Note From JWR:

Today we present the final article for Round 5 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. It discusses auxiliary pumps for home water wells, and well buckets.

The writer of the best non-fiction article will win a valuable four day “gray” transferable Front Sight course certificate. (Worth up to $1,600.) Second prize is a copy of my “Rawles Gets You Ready” preparedness course, (normally $149) generously donated by Jake Stafford of Arbogast Publishing. If you want a chance to win Round 6, start writing and e-mail us your article. Round 6 will end on September 30th. Remember that the articles that relate practical “how to” skills for survival will have an advantage in the judging.

How to Build an Inertial Well Slow Pump for Grid Down Emergencies, by TruthFirst

This article describes how to build an inexpensive, simple, easy to use pump that can pump water out of a residential water well from about 100 feet down. It’s called the “Simple Siphon” pump because its key component is a cleverly designed valve by that same name. (See below). Under ideal conditions it can bring up between 1/2 and 1 gallon per minute. I know this works, because I built and tested one on my own home well. If the power goes out, this pump can get you lifesaving water! Building the Simple Siphon™ Well Pump (SSWP) will require the following:
1. One Simple Siphon™ valve, $12 for a three-pack (not including shipping), available from or write to Simple Siphon Plus, 684 South Drive, Divide Colorado 80814, (Congratulations guys for making a simple, durable, affordable valve that can be used for a wide range … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

SurvivalBlog reader “d’Heat” reminded us about, which provides a wide variety of military manuals online, free of charge, with manual CDs available for purchase.

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In his Global Economic Trend Analysis blog, Michael “Mish” Shedlock recently quoted real estate market expert Mike Morgan of Morgan Florida. (Scroll down the piece titled “Ghost Housing Market” on July 20, 2006.) SurvivalBlog reader Bill in North Idaho comments: “There is a mountain of data in the article but the most salient point to take home is this: Combine increasing interest rates, a declining dollar and explosive increases in housing inventory and you have the recipe for a recession that could slip in to a depression rather easily when combined with other external factors such as war overseas, enormous debt and defecits–both trade and fiscal, uncontrolled spending by our masters and critical national outsourcing of traditional … Continue reading

Letter Re: Advice on Surviving a Dog Attack?

Dear Jim:
The New York press recently reported on two pit bull attack on police officers. In the first incident, the companion officers, according to one article, fired 26 rounds in an effort to subdue the attacking animal which they finally did.

Your site ran an article on the danger of feral dogs in the case of TEOTWAWKI. What is the best method of dealing with an attacking dog without endangering the life of the person being attacked? – JH

JWR Replies: Dogs–domesticated, feral, or wild species–can take a lot of punishment before they are out of the fight. The best defense against a dog is not Pepper Spray or other ineffective repellant sprays. Nor is it a handgun, since most commonly handgun chamberings … Continue reading

MBR Scope Selection: Trijicon TA-11E Versus Leupold Mark 4 CQ/T

My 2006 Ten Cent Challenge contribution is on the way, via snail-mail. Congratulations on “cutting the cord”.

I’ve decided against the Trijicon TA-11E ACOG purchase. I interviewed a local who owns one of the Trijicon fiber-optic scopes. It has cracks in the fiber optic element, but the scope still works. I spoke with a Trijicon customer service representative who said:
1. The fiber optic often breaks from stress or impact. The tritium will not power the scope during daylight so the scope is “down” until dim light or the fiber optic is replaced.
2. The company is aware of the problem and is addressing it. That may be why we’re seeing the Docter red … Continue reading

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling in terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? […] The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine … Continue reading

Five Letters Re: Selecting a Martial Art and a Dojo

Mr. Rawles:
Having done this (being involved in running a professional [martial arts] school) for ten years, and having studied twice that long, here’s my $1.83 (two cents, adjusted for inflation). First, what does your gut tell you about the place and the instructor? If you get an uneasy feeling, listen to it, and back off a bit. It may be that the guy exudes an Alpha-dominant energy, and that’s what’s making your hair stand on end. Then again, it might be your rip-off alert/ BS detector going off.

1) Take a couple of days to think it over, and:

2) Ask for references. Talk to students away from the school; talk to parents at the school. If this guy is any kind of sensei, sifu, professor, or whatever handle he hangs on himself, his students’ parents will overwhelm you (to the point your BS detector may begin giving … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

I heard from a reader about an interesting site on martial arts, with discussion forums. Their motto: no contact = no training!

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A great site devoted to dutch oven cooking.

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In case any of you folks missed the mention back in September, the EMP Survival e-novel “Lights Out” is available for free download.   

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California Heat Wave Death Toll: 25,000 Cattle and 700,000 Fowl


Note From JWR:

The high bid in the SurvivalBlog benefit auction (for the RWVA Super Shooter’s package is still at $150. The auction ends on Monday. Our special thanks to the RWVA and Fred’s M14 Stocks for sponsoring this fund raiser! (The prize is worth $250+.) Please submit your bids via e-mail. This auction ends on the last day of July. OBTW, speaking of the RWVA, they have a Rifle Instructor’s Camp coming up at the end of August in Ramseur, North Carolina–a great opportunity for you to learn how to teach others how to shoot like a pro, including your own family members.

Letter Re: Transportation for the Disabled in the Event of TEOTWAWKI


Thanks for such good reading. I had a copy of “Patriots”but lost it in a house fire last year. I was able to find TEOTWAWKI [the draft edition] through eBay and was happy (it was a signed copy-YEAH!) but am thrilled that you will be releasing the updated version along with the ‘Retreats and Relocation’ book.

What I am interested in is finding the best way to transport my wheelchair bound, handicapped son and my elderly (near wheelchair bound) mother in the event of TEOTWAWKI. I am in the process of getting completely out of debt, which will help tremendously in any plans (provided WTSHTF holds off a little while) and my son and his soon-to-be bride have purchased property that … Continue reading

Three Letters Re: Push or Pull Carts For All-Terrain Hauling

In discussing all-terrain hauling and bug-out travel I’ve not seen comments regarding flattened tires. We may have a tire repair kit and air pump handy, but there is a better way to ensure that our ATV, cart or bicycle is not plagued with tire failure. Replace those air-filled tires with closed-cell polyurethane foam tires. Leave the spares, the tire repair kit and the tire pump at home. – Redmist


Hey Jim,
Thought I would send you a couple of links to carts that many country people find to be useful: Vermont Garden Carts I have used this cart (the large one) at a relative’s house and find it useful. But I think that the cart I am going … Continue reading