Survival On a Shoestring Budget

I often get e-mails from readers claiming either directly or indirectly that preparedness is “only for wealthy people”–that working class people cannot afford to prepare. That is nonsense. By simply re-prioritizing your budget and cutting out needless expenses (such as alcohol, cigarettes, convenience foods, and cable television) almost anyone can set aside enough money for a year’s worth of storage food in fairly short order. It is amazing what can be done with hard work, ingenuity, and very little money. While I do not endorse interloping on public lands nor do I suggest that you live like a hermit, the …




On Financial Freedom by “Mr. Yankee”

Everyone agrees that the more self sufficient you are, the greater your personal freedom is. If you are making monthly payments for your mortgage, car loans, and to credit card companies, you are obligated to work so that you can pay those bills and your time is not your own. Your freedom is limited by your debts. But, if we are financially free, we can choose how to spend our time. And the freedom to use our time as we please is a goal worth striving for. To that end, I will offer a few tips that are easy to …




Letter Re: Sources for Pre-1965 U.S. 90% Silver Coinage?

FYI, I have dealt with Don Stott of www.coloradogold.com. Don is an honest man and has prices competitive with the best dealers I have found. There will be no excitement in dealing with him…call him, he answers the phone, takes your order, and when your money arrives your product is shipped pronto. – Bruce A.







Letter Re: Ghillie Suits, NBC Protective Masks, and Southern Arizona

Dear James, Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my questions. I know there are hundreds of letters that come in. My brother Paul in Seattle and my “adopted son” John in Iraq are daily readers. I am building a ghillie suit. Would you suggest a poncho or a coat with an extension to cover the legs? I also plan on lining the suit with mylar or similar heat hiding material. On the subject of gas masks. I have Israeli military units for me and my wife. I have M17 models for back up or friends. …




Letter Re: Survivor Man TV Series

Hello, I highly recommend a TV show called Survivor Man. It is on the Science Channel on Direct TV it is Channel 284 on my unit, and it comes on Friday Nights. This fellow goes into the wild and stays seven days in different locations without much in the way of supplies. He shows some pretty decent survival techniques. Fire starting, water locating, food sources etc. He has done everything from the Arctic to Deserts. I find it quite informative and it may be of use to some other readers as well. I just thought I would pass it along. …




Letter Re: Tritium Sights and Night Vision Devices

Mr. Rawles, First let me say that I love the blog. Also, your book (“Patriots“) is my all time favorite fictional survival book. You will have to give us an update on when the new edition with extra chapters is due out. A little background on myself, for the past few years I have been flying helicopters in support of a military survival school in the Northwest. I average a handful of night flights each month and when we fly we use current issue NVG’s. We normally fly at 300 feet above the ground and have little to no cultural …




Letter Re: Retreat Potential for The Eastern States and “Prudent Places USA”

Hi Jim and Memsahib: Many people cannot possibly move west of the Mississippi. I think everyone wants to make an educated assessment of where they live in relation to preparing for whatever may happen. Regardless of the energy and thought we put into planning, there seems to be one or many things we either leave out or have not considered. For example, how many have taken into consideration if there is a germ facility or chemical weapons lab near their prized spot? There are also terrorists cells among us as well as major terrorists organizations. Knowing their targets whether they …




Letter Re: A SurvivalBlog Discussion Forum?

I’m interested in discussing topics with like-minded folks. If this can’t be done, do you have any favorite forums? – C.D.R. JWR Replies: I’m sorry to report that I have neither the time nor the patience to moderate a forum. (I moderated one for Dr. Gary North back in the late 1990s, and it quickly degenerated into a “flame war”, with far more flame posts than serious posts on preparedness.) I recommend that anyone who is interested sign up at The Claire Files and start frequenting the “Gulching/Self-Sufficiency” Forum. You might start out with a thread titled: “SurvivalBlog Readers–Check In!” …







Note from JWR: Some Interesting Web Sites

In my most recent radio “round table” interview on pandemics, Dr. Geri Guidetti (the host) mentioned some interesting web sites: http://www.farmersadvance.com –Some scary statistics on America’s food supply. It is no longer measured in weeks. http://www.effectmeasure.com — Useful information on the Asian Avian Flu.(But decided leftward leaningand anti-Christian!) http://www.fluwikie.com — More useful information on the Asian Avian Flu. http://www.curevents.com — A general current events forum, currently with several discussions on pandemics. http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/ — Site for the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (still more useful information on the Asian Avian Flu.) OBTW, if you missed hearing the webcast live, …




Letter From “Mr. Lima” Re: Retreat Potential for The Eastern States

Jim, I agree with you 100% that by far the West (Far West) is the best survival locale, but I am one of those East Coast survivors. If I really wanted to I would move West (I’m of the mindset that anyone can do anything they really want to do, they just have to WANT it bad enough), then I probably would. I won’t go into all the excuses people normally use when you tell them to relocate. Something that ought to be considered as well is proximity to like minded friends and family members. I “could” move out West …




Letter Re: Retreat Potential for The Eastern States–Pennsylvania

Dear Jim, In response to the letter from the Californian with aspirations on returning to western Pennsylvania, is he in for a shock. We have become, due to really short sighted thinking, the net importer of garbage for the east coast. Western and central Pa. have become the waste center for Maine, New York (city and state), New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire, Ohio, West Virginia, and many other locales. We put toxic waste in our soils and act like if can not see it, it will go away. Nature always bats last. The ground water and water table will become …




Letter From “Mr. Bravo” Re: Ballistic Protection of Building Materials

Jim, Joel Skousen writes in his book “The Secure Home” that a gravel-filled wall is better than concrete, for an exterior wall or an interior safe room. While persistent impacts will drill a hole in concrete, they will have no effect on gravel, except for slight settling and spillage, generating a gap only at the very top where protection is not needed. Gravel (1/2 to 3?4 inch, presumably fragmented and not rounded pea gravel) will deflect and destroy most rounds, unlike sand, which merely slows most rounds. In his book “The Secure Home”, Skousen advises using 5/8-inch or 3?4- inch …




Letter Re: Sambucol (Black Elder) for Influenza

Intro From JWR: I’ve received more than 10 e-mails from folks on three continents about using elderberry extract for treating influenzas. However, I was reluctant to print any of them until now. I guess I was being overly cautious, because in the just past day I got two letters that cited clinical studies rather than hearsay: Hello Jim, I’ve been a believer in the effectiveness of an Israeli-made extract called “Sambucol” for a number of years. My seat-of-the-pants reaction is that it definitely does ward off colds/flu. The following is from the manufacturer: Effect of Sambucol® on several strains of …