Preparedness Notes for Sunday — January 3, 2021

On this day, in 1521, Martin Luther– the father of the reformation and founder of Protestantism– was officially excommunicated by Pope Leo X from the Roman Catholic Church.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 92 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. The photovoltaic power specialists at Quantum Harvest LLC  are providing a store-wide 10% off coupon. Depending on the model chosen, this could be worth more than $2000.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any of their 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 (a $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, that have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from (a $240 value).
  4. 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.
  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. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  4. A transferable $150 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 92 ends on January 31, 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.


  1. GMRS is a good alternative to getting a Ham license as a no test license is good for the entire family for 10 years. Because I know that the Midland MXT400, a 40 watt radio, is pre- reprogrammed, it might be worth the extra money for some. There is actually little difference in performance between 40 and 50 watts. It should be interesting that with only 5 watts, that the distance is considerable if there are no obstructions. Where the 40 and 50 watts is needed are in conditions where vegetation and terrain partly block the ‘radio line of sight’. We could do well to connect a 4 watt Boafeng to an external antenna, such as the Tram 1181 that does not need to be tuned. And we should do as this fellow is doing, a radio survey, to check the range in his area.

    GMRS Range Test – How Far Can You Talk On The BTech GMRS 50X1 Mobile Radio – Distance Test

    1. Here is a link to information needed to obtain a GMRS license. Rumor has it that the fee is reduced to $35.00 for the entire family for 10 years.

      Frankly, if the country falls apart, the FCC will not come to looking for you. However, the owners of GMRS repeaters could take offense and harass you on air. Same goes for the Ham bands.

      Use to check for repeaters in your area. If there is, I would connect my Boafeng to an external antenna (Tram 1181) and use that repeater from 5 to 20 miles away for 10 to 50 mile coverage. This requires one to be able to program a repeater shift (+5.0Mhz), and add a tone (usually 141.3) into a radio using Chirp, or through manual programming. If programming in only one repeater, learning how to do this would be worth the time to manually accomplish the task.

      If programming is not for you, here is lowest cost mobile option I would consider that is fully programmed with GMRS, and all 8 GMRS repeaters. It is a 15 watt radio and an antenna is provided. The Midland MXT400 is a 40 watt radio, that with an antenna is $299.00, verses $200.00 for the MXT115 at the same place. is a friendly place to do business. They take care of their customers.

        1. They can change the tone, and make the repeater private. GMRS radio is not as sophisticated as the digital Ham repeaters, and I am not up to speed on digital. It could be that there is such a device, but it would be new to me. Technology can advance quickly. If you know, please advise.

          We can also set up our own GMRS repeater, using the same GMRS license.

      1. Hi Tunnel Rabbit,
        I just want to thank you for sharing all the links! Needless to say, they have kept me quite busy today but I am making progress. Also, I found an article by you on SB that I bookmarked a while back regarding the Baofeng. Also, very good information!

        I do have one question: if a person was interested in getting a HAM license, could they purchase the “General” handbook to pass both the Technician and the General test? Or is both handbooks required?

        1. About GMRS. Just for clarification on the handhelds recommended. I am not aware of any handheld that are pre-programed with the GMRS, and all 8 of the GMRS repeaters, AND transmit with more than 1.5 watts. This means having to buy transceivers such as Boafeng, Wouxan, or a Business band radio and then programming it. If more than 1.5 watts is not needed, and if the GMRS repeaters are not needed, then one of the bubble pack FRS/GMS could talk to the Midland MXT series radios at a range of 1 to 3 miles in unobstructed terrain.

          About Amateur Radio. I would use the material recommend at this site.

          Study for the Technician’s license first, and take a practice test on-line. There is only 35 questions. Take it as often as you like, however some of the questions are outdated and not on the test, yet if one were consistently scoring 100 percent, I would say they were ready for the real test. If a person is comfortable with the topic, they could very well repeat the process and study for the General Licence, and take the test on line. If they do well there, there is no reason not to take a try at the Extra Class license. It is possible to take all three tests in one sitting. However, the General Class license provides 90 percent of the privileges, and the Extra Class license is a lot tougher material.

          1. Thanks Tunnel Rabbit, I made contact with a “local” HAM club. They recommended the same thing.

            I really appreciate all the help.

            Once I get into all this stuff, I will probably be bombarding you with questions. hahaha

        2. Lisa,
          There is a separate handbook for the Technician, General, and Extra tests… You should probably buy the one for Tech AND General.

          I am a big fan of “The Fast Track” series by Michael Burnette.

          Here’s a link to the “Fast Track” for the Tech Test.
          General is available too.

          You might also look up the studybooks by Craig “Buck” K4IA.
          Part of the EasyHamBookSeries.

          1. Thank you Awesome Sauce!

            I will check them out! I made contact with a local HAM club and they suggested separate books and tests. Since I am a complete newbie to all of this, I think I will take it one step at a time.

  2. Video of Canadian police dragging away people who were engaging in an “illegal gathering” — which consisted of all of SIX persons inside a PRIVATE residence.

    Such brave, noble stormtroopers! I mean, what if those dangerously sociopathic Typhoid Marys had COUGHED on the innocent brownshirts who were just “following orders” and looking out for public health??

      1. Yes, when I sent this to a friend earlier, I told her that I would LIKE to be able to say: good thing we have the Constitution in the USA to protect us from this kind of absurdity. HOWEVER…I cannot think of a single Constitutionally-protected right that has not been encroached upon or downright stomped.

        Can you?

        Totally agree with your last sentence. Whatever we allow to happen will continue happening. (This is why I was glad to see the statement from the ‘mayor’ of Portland, finally admitting that things are just a liiiiiiittle out of control there and saying they needed more resources. [Golly gee doofus, how ’bout not defunding the ones you already had, for starters?!])

  3. Sunday Talks: Ted Cruz Discusses January 6th Challenge to 2020 Electoral Certification
    [Maria Bartiromo Show]
    Posted on January 3, 2021 by Sundance
    Senator Ted Cruz appears on Sunday morning to discuss the process of challenging the electoral college certification with Maria Bartiromo (CFR). Senator Cruz (TX) discusses his recent decision to assemble with several GOP Senators after Senator Josh Hawley (MO) announced his intent to challenge the certification.

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