a sitting duck. But my partner pulled this card on me: So, hypothetically, if you did own a gun, you would be ok with increasing my risk of danger?

I did not know what to say that.  She said that if I wanted to own a firearm that we could not live in the same house.

Her points are valid. However, so are mine. Since she already owns a .22, the percentage of danger to us both is already up, because, statistically speaking having a gun in the home increases everyone’s(in the home) chances of gun-related accidents.

I  really wish people would take a look at it from my perspective instead of quickly dismissing me with a label and think of me in terms of stereotypes. It’s frustrating to feel as though I have no right to protect myself at all, on top of my humanity being denied.

Seriously, who wants to be a sitting duck?? Who wants to be dehumanized and seen as ‘other’? Who wants to constantly have to be dependent on other people to ‘protect’ you? Do you know what it feels like to have your rights taken away? Your right to protect your body? When you did NOTHING wrong?  “Sorry, you’ve been diagnosed with (insert any illness here), and that comes with revoking your 2nd amendment right. And here is a heaping helping of stigma and dehumanization to boot! Have fun with all the people who cast you away as a miscreant of society, and be blamed for the majority of violence in this country even though statistically speaking it’s 3-5%….no one wants to own up to the other 95-97% so the finger will be pointed at you.” Furthermore, no wonder people who are struggling with mental health don’t seek out help when they should, because of losing these rights, and also being stigmatized, and dehumanized, and not ever taken seriously or seen as someone worth having around (seriously, people love to demonize the mentally ill and use them as scapegoats.). As far as I’m concerned, people with many diagnosis’ own firearms and they’re fine. Media sensationalizes. If veterans with PTSD can keep their guns, I should be allowed to prove myself competent and responsible to own one too, as it will be my right. And in some states, the ability to appeal and prove ones stability is possible.

According to this new overturning of the Obama Background check bill,  the NRA believes that the determination about who is mentally ill should be left to the courts. I would be okay with a grace period to prove my stability, and I’d even be okay with negotiating on someone else holding my ammo, as long as there is accountability and civility, equity  and humility about it, I’m willing to negotiate.

Anyway, I’m not really interested in this debate anymore. I haven’t made up my mind yet as to whether or not I would buy one now that this law about background checks will pass.  I’m not really interested in a handgun, but more so a rifle to hunt for food.

Anyway, this recent news totally sidetracked my main point of this post, which is how to defend oneself if you can’t own a firearm. (If you’re similar to me, or are a felon, or whatever, no judgement here).

Whenever I’ve talked to some people about mentioning ways to protect oneself without a firearm, I get instantly dismissed and told to just buy a gun. “Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight” they say. And they’re right. I’m pretty much screwed. Nobody seems to offer any alternatives however or gives much of a shit. You either can own a gun or you can’t and if you can’t then you’re ostracized and not welcome. That is just the worst feeling. But fuck what anyone thinks. I will find alternatives. My body is a weapon and so is my mind. There has to be some ways.


Full tang katana, foam practice nunchucks(saving up for metal/wooden), machete, LED flashlight, aersol pepper spray, 600,000 volt stun gun, and pocket knife are what I have so far.

These are just ridiculous  and would be completely useless in a gun fight. It’s hard to not just throw up my hands and say “screw it, may as well not try,”  but that’s where I’m different. I’m resilient and my will to live is very strong. I’d rather do something than nothing. Sigh.

I’ve practiced martial arts off and on for 5 years. I learned Taekwando in college.  Where I reside currently there isn’t much around in terms of a dojo for me to learn.  I’ll keep my eyes open though, and I’ll keep feeding my head. Knowledge is a blade worth sharpening.

I ordered a better one online, but it somehow ‘got lost’ in shipping. So I got a refund.  Where I live stun guns are legal and require no permit.  The other day I called around to 3 different gun stores to see if they had a stun gun—all three were sold out except for the last store I called. I drove 15min to another town that’s a sister city to my town, and got their last stun gun. According to the fella at the counter, he said they’ve been flying off the shelves.


In one of my martial arts/self defense classes one instructor discussed how a high powered LED flashlight can be an effective weapon, especially when dark.  A quick blinding flash right in the eyes can give you an upper hand to stun(after blinding, use a move to stun them) and run.


This pepper spray shoots up to 12 feet.  I’m also considering getting a canister of bear mace.


Just a general pocket knife.  I’m going to look for something more tactical in terms of self defense.


These are foam practices nunchucks. I’ve been practicing with them for a couple years. I will be upgrading to a metal or wooden pair in the future.


Here is a full tang katana blade I bought when I was a teenager. You would think I’m a flippin’ mall ninja.  I don’t match the criteria though. I’m full well grounded in reality, and as I stated above these are pretty much useless if I faced an attacker with a firearm. you know, like in that scene from Indiana Jones.


Here’s a pretty decent machete that will be good for camping at least.


When in doubt, blow out an eardrum.

This is what I have so far in regards to weapons.  Exercise and building strong muscles, dexterity, and agility are also among the ways I can protect myself. Being faster and able to run can give me at least a small chance, and learning more self defense/martial arts.  Cameras and recording acts of violence  being committed are a powerful way of self protection in some situations. Using my mind and being able to read situations, how to avoid certain situations, evade, talk my way out of things, are also ways of self defense. i’m honestly not one to go looking for trouble or a fight, I’m also not interested in being a macho man with  ‘something to prove’ in a fight, I’m more interested in surviving and getting away. In my martial arts classes it was taught that the best thing to do in a situation is to get away as fast as possible. Martial arts and self defense aren’t like what you see in movies. And people who use it to talk tough are just  trying to impress and compensate for their insecurities.

The flight instinct is just as powerful as the fight instinct. It takes wisdom to know which one to use.

I have stated in previous blog posts that I plan on moving back to my college town.  When that time comes I will make my decision on whether or not to learn how to operate(taking numerous safety classes) and handle a firearm and purchase one for hunting and self protection. This will be my choice and my right. I do realize that there are perhaps other items/alternatives  I can use, such as crossbows, slingshots, or hunting-grade air rifles. Investing in a strong security system and reinforcing my home with cameras and security windows are other methods too.  I also acknowledge that forming a strong community is another way I can protect myself.  In a community everyone has a role to play. If I don’t have a firearm, a friend might and so do others, and that is their role, whereas I can be a Swiss Army Knife of skills that are just as important and useful.

Either way, my goal of this post is to try to create some bridge of understanding for people in the kind of situation I am in.

I refuse to be a sitting duck.

Until next time,

Ravn Thor

Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own. -Bruce Lee



A Garden of Resistance


A LOT has happened this week.  My Women’s and Gender Studies professor sent me tweet this morning encouraging me to write about a Transgender Prepper Resistance Garden due to the recent news that there will be a 20% import tax from Mexico.  Over the last few weeks I’ve been tweeting her updates on The Transgender Prepper blog.

Trump is going through with building the East Berlin Wall….er….I’m sorry, this is the United States in 2017. Trump is going through with his promise (more like half promise, Mexico is not paying for that fucking wall) to build the hate wall on the boarder of Mexico and the U.S.  Guess who is footing the bill? That’s right. Us United States Tax payers.

Here’s why a wall is a ludicrous idea and why it won’t work and is a huge waste of money:
Why a Wall won’t work

Also, a 20% tax hike on all imports from Mexico?  Do you know what we import from Mexico?

Statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that Mexico by far is the most important supplier of fresh produce to the U.S., accounting for 69% of U.S. fresh vegetable import value and 37% of U.S. fresh fruit import value in 2012.

PRODUCT OF MEXICO | Day 1 | Labor camps

Almost 70% of our fresh produce comes from Mexico.


This is a tax we are all going to be paying for because we need food to live.

If you’re thinking it’s not a big deal because we have plenty of huge farms here to compensate, think again.  Back in 2011-2012, Georgia enacted a bill to crack down on undocumented workers. They didn’t realize how many millions of dollars they would lose and food gone to waste.

After enacting House Bill 87, a law designed to drive illegal immigrants out of Georgia, state officials appear shocked to discover that HB 87 is, well, driving a lot of illegal immigrants out of Georgia…
Thanks to the resulting labor shortage, Georgia farmers have been forced to leave millions of dollars’ worth of blueberries, onions, melons and other crops unharvested and rotting in the fields.
Before that the same thing happened in Alabama after enacting harsh crackdowns on undocumented workers.
It’s not only Southern states; farmers all across America are dependent on migrant labor. For example, immigrants make up 40% of Wisconsin’s dairy industry workers and almost one in three U.S. farming and fishing workers is from Mexico.
Many farmers want to hire local workers, but it is increasingly difficult to find U.S. natives with the proper skills. Few are willing or able to perform the physically taxing and low paying labor which requires them to move with the crops, even with wages of $15-$20 an hour.
Immigration is so much more complicated than just crossing an invisible line. Many migrant workers are brought to the United States legally by U.S corporations through guest worker visas or they are exploited through undetected labor recruitment techniques.
Migrant workers are especially targets of human trafficking and forced labor, which have at their core, worker rights violations and a lack of labor standards and worker protections. One of the biggest factors underlying the vulnerability of migrant workers are the actions of unscrupulous labor brokers. Many labor brokers charge such exorbitant fees for securing work that migrant workers cannot repay them even after years on the job, essentially rendering them indentured workers. Some labor brokers also lie about the wages and working conditions workers should expect in a destination country. Migrant workers often are forced to remain in dangerous working conditions because their debt is too great. – See more at:
Trafficked people are men and women from all over the world whose plans to migrate for work go terribly wrong. Promised a livelihood abroad, many instead find themselves earning less than minimum wage (Sangeeta reportedly worked over 100 hours a week for some $1.42 an hour), living in cramped conditions, and facing physical threats from their employers. Working under conditions of “force, fraud or coercion” technically qualifies them for trafficking visas (T visas) to stay in the United States.
By creating a punitive deportation regime, the Obama administration has made it harder to locate trafficked persons and to assist them. The U.S. government undoes one set of policies as it enforces another; it holds out assistance to an exceptional few and handcuffs to the many.
 “Trafficking into forced labor exists on a continuum of exploitative labor practices. For many undocumented workers—and some workers with temporary work visas—low pay, no pay, unsafe work conditions, job insecurity, and the absence of clear channels for redress are routine. “
“…regardless of their particular circumstances of exploitation, they share a compromised ability to walk away. Having no passport, money, contacts in the United States, or even seasonally appropriate clothes make it hard for them to envision leaving safely, if at all.”
During the Obama administration, a congressional mandate requires a quota for detainees:
” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to fill a daily average of 34,000 beds in detention facilities. Through policies such as the ironically titled “Secure Communities Programs,” local police function as immigration enforcement agents.”
“The Obama administration ramped up a longstanding practice of ICE raids at worksites where undocumented workers were presumed to labor. These raids sent clear messages to exploited workers to not report abuse. They also have torn apart families and communities.”
So as you can see, the narrative of Mexicans crossing the boarder ‘take’ American jobs is blatantly false.
Nope.  They did not.
All of this is going to get worse under the Trump administration.  Not just for our food systems but for human beings.
It’s extremely overwhelming what’s been happening this week. What is it that one can do?
During World War II, it was encouraged that Americans grow what they call Victory Gardens.  These gardens were grown to prevent a food shortage.
During that time there were so many propaganda posters pushing the notion of growing a garden so that Soldiers over seas fighting would have enough to eat.
  • At their peak there were more than 20,000,000 Victory Gardens planted across the United States.
  • By 1944 Victory Gardens were responsible for producing 40% of all vegetables grown in the United States. More than one million tons of vegetables were grown in Victory Gardens during the war.


  • People with no yards planted small Victory Gardens in window boxes and watered them through their windows. Some city dwellers who lived in tall apartment buildings planted rooftop gardens and the whole building pitched in and helped.


Back in 2013 I planted my first garden. I called myself a Rogue gardener.


I planted tomatoes and peppers (which I started from seed in the spring and nurtured them for a few months) among many other vegetables.



I’m not a professional farmer but I do have some skills.

This week I picked up a couple of books to learn more about medicinal herbs and making my own remedies. On top of planning my own garden this year I will be starting my own mini FARMacy inside.


I’m not really a fan of the notion of “going back” to something. You know how some people will say that we should “go back to” such and such. While it’s very tempting for me to say that we should “Go back to making Victory gardens,”  it just wouldn’t fit for the context of 2017.  I don’t want to grow a garden so the Imperialist Military Industrial Complex can go kill people in other countries.  It’s not Victory that I’m after. It’s resistance. I want to make a Resistance garden. A garden to grow and learn how to preserve and share with our neighbors.  Not a garden to hoard.  We are so much stronger together as a community.  Not just as Citizens of the United States.  But as humans on a planet as a whole. It’s important to educate yourself and listen to the voices of those who are most devastatingly effected by all of these new executive orders.


“Radical simply means ‘grasping things at the root'”

-Angela Davis


Beginner Survival Kit

Happy Sunday Prepper Friends,

Taking a brief break from my Reflections posts to write a bit of an update on my own personal prepping endeavors.

I decided to break down my prepping into small goals. The first goal I’m working on is to put together a 72-hour survival kit. Here is what I have so far!


I got two 5 gallon water storage bladders from for about $3.50 a piece.  I also got a stack of water bottles and an ammo can from Macs Hardware for storing my emergency survival gear.


What’s in the can?wp-1484506881149.jpg

  • First Aid Kit
  • Neosporin
  • Hand Sanitizor
  • Hand/body warmers
  • Storm Proof Matches
  • 2400 calorie Emergency Food Ration Bar
  • Rain Poncho
  • Shower/body wipes
  • Aquatabs water purification tabs
  • Paracord
  • Magnesium striker
  • Compass
  • Emergency blanket
  • LED lamp
  • Steel cup
  • (Not pictured, multi-tool and pocket knife)

So that is what I have so far. If anything I can definitely use this gear for camping.  The next thing I need for my kit is a portable stove, emergency radio, life straw water filter and a bit more food stuffs.

After I reach the goal of completing my 72 hour kit I intend to work on my bug-out bag.

Until my next post,


“The most violent element in society is ignorance.”

Emma Goldman

Strategizing and Planning


If you were to log onto the internet and look up “Prepper” and “Prepping,” you’d be completely swamped with endless links to blogs, website stores, and beyond.  It can get a little overwhelming, and I’m certainly overwhelmed.  One thing I noticed at many of these blogs is that the preppers would say that you need to prep for what you need specifically.  Prepping in Utah would look different than say prepping in Alaska.  Different geographical locations have different climates and therefore different needs to prepare for.  And also when looking at this through an intersectional lens, different identities and bodies have very specific needs on top of the basic necessities (which to people like us are basic necessities too).

After spending a couple weeks skimming and scouring the many tubes of the interwebs I decided to go to my local bookstore and see if I could find a form of tangible media.  I picked up a copy of Backwoods Home magazine because it had the perfect article for someone in my situation:  a very concise guide of beginning prepping and prepping on a budget.

In the article, Prioritizing Preparedness when Money is Tight, Patrice Lewis points out that there is so much more to being prepared than storing away a few 5 gallon buckets of beans.  The writer breaks it down to their analogy of a three-legged stool: Supplies, Skills/knowledge, and community.  Each leg of the stool is equally important—with out one the whole stool will fall apart!  This really spoke to me and reminded me of the Feminist Ethics of Care which involve the 3 C’s: Community, Communication, and Collaboration.

In a previous issue of (#133 Backwoods Home), Lewis wrote about what they call:

The Core Area’s of Preparedness

  • Food
  • Water
  • Heat/Shelter
  • Lighting
  • Medical
  • Sanitation
  • Protection

There are more to it than that but this is a nice template to work from.  This list is the kind of template to look at when it comes to the supplies side of the prepping stool.  Lewis also warns about focusing too much on supplies because then that could neglect the other legs of the stool:

“Beginning preppers, faced with a plethora of competing information can quickly reach circuit overload. They freak and conclude the only way to solve the problem is to go out and buy stuff,”(Lewis 15).  Oh man, did this speak to me! This is exactly where I was sitting at the other day.  Lewis gives the reader two ‘secret weapons’ to combat this kind of overload: A Wish List and a Master Plan.


I’ve been putting together a wish list on a private list on  The sky is the limit when it comes to the wish list. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming.

I’m making a wishlist full of supplies needed and also a wishlist for skills/knowledge I wish to learn.

When it comes to having a Master Plan I realized that I need to have more than one plan.

  • Prepping for present needs
  • Prepping for natural disasters (72hr prep)
  • Prepping for future
  • Bug Out Bag
  • Get Out Of Dodge Bag

Skills I want to learn

  • Medicinal Herbs
  • Hunting
  • Gardening in cold climates/hydroponics
  • Food preservation/fermenting/canning/dehydrating
  • Carpentry
  • Masonry
  • Foraging
  • Falconry
  • Fishing
  • Shooting
  • Archery
  • Knife Throwing
  • Martial Arts/Self-defense
  • Map reading/drawing
  • Star navigation
  • Rough Shelter building
  • Basic First Aid
  • Tracking

This list will continue to grow.

I was feeling discouraged earlier because I don’t have all the financial means to prep the way I want. However, after reading that Backwoods Home article, I feel more empowered. There are so many ways of preparing. I’m smart and capable of figuring things out. Just because I don’t have the means to buy the biggest gun, best water filtration system, or off the grid underground bunker, doesn’t mean that I can’t survive just as good, if not better. Learning self-reliant skills are vital in the times we are living in now. I have all the information I need at my fingertips thanks to the internet and an incredible resource at the community library.  I definitely plan on learning more basic HandyMan skills.  Job insecurity due to where I live, discrimination, and also my health issues make it extremely difficult to work a ‘normal’ person job.  For the last couple years I’ve been making up for that by doing odd-jobs for friends/family and other folks in the community.  I’ve painted fences, mowed lawns, fixed shingles, and this winter I’m shoveling snow.  I’d like to learn more fix-it skills so that I can be the go-to guy around here, and that means more money for groceries and prepping.

I was thinking that what I really want to get out of all of this is to be fully self-sufficient and reliant.  I want my backyard to be my grocery store and pharmacy. I want to be able to grow and make things myself, not so much as depend on going out and buying everything. I want to craft it. If I know how to do it then I will never run out of what I need because I will always find a way.

I will go more in depth in a later post about my planning and strategies.

Until then!

Ravn Thor

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” – Maya Angelou