Note from JWR:

Today we present the last 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 … Continue reading

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The Extreme Solar Still Concept, by Jim B.

The solar still is the most written about yet least used survival technique there is. I would like to help change that, with some actual testing and practical knowledge, back to something you can really use for survival. If you ask almost anyone that has read a book on survival, or taken a summer wilderness class, how they would acquire water in a desert environment, without hesitation they would say: “I would just build a solar still.” There is nothing wrong with that; it is one way to attain at least some water. The solar still is the stock answer, and not a bad one either. The desert is a harsh environment short on water and the ground is the only real place to find it hiding. Desert vegetation is extremely hard to squeeze palatable water from. Contrary to what you have heard. cactus, even the infamous Barrel cactus, do not contain enough refreshment without d’stilling their contents to sustain anyone. And if you have not had the opportunity to try sucking moisture out of a Barrel cactus, do not bother, Bleeeech. In fact, it will make you even thirstier, and some people even sick. There is a problem, however. … Continue reading

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The Business of Survival: A Look at Growing Trends and 2012, by Scott D.

Introduction This is going to be a landmark year for survivalism. There are a myriad of important societal, political and economic events on the radar that are fueling an expansion of interest in ‘being prepared’. Worldwide economic uncertainty, global political tension with Iran, an election year in the United States, and the approaching social phenomenon associated with December 21st, 2012 all loom. A decade’s worth of catastrophic events including terrorism, large-scale weather disasters and public shootings have only served to bring public uneasiness to a boil. More people are reacting, as sales of food stocks, firearms, and outdoor survival gear have all seen significant recent increases. These factors are combining to create a mainstream adoption of the survival mindset, and have key implications for those of us preparing for the worst. The business of survival is booming. This article seeks to break down and analyze the factors driving this expansion and examine the effects it will have on Survivalists in 2012. My journey into becoming a Survivalist is still only beginning. It started with my growing concern for self-defense and a desire to protect people I care about. A friend called me one summer afternoon from her car to tell … Continue reading

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Letter Re: A Practical Utilitarian’s Take On Firearms and Calibers

Mr. Rawles, I really enjoyed the SurvivalBlog article by Kyrottimus, titled A Practical Utilitarian’s Take On Firearms and Calibers. I appreciate his expertise and experience.  I commend his list of Must-Haves for the AR-15 or M4gery, and would like to respectively suggest one more item to add to the McFarland 1-piece gas ring, the Bravo Company Gunfighter charging handle, and the Magpul B.A.D. Lever.  The Defender D Ring should be an addition to your AR-15 rifles.  After listening to John Farnham sing the praises of this little device, it should be a serious consideration on a Personal Defense Weapon (PDW). The Defender D Ring installs around the extractor.  With the high bolt velocity of the AR-15, the extractor can be stressed.  The Defender D ring provides a stronger extractor tension, as well as contributing to the reliability of the extractor, and extending its life.  You can purchase this inexpensive “must-have” at Strike Tactical Solutions.  Farnham’s perspective is civilian use of the PDW, with an emphasis on function and reliability. As a woman, these considerations are very important factors in defending myself. – Belle Ringer

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Letter Re: Key Questions For and About Your Children

James: In regards to M.D.M.’s article, I’d like to add something to his Question #4, There is no reason to smother a baby or toddler to keep them quite as in that M*A*S*H episode mentioned. I learned an old Indian trick years ago, when my kids were young and restless. All a mother needs to do is blow lightly in the child’s face when they start fussing and about to cry. This blowing lightly momentarily takes their breath away, and they stop fussing, and concentrate on breathing, It doesn’t take much blowing lightly in their face, and they soon drift off to sleep. This works good on infants and kids up to about two years old!   Nothing is more distracting than being in church and have some mother not knowing what to do to keep her baby from crying, and disturbing everybody around her for several rows, until the only thing she can do is take the baby out of the room. I read about this in some old book on Indian plains tribes, the mothers used to run out into the woods or high brush with their child and hide, when the village came under attack, and this blowing lightly … Continue reading

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Economics and Investing:

Sean B. spotted this in The LA Times: More municipalities betting on pension bonds to cover obligations. Note that the “pension obligation bonds” that they mention are actually derivatives. Jim Rogers & Peter Schiff Agree, U.S. Treasury Crisis In 2013   Truth About $6 Gas, $200 Oil and the Quest for Energy Independence   2012 the year of the short sale – Short sales over 50 percent of all MLS inventory in Southern California. Items from The Economatrix: Americans Angry As Gas Nears $4 Durable Goods Orders Hint at Weak First Quarter Gas Prices Expected To Continuously Increase Through Summer Gold, For Richer, For Poorer As Crisis Cools

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Odds ‘n Sods:

Designer’s sleeping bag coat transforms – and warms – Detroit’s homeless. (Thanks to B.B. for the link.)    o o o Over at Alt-Market: Cold Weather Bug-Out Survival Lessons    o o o Insane Michigan government announces plan to destroy ranch livestock based on hair color and arrest hundreds of ranchers as felons    o o o Reader Jake K. wrote to mention that those who scoff at the risk of high population density should look at these maps: This is the Most Densely Packed City in the US. Get thee to the Redoubt!    o o o Speaking of population maps, Todd M. sent this link: 2010 Census Urban Area Thematic Maps. Note the scarcity of dark blue for those in the American Redoubt, in this map.

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Note from JWR:

Today we present two more 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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Preparation Could Mean Survival, by D.S.A.

Some people say you can’t prepare for every situation.  I say, you can because every situation has one common element that can and will hurt you outside of the event itself: other people.  Lets face it, if you die in a storm, a nuclear/biological/chemical event, or terror attack, then you are dead.  There is nothing from stopping God’s will.  You don’t prepare for those events, you prepare for surviving those events.  There are many events, (and not far-fetched crazy extreme events) which people should be prepared to deal with to protect themselves and their families when it’s over and you are alive. Some include: Storms (Hurricanes/tornados/floods/earthquakes, droughts, Tsunami) Financial collapse Biological emergencies (natural or weaponized) Chemical emergencies (Living near DuPont?) Nuclear emergencies (Attack/Power grid failure resulting in leak) Civil unrest (Riots/Revolution/Civil War/Race war/Looting) Power Grid failure (EMPs/Solar flares/ attack on grid) The interesting fact is that just one event on the above list, can and will cause another on the list.  If you don’t believe me, look at Hurricane Katrina. Not only did this storm devastate a region, but what else happened? Civil Unrest, chemical emergencies from refineries, Biological emergencies with contaminated water and disease from bodies, and financial collapse … Continue reading

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A Practical Utilitarian’s Take On Firearms and Calibers, by Kyrottimus

I’ve been working as a firearms and ammo salesman (and thusly, a consultant) in a storefront gun shop in northwestern Montana for the past few years now. My firearms experience far predates my time there in other gun-related industries. However, I have had the benefit of learning a great bit more (and still am) regarding firearms, ammo and the unique perspectives and applications of the end users. The day I stop learning is the day I stop breathing. I get asked all the time, “What’s better, an AK or AR?” or “Mossberg 500 or Remington 870?” or currently the most common, “Glock or XD?” My answers vary, but usually begin with my own personal preferences but I go to on ask their unique requirements and mindset. Most are not expecting my answers, as I base my responses after asking a few questions of my own. A few include but are not limited to: “What would you primarily be using it for?”; “What is your level of firearms experience?”, or “What is your budget?” There has been endless debates about firearms and calibers ever since the Internet was born, and long before that. I’m not going to get into such arguments, … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Those Looking For Leadership

Jim, My family and I greatly appreciate all the work you have put into Survival blog and the wealth of knowledge of your readers. I would like to share a situation that happened to me recently. My family has been preparing in some fashion since around Y2K and have really stepped up the pace in the last four years since we found SurvivalBlog. We are hearing God’s calling for us to move to the American Redoubt from behind enemy lines, okay he is no longer calling to us in the quiet voice more like yelling to us: GET TO SAFETY! Our sense of urgency is off the scale. So with lots of vacation time accumulated my wife and I made appointments with some realtors in the American Redoubt and searched out properties. We only intended to make it a quick trip, drive up one day see properties the next and drive home the following day. In the area we were looking nothing fit our needs so the next day we started for home drove about 75 miles and my wife stated she was not ready to go home yet. I immediately pulled to the side of the road because I … Continue reading

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