Preparedness Notes for Friday — March 1, 2024

Today is the 70th birthday of filmmaker Ron Howard, who first achieved fame as a child actor in The Andy Griffith Show and later became an Academy Award-winning director.

March 1st is the birthday of actor and former WW2 commando David Niven. His full name was James David Graham Niven. (1910-1983.)

And today is the birthday of the late singer, songwriter, and cowboy poet Allen Wayne Damron. Damron was quite the Texan, through and through. (Born 1939, died August 13, 2005, in Terlingua, Texas.)

Here is an interesting North Carolina property listing at SurvivalRealty: Private and Remote Mountain Retreat!499 Porterfield Gap Rd, Robbinsville, NC.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 111 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. The photovoltaic power specialists at Quantum Harvest LLC  are providing a store-wide 10% off coupon. Depending on the model chosen, this could be worth more than $2,000.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any of their one, two, or three-day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A Peak Refuel “Wasatch Pack” variety of 60 servings of premium freeze-dried breakfasts and dinners in individual meal pouches — a whopping 21,970 calories, all made and packaged in the USA — courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $359 value),
  4. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
  5. Two sets of The Civil Defense Manual, (in two volumes) — a $193 value — kindly donated by the author, Jack Lawson.

Second Prize:

  1. A SIRT STIC AR-15/M4 Laser Training Package, courtesy of Next Level Training, that has a combined retail value of $679
  2. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
  3. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC.
  4. Montana Survival Seed is providing a $225 gift code for any items on its website, including organic non-GMO seeds, fossils, 1812-1964 US silver, jewelry, botany books, and Montana beeswax.
  5. A transferable $150 FRN purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun. There is no paperwork required for delivery of pre-1899 guns into most states, making them the last bastion of firearms purchasing privacy!

Third Prize:

  1. A Berkey Light water filter, courtesy of USA Berkey Filters (a $305 value),
  2. A $300 gift certificate from Good2Goco.com, good for any of their products: Home freeze dryers, pressure canners, Country Living grain mills, Emergency Essentials foods, and much more.
  3. Three sets each of made-in-USA regular and wide-mouth reusable canning lids. (This is a total of 300 lids and 600 gaskets.) This prize is courtesy of Harvest Guard (a $270 value)
  4. A transferable $150 FRN purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun.

More than $875,000 worth of prizes have been awarded since we started running this contest. In 2023, we polled blog readers, asking for suggested article topics. Refer to that poll if you haven’t yet chosen an article topic. Round 111 ends on March 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.

 



What to Wear for Concealed Carry?, by TravelinMan

Most of us ask ourselves the “What to Wear?” question at least once a day. This can be an especially daunting question to answer for those of us who conceal carry a firearm on a daily basis. These days, the pervasive idea when concealed carrying is, you should always carry the same firearm, in the same holster, in the same place each time to be the most effective. To be fair, this probably is the most efficient way to carry. When you need it, you know right where it is and muscle memory should help you draw and aim it where you want it as speedily and as accurately as possible. Unfortunately, this causes you to “dress for the gun”. This may, or may not, be ideal for the situation(s) you are dressing for during that day.

I would like to take this opportunity to look at choosing the gun/carrying position, to match your attire for the day. I know…heresy!…lol.

First, let me say, I am no expert. I’m writing this from the point of view of “this is what I do”. I’m not recommending anything to anybody, again, this is just how I do it. Also, as I said before, if you want to be the absolute fastest, most accurate shooter, always carrying the same firearm in the same holster in the same place on you is good advice. If you are willing to trade a little bit of that speed for the luxury of wearing what you want, read on.

I basically have 3 different styles of clothing that I wear. The first is what I think is called “active wear”. These are sweatpants, sweat shorts, and those knit type “basketball” shorts along with a T-shirt. The second is what my wife jokingly calls my “fancy shorts”. These are mostly cargo and pleated shorts that are worn with a belt and a T-shirt. Jeans with a T-shirt falls into this same category/carry style…any pants I can wear a sturdy belt with are the same “style” as far as how I concealed carry. The third style is basically anything worn with a collared over-shirt or jacket.Continue reading“What to Wear for Concealed Carry?, by TravelinMan”



February 2024 in Precious Metals, by Steven Cochran

Welcome to SurvivalBlog’s Precious Metals Month in Review, presented by Gainesville Coins. Each month, we take a look at “the month that was” in precious metals. We cover gold’s performance and the factors that affect gold prices.

What Did Gold Do in February?

Everything moved against gold in February. Hot inflation numbers and a stronger dollar pushed back the probable date for the Fed’s first rate cut. A huge tech bubble in stocks pulled money out of bonds and other safe havens to chase record stock prices.

Spot gold started February at $2,054 an ounce and ended the month $20 lower at $2,034 an ounce. The February 1st close was the highest for the month. The lowest settlement for February was $1,992, hit on both the 13th and 14th.

Spot silver began February at $23.15 an ounce and ended at $22.46 for a loss of 69 cents for the month. The high close was $23.40 on the 16th, and the low for the month was $22.07 on the 12th.

Factors Affecting Gold This Month

STOCK MARKET RALLY
Stocks set several new record highs in February, giving investors little reason to seek the safety of gold. The big story was the tech sector, with NVIDIA rocketing over 28% this month and lifting the entire tech sector with it.

CRYPTO FRENZY

Bitcoin started February at $42,000 and peaked $20,000 higher at $63,700 on the 28th, acting as the biggest magnet for FOMO money this month.

HOT INFLATION
Higher than-expected consumer and wholesale inflation did precious metals no favors this month, as it was a major factor in pushing back the first rate cut by the Fed. A vivid example of how inflation affects gold prices was seen on Feb 29th with the release of the Personal Consumption Expenditures report for January.
Headline PCE came in at 2.4%, as expected, down from 2.6% in December. Core PCE fell to 2.8% from 2.9%. Even though the numbers were as expected, gold took off. Spot gold jumped from $2,028 to $2,051. Gold futures advanced from $2,036 to $2,059.

Other Central Banks

The Bank of England left rates at 5.25% this month in another 6-3 split decision. The majority voted for a pause, but two wanted a 0.25% rate hike. The other member wanted to move in the opposite direction, voting for a 0.25% rate cut.

—————
The European Central Bank also left rates the same this month at 4.00%. Two-thirds of economists polled by Reuters expect the ECB to make its first rate cut in June.
—————-

The Bank of Japan will raise benchmark interest rates out of negative territory in April, according to many economists.

—————
The Turkish central bank paused its series of monster interest rate hikes this month, leaving the benchmark rate at 45%. This was expected after the new central bank president said that rates were now high enough “to establish the disinflation course.”

Central Bank Gold Purchases

The World Gold Council Central Bank Gold Report released this month covered December 2023. Globally, central banks bought a net 29.8 tons of gold to end the year. Notable buyers included Turkey (17.7t), Uzbekistan (9.3t), and China (9.0t).
The only big seller in December was Kazakhstan, at 10.0t.

Gold ETFs

Global gold ETFs saw their eighth straight month of outflows in January. As usual, when there are net outflows, US funds are the perpetrator. North American gold ETFs shed 36.2 tons, while European gold ETFs saw 17.5 tons of outflows.

Asia was the only region where gold ETFs saw net inflows in January, with 3.1 tons. The “Other” nations saw a net outflow of 0.4 tons, for a global total of 51 tons of outflows.

(“Other” are Australia, South Africa, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and UAE.)

On The Retail Front

Bullion sales took a dive at the US Mint this month. 1.7 million American Silver Eagles were sold in February, compared to 4.9 million in January. 18,000 ounces of American Gold Eagles of all sizes were sold, compared to 123,000 ounces in January, and 13,500 American Gold Buffaloes were sold in February, compared to 46,000 last month.

Market Buzz

Gold at $3,000 in the next 12 to 18 months?? Citi analysts say it’s possible but unlikely. It would take a global recession, and for central banks to double their gold purchases to hit the $3K mark.
—————
Commerzbank is a bit more practical, restating their forecast of $2,100 by late this year.
—————
UBS says that Fed rate cuts will lift gold to $2,200 this year.
—————
An article of interest at the Gainesville Coins site: How the US Crushed the Move Toward a Post-Bretton Wood Gold Standard and Created The Dollar Hegemony.
—————
It was a good Lunar New Year for gold retailers in China, as the public continued to pile into precious metals as the collapsing real estate sector threatened to crash the economy. Gold jewelry sales were up 24% from last Lunar New Year.
—————
Newmont, the world’s largest gold miner, saw its share price fall 7.5% to near a 5-year low after its latest earnings report. The company announced that it is cutting its dividend and selling off assets as it restructures the company to reduce redundancies after its acquisition of rival Newcrest last October.
—————

Looking Ahead To Next Month

February’s 11th-hour boost gets gold prices back to practically year-to-date highs after hitting 2024 lows below $2,000 just two weeks earlier. Looking toward March, the largest driver of gold prices will once again be estimates of when the Fed’s first rate cut will be. The Fed will continue to be steered by inflation reports.

The most likely factor to boost gold besides the Fed will be another regional banking crisis. The collapse in the commercial real estate market means that another banking crisis will happen, it is only a matter of when.

This month, we have a treasure story of a different kind.  A very rare solid gold LEGO mask was discovered in a bag of junk jewelry at a Goodwill store in DuBois, Pennsylvania. It was auctioned off on Goodwill’s online auction site, fetching $18,000.

– Steven Cochran of Gainesville Coins.

Proviso: This column is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended as investment advice. Past performance does not guarantee future results.



Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest news items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. In this column, JWR also covers hedges, derivatives, and various obscura. This column emphasizes JWR’s “tangibles heavy” investing strategy and contrarian perspective. Today, another look at the Evergrande debacle. (See the Economy & Finance section.)

Precious Metals:

Global Silver Demand Forecasted to Rise to 1.2 Billion Ounces in 2024.

o  o  o

Over at Gold-Eagle.com:  Andy Schectman: $2,000 Floor For Gold Continues To Hold.

Economy & Finance:

In China, the other shoe has dropped, to wit:

Evergrande shares halted after Hong Kong court orders liquidation.

and,

o  o  o

Bundesbank Says Germany Already Likely In Recession.

o  o  o

A report from Reuters: Global debt hits new record high at $313 trillion – IIF.

o  o  o

Buying votes: Biden Admin Cancels $1.2B More of Student Loans. JWR’s Comment:  I am not thrilled to learn that my taxes are paying off the student debts of some Gender Studies B.A. graduate, in New York.

o  o  o

At Newsmax: Rising Credit Card Interest Costs Consumers Extra $25 Billion.

Continue reading“Economics & Investing For Preppers”





Preparedness Notes for Thursday — February 29, 2024

Happy Leap Year Day! We all get this extra day once every four years, to keep the calendar in sync with the Earth’s 365-and-a-quarter day orbit. My personal tradition for leap year days is to contact friends and distant relatives with whom I’ve been out of touch for at least three years.

Pictured above, in Holland: Crossing a flooded field with leaping poles. (“Met de polsstok door ondergelopen akker“.)

On February 29, 2020 a new, democratic constitution was adopted by the National Assembly elected by Czech and Slovak leaders, furthering the consolidation of the two states into Czechoslovakia.

February 29, 1904 was the birthday of Jimmy Dorsey, whose orchestra was one of the most popular big bands of the swing era in the United States.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 111 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. The photovoltaic power specialists at Quantum Harvest LLC  are providing a store-wide 10% off coupon. Depending on the model chosen, this could be worth more than $2,000.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any of their one, two, or three-day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A Peak Refuel “Wasatch Pack” variety of 60 servings of premium freeze-dried breakfasts and dinners in individual meal pouches — a whopping 21,970 calories, all made and packaged in the USA — courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $359 value),
  4. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
  5. Two sets of The Civil Defense Manual, (in two volumes) — a $193 value — kindly donated by the author, Jack Lawson.

Second Prize:

  1. A SIRT STIC AR-15/M4 Laser Training Package, courtesy of Next Level Training, that has a combined retail value of $679
  2. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
  3. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC.
  4. Montana Survival Seed is providing a $225 gift code for any items on its website, including organic non-GMO seeds, fossils, 1812-1964 US silver, jewelry, botany books, and Montana beeswax.
  5. A transferable $150 FRN purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun. There is no paperwork required for delivery of pre-1899 guns into most states, making them the last bastion of firearms purchasing privacy!

Third Prize:

  1. A Berkey Light water filter, courtesy of USA Berkey Filters (a $305 value),
  2. A $300 gift certificate from Good2Goco.com, good for any of their products: Home freeze dryers, pressure canners, Country Living grain mills, Emergency Essentials foods, and much more.
  3. Three sets each of made-in-USA regular and wide-mouth reusable canning lids. (This is a total of 300 lids and 600 gaskets.) This prize is courtesy of Harvest Guard (a $270 value)
  4. A transferable $150 FRN purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun.

More than $875,000 worth of prizes have been awarded since we started running this contest. In 2023, we polled blog readers, asking for suggested article topics. Refer to that poll if you haven’t yet chosen an article topic. Round 111 ends on March 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.



Practical Homestead Irrigation – Part 3, by A.F.

(Continued from Part 2.  This concludes the article.)

I have had difficulty determining the stored volume since water enters from the springs and out of the extra washed stone surround during drawdown. On multiple occasions, I have filled two and a half IBC totes virtually back-to-back and left the pump intake baffle submerged without stirring up the bottom sediment. Thus, my best estimate is that I have around 650 gallons stored in the channel cistern at all times. Throughout the years, I have measured the springs’ output from as high as 8.3 gallons per minute down to a low of 3 gpm. Taking a rough average of flow as 5 gpm, that translates to 300 gallons per hour or 7,200 gallons each day, every day that I can harvest to sustain gardens, orchards, or with minimal treatment — our family.

After digging the spring cistern, I needed a way to get the water from the lowest point of our property to the orchard at the upper reaches. My initial plan was to reuse a deep-well electric pump. After putting together a materials list and an installation plan, I recognized that this option was going to be more expensive than I originally expected because the lower flow requirements for irrigation would require a pressure tank and the wire and conduit costs were already higher than I wanted. I was also concerned about the voltage drop the pump would experience given how far the electric line would be running from the closest source down to the cistern.Continue reading“Practical Homestead Irrigation – Part 3, by A.F.”



The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods. This column is a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from JWR. Our goal is to educate our readers, to help them to recognize emerging threats, and to be better prepared for both disasters and negative societal trends. You can’t mitigate a risk if you haven’t first identified a risk. In today’s column, we look at the Dutch documentary Occupied City.

Occupied City Documentary

Yes, it is four hours long, but this documentary is worth watching: Occupied City. The filmmakers parallel the Nazi occupation of Holland with the recent COVID lockdowns — showing many of the same locations in Amsterdam, and the events at each. In a strange echo, the early 2020s parallel the early 1940s at several addresses. This film illustrates how willingly some people relinquish their freedom and betray their neighbors. And there are plenty of descriptions of police “just following orders.” This is a powerful and thought-provoking documentary.

The Pentagon’s Lessons From the Ukraine War

From the left-leaning Washington Post: What the Pentagon has learned from two years of war in Ukraine. A pericope:

“The Russian and Ukrainian militaries each flood the sky with one-way attack drones that are inexpensive and able to skirt detection. Their prolific use has forced American military leaders to consider where there are gaps in their capabilities.

Whereas recent U.S. conflicts featured big, expensive drones employed for missions orchestrated at very senior levels of command, in Ukraine leaders have put powerful surveillance and attack capabilities in the hands of individual soldiers — a degree of autonomy for small units that the U.S. military is only recently trying to emulate.

The technology’s proliferation has also created a new urgency at the Pentagon to develop and field better counter-drone systems. In Jordan last month, three U.S. soldiers were killed after a one-way drone, which officials have said likely went undetected, crashed into their living quarters.”

Continue reading“The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods”



The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“Many of the women I met there [at Yale University] had come from the most privileged of circumstances, yet they often referred to themselves as “oppressed.” I found it hard to take their “oppression” seriously, since I’d spent the first part of my life living among black women who cooked and kept house for the middle and upper class whites of Savannah. They never talked about being oppressed. What right, then, did the elite white women of Yale have to complain about their lot?” – Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, from his book My Grandfather’s Son



Preparedness Notes for Wednesday — February 28, 2024

On February 28, 1827, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad became the first steam-operated railway in the United States to be chartered as a common carrier of freight and passengers.

William Ewart Fairbairn (28 February 1885 – 20 June 1960) was a British soldier and police officer. He developed hand-to-hand combat methods for the Shanghai Police during the interwar period, as well as for the Allied special forces during World War II. He created his own fighting system known as Defendu. Notably, this included innovative pistol shooting techniques and the development of the Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife.

February 28th is the birthday of famed Swiss investor and economic pundit Marc Faber (born 1946).

We are running low on the 2005-2023 waterproof SurvivalBlog Archive USB sticks, so order yours soon, so that you don’t miss out. There won’t be another batch produced until January 2025.  A special note for folks who placed and selected the “Pay By Check” Option: There are still 16 orders in our system that date back as far as January 13th, for which we are still awaiting checks. Please get your checks in the mail ASAP!

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 111 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. The photovoltaic power specialists at Quantum Harvest LLC  are providing a store-wide 10% off coupon. Depending on the model chosen, this could be worth more than $2,000.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any of their one, two, or three-day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A Peak Refuel “Wasatch Pack” variety of 60 servings of premium freeze-dried breakfasts and dinners in individual meal pouches — a whopping 21,970 calories, all made and packaged in the USA — courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $359 value),
  4. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
  5. Two sets of The Civil Defense Manual, (in two volumes) — a $193 value — kindly donated by the author, Jack Lawson.

Second Prize:

  1. A SIRT STIC AR-15/M4 Laser Training Package, courtesy of Next Level Training, that has a combined retail value of $679
  2. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
  3. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC.
  4. Montana Survival Seed is providing a $225 gift code for any items on its website, including organic non-GMO seeds, fossils, 1812-1964 US silver, jewelry, botany books, and Montana beeswax.
  5. A transferable $150 FRN purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun. There is no paperwork required for delivery of pre-1899 guns into most states, making them the last bastion of firearms purchasing privacy!

Third Prize:

  1. A Berkey Light water filter, courtesy of USA Berkey Filters (a $305 value),
  2. A $300 gift certificate from Good2Goco.com, good for any of their products: Home freeze dryers, pressure canners, Country Living grain mills, Emergency Essentials foods, and much more.
  3. Three sets each of made-in-USA regular and wide-mouth reusable canning lids. (This is a total of 300 lids and 600 gaskets.) This prize is courtesy of Harvest Guard (a $270 value)
  4. A transferable $150 FRN purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun.

More than $875,000 worth of prizes have been awarded since we started running this contest. In 2023, we polled blog readers, asking for suggested article topics. Refer to that poll if you haven’t yet chosen an article topic. Round 111 ends on March 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.



Practical Homestead Irrigation – Part 2, by A.F.

(Continued from Part 1.)

In the lead-up to our move, I had taken a soils class as part of my degree program. The professor opened my eyes to soil biology, nutrient cycles, and the damage done by repeated deep tillage. Plow, harrow then rototill was the only system I had ever seen for large home gardens, not to mention most row crop farming. I didn’t fall down the rabbit hole of no till gardening, I charged down it. My exploration coincided with the final two years prior to our move and the two years we rented prior to finding our homestead. I studied cover crops, green manures, benefits of rotational grazing, composting, double dig, lasagna gardening, swales, hügelkultur……..and better options for irrigation. Now that we had land, it became the laboratory to begin trying out all the theories I had collected (and ad nauseum shared with my wife and our extended family). We’ve spent the last ten years building soil, expanding our gardens, starting an orchard, hosting tours and refining our irrigation system.

As we planned the layout for our first garden on the homestead, we chose a typical row layout for beans, corn and potatoes that would allow us to use the “new to me” brown drip tube. This product has integrated pressure compensating emitters evenly spaced and each rated for a specified output. Specifically, we purchased rolls that have emitters rated for 0.9 gallons per hour spaced every twelve inches. The tubing can be branched or joined to other lines using barbed fittings and is best used in conjunction with a pressure reducer in the range of 15 psi to prevent the barbed fittings from slipping loose after exposure to a days’ worth of summer sun. The emitters themselves had no problem withstanding our wells maximum pressure of 50 psi.

For our hilled vegetables such as zucchini, squash, pumpkins and cucumbers we stayed with a modified Arizona method where we ran the half inch black blank tubing beside each plant and installed a piece of one-quarter-inch drip tube with a dripper on the free end at each plant. For tomatoes and peppers, we followed the same pattern as for squash, only these plants were staked or caged in rows instead of clusters of hills and the quarter-inch drip lines were left open, ie no dripper for each plant. For the first year, we ran garden hoses from our house as the supply and installed hose ends using barb x NPT paired with NPT x FGHT (female garden hose thread) fittings to connect to the drip and blank tubing runs.Continue reading“Practical Homestead Irrigation – Part 2, by A.F.”



SurvivalBlog Readers’ & Editors’ Snippets

This weekly Snippets column is a collection of short items: responses to posted articles, practical self-sufficiency items, how-tos, lessons learned, tips and tricks, and news items — both from readers and from SurvivalBlog’s editors. Note that we may select some long e-mails for posting as separate letters.

Are there any SurvivalBlog readers who live in the Orange Free State, in South Africa?  I have a special relocation opportunity available for an individual or a family. Please contact me either via e-mail or via our Contact form. Thanks, – JWR

o  o  o

Google’s Gemini AI is woke as heck and people have the receipts to prove it.

o  o  o

Reader Al B. wrote to ask:

“I got my SurvivalBlog archive (USB stick) a week ago, and  I’ve been having fun with it.  I added in a folder with a bunch of scans of family birth certs, DLs, passports, our land deed, and old family photos &c, just in case my house ever burns down, or if we need to Bug Out. The SurvivalBlog archive’s waterproof stick case is way more sturdy than I’d expected. I carry it on my key ring. I’ve really been enjoying the bonus [books]. Lowell Thomas was quite the man!!!  I want to ask you: How can you tell when a book is no longer in copyright?”

JWR Replies: The change in the U.S. 1909 Copyright Act was delayed for many years by intense lobbying by the Disney Corporation, because they wanted to protect the image of Mickey Mouse from infringement. Under the current law, copyrights last 95 years. Thus, the upcoming U.S. “copyright freedom” dates will be as follows:

Jan. 1, 2025: 1929 copyright-marked publications
Jan. 1, 2026: 1930 copyright-marked publications
Jan. 1, 2027: 1931 copyright-marked publications
Jan. 1, 2028: 1932 copyright-marked publications
Jan. 1, 2029: 1933 …and so on…

I’m already gathering books published in the early 1930s, to scan for upcoming editions of the SurvalBlog Archive USB sticks. In addition to a large number of reference books, there will also be at least six more Lowell Thomas travel and military history/biography books included as bonuses to the 2025, 2026, and 2027 editions of our archive sticks.

Continue reading“SurvivalBlog Readers’ & Editors’ Snippets”





Preparedness Notes for Tuesday — February 27, 2024

On February 27th, 1933, the German Reichstag (parliament) building caught fire, a key event in the establishment of the Nazi dictatorship. More recently, the terms “Reichstag Fire” and “False Flag Event” have both come into use to describe triggering events covertly used to shift public opinion and shape government policies.

On February 27th, 1900 — Felix Hoffman patented acetylsalicylic acid, better known as aspirin.

February 27th, 1902 Harry ‘Breaker’ Harbord Morant was executed in Pretoria.

On this day in 2010, a magnitude-8.8 earthquake struck Chile, causing widespread damage and triggering a tsunami that devastated coastal areas; it was the most powerful earthquake to strike the region since 1960.

Tomorrow (February 28, 2024) the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the pending Cargill v. Garland case.  Please pray that the court reaches a decision in this important case to uphold our constitutional rights and reassert the proper separation of powers, as intended by our founding fathers.

I just heard that the Kindle e-book edition of my first novel Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse is featured today (February 27, 2024) on eBookDaily, to download for just $3.99 USD.

A new listing at SurvivalRealty: 112 Acre Bugout Farm — $1,399,900 — Mount Hebron Road, Old Fort, North Carolina.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 111 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. The photovoltaic power specialists at Quantum Harvest LLC  are providing a store-wide 10% off coupon. Depending on the model chosen, this could be worth more than $2,000.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any of their one, two, or three-day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A Peak Refuel “Wasatch Pack” variety of 60 servings of premium freeze-dried breakfasts and dinners in individual meal pouches — a whopping 21,970 calories, all made and packaged in the USA — courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $359 value),
  4. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
  5. Two sets of The Civil Defense Manual, (in two volumes) — a $193 value — kindly donated by the author, Jack Lawson.

Second Prize:

  1. A SIRT STIC AR-15/M4 Laser Training Package, courtesy of Next Level Training, that has a combined retail value of $679
  2. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
  3. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC.
  4. Montana Survival Seed is providing a $225 gift code for any items on its website, including organic non-GMO seeds, fossils, 1812-1964 US silver, jewelry, botany books, and Montana beeswax.
  5. A transferable $150 FRN purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun. There is no paperwork required for delivery of pre-1899 guns into most states, making them the last bastion of firearms purchasing privacy!

Third Prize:

  1. A Berkey Light water filter, courtesy of USA Berkey Filters (a $305 value),
  2. A $300 gift certificate from Good2Goco.com, good for any of their products: Home freeze dryers, pressure canners, Country Living grain mills, Emergency Essentials foods, and much more.
  3. Three sets each of made-in-USA regular and wide-mouth reusable canning lids. (This is a total of 300 lids and 600 gaskets.) This prize is courtesy of Harvest Guard (a $270 value)
  4. A transferable $150 FRN purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun.

More than $875,000 worth of prizes have been awarded since we started running this contest. In 2023, we polled blog readers, asking for suggested article topics. Refer to that poll if you haven’t yet chosen an article topic. Round 111 ends on March 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.



Practical Homestead Irrigation – Part 1, by A.F.

Although neither of our extended families still had full-time farmers in them as my wife and I came of age, our parents, grandparents and most of our aunts and uncles raised gardens or livestock then froze or canned the meats and vegetables grown. Living what I now know was a relatively sheltered childhood, I thought everyone did the same things we did. Raising bottle calves, staining tee shirts while picking blackberries, stringing and breaking beans all summer long, refilling the under-sink potato bin from the storage crib every week, and hearing your elders discuss the need for rain on the gardens and pastures.

When I was around age 8, my family installed a system for garden irrigation. Although I have no clue what precipitated the decision, I do recall the approximate setup. A small creek separated my father’s land from my grandfather’s place. A portion of the stream bank was excavated and a one-piece concrete tank was installed such that a few ten-foot sections of three-inch PVC pipe could be run upstream and deliver water into the tank inlet. The holding tank was approximately 4x6x8 so it should have held somewhere around 1,500 gallons. From the tank, a two-inch black poly pipe ran up the mountain to the uppermost gardens, a bean field, and the potato patch. A tee installed near the one-third point allowed a second two-inch line to carry water out the valley to my grandparent’s garden and the sweet corn patch. The two-inch lines were branched further by running a pair of ¾ inch poly lines into each garden. These ¾ inch lines were each terminated with an impact sprinkler mounted on poles in the gardens. A Briggs and Stratton-powered suction pump was set atop the concrete tank to deliver the water. The system consisted of 1,000 feet of two-inch supply pipe, around 300 feet of ¾ inch distribution pipe, eight impact sprinklers, the pump, and tank.Continue reading“Practical Homestead Irrigation – Part 1, by A.F.”