Note From JWR:

The recent early snow cover and unseasonably cold weather at the Rawles Ranch has changed the habits of the local deer. Now they are visiting our feeder to browse on some grass/alfalfa mix hay, even at mid-day. It looks like this may be a hard winter. Hopefully we won’t lose too many young deer, elk, and moose. The eating habits of the Rawles clan have changed too. There is definitely more interest in Chili con Bambi, Clam Chowder, and Hot Cocoa.

Letter Re: Some Useful Ham Radio, DXing, and CB Radio Web Sites

Hi Jim.
While reviewing accessories for the MURS radios, I perused my way onto this Ham radio site that is loaded with links to other sites and/or articles on antenna building for literally all of the radio spectrum.Of particular interest is this site for converting an old outdoor television antenna into a 2 meter (144-148 MHz) Yagi (beam) antenna for very little money:

Since many of the readers of SurvivalBlog are interested in communications I feel these other sites would be helpful as well, here are some other useful sites regarding ham and CB radio repairs
Roger Bird

Antennas and design software:
Andrew’s Page
RF Cascade

Prices on used equipment with pictures.

Scanner frequencies by state and city/town.
Lastly, … Continue reading

Signs of Potential Currency Hyperinflation, by Lee Rogers

Defeat the Coin Act of 2006, by Lee Rogers at The Funny Money Report. Here is an excerpt: “Over this past summer a bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives called the Currency Overhaul for an Industrious Nation. This bill is also referred to as the Coin Act of 2006 or House Resolution 5818. Introduced by Representative Jim Kolbe from Arizona the bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade, and Technology this past August. The purpose of the bill according to the text of the bill itself is to modernize the legal tender of the United States, and for other purposes. The mainstream media has sold this bill to the American people as legislation that will move to get rid of the penny. Even though that is one of the proposals included in the bill, there are much more … Continue reading

Letter Re: Communications and Monitoring for Disasters–Are Scanners Useful?

Hi Jim,
Last week you discussed your preference for communication modalities for use in disasters and their order of importance. Obvious by omission were two modes that I thought might have distinct utility: a radio scanner (to monitor weather, traffic accidents and attendant backups, police and fire activity, etc.) and a transceiver with frequencies in the amateur bands (160, 80, 40, 20, 10 and 6 meters and the centimeter bands).
Will you please provide your thoughts on the utility of these devices and whether or not you think they are worth the trouble (expense and licensing)?
Thanks for your input. – Jim H.

JWR Replies: I previously strongly emphasized the importance of owning a scanner, but I consider them less important now. There are several reasons for this: First, and foremost, the majority of police and sheriffs departments now use scramblers or encryption devices for all … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

Tom W. at sent this one, from “Hedge Funds Overleveraged, Sprott warns”

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Reader CM writes: “A fascinating look at how Mr. Bernanke is radically increasing the money supply, and lying about it..The link is to a DailyKos diary but don’t let that
deter you – the charts and information that it contains are worth the look.”

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Northern Tool & Equipment (one of our affiliate advertisers) is offering sitewide Free Gift Cards with purchases over $100. This limited time promotion started Monday, November 27th and goes through Monday, December 4th. You will need to enter keycode 94660 in order to receive their free gift card.

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In case you missed it back in September, The War on Guns blog featured Continue reading

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

"[W]hen you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing- when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors- when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you- when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice- you may know that your society is doomed." – Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, 1957

Notes From JWR:

The cold spell here in the vicinity of the Rawles Ranch is continuing. Last night’s low was -11 degrees Fahrenheit. (Or, as they call it here in The Un-named Western State: “Shirtsleeves Weather.”)

My sincere thanks to the less than 1/2 of 1% of SurvivalBlog readers that have signed up for 10 Cent Challenge subscriptions. You 63 people know who you are. Subscriptions are entirely voluntary, and gratefully accepted.

Letter Re: Tactical Vests as Wearable Mini Bug Out Bags

Hi Jim,
I found another vest that some of your readers might be interested in if they like to “load up” like I do, but without having to use a medium ruck sized back pack. It’s made by Eagle Industries out of St. Louis and it’s called the Eagle Hunter’s Vest (product code HV-CH). It’s one-size-fits-all and its carrying capacity can be increased by adding a “butt pack” type pack also sold by Eagle that straps to the upper back of the vest. I have used a number of their products over the years while deployed [overseas] with the Army and have found the quality of material and workmanship to be excellent.
While deployed this time, I get to your site almost every day. I’ve been recommending it to those I work with. It’s definitely worth the 10 Cent Challenge. Take care, – Z … Continue reading

Three Letters Re: Build Your Fallout Shelter From Barter Goods, by Mr. Yankee

Hi Jim.
Just felt the need to re-emphasize the point you made with regard to Mr. Yankee’s ideas about an improvised fallout shelter.

First, I applaud his view that one should not count on being able to pull together an adequate expedient shelter when the need arises. As simple in theory as it seems, in practice, few would end up with a shelter they would want to rely on to save the lives of their loved ones.

Second, as far as the point you made, Jim, it is indeed very important to over-engineer any sort of structure that will be bearing the loads necessary for a fallout shelter.

I need to point out that I want to do everything in my power to encourage folks to buy or build their own shelters, whether it is from us or not. Why? I feel it’s very possible that the number of … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

Are you searching for retreat locales? There is a great site that I often mention to my consulting clients for surveying the extent and types of agriculture in various regions. It is available from Purdue University’s horticulture department.

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I was doing a web search and I found this interesting video on British SAS operations, available for free download. It shows the planning and execution of a 28 day Observation Post (OP) mission. I was surprised to see how much detail they included about their weapons and field gear (“kit”), organization, and tactics. There are definitely some useful tidbits–particularly about tactical field discipline and how they pack their Bergen rucksacks–that preppers will find useful.

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Tom W. at suggested watching this “train wreck, in slow motion.” – The US Dollar Index (USDX) continues to tumble.

Note From JWR:

Wintery weather has come to the Rawles Ranch. The low this morning was 2 degrees Fahrenheit. I love splitting wood at this time of year. There is nothing quite like splitting wood on a crisp morning when the temperature is under 10 degrees. When it is frozen solid, the wood practically explodes when the splitting maul hits it. And for the record, my favorite woods for firewood are oak, tamarack, and red fir.

Letter Re: Advice on Cash and Weapons While Traveling Overseas

Mr Rawles:
My first family vacation is coming up and we’ll be in New Zealand for three weeks. I’ll be away from my food, guns, ammunition, and assorted survival stash. Add to that that I can’t take more than $10,000 in cash out of the country and can’t take any weapons with me. So, what do you take with you on such a trip? Gold is too heavy. Any ideas on what to bring that won’t weigh me down. Thanks, – S.

JWR Replies: Assuming that your main purposes in carrying cash and/or specie would be 1.) to secure passage back to the U.S. in the event of an international crisis, or 2.) to provide for sustenance in NZ while you wait for a crisis in the U.S. to normalize, then depending on your circumstances I’d recommend that you and your wife each carry a money belt containing (up … Continue reading

Letter Re: Solar Charged Walkway Lights –An Option for Battery Charging

Mr. Rawles,
In response to what you wrote in the Blog on Friday, November 24th:
“The system does has some utility. However, except for people that have an alternative power power system (quite uncommon around Washington, D.C.), in a long term TEOTWAWKI, stations will gradually drop off the air one by one because most folks will not be able to recharge their batteries. (Just another reason why every family should have at least a small photovoltaic (PV) power system.) Contact the folks at Ready Made Resources for details on setting up such a system.

I read something a while back on a board that I frequent and thought it was a very useful use of materials at hand, and things having a second purpose. I’m sure not all sidewalk lights use AA batteries but if I buy any I will make sure mine our … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

I was doing some web searches on EMP and I stumbled into this site that describes how to protect radios and other electronics with do-it-yourself Faraday cages.

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The documentary video “In Hiding” is about the more than one million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Burma. Some of them–mainly Karen, Karenni, and Shan triibesmen–are being systematically hunted down by their own government. It is a “must see” video, available for free download. It was produced by Regardless of your politics, there are some survival lessons that can be learned from this video

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A High-Protein Whole Grain? The Story of American Wild “Rice”