Letter: Rechargeable Batteries and a Solar Charger

Hello HJL and JWR, I was wondering if you could review and recommend the latest generation of rechargeable batteries available and a solar charger as well. I am leaning towards stocking up on rechargeable AA and AAA and the spacer packs that allow these sizes be used as C and D cell batteries. The vast array of options is overwhelming, and I am hoping someone with the expertise required can help. Thanks for all you do. Take care. – J.W. HJL Replies: I have chosen to use a modular route so that I have the flexibility to charge whatever I …




Preparing My First Bug-out Bag, by TK4

HJL Adds: TK4, age 13, wrote this as a homeschool project. In this article I am going to teach readers how to prepare a bug-out bag. This 13 year-old has had a bug-out bag for two years, and every year it grows better and better. I have put this article together with five main steps that are essential to any bug-out bag. I have listed the items that I have put into my bag and put them in order of necessity. Survival Essentials Here I am going to list the things that I deem are essential in my bag. However, …




Letter Re: Prepping with Fangs: Dogs for a Survivalist

Dear JWR: I have read the previous thoughts on this and I see someone has mentioned several different breeds. I would like to add for those considering a dog to also consider Great Pyrenees. These dogs have the very thick double coats that protect them from attacks, are well known for their ability to take down bears and mountain lions when kept in packs, and are some of the best herd dogs on Earth. If you are wanting to breed them you will have to get the dogs about two years before you are expecting to have pups as generally …




Two Letters Re: The Tire Shop Option for Nitrogen Packing Food Storage Buckets

JWR, Concerning the article titled “The Tire Shop Option for Nitrogen Packing Food Storage Buckets”. My dear friend said that I should let everyone know that a much easier way to use nitrogen for your buckets is to pick it up at your local welding supply. You could then do 1,000 (who really knows how many) or more buckets in the privacy of your own home. – Steph in Colorado Jim, I’ve been packing buckets and other containers for years without the use of dry nitrogen, but I’m pretty sure the contents are actually nitrogen packed. If we look at …




David in Israel Re: Effective Partner and Small Team Tactics

James It is good to see real life combat tactics discussed by Officer Tackleberry. I would respectfully add a few more very useful drills. I am in agreement with Tackleberry that some of the more dangerous drills should be performed with paintball or pellet guns at first to lock in the safety training. but the ‘warrior inoculation” is both important and if done with a range safety officer or two safe. I seem to remember Galls or one of the other public safety catalogs selling a chamber safety plug that stuck out of the barrel a bit to assure that …




Optics — Seeing Is Believing, by Littlebird

When you think of all of the needed equipment during or after an emergency, I am willing to bet that optical devices aren’t at the top of the list.  We will think about and plan for just about everything except seeing what is around us.  While pondering things to prepare for, I had the thought: What would be some items that would take some doings to replace?  While it is highly doubted that FEMA would come to your rescue I am almost certain that they will not arrive carrying the items that I’ll point out. Glasses If you wear glasses …




Letter Re: Start with Good Boots and Warm Socks

Dear Mr. Rawles: I recently had an experience that allowed to me confirm a basic lesson: Start with good boots and warm socks. The weather forecast for my north eastern city was for 2-4” of snow. Anyone with half a lick of common sense knows that this means anything from blue skies to a foot of ice. By the time I left work at the end of the day, the snow was falling very heavily, but the warm-ish temps quickly converted it into wet muck. My usual commute involves the combination of a subway ride and then a bus, but …




Note from JWR:

The new UK edition of my book “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know it: Tactics, Techniques and Technologies for Uncertain Times” will be released today. It will be priced at just £7.19 postage paid. OBTW, since Amazon doesn’t automatically feed through reviews to the UK site, it would be great if you could re-post your reviews of the book on Amazon.co.uk so that this book reaches the widest possible readership. Many thanks! — Today we present another entry for Round 26 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. First Prize: A.) A course certificate from onPoint …




Letter Re: A SurvivalBlogger Reviews Roland Emmerich’s 2012

Jim: I saw [Roland Emmerich’s new movie] 2012, the movie and must say it failed to live up to my hopes. It depended little on Mayan predictions and the coming of Planet X or Niburu but instead on some very iffy particle physics, the rapid heating of Earth’s interior due to an intense neutrino flux from an immense solar flare, the “largest ever recorded.” Never mind that a flare that size would have fried all grids, chips, and transistors and reset civilization back to the early iron age due to Carrington Effect. Nobody would have known what the hell was …




Letter Re: Why No Retreat Recommendations for the Northeastern US?

Hi, I’m curious as to why you have not included the Northeast in your list of Retreat Areas–like Vermont, New Hampshire & Maine, very good candidates. Especially the northern areas of these states. Regards, – Wayne B. JWR Replies: You might have missed this subsection in my Recommended Retreat Areas page: Look West of the Missouri River As evidenced by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, population density is perhaps the most crucial factor to consider when selecting a safe haven. The big cities on the Gulf Coast became hell holes, whereas the small towns got by fairly well. I know that …




Economics and Investing:

Nouriel Roubini, One on One: More Doom and Gloom (Thanks to GG for the link.) GG also sent this: Morgan Stanley analyst: Deflation, Then Inflation. (Gee, where have I heard that before?) Jen H. forwarded this: Iceland says goodbye to the Big Mac The recent profit-taking in sliver (down $1 per ounce!) has created a dip that might be a good buying opportunity. Items from The Economatrix: “Fighting The Last War”: Proposed Wall St. Reforms Won’t Stop the Next Crisis Commercial Property Kingpin Capmark Files for Bankruptcy US Stocks Overvalued By 40% Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reports: Food Will Never be So …




Jim’s Quote of the Day:

"With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live as slaves." – John Dickinson and Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of the Cause and Necessity of Taking up Arms, 1775







Notes from JWR:

There is some very significant news in today’s Economics and Investing section, so don’t overlook it. — Today we present guest article, some sage advice from veteran global affairs analyst by Don McAlvany, the editor of the highly-recommended McAlvany Intelligence Advisor. You’ll see that it synchs nicely with my own preparedness Precepts.




Two Letters Re: Advice on Storing Precious Metals–Are Safe Deposit Boxes Safe?

Hello Jim, I think the problem with the links readers sent you about how and where to hide precious metals, cash, etc., miss the most important point–it’s not the hiding place itself, but how inaccessible or well-concealed the hiding place is. Given enough time, anyone who knows what kind of faux storage containers to look for (e.g., a can of soup) will naturally check there first. Unless items are stashed away in your bug-out location, burglars will typically want to get in and out of a house as quickly as possible.My recommendation would be to not only install a floor …