Note from JWR:

Today, I’m posting two more entries for the first round of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The winner will be announced tomorrow. (December 1st.) The writer of the best article will win a four day course certificate at Front Sight. (An up to $2,000 value!) Because of the success of the contest, we have decided to repeat this contest. “Round 2” of the contest begins December 1st will end on the last day of January.

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On Physical Conditioning by “Bings”

When contemplating the self-sufficient/survivalist lifestyle, the most common concerns are weapons, power generation, and food. One area that is frequently overlooked is that of physical fitness. All the non-hybrid seed in the world won’t do you any good if you have a heart attack while trying to plant it. All the guns in the world won’t do you any good if you can’t run to a defensive position without wheezing like an asthmatic in a field of ragweed. Getting in shape often seems like an impossible task. Although you may never be able to be a body double for Brad Pitt or Kate Hudson, being healthy is a very achievable goal for anyone. All it takes is a little knowledge, some common sense, and dedication. The purpose of this article is to give you the basic knowledge you’ll need to achieve your fitness goals. There are many factors that influence physical conditioning. Some are outside the scope of this article (like stress) and some are so complicated that going into depth about them would require a book (like nutrition). I’ll be covering some of the basics, but you may wish to do further research as your time and inclination allow. … Continue reading

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A Word to the Unconvinced: Ten Minutes that Could Save Your Life by “Clannad”

What exactly do you stake your life on? Better stated, what is it that you are willing to gamble your future on? A few dollars spent on a fast-food meal that might have purchased a flat of beans or some medical supplies? Perhaps it is a scoffed-at and discarded notion that our society might indeed be fragile and easily disrupted? Maybe it’s the insecurity that your friends and family will think you are a some sort of a nut? Are you secure in your lifestyle and beliefs because you still get your paycheck at the end of the week and you have a weekend of grilling and TV to look forward to? Life is good. But what if the unthinkable happens… There are a thousand and one doomsday scenarios floating around. Some are plausible, some are fantastic. But they all share the same underlying theme: Be prepared. Just stop and think about this with an open mind for just a few moments. I’m not asking you to change your entire life philosophy or scare you into hiding. Just stop your hectic life for ten minutes and give serious, honest thought to one question: What if? Let’s not talk about full … Continue reading

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Two Letters Re: Request for Blog Reader Recommendations–Springfield Armory M1A SOCOM?

To reply to the reader about the [Springfield Armory] M1A SOCOM [variant]. First, I have had and do have several M1A-A1 Scout rifles. I would not trade any of them for any other main battle rifle. Second, I personally know several [former] SEAL Team 2 members and other men who have worked with BlackWater in Iraq. The SOCOM is there preferred weapon, other than what would be Class 3 weapons for us [civilians]. – “Woo” Sir: While I cannot speak to the SOCOM, I am the proud owner of an M1A Scout (my understanding that the primary difference in the two models is the muzzle brake/compensator, and the SOCOM is a slightly shorter barrel, perhaps due to the different muzzle brake). I give this rifle a heart-felt thumbs-up. It shoots better than I do, swallows anything I feed it (accuracy wise, it doesn’t like the Indian stuff, I get horrible groups with it; South African surplus averages about 3 MOA, but premium Federal is sub-MOA), and Springfield has bent over backwards with regards to customer service (when I ordered a 5-round magazine). Complaints: It is heavy for a shorter rifle, especially with the Springfield 7.62 scope and mount that I … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Former FEMA Director Michael Brown is Now Consulting

Mr. Rawles: Here is a link to the jaw-droppingly absurd, but true. CNN ran a story about Michael Brown getting fired from FEMA only to go into the Emergency Planning “consulting” business. See: http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/11/24/brown.consultant.ap/index.html We can all sleep better now knowing that America is once again safe. Regards, -B. Adams

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From David in Israel: On Survival Cycling

It really doesn’t matter if we are thinking slow slide, nuke exchange, or just losing your job: The full or partial switch to a bicycle can be one of the best changes a person can make. DO NOT jump into a decision about buying a bike. It is one of the most personal things you will ever own, if you don’t buy the right bike for you it will just end up rusting in the barn. As I like to beat into you: #1 It must be easy to use or you won’t when you are worn out tired #2 Try not to attract unwanted attention, make it look cheap/old A bicycle is a balance of simplicity versus features.On one side is a single speed coaster bicycle with closed cell foam inner(not)tubes. Moving parts: Wheel bearings, chain, crank bearing, coaster hub brake, headset (handlebar bushing), and pedal. Using only 7 moving parts and no pneumatic tires this bike may need repacked bearings and a new chain every few years (barring rust-away) there not much to go wrong. On a simple bicycle like this I suggest a steel frame from a quality brand. Get quality coaster hubs from brands like SRAM … Continue reading

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Larry in Kansas on Lasik Eye Surgery for Preparedness

First, this is not an endorsement of any kind. I really want that to be clear to the readers of SurvivalBlog. I’ve been wearing glasses for the better part of 35 years. I had myopia and astigmatism. I was wearing bifocals. For many reasons wearing glasses can be a big pain in the “six”. I had been considering Lasik surgery for several years and just didn’t have the money, justification and/or the courage to get the procedure done. To me the decision was made several weeks ago when I heard a noise in the house and I went to investigate. There was nothing there. Just the dishwasher changing gears. Anyway, I realized that I did have a problem. It was my vision. I can’t just wake up and see things. I have to first find my glasses to see. Usually, when waking up suddenly one is a little disorganized. However, trying to find your glasses makes it worse. The thought came to me that if I accidentally knocked them on the floor during the night (which has happened) I would be in a real pickle if it was a real two legged bump in the night. The other thought was … Continue reading

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Guest Book Review by “The Rookie” Dancing at Armageddon, Survivalism and Chaos in Modern Times

Dancing at Armageddon, Survivalism and Chaos in Modern Times, by Richard G. Mitchell, Jr., 2002, University of Chicago Press. Unlike some of you “lifers”, I’m new to preparedness. So I’m always looking for good books to read to learn more about preparedness, like Patriots. But there is one topic I don’t find written about very much: what is a survivalist, where do they live, and how do you meet one? So when I stumbled across this book on the internet, I was very curious to read the synopsis. It turns out the author spent 12 years interviewing and living with survivalists. This was the mother lode! Here is what appears to be the defining work of who and what survivalists are. I eagerly ordered my copy and impatiently awaited for its arrival. Once it was delivered, I immediately opened it and started reading. But I’m sorry to say, my excitement quickly drifted to boredom, then confusion, and finally frustration. While this book does have snippets of interesting interviews, overall it is a misguided, pompous, insult to survivalism and preparedness. I call this book misguided, because the author focused on four main groups, and three of these groups have nothing to … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Sources for Pre-1965 Circulated “Junk” Silver Coins?

Jim: Why is it, Jim, that when I ask a coin shop about “junk silver” or pre-1965 [$1,000 face value] bags of silver they look at me as if I’m nuts? Am I going to the wrong place? – Gerry JWR Replies: It sounds like you visited a “numismatics only” shop. Some shops don’t bother selling bullion because the markup is so much less than rare coins. Just call around to several other dealers in your region. Odds are that most of them will sell pre-’65 by the bag or half-bag–or can at least they can order it for you.

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Jim’s Quote of the Day:

“Commander Harken: For some the war’ll never be over. I notice your ship’s called Serenity. You were stationed on Hera at the end of the war. Battle of Serenity Valley took place there, if I recall. Captain Reynolds: You know, I believe you might be right. Commander Harken: Independents suffered a pretty crushing defeat there. Some say after Serenity, the Browncoats were through. That the war really ended in that valley. Captain Reynolds: Hmmm. Commander Harken: Seems odd you’d name your ship after a battle you were on the wrong side of. Captain Reynolds: May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.” – From the cancelled science fiction television series “Firefly”

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Note from JWR:

It is gratifying to see that the SurvivalBlog readership is still growing steadily. Please continue to to tell your family, friends, and co-workers about this blog. God willing, reading SurvivalBlog will motivate them to get “squared away” logistically. Their increased preparedness could help save many lives: their own, yours, your friends, your neighbors, and your loved ones. So it is in your own best interest to spread the word! We will be announcing the winner of the first SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest on December 1st. The writer of the best article will win a four day course certificate at Front Sight! (An up to $2,000 value.) Because of the success of the contest, we have decided to repeat this contest. “Round 2” of the contest begins December 1st will end on the last day of January.

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