Preparedness Notes for Wednesday — December 18, 2019

Mat Stein: Rest In Peace

We are sad to report the death of Matthew Stein, our Back-Country Editor. At the request of a family member, the publication of his obituary was delayed in SurvivalBlog. (They wished to downplay Mat’s survivalist outlook and preparations.)

Mat was a design engineer, green builder, and author of two best-selling books: When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and Surviving the Long Emergency and When Disaster Strikes: A Comprehensive Guide for Emergency Planning and Crisis Survival. He also authored a children’s book, titled Geronimo the Frog. All three of those books are still in print, leaving a lasting legacy. He never completed writing his autobiography.

Mat Stein grew up in Burlington, Vermont. He was an avid hunter, fisherman, backpacker, rock climber, and mountaineer. He made more than a hundred Yosemite Valley climbs, including several of El Capitan and the Half Dome wall. He was a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he majored in Mechanical Engineering. At MIT, Mat was the recipient of their Straight T Award. That is MIT’s highest athletic honor. Stein appeared on numerous radio and television programs and was a repeat guest on Fox News, Coast-to-Coast AM, Alex Jones’ Infowars, Vince Finelli’s USA Prepares, Gary Null, The Thom Hartmann Show, and The Power Hour.

Mat Stein was a humble philanthropist who never publicly mentioned his charitable giving. And for more than two decades, he served as a guide and instructor for blind skiers and hikers. His volunteer work for Sierra Regional Ski for Light touched hundreds of lives.

He founded Stein Design and Construction, where he designed and contracted energy-efficient, hurricane-resistant, and well-insulated green homes. He also designed disk drives, water filters, photovoltaic roof panels, emergency chemical decontamination drenches, medical bacterial filters, and transportable fiberglass buildings.

Mat wrote many articles on sustainable living and disaster preparedness. He was a guest columnist for the Huffington Post. He authored several articles for SurvivalBlog that were posted between 2012 and 2014. His web sites were and (Both of those have now gone dark.) In his later years, Mat lived in the high country of the Sierra Mountains, in Truckee, California.

The following is from an obituary in a local newspaper, The Sierra Sun:

“He will be missed by many, most especially his fiancée, Mary Beedle. After being widowed at 57, he had found a new life with Mary. They enjoyed music, dancing, and time with friends. He is also survived by his daughter, Elisha Jussen-Cooke, step-son, Josh Satcher, and siblings Daniel E. Stein, Jennifer Barker, Debby Stein Sharpe, and David M. Stein.”

He died in late 2018 at age 62 of a heart attack, while leading a technical rock climb. In retrospect, that was the fitting time and place for him to pass away–while doing what he loved best. His knowledge, wit, and wisdom were as big as the mountains that he loved.

To say that Mat Stein is greatly missed is an understatement. It was an honor to be his friend. – JWR

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 86 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The more than $12,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3,000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from veteran-owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A gift certificate from Quantum Harvest LLC (up to a $2,200 value) good for 12% off the purchase of any of their sun-tracking models, and 10% off the purchase price of any of their other models.
  2. A Front Sight Lifetime Diamond Membership, providing lifetime free training at any Front Sight Nevada course, with no limit on repeating classes. This prize is courtesy of a SurvivalBlog reader who prefers to be anonymous.
  3. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  4. A $300 purchase credit for any of the products from
  5. A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
  6. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from (a $240 value).
  7. An assortment of products along with a one hour consultation on health and wellness from Pruitt’s Tree Resin (a $265 value).

Third Prize:

  1. is providing a $400 purchase credit at regular prices for the prize winner’s choice of either Wise Foods or Augason long term storage foods, in stackable buckets.
  2. Three sets each of made-in-USA regular and wide-mouth reusable canning lids. (This is a total of 300 lids and 600 gaskets.) This prize is courtesy of Harvest Guard (a $270 value)
  3. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  4. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  5. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  6. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances.

Round 86 ends on January 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.


  1. Well written obituary about Matt Stein. … He lived a busy and full life; yet, he always made time to help people less fortunate.

    ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ ~ Bible

  2. Extremely sad–62 is far too young–especially when you have so many terrific interests, are making contributions, are sporty, and in love. God Speed. RIP.
    Thank You for sharing his inspiring story.

  3. A thoughtful, caring, and fitting tribute. We have ordered a copy of When Disaster Strikes, an important contribution to the wealth of knowledge of this community. God Speed. Requiescat in pace, Mat.

  4. I am impressed with Mat’s versatility and flexibility. The list of shows he was a guest on spans the right/left spectrum.

    Fox News, Coast-to-Coast AM, Alex Jones’ Infowars, Vince Finelli’s USA Prepares, Gary Null, The Thom Hartmann Show.
    Then there is this: He was a guest columnist for the Huffington Post.

    I appreciate anyone who can relate to people of many political persuasions. May his good work live to enrich many more lives.

    Carry on

  5. Mat was a special Friend as well as a USAPrepares Senior Instructor.

    He introduced me to Dr. Richard Alan Miller (AKA Ricky Rocket).

    We had some wonderful times at the farm with Mat, Ricky, Rich Scheben, John Stadtmiller, Erin Dakins, Ed from Florida, Capt. John Ragan, and the list goes on and on. Those were some great days.

    Mat was a brilliant teacher both on-air and in person.

    He called me, “My Cousin Vinnie.”

    I called him, “Welcome Mat.”

    Mrs. Finelli Sr. and Mrs Finelli Jr. really enjoyed his visits and telephone calls.

    We surely miss Mat.

    Vincent Finelli

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