Living in the desert has taught me not to take water for granted. Unlike the Pacific Northwest, I am not footsteps away from streams, ponds, or a vast sea just waiting for me to collect and purify for personal use. In a continuing effort to educate our readers on the finer aspects of self-sufficiency, I have invited Dan Chiras to share his best strategies and tips for creating a rain catchment system that works. . . . Read More
DIY Prepper Projects from Backdoor Survival
Interested in Do It Yourself projects? Here are some favorites.
Late last year I put out a call for topics that would enhance your ability to become self-sufficient. One of the topics that was suggested over and over again was step by step instructions for making soap from common ingredients that could be stored as part of our long-term preps. As part of the Backdoor Survival "doing it my way" initiative, I put a call out to colleagues who had not only made soap themselves but were willing to share their experience so we could learn ourselves. In this article, experienced prepper and soap-maker, Carmela Tyrell teaches us how to make cold pressed soap safely and easily using common ingredients plus gel from the Aloe Vera plant. . . . Read More
Hand sanitizers have their place in our lives, especially in the sick room where alcohol-based sanitizers rule. On the other hand, many hand sanitizers currently on the market deliver a chemical brew that results in a sticky, nasty mess along with ingredients such as triclosan and other anti-bacterial ingredients that are now suspected to contribute to the creation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Given that plant-based essential oils are some of the strongest antibacterial and anti-microbial substances around, I have chosen to make my own day-to-day hand sanitizer. I use this hand sanitizer to supplement good old fashioned hand washing with plenty of soap and water. This recipe uses 100% organic, cold-pressed Aloe vera gel, organic coconut oil, and a mix and match blend of . . . Read More
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. When I turned to the internet for help, oh my gosh, I found hundreds of recipes for DIY gel ice packs.. . . Read More
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. An important motive was feedback from readers who were allergic to bees. They wanted an elegant solution to making salves without beeswax.. . . Read More
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. While he held a clean piece of gauze in place, I grabbed the first aid kit and used a chunk of 1" stretch wrap bandage aka “Vet Wrap” to hold the gauze in place. Although he looked like a dork for the rest of the day, the bleeding stopped and we were . . . Read More
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. Talk about a light bulb going off in this prepper mind of mine! That single fact set me on path to learn about the other health and wellness benefits of elderberry and, as a natural follow-up, to make my own elderberry tincture and elderberry syrup. . . . Read More
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. My latest success, though, is DIY toilet bombs. . . . Read More
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. Plus, as those of you that have tried it know, it sometimes takes a bit of tinkering to bring it to that just-perfect texture.. . . Read More
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. These products include:
. . . Read More
Fantastic Facial Toner
Manly Man Beard Oil
Luminous Face Serum
DIY Makeup Wipes
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. If I could turn the results into a salve, all the better. Fortunately, infusing spices and dried herbs is very easy to do. It does take a couple of weeks but other than that, all you need is a carrier oil, your spice and herb mixture, and a covered jar. It really does not get much simpler than that. . . . Read More
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. That marvelous piece of gear comes at a price though. At, $70, it is well worth the cost for one but just how many can I afford? (In all fairness, the SunBell also charges my phone and other portable devices.). . . Read More