The Best of Backdoor Survival

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Another year has ended here at Backdoor Survival and what can I say?  My readers are the most prepared and the most awesome preppers on the planet.  They are ordinary folks living ordinary lives doing the best they can to be ready for life’s emergencies.

Looking back, I am sure that you will agree that 2013 has been quite the year on a lot of fronts.  Most notably, the much dreaded SHTF never happened.  Sure, there were some squeaks and bumps in the economy plus Obamacare and its ramifications have hit many of us hard.

Best of Backdoor Survival 2013

Natural disasters and wonky weather continued to wreak havoc throughout the world.  Although North America did not suffer from a major hurricane or tropical storm, other countries were not so lucky.  Most notably, there are still 1,900 people missing and 4 million displaced following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.  And then there is the continued tragedy of Fukushima, as plant #3 gives pause for concern to everyone living on the West Coast of North America.

But enough bad news.  Today I want to cast a positive note on the past year by highlighting fifteen of the most popular articles on Backdoor Survival in 2013.

Top 15 Most Viewed Articles on Backdoor Survival in 2013

9 Mistakes Typically Made by Preppers

29 Reasons to Use Coffee Filters for Survival

12 Months of Prepping – The First Year

How to Recharge Alkaline Batteries

The Miracle of Tea Tree Oil: 80 Amazing Uses for Survival

20 Items to Kick Start Your Food Storage Plan

The 10 Commandments of Survival

40 Items to Barter in a Post-Collapse World

A Primer on Propane for Prepping and Survival

39 Fantastic Prepping Tips

How to Sharpen Razor Blades for the Long Term

5 Uncommon Skills That Will Be Useful After the SHTF

DIY Miracle Healing Salve

DIY Liquid Castile Soap “Wonderful”

How to Build an Outdoor Mud Oven for Use Now and When the SHTF

Other Notable Items

In 2013, Backdoor Survival Book Festivals became hugely popular with readers as well as authors and publishers.  The almost-weekly author interviews and book giveaways have exposed us to many great reads in both the the survival fiction and non-fiction genres  We are currently about half way through Book Festival 4 and many great books and their authors are already lined up for Book Festival 5.

And then there were (and are) the giveaways.  We gave away a WonderMill grain mill, a Royal Berkey, Mountain House food, a Tactical Traveler and a Lifestraw among many other things.  The Winter Blast Giveaway will continue through the first couple of months of 2014 with more great items and an opportunity to win them for free.

BDS has 7,400 email subscribers (sign up here) and 10,300 Facebook fans.  I continue to scour Amazon for relevant eBooks that are temporarily available for free and offer them to you on Facebook three or four times a week.

In July, I implemented a new site design that made navigation easier but alas, is still fright with behind-the-scenes woes that give me a lot of grief.  These problems have resulted in a few outages but the good news is that I expect to have these problems corrected buy the end of January.

Finally, in 2013 I was offered a major book deal but ultimately turned it down so I could continue to focus on this blog.  Instead I have chosen to publish short eBooks on Amazon, the first of which is The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage.

A Look Forward into 2014

In addition to improvements in the site design, I am looking into a better comment system as well as a better anti-spam system.  I am also taking steps to eliminate the rampant stealing of Backdoor Survival content by unscrupulous websites that are trying to make money off of the work of authors such as myself.

Content wise, I will be refreshing 12 Months of Prepping – One Month At a Time with updated material to help both newbie and experienced preppers with their preparedness journey.  In addition, I will be sharing more real-life experiences and tips from readers such as yourself.  I will also be expanding on practical DIY articles showing how to do everything from building an alcohol heater to baking bread on on outdoor grill.

Balance is everything in life and I plan to practice what I preach and spend more time with my husband, Shelly, and less time behind a computer.

The Final Word

I said in the beginning that 2013 has been quite the year.  I fully expect 2014 to be more of the same.  I would like to thank you so much for being fabulous readers and for staying loyal to Backdoor Survival.

Now here is a New Year’s surprise.  I am giving away a copy of my book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage, to 5 readers who leave a comment below.  No rules, no quiz, just leave a comment.  The winner will be chosen at random from comments that are made on January 1st and 2nd.

Good luck to everyone and my best wishes for a Happy New Year!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

New:  Click Here To Vote For Me at Top Prepper Websites!

If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Facebook which is updated every time there is an awesome new article, news byte, or link to a free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon.  You can also follow Backdoor Survival on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

In addition, when you sign up to receive email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Bargain Bin: I put some thought into the things I would want to have if or when there is another Great Depression. I own all of these items.

Lodge Logic 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet: Cast iron items were at the top of the list. My readers love cast iron and so do I. Also at the top were Lodge Set of 2 Pan Scrapers and the Lodge Max Temp Handle Mitt.

All New Square Foot Gardening: I put in a Square Foot Garden last year and was pleased with the results. It is not too early to start planning for spring planting.

Clara’s Kitchen: Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes from the Great Depression: If you don’t know about Clara, be sure to read Depression Cooking: A Visit to Clara’s Kitchen.

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking: At an average cost of 50 cents a loaf, this bread is easy, delicious and inexpensive to make.  Also Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients

How to Live on Wheat: Everything you need to know about wheat.

Fiskars 7855 8-Inch Hatchet: The Fiskars products are easily sharpened and will last a lifetime. For less than $25, what is not to like? Oh, and while you are at it, you might also like the Fiskars Axe & Knife Sharpener for an additional $10.

Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets (Pack of 10): I do believe in helping my neighbors in the community so a supply of these will be handy to hand out to those in need. You will be surprised at how warm these will keep you. Be sure to test one out in advance so that you have the confidence to trust the blanket in an emergency.

Holding Your Ground: Preparing for Defense if it All Falls Apart: This book, by Joe Nobody, is the book you need this book if you care about defending your homestead.


Shop Emergency Essentials Sales for Fantastic Deals!

For over 25 years Emergency Essentials has been providing the highest quality preparedness products at great prices.  Plus, each month they feature sales that quite honestly are fantastic.  This month note the great sale prices two of my favorites, the Mobile Washer (Hand Operated Washing Machine) now only $14.95 and the Tote-able Toilet Seat and Lid, now only $11.79.



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The Amazon Top Most Wished For Emergency and Survival Kit Items
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Which are the best oils for your survival kit?  This article describes my top picks.

9 Best Essential Oils for Your Survival Kit | Backdoor Survival


The Best of Backdoor Survival — 45 Comments

  1. You’re still my #1 prepper newsletter. Also, I saved your Amazon link and use it everytime I order from Amazon, which is all the time. Happy New Year & thanx for all your hard work for us.

  2. Dear Gaye,
    Every time I open my email I look for your posts and virtually ignore EVERYTHING else until I’ve read it all!!! As a bit of “newbie prepper”, your info is invaluable!!! I read every link, and save it as well for the future. As an “over the road” trucker prepping isn’t the easiest thing to do for the home and family, (especially with a skeptical spouse), but my “on the road home” ( my rig ) is a “mini version” of what I’m doing at home! Your “Best of 2013” has already been forwarded to several of my “prepping mentors” as a “go to source” itself!!!!
    Keep up your great work!!! YOU are truly –MY– inspiration to keep plugging along!!!!
    Sincerely ,Ernie

  3. My husband and I just recently started looking into prepping and learning everything we can before we start. So far, I’ve enjoyed your info the most and find it the most valuable. I always look forward to reading your newsletters. Thank you for all that you do!! Happy New Year to you and your family!!

  4. Happy New Year to u and ur husband. I am a new prepper and there r so many sites out there it is overwhelming. So when i stumbled upon ur site i was relieved. Ur articles r very informative and written so that a person can get a handled on what is really important when starting out. I also appreciate that u use ur preps and share with us ur hit and misses. But my favorite thing is when u share the deals u find on prepper goods. It saves me so much time from having to look at many sites and guessing if the stuff is any good. Thanks for all u do!

  5. Gaye, I was just wondering if you were familiar with “Phoenix Island: A Tale of Disaster, Survival, and Rebirth” by Charlotte Paul? This writer lives in the San Juan islands and writes of a tsunami that hits the island. $.35 on Amazon.
    May you have as good a year this year as you did last. Happy New Year.

    • @John – Yes I am. Last year I connected with Mark Shepard who had Phoenix Island re-published, It is now available in print form and I have one of the first copies. I like to feature Phoenix Island in the Bargain Bin and on FB once a month. It is a classic and the price is right plus, the story took place in my community. Happy New Year to you!

  6. Thank you and shelly, may the coming year bring you the joy and happiness you richly deserve. Preparednessis peaceof mind!

  7. I came here to wish you, your husband and all of the readers a Happy New Year – but if it is also entering me in your book drawing then that is a added bonus (an addition to reason great articles!)


    • Don’t count as a second entry to you giveaway!
      Just wanted to say – the messed up English in my previous post was due to Android’s “predictive” spelling’ and my failure to proof read! Hope your new comments software will allow editing.
      Should have been (in addition to reading great articles) – if the tablet will leave my spelling alone!

  8. Happy New Year to you and your husband. My wife and I enjoy and appreciate your site as we are on our own preparedness journey. We have learned a lot from you and look forward to 2014 and more info from you.

  9. Happy New Year! It’s because of you, that I’ve begun my first attempts at essential oils with a lot of success. It’s because of you, we have detailed bug out bags. It’s because of you, our preps are orgainzed and inventoried. It’s because of you, we are prepared! Thank you for changing the way I look at prepping. Here’s to a safe disaster free 2014.

  10. My husband & I began prepping about a year ago. Your blog was one of the very first that I found and I have continued to savor it all year. Recently, I “cleared” out a lot of the clutter in my email account. I decided to keep my top 5 favorite prepping advisers. Why did I choose Backdoor Survival? Because of the balance that you project through your articles – a sense of urgency without paranoia; dedication to prepping for survival while enjoying life today; some dire & gloomy news stories interspered with upbeat & uplifting stories; and simple, creative ideas. I look forward to sharing 2014 with you!

  11. Happy New Year. Thank you for the info that you provide. I love the DIY cleaning recipes, keep them coming please. I want to learn more about using essential oils, currently using some of the healing salve on a couple of burned fingers.

  12. Just recently found your site – very impressed. Even tho we’ve been ‘prepping’ for most of our 42 years of married life, there’s always something new to learn. Even after 10 years here in FL we’re still trying to master the art of gardening, it’s so very different than New England. Looking forward to your input in 2014.

  13. Like many of the previous posts, I’m new at this and am trying to soak up as much of this as I can. I’ve already begun my mindset change on things and have also started gathering some stuff that was easy for my wife to adjust to. She’s beginning to be more acceptable to changes. I look forward to continuing to read your new posts and to finish checking out your older ones. Thanks for all the good info!!

  14. Your efforts are a true blessing to so many people. Very glad to hear that “balance” is a part of your resolutions – something we can all work on every year. Thank you for all you do and Happy New Year!

  15. Hope you and Shelly have a wonderful New Year! Thank you for all your efforts in teaching us, keeping us informed, finding great bargains on Amazon and other sites and the fabulous links to so many free, entertaining and informative books. Lots to look forward to every day!

    • Thank you so very much for your work on our behalf. I lived on Shaw in the 70’s and still long for the Islands. I miss the salt breeze, the fresh sea food and my milk cows! While I am no longer milking, I am happy to say all of my children know how to milk!

  16. I can’t remember how I found you, but I AM SO GLAD that I did! Thank you for taking the time to inform us on everything that you do. It is all so important and I am sure grateful to you!!!

  17. I would love to see more product reviews this year too. I’ve come to trust your opinion on all the gear and foods that you review. I’ve made several purchases based on your recommendation and I’ve never been disappointed. Many times I feel like other reviewers are giving a thumbs up just because they received the merchandise free or were affiliated with the product. Thank you for all the time and effort you put into the information you pass on to us. Wishing you a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.

  18. Happy New Year! I look forward to 2014 and everything that I can learn from you. Thank you for all of the free books, product reviews, and prepping information that you share. I have to catch up on reading all of those great free books now 🙂

  19. Happy New Year! I truly enjoy your emails, I look forward to them!
    I started doing what I could to be prepared about a year ago & it has been difficult on our income but through your emails I have learned some very helpful ways to pinch pennies and still be working on being prepared for a disaster. 🙂 Thank you for helping all of us!

  20. Ms Gaye I want to thank you for all the work and time you spend helping others to prepare themselves for whatever may arise, I find your site most useful and follow on Facebook, keep up the good articles and Happy New Year to you and Shelly.

  21. Gaye,
    Thank you so much for all the info you share with us. I’ve been prepping for a long time but I really enjoy all the information you have put together. Keep it up.

  22. Happy New Year Gaye and please keep up the good work. I so enjoy your reviews and articles and hope you continue to keep writing. As I have said before, your site is refreshing, informative and never pushing things for sale. I hope 2014 brings you health and happiness and that we don’t need our preps but in case we do you have made it much more interesting and fun at the same time. Thanks!

  23. Gaye, your site is a true blessing. I learn a lot, and I appreciate that you have your emails, your site, and that for those of us that do not have a facebook account, we can still obtain this wonderful info. I had a dream Thanksgiving Day, 2009, about China dropping the dollar as the world reserve currency, actually, it also said, America’s trading partners drop the $ as the world reserve currency….at that time, I did not understand the dream, as I was not aware of what all that meant…today, I realize more what it means, but still not the true effects if this were to happen…what the true effects will be on the population of the USA. Your prepping site, helps people prepare, without having to ‘know’ of all the ramifications from the big changes on the horizon….they can keep moving in a prepared direction without having to ‘understand’ all the details….you’ve reduced prepper plans to bite-sized easily assimilated details…I wish there was a way to reach others – family and friends….a pitch, a reasonable approach…but I have not found it yet, too many of my family members are struggling already, and they cannot add another thing to their lives. Too many of my friends are living life for today….with no concept of the things discussed here….lights out, cupboards bare, grocery stores empty, natural and man made disasters….any one with ears to hear and eyes to see, can ‘see’ what is potentially to come….but they are literally stone like, in their resolve to ignore it. In my preps, I prep for them, too, I have set aside more than we need, as I am thinking of them, too. Anyway, thank you for this tremendous resource and ALL of your efforts on our behalf!

  24. After 17 years as an Army wife, I have finally settled down and after much thought have decided to prep more than I previously had. We have lived in FL (hurricane drills), AZ (wildfire drills) and Maryland and Germany (snow drills) and GA (tornado drills.) Right after we left FL there were three hurricanes. In AZ we had a wildfire close, but they got it under control before we had to leave, so we just had to combat park our car and have it loaded and ready to go. We had several blizzards in MD and Germany and still I feel like I need to prep more and organize better. I am settle now in SC and there are always a myriad of things that can happen here so I have much work to do; I love your tips, plans and advice and look forward to a year of improving my prepping skills.

  25. As a newbie prepper I find your website to have valuable info without being overwhelming. Thanks for all that you do and looking forward to many more great articles/info.

  26. Recently signed up. Am looking forward to finding the ebooks mentioned above. is one of my favorite sites.

    May our FATHER bless and keep u and urs

  27. I’ve been looking back and looking forward the last few days, making a list of my purchase items I’d like to get and where we need to concentrate on. It is good I think to look back and look forward once a year or so.
    Have a blessed year and thank you for your much needed information.

  28. Got a few grand laying around you don’t really need? This prepping stuff is vital AND expensive. Yet, being in the Cub Scouts and Marines, I know I can get buy with nothing but a good carbon steel knife and a chunk of flint, which you can find almost anywhere. Knives make spears, gigs, shelter, fishhooks, prep food, and a gazillion other things. I am some what dismayed to see all the recommendations for bottom of the barrel knives. They might get you by for a while, but it’s very hard to find anything less than $100, excepting the Ontario and Ka-Bar Marine Corps style knives, that are worth what you pay for them. It’s kind of like air- you gotta have it, and without a good knife you are in trouble before you get out the door. Forget the trendy crap- a drop point general hunting style knife will do everything, though not always as well as a purpose built knife. Buck is as far down as you should allow yourself on the price scale. Schrade WAS a well respected brand, but now they come from China and are so crude as to be nearly worthless. At least that’s my impression from recent trips to the hardware store and gun shows. Sorry Gaye, but you get what you pay for, and like computer programs; garbage in, garbage out. I have bought a number of good, handmade made knives from the A.G.Russell website “Cuttingedge”. A fair amount of money, my wife says, but I got what I paid for, and no failures yet. You don’t have to buy a $1500.00 “name’ knife, and there are many good ones in the $100 to $200 range. Sometimes there’ll be Puma at a good price ($350.00 for the White Hunter is too much for a used copy- new ones can be bought off the Web for less than that), but you have to look every day and be ready too jump on it because they rarely are unsold by the next day. In fact, I would strongly recommend that you go to the website (dealers for N. America)and find what you want then go Net shopping I’ve fdone this and usually they can be had for 25% to 35% less than the listed price. Puma’s are known the world over for their quality, and 2-4 – for different uses – will be all you’ll ever need. No they ain’t the cheapest knives around, but in 47 years I don’t believe I’ve ever heard anybody complain about one. Which is more than I can say about Ford, Chevy, Chrysler, or any other brand of car within the reach of the average working person.

  29. to gaye i would like to send you some of my garden seeds there all hearlooms all i need is your address you can keep them or give them to your friends there the tomatoes people had 50 years ago i have given seed to poor famleys to have them eat from a garden this year thats how i do my part thank you

  30. i read a comit abave me the man was crying about not finding a good knife all that man needs is a raelroad spike a fire and a hammer and a rock or peace of iren to hit agenst thank you i will be sending seed now and then i grow it all the stuff you teach is a good thing i see it like people just have to get over helping them selfs and help othere,s to if they dont then there will be droves killing people and destruction of any thing they need to help them selfs i dont know if im a prepper or not i just look around and see what can be dunn keep the good work and the seeds will be on there way

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