Poll Results –What are the Best Items to Store for Barter and Charity?

Here is another suggested barter/charity item list.  Keep them coming! Mr. Rawles: My barter "box" contains the following: Toothbrushes Travel size toothpaste Travel size soap and shampoo (hotel size) Matches and lighters Aspirin Coffee Salt Band aids Razors (disposable kind) Dish soap Sewing supplies (needles, thread, buttons) – K. in FL




Letter Re: A Source for Storage Barrels

Mr. Rawles–just wanted to drop a quick note about storage barrels. We live down the road from a juice factory and they would probably give the barrels away if they had to. Last time I bought a couple, the steel barrels were a buck (with lids and compression rings…the steel barrels were also lined) and the plastic ones were five dollars. Don’t know how many juice factories are out there, but it sure beats paying the high prices the “survival food” companies charge for the same barrels. I’m sure there are other good sources for cheap food grade barrels, too.  …




Letter Re: State Boundaries (Expanding on “The State Line Game”)

Hi Jim, Your comments on building a house straddling a state line brought me back to my Navy days in Pensacola, Florida. It may be difficult to build across a state line but not impossible. There is a bar that straddles the state line between Florida and Alabama called – of course – The Floribama. As I recall it, there was a different last call time on opposite sides of the bar as the two states had different alcohol serving times. In any case, if it can be done with a commercial establishment (particularly a bar!) it can be done …




Letter Re: How Vulnerable are Alternative Energy Systems to EMP?

Sir: With all the talk recently on EMP issues, I wonder if a solar system or wind generator less vulnerable or just as vulnerable to EMP to the grid. What type of additional protection could/should be incorporated in to alternative energy designed systems? Keep up the terrific work on the blog. It’s the first thing I read every morning. – D. JWR Replies:  All modern circuitry that employs microchips is at risk.  However, the greatest risk is to systems that are connected to grid power. This is because the power grid will work like a giant antenna to collect EMP. …







Note from JWR:

We’ve just surpassed 100,000 unique visits since we started the blog (in August), and are we are rapidly approaching three million page hits. (To be exact: 2,963,176 as of midnight Monday/Tuesday.)  Many thanks for making SurvivalBlog such a rapid success. Please continue to spread the word with posts to Internet Forums and other Blogs, as well as mentioning SurvivalBlog when you call in to talk radio shows.




Letter Re: State Boundaries (Expanding on “The State Line Game”)

I’d like to expand on a topic that I mentioned briefly in a SurvivalBlog post on August 25, 2005:  “The State Line Game.” Many folks have discovered how to play the state line jumping game: Living near a state line to take advantage of a lower tax or other advantage in one or more adjoining states. For example, you can live in the Idaho panhandle (very low property tax, car registration, and car insurance), work in eastern Washington (no income tax), make your day-to-day purchases in Idaho (5% sales tax) and your major purchases (trucks, wood stoves, generators, gun vaults, …







The French Intifada–“Brûlure de bébé, de brûlure!”

In 1965 in Watts, they shouted “Burn baby, burn!” In France, I suppose that the North African teenagers are shouting “Brûlure de bébé, de brûlure!” (Pardon my French.) More than 1,400 cars burned on Sunday night alone. The rioting has spread to 300 cities, and now there are concerns that the rioting could spread to Germany and other countries with large Arab immigrant populations. It remains to be seen if the motivation for this French Intifada is purely economic, or if radical Islam is partly to blame. See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4414684.stm and: http://www.breitbart.com/news/2005/11/07/D8DNMVOO3.html France went through the traumatic civil war in Algeria …




Letter Re: Ethanol and Aviation Fuels

Mr. Rawles; I am the manager of a county airport in the South. Which leads me to a piece of information that I want to pass on to you. Each day we are required by our brand Quality Control people to draw a sample of fuel from each of our tanks and refuelers. The purpose is to check for contaminates. Once that is done that fuel is poured into a waste drum that has to be disposed of later. We have both 100 low lead for prop planes and Jet-A. Jet-A is a high quality kerosene that works well in …







My Grandfather’s Wisdom

My paternal grandfather, Ernest Everett Rawles (1897-1985), was a largely self-educated man. Coming from a pioneer family (his father and grandfather came out west by covered wagon in 1857), he had a profoundly practical outlook on life. Ernest grew up on a 6,000 acre sheep ranch near Boonville, in Mendocino County, California. There, he lived life at its basics: The change of the seasons, hunting and trapping, hard work in foul weather, lambing, shearing, and the constant state of war with the predators that annually killed dozens and sometimes hundreds of lambs. It was hard life, but it had its …




The Corn Belt Alternative–Ethanol Compatible Vehicles

I emphasize versatility in survival planning, particularly in the area of alternate fuels. I have mentioned in several previous SurvivalBlog posts that prefer diesel-engine cars, trucks, tractors, and ATVs because they can be run alternatively on either biodiesel and home heating oil. For those of you readers in the Corn Belt, you might also consider buying a gasoline engine vehicles that is compatible with Ethanol. (Ethyl Alcohol or “corn gas.”). The most versatile (but rare) will run on 100% ethanol (E100). But many will run on a 85% ethanol/15% gasoline blend (E85).General Motors of Brazil makes large numbers of E100 …




Letter Re: A Source for Storage Barrels

Everybody’s referring to 55 gallon barrels. I can’t lift something as heavy as a 55 gallon barrel full of fuel. I’ve always bought the steel 17 gallon barrels for fuel. I CAN pick up one of those full of fuel (if I have too) :-[ They have the same size holes on top as the 55 gallon barrels and they will stand up in the back of a Bronco or Blazer. Regards and please keep up the great work! – The Army Aviator