The Survival Buzz #154

Have you made your own laundry soap yet? - Backdoor Survival

Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.

How is everyone doing this week?  If it has been anything like mine, you are firing on all cylinders as you begin to realize it is time to organize those springtime chores not the least of which is your garden.

This week I had some appointments in the big city (actually Bellevue, Washington), so while I was there, I dropped in on Wal-Mart to pick up some Arm & Hammer Washing Soda for my “Better than Good” DIY Laundry Soap

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Review: The Fantastic Gardening Notebook + Giveaway

The Gardening Notebook Review - Backdoor Survival

I have a love/hate relationship with gardening.  Although blessed with a green thumb, to take advantage of that blessing I need good sun and warm weather.  Unfortunately, that is not the case where I live.  Although beautiful in so many ways, my home is situated on a tiny, shaded lot and the weather?  Let me just say that this is Western Washington and the growing season is short.

In spite of the shortcomings of where I live, each year I set up a seed starting station in my office on top of the file cabinets. 

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BDS Book Festival 7: The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook + Giveaway

The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook - Backdoor Survival

Today I share the next author interview and giveaway in the Backdoor Survival Book Festival 7.

Tammy Gangloff, Steven Gangloff, and September Ferguson, the authors of Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook, are here to answer the Book Festival  questions and of course, to award one lucky reader with a copy of their book.

What do I think of their book?  The simplest way to describe Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook is to say that even though I have had nothing but major fails in my dehydrator efforts, I am now ready to start anew.

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How to Homestead When You Rent: Part One


Homesteading is the buzz word of the year within the preparedness community, and rightfully so. The desire to be self-sufficient and self-reliant has never been stronger.  Folks of all ages and all walks of life are beginning to look back to pioneer days as they seek skills to learn how to grow food, cook from scratch, raise farm animals, and repair and repurpose what is old and tired into something that is new and useful.

Although I have written about homesteading, and especially how to homestead in place, there is so much more to write about. 

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How to Bake Bread: Easy English Muffin Bread

How to Bake English Muffin Bread - Backdoor Survival

I have a confession to make.  I am a bread addict.  Give me a chunk of crunchy chewy whole grain bread or a slice of fresh artisan bread and I am in heaven.

The good news is that quality breads are readily available for purchase almost everywhere these days.  The bad news is that they are super expensive.  The answer to this good news bad news situation is easy: bake your own bread!  Okay, I get it but who has the time for that?

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The Survival Buzz # 153

Save a few heirloom seed catalogs with your seed storage - Backdoor Survival

Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.

This week was extremely busy as I have tried to tie up lose ends and make progress on the various projects I have going.  Now that I think about it, all weeks are extremely busy and my projects still are not done!

Anyway, gardening has been on my mind because if I plan on starting my own tomatoes, I need to get going. 

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Free Food Friday: Win an Emergency Food Supply Kit from Survival Based

Win a free emergency food supply kit - Backdoor Survival

It has been a little over a year since I confessed that the ongoing joke among my family and friends is that I talk about food all of the time but never eat.  That is not quite true since I really do eat, just not that often and not that much.  Quite honestly, my motto when it comes to eating is “give me simple food, that is prepared well, and is tasty”.  Sounds simple enough, right?

To that end, I am always on the lookout to sample different types of emergency foods so I can determine whether it meets my standards. 

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BDS Book Festival 7: Good Crazy by Richard Earl Broome + Giveaway

Backdoor Survival Book Festiva;l: Good Crazy by Richard Earl Broome

Richard Earl Broome, who you know as the author of a number of thought-provoking articles here on Backdoor Survival, is today’s featured author in the Backdoor Survival Book Festival 7.

His newest book, Good Crazy, is a sequel to Leaving The Trees , which I wrote about in the article Leaving the Trees: More Lessons of Survival.  Leaving the Trees is one of those books that you want to read cover to cover without putting it down.  It is that good and Good Crazy is more of the same.

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Survival Basics: Buckets, Lids and Gamma Seals

Food Storage Basics Buckets Lids Gamma & Gamma Seals |Backdoor Survival|

Buckets are a fact of life when it comes to food storage. They are strong, light and moisture free, and, when sealed, will keep most, if not all pests at bay.  They are also readily available and the cost is nominal, if not free.

In keeping with the them of survival and food storage basics, in this article I share the ins and outs of food grade buckets, lids and gamma seals to safely store you bulk food items for the long term.

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5 Important Considerations When Forming a Prepper Community

5 Important Considerations When Forming a Prepper Community

One of the key strategies for every prepper is the formation of a prepper community.  Yet, as strategic as this may be, it is conceivably the most difficult of all of the prepper strategies.

There are issues, not the least of which is who do you trust, how much do you trust, and what are the limits that you place upon that trust?  Sadly, there are no easy answers.  That said, as I wrote in 10 Simple Strategies for Becoming A Prepper, this is something that needs to be addressed by each of us and the sooner the better.

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The Survival Buzz #152

Stocking up on basics from the LDS Home Storage Center |Backdoor Survival|

Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.

The highlight of this week was a trip off island to the LDS Home Storage Center in Mount Vernon, Washington.  At a Home Storage Center, you will find the lowest prices anywhere on bulk foods for your survival pantry. The best part is that they are open to the public and not just to LDS members.

Nothing bugs me more then when I see other bloggers recommend purchasing wheat, as an example, from Amazon at over $2 a  pound. 

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Conflicted: The Survival Card Game + Giveaway

Conflicted: The Survival Card Game |Backdoor Survival|

When you read dystopian or post-apocalyptic fiction do you give some consideration to how you would react in a similar situation?  I’ll tell you what. The more I read, the more I assimilate various survival strategies and begin to formulate my own survival game plan.  This is all good and forces me to continue to read serious survival fiction as opposed to the latest John Grisham thriller.

The problem, as I see it, is that reading a book and thinking about strategies is a singular pastime. 

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BDS Book Festival 7: The PrepSmart Series from Prepper Press

BDS Book Festival: The PrepSmart Series

Early on, when I was a newbie blogger, I was lucky enough to hook up with a boutique publisher who was interested in compiling a series of articles by a dozen or so bloggers.  The project did not pan out but the publisher, Prepper Press, remained in contact.

Many of books featured in Backdoor Survival book festivals have been published by the Prepper Press.  They include books by Glen Tate and the 299 Days Series, R.P. Ruggiero and the Brushfire Plague Series (my favs), and titles from the prolific Joe Nobody and his Holding Their Own

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Birch Essential Oil for Arthritis, Muscle and Joint Pain

Birch Essential Oil for Arthritis Pain - Backdoor Survival

Once you move beyond the basic, everyday essential oils that we all know and love, it becomes time to explore some of the more esoteric oils that solve specific ailments.  In my own exploration of essential oils, a specific ailment high on my list was relief from muscle and joint pain.

The oil of choice?  Birch essential oil for arthritis and other aches and pains of the muscles and joints is perfect!

Not only is Birch effective against common, everyday aches and pains, but it is superior if not outstanding in providing relief from arthritis joint pain and those deep, spasmodic cramps that only seem to visit in the dead of night.

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Survival Basics: Be Prepared For Pet Emergencies

Be Prepared for Pet Emergencies - Backdoor Survival

When it comes to our four legged friends, being prepared goes beyond having the proper pet supplies in our bug-out bags and in-home emergency kits.  There is also the component of pet healthcare and the need to recognize and then act quickly and decisively during a pet emergency.

In my opinion, this is a topic that is not addressed often enough in the preparedness community.  The truth is that while it is easy to use a proactive approach with our own healthcare, most of us are at a bit of a loss when it comes to our pets.

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The Survival Buzz #151

The Survival Buzz |Backdoor Survival|

Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.

Most of this week was spent working at my J.O.B. (only part time these days), although I did take a little time out to work on my Preparedness Planner a bit.  It sure feels good to get organized!  Speaking of getting organized, the month of January is a great month to find deals on storage tubs.  I picked up a couple of huge, 18-gallon HOMZ storage tubs for $3.99 each at the local Ace Hardware.

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Propane for Preppers – Part Five

Propane for Preppers - Part Five

This is the fifth and final installment in the series Propane for Preppers.  During the course of these five articles, you have learned the technical aspects of propane as well as how to store and use propane safely.  Of great interest to many of you has been the detailed primer on how to refill small portable cylinders from larger tanks.

Throughout the series, the emphasis has been on common sense, practicality, and above all else, safety.

In this final article, we are going to recap and expand upon the issue of carbon monoxide plus discuss propane fires and the double standard that seemingly appears to exist in the universe of propane safety.

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BDS Book Festival 7: 5 Acres & A Dream – The Book + Giveaway

5 Acres and a Dream - Backdoor Survival

Today I share the next author interview and giveaway in the Backdoor Survival Book Festival 7.  Leigh Tate, the blogger at the popular homesteading site, 5 Acres and a Dream, has written a book about the challenges she and her husband have faced while pursing their dream.

Her book, 5 Acres & A Dream The Book: The Challenges of Establishing a Self-Sufficient Homestead, is unlike any homesteading book I have ever read!  In it, Leigh shares her dream of self-sufficiency and her homesteading aspirations along with the disappointments, successes, and failures that happened along the way. 

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Community Survival: Bringing Friends and Family Into the Fold

Community Survival: Bringing Friends & Family Into the Fold

The challenges of living a self-sufficient, prepper lifestyle can be overwhelming when attempting to do it all yourself.  If you are lucky, you have a spouse or partner on board to share both the work and the joys of self-reliance.  On the other hand, I know from the many comments and emails that I receive that a good percentage of you are on your own.

Some carry the torch alone due to circumstance but others soldier along without assistance because family and friends scoff and consider them loony tunes. 

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Survival Basics: Water and Water Storage

Survival Basics: Water

During a recent book giveaway, the question asked was “What piece of prepping gear is at the top of your bucket list?”  Needless to say, I was more than a little bit surprised to find that the top response was water storage, water filters, and water purification equipment.

While having the gear is nice, anyone interested in preparedness also needs to have a basic understanding of the concepts behind water and water storage.  Where to find, store, purify, and filter water are all questions that need to be asked, answered, and periodically reviewed.

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The Survival Buzz #150


Welcome to the first Survival Buzz of 2015.  This week I tried to keep things brief since I am up to my neck in alligators with all of the projects that are a work in process.  Alas, that did not happen.

To be honest, I feel bad teasing you with a mention of the projects without closure in terms of how-to articles.  I apologize but these things do take time. That being said, this weeks preps are more of the same.

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Get Organized with the Preparedness Planner

Getting Organized with the Preparedness Planner

Let’s take an informal poll.  How many of you have tons of preps?  How many of you know you have a lot of stuff, but have no clue how much you have, how much you want, and where it is located?

In the past, I have tried to keep track of my own preps both with an excel spreadsheet and using software and apps sent to me for review.  With all of the time I have spent attempting to get organized, my preps are still in disarray and none of the apps made it to the website for review purposes.

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Best of Backdoor Survival 2014

Best of Backdoor Survival 2014

It has become blogging tradition to post an end of the year roundup of the best articles from the previous year. The problem, of course, is what constitutes the best? Is it the most viewed or the most shared? Or, perhaps, is it my own hand-picked favorites?

My choice this year is to highlight the ten most viewed articles since, after all, they are the most popular. Although some of these were written prior to 2014, they do represent those articles that new readers tend to visit and that long-term readers go back to over and over again.

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BDS Book Festival 7: The Avalon Series

BDS Book Festival 7: The Avalon Series

I am jumping the gun a day early again this week with the next author interview and giveaway in the Backdoor Survival Book Festival 7.

L. Michael Ruskin, the author of Avalon: The Retreat and Avalon: Beyond the Retreat is a here to answer the initial round of Book Festival questions and to award one lucky reader with a copy of his two books.

Enjoy the interview and be sure to check out the details of this week’s giveaway below.

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Define the Prepper Movement With A Call Action

Defining the Prepper Movement With a Call to Action ||

Back in the day, I was considered somewhat of an activist.  Although normally quiet, unassuming, and nerd-like, I fought for the end of political tyranny, power to the people, and women’s rights in the workplace.  I was a small voice in a big sea of voices, but, to this day, would like to believe I have made a difference.

Now, years later, in my own quiet away, I have proudly labeled myself as both a “Prepper” and a member of the Prepper Movement. 

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The Survival Buzz #149

How to Ruin a Perfectly Good Pot of Pinto Beans!!

Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.

Blogwise, this has been a busy week full of interesting projects.  As with last week’s soap re-batching, most are still a work in process.  That being said, this week I did the following:

I tried to kick pinto beans up a notch by soaking and cooking them in 2 tablespoons of good-for-you cayenne pepper infused water.  Not a good idea, trust me. 

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10 Simple Strategies for Becoming A Prepper


No one really knows how many preppers exist in the world but it is safe to say that there are three to four million in the United states alone.  Even though at first blush this sounds like a huge segment of the population, in round numbers that is still only slightly more than 1% of the total US populace.  When you think about it, that is pretty shocking.

Who is going to take care of the remaining 99% percent of the population when a major disruptive event occurs? 

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A Holiday Message from Backdoor Survival


Every year, on December 24th, I sit down and craft a holiday message to the readers and followers of Backdoor Survival.  This year is no different in that here I am, at 4:30PM, deciding what I want to say and how.

This year, I have decided to keep things simple and from the heart.

Both Shelly and I wish you much joy and happiness on this day when families and friends come together to share their love for each other.

The Final Word

Although we will be spending the day alone, we will count the many blessings in our life. 

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BDS Book Festival 7: Practical Preppers Complete Guide to Disaster Preparedness


I am shaking things up this week by running the next author interview and giveaway in the Backdoor Survival Book Festival 7 a day early.

Scott Hunt, the author of The Practical Preppers Complete Guide to Disaster Preparedness, is a fairly well-known fellow.  You may recognize him as one of the experts who performs assessments and evaluations of preppers that appear in the Nat Geo program, Doomsday Preppers.  Beyond that though, I had the pleasure of meeting Scott a few years back and know that he is a dedicated Prepper himself who has an intense interest in sharing his knowledge and helping people.

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DIY Cold and Flu Bomb


Essential oils have taken the prepper world by storm and with good reason.  For a relatively low cost, a few bottles of carefully selected essential oils can resolve a myriad of first aid woes, not the least of which are colds and flus, headaches, minor infections, and those dreaded aches and pains caused by sore muscles, charley horses, and more.

Each month, as I have written about essential oils, the message has come back loud and clear.  “We want specifics!”.

Today I am going to share with you a very basic, very useful, and very specific use of essential oils. 

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The Survival Buzz #148


Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.

This has been a busy week both prep and blog wise as I have been doing some planning for those things I want to blog about in early 2015.  To help me along, after using an electronic calendar for years and years, I finally broke down and purchased a wall planning calendar.  It was long overdue.

One of my projects this week was to re-batch some Kirk’s Castile Bar Soap and make my own artisan-style bar soap. 

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How to Find Free Prepping Advice on the Internet


There are moments in the blogging world where you just have to stop the presses, step back, and shift your focus.  Today is one of those days.  The article I had planned to today has been put on hold so that I can bring you a list of websites where you can find the best free prepping advice on the internet.

Let me explain.

Popular writer and blogger Michael Snyder has just published his list of the 122 Best Prepper websites

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