This week on Hey Riley: Let’s talk about winter. Here are some tips, tricks, questions, and answers that will help you ready your homestead for the winter wonderland. Keep your animals warm and your family fed. I’m also sharing some fun stories from our readers!

If you have a story, tip, or question you’d like to see in this column, submit it to me at

Hey Riley,
Session 5 – Surviving Winter

Q: Hey Riley, How can I winterize my chicken coop for snow weather without using a light that might catch fire? -C.L.
A: Great question. Finding the right heat lamp is crucial for winter survival.

Part of that safety comes from choosing a light that doesn’t burn the place up, on top of keeping the animals warm. Here’s how you can find a lamp that won’t catch the whole barn on fire! – CLICK HERE

Q: Hey Riley, Has anyone used a sugar scrub on their scalp? What would it perhaps do to psoriasis?

I have it bad on my scalp, knowing there is no cure you just gotta deal with the symptoms, awful stuff! Thanks and God bless. -F.B.

A: I’m sorry to hear about your psoriasis. I would not recommend applying sugar to the affected area.

Here’s what I would do: Dab a cotton swab in apple cider vinegar and wipe it over the affected area to clean and treat it. Soothe it with Aloe. Then coat the area with petroleum jelly.

You may find this article useful.

Q: Hey Riley, How can I best prepare my home for winter? -D.E.
A: Winter is Coming!

Never fear, There are simple steps you can take to ensure you’ll have everything you need to be prepared for the extremes of winter.

Have backup lights on hand. There’s nothing like a classic battery powered flashlight.
Speaking of which, you’ll also need batteries! Unlike the modern rechargeable solutions, an old flashlight with functioning batteries will save you when the power goes out.
Food. You need food. Canned food, prepackaged food, food that won’t spoil. I know it’s boring, but you’ll need it when worst comes to worst. Keep reading for a full list of 8 Foolproof Ways To Prepare Your Home For Winter.

Q: Hey Riley, How Can I Use My Wood Burning Stove Properly Without Burning The House Down? -L.M.
A: Always use the utmost care when dealing with fire…

You’ll find the tips in this article extremely beneficial: Wood Burning Stove Tips | How to Start Your Fire & Keep It Burning Safely.

IMPORTANT – Don’t end up like this family, and always ALWAYS put your embers in a metal ash bin with a lid.

Q: Hey Riley, my work commute is one hour by car every day, what are some things I should keep on hand for emergencies when it drops below 30? -N.C.
A: Your car should always be equipped with an emergency kit no matter what time of year, but the cold winter months are especially important…

You’ll need your basic car safety kit, but also extra blankets for warmth, and food & water in case you have to stay overnight somewhere.

This blog will go into details: Emergency Car Kit For Winter Driving Safety


Featured: A Narrative From Our Readers

Hey Riley, We live in a 14 x 70 mobile home, have for 16 years, but by last fall we couldn’t stand the mouse smell coming from the forced air heating system any longer. Every time it rained or the wind blew (wind is a daily thing here in Saskatchewan) all you could smell was mouse. . .

With no way to get at the ducts without ripping up the floors, we decided to ditch the forced air furnace, plug the vents with thick Styrofoam insulation sealed with silicone and covered with a piece of tin to keep the little stinkers on their own side of the floor.
We bought a brand new Selkirk chimney and sacrificed a small part of our living room for the 1950’s oil space heater we now use. It puts out 35,000 B.T.U. which as it turns out is way too much heat for 900 sq ft unless it’s a blizzard out.
No more worrying about heat when the power goes out. We can even switch to wood if we want/need to. We also use small kerosene heaters for taking the chill off when it’s too warm out to start the “big” heater. None of the heaters actually need the floor pad under the “big” heater, it’s there for when wood is used. -S

That’s all for this week, we absolutely LOVE hearing from you! Your homesteading tips & stories are so inspiring for myself and to our fellow readers. Stay tuned, we’ve got more great tips coming up next week!

Got a question or a handy tip of your own? Send it to me via

 Like this? You’ll Also Like:
Hey Riley, Session 4
12 Ways Self-Sufficiency Will Make You A Happier Person

Originally posted on January 5, 2016 @ 2:00 AM

The post Hey Riley – Session 5 | Homesteading Tips & Tricks: Surviving Winter appeared first on Homesteading Simple Self Sufficient Off-The-Grid |

Read more: