Adventures in Prepping: Testing My Preparedness Skills (The Results Are In)

Well, I only lasted for about twelve hours but the good news is, I survived my test run and found that I’m pretty ready for the apocalypse, although there were some valuable lessons learned.

First of all, I couldn’t have picked a better (worse) day to try to survive a fake emergency. It was cold, blustery and generally miserable out, just like it would probably be in a real emergency.

All that was missing was a few feet of snow.

Ironically, not far from us, dozens of homes were left in the dark all day after the wind knocked out power poles. But for the grace of God and all that.

It didn’t take long for the house to quickly lose heat once I turned the power off, which I expected and was (somewhat) prepared for. Cold doesn’t bother me because, after all, we are dog sledders and we love the cold!

Well, we tolerate it. The pups love the cold lol.

Since it was supposed to get up to 40F outside, I figured I could get through the daylight hours without too much trouble. I put on my thermals, my warmest sweater, my snow pants and my thick, wool socks. I topped it off with my new warm wool hat with the puff of silver fox fur on top and I was good to go.

Then it was time to make my morning cup of coffee, which is where things quickly began to go downhill.

It was too windy to set the rocket stove up safely out in the open, so I decided to try and use it on the back deck where we have privacy fence panels that help block the wind. We keep our barbecue there so I thought I’d set the rocket stove on it and if that didn’t work, I’d just use the barbecue itself.

Then I remembered that the line to the propane tank had broken so that wasn’t an option.

Since I didn’t do any prepping ahead of time, I didn’t have any fuel for my rocket stove. It uses twigs and dry grass which is great except it had rained at some point overnight so everything was wet! I spent twenty minutes out there looking for dry twigs and grass and came back empty handed.

Lesson number one: make sure to have a supply of dry kindling to use in my rocket stove!

I remembered we have another smaller propane grill in the camper but having never used it myself, I wasn’t comfortable trying to figure it out on my own and decided to get creative. I wasn’t ready to go without my morning cup of coffee! I remembered watching a YouTube video on how to make ‘blackout bread’ using tealight candles so I decided to see if I could make ‘blackout coffee’ the same way.

To play it safe, I put them inside our little toaster oven. Then, I used one of my stainless steel sauce pans to boil the water in and left the handle sticking out of the door enough to vent it so that the candles didn’t go out.

And it worked! It took about half an hour to boil the water but it did work. Then I used that in my french press and had my coffee. Well, except that I forgot that I make my creamer fresh every day using home made almond milk and I use the blender for that. So I had to go without since I don’t have a non-electric alternative to my Vitamix.

Lesson number two: get a non-electric alternative to make almond milk!

Luckily I did have my medicines already made up and even if I hadn’t, I use a mortar and pestle and hand fill the pill capsules so that part was easy.

Next was breakfast, which was also pretty easy since I had some muffins I had made before the power went out and just ate a couple of those. If I had to cook from scratch, I’d probably have made oatmeal using my little tea-light powered toaster oven to boil the water.

Next was bathing which also wasn’t too difficult, I just used some of my emergency water in the sink with a washcloth and my home made soap. I should have filled the bath tub before cutting the water main, but I forgot to do that, so another lesson learned.

I have plenty of soap already poured but if I had to make more, again, I could melt the soap base and pour it into my molds without a problem. I have hundreds of tealight candles.

Speaking of those, I was starting to get cold even with all my warm gear on so I had a choice of whether to use my little propane heater that we take with us mushing (which meant I’d have to open a window to vent it) or do the tealight candles in a flower pot thing. Instead, I opted to bring some of the pups in and shut the door to the bedroom in order to use my ‘husky heater’ backup. 😄

We usually have to sleep with the door open and even the window some nights because they put off so much body heat!

Pretty soon I was stripping off layers and feeling toasty warm while they napped and I worked on my cross stitching. Then I read a book and fought the urge to turn on my computer or use my phone to surf the internet because just like coffee, it’s addicting!

Lunch was easy, a peanut butter sandwich and some homemade lemonade.

I pretty much stayed in the bedroom and kept the door shut so it stayed plenty warm. At one point I had to open the window a bit because with all the pups in there it was like a sauna!

The worst part was the boredom. I did some crosswords, wrote in my journal, did a bit more cross stitch and finished my book. Then I took a nap because I ran out of ways to entertain myself.

Dinner was the most challenging part, but I had some frozen chicken soup from a batch I made last week and just used my candles to thaw and warm it enough to eat (I didn’t have the patience to wait for it to get super hot).

I also didn’t have the patience to try to go through the entire night with the power and water shut off, so I turned them back on after dinner and resumed my life of luxury here with central heating, a dishwasher and a nice, hot bath.


In reality, if the power was out for days or weeks, I would have help from neighbors and eventually my husband would find his way home to make sure I’m taken care of. So I really only need to be able to handle things for the short term (hopefully) and that I feel I can do.

The biggest lesson I learned was that I can probably survive if I had to but I really, really hope I never have to (really) find out! 🙂

4 thoughts on “Adventures in Prepping: Testing My Preparedness Skills (The Results Are In)

  1. Have I shared a link to Rose Red Homestead with you yet? They have an amazing set up. Apparently, they loose power regularly, so she’s got an entire off grid outdoor kitchen set up, with backups for her backups! She has videos where she tests out the different stoves she’s got, and at least one video where she does a test run like you just did. I definitely recommend checking her out!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I would so love a freeze dryer! I have no idea where I would keep it, and the noise of having it running would probably drive us nuts – never mind the cost of electricity, but the end result would be so worth it!

        And yeah; love how she is so analytical and data driven!

        Liked by 1 person

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