Notes from JWR:

I’m put up the blog posts for December 30 and 31 early, to allow time for my son to start assembling our updated Archive DVD. This new edition will cover 2005 to 2012, and have even more bonus material than the previous edition (Which was on a CD-ROM). It will first be available as a digital download, and then in about two weeks as a DVD. (This will allow us time to test prototypes.) You can look for an announcement around January 5th. Thanks for your patience.

Beat the price increase! “Appleseed Gift Certificates for men on sale for only fifty dollars! (Until midnight, December 31, 2012.) Appleseed fees for men will increase to $80 in January, 2013. So here’s your chance to get that friend or family member out to an Appleseed event and save $30 before the price increase.”

Pat’s Product Review: Emberlit Camp Stove

I’d like to believe that after Earth for more than 61 years, that I’m getting a little bit smarter in my old age. Well, maybe not smarter, but a bit wiser, might be a better description. There was a time, not too many years ago, when I could hump 50-pounds around the boonies, with a full-set of A.L.I.C.E. gear and a full combat load of ammo and some manner of AR-15. Those days are long gone! However, I’m actually in better shape physically these days, than I was 10 years ago, but that doesn’t mean that I want to pack more gear than needed in my BOB. To this end, is why I believe I’m getting a little bit wiser. I still want to be able to survive – as best I can – with the smallest amount of gear that I can carry. If you believe you can haul … Continue reading

Harry’s Book Review: Last of the Breed

Author: Louis L’Amour
Copyright Date: 1987
Publisher: Bantam
ISBN: 978-055
Audio, e-book or foreign translation available? Yes, Audio, Kindle & Nook
Suitable for children? Teens and up, yes, particularly males.

I did not pick up the novel Last of the Breed thinking it would be for a SurvivalBlog review topic. Louis L’Amour is one of the authors I read as “mind candy”, an easy read just for the fun of it. However, I quickly realized that this book is one of L’Amour’s exceptional works and an excellent read for anyone who lives or is thinking of living in the American Redoubt.

Unlike most of Louis L’Amour’s books, this novel is set in Siberia, and set in relatively modern times. There are airplanes and automobiles. Perhaps the best clue as to the date is the construction … Continue reading

Letter Re: AR-15 Rifle and Pistol Legality in the U.S.

Mr Rawles,

In the Odds ‘n Sods section on Saturday 29 December, a reader indicates that, regarding AR pistols: “Most people don’t realize they exist, and that they can be legally converted to rifles, and back”. Anyone considering this route to acquiring an AR rifle should be very aware of the relevant laws about assembling an AR rifle from the pistol configuration. As the rule has been explained to me, any rifle with a barrel less than 16″ in length would be considered a ‘short-barelled rifle’ and would fall under the regulation of the National Firearms Act (NFA), i.e., would become a ‘Class 3’ weapon. As most AR pistols are sold with barrels ranging in length from 7.5″ to perhaps 13.5″‘ a rifle assembled from such a pistol may indeed fall under the NFA. ATF Ruling 2011-4 and related information may help clarify the rules for anyone considering such a … Continue reading

Letter Re: Internet Service in The American Redoubt

I just read your article The American Redoubt — Move to the Mountain States.  I am confused about something.  On one hand you said to not expect high speed Internet then scrolling down further you refer to using the Internet.  There must be some sort of Internet service where you are. 
My income is acquired using my computer and high speed Internet.  So does that leave me out?
Thanks for your time. – Deborah T. in California

JWR Replies: There is dial-up Internet available in most towns in the Redoubt, but high speed (DSL, or better) is available in just a few towns and cities.  The good news, however, is that high speed Internet service is available everywhere if you are willing to pay more for satellite Internet service.  (Such as Direct PC or WildBlue.)

Check … Continue reading

Recipe of the Week:

S.A.’s Killer Potato Soup

I was given this hand-written, hearty recipe 20 years ago by an Air Force wife. It’s super nutritious including several vegetables, potatoes for carbs, and bacon for protein.

When planning meals, I like to think of how to incorporate small amounts of protein (a la Dan Fong in Patriots) for nutrition and flavoring from stored foods such as canned meats and either commercial dehydrated foods or my own stores. This soup features root vegetables and is a great starter or can be the meal along with some good bread. It’s easy to make as nothing needs to be pre-cooked or sauteed.

4 large potatoes
2 stalks celery 
2 T beef bouillon granules
2 strips canned bacon (or use fresh)
4 carrots 
1 large onion
1/2 t. pepper

Peel vegetables, dice everything.  Combine ingredients, add water, about 2 inches … Continue reading

Economics and Investing:

What Happens When the Bond Markets Turn Against the US?

A Brief 2,000-Year History of Silver Prices (Thanks to Terry F. for the link.)

C.D.V. sent: Kyle Bass: “This Ends in War; The Government’s Never Going to Tell You That It’s Going To Happen.”

Items from The Economatrix:

Fiscal Cliff Could Put Your Tax Refund On Hold

Fewer Banks Fail As Industry Strengthens

Fiscal Cliff:  What To Expect If There Is No Deal

Odds ‘n Sods:

First Detailed National Map of Land-Cover Vegetation in U.S. (Thanks to Timothy B. for the link.)

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Sale ends December 31st! Ready Made Resources has extended their special pricing on genuine full mil-spec AN/PVS-14 Gen 3+ night vision scopes. They are offering these “grade A” autogated scopes with a free Picatinny rail weapons mount, free shutter eyepiece and free shipping. As usual, these include a head mount and carry case. These have a five year warranty and free annual maintenance for five years. Normally $3,895, these are on sale for $2,795 with free shipping. FWIW, I recently bought a second one of these monoculars for our use here at the Rawles Ranch. (After all, “Two is one and one is none.”)

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Nearly 200 Utah Teachers, School Workers Attend Free Concealed Weapons Class

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K.A.F. … Continue reading

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

“Health, love and peace be all here in this place
By your leave we shall sing, concerning our King.
Our King is well-dressed in silks of the best
In ribbons so rare no king can compare.
We have travelled many miles over hedges and stiles,
In search of our King unto you we bring.
We have powder and shot to conquer the lot,
We have cannon and ball to conquer them all.
Old Christmas is past, twelve tide is the last
And we bid you adieu, great joy to the new.” – Lyrics to The King (as sung by Steeleye Span and later popularized by Loreena McKennitt)

Notes from JWR:

December 30th is the birthday of Rudyard Kipling, in 1865.

Today we present another entry for Round 44 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 (a $300 value), and F.) A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo. and G.) A $200 gift certificate, … Continue reading

How to Talk to Your Spouse About Prepping: The Sliding Scale of Possibilities, by Mr. Reasonable Ohio

I’d like to thank JWR and all of you for providing such a mountain of good information!  I am in my 30’s and have a family with several small children in the suburbs, and just started prepping about 18 months ago.  I don’t remember the details of why I got started exactly.  It just came up in conversation with a couple of friends of mine and we got serious about it.

I do remember, however, some of the events and conversations that took place to get my wife involved (I mean…at least get her permission!) and so I thought I would share it with you.  Maybe there is another person out there that is interested in being prepared, but doesn’t know how to approach his or her spouse.
I am in finance and my wife was in accounting before we had children, so we both think of things … Continue reading

Letter Re: Observations on Bugging Out By Foot

Dear Captain Rawles,
Thank you for your fascinating web site!

I found the article entitled, “Observations on Bugging Out By Foot, by J. Smith” to be generally interesting and useful with his shared experiences.  Three items within the article bothered me somewhat and you had an editor’s note on at least one of them.

I think that using a plastic fake gun and some M-80s to simulate firing will get you killed or at least arrested.  If you are stealthy enough in your travels, you shouldn’t need to brandish a weapon.  Perhaps carrying a take down .22 rifle in your pack would be a better idea.  At least you can hunt some with it.

That takes me to my second point.  Scrounging in some farmer’s field could get you shot or arrested for trespassing.  I feel it would be better to try to speak with the property owner first and … Continue reading