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 the Branson-based family bluegrass band The Petersons. (See the Music section.)


The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs: Use Outdoor Clues to Find Your Way, Predict the Weather, Locate Water, Track Animals―and Other Forgotten Skills

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The Darkest Year: The American Home Front 1941-1942

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I’m looking forward the release of this book on December 1st: The MeatEater Guide to Wilderness Skills and Survival. (It is already available for pre-ordering.)

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Off the Grid: Simple Solar Homesteading


Finally available on Amazon Prime:  Heaven’s Gate.  Though flawed in many ways, this epic movie about The Johnson County War in Wyoming of the late 1880s and early 1890s is well worth watching. The cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond was amazing, and the settings were breathtaking. Speaking of which, I should mention that the opening “Harvard” scenes were actually shot at Oxford, in England, and all of the “Wyoming” scenes were actually shot in Idaho and in Western Montana. And a word of warning: There are some quite violent scenes, and nudity. This is not a film for kids!

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Available free, for those with Amazon Prime: WWII: America’s Homefront. (Also available on DVD.)

Instructional Videos & Vlogs:


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Tim. J. spotted this:  Modern Cave House is Man’s Life Long Dream – 5,700 sq ft!

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Another from Tim: Harvesting Food from the Forest — Spruce Tip Jelly.  From the video’s description: “With new growth emerging, June is an excellent season to forage in Alaska. We pick vibrant green, citrus flavored spruce tips and whip up a few recipes at the cabin.”

Web Site Articles and Blogs:

At American Partisan: “Adapting To Survive” The Shotgun Shell Shrinker

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Reader T.P. sent this link: MOA and Adjustment Required for Shooting .22 LR Long Range.   (T.P. suggested:   “Print This Out.”)

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A Huge Cave House Carved into Natural Stone


I’ve mentioned them before, but they deserve another plug… The Petersens – Live from Rock Canyon

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And another repeat mention… Some Boogie Woogie and Blues from piano maestro Henri Herbert: SOLO PIANO LIVESTREAM 3

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Fortunate Son – Cosmo’s Factory/ Fogerty’s Factory

Gear & Grub:

I was pleased to find this price! Emergency Fire Starting Magnesium 8 Bags 99% Pure.

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If you want to own the very best American-made pack that will serve you for decades: Mystery Ranch Urban Assault 24 Backpack – Military Inspired Rucksacks, Ivy, 24L

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For indoor self-defense a katana is simply too long. These are “juuussst right”: Cold Steel Dragonly Wakazashi Sword

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Nutristore Freeze Dried Green Peas — 40 Servings — 18 OZ — 25 Year Shelf Life — Amazing Taste — Healthy Snack — Emergency and Survival Food

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Not nearly as healthy, and with a much shorter shelf life: Red Vines Licorice, Original Red Flavor, 5 oz Tray, Soft & Chewy Candy Twists. How can Amazon sell these for just 75 cents a box, with free delivery?  For your Independence Day Party, they are also available in the big 3.5-pound bucket.

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 love watching the Petersens play and sing. I’ve found that after reading the horrible news each day, I can watch them perform a song or two on youtube and have a lighter heart. I first found them through a link on this site–thank you for introducing me!

  2. Good Morning! 132 days until November 3rd Presidential Elections. As many here expect “Interesting Times” as in Chinese curse. Tempus fugit ” time flies “.

    What will you DO today for that grand event? Yesterday I planted two more potato towers and an extra row of dry beans. Food is a weapon. The Soviets traded food to starving peasants for weapons in the past, why would the current batch of Socialist-Democrats not do the same? Stored properly dried beans and potatoes (if dehydrated slices) can be stored in recycled glass jars in a cool dark place for years. I ate 4 year old homemade dehydrated potato slices last night.

    The article about MOA adjustments for 22 LR long range shooting is interesting for target shooting using a 22 LR for hunting and *ahem* two legged predator defense I found this simple rule of thumb very useful.

    If you sight your 22 rifle for 50 yards and given a scope is mounted about 1-2 inches above the bore you will find with a low powered scope (or iron sights) that at 25 and 50 yards your almost dead on (minute of squirrel head) at 75 yards your about 2 inches low and at 100 yards about 5-6 inches low. This assumes for a typical .22 LR 40 grain, round nose bullet at 1255 fps. My limited actual testing experience with bulk 36 grain HP ammo seems almost the same results IF a 2 inch grouping in no wind is deemed OK.

    Given my hand length is around 6 inches placing a hand on your chest shows where a center of mass shot will drop into the belly-groin.

    No the 22 is not the best defense round but I bet for every AR Americans have they have several 22’s around so….

    Trouble is near, good friends are the most important thing in surviving a Socialist driven Greater Depression. Antifa-BLM and worse are serious. Move it or lose it friends. Even if somehow write in COVID19 voter fraud still fails to drive President Trump from office I don’t think the Socialists will simply fade away.

  3. JWR: On the licorice, the price was $1.24 per box. Also, if my math is correct, the 3.5 lb container at just less than $26 means paying about $2.50 per 5 oz box? Maybe I’m wrong, but?? Thanks, GDW

    1. I’m just guessing here but maybe he’s just needing some time by himself without any commitments mourning his wife.
      He owes us nothing.
      Peace and Blessings

    2. I had a brief email exchange with him recently….I suspect that he is well but just going real slow in this time of bereavement….like me he’s an older guy; and I think that loss can hit harder the older we get.

  4. Japanese style swords are ok. I don’t care much for the lack of hand protection. A Tsuba for me is just not enough. I prefer Cold Steel’s crab claw dagger. A bit longer than the Wakazashi and sporting a double edge, it features a robust handguard, and grappling qullions that provide excellent trap and seize capabilities vs other melee objects, including pistols and carbines at CQM range. Nothing like yanking a pistol out of your opponent’s grip while simultaneously slicing his shooting hand/arm and thrusting into his torso. For CQM, such a fighting tool brandished in the off hand ought to be about the best accoutrement one could ask for.

  5. Your ” meanwhile in china” clip was really sad to watch, no matter what country they are from or what religion they practice they are all Gods children. The people taking the video probably knew them and to watch them die like that is sad. I’m guessing the guy by the guard shack didn’t last much beyond the end of that video. They are in my prayers

  6. By the way , dried licorice root is great added to other less palatable herbs in teas . It adds it’s own sweet woody flavor, as well as other benefits. Late in life, we are starting to use God’s medicine cabinet, the plant kingdom. Oh and don’t be like me with ” if a little bit is good then a whole lot is real good!” Start with a little, get educated, and remember to keep your common sense about new things. FYI : Genesis 1:9-13 and 29-30.

  7. The Cold Steel swords are pretty good, but sometimes have issues with fit and finish. If you’re interested in a Wakazashi (or some other sword) you should check out Kult of Athena ( http://www.kultofathena.com/ ). They have the largest selection of bladed weapons, axes, maces, etc.. I have found, and I’ve been sword collecting for 20 years. Also, specifically for Waks, check out Cheness Cutlery as well. A good bit cheaper, but just as good steel quality. http://www.chenessinc.com/wakizashiswords.htm. Oh, FYI, in swords, never, never get stainless steel no matter how good it looks. At lengths greater than 10 inches it tends to get brittle and shatter.

  8. I always enjoy the recommendations. I purchased a book and some licorice through your link. One of my grandsons will be visiting again soon, so I try to get him an interesting book to read, and something sweet. Last year, there was a book you recommended, “The Dangerous Book for Boys”. He devoured it. He got to shoot some cool guns with his uncle, go boating, fishing, swimming, and forget all about the cultural pressures on young people.

    About a year or so ago, I decided to buy books for my grandchildren rather than toys or the latest fad or just giving them cash. I try to find the most interesting, or beautifully illustrated, or classic books. At some point I realized that they all seem to be oriented towards the Internet and the Television, (I don’t have a television so when they visit, it’s all about the out of doors or family games and communication), so I determined to see if I could spark their imaginations the old fashioned way. They actually LOVE getting books from gramma, and it makes me feel like I’m doing something for them that will last. It’s been fun for me too!

    1. What fun to hear that about your gift of books to these youngsters, SaraSue!

      Last year we decided as a family that each of us would draw the name of another family member, and give the gift a book and a special chocolate treat in the celebration of Christmas. There are no surprises in this new tradition because each person gets to choose his or her title — but it’s tremendous fun on Christmas Eve nevertheless! The idea was inspired by our shared love of books, and an interesting article about the Icelandic tradition of book giving.

      Reading your note, I thought you’d have fun with this too!

  9. SaraSue, you have no TV. My sweet spouse and I agree with you, totally. And, I consider your grandsons lucky, big time, to have you. Gotta say, this 69 years old boy loves “The Dangerous Book for Boys” too.

    I have a book recommendation, just in from the American Legion magazine: “Drawing D-Day: An Artist’s Journey Through War” Dover, 2019. Author, Ugo Gianinni.

    And this video about the man and his book. Have a hanky nearby. The “romance of war” is stripped away and reality is depicted by a man who witnessed war. Nine minutes well spent.

    Carry on, in grace

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