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Paladin Press Closing Its Doors An Icon Fades Away

Kevin Felts, blogger and political commentator

Some of the people reading this post may not even know who Paladin Press is, much less care they are going out of business. This is truly a sad time, as independent publishers like Paladin Press kept information flowing into the survivalist community during the dark ages of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Let’s go back to the 1980s and 1990s.

After the end of the Cold War things were good. The Soviet Union had been defeated without ever firing a round, the economy was going good, and overall, life was grand. Being a survivalist was ok.

Then along came Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City incident. When it came out Timothy had been a member of a survivalist group, all of a sudden “survivalist” was a bad name. Main stream publications dropped certain advertisers who sold to the survivalist community.

Troubling Trend in Survival Websites

Over the past year or so I have noticed a troubling trend with various based survival websites.

Those trends are sites that offer little unique content, no unique pictures, no unique videos,,, nothing but a site that tries to sell you something.

There are two types of bloggers out there

1 – someone who has first hand information on a given topic. These are the people who enjoy what they are doing, know something about the topic and can offer advice based on their first hand experience.

2 – someone who knows almost nothing on a topic, but hopes to open a website to make money.

What I am going to do is offer some tips on how you can tell a real SHTF survival site from a spam / junk site.

Are the topics diversified

Is the site focused on a couple of narrow topics? These are called niche sites.

SurvivalBoards and SurvivalistBoards are niche sites, but we discuss various topics, such as political opinions, hunting, camping, firearms, gardening,,, and so on.

Stockpiling Survival Magazines for SHTF

If someone asked you to list your favorite Survival Magazines, what would you say? When my buddies and I where in high school – back in the 1980s – we would read any magazine, or mail order catalog we could get our hands on. This was back before the internet – so you had to either go to the store and actually buy a magazine, or send off an order form and wait 2 – 6 weeks for the first issue to come in. Over the past 25 years, only a hand full of magazines have risen to the top and deserve a special mention.

5 & 6. Field and Stream and Outdoor Life – both magazines offer a wide variety of hunting and outdoors information. Since both magazines offer such a wide variety of information, its difficult to say that one is better then the other. Where else can you find information about fly fishing on 1 page, and wilderness survival on the next page.

4. Backpacker – offers quality gear reviews mixed with a touch of conservation. What other magazine can you read about -20 degree sleeping bags, and about timber companies cutting virgin forest in the same issue?

3. Soldier of Fortune – no other magazine is going to cut to the heart of military history, political and military issues like Soldier of Fortune magazine. Back in the 1980s when Russia was at war in Afghanistan, and I was only a teenager, I remember reading about fund raisers to help the Afghan freedom fighters.

2. Farmers Almanac – its going to be difficult to find a more reliable source of inforamtion on gardening and farming.

Being a survivalist in the 1990s

Survivalism, like everything else changes with time. During the Cold War – the 1950s and 1960s – people were worried about nuclear war with Russia. In the 1990s theories were a dime a dozen about how the United Nations was going to invade the USA. In the 2000s we were worried about terrorist attacks, and now in 2010 we are worried about financial collapse.

As I think about the past few decades, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s,,, to me, the 1990s was the best decade for survivalism. While Bill Clinton was president from 1993 to 2001, he probably he did more to promote survivalism / conspiracy theories then anyone else that I can think of, besides maybe Janet Reno and the Waco situation.

1991 we had the Persian Gulf conflict – Desert Shield and Desert Storm. We got to see how well the Russian made tanks held up against the M1 Abrams. We got to see the stealth fighter and bomber. The world saw that the USA can kick some butt and take names later – if there was enough left to even name.

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Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018