Letter Re: Old Boy Scout and Girl Scout Handbooks are Available Online

Sir, For those who don’t have an “old” copy of the Boy Scout Handbook, the 1911 edition is available from Project Gutenberg in a variety of electronic formats. Also, they have the Girl Scout Handbook, 1920 edition. There is some overlap with the Boy Scouts handbook, but also much that is unique, especially in regard to care of the home, growing a garden, storing food, outdoor and indoor cooking, and a good section on first aid and home health care. Regards, – Andrew H. JWR Replies: For any families with teenagers, or pre-teens, I recommend getting hard copies of these books: Boy Scouts Handbook: The First Edition, 1911 The Dangerous Book for Boys The American Boy’s Handybook of Camp Lore and Woodcraft (BTW, most adults also find these books fascinating reading, and useful references.)

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Letter Re: Stockpiling Dimes?

Sir, I have a question what is the metal makeup of dimes [US 10-cent coins]. I am saving the nickels [US 5-cent coins, as suggested in SurvivalBlog, since 2007]. I have a small amount of dimes and was wondering if they are worth saving? – Curtis M. JWR Replies: Stockpiling dimes would not be wise. See the base metal value data at Coinflation,com. As of Saturday, August 29th, the base metal value of a post-1964 dime is $0.01704, (less than 2 cents) but the acquisition cost fro each coin is the face value of ten cents. Meanwhile, the base metal value of a post-1945 nickel, is 0.04811, but the acquisition cost is just five cents–nearly its actual base metal worth. So it is quite realistic to stockpile these as an inflation hedge. Unlike pennies, (which require sorting, and it requires a substantial investment to recoup the cost of buying a sorting machine), the nickel is the only other commonly-circulating coin that has a metallic value near its face value, so I’m steadfast in my advice on saving them. That is, at least until the inevitable new debased issue is released, whereupon it would become difficult to sort the wheat from … Continue reading

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Two Letters Re: Precious Metal and Base Metal Composition of Foreign Coins?

Mr Rawles,s My family really enjoys and has benefited from reading your blog. Thank you for putting together such a quality reference site. One topic I have not seen discussed (even after a search of the archives) is whether or not pre-1960s foreign silver coins have any value. As a child, I received a large number of European coins from my grandfather (circa 1920s to 1930s), many of which are silver and a few appear to be bronze. While they have little value to collectors based on condition (I have kept them for sentimental reasons), I would assume that silver is silver and they have some base value. Do you have any opinions or advice regarding using these in a SHTF situation or a suggestion for a reference I could use for more information regarding their silver content? Thank you, – J.S. J.W.R.; I was wondering if you could point me to a source for determining the silver content by year of Canadian coins and if any of them would be worth hanging on to. Thanks in advance! – Montana Marty JWR Replies: I recommend getting copies of both the 2009 Standard Catalog of World Coins 1901-2000 and the 2010 … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Bug Out Contingency Planning

[Introductory note from JWR: I normally send detailed letter replies only to their intended recipients, but in this case, I thought that this letter was a great example of terrain and obstacle analysis,a s well as “outside the box” planning, so I’m positing it for the entire SurvivalBlog readership to ponder. Do you have similar plans for off-road mobility, and contingency plans, folks?] Mr. Rawles, A note for Diane about her relative living on-post at Fort Riley, Kansas: First thing to obtain if you want to bug out of Ft. Riley is to get a Kansas Atlas & Gazetteer map book from DeLorme. [JWR Adds: These books are a key tool for “Get Out of Dodge” (G.O.O.D.) planning. Get one of these for your state, and if your intended retreat is in another state, for any states in-between!] I trained for some years on the Ft. Riley reservation, lived in Kansas and have canoed many streams in the area. I have these comments on how to get out of that location. The Ft. Riley Military Reservation is bounded on it western side by the very large Milford Lake. The water body of this lake is 14+ miles long and has … Continue reading

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Influenza Pandemic Update:

WHO warns of severe form of swine flu. The article begins: “Doctors are reporting a severe form of swine flu that goes straight to the lungs, causing severe illness in otherwise healthy young people and requiring expensive hospital treatment, the World Health Organization said on Friday. Some countries are reporting that as many as 15 percent of patients infected with the new H1N1 pandemic virus need hospital care, further straining already overburdened healthcare systems, WHO said in an update on the pandemic.” Gregor spotted this in an Australian newspaper: “Swine Flu Spreading at ‘unbelievable’ rate: WHO Chief” Swine Flu’s Worst Case Scenario: Paranoia or Preparedness? One company is diligently preparing for the worst case H1N1 Flu scenario with promising results Fearing flu, Vermont fair cancels all swine events

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Economics and Investing:

Brad H. sent this from Capitalism magazine: The Collapse of America? The Dire Message of Mr. David Walker Detroit sets record for unemployment–28.9% (Thank to Paul B. for the link.) Items from The Economatrix: Arnold Holds Great California Garage Sale To Help Economy How Goldman Sach’s Problems are Hurting You US Economy: Spending Climbed in July Due to Clunkers Program Japanese Economy Hit by “Double Nightmare” Bankers’ Excesses…At Our Collective Expense Tsunami of Broke and Desperate Americans Fed urges secrecy on banks in bailout programs (A more accurate headline would be: “Fed Warns The Truth Will Destroy The Economy”) Japan Unemployment Hits Record High US Prisoners Get Cash To ‘Boost Economy’ Summer ‘Recovery’ Will Turn to Cold, Long Winter Investment Crash Points to Economic Pain UK Financial Watchdog Backs World Transaction Tax Can The Financial Soufflé Rise Again? UK Sleepwalking Toward Decade of Economic Misery Germany to Lend Directly as Second Credit Dive Looms

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Odds ‘n Sods:

Our friend Tamara posted a link to an article that illustrates that a very large quantity of ammunition can be stored in a relatively small, waterproof space.    o o o Failing Camouflage 101: Robbery suspect spray-paints face for disguise, dies. He should have listened to the warnings of his Greek girlfriend, Anna Phalaxis. 🙂    o o o Readers that enjoy finding coupon bargains might find the Coupon Chief web site worth bookmarking. This site is one of the better ones. (There are several others that you can quickly find with a web search,and the links at this SurvivalBlog article.) BTW, I predict that this decade will go down in history as a “penny pinching” one, that will rival the 1930s. Coupon clipping (or should I say more accurately, “coupon printing” or “coupon code copying”, these days), is a great way to reduce costs when stocking up.

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Jim’s Quote of the Day:

“You gonna pull those pistols or whistle Dixie?” – Clint Eastwood in the title role of The Outlaw Josey Wales, (1976). Screenplay by Phillip Kaufman and Sonia Chernus, based on the novel Gone to Texas by Asa Earl Carter, under the pen name Forrest Carter. (He also authored The Education of Little Tree.)

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Note from JWR:

Today we present another entry for Round 24 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. First Prize: A.) A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost between $500 and $600, and B.) Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees, in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources. (A $392 value.) and C.) A HAZARiD Decontamination Kit from Safecastle.com. (A $345 value.) Second Prize: A “grab bag” of preparedness gear and books from Jim’s Amazing Secret Bunker of Redundant Redundancy (JASBORR) with a retail value of at least $350. Third Prize: A copy of my “Rawles Gets You Ready” preparedness course, from Arbogast Publishing. Round 24 ends on September 30th, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that articles that relate practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

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Forest Fires and TEOTWAWKI, by J.B. in Florida

Often in reading survivalist material, one comes across instructions on how to use fire in a camping or retreat setting for cooking, cleaning, sterilizing, and the like.  There is also quite a bit of information on how to protect ones self and belongings from the threat of fire, particularly wildfires.  Much of the information I have found is good information, and will be useful in a The End of the World as We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) scenario.  The purpose of this writing is not to further expound on those things most of us already know, but rather to use us to think about the other ways fire will impact our lives during TEOTWAWKI and look at some possibilities for actions that we should take now. Without question, fire has played a vital role in shaping every ecosystem in existence on every land today.  That being said, it has to be true that fire, or the lack of fire, will continue to change and/or maintain the lands and ecosystems available into, and beyond TEOTWAWKI. For centuries fires that started naturally, usually by lightning, and even fires started by native populations, burned unchecked across the landscape.  These fires were generally of low … Continue reading

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Economics and Investing:

From Reader GG: Poll: 34% of U.S. Workers Surveyed Have Only One Week or Less of Savings to Cover Expenses if Laid Off from Work. We are a nation of debtors, not savers, and someday that’s going to bite us. Regulators Shutter Three U.S. Banks, Bringing 2009 Total to 84 Reader A.C. kindly sent all these items that he gleaned from News Max Money News: Not All Stimulus Needed Global Recovery Not the Same as Equity Recovery The Deflationists Just Do Not Get It Germany and France Not So Hard-Hit by Recession China Meltdown Could Boost the Dollar And these two items are courtesy of Karen H.: Newspaper Slump Deepens and 2nd Quarter Ad Sales Fall 29 Percent The Weak Dollar is Pushing Energy Prices Higher Items from The Economatrix: Meltdown 101: Why Banks Struggles Have Worsened Judge Puts Fed’s Bailout Revelations On Hold US “Problem” Bank List Hits 15-Year High US GDP Contracts 1% in 2Q Toyota’s First Factory Closure Threatens 4,700 US Jobs

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Odds ‘n Sods:

A reminder that the new Surviving Disaster series premieres on Spike TV on Tuesday, Sept. 1st. Meanwhile, I’ve been enjoying The Colony, on The Discovery Channel (via online streaming–I don’t own a television.) Four full episodes of the latter are still available online.    o o o Eric S. sent us this every useful link: How to Move Heavy Objects with Simple Tools    o o o Bill would give president emergency control of Internet. (Thanks to H. for the link.)    o o o Ben M. flagged this: Fresnel Lens Solar Distiller. JWR Adds this Proviso: Keep in mind that distilled water should be used for no more than a few days, only for emergency drinking water, since it lack crucial minerals for human health!

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