Two Letters Re: Advice on Night Vision Gear

Dear Mr. Rawles, I have been reading your site for almost a year now and am grateful for your advise. I’ve read both Patriots and Retreats. Currently, I live in suburban Detroit and am looking for a farm out in the country. I’m good on food and many other items, but question my weapons battery. BTW, both my wife and I have attended the excellent training at Front Sight. Currently I have three handguns: an XDM-40 with four mags, Steyr M40 with four mags and a Taurus PT92 9mm with two mags. My long guns include two short-barrel 12 gauge …




A Know-Nothing Gun Buyer Illustrates a Fatally-Flawed Approach to Preparedness

Introductory Note from JWR: The following was posted at the Mike’s Madhouse forum, one of the Baen’s Bar Forums. (This is the forum moderated by SurvivalBlog’s Editor at Large, Michael Z. Williamson.) It illustrates how incredibly naive some newbie gun owners can be. It also underscores a couple of my oft-repeated mantras: Survival is not about gadgets. It is about skills. And, tools without training are almost useless. Owning a gun doesn’t make someone a “shooter” any more than owning a surfboard makes someone a surfer. Reading this letter made me laugh hysterically, but it also made me sad to …




Real World Observations on Fighting Crime and Criminals, by Eli

I sat down to see what I could offer to share with other SurvivalBlog readers. Many topics have already been covered, so I will attempt to go somewhere new. I am a law enforcement officer by trade, and hope to provide a unique perspective as such. I have seen shootings, stabbing, burglaries, robberies, etc. I have served both search and arrest warrants. I work in the southwest US, and have worked in very affluent areas as well as very poor areas. What follows are some observations of my time on the job, relating to a few different areas and crimes …




Letter Re: Red Dot Sight Battery Longevity

JWR, I have a red dot sight battery, lithium Energizer CR2032, which was stored in it’s original packaging in a refrigerator since May 1996, almost 13 years ago. I recently opened it and have been testing to see if it would still work, at present I have about 11 hours of use on it. I know this is anecdotal, but the point is, if you use red dot aiming devices and it uses one of these type batteries, it is probably worthwhile to store a good supply of batteries for long term use. Regards, – K. in Texas JWR Replies: …




A Farmer’s Perspective on Combating Crime in South Africa, by Joe Ordinary Voortrekker

Although we in South Africa do not live in a TEOTWAWKI situation, we routinely have to deal with constant attempts to appropriate life, possessions, and freedom that could be good training for a TEOTWAWKI situation. The following are some real life insights as to what and how we handle these regular attempts at property liberation on our homesteads and surrounds. We are fortunate to live well outside of South Africa’s largest city, our community is isolated and not visible from any main road. To a point where people that live in nearby areas do not know where our entry road …




Six Letters Re: Home Invasion Robbery Countermeasures–Your Mindset and Architecture

Greetings Mr. Rawles, I read your blog everyday and am learning so much. Thanks for your dedication to helping prepare us for the future. In reference to the recent article on home security, we lived in Argentina for three years and we could all learn from their security measures. The first house we lived in had steel shutters, as did everyone in the neighborhood, and they were all shut at night. The doors have locks that automatically lock when you leave the house. The small front yards usually have tall steel fences with the same height gates. The gates were …




Letter Re: Speeding Coyote Hunters Arrested in Illinois

Mr. Rawles, I came across this today, and thought you’d be interested: Police: WIU students arrested with cache of weapons. The key points are: 1.) They were stopped for speeding and their truck searched 2.) Both men had gun permits 3.) They were arrested for possession of firearms and ones’ home searched 4.) Both are now facing legal battles – [even though] no laws [other than the speed limit] have apparently been broken Blessings & Good Health, – Christine JWR Replies: A few of my observations: Did you notice the box for the FN FS2000? It looks like they had …




Sabotage and Counter-Sabotage, by A. Farm Graduate

The purpose of this article is to put another skill (if not a skill, perhaps a seed) in the mental toolkit of preparedness-oriented individuals. Although not an exhaustive study on clandestine operations, this article will give you a glimpse into an advantage seeking two part mindset – sabotaging the enemy’s equipment and keeping your equipment from getting sabotaged! It is assumed the condition under which this article would find use is the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI). Please don’t go do something listed in this article that you don’t have the skill or legal right to …




Letter Re: Advice on an Inexpensive Solar Battery Charger?

Hi Mr. Rawles: In your comments to the family living in Trinidad & Tobago, you wrote: “As your budget allows, buy a small solar charger for your AA and AAA NiMH batteries.” Do you have personal experience with any of these solar chargers? Can you recommend any? Many thanks, – Larry T. JWR Replies: Depending on your budget, solutions can run from “micro”, to “mini”, to “maxi.” These inexpensive solar chargers sold by Ready Made Resources (one of our long-time advertisers) work fine as a “micro” solution., but be advised that they are not waterproof. I recommend setting these up …




Two Letters Re: Mr. Romeo’s Retreat Owner Profile

Dear Mr. Rawles, I read Mr. Romeo’s retreat plans, and I would like to add a couple of things to his preparations list. The one glaring omission I see in his list is a lack of HF communications gear. VHF radios are line of sight communications, which is great if you’re planning on staying within range of the coast. If he plans on heading out to deeper waters though, HF gear becomes a lifeline to Pacific maritime nets, weather information, and other useful resources. Even if he doesn’t plan on transmitting, an HF receiver would allow him to listen to …




Preparing for Survival Retreat Perimeter Defense, by O.F.

There may come a time when a survival retreat will need to be defended, and a properly prepared perimeter will be key to the success of the defense. While many survival-minded individuals and retreat groups have likely considered the possibility of a defense scenario, many are at a loss as to how to plan for such an situation. If the time comes, a well-thought, methodically planned perimeter defense will hold up better than simply having “a bunch guns and ammo.” Fighting positions offer several advantages during perimeter defense. Proper positions allow the defenders to observe possible threats with reduced risk …




Letter Re: Making Alternatives to Commercial Chemical Light Sticks

Hi Jim, I just read your novel “Patriots” and studied the Rawles Gets You Ready” preparedness course, and both are excellent. [In them,] you talk about chem lights (otherwise known as glow sticks) for in your car for changing tires, handy around campsites, and what not. The shelf life on these, as you mentioned, is very short (couple of months in a car [in a hot climate]) and they are not cheap (or maybe just I am cheap). I found this video on making an LED version of them that is reusable. Seems to me like a good idea for …




Letter Re: Holster, Sling, and Web Gear Recommendations

Howdy Mr. Rawles! Before I begin, I’d like to offer my congratulations on your fine novel being republished. I’ve read it once myself, then again to my family (I hate television, reading is good family entertainment) which should be considered high accolades in itself. Currently my copy is in the Pacific Northwest, bound for the midwest next, as it continues to travel the country within my circle of friends. I read the posted letter by R.P. on 26 August, and associated recommendations on holsters, slings, and web gear, and thought I’d offer some discussion on the matter: The main reason …




Letter Re: Night Operations

James: Regarding Pete C.’s article on night operations: The great (but now sadly defunct) magazine “Coevolution Quarterly” had a great article about night vision development sometime in the 1980s (I’ve got a copy of it hanging around here somewhere, if only I was organized enough to lay my hands on it) that gave a brilliant method for training night sight via peripheral vision. The technique involved taking something like a lightweight brazing rod and attaching it [off-center] to the bill of a baseball cap. On the end of the rod, you attached a small white ball or disc, which you …




Night Operations–Gain the Tactical and Psychological Edge, Even Without the Aid of Night Vision Devices, by Pete C.

Sometime in the future, in a post-TEOTWAWKI environment, your retreat group may decide to send out small teams to conduct either reconnaissance or security patrols. They may want to collect information on what is happening at the nearest town or confirm/ disprove the accuracy of any information (rumors) previously attained. Whatever the mission, these teams must function as a cohesive unit every time. Their success or failure will depend on everyone’s ability to operate during darkness or periods of reduced and/ or limited visibility (to include rain, fog, snow, etc.) even if they do not have the aid of night …