JWR’s Recommendations of the Week:

Here are JWR’s Recommendations of the Week for various media and tools of interest to SurvivalBlog readers. The focus is usually on emergency communications gear, bug out bag gear, books and movies–often with a tie-in to disaster preparedness, and links to “how to” self-sufficiency videos. There are also links to sources for both storage food and storage containers. You will also note an emphasis on history books and historical movies. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This week the focus is on winter greenhouse gardening and sprouting. (See the Books section.)


Reader Steve R. wrote to again recommend the book Crisis in the Red Zone: The Story of the Deadliest Ebola Outbreak in History, And of the Outbreaks to Come, by Richard Preston. He also authored The Hot Zone and other medically-related books.

From the author’s Preface: “The people in this story have been largely unnoticed by the world.  Yet, for me at least, their actions and choices, their lives and deaths, seem to loom at the center of the  most destructive rapid epidemic in anyone’s lifetime, one which sent feelers into Dallas and New York City, and may be an example of things to come.”

Steve’s Comments: “Preston is an excellent descriptive writer and this book is mostly about the 2013-2014 outbreak, although the 1976 one is included as well. Epidemics/pandemics are, of course, on the list of things we should be aware of as we prepare.  Preston describes civil order breaking down, even to the point of attacking medical personnel.  Many people involved found strength in their Christian faith.  The activities of personnel representing Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian medical relief organization, are described throughout the book.

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Sam Houston and the Alamo Avengers: The Texas Victory That Changed American History

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The Greenhouse Gardener’s Manual

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Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening: How to Grow Nutrient-Dense, Soil-Sprouted Greens in Less Than 10 Days

Movies and Television:

One Child Nation.  Available via free streaming to those with Amazon Prime.

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The Man in The High Castle – Season 4. Over the course of three days I recently binge-watched all 10 episodes and found it was better than Season 3. I must say that Season 4 really wrapped up the series nicely. (There were never any plans for a 5th season.) Note: This show is not for children. Available via free streaming to those with Amazon Prime. 

Instructional Videos & Vlogs:

Reader Tim J. suggested: One Time Pad Messaging – Encryption and Decryption

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Also from Tim: Catch & Cook Grouse — This is Alaska

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Where to Put Your Light on Your Rifle

Web Pages and Web Sites:

At American PartisanPlans and photos of a simple rainwater catch system

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How to Make Your Own MGRS / USNG Maps. (Thanks to T.Z. for the link.)

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SurvivalBlog reader “Dog Sledder” e-mailed me to recommend the news aggregation site called Rantingly.

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G.P. sent this from Wired146 New Vulnerabilities All Come Preinstalled on Android Phones

Gear & Grub:

I noticed that KeepShooting.com — one of our long-time advertisers just got in a batch of white Swiss army surplus snow camouflage ponchos, with hoods, and they are quite reasonably priced, at $16.95

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Mil-Tec N3B Flight Jacket — Olive.  JWR’s Comment:  In my experience, these cold weather jackets are worth every penny. Be sure to order the correct size.

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Fjallraven – Kaipak 28 Backpack, Pine Green

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Fully Cooked Bacon, Ready to Eat, 80 Slices Per Pack / Case, 10 Year Shelf Life, Real Thick Cut, 2+ Pounds, No Refrigeration Needed.

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Mountain House Pasta Primavera in a #10 Can

Make a Suggestion

Want to suggest Recommendations of your own? Then please send them to JWR. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) Thanks!


  1. Re: the fully cooked bacon… $45.00 per pound?
    Surely there must be some alternatives. Now with this shiny object occupying my brain, it’s time to do some internet searches…

    1. There is info on the net with directions for pressure canning bacon.It can’t that hard because I have done it with good results.
      Daileys makes a variety called Big Buy that works well for canning.It takes about one pound to fill one wide mouth jar.

      1. Speaking of bacon reminded me of a thought I’ve had lately. All over the country wild hogs are becoming a real problem and it seems that their numbers are getting out of hand. But as a prepper I see it not as a problem but an opportunity for fresh pork some day when the SHTF. Their explosion in numbers could be a blessing in disguise. But I see almost everything through the eyes of a prepper.

        1. During certain times of the year (summer, mostly), you won’t want to eat any feral hogs you shoot because of the parasites they carry.

          The major problem with the feral hogs is the damage they do to crops. One sounder of swine can tear up an entire field overnight. So, if you are trying to grow vegetables to survive on, those hogs can wipe out your garden in one night. And they will eat everything in sight or that they can dig up. If you have a crop of non-food plants such as cotton, they will tear it up anyway, looking for edibles. Wire fencing doesn’t necessarily stop them. Around here, we use hog panels to protect our gardens. Fortunately, the panels are reasonably priced (about $24 for a 4’ tall by 16’ long panel that can be held up with 4 T-posts) and fairly easy to install and they keep out a lot of other critters such as ground hogs, most adult rabbits and coyotes.

          There is no bag limit on them and it is always open season for them because of how much damage they do.

          Yes, some people process them but you just have to check them for parasites and diseases first. In a SHTF situation, I am sure more folks would make use of them for sustenance as well as shooting them to preserve their gardens and crops.

  2. Buy a package of that bacon.

    I was watching the the Wartime Garden and Kitchen videos coincidentally suggested in comments here a few days ago,


    It has some great ideas for food resiliency.

    While I resent the concept of government dictating ownership of livestock, in this case the Brits, their strong push to have people pool resources is an absolute winner in concepts like their Pig Project club.

    People would cook up their food scraps into swill and deliver it regularly to the keeper of the pig. All club members then shared in the meat distribution.

    So buy a package of this bacon, and use it as an incentive to change our behaviors to participatory network survival strategies.

    My first project after getting out of the Army was to build a confined hog shed with logs I cut down, and using lumber and roofing of scrounged, used materials. Then I established a feed store account where I got all the feed. Buying feed is an expensive way to produce pork, and fraught with supply chain fragility.

    Use your brain to build networks for food production. Search diligently for people you can sponsor or support such as 4-H kid projects and FFA projects. Often you can get them to raise an animal or two for you, concurrently with them raising their own project animal. We did that with our kids in the Redoubt, raising a half dozen animals at a time.

    You may not end up donating swill but if you can grow any of a myriad of root crops, even with bug infestations in them, or a pumpkin patch, or unsightly or undesirable apple and pear crops, those are great crops to raise pigs with. Pigs don’t care if the food has some insects or blemishes on the produce. Plan now for your crop production for next year. Growing a patch of pumpkins or squash, or a big bed of beets/turnips/mangels/rutabagas/carrots/parsnips/others isn’t that hard.

    Best wishes and God Bless

    1. Funny u should mention that as a friend dropped off 2 five gallon pails of red potatoes he took out of his garden. They had bad spots and blemishes but the steers we were finishing loved them! We joked about how we didnt have to cook potatoes with our meat now!

      1. LOL. Yes, that is good.

        But beware of choking.

        You just triggered a memory of when we had irrigated land leased to a sugar beet grower. After he harvested, there were a fair number of smallish sugar beets left on the surface, when we out our small Angus herd into the field.

        One of our nicest young heifers got to eating the sugar beets, and got one stuck in her throat, and died before anyone came by to check on her.

        Glad you made me remember that so I can post it here as a caution.

        A hundred years ago, the mangel beets were a common root crop grown to feed cattle. Those are excellent too, however people used a machine to slice them up before feeding to cattle.


        Better put an ad out that you’ll take slightly blemished produce in!

  3. This is very expensive bacon. At Kroger, 20 oz package of thick sliced bacon, 16 slices to the package. runs about $13. That’s $65 for 80 slices of bacon. Maybe adding in the cost in energy and labor to cook 80 slices of bacon makes it worth the price. I guess it matters what you think your time and labor are worth.

    1. Yes, it is over a dollar a slice. I have a feeling they are charging a lot to cover the cost of the packaging which they claim keeps it for up to 10 years, as well as the labor and energy used to cook it. But buying the pre-cooked bacon at WalMart is pretty expensive, too. I think it runs about $4 for a package of 6 or 8 thin slices, less than half a pound. I buy that once in a while, when I am traveling, just so I can have bacon with the “free” breakfast at motels since I don’t like sausage.

  4. Here is a book recommendation: The Local Food Revolution
    How Humanity Will Feed Itself in Uncertain Times
    by Brownlee, Michael, 1946-

    I found it at our local library, based on my sister’s recommendation. SHe is a prepper who would not use that term.

    Carry on

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