I’ll Show You Mine, Part 1

While I’m trying to decide whether or not to volunteer to be considered for that prepper TV pilot (upside is they appear to be a professional crew with lots of successful series under their belts; downside is that one of those series is Hoarders, and as messy as my house is at the moment they’d probably stick me in the wrong series), I figure I might as well share some of my preps.

I’ve been a prepper since I started reading Jim Rawles’ Survivalblog back in mid-2005. It’s been a long six years, but in that time I’ve managed to get fairly close to feeling good about the level of my preps, all by just trying to consistently devote a few hours and some dollars each month to building up my supplies. Consistency has been the key.

The primary place for your preparations to focus, IMHO, is your pantry. In my case, I’ve slowly built up a set of assemble-it-yourself bookshelves from sources as varied as Home Depot, Lowes and most recently IKEA. I generally bought the half-size three* four-shelf variety as I couldn’t usually afford to buy more than one at a time. Over time I bolted pairs of them together with angle irons to form full-size six* eight-shelf-tall bookcases, each mounted on casters to hopefully protect a little against The Big One here in earthquake country. I’ll post some more pics as I finish cleaning up the mess organizing and tidying my preps.

Here’s the first set of shelves, just inside our garage from the house. From top down: condiments; cooking oils and sauces; various sugars and chocolate supplies; and staples like salt, pepper, flour, and yeast and other baking stuff. Pretty basic, right?

Resting on the bottom shelf is a plastic jar of flax seed, which my environmentally-conscious daughter left behind, and which I’ve kept around because it’s a handy substitute for butter and eggs in baking. Additional prepper angle: it protects against radiation exposure. Kewl!

*Obviously one key skill for keeping track of your stored food and supplies is learning to count.


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9 Responses to I’ll Show You Mine, Part 1

  1. DirtCrashr says:

    Where’s the beer and rum?

  2. Davidwhitewolf says:

    Beer’s in the beer and white-wine fridge, which I picked up off the street for free. That gets a post all to itself.

    Rum’s with the whisk(e)y in the vice cabinet with the smokes, gambling equipment and other fun accoutrements. I just tidied that one up, maybe I’ll post it next. Preppers do need entertainment!

  3. Armageddon Rex says:

    Your shelves are much more neatly organized and less dusty than mine. Mine are organized by purchase date and you can tell I’ve shuffled the cans of different items but similar purchase dates around looking for one particular item once too often. On the other hand, you have a lot of plastic container items there. Those are an open invitation to rats & mice once TSHTF. Metal cans are much sturdier and pest resistant and serve as their own cookware! Also, what’s with the Heinz products? Del Monte is better and doesn’t fund the enemy!!!

    Are you at all concerned that by even putting your name forward to apply to be on a “prepper” show you will end up on the TSA’s no fly list and / or always conduct a thorough proctological exam at the airport security gate list, and or the BATFE’s terrorist / never sell him a gun watch list?

    With concern for you and yours,

    Armageddon Rex

  4. Davidwhitewolf says:


    Your comments are valued and spot-on. Switching to Del Monte in future.

    It will show better in future posts, but I deliberately arranged this garage “pantry” area to be ridiculously well-lit and have high traffic to dissuade vermin. The cat passes through the area several times a day on her way in & out; I deliberately placed the dogs’ bookcase with their cookies & treats furthest from the door so they gambol over to it more than once a day.

    Also, our neighbor has probably ten or twelve cats that serve as perimeter hunter-killers, I suppose.

    We did get a raccoon wandering in the other month through the cat door. From the evidence, it appears to have approached the dog food, smelled the dogs just around the corner, then had massive diarrhea as it fled. I suppose I’d call that a mixed success.

    My primary concern with becoming more visible as a prepper would be making myself a target for opportunistic thieves more than anything else. (Pride goeth before a fall, but I became a lawyer precisely so people couldn’t fuck with me. Put me on the no-fly list for being a prepper and a gun owner? I know Alan Gura and he’d probably be really interested in that case.)

    More practically, I’m probably not what the TV producers want. I don’t have a bunker, for example. For that matter, I don’t consider my preps all *that* extensive. A lot of them are simply thoughtful planning (Where would I go? How would I get there? What would I eat? What would I drink? Where would I sleep?) and with no real visuals for that sort of thing, I expect that would be really boring TV.

    The reason I was considering doing it, though, was the potential to put a non-scary face on the prepper stereotype. We’re boring, frankly. The wife and I are middle-aged professionals who really just have a beefed-up larder, some firearms training, a gun collection, stored water, a bugout plan and means to carry our food & water with us if we go, and some small radiation preps. But none of it’s really obtrusive: we haven’t fortified our house (yet, lol) or dug a shelter or walk around in camo or anything like that. We’re “normal.”

    Future plans are along the lines of getting first aid training, making the fence a little taller, putting in more outdoor lighting, measuring our property line setbacks, tinting the windows on the house to reduce sun damage to furniture, buying a new front door, remodeling the exterior walls with earth-friendly insulation, etc….

    Now, you could characterize those, respectively, as combat medic training, perimeter security, target illumination, range-card development, shatterproofing the windows, hardening the entry, and putting in .308-proof Skousen walls, but gosh, who’d say that? That’d be extreme!

  5. Davidwhitewolf says:

    Oh, and as you’ll see, most of the rest of the pantry stuff is in one sort of metal can or another.

  6. Rivrdog says:

    The question to ask, if you’re asking only one about this show, David, is whether it will play into the hands of the gun-banners, who seem to be building a fairly strong tangential attack on preppers. Remains to be seen if this attack will work for them.

    I don’t have a lot of info to go on yet, since this attack is new, but my gut feeling says that it will enable the MSM to marginalize preppers and push them into the “wing-nut” closet. I don’t see that as a good thing, especially in light of the fact that most of the pro-gun sides’ success recently has been in both the legal AND PR fields.

    At this point, I would urge you to rethink this position.

    OTOH, firmly turning this blog into a prepper blog would not be a bad thing, either.

  7. Ted says:

    You might consider attaching a 1×2″ strip across each shelf, maybe 2″ up from the bottom, to keep your goods from tipping over and out during a quake.

  8. Davidwhitewolf says:

    Yep, I’ve got something along those lines in the works!

  9. CAshane says:

    I have been entertaining the thought of digging a “shelter” in the backyard but when I discuss it with the wife or the neighbors it will most certainly be called a “root cellar”.

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