Have a Good Radio in Your Survival Supplies During a Disaster

Some years ago the BBC broadcast life-saving information to the hundreds of thousands of people affected by monumental flooding in Pakistan. So many were cut off from emergency aid efforts.

The BBC issued bulletins in the languages spoken most in that region on staying safe, avoiding disease, and how to get food and other help.

It’s not uncommon for this to be done by the BBC and other international broadcasters, including Christian ministries like Trans World Radio. Most international broadcasters have cut back on shortwave transmissions in favor of partnering with local AM and FM outlets who receive designated programming by satellite and Internet.

Though the Internet is growing world wide, and the use of smart phones has expanded, many in lesser developed countries still rely on radio for information. Local and international broadcasters provide a useful and valuable service that can literally save lives.

When there’s a major natural disaster here in the U.S., where do most of us get our information? Though many turn to the Internet with computers or smart phones, plenty of us still turn to local radio. AM and FM broadcasts may be the only option when the power’s out.

A key advantage to listening to radio is you don’t have to be connected to the Internet. No wireless connection required. The only thing you need is good batteries or another source of power, such as a wind-up generator or solar power. Radios have gotten better at stretching battery life, too.

We often turn to radio in severe weather. But think back to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Radio stations in New Orleans combined efforts and personnel to provide useful information to their listeners.

People who still had phone service of some kind could call into the stations to report what was happening in their neighborhoods. For me the listener, this was fascinating.

I was able to listen in because, like many, I can hear WWL radio, New Orleans, at night from hundreds of miles away. In fact, WHRI, a U.S. shortwave station, broadcasted WWL to an even larger audience.

When the big earthquake struck San Francisco in 1989, I heard the rebroadcast of one of San Francisco’s stations on WLS, Chicago. Again, for me it made for fascinating listening.

In 1999 during the pre-Y2K jitters, one expert made a list of skywave radio stations available on his Web site. He believed it was important to be able to listen to those stations which could be heard over great distances at night.

You may have your own examples of how standard broadcast radio has been helpful to you in a time of disaster. If so, you already know how important it is to have a simple AM/FM radio in your survival supplies.

Several companies featured in the DestinySurvival Prep Mart offer portable radios meant for emergency situations. Some radios feature weather band capability and are combined with flashlights. Without trying out such radios ahead of time, it’s hard to say whether they’ll meet your needs adequately during or after a disaster.

I recommend getting a good radio–the best one you can afford. It may be necessary to monitor stations at a distance if local stations are knocked off the air. Cheaper radios may not pick up distant stations well.

Unless we have a giant EMP (electromagnetic pulse) one day which takes out all things electronic, you can’t beat an AM/FM radio as an information source when disaster strikes. Make sure you have one or two among your survival supplies. I wouldn’t be without mine.


FANGS! Snakes In The Hood

Editor’s note: Capt. William E. Simpson told me that the CDC and many state poison control centers are being swamped with calls about snakebites. Since this could be of concern to each of us, he submitted the following article as a public service.

Capt. Bill is the author of The Nautical Prepper and Dark Stallions – Legend of the Centaurians, and has been my guest on DestinySurvival Radio. He occasionally contributes articles here for DestinySurvival. – John




Author Capt. William E. Simpson displays the fangs of a Pacific Rattlesnake; its deadly venom is seen dripping off the wire.


Looks like it’s shaping-up to be a particularly bad year for rattlesnakes and snakebites here in the Pacific Northwest and across America as many news stories are now reporting; here’s one:

In fact, we killed 7 rattlesnakes so far just in May around the homestead (here in Siskiyou County, CA) and seen one I let live (seen in the photos in my ‘Mr. Grumpy’ article: read here:–again.php).

When these pit-vipers (rattlers) are operating in close proximity to people, homes, pets (horses & livestock) accidents can and do happen. In these cases where a venomous snake presents an unacceptable ‘danger-close’ risk, I prefer to eliminate the risk by killing the viper.

Here’s two rattlers (photos below) that my wife Laura killed just 15-minutes apart in her bird garden yesterday (Friday May 26th). She was wearing flip-flops when she noticed the first one that appeared a few feet behind her. So after killing it using a few rocks, she got her boots on and when she returned to finish filling the bird feeders (15-min.) there was another one waiting.


Twin Rattlesnakes

Of course, my buddy Mr. Gnome (in photo above) isn’t impressed, he sees-em all the time… he lets anyone into his garden parties.


Then, a little later the same day, Jack our trusty McNab dog started a warning bark; he had found another rattler in the driveway… this one was even bigger… maybe 4.5 feet.

And the season has just begun! Families who are planning on spending vacation time at the lakes, rivers and streams (places with water) should maintain an extra careful lookout over children and pets. Like most other snakes, rattlesnakes absorb most of the water they need from their prey. It’s usually their prey that requires the water. However, venomous snakes maintain habitats in the mountains, forests and in driest areas as well, such as the deserts of Eastern Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and yes, Southern California.


Snake Venom

When I pulled the fangs forward, venom begins to flow.


Large Rattler


A large male rattler (photo above) is seen hiding in my wife’s rock garden near the bird feeders/water. This well-camouflaged snake remained unseen by my wife even when I pointed to it. The heat sensing pits on the snakes nose are easily seen (black colored pits)… and allow the snake to strike and hit warm blooded animals with deadly accuracy.

Depending on variables of temp and humidity, Rattlesnakes are most active during the hot days of summer early in the day from around 7:00-11:00 AM and then again early evening from around 4:00PM through sundown and early evening. They spend a lot of time around areas that attract rodents (chicken coops, bird baths and feeders, barns, areas of litter and garbage, etc. Because rodents do require water, and the snakes know this instinctively, places where there is water and food suitable for rodents are prime real estate, and snakes like to lay waiting in nearby shady places in ambush.

The Pacific Rattler is fortunately not as deadly as many other poisonous snakes in America. South and southeastern CA, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Nevada have numerous species of rattlesnakes, including some areas there, which have been known to host the Mojave-Green Rattler, whose venom contains both a hemotoxin and a neurotoxin… a devastating combination!

The Pacific Rattler’s hemotoxin poses an additional threat to folks who are taking blood thinners, and therefore, requires special attention. Attending EMS personnel and doctor(s) should be made aware of any drugs that have been taken during the intake process for snakebite.

As many folks know, I grew-up in the Applegate Valley of Southern Oregon where we had our fair share of Pacific Rattlesnakes. And I have collected and studied snakes as a hobby for decades, so I have extensive experience handling and dealing with them, meaning; don’t mess around with any snake unless you have the knowledge and experience! Handling any venomous snake, even when it is dead is extremely dangerous and should never be done except by expert handlers.

Folks with questions, feel free to contact me via my email contact form.

Snakes are mostly beneficial, so unless you have a rattler near pets, livestock or the house, don’t kill them; they eat mice and rats, which do a lot of property damage and spread disease.

It’s interesting to note that many snakebites are instigated by inexperienced people attempting to kill a snake.


Capt. Bill with Bullsnake

Capt. Bill with a beneficial gopher snake.


Capt. Bill with Dispatched Rattlesnake

A 5’4″ viper (Pacific Rattlesnake) above; one of the largest Bill has dispatched in Nor. CA/OR…


Snake's Buttons

It had 12 buttons… second most, behind a larger Rattlesnake that had 18.


Have a safe and fun Summer!


Capt. William E. Simpson II – USMM Ret.
More about the author here.


Rediscover Mittleider Gardening

If you’re eager for ways to amp up your garden for survival, you’ll be glad to know The Mittleider Gardening Course has been updated and improved. This is the book with the excellent “how to” knowledge you need to grow bigger, healthier plants.

Jim Kennard, President of the Food For Everyone Foundation, sent me the news of this. I’ve edited the text slightly because a small part of it wasn’t intended for general readership. Here’s what you need to know now.


Mittleider Gardening Course



The time and effort, plus the knowledge and experience of many dedicated Mittleider gardeners that have gone into creating this new edition of The Mittleider Gardening Course book are astounding.  And the result is something everyone who calls him/herself a Mittleider gardener can be proud to be associated with.

It has 149 color pictures!  They are a pleasure to look at, and they show how to do the important gardening processes in every lesson in the book.  Is there a picture from your garden in there?  Many of the pictures are from Mittleider gardeners just like you, which shows that ANYONE can have a great garden if they follow this Recipe!

There are also literally dozens of new and improved illustrations – again visually helping the reader to see and understand how to do the best job possible in their garden.

And there are many other additions to the book, including instructions (with great pics & illustrations) on building and growing in 4′-wide boxes, seedling equipment, T-Frames, and in-the-garden greenhouses.

You will love this book, and I’m confident you’ll want all your neighbors, friends, and family to own and benefit from it themselves as well.

I invite you to get your own copy of the new book – Now.  It will thrill you – trust me…

…Blessings on you, and best of success in your gardens, your work, and in your homes and families.

Jim Kennard, President
Food For Everyone Foundation
“Teaching the world to grow food one family at a time.”



Jim Kennard was one of my earliest guests on DestinySurvival Radio back in 2011. I’ve linked to several of his informative articles here, and they’re my most popular downloads to date.

To get The Mittleider Gardening Course, click on its title in this post. Or click on the image of the book cover above.

Happy survival gardening!


Shop At Bass Pro Online

“Where’d you get the funky colored glasses, Bill?” asked Duane. “I saw you showing them to the kids.”

“They’re shooting glasses, Duano. I borrowed them from Charlie,” Bill said, looking up from the project he was working on in Duane’s basement. “They’re eye protection for my next trip to the shooting range. I’m hoping I can see the target a little better.” He pooched out his chest. “Them deer won’t stand a chance next fall.”

“Where could I get some like that?”

“Bass Pro Shop,” said Bill.

“I’ve heard of them,” said Duane. “I’ve heard their store in Springfield, Missouri, is a huge place and quite a tourist attraction.”

“Yeah, you dope, you heard it from me! Bonnie and I went there last summer,” Bill said. “And we’d like to see the one in the pyramid in Memphis soon.”

“Oh, right,” said Duane. “Did you see their ads on DestinySurvival?”

“Hey, you’re getting pretty smart, Duano. That’s where I want to go to buy my own shooting glasses so I can give these back to Charlie.”

“You’re turning into a closet survivalist, Bill,” said Duane.

“Naw! I just like some of the advertisers on that site, that’s all. It so happens that Bass Pro Shop offers a wide variety of hunting and fishing gear for sportsmen like me. Man, they’ve got everything. Name brand camping equipment, climbing equipment, everything a guy could use for hunting, fishing gear for all kinds of fishermen, and archery gear. You ever thought of teaching the kids how to shoot a bow and arrow?”

“Not till you mentioned it,” said Duane, “but it might be fun. I did some archery as a kid at summer camp.”

“They’ve invented guns since then, Duano. You ought to try one of them, too!”

“Ha, ha. Very funny,” said Duane. “Cut the baloney and tell me more about Bass Pro Shop.”

“They’ve got stuff designed by the best outdoorsmen in the business,” Bill said. “They’ve got dozens of stores around the country, and they keep adding more. All their stores are alike in some ways, but yet they’re different from each other. They try to appeal to everybody in the family and have what I think is a unique philosophy. I mean, it’s really cool, Duano. Each store is like a museum, or an art gallery, and a center for education, and conservation and entertainment, all rolled into one.”

“That does sound pretty cool,” said Duane.

“They manage to pick up the local flavor of the area where the store is, too,” said Bill. “They show off state record fish and wildlife exhibits and even historical pictures and things from local hunters and fishermen.”

“I’ll bet people come from miles around just to see the stores,” said Duane.

“Yeah, they do,” said Bill. “But it’s really cool that they have a great web site, too. And you can’t miss Bass Pro Shop’s logo on DestinySurvival either.”

“Hey, I got the message,” said Duane. “I’ll check it out.”


Bass Pro Shop


Prepper’s Survival Navigation Will Help You Get There

We’ve become dependent on our cell phones and GPS devices to help us get to our destination. But what if you’re out camping, hunting or hiking and your GPS quits?

Perhaps your batteries have died. Or you don’t have good service where you are. Or maybe “the big one” has happened.

Do you know how to find your way without modern technology? Do you know how to use a compass and a map? Your survival could hinge on these basic skills.

For DestinySurvival Radio I talked about land navigation, and more, with Glen Martin, author of Prepper’s Survival Navigation.

It’s about land navigation without the high tech gadgets. But it covers other basic survival skills as well.

Below I’ll share thoughts about the book and my conversation with Glen Martin.

Who Is He?

Walter Glen Martin is the name of the author given on this book. But most people in the prepper community know him as Glen. He chose to be formal and used his full name as an author.

In case you don’t know who he is, here’s a little background. I’m sure you’ll agree he’s well qualified to write this book.

“Born in California, Walter ‘Glen’ Martin was raised at the base of the Strawberry Mountains and later near the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. He spent his youth as an avid hunter and fisherman. Knowing how to live off the land, it was not uncommon for Glen to head up into the mountains on a hunting or fishing trip with little more than his rifle or fishing pole.

“After earning his degrees in architecture and mechanical drafting, Glen spent the next 30 years as a design consultant in several Western states, including Alaska. Now living in the mountains of northern Idaho with his fiancé, Glen has settled into an off-grid lifestyle. He owns and operates Prepper Broadcasting, a 24/7 Internet radio station devoted to self-reliance and independence. When not at his desk, you’re likely to find Glen somewhere in the mountains.”


Prepper's Survival Navigation


Why Have This Book?

Watching videos and DVD’s about navigation is good, but I’m glad Glen’s instruction is in the form of a hard copy book.

If you plan on traveling, take it with you. Keep it with your compass in your bug out bag or pack. The info on direction finding, maps, making a shelter, getting water and dealing with medical issues makes it indispensable.

Prepper’s Survival Navigation wasn’t written to say using a GPS is all bad. In fact, according to Glen, if you have knowledge about navigation, you’ll better understand how to use your GPS.

But keep in mind that bad weather or low battery power can make it inoperative. Therefore, have along this helpful instructional guide.

Chapters cover…

  • Finding North without a Compass
  • The Topographical Map
  • The Compass
  • Movement and Routes
  • Dead Reckoning
  • Terrain Association
  • Terrain Comparison and Navigation
  • Exposure and Treatment While Navigating
  • When You’re Lost
  • Finding Shelter
  • Obtaining Water
  • Fire Craft
  • Survival Medicine while Navigating

In each chapter Glen relates some of his own experiences. You know he’s not merely theorizing about wilderness survival.

But he told me, for something he didn’t know, or when he didn’t trust memory, he sought out credible information from military manuals and other survival experts.

You’ll find plenty of useful drawings and illustrations. References are mentioned within the text with a few more given at the end of the book. You’ll find the extensive index helpful, too.

How Do You Get There?

As good as Prepper’s Survival Navigation is, you and I need to practice. You need to know what to do if you should ever lose your way.

Land navigation can be fun for children to learn. And there are benefits throughout life to knowing these skills.

Glen told me about an event he’s planning a few weeks after this writing in which he would incorporate navigation into one of the activities.

Did you know you can determine which way is north by looking at the branches of a tree? That’s just one of the direction finding tidbits Glen has written about.

Could you use the sun to find which direction you’re going? Would you know how to tell time by the sun? Glen shows you how in his book. We also touched on it in our conversation.

Finding direction by the sun isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. Changing seasons and weather conditions make a big difference.

Travel at night isn’t recommended, unless you know the stars. Even then, you’d better know what you’re doing. For example, did you know the Big Dipper looks different because it changes position from season to season?

If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, be familiar with the Southern Cross and its appearance throughout the year.

Glen recommends getting well acquainted with topographical maps. They give you a three dimensional view of a given area. He gives us a primer on reading these maps. Much of what he discusses throughout the book calls for their use.

And, of course, a compass is absolutely a must for land navigation. Get to know how yours works.

Your compass is a precious instrument. In the book Glen gives us tips on caring for your compass you might not have thought of.

You’ll also find explanations of important matters like declination, dead reckoning and terrain association.

During our visit he said not to walk and stare down at your compass needle. You won’t get where you want to go by doing that. Instead, find a reference point in the direction you want to go and walk to that point.

To understand declination, remember there is magnetic north and true north. A compass finds magnetic north. A topo map indicates true north. You have to know the difference between the two norths and account for it when plotting a course.

You can use dead reckoning when visibility is low or if you’re in thick woods. It involves traveling from one point to another a number of times. If you’re traveling with others, each person can act as point men.

Terrain association entails recognizing a landmark and plotting your way to it by associating the real landmark with the one on your map.

Glen explains these terms better than I can.

What Else Should You Know?

As noted above, there’s more to Prepper’s Survival Navigation than land navigation instruction. If you’re lost, you’d better know how you’ll survive.

The chapter on exposure points out the importance of having the right clothing. Pay attention to conditions to avoid over heating (heat exhaustion or stroke) or getting too cold )hypothermia).

The chapter on what to do when you get lost warns against being over confident. It can get you into big trouble. When your senses tell you something isn’t right, pay attention.

If you do get lost, stop, think, and observe your surroundings. Above all, stay calm. Don’t be motivated by panic to do something foolish.

You have two options when you’re lost. Stay put or get moving. In the book Glen discusses pros and cons of each option.

If you stay where you are, your first priority is finding or creating shelter.

When it comes to signaling, be creative. If you light a fire, or more than one fire, be careful not to lose control of the fire.

The shelter chapter gives a good survey of natural shelters and those you make yourself. Don’t overlook the simple poncho because it can serve more than one purpose.

But what about water? Glen has drunk from outdoor streams and has lived to tell us about it. But it’s not something he would recommend to the uninitiated. You and I had better know how to filter and purify water outdoors.

You’ll learn from the book how to find sources of water, make a primitive still, filter and purify water.

In our chat Glen reminds us that making a small still is a temporary measure to help you keep alive, hopefully until someone finds you. If you’re dying of thirst, you’d better know how to signal for help, too.

The best way to avoid dehydration is to plan ahead. If you can’t take enough water with you, know where to get it.

As you might expect, the chapter on fire craft tells how to start a fire a number of different ways. Several kinds of igniters are discussed. Find out how to make a Dakota fire hole.

The last chapter is on survival medicine and covers dealing with dehydration, finding food, hygiene, taking care of fractures, bleeding and insect and snake bites, and more.

As for his own wilderness experiences regarding medicine, cuts and scrapes are what Glen is most familiar with. So for the chapter on survival medicine, he went to the experts. Namely, Joe and Amy Alton–Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy.

Is There More?

Glen enjoys living off grid. It’s been a fun, learning experience. I asked him about his biggest adjustment when making that move. Find out his answer by listening to our chat.

Do that by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for May 18, 2017. (Right click to download.)

You shouldn’t have to worry about getting lost. Get Prepper’s Survival Navigation by clicking on its title wherever you see it linked in this post.

Stay safe when you travel, and survive.


Finding Land for Your Homestead

Before you become entangled finding land for your homestead, take a look at “Backwoods Home Magazine” for May/June, 2017 (Issue #165). It contains an excellent, in depth article on how to look for and find land to suit your needs.

Topics covered include…

  • The run-down place
  • The ready-to-use-tract
  • Raw land
  • Junk land
  • Financing

Below is an article excerpt, followed by a link where you can read the whole thing.

There’s no such thing as free land!

(But if you’re smart, you can get it cheap)

By Setanta O’Ceillaigh

I have been a homeowner since I was 18 years old and I still continually shop for land opportunities in the northeastern United States. My forester education includes land surveying, and as a Tribal Forester, I was tasked with mapping the forest cover types on the reservation. While I couldn’t go walking onto private property without permission, I could use remote tools to fill in the blanks. I use this same knowledge to assess properties that I am looking into for my own use. Some of the tools I use are available to the public but are not widely known.

I have noticed on some online forums I follow that many people are asking where to find free land. One person insisted they heard about the government giving away free tracts of farmland to any applicant and was hoping also to find some secret way to be given a piece of a state or national forest. From what I could tell, they were probably talking about the old Homestead Acts which have long been discontinued. While there is no free land, it’s very possible to find affordable land. (It should be noted that land prices vary greatly from region to region.)

Read the whole article here:

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine. (541)247-8900.

Prepper’s Total Grid Failure Handbook Will Help You Power Up When the Grid Goes Down – Part 2

What would you do for electricity in the event of a total grid failure? How about taking advantage of free energy from wind, water or the sun?

Setting up a solar power system for your whole house might seem out of reach at first, but Alan and Arlene Fiebig show us how it can be done in Prepper’s Total Grid Failure Handbook. DestinySurvival Radio features a two part conversation with Alan Fiebig.

If you missed the first half of our conversation, click here for part 1.

Keep reading for highlights of the second half of our visit as well as a few more thoughts on the book. And, of course, below is a link to hear the podcast.


Prepper's Total Grid Failure Handbook


Switching Over

If you had to live totally off the electrical grid, you’d need alternative ways to power devices and small appliances.

You wouldn’t try to power energy hogs like a washer and dryer. You’d find ways to do laundry and dishes by hand.

You’d have fans instead of an air conditioner.

You’d find alternatives to an electric stove, such as a wood burning stove and a sun oven. You might be able to use a microwave oven on rare occasions.

You’d use people-powered generators to charge phones or other small electronics.

You’d do it like the Fiebigs have done.

The bottom line is, you’d use less power overall. And that’s the power the Fiebigs can guide you into providing for yourself.

Alan says doing laundry by hand was the biggest adjustment they had to make. They miss central air conditioning, but they’ve come up with other ways to keep reasonably cool.

He reminds us that the worst application for electricity is to create heat of any kind. For example, forget about using an electric toaster oven. Don’t even think about a clothes dryer.

How the Fiebigs handle refrigeration makes for fascinating reading in their book. Alan described it in our conversation as well.

Spending Less

It’s a myth that solar power has to cost thousands and thousands of dollars. The Fiebigs’ system cost about $2,500.

That’s a good price for getting energy from the sun. It’s also a good deal compared to what you’d pay for other alternative power options.

Alan says a solar power system shouldn’t cost $10,000-$20,000 for a system like theirs. He advises you and me to walk away from anyone who offers financing.

Stepping Carefully

Alan and Arlene wrote Prepper’s Total Grid Failure Handbook to give you the guidance you need for becoming more self reliant where electricity is concerned. And they want to help you avoid the mistakes they’ve made.

For example, one of the mistakes they hope you’ll avoid is the use of thin film panels. The kind of panels they use are much smaller and more efficient. They give specific component recommendations because they know they work, but they’re not promoting a turnkey system.

Speaking of efficiency, the Fiebigs’ system is a winner. They use one tenth the Wat/hours the typical home uses. And they’re not suffering. They have the electricity they need for survival.

Fiebigs have done workshops on why they use 12 volt DC power for nearly everything in their home, but Alan concisely packed critical information into a few minutes durin our chat. The biggest advantage to doing it their way is efficiency. Alan’s comments are sensible and convincing.

Sourcing Higher Power

On the book’s dedication page you’ll find the mention of Noah of Bible times and a reference to Hebrews 11:7. The Fiebigs wanted to dedicate their book to the Savior, Jesus Christ, who they believe has guided them along the path they’re on.

In the King James Version, that verse says:

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

People in Noah’s day likely thought he was crazy for building an ark, but he was proven right for doing so. So it is with getting prepared. Those who are ready will one day be vindicated.

I appreciate the verse cited above because it shows Noah had both faith and fear. Faith and fear aren’t mutually exclusive. The lesson for us is to keep moving forward because faith can overcome fear.

Seeking More Knowledge

If you’ve heard the first part of my visit with Alan Fiebig, you know how well he makes the complicated simple. I invite you to hear the conclusion of our conversation by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for May 4, 2017. (Right click to download.)

Get Prepper’s Total Grid Failure Handbook by clicking on its title wherever you see it linked in this post. Keep up to date with the Fiebigs by going to