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 “HJL”.

The Flu’s Hight fatality Rate

Reader G.P. sent in this news article showing that in the last couple of weeks, influenza deaths have accounted for 10% of the total number of reported deaths from all causes in the United States. While the particular strain of influenza attacking the population has not mutated enough to be considered a new strain, its fatality levels are approaching those of which a new virulent strain typically causes. The numbers are approaching those of the swine flu which swept the globe in 2009 and 2010. The CDC expects the numbers to keep rising as the flu season continues.

Iran’s Growing Influence

The Middle East is beginning to heat up again. Israel downed an Iranian drone that violated it’s airspace and in return Israel attacked Iranian military targets located within Syria, possibly losing one of it’s own jets in the raid. The Syrian fighting seems to be winding down, but Iran has an emboldened military presence in the region now (thanks to Obama). Iran wants to be a regional power and all of their efforts seem aimed at destroying Israel. Israel’s fear is that Iran will use Syrian territory to create a channel for funneling equipment to Hezbollah to attack Israel. Thanks to B.L. for the link.

Venezuelan Life Hack: Bread Without Flour

Life has become so intolerable in Venezuelan that state media has begun offering the popular “Life Hacks”. If you haven’t heard of these before, it is generally where someone tries to show a different way of using a common item to obtain results. YouTube is full of them. Some are pretty neat, some border on ridiculous and useless, and some are downright dangerous. The media has picked up on this craze offering things like how to prepare a chocolate cake without flour, sugar, or butter. The recipe uses cornstarch and creamed rice. In one case, a life hack suggests using toothpaste as a pregnancy test, something that science denies the efficacy of. Another hack suggests people visit Peru for health care because the country has supposedly run out of ink and paper for passports for those wishing to leave the country. Thanks to G.M. for the link.

Ambidextrous Shooting

Can you shoot with either hand? What if your strong hand is somehow injured, either in a firefight for the safety of your family or by an accident? Reader F.T. sent in this article offering some tips on training with your weak hand. This is a skill well worth learning. A couple of years ago, I smashed the thumb and forefinger of my hand, shattering the bones at the tip of each. For literally three months, that hand was virtually useless while healing. Even after it healed, there were many months where it was sensitive to pain. Total recovery was nearly six months long. Thankfully, I didn’t need to shoot, but I practiced anyway. It was a very enlightening experience.

Retreat Property

There is a wonderful hideaway property listed on Survival Realty. For only $60,000, you can have an off-grid property that includes a well and a storage shed with 12 solar panels already built in. It is currently set up for an RV (not included) and is only six miles from town, but very secluded in its location. A total of 40 acres in Arizona.

When Prepping Becomes Survival

Reader H.L. sent in this article on overlooked skills for extreme emergencies. Using some natural and man-made disasters, the author shows that localized emergencies can present TEOTWAWKI to individuals that may as well be global in nature. Overcoming the popular culture’s vision that you are hoarding when prepping is a mental skill that can mean the difference between life and death. It can also be the difference between losing everything and riding out the emergency in relative comfort. It’s an interesting read.

South Africa: Land or Death

Lauren Southern continues her series on South Africa and this time interviews a government official. Nelson Mandela’s communist dream government had pat answers on how the government was working for the betterment of all people, but when Lauren asked the question about land, the tune changed. The official admitted that they were in the business of taking land from white owners and giving it to black people. Land redistribution based upon skin color. When asked about “compensation”, the official admitted that they leaned towards no compensation and though the laws kept them from endorsing violence at this time, they were actively working to change the laws to allow that. Keep in mind that some of these “white” farmers have owned and worked the land for as many as eight or nine generations. A further interview with some partisan groups demonstrate that the political winds are blowing in the direction of using violence to obtain their goals. Thanks to reader T.J. for the link.

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Please send your news tips to HJL. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) These are often especially relevant, because they come from folks who watch news that is important to them. Due to their diligence and focus, we benefit from fresh “on target” news. We often “get the scoop” on news that is most likely ignored (or reported late) by mainstream American news outlets. Thanks!


  1. Ambidextrous Shooting
    A great skill to have . When I was shooting Cowboy action I shot “Gunfighter”, a revolver in each hand alternating shots. I shot either a pair of 186o armies or a pair of 1873 colts in 45 colt. All full loads of black powder of course. SMOKE AND FIRE! Great fun and a skill I still practice every time I shoot. I’m nearly as accurate with my “off hand”, just a bit slower.

  2. In regards to South Africa I wonder how many Preppers/Survivalist would face the same thing when something like that WROL happens here…How Many would band together and how many would stay on there farms saying nobody’s going to run me off of my land that’s been in my family for four or five generations…And if they are really stubborn they will be buried on it and their bloodline snuffed out all because they didn’t see the need of power in numbers which the collectivist know quite well and are able to use it to their advantage when dealing with people who don’t know it or don’t want to even contemplate it…Sad That…

    1. But the farmers are white, and the government is black, and it is “racist” if you object to the land being taken, the white farmers and their children being horrendously tortured to death.

      An extended interview:

      But there is a lesson. While it doesn’t matter if they wish to kill you because of the content of your character or the color of your skin, you’re dreaming if you aren’t able to defend yourself, especially when you are the small minority.

      That isn’t so in the USA, yet. But enough Somali, Syrian, Afghan, etc. Muslim “refugees”, enough “dreamers” from south of the border that want to try Venezuelan policies here just to see if they will work this time, and you will experience the nightmare dystopia.

      1. Exactly my point which will fly right over the head of most Prepper/Survivalist…They think hiding away is going to save them which it might for awhile but sooner or later they will get to you… Which is why I advocate for building Community’s and forming mutual defense plans with neighboring Community’s…But like you said the pain isn’t happening here yet so everyone doesn’t think it’s necessary…

  3. I am no doctor, but is is possible that the flu vaccines are having the same effect as the over use of antibiotics? Some get a Flu vaccine every year which is highly recommended by the CDC even if it is ineffective. Could the lack of immunity be passed to our children weakening their ability to fight it off? Just a thought!

    1. No. The severity of the flu varies from year to year and it really isn’t uncommon to have thousands or tens of thousands of deaths from the flu. Even in those years the MSM chooses not to highlight the deaths from common flu they still happen.

      “…even if it is ineffective”. The vaccine is always effective. Sometimes it is 30-40% effective and sometimes it is 60-90% effective. It is always worth getting the vaccine.

      The immunity the vaccine gives you is not passed to your children nor would a lack of immunity be passed. The vaccine only bolsters the immunity of that particular recipient of the vaccine.

      Get the vaccine each year and make sure your children get it too. The flu can be deadly and the vaccine is such a cheap and effective option.

      1. My real issue with the flu vaccine is not its effectiveness, or lack thereof. It is the fact that the preservatives include a mercury compound which continues to accumulate in your body for life, increasing with each new injection. Remember the Mad Hatter? I’m not shocked by the increasing rates of senility, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and the whole spectrum of behavioral problems in our society.

  4. Lineman:
    Hey Brother what’s up?
    I’m gonna have to agree with you, again, on the Building of Community’s. All throughout our history Community’s have beat the bad guys at the ballot box as well as beat them in combat. Lord Cornwallis almost broke the back of the southern arm of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, and it was neighbors, community, we also called them Militia, they held the British Army at bay using what we now call Guerrilla Tactics. The Revolutionary War was fought on there front door steps and almost no families where left untouched by this War. Yes, I here someone out there saying ‘But your family could get killed in a war here in the U.S.’ my reply is ‘Yes I’am all to well aware of that!’
    BA ADVISED; THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE NOT SPENT TIME IN A COMBAT ZONE FREEDOM IS NOTE FREE!!!! YES SOME WOULD QUITE POSSIBLY DIE IT SUCKS BUT THAT IS THE GOD AWFUL TRUTH. With these truths in mind ponder this question what would you do in the name of FREEDOM, LIBERTY, AND INDEPENDENCE? Think about it and get back to me.
    Community building is an outstanding way to keep the wolfs at bay.
    It is our Civic Duty to get involved in all level of politics, no matter how much they suck, in order to keep, what we have built and our forefathers left to us, from turning in to a Socialist Fascist Toilet! Community Helps In These Matters! And to make sure our ’employees’ do as they are supposed to be doing!
    A Republic If We Can Keep It, I Say We Keep It!
    Stay Frosty America, Semper FI!

        1. Well hopefully things will improve for you and as long as your on this side of the grass we have time to make things better for ourselves…God Bless Brother and if I can help let me know…

          1. Lineman:
            Hey, I got a little thing you might be able to help me with. I got a couple of days off and only one thing of current need to do of my preps and that’s turn in coin into cash, I got four (4) 5 gallon buckets FULL of coin, one in each denomination, to get rolled and turned in, what I need is the years of Pennies and Nickles that we should be keeping for SHTF barter, yea, yea, I know it’s only been mentioned here on the Blog a thousand time and your truly keeps forgetting to book mark it. Anyway got the time gonna get this small (HA HA HA) task taken care of.

    1. It helped a lot being a left-handed kid going through basic. I saw the brass deflector for lefties as drawing attention, and just shot right handed.

      At some point in my career, I said to heck with it, and went back to left-handed qualification. I’ve shot expert with both hands… Dang eyes started betraying me at some point.

      The younguns are both left-handed, and right eye dominant. When I’ve taken them out, we always shoot from both sides. For me, whichever hands provides an advantage (corners and such) is the hand I use. Weapon constantly moves from right to left depending on situation.

  5. My sympathies to the South Africa Farmers, to have their land stolen and their families tortured and killed. I hope that they have hardened their hearts and minds to the task of defending themselves, their families, friends, and neighbors against the communist invaders.
    One thing that I think I would do if in the same situation is to poison the land. Something. Anything. Massive amounts of salt, insect or plant killer, defoliant, commercial or improvised. Spread it as far and wide as possible, then pack up what you can, and unass the AO post haste.

      1. I get both of you’s points. Salt the earth and bounce. Leave it and reclaim.

        Both are really not viable. One gets you labeled as a terrorist or something. The other is a fools errand. The ratio of whites to blacks (if this winds up simply being a race war) show that even if you were able to reclaim it, more enemies would return and reclaim it. Each time, you put yourself and others at risk of dying for dirt.

        Send out appeals for political asylum and break out of there while your families are intact.

        1. That’s why I put the caveat of IF you were smart enough you could reclaim it… Which means have the ability to hold on to it…I’m not surprised by your comment though judging by your other ones it seems you were Born to Run…

          1. Lineman:
            Remind me, brother, if and when we end up Down Range and the fur starts flying, please make sure we and any others are WAY down range of the MORAL CRUSHER.
            ‘Born to run’ that’s funny right there I don’t care who you are, that’s funny….(LMAO)

    1. On South Africa, all I can say is save the date of April 12th. That’s the projected day that the capital runs out of water. Reservoirs are tapped out. They are down to brown water in many places.

      Things should get real interesting when they start turning off taps, and only send water to tourist areas, and breweries (last I read that was the plan).

  6. Lineman:
    Thanx! And double Thanx on the ’42 to ’45 Silver Nickles. Now Have I got my work cut out for me, it should be a little fun to at least see what I’ve got in my buckets. Let the games begin…

  7. How typical of Syria!
    They are unable (or unwilling) to prevent Iran setting up weapons to kill civilians.
    Rather than kick them out, they set up anti-aircraft guns to PROTECT these killers!
    But it’s all Israel’s fault…

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