The Top 10 Tips for Debt-Free Living

Top 10 Tips for Debt-Free Living | Backdoor Survival

Bailing yourself out of debt and remaining debt-free is not so much about tackling the debt as it is about the way you live your life every single day.

I say this from experience.  When you learn to be frugal instead of frivolous, you discover that you have a lot more money than you thought you did.  You also find that frugality is not something to dread but rather, in its own way, is an adventure in and of itself.

Of course paying off debt should be of the utmost concern to anyone who is interested in living a prepared lifestyle but beyond that, how do you stay out of debt? 

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Survival Buzz: Firearms Safety for Newbies

Firearms Safety for Newbies | Backdoor Survival

Like most people, I have a lot of knowledge about many topics but just a handful where I would consider myself an authority.  Precious few, actually.  It really quite humbling, you know, to be of a certain age and not know it all.

One area where I am especially weak is with firearms.  I have been to classes, have my own handgun (which I find uncomfortable to use and need to replace), and have shot a few rounds in my day.  As much as I realize the importance of training and practice, I feel as though I will forever be a firearms newbie. 

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The Care and Feeding of Pressure Canners

Care and Feeding of Pressure Canners | Backdoor Survival

A pressure canner can be a prepper’s best friend, especially if there is access to home grown fruits and veggies, or a local farm community that will sell you “less than pretty” items for a song.  On the other hand, mention the phrase “pressure canning” to someone who has never canned  and they will start to shake and shiver with fear.

I know, because I did.  The reality however, is that canning using modern methods is very safe. With a modicum of diligence, there is no need to be afraid and a lot to be gained in the process. 

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Nine Reasons Why Adult Coloring is Important to Preppers

Nine Reasons Why Adult Coloring is Important to Preppers | Backdoor Survival

Six months ago, I discovered adult coloring quite by accident. It all happened as part of the daily haunt seeking out quality eBooks being offered for free on Amazon, I kept running into adult coloring book titles in the top ten ranking of all non-fiction books.  What was this?  Something new?  I had to check it out.

When my first adult coloring book and set of pencils arrived, I dug right in and become hooked from the get go. Adult coloring became a time when I could take some downtime to listen to music and escape the stresses of blogging, a hectic work life and an uncertain world.

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Survival Buzz: How to Clean Cast Iron the Easy Way

How to Clean Cast Iron the Easy Way | Backdoor Survival

For the longest time I have been promising to share with you my number one tip for cleaning cast iron skillets.  Well finally, today is that day.

Let me begin at the beginning.  Six months ago, on a lark, I ordered this chain-like gizmo called “The Ringer”.  The purchase was based upon one of those “just for you” suggestions from Amazon and in a moment of weakness, I fell for it.  Little did I know that cleaning my cast iron skillets would become so easy.  Not that cleaning cast iron is difficult, mind you, but it can and does take some time.

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Prepper Book Festival 11: Failures of Imagination + 12 Book Giveaway

Failures of Imagination | Backdoor Survival

It seems like just yesterday we could wake up each day to a routine.  We would get up, go to work, eat an evening meal, then spend a bit of downtime with friends and family or in the pursuit of personal hobbies.  We worried about making ends meet, our careers, and the health of our loved ones.

What we did not worry about was being safe from terrorist attacks, nuclear wars, global pandemics, or an economic collapse.

Alas, times have changed, and with each day we face more uncertainties.  Couple these uncertainties with little confidence that our government and our leaders have a pulse on the world situation, and we feel a sense of abandonment. 

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Beyond SHTF: How to Keep Your Home Safe From Fire

How to Keep Your Home Safe From Fire | Backdoor Survival

A couple of weeks ago one of my blogging colleagues lost everything she owned in a house fire.  Fortunately, the entire family, including the family pets, got out safely but everything they owned was gone.

Can you imagine this happening to you?  In a flash, you could potentially be homeless and have to deal with temporary shelter in a hotel or with family members as you sort through the rubble of your burnt out belongings.

And what about your preps?  Food storage, survival gear, and your precious print library of survival books would be gone.

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Survival Buzz: Thoughts on Alternative Transportation Following an EMP

Thoughts on alternative transportation following an EMP | Backdoor Survival

Last week’s call for questions was amazing.  There were over 100 of them which will surely keep me busy for awhile.  There were so many that I actually hired an assistant to help me categorize and compile them into an organized list.

With that type of interest in what I have to say, it seems fitting that I answer one question right away.  This question comes from the winner of the LifeStraw Go and it is a good one.

I would like more information on alternative transportation in an EMP situation.

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Survival Basics: Understanding and Making Your Own Desiccants

Understanding and Making Your Own Desiccants | Backdoor Survival

In 2013 when I first wrote about desiccants, the context surrounding the use of desiccants was a mystery to me.  I knew that little pillows of gel were frequently packaged with with electronic gizmos, new shoes, pill bottles and even clothing purchased over the internet.  I also knew that  many articles, books and websites with information about long term food storage also talked about desiccants.

As far as my knowledge of desiccants went, I was clueless. What are they?  How are they used?  And were they really necessary?   It seemed that depending upon who you consult, they were absolutely 100% necessary or a total waste of time and money. 

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What Happens When the Lights Go Out for Good?

What Happens When the Lights Go Out for Good | Backdoor Survival

Have you put some thought into what would happen if your world went dark for a week?  I mean really thought about it, starting with day one and going out a week, a month or even longer?

I don’t know about you, but when I first started prepping, I heeded the warnings from NASA and considered the possibility of an EMP caused by solar flares, a coronal mass ejection, or even a meteor strike.  These days, the concern is as much for a human-induced attack on the grid as it is for a natural phenomena.

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Survival Buzz: Enter to Win a Free LifeStraw Go in Buzz Break #2

Win a LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle | Backdoor Survival

Do you remember me telling you about the LifeStraw Go last month?  The LifeStraw Go is a “LifeStraw in a bottle”.  What that means is no bending down to water level to suck up your drinking water.  Don’t get me wrong. The original LifeStraw is a fantastic product and has a prominent place in my preps.

Still, with the LifeStraw Go, you simply fill the bottle and take a drink.  Everything is nice and tidy in one simple water filtering package.  In addition, refill filters are available. How cool is that?

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Every Survival Community Needs a Town Library

Every Survival Community Needs a Town Library | Backdoor Survival

I have always been a huge fan of public libraries.  As a matter of fact, before the era of eBooks, one criteria I used to determine where to live was the proximity of a public library.  Can you imagine doing that now?  These days, libraries do not need to be within commuting distance since most, if not all libraries offer a free and convenient way to download eBooks, magazines, music and videos from the comfort of your home.

In addition, did you know that most libraries have a request feature where you can borrow titles not in their inventory from other library systems? 

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How to Control Lice in a Survival Situation

How to Control Lice in a Survival Situation | Backdoor Survival

A few weeks ago I received an email from a reader describing a scene in a book she was reading.  In the book, the author was describing a prolonged stay where she, her family, and some friends had to endure life in a bomb shelter.  In such close quarters under less than optimal conditions, they all become infested with lice.

Can you imagine becoming infested by lice while sheltering in place following a disaster or disruptive event?  If that happened, Target and Wal-mart would be inaccessible, as would Amazon.com.  Having had lice myself when I was a young adult, just thinking about it gives me the heebie-jeebies.

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Survival Buzz: Catching Up With Prepping Following a Relocation

Catching Up With Prepping Following a Relocation| Backdoor Survival

One of the challenges of relocating, even temporarily, is that your preps take second fiddle to the rest of the logistics.  And then, boom!  You realize that if something happens, you may be at risk of not being ready.

I am not saying that happened to me because I did bring some basics to Arizona, plus, the first week I was here I ordered two 160-gallon water barrels From Emergency Essentials, and a 720 day emergency food kit from Buy Emergency Foods.  Shortly after that, I worked on building up my canned goods and bulk foods, pretty much using 12 Months of Prepping as a checklist for the basics, as well the 20 item food storage kick-start list from both my book and this website. 

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A Kit to Treat Trauma Before Help Arrives

Kit to Treat Trauma Before Help Arrives | Backdoor Survival

A few months back, I was contacted by Jeff Midgley, who expressed an interest in becoming a sponsor and advertiser on Backdoor Survival. As I always do, I checked out his website and product line to ensure they were appropriate for BDS readers.  Needless to say, his website “TNT First Aid” passed the vetting process and can be now be found on the sidebar (or at the bottom of the page on mobile).

What happened next was my own, more in-depth investigation of the items sold by TNT First Aid and the recognition that my own first aid kit, while totally practical, useful, and  portable, was missing some of the more esoteric components of a trauma kit.

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Prepper Book Festival 11: Braving the Storms + Huge Giveaway

Braving the Storms by Kyle Pratt | Backdoor Survival

By now you probably know that I have a virtual love-fest with certain authors.  These are the individuals that consistently put out meaningful and educational work that we can learn from, whether it is the form of preparedness oriented reference books or survival fiction.

This week I once again feature one of those authors, Kyle Pratt, as I introduce you to the third book in his “Strengthen What Remains” series, Braving the Storms.  I love audiobooks and lucky for me, I was able to listen to the book during my daily walks with Tucker the Dog, and during my nightly de-stressing while coloring in “adult” coloring books.

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23 Ways to Be an Amazing and Awesome Prepper

23 Ways to Be an Amazing and Awesome Prepper | Backdoor Survival

Once upon a time I was new to prepping.  Although I had a few emergency supplies on hand, it was not until I did a personal risk assessment that I realized how exposed I was in the event of a true emergency.

Being located offshore the mainland US, and being subject to the whims of the Washington State ferry system, I knew that our island community would be stranded if there was a major disruptive event in the Pacific Northwest.  The type of event would not matter.  We would be cut off if there was an earthquake, terrorist attack, or nuclear event. 

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Survival Buzz: 2 Pieces of Advice For Living a Strategic Life

2 Pieces of Advice for Living a Strategic Life | Backdoor Survival

Some days, I have a very short fuse.  Call it stress, age, or simply disgust at the world situation, but the smallest things can set me on a rant.  As a prepper, these feelings are a bit troublesome given that in a true emergency, rants and temper tantrums will have no place. It will be survival that counts.

Do you remember a time when you could handle a lot more than you can now?  I do.  The bottom line is that  life is simply more complicated now than twenty or thirty years ago. 

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Is It Really Safe to Ingest Essential Oils?

Is it really safe to ingest essential oils | Backdoor Survival

Every month or so, I write an article about essential oils.  Sometimes I share information about various oils while at other times I provide my own recipes for using essential oils to concoct household or personal products.

While this is not an essential oils website per se, it is a website about self-reliance and preparedness.  It is about strategic living, staying healthy, and being the best you can given our uncertain times.  In my own life, essential oils play an important role and I try to share that with you.

One question does come up over and over again. 

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Prepper Book Festival 11: Prepper’s Communication Handbook + Giveaway

Preppers Communication Handbook | Backdoor Survival

One of the challenges of emergency communication is understanding the technology.  Is a one-way radio sufficient to receive updates following a disaster or other emergency, or do I need a scanning device?  What is a shortwave radio and why do I need one?  Is getting a Ham radio and radio license worth the effort?  And then there are those “family” walkie-talkie devices.  Those seem like a good idea but are they really?

Shoot, even I get confused by all of the options even though I own all of them.  Deciding which one to use, and when, only adds to the dilemma.  

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14 Essentials to Help You Fix and Clean Almost Anything

14 Essentials to Help You Fix and Clean Almost Anything | Backdoor Survival

Back in 2011, I wrote a little piece about the importance of having a selection of items on hand to fix and clean almost everything.  Since that time, my views have changed and whereas many of the items on the original list still hold a prominent place in my fix-it kit, some have dropped off and others have been added.

Given that my focus this year is on simplicity as well as frugality, this is a great time to go back and credo this list because let’s face it.  Life is filled with little fix-it and clean-it tasks.

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Survival Buzz: Are You As Fit as You Need To Be?

Are You As Fit as You Need To Be | Backdoor Survival

Are you as fit as you need to be to perform the tasks and chores required given a disruptive event?  I know that is a loaded question mostly because there are so many types of disruptive events that can turn your life upside down at a moment’s notice.

For example, hunkering down during a pandemic requires a different physical response than living for weeks or months with no power and no water.  Bugging out and possibly living outdoors or away from the comforts of home adds another dimension to the physical prowess needed to survive. 

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How to Use the Amazing Solo Stove

How to Use the Amazing Solo Stove | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to having alternative methods of cooking food when the power is out, most preppers have it covered.  For some, an outdoor gas grill will do the job while for others, camp stoves, fire pits, and rocket stoves of various types will ensure that at the very least, there will be a viable method for heating both food and water.

My favorite are rocket stoves, mostly because they are fueled by wood and biomass.  To that end, since the start of my own prepping journey I have been enamored by the amazing Solo Stove. 

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6 Surprising Lessons Learned from a Planned Water Outage

Six Surprising Lessons Learned from a Planned Power Outage | Backdoor Survival

Over the past few days, something has become very clear to me: Backdoor Survival readers are a community.  I have been reading the 176 (and counting) comments to the recent Buzz, and more than a few of you have mentioned that you learn as much from comments as the from the articles themselves.  Nothing could make me happier!

Along those lines, recently I received an email from Karen in Nebraska.  The topic was “What I learned about water recently” and she wrote about the lessons she learned during a planned water outage.

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12 Frugal Lessons From the Great Depression

12 Frugal Lessons from the Great Depression | Backdoor Survival

During the Great Depression, frugality was considered a virtue and the phrase “Use it up, Wear it out and Make it do” was the guiding principal in most households.

Times were tough.  This meant that everything from bits of strings to worn out clothing was saved and re-purposed in some other manner.  Not only that, but every last bit of food from a can or bottle was swished out with a bit of water and used to flavor a soup or stew.  Printed chicken feed sacks became skirts and flour sacks became underwear. 

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Survival Buzz: A LifeStraw Go for You and Buzz Break for Me

A LifeStraw Go for You and a Buzz Break for Me | Backdoor Survival

Who ever said that life was easy?  Kicking, screaming, and grumbling, there is a lot of “life is the pits” conversation going on in my house this week.

Perhaps it is due to the process of completing my tax return and realizing how little value I am getting for my money.  More likely, though, I am just plain tired.  Lucky for you, my being grumpy is your gain.  Brent from  www.BasicShield.com has offered to giveaway a free LifeStraw Go water bottle each month for the next five months so that I can take a monthly Buzz Break.

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What You Need to Know About Mountain House

What You Need to Know About Mountain House | Backdoor Survival

A few months ago, Mountain House sponsored a freeze dried food giveaway and the giveaway question asked you to submit a question to Mountain House.  Today, Mountain House is back to answer a number of your questions, and, no surprise, offer another giveaway to Backdoor Survival readers.

This time around, the giveaway will be for their “Just In Case 4 Day Emergency Food Kit“.

Before we get started, though, I want to share with you two of their newest products: Chicken and Dumplings with Vegetables and Cheesecake bites.

Can Chicken and Dumplings be Freeze Dried? . . . Read More

Prepper Book Festival 11: Preppers Guide to Caches

The-Preppers-Guide-to-Caches-BDS.jpg

Do you have a survival cache?  Or have you wanted to store items, currency, or ammo in a hidden locations but did not know what, how, or where?

How to go about putting together a survival cache is a frequent question both in comments and in the emails that cross my desk.  Until know, I admit to responding in a rather lame manner since for me personally, the answer has been to have a geographically separate bug-out-location.  On the other hand, I do know that relying a upon a well-stocked alternate location is foolhardy. 

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17 Tips for Taking Charge After A Disruptive Event

17 Tips for Taking Charge After a Disruptive Event | Backdoor Survival

“Oh no! Now what?  A disruptive event has just occurred in my area and what do I do?  I know that I have prepared an emergency kit and can survive for a week or two but what do I do now?  I am confused and can’t think. Help me!”

Although this is a fictional scenario, those might likely be the thoughts that run through your mind following an earthquake, hurricane, flood, wildfire or other natural disaster. Those thoughts and worse will jump to the forefront if the disruptive event is a pandemic, nuclear event, or civil unrest where your life may be in danger.

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Survival Buzz: Stepping Up to Failure by Having a Plan B

Stepping Up to Failure by Having a Plan B | Backdoor Survival

Anyone who takes prepping seriously is bound to feel like a failure at one time or another.  Speaking from personal experience, I know that there have been many occasions where I simply can not get things right, regardless of the time and money I threw at it.

Being stubborn and bull-headed, I simply can not let it go. It seems the harder I try, and the longer I try, the more I fail.  Let me list some personal examples for you.

1.  I am unable to create a starter from the natural yeast in the air.

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Charge Your Devices With the Choetech Portable Solar Panel

Charge Your Devices With the Cheotech Portable Solar Panel | Backdoor Survival

As more of our lives become digital, having a simple way to keep our devices charged poses a dilemma when out in the field, hiking, or during a power outage.  Luckily, there are many solar options available and with each passing year, they get lighter in weight and lower in cost.  Plus, as technology advances, the panels are producing more sun-juice then the portable systems that were available a mere three years ago.

Why should preppers care about charging our digital gizmos?  After all, if the grid is down, cell service will be INOP as well. 

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Prepper Book Festival 11: Prepping for a Pandemic

Prepping for a Pandemic | Backdoor Survival

Every few months or so, a new threat to our safety seems to emerge.  One month it might be a terrorist attack, three months later it might be a cyber attack on the grid, and then, out of nowhere, there will be the threat of a pandemic.

Trying to decide what to prepare for and how to prepare for it is a dilemma we all face.  We do the best we can, building up our knowledge and practicing day to day skills that will protect us if the worse should happen.

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