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 Jim Quinn’s The Burning Platform blog. (See the Blogs section.)


I recently heard about a small business called LiveFireManuals.com. They offer a bundle of more than 500 military manuals that are downloadable, for just under $7. It might be wise to load up a 8 GB or 16GB memory stick with those. Granted, with a several hours of searching, you could probably find PDFs of most those manuals available at various free web sites, and download them. But you have to ask:  “What is my time worth?” (Probably more than $7, for several hours of work.)

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A current bestseller: The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz

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First Raise a Flag: How South Sudan Won the Longest War but Lost the Peace

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The Underground Railroad Records: Narrating the Hardships, Hairbreadth Escapes, and Death Struggles of Slaves in Their Efforts for Freedom

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The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History


On DVD and also available for free streaming, if you are an Amazon Prime member: The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

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Some amazing footage: Planet Earth II/ Blue Planet II (4KUHD) [Blu-ray]

Instructional Videos & Vlogs:

Forward Observer: Why You Need an Area Study… AND HOW TO DO ONE.

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Tim J. sent this: Camping & Fishing on Floating Cabin Built From Scratch (My Quarantine Bug Out Cabin). JWR’s Comment:  I hope that he used primerless paint, or he’ll be painting again soon.

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Editor-At-Large Mike Williamson suggested this: Friction Fire 4 Ways… Fire Roll, Hand Drill, Bow Drill, and Bamboo Fire Saw

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Here is a video that adds new meaning to the word “mulch.” Perhaps it would viable in a temperate climate (but not southern Arizona!) Plants are between bricks. Thanks to Paul M. for the link.)


Pardon the pun, but this is a “viral” country music sensation:  Quarantine.  (Thanks to Tim J. for the link.)

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Congratulations to my old buddy “C.F.”, who just last week bugged out from his condo in New York City (mid-Manhattan) to his retreat in southern Nevada: This one is for you. By the way, I noticed that one of the comments to this YouTube video reads: “Pretty soon ‘Escape from New York‘ might just be classified as non-fiction.”

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John: Williams: Very Best Movie Soundtracks

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To cheer you up, while you’re locked down: Boogie Woogie Piano 1 (audio only) – A two hour long compilation

Blogs and Vlogs:

One very popular blog is Jim Quinn’s The Burning PlatformP FOR PANDEMIC. (Thanks to C.M. for the link.)

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A recent blog post from Commander Zero’s Notes From The Bunker: Grid up disasters

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If you are feeling bored while cooped up, then check out some homesteading vlogs to get some inspiring project ideas.

Gear & Grub:

These are a bit fragile, so I recommend buying two: Brinkmann 800-2301-0 Q-Beam Max Million III 12V DC Spotlight

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This is much more cost-effective that buying the little packets: Red Star Active Dry Yeast, 2 Pound Pouch

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Have you got your Clif Bars squared away, for your Bug Out Bag?

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Oh, and jerky?

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Nature Made Vitamin C 1000 mg, 300 Tablets

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 really enjoyed Danger Close. At first I thought it was going to be a low budget movie, but once the action started it didn’t stop until the very end.

  1. 6.5 magnitude earthquake yesterday in Idaho reminded me of the good ol’ days in California. I was surprised at my own reaction – curiously calm. I was resting in the easy chair when it started rocking, then I realized the entire cabin was rockin’ and rollin’. I sat very still, listened, and observed. Later I thought, well that was dumb, shouldn’t I have taken cover or gotten out… but my first reaction was to observe just what kind of earthquake it was. I’ve lived through the rock and rollers and the violent shakers – very different types. It’s the shakers that cause buildings and bridges to collapse, IMHO, moreso than the rollers. I guessed it was at least a 5.0M, but I was wrong. I went out and turn the propane tank off, and reviewed the foundation around the house. Some damage to the cement and stone piers that hold up the exterior decking. Didn’t see any other damage. I recall the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, which was a 6.9. What a difference .4 makes. That quake was a scary one and did a lot of damage. I had 4 little kids in the old station wagon and I watched in horror as the trees literally whipped back and forth, as did the telephone polls, and the entire station wagon was pitching back and forth. We lost power for days. I was about a 30 minute drive from home and it took 2 hours to slowly drive there, navigating roads without intersection signals, etc. This past week has had a little more excitement than I care for.

    1. Yes SaraSue,

      It does appear that you have had a little more excitement this week than you normally care for. Your little quip did give me a chuckle, though.

      Thankfully, “All is well, that ends well.” The Lord God is in control!!

      I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t feel it. Not that I want a destructive earthquake, by no means. But the curious adventurous side of me would like to feel one without any accompanying damage, of course. 😉

      I think, I would be still and feel it out, too, instead of running, especially if I was in a safe spot from objects falling.

      May the rest of your week be dull and boring! 😉



  2. Hello all,

    Just wanted to add on to what JWR said about the site with the downloadable military manuals. I visited a similar site and found a deal for 22,000 manuals for $27.00. They also offer other variations of bundles but that particular bundle is their complete library. I purchased it and got 4 or 5 DVDs worth a few days later. There is so much info in there it would take several life times to read it all but it is searchable and on PDF and indexed very well by subject. I highly recommend if anyone is interested. Link: http://www.survivalebooks.com/Survivalists.html

    1. Glad you were able to download, I can not as they have trackers that my security down not alow. I am not sure if it is the site or the processing app. It is not PayPal because I use it all the time, it may be because the intermediate app is owned by Facebook which I do not allow to track me.

  3. Good afternoon everyone,
    Glad to hear everyone is OK. After the earthquake. I almost fell off the couch when I got the alert from USGS.

    *****For anyone interested, they had a piece on the radio explaining that University of Illinois Faculty/Students have created a disposable ventilator and have the plans for free at :


    They said cost is about $100
    They are in the process of getting FDA Approval

    Tunnel Rabbit, maybe this would interest you or anyone else on here that has a better brain than me

    For anyone that checks this out, let us know if this is something awesome or junky?!

    Have a Rockin great day!

    1. Their ventilator looks goods. I’d buy one if it is on the market. The virus will be with us for many years. A higher price could be justified. $100 bucks looks like a bargain. American innovation and free markets is what is needed in this environment.

  4. I rode out the Sylmar earthquake in 1971. I forget the size, 7.1 comes to mind. I was in bed, the whole world seemed to be not just shaking violently, but rocking an rolling, like big waves. I just pulled the blanket over my head so if the glass broke in the window at the head of the bed I wouldn’t get cut up. I figured it was smarter to stay in place than to try to get to a doorway.

    The aftershocks were nearly as bad. But in the lull I managed to get out of bed and check in with my parents who were yelling at me, worried for my safety. We lived in Burbank at the time.

    I’ve ridden out a few smaller quakes over the years, even here in Michigan. These were nothing like the ’71 Sylmar quake. I hope I never have to experience that size quake ever again.

  5. Had a millionCP Q-beam years ago,carried it as a non-lethal weapon,shine someone at less than 50ft and they are stunned for several seconds (even eyes closed,try to cover with hand and see the bones/veins). 3 million cp? Most power outlets probably blow fuse.

  6. Regarding Jerky in your go bag or hunting pack: I was studying some of the contestants on the show “Alone”. They are allowed extra rations as one of their 10 items. One guy saw jerky on the list and initially picked it. Then he focused on the items and realized he loved jerky. He knew he would go through it quickly as a comfort food. So he picked a version of trail mix instead. The trail mix was able to last him and his wife (it was the partner season) very late in their stay. They allotted a small amount every evening as a “reward” for working hard all day. I took that to heart as I know how quickly I can go through the jerky that I make at home. So maybe some trailmix isn’t a bad idea either. Just food for thought (pun intended).

  7. Last night I decided I would make dirty rice using up the last of the onion, celery, and bell pepper. The only problem? No rice in the pantry! So, my husband opened a bucket of rice I had put away ten years ago. It smelled wonderful when he opened it. What a great feeling to know the rice was still good quality!

    In no time at all I had a cast iron dutch oven filled with beefy dirty rice. (I normally just use a cast iron skillet but I wanted to make enough for lots of leftovers.) The smell of thyme, garlic, and white, black, and red pepper filled the house and made me grateful for having spices stored away. It was sure nice to have a warm kitchen while big snowflakes fell outside, too.

    Maybe I’ll submit my dirty rice recipe for posting? It’s a Southern classic and a great way to use to common long term storage foods. Not tonight though! Time for bed!

    Prayers for health and safety for all our medical professionals and for all SB readers.

    1. Oh, man. You’re killing’ me smalls! First with the description of your tasty dish, and then with the big snowflakes falling in April. I know it’s ridiculous, but I pray that when the Lord delivers me out of Egypt, it will be to a place with “feet deep,” snow in the winter.

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