Letter Re: Light Blocking Suggestions for Windows

Hello Jim, I’ve been following the window light blocking conversation with interest. The prospect of spending money and time for highly specialized fabrics or felts, for a highly specialized purpose, which may or may not be a future necessity, just doesn’t feel affordable or practical to me. In comparison, I believe my simple, flexible, and inexpensive alternative approach has much to offer. I’ve been stocking up on large Polar Fleece blankets, as a multi- purpose basic material, from my local thrift store, where I can often find a queen or king size for around $10. Two or three folded layers …




Letter Re: Low Voltage DC LED Strip Lights for Disaster House Lighting

Dear JWR: This might have been thought of before, but I just stumbled into something called LED strip lights. Here is a sample. They come in 15 meter rolls, are about 1/2 inch wide and have 300 individual LED lights. They can be cut into segments between every third light. They run off of 12 volts DC and are actually rather bright while using little electricity. If you purchased one of those little strips the reloading companies sell to mount inside the press so you can see what’s going on, it is probably this stuff. There are several versions. Some …




Letter Re: Light Blocking Suggestions for Windows

Mr. Rawles, I’ve just listened to another interview you gave, and noted yet again that you consider light control of utmost importance.  I have several suggestions from the fabric store.  There is a material that really does work perfectly for light control at a reasonable cost (helped by the readily available Joann Fabric Store – also online – 50% off coupons): drapery lining material referred to as ‘blackout’ fabric.  A common brand of this fabric is Roc-Lon, if searching Joann.com online for it.  Another fabric I’ve worked with is the Warm Window insulated shade system (www.warmcompany.com and also carried at …




Letter Re: Selecting a Prepper’s Firearms

James Wesley, I have found red dot scopes to be real helpful, and great for target shooting and plinking.  The problem of course are the [button] batteries. I have a cheap red dot on one of my [Ruger] 10/22 fun plinking gun.  Everyone loves it.  However, too Many times I have left the sight turned on only to have a useless device atop my rifle. I have spent much money on the special “photo type” batteries for these illuminated scopes (with and without reticles). Those scopes that have a regular reticle and the option of illumination is not as catastrophic …




Pat’s Product Review: Crimson Trace MVF-515 Laser

I know that over the years, and in many articles, I clearly stated that when lasers for firearms first came on the market, they were mostly considered “toys” by most professionals, myself included. The lasers back in the day, were big and bulky, cost a lot of money, and the battery run-time was short. Additionally, there really wasn’t any way to holster a handgun with a large laser on it – no one made holsters to fit the cumbersome handgun lasers. So, for the most part, lasers didn’t catch-on, at least, not right away. They were a rich man’s toy. …




Pat’s Product Review: LED Lenser Flashlights

When the power goes out, the lights go out – simple as that! Many people will then reach for a flashlight, only to find, that the batteries are dead, or dying – assuming they can even find a flashlight at night, when the power goes off. I have to admit, in my younger and dumber days, I fell victim to this many times. Living in a rural area, especially during the winter months, our power goes out several times due to trees falling over on power lines. Last time, we were without power for several days, in the winter when …




Letter Re: Trijicon — What’s the Right Color for a Color-Blind User?

Good Morning Mr. Rawles, I too suffer from color deficiency and have had first hand experience with Trijicon, ACOG and other illuminated optics.  For me the red and green reticles “disappear” on any background other than white.  With the assistance of many a friend and family member we have done extensive testing to be able to determine what works for me. The answer to my color woes is amber reticles. No mater the background the amber stands out brilliantly.  I’ve had the opportunity to view the amber reticles against woodland, desert, tiger stripe, Multicam, ACU and a dozen other types of camouflage and have yet to …




Letter Re: Trijicon — What’s the Right Color for a Color-Blind User?

I live in the hinterboonies — hours from anywhere where I can ‘try-out’ the different colors of Trijicon ACOG sights.  God willing, I’d like to purchase one for my .223.  Since I’ll have to purchase by mail-order I want to specify the right one the first time.  I’m hoping for help from you, or one of your experienced readers. In my early 20s I had to take a flight physical.  Boy was I surprised to learn, for the first time, that I had a degree of red/green color blindness.  I can see red.  I can see green.  I can match …




Letter Re: Advice on Spotlights

JWR: I am looking to purchase a really good spot light. Do you have any suggestions? I have had far too many pieces of junk that were supposed to be great. I figure that you are the man to ask. Thanks, W.P. JWR Replies: While they have some utility in controlling predator wildlife (depending on your state’s fish and game laws, of course), I DO NOT recommend visible spotlights for any retreat defense situations.  Spotlights pinpoint your dwelling and can make you a target.  There could be some utility in infrared spotlights set up a distance for your position (NOT …




Lessons from Afghanistan, by W.B.

SurvivalBlog is the best in it’s field because it draws upon the different skill sets and experiences of it’s readers. On that note, I would like to offer up my own experience for the benefit of other readers. I am a former Army Infantry Sergeant with combat service in Afghanistan and am currently a private security contractor. I was not a prepper before my service there. However, witnessing a post-collapse environment first hand made me confront some painful realities. I hope to God that my experiences will aid fellow preppers by giving them insight in to one type of collapse …




Three Letters Re: Battery-Powered House Interior Lighting

Sir: I enjoy your blog and support you in a small way with the 10 Cent Challenge.  After reading your response to the Battery-Powered House Interior Lighting letter, I want to add some information that I learned at a FAA seminar that I attended.  The FAA is now endorsing blue or green lighting in the cockpit of all aircraft (general aviation and commercial).  The green and/or blue takes less energy output for the eyes to see details.  Also, red lighting can be seen from further away than blue/green (red is used to designate towers and tall buildings at night, where …




Preparedness for Dark Times, by John D.

I am a deputy sheriff in Louisiana and patrol primarily on the night shift. A few nights ago my shift was alerted that the main city in our parish was under a complete “black out”, meaning a total loss of ALL electricity. The reason for the blackout was unknown but the repercussions were great. The power stayed out for a mere hour and a half, but that was all it took to cause  chaos all throughout the city. In this hour and a half multiple shootings occurred, multiple wrecks occurred on the highways and city streets, and multiple stores and …




Product Review: FLIR Scout PS24 Thermal Imager, by Kip R.

The price of thermal imaging has dropped to the range of Gen III night vision – about $2,000.  My bug out location has a valley with a stream at bottom and a wooded hillside, plus surrounding pastures and woods.  I wanted the tactical advantage to be able to tell if predators (particularly 2 legged) were in the trees at night.  I purchased an FLIR PS24 handheld from Sportsman’s Guide, member price $1979.97, and shipping is often free if you wait for a coupon code sale.  After waiting about five weeks, it shipped factory direct from FLIR.  My darling wife asked: …




Night Vision Gear for Those on a Tight Budget, by Robert C.

Prepping on a budget is quite important to my family as I am sure it is to many avid readers of this fine blog.  I have purchased the book, “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times” and am following it to the best of my ability and financial means. However one aspect that is woefully lacking is my nighttime surveillance capability.  Sure I have strong LED flashlights with rechargeable batteries, solar panels ready to recharge those batteries at a moments notice, and enough batteries to last a lifetime.  …




Letter Re: A Street Gang Rapid Response Kit

I visit your blog daily and the link to a map showing gang presence in the United States caught my eye. I note that my home is within one of the “moderate” gang activity areas. That is not news to me. We are about a mile from the perimeter of the “war zone” of our city in a semi-rural part of town. We hear gunshots (within a half-mile of the house) nightly and the roofers who replaced our shingles last year remarked at the number of bullet holes in our roof. Those shots came from the street in front of …