Cold Weather Considerations – Part 5, by JM

(Continued from Part 4.)

Water

Staying hydrated when performing any strenuous activity in the winter is critical, since dehydration can cause you a whole host of problems. One big issue is that dehydration can reduce your appetite, and I’ve mentioned before how critical calories are to staying warm. However, there are a number of factors that are harder to overcome in the winter when it comes to staying hydrated:

  • Our thirst reflex tends to be reduced in the winter, which means we tend to drink less water
  • Water can be harder to obtain, process and transport
  • Water tends to freeze easily
  • Low humidity results in sweat evaporating faster
  • Cold weather typically results in more frequent urination, due to a mechanism called cold diuresis (your body squeezes water out of your blood to reduce blood pressure and make it easier to circulate)

So to begin with you need to make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. I try to drink at least 2 ‘glasses’ at breakfast, then at least a gallon or so during the rest of the day. You should also avoid drinking any diuretics like alcohol or herbal teas, since those will force water into your urinary system faster. Coffee is not actually a diuretic like many people believe, but you should still avoid it as mentioned earlier.

So where do you get enough water to stay hydrated in the winter? If there’s snow on the ground that’s one obvious source, although you should never put snow directly into your mouth – water is mostly air, so you’d have to consume a ton just to get a small drink, and it robs you of a lot of body heat. As a matter of fact drinking any cold water will force your body to warm it up, so keep it as warm as possible. Fresh snow on the surface should be safe to convert directly to drinking water, but you should look for discolorations or particles first to make sure it isn’t contaminated. You can melt it in a pot over a fire, which only needs to be slight warm (not hot) to melt snow, but that may take a while since you’ll need to keep adding more snow as it melts. One trick that we use sometimes is to bring a dark heavy-duty trash bag, fill it with snow and place it in the sun. In anything but the most freezing temperatures the sun will warm the bag and melt the snow faster than the outside temperature can re-freeze it. You can open up the bag and keep topping it off as the snow melts. Another option would be to place the bag near (but not too near) a fire. Either approach tends to give you a decent amount of drinkable water pretty quickly.Continue reading“Cold Weather Considerations – Part 5, by JM”



Editors’ Prepping Progress

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities and planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, ranch improvements, bug out bag fine-tuning, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. Note that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!

Jim Reports:

We had a fairly quiet and snowy week, here at the Rawles Ranch. I had to plow out our road and barnyard  area several times. It seems that the ever-fickle Jet Stream has decided to “bless” abundantly those of us in the northern portion of The American Redoubt, this winter.  Getting ready for the launch of pre-orders for the waterproof SurvivalBlog Archive USBs stick took up some of my time, as did developing the web page for my pre-1899 guns mailorder business. I’m still hoping for a February 1st launch, if all goes well. A lot of pieces need to be put into place, to make that happen. Now, most notably, activation by a credit card processor. I opted for Blue Dog, because they treat firearms-related retailers just like any other merchants. (Other credit card firms label firearms-related retailers as “high risk”, and therefore demand a higher percentage–putting gun merchants on a par with p*rn peddlers and “head’ shops.)

My lovely wife, as usual, has a lot more to report than I do. She always keeps herself very busy, and she is remarkably cheery about it. This ranch would fall into shambles, without her!

Continue reading“Editors’ Prepping Progress”



The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.

Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me.

Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.

Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.

For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth.

By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother’s bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee.

I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge.

Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day.

Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.

For mine enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together,

Saying, God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him.

O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help.

Let them be confounded and consumed that are adversaries to my soul; let them be covered with reproach and dishonour that seek my hurt.

But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.

My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof.

I will go in the strength of the Lord God: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.

O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.

Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.

Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee!

Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.

Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.

I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel.

My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.

My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.” – Psalm 71 (KJV)



Preparedness Notes for Friday — January 17, 2020

On this day in 1994 the 6.7 magnitude Northridge Earthquake struck Los Angeles. It caused about $20 billion in damage and killed 61 people.

On Jan. 17, 1920 the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution went into effect, establishing Prohibition. By one account, 286 distilleries, 992 breweries, and more than 300,000 bars and saloons were closed.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 86 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The more than $12,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3,000 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. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A gift certificate from Quantum Harvest LLC (up to a $2,200 value) good for 12% off the purchase of any of their sun-tracking models, and 10% off the purchase price of any of their other models.
  2. A Front Sight Lifetime Diamond Membership, providing lifetime free training at any Front Sight Nevada course, with no limit on repeating classes. This prize is courtesy of a SurvivalBlog reader who prefers to be anonymous.
  3. 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,
  4. A $300 purchase credit for any of the products from EMPShield.com
  5. A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
  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).
  7. An assortment of products along with a one hour consultation on health and wellness from Pruitt’s Tree Resin (a $265 value).

Third Prize:

  1. Good2GoCo.com is providing a $400 purchase credit at regular prices for the prize winner’s choice of either Wise Foods or Augason long term storage foods, in stackable buckets.
  2. Three sets each of made-in-USA regular and wide-mouth reusable canning lids. (This is a total of 300 lids and 600 gaskets.) This prize is courtesy of Harvest Guard (a $270 value)
  3. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  4. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  5. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  6. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances.

Round 86 ends on January 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 surviva



Cold Weather Considerations – Part 4, by JM

(Continued from Part 4.)

Sleeping

Once you’ve got your shelter set up you’ll probably want to get some sleep. You need to start with ensuring you’re as insulated from the cold ground as possible. Earlier I mentioned that if there’s snow on the ground that can actually help insulate you, since snow is mostly air. Another trick is to place leaves or pine boughs down before you lay down your tent’s ground cloth/footprint to add another layer of insulation. Next you’re going to want some kind of sleeping pad to increase your comfort and add even more insulation. Companies like Klymit make sleeping pads that have insulation built right into the pad, but you can get almost as much insulation for less money (and slightly more comfort) by using a thicker 4” inflatable pad. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a nice thick sleeping bag will allow you to skimp on the ground insulation – cold weather sleeping bags rely on loft for insulation, and when you lay down you compress all of that loft under you, significantly reducing its effectiveness.

On top of all of that insulation you’ll typically use a sleeping bag; regardless of how cold you think it’ll get I recommend you get a sleeping bag rated for at least 0°F for winter camping, if not lower. Note that cold-weather sleeping bags don’t need to be expensive – Coleman has a nice one that I’ve used for the last few years that costs less than $50. It’s a bulkier and heavier than the more expensive ones, but it works well for me. In regards to temperature ratings, there are internationally recognized standards for how the temperature comfort of sleeping bags are rated (EN and ISO), but not all vendors utilize them and I find them somewhat complicated to follow. The rule of thumb I’ve always used is that if you sleep hot, use the manufacturers rating minus 10-20°F; if you sleep cold use the rating minus 20-30°F. There are several things you can do to increase your warmth while sleeping – you can keep your long underwear and socks on, put on a fleece or puffer layer (a friend of mine actually brings fleece PJs when she camps in the winter), or wrap your sleeping bag in a mylar space blanket to help keep the heat in. You can also use heat packs, electronic hand warmers or heated rocks inside the bag to warm things up even more (don’t use anything that relies on combustion inside a sleeping bag!).

I know there are folks that prefer to use a blanket or quilt when sleeping, which I find works well down to about 50°F, but when the temperature start to drop down towards freezing I find that nothing beats a toasty mummy bag.

Somewhat related to sleeping is sitting – if you’re moving around outside you’re eventually going to get tired and want to sit down to take a rest. As I mentioned before, conduction if the most efficient form of heat transfer, and if you’re sitting on a cold rock or log your body heat will be quickly leaving through the part of you that’s in contact. Some folks bring a small foam cushion to sit on, but I prefer something that packs smaller so I bring a Klymit V Seat Cushion. It rolls up into a really small package that I keep in an outer pocket and only requires a couple of quick breaths to inflate, and the air does a nice job of insulating me from whatever I sit on.Continue reading“Cold Weather Considerations – Part 4, by JM”



Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest news items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. Most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor, JWR. Today, we look at the astounding auction price of the recent record-breaking auction of the Bullitt Mustang Fastback. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

Owners of Orlando gold coin company get prison time for defrauding customers out of $9 million

o  o  o

Demand For Gold Coins and Bars At Perth Mint Surge To Three Year High

o  o  o

Gary Christenson: Facts and Speculations – Next Decade

Economy & Finance:

At Zero Hedge: US Consumer Prices Accelerate At Fastest Since Oct 2018

o  o  o

Reader DSV suggested this blog piece by Ellen Brown: The Fed Protects Gamblers at the Expense of the Economy. Her article begins:

“Although the repo market is little known to most people, it is a $1-trillion-a-day credit machine, in which not just banks but hedge funds and other “shadow banks” borrow to finance their trades. Under the Federal Reserve Act, the central bank’s lending window is open only to licensed depository banks; but the Fed is now pouring billions of dollars into the repo (repurchase agreements) market, in effect making risk-free loans to speculators at less than 2%.

This does not serve the real economy, in which products, services and jobs are created. However, the Fed is trapped into this speculative monetary expansion to avoid a cascade of defaults of the sort it was facing with the long-term capital management crisis in 1998 and the Lehman crisis in 2008. The repo market is a fragile house of cards waiting for a strong wind to blow it down, propped up by misguided monetary policies that have forced central banks to underwrite its highly risky ventures.”

o  o  o

At Wolf Street: Average Mileage on “Rental Risk” Vehicles Sold to Used Car Market Spikes. But Prices Soar Too. What Gives?
Continue reading“Economics & Investing For Preppers”





Preparedness Notes for Thursday — January 16, 2020

The Space Shuttle Columbia launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on January 16th, 2003. STS-107 would explode on re-entry 15 days later, killing all seven of the crew members on board. SurvivalBlog salutes all seven crewmembers: Commander Rick Husband, Pilot William McCool (pictured), Mission Specialist David Brown, Mission Specialist Kalpana Chawla, Mission Specialist Michael Anderson, Mission Specialist Laurel Clark, Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon.

Blog readers who live in Washington are reminded that there is a gun rights rally scheduled in Olympia on Friday (January 17, 2020.) Please be there! See the GOAL web site, for details.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 86 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The more than $12,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3,000 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. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A gift certificate from Quantum Harvest LLC (up to a $2,200 value) good for 12% off the purchase of any of their sun-tracking models, and 10% off the purchase price of any of their other models.
  2. A Front Sight Lifetime Diamond Membership, providing lifetime free training at any Front Sight Nevada course, with no limit on repeating classes. This prize is courtesy of a SurvivalBlog reader who prefers to be anonymous.
  3. 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,
  4. A $300 purchase credit for any of the products from EMPShield.com
  5. A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
  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).
  7. An assortment of products along with a one hour consultation on health and wellness from Pruitt’s Tree Resin (a $265 value).

Third Prize:

  1. Good2GoCo.com is providing a $400 purchase credit at regular prices for the prize winner’s choice of either Wise Foods or Augason long term storage foods, in stackable buckets.
  2. Three sets each of made-in-USA regular and wide-mouth reusable canning lids. (This is a total of 300 lids and 600 gaskets.) This prize is courtesy of Harvest Guard (a $270 value)
  3. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  4. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  5. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  6. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances.

Round 86 ends on January 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.



Cold Weather Considerations – Part 3, by JM

(Continued from Part 2.)

Now you need to think about keeping your core warm, which is critical since that’s what your hypothalamus will focus on keeping warm if you start to get cold. No big surprise – start with merino wool or polypropylene long underwear top, then either a shirt, a turtleneck, a sweater/fleece or a combination, depending on conditions. I have an old Pendleton wool shirt that I received as a gift years ago that I absolutely love, and for sweaters/fleece I like the ones that have zippers in front so I can unzip to cool down. If I need to add some extra core warmth I usually bring a puffer-style vest that I can put on, and it packs down to almost nothing. Another alternative to a regular sweater that works well in some conditions is an Asbell Wool Pathfinder pull-over – its super warm and layers well. Asbell makes a lot of other nice wool products – check them out.

Once your core is warm you need to work on keeping it dry and out of the wind, which is where a jacket comes in. I tend to prefer uninsulated shell jackets that are good at keeping the snow/rain/wind off of me, so I usually go with some form of smock that’s long enough to cover my butt. My favorite is the Teesar Generation II Smock, which unfortunately no longer made, but there are great alternatives from Sarma, Arktis, Leo Köhler, and, if you’re feeling particularly rich, First Spear and Tyr Tactical. The reason I recommend a combat-style smock or parka is that they have tons of pockets, so you can access most of what you need without unzipping your jacket, wearing a chest rig or taking your pack off. Most of them have multiple pockets around the bottom that work great for holding magazines, plus other pockets for a FAK, fire-starting kit, flashlights, knives, etc. They’re typically light enough to wear as a 3-season jacket, but many work well as an outer layer in the winter.

Your outer layer should include a hood, since that’ll help keep your head warm and dry and keep the snow from getting down your collar. If you do want an outer layer with extra insulation the US Air Force N-3B Parka is still one of the best winter jackets you can find. If you feel the need for something camouflaged I’d recommend getting a winter camo poncho or over-suit, since you throw them on when needed.

Another possible option is a one-piece winter overall/snowsuit. These have the advantage of being very warm, and, since they’re one piece, they do a great job of keeping the wind and snow out. The disadvantage is that they make it harder to adjust your temperature if you start getting too warm – you can usually unzip the front and slide out of the top half and tie it around your waist, but it’s a lot clumsier than being able to take off a jacket. Another potential problem is they’re hard to get out of quickly if you’re having an urgent call of nature. Snowsuits are usually utilized when people have to be out in cold/snowy weather but don’t plan on performing a lot of strenuous physical activity, or those that need to be able to quickly throw something on over their regular clothing – examples include snowmobiling, mechanics, refrigerated warehouse workers, etc.Continue reading“Cold Weather Considerations – Part 3, by JM”



Announcing the New SurvivalBlog 2005-2019 Archive USB!

Thanks for your patience, folks… The SurvivalBlog 2005-2019 Archive on a waterproof/EMP-resistant 16 GB USB stick is now available for pre-ordering. In addition to adding the most recent year of the blog and all of the previous content, there is now more than 3,500 pages of new bonus content that has never been posted in SurvivalBlog! This new bonus material includes:

  • Encyclopedia of Farm Knowledge (1,739 pages, in Three Volumes!)
  • Civilization During The Middle Ages
  • Nut Tree Growing and Pruning
  • 7,000 Words Often Mispronounced
  • Sports and Pastimes for Young & Old
  • The Guardians of The Columbia
  • The Science of Everyday Life
  • Games, Contests, and Relays
  • 900 Successful Recipes Cookbook

Inventory of the USB sticks is expected to arrive at our fulfillment service in early February. Please allow four to six weeks after ordering, for delivery.

Note that we can accept orders for the USB archive sticks only through our automated ordering process.

There will be a limited number of sticks, and they are available on a “first-come, first served” basis.  Last year, they sold out very quickly–so don’t hesitate! – JWR



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 “JWR”. Our goal is to educate our readers, to help them to recognize emerging threats and to be better prepared for both disasters and negative societal trends. You can’t mitigate a risk if you haven’t first identified a risk. Today, we look at New Zealand’s Gun Confiscation Failure.  But first, a brief book review.

Freehold Resistance — A Great Read!

Ads most SurvivalBlog readerts know, Michael Z. Williamson is our volunteer Editor At Large. I finally got the chance to finish reading his latest sci-fi anthology, titled Freehold Resistance.  It is set on the planet Grainne (spoken “Grahn-ya”), two hundred years after it’s colonization. This is a rousing collection of short stories, all written from different perspectives about an interstellar invasion attempting to bring a “rogue” world under United Nations control. Be forewarned that there is some crude language and of course description of combat, so this book is not for kids. This is the ninth book in Mike’s Freehold series, but you don’t need to have read the others to enjoy reading this book. The book was released late last year, and is a popular seller. It includes short stories by  Larry Correia, Michael Z. Williamson, Brad R. Torgersen, Mike Massa, Kacey Ezell, Robert E. Hampson, Aaron Haskins, John F. Holmes, Marisa Wolf, Justin Watson, Jason Cordova, Jamie Ibson, Jessica Schlenker, Christopher Dinote, Rob Reed, Chris Smith, Jaime DiNote, and Philip Wohlrab. These stories are cleverly interspersed in a way that carries along the underlying tale of a war of resistance to an occupying force. I believe that this anthology will be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys military fiction–especially folks with a libertarian bent, or anyone with an interest in resistance warfare. There is definitely a lot of “food for thought” in the pages of Freehold Resistance!

New Zealand’s Gun Confiscation Failure

Reader T.B. sent us this news from New Zealand: Total Failure: Gun Confiscation Reached 13% Compliance. JWR’s Comments:  Here we have a Socialist Nanny State government, at its worst:  Governments tax our money, using coercive force, and then they take away our birthright, with more coercive force. And once they’ve disarmed us, they will feel free to use as much coercive force as they please, to ramrod the rest of their collectivist hive mind agenda. Why? Because they will then have a monopoly on coercive force. Comprende?  Here is an excerpt:

“It turns out that New Zealand didn’t fall for the lie, because the official numbers are now in.

33,619 hand-ins were processed and 56,250 firearms were confiscated. Assuming these were all by licensed owners, about 12% of the country’s LFOs participated.

6,250 guns were handed-in without compensation as part of the amnesty programme.

Only 63% of the remaining 50,000 were centrefire semi-automatics—that’s 31,500.

When I ran the numbers in early September, I established that Gun City estimated there were at a minimum 185,000 centrefire semi-automatic firearms in the country, and according to the National Party there were 240,000. The first is based on extrapolated sales data and the later might be based on some figures from Customs. The government has not released any official numbers.

That gives a final 13% to 17% compliance rate on the targeted firearms.

OK, that was a fail, but what about those scary “Military-Style Semi Automatics” (MSSAs)? Of the 15,037 registered prior to the confiscation, 9,532 were handed-in. That’s 63% “off the streets”, the rest of the owners have applied for exemptions. The MSSA category also used to include some .22s due to their aesthetic configuration, and this is where the new legislation has a silver lining: all .22 MSSAs are now fully legal on a standard firearms license. They’re being imported by the crateload and flying off the shelves.”

Weeks Alone in Remote Alaska Wilderness After Cabin Burns Down

Reader Jim L. was the first of several readers to send this: Man survives weeks in remote Alaska wilderness after cabin burns down, writes ‘SOS’ in snow.Continue reading“The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods”



The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“The labor and sweat of our brows is so far from being a curse, that without it our very bread would not be so great a blessing. If it were not for labor, men could neither eat so much, nor relish so pleasantly, nor sleep so soundly, nor be so healthful, so useful, so strong, so patient, so noble, nor so untempted.” – Jeremy Taylor



Preparedness Notes for Wednesday — January 15, 2020

Today is the birthday of television and movie actor Lloyd Bridges (1913-1998), who starred in the series Sea Hunt. He was a good actor, but his liberal politics were bothersome. A reader mentioned just one example that illustrated his politics:  Lloyd Bridges had a ranch in in Markleeville, California, in Alpine County. “He wanted an outbuilding built and friends of mine there were hired to erect it. They showed up in standard issue F150 pickup trucks, each with a Model 1894 Winchester or scoped bolt action hunting rifle in gun racks behind the driver. Bridges demanded they take the guns home and then come back and work, “no guns allowed” on or near his property. They quit, and the word about this incident spread.”

Sadly, Lloyd Bridges championed many liberal causes that were antithetical to individual liberty. He was blacklisted for his left-wing politics, in the 1950s.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 86 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The more than $12,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3,000 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. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A gift certificate from Quantum Harvest LLC (up to a $2,200 value) good for 12% off the purchase of any of their sun-tracking models, and 10% off the purchase price of any of their other models.
  2. A Front Sight Lifetime Diamond Membership, providing lifetime free training at any Front Sight Nevada course, with no limit on repeating classes. This prize is courtesy of a SurvivalBlog reader who prefers to be anonymous.
  3. 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,
  4. A $300 purchase credit for any of the products from EMPShield.com
  5. A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
  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).
  7. An assortment of products along with a one hour consultation on health and wellness from Pruitt’s Tree Resin (a $265 value).

Third Prize:

  1. Good2GoCo.com is providing a $400 purchase credit at regular prices for the prize winner’s choice of either Wise Foods or Augason long term storage foods, in stackable buckets.
  2. Three sets each of made-in-USA regular and wide-mouth reusable canning lids. (This is a total of 300 lids and 600 gaskets.) This prize is courtesy of Harvest Guard (a $270 value)
  3. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  4. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  5. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  6. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances.

Round 86 ends on January 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.



Cold Weather Considerations – Part 2, by JM

(Continued from Part 1.)

Clothing

Protecting ourselves from all of the ways Mother Nature can impact us in the winter starts by wearing clothing. Clothing helps us retain our body heat, protects us from the sun, keeps us dry and allows us to carry our environment with us (yay for pockets!), so selecting and taking care of the right clothing is critical in a winter environment. As everyone knows, layering is the best approach for dressing for cold weather – you have multiple layers of clothing that you can put on and take off as you heat up or cool off – but you need to make sure you have the right layers for the conditions.

Selecting appropriate winter clothing requires an understanding the various materials that are available. There are a lot of different materials, and each has their advantages and disadvantages, but I’ll focus on some of the most common ones. Hopefully I don’t have to tell everyone to avoid cotton, which can absorb and hold onto up to 27 times its weight in water.

  • Wool – Wool is one of the original cold-weather materials and has been used for thousands of years. Wool fibers absorb moisture, but are not hollow – water is trapped between fibers, so it dries fast if it gets wet, and wool can absorb and retain up to 30% of its own weight in water without significantly impacting its insulating ability. Wool is also naturally fire-resistant and self-extinguishing if it is exposed to fire and removed. Merino wool is most commonly used for lower-layer garments, as it’s soft, warm, breathable, fire-resistant, temperature-regulating and moisture-wicking. Coarser wool is typically used for outer layers. The potential disadvantages of wool are that it’s typically more expensive than other materials, it can generate static, it can take a long time to dry if it gets soaked and some people find it to be itchy.
  • Fleece – Fleece is a manufactured fabric, made from polyester. It’s hydrophobic, holding less than 1% of its weight in water, and retains much of its insulating quality even when wet. It’s machine washable and dries quickly. It is a good alternative for those who are allergic or sensitive to wool. Regular polar fleece is not windproof and does not absorb moisture (although this is often considered a benefit). It is also susceptible to damage from high heat, and is flammable if not treated. Fleece clothing tends to be relatively inexpensive, and can be used at any layer, but depending on the type of fleece it may not be as wind-resistant as wool.
  • Nylon – Nylon is a generic name for a family of synthetic polymers and comes in a number of different forms. In general, clothing made of nylon is durable and, depending on the weave, tends to repel water and block wind. Nylon’s biggest disadvantage is that it can melt if exposed to high temperatures. Nylon is generally used for outer layers only. A variation called ‘silnylon’ is nylon that’s been impregnated with silicone to increase its water resistance.
  • Polyester – Polyester is durable and stretches, making it hard to tear, and it tends to not easily absorb water, but many people find it unpleasant to wear directly against their skin. One of the biggest drawbacks of polyester is that it does not breathe very well – perspiration and heat are trapped next to the skin. Polyester is usually combined with other fabrics such as cotton to improve its feel and breathability, or drawn into thin fibers and made into a mesh to be used as insulation inside layer of other fabrics.
  • Silk – Like wool, silk has been used for clothing for thousands of years. It’s extremely lightweight and works well to regulate body temperature, so it can keep you warm, but it can be expensive. Silk is typically only used for long underwear in winter conditions.
  • Down – Down is the soft layer of fine feathers from the breast of a goose or duck that is closest to their skin, and is typically used as insulation between layers of fabrics like nylon. Its high loft provides great insulation, but natural down readily absorbs water and loses its insulating ability, so manufacturers have developed methods for treating down to make it more water-repellent (hydrophobic).
  • Thinsulate/Primaloft/etc. – These are synthetic material manufactured to provide efficient and water-resistant insulation for a wide range of clothing. They are usually layered between other materials.
  • Gore-Tex/eVent/Omni-Tech/etc. – These are synthetic fabric membranes designed to repel water but allow vapor to exit, allowing them to breathe when you sweat. They are usually layered between other materials.
  • Oilcloth – Oilcloth was one of the first ‘manufactured’ materials designed to be water-resistant, and is cotton duck (a dense and heavy cotton canvas) or linen cloth coated in linseed oil. Its disadvantages are that it’s heavy, it takes a long time to dry when it gets wet, tends to crack, and some people don’t like the smell of the oil used to treat it. Oilcloth is primarily used for an outer layer.
  • Waxed Cotton – Waxed cotton was originally intended for use in the Scottish sailing industry, and is basically cotton duck that’s been saturated with paraffin-based wax. It was meant as an alternative to oilcloth for clothing, but it doesn’t breathe very well and needs to be re-waxed regularly. Waxed cotton is primarily used for an outer layer.
  • Rubber – The original waterproof material. Used by North Sea fishermen for waterproof coats and boots for over a hundred years, but it tends to be heavy and doesn’t breathe very well.
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Coated Polyester– This is polyester material that’s been coated with PVC to provide waterproofing. It provides excellent water resistance, but it doesn’t breathe very well.

Continue reading“Cold Weather Considerations – Part 2, by JM”



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 focus 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 the focus is on the 1961 movie The Guns of Navarone. (See the Movies section.)

Books:

KJV Study Bible, Large Print, Hardcover, Red Letter Edition: Second Edition

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The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100