Review of the Self-Reliance Expo in Colorado Springs, Colorado, by L.K.O.

Following two previously-mentioned Self-Reliance Expos in Denver, Colorado (September 16-17, 2011 (see the SurvivalBlog review here) and Salt Lake City, Utah (October 7-8, 2011), the National Self Reliance Organization (NSRO) began it’s 2012 season with another weekend expo in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Returning Vendors This expo again showcased a variety of enthusiastic and friendly survival, self-reliance and preparedness vendors and presenters. Many of the companies there are loyal SurvivalBlog advertisers. I enjoyed meeting many new vendors in person for the first time as well as those who had been at the September expo as well. Among vendors returning to the …




A Remembrance Gathering for Jan LeBaron

As many of you know, Jan LeBaron, proprietress of Healthy Harvest, died suddenly on September 18th.  Jan touched each of our lives in a unique way through her friendship and her work at Healthy Harvest.  In order to honor her and have an opportunity for closure due to her untimely death, a small group of us decided to organize a simple event for those who would like to gather and reminisce about Jan.  This may also be a great networking opportunity as Jan was always encouraging people to connect and network with new people.   Whether you were an acquaintance or …




Letter Re: Internet Resources on Preparedness and Self-Sufficiency

James: To follow up on the recent Letter Re: Internet Resources on Preparedness and Self-Sufficiency, I’d like to recommend some more great resource web sites with free, no-copyright files that would be of interest to those who are studying preparedness and self-sufficiency: CD3WD Colossal collection of freebies. Journey to Forever Lots of articles and e-books. S.S.R.S.I. Tons free stuff. Soil and Health Library Some rare, free e-books. P.F.A.F. Nice database of useful plants. The database itself can be downloaded for a small donation. Practical Action Many great free articles with innovative solutions. Appropedia Endless articles. Fun to browse. F.A.S.T. Has some good resources, though not as many as …




SurvivalBlog Receives the Stylish Blogger Award

I was tickled to see that SurvivalBlog was named as a recipient of a Stylish Blogger award by Judy of the Consent of the Governed blog. This is a great exercise in fun and mutual back-scratching. Of course, as with any of these blog awards, there are rules. The “rules” that come along with this award designation are (1) I must divulge seven things about myself, and then (2) pay the Stylish Blogger Award forward to fifteen other blogs. So here are seven things about me… 1.) I’m so secretive about the location of the Rawles Ranch that many of …




Letter Re: Gerald Celente Predicts Survivalism Will Go Mainstream in 2010

James Wesley: The often-quoted prognosticator Gerald Celente (of The Trends Research Institute) is predicting that the Survivalist movement will go mainstream next year. In a recent issue of The Trends Journal, he wrote: “Back in the Cold War days, survivalism meant building a bomb shelter and stocking it with enough food to outlast nuclear fallout. In the late 1970’s, with inflation soaring, Iran raging, and gold and oil prices skyrocketing, survival meant cashing out of paper money and heading for the hills with enough ammunition and pork & beans to wait out the economic and political storms. In 2000, the …




Three Letters Re: Best Military Manuals with Field Fortification Designs?

Dear James, In response to the person who asked about military manuals, most (at least US Army) are available online for free, from the following sources: GlobalSecurity.org The site has lots of military and world sitrep information updated constantly. The Federation of American Scientists has tons of military hardware systems information. The pictures are useful for recognizing and there is data on each system’s performance, purpose and use. Also, the US Army maintains the General Dennis J. Reimer Training and Doctrine Digital Library at Fort Eustis, Virginia. It used to be mostly open access, but I believe it’s changed to …




An Invitation to the Baen’s Bar Forums, by Michael Z. Williamson

I’d like to extend an invitation to SurvivalBlog readers to visit the Baen’s Bar Forums, hosted by the sci-fi publisher Baen Books. My forum there has ongoing, detailed discussions of ARs, Mausers, handgun choices, and preparedness, mostly for natural disasters. There are also shameless plugging of my books (since it’s my forum). Be forewarned that there is some off-color language–PG-13, not R, and the religion and politics of members varies greatly, though there are other fora we send them to for those arguments. Registration is free, private and not shared. My subforum is “Mike’s Madhouse,” and there are a variety …




Survival Retreat vs. Neighborhood Survival, by Dr. Richard

Earlier this month, I posted Etienne’s guest post Seeking/Starting a Survival Retreat in Virginia / Maryland / Pennsylvania / West Virginia. Today, I had lunch with Etienne de la Boetie and another prepper here in Loudoun County [, Virginia]. We had a long discussion about survival retreats vs neighborhood survival. Etienne is a big fan of the survival retreat concept. He previously had a retreat where he did not own the land but where he was able to store a travel trailer recreational vehicle in which he pre-positioned various preps and supplies. Unfortunately, his friend moved and sold the property. …




Three Letters Re: The Community Retreat

James: When it comes to real-world advice that applies to real people, Kathy Harrison’s article ranks right near the top of the list. There is a sizable portion of the survival community (including my family) that believes that the community retreat model outlined in this article is, for most scenarios, the single best strategy for survival. While there are certainly some scenarios in which a remote retreat would be advantageous, those (in my opinion) are relatively few and unlikely. The community retreat strategy is one that can be used by just about anyone regardless of family or occupational requirements. It …




Letter Re: The SurvivalistBooks.com Groups Match-Up Page is Back On-Line

Hi James! Happy New Year and a belated Merry Christmas! I’ve just returned from a ‘holiday’ working on my retreat and found that over the holiday break my e-mail server fell over. I have added those messages I could recover to my Groups Listing page – but I know I have lost at least a couple of postings . As a significant number of people access this page [from the link at the Finding Like-Minded People in Your Area page] at your site, [I’d like to] explain what has happened and ask anyone who doesn’t see their listing to resend …




Letter Re: Home Invasion Robbery Countermeasures–Your Mindset and Architecture

Dear Mr. Rawles: First and foremost thank you for your novel “Patriots” which I am currently reading. I live in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. As of late there seems to be a rise in the number of “home invasion” type of crimes in this area. Every morning that I go to work I hear about a new incident in the metroplex. This has led me to put inside locks on my bedroom doors and purchase my first gun. I consider myself one of those “know enough to be dangerous” people, but am planning on taking a handgun safety course . …




Specialization and Decline, by J. R. Nyquist

Years ago, when the West entered onto a path of decadence, it became fashionable to deny the historical consequences of permissiveness and bad behavior. As the old standards fell away, new standards of “tolerance” and “acceptance” took hold. With the fall of colonial empires and the upsurge of student radicalism in the sixties, the notion of “barbarians at the gates” became outdated. Heaven forbid that anyone should be described as a “barbarian” or as “uncivilized.” The idea that some peoples were more advanced, that some civilizations had more to offer, was no longer an acceptable way to talk. The fall …




Letter Re: 2,000+ Antique Books on Farming Available on-Line

Good morning, While shopping for an antique agriculture book, I found this web site at Cornell University. It is a link to 2,047 antique agriculture books online from Cornell University. Since I farm organically I like to read how the farmers did it 100+ years ago before cheap oil and John Deere tractors. I thought your readers might be interested. – Adam in Ohio JWR Replies: I must add this proviso: Keep in mind that 19th Century safety standards were considerably more relaxed than today’s, so old formularies and “farm knowledge” books often do not include any safety warnings. Use …




Letter Re: Market Observations From The Trader Blog

Mr. Rawles – Thank you for your recent mention of my site, TheTraderBlog.com. I am a former Lehman Brothers employee, I worked in New York City on the FX trading desk, but left in 2002, so I am glad to have missed all the recent excitement. I publish my blog in an effort to help me reason through my personal trading strategies, and also like to share my opinion about the markets and related events in general. I have not yet figured out how to make any money off of the site, so for now it is just a great …




Letter Re: Recommendation for the Cool Tools Web Site

Hello – Survival Blog readers might be interested in the Cool Tools web site and e-mail newsletter. The site was originated by Kevin Kelly, who edited Whole Earth Review in the 1980s and also put together several versions of The Whole Earth Catalog, Cool Tools offers one new “Cool Tool” per day. Far from just being gadgets, a Cool Tool “can be any book, gadget, software, video, map, hardware, material, or web site that is tried and true.” All submissions are reader reviewed, they are not just regurgitations of product literature. There are good recommendations in many categories that might …