JWR’s View: Storage Space Planning for Your Stuff

As a survivalist since age 14–and now 58–I’ve reached the stage of life where I’ve accumulated a deep larder and a lot of stuff. Just writing can’t help but remind me of the classic George Carlin stand-up comedy routine on “A Place For Your Stuff.” (Be forewarned of Carlin’s foul language.) But seriously, every well-prepared family has mountains of stuff. Storage space planning presents three major challenges: 1.) Where to fit it all. 2.) How to keep it safe from deterioration. 3.) Keeping it organized, so you can quickly find, retrieve, and replenish it. I will attempt to address all three …




Family Earthquake Preparedness: Are You Ready?

The recent strong earthquake near Anchorage, Alaska underscores the importance of family earthquake readiness. Thankfully, we live in a country with modern building standards. This is not in the case of many Third World nations, where unreinforced masonry construction is the norm. In the Third World, folks tend to be very stingy with reinforcing bar (“rebar”). So its seems that every time there is a large earthquake in those regions, there are building collapses, with large loss of life. By far, the safest houses for earthquakes are of wood frame construction. This is because such structures can flex and sway, …




Guest Article: Fall Chores, by Patrice Lewis

Editors’ Introductory Note:  This post first appeared in the excellent, long-running Rural Revolution blog. We recommend bookmarking it! We also recommend Patrice’s books. o  o  o Until a few days ago, October was a very dry month for us. Thankfully some much-needed and very welcome rain is moving in. While it’s delightful to walk outside and sniff the fresh moist ground, we weren’t idle during the dry weeks. Among other chores, we focused a lot on firewood, a chief preoccupation for many people this time of year. Summer before last, we had a neighbor come in with some huge equipment and clear …




The Family Stockpiles: Everything in Its Place and a Place for Everything

I’ve been a prepper now for more than 40 years. The good news is that there hasn’t been a major nationwide crisis, and that means that I’ve only had to break out my gear for localized/minor emergencies and family crises. And the food that we’ve gardened and bought in bulk has meant that we’ve enjoyed substantially lower food costs. (Not to mention less processed food additives.) But the bad news is that I own a home that is now almost too well stocked. First, some background on our situation: The Rawles Ranch is comfortably remote. It is nearly a 20 …




Gunsmith Training, by R2

I recently began to wonder about retirement. I’m in my 50s, self-employed, and middle-class. My father worked for the same company for 45 years and retired on a comfortable pension, but I don’t see that happening to me. Unlike years past, there isn’t any real loyalty between employers and employees anymore and retiring after long years on the job is more of an exception than the rule now. To add to this concern, there is the reason I’m self-employed. I’ve never performed well under the thumb of a boss. However, I have been able to excel when working for myself. …




Birth- Part 1, by A.E.

Typically, when we think about a survival situation, like TEOTWAWKI or SHTF, our minds race to food storage, defense, clean water, growing gardens, and raising livestock; often times, we forget other necessities, like good medical care and childbirth. According to the CDC, about 11,000 babies are born in the U.S. every day. If anyone in your family or group is of childbearing age, you might want to think about preparing for an out-of-hospital birth. Most people have never witnessed a “natural” or med-free birth. Therefore, they have no idea what natural birth looks like or how to prepare for it. …




Ghost Gunner Review- Part 2

Yesterday, we started looking at the Ghost Gunner, running it through its paces and turning out the first completed lower starting with an 80% completed unit. Today, we’ll finish up that review and look at the problems we encountered while running the machine. First Completed Lower The only real test of the Ghost Gunner is whether or not a decent trigger control group fits in the receiver after that first lower is completed. I’m happy to report that, yes, it does. This receiver wasn’t as fulfilling to make as my first one on a milling machine (using a Tactical Machining …




Letter: Exceptional Individuals

Hi Hugh, I have a good friend. His name is J.P. We met at the base gun club. He was there firing his WW2 Era carbine, and I had my “Modern Sporting Rifle” He shot tighter groups than me at 200 yards that day with his iron sights, I had my big fancy rifle with a big fancy scope. It had not been my first day at the range, but it felt like it that day. We kind of hit it off from there. One day J.P invited me and my son on a fishing trip. My son was three …




Our 36-Hour Test During the Nor’easter Wind Storm, by RR in the Mid-Atlantic

We knew this storm was a short-term situation, and so we used it as an opportunity to test systems and find holes in our plans. Keep that in mind as you read this article. We just experienced very heavy and sustained winds and no snow/rain/flooding, which would obviously bring a whole new set of challenges. Generators Backup generators are critical. Ours is a “portable”, 10K watt starting (8,500 running watts), gasoline-powered Generac. It has a 30 amp plug and cord that is then connected into a cable that connects into a 50-watt sub panel we have integrated to our home …




Letter: A Raspberry Pi Computer is Recommended Gear

Hugh, Consider setting aside one or more Raspberry Pi 3 computers. They run on 5v and have a complete operating system with compilers, web browser, word processor, spreadsheet, database, etc. Combine with references on USB drives and we are much more quickly on our way back to civilization. Note: The Raspberry Pi needs a USB keyboard, USB mouse and any screen that takes HDMI for human interface. You do not need a keyboard to run it as a server (web server, file server, communications device, etc.) Applications to connect to the server, control it and program it are available for …




A Stitch in Time- Part 1, by a Florida Mom

On a practical note, are you including a basic sewing repair kit in your preparations? Whether you’re aiming towards self-sufficiency or a large scale disaster, there are some basic tools that you need to keep on hand. I’m talking about more than a few pre-threaded needles, a button, and two safety pins! I keep a basic sewing repair kit with the above items in my emergency bag, but my supplies at home provide a multi-purpose repair kit, as well as supplying what will be needed to make and repair clothing and pack items. Are you ready to repair, reuse, recycle, …




The Editors’ Preps for the Week of June 12th, 2017

To be prepared for a crisis, every prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. Steadily, we work on meeting our prepping goals. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors share their planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, property improvements, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. We also welcome you to share your planned activities for increasing personal preparedness in the coming week. (Leave a Comment with your project details.) Let’s keep busy and …




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 …




Editors’ Prepping Progress

As preppers work to make progress to achieve prepping goals, we took some actions this week too. The SurvivalBlog editors made plans earlier in the week and now reflect upon these. At this time of year, gardening is at the top of our lists. Below, the editors share what we each accomplished. Please write to us in the comments and tell us what you did this week to get your preps in place and to be ready. JWR Dear SurvivalBlog Readers, My, what a busy, wonderful week!  We had beautiful weather during the beginning of the week and rain at …