Keeper of The Fire, by PJGT

This article is not about cutting wood, nor is it about the best chainsaw or other tools. It is about keeping the fire. About the life and warmth of a fire. If you are thinking about transitioning to wood fire heat, I’m hoping to help avoid some of the frustrations and shorten the learning curve of learning to keep a fire. I’ve lived in many different parts of the world, and there are different types of forests and wood available. Use what you have. Make it work. That’s my best advice. Getting things together and making it work is what …




Simple Heat Treating for a High Carbon Steel Knife Blade – Part 2, by Steve A.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) The blacksmith would heat the steel to a bright cherry red, check it with a magnet, bank the forge fire over the steel, and let it cool in the dying fire overnight, ensuring a very slow cooling rate. A modern heat treat shop would heat the steel to temperature in an atmosphere-controlled furnace and then turn the furnace off until the steel has cooled sufficiently. Another way to do this starts by clamping the file by its tang upright in a metal vise and annealing it with a torch. If you slowly …




Simple Heat Treating for a High Carbon Steel Knife Blade – Part 1, by Steve A.

Modern civilization owes its existence in part to the early discovery that iron containing small amounts of carbon could be made much harder than other iron compounds. This substance, iron with between about 0.6 and 1.7 percent carbon and no other alloying elements, was the first predictably hardenable steel and can be referred to as “high carbon plain steel”. Such steels can be made as hard as a file and form the most basic group of tool steels, where tool steel is defined as steel that is able to cut softer steel. The range of these steels include the simple …




Economics & Investing For Preppers

Today, on Christmas Day, in place of my normal Friday news column, I have this special bit of investing commentary for my readers: Investing In Your Children’s Future Today, December 25th, for most Americans, is a holiday of generous excess. We live in a still relatively prosperous nation, and we are a people known for our generosity. One end of your house is most likely strewn with bits of wrapping paper and ribbons. Your children or grandchildren are surely playing with their new toys, dolls, and games. A few of them are probably pouting, because they didn’t receive a Playstation …




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 is also an emphasis on links to sources for storage food and a variety of storage and caching 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 your last-week-with-certain-shipping-before-Christmas shopping — especially tools that are Made …




Your Smartbooks and Battlebooks, by G.P.

During in-processing to Army Basic Training many years ago, my fellow trainees and I were issued two little books. They were cheaply-made and thin, about 3” x 5” with the longer dimension being their width. One had an orange paper cover, which was for all basic trainees. The other had a white cover, that was for trainees in the specialty of combat engineer. These were always to be carried in our pockets over the next three months. The contents of these pocket-sized books were cram sheets for the material we were supposed to be learning. They were the condensed and …




What Happens When You Get Old, by R.F.D.

I have been blessed with good health and a clear mind these many years. I also have been blessed with inherited traits, or maybe they were learned, which have allowed me to pursue interesting (for me) activities outside my job during my working career. These activities have mainly revolved around becoming self-sufficient, physically capable, working with my hands, and clear thinking. Another trait that may be good or bad is, I tend to be quite obsessive when, I,m picking up a new skill. I was fortunate in being born late in the Great Depression and having parents who were brought …




How to Make Wooden Mason Jar Crates – Part 2, by St. Funogas

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) Second Jig – Drill-Press Jig  If you have a pneumatic stapler, which greatly speeds up many nailing tasks, you can skip this section. Once you have the first slats cut, you’ll need to drill guide holes for the 4d nails using a 3/16” drill bit. If you try to nail without a pilot hole, not only will many of the slats split, but it’ll slow down your nailing time considerably. This is where jig number two comes in. As seen in Photos 10A  and 10B (inset), this jig positions stacks of five …




How to Make Wooden Mason Jar Crates – Part 1, by St. Funogas

If you’re an average prepper, you no doubt have enough mason jars to sink a small yacht if they were all filled with pickles and tomato sauce and snuck aboard. And if you’ve done a lot of canning, you’ve probably thought there has to be a better way to manage all the jars than those cardboard boxes they come in. I’ve found that homemade wooden crates work great for me and may work for you as well. What I really like about these crates is that you can store empties in them as well as full jars, then stack the …




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 …