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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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: … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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

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

Continue reading

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!

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.”

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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!

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Reader N.I.M. sent this: H1N1: A Bullet, Dodged. Meanwhile, we read: XDR-pH1N1 Raises Pandemic Concerns

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Richard H. forwarded this link: Why You Need a Zombie Apocalypse Phone.

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 (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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

Economics and Investing:

A reader asked me clarify what was meant by “exiting the market.” It’s important to know the difference between exiting the stock market and taking distributions from their tax-deferred retirement accounts (IRAs, 401(k) accounts, and so forth.) It is possible in most cases to exit the stock market without taking distributions from those accounts. They can simply change (“re-allocate”) the investments inside those accounts. For example, an employee might re-allocate her 401(k) at work from a stock mutual fund into a money market fund. This is not a taxable event, as long as the money remains in the 401(k) plan.

G.G. sent this: Roubini Says Q3 Growth in U.S. to Be `Well Below’ 1%

Another from G.G.: U.S. Heading for Currency Destruction Debt Default Great Depression

A Daily Bell Interview: Steve Forbes on Overseas Wars, the Coming Gold Standard and the Rise of ‘Citizen … Continue reading

Inflation Watch:

The National Inflation Association recently posted this article: Decoupling Now, Currency Crisis Soon

Reader J.D.G. notes: “The County Landfill had a punch card system that equated to $3.83 per load for household trash. If you went every week, it would cost you approximately $200 a year. The County did away with the punch cards at the end of the fiscal year with about six months notice. All the folks who bought extra punch cards to “lock in” the price rightfully howled. The new fee is $7.00 per load, an 82% increase. Going every week will now cost you $364 per year. The County also provided recycling pickup every other week without cost. Now, that service costs $25 per year, billed conveniently on your property tax bill.”

Sid, near Niagara Falls related this tale of woe: “I bought a box of 500 .358” diameter hollow base wadcutter [projectiles for reloading] a … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

Brian H. suggested a Scientific American interactive web page: “How Much is Left?”

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I’ve previously mentioned the JBM Ballistic calculators in the blog. But now there is a new Backup Ballistic Calculator –a circular slide rule–created by Todd Hodnett of Accuracy 1st. These will soon be available from LaRue Tactical. They are taking pre-orders now, and expect to starting shipping them in mid-September.

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Reader Travis B. recommended the blog Laptop and Rifle. Travis gave quick summary of the blog’s content: A guy that used to work for Google (a smart guy) buys vacant land and blogs his experiences living there full time. It includes setting up a Hut, toilet, outdoor shower, and solar power. He fails miserably in many areas but it is interesting, regardless. It might make a good case study or would generate … Continue reading