The 10 Personality Traits of Successful Survivalists

The 10 Personality Traits of Successful Survivalists | Backdoor Survival

Have you ever noticed that most preppers have a lot in common? There are certain personality traits that seem to be present in nearly every single prepper and survivalist I have met, and the more prevalent these traits, the more successful they are at prepping and survival.

We do a lot of talking about what preppers do wrong, and about those mistakes and oversights that can get you killed, but today I want to focus on the positive: those core traits that will see you through the ups and downs of life, whether it’s in the midst of a major disaster or a daily inconvenience.

. . . Read More

The Survival Buzz #190: Bloom and Thrive Where You Are Planted


There is a saying that is often heard these days: “Bloom where you are planted”.  If you are not familiar with this saying, the gist of it is that regardless of where you are and what is happening in your life, you can still be happy.  You can thrive and you can survive.

This may be an odd way to start the Survival Buzz but it rings true in my life and so, setting side any vagaries I have alluded to in recent months, today I share some personal news that will give you insight what is happening in my own life.

. . . Read More

How to Test Your Ability to Carry a Bug Out Bag

How to Test Your Ability to Carry a Bug Out Bag | Backdoor Survival

A couple of months ago, I posed the question “What is the Baseline of Prepper Fitness?”  Although there were varied responses, at the end of the day most everyone agreed that having the ability to walk some distance with a pack of supplies was paramount to survival.

At first blush this may seem contrary to my stance that bugging in is always preferable to bugging out.  But what if you are forced to evacuate for safety reasons?  History teaches us that homes can be severely damaged or destroyed by earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires and other errant acts of Mother Nature. 

. . . Read More

34 Ways to Use Salt for Survival: Everything You Need to Know

34 Ways to Use Salt for Survival | Backdoor Survival

One of the very first things I did when I first started prepping was to bolster my pantry with basic staples that could be used for a variety of purposes.  When it was suggested that I store salt, and lots of it, I was a disbeliever. After all, conventional mainstream wisdom had taught me that salt was the bad guy.

But is it really?

I made it my mission to determine whether salt is a good thing, a bad thing, or simply something best treated as an item to “use in moderation”.

. . . Read More

The Survival Buzz #189: Preparing Like Crazy But What if Nothing Happens?

What If Nothing Happens | Backdoor Survival

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

Lately I have been giving a lot of thought to various “what ifs”.  What if there is an earthquake or tsunami?  In spite of all of my preps, I may have to evacuate and the best laid plans to hunker down in place will be for naught.

What if there is a global economic collapse?  What will happen to my savings that have been so carefully set aside?

. . . Read More

Struggling With The Burden of Truth and Knowledge

Struggling With the Burden of Truth & Knowledge | Backdoor Survival

The burden of truth and knowledge has always been a struggle for me personally.  Some days, this struggle is so powerful that my head hurts from sorting through fact and innuendo; so much so that I just want to shout “enough” and give up the effort to stay enlightened.

I first wrote about the burden of truth and knowledge back in September 2012.  Sadly, not a whole lot has changed since then.  If anything, this struggle has become worse as we deal with increased threats of cyber terrorism and worse.

. . . Read More

Prepper Book Festival 9: The Pantry Primer + Giveaway

The Pantry Primer | Backdoor Survival

What makes the up a prepper’s perfect pantry?  If you think I am going to tell you that boxes of MRE’s and cases of freeze dried foods are the way to go, you are wrong.  It is not that those items do not have their place, but rather that they are supplements to the perfect pantry.

So what makes up the perfect pantry?  The perfect prepper pantry is composed of foundation items such as grains, proteins, fruits, vegetables, and scratch-cooking basics!

With that introduction, I would like to present the last book in Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 9

. . . Read More

What You Need to Know About Using Old Drugs for Survival

What You Need to Know About Using Old Drugs for Survival

When it comes to survival medicine, I make no claim of being an expert.  I am, after all, a mere layman with no medical training.  On the other hand, I do possess a good deal of common sense so when something seems a bit off, I do my own research and make decisions based upon data and not upon supposition.

Something that has always been “off” to me are expiration dates on pharmaceuticals.  Why is it that drugs always expire exactly one year after the date they were filled? 

. . . Read More

The Survival Buzz #188: The Ultimate Comfort Food!

Ultimate Comfort Food | Backdoor Survival

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

You might be asking yourself, “What the heck is Gaye up to?.  Let me give you a brief rundown.

As I reported last week, I have been on a road trip that has taken me south through Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and Arizona.  There is some mighty beautiful country out there and it is a huge change from what I am used to in northwest Washington State.

. . . Read More

10 Smart Survival Strategies for the Woman Living Alone

10 Smart Survival Strategies for the Woman Living Alone | Backdoor Survival

Most preparedness information out there seems to assume that everyone is part of a family with a mom, a dad, three kids, and a dog. Or, if not that, an extended family that includes brothers, uncles, and a grand-pappy.  Somehow, the picture presented always includes a man.

The truth is, that is not always the case; there are a lot of women alone out there who are also preparing, and it often seems like they are left out of the equations.

There are all sorts of reasons that a woman might be living alone.

. . . Read More

Prepper Book Festival 9: Apocalypse By Government + Giveaway

Apocalypse By Government | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to government intervention into our lives, I personally draw the line on an embedded RFID chip.  In concept, I can see some advantages in very limited situations but for the most part, the entire idea is far too “Big Brother” for my liking.

In the  next book in the Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 9, the Government has promised food, shelter, and security in return for embedding an RFID Chip.  It should come as no surprise that for the characters in the book, things do not quite work out that way and things go from bad to worse.

. . . Read More

How to Prep for Those with Dietary Restrictions

How to Prep for Dietary Restrictions | Backdoor Survival

When I was a kid, it was very rare to be around someone that had food intolerances, allergies, or special diets. We never thought twice about taking peanut butter sandwiches to school, everyone could digest milk, I didn’t know a single vegetarian, and I’d never even heard of Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance.

These days, though, things are very different. Whether it’s because our food supply is highly processed and unhealthy or for some other reason, more and more people have been forced to eliminate entire food groups. . . . Read More

The Survival Buzz #187: Tenderfoot Adventures of a First-Time Farmer

Tenderfoot Adventures of a First-Time Farmer | Backdoor Survival

Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz.  As you know, I have embarked upon a grand adventure (aka “The Road Trip”) so to keep my sanity and attempt to relax a bit, I have invited my friend Daisy Luther to share her preps this week. She lives on a small farm and does lots of things that I only dream of, such as raise chickens and goats.

So with that introduction, I turn you over to Daisy, who, by the way, is also known as The Organic Prepper.

. . . Read More

50 Ways to Use Duct Tape for Survival

50 Ways to Use Duct Tape for Survival | Backdoor Survival

I have always claimed, and not altogether jokingly, that you could build a house with Elmer’s glue and Duct Tape.  Both items are readily available, relatively inexpensive, and easy to tote around.  Given my penchant for common, everyday products that can be used dozens of ways, I thought it would be fun to once again look at some of the practical uses of duct tape around the house, camping, and of course, in a survival or emergency situation.

You might recall that way back when, in the early days of this website, I wrote about the 34 Ways to Use Duct Tape for Survival

. . . Read More

Emergency Water For Preppers: Resources You Need to Know About

Emergency Water Resources | Backdoor Survival

For the past month or so, the focus has been emergency water, that most vital but often under-appreciated prep.

During this time, I have highlighted various aspects of water preparedness, including storage, acquisition, and purification.  These recent articles, coupled with those that have been posted in the past, bring to you a wealth of knowledge that will enable you to be water-prepped, regardless of where you live and the size of your budget.

And that, in a nutshell, is the point.  The internet is a wonderful place and there is a wealth of knowledge available free for the taking. 

. . . Read More

20 Home Security and Crime Prevention Secrets for Preppers

20 Home Security and Crime Prevention Secrets for Preppers

A major component of family preparedness is the maintenance of comfort, control, and self-preservation in a time of crisis.  Whatever the source of the crisis, we as humans want to protect the homestead and our loved ones at any cost.  (And by the way, many species on the animal kingdom do the same.)

The reason I bring this topic to the forefront is that recently, at a community meeting, I learned that home burglaries in my area are on the rise.  This, in a community where many still do not lock their doors, was no surprise to me given the dire straits so many are in financially. 

. . . Read More

The Survival Buzz #186: Hitting the Road with a Survival Mindset

How Not to Get Ready for a Road Trip | Backdoor Survival

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

Having done quite a bit of travel by commercial air, I have been rather overwhelmed while putting together everything I need to be on a road trip.  Unlike the airlines with their 50 pound bag limits, at first you think that the space in a vehicle is limitless.  The reality is much different.

So, even though I had visions of looking like the Beverly Hillbillies on their journey west, I have cut way back so I can include a generous emergency kit, my portable first aid kit, and a case of bottled water. 

. . . Read More

Emergency Water for Preppers Part 3: Storage

Emergency Water for Preppers Part 3 Storage | Backdoor Survival

It seems as though every day I get a new question or two about emergency water.  The most interesting thing is that the questions get more detailed and more technical over time.  This tells me that preppers generally, and Backdoor Survival readers specifically, are an educated bunch that are willing to do whatever is necessary to ensure that they have safe, drinkable water following a disruptive event.

In the early days of my preparedness journey, I became some what of a water freak.  You may, in fact, have heard me use that term. 

. . . Read More

Prepper Book Festival 9: Chickens From Scratch + Giveaway

Prepper Book Festival Chickens from Scratch | Backdoor Survival

One of my dreams is to someday own a small flock of chickens.  I would tend to the flock myself and have plenty of fresh, wholesome eggs to serve for breakfast, lunch and even dinner.  Thus is the dream and I admit that it is more fantasy than reality.  But heck?  You never know, right?

With that introduction, I present the next entry in  Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 9Chickens from Scratch: Raising Your Own Chickens from Hatch to Egg Laying and Beyond is a book about raising chickens the old fashioned way. 

. . . Read More

20 Ways To Benefit from Clove Essential Oil

20 Ways to Benefit from Clove Essential Oil | Backdoor Survival

It has happened to all of us.  It is the weekend or you are miles away from civilization and your tooth starts to hurt.  The pain is excruciating and has become so bad you can not eat, drink, concentrate, or get through the normal day-to-day activities of life.  If it is night time, you can’t sleep.

A trip to the ER is not practical and of course, what dentist is open for business on the weekend?

Let me let you in on a secret.  You can temporarily mitigate the pain and suffering of a toothache with with the oil of clove, an inexpensive and readily available essential oil commonly referred to as clove oil or clove bud oil”.

. . . Read More

The Survival Buzz #185: Some Weeks Are a Mixed Bag of Preps

When it comes to Preparedness & Prepping, some weeks are a mixed bag | Backdoor Survival

Every Friday afternoon, I sit down and write the Survival Buzz,  In doing so, I gather up all of scraps of paper where I have jotted down my accomplishments for the week and try to make some sense of them.  Some weeks I do a better job than others both in terms of accomplishments and how I put them together.  This week is one of those “not so good” weeks which, I am afraid, are becoming more frequent.

So what did I do to prep this week? 

. . . Read More

Never Be In the Dark With The Awesome Luci EMRG Light + Giveaway

Luci Inflatable EMRG Solar Light | Backdoor Survival

Lighting is important for so many things, not the least of which is finding your way in the darkness during a power outage or while stumbling around outdoors on a moon-less night.  It therefore should come as no surprise that emergency lighting is one of the top ten items on every prepper’s must-have list.

The collection of emergency light sources we gather for preparedness purposes is often extensive and includes flashlights, propane lanterns, and USB charged light sticks.  Heck, anyone that has been around this website for any period of time knows that I have portable lighting stashed everywhere, including three flashlights sitting on my nightstand right at this moment.

. . . Read More

Emergency Water for Preppers Part 2: Purification

Emergency Water for Preppers Purification | Backdoor Survival

While sourcing water, and especially an adequate supply of water, is a challenge, making such water safe to drink is a whole other matter.  There is much confusion relative to the best method to use to purify water.

Is it boiling, filtering, adding bleach, distillation, or something else?  Truth be told, the answer is “it depends”.  Over time, I am starting to believe that the answer you get is dependent upon who you ask and what interests they happen to represent.

In this article, Daisy Luther, responds to the water purification questions posed by readers in a recent Prepper Book Festival giveaway

. . . Read More

Homesteaders and Preppers: We Are All On the Same Team

Homesteaders & Preppers: We Are On the Same Team | Backdoor Survival

I’m not sure why people so often feel the need to be smug and put down others for their self-reliance efforts. Maybe it’s because they need to feel superior. Maybe they don’t actually see the entire picture, and their opinions are based on only partial information. Maybe, giving the benefit of the doubt, they don’t realize how demoralizing their comments are to others who are doing the best they can with the resources they have.

The other day, I saw a comment that made me see red.

. . . Read More

The Survival Buzz #184: Where Did Those Bags of Rice Come From?

Where the heck did this rice come from? | Backdoor Survival

Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps plus news and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.  Let me warn you, I am in a rambling mood.

This week I continued to organize my stuff and surprised myself by finding two large sacks of rice hidden away in a dark corner.  Don’t ask.  At least they were dated and are only a couple of years old.  Plus, they were in a cool part of my house.

I set the the rice out to be packaged in a six gallon bucket.

. . . Read More

Emergency Water for Preppers Part 1: Acquisition

Emergency Water for Preppers Acquisition | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to planning for a disruptive event, nothing tops the quest for a source of good clean drinking water.  Water followed by food, are the top priorities for 99.9% of all new preppers and even the seasoned pros still seek knowledge relative to keeping themselves both hydrated and fed.

What is most surprising is that as much my colleagues and I write abut water, there are still questions to be answered and water-related skills to be learned.  For that reason I have chosen to declare “Water Month” at Backdoor Survival.

. . . Read More

Prepper Book Festival 9: Shadow Patriots New Recruits

Prepper Book Festival - Shadow Patriots Series |Backdoor Survival

A small part of each of us harbors a lack of trust in those organizations and agencies empowered to keep us safe.  This, I am afraid, is a 21st century reality.  While it easy to point fingers and play a blame game, it is my opinion that we are better served by fostering self-reliance so that we can depend upon ourselves and not on third parties.

The latest entry in the Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 9 is a work of fiction titled New Recruits (The Shadow Patriots Volume 2)

. . . Read More

How to Create an Emergency Ammo Can First Aid Kit

How to Create an Ammo Can First Aid Kit | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to having a well-stocked first aid kit, I want to be prepared.  I truly do.  Having spent weeks at a time on a boat in the remote waters of British Columbia, I have always understood that a drugstore and medical doctor may not be accessible.  If sick or wounded, I would be on my own.

So why then, were my first aid supplies in such a disorderly mess?

In hindsight, I believe that in spite of having good intentions, it was a lot easier to keep purchasing supplies then to organize them. 

. . . Read More

The Survival Buzz #183: Traveling with Long Guns

Getting Ready for Traveling with Hand Guns | Backdoor Survival

Greetings from the weekly Survival Buzz!  I can hardly believe another week has gone by. That said, what a week it has been in terms of the catastrophic wildfires here in Washington State.  I happen to live in a Firewise community and so far, the only fire I have seen is a minor one in the nearby marina.

I know that many of you live close to some of the burning fires. My advice is get out of harm’s way before you have to.  Bug out to a friend or relative’s house or check into a hotel outside of the danger zone. 

. . . Read More

Survival Friday: An iClever Product Review

Backdoor Survival iClever Review and Giveaway

Have you ever had something happen that would normally be a major inconvenience and find you are okay with it?  That is happening to me, right here and right now as I am sitting here writing.

Welcome to the Twilight Zone of no internet, no cell service, and no communication with the rest of the world! I do have my Ham radio turned on, but there is no activity at the moment so all is very quiet.  And I am loving it.

You might even say that ultimately, this sense of taking things in stride comes from being prepared and being a prepper!

. . . Read More

Prepper Book Festival 9: Prepper’s Natural Medicine

Preppers Natural Medicine | Backdoor Survival

As an advocate of both essential oils and medical self-care, I am constantly on the look out for credible information that will afford good health without dependence on toxic pharmaceuticals.  I do not mean to imply that I totally shun modern drugs but these days, many of the newer drugs cause more harm than good.

To coin a cliché, this week’s entry in Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 9 is just what the doctor ordered.  In this case, the “doctor” is Cat Ellis, the Herbal Prepper, and the book is Prepper’s Natural Medicine: Life-Saving Herbs, Essential Oils and Natural Remedies.

. . . Read More

A Glimpse at Everyday Life Without Running Water

Everyday Life Without Running Water | Backdoor Survival

Something I have learned over the years is that my own experience coupled with the anecdotal experience of my peers will always trump the theoretical.  Most assuredly, this also applies to coping skills learned in a disaster or what I like to call a “Disruptive Event”.

Some of you might recall that due to a break at the water meter coming into my home, I was without running water for 12 days.  Because I was prepared, the lack of running water was at most an inconvenience.

. . . Read More