Notes from JWR:

This is the birthday of famed Swiss investor and economic pundit Marc Faber. (Born 1946.) — Today we present another entry for Round 45 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include: First Prize: A.) Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course. (A $1,195 value.) 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), and F.) A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo. and G.) A $200 gift certificate, donated by Shelf Reliance. Second Prize: A.) A gift certificate worth $1,000, courtesy of Spec Ops Brand, B.) 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. … Continue reading

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Start Where You Are, by Sanders

I’m older than you are. I’m female. Wanted to get that out of the way early, so you can decide whether to keep reading or not. I assume you’re new to being prepared. Long-time survivalists wouldn’t want to read an article titled “start.” But you do. You’re interested in the subject of preparation, but you’re also a little overwhelmed by what you’re seeing on survival sites. You don’t think you can do all that stuff. The fact is, you probably can’t. You’re a bank teller, not a former Marine. You’re alone, not affiliated with 30 like-minded survivalists. I’ve read all the warnings that I “can’t do it alone.” Maybe I can’t, but my situation today is if I don’t do it alone I might as well go rock in that chair. I am doing it alone, but with the idea that if any of my family or elderly neighbors need a place to go, I’ll be ready for them. Of all the people I know personally, none are preparers. Since you want to be one, you’re already prepared more than most. You didn’t realize that any experience you’ve had with “hard” living (homelessness, unemployment, any abuse situation) would one day … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Bug Out Vehicle Advice

Mr. Rawles, I have a question that I’m hoping you could provide some insight on.  I’m looking for a Bug Out Vehicle (BOV), but can’t figure out what might be best.  My options are truck, SUV, or van.  I can think of pro’s and con’s for each myself but I can imagine that there are things that I’m not taking into consideration as well that could sway my decision.  The biggest thing is being able to use the vehicle for other things rather than it just sitting around waiting for the Schumer to Hit The Fan.  With that being said a truck or van would be most useful in a work capacity.  I like the idea of 4 wheel drive so that might limit a van since I hardly ever find too many of them with that option.  The van could be used for more work opportunities in my opinion but a four wheel drive truck would definitely come in handy in a bad situation.  By the way, I’m looking to keep the cost down as well.  I’m hoping that you’ve might have encountered the question before and provided some excellent insight to someone like myself.  Any insight would be … Continue reading

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Letter Re: A Useful Map Tool

Hello Mr. Rawles, I wanted to share a great web site for calculating distances, etc. on several different mapping systems: GPSVisualizer.com. You can overlay your results on Google Maps or any of a bunch of different map types, including Google Terrain, which I like. It will compute range rings from a lat/lon or an address, great circle distance from an address / lat/lon to another address / lat/lon… etc. Great for showing folks exactly how close they really are to a large population center or other nasty place! – Rick in New York

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Letter Re: Compact Water Filter Recommendation

Greetings JWR, I just returned from my local Wal-Mart where I purchased the Sawyer Squeeze Water Filtration System for less than $25.00. Removes 7 log (99.99999%) of all bacteria and 6 log (99.9999%) of all protozoa. Comes with a squeeze bag and attachment to fit on most common drinking water bottles. Great product. – Bill K. JWR Replies: I should mention that the Sawyer brand filters are also sold by several SurvivalBlog advertisers. Be sure to do some comparison shopping before you buy.

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Economics and Investing:

20 States With the Most and Least Mortgage Debt (With the exception of Washington, the American Redoubt States are looking good.) Jim Rickards discusses his Currency Wars book and his expectation for endless monetization of the U.S. Dollar. Reader B.F. recommended a reputable and well-established supplier of gold and silver bullion: OnlyGold.com. Michael C. mentioned this about coupon clipping: Why Consumers May Be on a Crash Course Items from The Economatrix: If Masses Lose Confidence In The Currency… US Stocks Slide As Italy, Sequestration Hit Jobless, Cities Could Be First To Feel Budget Pain Is Rebound In Housing Creating Another Bubble?

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Odds ‘n Sods:

I heard that Pantry Paratus is running a sale on Tattler reusable canning lids, for a limited time. The discount $1.25 per box and you get free box of gaskets when you get 10 or more boxes of a single size. The discount and bonus shows up at checkout. Stock up!    o o o Granny Miller recently posted a very useful piece: Treadle Sewing Machine Advice    o o o The folks at Ready Made Resources mentioned that they have some scarce AR parts back in stock, including some quite in-demand AR-15 stripped lower receivers for $189.95 (must ship to FFL), lower receiver parts kits, and military grade buffer tube assemblies.    o o o By way of Tam’s blog, I heard about this: Dianne Feinstein: Semi-automatic weapons are unnecessary personal pleasures. Excuse me, ma’am? “Personal Pleasures?” No, their possession is my long-standing Constitutional right, and they are my final insurance against the depredations of armies directed by tyrants like… …Dianne Feinstein. And somehow, I don’t think that your concept of “the general welfare” matches the intent of our Founding Fathers. We won’t put up with your civilian disarmament schemes, or socialized medicine, or even Directive 10-289    o … Continue reading

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Note from JWR:

Today we present another entry for Round 45 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include: First Prize: A.) Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course. (A $1,195 value.) 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), and F.) A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo. and G.) A $200 gift certificate, donated by Shelf Reliance. Second Prize: A.) A gift certificate worth $1,000, courtesy of Spec Ops Brand, B.) 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. C.) A FloJak FP-50 stainless steel hand well pump (a $600 value), courtesy of FloJak.com. D.) … Continue reading

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A Primer on Guns for Survival, by The Last New Jersey Conservative

Before his untimely demise, survivalist author Mel Tappan wrote his book Survival Guns some four decades ago, yet it still remains the authoritative source on the topic.  Mel also wrote columns for various magazines, expanding upon his previous writings and clarifying some concepts.  It is those columns and articles which formed the basis of not only this essay, but also leaving what is now an indelible impression upon my thought process for the same subject.  Mel Tappan had a rifle as his first acquisition and a shotgun as his third acquisition; I flip flopped it for this piece due to the fact he lived in the wilderness – where I live in the jungle; an asphalt jungle.  That being the case, here goes: First and foremost, a decisive firearm capable of ending any fight should be your initial purchase.  It is here the shotgun excels.  The shotgun is the most versatile firearm there is.  Based upon the hundreds of loadings, it can take small, medium, and large game as well as zombies in all shapes and sizes.  There is no more devastating impact upon an evil doer in and around your home.  The 12 gauge pump action shotgun with a … Continue reading

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The Anniversary of Operation Gunnerside

The night of February 27/28 2013 is the 70th anniversary of the successful raid on the Nazi heavy water production facility near Rjukan, Norway, known in its final culminating phase as Operation Gunnerside. The precision strike on the only heavy water facility under the Third Reich’s control effectively set Hitler’s quest for an atomic bomb back a year, forcing Nazi scientists to ski a huge penalty loop in a race with the Allies, to borrow an appropriate biathlon analogy. A follow-on operation put the last nail in the lid of the coffin of the Germans’ heavy water production capability. The story has been told in several books– I’ll list some below– and a few documentaries you can find on YouTube. (I understand Hollywood made a film of it, but apparently ruined the story. I haven’t seen it.) Allied scientists, thanks to information from fugitive Norwegians and contacts on the inside of the plant, had long apprehended the danger of allowing the Third Reich to achieve a breakthrough in atomic research. The consequences of failing to do so were obvious and terrifying to those who understood the full issue. The long pole in the tent of atomic research at this point … Continue reading

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One Absurdity of Gun Registration: Criminals Are Exempt

The mass media is still all atwitter with talk of “closing the gun show loophole” and “universal background checks.” These phrases are tossed about without concern to their true intent: a de facto system of gun registration in these United States. I am dead set against any form of registration, since the history of the 20th Century showed countless times that registration leads to eventual confiscation. There is one other inherent problem with gun registration schemes that is often ignored: that is that it only applies to law-abiding citizens. By virtue of established case law and cemented with an 8-1 Supreme Court decision, criminals are exempt from gun registration because it would violate their Fifth Amendment protection from self-incrimination. Second Amendment expert Clayton Cramer explains it all in a fine essay titled: The Fifth Amendment, Self-Incrimination, and Gun Registration. Here is an excerpt: In Haynes v. U.S. (1968), a Miles Edward Haynes appealed his conviction for unlawful possession of an unregistered short-barreled shotgun. His argument was ingenious: since he was a convicted felon at the time he was arrested on the shotgun charge, he could not legally possess a firearm. Haynes further argued that for a convicted felon to register … Continue reading

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