My Best Preps for 2022 and Plans for 2023

Top preps from 2022
Top preps from 2022

When planning for the coming year, it’s valuable to look at the past year. Looking at what you achieved gives you a starting point and an idea of how much you might achieve in the coming year.

I’m recapping my 2022 list below. I suggest you spend a few minutes to develop your own list.


By far, our most important action at the homestead was getting our waterlines buried. We proved the effectiveness of this action by surviving the Christmas Blizzard without the loss of water. This improvement should ensure us a functioning, uninterruptible, gravity-fed water supply in good times and bad. Because it is not solely a prep and made my wife very happy, I consider it our most important prep.

The list of people we know who lost water of the most recent winter storm has grown to six. Wells fared badly because of the extremely low temperatures, but also because of the power outage. Without power, the water in pipes couldn’t move and froze, locking up well heads and bursting pipes.

Neighbors with propane-powered whole-house generators told me it cost them about $6 an hour to run their generator. That’s cheaper than calling a plumber, many of whom were working Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Most of the people I know made their own repairs.

My hope is we require no further work on our water system, but I have spare pipe and fittings, just in case.


I added eight or nine number ten cans of dehydrated food to our preps this year and well over 100 cans of traditional grocery store foods, most of it canned meat, to our prepper pantry. This included expanding what we stored to include canned ham, canned barbecue pork, and canned roast beef. I also added pasta, 100 pounds of wheat, 65 pounds of rice, and 80 pounds of sugar, although much of that will go to feed to the bees in early spring. I still have more than 50 pounds of honey, but we will sell much of that in the next two months.

We also rotated out numerous canned goods, but we need to consume even more old products and replace them with fresh this year.

As part of this process, I did a complete inventory of all our stored foods. This helped identify holes in our storage foods and items that we should consume before they go bad. Taking an inventory, which I did on a legal pad so it is accessible even if we have no power, is a good exercise for all preppers.

After suffering from a shortage of pet food late in the pandemic, we stocked up on food for the dog and cat. I now have at least six months’ worth for the cat. We ended up using most of the dog food when the manufacturer stopped shipping it (our dog has food allergies, so she eats a special diet.) I am now building that back up and have sourced an alternative food to avoid being limited to one brand.

My priority for 2023 is to continue to rotate out food and take advantage of sales.


After our move, we opened buckets that held health and beauty aids and have been using things we stored away in 2012-2014, including Q-Tips, tooth brushes, ibuprofen, antihistamines, soap, lotions and shampoos. Most of the products kept just fine. The bar soap dried out a bit, but it still makes suds. I also bought at a dozen new bars of soap at the dollar store. I have also acquired a few dozen lighters, which will be useful and make good trade goods.

We added a few dozen canning jar lids to replace ones we used and some pectin. I stocked up on rechargeable batteries and added flashlights and headlamps to our survival stash.

We keep rotating through our paper products, but we have expanded our facial tissue stock by at least 16 boxes. I’ve said before that I would rather wipe my butt with a leaf than blow my nose in one, and I’m standing by that, even though we have a hefty supply of toilet paper on hand.

I am not planning any significant activity in this area in the coming year. We will focus on maintaining our current levels.

Self Defense

My primary activity in firearms was building another AR pistol, which required buying an inexpensive upper (I had a stripped lower and parts), and what I estimate to be 600 rounds of .300 Blackout. I picked up a 1-8x Vortex scope on sale, but have not yet mounted it on a gun. Although I am trying to buy avoid buying new guns, I bought a suppressor in early 2021 that arrived in 2022, so that was the most exciting gun-related activity last year.

While this isn’t technically a gun thing, I did complete my Homestead Defense Bag, which contains loaded magazines, snacks, and some basic first aid supplies. This bag allows me to make a strategic withdrawal and leave the house if under attack and then remain in the area and attack the attackers. I have also prepared two caches to bury on and around our acreage, and am working on a third.

In October, I inventoried all my ammunition and discovered I have more magazines than I realized.

My objectives for 2023 are to train more, to buy some additional .300 blackout, and to encourage my wife and daughter to shoot more.


My biggest disappointment is that my high-production chickens that are supposed to be among the best layers saw their production drop off drastically this fall. I got them in June 2021 and they started laying in the late fall, so they laid throughout winter. When they stopped this year, it caught me by surprise; I expected a repeat of last winter. Now I must hope they return to their high volume production in the spring.

I have ordered new chicks to be delivered in late April. They should be laying by October 1. That should give me plenty of eggs next winter. I now plan to buy or raise around eight chicks every spring so that I have a flock of 12 to 16 laying hens at all times. As the older hens start to peter off, I’ll cull them as we head into winter. That will save me the expense of feeding non-productive hens.

The bees, on the other hand, continue to expand. I hope I have reached the point of self-sufficiency and will not need to buy any bees again. If all goes well, I will split my existing hives enough to have eight to ten hives in the summer of 2023. The 240 pounds of honey I produced far exceeded my expectations. I’m going to aim for 350 pounds in 2023. Of course, much of that depends on the weather and what blooms when.

While I may not need to buy bees again, buying equipment is a seemingly never-ending task. If I ever want to make any money, I will need to stop buying hives and frames at some point. I’m thinking of capping it off at 12 hives. My only other option is to do something very nontraditional for honey supers such as use top-bar hives without frames or 5-gallon water bottles and crush the wax each year to get the honey out. This would cut my production as the bees will waste time and resources making wax, but it will minimize my capital investment.


We still have potatoes in storage that we harvested last summer and some dehydrated zucchini, but the cabbage is long gone. While our initial foray into gardening was successful, it taught us we need more raised beds. We’ll be planting a greater variety of vegetables in 2023.

I received a cider press for Christmas, so we may harvest some of those feral apples that grow down the road and making a few gallons of cider. Unlike traditional wooden presses, this one is metal and is a working antique. It can also make other kinds of fruit juice, crush honey comb, and serve as a cheese press. It’s another item purchased for use after the SHTF that may get some use before hand.

Planned vs Unplanned

What is interesting about last year’s preps is that about half of them were things we had planned to do and the other half were spurred by the Ukrainian invasion and its effect on the availability of grain, fertilizer, energy, and food. This is just an example of how general preps help in almost any situation, but some situations also benefit from specific preparations. (For example, preps for a nuclear war differ from preps for a tornado, but both might benefit from a secure underground shelter.)

As you look ahead, contemplate what sudden changes in the world might cause you to change how you prep, and consider starting now. If China embargoes or invades Taiwan, what could be the consequences and how might that change your preps? What unforeseen consequences could occur if Russia uses tactical nukes in Ukraine, and what might you do to prep for that? This is your chance to look into your crystal ball and be the early bird.