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

Rainwater Harvesting: An Easy and Efficient Build, by L.R.

With spring finally here, many a homesteader is turning their thoughts to this year’s vegetable garden. Whether their garden is large or small, experienced gardeners know the successful garden begins well before the seed is planted. Many gardeners diagram on paper where they want to plant what vegetable, how many rows of each, and calculate how many bedding plants or how much seed they will need. Then, it’s off to the seed catalogs or local nursery to stock up.

For many of us who have been raising gardens for a long time, there’s nothing quite like planting seeds in grow boxes to raise our own bedding plants or planting seeds directly into the ground. I confess, I go to the garden everyday to see if the seeds I planted have sprouted. I walk to the end of the row, and even after all these years I still get a thrill … Continue reading

Letter Re: Transporting Documents – Empty the Trash!


The files that you think you deleted from your portable drive using the Windows “delete” command or the Mac “move to trash” command are still there; you just can’t see them. Learn how to securely delete files from the .trashes and hidden files from thumb drives by doing an Internet search on the topic of .trashes file and how to securely delete old files from them. This is a must do for anyone using a USB thumb or SD card. If you have a Windows computer and can find the option to “show hidden files” you should do that. Look into using Apple’s FileVault.

The mini-SD card is small enough that it can easily be concealed underneath a round band-aid stuck to your skin.


Letter Re: Coin Rolls – Roll Your Own


I decided to make my own coin rolls instead of spending any coins for them. I started with paper, but it turned out like origami gone wild. So I put on my thinking hat and asked, why not aluminum foil (for the coin rolls, not the hat)? But does silver and aluminum react? Apparently, it does in a good way if you add a baking soda solution. So I rolled away and am quite pleased with the outcome. That’s $100 face value in quarters in a pint-size vacuum sealed bag. What do you think? – R.T.

Letter: Venues for Learning Morse Code

Dear Editors:
There is a good Morse Code practice group in the Pacific Northwest every morning on 3.970 mhz LSB at 8:00 PST.

The guy sends Trivia questions to the others using Morse Code. Each person who checks in gets to take a turn on a rotating list. The code is sent at the speed each person is comfortable with. Once the question is sent and received, that person repeats the question by voice to confirm they copied it correctly. But if they can’t ANSWER the trivia question, anybody can jump in and try to answer it.

This way of learning Morse Code is way more fun than the old code practice tapes. Plus, the trivia is fun and educational.

They are always looking for new “fresh meat” to start learning the Morse Code. They will slow way down for newcomers, and the entire group is very encouraging and … Continue reading

Ruger’s SR1911, 9mm, by Pat Cascio

Even when I was younger I was pretty much “old school” in many things. Maybe it came from being raised by my grandparents and all their friends. It’s just one of those mysteries in life that I can’t explain. I still love to listen to “oldies” music on the radio. When I first started listening to “oldies” it wasn’t old; it was the music of the 1960s that I fell in love with. And, to this day, my favorite song is “Will You Be Staying After Sunday” by Peppermint Rainbow. Over the past several years, I have gotten to know several of the group’s members, and they are all super-nice people. Bonnie Lamdin-Phipps, her sister, “Peppermint” Patty Lamdin-Brown, and Doug Lewis are on my bucket list as people I want to get to meet in-person some day.

For many, many years, I was old school in that I believed with … Continue reading

Letter Re: Bundys in Nevada

A recent letter regarding the Bundy family claimed, “[The Bundys] don’t own the land; they lease it. If they won’t abide by the terms of the lease, then they can and should be given a chance to meet the terms of the lease, but if they won’t then the landlord (in this case the BLM) has the right to evict them and try to collect back rent.” This reflects a common misconception. If the assertion were true that the land is in fact leased, the logic would of course be unassailable. However, BLM grazing allotments are *not* leases (at least, some of them aren’t, and the Bundys claim theirs are among those that aren’t). The grazing fees the Bundys and others refuse to pay are explicitly described in law as *not* being lease payments. Some legal history is required to understand the situation.

Originally, homesteaders received grants of 160 acres … Continue reading

Key Elements for Self-Sufficient Gardening – Part 4, by B. C.

Element Number Five: Permaculture and Perennial Crops

Annual crops may make up the bulk of your food and take the most of your labor when you are survival gardening. However, a critical part of our sustainable farm is the use of perennial crops, which actually give you more return on your investment than the yearly planting and production of annuals. The great thing about most perennials is that you plant them once, and they produce for several years. You don’t have to worry about what time of year the apocalypse starts; they are there waiting for you year after year. For that reason, perennial crops are an essential element for the survival gardener.

I’m not going to go into specifics, but perennial crops include some vegetables, like asparagus and rhubarb, as well as small fruits and tree crops. Producing tree fruit east of the Mississippi is tough to … Continue reading

Letter Re: Bundys in Nevada

Hi Hugh,

I found your blog a few days ago and really enjoy reading it. I would like to comment on the sentiment expressed in one of the links you posted in “Odds ‘n Sods” today– Judge Openly laughs at Bundy Ranch Defendants Rights.

First, I agree that our courts are corrupt, many judges are openly undermining our Constitution and Rule of Law, and denying a defendant’s rights and then laughing about it is inexcusable.

What I disagree with is the idea that the Bundy family is a bunch of “Patriots” standing up to “the tyrannical state.” In my opinion, what they are is a family that feels entitled to use public land as if it was their own. They don’t own the land; they lease it. If they won’t abide by the terms of the lease, then they can and should be given … Continue reading

Key Elements for Self-Sufficient Gardening – Part 3, by B.C.

Element Number Three: Irrigation

A downside to growing in greenhouses and high tunnels is that you have to have access to water and a way to irrigate these crops. That can be a positive, as it motivates you to build a system that you can use for your field crops as well. Even in the eastern U.S. where we farm, our irrigation is used every year. Rainfall seldom comes exactly when you need it, and having a way to irrigate your crops is the difference between being subject to droughts and being able to produce a crop every single year.

For a small greenhouse and high tunnel, you can, for the most part, just run a garden hose from whatever water source you use for your house. If you are dependent on a public water supply, it is a good idea to have a backup system for truly sustainable … Continue reading

Letters Re: The Human-Powered Veggie Garden, by J.A.



To be successful, the gardener needs to know about their local soil. We have taught vegetable gardening down in South Florida. Often it is more manageable to build a raised garden. Since our soil is about 2” to 4″ before we hit coral rock, we are more successful with the raised garden. This also applies to other poor soiled areas. And if the soil quality is controlled, so are pests. The better the soil, the sweeter the yield. – ebec.usa

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The only thing that I would add is to include a spading fork to the essential tools list. An initial loosening of the ground with a spading fork is useful if your ground is clay heavy. – J.A.

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Great letter on gardening by hand. Another invaluable tool to get now is a high quality, all steel broadfork. … Continue reading

Key Elements for Self-Sufficient Gardening – Part 2, by B. C.

Heating the Greenhouse (continued)

We’ve got a small solar system on one of our chicken tractors that can be switched over to control the thermostat on the heater and the exhaust fan if we lose electricity long-term in the greenhouse. If we need to, we can move the woodstove back in, but for now this system works well. No matter what kind of heating system you choose, having a backup plan makes you sleep easier at night. At minimum have a kerosene heater and a few cans of fuel on hand that you can move into the greenhouse for a night or two if your main heat or electricity goes out. It will save a greenhouse full of plants and a season’s worth of food.

Temporary Greenhouses and Tunnels

Instead of a permanent wooden or metal-framed greenhouse, you can use a less expensive, temporary greenhouse design made from PVC. However, … Continue reading

Letter Re: The United Airlines Passenger Dragging Incident


I am a loyal reader, but your reference to the officers who removed this nut case off the plane as “goons” was uncalled for and unfortunate. With your military background, I would think that you would have been more inclined to view a “lawful order” as one that should be complied with and then questioned later.

This disreputable, defrocked, drugs-for-sex doctor obviously has mental problems, and he refused to comply with federal law and the officers who were merely doing their duty. Were I there in an official capacity, he would have had even more problems. – E.M.

HJL’s Comment: There are a number of things in play here, but the overarching question is not “Is it lawful?” but “Is it ethical?” The tired old excuse of “I was just following orders” has never been a valid excuse. Even if your job or your boss does … Continue reading

Key Elements for Self-Sufficient Gardening – Part 1, by B. C.

I was blessed to grow up on a farm and later was fortunate to be able to receive an advanced degree in Agriculture. For the last 15 years my wife and I have been running a small diversified farm where we produce vegetables, fruit, and animal products for local markets and a C.S.A. (Community Supported Agriculture). During this time we’ve spent several years in several countries doing agricultural mission work, seeing how the rest of the world feeds itself, and doing our part to assist them with that.

Over time we’ve worked hard to turn our own 30-acre farm into a self-sufficient property. My goal has been to see our farm as one that could feed my family and other families far into the future if “the front gate gets shut and locked.” As SurvivalBlog readers are well aware, this seems to be more of a possibility with every … Continue reading