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 snow gear. (See the Gear & Grub section.)


Snow Travel: Skills for Climbing, Hiking, and Moving Over Snow

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Free to Choose: A Personal Statement, by Dr. Milton Friedman

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Build Your Own AK: Vol. II: Building the Parts Kit (Volume 2). JWR’s Comment; If you are one of the thousands of American shooters who bought an AK parts set an “never got around to building it”, then this is the book for you. This book is quite detailed, and well worth the cover price.

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Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II’s Greatest Rescue Mission

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50 States, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do


Free to Choose. This is the great 1980 documentary series on free market economics featuring Dr. Milton Friedman. It just recently became available for free streaming via Amazon Prime. It is a companion piece to Friedman’s same-titled book. (See the Books section.)

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This memorable 1973 made-for-television movie is a cut above: Birds of Prey. It starred David Janssen and Ralph Meeker. IMBD.com tersely describes the film:  “A former fighter pilot now working as a radio station traffic reporter witnesses a bank robbery. He chases down the bank robbers and a hostage in his helicopter.” This just recently became available for free streaming for folks with Amazon Prime. Unfortunately they started with a lousy, muddy tape that looks almost like a VHS transfer. And it was also apparently shortened to provide time for more commercials. But even so, it is still worth watching. The stunt flying is great–apparently done by some Vietnam veterans.

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A great documentary: The Free Speech Apocalypse. Here a description: “Pastor Douglas Wilson was invited to Indiana University to deliver a series of lectures on traditional marriage and family. The Free Speech Apocalypse documents the insanity that ensued on April 13, 2012, when a group of Midwest college students decided that Wilson’s traditional views were now to be considered ‘hate speech.'” Doug Wilson is a well-known pastor from Moscow, Idaho. (Available on DVD or for free streaming for folks with Amazon Prime.)

Instructional Videos & Vlogs:

Shawn Woods: How To Trap A Skunk Without Getting Sprayed. Catching A Skunk Under My House.

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How to Make a Sofa/Bed

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Matt Risinger: Lessons from the North! Build Show in Canada. JWR’s Comment:  I hadn’t seen that style of roof insulation before. (At the 14 minute mark.) Fascinating!

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Glock 44: In-Depth Review of Glock’s First .22 LR

Blog & Podcast:

Take a look at The Big Game Hunting Blog.  In addition to some very useful blog posts, they have more than 60 archived podcasts.

Gear & Grub:

Arctix Women’s Insulated Snow Pants, White, Medium/Long

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Goplus 21″/25″/30″ Snowshoes for Men and Women, Lightweight Aluminum Alloy All Terrain Snow Shoes with Adjustable Ratchet Bindings with Carrying Tote Bag (White, 30″)

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DMOS Stealth Pro Snow Shovel – High-Performance, Extra Wide Portable Plow/Rake Tool, Perfect for Professional Snow Work, Car/Truck, Survival, Camping, Off-Road, Emergency – Made in Oregon, USA

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Suncast 24″ Adjustable Roof Rake with 20′ Resin Handle – Durable Multi-Tool Rake with No Stick Blade Great for Snow, Leaves, Debris Removal

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A warm drink for apre ski or apre raquette? For those who like to stock, up this is now available by the case!  Swiss Miss Classics Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix, 28.5 Ounce — 12 per case.

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. Well spoken James Wesley Rawles. We all appreciate your blog, despite any minor theological or philisophical differences we have. Maybe we can get a redoubt going down south where the growing season is long and property is cheaper. God bless you and yours.

      1. EBL, I live in Montana but I have spent a lot of time in school down south and taking vacations. I would probably move there if I had some roots, but all my family and friends are here.

  2. Thank you for all the hours of your life that you spend getting the word out. God bless you and your family (I’ve got a lot of avalanche in me too, Lily), and may 2020 be the year we turn the tide against this culture breeding false teaching and idols.

  3. Mr. Rawles, with respect to your recommendation for “Build Your Own AK: Vol. II: Building the Parts Kit (Volume 2)” do you have a favorite a similar book for AR-15s? I like to have a hard copy rather than rely on the internet.

  4. The surplus snow shoes that are white in color, with a cable web, is very durable and works good. The white surplus Bunny Boots, are the best to use with these snow shoes, as the two were designed to work together. This is not modern light wieght gear, yet is a proven and popular with troop as a snow shoe. The boots do not have the best traction, but on a snow shoe, they are good. Other boot will also work on these surplus snow shoes. This size snow shoe is design to support 180 pounds on typical snow. If the snow is powdery and deep in your area, and different snow shoe would be need. It would also be possible to attach longer bundles of sticks that are longer than these snow shoes to improve the ability to support a person on very soft snow. Or you can make your own….

    I do not have time at the moment, but will mention that the white suplus ‘bunny boots’ have the ability that few boots if any other, to prevent frostbite. Here is one trick to tip you off about the unique characteristics of the Bunny Boot. If the boots are left outside in the cold, you will not want to put them on as they may not warm up enough. To counter this problem, boil up a quart or two of water and [place those containers inside of each] boot. Let heat from those soak into the boots. After a few minutes, use a thin nylon sock and put the boot on. You will have toasty warm boots for hours, even in below zero temps. This is also a safe and effective way of warming feet that are near, or frost bitten. The Army rates these boots are good for 4 hours at -20F. They are indeed a good boot for standing guard for hours. If you get cold, use hot water from a thermos to heat them up again…. I know of no other boot that can be used in this way. Perhaps I can explain latter why….

    1. Bunny Boots, part 2

      As a Tunnel Rabbit with many years of experience, hopping and jumping in these boots, instead of placing containers of hot or warm water in the boot for a warm up, I prefer to fill the boot with water, if the boots are too cold for the container method. This will not hurt the boot, or reduce it’s ability to insulate after the water is poured out, because the 1 inch thick wool is encapsulated in the soft rubber that comprises the outer structure of the boot. I wish there was time to thoroughly explain all this, but it will suffice to say that keeping the moisture out of the insulating material ensures that it will continue to insulate. Filling the boot up with water method heats up the critical part of the boot, the part were the toes goes. And where the toes goes the rest follows, or doesn’t, if they are too cold. The toes are those bits that are the most susceptible to becoming cold, and becoming frost bit first. It was the most common injury during WW1 and WW2. We need to take special care of those toes, and the filling up the boot method works wonders! The boot thoroughly heat soaked in this way, will keep the feet toasty in -20F for hours, if you are acclimatized to this kind of weather. If you are from warm climates, you will not be adapted to cold weather extremes. Therefore you will need all the help you can get to stay warm. When the feet get cold, the rest of you will feel cold, and miserable. And because the blood does not flow through your feet as much as it does for those acclimatized, the odds of frost bite are dangerously higher for you. A person who stays inside most of the time during the winter, is not as acclimatized as someone who works in the cold throughout the year.

      These boot can also save your feet if you break through the ice. Simply empty the icy water and put the boot back on. Because the insulating liner is protected from all forms of moisture infiltration, there is no liner to remove, or dry out. The boot
      is always ready to go. If the boot is a tad large, wearing heavy wool, or synthetic fiber socks will take up the extra space, yet this material can become damp with sweat and loose it’s ability to keep the foot warm. The boot is designed to be worn using think nylon or wool sock. Even if these thin socks are soaking wet when in the boot, the foot will stay warm. This means you will not need to change sock at all as a method of warming up the feet. It also means that after extend exertions, the feet are likely sweaty, yet the boot continues to keep the feet warm, wet with sweat, or from water that happens to infill from the top of the boot.

      There is more to be said about these boots and keep the feet warm and dry, but that will have to wait for some other day. Suffice to say, these are one of the best options for sitting in a snow band all day, or ride a snow mobile, but they are not so good on ice. These have been very popular in Alaska for decades and for good reason. Special note, the valve on the ankle should only be opened to relieve the air pressure that inflates the boot when there is a change in extreme changes elevation. For example, if you happen to one day decide to jump out of a perfectly good air plane from 10,000 feet, the boots will swell up and cut of the circulation. Open the valve briefly, and then close it to protect the insulating wood liner.

      When shopping for these boots, only buy them if manufactured by Bata. It will be marked with the name. Avoid buying an over sized pair, but get the ones that fit you best when a thin nylon sock is used. The best way to find a surplus store, and try them out. You might find a good price on these if they can be bought on Amazon, but you may get better service and advice from this outfit. When in the cold, your feet must be given the best protection possible. This is good place to buy the best you can afford.

      I would not hunt for bargains unless you knew your size. I would gladly pay more and buy from those who know these boots, and get the boots that fits correctly. Go for a perfect fit…. I have no experience with this out fit, but call, and see if they have an expert, and check their return policy :


        1. Move! If these white Type 2 boot is not temping eough to use in a sub tropical environment, try the black in color one’s nicked named Mickey Mouse boots. These are rated to be used between 40 degrees and -20F, made of a more durable rubber for higher temperatures and regular use. They are less ‘bulbous’ in shape, smaller and lighter in weight. They are also less expensive and easier to find in common sizes. It is a better choice for those who live in south, and just want to look like Mickey Mouse. Both of these boots are very comfy to walk around in.

  5. Ghost Soldiers is a great read. Almost as good is the movie made from it, The Great Raid, with Benjamin Bratt and James Franco, as well as many others. A fictionalized version of the prisoners lives is followed in the second half of the film by a pretty accurate representation of the raid to free them. Recommended.

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