Note from JWR:

Today we present another two entries for Round 34 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round 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 $795, and B.) Two cases of Alpine Aire freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources. (A $400 value.) C.) A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $275 value), D.) A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo , and E.) An M17 medical kit from JRH Enterprises (a $179.95 value).

Second Prize: A.) A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol. It is a $439 value courtesy of Next Level Training. B.) A “grab bag” of preparedness gear and … Continue reading




Raising Midget White Turkeys, the Perfect Homestead Meat Bird, by L.C. and D.B.

Like many preppers, we’ve been looking for ways to expand our self-sufficiency.  With 25 years of experience raising chickens for both meat and eggs, adding another meat fowl seemed like a good move.  Although we had raised both broilers and laying hens of many breeds, we hadn’t found a good all-purpose bird among the chickens, although many lay claim to the title.  They either laid poorly (eating all the while) or were very short on meat when killing time came. 

As readers may know, chickens in America have been bred for two tracks:  meat (fast growing, often leg problems, too big to properly breed) and egg layers (broodiness bred out, goal of one egg per day bred in, hens ‘wear out’ quickly, especially if pushed to lay with extra light.)  The standard way of raising for us had been get chicks from a hatchery, raise to eating/laying size, replace with … Continue reading




Knowing Your Personality Strengths and Weaknesses, by C.F.

In nature, optimizing for one attribute generally means weakening one’s abilities in another. For example, with vehicles, optimizing for speed and maneuverability in tight turns generally means reducing carrying capacity, road clearance and tolerance for rough dirt roads. A sports car is clearly different from a 4×4 pickup truck. Both are optimized for different purposes.

The same is true for the human mind. Optimizing one’s strengths for real-time situations (e.g., physical combat) is very different from optimizing for long-range pursuits that require extended periods of uninterrupted concentration (e.g., theoretical physics).

In a survival situation, it can be crucial to know one’s best strengths and likely weaknesses, both for oneself and for others in the retreat group. Also, it can be very helpful to be able to quickly size up the likely strengths and weaknesses of others that you may meet in difficult times. There is a helpful guide for this … Continue reading




Letter Re: Peak Oil and the Real Value of the Dollar

Dear Jim,  
For the last 70 years, the dollar’s value has evffectively been pegged to oil. We can thank FDR for that, since he removed Gold from backing the dollar. I suppose it worked out okay, but now we have a problem. The oil is running out. You’ve seen it at the gas stations, and the price of Brent crude is $124 per barrel, and domestic USA crude is $112 per barrel. The USA only produces 5.5 million barrels per day (mbpd). The balance of the 19 mbpd is imported, mostly from Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, and Nigeria (not Saudi Arabia or North Africa. Those go to Europe and China). Mexico is running out of oil. Venezuela is running out of oil but wants to sell it exclusively to China. Canada sells oil to the USA under a NAFTA agreement (which is why the USA … Continue reading




Two Letters Re: Using Your Smart Phone as a Survival Phone

James;
When the cell phone network is down, telephones expend energy constantly searching for a connection. This can increase your battery drain. If you are in a situation where you know the network is not functioning, I recommend you set your smart phone to “Airplane Mode”. This disables all radio communication functions of your phone and allows it to act as a hand held computer thus no longer wasting power trying to contact a network that is not functioning. – Mike in Kentucky

 

Dear Jim:
Being a techie/having worked in a cell store, I enjoyed Kelly’s article. What I would like to add in the plethora of apps presented is a (usually) free PDF viewer. Some have searchable features, but the survival-based resources you can find in PDFs is astounding. All the Army Field Manuals, tips on canning, old household encyclopedias, gardening advice, etc.

And … Continue reading




Letter Re: Why Store Wheat?

Mr. Rawles:
I’ve been reading SurvivalBlog exhaustively for several days, and I don’t understand why people store wheat as part of a long term food storage plan. Since yeast is not a long term storable commodity, it will not be available to make bread.  That means that the buckets of stored wheat can be used only for sprouts or as a cereal dish, which is rather unpalatable.  Our food storage plan is centered on rice, pasta, and beans instead of wheat.  Am I missing something? Why store hard wheat?   Thanks for your help,  Michael 

JWR Replies: Yeast can be stored for up to four years. By the time that runs out, I predict that there will have been a resurgence in popularity in sourdough “start”, which can be divided and passed around from family to family.  (Some sourdough yeast strains have been in continuous circulation for more than a century.)




Economics and Investing:

Ron D. suggested this article over at the Accept The Challenge blog: Precious Metals Security.

Reader Bill J. liked this piece by Peter Schiff: Bernanke is Lying; Bet Against the Fed and the Dollar. Bill’s comment: “I’m in the insurance/financial services business so I can attest to the impartiality of [Martin] Weiss’s rating systems.  Their approach is different from that of S&P, Moody’s, etc. in that they do not receive compensation from the very entities they are rating. Weiss doesn’t have the inherent conflict of interest the others do.”

Items from The Economatrix:

China’s Central Banker:  We Own Too Much US Debt

Welcome to Financial Slaughterhouse

Physical Silver and Beating Bankers at Their Own Game

The Pain Killers are Wearing Off, the Real Recession Starts Now

$52-$56 Silver By Mid-Year




Odds ‘n Sods:

Loyal content contributor F.G. sent a link to an incredible video of the 1/2 mile wide monster funnel cloud in Tuscaloosa. F.G.’s comment: “Prayers for those who have lost family, friends, and homes.”

   o o o

Directive 21 has announced a new product, called the Herbal Seed Bank, which includes over 68,000 seeds.  If you purchase one of their popular Emergency Seed Banks at $134 they will include a free Herbal Seed Bank, valued at $99. This will apply only to orders received between Monday May 2nd, and Friday May 6th, 2011.

   o o o

I was asked by a reader about a recommendation for a video primer on the electromagnetic pulse (EMP ) threat. I highly recommend EMPAct America‘s DVD and CD-ROM set: America in the Dark.

   o o os

Fellow blogger M.D. Creekmore has requested … Continue reading







Note from JWR:

Today we present another two entries for Round 34 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round 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 $795, and B.) Two cases of Alpine Aire freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources. (A $400 value.) C.) A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $275 value), D.) A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo , and E.) An M17 medical kit from JRH Enterprises (a $179.95 value).

Second Prize: A.) A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol. It is a $439 value courtesy of Next Level Training. B.) A “grab bag” of preparedness gear and … Continue reading




Stocking up on Grains and Legumes (Part 1), by Sky Watcher

As I write this I am currently awaiting arrival of my 6,711 pound order that I placed with Bob’s Red Mill.  Crazy?  Maybe, maybe not.  This is not something I entered into quickly or lightly.  Please let me explain my reasoning and methods of madness to you in the hope it may strike a chord with you in your own preparations.

Recent national and international events have spurred my husband and I into kicking our preparations up several notches.  We have only been seriously preparing for TEOTWAWKI for a few months.  After reading “Patriots” by James Rawles and “One Second After” by William Forstchen it was evident we had a long way to go.  Both of those are scary reads in that I can see either situation (and many others) happening today.

We decided to bite the bullet and pull money out … Continue reading




Survival Partnership: Getting Your Wife On Board for Prepping, by Tracey K.

I wanted to write about how to possibly get your wife on board for when SHTF from my own experience.  I think I should start out with first giving all the credit to my husband.  In vain he had tried for many years to get me on board.  He would request that we purchase guns, have supplies, buy gold/silver etc.  All that talk and the only word I ever heard was gun.  Are you kidding me?  Guns had always represented a negative feeling inside me.  Now I don’t want to go into the discussion of whether they are right or wrong because that’s not what this article is about.
My husband tried many approaches.  I used to think; here he goes again wanting to play Army Man.   Nope, not going to happen.  It was as if I had blinders on, walking through life.  Yeah, yeah, yeah I … Continue reading




Pat’s Product Reviews: Ruger’s Model 77 Hawkeye in .300 Winchester Magnum

Without a doubt, the .300 Winchester Magnum (“Win Mag”) round, is my all-time favorite round in a high-powered hunting rifle. What I like about the .300 Win Mag round is, you can load it down (if you load your own ammo) to the velocities of a .308 or 30-06, and it’s just fine the way it is, in the factory loadings as well.   In a life-changing situation, where there may be a break-down of law and order, you may find that you need some type of high-powered rifle, that can really reach out there and touch someone. Or, for hunting most big game, the .300 Win Mag will fill the bill nicely, too. People spend several thousands of dollars on “Sniper Rifles” that can shoot 1 Minute Of Angle (MOA). Some folks customize their rifles into their idea of a sniper’s rifle. I wish I were rich, but … Continue reading




Letter Re: My Bug Out Bag Was a Blessing When the Tornados Arrived

JWR,
Thank you for providing all the information in SurvivalBlog. It is truly a lifesaver. I live in Arkansas, and I’m sure you’ve seen the devastation the tornadoes have caused. This season is possibly the worst I’ve seen in the past 20 years that I’ve lived here. The tornadoes and severe weather have pummeled our state. Thankfully, when disaster strikes, neighbors help neighbors, strangers, and everyone in between. I wanted to tell your readers who haven’t considered the value of neighbors, who have a go-it-alone attitude, they are more valuable than all the gold you could stockpile. When the tornadoes come through, all my neighbors get under one house – the only house in the neighborhood you can get under. All the other houses are on slabs, but none are sturdy enough to really hold up to 100 m.p.h. winds.

Knowing that there will be at least 8 of … Continue reading




Two Letters Re: Cattle Raising Basics

Sir:
Just a few more thoughts on cattle.  

The author had mentioned some of the issues that may arise when raising cattle.  Some treatment methods are important to understand.  The most common treatable problems encountered in cattle will be related to calving problems, prolapse and bloat. 

Calves are born with the front feet first, followed by the nose.  Any position that deviates from this may require some intervention on your part.  A prolapse can also be easily treated.  With the cow secured in a chute, wet the prolapse with water, and wipe down with sugar or dish soap.  Next push it back inside.  Put 2 to 3 stitches  in the labia (near the middle so as not to interfere with the cow’s bathroom functions.  Prolonging the treatment of a prolapse interferes with a cows urinary excretion.  The final common thing to know is how to treat bloat, which … Continue reading