Letter from T.T. On Axe and Maul Handles

“There’s nothing like a nice piece of Hickory.” – Clint Eastwood, in Pale Rider Jim: I grew up with burning wood for heat. My grandfather had a big old “octopus” looking wood burner in the basement. The heat was nice and even. After growing up and moving away with my family, I have always had a wood stove of some type and I do not feel prepared for winter unless I have a good wood supply. My issue is with the axes. We will be using to trim and split the wood we are putting up. Now is the time …




Letter from The Army Aviator Re: EMP Countermeasures

Jim: Thank you for writing “Patriots”. I re-read my copy at least yearly and it is very dog-eared and highlighted. I currently have 2 – 3 years worth of wood under cover and today I was adding a little. This fits in with the latest posts to your blog. I’ve been ignoring reality for awhile now on one subject. Here is a point regarding EMP protection. I carry my portable printer, laptop solar charger, manual squeeze charger, floppy drive adaptor, CD/DVD RW, et cetera in a shiny aircraft aluminum foam lined case which I keep in the truck because yuppies …







Retreat Selection–Seek a Diverse Economy

A diverse local economy is of great importance when evaluating potential retreat locales. Unless you are retired or about to retire, the opportunity to find steady work pre-TEOTWAWKI is also very important. Depending on the scenario you envision, you should probably look for a town with: A robust, growing economy A good mix of jobs in dry land farming, ranching, mining, industry, high technology, and service sector jobs City and county governments that are pro-business A “Farmer’s Market” on summer evenings and/or weekends (evidence of sufficient small scale truck farming) A good mix of established local businesses such as a …




Letter From Swampthing

Jim, I’m not a wordy kind of guy but I just want to say thank you for getting me back in the survivalist mentality. Without knowing it, I grew up a “prepper” thanks to my grandparents who raised my brother and me. After I got married and moved to Memphis we got mesmerized with all the glitter of affluence. Started having kids and buying toys (kids and grown up) and blah, blah, blah. Then I read Patriots in 1999 and it got me back into the swing of things, full bore!!! Thanks Again, Johnny (a.k.a. swampthing) JWR’s Comment: Swampthing really …




Letter From T.H. Re: J.M.’s Letter on G.O.O.D. Vehicle Alternatives (Posted 16 August)

Jim: I would like to share a little info on box trucks and fuel storage. I have been self employed in the delivery business for 8 years and 5 years as an inspector on crude oil ships. ON TRUCKS First you only need a Class D Drivers license for any truck under 26,000 GVW. These trucks generally weigh 10,000-to-11,000 lbs. So if needed 15,000 lbs of supplies could be stored in one of these trucks. I have owned or been exposed to just about every make of box-bodied truck available. The most reliable trucks IMO are the imports: UD/Nissan Fuso/Mits …




Note from Jim:

If you have a particular area of expertise in any SA related to survival, please share it. Your fellow SurvivalBloggers would greatly appreciate reading short pieces on everything from Apiaries to Zener Diodes. It doesn’t have to be lengthy, and you don’t have to be an expert writer. (I’ll clean up any typos.) Many Thanks! – JWR.




Natural Gas in Your Backyard

As a survivalist, you should plan for every contingency. Part of this planning is identifying alternate fuels for after TEOTWAWKI. If possible, it is best to pick a retreat location with multiple fuel sources. In a recent blog post I mentioned coal seams . Natural gas wells are another possibility. Noted economist and newsletter writer Dr. Gary North advocates finding a retreat property with an existing natural gas well. Gary is one of the few folks in the country that doesn’t have to worry about running out of fuel for his generators. He has several, all natural gas powered. Important …




Running Engines on Drip

Natural gas comes from two different types of wells. “Wet” natural gas is generally a by-product of oil fields. (Oil wells often alternately produce natural gas and oil.) This is often called “casinghead gas” or “associated gas.” In contrast to wet natural gas, “Dry” natural gas generally comes from dedicated gas wells. Both wet and dry natural gas wells produce a light oil or hydrocarbon condensate that is commonly called “drip oil” or in slang simply “drip.” (Technically, the term drip refers only to the tank (or other vessel) that is used to collect condensed drip oil and other contaminants …




A Diesel Alternative: Cooking Oil

Behind virtually every restaurant in America, you will find three dumpsters: One for trash, one for flattened cardboard boxes, and one for used cooking oil. (The latter is actually more of rectangular tank on wheels than it is a dumpster.) It is not widely known, but virtually all diesel cars and trucks can run on cooking oil–new or used. This is commonly called “biodiesel” or “greasel.” In essence, all that you need to do is filter the liquid cooking oil through some cloth (typically a couple of thicknesses of cheese cloth) to get rid of the particulate crud, and voila! …




A Better Known Alternative–Home Heating Oil

It is common knowledge that all diesel cars, trucks, and tractors can run on home No. 2 heating oil, just as well as they do on diesel fuel. The only differences between the two is that there is a different federal standard on the amount of ash is allowable in home heating oil, and that a dye is added to prevent folks from circumventing the Federal road tax. In actuality, however, the only difference in most batches is the dye, since heating oil and diesel fuel both come from the very same cracking plants, running the same process. This is …




Trijicon Wins Big–So Stock Up!

I read yesterday that Trijicon was just awarded a big military contract for their tritium-lit tactical day/night scopes. Congrats to them! They make a great product. I’m glad to see that the U.S. military has finally come to the realization that every front-line soldier deserves an ACOG scope atop his RBC device. (The Brits figured this out 25+ years ago, during The Troubles in Northern Ireland.) The news of the big contract award may have a potential impact on you. The award means that the folks at Trijicon will probably be running two shifts for the next six years fill …




Letter From The Rabbit Man

Jim: The SurvivalBlog is looking better and better all the time. I think that you are getting really good information out there. I’m not sure about J.M.’s letter about the Penske trucks. But it’s worth considering. I still think the GMC 2500 HD is the way to go. OBTW, they interviewed the CEO from www.autotrader.com last night on TV. He said they now have one million SUVs listed on their web site. I guess that your axiom is correct: Buy when everyone else is anxious to sell, and you’ll get the best price. Diesel is very expensive now. It is …




Letter From Old Sarge

Sir – I think your novel Patriots is great, not only as a good read, but as a survivalist manual!! Your website is the BEST! Please keep it up and running, as we hoi polloi need the info. This isn’t a criticism, as I think up-to-date info and tech is important; but, when TEOTWAWKI happens, many systems are going down and won’t be resurrected – so an emphasis on more primitive things might be more practical. My suggestion would be to balance the modern with the older, tried-but-true, technologies. Hate to be a Neo-Neanderthal, but there it is. Keep up …