Two Letters Re: Advice on Treating Pond Water

Hi Jim, I just got the “Rawles Gets You Ready” preparedness course the other day and love it. I also just finished the audio CD [that came with the course binder] and that was a great addition to the book. My husband has said ‘you can just boil water’ to make it available for drinking water, and I don’t think this is so. [In the course binder] you only speak of having water filters of various kinds. Can you tell me if water is retrieved from a pond how to treat it? Also, can you go into detail as far …




Letter Re: Some Preparedness Lessons Learned

James, The need for usable skills in tough times, goes without need for embellishment. The grand question is: which skills are the most valuable? In any situation the basic needs are obvious – food, shelter, and clothing. Choosing what I would concentrate on learning, became predicated on what I could do, and what the community could provide in stressful times. I moved some time ago from the gulf coast to Tennessee to retire and begin preparing for the coming events. I moved into a community which is pretty much self sufficient, mostly by religious choice. Livestock husbandry ranges from cattle …




Lessons from Peru on Third World Living, by Tantalum Tom

I hope this can be useful to people who want a perspective into the Third World way of life. I recently had the chance to interview two people from Peru. One is a man who grew up in the Andes with no electricity, dirt floors, etc. who worked his way to becoming a geography and history teacher. The other is a former Peruvian Special Forces soldier of 15 years. My mother in law’s input is also dispersed throughout this article. Although I have little respect for modern reporters, I found out how difficult it can be to interview someone. When …




Letter Re: A Suggested Checklist for Preparedness Newbies

Here’s a beginner’s list I made for my [elderly] father today: Food {Brown pearl] rice does not store well. Neither does cooking oil so that needs to be fresh. No, Crisco doesn’t count. Coconut oil would be your best bet. Wheat berries – 400 pounds – bulk order at your local health food store Beans – 400 pounds – bulk order at your local health food store Mylar bags Spices Salt Country Living grain mill propane tanks, small stove and hoses to connect freeze dried fruits, vegetables, eggs and meat if you can find them. Water 500 gallons of water …




Adapt to Survive, by Elizabeth B.

You are incredibly mistaken if you think you can store up enough to see you through bad times. You are wrong, dead wrong. When I say store up, I’m talking, food, provisions, tools, barter equipment, and whatever. The key to survival will be adaptation, just like in nature. Those who survive will be those who can readily adapt to a changing environment. I know many of you are sitting on little mountains of barrels, cans, packages and feel like you have an edge. Simply put, you will not be able to squirrel away enough. What happens when the stash runs …




The Precepts of My Survivalist Philosophy

In the past week I’ve had three newcomers to SurvivalBlog.com write and ask me to summarize my world view. One of them asked: “I could spend days looking through [the] archives of your [many months of] blog posts. But there are hundreds of them. Can you tell me where you stand, in just a page? What distinguishes the “Rawlesian” philosophy from other [schools of] survivalist thought?” I’ll likely add a few items to this list as time goes on, but here is a general summary of my precepts: Modern Society is Increasingly Complex, Interdependent, and Fragile. With each passing year, …




Letter Re: Self-Sufficiency–How Do We Do It All?

Dear Memsahib and Jim, I am a daily SurvivalBlog reader and contributor, along with my husband. I am very interested in learning more how Memsahib and other retreat women manage to do all that they do. How does a day or week in your life go? How do you can, bake, cook, shear, spin, weave, knit, sew, teach, et cetera and get it all done? We are moving to our retreat soon. I have baked, cooked, knit, learned to spin and weave, and have canned in the past, but not all at once. I forgot to mention clean, wash, take …




From the SurvivalBlog Archives: 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 …




Prepare or Die, by J. Britely

Throughout my life I have been caught unprepared several times and while nothing seriously bad happened, it easily could have.  I have been lost hiking.  My car has broken down in very bad neighborhoods – twice.  I have been close enough to riots that I feared they would spread to my neighborhood, been in earthquakes, been too close to wildfires, been stuck in a blizzard, and have been without power and water for several days after a hurricane.   I managed to get myself out of each situation, I thanked God, and tried to learn from my mistakes.  I could have …




Sources for Free Survival and Preparedness Information on the Internet, by K.L. in Alaska

Recent comments in SurvivalBlog provided excellent advice on using the public library. You can gain lots of knowledge with no expense, then purchase only those books you want to keep on hand for personal reference. Also, many colleges and universities loan to local residents, so you can use them too, even if you aren’t a student. If your local libraries participate, a great resource is Worldcat. It lets you search for books from home, then go check them out, or get them through interlibrary loan. What will happen to the Internet when the SHTF? There’s no guarantee it will survive. …




Letter Re: Les Stroud (aka “Survivorman”) Off-Grid Living Videos

James, I’m not sure if you’ve mentioned this series before, but on YouTube there is a video series called “Off the Grid” hosted by Les Stroud of Survivorman fame. He moves his family out of the city and into the country in search of an off-the-grid home and lifestyle. It’s a fairly realistic look and (I think) good introduction to what it would take to make the jump to living in the country and self-sufficiently. The other videos in the series can be found linked from the first page, or just search for “Off the Grid”. Hope you enjoy this, …




“Zeroing In” Your Bugout Bag, by SF in Hawaii

Last week my wife told me that another couple had gotten reservations at the cabins at Haleakela State Park for the Labor Day Weekend. We would hike across the crater floor, then down the Kaupo Gap. These are hard to come by and since we were invited, I felt we had to go. Great, a chance to try out my bug out bag. I gave my feet a liberal and prophylactic spraying of anti-fungal medication (a ritual I would end up doing every morning on that trip) and put on my Bug-Out Bag (BOB). Before we left, I unscrewed the …




Letter Re: Suburban Survival

Hi Jim and Family, I truly enjoy reading your survival blog and learn from it daily and weekly. However I believe you are skipping over a topic that would benefit your readers….most of your readers. I would think that most of your readers who check out and read your site on a daily basis do not have a remote retreat in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, or Wyoming. Most of your readers I’m sure live like me in American Suburbs, trapped and looking for a way to get out but in the mean time prepping for what we all know is …




Letter Re: Povidone (Betadine) Will Be Exempted from the New U.S. Iodine Ban But Polar Pure Will Not

Jim, I was reading through FR Doc E7-12736 (Federal Register: July 2, 2007, Volume 72, Number 126, Rules and Regulations, Page 35920-35931, online at your link this morning when I found this language at the bottom of the document: Sec. 1310.12 Exempt chemical mixtures. … (4) Iodine products classified as iodophors that exist as an iodine complex to include poloxamer-iodine complex, polyvinyl pyrrolidone-iodine complex (i.e., povidone-iodine), undecoylium chloride iodine, nonylphenoxypoly (ethyleneoxy) ethanol-iodine complex, iodine complex with phosphate ester of alkylaryloxy polyethylene glycol, and iodine complex with ammonium ether sulfate/polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate. It appears that Betadine and some other organic iodine …




Letter Re: Observations on the Flooding in Central England

Sir: You might have seen the news reports about the flooding in Central England last week. We’re in amongst it, but fortunately (and thanks to forward planning) high enough to have remained dry. The primary cause of the floods was a prolonged period of exceptionally heavy rain, up to 131mm (c.5-1/2 inches) in one day. This followed hot on the heels of a very wet summer which left the ground sodden an unable to absorb the downpour, which caused flash-flooding as it ran off. Areas not normally flood-prone have been inundated. Rivers broke their banks and filled their flood-plains. Now …