Note from JWR:

Today we present the last two entries for Round 42 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. As usual, we received a big rush of entries in the past week. Some of these will be rolled over into the judging for Round 43. The prizes for Round 42 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 $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear, E.) A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value), F.) A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo. and G.) A $200 gift certificate, donated by Shelf Reliance. Second Prize: A.) A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training. Together, these have a retail value of $589. B.) A FloJak FP-50 stainless steel hand … Continue reading

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Grow Your Own Nutrient-Dense Fruits and Vegetables, by C.F.B.

Let’s face it.  When we get to point that you can’t call out, use a computer, or find a stop light that is working, our stash of stored food will eventually become depleted.  We will all become more and more dependent on local produce.  Even if food is available for purchase, many people will want to grow some of their own.  For most of us, growing our own fruits and vegetables in an efficient manner will be a challenge.  How successful we are in gardening will very much depend on our individual knowledge and skills.  If you have never gardened, be aware that there is lot more to it than just planting seeds and harvesting.  Basically, all of our gardening goals will be much the same —  to grow large quantities of fruits and vegetables that are packed with minerals for good nutrition.  When fruits and vegetables are high in minerals, we call it “nutrient-dense.”  Depending on the way a fruit or vegetable is grown, its mineral content can easily vary as much as 100 percent.   It’s the minerals we are after.   In fact, we don’t need to eat as much food if it is nutrient-dense to get the same … Continue reading

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The Complete Cycle Of Life, by Terry I.

Imagine a market place in your back yard for fresh homegrown fish, herbs, fruits and vegetables.  Best part of this is that you grew it and know what’s in it.  No pesticides or unwanted hormones and additives.  Plus the market is open 24/7. My Hawaii Experience  Living on an island  and having everything shipped into it makes for the worst case disaster when mother nature or human nature turns bad.  From total communications failure to coastal ports devastation, Hawaii would suffer the worst of all the states in the shortest amount of time.  A large population on island Oahu would mean all meaningful supplies would be consumed in two weeks.  If nothing else the multi-cultural mix of the islands make-up may prolong the inhumanity a month. After no resupply of goods and fuel, then the insanity begins.  But when it comes down to family needs, your best friend may become your competitor for what you may have. Water is not far away, but clean water can still be a problem.  I have water filters for the times when questionable sources are the only available supply.  Drought in Hawaii, you betcha.  Clean water source can at time be hard to find.  … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Fabric Choices in Survival Clothing

I wanted to make a couple of clarifications to Emma C.’s article on fabric choices in survival clothing, specifically with regards to wool. As a full-time Shepherdess of more than 100 heritage breed sheep, my experience in handling and processing wool runs deep.  It was written that (with regard to socks), Wool does take more care than other fabrics in that it should be washed in cold water and lay flat to dry. While that statement is mostly accurate in general fabric care, there are primarily two things that can permanently change (i.e. shrinkage or felting) wool fabrics: agitation (washing/scrubbing) and temperature. Washing of traditional woolen items must utilize as little agitation as possible while cleansing. Intense scrubbing will simply cause your wool item to felt.  The soaking method is preferred whenever possible using a mild, easy rinsing type soap. Gently squeezing out excess water by folding the item in half is ideal. Larger items such as pants or sweaters can be folded multiple times, pressing firmly to release the water. Never wring or twist wet wool as you may end up with a hopelessly misshapen garment. When you wash wool, it is the temperature of the water for BOTH wash … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Advice on Handgun Selection

Hello there! I stumbled upon your writing on the Internet, and would like to ask for your advice.   I am looking for a handgun for my girlfriend. Primarily for self defense. She wants one, but has never fired a weapon. My main concern is recoil. I was infantry in the Army for six years and have hunted for most of my life, so I have quite a bit of experience with weapons. I do admit that I am not that familiar with civilian models, so if you could recommend some or have any suggestions it would be appreciated.    Thank you for your time, and I hope you have a good day. – J.P.R. JWR Replies: See SurvivalBlog’s archives. They are fully searchable.  For example, you can search on “handgun and selection” in the search box. In my opinion, the best thing to do is first teach her the firearms safety rules and gently instruct her with with a .22 autopistol. Once she has mastered the basics like sight picture and trigger control, then take your girlfriend to an indoor range that rents handguns and have her try out several models. See what feels comfortable to her.  Get the … Continue reading

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Economics and Investing:

Eric Sprott talks precious metals on Squawk Box. Toward the end, he is asked about physical preparedness. Eric says: “Prudence is very much warranted.” (Thanks to SurvivalBlog’s G.G. for the link.) Faber Warns “Everything Will Collapse” G.G. sent this: USPS Prepares for Second Default in Two Months Bram suggested some good monetary analysis by Charles Hugh Smith: Why QE Won’t Create Inflation Quite as Expected Items from The Economatrix: The Truth About The Fiscal Cliff New Home Sales Dip, But Prices Hit 5-Year High Dr. Gary North:  Five Mainstream Economists Sound A Warning Europe Is Now In A Completely Unmanageable Situation

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Odds ‘n Sods:

Download, print, fire: gun rights initiative harnesses 3D technology    o o o Alternatives To A Bugout Location – What You Should Consider    o o o The Most Often Forgotten Survival Preparations    o o o G.K. in western Washington mentioned yet another reason to avoid social media sites.    o o o Here are links to a couple of my recent radio interviews: EMPAct Radio and Time Monk Radio. (The latter is more than two hours long.)

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Jim’s Quote of the Day:

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my [sheep], and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, [and] one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” – John 10:11-18 (KJV)

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Notes from JWR:

This is the birthday of Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises (1881 – 1973.) The many resources at the Ludwig von Mises Institute web site are worth exploring. — Today we present another entry for Round 42 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 $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear, E.) A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value), F.) A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo. and G.) A $200 gift certificate, donated by Shelf Reliance. Second Prize: A.) A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training. Together, these have a retail value of $589. B.) A FloJak FP-50 stainless steel … Continue reading

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Update on the Release of “Founders”

This is for those who have asked for more details on the release of my latest novel “Founders”, particularly about the audio book and ebook: The audio book edition of “Founders” was narrated by Phil Gigante. He is a former Shakespearean actor and an Audie award-winner with a great voice. The cover artwork for Founders was done by Tony Mauro Jr., who is best known for his movie posters. He did a fantastic job of capturing the atmosphere of Ken & Terry Layton’s trek.   Sources for “Founders” – Hardback, eBook and Audio Book Formats Hardcover Book Sellers: Amazon.com BAMM Barnes & Noble Indie Bound Powell’s Safecastle Boomerang (Australia) Amazon.de (Germany) Amazon.co.uk (UK) eBook Sellers: Kindle (Amazon) Nook iBook (iPods and iPhones) Sony Reader Store (ePub) Audio Book Sellers: Amazon.com Audible.com AudioEditions.com IndieBound iTunes Store Amazon.de (Germany) Amazon.co.uk (UK)  

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The Likelihood of Man-Made Disaster, by William Crosby Prentice

Introduction, Scale I think you will agree that you will get the highest returns from your preparation investments when you make those decisions based on the relative likelihood of a range of SHTF scenarios.  Unfortunately, the probability of many SHTF situations is very hard to determine, and will end up being a judgment call.  However, there is some information out there on the likelihood of certain events that qualify as SHTF.  This information allows us to at least calibrate our judgment calls on the likelihood of certain events, enabling us to refine our gut feelings. In doing so, we will look at a wide range of potential events, which would run the gamut of being the victim of a crime to the potential for a worldwide astrophysical cataclysm.  The scale of a potential SHTF event obviously has an impact on the probability, and in ways that might not be intuitively obvious, but will at least give us some sort of basis for a planning-level judgment.  Personal SHTF Events As shown in Table 1, based on crime statistics from calendar 2010, the probability of your being the victim of any crime is about 3.3%, and the probability of becoming a victim … Continue reading

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Letter Re: You Don’t Need To Be A Conservative To Be Prepared

Sir: Anyone who spends any amount of time on survivalist and preparedness oriented forums knows that a certain political worldview is the most commonly encountered perspective, particularly with respect to economic concerns. Particularly in the literary niche that is survivalist/preparedness fiction, the protagonist is often identified as a conservative critic of Keynesian economic thought and favors the gold standard. Very often the plot presupposes a very right-wing political orientation. Matthew Bracken (Enemies Foreign and Domestic), Thomas Sherry (Deep Winter, Shatter), Glen Tate (299 Days), and even James Wesley Rawles (Patriots) all share to some degree this worldview. Some authors even make efforts to settle scores with Democrats and liberals. I enjoyed all those books, and authors certainly have the right to write whatever they want. However, fiction serves a valuable role in outreach and education (not to mention entertainment!), and I think that it may useful to remember that being a card carrying member of the political right is not a requirement to be a survivalist. There is nothing inherently political about wanting to guarantee the health and safety of your family. You don’t need to be a conservative in the Austrian school of economics to want to be prepared. … Continue reading

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