Notes from JWR:

I just heard from my editor at Penguin Books that they’ve started an additional printing of my nonfiction book “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It”. This 12th press run will be another 28,000 copies, bringing the total to 175,000 copies of the U.S. edition in print. When I last checked, it was still ranked around #750 overall, and #80 among reference books, on Amazon. That is not bad for a book that has been in print for two years.

Thanks for spreading the word and making the book one of Penguin’s bestsellers. I am hopeful that both the book and this blog are helping families to get better prepared.

Today we present another entry for Round 36 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include:

First Prize: A.) A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. … Continue reading

Experiences of a Novice Gardener, by J.B.

I don’t remember how I stumbled on  I had a sense that things were going very wrong and I guess it was just a matter of clicking links that led me to this site.  I found a treasure trove of information on prepping, and a world of like-minded folks who shared my sense that something wicked this way comes.  SurvivalBlog helped me get organized in my thinking, and introduced me to prepping concepts I was unfamiliar with.  I have invested a lot of time and money preparing for WTSHTF.  One area I am weak in, however, is experience.  I read over and over how you need to get in shape (I joined a gym), and train and develop skills and put them to practice before you need them.  It was because of this that I decided to try my hand at my first, real garden.
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Four Letters Re: Hurricane Irene Lessons Learned

Mr. Rawles,
I am in northwest N.J. I wasn’t affected as badly by the hurricane as others were, but I did learn a few lessons about my preparedness.

1. Inspect your gear on a regular basis. I live on a dead-end street, and the road goes over a country stream, which flows underneath through a 2-foot culvert with a paved berm built over the top of it. Yesterday, that country stream became a 40-foot wide river about 10 inches deep and flowing rapidly over the road surface. To get across that, I got out my waders — and discovered that mice had chewed some holes in them. They were still usable for getting through that water, but I can never use them again to go fishing. P.S.: inspect one’s bug-out bag regularly; also inspect food storage containers, including the back side and the bottom, to ensure they haven’t been … Continue reading

Letter Re: Converting Body Motion and Heat Into Electricity

The piece that you linked to was simply copied from GizMag. (They did so with credit, as if that makes it okay.) It looks like is one of those sites that uses stolen blog posts to get hits for ads.

The technology itself is a scam under a thin veneer of science. Their “20W” figure is about three orders of magnitude too high, for one thing. That figure describes all of the energy losses in walking, including the energy losses inside muscles and joints and the energy that goes into warming the surface under the shoe. The part that goes into the shoe itself is probably somewhere around 5% to 15% of that, or 3W at most for both shoes.  You’ve probably heard of the Carnot efficiency limit, which shows that small differences in temperature are very difficult to use as a source of … Continue reading

Economics and Investing:

The Next Banking Crisis Starts Here

The latest Calvin and Hobbes cartoon (August 30, 2011) sums up the prevailing attitude in modern-day America. (Thanks to P.D.K. for the link.)

Chuck from The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor pointed me to a special report series, where CNBC belatedly wakes up about the bull market in gold.

Items from The Economatrix:

Irene Likely to Lead to Higher Insurance Premiums

Euro Bailouts in Doubt as “Hysteria” Sweeps Germany

Three Years After Lehman, a New Debt Crisis Looms

Fear Sets In, Panic Begins, Ruin Perceived, Prepare for Gold $2100

Odds ‘n Sods:

Real Wrath of God Stuff: From Waterbury to Wilmington, Vermonters shocked by Irene’s destruction. Meanwhile, we read about the wisdom of stocking up and owning a water filter: Airlifts take food, water to cut-off Vermont towns. (Thanks to T.E.M. for the links.)

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The second person killed by bears this summer at Yellowstone Park: Michigan man killed by grizzly in Yellowstone. Somebody ought to remind folks that it is again legal to carry a gun in a National Park, as long as you are in accordance with state law. (That is, in a state where open carry or concealed carry is legal.)

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K.A.F. forwarded this: U.N. Warns of Bird Flu Resurgence, New Asian Strain

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Steve H. sent this link: Arsenic, Uranium and Other Trace Elements, a Potential … Continue reading

Note from JWR:

Today we present another entry for Round 36 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 Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources. (A $300 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 from … Continue reading

My Home Energy Backup System, by David L.

My home energy backup system was originally conceived to make a little bit of power for a very long time.  Rather than backing up the whole house with a generator for a relatively short power outage of just a few hours or days, I wanted a system that would function in an extended power “grid down” scenario.  I was working from the self declared principle that when the grid is down at night, a single light bulb makes a huge difference in how you feel.  In addition, I wanted to preserve critical refrigeration and freezer functions indefinitely.

So why I am I doing this?  Two words come to mind: Resilience and Instability.  Without turning this into a political manifesto, it doesn’t take a genius to see how dependent we all are on certain “systems”.  Those systems make food appear on the grocery store shelves and plastic junk at … Continue reading

Letter Re: Home Heating in the American Redoubt States

I enjoy your site and have learned a lot from you and others of a similar mindset.  I enjoy the fact that the info you present is from the perspective  of  a Christian. 

I have been looking at land in Wyoming and while there is some very affordable land I have to wonder how anyone is going to heat their abode when “cheap oil” is gone.  I cannot find land that is in my budget that has any trees.
I have spent most of my life in the southern US and some time in Central America and I cannot imagine a winter in Montana or Wyoming with out a lot of firewood (or a big tank of propane).  Just wondered if I was missing something that was obvious to you mountain state people. Thanks, – Alan W.

JWR Replies:  One of the greatest self-sufficiency advantages of living … Continue reading

Letter Re: Indeed, Inflation is With Us

Mr. Rawles:
When making a quick run to the grocery store to take advantage of some sales, I was amazed at the rise in some of the prices.  The same can of salmon that I purchased for $1.00 in preparation for Y2K was on sale for $2.69 – a “savings” of 90 cents from the normal retail price.  The same bag of sugar that I purchased for about $1.29-1.59 was $4.69.  So, I went out on the Internet to see what has gone on.  Here are several charts I found on that show the alarming rises in the price of staple foods and commodities:

Prepping is just not about saving your life.  Preparation … Continue reading

Economics and Investing:

Over at Forex Crunch: Dark Clouds Over European Banks

Euro bail-out in doubt as ‘hysteria’ sweeps Germany. (Thanks to J.B.G. for the link.)

B.B. suggested this article: German minister warns of seven-year global recession

David H. sent this: Commentary Lays Bare the Problems of Qualitative Easing…and The Banks

K.A.F. liked a piece by Ron Paul, over at the Fox News site: Bernanke Is Out of Options to Save Economy

G.G. sent this: More people having to delay retirement: The number of Britons forced to delay retirement into their late 60s and beyond has doubled over the past year as the rising cost of living hits home, a major study has revealed.

Items from The Economatrix:

The Winner Economy and the Loser Economy

Climbing the Wall of Ruin–America, The Bell Tolls for You

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Odds ‘n Sods:

K.A.F. flagged this: Copper Thieves Leave I-95 In Palm Beach Co. In The Dark

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F.G. sent this: Yes, we’re the cops. Yes, we’re breaking the law. And yes, we don’t care.

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Michael Z. Williamson (SurvivalBlog’s Editor at Large) wrote to mention that he will be a member of several discussion panels or a solo lecturer at the upcoming Labor Day Weekend DragonCon, in Atlanta. Several of these panels should be of interest, such as: “Year Two” (You’ve survived the first year of the “apocalypse”. Now what?) and “Beans, Bullets, Band Aids: Bring On The Apocalypse.”

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Josh spotted this: Riot police fire tear gas on protesters in Athens, Greece

Note from JWR:

I was glad to see that Hurricane Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm before it hit a major metropolitan region. I trust that SurvivalBlog readers in the region were well-prepared. Please share your knowledge and your larder with your less prudent neighbors. Then perhaps next time they won’t be caught flat-footed. (There are plenty of pictures of empty store shelves in New England now circulating . When will the Sheeple ever learn?)