Note from JWR:

Today we present the final entry for Round 35 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. This is a corrected version of an article that was initially posted last week. It was removed so that a couple of facts could be rectified, and so that the article could be expanded.

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 (a $275 value), D.) A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo, and E.) An M17 medical kit from JRH Enterprises … Continue reading

Buying Registered Sound Suppressors in the U.S., by R.B.

This article is an after action report (AAR) of sorts on my experiences with buying registered NFA items with a $200 transfer tax, and to piggyback on the few entries in SurvivalBlog dealing with suppressors.  There are a few reasons to not buy a silencer.  Mainly that you lose a bit of your privacy by giving info to the ATF, but you do that whenever you fill out a Form 4473.  After much internal debate, I decided to go off of the deep end after reading an article here on  It dealt with problems in Argentina when the SHTF down there.  The author stated how having a suppressor would have been “handy” in some situations.  Coupled with my philosophy of “Buy it now, before its illegal”, I bought four suppressors.  Now my HK USP .45 sounds like this.  That being said, you … Continue reading

Letter Re: Expanded Gun Controls in Canada?

Mr. Rawles,
The owner of recently posted on a public forum ( that the Royal Canadian Mountain Police (RCMP) Firearms lab “is encouraging importers to hold off on new imports until the fall, when they expect the prohibited list to be ‘updated’ to reflect new models.”  Updating the prohibited list in all probability and precedent would mean sweeping confiscations of some firearms. [JWR Adds: Unlike here in the U.S., Canadian gun laws don’t have a tendency toward “grandfather” exclusion clauses.]

Even though the Conservative party of Canada now holds a majority government in Parliament and the party has claimed for years they would abolish the much hated Federal Long Gun Registry, they also have allowed the RCMP to reclassify and confiscate a variety of firearms in recent years, including the Norinco Type 97 bullpup carbine.

In all probability, high ranking RCMP bureaucrats in association … Continue reading

Letter Re: Alabama County Provides Microcosmic Preview of a Larger Bankruptcy

Dear Mr. Rawles —
Here is a link to a story in this morning’s New York Times about Jefferson County, Alabama. It seems to be a microcosm of what the whole country faces as the threat of Federal default becomes real.

The reporter says, “There are lessons for everyone here, and they are all painful: lessons for those who are not concerned about the prospect of mounting debt, for those who insist that steep cuts can be relatively painless, for those who think the bill for big spending can safely be put off into the future, for those who have blind faith in the market and for those who think the government can always be relied upon to protect the interests of the people.” Best, – Mary F. in New York

Economics and Investing:

In his latest subscribers-only newsletter, veteran market analyst Porter Stansberry describes a U.S. sovereign debt downgrade as “inevitable”. JWR’s comments: Make your plans with the assumption that there will be a rating downgrade by all of the credit ratings agencies. The current AAA rating for U.S. paper is just a convenient fiction. Obviously a debt downgrade will mean higher interest rates. This will in turn ratchet down the U.S. economy in general and the residential and commercial real estate markets in particular. This will delay any recovery for many years. Plan on a riding through a depression that could last for decades!

John R. recommended this commentary by Jim Quinn: This Country Defaulted Long Ago

U.S. Economic Data Disappoints Immensely, QE3 Readies

KAF sent this: Downgrade Day: What It Will Look Like

US Army proposes new retirement plan. (Would “save” … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

Ravenous wolves colonise France, terrorise shepherds. (A hat tip to F.G. for the link.)

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Signs of The Times: Detroit to set services by neighborhood condition. (Thanks to J.B.G. for the link.)

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KAF sent this: 2010-2011 drought likely to be among costliest on record for Texas farmers, ranchers

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Reader Shawn in Ohio asks: “If they riot at a movie, how bad will things get if we default?”: Riot Police, Crowd Clash Outside Hollywood Premiere of Film on Electric Daisy Carnival Rave

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Are you planning to “Bug In”, in the Big City, in the event of disaster? Then consider the trash factor.

Note from JWR:

Today we present another two entries for Round 35 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 (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 books … Continue reading

Acquiring Hand Tools, by Calvinist Cadet in Washington

Primitive tasks require primitive tools.  When endeavoring to prepare for an extended grid-down or without rule of law scenario one would do well to have on hand a ready mix of equipment and supplies which can meet the challenges requisite to providing for basic needs.  Would-be survivalists often point to hypothetical situations when which they would gather water from some nearby source and make fire within there hastily crafted shelter beside their tilled, loamy garden bed, while butchering game, harvested casually in some illusionary, post-apocalyptic, Shangri-la. Without primitive or pioneer type tools, basic human functions can become impossible.  A simple and comfortable pail may some day be a family’s life line.  An axe could be the only tool available with which to harness heat energy or make shelter.  An old and worn kitchen knife the only butchering tool. 

A preparedness mindset requires that we take advantage of the readily available … Continue reading

The Will to Act: Your Ultimate Bug-out Kit by R.B.

Section One

The Bug-Out Bag is an icon of the preparedness movement. The principle is well known and agreed upon: we may indeed have to pack-up and take flight to a more orderly, less hostile environment, intelligently. This would be either in anticipation of a great upheaval of social order or in its aftermath. How we will face the situation and deal with it is our part to play. Bug-out is an emergency measure, supplying us with a three-day margin for action: decisive action, evasive action, survivalist action or other salutary maneuvering. You must make an informed plan for your exodus. Considering that this would be enacted on foot, there will be an urgent need to map-out a route, determine an objective, establish foreseeable safe resting places along your intended escape-and-evasion route that include points of re-supply or hidden caches. Make back up plans.  Now, try out everything in a … Continue reading

Video Contest Winner: Five Edible Plants in Your Yard

The winner of the 2011 Ready Made Resources Preparedness Video Contest has been announced. The winner is: Birdbath for his video on Five Edible Plants in Your Yard. Birdbath will receive a brand new Rock Rivers Arms (RRA) Elite Comp M4 (AR-15 series compatible ) complete Barreled Upper Receiver and a Trijicon Reflex sight with a combined retail value of more than $1,400! Congratulations, Birdbath! OBTW, Birdbath also submitted another great video, on P.A.C.E. Planning.

Letter Re: Plan B–Call Them Your Hobbies

Robert B. mentioned some great ideas for the “hobbies”. I don’t have a problem with my spouse, but it does give me some ideas of how I can normalize my activities to other people I know. I have an idea for your food storage though: One of my favorite things about food storage, aside from the incredible peace of mind it gives me, is that I never/rarely run out of things. I just go to my pantry. Maybe you could conspicuously run out of something important a few times, necessitating a trip to the store, and then bring up that having extras would make life just so much easier. It won’t get you the wheat and rice and beans you need for a typical year supply, but you could get oil, peanut butter, vinegar, spices and such to start, and then maybe work other things in as you … Continue reading

Economics and Investing:

Kevin K. sent this: The $1 Billion Armageddon Trade Placed Against The United States. (I suspect it might have been György Soros, et al. Oh, and I heard that Soros just bowed out of hedge fund management, except for his family’s own little $14 billion nestegg.)

W.D.V. suggested this: How America Could Collapse

It’s not the default, it’s the downgrade. (Thanks to Bill in Colorado for the link.)

Muddying the Muddy Waters.

Items from The Economatrix:

Greece Suffers New Credit Downgrade

The Kabuki Theater Of America’s Debt Ceiling

The $1 Billion Armageddon Trade Placed Against The U.S.

The World According To Gold — Literally

Debt Downgrade, Not Default, Is The Problem

Economy Recovery?

Odds ‘n Sods:

J. McC. highlighted this article with some fascinating demographic statistics: Rural US disappearing? Population share hits low.

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The folks at Survival Logic recently posted a fairly comprehensive list of outdoor survival schools in the United States.

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Storing Water for a Dry Day Leads to Suits. (Thanks to Ian for the link.)

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Our Editor At Large Michael Z. Williamson wrote to tell me that he has writings in four sci-fi book releases that are all scheduled for August. The first is: Exiled: Clan of the Claw. Mike describes this as “an alternate Bronze Age timeline where the Chicxulub meteorite never impacted, sentient saurians and felines must fight for territory, as the Mediterranean Basin infills.  A shared universe with Harry Turtledove, S.M. Stirling, Jody Lynn Nye, John Ringo and myself.” … Continue reading

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

“As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me.

Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.

He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle [that was] against me: for there were many with me.

God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.

He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his covenant.

[The words] of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war [was] in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet [were] they drawn swords.

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the … Continue reading