Base Layers and Their Differences – Part 2, by A.S.

If you recall from the first installment of this article which was posted early this month, I discussed the start of base layering principle which I am sure most people are very familiar with–especially those who read this blog. I also brought up the types of material used such as Polypropylene, Merino wool and the new fibre Tencel. In this installment I want to break down some information on the other layers involved and give my thoughts from long time use of garment materials that work in longevity. Goretex jackets are great for hikers and for those who take trips …




Letter: Drought in Western Retreat Areas

JWR: Has the recent drought in the western United States caused you to change any of your “Recommended Retreat Areas”? – T.I.A. JWR Responds: No, it hasn’t. There is an old saying: “Climate is what you expect, and weather is what you get.” I do not believe that the current drought in the northwest is any evidence of any long term climate change. We are simply in an El Niño weather pattern that most likely will last only another year or two. The El Niño weather pattern has temporarily shifted the jet stream, disrupting seasonal rains, particularly in California, where …




A Beginners Guide to Practical Prepping: Lessons From a True Story of Disaster, by R.L.

It was September 1989, a time in history that is forever burned into my memory. I was working as a firefighter in a small town outside Columbia, South Carolina. Hurricane Hugo had developed in the Atlantic, it was ripping apart the Carribean islands and it was headed our way. All the news on television and radio were inundated with updates on this killer storm; we were tuned into the Weather Channel at the firehouse carefully watching and waiting. The original forecast was that the Category 4 hurricane would turn north and only threaten the North Carolina coast. It was assumed …




What I Learned From the Midwest Ice Storm of 2011, by J.M.

The three elements of nature that cause damage– sun, wind, and water. My bet is on the last one, especially the frozen kind. Preparing and acting upon it are two entirely different and opposite things. The rain started in the middle of a Sunday afternoon, without much concern at first. Although the weather report at first said the possibility of ice was real, it would stay south, in Ohio. Lesson #1: Nature is fickle, and even NOAA cannot always track the line between rain, snow, and ice. Predictive weather paths can give you a false sense of security, and margins …




Guest Post: Is This the End of 80% Receivers? by Timothy Priebe

While the rest of us were enjoying our own post New Year’s Day activities, BATFE Director B. Todd Jones was approving his department’s latest ruling. On January 2, 2015, ATF Ruling 2015-1 was approved. The ruling was a clarification of ATF Ruling 2010-10. That ruling advised licensed dealer-gunsmiths that they may legally perform certain firearm manufacturing activities on completed firearms if certain conditions were met. However, since that ruling in December of 2010, it appears that issues surrounding “incomplete” or “80% receivers” have moved to the forefront of the ATF’s purview. For those not familiar with “80% receivers”, “blanks”, or …




Guest Article: Tornado Survival Tips, by Matthew Stein, P.E.

Darden describes a family of five who lived on a farm outside of Higdon, Ala., a small community in the northern part of the state. They had no storm shelter, but they did live in a home that he says was well built. On Saturday, Darden and a partner visited the family. “The mother and three daughters were there at the time,” he recalls. Looking at the wall-free ground floor—all that remained of the home—”I introduced myself and said: Thank God y’all were not home. “Her response? “Oh, we were here.” With no storm shelter and nothing but a slab …




Two Letters Re: Tornado Survival and Recovery

Jim, I have a comment to add to the Tornado Survival and Recovery article by J.M. The information was great, but one vital item was not mentioned as part of J.M.’s tornado kit. That item would be a sturdy pair of boots. A good pair of boots is important to have when you emerge from your area of safety and have to walk through debris (nails, glass, splintered wood, metal). – R. o o o Hugh, I can make a quick suggestion for those who have to drive after a tornado or hurricane. When roofs get ripped off of buildings, …




Letters: Hearing About Southeast’s Winter Storm

Dear Hugh, I live just north of Atlanta and, fortunately, I work from home, and I also live alone. So I was not stuck in the massive traffic jams everyone saw on TV. I was nice and warm and comfortable in my home while all this happened. My sister, who lives three counties over, had trouble getting home, but nothing like the 16 hour commutes most people had. It did hit home the fact that I live near a major population center and will have to plan any evacuation in a SHTF situation accordingly. All the Monday morning quarterbacks and …




Letter Re: Lessons From The Polar Vortex Invasion

Dear Mr. Rawles, This week has been a wake-up call for me. Living in the Deep South, I have never worried too much about being too cold. We have made quilts and have had many quilts passed down to us when my wife and I married. We had more quilts given to us when our daughter was born. But, our electric heat pump loses its efficiencies when the temperature is below freezing. Using natural gas is not cheap and the price varies based on the economic principals of supply and demand. We have never had to worry about our pets …




Harnessing (and Creating) the Community to Work Together in a TEOTWAWKI Situation, by Meir L.

I have recently been reading SurvivalBlog.com, and as an avid hiker/backpacker/adventurer, I am very interested in what this site has to offer. I have been reading the different TEOTWAWKI posts, and I have read different TEOTWAWKI situations, learning and understanding more and more about survival. I enjoy giving back to the community, and I have been searching for my own TEOTWAWKI situation that I can use to help myself and other people learn from it. I realized that about 1 year ago, a really serious TEOTWAWKI situation happened to my community (and family). I am a religious Jewish 18 year …




A Winter Storm After Action Report, by Emily in North Texas

The ice storm that hit north Texas this past Thursday was forecast at least four days in advance, if not longer, but when it hit  apparently just about everyone was taken by surprise.  Drivers on I-35 north of Denton were stuck for so long they eventually abandoned their cars and sought refuge in local churches.  There was talk of sending in the National Guard to rescue them before that.  These people had days of advance warning about the weather but chose to drive anyway.  (Many of them apparently on their way to a rap concert in Dallas.)  Imagine the conditions …




The Philippines: The Stuff Has Indeed Hit the Fan by G.V.R.

I have been thinking about writing an article on what is going on in the Philippines since I first saw the news last Friday.  There is so much that I saw I realized that I would need to write far too many pages to explain it all.  But I will write a few.   I saw the news of Typhoon Yolanda, as it is called in the Philippines, live from PI.  They called it Typhoon Haiyan elsewhere.  I am married to a Pinay (a Filipina lady) and we get several of the Philippine television networks right here at home via …




Being Prepared, Even On A Routine Mission, by J.W.

One day, last year, I found myself in a pretty serious situation that tested my nerves and my luck. It happened on the C&O canal in Maryland. The canal runs 184.5 miles from Washington DC to Cumberland Maryland. Living just across the Potomac in McLean, Virginia, I made it my custom to ride my mountain bike on the canal every chance I got. It was and still is my favorite ride of all time. I would enter the trail at the 12.6 mile mark across the street from the Old Angler’s Inn near Carderock, Maryland. where there was ample parking …




A Written Plan for Your Preparedness, by M.B.

I am an active prepper. I do not have a retreat or bug-out vehicle (yet), but I do what I can for bugging-in and preparing for emergencies. I have extensive food and water preps, tactical supplies, and all of the other trappings of modern-day prepping. Although my family is aware of my prepping, and support my efforts, they are not “in the loop” with how to do what, when to do it, and what to do it with. I have come to realize that many of my preps will be useless if anything happens to me. A good example of …




Colorado Flooding Aftermath: A First Hand Report, by Roger I.

I lived in Jamestown Colorado until three weeks ago, and was prepared for various disasters, mostly fire, and I always expected a road system to exist.  Wrong-o! I have a more keen sense of the Lord’s blessings, and they are amazing. The outpouring of support from the various communities that I’m in has been amazing.   I am walking in abundance, but not everybody is. My life has had a hard reboot – I was in some middle-aged doldrums – no more! I anonymized my name and corporate affiliation in the narrative, otherwise, it’s unedited, and reflects my understanding of the …