Note from JWR:

Round 19 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. is still underway.The contest prizes include:

First Prize: The writer of the best contributed article will be awarded two transferable Front Sight  “Gray” Four Day Training Course Certificates. This is an up to $4,000 value!
Second Prize: A three day course certificate from OnPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses.
Third Prize: A copy of my “Rawles Gets You Ready” preparedness course, from Arbogast Publishing

Round 19 ends on November 30th, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that articles that relate practical “how to” skills for survival will have an advantage in the judging.

Letter Re: Warning on Insect Pests Getting Into Storage Food

Dear Jim,
I thought that due to the recent influx of newbies on your site, I would send this warning to not do as I did. Last year, I lost a lot of my stored food as I left it in the original packets in which it was shipped. I ended up with a major infestation of cupboard beetles, losing food and having to steam clean my cupboards. The bad news is thee bugs reproduce unbelievably quickly. The good news is the die just as quickly, and won’t harm you if you eat them, but they sure are unsightly. It’s sugars and starches they go for, even eating through cardboard, cellophane, thin plastic etc. I now keep all my grains, dried pulses and sugar in heavy-duty food-grade plastic or metal containers. Regards, – Luddite Jean.

JWR Replies: Thanks for mentioning that. BTW, I describe a simple “do-it-yourself” CO2 packing … Continue reading

Letter Re: The Least Expensive Way to Stock Up on Storage Food?

In regards to TJD, “Somewhere in Kansas” lamenting that he is in the middle of nowhere and can’t easily stock up on food, I must say I find his worries a bit hard to understand.

In the Bible, Joseph stored up seven years of harvests to prepare for seven years of famine. Those stores were made up of grain crops. That is how Egypt made it through a great famine and gained great wealth by selling their grain at high rates to nations that did not prepare.

Being from North Dakota, I know that the title for greatest wheat producer in the USA bounces back and forth between Kansas and North Dakota. He is in one of the most bountiful food producing regions in the world. He could probably travel to any small town grain elevator within 5-15 miles and fill up all his white 5 gallon pails … Continue reading

Letter Re: Market Observations From The Trader Blog

Mr. Rawles –
Thank you for your recent mention of my site, I am a former Lehman Brothers employee, I worked in New York City on the FX trading desk, but left in 2002, so I am glad to have missed all the recent excitement. I publish my blog in an effort to help me reason through my personal trading strategies, and also like to share my opinion about the markets and related events in general. I have not yet figured out how to make any money off of the site, so for now it is just a great hobby for me. I currently work in an unrelated field, so I have left my information anonymous on the site so as to not risk anything with my current employer.

I have become a regular visitor to your site since August, and coincidentally I have just finished … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

Reader Mark A. wrote us to mention that he had found this web site that houses “more information then in one spot then I have seen anywhere else. The site is maintained to provide Third World countries information on farming and sustainability. All their information is free to download. Note, however that their ZIP files are very, very large. There are 4,000 titles, totaling 13 gigabytes.”

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In a recent e-mail, The Chartist Gnome mentioned two things about the precious metals market that confirm my observations: 1.) The COMEX spot prices now have no correlation with “real world” prices of bullion coins and small, serialized bars. “The ‘real world’ price for silver is more than twice the COMEX price, that is IF you can find any coins for sale, James.”. 2.) The recent slump in precious metals prices looks worse from … Continue reading

Letter Re: The Least Expensive Way to Stock Up on Storage Food?

Mr Editor,
I’m a newcomer to your site. Last week, I followed a link from a news story that mentioned SurvivalBlog, and instantly found my favorite blog. I’ve been burning the midnight oil for the last few nights, going back through your archives. What amazing stuff! Thank you for sharing so much wisdom on preparedness and for so unselfishly putting out there free for the taking. (Oh, yeah, I should also say that you can count me in on a [voluntary] 10 Cent Challenge [subscription].Three bucks a month is a total bargain, in relation to what I’ve already gotten out of it, and will get out the blog in the future.) At the rate that I’m printing things out for my “Survival” binder, I’m gonna have to get a new inkjet cartridge! I can’t thank you enough for SurvivalBlog!

So now that I’ve come to recognize that … Continue reading

Letter Re: Prisons and Other Institutions Amidst a Societal Collapse?

I live in a rural area in Wyoming. My husband, our children and I are lucky to have been raised in the area. We have access to thousands of family owned acreage to hunt, fish and garden on. Because we live in a rural area (at lease ninety miles in any direction from any large community) we are among the few that still have skills handed down to us that will allow us to be self sufficient. I have only recently found your blog and have enjoyed all of what I have read here. I agree wholeheartedly that our society is not even remotely close to the one that existed in 1930. Many people are naive to believe that if we faced even a long term recession let alone a true depression or societal collapse that things would be similar to what is found in historical texts.

I … Continue reading

Letter Re: Anti-Hoarding Law of World War I as a Precedent for Future Laws?

Thanks for all the helpful information in SurvivalBlog.

Regarding the reader who wrote in about the prospect of food hoarding laws; there have indeed been times where private U.S. citizens were forced to give up “unreasonable” stores of provisions, thus setting a possible precedent. For example: In 1918, Herbert Hoover (who would later be a US president), then working as head of the Food Administration, saw to it that a retired Navy doctor and his wife were charged for having about a year’s worth of foodstuffs in their home. (The law stated that more than thirty day supply was illegal.) Sadly, the couple’s goods were only found out when they read about the hoarding law and tried to comply, by giving their excess flour to a grocer to dispense to local charities.
Here is a link to the archived New York Times article reporting the … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

Larry in Cincinnati spotted a link over at the excellent Urban Survival blog to a classic book in the public domain: Handy Farm Devices & How To Make Them. (BTW, there are lots of other free references available at the Journey to Forever site.)

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Adrian mentioned an article over at The Trader Blog with some observation on Iceland’s economic turmoil and potential for hyperinflation: What Happens After A Country Implodes? Also, don’t miss this very recent piece by the same blog author: “We are approaching the apogee of the Treasury bubble”

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Ready Made Resources just added Three Tray Stackable Sprout Garden sets to their catalog. Every prepared family should practice sprouting. Sprouts are an important part of your survival food supply, providing crucial vitamins and minerals, even after your stored … Continue reading

Three Letters Re: Family Food Security for a Recession or Depression


I have been checking a few other sites this morning that I frequent, and while at the Viking Preparedness Forum, I was checking the food and water storage board and came across these canned food shelves. It is a good set of shelves, making the best use of space, and allowing them automatic stock rotation.

We live in a house with a monolithic slab foundation, and the footprint, does not give us a great deal of room to work with, but I think that we can do something similar ourselves.
I liked the way that they were set against the wall, and took up very little space. I also liked the fact that they had extra space above for expanding the shelves a bit more.

Just thought that it was an all around good idea, and one that some of your readers might be … Continue reading

Two Letters Re: Mr. Romeo’s Retreat Owner Profile

Dear Mr. Rawles,

I read Mr. Romeo’s retreat plans, and I would like to add a couple of things to his preparations list. The one glaring omission I see in his list is a lack of HF communications gear. VHF radios are line of sight communications, which is great if you’re planning on staying within range of the coast. If he plans on heading out to deeper waters though, HF gear becomes a lifeline to Pacific maritime nets, weather information, and other useful resources. Even if he doesn’t plan on transmitting, an HF receiver would allow him to listen to shortwave broadcasts. Radio Australia and Radio New Zealand broadcast to the Pacific almost around the clock, as well as other world services. I would think he could even tune into a lot of American medium wave AM stations at night as these radio waves … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

KAF bookmarked this one for us: FuturePundit: Face Masks And Hand Sanitizers Slash Flu Risks

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From our Economic Editor comes another big batch of news and commentary: Gun Sales Thriving In Uncertain TimesEurope On Brink Of Currency MeltdownIceland: IMF Cash Not EnoughCurrent Volatility Hints At Next CrashFinancial Crisis: Latin America Hit HardCustomer Panic And Bank Run In KuwaitDow Up Almost 900 Points, But No Sighs Of ReliefIceland Raises Interest Rates To 18%White House To Banks: Start Lending Now, Stop Hoarding80-Year History Of Brutal Gold Stock CorrectionsMadness Rules! Insurers/Pensions Piling Into DerivativesWall Street Resumes Once-In-A-Lifetime Sucker BuyingContinue reading