Notes from JWR:

Did you ever feel as if you predicted the future? Read this: Investors Head for Bunkers, Driving Up ‘Shelter Shares’. Here is key quote: “If it’s the end of the world, what do you buy? Canned foods, guns and the generators,” said Keith Springer, president of Capital Financial Advisory Services. “There are a huge number of people who feel this is the end of the world.” To stay ahead of the next market trend, my advice is to move out of dollar-denominated investments and into tangibles, such as productive farm land, guns, ammo, and precious metals. — Today we present another entry for Round 30 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round will include: 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.) C.) A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $275 value), D.) A 500 round case of Fiocchi 9mm Parabellum … Continue reading

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Planning for Extra Mouths to Feed, by D.V.

As a regular reader of SurvivalBlog, I have found a fountain of information to be gleaned from the many great writings posted on here and wanted to quickly say thank you to all those who write in with their thoughts and experiences.  What I wanted to share was something that I experienced recently.  I found in all my prepping and plans something I had not realistically considered.  I have considered the possibility of many scenarios for a long time but I think it has been in just the past few years that I have felt that things are rather precarious.   I guess one of the biggest things to influence me was my Grandmother, she would tell me stories of the Great depression and how the family managed to get by during the “lean years”.   Keeping her words and stories close to my heart I began more recently to really get my preps in line.  I have a very rural retreat property that someday I hope I can move to but in the mean time, I try to keep things on track here at home.  I have a small farm and I think it is coming along nicely toward being self … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Ecuador’s Uplands as a Retreat Option

Dear Jim: Amid decisions about planning to weather the storm after TSHTF I see people dangerously narrowing their strategy options. They are putting all their eggs in one basket when conditions could require them to abandon those plans. The typical options are flight, fortress, and community and any of the three could wind up being best… or worst! Let me share a few thoughts on the flight option. Flight usually involves bug-out bags, bug-out vehicles, defensive armaments, haste, maybe stealth, with hopefully one or more pre-stocked destinations. But what if a hazard has affected a huge region, making your pre-stocked bug-out location unusable? What if the entire hemisphere becomes too dangerous? I bought land in Ecuador that I could flee to if needed. At 25 acres for $5,500 it was feasible for someone of very modest income. Besides being some distance from home it has good survival potential: plenty of rainfall, perfect temperature range at 6,500 ft. elevation (no heating or cooling season), year-round growing season, low population density, self-sufficient neighbors, above the tropical diseases and poisonous snakes of the Amazonian lowlands, rivers teeming with trout, good streams for hydro-power, small government, no building permits required for the countryside, almost … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Sticking to Accepted Building Standards

Dear Jim and Family, I can understand why [the gentleman that writes Laptop and Rifle, a blog recently mentioned in SurvivalBlog] should go forthrightly into the wilderness this way. Its taking control of his life, with his own hands. But it is a pity that some important stuff got overlooked. There’s a wonderful (and necessary) book called the “Uniform Building Code” (UBC) that all contractors know and love as their bible of legal building laws, which also happen to be good engineering. The google programmer is doing the equivalent of writing bad code by ignoring this book. His second hut has no poured concrete footing, so the first time it rains, its going to sink/tilt and no longer be level. Considering the area he’s building is heavily volcanic, the soil will also be composed of swelling clay, which means its also going to tear apart his concrete block foundation, something it would also do to a poured concrete footing. In that territory, you have to build in spring after heavy rains or water down the site for 30 days in order to allow the clay to swell to saturation. Thus, once the foundation is poured the concrete is put under … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Hurricane Earl Headed for U.S. East Coast

Hi Mr. Rawles. I hope that everything is going well for you. You might want to pass this on to your readers. As of a couple of minutes ago, Janice Dean, the Weather Lady on the Fox News Channel, was discussing Hurricane Earl. They are urging all residents from the Outer Banks to the Canadian Maritimes to review their Hurricane Evacuation Routes and be ready to “Bug Out” within the next few days. Computer Modeling shows no weakening of the Hurricane, the only question is just how close Hurricane Earl will get to the Eastern Seaboard. God’s Blessings on you and yours, – “Bubblehead” Les

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Economics and Investing:

S.C. flagged this: Policy Options Dwindle as Economic Fears Grow. S.C’s comment: “Wow, even the New York Times gets it!” Chris P. sent this New York Times article: Housing Fades as a Means to Build Wealth. G.G. sent this: S&P Says US Should Act to Protect AAA-Rating. G.G. flagged Part 2 of Gonzalo Lira’s excellent essay: Hyperinflation, Part II: What It Will Look Like My hero, Dr. Walter Williams comments: Avoiding the Looming Disaster of Social Security (Thanks to Don W. for the link.) Sue C. sent this: Economy slows to 1.6 percent as trade gap widens Items from The Economatrix: Why US Treasury Notes Will Eventually Yield Nothing Stocks Rise After 2Q GDP News, Bonds Slip Consumer Spending Rises 0.4% In July Stocks Drop as Investors Enter Week Cautiously Gasoline Prices Fall Ahead of Labor Day Weekend Bernanke Calls For Help to Revive The Stuttering US Economy Joel Skousen: Inflation: What it Takes to Get There Stock Markets Face “A Blood Bath,” Warns SocGen Strategist Albert Edwards Jim Quinn: The Age of Mammon Bancor: The Name of the Global Currency that a Shocking IMF Report is Proposing Investors Embark on Treacherous Month UK: Graduates Warned of Record 70 Applicants … Continue reading

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Inflation Watch:

Deflation Delusion Continues as Economies Trend Towards High Inflation Reader Bret F. notes that in August, his local structural steel prices increased as follows: 1” x 1” x 1/8” angle iron from 42 cents per foot to 47 cents per foot, 4” x .237 wall steel pipe increased from $5.26 per foot to $6.26 per foot. A 20% rate hike for Health Insurance in California? Yikes!

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Odds ‘n Sods:

Susan C. in Texas sent a link to a web site that has all sorts of mixes you can make yourself to save money. Susan notes: “Many of these mixes are healthier than store bought ones. OBTW, I find that these recipes call for too much salt.”    o o o The big sale at Ready Made Resources on Mountain House freeze-dried foods began last night, and runs for just one week. Don’t miss out!    o o o Reader N.I.M. sent this: H1N1: A Bullet, Dodged. Meanwhile, we read: XDR-pH1N1 Raises Pandemic Concerns    o o o Richard H. forwarded this link: Why You Need a Zombie Apocalypse Phone.

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Note from JWR:

Today we present another entry for Round 30 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round will include: 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.) C.) A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $275 value), D.) A 500 round case of Fiocchi 9mm Parabellum (Luger ) with 124gr. Hornady XTP/HP projectiles, courtesy of Sunflower Ammo (a $249 value), and E.) An M17 medical kit from JRH Enterprises (a $179.95 value). Second Prize: A.) 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 $400, and B.) two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value). Third Prize: A.) A copy of my “Rawles Gets You Ready” preparedness course, from Arbogast Publishing, and B.) a Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21. … Continue reading

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Lessons from Eastern Siberia, by S.P.

Lessons from Eastern Siberia, by S.P. When I was 18, I spent six weeks in the Sakha Republic (or Yakutia) of Siberia. It is roughly three times the size of Alaska yet has a population of less than 1 million. With the Arctic Circle bordering the north of the Sakha Republic and the Lena River winding its way through it is a largely rural population of self sufficient farmers, fishermen, and reindeer herders. My time there was spent living in a soviet era apartment in either Yakutsk (its capital) or Moxogolloch (a small port town along the Lena River) or traveling to nearly isolated villages around the Sakha Republic. It was while living in Siberia that the wool began to be removed from my eyes regarding America’s imperfect government that I once though infallible. While discussing growing up under soviet rule with one person I realized just how effective the propaganda machine can be and how the methods used by Soviets were being used currently in America. But what I really want to focus on is what I learned about survival. The most important things I learned were the values of adaptability and community. The Sakha people had their religion, … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Observations on Hardened Architecture and Life in German Village

Hello James, I recently stayed with a friend in a little German village northeast of Frankfurt . My friend is restoring his family’s 350+ year old Tudor-style home. I was amazed at the ballistic mass involved. The old walls are 6-8” (15-20cm) thick timber and clay/loam brick, covered in plaster/cement. As part of the restoration, they are adding an additional 6” (15cm) of timber reinforcement on the inside and filling it with 6” of lighter loam bricks for insulation. This results in a total thickness of at least 12” (30 cm) of solid wood and brick. Compare that to our standard 4-6” wall filled with fiberglass insulation and sheetrock! Many first-floors are built of sandstone or basalt. Furthermore, the modern homes that perhaps half of the villagers live in (built in the ‘50s-60s) are 10-12” of solid concrete block. Roofs are fire-proof tile or slate. Most windows have full rolling security/privacy covers that can be actuated from inside. Additionally, the layout of the village struck me as very defensible and survivable. It’s been established around a reliable water source. Homes are clustered together for protection, and are interspaced with small kitchen gardens, workshops, dairies, wood-fired bakeries, and barns. The fields … Continue reading

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