Letter Re: Leatherman Wave Pocket Tools

James, I noticed that you asked for some input on knives. Well, I just wanted to tell you that I have been using a Leatherman Wave tool since they came out…what, six years or so?….And the last year it has been used everyday on my job as a Handyman. I just don’t know what I would do without it. It is a fine tool and knife, that will stand up to some hard use. Though I have always tried to use it within reason, and not abuse it to much (the day I tried to make it work as a …




Letter Re: Knife Selection

In the area of knives: I carry a Swiss Army Knife with me at all times, along with a Gerber Multi-tool. When I go into the field (Hunting, camping, whatever) I carry a fixed blade knife from Anza Knives. I’ve owned a lot of knives and used even more and I have sold every sheath-knife I owned and bought Anza’s. These things are sharp as razors, tough as nails, and as easy to sharpen as any knife I’ve ever had, and at $60 or less for each of them they are on of the best bargains I’ve ever run across …




Letter Re: G.O.O.D. Gear

Mr. Rawles, do you have a list of gear that we should all have say on our persons or in our cars at all times? I finished your book, and more recently Boston [T. Party]’s Molon Labe and with what is happing down South, I need to prepare. JWR’s Reply: I think a workable baseline is the list that is recounted in my novel Patriots, where the Doug Carlton character appears for the first time, and he is searched. I encourage readers of this blog to e-mail me their suggested G.O.O.D. Kit / Bug Out Bag (B.O.B.) packing lists. I …







Letter Re: Product Review of Rite in The Rain Waterproof Paper

Hello All, I have two of the size that fits in your shirt pocket. That’s where this little product endorsement starts. I was out in the bush one weekend and used my note pad extensively. As usual I got really dirty and forgot to retrieve my Rite in the Rain note book from my shirt pocket. Well, I washed it in the washing machine and dried it in the dryer as well. Upon discovering this I felt really silly, however, to my surprise the note book and all my hen scratching was still intact and readable. I could still write …




#1 Son’s Product Review: “Rite in the Rain” All Weather Writing Paper

Rite in the Rain is truly waterproof paper. You can even write on it underwater! I tested their Field Binder. They also make binders and paper for many other uses. The paper comes in several templates: Universal Grid paper, CAS Briefing Form (9 Line), Standard Range Card, Call for Fire, Warning Order, Soldier’s Personal Data, MEDEVAC (9 Line), and UXO/IED Report (9 Line). The grid paper is useful for writing and graphing/mapping. Field Binder Design: The green plastic binder measures 7 3/4″ x5 3/4″x 1″ with six snap rings. It has an inch ruler and a standard/metric conversion table inside …




Letter From “F1” Re: A Great Source for Survival and Self-Sufficiency Tools

Hi Jim and Memsahib: Have you ever wished you could go back in time to a hardware store circa the late Forties, early Fifties? Imagine finding almost any style of kerosene or oil lamp including Aladdin (creates 60 watts of light using either kerosene or lamp oil) and the fuel for the lamps sold right in the store! Looking for hand powered tools? There are here! Crosscut saws? Yep, they got them. What about timber framing, logsmithing and wood carving tools? Look no further. Looking for self-sufficient dairy supplies? Come and get them! There are many garden tools to choose …




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 …