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 …




To Shoot or Not to Shoot?, by Mr. White

I have been a police officer for eleven years, with assignments in patrol, SWAT, undercover operations, and as a use of force and firearms instructor, I’m often asked by gun owners one question. The questions usually goes something like, “When can I legally shoot someone?” Or, “Can I shoot somebody if they do this?” Because I am prepping myself, I also talk with those who are preparing  for the collapse of society. They generally don’t ask those questions. With the possibility of no law enforcement or court system to worry about, they believe they can shoot anyone who, in anyway, …




Learning From Extreme Missionaries, by Chuck Holton

As an international war correspondent, my work takes me to more than a dozen far-flung war zones every year. In my travels, I am often reminded just how thin the veneer of civilization really is, and get to meet many families caught in crisis and see the different ways they manage to survive. A recent trip to Africa brought one of the most powerful examples, where I met a family of missionaries who have built their lives in one of the most harsh and inhospitable corners of the planet. While for most survivalists, prepping for “TEOTWAWKI” is a “what if” …




Letter Re: Profitable Homesteading: How to Thrive in a TEOTWAWKI World

Good Afternoon,  As someone who has tried playing the big stock market as mentioned in Profitable Homesteading: How to Thrive in a TEOTWAWKI World, by Dusty, I’d like to add the following caution.  Don’t quit your full time job if you want to try this option.  For the past year or more we in Central Texas have been in  exceptional drought conditions.  I have a small herd of Dexter cows.  Due to the lack of grass in my sixty plus acres of native pastures I have been forced to rely on 1000 lb bales of hay and local co-op 20% …




Two Letters Re: You Have to Shoot in TEOTWAWKI–Then What?

Mr. Rawles, During my train up for my deployment to Iraq, we were taught how to properly document evidence for prosecution of suspected insurgents. Formerly, this was known as Sensitive Site Exploitation (SSE), but was renamed to Tactical Site Exploitation (TSE) a few years ago. One of the biggest things drilled into us was they did not want any American soldiers in any of the pictures. There are probably a myriad of reasons for this, but it made sense. My suggestion with taking pictures to document anything would to not have any people in the pictures to begin with, if …




Letter Re: Some Thoughts on Burning Coal

James: It’s been interesting to see the buzz about coal lately. Certainly something worth looking in to. I’m not for or against it, but I do have a few comments: If you are into blacksmithing, a coal supply will serve multiple purposes. Not all coal is equal. High grade coal is less sulfurous than low grade coal, though I only notice that when I am working with open burning coals like over a forge. It may not be an issue in a stove. I don’t know but it might be worth washing low grade coal. It’s something I want to …




Economics and Investing:

J. McC. suggested a piece over at the Of Two Minds blog. From Kevin: $100 Bill: The Fed Has a $110 Billion Problem with New Benjamins Items from The Economatrix: Has Portugal’s Debt Default Clock Begun To Tick? New Normal on Wall Street: Smaller and Restrained Payroll Tax Cuts Raise Worries About Social Security’s Future Funding Japan Logs First Trade Deficit Since 1980 New Prediction — Economic Collapse:  First To Europe Then To U.S. And World 11 “Stunning Revelations” From a Confidential Economics Memo To Obama




Odds ‘n Sods:

Dan P. suggested an alarming white paper, published by the normally non-alarmist IEEE: A Perfect Storm of Planetary Proportion: The approach of the solar maximum is an urgent reminder that power grids everywhere are more vulnerable than ever to geomagnetic effects    o o o An editor at BoingBoing wrote a nice variation on the recent Reuter’s wire service article: Preppers: suburban survivalists.    o o o Check this out: 1LessonSelfDefense.com    o o o Seed for Security has announced a new bonus promotion that will enable gardeners to get a head start on their harvest. A Spring collection, which …







Note From JWR:

Today we present another entry 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 …




A Woman’s Journey Towards Firearms Acceptance, by The Little Woman

Disclaimer: I am a novice enthusiast. I will no doubt get concepts, practices or terminology wrong, in spite of a fair amount of research.  Forgive this please….. I blithely lived out 51 years of life with a gun phobia. I have no idea why they scared me so, but scare me they did, and so I spent the bulk of my life with a generalized “guns must be bad because I’m afraid of them; they hurt and kill people” mindset.  My darling husband wasn’t really into shooting, when we married and since. He had an old .22 rifle that  he …




Letter Re: Comments on SurvivalBlog Writing Contest Prizes

Jim: I recently won the third prize for the survivalblog writing contest and I thought I would give back to the SurvivalBlog readers a review of the items I received as a way of saying thanks. The items I received were a Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21, Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy, and two Super Survival Pack seed collections, courtesy of Seed for Security. I received all the items quickly and with two of them I also received congratulations cards on winning which was a very nice touch in …




Letter Re: You Have to Shoot in TEOTWAWKI–Then What?

Mr. Rawles, I recently saw another preparedness site pose a question: “what happens after the crisis is over…???” The question was this: Once the SHTF and the world “resets itself” and the rule of law is re-established, certainly some form of government will start asking  who shot who, what crimes were committed, and generally start prosecuting the bad guys. I feel very certain that I can now keep my family and I safe and sound through your educational efforts. But I am not clear how I will defend my efforts weeks, months, or years after the fact. If possible, could …




Letter Re: Some Thoughts on Burning Coal

Hello Jim, I would like to make a few observations on Dale’s letter concerning alternative heat and home power. My first would be his perspective on the use of propane as a primary fuel source.  I have used propane for heating, emergency spot heating (no electric required), cooking, and domestic hot water for more than a decade, and with proper planning it is a very reliable and cost effective fuel source that stores well long term, and can also be used to power most generators with an inexpensive conversion kit..  I currently have two 1,000 gallon above ground tanks, holding …




Economics and Investing:

Reader Dale C. sent this example of urban myopia: Yahoo rates College Majors That Are Useless. [JWR’s Comments: These geniuses seem to have concluded that there is no need to study how to raise food, when you can just buy it from a supermarket. (That’s where they think meat comes from: “You know from those plastic-wrapped trays.”) The urban elitist view seems to be that any venture where one is at risk of getting their hands dirty is “useless” or somehow offensive. The their minds, farming, ranching, and mining are out, but high finance, LBOs, and derivatives are in. But …