Free Garden Plans

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If you want good food for your family no matter what, you need to grow your own food.  And to do a good job, you need to plan a garden that will fulfill your family’s needs. Take a few minutes to write down the vegetables your family enjoys the most. Do you eat a lot …

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No Doubt About It, These Indicators Show We Have Economic Problems Headed Our Way

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While we are seeing job growth and economic prosperity, you have to remember that it is all built on a castle of over 20 trillion dollars of debt! That is not a number that can even compute for most people. You toss around the word trillion and people nod heads up and down like they …

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What to Do with $1000 Right Now

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This is one of  the most entertaining articles of the year, thus far. I have enjoyed this look at a lottery style situation with prepping. I think its an article that creates all kinds of conversation. What would you do with $1000 dolllars right now. What you might be surprised about is the fact that …

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8 Best Portable Stove On The Market Right Now – 2018

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The Ultimate Guide To Finding The Best Portable Stove For You

Portable Stove

A portable stove is a lightweight, compact stove. One light enough to transport from place to place with ease.

The critical word being – ease.

Sure, “technically” you can move your kitchen stove, but not with ease.

Portable stoves are the kind you can pick up, pack, and store in a vehicle or backpack without hassle.

For it to be genuinely”portable,” it must be small and lightweight. At least small enough for a petite human to carry it by themselves without throwing out their back.

Yet, just because they are small and light doesn’t mean they are not great at cooking food.

The best ones function as well as your standard kitchen stove.

You should be able to use a portable stove for cooking food or purifying waterin camp and on the go.

So today we’re going to be covering the following topics:

  • Difference Between Portable Stoves, Grills, and Skillets
  • Types Of Portable Stoves
  • Reasons To Invest In A Portable Stove
  • Key Features Of A Quality Portable Stove
  • Best Portable Stoves (With Review Videos)
  • Portable Stove Safety Tips

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Difference Between Portable Stoves, Grills and Skillets

Before we can get into all the different types of portable stoves there are on the market. It’s wise to sort out all the confusion between stoves, grills, and skillets.

Here’s the simplest way to think about the differences:

  • Stoves = Cooking food in pots, pans, or special cups over a controlled flame
  • Grills = Cooking food directly over grates (without pots or pans)
  • Skillet = Cooking food directly over a flat heated surface (again, without pots or pans)

See, that wasn’t so hard. Now you can impress all your camping and survival buddies with this new found knowledge!

And more importantly, you have a better sense of whether you’re truly in the market for a portable stove, a portable grill or a portable skillet.

If you’re still in the market for a portable stove, keeping reading…

Types Of Portable Stoves

Types Of Portable Stove

There are several categories of portable stoves and each has its pro and cons depending on your goals and your usage plans.

Here are the major categories:

1 – Fuel Source Categories

  • Portable Electric Stoves
  • Portable Gas Stoves
    • Propane Stoves
    • Butane Stoves
  • Wood Burning Backpacking Stoves

So let’s go through each of these categories in detail.

Portable Electric Stoves

As far as plug and play, electric stoves are the easiest and most convenient to use. You don’t have to worry about buying and storing a sperate fuel source such as propane or butane.

However, that convenience is a double-edged sword.

Electric stoves only make sense at locations with a reliable (and abundant) source of electrical power.

For a modern campsite (with electrical hookups) this is a decent setup. However, if the power goes out due to a major storm or out of control wildfires, etc. – your portable electric stove becomes a large, expensive paperweight!

So for certain locations, a portable electric stove is the way to go, but it’s not very versatile.

If you want a portable stove that will work at any location (no matter the circumstances), DO NOT get an electric one.

Portable Gas Stoves

Today, one of the most popular portable stove options is the ones that burn liquid gas. Here’s a list of the possible liquid gase stove choices:

  • Kerosene
  • White gas
  • Gasoline
  • Alcohol
  • Methanol
  • Ethanol

Now, some stoves can burn multiple fuels types without any modification – which is a nice feature! Other stoves need specific jet nozzles for each type of fuel used – which can be a pain to deal with.

Some portable gas stoves are designed to only work with one gas only.

Many liquid stoves require some type of pressurization or priming before they start. Some even need pressurization control during the operation.

Nowadays most gas-fueled stoves burn either propane or butane.

Propane is easier to find and performs better in the cold. However, the containers are often heavier than butane – which is a concern mainly for backpackers.

Butane stoves have a very high heat output per weight. This makes them fuel efficient but prone to scorching rather than simmering.

Butane containers are smaller and not easily refilled.

Both options are about turn-key simple as it gets. Just attaching the fuel canister, turning a valve and lighting the burner – that’s it.

However, with a gas stove, you can cook a meal anywhere – as long as you don’t forget to pack (or run out of) fuel canisters. 

So just double check all your essential camping gear before you head out and you’ll be just fine.

Wood Burning Backpacking Stoves

Finally, there’s the new kid on the block – wood burning backpacking stoves. These units are becoming more popular with campers, backpackers and even for backyard bonfires.

With a wood-burning backpacking stove, you haul the stove around but use natural fuel in the form of downed wood. The smaller versions take a few sticks, while the bigger versions need larger branches.

Not worrying about transporting gas or depending on electricity is a very attractive feature for those interested in self-reliance.

These units don’t care if the power is out or if you ran out of propane. You eliminate these headaches completely with a wood burning portable stove.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Reasons To Own A Portable Stove

Reasons To Invest In A Portable Stove

Nowadays modern portable stoves are designed with camping and recreation in mind.

From backpacking stoves only weighing a few ounces. To “suitcase stoves” with several high-output burners.

But in order to make a wise purchase, you must understand what, where and how you want to use a new portable stove.


Portable stoves make an excellent addition to a campsite.

I enjoy cooking my camp meals over a nice campfire. However, sometimes it makes more sense to cook over a portable stove instead.

One reason is to manage the high cost of firewood. Instead of using costly firewood for your meals, save your firewood for sitting around after the sun goes down!

Not to mention the increase in widespread summertime campfire bans across the arid US.

Because there’s nothing quite as disappointing as showing up to a campsite with no way to cook your food.

If you’re only cooking method is via campfire and their’s a bane on campfires – you’re going to be one unhappy camper 🙁


Backpacking and portable go together like macaroni and cheese – which is to say they are inseparable.

If a piece of gear is not portable, then it’s not for backpacking.

That’s why so many backpackers add a lightweight portable stove for there backcountry meals.

Sure, you can pack meals that don’t require a stove, and many backpackers choose this option. However, for me, a nice warm filling meal while on the trail is hard to pass up.

With the minimalist lightweight stoves designs on the market today, it’s not a much of a burden to add a portable stove to a backpack.

Bugging Out

Bugging out and backpacking are technically very similar.

With both activities, you’re carrying gear in a backpack in order to survive a long distance trek. However, with backpacking, you doing this to enjoy nature and explore the wilderness.

With bugging out you’re preparing for a dire emergency when you’re forced to leave your home.

But regardless, portable stoves are an ideal solution for both situations.

Power Outage Emergencies

What’s your survival cooking strategy? How do you plan to cook food if electricity is out for several weeks, a month, or a year?

Extreme? Maybe, but we like to plan for the worst and hope for the best.

So having a portable stove (and a means to fuel it) not only provides you with warm meals just about anywhere. It also provides a warm meal at any timeno matter if the power is out indefinitely.

Investing in some piece of mind is always a good thing.

Survival Emergencies

In a wilderness outdoor adventures, every member of your family (or group) should have a lightweight, portable stove.

If you get split up, a single stove isn’t going to cut it. Someones going to be without an emergency stove – a dangerous situation for survival.

They don’t all have to be able to cook a 4-course meal.

But everyone should carry a stove capable of heating up a freeze-dried meal or boiling water to make it safe for drinking.


Tailgating and grilling go hand in hand, so many people may prefer to go with a portable grill. And while that works just fine, maybe you’d prefer no to buy both a portable stove and a portable grill.

Instead, maybe it makes more sense to get a portable stove for all the other reasons above, and then use that same portable stove for tailgates.

You can pan sear just about any tailgate foods you can think of – plus you can keep your cheesy salsa deep warm on a low burner!

Key Features Of The Best Portable Stoves

The best portable stoves share several key features you’ll want.


The “portable” part of “portable stove” means the stove is designed to be lightweight, but that can mean different things to different users.

A backpacker may consider anything over a couple ounces to be too heavy. While someone who’s traveling by car, boat or horse may be happy with a camp stove weighing several pounds.

So pay close attention to what your “lightweight” needs are, but in general, the lighter the better.


Anything designed to be portable is bound to get banged around every once in a while. If you are lucky enough to be staying in one place, that can be pretty minimal after initial set up.

However, if you’re always on the move, that means extra wear and tear on valves, fuel lines, and moving parts.

Besides, dropping your heavy pack down to rest has been the cause of many portable stove malfunctions.

This abuse makes a durable proven design a must.


Something as crucial as a stove should be reliable if it’s worth adding to your camping or survival gear.

This means it has to light under just about any conditions – wind, rain, high altitude, freezing cold.

Many stoves have a piezoelectric starter. But I still keep some windproof matches and a survival lighter with most stove kit in case that spark fails.

A repair kit for crucial parts and the knowledge of how to use it can be a lifesaver as well.

Easy To Use

Another critical factor in choosing a portable stove is the ease of operating it.

You want one with fine-tune controls over your heat adjustments. The simplicity of design and setup and availability of fuel all play into this factor.

Making heat control one of the most important variables.

Some stoves are hard to put together but work almost like a standard kitchen stove once setup. Others are simple to setup but need tedious adjustments and fuel management.

At the end of the day, choose a portable stove that matches your ability to use it properly.

Best Portable Stoves

Over the years, we’ve had the opportunity to test a lot of different stove models across a wide range of designs.

Each different type has its great features, but no stove can be the single best one for all situations.

Here are a few of our favorites for some of the most common stoves on the market today.

The Coleman “Suitcase” Stove

The quintessential camp stove that nearly everyone grew up with. The Coleman white gas stove has been a mainstay of the campground for decades.

Set on a flat surface like a picnic table, they opened like a suitcase. With the lid and side screens providing a wind block.

They were easy to use and relatively indestructibleand you can find many from decades past still in use today.

Over the years, many other manufacturers have copied the design. There are now dozens of options.

Some based on simpler propane burner designs that don’t need priming the fuel tank.

You can find models with 3 burners and over 20,000BTU of heating power.

Others feature a single burner on one side and a griddle on the other for pancakes or eggs.

Adapters allow you to use the large BBQ-style propane tanks.

Often fueling multiple stoves and even lanterns at the same time. Which is GREAT if you’re in a large camp and cooking for more than a couple people at a time.

If you’re traveling by car, boat or horse, this is the camp stove you need!

GAS ONE GS-3000 Portable Gas Stove 

This classic butane stove is smaller than the Coleman because it only has a single burner.

However, that can be a major plus if portability is high on your priority list.

It includes heat resistant knobs (so you don’t burn your fingers adjusting heat controls). It has the convenience of a piezo ignition switch. And can pump out an impressive 9,000 BTU’s.

So it’s a bit of a tradeoff from a two-burner setup to single burner but it that might make sense for you.

JetBoil Flash Personal Cooking System

Suitcase stoves may still dominate the campground, the backcountry belongs to JetBoil.

In the early 2000’s, JetBoil released it’s “personal cooking system.” It was a combination of a small butane canister and miniature stove.

One with an insulated 1L cooking pot and integrated heat exchanger.

The whole thing snapped together. This means it was easy to keep things from tipping and making cooking time more streamlined.

Boiling 1L of water took only 2-3 minutes, lightning fast compared with other stoves of the day.

When finished, the entire system nested inside the cooking pot and slipped easily in a pack.

Now, the original JetBoil has been replaced by the JetBoil Flash. A new version of the JetBoil with an improved heat exchanger and lighter materials.

It’s an excellent option for one person, especially if you have a lot of freeze-dried meals!

SnowPeak LiteMax Titanium

When every ounce matters, even the JetBoil seemed like a brick of lead to the designers at SnowPeak.

A company dedicated to super lightweight gear for thru-hikers.

When you’re hiking 20-30 miles per day, a 2oz stove that fits inside a coffee cup is an impressive upgrade.

SnowPeak has upped the game with their LiteMax Titanium. Cutting weight while bringing the boil time down to just over 4min for 1L of water.

There are also few moving parts, making it reliable and simple to set up.

Solo Stove

solo wood burning stoveHow about investing in the #1 wood-burning backpacking stove recommended by Backpacker Magazine?

If you want a wood burning backpack stove, then look no further than the Solo Stove.

These compact stoves have proven themselves to be lightweight and efficient. Plus, you don’t need to carry any fuel canisters around with you.

Just pick up the twigs and small branches on the ground, use a bit of fire-starting tinder and you’ll be cooking your meal in no time.

The solo stove has several size options including:

BioLite Camp Stove 2

biolite camping stove

The BioStove is the latest in portable stove technology!

The BioStove is not only a wood burning backpacking stove, but it allows you to turn the heat you generate from twigs and sticks into usable electricity.

The unit weighs a bit more than the Solo Stove, however, that extra bit of weight comes with a very nice feature.

There just something awesome about being able to use your portable stove to cook a meal and charge your phone at the same time!

Trangia Spirit Burner

An alcohol-based portable burner stove is not for everyone but some people absolutely love it.

Why the disparity? Because it’s an alcohol burner.

It’s one of the most versatile and user-friendly alcohol burner on the market.

The Trangia’s O-ring lined screwcap allows you to store excess fuel inside the stove without leakage.

The stove could hardly be simpler to operate. Just fill it up with your preferred alcohol fuel and light it aflame with a match, lighter, or fire rod.

Simple, lightweight and user-friendly, what’s not to like.

Emergency Pocket Stove

sf pocket stoveLastly, I want to show you the ultimate solution for lightweight portable stove emergencies – an emergency pocket stove.

They’re the perfect emergency stove option.

Stick on in your pocket for hikes, or in your car during road trips. Because having this thing available at all times, just in case, is smart.

However, they are not the best solution for regular use. They are known for creating a messy residue of burned fuel and the chemical taste.

Making these stoves great for emergencies and less desirable for everyday use.


Portable Stove Safety Tips

Of course, any article about stoves has to come with a few safety tips and warnings.

A quick glance at a manual for any portable stove and you’ll see it comes with pages of warnings.

What does it all boil down to in the end? Make sure you read all the warnings thoroughly, but here are a few highlights:

Stoves are hot. (Duh!)

Even after you turn them off, most stoves remain hot for several minutes (or longer). You can burn yourself or your gear if you don’t let them cool before packing away.

Fuels Release Toxic Fumes

Burning any fuel releases carbon dioxide and other exhaust gases into the atmosphere.

Without ventilation, operating a stove in an enclosed space can be dangerous.

If you need shelter from the weather while cooking, make sure you take care to open some kind of vent for fresh air.

Be careful with stove fuel.

You should clean all fuel spills immediately but with care. In extreme cold, spilling fuel on exposed skin can cause frostbite as the fuel evaporates.

Also, allow any fuel vapors to dissipate before starting a stove. If excess fuel vapors accumulate, a spark can create a dangerous flash explosion.

Cannot Fly With It

If you plan to fly with a stove, it’s nearly impossible to take fuel (or even used, empty fuel bottles) with you on the plane.

So consider fuel availability at your destination when selecting your portable stove.

Final Word

If you’re this far into the article, you’re serious about investing in a quality portable stove.

However, in order to get right portable stove for you – it’s important to understand how to intend to use it. You should also have the key features you want in your portable stove as well.

Once you’ve done that, you can make a purchase with confidence. An investment purchase you can be proud of and will last a lifetime.

Jason K.

P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?

There are a lot of natural nuclear shelters in the US that are absolutely free. And one of them is near your home.

Click on the image above to find out where you need to take shelter.

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It Looks Like 2008 Only MORE DISTORTED So Expect MORE CHAOS

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There is much to be concerned about on the forefront of the economy. It would seem that many of the people in this world are struggling to understand why the economy even works. More still don’t even give it the time of day. This is an interesting outlook but its also a big part of …

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Experts Warn that the Amount of Drugs Flushed into our Rivers and Lakes will Increase 65% by 2050

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It wouldn’t make much sense, as preppers, to not care for our planet. Contrary to popular belief we are not actually looing forward to the  of the world. If anything we are getting ready for what seems like the inevitable. Honestly, how long can things go on the way they are going and there not …

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Evaluating and Managing Risk 4: My Risk Assessments

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So far we introduced the topic of Evaluating and Managing Risk and discussed some systematic ways to look at and manage risk by discussing SWOT and Risk Management. Then I did my own SWOT analysis. Now we will look to apply some risk management for the risks that came up in the SWOT analysis.

The risks we will be talking about are my currently not diverse income and our very divided society. It seems to make the most sense to consider the risks which came from the SWOT analysis as events to feed into the risk management process. The other way would be to look at them as the hazards which come from the event but I don’t like removing that initial analysis.

First to my non diverse income.

We will apply the steps of risk management:

Identify Hazards: Loss of income/ economic difficulties.

Assess hazards: Probability- Likely, Severity- critical. Putting those two together in our handy matrix and the risk level is high.

Develop Controls and Make Risk Decisions- Controls. Obviously there are two sides to anything financial, income and liabilities.

To the income side I need to get a couple of things going. Currently I have one side gig. I could use 2 more. The planned route for the second one is teaching. The other is still in the idea phase.

On the income side I  also going to save some more cash as a buffer.

On the liabilities side I am going to avoid debt. This is mostly just about maintaining. I use a credit card but rarely carry a balance from month to month.

Implement Controls: I will implement these planned controls over time. Like any plans these should have timelines with measurable goals associated to them but I am not going to go that deep in public.

For saving I will use a regular monthly plan paying myself first.

Supervise and Evaluate: Checking back monthly with these plans to see how things are going makes sense. I will adjust things as needed.

Next is  the very divided society in which we currently live.

Identify Hazards: Personal violence. Damage to property. Social/ economic problems.

Assess hazards


Personal violence- Occasional x catastrophic = High
Damage to property- Likely x moderate= Medium
Social/ economic problems- Likely x moderate= Medium

So I need to put most of my energy into managing the risk of personal violence then damage to property and social/ economic problems.

Develop Controls and Make Risk Decisions
Personal violence
– Avoid cultural clashes. Staying in areas where I have a shared culture. People who look different tend to be victimized much more than those who fit in. Being the one X in a bar/ neighborhood full of Y people is a bad idea. Going to political protests and such falls under these same lines. Yes America is a free country but being the one X in a bar/ community full of Y is asking for problems.
-Avoid controversial stances or displays. Avoid those lifestyle t shirts/ bumper stickers/ etc.
-Have the capacity (and inherent confidence that comes with it) to protect yourself by vigorously applying the combative and shooting skills you regularly practice as well as your PT to execute those skills.
-Leave hot button areas alone.  If your political views differ from the community and you can’t move keep your mouth shut.
Damage to property
– Avoid cultural clashes. Staying in areas where I have a shared culture. People who look different tend to be victimized much more than those who fit in. Being the one X in a bar/ neighborhood full of Y people is a bad idea. Going to political protests and such falls under these same lines. Yes America is a free country but being the one X in a bar/ community full of Y is asking for problems.
-Avoid controversial stances or displays. Avoid those lifestyle t shirts/ bumper stickers/ etc.
Social/ economic problems
– Avoid cultural clashes. Staying in areas where I have a shared culture. People who look different tend to be victimized much more than those who fit in. Being the one X in a bar/ neighborhood full of Y people is a bad idea. Going to political protests and such falls under these same lines. Yes America is a free country but being the one X in a bar/ community full of Y is asking for problems.
-Avoid controversial stances or displays. Avoid those lifestyle t shirts/ bumper stickers/ etc.
-Leave hot button areas alone.  If your political views differ from the community and you can’t move keep your mouth shut.
Implement Controls- Do the things listed above.
Supervise and Evaluate – See how things are going and adjust as needed.
I hope this gives you some insight into how to use risk management to everyday normal risks.


The First Memorial Day And Some Other Facts You May Have Missed

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first memorial day

The first Memorial Day was celebrated celebrated by former slaves and Union troops.

The first Memorial Day isn’t something Americans talk about much. If we knew our history, we’d all know that Memorial Day is far more than an opportunity to fire up the barbecue or get to the lake for the first time.
The holiday is an extraordinary celebration of America’s values, history, and traditions.

First Memorial Day Fun Facts

Heres a few surprising things you probably didn’t know about Memorial Day:

1. It commemorates the end of the Civil War. Freed slaves and Union troops held the earliest Memorial Day celebrations in May 1865 – just a few weeks after the fighting ended.

2. Memorial Day was first celebrated on May 1 or May Day. The first recorded Memorial Day observance occurred on May 1, 1865, when U.S. Troops and freed slaves celebrated in Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston was the city where the Civil War started with the bombardment of Fort Sumter in 1861.

3. Memorial Day is also about prisoners of war (POWs). The first Memorial Day celebration in Charleston on May 1, 1865, was held to consecrate the graves of 250 Union prisoners who died while in prison. The prisoners were called the “Martyrs of the Race Course” because the camp where the prisoners were kept was constructed at the site of a former horserace track.

4. Memorial Day is a Christian holiday. The original Memorial Day in 1865 was marked by the singing of hymns, and readings from the Bible.

5. Memorial Day has been celebrated historically May 30, not the last Monday in May.

6. Memorial Day became an official holiday in 1868. Union war hero General John A. Logan organized the first Memorial Day and designated May 30, 1868, as the first official celebration.

7. Logan chose the date because no Civil War battles were fought on the day. He was hoping to promote peace by not reviving wartime hatreds.

8. General Logan was the head of the first modern veterans’ organization; the Grand Army of the Republic, which represented Union veterans. Logan Street in Denver and Logan Circle in Washington D.C. have been named after the General.

9. Memorial Day was first celebrated by African Americans. Most of the participants in the first Memorial Day celebration in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1865 were freed slaves. They wanted to thank the Union soldiers who had liberated them as well as celebrate their freedom.

10. Memorial Day is a celebration of freedom. The first Memorial Day was organized by former slaves who also wanted to give thanks to God and to the fallen Union soldiers for their freedom.

11. Memorial Day was originally called “Declaration Day” by General Logan. The term Memorial Day was adopted by ex-Confederates in the South who did not want to celebrate a holiday they felt was confined to the Union.

12. Memorial Day did not become a federal holiday until 1971. An act of Congress in that year created the modern Memorial Day by designating the last Monday in May as a national holiday.

13. Southerners did not start celebrating Memorial Day until 1886 when the Ladies Memorial Association of Columbus, Georgia, held a service to commemorate the Confederate War Dead.

14. Some states hold separate “Memorial Days,” nine Southern States still recognize Confederate Memorial Day; which falls either on the birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, or the day General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson died.

15. Ironically enough, Stonewall Jackson was shot by his own Confederate troops. On May 2, 1863, Confederate infantry mistook Jackson and his staff for Union Calvary and opened fire on them after the battle of Chancellorsville. Jackson was hit and died eight days later from the wounds and other complications.

16. Even though the first celebration was held in 1865 in Charleston, South Carolina. Waterloo, New York, was recognized as the official birthplace of Memorial Day by federal legislation in 1966. Waterloo was one of the first towns to close businesses to honor the war dead in 1866.

17. Over 20 towns around the United States claim to be the “birthplace of Memorial Day.” Communities that claim to have held the first Memorial Day festivities include; Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, Columbus, Georgia, Columbus, Mississippi, and Carbondale Illinois.

18. Americans are supposed to pause for a “National Moment of Remembrance” at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day. Congress passed a resolution encouraging such a moment in 2000.

19. The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated on Memorial Day (May 30) 1922.

If you want to celebrate the real Memorial Day, it will take place on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. Not Monday as most people believe.

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Article – Brazilian president sends in army as truck protest paralyzes country

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Brazil’s conservative president Michel Temer has ordered the army and federal police to clear highways blockaded by striking truck drivers after a protest over soaring fuel prices entered its fifth day.

The blockades have paralysed much of the country’s economy and prompted São Paulo, the biggest city in South America, to declare a state of emergency over fuel shortages.


In São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, supermarkets and restaurants are running low on supplies. Some factories have shut down, bus services been reduced and even the Refugees World Cup, scheduled to take place in São Paulo on Saturday, has been cancelled.

“Truckers strike” is one of those things that pops up in old school survivalist books (Tappan, for example) on a list of ‘things that will cause nationwide chaos.”

It’s awesome that we live in a world where Amazon can get us a 50# bag of Purina Coed Chow and case of duct tape to our doorstep the next day, but without the mechanisms in place to actually deliver those products….it kinda falls apart.

Take supermarkets for example…when I was a kid, supermarkets had huge cavernous basements where they stored, literally, tons of product to replensih their shelves. Nowadays they rely on the ‘Just In Time’ delivery method to reduce overhead and inventory costs….at the expense of being caught short if something disrupts that supply chain.

I suppose the best way to deal with an anticipated disruption of the delivery network is to get as much material (and materiel) from as close-to-home sources as possible. But I suppose if there’s a critical item that you have to order in from across the nation, that might be an item you want to ‘go heavy’ on or find an alternative to.

I can’t recall of a US truckers strike that paralyzed commerce, but I haven’t really looked too hard either. But it doesn’t have to be a truckers strike…some sort of major in the fuel supply could probably produce a similar result.

Preparedness is all about contingency planning. Disruptions to the supply chain are just one of those potential failure points that needs to be examined…its just that in this country we virtually never have nationwide labor disputes that bring things to a screeching halt. (Closest thing I can recall is the PATCO strike that was ended rather forcefully by Reagan.)

Smaller countries, of course, don’t need much to tip things into the danger zone. The US would seem an unlikely place to suffer a similar level of chaos…we’re so big, and you’d have to get a lot of people on the same page to make a big impact.

Anyway, an interesting story to point out a possible failure point that may not have been previously examined.

Memorial Day: A New Appreciation

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     This is the long weekend that we Americans mark as a time of remembrance and recognition of military service to our country. We have a long tradition in our nation’s history of honoring those who have fought and died to secure our freedoms. Memorial Day originated in the years after the Civil War to honor the Union and Confederation soldiers who died in battle and was known as Decoration Day, when the graves of the dead were decorated with flowers. After World War I, however, the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, and graves are now decorated with American flags, and recognition of service is now extended to all our military, both living and deceased.
     I wanted to take the time this year to share my new perspective on this national holiday. As I’ve written before, I am the proud daughter of a World War II veteran, who enlisted in the Navy at the age of 17 (with parental consent) after Pearl Harbor. He served in the Pacific as a tail-gunner in the Lockheed PV Ventura, a low-level bomber. He was always proud of his service, though he didn’t share any of his experiences; typical of that generation. I have always viewed Memorial Day as an opportunity to honor him and the men and women who have volunteered to serve in every war since.
    But this past year has brought newfound appreciation for what this day should mean to all of us. You see, this past year I had the honor to serve on a team with extraordinary women veterans as part of a Christian Warriors Retreat. These women included veterans from the Gulf War (Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm) and the ongoing War on Terror (Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom). The retreat involved older veterans mentoring younger veterans, and covered all branches of the military. While they shared an identity as combat veterans, these women were seeking a common bond in their identity as Daughters of Christ. And I witnessed both the struggles and the victories of that co-mingling of identities in my Sisters.
     As non-military (I served as a Team Leader and Assistant Spiritual Director), I could not relate to their military experiences, but I could sympathize with them as women. Everything that the Enemy of this world has crafted against women to kill, steal, or destroy the beauty and magnificence of who God created them to be is intensified in the military. I will not share specific testimonies, but I will tell you that although PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) has become a term relegated to the military, it is a spiritual attack on anyone who has suffered a traumatic event and is in need of Jesus’s saving healing and deliverance. As one of our female veterans exclaimed, “Pain is pain is pain!” She was making the point that we all suffer from the devil’s attacks on our lives and these women needed to recognize that they had a higher identity than their military service. That’s not to say that they shouldn’t be proud of [or acknowledged for] their service, but that whatever their life’s history, inside or outside of the military, their identity as the Bride of Christ was a truer identity.
     I cannot tell you how my enduring relationships with these amazing women has changed my life. As I think about the people across this country celebrating Memorial Day, I honor these brave women who have done extraordinary things for our country, and I am blessed with the richness of their friendships, grounded in a Sisterhood of growing love and obedience to our Savior. And as I contemplate their impact on my life, I am struck by two concepts: the constant use of “remembrance” in the Bible; and the history of women warriors in the Bible that saved the nation of Israel. 
     The Hebrew word for “remembrance” is Zakar.  It means to “remember; think of; mention”.  We see it in the Bible passages in the Old Testament: God remembered Noah…. God remembered Abraham… I (God) have remembered My covenant…. remember the Sabbath Day… remember His marvelous works.  Then there is the Hebrew word for memorial, which is Zikrown; a memorable thing, day, or writing. It should be obvious that remembering and memorials are important to God: for instance, after crossing the River Jordan into the Promised Land, God instructed the Israelites to build a memorial to what He had done for them. 
     Today and this weekend, it is important to remember what God has done in our lives; the people whom He has worked through in our lives; the experiences He has brought us through — when these remembrances are shared among the brethren, it builds our faith, just as God intended those ancient memorials to do. And that is exactly what I have experienced this past year with my Sisterhood of women warriors.
     Just like the Biblical heroine Deborah, these women military veterans are leaders. Although Deborah is most often understood to have been a Judge among the nation of Israel, it didn’t mean the same as it does now. In the Bible, a “judge” was a tribal leader who, in times of peace had the authority to settle disputes. And in times of war, they were the rallying point to gather the tribes and organize resistance. Judges were seen as “God’s people” and their gender was unimportant.
     That is exactly how I see this Sisterhood of veterans. All these women walk in their authority as Disciples of Jesus. They walk as leaders who know their true identities, and they are growing into a viable rallying point in their families and communities to organize resistance against the devil. They know who their real Enemy is, and it is not in some foreign land. They also know whose Army they fight in, and under whose flag they march. Although I have never taken the oath of allegiance to our nation as they have, we have all taken an oath to serve our Mighty King and march behind the flag of Jehovah Nissi, the banner that is our rallying point for the power of God to destroy the Kingdom of darkness.
     So, this Memorial Day, I am reminded of the respect [I have always felt] for those who have fought in our nation’s historical wars. I honor the sacrifices that have been made and I vow to always remember what my freedom in this world has cost the men and women who answered the call to serve. But this Memorial Day is different from last year’s. This year, I have a newfound awareness of what the Biblical and heavenly perspective of this day has for me. I am deeply honored to be in the company of men and women who embody this world’s identification of “soldier”, but more importantly, they manifest the character, discipline, loyalty, and obedience of a spiritual warrior in God’s army. Although I have centered this blog post around my experiences with these amazing female veterans, the founder of Christian Warrior’s Retreat is a man that I greatly admire; he has a heart to serve God and share the restoration that the love of Christ brought to his life. Because of that saving grace of God in his life, I reaped the benefits of serving on the first female veteran retreat.
     So, I want to thank the Lord for creating these Divine appointments in my life. I am blessed and favored beyond description. And I have found a Sisterhood that lifts me, inspires me, supports me, teaches me, and loves me. I thank you all for your service to our nation and to God’s Kingdom! 

To Nick and his wife Nicki; to Valerie, Molly, Cathy, Gloria, Mary, Dona, Sherrae, Louise, LaTisha, Liza, Nalleli, Maricruz, and Alissa; to Wanda, Debbie, Karalyn and Loretta; and to all the “team” — it was a privilege to experience retreat with you and I bless each of you with continued service to our glorious God!

Psalm 103:2   Yahweh, you are my soul’s celebration. How could I ever forget the miracles of kindness You’ve done for me?

Preparing for an Emergency When You Have a Chronic Illness

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Even those with a disability or chronic illness should be prepared for an emergency situation should one arise. Prepping isn’t just for the able-bodied.  The task may just be a bit trickier, as there would be more equipment and necessities to have on standby than usual. A different exit strategy could also be required, depending […]

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What did you do for your preparedness this week? (2018-05-26)

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  This weekly post is an open-forum, though preferably focusing on what we all did this week for our prepping & preparedness. Comment and voice your thoughts, opinions, accomplishments, concerns, or questions for others on any general topic of preparedness. This weekly open-forum is for any off-topic conversation during the week. Keep up to date with recent comments from ALL articles.     SUPPORT MODERN SURVIVAL BLOG Important: To help assure that we stay on-the-air: 1. If you’re running an ad blocker, add to your whitelist. Revenue from our ads help bring you this free premium content. 2. Visit

Original source: What did you do for your preparedness this week? (2018-05-26)

The Great Debate – Revolver vs Semi

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by Chad

If there was ever a topic on guns in our modern age that has been covered extensively, it is this one. A dead horse beaten beyond recognition, a broken record played ad nauseum, and still it persists! There is a reason for that. Despite the semi-auto’s supremacy, and the wheelgun’s purported obsolescence, the debate remains lively among gun owners.

Below, this dauntless author will weigh in with his two cents, dispel myths and outdated dogma, and hopefully provide you, the reader, with a few considerations that you had not considered, whatever your pistol-packing preference may be.


Before I graciously reveal the final, ultimate, binding, One-True-Answer (right, more like my Stamp of Arrogance…) to this decades-old question of which handgun is the ideal, one must consider the context in which a handgun is to be used. For the purposes of this article, I will be comparing both based on the criteria of selection for self-defense. When one considers a pistol for defensive (or offensive) use, the characteristics that make a gun desirable on an individual user level mostly transcend questions of who the user is; police, military or armed citizen.

Sure, for large scale military or agency adoption, factors like service life, cost, and reparability all carry significant influence for adoption, but these are of less concern to the lone citizen carrier. Other criteria, such as reliability, capacity, ergonomics and caliber are of prime importance no matter what you do for a living, even if you don’t get a choice in the matter of what pistol you’ll be toting.

I will of course mention throughout any standout advantages or disadvantages inherent to either design, and talk about roles or situations in which they excel. This article is not a white-paper, and will not be an exhaustive, pedantic analysis of various makes and models. We can “what about” any two matchups until the sun goes out, and, while entertaining, such debates are beyond the scope or tone of this piece.

What Makes a Good Defensive Handgun?

That question is a series of articles by itself, but in the interest of brevity I’ll offer my opinion. For our purposes comparison is constrained to semi-automatic pistols and double-action revolvers. A good defensive handgun will foremost be reliable, possessed of inherent mechanical soundness and efficiency, whether clean or fouled, and moreover reliable in any climate conditions the user may find himself in, be they hot or cold, dry or wet, dusty or dirty.

A good pistol will be chambered in an adequate cartridge to prove effective against an adversary, under most conditions. The cartridge should not be too puny or too massive, with one being ineffectual and the other being too costly in terms of easy, quick handling of the gun.

The gun should be mechanically accurate enough to strike the vital targets of a human, consistently, at a range of no less than 25 yards. A more accurate gun is better, but not if that accuracy is purchased in exchange of mechanical reliability.

The size of the pistol itself should not be so small as to make the drawing and firing of it an exercise in dexterity, and not so large as to prevent effective carry about the waist, whether concealed or not. If the gun is to be compact or smaller in size, it should retain all of the above characteristics, unless total concealment is of uttermost priority.

I’ll be making point-by-point comparisons using the criteria discussed at length above. Keeping these criteria in mind, let’s get to the subject at hand. I’ll warn you now; there will be a few points I’ll make that you may think run contrary to conventional wisdom on the topic. Whether you believe me or not, you have my assurances that my experience with handguns is considerable, much of it in a full time professional setting, and the product of many years of my own training and practice as well as the teaching of a great many students, and observing their growth and evolution. My opinions reflect that body of experience.


Bottom-line, most modern semi-autos and revolvers from quality manufacturers are both more than reliable enough for serious defensive use. Many dogged proponents of the six-gun will cite the semi-auto as being more likely to malfunction, or less reliable than a revolver, period. It is my opinion that, practically, this is not true, but a fair performance comparison, and further, one lab-tested for certainty, is difficult to come by, but all around the modern semi-auto is certainly more robust, or durable, than a comparable revolver.

This is owing to the more vulnerable vital components on the revolver: a revolver inherently relies on the delicate arrangement of the cylinder, mounted on the crane, in relation to the breechface and barrel. The cylinder is rotated and aligned by the interplay of tiny mechanisms such as the hand, stop and main pin. Any severe impact can damage these components and change critical tolerances, as can fouling, causing either significant issues, like the shaving of bullets as they cross the gap from chamber to barrel, or malfunction resulting from loss of proper timing.

The timing of a revolver, itself the sum of a properly fitted and maintained action, degrades steadily over time with use, and where an autoloader may need only a few new springs to return to service, a revolver will need at the minimum the attention of a reasonably skilled gunsmith, and perhaps new parts will need to be hand-fitted in the action. Not all brands are equal, in this department.

The old trope that revolvers do not “jam” is utter bunk. Revolvers do malfunction; they just suffer different malfunctions typically than a semi-auto. The revolver has the clear advantage in malfunction reduction over a semi-auto only in the instance of a failure to fire (that is the “click” instead of a “bang”), whatever the cause. A revolver shooter needs only to pull the trigger again, supplying a fresh chamber and fresh cartridge to fire, whereas a semi-auto will require immediate action, usually the tap-rack solution, to recharge the chamber with a new cartridge.

Beyond this, though, things go downhill for the revolver: Revolvers are much more likely to be “short-stroked”, the trigger not being pulled completely to the rear, by users when fired rapidly. A bullet that is pulled slightly forward from its crimp will stop a revolver cold, possibly freezing the action, until it is extracted. Any piece of debris or grit that works its way into the action of a revolver, whether in the trigger group or around the hand or cylinder stop, may bind the action totally, necessitating disassembly for correction. A malfunction of this magnitude is comparatively rare on the semi-auto in my experience.

For a semi-auto, inferior ammunition or magazines is the leading culprit in causing malfunctions, inducing failures to feed or extract, and will typically plague the gun until removed and replaced. In a revolver, assuming the cartridge will fit the chamber correctly and is not dangerously overcharged, it will only cause trouble by failing to fire as mentioned earlier.

The short version is that when semi-autos malfunction, their typical malfunction is far, far less likely to be a showstopper than a malfunction occurring in a revolver. Anything besides a classic failure to fire, a “dud,” will often mean the revolver is out of commission. That is a major issue in a fight.

As far as maintenance, or lack thereof, is concerned, the semi-auto requires more frequent preventative care than a revolver, specifically lubrication. The revolver is more forgiving of utter neglect, such as being kept in the sock drawer since time began, and then being called on to function. If one were more concerned with endurance, meaning a rigorous firing schedule, the semi-auto wins handily. A revolver, run hard and fast, will start to falter before the average semi-auto.

A revolver does have a major edge over the semi-auto in this category when considering a subcompact or pocket gun: a snubbie revolver, whatever its chambering, will not suffer from a shooter-induced limp-wrist malfunction. There are few tiny semi-auto pistols that are standouts for all-conditions reliability.

The winner in this category, if one desires a hard-running, rugged, and dependable pistol is the semi-auto.

Effective Chamberings, Capacity and Reloading

For self-defense against humans, both semi-auto and wheelgun have perfectly adequate offerings. Any of our mainstay choices are fine: 9mm Para., .38 Special, .357 Magnum, .40 S&W, 10mm Auto, and .45 ACP will more than suffice. Today we are seeing more than few revolvers from major manufacturers like Ruger and Smith & Wesson gain mainstream acceptance chambered for traditionally semi-auto cartridges like the 9mm Para. and 10mm Auto.

If one is concerned with defense against large, dangerous animals, the revolver will have an advantage here owing to a greater variety of large magnum cartridges. .41 Magnum, .44 Magnum, .45 Colt, .454 Casull are all widely available in revolvers that can closely approximate a service revolver in size and weight, suitable for hunting or as dangerous animal defense pieces.

Large, powerful cartridges like the .44 Magnum and .50 AE can be had in an autoloader, but are without exception massive, heavy affairs, and not known for reliability whichever platform they are found in. In this situation, the revolver is the once and future king of handguns.

Overall, when considering a revolver or semi-auto for effective defense cartridges, it is effectively a tie

For capacity, the semi-auto is the undisputed champ, with the average 9mm or .40 semi-auto having 2 or 3 times the capacity of any comparable .38 or .357 revolver. Any service revolver with a capacity greater than 6 will have a correspondingly large and wide cylinder, which while no issue when carrying openly, can make the gun less concealable.

Reloads too are far more easily accomplished under any condition with the semi-automatic pistol, and the methodology is the same whatever technique is employed: magazine out, magazine in, close slide if necessary. The revolver is much slower, and requires different techniques and equipment depending on the reload. It may necessitate a speed loader to fully reload an empty gun, where a reload with retention will require the use of a loading strip or loose cartridges. Both methods will require the gun to be opened and empties manually ejected. This greater complexity mandates training and practice of additional techniques to reach full proficiency with the wheelgun.

Some decry capacity as subject to too much hype and consideration for a defensive gun, and assert that statistically an average fight is concluded in about 3 rounds (which is true) and so 6 or seven rounds in a revolver (or lower capacity semi) is plenty and, by golly, if you “can’t get it done in 6 rounds you deserve to lose!” This is fine bravado, and, yes, those 6 rounds may surely be enough, but I do not want less life-saving resources when my life is on the line. A gun is no good when it is empty, and a long, clumsy reload to get it back in gear is inferior to a quick, easy reload.

I myself would not feel unconfident or unarmed with a six or seven shot gun, revolver or not. I’d wish I had an 18 shot semi-auto instead, but I’d feel well-armed if the gun was quality. However, the trend toward creation of higher and higher capacity firearms across all categories is a clue about the necessity of onboard ammunition, and any assertion to the contrary is romanticism or hogwash. Six may be fine, but 16 is always better. The winner here is again the semi-auto.


Looking at fullsize or compact guns, the overall footprint of a given revolver or semi-auto is close enough to not worry about. Either will feature large grips that afford good purchase on the gun and will be close enough in size to carry well, either openly on the belt or concealed. A revolver’s shape, owing to the cylinder, will make it, usually, less comfortable to carry inside-the-waistband than a flat, smooth semi-auto.

As the gun shrinks, though, things get more complicated. A subcompact semi-auto will have a form factor far more suited to deep concealment than a revolver of like size. Taking into account again the greater capacity of a compact semi-auto, you are getting much more gun in the same space with a semi-auto. Compare a Glock 26 or Smith & Wesson M&P9c to a Colt Cobra or S&W Mod. 42 or 642. You’ll see what I mean, and having 11 or 13 rounds instead of 5 or 6 in the same size envelope, in an easier to shoot pistol is a no-brainer.

For fullsize guns, it is a tie. For compact and smaller guns, the semi-auto wins this category.


This category is a little more nuanced than the others. All things being equal, a revolver will be more mechanically accurate than a semi-auto because a revolver has a fixed barrel. Yes, I know some semi-autos have fixed barrels. Yes, I know quality of the barrel and ammo makes a difference, I’m speaking in generalities, here.

The stumbling block for the shooter to realize that accuracy is that of the trigger. Simply, the long, often heavy, repeated double-action pull of the revolver is much harder to shoot well than most varieties of semi-auto and slower for most to gain proficiency with. Sure, cocking the hammer allows a terrifically light and crisp pull, but thumb-cocking is not a valid technique to negotiate a defensive encounter, at least one where you are firing rapidly in a reactive mode. But nonetheless, if time is spent in mastering the revolver’s trigger it can shoot very well.

The average stock semi-auto service pistol, save a few stand-out designs or one that has been upgraded, is not known for hair splitting accuracy. Part of that deficiency is mechanical, and the other part is the shooter; there are few who can claim to wring out the accuracy any given gun is capable of, and fewer still that can exceed their gun’s accuracy. Nearly any of them are accurate enough for defensive work.

This is a tie, but the semi-auto has an edge for being easier to shoot well all around.

Sights and Accessories

A bone I have to pick with most revolvers are their less than ideal sights. Many revolvers, especially the subcompact snubbies, feature very rudimentary sights, often times a machined, coarse front blade and a primitive trough cut into the topstrap of the frame for a rear notch. If the rear is not that arrangement it will be the common click-adjustable leaf configuration that is very fragile. A few revolvers can accept a greater variety of durable, modern sight configurations, but not many. Semi-autos of almost every stripe benefit from a plethora of brands, styles and variations of sighting systems.

This is an issue not just for shooting performance and shooter preference; the ability to zero the sights to the chosen load is important. One might make the argument that the typical ranges a revolver will be employed at will render zeroing irrelevant. This is demonstrably wrong, and does not get a pass from me; for revolvers with machined sights, short of changing loads, shaving the front sight down to raise POI, or tweaking the barrel to adjust windage, you have no way to zero the gun.

Another shortcoming is the complete lack of rails on revolvers for the mounting of weapon-mounted lights. Off the top of my head, I can think of two that feature rails on the barrel shrouds: the S&W TRR8, and Chiappa’s Rhino series fullsize guns. Yes, I do assert that one should be competent with a handheld light in conjunction with a handgun, but WMLs offer great advantages in efficiency, and to be unable to take advantage of that will cost some points. Both semi-autos and revolvers are capable of accepting a variety of laser sights if desired.

The modern semi-auto is clearly the winner, once again.

Manual of Arms and User-Friendliness

The revolver has long been championed as an easier-to-learn gun, and I generally agree: there is little simpler than pressing one lever to swing the entire cylinder out of the gun, taking it out of battery, and then inspecting all the chambers simply and quickly to verify their status. To load, insert cartridges and close cylinder till it clicks. Done. You can teach that to someone in minutes.

For a semi-auto, while still very simple, the order of operations is crucial for safety and certainty, and additional levers and controls may intimidate the new user. My opinion is it is only the matter of another half hour or so of training to ensure confidence with the semi, but the fact remains the revolver has an undeniably simpler manual of arms for loading and unloading.

The tradeoff for that simplicity has been alluded to above: the revolver is much harder to shoot well. I see this as something of a Faustian bargain for new shooters. You can have a super-simple unloading and loading procedure that is slow and cumbersome for a low-capacity gun that is hard to shoot well. Or, you can have a quick, simple loading and unloading procedure in a high-capacity, easy to shoot gun that is slightly more complicated to use. That’s the way I see it.

One scenario where the revolver is standout excellent is in the hands of a shooter with weak or injured hands or arms. Charging the slide on an auto is not always easy, and even when using good technique may prove very difficult or impossible for one with such compromised use of their hands. Here, the revolver shines: if a shooter has the strength to grip the gun and press the trigger, the revolver will run, and is completely immune to limp-wrist malfunctions.

Guns, obviously, can hurt you. They can hurt you in more ways than one, and I don’t mean your pocketbook (ha!): aside from the muzzle being the most obvious danger point on both, semi-autos and revolvers each have secondary danger points that can cause injury.

For the revolver, the flash gap, that is the area between the front of the cylinder and barrel will project hot gasses and particulate out in a cone to either side with every shot. This spray can cause burning or cutting injuries, and is a significant risk on large-caliber and subcompact revolvers in particular. For semi-autos the ejection port whenever the slide is closing and top of the backstrap where it ends under the slide when the gun is cycling can both cause cutting or pinching injuries.

Neither type of pistol is particularly deficient here. Nearly any person can learn to use one or the other well with minimal instruction, but the revolver’s is simpler, no question.

Intangibles and Other Considerations

In a close-in, hands on fight, a revolver is less likely to malfunction if employed for a contact shot, as it has no slide to be pushed out of battery, and will only fail to function if something or someone physically impinges on the hammer or cylinder.

Similarly, a compact revolver, especially a hammerless one, can be fired when inside a pocket and be expected to be ready to fire again when withdrawn. Few semi-autos will cycle successfully when the slide is snarled so by cloth or other material. This is a fringe benefit, but valid when discussing pocket carry, especially for folks in cold climates.

The rise of the miniature red dot sight (MRDS) is the next major technological shift for defensive handguns. These sights, once acclimated to, offer the same benefits we enjoy as standard with red dots on rifles, namely increased speed and practical accuracy over iron sights. These sights will be seen with increasing frequency from here on out. Currently, they are seen predominately on semi-autos. Revolvers with frame-mounted top rail, or ability to accept a rail, can mount these sights, but that would be a less than ideal solution compared to the low-profile mounting seen on semi-autos. Time will tell if revolver manufacturers will move to make stock offerings direct-mount compatible.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

This author thinks the evidence is clear: the semi-auto is the current paradigm for a handgun. Most armed professionals and gun-carrying citizens choose the semi-auto pistol for serious social purposes. The combination of advantages that the semi-auto brings to the table is plainly superior for most circumstances. The revolver is typically relegated to a backup gun, often ankle- or pocket-carried, a far cry from its glory days when reliable, high capacity autoloaders were either rare or a novelty.

And yet, the revolver persists. Is there anything inadequate about six or seven reliable, potent shots for defense? Is the revolver that hard to run well? Is it so fragile as to discount it from selection at all? I don’t think so. I do think that the semi-auto is the obvious choice for a defensive gun in nearly any situation, with the possible exception of a backup gun, and this author himself still prefers a J-frame or LCR for that role.

The revolver may be obsolescent, but it is not obsolete: a reliable, powerful gun is always a reliable, powerful gun. If a revolver is all you have, or if your selection is limited to a cheap, poorly made semi-auto or a quality revolver, like a nice, used Smith & Wesson Model 10, I would take the wheelgun any day, and twice on Sundays. I would only encourage you to invest in the tool that will help you grow the most, the fastest, as a shooter. That gun is the semi-auto.

What do you think? Am I absolutely right or dead wrong? Let us know what you think and prefer in the comments!

Not All Doom and Gloom

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This prepping thing is about so much more than just the end of times. I mean, it seems that way at first but once you really get along the path it becomes so much more! You struggle to realize it in those first years because you are in total panic mode. When you first start …

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International Heritage Breeds Day 2018

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Nearly one in five of the world’s farm animal breeds are at risk of extinction.1)FAO. (2015). The Second Report on the State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Retrieved from The reason? They’re underemployed.

For thousands of years, farmers have carefully bred and raised diverse animals perfectly suited to their corners of the world. These animals are well adapted to local environments and are designed to produce products that meet the needs of local communities. But over the past century, farming in many parts of the world has evolved into highly specialized operations designed to produce as much meat, milk, eggs, fiber, or other products as quickly as possible in order to maximize efficiency. For example, in 1927, the average American Holstein milk cow produced less than 4,500 pounds of milk per year. In 2017, she produced just shy of 23,000 pounds of milk2)USDA- National Agricultural Statistics Service (2018). Retrieved from than five times that of just 90 years ago!

While numbers like these are impressive, placing too much emphasis on productivity sometimes leads to the diminishment of traits like drought tolerance, parasite resistance, mothering abilities, fertility, foraging instincts, and even flavor.

Meanwhile, the populations of many slower growing but still incredibly valuable “Heritage” breeds have crashed. Livestock like Wiltshire Horn sheep, Gloucestershire Old Spots pigs, and Oberhasli goats can’t keep up and have now found themselves on endangered lists of conservation organizations around the world. Although heritage livestock and poultry may not be as efficient as mainstream breeds, they are important sources for valuable genetics and traits, protecting them from being lost.

In addition to animals known for food and fiber, rare equines have seen sharp declines, particularly over the past decade.

But there is still hope!

Today has been designated by fifteen livestock conservation organizations around the world as International Heritage Breeds Day to raise awareness about the status of rare farm animals, highlight examples of how they are still relevant to family farms, and bring choice to the marketplace. Breeds like Leicester Longwool sheep, Caspian horses, Tamworth pigs, Aylesbury ducks, Silver rabbits, Spanish chickens, and more than 1,400 other breeds worldwide need our help.

What’s the best way to support these breeds? By giving them a job!

Many livestock conservation organizations have compiled directories to help consumers locate products from breeds historically used in their local regions. By purchasing eggs from Heritage chickens, pork from Heritage pigs, milk from Heritage cattle, or wool from Heritage sheep, you encourage farmers to raise more animals, and can discover the difference in the kitchen and on the loom for yourself.

According to acclaimed French chef and proponent of Heritage breeds Antoine Westermann, “An animal who has pure roots, the life, and food he deserves, offers it back to us in his meat.” By establishing their spot in the marketplace, biodiversity for these Heritage breeds is secured.

To learn more about how you can get involved and where to locate Heritage breed products in your local area, visit or call 919.542.5704.


References   [ + ]

1. FAO. (2015). The Second Report on the State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Retrieved from
2. USDA- National Agricultural Statistics Service (2018). Retrieved from

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8 Tips For Finding the Best Hammock For Warm Weather Trips

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Who hasn’t had the opportunity to take a nap on a hammock in the backyard during the summertime? Chances are you’ve done this. Nothing better than a nice shady set of trees with a hammock to snooze on out in your backyard after the barbecue is done and everyone has left your house. The hammock has some practical uses that we’re going to cover concerning your outdoor adventures and can even do in a pinch to help you when the going gets rough.

Firstly, the hammock is not a “communal” item: you’ll have to have your own. We used to tote these hammocks around with us in the Service that were basically very little more than a volleyball net with reinforced ends. That being said, look carefully when you pick out your hammock. Cheap you buy, and cheap shall you receive! You need one that you will fit in comfortably.

There are some advantages to using a hammock when you’re camping and on a hike. They’re extremely portable and are able to be either folded up or rolled up and carried in a cargo pocket or stuffed into one of the pockets of your backpack. Then we can take it to another level: the ones made by the U.S. military and classified as “jungle” hammocks. These are the best bets because they have a small canopy over the top, and come complete with mosquito netting. You step into the hammock and zipper up, and you’re protected from the rain and the bugs.

Find the Best Hammock to Suit Your Needs. Follow These Tips for Find the Best Fit!

You can still find these premium hammocks if you enter in “jungle hammocks” or U.S. Army issue jungle hammocks,” and search for it on There you’ll find the one that meets your needs. Let’s put out some advice to go along with that hammock when you find the right one.

  1. The end ropes: Tie off a stick midway on each support rope. The stick should be about 1” in diameter and about a foot-long end to end: affix it to the support rope in the center and spray it down with DEET or another bug repellent that is effective. When the ones that crawl come marching, the coated stick will be a barrier to their advance. Spray the rope about an inch down and up from where you’ve tied the stick.
  2. Ensure you’re at least 2-3 feet off the ground or more when you’re in the hammock: This means that if you leave 2-3 feet when you tie it off, it will be less distance when you’re in it between you and the ground. Other pests such as rats, mice, snakes, etc., will not be able to bother you if you’re about three feet off the ground or more. The higher the better but remember to make sure you can get in and out of it safely.
  3. For a non-self-enclosed/open hammock: you can use D-rings to close off the first 1/3 down by the feet…and put your sleeping bag into the hammock. Later when you get in, attach another D-ring up top to make it more snug and secure.
  4. Open hammocks: If you have those five bungee cords and a poncho (as I mentioned to obtain in other articles), you can rig up a rain shelter…four corners of the grommets lashed off with the bungees. Tie off the hood, and the 5th attaches to a branch to lift the hood vertically, making an angled “roof” that will keep the rain off you.
  5. BE AWARE OF THE CREATURES! Be aware of bears, mountain lions, wolves, wild boar, or anything else that may be in the vicinity. Know where they are, their trails, and where they lair. Chances are you don’t want to place your hammock near a cave where there is bear scat and tracks in front of its entrance. Also, check for “buddies” such as bees or hornets and indications that the trees you’re using either have them nesting inside of it or in the branches. Better safe than sorry in each case.
  6. Fall and Winter: Yes, you can still camp out in a hammock even at this time of the year…but you need to make sure you have plenty of insulation in your sleeping bag and a barrier for underneath, such as the poly sleeping pad that is issue to break up the cold from beneath the hammock. Gore-Tex monster needs to come out: pants, top, and polypro. The “Bear” suit would help here, too. If you have no surplus store in your area, you can order all this stuff through, and you’ll have it in no time.
  7. Creature comforts: Take some water to drink and some small snacks up in the hammock with you so that you don’t have to leave frequently. For other “issues,” an empty Gatorade bottle can help you out immensely, and in medical supply stores, an equivalent product can be purchased for ladies who don’t want to leave the hammock. Enough said here, and I’m sure you can figure out what I mean!
  8. Make sure everyone on the trip knows where everyone else is, either tent or hammock. Motorola radios are a great thing here, as you can have call signs for one another and can then make sure everyone’s alright, as well as alert everyone if there’s a problem. Be smart and affix the Motorola to your chest/front of your shirt so that you won’t have to fumble for it in the dark.

Be aware of your weather patterns. Don’t risk using a hammock when there are high winds or in a very bad storm. Discretion is the better part of valor. The hammock should always be an “adjunct” and used in a survival situation as a last resort, not as your primary means of shelter. An example would be if your tent was burned up by a campfire’s stray embers.  Then rely on your poncho and hammock. Find the best one for you and your family, enjoy the outdoors, and be safe. JJ out!


Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Memorial Day 2018

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

A gentleman named Owen A. King from our subscriber list sent me the following two quotes recently, the first, from one of my favorite authors, one I have heard repeatedly “dismissed” by intellectual progressives (currently working college professors teaching at UCLA), as “some obscure writer from the 1950’s”….grrr:

 “(W)hen you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing; when you see that money is flowing to those who deal not in goods, but in favors; when you see that men get rich more easily by graft than by work, and your laws no longer protect you against them, but protect them against you. . . you may know that your society is doomed.”  Ayn Rand – Atlas Shrugged 

And the second from a contemporary writer I am not yet familiar with:

“There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”Ed Howdershelt (Reference Stephan Decatur Miller, circa September 1830)

On this Memorial Day I see us in the abyss, the limbo between Mr. Miller’s second and third boxes, and that makes Any Rand’s words ever more insightful. The Prepper Journal is a big fan of making “lessons learned” no longer an oxymoron, but a reality, while the elites are busily erasing all the lessons from our history, except for the ones that further their agenda, and these are usually skewed to fit their narrative.

And, as a result, I find the image above so powerful on this holiday. While taken to represent honoring those lost in the most noble of causes, it could equally be of our frustration over the limbo we find ourselves in currently between the boxes, our gathering of resolve to rise from this position with all the fury of a fallen superhero in some Hollywood blockbuster. Or it could be seen as us presenting our current state of affairs on this, their day of honor, to all those who gave their all, all the way back to our founding fathers.

The Short Lesson

This Federal Holiday in the USA was established for remembering those who died while serving in our Armed Forces. Currently celebrated on the last Monday of May, it originated in 1868 as Decoration Day after the American Civil War, when the Grand Army of the Republic established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union’s war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day was eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service.  Arlington Cemetery is the centerpiece of the official ceremonies.  Did you know this was General Robert E. Lee’s home before he left Washington to take command of the Confederate Army? Was it taken as a punishment that has now become the focal point of our honor? Your call. Okay, that ends the history lesson.

This brings me back to my experience. I saw The Viet Nam War memorial on a business trip to Washington D.C. awhile ago. I knew before I went that I would find names on it that I knew as flesh and blood. Names I broke bread with, names I saw when they were drunk and when they were scared and they saw me that way too. One a bookworm from Wooster Massachusetts and another a certified red-neck from Pasadena Texas; others as well. I thought I was prepared. It was a sunny, hot day. A kind woman offered tissue. That is my story, there are many like it, it does not make me special BUT those names on that wall are special, each and every one. As they are for so many wars, so many throughout our history who stepped up. And that brings me back to point…

This is a day to remember, reflect and honor those brave men and women. And the moments of silence, the reflections would, I suspect, bring them no more joy than the laughter of our children and the friendship of family and friends at our picnics and our gatherings. I believe THAT is why they were willing to step up, to preserve the hope of a nation that they knew as family and friends and community.

God bless them every one.

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