Pat’s Product Review: Montie Gear AR Rest

Over the past month or so, I’ve received quite a few requests from folks who want me to test and evaluate their products. I enjoy testing products for SurvivalBlog, and reporting back my findings to SurvivalBlog readers. Some of the companies that contact me, have a lot of questions, and I’m happy to answer them. Some companies ask me if I can guarantee that I’ll write an article on their products – and the answer is “yes.” Then, they ask me if I can guarantee them that the article will appear on SurvivalBlog – I refer them to Jim Rawles, as he’s the editor, and gives the final yea or nay on if or when a piece runs. And, lastly, some folks ask me if I am going to give their products a “positive” review in my article. My answer to them is “no!” I will never guarantee anyone that I will give their products a positive review – I report my findings as fairly and honestly as I can. If those products aren’t up to par, or as advertised, that’s the way I will report my findings.   When I was publishing and editing a little newsletter called “Police … Continue reading

Advertisement:

Letter Re: Electric Cars and Bicycles

Sir: I had an epiphany a few years ago when I first viewed “Who Killed the Electric Car?” Since then, I’ve acquired several cars converted to electric and a Nissan Leaf. We bought our last tank of petroleum fuel in May of 2011. Recently, I’ve been pondering how the electric cars might be used as a backup source of electric power. The battery packs of the conversions are readily accessible and can provide almost 100 kwh of energy. The Leaf’s battery is not accessible at this time. Inverters that use the car’s DC voltage (120-156v) as input are available but pretty rare. Ideally, I would like to find a source for a PV system where the car batteries could temporarily replace the PV panels in driving the inverter. [JWR Adds: Nearly all home PV power systems have the inverter connected to a battery bank, rather than directly to PV panels. This eliminates the peaks and valleys of production caused by varying cloud cover.] A higher cost solution would be to have two inverters, one for the PV panels and one for the car batteries. That would allow me to use electricity while the sun shines to charge cars as well … Continue reading

Advertisement:

Recipe of the Week:

Ray R.’s Chicken Stew We have a favorite soup recipe, made as follows: Chicken Stew 16 c Water – for a soup instead of a thick stew make this 20 to 24 cups – we use water from our Berkey filter since it tastes better. 16 tsp Knorr tomato/chicken bouillon – adds a great flavor. 25 oz boneless skinless chicken – this can be fresh, frozen, or home canned – it is about a quart of my home canned chicken. 1 c Dry pearled barley – we buy these in 25 lbs sacks at Restaurant Depot which we first learned of from SurvivalBlog. We pack then into canning jars and vacuum seal then with a Food Saver using the wide mouth canning jar attachment. 2 c dry lentils – again purchased in 25 lbs sacks at Restaurant Depot. 2 tbs dried onions – substitute fresh if you have it 1 tbs minced garlic Large dash Maggi seasoning to taste – adds a great meaty flavor – we use the USA produced stuff made by Nestle, but it is made in many countries, and most Asian supermarkets carry it and Asian made copies. Maggi is sort of a wheat-based soy-flavored sauce … Continue reading

Advertisement:

Economics and Investing:

From G.G.: 45% Of Americans Will Probably Run Out Of Money By Their 75th Birthday Failed Illinois Governor Quinn: “Our Rendezvous With Reality Has Arrived”. (Kudos to B.B. for sending the link.) Bryan E. sent this: Congress steering US economy toward a ‘fiscal cliff’ Economy’s Biggest Drag Right Now is Government K.T. sent this: Missouri House Votes for Gold and Silver Tender Graham Summers, by way of Zero Hedge: Spain is About to Enter a Full-Scale Collapse Speaking of Spain, Peter S. sent this: S&P Lowers Spain’s Rating Items from The Economatrix: Sinclair – Shorts Now Trapped & Gold Could Gap Up To $3,000 US Dollar vs. Gold:  Epic Money Battle So Long, US Dollar Duration Risk:  How The Fed is Creating the Next Financial Crisis

Advertisement:

Odds ‘n Sods:

File under Emerging Threats: Inside The Ring–The Brotherhood Threat. They are now seriously talking about terrorist use of compact non-nuclear EMP weapons.    o o o James C. suggested this instructional video: How to Make Pinhole Glasses.    o o o Yet another biased study: What is the the Most Peaceful State in the Country? “The report assigned a ‘peace index’ to each state based on tabulated data that looked at the number of reported homicides, violent crimes, citizens serving time in prison and police staffing levels. It also measured the ability to access and purchase small guns.” JWR’s Comments: Statistics show that the prevalence of carrying guns keeps folks peaceable. (Street crime rates in the U.S. have dropped, while concealed carry has greatly expanded. And while correlation does not necessarily imply causation, in my opinion along with our aging population, widespread concealed carry has contributed to lower crime rates.) Any guesses on how the American Redoubt States would have ranked, if that last factor were excluded? (Special thanks to David S. for the link.)    o o o Safecastle’s big sale on Mountain House canned freeze dried foods with the maximum allowed 25% off, free shipping, and buyers club … Continue reading

Advertisement:

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

“Again, thank you for inviting me. You have prepared food, so I will not be rude, I will stay and eat. Let’s have one good meal here. Let’s make it a feast. Then I ask you, I plead with you, I beg you all, walk out of here with me, never to come back. It’s the moral and ethical thing to do. Nothing good goes on in this place. Let’s lock the doors and leave the building to the spiders, moths and four-legged rats.” – Conclusion of Robert Wenzel’s April, 2012 speech delivered at the New York Federal Reserve Bank

Advertisement:

Note from JWR:

Today we present another entry for Round 40 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include: First Prize: A.) A gift certificate worth $1,000, courtesy of Spec Ops Brand, B.) A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795, and C.) Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources. (A $350 value.) D.) a $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear, E.) A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value), and F.) A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo. Second Prize: A.) A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol. It is a $439 value courtesy of Next Level Training. B.) A FloJak FP-50 stainless steel hand well pump (a $600 value), courtesy of FloJak.com. C.) A “grab bag” of preparedness gear and books from Jim’s Amazing Secret Bunker of Redundant Redundancy (JASBORR) with a retail value of at least $300, D.) A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials, and E.) two cases of … Continue reading

Advertisement:

Motorcycle BOV, by Jeff H.

I have what I would consider three different Bug Out Vehicles (BOVs): a 4WD pickup, a 4WD SUV and a motorcycle.  The bike of coarse could be placed in the back of the pickup and unloaded somewhere down the road as needed thus greatly extending the range of either individually.  As far as BOVs are concerned there are many advantages to using a motorcycle.  One is good fuel mileage. Another is the ability to go around snarled traffic and other obstacles.  Disadvantages are lack of carrying capacity and the personal protection of being in a big heavy vehicle. As far as what motorcycle you would use, I would recommend one of the types know as Dual Purpose.  These bike types have the ability to go both on and off road.  I’d start with at least a 650cc for a single rider and I use a 1200cc because I ride two with my wife.  The bigger bike isn’t as easy to ride in the hard stuff but it can carry a heavier load.  Just don’t get a bike so heavy that you can’t pick up when it falls over, because it will at some point.  If the bike doesn’t come with … Continue reading

Advertisement:

Letter Re: Disasters and the Dreaded Multigenerational Scenario

Dear Jim, We have already seen how the largely bankrupt USA has dealt with the Hurricane Katrina disaster. New Orleans remains partially empty and its population is much lower. Those who had any money left when the hurricane was announced to hit. If they returned, it was to recover a few belongings and collect their insurance checks before ceding the property/ruin back to the FedGov/State. Surrounding areas where the Hurricane spent its fury have been abandoned. The wrecked 9th Ward of New Orleans was not rebuilt. Someday it will flood again, and this time with few people to complain, it will probably turn into a swamp and spin doctors will make it sound like this was a happy accident. The sad fact that the USA doesn’t have the money to keep rebuilding poor people’s homes when they get flattened by natural disasters is the NWO of our DMGS (Dreaded Multi-Generational Scenario).   Someday the New Madrid Fault will break again near Memphis, and the Midwest will be largely flattened like it would have been back in 1805, had it been built up like it is today. The aftershocks will rattle the Midwest for the following 80 years, since that’s how long they had aftershocks Last … Continue reading

Advertisement:

Letter Re: Sport Shooting for Preppers

James, Another thought on going beyond training day in and day out on firearm proficiency. Besides joining a club, hunting is a great way to practice firearms proficiency. There is the obvious aspect of practical shooting, especially when chasing small game and birds but even large game hunting is illustrative. Most people (including myself with five years active duty experience and the associated firearms training) rarely ever shoot at a live moving target. Shooting at a walking elk at 200 yards is a whole lot different than punching holes in paper. I thought I was good and what can be easier than shooting an animal with a kill zone at least 10 inches in diameter? I hit it solidly on the first shot but in four subsequent shots (to ensure it died quickly and close) I only hit it two more times and only once more in the kill zone. This after printing 3-inch groups at the 100 yard range three weeks previous. The real world is a whole lot different than where we practice.   Beyond that, hunting requires the understanding and mastery of numerous skills including firearms safety, processing of wild game, understanding of the outdoors in general … Continue reading

Advertisement:

Economics and Investing:

Sue C. sent us this: Jim Rogers: US Looks Headed for Recession, Stock Crash in 2013 Also from Sue, this Reuters article: Britain in recession, intensifying government woes Jon in Montana spotted this: Detroit Mayor Bing’s proposed budget slashes government services by 50%. Jon asks: “Is this a sign of things to come, across the country?    John Grgurich: Spain is Struggling with its Debt, and You Should be Worried Items from The Economatrix: New IMF Figures Show at Current Rate Central Banks Will Buy Almost 700 Tonnes of Gold this Year Gas Prices Seen Headed Lower at Pump State Finance are Still Doomed Fed Stands Pat But Says Will Act if Needed Plunge in Durable Goods Orders Clouds US Outlook Home Prices To Bottom in These 19 Markets in 2012

Advertisement:

Odds ‘n Sods:

M.E.S. wrote to mention that he likes the many do-it-yourself ideas at the Penny Wise – Homemade and Handy web page.    o o o Lynn G. sent this news article from England: Carpenter Builds Incredible Egg-shaped Treehouse Hidden From View on Crown Land    o o o R.W. sent something of interest to homeschoolers: University of Minnesota Launches Review Project For Open Textbooks    o o o Richard H. liked this at LifeHacker: DIY Gravity Water Filter.    o o o This has been mentioned once before in SurvivalBlog, but bears repeating: Making a 45-day emergency candle out of a can of Crisco. (Thanks to Jeff R. for the link.)

Advertisement: