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, I’d like to emphasize the book Square Foot Gardening. (See the Books section.)


Reader “M” wrote me to recommend these quite practical books:

How to Survive Off the Grid by Tim MacWelch

Square Foot Gardening (3rd Edition) by Mel Bartholomew

The Minimalist Woodworker by Vic Tesolin

Primitive Technology: A Book of Earth Skills by David Wescott

Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

Man Among the Ruins by Julius Evola

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Reader Matt B. wrote to suggest: “Although it’s long out of print, I highly recommend the 1964 book, Your Engineered House, by Rex Roberts. The book explains the correct location of rooms for climate design, along with some basic engineering, weatherproofing and construction techniques. As a building designer, it’s changed all of my assumptions about how homes should be designed and built. Some of the technical details are outdated, but anyone who knows how to build can extrapolate the main ideas. There is an edition that was revised by Charlie Wing in 1987.”

And reader N.S. recommended: Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends. He notes:  “This book exposes the corruption of the Bidens in the Ukraine and the Bidens & Kerry clan in their dealing in China, Along with Pelosi’s son, and his dealings with wholly owned COSCO (a Chinese state wholly owned company) and it’s affiliates. Then there is Obama’s friends and close allies profiting from Obamas policies on energy reduction, namely coal and  natural gas. Mitch McConnell’s wife & how her family and the McConnells have enriched themselves from her fathers dealing with the Chinese government. And that’s just scratching the surface. Reading this will enlighten you as to the hard core corruption and balancing on the verge of being an illegitimate government our present government is. It will change the way you think and how/who you vote for in the coming elections. Our present government is anything but your friend. For well over 100 years they have only existed to enrich themselves and maintain as well as increase their power over the people.”


Run Silent, Run Deep. The WWII classic starring Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster. Available on DVD or for free streaming for folks with Amazon Prime.

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Panfilov’s 28 Men. Available on DVD or for free streaming for folks with Amazon Prime.  But be advised, there was apparently a little “Russian In-wention” and a few liberties were taken.

Instructional Videos & Vlogs:

As usual, Tim R. kindly sent me some suggestions for instructional videos available on YouTube:

Cold & Wet Weather Boots – US GI Type I Class1 With Valve 2019 – Survival Russia

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Wilderness Survival Kits 2019 How To Set Up A Real Survival Kit – Survival Russia

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Introduction to DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) Presentation – Ham Radio Q&A

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Radio Contra Episode 4 – NC Scout

“Tactical communications and in particular, a basic rundown of digital handheld radio options are discussed.”  They mention some recent DMR success in the Ukraine conflict. And by the way, NC Scout recommends the 8-watt BaoFeng DM-1701. (But you may have to do some hunting, to find one.

Gear & Grub:

Since I’ve begun seriously building up my inventory of pre-1899 guns, I’ve begun using lots of these two  useful elixirs: Birchwood Casey Gun Scrubber Cleaner 15-Ounce Aerosol, and the quite popular: Birchwood Casey Barricade Rust Protection 10 Ounce aerosol. (The latter is important if you are ever forced to leave a gun in a case for more than just a day or two, or for just regular  storage in a home vault if you live in a region with high humidity.  Consider it inexpensive insurance!)

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Vitamix E310 Explorian Blender, Professional-Grade, 48 oz. Container.  (Avalanche Lily suggested this one.)

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This will keep your kids from whining about there being “nothing good to eat”, come TEOTWAWKI: Mountain House – Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (10 Can) – Freeze Dried Food

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. I have had a different model of Vitamix for years. These are quality products. They are speedy (and expensive? edit from Lily) upfront, but, worth it. “Professional Grade” KitchenAid mixers fall in this category, too.

    Other home recommendations would be nice. A more female realm touch is nice add in this section for blog. Keep it up, Avalanche Lily!

  2. Regarding the header photo at the beginning of this “Recommendations” section: In the photo depicting a square foot garden the perimeter boards appear to be railroad ties. I can’t be certain that’s what they are but I thought I would make a notation here for all the readers. You should never under any circumstances use railroad ties near the growing of any food. The chemicals that are placed into the wood to prevent them from rotting are well known carcinogens. Likewise, you should not use them for structural support or building anywhere that animals or humans will be in close contact with them for the same. The last thing that you would ever want to do is unintentionally make yourself or your family ill or to contaminate your food supply or harm the animals that you take care of. Better safe than sorry.

  3. No offense intended, but re: “Secret Empires:…”, you are massively kidding yourself if you think the behavior is restricted to any political bent. Folks with money and/or power act in their own self-interest, and to perpetuate the bounties rained on their families. Unfortunately, it’s human nature and the most you can hope for is that the “enlightened self-interest” that makes markets work will also enable governments to work for the general benefit. It’s human nature to rationalize why something good for me is just generally good and righteous. It takes a strong belief in something bigger and more important than self-interest, like eternal salvation or some other higher code, to get people to do something counter to self-interest.

    1. You have a clear perspective, TJMO. Few of us are virtuous as we think we are. Fewer of those with money and power are as virtuous as we would hope. Even the litle bit of money I have tempts me to selfish pursuits. Prayer and a strong woman by my side help me curb my impulses. I am no less materialistic than folks who own yachts, it is but a matter of degree.

      As I forgive myself, may I forgive those I envy.

      Carry on

  4. Regarding the BaoFeng DM-1701 recommendation, I am curious about whether anyone has an explanation about why the BaoFeng radios are still offered for sale. (Note that I am not complaining about this.) The September 30 deadline has long since come and gone.

    It was my understanding that they were banned for sale, and that even advertising them for sale after September 30 was illegal. The FCC announces six months in advance that a ban would be enforced and then does nothing?

    My personal ham radio guru who makes a living selling radios speculated last summer that the FCC would probably do nothing about Amazon sales after September 30 because it only went after little guys like him. It seems that he may have been on to something.

    Again, I am not complaining about the situation, but I am wondering if this is just another example of Washington bureaucratic idiocy that we have come to expect and which is so commonplace in so many aspects of government.

    1. I have been wondering the same thing myself. It certainly looks like the FedGov is looking the other way where Amazon is concerned, probably Google as well. I’m not complaining either. The ban was stupid to begin with. It also gives me another chance to get more radios than what I already have. Leave it to the bureaucracy to make rules that only congress is supposed to make, then not follow their own rules. Typical bureaucracy; take advantage while they are still addle brained.

      1. Charles K.: Short answer is that cargo that is already in the process of being shipped is “grandfathered”. They can legally sell stuff that was already in train or ‘outside’ the PRC. This can even include stuff that was in customs ‘safe havens’ in Shanghai or other hub, and absolutely includes stuff that was on a ship or warehouse outside the PRC. And if Bao Feng would export mostly assembled products to Vietnam or elsewhere and finish manufacture there, would not be touched at all.

        1. Good answer, and probably the correct one. Stuff sitting on a ship or in a warehouse anywhere in the world, would likely not be effected by the law. I want to pick up a couple (at least) of the 8 watt radios. My preps are getting better all the time, but need to add to the redundancy.

  5. Ref:Corona Virus.There is a current update and background info at apartmentprepper.com

    Ref: Pandemic Prepperation. Take look at ModernSurvivalBlog.com

    Ref: Antibiotic Resistant Super Bugs. Great info at askaprepper.com

    1. Re:Corona Virus,at best “doom porn” otherwise just hysterics. You had better worry about normal flu thousands of times before this,or African Swine Flu will affect you much more as pork prices rise.

  6. “Reading this will enlighten you as to the hard core corruption and balancing on the verge of being an illegitimate government our present government is.”

    The government that has its seat in the District of Columbia was illegitimate the moment they put a legal claim against my Natural Rights of Life, Liberty, and Property (income tax, property tax, estate tax, etcetera).

    I refuse to governed by such criminals, fools, and opportunists.

    1. Snotty Boy (like your handle, it fit me to a ‘T’ 40 years ago.)

      Curious…Besides the ballot box (at this time…) How do you refuse to be governed?
      Do you not pay sales, income or property taxes? Do you live (very) deep off the grid? Do you just ignore official gov’t notices? It’s not too hard to be a gray man in a crowd (if you try), but how do you be a gray man (in society) as a law abiding citizen in daily life?

      Yes they are criminals, yes they are fools (and they take us to be fools also) and yes, they are opportunists! (most city halls, state capitols and Washington DC are not ‘swamps’, but are actually septic tanks.)
      I’m not disagreeing or knocking you and yes I’ve seen all the (sadly, now defunct) Paladin Press books about dropping off the radar, but me, as a tax paying, retired military father and grand father and still working in my early 60’s, am just wondering how. Please elaborate. Thanks.

  7. Paniflov’s 28 was an interesting movie.

    I feel I’m getting a much better perspective of the Soviet opinion of life under WW2 communism by watching the Russian series

    Life and Fate,

    which reportedly was almost banned or nearly banned by the commie government.

    also on Netflix (PPV) and Prime .

    I recommend it instead of the “28”

  8. Question about Monday’s rally in Richmond.

    I joined the Oathkeepers some years ago and get updates and calls to action. One call to action was issued before the rally in Richmond. I have seen no update.

    I wonder how much a role the presence of Oathkeepers played in maintaining a peaceful assembly on Monday. What other organizations worked to bring the demonstration to a successful conclusion?

    Carry on

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