A 21st Century Tangibles Investing Rationale

I often have people ask me: “Why do you stress tangibles investing, Mr. Rawles?” In my estimation, tangibles always trump intangibles. I have three primary reasons why I distrust intangibles:: First: Nearly all intangible investments are denominated in fiat currencies. Because of this there is an underlying currency inflation, revaluation, or repudiation risk. Even when buying stock in the safest, most secure and impeccably-managed company it still has some risk when the investment is denominated in Dollars. Ditto for Dollar-denominated bonds. Ditto for redeemable life insurance policies and annuities. Ditto for business investments. Ditto for money market funds. Ditto for certificates …




Letter: A Question About a Home Business in Leatherworking

Hello, What type of items do you suggest for leatherworking? I currently make holsters & slings for myself and friends and I am considering expanding to other items. I know it’s a silly question and you’re most likely too busy running the blog to have time for this but figured it never hurts to ask a question. Thank for all you do and taking the time to read this. – Chuck




Being Unemployed And Starting A Home-Based Business, by W.L.

This is my story of how I became unemployed and started a home-based business. It may be something useful to other preppers. My Employment Story I’m a prepper and have been doing so for the last thirteen years. Thank goodness I found SurvivalBlog then and began putting up canned goods and consumables ever since. I’ve had to live off my pantry for two years at a time and would have been in dire straits if I had not. Believe me, if you have not begun prepping for hard times, begin now. Even those with advanced degrees and certifications fall on …




Homestead and Financial Ledger Books- Part 2, by S.T.

We have been looking at the use and benefit of Homestead Ledger Books. In Part 1, we looked at documenting activities, items harvested, canned or dried, and items sold or orders received. We have looked at a possible scenario from January through September and left off at September after participating in the farmer’s market. Furthermore, let’s look at what activities we might record in our ledger for October. October In October, the family could take time to plan out the next year’s garden and locate free buckets. The buckets that could be used to expand the garden output by growing …




Homestead and Financial Ledger Books- Part 1, by S.T.

Looking back in time, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and the other founding fathers of the United States all maintained Homestead and Financial Ledger Books of one kind or another. Some, like George Washington, had one for each of his businesses (grist mill, whiskey, et cetera). With the advent of computers and the move to city life, these ledgers have gone out of fashion. But they remain an important tool, and it is to sad that families do not use them anymore. We would spend less on unneeded items if more of these were used. What Are Homestead Ledgers? Benjamin Franklin …




Letter Re: Coin Roll Hunting for Remnant U.S. Circulating Silver

James, The Coin Community site forum has many areas in their forums but has a section specific to coin roll hunting. There is a lot of silver in the wild from what many of these posters state. Even the War Nickels are still out there if nickels are searched. Halves are the best most likely since many don’t realize the 1965 to 1970 dated halves are 40 percent silver. ? I have searched some and found a few but a pain to later dispose of the halves. We just end up spending them on small items, or as tips to …




Making a Living in the Hinterboonies

One of the great quandaries faced by many American preppers is that their desire to move to a lightly-populated rural region is usually not consistent with the ability to earn a good living. Let’s face it: The job opportunities in the Hinterboonies are scarce. Unless you are retired, self-employed, or you are in a high-demand profession (such as medicine or dentistry), then it might be difficult to have the same standard of living that you’ve enjoyed in an urban or suburban community. Part of the following repeats what I wrote in SurvivalBlog back in 2009 about the sorts of jobs …




Letter: Starting a Manufacturing Business on a Tight Budget, by M.B.

In case you have not kept up with the Maker movement the last couple of years, great strides have happened in the average guys ability to build advanced micro-manufacturing facilities for very little money versus even a few years ago. I will note that this discussion is not all inclusive as this field changes on a sometimes weekly basis. The ability to do advanced manufacturing with relatively small amounts of money is the dirty secret of China’s present economic success.  I should know, since I have been there, I have friends in the industrial automation business who have been there, …




Sew and Grow, Save and Recycle Your Way Into Preparedness – Part 2, by S.T.

Minimum Quantities Needed You will need the minimum quantities that are listed below. However, you can start on your path to reusable products with lower quantities and can continue to add additional quantities each and every week as you produce additional quantities of final product. Washable feminine hygiene products- 50- 8” for each female in the home 25- 12” for each female in the home Washable toilet paper- 50 for each male in the home 100 for each female in the home Washable dish towels- 20 each Washable napkins- 21 for each person in the house Washable aprons 2 for …




Sew and Grow, Save and Recycle Your Way Into Preparedness – Part 1, by S.T.

As a society, we all rely upon a vast amount of manufactured products every day from canning jars and lids to dishes to pots and pans to toothpaste and dental floss. This list goes on and on. However, we can not forget that gasoline and diesel fuel and electricity are the most important manufactured items. Without these there will no longer be any other mass produced manufactured items made or delivered to a store near you. Every disposable item that you can now replace with reusable items will put you well ahead of the sheeple, save you money, and make …




The Costs and Benefits of Hunting, by J.B.

I’m a lifelong hunter that has gone from being a kid taken to a hunting club by his father, as an introduction to hunting back in the mid-70’s, to being a self-sufficient property owner, who can hunt year round for the non-game species (hogs) if need be. I’ll be the first to say that hunting for self-sufficiency in today’s world, particularly in the Eastern U.S., would be a short-lived venture during a TEOTWAWKI situation. The reason being is that there would very likely be a mass migration of people from the major metropolitan areas out in the rural areas looking …




You Can Tune A Piano, But You Can’t Tuna Fish, by K.Y.

Consider the aftermath of a societal breakdown, not only in terms of survival but in the quality of life issues that make surviving worthwhile. Most likely, the arts and entertainment aspects of a post-breakdown world will be radically changed– no more television, movies, large-scale concerts, or computer-generated games. We will default to a simpler era, where folks made their own entertainment and personal interaction defined the process of a meaningful life. And in a hard-scrabble existence– after the farming, hunting, homesteading, defending, procuring the basics of life-after-disaster– there will eventually need to be something more. There will need to be …




Letter: Bullion Silver Coins Versus Pre-1965 Silver Coins

Sir,I understand the need to have silver [available for barter] for the coming economic problems.  I have been obtaining silver Maple Leafs rather than pre-1965 US coins, mainly because they are less expensive [per ounce of silver].  However, many people I know and and bloggers say that people should have pre-1965 coins.To me when things get bad and the silver is used, it will be harder to explain the value of pre-1965 coins to normal people versus a 1 ounce silver coin. Is there a reason I am missing that pre-1965 coins are best? – JES JWR Replies: For anyone …




Market Garden Tools, by J.B.

At the top of everyone’s prepping list is an abundant food supply. Gardening is an essential part of making that food supply as resilient as possible. Maintaining a garden does take a substantial amount of time and energy, both of which may be in short supply in a TEOTWAWKI situation. As a farmer running a market vegetable farm, there are a number of tools that I have come to rely on, many of which would be similarly helpful on a non-commercial scale as well, allowing you to spend less time maintaining the essential food source that is your garden. The …




Letter Re: Starting a Small Business, by T & BR

HJL: I admire their enthusiasm. As an independent insurance agent I work with lots of successful businesses. Those successful business people have one thing in common and that is focus. If there is a second commonality, it is unequaled knowledge which would be a product of the first. Sure, those people are branched out in other endeavors with a goal of income diversification and asset preservation but only after significant success in the first. Rarely are the alternative investments as lucrative as the first, but they make up for that with security. Knowledge of how to get a job done …