Experiencing Anaphylaxis, by Breathing Better Now

Signs of anaphylaxis

This year, I dealt with anaphylaxis and it really clarified some issues with our prepping. Though I have been a prepper most of my life, I didn’t realize that was what I was until eight years ago. Most of the prepping that I did was food storage. I did it for stewardship not prepping for the zombie apocalypse. I would buy supplies in large quantities when they were at “rock bottom”, once-a-year sale prices. Each time an item we used would be on sale, I would buy as many as I could afford and use before the expiration date. My wakeup call was the 2008 presidential election. I still remember sitting in disbelief at the outturn of the vote. Confused, concerned, and motivated, I did not see much hope for the future of my country or my children. After a few weeks of shock, I decided to take action.

A local group

I started researching all things prepping. Continue reading

Recipe of the Week: Italian Stuffed Peppers, by JFG

Hey HJL! I’m a huge fan of SurvivalBlog.com. Thanks to you and JWR for all you do. Here is a recipe I like to make when camping. I use a Dutch oven on the fire, but you can easily make this at home in the kitchen. The beauty of this “oldie, but goodie” is that you can substitute any meat/protein you have on hand as well as add any canned veggies to the mix to make it go farther. This is the recipe I prefer.


  • 1/2 lb. to 1 lb. dehydrated ground beef (reconstituted), fresh ground beef, or ground venison
  • 4 large bell peppers, any color
  • 1 cup rice, cooked
  • 1 14 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 large sweet, yellow, or Vidalia onion, diced
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of your choice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground or fresh black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Italian … Continue reading

Letter Re: Should I Convert My Nickels to Silver?


Hello Hugh and Jim,

Per Jim’s good advice, my wife and I have been taking nickels out of our pocket change each day and setting them aside. It has been an easy and painless way to simultaneously set aside some cash, hedge against inflation, and invest in industrial metals. Over the last couple of years, we have accumulated over $150 in nickels. I’m wondering now, at this point in time, whether it would be wiser to take the cash value from those nickels and use it to purchase pre-1965 “junk” silver coins, or retain the nickels as a store of copper and nickel as a hedge against inflation. Very interested in your opinions on this matter. Thanks, SB in CA.

HJL’s Comment:

Both silver and gold seem to be holding relatively steady right now. While not as low as it has been, the price is reasonable. … Continue reading

A Primer on Violence, by P.N.

“All violence consists in some people forcing others, under threat of suffering or death, to do what they do not want to do.” -Leo Tolstoy

Violence is a word that conjures up a number of emotions. Some people think of violence and immediately visualize a major city in their head. Others think of violence as gangs, adolescents, and most often, criminals. For some, the thought of violence brings a visceral reaction that causes panic. For others, violence is simply something that happens on the news, in TV shows, in the movies and is far away from their life. Finally, for others, violence is something to prepare for, something to train for.

When discussing violence, we need not only think about our own emotions and reactions but those of other people. When walking down the street, is the violent criminal concerned that you don’t like violence? Are they concerned that you only believe violence belongs on TV? No, the violent criminal will do whatever they can to achieve their goal. What might their goal be? Sheer violence, robbery, theft, injury, or murder? The point is, we don’t know what level of violence other people are willing to achieve. So how can we prepare? Continue reading

Letter Re: Strangling Wranglerstar


Dear Mr. Rawles and Mr. Latimer,

You’ve mentioned that Wranglerstar is your favorite YouTube channel. As you may know, YouTube has changed the rules. Wranglerstar has a “not family-friendly” rating and is not eligible for advertising revenue. Meanwhile, Wranglerstar has never featured a tiny shred of the porn, violence, or other foolishness that abounds elsewhere on/in YouTube. They have also done this with other channels conveying useful information. Gun-safety, ethical hunting, or most everything else depicted therein of a traditionalist Americana cast is hit. Enclosed below is the relevant video by Wranglerstar.

But I also wanted to ask if you, who would seem to know a great deal more about the practical aspects of the legal world than do I, might be able to think of a way to bring some kind of Trump Administration DOJ/Commerce antitrust pressure on YouTube, which, as I understand it, is a tentacle on the … Continue reading

Start With A .22 Rifle- Part 4, by behind-the-counter

Steps 3 and 4

This is the final article in a four-part series and finishes the do-it-yourself guide with installation of three additional upgrades for your Ruger 10/22, including an enhanced extractor, a much improved firing pin, and a larger bolt handle with a polished guide rod and spring. We wrap up this article with a complete list of all the videos and .pdf files referenced in all of the articles plus an annotated tool list and links to additional resources.

If you have followed us this far, you have learned that we think a .22 rifle is an excellent first gun for a prepper family and an important addition to any prepper battery. You learned that we especially recommend a stainless Ruger 10/22 Takedown for a number of reasons. You also read about the Appleseed Project and Rimfire Challenge, which we think are great experiences for beginners as well … Continue reading

Start With a .22 Rifle– Part 3, by behind-the-counter

Steps 1 and 2

We started this series by recommending a .22 rifle as a first gun for a prepper battery or as an important addition to a well-stocked arsenal. We specifically suggested a 10/22 Takedown or any other 10/22 model and recommended dedicating enough time to become confident using this wonderful little rifle. The two structured alternatives we described for building competence and confidence were the Appleseed Project and Rimfire Challenge.

In the second article we provided much more detail about Appleseed and Rimfire. We also described the specific upgrades recommended by Appleseed and four more that would improve the reliability and functioning of any 10/22.

This article and then the final one in the four-part series provide more information and additional resources on the upgrades covered in the second article and provide details on a few more changes to enhance the performance of an already outstanding rifle. Part … Continue reading

Start With A .22 Rifle- Part 2, by behind-the-counter

Appleseed or Rimfire

Are you still pondering whether to get a 10/22? Or, have you already added a stainless Takedown to your gun safe and made several trips to the range? If you have also taken a class or done some serious practice, your round count is likely to be 300 to 500 rounds or more. You will have built some confidence in your rifle and yourself.

The next step is really a personal choice. Either of the two recommended options, Appleseed or Rimfire Challenge, will result in a major improvement in your skills and put you on the path to becoming a very good shooter or what we call a “capable defender”. (Capes are optional.)

Our advice: Go with your gut after reading the pros and cons of each. Whichever option you select to upgrade your skills, make a genuine commitment to one or the other. Stick with it.

Continue reading

Start With a .22 Rifle– Part 1, by behind-the-counter

10/22 Takedown

Are all of your defensive preps squared away? Do you have a full battery of firearms complete with magazines, spare parts, optics, and web gear? If yes, skip the following contribution and what may seem like heresy.

Are you taking a close look at the “Personal Defense” part of your preps and wondering where to begin? Have you figured out a budget and started your firearms purchases but are still a little short on practical experience? Are you at the stage where you are putting more focus on this area of your preps, but your action plan has some holes? Or, do you have a clear concept of what you want but are experiencing real resistance from a spouse or partner? If any of those descriptions describe your circumstance, this article may be for you.

As a gun store manager and a concealed carry instructor, I am frequently … Continue reading

Recipe of the Week: Bobotie, by K.R.

Here is my recipe for Bobotie (a South African sweet meat dish)

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 2 Tablespoons curry powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 12 almonds or any nut you like, chopped or 1 Tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 4 dried apricots, finely sliced
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons fennel seed
  • 1 Tablespoon apricot jam
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • 6 lemon leaves
  • 1 1/3 cup milk (fresh or prepared powdered)


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F, then 300 degrees F later.
  • Soak bread in a little milk until soft, then mash with a fork.
  • Saute onions in heated oil. Add curry powder and mix.
  • Add meat and stir using a fork.
  • Beat one egg. Stir in remaining ingredients except lemon leaves, remaining three eggs, and milk, set these aside to add later.
  • Stir to mix … Continue reading

  • Letter Re: The Counter War on Credit Cards


    It seems that at least several times a week there’s a link on SurvivalBlog to a story about the war on cash. Several years ago my city’s water utility department stopped sending preaddressed envelopes in my monthly statement. I assumed this was an effort to get me to quit sending them my payment by check and pay online with a credit/debit card. Today as I was writing my check, a flyer in the statement announced changes to their credit card policy which surprised me since I thought they wanted credit card payments. It started by saying how they were finding operating efficiencies and reducing controllable costs. Next came this, “Two payment methods topped all others in operating expenses. Those were payments at customer care locations and online credit/debit card payments. Costs associated with credit/debit transactions come from fees that credit card companies charge Arlington Water Utilities. It was an … Continue reading

    Letter Re: Taking Out the Trash: Secure Deletion


    Technically, short of physically destroying flash media, there is no way to insure that something is securely erased. This applies to USB drives, SD cards of all sizes, and even SSD disk drives. It applies less so to magnetic hard drives.

    Hard drives can drift so there can be a thin shadow of old data, but that is something only someone with very deep pockets can recover, and it would be hit and miss.

    With flash drives, data is eventually erased, but what normally happens is the prior place the data was stored is mapped as “obsolete, erase when you need space”, while the new data is written to a new, freshly erased area. It can be a long time until the algorithm (or something like a “trim” or “secure erase” command, though not all devices have that) really erases the old data. Until actually erased, the flash chips … Continue reading

    Should I Bug Out or Survive in Place?- Part 3, by Jonathan Hollerman

    “I can’t afford a survival retreat and I have nowhere to go!”

    I hope the information I’ve imparted so far—scrutinizing the source of your prepper information and determining the worst-case scenario to prepare for—has the wheels turning inside your head. Maybe you’re not totally convinced that you should abandon your current plans to survive in place yet, but you admit there’s at least an inkling of truth to what I’m saying. Your biggest roadblock may be financial, and that may seem insurmountable. Most of us aren’t millionaire businessmen who can afford a fully-stocked survival retreat to bug out to. I get that! Hopefully, I can convince you that there are alternative options for you and your family.

    For those of you who can afford it, having a rural, well-stocked, and professionally designed survival retreat that no one knows about is an absolute no-brainer in surviving a total collapse scenario. Even … Continue reading

    Should I Bug Out or Survive in Place?- Part 2, by Jonathan Hollerman

    So, what SHTF scenario should I be preparing for?

    In part one, I cautioned you to be diligent to only follow the advice of credible prepping experts with real-life experience and a true understanding of human psychology in desperate circumstances. Before I can give my advice on the Bug Out/Survive in Place debate, we must first determine what scenario you are preparing for.

    In my opinion, the most likely threat today is a natural disaster, like a hurricane or tornado or maybe a days-long blackout in a localized area. However, preparing for these things is common sense and being able to survive them does not make someone a prepper. Anyone can easily buy a few cases of water, two cases of MREs, and a few other basic survival supplies, put them in their basement, and be “good to go”. Most preppers, even if they lost all … Continue reading

    Should I Bug Out or Survive in Place?- Part 1, by Jonathan Hollerman

    Where are you getting your prepping advice? Why?

    Should I try to survive in place or should I bug out? This is a hotly debated question in the prepping community with many people firmly entrenched on both sides of the aisle. There are numerous articles discussing the topic, but most are only a handful of paragraphs that never really explain how or why they arrived at their recommendation. To answer the “Bug Out” or “Bug In” question effectively, we must discuss essential background information and context. I will break down the discussion into three sections: your source for prepping advice, what SHTF scenario you are preparing for, and how to bug out if you don’t have a survival retreat. So, grab a cup of coffee, find a comfortable chair, and put on your seat belt as I get ready to challenge a good bit of commonly embraced ideas and “prepper … Continue reading