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.

Our Editor-At-Large Michael Z. Williamson sent this:

“Morton and other companies are running into a supply chain delay on the cardboard containers for table salt. It would be a good idea for readers to stock an extra pound, but not totally denude the stores in the process.

If it becomes a long-term issue, both water softener salt and certain animal salt licks are viable sources.”

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I received several comments in response to my mention of airless tires. First, from E.M.:

“This idea of airless tires from Michelin isn’t new. I’m wondering what has been taking them so long as I first saw this concept demonstrated on the OLD Discovery Channel show “Beyond 2000” that aired back in the mid-1990s. It was Michelin that was developing it back then too. Back then they called them “Tweels” because the tire and wheel are bonded together.”

Here is one from Lt. Mike, in Alaska:

“There are already tires like this up here in the Arctic. However, they are not cheap. For example if I wanted to outfit my 2000 GMC Sierra pickup truck with them the cost would be $6,000 plus another $1600 for the special rims and then mounting. And there is no balancing of them. You get what you get and take it that way. They ride hard. The units driving the Elliot Highway (Haul Road) to Prudhoe Bay use them. Why? Because at 65 to 80 degrees below zero you ain’t going to get out to change a flat. What I do have on my truck for the winter are Blizzak tires. Again, not cheap, but the very best for road conditions up here when it is far below zero. I have them mounted on rims I bought, and change them out every year. I have nitrogen in them, which I highly recommend since it increases tire life by an order of magnitude in any tire because it doesn’t expand or contract with temperature and doesn’t seep through the rubber causing failure like compressed air does.”

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Jimbo sent this link, in response to the request for Christian intentional communities: Bruderhof.

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Chris in Arkansas wrote:

“We finally bought a home in N. Central Arkansas, very close to the Missouri border.  This was one of two target areas we had in mind.  Tennessee was the other but the market is so hot there it’s ridiculous.  Homes with acreage routinely had several offers well over asking price in the first week and many were for cash.  Our realtor mentioned that companies were buying some of the homes, even rural properties in very small towns.

The property we bought is not our “perfect” setup as it has a county road running along one side that is busier than we would like with occasional commuters going to and from town.  However, we strongly feel God had this home set aside for us.  The more we prayed, the more doors to other homes kept closing, except for this home and land.  The plus side is that the land is level and has been well managed. Level land is a rarity in N. Arkansas!  We are also located within easy driving distance to good markets in Arkansas and Missouri to support a sideline business we are starting building garden products.

The home sits on several level acres with an attached garage.  There is a productive well, large propane tanks for the stove, water heater, and HVAC, a large insulated workshop with concrete floors and a furnace, another 2 bay garage and a storage shed with a walk-up attic.  There is an RV pad with power, water, and septic.  We also have first dibs on the adjoining cleared small pasture with well and power when the owners decide to sell.  They also sold us a low-hour diesel tractor with implements (backhoe included) for a very fair price.

Our upcoming projects include fencing the entire property to contain our dogs, clearing out woods to put in pasture for small breed livestock, installing a large garden area this fall with deer fence and greenhouse, plus setting up chicken and quail coops.   We are also blessed in that my company is letting me work from home on a permanent basis.

When everything seems bleak and you want to move your family, then PRAY.  It was a long road for us but we believe God had this move planned for us all along.

If anyone would like to connect our email address is available from Jim or Lily.”

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Reader A.D. mentioned this at Reuters: Australia’s two largest states trial facial recognition software to police pandemic rules.

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My sister sent this at CNN: This man used a garbage can to successfully trap a gator in Florida. Fish and wildlife authorities say to leave the trapping to them.

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Reader 3AD Scout sent this report:

“What we did in September to prepare:

Now that our old barn has been converted into a pole barn and has  new metal siding and roof, I have been working on the inside.  I built one stall for the pig and started another which is mostly done.  For the steers I have one large stall and started on a single stall that only needs a gate hung.  I shoveled lots of 2A crushed limestone to fill in where the old foundation was torn out.  I also placed some of that stone under the lean-to.  My daughter did some painting of the rough cut lumber that was exposed to the outside.  I built a small work bench in the one corners and installed a 40”x40” piece of pegboard on the wall to the right of the workbench.  I moved the hay baler under the lean-to to get it out of the weather.  My son and I moved about 70 bales of hay into the barn.  I started to clean out the hay loft and burned a bunch of old paneling and several old doors.  We did sell 2 of the old 8”x8”x6’ barn post.

The neighbor brought over the pig to its new home.  She is very funny in that she loves to occupy her time blowing bubbles in her water.  She has lots of flatulence too.  She has made friends with our puppy. They like to touch noses through the gate.

Focus has shifted from summer projects to getting ready for winter.  I have started to buck the poles I had left over from last fall and splitting it.  The outdoor wood oven was really neglected this month.  Only worked on it one day in September.

My dad gave me a bunch of 223, 45 and 357 magnum brass.  He was nice enough to volunteer to de-prime, size, and prime all the cases.  I’ll wait until the snow starts to fly to finish loading them.

My brother passed away so we spent a lot of time helping my niece clean up his home and settle his estate.  Before he passed he had already given me a bunch of military canteens, belts, ammo pouches etc.  My niece said I could have whatever I wanted so I picked up some of his prepping items, such as a nice Radio Shack Multi-band, including shortwave radio; a Kershaw assisted opening pocket knife, a Gerber Mark II knife (I’m pretty sure I gave it to him years ago); a vintage Coleman white gas Lantern, a bunch of enameled plates and cups; miscellaneous camping equipment; a first aid kit; a bunch of black pipe and fitting; some alkaline and some rechargeable batteries; a battery charger; some of his winter cold weather gear;  3 gas cans (two w/fuel); took a lot of his food and of course his stash of toilet paper.  Thanks Bro!!

Went to a gun show over in Ohio with a good friend.  Picked up a partial bandolier of .30 carbine (w/all the stripper clips); 2 new GI 30rd M4 magazines; a 20rd M1A magazine; a 15rd Browning Hi-power magazine; a box of 10 orange smoke rounds for my 26mm flare gun, some extra parts for an AR bolt carrier group; 2 extra front sight post and one rear sight Aperture, 30 five round stripper clips for 7.62x51mm rounds (I’m going to start putting together some bandoliers for the M1A.

Purchases from the flea markets/Salvation Army included a Complete medium Alice pack, a 2.5 gallon Gambro insulated beverage container, 4 dozen pint jars, a new in the box marble rolling pin, 4 dozen tapered candles.

Tractor supply had a 50% off sale on gardening supplies so I got a new 1.5 gal pump sprayer, five 14’x14’ packs of bird netting, 100’ soaker hose, a four pronged garden cultivator with a nice long handle and some organic soil additives.

Stopped off at the dollar store and picked up some first aid/medical creams and generic Benadryl.  Glad I did before they announced their prices increases.

Picked up 50lbs of rice, 25 pounds of small red beans and 25lbs of salt at GFS.  Put all the beans into Mylar bag and 5gallon bucket.  Stopped off at the local grocery store and picked up lots of cans of various beans, potatoes, and fruit cocktail.”

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Tim J. sent this: The US must avoid war with China over Taiwan at all costs.

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The latest from reader SaraSue:

“The baby goats are growing and seem to be happy.  I was able to pet a couple of them and they run to the fence in the morning when they see me coming with their feed.  One stretched his little nose through the fence to “kiss” one of the dogs – the dogs are learning that the baby goats are off limits, but they still want to chase the heck out of them.

The Chickens, who have been cooped up with the Guineas from chickhood, seem to be happy in their new chicken house that I put together from a kit I got at Tractor Supply.  The Guineas are huge and today I will set them free.  It will be interesting to see if they are big enough and loud enough to convince the Turkey Vultures not to mess with them. Turkey Vultures generally like “dead meat” for dinner and aren’t apt to attack live animals, so I’m hopeful the Guineas will be safe and do their tick removal job.  I constructed a temporary shelter in the goat pen using camping tarps to keep the rain off them and provide shade.  The weather is still too warm here for them to stay in the barn during the day, as there’s not enough ventilation and I can’t leave the doors open due to the dogs.  They need fresh air and to graze and play, although they loved being in the barn during our torrential rains – they have their own large pen.  I was hauling water to the animals, but now have a long enough hose to reach their pens and the small barn – makes it so much easier.

The German Shepherds are on new electronic collars that have lights I can turn on with the click of a button.  That’s been very helpful during the dark early morning and evening timeframes – I can see them racing when they decide to escape the property and can call them back sooner.

I took advantage of the case lot sales for canned goods at Walmart.  Picked up another large Azure Standard order – I use them for bulk organic grains, mostly.  I had a goal of 1 year of food storage, and I’ve changed that to 2 years.  That will give me enough time to get gardens, orchards, and animals in place for TEOTWAWKI – which I feel like we’re already in.”

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From H.L.: This Giant Map Shows All the Metropolitan Areas in the U.S.JWR’s Comments:  This map is useful, but one key limitation is that it is divided by County/Parish. Some large, poplulous counties are both urban and rural, so the graphics can be deceiving. For example, look at the counties in southern California.

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Don in Oregon wrote us this, in reply to the recent question about rural addressing:

“I have experience using only a P.O. Box.

I’ve been using “Mile Post XX,  YYYYY Road” as a physical address for many years with the DMV, the Post Office (to get a PO box), the county (voter registration), the Sheriff’s Office (concealed license), and US State Department (passport).

There are limitations to receiving packages at the Post Office. UP and FedEx both have programs to ship to Post Offices but there are limitations on package size. Some shippers (i.e. internet vendors) don’t know or control the shipping method. I’ve received calls from UPS and FedEx distribution centers telling me to provide an address, or come in and pick it up [at their distribution center]. The Post Office seems to have become much more restrictive about receiving packages in the last year. So it’s handy to have an alternate physical address such as a neighbor or friend.

In my experience, insurance companies won’t write homeowner policies without a conventional street address.

A fiber company is installing in my region but won’t connect to a property without a street address.

It’s convenient to have a landmark of some kind by your driveway to help in giving directions. Some people simply cannot follow a set of directions, and need an address to plug into their GPS. In that case you can give your neighbor’s address and the landmark.

Sheriffs typically will not accept civil service for someone without a conventional street address, ie they won’t serve papers. (Private process servers may not proceed beyond a “No Trespassing” sign.)

I’ve never been bothered by Census workers.”

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Ron S. wrote to mention a YouTube channel worth bookmarking: S2 Underground.

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Another note from Lt. Mike, received in late September:

“Update on the arctic farm front: 4” of fresh snow on the ground, and more coming down this morning. I guess it’s winter … and fall just got left in the wind.

This weekend I’m starting a new set of vegetable plants indoor on my “garden table” … my wife & I take our meals in the living room on trays as it is more comfortable and I’ve loaded down the table with plants and “your junk” as the bride calls it. I sometimes wonder if other men do that too?
A very healthy young bull moose seems to have fallen in love with our yard lately, I have given consideration to inviting him to dinner (that is to be dinner) but my bride does remind me that I have to sleep sometime … she’s been watching this fellow since he was a baby calf & his mama kept them safe in the yard through their first winter. I haven’t seen mom or the sister in about a year, it doesn’t mean they aren’t there, just not when I’m looking. But Bullwinkle (Donna’s name for him) is still hanging around our area.
Rocky our squirrel is still around, his back legs don’t work very well. Don’t know if he’s born defective or injured or what but the little guy really gets around, he falls out of the tree on a regular basis and we’ve taught the dawgs not to bother him. I built a small carpeted platform for him and mounted it on the side of the tree he lives in so he can rest and eat just outside of the small birdhouse he lives in on that same tree. I find it amazing he can survive the winters, three of them now, and that they (all the squirrels in the area) are active all winter and actually survive.
Mr. Fox is still around and I’ve watched him “play” with our three dawgs; Holly is a 12 year old Maltese, Grace is a two year old tiny terrier mix pound puppy, and George is a two years old short terrier mix who thinks he’s King Kong. It is amusing to see them play together around the yard, the fox chasing the dawgs .. then turn tail and they chase him. Once in a while, in the warm summer sun I’ve caught them all four laying in the grass sleeping in the sun …but as soon as I open the door or make noise Mr. Fox looks at me and saunters off into the trees that my acreage is mostly populated with …. birch and spruce the two predominant species of trees in the area.  I call it nature’s TV … God’s gift to our minds & hearts.
I hope all is well there, as soon as the major modification project on our simulator at work is done I am planning to have a dear friend come over and give us lessons on canning in that brand new 21-quart pressure canner I bought my wife. I’ve been working 12 to 15 hours daze, 6 and sometimes 7 days a week, for months now and we’ve getting very close to the end. The hardware modifications are done for the most part, and software programming is underway at full tilt. I hate software programming it is tedious and boring but it is an essential part of getting the upgrades done. God has been wonderful in sparing my sanity for the last year or so, maybe when this is all done HE will give me a break and I can take a real vacation and get some rest?
Anyway, looking forward to the canning process, we are going to buy bulk vegetables from Fred Meyers produce department, they will sell it that way up here. A 25 pound bag of beets is about $15.00 ( Alaska food prices are horrendous since most everything is shipped in) and we will start with about 50# of beets. We will add other items as we learn the process and I can buy more jars, lids, rings, etc. We did some canning in Montana but never used the pressure canner before. My wife is scared silly of it, but I know that since it’s new, and with careful guidance and attention all should be ok. I have just under two years of dehydrated food staples in storage, and a number of cases of MREs as well which like but the wife doesn’t; and my MREs are all the [high calorie] arctic type. This means they are Mountain House brand in an OD tan military wrapper … she’ll eat Mountain House when we’re camping if I buy it from Freddies or the sporting goods store, but won’t touch the MREs. Go figure.
Guess I’ve bored you long enough; just wanted to let you now that we are praying r oy and the family, especially with Jim traveling. Please be safe, and may God our father richly bless you all and keep you safe. If you’re ever up this way the door is always open, the coffee rancid and the stories getting better with age …. “

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New California Law Obliterates Gun Owners’ Right To Privacy. (A hat tip to H.L. for the link.)  A snippet:

“Governor Gavin Newsom (D.) signed Assembly Bill 173 into law on Thursday. The bill requires the California Department of Justice to supply information identifying firearm and ammunition purchasers to a newly created research center at the University of California Davis or any other university that requests them. The information includes details such as the buyer’s name, address, date of birth, what they purchased, when and where they bought it, and more.”

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Reader A.K. spotted this: Israeli researchers bypass facial recognition using AI-generated makeup patterns.

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