Notes for Monday – October 5, 2015

October 5, 1703 was the birthday of Jonathan Edwards. He was a prolific Calvinist theological writer. Many of his writings were later collected in the multi-volume book The Rational Biblical Theology of Jonathan Edwards, edited by John Gerstner. Edwards died March 22, 1758.

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We are pleased to announce that we are adding one more new prize for the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest, starting with Round 61, which is in progress. is kindly donating one of their Berkey-compatible 5-gallon bucket filter systems, complete with four black Berkey filter elements. This is a $245 value. It will be part of the Second Prize package.

Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Ruger’s Precision Rifle

When I worked full-time for the Illinois National Guard I was on their rifle and pistol team. At the time I was only 18 years old – but I was an Expert (military earned) shot with a long gun. We were issued match-grade M14s and all matches were shot with open sights – and our team used to beat the pants off of other shooters, with scoped rifles. I was a “novice” or so they rated me as such, and I handily bet every shooter I was placed against. I can’t attribute my shooting skills to the military training. I was trained by two country cousins, Moe and Abner – their real names – down in Kentucky when I was only 15 years old,. And it was their training stayed with me. Moe was confined to a wheelchair after an auto accident, and Abner, had just recently returned from Vietnam, where he was a military police officer. Shooting came easy to Abner, and he taught me not only aimed shooting, he also taught me point shooting.

There aren’t a lot of tricks or secrets when it comes to long-range shooting with a rifle. You have to have a good sight picture, and proper trigger control, and control your breathing. And, of course, it helps when you have a good rifle and ammo, too. I think it might be a toss-up, as to which is the most important skill to master – trigger control or sight picture. I believe,in my case, trigger control was the hardest to learn and master. I’ve shot some long-range matches in my neck of the woods–if you can call 200-yards “long range”–and handily beat those who invited me. They haven’t invited me back fora rematch, either. I’m not a spring chicken any longer, as a matter of fact, I collect Social Security these days. However, I believe my shooting skills have improved over the years, instead of degrading.

If a rifle (or handgun) isn’t accurate, I’m not the least bit interested in them. Most rifles off the rack, are okay shooters, and will get the job done hunting deer in the field. I’ve personally never shot a deer beyond 150 yards,and most were taken at 100 yards or less. That is not much of a challenge.However, I’ve seen many slob hunters out there, taking 500+ yard shots at deer and elk, and they didn’t even come close to hitting them. They had no idea where their bullets even went, and had no idea the drop or trajectory of the ammo they were using. Most deer hunters sight their rifles in at 1″ high at100-yards and call it good – and it doesn’t matter what caliber they are using- they sight their guns in the same – hitting 1″ high at 100-yards. Guess that is good enough, if you aren’t shooting at game more than a couple hundred yards away. However, I like to know where my shots are going to hit – at any range.


The Ruger Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. Precision Rifle was recently released, and I’m here to tell you, it is one of the hottest sellers on the market these days. Ruger is doing all they can to keep up with demand.the Ruger Precision Rifle is available in three calibers, .243 Winchester, 6.5Creedmoor and .308 Winchester, and I understand that, the 6.5 Creedmoor is currently the hottest seller. I readily admit that, I have never fired any rifle chamber in 6.5 Creedmoor, but I understand it is an outstanding round that many long-range shooters use in competition.

I requested a sample from Ruger, and it shipped right away. The gun has so many features, I don’t even know where to begin, and I won’t cover them all,you can read more on the Ruger web site. I’ll start with what I usually save for last, and that is the retail price. Full retail is $1,399.00 any model. Now, don’t get too upset over this, until you read more about this rifle. First of all, this rifle was not designed to be a “hunting” rifle, although it can sure be used as one–with a 5-round magazine–since many states restrict you to5 rounds in the magazine. And, here’s where the Precision Rifle shines, it comes with two MagPul 10-round mags, however, because of the clever design,this rifle will also function with SR-25, DPMS and some modified M-14 magazines- which means you can probably find a 5-round mag for hunting if you wish to use this rifle for big game hunting.


The Ruger Precision Rifle, is, without a doubt designed for long-range target/competition shooting. And as such, it is priced far less than anything else in it’s class. If you’ll take a close look at several of the pictures attached with this article, the complicated-looking stock, just smacks of one designed for long-range shooting, and it would be one heck of a sniper’s rifle for our military, or or any military. I thought that the stock was complicated,however, once you get it adjusted for length of pull and height – you don’t have to adjust it again. Oh sure, perhaps tweak the adjustments, as needed,based on your clothing – but it really isn’t all that complicated as I first thought it was. Additionally, the stock folds to the left side of the receiver.

We have a medium contour barrel that is .75″ at the threaded muzzle. The muzzle actually has a cap protector on it, and if you elect, you can add a flash suppressor or even a registered sound suppressor attached to the 5/8″-24threads. The barrel is also easily replaced by a trained gunsmith, with an AR wrench and proper head space gauges. The barrel is also cold hammer forged 4140chrome moly steel. The handguard is the popular KeyMod, that is rapidly becoming the standard on ARs these days – easy to attach accessories to it. The rifle’s bolt has three locking lugs, and a 70-degree throw – pretty short for fast follow-up shots. The bolt operates very smoothly, too. I should also mention that, the barrel is free-floated, giving you every ounce of accuracy you can wring out the gun.


At first glance, the Ruger Precision Rifle, looks all the world like a big-bore AR-15 style of rifle, until you notice the bolt on the right side.There is also a pistol grip, and the safety control is in the same spot, where you’d find it on an AR-15 style rifle – so if you are familiar with the AR-15,the Ruger Precision Rifle will be familiar to you. I also liked the over-sized bolt handle, easy to find and operate, even with gloves on. Nice touch, Ruger!

The upper receiver has Picatinny Rails, for easy mounting of a scope and anyWeaver rings easily attach. In-hand, the rifle just feels, for all the world,like a slightly large AR-15, and that’s a good thing, if you’re already an AR owner/shooter. Ruger also added their Marksman Adjustable Trigger, and it can be set from 2.25-lbs to 5.0-lbs. My sample was right at 3.25-lbs and I left it there. The Hex wrench for adjusting trigger pull is stored in the bolt shroud,as is a bolt disassembly tool.DSC00145

The .308 Win sample has a 20-inch barrel and weighs in at 9.70-lbs without a scope, Overall length varies, depending on where you adjust your butt stock,but it can be from 38.25-inches to 41.75-inches. With the stock folded to the side, it is 30.60 inches in length. Length of pull can be adjust from12.00-inches to 15.50-inches, so it should fit most shooters of all sizes.

There are other features, that I don’t want to bore our readers with, so please check out the Ruger web site for complete information and instructions.

I was anxious to get this Ruger Precision Rifle, out to the range, and see what it could do. I mounted a (borrowed) Night Force 5.5-20X56mm scope on it,and it was more than I needed. Unfortunately, we had several heat waves in my part of Oregon this past summer, and most of the spots I used for long-range shooting were closed so I had to limit my shooting to only 100-yards – sad! I only had two types of ammunition on-hand for testing, both from Black Hills Ammunition – one was their168-gr Match Hollow Point, and their other their slightly heavier 175-gr MatchHollow Point.


I shot the rifle over the hood of my pick-up truck, using a rolled-up sleeping bag for a rest. Not the best way to get the most accuracy from any type of firearm, especially when testing a rifle designed for long-range hooting. I’m sure with a bipod and going prone, I could have gotten a bit more accuracy out of the Ruger. The gun, in .308 Win weights in at 9.70-lbs and the weight helped me stabilize the rifle a bit more. It did take me a while to get the buttstock adjusted to fit me just perfect, and perfectly it didfit…I made sure I had it adjusted to my liking, before I even fired the first shot.

With a target down range, at 100 yards, I easily had all shots under one inch – without trying all that hard. The Black Hills .308 Winchester Match Grade ammo, is outstanding, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. The rifle liked the 168-gr Win Match Hollow Point ammo just a touch better than the175-gr version. However, on a different day, I might have had different results. Due to the extreme fire danger in our area, I was only able to get out shooting one time – ONE TIME! And, as of this writing, in the middle of September, all the logging roads are still closed to any foot or vehicle traffic – no long range shooting!


The Ruger Precision Rifle and the Black Hills 168-gr Match Hollow Point ammo, gave me some groups that were almost one hole “groups” – one group was slightly under 3/4″ and all the rest, were easily under an inch, and I know that this rifle and ammo combination can do much better than that. I can easily see this gun and ammo shooting under half an inch with a bipod, and going prone.

If you’re looking to get into long-range high-powered rifle competition, you
don’t have to spend many thousands of dollars, to get an outstanding rifle.
With a full-retail price of $1,399 for the Ruger – and you can usually find
Ruger’s discounted from retail-price, you can afford to get a great rifle –
just add a really good scope and you’re good to go. The rifle would also be an
outstanding sniper’s rifle – and I would love to see the US military – all
branches – take a close look at this rifle. It’s a lot less expensive than any
other sniper rifle the military is currently using, and the accuracy is there,
with the right ammo. As I stated at the start of this article, I’m only
interested in accurate rifles and handguns, and the Ruger Precision Rifle
didn’t let me down in this respect.


Right now, the Ruger is in short supply, however, I understand that Ruger is adding more machinery, so they can turn out more rifles to meet the great demand. Ruger not only hit a home run, they hit it out of the ballpark on this Precision Rifle, and the price is totally unbelievable for so much gun, with so many features, and with more accuracy than you can probably squeeze out of the gun. But it will be fun trying to your hand at it. Now, as is the usual “problem” I have: this rifle isn’t going back to Ruger, and I have to find a way to raise the funds to purchase it. Life is tough!

– Senior Product Review Editor, Pat Cascio

Letter: Getting Practical and Tactical With Baofeng Hand-Helds, by Wrangler

Dear SurvivalBlog Readers:

Imagine for a moment that you are a licensed ham, operating in a tactical situation, observing your target. It is pitch black outside, and suddenly a team member calls you on the radio. Your radio goes “beep” and the screen lights up so brightly that you can be seen for half a mile. That is not a good situation!

One very popular hand-held radio available in the U.S. is the Chinese-made Baofeng UV-5R handheld dual-band transceiver. They cover two bands: 136-174MHz and 400-519.995 MHz. These hand-helds are mass-produced, so they are often bargain
priced at less than $35. There is also an iSaddle upgrade version of the UV-5R with a larger battery pack (3,800 MaH), available for under $40.

These radios are basic, and have their drawbacks. The default programming settings do not have tactical use in mind. But there are adjustments you can make to your programming to correct the aforementioned issues along with several other recommendations to make your radio a more “Tactical” hand-held VHF transceiver.

1. Reduce the transmit power level. There is no reason to be transmitting your signals any farther than you need to.

– You can lower the transmit power level by pressing the “#” key until you see a “L” in the display. Absence of the “L” indicates High power. (Note: 8 watt units have L, M, H, settings)

2. Replace that 16 inch aftermarket flex antenna with either the stock antenna or better yet, purchase a soft “stubby” antenna. True, that longer antenna will get you better
performance, but, catching your antenna on something and breaking it off just rendered your radio totally useless. The shorter one will work just fine in a tactical situation.

3. Turn off the “BEEP” tone.

– Press “MENU”, “8”, “MENU”, then press the “UP Arrow” until the display says ”OFF”, Press “MENU”, then “EXIT”.

4. Turn off “VOICE”.

– Press “MENU”, “14”, “MENU”, then press the “UP Arrow”until the display says ”OFF”, Press “MENU”, then “EXIT”.

5. Turn off the display backlight.

– Press “MENU”, “29”, “MENU”, then press the “UP Arrow”until the display says ”OFF”, Press “MENU”, then “EXIT”.

– Press “MENU”, “30”, “MENU”, then press the “UP Arrow”until the display says ”OFF”, Press “MENU”, then “EXIT”.

– Press “MENU”, “31”, “MENU”, then press the “UP Arrow”until the display says ”OFF”, Press “MENU”, then “EXIT”.

6. Purchase a sturdy aftermarket speaker/microphone. (The ones supplied with radio Baofeng are inferior and will fail after very little use.)

7. Don’t rely on the factory-supplied belt clip to keep your radio on your person. (In rigorous field use, that will surely mean either a broken clip or a lost radio.) Instead, use a sturdy aftermarket case.

For more information: I am a big fan of the MIKLOR.COM web site for information on Baofeng radios. There, you can find almost everything you ever wanted to know about these radios, from programming to troubleshooting.

Closing Note: The aforementioned programming changes can also be made by “offboard” by using either the Baofeng programming software or the CHIRP programming software.

Recipe of the Week: Minestrone Soup, by C.S.

This is my favorite Minestrone soup.


¼ cup cooking oil (I use peanut oil or olive oil)

1 clove garlic, minced or (1/8 tsp. powder)

1-1/3 cup onion coarsely chopped

1-½ cup celery with leaves, coarsely chopped

½ can (6 oz.) tomato paste

1 Tbs. parsley

1 cup carrots, sliced fresh or frozen

4-¾ cup cabbage, shredded

4 cans diced tomatoes (28oz. cans)

1 can red kidney beans, drained, rinsed (black beans also work well)

1 ½ cup frozen peas

1 ½ cup green beans

1 tsp. sugar

Dash of hot sauce (optional)

11 cups of water

2 cups spaghetti, uncooked, broken (I like to use Angel Hair Spaghetti,
because it cooks faster)


  1. Heat oil in 4-quart saucepan. Add garlic, onion and celery and sauté for
    about 5 minutes.
  2. Add all of the remaining ingredients except for the spaghetti. Stir
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes or until
    vegetables are tender.
  4. Add uncooked broken spaghetti and simmer until spaghetti is tender.

I love to garnish this soup with grated parmesan cheese.

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Useful Recipe and Cooking Links:

Homemade Turkey Soup Recipe

Jamie Oliver: Slow-Cooked Venison & Juniper Stew

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Do you have a favorite recipe that would be of interest to SurvivalBlog
readers? (Our list of recipes in the blog queue is running
Please send it via href="">e-mail. Thanks!

Odds ‘n Sods:

Killed for their faith: Tennessee lieutenant governor calls on all Christians to carry handguns as it’s revealed Oregon gunman slaughtered those who admitted religion

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Obama Admin & UN Announce Global Police Force to Fight “Extremism” in US

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Germany Ethnically Cleanses its Own People to Make Way for Muslims

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Reader Peter R. recommend this review of compact shortwave radios: Mega
Review: the Tecsun PL-880, PL-660, Sangean ATS-909X, and Sony ICF-SW7600GR go head-to-head

Hugh’s Quote of the Day:

“So the thing I object to about government isn’t its organizational feature. Organization has to be accomplished. It is the coercive nature of government organization. My argument is that we can organize better without coercion.” – Robert LeFevre

Guest Post: The Difference Between Gold and Debt, by Gary Christenson

Simple version: Gold is good. Sovereign debt is bad.

The world has added approximately $60 Trillion in debt since 2007, much of it sovereign debt created from deficit spending on social programs, wars, and much more. In that time the world has mined perhaps 30,000 tons of gold, or about 950 million ounces, worth at September 2015 prices a little more than a $Trillion. It is easy to create debt – central banks “print” currencies
by borrowing those currencies into existence. Debt increases, currency in circulation increases, and until it crashes, life is good for the financial and political elite. But debt increasing 60 times more rapidly than gold indicates that debt is growing too rapidly and due for a reset.

It is a tangled web of debt, counter-party risk, obligations, and unintended consequences. From an interview with David Stockman:

Stockman goes on to paint a grim picture and says, “What happens when the financial breakdown comes is there is a great margin call. Everybody says ‘I want my money back and I’ll take your collateral if I don’t get it back. If I do take your collateral, I will sell it for whatever price I can get and cut my losses.’ So, this is truly a house of cards. The whole pyramid of debt and what we call hypothecation and rehypothecation of financial assets, that is the real bubble. That’s what people don’t focus on enough. Sure, you can think of stocks that are a bubble, like Tesla [Motors] and its current price of around $250, or the biotech index which is trading at hundreds of times earnings is crazy. What’s really crazy is all of this debt that has been created has been turned into collateral and borrowed against at a very high rate. The whole thing is very unstable and tottering as we speak.. . . Much of this collateralized credit that has been created is a confidence game. It is a daisy chain, and when the confidence breaks and they start to unwind the chain, the amount of debt outstanding will shrink. That will create tremendous broken furniture in the financial system.”

How do you protect yourself? Stockman says, “The place to go in my view is cash. Stay short and liquid because we are going into deflationary collapse. We are going into a great reset in the financial markets where inflated asset values are going to be marked down tremendously, bond prices and stock prices. As a result of, that there will be great opportunity after the dislocation runs its course to buy things much cheaper than they are priced today.”

Stockman thinks the whole system unwinds sometime before the 2016 Presidential race is finished. (Emphasis mine)

Critical Points Regarding Debt:

  • Margin calls come when markets crash, like now.
  • Then we discover who has been “swimming naked” as Warren Buffet says.
  • The daisy chain of hypothecated and rehypothecated dodgy assets backing massive loans breaks. Counter-party risk can overwhelm the financial system.
  • The towering edifice of debt is unstable and survives primarily due to confidence, until confidence crashes as it did seven years ago.
  • A collapse in confidence occurs along with a collapse in prices for bonds and stocks. Given that $Trillions in bonds have been inflated to the point of negative and near zero yields, there is downside room for a substantial correction in the 35 year bond bull market.
  • When companies float 100 year bonds the bond bubble is nearing its inevitable and ugly end.
  • Stocks in the US have corrected or crashed approximately every seven years. The S&P 500 Index hit an all-time high in May of 2015, seven years since its last major high prior to a crash. There is considerable downside ahead, perhaps even if the FED cranks up QE4 and QE5 to levitate the stock market.
  • Question: If the Fed is the “buyer of last resort” then who does the Fed sell to? The problem with the uncharted monetary territory that the Fed has led the world into is that unpleasant and unintended consequences lie ahead.

From Adrian Ash (BullionVault):

“But if the Fed is scared, investors and savers should be doubly so. Central bankers have led us deep into a forest where money does grow on trees, but not [economic] growth or stability, and now they can’t find the way out.”

“When night falls, there’s a very clear risk of panic as investors realize that central bankers, like the markets, are lost in the dark.”

Critical Points Regarding Gold:

  • No counter-party risk. There is no daisy chain of hypothecated assets for real physical gold. If you own paper gold, think again about counter-party risk. If you think you own gold but your friendly neighborhood banker has sold, loaned, or leased your gold multiple times, there will be a problem when you wish to withdraw that gold from the labyrinth of that bank. Worse, the banker may have stolen that gold and left an IOU gold in the vault. Of course, some people trust their bankers and are not concerned … fines, indictments, and prosecutions notwithstanding.
  • Fort Knox contained 147 million ounces of gold as of the last count … many decades ago. Since the last audit was performed 60 some years ago, there is risk that the Fort Knox Bullion Depository is actually the Fort Knox Delusion. Apparently “trust but verify” is no longer viable, so act accordingly. Confidence in the global monetary system will be shaken if the real contents of Fort Knox are confirmed and are not as claimed, so don’t expect an actual audit to occur.
  • Physical gold securely stored outside the banking system has none of the above mentioned problems. The same is true for silver.

I repeat: Gold is Good. Sovereign Debt is Bad.

About the Author: Gary Christenson is the owner and writer for the popular contrarian investment site Deviant Investor and the author of the Kindle book, Survival Investing With Gold & Silver. –

Economics and Investing:

India Versus COMEX: Physical Silver Demand Will Destroy Paper Rigged Markets

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There are Five Times More Claims on Dollars Than Dollars in Existence (Zero Hedge)

Items from The Economics Team:

Glencore Could Spark a Lehman Moment for Miners

The More Americans Know Congress, the Worse Congress is Rated

Atlanta Fed Slashes 3rd Quarter Estimates for Growth (Reuters)

U.S. Factories Vulnerable to Chill in Global Economy (Reuters)

Investment Banking Business is a Horror Show (Business Insider)

Demand for Physical Silver through the Roof (Zero Hedge)

Odds ‘n Sods:

Greg suggested this great piece by Eric Barker: 8 secrets to grit and resilience, courtesy of the Navy SEALs

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Some well-reasoned commentary about the Oregon shootings from M.D. Creekmore, in The Survivalist Blog: “There is a war going on against Christians in America and around the world… and sadly, this is only the beginning…”

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Reader C.M. suggested this interesting Kickstarter project funding campaign:= “ZeroDay” Minimalist Survival Kit ZDSK

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Over at The Middle East Forum: Saudi Arabia is Not Our Friend

Hugh’s Quote of the Day:

“But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed! And they began to enquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing.” – Luke 22:21-23 (KJV)

Notes for Saturday – October 3, 2015

October, 3, 2015 is the 22nd anniversary of the Mogadishu, Somalia raid. The 18 Americans killed were: MSG Gary Gordon, 1st SFOD-D SFC Randy Shughart, 1st
SFOD-D SSG Daniel Busch, 1st SFOD-D SFC Earl Fillmore, 1st SFOD-D MSG Timothy Martin, 1st SFOD-D CPL Jamie Smith, 3/75 Ranger SPC James Cavaco, 3/75 Ranger SGT Casey Joyce, 3/75 Ranger PFC Richard Kowaleski, 3/75 Ranger SGT Dominic Pilla, 3/75 Ranger SGT Lorenzo Ruis, 3/75 Ranger SSG William Cleveland, Jr. 160th SOAR SSG Thomas Field, 160th SOAR CW4 Raymond Frank, 160th SOAR CW3 Clifton Wolcott, 160th SOAR CW2 Donovan Briley, 160th SOAR SGT Cornell Houston, 10th MTN DIV PFC James Martin.

The Somalis killed were unnamed and un-numbered, but estimates range from 315 to 2,000 KIAs.

The events of October 3, 1993 were memorialized in the well-done movie BlackHawk Down.

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Today, we present another entry for Round 61 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $12,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A Tactical Self-Contained 2-Series Solar Power Generator system from Always Empowered. This compact starter power system is packaged in a wheeled O.D. green EMP-shielded Pelican hard case–a $1,700 value.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,195 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian ourses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper with a hammer forged, chrome-lined barrel and a hard case to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR type rifle to have quick change barrel, which can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools, and a compact carry capability in a hard case or 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Gun Mag Warehouse is providing 20 MagPul PMAG 30rd Magazines (a value of $300) and a Gun Mag Warehouse T-Shirt. (An equivalent prize will be awarded for residents in states with magazine restrictions.),
  6. Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  7. The Ark Institute is donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package–enough for two families of four, seed storage materials, a CD-ROM of Geri Guidetti’s book “Build Your Ark! How to Prepare for Self Reliance in Uncertain Times”, and two bottles of Potassium Iodate– a $325 retail value,
  8. A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo,
  9. is donating both an AquaBrick water filtration kit and a Stainless Medium Scout Kelly Kettle Complete Kit with a combined retail value of $304, and
  10. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of (a $180 value).

Second Prize:

  1. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  2. A FloJak EarthStraw “Code Red” 100-foot well pump system (a $500 value), courtesy of,
  3. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training. (A $400 value.)
  4. A Model 120 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $340 value),
  5. A $300 gift certificate from Freeze Dry Guy,
  6. A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials,
  7. Twenty Five books, of the winners choice, of any books published by (a $270 value),
  8. A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
  9. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
  10. Safecastle is providing a package of 10 Lifestraws (a $200 value).

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A $245 gift certificate from custom knifemaker Jon Kelly Designs, of Eureka, Montana.
  3. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  4. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  5. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  6. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  7. APEX Gun Parts is donating a $250 purchase credit,
  8. Montie Gear is donating a Precision Rest (a $249 value), and
  9. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from (a $240 value).

Round 61 ends on November 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

Survive the Drive – Vehicle Survival Preparedness, by Prepper Ray

Where will you be when the SHTF? You need to consider that you may not be at home when the world around you begins to fall apart. You are very likely going to have to travel to get home or a bug out location. You may be at work out shopping or even on vacation. No matter where you are the problem is going to be just being able to get from point A to point B. The type of vehicle you have and the equipment you have in that vehicle may in fact determine your ability to get to where you need to go in a TEOTWAWKI situation.

I discovered many years ago while trying to reach relatives in the destruction and aftermath of Hurricane Hugo that driving even a short distance, can be difficult if not impossible without the right vehicle and equipment. I learned in a real SHTF situation how important the type of vehicle you choose can make a huge difference in getting there or not. While trying to bring emergency supplies into what was at the time Ground Zero, I ran into police road blocks due to evacuation routes, detours, impassible roads and utter destruction in my path. I was not a prepper at the time, I just so happened to own a 4 wheel drive truck with oversized tires and a bumper mounted winch. I had a good knowledge of the “back roads” and few alternate routes to get where I needed to go. The 4 wheel drive function and larger tires proved to be the key in driving through the downed power lines, fallen trees, debris and driving around disable vehicles left abandoned in the roadway. Realizing how important it was to have off road capability, I have always owned a 4 wheel drive vehicle since that time. It’s now been 26 years and I am now prepared to survive the drive and much more.

The vehicle you choose is critical, A truck is a solid choice, not only does it make sense in any SHTF situation, trucks are useful in hauling supplies and equipment to your bug out location in non emergency times. A heavy duty 4-wheel drive (4WD) option is a must and a crew cab will give you extra room for people or storage. My choice of vehicle was the Jeep Wrangler 4WD 4-door. What it lacks in hauling ability was made up in the ability to go almost anywhere off road, its nimble size and power to weight ratio is what I needed in my area.With an add-on cargo rack and factory high capacity fuel tank that I keep at least half full all the time, it was a sensible and economical choice for me.The vehicle’s ability to perform above and beyond most normal driving situations is the point I’m trying to make. In addition to the vehicle itself there are several items that the prepared individual needs to have available at all times.

Road Atlas or Road Maps

You might think that a paper map or road atlas book is old school when you have GPS technology, but GPS electronics may or may not always work in a SHTF situation. An up to date paper map always works. You should know how to read a map and practice driving alternate routes, there’s always more than one way to get somewhere. From time to time try driving alternate routes so they are familiar to you in non emergency times you will find it helpful to know the roads when you need it.

Tire repair kits and 12 volt air compressor.

Driving over and around disaster areas can be treacherous, not only on the vehicle’s drive train but mostly on the tires. With no time or ability to get help or even change to your spare tire, it’s imperative that you have a good quality tire plug and repair kit and a good quality 12 VDC air compressor in the vehicle. A can of Fix-A-Flat is not a viable option. The cans are of little to no use in my experiments, the pressure they provide is usually not enough and they just don’t always work as advertised. You can however permanently repair a flat tire faster than you can find your jack with the right tools and know how. I don’t think it’s even necessary for me to mention how vulnerable you become to criminals while on the side of the road, changing a tire. Speed and efficiency is critical in survival mode, especially when traveling and making roadside repairs. Remember this; desperate people will do desperate things during disasters. Get a commercial quality tire repair kit from a automotive supply dealer, not your local Wal-Mart.

Trauma Kit.

I’m not talking about a simple glove box first aid kit, you may have to self-treat more serious injuries. Have a well-equipped trauma kit with splints,eye wash, slings, tourniquets and heavy duty bandages and dressings. You won’t be treating an ingrown toenail. You may be self treating a broken arm,a serious laceration, or worse.


Most vehicle manufactures offer high capacity or dual tank systems to increase your fuel capacity, if not, there are aftermarket options in most cases. In addition to my high capacity factory tank I carry a nice 12 volt fuel transfer kit designed to defeat most anti-siphon type tanks along with extra hose and a hand pump style transfer pump. Since storing gasoline in your vehicle may not be the best smelling or safest thing to do, there is no harm in storing a clean empty gas can along with a hose and funnel in case you need to extract fuel from an abandoned vehicle along the way. Don’t expect gas stations to be available, they won’t be.

Tools and more

A tool kit is necessary for emergency repairs along the way a variety of good quality tools is imperative, include a socket set, extra belts and hoses for your engine. I also have emergency fuel tank repair epoxy, just in case. It wouldn’t hurt to keep a couple of spare quarts of oil and even extra headlight bulbs and fuses.

A vehicle mounted winch is critical, make sure it’s above and beyond what you think you need in capacity. Having a variety of tow straps, snatch blocks and town chain can make quick work of pulling yourself out of a bad situation.A pair of leather work gloves and hat-mounted or head-mounted light are a must.A set of binoculars will help you evaluate dangers or obstacles that lay ahead.

Comfort Items

When your normal drive time is about an hour you can obviously expect a much longer time in your vehicle during a SHTF situation. I drove over 5 hours in what should have been an hour under normal conditions. You will need to keep a couple of bottles of water and an MRE or food item, since stopping at a roadside store is not an option. Keep a supply of sanitary hand wipes, a blanket and most of all a roll of toilet paper, need I say more? nature calls so be ready for that.

Defend Yourself

I haven’t mentioned a firearm since that’s something you should have with you, on your person at all times anyway. But I will mention that having extra ammunition and extra magazines in your vehicle along with bear spray and a knife are a must. Why bear spray? It’s a high capacity pepper spray perfect for crowd control. Mob scenes, looting and rioting are always a possibility.Before storing any type of pepper spray in your vehicle keep in mind that high temperatures during summer can be a problem for an aerosol can. Keep some cash onboard, not a lot but enough. How much? You won’t be stopping by the store for milk and bread but you must consider that some cash may be necessary depending on your location and distance to travel, don’t expect ATMs to be available or working, they won’t.

Many of the items I have mentioned can be organized in a “Bug-In” kit,how you choose to organize your equipment is not as important as having the stuff you need in your vehicle and having the ability you use the equipment you have. Several times I have used the word “good” and “quality” remember that you get what you pay for and you don’t get what you don’t pay for.Bargain basement tools and cheap equipment won’t work very well . In closing it is important to note that during a SHTF situation it is never safe to travel unless absolutely necessary and you want to avoid driving whenever possible.Any movement away from your survival location is dangerous but properly equipped in the appropriate vehicle your chances of survival can be increased.- Prepper Ray Lexington, S.C.

Praise For Chris Walsh and Revolutionary Realty

Over a period of time I have accumulated many letters of recommendation for Chris Walsh and his real estate agency, Revolutionary Realty. (It is a two-man agency that specializes in retreat properties in The American Redoubt.)

I’ve actually received nine letters of recommendation for Chris, but the latest one reminded me that I’ve been remiss in mentioning Chris in the blog. So from the nine letters, I picked just six particularly succinct ones to post, as a representative sample. Note that some of these are just excerpts from longer letters. And I’ve redacted a few details to protect the privacy of the writers.

Three years ago, my husband and I started looking for a new retreat location in North Idaho as we knew our current home, while good and fortified, would not last if TEOTWAWKI came. I did some research and found Revolutionary Realty through a prepper blog that I frequent. After checking out Chris Walsh’s website, I felt that he knew a thing or two about solar power and windmills as he had detailed out his own experiences. Other agents when I inquired on properties acted like I was crazy when I started asking questions or better yet, ignored my questions and just wanted to show me the property. Not only did he have a very easy to navigate property search, he quickly made contact with me on the phone to ask questions on what our goals were and to get a better understanding of where we were and what we needed.Chris was so patient with me as I would send him dozens of listings while I was trying to narrow down what to see when we came to visit. He was open and very honest about each property. It’s so tough to tell or learn a area from 1,100miles away but with his help, I learned the area before I even got there. His knowledge of the outlying areas was incredible. From what parts had bad sun exposure, water issues, too easily accessible or not defensible, he was able to explain almost every properties pros and cons so we could better utilize our time when we got there. Out of the five we ended up narrowing it down too, we ended up writing a offer on the perfect location that was more property and a better value than I expected to find. Even when we were in escrow, we needed anew easement deeded to us and he helped us lay it out so it looks like the road just dead ended. No one knows, except for a few neighbors now, that we live in that enchanted forest! Chris is still there for us three years later and is a wealth of knowledge for us to learn from. I send all of our Prepper friends to him as he is the real deal and a huge asset to the Idaho prepping community. M. in Northern Idaho

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In 2013, we began looking for property that we could use as a retreat. We have become awakened to the many different ways that could cause us to be unsafe in our home in the city. My husband found Chris Walsh’s website and sent me the link. I thought “this is the guy we need!” My husband spoke to him once or twice and then I spoke to him. We met with Chris and he sent us some properties to look at on line, and I sent him some properties I found. He is very knowledgeable about the area, the homes we should look at, those we should not consider and was very specific about why.Eventually we settled on a few properties and he took us around to look at them. It was an entertaining and educational experience. Chris is one-of-a-kind. He has an in-depth knowledge about prepping and loves to share it.

Chris was invaluable to us. We were new to prepping, a little panicky about making sure we did it right and neither my husband nor I possess skills in most areas necessary to be prepared for an emergency. He helped us find a place that was well below our budget, but it left us with enough money to do more to be prepared. He took us to his home and showed us what he has done. He gave us tremendous ideas about what we needed to do. He gave us hours and hours of advice on how to set up a “legitimate” (as he calls it) solar system that now powers our cabin completely. He helped us to figure out the best place to do it on our property, and even taught me a little about electricity which I thought was impossible. We got tips and advice about storing food and gasoline, how to best defend ourselves, how best to fish out of the local lake and he even came up once or twice to check on us and answer some questions. We spent the summer putting in our solar system and we followed his careful instructions and it worked out really well. I suspect we saved tens of thousands of dollars by following his well-researched advice. Honestly, Idon’t know what we would have done without him.

In the end, we became friends. Chris is much more than a Realtor. He truly cares about the people he finds properties for and has a heart of gold. – Mr. & Mrs. [Redacted], near Spokane

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Well, things were changing around our Georgia suburban neighborhood and after a lot of research and a visit to Northern Idaho, my wife and I agreed that it was time to make a radical change in our family’s future. Our son suggested contacting this “special” Realtor before going any further. The man our son was referring to is Chris Walsh of Revolutionary Realty. My wife and I are no strangers to home buying or realtors so my first instinct was to avoid Chris and just search on our own, having bad experiences in the past with Realtors whose only concern was their commission and a quick sale.

My wife and I thought we had a firm grip on buying a property, making the correct choices on where our children would grow up,where we’d call “home” for many, many years, until we met this high-energy guy:Chris Walsh! The saying goes “You don’t know what you don’t know” Within the very first hour we spent with Chris we knew we had chosen the right person to deal with. Not just that he was a Veteran like myself, but he was teaching us about the various micro-climates in Panhandle Idaho, the soil conditions, well water issues, and a host of other important factors one should consider carefully before making a huge decision like that. My wife and I found a listing we fell in love with and drove out to see it for ourselves, loved it,called Chris and told him we wanted to purchase it and an hour later he called us and informed us that we would be very unhappy half of the year at that location due to the flight path directly over this property leading to a resort area’s airport nearby that we’d not even considered! Chris could have made an easy sale there, but instead, he worked for us.

When I mentioned “high energy guy” I wasn’t kidding! Many nights my wife and I would find a property online and e-mail Chris well after dark. Often we woke to a reply e-mail from Chris (who we later learned is up and reading his e-mail messages before dawn) and Chris would be asking when we wanted to get going and see this listing.

This high energy, motivated, down to earth, America-loving veteran is a “what you see is what you get” man. He will tell you the truth, not just want you may want to hear. Checking out the Revolutionary Realty web site and the thoughtfulness and care Chris puts into helping like-minded folks sums it up best. He’s the real deal!!

Regards, [Name Redacted] in Sagle, Idaho

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Describing Chris Walsh as a Real Estate Agent is actually far from the truth. He is so much more than this. I purchased aproperty in Northern Idaho almost a year ago. I used Chris as my agent during my initial search for properties and for the purchase of my new homestead.Chris’ knowledge and integrity are absolutely outstanding and unique. He is as valuable a resource as any property you buy. Upon reflection, I was an absolute novice when it came to purchasing a property that had the attributes of a self-sustainable refuge and homestead. Chris educated me on all aspects. Chris actually spent considerable time and energy explaining why I should not purchase the properties that initially interested me. I thought this was extremely unusual, but refreshing, behavior for a real estate agent. The fact is that Chris really knows what a good property is and has the integrity to not sell a property that he does not believe is a good investment for both monetary and self-sustainability reasons. When we finally found the property I purchased, I knew it was the right decision and the perfect property for what I was looking for. If it was not for Chris’ knowledge and integrity, I would not have found or recognized the unique and necessary aspects of the property that I am now proud to call home. There are so many aspects that make up a good property and Chris knows how to recognize and analyze all of them: Defensibility, privacy,water resources and development, accessibility, local county government policies. I could go on and on. I have dealt with a lot of agents in my investing career and Chris is absolutely beyond compare. I would never dream of purchasing a property through anyone else. Thank you Chris for being a mentor,ally and friend! – Andrew R.

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We want to let people know that if they are looking for a unique property, maybe even one that is away from it all, ouronly recommendation is Chris Walsh of Revolutionary Realty. 13 years ago, my wife began looking for a quiet piece of land that bordered a national forest. She was quite specific in what she wanted. During the 8 year search,she contacted several out of state realtors and was impressed with Chris, as he was the only realtor/broker who responded to every question and with a quick turnaround. He didn’t tire of the numerous e-mails, either. Instead, he got to know us and offered some suggestions to help us find that perfect property.Upon meeting Chris in person, we knew we had found someone who would honestly work for us, to find us the real estate we wanted. Five years ago, Chris showed us a lovely piece of property that was exactly what we had been looking for. Ono ur last trip to retirement dream (north Idaho) we contacted Chris to get his input on several “Off The Grid” concerns. Our questions varied from building sites to technical issues such as water, power and heating to which he was happy to share his knowledge and experience. We wanted to pay some type of consultation fee, since he spent a half day walking the property with us, but he refused, saying, “I get paid with the sale of property and referrals”. Chris went well beyond his duties as a real estate broker, and he has helped us in so many ways. We are so glad he was our realtor/broker and now our dear friend. -C&L (formerly Californians)

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My husband found Chris Walsh off of the Internet,he liked what he read off in Chris’s web site and therefore gave him a call.

Chris was right on it. He asked questions on what all we were looking for in a property and home. Chris was all over it. He sent us listings over the Internet for us to look at. We made millions of phone calls back and forth thru this whole process. Chris knew every detail and information on every property we thought was interesting. If the property was good or bad Chris gave us his honest assessment every time. We appreciated him being thorough and honest.

We flew into town many times to look at numerous properties. Chris took us all over the place to view all of them, sometimes as many as 10 homes or more per day. He showed us the surrounding areas as well so that we would know what was around us especially when it came to being prepared. Chris had even taken us to his home. We met his lovely family but also showed us all the things that we needed to learn and get “prepared” on our future property. Chris gave us so much important information and also told us that he would teach us everything he has learned over the years so that we wouldn’t make the same mistakes he made. He treated us like family and made us feel comfortable.

We made several sight unseen offers on several different properties/homes. Chris was always right on it with all the paperwork. Chris made is very easy even with it being done long distance. Then we would fly into town only to find that the property or house wasn’t what we were looking for and the offer would then be canceled, needing even more paperwork. Chris never complained or treated us badly due to of all the extra work he was putting in because of us.

We finally found the property that we really liked and so did Chris. His input was important to us. Chris liked that it had plenty of acreage for our own food source, it had numerous natural springs for plentyof water, several cisterns, a pond with edible fish and was very close to ahuge lake for another food source. It also backed up to thousands of acres ofState and forest land, but most importantly the property was defensible.

Chris is an honorable man. He is very knowledgeable in every aspect of getting prepared. He is an awesome realtor, person and friend. I would recommend Chris to everyone I know who is looking for this particular property or any property for that matter. You will not be disappointed. – Mr. M.

I can also personally recommend Chris Walsh. He is very knowledgable about the Inland Northwest, he has a great eye for viable retreat properties, and he is a true patriot. – JWR