Notes for Saturday – October 01, 2016

Happy birthday to singer and actress Julie Andrews (born 1935). Her name is always associated with The Sound of Music.

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Today, we present the second half of the last entry for Round 66 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $12,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A Tactical Self-Contained 2-Series Solar Power Generator system from Always Empowered. This compact starter power system is packaged in a wheeled O.D. green EMP-shielded Pelican hard case (a $1,700 value),
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate that is good for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,195 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical 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,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 Nato QD Billet upper with a hammer forged, chrome-lined barrel and a hard case to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel, which can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools and a compact carry capability in a hard case or 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Gun Mag Warehouse is providing 20 Magpul PMAG 30-rd Magazines (a value of $300) and a Gun Mag Warehouse T-Shirt; (an equivalent prize will be awarded for residents in states with magazine restrictions),
  6. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  7. The Ark Institute is donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package (enough for two families of four) plus 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),
  8. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  9. KellyKettleUSA.com is donating an AquaBrick water filtration kit with a retail value of $250, and
  10. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).

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 transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  3. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  4. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  5. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  6. A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
  7. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
  8. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A $245 gift certificate from custom knife-maker Jon Kelly Designs, of Eureka, Montana,
  3. 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,
  4. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  5. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  6. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  7. Montie Gear is donating a Precision Rest (a $249 value), and
  8. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).

Round 66 ends on September 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.

Live Your Survival and Gain Sufficiency-Part 2, by E.M.

Mental Health

Physical health for the mind is equally as important as exercising it. Like our body, if we have an unhealthy mind there will not be much exercise. We must make sure that we are not taking with great excess or frequency those things that alter and damage our mind and cause us to lose focus.

There are also foods we can eat daily and place in our preparedness food shelter which will aid the biological make up of our physical mind. This topic is a book in and of itself, and there is a very large selection of reading available for download[3] or purchase to help navigate you in that direction. A brief mention here should serve as discussion for the purpose of moving on.

The Body

Our body, like our mind, is a very important element in the process of survival. It is our engine, our work horse, in the physical world. The stronger we are and the healthier we are, then the more effective we are to our family and ourselves. No one is suggesting that we all be washboard rippled, stubble faced paratroopers (HOOAH). However, a certain amount of mobility, strength, and stamina is vital when applying survival techniques in a deep survival state.

When we talk about physical health, gym memberships are out for many of us. They either cost too much or we are simply time restricted from going. Besides, we are not trying to be Arnold; we are just trying to be healthy and mobile.

Survival Tip For the Body (At All Levels): “Walk”

If you have a “Bug out Bag” or carry a 72-hour pack in your vehicle, strap it on and walk! Walk like your life depends on it, because one day it may. Even if you are the pillar of physicality, do it! There are several reasons for saying this. If you have never tried walking a distance, say three miles for starters, with a fully loaded pack, well, you are in for an awakening, and probably some blisters. You use different muscles than are utilized during every day activities, too, especially once you strap fifty pounds on your back and take a walk for three short miles.

  1. Get your family along with each of their bug out packs, get in the car, and take them for a hike in the woods, in a park, or even around the block, with the packs on! Do remember to bring them back!
  2. At the end of your family hike, eat some of the food and drink or some of the water that you carried along the way. Use the maps and navigation you have in your kits to get you where you are going. Try not to use outside resource you may not otherwise be able to find in a deep survival mode. (To offset the expense of consuming your supplies, use a recreational expenditure like pizza and a movie as revenue in the budget for replenishment of the supplies. You do not have to eat from your kit each time either.)
  3. On one of your expeditions, plan on pitching a camp. Do it solely with the supplies you have for shelter and warmth at hand in your bug out bag or 72-hour kit. Then, camp! Even if it is on your roof top or in your backyard, test your systems and yourself. You don’t have family? No Problem! Make it a date night or go solo!

Outcome:

Make sure you have a debriefing after your exercises. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; just talk about the walk and camp, the food, and the overall experience. Try to get what worked well and what didn’t out of everyone. I can tell you from experience, it will be easier to get what didn’t work out of everyone much easier in the beginning. Don’t be discouraged. Who knows? You may actually find that you are lacking something you thought you had covered. It is far better to know now, when there is time to deal with it, than when you need it to perform and stay alive. Be sure to listen more than you speak. Replicate those things that worked for you and others. Remove or learn how to use the things that did not work. And be honest. Was it the ware that failed, or was it your inadequate knowledge of how to use it that made it less than efficient?

When this walk is done with some frequency and self-honesty, you will gain physical strength and refine your bug out bag. You will also build skill as a unit/family and begin to experience the reality of your preparations. You will begin to live survival!

In terms of keeping fit, I have never found great success in “work out” programs, except basic training and both advanced infantry and airborne training. Today, I have had the best success with just being physical in what I do. It keeps me “in shape” and remaining healthy. When faced with stairs or an elevator, I take the stairs; you can too. When faced with parking upfront or out in the north forty, take the north forty. Perform no less than ten solid minutes of calisthenics each day, twice a day. Refine your diet. Eat a single burger instead of a double. Also, drink water instead of a soda.

Taking simple measures and pushing your normal level of physical activity now will insure that in a time of distress or deep survival you will be able to rise to the physical challenge when it smacks you up side your head. It is going to smack us up side our heads!

The Soul

Far be it from me to instruct another on the development of their soul. That is not my leaning. The soul is solemn, and it is each man’s alone. The soul is a place that no one other than you and your God may see the true depths of its making. The soul is our collection of experiences. It is the place we hold the truth of self. We build the very foundation of our being in our souls. It costs us nothing to inspect our soul. It costs us nothing to question our principles with boldness. It costs us nothing to nourish our soul in deed. Our soul enables us to be light in the darkness. That very light can give others a place to move towards instead of over the edge with the rest of feudalists. By continuously strengthening the caliber of one’s soul and nourishing it with deed and honor through self-honest reflection and action, we have the ultimate tool in our bug out bag!

I will leave the spiritual tips to the chaplains of the world, as I can only speak to what works for me. I really would love to hear from you about what works best in your journey.

Be Better Prepared With the Ultimate Prep

There is a saying that goes something like this: “Whatever you have with you when the shtf, is all you have when the shtf.” So up your arsenal and refine it every day by doing something that will strengthen your mind, your body, and your soul. It does and will complement your arsenal of wares and weapons. That way no matter where you are, or what you have with you and no matter what happens, you will be armed, better prepared, and more aware.

A deep survival state is something that requires a greater survivability than our daily survival as men. Therefore, those skills[4] required in a deep survival state are going to be more foreign and untried for many. For others that have attained a level of survivability through practice, they will know what to do when faced with a state of deep survival. And for those who have attained a level of self-sufficiency through survival, they will know what to do, when to do it, and who to do it with.

While there is still time to stick your toe in the water, you should really get a feel for living even just a small part of a deep survival state modality. If you are already there, take the next step. However, be careful; you may just find yourself on a track to self-sufficiency– the ultimate prep!

References


[3]WebMd – But do they really work? There’s no denying that as we age, our body ages right along with us. The good news is that you can improve your chances of maintaining a healthy brain if you add “smart” foods and drinks to your diet.


[4]Skill – [skil] – noun: Having the ability to do something well, usually gained through training and experience.

Letter Re: Alaska As A Survival Location

Hugh,

Regarding relocating to Alaska, I would like to add a few points:

  • Getting in and out of Alaska – If you have a stockpile of ammunition, you will not be able to just take it with you to Alaska. You can bring a small amount in checked baggage if you fly in. Otherwise, you will have to resupply when you get there. Fortunately, that is not a difficult thing to do, but you will have to settle for whatever is on the shelves at the stores at the price they are asking, or what they will order for you. You can’t just order it from Cheaper than Dirt, or Natchez, or any other bulk supplier. Moving household goods using a shipper is not inexpensive either. Expect to pay a premium for the service. The Alcan Highway is not paved and only marginally maintained, so if you pack your own pack it well. In my last shipment in/out of Alaska, 80% of the boxes/totes were smashed, and I will be filing a rather large claim for damages. Some of that stuff cannot be easily replaced.
  • Stockpiling food – Expect to pay up to 50% more per unit for bulk foods, such as whole grains, legumes, salt, sugar, dairy, et cetera. Most of the supplies coming into the state come by barge service from Seattle. Last year one of the barges was taken out of service for repairs, and the store shelves started getting bare. Most of the mail order suppliers either don’t ship to Alaska or require a premium to do so. (Forget about all those free shipping offers if you live in AK.) Most of the seafood taken from Alaska waters is transported to the lower 48 for processing and then brought back, so the price for seafood is just as marked up as everything else. If you don’t have a decent boat or private land along the rivers, don’t expect to do a lot of inexpensive harvesting of seafood yourself. Boats and the maintenance thereof is not inexpensive either, and it’s even moreso up north. Public land to legally hunt moose on is not easy access and often over-hunted. Caribou move constantly at a human running speed and cover a lot of terrain. You have to be ahead of the herd if you want to have a chance, and again the hunting pressure is fairly heavy unless you move dozens of miles off past the end of the road, where you had to leave your rig. You don’t just get to drive up to the herd and take a shot, even with ORVs.
  • Fuel – Gas will always cost more in Alaska than in the lower 48. Expect to pay 10-25% more per gallon. Road maintenance is pretty lean, so wear and tear is also going to cost you more.
  • Housing – Around Anchorage (including the Mat-Su Valley), real estate is at a premium due to urban growth boundaries and a serious lack of development. Despite the fact that thousands were laid off from the oil fields over the past 18 months, housing costs are still at a premium. A <2,000 sq ft house in good condition will rent for $2,000 a month in the valley and $2,500+ in Anchorage city limits, if you can find a place.
  • Employment – With the turn down of oil field employment, any decent job in town is likely already filled. Unless you can bring your work with you to Alaska, it will be exceedingly difficult to find gainful employment any time soon. Prior to being laid off in May of last year, I was making $120k a year average for the past decade. When I got hired at a native corporation last November, I was one of five candidates. When I left in June, there were 43 well-qualified candidates looking to replace me for a job making $18/hour. With a $1,800/mo mortgage and relatively high utility and transport costs, I was just breaking even every month. I know of a few engineers/union workers who had to take jobs at retail stores and such because they had kids in school, a house payment, and couldn’t take work abroad now. Unless you are already independently wealthy or have a steady income stream established, you aren’t going to be able to get by making any less than $40k a year. After having looked for work up there for the better part of six months, I can tell you there aren’t a lot of jobs that will pay even that well. I got lucky.
  • State revenue restructuring – The PFD, or as I call it the residence handout the state gives to people who jump through all their hoops, got gutted this year. People who were expecting $2k will be getting just a little over $1k, and it will likely continue to fall. That said, the state is seriously considering implementing both a state income tax and a state sales tax. They are billions in debt and have shown no real intention of cutting their spending yet, so if you move there now, you will be helping to pay off that debt for the foreseeable future.
  • Retreat potential – There is still a lot of land in Alaska that can be had for a decent price. Most of it is only accessible by plane in the summer, and snow machine (or dogsled) in the winter. If you want land with reasonable access, the price goes up quick. Arable land is not as available. Where I live, you would have to truck in a sizable amount of decent topsoil to create a garden. If you love rhubarb and cabbage, it will grow incredibly well. Tomatoes, squash, and legumes are much more problematic. Strawberries do okay, if you can keep the critters out of them. You can forget about fruit trees. Barley will only grow marginally well in a few locations. Hay grass does okay but alfalfa not so much. In most places people build retreats, crops are limited. You can subsist if you work hard, hunt and fish vigorously (assuming you can find places to do so), and can enjoy having a limited palate. Fishing on river banks on most popular fish runs is combat fishing. Hunting for moose and caribou requires a serious investment in time and equipment, as well as networking. I am an avid hunter, and in my four years there, I got to go hunting on two separate weekends and came back empty handed. Either I didn’t have the time necessary or the funds or a suitable location picked out. I got to catch my limit on halibut a few times, only because I got really lucky to be invited along on someone else’s trip for free.

Moving to Alaska and trying to make a living there can be a challenge. It does have its rewards, but you need to be realistic about your expectations. For the vast majority who go up there, it is expensive, requires more than the usual compromise, and does not afford as many opportunities to “get out into it” as one would like. It can still be an enjoyable experience, but it can also beat you down in ways you won’t likely experience in the lower 48. I had to go back to the lower 48 to find decent work again, but I am keeping my house in the valley, as I consider Alaska my “home” now, even if the state doesn’t. – B.P.

Economics and Investing:

Ah, Switzerland! Secret Alpine Gold Vaults Are the New Swiss Bank Accounts.

Speaking of Switzerland, my suggestion of hedging into Swiss Francs seems to be paying off. According to the Forex ticker, it now takes 96 Cents (USD) to buy one Swiis Franc. But back when I bought most of my 200 Franc notes, a Swiss Franc cost only 77 cents. – JWR

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U.S. Bond Market’s Biggest Buyers Are Selling Like Never Before – G.G.

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The Federal Deficit Is Set to Explode

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The domino teeters: This Is How Much Liquidity Deutsche Bank Has At This Moment, And What Happens Next – C.S.

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SurvivalBlog and its editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos page for details.

Odds ‘n Sods:

As we near election day, it’s always good to remind ourselves of a few things: The List of Clinton Associates Who’ve Died Mysteriously. – G.P.

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Related to the times: Surviving Mob Attacks on Your Vehicle – W.A.

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Meet the New Authoritarian Masters of the Internet – B.B.

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Student Suspended, Visited by Cops, Forced Psych Eval — For Pro 2nd Amendment School Project – B.B.

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Spying street lights equipped with microphones, Wi-Fi detectors and more coming to a city near you – G.L.

Hugh’s Quote of the Day:

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” – Isaiah 61:10 (KJV)

Notes for Friday – September 30, 2016

Vic at Safecastle says, “It feels like we’re all about to enter the whirlwind. Tie it all down fast and while you’re at it, get in some Mountain House foods–in 30-year cans or 30-year pouches–at the discounts of up to 46% with FREE shipping.” Safecastle’s MH sale ends Friday, September 30.

Today, we present another entry for Round 66 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $12,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A Tactical Self-Contained 2-Series Solar Power Generator system from Always Empowered. This compact starter power system is packaged in a wheeled O.D. green EMP-shielded Pelican hard case (a $1,700 value),
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate that is good for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,195 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical 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,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 Nato QD Billet upper with a hammer forged, chrome-lined barrel and a hard case to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel, which can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools and a compact carry capability in a hard case or 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Gun Mag Warehouse is providing 20 Magpul PMAG 30-rd Magazines (a value of $300) and a Gun Mag Warehouse T-Shirt; (an equivalent prize will be awarded for residents in states with magazine restrictions),
  6. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  7. The Ark Institute is donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package (enough for two families of four) plus 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),
  8. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  9. KellyKettleUSA.com is donating an AquaBrick water filtration kit with a retail value of $250, and
  10. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).

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 transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  3. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  4. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  5. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  6. A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
  7. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
  8. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A $245 gift certificate from custom knife-maker Jon Kelly Designs, of Eureka, Montana,
  3. 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,
  4. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  5. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  6. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  7. Montie Gear is donating a Precision Rest (a $249 value), and
  8. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).

Round 66 ends on September 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.

Live Your Survival and Gain Sufficiency-Part 1, by E.M.

Self-sufficiency – noun: the state of not requiring any aid, support, or interaction, for survival; it is therefore a type of personal or collective independence.

Survival – [sərˈvīvəl] – noun: the state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances.[1]

In our day-to-day world, there are varied degrees of survival required of us. This is true simply because there are wide-ranging degrees of threat that we face.

And in today’s economic death spiral of Keynesian Economics[2], politically corrupt leadership, and a war torn world, many are already beginning to experience the peripheral edge of a “deep survival” state because of those same threats. There are more at that edge than I think we care to admit. Government figures of non-participation in the labor force and welfare rolls alone support this. We can look at the high percentage of millennials still at home and the lack of savings they have. Let’s not forget the fact that one out of five families does not have anyone working in them.

I am sure we can all point out a myriad of other examples as well. We could even make them an entire topic of conversation in and of themselves. The point is that an honest interpretation of the financial side of “civil order” tells us that we are in real trouble as a society and a nation.

While most are not fully engulfed in a deep survival mode at present, many do exist in a heightened state of survival with darker days on the horizon. Just the pressing threats of civil unrest, natural disaster, financial collapse, world war, and terrorism are enough to raise the Spidey senses a few notches, and it is forcing people at all levels to find new ways to survive day in and day out. It is sort of like being the frog in a pot of heating water and being boiled at a slow roll.

Unless we want to be the boiled frog, we need a strong mind, body, and soul that can assess threat, plan a defense, and then execute it. Plus, when it comes to defining “survival”, it is important to remember that survival and sufficiency are learned and earned over time.

That is to say that a man cannot easily walk the journey from his traditional 9 to 5 job with three kids and a wife into a deep survival mode overnight and expect there to be some automatic switch that is going to make him able to perform and act under pressure of threat without preparation and training, not for long at least. It’s no different really than the person who buys an AR platform. They take it home, show it off a bit, and then shove it in a safe or the closet, expecting that in a time of real threat they will be able to use it effectively without proper training and muscle memory. Sorry, it is just not happening! It’s also like the couple that has a pile of seeds and never grows anything. While you may have the seeds, you don’t have food unless you can grow them! Let’s not even mention storing the food for long-term use. Deep survival is not something you pull out of a 72-hour pack or the garage when the coming storm makes landfall. At least not without ever carrying the pack or cooking out of the #10 cans, it isn’t.

Much like an athlete doesn’t just sign up, put on the uniform, and run on to the field to play, you don’t just prep and play. No,, there is practice in between each game, and those that practice with purpose become sufficient in the game and excel. Similarly those who “prepare” but do not live the preparation by nature have less of a chance of actually using those preparations to their maximum benefit and self-sufficiency.

We all need training, just like the athlete. However, you and I are not training for a game. You and I are training for our life and the life of our family.

It is important to remember that successful and measurable survival is lived at some level, not stored in a pack or closet, and our chances of success in a deep survival scenario increase dramatically the more we have a tuned mind, body, and soul to complement our physical and operational preparations. So, live your survival before you get there, and it will be livable when it arrives.

The Mind

Without a sharp and well-healed mind, we are less likely to make thorough decisions, take action, and effectively offset threats. It makes it even more difficult for us to see the threats on the horizon when we do not have good mental clarity and focus. If we are not thinking, planning, and acting ahead, well then we are falling behind.

It is for reasons like this that we must keep our mind in tune. In a deep survival situation, critical thinking skills are vital and will provide a higher degree of certainty that we are living through it and not just surviving in it.

Survival Tip #1 For the Mind (All Levels): Crosswords, Sudoku, Reading, and Poker

Who needs Luminosity when we have these rudimentary exercises, which really can be fun? These exercises can be challenging, and they require you to focus thought in one place for an extended period of time. This will help you improve your mental focus over time.

It will also provide you with knowledge and experience and an opportunity to research and learn. Believe it or not, when these exercises are done with daily regularity they will help you in your ability to make quicker and more targeted decisions.

However, there is one catch; you should use no phone, tablet, kindle, PC, laptop, or digital screen, please. Use the real thing, like a crossword or puzzle book, a novel, or a field manual. Also, when you play poker, try and do it with real people at a real table with real cards and chips. Turn off the virtual screens and pick up a pair of weights for your mind.

Outcome:

These exercises will help you think ahead and make decisions based on potential future outcomes. They will teach you how to find answers to things you do not know. They will help you in assessing your threats. They will give you skill in concentration. Additionally, these exercises will help round your knowledge base and make your mind a sharper weapon.

Survival Tip #2 For the Mind (All Levels): “Draw It”

A cohesive team is always an advantage in deep survival scenarios. One of the fundamental principles of team cohesion is communication. The clearer, faster, and more concise you can communicate with your team, the more agile and effective you are both as a leader and a team member.

This exercise should be done with some frequency to sharpen your skills and will require some maintenance and upkeep along the way. You will require the following for the exercise:

  • Three different color crayons or markers, which you will share,
  • Two pads of paper (one for each of you), and
  • Two people.
  1. Without the other person seeing what you are drawing, draw (4) four shapes in a way that at least (2) two of the shapes overlap one another. Keep the shapes empty at this point, do not fill them in. Use at least (2) two different colors if not all of them in your drawing.
  2. With the other person still facing away from you, hand them your crayons or markers and then turn with your back to theirs. Now begin to instruct them on replicating what you have drawn on your pad of paper. Remember, the other person is not to see what you have drawn. Guide them step by step until you are sure they have the same picture as you. Do this without looking what they are drawing either!
  3. Compare!

Outcome:

This is actually a fun exercise for kids of all ages. It helps build communication skill.

Good communication skills are needed for effective leadership and team interaction. Good communication lends to making our workaday world easier and us more effective in it as well. Good communication skills are also required to relay information up the ladder to those that may need it from us. Our ability to communicate up and down the ladder is vital to our ability to live a deep survival scenario.

This exercise will help you learn how to give direction to others in a way that expresses exactly what you mean and want them to do. It will also allow you the opportunity to receive some instruction as well. Alphas can have a real hard time on the “receiving” portion of this exercise. However, a wise alpha will use the opportunity to be on the receiving end and evaluate their “instructor”. They will listen to them and learn. That way they will know what to expect from them in a pinch!

It can also allow you the opportunity to know which team members are effective communicators and recognize those who are not. There is no need to be threatened heroes!

References


[1]Oxford Dictionary on line definition.


[2]Keynesian Economics – Keynesian economics are the various theories about how in the short run, and especially during recessions, economic output is strongly influenced by aggregate demand (total spending in the economy).

Letter Re: Differences Between Combustible Gases

James, Hugh,

Before someone gets hurt or blows themselves up, here are some more details on the gases in question.

Natural gas is produced primarily from high pressure gas deposits deep within the earth, and to a lesser extent as a byproduct of oil production. Natural gas is what is provided to most homes that are connected to a gas main, served by a gas company. Natural gas is primarily Methane gas, with a formula of CH4, or one Carbon atom with four Hydrogen atoms.

Methane has the disadvantage that it cannot be liquefied by compression. Natural gas must either be stored at high pressure (2000-3000 PSIG / 130 – 200 bar) for vehicle or other portable use. This is called CNG Compressed Natural Gas. Since methane is stored as a gas, the remaining volume in the cylinder can be determined by the pressure.

To store massive amounts of natural gas, or to ship it across continents in ships, the gas can be liquefied by refrigeration, and low pressure. This is called LNG Liquefied Natural Gas. LNG is stored and transported at approximately (−260 °F /−162 °C) degrees and 4 psi / .25 bar maximum. The liquid can then be vaporized and converted back to gas at the final destination. Methane is lighter than air, and most small leaks will dissipate.

Propane and Butane are produced primarily as a byproduct of oil production and separated by distillation. They are commonly referred to by the generic term LPG, Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

Due to the longer molecular structure, the molecules can be rearranged to make compounds such as Iso-butane, which has the same chemical formula as butane but different physical characteristics. For the purpose of this article, I am only discussing normal propane and butane. In the USA, propane and butane are sold separately. In other parts of the world, especially warmer climates, they are sometimes sold as a mixture.

Propane has a formula of C3H8, or three carbon atoms with eight hydrogen atoms, and is the most commonly available LPG, which is used to fill the BBQ tanks, the little propane tanks for propane torches, propane camping appliances, and lanterns, primarily in the USA. (Most of the rest of the world uses butane, including the small portable stoves that use the hairspray style cans of gas.)

Propane is also stored in the large tanks outside of the houses, of those that are not connected to the natural gas “grid”.

Propane is stored in these pressure vessels as a liquid, at a pressure of 120 psig / 8.3 bar at room temperature. Withdrawing propane from cylinder too quickly will cause the liquid to cool off, and the pressure drop. Condensation will frequently form on the outside of the cylinder as well. The top of the condensation on the cylinder is a good indication of the level in the cylinder. Since the gas is stored as a liquid, a pressure reading cannot be used to determine the remaining gas volume. One has to weigh the cylinder, or use the condensation method to determine the remaining volume. Large storage tanks are equipped with a liquid level gauge. Propane has a boiling point of approximately -44 degrees. As long as the temperature is above -44 degrees, gas will come out of the cylinder, although the pressure drops as the temperature decreases.

Butane has a formula of C4H10, or four carbon atoms with 10 hydrogen atoms. Butane is used primarily in low pressure applications, like filling lighters and for use in the portable stoves using hairspray style gas cylinders. Butane is used for most camping appliances in the rest of the world, outside of the USA, but it does not work well in colder climates. Bulk butane is stored in the same style pressure vessels as propane, and the valves use the same style threads. Butane is stored in these pressure vessels as a liquid, at a pressure of 29 psig / 2.0 bar at room temperature. This low pressure is one reason why butane is used in lighters. The small volume of gas and low pressure makes lighters relatively safe. Withdrawing butane from cylinder too quickly will cause the liquid to cool off and the pressure drop. Condensation will frequently form on the outside of the cylinder as well. The top of the condensation on the cylinder is a good indication of the level in the cylinder. Butane has a boiling point of approximately -32F/0C degrees. This relatively high boiling point makes it unsuitable for use in cold climates. Trying to get butane out of a cylinder during a snow storm is not going to happen, unless the cylinder is heated. General gas items and trivia:

All three gases will form explosive mixtures when mixed at the correct ratio with air.

Both butane and propane are heavier than air and will accumulate in low points and cellars. Severe and fatal building explosions have occurred due to gas accumulations in basements.

Always respect the enormous power of these gases and the energy stored in them.

All three gases are odorless and have an odorant added to be able to detect leaks.

Newer style LPG containers have special valves that contain an OPD– overfill protection device– in the valve to prevent overfilling of a cylinder. LPG containers can only be filled to 80%, to allow expansion of the liquid as the cylinder warms up.

Larger, non-disposable LPG tanks use a left hand thread at the valve connection. This is marked by a small groove in the hex nut. Newer style valves use a large hand tightened connection instead of the older connection.

LPG cylinders have a safety pressure relief built into the valve, or tank, to allow the pressure to be released in case the cylinder is involved in a fire. In a large fire, these relief valves are usually too small, and the containers will explode into a spectacular fireball, sending metal fragments all over the place.

Shooting at a propane tank will make a hole and will not create a spectacular, Armageddon-size explosion, like in the movies; although there may be a spectacular fireball if the gas ignites.

Most Airsoft guns use propane, butane, isobutane, or a mixture thereof as propellant. Always use the correct gas, or you may damage your gun.

Lower pressure butane can be used in most propane rated equipment but not the other way around. Due to the difference in pressures, the gases cannot be interchanged without knowing the pressure rating of the equipment. LPG requires special hoses to handle it. The gas can attack and dissolve hoses that are not formulated for LPG.

Household appliances are usually manufactured for natural gas, but most can be converted to propane by changing the gas orifices at the burners and adjusting the regulator pressure. In areas where there is no natural gas, appliances are usually ready for propane. All appliances have a label clearly showing what gas they are initially set up for.

Gases have their energy content rated in BTU, which is also what appliances are rated in. This makes it easy to determine how much gas you will need. For example, propane contains 21622 BTU per pound, or 91502 BTU per gallon (US). If your stove has a 16000 BTU burner and you plan on cooking for four hours, you will require 4 X 16000 BTU = 64000 BTU to cook your dinner (possibly a large turkey?). This would be 2.6 pounds or 0.7 gallons. These calculations are important if you use propane for heating and don’t want to run out of gas during a winter storm. A 250 gallon home tank is usually filled with 200 gallons propane, which equals 18.3 million BTU. This would operate a 125000 BTU furnace for 146 hours. If the furnace runs four hours per day, this would last 36 days.

Due to the low boiling point, propane can cause frost bite if allowed to get on the skin as liquid.

None of the three gases mentioned are poisonous, but they will cause death by asphyxiation (displacing air with gas). The generic formula for normal hydrocarbon gases is C(n) H(2n+2) where the number in the parenthesis represents the number of atoms. There are always (twice as many, plus 2) H atoms for every C atom.

The four gases are Methane, Ethane, Propane, and Butane. Pentane and larger molecules are liquids and no longer gases.

Economics and Investing:

The Top Four Precious Metals: Which Will Be The Best Investments During The Next Financial Crash

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Reader GJM sent in these links about Deutsche Bank:

Stocks Are Crashing – Led By Banks
The Run Begins: Deutsche Bank Hedge Fund Clients Withdraw Excess Cash
Major Dollar Shortage Exposed In Europe As Deutsche Bank Contagion Spreads
Some Deutsche Bank Clients Reduce Collateral on Trades
Stock Quote: Deutsche Bank AG
Now, to start watching the VIX…multiple times a day. (And to start stockpiling everything you’d want if you knew you were about to wake up in about 480 AD.

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Items from Mr. Econocobas:

Video : Mike Maloney – The Biggest Monetary Transformation Since WWII

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SurvivalBlog and its editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos page for details.

Odds ‘n Sods:

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Analysis: Is it lawful self-defense to “run down” rioters surrounding your vehicle? – P.S.

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Twin tornadoes cause of state-wide blackout in South Australia – A.S.