JWR’s Recommendations of the Week

Here are JWR‘s Recommendations of the Week for various media and tools of interest to SurvivalBlog readers. This week’s featured item is a futon.  (See the Gear section, near the end of this column.)


Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster, by Tess Pennington


13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. (Also available free for Amazon Prime members.)

Arctic Son: Fulfilling the Dream. (An interesting documentary.  “The chronicle of a family’s first year alone in Alaskan wilderness, Arctic Son is a poetic journey of discovery into what we value in life. In 1992 Jean Aspen and her husband, Tom, left Arizona and took their young son to live in Alaska’s interior wilderness, building a cabin out of logs, hunting for food, and letting the vast, harsh beauty of the Arctic close in around them.”)

Instructional Videos:

Wranglerstar: Farm Gate How To [Shorten One]. Note:  Wranglerstar is one our favorite video bloggers (“vloggers”).  His advice is sound and he and his family really live the life.

How to Build Your Own Weightlifting Equipment: Around the Gym


Pioneering Your Way To Freedom with John Milandred.  (Skip forward to the 8:50 mark to get  past the promotion and announcements.)

Gardening for Preppers and Survivalists (PrepperBroadcsting.com)  The gardening portion of their discussion begins as 18:17.


Bores And Blades

Paratus Familia

Gear (Futon):

We needed an extra guest bed here at the ranch, so we ordered a futon. I recommend futons for retreats because of their versatility and inherent space-saving.  We just bought this one: Westfield Futon Set – Full Size, Frame, 8″ Mattress, Twill Hunter Green Cover. I was impressed with the quality.  The frame (which looks to be teakwood) was made in Indonesia, and the mattress was made in Texas. The frame did require assembly, but that was fairly simple. Without anyone to assist me, it took me just over 40 minutes. With two people, we probably could have done it in less than 30 minutes. The mattress arrived two days after the frame, but otherwise the whole order went very smoothly.

And to carry in your car carry in your sustainment bugout bags: Iunio Military Portable Folding Shovel and Pickax with Tactical Waist Pack Army Surplus Multitool for Camping, Hiking, Backpacking, Fishing, Entrenching, Car Emergencies

Make a Suggestion

Want to suggest Recommendations of your own? Then please send them to JWR. You can do so via e-mail or via our Contact form. Thanks!




  1. I am currently reading the4th and last installment of the World Made by Hand series by James Howard Kunstler. Although in novel form, this series is an excellent look at what may happen WTSHTF. I first learned of this author when I read his nonfiction book The Long Emergency. Good stuff. (Excuse the punctuation as the book titles should be underlined, but my computer refuses to comply.)

    1. Many preppers don’t realize just how many people they may have to accommodate in their homes, in the event of an emergency. Plan ahead. In fact plan to have folks in your home for many months. The inherent space efficiency of futons, folding cots, bunk beds, hide-a-beds, Murphy beds, and hammocks should not be overlooked!

      1. 1) There are reasons for western style beds, although they have been largely forgotten. Having legs on the bed frame makes it possible to keep bedbugs, mice, roaches,etc from the bedding. If need be, the legs can be placed in metal cans, glass jars,etc.

        2) Japanese futons have layers of cotton wadding –hard to clean — although the western copies are often foam rubber mounted on wooden frames like western beds (Which largely negates the space saving)


        https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/mez/61/3/61_3_231/_pdf (Scan down to pictures)

        3) While bedbug bites have long been suspected of transmitting disease, no proof of this has been scientifically shown. The question is important because they are developing resistence to pesticides that kept them under control within the USA in the past.

        4) However, the role of the kissing bug in spreading the deadly disease Chagas has been shown. In the past, this disease has mainly plagued Latin America but it is spreading into Texas.

        5) The very clean environment many of us live in today within the USA might not continue in the crowded , unsanitary conditions of a major catastrophe. So when choosing equipment it might be worthwhile to consider how it would work in third world conditions.

  2. Just finished “The Mandibles”, a novel that chronicles the financial troubles of a well off family during a collapse.

    It’s funny, exciting, and scary. A well written warning to be prepared for bad times caused by government interference in the economy, especially healthcare.

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