Letter Re: A Year’s Supply of Food on a Budget by J. H.

Dear Sirs, Regarding a recent letter mentioning the use of rapeseed as a cooking oil, care must be taken in finding the right cultivars as natural rapeseed is not suitable for food uses. Wikipedia describes this in depth. In a long-term survival situation over many grow seasons, I’m not sure I would trust the use of rapeseed to remain safe for consumption of the oil. -Mike




Letter Re: A Year’s Supply of Food/Cooking Oil Alternatives

Dear Hugh, With regard to the discussions about a renewable source of cooking oil, bio-diesel, and perhaps lubricating oil as well, I’ve often thought peanuts (aka, “goober peas”) may be a viable option for those of us who live in the south. Obviously, they’re not as visible as sunflowers, and statistics at this website seem to suggest that they produce a higher yield of bio-diesel than rapeseed. I’ve read bits and pieces about backyard peanut growing, but I suspect large scale cultivation may be necessary for meaningful oil production. At any rate, their obscure growing nature, nutritional value (including protein), …




Letter Re: Scepter MFC and Water Can Repairs and Parts

Dear Hugh, I remember reading a post from JWR some number of months ago in which he was asking any of the blog readers who had a spare new Scepter MFC nozzle to contact him. I recently had my Scepter MFC can nozzle hose crack and split. A search of the Internet located this source. I ordered a few items from this source including a nozzle that supposedly worked on Scepter MFC’s. It did! Upon closer examination, I noticed that this vendor’s MFC nozzle used braided hose and that the hose contained markings indicating its size – 3/4in OD by …




The Care and Feeding of a Woodstove

Here, at the Rawles Ranch, we heat our house with a masonry wood stove. Because of the thermal mass of its masonry construction, the stove holds heat and, therefore, provides a much more consistent heating effect; well, that is the case for at least three-fourths of our house. Our stove’s wood box is large, so there is the risk of overheating the living room, especially in the fall and spring, when the afternoons warm up outdoors. In those seasons, we have to be careful to keep the stove’s air vent nearly closed almost all of the time. (However, we are …




Letter Re: Home Brewing for SHTF

Thanks for providing the warning based on scripture concerning alcohol. Please make sure the readers know and understand that distillation of any alcohol product, without proper state and federal licensing will land them in the federal pen. I don’t think the writer of that post was clear enough on that. We call it ethanol now, but the BATFE still calls it moonshine if the producer doesn’t have his ducks in a row. – G.F.




Home Brewing for SHTF, by C.K.

(Preface by HJL: SurvivalBlog neither condones nor condemns alcohol consumption. However, we stand by a biblical perspective that takes a strong stance against drunkenness. There are serious issues that must be weighed in regards to alcohol consumption and commerce, and each reader should measure them carefully to know whether home brewing is for you or not.) What is home brewing? I am not talking about brewing your favorite cup of coffee or tea; I am referring to the growing hobby of brewing beer, wine, and other spirits at home. There are many advantages of brewing in SHTF. However, like other …




Letter Re: Alternative Diesel Fuel

Hello Editor I have been using alternative fuels for diesel engines for about 12 years in my ’84 Nissan 720 diesel pickup, ’92 dodge Cummings diesel 12-valve engine, ’84 Mercedes 300 sedan, PC40 Komatsu excavator, and a Yanmar track dumper. I have not done any waste motor oil (wmo) yet but with vegetable fry oil being contracted up by all the big bio-diesel company’s waste motor oil (wmo) is going to happen soon. I’m just paying it forward 🙂 Have a great day My formula for fuel for diesel engines: Twenty-five gallons of non-hydrogenated fry oil or half and half …




Letter: Buying Gas for Storage

Mr. Rawles, I live where they switch between winter gas (Benzine, short molecule chains) and summer gas (pure, long molecule chains). Which is the best season to buy/rotate my gas supply for storage? Also, under normal circumstances premium octane is a waist of money or even bad for my machines, but is it better for storage? God bless – B. HJL Replies: In the past, JWR recommended buying fuel for long-term storage in winter months, because it had extra butane added (for cold weather starting) and hence it had a longer shelf life. However, since 2010 he has recommended buying …




Letter: Diesel Fuel Storage

Hugh, I thought that the readership of Survivalblog would like to know that I am currently burning diesel fuel that was bought in 2005. The fuel was stored in 55-gallon drums located in a cool, dark place and treated with FPPF super fuel stabilizer. I also intentionally bought my fuel in the winter months. The fuel is being burned in Cummins 12-valve engines. The fuel is low sulfur, not ultra low sulfur, so only time will tell if the same results can be expected from the new fuel that was introduced in 2007. – sj




You Have To Start Somewhere, by Jason F.

As a blessed and married father of five, you continuously do what you can to make sure that all will go well on a daily basis.  Things like the car running, the roof not leaking, the kids having shoes on their feet, clothes on their back and family having food in their bellies.  Just recently I have been thinking more about the possibilities of a tragedy striking and the “what if” scenarios that could be involved.  You can call me crazy, concerned, or even paranoid but whatever the case may be, I want to be prepared. I’ve never considered myself …




Letter Re: Coal–The Other Black Gold

James, I was in a bad pickle this summer.  A housing opportunity came by and my family moved to a nice country home in Minnesota farm country.  It’s low traffic, well sheltered from the wind on all sides by mature trees, and safe for outside pets.  There is ample space for a large garden that will produce a surplus while feeding the entire family.  Yet there is one problem.  The house, while well kept, is a century old.  It is not very well insulated, and we knew from the previous tenant that it is difficult to heat in the winter. …




Five Letters Re: Storing Whiskey For Barter

Howdy Captain, Reading the other remarks about storing whiskey for barter made me chuckle, I’ve got a different take on this subject. We’re a dry household, always have been, just no need for that stuff. Life is pretty amazing when you’re sober, why miss a minute of it under the influence of anything. But, I’ve kept two bottles of Jack Daniels stored very prominently in our pantry for many years, and they’re located in a place that makes them impossible to overlook. We live in out in the sticks, and the idea is that if anyone breaks into the house …




Two Letters Re: Storing Whiskey For Barter

Mr. Rawles, The letter from Tom R. raised the question of stockpiling alcohol for trade.  While I have no moral opposition to alcohol consumption, and even keep a stock of wine and spirits for my own use, there are some practical drawbacks to stocking alcohol for barter.   First, unless a person has unlimited funds and storage space, it seems foolhardy to stock quantities of items which will not be used or consumed (precious metals excepted) in the normal course of daily post-SHTF activities.   A more rational course of action would be to stock quantities that would be used within the …




Letter Re: Storing Whiskey For Barter

Hi Jim, I love SurvivalBlog! I have a question: I would like to store whiskey for bartering in SHTF. I thought of taking empty 187 ML (about 6 oz) wine bottles with screw caps, washing them, refilling with whiskey, placing a short wine cork in top, then screw cap, then wrap in Saran wrap to limit evaporation loss. I would then label bottles with content and date, and store for SHTF. How does this sound to you? Thanks, – Tom R. JWR Replies: While I don’t approve of bartering whiskey, I must concede that many folks do see some utility …




Two Letters Re: Refurbishing Dead Gasoline

Jim, Here are some additional thoughts in regard to the letter, “Refurbishing Dead Gasoline”, from my perspective as an oil refinery chemist:   Gasoline is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons, and there are many different flammable materials that can be blended to achieve the desired specifications.   In regard to vapor pressure of U.S. gasoline blends, a mixture resulting in about 15 psi Reid vapor pressure is ideal for winter conditions, and a mixture resulting in about 7 psi Reid vapor pressure is ideal for summer conditions.   The gasoline blend should exhibit enough vapor pressure for ignition to occur …