Recommended Region: The Olympic Peninsula (Clallam County, Western Washington)

The Olympic Peninsula is a very rainy but quasi-remote region in western Washington. Albeit with strong reservations, it is one of the few retreat regions that I recommend in the western half of the state. Statistics (for Forks): Average high temperature in August: 71.8. Average low temperature in January: 33.7. Growing season: (Clallam Bay): 182 days. Growing season: (Forks): 175 days. Average snowfall in January: 4.8”. Clallam County Median residential home price: $140,000. Advantages: Mild climate with the moderating influence of the Pacific Ocean, Clallam County crops include hay oats, corn, apples, cherries, pears, plums, carrots, peas, and berries. Upwind …




From JWR and the Memsahib–The Importance of Using Non-Hybrid Seeds

Modern agricultural science is a two-edged sword. Hybrid vegetable and row crop varieties have tremendously increased crop yields in the past 50 years. Along with chemical fertilizers and pesticides, this has allowed the Earth’s population to double in the past 45 years without mass starvation. Unfortunately because the seeds from hybrid plants do not breed true, it makes farmers captive to the seed companies an dependent on modern chains of supply for seed distribution. Any seed that is saved from crops typically produces less yield than traditional non-hybrid progenitors. In the event of a global TEOTWAWKI, I anticipate that catastrophic …




Letter Re: Chronic Illnesses and Disabilities in Retreat Planning

Dear Mr. Rawles, I am a recent reader of the blog (nice job by the way). However I have read “Patriots” and I frequent several boards that you frequent. One issue I have, and a lot of survival minded people need to make sure is covered is medical requirements for chronic illnesses. The human body being fragile can develop an illness that must be treated on an ongoing basis. Anyone who is preparing for any disaster must take into account a supply of medications/supplies. I am not talking about the typical Tylenol and bandages, but prescriptions. Some prescriptions will be …




Letter Re: Asian Avian Flu

Hello Jim, Your readers and contributors include a fair number of medical professionals. With all the hype in the news regarding “the coming pandemic” of Avian Flu, I’d be curious to get their professional take on it. Specifically, do they see it as a real threat and if so, what advice they would have for laymen. Thanks, – Dutch in Wyoming JWR Replies: I ‘m hoping that some of our readers who are medical professionals chime in on this subject. In the interim, Dr. Geri Guidetti of The Ark Institute kindly provided this article on Asian Avian Flu on her …




Letter Re: Retreat Potential of The Carolinas

Mr. Rawles–many thanks for the response! We live in Henderson county and before that my family lived up in Buncombe county, so I laughed when I read the letter from your other reader. Henderson county has an extremely high per capita savings and a LOT of poor people, so somebody is skewing the results somehow. Lots of rich transplants from up North. Jurassic Park. Buncombe county is on a lot of “best places to live” lists…and real estate and cost of living increases reflect that. Rolling Stone magazine called it the “freak capital of the south”…and it is. Kind of …







Note from JWR:

Many thanks to those of you that recently sent web hosting/bandwidth contributions! In the past 24 hours we’ve received enough contributions to pay for almost an entire year of web hosting. Once again, many thanks, folks! A number of easterners have written in the past few days, asking me to rank the eastern states by their survival retreat potential. As a fourth generation westerner, I don’t feel qualified to make a well-informed analysis of the eastern states, much less rank them. I would greatly appreciate comments from our readers in eastern states that have recommendations on retreat locales. I will …




Recommended Region: The Walla Walla Region (Walla Walla and Columbia Counties, Southeast Washington)

This is one of the best dry land farming regions in eastern Washington. The drive east of Walla Walla is like a trip back in time to typical 1950s American farming country. Aside from the satellite dishes and the now ubiquitous crop sprayer tank trailers, not much has changed since then! When searching for a potential retreat, concentrate on the small towns east of Walla Walla proper–like Waitsburg and Dayton, but none smaller than Dixie. Statistics (for Walla Walla): Average high temperature in August: Average low temperature in January: Growing season: 190 days. Average snowfall in January: 19.8” (64.7” annually.) …




Lister Low RPM Engines Still Made in India!

I have been a fan of one and two cylinder engines for many years. I grew up seeing these old timers putt-putting away at the county fair. Stationary engines still have a surprisingly large hobbyist following in the U.S. and Australia. Steam engines dominated from the 1860s to 1890s. Then came several different styles of one and two cylinder gas or diesel engines. They were eventually supplanted by higher compression (Briggs and Stratton style) high RPM gasoline engines. Because of their simplicity, low compression/low RPM engines still have considerable utility for grid-down survival use. They were common on most American …




Letter Re: The Wallowa Region

Mr. Rawles concerning the Wallowa Lake area a few points. Whether or not these are good or bad I leave to you. Around the lake itself the area is expanding as new homes are being built along the southern side of the lake. The region has become a popular tourist area due to events like the Chief Joseph Days which is held in August in Joseph. It includes a decent size rodeo and parade. In Joseph there are several large bronze foundries which serves to draw a number of folks to the area to see the works. Since a modest …




Letter Re: Retreat Potential of The Carolinas

Hi Jim, I understand that you are looking for more detailed information on Carolina retreat locales. My wife and I both grew up here and have traveled quite a bit of the state. We live in the western end of the state (The Blue Ridge Mountains.) As far as the East is concerned, I’m with Joel Skousen as he gives it an “A”. As long as you stay out of Buncombe, Henderson, and Macon counties. They’ve been invaded by rich Floridians, yuppies, hippies and drug-heads. But they do offer many employment opportunities, especially in the elder-care, nursing home, health related …




Letter Re: L1A1 Rifle Bolt Hold Open Modification

Sir: The pin on my L1A1 bolt hold open was cut off. Do you have the part that holds the pin with a pin that has not been cut off? Thanks for the help. – The Texas Aggie JWR Replies: Most countries that issued the L1A1 foolishly specified them without a working automatic bolt hold-open (for after the last cartridge in the magazine is fired), even though it is part of the original design. This specification change was ostensibly done because they didn’t want dirt or sand entering the action when the bolt was held open. I suspect, however, that …




Letter From Fred The Valmet-meister Re: Asian Avian Flu

Jim: I heard Dr. Bill Wattenburg on KGO last night talking about the Asian bird flu. I also read the link you gave to the article on WorldNetDaily. Dr. Bill really scared me this time! I am a bit depressed hearing what he said last night. He said that if the virus does make the jump to humans, it will kill half the population of the Earth. I’m not kidding he said that. He said it would be worse than a nuclear bomb going off in the major big cites because everyone would try to flee. Oh my God. I …







Note from JWR:

I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that readership is up! The bad news is that because of the steadily increasing SurvivalBlog site traffic, I’ve had to upgrade our web hosting account with to one of our ISP’s “Gold” accounts–which is nearly twice as expensive as our old account. (Was $143, now $311.) Even though I’ve tried to minimize the number and size of graphics, users are downloading more than 12 gigabytes per month. (They are small files, but there are lots of blog readers!) The recent increase in advertising revenue helps, but the support of …