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.




Discipline and Balance by Hamilton Tyler

There is always talk about the ‘survivalist mindset’ and how important it is to anyone who is going to prepare themselves and their family for whatever crisis they foresee. Some people get this mindset from previous experience (like Katrina survivors who we can hope will become advocates of personal preparedness), others from their religious convictions (Mormons, awaiting the Tribulation, etc), others get this mindset from objectively viewing world events and decide the world is risky place, and many others get this mindset from other places. All of these people, however, have at least one thing in common in their survival …




Rourke on The Survival Retreat Condo Development Concept

When most people think of a “condo”, they usually picture a flat or apartment in a high rise. Think instead of a more rural a recreational condo like a multi-family mountain ski chalet or some vacation condos on the beach or lakeside. Now consider the possibility of putting such a condo development in some rural rolling hills countryside adjacent to some farm land and combining the concept of a recreational retreat with a survival retreat. In this way, your survival retreat becomes a group endeavor, which offers several cost-saving advantages, establishes clear rights and responsibilities, and, also importantly, an operating …




Letter Re: Why Hollow Points For Barter?

Jim, I read today your recommendation to stock hollowpoint pistol calibers for barter. Why, exactly? I typically have been buying and storing inexpensive but name brand ammo for barter purposes, and usually in solids – 158gr .38, 230 grain .45 ACP, etc. I also use this sort of ammo for practice, and save the high performance ammo for defensive use.  Thanks for your time, – Flighter JWR Replies:  I anticipate that only half of my post-TEOTWAWKI customers will be knowledgeable about guns.  To the uneducated, hollow-points seem tremendously more deadly than full metal jacketed or soft led loads.  So, with that …




Letter Re: Geysers in Kingfisher, Oklahoma and the New Madrid Fault

James: I just watched the video of the geysers in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. Just downright amazing what I saw. No, not the geysers ….. the people and what they said: Newsgirl …… “Something never seen here before and will never be seen again.” ??? Lady on the street …. “I’m just concerned that it may pollute our water supply.” Newsgirl … ” State officials say that fast moving natural gas underground is forced into pushing upwards.” Newsgirl ….. “State officials are trying to determine what the source of the natural gas is.” Do any of these people have any clue what …




Jim’s Quote of the Day

"To be ignorant and simple now–not to be able to meet the enemies on their own ground–would be to throw down our weapons, and to betray our uneducated brethren who have, under God, no defense but us against the intellectual attacks of the heathen. Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered." – C.S. Lewis




Note from JWR

Today, I’m catching up on replying to some older e-mails that included multiple questions. Because of time constraints, those are the ones that end up at the bottom of my “to do” list.  So if you’d like to see your questions answered  promptly, please limit your question e-mails to a single subject. Thanks!




“Doug Carlton” on Rifle Slings

Jim, You’re correct in that you should use whatever sling works for you, and if you’re still using that old M60 sling set-up that you used to use “back in the day” works for you, great. Sling technology and technique has come along way since then though. Single point, two point, and triple point slings are now available that make it generally better to use the sling than the archaic idea of “no slings on patrol”. There’s too many out there to bother naming, and all have strengths and weaknesses, but when sling shopping, look for a sling that does …




Senator Frist Urges Full $7.1 Billion Funding to Fight the Asian Avian Flu

I found the following at the CongressDaily (http://nationaljournal.com/about/congressdaily/) web site. Excerpting briefly from their story: “President Bush’s request for more than $7 billion in emergency funding to prepare for a possible outbreak of avian flu “had better pass” before Congress adjourns for the year, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist [who is also a medical doctor] , R-Tenn., declared Sunday.  “We need to be prepared,” Frist said during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” adding, “I’m very hopeful that we will invest $7.1 billion to look at prevention, to look at care, to look at treatment.” The measure might be attached …




Letter Re: Questions on Sambucol, EMP-Proof Vehicles, Food Storage, Real Estate, Barter Guns and Ammo, and SAR-8 Rifles

Mr. Rawles: I have some questions for you: [JWR’s replies are in line, in bold] 1.) Regarding the Sambucol products. –Does this product have any preventative component or do you only take it when symptoms occur? Take it only immediately after symptoms occur. –How many 7.8 oz. bottles do you recommend for storage for a family or families in a homestead? We are a family of five, and I bought six bottles.  But we plan to be living in isolated self-quaratine, here in the boonies.  And BTW, half of what I bought was intended charity.  For those of you that …




Letter Re: Guidelines on Storage of Various Supplies?

Sir: I would like to know:  Some things should be stored at “0” degrees. Other things at “70” degrees. Some can tolerate light, some requires dark.(Some medicines, batteries, et cetera.) Anything you could mention would help on this subject. THANKS, VERY MUCH. Survival Minded, – Brother Slim JWR Replies:  I see a FAQ coming!  I’m sure that a number of SurvivalBlog readers will have a lot to add to this (and please do!), but here is a list of guidelines, for starters: 1.) Gardening seed should be stored in the dark, above freezing, in low humidity. The refrigerator is ideal. …




Letter Re: Copper Pennies for Barter?

I was checking the prices on base metals today and saw that copper is at $2.10 a pound. Pre-1982 pennies are 95% copper, and 153 of them make a pound of copper. Any thoughts to using pre-1982 U.S. pennies as barter in addition to silver? If nothing else, I’ve been saving my pre-82 pennies for a few years. I have a few pounds worth. It’s not something I’m ‘stockpiling’ by any means, but every time I check my change I look for the 1981 (and earlier) pennies as well as the pre-65 dimes and quarters. It’s also a slight moral …










Letter Re: Re-Engining an Older Ford Pickup with a Diesel Engine?

Jim, One of my long term goals is to own a diesel pickup. A mechanic friend of mine down in California, a true Ford guy all the way thru would say that the time tested and proven International engine used in the the Ford pickups was the most reliable–with the Cummins running a very close second (It should be noted Ford owns a controlling interest in Cummins and Ford does/has used Cummins in several of their industrial projects, including farm equipment and heavy duty trucks). I don’t know all the details but I will say that from my own experience …