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”.

I’m finally beginning to get some dexterity back in my fingers after the accident. It’s tough not being able to use your hands when there is so much to be done. Spring is definitely here! On the bright side, I spent some time watching YouTube videos and found a new vlogger that I like. AvE is a Canadian that believes in destructive testing of products. He tears down expensive tools and compares them to the cheap alternatives. He’s very ADD and reminds me of myself when I was younger.

In particular, he has a series where he compares the “Made in the USA” tools to Chinese imports and the results are rather surprising. In some cases, the “Made in the USA” tool performs better, as you would expect, but only marginally. In other cases, the Chinese import outperforms the USA product. I’m reminded of the early days of Japanese car imports. There was a time when Japanese car companies truly did produce junk, but it wasn’t long before they had a quality product on the market and the US auto manufactures were still producing the same old thing. You could routinely get 500,000 miles out of a Japanese engine while American engines were doing good to get 100,000 without having to be rebuilt. Who doesn’t think of Toyota as a quality product nowadays?

Competition is a good thing for the consumer. In any case, destructive testing is always fascinating to watch, especially when the product is expensive. Note: He does use rough language.

o o o

Second Amendment

Reader H.L. sent in this article on how the Second Amendment is chipped away one little piece at a time. The effort is relentless and every compromise made is a significant victory to the other side. The article outlines the document “Gun Control: Gateway to Tyranny” which highlights similarities between the Nazi Weapons Law of March 18, 1938 and the U.S. Gun Control Act of 1968.

o o o

Banks continue to attempt to direct how you can spend your own money. Now Amalgamated Bank is pressuring Sturm, Ruger & Company, demanding that they adopt six reforms or it would not support the re-election of one of the gun maker’s board members, Sandra Froman, who is also an NRA board member. The bank claims that Froman’s (and the company’s) close ties to the NRA pose a conflict of interest. Thanks to reader T.P. for the link.

Wilderness is too risky

In a bizarre statement, the near century old outdoor recreation club at Penn State says they will now refrain from going outside because it is too dangerous out in the wilderness according to officials at Penn State University. The decision was made by an administrative office that never consulted with the club and they will no longer allow the club to organize outdoor, student-led trips starting next semester. Two other clubs – the spelunking Nittany Grotto Caving Club and the Nittany Divers SCUBA club have also been directed to end their trips. Thanks to C.H. for the link.

Personal Data

Who has more of your personal data than Facebook? Try Google. This article sent in by reader P. shows that Google gathers more data than even facebook, yet no one is really talking about it. Simply by using Google as your search engine, or visiting a site that uses Google Analytics or AdSense, or send an email through Gmail, you allow them to collect information on your browsing and shopping habits and they are very good at collating and mining that data. Make the switch to ProtonMail from Gmail and to DuckDuckGo from Google today!

Off Grid Living

A SurvivalBlog reader sent in this article on a small community that lives off-grid. It’s an interesting concept, but there are some things notably missing from the article. Homes were built for as little as $20,000 and the village is a planned community of 600 people on 25 acres of land. It is an intriguing concept, but there is no mention of security. The community seems to be made mostly of tree-huggers. It will certainly be interesting to watch the progress of this community. In any case, it does show that this style of living is entirely viable.

Retreat Location

SurvivalRealty has a reasonably priced property for sale in North Carolina that would make a really nice retreat. The 41 acres offer great privacy with fantastic views and a spring. The property is located at the end of a state road so there is no through traffic and it has a building site that has already been graded. Three phase power is available as well.

o o o

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. Re: penn state not allowing outdoor trips.

    So instead of teaching students how to survive in the wild and deal with wild animals and possible poisonous plants, instead, they are limiting them to an artificial environment, controlled by human hands, and exposing them entirely to humans who can do much worse harm than any wild animal. I’d much rather take my risk on the wild animals, because they don’t have souls or the reasoning ability to actually be mailicious.

  2. Amalgamated bank owns an estimated 7,500 shares of Ruger stock?
    Its not going to matter what they want because their tiny holding is insignificant.
    They should sell their shares and move on.

  3. It also seems that Serenbe, GA is only for the elite. The lowest price item is an empty lot for $400K, and it goes up to a Condo for $1.5M. One the edge of Atlanta to boot. Without security, it will sadly be overrun quickly when any disaster hits the Atlanta area. I live 2 hours South, and that is too close, but I don’t have much of a choice right now.

  4. Not to make a solution of a problem to simple for the Penn State administrative decision, but come on now. Cut your ties to the school, meet in a pizza joint , give them the finger, and continue on with your pursuit of nature. It’s not like you need their funding or their meddling when you are off campus. If you want to be a door mat submit, but you will establish a habit for the rest of your life if you do.

  5. RE: Chinese tools- Americans have long abandoned the idea of hard work and manufacturing, instead we sent our kids to School with the idea that manual labor is bad, wanting better for our kids, we left the idea of hard work, ( and the tools that go with it ) to the less developed nations.

  6. Serenbe Georgia, ick, a bunch of wealthy, white wine sipping hipster hippies, The mansion with the Olympic sized pool sort of put me off as well as restraints serving the latest haut cuisine.
    Not a solar panel in sight.

  7. “….similarities between the Nazi Weapons Law of March 18, 1938 and the U.S. Gun Control Act of 1968.”

    It’s almost a verbatim translation!

  8. I can’t say for US made versus foreign made tools, but I can say for old vs new tools. I have an old Craftsman 3/8″ drive ratchet that was handed down to me by my wife’s g’father (a salty self-made cuss – I miss him). Still going strong. I’m not sure I’ll pass it on down to, none of my offspring seem interested in handy work.

  9. I’m in the process of moving. A few weeks back I was in Walmart and they were unloading some product and had about 20 nice boxes which they allowed me to have for free. Anyone who has moved a family knows it takes a lot of boxes so this was a great find. Of course I also bought boxes at Walmart and Home Depot. You would simply not believe how fragile those free Chinese made boxes are, almost tissue paper fragile. Not complaining, I still used them, saved me perhaps $50 or so. But their quality in my opinion is typical of the quality of most of what I have seen from China.

  10. I think a planned community of up to 600 people won’t be able to grow enough food on that small a piece of land, no matter what they do. Once they subtract living structures of any kind from it, it becomes pretty obvious what it really is – a commune for tree-huggers and trust fund babies.

    1. With aquaponics and permaculture, food forest type farming they should easily be able to feed themselves. The big issues will be in the event of any TEOTWAWKI. Lack of security and off-grid power will be crippling if not fatal.

  11. The Daily Wire version of this article stated:

    It seems the problem with the Outing Club was that it occasionally enjoyed the outdoors, and some students hiked, biked, and canoed beyond the reach of cell phone towers,

    which put them at risk of being disconnected from classmates and the rest of the world for short periods of time,

    even though that might be the entire point of an outdoors club.

Comments are closed.