Fast Track Tip #7: Jump Start Your Path to Preparedness


I never get tired of coaching Prepper Newbies.  Friend, relatives and strangers; it makes no matter.  I talk about family preparedness where ever I go to anyone who will listen.  It is not that I want to get preachy (well maybe just a little), but that by implementing a few basic steps, a person can become better prepared than 90% of his or her neighbors.

The way I see it, the more people that prepare – even with just the basics – the greater the likelihood that we all will recover unscathed from a short term disruptive event.

If I may take a tangent here, do you like that word? 

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Are You Addicted to Prepping?


And if so, what can you do about it?

For many, prepping has been a mission and a  passion for many years.  It all starts innocently enough.  We are bit by the prepping bug and typically start storing some extra water, food, flashlights and batteries in response to a widely publicized natural disaster.  Soon we move on to first aid supplies, home defense systems and bug-out-bags.  And it goes on from there.

Somewhere along the way, prepping takes over our lives and becomes a significant lifestyle shift.  Our spare time is spent planning for the BIG EVENT, be it a natural, man-made or even a politically motivated apocalypse.

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The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 113


Welcome to this week’s Sunday Survival Buzz – a roundup of preparedness news, tips, articles and recommendations from around the web. But first, let me wish everyone a joyous Easter and Passover.  Whatever your faith, I wish you weekend filled with good food, family, and abundant love.

Now for an update on my own preps.

I managed to score a dozen cans of DAK ham for $2.99 each.  I continue to shop the bargain aisle at the drugstore when I visit the city and am always thrilled to find a great deal on a pantry staple.  If you have never tried these hams, you should. 

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Spring 2014 Book Festival: Brushfire Plague Reckoning + Interview with R.P. Ruggiero


Today I share the next author interview and giveaway in the current Backdoor Survival Spring 2014 Book Festival.  R.P. Ruggiero, the author of Brushfire Plague: Reckoning,  is joining us for an interview and is also providing one lucky reader with a free copy of his book.

I first got to know R.P. a couple of years back when he released his first book, Brushfire Plague.  That was the very first book I had read in the survival genre and I became hooked.  Back then, I did not have Book Festivals to share the latest and the greatest, but I did occasionally write up full blown reviews or, in the case of Brushfire Plague, an article about the lessons I learned while reading the book.

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Special Report: Picking the Right Prepper Website


Every once in awhile, I wear personal angst on my sleeve for the world to see.  It is not that I like to complain or that I am a whiner, but rather that some things send my anger-meter to the top of the scale.  I hope you will indulge me a bit today as I reveal my personal bias against websites that rip-off and steal content from legitimate authors who work hard to deliver credible content and information to the masses.

Internet plagiarism and theft occurs in every niche and given the perception that there is a pile of gold out there in website-land, keeping the thieves at bay is impossible. 

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33 Awesome Uses of Lemon Essential Oil

33 Awesome Uses of Lemon Essential Oil

When someone mentions the word “Lemon”, I immediately think “fresh, clean and pure”.  There is simply something about lemons that evokes an overall feeling of wellness and goodness.  This might come from my memories of being given a lemon to hold and to smell when I suffered the occasional childhood illness.

Using lemons for health and home is nothing new, since back in ancient times, lemons were used to help heal a variety of ailments.  It has been suggested that the Romans used lemons and lemon rinds to fight off disease as well as to ward off insects, uplift moods and even freshen clothes.

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14 Common Food Storage Mistakes and Goofs


Waste is not in my vocabulary.  Even before it was considered environmentally responsible to recycle, I would snatch paper out of the trash and re-use the back side before sending it off to the trash bin.  The same thing applied to food.  I simply hated to waste those bits and scraps of leftovers and eventually found a use for them in what I call “garbage soup”.  To this day, the dibs and dabs of leftovers are combined to make the most delicious soups you can imagine.

For many of us, an aversion to being wasteful is the a result of having too little money in our younger days. 

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The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 112


Welcome to this week’s Sunday Survival Buzz – a roundup of preparedness news, tips, articles and recommendations from around the web. But first, an update on my own preps.

Something I learned a long time ago is that when it comes to plans, things do not always work out the way your want them to.  Yesterday I was looking forward to going to a local, hands-on class on canning.  Long story short, stuff happened and I could not go.  Such it is with prepping and perhaps even so much more so this time of year when there are taxes and garden chores to attend to.

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Spring 2014 Book Festival: Simply Canning + Interview with Sharon Peterson


Today I share the next author interview and giveaway in the current Backdoor Survival Spring 2014 Book Festival.  Sharon Peterson, the author of Simply Canning: Survival Guide to Safe Home Canning, is joining us for an interview and is also providing one lucky reader with a free copy of her book.

Now here is the thing.  It was my pleasure to meet Sharon a year ago at a Ready Set Prep Summit in Dallas.  She is a smart, delightful and talented lady and I am so happy to feature her book today.  Not only that, the timing is perfect since I am attending my first canning class today! 

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Free Food Friday: Meat and Pasta from the Survival Pantry + Giveaway


When it comes to my own preps, food ranks right up there at the top of the list. Those that know me find this hilarious because they think I never eat.  The truth is that yes, of course, I eat, and eat well.  In my home, you will find foods that are healthy – meaning lots of fruits and veggies – as well as foods that are both easy to prepare and tasty.

I hope you caught the tasty part of the food equation because survival or not, if something does not taste good, I will typically pass it up. In the interest of not going hungry following a disaster, I have stocked away a significant supply of tasty food products including a variety of condiments to kick them up a notch. 

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12 Months of Prepping: Month Three


Regardless of the time of year, the task of successfully preparing our home and families for an unexpected emergency is ongoing and does not end just because the calendar says it’s springtime, a holiday, or some other special day or event.

Over and over, we learn of natural disasters that strike out of the blue, putting many unsuspecting and ill-prepared citizens in harm’s way.  And as much as it is human nature to have an “it can not happen to me” attitude, in our heart of hearts, we know that is not true.  In addition, we all know that health woes or unexpected unemployment that can instantly put us into survival-mode.

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60 Emergency Supplies You Can Buy for a Buck


Tax day is right around the corner and after agonizing over the tax preparation process, I have filed my return and don’t have to worry about it for another year.  The bad news is that I had to make a donation to our government to cover the taxes due.  The good news is that the government did not get a tax free loan from me this year.

Whatever the case, this is the time of year that I am reminded that having blank checks and credit cards is not the same as having extra cash.  Do you know the feeling?

With that in mind, today I share some preparedness supplies that can be purchased for just a dollar.  

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The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 111


Welcome to this week’s Sunday Survival Buzz – a roundup of preparedness news, tips, articles and recommendations from around the web. But first, an update on my own preps.

Update!  If you are seeing this message you are viewing BDS on our new servers!  I hope it is faster for you.

I continued planting seeds for my summer garden; this time some bush cucumbers.  Using my new heat mat, they germinated in just 3 days.  My pea pods are starting to poke their little noses up as well.  I did want to give tomatoes another chance but as embarrassing as this is to admit, I cannot locate my tomato seed packets.  

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Spring 2014 Book Festival: Through Many Fires + Interview with Kyle Pratt


Today I share the next author interview and giveaway in the current Backdoor Survival Spring 2014 Book Festival.  Kyle Pratt, the author of Through Many Fires: Strengthen What Remains, is joining us for an interview and is also providing ten lucky readers with a free copy of his book.

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

An Interview with Kyle Pratt

1. Tell me about your book, Through Many Fires. What is it about?

Through Many Fires, is a post-apocalyptic survival novel. The book was released in August of this year in both paperback and on Kindle and currently has 102 Amazon reviews with 90 being either four or five star.

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Safety Considerations When Using Essential Oils

Safety Consideration Essential Oils

When I first started writing about essential oils, I thought I knew it all.  Well not really, but I did believe I was well versed in how to use essential oils as an alternative to over-the-counter remedies.  I say this because I had been using tea tree (Melaleuca) and lavender for years along with my favorite peppermint and rosemary oils.  There had been others, too, especially synergistic blends I had used for aromatherapy purposes.

As with many who embark upon a journey of self-reliance, each day is a learning experience.  This applies to learning about essential oils as well.  I readily admit that much of this learning is self-taught or what we used to call “the school of hard knocks”. 

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11 Steps Toward Being Ordinary


Blending in has a lot going for it, for as nice as it is to be known for your uniqueness, when it comes to prepping, less is more and being ordinary rocks.  Said another way, looking and acting the same as everyone else allows you to go unnoticed as you gather supplies and spend time honing your homesteading skills.

I like to call this “the pursuit of ordinary”.

OPSEC – Yes or No?

Maintaining OPSEC is an issue with many different “expert” opinions regarding how much OPSEC secrecy is really needed.  Do you keep your prepping activities close to the belt, telling no one? 

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Are We Headed Toward a Cyber War?


One of the most insidious end-of-the-world-as-we-know it scenarios is an an invisible attack on our power grid and the communication and information networks that drive our daily lives.  I am not referring to a short term outage, as annoying and as disruptive that can be. What I refer to and even fear, it a true SHTF where we are without power and communications for months or even years.

Many authors have explored this topic along with the corresponding breakdown of society that will occur when factories cease to operate, medical services are unavailable, and banks and stores are permanently closed.  As much as I try to envision this happening, I know that the real thing will be far worse than my imagination and certainly far more disruptive than a weekend test of off-grid skills.

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The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 110


Welcome to this week’s Sunday Survival Buzz – a roundup of preparedness news, tips, articles and recommendations from around the web. But first, an update on my own preps.

This week has been somewhat a blur so let’s see if I can remember everything.  How about a list this week?

1.  I re-read Mel Bartholomew’s All New Square Foot Gardening so that I could come up to speed again on maximizing my limited garden space.

2.  Planted sugar snap pea seeds after soaking them overnight in tepid water.  Some were sown directly in a pot while others were started indoors.


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Baking Bread with The New Artisan Bread in Five + Giveaway


Early in 2009, I became enamored with making my own artisan breads. At the time, I would frequently walk to the local store and pick up a nice loaf of Pugliese.  The cost was $5.00.  That’s right.  A bit of flour, water, salt and yeast with a few olives thrown in for five bucks.  There had to be a better way.

As it turned out, I happened upon a YouTube video demonstrating how to make artisan bread using a no knead method for as little as fifty cents a loaf.  Fifty cents!  I was hooked.  And so began my love affair with Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois and their book, Artisan Bread in Five

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Off-Grid Cooking with the Amazing HERC Tea Light Oven


One of the challenges during a power outage is cooking meals.  While there are many options, most require cooking outdoors using stove-type methods such as a rocket stove, BBQ grill, fire pit or camp stove.  These methods work great, especially if they are coupled with a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven.

The problem, however, is that we can not predict or time when the power will go out.  Nor can we predetermine how long the grid will be down; it may be hours or it may be days or even weeks.  Not only that, what if the power goes out for a week during the coldest part of the year, with 10 inches of snow on the ground and a howling wind? 

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Special Report: How to Survive a Mudslide


As some of you know, I live in Washington State, not far as the crow flies from the recent mudslides that have claimed many lives.  Rescue personnel are still digging through the rubble to find victims and as of this moment 125 souls are still unaccounted for.

One of the reasons we prepare is so that we are ready to act and to survive following a natural disaster.  In this case, those in the immediate path of the mudslide were unable to get out of the way.  Many perished.  On the other hand, about four hours following the mudslide, those in the surrounding area were told to evacuate immediately.

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Plain Ole Salve – An Alternative to Petroleum Jelly


I can’t remember when petroleum jelly and Vaseline became a staple in my life.  As a young girl, I know there was always a jar in the bathroom cupboard but truth be told, my first recollection of putting it into daily use was when I was in my 20s and I used it on my feet to soften them up.

Over the years, I learned use petroleum jelly in additional ways; for everything from personal grooming to a myriad of household uses.  But wait, what is this stuff really?

In layman’s terms, petroleum jelly, is a not so eco-friendly derivative of oil refining.

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12 Tips for Coping When Life Gets the Best of You


Has it ever happened to you?  You put your hands to your head, press hard, and think “it is all too much!”

When you think about it, the daily stresses of our 21st century lifestyle places a tremendous burden on our psyche as we cram our busy days with more chores and more tasks in a never-ending effort to stay ahead of the game.  Add prepping and the pursuit of homesteading and survival skills to our busy lives and, well, there is not much time left for eating and sleeping let alone leisure activities.

Work, household chores, family responsibilities, prepping tasks, walking the dog, paying the bills, shopping for groceries .

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The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 109


Welcome to this week’s Sunday Survival Buzz – a roundup of preparedness news, tips, articles and recommendations from around the web. But first, an update on my own preps.

Arriving home after being away for three weeks meant lots of chores.  The most pressing was my garden and my tomato seedlings which had been at the seedling sitters.  Truthfully, my seedlings don’t look too good.  They are now 5 weeks old and have yet to show their first set of true leaves.  I suspect that one of the problems is that while I was gone, they were not under the grow lights I had purchased before leaving. 

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