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: http://lambriarvet.com/Antibiotics.php 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

Letter Re: Blood Transfusion Equipment Available

I am a fan of your work and am glad that you are now doing a regular blog. I found something that might be of interest to your readers while going through my regular slew of catalogues in the mail today. I remember reading in your novel Patriots about how one of the characters jerry-rigged a person-to-person blood transfusion setup. I noticed that Deutche Optik, a militaria surplus dealer, is carrying a new in the box German surplus person-to-person blood transfusion device. I went ahead and ordered one, on the off chance I may need it one day and have someone around who is medically qualified. Here’s the description:
Blood Transfusion Device “Assa” [NS011] $45.00 (Very Limited Availability) Yeah… we know! Sounds bizarre and macabre, but a damned useful, brand-new, 25ccm instrument. As the German description states: for the use of blood transfusions from vein to vein; infusion and extraction of fluids from body cavities (pleuritis exsudativa); irrigation of serious, bloody and septic joint injuries. Gorgeous tool. 200° C glass with nickel-plated syringes and hardware. Surgical rubber tubing enclosed. 7.5”

Just in case some SurvivalBlog readers might be interested. – D.H.

JWR Replies: I do not recommend person-to-person transfusions, except as a last resort. Under the stress of an emergency surgery, it is too easy to lose track of time and the next thing you know, you have two patients! It doesn’t take that much longer to draw blood from a type-matched donor into sterile packs and then transfuse by gravity from those packs. Proviso: Don’t attempt any sort of transfusion unless it is a dire emergency and until you’ve been taught the proper techniques by an M.D. or other medical professional. (BTW, a phlebotomist or surgical nurse with regular daily experience is probably the best teacher for how to find a vein and set up a Luer lock. A lot of non-surgical docs tend to get a bit rusty.) Blood typing and all of other typical precautions (for shock, embolism, etc.) must also be observed. In the absence of other equipment, one of these Deutche Optik kits would suffice.

Letter Re: Silver Coinage and Ammunition for Barter

Dear Jim:
I am thoroughly enjoying your web site and appreciate very much all of your quality information. Recently you had an article about storing coins and ammo for barter and trade purposes. I would like to ask several questions about this subject.
1.) You mentioned pre-1965 silver dimes, but what about silver quarters and half-dollar coins?
2.) Do you recommend gold coins? I understand the inherent problems with gold bars and bullion, but what about .10, .25, and .50 ounce gold coins for barter?
3. What types and quantities of .22 ammo do you suggest? Stingers, hollow points or FMJ? and in what quantities of each?
4.) Do you recommend storing up primarily hollow points or FMJ in the other calibers?
I’m sure that the other blog readers have similar questions and we thank you for your help.
B’shem Yahshua Ha Moshiach, – Dr. Sidney Zweibel, Columbia P&S

JWR Replies:

In answer to your questions…

1.) I mentioned pre-1965 silver dimes only because they are the smallest denomination U.S. 90% silver coins. Dimes will be perfect for barter transactions like a can of beans or a loaf of bread. Quarters, half-dollars, and even silver dollars are also good to keep on hand for bartering–but only for larger items/quantities, unless you want to use a cold chisel. BTW, U.S. silver dollars are much more expensive per ounce, but since silver coinage has been out of circulation in the U.S., for 40+ years and public knowledge of them is fading, silver dollars are undeniably the most recognizable silver coins for barter with the Generally Dumb Public (GDP). I recommend that you get a mix of coins, but mostly dimes.

2.) As I illustrated in the Barter Faire chapter of my novel Patriots, I do not recommend gold coins for barter.Even the smallest gold bullion coin (1/10th ounce) is still worth about $50 at present and will probably be worth at least four times that When the Schumer Hits the Fan (WTSHTF). They are much too compact a form of wealth for most barter transactions. However, gold coins do serve two useful purposes: Firstly, due to their compactness (per dollar), they are ideal for a last ditch “I need to flee the country, tonight” form of portable wealth. (I couldn’t imagine lugging a bunch of $1,000 face value silver bags (at 55 pounds each) or 100 ounce silver Engelhard bars under such circumstances. Secondly, gold coins are good long term store of wealth to protect the value of your savings from one side of a monetary crisis to the other. (The “time machine” effect that I mentioned in a previous blog post.) But again, don’t buy gold coins for barter. But you should first buy a $1,000 face value “junk” (circulated pre-1965) silver bag each member of your family, for barter purposes. Only then should you consider buying any gold coins or silver bullion.

3.) Stingers tend to have erratic velocity, so I don’t recommend them. I do recommend storing standard factory (Remington or Winchester) .22 Long Rifle hollow points for barter. Buy as many as your budget allows. I personally have 15,000 .22 cartridges set aside for small game hunting and target practice, and another 25,000 set aside for barter. The nice thing about .22 rimfire ammo is that it is relatively inexpensive and very compact. You can fit 4,500 rounds in just one ammo can. They are also divisible for smaller purchases. As a barter item, 50 cartridge boxes of .22 LR will be very desirable. (They will mean “meat on the table” for a lot of hungry families.)

4.) I recommend storing primarily pointed soft point ammunition for hunting rifle calibers, (with perhaps 30% in FMJ loadings for calibers like 5.56mm NATO and 7.62×39). Buy nearly all hollow points for your pistol calibers. WTSHTF, people are going to want to acquire man stopper loads rather than plinking ammo.

Letter Re: Relocating to Arizona

Hi, Jim,
Just adding some thoughts on your assessment of Arizona. There are two Arizonas, the lower half at an average elevation of less than 3000 feet, and the half up on the Colorado plateau at 5000-8000 feet, and the two are totally different. You are absolutely correct about Southern Arizona being too populated, too close the border, and too much crime, almost all of which is in metropolitan Phoenix. If ones does their research (and I am not going to spell it all out here), there are some locations that come in very high. First check your groundwater availability, some areas have intermittent surface water, and no aquifer. Other areas have excellent, clean, well flowing, deep aquifers. You will probably have to put in a well, either wind or solar powered. Solar power has an advantage in that it can be hidden better, but it had the disadvantage of being more technologically complex.
[JWR Adds: The folks at Solarjack/SunPumps of Safford, Arizona are both knowledgeable and reputable PV powered pump dealers. I first did business with them in 1991.] With a good well, you not only have drinking water, you can grow crops. There are large concentrations of LDS members in some areas, this is a good thing to look for, crime is low, and they make good neighbors, even if you are not LDS. Land is reasonably cheap ($200-$500/acre) out of the towns a few miles, but you will have the added expense of your well, which will cost $12-$15K including the windmill or solar, and solar electric generation for lights, and other power, which can add that much again, for a modest system. Game is available, and the population density is these localized areas is measured in square miles per person. My nearest neighbor is 3/4 of a mile away, the next closest is two miles in the opposite direction, and more than 3 miles each in the other two directions,yet there is a town of about 5000 people, only 9 miles by rough road, away. (The place I selected, allows my retreat to not be seen from the little traveled rutted dirt road in front of my place; the only indication that someone is even there, is a slightly overgrown track leading over a low ridge through some trees, from a nondescript barb wire fence gate. After one rainstorm, the track looks like it hasn’t been traveled for months. The CONEX boxes are painted olive drab, and hidden by trees. blackout curtains are used at night in the neutral colored dwelling, you cannot see the place, day or night, from 40 yards away, even though there are large meadows on two sides, as I made sure at least some trees were between the open areas and the structures.) Cattle and crops are grown in the area, and there is game, ranging from rabbits to antelope to elk. Topography ranges from savannah, to juniper to tall pines, depending on the elevation. You are close enough that you can work/live in Phoenix, if needed, yet have a retreat available less than 200 miles away, just know ALL the ways out of town, and have stuff propositioned. And, if you have the money for $20-40K an acre, there are a few select areas in the 4000-5000 foot elevation that have year round running surface water, good flat ground for crops are isolated, surrounded by high mountains and easily defended, as the only two roads in, can be easily defended, or blocked – AZDoug

Reader M.H. Forwarded This Letter To Dealers From SIGArms (USA)

Dear Nationwide:
SIGARMS® is responding to emergency requests from law enforcement in the hurricane ravaged areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and is expediting orders to agencies in those states. Already SIGARMS has shipped extra pistol magazines for the Louisiana State Police who carry the P220 pistol, and at the agency’s request will be sending all available remaining P220 magazines. As a result, SIGARMS has suspended sale of the P220 pistol magazines to the commercial market. Commercial sales are expected to resume in October. Additionally SIGARMS is working closely with officials at the ATF to expedite required paperwork for law enforcement agency transfer of the SG 551 and SG 552 select-fire rifles. Already, SIGARMS has made preparations to ship several hundred rifles to one Louisiana agency. Due to the magnitude of the emergency facing law enforcement in the region hit by hurricane Katrina and the surrounding states which have taken in thousands of refugees, SIGARMS will give immediate priority to requests from area law enforcement agencies and expedite shipments of firearms, parts and accessories. Agencies in other parts of the country that are sending personnel and supplies to the region will also receive priority status to assist them in their efforts. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to our commercial dealers and customers. We deeply appreciate your understanding in this matter. Thank you. – SIGARMS

Reader MH. Adds: I thought everything was “under control …”

JWR Adds: This is evidence that there will be shortages of firearms, accessories, and ammunition WTSHTF. In this isolated instance, SIGArms is devoting its entire inventory for a full month just for one region of the country. Think about the implications of a more widespread emergency. FFTAGFFR, folks! Stock up.

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

"Oh how cruel is the interval between the conception of a great enterprise and its execution! What vain terrors! What irresolution! Life is at stake—much more is at stake: honor!
– Schiller

Note from JWR:

My #1 Son has added a new “Link to Us” button in our navigation bar. This makes it easy for you to add a SurvivalBlog.com image link to your web page/site. Many thanks for helping to spread the word!

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