Notes from JWR:

Växlar, Växlar! We are now finalizing the configuration of our new primary server for SurvivalBlog in Sweden, to mitigate any risk of site blanking or hijacking. We have now “flipped the switch,” so that our old server in Utah is now the backup server and the Swedish server is the primary server. The only significant change from the reader’s perspective will be our new IP address: 95.143.193.148. Please make a hardcopy note of it, and update your bookmarks. Hopefully the transition will go smoothly! I apologize in advance for any glitches. All of this work was accomplished by my brilliant teenage son, who has already launched his own web design and archiving business, Whiteout Productions. Please note that there is no need for you to change your primary “SurvivalBlog.com” bookmark. It is now accessing our Swedish server, but this is essentially a transparent change. I suppose that now we are ready for Slutet på världen som vi känner den! (That is Swedish for “The End of the World As We Know It.”) — Today we present the last two entries for Round 38 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. (Any that were submitted for this round and that have not … Continue reading

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Canning Food in a Grid-Down World, by Christine C.

We all know how possible a grid down scenario is.  While we have been stuffing our pantries and freezers with food to sustain us, what happens when there is no electricity to run that freezer?  If it is winter time in a northern place then it would be fine and we could use Mother Nature.  But what if you live in a southern area where the temperature does not remain below freezing? One solution would be to home-can your food. Also home canning is a very inexpensive and frugal way to add to your food stores.  Not to mention you know exactly what goes into those jars.  No bug content in my catsup like there is with the commercial type.  If you have worked in a commercial cannery then you will understand why I do not want to feed that stuff to my family.  It is horrifying to see what is actually deemed “acceptable”. Let’s start out by talking about the equipment needed.  First thing you would need a good quality canner.  They can be purchased pretty much anywhere.  Most require a rubber gasket between the lid and the pot in order to produce a seal and build the required … Continue reading

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Aloe Vera, My Survival Companion, by Carol F.

I grew up in the low desert areas of Arizona:  Douglas, Wilcox, and Mesa.   Later, living near Flagstaff, I began keeping Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis) in my kitchen.  In the low desert, Aloe grows in medians and desert yards; almost weed – like.  It is a succulent so it does not need much water.  Most of its moisture comes from any available humidity.  It has a cactus look without thorns, and is a welcome green in a harsh country.  A bonus is the beautiful tiny orange-yellow lily flower that fits with the easy lifestyle of a desert landscape.   Pictures and further descriptions on the internet will help you identify this plant.  If you live in a warm climate you may even have it growing close by. I do not remember when I first knew about the positive benefits of this plant.  It seems my family used it forever.  I know this is not true, but that is how I think of it.  Treating burns and wounds using aloe has been known for centuries.  Those who are concerned about future preparedness  and ”what if “ scenarios may gain some peace of mind if they have  at least one of the Aloe … Continue reading

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Two Letters Re: A Combat Gear Primer

CPT Rawles: I have had the privilege to wear all three of the Army uniforms mentioned in this article. Here are a few notes on durability:I wore BDU’s in Basic, AIT, and a rotation at NTC (National Training Center). Nothing beats this uniform. They took a beating and always looked sharp. If you happen to get a tear in your uniform, any dull color patch or thread will hardly be noticed in the overall pattern. This uniform utilizes buttons exclusively, which is durable, convenient, and easy to fix with a needle and thread. BDUs come in two different styles, Winter and Summer. Obviously, Summer BDU’s are much lighter and thinner than Winters. Winters are hardy and extremely hard to damage. I spent 15 months in Iraq wearing ACUs. While the material itself is up to the challenge of every day use, the colors fade extremely fast. The colors themselves didn’t actually conceal us very well either. We just looked like white dots on a tan background. The jacket uses a zipper which gave only minimal problems; however, the velcro that was used on all the pockets was a disaster. After a month of use, the pockets would not reseal. Plus, … Continue reading

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Economics and Investing:

F.G. sent this link, that bears repeating: The U.S. Debt Visualized Don’t Get Audited! The IRS’s Dirty Dozen Red Flags (Kiplinger) RBS flagged this: Lawmaker targets coinage costs with bills backing steel. [JWR’s Comment: It is interesting how the congresscritters are trying to make debasing our coins look patriotic.] $140 Silver, Figures Don’t Lie Items from The Economatrix: The Art Of Extortion Now At The IMF You Won’t Believe Who Owes U.S. Billions Fed Is Running Out Of Tools To Boost Economic Growth

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Odds ‘n Sods:

The inevitable end result of several years of drought in Texas and high feed prices, nationwide: National Cattle Herd Drops to 1958 Low    o o o Troy H. sent a link to a fascinating TED Talks series lecture on Thorium salts power reactors.    o o o Vic at Safecastle mentioned that they’ve launched a new 7-month “Foodbundle” variant, for about $1,800.    o o o Reader Lee M. suggested this: How to get alerts of an emergency

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Note From JWR:

Today we present another two entries for Round 39 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include: First Prize: A.) A gift certificate worth $1,000, courtesy of Spec Ops Brand, B.) 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 C.) Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources. (A $350 value.) D.) A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $275 value), and E.) A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo. Second Prize: A.) A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol. It is a $439 value courtesy of Next Level Training. B.) A FloJak F-50 hand well pump (a $349 value), courtesy of FloJak.com. C.) 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 $300, D.) A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials, and E.) two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value) and F.) A Tactical Trauma … Continue reading

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Your Multipurpose Garden Tractor, by K.C. in Delaware

[Editor’s Note: A short draft edition of this article was previously posted in a discussion forum]. I am a very new prepper, but feel that I am making some decent advances in my prepping goals. Although my preps may be much smaller then most, I still think I am doing better then most of the general population, and have budgeted for weekly and monthly improvements to my preps. While reading this and other survival based blogs and forums (not so much here, but other places get real out of hand), I’ve noticed that the conversation or topic tends to lean towards guns, ammo, tactical gear etc. Now granted, these are important topics, but there are other equally important topics. I personally have what I consider to be a good stock of firearms, ammo and parts, but my opinion is, they are just tools. My weapons are a tool to protect and feed my family. I would like to discuss another survival tool, a garden tractor. When I say garden tractor, most people may be thinking of the 4-wheel drive Kubota/John Deere/Cub Cadet with a diesel, 3 point hitch and bucket loader that you see new at your county fair for … Continue reading

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A Combat Gear Primer by Andrew A.

What is combat gear, and why do you need it? Well, your combat gear is simply your gear that you wear from day to day, in a combat situation, or more aptly for us, a TEOTWAWKI situation. I am a young prepper living in the central Carolinas. I have been collecting military gear, such as uniforms, helmets, vests, and such for over 8 years. Over those 8 years, I’ve seen what the average soldier wears through combat in Iraq and what a Delta operator might wear in Afghanistan. However, please keep in mind that as preppers, most of us have never received the specialized training of a soldier, and 99% of us have never had the training of a Special Forces Operator. That being said, let‘s discuss what an average prepper might need in the way of combat gear. Uniforms The uniform is the most basic of items that a prepper can find, and might be one of the most useful. There are several different types of camouflage to choose from. The most ubiquitous form of camo that can be found is the US M81 Woodland type, commonly called Battle Dress Uniform (BDU). This camo was used from 1981 until … Continue reading

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Bowel Issues – Part 1, by Dr. Bob

TEOTWAWKI IBD Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), is a poorly understood grouping of two separate diseases:  Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn’s Disease (CD).  Unlike other bowel diseases, both of these conditions have characteristics both in their presentation and pathology that make diagnosis fairly routine.  Both will be reviewed here with recommendations for ongoing management and treatment options in a post-collapse environment. Ulcerative Colitis patients have recurrent episodes of inflammation of the mucosal layer of the colon.  There are different subtypes of UC based on the location of the inflammation.  Ulcerative Proctitis affects the rectum, or lowest portion of the colon.  If the inflammation is slightly more extensive, the terms Left-sided Colitis, Distal Colitis, or Proctosigmoiditis are often used to describe the disease.  Extensive Colitis involves nearly the entire colon but does not involve the cecum (closest to the small bowel junction) and Pancolitis involves the colon and the cecum.  Each subtype of UC is then characterized as mild, moderate or severe.  Mild disease is usually just the distal colon, with mild pain and sometimes bleeding, and four or fewer stools each day.  Moderate disease may involve more of the colon but it is not Pancolitis, and stools up to 10 daily.  … Continue reading

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Recipe of the Week

Dale in Tennessee’s Bean Stretcher A favorite of mine as tested among our group and deemed worthy after being served at a church pot luck. I came up with this after pondering a few days on how to mix some of the random stored food we keep on hand in our pantry. We have enjoyed the various canned Bush’s Grillin Beans for the robust flavor and stock them by the case on our shelves but I wanted a way to make a meal out of them instead of having just a side dish. Solution: Black bean fiesta grillin beans as a flavor base for a chili type meal. I add in chunks of beef for the current civilized version, but any meat ends up savory by the time the meal is ready. Your stored rice still supplies a nice bulk to fill everyone up, while the random meat and a couple cans of beans provides quick and easy taste. Serves 3-4 adults: 2 cans of black bean fiesta grillin beans stewed slowly while you brown approximately 1-to-1.5 lbs. of meat. Beef cubes, two squirrels, one rabbit, half a chicken, or a pile of crawdads from the creek. Add the cooked … Continue reading

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