Sign Language as a Survival Skill, by B.R.

When I see and read all manner of survival books, magazines, online articles, I’ve noticed a major issue important to me that is never talked about at all, for the most part. What is this issue? In any survival situation how do the healthy, hale members of any society or culture communicate treat and work with our handicapped people/family members? For this article, I will concentrate on the deaf/hard-of-hearing citizens of our own country. As a being profoundly deaf man since the age of four, I have experienced numerous good and bad situations throughout my life. Sometimes the situations were …




Thoughts on an Amish Auction and Preparedness, by 3AD Scout

Previously, in my August, 2020 SurvivalBlog article titled Going Old School,  I discussed how when we prep by having a primary and back-up, I stated that one back-up should be old school or vintage to accommodate loss of electric and other technology in a prolonged (years) event. Practicing what I “preach” I sometimes attend Amish auctions for non-electric and off-grid equipment and supplies. Recently I spent a Saturday at an auction where the property of an Amish Wheel Wright and buggy maker was up for sale. My first observation was “English” (non-Amish) buyers were the minority. So, if you go …




Composting Your Black Gold – Part 2, by Hobbit Farmer

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) After your pile is built you wait. The microbes do the work. One helpful tool in this part of the process is a compost thermometer that will probe temperatures 18”-24” into the pile. The internal temperature tells you what is going on inside the pile so you know when to turn the pile. We will only be turning the pile once. As you can see this pile is cooking at around 140 degrees, which means my microbes are in turbo mode. You probably don’t want it much hotter than this. The lower …




Composting Your Black Gold – Part 1, by Hobbit Farmer

Composting: Microbes, Black Gold, and Growing the Best Food A search of the SurvivalBlog archives will uncover pages and pages of articles mentioning compost and its value in gardening. However, if there was a startup composting guide I missed it. If you are an experienced composter hopefully you can still learn from this article, but everything here will be geared toward someone just starting out. Be warned I don’t use a sophisticated “fast” method. I work with God’s design, and let the microbes do the work. Well-balanced compost takes time–8-to-12 months with this method. This means you need to start …




Work Sharp Bench Stone, by Pat Cascio

I’ve been around knives all my life – ever since owning my first one, at about age 5 or 6. So I know a little bit about cutlery. Over the past 28 years, I’ve been fortunate enough to test hundreds of new knife designs — and perhaps more than a thousand new designs. I’ve lost count. It’s exciting to get new knife designs to test and write about – no doubt about that. And, just when I think I’ve seen it all, when it comes to cutlery, someone comes out with a new design, or new locking mechanism, or new …




The Bookends of the Prepping Life: Investing and Diversifying, by Mr. B.

I was a “closet” prepper until recently. Years ago, I began to slowly amass both long-life food and countless resources that would be necessary if basic commodities were no longer available. The spark, if you will, was in the wake of reading articles about global shifts that sought to deconstruct and reconstruct economies based on dangerous ideologies. I also purchased hard assets in case conventional means of buying ceased overnight, for I read of once strong banks and currencies collapsing or weakening with each financial year. Recently, with the events leading up and still being felt because of COVD-19, I …




JWR’s Recommendations of the Week:

Here are JWR’s Recommendations of the Week for various media and tools of interest to SurvivalBlog readers. The focus is usually on emergency communications gear, bug out bag gear, books, and movies–often with a tie-in to disaster preparedness, and links to “how-to” self-sufficiency videos. There are also links to sources for both storage food and storage containers. You will also note an emphasis on history books and historical movies. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This week the focus is on McLeod and Pulaski tools for trail building and wildland firefighting. (See the Gear & Grub section …




The Reality of Aging and Prepping – Part 2, by Muscadine Hunter

Now, let’s talk more about ham radio: Beginning in February, 1991 the FCC, in their infinite wisdom, did away with the Morse Code requirement for Technician Class Operators. What that means is there are nolw a lot of ham radio operators who do not know Morse Code. Why is this important? It takes a lot less technology and output power to successfully transmit a message using code. And if you have developed your own alphanumeric code for your group (as we have) then it is even harder to break if sent in Morse code because so many people now days …




Adventures in Central Texas Gardening – Part 2, by Lisa

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) — First let’s go over how I built my raised beds. The materials needed for 1 raised bed are: 4 – 8-foot landscape timbers (try to find the ‘untreated’ type) 3 – 12 in by 1 in by 8 foot yellow pine (untreated) 1 ½ – 1 ¾ inch deck screws 2 – 3-inch deck screws 8 – small “L” brackets (approx. 2 inches) 4 – 7 in. 16-Gauge Galvanized Reinforcing L-Angle – Note: I am not a professional carpenter and I was shopping at my local ‘mom and pop’ hardware store …




How to Teach Situational Awareness to Children – Part 5, by T.Y.

(Continued from Part 4. This concludes the article series.) Game 9: tracker Summary This will introduce your children to hunting skills through identifying animal signs in your area. Concepts Taught Animal tracking. Materials required You will need a drawing pad, pencil, and a basic book or printouts that shows detailed pictures of tracks from animals in your area. Before the Activity If you live in an area where animal tracks are easy to find, then you need no preparation. If not you will need to find an appropriate area, such as a park or forested hiking trail. How to Play …




Large-Batch Canning & Jam Making, by St. Funogas

One of my favorite garden bounties every year is the blackberry jam I get from my beautiful 100’ row of thornless blackberry vines. I love my blackberries for many reasons: they’re one of my few pest-free crops, they’re perennials, and they’re linked to my Swedish grandfather who was a master horticulturist and berry grower for over half a century. I also get a feeling of not only craftsmanship, but companionship with my grandpa when I’m out working with the vines: tying up this year’s growth, propagating new plants from tip runners, harvesting the berries, and cutting out the two-year stems …




Oral History: A Child of the Great Depression – Part 3

(Continued, from Part 2. This concludes the series.) We also raised rabbits, in a row of three backyard hutches, that my father built. These were wire mesh hutches on wooden frames that were elevated and protected by a roof. We raised white rabbits with black ears, noses, and paws, as well as some gray rabbits. I was in charge of gathering the rabbit feed. Since Dinuba was a farm town, all of the vacant lots had weeds that were mostly hay grass, or alfalfa. Once every two or three days, I would ride my bicycle around town and use hand …




Oral History: A Child of the Great Depression – Part 2

(Continued, from Part 1.) The Principal of Dinuba High School, Walter Hellbaum, came up recruiting at UC Berkeley, because Howard Page, his Agriculture and ROTC teacher–who was another Army reserve officer–had been recalled to active duty.  Daddy was a good fit for a position at Dinuba High School because he was qualified to teach both Agriculture and ROTC classes. But then a more experienced Agriculture teacher came along. So my father ended up teaching Math, Science, Spanish, and he led the Junior ROTC program. Daddy moved our family to Dinuba in 1940. We first lived in a modest two-bedroom rental …




Oral History: A Child of the Great Depression – Part 1

JWR’s Introductory Comments: I transcribed and edited the following, from a series of interviews that I recently recorded with my mother, Barbara Marie (Creveling) Rawles. She is now 88 years old, and in failing health. But her memories are still vividly with her. She was born just as the world was entering the depths of the Great Depression. She grew up in a small farm town in California’s Central Valley. There, with a depressed economy, the community’s hardships carried on through World War II. I took the liberty of some paraphrasing and re-sequencing of a few passages, to keep them …




Top Six Outdoor Survival Skills, by Jonathan Gardner

I love searching the Internet and libraries for bushcraft and outdoor survival-related videos and books. Now I have something to tell you. Many of these lists you read are wrong. If you do a search, there will be a general consensus of the top five skills being Shelter, water, fire, and so forth. I’m going out on a limb in reporting that they are wrong. Not all wrong, but it is not what you should study. Most of the listed are not skills. Water is not a skill, I’m not going to give you a tutorial on how to make …