Note from JWR:

The high bid in the current SurvivalBlog Benefit Auction lot is now at $220. The auction is for a Brunton Solarport 4.4 watt photovoltaic panel (a $140 retail value), a Deluxe Outdoor Survival Tool Kit (a $70 retail value)–both kindly donated by Ready Made Resources–as well as seven other items: A copy of the latest edition of “The Encyclopedia of Country Living” by the late Carla Emery (a $32 retail value), an autographed copy of my novel Patriots (a $23 retail value), an autographed copy of my nonfiction book “Rawles on Retreats and Relocation” (a $25 retail value), a SurvivalBlog Key Logistics Tote Bag (a $17.50 retail value), and an autographed set of Michael Z. Williamson’s “Target: Terror” modern military fiction sniper trilogy, from Avon books: The Scope of Justice, Targets of Opportunity, and Confirmed Kill. … Continue reading

Letter Re: Preparedness for Active Duty Military Personnel

Great blog! I also bought the latest edition of your novel “Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse”. My older edition is in storage somewhere, (see below) and I really like the updated material, it almost seems like a new book.

I don’t know if you have ever discussed survivalism from the perspective of families that need to move often. For those of us in the military who move every few years with weight limits the supply situation becomes more complicated. For most of us, idea of a fixed homestead is a dream for post retirement.

The biggest problem I have had to deal with is moving our guns and hazardous materials (fuels, ammo, etc.). It has also caused me to focus on trying to compartmentalize and organize. Another big issue is when moving overseas deciding what to take (especially books), what to let the government store, and … Continue reading

Letter Re: Post-TEOTWAWKI Trash Disposal

It seems there has been little on the subject of garbage and what to do with it after TEOTWAWKI. I would suggest that anyone who has put any sort of effort into preparing for the end should come up with a plan for their trash, and soon. Whether you plan to bug in, bug out to a prepared location or already live in your location away from the Golden Horde and their anticipated escape routes, a plan should be in place before it is needed. The best example of how many communities will look (and in a very short time) can be found by going to one of the video hosting web sites (YouTube, Live Leak, Google) and do a search for “Naples Garbage”. My favourite is when the Italian Army shows up to clear it away from schools so they can reopen….and minor … Continue reading

Letter Re: Birdshot Ineffective as a Home Defense Load

Dear Jim,
In his recent article “Prepare or Die”, J. Britely wrote: “For home defense ammo, I use bird shot. This will not penetrate and stop a criminal as fast as buck shot but is also less likely to go through a wall and hurt an innocent person.” This is one of those myths that won’t die. Any ammo that will kill will go through a wall. There is no magic ammo that stops people and doesn’t penetrate walls.
Birdshot will not reliably stop a person. It’s “bird” shot. If you don’t know what your backstop is, don’t shoot. There is no magic. – Michael Z. Williamson

Letter Re: A Warning on Kelly Kettles

Dear Jim,
Great Site, Jim! I wanted to warn some folks that may have ordered or intend to order the Kelly Kettle (mentioned in the article “Prepare or Die”, by J. Britely .) After receiving my kettle I rinsed it out with water and soap. I then tested the kettle to make sure it worked, and most importantly, learned how to use it before the situation required its use. I started with paper burning, then put small sticks from the yard in the chimney and that baby really boiled water fast. However, after using it twice and rinsing it out, I ran my finger along the inside of the water container. My finger was coated with a good coating of aluminum dust and some type of slightly greasy sticky substance. I rinsed it out again and again, boiled it again and again, and still my finger comes … Continue reading

Letter Re: SurvivalBlog Taught an Old Dog Some New Tricks

Thanks for SurvivalBlog. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but this old dog learned the following new tricks from the SurvivalBlog articles and letters.

1. I got fired up after reading the “commo comments” and finally got my Ham radio license.

2. I bought a number of galvanized trash cans and that’s where I now store shelled corn, etc. (Hint! Don’t buy the made-in-China-from-tinfoil cans. [Instead,] get the good ones which are made right here at home.)

3. As a coffee drinker, I now stockpile green coffee beans, which I vacuum pack and store in those galvanized trash cans.)

I could go on, but just those three items more than justify my dime-a-day contribution.

I still live a stone’s throw from the Yellowstone caldera, but I’ve also learned that we can’t eliminate all risks. Some we just have to live with. Stay … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

Matt in Texas sent us a link to a great piece about the sheer size and complications of the global derivatives bubble.

   o o o

From Cordi (by way of Mark From Michigan) came a link to some plans for a homemade solar oven.

   o o o

Michael G. suggested this article over at John Galt’s Blog: Whip Up Inflation Now.

   o o o

Eric sent us this: Fed Cuts Rates Boldly; Wall Street Wary. Eric’s comment: “The Fed cuts interest rates by another 1/2 point: and the Dow closes down! The Dow can’t even rally to 13,000. Gold at an all time high today. Billions more due in writeoffs by banks already. Commodities in the stratosphere. Dollar in the dumpster. I think the jig may be up. Hang on tight.”

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

"The [Colt Model] 1911 pistol remains the service pistol of choice in the eyes of those who understand the problem. Back when we audited the FBI academy in 1947, I was told that I ought not to use my pistol in their training program because it was not fair. Maybe the first thing one should demand of his sidearm is that it be unfair." – The Late Col. Jeff Cooper, Guns & Ammo magazine, January 2002

Note from JWR:

Today we present a very lengthy and profusely linked article for Round 14 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. It summarizes a lot of what has been posted in SurvivalBlog in the past two years very succinctly, and includes references to a variety of other useful sites. This is a good article to send to family and friends that are less well-prepared. (You can e-mail them this permalink.) Disclaimer: The author has his own survivalist web site (, where he earns affiliate commissions on sales of the books linked to

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. Round 14 ends tomorrow (January 31st), so e-mail us your entry … Continue reading

Prepare or Die, by J. Britely

Throughout my life I have been caught unprepared several times and while nothing seriously bad happened, it easily could have.  I have been lost hiking.  My car has broken down in very bad neighborhoods – twice.  I have been close enough to riots that I feared they would spread to my neighborhood, been in earthquakes, been too close to wildfires, been stuck in a blizzard, and have been without power and water for several days after a hurricane.   I managed to get myself out of each situation, I thanked God, and tried to learn from my mistakes.  I could have avoided these situations or made them much less unsafe and worrisome if I had been more aware and prepared.  I have also tried to learn from the mistakes of others so as to not learn everything the hard way.  One group I assisted was a … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

B.L. sent us this one: Radon Gas Causes 100 Times More Deaths than Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

   o o o

Some thought-provoking analysis from Peter Schiff: Another One Bites The Dust

   o o o

Eric found this one: Swiss still braced for nuclear war. Eric noted that there are now calls by the Social Democrat party to drop the shelter-building requirement. (These are the same socialist do-gooders that did away with the war reserve ammunition that had previously been kept in Swiss homes, in sealed cans.)

   o o o

WW flagged this unusually revealling news tory link: Shell CEO’s oil-centric view on energy, climate change

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

“The conclusions seem inescapable that in certain circles a tendency has arisen to fear people who fear government. Government, as the Father of Our Country put it so well, is ‘a dangerous servant and a fearful master’. People who understand history, especially the history of government, do well to fear it. For a people to express openly their fear of those of us who are afraid of tyranny is alarming. Fear of the state is in no sense subversive. It is, to the contrary, the healthiest political philosophy for a free people.” – The Late Col. Jeff Cooper, Cooper’s Commentaries, vol. 4, no. 16, December, 1996

Notes from JWR:

When I last checked, the spot price of silver was $16.75 per ounce, and gold was at $929.30. That’s an all-time high. There will be plenty of volatility and some very scary pull-backs, but the trend for the precious metals is still definitely upward. Meanwhile, the USD Index was at 75.56 and falling. The key number to watch for there is 72. Below that, watch out!

BTW, I’m not like those television cheerleader/analysts that have suddenly jumped on the precious metals bandwagon. After a dismal two decade bear cycle, I fairly accurately called the bottom of the silver market seven years ago. (For the record: I cited $4.25/oz. as the potential low point, but it actually bottomed (intraday) a few months later at $4.03.) I was touting silver back when nearly all of the mainstream market mavens were trashing it. But it has been enjoying a bull market … Continue reading

The ‘Perfect’ Bug Out Vehicle, by Crazy Frenchman

Not all of us can quit our jobs and live year-round at a permanent retreat. Yet some of us may be able to afford a semi-permanent retreat (e.g. vacation home), at least partly stocked (a.k.a. main supplies), and located within reasonable ‘travel time’ to the city where we work.
As a catastrophic event would unfold, you would bug out ahead of the crowds. Otherwise you could begin by staying in your house, assess the situation, and never actually bug out. If the situation would deteriorate besides all hope, then bugging out would become a sound option.
As part of the concept of retreating you would need a vehicle to bug out. Assuming a retreat located less than half a gas tank away and fully stocked, then almost any 4×4 vehicle could do. Otherwise you need to think hard now, and select a bug out vehicle … Continue reading

Letter Re: Property Taxes and Hyperinflation

Dear Mr. Rawles,
It’s been on my mind off-and-on since I read your novel “Patriots”, when the Grays sent in a property tax payment to avoid losing their retreat to tax delinquency. It’s always annoyed me that a landowner has to pay the government to keep land he has bought and paid for. That said, what would keep a local government, starved for cash in just such a situation as “The Crunch”, to raise the taxes on local properties until no-one could pay them? If a landowner pre-paid his taxes for, say, two years in advance, what would stop the powers that be from just saying that you didn’t pay enough because we’ve just doubled the taxes, and then taking your well-stocked and cared-for home? I suppose there’s nothing that could, and that most towns would not accept a two-year payment on property taxes anyway, but I … Continue reading