Prepper Book Festival 13: Changing Earth Series Without Land + Giveaway

Without Land Changing Earth Series | Backdoor Survival

If there is one thing we have little control of, it is the ravages of Mother Nature.  Whether a catastrophic winter storm, a massive flood, or the greatest earthquake in modern times, we stand at risk and there is not a heck of a lot we can do about it other than prepare.

So imagine an earthquake so big, and so deadly, that there are few survivors.  Those that do survive, are faced with unimaginable challenges simply to live from day to day.  Thus sets the stage of the Changing Earth Series.

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Why Store Fish Antibiotics For Survival

Why Store Fish Antibiotics for Survival | Backdoor Survival

I first learned about fish antibiotics in 2012 when I struggled with a tooth abscess while on vacation in the middle of nowhere.  I was totally unprepared for a bacterial infection and going forward, was determined to stockpile antibiotics for emergency purposes down the road.

As a layman and not a healthcare professional, this was not casual research.  I went to many sources, looked at bottles, and asked a lot of questions.  I came away confident that lacking proper medical facilities, the judicious use of fish and veterinary antibiotics would be safe in a SHTF situation. 

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Survival Buzz: How to Store Batteries for the Long Term

How to Store Batteries for the Long Term | Backdoor Survival

How much do you know about storing household batteries for the long term?  Until I started prepping, I did not have a clue.  Even after I started to prep, I was unsure, although it did make sense to store batteries at room temperature, not too hot and not too cold.  Still, when the topic came up while out with friends, some wise guy mentioned keeping batteries in the freezer and I was lost.

Shortly after that, I check and learned no, batteries should not be refrigerated or frozen.  Snopes is not always correct so I decided to ask my pal Ron Brown for his opinion.  

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Prepper Book Festival 13: The Made From Scratch Life + Giveaway

Made From Scratch Life | Backdoor Survival

Something happened in the fifties and it was not good.  With the advent of mainstream television, homemakers learned about ready to eat foods and convenience products designed to make their lives easier.  It made no matter that many of these products, ranging from TV dinners to laundry and cleaning products, were toxic brews of preservatives and chemicals.

Although I have always been inclined to cook from scratch, make my own cleaning supplies, and embrace the proverbial do-it-yourself mentality, it wasn’t until one year ago, almost to the date, that I stopped supporting the big corporations and Madison avenue that were pushing unhealthy products my way. 

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Hits and Misses: Lessons Learned After Six Years of Prepping

Lessons Learned After 6 Years of Prepping | Backdoor Survival

As someone who has been prepping for six years, I have learned a lot along the way. During these six years, my survival skills, food and water storage, and general knowledge have grown exponentially to the point where I have grown comfortable, if not complacent, with my preps.

Alas, the world has changed a lot since 2010. Things I prepared for on day one are now far less important in the big scheme of things than the things I prepare for today.  Things I prepare for today are more far-reaching than issues associated with geographic isolation, the next big earthquake, or a regional food shortage. 

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Survival Buzz: Teaching Kids to Have a Preparedness Mindset

Teaching Kids to Have a Preparedness Mindset | Backdoor Survival

Lately I have seen a lot written about kids and prepping.  Yes, some members of the younger generation only care about immediate gratification and living in the moment.  Others, however, do pay attention to the times, and whether by osmosis or something else, do learn from their prepper parents.

That leads me into today’s topic: teaching kids to have a preparedness mindset.

Earlier this year, I was asked to help judge the annual Video and Essay contest at the Survival Weekly website. Selecting the best entry in each of the two categories was difficulti because the topics covered were as diverse as the authors themselves. 

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Prepper Book Festival #13: Books to Help You Prepare

Prepper Book Festival 13: Books to Help You Prepare | Backdoor Survival

As recently as last week, someone mentioned he hated the term “prepping”.  To him, “prepper” was a fancy word for survivalist.  Prepper or survivalist is not an argument I want to engage in.  By my own definition, prepping is simply short for preparing, and a prepper is someone who prepares.

The real question is this: What are you preparing for?  This is something you should be asking yourself and revisiting from time to time as circumstances change.  Simply put, the specifics of why you prepare are highly individualized and can depend upon on where you live, your family situation, economic and political factors, and your view of the world.

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7 Ways to Recover When Life Sucks

7 Ways to Recover When Life Sucks | Backdoor Survival

You know what a curve ball is, right?  In baseball, the term curveball is used to describe a pitch of the ball that is thrown with spin so that its path curves as it approaches the batter.  In other words, it is a ball that is unexpected and when it arrives, it takes you by surprise.

Alas, in life, curve balls come out of nowhere all of the time.  Something unexpected happens that throws you off your game.  In the survival and prepping world, this could be a flood, a storm, a power outage or something more esoteric such as the loss of one’s job, ill health, or even financial collapse. 

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Survival Buzz: When SHTF You Will Need Boots + Giveaway

When SHTF You Will Need Boots | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to personal items, I tend to be a bit of a fashionista.  Except when it comes to boots.  Boots are boots and performance trumps fashion.  But what if you can have a pair of tactical boots that both look good and perform well?  And I am not talking just about the ladies, either.

It takes a lot for me to get excited about survival gear that is worn which is probably why I don’t write about such products very often.  On the other hand, if a particular item is outstanding, I am going to tell you about it. 

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Prepper Book Festival 12: Prepper’s Armed Defense

Preppers Armed Defense | Backdoor Survival

Anyone who is serious abut prepping has considered their options for armed defense.  They have tried to examine the pros and cons of both lethal and non-lethal weapons and have tried to come up with the best solution for their own situation.  More often than not, they have come away with misguided decisions due to not fully understanding what their weapon of choice could or could not do and legal ramifications thereof.

It is for those reasons that I am proud to introduce you to Jim Cobb’s latest book, Preppers Armed Defense

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12 Survival Skills to Learn and Master for SHTF

12 Survival Skills to Learn and Master for SHTF | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to survival, having a stockpile of stuff is not enough.  You need to have skills, too.  And yet, when it comes to preparedness skills, there is no hard and fast set of rules.  There are simply too many variables for a one size fits all list of things you must know and things you must learn if living conditions and economic realities become dire.  It is for that reason I often write in generalities.  That way you can pick and chose those skills and those items that fit your lifestyle.

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Survival Buzz: Make A Gel Ice Pack On the Cheap

Make A Gel Ice Pack On the Cheap | Backdoor Survival

Perhaps it is from all of the shoving, lifting, and carrying of moving boxes but for one reason or another, both Shelly and I had aches and pains in our backs that went beyond what my essential oils could relieve on their own.  It was time to hit the ice, literally, using a gel ice pack.

Have you priced gel ice packs lately?  They run $10 to $15 each and as you know, one is not enough.  You need to have a backup pack to use while a melted ice pack is rejuvenating itself in the freezer. 

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Prepper Book Festival 12: Mother Earth News Almanac + Giveaway

Mother Earth News Almanac | Backdoor Survival

It took just a single Mother Earth News Fair to turn me into a devoted Mother Earth News groupie.  Although I don’t have a large plot of land and chickens to tend, I can spend hours browsing the wide variety of articles on the Mother Earth News website.  I love the old time wisdom salted with inspiration and modern-day solutions to everyday life.

With that introduction, I am thrilled to introduce you to the all-new, 2016 edition of the Mother Earth News Almanac: A Guide Through the Seasons.  This book is a season by season compilation of timeless, yet simple, old-timey tips mixed in the with new.  

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Best Practices for Dealing with Wounds in a Survival Situation

Dealing with Wounds in a Survival Situation | Backdoor Survival

Depending upon who you talk to, a severe wound or lasceration should always be sutured close.  Or should it? 

When faced with an austere survival situation, the decision you make to close an open wound could spell the difference between proper healing and an infected mess.  Personally, I vote for proper healing but getting to the correct decision when under pressure may not be easy.

Help is on the way. 

Survival Buzz: How to Test Your Drinking Water

How to Test Drinking Water At Home | Backdoor Survival

When you think about emergency water, most likely you think about acquisition, purification, and filtering processes.  I know that I do.  What is missing from this equation, though, is testing. Can we assume the water coming out of the kitchen faucet is safe to drink?  And what about well water or home filtered water?  Wouldn’t you like to know about the lead, bacteria, pesticide, iron, and copper content of your water?

These questions lead me to the topic for today: testing your drinking water using a home test kit. 

Prepper Book Festival 12: Mason Jar Nation + Giveaway

Mason Jar Nation | Backdoor Survival

If there were such a thing as a 12 point program for Mason jar addicts, I would be a card carrying member.  I adore Mason jars and use them to store bulk foods in the pantry, craft supplies in the closet, and frozen goods in the freezer.  Because of my love for Mason jars, they are being carefully wrapped in bubble wrap and packed away in boxes so they make the big move I have coming up this Fall.

So, imagine my surprise and delight when I was offered an opportunity to include a book about Mason jars in a Prepper book festival. 

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25 Must Have Items for Your Survival Hygiene Kit

25 Must Have Items for Your Survival Hygiene Kit | Backdoor Survival

The Oxford English Dictionary defines hygiene as:

“Conditions or practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease, especially through cleanliness.”

During or following a disruptive event, life will be tough enough without having to worry about maintaining health and preventing disease.  Why then, do I find the topic of a survival hygiene kit taking a backseat to articles about food, water, bug-out bags and life in the wilderness?

Today I plan to change that by sharing my own list of must have items to keep me clean, healthy, and looking good.

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Survival Buzz: 18 Herbal Remedies for Aches and Pains

18 herbal remedies for aches and pains | Backdoor Survival

As well versed as I am when it comes to using essential oils for aches and pains, I have little practical experience using herbal remedies to resolve those daily creaks in my joints and elsewhere that seem to occur at the worst possible time.

Given the popularity of our recent Prepper Book Festival entry, Be Your Own Herbalist, I decided I better get with the program and continue the discussion of herbal remedies by calling in some experts with first hand experience.  That, plus getting some first hand experience myself.

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Prepper Book Festival 12: Alcohol Mantle Lamps

Alcohol Mantle Lamps | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to emergency lighting, I am the first to raise my hand to try out the newest and bestest lighting gizmo out there.  It is not that I am a gizmo-junkie but rather I don’t like pitch black darkness.  As a result, I have tried to learn as much as I can about emergency lighting and who better to learn from than my pal Ron Brown, author of the The Non-Electric Light Series of books and e-books.

Today I introduce Book 8, Alcohol Mantle Lamps.  I do believe this is the final book in the Non Electric Lighting Series but with Ron, you never know. 

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Three Ways to Use Healing Essential Oils That Work

Three Ways to Use Healing Essential Oils That Work | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to using essential oils topically, most recipes will simply say “add to a carrier oil and apply”.  That sounds simple enough but the reality is that measuring the proper number of drops can be hit or miss.  Most EO brands include an orifice style dropper but just when you think you have doled out the requisite drops, more come out.  This is not only wasteful, but when it comes to essential oils, using more is not always better.

A solution to this dilemma is to create custom salves, butters, and  lotion bars that make the application of essential oils a cinch. 

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Save Money By Raiding the Pantry for Food Preps

Save Money By Raiding the Pantry for Food Preps | Backdoor Survival

There are times when we all need to budget and to carefully watch our food expenditures.  Throughout my own adult life, I have done so on many occasions.  Sometimes it was because I was saving for something special but more often, my personal austerity had to do with the reality of income less expenses resulting in a shortfall.

As a prepper, this can be a dilemma, especially as we try to acquire emergency food and supplies that are going to stand up to the test of time.  For most of us, even during the best of times the process of acquiring large stores of emergency supplies can be daunting, expense wise. 

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Prepper Book Festival 12: Coloring Flower Mandalas

Coloring Flower Mandalas | Backdoor Survival

Taking a break from your preps is something we all need to do from time to time and what better way than to immerse yourself in a calming and relaxing hobby.  This time around, I am not going to tell you to go camping like I did early this week.  Instead I am going to ask you to break out the coloring books and start coloring.

To help me twist your arm a bit, I have asked artist Wendy Piersall to join us in a Prepper Book Festival.  Today she is here to tell us a little bit about herself and also to give away three copies of her book, Coloring Flower Mandalas: 30 Hand-drawn Designs for Mindful Relaxation.

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Nine Things You Can Learn from Camping That Will Make You a Better Prepper

Nine Things You Can Learn from Camping | Backdoor Survival

One of the best ways to test your survival skills is to spend some time outdoors, without electricity, running water, and flushable toilets.  This is not to say that every disruptive event will require you to live outdoors, but rather that such an event will require you to cope without modern conveniences.  As preppers, our hope is that such an event will be short-term in nature, but, as the saying goes, “hope for the best and prepare for the worst”.

About a year ago I was discussing this topic with Phil Cox, the CEO of Buy Emergency Foods

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Survival Buzz: Relieve Stress By Taking Time for a Progress Check

Relieve Stress By Taking Time for a Progress Check | Backdoor Survival

Whereas I am not generally a doom and gloom person, sometimes I get both stressed and depressed over the state of the world, generally, and my country, specifically.  Furthermore, as much as I do like to stay informed, there are times when what I read is all too much and I just want to go hide under a rock somewhere.  The upcoming election is a good case in point.  Regardless of the outcome, my belief is that uncertain times are not over and further, bad times are right around the corner.

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Prepper Book Festival 12: Be Your Own Herbalist

Be Your Own Herbalist | Backdoor Survival

How much do you know about herbal medicine?  Or perhaps more important, how much do you know about becoming your own herbalist?  You might be asking, “what is an herbalist”?  An herbalist is someone who is proficient in the use of herbs.  As simplistic as that seems, if you are like me you have read books, studied and grown herbs, and then, with the exception of a few select plants, filed this herbal knowledge away for sometime down the road.

That needs to change.  Earlier this week I sat down and read Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty, and Cooking and all I can say is WOW. 

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It’s More Than SOS: How to Learn Morse Code

How to Learn Morse Code | Backdoor Survival

Unlike amateur radio, there is no license requirement to send Morse code.  With a bit of practice, anyone can send Morse Code and big brother will not stop you.  That being said, it would be extremely rude, impolite, and dangerous to send out irrelevant Morse Code, especially while in the midst of a disruptive event.

Why Morse code?  Morse code transmits text information as a series of on-off tones, lights, or clicks.  By interpreting these signals, a skilled listener (or observer in the case of lights), will understand the message without the need to have specialized equipment.

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Survival Buzz: Getting Started With the Pillars of Preparedness

Getting Started With the Pillars of Preparedness | Backdoor Survival

What exactly are the basics of survival?  Speaking from the heart, even I am a bit unsure these days.  Long gone are the days when a well-stocked pantry, a generous supply of clean drinking water, and bug-out bag were all you needed to be prepared.

As much as I would like to answer this question in a definitive manner, the more I know and the longer I am doing this, the more I realize the nature and scope of what we need to prepare for has changed over the years and, if anything, is far more exhaustive than I could imagine when starting in 2010.

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Prepper Book Festival 12: DIY Solar Projects

DIY Solar Projects | Backdoor Survival

Dozens of readers have asked about DIY solar projects and until now, I have had very little to offer.  That has changed. As you will see below, the latest entry in the Prepper Book Festival is flat out fantastic.

DIY Solar Projects: How to Put the Sun to Work in Your Home by Eric Smith is a full-color DIY book with lots of pictures, lots of diagrams, and lots of information.  Interested in building a real, wood-encased solar oven (and not a tin-foil and cardboard mockup)?  Eric will show you how using common materials available at most hardware stores. 

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6 Useful Preps You May Not Have Thought Of

6 Useful Preps You May Not Have Thought Of | Backdoor Survival

One of the very first things I did when I adopted the prepping lifestyle was a walk-around inventory.  This was years ago and although I had not consciously considered myself a prepper at the time, I discovered that I had a lot of stuff, but it was woefully disorganized and lacking in many key areas.

For example, I had lots of canned goods, supplemental lighting, off-grid cooking devices, tools and more.  On the other hand, except for a 55 gallon water barrel and a small first-aid kit, I was sorely lacking in water and medical supplies. 

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Survival Buzz: Coming to Terms With Your Prepping Priorities

Coming to Terms With Your Prepping Priorities | Backdoor Survival

A number of years back, I opened a discussion of preparing for probable events and setting aside the extreme for a later time.  It all started with a conversation in my household, and whether we needed to take our prepping to the next level. The specific context was freeze drying our own food but it could have just as easily been medical supplies, firearms, and communications gear.

This got me thinking about prepping in general and the various stumbling blocks that many face along the way.  These stumbling blocks may include expense. 

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Prepper Book Festival 12: The Winter Fortress

The Winter Fortress | Backdoor Survival

During these days of extreme terrorist, crazy politics and uncertainties relative to government control,  it is easy to lose track of some of the threats we initially prepared for.  Case in point is a nuclear threat.  Although it is difficult to separate nuclear threats from terrorism, the recent spate of events has been focused upon shootings and suicide bombs.  That said, threats of nuclear sabotage has been around since WW II, and if anything, it has only gotten worse. 

With that introduction, today I present The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler’s Atomic Bomb, a piece of non-fiction that is gong to rock you off your chair. 

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23 Brilliant Uses of Duct Tape In Real Life

23 Brilliant Uses of Duct Tape In Real Life | Backdoor Survival

Anyone with a modicum of cleverness can come up with the list of 50 ways to do this or 50 ways to do that.  The problem, as I see it, is many of these lists are a rehash of another list with the author having little or no first hand experience with each of the listed items. Not that it is devious or wrong, but there has to be a better way.

Something I like to do is to ask real people how they manage situations and use things.  I couple that with my own knowledge and experience and viola! 

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