“Doc Savage” on: Back Injuries, and How to Avoid Them

Back pain is the second most common complaint, following headaches, of patients visiting doctor’s offices today. Activities such as heavy lifting, twisting while holding a weight, or lifting at odd angles frequently trigger the onset of back pain. Unfortunately, these are the exact activities that could occur while trying to hurriedly load a vehicle to evacuate or while pulling a 72-hour kit out of the trunk of your car. A back injury during an emergency would suddenly limit your ability to respond effectively. This report will list the most common types and causes of back injuries followed by preventative measures …




Letter Re: Cleaning/Polishing Silver Coins?

James, I hear that silver spiked again today. I’m very glad I took your advice and bought a half-bag of junk silver last month! It was as easy as you say. I just called the local coin dealer with the biggest ad in the yellow pages. Their price was about $200 cheaper than Swiss America’s. Would it be worth the bother to clean the coins? Virtually all of the coins are quite dirty. My main purpose in storing these coins will be for future barter, if necessary. I’m guessing they would be more attractive for barter if cleaned up. If …




Letter Re: Earthquake Preparedness and Charity

I just thought I’d share some notes on my efforts. In the suburban setting I currently live in, I feel that my biggest day-to-day threat would be from a major earthquake hitting nearby. I would view this as a short-term emergency (2 weeks, perhaps) with somewhat localized impact. While there could be mass looting and rioting, I don’t feel it’s that likely in my particular neighborhood, although I do maintain a stock of arms, a bullhorn, spotlight, extra batteries, etc. My current target is to have a 1-month supply of food items, with a mix of ready-to-eat canned foods and …




Jim’s Quote of the Day:

Tennessee Stud (Lyrics by Jimmy Driftwood) Along about eighteen and twenty-five I left Tennessee very much alive I never would have got through the Arkansas mud If I hadn’t been a-ridin on the Tennessee stud I had some trouble with my sweetheart’s pa One of her brothers was a bad outlaw I sent her a letter by my Uncle FUD And I rode away on the Tennessee stud CHORUS: The Tennessee stud was long and lean The color of the sun and his eyes were green He had the nerve and he had the blood And there never was a …




Note from JWR:

Today, we announce the winner of Round 1 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest.The first entry for Round 2 is also posted today. SurvivalBlog Writing Contest Winner Announcement The judged winner of Round 1 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest is B.H. in Spokane, for his article titled “On Preparing Your Children”, which was posted on October 24, 2005. Congratulations, B.H.! I will confirm his address and mail him a four day Front Sight course certificate. Because we received so many great articles, we have decided to repeat this contest. Round 2 of the contest begins today and will end …




From David in Israel: Mobile Multi-Mode Survival Communications

The following is an example of a pack-portable Ham station that is usable in most modes: Icom 706 MK2G HF/6M/2M/440 bands in SSB, FM, CW, and AM MFJ travel antenna tuner MFJ Mighty Mite 110-240 to 13 Volt 25 Amp power supply SGC ADSP2 digital noise reduction (DSP) and filter speaker Morse Code Key [JWR adds: Preferably with a detachable thigh-mount clip or thigh strap for use in the field.] Spool of antenna wire Hamstick antenna HF Dipole Antenna VHF/UHF antenna Toshiba MobilePro sub-laptop (an inexpensive serial terminal for TNC) KAM Kantronics TNC Solar panel 16xD cell NiMH battery Lightning/EMP …







The Top 7 Items Left Off of Survival Lists, by David in California

There are many useful survival/preparedness lists out there. All have the usual items and practices in common (survival knives, fire starting materials, food storage methods, etc.), but over the years I’ve also noticed several gaps in common. These tend to be of the nasty “I wish I’d realized I would need this item before” variety. This is especially alarming as these gaps could be remedied in most cases very inexpensively or even just with a little forethought. 1. Bleach. No, it’s not a substitute for a proper water filtration system, but in a pinch it does just fine and it’s …




Letter from Mark G. Re: The Army Aviator on HF Radios

Howdy Mr. Rawles, I have been reading your blog for the last week or two, and I also read your book [Patriots] last week (lots of good info, thanks!) I have a question regarding the post referenced in the subject line: Are the GRC-215 radios available surplus, or is there something similar available on the commercial market? Since I have been following your thoughts I have become more interested in communications (never thought too much about post-SHTF comm before), and I would like to eventually get something similar, although a SSB capable CB will probably come first, and I will …




Letter Re: In Defense

Dear James, Regarding the naysayers about Nanomasks, I would like to comment that for most of us price is an issue in practical preps for any disaster. The company openly acknowledges that after 48 hours due to the moisture buildup you should change the filter. But two masks and 25 filters cost less than 50 bucks, so that is a fifty bucks for fifty days. Filters are cheap. The N95s with exhalation valves cost over four bucks at WalMart for two, and over five at Home Depot for two, so you need to wear each one also for two to …







Note from JWR:

Today, I’m posting two more entries for the first round of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The winner will be announced tomorrow. (December 1st.) The writer of the best article will win a four day course certificate at Front Sight. (An up to $2,000 value!) Because of the success of the contest, we have decided to repeat this contest. “Round 2” of the contest begins December 1st will end on the last day of January.




On Physical Conditioning by “Bings”

When contemplating the self-sufficient/survivalist lifestyle, the most common concerns are weapons, power generation, and food. One area that is frequently overlooked is that of physical fitness. All the non-hybrid seed in the world won’t do you any good if you have a heart attack while trying to plant it. All the guns in the world won’t do you any good if you can’t run to a defensive position without wheezing like an asthmatic in a field of ragweed. Getting in shape often seems like an impossible task. Although you may never be able to be a body double for Brad …




A Word to the Unconvinced: Ten Minutes that Could Save Your Life by “Clannad”

What exactly do you stake your life on? Better stated, what is it that you are willing to gamble your future on? A few dollars spent on a fast-food meal that might have purchased a flat of beans or some medical supplies? Perhaps it is a scoffed-at and discarded notion that our society might indeed be fragile and easily disrupted? Maybe it’s the insecurity that your friends and family will think you are a some sort of a nut? Are you secure in your lifestyle and beliefs because you still get your paycheck at the end of the week and …




Two Letters Re: Request for Blog Reader Recommendations–Springfield Armory M1A SOCOM?

To reply to the reader about the [Springfield Armory] M1A SOCOM [variant]. First, I have had and do have several M1A-A1 Scout rifles. I would not trade any of them for any other main battle rifle. Second, I personally know several [former] SEAL Team 2 members and other men who have worked with BlackWater in Iraq. The SOCOM is there preferred weapon, other than what would be Class 3 weapons for us [civilians]. – “Woo” Sir: While I cannot speak to the SOCOM, I am the proud owner of an M1A Scout (my understanding that the primary difference in the …