Build the Plan vs. Test the Plan – Part 4, by T.R.

(Continued from Part 3.) Later that morning/early afternoon, we sat down at the kitchen table (having brewed a pot of coffee on the spare camp stove from the basement according to our “A” plan) and talked through this. We needed a balance of water, fuel, gear/shelter, food and safety/security. Optimizing the mix of these five items (plus cash and valuables) and optimizing how to pack them efficiently with some degree of access to the right items in what order took significantly longer than either of us expected when a filter criteria of “not coming back” was inserted vs “we are …




Build the Plan vs. Test the Plan – Part 3, by T.R.

(Continued from Part 2.) Some background: I still work almost full time, but portions of the year are full throttle 60+ hour weeks and other blocks are much lighter, with my husband retired from the military. We wanted a vacation in terms of scenery and wildlife and we wanted to test our plans across a number of elements. To appropriately field test our plans with a degree of stress testing that would replicate a certain amount of tension present in real threat condition whilst isolating certain elements one at a time to calibrate parts of our plan in a systematic …




Build the Plan vs. Test the Plan – Part 2, by T.R.

(Continued From Part 1.) During 2018, I made a dot chart counting how many days fit into each category A, B, C and D in terms of readiness and then converted the “dots” into a percentage of time for the year. As a corollary, if things are leaning environmentally towards TEOTWAWKI, then we would already be limiting our “D” types of trips away from home and/or starting to pursue our exit via our “B” plan scenario. If things look particularly grim but quasi-temporary, then we would limit our “C” scenarios to avoid leaving home for long blocks of time and …




Build the Plan vs. Test the Plan – Part 1, by T.R.

(Editor’s Note: This Part 1 of a five-part article series.) My goal in this article is to detail how to “build the plan” versus “test the plan” for bugout, while having fun. We regularly read SurvivalBlog and enjoy it immensely. We’ve also read and studied a lot of great books including Lights Out and Patriots. However, a few years ago we realized our learning curve was too slow for the fast-moving risk profile of a civil society becoming more frazzled (coupled with having moved to a hurricane-prone state after my husband’s retirement). We brainstormed how to compress the time required …




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 …




My Toolbag, by P.G.

One of mankind’s distinctives from the animal world is in our use of tools. While other creatures may make use of twigs to fish insects out of cavities, or crack shellfish by banging them with stones, only man has exercised his mind and used tools to make so many things possible. The history of tool making is a fascinating study in itself, as our parents have progressed from the simple to the complex. Today it’s quite possible for a person of modest means to have a hobby woodshop or machine shop with astonishing capabilities. But what about most of us …




Prepared Off-Road Motorcycle Riding, by Jeff Hower

Riding an off-road or crossover motorcycle into parts unknown can be an exhilarating experience. But these off-the-beaten-track areas can also lead to catastrophe if one is not prepared to deal with failures of body or equipment. Preparing yourself and your equipment prior to an expedition for any of many possible malfunctions is only common sense. Most of common sense is having experienced or seen it happen before, and learning from it. Zip Code riders–that is, people who never ride out of their zip code, will probably not need much of the information presented here. But if you are one of …




Using and Maintaining Imco Lighters, by A.C.C.

I am writing with a bit of information that fellow readers might find helpful: We all agree that possessing the means to make fire is important. I suspect that like me, lots of you have put back a supply of disposable butane cigarette lighters. In a grid down world, they would make great barter items. I have always thought it would be nice to also have some “Old School” liquid fuel lighters, as well. For years, I carried a Zippo lighter, but it was frustrating because the fuel evaporated so quickly that unless I refueled it at least every other …




Mountain Man EDC, by S.J.

What figure looms larger in the prepper imagination that the rugged mountain man? Let’s examine the contents of their packs and saddle bags for our own purposes and to inspire all of us to get back to basics. In the romanticized image, the mountain man is the ultimate minimalist, with nothing but his rifle and tomahawk, but this isn’t entirely correct, as mountain men would have had quite a bit more in their kit, especially at the base camps they operated from. We’ll find that their kits remains relevant today, even with technological advances. The Mountain Man’s EveryDay Carry Rifle …




Cold Steel Crawford 1, by Pat Cascio

I’ve followed the career of custom knife maker Pat Crawford for many years. And about 20 years ago – maybe longer, his son, Wes joined his dad making custom knives – and their custom knives are always in great demand. Today, we’ll look at the Crawford 1, designed by Wes Crawford, and produced by Cold Steel, in a very affordable version of one of Crawford’s custom folders. Its nice to see a son following in his father’s footsteps, you don’t see this very often these days, for some reason. Another thing that is getting to be a rarity are custom …




QLav Personal Bidet, by Pat Cascio

I wasn’t quite sure how to approach the testing of this product, as it is something that is a bit out of the ordinary. I’m not sure how many readers are familiar with the bidet – I never saw one or heard of one, until I was in New York City back in 1978, staying at a hotel – my first time ever in a hotel. I was working an undercover gig, that took me from my then home town of Chicago, to Miami and finally to NYC. Up until then I had only stayed in motels when traveling. Upon …




Displacement Planning – Part 3, by J.M.

(Continued from Part 2. This concludes the article series.) Regardless of how you plan on loading equipment and supplies, it is critical that you document a loading plan. This should define what gets loaded in what order and where it’s loaded. How detailed this needs to be depends on your requirements – if you’re planning on walking from your location to a well-stocked bug-out compound, keeping a simple bug-out bag packed will probably meet your needs,  since you won’t need to pack much to get going. However, if any significant amount of packing or loading will be required prior to …




Displacement Planning – Part 2, by J.M.

(Continued from Part 1.) Depending on the circumstances you may be able to utilize GPS for navigation along your planned route. To do so will probably requires that you have the appropriate maps and app(s) downloaded locally on your device (don’t rely on an Internet connection being available) and that your device be charged for the duration of the displacement. If you plan on using GPS you should also include some sort of external battery pack for each person so they can recharge their device. Due to the relatively delicate nature of electronics (including GPS satellites), I strongly recommend that …




Displacement Planning – Part 1, by J.M.

(The first of the three-part series.) One of the primary tenets of the preparedness community is that we want to be prepared for any eventuality. We stockpile supplies, develop skills and make changes to our homes and lifestyles to help increase the chances that we can survive any scenario that we might encounter, be it natural or man-made. In regards to displacing in the event of a major SHTF situation, some people plan on taking the ‘forting up’ approach and fortifying their current location, while others favor the ‘bug out’ approach and plan on relocating to a more secure location. …




The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “JWR”.  Today, we focus on field gear. Practical Legalities of Magazines in California First up, from The Daily Shooter: Can I USE My California Standard & High Cap Mags? The JLTV (Humvee Replacement) Video: Update for US Army – The new JLTV gives a demonstration of its capabilities. JWR’s Comments: I have to warn myself not to covet.  The good news is that the JLTV will replace the older-generation vehicles. That, in turn, …