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”. What do think the most important guns in history are?

Brazen Thieves

Reader P. sent in this news report from San Francisco showing just how brazen thieves have gotten in the area. In the town of Antioch thieves are approaching cars that are stopped at intersections or are parked on the street with the occupant in them. In one case that is profiled, the thief ran up to a car stopped at a red light, smashed the window of the car, took the purse, and escaped in another vehicle that had no license plate on it. This is just one more indication that you can’t be in public and be oblivious to everything around you. Even in a moving vehicle, you have to be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Important Guns in History

Every generation has a firearm that is either unique in its approach to function or is ubiquits enough to have widespread use and makes a significant difference in society. Reader DSV sent in this article that profiles what the author believes are the five most significant weapons in America’s history. I’m not a history buff, but from what I know, I would tend to agree with this list. There are obviously omissions from the list since it is limited to just five, but these five have had a huge impact on our history. The last two on the list are still having a significant impact even though one of them is over 100 years old.

Gun Control

Not surprisingly, despite the progressive/liberal cry for more gun control, a recent poll shows that public support is actually down by 17 percent over the last 28 years. This report send in by reader H.L. shows that Democrats are the driving force behind the current 61 percent of Americans that support some form of gun control. It is also important to remember that how questions are staged can have severe impacts on how people answer the questions on these polls. Also, simple education has the ability to devastate the poll numbers. Most people are completely ignorant on actual gun usage statistics.

New Jersey Bans

If there ever was a reason to vote with your feet and your wallet, this has got to be it. Reader DSV sent in this link to a list of everything that New Jersey wants to ban and make illegal. There were a few surprises on the list too. Thinks like limiting antibiotics to sick animals only and banning TV’s that spy on you seem like logical additions to the list. Protecting the unborn children is also a good idea and I hope that legislation makes it through. But there are also some rather annoying things on the list, like banning plastic bags and straws, free food for public school kids, drone restrictions, balloon restrictions and others. It seems like typical government interference. There are enough good things interspersed throughout the list to keep a person from just waling away from it, but there are things on it that the government clearly has no business getting involved in.

NVIS Antennas

A SurvivalBlog reader sent in this Facebook video on NVIS antennas. If you are curious in how these antennas work to enhance short wave communications you should watch this video. In short, VHF and UHF communications are good for short range communications, but start breaking down when the distance increases or if you are in mountainous or hilly terrain. With the NVIS antenna, HF communication is really good for long distance communication because of atmospheric skip, but it struggles in the intermediate range of a couple hundred miles. The NVIS antenna is designed to make the skip go straight up and then straight back down so the intermediate range is covered well. This is, of course, a highly simplified description. Watch this video to understand more. Note: This is on Facebook.


Reader T.J. sent in this video from the Back to Reality blog on growing potatoes. They didn’t even dig in the ground to grow these potatoes. They only used mulch and the harvest of potatoes was pretty incredible. The garden produced 337 pounds of potatoes with very little effort. The video makes several references to earlier videos on how they grew the potatoes but they also cover it pretty well here. I think I’m definitely going to try this version. With the ground already prepared, they planted 34 pounds of potatoes in about 30 minutes. Harvesting the potatoes was a simple matter of pulling aside the hay to harvest the potatoes and not disturbing the ground. Pictures of the ground show an incredibly rich ground teaming with life.

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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. Interesting about the taters! I’ve been growing them the old fashioned way for a couple years now (dig row, bury seed, hill dirt), but not having fantastic harvests. I may have to snag a bale of hay from the horses and give this a try in one section of the garden…

  2. I used the layer method of potatoes last year just as a last resort. Previously we used the trench/hilling method until I kept seeing videos such as this one. We are in the hilly/mountain areas of the SouthEast US where it can get pretty darned hot and I was seeing an almost 1:1 of what was planted vs what was recovered… not worth the time or more importantly the wasted space in the garden.

    Last year I planted maybe 12 lbs of potatoes and got over 60 lbs in return, I had found my new method of planting potatoes. It really is as easy as just moving the hay/straw and picking up the potatoes, sometimes you can just pull up the plant and get them all.

    A word of caution, as shown in the above video, they found the toad and the small snake, I found that some bumblebees had recently set up shop in my straw hills. Well you don’t want to spray poison all over your still covered potatoes so we just had to uncover the nest… drag it farther away and wait for them to abandon the nest. Also some of my potatoes had been nibbled by some burrowing rodents, I suspect voles.

    All in all, as I said before, I have found my new method for planting. Extra easy if you already make your own square bales.

    1. Keeping a few outdoor cats will take care of the rodents and snakes. They will try the bumblebees, but I am not sure how that will work out. Just provide the cats with a safe retreat (a shed will a cat sized entry in the door will do), and breakfast so they stay around. Not dinner, or you will get night predators.

  3. My orchard gets chipped /shredded slash from my firewood op, and is surrounded by orchard fence and a low electric wire in mild SW Oregon foothills. This seemed like a great idea in theory but it’s a vole habitat not a Garden of Eden.

    I want to do potatoes like this, but I definately need to site it where the cat is not excluded. In fact I should try this where the cat frequents; his smell and presence has got to help.

    I need to make some 40-80m NVIS or maybe put up a Carolina Windom that’s in storage kind of low. That would be good to check-in and participate in local nets.

    1. The 1994 M1 owners manual states that more than 5,468,772 M1s have been made and sold in the U.S.
      Wikipedia gives and estimate of 10 to 20 million AR-15 type rifles wold in the U.S. (NSF estimates 5 to 10 million)

      I don’t know how accurate Wikipedia’s numbers are, but I suspect Garand numbers are on the low side because they don’t really include foreign made.

    2. I think the German Mp43-Mp44-StG44 would be more important than the M16. With the Mp44 the Germans codified the idea of an intermediate cartridge in a light, select-fire capable rifle, and fielded it in significant numbers before the war ended. The Mp44 has influenced true military assault rifle designs for 70 years. Without the Mp44 Eugene Stoner may still be scratching his head (sarc)!

    3. I seem to remember from my youth that when playing WWII board games that an American Army infantry squad was allocated a combat factor of “8” versus a “1” awarded to a German infantry squad. Whether this was fair, I have no idea. I do recall that the German squad, armed with bolt-action 98 Mausers with a 5 round magazine, was organized around a machine gun. Whether the machine gun was factored into the equation of relative strength, I don’t know, but I doubt it. We had nothing to match the effectiveness and maneuverability of the MG34 and MG42. The BAR was a poor substitute. (My father who served in several operations in the Pacific said that, when asked, no one ever complained about carrying extra magazines for the BAR man.)

      For a long time, I was highly critical of the 8 round clip used in the Garand. I thought that since ammunition magazine technology had already been in use for decades, only an idiot would use clips instead of magazines.

      Perhaps three or four years ago, the American Rifleman included a piece on the M1 and said that it was the Army that wanted the clip to be used, not John Garand, the reason being that the clips could be used in the WWI ammunition belts for the 1903 Springfield rifle. The Army did not want the expense of purchasing entirely new ammunition belts and pouches.

      I can only conclude that Army’s decision was based on the meager military budgets in the early ’30s. (I have heard it said that 9 times out of 10, when a person asks the question, “Why do they do (or don’t do) so-and-so?” the answer is “The money.”

      In any event, the adoption of the M14 in the 1950s was an effort to remedy the Garand’s serious shortcomings. The M14 was/is a fine rifle. My son carried both the M14 and an M4 in Iraq as a designated marksman in his cavalry battalion.

  4. Well I am all kids of confused! I thought the People’s Republic Of California was a liberals socialist paradise. That’s why no one needs a gun. I’m sure those who are busting our car windows to grab purses are redistribute it for the poor. If the government overloads can do it why should they no be able to?

  5. No surprise in the SF story. My nephew, who lives there, tells me that many of the criminals and homeless people are imported. Seems that Nevada and other nearby states give their local ne’erdowells one way bus tickets to the bay area.

    Perhaps one or more of you could confirm the veracity of this story.

    Carry on.

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