Note from JWR:

Today we present another article for Round 11 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The writer of the best non-fiction article will win a valuable four day “gray” transferable Front Sight course certificate. (Worth up to $2,000!) Second prize is a copy of my “Rawles Gets You Ready” preparedness course, generously donated by Jake Stafford of Arbogast Publishing. I will again be sending out a few complimentary copies of my novel Patriots as “honorable mention” awards. Round 11 runs for two months, ending on the last day of July. Remember that articles that relate practical “how to” skills for survival will have an advantage in the judging.

Identifying the IED Threat by Steve in Iraq

The Improvised Explosive Device, or IED, is the predominant killer of US troops in Iraq today. Since the initial invasion in 2003, they have become increasingly sophisticated and deadly. If a terrorist organization ever decided to use them to any great extent in the US, the effects would be devastating. We are going to look at the fixed IED as opposed to a Vehicle Borne IED (VBIED,) simply for space and to better cover each subject individually.
First off, there is one rule that will enhance your survivability tremendously: Never set a pattern! If you are able to, have at least three different routes to and from your destination, and vary them. Not only your routes, but your times as well. The harder you are for the enemy to track, the better your chances of survival. When I went to Iraq in 2003, the roadside bombs, as they were … Continue reading

Letter Re: Why Gold and Silver Investing? Will They Have Utility for Barter?

Hello Rawles Family,
First off let me say thanks for all the work y’all have put into sharing the knowledge you have. It has opened many eyes and caused may to be saved in the event something really does happen, I’m sure.
I have recently started preparing for several types of emergencies and one of them is the collapse of the American dollar. I have seen several times that you suggest pre-1965 [silver] coins, and gold coins. They are a good item to have in this situations but I continually find myself asking “Why?”. My position on this is, people (in general) can do nothing productive with silver or gold that I’m aware of, so why would it be “worth” anything. Sure it’s a commodity that governments are after but individuals on the street? I think not. It seems to me that salt, toilet paper and ammunition are … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

An article published in The Lancet confirms that taking the herbal remedy echinacea can reduce the risk of catching a common cold by 58%

  o o o

By way of Matt Drudge come this news story from Florida: How do you prepare for “a bolt from the blue”? (Florida is the nation’s lightning strike capital.)

  o o o

Remember that there are now less than two weeks remaining for the $500 Interceptor Body Armor (IBA) vest special from July 12th is the deadline. Anyone who has shopped for body armor knows what a great deal $500 is for a new Interceptor vest. Don’t miss out on this deal.

Note from JWR:

Because so many readers of SurvivalBlog are interested in establishing survival retreats, I’m continuing the process of setting up a new SurvivalBlog “sibling” web site that will feature survival retreat real estate listings. These will be both For Sale By Owner (FSBO) and from licensed real estate agents, worldwide. If you have a retreat property for sale, or know of someone that does, here is the deal: To get the new survival real estate web site off to a fast start with a lot property ads, I am offering two free months of advertisements for the first 25 property sellers that respond. Just e-mail me a brief description (200 words or less) of the property that you have available. (I’ll need detailed description and digital photos, later.) I can’t guarantee exactly when the new web site will be launched, but our tentative goal is to have it up and running … Continue reading

Letter Re: Chainsaws and Long Term Gasoline Storage

I get great satisfaction cutting firewood and “stockpiling” fuel for winter, and I always put Sta-Bil in my gas if I know I will not finish the gas can. But I know if my Stihl chainsaw won’t start it is the gas(premixed with 2 stroke oil) If my knuckles are bloody from trying to start it, I dump the gas, pull it a few times to get the fuel out of the line, refill with fresh gas and it will fire-up on the second pull. My saw doesn’t like gasoline that has lost the volatile gases. Post-TEOTWAWKI I will be stuck with bow saws and axes to heat my house and all that 2 stroke oil I bought last month at your suggestion might as well be gun oil! Any diesel chainsaws out there?

I went to my Stihl dealer yesterday and asked about … Continue reading

Letter Re: Well “Torpedo” or “Bullet” Bucket Construction Plans

Jim –
Do you have a diagram or plans for a well torpedo? In case I have the term wrong, a PVC tube with a flapper valve at the bottom that when sent down the well shaft hits the water, the tube fills/sinks, when you pull on the rope the flapper valve closes sealing in the water for you to pull up the well shaft. I have the well. What I need is the way to install the flapper valve. Thanks, – DAB

JWR Replies: For any readers that aren’t familiar with them, narrow shaft well buckets–also sometimes called “bullet buckets” or “torpedo buckets” are designed for manually drawing water from modern modern small diameter wells that are more than 20 feet deep. Shallow wells (less than 20 foot depth) are much more efficiently accessed with a hand pump, such as a traditional pitcher-type cistern pump (available … Continue reading

Letter Re: Positive Feedback on

Hey Guys,
I was the first to order an Interceptor [body Armor (IBA)] vest from and I am very pleased. I disassembled the vest to check the inserts, and there was a momentary panic because they were made by Second Chance in 2005. I sent the serial number and lot number in to Second Chance, and they told me the vest had no Zylon. With that knowledge, that vest turned into a heck of a deal. Thanks, – Jeff

Odds ‘n Sods:

I got a note from the Western Rifle Shooters Association today. They’ve offered a free scholarship to the first 10 SurvivalBlog readers who send an e-mail to with the word “SurvivalBlog” in the subject line, for their upcoming Kooskia, Idaho shoot/clinic on July 7-8. All they ask is that if you say you are going to be there, be there. (Don’t take a place and then not show.)

  o o o

Reader Tim. L. mentioned that Dr. Hans F. Sennholz (whom I quoted yesterday) passed on to the great reward on June 23rd. He was a great Austrian school economist. His eulogy has now been published on the web. I have updated the Quote of the Day posting , to note his passing.

   o o o

There is lots of buzz on the Internet about the upcoming … Continue reading

Note from JWR:

There are now just two days left in the special two week Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse” Six Pack Sale. For any orders postmarked on or before June 30th, I’m offering a box of six autographed copies of my novel “Patriots“, packed in a well-padded USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate box, for $93, postage and Delivery Confirmation tracking label costs paid, to any US or APO/FPO address. That is just $15.50 per copy! And again, I pay the postage. Get your Christmas shopping done early this year! Make sure that your order is postmarked on or before June 30th. See my original post for ordering details.

Letter Re: The BIS Issues a Global Economic Depression Warning, Points to China as Potential Trigger


UK’s Daily Telegraph has a warning from Bank of International Settlements (BIS) about danger of global economic depression. [JWR Adds: This was also featured by NewsMax in the US.]
Here are some excerpts from the Daily Telegraph article:
[begin quote]
“The Bank for International Settlements [BIS], the world’s most prestigious financial body, has warned that years of loose monetary policy has fueled a dangerous credit bubble, leaving the global economy more vulnerable to another 1930s-style slump than generally understood… …The BIS said China may have repeated the disastrous errors made by Japan in the 1980s when Tokyo let rip with excess liquidity advertisement” The Chinese economy seems to be demonstrating very similar, disquieting symptoms,” it said, citing ballooning credit, an asset boom, and “massive investments” in heavy industry.
Some 40 percent of China’s state-owned enterprises are loss-making, exposing the … Continue reading

Prudent Precious Metals Investing: Its All in the Timing

You may have noticed that on Tuesday the spot price of gold fell to a three-month low, and silver fell to a six-month low. Rather than shaking my confidence in the metals, I look at this as a buying opportunity. I am still fully confident that the metals are in a primary bull market cycle that is likely to extend for another decade. It is difficult to “time” investing in fluctuating markets, especially the metals, which tend to be volatile. However, there is a time-honored tradition of buying on dips. Tuesday’s sell-off represents a big dip in what is an overall bull market, so take advantage of it. When you buy immediately following a 5% dip that means that you are essentially buying metals with no commission. (Since dealer markup on precious metals is typically 3% to5% over the day’s spot price.)

I should also mention that … Continue reading

Letter Re: Bicycles for Emergency Transportation

James Rawles;
I have been riding bikes since I was old enough to learn some 35 years ago. In my teens I had a paper route with over 100 customers and I used a ladies single speed bike (the lower center bar allowed me to get on and off easier)with wide (balloon) tires and two of the biggest baskets you could find on the rear like saddle bags and one up front so I could grab a paper and throw it up on the porch. The wide tires handled the weight better than the narrow ten speed tires. I could put that bike anywhere I needed it and in all weather conditions including a ice storm I ended up with frost bite from. Later in life I bought a 10 speed touring bike and loaded it up with front and back panniers to go cross country. It had the … Continue reading