Preparedness Notes for Tuesday – October 23, 2018

On October 23rd, 2002, around 50 Chechen rebels stormed a Moscow theater, taking 700 hostages during a popular musical. After 57 hours, during which two hostages were killed, Soviet Special Forces pumped a powerful narcotic gas into the theater knocking the terrorists and hostages unconscious before breaking in through the walls and roof. When the dust settled, most of the rebels and 120 hostages had been killed.

The Well-Balanced Gun Collection

A topic that comes up in more than half of my consulting calls, is firearms. Most survivalists gravitate toward guns for obvious reasons. If anything, SurvivalBlog could surely be labelled a “guns and groceries” oriented blog, and most of our readers are like-minded. We tend to have large gun collections. We aren’t entirely gun-centric, but our concept of preparedness includes owning guns and having full proficiency in their use.

The greatest difficulty vis-a-vis guns for those in our community is not hand-wringing about whether or not we should own them. We’ll leave that pseudo-question up to the leftists. Rather, our difficulty is knowing which assortment of guns and how many to buy.

Getting balance in a gun collection is a worthy goal. One key to this is recognizing that guns just by themselves have little utility. You will also need:

    • Training
    • Ammunition
    • Magazines. (Buy plenty.)
    • Cleaning Equipment
    • Holster, Cases, and Magazine pouches
    • Optics

I listed training first, because it is crucial. Owning a gun without also getting good training makes a gun little more than just a voodoo talisman.  As I’ve often written:  With a limited budget, it is better to have fewer guns and more training. Train, train, and then train some more!

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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 the new crypto mining restriction in Ephrata, Wasington. See the Eastern Washington section.)


Fish and Game: Idaho outdoorsmen to have some of the best elk hunting conditions of all time

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Coeur D’Alene Police Department evacuated after man brings in explosive found in car



Reader Cathy N. sent us this news about College Town Leftist Loonies: Missoula, Montana City Council Passes Emergency Ordinance Banning Guns in Most Public Places. Of course because of Montana’s State Preemption clause, this ordinance will surely be stricken by the courts. But there will be much angst there, in the interim.

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Video: Trump pre-election rally in Missoula, Montana


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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”.


The governments of the world continue their march towards robotic weapons. It really only makes sense. A robot is considerably less expensive to replace than a trained person if it is a casualty of a battle. Robots can also make decisions much faster than humans can. The danger, of course, is that a robot has no conscience and no sense of right and wrong. If you make a robot designed to kill, it will be an efficient killing machine. The U.S. has pledged to keep a human in the decision loop, but other countries have not, mostly due to the advantage that gives them on the battlefield. The robots are also getting quite good at things. I’m embarrassed that this robot from Boston Dynamics has more moves than me on the dance floor.

On a serious note, the main battle tank as we know it may soon be a thing of the past. Reader G.P. sent in this article on how smaller robotic vehicles are being armed with the Javelin anti-tank missile (and a .50-caliber machine gun) turns the 1.6 ton, 8 foot long robot into a lethal tank killer. This robot, made by Milrem Robotics of Estonia. The thinking is that tank killing is such serious business that they become high priority targets making it a dangerous job. So why not put a remote console on it to remove the operator from the majority of danger. Again, Milrem promises to always have a human in the loop, but I wonder how quickly that would be removed if the operators are on the losing side of a battle.

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The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“Today, you people are no longer maggots. Today, you are Marines. You’re part of a brotherhood. From now on until the day you die, wherever you are, every Marine is your brother. Most of you will go to Vietnam. Some of you will not come back. But always remember this: Marines die. That’s what we’re here for. But the Marine Corps lives forever. And that means you live forever.” – R. Lee Ermey, as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, in Full Metal Jacket.


Jeep Shovel, by Pat Cascio

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have some kind of compact shovel in my vehicles. Some are better than others. Today, we’re taking a close look at the “Jeep Shovel” from Major Surplus. It is quite the little tool.

Haunting Army-Navy Surplus Stores When I Was a Kid

I grew up haunting army-navy surplus stores back in Chicago, IL when I was a kid. I could, and I did, easily spend hours and hours in those stores. Two, in particular, were just a couple of blocks away from one another in downtown Chicago, so it was easy visiting both surplus stores. Back then, almost all the surplus in those stores, was USGI. Today, it’s hard to find genuine U.S. military surplus gear and equipment. Instead, we find a lot of foreign military gear. While, in most cases, that military gear, even used, is better than most civilian camping/outdoor gear and clothing though not always better but in many cases, I’ll take military gear over civilian gear for survival.

Though I don’t remember the name of one of the army/navy stores in downtown Chicago, it was at the south end of “The Loop” on State Street, and I recall that it was fairly small. It had a great selection of bayonets and other USGI military equipment. The other store, called Bailey’s, was just a couple of blocks away. I believe they’re still in business. They were a much larger military surplus store with a lot of military uniforms upstairs and other military gear and equipment downstairs. I was in heaven when I visited those two stores.

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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. 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, I’m repeating my warning to set Stop Loss Orders, before the stock market becomes a pig slaughter market. (See the Stocks section.)

Precious Metals:

First off, there is this from Arkadiusz Sieroń: One Year after QT Started, Gold Price Still Unmoved

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Gold Remains Firm Despite Stronger U.S. Dollar


Economy & Finance:

At CNBC: Strength of the US economy is unequivocal, expert says

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Ex-Fed chief Greenspan: This is the tightest labor market I’ve ever seen

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Charles Hugh Smith: The Coming Inflation Threat: The Worst Of Both Worlds


Stocks (Stop Loss Orders):

Fair warning, once again: In today’s mega-bubble market, I cannot overemphasize the importance of placing stop loss orders on your individual shares, mutual funds, and stock ETFs. I first firmly suggested this approach, back in 2017. Unless you have given your broker (or broker-bot) a standing order to sell your position once a stock declines 8%, then you are likely to get burned, and burned badly in the next 18 months!  Remember the old market adage: “Bulls make money, and bears make money, but pigs get slaughtered.”

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Now, on to this at Seeking Alpha: QQQ: The Netflix Effect

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Some analysis from Chris Ciovacco: 199 Days After The Peak:  2000 Vs. 2007 Vs. 2018

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Preparedness Notes for Sunday – October 21, 2018

On this day in 1950, Chinese forces invaded Tibet, beginning a brutal occupation that still continues. For some insight on Tibet in the late 1940s and early 1950s, I recommend the book Seven Years in Tibet.

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SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today features another entry for Round 79 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. 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 Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
  5. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
  6. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from (a $240 value).

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.

Round 79 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.

Preparing for Winter and What It Can Teach Us About Prepping, by Erik

Ready or not, winter is on its way. As my family is working through finishing our items to get the homestead ready for winter, I couldn’t help but think of the parallels to prepping in general.

For our winter “turndown service” of the homestead, we work from a list that has been refined over the last several years so that nothing is overlooked or ignored. The list is prioritized so bigger jobs don’t get put off to the end and critical items get the attention they deserve.

This is also the similar approach we take to prepping in general, and I wanted to share a couple of examples of the similarities as I see it.


We have a variety of equipment and machines that require fuel. Some of these are seasonal, and some fuel is stored long term. So, storage requires some effort.

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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”. What do think the most important guns in history are?

Brazen Thieves

Reader P. sent in this news report from San Francisco showing just how brazen thieves have gotten in the area. In the town of Antioch thieves are approaching cars that are stopped at intersections or are parked on the street with the occupant in them. In one case that is profiled, the thief ran up to a car stopped at a red light, smashed the window of the car, took the purse, and escaped in another vehicle that had no license plate on it. This is just one more indication that you can’t be in public and be oblivious to everything around you. Even in a moving vehicle, you have to be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Important Guns in History

Every generation has a firearm that is either unique in its approach to function or is ubiquits enough to have widespread use and makes a significant difference in society. Reader DSV sent in this article that profiles what the author believes are the five most significant weapons in America’s history. I’m not a history buff, but from what I know, I would tend to agree with this list. There are obviously omissions from the list since it is limited to just five, but these five have had a huge impact on our history. The last two on the list are still having a significant impact even though one of them is over 100 years old.

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The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (as it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. – Romans 4:16-22 (KJV)