Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Potential Wars of 2011

I read through this article a couple of days ago and found it to be of interest from a disaster readiness/preparedness perspective.  Look at a bit of history and see that what happens in other parts of the world ultimately impacts wherever you call home.  This is reason 5,639,275 to keep prepping. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Survival Podcast Christmas Episode

Jack over at The Survival Podcast always has great episodes (I've often told my listeners they should check him out first then come listen to Good Ol' Chip) but today's Christmas episode is a great listen.  Check it out if you get a chance and I think you'll be glad you took the time:

Gerald Celente on 2011 Trends

This is a guy who isn't always right, but gets close enough most of the time that when he predicts something I usually pay attention.  Read through these projections and then think of how you can plan for each one to try to minimize their impact should they occur. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Interesting article on the value of aspirin

It's my opinion that aspirin should be in just about everyones' survival plans.  Obviously people with certain medical conditions can't make use of aspirin in the same way as your average person, but it is such a 'wonder drug' (if there is such thing) that you should learn what you can about its advantages and many uses. 
CNN just recently did a story on aspirin found here:  It is definitely worth reading and considering how storing aspirin (although you need to know about how long it's good/safe for of course) can be part of a comprehensive preparedness plan. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

A coat that is also a sleeping bag

You've often heard me talk about the need for "shelter" in the form of not only a dwelling of some sort (house, apartment, tent, car, etc.) but in various ways to keep oneself warm and insulated from the elements.  That's why I recommend you have a tent and sleeping bags as a backup at all times, just in case your house becomes uninhabitable for some reason.  At least a 3-season tent is best, and if you live in a very cold area one of those alpine tents might even be necessary.

One other consideration is clothing that can double as some sort of sleeping protection.  NPR, of all media sources, recently did a story about just such an item.  You can read about it here:


Friday, December 17, 2010

ABC News: Holiday Terror Warning Cites Car Bombs and Small Arms Attack

"We are concerned these terrorists may seek to exploit the likely significant psychological impact of an attack targeting mass gatherings in large metropolitan areas during the 2010 holiday season, which has symbolic importance to many in the United States," The "Security Awareness for the Holiday Season" bulletin states. 

 This is disconcerting to say the least....  With the reports over the past few years of potential terrorists crossing over the southern border and the recent failed attempts by jihadists to blow up gatherings in Portland, OR (I was there a day after that happened) amongst other places, I adjure listeners to be smart, but don't let anyone keep you from living your lives.  And most of all, enjoy the Christmas season. 

Shortages of Long Term Food Storage Products

I'm not certain if this is because of the current amount of attention being focused on food storage (Glen Beck, etc.) or if there's anything more ominous present but if you plan to stock up on long term storage foods I'd keep an eye on this.  Don't panic however, as canned foods and other relatively long term storage foods are still available at this point in time.  But whatever approach you take make certain that you have some food on hand for any disasters (even minor ones such as weather events) that might crop up. 

Interesting Soda Can Candle Holder Idea

I came across this online and thought it looked useful for certain applications (such as when you don't want a lot of light everywhere but need to be able to see):

Here is what it actually looks like in use, as done by someone on

And another demonstration:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Interesting Web Site about Micro Farming/Self-Sufficient Living

From time to time I try to look for web sites that deal with micro-farming and self-sufficient living, both topics that I am quite interested in.  I came across the site listed above and while the motivations given on the site for being involved in this field might differ from my own, I thought it was an interesting site and worth recommending to listeners. 

The Next Bubble-Municipal Debt

The Coming Municipal Debt Bubble

I've been watching this particular trend for a couple of years and it's been something I've been concerned about for a while.  This graph alone should show you why:

What does this actually mean to the average person?  Well, just as we've seen bailouts for banks, the auto industry, and various unions, there will be a clamor to begin sending massive funds to cities and states (I'm guessing California and Illinois will probably be the first states).  In my opinion this is almost certain, unless there is a surprisingly strong economic recovery.  Which of course, we are all hoping for.
The following story kind seems to suggest this is possible based on a a reading of the "good news" tea leaves:

NY Post: Economy Improving?

Risk of War Rising on Korean Peninsula

Admiral Mullen warns of potential conflict in Korea

Unintended consequences.  Black swan events.  Who would have thought that the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand would have led to World War I?

It is these sorts of potential crises that can crop up from anywhere that can precipitate a change in the "world as we know it" overnight.  The historian in me watches what is unfolding in Korea with a reflection on past world history.  That's what makes it concerning. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Merry Christmas.... From Al Queda?

Al Queda Plans Christmas Attacks in Europe, US

What I want to know is why the media always trumpets this stuff if there is nothing specific people can prepare or plan for?  Is it just to feed the hysteria, create a narrative of "everyone is on edge", or for other purposes?  Either warn people with specific things to be on guard for or stop the regularly scheduled "Your reason to panic for today is..." 

Merry Christmas in spite of Al Queda.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Advanced Computer Virus Sets Back Iran Nuke Program

Computer Virus Sets Back Iran Nuclear Program 2 Years

Regardless of where you are on the political spectrum, most people probably agree that it's not the best thing in the world for the current Iranian regime to possess nukes.  Look at how North Korea is throwing its weight around based on their own fledgling nuclear weapons, and then picture Iran doing the same in the Middle East. 

The interesting thing about this computer virus is how targeted and apparently "intelligent".  Skynet, anyone?  ;)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Reason #7856 of why you should always carry a 72-hour kit in your car

70 motorists stranded by snow in Indiana...

This is a good reminder of why it's valuable to always carry a "bug-out kit"/"get-home-bag".  Even if you're stuck for hours as long as you have water (and food is nice as well), the means to stay warm and something to entertain your brain (books, games, puzzles, iPod music, a certain fabulous survival podcast) you should be able to make it through.  Just a friendly reminder provided by Mother Nature.  :)


From the NY Times: "A Secretive Banking Elite Rules Trading in Derivatives"

The following is an interesting article about derivatives, which I've been struggling to understand for some time as well as to comprehend the relationship derivatives have with survival/prepping concerns.  This is from the New York Times, no less.

Another creative shelter option

Obviously not everyone is in a position to try something like this.  But you can probably see the survival/preparedness advantages:

Think creatively for your shelter needs

This guy in China has a good grip on the minimalistic approach to securing shelter to protect oneself from the elements.  Check out this story:

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Not Related to Survival Really, But Still Cool... :)

As I mentioned over on the CMFSP Facebook page:
Here is the link to the first set of published products from Port Nova Media, my publishing company:
You can read about this first set of sci-fi crunchy goodness here:
I know not everyone is into that sort of thing, but as a number of listeners have expressed interest in my other endeavors I thought I'd share. 
Chip :)

It's Baaaaaaaaaack........ Swine Flu Returns.........

 H1N1 virus returns, already claiming lives of 10 British adults with early signs that illness has spread to other European countries

By Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor

The swine flu virus that swept the world last year causing a global health emergency has returned to claim the lives of 10 adults in the UK in the past six weeks.

The 10 deaths were in younger adults under 65 and associated with H1N1 swine flu. Most had underlying conditions but "a small proportion" were healthy before being struck down by the virus, according to the Health Protection Agency (HPA).

Seasonal flu normally causes severe illness and death in the elderly. The H1N1 swine flu virus targets pregnant women, younger adults, and those with chronic conditions, making it a cause of particular alarm.

The rest of the article can be read here:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

"Threads"/"The Day After"-Nuclear Disaster Movies from the early 80s

Stuck inside on a cold, dreary Saturday? Well, Chip has you covered.  Today I tracked down a couple of interesting disaster flicks from the early 80s that you may have heard of, but never had the chance to see before.  

The first is "Threads", a 1984 television docudrama depicting the effects of a nuclear war on the United Kingdom and its aftermath.  You can watch the whole thing here: 

And the perhaps more famous (at least in the US) "The Day After", directed by the guy who helmed "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn" (unlike the complete movie linked above, you will have to manually click each part of this movie to view the entire show):

Shows like this are probably a bit alarmist and perhaps even biased against prepping (ie. presenting such disasters as so horrible that no one could survive) but they are good for generating food for thought about disaster readiness.  
Enjoy! :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Could Riots in UK Come to America?

While I don't always agree with what this man says, I think he's seeing the chess pieces a few moves in advance:

And with news that the military is preparing for an economic collapse, you just have to go "hmmmm...":

Watch the CNBC video here for some head-spinning "stuff":

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Gas prices on track for unseasonable spike" reads the headline

Climbing gas prices and the holidays don't mix.  I know firsthand as our family trip to see the grandparents for Thanksgiving carved a fairly large chunk out of our monthly budget in November. 

However, it appears that prices are indeed going up.  Here is a one of many stories currently discussing this issue and the impact on already squeezed consumers:

Massive Storm Could Be Worst of the Winter

Looks like this is going to be a doozy.  This is why it's good to be ready for anything, as many if not most of the disaster commonalities can be anticipated regardless of the actual problem that develops. 

Here is the article:

Stay warm and make sure you have a couple of alternative heat sources and plenty of easy-to-prepare-food. :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

COSTCO's $26,000 Emergency Food System|1482&N=4000486&Mo=76&No=0&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&cat=1482&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&lang=en-US&Sp=C

What does it tell us that a company like COSTCO is even offering something like this?  What is the market for such a large order?  Religious groups?  Government agencies?  Hmmm...  Prepping must really be hitting the mainstream these days as I doubt COSTCO would be offering these if they didn't think they would sell a bunch.  :)

A Little Visual about the "Recovery"

Doesn't look like your average run-of-the-mill recession does it?

Interested in sponsoring/advertising on the Chip Monk Family Survival Podcast?

I'm beginning the process of trying to secure some sponsors for the Chip Monk Family Survival Podcast.  This is to allow me more time in my schedule to spend on this podcast as I try to make it a five-day-per-week program, and to cover the costs involved in the production of the show.  So...  if you're interested in helping out feel free to contact me directly at chipmonksurvivalpodcast AT or click on the following link if you want to advertise through my podcast provider:

advertise on podbean

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Coast to Coast AM Interview with James Wesley, Rawles (see Episode 109)

Today's episode is about the Survival Writings of James Wesley, Rawles.  Here is a fairly-lengthy interview with him from Coast to Coast AM with George Noory.  This has some wonderful survival/preparedness material in it:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fallout From the Newest Wikileaks Releases

I strive to avoid sounding alarmist, but with what's taking place on the Korean peninsula combined with the huge potential diplomatic repercussions of the latest Wikileaks material it's hard not to feel a sense of the world being on the verge of something catastrophic.  The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand that ultimately led into World War I is the closest historical parallel I can think of.  And that's very concerning...

Monday, November 22, 2010

The "Redneck Assault Rifle"

The blog I'm linking to below is a great blog in general, but I especially liked this article and related YouTube video regarding lever actions as suitable defensive firearms.  The Winchester .357 Magnum carbine the author discusses (and shares pictures of) seems like a nice setup and I can definitely vouch for how easy to handle these little boomsticks are.   I'm somewhat partial to the Marlins myself, but would certainly not say "no" to the Winchesters or Rossi versions of the pistol-caliber carbines either. 

Read the article here:

The YouTube video is here:

In addition, here is another YouTube video specifically discussing "Lever Guns for Survival Purposes":

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bulk Ammo Contest

Jack over at (the gracious guy who helped the Chipper get his start in podcasting) has a new sponsor called  They seem to be supportive of the Survival/Preparedness community, which is nice to see, and are holding a contest to win some free ammunition.  From what I can tell, the rules are you can either post about them in any blog-type online presence you may have or follow them on Facebook/Twitter to be entered into the contest.  There are some good companies I've encountered to order ammo through but it's nice to see one that is specifically supportive of the Survival/Preparedness mindset so check them out if you're looking to order some ammo online in the near future.  It's probably also worth your while to enter the contest through either of their options (posting about them on your blog or following them through social media) if you get a chance. 

Here's the link to the juicy, tasty ammo I would want if I were to win:   There are other options too, including 9mm, 40 S&W and 45 ACP.  Here is the link to the contest rules:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Twilight Zone-"The Shelter"

The special weekend podcast I did last weekend about Old Time Radio shows relating (in one way or another) to survivalism/preparedness got me thinking about some other media that dealt with similar topics.

One example is the Twilight Zone episode I've mentioned in the past called "The Shelter".  If you've never seen it, check it out here and let me know what you think:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ruh, roh Scooby...

This could be very bad for both banking and real estate market.  Something to keep an eye on for certain. 

'Climate Change' could result in colder weather

Here's an interesting article.  I find it a touch annoying that it goes out of its way to say "these findings do not conflict with Global Warming theory", but if there is some truth to this regardless of the reason (changes in solar activity, etc.) the takeaway for the survivalist/prepper is get ready for some cold weather:

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Wonders of Wind Power

In today's episode I talked about building systems to harness the wind.  Here are a few graphics to for you take a peek at that explain the basics (as always, whatever system you may choose to build will be geared towards your own set of parameters and needs):

A good map to look at when considering a wind power system:

Friday, November 12, 2010

Secret Walmart Survey Shows Inflation Already Here

It's interesting to try to track trends by piecing together bits of information provided by the media.  When one does so, you do get the impression that inflation is starting to unfold.  As an anecdotal example, my wife and I are comparing portion sizes and prices between our trips to the grocery store. 

Definitely worth keeping an eye one...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Strange Days... What's Going On in the Sky?

First we had this (news helicopter films apparent missile launch 35 miles west of LA):

And then today there is this (another news helicopter films apparent fireball over NYC):

In both instances the "experts" say they're just airplane contrails.  And maybe they're right. 
But something seems a little fishy....  Especially the first one when for the first two days the authorities claimed they didn't know what it was but that it certainly didn't represent a threat. 
Any thoughts?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Concerns About Food Insecurity In America

One of the major issues on the horizon is the concern about the price of foodstuffs. It's worth becoming informed on the subject, especially as we start to see prices on basic groceries begin to increase. 
Here is a good article on the subject:

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Tsunami-Proof House

Well, this is cool.  I've tried a number of times to think up a way to construct something with safety features designed to withstand a tsunami.  This seems like a noble effort:

Great Survival Visual

This is a fantastic representation of some of the things a person needs to have on hand in just about any type of survival situation.  Making a print-out of something like this and giving it to your friends and family might be a lot easier than getting them to pick up a book or listen to a podcast on survival/preparedness topics.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Survival Fish Hooks

Here is a graphic of some of the "survival fish hooks" I discussed making on today's episode.  Sometimes it's much easier to understand something if you can see a visual representation:

You'll notice there are a few methods to make fish hooks, some of which I mentioned and some I did not (like the interesting safety pin approach). 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Looks Like I'm Not the Only One Concerned About the Fed's Latest Moves

This article from the Financial Times goes more in depth about the recent Fed decision than I ever could.  Read it.  Then stock up a little more on the things you need.  And do a little research on life in the Weimer Republic during the '20s.  (I hope I'm just joking about that last part...)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Garbage Bag Survival

From my neck of the woods....

This person survived three days by wise deployment of a plastic garbage bag she had with her.  What a great illustration of the importance of knowledge vs. equipment.  Check the story out here:


An Especially Cold Winter This Year?

You might remember I did a podcast about this exact issue a few weeks back (found here: ).

It sounds like concerns about this issue this is starting to gain traction, and here is another story I have come across about the same topic:

Something to think about at the very least, if you live anywhere in the potentially affected areas.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Listener Contribution-"Which is Better for Survival?-The AR15 vs the Mini-14"

By Dario

     Although there are a number of popular tactical rifles available to Americans today, 
I want to discuss the two most popular that use the .223 (5.56X45mm) caliber. These are 
of course the AR family (AR15, M16, M4 and others), and the Ruger Mini-14. I know that 
much has already been written about these so I'm going to do this a little different. I 
may write about AK's and SKS's and other such tactical firearms later.
     The AR family is very popular because it is based on the current military weapon, 
which has been in use in various versions for aproximately 50 years. This has allowed 
time for much developmental modifications on this design. It is also in use in other 
countries besides the U.S.
     The Mini-14 is also popular with survivalists and a number of government agencies 
both in the U.S. and foreign countries use it.
      So, let's do some comparing:
      The AR family has been manufactured by many companies. There have been probably 
thousands of modifications to it. Today it is a VERY accurate and dependable firearm. No 
one can deny that. It is available in other calibers as well. If you already possess one 
of these, you can purchase uppers in other calibers. I have seen these chambered for the 
Russian 5.45X39mm, 6.8mm, several handgun calibers, and .22 long rifle as well as the 
7.62X39mm. I even saw one manufacturer that offered an "UPPER" that was 
chambered for the .50 BAR round! This makes this rifle an extremely versatile weapon!
     When it comes to target shooting the AR is very accurate as millions of current and 
ex GI's will tell you. Most AR's are more accurate than the majority of shooters.
      For survivalists, a major plus for this rifle is the availability of spare parts. 
Reading Shotgun News you will see huge amounts of spare parts for the AR. As any 
mechanical device can break down at any time, this makes this rifle a great survival arm. 
A lot of parts can be replaced in the field. There is also a huge after-market of 
accesories for the AR's.
Further proof of the desireability of the AR family is the fact that it has been 
adopted by Israel. Israel has developed some fine weapons of their own such as the Uzi, 
and the Galil (which they did use as a main battle rifle for awhile), but at this time 
the Galil has been retired. Israel is a tiny country about the size of the state of New 
Jersey. They are surrounded by more than 1 billion enemies who want to exterminate them. 
They don't have a lot of soldiers to throw away.  Therefore they want the finest tools 
available. Their current choice of a battle rifle is the M4.    
     All in all, it would be hard to argue against the use of the AR for survival use.
The Ruger Mini-14 is also extremely popular. It is available in.223, 6.8 and 
7.62X39mm. At this time it is available in several configurations including target and 
tactical models. With the exception of the target models, the Mini-14 is not as accurate 
as the AR. However, it is accurate enough for police and miltary work. The design of this 
rifle is loosely based on the M-1 Garand, which was called by General George Patton: 
"The greatest battle rifle ever implemented" (I am paraphrasing here)!
     The Mini-14 looks more like a regular rifle instead of a futuristic space age 
weapon. Some people like this look better. It handles nicely and, like the AR, is fun to 
shoot. It is in use by a number of police and military units around the world.
     However the main problem I see with the Mini-14 is the availability of spare parts. 
As it is manufactured only by Ruger, there is not a large after market of parts. And, 
some of the most important parts - say the firing pin - must be purchased from Ruger. It 
is also necessary to return the rifle to Ruger to have parts such as the firing pin 
fitted. In a TEOTWAKI situation this may not be feasible.
      I communicated with Ruger to inquire about the possibilty of having my Mini fitted 
with an extra firing pin. They were underwhelming in their desire to help me. They 
brushed me off as though they just didn't want to be bothered. Why they have this 
attitude when the Mini has so many possibilities is difficult to understand. You would 
think that they would push this rifle for survivalists. 
There is an after market company that makes a firing pin for the Mini-14 but I have 
heard that these parts are not heat treated very well and may not last very long.
     Although there are after market magazines available for the Mini-14, there have been 
lots of feeding problems with them. This was another of Ruger's customer no-service 
actions. For years they refused to make factory magazines available to the public. They 
finally saw the light, but Ruger magazines are quite expensive compared to AR mags.
     I don't understand why Ruger wasn't, and isn't, interested in pushing the Mini for 
survival or other use by the gun-buying public. I suspect that they have been sucking up 
to the government hoping for some large contracts. 
     Although I own several Ruger products and have had good luck with them, I have to 
say that the AR is the better survival rifle.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Forum on Primitive Weapons

I wish I had seen this before I recorded yesterday's podcast:
It's a forum at the dealing specifically with primitive weapons (basically anything that our neolithic ancestors would have recognized) and looks like there might be a wealth of information for anyone wanting to learn more about this topic. 
Just thought I'd share... :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fallout Shelter Plans

It was difficult to try to do a podcast about fallout shelters without being able to show listeners some of the ideas I'm talking about. 

Here are a few basic types of shelters (with specific elements to consider), although these are obviously a bit dated as they're from the Cold War.  The basic principles are timeless and universal, however: