The Winter Watch Reference Guide to Prepping for Survival

Winter Watch

PHOTO: Friends of Government Canyon

By Simple Citizen

A second entry by one very Simple Citizen and friend to all at Winter Watch

First, we might wish to try and set the tone of this particular page, to be clear it is not really a thread inasmuch as one might think of a classical entry into a worldwide web log (or blog). It will have the format of a thread; however, this entry into Winter Watch might best be described as an attempt at a basic resource or reference guide (not comprehensive) in unusual times.

Often we have all utilized posts to provide ideas and recommendations for preservation to one another, only to have our ideas and words get muddled in a long chain of contributions that may add other meanings to a thread. This particular entry, looking a little like a thread, actually represents a communal space dedicated to uplifting life and survival, reasonable preparation for tougher times, as well as a common sense approach to simply living well, with less worry, in times that may seem quite dark. Think of this page as a bulletin board where we can all contribute ideas in support of one another.

For our friends outside of the United States, I must admit that I do not have many specific resources in this work as a result of not knowing your local markets very well. Please consider this work as providing both a few resources that may ship internationally, which may permit delivery to your specific market, but (more importantly) ideas that may inspire you to secure materials in your home area, which may lend support to your, personal, survival in difficult times.

Disclaimer:  For the sake of transparency, I have no financial or legal connection with the resources that I am about to mention other than to own some of these products for our family’s personal use. Also, any reference of an item should not be assumed to be a direct recommendation for a specific product by this author or anyone connected to or working for Winter Watch. The materials mentioned in this webpage are for reference only, and any reader should perform their own research in selecting what materials may be best for themselves and the ones they love.

Reference Recommendation

One of the best resources I have ever come across regarding survival would be “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It” by James Wesley Rawles. I utilize the audiobook.

From my perspective, Mr. Rawles has written a very comprehensive text on the subject of survival. It’s probably the best primer for anyone who has not previously thought about surviving difficult times in their past. For me, although I acquired this text many years ago, this is an extremely useful resource that I have returned to over and over again.

Additional ideas:


For water purification and safety, we may wish to turn our attention toward the British as being one of the more experienced nations in this field: Berkey Filters.


There are ways to provide the same clean and purified water, in basic buckets, in a cost effective manner; I would encourage some additional research. As examples, I would like to provide the following list of YouTube videos on water purification and this article: “Homemade Two-Bucket Water Filtration System.”

Supplementary ideas:

If you use a rain barrel for drinking water, you will need to purify the contents. Although there are several ways to do so, a relatively cost effective product could be a swimming pool shock treatment. Please research how to effectively use the product for potable water.

In case you need to provide for a community, try a large-scale water purification product.

A means to purify and save water in water bricks (mentioned above) is APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP-C Portable Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System with Case, Installation-Free, Fits Most Standard Faucet, or any other reverse osmosis filtration system that has at least 4-5 filters (including for fluoride removal), such as countertop distillers.

Now, if you have the resources and wish to experiment further with clean water, then:

From other discussions, some of us have wondered if it might be possible to utilize a greenhouse environment to grow plants, while creating humidity for an atmospheric water machine. Also, we have spoken about adding this greenhouse as an addition off of a closed, saltwater-based, swimming pool. This way, the entire environment could support health, food, good air and water. Add solar panels, and you have an energy producer as well. In theory, one could add a tilapia farm to the structure as well.

Either way, please consider that clean water is vital for your own health and survival.

How to can peaches
Canned peaches PHOTO:


As a general idea, I (personally) do not store emergency food that I am unsure I would ever wish to eat in troubled times. Although I do not have a problem with “survival” food companies, I would caution against including too much of their products in a larder due to the possibility that:

1. You may not actually enjoy the taste of the product;
2. There could be many GMOs included in the product;
3. Some companies seem to overly utilize salt for flavor;
4. And there has been testing to indicate heavy metals in preserving some of these longer “shelf stable” type of food products.

My (humble) suggestion would be to preserve many of the foods you enjoy eating and accompany them with some survival-type products that you have vetted and believe you could enjoy, if needed.

We might wish to begin with the concept of creating supplies of the foods you already enjoy and putting them aside for a “rainy day”:

Tools to assist with preserving food:

Obviously, this is not a comprehensive list in any way, shape and/or form. There are so many ways that one could work toward food preservation, including acquiring a dormitory-size freezer and hooking it to a DC battery with an inverter attached to it for a less expensive means of cold storage. Also, there is the whole aspect of bucket storage for dried foods. My personal favorites are as follows:

With the grouping above, I have a container that does not require a special tool for access as in the case with some of the other gamma type buckets. Additionally, I am able to purchase supplies (beans, coffee, rice, etc.) that I honestly enjoy eating and would be happy to enjoy in any situation. Also, I have better control of what is going into my body. The last thing I need under a stressful situation is to have massive insulin spikes due to preservatives that I would not normally consume.

One way to make your larder go farther would be to consider intermittent fasting by design. Not only might you become healthier (depending on your situation), but it would permit you to extend the life of what you have put aside. A favorite text in this area, which you do not need to be obese to enjoy, is “The Obesity Code – Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss (Book 1).”

PHOTO: Womens Health

Now for a few other ideas:

As with any area of preparedness, food options are vast, as are the methods for constructing a stable supply. What I would recommend is to begin with writing down what you generally enjoy eating, and then look toward ways to first store those items. Then, you may wish to add a few items that round out your supplies or can be easily taken “on the road,” if you need to change your location.

Please also remember that many protein powders can be healthy and filling. Furthermore, protein powders do not necessarily require a lot of space and may often be mixed with water or shelf-stable milk. Additionally, one could utilize a mixing cup or even a hand-cranked blender.

For any of our vegan or vegetarian friends:


This is a massive topic to even consider based on where you may currently live (rural or urban or something in between) and where you may end up (often a crises may set off a migration), so I am just going to place a “laundry list” of ideas in the hope that I may provide something, which may be useful for your own situation. The following are all subcategories of tools.





Food Preparation and Consumption on the Move


Shelter on the Move

Mixed-Use Tools for Securing Food and General Protection

Medical and Personal Preservation Ideas


Communications and News

Used Polish NBC Gas Mask MC-1 with Filter and Bag

Real Masks and Other Protection


As you might notice, there are many ideas that one may need to consider when attempting to prepare for a situation in which our lives may change due unforeseen or even unimaginable events. The various lists in this thread are by no means all inclusive and, if anything, represent a means to inspire everyone to consider what they may need for self-preservation under difficult circumstances.


Certainly, it is not my intention to alarm, intimidate and/or scare anyone. If you have not begun any form of preparation, you may wish to begin by examining your own lifestyle and those of the people for whom you are responsible. Then begin by simply making lists of items that you could utilize in both normal, everyday life, and put to the side for more complicated times. Then slowly begin to research how you might build some resources a step at a time. Think of it like adding a little change to your piggy bank. With each new addition, your savings grow. Preparation works on the exact same principle.

Work within your means, and please do not panic or become a deep hoarder. These types of mindsets lead to mistakes and may result in cutting off the common sense intellect one needs to make a sound plan. Also, I would encourage everyone to get to know your communities. You do not need to know every single person within your community, but if you can get to know some of the people pretty well and spend a little time with them, simply in conversation, then not only might you find new friends, but you may also be saving lives in times when you may all need to rely on one another.

(An aside:  Please, please, please do not try to “corner the market” in any area of preparation. If you wish to put some extra items aside for the use in barter, then do so; however, I would encourage both  utilizing common sense and the purest rationale when creating such stock levels. Further, I would also encourage DEEP GENEROSITY TOWARDS ONE’S FELLOW MAN OR WOMAN IN NEED. We all find ourselves compromised from time to time, and the individual you may be assisting today could end up saving your life tomorrow. SO PLEASE TRY TO MAINTAIN A GENEROUS AND KIND HEART TO ALL. Thank you.)

Anyone who has spent some time on Winter Watch knows that globalism and technocracy are ineffective at meeting the needs of local communities as the assumptions made by authoritarians are often completely incorrect and widely inaccurate. Survival will depend on local people coming together and helping one another. So please consider getting to know at least a few people in your local community, and make sure to see them at regular intervals.

There are so many ideas and items that I have left out here. Many of you may notice that I kept my focus to water, food, light, power, heat, protection, basic communications and basic medical/hygiene necessities. The reason I did so was to really begin at the basic “step one” for anyone who has not begun thinking about or preparing for self-preservation. My hope is that we, the Winter Watch community and any new (welcome) visitors, may add abundance to this thread through the comments, discussion and responses. We are our own digital community. Even though we may be separated by physical mileage, we have the means to still inspire, support and uplift one another.

Simple Citizen is a regular, prolific contributor to the comment section of Winter Watch. We appreciate and welcome his thoughtful commentary; though, as will all guest contributors, it should be said that his views do not necessarily reflect the views of Winter Watch.

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