Preparedness Notes for Wednesday – November 22, 2017


Today is remembered as the birthday of the late Eugene M. Stoner. (Born 1922, died April 24, 1997.) He was the designer of the AR-7, AR-10, AR-15, AR-180, the Stoner 63, and several other firearms. (The AR-10 was the basis of the AR-15 which in turn spawned the very widely used M16 and all of its variants including the M4 Carbine). It has been estimated that as many as 4.5 million rifles from the AR-15 family are owned by civilians in the United States, and military production M16 variants well exceeds 8 million rifles.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been another entry for Round 73 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical 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,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of (a $180 value), and
  8. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. 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,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by,
  7. A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value), and
  8. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. 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,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
  6. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from (a $240 value).

Round 73 ends on November 30th, 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.

Our Family’s Garden Grain Experiment- Part 1, by Wild BillB of OR

This is an account of our family’s experience and learning while experimenting with growing oats and wheat in a garden setting. Storing food and preps are important; but, for us, the primary role of food storage is for the immediate emergency or to get us through the first year of a serious crisis. What then? No one can store sufficient food for a serious, long-term disaster.

The Key Is Growing and Gathering Your Own

The key is growing and gathering your own, and our favorite staples to grow are potatoes and corn. Living on the “wet” side of Oregon we got to wondering how feasible it would be to grow our own grains, oats and wheat in particular, on a small scale.

Great Fun and Valuable Lessons Learned

We had great fun and learned some valuable lessons in the exercise of growing our own grains that I’ll try to pass along. I’ve included some video of our methods and tools to better share our experience.

Two Sites Chosen

We chose two sites to grow in– pasture land and in an unused chicken coop. We cut and then rototilled a 25×25 foot area of pasture adjacent to our existing garden. This plot had never been intentionally fertilized. We wanted to see how well grain would do competing in grass land in the first year of planting. The 10×10 foot plot in the chicken coop was well fertilized and protected by fence for a more “ideal” growing situation. Both sites were roughly tilled and raked, and then they were planted by hand. Seeds were simply scattered and then lightly raked. We did plant several rows in each plot, seeding the rows more heavily and then covering the seeds with about half of an inch of soil.

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Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. And it bears mention that most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of JWR. (SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor.) Today’s focus is on the potential for an orchestrated market crash. (See the Economy and Finance section.)

Precious Metals:

BMO’s Top Long-Term Silver Play As Market Heads To $20

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New Gold-Backed Debit Card Launched In Partnership With MasterCard


Is The LNG Glut Real?

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Lies And Distractions Surrounding The Diminishing Petrodollar

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JWR’s Recommendations of the Week

Here are JWR’s Recommendations of the Week for various media and tools of interest to SurvivalBlog readers.  This week the focus is on the movie Within The Whirlwind.

Special Note:  You might want to wait until “Black Friday” to order some of the books and other products mentioned in this column, to get the best prices, or discounted shipping.



The Midnight Line: A Jack Reacher Novel

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This book is a perennial bestseller, for good reason: What to Expect When You’re Expecting

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“Pam’s Pride” has posted a big list of book cover book recommendation links. Most of these look like good selections. Pam is a Christian, home schooling mom. Like me, she earns small commissions from making Amazon book and e-book recommendations.


Movies and Television (Within The Whirlwind):

Storm of the Century – the Blizzard of ’49.  This Wyoming PBS documentary was recommended by reader Steven N. He notes: “It’s about the Wyoming blizzard of 1949. But much of it is about the things the locals and local authorities did to survive it. It’s chock full of practical realities of key interest to SurvivalBlog readers.” Available on DVD and also available for free download for Amazon Prime members.

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Within The Whirlwind. Available on DVD and also available for free download for Amazon Prime members. Here is a description: “…based on the true story of Evgenia Ginzburg, a Russian literature professor who was arrested on false charges during Stalin’s Reign of Terror and sentenced to 10 years of hard labor in a Siberian Gulag. Upon meeting and falling in love with the camp doctor, also a prisoner, she regained her will to live and endured the horrific conditions of the Gulag until her release. ”

JWR’s Comments: About 500,000 people were executed outright in the three worst years of The Great Purge (aka The Great Terror, or The Reign of Terror) in the late 1930s. But worst of all, nearly 18 million Soviet citizens were sentenced to hard labor in the Gulags before Stalin’s death in 1953, mostly on fabricated charges. Of those, more than 5 million died while serving their sentences. Meanwhile, another 5 million died in the Ukranian famine. Many of these people were intentionally starved by Soviet authorities who “requisitioned” nearly all of the crops grown in the region.

A key lesson from this film: Never get on the bus, folks. It is better to die on your feet than on your knees. OBTW, you may note that I linked to the Infogalactic article on the Great Purge, instead of the one at Wikipedia.  You see, the Bolsheviks who edit Wikipedia systematically removed all references to Josef Stalin from that Wikipedia page. Apparently there has been an Editorial Purge there, as well. Down the Memory Hole, Comrade! This is ironically indicative of the blatant bias at Wikipedia. Do not trust anything that you read there!

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The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“A man needs heroes. He needs to believe in strength, nobility, and courage. Otherwise we become sheep to be herded to the slaughterhouse of death. I believe this. I am a soldier. I try to fight for the right cause. Sometimes it is hard to know.

“But I do not sit back and sneer in cowardice at those with the courage to fight. The blood of good men makes the earth rich, as it is here. When I die sword in hand, I hope someone lives to sing of it. I live my life so that when death comes I may die will. I ask no more.” – Barnabas Sackett (Sackett’s Land, by Louis L’Amour)

Preparedness Notes for Tuesday – November 21, 2017

On November 21, 1916, Britannic, the sister ship to the Titanic, sinks in the Aegean Sea, killing 30 people. In the wake of the Titanic disaster, the White Star line had made significant modifications to the design of the ship, but on its way to pick up wounded soldiers near the Gulf of Athens, it was rocked by an explosion causing even more damage than that which had sunk the Titanic. Many of the dead were from some of the crew who attempted to launch life boats while the Captain tried to run the ship aground. The life boats were sucked up into the propellers, killing all of those on board. The cause of the explosion is still unknown, but many suspect it hit a mine.

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We getting close to the end of Round 73 of the SurvivalBlog writing contest. Get that article finished and sent in!

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Ready Made Resources has their Night Vision Helmet package with Wilcox L-4 mount and counterbalance on sale this week for only $48. They also have the Knight’s Armament PVS-30 (like new) on sale this week only.

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A Lesson in Preparedness Satirical Humor in Very Poor Taste, by Old Bobbert

In the beginning of creating this piece, my thoughts were somewhat messy in that I wanted to relate through humor some of the unhappy moments experienced while talking about preparedness with the “unprepared” over the course of more than 20 years. There is a special emphasis on the Y2K event.

Informed Risks of Y2K Computer-Generated Collapse

My oldest son and our son-in-law were then, and even now are, very well informed concerning AI and computers. Their advice was simple and was based on their personal experiences. They said that the industry had been quietly working for years and spent billions of dollars to correct the problem. They advised us to do what they were doing and calculated that there was a 5% chance of a systemic collapse. We were to get ready for that to happen, and we did. It did not, and we were happy. Their advice has changed over the passage of time.

Taking Wise Counsel and Prepared for 5% to Scoff

We still seek their advice and wise counsel, yet I’m more prepared than either of them. We love them still. I use their mystical number of 5% in my everyday efforts to make it through a retiree’s not busy enough day and being not quite as well funded as we would like to be. And, we do love our reverse mortgage with zero payments at age 76.

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SurvivalBlog’s News From The American Redoubt

Here is SurvivalBlog’s News From The American Redoubt. This weekly column features news stories and event announcements from around the American Redoubt region. We also mention companies of interest to preppers that are located in the region. The emphasis this week is on Thunder Beast Arms Corp., in  Cheyenne, Wyoming. (See the Wyoming section, near the end of this column.)


The second two installments of the Redoubt article series at The Sandpoint Reader are surprisingly accurate and balanced. Take a few minutes to read: The American Redoubt Series: Preparedness and Self-Reliance and this: Profiles of the Redoubt: Beth Baumann

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Over at The Charles Carroll Society: Ben Olson & The Sandpoint Reader – Those who know, don’t speak, those who speak, don’t know #AmericanRedoubt

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Survivalist migration movement grows in the Northwest. Of course the journalist had to throw in an obligatory reference to the defunct racist Idaho Aryan Nation group. It seems to be Standard Operating Procedure for leftist journalists to include a dose of Guilt by Dis-Association in every article about the Redoubt movement.  The journalists with an agenda refuse to accept the fact that the movement is anti-racist.


Wolf depredation: Wildlife Services urges ranchers to report all cattle deaths

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Just another Idaho fish story: Nampa man catches trout weighing nearly 20 pounds

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SurvivalBlog readers in southern Idaho should check out Boise Gun Company. They have a huge inventory of guns at two storefront locations–in Boise and in Nampa. They also have  a surprisingly nice assortment of production knives. If ordering from out of state, modern guns must of course be shipped to your local FFL.  But they can mail or ship any of their antique (pre-1899) guns and any of their knives right to your doorstep. (Consult your State and local laws before ordering.) Boise gun company has been in business since 1995, and they have a great reputation. Phone: (208) 468-2325.

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The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “HJL”. You might be paranoid, but that doesn’t meant they aren’t out to get you. Websites are watching your every move.

Civil Asset Forfeiture

Despite reform at the state level, police departments are finding ways to still grab personal assets of people when no crime has been committed or even charged. The latest that we’ve heard was sent in by reader H.L. who forwarded this article on the City of Denver. The city is targeting low level crimes and seizing their cars. Here a Denver cab driver had his cab confiscated on suspicion of involvement in a prostitution sting. He was acquitted by a judge, but still had his car taken for over a month. He chose to pay the blackmail fee of $1000 to the city rather than fight in court. It’s getting harder to tell the good guys from the bad guys.

Gun Control

Rio De Janeiro has some of the strictest gun control laws there are. As a result, people are completely vulnerable as violence surges in the city. There are actually apps for smartphones now where citizens can track reports of live gun fire before plotting their commutes. Some schools have to make daily decisions on whether to cancel classes or not because of nearby shootouts. As Brazil’s recession deepens, the violence increases and the corruption that has bankrupted government coffers cannot help the individuals. They are on their own with no real method of protection against drug trafficking organizations and gangs as well as random violence. Thanks to S.R. for the link.

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Preparedness Notes for Monday – November 20, 2017

On November 20th, 1945, the Nuremberg Trials began, placing 24 high-ranking Nazis on trial for atrocities committed during World War II. The trials lasted 10 months, and 12 were condemned to death with one committing suicide in prison. The trials of lesser war criminals continued in the 1950s and resulted in the conviction of 5,025 other defendants and 806 executions.

Zero Tolerance 0055, by Pat Cascio

Zero Tolerance knives is a division of Kershaw Knives, and they produce some of the most hard-core fixed and folding blades to be found. Today we’re looking at the ZT Model 0055.

Kershaw Plant in Oregon

I still remember the very first time I toured the Kershaw plant, here in Oregon, many years ago. If I recall correctly, they had a mere 18 people on the floor assembling knives. All of that has changed over the years. They have a huge operation these days. They moved into another building and have already expanded their operation further. The operation is very big, to say the least. I easily lost count of the number of employees Kershaw has just assembling knives. Then add in the shipping department, front office, design crew, and many others. They must surely have several hundred skilled employees working there these days.

During my last tour, I was shown around by Thomas Welk. After the guided tour, I was given free reign to roam any place I wanted to and talk to anyone. Nice!

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Recipe of the Week: Homestead Ham Loaf, by R.S.

Recipe of the Week


  • 1 lb ground cooked ham (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 lb lean bulk sausage
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp prepared mustard
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tsp grated onion
  • 1/2 cup milk

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup brown sauce
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine ham, sausage, bread crumbs, mustard, egg, onion, and milk.
  2. Form into round loaf about 6 inches in diameter, or rectangle, or oval about 9×5 inches.
  3. Place in a Crock Pot, cover and cook on low for about 7 hours.
  4. Combine ingredients for sauce and brush over loaf for the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  5. Slice and serve hot.

Leftover cold slices of loaf make good sandwiches.

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Do you have a favorite recipe that would be of interest to SurvivalBlog readers? Please send it via e-mail. Thanks!

Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. And it bears mention that most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of JWR. (SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor.) Today’s focus is on investing in recovered mining land. (See the Tangibles Investing section, near the end of this column.)

Precious Metals:

Gold at one-month top on weak dollar, uncertainty over Trump tax bill

Stock Markets:

Indexes Retreat, But These Two Stocks Break Out


Why Saudi Arabia Should Fear U.S. Oil Dominance

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Oil Prices Could Double If Middle East Conflict Escalates

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