New Years Resolutions – Water and Fire

It’s that time again, time to recap the last year and make plans for the coming year.   Hubby and I do several things every year.  We make a new budget, we go through the food storage and we decide what prepping aspect we want to focus on for the year. We’re never done with those tasks, and year end is as good a time as any to take stock and reevaluate.

This year wasn’t a slack off, we had great garden harvests and more stored than we ever have before.  We have months worth of food and oil and spices stored for cooking.  What we don’t have is months worth of fuel to cook it with.  (Should the grid desert us.) I have harvested a couple of weeks worth of wood, but most of what I have is the dead fall from our trees, so it would last longer if I had a rocket stove built for it.  I’ve decided that one of my new years resolution will be to get that built and expand the wood pile.  We’re still in the rental, so the rocket stove has to be movable. I want something a little more sturdy than Jarhead’s hobo stove, but I’m going to borrow strongly from his design.  A haybox would also expand the amount of time the wood would last for cooking. We already have the right pots for the job, so that’s one expense we can dodge. And I’ve been collecting the random metal cans we’ve emptied this year. Hopefully some of them will come in handy.

Haybox examples

I made a big step forward in rain water collection this year. With my cool green barrel, I had 50 gallons of rain water for most of the summer.  It made me sad to dump out the last of it right before our hard freeze. Without that rain water I only have a few weeks worth of drinking water, and nothing for cleaning or gardening.  I can’t help but think, if I had something set up in the basement to hold water, I could transfer the rain water there when it gets below freezing out. It could be right next to the drain, and would be a nice supply for washing. I would need to invest in some form of chlorine to stabilize it, but that’s no problem, either bleach or some pool product will work, I just need to compare costs and efficacy.  I’ll also need a way to siphon the water down to the basement, I’m thinking an old hose and gravity should get me pretty close. Anybody store water in a basement and have tips? Leave them for me in the comments. :-D

It probably goes without saying, but both projects need to be completed with a minimum of money invested. I’ve been collecting some components, but I’ll need to source more of them this spring and summer. Craigslist, Free-cycle and garage sales are my plan as far as that goes.

I’ve got other resolutions too, a bigger and less ripped quilt is needed for the main bed, a whole bunch of new baby diaper supplies need making, and of course, the garden is getting expanded.

What are your resolutions for the coming year? Preparedness based or otherwise. Life’s not worth living if you’re standing still!

-Calamity Jane