Letter Re: Koyaanisqatsi–and Getting Back In Balance

James, I debated for four or five weeks about whether or not to write an email to you, as I know that you must receive too many already, and others probably offer information and mine only offers praise and thanks. I finally decided, that everyone could use encouragement and praise, so here goes… I read your novel [Patriots] for the first time many years ago, several times since, and have worked it into my 5-6 book current reading stack. It was my first exposure to another way of viewing the world, and it alone, was responsible for opening my eyes …




Letter Re: Been There, Done That, Got the T-Shirt

Hey, I am Mr. Sierra, and yes I bought a SurvivalBlog T-Shirt… as well as survival Freeze Dried Foods and Water Barrels and Pump…so following the advice of the Blog have done that. I do have a surplus Military Winter Sleeping Bag with a Gore-tex cover. Carrying my snubbie around as a concealed carry firearm while returning a video to store etc, is comforting, concealable, and better than my pointed index finger in my jeans pocket. 😉 One thing I read on the Blog today was about Stress Reduction [David in Israel’s article, posted on 12 Sept. ’05] which I …




From David in Israel Re: Survival Psychology and Stress Reduction

In my days as EMS system director I had to do quite a bit of psych and stress management on my firefighters and medics. We were living the survivalist lifestyle where every day was TEOTWAWKI for the people we responded to when we were on shift. Humans and animals share a common bond deep in our nervous system. Deep below out intellect and ego we have two basic modes fight/flight or rest/digest. We live our whole life sliding in between these two areas. When you feel stress form being shot at by terrorists or worrying about your credit card bill …




Letter Re: Staying Put Or Bugging Out?

Jim, Reading through the reams of articles and blogs concerning New Orleans, this AP piece stood out.  Notice that the person profiled is apparently a Vietnam veteran who had stockpiled food, fuel and firearms, lived in the war zone, and seemed to be just fine without bugging out.  And it made me think…   Yeah, we all want a ‘retreat’ – but this may be possible for less than 1 percent of Americans.  Are we as survivalists ignoring the efforts of the folks that are prepared to sit in place in an urban setting?  What training or informational resources would …




Start With a “List of Lists”

Start your retreat stocking effort by first composing a List of Lists, then draft prioritized lists for each subject, on separate sheets of paper. (Or in a spreadsheet if you are a techno-nerd like me. Just be sure to print out a hard copy for use when the power grid goes down!) It is important to tailor your lists to suit your particular geography, climate, and population density as well as your peculiar needs and likes/dislikes. Someone setting up a retreat in a coastal area is likely to have a far different list than someone living in the Rockies. As …




Big Decisions–Weighing the Risks and Benefits

When doing radio interviews or giving lectures, I’m often asked where the “perfect” place is for a survival retreat. The short answer is: There is none. Granted, there are a lot of places that are much better than others, but there is no single “one size fits all” perfect place. Like buying a pair of boots, the decision has as much to do with the size and shape of the foot as it does the maker of the boots. Everyone has their personal needs and expectations. Some people prefer dry climates while others can’t stand them. Some folks like the …




From The Memsahib: On Being a Modern Homesteader

You may have concluded by now that while my husband is a “guns and groceries” style survivalist, I can more accurately be called a homesteader. A modern homesteader is a person who tries to live self-reliantly on their own land. Our satisfaction and peace of mind come from growing our own food, heating with our own fuel, and even knowing how to make our own clothes if necessary! Happily survivalism and homesteading dovetail nicely. My homesteading mindset was developed early in my childhood as I listened to parents and grandparents talk about living through the Great Depression. My father’s parents …




The Pre-Test and the Ultimate Test

There may come a day when you have to put all of your training and preparations to use. That will be ultimate test of whether or not you have a true survival mindset. Do you think that you are ready for WTSHTF, physically and mentally? Assuming that you live in the suburbs, try a weekend “grid down” test with you family. This will test both your mental preparedness and how well you have prepared for the basics. Here is how it is done: Some Friday evening, unannounced, turn off your main circuit breaker and shut the valves the gas main …




Letter From Swampthing

Jim, I’m not a wordy kind of guy but I just want to say thank you for getting me back in the survivalist mentality. Without knowing it, I grew up a “prepper” thanks to my grandparents who raised my brother and me. After I got married and moved to Memphis we got mesmerized with all the glitter of affluence. Started having kids and buying toys (kids and grown up) and blah, blah, blah. Then I read Patriots in 1999 and it got me back into the swing of things, full bore!!! Thanks Again, Johnny (a.k.a. swampthing) JWR’s Comment: Swampthing really …




From The Memsahib: The Doom and Gloom Rule

I have observed that my husband and his male friends like to spend quite a lot of time discussing what we call “Doom and Gloom.” They talk about the falling value of the U.S. dollar, the threat of dirty bombs, the immorality of popular culture, uncontrolled immigration, hyperinflation, and the like. They actually seem to be enjoying themselves as they discuss the collapse of western civilization and the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI). In fact, talking about it somehow seems to bond them. And I have even observed doom and gloom conversations lifting their spirits. Naturally, …