The Prepper’s Holiday Gift Guide

Preppers Holiday Gift Guide | Backdoor Survival

With the onset of the holiday season, it is time to begin thinking about how we are going to spend both our precious time and money to ensure that we make the most of the spirit of the season.

My own household is entering into unchartered territory.

Where normally we spend the month of December traipsing around serene forest trails while wearing cozy down jackets, this year will be different.  We will be wearing tank tops and tee shirts and cooking outdoors using a Sun Oven. 

. . . Read More

Simple Comforts: How and Why You Should Make Your Own Bread

How and Why You Should Make Your Own Bread | Backdoor Survival

I’m pretty sure that if there’s a key to happiness, it is baking your own bread.  Think about it…

The smell when you proof the yeast.

Mixing all those fresh ingredients like a chemist.

Then, you put it in the oven and don’t even get me started about the smell! There is something special about that aroma created from the mixture of flour, water, yeast, and salt that makes you feel that all is right with the world.

Then…you get to slice into it, slather it with butter that melts on contact, and eat the entire loaf at one meal. 

. . . Read More

The Survival Buzz #196: Organizing Prep Purchases – Again!

Organizing Prep Purchases Again | 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.

For the past few weeks, I have been purchasing this and that and stashing the items in a closed off room.  Who has not done that from time to time?  This week I decided it was time to start putting things in their proper place so that is what I did.  It probably took more time to organize after the fact than if I had done it from the get go but heck, at least it is done.

. . . Read More

What Is In That Can of Freeze Dried Food? + Mountain House 3-Day Kit Giveaway

What is in that can of freeze dried food? | Backdoor Survival

Something that has been troubling me lately is rumor that some freeze dried products are produced from ingredients that are sourced in countries whose standards of wholesomeness and cleanliness are less than what we are accustomed to in North America.

As I rebuild my own food storage from scratch, this has become a major consideration. Do I want my precious food storage to come from China where standards of sanitation and quality in food processing are lax?  I think not.

Don’t get me wrong.  Not all countries have lax standards and as soon as I can verify my research, I will let you know who is on the “A” list and who is not. 

. . . Read More

Prepper Book Festival 10: Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life + Giveaway

Spy Secrets That can Save Your Life | Backdoor Survival

Recent world events dictate that we remain on high alert, whether attending a concert, traveling using public transportation, shopping at the mall, or even walking around our own neighborhoods.  If you are like me, you may already be thinking that you know enough about situational awareness to know when something bad is about to happen and, as I have suggested, escape or take cover.

But that is only the tip of the iceberg.  To really get a grasp on the skills you need to stay ahead of the bad guys, you are going to need expert safety, survival, escape and evasion tactics. 

. . . Read More

What You Need to Know About Eating Expired Food

What You Need to Know About Eating Expired Food | Backdoor Survival

Have you ever been rooting through your pantry and come across a package that is well past its expiration date? Despite our good intentions, attempts at organization, and careful rotation of supplies, it still happens from time to time.

What about a really amazing sale on a packaged food? Sometimes that good sale is a last-ditch effort to clear out the product before the date. Should you still buy it?

When sorting supplies for my recent relocation, I discovered to my dismay that a couple of items had passed their expiration dates.

. . . Read More

How Not to Be a Victim and Survive A Terrorist Attack

How Not to Be a Victim and Survive A Terrorist Attack | Backdoor Survival

The world is abuzz with questions about the recent attack on the citizens of Paris.  How could this happen?  Why did this happen? And perhaps closer to home, could a similar horror happen to me?

I do not have any trite answers to ease your concern, shock, and panic over a seemingly random terrorist attack.  I can, however, share my own thoughts as well as those from some of the most trusted and credible people in my circle of colleagues.

Bracing for the New Reality

The first to weigh in is Richard Broome who reached out Friday evening, before the full scope of the tragedy was widely known. 

. . . Read More

The Survival Buzz #195: What It Means to Be Prepared

Be Prepared for What? | 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.

A couple of week’s ago this comment from “Chele” was posted to my Facebook page:

The boy scout’s motto is ‘be prepared.’ But be prepared for what–was the first thing I thought.

Be prepared…. for life, living, things as they come, things as they happen. Be prepared to make your way, as you become better enabled, as you can. Be prepared to respond, not just react, to situations as you face them.

. . . Read More

5 Oddball Uses for Duct Tape + RediTape

5 Oddball Uses for Duct Tape | Backdoor Survival

We have all done it.  Who has not squished a roll of duct tape flat so that it would take up less room? Or, alternatively, who has not taken a few feet of duct tape and wrapped it around a pencil so it could be stored easily in a tight space?  I will bet there are a sea of hands out there!

Well guess what?  You no longer have to do that!  Now there is RediTape Duct Tape which comes in pocket sized, 5 yard packs. 

. . . Read More

Prepper Book Festival 10: Lights Out by Ted Koppel + Giveaway

Prepper Book Festival Lights Out | Backdoor Survival

On more than one occasion, I have suggested that our greatest risk is that of an EMP, whether caused by natural events or a cyberattack.  Regardless of its source, experts say that the massive destruction of the power grid will send us back to pioneer days.  The difference, of course, is that back in those olden days, folks were not reliant on technology to power virtually ever aspect of their lives.

Circling back, today it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to  Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath by award winning news anchor and journalist Ted Koppel. 

. . . Read More

How To Build Your Own Perfect Bug Out Bag

How To Build Your Own Perfect Bug Out Bag | Backdoor Survival

For years, my bug out bag has languished in a closet, stuffed to the gills with the gear that I “thought” I might need if forced to flee my home following a disruptive event.  My bag, as precious as it was, weighed over 40 pounds and the zippers were to the point of bursting.  It was full of gear to cover every contingency I could think of.

How did this happen?  Quite honestly, it happened gradually over a period of years.  It started six years ago with my first B.O.B.  

. . . Read More

The Survival Buzz #194: Give Your Preps and Chores A Rest!

Give Your Preps and Chores A Rest | 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.

When I was a young woman, my parents told me that everything I did became a grand adventure.  To this day, I don’t know whether that was a compliment or not, but hey, I will take it.  How that plays out now is that with each day and with each task, the mundane becomes a big deal.  Does that make sense?

And thus it is with prepping. 

. . . Read More

25 Natural Remedies For Diabetes

25 Natural Remedies for Diabetes | Backdoor Survival

A few weeks ago I read an email from a reader that made me sad.  In it, she said that given her daughter’s reliance on insulin, she had come to terms with the fact that in a true SHTF scenario, her daughter would die. Those of you that have read William Forstchen’s book, One Second After may recall that the main character’s daughter was a diabetic and died because of a lack of insulin.

I really had no words of wisdom to pass on to this reader. 

. . . Read More

Prepper Book Festival 10: Middle Ground Prepping

Middle Ground Prepping | Backdoor Survival

Anytime I hear the term “Extreme Prepping” I cringe.  Extreme denotes exceeding the bounds of moderation and guess what?  That is not, in my humble opinion, what prepping is all about.  Give me the normal and give me the ordinary.  I want prepping to be a mainstream preoccupation and so that is what I write about.

Prepping in moderation using common sense and practicality is the mantra of this website.  For that reason, I am delighted to have the opportunity to introduce the book Middle Ground Prepping: A Sensible Approach  as the next entry in Prepper Book Festival 10: The Best New Books to Help You Prepare.

. . . Read More

The Conundrum of Bugging Out and What To Do About It

The Conundrum of Bugging Out | Backdoor Survival

Over the past five years, I have seen the concept of bugging out escalate to the realm of ridiculousness.  Much of this, in my opinion, has come from the commercialization of bug out bags, the glamorization of bug-out preps in the media and within entertainment circles, and, quite simply, blogging sites that promote bug out strategies as part of their down and dirty fear mongering to get you to purchase over-priced info-products or survival gear.

Circling back, bugging out has its place as I will explain in a moment. 

. . . Read More

The Survival Buzz #193: With Mother Nature There Is No Room for Procrastination

With Mother Nature There Is No Room to Procrastinate | Backdoor Survival

Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on preps plus news and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.  So what’s new this week?

You might recall that during my road trip, I had my friend and online blogging colleague, Daisy Luther, fill in for me with reports from her homestead in Northern California.  In keeping with that tradition, I have invited Daisy to come back and join us monthly with prepping news and tips that bring a different perspective to the Buzz.  The fact that it gives me a bit of time off does not hurt either!

. . . Read More

The Best Practices for Using Mylar Bags

Best Practices for Using Mylar Bags & Oxygen Absorbers | Backdoor Survival

Given the price of food these days, I take proper food storage techniques seriously.  That being said, I have learned over the years that practices for storing bulk foods vary widely, with some methods being both cumbersome and confusing.  Trust me, I have been there and done that.  With only two hands and two arms, there is just so much juggling of bags, buckets, and beans that a gal can do singlehandedly.

Today I am going to demonstrate how I package my own bulk foods and in addition,tell you about some of the best Mylar bags out there. 

. . . Read More

Prepper Book Festival 10: The Penny-Pinching Prepper

Prepper Book Festival Penny Pinching Prepper | Backdoor Survival

Years ago, when Backdoor Survival was just a few months old, I ran across a small website that was also just getting off the ground.  At the time, many prepping sites were quite militaristic and doomsday-oriented so it was refreshing to see a site that was grounded in a set of core values similar to mine.  The site was and from the get go, the site owner, Bernie Carr, and I became online friends.

A lot has changed in our world since then, and the scary events we prepare for these days seem a whole lot more intense. 

. . . Read More

7 Herbal Remedies You Should Have In Your Arsenal

7 Herbal Remedies You Should Have In Your Arsenal | Backdoor Survival

With Winter right about the corner, it is time to begin to focus upon building up an arsenal of remedies to get us through the cold and flu season.  Not surprisingly, these are not traditional over the counter meds but rather  a variety of herbal remedies that you can concoct yourself from inexpensive ingredients not the least of which are herbs that may be growing in your yard or in the surrounding locale.

For preppers, the importance of learning to use herbal remedies is that if the time ever came when traditional medicines were not available, sickness would spread and we would be left on our own to treat even the most common viral and bacterial infections.

. . . Read More

The Survival Buzz #192: The Gear That Made the Journey

Survival Gear That Made the Journey | 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.

Last week I told you about phase one in starting to acquire preps from the ground up here at my temporary home in Central Arizona.  As promised, this week I am showing you the gear that made the journey along with as many personal items we could stuff into a Subaru.

Here is the list.  The items were chosen based upon one of three factors. 

. . . Read More

No Power? No Problem! The Marsboy Portable Solar Charger

No Power? No Problem! The Marsboy Portable Solar Charger | Backdoor Survival

With each passing day, our reliance on portable electronics grows.  These little devices are powerhouse computers that store our calendars, digital reference libraries, photo albums, tasks lists and just about everything else you can think of.  Life before gizmos; can you even imagine it?

In spite of our reliance on electronic devices, there is a downside. They consume energy like crazy and require frequent recharging using electricity.  I know some folks that are so dependent on their devices that put them through a charging cycle twice a day!

. . . Read More

Prepper Book Festival 10: The Best New Books to Help You Prepare

Prepper Book Festival 10 | Backdoor Survival

It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to the books that were selected for the Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival #10.  My gosh, what a line-up.  For the first time, all 14 books are non-fiction and they cover such a wide range of topics that there is surely something for everyone!

As readers, I hope that you find something that is both interesting and educational in this list of book festival entries. These are the best new books to help you prepare!  I also hope that in the coming weeks you will enjoy the author interviews and that you take a moment or two to enter the giveaways to win some free books,

But first, for those of you that are unfamiliar with book festival format, what is a “Prepper Book Festival”?

. . . Read More

Survival Basics: Prepping for An Unexpected Power Outage

Prepping for An Unexpected Power Outage | Backdoor Survival

You don’t have to be a prepper to realize that power outages can happen anytime, to anybody, and anywhere.  Some outages are planned, some are the result of Mother Nature kicking up a storm, and some are the unexpected result of a natural or man-made crisis.  More recently, the threat of a cyber-attack or terrorist invoked EMP has been added to the mix, and most assuredly, if that were to happen, we will be without power for an extended time.

The bottom line is this: the delicacy of our grid is such that nearly any disruption can cause a sudden and unexpected power outage.

. . . Read More

The Survival Buzz #191: When It Comes to Prepping, Where Do I Start?

When It Comes to Prepping, Where Do I Start?

This week in the Survival Buzz I am going to address the most pressing question that has crossed my mind in a long time.  When it comes to prepping, where do I start?  Sure, I have written about this before, sometimes in general terms and other times very specifically.  But this is me starting over and not someone else.  These are preps that are particular to my location and my life.  Where do I start?

Now for those of you just signing on, you might not know that last week I shared the news that I had relocated to Central Arizona for five or six months. 

. . . Read More

15 Uses For the SportsTek Survival Shovel

15 Uses for the SportsTek Survival Shovel | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to multi-function survival shovels, my experience up until now has been two-fold: crappy and crappier.  Those I have tested bend while digging the simplest of holes and they have blades that become dull after just a single use.  Honestly, they have not been worth the money I paid and therefore I have never reviewed such an item for fear you might buy one.

Like I said, that is until now.  Today I am thrilled to introduce you to the SportsTek Multifunctional Survival Shovel

. . . Read More

The 9 Best Essential Oils for Your Survival Kit

9 Best Essential Oils for Your Survival Kit | Backdoor Survival

There are many reasons why learning about essential oils is useful for preppers.  Not the least of those reasons is to lessen the reliance on expensive and often ineffective and toxic pharmaceuticals.  How often have you filled an expensive prescription only to have side effects or find that the drug simply did not work.  Other than add these meds to your SHTF barter kit, you are out of luck.

On the other hand, most essential oils are quite inexpensive and have the added bonus that a prescription is not required. 

. . . Read More

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