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”. There are several interesting articles today, but the EMP article is a good refresher (or starter) for those who want to check on their preps in that area.


Reader H.L. sent in this article on the effects of EMP. The author believes this is the most likely and most dangerous proposition the U.S. could ever face as few outside of the prepper community are even pondering such an end. Fewer still are prepared to survive such an SHTF event. For those unfamiliar with the effects of the EMP, the initial problem is just the beginning. A large scale EMP attack would cripple the power grid, which would cascade to multiple failures.

The inability to refine and pump petroleum products would cause the trucking industry to grind to a halt. This would, in turn, create a supply disaster for the large cities that cannot feed themselves. Medical services would be extremely hampered and law & order would easily break down. As the famous government report states, this sort of event could result in over 90% casualties to the U.S. population within just a few short months.

Power in Venezuela

Large swaths of the socialist utopia of Venezuela are without power as the economic chaos leaves the power companies without the funds to repair the grid. A nation with one of the largest oil reserves in the world cannot keep it’s own lights on now. Blackouts are nothing new to the country though. They’ve struggled for over two decades of socialist rule, but they are more frequent and last longer now. One profiled community has been without power for over a month when a power transformer exploded. The officials repeatedly promise that it will be fixed tomorrow. As reader S.R., who sent this link in, reports: It’s reminiscent of the scene in Atlas Shrugged at the end of the book when the power goes out. The collapse is nearly complete.


Reader P.L. sent in this interesting map on primary languages spoken around the world. There are over 7,000 languages spoken around the world, but of the 7.2 billion people making up the planets population, 4.1 billion are covered by only 23 languages. As you would expect, some form of Chinese is the most popular language since that country has more than one billion as a population, but China’s language is pretty localized. English is the most popular language that is widely spoken with over 1.5 billion people speaking or learning it. If you plan on traveling, it’s an interesting chart to study.

Boy Scouts Scouting BSA

Reader D.S. sent in this article on the recent 20 year downfall of the Boy Scouts of America. It’s a good synopsis of the battle the organization fought and won, then gave up. While the organization initially stood strong, the battle took a terrible toll on it and when they were faced with continued onslaughts they eventually caved. D.S. notes that “killing honor” is an enabling step toward, and a bit like “honor killing”. When you eliminate the shame and you encourage shameful behaviors, you self destruct. In just our lifetime, consider the social attitude changes: social promotion in schools, forbidding school spanking, divorce, adultery, welfare, childbearing without marriage, sodomy, abortion, same-sex marriage, gun control, trans-genderism, fluid-genderism, thought control, and more. All of this is social distraction and destruction.

For those that currently defend and participate in the organization, remember that while the organization allows local control and you can run your local troop according to your principles (at least until sued), a significant part of the organization is the inter-troop functions like camporees, summer camp and adventure sports. You can (mostly) control your own troop, but you have no control over other troops. Do you know who that leader is in the tent next to yours at summer camp?

School Failure

Reader V.T. sent in this article on UK schools replacing analog clocks with digital ones because the students can’t tell time anymore. I don’t believe this problem is localized to the UK either. Years ago, I noticed that my own children could not read an analog clock. When a child is small, it really doesn’t make any difference, but when they get old enough to understand what time is and how important it is in our society, they should learn.

With my own children, the solution was simple. I bought them each a cheap, analog watch and constantly asked them what time it was. They had to work to figure it out. I’m not so sure it’s that easy anymore because the kids of today have no interest in wearing a watch unless it’s the new Apple iWatch or a FitBit. The schools are not going to teach your children to do this – You have to do it.

Maps Where Nobody Lives

Several interesting maps outline where nobody lives in countries like the U.K., United States, Canada, France, and even Finland. These maps are an interesting source of information while deciding where you want to live (or have a retreat) but there are several caveats to their use. Several readers have noted that they are not necessarily accurate as the area lists their home as uninhabited. The maps also make no distinction on whether the location is actually inhabitable. it might be in the middle of a lake or a desert. If you use the map, follow up with independently verified research before you commit. Thanks to D.B. for the link.

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 BSA: If the Boy Scouts are now just “Scouts”, does that mean the name “Boy Scouts of America” is available and somebody could start a new organization with the BSA name??

    Anybody know any corporations or sponsors that may be interested in such a venture??

    1. Re: “RE BSA: If the Boy Scouts are now just “Scouts”

      They’re now “Scouts BSA”, not just Scouts. Yeah that means they are technically “Scouts Boy Scouts of America”. Idiotic name. As for someone else being able to take over “BSA” for another organization, I don’t know. Probably not since BSA is still part of their new name: Scouts BSA.

      1. That’s the assumption of facts not in evidence. One should check when the old website license goes away, and there is a trademark on the full name that must be checked. Yes its not as simple as asking people on the internet, but facts STILL outweigh opinions on legal issues.

        If they abandon their roots, their values, and their name, there is no reason one couldn’t pull out grandpa’s Boy Scout handbook from 1925 and start a whole new organization. You all kept grandpa’s handbook, right?

        1. Every time I read or hear that new name, I translate it as “Scouts? B^!! S#!+, Eh?” It’s a sad end to what once was an honorable organization.

  2. A 12 year old was sitting next to me at a community event, and asked me what time it was. I pointed to a clock (analog) on the wall, and he said he couldn’t figure it out. I asked him to explain, and he said he could only tell the time using a “clock with only numbers”, meaning a digital clock. I asked him if they taught him how to tell time in school, and he said he was home schooled. Not all home school is of high quality. Many home schooled kids are just left on their own, without any real, meaningful learning taking place. This kid just played Legos or video games all day.

    1. Not sure how well this would work in the digital age, but back in the analog (stone) age, each of my four kids eventually wanted a wristwatch. I told them that as soon as they could correctly read me the time from my watch, or one of the clocks in the house, I’d buy them one. They all learned fairly soon, around age five. Turns out, a wristwatch was a major status symbol in Kindergarten or First Grade, in those days!

  3. RE EMP:
    One of the biggest problem with EMP is that it is likely to be patchy.
    There isn’t a “Blast Radius” as such, it will hit different areas (at the same distance!) with differing intensity.
    The most you can do is “plan for the worst but hope for the best”…

    Although that covers MOST prepping!

    All the best.

  4. re:
    Venezuela Jennifer Eats By Candles

    Something stinks about this story!

    I was a journalist traveling this planet. I lived and worked in Caracas. Based on my experience in May, Venezuela has twelve+ hours of daylight.

    Allegedly, in a culture of zero resources, nobody has anything… no job, no transportation, no bug spray, no food, no candles. Yet Mrs. Naranjo manages to do some activity during daylight to force her to eat only at night. Hmmm…

    Why would she decide to get pregnant during a national emergency? What type of person decides to raise a child into a culture of no food… and no candles?

    Instead of focusing on the localized human drama, the reporter quotes a government spokes-model. Instantly, the reporter loses credibility by inserting a political agenda.

    This is not reporting. This is propaganda.

    And it stinks.

    1. “Why would she decide to get pregnant during a national emergency?”

      During civilizational crisis a woman’s fertility rate shoots up. Drive to procreate also shoots up. Both are normal physiological reactions.

      (And, some women don’t decide.)

  5. Re: School Failure. Government-indoctrination ‘schools’. Their ‘graduates’ can’t even read or write cursive. They can’t even read the Declaration of Independence or the US Constitution. Oh but they have smart phones and digital gadgets. See ‘EMP’ above.

    1. From the article “The schools are not going to teach your children to do this – You have to do it.”

      For pretty much all meaningful skills, especially critical thinking and logic.

  6. Start Right, and Train to a Higher Standard
    (YouTube Video)
    Reid Henrichs
    Published on May 3, 2018
    Duration 8:01

    “If you begin by training on the basics, a proper foundation is set. Taking the easy way out with technology is counterproductive, and ensures a lack of understanding, competency, and ingrains poor habits.”

  7. Regarding EMP, the latest issue of the American Legion magazine has an extensive article addressing the problem and some rational approaches to fixing it. Expensive solutions, sure, but…As the old saying goes: Pay me now or pay me later.

    Carry on.

  8. EMP: Every time I think of this, I am reminded of the ending of “Escape From LA” with Kurt Russell. While I don’t take the comforts of the 21st century for granted, there are certain aspects of the 19th century I would definitely appreciate, at least until I died. LOL

    A young mind is like anything else, you get out of it pretty much what you put in. Put in garbage, what do you expect? Reading a clock was something I knew how to do before I went into Kindergarten. Of course, back then, we had to remember to wind them up every day. For that matter, what kid knows how to read a compass, or a topo map?

    What makes Venezuela such a conundrum is the people. They still haven’t quite realized cause and effect. “If God did not want them sheared, he wouldn’t have made them sheep.”

    There’s absolutely nothing stopping someone from starting a new program with a new name that teaches essential outdoor skills and morals and civics and confidence and make it inherently exclusive. Call it something different, and create a set of by-laws for which there is no legislative or executive process to change. Of course, the establishment will attack it immediately, but at least there are avenues…

    1. I’m waiting to see how long until my Local Church breaks away from the new BSA and starts their own church-wide boy’s group (possibly in conjunction with other churches), reverting to the original morals and lessons of the BSA.

    2. benjammin,
      It would be interesting to follow Venezuela’s continued downfall to see how closely it follows another Ayn Rand classic, “Anthem”.

  9. regarding EMP

    My solar system uses “Midnite” lightning surge protectors, they are layered throughout the system for maximum protection. A single unit will take up to a 20,000 volt (40,000 amp) surge and reset in case there are more. These could easily be added to your existing on grid power to give you at least some protection, they cost less that $200 from what I recall.

    That’s a video showing the unit being tested, enough for an EMP? Not sure but way way better than nothing.

  10. Re: EMP, To often articles on emp create the impression that a emp attackt is some kind of special attack, below the level of a Nuclear attack. An EMP attack is a Nuclear attack on America with all the consequences that come with it. If you prep for Nuclear war you will be covered. If you prep for an emp attack as an isolated occurrence IMHO you will come up short.

    1. Seawind,
      You’re right. An EMP is a nuclear airburst. Not sure of the physics, but it seems to me that the high temperatures created by an airburst nuke create the electromagnetic pulse.

  11. As a seventy seven year old male, I was absolutely stunned when I stepped up to my bank teller, handed her a hand written note in cursive. She handed it back to me, and said she could not read that kind of writing! In another instance, I had left my glasses in my car, I asked a young man, if he would help me read the instructions on the package I was wanting to buy in his store where he worked. He apologized and said he was sorry but he could not read. That is what happens when you
    Allow the school boards to take teaching out of the hands of parents and the teachers in the classroom’s !!!

  12. We went to a cub scout pack family campout at a boy scout camp a few weekends ago. During the day about 1/3 of the groups at the camp were girls. They were focused out learning how to fish when I observed the largest group. I do not know if they stayed the night but I was happy to see them there. The point being that the Girl Scouts have failed to adapt to the want and needs of girls. How many girl scout leaders refuse to camp or do outdoor activities? Quite a few. The focus of the girl scouts as best I can tell is to sell cookies and prepare girls to be housewives.

    As a cub scout leader, I personally would have wished the BSA would have allowed Coed dens. The reason being that it is difficult enough to find leaders as it is let alone two leaders for each age group. Whether people want to admit it or not, when we have pack meetings or other events, we always include siblings(girls) in the activities. To include the siblings, increases the draw of scouting and is of benefit to families of children of both genders. There is nothing in the ideals of scouting that are exclusive to just boys. These ideals create better leaders and members of society as a whole.

  13. Regarding the EMP article [that was linked to], that’s one of the worst articles on the subject I think I’ve ever read. The meandering style and various grammar and word errors (“valves” instead of “switches”?) lead me to believe this was cooked up by a non native English speaker with a few minutes of Internet research to create some click bait.
    There is some truth to the following: our heavily industrialized society is extremely vulnerable to disruptions of the electrical grid, an EMP attack is highly likely to be employed in the early phases of any major military confrontation with the United States, and we are overdue for a strong solar storm. Sadly, there is also truth to the statement that there is a lot of ignorance about the subject even among the prepper community.
    If you care about this subject, educate yourself! At a minimum, read Arthur T. Bradley’s “Disaster Preparedness for EMP Attacks and Solar Storms” available from Amazon in Kindle or Paperback.

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