Note from JWR:

Today we feature still another entry for the SurvivalBlog writing contest. The prize is a transferable four day course certificate, good for any course at Front Sight. Get your non-fiction articles submitted via e-mail by the end of November to be considered for the contest. Most of the articles that have been submitted thusfar are fairly general.  Feel free to submit detailed articles on specific topics.  All will be considered for posting.




Jeff in Afghanistan on: The Combat/Survival Mindset

I have been a soldier, police officer, and am now working overseas as a security contractor in Afghanistan. I’ve attended and given a great deal of firearms related training, and over the past few years I’ve started to see a serious deficiency in typical law enforcement and self defense training. The United States is a country filled with people who live lives mostly untouched by serious violence. That fact is a good thing, and is a testament to our country, but it handicaps us in the way we train ourselves and our warriors, particularly our police. I want to cut …




Letter Re: CONEX Containers

Jim, I’ve recently been shopping around for used sea containers [Continental Express or “CONEX” transoceanic shipping containers], primarily to replace the weathered sheds that came with our property. While I haven’t sold my wife on the idea yet, we have been looking at metal sheds, which are more expensive and much less durable. You can purchase sea containers for a fairly reasonable price (approximately $1500 for a 20’ unit). Naturally, I started thinking about other possible uses for them (shelter, fallout shelter, etc.), and wanted to see if you, or any other bloggers, had any experience with using them in …




Letter Re: STANO Components

Hello, I am fairly new to the survival lifestyle and I’m still learning. I’ve been in the military and have been hunting and shooting since I was a small child, so I’m okay there. I’m interested in obtaining some night vision goggles for use after hurricanes (I live in southeast Louisiana) and for patrols if TEOTWAWKI occurs. One of my neighbors is way ahead of me and has actually done some business with you on Valmet parts, etc. He trusts you and I trust him, so I wanted to get your opinion on STANO Components. I assume that since they …




Letter From Argentina Re: Post-Collapse Political Turmoil, Health Care, and Gambling

Mr. Rawles. I read your book and I found it both entertaining and full of information as many others did. I live Argentina, South America where things have been hard after the 2001 economical collapse we suffered. We changed five presidents in one week, if you can believe that, and well… we are struggling to get back on our feet, though it sometimes it seems that it’s impossible. “When it finally seems as if we hit bottom, someone starts to shovel.” I started reading your letters on Survivalblog.com and find them, again full of valuable insight. There are a couple …




Jim’s Quote of the Day:

I try to keep my daily quotes short, so forgive me for subjecting you to four stanzas. But that article from Jeff in Afghanistan reminded me of Kipling… If, by Rudyard Kipling If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting; Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating; And yet don’t look too good, nor …




Note from JWR:

Today we feature yet another entry for the SurvivalBlog writing contest. The prize is a transferable four day course certificate, good for any course at Front Sight. Be sure to enter your non-fiction articles via e-mail by the end of November to be considered for the contest.




The Micro-Farm Tractor, by “Fanderal”

My goal, like so many of us, is to be able to pre-bugout, to a retreat I can live on full time. I dream of having a few acres out in the country where I can mostly support myself on what can be produced on my own land. When I first started to think about it, and plan for it, the first question of course is “How much land?” After getting past the obvious answer, “As much as possible”, came the more reasonable answer of: “enough to do accomplish my primary goal of optimal self-sufficiency.” After more study I came …




Letter From “Dr. Buckaroo Banzai” Re: Pneumonia Risk–Time for Your Pneumovax?

Dear Mr. Rawles, I think the pneumovax is a good idea. However, there are simply no data to support your statement that “pneumonia co-infections are the biggest killer associated with the Asian Avian flu.” Whether even a single victim of the current H5N1 avian flu in Asia has even developed pneumococcal pneumonia has not been reported. I doubt it. These people appear to be dying too quickly for that to be the problem. I think they are simply dying from viral pneumonia. In 1918-1919 many flu victims died within 24-48 hours of becoming febrile. Those deaths certainly had nothing to …




Letter Re: Rokon Off-Road Motorcycles

Dear Mr. Rawles: Look forward to your blog everyday – keep up the great work! A question and suggestion for an article, from the point of view of those who must have a good bug-out plan….1. Got a source for a mechanical (as opposed to electronic) power out alarm? Under many scenarios the first warning of a Schumer / fan interface will be the power out (or confirmation that TS is REALLY HTF). Electronics are vulnerable to EMP, but a mechanical alarm could give you hours head start of TSHTF….2. Bug out vehicle. The first thing I thought after seeing …




Letter Re: Asian Avian Flu

Hi Jim, Thanks for your excellent site. I read it every day but Sunday and enjoy most every article. However, while I believe it is important to be as prepared as possible for pandemics and every other kind of emergency, I’m convinced that the Avian “Bird” flu is contrived and a needless scare. Bill Sardi, on his excellent website, has numerous excellent articles, all well researched and documented, showing that this crisis is hysteria being fanned by government authorities (http://www.knowledgeofhealth.com/report.asp?story=Bird%20Flu%20Hysteria%20Fanned%20By%20Inaccurate%20News%20Reports.). I heartily recommend this site to all your readers. – G.M. in North Carolina JWR Replies: There may be some …







Pneumonia Risk–Time for Your Pneumovax?

With all of the recent conjecture about the possibility of an Asian Avian flu pandemic, the subject of pneumonia inoculations has come up. (Because pneumonia co-infections are the biggest killer associated with the Asian Avian flu. Most of those cases are viral, but some could be pneumococcal.)  Merck makes a widely used pneumonia vaccination called Pneumovax 23.  It is administered intramuscularly before exposure to pneumococci (streptococcus pneumoniae), and reportedly only rarely has adverse reactions. It will not prevent viral pneumonia, but at least it is effective at preventing 23 strains of pneumococcal pneumonias. The threat of Asian Avian flu mutating …




The Dreaded Pin Prick–Approaching a Housing Bubble Near You

There are starting to be some clear indicators that the U.S. housing market bubble has reached its apex, though there are some that disagree. The signs of irrational exuberance are all to apparent. Witness, for example, the mad bidding wars for Miami condominiums that are being pre-sold, long before the ground has been broken at the construction sites.  The housing markets have already headed south in much of the rest of the English speaking world.(Prices are already dropping in Australia and England.) But not yet in the United States. Today’s housing market is the embodiment of “The Greater Fool Theory“, …




Letter Re: On Gold, Silver, and Barter

James: First of all, I want to say thank you for putting so much effort in to an active blog on this subject. I try to read daily, and I always play catch-up once a week. I know it takes a TON of work to keep something like this alive and post as much each day as you do, so again, thanks. I was moderately concerned for the first time reading your blog this past week in regards to the post on Gold and Silver Barter. In there you referred to the American public as having “been robbed”. My concern …