Prepper Book Festival 9: Shotguns: A Comprehensive Guide + Giveaway

Shotguns A Comprehensive Guide | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to firearms, I admit to being a rank novice.  Even though I have had quite a bit of training, it has not been enough and I am smart enough to know it.  That being said, I do make an attempt to practice at the range whenever I can and in between I read and study.

Currently I am learning about shotguns. I have never used a shotgun so this next book in Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 9 is quickly bringing me up to speed. 

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An Open Letter to Preppers: How to Conquer Self-Doubt

Open Letter to Preppers: How to Conquer Self Doubt | Backdoor Survival

There you are, going about your business, when it strikes.

The cashier rings up your purchase of sale items and you realize you just spent the equivalent of a car payment on canned food.  Or you realize you have more net worth in beans and silver coins than you do money in the bank. Or, after you spent all of this time, energy, and money prepping…and nothing happens.

Sometimes you start to think, “Maybe I’m crazy.”  You might begin to feel like you’re wasting your time. 

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The Survival Buzz #179: Prepping for Redundancy

Prep for Redundancy | Backdoor Survival

Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.  The topic this week is something I rarely see mentioned in the preparedness community; namely being prepared for a computer hard drive failure.

Let me begin by saying that most of you probably do not have a laptop glued to your hip like I do.  That being said, chances are your computer is still an important part of your life.  The computer, and more specifically the hard drive, is where you store copies of important documents, cherished family photos, a music library, and quite possibly a large collection of electronic books, operating manuals, and other items that for all intents and purposes, have been just a keystroke away.

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Emergency Cooking with the Flamelite BurnBox + Giveaway

Emergency Cooking with the Flamelite BurnBox | Backdoor Survival

Having all of the food in the world is not going to help you if, following an emergency, you have no way to cook it. Heck, even during a short term power outage, having the ability to boil water becomes important.

In my own home, I have a wood burning fire pit, propane stove, charcoal grill, and three different rocket stoves.  Since they all work great, why even bother with another method to use for emergency cooking?  The answer is form-factor, versatility, and portability.

Let me introduce you to the Flamelite BurnBox, the coolest little stove I have seen in a long time.

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The Pros and Cons of Being a Suburban Prepper

The Pros and Cons of Being a Suburban Prepper

“Everyone who lives in the city is going to die when the SHTF.”

Have you ever been on a preparedness website and read that? It makes my blood boil, and not just because it’s a negative and discouraging thing to say. I am also not convinced that it’s correct.  Wherever you live, there are pros and cons, and your job as a prepper is to maximize the positive aspects of your location while taking steps to minimize the negative aspects.

This is especially true when it comes to the suburban prepper.

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Prepper Book Festival 9: Cascadia’s Curse

Preppers Book Festival Cascadia's Curse | Backdoor Survival

Last week, The New Yorker published a no-holds barred article describing what could happen if the “Really Big One” hit the Cascadia subduction zone in the Pacific Northwest.  It is scary stuff, especially since this is where I live and unless I get to higher ground very quickly, my home and everything else would be swept out to sea in a massive tsunami.

With current media attention focusing on a major quake in the PNW, it seems appropriate to kick off Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 9 with a fictionalized tale of what what happens when the big one hits.

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The Survival Buzz #178: Mixed Results with a Collapsible Water Bottle

Mixed Results with a Collapsible Water Bottle | Backdoor Survival

Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.  I have a mixed bag of odds and ends for you this week.  So let’s get right to it.

First off, a month or so back I was asked whether those inexpensive collapsible water bottles leak.  I finally got around to testing one so I could report back to you.  So does it leak?  Yes and no.

Here is the deal.  The bottle holds 16 ounces of water and for the most part, stands up to quite a bit of abuse without leaking. 

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Make Your Own Healing Boo-Boo Stick

Make Your Own Healing Boo Boo Stick | Backdoor Survival

Lately it seems that I can not get through the day without banging my shins against something, getting bit by an insect, burning myself while reaching into the oven, or having a dry skin itch-attack then scratching my skin raw.  Nothing major, mind you, but I do look like I have been through a war zone.

In the old days, my solution to treating these surface wounds has been to reach for the Neosporin and slather it all over the place.  In the new days, meaning now, I ditch the petroleum based ointment in favor of a more natural remedy.

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Get Some Sleep! 7 Reasons the Well-Rested Prepper Will Prevail

7 Reasons the Well Rested Prepper Will Prevail - Backdoor Survival

According to the CDC, there’s a public health epidemic you need to be on the lookout for. It’s not contagious, but has spread due to the North American lifestyle. You may have suffered from it yourself, without even realizing you were part of the population at risk.

That epidemic is insufficient sleep.

Blamed for automotive accidents, industrial disasters and occupational errors (including ones by those chronically sleep deprived health care workers) lack of sleep effects more than 35% of adults in our country each day.

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Prepper Book Festival 9 Is Now Here!

Prepper Book Festival 9 - Backdoor Survival

In what has become a Backdoor Survival tradition, Prepper Book Festival 9 is now here with an all new selection of books, author interviews, and giveaways. This time around I have an equal split of fiction and non-fiction, all unique, and all quite different from the others in the festival.

In the non-fiction arena, you are going to find books about survival water, natural medicine, chickens, and shotguns.  Really, a mixed bag with something for everyone.  In the prepper/survival fiction genre, I have titles from tried and  true authors Joe Nobody and G.

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The Survival Buzz #177: Update Your Emergency Kits At Least Once a Year

Update Your Emergency Kits at Least Once a Year | Backdoor Survival

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

As you may have noticed, in recent weeks I have been moving beyond a simple report on my personal preps.  Since I am getting bored with it (the reporting, not the prepping) I can only assume that you might find it tiresome as well.  Okay, maybe not.

That being said, this last week I continued my efforts to re-work and update my emergency kits.  The primary focus has been on my bug out bags and first aid kits.  

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Minutemen Cabinets: How to Hide a Firearm in Plain Sight

Minutemen Cabinets How to Hide a Firearm in Plain Sight | Backdoor Survival

A dilemma for many of us is how to keep a personal weapon accessible if we need it, yet safely hidden from prying eyes. Here in my own household we have a safe but keeping our weapon of choice locked up is not going to help us if there is a middle of the night intruder and we can not get to it.  The compromise, and not a very good one, has been to keep our accessible firearm a drawer in the nightstand.

When Minutemen Cabinets came to me a couple of months ago and told me about their “bookshelf” cabinet, I became excited. 

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How to Seek the Truth and Avoid Clickbait

How to Seek the Truth and Avoid Clickbait - Backdoor Survival

More than once I have shared my angst about the sensationalist format of many websites.  These sites use catchy photos that have nothing to do with the article, pop-up reminders that come right back after clicking them closed, and/or fear-mongering headlines that use scare tactics to persuade you to purchase an overpriced, marginally useful video course or 30 page eBook.

Why do they do this?  The more traffic they generate, the more likely that unsuspecting readers will click on a network ad and generate income for the website owner.

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12 Skills for Preppers That Money Just Can’t Buy

12 Skills for Preppers That Money Just Can't Buy

There comes a time when every prepper finally says, “Enough with all of the food and enough with all of the gear!”  After years of seeking out the best stuff at the best prices, creating a stockpile, and purchasing equipment, you just might want to stop – at least for awhile – and focus on something else: the vital qualities and abilities that no amount of money can buy.

The biggest stockpile in the county won’t be enough if you don’t learn the important skills that will carry you through when you’re faced with hard times.

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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

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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