Letter Re: Oppressed Owners Storing Their Guns Out of State

Hey Mr. Rawles, So I’m stuck in The People’s Republic of California. I can’t get out. We would basically have to walk away from a business we have been running since 1978 with nothing. As I’ve noted in the past, I do have a mountain retreat that is ready to go. But here is my question – With all these new California laws which will surely be passed and signed by the governor, I’m obviously a little concerned about my semi-auto long guns. I know folks talk about burying them in tubes and such. But would this be a viable …




The Secret Prepper, by M.D.L.

(Why I prep, and how I do so in a family that thinks I’m crazy.) In the summer of 1977 my mother dragged me to see my older brother’s Cub Scouts meeting.  I was closing in on my sixth birthday and she informed me in no uncertain terms that I would be joining.  My mother was one of the multitudes of single mom’s in my part of Brooklyn.  A neighborhood where at the time crime was high, money was tight, and involved dads were few.   The only place for many boys to find any kind of positive male role model …




The Many Uses of Vacuum-Sealed Bags, by L.E.

The Many Uses of Vacuum-Sealed Bags Late spring and early summer are the times to buy the Seal A Meal or Foodsaver machines. They are both made by the same parent company and can be found at any major grocery or department store in the kitchenware section-the Seal A Meal is the less expensive version that can be found for under $30 on sale, and the bags to go with it will cost you about the same again. You can make this a game or a family activity like an assembly line, just have all your items stacked in little …




Letter Re: CONEX Shipping Container Problems

James: A good friend who has own three acres at the end of my dead end road rented two 40 foot-long shipping containers eight years ago, paying $250 a month for the pair, and filled them completely up with stuff that he moved from Ohio.  I recently built a two-storey barn for him. When we opened the containers, which had been sealed for eight years [to shift the contents to the new barn] we found that holes had rusted through the top of the containers and everything inside of them was totally ruined.  Nothing inside was salvageable.  He is depressed and …




Letter Re: Advice on In-Home Caches

James Wesley: A thought about securely storing valuables: Have several hidden storage areas/caches with the bulk of your valuables and some smaller “bait” caches.  If ever overwhelmed by thieves or the government, give up the smaller stashes to satisfy the varmints.  In the case of registered firearms, a government grab will expect to find all the registered weapons and some associated ammo so it is imperative to acquire (legally) never registered weapons and ammo for the long term if you do not already have “free” weapons. Of course in the case of thieves, the best option is vigorous self-defense. Thanks …




Two Letters Re: Keeping Cash and Tangibles at Home

Sir: We have had cash on hand since Y2K, which became 9/11 cash, then 2008 crash cash. I agree with the author to be careful, because depositing/withdrawing or spending large amounts of cash can trigger a report to the authorities due to the Patriot Act, or cause other problems. My own example is: In 2008 I withdrew $7,500 and closed an account at a failing bank. This money sat “under the mattress” so to speak, until just  a few months ago when I decided to purchase a small second home, using this cash as part of the down payment. I had about $5,000 left of the cash …




Letter Re: A Newbie’s Perspective on Raising Chickens

To follow up on chicken coop design article “A Newbie’s Perspective on Raising Chickens“, please consider:  My first coop had chicken wire all the way down to the ground.  The possums would get one on each side at night, bounce the chickens from side to side (chickens are stupid at night) and then they would grab one through the wire and extrude them through the wire eating as they went.  Within a month they were all gone.  The whole thing was very disturbing. My new coop has plywood sides with hardware cloth (1/2″ squares) on the upper part.  As in the …




Letter Re: Hiding What is Mine

Dear JWR: Like most of us I am storing food in preparation of something bad happening. I have some super pails along with regular grocery items as well as some freeze dried items. I have a pantry which has long since been over run with supplies, so I built a couple heavy duty cabinets in which to store my overflow. When the great SEE (Society Ending Event) comes about I am quite sure our government won’t just shrivel up and go away. Quite the opposite, they will go from house to house looking for stored supplies. If they come to …




Two Letters Re: Buried Cache Retrieval

Dear JWR: After reading the post this morning on buried items, I would like to share a thought. If you bury items in PVC pipe and use threaded fittings, you will have to use a pipe dope to seal out moisture.  If you do this, unscrewing the fitting is going to be an ordeal.  You would have to dig out an area big enough to swing a very large wrench if you have one.  Or you would have to dig out the pipe and put the pipe in a large vise if you have one.  Or cut the pipe in the ground …




Letter Re: Buried Cache Retrieval

I recently found an old issue of American Survival Guide magazine (now defunct), with an article that described a cache that had been buried 20+ years earlier, and how well it had fared. Extremely well so the article went, but the land and landmarks had changed over that length of time and it almost wasn’t recovered. For long-term storage like that, remembering where you stashed your cache could be a concern. You might find that a fire has removed all of the trees, and erosion removed any other landmarks you may have used for a benchmark. Or the area has …




Constructing and Finding Hiding Places, By Eli in The Southwest

I am a law enforcement officer by trade. The area I work, as more and more areas often do nowadays, has an unfortunate problem with Meth. Most often, Meth is carried in 1.5”x1.5” plastic baggies that are usually folded up. As you can imagine, people get awfully desperate when trying to hide them.  As you can also imagine, a large portion of my time is spent trying to find them. If you imagine something about the size of a postage stamp or SD card that will give you a pretty good idea of the size we are dealing with. I …




Digging a Root Cellar/Storm Cellar, by Marlene in Indiana

We decided that our family needed a root cellar for maintaining root crops, cold storage and for more extensive water storage, here is our story. Hopefully, others can learn from us and not make the same mistakes. One Sunday afternoon, we went out to the yard and sized up the area we wanted, and marked our spot. Our property borders Federal land that occasionally has people lingering around, we have even caught people in our other shelters on the back of our property, so I wanted to keep this one as close to the house as possible. When we purchased …




Letter Re: Another Hidden In Plain Sight Storage Tip

Howdy, Great site, thanks for a wonderful resource. My tip of the day for hidden in plain sight storage, is a hollowed out heavy bag. I mean one of those ubiquitous kickboxing bags languishing in so many garages, covered with dust, and often stuffed into a corner and unused for years. These can be found used and cheap and have minimal resale value, thus a low likelihood of being taken in a burglary, especially as they are usually quite heavy. If there is no food or anything inside attractive to a dog or a bear, that is good of course, …




Letter Re: An Interesting Hiding Place

James: Basically this product is a flush-mounted interchangeable decorative panel for kitchens and possibly other areas in the home. The panels can be purchased pre-made or created by the customer; the site shows options such as artwork and more substantial-appearing materials like ceramic tiles and mosaics. The panel has a push-to-release mechanism behind it, and the idea is that a homeowner can swap one panel for another as desired. The installation instructions explain the details. It isn’t designed as a hiding place, and there isn’t much room behind it as it is, but it would be fine for smaller items. …




Letter Re: Shipping Containers — A Retreat on the Cheap

James, to follow up on the recent article, here is some additional info your readers might find valuable on shipping containers for storage and housing….  We have over a dozen at our ranch that we use for storage, so I’ll share a bit about that use for containers.  These containers are the cheapest space you can “build”.  They are weatherproof, earthquake proof, will probably make it through tornados and hurricanes, in short, they are excellent all around space. If you can afford them, you should stick to the “one trip” containers because they will be in near perfect condition — …