Letter: Battery Comparison and Cost

Hugh,

Has there ever been a cost basis study comparing rechargeable batteries versus changeable taking into account original cost of batteries and charger, cost of purchased electricity at today’s average rate, or if solar charged the cost of that equipment. As my rechargeable batteries lose life and I see changeable batteries going for cheap, I am beginning to wonder if loading up on the cheap expendables isn’t cheaper in the long run. – R.T.

HJL’s Comment:

I’m sure there have been cost studies, but I am not aware of any. However, you can do a basic comparison on costs yourself. Just be aware that cost is not the only factor that has to be considered when making the decision.

Typical purchase costs:



Letter Re: Israeli Battle Bandages Expiration

HJL,

I have a question about the vacuum sealed Israeli battle bandages. They have an “expiration date” on them: what does that mean, in terms of medical and common sense applications? My thinking is if I need it and have it, who cares how old it is… Thank you and thanks for all you do. RJH.

HJL’s Comment:

While many medical items have expiration dates that are critical (like insulin), some are there only because of legal liability reasons. If you pull out a bandage that doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to or has some problem that complicates it’s usage, the company does not want to be sued. You have to use your judgment on whether a device needs to be replaced or not. If you have nearly unlimited resources, by all means replace it, but if you are like most of us, you need to … Continue reading



Letter Re: EMP Computer Question

Guys,

What laptop would you recommend for storing in an EMP proof environment, to be used after an event to retrieve electronic files such as Survivalblog/Mother Earth News archives? There are so many options, and choosing the wrong one could be frustrating to say the least. I have hard copies of some essential books, but there are just too many helpful things in electronic format to ignore if it would be possible to retrieve. Thanks for all you do! – P.H.

HJL Replies:

If the device is to be stored in an EMP resistant container, there are no special considerations that must be give for EMP itself. Rather, the considerations should be towards long-term reliability, since a replacement may be hard to come by after such an event. There are many options that are possible from rugged laptops or smaller rugged tablets. My preference leans towards devices … Continue reading



After The SHTF, What Will Be Your Role?, by B.H.

After the SHTF, will you contribute to rebuilding or just surviving? Let’s first assume you and yours have survived and are relatively safe on a homestead with enough water, fuel, food and shelter during the major event. Think Puerto Rico! You’ve gone months, not days and not weeks, without electricity. Also consider you are in a rural location. Government agencies will direct all and any major resources to heavy populated areas once the “event” is over.

I view this time after as the most challenging. Most books on surviving the event suggest being self sufficient and living in a rural area away from the Golden Hordes. We have made that jump from the suburbs and are working on becoming self sufficient in a rural location.

Many times in SurvivalBlog, there are recommendations for Preppers to earn income/barter abilities via skills when the grid goes down and the trucks stop running. … Continue reading





Letter Re: Commuter’s Get Home Bag by M.M.

Bug Out Bag

HJL,

I wanted to add my thoughts. First, and foremost, I think speed is the key here. In the first minutes and hour(s) after some type of TEOTWAWKI event, whether CME, EMP or even earthquake or similar, human nature is such that people will be trying to get back to their own safety nets first. The time for bad guys to try to take all your swag doesn’t happen until after things get desperate.

Waiting

We’ve all experienced a local power outage – when things go dark, and the house gets quiet – do you or anyone you know immediately go grab your homies and start accosting people driving through the ‘hood? No. You don’t. You just wait for the power to come back on, while constantly checking your mobile phone to make sure your battery hasn’t died. That’s because you have no idea of the … Continue reading



What We Have Done So Far- Part 2, by N.F.

In part 1, I provided the foundation of our move to Northern Arizona, where we have lived for five years. I defined the seven most important elements I would like to see in the property, and these seven items form the building blocks for a sustainable life that we are trying to live. I’ve already covered our water plan, which is the first, and began discussing our food plan. Now, let’s continue with the food plan as we wrap this article up today.

Chickens

When we first arrived here, we were befriended by many people, one of which was really insistent that we must have some chickens. I kept telling him I wasn’t ready for animals. He persisted and one day told me of someone he knew who was selling six-month old pullets for $5 each. We bought 20, built a coop and a 50 x 50 foot yard, and … Continue reading



Commuter’s Get Home Bag, by M.M.

Bug Out Bag

Packing a Get Home Bag

How do you prepare a get home bag when you commute more than 100 miles each day for work? Let’s for a moment presume that you have no idea that some sort of event is about to happen that will render your job irrelevant, your vehicle useless, and your location being close to your office, to which you commute each day, when it occurs. How and what in the world would you consider packing in a go bag and then heading home?

I received a perfect example of your travel day changing due to a recent hurricane. Hurricane Irma forced a mass migration of Floridians to flee the storm and caused all the local roads to be choked. All of my alternative roads were jammed with those trying to get back home to Florida. The entire downtown area was affected because of some folks overloading … Continue reading



Reload Your Own Ammo, If You Want To Be A Good Shot!, by Steve Collins

Reloading

Common Sense and Facts About Shooting

Common sense tells us that if you want to be a good shooter, you need to shoot often. Facts tell us, though, that our wallets won’t allow us to shoot as often as we want or need to. While resorting to the .22 caliber firearms is often cited as an acceptable alternative, at some point you need to shoot your primary gun. The answer to buying factory ammo is to reload your own. I started reloading in 1984 when I got my first Colt 1911 .45 auto. Shortly thereafter I received a Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum revolver for Christmas, along with my first reloading kit. Mom must have known something, or it was Divine Providence, that led her to get both of those items at the same time, because I found out very quickly how expensive .44 ammo was!

Not Somewhere … Continue reading



Butler Creek ASAP Magazine Loader, by Pat Cascio

We’re going to take a close look at the new double stack handgun magazine loader from Butler Creek www.butlercreek.com.

Getting Older and Feeling It

I don’t believe that any of us like to admit we’re getting older. No matter what you age might be, it’s a fact of life. Believe me when I tell you this, I never thought I’d live as long as I have. Very shortly, I’ll be turning 66 years of age. I lived a pretty wild, exciting, and dangerous life when I was younger and never thought I’d live beyond 35. That’s the truth. Had I known I would live this long, I sure would have taken better care of my body in many ways.

I spent more than 35 years active in the martial arts, either as a student or an instructor. I hold Black Belt rank in five different styles of martial arts with … Continue reading



Stalking the Night- Part 2, by Mark B.

Yesterday, I wrote about my experience where I needed night vision while being stalked on the mountain “alone”. I also wrote about the various generation technology advancements of night vision. Let’s proceed to outline the details of night vision technology and what it means.

Understanding Resolution and Signal-to-Noise Specifications

The two most important specifications for any night vision device are resolution and signal-to-noise ratio. In fact one of the main parameters for determining whether a night vision device can be exported is the multiple of these two specifications, also known as “Figure Of Merit”. If the NVD you are considering buying is subject to ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations), it is a pretty good bet that you are looking at a high quality NVD. Conversely, if there is no restriction attached to the unit you are considering, it is probably a POS.

Resolution

Much like a television or computer … Continue reading



Thermal Headset for Under $250, by Ricky B.

Flir image

I’ll bet my step-mama’s grave that anyone visiting SurvivalBlog either has a thermal headset or night vision device or would really like to have one. I was never able to emerge from the latter category until this year. I simply couldn’t afford to plunk down a thousand bucks or more on a limited family budget. That was the case, until now.

Smartphone-Mounted Thermal Camera

I recently discovered that a small, smartphone-mounted thermal camera can be had for about $200. Flir1 and Seek are the two competitors in this arena. Their cameras come in versions for both android and iOS devices. The only difference is the connector that plugs into the camera. Initially, I wasn’t too excited about relying on a thermal camera that had to be attached to my smartphone. Aside from being a novel toy, I figured the backlight from the … Continue reading



Long-Term Preparedness for Your Baby or Toddler Part 2, by K.F.

baby foods

Sustainably Diapering Your Baby or Small Child in a Long-Term Emergency

In an emergency situation, one has to consider how you are going to diaper your child for the duration. If you choose to store disposable diapers and wipes, you must have an action plan for how you will dispose of them properly. Obviously, this is not a sustainable option for an emergency with an undefined length of time, but many prefer this method.

Most people would call me a “crunchy” mom. I gave birth at home in our bedroom, I avoid big pharma, and I am a huge proponent of the sustainable nature of cloth diapering. After much research, I excitedly stocked up our cloth diaper stash with various options before our daughter was born. My goal was to try as many methods as possible and determine the most suitable solution … Continue reading



SOG’s Power Grab Multi-Tool, by Pat Cascio

SOG’s Power Grab Multi-Tool is under review today, and it is one of their newest and stoutest multi-tools they have produced to date.

Tools and Inventions

I’m always interested in some of the TV programs that show the top 100 tools or inventions that have made our lives easier. Some of the products featured are inventions that I’ve never heard of or used; some are strange, to say the least. I’m sure today’s generation probably thinks that the cell phone is the best invention ever! I would sure disagree with that. I wish the cell phone had never been invented. Just think of the untold lives that have been lost in car accidents because someone was busy trying to text while driving. Nothing is so important that you have to take your eyes off the road. Pull over to text or talk on your cell phone, but don’t do it … Continue reading



Wandering in the New World- Part 2, by JMD

Survivalist

Yesterday, I began writing about the post-SHTF conditions that may make a wandering nomad type lifestyle much more practical and reasonable. We are talking about considerations for this and continuing with this further today.

Situational Awareness – You need to always be aware of your surroundings, where you are and where you can quickly get to for cover and concealment.

Medical

If a medical emergency occurs, you probably won’t have anyone to rely on but yourself and/or your group. You’ll need to learn how to handle common injuries and illnesses with what you have available.

Bushcraft

Since you won’t have a house to live in, you’ll need to be able to survive in the wild. This includes shelter making, fire starting, et cryrts. If you’re traveling in a vehicle or RV, you can always sleep inside that.

Food Gathering

You won’t have access to a farm, garden, livestock, etcetera, so … Continue reading