Preparedness Notes for Sunday – February 18, 2018

This is the birthday of Jack Palance (1919–2006), an actor known for his “Tough Guy” roles, such as the rebel leader Jesus Raza, in The Professionals

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SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been another entry for Round 75 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
  8. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  7. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
  6. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).

Round 75 ends on March 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.



Health and Hygiene Tips for the Homestead- Part 2, by J.M.

On our homesteads when dealing with health and hygiene, we try to prepare for gunshot wounds or severe lacerations/cuts. But in so doing, let us not overlook the more mundane killers of mankind while specializing on medical conditions that would prove very difficult to deal with in a grid down situation without medical professionals. I am talking through what is necessary, particularly as we face some of the challenges that confront third world countries now. Let’s move forward.

Hygiene

Yes, Grandma was mostly right in her words about hygiene– “cleanliness is next to Godliness”. Keeping one’s body and home clean and pest free preserves health! Do you remember the big porcelain pitchers and bowls found in the bedrooms of old farm houses? A daily “sponge bath” is much more practical in a grid down situation then lugging heated buckets of water to pour in a tub for bathing. If warm washing is required consider the following.

Solar Shower

Very little can compare to getting a hot shower after a hard, sweaty day at work. It is really refreshing and humanizing, too. Solar shower bags or stout canvas GI shower bags filled with warm water are great items to have on hand. Don’t forget to stock up on deodorant and “foo-foo juice”. It’s great not only to be clean but to smell clean as well. (This is really important to the wives.)

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Letter: Why Write an Article for SurvivalBlog?

Dear SurvivalBlog Readers:

To date, I have written a few letters to the editor, and several articles. I can’t speak for all authors but I can share my experience, and more important why I do it. Now, I can tell you that it isn’t easy. It’s not just about writing the article itself. The hardest part is dealing with people. If you write an article that has anything to do with money or product choice and you are almost certain to have some very interesting comments. You have to deal with a few people that think because they chose something different, you are wrong, don’t know what you are talking about, or just somewhere near stupid.

I’ve seen authors accused of just putting words together to win the prize. If it is expensive, you are wasting money and your article is somehow useless. Honestly I could go on and on. Often hostile feedback is by aliases that have never posted an article. It’s not always that way, but you do have to be prepared for it.

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The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “HJL”.

The Office of Sheriff

Many people today in America do not recognize that American law is deeply rooted in English law as opposed to Napoleonic codes. The independently elected sheriff is one such position that can be dated clear back to 871AD. The ability of the sheriff to be elected by the people rather than appointed by a ruling official gives this position the ability to act independently and locally in the enforcement of law and justice. The position has been thoroughly Americanized, yet the independent nature still exists and the sheriff answers directly to the people. Understanding this concept can help you select a sheriff in your county that will best serve the interests of the local people rather than that of some politician who doesn’t even know the name of your county. Your freedom may very well depend on it.

Fighting with a Purpose

Why do you fight? Reid Henrichs of Valor Ridge answers this question and gives you some food for thought in this video. On the surface, this question seems pretty simple, but the answer can make all the difference in the world. Most will answer “to protect my family”, but Henrichs asks you to look deeper than that. What does “protecting your family” mean? It means that you will be ready and willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that you are the one that goes home to your family rather than your opponent. You have to understand what it means if you fail and you have to make the determination beforehand that you will see the conflict through, no matter what it takes. The battle is won before it even starts.

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The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: but I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” – Matthew 5:33-37 (KJV)



Preparedness Notes for Saturday – February 17, 2018

February 16th is the anniversary of U.S. Lieutenant Stephen Decatur’s “Most daring act of the age” as British Admiral Horatio Nelson called it. The Muslim pirates from the Barbary states – Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, and Tripolitania, had been leading raids against U.S. flagged ships, stealing the cargo and ransoming the crew back to the U.S. at exorbitant price. After two years of minor raids, President Thomas Jefferson ordered U.S. navy vessels to the Mediterranean Sea to engage them. Sadly, the U.S. frigate Philadelphia ran aground near Tripoli and was captured.

On February 16th, 1804, Lt. Decatur led an expeditionary force into Tripoli harbor to destroy the captured American Vessel before it could be used to the Tripolitan advantage. Seventy-four men, including nine U.S. Marines, sailed into the harbor, boarded the ship, attacked its crew, capturing or killing all but two, then set fire to the frigate and escaped without the loss of a single American. The Philadelphia subsequently exploded when its gunpowder reserve was lit by the spreading fire.

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SurvivalBlog is in need of more articles for round 75 of the SurvivalBlog Writing Contest. Now is a good time to finish your article up and get it submitted. Email it, along with any pictures to the editors.

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We have a small housekeeping item for Survivalblog today as well. The latest WordPress update broke the comment link on the main page. You can still leave comments on the articles, but you will have to click on each article and scroll down to the comments section. We hope to have that fixed this week.

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SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been another entry for Round 75 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
  8. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  7. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
  6. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).

Round 75 ends on March 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.



Health and Hygiene Tips for the Homestead- Part 1, by J.M.

Health and hygiene as a subject is not nearly as glamorous as the “shoot and scoot” topics often discussed. However, these practices have saved untold millions of lives in a very uneventful way, year after year. Prevention beats cure every time!

Most prepper’s medical kits now include such items as Quik Clot or Celox Bandages, suture or staple kits, Israeli gauzes, and tourniquets. We try to prepare for gunshot wounds or severe lacerations/cuts, but in so doing let us not overlook the more mundane killers of mankind while specializing on medical conditions that would prove very difficult to deal with in a grid down situation without medical professionals.

Biggest Killers in the Third World

History shows us that the three biggest killers of mankind in the third world are:

  • Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance from diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Respiratory collapse or pneumonia brought on by respiratory infection or flu, and
  • Localized infections leading to sepsis, systemic shock, and collapse.

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Editors’ Prepping Progress

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. Steadily, we work on meeting our prepping goals. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities. They also often share their planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, property improvements, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!  This week’s emphasis is on small arms mechanical training.

JWR

Dear SurvivalBlog Readers,
After enjoying three weeks of spring-like temperatures, we’ve received another 11 inches of snow so far this week at the Rawles Ranch. And another 15+ inches of snow is forecast for this weekend. The last I heard, our part of the Redoubt region was already at 125% of normal snowpack. With more snow coming, there is certainly no shortage of snow! We will probably have a late spring this year. (I suppose that I should send a bill to Al Gore for the extra hay that I’ll need to buy. His climate forecasting stinks.)

This year’s heavy  snowfall has shifted our activity pattern. On the snowy days, we plow our road and barnyard. We also switch our focus to indoor projects. We also try to do some snowshoeing after each storm. And when there is a long delay between storms, we are often able to hike on top of the packed snow in regular boots, without much postholing.

We did have two very pleasant sunny (but chilly) days this past week.  That provided us the chance to do some ice skating on one of our low-lying pastures that tends to flood. That was great fun. That sunshine also briefly brought our large garden greenhouse up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. But it won’t be until at least March that we can expect consistent growth of our seedlings in the greenhouse.

I’m making this entry brief, because I have to go plow 10 inches of snow before dark. Right now, I’m feeling a bit like King Sisyphus, because if my reading of the projected Jet Stream direction is correct, then it looks like we’ll have another 8 to 10 inches to push, by Sunday.

We always enjoying reading comments from readers about your preps. Please keep them coming. – Jim Rawles

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The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “HJL”. Heirloom seeds are getting more difficult to obtain due to government regulations in the E.U.

Interesting Data on Which States People are Leaving

Reader H.L. sent in this interesting article on a novel way to tell where people don’t want to live. U-Haul is a truck rental company that rents trucks to people moving and you can rent it one-way. If the same number of people are moving into an area as out of an area, it works really well. However, when more people are moving out of an area than into it, U-Haul has to hire drivers to drive the empty trucks back to the origin (or where they are needed). They also have to pay to return the drivers home. This extra cost is added to the price of the truck. That makes it easy to figure out where people are moving just by the rental prices. Hint: New York and San Francisco are unpopular. Democratic/liberal havens are very unpopular destinations.

Scott Adams on Gun Control

With the renewed national focus on “Gun Control” a SurvivalBlog reader sent in Scott Adam’s take on the issue. The article is over a year old, but still relevant and deals with it in typical Dilbert fashion. Note that Scott Adams was for Hillary rather than Trump in the last election, but sums it up rather well with the statement “I write about Trump’s powers of persuasion and it is not safe to live in California if people think you support Trump in any way.”

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Discipline: The Most Critical Piece of Your Emergency Preparations By J.D.

There is a wonderful meme making the rounds on the Internet that applies to our emergency preparations. It states:

“He who lives without discipline dies without honor.”

Some claim it to either be a quote attributed to Odin, a pagan god of the Germans and Norse, or an ancient Icelandic proverb.

Similarly, if you read survivalist literature long enough, you will come across this idea: “software is more important than hardware.” I have no idea if these quotes are attributable to anyone, but I believe these ideas hold the key to becoming truly survivable in any situation.

It’s Not Enough- It’s Discipline 2.0

The key is not that you can ever do enough, know enough, or buy enough to prepare for the disasters crowding at our doors, because you can never actually anticipate what disaster will finally kick in the door. You can, however, upgrade your software by changing who you are, by becoming a different, harder, better person by embracing a life of discipline. This software upgrade, let’s call it Discipline 2.0, will save your life when the bullets, Bic lighters, and Mountain House meals run out. Discipline 2.0 will leave you with a wealth that cannot be inflated away by a partisan Federal reserve. That wealth is called honor, and honor is actually a key survival element.

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Letter: Question About Storing Carbohydrates When You Can’t Eat Them

Hugh,

I have been following the blog for quite a while. I even have the 2014 CD archive. My question is, I have been storing up rice and beans like a squirrel getting ready for winter. The problem is these are all dense carbohydrate loaded foods. It turns out most of the medications my doctors prescribe are to negate the effects of these types of food. With high blood pressure and high A1C numbers, what’s a fellow to do? I certainly understand that in a crisis I will need that quick energy, but it seems counterproductive to plan on consuming these foods. Thanks for all you do! – Rainbolt

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Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. And it bears mention that most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of JWR. (SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor.) Today’s focus is on Bitcoin recovery expert David Veksler. (See the Cryptos section.)

Precious Metals:

First up, over at Sharps Pixley: Lawrie Williams: Russia May Now be World’s No. 2 Gold Miner

Cryptos (David Veksler):

One of my regular consulting clients in the American Redoubt recently told me a tale of woe with a very happy ending. Here is how “Bob” told it to me. (Pardon any factual errors, because I’m relating all of this second hand):  In early 2012 Bitcoin cost a relative pittance — less than $10 USD would buy an entire Bitcoin (BTC). So, on a whim, Bob invested $100 in Bitcoin. That bought him around 13.5 BTC. Then he essentially forgot about it, until in early 2017 he heard news that the Bitcoin market was heating up. The news? The cost of buying 1 BTC exceeded $1,000.  That really caught his eye.

Bob remembered that he had his Bitcoin wallet stored on an old laptop computer that had died back around 2015, due to a failed motherboard.  He also realized that he probably hadn’t made a copy of the Bitcoin wallet, and he only had a vague recollection of the passphrase that he had chosen. Now in a minor panic, he removed the dead laptop’s hard drive and attached it to a “sled” disk drive USB adapter, and connected it to his new laptop. He was not a happy camper when he found that the old laptop’s 250 GB drive was corrupted and only about half of the files were working. But at least he saw a “wallet.dat” file. He breathed a sigh of relief and copied that wallet file to several 4GB memory sticks, and put them in various safe places.

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The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what it will be tomorrow.” – James Madison