Notes From JWR:


Thanks to the graphics talent of my #1 Son (age 13 and home schooled, naturlich), you can now order SurvivalBlog logo T-shirts, sweat shirts, hats, mugs, tote bags, and bumper stickers. This serves two purposes: Showing our URL will help spread the word about preparedness, and it generates a little cash to pay for the site bandwidth. Wearing a SurvivalBlog T-shirt is a great conversation starter and is the height of fashion at the range, at gun shows, or anywhere on the Gulf Coast! Tacking up a SurvivalBlog bumper sticker in your cubicle is sure to make your liberal co-workers squirm. (And it just might attract like-minded co-workers that you never knew existed.)

Today, I’m covering Kansas, the sixth of 19 states in my rankings of states by their retreat potential.


State By State – Kansas


Population: 2.6 million.
Population Density: 31.7 per square mile (Rank 10 of JWR’s top 19 states).
Area: 82,000 square miles (rank 14 of 50).
Average car insurance cost: $688/yr. (rank 36 of 50).
Average home insurance cost: $593/yr. (rank 8 of 50).
Crime Safety Ranking: 23 of 50.
Boston T. Party’s State Firearms Laws Ranking: 68%.
Per capita income: $27,374 (rank 27 of 50).
ACT & SAT Scores Ranking: 4 of 50.
Minuses: Little crop diversity. Few local firewood sources. Tornado prone (ranked #2 out of top 20 States). High car insurance rates. High home insurance rates. The flat terrain is difficult to defend. (Because there are too many avenues of approach.)
JWR’s Combined Retreat Potential Ranking: 12 of 19.


A “Must Read” Piece on Gun Confiscation in New Orleans (SA: Disaster Preparedness, Gun Control)

Don’t miss David Kopel’s editorial “Defenseless on the Bayou” –about how the Mayor of New Orleans, has grossly exceeded legal authority by ordering both forced evacuations and gun confiscation for the few remaining residents of the city. Can you spell lawsuit, boys and girls?


Letter Re: Knife Selection


In the area of knives: I carry a Swiss Army Knife with me at all times, along with a Gerber Multi-tool. When I go into the field (Hunting, camping, whatever) I carry a fixed blade knife from Anza Knives. I’ve owned a lot of knives and used even more and I have sold every sheath-knife I owned and bought Anza’s. These things are sharp as razors, tough as nails, and as easy to sharpen as any knife I’ve ever had, and at $60 or less for each of them they are on of the best bargains I’ve ever run across as well. The one problem I have with them is the high-carbon steel starts to rust if it rains on television. I’m getting DuraCoat ( ) applied to all of them shortly which will cure this problem, and I’ve talked to the owner of Anza and he is considering providing it as an option. DuraCoat is my second choice for refinishing as I prefer hard black Chrome, but the Anza knives have wooden handles which are stuck on with a space-age glue that simply cannot be removed, the DuraCoat can be applied over the metal and the wood and needs no heat curing.
Keep up the good work and I’ll keep reading. – W.

JWR’s Reply: I have heard good things about Anza knives from other sources. I appreciate hearing recommendations about other brands of both fixed blade and folding knives from SurvivalBlog readers who have first hand field carry experience. OBTW, be sure to bead blast or otherwise remove all of the oxidation before you apply a finish. Most people don’t realize that rust can continue to do damage underneath a protective finish!


Letter Re: G.O.O.D. Gear


Mr. Rawles, do you have a list of gear that we should all have say on our persons or in our cars at all times? I finished your book, and more recently Boston [T. Party]’s Molon Labe and with what is happing down South, I need to prepare.

JWR’s Reply: I think a workable baseline is the list that is recounted in my novel Patriots, where the Doug Carlton character appears for the first time, and he is searched. I encourage readers of this blog to e-mail me their suggested G.O.O.D. Kit / Bug Out Bag (B.O.B.) packing lists. I think that by working together, we can come up with a combined list that is far more comprehensive than one that is based on just my individual experience. Engage synergy mode, folks! OBTW, the letter below has a link that is another good point of departure.


Letter Re: Veterinary Antibiotics


Here is a hot topic. I’m not sure how a person is to post it on the blog with the liability issues. (Please don’t mention my name)

Disclaimer: The following is for veterinary use only.
See: This company had the best prices I have found for antibiotics, the last time that I checked. These are the most useful for human use. They don’t sell the really expensive cipros or i.v. antibiotics to mere mortals like us.

During the three years before we moved we were on a microscopic budget and without insurance. Using veterinary antibiotics saved my wife three times: once from a kidney infection and twice from bladder infections. The Merck Manual has all the info you need for dose, etc.
OBTW, I seem to remember you mention the fish medications in your novel [Patriots]. – U.G.


Three Letters Re: California’s Retreat Potential


Dear Mr. Rawles,
I’m a CA resident and a CA high school history teacher, and just read your retreat observations regarding my state. My experience with out-of-state critics of CA is that they often exaggerate wildly about conditions here as well as frequently blame voters here for the conditions we have (I’ve
voted against all aspects of the present socialist nightmare but look what we have). In your case, however, I can honestly say that your analysis and summary are 100% accurate and spot-on. I regret only that your summary isn’t printed in the Op-Ed section of the Los Angeles Times and circulated.

FWIW, I am looking for a teaching job elsewhere so I can get the heck out [of California] before TSHTF. When it happens here, it will make Katrina’s aftermath look like a kindergarten dance.

Take care and keep up the great work, – S.

Mr. Rawles,
I love your site. It is the first thing that I read in the morning now. I just wanted to point out Alameda County [California] sales tax is now 8.75%, the highest in the state except for Catalina Island! I drive to Monterey (the nearest county with the state minimum 7.25% sales tax) for any decent sized purchase, except autos because the DMV charges you by the county of residence. BTW, the county listed on the registration determines your insurance and whether or not you need a smog inspection. (yes some counties don’t require smog tests or not as stringent tests) if you have property or a friend with an address you can use. Modoc County car insurance will be much cheaper than Alameda County, I guarantee you.
Since the hurricane, I have doubled my efforts and consolidated down my BOB, working on one for my wife’s car. I picked up three times the amount of canned goods this last weekend at our regular shopping trip (stuff we actually eat on a regular basis). I sold a few more of my excess firearms, put the funds towards supplies and hard money investments (no debts except mortgage) one benefit of CA gun laws is that no ‘out of production’ guns can legally be brought into the state for sale This includes vintage Smiths and Colts and even recent stuff like Colt Delta Elites. So the price of these in the People’s Republic of Kalifornia (PRK) is way out of whack compared to the rest of the country, as seen by prices on the firearm auction sites. I sold a few old S&Ws that I was into for $200 and $300 for $650 and $750.. just because you can’t ‘legally’ get them here! After I move to free America, I can repurchase at lower prices if I want. Acreage properties in Modoc, Plumas and Trinity or Sierra counties up in extreme northern CA as you suggest are way too expensive (relative to acreage on the Oregon or Nevada side of the line) now. There is little to NO industry or jobs up there and logging is being legislated out of existence. Unless you have money or have a home-based job that you can do from your computer, good luck up there. Possibly as a retreat location but you are still sometimes 4-8 hours drive to some of those places on Friday night from the [San Francisco] Bay area. Double or triple that time in Katrina like escape traffic on I-5 or I-80. Though fishing and hunting up there is second to none!
BTW some of your profiles are awesome. If I had even 1/100 of Bill Gates’ budget mine would be even better. – T.L.

You sure hit the nail on the head when you wrote about California, and the northern counties of Humboldt and Trinity. Life IS different up here, but you still have to contend with the lunatics down south, and the stupid laws they make. (Not to mention that some parts of Humboldt (Arcata) are just full of “hippy” types….Yes, there are many left, and this is where they pooled.) Many people up here just do not seem to understand that they ARE subject to these laws. I have been told not to worry so much about certain things, because even the cops (up here), just don’t care. But the bottom line is the fact that this creates a huge “if they want ya, they got ya” type situation. Now most people already live with this to some extent, but it is FAR worse out here. Then there is the fact that the people that were born and raised out here, if they are under 30, just have no idea what it’s like to live in a semi free state. Some just cannot believe it when I tell them what is still legal in a state like Florida or Wyoming. It is very sad. This is a beautiful part of the country, with a great climate…but I know I will not be able to stand it long. – Gung-Ho


Letter Re: Blood Transfusion Equipment Available


Reading your blog for 9-10-05, I was reminded of what I read in your book Patriots a few months back about transfusions. In Patriots blood is drawn off into a sterile bag with no mention of anticoagulation. There is a huge risk here IMO. I am a director with a major university hospital . Here are some things to consider and what I plan on doing for transfusions WTSHTF. You are correct that person to person transfusion is too risky. Depending on vein size and the size of the needle / catheter you could have a flow of 1 ml per minute to 5 or 6. Also, once the line is de-aired, without a optical fluid analyzer you have no way of knowing how fast it is going, let alone if it has stopped -which it can and does. Blood does clot! Moving through a system that has not been anticoagulated will cause many microaggrete clots at best. This is very dangerous IMO. Of course if someone is going to die anyway, why not risk it.

Viable options for anticoagulation drugs:
Citrate: AKA CPDA-1, ACD-A
Ratio: 1ml of either ACD-A or CPDA-1 per 7 ml of blood. These forms of citrate are premixed, unlike Heparin.
Risks: Aside from transfusion reactions, citrate is readily neutralized and absorbed by the body. Calcium negates Citrate. Risk of mis-dosing the PT (via over anticoagulated blood) is minimal. DO NOT use any IV fluid such as LR (lactated ringers) to prime or ‘chase’ this blood because it contains calcium and could clot in the IV line. No worries once the blood is in the patient (PT), LR is fine after the line is cleared. Use .9 NACL during infusion. Once blood is drawn off into a pre-citrated bag, you have 6 hours to reinfuse it at room temp. of 72 degrees.
Bonus: In some areas outside the USA, CPDA-1 blood bags can be purchased without a prescription (RX). The bags store for a printed shelf life of about 24 months. A “must have” if it is legal in your AO.

Heparin: A very distant second choice, EASY to overdose (OD). Basically impossible to properly fix in the field (unless you can wait it out) without PT and PTT tests from a lab or mobile device.
Heparin: Porcine or bovine. (Note: most bovine is expired or nearing expiration, porcine is the current standard)
Ratio: 30 units per 7ML of blood. Here is where it can get VERY confusing. Heparin comes in many different concentrations. From 1,000 units per ML to as high as 20,000 units per ML (some may be around in higher concentrations, but it is rare to see nowadays because of overdosing issues). You must pay strict attention.
Risks: Many. Using Heparin in the field means you must PRECISE. Under anticoagulate and the blood clots before it goes in. Over heparinize the blood and the PT could become anticoagulated. Unlike citrate, heparin attaches to the platelets. You have to wait out the heparin in order for it to go away. Theoretically you could give protamine, but if you knew how much you OD’d your PT you wouldn’t have to give it anyway. NEVER give protamine in the field. Blood can only be stored for an hour once drawn off into heparinized bag.
Negatives: As stated, risk of OD and your PT bleeding out because of it. You must have a pen and paper or calculator to determine how much heparin to use. You also must have a spare bag of .9nacl (preferably) to dilute the heparin in. There is just a lot of room for error at the moment when your most likely to make an error.
Advice: Don’t use it unless it’s truly life or death, make out all you calculations and such ahead of time and keep them with the heparin. Also, heparin requires a RX in the USA.
Blood Volume (in MLs)= Weight in kilograms x 65
6500ml=100Kg x 65
1ML=1 gram (if you have a scale and want to weight the transfer pack, that comes in handy).
A full transfer pack looks like it is going to burst.
A 40 micron blood filter would be a big plus to have along with your other transfusion equipment. Running non-anticoagulated blood through one isn’t a good idea.
Keeping iron pills on hand (legal in the USA) is a great idea to boost red blood cell (RBC) production after a transfusion or before it.
I hope this info helps… – Dr. Buckaroo Banzai


Jim’s Quote of the Day:


“Sad are the eyes, yet no tears.
The flight of the wild geese brings a new hope–rescue from all this.
Old friends, and those that we’ve found.
What chance, to make it last?
When there’s fighting all around, and reason just ups and disappears.
Time is running out.
There is so much to be done–Tell me what more, what more, can we do?
There are promises made, plans firmly laid.
Now madness prevails, lives will be ended!
What more can we do?
What chance, to make it last?
What more, can we do?”

– Theme to the motion picture The Wild Geese


Note from JWR:


Today, I’m covering Idaho, the fifth of 19 states in my rankings of states by their retreat potential. I rank it as my top choice for buying a survival retreat.


Be Ready for the September 11th Anniversary (SAs: Emerging Threats, Disaster Preparedness, EMP Protection)

The Al Qaeda terror network tends toward maximum psychological impact for their attacks, so it stands to reason that there is a higher than usual likelihood for an attack tomorrow– September 11th. (9/11/2005). Be ready. Although the statistical chances of Der Tag are very low, I still recommend that you do the following today:

Put your extra NiMH batteries in the charger.

Refamiliarize yourself with with where you’ve stored your radiation monitoring gear and antibiotics.

If you don’t already have a hard copy, print out a copy of Nuclear War Survival Skills from the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine web site.

Top off you truck or car’s gas tank.

Make “Just in Case” coordination contact via phone or e-mail with anyone who you expect to rendezvous at your retreat in the event of deep drama.

Replace the perishables in your G.O.O.D. packs and/or your vehicular G.O.O.D. kits.

Disconnect from power and external antennas any radios or computers that you don’t uses on a daily basis. Store them in steel ammo cans to protect them from EMP. Or, if you are short of ammo cans, at least wrap them in aluminum foil. (The poor man’s Faraday cage.)



State By State – Idaho


Population: 1.3 million (and about 2.1 million cattle.)
Population Density: 15.5 per square mile (Rank 15 of JWR’s top 19 states).
Area: 83,437 square miles (rank 13 of 50).
Average car insurance cost: $608/yr. (rank 48 of 50).
Average home insurance cost: $326/yr. (rank 50 of 50).
Average Home Price in Clearwater County: $112,725
Average Home Price in Idaho County: $109,500
Average Home Price in Kootenai County: $112,849
Average Home Price in Latah County: $118,325
Crime Safety Ranking: 9 of 50.
Boston T. Party’s State Firearms Laws Ranking: 97%.
Per capita income: $23,727 (rank 41 of 50).
ACT & SAT Scores Ranking: 15 of 50.

Plusses: Low Very low crime rate. (For example, it ranks second from the bottom in car thefts of the 50 states.) Low property taxes. Inexpensive building permits. Minimally intrusive government. Inexpensive car registration ($20 to $50 per year, plus a one-time-only $15 plate fee.) Low car insurance rates. Low health insurance rates. Extremely low home insurance rates. (An average of $326 per year. Ranks #50 in the country!) The most wilderness area in any of the 48 Continental United States. (Only Alaska has more.) 21.6 million forested acres. Minimal gun laws. Class 3 guns (machineguns short barreled rifles and shotguns, and suppressors) are legal to own after the $200 Federal tax and background check. Open carry of handguns is legal and fairly commonplace. CCW permits must be issued unless someone has a prior criminal record. (“Non-discretionary.”) No CCW permit is required for concealed carry outside of city limits. Vehicular carry of loaded guns is legal and very common. Automatic knives are legal to own and carry. Minimally regulated home schooling. Low population density. Low elevation portions of the state have a fairly mild climate. Hunting and fishing are excellent in many parts of the state, so there will be no shortage of protein WTSHTF. High ratio of horse ownership, so I anticipate that transportation will be available in the event of a long term TEOTWAWKI. By 2025, Idaho is projected to be the 40th most populous with 1.7 million people. (It is currently the 39th most populous state.) Affordable property: The median home price for all of Idaho is $105,403. One useful web site: Idaho Department of Commerce Community Profiles.

Minuses: Has a relatively high state income tax. Sadly, 63.7% of Idaho’s lands are owned by federal government. (Mostly National Forest and BLM land.) But at least that provides a “really big back yard” for hunting and cutting firewood. Cold winters at the higher elevations. (Look for property in the low river valleys if you can’t stand snow!) Low wages compared to most coastal states.
JWR’s Combined Retreat Potential Ranking: 1 of 19. (JWR’s top choice!)


Letter from John Adams Re: Foraging


Last week Abigail and I were out picking elderberries. After harvesting all we could find at our place we stopped and asked the neighbor if we could hunt for some on their farm. My neighbor’s’30 year old son, who has spent a lot of time in the woods, sent us to one spot his Dad to another. When we got to the son’s spot we indeed found a huge batch of berries, but they were pokeberries, definitely not what we were looking for! Lesson learned: Make sure you know what you are picking and eating.

It did get me to thinking about variety in our diet if the “event” happens. At the Adams house we currently supplement our diet with what we can find in the wild. blackberries, raspberries, mulberries, elderberries, all make great cobbler and jelly. We also harvest walnuts, hickory nuts morel mushrooms, ramps, dandelion for greens and gravy, nettles, clover, and violets for greens. All these are seasonal of course but make a pleasant break in our current fare. If someone was on a constant diet of wheat and beans the ability to identify and cook these wild plants would be a godsend for the palate, and a nutritional gold mine. Naturally different places will have different “wild fare” that will be out there to harvest. Now is the time to be learning what nature is providing in your own part of the world. This web site has over 187,000 recipes, basically if you can kill it or pick it, you will find a way to cook it here.

I would caution anyone that is new to foraging to find someone that is very knowledgeable with the plants in their immediate area. Someone that has picked their own plants and eaten them too! Don’t get started with someone like my neighbor’s son, who thought he knew what he was talking about but had never eaten his own harvest! – John and Abigail Adams