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Mel Tappan’s Personal Survival Letter # 33

Issue No. 33- July, 1982

The Bug-out Kit


by C.G. Cobb

Editor’s note: C.G. Cobb’s “Gadgets vs. Skills” was one of the most popular articles ever to appear in PS Letter.
Many of you have requested information on various kinds of kits for survival purposes and his article below is the
first in a series. N. T.

In the face of imminent Bad Times, no serious survivalist would adopt the course of waiting until the last possible
minute, then fleeing for safety with what he could carry with him and leaving the rest of his possessions behind.

By the same token, no serious survivalist would move to a small town a safe distance from population centers,
military targets, nuclear reactors, and other danger areas- and assume he need take no further precautions. To be
sure, that small town offers the best of all choices for safety from what lies just ahead, but only the foolhardy would
make the reckless assumption that additional safety measures were not needed.

Here’s a rule of thumb for you, applicable whether you’re engaged in guerilla warfare, delicate business
negotiations, less delicate negotiations in the local saloon, or a chess game: always leave yourself an avenue
of retreat. You may never need it, but knowing that you’ve got it will lend you extra staying power and an added
sense of security. That brings us to the subject of this piece.

Those of you who have read ​The Bad Times Primer know my feelings about making your home bulletproof,
fireproof, waterproof, termite proof, and burglar proof. A careful owner-builder can produce a perfectly
innocent-looking house not discernibly different from others in the neighborhood, yet able to withstand assaults
from mobs and perhaps even guerillas- but not from well-equipped and trained military units.

If such a unit wants your house, you are about to be ejected -or carried- from your home. Prudent survivalists will
already have provided themselves with evacuation routes and alternative sanctuaries. In other words, they will
already have prepared themselves and their families to bug out in case Bad Times come to their enclave.

Please note that I’m not suggesting that you become a mobile retreater. The disadvantages of a mobile retreat are
overwhelming. Using myself as an example, if I’m forced out of my home for any reason and by any group, I will
consider it a temporary situation. I’m going to want my place back.

Where loss of my property is concerned, I carry grudges. If I have to leave, I’ll leave, but I won’t be going very far,
and I will definitely be coming back. If you feel this way about it, take some steps now to stack the deck in your
favor.
When anyone bugs out, they usually have to do it on short notice. At such times, farsighted people will already
have gotten together the essentials needed for proper bugging out. The resulting package is known as an emergency
kit in survivalist and other circles, but I prefer to think of it as a bug-out kit, because that’s really what it’s for.

It can be stashed anywhere thought to be convenient for the purpose. An acquaintance of mine has one for each of
his family’s vehicles and one in his home, plus a few more hidden away nearby in strategic places. He calls them
his “emergency caches”. They’re bug-out kits. I hope this man never has to bug out, but if he does, he’s about as
prepared for it as he can get.

Properly assembled, a bug-out kit will provide you with the four things you’ll need most: water, shelter, food, and
self-protection. Size considerations permit only small measures of these things in a bug-out kit. Presumably, your
kit will keep you fed, watered, sheltered, and protected until you’ve reached some place of sanctuary.

In other words, for best results from your bug-out kit, you’d better have someplace to go, and at least one route to
get there. These are considerations we’ll take up a bit later. For now, we’ll concentrate on the kit itself.

Assembly

A good bug-out kit starts with a sleeping bag. Depending on the climate, the quality of your sleeping bag will affect
the quality of your health while bugging out. If you live in a cold climate, it makes sense to provide yourself with
the highest grade sleeping bag you can lay your hands on, combining light weight with warmth.

Even if you live in a mild climate, it’s best to remember Finagle’s Law -sometimes known as Murphy’s Law-
which tells us that if something can go wrong, it will, usually at the worst possible time.

So, if you bug out in nice weather with an inadequate sleeping bag, expect the temperature to plunge to a record
low. You can circumvent this embarrassing situation by acquiring a good sleeping bag. It has some basic qualities:
full-length zipper with draft tube to prevent heat loss; a tough, water-resistant outer layer like ripstop nylon; a
filling which will maintain its loft without compressing, bunching, making thin spots, or drastically shifting, and
still be as warm, light, and unaffected by moisture as possible.

Optimum filler is goose down, followed by Dacron Hollofil II. Goose down is quite expensive, and a good down
bag with all the desirable features will likely cost more than a couple of hundred dollars. The synthetic filler is a bit
heavier, but it’s significantly cheaper and more resistant to moisture’s bad effects than down.

The shape of your sleeping bag is best left up to you. Mummy, elephant foot, straight rectangular- whatever your
choice, don’t let fashion dictate to you. Make sure your bag is right for you, not someone else.

Once you have your sleeping bag, open it, spread it flat on the floor, and place the following inside it, taking care to
distribute the items evenly:

A complete change of clothes​, including socks, underwear, shirt, pants, hat, jacket, poncho, and gloves. You’ll have
to leave your footgear out, as it isn’t too practical to carry an extra pair of boots zipped up in your sleeping bag.
Make sure your socks are good, thick, and warm. Wool or a wool-acetate blend is probably best. If wool bothers
your feet, get a pair of thin undersocks made especially for the purpose.
Your underwear should be cotton to prevent chafing. The Scandinavian fishnet type underwear will retain body
heat and still permit natural evaporation. The shirt and pants should be of some material -wool is best again here-
which will keep you warm, shrug off absorbed moisture naturally, and be comfortable. (That last word will be
mentioned often because of its extreme importance.)

The jacket should be as lightweight as possible without sacrificing comfort and warmth. Nylon outer shells are
great when combined with a lining such as goose down. The hat should provide you with protection from both sun
and rain. For best results, get one with a brim that goes all the way around, rather than just a bill. Of course, make
sure your hat repels moisture instead of soaking it up.

The poncho has to be water-repellent; that means, among other things, no holes. A brand-new GI-surplus poncho
will suffice, but make sure you check it for holes. If yours develops holes, replace it.

The gloves have to be rough, tough, comfortable, and allow you some degree of manual dexterity. I favor GI leather
shells with knitted inserts, but this is a personal choice; get whatever’s best for you.

Use good sense in including so-called camouflage items in your bug-out kit. Camouflage is a relative term. (See PS
Letter No. 22.) The Vietnam-issue leaf-pattern clothing was designed for a verdant, jungle terrain, and would stand
out sharply in, say, a meadow full of dead grass.

Stick with earth colors and natural greens, and that includes OD and khaki. Browns, tans, and varying shades of
green are your best bets, and even white, should you live in heavy snow country.

Needless to say, stay away from hunting or emergency colors like blaze orange, which are designed to attract
attention. If you have to bug out, attracting attention is one of the last things you’ll want to do.

All your clothing should fit, and not chafe or otherwise bother you in any way. Wear it for a while before assigning
it to your bug-out kit, and replace any item which makes you uncomfortable. And remember Finagle’s Law. If mild
weather breaks out, you can always shed clothing. It’s a difficult enough matter to bug out without developing some
irritating condition which will slow you down, like pneumonia.

A good set of topographical maps.​ The best ones are US Geological Survey maps. They should be of a scale
sufficient to show the features you’ll need to know (roads, buildings, fences, gullies, springs, ponds, dwellings,
power lines, woods, pastures, hills, etc.) in your immediate area. You’ll have to pick these out yourself, of course,
since no one else knows where you’re going.

They’ll cost you a little money, but not much, and they’re well worth the nominal cost. They usually come rolled up
in a tube, and you should try to keep them that way. If the tube fits in your sleeping bag, fine. If not, get a
waterproof map case with clear vinyl window. Keep your topo maps dry.

If you live west of the Mississippi (and you should), you can order your maps from: Branch Distribution, US
Geological Survey, Box 25286, Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225.
A compass​. There are some civilian models at reasonable prices, such as Silva. I like the ones with transparent cases
which let you read the map through them. You might not need this item if you know where you’re going and have
an unerring sense of direction, but don’t take chances.

At least one way of producing fire​. Metal Match, Fire Starter, kitchen matches in a $1.50 waterproof matchbox, a
burning lens hung from your neck by a thong, or all of the above. When you’re bugging out, fire can be your good
buddy. Provide it in any way you can.

A flashlight​. This could run anywhere from a $4.50 G.I. angle-head to a $36 Kel-Lite, but the idea is to keep it as
small and light as possible without giving up too much candlepower. Don’t forget the batteries. (I favor the
Back-Up light from S.I. for bug-out kits.)

At least a 6-foot square of tough, transparent plastic.​ Fold it up and slide it into the hip pocket of your bug-out
pants.

One or two space blankets​, the very thin, compact kind. One goes in your shirt pocket, the other in your jacket.

A good pocket knife​. You could spend $50 on a Swiss Army knife and try to be ready for anything, or you could
buy a stainless steel GI model for $8. I’ve got the latter. Drop it into your bug-out pants pocket.

A sheath knife or a high-quality folding hunting knife​. Get the one you like the best, but make sure it’s good and
strong with a keen edge. Slide your knife in its sheath on the belt on your bug-out pants.

Food.​ Not canned food, not in a bug-out kit. Get good quality freeze-dried foods like Mountain house, and make
sure they’re high in protein. All your food should be energy food with some variety. Include powdered beverages
like Gatorade and cocoa. Drop in a small plastic vial of bouillon cubes.

Beef jerky is good for eating on the move, and it may be rehydrated, chopped up, and cooked with vegetables.
High-calorie items like hard chocolate and fig newtons are useful, too, but make sure they’re securely wrapped, and
seal them inside zip-lock bags for good measure.

An emergency source of heat​. GI surplus wing stoves are small, light, portable, and cost less than $2, but keep in
mind that, using the Hexamine fuel tablets which come with them, you can only boil water in very small amounts,
and it takes a long time even then.

A better bet would be one of the tiny backpacker’s stoves which run on alcohol, white gas, or other liquid fuel.
They come with self-contained pan, cup, spoon/handle, and fuel supply. They are light, don’t take up much room,
and will get water boiling for you much faster than a wing stove.

You can assume that you’ll always be able to find dry wood when you need it, but that’s a dangerous assumption to
make. Besides, wood fires make smoke which may give your position away. Those little fuel-burners produce no
smoke at all.
Toilet paper, dental floss, soap in a soap dish with lid, wash cloth, towel​. Keep these items in zip-lock bags. You
won’t notice their weight as much as you’ll notice their absence.

At least 100 feet of nylon rope.​ I’ve got parachute cord in my kit.

A compact first-aid kit; which includes treatment for snakebite, stings, insect bites, burns (including sunburn),
poison, and blisters, as well as for wounds. If you can get one to hang on your belt or button inside your jacket
pocket, that’s best.

A small fishing kit​. Most people buy line, weights, leader, hooks, and assume that they’ll be able to cut and trim a
makeshift pole, although I know someone who found room for one of the Daiwa Mini-series kits.

A sewing kit.​ Put it inside one of your pockets.

A mess kit with cutlery​. The stainless-steel GI model is fine, and part of it doubles as a frying pan. Wrap the cutlery
in a zip-lock bag in such a way that it won’t rattle.

A tool for self-protection, hunting, and signaling,​ which obviously means a firearm. Most survivalists think of items
like the Charter Arms AR-7 Explorer .22 rifle for their bug-out kits, or perhaps a Savage M24-C rifle/shotgun. They
are fine for providing small game for your pot, but less desirable for self-defense.

For those of you who are never far away from your handguns, bless you. If you’re wearing a Colt .45 auto-pistol
when it’s bug-out time, you’ve given yourself a quantum jump in morale, not to mention defensive capability- but
for best results, make sure you’re skilled in its use.

The firearm to be included in your bug-out kit is a highly personal matter, depending on who and where you are,
and, of course, upon the degree of skill you possess. A friend of mine has a cased T/C Contender with extra barrels
ready to go whenever he is, but I would hope that his enemies come at him one at a time at widely-spread intervals.

One of my bug-out kits is built around a short Mauser bolt-action military rifle. The other one holds an Armalite
AR-180, two extra magazines, and a bandolier of ammo. Bugging out means different things to different people,
you see.

A compact cleaning kit​, preferably one you can hang on your belt or keep in the weapon’s buttstock. A .22 GI
surplus kit will do nicely for many bug-out weapons, and a military surplus pull-through kit will take care of most
of the others.

Trade items​. Try to include one of the following: .22 rimfire ammunition, carton of 500 rounds; a carton of a
popular brand of cigarettes; a can of good coffee such as Yuban (regular grind, not electric perk); or silver coins, if
you have any.
Tube tent,​ or even a full tent of the small, light, self-contained type, popular with backpackers (although you won’t
be able to fit this into your sleeping bag). You have other mean of sheltering yourself already (poncho, plastic
square, space blankets), but a tube tent or shelter-half is more substantial and soothing.

A good short-term survival book.​ I recommend ​Survival with Style,​ by Brad Angier. Lots of good reference material
for bugging out. Buy two; one for reading repeatedly, the other for your kit. Keep it in a zip-lock bag.

Now close and zip up your sleeping bag. Roll it into the tightest roll you can manage. If you have other than an
AR-7 as a bug-out weapon, you’ll have to close the bag first and roll it up around the piece. Your stuff bag, if you
have one, is going to have to be oversized to take all this extra bulk. A $2 GI sleeping bag carrier would be handy to
have at this point.

You still need some other things. We’ll start with the most important:

Footwear.​ If you do nothing else, make sure that you have the finest pair of boots or high-topped shoes you can
afford. This is not the area to skimp. Even if you have to short yourself on quality in your sleeping bag, do it if it
means having good footwear.

Don’t order your boots through the mail. Try them on in a store, and make sure that you are wearing your bug-out
socks at the time. (See PS Letter No. 28.) Treat your feet. Any injury to them while bugging out could be potential
disaster.

Wear your boots for a while before consigning them to your bug-out kit, and if they’re not suitable, get another
pair. Do yourself these favors in advance. Bugging out in a pair of tennis shoes isn’t the best thing for your health
and well-being.

Canteen and accessories​. Go ahead and buy GI if you want, but go for the stainless steel or aluminum canteen. I
can’t reconcile myself to the plastic the Army’s using these days. It’s nice and light, but I want to see someone try
to boil water in a plastic canteen. Stainless steel should also be your choice in the canteen cup.

Get extra canteens as location and climate dictate, even if you have to displace food to do it. You desert retreaters
know what I’m driving at.

As for the canteen cover and the belt it hooks on, you have your choice between the newer nylon or the older
canvas web. Nylon is nicer. Canvas is cheaper. Both suit the purpose, although the newer models feature an
attached pocket on the cover to hold a small bottle of water purification tablets.

These next two items are optional, but good to have. You could wrap the belt and canteen around the sleeping bag
and secure it, and tie the boots to the outside, but a rucksack or duffel bag with shoulder strap would make carrying
the kit much easier.

I recommend a good backpack. You can strap the bag to it and leave both arms free. The boots and extra items will
fit inside the main pocket. As you’ll be adding things to your bug-out kit from time to time, this would be a wise
choice.
The other item is potentially very useful to you, especially if you happen to bug out in a vehicle. This is a fence
repair tool, sold in hardware or farm and ranch stores. If you have to cut fence, take a few minutes to repair it after
you’ve gone through. If someone unwanted is behind you, a cut fence is like a “Kilroy was here” sign.

Your bug-out kit is probably not complete at this point, since there are still some items which only you can decide
to include. But what is outlined here is basic and will serve. I suspect that these things are never really finished.
You keep finding little items which can’t be lived without, or which can replace something already in the kit. This
will suffice as a beginning. Next, we’ll take up the matter of how to use it.

The Safety of Financial Institutions


by Eugene A. Barron

Most of us take the commercial banks where we have funds on deposit pretty much for granted. When we travel,
we note that the newest commercial buildings seem to belong to banks and other financial institutions. We have
heard that savings and loans are having problems engendered by high interest rates, but banks seem to be doing
well, with some of them acquiring others or merging rather aggressively.

The facts are somewhat different from appearance, and for an understanding of what has transpired, a brief history
is necessary. Financial institutions, remembering the problems of the Great Depression, operated on a very
conservative basis through the 1950’s. In the early 1960’s, however, an aggressive “go-go” philosophy developed
among commercial bankers, led by the leading banks on both coasts. “Put money to work” was the watchword, and
those who espoused fiscal conservatism were considered deadwood and replaced.

Massive loans were made to Third World and Communist countries at low interest rates (guaranteed by the Federal
Government, and thus by the US taxpayer). Many banks formed subsidiaries to invest equity in small business
(SBIC’s) and real estate (REIT’s). These flourished in the late 60’s and early 70’s, only to be washed out in the
heavy recession of 1973-74.

Banks responded to their losses by working available assets even harder. By means of electronic funds transfer
(EFT), interbank, and the use of overnight Federal Funds, which could be borrowed (“purchased”) from another,
cash-heavy bank, a bank short of the cash to meet Federal Reserve standards (at the close of every business day)
could maintain a legal posture while really being cash-short. (Federal funds have grown by 420 times from $500
million in 1960 to $210 billion today.)
International banks have taken to moving large sums around the world at the end of each business day, depositing
and balancing books in various countries at the close of business, then withdrawing immediately for the next time
zone bank. None of this was the intent of the regulatory authorities, but the practice is so widespread, and
international banks so thin in cash, that it is permitted. This is only one area where the watchdogs are in collusion
with the watched.

Congress has been in on the act, also. Public Law 96-221 has permitted the steady decline in the percentage of legal
reserves for loans, while preparing a series of measures for possible financial panic. These include selective bank
holidays, forced mergers and acquisitions, deposits and grants of taxpayer funds to bail out troubled institutions,
and the increase in the dollar coverage of Federal insurance corporations for various types of financial institutions.

Congress recently “reaffirmed” the full faith and credit of the US (taxpayer) behind all depository institution
deposits (see Issue 31, page 6). You may be satisfied that your local bank is safe, but the powers that be apparently
have some serious doubts. What are the facts?

Commercial banks are failing at the rate of one every two weeks, while savings and loans are failing at a rate of
two per week. With the destruction of the long-term money market under the twin impact of foreign investor
withdrawal and massive federal bond issues, the S&L’s are in serious trouble, and nearly all lost money in 1981,
with nearly one-third being dangerously low in capital.

At year-end 1981, 1310 S&L’s had less than 4% excess coverage of assets over liabilities, up one-third from 1980,
and all but 93 lost money. FSLIC, the industry insurance firm, has less than 1% of the funds to cover deposits; the
ratio for FDIC for commercial banks is barely over 1%.

For commercial banks, $1 of equity now supports $28 of loans, compared with $11 of loans in 1960. Over the same
period, Government securities as a percentage of total bank credit have dropped from 30% to less than 10%,
reflecting a decline in the quality of assets held. The banking system has been in a posture of negative free
(1endable) reserves since 1977, which has led to the practice of moving available cash around to meet Federal
Reserve requirements.

The large international banks in this country have accumulated losses on securities investments of 1.5 times their
capital or reserves, while their non-performing (or bad) loans amount to one-third of capital or reserves. (The
category of “non-performing loans” represents one area where the Federal Reserve has compromised its
responsibility to keep banks honest.

By permitting failed loans to stay on the books as presumably viable assets instead of insisting that bad loans be
written off, the Fed has kept these large banks “solvent” at the expense of the depositor, who does not realize the
precarious positions of these institutions.)

Loans as a percentage of bank deposits amount to 80% nationwide, even higher than the 75% preceding the 1929
crash. All in all, bank liquidity is at even lower levels than that dangerous period 52 ½ years ago, and should be a
cause for concern for the thinking depositor.
Rest assured that a bank failure would result in the full payment of all deposits and CD’s to the limit of $100,000
per account, even if the FDIC must requisition the funds from the Federal Reserve, the self-professed “lender of last
resort”, as it proclaimed itself in May of this year.

However, should you be unlucky enough to go through this procedure yourself, you will find inordinate time
delays. You may even be issued a “certificate of beneficial interest” stating your presumed status while the mess is
sorted and you finally receive your cash. To avoid this possibility, you might utilize the following guidelines in
analyzing your bank’s balance sheet.

Commercial banks issue statements of financial condition on a regular basis, and will provide them, if requested, to
depositors. A bank’s cash position may vary widely, with large banks not requiring as much as their smaller
counterparts. However, it is a good conservative practice for banks to hold 10% of total assets, which should equal
less than 20% of deposits, as an unencumbered minimum.

Investments represent one of those areas where the watchdog Federal Reserve has collaborated with its clients to
cheat on the rules due to heavy losses on bonds, especially state and local tax-exempts. All depository institution
securities are quoted at cost of acquisition, supposedly to obviate the need for obtaining market quotes on a regular
basis, but really to hide the substantial losses most banks have suffered.

All other companies must report at either cost or market, whichever is lower, or at market, for an accurate,
conservative financial picture. However, the object of this game is to lull the American people into a sense of false
security, thereby preventing a possible panic that might ensue when they learned that their local bank was
technically insolvent.

The quality of loans is another serious area. While the large international banks have a large percentage of
“non-performing loans”, the smaller local banks are often in far better shape, since they have no loans to foreign
governments. Loans as a percentage of deposits should be in the 70% range, although some of the aggressive, and
vulnerable, banks have loans at 80% or more of deposits.

The reserve for bad loans should be in the 1-1½% of loan range. If you can obtain a statement of earning, calculate
loan losses over a one-year period. If they exceed 1½% of loans outstanding, then your bank has exercised poor
judgment in lending. Remember, the “non-performing loans” category is just another device to protect against
technical insolvency.

Another indication of an aggressive bank would be one that is consistently purchasing Federal Funds (short-term
loans from other banks, often overnight). A bank whose Federal Funds “purchased” (borrowed) exceeds its cash
position is overly aggressive. Banks “selling” (lending) Federal Funds have their own problems. A failure on the
part of a debtor bank would tie up a bank’s lending assets until the situation was sorted out.

Short-term debt is another danger area, as banks can issue commercial paper (IOU’s) just like any other company.
Excluding Federal Funds “purchased”, the remaining short-term debt should not exceed one-third of the capital or
reserves for a properly-managed bank.
Finally, capital or reserves should represent at least 10% of the total assets in a relatively conservative bank. Since
this is the basic investment in the business, not subject to call as are deposits, Federal Funds purchased, and
short-term debt, it shows the underlying financial strength of the bank. Less than 10% equity ownership again
shows an overly aggressive posture by the management.

Two points should be born in mind when evaluating your local bank. First, your individual bank may be
conservatively-operated, but may be a part of a larger bank holding company that includes less-conservative
institutions that may have the power to call on your bank’s assets in case of need.

Second, it is possible for technically insolvent banks (and corporations) to continue to operate so long as they have
positive cash flows (an excess of incoming funds over expenditures) until someone blows the whistle or a payment
comes due that cannot be refinanced.

As noted above, there are already a number of the large international banks based in this country, which are
technically insolvent, that continue to operate with the blessing of the Federal Reserve System.

Be alert for the following warning signs: cash at less than 10% of total assets; investments at more than 20% of
deposits; loans substantially in excess of 70% of deposits; a history of loan losses in excess of 1½%; the presence of
non-performing loans; consistent presence of Federal Funds “purchased” (especially if more than 10% of total
assets); and capital and/or reserves at less than 10% of total assets.

One of these conditions should be cause for concern; the presence of two or more should be a serious warning that a
bank is operating with thin margins of safety.

Current bankers and their regulatory watchdogs are far removed from the direct experiences of 1929-1933; they are
still of the “go-go” mentality, pursuing an aggressive fiscal policy.

They also suffer from the deadly “sheep syndrome” outlook, that whatever conditions exist today will endure, while
the intelligent observer knows that conditions will continue to change, and in the near future, probably for the
worse.

This refusal to learn from history is demonstrable in the substantial increase in bank building construction over the
past few years. Those of you in large cities are invited to note when the last big construction boom in bank
buildings occurred. It was prior to World War II: 1929-1933.
The Current Economic Outlook
By Eugene A. Barron

There is little doubt a worldwide recession is in progress. Unfortunately most people tend to overlook the impact of
foreign economic problems on the domestic US financial outlook. For example, the failure of the Credit Anstalt in
Vienna helped trigger the 1929 debacle. (For a partial list of vulnerable economies read “The Coming Credit
Crunch” in PS Letter 31, May 1982.) Within this group, the latest military problems of Argentina have
considerably worsened that country’s future.

Argentina owes $34 billion in foreign debt, of which $12 billion is owed banks, $9 billion of it to US banks. Nearly
all of the bank debt is due this year, and Argentina has only $3.9 billion with which to pay, with another $1.4 billion
frozen in Great Britain. (All of these figures are before the recent expensive purchases of foreign military
hardware.) With inflation at more than 150% and industrial production at 54% of capacity, there is no way the
country can earn foreign exchange.

Between the embargo from the British Commonwealth and other European countries, and the refusal of
international insurance firms to cover ships calling in Argentina, potential agricultural exports are unsold. The
probable result of this is that the hated United States will extend the needed financial aid to prevent a default to US
banks and other international financial institutions. The US taxpayer is victimized again.

Domestically, if the present “tight money” policy continues into the third quarter, you can look for a real credit
crunch as the lack of liquidity puts unacceptable pressures on businesses. Remember that the 9.5% increase in the
adjusted monetary base (currency and Federal Reserve credit, both controlled directly by the Fed) between
28NOV1981 and 01MAY1982, which represents a substantial inflation of money, has had very little practical effect
on the overwhelming credit demand of American business. (1)

More of the same will put the prime rate at 20+% , unemployment up over 10%, and bankruptcies, already up
nearly 50% from one year ago to 85 per 10,000 businesses, to at least twice that rate. Corporate and bank coverage
of short-term debt is currently 1.4 to 1, the lowest since 1929, while short-term debt is 45% of total debt, again the
highest since 1929.

Many Fortune 500 companies are in major trouble, especially the airlines and farm machinery manufacturers. Look
for construction-related firms and smaller financial institutions, including brokerage houses, to start exhibiting
weakness. The big four automobile manufacturers are cash-short and in deep financial trouble, and real estate
prices should start to drop sharply.

Home mortgages in arrears exceed 5% and more than 1% are in foreclosure. More than one-third of Farmers Home
Association mortgages are in default, but the agency is trying every means to avoid foreclosures. Look for record
levels of corporate and personal bankruptcies unless a massive reinflation of the money supply takes place.

The pressures for such a reinflation are substantial. Between now and calendar year-end, the need to finance a
$250+ billion true deficit by either borrowing or monetizing, plus the debt needs of state and local governments and
of corporations, will put incredible upward forces on rates because of the limited availability of funds. There simply
is not enough money to go around to everyone unless more is created; this situation is the logical result of 20+ years
of undisciplined spending and debt creation.
The political pressures to “do something” are likewise heavy. Republicans wanting to be elected or re-elected will
be asking President Reagan and Fed Chairman Volker to create an inflationary mini-boom into the November
elections. An inkling of this was revealed when President Reagan promised European financial experts in Paris on
June 1​st​ that “there will be a drop in interest rates soon”.

The Reagan strategy may be to hold back until the demand for reinflation is nearly unanimous, at which point the
printing presses can roll without criticism. Unfortunately, this addiction to inflation has reached the point where we
have all adjusted to it and cannot live without it.

One result of the existing program can be predicted with the increased velocity of money, strong double-digit
inflation as measured by the CPI (which is about half of the real inflation rate of goods and services people must
buy, according to the well-respected Sindlinger and Co.) can be expected in one year. A realistic projection on a
jump in the current level of money supply increase would be within the next six months.

The imponderable factor is that time when the pressures become unsupportable to both President Reagan and Fed
Chairman Volker. The degree of persuasion behind the scenes is unknown, although it must be considerable even
now. If you wish to develop your own early warning system for this eventuality, write to the Federal Reserve Bank
of St. Louis, P.O. Box 442, St. Louis, MO 63166, asking for the weekly report entitled “US Financial Data”. Page 2
shows the adjusted monetary base figures.

Several weeks of compounded annual rate changes of nearly 15% is enough of a signal for you to recognize an end
to “tight money”, irrespective of what Administration spokesmen say about “inflation-fighting”. At that point you
can start moving from your cash-heavy posture toward an inflationary survival mode as debt money becomes both
more available and temporarily less expensive.

(1) Business loans increased at an annualized rate of 12.3% during the month of May.

An Emergency Air Pump and Filtration System, Part I


by Dean Ing

Editor’s note: During the past eighteen months help with PS Letter has come from some unexpected sources,
among them best-selling science fiction writer, Jerry Pournelle. Over a year ago he said to me, “There are two
men in your own backyard who should write for you. Do yourself a favor and contact them. “One was Reginald
Bretnor and the other was Dean Ing, who in this issue begins a monthly column on survival gear, do-it-yourself
projects, useful bits of information, etc.
Dean Ing has been a heavy construction and oil field worker, an Air Force interceptor crew chief, a builder and
driver of road-racing cars, a senior research engineer, and a university professor before turning to full-time
writing. He begin honing his survival skills while in the USAF and still designs backpacking equipment.

He has a PhD. in Communication Theory and his technical nonfiction has been published by ​Road & Track, Omni​,
Stanford University, and others. He has written the prophetic terrorism novel, ​Soft Targets​, and three books
dealing with nuclear holocaust and has been a finalist for science fiction’s major literary prizes. N. T.

Until 18 May, 1980, most of us thought of emergency air pumps and filters only in terms of nuclear fallout. But
Mount St. Helens changed all that with an ash- and dust-fall so appalling that Spokane experienced darkness at
mid-afternoon. Trillions of tiny dust particles seeped past door and window seals to invade the lungs of citizens
indoors. Residents of Amarillo and Albuquerque experience that with their ‘dusters’ annually, but rarely on such a
scale.

Of course that fallout wasn’t radioactive; its victims worried more about silicosis than cancer. But they could’ve
profited from an emergency air supply system that almost any householder can put together, and was designed for
protection against nuclear fallout. Incidentally, while a nuclear airburst yields ​far less fallout than a ground burst,
the airburst typically starts a firestorm that sucks ash particles up into the mushroom column. Many of those
particles will later return, irradiated, as fallout. A nuclear airburst will NOT be free of fallout.

This two-part article on air pumping and filtration assumes the worst case: nuclear fallout when you’re not
prepared. You must start by getting prepared in a shelter far beyond city centers, where you can live for two weeks
or so; preferably a dry basement protected on the outside by dirt all the way to the top.

Using tape, seal every crevice of your shelter room from the inside. Don’t forget fireplace flues- at the top of the
chimney, if you have time. You’ve seen rain come down a chimney. Well, fallout can do the same, and is less
obvious. A heavy brown paper sack filled with balls of newspaper makes a fair plug for your chimney.

When you’ve finished caulking or taping, you’ve turned your shelter into a pressure vessel. That means you could
expire in your own carbon dioxide unless you have a supply of clean air with a way to exhaust the used, stale air.

Believe it or not, you can do all this with common household items- no electric gizmos, no rotating parts. The
elements of an expedient air pump and filter system are the pump, conduit pipe, stale air exhaust valve, and the
filter itself. The system uses nothing more sturdy than tin cans and cardboard.

Whatever you use for an air filter, you must have a pump capable of sucking air -lots of it- through that filter. Our
rig is a simple bellows pump using cardboard, tape, tin cans, plastic film, and a razor blade or sharp knife.
Bellows Pump

Choose a sturdy corrugated cardboard box of suitcase size; if it’s much smaller, you’ll have to pump more often. If
it’s much larger, it’ll be flimsy. In Figure 1, the pump box is surrounded by its other parts, with heavy inked lines to
show where the razor will cut. Slice away one face of the box and the triangular adjacent halves of two other faces,
as shown by the dotted lines. You can use the removed trapezoidal of cardboard as a pattern to cut the bellows
material from flexible plastic such as polyethylene of 4, 6, or even 10 mil thickness.

Don’t tape the plastic film on yet! Make the pump handle. Since we like to diddle with cardboard, we built a rigid
cardboard handle from the goofy rectangular pattern seen in Figure 1. Our handle locked into slots in the pump box
with tabs, and we taped around the tabs to prevent air leaks. It might’ve been quicker to merely punch two holes in
the top of the pump box, and then to run a rope handle through the holes. The point is: you can do it several ways,
so long as you don’t leave sizeable leaks that would lower the pump’s efficiency.

Next come the two moving parts: the flapper valves. We deliberately made them from different materials and
different shapes just to show that you can use whatever’s handy. In Figure 1, our outlet valve sits atop the pump
box. It’s a l5 oz. bean can with both ends removed, with a throwaway plastic lid connected over the mouth of the
can by a piece of tape. The tape is only a hinge, so the lid can flap open and closed. Our inlet valve was made from
a small macaroni carton with its ends removed. In Figure 1 it lies in front of the pump box, mated to another tin can
which in turn mates to a conduit pipe- which we’ll discuss in due time!

Install the outlet valve through the rear face of the pump box near the bottom, toward one side, so that its flapper is
outside the pump with the tin can protruding into the pump box. The tape hinge of the flapper runs along the top of
the tin can, so that the flapper hangs down over the end of the tin can.

Install the inlet valve through the rear face of the pump box, across from the outlet valve, so that its flapper is inside
the pump box. Remember: inlet flapper inside, outlet flapper ​outside.​ The flapper of the inlet valve is simply a
rectangle of cardboard, slightly larger than the end of the macaroni carton, taped to it at the top as a hinge. These
flapper valves aren’t completely airtight, but they’re close enough when time is short. And they take only moments
to make.

Tape the flapper valves securely into the pump box. In fact, you should thoroughly tape every seam of the pump.

Now cut the flexible plastic bellows to shape and tape it onto the pump box so that it replaces the trapezoid of
cardboard you cut away at the start. Double-tape every inch. If it now looks something like Figure 2, you’ve
finished your pump!

Lift the pump box handle; you should hear a hollow ‘whoosh’, then a ‘clack’ as the inlet flapper falls. Shove down
on the handle; you should see the outlet flapper jump outward as your pump expels a mighty breath of air into your
shelter. If you happen to be facing the outlet valve, the little sucker might blow your toupee off. If it doesn’t, check
to see if one of the valves is sticking, or if one is installed backward. If air is expelled anywhere besides the outlet
valve, those leaks must be sealed with tape.
This rig is simple to troubleshoot; it has no rotating parts. Unlike many electric blowers, it sucks hard and blows
hard, and unlike small piston pumps, it blows great gobs of air with each cycle. The people at Oak Ridge National
Labs, who work out expedient shelter problems, were enthusiastic on learning how easily this rig will draw lots of
air through a filter. By now, they may have developed an expedient bellows pump design better than ours. For
instance, they might add some modification to let you wedge your pump in place. It weighs very little, and vigorous
pumping can lift it off the floor.

Conduit Pipe

If you don’t have the equivalent of a three-inch diameter cardboard tube, grab a dozen thicknesses of newspaper
and roll them into a tube. Tape the long seam. Chances are a conduit pipe of newspaper won’t be stiff enough to
withstand the suction when your pump is operating. The blasted thing wants to collapse. Why didn’t we use a heavy
cardboard tube discarded from a carpet shop or, better still, a smooth-walled stovepipe? Because we assumed ​you
wouldn’t have either; that’s why!

As it happens, there’s a fairly decent remedy for the problem. You make two long rectangular stiffeners of
cardboard, cut a slot in each halfway down its length, then push the pieces together so that they form a single
stiffener of cruciform, or ‘X’ cross-section. In Figure 3 you see two short cruciform stiffeners and the halves of one
long unfinished stiffener, flanking the conduit pipe that connects our pump to the filter unit (which we’ll construct
in the next PS Letter). All you do is shove the cruciform stiffener into the newspaper conduit pipe. Suction will still
deform the conduit a bit, but won’t collapse it.

If you have time and materials, you can make the conduit more airtight by slapping a coat of latex paint on it, or by
tightly taping thin plastic film around the conduit pipe. The plastic is the better solution; who needs the smell of
paint in an enclosed room?

Stale Air Exhaust Valve

You must get rid of the stale humid air you’ve breathed, since much of it is now carbon dioxide. Unless it’s kept
roiled up by fans or furious activity, that moist, carbon dioxide-laden air should lie near the floor. Therefore you
should place your stale air exhaust valve at floor level, far away from the fresh air that’s whooshing from your
pump outlet.

Because you taped around windows and doors and other crevices, you raise the pressure in your shelter by a tiny
fraction of an ounce per square inch each time you press down on the pump handle. The job of the stale air exhaust
valve is to relieve that very slight pressure by letting stale air escape without letting outside air come in. You’ve
guessed it: another flapper valve.

See Figure 4 for the innards of the stale air exhaust valve. It consists of a small cardboard box for the valve body; a
tin can perforated around its bottom rim, protruding into the valve body so the flapper can lie flat atop the can lip; a
piece of very light material (in our model, thin styrofoam) taped at one edge atop the tin can as a flapper; and a
cardboard exit tube leading from the valve body through a hole in the shelter to the outside.
If a storm brews up gusting winds, they might blow fallout particles in through the exit tube to the flapper. That’s as
far as they’d get because, like the other flapper valves you’ve built, this one admits air in only one direction- in this
case, outward from your shelter.

As you can see in Figure 4, we found it necessary to glue a penny to our styrofoam flapper to make it lie flat atop
the lip of the tin can. When the little box is taped shut, it’s ready to be installed.

In Figure 5 you see the stale air exhaust valve standing on its inlet with its exit tube taped into a hole in the shelter
wall. You probably won’t hear its flapper operate. In fact, you might install a piece of cheap plastic in the valve
body as a window, for inspection. If the flapper never seems to operate at all, perhaps you still have leaks in your
shelter. A wisp of cigarette smoke might help trace such a leak while you pump. Otherwise, don’t smoke!

You’ve now built everything but the filter unit. We’ll discuss the filter and its placement in the next issue.
Meanwhile, why don’t you and your spouse build a small pump, just for the heck of it? One of these days you
might have to build one in less than an hour…

To be concluded

Ing’s Things

Trade Goods: Cheap Today. Expensive Tomorrow?

We’ve seen these items dirt cheap at flea markets, Goodwill, and Salvation Army stores. Store them wisely, in
quantity.

Slide Rules: When hand calculator batteries go south, slide rules will no longer be obsolete $.49 curiosities.

Thermometers: Oral, rectal, outdoor- worth their weight in penicillin.

12-Volt Auto Bulbs: Especially little ones from glove boxes, license lamps, directional signals of junked cars; for
emergency lighting with a pirated car battery.

Meat Grinders: They grind corn, too. Anyone who breaks an upper plate ​must​ get one, or find an orthodontist.

Reading Glasses: Non Prescription Rexall-type specs are essential when we grow far-sighted in middle years. Or
would you rather grind your own lenses?

Wristwatches: The cheap wind-up Timex won’t be so cheap when watch batteries become scarce.
Solar Energy and Survivalism
by Ralph H. Burr

Editor’s note: Like our supplement on wind and water power, the following article on solar energy is intended as
an introduction to the subject. Ralph Burr tells me that impending breakthroughs should make solar power a
practical, low-cost energy source within the next two to three years, and that he will keep us abreast of new
​ olar Age ($24 per year, P.O. Box
developments in the field. Two good sources of information for the layman are S
985, Farmingdale, NY 11737) and ​Rodale’s New Shelter​ ($10 per year, 33 E. Minor St., Emmaus, PA 18049).
N.T.

The promises of the next ten years offer solar energy as a solution to almost all our energy problems in a survival
retreat. Solar heaters, both for hot water and air; solar powering of heat pumps for cooling, refrigeration, and cold
storage; solar power for liquid metal electrical power generation; even solar-powered vehicles are all realities or on
the drawing board. It’s doubtful that we will see all of these marvels come to pass, but many will be in use shortly.
Let’s start with the solar systems we’ve all heard about.

The most common current applications of solar energy are in the heating of water for domestic hot water,
swimming pools, and, to a lesser extent, hot water space heating. Air systems, less commonly known, are used at
present for home heating through a solar furnace. Systems meeting federal and state standards are eligible for
income tax credits, which can be substantial. Keep this in mind as we discuss the costs to establish the different
systems.

Amortizing the after-tax cost of your solar system(s) will show just how interested you should be in using solar to
help solve your family energy problems. In most areas of the world, the use of solar for at least partial generation of
domestic hot water is justified. The San Diego, California area planning commission has demanded solar hot water
capacity in all new residential construction since 1979. There have been few complaints about the requirement.

There are two types of solar hot water heaters. The “passive” type uses the principle of “thermo-siphoning” and
requires no outside source of energy, while the “active” system uses pumps to transfer water through the system.
The passive system would seem best, but there are other considerations. The hot water tank must be installed above
the collectors used to gather solar energy, which usually means high in the attic of the house. This may be
impractical.

Regardless of the system chosen, the key to the effectiveness of it lies in the solar collector chosen. The reason for
this is that the system can be no more efficient than the amount of heat the collectors contain. While there are a
variety of types of water system collectors on the market, we will look only at the flat plate collector.

As with automobile tires, there is no common method of evaluating collector efficiency, except the use of a formula
which will only mean something to you if you studied thermodynamics in college. To eliminate this confusion,
we’ll explain the formula and show you how to use it.
The equation is called the “Hottel-Whillier-Bliss’ Equation” and is expressed Q = F (~I-UAT)- 2.1, in which Q =
useful heat collected, F = heat transfer effectiveness, ~ = absorption coefficient of the collector, I = incident solar
radiation, U = heat loss coefficient, and AT = temperature difference between the collector mean temperature and
the ambient air temperature.

Be aware that the use of this formula by collector manufacturers equates to the use of EPA gasoline consumption
figures by automobile manufacturers. Your installation will probably differ, but the figures are very useful for
comparison. Although expressed in a different fashion in the figure, the equation is the same, showing the
efficiency vs. A T/I- a simplified version.

The only help you can expect in evaluating solar collectors is this graphic presentation. At present there are a large
number of collector manufacturers making collectors of varying quality and effectiveness. Many collectors are
imported from Israel, England, Switzerland, and Spain.

Unless you have reliable information about the effectiveness of a particular collector, don’t buy one unless you
check its efficiency, which the manufacturer’s literature will usually give you via a graph. A single collector can
cost from under $100 to over $500, and usually at least two are needed for a standard domestic hot water system.

Some of the more expensive collectors do not function as well overall as a cheaper collector! The only good reason
to pay more for a good collector is to get an all-copper plate. Copper is the least susceptible to corrosion, normally
an important consideration. Do not mix metals in a collector- this usually causes corrosion.

Water-carrying collectors are covered with glass or plastic covers to take advantage of the “greenhouse” effect,
where the glassed-in container holds heat by absorbing more than it reradiates. The only glass cover generally
acceptable is that of glazed, tempered glass. The author does not advise that you buy collectors covered by “float”
glass, as it cracks more easily than tempered and tends to reradiate more, decreasing the advantage of the
greenhouse effect.

Float glass is normally installed as clear glass, but may be coated. If in doubt, ask. Collectors undergo large
variations in temperature and the expansion of components can cause problems with float glass, which, incidentally,
is usually used by small, local manufacturers.

Collectors must be installed so that they can obtain the most direct sunlight available to be most efficient. The rule
of thumb for a fixed installation (as contrasted with one which “tracks” the sun- and costs a lot more) is that the
collector should face directly south to south x 15 degrees west and be at an angle of 15 degrees plus your latitude or
more, vertical. This rule of thumb is, of course, a compromise. Above 40 degrees or 45 degrees latitude, a vertical
installation will capture 80 to 90% of the available sun energy most of the year and most in the winter, when the
sun’s declination (height) is lower.

In areas where freezing occurs in the winter, an improperly designed solar system can freeze, rupturing pipes and
creating havoc. The answer is either a “closed” system, using a safe antifreeze or a “drain-down” system which
allows the water to drain from the collectors to a small holding tank when an installed temperature sensor detects a
near-freezing condition.
The author prefers a drain-down system that is also closed, using distilled water (for corrosion resistance) rather
than an antifreeze solution. From a health standpoint, a leak in the unit which exchanges the heat from the
collectors to the hot water storage tank is of less concern if the collector fluid is simple distilled water than if it is a
glycol or other solution. Installations in areas which do not have winter freezing may be “open”, or have the
collectors and storage tank in one uninterrupted circuit.

This type of system should only be used if the potable water is essentially non-corrosive, or can be made that way at
reasonable cost with generally-available chemicals and filters. Under survival conditions, all materials needed to
maintain and repair any system should be continually and generally available. ‘Nuff said.

Collector plate surfaces are coated or painted with temperature-resistant compound. These coatings differ in their
capacity to absorb the solar energy. Basically, the rule is “the blacker the better”. If you remember your high school
physics classes, black represents the absorption of all colors in the visible spectrum. With sunlight, this also equates
to the most complete heat absorption. Color coordination belongs only on the outsides of the collector plates; the
inside is as black as possible.

Note that most of the foregoing has concerned the collectors. This is because they are the most variable and
important part of a solar system. Only the heat exchanger in a closed system is nearly as important. A poor
exchanger can lose the heat the collectors have gained. Unfortunately, there is little concern with exchanger
efficiency ratings. Don’t neglect to question the efficiency of the exchanger when buying system components. An
uninformed answer means that you should delve deeper, possibly by querying the manufacturer.

Can you install your own solar water heating system? The answer is a very qualified “Yes”. If you have some
experience in plumbing, roofing, and carpentry, and the tools with which to do the job, you can do it yourself. The
average hot water heating system costs from $1,600 to $4,500, installed. Unless you are really experienced in the
field, the author suggests that you contract out the job.

The experience of a good plumbing contractor with installations in your area, similar to yours, can be invaluable in
saving you from bad design and post-installation problems. This might be a good project to test your bartering
skills- you might offer to exchange your talents for your contractor’s. To gain the tax credits, you must have a
licensed contractor whose systems are pre-approved or you must apply for your credit yourself.

Most installations will require a building permit- they are, after all, roof-mounted and easily visible to neighbors
and building inspector alike. A reliable contractor will also guarantee his work and tell you just what benefits you
can expect from your solar system. These are not specious rewards! Installation, apart from the components
themselves, should cost from $600 to $1,100 for the most common systems. Installation in new construction will be
even less.

For existing structures, retrofitting a solar domestic hot water system should definitely be considered. Even
apartment houses may benefit sufficiently from an installation. The author knows of a San Francisco apartment of
32 units where the owner reports about a 40% savings, or a cost reduction of $350 per month from a $9,500
installation. This amortizes to a recapture in only 2 ½ years.
Hot water generated by gas will show about 7 to 8 years; by electricity 4 to 5 years. In new construction you can
consider not only domestic hot water heating, but also space heating using water or air collector systems, efficient
passive solar design for the structure, better insulation, and other energy-saving means. Do not build without
exploring the many possibilities. You will only get less for more nowadays if you don’t thoroughly investigate your
options.

Since we have explored hot water systems in substantial detail, we should touch on some of the other feasible uses
for solar systems. Using a much larger water storage capacity, along with more collector area (e.g. more collector
panels), a hot water space heating system can be created.

It is best not to try to combine domestic hot water-heating with space heating for a number of reasons. Except for
the source of the hot water and the storage capacity, a solar-heated system does not differ significantly from the hot
water heating systems we are all familiar with. Use of a heat pump, such as those made by Carrier Corporation and
others, enables low temperature heat from solar collectors to be upgraded for use in conventional fin-tube
baseboard convectors.

Water-source heat pumps can also use well or ground water for cooling when desired, although the return water
will heat the supply. Heat pump systems are active, requiring electrical energy to operate. Air collector systems
using commonly available salt hydrates for heat storage can also provide excellent space heating.

Sodium sulphate decahydrate (Na​2​SO​4 10H​


​ 2​0) crystals almost entirely melt at 90 degrees F., creating a heat storage
capacity of 9,500 BTU per cubic foot. This is known as “heat of fusion” heat storage. Very simply, this method can
store about 6 times as much per ft​3 ​as water and about 11 times more than field rocks! While there are some
problems recycling these salts from crystal to liquid and back, they are cheap and generally available, and require
far less storage space.

In line with solar collectors are photovoltaic or photo-electric cells, a gift from NASA’s Skylab research. These are
made in a way similar to transistors and, with the battery storage needed, are currently too expensive unless almost
no other source of electricity is available. The cost of photovoltaics has started dropping and soon that should not be
a drawback.

A photovoltaic system does present security problems because it reflects light.​1 A firm in Israel has announced the
experimental generation of electricity using standard solar collectors to heat freon to vapor, propelling liquid metal
past a magnet, thus generating electrical current. Given about 5 years, this may beat photovoltaic cells for cheap
electrical power generation.

Cooling and refrigeration systems using mainly ammonia are used in Europe and are quite feasible for use in the
US. Again in Europe, portable collector systems are sold for camping applications, providing enough hot water for
sanitary and bathing use (barely).

The author is indebted to Garden Way Associates, Inc., of Charlotte, Vermont, for use of illustrations in this article
and recommends ​Home Energy for the Eighties by Ralph Wolfe and Peter Clegg, $10.95 plus postage from Garden
Way Publishing, Charlotte, VT 05445, 1979.

For an update on photovoltaics see “The Solar Electric State” by David Burnke in Rodale’s ​New Shelter,​ May/June
1​

1982.
Immunizations
by G. Richards

An area of medical preparedness that many overlook is their personal immunization history. They may spend
several hundred dollars compiling a satisfactory medical kit but forget about the preventative medical value of
immunizations. In fact, most people cannot recall when they had their last tetanus shot.

An immunization is a medicine which helps the body produce a resistance (or immunity) to a specific pathological
condition. These medications are different from other classes of drugs since they are not chemicals. They are
derived from the microorganism or toxin that is the cause of the pathological condition to be prevented.

There are four types of immunizations: vaccines, toxoids, antitoxins, and immune serums. Basically, they work by
(a) stimulating the bodily production of antibodies or, (b) providing pre-made antibody proteins for imparting
disease resistance. Both mechanisms of drug action focus on the development of high, circulating antibody levels
within the host.

Vaccines and toxoids produce disease resistance by stimulating antibody formation, and differ only in the
laboratory isolation and preparation of their constituents. They rely on the host to produce antibodies.

Vaccines, the first historical immunizations, contain an entire microorganism (virus, bacteria, or rickettsiae). A
bacterial vaccine is therefore a suspension of whole bacteria, either killed or ​attenuated (detoxified). In contrast, a
toxoid is a solution of only the soluble components of a microorganism. For example, the bacterial species,
Clostridium tetaniae​, produces a soluble, toxic protein substance when grown in the laboratory.

This toxin is largely responsible for the pathological changes that occur during the course of clinical infection.
When a quantity of this same toxic protein is carefully inactivated, it then becomes a toxoid. When administered,
this toxoid will not produce disease symptoms, but will initiate the production of specific antibody proteins. It is
these antibody proteins that provide the immunity to clinical tetanus infections. The resultant immunity from
vaccines and toxoids takes a couple of weeks to develop fully and is of long duration (years).

Antitoxins and immune serums produce disease resistance by furnishing exogenous factors to the host. Both types
of medications are obtained from the blood serum of animals or humans who have been pre-vaccinated or have
recovered from a specific disease. Sterile solutions of pre-made antibodies are termed antitoxins, while sterile
solutions of blood serum globulins (i.e. gamma globulin) are called immune serums.

The antivenins obtained from the blood serum of healthy horses are an excellent example of antitoxins. These
horses have been hyper-vaccinated against the venoms of poisonous reptiles or spiders. Isolation of these equine
antibodies forms the basis of the Polyvalent Crotalidae antivenom used in the hospital treatment of rattlesnake bites.
Thus, antitoxins and immune serums are composed of prophylactic factors that are premade in another individual or
animal. These factors are then injected into the person to be protected, providing immediate disease resistance.
Since the host’s immune mechanism plays no part in the process of making antibodies, the immunity will last only
as long as the pre-made antibody factors circulate in the host’s bloodstream.

This condition of “passive” immunity usually lasts about three weeks, Although the duration of protection from
antitoxins and immune serums is not long-lasting, these medications are of value when a susceptible individual: (1)
has been recently exposed to infectious disease, (2) will be exposed to infectious disease (travel) for short time
periods, or (3) has been bitten by a venomous animal.

Since immunizations prevent many severe infectious diseases (among them, plague, diphtheria, cholera, typhoid,
and smallpox), it seems foolish to neglect them if you are attempting to achieve a self-reliant lifestyle. They are not
for everyone, however, for they may cause extreme hypersensitivity reactions. Consequently, they should only be
given by a physician or under his direction.

Routine Immunization Schedule for Children & Adults*

Age Immunization

2 months Diphtheria Toxoid, Pertussis Vaccine, Tetanus Toxoid (DPT), & Trivalent Oral Polio
Vaccine (TOPV).

4 months DPT & TOPV.

6 months DPT & TOPV.

1 year Mumps, Measles, & Rubella Vaccines (MMR).

18 months DPT & TOPV.

4-6 years DPT & TOPV.

14-16 years Adult Tetanus & Diphtheria Toxoid.

Every 10 years Adult Tetanus & Diphtheria Toxoid.

*As per recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics.


**Recently there have been reports of Pertussis vaccine causing brain damage in infants. Medications are
dangerous if used improperly or if dosage does not coincide with body mass or age.

Editor’s note: If you are interested in getting one of the more exotic immunizations, such as that for cholera, let
your doctor know well in advance. He will have to order it, for many of the serums can only be found in port cities.
Since the World Health Organization announced that smallpox, for all practical purposes, has been eradicated,
that vaccine is no longer available. N.T.
Manipulation of the Bolt-Action Rifle
by Jeff Cooper

Rifle marksmanship may not be exactly a lost art, but it is certainly a declining art. Individual proficiency with the
rifle was not just an affectation in the nineteenth century- it was, in many places, a necessity. For the pioneer farm
boy in any of the great developing areas of the world -the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Siberia,
Alaska- the ability to use a rifle not only accurately, but also quickly and economically, was one of the things that
determined life or death.

During the same period, the armies of the world began to learn more and more about the efficient use of the rifle as
a weapon of war. By the latter half of the nineteenth century, soldiers were shooting to hit rather than merely to
blanket an area by mass fire. This joint civilian/military phenomenon reached its peak just about the turn of the
twentieth century, at which time the great battle rifles were designed, manufactured, and understood by all the
military powers of the world- both major and minor.

These great rifles were ​bolt-action rifles,​ and the fact that the United States pioneered in the development of the
semi-automatic military rifle does not mean that Americans were unable to use the bolt gun well. The frontispiece
in E.C. Crossman’s ​Military and Sporting Rifle Shooting,​ dated 1932, is a photograph of Samuel Woodfill.
Woodfill was a lieutenant in the Fifth Division in France in 1918, and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his
single-handed reduction of a whole series of German machine gun positions.

Armed with a 1903 Springfield .30-06, using the issue iron sights, Lieutenant Woodfill, alone, attacked automatic
weapons positions again and again, and always successfully. He used no grenades, nor did he use automatic fire. He
used a bolt-action rifle with the skill he had acquired at Camp Perry, and he hit what he shot at. I think if one were
to suggest to any of today’s armies that a man could attack and destroy emplaced automatic weapons with a
bolt-action rifle alone he would be called a visionary, but the corroborative facts are there for anyone who can read.

Today’s consensus holds that, in order to fight well with a rifle, a man must have a self-loader with a magazine
capacity of at least twenty rounds, and that, if he has any choice, he should have a telescope sight mounted thereon.
It is widely accepted that his rifle may even be chambered for a sub-caliber cartridge such as the .223, or the 4.85,
or the 7.62x39.

This is evidence of a widespread and growing heresy that if one cannot shoot well, he should shoot often. In a day
when we are used to the notion that it took twenty thousand rounds of ammunition to destroy one Cong in Southeast
Asia, it is practically impossible for us to believe that one man can take out one enemy with one shot- or that he can
take out two enemies with two shots, using a bolt action rifle and working that bolt quickly enough to keep his
weapon in rapid action.
The famed Captain H.W. McBride suggested that if each of our soldiers could account personally for five enemies,
using ten shots for the job, the war would be over. Rather than listening to him, however, the thinkers of the
Pentagon have assumed that since a soldier can carry 160 rounds of .223 for the same bother as 80 rounds of .30-06,
the .223 must be the superior caliber.

As a boy I was taught the bolt-action rifle, at public expense, in high school ROTC. I was taught
sighting-and-aiming, positions, trigger control, and rapid operation of the bolt- in that sequence. I got to be good
enough at these drills to earn a place on several inter-unit rifle teams, but the instruction was given to me so long
ago that its actual details fade in memory.

When one has shot much and pretty well for nearly fifty years, the operation becomes so automatic that analyzing
its elements becomes difficult. I have therefore gone back to some of the original texts on the subject and dragged
them out for your benefit.

Here at Gunsite, we have developed two modes of operation for the bolt-action rifle, only the first of which is
taught in the classical instructions.

This first system may be termed, in modern parlance, the “bolt flick”. This is the normal technique for use in the
game fields, and it has its place on the battlefield as well, as long as the shooter intends to remain in one position
and shoot therefrom twice or three times. Clearly, staying in one firing position when using a rifle in an anti
personnel situation is dangerous, but one can envision situations in which it might be advisable.

When the bolt flick is properly executed, the action is operated in just about the time it takes the shooter to bring his
muzzle back on target after the gentle bounce of recoil. When done properly, the time lapse is little if any greater
than that between two shots with the self-loader.

When a rifle is discharged, the flash and recoil momentarily obscure the target to the shooter. By the time he has
opened his eyes, picked up his sight, and replaced his aiming system upon the target he has, if he knows how,
operated the bolt.

You will note that all classical authorities point out that the butt is not removed from the shoulder and that the
whole body moves as little as humanly possible. When this technique is used in hunting, the shooter never thinks
about operating the action but simply replaces his sights on the target to see if his shot has taken effect. Just as soon
as he knows whether or not his shot ​has​ taken effect, he can squeeze off another round.

The second mode we have come to teach at the school is known as “shoot-one-load-one”. This system is
particularly useful in assault drills. The rifleman assumes that when his shot goes off, his adversary is terminated.
The target just engaged is no longer of any interest, so there is no real need to flick the bolt in preparation for a
second shot.

What is needed is to maintain the rifle in a continuous condition of readiness for subsequent opportunities. Using
this mode, the instant the rifle fires, the butt drops from the shoulder and the bolt opens. The eyes glance to right
and left, searching for new targets, while a single round is drawn from readiness on the belt or in the shirt and
loaded into the weapon.
Using this system, the rifleman never withdraws his “credit” in his magazine. As his eyes search for new targets,
and as he moves quickly from one cover to the next, the weapon is loaded, and kept fully loaded, for all
contingencies so that if he should need three or four shots quickly from one position, he will never have to worry
about loading. In teaching this system, we depart from the maxim that the butt is never removed from the shoulder,
but we insist that this is an alternative mode and not the primary one.

In the sections to follow you will see what was the doctrine in the period before WWII. This doctrine has been lost
in the military schools, obviously, because we no longer use bolt-action rifles in the military service. The interesting
thing, however, is that our sporting manufacturers have forgotten this and have, in effect, produced bolt-action rifles
today which are less suitable for serious work than those of fifty years ago.

You will note that the essential physical quality of a bolt knob is smoothness, so that it can roll like a ball-bearing in
the palm of the hand without scratching. Note how many bolts today are knurled, etched, grooved, or otherwise
made non-slip, when slipping is exactly what is wanted.

Note that no modern bolt-action rifle includes a magazine cutoff, to enable the shooter to keep his magazine fully
loaded while he loads singly in the shoot-one-load-one mode. Without the magazine cutoff, the rifle must always be
loaded with one less than its magazine capacity in order to avoid double-feeding in a hurry.

We have indeed lost part of the art of our fathers, but not irrevocably. The material is there to be studied by those
who wish to.

Captain E.C. Crossman in


Military and Sport Rifle Shooting, SATP 1932

“The ability to work the bolt smoothly certainly and easily is not to be gained by merely reading a book. It hinges
entirely on thoughtful practice.

“The beginner should study, by slow operation of the bolt, the easiest way to effect the turning motion and upward
bolt lever thrust with the minimum motion of the right hand and arm. Experience has shown that this may be aided
to a marked extent by rolling the rifle toward the bolt lever, resisting the tendency to roll the rifle to the left on its
long axis and aiding the right hand in its work.

“Therefore, in operating the bolt from the shoulder (in the off-hand position), as the upward thrust is put on the
knob, the rifle should be rolled to the right with the left hand. This results in shortening the apparent motion of the
right hand and moves the path of the bolt to the right, missing the face and obviating having to duck the backward
travel of the bolt.
“It is important for the novice to learn that correct and fast operation of the bolt-action rifle in rapid fire is not
‘one, two, three, four’, but rather one continuous series of motions with the wrist playing its correct part in
controlling the four stages of the stroke.

“The bolt knob rolls in the grip as the hand pivots at the wrist, knuckles starting in nearly a vertical position and
winding up nearly horizontal. No amount of dexterity can alter the mechanical motions of the bolt knob, but there is
no need for the hand and arm to follow them through their rectangular motions as long as the wrist has any joints
in it and the bolt knob may be rolled easily in the grip of the hand.

“The need for the bolt knob to roll easily in the grip of the hand, permitting minimum motion on the part of the
hand itself, is a fine illustration of the folly of those who manufacture bolts which are not round and smooth to
grasp.

“Until the bolt can be swiftly and smoothly opened and closed with a single sweeping motion of the hand in each
direction, the shooter has not passed the beginner stage.

“Remember that in all rapid-fire practice with a bolt-gun, and in all practical fast shooting with the rifle on game
or otherwise, the rifle is never removed from the shoulder. Some men make a practice of dropping any rifle to the
hip line after the first shot at game to see what the effect of the shot is going to be. This is alright, but at the same
time ability to swing that bolt fast and easily should be cultivated.

“Rapid fire from the sitting position should be done, as in offhand, with the minimum elbow motion. It is not
necessary to move the right elbow from knee contact, and the nearer this is approached, the smoother will be the
bolt operation. Roll the rifle to the right as the right hand grasps the bolt handle and avoid cramping or jamming
the bolt by too much thrust against the left receiver wall. Most jamming and cramping comes from using too much
effort, hurrying too much, and getting all hot and frenzied about the matter.”

[“Smooth is fast”: API Doctrine]

“In prone the beginner is a sad spectacle. He does almost everything but sit on the rifle and pull up the bolt handle
with both hands, and he gives the impression that this will be his next move.

“Neither elbow should be lifted off the ground in operating the bolt-action from prone. The rifle muzzle is swung
over some five or six inches to the right as the bolt handle is gripped, which swings the muzzle low and right.
Operating the bolt prone without this aid is quite difficult and somewhat likely to poke the shooter in the beak or
the forehead with the end of the bolt.

“Obviously, the faster the bolt is operated -as long as it can be done smoothly and positively- the better off is the
shooter because of the added time he has to aim.

“Care must be taken from the first to see that the bolt handle is pressed clear down in closing the bolt, and that it is
not raised by the knuckle of the rifle hand in gripping the stock or other operation. Probably seventy-five percent of
the faulty runs in rapid fire are due to misfires, and these are due to a bolt handle which has not fully closed.”
The Hunting Rifle, Stackpole 1940
“Rapid Operation of the Breech Mechanism”

“You need a great deal of practice in this. It is extremely important that a hunter be able to operate his rifle for a
second shot instantly, absolutely, and surely without jamming it and without looking at it The operation should
become subconscious so that you do it naturally without thinking about it, and it should almost be made a
sleight-of-hand performance, so fast that the eye can hardly follow it, This is not difficult, but it takes practice:
perhaps ten minutes a day for two weeks and then about one or two practice sessions a week to keep your hand in.
There are certain exact ways of doing this operation which make it very much easier and faster.

“[Instantly after the shot] release your grasp on the pistol grip, seize the round knob of the bolt handle with the
thumb and the first two fingers of the right hand, thumb on top, and thrust the handle straight up as you move the
left hand down and to the right, causing the muzzle of the rifle to move about eight inches. This movement of the
rifle makes it very much easier to lift the bolt handle. In the offhand position, the muzzle is kept as nearly as
possible pointed toward the target while the bolt is operated and always the rifle is kept at the shoulder, the left
hand pulling back on the rifle so as to press and hold the butt plate in place.

Now retract the bolt straight back to its fullest extent, pulling it straight through the slide ways in the receiver
without pressing it to one side or another which might cause it to bind. The two motions of raising the bolt handle
and retracting it are not in fact two motions. They should merge into one smooth and quick motion and the bolt
should be jerked back hard to its fullest extent. Don’t be afraid of injuring the bolt by working it hard and fast- you
cannot do it.

The entire motion should be fast, positive, and hard- and to the fullest extent of the mechanism. If the action of the
rifle is in good condition, the only way you can make it jam is to fail to pull it all the way to the rear before you
start to push it forward. Therefore pull it back hard, but not so hard as to unbalance you or move the butt plate off
the shoulder.

As soon as the bolt has been retracted as far as it will go, then push it all the way back forward and slam the handle
down shut, all in one smooth, quick, and powerful motion. As you slam the bolt handle down, move the left hand
back up and to the left into firing position. As the muzzle comes back onto the target, the right cheek presses against
the left side of the stock and comb.

Now regrasp the pistol grip with the right hand, right forefinger on the trigger, and take out ninety percent of the
pressure necessary to discharge the rifle. The muzzle will now be swinging slightly from side to side, making it
difficult to steady down to a good aim. Stop this side-swing by pressing the right of the grip of the rifle with the base
of the right thumb and against the left side of the stock with the right cheek squeezing the stock between the face
and thumb.
“We must not forget the ‘south-paw’. If, because you are left-handed or because of defective vision in the right eye,
you have to shoot left-handed, do not think that you will be handicapped badly with a bolt-action rifle. It is almost
as easy to operate a bolt-action rifle left-handed as it is right-handed, if it is done right.

As the left hand releases its grip on the pistol grip, the right hand should twist the forearm a little to cause the rifle
to cant slightly to the left. The left elbow must be raised from the ground or the left knee. Without taking the butt of
the rifle from the shoulder, reach over the action with the left hand and grasp the bolt handle with the thumb and
forefinger, thumb under the bolt, knob back in the crotch of the thumb and forefinger, last three fingers on top of
the receiver.

Now by twisting the wrist, assisted by pressure of the little finger on top of the receiver, raise the bolt handle all the
way up with a rapid, powerful, twisting motion of the wrist. Now pull the bolt all the way to the rear, keeping the
hand on the bolt in the same position and with the heel of the hand on top of the bolt-sleeve and rear end of the
cocking piece. Be sure you pull the bolt hard all the way to the rear.

Keep the knob of the bolt handle deep in the crotch of the thumb and the forefinger, then at once push the bolt
forward with the heel of the hand contacting the rear of the bolt. At once push the bolt handle down with the
forefinger and a twist of the wrist. The second finger also assists in this pressure.

This method, when learned, is very much easier and faster than trying to grip the bolt handle between the little
finger and the palm of the hand as many attempt to do. Left-handed operation is slightly slower than right-handed,
not because it is any more difficult, when learned, but because it is necessary for the left elbow to be removed from
ground or knee. Nevertheless it is quite easy and very fast.”

In scanning the foregoing two extracts, we see that Crossman recommends twisting the rifle to the right with the left
hand in order to minimize the arc of bolt rotation, while Whelen does not. I suggest that the student try both
methods and see if he gains anything by twisting the rifle. We note that both masters emphasize and re-emphasize
the necessity to get the bolt all the way to the rear before starting it forward again.

I witnessed a very dramatic case of this in Africa a couple of years ago when my partner, using my rifle, did not
retract that long bolt fully and closed it on an empty chamber, while looking a wounded elephant right in the face at
a range of eleven steps. This sort of thing can be very embarrassing.

The operation of the bolt is something that can be learned completely before even taking up the matter of shooting,
and we strongly suggest that anyone who intends to undergo rifle instruction master it prior to attending school.
Survival Gunsmithing- Ruger Mini-14
by J.B. Wood

Anyone seeing a Ruger Mini-14 for the first time might think that it’s just a miniature version of the M-14, as its
model designation implies. Well, in a way, it is, but with the addition of Ruger design genius at many mechanical
points. The design is so well-done that there are no guidelines from past repairs to serve as spare parts suggestions.

In the years since its introduction in 1973, I have not repaired a single Mini-14, nor have I heard of one having a
legitimate problem. So, for the spare parts kit, I’ll have to imagine a Mini-14 that has seen ten or fifteen years of
hard use under difficult conditions.

The parts list for the Mini-14: Firing pin, extractor, extractor plunger, extractor spring, ejector, ejector spring, recoil
spring, hammer spring, magazine latch spring, trigger guard, gas piston, and spare magazines.

As I said, I’ve seen no incidence of parts breakage in the Mini-14, but the firing pin and extractor are basic spares
for any gun. The extractor plunger and the ejector are in case of disassembly loss, and their springs are included as
insurance against loss of tension from age, far in the future.

After several thousand rounds, the recoil spring in any semi-auto gun will tend to take a slight set, and with years of
constant use it’s possible that enough tension might be lost that feeding could be affected. This would especially
apply if one of the large-capacity magazines is used, as would likely be the case in a survival situation.

A filled twenty-round or thirty-round magazine has somewhat more tension on the top cartridges, and this requires
a full-power recoil spring for reliable feeding.

A survival piece will probably be carried for long periods with the chamber loaded and the hammer cocked, and a
small amount of age-weakening of the hammer spring will be inevitable under those conditions. All of the springs
in the Mini-14 have ample allowance for this, but just to be sure, the hammer spring is included. In some situations,
a misfire could be very embarrassing, to say the least.

The magazine latch spring is a round-wire torsion type, and while it is not under continual stress or heavy
compression like the hammer spring, it could be subject to weakening or breakage (the latter is unlikely) in
long-term use. Mainly, it is included because of its essential function. Without it, you’d have a single-shot gun. The
latch itself is not on the list because its design precludes breakage, and its wear factor is negligible.

The trigger guard is included for two reasons: Its external location makes it susceptible to damage, and it is also the
latch which retains the trigger housing in the gun. The guard is a very tough part, but an extremely hard blow, as
from the gun being dropped on rock, could deform it just enough to affect the grip of its rear tip on the housing. If
this happened, it could probably be repaired, when the time and circumstances permitted. Even so, it is a relatively
inexpensive part, so a spare would be advisable.

The gas piston should last forever in normal use. However, allowing for the possible use of ammo that has an
unknown origin, or makeshift rounds in a cartridge-scarce milieu. Some eventual erosion would be a possibility.
Ideally, the piston would be cleaned after each firing, the powder residue and gas scale removed with a stainless
steel brush. In the real world of survival, we know that this would not always be possible. So, the piston is included.
Spare magazines are, as I’ve said before, really a redundancy on any survivalist’s list. You’ll always have two or
three on hand. The Mini-14 comes with a cute little five-round magazine that is fine for fun shooting or for hunting,
but entirely inadequate when the gun is used in defensive or attack mode.

Originally, the Ruger factory sold the 20-round and 30-round magazines only to law enforcement agencies. I don’t
know whether they have modified this policy, but it hardly matters, as several entrepreneurs now offer
large-capacity magazines for the Mini-14.

And now, as is our custom, the additions for the chronic worriers: The hammer, trigger, and secondary sear are
strong parts, heat-treated by experts, and breakage is extremely unlikely. A remote possibility is that the sear step
on the hammer or one of the sear beaks might someday chip off, so these parts could be added.

If the secondary sear is ever removed for replacement, it might also be a good idea to have a spare secondary sear
spring, as this is a very small one, and easily lost. The more affluent survivalist could just obtain a complete trigger
group, and then any difficulty with the guard or firing mechanism could be remedied in mere seconds. This
assembly, though, is not inexpensive.

I am not recommending a spare set of sights. The front sight is practically indestructible, and replacement of the
rear sight is not a simple operation. The rear sight is also rather well-shielded from harm. The operating slide is also
not a suggested item. While its handle-bearing bar is externally exposed, as on the M-14 and M1A, it has a
reinforcement that makes damage very unlikely, even with direct impact.

There are several stock “kits” on the market that convert the Mini-14 to “assault rifle” configuration, and these
range from rather crude, to funny-looking, to very, very nice. If you are installing your Mini-14 action in one of
these, a word of advice: Save your original stock, don’t trade it in. If some future accident destroys your assault rig,
and the action is undamaged, you’ll then be able to use the original stock and still have a working gun.

The original instruction booklet supplied with each new Mini-14 has an exploded view, a phantom view, and a
complete parts list. Copies are available by writing to Sturm, Ruger & Co., Southport, CT 06490. The Mini-14 is
also shown on page 113 of the ​Gun Digest Book of Exploded Firearms Drawings​, Second Edition. Complete
takedown and reassembly instructions are on pages 274-281 of the ​Gun Digest Book of Firearms
Assembly/Disassembly, Part IV: Centerfire Rifles​. If these can’t be found at your local bookstore or gun shop, they
can be ordered from DBI Books, Inc., one Northfield Plaza. Northfield, II. 60093.