February 2021 in Precious Metals, by Steven Cochran

Welcome to SurvivalBlog’s Precious Metals Month in Review, where we take a look at “the month that was” in precious metals. Each month, we cover gold’s performance, and the factors that affected gold prices.

What Did Gold Do in February?

Gold didn’t have a very good month in February, closing at a second monthly loss in a row. This culminated in a $53 drop in spot gold on the last trading session of the month, hitting $1,716 an ounce before recovering back to $1,730. This puts gold on track for the worst month in four years.
The pain this month wasn’t limited to gold. Treasuries had a major sell-off, and high-flying tech stocks took a beating. This was caused by several things, but it can all be traced back to bets that the economy will recover faster than the Fed thinks it will.

Factors Affecting Gold This Month

SIGNS OF IMPROVING ECONOMY
Most of the economic news from the government this month came in above expectations. This buoyed market sentiment, and pressured gold. For example, retail sales increased by 5.3% in January, helped by the $600 stimulus checks sent out by President Trump. Wholesale prices rose 1.3% in January, the largest monthly jump since 2009.

On February 17th, gold formed a death cross, after losing $70 an ounce over four sessions.
It wasn’t just economic news boosting investor sentiment. The COVID vaccination program finally started getting into gear.

COVID
The US started the month with more people who have had at least one shot of the coronavirus vaccine than there were active cases. COVID infection rates are slowing as more people are vaccinated. Faster rates of vaccinations have people hoping that things will get back to normal by Christmas. Investors are changing their portfolios now to take advantage of it.

However, new more contagious strains of the coronavirus from Britain and South Africa are causing faster infections this month. Health officials are accelerating vaccinations while pharmaceutical companies test new versions aimed at stopping these strains.

BONDS
Higher bond yields were the major direct driver of gold prices in February. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note broke above 1.3% on the 17th, and was partly responsible for gold prices entering a death cross the same day.

These rocketing bond yields are a direct result of the market thinking inflation is just around the corner. 10-year yields started February at 1.117%. It hit 1.2% on the 7th, 1.3% on the 16th, and 1.4% on the 24th.

More than $50 billion worth of bonds were sold in one session on the 25th, pushing yields over 1.6%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury eased back to 1.5% on the 26th, but analysts warn that there is more to come.

STOCKS
Higher Treasuries yields have sparked a “reflation trade” in the stock market. Investors are selling tech stocks and “stay at home” stocks, in favor of companies that will benefit the most from an end to the COVID epidemic. This rotation has been painful for the market as a whole, as stocks alternate between touching new highs, and getting battered down.

Growing worries of inflation suddenly rising are hitting stocks that will be adversely affected, and boosting bank stocks, which do better during inflationary times.Continue reading“February 2021 in Precious Metals, by Steven Cochran”



Recipe of the Week: Snow Ice Cream

The following recipe for Snow Ice Cream comes to us from SurvivalBlog reader Laura E.:

During or after every fresh snowfall, I mix up a batch of snow ice cream for my husband’s sweet tooth.  Kids would love to make this fast and simple seasonal treat, too.

Ingredients
  • Snow
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Flavor(s) of choice (cocoa, vanilla or peppermint extract, fruit, etc)
Directions
The density of the snow will influence the amount of condensed milk you need to create a creamy consistency (closer to that of ice milk than of ice cream).  So I use two bowls.
1.  Scoop up fresh snow from a clean spot with a large bowl or pot (metal works best to keep it cold).
2. Spoon about 5-6 cups of snow into a second bowl.
3.  Pour the thick, sweetened condensed milk over the snow and stir it in, until you get the consistency you desire, or add more snow or more milk.  I generally find that one 12 oz can of milk is appropriate for 5-6 cups of fresh, soft snow.
4.  Add your flavorings of choice, a little at a time until you like the taste.  Because the condensed milk is sweetened, you do not need to add additional sweeteners unless you wish to do so. Start with just one teaspoon of any extract, or 1/4-1/3 cup of cocoa, or 1 cup of fruit.  (Canned peaches and soft berries are terrific.)  If you drizzle some honey or syrup into the snow, the liquid will freeze and harden into little crunchy caramel-like bits.
Enjoy!
SERVING And STORAGE

Eat right away or store outside or in the freezer.

Do you have a favorite recipe that would be of interest to SurvivalBlog readers? In this weekly recipe column, we place emphasis on recipes that use long term storage foods, recipes for wild game, dutch oven and slow cooker recipes, and any that use home garden produce. If you have any favorite recipes, then please send them via e-mail. Thanks!



Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest news items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. Most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor, JWR. Today, we further examine the ammunition shortage. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

See Steven Cochran’s monthly precious metals recap report, also posted today.

Economy & Finance:

Personal income leaps 10% in January thanks to stimulus, but inflation still in check

o  o  o

At Zero Hedge: Rabo: We Are About To Lose All Price Discovery – And Never Go Back Again Without A Systemic Crash

o  o  o

Over at Alt-Market: Online Furniture, Grocery, Clothing Sales Explode as Brick & Mortar Melts Down

o  o  o

At Wolf Street: Just Don’t Expect “Pent-up Demand” from Consumers. Here’s Why

o  o  o

Security flaw detected for the second time in credit cards

o  o  o

Reader H.L. suggested this: Blowing Up The “Everything” Bubble

Continue reading“Economics & Investing For Preppers”



The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?” – Patrick Henry, from: Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution



Preparedness Notes for Sunday — February 28, 2021

February 28th is the birthday of famed Swiss investor and economic pundit Marc Faber (born 1946).

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 93 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 www.TOUGHGRID.com (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 93 ends on March 31st, 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.



The K.I.S.S. Principle and Transceivers – Part 5, by Tunnel Rabbit

(Continued from Part 4. This concludes the article.)

ANTENNA SELECTION
Mobile Antennas Selection, and Mounts
The following list is very short list as most antennas on the market require the installer to tune the antenna with an SWR meter.  Often this fact is omitted. Fortunately, both these antennas do not need to be tuned and are more than adequate.  There is not much need to look further. Both of these antennas have NMO bases, and there is a variety of heavy to light magenetic mount with various cable lengths available that have MNO fittings.  Magnetic mount bases are very popular, yet they are not the only way to mount antenna without drilling a hole.  There are several different types.  Be sure to shop and find a mount that has cable that is long enough for your installation.
Diamond Antenna SPM/NMO Magnet Mount Mobile Antenna (NMO Mount)
Diamond Antenna K515SNMO Luggage Rack Mount (NMO)
Diamond Antenna K400CNMO Trunk Lid / Hatchback Mount
UHF and VHF Mobile Antennas:
UHF, high gain antenna intended for the GMRS and UHF business band range of frequencies between 462 and 467 Mhz:  Midland MicroMobile MXTA11 6db Gain Antenna  https://www.buytwowayradios.com/midland-mxta11.html
For VHF and UHF
Multi-purpose wide band, and dual band antenna on a magnetic mount intended for all radio services on VHF and UHF:
Tram 1181 Dual Band NMO Mount Antenna (140-170/430-470 MHz)  https://www.buytwowayradios.com/tram-1181.html
A BASE STATION ANTENNA: THE SLIM JIM
KB9VBR Slim Jim Antennas
There are many choices, and we good down many rabbit holes and lose sight of what I believe is one of the best choices in base station antenna out there for the prepper. KB9VBR, Micheal, has lots of information on his website, and many YouTube videos.  I got my only store-bought slim jim from him over a decade ago.  He takes care of his customers. As I now do, he makes j-poles and slim jims for all radio services.
For the transceivers discussed, purchase a high gain ‘slim jim’ antenna here:
UHF for GMRS and business band frequenices select 462 to 470mhz.
In the option boxes, select ‘N Female’ or PL259 connectors.
High gain ‘slim jim’ antenna , 150 to 160 mhz, that can be used for MURS radio, and for your scanner, if a MURS radio is not in use.
VHF Public Safety, MURS, Marine, & Scanner Slim Jim Antenna
$48.00 – $52.00
Use the directions on the website to properly install the antenna. Although not recommended by the manufacture, it is wiser to use an RF (radio frequency) air choke on these antennas, and it certainly necessary on J-pole antennas to get the best performance. Make an RF air choke with a coil of cable that is approximately 4 inches in diameter, and 5 coils of cable.  Secure with wire ties or cordage.  This decouples the antenna from the cable. We do not want the cable to be a part of the antenna and detune it. This is very important to the antenna’s performance in terms of SWR and bandwidth.

Continue reading“The K.I.S.S. Principle and Transceivers – Part 5, by Tunnel Rabbit”



JWR’s Meme Of The Week:

The latest meme created by JWR:

To share this, you can find it here: https://kapwi.ng/c/ZW18AUNF

Meme Text:

Nancy Pelosi Fought the U.S. Border Fence — And Dragged Her Feet for Four Long Years
But Then She Ordered the Three-Mile Long Capitol Fence — And Had it Put Up in Four Days




Preparedness Notes for Saturday — February 27, 2021

On February 27, 1902 Harry “Breaker” Harbord Morant was executed in Pretoria.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 93 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 www.TOUGHGRID.com (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 93 ends on March 31st, 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.



The K.I.S.S. Principle and Transceivers – Part 4, by Tunnel Rabbit

(Continued from Part 3.)

The Quad Barreled Cannon, The Wouxun KG-UV980P, $310.00
The Wouxun KG-UV980P Quad Band Base/Mobile Two Way Radio is a quad band, with cross band repeat, a 50 watt transceiver, that transmits using FM only in these frequency ranges: 26 to 29 MHz, 50 to 54 MHz, 136 to 174 MHz, and 400 to 480 MHz.  It can generally be described in terms of Amateur Radio as a 10 meter, 6 meter, 2 meter, and 70cm, yet this unit transmits outside of these Amateur bands, and is much more than simply a Ham radio.  For example, it also transmits in FM in the CB range of frequencies, and is subsequently in a gray area where FCC regulations are not enforced, and likely not even monitored. For clarification, while it will transmit on the same frequencies, and other frequencies as does a CB, it cannot talk to CBs, because CB uses Amplitude modulation (AM), and not frequency modulation (FM) that this transceiver uses.  It can, however, receive AM-mode CB traffic. Because of this deficit, it does not function as a CB per se, but it is a very capable radio in other regards.  It just barely fits into the theme of this article, and the big price makes it a tighter squeeze. It is mentioned as with this class of radio for the benefit of Amateur Radio enthusiasts who naturally would see the advantages of this radio, that can work injunction with the Anytone Smart, and Anytone AT6666.
AMATEUR RADIO AND YOU
An amateur radio Technician (“Tech”) license could still be in your future.  It allows you to legally key up on the Ham Bands, and does give one access to numerous well-maintained repeaters. However, I would not plan on using repeaters after a collapse, or necessarily even the Ham bands frequencies as these would be carefully monitored by those seeking to develop intelligence in a post-collapse society or possible civil war. When Hams use their call sign, we can look them up on a database and get their full name, physical or mailing address.  And it is possible that one day, that a tyrannical government might use the FCC-granted licenses as a means to target Amateur Radio operators as they are typically a patriotic, and freedom-loving group who would be central to a command and control. During World War 2, all amateur radio activity was prohibited. With that warning said, the 2 Meter Amateur band will likely bring and hold a community together. We should at least have a scanner to monitor all the 2-meter repeaters and other popular Ham frequencies in your area. Fortunately, there are no test licenses for GMRS that give one comparable coverage to that of the 70cm Ham band should there be GMRS repeaters present. Without repeaters, the range of powerful 40-watt GMRS transceiver would be in many regions of the country, be adequate to cover a 20 to 30 mile in diameter area of AO (Area of Operation), your home turf.
GMRS provides most of what most people in this day and age require. To reiterate, the downside of GMRS for preppers is that the inexpensive GMRS handhelds are ubiquitous, and your transmissions will likely be monitored. It is one of the most unsecure means of radio communications. But because it is populated by mostly the average user, it could be an opportunity to hide in plain sight, and to talk to neighbors. Fortunately, the use of a Ham call sign that can be used to locate your address is not used with GMRS.  We should also consider the low barrier to entry — just $35, and the whole family can join in and use the same license. We could then also install our own repeater. In the GMRS section of the article, all the basic components are listed to get one up and running. The GMRS transceivers come already programmed. The radios are relatively simple to operate. These are sort of like a modern CB, but with greater range. We should choose a radio service that can be used by the least skilled member. GMRS, Citizen Band transceiver, and the MURS handhelds fit into this category.
GMRS uses Ultra High Frequencies (UHF), that do not travel as well along the ground and through forests as well as the lower frequencies of MURS (151 to 154 Mhz), that is VHF, or the CB frequencies (27 Mhz). If we use UHF, we should work harder to get all the power we can from the radio to the antenna to best propagate a signal. Although the focus is on GMRS, the principles discussed apply to all radio communications, or transceivers and handhelds.  If one must cut corners to save money by using inferior and less expensive cables and antennas to get the job done in your AO, then there is no need for the added expense, and effort.  In the majority of cases, we need to work harder to get the most range out of UHF.
Looking at a few numbers we’ll discover why we should choose the more expensive components,  and install antenna as high as we can. We can use a 15-foot to 20 -oot metal or wooden pole in the ground as that will do just fine most of the time. We’ll do the best we can without going ‘whole hog’ like a Ham would.  However, if you are surrounded by hills, or a hill or building is between you and the local repeater, we’ll need to either need an antenna that is mounted higher, or we’ll need to move the antenna.  In some cases, the expense of a tower could be justified. But before spending that kind of money, perform a survey of the intended coverage area.

Continue reading“The K.I.S.S. Principle and Transceivers – Part 4, by Tunnel Rabbit”



Editors’ Prepping Progress

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities and planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, ranch improvements, bug out bag fine-tuning, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year.  We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!

Jim Reports:

I’m back on the road, to care for an elderly relative. As usual, I’ve put the ordering apparatus of Elk Creek Company on hiatus. If you want to order anything, then mark your calendar for March 31st. Ordering should resume then. Please note that I’m now in the process of cataloging about 20 percussion blackpowder revolvers of recent manufacture. Just as with pre-1899 cartridge guns, NO paperwork is required, in most States! Oh, and you can easily find cartridge conversion cylinders for many of those models.  (A hint for those of you who live in gun-deprived States.) Sorry, no overseas sales.

Now, over to my dear wife, Avalanche Lily…

Continue reading“Editors’ Prepping Progress”



The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.

But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth,

And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it.

Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.

And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.

And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.

And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, From all places whence ye shall return unto us they will be upon you.

Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows.

And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.

And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.

And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.

They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.

For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.

And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another.

In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us.

So we laboured in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared.

Likewise at the same time said I unto the people, Let every one with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us, and labour on the day.

So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard which followed me, none of us put off our clothes, saving that every one put them off for washing.” – Nehemiah 4: 6-23 (KJV)



Preparedness Notes for Friday — February 26, 2021

This day, February 26, is the birthday of Major-General Orde Charles Wingate (born, 1903, died 24 March 1944), an eccentric British Army officer who organized special military units in Palestine in the 1930s, and in Abyssinia, Sudan, and Burma during World War II. He is most famous for his creation of the Chindits, airborne deep-penetration troops trained to work behind enemy lines in the Far East campaigns against the Japanese during World War II.

On February 26, 1993: A truck bomb built by Islamic extremists explodes in the parking garage of the North Tower of New York’s World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000 others.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 93 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 www.TOUGHGRID.com (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 93 ends on March 31st, 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.



The K.I.S.S. Principle and Transceivers – Part 3, by Tunnel Rabbit

(Continued from Part 2.)

Editor’s Note: The following section of the article describes some high power and out-of-band transmission modifications that are not legal under most circumstances. In an absolute disaster situation, anyone can operate outside of normal bands/channels without a license and probably without any legal repercussions. But doing so in normal times will surely get someone arrested, their gear seized, and some hefty fines. Beware!

BACK TO THE FUTURE, CB RADIO IS BACK!
Although Citizen Band (CB) might not be a part of our primary radio communications plan, we may need to operate a CB to talk to neighbors. Although it appears that CB has fallen into disuse, it is not forgotten, in fact it is fast making a ‘come back’. And there are yet many hidden away that will be dusted off and put back into service in a disaster. It could be the radio that connects and informs the masses. A low-cost example should then be in our radio shack even if it is not our first choice, since it will be the first and only choice for many neighbors. And it would be good enough for most local situations.
Sigle-sideband (SSB) mode CB offers twice the range and four times the COMSEC as a standard CB. Yet if there are no other SSB CBs that we could contact, then SSB is not a practical choice.  Unless of course we planned ahead and SSB CBs were apart of our primary or alternative radio communications, and members standardized on SSB CB. Standard CB radio is a good alternative, if the operation requirement is less than 3 to 8 miles. Cost and technical barriers also weigh heavily on our decisions, and may force us to compromise and choose the CB. If a radio choice is too difficult for the least technical capable member, then it is not a good choice.  CB could at the least be a contingency radio option.
My approach tends to favor lower-cost radios coupled with the best antenna that I can afford.  This usually works out well in the field. Connect a lower-power, or lower cost radio to a optimal antenna, and it usually will outperform, or perform just as well as a better quality, and higher priced and powered radio that is connected to a sub-optimal, or sub-standard antenna.  There is a general tendency to purchase brawn (power output), rather than using ‘brains’ to get the job done.
The choices of transceivers and antennas available is impressive and overwhelming. In this day and age, vehicles have evolved beyond the traditional CB antenna mounts of the past. In this comparison, I’ve chosen to use a decent performing magnetic mount 5 foot long antenna, because it is easy for the average person to install on modern vehicles.  There are better performing antennas, but the goal is to find and examine combinations that are a sensible balance of cost, performance, with a low technical barrier.  Motor homes, pick-ups, and even base stations could use a no ground plane (NGP) antenna if a full-sized antenna is out of reach. Whatever the application, there are numerous options that are offered as solutions that will allow us to install a better antenna. Ask around, and choose the best performing antenna for your situation.
Generally speaking, the longer the antenna, the better it propagates. This is especially relevant when it comes to CB antennas.  As a rough rule of thumb, for every one foot of antenna height, we might expect 1 mile of range. However, there are too many variables to estimate the actual range. If the range requirement is modest, then buying the best antenna one can afford, will likely allow the radio to perform adequately.  There is likely a better antenna that can be used if the installer is up to the technical challenge. Those with older vehicles and trucks would do well to install a Hustler 102″ Stainless Steel Whip that is 8.5 feet in length:
Hustler 102 Inch Whip CB Ham Antenna Stainless Steel – 18 ft RG8X Coax – Spring & Mount
Modern pickups and other modern vehicles are better served with compact radios and modern mounting brackets. Here is an example from CB World’s “Help Center”:
And here is a kit complete with CB for modern pickups found at Amazon:
Pro Trucker Pickup CB Radio Kit Includes Radio, 4′ Antenna, CB Antenna Mount, CB Coax, SWR Meter w/Jumper Coax, Speaker, and Springhttps://www.amazon.com/Pro-Trucker-CB-Antenna-Speaker/dp/B01N7U4Z74/ref=sr_1_5?crid=C9981K8XF9AZ&dchild=1&keywords=swr+for+cb+radio&qid=1611950300&sprefix=swr+for+cb+radio%2Celectronics%2C213&sr=8-5
$199.90

Continue reading“The K.I.S.S. Principle and Transceivers – Part 3, by Tunnel Rabbit”