JWR’s View: Storage Space Planning for Your Stuff

As a survivalist since age 14–and now 58–I’ve reached the stage of life where I’ve accumulated a deep larder and a lot of stuff. Just writing can’t help but remind me of the classic George Carlin stand-up comedy routine on “A Place For Your Stuff.” (Be forewarned of Carlin’s foul language.) But seriously, every well-prepared family has mountains of stuff. Storage space planning presents three major challenges: 1.) Where to fit it all. 2.) How to keep it safe from deterioration. 3.) Keeping it organized, so you can quickly find, retrieve, and replenish it. I will attempt to address all three …




CRKT Maven Folder, by Pat Cascio

The nice folks at Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) sent me their Maven folder for testing. That is a strange name for a folding knife, “Maven”. It means someone who is an expert in their field, or who has acquired expert knowledge. The Maven folder was designed by Richard Rogers. Richard Rogers is a working cattle rancher in Magdalena, New Mexico. His toughest critic is probably himself, and when he set out to design a no-frills folding knife, he kept this in mind – keep it simple, yet functional. Simple is always better if you ask me – less …




SurvivalBlog’s News From The American Redoubt

Here is SurvivalBlog’s News From The American Redoubt. This weekly column features news stories and event announcements from around the American Redoubt region. We also mention companies of interest to preppers that are located in the region. The emphasis this week is on saddlemakers in the American Redoubt. Many of these craftsmen also make saddlebags, holsters, and magazine pouches. Pictured is a custom saddle made by C&S Saddlery in Idaho.   Idaho (Saddlemakers in the American Redoubt) There is custom leatherworker from Bayview, Idaho who does excellent work at very reasonable prices. His name is Clay Ensley. Along with his wife …




Eight Lessons Learned From the Polar Vortex Plunge

The recent plunge of the Polar Vortex deep into the American Midwest should serve as a wake-up call for those who are preparedness-minded. Here are some recent headlines: Polar Vortex Triggers Coldest Arctic Outbreak in at Least Two Decades in Parts of the Midwest Minneapolis could break low temperature records originally set in the 1800s, and Chicago could challenge its all-time record low of minus 27 F, set on Jan. 20, 1985. (BBC): Polar vortex brings deadly cold snap to US states (BBC): Polar vortex: Ice quakes, burning railways and other quirky effects Polar vortex brings coldest air in a …




S.T.O.M.P. II Medical Pack, by Pat Cascio

It may not look like it when you walk into my home office. It looks messy, but I know where everything is. I like to be organized, and with the Blackhawk Products new S.T.O.M.P. II Medical Pack, it makes it easy to find all the medical supplies one might need in an emergency. We’re taking a close look at the SEAL team Medic-inspired medical backpack today. Ambulance Boxes Back In the Day Back in the day, and we’re talking way back in the day when I worked on an ambulance, we had all of our medical gear stored inside of …




Going Ghost: Planning for a Low Profile Mobile Lifestyle

A number of my friends and consulting clients have begun talking about making contingency plans to drop entirely off the grid. One of them calls it “going ghost.” His goal: Being ready for a time of repression that would require him to drop off the radar–to essentially become mobile and invisible to authorities. He said that he wanted to have two options: 1.) In CONUS, being ready and ablrice to blend in and travel by road fairly anonymously, and 2.) being ready and able to travel internationally (OCONUS). This whole concept of “going ghost” would be daunting for most of …




Pepper Ball LifeLite, by Pat Cascio

Not all threats need to be met with lethal force, because sometimes a threat can be handled by less force. Today, we check out the Pepper Ball LifeLite. Threats No matter what type or where threats come from, they are always a dangerous thing. My own wife works as an elementary grade school teacher. Though in a rural area, danger can spring up at any time. Don’t believe for one moment that “it can’t happen here” or that it can’t happen. It does all the time, no matter where you live or work. We’ve all heard the former saying when …




The Well-Balanced Gun Collection

A topic that comes up in more than half of my consulting calls, is firearms. Most survivalists gravitate toward guns for obvious reasons. If anything, SurvivalBlog could surely be labelled a “guns and groceries” oriented blog, and most of our readers are like-minded. We tend to have large gun collections. We aren’t entirely gun-centric, but our concept of preparedness includes owning guns and having full proficiency in their use. The greatest difficulty vis-a-vis guns for those in our community is not hand-wringing about whether or not we should own them. We’ll leave that pseudo-question up to the leftists. Rather, our …




Jeep Shovel, by Pat Cascio

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have some kind of compact shovel in my vehicles. Some are better than others. Today, we’re taking a close look at the “Jeep Shovel” from Major Surplus. It is quite the little tool. Haunting Army-Navy Surplus Stores When I Was a Kid I grew up haunting army-navy surplus stores back in Chicago, IL when I was a kid. I could, and I did, easily spend hours and hours in those stores. Two, in particular, were just a couple of blocks away from one another in downtown Chicago, so it was easy visiting …




Backup Power, A Review by KS

Backup power for when the grid goes down or you have to bug out should be an important part of everyone’s prepping plan. For some, that power supply might be more important than others, especially those with medical conditions. Those might be people on dialysis, CPAP machines, or any other health-related electrical pieces of equipment. Then, there’s the obvious short-term food storage issue we think about relating to our refrigerators and freezers. Long-term uses might include recharging batteries, running Ham radio equipment, et cetera. Real Options For Backup Power For many years, the only real option for backup power was …




Concealing Handguns, by Pat Cascio

Carrying concealed is no easy task, if don’t do it properly. We’re taking a close look at some clothing and accessories today that aids in concealing your handgun on a daily basis. Conceal With The Best, Not Necessarily Easiest I’ve always looked for the best, not necessarily easiest, method of carrying a handgun concealed, as most of the work I’ve done in law enforcement and in private security/private investigations have called for working in “soft clothes” rather than a uniform of any type. I’ve lost track of the number of times over the years I’ve spotted a “concealed” handgun on …




Smoke Grenades – Any Utility?, by T. in Virginia

I’ve participated in a few discussions recently about the utility, if any, of smoke grenades and similar devices to an average person, or even a reasonably trained and equipped prepper, in a SHTF situation. There are certainly some valid points to both sides of the arguments. So, this short article is intended to share a few thoughts to help SurvivalBlog readers make up their own minds. Smoke grenade use generally falls into two areas— signaling or obscuration. Large scale smoke, such as from vehicle-mounted or stationary military-style generators, can also have other applications that are beyond the intended scope of …




Maxxeon Work Star Jr. and Cyclops Work Lights, by Pat Cascio

If you have a need for some extra light when working on cars, firearms, or just about anything, we have tested two outstanding portable light sources– the Maxxeon Work Start Jr. and the Cyclops. We are covering both in this article. Portable Lights We have come a long, long, long way, when it comes to portable lights. It wasn’t all that long ago that we had a two cell, D battery, inexpensive, plastic flashlight. While these were barely okay when it came to lighting things up, they fell far short of what we have today in the way of portable …




Common Sense Preparation, by D.A.

Over the years, I have become frustrated with my tribe’s lack of preparation progress. We need common sense preparation. After much reading on the subject, I realized there was no way our budget would support hard-core disaster prepping. This caused me to review our current state of readiness for the most likely threats we would face. The result of this review was that we were not making the best use of the resources we already had in place. In fact, until this review, we were unaware of resources already in place for which no money was spent to acquire. The …




The Family Stockpiles: Everything in Its Place and a Place for Everything

I’ve been a prepper now for more than 40 years. The good news is that there hasn’t been a major nationwide crisis, and that means that I’ve only had to break out my gear for localized/minor emergencies and family crises. And the food that we’ve gardened and bought in bulk has meant that we’ve enjoyed substantially lower food costs. (Not to mention less processed food additives.) But the bad news is that I own a home that is now almost too well stocked. First, some background on our situation: The Rawles Ranch is comfortably remote. It is nearly a 20 …