Note From JWR:

After 25 years in the mail order business, I finally got “modern” and created a web page for my mail order wares. See: Up until just recently, I only had a an e-mailable catalog.  Now I have a proper web page catalog.  I just have to remember to keep it up to date, as items come and go. As time permits, I plan to add photos of some of the more expensive items.

Thanks for all of the recent “10 Cent Challenge” contributions. My special thanks to R.M. and R.K.E., who each donated $100. I appreciate your generosity!

Letter from David In Israel Re: The Survival Mindset and the Holocaust

Last year I met with Eline Hoekstra Dresden. Among the things she gave me along with her book “Wishing Upon A Star, A Tale of the Holocaust and Hope” was a bookmark
that I will quote:

[begin quote]
During my years of public speaking, I have been asked repeatedly, “how did you live through the Holocaust?” I usually answer “I don’t really know.” However, the following list provides examples of things that worked for me (along with luck).
Tools for Survival
* Be alert, not paranoid
* Be optimistic, but realistic
* Find strength in faith (whichever)
* Recognize hidden danger
* Do not ever show weakness
* Listen to “gut” feelings
* Use humor daily
* Draw on inner strength
Continue reading

Letter Re: Freeze Dried Foods Versus MREs Versus Air Dried Bulk Storage Foods

I am considering making a sizable purchase from one of your advertisers. I have enjoyed your site a great deal and would value your opinion. Would you stock Mountain House foods for your own needs? I am not familiar with mountain house foods. What is your opinion of their products? How do they compare to MREs? I would like to get about a year of food put aside. I am sure you are very busy, so a detailed response is not necessary, as I said though I value your opinion. Thanks in advance, – K.

JWR Replies: Mountain House freeze dried foods are delicious and have a very long shelf life. The individually-packaged meals are the preferred foods for most backpackers because of their … Continue reading

Two Letters Re: The “Field Kit” Approach for Organization, Preparedness, and Survival, by Christian Souljer

Mr. Rawles,
Reading the great post on preparedness kits I noticed a couple things that I do differently with my vehicle. I’ve got a spare tire mounted on a homemade bracket on the front of my truck. this took an hour tops with an iron pile and a welder. It’s not meant for pushing but it sits there comfortably mounted to the existing bumper and the metal near the hood latch. I would think also that with some forethought it could be incorporated into a big frame mount push bumper. its a … Continue reading

Letter Re: Asian Avian Flu Radio Show Archives

Just got the chance to listen to some of the Ark Institute radio programming archives from this October. It might be a good idea to remind people those audio files are still there to enjoy. Still just as topical today as then. – R.S.

JWR Replies: Thanks for mentioning that. For details on how to hear the webcast archives, visit the Republic Radio web site:  The interviews that you mentioned were conducted on October 15th and October 22nd.

Letter Re: Recommendations on Body Armor?

I’d read your post in SurvivalBlog about body armor – someone had asked for some recommendations. I own a small company and my employees wear armor, I’ve worn armor for ten years… And there have been some upheavals recently that those looking to acquire used body armor need, desperately, to be aware of that weren’t addressed in your answer – which was adequate but I felt needed elaborating on – so here goes!


Both Second Chance and Point Blank are facing bankruptcy and major lawsuits associated with some of their vests – specifically the so-called 4th generation fibers known as Zylon, Second Chance used them in it’s ULTIMA, ULTIMAX and TRIFLEX series of vests and Point … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

Odds ‘n Sods:

A source for greenhouse construction kits:

   o o o

After an outbreak of H5N1 in India, the government killed all poultry within 10 kilometers of the affected town. If NAIS succeeds, our government here in the U.S. will know exactly what animals you have and where you are. If they decide to they can just come and take or kill your livestock. See:\02\26\story_26-2-2006_pg4_14

   o o o

I recently discovered that WorldNetDaily columnist Vox Day has his own blog:

Advice on Grain Mills

I’m often asked for advice on grain mills. Having stored wheat and corn necessitates having a good quality durable grain mill. Electric-only mills are not recommend because they will of course become useless ornaments once the power grid goes down. An inexpensive hand-cranked mill will such as the Back to Basics Mill  or Corona Mill might suffice for a short term disaster, but in the event of TEOTWAWKI you will want something built to last.

I started out with a Corona mill in the early 1980s. It was a lot of work to use! It seemed like I burned as many calories cranking it as I got out of the flour that it produced. In 1998, we got … Continue reading

Book Review: The Weapon by Michael Z. Williamson

The Weapon is a science fiction novel by Michael Z. Williamson. (481 pages. ISBN 9-781416-508946  Published by BAEN Books.) This is sort of a “intra-quel” storyline to Williamson’s novel Freehold, which I previously reviewed. (See my Sunday, February 12, 2006 post.) Like Freehold, this novel is a fast-paced Libertarian think piece. It is a tale of interplanetary colonization, set some 500 years in the future. The descriptions of the bureaucratic totalitarian central Earth government are contrasted with the “Freehold” colony planet, Grainne. The main character is a Grainne special operations soldier that is sent on a “deep cover” mission to Earth. The story heats up when Earth decides to invade Grainne, to “civilize” it. I enjoy Williamson’s writing. I enjoyed this novel even more than I did Freehold. I highly … Continue reading

Letter Re: First Hand Observations on the Post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans Bus Evacuation

I was a bus driver for the evacuation of the New Orleans Convention Center and figure that I should put my two cents in worth.We drove straight through from Ohio to a staging point (LaPlace) in New Orleans and were escorted to the Convention Center. This was on Saturday morning around 9 a.m. New Orleans time about a week after the dikes let go. We were lucky not to be in the first wave that came into the Super Dome earlier in the week as we heard they were still ordering parts to repair the busses that got busted up when they got mobbed. [By the time that our busses arrived] they had the evacuees fenced off a block from out busses and they … Continue reading

Letter Re: Rifle Recommendations for Canada

Hello Jim,
I just wanted to clarify a few points on C-68 and current Canadian gun control laws. There is a 5 round limit on box magazines for semi-automatic, centrefire long guns. There is also a 10-rd limit on magazines for handguns. No grandfathering for magazines or individuals. So that’s why the Lee-Enfield magazines are unaffected. The only exception to the rifle magazine capacity limit is for the M1 Garand. As well, I believe the wording of the law, or at least legal precedent, has it that the magazines only have to be neutered in such a way that it can not readily be reverted to it’s original capacity by hand. – L.K.,  Ontario, Canada

Note From JWR:

If you know any soldiers that are deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Columbia, or The Philippines, please let them know about SurvivalBlog. In coming weeks, we will be covering a wide range of topics that will be of interest to them including body armor, IEDs, counter-sniper shooting, MOUT, and night vision equipment.

Today we feature another great entry in Round 3 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The writer of the best contest entry will win a four day course certificate at Front Sight. (An up to $2,000 value!)  The deadline for entries for Round 3 is the last day of March, 2006. We’ve already had plenty of motivational pieces submitted.  Please keep your contest entries focused on practical skills.