Letter: Heating Oil and Kerosene Uses

heating Oil

Hello Jim:

I wanted to write a note about an idea for heating. We use a Nestor-Martin as well as a napoleon oil stove to heat. These are very, very efficient. They burn one and a half to three gallons maximum per day and can heat a 2000 square-foot home. They require no electricity in their gravity fed from oil tank. I’ve heated with wood most of my life. (There is nothing like a wood fire.)

To give you an example of how much the world has changed, in the late 70s and 80s as a Boy Scout our troop raised most of our funds from going in the woods felling trees and selling firewood. Nowadays, the Scouts have been watered down to car washes and cupcakes sales. We had professional woodsmen guiding and overseeing us to minimize the danger, but the danger was there nonetheless. We also did paper … Continue reading

Building Or Purchasing Your New Country Property – Part 2, by S.T.


After our move across the country and decision to purchase rather than build our new country property, we had some work ahead of us. Our home was more than 30 years old and needed considerable work. In this section of the article, we continue to review the improvements made and plans for the future.

Year 3 Property Improvements (cont.)

New Flooring and Wall Storage

The floor was updated and unused space appropriated. The original lino floors were replaced with new tile floors. The back wall of the kitchen had not been used. I installed four open shelves with the bottom shelf just above the height of my bulk food storage buckets. These shelves now hold all of the food that had once been stored in the linen closet and a basement storage room.

Remodel Efficiency On A Budget

All of the kitchen remodel was completed in just eight days. (The … Continue reading

Letter: Hybrid or Electric UTV?


HJL and JWR,

After conducting Internet research with mixed results, I’m reaching out to the Survival Blog community. Does anyone have experience with electric UTVs, either hybrid gas/electric or all electric? For obvious reasons, the ability to quietly and quickly access remote areas of the homestead has definite advantages. There seem to be multiple choices in all-electric UTVs and hybrids.

I should mention that I currently do not have an ATV or UTV at this time. My partially wooded homestead of 50 acres has elevation differences of over 200 feet. Many areas are easily accessible with a conventional 4×4.

Building Or Purchasing Your New Country Property – Part 1, by S.T.


Our Journey

We left the Peoples Republic of Kommiefornia in 2013 for the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains with a list of the minimum requirements for our new county property. After making this journey of more than 2,300 miles to start the second half of our lives, we opted to purchase a home rather than build one. Our decision was mainly due to time issues and the discovery of a house within one mile and on the same country road that my aging father and step-mother lived on.

What we left:

  • 3 bedrooms
  • 2 baths
  • 1400 sq. ft.
  • California city lot
  • over $4,000.00 per year in property taxes
  • 3 car garage
  • over $500.00 per year car registration on a 2010 car
  • over $200.00 per year car registration on a 2001 truck
  • no mineral rights
  • Town population of 130,000
  • County population of 360,000

What we wanted:

Letter: JIT Amazon/Walmart Food Delivery



Just a thought, many in media are not mentioning the trend of Amazon food delivery. Just in time ( JIT ) to retail is risky. The next evolution opens the door for tyranny and chaos. Centralized distribution centers are easier to control. If retail stores are collapsing, we have to consider that grocery stores are retail stores too. It appears that food vendors are moving to JIT direct delivery. Folks need to expect civil disorder in suburban neighborhoods to happen way earlier into a serious event. – GP

Letter Re: Wandering Roofing Nails

Roofing Nails

Dear Hugh,

Glad to see the roofers are done. The problem with those nasty critters–those old galvanized roofing nails popping up like mushrooms on the ground–is easily solved. If your surrounding land is fairly flat, try this: 30 In. Magnetic Sweeper with Wheels. If the land around your home is rough-n-tumble (like mine) just get one of these on the end of a rope and drag it over, under, and around the home. I like this one, since it does “double duty” in my pond as well: 250 lb. Pull Retrieving Magnet. (Note: prices seem to change rapidly for these items on Amazon. Check before buying.)

Those old and usually rusty/corroded roofing nails are prime suspects for foot puncture wounds as well as wounds to our trusty K-9’s feet. (Don’t ask me how I found out about foot wounds; well, … Continue reading

The Mythical Group Retreat: Survival Preparations are Not Like Car Detailing

The mainstream media has recently featured many articles about multi-millionaires buying opulent shelter spaces marketed by companies like The Survival Condo Project and Terra Vivos Reportedly, these swank leased shelter spaces are being gobbled up by the rich and famous. (Important Caveat: Those are just two well-publicized examples among many similar ventures, and I’m not criticizing them, per se. I have serious doubts about the efficacy of all such leased retreat space ventures, if and when things fall apart.)

Survival preparations are not like buying a service, such as car detailing or house painting. You can’t just “have it done” by someone else and expect to actually survive a major disaster to see full restoration of normal day-to-day life. You need to learn these skills for yourself. You need to construct things for yourself, tailor them to your own family’s particular needs, and then maintain them … Continue reading

My Family Preparedness Plan- Part 1, by R.S.

We live in an uncertain world. Riots have popped up in cities across the United States under the guise of righteous protests of elections or officer-involved shootings. Terrorists have taken to the streets in attacks both large and small. Hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes have wiped out entire cities. Our economy is under siege from within and without. Ebola, Zika, West Nile, and H1N1 have dominated headlines, though admittedly done little damage. The ability and precedent for grid failure are ever present. And finally, and maybe most nefariously, our very own government waits in the wings for any one of these events to transpire with devious plans already devised for containment of the populace through martial law.

Each of these scenarios presents unique challenges. While much is made of what to do in advance of any of these events (and rightly so), ultimate survival could depend on what you do in … Continue reading

Letter Re: Major Mistakes with a Building Contractor

I would encourage B.M. to sue the contractor even if the contractor has nothing to his name right now. There is a statute of limitations and after the specified time elapses without filing a suit, B.M. is guaranteed to never collect a dime. Sue and get a judgment and then covertly monitor the guy every year or two for indications that he might have improved financially. Very few peoples’ financial situations remain the same forever and most improve to one degree or another. You never know what could happen. State laws vary widely so it is impossible for me to know what types of seizures or collection activity is permitted in B.M.’s state. In my state, if I had a judgment against a contractor and I knew he was working on a big job, I could swoop in at the last minute and force his customer to pay ME … Continue reading

Letter Re: Major Mistakes with a Building Contractor


Regarding the Major Mistake, B.M. needs to track that guy down and serve him a subpoena. Take him to court. People have tried to rip me off several times for tons less than that. I told them all if they don’t finish the job, pay their bill, or do it correctly, I will take them to court. Each time I wasn’t being overly picky or unreasonable. In each instance, the other party knew I was right. I was patient with all of them. I am sure those people have ripped other people off successfully before. I even emailed / called the customer service and manager several times in one case. Anyway, they all called my bluff. They all got sued. I won each time. I am not a lawyer. I am a retired LEO. Being an LEO has nothing to do with it. Don’t take this … Continue reading

Four Procedures For Survival in Your Camp, by ARD

We recently saw how important it is to uphold 2 Chronicles 7:14. Although we have known that this beloved United States that we call home is not quite so “united”, we have discovered there are more Christians than there are non-Christians. (If God be for us who can be against us!) For some time, the liberals have used the media to be their trumpet or voice, which has made it appear that they are the majority. But I tell you this; I believe that what has occurred recently, with the election of Donald Trump, is that the normal quiet Christian (myself included) has realized that to survive in America we must stand up, voice our Godly opinion, and act and also understand that prayer does change things! Miracles are real, but they do not occur without faith, trust in our Lord, and action or prayer on our part. You can … Continue reading

The Fallacy of the Bugout Bag, by J.C.

I began my quest to become self-sufficient in a bug out situation sometime around the end of 2004 or the beginning of 2005.  My first purchase, if I recall was a gravity fed water filter and a small solar battery charger.  The old saying that one can live three weeks without food but only three days without water, in hindsight is what drove me to that purchase.  I don’t regret buying it to this day, but the chances that it will be with me in a true bug out situation, are slim to none.

Before I go any further I would like to state that there are numerous different scenarios in a survival situation and that each requires its own skill set and supplies in order to get through them.  In two of those three scenarios, that big gravity filter will be worth its weight in gold.

Continue reading

Lessons Learned in Livestock – Part 2, by C.K.

(Continued from Part 1)

The following are the varieties of livestock that  I would not consider for a prepared homestead:

Guinea Fowl. I raised over 300 per year. Feed requirements can be met with them running loose, but that also meets the cat’s requirements on little keets. Also a guinea looks for the best hiding spot for eggs. And if allowed to roost outside they will help your owl population by supplying a midnight snack. And they wander to far from home and make way too much noise. The amount of bug reduction is nice but, chickens and ducks also love to eat insects. The butcher weight is no better than a Leghorn rooster.

Horses. Have you feed a horse with what you cut by hand and store? If you do not have the horse drawn equipment to cut and haul hay, then how are you going to feed … Continue reading

Letter: Advice for Disabled Suburban Retiree Preppers

HJL and JWR,
I’m seeking links or tips on how a 77-year-old disabled person can defend his property in case there’s TEOTWAWKI. My wife is 72.

We live in a middle class subdivision 45 miles from Cleveland, Ohio. Because of physical disabilities (neuropathy, bad knees and legs) I am not very mobile.
I use walker/cane most of the time.

We are moderately prepared (food, guns, ammo, junk silver, etc. A retired Marine lives at the other end of the block but says he will bug out if SHTF.
Nobody else on the block seems even to be aware of the dangers of a potential disaster (natural or man-made).We are one block from main artery, one mile from an interstate.

Finally, where is the best place to shop for potassium iodide?

Thank you for what you do on the blog.  We have been … Continue reading

Lessons Learned in Livestock – Part 1, by C.K.

Editor’s Introductory Note:  Some details in this article were deleted or slightly altered, to protect the anonymity of the author.- JWR

A brief history of my background and education: My family has been farming since they came to this country in the 1840s. My Father was a farmer like all the previous generations, but also started working livestock auctions in 1961. Now I work auctions only on a part time basis, and attend about thirty auctions a year. My life took a change on my second marriage. Not only did I get a beautiful wife; she also came with the word of the Lord. So after much prayer my journey began. Like most people I’m bottom middle class. Fortunately I have a farm, rural location, unlimited water, and some good ground for gardens. My Grandmother told me many stores of the shortages of WWII and raising six boys on … Continue reading