Poll: What are the Best Items to Store for Barter and Charity?

Everyone seems to have their own opinions about what are the best items to keep on hand for post-TEOTWAWKI bartering. I did mention a large variety of barter items in the Barter Faire chapter of my novel Patriots  (The chapter titled: “For an Ounce of Gold.”) Of course many of the same items are important to keep on hand to dispense as charity. Since two heads are better than one, and by extension 5,000 heads are better than two, I’m taking a poll:  Please e-mail me your lists of preferred barter and charity items, and I will gladly post them. My personal favorites are: .22 Long Rifle rimfire ammo 1 oz. bottles of military rifle bore cleaner Waterproof duffle bags (“dry bags”) Thermal socks Semi-waterproof matches (from military MRE rations) Military web gear (lots of folks will *suddenly* need pistol belts, holsters, magazine pouches, et cetera.) Pre-1965 U.S. silver dimes 1 gallon cans of kerosene 1 pound canisters of salt (may be worth plenty in inland areas) Small bottles of two cycle gas mixing oil (for chainsaw fuel) Rolls of olive drab parachute cord Rolls of olive drab duct tape Spools of monofilament fishing line Rolls of 10 mil “Visqueen” sheet … Continue reading

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Radiation Protection Factors for Dummies – by L.H.

When building a homemade fallout shelter in a basement, or on a cement slab inside the first floor, it is important to understand halving thickness and protection factors. First of all, after a nuclear detonation, there will be light, heat, and a blast wave. This essay assumes that you will be out of that target area, with your home and roof intact. If you are close to targets, you may need better shelter than this improvised model. At the end of this essay I will list a few sources showing target maps, fallout maps, blast areas, etc. Fallout is the mixture of the dirt and materials at the site of the blast, all mixed up with radioactive material. Every single piece is radioactive. Near the blast it can fall out like gravel, then farther away like rice grains, then like sand, and then like fine powder. And every fallout particle is sending out gamma rays. You need to take almost immediate shelter for the gamma radiation from fallout. Gamma rays are part of the electromagnetic spectrum, like radio waves and X-rays and light. If you picture the fallout landing on trees and the ground being like tiny little light bulbs, … Continue reading

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Letter from “Fred the Valmet Meister” Re: Low Compression / Low RPM Stationary Engines

Jim: I just discovered these cool “Hit and Miss” gas engines made in the 1920s and 1930s by Maytag. They were used to power washing machines. Very simple engine; maybe one horsepower. You start it with a foot pedal that leverages a gear to spin the crankshaft to get it going. What a wonderful little engine for a remote location.  These could be used to power the washing machine or even run a small generator to charge up a bank of 12 volt batteries. I noticed that there are currently several for sale on eBay and they even have leather drive belts for them and water pumps. Could be used to fill up a water tank for gravity feed. – Fred

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Letter Re: The Micro-Farm Tractor

In response to the excellent article, “The Micro-Farm Tractor”, I have to say my best bet for all-around small farm tool would be the diesel all terrain vehicle (ATV). ATVs have quickly infiltrated into many farms today, as haulers, sprayers, snowplows, transport, and so on. You can purchase many available farm accessories that make it into the equivalent of a mini-tractor, as well has many hunting related accessories, since they appeal to the hunter’s market as well, like gun racks, camo, storage, and essential noise-cutting mufflers (very effective units can be had at Cabela’s). I would suggest a diesel unit, since they are longer lasting, more reliable, and you can use stored (for several years with proper preservation) or improvised diesel (biodiesel.)  I was out elk hunting last year in foul weather and I immediately saw the advantage hunters had getting around in the muck with an ATV. If we had actually taken an elk, we would have had to spend all weekend hauling pieces of it out! (In a way we were glad we didn’t get one where we were hunting, seven miles down a mucky old road, with steep hills to the right and a steep ravine to … Continue reading

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Letter from Mr. Lima Re: CONEX Containers

Jim, Per the letter from the Blog reader regarding CONEX containers- Yes they are a great way to store bulk supplies at your retreat. I’ve been using them for almost eight years now and have noticed several things when using them. First, try to get one made of “COR-TEN” steel. My father has years of metalworking experience and pointed out one of ours that is made of COR-TEN. It reputedly holds up better. I’ve seen a noticeable difference in the one COR-TEN we have compared to several others not made of it. You might want to weigh the difference in cost between finding one locally or buying one closer to the coast and preferably a major seaport where they will be cheaper. Shipping costs being the deciding factor, as well as condition of container. We’ve never paid more than $1,500 for a 40 foot container and you can find them for around $1,000. if you shop around. Keep in mind most places will just give you a general quote on the phone. You want to go to their yard and check one out for yourself, make sure the doors close and latch properly, climb up on the roof, and inspect … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Understanding Human Immune System Response to Infection

Hello! I just finished reading Patriots   for a third time – INCREDIBLE book. I’m also a good friend of “Dr. Buckaroo Banzai.” I have a master’s degree in immunology and teach in a nursing program at a local college. My comments are aimed at the general education of the readership of your blog. The immune system operates largely on the function of T-helper cells. There are two main T-helper varieties. One variety (T-h1) deals with intracellular pathogens (viruses, few bacteria) and the other (T-h2) deals with extra-cellular pathogens (majority of bacteria, protozoa, fungi).  What separates these two groups are the cytokines (chemicals which modulate immune response) that are released. T-h1 cytokines promote immunity to intracellular pathogens AND SUPRESS the function of T-h2 cells. What this means is that the body’s response to a viral infection WILL leave the patient more susceptible to a bacterial infection. The opposite is true as well – bacterial infections leave the body less prepared to deal with viral infections. Just thought you’d want some of the background here! Keep up the good work, keep your powder dry, and God bless! – Dr. Rocky J. Squirrel

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Letter Re: Power Outage Alarms

Jim, Thanks for keeping up the good work. I have inadvertently discovered a great power outage alarm. We were bought a carbon monoxide detector a while back. Whenever the power is cut, or the unit is un-plugged, it WILL wake you up!   I don’t know how long it continues to go off because it is so loud, I get it stopped right away. This is an item we should all have, too, just to detect the carbon monoxide. – Sid

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Letter Re: Knob Creek Machinegun Shoot and Patton Museum Photos

Mr. Rawles, this started out as an entry for your preparedness articles writing contest. Unfortunately, it took a different turn and I don’t have the time to devote to it. The value of my research is these pictures. See:  http://www.curevents.com/vb/showthread.php?p=169180#post169180 I hope you enjoy! – Johnny, a.k.a. swampthing

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Note from JWR:

Today we feature still another entry for the SurvivalBlog writing contest. The prize is a transferable four day course certificate, good for any course at Front Sight. Get your non-fiction articles submitted via e-mail by the end of November to be considered for the contest. Most of the articles that have been submitted thusfar are fairly general.  Feel free to submit detailed articles on specific topics.  All will be considered for posting.

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Jeff in Afghanistan on: The Combat/Survival Mindset

I have been a soldier, police officer, and am now working overseas as a security contractor in Afghanistan. I’ve attended and given a great deal of firearms related training, and over the past few years I’ve started to see a serious deficiency in typical law enforcement and self defense training. The United States is a country filled with people who live lives mostly untouched by serious violence. That fact is a good thing, and is a testament to our country, but it handicaps us in the way we train ourselves and our warriors, particularly our police. I want to cut directly to the main issue I see. In my experience most shooters who practice with any frequency have decent basic skills. I see quite a few who are very good shots and have some basic tactical skills. Americans have access to good firearms and equipment, as do American police officers. However, I believe most self defense minded people, and indeed most police officers, are trained to fail by their departments, their instructors, and their society. Most police departments require officers to qualify quarterly, and many departments are moving toward realistic shooting and away from static paper punching. The department I … Continue reading

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