Letter: Earthbag Shelter

earthbag shelters

Regarding the Odds ‘n Sods entry last month: Owen Geiger has several earthbag shelter designs that are inexpensive but labor intensive and that are an option for radiation protection.


Letter Re: Excessive OPSEC



A good friend of mine recently died unexpectedly from a massive heart attack and had excessive OPSEC. Let’s just say he was prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse but not prepared to die. He kept much of his information to himself, including the combinations to his gun safes, hidden keys, and buried caches among other things. This has created huge problems for his surviving family members. Since none of us are immune from death, proper planning should include passing on critical information in a secure manner. – JEH

USMC Mountain Survival Course- Part 2, by E.T.

USMC Mountain Survival Course


On the evening of the first night of being in the instructional phase of our USMC Mountain Survival Course, we were handed a pet shop rabbit. The Marine Corps had bought a batch of larger farm raised rabbits, only to find out they carried the nasty Tularemia (rabbit fever). They discovered the disease after looking at the first rabbit’s liver, which was spotted white/yellow and/or swollen. They weren’t willing to accept the risk of disease transmission. So, they searched all the nearby pet shops and bought up all the pet bunnies they could find. Those bunnies were small and cute instead of large and fluffy and full of meat. Mine was black and white. I had always wanted a pet rabbit. Just the same, I didn’t bother naming him since he looked tasty.

Butchering a Rabbit

Using one as an example, the instructors showed how to kill, skin, and … Continue reading

USMC Mountain Survival Course- Part 1, by E.T.

USMC Mountain Survival Course

Preparations For Mountain Survival

I spent June of 2014 in Bridgeport, California at the USMC’s School of Mountain Warfare undergoing the grand reopening of their Mountain Survival Course. Over the span of 13 days, I lost 31 pounds while in training. Here’s my story and lessons learned.

I left an elevation of 3,300 feet in the mountains of North Carolina for Bridgeport, which is at 6,500 feet. The first morning we ran our PFT with less than 12 hours of acclimation to the new elevation. We were required to score a First Class PFT before continuing the course. We had one Marine fail to achieve first class score twice and was shipped back to his unit. That left 26 students with three instructors. Our class consisted of all NCO’s, with a 1st Lieutenant and a Captain thrown in. We were a handful of Scout/Snipers, a Polish Commando, a Headquarters guy … Continue reading

Essential Communications on a Budget, by TCM

Baofeng UV5R

Communications within a survival group and with the surrounding area is not just important; it can be a matter of life and death. The lack of communications taken to the extreme can be illustrated by imagining yourself with your eyes and ears covered. Now, try to defend yourself and your family. We all know it is not possible. Being without, at least, basic communications is almost that dangerous. I’m not suggesting that you should blow your entire prepper budget on high dollar electronics. There is a low-cost, but effective solution. This article will offer some practical solutions for emergency communications, using low-cost Baofeng transceivers. Some of the suggestions are not legal except under emergency conditions. The best approach is to get your ham license and do everything legally, but your circumstances may not permit that approach. If not, this article is for you. First, we will talk about equipment then … Continue reading

Recipe of the Week: Pizza Pasta, by Georgia Girl

Recipe of the Week

Georgia’s Girl’s Pizza Pasta


  • 3 c. hot water
  • 14 oz. jar of pizza sauce, using a little water with lid on to rinse out the last remaining sauce and add to pot
  • 2 (4 oz) cans mushrooms, drained
  • 2 1/4 c. pasta, such as elbows, spiral, etc. (Mueller’s brand only)
  • Add-ins, such as pepperoni, ground beef, onions, basil, Mrs. Dash, or other herbs and spices you prefer and Mozzarella cheese for topping, shredded is best

Homestead and Financial Ledger Books- Part 2, by S.T.

Ledger Books

We have been looking at the use and benefit of Homestead Ledger Books. In Part 1, we looked at documenting activities, items harvested, canned or dried, and items sold or orders received. We have looked at a possible scenario from January through September and left off at September after participating in the farmer’s market. Furthermore, let’s look at what activities we might record in our ledger for October.


In October, the family could take time to plan out the next year’s garden and locate free buckets. The buckets that could be used to expand the garden output by growing additional plants in these containers. The family could try to locate other containers to use for the plant starts for which we took orders. The children could log information into their own Homestead Financial Ledgers. They then plan out any future income producing projects they wanted to work on. This … Continue reading

Homestead and Financial Ledger Books- Part 1, by S.T.

Ledger Books

Looking back in time, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and the other founding fathers of the United States all maintained Homestead and Financial Ledger Books of one kind or another. Some, like George Washington, had one for each of his businesses (grist mill, whiskey, et cetera). With the advent of computers and the move to city life, these ledgers have gone out of fashion. But they remain an important tool, and it is to sad that families do not use them anymore. We would spend less on unneeded items if more of these were used.

What Are Homestead Ledgers?

Benjamin Franklin was a printer of many of these Blank Ledger Books .

What are Homestead ledgers? Homestead ledgers are nothing more than simple ledger books that chronicle the every day life on a homestead. They show what is grown, what is made, what is preserved, … Continue reading

Basic Rifle Marksmanship- Part 1, by Mark Bunch

Basic Rifle Marksmanship

For most of my life I have been a rifle shooter, competitor, and instructor. I have also carried a rifle in combat when people I didn’t know shot at me. I know a fair amount about the subject and would like to share some of the things I have learned about basic rifle marksmanship along the way. A man or woman with a quality rifle and the training to use it is a formidable combination indeed.

What are you going to use it for?

Just as with handguns, a prospective buyer needs to know what he/she is going to use a rifle for in order to choose the correct tool for the job. You generally get what you pay for in life, although there are some pretty good value priced rifles. There is also the option of buying a good quality used rifle from a pawn shop or gun dealer.

New Frontier Compact, by X. Liberal


Dear Readers,

This is a Compact I wrote for a ficticious people in a ficticious land and at a time of world calamity. It is not based upon any Constitution of political significance of today, unless otherwise noted. I’m anxious to obtain feedback. If you were going to ratify this, what changes would be needed from your perspective? I will also not have time to reply to feedback but will gather all into account.

Of course, if the balloon goes up today, this might come in handy real soon.

Thanks and God Bless! – X. Liberal


We, the peoples of the New Frontier, in order to preserve our Union, restore peace and justice (not social justice), for ourselves and also for our prodigy, do ordain and establish this Compact for the New Frontier.

ARTICLE I (Restoration)

Section 1

  • To save succeeding generations from the scourge of Elitism, which many times … Continue reading

  • Debunking the Myth of Canned Food Expiration Dates, by T.L.

    Expiration Date

    Canned Goods

    Even if you’re not yet a prepper, you likely have at least some canned food goods on your shelf with an expiration date on them. Perhaps you have even taken up canning your own food. Either way, canned goods are a common staple. That is the case for good reason. However, do you really know the truth about canned food shelf life?

    I’m surprised by how many people seem to have a deep trust of those “magical dates” on canned foods. But what are those dates anyway? What do they mean?

    Myths to Debunk

    Various Types of Canned Food Dates

    Here, let’s debunk some of the myths that surround those dates on canned foods.

    Letter: Venezuela Update



    I own a shipping store and just received this today from DHL, a primary international carrier. I found the content interesting as providing some insight as to what a failing government considers to be threats in the hand of its citizens! – R.B.

    Prohibited Items Into Venezuela

    Date: May 26, 2017
    Due to ongoing unrest in Venezuela, this emergency security directive is to be put in place effective immediately in all facilities:
    The following is an updated list of items that are prohibited in being shipped to Venezuela (VE) under any service offering. Please note these are in addition to current standard DHL prohibited items and Venezuela Country specific prohibited commodities. Immediate enforcement of these prohibitions is mandatory, with no exceptions:

    Ten Tips for Going Off-Grid, by A.U.

    Off grid living

    My husband and I recently bought a piece of property with some family members in the hope of transitioning to off-grid living. For those who might not be familiar with the concept, going off-grid means creating a lifestyle that does not rely on public utilities (water, electricity, et cetera).

    There are many different reasons people choose to go off-grid. Some of the most popular reasons are:

    • to decrease environmental impact,
    • to prepare for disaster, or
    • a desire to be independent and self-sustained.

    We jumped into our endeavor with almost no knowledge or experience. We have had to learn some things the hard way. While I would not trade the experience for anything, there are some things that I wish we had known from the start. Here is a list of tips I can offer to help make the transition to off-grid living a bit easier.

    Guest Article: The Genesis Of The “Bubble’s Bubble”

    Bubble's Bubble

    The financial services industry is headed for the greatest debate in recent history.

    Regardless of what occurs from here –a continued stock market bullish trend or reversion to long-term averages which chronicles back to 2000 levels, the confines of discussion, the heated verbal and written volleys tossed deep from the roots of philosophical differences will forge a permanent rift between the steadfast buy-and-hold brethren and the stewards who manage risk by preserving capital (the dreaded group with a market escape plan), through the forthcoming bear cycle.

    The stakes are higher than I can recall.

    Future generations: Those we are depending on to lift the globe from the depths of a demographic malaise, groups nowhere near as ostentatious as Baby Boomers; generations that savor experience over product and have been wary of the risk in stocks, are beginning to relent and take notice of this bull market trajectory.

    How they experience … Continue reading