Two Letters Re: Advice on Firearms Caching

Good Evening JWR:
I want to safely hide guns and ammo at strategic locations on my wooded property without placing them in buildings, in the chance situation I could not get into my home. Do you have any suggestions on safe storage? Thank you, – Rus

I have been thinking, perhaps someone with expertise in this area may want to post on your blog about long term firearms storage. I have stocked up firearms in the spirit of your book “Patriots”, to give to a friend who has none, or to group standardize for a group that doesn’t exist yet. After stocking many firearms of three different systems, if find there is a hidden liability, all the eggs are in one basket. I find myself wanting to inter them in long term storage in off site locations. (They are all legal firearms, and in legal safe locations, of course.) Any words of wisdom on this topic would be greatly appreciated. In particular, what should I store with them, and how to build waterproof containers, how to choose a cache site that won’t be frozen in winter, et cetera. Thanks in advance, – J. Mac

JWR Replies: Caching is a bit of an arcane art form. Rather than going into detail, retracing “trodden ground”, here are three links to get you started: First, a thread that appeared at the Free Republic site. Next, an article on some techniques developed out of recent legal necessity, in Australia. And lastly, here is a piece from the Anozira site. Waterproof containers are readily available but often expensive. Large diameter PVC pipe is quite expensive–especially the threaded end cap that you will want for one end. One low cost alternative are U.S. Navy Surplus sonobuoy canisters. These sturdy hexagonal gray plastic canisters have have a threaded end cap. They were originally made for shipping the expendable sonobuoys dropped by P-3 Orion anti-submarine warfare (ASW) patrol aircraft and by Navy helicopters. They are commonly called “Orion tubes” or “Gray overpacks.” They are only about 7″ inches across and have a roughly 6″ diameter opening, so some rifles must be disassembled in order to fit inside. They were made in huge numbers. Even though they haven’t been used for U.S. navy contracts since the late 1980s, these tubes can still be found at military surplus stores in coastal areas.

One point that I need to emphasize: Regardless of the container you choose, be sure to include at least six ounces of silica gel to dry the air in the container that you are sealing up. Be sure to seal the container very well. A coating of vaseline on a container’s rubber seal helps. If you use glue (not recommended for closing the final seal–if you do, you’ll be sawing the container open someday. Metal ammo cans have a tendency to rust, but this can be retarded by painting the cans with heavy marine paint or asphalt emulsion. In my experience, the large U.S. Navy surplus 40mm (or larger) anti-aircraft galvanized steel ammunition cans are zinc coated and hold up remarkably well in the elements. Large ammo cans are often available from Cheaper Than Dirt!, Coleman’s Surplus, and other military surplus dealers.

If you live in an area with high water table, you might have to get creative to protect cached items from moisture–even if it is in “watertight” tube. Two tried and true methods for getting around this difficulty are placing the plastic container inside a hollowed-out log, or in the middle of a firewood pile. (Of course if someone steals your firewood, they will also get an unexpected bonus.)

Odds ‘n Sods:

Don’t miss this “must read” piece from Chris Laird on gold price increases and the imminent collapse of the U.S. dollar.

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Yikes! Human-to-Human Transmissible Avian Flu in Indonesia?

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The high bid is currently $110 in the SurvivalBlog Bandwidth Fund benefit Book Auction. Please e-mail your bids before May 30th. Thanks to Kurt and Angie Wilson of Survival Enterprises for sponsoring this fund raiser!

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The next big Los Angeles earthquake could be strong and prolonged.

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest." – Mahatma Gandhi

Legislative Alert!: Defunding NAIS — Please Call Your Congressman, ASAP

Please call your congressman today, encouraging them to support some immportant legislation! A vote is scheduled for tomorrow. Congressman Ron Paul has introduced an amendment (H.R. 5384) to the Agriculture Department appropriation bill that will defund the USDA’s proposed National Animal Identification System (NAIS). This will effectively block the USDA from implementing NAIS. This vote is crucial because the USDA is giving Federal money to the states to fund the state level Premises ID and NAIS. For details, see the site. The NAIS scheme must be stopped! Make these calls!

Letter Re: Maggots for Wound Debridement

Has anyone, including you, ever posted information on your site regarding the application of maggots for treating/cleaning infected wounds and dead tissue? This topic ties in well with the subject of survival in worst case scenario situations. Thank You. – JD

JWR Replies: I actually had that posted as one of my “Best of Readers Letters” and Replies. But so that it can be found via our search window or via search engines that employ Technorati tags, here it is again. (Scroll down to paragraph 22-3):



22-1. GENERAL.
a. This chapter covers a number of primitive treatments using materials that are found worldwide. It does not cover herbal medicines because specific herbs (plants) are difficult to identify and some are found only in specific areas of the world. This does not mean, however that they should not be used. To get information concerning types and uses of herbal medicines in a particular area, talk to the natives. But remember, it is preventive medicine (PM) that must be stressed. Proper hygiene, care in preparation of food and drink, waste disposal, insect and rodent control, and a good immunization program can greatly reduce the causes and number of diseases.
b. All of us—patients and doctors alike—-depend upon wonder drugs, fine laboratories, and modern equipment. We have lost sight of the “country Doctor” type of medicine—determination, common sense, and a few primitive treatments that can be lifesaving. Many areas of the world still depend on the practices of the local witch doctor or healer. And many herbs (plants) and treatments that they use are as effective as the most modern medicine available. Herbal medicine has been practiced worldwide since before recorded history, and many modern medications come from refined herbs. for example pectin can be obtained from the rinds (white stringy part) of citrus fruits and from apple pomace (the pulp left after the juice has been pressed out). if either is mixed with ground chalk, the result will be a primitive form of Kaopectate.
c. Although many herbal medicines and exotic treatments are effective, use them with extreme caution and only when faced with limited or non-existent medical supplies. Some are dangerous and, instead of treating the disease or injury, may cause further damage or even death.
22-2 Primitive treatments.
a. Diarrhea is a common, debilitating ailment that can be caused by almost anything. Most cases can be avoided by following good preventative medicine (PM) practices. Treatment in many cases is fluids only for 24 hours. If that does not work and no anti-diarrheal medication is available, grind chalk, charcoal, or dried bones into a powder. Mix one handful of powder with treated water and administer every 2 hours until diarrhea has slowed or stopped. adding equal parts of apple pomace or citrus rinds to this mixture makes it more effective. Tannic acid, which is found in tea , can also help control diarrhea. Prepare a strong solution of tea, if available, and administer 1 cup every 2 hours until diarrhea has slowed or stopped. The inner bark of hardwood trees also contains tannic acid. Boil the inner bark for 2 hours or more to release the tannic acid. The resultant black brew has a vile taste and smell but will stop most cases of diarrhea.
b. Worms and intestinal parasites. Infestations can usually be avoided by maintaining strict preventive medicine measures. For example, never go barefooted. The following home remedies appear to work or at least control the degree of infestation, but they are not without danger. Most work on the principle of changing the environment of the gastrointestinal tract.
(1) Salt water. Four tablespoons of salt in 1 quart of water. This should be taken on a one time basis only.
(2) Tobacco. Eat 1 to 1 1/2 cigarettes. The nicotine in the cigarette kills or stuns the worms long enough for them to be passed. If the infestation is severe, the treatment can be repeated in 24 to 48 hours, BUT NO SOONER
(3) Kerosene. Drink 2 tablespoons. Don’t drink more. The treatment can be repeated in 24 to 48 hours but no sooner.
(4) Hot peppers. Put peppers in soups, rice, meat dishes or eat them raw. This treatment is not effective unless peppers are made a steady part of the diet.
c. Sore throats are common and usually can be taken care of by gargling with salt water. If the tongue is coated, scrape it off with a tooth brush, a clean stick, or even a clean fingernail; then gargle with warm salt water.
d. Skin infections.
(1) Fungal infections. Keep the area clean and dry, and expose to sunlight as much as possible.
(2) Heat rash. Keep the area clean, dry, and cool. If powder is available, use it on affected area.
(3) The rule of thumb for all skin diseases is: “if it is wet, dry it, and if it is dry, wet it.”
e. Burns. Soak dressings or clean rags that have been boiled for 10 minutes in tannic acid (tea or inner bark of hardwood trees), cool and apply over the burns. this relieves the pain somewhat, seems to help speed healing, and offers some protection against infection.
f. Leeches and Ticks. Apply a lit cigarette or a flaming match to the back of the leach or tick, and it will drop off. Covering it with moistened tobacco, grease or oil will also make it drop off. Do not try to pull it off; part of the head may remain attached to the skin and cause an infection.
g. Bee, wasp, and hornet stings. Inspect the wound carefully and remove stinger if present. Apply baking soda, cold compress, mud or coconut meat to the area. Spider, scorpion, and centipede bites can be treated the same way.
h. Chiggers. Nail polish applied over the red spots will cut off the chigger’s air supply and kill it. any variation of this, e.g., tree sap, will work.

a. Introducing maggots into a wound can be hazardous because the wound must be exposed to flies. Flies, because of their filthy habits, are likely to introduce bacteria into the wound, causing additional complications. Maggots will also invade live healthy tissue when the dead tissue is gone or not readily available. Maggot invasion of healthy tissue causes extreme pain and hemorrhage, possibly enough to be fatal.
b. Despite the hazards involved , maggot therapy should be considered a viable alternative when, in the absence of antibiotics, a wound becomes severely infected, does not heal, and ordinary debridement is impossible.
(1) All bandages should be removed so that the wound is exposed to circulating flies. Flies are attracted to foul or fetid odors coming from the infected wound; they will not deposit eggs on fresh clean wounds.
(2) In order to limit further contamination of the wound by disease organisms carried by the flies, those flies attracted to the wound should not be permitted to light directly on the wound surface. Instead, their activity should be restricted to the intact skin surface along the edge of the wound. Live maggots deposited here and/or maggots hatching from eggs deposited here will find their way into the wound with less additional contamination than if the flies were allowed free access to the wound.
(3) One exposure to the flies is usually all that is necessary to ensure more than enough maggots for thorough debridement of a wound. Therefore, after the flies have deposited eggs the wound should be covered with a bandage.
(4) The bandage should be removed daily to check for maggots. If no maggots are observed in the wound within 2 days after exposure to the flies, the bandage should be removed and the wound should be re-exposed. if the wound is found to be teeming with maggots when the bandage is removed as many as possible should be removed using forceps or some other sterilized instrument or by flushing with sterile water. Only 50 – 100 maggots should remain in the wound.
(5) Once the maggots have become established in the wound, it should be covered with a bandage again, but the maggot activity should be monitored closely each day. A frothy fluid produced by the maggots will make it difficult to see them. This fluid should be “sponged out” of the wound with an absorbent cloth so that all of the maggots in the wound can be seen. Care should be taken not to remove the maggots with the fluid.
(6) The period of time necessary for maggot debridement of a wound depends on a number of factors, including the depth and extent of the wound, the part of the body affected, the number of maggots present in the wound, and the fly species involved. In a survival situation an individual will be able to control only one of these factors– the number, and sometimes not even that; therefore the exact time to remove the maggots cannot be given in specific numbers of hours or days. However it can be said with certainty that the maggots should be removed immediately once they have removed all the dead tissue and before they have become established in healthy tissue. When the maggots begin feeding on normal healthy tissue, the individual will experience an increased level of pain at the site of the wound as the maggots come in contact with “live” nerves. Bright red blood in the wound also indicates that the maggots have reached healthy tissue.
(7) The maggots should be removed by flushing the wound repeatedly with sterile water. When all the maggots have been removed, the wound should be bandaged. To ensure that the wound is free of maggots, check it every four hours or more often for several days. Any remaining maggots should be removed with sterilized forceps or by flushing with sterile water.
(8) Once all of the maggots have been removed, bandage the wound and treat it as any other wound. It should heal normally provided there are no further complications.
The treatments discussed in this chapter are by no means all of the primitive treatments or home remedies available for use. Most people have their own home remedy for various problems. Some work, some don’t. The ones presented here have been used and do work, although some can be dangerous. The lack of modern medicine does not rule out medical treatment. Common sense, determination to succeed, and advice from the natives in the area on primitive treatments can provide a solution to a medical problem. Just keep one thing in mind: “First I shall do no harm.”

Letter Re: Ten Cent Challenge

I have been reading SurvivalBlog from the beginning. I have made several contributions early on, and signed up for the 10 Cent Challenge some time ago. The real reason I am sending this email is to publicly ask everyone who is a regular reader of your blog to sign up now for the Ten Cent Challenge, if you have not already done so. I cannot imagine the huge empty hole that would be left if for some reason you discontinued your blog due to lack of support. I sincerely believe our country at some time will face one or more major disasters. For those of us who sense this, It is our God-given duty to both prepare ourselves, and try to influence others who will listen, to prepare themselves. In my opinion, the single best way to keep focused on this is to regularly read your survival blog and act accordingly on the information it contains.
I cringe when I read in some of the articles that are submitted when the writer says he will sign up for the Ten Cent Challenge as soon as he can afford it. Although I am usually slow to offer other people advice, I believe that if a person in the USA at this time cannot afford ten cents a day then they need to either upgrade their present employment, or get a second job. One aspect of being prepared is to also prepare ourselves to be valuable in the job market. This will enable us to earn an adequate amount to prepare and provide for ourselves now, set some aside for the future, and have some flexibility in our budget to contribute to worthy projects.
Actually, I believe that someone who says he cannot afford ten cents a day really means it is not a high enough priority in his life to pay it. If that is the case, I believe those writers should just leave out any reference to not being able to afford the Ten Cent Challenge rather than make up some excuse.
Sorry for the diversion there, and back to the point, I again ask everyone who is a regular reader and has not already signed up, to sign up now for the 10 Cent Challenge. Thank you. – Joe.

Odds ‘n Sods:

Courtesy of SurvivalBlog readers Ben & Melanie, here are updated web links to the text of Where There Is No Doctor and Where There is No Dentist. Since web sites will of course be unavailable in a grid-down situation, be sure to order your own hard copies for your bookshelf, either directly from the publisher of from a discount book seller such as or

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I’ve again expanded my Links page.

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SurvivalBlog reader P.M. pointed out an error that I made in an old archived piece from 1997 (that I re-posted on May 19, 2006), in which I referred to U.S. Gold Eagle coins as “.900 fine.” In actuality, P.M. points out: “U.S. Gold Eagles are 22 karat (22 parts of 24) which is .9167 pure rather than .900. It is the old US coinage such as Double Eagles that were minted .900 fine.” I have corrected the post. My apologies for the error.

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

"One of the first things a family tries to teach its children is the difference between good and evil, right and wrong. One of the first things our schools do is destroy that distinction."- John Taylor Gatto, foreword, "The Art of Education"

Three Letters Re: Survivalist Matchmaking?

Hi James,
The [Survivalist Contacts] page is still there, just hidden away in the site. It was attracting some major spamming there for awhile, so I removed any links to it from the main page. You can find it at this unlinked page. Regards, – John (of

I saw a post on Survivalblog today where someone was asking about whether there were any ’survivalist matchmaking’ sites out there. I don’t know of any such site either (I tried and eHarmony before I met Commander Zero, and neither was helpful) but it seems to me that the fastest way to meet people with at least some interest in preparedness ideals is to go where they are. See if anyone catches your eye in preparedness or firearms forums. Join your local Libertarian party (not to say there’s not non-libertarian preparedness folks, but there seem to be more there than most). Join your local ham radio club, shooting sports club, and so on. Admittedly it’s going to be a lot harder to find women in this arena than men, but you’re probably not going to meet the Sarah Connor of your dreams at your local sports bar, either. Depending on your religious views, people in the Mormon faith are probably more open to preparedness ideals, also.
But mainly – you catch a lot of fish when you go where the fish are. You’ll catch a Heinlenesque partner by doing the same thing.
And if you’re not in the market but you have an anti-preparedness spouse already – say you’re already in a relationship with someone who can’t understand why you need yet another #10 can of Mountain House freeze drieds in the basement – try a slow, steady educational effort. I never cared one way or the other about preparedness (aside from the standard three days of supplies everyone had growing up in North Carolina during hurricane season) until I started paying attention to what happened to people who weren’t prepared during disasters. I slowly came around, and one thing that helped was the lack of the word “survival.” To me, “survivalism” was weird Rambo nutcase Unabomber stuff. (Reading Jerry Ahern books only made that impression worse!)
But preparedness – well that’s just plain old-fashioned common sense! I don’t know any woman who doesn’t like having a well-stocked larder. A little “PR” work can probably bring anyone around. – Kitiara (Reposted with permission from


I met my previous wife through the Conservative Matchmaker. To the best of my knowledge, the site no longer exists. I have met several Christian and conservative women through these sites, including my bride to be:

There are plenty of good people out there, but very few are “aware” and preparedness minded. You’ll have to ease into that topic with care. Go slowly, and write and call often before you agree to meet. Best Wishes, – Jay in Florida

Letter Re: Chlorine Bleach and Its Uses

Chlorine bleach is a great multi-use item to store.  It can be used to treat water, disinfect/clean, deodorize latrines, and probably lots of other things. Here are some quick numbers:
Water purification:
16 drops (1/8tsp) per gallon/4 liters.  Let stand for 15 minutes, retreat if water does not smell of Chlorine.  

CDC recommends a fresh 1:10 to 1:100 solution for cleaning up blood spills

FEMA recommends 8oz of  bleach to 5 gallons of water for killing mold and 4 oz to 5 gallons for disinfecting flood-contaminated articles:
(That’s 125ml / 20liters and 250ml / 20 liters for metric folks)

Bleach does have some problems – it has a limited shelf life (6 months to 2 year depending on who you ask).  It’s also messy and nasty to clean up if spilled.
Taking a trip to Costco today, I discovered that they have Calcium Hypochlorite pool shock in stock.   This chemical may be used to make your own bleach solution. (See the EPA Web site.)
Add and dissolve one heaping teaspoon of high-test granular calcium hypochlorite (approximately 1/4 ounce) for each two gallons of water. The mixture will produce a stock chlorine solution of approximately 500 mg/L, since the calcium hypochlorite has an available chlorine equal to 70 percent of its weight. To disinfect water, add the chlorine solution in the ratio of one part of chlorine solution to each 100 parts of water to be treated. This is roughly equal to adding 1 pint (16 oz.) of stock chlorine to each 12.5 gallons of water to be disinfected. 
To remove any objectionable chlorine odor, aerate the water as described above.
In metric, you need to mix in approximately 7.5ml of powder (by volume) for every 8 liters to get a 5% bleach solution.
In short, 1 kilogram of pool shock can be mixed to make almost 1,400 liters of standard bleach solution.  [Which is enough to treat many thousands of gallons of water!] A one-pound box makes just under 165 gallons.
You must be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN to get the pool shock that only contains Calcium Chlorite.  The other types of Chlorine, Tri-Chlor and Di-Chlor are not suitable for this. Be advised that this stuff is a powerful oxidizer, and should be stored in dry container, sealed away from moisture.  It can also catch fire violently if put in contact with brake fluid and similar substances, so be careful.  But the increased shelf life and mess-free storage, in my opinion, outweigh any negatives. – JN

JWR Replies: I concur wholeheartedly that bleach is important to store for family preparedness. One important proviso: You want to buy only plain bleach–not bleach with scent or any other additives that could be poisonous. Be sure to check the label before buying liquid bleach. It must have ONE, AND ONLY ONE ingredient: Calcium Hypochlorite!

Letter Re: Banking a House for Winter

Memsahib Rawles::
Banking a house for the winter is a fairly common practice where I grew up in Canada. Often the leaves were raked and bagged in the fall and placed along the house for the winter. Other times square bales were stacked against the house to insulate for the cold winter months. The only drawback from this way of insulating was the fact that you would often get a large amount of unwanted house guests (mice and voles) who were attracted to the warm shelter! Keep up the informative writing, – T.S.

Odds ‘n Sods:

One of our major advertisers is auctioning a very hard to find P-10 shelter on eBay, on behalf of an acquaintance. These rarely come up for sale in used condition, so don’t miss this chance to buy one for less than half of what it would cost to buy one new. It is being sold “on site”, so you would have to pay for hauling.

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As previously mentioned, Microsoft’s president Bill Gates has publicly declared that he’s Short the U.S. Dollar.  

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From Steve Quayle’s Site: Scientists Warn of Immense Solar Storm Threat

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It was recently mentioned over at The Claire Files that the 177-issue compendium CD of The Mother Earth News magazine (1970-2000) is now on sale at a reduced price. It is a great resource for all manner of self-sufficiency topics.