Monday, April 21, 2014


April 21st is Aggie Muster Day, for all Texas A&M Corps of Cadets graduates. Aggie Muster celebrations/meetings are held as far away as Japan, Germany, and Afghanistan. I should mention that Jim's grandfather (a U.S. Army Cavalry LTC) was an Aggie–something mentioned so often that everyone in his family felt like de facto Aggies, too. Other than the officers that matriculate though West Point, the four institutions that seem to have the greatest ongoing esprit de corps for graduates are Texas A&M, The Citadel, Norwich University, and VMI. Jim felt almost obliged to include an Aggie character in his novels Survivors and Founders, even though his connection to Texas A&M is two generations removed.

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Camping Survival's Mountain House sale starts this week. Be sure to hop on over to their site and check the savings out. They're offering up to 25% off of #10 cans and 15% off of pouches.



The majority of the U.S. population lives in a city or suburbs connected to a city and is completely reliant on grid power from coal, hydro, or natural gas power plants. In the event of a national or local disaster, regardless of the cause, the electricity system is the weakest link. Without power almost nothing else in a city or town will work. These disasters may be of short- or long-term duration, but depending on the weather and medical needs of your family going without power for even a short time could cause great hardship and even death. In this article I want to explain how you can set up a small affordable survival solar electric system, so that in the event of a disaster you would still have power for basic appliances, recharging phones, tools, and lights for security.

How big of a system do I need? First, you need to determine the appliances that you absolutely need to survive. That is usually a few lights for security, a cell phone recharger for communication, and possible a few rechargeable tools. A small 100-watt solar panel, one deep cycle battery, 15 amp charge controller, and a 400 watt inverter will take care of those needs. With these, you would probably have enough power to spare for recharging a laptop computer. If you need refrigeration, then consider a small chest freezer that can be run off a 100-watt panel and frozen jugs of water can be used in an ice chest for items that just need to be kept cool and not frozen.

Where do I put the panel? The panel needs to be in direct sunlight. A roof is usually the best location, facing the panel so it will get full sun at mid-day. This can be a temporary set up, only placing the panel out in a disaster or a permanent mounted system. If you want portability, in case you need to bug-out, I would suggest mounting the panel(s) on your camper/RV roof. Using a heavy-duty extension cord and power strip you can run the power into your house or take the system with you to a safer location.

What solar equipment do I need? A basic solar electric system is comprised of at least one solar panel, a charge controller, at least one deep-cycle battery, and an inverter to convert DC to AC power. You can find solar panels on Ebay or Amazon and online from around $1.00 per watt. Some packages include everything except the battery. You can get batteries locally cheaper, without paying freight charges. I recommend an MPPT power controller, which will get you about 15% more power in low light conditions, but a less expensive PWM controller will do the job. A modified sine wave inverter works fine for most appliances, but for sensitive equipment (some fridges) the more expensive pure sine wave inverters are recommended. Get a true deep cycle battery, not a Marine battery, and Trojan T105 are good batteries. AGM sealed batteries are more expensive, but if you will be storing the battery inside with you, they are recommended. How many batteries you need will depend on how long you want to store power and how much power you will use. For a starter system with a 100-watt panel, one 12volt battery or two 6volt batteries hooked in series will be fine, and you can add panels and batteries to expand your system as needed when you have the money.

What maintenance is required? Solar panel output will be effected by snow and dust, so keep the panels cleaned off and facing the midday sun at all times. Even a small coating of dust will drastically reduce output. Open cell batteries will lose water through evaporation, and the cells must be refilled with clean distilled water. Keep a jug of distilled water on hand just for the batteries. Wear goggles and latex gloves when handling batteries, and be aware acid is extremely corrosive and the gasses released can be explosive. Store batteries in a safe location in a vented box outside the residence, if possible. Batteries work best when they are warm in winter and cool in summer. Battery terminal posts will become corroded from time to time. Use a battery wire brush post cleaner, available at any auto supply store, and a little distilled water to remove the corrosion. DO NOT touch the corroded parts with your hands or get it on your clothing. Check wiring as needed for any abrasions, and tighten connections. Power controllers and inverters generally require very little maintenance but understand the manufacturer's specifications for use and follow their guidelines. Keep your power controller and inverter close to the batteries to reduce the length of DC wire runs, and use a heavy duty power cord and surge protected power strip attached to the inverter for your AC power line. A separate DC power line can be run directly off of the battery posts but must be heavier gauge wire. Twelve gauge is recommended for lights and 8 gauge for any appliance with a motor or pump. DC power lines must have an inline fuse between the battery and appliances to prevent a short that could burn through a power line and start a fire. Keeping a fire extinguisher is recommended in any home.

What about wind turbines? Unless you get over 25mph constant winds, turbines are not recommended for a survival system. They require more maintenance and special controllers and only work well if placed very high and over 50 feet. Put your money into more solar panels and batteries if you need more power. If you do get great wind and it is constant, I recommend the Air X or Air Breeze models that do not require a separate power controller and will work well in lower wind speeds.

What about other solar appliances and gadgets? I also recommend small solar appliances, like rechargeable lights and emergency radios that can be used at home or taken in a backpack. The Ambient Weather Radio and Solar D.Light are excellent products. These can be stored for use in an emergency, and the Ambient Radio has both a solar panel and hand crank and can be used to recharge a cell phone. There are lots of solar gadgets and small flexible solar panels that can be used in an emergency, but for more reliable power get a larger solar panel, controller, battery, and inverter.

My story: I have been off-grid for over 15 years, and my system is 580 watts solar and a 400-watt wind turbine. These power my lights, water pump, laptop, TV, and numerous gadgets. I started with just a 45-watt system and added panels and batteries as I had the money and the need for more power. My heat is a wood stove and propane backup. I use small DC fans and passive cooling, so my electricity needs are minimal. I have survived and thrived just fine with a small solar electric system. When my neighbor's power is out and their houses are cold and dark, I am safe and warm in my solar-powered cabin. I have used and reviewed many solar products, and I am the author of the book "Ultimate Off-Grid Guide". I have over 100 videos of my systems on my youtube channel.



Innovation! That's what has driven our country. Unfortunately, as of late, so many things are being outsourced, and many products cloned or copied, with and without a license to do so. Some time ago, I reviewed the Ruger 10/22 take-down rifle. It's a huge hit for Ruger www.ruger.com, and they keep coming out with different versions of it. Included with the 10/22 take-down rifle is a nice zip-up storage carry case, and it does the job. However, a fellow by the name of Ron Asman, thought he could do it better. I think he has.

Up front I'll confess that I've worked with Ron, helping him refine and improve his design. “No”, I was not paid, and I have no vested interest in his product line. I just saw someone who came up with a "better idea" and threw-in my two-cents worth. As this article is written, at the end of January 2014, Ron still doesn't have an absolute final product. He's thinking of making a few more changes that will even make his 10/22 roll-up case design even better. So, what I'm reporting on are some improved cases, over the original prototypes he sent me, but the final cases will more than likely be changed a little bit more when they are finalized.

As I mentioned, the zip-up case that Ruger provides with their 10/22 take-down rifle is pretty nice. If I had one minor complaint, it would be that the case is a little too bulky or thick. Ron Asman came up with a design that allows you to place your 10/22 take-down rifle with it in two pieces, place the gun inside the sewn-in pockets, place a scope in a pocket, and then roll the case up and fasten it with the buckles. Additionally, Asman has added numerous pockets– six of them– for storing more 25-rd magazines for your 10/22 and plenty of ammo, even bricks of ammo.

The material the Asman roll-up 10/22 cases is made out of is Denier Nylon. I'm not sure which thickness, but I'm guessing it is somewhere in the 1,000 Denier thickness range. It's super, super tough material that can take a beating. The original prototype cases I received were of a light poly material, something akin to the U.S. Army poncho liner. While functional, I didn't believe it would give your gun much protection. It just seems a little bit too flimsy. Ron Asman, if nothing else, is willing to listen and take criticism, so he set out to improve on his original design and material.

Back when .22 LR ammo was cheap, before the current and still on-going rationing and shortage of .22 LR ammo, I could go to the local big box store and pick-up a brick of 500-rds of ammo for $15.95 and enjoy a day of plinking or small game hunting. Not any longer. When you can find .22 LR ammo, it is usually rationed (maybe one or two 50-rd boxes), and they are ten bucks each or even more. So, needless to say, I haven't purchased any .22 LR ammo for more than a year. I can sit and wait for supply to meet demand and prices to come down. My family and I haven't been out shooting our .22 caliber firearms much for the past year or so, since it's just too expensive. We loved going out on a Saturday afternoon and blasting away for several hours, "killing" all manner of paper targets and other targets of opportunity.

I kept my Ruger 10/22 in the factory case, with the two pieces of the gun in the two pockets designed for it. I would keep two 25-rd magazines in and several boxes of ammo in the case. That was all the case would handle. To be honest, as I said before, it was a bit too bulky for my liking, but the gun was protected, and the spare magazines and ammo was there. Still, there had to be a better way. Ron Asman came up with a better mouse trap, if you ask me.

After you break-down your 10/22 into two pieces, you can place them in the pockets inside the case, and if you have a scope, remove it and place it in one of the three long pockets. I'm not sure how many of the 25-rd magazines the cases will hold, but it will hold more of the banana magazines than I have on hand. Additionally, you can put a couple thousand rounds of .22 LR inside the other larger pockets. It all rolls-up into a tidy package that is easy to carry. The cases come with a carry handle, and the buckle keeps everything inside the cases. You can get an optional shoulder strap too, if you want to sling the case over your shoulder.

The two cases I have are almost identical– one is in OD green, and the other is in the popular ACU digital camo pattern. At present, Ron Asman will sell both versions. He may see which one is more popular and discontinue one of the colors, or maybe he won't. The OD green case will retail for $45.00. If you want the shoulder strap, it's another ten bucks. The ACU digital camo case will cost five bucks more, since the material is more expensive. Ron advises that the ACU camo case might go up another ten bucks over the OD case. The camo pattern is popular. Additionally, Ron may offer a woodland camo pattern.

I closely, and I mean, CLOSELY examined both of the 10/22 roll-up carrying cases Ron sent me, and whoever is doing the sewing on these cases (and they ARE made in the USA) knows what they are doing. The seams are prefect, as is all the sewing on the cases. Some of the pockets on the inside are fastened with Velcro, and some just fold-over to keep everything nice and tidy. Without a doubt, a lot of thought, experimentation, and design changes went into the last two samples Ron sent me, compared to the two original prototypes I received.

These 10/22 cases are made one at a time. They are not mass produced. If Ron wanted them mass produced, he could have sent the design off to China. Yeah, the price would have been less, but Ron believes in keeping jobs in America and producing the best product he can manufacture. What's not to like here?

SurvivalBlog readers are probably wondering about Ron's web address. Well, that's another project Asman has that is on-going. I worked with him once again, at no pay, and I have no financial or vested interest in his company on flower pot heaters. I have given him my conclusions. Ron's own research is on-going on this project. Also, as this article is written, Ron's website is still being worked on, but it will be up and running by the time this article appears in print. Right now, you won't be able to order on-line, you'll have to call Ron, but that could change as things progress.

I like when someone takes it upon themselves to see a need and work on filling that need. Sure, the Ruger 10/22 take-down rifle comes in a nice case from Ruger, but some of us require more, something different, or something that will fill a real need. Ron Asman wasn't afraid to step forward and work on a design for the 10/22 take-down rifle. He's had some set-backs, and he surely has taken advice to heart. Now he is producing the best product he knows how to produce, and he is struggling to keep prices down. You'd be surprised to learn how little profit he will make from each roll-up case he sells. Ron and I discussed this, and I don't think he's making a large enough profit margin. Still, he insists on keeping prices down as much as he can. Once again, keep in mind that each case is made one at a time, rather than mass produced on a uncaring machine.

So, check out Ron's website, if you are in the market for something a little different and better than what the factory supplies with their 10/22 cases. I, for one, like to be a little different. I also like the last two samples I received for this article. There is nothing cheap about these cases, NOTHING! You will be the envy of your friends, who have the mere factory case for their Ruger 10/22 take-down rifles. It's designed and made in the USA by a fellow who came up with a better idea, if you ask me. - SurvivalBlog Field Gear Editor Pat Cascio



B.M. answered the summons for scrumptiousness with this delectible dish:

All of these ingredients may be made fresh or dehydrated/freeze dried, and both will be delicious.

If making from dehydrated/freeze dried, reconstitute per package instructions.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Deep 12-inch Camp Dutch oven (DO)
  • 1 23 oz. jar of your favorite Spaghetti sauce
  • 2 8 oz. cans of tomato sauce
  • 1 14.5 oz of diced tomatoes (with Italian seasonings, if available)
  • 1 pound of hamburger or Italian sausage (omit or replace with TVP, for a vegetarian version)
  • 1 1 pound box of lasagna noodles (dry)
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 16 oz. of cottage cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. of Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Pepper

Directions:

  1. Prepare hamburger and then combine with Spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, and tomatoes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all cheeses, then add Italian seasonings, salt, and pepper. Reserve 1 cup of cheese mixture for the top.
  3. In your Dutch Oven (DO), which has been lined with heavy foil or a liner up to and over the rim, place a layer of lasagna noodles. The noodles will of course have spaces around the edges since the DO is round and the noodles are hard and rectangle, but just break pieces to fit the edges. Remember this is not rocket science; it is much better. On top of the lasagna noodles put a thin layer of the cheese mixture. (You can add it in very small dollops using your hands, if you want to.) Pour some of the sauce mixture over the cheese. Add another layer of noodles and press down to help ensure that the sauce and cheese have no air pockets. Continue to layer cheese mixture, sauce, and noodles until you reach the end of your sauce. Add the reserved cheese to the top.
  4. Wrap a layer of heavy foil over inside of the lid and back over the top of the lid to hold it onto the lid of the DO, so that the inside of the DO is completely lined with foil when the lid is in place. Prepare the coals for cooking, and then cook lasagna at 350 degrees for 1 hour. (For a 12-inch DO, that would be 24 coals total, with eight on the bottom around the outside edge and 16 on the top around the outer edge.) Check for doneness. Remember to turn the DO ¼ turn clockwise and the lid ¼ turn counter clockwise every 15 minutes. I prefer to serve this with fresh garlic cheese bread, which I made in a DO, of course. For a great dessert, I would recommend a nice chocolate/raspberry/white chocolate DO cobbler, with grape juice to drink. This will keep the heart and body warm and well fueled.

NOTE: You don't have to line the DO with foil, but this dish is acidic as well as having flavors that will definitely remain in the seasoning. Unless you have separate DO's each for for Savory, Sweet, Breads, and other categories of foods, I would use the foil for this one. You will want to be sure to clean, oil, and heat the DO again afterwards to ensure the seasoning is intact, if you don't use foil. Foil will prove to be a force multiplier in reducing your clean up time, however.

Nutrition information:

  • Serving Size: As much as you can get before it's gone.
  • Calories per serving: Some (if too many, eat less; if not enough, eat more).
  • Calories from fat: They all fell out when you broke the noodles.
  • Protein: I don't know about “Pro”, but definitely some skilled “tein”.
  • Carbohydrates: A few. (Refer to calories for regulating.)
  • Sugars: Of course!
  • Meets or exceeds the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Yummm.

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Do you have a favorite recipe that would be of interest to SurvivalBlogreaders? Please send it viae-mail. Thanks!



HJL -

I have been a student of economics my entire life. From my early college education in the '70s and '80s to continued research for hobby, and for work I have tried to understand the micro and macro perspectives of the U.S. economy.

We are at a place in history that is without precedent. Never has a nation with the responsibility of the reserve currency of the world made such dangerous bets with its economy and currency.

The decisions of the Treasury and FED to head off an electronic bank run in 2008 prevented what would have been the most catastrophic and rapid financial collapse in history. They leveraged everything to right the ship, and it worked. The hope was that it might stimulate demand. Quite the opposite has occurred. We have trillions of dollars sitting on bank and corporate balance sheets, and the debt that should have been wiped out remains. It's all dead money. The M1 money multiplier is at an all time low of 0.7– unheard of before 2008. It is a death sign. Likewise, M2 money velocity fares are no better at a modest 1.6 or so. The government conveniently stopped reporting M3, but others create this data privately. Labor force participation tells the true tale of woe, not unemployment. Asset appreciation is false because of the stimulus of trillions of dollars that may never end. Gold prices are manipulated and HFT is the norm. The real cost of living rises, while real standards of living fall.

While we might follow the path of Japan with a 20+ year stagnation, and that seems to be our course, history hates a vacuum; it hates stagnation even more. Something ultimately breaks the logjam– war, collapse, or disease. All break the paradigm of a failure to change in unexpected ways.

We should all expect great change while understanding the speed and timing are beyond our ability to accurately predict. It reminds me about the saying of going bankrupt. It starts slowly, then it goes really fast. I am amazed the dollar is still accepted in world trade, yet expect it to change in only days when it fails. This generation has no historic precedent to use as basis for prediction. Only by studying history can we possibly understand what lies ahead. The fourth turning must certainly be ours.

Regards. - S.L.

Hugh Replies: I agree with most of what you have said, but I'm not sure if the decisions made in 2008 actually worked or not. In my current thinking, I'm pretty sure they just kicked the can further down the road and ensured that when (not if) the adjustment happens, it will be far more catastrophic. As far as economics go, I'm not even sure history helps us at this point. Never before has every major economy been based upon fiat currencies and debt so high compared to GDP. I am certain it will self correct, but what form that takes is a mystery to me right now.





An interesting plant that may provide some useful resources for those inclined to Self Sufficency.

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Raindrops and toilets can potentially power your home. - G.P.

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UAV Pilot Charged with Felony. The government's double standard at work again. - T.Y.

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Oklahoma will charge homeowners who generate their own power Taxing off grid homes in OK. - G.P.

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Hide a secret room in plain sight. Secret bookcase door. - CDV



“The 'private sector' of the economy is, in fact, the voluntary sector; and...the 'public sector' is, in fact, the coercive sector.” - Henry Hazlitt


Sunday, April 20, 2014


On this wonderful Resurrection Sunday, I was blessed by a letter sent in by SurvivalBlog reader A.W. I'd like to share it with you too:

Hi Hugh,

I discovered “How Can I Keep From Singing?” in Rawles' novel Patriots and have been curious about its origin. His book says it's a Shaker hymn and other sources claim it's a Quaker hymn, so I was surprised to learn [by a determined google search] that it was actually written in the mid 1800s by Robert Lowry, a Baptist minister, who also wrote “Shall We Gather At The River” and three others that are in my Baptist Hymnal but not familiar to me.

Although I've listened to Enya's version, I find the echo effect she uses to be way too fuzzy for the song. I have found an MP3 by a voice that fits the song and nestles just right in my soul.

James Loynes is a Welsh baritone who has a mellow voice and good diction and conveys a sincere feeling for the music and lyrics. This url has both sheet music versions and a vocal with quiet accompaniment

I am so happy to have found this that I felt urged to send you the info. - A.W.

Lyrics

My life flows on in endless song
Above earth's lamentation
I hear the sweet, tho' far-off hymn
That hails a new creation
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing
It finds an echo in my soul
How can I keep from singing?

What tho' my joys and comfort die?
The Lord my Saviour liveth
What tho' the darkness gather round?
Songs in the night He giveth
No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that Refuge clinging
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth
How can I keep from singing?

I lift mine eyes; the cloud grows thin
I see the blue above it
And day by day this pathway smoothes
Since first I learned to love it
The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart
A fountain ever springing
All things are mine since I am His
How can I keep from singing?

JWR Adds: It is noteworthy that Enya omitted the name of Christ in her version, perhaps in an attempt to make the hymn more palatable to a wide audience. She should have displayed more backbone!

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Today we present another entry for Round 52 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $11,000+ worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course (a $1,195 value),
  2. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner's choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  3. Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  4. A $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear,
  5. A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value),
  6. A $300 gift certificate from Freeze Dry Guy,
  7. A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo,
  8. A roll of $10 face value in pre-1965 U.S. 90% silver quarters, courtesy of GoldAndSilverOnline.com, (currently valued at around $180 postpaid),
  9. Both VPN tunnel and DigitalSafe annual subscriptions from Privacy Abroad (a combined value of $195),
  10. KellyKettleUSA.com is donating both an AquaBrick water filtration kit and a Stainless Medium Scout Kelly Kettle Complete Kit with a combined retail value of $304,
  11. APEX Gun Parts is donating a $250 purchase credit, and
  12. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $300 gift certificate.

Second Prize:

  1. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  2. A FloJak EarthStraw “Code Red” 100-foot well pump system (a $500 value), courtesy of FloJak.com,
  3. Acorn Supplies is donating a Deluxe Food Storage Survival Kit with a retail value of $350,
  4. The Ark Instituteis donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package–enough for two families of four, seed storage materials, a CD-ROM of Geri Guidetti's book "Build Your Ark! How to Prepare for Self Reliance in Uncertain Times", and two bottles of Potassium Iodate– a $325 retail value,
  5. $300 worth of ammo from Patriot Firearms and Munitions. (They also offer a 10% discount for all SurvivalBlog readers with coupon code SVB10P),
  6. A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials,
  7. A full set of all 26 books published by PrepperPress.com (a $270 value),
  8. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value),
  9. Autrey's Armory – specialists in AR-15, M4s, parts, and accessories is donating a $250 gift certificate,
  10. Dri-Harvestfoods.com in Bozeman, Montana is providing a prize bundle with Beans, Buttermilk Powder, Montana Hard Red Wheat, Drink Mixes, and White Rice, valued at $333,
  11. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $150 gift certificate, and
  12. Organized Prepper is providing a $500 gift certificate.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security,
  5. A MURS Dakota Alert Base Station Kit with a retail value of $240 from JRH Enterprises,
  6. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
  7. Ambra Le Roy Medical Products in North Carolina is donating a bundle of their traditional wound care and first aid supplies, with a value of $208.
  8. SurvivalBased.com is donating a $500 gift certificate to their store.

Round 52 ends on May 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.



Dear Reader,

As a person who has been blessed with not needing reading glasses, I am usually happy to read lists on prepping that tell the readers to make sure that they have extra prescription glasses in case they break their everyday glasses and cannot get new ones due to unforeseen circumstances. It's one more place I can save a few dollars. That's great, but is it really that simple? Many times I have glossed this fact in my mind. I wear sunglasses everyday. They are cheap and available everywhere, which is a good thing because I am a little rough on them. Between the odd time when I sit on them or toss them onto a parts-strewn surface and scratch the daylights out of them, mine have a relatively short lifespan. I used to hang them on my head. Unfortunately, the cover crop is thinning out too much and cannot hold them there any longer. After the second smashed pair that fell off backwards, I start hanging them on my shirt. Now most of my t-shirts have a slight 'V' in the collar that my wife hates. If I do not hang them, they get forgotten and, therefore, bent, broken, or lost. As a professional driver they are an important part of my everyday carry. Of course I never thought of it as such. You do not want to drive far without a pair when driving into the sunrise or sunset or when facing a horrible glare off equally horrible city buildings, traffic, or in the winter on the Prairies when everything is white for miles. I drove a week once with a plastic Snoopy pair because I needed them and could only find one set in my size at a gift shop. Beggars cannot be choosers, and I was begging. The last thing I grab when I leave the house is a pair. I also snatch a pair when going to the garden or to work on equipment. I like the slight amber lens because while driving it helps me to notice animals. These same glasses help with the green brown contrast and go straight from my work truck to my hunting truck. The UV protection and anti-glare contrast are very helpful. Coming from a hunter, it may sound strange, but I would rather see and slow down for an animal than hit it. I do not feel that unnecessary death is something that I can live with as a cost of doing business. Additionally, these plastic trucks seem to disintegrate on impact with June bugs. As much as I use my sunglasses I had never before thought, “What if this was the last pair that I could ever buy? Have I even considered how I can protect my eyes from everyday things that happen? If the SHTF, how many things am I going to be doing that can be less than healthy for my eyes? Do I have extra sunglasses for when the lenses become crazed with scratches or milky? What about when they fall apart?”

I had a pair of sunglasses once that I left in the car in winter. When I hopped in and put them on, my body heat caused the lens to crack in half. You do not go very long without finding yourself with a new pair. Right now I have the option of buying new tools (safety glasses are tools) to use. What about down the road when they start breaking or wearing out? I know that my safety glasses have saved my sight while using the grinder. I have thrown out many a pair that had too many burns in the line of sight. Also, while using old wire wheels, I have picked lots of loose wires out of my clothes. One time I thought I was stung on my face but really had one lonely wire sticking straight out of my upper lip. Sure you say, that is a power tool, and after the SHTF we will be using hand tools. Well, then, I suppose you have never broken a drill bit. Even hand tension can send pieces of high carbon steel flying like it was shot from a slingshot. Additionally, since most people will be doing things that they have never done before, I am certain that there will be quite a few improperly used hand drills, not to mention that casehardened mild steel punch and chisel set that can be bought cheaply from an import tool store. They may be a cheap way to fill your Armageddon survival fantasy toolbox, but the first time your strike sparks, you will realize that those little pieces flying around you are dangerous. For the more adventurous prepper you may get into torches and welding. Cheap safety glasses will save you the first time you are soldering a pipe and manage to leave a couple drops of water in the line. Believe me, molten lead can sputter. (This also applies when casting bullets.) I have several shirts that are only used now for plumbing, because of the lead melted into them. The little mixed gas brazing tanks can be bought cheap and used when there is no power. Their goggles are handy, and you can pop out the dark lens and just go with the clear ones as an expedient dust goggle. If you plan on welding, well, you have more money than me. If the power stays on, my wife has the best auto darkening helmet I could find. It is good for stick welding, mig/tig, torch, and if you leave it off you have a great grinding shield. Yes, she is the welder in my family. It is simple common sense. She is great at it and wants to weld. Stick your pride on the shelf in the shed, and let those who can do. In many of those weird movies that have post-apocalyptic themes, the people many years into the future are wearing some kind of welding goggles. Why? They are industrial use. Fairly cheap safety glasses and replacement lenses are available now. You should buy some. For the cost of the one pair of ultra cool Oakley's, you can have dozens of clear, smoked, amber, or mirror safety glasses and replacement lenses. Buy some for the whole family. Ever since I first saw that ad that everyone has seen with the sunglasses that have stopped a bullet, I have thought about what it would be like to have that kind of protection. Of course, if everyone who was nasty enough to shoot at you would be kind enough to only use .22 short at the range of 50 feet or more, that would be great. Realistically, just like the military, I have come to the conclusion that the simplest form of danger to your eyes is the best one to protect for. I am talking about dust, wind, little bits of stuff blasted into your face, and of course simple bad luck. Think bad luck is not important? How about the last time you walked into a tree branch that was perfectly level with your head and scratched up your face? What about those psychotic little flies whose only purpose in life is to commit suicide by dive bombing your exposed eyeball, while you are busy doing something outside? Think that cannot happen at an inopportune moment? In the SHTF time, you will be outdoors alot more often than you are used to– possibly up to 24 hours per day. When I first thought of this, I went down to the local Salvation Army store and found three pairs of skiing goggles. I paid $3 for two pair and $3 for the third pair. This beat the pants off the surplus ones for $20. Considering that I plan to use sunglasses most of the time, it was still nice to find a cheap backup. I also use them when shooting. Sure I learned without them, but the little things have taught me better. I first started when I learned black powder. The guy who showed me, (yes, I had an enthusiast teacher) said that you never know 100% of the time what is going to happen. Sure, things are very well made, but a firearm is a controlled explosion. He put a cap on an empty chamber and fired it. That thing was mangled. He said that he had never been hit in the face with a fragment of brass, but he was never going to take the chance. I took that lesson to heart. Now, all shooting is done with glasses. I stopped shooting one brand that was made by a drunken gintaster in an un-named factory, because I noticed too many flattened primers and too many burnt casings, suggesting breach blowby potential. If that had happened, it may not destroy the firearm, but it can send oil droplets and dust (even rust flakes or carbon cakes, for those who do not clean their weapon properly), at high velocity into your face. This can seriously affect your health and well-being if that second shot is a must. As well, when reloading ALL steps can be dangerous. I have a quarter inch scar on my left index finger from trying to catch a dropped shotgun hull before it hit the ground. The primer burst with my hand beside it. Sometimes it is best to step back and let things fall. Things happen. Yes, I was wearing safety glasses. The reloading manuals all say that you should wear them at any time you handle propellants and primers. Left to my own devices, I did not know any form of commonsense as a child. I had many days without eyebrows. Looking back I am absolutely amazed that I did not take an eye out. I did have instruction about this though. My grandfather (may God rest his soul) was blinded in one eye during WW2. He would never even allow me to use a lawn mower without first putting on safety glasses or, at the very least, sun glasses. If you refused, you could not work at his farm. Grandfather had a tough life finding work, as a man with no depth perception. He always had a job, but he also had lost several in his life because the company would not allow a one-eyed man to work machinery. He used a glass eye, but eventually he was found out. It is not the same now, but back then that was life. I understand now why he was so upset when us, grandchildren, took unnecessary risks. He was trying to protect us from his life. He taught me to use my first gas power tools. When I got old enough to finally use a chainsaw, I automatically put on the glasses. I do not use just glasses anymore, because as anyone who has used a chainsaw knows pieces of wood fly everywhere. I worked in forestry for a while, and it was required that we use full face shields whenever we started up our saws. I found that the wire mesh one worked best, because in the summer it allowed a breeze to cool your face and did not fog with your sweat or breath. If you are buying your saw, go to a proper dealer. They will have these great helmets that have the shield and ear muff attachments. I may not work with a saw professionally, but I still keep this stuff for when I cut firewood. Now, even when fully blind one can be a productive member of society, and these changes are good. Making full use of people, instead of giving them pity or ignoring them, gives them good value and self determination. Discrimination is wrong, but what about after SHTF? If you loose an eye, are you going to be able to bag the wild game that your family needs to eat? If it is your shooting eye,can you protect yourself properly with one-half of your vision being a blind spot? What if you lose both eyes from some accident and suddenly have no way to properly support yourself or your family? Blindness will most likely be a death sentence for those after a SHTF situation. Those born that way will at least have the advantage of always being that way. You will have a learning curve that most likely will be insurmountable, unless you already have a large community or family that will be willing to take care of you and yours while you adjust. If your community has certain standards, they may only assist in a finite number of charity cases. Also, the government could use your situation as negative, in regards to who is useful versus who is not. I am sure that there are charts and triage requirements that say a one-eyed person has less value. It would be a shame to have to be separated from loved ones because they meet a certain criteria and you no longer do. Going back to eighteenth century medicine is not going to be easy. When you are on your own and cannot get a doctor to check out your pinkeye that you got because something got in there and infected it, you may loose your sight. Right now you buy your milk at the market. If the time comes that you must get it yourself, you will find very quickly that cows love to wrap their tails around your head while milking. Those tails, covered in dust and sometimes excrement, can put foreign matter into your eyes. This can very quickly turns out bad. Flushing them with warm milk does sometimes help clear up that infection, ironically. Several years ago my wife got metal splinters in her eye while at work. She was driven to the emergency room and got fixed up proper. It was an accident. This same accident, in a SHTF world, would have left me trying to use her eyebrow tweasers, while she screamed and flinched at every move I made. When you have no way to fix the problem, the best thing to do is try to prevent it the best way that you can before it can become a problem. Having some safety glasses or even sun glasses around, plus extras, can keep you in the habit of using them too. Just because it is a pain to go get them or that you lost them are no excuse, when it comes to protecting your eyes. I had an uncle who also lost an eye, but it was because he was too impatient to walk across his shop and get a pair of safety glasses.

Keeping yourself with vision (not visually impaired) in the future could require nothing more than simply spending a few dollars on a few items now that most of us never think about until it's time that we need them.



Hugh:

I was a little surprised at your comment "It is tough to reload cheaper than bulk ammo for pistol though" in your reply to CR's letter. As an example, I reload .45ACP under 15 cents a round using 200 grain lead bullets from Missouri Bullet Company. The bullets are under 10 cents each, add a primer for 3 cents and 2 cents of powder, and there you are. I crank these out at 300-400 per hour on my progressive, at a leisurely pace.

I checked on ammo prices at the local farm store this afternoon and .45ACP is running 50 cents a round. Perhaps some can find it cheaper in bulk, but my prices for reloading are well under anything I've seen for .45ACP in bulk or otherwise.

I get a kick out of others watching me shoot my XD's at the range, peeling off 10 rounds at a crack; they clearly think I'm independently wealthy to be able to shoot that much .45, but I always end up telling them how I can afford it– I reload.

To get the price down you have to buy in bulk– no 100-bullet orders, no 1-pound powder orders, no buying primers 100 at a time. I buy bullets in the thousands, powder by the 8# keg, and primers 5000 at a time. But Hugh, if you do it right, you can save a lot of money reloading or, as I do, shoot more than I otherwise could.

Of course, your mileage will vary; if you have Glocks with octagonal rifling, lead bullets aren't advisable, and thus you may, if you like Glock, be forced to reload more expensive plated or FMJ bullets. But if you can reload lead, and use quality lubed bullets, you can save a ton, or shoot more.

Love the blog. Keep it up. - M.D.

HJL Replies: For your practice and fun ammo, you can reload on the cheap. However, the actual questions was about prepping ammo, which I understood to be ammo used primarily for the possible protection of your preps. For that ammo, you cannot run the brass into failure, nor can you spend time during the firefight collecting your brass so you can reload for the next assault. In those cases, your reloading costs are significantly higher because you generally need to use jacketed bullets, and you must have brass for every round you count. When reloading once-fired or new brass, your cost per round will only be slightly lower than domestically produced bulk ammo and may be higher than many imported ammo (in the standard 9mm or 45acp offerings). With other cartridges, YMMV. Handloaded rifle ammo is almost always less expensive, even when buying virgin brass.

Of course, once you have the investment in the reloading hardware, it's difficult to let it sit idle when you need rounds, no matter what the cost.



How many Americans live paycheck to paycheck? A nation living precariously close to the financial edge.

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Gold Doomed or Resting? Gold vs. Major Currencies; Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley Reiterate Sell Signal

Gold Doomed or Resting? Seldom is sentiment so bad for something that still appears to be a long-term bull market.

When in doubt, it pays to take the opposite side of what Goldman Sachs publicly says. Goldman has a history of not only being wrong but betting against its own recommendations. - P.S.

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Items from The Economatrix:

It's Time To Ditch The Consumer Price Index (CPI)

Q1 Earnings Season Summary: More Than Half Have Missed Revenues

Keynesianism: The Road To Hell?

Initial Jobless Claims Beat; Continuing Claims At Lowest Since Dec 2007



New York gun owners shrug off tough new rules: What happens now?. - G.G.

The more people who standup to the tyranny, the more others will join them.

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First Connecticut Arrest for Unregistered Assault Rifle? - I expected that there would be an arrest at some point, which might trigger a valid challenge to the law in a court system, but illegally shooting squirrels in front of two police officers and then admitting to owning banned weapons wasn't what I expected.

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IRS Among Agencies Using License Plate-Tracking Vendor . - PLC

As we expected to find, it isn't just the LA police that consider ALL cars to be under investigation at all times.

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Western lawmakers gather in Utah to talk federal land takeover - P.M.

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The United States of SWAT?. - B.B.

With the militarization of every federal agency and every police force, we are seeing a rising number of situations where the agency is attempting to enforce things they have no right or real training to enforce. It seems eerily similar to the infamous “brown shirts”.



“If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” - 1 Corinthians 16 22-23 (KJV)


Saturday, April 19, 2014


April 19th marks the multiple anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord, known as "The Shot Heard 'Round the World". This first battle, leading to our nation's independence, was the then-dictator's (United Kingdom King George III's) FAILED attempt at "gun control"– an act being carried out in too many parts of our USA RIGHT NOW. This first gun control of the colonies was a failure, because of the will and determination of a small part of the population (about 3% actually fought for our Independence actively with many others supporting) to stand up to an oppressive controlling government (England). Without the sacrifice by those few Patriots, we could very well still be "British subjects" rather than independent citizens.

It also marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising against the Nazis in 1943, the BATF's costly raid on the Branch Davidian Church in Waco (20 years ago, today), the gun turret explosion on the USS Iowa in 1989, the capture of the Boston Marathon bomber in 2013, and very sadly also the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

April 19th is also the birthday of novelist Ralph Peters. Coincidentally, Ralph and JWR both have the same literary agent, Robert Gottlieb.

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Don't forget about the non-fiction writing contest. There are over $11,000 in prizes awarded every two months! If you have been thinking about writing an article, don't put it off.

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Today we present another entry for Round 52 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $11,000+ worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course (a $1,195 value),
  2. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner's choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  3. Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  4. A $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear,
  5. A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value),
  6. A $300 gift certificate from Freeze Dry Guy,
  7. A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo,
  8. A roll of $10 face value in pre-1965 U.S. 90% silver quarters, courtesy of GoldAndSilverOnline.com, (currently valued at around $180 postpaid),
  9. Both VPN tunnel and DigitalSafe annual subscriptions from Privacy Abroad (a combined value of $195),
  10. KellyKettleUSA.com is donating both an AquaBrick water filtration kit and a Stainless Medium Scout Kelly Kettle Complete Kit with a combined retail value of $304,
  11. APEX Gun Parts is donating a $250 purchase credit, and
  12. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $300 gift certificate.

Second Prize:

  1. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  2. A FloJak EarthStraw “Code Red” 100-foot well pump system (a $500 value), courtesy of FloJak.com,
  3. Acorn Supplies is donating a Deluxe Food Storage Survival Kit with a retail value of $350,
  4. The Ark Instituteis donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package–enough for two families of four, seed storage materials, a CD-ROM of Geri Guidetti's book "Build Your Ark! How to Prepare for Self Reliance in Uncertain Times", and two bottles of Potassium Iodate– a $325 retail value,
  5. $300 worth of ammo from Patriot Firearms and Munitions. (They also offer a 10% discount for all SurvivalBlog readers with coupon code SVB10P),
  6. A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials,
  7. A full set of all 26 books published by PrepperPress.com (a $270 value),
  8. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value),
  9. Autrey's Armory – specialists in AR-15, M4s, parts, and accessories is donating a $250 gift certificate,
  10. Dri-Harvestfoods.com in Bozeman, Montana is providing a prize bundle with Beans, Buttermilk Powder, Montana Hard Red Wheat, Drink Mixes, and White Rice, valued at $333,
  11. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $150 gift certificate, and
  12. Organized Prepper is providing a $500 gift certificate.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security,
  5. A MURS Dakota Alert Base Station Kit with a retail value of $240 from JRH Enterprises,
  6. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
  7. Ambra Le Roy Medical Products in North Carolina is donating a bundle of their traditional wound care and first aid supplies, with a value of $208.
  8. SurvivalBased.com is donating a $500 gift certificate to their store.

Round 52 ends on May 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.



There are many aspects of survival and many different scenarios you may need to survive. It does little good having three years of food saved up, if you don't survive a gun battle during the first week of TEOTWAWKI. With this article, I hope to give you an additional skill you may use to help you survive one type of survival situation. This is a situation where you have to use a handgun to defend yourself in a no light or low light environment.

Before we get too involved here, let's review the four important firearm safety rules:

  1. All guns are always loaded. (Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.)
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that “this” particular gun is unloaded, see Rule #1.)
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target (...and you are ready to shoot! This is the Golden Rule. Its violation is directly responsible for about 60 percent of inadvertent discharges.)
  4. Identify your target and what is behind it. (Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.)

With those in mind, think of which rules could easily be violated when using a flashlight (or by not using a flashlight) with your handgun.

It is important to become proficient using a flashlight with your handgun. Target identification is one of the most important aspects of self-defense with a firearm. You don't want to accidentally shoot your own child, thinking that it was a burglar. (Yes, it has happened.)

Also, you don't want to point your firearm at anything you are not willing to shoot, such as your child. This is a great reason to have a flashlight that is NOT mounted on your handgun.

For at least 15 years, I've been using and teaching an unusual technique for using a flashlight with a handgun. It's different from any I've been taught, and I've never seen it taught by anyone else. I thought it was about time I write an article about this method, so that those who choose to can put this technique in their tactical toolbox.

I'm sure there are many who will wonder why change at all. After all, most of the older techniques have been around for a long time, and many have been used with successful outcomes in actual firefights. My answer is, “Don't change if you don't want to.”

While pursuing to be a better fighter, man has constantly strived to develop skills that increase his chances of winning. Most hand-to-hand street fighting used to consist of just boxing techniques. Now, kicking and grappling are also commonplace. Handgun combatants of old would use a one-handed, shoot-from-the-hip style, where nowadays most use a two-handed Weaver or Isosceles stance. New techniques are evaluated by individuals. They adopt them, or they continue using another technique of their choice. Some techniques just work better for some people and/or situations.

I started using my flashlight technique because it filled a need. To me, all the other techniques seemed to have some problems, problems that seemed greater than those created with my technique. (After all, there are good and bad points to almost all techniques.) I will compare my technique to others and let you decide.

We all know about firearm mounted flashlights– light that is actually attached to the firearm. Most of us know about the FBI flashlight technique– the flashlight hand is extended high and out to the side. Some people know about the Neck Index technique– the flashlight is held along the jaw-line. Of course, there are also several variations of techniques where the flashlight is held near the grip of the pistol, such as the Rogers, Ayoob, Harries, and Chapman techniques.

The first problem I have with most flashlight techniques is that the flashlights don't properly light up the sights of a pistol. The one that comes closest to properly lighting the sights is the FBI technique. In ALL of the others, the flashlight is held below your eye-level, and therefore the light is BELOW the sights. The FBI technique does light up the sights, but the light comes from an oblique angle, putting slightly odd lighting and shadows on your sights. Depending on the distance of your target and how far out you're holding the flashlight, your rear sight may not even be lit up.

With all the techniques where your flashlight and pistol hand are touching, you don't properly light your sights and, you run the very high risk of violating firearms safety rule #2– Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. This is also true when the flashlight is mounted to the pistol and is clearly not the best flashlight position for safety or accuracy.

Another issue is using a flashlight technique while utilizing cover. We all know that we should use cover when possible. When using a flashlight with cover, you run the risk of somewhat blinding yourself by the reflection of your light against your cover, having your target in a shadow or placing yourself farther outside of cover than you normally would. This is, of course, dependant on which flashlight technique you chose, which side of cover you are on, and how close you are to that cover in your particular scenario.

With my technique, the shooter holds the flashlight directly on top of their head, effectively turning the flashlight into a hand-held headlamp. Yep, it does look goofy, but by doing this, the sights will always be properly lit up. Also, when using this technique, the lighting appears more natural. We are accustomed to light coming from above– the sun and room lights, so the shadows created with this technique will be more natural looking. The problems with shadows or reflections from your cover are minimized. The other advantage is that you can easily have the flashlight in position and on target while keeping the pistol in a SUL or Low-Ready position. This can prevent you from violating safety rule #2, and yet it's still easy to quickly get your handgun up and on target using a one handed grip. The sights will be properly lit, automatically, while the flashlight is already aligned toward the threat. Plus, if you are up on target and you suddenly decide to go to a muzzle depressed position, you can do so easily without moving the aim of the flashlight. Thinking about and manipulating the flashlight is minimized, while speed, accuracy, and safety are increased.

By keeping your flashlight hand on the top of your head, you have no chance that the muzzle of the handgun will accidentally aim at your flashlight hand. People momentarily pointing their handgun at their hand, which is holding the flashlight, is something I often see students do with other flashlight techniques.

Some question whether having your flashlight in line with your body will attract bullets there. This may be true, and in that case the only technique that may help prevent that is the FBI technique. However, it is also true that many shots, especially those by untrained criminals, miss their mark. It may be that the safest place to be is right in line with your light. It's often just a matter of luck where the bad guys bullets end up. When you have to send rounds toward a deadly threat, you want to add as much skill as you can to your own luck.

It is generally a good habit to hold your handgun with two hands when firing it, but when you've got a flashlight in one hand it's a different story. With the vast majority of flashlight techniques, what's really taking place is that you're holding a flashlight in one hand and a pistol in the other, and your two hands are just touching. The handgun is really being held with only one hand. The benefit of having two hands "near" the grip of the handgun is not nearly as great as having two hands "around" the grip of the handgun.

The distances I expect to engage in a gunfight in the dark are less than the distances I would in daylight. At those reduced distances, I expect to be able to hit my target while holding the pistol with just one hand, especially if I can obtain a proper sight picture. Also, as you know, having a good sight picture is even more important the farther your target is from you.

So give it a try, but don't cheat yourself. Test it in worst case conditions. Make sure it's really dark. Do it at night, outside, where the only light available is the flashlight you're holding. Doing it on an indoor range, where light reflects off the walls, is cheating yourself. Shooting the same time as other shooters, whose lights can aid you, is also cheating yourself. Try several methods and test the amount of time to get shots off and how accurate those shots are.

It is also important to do "dry fire" practice with the flashlight too. Try all the techniques, including this one, to see how they work as you are searching through your dark house or property. See how the technique works as you slowly look around the cover you are using. Have someone act as a "bad guy" (or a "good guy" being mistaken for a bad guy), so they can give you feedback from the other view. Be super safe! Use a plastic training pistol or a water pistol to do this practice.

You may decide that this technique is the best for you, or you may like one of the older techniques. Either way, make sure you practice with your handgun in low or no light situations.

Be safe.



Gentlemen;

I have a question about storage of reloading supplies in relationship to total ammo storage. On page 236 of “How to Survive The End of World As We Know It”, JWR recommends certain inventories for each weapon category. He goes on in the next paragraph that three times those level makes some folks more comfortable. In trying to reach those levels, do you gents recommend a ratio of ready ammo to an amount of reloading supplies to achieve the three times amount? Given the current ammo shortages and the expense associated and the fact that reloading supplies are still pretty available (costs are going up, but at least you can still get the items), I am thinking that this is a way to achieve the total desired.

Thanks for your comments - C.R.

HJL Replies: The absolute best way for bulk ammo is in a ready-to-format. However, I have been reloading for nearly 40 years and have found that I can produce ammo tailored to my specific firearms (for accuracy and reliability) and have fewer problems overall. I use Dillon progressive reloaders and have a system in place that keeps the error rate extremely low. I also have an inspection process that culls any defective ammo. For me, it is winter work (when I can't get to the garden). You should purchase in bulk from a variety of suppliers and make sure that you either have assembled or can assemble the amount of ammo that you consider necessary. The only real difference from normal reloading is that you end up inventorying more brass than you would if you were just reloading to save money. You can reuse brass, but you should keep the lots separate. I recommend that you have the assembled ammo for SHTF use and then you have the everyday practice ammo. You also have what I term “carry ammo”– ammo that has been assembled from no more than once-fired brass (or new brass) and is intended for your daily carry. By buying bulk, you should be able to save a considerable amount on factory rifle ammo. It is tough to reload cheaper than bulk ammo for pistol though. If you are doing it right, you should have a higher confidence level in your own loads than the bulk. Also, if you are looking at long term storage of the ammo or need some weather protection, you really need to seal the bullet in the seating process and the primer.

One word of caution on storage of bulk components: Storage of bulk ammo is relatively safe. Storage of bulk powder poses some problems.





Ready Made Resources has a Gas pistonupgrade for your AR-15. Switching to a gas piston operating system from a direct gas impingement one leads to a cleaner and cooler operating rifle. This should lead to fewer malfunctions and considerably more time between cleanings. The OPS-416 kit is a true drop-in gas piston conversion, installing easily in a few minutes with a minimum of tools or technical expertise.

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Krayton Kerns , DVM on “Environmentalism as our national religion”.

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A SurvivalBlog reader reports that he has received a recall notice from Remington for his Model 700 regarding the X-Mark Pro trigger system. If you have a Model 700 or Model 7 manufactured between May 1, 2006 and April 9, 2014, you may want to look into that.

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What happens when ammo burns? - Mike Williams, SurvivalBlog Editor At Large.

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Many SurvivalBlog readers sent this in: Interactive map shows the staggering 47 PERCENT of the country that is currently uninhabited. Note that many of the areas in the southwestern U.S. is not just unhabited but pretty close to uninhabitable. Commercial buildings are also listed as unoccupied because no one actually lives there according to the census data.



“Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the name of the Lord; praise him, O ye servants of the Lord.” - Psalms 135:1 (KJV)


Friday, April 18, 2014


Today we present another entry for Round 52 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $11,000+ worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course (a $1,195 value),
  2. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner's choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  3. Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  4. A $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear,
  5. A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value),
  6. A $300 gift certificate from Freeze Dry Guy,
  7. A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo,
  8. A roll of $10 face value in pre-1965 U.S. 90% silver quarters, courtesy of GoldAndSilverOnline.com, (currently valued at around $180 postpaid),
  9. Both VPN tunnel and DigitalSafe annual subscriptions from Privacy Abroad (a combined value of $195),
  10. KellyKettleUSA.com is donating both an AquaBrick water filtration kit and a Stainless Medium Scout Kelly Kettle Complete Kit with a combined retail value of $304,
  11. APEX Gun Parts is donating a $250 purchase credit, and
  12. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $300 gift certificate.

Second Prize:

  1. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  2. A FloJak EarthStraw “Code Red” 100-foot well pump system (a $500 value), courtesy of FloJak.com,
  3. Acorn Supplies is donating a Deluxe Food Storage Survival Kit with a retail value of $350,
  4. The Ark Instituteis donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package–enough for two families of four, seed storage materials, a CD-ROM of Geri Guidetti's book "Build Your Ark! How to Prepare for Self Reliance in Uncertain Times", and two bottles of Potassium Iodate– a $325 retail value,
  5. $300 worth of ammo from Patriot Firearms and Munitions. (They also offer a 10% discount for all SurvivalBlog readers with coupon code SVB10P),
  6. A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials,
  7. A full set of all 26 books published by PrepperPress.com (a $270 value),
  8. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value),
  9. Autrey's Armory – specialists in AR-15, M4s, parts, and accessories is donating a $250 gift certificate,
  10. Dri-Harvestfoods.com in Bozeman, Montana is providing a prize bundle with Beans, Buttermilk Powder, Montana Hard Red Wheat, Drink Mixes, and White Rice, valued at $333,
  11. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $150 gift certificate, and
  12. Organized Prepper is providing a $500 gift certificate.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security,
  5. A MURS Dakota Alert Base Station Kit with a retail value of $240 from JRH Enterprises,
  6. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
  7. Ambra Le Roy Medical Products in North Carolina is donating a bundle of their traditional wound care and first aid supplies, with a value of $208.
  8. SurvivalBased.com is donating a $500 gift certificate to their store.

Round 52 ends on May 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.



I have lived all my life in rural areas in the mid-south United States. Ever since I was little, gardens, orchards, vineyards, poultry, livestock, beekeeping, hunting, fishing, and trapping have been a way of life for me. Now, that is not to say we are off the grid or don't buy any food from the grocery store, but all this supplements the life we live. Both the family I grew up in and the family I now have are large families, by today's standards. Like my father, I have a job in town to pay for land and a home in the outskirts of the county. We are blessed to have upper, thick loess soil and rainfall amounts that exceed fifty inches annually, with an average of two to four inches during the summer growing months. A minimum of 180 frost-free days each year ensure a long growing season. The recent droughts that have plagued the nation haven't affected our local area, and the farmers have had a crop to harvest every year for as far back as I can remember, though some years are better than others, with their best harvests coming in the last few years. The only down side to good soil, plenty of rain, and a long growing season is that the grass and weeds grow vigorously, along with everything else.

This blog– www.survivalblog.com– is one of the few things I read consistently, and many a time different articles would make me think of what I could grow to feed my family year round if the grocery stores no longer had food. Of course I would still have our long-term storage foods, poultry and livestock, over fifty fruit and nut trees, blueberry bushes, raspberry bushes, strawberry plants, asparagus patches, and all the seeds that are saved for the annual vegetable garden. Still, what about friends and neighbors who only have large yards of grass that they mow. What could be grown in yards, pastures, and parks (without fertilizers and insecticides) that would be nutritious and could be stored without canning or freezing until the next year? Immediately, peas and beans came to mind. Field peas or cow peas (as some people call them), Black Eyed, Purple Hull, Black Crowder, Pinto, Cranberry, and Lima are the types of peas and beans I am talking about. Check out www.victoryseeds.com for a description of each. You may have to find certain varieties that are suited to your environment. They will grow on poor soils and don't require a lot of nitrogen, like corn does. Although I see some aphids and insects on them, the yield has not been substantially reduced. I have had pumpkin bugs kill my squash and pumpkin vines, but I never lost my peas and beans to any insect or disease. I currently store a variety of bean and pea seeds and all my garden seeds. Field corn, sweet potatoes, and regular potatoes over winter and are planted again each spring. Peas and beans are hands down the easiest, in my experiences, to grow, harvest, and store of all the above. We currently grow several varieties of each, and they are easily grown, don't require fertilizers or pesticides, are nutritious, and all you have to do for storage is let them dry on the vine, then pick them, and store in a dry place in the hull where rats and mice can't get them. Shell them whenever you have time. Don't store them in plastic bags or they may mold; use paper bags or cardboard boxes. I have heard stories that my great grandmother stored her shelled beans and peas in pillowcases. Deer do love to eat pea and bean plants, but if you are in a survival situation I expect you have already eaten the deer. If it is not a survival situation, build a good fence.

Now that we know what to grow, how do we turn those lawns, pastures, and fields into food-producing gardens? If you had a tractor, plow, and fuel or a team of draft animals and plow, you would be in business. Good luck trying to use a hand held tiller to break sod-covered new ground. With a strong back and a good steel handled shovel or several wooden handled ones, my brothers and I broke the ground for my Dad's large garden each winter when we were teenagers. That was over twenty years ago. Although my ego tells me I could still do it, we have found an easier way. Over the last seven years we have changed the way we garden, and it is less labor intensive and protects the fertility of the ground. Previously the garden dirt was broken with tractor, tiller, or shovel, but now we copy the local commercial farmers of corn, soybeans, and cotton and use a no till method that preserves the earthworms and organisms that are beneficial and reduces erosion of topsoil. I have used this method on beans, peas, corn, melons, squash, pumpkins, potatoes, and anything else that is planted by seed. This method is not considered "organic", but if you buy food from the grocery store you are not eating organic anyway.

What we do, come May or June, is go to a section of our lawn, grown up garden ground, or a piece of land that has had the timber harvested. It does not matter if it has weeds or grass growing on it, although less is better. We then mark where our first row will be with a string pulled tight between two stakes. Stay away from trees since their leaves will shade the peas or beans and their roots will draw moisture out of the soil. If the ground is sloped make the rows crossways to the slope to reduce erosion. After the string is pulled, the person with the strongest arms takes a good sharp garden hoe and chops a hole, one to two inches deep, in the ground every 18 to 24 inches apart. This is my job, and if I am chopping through the sod in our lawn, it is quite a job. Kid number one lets me get eight to ten holes ahead (to stay away from the sharp hoe swings) and then starts dropping three to four seeds in each hole. Kid number two covers the seed with the chunk of sod or dirt chopped out of the hole. Kid number three rests under the shade tree by the water hose until the row is finished. Then the three kids swap jobs on the next row, while I move the stakes 30 to 36 inches over for the next row. I have found this is the best way to keep the kids from complaining that one job is easier than the other, and it keeps them hydrated at the same time. Also, your children will invariably ask questions like, “Why do we have to do this Daddy? None of the other kids in my class at school have to do this.” You get to explain that if, God forbid, the grocery stores ever ran out of food we would still have something to eat. Then you have to explain what things could happen that would cause the stores to run out of food. Most of the time they end up appreciating what we are doing, but they still want to hurry up and get done so they can get back in the air conditioned house. In four to five hours we can have half of an acre planted, depending on how hard the ground is, how hot it is, and how many water breaks I need. Half an acre of beans or peas makes all that my family and two families of kin folks will eat in a year, in a non-survival situation. We usually plant another half acre of field corn for poultry and livestock feed, along with our regular garden of tomatoes, okra, squash, and more.

The same day, or the day after the seed is planted in amongst the weeds and grass up to knee high, I take my hand sprayer, mixed with eight ounces of 41% Glyphosate per gallon of water, and spray a light mist of the mixture on all the weeds and grass. The grass and weeds will yellow, then turn brown, and die while the seeds that were planted sprout and grow. Within a few weeks all the grass and weeds will be gone and a nice stand of peas, beans, and corn will have taken their place. I did a search on Glyphosate and could not find any conclusive evidence that it is anymore harmful to humans than diet soda. All the corn, soybeans, and cotton that are grown commercially in our area are genetically modified, so Glyphosate can be sprayed directly on them without killing them. If you are eating food that you did not grow yourself, it probably has been exposed to Glyphosate. While I am apprehensive about chemicals and genetically modified seed, I can see the benefits of this method:

  • not having to use all the diesel fuel to break the ground,
  • not having to repeatedly till, for grass and weed control,
  • not having loose, tilled ground that allows minerals and nutrients to escape, and
  • minimizing erosion.

Like I said earlier, the local farmers are breaking their all-time best harvest records every few years, while using less fuel, pesticides, and herbicides than ever before. The seed I use is not genetically modified, so after it sprouts Glyphosate will kill it along with the grass and weeds. Therefore, any more weed or grass control is best done by hoe or hand. However with a several week head start, the peas and beans should make a crop before the weeds and grass over take them.

A 2.5 gallon jug of 41% concentrate Glyphosate costs around $60 at our local Tractor Supply Store, and it will last me two years or cover about three to four acres of grass and weed killing area.

So, now you have one more prep to stock. May God bless you.

HJL Adds: Glyphosate (aka Round Up) was introduced as a herbicide my Monsanto in 1970. Its design function was to allow Monsanto to genetically alter crops for resistance to it, so it could be sprayed indiscriminately on the crops, killing off the weeds that choke the crop out without hurting the crop itself. When absorbed through the leaf of the plant, it becomes toxic to the plant and kills it. Glyphosate resistant plants still absorb the herbicide, but are not affected by it. It falls under the EPA's regulation. In the U.S. it is considered noncarcinogenic and low in dermal and oral toxicity. The EPA claims eating a lifetime of foods sprayed with maximum doses will result in no adverse health effects. The European Commission, however, has said that there may be a link to birth defects.

The unabsorbed chemical binds to soil particles and is rendered inert. However, because of this binding action, it may be persistent, and it may harm the natural soil processors such as insects, bacteria, and earthworms. I, personally, do not use it in my garden areas, though I will use it as a herbicide in other areas. I have noticed that some grasses seem to be unaffected by it, and continued use in those areas make the unwanted, resistant grasses grow without competition.



Dear HJL,

Regarding the letter about “Banksters”, I spent a few years in banking. I was the guy that ran the computer department. I have never found anyone more clueless about computers than bankers. Every teller had a paper tape calculator in front of them. They had to do all the calculation, then enter the computed values into a computer terminal. Their constant question to me was, "Why do we have a computer?" That did not endear me to the management. A senior VP of operations came to me telling me, he wanted to run a manual test for backup to the computer. I asked him where he thought this could be done. He said accounting. I asked how many bookkeepers would be required to process the quarter of a million transactions every day. We decided there wasn't a building big enough in the city, nor enough bookkeepers. There has not been a great deal of improvement in the thinking of bankers. They are in the business of collecting money, not spending it, to protect their customers. Well, that's true, other than the required insurance, which will not cover enough. Humans are short-sighted critters. They rarely learn from history or the experiences of others.

I moved on from there. I discovered there is more widespread ignorance about computers than knowledge. - DCJ

HJL Replies: It seems that there are a number of industries that are incredibly distrustful of computers, even though they use them daily in the actions of the business. It is also a individual “people” problem. People do not like to change and will not learn new technologies unless forced. The educational system in our country seems to be in the same boat. The children in the classroom will often be able to run circles around the teachers and administration with electronics, yet the teachers are expected to prepare them for industry.

Of course, the students need to learn how to function without a calculator, too. Contrast your experience with the next time your local Walmart has a power outage. Rather than run the registers manually, they just shut down because the clerks usually can't count money. I used to have fun with my students who worked there by deliberately going through their checkout line and purchasing something under $20. I would hand them a $20 bill, let them ring it up, so the computer told them how much change to give me, and then hand them some additional change so I would get a different return of change. I would then often have to help them count the proper change out.





Harrison Gear LLC, is offering a 10% Discount off your order (or they will cover the shipping of your order) for all SurvivalBlog readers. To take the discount, you have to call their office at (406) 404-4084 to make your order and then reference the discount to the operator. Or you can email them and request that an invoice be sent. They will take payments in a variety of ways, including check, cash and money order.

o o o

Some Bad News: 7N6 (5.45x39mm Russian) Ammo is Now Officially Import Banned.

JWR's Advice: Stock up on a few cases before prices jump above 25 cents per round.

o o o

You have to wonder who taught them these ideas? Watch as Anti-NRA Protester Explains Why You Shouldn't Be Able to Protect Yourself With a Gun If Your Life Is in Danger. - JBG

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Despite worldwide claims of “Never Again!”, here we go again. Leaflet tells Jews to register in East Ukraine. So far, the authority under whose name they were distributed, claims that he had nothing to do with it. - P.M.

HJL Adds: There is some question as to whether this article in USA Today is actually true. USA Today has not cited their sources, though they do have a photograph of the letter in question. SurvivalBlog's contacts on the ground in Ukraine are refuting this information as disinformation from the FSB

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The USPS wants to mine and sell data gathered from your mail. - H.L.



“Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.” - Alexis de Tocqueville


Thursday, April 17, 2014


April 16th is the birthday of two notable novelists:

Agorist-Libertarian activist J. Neil Schulman (born April 16, 1953). He is best known as author of the novel Alongside Night.

and,

The late Samuel Youd(born 1922, died February 3, 2012). He was the British novelist who was best known for his science fiction writings under the pseudonym John Christopher, including the survivalist novel Death of Grass(titled No Blade of Grass, in the American edition) as well as the Tripods Seriesof young adult sci-fi novel series. A fascinating man, Youd wrote prolifically, using eight pen names. He was a good friend of sci-fi novelist John Wyndham, and both of them were famous for writing what are often called cozy catastrophes.

o o o

The EPA is losing its mind. They want to redefine water to mean all surface water rather than just navigable water so they can regulate it. Here's what Krayton Kerns thinks.

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Today we present another entry for Round 52 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $11,000+ worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course (a $1,195 value),
  2. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner's choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  3. Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  4. A $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear,
  5. A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value),
  6. A $300 gift certificate from Freeze Dry Guy,
  7. A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo,
  8. A roll of $10 face value in pre-1965 U.S. 90% silver quarters, courtesy of GoldAndSilverOnline.com, (currently valued at around $180 postpaid),
  9. Both VPN tunnel and DigitalSafe annual subscriptions from Privacy Abroad (a combined value of $195),
  10. KellyKettleUSA.com is donating both an AquaBrick water filtration kit and a Stainless Medium Scout Kelly Kettle Complete Kit with a combined retail value of $304,
  11. APEX Gun Parts is donating a $250 purchase credit, and
  12. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $300 gift certificate.

Second Prize:

  1. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  2. A FloJak EarthStraw “Code Red” 100-foot well pump system (a $500 value), courtesy of FloJak.com,
  3. Acorn Supplies is donating a Deluxe Food Storage Survival Kit with a retail value of $350,
  4. The Ark Instituteis donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package–enough for two families of four, seed storage materials, a CD-ROM of Geri Guidetti's book "Build Your Ark! How to Prepare for Self Reliance in Uncertain Times", and two bottles of Potassium Iodate– a $325 retail value,
  5. $300 worth of ammo from Patriot Firearms and Munitions. (They also offer a 10% discount for all SurvivalBlog readers with coupon code SVB10P),
  6. A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials,
  7. A full set of all 26 books published by PrepperPress.com (a $270 value),
  8. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value),
  9. Autrey's Armory – specialists in AR-15, M4s, parts, and accessories is donating a $250 gift certificate,
  10. Dri-Harvestfoods.com in Bozeman, Montana is providing a prize bundle with Beans, Buttermilk Powder, Montana Hard Red Wheat, Drink Mixes, and White Rice, valued at $333,
  11. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $150 gift certificate, and
  12. Organized Prepper is providing a $500 gift certificate.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security,
  5. A MURS Dakota Alert Base Station Kit with a retail value of $240 from JRH Enterprises,
  6. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
  7. Ambra Le Roy Medical Products in North Carolina is donating a bundle of their traditional wound care and first aid supplies, with a value of $208.
  8. SurvivalBased.com is donating a $500 gift certificate to their store.

Round 52 ends on May 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.



This article is not about practical survival skills; it's quite the opposite. It is a pre-collapse idea only and will disappear post-SHTF. Why this is useful information is that it's an idea that may let you make the leap to living at your retreat full-time sooner and help you make ends meet while other income sources are developed. It is a plan for your home-based business, requiring no start up capital, and it's a job for which you are already hired. You won't have to leave the house to work or to get paid. There is actually no selling either.

I, like many of you, am a stay-at-home mom. My husband works full time outside of the home and also works side jobs when he can. We took JWR's advice about diversifying our income, and in addition to taking care of the household, raising children, gardening, and so on, I have a small home-based business. We are savers and are able to meet all of our needs with these income sources. However, there are still a few times a year when it seems like there is too much month left at the end of the money. There are also times when you just need to buy something that is bigger than the monthly budget allows. I started looking around for ways to bring in a few extra dollars, but it was hard with the schedule of a mother, as well as seasonal chores. When part-time jobs were available locally and seasonally (which is not often), they often had many applicants or strict hours, which precluded me. We weren't looking for a lot extra, just enough that we could start to build up a bigger emergency fund and have a more ambitious purchasing plan than we had for items needed.

After a long time of searching, I came across Amazon's Mechanical Turk (https://www.mturk.com/mturk/welcome) . This was exactly what we were looking for, and it's probably what you are looking for also. As I came to realize, it is a prepper's best friend.

What is it? Amazon's Mechanical Turk (“Mturk” for short) is a company started by Amazon in 2005 as a way to weed out duplicate pages on its website. It has since grown. It is not a “get rich quick” scheme or anything like that. Far from it. It is a web-based network of workers and employers. Requesters/employers post a "Human Intelligence Task" (“HIT” for short) on the Mturk website. In a nutshell, these are things a living, breathing human must do that computers are not capable of. Workers complete the task, and the employer approves or rejects the task. If it is approved, you get paid for it. Simple enough, right? Let's dig a little deeper.

First the legal stuff. For U.S. workers, you need to be eligible to work in the U.S. They send a 1099 tax form out at the end of the year for your wages, and you are responsible for any taxes owed on it. Remember, you are a real employee doing real work, so you owe real taxes. You are considered a contractor.

Sign up is simple. You can sign up with your existing Amazon account information, but they will require a SSN or tax identification number and a few other things. You submit the application, it is reviewed within 48 hours, and you are ready to start to work.

What kind of work can you do? There are roughly 500,000 open HIT's on MTurk at any given time. There is a huge variety of work to do. Some are psychology surveys for graduate students. Some are marketing research, like do you prefer packaging “A” or packaging “B”. There are audio transcriptions to be completed. Some ask you to record yourself saying certain words or phrases. (Think language learning CD's. Someone has to read all those phrases in German.) Some ask you to classify a product into a category that you would use to search for it. Others want you to beta test a website and provide feedback, or write a short article for something. Others have you searching for certain terms on Google and then reporting the rankings and what major city you are near. Most are simple; some are more complex. I was a tad skeptical at first, but these are real, honest jobs. Each has its own payment and time frame to be completed. How many of these HITs are open to you depends on your ratings and qualifications.

MTurk has a very interesting "feedback" system, and it pays to do good, quality work. (Like any job, when does it not pay to do well?) Each HIT you accept is tracked, and you are ranked in certain categories. These categories include:

  • Total HITs accepted– how many you agreed to work on,
  • Total HITs submitted– how many you completed within the time frame allotted,
  • Total HITs returned– HITs you accept but return to allow someone else to do,
  • HITs abandoned– HITs you accepted but didn't complete in the time frame and didn't return,
  • HITs approved– how many of your HITs get accepted by the employer, and
  • HITs rejected– how many of your HITs get rejected by employers.

Employers can put certain requirements on jobs, such as total hits approved equaling more than 1000 or HIT approval rate is 95% or higher. As a general rule, the more restrictive the qualifications, the better the pay. I like this system much better than something like an eBay style system, where it can be manipulated. MTurk ratings provide a much clearer and honest picture of what each worker does.

In addition to the ratings above, you can also obtain “qualifications”. There are currently a little over 13,000 different qualifications that you can receive. These are granted by the employers. Some require a test, while others do not. As an example, one of the transcription companies has a sample transcription job as a test. You complete it and submit it. Your score is your rating and will qualify you for future transcription jobs. Others are confidentiality statements. Again, the more restrictive the qualification (i.e., can you speak Finnish fluently), the higher the pay.

Speaking of pay, I'm sure by this point you are wondering what the pay is and how it works. Honestly, it depends on the job. Some jobs, like rating jokes (yes, it's a real job) pay a penny a joke. Others, like development of a web page or transcription of an hour-long audio (also both real jobs) pay $40.00. The majority that are available to newer workers pay between $0.05 and $2.00.

In order for you to get paid, you need to sign up for an Amazon Payments account. It is Amazon's version of PayPal. An employer prepays Mturk for the work to be done and deposits the money into its account with Amazon Payments. When you complete a HIT, it gets sent to the employer to approve or reject. The default setting for employers is to auto approve completed hits after seven days. They can change this to a maximum of 30 days, meaning it could feasibly take up to 30 days to get paid for the job. Most approve HITs within a few days. Once your HIT is submitted and the employer approves it, that amount is transferred to your account. Amazon gets their cut by charging the employer a small fee per job. This fee is paid by the employer, not you. Amazon holds all funds for the first ten days of a new account. Once you have money in your Amazon Payments account, you can spend it directly and immediately on Amazon (how convenient for them!) or have it deposited into a bank account. Bank accounts must be linked like they are through PayPal. Once they are verified, transfers typically take two to three days to show up. We have a separate account we opened up specifically for PayPal, so we used this one. With the abundance of free checking accounts out there, I highly recommend opening up one specifically for this and/or PayPal.

When I got my email saying my application had been accepted, I couldn't wait to begin. I excitedly told my husband all about it and set aside an hour one day to see how much money I could make. My first job was to write a 50 word answer to a debate question. Easy enough. That paid $0.15. My second job was a marketing research survey for packaging for a new cracker. That paid $1.00. In the first hour of work, I made a little over $8.00. Initially, I was frustrated. I applied one hour of my time, and I only made a little over minimum wage. Not to sound conceited, but my time is worth more than minimum wage.

Later that night, after the house had gone to bed, I sat down to give it another try. This is when the beauty of it hit me, and why I realized it was so prepper-friendly. I had gone about it wrong earlier by sitting down for an hour straight. Here was a job that I could do 24 hours a day, when it was convenient for me. I could do it five-minute HIT by five-minute HIT, if I wanted. I could spend 15 minutes in the morning, doing it while coffee brewed, and 15 minutes before bed. I could miss a week if I wanted to. I could truly do it at my own schedule. If I had to can vegetables that day and couldn't get to any HITs, it didn't matter. Likewise, if we got snowed in, I could do HITs all day.

Also, I could do it all at home in bed if I wanted. All you need is a computer and an Internet connection for the HITs, and honestly, some could be done on a smart phone. It is truly an all season, 24 hour a day, work at home, direct deposited job, with work available on demand. The application process is strictly determining if you are eligible, not having to go through a selection process. Whether home is an apartment in the city or a retreat in Montana, as long as there is Internet, you can do it. Most of the HITs do not contain video or images, so dial-up should work for it as well. You could even do it at the library computer if you are limited by that.

I settled on a goal of $5 a day. In pieces of time here and there, I tried to make my goal each day. Some days took five HITs. Other days it took 20 HITs to meet my goal. On a few days, I only made $1.50, while others I made $10. At the end of the first 30 days though (honestly only 26 days, since I didn't work on Sundays) I had beat my goal and made $180. This is not a huge amount but is very respectable. This represents many things– eight or nine ounces of silver, a new .22 rifle, an extra trip or two to the grocery store, or an extra car or credit card payment. This did not require me to change anything that I was doing. I took advantage of some “down” time I had to be productive. When you think about this over a year, you are looking at roughly $1800. I know of very few homesteads that could not use an extra $1800. If you are on a super strict budget and started to use Mturk, you could buy two PTR91s or an ounce and half of gold after a year with no changes to your income. We decided to wait until we reached $240 in the account to withdraw anything. $20 went in an envelope for our tax liability. (You don't want to forget to set that aside!) $20 went for a donation to charity. $100 went to savings for a rainy day, and $100 went to our purchasing plan. We withdraw the money when the account reached this amount for ease of budgeting, rather than making a monthly withdrawal. As stated above, it showed up in our account three days after making the transfer online. The couple that told me about Mturk each has their own account. Hers goes to buy Christmas and birthday presents, and his goes to buy new guns.

Some people are able to make a modest living strictly off of Mturk. In the event of a job loss, I think it could help hold you over till a new job was found. If you had two adults doing it, you could make even more money. I think it is a huge blessing for prepper families who are rural and don't have part-time jobs available nearby or where work is only available seasonally. You can even do it on a bus or train commute. It may be the extra income stream needed to make the move to your retreat full-time. It could really help the self-esteem of a disabled or older family member and allow them to enjoy a way to still contribute. If you are in the unlucky position of having a spouse that does not support prepping, it may be a good way to go about a purchasing plan without disagreements over budgeting. The possibilities are endless.

Here are a few final thoughts on the matter. Like anything, there are some bad apples. Amazon tries to run a tight ship, but with 500,000 HITs, some things slip through. Amazon hosts the site but is not responsible for content. It is up to workers and employers to police it. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. If a 30-second survey pays $50, it's probably not real. If anything asks you to download software to complete the HIT, don't do it. This is a violation of HIT rules and should be reported to Amazon. There is a small amount of adult content on some Mturk HITs. Some are things like reviewing flagged images or surveys about sexual habits. These are very clearly marked on the listing page, and as such, are easily avoided. Even HITs that MAY contain adult material are very clearly labeled for easy avoidance, so you will not accidentally stumble across them. People try to use computer programs to complete HITs, so many HITs have test/reliability questions built in to them to ensure a live human is completing the job, such as “If you are reading this question, please select item 4” or something of the sort. Read all instructions. Do good work. It pays. Employers can and will give you a bonus above and beyond the stated amount for quality work. I did a HIT that was to beta test a website. I had an issue with one portion of the page. Rather than just point out the issue, I included my ideas for fixing and improving it. In addition to the $0.80 the job paid, I was given a bonus of $1.00. Good work also leads to future work. Employers will email you directly with a link for new HITs when you have done quality work. Capitalism is alive and well, with workers going after high-paying jobs and employers rewarding good workers.

I hope you try Mturk. It is a very friendly, easy way to make actual money from home and is available on demand to all. My husband's French grandmother was very fond of the saying "Petit à petit, l'oiseau fait son nid." It translates to "little by little, the bird builds it nest". We are continuing to build our nest, one HIT at a time.

God Bless!



HJL,

In reference to the article "http://www.survivalblog.com/2014/04/hyperinflation-is-coming-10-basic-steps-to-surviving-an-impending-currency-collapse-by-sp-part-2.html", the author speaks about selling on eBay and using PayPal. I must advise your readers that this is indeed a good idea, however, please be informed about the rules and regulations dealing with taxes. There are limits as to how many items/listings you can sell and how much money you gain prior to them being reported to our favorite entity– the IRS. There are a few things that can be done, such as selling in lots. For example, if you have 10 dolls, rather than selling each one individually they can be sold in one lot; this would count as one, not 10 listings. Also if any limits are exceeded then you would have to abide by your specific state laws regarding a small business license and all the fees that go with it. I'm just saying, do your research on both sites. Great article by the way.

o o o

Hugh,

Great article although one thing jumped out about "STEP 3: Liquidate Useless Items to Generate Extra Cash" and the example of selling off old clothing. That is a great idea as long as you are buying things you need, BUT those old clothes might be worth more in hyperinflationary times than they are worth today. We are already seeing a surge in consignment stores of all types as the cost of living has escalated.

It is a good idea, just be careful on what you sell as the future values (monetary or barter) may surprise you. Thanks - B.M.





While eyes are focused on the Bundy Ranch, another rancher has been winning the battle in courts over much of the same issues: Federal Judge Rules for Property Rights, Smacks Down Abusive Feds - P.M.

o o o

Spying The Open Skies Of America - B.B.

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"Frankly, I don't know what it is about California, but we seem to have a strange urge to elect really obnoxious women to high office. I'm not bragging, you understand, but no other state, including Maine, even comes close. When it comes to sending left-wing dingbats to Washington, we're number one. There's no getting around the fact that the last time anyone saw the likes of Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, and Nancy Pelosi, they were stirring a cauldron when the curtain went up on 'Macbeth'. The three of them are like j*******s who happen to possess the gift of blab. You don't know if you should condemn them for their stupidity or simply marvel at their ability to form words." - columnist Burt Prelutsky, LA Times

Sent in by E.M.

o o o

For those who are tired of the PVC-coated copper wire we buy at the Orange Box Store when making antennas (low strength, looks like garbage after a few weeks in the sun), RBS reminded us of The Original Wireman.

o o o

Donald Rumsfeld's letter to the IRS: His taxes are a known unknown. We were all thinking the same thing anyway. - CPL

o o o

It may be satire, but it sure hits home: FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States. - C.R.



“It's clearly more fun to make the rules than to follow them.” - Seth Godin


Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Today we present another entry for Round 52 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $11,000+ worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course (a $1,195 value),
  2. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner's choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  3. Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  4. A $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear,
  5. A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value),
  6. A $300 gift certificate from Freeze Dry Guy,
  7. A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo,
  8. A roll of $10 face value in pre-1965 U.S. 90% silver quarters, courtesy of GoldAndSilverOnline.com, (currently valued at around $180 postpaid),
  9. Both VPN tunnel and DigitalSafe annual subscriptions from Privacy Abroad (a combined value of $195),
  10. KellyKettleUSA.com is donating both an AquaBrick water filtration kit and a Stainless Medium Scout Kelly Kettle Complete Kit with a combined retail value of $304,
  11. APEX Gun Parts is donating a $250 purchase credit, and
  12. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $300 gift certificate.

Second Prize:

  1. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  2. A FloJak EarthStraw “Code Red” 100-foot well pump system (a $500 value), courtesy of FloJak.com,
  3. Acorn Supplies is donating a Deluxe Food Storage Survival Kit with a retail value of $350,
  4. The Ark Instituteis donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package–enough for two families of four, seed storage materials, a CD-ROM of Geri Guidetti's book "Build Your Ark! How to Prepare for Self Reliance in Uncertain Times", and two bottles of Potassium Iodate– a $325 retail value,
  5. $300 worth of ammo from Patriot Firearms and Munitions. (They also offer a 10% discount for all SurvivalBlog readers with coupon code SVB10P),
  6. A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials,
  7. A full set of all 26 books published by PrepperPress.com (a $270 value),
  8. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value),
  9. Autrey's Armory – specialists in AR-15, M4s, parts, and accessories is donating a $250 gift certificate,
  10. Dri-Harvestfoods.com in Bozeman, Montana is providing a prize bundle with Beans, Buttermilk Powder, Montana Hard Red Wheat, Drink Mixes, and White Rice, valued at $333,
  11. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $150 gift certificate, and
  12. Organized Prepperis providing a $500 gift certificate.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security,
  5. A MURS Dakota Alert Base Station Kit with a retail value of $240 from JRH Enterprises,
  6. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
  7. Ambra Le Roy Medical Products in North Carolina is donating a bundle of their traditional wound care and first aid supplies, with a value of $208.

Round 52 ends on May 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.



10 STEPS TO SURVIVING AN IMPENDING CURRENCY COLLAPSE

STEP 1: Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and Accept the Free Gift of Salvation

The war against the U.S. dollar, the middle class, and free-market capitalism is spiritually rooted, so therefore the solution is spiritual. Important Note: Step #1 is the most critical because absolutely nothing is more important than the forgiveness of sin. "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:" (Romans 3:24)

STEP 2: “Know Thy Enemy”

Educating yourself about macro-economics is critical, and this website has produced a lot of good online documentaries.

STEP 3: Liquidate Useless Items to Generate Extra Cash

Successfully implementing Step 3 has caused a few extra thousand dollars to flow into my life. From flipping a purportedly rare $26 investment book for several hundred dollars to selling off my 1990's Ralph Lauren college wardrobe that was gathering dust, this eBay idea has proven to be a God-sent bonanza.

  • Building a war chest of cash is essential to every survival plan, so generate additional capital by selling off unwanted/useless items.
  • Set up an eBay account and begin to sell useless/unwanted items. Here's how:
    1. Create an eBay Account .
    2. Sign-up for PayPal Account .
    3. Download eBay Turbo Lister.
    4. Identify unwanted items of value and take quality photos.
    5. Acquire boxes and labels for shipping and package professionally in advanced.
    6. Build inventory within Turbo Lister by creating new items.
      • Use a catchy title and write out a detailed, honest description.
      • Upload a minimum of two or three quality pictures.
      • Sell at fixed price for 30-day duration as a private listing.
      • Provide free shipping, but factor shipping cost into your price with two days handling time.
      • Require immediate payment via PayPal and returns not accepted.
    7. Add items to upload and then upload all or selected items to eBay.

STEP 4: Invest in Basic Necessities and Develop a Strategy for Bartering

If or when the economy experiences runaway inflation, everyday household items will spike dramatically and panic buying may ensue as a by-product.

STEP 5: Build an Emergency Food and Water Supply

Inflationary psychology may become a huge factor because in a similar manner to what occurs when there's an imminent threat of a hurricane or severe snowstorm, panic is triggered and people begin to stockpile things, which creates shortages and causes prices to skyrocket. This in-turn exacerbates the panic. Building an emergency supply circumvents this dilemma.

  • Educate yourself on emergency food storage and buy one year's worth of food.
  • Visit http://www.foodstoragereviewer.com to review emergency preparedness companies and products.

Reputable Emergency Preparedness Companies:

STEP 6: Seek Out Alternative Currencies to the U.S. Dollar

Hedging against an abrupt U.S. Dollar devaluation and the volatility of holding fiat (paper) currency is a must!

  • Educate yourself on bullion buying, and purchase American Gold/Silver Eagles along with junk silver.
  • View Kiyosaki/Mike Maloney Video.

Reputable Precious Metals Dealers:

CAUTION: Precious Metals investing is rife with rip-off artists, market manipulation, unscrupulous broker/dealers, and the risk of government confiscation. Novice investors should not enter the market without proper education. (Visit http://www.goldscams.com and read the free Special Report.)

Recommended Reading: Rich Dad's Advisors: Guide to Investing in Gold and Silver by Mike Maloney.

STEP 7: Grow Your Own Food (if possible)

Once again, inflationary psychology may become a catalyst that leads to food shortages, so the more food an individual can grow on their own the less dependent they will be on a supermarket.

STEP 8: Resolve to Increase Your Macro-Economic Intelligence

Financial knowledge is power. The greater an individual's financial intelligence, the greater will be their ability to decipher Fed monetary policy and the impact it will have on their life.

STEP 9: Adopt the Mindset of a Survivalist

Hyperinflation in the U.S.A. could lead to a societal collapse. If Steps 3 through 7 are implemented, an individual may have to protect themselves from thieves who did not prepare.

STEP 10: Psychologically Prepare for a U.S. Dollar Collapse

The majority of Americans will be completely blindsided by a collapse of the U.S. dollar and won't know how to adapt in a hyperinflationary economic environment. Accepting the probability and making preparations gives an individual an edge, because it eliminates denial, anger, and fear.

Legendary, French General Napoleon Bonaparte famously coined the phrase "two o'clock in-the-morning courage."[22] This is immediate, unprepared courage one would have to exhibit when faced with an unexpected crisis in the wee hours of the morning.

Unfortunately, it has been said that this type of innate courage is extremely rare, and the reality of the matter is that very few people are prepared psychologically or emotionally for any kind of out-of-the blue emergency.

As our world continues to become increasingly unstable, wicked and chaotic, developing crisis-anticipation instincts and transforming ourselves into agents of contingency will become mandatory.

  • Mentally accept the possibility and cultivate an attitude of faith and gratitude.
  • Listed below are a few ways to stay mentally and emotionally fit:
    1. Combine ceaseless prayer with daily meditation and reading of the Holy Scriptures.
    2. Establish a vigorous exercise routine to be implemented at least three times per week.
    3. Supplement your diet with pharmaceutical-grade antioxidants, Vitamin D, and Fish Oil.
    4. Incorporate anti-anxiety, stress-reducing spices and herbal tea blends into your lifestyle; these include Chamomile, Passion flower, L-Theanine, Lemon balm, Ginger, and Turmeric.
    5. Spend at least 15 to 20 minutes a day outside breathing fresh air and absorbing sunlight.
    6. Associate with like-minded, intensely cerebral people who possess a positive mental attitude.
    7. Become a tactical thinker by studying Sun Tzu and Carl von Clausewitz.
  • Read "He Who Hesitates is Lost: The Psychology of Survival"

S.P. from S.C. is an Adamant Believer and Faithful Servant of the Lord Jesus Christ

Disclaimer: S.P. from S.C. IS NOT AN INVESTMENT ADVISOR. THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE INVESTMENT ADVICE TO BUY, SELL OR HOLD SECURITIES OR PRECIOUS METALS (OR ANY PHYSICAL COMMODITY) AND IS MEANT FOR INFORMATIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.

References

[22]Strock, James. "Napoleon Bonaparte | Two O'Clock in the Morning Courage." ServetoLead.org. Last Modified July 24, 2012. http://servetolead.org/two-oclock-in-the-morning-courage/.



JWR,

I would like to start by saying how much I truly appreciate what you have brought to the Preparedness community. Your insights through your blog, books, and on-air advice have been a godsend! Here is my dilemma: My wife has recently come to the realization that a strategic relocation is required, despite gentle encouragement from me for a few years. The problem is that she's convinced the location should be The Dominican Republic!

My wife, through a friend, met a group who live in the Dominican Republic full time that help expats from the USA explore the DR (as they call it) for a retirement/retreat locale for free. I, for one, am not impressed in the least with the idea of settling in a Third World country for retirement, and definitely not for a retreat location. The system of government, financial dependence on other countries through foreign aid and the IMF, high population density (500+ per sq mi), unfavorable gun laws, and lack of farming volume are just a few of the negatives for me. I have travelled professionally to many countries all over the world, in the military and privately as a tourist. My personal experiences abroad have shaped my opinion that the DR would be a really poor choice of retreat location.

Operating in many developing countries like DR I have learned they have so many of the same problems. I would be interested in your perspective on the idea of island retreats, specifically South American ones. Other countries she has considered include, Belize, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. In my option they all share undesirable characteristics compared to largely rural states here in the U.S. As an explanatory note, her reluctance to stay in the U.S. is fueled by the Constitutional violations and ideological war being fought against us here.

I am a firm believer in the ideas and values this country was founded on, and if a crunch did occur I want to be one of the people “righting our ship”. I think that if/when things go bad (crunch or other global calamity), that the rural U.S. would be the best place to be. I would greatly appreciate hearing your thoughts on this. Best Regards, - T.C.

JRW Responds: By coincidence, last Friday morning I did an Internet podcast interview with barry Solomon of DRescapes.com. In that interview, I stressed that high population density island nations are very poor choices for retreat locales. The DR is high population density (500 people per square mile!), and adjoining Haiti has an even higher population density (900 people per square mile!) plus a higher crime rate. (And there is nothing to keep out an invasion of looters, across the border.) In the event of an economic collapse, life expectancies will plummet, especially for "expendable new guy" gringos. I also stressed that offshore retreats can only work if you speak the local predominant language with near native fluency and have either some very close family or business ties into the local community.

Belize just barely makes my list for candidate offshore retreat locales. (See my novel Survivors for some details on that region.)

Yes, have a "Plan B" (and a current passport!), but The American Redoubt will be much safer, in my estimation.





Ol' Remus, of The Woodpile Report, has some reservations about all the Federal Reservations in The Redoubt. - J.M.

JWR's Comment: Federal control of lands within most of the western States is absurdly high, especially in Alaska, Nevada, Arizona, and California. Fully 93% of Federal lands are in the 13 western states, most of which did not achieve statehood until after 1865. This Federal overreach is in part a by-product of the 1860s War Between the States. (After the war, the Federal government grossly expanded its powers, in violation of Article I, Section 8, Clause 17 of the Constitution.) It is high time that the States fully assert their 10th Amendment Rights and take control of the BLM land and perhaps some of the National Forest lands within their borders.

Further Reading:

http://www.dced.state.ak.us/wstpc/Publications/FedLandWest.htm

http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-276.html

http://cascadepolicy.org/blog/2011/03/31/federal-lands-should-we-sell-federal-lands-to-pay-off-the-national-debt/

o o o

FBI Plans to Have 52 Million Photos in its NGI Face Recognition Database by Next Year - S.O. Google is forced to remove facial recognition software from its Google-glass project, but the Fed steams full ahead.

o o o

Woman arrested for walking on the wrong side of the street - B.B.

o o o

J.C. wrote in to say: This note is in regards to the excellent article "My 2 cents" by G.H. Genuine brand new metal NATO jerry cans can still be had for a fair price from the following link. Mine were brand new, of excellent quality, and made in Poland. Plus they have free shipping on orders over $100. Mine arrived in about 4 days.

o o o

Railgun tests from ship set for '16



“A man with God is always in the majority. “ - John Knox


Tuesday, April 15, 2014


April 15th is dreaded as Income Tax day in these United States.

o o o

An excellent after-action report on the BLM vs. Bundy Ranch fiasco written by Michele Fiore, Assemblywoman for District 4: The Truth about the Bundy's vs. BLM. Sent in by B.B.

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There is enough to suggest that the Bundy Ranch fiasco is not over yet. There are still many federal employees on site and Sources Inside The BLM and Las Vegas Metro Say Feds Are Planning A Raid On Bundy Home. - RBS

o o o

Today we present another entry for Round 52 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $11,000+ worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course (a $1,195 value),
  2. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner's choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  3. Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  4. A $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear,
  5. A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value),
  6. A $300 gift certificate from Freeze Dry Guy,
  7. A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo,
  8. A roll of $10 face value in pre-1965 U.S. 90% silver quarters, courtesy of GoldAndSilverOnline.com, (currently valued at around $180 postpaid),
  9. Both VPN tunnel and DigitalSafe annual subscriptions from Privacy Abroad (a combined value of $195),
  10. KellyKettleUSA.com is donating both an AquaBrick water filtration kit and a Stainless Medium Scout Kelly Kettle Complete Kit with a combined retail value of $304,
  11. APEX Gun Parts is donating a $250 purchase credit, and
  12. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $300 gift certificate.

Second Prize:

  1. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  2. A FloJak EarthStraw “Code Red” 100-foot well pump system (a $500 value), courtesy of FloJak.com,
  3. Acorn Supplies is donating a Deluxe Food Storage Survival Kit with a retail value of $350,
  4. The Ark Instituteis donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package–enough for two families of four, seed storage materials, a CD-ROM of Geri Guidetti's book "Build Your Ark! How to Prepare for Self Reliance in Uncertain Times", and two bottles of Potassium Iodate– a $325 retail value,
  5. $300 worth of ammo from Patriot Firearms and Munitions. (They also offer a 10% discount for all SurvivalBlog readers with coupon code SVB10P),
  6. A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials,
  7. A full set of all 26 books published by PrepperPress.com (a $270 value),
  8. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value),
  9. Autrey's Armory – specialists in AR-15, M4s, parts, and accessories is donating a $250 gift certificate,
  10. Dri-Harvestfoods.com in Bozeman, Montana is providing a prize bundle with Beans, Buttermilk Powder, Montana Hard Red Wheat, Drink Mixes, and White Rice, valued at $333,
  11. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $150 gift certificate, and
  12. Organized Prepperis providing a $500 gift certificate.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security,
  5. A MURS Dakota Alert Base Station Kit with a retail value of $240 from JRH Enterprises,
  6. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
  7. Ambra Le Roy Medical Products in North Carolina is donating a bundle of their traditional wound care and first aid supplies, with a value of $208.

Round 52 ends on May 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.



"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana

Back in late June of 2010, I stumbled upon Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad Blog for the very first time. Well, after browsing the archive section, I found myself reading and subsequently re-reading his May 11th post entitled "Living on Borrowed Time."

There was just something about this particular blog post that left me eerily intrigued.

In a nutshell, "Living on Borrowed Time" references Kiyosaki's own book, Rich Dad's Conspiracy of the Rich: The 8 New Rules of Money, and basically acknowledges that while we're currently in a “calm before the storm” phase, he believes the U.S. economy is heading for undergoing two different types of economic depressions--both an American and German-style depression.[1]

To make a long story short: I became intrigued with the blog because Kiyosaki dropped the economically calamitous financial term HYPERINFLATION.

You see, back in '96, at the tender age of twenty, I read renowned financial writer Howard Ruff's Making Money: Winning the Battle for Middle-Class Financial Success, and in that book he writes very comprehensively about what are dubbed as "the 'flations"-- Inflation, Stagflation, Hyperinflation, and Deflation.

According to Ruff, "Inflation is not rising prices. Rising prices are only the consequence of inflation. Inflation is really badly mislabeled. It should be called 'monetary depreciation'."[2]

Well, hyperinflation is monetary depreciation on steroids!

Unlike ordinary inflation, which can actually be healthy for an economy, Hyperinflation is runaway inflation that normally occurs as the by-product of a government's inability to borrow money.[3] During a Hyperinflationary scenario, there is a complete loss of faith in a country's currency, and people begin to desperately get rid of their money the very moment they earn it.[4]

It was fifties economist Phillip Cagan who famously defined Hyperinflation as "a non-annualized inflation rate of 50% or more [per] month";[5] and once this sky-high level is attained nobody in their right mind will desire to keep their money because of the fact that out-of-control inflation is rapidly eroding its attractiveness as a "store of value."[6]

The entire course of economic history is littered with nations who've witnessed the debasement and collapse in the value of their currencies. Notable and well-documented examples of countries that faced this dire, financially apocalyptic fate include Germany's Weimar Republic (1921 - 1924), Argentina (1975 - 1991), and probably most spectacular of all is the rampant 231 million percent inflation Zimbabwe experienced where a single loaf of bread ended up costing over $10 million![7]

Are you prepared for a German-style Depression in the U.S.A.?

Unfortunately, the controversial news I have for you is that several prominent financial minds believe hyperinflation is coming to America. The reason you're reading this article is because, after conducting extensive due diligence, I've concluded that the U.S. dollar is extremely vulnerable to devaluation and the probability is very high that hyperinflation could be triggered.

So what are the compelling facts that could possibly support such a dire conclusion?

Well, here is the short and unsweetened bottom line: The Federal Reserve's disastrous monetary policies and colossal U.S. government spending is a veritable formula for inflation.[8]

Over the course of six years, the Federal Reserve has pumped over $3 trillion into the economy via Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's "quantitative easing" (QE1, QE2 and QE3/"QE-Infinity", essentially printing money to fund Treasury bond and mortgage-backed securities purchases) program.[9]

Supply and demand says the more scarce something is the more it's worth. Conversely, the more there is of something the less it's worth.

So, when the Fed prints up paper dollars (known as fiat currency) out of thin air and uses this David Blaine-type financial maneuver to buy 70% of U.S. Treasury bonds, not only is it setting the stage for extreme inflation by diminishing the value of existing dollars, it is also embarking on a spending, debt, and dollar-creation binge of historic proportions.[10]

Regardless of what it's called, expanding the money supply to buy Treasury bonds is nothing but old-fashioned "debt monetization", and this shenanigan has universally led to a currency crisis.[11]

By resorting to such a financial tactic, the Fed has shown us how fiscally deplorable the situation really is, while basically acknowledging that there's scarcity amongst foreign lenders, effectively making the Fed the purchaser of last resort.[12] (Both China and Japan have been surpassed by the Fed as the largest owner of U.S. government debt.)

The United States Federal government is currently more indebted than any other country on the planet, with nearly $100 trillion in real total debt, according to a study by California economist James Hamilton.[13, 14] (Boston economist Laurence Kotlikoff and former U.S. Comptroller General in the Government Accountability Office, David Walker, have also challenged official U.S. debt, which excludes unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare.)[15] See U.S. Debt Clock Running at High Speed.

When one contemplates the astronomical scale of this debt load along with the fact that the U.S. controls the world's reserve currency, it must be acknowledged that our country is facing a very serious debt dilemma.

Using the Past as Prologue

In an editorial commentary entitled "The Lessons of History" that appeared in the December 18, 2010 issue of Barron's investment newspaper, author and legendary Hall of Fame commodity trader and index developer Victor Sperandeo, known on Wall Street as 'Trader Vic', made an incisive case for the statistical certainty of U.S. hyperinflation:

In our system, the Federal Reserve can buy all the paper the Treasury can issue, and the Treasury can pay the government's bills with the Fed's newly printed Federal Reserve notes. But at some point, the scales will tip, and debt investors will decide they won't be repaid with the same buying power. Historically, that break point occurs when a government borrows an amount equal to 40% of its expenditures over an extended period of years.

From a historical perspective, Sperandeo acutely pointed out that there have only been a total of 30 countries that have experienced a hyperinflation, and in every single instance, government exorbitance and "money printing" have been critical precursors.[16]

Trader Vic spoke at The Atlas Summit 2013 June 27-30th. His topic was "The Coming Hyperinflation," in which the following three key statistics are duly noted:

"All cases of hyperinflations have been connected with huge budget deficits."[17]

  1. "The figures demonstrate clearly that deficits amounting to 40% or more of yearly expenditures cannot be maintained."
  2. Budget deficits as a percentage of GDP: "our hypothesis that in all cases of hyperinflation annual deficits amounting to more than 20 percent of GDP are present and for all cases except for Belarus, Turkmenistan, Poland, and Yugoslavia."
  3. Total Debt To GDP

    2011 Eurostat/IMF/OECD (estimates)

    1

    Zimbabwe

    304%

    2

    Japan

    226%

    7

    Italy

    123%

    8

    Greece

    165%

    15

    France

    86%

    18

    Germany

    81%

    19

    Portugal

    103%

    22

    United Kingdom

    86%

    42

    United States

    70%/104%

    45

    Spain

    85%/146%

    Source: Hyperinflation: A Statistical Inevitability by Victor Sperandeo

It's critical to note that for three consecutive years the U.S. government has borrowed forty-plus percent of what it spends, and Debt to GDP now officially exceeds 100%.

INSIGHTFUL VIDEO: Wall Street Trader Victor Sperandeo Presents "The Coming Hyperinflation" - Learn More.

Positioning Yourself for a Once-In-A-Lifetime Market Occurrence

While most will blatantly reject that this economic scenario could ever play out at home, in America, sadly, I'm here to ring the alarm and let it be known that all of the numbers that took place one-hundred percent of the time in the previous 30 instances are present.

In closing, I want you to know that the eternal optimist inside me is yearning to hit you with a Joel Osteen-style summary. I mean, I wish that I could tell you that this “Trader Vic” dude is really nothing but a charlatan who masquerades as the Harold Camping of the financial world and that pondering his ideas is more akin to reading the tale of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, but this article isn't meant for those with "itching ears" (2 Timothy 4:3). So, I'm not going to sugarcoat the truth.

Victor Sperandeo isn't some run-of-the-mill doomsayer who's out fear-mongering for the sake of publicity. He's reputed to be a master global-macro trader of incredible financial acumen, and it is my conviction that his insights and analysis should be taken seriously.

"Can a nation financing 50% of its budget expenditures in the debt market grow itself out of a collapse? Is the reward likely to match the risk of owning government debt?" he asks.[18]

History is telling us that the current trend of debt excess and massive deficit-spending is highly unsustainable, and unless there's a sharp trend reversal the American economy is marching towards Armageddon.[19]

The backbone of Sperandeo's argument lays in both his unshakable belief that a growth-led economic recovery isn't in the cards and a strong assumption that in order to avert a deflationary spiral, the Federal Reserve will continue to devalue the dollar by flooding the financial system with newly printed currency until inevitably a tipping point is triggered that spooks inflation-wary bond buyers and causes unabated selling of U.S. Treasuries.[20]

As frightening and unpopular as his position is, Trader Vic isn't alone in making this extreme prognostication. (See list of References.) If those in the Hyperinflation camp are right, we can expect a precipitous rise in interest rates, as bonds sell off, and a ferocious exodus from the U.S. dollar that will leave millions of unsuspecting Americans holding practically worthless paper currency with little to zero purchasing power.

In essence, our lingering Great Recession will become a German-style depression.

After viewing Sperandeo's data-driven presentation, I concluded the risk was bona fide, and I began positioning myself to not only survive an abrupt hyperinflationary outbreak, but also to potentially thrive in that worst-case environment.

Contrary to all the gloom and doom rhetoric, it is still my belief that within every dark cloud can be found a silver lining, and for every economic crisis there will be both victims and victors. For the unprepared masses, the unexpected arrival of U.S. hyperinflation would be tantamount to a “financial Holocaust.”[21] But for the small minority who had the foresight to plan and position themselves and their assets ahead of the collapse, this may prove to be one of the most historic opportunities of a lifetime.

The unimaginable demise of the U.S. dollar would be the most significant financial event of the past 50 years and would undoubtedly lead to the single largest transfer of wealth in recent history, as there would be a swift flight away from all U.S. dollar-denominated assets and a global run into tangible assets, like precious metals commodities (with gold and silver the most likely safe-haven candidates to lead the charge).

As the National Debt Clock continues to tick at full-speed, the time we have before the market forces render a final verdict is indeed borrowed. The all-too-important question you have to ask yourself is the following: If Trader Vic and others are correct, would my family and I be prepared for the economic and societal ramifications?

"The time to plan for any crisis is before it happens."

The Conclusion: America is an empire in decline, and the odds are high that within this decade massive changes will be coming to our monetary system. Every American family needs to prepare for tougher times by putting in place an iron-clad contingency plan that would hedge against the disastrous consequences of runaway inflation.

If you're interested in seeing my personal survival plan, check out the basic list of steps I have been taking within my own life in the next part of this article Where I will outline 10 steps you can take to survive an impending currency collapse.

References

[1] Kiyosaki, Robert. "Living on Borrowed Time." Rich Dad Financial Education (blog). May 11, 2010. http://www.richdad.com/Resources/Rich-Dad-Financial-Education-Blog/May-2010/Living-on-Borrowed-Time.aspx

[2] Ruff, Howard J. "The Malarial Economy." In Making Money: Winning the Battle for Middle-Class Financial Success, 31-32. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1984.

[3] Sperandeo, Victor. "The Lessons of History." Barron's, December 18, 2010. http://online.barrons.com/article/SB50001424052970203676504575618532254502558.html

[4] Ruff, Howard J. "FORECASTING THE FUTURE." In Making Money: Winning the Battle for Middle-Class Financial Success, 45. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1984.

[5] Sperandeo, Victor. "The Lessons of History." Barron's, December 18, 2010. http://online.barrons.com/article/SB50001424052970203676504575618532254502558.html

[6] Ruff, Howard J. "FORECASTING THE FUTURE." In Making Money: Winning the Battle for Middle-Class Financial Success, 45. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1984.

[7] Wikipedia contributors. "Hyperinflation." In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 2014. Accessed March 23, 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperinflation

[8] Aden, Pamela, and Aden, Mary Ann. "The Fed Is Conjuring Inflation." MoneyShow.com. Last modified January 2, 2011. http://www.moneyshow.com/investing/article/1/GURU-22100/The-Fed-Is-Conjuring-Inflation

[9] Wikipedia contributors. "Quantitative easing." In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 2014. Accessed April 11, 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantitative_easing.

[10] Aden, Pamela, and Aden, Mary Ann. "The Fed Is Conjuring Inflation."

[11] Stuppler, Barry. "Is Hyperinflation the US Government's Only Way Out?" Stuppler & Company. Accessed March 22, 2014. http://www.coinmag.com/article.pdf

[12] Aden, Pamela, and Aden, Mary Ann. "The Fed Is Conjuring Inflation."

[13] Hamilton, James D. "Off-Balance-Sheet Federal Liabilities." University of California, San Diego. Last modified July 17, 2013. http://econweb.ucsd.edu/~jhamilton/Cato_paper.pdf.

[14] Education News Staff. "UC Professor Pegs National Debt At Nearly Trillion Dollars." Education News. Last modified July 30, 2013. http://www.educationviews.org/uc-professor-pegs-national-debt-at-nearly-90-trillion-dollars/.

[15] Miles, Carla. "Seeing unofficial red: U.S. debt almost $87 trillion says San Diego professor - San Diego Personal Finance." Examiner.com. Last modified October 15, 2013. http://www.examiner.com/article/seeing-unofficial-red-u-s-debt-almost-87-trillion-says-san-diego-professor.

[16] Sperandeo, Victor. "The Lessons of History."

[17] Atlas Society. "Victor Sperandeo: The Coming Hyperinflation." YouTube. August 24, 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZO5kcQVK68.

[18] Sperandeo, Victor. "The Lessons of History."

[19] King World News. "John Williams - Accelerating Great Collapse & Hyperinflation." King World News (blog). January 26, 2012. http://kingworldnews.com/kingworldnews/KWN_DailyWeb/Entries/2012/1/26_John_Williams_-_Accelerating_Great_Collapse_%26_Hyperinflation.html.

[20] Brown, Greg, and Kathleen Walter. "Sperandeo: Hyperinflation Risk Is Real." Moneynews. Last modified February 4, 2011. http://www.moneynews.com/Headline/Sperandeo-Hyperinflation-Risk-Real/2011/02/04/id/385039/.

[21] King World News. "World To Witness A Frightening & Historic Financial Holocaust." King World News (blog). August 12, 2013. http://kingworldnews.com/kingworldnews/KWN_DailyWeb/Entries/2013/8/12_World_To_Witness_A_Frightening_&_Historic_Financial_Holocaust.html.



Hugh,

I've been doing this for years but not all nail polish works, it all keeps the matches waterproof but some polish puts the flame out. If you can try to get the polish that says HIGHLY FLAMMABLE on the back - this is getting a lot harder to find. Cover half way down 3 matches and when dry test them (away from the polish and the matches) you soon know if your OK. If you are do the rest top half and then the base up. I did not find this out the hard way and you don't want to. - B.G.

o o o

JWR,

With regard to coating Strike Anywhere matches with fingernail polish to prevent moisture, an excellent way to handle them is to do the following; take a piece of corrugated fiberboard (that is correct name for what we all commonly call cardboard from a box. Cut the material into strips about 2 inches wide. Insert the base of the matches into the holes or corrugations. This will hold the matches neatly and evenly allowing you to dip or treat the matches and it will provide a great way to dry them or dip them over and over. It will make the process faster and much neater. - RBS



Montana school considers arming teachers

o o o

Sheriff expands 'Man Up Crusade' to rodeos throughout the West

o o o

Girl's bad dreams help save family from carbon monoxide

o o o

Dashcam from traffic stop of driver from legalized marijuana state. - RBS

Note: This video is over 1.5 hours long. The driver is claiming he was profiled based upon his licence plate.

o o o

4.9-magnitude earthquake rattles central Idaho - H.L.

HJL Notes: See also today's Odds 'n Sods column for an interesting video from the NY Times on earthquake readiness.





An informative assessment that looks like it is spot-on. Bundy Boots the BLM - Is This a Significant Moment?

o o o

A short article on what if a suitcase nuke went off in DC, but it has a link to the Government report that is a good source of information about planning. 120 pages! - B.L.

o o o

Turning off AC to modern high rise building that houses major financial organizations could really disrupt things.

Hackers Are Sneaking Via Unlikeliest of Places, Try Vending Machines And Air Conditioning Units. - H.L.

o o o

The last section of this video details a woefully under-reported threat facing many residents of the the Pacific Northwest. - E.G.



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