Common American Plants, Trees, and Weeds for Surviving TEOTWAWKI Survival, by Christine W.

I once read a very interesting article from a survivor of the Bosnian Collapse of the late 1990s.  This was a true end of the world as they knew it event, and it was fascinating and eye opening to read. One of the things the author talked about in his extensive article was the most useful skills to possess. Medical knowledge was the highest on his list. Lacking real world medical training, people with the knowledge of the uses of herbs and plants were able to trade and use that skill to survive.   Most people in America can’t identify even 1% …




The Joys of Prepping, by V.R.

Who said prepping couldn’t be fun?   Granted, prepping is something that should be taken seriously, but in our journey to prepare for a possible eventual catastrophe we can enjoy the ride.  I think of it as setting up home, going camping and uniting the family all wrapped up in one.  In my eagerness and urgent desire to see friends and family prepare for an oncoming disaster, either natural or manmade, I feel like I have frightened or overloaded them into inaction.  Discouraged by my lack of persuasion I was reminded of one of Aesop’s fables where the Sun and the …




Letter Re: An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure for TEOTWAWKI

James, K.M. in Ohio’s post “Ounce of Prevention…” warns that “If the needles are 1 per hole, that’s NOT Pine” is not true. The warning about Fir needles being toxic is valid, but there are one needle pines. The state tree of Nevada is the Single Leaf Pinyon, Pinus monophylla. It is found almost exclusively in The Great Basin with two subspecies in California and Arizona. Besides the needles being a source of vitamin C as with other pines, it produces nutritious and delicious pine nuts. (It also makes the perfectly shaped Christmas tree!) – David in Carson City, Nevada




A Contingency Bag for Frequent Air Travelers, by T.R. in North Carolina

Your Bug Out bag, Go Bag, SHTF Bag, or whatever you call it contains similar items for each one of us. Some are kept at the door ready at a moment’s notice, some in the trunk of each vehicle all with the same purpose; Mitigation of Risk. As a project manager, Risk Management is a key component to successful project delivery, and one tool of risk mitigation is contingency resources. Understanding the risk and developing contingency to avoid, eliminate, adapt to or reduce the impact upon a project’s outcome. I say all this to share with you my recent experience …




Knowledge: The Survivor’s #1 Preparation, by Chad H.

What is a prepper’s number one tool? What is the asset that all preppers need regardless of where they are or why they are preparing? Some will say water purification, others will say food, and either others will give a list of shelter, weapons, or a medical kit. I disagree with all of these. Yes, all of these are necessary to survival and great preps to have; however, they are not the number one prep needed. After searching hundreds of lists and web sites, and watching show after show about survival, and piecing together preps on a budget, I have …




Pat’s Product Review – Rescue Me Personal Locator Beacon 1

I’ve been out of the military for a long, long time now. However, I still remember many of the things that were taught to me back then. Those Drill Sergeants, bless their hearts, really knew how to drive home the lessons they were teaching us. Looking back over the years, I can see they were teaching us lessons that would save our lives in combat. I can still remember our map reading and compass orientation course, and the drill sergeant told us “a good soldier never gets lost, they just get disoriented.” At the time, I wasn’t sure what that …




Letter Re: Thoughts on Socks

Jim: In a recent contest entry post, Clarence A. wrote: ‘Warm up some round river rocks that are as big as you can fit into a wool sock.  When they are too hot to touch with your fingers put them in the wool sock and use them like you would a hot water bottle.’ No offense at your experience Clarence, but hot river rocks can hold moisture and can and do explode. I’ve had it happen camping as a kid, using a river rock for part of the fire ring, lucky no one was close when it exploded! it sent …




Thoughts on Socks, by Clarence A.

Extra Socks should be in your bug out bag your hunting pack and any other pack or bag you store outdoor gear or survival gear.  Now let me explain.  Your feet are super important to your safety and well-being. You’re healthy and fit. You take good care of yourself for Survival reasons.  But are you prepared to lose the ability to walk, run or move quickly without responding to pain caused by infection.  Soldiers in all recent recorded conflicts complained about their feet.  Cold and fungus cripple them.  OK, so you have a great pair of boots.  I get it …




Guest Article: It is Hard to Know Wild Food Without Also Knowing Some Wild Medicines, by Linda Runyon

As I observe the current concerns about our food supply and our “health” care choices, I think back to the days in the 1970s when my husband, child and I took off to the wilderness of the Adirondacks.  Even though there’s so much turbulence going on now, I know that being in the middle of essentially nowhere with just your three-member family can be scary no matter how, when, or why you do it.  I was fortunate in that I was trained as a nurse in my younger days, and that experience did come in handy in being able to …




Letter Re: Living Off The Land: Delusions and Misconceptions About Hunting and Gathering

Jim, This letter is in response to your link to a post by Ross Gilmore: Living Off The Land: Delusions and Misconceptions About Hunting and Gathering.  It’s a well-written article and I’d like to expand upon it. I’ve been teaching Stone Age skills for 29 years and I’ve spent most of my adult life in the backcountry of Idaho and British Columbia.  I never purchased meat or fish from a store for about 20 years, though I consumed a lot.  I’ve lived Stone Age for short periods of time, living completely off the land using only the skills and tools of …




Letter Re: Desert Stills Don’t Work

Can anyone prove that the long-touted “desert solar still” will maintain life in a emergency desert survival situation? I’m age 70 and tired of hearing the Bravo Sierra.  Prove it to me, please. Sorry , but with more than 35 years experience (15 years at the USN SERE-P.O.W. school in Warner Springs, California plus three years at the USN JEST school and since then 20 years in the business of survival training and digging earth,)  I must call foul on the desert still concept.  People should stop selling the idea. (The USAF has.)     I have tested the solar still idea since 1968 – …




Footgear Considerations, by Dagney T.

If you or your readers are contemplating carrying a rucksack [or backpack] of any type for any distance there are three items this old soldier heartily recommends: 1. Compression type Smart Wool Socks 2. Two Toms brand Sport Shield Liquid Roll On. 3. Insoles: Green Super Feet I am still ruck’in these days (an old LC-1 pack frame with 40lbs of weight plates zip tied to it [I am certain I am quite a sight if anyone is up at 04:30 AM]), so I believe I know what I am talking about. Six to ten miles per day. I wish …




Letter Re: The Value of a Magnifying Glass

JWR, I have been a reader, and sometimes commentator, of your blog for some years. I have read all kinds of ideas on what should be carried for all kinds of bad things happening scenarios. One thing I have rarely seen mentioned is the simplest and cheapest fire starter around: a magnifying glass. No moving parts. No fancy training. Hardly any space required. Less that $10 in any drugstore as a “reading glass.” I have one that is 4” diameter by ½” thick one that I have carried, unprotected, in my coat pocket for over 30 years. It has a …




Prepping for Our New Reality, by D.&M.

[Editor’s Introductory Note: I sometimes receive quite lengthy articles that are mix of great practical information and extended political narratives. In such cases I sometimes opt to edit out the particularly ranty sections. Where I have done so, you will see: “[Some deleted, for brevity]“. My apologies, but to make an article of this length readable, editorial discretion is a must. Furthermore, I have to recognize that all politics are local. Since SurvivalBlog is a publication with an international readership, I feel obliged to chop out political discourses that would be of little or no interest to my readers in …




Five Letters Re: Car-Mageddon: Getting Home in a Disaster

Dear JWR: By way of background, I’m a middle aged woman in reasonable shape.  I go jogging, do pushups and take karate.  I have never been in the military.   Around a month ago I tried ruck marching with my 25 or 30 lb bug out bag (BOB), to see how well I could handle it.  I wore wool Army socks and a pair of boots that I thought were reasonably broken in, and walked laps around a park as fast as I could walk.  The ruck was a civilian backpacker’s external frame pack with a belt.  I carried some …