Note from JWR

I heard from a reader that he found our scrolling advertising distracting. Sorry, but when I started the blog my two alternatives were paid subscriptions or paid advertising.  I chose the latter, which has made SurvivalBlog available to an unlimited number of readers, free of charge. We now have 17 advertisers, which requires ads that scroll so that they all come into view.  If you’d like the scrolling function to pause while you are reading an article, just position your cursor arrow over any of the ads. OBTW, when you patronize any of our advertisers, please be sure to mention …




Critical Capabilities for Retreat Defense: “Move, Shoot, and Communicate”

As an Army officer, I learned that in order to be effective, and army must have three key abilities: To move, shoot, and communicate. Take away any one, and you are ineffective. But if you get all three right, and you can absolutely devastate an opponent–even one that has superior numbers. The same principles apply to defending a survival retreat in a TEOTWAWKI situation. In the context of a static retreat position, movement is not as crucial, but don’t overlook the need to conduct commerce, and even the need to move between retreat buildings safely. And in an absolute worst …




SurvivalBlog Survey: What are the Top Three Threats That We Face?

I’m curious to know what you think are the three most likely threats that we face?  Pick and choose from the list below–or perhaps you recognize a threat that isn’t on the list. Please e-mail me your top three, in order of likelihood. I plan to summarize the results of the survey in about a week. Special thanks to SurvivalBlog reader that prefers to be anonymous who provided the list below. NATURAL THREATS Natural Disasters on Earth Short Term and Regional -Severe Storms -Tsunami/Tidal Waves -Hurricane/Typhoons/Cyclones -Tornado -Floods -Fires – Forest/Brush -Landslides -Sinkholes -Drought (Dust Bowl) -Earthquake -Volcano -Animal caused …




Letter Re: How to Find Ethanol Compatible Vehicles

James: I enjoy your blog and its part of my daily reading. I have a 2004 GMC Yukon XL that is a flexible fuel vehicle. We recently had a station start selling E85. This last fill up was at $1.66 per gallon versus the $2.08 of unleaded. Nice savings even with the station being a little out of the way. You can go to several of the ethanol web sites and many have complete list of vehicles that can handle E85. Keep up the good work and Merry Christmas. – "SEMO"




Letter From The Army Aviator Re: .45 ACP Stopping Power and the M1911

Jim: I’ve listened to your advice and digested what you’ve written over a number of years now. You are a confirmed Model 1911 [.45 ACP] individual. (Gee, ya think?) At any rate, I thought I’d pass along what locked me into .45 ACP 1911s and the results. I know, I should start this out with “Now this is no sh*t”, since it’s a war story from Vietnam. I had been supporting an A team, [of the] 5th SF Group for 8 months or so. The guys took pity on the poor pilot and would occasionally take me out on a …




Jim’s Quote of the Day

“King Arthur: I am your king. Woman: Well I didn’t vote for you. King Arthur: You don’t vote for kings. Woman: Well how’d you become king then? [Angelic music plays… ] King Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king. Dennis: [interrupting] Listen, strange women lyin’ in ponds distributin’ swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the …




Note from JWR

We woke up to a foot of fresh snow this morning.  It is nice knowing that we have a well-stocked house and a couple of fully snow-capable four wheel drive rigs. Our kids had great fun sledding. But I’m not looking forward to the toboggan run down the mountain tomorrow morning.  I commute to a “real job” as a technical writer five days a week.   How to Find Ethanol Compatible Vehicles (SAs: Alternate Fuels Ethanol, Survival Vehicles, 4WDs, SUVs, E85) I recently had a SurvivalBlog reader contact me, bemoaning the fact that he was unable to find a 4WD …




Off-Grid Power Basics, by “James Dernier”

Electricity 101: Electricity is fundamental to our first world every day life. We know electricity mostly in one of two forms in the home, from the wall, and in a battery. The electricity that comes out of the wall is high voltage (~110-120 volts [JWR adds: alternating current (AC), in North America–except Mexico, which uses a more macho 127  volts] AC), relatively low amperage, and alternating current. The electricity that is stored in batteries comes in a variety of voltages and amperages but is always direct current (DC). Size AA batteries are 1.5 volts, along with most other battery types, …




Letter from “Hawgtax” Re: New Years Resolutions

Merry Christmas All, As 2005 draws to a close, I look back and ask myself “Am I better prepared than I was at this time last year?” Quite honestly, a lot of what I accomplished was attributable to “SurvivalBlog.com”. A fine bunch of folks who trade practical information. Anyway, here’s what I did/added during 2005: 1. Installed a wood burning stove in the house. 2. Insulated and dry walled the outbuilding which functions as reloading area, ammunition storage and shop. A separate room within a room provides climate controlled food storage area. (8 below zero this morning outdoors, but in …




Letter Re: Precious Metals 401(k) Investments?

Jim, I have been thinking about my 401(k) money that I can’t get to till I am 59-1/2. I have done some homework on it, and here is what I have found out. Our Federal Government has confiscated the gold eight times in the past. When they do, they pay face value. Double Eagles are $20.00, that’s it. Talk about taking it in the neck! There is a way to put gold into an account, where it is stored for $100.00 per year, in the owner’s name, but it seems one cannot get [numismatic] pre-1933 gold coins (which are non-confiscatable) …




Letter Re: JLD PTR-91 HK91 Clone Rifles

Hi Mr. Rawles, I saw your posts today on the HK91s. I’m not sure if you are aware but there is now a new “clone” by JLD Enterprises. The PTR-91. These are made on HK tooling but with modern CNC processes. These are very affordable, under $1000 through many dealers online. They fix some of the original problems of the HK91, though you will still want a trigger job, and a mag paddle release. One of the main differences between the PTR-91 and HK 91 is the barrel. The PTR-91 does not have a hammer forged barrel, rather a heavy …




Letter Re: M1911 Pistols–What Constitutes “Over the Top”

Jim – I have to pick a small bone with you on your response regarding what ways to trick out your 1911. During a special symposium at Gunsight with 11of 12 shooters being prior service and/or law enforcement, 10-15% of all rounds in the targets hit the hand/pistol of the bad guy – seems there is a mechanical slaving of where the eye focuses and where you hit the target in some cases (the eyes and weapons system are calibrated to hit what is sighted–sort of like a chin turret on an Apache or Cobra) Why on earth would you …







Note from JWR

Today we present another entry in Round 2 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The writer of the best article will win a four day course certificate at Front Sight. (An up to $2,000 value!)  The deadline for entries is the last day of January, 2006. We are pleased to post the following article on selecting clothing for winter outdoor survival. It was written by a serving military officer and certified winter instructor that lives Somewhere in Scandinavia. I was impressed by his excellent English.  In fact, his article took less editing than many that I’ve received from native English …




Clothing for Winter Outdoor Survival, by “Beauchamp Comber”

Introduction To survive a sustained period of cold the most important thing is to know how to pick the right clothing and utilize the clothes to its fullest extent. This means understanding the body`s heat production and how choosing the right clothing can regulate and maintain warmth depending on what kind of activities one does. Clothing in itself does not produce any heat, but they retain more or less the heat that the body produces depending on their material. Fabrics that are lose and fluffy feels warmer than hard fabrics because the fibers contains more air. Another important point, is …