Letter Re: The Importance of Storing Salt for Preparedness

I asked about this a long time ago and no one knew what I was talking about they thought I was talking about those salt blocks you buy for cattle and stuff: so I tried to find myself where the old “salt licks” were in those old westerns we always read. Here was what I found after three hours of research. There is an Internet resource that says there are over 1,400 [“Lick” or “Saline” locales] all over the USA. But they don’t list individual ones just how many per state. For those places I can’t find [listed licks], I guess you’ll have to trek to the ocean or the Great Salt Lake area…get some good shoes!

Austell (formerly called Salt Springs)

Osawatomie Salt Works, Miami County (five shallow wells produce salt water,.then processed.)
Tuthill Marsh, Republic County
Hutchinson, Lyons, Kingman, Kanoplois
Salt mines (underground)

Blue Licks Battlefield State Park, Nicholas County
Big Bone Lick (used by Daniel Boone), Boone County
Big Sandy River

St. Genevieve and Jefferson Counties (Namely the Saline and Little Saline creeks)
Montesano Springs (Kimmswick)
Arrow Rock
Boonslick and Saline counties also have salt.

New Mexico:
Guadalupe Peak

Little Salt Creek or the Scioto Salt Licks in Jackson County.

Gardeau in the southeastern corner of McKean County

Great Salt Lake


West Virginia
Big Sandy River

West Virginia:
Kanawha Valley area (buffalo licks) near Malden

Cheshire area

The Dead Sea

Gunung Tahan Park – 14 different salt licks


POSSIBLE SITES: (unproven or unsure)
Beersheba, Tennessee
Bledsoes Lick, Tennessee
Eureka and Hot Springs, Arkansas
French Lick, Tennessee (Nashville?)
Bullit Licks, Kentucky
French Lick, Indiana
Teltin Park, Togiak Park, Alaska
Bradford, Tioga, Potter, and Cameron Counties, Pennsylvania
Salt Creek Falls ,Oregon
Salmon River, Idaho
Colgate Licks Hot Springs, Idaho [JWR Adds: Been there, seen that. It is an amazing place for wildlife viewing. BTW, the nearby Jerry Johnson Hot Springs are worth the hike for a dip.]
Death Valley, California
Searles Lake, California
Kaibab, Arizona
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

JWR Adds: It recommend that all SurvivalBlog readers who live in inland regions do some research on natural salt deposits near your intended retreats. That could be quite valuable knowledge in the event of TEOTWAWKI,

Note From JWR:

The high bid in the SurvivalBlog benefit auction (for the RWVA Super Shooter’s package is still at $150. Our special thanks to the RWVA and Fred’s M14 Stocks for sponsoring this fund raiser! (The prize is worth $250+.). Please submit your bids via e-mail. This auction ends on the last day of July. OBTW, speaking of the RWVA, they have a Rifle Instructor’s Camp coming up at the end of August in Ramseur, North Carolina–a great opportunity for you to learn how to teach others how to shoot like a pro, including your own family members.

Letter Re: Ladies Supplies for TEOTWAWKI

Mrs. Rawles:
In the event of long-term TEOTWAWKI, a few questions come to mind – how did women deal with menstruation? I know this subject may be distasteful; but, reality check! Can a survival group stock up on enough toilet paper and “sanitary napkins”? Maybe telephone books will suffice for toilet paper, but what about “tampons” etc? In my experience, most “primitive” societies just let Nature take its course. Are our women (and men) prepared to do the same? What are your ideas? It’s coming!

The Memsahib Replies: We stock up on them just like we stock up on the other necessities of life. We had the opportunity to stock up on tampons almost ten years ago at near wholesale prices. Since they have an indefinite shelf life we have saved an incredible amount of money as I have been rotating our supply . See John Pugsley’s book The Alpha Strategy for more on this stockpiling approach. I think that tampons will be a highly desirable item for barter in the event of TEOTWAWKI .
To answer your other question, what did our ancestors do? They used rags which they washed and reused. Here are links to Norwegian knitted pads and Italian washable pads, probably from the 19th century which will give you some ideas on pads that women can make for themselves. Some modern women are using rewashable pads. Here is a source for one company that sells them.

Letter Re: Perpetuation of Corrosive Ammo Cleaning Mythology

Please stop the perpetuation of dangerous [(to equipment)] mythology regarding cleaning firearms after shooting corrosive ammo. It’s not magic. Not understanding how to clean your guns or why can seriously and dangerously corrode guns in a matter of hours.

The text from Mike’s letter to SurvivalBlog is italicized:
Cleaning after corrosive ammo. It depends on how much moisture the gun is exposed to how quickly it needs cleaned. In my safes with “Golden Rod” heaters I have no trouble for one to two weeks. Sitting in the garage in Ohio’s notorious humidity, a few days seems the maximum. Of course, chrome lined barrels are far less of a problem.

No serious problems so far. Gun corrosion rates are directly related to ambient humidity.

If it may be a while before I can get my guns cleaned, I douse them in WD-40 (I buy it by the gallon can – cheaper).

Cleaning corrosive residues from guns necessitates that the gun owner realizes that the corrosive residues are salts, most notably potassium chloride. Salts are ionic solids, and only dissolve in water. Just try dissolving a teaspoon of table salt (sodium chloride) in a glass of 100% alcohol or gasoline to see what I mean. (Granted, there are specialized organic solvents that will dissolve salts, but we’re talking about gun owners, not laboratory chemists.) “Dousing” guns in WD-40 doesn’t seem like it would do a whole lot. Rinsing them out with hot water definitely will.

To clean, I use one of several different methods. Hot soapy water is probably best. Immerse the muzzle in a bucket of it and brush in such a way as to really wash it out. If the water is hot enough, the gun will flash dry on it’s own.

I simply pour hot, nearly boiling water from my coffee maker carafe into the chamber and let it run out the muzzle. A quick brushing with a little soap removes the bulk of the powder fouling which may prevent occluded salt from being rinsed away the first time.

Apply oil to all parts exposed to the water as it removes all of the oil residue and rust is a certainty! I prefer LSA (available from Sarco, $6.95 per quart) or CLP (which I pick up at Knob Creek for about $10 per quart). If the hot soapy water is a problem I use Hoppe’s Copper Solvent which contains ammonia, followed by Hoppe’s #9 [bore cleaning solution], then oil. The ammonia helps rinse away the corrosive salts, not to mention removes some copper fouling.

I would recommend using a volatile, water-displacing solvent such as alcohol or acetone to remove traces of water, followed by a non-volatile gun cleaner – and then storing the gun horizontally, or at least muzzle-down until proper gun cleaning can be performed. In any event, store the gun in as dry an environment as possible.[JWR Adds: If using acetone, be very careful not to let it contact your skin. Wear disposable exam gloves, and work only in a well-ventilated area!]

There is a myth that ammonia somehow “breaks up” or “breaks down” the salts that are responsible for corrosion. This is a complete falsehood. It’s the water that the ammonia is dissolved in that dissolves and rinses away the salt.

There is an excellent discussion of the probable origin of these myths in Hatcher’s Notebook, by Julian S. Hatcher, on pages 334-360. It is a very scientific study and explanation of why guns corrode, and how to clean guns so they don’t.

Most important, IMHO, is to inspect the gun every couple of days after cleaning and again a week or two later to make sure that you did not miss some odd spot and rust is developing. While I admit cleaning a PKM, Goryunov or AK gas system after corrosive ammo is a bit of a pain, the [low] price of the ammo certainly justifies it. Remember, when these guns were new and being used by the military, corrosive was the only kind of ammo available! A note on Hoppe’s #9 – the older formula contained Benzene which worked very well at removing corrosive residue. Trouble is, the stuff is hazardous so it is not in the current formula. Hoppes still will clean a gun of corrosive residue but more effort is required! Same for some WWII / Korea era GI bore cleaner.
The Hoppe’s original formula contained nitrobenzene, not benzene. This may or may not have helped to dissolve salts, but it still isn’t anywhere nearly effective as water.

As a final note, make sure to clean the bolt face, action, and firing pin channel, since corrosive primer residues can build up on these areas and cause serious problems resulting in failures to feed or fire. – Virginia Gun Nut and “Patty”

Odds ‘n Sods:

Gold Price Rally is No Flash in the Pan: “Gold fever rages on despite the metal’s 24 percent jump in a month to 26-year highs followed by an even faster retreat. “This is a serious bull run. Those people who think it’s a bubble ready to burst might be disappointed,” Tony Dobra, director of global commodity derivatives at Standard Chartered Bank, told Reuters.

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A home security tip, from one of those infinitely-forwarded e-mails: “Put your car keys beside your bed at night. If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the alarm button for your car.The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies” My comment: Car alarms are largely ignored in all but the most quiet neighborhoods. My advice is to pursue this course of action in the event of an attempted home invasion, in this order: riot shotgun and flashlight at hand, press your car alarm and/or home alarm panic button, then dial 911.

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From Newsmax: Newt Gingrich Says That World War III Has Begun.

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JRH Enterprises has extended the sale price on their popular “Patriot Pocketscope” 2nd Generation U.S. night vision scope. Newly revamped with c-mount lens, better optics and hand strap. These retail for $649.95. JRH has held over the price of $549.95 just for SurvivalBlog readers. Mention SurvivalBlog when you order and received FREE shipping in the lower 48 states!

Note From JWR:

Starting the month, I will be mailing free autographed copies of my novel “Patriots” as “Blinding Flash of the Obvious (BFO) Awards:” These are for anyone that e-mails a letter or article for posting on SurvivalBlog that includes what I deem to be a particularly brilliant, novel, or useful concept. There is no set schedule–I will make BFO Awards on just as the mood strikes me.

Letter Re: The Importance of Storing Salt for Preparedness

Here is an absolutely fascinating article about gorillas and salt that I came upon whilst browsing the Foxnews.com site. I seem to remember an article on your blog, not too long ago, discussing pretty-much the same thing. This is something which might prod your readers all-the-more to stock-up on [blocks, bags, and boxes of] salt. – Ben L.

JWR Replies: Unless you literally live next to a salt marsh, I cannot overemphasize the importance of storing salt. The Memsahib and I formerly lived in the Upper Clearwater River Valley of Idaho. In that region, deer and elk would walk many, many miles to get to natural salk licks (such as The Colgate Licks), where they would congregate in large numbers. Salt is important to store, both for preserving food and as a practical means to attract wild game. (It is noteworthy that in many locales, natural salt licks are off-limits to hunters, since hunting there is too easy and hence not considered sporting. That ought to tell you something.) I recommend that you store several times more salt than you think that you’ll ever need. Salt is cheap and plentiful now, but in the event of TEOTWAWKI it will be a scarce and valuable commodity. Salt also has a virtually unlimited shelf life.

Letter Re: Everyday Savings Via SurvivalBlog

Just the other day, on the thread concerning watches, another SurvivalBlog reader posted a link to a Japanese firm [Higuchi.com] that sold watches. I took a look around their site, and found, to my surprise, that the watch I had been pining for was 1/3 the cost of the same watch purchased from a USA dealer, shipping included. Needless to say I whipped out my debit card and did the deed. But it occurred to me, over the short existence of SurvivalBlog I have run into bargains for items that I would normally purchase – unrelated to survival or preparedness, and I have discovered some products that I now regularly use. It has enhanced my family’s lifestyle and saved us money – Jim’s policy of posting little blurbs from folks who are trying to provide advice or the like has worked pretty well for me – LDM

JWR Replies: I hope that folks appreciate the value of what they read at SurvivalBlog–both the tangibles and the intangibles. If you find that what you read here is worth ten cents a day or more to you, then please become a Ten Cent Challenge subscriber to SurvivalBlog. Also, when you patronize any of our paid advertisers of affiliate advertisers, please mention that you heard their name on SurvivalBlog. Thanks!


Letter Re: “Jericho” TV Series Airing This Fall

I was surprised to see that CBS will be airing a drama this fall called Jericho. Here is what the show is about: “Things are quiet and peaceful in small-town Jericho, Kansas, but when a baffling explosion occurs in the distance, Jericho’s residents are plunged into social, psychological and physical chaos. No one knows what to think, and fear of the unknown takes over the town, especially because its isolation cuts it off from outside help. When nearly everything they know seems gone, will the residents of Jericho band together to face their unfamiliar and mysterious new world?”
Here is the link to the site at CBS and there is a preview of the show there as well. It will be interesting to see how a mainstream media outlet is going to portray a SHTF situation. – Desert T

Odds ‘n Sods:

The Zimbabwean government debt and currency hyperinflation have progressed to super nova stage: “Zimbabwe’s domestic debt has trebled, from Z$15-trillion to nearly Z$43-trillion, casting a pall over any prospect of economic recovery. Latest central bank statistics show the public debt was Z$42.9-trillion on June16, up from Z$21-trillion on June 2 and Z$27-trillion on June 9. The country’s debt has continued to skyrocket against a background of deteriorating macroeconomic fundamentals and the socioeconomic situation. The central bank’s overnight accommodation recently stood at 850%, the inter-bank rate at 693.3%, and treasury bill yields at 510%.” Wow! This sounds like something out of a novel I once read. I surmise that statistics like those quoted cannot continue for long. Look for some major political changes in Zimbabwe in the near future. A note to Comrade Mugabe: Air fares are lower if you book your flight two weeks in advance.

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14 murders in 13 days in “gun free” Washington, D.C.. The Nation’s Capitol is hardly a shining example for gun control advocates. It is abundantly clear that criminals don’t obey gun bans–only the law-abiding, thus leaving disarmed D.C. residents like lambs for the slaughter.

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A reminder that Ready Made Resources is brokering the sale of a very hard to find upgraded P-10 self-contained NBC shelter.They are selling it on behalf of an acquaintance. When sold new, these shelters sell for $100,000 with all of the options included in this one, such as the 1,000 gallon water tank and Level 4 protective entry door. (Cutting torch and .308 bullet proof!) These very rarely come up for sale in used condition, so don’t miss this chance to buy one for only one-fourth of what it would cost to buy one new. It is being sold “on site”, so you would have to pay for hauling. (About $4,000 to the Midwest, or $6,000 to the West Coast.) Please mention that you saw it on SurvivalBlog for a nifty bonus.

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

"Most civilization is based on cowardice. Its so easy to civilize by teaching cowardice. You water down the standards which lead to bravery. You restrain the will. You regulate the appetites. You fence in the horizons. You make a law for every movement. You deny the existence of chaos. You teach even the children to breathe slowly. You tame." – Frank Herbert, Dune

From David In Israel: On Sheltering from Katyusha Rocket Attacks

Our friends who live in Tzfat (also spelled Safed, Sfat, Sfas, etc.) recently came to stay with us to get away from the rockets which lit Mount Meron on fire and landed all around them shaking their house and breaking the window over my friend as he shopped. They are returning home still a bit shaken but feeling better after a two day break. They have been under 122mm Katyusha rocket fire. They have some Russian, Iranian, and Chinese stuff in Lebanon like the Fajjar-5 which has a range of 45 kilometers. The Israeli Saar-5 corvette Ahi-Hanita was struck by a Chinese made anti-ship C-802 Silkworm missile weighing 715 kilos, with a range of 120 kilometers.

Letter Re: A Practical PV-Powered Well Pump and Cistern System

I appreciate your web site, lots of good thoughtful info and no armchair commando nonsense. I rarely post on this or related blogs, but I’ve just installed two complete solar water systems and can perhaps add a bit to the backup-powered water discussion. A solar system is tailor-made for supplying water, IMHO, because instead of storing electricity in batteries for nighttime use, it stores water in a tank for use on demand, no inverters, no batteries, no fuel. Simple and effective. Both systems use Grundfos submersible pumps and two solar panels of about 170 watts each. One system pumps from a lake to a 1-1/2 acre orchard/garden about 500 feet away with no head (lift), and supplies about 4000 gallons per day. The other is for use here at the house and pumps from a well about 100′ vertically to a 3000 gallon storage tank, then gravity flows to the house, and supplies from 800-1500 gallons per day depending on time of year (sun angle) cloudiness, et cetera.
The pump and solar panels must be sized according to lift, distance pumped, desired output, and geographic location. I’m located in Central Texas with plenty of sunshine year-round, so solar is a natural. Depending upon pump size and number and power output of the panels, the basic components including a stand for the panels costs around $3000-4000. Add to that about $500 or so for standard pressure tanks, pressure switches, wiring and plumbing and the cost is still less than a windmill and pumps a lot more water. Another beauty of these pumps is that they run on both 12 volt (PV solar) and 220 VAC, which means they can also be powered by a generator or from the electric grid. Just make absolutely certain, I repeat certain, that the 220 breaker is off before engaging the solar panels, as 220 VAC does some fairly spectacular things to a 12 volt DC solar panel.
I don’t claim to be an electrician, or plumber either, yet I installed both of these systems practically by myself, so that means it can’t be all that difficult. – J.H.