Survival Buzz: Are You Pandemic Ready? + Bonus Giveaway

Are You Pandemic Ready Survival Buzz | Backdoor Survival

Do you ever have times when you need to call in some help from your friends?  Here at Backdoor Survival Land this is one of those weeks.  Shelly and I have been rehearsing like crazy for a local musical production and this is show week.  After weeks of rehearsals, we have five performances and time is precious.

So, to help me out, Ken McClelland, author of The Pandemic Preparedness Guide, has stepped in and offered up two more copies of his book in a special Survival Buzz bonus giveaway. 

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35 Reasons Coffee Filters are Survival Multitaskers

35 Reasons Coffee Filters are Survival Multitaskers | Backdoor Survival

Every prepper knows that multipurpose items save space and money.  Because of this, we stash things like salt, duct tape, vinegar, and paracord like they are going out of style. Here is another inexpensive item that you should add to your list of versatile preps: coffee filters.

Coffee filters are ubiquitous They are inexpensive, light-weight, and readily available. Heck, you can purchase coffee filters at the dollar store, Amazon, Costco, the corner grocery, and even on EBay.

Now I will be first to admit that there are a lot of lists floating around with suggested uses for coffee filters.

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How to Prep for Feminine Hygiene Needs

How to Prep for Feminine Hygiene Needs | Backdoor Survival

We have grown so reliant on throwaway products for perfectly natural events that sometimes people wonder how on earth they would deal with it if suddenly those products were unavailable.  Of course, for many centuries we handled things like menstruation without access to the local Wal-Mart, and with just a little bit of preparation we could do so again.

This issue of feminine hygiene is an important one not only from the perspective of personal, feminine comfort, but for overall health and prevention of bacterial infections and other nasties.

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Survival Buzz: The Very Best Tool For Prepping

Best Tool For Prepping | Backdoor Survival

Have you ever stopped to consider the very best tool in your preparedness arsenal?  I am asked this question all of the time.  Requests come from readers, other bloggers looking for a quote, and even from independent authors doing research for their next book.

Now you might be thinking that I am setting you up to pitch a list of the top 10 items in my survival storage locker. Although that list may be interesting, nothing could be further from the truth.

What, in my opinion, is the very best tool for prepping?

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What You Need to Know About Matches for Survival

What You Need to Know About Matches for Survival | Backdoor Survival

How much do your really know about matches?  Chances are you know more about a magnesium fire starter or BIC lighter than you do about matches.  It is just that they are so ubiquitous.  Everyone knows about wooden kitchen matches, right?  And heck, back in the day folks used to collect books of matches from fancy dining establishments and keep them displayed in decorative jars.

I know I am dating myself with that last statement but seriously, how much to you really know about matches?  One thing for sure is that I can not purchase strike anywhere matches locally. 

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Prepper Book Festival 10: Emergency Evacuations + Giveaway

Prepper Book Festival Emergency Evacuations | Backdoor Survival

It seems appropriate that the final book in Prepper Book Festival 10 is one that is written by one of the most loved bloggers in the preparedness niche, Lisa Bedford.

Her newest book, Emergency Evacuations: Get Out Fast! is the first book in her “Survival Mom’s No Worries Guide” series.  It is a compilation of information, tips, and checklists that will set you planning in advance for a potential evacuation and let’s face it, you do need to be ready for that possibility.

What I like about this book is that it is concise and to the point. 

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Clean Your Toilets Naturally with DIY Toilet Bombs

Clean Your Toilets Naturally with DIY Toilet Bombs | Backdoor Survival

Do you know anyone that likes to clean toilets?  Not me, that is for sure.  On the other hand, proper sanitation is very high up on my list of priorities so having a spotless bathroom is more than just a nicety, it is a must!

One of my goals these past six months has been to create a chemical free home, utilizing only natural ingredients to perform basic home and personal cleaning tasks.  Many I have already shared with you and some are a work in progress. 

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Survival Buzz: Septic System Maintenance as the Forgotten Prep

Septic System Maintenance is the Forgotten Prep | Backdoor Survival

Right now, as I am writing this, two close friends are having major issues with their septic systems.  A combination of heavy, unseasonable rains, and deferred maintenance have resulted in nightmare situations.

What happens when the septic tank is full and the leach field is fully saturated?  No showers and no flushing!

Last month, Cindy sent me the following note, again having to do with the failure of an aged septic system. Please, if you are on a septic system, consider routine maintenance to be a must-do prep.

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All-New AquaPod Emergency Water Kit and Filter + Giveaway

AquaPod Emergency Water Kit | Backdoor Survival

A couple of years ago, when I first learned about the AquaPod Emergency Water Kit, I jumped on the bandwagon and tested one for myself.  At the time, I was thrilled by the reasonable cost and my own ability to assemble the kit myself, without the need for any male-type brawn.

As I explained then, an AquaPod Emergency Water Kit is a heavy duty bathtub liner that is filled with water in advance of an upcoming hurricane, storm, or weather system.  The kit includes a bathtub liner that is filled with water, some fittings, and a pump for siphoning the water out of the tub.

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Prepper Book Festival 10: Complete Survival Shelters Handbook + Giveaway

Complete Survival Shelters Handbook | Backdoor Survival

Water, food, fire, and shelter are considered the four basic human necessities.  Bloggers tend to focus on the first three because they are easy to research, test, and write about.  But what about shelter?  As much as we all hope we can hunker down in place following a disaster or disruptive event, the truth of the matter is that there may be a time when you have to flee and find shelter elsewhere.

In a worse case scenario (including but not limited to Camp FEMA), would you know how to build a shelter that will keep you warm and safe until danger passes? 

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Why Bargain Stockpiling is Not Emergency Food Storage

Why Bargain Stockpiling is Not Emergency Food Storage | Backdoor Survival

Do you ever watch those programs on television about extreme couponers? I am not much of a TV-watcher, but I’ve seen a couple of these. It is astonishing to watch people load up a heaping grocery cart, then give the cashier a thick wad of coupons and walk out of the store paying $3.11 for everything.

I imagine you could build an enormous stockpile of goods this way, but is it really the best way to build a preparedness supply?

Bargain Stockpiling vs. Emergency Food Storage

I get the greatest ideas from my readers. 

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Survival Buzz: 46 Must Have Items for Your Emergency Vehicle Kit

46 Must Have Items for Your Emergency Vehicle Kit |Backdoor Survival

As much as I like to think I have a handle on things, sometimes projects slip through the cracks. Case in point.  Since the big road trip to Arizona in late September, not once have I gone out to the Subaru and reviewed the contents of my car kit.  At the time of my journey I was certain that I had everything I needed in the event of a calamity along the way.  The journey, after all, was close to 1,500 miles.

Since then, life has happened. 

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10 Useful Medicinal Plants To Cultivate From Seeds

10 Medicinal Plants to Cultivate From Seed | Backdoor Survival

Over the years, I have shared many articles relative to herbs and plants for the survival garden.  Some are easily found while foraging while others need to be cultivated.  Some provide benefits for a specific ailment while others are all encompassing.  It should come as no surprise the essential oils made from plants and flowers are so popular since they represent the most concentrated form of plant material out there.

Today I take a different approach to medicinal plants.  More specifically, I am introducing ten medicinal plants that can be cultivated from seeds. 

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Prepper Book Festival 10: Pandemic Preparedness Guide + Giveaway

Pandemic Preparedness Guide | Backdoor Survival

There is a rule of thumb in survival and preparedness circles.  That rule is that when a disruptive event is eminent, people sit up and take notice.  Readership on related websites and blogs explodes, and food, water, and equipment flies off both the online and off-line the shelves.

We saw this with Fukushima and again in 2014 with the Ebola epidemic.  We are also seeing a bit of that right now, with the wild fluctuations in stock markets around the globe.

Whereas the next book up in Prepper Book Festival 10, is titled The Pandemic Preparedness Guide, the reality is that this book is a whole lot more.

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Treating the Runs in a Survival Situation

Treating the Runs in a Survival Situation | Backdoor Survival

Twice during the past month, I have suffered from a common malady that polite company calls “the runs”.  More commonly known as diarrhea, this ailment is often accompanied by cramping, gas, and pain.  Most of the time, it passes within an hour or two.  There are times, however, when diarrhea will last for hours or even days.  That is not good.

What happens when you get a severe case of diarrhea?

One of the most dangerous outcomes is dehydration.  Dehydration can cause headache, fatigue, sallow and dry skin, constipation and other woes

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Survival Buzz: Prepping and Self-Sufficiency are Peas in a Pod

Prepping and Self-Sufficiency are Peas in a Pod | Backdoor Survival

In analyzing the most popular articles of 2015, I was more than a little bit surprised to learn that the most viewed articles last year were mostly related to self-sufficiency (DIY) and essential oils.  Not all but most.

At first, I found this discouraging because after all is said and done, this is a preparedness website site.  Upon reflection, however, it all made sense.  There really is no hard and fast line that differentiates between prepping and self-sufficiency.  As a matter of fact, prepping and self-sufficiency are peas in a pod!

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Store Water With LifeStack Storage Containers + Giveaway

Store Water and Food With LifeStack Storage Containers | Backdoor Survival

Finding the space to store water and food for emergency purposes can be dilemma.  The reality is that not everyone has a large pantry, basement or cellar where buckets, cases and cans of  food and water can be stored away, out of sight and yet accessible if and when they are needed.

That is why when my blogging colleague, Bernie Carr, the Apartment Prepper, asked if I wanted to introduce you to the LifeStack Storage Container and participate in a group giveaway, I jumped at the chance.

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Prepper Book Festival 10: Playful Preparedness and Survival Mindset + Giveaway

Playful Preparedness Survival Mindset | Backdoor Survial

A couple of months ago when Tim Young approached me about his book Playful Preparedness: Prepare Your Children-For Life, I withheld judgment because historically, Backdoor Survival readers did not seem to be interested in children’s books.  I did want to keep and open mind however and when my review copy of the book arrived, I knew we had a major score on our hands.

So what is this book about?  It is a well written handbook of 26 fun and engaging games to be played with your children. 

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The No-Nonsense Guide to Getting Out of Debt

No-Nonsense Guide to Getting Out of Debt| Backdoor Survival

Let’s face it.  We live in a world fueled by debt and for many, having debt is an ordinary part of life,  For them, racking up the credit cards at Christmas and slowing paying them off while collecting massive interest is a way of life.  Many never pay them off.

From where I sit, it is understandable when people owe money for extremely large purchases like real estate or a reliable vehicle.  That makes sense, but these days, a great deal of consumer debt is lifestyle debt.

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Survival Buzz: Can a Prepper Afford to Be Lazy?

Can a Prepper Afford to be Lazy | Backdoor Survival

Can a prepper afford to be lazy?  I want to respond not only with a resounding yes, but with a “you have to in order to keep your sanity”!

For anyone other than a prepper, being lazy would be referred to as “scheduling some downtime”.  For us, taking time to do nothing gets more complicated. Let me explain.

Being a type A person, the never ending list of things to do always beckons.  As the list gets longer, so does the guilt.  Remember the goals I set out last month? 

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Best of Backdoor Survival 2015

Backdoor Survival Best of 2015

In typical blogging tradition, at the beginning of each year I take a look back at the previous year and compile a list the most popular articles of the year.  As I did so this year, it became apparent that most popular articles in terms of page views were not necessarily articles published in 2015.  Making sense of the most viewed list was further puzzling since many of the so-called popular articles were less prepper-centric than I would have guessed.

This year I decided to deviate from tradition and share a month by month chronology of what I feel were the best and the most useful articles of 2015. 

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10 Commandments of Survival You Need to Know About

The 10 Commandments of Survival | Backdoor Survival

These days, it’s easy to go about our business of survival and preparedness without stopping to think about the rules of engagement. For most of us, these rules are not written or spoken, but are simply something that has evolved over a period of time.

As I have expressed many times in the past, the burden of knowledge, or perhaps I should say the burden of truth and knowledge, can be a huge weight to bear. That, coupled with the crazy busy task of life during these uncertain times, can be overwhelming.

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Prepper Book Festival 10: Start Prepping! + Giveaway

Start Prepping Get Prepared For Life | Backdoor Survival

With the dawn of the new year less than a week away, many prepper types, both new and experienced, are revisiting their to-do lists and setting some new goals.  What better way to start setting those goals than to get out your stack of preparedness books to review for things you missed the first time through?

Of course you can also pick up a new book to gain a all-new perspective on preparedness.  That is what I am doing.

With that introduction, I would like to introduce you to “Start Prepping!!: Get Prepared for Life” by Tim Young. 

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Survival Buzz: Remembering The Ant and the Grasshopper

The Ant and the Grasshopper | Backdoor Survival

A few days ago I casually mentioned the ant and the grasshopper.  It never occurred to me that this childhood story of the ant and grasshopper may not be familiar to everyone.

For those of you that are curious or that simply need a refresher course, today I bring back the tale of the ant and grasshopper, which, along with the story of Noah, is one of the all time classic stories of preparedness.

Remembering The Ant and the Grasshopper

This Aesop’s Fable describes how a hungry grasshopper begs for food from an ant when winter comes and is refused.

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From My Home to Yours This Holiday Season

2015 Holiday Message | Backdoor Survival

As I sit down to write this holiday message, I can’t help but look back at all of the changes that have occurred since starting this website in 2010.

Back then, the term “Prepper” was just coming into common use.  Rather than being called preppers, those who practiced self-reliance and preparedness were often called “survivalists”.  These survivalists were often considered loners, extremists, or fringe elements of society. A lot has changed since then, all for the good.

Which brings us to today.

This year my holiday message is short and from the heart. 

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30 Reasons Why You Might Be a Crazy Prepper Nut Job

30 Reasons Why You Might Be a Crazy Prepper Nut Job | Backdoor Survival

With 100% certainty, I know that I am perceived as one of those “crazy prepper nut jobs”.  I laugh at myself as I say this because like the story of the ant and the grasshopper, it is the crazy prepper nut job that is going to prevail following a disruptive event of any magnitude.

I first wrote about this back in December 2011, which, in prepper terms, is eons ago.  Back then, preppers were a novelty and were considered extremists.  These days, and especially with the release of Ted Koppel’s book, Lights Out, we are suddenly trail blazers and visionaries.

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The Easy Way to Start a Wood Fire

Easy Way to Start a Wood Fire | Backdoor Survival

Fire, and all it represents, is one of the building blocks of survival along with food, water, and shelter.  Fire will cook the food, purify the water, and heat the shelter.  For that reason, it should come as no surprise that fire starting tools and paraphernalia are one of the first things newbie preppers acquire when they are first getting started.

Acquiring tools is all well and good and not to be discounted.  The real test, however, lies in the ability to actually start a wood fire.

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Survival Buzz #200: Relax and De-Stress With an Adult Coloring Book

Relax and De-Stress With An Adult Coloring Book | Backdoor Survival

It has been awhile since I have reported on my latest prepping haul so I thought today would be a good time to clear the decks, put things away, and give you an inkling of what I have been doing prep-gear wise these last few weeks.

But first, let me tell you that if you have not jumped on the adult coloring book bandwagon, please do give it a try.  After a day of prepping, you can relax and de-stress with an adult coloring book.

I am finding that there is nothing more soothing than pulling out your colored pencils and letting your mind focus on creating a beautiful, artistically colored design. 

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DIY Foaming Hand Soap

DIY Foaming Hand Soap | Backdoor Survival

I have a confession to make.  I have always hated those foaming soap dispensers that are ubiquitous in public restrooms.  To me, they are a watery, slimy mess that leaves hands feeling sticky and icky no matter how hard you work at rinsing after the fact.

That being said, I wanted an alternative to the Dirt Cheap Soft Soap that is crafted in my kitchen every month or two.  While not difficult to make, it does take some time and a bit of a mess.  Plus, as those of you that have tried it know, it sometimes takes a bit of tinkering to bring it to that just-perfect texture.

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Prepper Book Festival 10: Air Rifles and Rimfire Rifles by Steve Markwith + Giveaway

Air Rifles Rimfire Rifles | Backdoor Survival

Timing wise, right now nothing is closer to the hearts of most prepper’s than ensuring their safety when confronted by an attacker.  That is why I am happy to introduce you to the two newest books in Steve Markwith’s Survival Gun Series:  Air Rifles and Rimfire Rifles.  Both books are part of Steve’s excellent Survival Gun Series and to my mind, some of the best books out there for learning what to buy, why to buy, and how to use and maintain a particular firearm.

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How to Make a Survival Casserole

How to Make a Survival Casserole | Backdoor Survival

When I first started prepping, I was totally engrossed in learning as much as I could about survival tactics from the Great Depression.  For one reason or another, I have renewed this interest and have been spending my spare time reading books as well as watching some of the classic films and documentaries that depict the era.

Something I have learned is that women of the era were creative in the kitchen and took dibs and dabs of this and that and in order to create tasty meals as best they could.  

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Survival Buzz #199: Have An Eyes Wide Open Approach to Prepping

Have An Eyes Wide Open Approach to Prepping | Backdoor Survival

The Backdoor Survival mailbag runneth over.  Some days there are hundreds of emails and although I don’t have the time to personally respond to each, I do take up to an hour a day to read every single one.  And that includes those giveaway questions.

This week I share some items from the mail bag.  But first, let me share my thoughts of the moment.

When I was chatting with Daisy Luther yesterday, she mentioned “I never expected the SHTF event to be a Muslim Jihad”. 

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