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Keeping track of your preps

I think anyone who is prepping has storage problems. Either they do not have the space to store everything they need or the have stored everything in a haphazard way. I know I have both those issues.

I have several large jerry cans full of fuel. Every now and again I fill the cars up with the cans and refill the cans with fresh fuel. That way I can keep my fuel fresh and ready to go whilst having a reasonable stock. Legal limit of course. I’m going for a trip in the next few days and annoyingly I cannot find the spouts for the jerry cans. I’ve got two spouts and can’t find either of them. Brilliant.

It’s my fault. I document all the perishables with quantity, dates and locations so that I can rotate them and so they are traceable. The medical items I keep in three different locations and although I don’t have an up to date quantity list I do have a list of the items. Tools are a lot easier, they are kept in the garage and the sheds so I can usually find them easy enough. The two weak areas that I’m not very good at documenting are my books and my general goods, items such as the fuel spouts, ropes, cable ties are basically piled on top of each other in a storage area and the more I add the more I cover things up. This isn’t normally a problems as I usually keep the items I use out of the way so I can find them but all it needs is for them to be moved slightly and they go missing, like the fuel spouts. Although to be honest I rarely need anything from these stockpiles, when I do I can usually find the items but the few times I can’t means I have to go an purchase some more. It is annoying on a time basis but I look at it that tomorrow I’ll have three spouts. That gives me spares.

One area that I should have handled better though is my books. I have thousands of books, all neatly packed away in boxes and I have no way of knowing where a particular book is. Someone can be looking for one of Ragnar Bensons books for example, I’ve got it, I know I have and they best I can do to find it is look in the few boxes I can reach which were the last books archived. Not long ago they were all on shelving and easy to find but not any more.

In my defence I only stored things that way because it was only going to be temporary. I was moving them to another location and the move was cancelled. If an event happened I would pull them all out anyway so they would serve their purpose. It just doesn’t help me now.

So, learn from my mistakes. Document everything, put a list on every box, record that list and the box location in a folder so that you can find it again. It will not only help when you want to know what you have but it will help you find items quickly and save you having to go out and buy something again because you were stupid.

Over the next few weeks I have to go through the garage and sort it out after it leaked over last winter. I’ll take advantage and make sure I document it all. Won’t help with the books though. It will take to long to sort them out unless I’m putting them back on shelving.

7 comments to Keeping track of your preps

  • fred

    In my defence I only stored things that way because it was only going to be temporary.

    Think you should have known – things boxed away in bulk have a habit of staying untouched. How far do you index? I’d say only as far as which box they’re in.

  • prepper1

    Ha ha haaaaa welcome to my world…..
    daily bouts of “wtf have I just done with that”……..
    “Now I know I put it somewhere safe”….
    and finally the best one…
    “wheres that list telling me where everything is”……

  • rush2112

    Ahh, Ragnar Benson. I cant believe you have Ragnar books! For some reason I thought he was just a USA item. The man is a pioneer. Some of his books were the first I got when started “survivalism” as it was called back then.

    I had a similar situation regarding the books, realizing if we had to leave it would take too long to find what I want. So i organized the survival books by topic: gardening and wild plants, medicine,homesteading, self defense, tools and weapons, etc. now i have to decide which we would take (depending on the situation of course). i’m leaning towards a good general medical reference and same for plants.

    i even found some old cook books(from 18th and 19th centuries) i had forgotten about, went thru them again and found some interesting recipes.

    • Northern Raider

      Pah! Ragnar Benson was only in diapers when we Brits discovered Mel Tappan 🙂 his book “Tappan on Survival” was the first book on the subject I boughtway back in the dark ages. It is only second in my library to the fictional holy book of survivalsts ALAS BABYLON (all bow at its name)

  • Radar

    RFID! Radio Frequency Identification! … Tag it! Costly though 🙁

  • Kenneth Eames

    Rush and NR, It’s good to know that I’m not the only one who has heard of these ‘survival pioneers’. Another one that I would add to the list is Kurt Saxon. If you have material from any of these three people you are very fortunate. Some of their writings are very valuable. Some of their writings are still available in America. Kenneth Eames.

  • Urbane


    RFID require a specialised contactless reader, a small battery powered computer with an up-to-date database, and regular charging, and all that electronics could be rendered useless if you run out of power or EMF occurs near enough; so probably not so smart, even if you could afford it.

    A better idea is probably laminated, printed paper content sheets, and printed plastic labels, stuck to containers. A waterproof page book could be used as an updatable index and stock control ledger.

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