Preparedness Notes for Tuesday — January 25, 2022

Today is the birthday of celebrated Scottish poet Robert “Bobby” Burns. He was born on January 25, 1759.

A quick update on the latest edition of the SurvivalBlog Archive USB stick:  455 orders have already been mailed. The remainder of the first batch of 1,000 sticks should be in the mail by early February. Since the first batch sold out so quickly, we’ve already ordered another 600 sticks, and we are taking backorders. Mailings from that second batch should begin in the third week of February. Thanks for your patience.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 98 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 $2000.
  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 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. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  5. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  6. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
  7. Two sets of The Civil Defense Manual, (in two volumes) — a $193 value — kindly donated by the author, Jack Lawson.

Second Prize:

  1. A Front Sight Lifetime Diamond Membership, providing lifetime free training at any Front Sight Nevada course, with no limit on repeating classes. This prize is courtesy of a SurvivalBlog reader who prefers to be anonymous.
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, that have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. 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).
  4. 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. 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)
  2. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  3. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  4. A transferable $100 FRN purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun.

More than $725,000 worth of prizes have been awarded since we started running this contest. Round 98 ends on January 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.



Jerusalem Artichokes for TEOTWAWKI Gardening – Part 1, by Soli Deo Gloria

A lot has been written on this blog and elsewhere about the importance of gardening in order to grow your own food in a post-TEOTWAWKI world. When you think about a survival garden, the first question you need to ask is “What should I grow?” I’d like to suggest that most people are missing some important factors when they try to answer that question.

I’m going to walk you through some serious ideas to consider when it comes to survival gardening. If you are new to the whole idea, I hope this will get you started in the right direction. If you’ve been successfully gardening for years, I hope this will give you some new perspectives and perhaps lead you to consider some new crops next spring.

Along the way, I’m going to introduce you to what I call ‘the wonder crop’ and explain how it is an amazingly good candidate for inclusion in a survival garden.

Consideration # 1: Producing Calories

I’ve been gardening for years now and have also spent time talking to other gardeners. Unfortunately, most of us garden for fun. We grow crops that are exciting or things we love to eat fresh. We usually don’t approach our gardens with an eye toward feeding ourselves, only toward producing something that tastes great. For example, ask almost any gardener what they grow year after year and tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce are almost certain to be on the list. To get enough calories to sustain ONE hard-working man for a SINGLE day, you’d need about 187 tomatoes (2” diameter whole raw tomatoes), 67 cucumbers (8” whole raw cucumbers), or 375 cups of shredded lettuce (iceberg)(1). I don’t know about you, but I’ve never produced that much in an entire year.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against these foods. They provide some vitamins and minerals, but they lack calories. When the stores are closed, you’ll die from a lack of calories long before you’ll die from a lack of Vitamin A. How many calories do you want to invest in preparing the soil, weeding, watering, and picking bugs off that row of cucumbers when you know you’ll never make up those calories with the food you eventually harvest?

In my part of the country, the one big exception to the rule of low-calorie garden veggies is sweet corn. It has been estimated that corn yields more calories per acre under cultivation than any other crop. Sounds great, right? But there are very serious drawbacks to corn, which I’ll discuss throughout this article. So I’m going to recommend that people who really care about survival gardening consider an alternative: the second highest yielding crop per acre(2). This is the wonder-crop I hinted at: Jerusalem Artichokes (a.k.a. sunchokes, sunroots, or Helianthus tuberosus). As a side note, Jerusalem artichokes have nothing to do with the city of Jerusalem or with artichokes… but over the years that is a name that has stuck.

What makes Jerusalem artichokes a “wonder crop”? Well, they do have some vitamins and minerals in them (especially potassium, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C). They’ve also got some protein (3g per cup). But more importantly, they have calories – 114 calories per cup to be exact (22 calories per ounce)(1). That is comparable to corn or potatoes and is far beyond most garden veggies. Sunchokes are well suited to be a staple crop (and, in fact, were a staple crop in Europe many years ago). A day’s worth of food translates to only about 9 lbs of Jerusalem artichokes. Of course, you couldn’t live on any one single food 365 days a year, but a couple pounds a day would be a powerful supplement to your stored/hunted/gathered foods.

Continue reading“Jerusalem Artichokes for TEOTWAWKI Gardening – Part 1, by Soli Deo Gloria”



SurvivalBlog’s News From The American Redoubt

This weekly column features news stories and event announcements from around the American Redoubt region. (Idaho, Montana, eastern Oregon, eastern Washington, and Wyoming.) Much of the region is also more commonly known as The Inland Northwest. We also mention companies of interest to preppers and survivalists that are located in the American Redoubt region. Today, a special edition of this column, with a round-up of home architects, retreat security specialists, land finders, and real estate agents that specialize in retreat properties in the American Redoubt. Please note that many of the companies and individuals mentioned are current or former SurvivalBlog advertisers.

Region-Wide

SurvivalRealty — a SurvivalBlog spin-off — is operated by Jonathan Edwards, Rawles. He is JWR’s #1 Son. SurvivalRealty advertises retreat-worthy properties, worldwide. In a partnership arrangement, they also broker retreat properties in Idaho in Montana.

o  o  o

Strategic Landscape Design of Sagle, Idaho, consults on retreat design, property evaluation, permaculture/edible landscapes, water rights, greenhouses, permitting assistance, and retreat security.

o  o  o

Joel Skousen is a Utah-based author, lecturer, and retreat security/retreat design consultant.

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Aaron J. Henderson, AIA, is an architect who specializes in designing retreats.  Here is a link to one of his podcast interviews.

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Hardened Structures is a well-established retreat/bunker design and construction firm.

Idaho

Todd Savage is a North Idaho-based real estate agent and survival retreat consultant.  As a former U.S. Marine, he has a “tactical eye” when evaluating potential retreat properties.

o  o  o

Douglas Clark is an Idaho-based designer who operates Secure Life Homes.

o  o  o

Eric Craig operates Redoubt Scout, a consulting firm that does property assessments for out-of-state clients.

o  o  o

Chris Walsh of Revolutionary Realty has built his business around finding retreat properties.

Continue reading“SurvivalBlog’s News From The American Redoubt”



The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“The State provides a legal, orderly, systematic channel for the predation of private property; it renders certain, secure, and relatively ‘peaceful’ the lifeline of the parasitic caste in society.” – Murray Rothbard



Preparedness Notes for Monday — January 24, 2022

Today is the birthday of Tamara K., the editor of the long-running and very entertaining View From The Porch blog.

January 24th is also the birthday of René Barjavel (born 1911, died November 24, 1985). This prescient French science fiction author wrote several books with survivalist themes, including Ravage, which was titled Ashes, Ashes in its English translation.

Today we present another review written by our Field Gear Editor Emeritus, Pat Cascio.

 



Beretta M9A1, by Pat Cascio

I don’t know about other people, but I’ve always been resistant to change or controversy in my life. As I grow older, rapidly approaching my 70th year on this earth, I find I’m more resistant to change than ever. I don’t enjoy getting into a controversy over things. I believe a lot of controversy stems from our opinions on things. Many people simply don’t understand what an opinion is, either. Quite simply, an opinion is just that – an “opinion” and it is based on what we believe. I don’t think an opinion is right or wrong, it’s just one person’s thoughts on something.

I cut my teeth on the grand old 1911, .45 ACP handgun, and it is still my favorite handgun. Now, many readers will remember that I’ve written that in an End Of The World situation, I would select a Glock Model 19X as my one and only handgun, and I still stand by that. Different situations call for different firearms. However, if I could only have one handgun, to meet all my needs in such a situation, it will still be the Glock 19X. It holds a lot of ammunition, is plenty accurate and as reliable as reliable can be. That doesn’t distract from my love affair with the 1911.

Back in the early 1980s, the US military decided it was time to retire the 1911, and they wanted to go with a 9mm handgun. Many of our NATO allies military personnel were carrying 9mm handguns of one type or another. The controversy began immediately, over the 9mm caliber. As we all “know” the .45 ACP, even in FMJ will rip your arm off, even if you are only hit in the pinky finger – that’s how powerful that .45 ACP is – always has been, always will be. Still to this day, these types of rumors persist to the uninitiated. Of course, it is just an uneducated person who believes this, and it is their opinion – and you will never change their thinking.

Many of the big-name gun makers submitted 9mm handguns to testing to the military, hopefully, their designs would meet all the requirements laid out for the testing process, and their gun would be the winner. This testing process actually took several years, and one-by-one the competitors were eliminated due to one short coming or another. It came down to just two makers’ submissions, one was from Beretta and the other from SIG Sauer. In the end, it came down to the price, and to this day, their decision is still controversial over the price. SIG Sauer submitted their bid, as did Beretta. However, those who were there at the closing bids, said that after SIG Sauer submitted their bid, that Beretta then submitted their bid, and it was lower than the SIG bid. This is still a hot topic, to this day. Some people have contended that Beretta somehow “cheated” when that happened. Personally, I prefer the SIG Sauer P226 over the Beretta 92FS. Both are outstanding handguns – it is just my opinion that the SIG is a better gun.Continue reading“Beretta M9A1, by Pat Cascio”



Recipe of the Week: Roasted Chicken with Garlic and Pear

The following recipe for Roasted Chicken with Garlic and Pear was sent by blog reader M.N.. It is cooked in a Dutch Oven.

Ingredients
  • 1 roasting chicken
  • 1⁄2 stick butter
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil
  • 4 head of garlic (or less, to taste)
  • 1 Pear, Bartlet
  • 1⁄2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 Tbsp Thyme
  • 1 tsp black pepper, finely ground
  • 1 tsp salt
Directions
  1. Melt butter in Dutch oven and add olive oil.
  2. Brown chicken on all sides. Set aside.
  3. Sauté garlic cloves until fragrant.
  4. Core, peel, and slice the pear.
  5. Add to garlic and wine, and simmer for 2 minutes.
  6. Return chicken and cover with spices.
  7. Cover and bake for 90 minutes at 350° F.
  8. Remove chicken and let it stand for 5 minutes.
  9. Strain broth in the Dutch oven and serve with the bird.
  10. Bring broth to boil and add 1 Tbsp of Better Than Bullion.
  11. Thicken with corn starch.
SERVING

Serve with seared asparagus and wild rice.

Do you have a favorite recipe that would be of interest to SurvivalBlog readers? In this weekly recipe column, we place emphasis on recipes that use long term storage foods, recipes for wild game, dutch oven and slow cooker recipes, and any that use home garden produce. If you have any favorite recipes, then please send them via e-mail. Thanks!



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. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. Most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor, JWR. Today, we look at China’s unsustainable debt bubble. (See the Economy & Finance section.)

Precious Metals:

Needless to say, look for a big breakout in the prices of gold, silver, and platinum if Russia fully invades Ukraine. Stack them deep, and stack them early. Commerzbank seems to agree.

o  o  o

Neither Inflation Nor The Fed Moves Gold.

Economy & Finance:

Mainland China’s debt bubble implosion now seems to be getting fully underway.  The collapse of Evergrande and other over-leveraged construction companies is in full swing.  This implosion will very likely expand to many other sectors of the Chinese economy.  The next sectors to fail? Most likely it will be high-speed rail lines, then car makers, and then perhaps their high technology sector. The debt-to-GDP ratio in China is seriously out of whack — somewhere around 270%.  And the size of China’s bond market is second only to that in the United States. A lot of the Chinese debt was for Pie in the Sky boondoggles. This level of malinvestment needs to be “un-wound” before their economy can resume any real progress.

In the 19th Century and early 20th Century, China had a problem with the global opium trade. But now, in the early 21st Century, they have a problem with the global OPM market. What is OPM? Other People’s Money (OPM). Debt. There is simply too much debt. China has created a wholly unsustainable debt bubble. Many of the underlying “assets” of these loans are not sellable. They are ghost apartment complexes and entire ghost cities. Many of these buildings are just empty shells of apartment blocks and offices that were never completed. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is fully complicit with creating the debt bubble.

Again, what happened to Evergrande and Kaisa was just the beginning– just a precursor of a monumental debt crisis that could very quickly become globally contagious. Beware.

o  o  o

Markets Are “Sea Of Red” Amid “Total Meltdown In Anything Tech And Pandemic Winners”.

o  o  o

Treasury Yields Spike After Jamie Dimon Forecasts “Six Or Seven” Rate Hikes In 2022.

o  o  o

Goldman Plunges After Trading Revenue Miss.

o  o  o

Visualizing The $94 Trillion World Economy In One Chart.

Continue reading“Economics & Investing For Preppers”





Preparedness Notes for Sunday — January 23, 2022

On January 23rd, 1570, the world’s first assassination by firearm occurred when James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray was shot in Linlithgow, Scotland.

On January 23rd, 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell was awarded her M.D., becoming the first female doctor in the U.S.

January 23rd, 1855 was the birthday of John Moses Browning. He was the brilliant designer of dozens of guns, including the M1911 pistol, Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR), and the venerable M2 .50 Caliber Machinegun.

Today is also the birthday of my #2 Grandson. His coincidental “Browning Birthday” ensures that he will inherit a disproportionately large portion of my guns that are Browning designs.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 98 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 $2000.
  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 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. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  5. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  6. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
  7. Two sets of The Civil Defense Manual, (in two volumes) — a $193 value — kindly donated by the author, Jack Lawson.

Second Prize:

  1. A Front Sight Lifetime Diamond Membership, providing lifetime free training at any Front Sight Nevada course, with no limit on repeating classes. This prize is courtesy of a SurvivalBlog reader who prefers to be anonymous.
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, that have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. 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).
  4. 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. 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)
  2. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  3. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  4. A transferable $100 FRN purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun.

More than $725,000 worth of prizes have been awarded since we started running this contest. Round 98 ends on January 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.



Sanitation for Survivalists, by Tunnel Rabbit

This article is an introduction to hygiene and sanitation for families, small groups, and communities.

During early wars, dysentery was by far the cause of most of the combat ineffectiveness in the field. It can debilitate armies. Second to dysentery, were trench foot and frostbite.

Sanitation begins with personal hygiene, and is important regardless of group size. Individual habits contribute to the health of others. We do not need to be spreading disease among ourselves and becoming sick and inffective. The broader issue of sanitation must be addressed and practiced at the group level.

Having lived in austere conditions for years, I’ve experienced many of the medical issues that soldiers in the field experience. As a quasi-military operation, survivalist groups can apply what the military already knows. For those who have lived as infantry, theirs is hard-earned wisdom for those who have not lived it, and even for those who have. Once the conveniences of modern life are gone (i.e. washing machines, flushing toilets, and hot water) the uninitiated will experience a new set of sanitation and hygiene issues that will contribute to health problems when living in prolong austere conditions. These extreme circumstances will in general, degrade one’s immune system, making us vulnerable to other diseases as well. As modern conveniences go away, the once-common diseases return. These diseases of the Third World will flourish, and take us by surprise.

Disease Threats

The odds that we could see history repeat itself with plagues, pestilence, and famine are high. Our immune systems are not adapted for primitive environments, but for relatively sanitary modern life. Given a lack of antibiotics, and other medicine, we would never be more vulnerable. The best way to deal with it is to follow the procedure and wisdom of an army in the field, and maintain a good level of sanitation. It all starts with personal hygiene. The individual must be responsible to carry out basic hygiene practices on a routine basis, otherwise all could be subject to disease. However, individual practices are not a substitute for good sanitation procedures, such as keeping latrines clean and fly-free, and providing clean water to a larger group of persons.

Cholera will be among the worst of waterborne diseases. Along with Giardia, these would cause outbreaks of dysentry. This is a type of gastroenteritis that results in bloody diarrhea. Other symptoms may include fever, a sensation of incomplete defecation, and abdominal pain. Dysentry without modern medicine is deadly and has been able to render large portions of armies combat ineffective. Historically, dysentery has been the largest cause of non-combat fatalities.Continue reading“Sanitation for Survivalists, by Tunnel Rabbit”





The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:

If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.

For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.

 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart.

For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.

For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:1-17 (KJV)



Preparedness Notes for Saturday — January 22, 2022

On January 22, 1944, Allied forces began landing at Anzio, Italy.

On January 22, 1984 the first Apple Macintosh Computer was announced. The memorable first ad for the Mac aired just once, during the 1984 Super Bowl. One interesting fact is that the advertisement aired only once prior to its nationwide showing. A few minutes before midnight on December 31, 1983, it aired on Twin Falls, Idaho television station KMVT, Channel 11. This was so that it complied with rules that allowed it to be entered into an advertising competition. Once the ad aired, the tape was mailed back to the ad agency….and the rest is history. Ridley Scott of Hollywood fame was its director.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 98 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 $2000.
  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 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. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  5. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  6. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
  7. Two sets of The Civil Defense Manual, (in two volumes) — a $193 value — kindly donated by the author, Jack Lawson.

Second Prize:

  1. A Front Sight Lifetime Diamond Membership, providing lifetime free training at any Front Sight Nevada course, with no limit on repeating classes. This prize is courtesy of a SurvivalBlog reader who prefers to be anonymous.
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, that have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. 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).
  4. 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. 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)
  2. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  3. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  4. A transferable $100 FRN purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun.

More than $725,000 worth of prizes have been awarded since we started running this contest. Round 98 ends on January 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.



An Ultralight Get Home Bag – Part 5, by J.M.

(Continued from Part 4. This concludes the article.)

Seasonal Considerations

One of the problems with planning any kind of self-contained outdoor survival kit for New England is that you have to be able to handle a wide range of weather conditions, including really cold and wet winters. Things like thunder snowstorms, freezing rain, blizzards and sub-zero temperatures aren’t uncommon, and if you’re not prepared for the worse than you’ll probably fail (translation: die). I don’t want to get into too much detail on the background for my decisions, but if you’d like to read more I had another article published on SurvivalBlog called ‘Cold Weather Considerations’ (Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) that might help fill in some of the holes. And yes, I had her read that article for background.

The first thing we looked at was her normal work clothing. She isn’t required to wear business dress or a uniform, since she occasionally needs to get down on the floor to work on the equipment, so I recommended that she upgrade her pants to something like 5.11 Women’s Apex Pants for colder weather and Mesa Pants for warmer weather. They both provide extra carrying capacity without screaming ‘cargo’ pants, and they’re a poly blend so they should dry quickly. 5.11 also makes a lot of nice tops for women, but I wasn’t about to get into a discussion on fashion with her so I just suggested tops with pockets and not 100% cotton. I did suggest she stick with real wool sweaters like Merino wool for winter, since they tend to provide warmth even when wet.

For outerwear, I recommended a lightweight waterproof/breathable shell jacket for cool weather, and a good quality long parka-style jacket like Columbia’s Mount Si Omni-Heat for winter. For shoes in warmer weather I recommended a good pair of walking/hiking shoes from someone like Keen or Merrell, and a good pair of insulated walking/hiking boots for winter. Something else I introduced her to that she absolutely loves are NEOS overshoes, which makes those long walks from the bus or train in freezing rain and deep slush a lot more bearable. These are going to be critical if she’s going to be walking home in cold, wet and snowy conditions for several days, since very few boots are actually 100% waterproof. If she doesn’t want to carry the NEOS overshoes (1.22 lbs.) another alternative are the Sealskinz waterproof winter socks, which weigh around 6 oz. a pair. One reason I recommend the NEOS overshoes over the waterproof socks is that if her boots get soaked that adds a significant amount of weight she has to lift with each step, and most boots take a really long time to dry.Continue reading“An Ultralight Get Home Bag – Part 5, by J.M.”