JWR’s Recommendations of the Week:

Here are JWR’s Recommendations of the Week for various media and tools of interest to SurvivalBlog readers. This week the focus is on food dehydrators. (See the Books and Gear sections.)

Books (Dehydrators):

The Beginner’s Guide to Dehydrating Food, 2nd Edition: How to Preserve All Your Favorite Vegetables, Fruits, Meats, and Herbs

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The Complete Dog Breed Book: Choose the Perfect Dog for You

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The Making of the Atomic Bomb



On DVD and also now available via Amazon Prime: Exodus

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The Bridge On The River Kwai

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An often overlooked John Milius film: Farewell to the King

Instructional Videos:

Over at Full30.com: Building a Trauma Kit with SkinnyMedic

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Backfill an AR-15 Receiver Markings. Color Fill.

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Don’t put a .300 Blackout in your .223

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Micro Hydro Electric Power System In Colorado Part 17. (Take a look at the other installments in his series.)


Gear (Dehydrators):

One of these has been a reliable workhorse at the Rawles Ranch for almost 20 years: Excalibur 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator. They  are crucial to family prepping–for garden produce, fruit, and for jerky making.

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I noticed that GunMagWarehouse now has cases of 100 Gen 2 Black PMAGs on sale, for $999.  Type this in their search box: “CASE MAG571-BLK“.  These might be a good investment, given the likelihood of new Federal legislation, with the new Democrat-majority congress on the warpath.

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Komax Biokips 35-Cup Large Food Storage Container. Airtight Container Suitable for Bread, Cereal, Rice, Flour, and Bulk Food | Rectangular, Transparent

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Packout, 22″, Rolling Tool Box. (These are very sturdy, well-designed, modular & stackable.)


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!





  1. re: Excalibur 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator
    We bought one of these in 2011 at a survivalblog recommendation and have used it a bunch! We make 4-6 lbs of beef-jerky every 2 weeks and have gotten pretty good at it. We ask Costco to cut it as thin as their pro slicers allow and the thickness is consistent and good. It will dry about 8 lbs in a single run using all 9 trays. We make our own mix of AIP sauces with no corn, soy, or gluten and let it soak over-night and it’s nice snack.

    Those round dehydrators are a laughing joke compared these no matter how cheap one might find them. If you have one, use it for drying your newly washed spent brass and not food.

    We also process a bushel of honey sweet apples at a time that we fill a bunch of gallon zip lock bags with dehydrated apple slices, and we’ll run a bunch of bananas when they are less then .45 cents a lb. same gallon zip lock bags. Labeled and dated for the larder.

    It feels, with no empirical data, if feels like we never have enough trays when we’re using it every 4 – 6 hours depending on whats being dried. You can really cut down your “waiting time” with more than one. Family of 6.

    Grab a Mandoline Vegetable Slicer for the Apples. Skin on, seeds in, just pull the stem. no spices, the first and last cut are yours to eat right there.

    Cut up the bananas with a sharp kitchen knife making quarters.

    I don’t lubricate the shelves with any oils. They are built with two pieces the hard black frame and the “soft” clear/white mesh. I simply clean them really well between uses. Dawn soap and dish cleaners. The Bananas stick pretty tight and it requires bending the mesh like rolling up paper, but the apples and beef jerky let go pretty easily. then wash ’em clean again. Easy peasy chore.

    I’ve not detected any “smells” from going from meets to fruits and back, nothing like the Instant-Pot pressure cooker “silicon ring”, where you need two gaskets, but I’m not doing garlic or onions either.

    I feel that mine could run a 100% duty cycle, and I’m not pushing it any of that kind of hard, so I can’t justify buy 2 or 3 units, but If I had a huge garden of produce to dry, I’d seriously look into it for harvest time.

    Now that mine is a few years old with a few thousand miles on it, the floor “sags” inside, and I’ve detected the fan motor or cage rattles when it first fires up, and fine after that.

    I feel I gave around $400 for mine and it doesn’t have the dial timer like the newer model on amazon priced around $293 in Dec 2018.

    Summary: Would I buy it again? YES!

  2. I have a round Harvest Maid dehydrator that I bought back in the early 80’s. Drys apples, onions, peppers, zucchini, fruit roll-ups. Haven’t tried meats, but have been thinking about trying jerky. Bought it to dry food to take camping and backpacking. Use it lots each summer and fall. Still works like a champ. No complaints at all.

  3. I go to great lengths to keep my 5.56 and .300 blackout ammo separated. With the long rails popular today, you can’t see the caliber stamped on the barrel of your AR, so it is important to mark your gun.

    For example, both my .300 guns have flat dark earth furniture and I use only FDE magazines for my .300 BO rounds. They are my only weapons with FDE furniture.

    I also put masking tape on the mag well and write .300 BO on it with a Sharpie. This is a reminder or useful if someone else doesn’t know what the color code is. I like the video’s suggestion of using a pre-printed band. It would certainly look nicer!

    I tend to buy more expensive hunting rounds for .300 BO, mostly because that’s what’s available. I usually leave them in their boxes while I put the 5.56 on stripper clips and store them in bulk in ammo cans. The original ammo boxes also help me tell the 120 grain supersonic bullets from the 208 or 220 grain subsonic ammo.

    And finally, I never take both calibers to the range at the same time.

  4. I so appreciate that book: The Beginner’s Guide to Dehydrating Food, 2nd Edition: How to Preserve All Your Favorite Vegetables, Fruits, Meats, and Herbs.

    Since 1983, when I bought a Harvest Maid, I have dried many fruits and vegetables from our little homestead. I have learned from reading and practice to where I am pleased to offer classes and workshops in our community. Food dehydration is more time, energy,and space efficient than any other means of food preservation. Neither of the dryers I bought in the 80s has ever had a problem.

    The big question most folks have is how to reconstitute vegetables, so make sure you get it right when you prepare a meal for others from dried food. Then you may very well have a convert.

    Carry on.

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