Letter From “F1” Re: A Great Source for Survival and Self-Sufficiency Tools

Hi Jim and Memsahib: Have you ever wished you could go back in time to a hardware store circa the late Forties, early Fifties? Imagine finding almost any style of kerosene or oil lamp including Aladdin (creates 60 watts of light using either kerosene or lamp oil) and the fuel for the lamps sold right in the store! Looking for hand powered tools? There are here! Crosscut saws? Yep, they got them. What about timber framing, logsmithing and wood carving tools? Look no further. Looking for self-sufficient dairy supplies? Come and get them! There are many garden tools to choose …




Letter Re: SKS Rifle Advice and 7.62×39 Ballistics

Dear James: I have read in your book and in the blog site that you do not recommend the .223 round for a battle rifle. What do you think about the effectiveness of the 7.62 X 39 cartridge? I own an SKS and would like your opinion on the 7.62 compared to the .223 and also the .308. Also what is your opinion of the SKS as a battle rifle? As always, I appreciate your valued input. – Dr. Sidney Zweibel, Columbia P&S JWR’s Reply: Ballistically, the Soviet 7.62×39 (the standard cartridge for the SKS, AK-47, and clones) is almost …




Letter Re: MotoMail for Deployed Service Members

Hello sir. My name is John [Surname deleted for OPSEC], and I’m an 0351 in the U.S. Marine Corps. I’m about to deploy with [unit designation deleted for OPSEC] to Ar Ramadi, and I wanted to open a line of communication before going. I read Patriots several years ago, and it truly changed my life. I only recently became aware of your blog, and having a lot of training [going on] and limited access to the Internet I was unable to contact you. However, I do wish to thank you. It introduced me to an entirely new mindset, and has …










Hurricane Katrina Update:

You’ve all read the news stories, so I’ll be brief: Things are very Schumeresque in New Orleans and Biloxi. The damage is much more severe than was experienced with Hurricane Camille back in 1969. Perhaps as many as one million people will become refugees. The Lake Pontchartrain levee breach (currently 200 feet wide) may mean that there will be 20+ feet of water in much of Nah-Lens. Hopefully the breach can be repaired before that happens. There won’t be a full death count for several weeks. One official said that the death toll will be “much higher than Camille” (which …




National Forest Inholdings–Another Criteria for Choosing Your Retreat Locale

Like being inside a tribal reservation, owning land that is within a National Forest is another problem. An “inholder” of property within a National Forest or other government land may find himself subject to seasonal road restrictions. “De-roading” contracts started with the Clinton administration, but sadly the process is continuing. There might also be restrictions on land use, agriculture, pasturing, hunting, shooting and so forth. My recommendation is to avoid buying land that inside of a National Forest, or that is in vulnerable a strip of land between National Forest tracts–land that might be designated a "wildlife corridor" and hence …




Tomorrow’s Terrorism Headlines

The following piece of fiction that I penned is just one of example of what might happen sometime in the near future: At 8:15 A.M. on May 1st, an 18-wheel tractor/trailer backed up to one of the hundreds of roll-up doors at the primary Wal-Mart merchandise distribution center in Benton, Arkansas. (It is the largest of Wal-Mart’s 40 distribution centers.) On the trailer was a typical 53-foot long steel transoceanic shipping “continental express” (CONEX) container. It arrived scarcely unnoticed because hundreds of them arrived at the distribution center every day. Inside the CONEX, a 1,800-gallon tank that formerly held propane …




Letter Re: Knife Makers

Hello Jim. I loved Patriots and have read it four times. You managed to combine a lot of great advice with an interesting story. I’m really enjoying the blog as well. In one of the postings you were discussing knives. I wanted to suggest you take a look at Lone Wolf Knives. It’s a small company that works with a number of well known knife designers to produce a very high quality product. I particularly like a Butch Valloton designed knife, the Val-Matic. It’s a very stealthy liner lock that uses the scales as a release mechanism. Gives you the …










Tribal Reservation Lines as Criteria for Choosing Your Retreat Locale

Indian (for those readers overseas: U.S. Native American aboriginal) reservation boundaries can be another important criteria for selecting your retreat locale. In recent years, tribal governments in the U.S. have started flexing their muscles. When living inside the boundaries of an Indian reservation you will face an extra layer of bureaucracy, taxes (or “fees” or “permits”), law enforcement, and potentially a myriad of restrictions. You will also lack the ability to recover damages in the case of accidents in many instances. Real estate agents will often try to down play the significance of being "on the reservation", but do some …




Truck Frame-Mounted PTO Genset for Chevy/GMC Pickups

A regular SurvivalBlog contributor sent me the URL for a company called RealPower. They make a truck frame-mounted power take-off (PTO) genset for GMC/Chevrolet pickups. (If you have a 2001 to early 2004 GMC or Chevy truck with an Allison 1000 automatic transmission, then you have a PTO gear. Note: From March 1 through late 2004 Chevrolet and GMC pickup trucks were not built with PTO.  After January 1, 2005, PTO became optional.) Obviously these are not designed for continuous duty, but if you have the budget for a spare generator, then this might be a viable option. My first …




From The Memsahib: Book Review of “Why Gender Matters”

Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the Emerging Science of Sex Differences. by Leonard Sax, M.D., Ph.D. During the years that I was growing up, parents were told that boys and girls were the same. Supposedly it was only the stereotypical way the children were treated that made girls bad at math and boys aggressive. If children were treated just the same, girls would excel at the sciences and boys would be able to express their feelings. In Why Gender Matters, Leonard Sax, using 20 years of research documents how sex differences are significant and …




Hurricane Katrina

I won’t belabor this point. Either folks were prepared, or they weren’t. Apparently, most weren’t and are now suffering. You’ve read the news stories. Those of you that own televisions have doubtless seen the news coverage. There is a concise compendium on Yahoo that summarizes the effects of the storm. I’d appreciate hearing some first hand accounts from SurvivalBlog readers that are in the affected area. Please keep the folks in Louisiana and Mississippi in your prayers!