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 the documentary film Thud Pilots.   (See the Movies section.)


Phil Robertson’s latest book: The Theft of America’s Soul: Blowing the Lid Off the Lies That Are Destroying Our Country

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Simply Keto: A Practical Approach to Health & Weight Loss, with 100+ Easy Low-Carb Recipes

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Deer Hunting Secrets Exposed – Take The Best Buck Of Your Life



I recently watched a fascinating documentary about F-105 pilots in the Vietnam war, on Amazon Prime:  Thud Pilots. Very few of these guys got through a 100-mission tour unscathed. They really had guts.

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Planet Earth I & II


Continue reading“JWR’s Recommendations of the Week:”

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. And it bears mention that most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor, JWR. Today’s focus is on Silver Price Manipulation.

Precious Metals (Silver Price Manipulation):

Ted Butler: A New Silver Issue For The Justice Department. Here is a pointed quote from Ted:

“As of the close of business on Jan 15, the 8 largest traders on the short side of COMEX silver futures held a net (pure) short position of 95,577 contracts, the equivalent of nearly 478 million ounces of silver, or roughly 60% of annual total mine production. The four largest traders held a net short position of 70,627 contracts, the equivalent of more than 350 million ounces or roughly 40% of total annual world mine production. In terms of the average short holdings of each trader; the 4 largest traders average more than 87 million ounces per trader, while the 8 largest traders hold short nearly 60 million ounces per trader.

No silver mining company produces 60 million ounces per year. Moreover, silver prices traded flat to lower over the reporting week, finishing at $15.62. That represents a price barely at or even below the cost of production for a primary silver miner, so the thought that silver miners were rushing to sell short and hedge production is absurd.”

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You may have noticed that Spot Silver jumped 25 cents (USD) per Troy ounce on Tuesday, to $15.95.  (Feb. 19, 2019.)  A run up to $17+ per ounce may be really happening…

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Palladium soars to record high on supply deficit; gold gains


Economy & Finance:

Housing Market Crash 2019 or 2020?

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Stacking The Next QE On Top Of A $4 Trillion Fed Floor

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Greatest Bubbles of All Time

Continue reading“Economics & Investing For Preppers”

Preparedness Notes for Tuesday — February 19, 2019

Today is the birthday of Lee Marvin (1924–1987), starring actor in The Professionals and The Big Red One.

The first batch of 1,000 of the SurvivalBlog 2005-2018 Archive Waterproof 16 GB USB sticks sold out in just  five weeks. After a brief delay, the second batch of just 550 is now in hand, tested, and available for shipment. This may be our final batch of this year’s edition, so order yours, soon. Many folks place order for two or three of them at a time.

Ready Made Resources — one of our original advertisers — is running a short-term special: With the purchase of any night vision unit, they are including the bonus of a $149 Multicam bump helmet, at no extra charge.

Today we are presenting a tragi-comic guest article by one of our long-time readers and former advertisers. (Their company, Nature’s Complement was formerly called Tober’s Traditions.) As we will learn, a cross-country move requires considerable planning, due diligence, and sometimes infinite patience.

Misadventures in Moving, by Tober

Editor’s Introductory Note:  I generally avoid posting rants, but this one about a Budget rental truck was genuinely epic and tragi-comic.  If you don’t enjoy rants, then only read the first section. – JWR

I think sharing this story will help me a bit, as this was quite an adventure that was mentally and physically exhausting. This article is long, so I decided to put the tips at the beginning. If you want to read the story of why I thought these tips were important, continue below.

Here are my mental health tips for you if you’re planning on making any type of move cross country with all your stuff:

  1. Check the rental truck over carefully, including the oil, other fluids, and belts. Don’t assume the rental place did it. Pretend the last person that had the truck treated it in the worst possible way, and the rental employees are too lazy to do anything about it.
  2. Get at least the basic insurance. It saved our butts in this case. Your regular insurance might not cover vehicles over a certain weight, so at least call and find out.
  3. Allow extra time. If there are no trucks available the day you need them, change the date, or go with a different rental company. Don’t accept the last truck. And most importantly, always expect things to go wrong.
  4. Pack your belongings as if you expect them to get flipped and turned sideways. You never know what will happen. We were fortunate nothing broke.
  5. Don’t buy used trucks from these rental places. Clearly they don’t service them properly. Our truck only had 56,000 miles on it when we picked it up. 56,750 when it left us stranded on the side of the road. As we stared at the back of the broken truck with the sign “We have used trucks for sale”. I bet you do, this one will be next on that list.
  6. Pack plenty of food, water, warm clothes/blankets, and even a bucket in case you need a toilet. No need to pee on the side of the road (yeah, easy for a guy, not a gal). This Self-Contained Toilet has good reviews on amazon (haven’t used it myself). And if you like privacy, might not hurt to have one of these privacy pop-up tents tucked away behind a seat somewhere. And don’t forget the hand sanitizer or soap and water with paper towels. You may be washing your hands on the side of the road as well.

Continue reading“Misadventures in Moving, by Tober”

SurvivalBlog’s News From The American Redoubt

Here is SurvivalBlog’s News From The American Redoubt. This weekly column features news stories and event announcements from around the American Redoubt region. We also mention companies of interest to preppers that are located in the region. The emphasis this week is on tent makers and tent sellers in the American Redoubt. Some folks take the Apostle Paul literally–about being tent makers, that is… Because wall tents and especially their poles are bulky and expensive to ship, it is often best to order one in advance and then pick it up in person. The photo above is historical — it is of a tent used by Idaho gold prospectors, back in the 19th Century. It is not a tent made by any of the listed makers.

Idaho (Tentmakers)

Elk Mountain Tents makes some fine quality wall tents. They are located in Nampa, Idaho.

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Idaho Canvas Products makes some great wall tents.  Contact: email@idahocanvas.com

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Thunder Mountain Tent And Canvas has been family owned and pperated since 1984. They are located in Nampa, Idaho.

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Reader T.Z, sent this news link: Tanzanian Refugees Arrested for Gang Rape of 18-Year-Old Idaho Woman


Continue reading“SurvivalBlog’s News From The American Redoubt”

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”.  Today, we focus on the Yellow Vest Protests.

My First Ever “At The Ranch” F2F Interview

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”.  Today, we focus on Prep Smartz Emergency Response Planning Software.My First “At The Ranch ” Interview

A few months back, I agreed to a podcast interview by Eugene Robinson of Ozy Confidential. Since I’ve known Eugene for 30 years and genuinely trust him, he was the first journalist that I’ve ever invited to conduct a face-to-face interview with me here at the Rawles Ranch. For OPSEC reasons, the interview is of course audio only. The photos that he posted in the accompanying article were cropped tightly, by prior agreement, for OPSEC reasons. Oh, and for the record: The photo of Eugene shooting a short-barreled AR off my back porch: That is a 100% legal, BATF-approved AR pistol. It is equipped with an ATF-approved Maxin CQB arm brace. Also: No chickens were harmed in that target shooting session. Although a few cows and horses–that were in a closer pasture than usual–were briefly frightened and inconvenienced.

Yellow Vest Protests in Paris

I took a couple of hours on Saturday to watch a live feed of the Mouvement des gilets jaunes (Yellow Vests) protests in Paris, France. I would estimate the crowd at 30,000+ people. Mostly middle class Blancs, but a scattering of Noirs et Arabes. The crowd had both young and old. But I only saw a couple of baby strollers. One of those moms put her toddler in a tiny yellow vest. A nice touch. Estimated ratio of protestors to police: About 50-to-1.

These protests are now in their 14th successive week. They occur like clockwork on Saturdays–since the protestors are largely employed, productive people who don’t have their weekdays free for playing cat and mouse with the gendarmes.

This has evolved into its own stylized, and fairly civil Kabuki Theater: The police line up in full riot gear, and start launching CS grenades whenever a crowd approaches. On this particular Saturday, the winds were not favorable, and they ended up tear-gassing themselves. I saw one protestor hobbling after being hit in the leg by a launched tear gas grenade. Ouch!

I noticed that the few young men who were breaking up paving stones and chucking the shards at the police were all wearing black hoodies (and about half wearing yellow vests over those sweatshirts). Many of them appeared to be of Arab descent. (Agent provocateurs?)

A Side Note:  If you are wondering where people obtained their thousands of matching-color vests: Every French motorist is required by law to purchase and carry two vests in their car, or otherwise face a fine. (Part of the nationally mandated annual car inspection.) This is the Law of Unintended Consequences, writ large.

Je Suis Désolé Mais Mon Observation: I believe that the French protestors would have made a more immediate and productive change in reversing government’s heavy taxes if everyone attending would have brought themselves both a yellow vest and a FAMAS.

Continue reading“The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:”

The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“The Five Levels of Trust:
1. The government man says: Its raining outside. I can look out the window and verify. Trust level is good.
2. The government man says: its 35 degrees outside. I can use simple technology to verify, trust level is good.
3. The government man says: the temperature at 70,000 feet altitude is -42 degrees, I cannot verify without extremely expensive equipment, but others can, so I kind of trust this because someone else can verify it. Trust level is Okay, at this point it does not affect me.
4. The government man says the temperature at 70,000 feet is too high and we must do something about it. There is no way for anybody to verify this, because no one knows what that temperature is “supposed to be” and there is no historical record or research possible for it going back hundreds or thousands of years for a “control” or “normal” to be established. Trust [is] gone.
5. The government man says “I am taking some of your money, and restricting your activities to fix this problem in the upper atmosphere, and you are not allowed to question or dispute me.” Trust in your ammo box, [that] I trust it is full.” – SurvivalBlog Reader “Sam on the Left Coast”

Springfield Armory SAINT AR Pistol, by Pat Cascio

Editor ‘s Note: This review is of the standard Springfield Armory SAINT AR pistol. It is not to be confused with the Saint Edge, which Pat reviewed on January 21, 2019. Pat also reviewed the Saint rifle, in February, 2017.

Most of the time, I have at least 25 products awaiting testing and a follow-up article. So, my plate is always full. When the Springfield Armory Saint AR Pistol first came out, I had to take a pass on testing it – just too much of a backlog. When things settled down a bit, I requested a sample of this AR pistol, and I regret having put it off for so long.

The concept of an AR pistol isn’t new. They’ve been around commercially since the 1990s – in many different configurations. However, many simply did not have appealing looks or ergonomics. And, many of these pistols just didn’t function well. Its not a question of just cutting down the barrel. There is a lot more involved than just that, to tune a gas system design. Plus, there was no such thing as an arm brace until just a few years back. Instead, you had a pretty much bare buffer tube, with perhaps a foam sleeve on it. And  and at two different times you could not legally shoulder the pistol – if you did, it was deemed a federal crime.

Continue reading“Springfield Armory SAINT AR Pistol, by Pat Cascio”

Recipe of the Week: Avalanche Lily’s Basic Ground Beef Stir Fry

Avalanche Lily’s Basic Ground Beef Stir Fry



2 lbs ground beef

1 Tablespoon of coconut oil

1 Medium onion

1 Tablespoon garlic

1 large sweet pepper (red, yellow, orange, or green) or 1 cup of mixed diced peppers

4 large carrots, peeled and diced

2 Grocery store-sized zuchinni, halved and sliced

1 Quart bag diced tomatoes or can of diced tomatoes

Oregano, to taste

Basil, to taste

Himalayan Salt, to taste

Continue reading“Recipe of the Week: Avalanche Lily’s Basic Ground Beef Stir Fry”

Letter: A Recent Test of Stored 2008-Vintage MREs

Dear Editor:
I am always interested in the viability of stored supplies, and am amazed at how quickly expiration dates are reached when one becomes a prepper. I’m the fellow that sent in the report of long-frozen yeast some months ago, and recently conducted a taste-test of an MRE purchased in August, 2008. I thought our brother and sister readers may be interested in my findings.
The MRE was packaged by the MRE Star company, out of Hollywood, Florida. It was purchased in a case lot from a Brigade Quartermaster “brick & mortar” store in August, 2008. Though I have no way of knowing the actual manufacture date of the MREs (this simple data point seems to be shrouded in mystery on most all MREs), this store was fairly well respected at the time, and I don’t think they would have sold old merchandise. Though I have no doubt that these MREs were made for the civilian market, they did contain [military contract water-activated chemical]  heaters.
MRE Shelf Life at Room Temperature
These MREs had been stored at controlled room temperature (in this case 65-75 degree F), in the original case, for the entire duration of storage.
After activating the heater and waiting 15 minutes, the entree contents were warm, but not hot. The heater was hot to the touch, so perhaps if I had let it “cook” longer it would have been warmer. The “Marinara Sauce with Meatballs” entree appeared tomato-red, with good texture and smell. Upon tasting I found that it was quite good! Served over rice or noodles, it would have made a tasty meal. After enjoying about 2/3 of the meatballs, I finally succumbed to my wife’s begging to stop. Since I am writing this 48 hours after ingesting the meatballs, I will assume that they weren’t toxic! I give the entree an unexpected A+.
Unfortunately, the side dishes failed miserably. The nut & raisin mix, dried fruit, and sugar cookies were so rancid that I almost lost my meatballs just sniffing them! I needed no encouragement from my wife to dispose of these products untasted. The orange drink power was a solid block which gave off a strong chemical scent. The coffee packet was fused to the contents, but still smelled like coffee. Neither of these products was tasted.
Based on the results of this taste-test, I opened all of the MREs in the case, disposed of the side dishes, and retained the entrees, heaters, and spoons to go into my “perhaps-better-than-nothing” section. I plan to try one of the vegetarian entrees soon (6 of 12 of the MREs contained vegetarian options).
I summary, I was surprised that the entree, which I had planned to discard, was really the only edible part of the kit! I would love to hear from my fellow readers of their recommendations and experiences in MRE purchase, storage, and testing – as well as any testing that they have conducted on any stored products. Specifics regarding type of product, age, and storage conditions would be very helpful. I can think of few worse nightmares than to finally need our preps, only to discover that they had deteriorated beyond use. Better to find out now than later!!
Best wishes to all, and thanks to you and Jim for all that you do! I would encourage my fellow SurvivalBlog  readers to remember their 10 Cent Challenge donation. It is, indeed, a very small price to pay!  – S.H. in TX

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. And it bears mention that most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor, JWR. This is the news that you won’t hear on CNBC! Today’s focus is on Auto Loan Delinquencies. (See the Economy & Finance section.)

Precious Metals:

This was reported on Friday: Gold Prices Up, At Weekly Highs, On Bullish Technical Momentum

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Invest In Gold Price As A Hedge In Cashless Society – Ex IMF Rogoff (Audio)

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China Accelerates Renewed Gold-Buying Spree “To Diversify Its Reserves”


Economy & Finance (Auto Loan Delinquencies):

From Wolf Richter’s Wolf Street: Subprime Arrives: Auto-Loan Delinquencies Spike to Great Recession Levels

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Also from Wolf: Mortgage Applications Drop Despite Lower Mortgage Rates: Industry is Baffled

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Hercy sent us this from Charles Hugh-Smith: What Happens When More QE Fails to Reverse the Recession?


Capital Economics: Copper To Rise More Than 60% In Six Years

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Saudi’s Oil Policy – ‘Fool Me Twice, Shame On You’


Forex & Cryptos:

Alasdair Macleod: Currencies Threatened By A Credit Crisis

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At CCN: Why Won’t Crypto Exchange Cryptopia Come Clean on How Disastrous Last Month’s Hack Really Was?

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Virginia Police Department Reveals Why its Pension Fund is Betting on Bitcoin

Tangibles Investing:

Whilst web wandering, I stumbled into a good source for high grade pre-1899 antique cartridge guns: Frontier American of Fargo. I haven’t yet done any business with them, so caveat emptor.

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CRS Report for Congress – Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress Exemptions for Firearms in Bankruptcy



SurvivalBlog and its Editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos page for our detailed disclaimers.

News Tips:

Please send your economics and investing news tips to JWR. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) These are often especially relevant, because they come from folks who particularly watch individual markets. And due to their diligence and focus, we benefit from fresh “on target” investing news. We often get the scoop on economic and investing news that is probably ignored (or reported late) by mainstream American news outlets. Thanks!