Mexican Flu Update

Cheryl wrote to mention an article that described using Vitamin D to prevent a cytokine storm The dose is 2,000 units of Vitamin D per kilogram (1 kg = 2.2046 pounds), once per day. Thus, for an average 150 lb. adult, the dose would be would be 136,060 units of Vitamin D. This is to be taken for three days. (I.U. Equivalence: 50,000 units = 1.25 mg) My Strong Proviso: The usual fat soluble vitamin (KADE) warnings apply. Don’t over-do a good thing. You should discuss vitamin D testing and replacement with your physician before acting on that doctor’s recommendations! Vitamin D supplement limits vary depending on body weight, diet, and exposure to the sun.

Today’s flu headlines:

WHO pandemic threat level raised to 5 out of 6

New Flu Strain is a Genetic Mix

First US Swine Flu Death, … Continue reading

Letter Re: Adapting Family Food Storage for Gluten Intolerance

Hi Jim,
I wonder how many other preppers out there have the same issue we just discovered. My wife has always had trouble with her digestive tract. Recently we discovered that she is has Coeliac’s disease which means she is gluten intolerant. She can no longer eat gluten which it seems is in just about every type of prepared food. It comes from Wheat and is obviously in anything that has wheat in it, but it is also in lots of other things including vitamins, tomato paste, some candies, etc. It has been quite an adjustment for us!

This makes it difficult for us to store wheat as she cannot eat it. The rest of us can, but it is hard to have lots of wheat based meals that part of the family cannot eat. So, does anyone else out there have any experience storing wheat substitutes or will … Continue reading

Letter Re: Home and Ranch Methane Gas Generators


I saw the following post concerning Gober (“dung”) gas, dated 27 April, 2009, over at Michael Yon’s web site:.

“During breaks from tracking training – I was sweating like crazy in the jungle heat – I asked many questions about Afghanistan and Nepal, and he talked about a simple way to make many of the Afghans lives easier. Most Afghans don’t even have electricity. When he was about fifteen years-old, his dad installed a “Gobar Gas” (methane) generator next to the house in Nepal. The generator is simple: the owner just collects human and animal waste, and through a fantastically simple process, the contraption creates methane, which is then used for lighting, cooking, heating in the winter. It also creates excellent fertilizer, all while improving sanitation. What’s the catch? None that I’ve heard of. He said that his dad made the first Gobar Gas system in his … Continue reading

Two Letters Re: My Experiment with a Field Gear Invention

Hello, Mr Rawles,
I´m writing to you in response to Mike B´s letter “My Experiment with a Field Gear Invention.”

Halfway´ through the second paragraph I began to smile since I instantly recognized the item he was writing about. How different outdoor culture can be from country to country. In Sweden this is called “sittunderlägg” and is somewhat of an household item among outdoors people. However, I would like to add some tips about the manufacture of the same. In Sweden they are made of closed foam, the same material as in the cheap camping mattresses. This has several advantages. First it´s cheap. A car mat can supply material for maybe one or two but a six foot mattress can be cut up to comfortably sit five or six people. Seeing both can be had for ten dollars or less the camping mattress saves some money, Secondly, weight. This … Continue reading

Economics and Investing:

From reader GC: Economy Shrinks at 6.1 Percent Pace in First Quarter

Unemployment Up Again in Chicago In March, But Many Cities Fare Much Worse (thanks to Ray L. for the link)

Linked at The Drudge Report: Phoenix leads nation in home price declines in February (Down 51%!)

Commentary from Michael Pento: It’s Stagflation, Not Hyperinflation-For Now

Items from The Economatrix:

Government, Chrysler Lenders Reportedly Reach Deal to Avert Bankruptcy

Shares of BofA, Citi Drop on Stress Test Concerns

GM to Force Over 1,000 Dealers to Close

China Admits to Building Up Gold Stockpile

Small Caps Rally, Lifting Stocks

Odds ‘n Sods:

America’s Most Dangerous Cities

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The Scientific American asks: Could Food Shortages Bring Down Civilization? (Hat tip to KAF for the link.)

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Frank S. sent us: When Did Your County’s Jobs Disappear? An interactive map of vanishing employment across the country.

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I just noticed that Wiggy’s is continuing their 25% Off Sale for their sleeping bags. Their FTRSS sleeping bags are fabulous. When I was having back problems, I gave my FTRSS the equivalent of three lifetimes worth of use, and it performed flawlessly. Wiggy’s bags are warm, tremendously durable, and American made!

Notes from JWR:

The Tennessean newspaper (published in Nashville), recently featured an article about my novel: Survivalist author has end in sight is now so backed up on orders for Patriots , that they have sent e-mails to customers, asking if they want to cancel their orders or hang on until perhaps mid-June for shipment. (If you do cancel, and then re-order at the new lower cover price ($8.97), be advised that you probably won’t get your copies until late June.) My publisher tells me that there are now 40,000 copies in print, but it may take a couple of weeks to get them though the supply chain to customers. has now ordered almost 14,000 copies. Other large orders have recently been placed by Borders, Barnes & Noble, and Costco. Thanks for making the book … Continue reading

Mexican Flu Update

It has been reported that the incubation period for the Mexican Swine Flu is 4-to-5 days, and perhaps as long as 10 days in children. That’s the “hot” period when someone infected is shedding the virus. This is bad news for epidemiologists. With modern air travel, this means that there is probably no stopping the flu from making it to the far reaches of the globe. So now, all that we can do is wait, watch, and pray that it doesn’t mutate into a more lethal strain. Barring that, my guesstimate is that it will be every country with a couple of months. The crucial time will be next winter in the Northern Hemisphere. It is now Fall in the Southern Hemisphere, so their upcoming flu season might give us a preview of what will happen up here, next year. Are you ready to hunker down when the … Continue reading

My Experience with a Field Gear Invention, by Mike B.

I would like to share with everyone something I have in my Bug out Bag (BOB) that I have yet to see mentioned in any post or forum on the subject. I stole the idea fair and square from survival expert Les Stroud (of Survivorman television series fame) and modified it to suit my needs and budget. This simple addition weighs very little, costs very little, and makes so much sense I wondered why I hadn’t thought of it for so many years.

In Les’s treks through the Canadian wilderness, he would often be seen wearing what looked like a tail. What Les had was a waterproof ‘flap’ that hung off of his belt which he tucked underneath his backside whenever he wanted to sit down. What this allowed him to do was sit on any wet fallen tree, rock or anything else that was hard but damp. While … Continue reading

Letter Re: Bike Frame-Mounted DC Power Generators

Just a follow-up to the question about bicycle power: If you do a Google search on the phrase “bicycle power generator” then several interesting options come up. One is a web site that offers free plans.

JWR Replies: Just keep in mind that every hour spent trudging away on a bike frame generator is an hour that you could also use doing something else productive. Dollar for dollar and hour for hour, photovoltaic panels are the way to go–they make power every day with minimal maintenance. I consider bike-frame mounted generators fairly specialized devices for peculiar circumstances, such as when someone is cooped up in a fallout shelter. My general advice is: Yes, go ahead and build one, but make it readily adaptable to multiple purposes, by using perforated box beam construction for the back half. This is similar to the construction method often used for … Continue reading

Letter Re: Another “Patriots” Book Sighting

Hi Jim,
I hope all is well with you and your family. I just want to let you know that I spotted a copy of “Patriots” today in an unexpected place. My April issue of Christianity Today arrived and on page 42 is an article about Pastor Doug Wilson. On that page there is a picture of him standing in front of a large bookshelf filled with books. I noticed right in the middle is a copy of “Patriots” on the bookshelf. – Nick in Indy

JWR Replies:
You just made my day. I have been a fan of Doug Wilson’s writings for many years. He is the editor of Credenda Agenda–an excellent magazine on Christian apologetics from a Reformed perspective. Wilson pastors Christ Church, that meets … Continue reading

Economics and Investing:

From G.L: US Housing Market Heading for a Bigger Crash

Ted spotted this: US Home Prices Fall, But Pace of Decline Eased Slightly

Courtesy of Lee H.: Falsifying Bank Balance Sheets

Items from The Economatrix:

Oil Drops Below $50 on Flu Fears

The Economy Looks Beyond The Recession to Disease and Terrorism Two key quotes: “The stock market responded with a shudder yesterday but at least did not collapse in response to the weekend media blitz about the Swine Flu outbreak. The reaction of the world’s markets is likely to be close to panic if this disease becomes widespread and lethal.” and, ” …what else [could] a weak economy could survive. There is an answer and it is that the economy can’t take much more.”

Flu Stock Index Continues to Move Up

Gulfstream, Cessna Sales to … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

“Hoss” spotted this video segment: Ozark Mountain man’s ‘survival garden’ gains worldwide attention. Len Pense shows the SurvivalBlogger mentality, in action.

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Craig W. sent us a link to a Biogas generator demonstration. OBTW, unless you want to remove your chromosomes from the gene pool, never squirt lighter fluid from a can or bottle onto an active ignition source, as he does in this video!

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Reader HK sent us this article from a clever gardener up in Alaska: How does your garden grow? Former Iowa resident presents a different way to plant veggies

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Break out the ice skates! From Modern Maximum back to Maunder Minimum Sunspot Levels?