The Survival Buzz #176: A Preppers Nod to Independence and Independence Day

Preppers Nod to Independence and Independence Day - Backdoor Survival

Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz and a special prepper’s nod to independence and Independence Day.  Let me explain.

Since starting this website, I have always championed the individual  and families as well as our right to freedom, free speech, and independence from tyranny.  In support of that,  I have done my best to stay focused on what we as individuals can do on our own as we take steps toward self-reliance under the most diverse of circumstances.

In my heart of hearts, I hope I have accomplished my goal of fostering a sense of calm as we prepare for an uncertain future. 

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Don’t Be Caught in the Dark! The SportsTek Headlamp + Giveaway

Don't Be Caught in the Dark! The SportsTek Headlamp - Backdoor Survival

As far as I am concerned, you can never have too many ways to light your way.  Perhaps this comes from some forgotten childhood trauma that occurred in the dark, but whatever the reason, pitch blackness has never been an option in my household.

It is for that reason I am always anxious to test out the next great thing when it comes to lighting, be it a flashlight, solar powered light, lantern, chemical glow stick, or something else.  This week it was my pleasure to test one of those “something else” items; namely, the SportsTek LED 4 in 1 Headlamp.

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Prepper Book Festival 8: Making the Best of Basics + Giveaway

Making the Best of Basics - Backdoor Survival

In a couple of days, the United States will be celebrating Independence Day, commonly referred to as the 4th of July.  It seems only right that we recognize the significance of that day and of this moment in history with something special.  To my way of thinking, we need to celebrate our own efforts toward become self-reliant and secure in the fact that we can take care of ourselves in all but the most dire of emergencies.

It is for that reason I have held back the final entry in Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 8 until this week. 

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30 Items Every Prepper Should Carry When Traveling

30 Items Every Prepper Should Carry While Traveling - Backdoor Survival

This is the time of year when families travel to visit friends and relatives near and far.  When taking a road trip, it is easy to throw a bug-out-bag and extra food and clothing into the trunk of your car but what if you are traveling by air?  Not only do you have those pesky baggage weight limits to deal with, but you also have the scrutiny and probing eyes (and sometimes hands) of the TSA to avoid.

Can you imagine what might happen if you showed up at the airport with a fully stocked survival kit? 

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The Survival Buzz #175: Hunker Down to Relax and Bake Bread

Hunker Down to Relax and Bake Bread - Backdoor Survival

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

The end of June has arrived with an even longer LOSTD (List of Stuff To Do) and more missed deadlines.  What the heck, this is something we need to take in stride, right?  We are prepper-types after all.

I don’t know whether it is age or something else, but the time it takes to recover following a trip seems to be getting longer and longer.  Given that my recent trip was chore-related and not a vacation, seems to have added to the recovery process. 

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Should You Eat Roadkill? 8 Important Rules to Consider First

Should You Eat Roadkill? 8 Important Rules to Consider First - Backdoor Survival

If the thought of preparing dinner from a dead animal found in the road makes you squeamish, join the club.  I personally find the thought revolting but then again, I have a robust pantry full of food for both the short and the long term, and currently do not feel compelled to eat roadkill of any type.

That being said, should you eat roadkill?  Are there situations were eating roadkill will become a necessity?

Let us play “what if” for a moment.  What if there was a global famine and no food coming down the food chain? 

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23 Awesome Uses for Lemongrass Essential Oil

23 Awesome Uses for Lemongrass Essential Oil - Backdoor Survival

Anyone who has used essential oils for a period of time will find that they reach for the same tried and true oils over and over again.  In my case, there are the go-to standards lavender, peppermint, rosemary and frankincense but in addition, there is Lemongrass.

Three years ago, I thought lemongrass was an herbal plant used in tea and in Asian cuisine.  While I still enjoy a soothing cup of lemongrass and ginger tea, these days lemongrass essential oil serves an important role in my first aid kit as well.

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The Survival Buzz #174

What do you do when it is 112 degrees outside - 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 I was in the Phoenix area and it was hot.  When I say hot, I mean 112 degrees in the shade.  Two interesting things occurred.  First, the radio newscasters continued to put out messages asking everyone to check on neighbors who might not have air conditioning.  The emphasis was on the sick and the elderly.  This was good to hear and I applaud these public service oriented messages.

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UV PAQLITE: Emergency Lighting Without Batteries + Giveaway

UV PAQLITE Emergency Lighting Without Batteries - Backdoor Survival

When it comes to emergency lighting, I am hooked on redundancy.  In my desk alone, I have at least six flashlights, probably more.  Talk about overkill.  On the other hand, as much as I love flashlights, when the batteries are dead, that’s it.  It is time to get out the recharger or pop in some new AAs.

Solar lighting is also an option and I have a number of solar lights as well.  The problem is they require sun.  Granted, many will charge up when it is overcast, but that takes time.

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We Prepare for Survival But Is It The Main Thing?

We Prepare for Survival - Backdoor Survival

In the past, I have written about the never ending list of things to do, the frantic pace of organizing preps, and the never ending quest to learn just one more sustainable skill.  Couple all of that with the burden of truth and knowledge that keeps you awake at night, and you have a recipe for frustration, exhaustion, and burn out.

There goes those words again.  Prepper burn out.

The truth is we all have a need for quiet, reflective, time whether we know it or not. 

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Canning Jars 101 – Everything You Need To Know and More!

Canning Jars 101 - Backdoor Survival

When I recently did some organizing of my supplies, I was a bit surprised at the sheer number of canning jars I had placed into boxes.  By the time I got to the 20th box, I admitted to myself that I am clearly a canning jar hoarder.  That said, I don’t think I am in need of an intervention. Yet.  On the contrary, I think everyone should own more versatile and beautiful canning jars.

Canning jars, also commonly referred to as Mason Jars, have a long and colorful history.

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The Survival Buzz #173: Don’t Forget Reading Glasses

El Cheapo Reading Glasses - Backdoor Survival

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

Life has been wildly crazy this week for me.  Was it that way for you?  Let me give you a quick rundown on my preps, offer up a few announcements, then let you get back to your busy week!

As planned, I totally refilled my Earth Tower and was able to get it refilled without a single spider bite.  I was thrilled about that.  In addition, I planted some lettuce, patio sized cucumber and a few flowers. 

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The Three Most Important Survival Skills According to Grandpa

Three Most Important Survival Skills According to Grandpa - Backdoor Survival

Recently I asked some of the book festival authors the following question:  Given your background, knowledge and experience, what do you feel are the three most important survival or prepping skills?

It has been interesting to read the answers and I am always surprised that the responses are so different from each other.  That just goes to show you that we all live our lives within a different context.  We have different family situations, live in various geographical areas, have varying degrees of health and wellness, and span a wide range within the economic strata.

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Prepper Book Festival 8: Practical Prepping No Apocalypse Required + Giveaway

Practical Prepping No Apocalypse Required - Backdoor Survival

A recent topic in the Survival Buzz comments section has been prepper burnout.  Perhaps because of the serious ramifications of not being prepared, people tend to approach prepping with frantic fervor.  When coupled with a busy family life and a job, it can sometimes become too much to handle. And that, in a nutshell, leads to burnout.

I realize this is an odd introduction for the book festival but stay with me, there is a reason.

The next book in the Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 8 is Practical Prepping: No Apocalypse Required: An Everyday Approach to Disaster Preparedness

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10 Reasons to Add Glow Sticks to Your Survival Kit

10 Reasons to Add Glow Sticks to Your Survival Kit - Backdoor Survival

Whenever I think of glow sticks, my first thoughts are of kids’ sleepovers or rock concerts. Despite the visions of the Dollar Store party supply section that are probably dancing through your head, the bright tubes are actually a great addition to your preparedness supplies.

Glow sticks are also known as light sticks or chemical lighting.  Here is how they work:

A glow stick is made from a plastic sheath or tube that houses a mix of chemicals. Basically, the way it works is that you bend the sheath to crack the capsules that hold the different chemicals separate from one another,  then you shake it up to mix the contents, creating a chemical reaction that emits energy with only a teeny emission of heat.

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The Survival Buzz #172

Earth Tower Gardening - Backdoor Survival

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

As much as I hate to admit it, I tend to have senior moments and forget what I have done during the course of the week.  This week, however, I had a constant reminder of a last Sunday’s project that involved putting together an “Earth Tower”.  You might be wondering, what is an Earth Tower.

I will be writing about the Earth Tower more down the road but essentially, it is a 4 foot tower garden on wheels that is designed to produce an abundant bounty of vegetables, herbs, berries, and flowers in only two square feet. 

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How To Get Ready for Hurricane Season + AquaPod Giveaway

How to Get Ready for Hurricane Season - Backdoor Survival

June is here and that means the Atlantic hurricane season has started.  For those of you that live in an area prone to hurricanes and tropical storms, this means it’s time to dig out and review your hurricane readiness plan.

Not only is it time to bring your hurricane and storm-related gear out of storage, but it is also time to ensure that everything is in working order.  This includes flashlights, lanterns, generators, fuel, and emergency cooking provisions.

To help you along, I have prepared for you an Annual Hurricane Readiness Checklist.

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Prepper Book Festival 8: Game Changer by Chris Bostic + Giveaway

Game Changer by Chris Bostic - Backdoor Survival

Today I share the next author interview and book giveaway in the Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 8.  Chris Bostic, the author of Game Changer, is back for an encore interview and shares his answers to some new questions.  He is also providing one reader with a free copy of his book. Not only that, the winner can choose either a print book or an eBook.

Some of you may recall his previous two books, Fugitives from Northwoods and Rebellion in Northwoods.  This newest book, Game Changer, is an adventure book that starts with a storm and ends in one calamity after another.

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How to Succeed at Prepping: 11 Tips That Will Help You Survive

How to Succeed at Prepping - Backdoor Survival

These days, you can barely turn around without someone giving you advice on what you should or must do to succeed at prepping.  This is all good news because four or five years ago, most advice you found would likely be highly militaristic, political, or simply over the top unreasonable.

I can recall the days when the #1 survival tip was to establish a remote bug-out-location and prepare to live permanently off grid.  Now really, how practical is that for most of us?  Don’t get me wrong. 

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The Survival Buzz #171

Locate Your Utilities and Learn How to Shut Them Off - Backdoor Survival

Welcome to the weekly Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.

Since I was traveling most of this week, my preps centered around one single task: reviewing the location of the utility shut off valves in my home and making sure that they were still functional.  Don’t laugh.  A few years back our water shutoff was completely frozen and could not be turned to the off position.  Thankfully, we discovered the problem and had a plumber not only install a new shutoff, but check all of the plumbing valves in our home.

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How to Overcome The Fear of Pressure Canning

How to Overcome the Fear of Pressure Canning - Backdoor Survival

At risk of being the last person to come to the party, I have been resisting the call to begin pressure canning.  It is not that I have not tried.  A couple of years ago I was ready to go; I had psyched myself up to learn, purchased a canner, some tools, and dozens of mason jars,

But then karma stepped in.  The pressure canner was too tall to fit under the hood of my range so back it went.  And I went into major procrastination mode for two years. 

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Prepper Book Festival 8: Resurrecting Home by A. American

Resurrecting Home by A. American - Backdoor Survival

Have you ever noticed the number of fiction authors in the preparedness and survival niche that are able to come back time and again with a new book to grab our attention?  It always astounds me that there are so many knowledgeable individuals, who, as preppers or survivalists themselves, are able to continually come back with novels that are both entertaining and educational.

With that introduction, today I share the next author interview and book giveaway in the Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 8.  A.

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Treating Psoriasis with Essential Oils

Treating Psoriasis with Essential Oils - Backdoor Survival

One day, a few years ago, I happened to notice that my husband Shelly was wearing a long sleeved shirt on a hot summer day.  When I questioned him, he gave be a funny look then rolled up his sleeve to show me a large, unsightly, and extremely crusty patch of something on his elbow.  Not knowing what it was, I suggested some heavy duty moisturizer and left it at that.

When this dry, itchy patch on his elbow did not go away, it was time for a trip to the doctor who diagnosed psoriasis and prescribe a prescription steroid cream.

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The Survival Buzz #170

How Long Has it Been Since Your Organized Your Food Storage? [Backdoor Survival]

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

What a great prepping week this has been.  You know the story about the mouse moving the cheese?  No matter.  A mouse, or something, moved my brown rice.  I know that I purchased a large bag of organic brown rice in January because I have the receipt to prove it.  But where the heck did it go?

This set off a quest to organize my food storage and three hours later, all of my loose pouches of home-packed bulk foods were neatly stored in labeled buckets and tubs, and the #10 tins were in labeled boxes.

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Stay Connected with the Sunferno Portable Solar Panel and Battery Pack

Sunferno Portable Solar Panel and Battery Pack - Backdoor Survival

If there is one thing I know for sure, it is that prepper and survival types are in love with solar.  What is not to like?  With solar devices, we can use the power of the sun to give us light and to energize our devices, large or small.

Whereas using the sun to power a refrigerator or laptop takes some doing, providing power to a phone, tablet, Kindle or other eBook reader is not only easy, but downright inexpensive.  Each month, it seems, I learn of a new device that can be used for this purpose. 

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Prepper Book Festival 8: Ron Brown and The Non Electric Lighting Series

The Non-Electric Lighting Series by Ron Brown - Backdoor Survival

Longtime readers of Backdoor Survival need no introduction to my friend Ron Brown. He is the author of the popular Propane for Preppers series and the NEW 2000-Hour Flashlight, a book that teaches how to take a $5 flashlight and MacGyver it so it will operate for 2000 usable hours on a single battery.

Now to be honest, originally the 2000-Hour Flashlight book was to featured in Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 8.  But, me being me, I did a switcheroo.  Ron’s series of books on non-electric lighting are so fantastic that I twisted his arm and used positive persuasion tactics to convince him to offer one lucky reader a set of the first five books in the Non-Electric Lighting Series. 

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What to Look for When Shopping for Food Storage

What to Look For When Shopping for Food Storage - Backdoor Survival

With all of the varying complexities of food storage and food storage companies, it may be difficult to sort through and prioritize what is important and what is not.  I don’t know about you but with the dizzying array of things to take into consideration, you just might want to throw you hands up in dismay and yell “help me!!”.

I do not claim to be an expert but over the years, I have learned some things about food storage and food storage companies.  Setting aside the very real concern of where to store everything which is a separate topic altogether, today I want to break down what you should look for when shopping for food storage.

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The Survival Buzz #169

Finally Getting Around to Learn to Use the Sun Oven - Backdoor Survival

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

Have you ever considered that an uneventful week is a good week?  That is precisely how I feel about last week.  That said, my heart goes out to the victims of the latest earthquake in Nepal and to the families with victims in the Philadelphia Amtrak derailment.  So to clarify, by uneventful, I am referring to my own life.

I embrace being ordinary. Which reminds me to remind you that as much as prepper-types are subject to ridicule as hoarders, and as much as the media and entertainment industry pokes fun at us, at the end of the day, most preppers really are quite ordinary. 

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Best Practices: The Every Day Carry Bag aka EDC

Every Day Carry Bag - Backdoor Survival

When it comes to survival kits, there are a group of items that are traditionally found in all kits.  A flashlight, a knife, and some sort of fire-starting tool are ubiquitous and universal.  But beyond that there are so many variables that I really have to go with the cliché: one size never fits all.

Personally, I have a number of different kits.  Most are currently in a state of disarray as, over time, they are being reworked and broken down into additional separate and discrete kits. 

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Prepper Book Festival 8: A Time to Endure

A Time to Endure by Kyle Pratt - Backdoor Survival

Last year when I read Kyle Pratt’s “Through Many Fires”, I could not put it down.  In that book, nuclear terrorism destroys a number of American cities and chaos prevails.  A familiar story, perhaps, but written in such an engaging and thought-provoking manner that I anxiously awaited the sequel.

With that introduction, today I share the next author interview and book giveaway in the Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 8.  Kyle Pratt, the author of A Time to Endure, is back with book #2 in his “Strengthen What Remains” series. 

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Finding Your Way Back Home Without a Map and Compass

Finding Your Way Back Home Without a Map and Compass - Backdoor Survival

When it comes to getting out of dodge, my hope is that I will never have to bug out. Ever. On the flip side of things, I also hope that I will never have to find my way back home following a major disruptive event.  Realistically, however, turning a blind eye to the realities of a disaster requiring a trek on foot to or from my home would be foolhardy.

The logical thing, of course, would be to have maps and a compass on board at all times.

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LuguLake II Bluetooth Speaker and Charger Review

LuguLake II Review and Giveaway - Backdoor Survival

Sometimes we all need to break away from the seriousness of prepping and treat ourselves to something just for the fun of it.  And if that something also serves a useful function?  Then I say “bring it on”!

Today I am breaking form and sharing with you a fantastic Bluetooth speaker that not only delivers terrific sound, but can be used to charge your tablet or smartphone.  The device is called the LuguLake II Charger Speaker Stand and in a word, it is simply terrific!

But hold on. 

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