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 emphasis 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 we again mention the now dwindling supply of BaoFeng UV-5R and UV-5XP handie-talkie radios. (See the Gear & Grub section.)

Books:

In case you missed it, this book was recently recommended in a SurvivalBlog article on microgreens: Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening: How to Grow Nutrient-Dense, Soil-Sprouted Greens in Less Than 10 days. This is is an important book to add to your bookshelf, especially if you live in a city or in the suburbs.

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And speaking of non-traditional gardening, here is another great book: Integrated Forest Gardening: The Complete Guide to Polycultures and Plant Guilds in Permaculture Systems

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The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game: Volume 1: Big Game

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If you enjoyed the first one, here is the sequel: The Double Dangerous Book for Boys

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Firefly: A Celebration (Anniversary Edition)

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On Call in the Arctic

Movies:

For many years, this military biographical film was only available on DVD, but it is now available for streaming for those with Amazon Prime: Cast a Giant Shadow.

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Wizard of Oz: 75th Anniversary

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The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring / The Two Towers / The Return of the King)(Theatrical and Extended Limited Edition)

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John Wayne:  The Searchers / Rio Bravo

Instructional Videos & Vlogs:

Wranglerstar: My New Shop Has a Fatal Flaw

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ABCs of Radiation

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Kenosha and the Warning It Tells Us: Be Ready in Season and Out. (Thanks to Tim J. for the link.)

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Reader Tim J. like this one: Alaska Moose Hunt 2020

Music:

Ricky Skaggs With Travis Tritt, Vince Gill, Earl Scruggs, Patty Loveless and Friends. (You can really feel the love for Earl Scruggs on that stage!)

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Bach: Goldberg Variations [4 CD Deluxe Edition]

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The Petersens – Live from Rock Canyon. JWR’s Comment: If you enjoy bluegrass and country music then I recommend subscribing to their channel. The great Branson-based family band now has nearly 300,000 subscribers!

Gear & Grub:

“Going, going…” This may be your last chance to buy an import-banned BaoFeng UV-5R dual band handie-talkie at an affordable price before the available supply in the U.S. dries up. Oh, and I should mention that there are still just a few of the 8-watt upgraded UV-5XP model that are still on the market. ‘m surprised that they have lasted this long.  I suspect that a couple of CONEXes full of them were brought in through Customs after the import ban, labeled as something else.

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Badlands 2200 Camouflage Hunting Pack and Meat Hauler – Bow, Rifle, and Pistol Compatible

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MTM AC4C Ammo Crate (Includes 4-Cans)

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Seal Line MAC Sack 9 Liter Dry Bag

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FROGG TOGGS Ftx Gear PVC Tarpaulin Waterproof Dry Bag with Removable Cooler Insert

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Oddly, one of the more ‘bargain-priced”granola bars at Amazon.com had one of the highest customer ratings: Sunbelt Bakery Chocolate Chip Chewy Granola Bars, 5 Boxes, 50 Individually Wrapped Bars

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Made in Sandpoint, Idaho: Litehouse Freeze Dried Guacamole Herb Blend, 0.85 Ounce

Web Pages:

Our own Editor At Large Michael Z. Williamson suggested this: Former CIA operative: We are in Phase 2 of a Marxist-Maoist takeover of the nation

Make a Suggestion

Want to suggest Recommendations of your own? Then please send them to JWR. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) Thanks!




34 Comments

  1. So what do you think of Lang Lang’s Goldberg Variations?

    I’ve listened to 1 and 6 online and compared them to Gould. It sure is different, I guess I’ll have to buy it and listen to them all, probably for a year!

    Confusing. Something to do with growing old I guess!

    1. I’ve been annoyed at some of Glenn Gould’s overinterpretations. They ended up so highly stylized that they distracted from the composers’ original intent. Just my $.02 worth…

    1. This is a reasonable deal considering the upgrades that include 3000mah batteries.
      Boafeng UV5XP
      https://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-Upgrade-Version-Extended-Dual-Band/dp/B074Z63YFM/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=baofeng+uv5xp&qid=1599666509&sr=8-2

      An 8 watt radio uses twice as much power as does a 4 watt radio making a larger battery a necessity if one intends to transmit on the highest power setting. I would avoid that if possible. Note that the radio will also heat up quickly when doing this. Keep transmit time (duty cycle) as short as possible. 8 watts is double that of 4, yet it does not double the range of the radio. A better antenna will improve the range just as well or better, and not heat up the radio, and drain the battery. Those needing extra range that a 4 watt radio does not provide should look at Nagoya antennas. Where an 8 watt radio can really shine is when it is hooked up to a high gain antenna such as a slim jim, or a directional antenna. The extra power input is magnified by an order of magnitude determined by the gain of the antenna. 4 watts into a direction antenna with a gain of 7Dbd has an ERP of 18 watts. 8 watts into the same antenna would be double that, or 36 watts. It would have the range of a mobile radio. We should have a mobile radio as well. I like the Anytone AT5888uv with cross band repeat.https://www.amazon.com/gp/slredirect/picassoRedirect.html/ref=pa_sp_atf_aps_sr_pg1_1?ie=UTF8&adId=A01726592MHOWKC4V26AY&url=%2FAnyTone-AT-5888UV-Transceiver-136-174-Programming%2Fdp%2FB07Y4T7RG3%2Fref%3Dsr_1_2_sspa%3Fcrid%3D1GQYIGIQ4YMED%26dchild%3D1%26keywords%3Danytone%2B5888uv%26qid%3D1599667587%26sprefix%3DAnytone%2B5%252Caps%252C369%26sr%3D8-2-spons%26psc%3D1&qualifier=1599667587&id=2545894501149459&widgetName=sp_atf
      It is a bargain given it’s capabilities, but there are less expensive mobiles out there that are half the price.

  2. I suspect the those radios are still being imported because nobody but some crybabies wanting time be elite care.
    We’ve got bigger problems than worrying about if some club is offended when most folks are just trying to be safe.

  3. The Baofengs are still out there, but the selection is getting slimmer. I have bought them on Ebay before, and they are still on Ebay. If you do go the Ebay route, be careful who you buy from, counterfeit products are plentiful.
    One thing you may want to consider getting for your Baofengs is Nagoya NA-771 antennas. I can transmit and receive to more distant repeaters with the Nagoya antenna vs the one that comes on the Radio. It is wise to buy the antenna from a reputable dealer, there are a LOT of fake antennas out there.
    If you’re looking for an inexpensive mag mount antenna to go with the baofeng and get a little more range in a portable form, a Tram 1185 antenna worked well for me- I sometimes put it on the metal roof and it works well for the money.

  4. This is a video on building a Medieval house… It’s a reminder of the importance of low-tech, high-quality hand tools and includes helpful information related to construction. It’s visual only (these guys are not chatty — laughin’). It seems like an extreme idea, but in the future (and depending on conditions), it may not be so. Having the skills to construct basic (and safe) dwellings may turn out to be very important.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBiu1Emv31Q

    Or go to YouTube and search: Building a Medieval House | 10 Day Bushcraft Shelter Build

  5. John Wayne in Rio Bravo is powerful stuff. Been many years. Time to watch again.

    Two wonderful books for your consideration: Farming While Black, Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land by Leah Penniman. I know people who have spent time there in the learning program and rave about the integrity of the operation.

    The story also includes the founders leaving the city, as so many folks recommend, and creating a self-sufficient rural community.

    The other book: The Good Hike by Tim Keenan.

    book
    review by Craig Wood
    It took Vietnam Veteran and Veterans
    For Peace (VFP) member Tim Keenan
    172 days to hike the legendary
    Appalachian Trail. Apart from wanting to
    test his athletic abilities, he hoped to get
    some relief for his post-traumatic-stress-
    disorder (PTSD).
    For Keenan, the unforeseen conse-
    quences of firing a rifle started with shoot-
    ing a small bird with a BB gun when he
    was a boy. He recalls being excited about
    shooting a living creature but had no idea
    how lousy he’d feel after doing it. Those
    feelings of anxiety and regret intensified
    later while in Vietnam combat zones and
    haunted him throughout his life, especially when he stepped
    into a forest. He hoped a long and rugged walk in nature
    without a gun would bring him peace of mind.
    His book takes readers on a two-part journey through
    the mountains and valleys of 14 states, nearly 2,200 miles
    long. The first part is the reflections of a war-weary soldier
    remembering and confronting the things he felt and did in
    Vietnam. The other, a travelogue of day-to-day personal
    hardships and accomplishments, interlaced with descrip-
    tions of pristine environments and conversations between
    hikers he meets with quirky names such as Prairie Dog, Mij
    (Made in Japan) and Angry Beaver.
    The book is full of surprises and written from the heart
    by a writer who never missed a day along the trail putting
    his thoughts down on paper. His writing is extemporaneous
    and flighty, so he can jump from describing a surprise
    encounter with a moose to recalling a monkey touching his
    backside when he was on guard duty.
    His parallels between hiking activity and combat expe-
    riences are frequent, and there’s no guessing when a scent or
    situation will trigger a past event. One paragraph he’ll be
    talking about the goodwill of strangers (Trail Angels) leav-
    ing cold Gatorade for hikers in Virginia, and perhaps a few
    pages later, he’ll recall the camaraderie he felt with fellow
    soldiers near the Cambodian border.
    Other times, he goes deeper. When a hiking situation
    clashes with a combat flashback and busts loose an old
    memory, a catalyst that can lead to examining the stubborn
    fact that comparing and contrasting things can only take you
    so far. Breaking camp in freezing New England rain might
    be compared with walking through spiderwebs and inhaling
    Asian bugs. Or, drinking beer in the
    jungle with army buddies can be
    likened to smoking dope out of a
    motel vaporizer with fellow hikers;
    some things may be incomparable or
    never understood.
    Combat troops, for instance, may
    never figure out why a high-ranking
    officer would tell his own soldiers to
    keep risking their lives taking hill-
    after-hill, knowing full well the war
    they’re fighting is un-winnable. A des-
    picable war-game like this can never
    have a satisfactory explanation. Other
    things need to be experienced on a
    personal level to be fully appreciated.
    Only Keenan knows if summiting a
    mountain above the tree line near the
    end of a long American trail feels as
    exhilarating as leaving the Vietnam
    bush for good in a helicopter.
    And the narrative doesn’t seem disjointed. His recollec-
    tion of a tender embrace with his mother before leaving for
    Vietnam complements his description of two wild animals
    frantically searching for each other when they’re temporar-
    ily separated by water. A vivid scene of wild ponies running
    free in the mountains seems emotionally equal to soldiers
    crying and throwing up in bunkers. He takes us through a
    wide range of high and low extremes without hyperbole or
    awkwardness.
    Keenan’s honesty with confronting old demons is a
    reminder of how difficult it can be to look a scary secret in
    the eye: A shell-shocked medic who had to be screamed at
    to do his job. The new guy just off the chopper who was
    looking for combat action and shit his pants when he came
    under fire. All the soldiers who didn’t take their malaria pills
    hoping to get a week or two vacation in a hospital. Or for a
    soldier back in America who sees the enemy everywhere in
    a Vietnamese restaurant.
    His odyssey is as much about a brutal excursion into the
    wilderness as it is about a tough inner journey where self-
    reflection and forgiveness are part of the essential gear. An
    education that lets an aging veteran know he doesn’t have to
    worry about camping on high ground to avoid ambushes
    anymore. He learns that it’s only the wind or a small animal
    moving through the trees.
    It’s been said that death is a journey that can be
    explored, but never fully charted. The author’s sojourn into
    wellness is much the same – a path without a clear endpoint
    where we get glimpses of a man healing himself – one chap-
    ter at a time.

    Carry on in grace

  6. A bit off topic, but I’m looking at purchasing some “junk” silver. The premium above spot is a little much at most places I find online that seem reputable. I will be going to some coin dealers in my area to see what I can obtain. Are there any online sources the SB community can point me to that sell 90% silver coins (dimes, quarters, maybe even Morgan dollars)? Thank you in advance for your help.

    1. APMEX has always been a good place to buy. Premiums on junk silver are a little high, but then again you are buying real silver and not paper. It’s not really a premium, it’s just the market price for the real stuff. Kicking myself in the behind for not buying more some time ago. Oh, and they usually have Morgan and Peace dollars that are culls and sometimes worse than culls, that means cheaper prices.

      1. I agree with the guidance of Charles K. above, and Chris, below.

        Watch for dips, now that the market has taken off. When possible, handle the high ticket items before buying.

        Carry on

    2. I used to use Apmex because of their relibility and trust in their product. I am not willing ro pay 30% premiums so I have not been buying recently. All you are doing is overpaying. I have no problem with companies maximizing profits but it doesn’t mean I have to participate. Panic buyers are their favorite customers.

      It’s a gamble but sometimes it is better to hold off until premiums drop. In the past 12 years we’ve heard silver pricing is going to go absolutely bonkers but by waiting a little you can take advantage of dips in pricing. Sometimes thise dips can be significant. In a moderately busy market it takes a 3-4 weeks for premiums to start moving down in line with spot prices, and about 2-3 months before premiums finally settle down at a reasonable level (which for me is 12-15% above spot on 90% silver). It’s demand driven.

      As for my trusted sources – Apmex, JM Bullion, Gainesville Coins. I’ve heard good things about Cloud Hard Assets. I like the guys on Patriot Radio Hour as sometimes they have good deals – sometimes being the key word. I will often buy rolls of 90% on Ebay or locally advertised if I find an attractive deal. Your LCS might be a good source, but most that I’ve run into in this region overcharge by a fair amount.

      When buying from Ebay seller ratings are very important and I stick with dimes and quarters. Silver dollars, especially Morgans are often counterfeited. I suspect half dollars will soon be counterfeited as well.

      The Fed has signaled they’ll do what they can to float our economy. The appetite for an additional stimulus payment is declining with each passing week. If Trump is re-elected I think you’ll see silver prices take a dive into the lower $20 range or even high teens. The end scenario is still a major crash but that can take a really long time to happen.

  7. Year Round Salad Gardening… This is an excellent suggestion among the others in today’s postings! There is just nothing quite like fresh salad greens in the middle of winter and in the earliest parts of spring.

  8. I think precious metals are going to go up no matter who wins. The US has to print more and more money which will devalue the dollar.
    We know taxes will go up, again adding stress to Financial system.
    If one wants real money than buy precious metals and just hold them.

  9. Why should we have a BaoFeng radio? Serious question. What can it do for me? What features does it offer that I need? If I had it I have to carry it have to keep it charged what will it do for me? Do I need to take a class to learn how to use it? Can anyone write a good article informing those of us who do not know why we need one?

    1. OneGuy……That’s what I’ve been wondering. I have some cheap walkie talkies that I bought at a sporting goods store that work great at close distance. I have old fashioned CB radios for when a longer distance communication is required. And they’re all simple to use, no programming.

    1. captnswife….You’re right. The article, Former CIA operative: We are in Phase 2 of a Marxist-Maoist takeover of the nation, is straight to the point and accurate. At the end of the article the author states that we must stop it now. I have yet read any article anywhere where the writer tells HOW to stop them. I think everyone knows the answer but no one will say it. I recently heard someone explain it like this. He said if America was being attacked from a foreign invader by air or by sea, armed patriotic Americans would form militias and various types of fighting units and would meet the invaders head on. Every time an enemy poked his head up he would get it shot off from some good ole boy who loves his country. Americans wouldn’t just set back and watch themselves being taken over by some communist country without a heck of a fight. America isn’t being attacked by air or by sea but America is being attacked in various liberal cities every day and night and their goal is the complete destruction of America and the good ole boy armed patriots are watching it happen on the evening news every night and doing NOTHING about it. Why? Because the solution would land them in jail. The very law enforcement that watches buildings being burned, innocent people being attacked, statues being torn down and roads being blocked would surely pull out all stops to go after and arrest the patriot who would defend his country with a gun. If all of this was happening in the forties or fifties (when men were still men) the destruction and attempted overthrow of our country would be quelled in just a few days. Until patriots are willing to do what really needs to be done things will only get worse and our future is in jeopardy. After hearing that guy’s opinion I had to say he’s right.

  10. Baofeng (or other) Radios
    I used to sell radios at gun shows and the “what do I need a radio for” question came up often. Five years ago I had an article published here that covered, in a basic, straightforward way, the reasons why. The first thing I would tell people that approached the booth at the shows was, “all we have are cell phones and the internet, and both of those modes can be gone ‘just like that’ and for a variety of reasons.” Hurricanes, earthquakes, high winds, EMP issues, whether from the sun or nuclear detonation can all cause disruptions. Here is a small part of that article for those wondering why they should bother.

    Why Ham Radio?
    • It is the only form of communication when nothing else works.
    • Can’t be controlled by government despite government involvement (FCC licensing, etc.).
    • Can’t be shut down.
    • Might be able to disrupt one frequency for a limited time in a limited area.
    • Hams are routinely on air when there is no power.
    • Have to practice. You won’t be able to just pick up a radio and be proficient. (If you’ve never fired a gun, you aren’t a sniper with the first round).
    • Amateur radio has a tradition of “Elmers” – people who are willing to help.

    1. I don’t dispute what you have said but it does not answer my questions. I have a cell phone and happily keep it shut off on my bureau for weeks at a time. I have no home phone. I don’t know what use the Baofeng would be to me. It looks like a nice toy but what would I do with it? There would have to be a reason to make me want to carry one and make me put in the effort to keep it charged and to listen to it, but I have no idea what that might be. For some people this is a hobby and that is all the reason they need and they believe everyone should feel the same way about it. But they seem unable or unwilling to explain what benefit it will provide me. I sincerely ask the question, I am ready to be convinced. But if it to just listen to in the same way kids watch and text on their phone, count me out. The phone is an unnecessary distraction and I suspect that the radio would be even worse.

  11. Mr. Rawles,
    Thought you might want to know that the link on this recommendations post that jumps to the rental of ” Cast a Giant Shadow ” on Amazon is not the included with prime page. Good news is, it is included with prime. I’ve had it on my watch list for at least 2 weeks. Still need to make time to see it. Gotta love Kirk Douglas. I’ve included the correct link to the prime listing in this post. Thanks again for everything you and your staff do. Congrats on 15 years !

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B08DV2Q3MB/ref=atv_wl_hom_c_unkc_1_25

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