The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “HJL”. Mexican violence continues to escalate and now the Federal government has decided to get involved again. Must be election time.

Eating Freeze Dried Food

The latest from Commander Zero: Real world eating of decades old freeze-dried food. This is a collection of posts where various bloggers have opened and eaten older freeze dried foods and reported on it. If you have old freeze dried foods in your pantry that you are wondering about, you might want to check this out.


The Associated Press has an article (sent in by reader B.H.) that continues the update on how desperate Venezuelans are getting. Drivers of trucks are getting held at gunpoint while hordes of people loot the food they may be carrying to processing plants or distribution points. These truck drivers are only making the equivalent of $100/month and it is now one of the most dangerous jobs there is. Inflation has the price of foods doubling every few weeks and the government is showing its usual stupidity by blaming supermarkets and ordering them to lower their prices. Let’s blame the symptom for the illness.

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Remember that Venezuelan police that rebelled against Maduro and used a helicopter to attack the supreme court? The military found and killed him. This really isn’t unexpected news as there was a major man-hunt being conducted for him and this was the inevitable outcome in a tin-horn socialist dictatorship. Now, however, there are apparently major problems in the military. After the killing, morale has dropped to an all time low. Inflation is at 4,000 percent and the government can’t give the military members what it promised them. The killing of Perez seems to have had an enormous impact on moral. Perez had apparently contacted officials about his intention to surrender. Socialism at it’s finest. Thanks to H.L. for the link.

Mexican violence

The Mexican government is unleashing a new wave of troops to crack down on criminal groups in regions where there was a surge of violence leading to over 25,000 murders last year. The Federal Police will work with local officials to round up known major criminals and bolster investigations. It must be election time again and the ruling party is trailing in the polls. The U.S. has slapped it’s most stringent travel warnings on many areas of Mexico as the government has continued to battle cartels. Thanks to G.P. for the link.

Exercise App Tracking

Mike Williamson, SurvivalBlog’s Editor at Large sent in this article on how the fitness app Strava is giving away critical information about the location and layout of secret U.S. Army bases. Apparently soldiers are uploading their fitness data to public servers and this can be used to map out locations and paths. Strava released a map that shows every track that every person who uses it has ever uploaded. OPSEC applies to individuals as well as the military.

ATF Record Keeping

Reader J.S. sent in this video by GQ on how life works in the real-life database of America’s Firearms. The ATF is prohibited by law from having searchable, electronically indexed records of firearms records. The video is produced from a progressive, liberal point of view and consistently laments how difficult and time consuming firearms traces are when they must be searched manually. However, it’s a good picture of how the process works. Notably missing is the fact that firearms traces seldom solve crimes and/or produce usable information. The only way that would happen is if they recorded every firearms transaction, including private ones. Nope. Not gonna happen. As far as I’m concerned, they should just remove what little information they have. This information is far more likely to be used in a confiscation scheme if it’s ever allowed. History is on our side here.

Universal Income

Progressive California continues it’s downward slide. Stockton now believes the answer to wage stagnation and loss of middle-class jobs along with the looming threat of automation is to create a universal basic income (UBI). In the trial, several families will get $500 a month for one year, no strings attached. Their goal is to gather data on the social impacts of giving people a basic income. I guess they haven’t learned anything from our current welfare system.

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Please send your news tips to HJL. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) These are often especially relevant, because they come from folks who watch news that is important to them. Due to their diligence and focus, we benefit from fresh “on target” news. We often “get the scoop” on news that is most likely ignored (or reported late) by mainstream American news outlets. Thanks!


  1. I believe Stockton was, at the time anyways, the largest city in California to file bankruptcy. They obviously didn’t learn their lesson. As a 4th generation ex-pat Californian I can honestly say that on one hand I really miss the state a lot! On the other hand… thank God I’m gone!

    1. Sorry Rob, everyone knows that when you have a lot of failure with social engineering you should double down. This works so well that cities like Detroit, Chicago, LA, NY. have things under control.

    2. I agree completely. Although I miss my old friends, I am totally happy that I can honestly say that I used to live in California but I got out before it got totally crazy.

  2. I have eaten MH freeze dried food out of a #10 can that was 40+ years old with no problem. I will say it was stored in a cool dark room and no bulge or rust on the can. When I opened the can I heard the whoosh sounds that told me the can was still sealed in nitrogen. I do have several more can that are 40+ years old and I need to replace those with newer food stocks.

  3. Those reviews of 37-40 year old MH freeze-dried food were reassuring. Imagine how good the food would taste if you were actually hungry!

    I believe the key to all long-term food storage is ‘Avoiding excessive heat”.

  4. It is also worth noting the the funds for the Stockton experiment come from an outside donation, so it is NOT coming from the other residents of Stockton. No downside (except the downside effect of increasing dependence for the recipients) is being tested at all, in fact, so I’m sure they will call it an unqualified success when it is over!

  5. When you have surplus people for whom no form of employment exists, what do you do? Mack Reynolds wrote of this over fifty years ago.

    One answer is to legalize a tranquilizer, put low-IQ programs on the TV, and then subsidize.

    Sound familiar? 🙂

  6. I agree completely. Although I miss my old friends, I am totally happy that I can honestly say that I used to live in California but I got out before it got totally crazy.

  7. In issue #1 of Prepper & Shooter Magazine (now A non Viable Entity) the boys and girls cracked open 50 year old Civil Defense can of survival crackers and the were just fine, of course when the SHTF anything will work.

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