This weekly column is a collection of short snippets: responses to posted articles, practical self-sufficiency items, how-tos, lessons learned, tips and tricks, and news items — both from readers and from SurvivalBlog’s editors. We may select some long e-mails for posting as separate letters.
Tim K. spotted this article from The Kitsap Sun: A Bangor sub just transferred its crew without returning to port. Here’s why that matters. My old friend Sandy, who served on a U.S. Navy nuclear sub back in the early 1980s had this comment about the article: “This doesn’t sound unusual at all. I was surprised they weren’t doing this kind of transfer already. It’s pretty easy to do. I suspect the [unusual press access and publication of the] article is the real action here – giving a public warning to our enemies.”
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D.S.V. was the first of several SurvivalBlog readers to send this troubling news: Norway to Track All Food Purchases.
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Matt M. had this response to Richard T.’s query on navigation tools:
“I’ve used what3words with the BSA unit I work with. It’s a useful tool, and handy in teaching the kids the reasons for precision. It does work as advertised (a unique three-word descriptor for each defined grid square, which is more memorable than a string of numbers) but it isn’t useful in a post-collapse environment. It appears to need an active network connection, so it can access the API over the network. Without this, it’s nearly useless.
I simulated a network-down environment by switching to airplane mode before launching the app. Although it started out well (I could see the grid and tapping on individual squares showed what their 3-word descriptors were) I could not see the Google Map overlay of the location. This meant that I could not zoom out to continent level, then zoom in on a particular known target in order to look up its descriptor and navigate there. This means that unless you know a given descriptor beforehand, you will probably be up the creek with this tool when the power goes out.”
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Simon in England mentioned this OTT “survivalist” house: Inside Post Malone’s $3M, apocalypse-proof Utah bunker.
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A Socialist Nanny State, run amok: New Zealand indigenous family under house arrest for 11 months for not taking COVID jab.
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Reader B.K. had this comment on K.B.’s article on home medical supply storage cabinets:
“That was a great article by K.B. on creating medical storage. One thing I’d like to know more about is rehydration. It’s important. This lesson was again brought home recently after I contracted COVID. The Omicron version is “tearing up throats” and I ended up severely dehydrated due to a throat so swollen that I couldn’t swallow.
The local ER gave me IV fluids and a dose of steroids. This set the ship aright, and I went home after that. This is not the first time IV fluids saved me. It would be great to see a follow-up article on ways to get fluids in… In the case of vomiting and diarrhea, that is not easy.
Also, take note, the non-battery thermometer I recently purchased has a very narrow range – it would be useless in determining the extent of hypothermia.”
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Connie sent us an update, with three items:
“We heat our home and shop 100% with wood. Though we have a 20 acre tree lot, we instead get free wood from a local company that cuts rail road ties. Before they are treated, they cut them to length and then store them to season. They are 9X7 inches and the cut off pieces vary in length, from 1/4 inch to 8+inches. They are mostly hard woods. They do occasionally cut pine, but we toss that back into the pile. The company has a public wood area where they dump the cut off pieces and anyone can pick them up for free. Of course, the free lot is mostly empty from Sept to March because everyone is seeking free wood. But, if you are willing to go out on the concrete slab, in the sun while it is hot and dig through the pile, you can almost always get a pick up load. Sometimes all they have are half pieces, but that will burn just fine. Though it is hot work, it is easier than going out to the woods, dropping trees, cutting them up, piling brush to burn, loading, splitting, carrying and stacking firewood on our own property. Plus, we’re saving our trees for the time we cannot get the free block wood. We do not make special trips to town to get wood because it could be a waste as they sometimes have none. We combine it with other errands and almost always get the truck bed filled. We just make sure to thank God for the blessing as the sweat drips off our noses while we load up. To store/stack the blocks, we put a wire bin on top of a pallet, toss the blocks in and then cover them with a sheet of metal. This keeps the wood dry, but allows it to continue to season. We have been blessed to get this wood for a couple of decades. If anyone has one of these types of companies in your area, it is worth while to drive by while out doing errands. It is amazing how much wood you can collect in a year if you are diligent in remembering to check while out. We currently have a couple of years worth of wood stacked and ready to go.
I too have had issues with seeds failing, and starter plants dying shortly after sprouting. At first I thought the plants might not be getting enough sun in the greenhouse because we have had an excessive number of cloudy days this spring. But, I realized that most of the plants that failed after sprouting were in soil from one bag of starter soil. I think that bag had to much fertilizer and that was burning the plants. I’ve used this same brand of soil for several years with no trouble. Lesson learned. In the future, I’ll be sure to have multiple bags of soil on hand so I can spread out which one I use to plant. Never start all the pepper seeds using one bag of soil. Thankfully, I have a few plants that survived and we still have some dehydrated peppers from last year. Like the fish and bread, Jesus will make it last if needed.
We have a wet weather creek, but it is dry at least 6 months of the year. We also are on a private well, but eventually we would run out of fuel for the generator, or something could happen to the pump. With the current state of the world, who know if or when we could get it repaired. With all of that, we decided to try to find ways to collect rainwater. One thing we did was put gutters on the goat shelter. The downspouts from the gutters go into stock tanks at each end of the shelter. The goats have two tanks, one 35 gallon and one 50. This downspout system also keeps the water from running back into their shelter when it would fall to the ground. We also have 2-100 gallon tanks. One to catch the water coming off the hen house, and one catches the water off a storage shed. One nice shower can fill the tanks in just a few minutes. The water does get stale and harbor mosquitoes, but I empty the tanks and use it to water nearby garden plants and fruit trees. I just rotate emptying them to keep the water fresh and free of critters. Walking for an hour carrying water is good exercise. This saves us electricity, wear and tear on the well pump, and it gets me outside in the sunshine. Plus the critters seem to enjoy my being outside with them. Everyone follows the human Momma back and forth as she carries the water to the plants. We figure if we needed to use it for humans, we would purify the drinking water in the Berkey and strain then boil or bleach the rest for sponges baths, handwashing clothes or dishes. Just felt led to share these ideas.”
Reader C.B. sent us this: Connecticut reports year’s first fatality, second case of Powassan virus due to tick bite.
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An update: After 15 years, one of my blog posts is still getting modified and passed around…
You see, back in March of 2007, I posted this bit of humor: Notes from JWR
And I see that most of my original text is still making the rounds in e-mail, in social media, and on web pages, today. I recently found this, posted 2021: Owning 100 guns unstable?
Oddly, I keep getting this viral bit of text forwarded to me by SurvivalBlog readers, not knowing that I was the originator. It keeps morphing over the years, but the gist is still the same. I just got another copy, several days ago, from reader J.L..
Something tells me that I’ll still be getting e-mails with that text embedded, in 2037.
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Tim J. recommended this video, from Armed Attorneys: Worst Reciprocity States 2022.