The Semi-Prepper – Part 2, by Francis

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) In addition I stress myself at the range by exercising when I get there (running, pushups, jumping jacks.)  The idea is to degrade my performance by tiring and winding myself, which will show me how I will shoot under stress. Since I’m now in my 70’s, I feel the best home defense weapon is a rifle. Semiautomatic pistols are great but a rifle with its’ longer sight radius leads me to be more accurate. Also as I get older I am concerned about the complexity of the “manual of arms” for the …




Working From Home: A Forced Sabbatical, by D. Glen

I work for a Fortune 100 company in the Midwest and work in the area of Research and Development (R&D). Late during the week of March 8th, we began to hear rumors that our facility and other staff locations throughout North America would be closing soon due to the CV-19 outbreak that was beginning to spread across the country. During the afternoon of Friday, March 13, the rumor was confirmed in that my supervisor stopped by to inform us that our facility was closing immediately and would remain so for three weeks until April 6th. Per the rumor, the closure …




Useful Transceivers for Most Preppers, by Tunnel Rabbit

Preamble The goal of this article to provide readers, the average preppers radio operator, with useful choices that may be capable of meeting a required level of performance. These are some inexpensive, or low power radio options that do not require an Amateur Radio License in the U.S.. Antenna choice is a very important to the part of providing reliable communications within a 10 to 20 mile radius using low powered radios. Terrain also plays an important role. If one located 50 feet higher than the average elevation of the surrounding terrain, the distance it may transmit and receive is …




Ready for TEOTWAWKI: What’s Bringing Us Along – Part 1, by K.G.

As we age, we need to understand our new limitations and be able to adapt to them, overcome the ones we can and add new skills commensurate with our abilities. The timeless adage “if I knew then what I know now” is quite applicable to my prepping and survival journey. The focus of this article will be on adding new skills that will complement our existing skill set so that we can still be of service and not just survive but thrive in a TEOTWAWKI scenario. The Importance of Family and Like-Minded Friends Having a wife and family members that …




Practical Survival Radio Communications – Part 2, by G.H.

CONTROL THE AIR Controlling the air often means transmitting, when necessary, large quantities of information accurately in poor conditions in a short amount of time. Even operators that are interested only in the hobby side of radio may fall into an emergency with the radio being the only source of working communications. Communications in an uncomfortable situation or actual emergency requires a much different style than “ragchewing” with friends on the radio as a hobby. If an emergency is the first time an operator faces a communication challenge, the likelihood of successful communications is poor. Practice, Practice, Practice Radio operators …




Practical Survival Radio Communications – Part 1, by G.H.

Like many families, the miles between me and my brothers are many. Fortunately, we hold a conference call every Wednesday evening to stay in touch. We have been doing this for nearly a decade. Realizing how important communications are to all of us, and from my role as the Logistics Chief for our County during major emergencies, I accepted the assignment of finding communication tools that will ensure communications no matter what. It did not take long to realize that radio communication works when all others fail. I obtained my amateur radio license and have the honor of recognition by …




Cold Weather Considerations – Part 6, by JM

Editor’s Note: This is the concluding installment in this article series. Firearms No article on prepping would be complete without some discussion on firearms, and using them in winter conditions can present some unique challenges. Firearms are precision machines made from metals and polymers, and cold weather can have some big impacts. The materials themselves can become brittle at extremely low temperatures, so you should avoid sudden sharp impacts if possible. Shooting a firearm can heat up the barrel and other parts pretty quickly and cold temperatures can cool them back down rapidly, which can cause weaknesses in the materials, …




Powering Tube Radios with Batteries, by Brian H.

DISCLAIMER: USE THE INFORMATION PRESENTED HEREIN AT YOUR OWN RISK. HIGH VOLTAGE DIRECT CURRENT, SUCH AS DESCRIBED BELOW, CAN BE LETHAL. IN ADDITION, EVEN SMALL GEL-CELL BATTERIES CAN PRODUCE HIGH CURRENTS WHEN SHORT-CIRCUITED AND QUICKLY MELT WIRE, DESTROY COMPONENTS, AND START FIRES. IF YOU ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH ELECTRICITY, THEN ASK SOMEONE QUALIFIED TO CHECK YOUR WORK BEFORE ENERGIZING ANY OF THE CIRCUITRY DESCRIBED. Older vacuum-tube radios are popular in the prepper world (and rightly so) for their resistance to EMP damage. One useful fact about them that is often unrealized is that many of them can be powered by …




Optimizing MURS Dakota Alert Sensors – Part 2, by Tunnel Rabbit

(Continued from Part 1. This installment concludes the article.) — MURS band Dakota Alert systems are very useful, but they often frustrate the user. Read up. It would be a huge loss if one could not operate their sensors correctly. And just like anything else, take one out of the Faraday cage and use it for awhile to gain experience with it. In a time of stress, getting a ‘false alarm’, could be nerve racking, when all hat it needs is batteries. In a pinch, but only in a pinch, would I connect directly to 12 VDC. With higher voltages …




Optimizing MURS Dakota Alert Sensors – Part 1, by Tunnel Rabbit

Editor’s Introductory Note: This essay describes one approach to optimizing the performance, extending the range, and securing the signal of MURS band Dakota Alert intrusion detection sensors–and other low power transmitters. — To begin, here’s some ground thruth on perimeter security: Security will be Job One. Everything else supports that objective. Manpower for most tasks will be greatly lacking. Every trick, hack, or tactic should be considered. If we don’t see’em, hear’em or smell’em coming, then it is over before it starts. You lose. Organizing with your community is the best defense for those without their own manpower. Defend at …




How To Use a Baofeng UV-5R, by Tunnel Rabbit

The following is a piece intended to supplement three readily-available World Wide Web resources: How to manually program a Baofeng UV-5R Download the free programming software called Chirp How to program a Baofeng using a computer After punching in some frequencies, set the radio up for a ‘tactical’ operations by: 1.) Turning off the lighting in the display, and all beeps and bells and whistles. 2.) Set the power level on low for all tactical frequencies. 3.) Select the narrow band option to reduce the range further. 4.) Use several coats of black nail polish to ‘black out’ the LED …




The Prepper’s Smartphone, by Aden Tate

It seems as if pretty much everybody has a smartphone of some sort today. Considering such, and that a phone is something that people tend to have on their person virtually 24/7 in today’s society, it makes sense to make one’s phone as versatile of a tool as possible. If it’s going to be in your EDC to begin with, why not have it work for you as hard as it is capable of? Do cell phones die? Yes. But at least in the beginning stages of a disaster, there’s a very good chance that your phone will both have …




Elements of a Security System – Part 4, by J.M.

(Continued from Part 3.) The second type of alerting – remote signal back to a centralized alarm console with a wired or wireless connection when the tripwire is tripped – can be a bit more complicated. In either case you can use something as simple as the clothespin switch to connect two wires to close the circuit, or to ‘press’ the button on a remote transmitter to trigger a relay that set off a light/buzzer. Regardless of the use of local versus remote alerting, if there are any electronics or other components that could degrade when exposed to the elements …




Elements of a Security System – Part 3, by J.M.

(Continued from Part 2.) There’s another potential option for alerting that could be categorized as ‘mobile centralized’ – it’s possible to set up a radio transmitter connected to a centralized console that would transmit a pre-recorded voice alert (e.g. ‘Alert in zone 3 North’) to a radio that you carry around with you. Some of the sensors I’ll be discussing later have this capability built-in, but you could implement a similar function using a Raspberry PI computer to monitor the sensors, connected to a RTL-SDR software-defined radio to transmit pre-recorded audio alerts. Implementing this would be moderately complicated and is …




Rounding-Out Your Baofeng UV-5Rs

Final implementation of the dual-band UV-5R importation and sales ban (previously detailed in SurvivalBlog) is now just one month away. I’m confident that the majority of SurvivalBlog readers in the U.S. were cognizant of this and have stocked up on these radios, in quantity. But now I must ask: Are you ready to operate them, practically, long-term? This will surely require a few spares and accessories. The good news is that the accessories fully interchange, and most of them are quite inexpensive. By the way, this runs contrary to a SurvivalBlog aphorism: “Life is cheap, but the accessories will kill …