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 …




Letter From “Dan Fong” Re: Welding

Hi Jim, I agree with our mutual friend “Doug Carlton” on the subject of using an under-the-hood powered welder. I used to sell them when I had my metal fabrication business but they don’t work with all alternators. They are portable and work great but you need to have your engine at a high RPM to operate. If you are in a retreat, I would recommend a generator because it will also power the air compressor you will need if you have a plasma cutter along with the cutter. The compressor can also be used for pneumatic tools. I don’t …




Letter from “Doug Carlton” Re: Welding and Shotguns

Hi Jim, I enjoyed seeing “Dan Fong’s” letter, since I haven’t had contact with him in ages. It was great to see he’s still kicking. It’s good to see that you’re getting sponsors as well. His plasma cutter topic is on target. One thing people might look at instead of a generator, or as a back-up to the one they have, is a welder with integral genset. Most portable welders are also generators, and being portable you can take it to a work site. Even an under-hood welder, like the kind that many serious 4×4 vehicles have, can be used …




From The Army Aviator Re: Welding, Shotguns, and Radiation Meters

1.) Welding: I’m no welder by an stretch of the imagination but there’s a neat light to medium welder that runs on 24 VDC. I first saw it from SnapOn Tools for ~$500. Now it’s available from other folks for less money. What’s neat is the Trace inverters run on 24VDC and so do my vehicles. Just a thought. I did a stairway with it and repaired a cracked alternator bracket and battery support. 2.) 12 Gauge: I’ve been using those neat military shell holders. Each pouch holds 12 shells and has web gear clips in the back. Two pouches …




Three Letters Re: Self Winding Watches–Reviews and Sources:

Self-winding watches–I had one of the Russian self winders and it was built like a T-34 tank. You really can’t go wrong with one. Higher-end watches, like Seiko, etc. are available from places like Sportsman’s Guide, Overstock.com, and E-Bay. Regards, – “Doug Carlton” Another reader, Jeff, writes: These things are built like a tank. You can find models from $79 to about $250. Here is a typical model. Excellent in every way and new production. Something to consider. – Jeff Jim The blog is great! and your book was a valuable purchase many years ago. I am a watch collector …




Jim’s Product Review: 4,000+ Nights In a Wiggy’s Sleeping Bag

I don’t write many product reviews, but I am uniquely qualified to write this one: In November of 1994 I rolled my 1968 Bronco on black ice on a winding stretch of Highway 12 paralleling the Clearwater River in Idaho. In that accident I suffered a severe back injury–so severe that the chiropractor that took the x-rays commented that he was surprised that I hadn’t severed my spinal cord. Because of the injury, despite the best efforts of the doctors and chiropractors I’ve been unable to sleep in a bed for the past 11 years. (Any bed is too soft …




Letter from T.T. On Axe and Maul Handles

“There’s nothing like a nice piece of Hickory.” – Clint Eastwood, in Pale Rider Jim: I grew up with burning wood for heat. My grandfather had a big old “octopus” looking wood burner in the basement. The heat was nice and even. After growing up and moving away with my family, I have always had a wood stove of some type and I do not feel prepared for winter unless I have a good wood supply. My issue is with the axes. We will be using to trim and split the wood we are putting up. Now is the time …




Letter from The Bee Man

Letter from The Bee Man (SAs: DIY Veterinary, Relocation, Survival Tools, and Survival Firearms) Hello Jim & Family, I’m glad to see your Blog Site has taken off with such success! I’ve passed on your site address to several other people in hopes to get some advertising to come your way. I also hope you and your own are doing fine. It’s hot and very dry here now. Got those brush fires to contend with. The yellow star thistle is waist high on the hills. I believe your timing of your Blog Site is about right. We’ve had numerous inquiries …




The Lightweight Bugout Bag, by “Jim Tanker”

My first bugout bag was actually a large army box that I had acquired in my many years in the military. I’m not sure how much that weighed but seemed like a hundred pounds. Most of the gear that I used back then was surplus army gear, actually the gear I was issued. I believe that most army gear was designed during The Inquisition. Any of you who have carried it know what I mean. Even my civilian pack topped out at 60 pounds, I didn’t know any better. In the last few years I’ve gotten into lightweight backpacking. There …