# SurvivalBlog Readers’ & Editors’ Snippets

This weekly column is a collection of short snippets: practical self-sufficiency items, how-tos, lessons learned, tips and tricks, and news items — both from readers and from SurvivalBlog’s editors. We may select some long e-mails for posting as separate letters.

First, and foremost, here is a very useful piece from my friend Commander Zero’s excellent Notes From The Bunker blog: Canned beef back at Costco.

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Americans will likely have to navigate a maze of vaccine “passports”

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“Tunnel Rabbit’s informative article on solar power is helpful for someone just starting and trying to keep some lights on with minimal cash outlay.  I’ve lived off-grid for 23 years and have over 4KW of panels, many on a tracker, and a large Iron Edison battery bank.  Also have 1095 watts of solar on my RV using linear actuators to raise the panels.  {Available from W.W. Grainger}  I’m writing to explain something most solar installers don’t consider.  There is a difference between AC and DC voltage.  AC starts at zero and follows a sine wave to maximum and then returns to zero and follows a sine wave to maximum in the opposite direction and returns to zero.  You can measure the area under the curve and play with the numbers, but the bottom line means you need larger [gauge] wire for DC which stays at one voltage and amperage.  The wire size ratings from Underwriters Lab are for fire prevention on AC circuits, not efficiency.  They say #14 will carry 15 amps,  #12  20 amps,  #10  30 amps,  #6  60 amps.  For a continuous load, such as lights, decrease #12 from 20 amps to 16 amps.  For efficient DC, such as from solar panels to the controller, triple the wire size.  Instead of #12 for 20 amps, use #6.  A favorite trick of solar panel installers on RVs is to use small wire on the DC circuits so they can sell more panels to get enough power.  A small voltage drop from the panel to the solar controller will make a large drop in the output because batteries need a voltage above their rated voltage to charge them. Like many things in life, it comes down to money.  If you are starting with a small system and think you will add more panels later, install larger wire now.  If you are using a large enough system to wire the solar panels in series for 24 volts or 48 volts, you will save on wire because raising the voltage decreases the amperage.  Consider this when buying a solar controller.  Most people are impressed with free energy from solar and like no electric bill every month.  If the solar controller, wire, and inverter are sized properly it is easy to add a couple solar panels and more batteries later.  Prior planning prevents poor performance.”

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SaraSue wrote:

“I have finally come to my decision to move out of Idaho and to Tennessee, after much gnashing of teeth.  I love Idaho.  The impetus – my children and grandchildren are relocating from California to Tennessee, and I cannot be that far away from them.  I am their only involved grandparent.  It is a really quick flight from Idaho to California.  Conversely, flying across country is horrible and I have no idea if vaccine passports will be required for air travel in the future, so I want to make sure I can get to them.  I am getting my home in Idaho ready to put on the market.  I know the demand is extremely high.  My realtor, who sold me this home, is just waiting for that phone call to come over with the drone and camera, then they will list it.  For SurvivalBlog readers, my home is in an HOA golf resort and not quite an acre, although still considered “rural”, so it’s decidedly not a sustainable property.  I stand to make a huge profit, which will help me purchase something more sustainable (and rural) in Tennessee – a much longer growing season!  Real estate is crazy in TN now too and after having lived through the housing market crash after buying a home in Nevada at height of market, I will buy at the low end of the market for sure, just in case.  After having lived through want and plenty, I’m very comfortable with minimalist living as long as I have land for growing food. I don’t need a lot and I don’t mind fixing things up.  The exact location is not decided yet because it’s dependent upon my grandchildren’s father’s job situation. ‘

We are praying ‘like crazy’ over this move.  I covet your prayers.”

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Reader C.B mentioned this troubling yet unsurprising news: Democrats to propose legislation expanding the Supreme Court

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SurvivalBlog reader R.K. in southwestern Ohio wrote:

“Just thought you would appreciate anecdotal news about the reselling of ammunition.  I spoke to a friend of mine today who is a manager at a nationwide outdoor sporting goods store.  He told me that they have daily lines of 30-100 people who wait for the store to open and purchase ammunition and reloading supplies.  He said that one of the people he sees every morning that always purchases and complains the whole time about prices, is also that individual he saw on a recent drive home from work with tables set up in his front yard selling boxes of various calibers for a 216% mark-up.  And apparently, he does not have any issues with his sales.”

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Blog reader John M. e-mailed me to mention: