Preparedness Notes for Wednesday — April 15, 2020

On April 15th, 1912, the “unsinkable” Titanic sank. 1,517 people lost their lives on the maiden voyage. As research into the incident has progressed over the last 100 years, it seems as if, one way or another, the ship was just going to sink. Impact with an iceberg, raging coal fires in the fuel supply, wrong turns, locked-up binoculars, weak rivets, too few lifeboats, and more. Perhaps this whole incident was really the result of man’s hubris.

With commerce returning to most of the western states on May 1st, I’ve decided re-open Elk Creek Company, as of the first Monday in May. (Monday, May 4th, 2020.)  Mark your calendars. Thanks for your patience! In the interim, please just put the guns that interest you on your Wish List.

One of the few bits of good news from the entire Wuhan coronavirus debacle: Income tax filings have been postponed for three months. So enjoy this relaxing April 15th!

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 88 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include:

First 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 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 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.
  2. 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,
  3. A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
  4. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from (a $240 value).
  5. 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. 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)
  2. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  3. Naturally Cozy is donating a “Prepper Pack” Menstrual Kit.  This kit contains 18 pads and it comes vacuum sealed for long term storage or slips easily into a bugout bag.  The value of this kit is $220.
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. A transferable $100 purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun. There is no paperwork required for delivery of pre-1899 guns into most states, making them the last bastion of firearms purchasing privacy!

Round 88 ends on May 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.


    JWR’s Recommendation for the Week does have a reply box for comments, so I’ll respond here.

    Reloading is time consuming, but it is also a labor of love and an end in itself. Recently developed a load using IMR 3031 for .223 that spits 55 grainers out at over 2,900 fps and at just 1/8th inch of MOA in a 16 inch, 1:7 twist barrel. This is far better than ball, or M193 ammunition. IMR 3031 is not a first choice, but what I got in a trade. I also traded one type of component for another component to make this happen. The beauty of reloading is not only the ability to produce accurate ammo, but also the ability to make whatever components, and rifles on hand go bang! With this kind of accuracy, we now have a 500 yard DMR rifle that anyone can handle, day or night, as it has the Photon 4.5 scope that is digital night vision, can also be operated during the day. Although I prefer something much better, it is what can done on a very tight budget. Given the lower quality, there are ways to compensate for it’s limitations. The use of Infrared illumination, and high intensity standard, and non standard lighting that floods an area to be defended down range is one way. Few will have night vision. The few that do will be lit up and blinded in a number of ways that the Photon scope can handle, that a military spec PVS-14 cannot. This turns a limitation into an advantage. Creative use of resources, using conventional, and especially unconventional techniques can be superior, and used as technique that generate a ‘surprise’, that keeps them off balanced, and disorganized. The ability to produce a ‘surprise’ is always an advantage. One of the advantages of not being trained by the military is that we are not constrained by dogma. This can make the prepper adaptable, and unpredictable.

    We are currently at war with this virus, yet the country is being destabilized, and set up for a fall. This is what the Globalists are up to. Gardening is critical, but the ability to defend our selves will be the most important job. Even if one does not have all the wiz-bang stuff, it can get done with enough resolve. But if you can get a few high tech tools, you’ll have an advantage. I could have bought silver, or a new pair of shoes, but instead I choose night vision. Much of the night vision comes from Asia, and could become ‘unobtainium’ soon, and worth more than it’s weight in gold. Most attacks will occur one hour after dark, or one hour before dawn.

    I might be scruffy looking, but you’ll not want to mess with this old man. And I ain’t afraid of dying. That’s the attitude we need to hold our ground. With the price of gold and silver rising, I suggest trading it for whatever it takes to get the tools to defend the family. I know folks who have piles of it, but can they keep it? At the end of the day it will not be what you got, but what you can keep… I suggest Bob Griswald [of Ready Made Resources] who might take physical for top quality night vision, and other high tech tools that are force multipliers you’ll need. Night vision is like adding 7 guys to your side. There might be less expensive options, but do you know what you need?

    Video from Bob Griswald on night vision:

  2. Thermal. I would really like a thermal scope. I already have digital night vision and a high quality infrared illumination light. Great combo.
    But thermal? Color my world please.

    Ah, reloading… it’s been something I’ve done since the mid 70’s when I was reloading for dad, uncles, and their friends. (They paid me a nickel a round back then. They supplied the brass.)
    After the garden is done and the fences mended, it’s back to the shop to turn those components into useful things. Ahhh, the solitude.

    1. I would get thermal after I had at least 2 pairs of PVS-14’s and with Eotech sights that have IR cross hairs. The IR laser sights can in some conditions can be traced back to the source. Examine the pros and cons of each type for your platform. Thermal is fantastic for finding targets, but is not as useful as PVS-14 for maneuver, and performing tasks.

      I cannot afford this stuff, but I do know how it works, and what it is good for because at one time I had it and used it. Therefore I also know how to defeat it. The autogate feature on PVS-14 protects the unit, and is the weak point to target. If you cannot afford 3 grand, then buy and install prison level bright area lighting, or IR lighting to deny it’s use. PVS14 is will washout if bright IR lights are used. You can see with your cheeep NV scope, but they cannot. And your cheeep NV digital can see with dim and bright standard lighting, and they cannot. Sparklers, flares, and other methods can work to defeat PVS14, and thermal. Without counter measures, you are a sitting duck. Believe me, if I had the silver to trade, I’d call good old Bob, and get some good stuff.

    2. Do everything you can not to use the illuminator, and you will see better with a digital NV scope, and deny PVS-14. IR chem lights can be set off with a trip wire, or 12vdc LED flood lamps to light up a kill zone. Funneling them up during the day and night will make it easier. Channelizing and denying their movement is it needed more if using inferior digital NV, and out numbered. Lead the rats into the maze and control their movement, and then blind and overwhelm their senses in several ways during the day and night with flash bulbs, flashbangs, parachute flares, cans on a string, or whatever you got. Keep it stupid simple. It is also an opportunity for psychological warfare. They come in all confident and cohesive, and leave confused, disorganized and terrified, and maybe alive.

  3. Although I am a radio enthusiast, I also know how to intercept signals and jam. Believe me, whatever radio you are operating, I can find your signal immediately, and I will use the opportunity to confuse or distract, and then take away the enemy’s ability to communicate. Do you have a designated alternate frequency in a different band? I understand the value and advantage of field phones. Many are not proficient with radio anyway. I would put money and effort into field phones for at least my observation post, especially if I were struggling with my radios. It is not expensive, but it is simple to install and operate, and the most secure form of communications.

    Unlike operating a radio, one can talk freely, and solve issues in the field. This means the discipline and techniques for operating a radio securely are not needed. These are not as light and convenient as TA-1 field phones, but they can still be carried by a patrol that can hook up outside the perimeter for authorization to enter. I suspect unlike the very desirable, yet aging TA-312’s and other phones, these as bomb proof as it gets, and are worth the price. Bob stands behind his products.


    WD-1 Field phone wire.

    1. Hi, Tunnel Rabbit, Forgive my ignorance, but can one easily add 1000′ wire together again and again and again? Yes, I understand I may make you laugh, but I having no experience with said equipment, and Christmas lights come to mind that say, “Do not connect more than 3 strands.” So, if the phone connection is good for up to 20 miles, any idea where would find special wire longer than 1000′ and save the bother of connecting wires? Thank you for your excellent suggestions. Love it!

      1. Good question. In this case, there is no unsafe limit to how much wire can be connected. And it would be good to reduce number of connections, yet large rolls or wire may be expensive to ship via truck. The wire for sale at Ready Made Resources is 2 pairs, or 4 wires, and I believe these German phones only need 2 wires. Please confirm before buying. It might be possible to find WD-1 wire elsewhere, and at a bulk rate. Figure the cost of shipping in as well. If connecting several rolls, make the connection inside a water tight electrical box, or use wire nuts of the appropriate size and tape with self vulcanizing ‘black tape’ that seals out moisture, or best yet, solider the connections, and use shrink tubing to seal and protect the connection. It is not difficult to do. Here is a better deal on wire:

        WD-1A/TT DR-8-A Telephone Cable

        Only $49.95 for 1,760 feet. There are larger spools available, but I would keep the size, and weight down so it can be dispensed by one or two persons. This would reduce the number of splices needed as well. Of course to get the full benefit of using field phonea, the wire should be buried. A shallow trench can be plowed with an attachment to an ATV. It also dispenses the wire and covers the trench. I do not know where these can be found for sale, but it is out there. Be sure you know what kind of wire is required to operate the phones you finally decide to buy, and how much wire is actually needed. It is much better to buy extra wire and not come up short. You’ll also need to know how many observation posts will used and where. It may be necessary to put several wire pairs in the same trench before branching out. Plan it out before buying, o buy more than enough wire.

  4. Edward Snowden warns that governments may use coronavirus to limit freedoms
    By David Aaro
    (2020, April 15)
    Fox News

    Shelter in Place with Shane Smith & Edward Snowden (Full Episode)
    Apr 10, 2020
    Duration – 22:59

    “Shane chats with former NSA spy and whistleblower Edward Snowden on the rise of authoritarianism during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

  5. Think about putting your deliveries in quarantine when you get them from anywhere; ie: dry goods, hardware, non-perishables. ( Bet you’re doing that already )

    1. Absolutely a good idea. We let the boxes shipped in sit for several days after dousing them in Lysol or 10% bleach water solution. …and then we let them sit indoors for more time. …and then we apply all our disinfecting techniques on opening the boxes to all the surfaces. All of this while wearing gloves. …and then showering and washing our clothes which bypass the laundry basket, and are deposited immediately into the washer.

      May sound especially fearful, but multiple members of our family have very high risk medical circumstances. We are doing everything we can to minimize risk, and honestly are on the edge of “no more incoming boxes” as the case count has now crept into our rural area.

      Having a significant background in statistical mathematics, and having been a person whose family has lived several standard deviations from the mean, I always find casual conversations about statistics to be interesting. For all those who dwell in that infinitesimally small space, you also understand that risk and outcome are not necessarily one and the same. Simply stated… 1 in 1,000 has a very different meaning in terms of risk assessment if you’re accustomed to being that “1”.

      1. I was so happy to read your post. 🙂

        Most people never take a single statistics course and if they do, they refer to it as “sadistics” because they hate it so much. I think several statistics courses should be *required* before anyone is allowed to graduate from college. An understanding of statistics would certainly have lowered the frustration of many people during this current pandemic, and it is why I have ended numerous posts with the comment “research the research and study the study”.

        1. Grits, I appreciate your practicality.

          I plan to use your statement, ” I have ended numerous posts with the comment “research the research and study the study”.”

          Carry on in grace

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