Survival Buzz: Make A Gel Ice Pack On the Cheap

Make A Gel Ice Pack On the Cheap | Backdoor Survival

Perhaps it is from all of the shoving, lifting, and carrying of moving boxes but for one reason or another, both Shelly and I had aches and pains in our backs that went beyond what my essential oils could relieve on their own.  It was time to hit the ice, literally, using a gel ice pack.

Have you priced gel ice packs lately?  They run $10 to $15 each and as you know, one is not enough.  You need to have a backup pack to use while a melted ice pack is rejuvenating itself in the freezer. 

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How to Make an Awesome Healing Body Butter

How to Make An Awesome Healing Body Butter | Backdoor Survival

For the longest time, I have shunned learning how to make a body butter. Most likely this is due to a commercial product I purchased a few years back that was a sticky, smelly mess.  I just did not understand the popularity of such an item and why I should bother.

Fast forward to today and I wanted to come up with a carrier for essential oils that supplemented the simple salve I concoct from coconut oil, olive oil, and beeswax. 

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Survival Buzz: How to Avoid Nicks and Cuts by Sharpening Razor Blades

How to Avoid Nicks and Cuts by Sharpening Razor Blades | Backdoor Survival

What started out as a great Wednesday shortly turned into a bloody mess.  The short version of the story is that Shelly, aka the Survival Husband, decided to touch up his bald head with a dull razor blade.  What happened next was a scrape about one and a half inches long and a half inch wide.  Who would have thought that so much blood could pour out of such a small wound.

I grabbed some gauze to soak up what I could, then dabbed on some boo-boo stick followed by miracle slave. 

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12 Wellness Reasons to Include Elderberries in Your Preps

12 Wellness Reasons to Include Elderberries in Your Preps | Backdoor Survival

The first time I learned about elderberries is when a homesteader I know told me she supplemented her income from making and selling her homemade syrups and tinctures.  At the time, I knew nothing about elderberries even though they are quite common near the edges of the forest here Washington State.

As my interest in natural remedies grew, I started investigating the merits of elderberry then stumbled upon this fact: elderberries can and do fight the flu.  Not only that, they do so exceptionally well.  

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Clean Your Toilets Naturally with DIY Toilet Bombs

Clean Your Toilets Naturally with DIY Toilet Bombs | Backdoor Survival

Do you know anyone that likes to clean toilets?  Not me, that is for sure.  On the other hand, proper sanitation is very high up on my list of priorities so having a spotless bathroom is more than just a nicety, it is a must!

One of my goals these past six months has been to create a chemical free home, utilizing only natural ingredients to perform basic home and personal cleaning tasks.  Many I have already shared with you and some are a work in progress. 

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DIY Foaming Hand Soap

DIY Foaming Hand Soap | Backdoor Survival

I have a confession to make.  I have always hated those foaming soap dispensers that are ubiquitous in public restrooms.  To me, they are a watery, slimy mess that leaves hands feeling sticky and icky no matter how hard you work at rinsing after the fact.

That being said, I wanted an alternative to the Dirt Cheap Soft Soap that is crafted in my kitchen every month or two.  While not difficult to make, it does take some time and a bit of a mess. 

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4 Amazing Skincare Products To Make Using Essential Oils

4 Amazing Skincare Products Essential Oils | Backdoor Survival

Every month or so, I grab a few simple ingredients and play kitchen chemist while I concoct custom skincare products using essential oils.  It recently occurred to me that it has been awhile since I shared some DIY products using essential oils so what better time than now while we are getting into the holiday gift-giving spirit?

Today I am going to share how I make some amazing, everyday skincare products along with some simple variations so that you can customize them yourself. 

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Make an Awesome Cayenne Salve for Pain Relief

Make an Awesome Cayenne Salve for Pain Relief - Backdoor Survival

A few months back I made a batch of Cayenne Salve.  It was simple to do.  After infusing the ground cayenne pepper in olive oil, I added some beeswax and was good to go.  My feeling was this: if a catastrophic disruptive event occurred, after a year or two I would exhaust my supply of pain relieving essential oils and then what?

The answer, I hoped, was to infuse spices and herbs in a carrier oil and use the resulting concoction instead.  

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DIY Emergency Lights from Solar Yard Lights

DIY Indoor Emergency Lights - Backdoor Survival

When it comes to emergency lighting, flashlights and lanterns rule.  The problem, however, is that they require a power source, be it batteries, propane, or some other type of fuel.  There are candles, of course, but candles do eventually burn out, plus, in some environments and especially around children, candles can represent a safety hazard.

The option of choice, for many, is solar lighting.  Indeed, I have a SunBell that gives off a lot light and is easily recharged, even on a cloudy day. 

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DIY Simple Salve: An All Purpose, All Natural Ointment and Carrier Oil

DIY Simple Salve - Backdoor Survival

It has been a year since I first proposed that you ditch the petroleum jelly in favor of a more natural DIY salve.  At the time, I named the salve I came up with “Plain Ole’ Salve”.

During the ensuing year, I have turned to this easily made salve over and over again.  Not only is it a superb moisturizer, but because it is fragrance free, it has become the perfect base for all of my many essential oil concoctions.

Making your own Simple Salve is a cinch and it only takes a few minutes using just three ingredients.

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How to Build a Simple Faraday Cage for EMP Survival

How to Build a Simple Faraday Cage for EMP Survival - Backdoor Survival

Of all of the reasons to prepare, one that we all need to take seriously is the possibility of a catastrophic EMP, or electromagnetic pulse. This is a frequent topic in many post-apocalyptic novels and something that most of us are aware of, even if we do not completely understand the science.

As I wrote way back when in the article Prepping for an EMP and Solar Flares:

To be blunt about it, an EMP, if large enough, would affect the entire planet. 

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DIY Healing Vapor Rub for Coughs & Congestion

Healing Vapor Rub - Backdoor Survival

When it comes to prepping, having the ability to fend for yourself for an extended period is a universal goal.  First comes water, then comes food, and next, for many, comes first aid.  And therein lies the rub, no pun intended.

A cold or cough can take you down in a flash, whether it is an annoying sniffle or a wracking, chest pounding cough.  It is no fun and you are going to want to get rid of it fast. Alas, there are all types of over-the-counter remedies available to you but there are a few problems with them.

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Make Your Own Healing Lotion Bars


About a month ago, I thought to myself, “Self, wouldn’t it be nice to have some of my healing salve in lotion bar form?”.  This has been something I have often considered but as with a lot of projects, it kept moving to the back burner.  Finally though, I got serious and in order to keep myself on track, reported my intentions on the Survival Buzz.

Before we start, let me say this.  Making lotion bars is so dang easy and the results so darn great, I should have done this months ago.

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DIY Antiviral Sanitizing Spray: When Hand Sanitizer is Not Enough


Although news of Ebola has been dominating the headlines, there is currently another nasty outbreak circulating the United States. Since August, enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) has caused clusters of respiratory disease in the US with over 690 people affected.  As of this writing, five children have died.

This is not something to take lightly and is reason enough to start doubling up on the frequency of hand washing and the use of hand sanitizers. This includes adults, of course, but also children who seem especially  at risk.

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DIY: Never Purchase a Razor Blade Again!


One of the dilemmas I face is that buried in the archives are a ton of great articles that are lost to newcomers to the website.  One of these days, I really do need to set up a better menu and organization system.  The problem with doing so, however, is that it takes me away from researching and writing new material.

I have two solutions.  First, hire a vice president in charge of work to do it for me.  Second is to simply bring some of the most popular articles forward into present time. 

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It Takes a Village: 33 Awesome Projects for Preppers

33 Awesome Projects for Preppers | Backdoor Survival

It is an old classic and we all know the words: “Summertime and the livin’ is easy. Fish are jumpin’, and the cotton is high.”

Without a doubt, summer is the time that most of us break out of our cocoons and embark upon all manner of projects, both large and small.  I know that I do and, no surprise, most of my projects are preparedness related.  That being said, I have a lifetime of projects on my to do list and the poor Survival Husband; his list is long enough for two lifetimes.

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How to Build an Outdoor Mud Oven


As part of a recent giveaway, one of the questions I asked was What DIY project would you like to see featured on Backdoor Survival?”  There were some amazing responses and over time, I hope to work through the list.

Interestingly enough, two readers requested a similar topic and when more than one reader makes a request, I sit up and pay attention.  The DIY projects were:

1.  How can I build a bread-baking oven with mud and straw?

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How to Seal Food in Mylar Bags


One of the very first things I learned to do when I started to prep was seal food in Mylar bags.  As simple as this sounds, you would not believe the gyrations I went through to make this happen.  Holy moly, I used plastic tubing, a FoodSaver vacuum sealer, a yardstick, a straw, and iron and ironing board.

Yes, it all worked but it was a bit tedious in that four hands were required to get the job done.  I also have to tell you that there were a lot of laughs during the process as the pinto beans went flying everywhere!

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How To Recharge Alkaline Batteries for the Long Term


A little over a year ago, I shared my experience recharging alkaline batteries.  What a game changer that became!

In the ensuing year I have learned a lot about the practical side of recharging alkalines; mostly that after a few recharge cycles, they tend to leak.  This is especially true of those cheap Kirkland brand batteries from Costco.  Actually, lately those Costco batteries tend to leak even when they are brand new so I avoid purchasing them entirely.

I have also learned that when the battery recharger says BAD, the battery really is bad. 

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DIY Miracle Healing Salve

Backdoor Survival Miracle Healing Salve

For the past six weeks, I have been exploring alternatives to over-the-counter ointments, salves, and beauty products.  Not only are these products expensive, but as I have learned time and time again, they don’t always work.

Starting with a basic formula for healing salve that I found on the internet, I decided to make my own all-purpose salve and to test it on various ailments to see how it worked.  I added a bit of this, subtracted a bit of that and came up with I call my own Miracle Healing Salve

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The Perfect Homemade Biscuit Mix from Food Storage


For many, the backbone of food storage is bulk foods not the least of which is flour.  But in a crisis situation, what the heck can you do with all of that flour?  The answer, of course, is to make bread and baked goods.  But bread takes time and viable yeast may or may not be available.  The next best thing? Biscuits and pancakes!

Today I would like to share with you a fabulous DIY biscuit mix.  It comes from the Utah State University Extension Service and not only is it easy to make, but the resulting biscuits and pancakes are to die for.  (There is also a fabulous coffee cake but that is another topic entirely). 

The official name for this recipe is Utah Ready-Quick Mix.

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Yes You Can Make Homemade Laundry Soap


Over the past few weeks I have had multiple inquiries asking if I have ever made my own laundry soap.  The answer is YES YES YES I have and after I did, I never looked back.

In todays blast from the near past, I share the article I wrote describing my experience making my own laundry soap with just three ingredients:  Borax, Washing Soda, and Dawn dish detergent.  Don’t ask me why this works so well – it just does!  Not only that, according to my calculation, the cost is only 23 cents for a half-gallon batch or less than 1 1/2 cents per load using a full half cup per load.

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Easy Peasy DIY Berry and Fruit Liqueurs


Here in the Pacific Northwest, late summer and early fall is prime picking time.  That is because in this neck of the woods, blackberry brambles are everywhere.  You will find them along trails, next to roadways and even in the backyard rose garden where they are an unwelcome visitor and impossible to get rid of.

There is a positive side to this however.  Blackberries are abundant and they are free for the picking, white clothing notwithstanding (more about that later).

I don’t know if blackberries are common in your area but surely there is some fruit that you can either pick yourself or purchase inexpensively from a roadside stand or farmers market. 

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How to Sharpen Razor Blades for the Long Term


These days I have been doing a lot of thinking about my daily hygiene and beauty routine as it relates to a long term survival situation.  I don’t want to appear frivolous but for me, feeling clean and looking nice are an important part of feeling good about myself in general.  I do not think that my thoughts in this regard are limited to women and in fact, the Survival Husband feels much the same way, albeit without the need for a touch of lipstick and blush.

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DIY Liquid Castile Soap “Wonderful”

DIY Liquid Castile Soap - Backdoor Survival

One of the really fun things I get to do is mess around with DIY cleaners.  The inner chemist in me comes out and I play around with different formulas until I get something just right.  My bloopers not withstanding, I can usually muddle my way through a recipe and make it work with minor adjustments here and there.

Today I would like to show you how to make your own liquid castile soap for pennies.  Well not really pennies but two full quarts of liquid castile soap for less than $1.50. 

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