Sep 04

Preparedness Skills and Topics for the Individual, Home, and the Neighborhood!

9-4GardensThis podcast is a culmination of several topics that are in response to several emails about my previous podcasts and articles. All of these email subjects can be tied together, however, under the topic of “Preparedness Skills.” I start this podcast by discussing some of the different methods that we learn important skills – and by this I am even referring to simple skills and knowledge such as what kinds of foods to can, dry canning vs. wet canning, the difference between short-range and long-range foods, etc.

9-4HerbalMedic2Thanks to the internet, we can get an amazing amount of information through articles, youtube, podcasts, blogs and so forth. In addition to that, there are of course thousands of books on any and all of the subjects surrounding the concepts of preparedness.

Is that enough? Or is it necessary to go to classes at a school to learn this information? What does a school give you that you can’t just get on your own? And if do want to attend a school, how do you go about finding one that actually fits exactly what your needs are so that you don’t waste any of your money?

Taking the skills from the individual to the family and community level, I talk about some very important concepts related to prepping around the home and neighborhood. Forest gardening, medicinal and food gardening, home and neighborhood defense, the “culture of community,” and how this helps create a stronger, more resilient force against those who would take what they want if there were no more rule of law on the streets.

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Sam Coffman
Resource Site:

Feb 16

Colorado Legislators Talk Out of Both Sides of Their Mouth; Has No Effect on Preppers

It seems some members of Colorado’s legislation makers want to “save lives” on the one hand, while making money at the expense of lives outside of Colorado.  That’s what I take away from their recent scramble.  They passed a law banning certain gun magazines.  When the threat of losing jobs to other states more friendly to gun and weapon accessories, the legislators quickly passed an amendment to the law.  Now people in Colorado can’t purchase or own those products made in Colorado.  Producers in Colorado can sell them to people outside of Colorado; and various government  and law enforcement agencies.

The Republicans yelled foul, as rightly they should.  Democrats revealed that they don’t mind making money of the very products they say are dangerous and no one should own them.  They shouldn’t be allowed to have it both ways.  Either Colorado Democrats want to save lives or they don’t.  If they truly wanted to save lives, money wouldn’t matter.  They wouldn’t want to have any part of a product they claim causes loss of life.  To allow the exemption is to say they don’t mind profiting off someone’s loss of life as long as it is not in Colorado.  Producers of these products would be well advised to consider if they want to remain where they aren’t wanted.

Even so, putting a ban on certain magazines does not seriously change the way preppers take care of their families.  They don’t need those magazines to protect their homes.


The Daily Prepper News


Saving Lives Must Be Top Priority.” - The Denver Post. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2013.



Feb 07

Colorado Preparedness Expo

This just in from Longmount, Colorado:

This weekend, February 9th, there are a number of booths and workshops dealing with:

 Water Purification

Power Generation


Shelf Stable Foods

If anyone wants to do a 30 minutes presentation on home canning and pickling, let me know!


Emergency Preparedness Expo

The Well

455 Weaver Park Rd

Longmont, Colorado

Saturday February 9th, 9am – 4pm

Contact:  Richard Honey at  richardhoney20 at

Feb 07

Colorado Prepper Co-Op?

Prepping is about many things, but being known as a hoarder hopefully is not one of them. the Colorado preppers are many now and I propose that if possible we work towards having a co-op to help purchase food stores at lower prices. This will hopefully happen soon but only time will tell. The forum is the place to talk about this, join me there and lets get this off the ground!
Join the APN Forum at
Visit the Colorado Forum at

Jan 24

So Your Bug Out Land is Rocky?

Some people choose BOL locations based on how difficult it would be for the nearest urban dwellers to get there.  But, when you consider why those remote locations are sparsely populated, you know there is a reason.  Population settlement patterns the world over are dictated by human needs for food, water and shelter.

Coastal regions all over the world are also the most populated.  Rivers and lakes have high concentrations of population.  In some ancient societies wells were dug, but let’s face it.  Why drill a well when you can just tap into a lake or river?  Besides, wells often run dry.  Ours did in August almost every year.

The city of Los Vegas is a stark example of a society not paying attention to the harshness of the desert. Most of the water supply comes from man made lakes, rivers, and the Colorado water basin.  Every year they struggle to obtain enough water for their citizens.  When it comes to the water basin, consider these comments from Las Vegas City Life:

“Wyoming says if they don’t use the water, then Colorado will take it,” says Gary Wockner, director of the Save the Colorado foundation, based in Fort Collins, Colo. “Colorado says if we don’t take the water, than Utah is going to take the water. And all the upper basin states say if they don’t take the water, then California is going to take it. Everybody at this point is trying to get the last legally allowed drop of water out of the river.”

What does this mean for the prepared persons of Colorado?  It means they need to be aware of where their water source lies.  Not just “underground” or “from a well”.  They need to know how much water is being removed from lakes, rivers, and aquifers homesteaders are using to provide water to their homes, their crops and their livestock.  They need to pay attention to what the water authority might do because water is like money in that every state wants its share, and then some of yours.  Some states are willing to sell their water to other states and cities.  Colorado sells water to Hays, Kansas during years of drought.

If water authorities increase the allotment of how much water can be pumped, it effects everything from trees to wildlife and what grows in your backyard.  It is said that one average family needs one acre foot (AFY) of water per year.  That is 325,829 gallons of water per year.  That doesn’t include farming uses nor landscaping.  I’m not sure how Las Vegas came up with that figure, but it might include water usage people wouldn’t use if they changed their lifestyle and something to do with all those hotels.  I’m going to have to find my water bill history and see what we used last year.  Knowing that figure will help me determine how much storage I really need.  Then I have to multiply that by six since I know some people will come to me when TSHTF.


The Daily Prepper News

Mar 25

Prepper meetup groups in Colorado


Map of all American Preppers Network and Partner meetup groups.

Scroll past the map for a listing.

View American Preppers Network Meetups in a larger map

Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs Preppers



Denver Preppers


Jan 13

BOL Driveways

Bug Out Land Driveways
by Carborendum

OK. You’ve finally got your Bug Out Land (BOL). And you have chosen the site for the primary home or other structure. Now you want to access it via a vehicle?  Your vacant land came with no driveway. Being native soil it will probably get really muddy during the rainy/snowy seasons.  So what can you do?

The first inclination is to place gravel on the driveway. Keep in mind that not all gravels are equal.  To the layman, any bunch of dirt with some marble sized rocks is gravel.  But the combination of particle sizes is what really makes a big difference.

If you have only gravel (no sand, silt, or clay mixed in) all you will have after a wet season is a dirt road with some pieces of gravel peeking through.  The clay gets so soft, that the gravel just sinks in.  Pour more gravel on, it just keeps sinking in.

If you did all your construction publicly and applied for permits, most building departments will require that you have an “all weather surface” driveway.  This is so fire trucks can get in and out of there no matter the weather conditions.  Many a fire truck has gotten mired in unprepped roads.

The cheapest way to satisfy the building dept. is to use proper dirt to pave the roadway.  Here in Colorado, it’s called Class 6 road base. Each state department of transportation will have its own soil classification. You might want to check with your local building department to see what road base can be brought in to satisfy this requirement. Many soil companies will have this stuff on hand for this very purpose.

The next cheapest way (and my favorite) is to bring in recycled asphalt (sometimes called crushed asphalt). You have to be careful here that you require it to be crushed small enough. I once had a roadway paved with “recycled asphalt” and I found huge clumps in my driveway that would cause the struts in my car to shriek in horror. Since I’d never given any size specification on the asphalt, I was unable to find redress. So, I had to pay someone with more integrity to remove the bulk of it and refill with smaller sized asphalt.

Others will tell you to do something similar with crushed/recycled concrete. I’d advise against this. If we’re just talking about a driveway it will not give you any benefit,yet it costs a lot more. If you have a major farm where giant tractors are driving along every week, that’s a different story.

Some jurisdictions will also allow the following less common techniques. First, apply a sprinkling of lime all along the trail designed to be your driveway. This can be done on a small scale (for short driveways) with a lawn fertilizer. It can be done on a larger scale with bigger equipment. But you’ll probably have to hire someone for that.

Then you’ll want to mix in the lime to the soil. It would be best if you can get a good 5% by volume mixed into the top 6″. There are a variety of ways you can do this. If you can’t get the full 6″, anything over 2″ will help somewhat.

Another technique is to mix sand and oil into the top layer. If using oil, make sure you satisfy any EPA regs and so forth.

The reason recycled asphalt is my favorite is that it is SO much better than plain roadbase. It is only marginally more expensive than road base. You can require recycled asphalt to satisfy the specifications of class 6 road base (or whatever your state’s equivalent is). And it is very forgiving.

Many people will tell you that you can only place it when it is hot. That is simply not true. These are people who think of it as hot asphalt. If you place hot asphalt in the winter, it will have a greater propensity to crack. But this is not hot asphalt. In fact, I would recommend that you place it when it is cold and dry. i.e.–no snow or wetness on the ground.

The cold will make the particles shrink. Since the material is not hot, they are making no efforts to bond together. Smaller particles means better compaction. It will continue to compact throughout the winter and spring. By the time the hot season comes around, you will have compacted it simply by driving over it. Then the heat will soften the bitumen in the material, binding all the particles together.

Make sure all the dirt around the soil is sloped at a maximum of 2:1 (2 ft horizontal to 1ft vertical). This will allow for the greatest stability.

Since the bitumen is naturally hydrophobic (repels water) you won’t have as much erosion of the R.A. as you would with plain old road base. Once the layer is bound together after your first heatwave, water will have difficulty penetrating it to erode the soil below.

If this is truly a BOL only, you might want to limit the width of the roadway to about 8 ft wide (maybe even 7 ft). This is minimum for most vehicles. For a regular driveway you’ll need to satisfy the requirements of the local jurisdiction (usually 10 ft to 20 ft for various conditions). But with BOL only, you can try to hide this road with some vegetation that obscures vision, but will still allow vehicles to pass through.

Once the road is complete, you’ll want to maintain it. The best way is to throw ice-melt on the road every snow. The chemicals in the ice-melt will invariably be some type of salt. Salts in those quantities will do two things. 1) It will make it too salty for plants to want to uproot the road. 2) It will tend to have a binding characteristic on all soil in the area–including the asphalt.

Now you can use this driveway to bring in all the construction materials for your BO retreat. Be prepared

Aug 14

Build a solid grape support and grow wonderful grapes

By Paul & Liz Stevens

Like many we wanted to produce grapes, and like many that dream seemed to always end up in disappointment, as the grapes would come on and seem to just dry up before they matured. We did the typical 4 x4 post with wire strung between them, but after the first few years when the grapes were really starting to take off the post were crooked, the wire was sagging and no matter what we did the vines always ended up touching the ground.

In touring the Amish country we began noticing one more step they use in supporting their grapes. They use the post and wire, but they take one additional step. At about 54” high they run a solid pipe through the post and drill through and bolt it at each post.
When we moved to Texas we decided to take that next step and built our new support using three post set so that we could run a 20’ 1-1/2” galvanized chain link fence top rail through the post. This meant we had to subtract 4” off each end of the 20’ so that the pole would go from end to end, with one post in the center. Before we set the post we wedged them plum and used a string level on our chalk line and snapped a line level at 54” high, then another line where we wanted the top to be. We numbered the post took each one back out and drilled strait through the center of each post on our drill press using the chalk line as our horizontal center point. We used the next size up forstner bit from the actual pole size to give a bit of wiggle room. We then drilled a series of 3/8” holes in each post space 16” apart starting at 12” from the ground. This is where we ran our wire through to attach the vines as they grow up to the main pole. We cut the post to length and set the post back into the ground. With some extra hands we went ahead and slid the pole through the tops, drilled through the end post and bolted them, after we had the end post plumb, we plumbed the center post and drilled and bolted it.

We set the post with just a little bit of concrete just to fill the post hole, plus we only needed to go down around 2’. With this system all the tension is held by the pipe at the top, so we didn’t need to attack it with a 3’ deep hole and several bags of concrete. That was our first clue that we were really going to really like this approach, a lot less work! To add a bit of fancy to the project we purchased the ball tops and screwed them into the top of each post. After the post cured we ran our wire through the holes having the pole across the top keeps the post solid, thus we were able to really stretch the wire without worry of pulling the post inward.

We started our grapes and carefully nurtured them as they grew to the top. We choose Muscadine Grapes as we know someone living in the Florida panhandle suggested them. They have much of the same climate as we do in central coastal Texas, and have tried several of the varieties from up North with no success, except for the Muscadine, with that said where you live will have a lot to do with the varieties that do well in your climate.

Well with all this work we thought we were ready to cash in on a great grape crop, nope after they started to really mature about five years ago, the same old story, they came on strong and then just shriveled up like a pea and dropped off. We have them in the irrigation system so we knew they were getting plenty of water. We did notice that we were getting a fungus on the leaves and would spray but that didn’t really help either.

As we drove through Texas we would always admire the wonderful grape vineyards and wondered just what the secret was that we were missing. As we began to look closer we noticed there were no leaves up to around 4’ from the ground. At first we thought this was just because the plants were more mature. We went home and peeled off all our leaves that were close to the ground and kept new growth from coming out at that level. We also fertilized the plants and to our surprise the fungus went away the plants filled out the grapes came on stayed and we had a great crop that year. This year will mark our 3rd year with a strong crop of grapes. Last year off four plants spreading across that 20’ section we were able to harvest enough grapes to make jelly and nearly five gallons of wine.

In total it has been eight years since we planted our grapes, the support is still as plumb and straight as the day we installed it, and it appears it will be that way for some time. We are really sold on this system, as for what made the grapes finally take off, we are not sure which has more benefit the removal of the leaves or the fertilizer but we plan to keep a good thing going. Hope this helps someone else having the same problems with their grapes.





Mar 11

Five Things Every American Should Do, But Won’t.

Five Things Every American Should Do, But Won’t.
From: Dennis “Bones” Evers

We’ve all seen him on the news. The guy buying plywood, beer, chips and other survival essentials as the approaching hurricane can be seen over his shoulder in the distance.

Unfortunately, the majority of Americans aren’t much better when it comes to being prepared for emergencies. However, recent disasters have proven that the sheer magnitude of an event can overwhelm relief efforts, coupled with cutbacks in personnel, budgets and equipment, place the onus squarely on our shoulders.

Many citizens don’t see the need for preparedness, and that’s their prerogative, however a relatively small investment now for someone who is concerned about the possibility of a disruption due to a natural disaster, pandemic, terrorism, civil unrest or countless other possible scenarios, might mean the difference between a week or so of hungry terror or a week of edgy survival. Most people think of some wild eyed mountain man when the word “survival” is mentioned, but that’s no longer the case. When the Government strongly suggests preparing, there’s a reason behind it.

The ever increasing list of disasters and emergencies that can put you on your own is a long and often dangerous one. The violence and mayhem associated with black Friday will look like a minor scuffle when food shortages or any one of a hundred scenarios spark riots. Food flew off the shelf and stores were emptied in hours before the big snow hit the East coast this winter. With municipalities cutting essential services like law enforcement, the chances of having to “hunker down” increases exponentially.

Now the caveat. Being prepared doesn’t guarantee survivability, but it does greatly enhance your chances if the event is survivable. The following list is by no means inclusive as there are hundreds of variables, i.e., suburban vs. rural, gated community vs. projects, the type of disaster, number of persons being prepared for and on and on.

Given the countless variables, there are some basic necessities that are essential regardless of location or emergency. The following items are simply a starting point that will assist you in thinking about establishing some sort of basic preparedness. They will greatly improve not only your survivability, but your level of comfort in terribly uncertain times.

While FEMA recommends three days of emergency provisions, and it is a start, given the current climate, a week’s supply should be a good starting point, a one month stash would be better. Keep in mind that these items cannot be placed in order because of the countless variables.

You’ve made your decision, so now you need to get down to the business of survival.

1. Water. Absolutely essential for drinking, hygiene and cooking. Remember all of the people (who had ample warning) sitting on their roofs during Katrina? Imagine how much comfort a measly couple of bucks worth of bottled water would have done to reduce the misery factory. While one gallon per person per day is recommended, enough to drink would certainly be better than nothing at all. Even a few hours of thirst can cost you your edge. Several cases of bottled water would go a long way during an emergency and you can replace it as you use it.

2. Food. Another essential. You can go days or even weeks without food, but who wants to? Something you wouldn’t even consider eating under normal circumstances could look mighty good if you’re starved. Granola bars, canned food and crackers could mean the difference between a clear head or one thinking about a cheeseburger. Every time you go shopping, put in an extra few items that you normally eat. Check the expiration dates and get items with a long shelf life if possible. If something happens, you have food you’re used to and you can use it up as part of your regular food supply. Make sure you rotate it in and out to maintain freshness.

3. Shelter. You have to stay alive to ride out an event. For most of us, staying at home would be the ideal situation. However, any number of situations can require “bugging out” to a shelter or other safe location. Most of us have relatives within driving distance or know someone who might put up with us for awhile. If not, as a last resort the government or the Red Cross will usually provide emergency shelter. Have a plan nonetheless. If you have to stay and shelter in place at your home, business or apartment, or hit the road to get away from civil unrest, a chemical spill, fire or hurricane, you need to have a plan and be prepared to implement it.

4. Emergency Equipment. In addition to food, water and shelter, there are several essential items that will be required in the event you are on your own. Extra medicines are top of the list, particularly if they are required daily. A good first aid kit is another must have. An LED flashlight and lantern with extra batteries are essential. Warm clothes, sleeping gear, a camp stove and emergency sanitation gear are also essential. Last but certainly not least is some sort of self defense. You can easily find out what you need with a little online surfing of various websites, starting with

5. Time Killers. Even if the emergency is only a 48 or 72 hour event, you will want to have some playing cards, books, a Bible and board games on hand to help kill the time. You might even include some candies or other treats as well as coloring books and crayons for the younger ones.

Factors preventing many people from preparing are the “it can’t happen here” mentality, and plain old fear or a sense of being overwhelmed. People with the former attitude won’t see a need to prepare, and that’s their choice. (Until something happens and they expect the government to take care of all of their needs.) As for the latter, there is nothing wrong with fear, particularly the “where does one start” quandary, if it is turned into positive action. Instead of worrying about the future, prepare for it and get on with life. We’re talking about simple and subtle changes in your lifestyle, mostly relating to shopping and food storage habits. No one is advocating that you become a mountain man and live off roots and bark. Simply realize the need for a minimal amount of preparation, formulate a plan and get started working toward your goal, and pray that you never need to use it.

Dennis Evers is a former police chief and best selling author. His newest book, “How to Handle a Crisis” will be available shortly at

Mar 07

Colorado Preppers Roll Call – All Preppers Please Check In.

The American Preppers Network is conducting a network-wide roll call.  Whether you are a member or not please check in and let us know what you are doing to prepare.

This is a good opportunity to network with other preppers near you.

Colorado Preppers, to respond to the roll call please follow this link:

  • Reply to the Roll Call and let us know what you have been doing to prepare.

If you are not yet a member of the forum you can register here for free:

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