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”. Dicks Sporting Goods is finally taking one on the chin.


ATF Unhinged: Prosecutions Made Up Out of Whole Cloth – You Might Be Next…

JWR’s Comment: With this situation in mind, I recommend that anyone who has an arm-braced gun also equip it with a pistol grip mounted to the lower that incorporates a storage compartment. That way you can carry copies of the ATF letter(s) in a Ziplock bag stowed inside the grip at all times. That way, if there is ever a legal dispute with the ATF, that letter will be a de facto part of the chain of evidence. An officer separating that letter from the gun taken as evidence would be solid grounds for Title 42 Sec 1983 (Deprivation of Rights) civil lawsuits–against both the agency and against the agents, as individuals.

The Ultimate Van

Video: Engineer Builds Ultimate DIY 144″ Sprinter Van | Shower, Hot Water, Guest Bed, Bikes & More!

Valley Food Storage

Valley Food Storage, one of SurvivalBlog’s advertisers has just announced that they are under new management. However, they promise that while there are big changes going on behind the scenes, nothing will change for their customers. You’ll still get high-quality, nutritious food and the same great service. They also promise that there are lots of exciting things on the way.


Sweden has been under attack for a number of years via uncontrolled immigration. Now, native Swedes may soon be outnumbered by the migrants. Richard Jornshof, Sweden Democrats MP, is making the dire warning that without any foreseeable change in policy,, native Swedes will soon be a minority in their own country. Statistically, that probably won’t happen soon, but a staggering 1 in 6 people were born outside the country. About 5% of the population live in migrant-majority areas and recent statistics say that mass migration is the only factor pushing Swedish population growth. Thanks to DSV for the link.

Shelter Design

Reader T.J. sent in this video that reviews 15 shelter designs that could help save peoples lives. These shelters are produced by organizations like Homes for the Homeless, Life Cube, LifeLINK Modular and Better Shelter. All of these are modular designs and may give you some ideas on building your own quick shelter for you retreat.

EMP safe

Reader RCR wrote in to ask SurvivalBlog readers if a good quality gun safe that is grounded will protect electronics from an EMP.

The grounding is somewhat irrelevant to the whole argument. What is a concern is the door seal. Most gun safes that are not “fire resistant” have a rubber door seal (for noise control on closing) or no seal at all. Fire rated safes typically have some sort of braided fire cloth seal with some being designed to swell up when exposed to high heat to make a fairly air-tight and heat resistant seal. None of those provide a good conductive path which would be necessary for EMP protection. It’s possible to modify your gun safe by installing a conductive mesh seal though. That would make an excellent article for SurvivalBlog if you do something like that!

RFID trackability

Reader KWH wrote in to ask SurvivalBlog readers if they knew of a device that could detect whether your new car, trailer etc. has an embedded RFID. He states:

My fear is that the RFID would allow the government to track you to your BOL, and if present could this be removed? Rental cars, commercial trucks etc have these. I think detection via RFID tracking would nullify any advantages of having BOL. This is a topic that really needs to be addressed beyond the usual articles of how small they can be, how easily they can be implanted into humans and how “convenient” they are for making retail purchases and performing other scans at passenger gates at airports etc.

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Dick’s Sporting Goods is taking one on the chin from one of their ammo suppliers. Battle Born Munitions was contracted by Dick’s to provide ammunition in a package branded specifically for them. Dick’s then refused to take delivery of that ammo for nearly a year. BBM was unable to sell the ammo to anyone else due to the branded packaging and had to store the ammo for nearly a year before Dick’s finally took possession of it. Even then, BBM had issues with Dick’s taking discounts it was not entitled to and claiming that the ammo did not meet specification, yet provided no evidence of that.

All told, BBM had $4.5 million tied up for over a year and missed out on several other opportunities because they didn’t have the capital to invest. This included a deal for $37 million worth of Bell helicopters costing BBM $5.2 million. We’re hoping BBM takes Dick’s to the cleaners.

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. We have a Dick’s Sporting Goods in our town. Every time I pass by it the parking lot is practically empty. I believe that management is having employees park their cars out in the customer parking as to make it look like they have business. However a lot of times I noticed that the same cars are present as I pass by.

  2. Re: RFID Tracking

    There are two types of RFIDs – active and passive. These are further divided into the frequency band they operate.

    Active RFIDs require batteries or vehicle power. Some toll pass transponders are like this, and easy to remove.

    Passive RFIDs require an external RF source to activate. Low frequency tags are usually very short range – under 4″ – and not a real concern with preppers.

    Higher frequency tags come in 13 MHz on up to 300 MHz and 3 GHz. Generally, the higher the frequency the farther the vehicle can be from the RFID reader.

    Tire RFIDs operate around 900 MHz and can be read a significant distance away (>30′). There are windshield stickers with RFIDs printed on them – which are usually a couple of inches long by an inch wide. Many use the 900 MHz band.

    To detect RFIDs, first do a visual inspection of the vehicle. Image search Google under “RFID” to get an idea what they look like.

    Secondly, do an active scan of the vehicles with an RFID scanner. I would start with a 860 – 960 MHz reader. Amazon and Ebay have these; RFID ME makes a line of products.

    An alternative would be have a tire store scan your vehicle. They likely would have a scanner.

    Bear in mind there are other ways to track your vehicle. Are you carrying your cell phone? Does your vehicle have OnStar? Is the BlueTooth enabled on your vehicle’s radio? These too can be tracked, and have been in the past.

    Vehicles can be scanned with an inexpensive spectrum analyzer from Touchstone for RF transmissions from cell phones, trackers, and bumber beepers. Uses a $20 SDR and software.

    License plate readers are also an issue. There is a special Lexan cover from StealthPlate UK that allows visible light, but blocks the near-IR that most license plate cameras use. Works best at night.


    1. Some license plates contain an RFID chip as well.

      I’ve driven tens of thousands of miles with plate covers. Never stopped once because of one. Lots of those miles were in the People’s Republic of California.

      Perhaps it is time to unleash your inner outlaw, as Claire Wolfe has said…

  3. I refuse to shop at Dicks. Aside from their gun ban they insist on corporate policies – like wanting to know if you are a citizen before selling you ammo – which seem just bizarre. Why does that matter and what do they do with that data? They go way beyond the law in Idaho in their inquiries.

    1. The last thing I want is some gangbanger from south of the border loading up on ammo. Maybe I’m missing something. Why would you object to Dick’s demanding proof of citizenship to sell ammo?

    1. Good point on the face scanning. The latest DHS/TSA tech requirements are driving facial scanning for airports and traffic.

      Offer a suitcase of government cash, and the tech savvy Benedict Arnolds come out in droves.

  4. addendum – rfid is one problem but you often find bluetooth devices and if they are talking or trying to pair there is a unique id number which can be detected from many yards away.

    RFID tends to be difficult. The rest are very easy.

  5. I was in a gun store here in Idaho recently. In regards to private sales the manager told me that ATF training they were given was that private sales were now illegal. I said that was not the case. The guy said ATF was planning to start arresting people at gun shows doing private sales. I didn’t argue with the guy but it seems strange

    1. Probabaly just shooting of his mouth. That said, no way an arrest for private sale should be allowed to happen at a gun show. Trust me, there are enough armed citizens in the place to stop such a thing if they just would. If arrested for it, a false arrest lawsuit is in the bag.

      1. Here in a Midwest state, I recently went to a gun show and was looking for a single-shot 12ga. shotgun. The Dealers require paperwork, so I avoid them. So I went to a private seller’s table and found a likely gun for purchase. He wanted a Handgun Permit, or a state issued Permit to Buy a Handgun, neither of which is required by law in my state to buy a long gun. I refused to deal with him, and went to the other private sellers. They had all agreed among themselves to require the same although NOT REQUIRED BY LAW. I went to an auction the next month, and the auctioneers required the same. I do not want my name on any lists, so I did not bid on the shotguns they had up for auction. I will not be returning to that gun show next year.

        1. P.S.- I can understand that the Dealers do not want competition from private sellers. However, the dealers always have most of the business due to their larger selection of models for sale and their larger inventory.

        2. Dude, nobody wants to get hosed for providing weapons to prohibited people. Demanding the permit is the simplest, cheapest way for these chaps to cover their backsides in the event that some device they sold 5 years ago gets traced back to them.

          Have you sold any guns in private transfers?

          You live in MN perhaps?

      2. I’d be willing to bet they’re going to be cracking down on people who meet the definition of firearm dealers, but still conducting sales as if they were private transactions.

  6. Probabaly just shooting of his mouth. That said, no way an arrest for private sale should be allowed to happen at a gun show. Trust me, there are enough armed citizens in the place to stop such a thing if they just would. If arrested for it, a false arrest lawsuit is in the bag.

  7. I carry a copy of the ATF regs on both of my AR pistol builds that are equipped with the “K” blade type stock.
    I place the copy inside the handguard and always have it when out at the range etc…

    1. If it’s a firearm that uses a AR type receiver extension just for the fitting the arm brace with no [buffer] inner workings, I would add a copy [of the ATF letter] there. It is unlikely to be found and go “missing”.

  8. If anybody decides to do the EMP Safe article, please include how to test its effectiveness/efficiency if you don’t have access to the nearest electrophysics lab. Best idea I’ve been able to come up with is to put my transmitting source inside and see if I can pick up any signals, but I know that’s a lame idea.

  9. Re. private sales at gun shows, An FFL from Florida told me recently that ATF was asserting that anyone who rented a table or space at a gun show to sell guns was acting as a “Dealer” and was required to have a Federal Firearms License and follow all the federal rules (even if it was Grand Dads collection). She did not say if she knew of any arrest for this. A couple of months ago the ATF question and answer web page indicated that a private sale by a resident of a state to anyone not a resident of the same state was a violation. I think the explanation was that it would be an “interstate” sale and subject to the Federal Firearms act. That’s all I know about that.

  10. Re. Shelter Designs, A couple of good ideas there, but a little disturbing. I looks like some might be expecting a big increase in the number of homeless people, including homeless with families.

  11. Picking the brain of Bron Cikotis (you can look up a Youtube video on him), who did a quarter century of research and testing with EMP for the US Government, I learned that he had placed a dozen hand-held ham radios in a plain vanilla filing cabinet and zapped it on a simulator at 50,000 volts per square meter (50kv/m2). Consider that filing cabinets have quarter-inch gaps around the drawers. All radios still worked fine after exposure. While the cabinet is not nearly 100% effective at blocking the signal, it blocks most of it…enough to prevent permanent damage to the ICs.
    An outfit calle Sol-Ark has their own simulators (they’re working on a 500kv/m2 simulator right now), and have a number of Youtube videos showing EMP testing of radios, solar panels, lap tops, smart phones, etc in their 50kv/m2 RF simulator. Even the lap top, while shut down initially, came back to life when re-booted. It’s simply too small to gather enough RF energy to damage circuits. Here is one of their videos: There are others showing the testing of radios and inverters.
    I think a gun safe will likely protect most small electronics….but there IS that large gap around the large door. Galvanized trash cans offer better protection and cost a whole lot less. Be sure to wrap the lip of the can with copper screen before smashing the lid down on the can.
    All this assumes you have your own, survivable electricity source for the aftermath….otherwise, your protected devices won’t run for long. This also assumes YOU have the wherewithal to keep going when the supply chain dies. Otherwise, your cool devices will come in handy for the next person who finds them……Book of Eli comes to mind.
    In one of the Sol-Ark Youtube videos, they tested four radios (2 meter?) in a trash can. All worked fine. Next, in so-called EMP bags. All worked fine. Finally, they tested the radios bare-naked in the simulator. All worked fine! One had to have its battery removed and re-inserted to boot it up, but it worked! Here’s that video:
    Don’t expect the same results with any item plugged into the grid. You’ll get about three million volts at 45,000 amps at the weather head of your house, and electronics don’t like that. Electronic locks on safes should be fine as well. Tiny circuits, no antenna effect.
    For sure, devices would stand a better chance in the safe than outside.

      1. This would likely work fine if the copper braid is in firm contact the the bare door and frame. Can’t be non-conducting paint in there if you are seeking complete protection. There ARE special, conducting paints designed for this. In the end, you’ll have far more important things to think about after an EMP than whether your personal electronic devices work.

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