- SurvivalBlog.com - https://survivalblog.com -

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’m recommending  the  ATN X-Sight II [1]night vision scope. (See the Gear & Grub section.)


It has been several years since I last mentioned this very useful book for prepping newbies: Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios [2]

o  o  o

Our congrats to Candace Owens. Her latest book is still ranked #2 overall, at Amazon: Blackout: How Black America Can Make Its Second Escape from the Democrat Plantatio [3]n

o  o  o

Preserving Everything: Can, Culture, Pickle, Freeze, Ferment, Dehydrate, Salt, Smoke, and Store Fruits, Vegetables, Meat, Milk, and More (Countryman Know How) [4]

o  o  o

Sessions with Sinatra: Frank Sinatra and the Art of Recording [5]. Note: This popular book was first published in 1999, so used copies can often be found inexpensively on Amazon and eBay.


A thought-provoking essay by Jim Quinn, over at his The Burning Platform blog: THE ONLY THING SYSTEMATIC IS THE DESTRUCTION OF AMERICA [6].  And here is a link to Part 2 [7].

o  o  o

If you haven’t bookmarked Ashley’s Practical Self Reliance [8] blog, then you are missing out.

Instructional Videos & Vlogs:

World’s Best Homemade Amish Sweet Bread – How To Bake Sandwich Bread [9]. Note: This family recently moved from western Washington to north Idaho, where they are now homesteading, off-grid. I highly recommend subscribing to their YouTube channel.

o  o  o

Reader Tim J. suggested this cleaning and lubrication primer, by Reid Henrichs: When You Get a Brand New AR-15, Here’s What to Do! [10]

o  o  o

Make a Book with a Secret Compartment [11]


A great one-hour concert:  Renaissance – Sight & Sound Live at BBC – 1977 [12]. (This one is for you, T.K.!)

o  o  o

And as long as I’m on the topic of folk and folk-rock, take a look at this: Fairport Convention – Live At MarloweTheatre 2003 [13]

o  o  o

Mandolin Orange – “Wildfire” [14]

Gear & Grub:

This inexpensive low-end night vision scope is not mil-spec, but it is highly rated, nonetheless: ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope w/1080p Video, Ballistic Calculator, Rangefinder, WiFi, E-Compass, GPS, Barometer, iOS & Android Apps [1]. I  don’t personally own one of these, but I have two consulting clients and one good friend who own them, and they’ve all said that these are a good piece of entry-level night vision gear.

o  o  o

Reader Chris in Arkansas recommended this brand of soup mixes: Rill Foods of Washington. For example:  Rill Foods Tacoma Tortilla Bean Soup Mix 16 oz each (2-Pack) [15]. These tasty dry soup mixes are packed in big “family size” bags. They store very well, especially is you double-pack them in a vacuum-sealed bag, or if you vacuum-pack them in a canning jar.

o  o  o

Fujinon Mariner 7×50 WPC-XL Porro Prism Binocular [16]

o  o  o

After several months of shortages, these pails are finally back in stock: Augason Farms Lunch and Dinner Variety Pail Emergency Food Supply 4-Gallon Pai [17]l

o  o  o

A little goes a long way: Indonesian Vanilla Beans – Gourmet Grade A Pods for Homemade Vanilla Extract and Baking – 6″ or longer (5 Beans [18]).  These will store for years if vacuum-packed.

Featured Antique Gun of the Week

I’m back from my buying trip, and am again taking orders for antique cartridge guns. Our featured antique gun of the week is actually plural: a batch of nine original 1895 Chilean Mauser short rifles [19]that were professionally restored by Navy Arms, using the original 19th and early 20th Century techniques for arsenal reconditioning. Every part on every gun has been hand-cleaned and lightly polished to bring the metal back to as close to its factory original finish as possible. The wood has been lightly re-sanded, stained, and oiled. All of these short rifles are in 7mm Mauser (7×57) and have bores that show wear and light pitting. Numbers are mostly mismatched. All guns are complete, including original muzzle covers. While these won’t have the same collector’s value as an all-original examples, they still look great and are fully functional. These rifles have stocks with cracks, handguards with cracks, or minor hand-fitting scratching. These have a variety of original stock sling cut types, sling swivel types, and muzzle cap types. Sorry, no hand-picking available. You will get “the luck of the draw.” All have the standard short rifle bent bolt, rather than the straight bolt used on Chilean infantry full-length rifles. These are all either marked “Loewe, Berlin”, or DWM production from the very early DWM serial number groups.

Like most other pre-1899 guns, these can be mailed or shipped directly to your doorstep without any paperwork or FFL dealer involvement. (Be sure to check your state and local laws before ordering.) Take a look at the many recently-added guns at the Elk Creek Company [20]store.

Make a Suggestion

Want to suggest Recommendations of your own? Then please send them to JWR [21]. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact [22] form.) Thanks!

Comments Disabled (Open | Close)

Comments Disabled To "JWR’s Recommendations of the Week:"

#1 Comment By cook On October 7, 2020 @ 9:01 am

I need to get better on figuring out how to buy online.I clicked on the link for the preserving everything book listed.Seems like something that would be useful. If I’m reading it right,kindle version(don’t have) is 9.99$….paperback is 17.99$ used,but new paperback is 15.60$….but the hardback is 970.43$!!!!!!
Am I missing something,guess I’m not the sharpest pencil.

#2 Comment By Ani On October 7, 2020 @ 2:46 pm

@ Cook

Many sellers who don’t actually have the item in question want to maintain like they do so they keep their standing at Amazon, with a certain number of items for sale, so they list the item in question at an insane price that no one will opt for which keeps them in the “game” as supposedly having that item to sell but with no fear of being actually called on to produce it!

#3 Comment By Rob in TN On October 7, 2020 @ 4:36 pm

@Cook. Sometimes the prices for books is nuts. Depends on how “rare” and in demand a book may be, so yes they can be $970.

On another note, you don’t need a Kindle. If you have a smartphone or tablet you get the app. You can also read them on your computer read.amazon.com and use their Cloud reader. You should be able to set it so that it caches it to the HD, so that you don’t have to have internet to read it.

#4 Comment By Spotlight On October 7, 2020 @ 6:41 pm

Also, check eBay before buying, I sometimes find new books cheaper than Amazon and if you’re ok with used books, they’re always cheaper. Just be careful to check the description for the condition, I’ve had good luck for the most part with it being accurate. I’ve picked up books on eBay that were in “very good” condition that were like new, for 20% of the Amazon price new.

#5 Comment By Ani On October 7, 2020 @ 9:39 am

I requested that a library that I have a card at(not my town’s small library) buy Candace Owens’ book. It’s a library located in a leftist liberal enclave full of BLM flags and signs. I’m not holding my breath. Will they be willing to buy(and display) a book written by a black woman who is holding black people accountable for their situation and gasp, is a Conservative? They are well stocked with books on racism and the evils of white people(as well as books on “Rainbow children” and gender of course). Me thinks not but we’ll see…….

#6 Comment By ThoDan On October 7, 2020 @ 9:08 pm

With which authority tell me do you request

#7 Comment By Ani On October 7, 2020 @ 9:22 pm


All library card holders here can request that the library purchase a book. They review the request and decide if they want to add it to the collection.

#8 Comment By ThoDan On October 8, 2020 @ 2:59 am

Excuse me then , the meaning of request doesn´t translate well cultural

#9 Comment By PrepperDoc On October 7, 2020 @ 12:10 pm

What is the expected lifespan of the detector in the ATN entry level night scope that you were recommending?

#10 Comment By Tunnel Rabbit On October 7, 2020 @ 1:30 pm

RE: Entry level ATN night scope.

Read some of the reviews on the suggested ATN scope. I am still happy with my choice, the Sightmark Photon 4.5-9×42. I’m also glad I did not get the newer Sightmark Wraith. The big difference being that the Photon comes with an integral IR illuminator that is controlled internally. It can easily be dimmed and switched off. The model Photon I purchased comes with an 940nm IR illuminator that is not visible, whereas most of these types of scopes offer 850nm illuminators that can be seen inside of 50 yards.

I however should warn that these newer scopes have far more clarity than the older Photon, and that is very attractive, but all things considered, I’d rather have the Photon. The Photon is also only black and white when used during the day. This could be a problem for those who prefer high definition color images. As a person who needs corrective lenses, high definition images are the exception in my life, yet I can hit a target without high definition. These newer scopes would be better for long range shots during the day, but I purchased the scope for night work. It’s very user friendly for that purpose, and even has a ‘pic’ rail mount for an offset red dot.

I spent several days worth of time researching before I pulled the trigger. I suggest putting in the time before making a choice. The devil is in the details. I do not recommend the Sightmark 4.5-9x42S, because it has a 850nm illuminator. Whatever scope you decide to get, get a 940nm illuminator that is not visible to the naked eye. Although the 940nm illumintor reduces the maximum visible range to 200 yards, it allows the safe use of the scope for work at close range. If the attacker can’t see you, then they cannot shoot you. I like that fact. The Photon also has a rail mount that I can attach an 850nm illuminator should I really need to see beyond 200 yards, but I’d rather have the red dot for day work in case I run out of battery power, and also need a wider field of view of a red dot. These scopes tend to have a narrow field of view. Having a back up red dot scope offset that co-witnesses with the digital scope is a HUGE advantage.

#11 Comment By GeoGuy On October 7, 2020 @ 4:07 pm

ATN has upgraded their “II” series to the “4K” version. Supposedly a number of small but useful features and changes were added (much longer battery life being among them). And the newer ones are only $100 more. They may be worth comparing.

Something that may be of interest, especially if you’re concerned about government control of your gear; A friend of mine went to Denmark to complete a tech repair assignment. He brought his fancy FLIR thermal camera but found it had been “bricked” by FLIR when it was detected (via WiFi) to be outside the USA. A quick call to FLIR let them know he was an authorized user and the unit was immediately restored to full functionality. Now, think about these electronic scopes with their WiFi connectivity to the internet. He and I assume they, too, can be shut down en masse by a company directive sent silently thru the ethers. While it’s nice to share your in-field sight & shot with hunting buddies/apprentice, you may be more secure getting one of the digital scopes that does NOT have links to the outside world.

#12 Comment By Pudge On October 7, 2020 @ 8:14 pm

The recommendation for digital night vision came at the perfect time for me. I was actually out last night with my new Sightmark Wraith. For what it is and the price I have been impressed so far. I’ve been testing it on a Ruger American 300blk. During the day it works very well in color mode. At night I prefer the black/white screen. I was able to ID targets out to 450-500m during overcast conditions. Obviously not as good as what Uncle Sam provides or gear that requires having to take out a loan but for a budget option either of these options aren’t a bad idea for the capabilities it can provide you.

Tunnel Rabbit, One of the features that you don’t like about the Wraith, I actually prefer, and that is the external illuminator. With the rail on top of my sight I can put whatever I want up there versus being stuck with what the sight has built in or having to attach an illuminator elsewhere on the rifle. This allows the ability to upgrade easily.

#13 Comment By Tunnel Rabbit On October 8, 2020 @ 3:15 am

Hello Pudge,
The Photon will allow one to put on their own IR illuminator as well, but since the Photon comes with one, the overall price is lower, and the illuminator is easily and quickly controlled by the knobs on body of the sight. There is also an indicator on the screen for the illuminator. It a handy package. The Wraith has some very nice features, but I could not afford to step up to that one, and the Photon was a known, or proven scope. The Wraith was new to the market at that time. I also want to make sure I got a good quality 940nm illuminator. I can attach a cheap 850nm flash light to the other side to extend the range by running two illuminators at the same time….over kill.

#14 Comment By Pudge On October 8, 2020 @ 10:46 am

Tunnel Rabbit,

Definitely makes sense. The main reason I got the Wraith is because it was available and I picked it up in a trade. The illuminator that comes with it isn’t too bad and has 3 different power outputs as well as can be focused to a pretty tight beam. I’ve heard great things about the Photon and know it is definitely proven. Good point on the illuminators though. Nice to have options.

#15 Comment By Tunnel Rabbit On October 7, 2020 @ 1:53 pm

I have one of those Chilean Mausers in 7.62 NATO. Very handy rifle. These Mausers are ideal in 7×57, and the cartridge should be much easier to find than most others. I would avoid the 7.62 NATO converted rifle. These are not safe unless hand loaded to the original pressure limit it was designed for. Besides 7×57 is now probably cheaper as well.

#16 Comment By Ghan-buri-Ghan On October 7, 2020 @ 3:04 pm

On NV ‘scopes. Seems to me that all the wi-fi, GPS etc features are both failure points, and hackable, or likely to disclose you to the enemy. Not a problem if the enemy is a deer or coyote. Same for IR illuminators. A human enemy is likely to have IR vision, too. Is there a NV ‘scope that JUST amplifies available light, no extra bells-and-whistle and no “Here I am” features?

#17 Comment By Mray On October 8, 2020 @ 1:43 am

Yes. It’s called an AN-PVS 14. It’s a military NV devise but available to the public. It’s expensive, about 3K dollars. Keep in mind that it is a NV monocular which must be coupled with a NV capable red dot scope such as a Eotech.

#18 Comment By Howling Wolf On October 7, 2020 @ 3:16 pm

Tunnel Rabbit could you post a link to the Sightmark Photon you purchased? Thank you.

#19 Comment By Tunnel Rabbit On October 7, 2020 @ 5:10 pm

Howling Wolf,
I tried to find the exact scope with the 940 illuminator. According to Optics Planet, that model has been discontinued by the manufacturer. Unfortunately my favorite scope that I can recommend has been discontinued. 940nm is not popular in the U.S., but it is elsewhere. If a discontinued model cannot be found for sale, then one could attach an aftermarket 940 nm flashlight, or illuminator unto the Photon picatinny side rail that is located opposite of the attached 850nm illuminator that come standard with this scope. This would give one the advantages of both types of illuminators on one scope, a feature that may not be possible with another model. IR flashlights do not dim, and may not focus and cast it’s beam like an IR illuminator can. An additional illuminator also represents an additional cost, one I was able to avoid when purchasing mine.

And yes, an IR illuminator will be a beacon to those also have night vision. Even though most attackers may not have night vision, I will use IR flood lamps that is located away from my position for area lighting. If the attackers are using Gen2 capable NV, their equipment will be overwhelmed by this light, and made difficult or impossible to use. My Gen 2 can also spot and determine if attackers might have NV. Having two NV scopes means we can have inter locking fields of fire. I would also have the best flash hider when using NV. The best I am aware of is the Smith Industries Vortex flash eliminator. Look up You Tube videos that have made a study of various flash hiders. The A2 birdcage that you already have may work well enough. The A2 Birdcage type can also be purchased for the AK with M14x1LH(left hand threads, or reverse threads like a propane tank has.), and 7,62 Nato rifles with 5/8-24 threads. AR’s typically have 1/2-28 threads. The A2 is inexpensive, but the 3 or 4 prong (pickle fork) type of flash hiders, such as the Vortex or Kreb, and others, do a better job. AK’s should avoid the 4 piece boosters that are also FH for full auto rifles. If running without a flash hider, the flash blinds the shooter who also make themselves an obvious target to attackers.

If you cannot afford NV, the go with an illuminated optical, one such and popular type is the Red Dot variety. In low light, it is difficult to see the front sight.

#20 Comment By Rucksack Rob On October 8, 2020 @ 11:54 am

Howlin’ Wolf…
Simple question… Do you pull your handle(screen name) from the iconic canine howlin’ at the moon or the iconic Blues Master howlin’ at the microphone?
Doesn’t make a difference, it’s a great name. both are great images with great sounds. (whether sitting around the campfire and hearing a distant wolf or sitting in a nightclub and hearing a distant wolf…if you get my drift.)

#21 Comment By Michael On October 7, 2020 @ 3:55 pm

Howling Wolf I just did using my computer, Amazon sells it. I also looked up the 850 nm IR illuminator vs the 940 nm Illuminator. Tunnel Rabbit is correct the 850 is somewhat visible to the human eye but the higher 940 is not. So far I spent almost 2 minutes doing this, including typing out this note. My computer is Windows 10 and it makes research really easy.

Google is your friend 🙂

TWO things to think about with Night Vison like this. YOUR IR Illuminator will be highly visible to OTHER IR Scopes. Just like a normal Flashlight shows where the USER is. Second is THEY EAT BATTERIES.

#22 Comment By Bear On October 7, 2020 @ 5:26 pm

“Google is your friend ”

With ‘friends’ like that, who needs enemies? 😉 I’d strongly suggest switching to one of the other search engines out there that does not save your search data or track your stuff in potentially nefarious ways….we have been happy with DuckDuckGo but I know there are others.

#23 Comment By Michael On October 7, 2020 @ 10:18 pm

Bear, no offence Ok? But as I understand the internet, Computer Power Rules. While I can HOPE that DuckDuckGo is “Secure” I suspect that the NSA’s Super Computer Complex (meaning MANY Super Computers working in Tandem) MIGHT have “Cured” that little “Privacy Issue” that Offends the Deep State.

So I proceed when I am on the internet that EVERYTHING I look at, or comment upon is recorded in some manner.

For the record I used Google as a Default-Generic Name. I could have used “Search Engine of your choice” but it seems clunky.

The good news is that while they have massive computer power to ferret out things by key words, pictures and phrases, IT is ONLY Raw Data and It Still Takes an experienced Human Intelligence Operative to put the picture together and they have a LIMITED Number of them.

Something to think about in the era of Doxing, once you become a person of interest they can find anything you’ve posted on the internet. Even “deleted” social media seems to spring back to life when they search your internet past.

So say nothing on the internet you’d not want repeated in front of a Socialist-Kangaroo Court.

The internet regardless of VPN and such is NOT the “Letters of Correspondence” that the American Revolutionaries used trusted messengers to plan against the British Crown. It’s a lot closer to yelling your thoughts across your local Wal-Mart.

Somewhat less than 30 days until the most important elections (because it includes Senators-Representatives as well as President) our country has ever had.

Winter is coming, more than one meaning there.

#24 Comment By S H On October 7, 2020 @ 10:47 pm

Second that – plus, add Startpage and Qwant to your arsenal. Also, suggest Brave Browser – it’s like Chrome without most of the privacy junk. Be careful about that google ID.

#25 Comment By Ani On October 7, 2020 @ 4:00 pm

Thanks for the link to the “Practical Self-Reliance” blog; it’s now bookmarked!

#26 Comment By Once a Marine… On October 8, 2020 @ 1:08 am

I’m with Ani. After reading a few entries, I’m sold.


Mandolin Orange – “Wildfire”

So tender and heart-touching. Oh.

Carry on

#27 Comment By Red Rover On October 7, 2020 @ 4:21 pm

One of the many useful benefits of reading Survival Blog are the suggestions on gear and grub. Everyone has opinions and like Tunnel Rabbit said in part, “I suggest putting in the time before making a decision”. To that I add, it comes down to determining prior to ordering if the item will fill YOUR needs, so do the research and make sure what ever you choose will work as you intend it to. That being said, I am very pleased with my ATN Thor-HD Thermal Scope.

Our family also uses and likes Rill Soups and I followed the link to Amazon and noted they are almost sold out of several varieties, A quick web search and I was on the Rill home page where there are a greater variety at a lower cost, however i didn’t take shipping in to consideration. Just saying….

Stay safe. You are the future.

Blessings to those associated with SB.

#28 Comment By Tunnel Rabbit On October 7, 2020 @ 5:17 pm

Yes, I would much rather have a thermal scope if I could not afford PVS-14 and IR sights. If one has $1,800.00 or more to spend, then a thermal scope is a far better option than the Gen 1 class digital NV scopes. PVS-14, or PVS-7 NODS allows one the great advantage of being able to maneuver. This is a HUGE advantage that is unusually underappreciated by regular folks who have no infantry school behind them.

#29 Comment By skeptic On October 7, 2020 @ 4:34 pm

Just a shout out to a recommendation JWR made about an ebike a few months back. After researching the suggested Wallke X3 Pro, I placed an order, and had to wait for shipment. After waiting about a month, I received the bike and it is a BEAST! Thanks for the recommendation JWR.

#30 Comment By Jack2 On October 7, 2020 @ 8:22 pm

I have had an ATN scope for several years and although my son’s can operate it, I find it difficult and complicated… guess thats why my VCR blinked for years… The blue tooth makes it easy to shoot around corners without sticking your head out. Something is better than nothing.