Making Due

When I was a kid, my abuelita (grandmother) used to make gorditas.

They were a sweet pancake like bread that tasted so good…hot, cold, you name it!

The problem is that my mom or my aunts never learned how to make them. So when my grandmother died, the recipe died with her.

One day, I decided to search for a recipe and found one very similar to my grandmother’s. It’s not exactly the same, her gorditas were smoother on the outside, but with a tweak in the recipe, I got them to taste the same.

The recipe isn’t a survival recipe, but it is easy to make and taste great! The recipe I used can be found here. I just added another 1/3 cup of sugar!

If your parent or grandparent has a family recipe you love to eat, don’t hesitate to ask them for it! Write it down and practice it with them!

Peace, Todd

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Prepper Minimalism – Get Started Prepping and Survive with Less

prepper minimalism

A Prepper Minimalist would seem like an oxymoron to many people. This is because preppers are known for acquiring “stuff” so that they are better prepared when it is necessary.  I don’t believe anyone has said this, but I think this would be a quote many would at least give a nod to, “He who enters the apocalypse with the  most gear wins!”  I don’t know.  Maybe I’m reaching.  But as I get older, minimalism does appeal to me.

Prepper Minialism Maximizes Resources & Space

Minimalism is a philosophy that has gained popularity in recent years as people seek to simplify their lives and reduce clutter. The idea is to focus on what is truly important and eliminate anything that is unnecessary or excessive. This can be applied to prepping by taking a minimalist approach to preparedness. Instead of stockpiling a large number of supplies and equipment, minimalists focus on the essentials that are most likely to be needed in an emergency situation. This might mean that the “tacticool” or extra gear many of us buy to stockpile gets a second or third thought.  “Two is One, One is None” would only apply to the most important preparedness essentials like food, water, and first aid.

Acquiring essential items is an important aspect of managing one’s resources effectively. By obtaining only the most necessary items, individuals can optimize the use of their space, time, and money. For example, having a well-stocked pantry and fridge, based on a menu, can save time and money by reducing the need for frequent trips to the grocery store. But just going to the grocery store and stocking up on whatever is on sale would add to the pantry’s disorganization, creating a need to spend time finding a way to use the items and use money that might have been used somewhere else.  Acquiring only the essential items is a smart way to manage resources and improve the overall quality of life.

When it comes to organizing our preps, prioritizing multi-purpose items can be a game-changer. By choosing items that can serve multiple functions, you not only save space and reduce clutter, but you also eliminate the need for excess specialized equipment. For example, a Swiss Army knife can replace the need for a separate knife, scissors, and bottle opener. A dry bag can serve as both a way to keep things dry and also a water carrier. By investing in versatile items, you can simplify your life and make the most of the items you already own. Plus, you’ll save money by not having to purchase as many specialized items. 

Carry Less and Stay Mobile

Minimalism is a lifestyle that emphasizes simplicity and the removal of excess possessions. For preppers, this means only carrying the most essential items needed for survival during emergencies. By adopting a minimalist approach, preppers can be more flexible and mobile, allowing them to move around more easily during emergencies. This is because they are not weighed down by unnecessary items that can slow them down or make it difficult to move quickly. Additionally, minimalism can help preppers save space and reduce the amount of gear they need to carry, making it easier to store and transport their supplies. 

This lifestyle allows individuals to be more flexible and adaptable to different situations. For example, in a bugout situation, time is of the essence, and every second counts. Having to pack and transport a lot of belongings can slow down the process and make it more difficult to move quickly. By minimizing the number of belongings that need to be packed, individuals can focus on getting themselves and their loved ones to safety as quickly as possible. Additionally, the stress of deciding which gear to take with them can be overwhelming and lead to indecision. Remember, many preppers are bugging out with families who don’t understand preparedness or who haven’t prepared for a bugout.

So, during times of emergency, it is crucial to have a well-planned and organized evacuation or relocation process. One important factor to consider is the weight and bulk of the supplies that need to be transported. Carrying a lighter load of essential supplies can significantly improve efficiency during these processes. This is because lighter loads are easier to carry and transport, allowing individuals to move more quickly and efficiently. Additionally, lighter loads can reduce the risk of injury or exhaustion, which can slow down the evacuation process. By prioritizing essential supplies and minimizing unnecessary items, individuals can ensure that they are prepared to respond quickly and move more effectively.

Prepper Minimalist Kill ALL the Choices!

Minimalism is a lifestyle that emphasizes owning only essential items and decluttering unnecessary possessions. For preppers, this approach can be particularly useful as it helps them focus on the most important items they need to survive in an emergency situation. By reducing the number of possessions they own, preppers can also avoid feeling overwhelmed by too many choices when it comes to deciding what to bring with them in a crisis. This can be especially important when time is of the essence and quick decisions need to be made. Additionally, minimalism can help preppers save money by avoiding unnecessary purchases and investing in high-quality, durable items that will last for a long time.

When it comes to preparing for any situation, it can be overwhelming to have too many choices. This can lead to decision fatigue, where a person becomes mentally exhausted from making too many decisions. By minimizing choices, individuals can avoid this fatigue and focus on the critical aspects of preparedness. This means that they can prioritize what is most important and allocate their time and resources accordingly. For example, if someone is preparing for a natural disaster, they may choose to focus on stocking up on food, water, and medical supplies rather than spending time deciding which type of generator to purchase. By minimizing choices, individuals can streamline their preparation process and ensure that they are fully prepared for any situation that may arise.

too many choices

Checklists are an essential tool for preppers who want to ensure that they have everything they need in their preparedness supplies. These lists can help preppers determine what items are necessary instead of “nice to have.” By creating their own personal preparedness checklist, preppers can ensure that they have enough food, water, medical supplies, and other essential items to sustain themselves and their families for an extended period. Additionally, checklists can help preppers by providing an inventory of sorts and help them to stay organized and avoid overlooking critical items. Checklists have long been a great tool for preppers and it will serve the minimalist prepper as well! 

Focus on Skills and Knowledge

Minimalism encourages individuals to focus on what is truly important. For preppers, this means prioritizing the acquisition of knowledge and skills that are essential for survival in emergency situations. By learning how to build a fire, purify water, and navigate without modern technology, preppers can become more self-reliant and better equipped to handle unexpected challenges. Knowledge and skill can replace the need for many items in an emergency situation. 

This view is most evident in bushcraft.  Bushcrafters focus on the skills and knowledge to make what they need or adapt what they need in the “bush.”  This was seared into my mind when I watched a video by Lonnie of Far North Bushcraft and Survival.  In a video, now 11 years old, he builds a bucksaw able to cut bigger pieces of wood than his smaller handheld saw.  Lonnie just carries a saw blade into the woods and is able to build the rest of the saw from wood that he crafts.  This affords Lonnie the time and space to carry a smaller saw and save weight and space in his pack.

Prioritizing skills over possessions means valuing the knowledge and abilities that one possesses. This mindset encourages individuals to focus on developing their skills and abilities, which can be used to adapt to different situations and challenges. By prioritizing skills, individuals become more self-reliant and less dependent on material possessions. They are able to use their skills to solve problems, create new opportunities, and navigate through difficult situations. This approach also promotes a sense of personal growth and fulfillment, as individuals are constantly learning and improving themselves. 

Are You Ready to Be a Prepper Minimalist?

Minimalism is a way of life that promotes simplicity and intentional living. It is not just about decluttering physical possessions, but also about simplifying one’s schedule, relationships, and mental clutter. By prioritizing what truly matters, prepper minimalists are able to create more time and space for themselves. This lifestyle values experiences over material possessions and encourages individuals to invest in meaningful relationships and experiences rather than getting stuck in the prepper trap of buying more “stuff”.  A prepper minimalist lives with intention and purpose, making deliberate choices that align with their values and goals. By eliminating unnecessary distractions and focusing on the essentials, skills, and knowledge, minimalists are able to achieve greater clarity, productivity, and fulfillment in their lives.  And isn’t that what we all want?

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Our Crazy World – A Serious Conversation!

crazy world

Do you feel like you’re living in a crazy world?  I first penned this letter on December 2011.  Back then, I was very concerned about our crazy world and the direction that I saw it going.  The signs have been there for a while.  For those paying attention, looking, researching and reading, you could easily find a myriad of problems that point to how fragile our world, country, state… is.  But now, the problems are glaring and in your face!  You really have to be Mary Poppins to think there isn’t “something” wrong! It seems like our world is going crazy!

From our economy to terrorism, to natural disasters, to deadly viruses, crime and more, you can easily find reasons to be concerned for yourself and your family!

There Are Major Problems in Our Crazy World!

The thing is, many of the problems that can arise because of these issues can be mitigated if you just put a little effort into being prepared.  Many of you won’t though because you are too distracted with “living the dream” and having fun or you just are irresponsible!  Responsibility is a problem in today’s world!  We all want the government or some other entity to come through for us!  And what if they don’t?  Are you willing to have your family staring you in the face, wanting to know what to do because they are in a desperate situation that could have been avoided or not as bad because you weren’t man enough to make some decisions and get off your butt?

People always ask, what if I prepare and nothing happens?  Well I say, that is good!  You don’t really want anything to happen!  Or, you don’t want terrorist to hack the electric grid and be without power for however long!  You don’t want the economy to tank and possibly lose your job!  Neither do you don’t want the drought or an earthquake in California to affect the food supply so much that you forgo buying fruit because it is too expensive!  You don’t want any of that stuff to happen!  But if it does….you want to be ready!

It’s Crazy, So What Should You Do?

Being prepared doesn’t mean you go buy a lot of camo, guns and go out into the woods.  Being prepared or living a prepared lifestyle just means you live responsibility by planning, thinking ahead and putting some things back for a rainy day!  There are so many aspects to it and each family is going to be different!  But failing to plan and prepare is setting your family up to fail!

You will tell that my letter below is a lot “softer” than what I’ve written above!  Back then, I didn’t want to freak people out.  I wanted them to think critically!  But now, I think people need a wake-up call!

After you read the letter below, I would be happy to answer any questions or point you to resources that can explain your question in better detail!

July 2019

An Open Letter to Family & Friends

I’m writing this letter because I care about you.  Please take a few minutes to read it and think about what I’m saying.

Why the Letter?

Our lives are crazy and sometimes it seems like we live in a crazy world!  We take care of our family, work, eat, play chauffeur, pay the bills, etc.  When we have a little bit of free time, we like to just veg in front of the TV and watch some brain-numbing pictures flicker across the screen.  We can go at it like this for days, weeks and even months, not knowing what is going on in the world outside our local community and just get by with the talk around the water cooler.

And when we take life in these little chunks, separate blocks of our time and attention, it seems a little bit more manageable.  We move from one task, event, errand, or chore to the other.

The problem is when we look at our lives from a big-picture perspective.  What if our lives, all of a sudden changed?  What if the stress of the day came bearing down at you all at once?  How could this happen?  This can easily happen during an emergency.  I’m not talking about your son just stuffed his GI Joe down the toilet, or the dog is out of food emergency.  I’m talking about the BIG stuff.

The Big Emergency

The BIG emergency is the one that stops you in your tracks.  It can be personal, based in your local community or worldwide.  But it is the one that everything else stops and all resources and energy are put towards it.

The problem is that most people are not prepared for a BIG one.


Are you and your family most people?  Do you have an emergency fund for financial emergencies?  Or, do you have insurance for medical emergencies?  Do you have food and water if there is a food supply/transportation emergency?  What about having another means of cooking and preparing your food if utilities weren’t available?  Do you have first aid supplies and extra medicine on hand?  Can you rely on some basic skills that could help you: fire starting, water purification, gardening, first aid, etc.?

This is the whole reason for my letter.  I want to help you see the importance of being prepared and to start being more self-reliant.  It’s not too hard, but it does take time, planning and effort.  But then again, what would the time, planning and effort that you put in ahead of time be worth in the middle of an emergency?  You’ll be glad you did!

Getting Prepared Action Steps:

Make a planWhat are you preparing for?  What needs to be done?  Don’t look at the magnitude of the plan, that can be overwhelming. Take it in chunks.  In reality, you will never be “prepared.”  You can be “not prepared” or “overly prepared,” but never “perfectly prepared.”  Consider the basics: financial, medical, etc…but also keep in mind your region of the country; hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, fires, etc…

Set goals – When do you want _____ accomplished?

  1. Get a 3 day supply of food.  Then move to a 3 week supply.
  2. Revisit insurance: house, vehicle, medical, life, etc…
  3. Think about home and personal security.
  4. Start an emergency fund – 3-6 months of expenses
  5. Start a garden
  6. Take a class: first-aid, sewing, gardening, firearm, wilderness survival
  7. Watch some videos on Youtube (search preparedness)
  8. Read blogs and articles on “preparedness” and “prepping
  9. Listen to Podcasts that deal with the topic of preparedness.

Get active – go meet your goals!


The world of preparedness/prepping can be an addictive one.  It can suck you in, mess with your emotions and get you seeing are already crazy world in an even crazier way!  It is always best to approach preparedness within community.  You should go it alone only if no one else is willing.  Eventually, they will realize that you were right, even if that is in the midst of a storm.

It’s A Crazy World and It’s Fragile!

It is not in the scope of this letter to discuss all the possible emergency scenarios that you should prepare for.  But outside of regional, natural disasters, it is important to me to briefly mention our global situation.  Things outside our local community have gone from bad to worse!  At first, we might not care about what is going on in some Asian or European country, but the fact is that we are ALL tied into each other now.  What happens over there, affects us over here.

There are many “End of the World as We Know It” type scenarios out there.  One such scenario is an economic collapse.  Someone recently replied to me and said, “Yes, times can get hard, but we have been through it before during the Great Depression.”  The fact is that it is way different this time.  Our country didn’t have the debt that we have now.  And, if for some reason the world loses faith in our government’s ability to pay its debts, we are up the creek.  It really isn’t too far-fetched to imagine this happening if you’ll look into it.  The concern has gone beyond the tin-foil hat people.  Just research it!

Do Something

Please take this letter seriously.  If you prepare and don’t need it, the worst is that you have some food (food costs are going up/buy now at cheaper prices) and other supplies.  But if you ever find you are in a position that you do need it, you and your loved ones will be glad you were prepared!


Crazy World

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Grumbling – Bible Study

In our lives, we are constantly influenced by a multitude of people and things. Ideally, we seek positive influences that uplift and inspire us. But what happens when the influences in our lives are overwhelmingly negative? Unfortunately, for many, complaining and grumbling have become a favorite pastime. When immersed in such an environment, it becomes all too easy to adopt a negative attitude and join the chorus of discontent. Let’s face it, considering the current state of our country and the world, negativity seems like the default stance. For the Believer, how does negativity impact our relationship with God?

1. What do you think of the saying, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with?”

2. Read Numbers 2:2-13. What do you think about what God says to Moses in verse 12?

3. Read John 6:60-65.  Did grumbling or negativity kill the disciples faith and trust in Jesus?

4. Do you feel that Philippians 2:14-16 states we should not grumble as Believers?  If so, how do we best accomplish this?

5. What are some ways that we can curve/remove grumbling and negativity from our lives?

There are other Bible Studies published on this site. Click here to learn how to lead a Bible Study for Preppers.


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Survival Whistle: The One Piece of Survival Gear You Need to Carry

survival whistle

The Titanic?!?  For some reason, the scene at the end when Rose is floating on the wooden board and hears the rescuers but can’t yell, reminds me of whistles.  Probably because that was the only way she got the rescuers attention!  It was a smart move and one that saved her life.  Yeah, I know it is a movie, but it’s a good illustration of how important it is to have a simple piece of gear like a whistle!

Like many of us know, emergencies can happen at any time and in any place, and it is important to be prepared for them. Whether it is a natural disaster, a medical emergency, or a dangerous situation, having the right tools on hand can make all the difference. The one piece of “inexpensive” gear that is often overlooked is a whistle.

History of Whistles

Whistles have been used for thousands of years for various purposes. The ancient Greeks used them during their Olympic games to signal the start and end of events. In the Middle Ages, whistles were used by shepherds to communicate with their dogs. Whistles were also used on ships as a means of communication between crew members.

In more recent times, whistles have been used in emergency situations. During World War I, soldiers used whistles to signal for help when they were trapped in trenches or injured on the battlefield. Whistles were also used by air raid wardens during World War II to alert people to take cover during bombing raids.

Today, whistles are still used by hikers, campers, and anyone else who is smart enough to carry a whistle and finds themselves in an emergency situation.

Benefits of Carrying a Whistle

Carrying a whistle can provide several benefits for personal safety. One of the main benefits is that it can attract attention in an emergency situation. If you are lost or injured in the wilderness or trapped in a building after a disaster, blowing a whistle can help rescuers locate you more quickly than if you were shouting for help.  It also takes less energy to blow into a whistle than to keep shouting for help over and over again.

Another benefit of carrying a whistle is that it can potentially save lives. In situations where time is of the essence, such as when someone is drowning or having a heart attack, blowing a whistle can alert others to the situation and prompt them to take action.

Different Types of Whistles

There are several different types of whistles available, each with its own pros and cons. Pealess whistles are popular because they do not have a pea inside that can get stuck or clogged with dirt or debris. Electronic whistles are also available, which produce a loud, high-pitched sound without the need for blowing.

However, some people prefer traditional whistles with peas because they produce a distinct sound that can be heard from farther away. It is important to consider the environment in which you will be using the whistle when choosing which type to purchase.

But if you find yourself without a whistle, and you can find yourself a soda can and a pair of scissors or even your knife, you can make this survival whistle.

But you also need to watch the video below on how you can make a traditional willow whistle, just with your bushcraft knife.  This would be a great project to do and it wouldn’t take too long.

How to Use a Whistle in an Emergency

Using a whistle in an emergency situation is simple, just blow.  But there are some ways that you can use a whistle that many recognize as emergency signals.

For example, blowing three short blasts is a universally recognized signal for distress. Someone in an emergency situation could blow three short blasts in succession to indicate that they need help.

Blowing one long blast can help to pinpoint your location and signal your location to rescuers.

Going back to the reference from the Titanic, blowing short bursts can be used to attract attention, particularly in noisy or windy conditions.  This is what Rose did in the end scene. “Jack, I’ll never let go…but I have to blow a whistle now in short bursts.”

Lastly, you can use a whistle to blow a distress signal. This would include blowing the universal signal for SOS, three short, three long, three short blasts.

When you use a whistle in an emergency situation where you are hoping someone comes to your rescue, you should blow and then wait to hear if there is any response.  This will help conserve your energy and listen for any communication from rescuers if they are near.  

Tips for Choosing the Right Whistle

When choosing a whistle, there are several factors to consider. The volume of the whistle is important, as you want it to be loud enough to attract attention but not so loud that it hurts your ears. The durability of the whistle is also important, as you want it to be able to withstand rough handling and exposure to the elements.

It is also important to consider personal preferences when choosing a whistle. Some people prefer pealess whistles because they are easier to clean and maintain, while others prefer traditional whistles with peas because they produce a distinct sound.

You can find some whistles on Amazon that claim that they are super loud like the Hyperwhistle and the Storm Safety Whistle.  Some are sold as survival whistles like the Tacray Survival Whistle.  My personal favorite is the traditional whistle your gym teacher might have used.

Preparedness Application

Incorporating a survival whistle into your preps is a simple thing that would pay-off big time in an emergency. What should you do about it?

  1. Decide what type of whistle would be better for you and your loved ones to carry.
  2. Purchase several whistles to place in strategic areas, your vehicle, key ring, bugout bag, purse or EDC kit.
  3. Practice using your whistle so you can gauge how much to blow into it to get the loudness you are looking for.

Conclusion: Don’t Leave Home Without It

Carrying a whistle is a simple but effective way to increase your chances of survival in an emergency situation. Whether you are hiking in the wilderness or living in an area prone to natural disasters, having a whistle on hand can help rescuers locate you more quickly and potentially save your life. It is a commonsense preparedness move that everyone should make!

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Labels that Stick – Bible Study

Words are powerful. When we allow others to use words to label us, it can hurt for a long time. So how do we remove those labels? Watch the video and go through these questions with a small group or by yourself in personal study.

1. What is a word (label) that is used for a person(s) that you don’t like?

2. Words that people say are powerful.  Why should you consider who you allow to speak into your life?

3. Read Ephesians 2:10.  Where do you see “workmanship” in your own life?

4. Read Ephesians 2:11-22.  What labels do you see the Lord uses for you in this passage?

5. What do you think about the idea that since you have “died,” that none of the labels people put on you matter anymore?  Read Colossians 3:3.

6. What does 1 Peter 2:9-10 mean to you?  How can you make sure you incorporate this understanding into your everyday life?

There are other Bible Studies published on this site. Click here to learn how to lead a Bible Study for Preppers.


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