Notes from HJL:

Today we present another entry for Round 50 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $9,700+ worth of prizes for this round include: First Prize: Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course (a $1,195 value), 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, Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value), A $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear, A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value), A $300 Gift Certificate from Freeze Dry Guy, A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo, A roll of $10 face value in pre-1965 U.S. 90% silver quarters, courtesy of GoldAndSilverOnline.com, (currently valued at around $225), Both VPN tunnel and DigitalSafe annual subscriptions from Privacy Abroad (a combined value of $195), KellyKettleUSA.com is donating both an AquaBrick water filtration kit and a Stainless Medium Scout Kelly Kettle Complete Kit with a combined retail value of $304, and APEX Gun Parts is … Continue reading

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Preparing My First Bug-out Bag, by TK4

HJL Adds: TK4, age 13, wrote this as a homeschool project. In this article I am going to teach readers how to prepare a bug-out bag. This 13 year-old has had a bug-out bag for two years, and every year it grows better and better. I have put this article together with five main steps that are essential to any bug-out bag. I have listed the items that I have put into my bag and put them in order of necessity. Survival Essentials Here I am going to list the things that I deem are essential in my bag. However, I first want to talk about the bag. You, like many others may ask “Where do I start first?” Well, start with the bug-out bag. The bag really should be a quality backpack. You should pick which size bag you need according to what size you are, how much weight you can carry, and what you are going to include in it. I prefer the camouflage color over neon colors. Camouflage is good if you are bugging out because usually you don’t want to be found; if you are wearing neon you will be found. In my experience military packs … Continue reading

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Two Letters Re: Building a Backyard Water Treatment Plant, by J.S.M.

Dear Sir: Regarding “Building a Backyard Water Treatment Plant, by J.S.M.“, I wanted to comment on a couple of errors I saw in the last section on treating surface water with alum. I once worked for a manufacturer of aluminum sulfate and was involved in several trials at municipal water systems. First thing, I would not bother waiting a day for an initial settlement. Once the leaves, twigs, and tadpoles have been removed, you should go ahead and treat the water. It seems paradoxical, but the cleaner the water is when you start, the harder it is to get good flocculation and settlement. I double checked the tuna can measure and was surprised to find that a 5 oz. tuna can does contain about 5 oz. of dry alum. This reference shows that the average density of dry alum ranges from a low of 38 – 45 lb/ft3 for powdered alum to 63 – 71 lb/ft3 for ground. Five ounce tuna cans are about 3 ¼” in diameter and 1 ¼” tall, so the volume of one is 3.14 ÷ 4 * ( 3.25in )2 * 1.25 in ÷ ( 1728 in3/ft3 ) = 0.005998 or about 0.006 ft3. If … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Tactical Solutions for Preppers, by The Grunt

Dear Editor, In Tactical Solutions for Preppers, by The Grunt I note “The Grunt” makes no analysis of his enemy. I think his tactical solutions are fine if facing a disorganized mob bent on looting. The proposed solutions are passive and do not address the patrolling that will be necessary if facing a more cunning enemy. If an active and sophisticated threat exists in your AO, an active defense/offense may be necessary. Also, I think early in TEOTWAWKI, the enemy will be our hyper-militarized law enforcement that has become a “hammer looking for a nail”. The authorities may view professional attempts at defense as some sort of existential threat. Laying low and not drawing attention to your preps will be important early. – M. S. – Kuwait

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Letter Re: Glock 27 .40 S&W Pistol

HJL, Regarding Two Letters Re: Gock 27 .40 S&W Pistol, dropping a 9mm conversion barrel into a 40 caliber Glock pistol does NOT make it the same as a factory 9mm Glock. The extractors and ejectors are not the same (anyone can verify this by looking at the Glock parts list), and that makes it a FrankenGlock. This is fine, if you just want to save money shooting 9mm for practice out of your 40. However, if you’re going to stake your life on the gun, please be aware of the differences and make the decision that’s right for you. Glocks are wonderful (and I’m definitely a Glockaholic), but they are not infallible, and I would never want to trust one that is not configured according to factory spec or better. Best Wishes – Ulysses

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Economics and Investing:

Video: 0% is the Highest Interest Rate the U.S. Economy can Afford – D.D. 2019 U.S. Army budget would eliminate 100,000 Troops – T. An interesting development as many of the emerging markets are faltering simultaneous with one of China’s largest holidays: China’s Central Bank Announces Halt of Cash Transfers – SurvivalBlog reader Fourth-Quarter Earnings Season Another Dud Items from The Economatrix: January 1, 2014 All Americans Will Bail Out The Banks Bundesbank Calls For Capital Levy To Avert Government Bankruptcies World Market Index (Seeing a lot of red ink…)

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Odds ‘n Sods:

V.F. sent in this link to an article about an emerging story:TSA Harasses Police Chief – Entire Police Department Fired. o o o More disturbing news about the Constitution Free zones within America’s borders. – A.W. o o o We’ll see how states’ rights work out on this one: South Carolina House Unanimously Passes Legislation to Ban Drones Sent in by B.B. o o o Another reason to consider homeschooling your children: Plan would track students from preschool to workforce – G. P. o o o P.S. sent in this link: Venezuela is headed down fast, 10-year imprisonment for hoarding, of course, who gets to say what the definition of hoarding is there? o o o J.M. sent in this article: Chuck Schumer to unveil Avonte’s Law, to put tracking devices on autistic kids o o o One of our readers sent this in: Good hiding place! o o o Michigan farmer faces $700,000 in fines for raising “wrong” breed of pigs – H.L.

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Hugh’s Quote of the Day:

“To speak of collapse, peak oil, demise, downturns, economic depression, or unraveling is anathema, because it rattles the rice paper-thin bulwarks we have constructed around darkness and death.” – Carolyn Baker, Collapsing Consciously: Transformative Truths for Turbulent Times

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Notes from HJL:

Our prayers are sent on behalf of those in the Southeast who have been hit by a severe winter storm. WHNT has a story with links to several videos: Alabama EMA: 5 People Died, 23 Injured in Tuesday’s Winter Weather Alabama has been hit the hardest, but other states are suffering as well. It is important to remember that in these states, the temperature generally stays pretty warm and when snow hits, it’s a recipe for black ice. One more reason to always be prepared. Stay safe!

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Surviving a Major Ice Storm, by S.C.

HJL Adds: S.C., age 17, wrote this as a homeschool project.   So you hear an ice storm is coming and you’re not prepared, what do you do? This article will show you the ten essentials you need to survive. Back in 2009, Kentucky was hit by a massive ice storm that dumped 2 inches of ice on everything. Consequently we were without power for 8 long days. During the week many people had to leave their homes, because they had no heat, no water, and no food. At the time of the ice storm I was only 13 and really didn’t know a whole lot about prepping for natural disasters. It was amazing how much damage an ice storm could do to people’s homes, power poles, and roads. It was a huge mess! Now, four years later, I’ve taken prepping to a whole new level. I’ve put together bug-out bags, learned survival skills, built survival kits, and loads more. Now that I’m 17, I want to share my experience with others in hopes to educate them about the dangers of ice storms. Most likely after a storm hits an area, roads will be impassible, water supplies will be gone, … Continue reading

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Six Letters Re: Myths About Income Inequality

Hello Gentlemen, I am as capitalistic as they come and have spent the entirety of my life as the son of a self-employed concrete contractor, then owning and running several of my own businesses. Some of us though are questioning the huge profits rolling out of some of the Wall St. firms due to the QE policy of the Fed. It seems like the scales are getting out of balance because of this policy, and the distribution of wealth is appeasing Wall Street while the POTUS’s policies and regulations discourage middle income entrepreneurs. The top few percent get government bailouts and windfalls; the bottom 20% or so get increasing benefits; and the backbone of the country, the middle class business owners and employees, are left to pull the wagon on their own. We should be used to it by now, but I believe we are getting a little sore-shouldered! Thanks for a wonderful site. God bless. – T.K.

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Letter: Railroad Bugout

Hi Jim, Here’s an Interesting video from Cambodia, which triggered a series of thoughts on bugging out. You have used railroad tracks and trains in your books to speed along movement away from roads and people. This video shows how anyone who has tracks near them and need an escape route when the roads are blocked could be so very simple. The parts to put this together should be cheap and, depending on location, readily available just to have in the garage as a back up back up plan. I am sure enough readers can also tweek it in such a way as using people power or any other idea to make it work for their situation. My situation is that train tracks about a mile from my city home, pass about 30 miles from my cabin which is 200 miles away from the city home. So it would get me much closer and much faster, if there were road problems getting out. Have a great day – Ender JWR Replies: This topic has been raised several times in SurvivalBlog, invariably leading to discussion of the safety and legality of operating a rail bike on any other than completely inactive … Continue reading

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