How to Use the Amazing Solo Stove

How to Use the Amazing Solo Stove | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to having alternative methods of cooking food when the power is out, most preppers have it covered.  For some, an outdoor gas grill will do the job while for others, camp stoves, fire pits, and rocket stoves of various types will ensure that at the very least, there will be a viable method for heating both food and water.

My favorite are rocket stoves, mostly because they are fueled by wood and biomass.  To that end, since the start of my own prepping journey I have been enamored by the amazing Solo Stove. 

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Charge Your Devices With the Choetech Portable Solar Panel

Charge Your Devices With the Cheotech Portable Solar Panel | Backdoor Survival

As more of our lives become digital, having a simple way to keep our devices charged poses a dilemma when out in the field, hiking, or during a power outage.  Luckily, there are many solar options available and with each passing year, they get lighter in weight and lower in cost.  Plus, as technology advances, the panels are producing more sun-juice then the portable systems that were available a mere three years ago.

Why should preppers care about charging our digital gizmos?  After all, if the grid is down, cell service will be INOP as well. 

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Review: LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter

Review: LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to filtering water while on the go, the LifeStraw personal water filter rocks.  It is lightweight and easy to use, and, in sort of a perverse way, a lot of fun.  That said, I do not mean to poke fun at the very important task of ensuring that drinking water is safe, but it sure does help when the experience is pleasurable.

Do I love my LifeStraws?  You bet.  I own three of them, one for each of us and a spare.  So, when I learned that there was an all-new LifeStraw Steel, I became excited because the all-new LifeStraw Steel includes a 2-stage filtration process instead of just one. 

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All-New AquaPod Emergency Water Kit and Filter

AquaPod Emergency Water Kit | Backdoor Survival

A couple of years ago, when I first learned about the AquaPod Emergency Water Kit, I jumped on the bandwagon and tested one for myself.  At the time, I was thrilled by the reasonable cost and my own ability to assemble the kit myself, without the need for any male-type brawn.

As I explained then, an AquaPod Emergency Water Kit is a heavy duty bathtub liner that is filled with water in advance of an upcoming hurricane, storm, or weather system.  The kit includes a bathtub liner that is filled with water, some fittings, and a pump for siphoning the water out of the tub.

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Store Water With LifeStack Storage Containers

Store Water and Food With LifeStack Storage Containers | Backdoor Survival

Finding the space to store water and food for emergency purposes can be dilemma.  The reality is that not everyone has a large pantry, basement or cellar where buckets, cases and cans of  food and water can be stored away, out of sight and yet accessible if and when they are needed.

That is why when my blogging colleague, Bernie Carr, the Apartment Prepper, asked if I wanted to introduce you to the LifeStack Storage Container and participate in a group giveaway, I jumped at the chance.

The giveaway is for a set of 5 LifeStack Storage Containers and there will be 3 winners. 

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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.  Not only that, it comes in six different colors. 

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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!

Therein lies the problem.

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Never Be In the Dark With The Awesome Luci EMRG Light

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.

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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!

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Emergency Cooking with the Flamelite BurnBox

Emergency Cooking with the Flamelite BurnBox | Backdoor Survival

Having all of the food in the world is not going to help you if, following an emergency, you have no way to cook it. Heck, even during a short term power outage, having the ability to boil water becomes important.

In my own home, I have a wood burning fire pit, propane stove, charcoal grill, and three different rocket stoves.  Since they all work great, why even bother with another method to use for emergency cooking?  The answer is form-factor, versatility, and portability.

Let me introduce you to the Flamelite BurnBox, the coolest little stove I have seen in a long time.

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Minutemen Cabinets: How to Hide a Firearm in Plain Sight

Minutemen Cabinets How to Hide a Firearm in Plain Sight | Backdoor Survival

A dilemma for many of us is how to keep a personal weapon accessible if we need it, yet safely hidden from prying eyes. Here in my own household we have a safe but keeping our weapon of choice locked up is not going to help us if there is a middle of the night intruder and we can not get to it.  The compromise, and not a very good one, has been to keep our accessible firearm a drawer in the nightstand.

When Minutemen Cabinets came to me a couple of months ago and told me about their “bookshelf” cabinet, I became excited. 

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UV PAQLITE: Emergency Lighting Without Batteries

UV PAQLITE Emergency Lighting Without Batteries - Backdoor Survival

When it comes to emergency lighting, I am hooked on redundancy.  In my desk alone, I have at least six flashlights, probably more.  Talk about overkill.  On the other hand, as much as I love flashlights, when the batteries are dead, that’s it.  It is time to get out the recharger or pop in some new AAs.

Solar lighting is also an option and I have a number of solar lights as well.  The problem is they require sun.  Granted, many will charge up when it is overcast, but that takes time.

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LuguLake II Bluetooth Speaker and Charger Review

LuguLake II Review and Giveaway - Backdoor Survival

Sometimes we all need to break away from the seriousness of prepping and treat ourselves to something just for the fun of it.  And if that something also serves a useful function?  Then I say “bring it on”!

Today I am breaking form and sharing with you a fantastic Bluetooth speaker that not only delivers terrific sound, but can be used to charge your tablet or smartphone.  The device is called the LuguLake II Charger Speaker Stand and in a word, it is simply terrific!

But hold on.  Not only that, LuguLake is giving away TWO of these units to lucky Backdoor Survival readers. 

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Free Food Friday: A Taste of Mountain House

Mountain House Spring Giveaway - Backdoor Survival

Long time hikers and backpackers have known for years that the gold standard in trail food has been food pouches from Mountain House.  Then Y2K rolled around and an entirely new crop of enthusiasts turned to Mountain House for “survival food”.

Here we are, many years later and guess what?  Mountain House is still, in my opinion, the gold standard.

Lucky for me and lucky for us, I have a fantastic relationship with the folks at Mountain House (technically, Oregon Freeze Dry), and am often on the receiving end of “hint hint wink winks” relative to new things happening within their company. 

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How to Make Whole Wheat Bread Using the WonderMix

How to Make 100% Whole Wheat Bread Using the WonderMix - Backdoor Survival

For years I have coveted a real dough mixer.  You know the kind; a mixer with a huge dough hook so I could bake 4, 5, or even 6 loaves a bread at once.  On a day last month, my dream came true.  The folks at WonderMill offered to send me their new WonderMix for testing.

Other than learning how to make bread using the WonderMix, the rules were simple.  I had to use it and I had to give one away to a lucky Backdoor Survival reader!  Pretty neat rules if you ask me.

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Review: Inflatable Solar Air Lantern for Emergencies

Solar Air Lantern Review - Backdoor Survival

If there is one thing we all should be mindful of when it comes to our emergency kits it is weight.  Let me tell you this: strap more than 20 pounds on your back and unless you are an experienced backpacker or in the Army, you are not going to get very far.

For that very reason, I am always on the lookout for prepping items that are both light weight and useful.  If the usefulness extends beyond emergencies, and the item is value priced, all the better.

My latest find is a very cool inflatable Solar Air Lantern from SurvivalFrog.com

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Gear Review: SunJack Waterproof Lightstick

Review of the Sunjack Waterproof Lightstick - Backdoor Survival

If there is one thing that we all share in common, it is our interest in having adequate light to brighten our way when the grid is down.  Perhaps that is why some of us, no names mentioned, have over two dozen flashlights of all sizes and types.  And that is in addition to chemical light sticks.

With all of these portable light sources, what if you had a powerful source of light that was not only bright enough to light up a room, but was waterproof and rechargeable using any USB source? 

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Win a 55 Gallon Water Barrel

Ultimate 55 Gallon Water Barrel - Backdoor Survival

Here we go again with another Friday Giveaway Blast!  This week the prize is a fantastic 55 Gallon Ultimate Water Barrel Kit from Emergency Essentials.  I know for a fact that this is something that many of you covet and now you have an opportunity to win one for free!

You can never have enough extra water on hand.  I discovered that when I personally experienced 12 days without running water due to a water leak near the main coming into my house.  Believe me, all of my stored water came in handy. 

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Gear Review: RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports

RavPower 15W Solar Charger - Backdoor Survival

I am enamored with all things solar.  What is not to like about getting free energy from the sun?

Perhaps that is why I am always anxious to test every new solar gizmo that comes along.  In doing so, I have come across some great items, but of all of those items, portable solar panels rank right up there at the top of list.  With that said, I have a fantastic new solar charging system to share with you today: the RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with dual USB Ports.

Plus, as always, I have one unit to give away to a lucky Backdoor Survival reader. 

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Review: The Fantastic Gardening Notebook

The Gardening Notebook Review - Backdoor Survival

I have a love/hate relationship with gardening.  Although blessed with a green thumb, to take advantage of that blessing I need good sun and warm weather.  Unfortunately, that is not the case where I live.  Although beautiful in so many ways, my home is situated on a tiny, shaded lot and the weather?  Let me just say that this is Western Washington and the growing season is short.

In spite of the shortcomings of where I live, each year I set up a seed starting station in my office on top of the file cabinets. 

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Conflicted: The Survival Card Game

Conflicted: The Survival Card Game |Backdoor Survival|

When you read dystopian or post-apocalyptic fiction do you give some consideration to how you would react in a similar situation?  I’ll tell you what. The more I read, the more I assimilate various survival strategies and begin to formulate my own survival game plan.  This is all good and forces me to continue to read serious survival fiction as opposed to the latest John Grisham thriller.

The problem, as I see it, is that reading a book and thinking about strategies is a singular pastime.  Unless you happen to know someone who has read the same book, it is difficult to toss ideas about.

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Gear Review: SunJack Portable Solar Charger

Sunjack-Solar-Charger-Review.jpg

With our reliance on portable electronics, a huge concern is what will we do when the power is out and our batteries are dead?

This is true not only for our phones which provide a vital link to the outside world, but for our tablets, and electronic readers, too.  Think about it.  We all have hundreds if not thousands of documents that will help us muddle through if the grid goes down.  Barring printing them out and setting up a massive library system, we will be stuck unless we have some way to power up our gizmos.

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The Inexpensive Tac-Force Speedster Outdoor Knife

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I have a habit of suggesting this piece of gear or that, especially when it is value priced.  This is not to say that a bargain priced piece of equipment is going to perform the same as something more expensive but that sometimes, for the task at hand, inexpensive or even cheap will do just fine.

Over the years I have suggested bargain-priced deals on whistles, knives, fire-starters, and flashlights. Many times I refer to these items as “almost free” because at under $5 or $10, they are practically giveaways.  That being said, my primary bug-out-bag and survival kit includes higher quality items that I know will stand up to the rigors of a SHTF world – if it ever gets to that, of course.

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Gear Review: The SolarBag Water Purifier

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One of the first rules of preparedness is to ensure that you have an adequate supply of water to sustain your drinking, cooking and hygiene needs in the days and weeks following a disaster.  To that end, I am positive that we each do the best we can given space and budget constraints.

Now what if I were to tell you that with a 4 ounce BPA free plastic bag and some sunlight, you could take raw water and purify up to  2 gallons of water a day?  Impressive right?  Well there is more. 

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The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 121

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Welcome to this week’s Sunday Survival Buzz – a roundup of preparedness news, tips, articles and recommendations from around the web. But first, an update on my own preps.

One of the more important things I did this week in inventory the Potassium Iodide I had purchased shortly after Fukushima.  At that time there was a big panic; everyone wanted some so the merchants sold everything they had at an inflated price.  I was stuck with a couple of packets with a short, remaining shelf life.

Long story short, I set aside the two packages that were past their shelf life (they still may be better than nothing) and replaced them with fresh. 

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These Boots Are Made for Hiking + Altai Tactical Boots

These-Boots-Are-Made-for-Hiking-BDS.jpg

It takes a lot to get me excited about clothing and other personal items.  It is not that I am particular but these days, I value my investment in survival gear and supplies far more than an investment in the clothes on my back and the shoes on my feet.

On the other hand, hiking boots are something I take quite seriously.  When push comes to shove (or the stuff hits the fan), a good pair of boots will be well-purposed during everything from a trip to the lake for fresh water, to an emergency evacuation on foot to higher ground. 

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Off-Grid Cooking with the Amazing HERC Tea Light Oven

HERC-Tea-Light-Oven.jpg

One of the challenges during a power outage is cooking meals.  While there are many options, most require cooking outdoors using stove-type methods such as a rocket stove, BBQ grill, fire pit or camp stove.  These methods work great, especially if they are coupled with a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven.

The problem, however, is that we can not predict or time when the power will go out.  Nor can we predetermine how long the grid will be down; it may be hours or it may be days or even weeks. 

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Free Food Friday: Will Mikey Eat it? :-)

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When it comes to food storage, I like to think I have all bases covered.  Canned goods, bulk foods, freeze dried products – you name it, I have it.  As I tend to preach, having variety is as important as having foods that your family will eat.

Realistically, in a survival situation you will likely eat anything, including plants that you forage and even snakes, bugs and heaven-forbid, road kill.  Fortunately, the likelihood of a desperate and dire survival situation is remote when compared to the possibility of a short term crisis or disaster where you will need to fend for yourself for a much more limited period, say one week to one year.

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Clean, Drinkable Water – LifeStraw Family Review

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One of the first things newbie preppers do is get themselves set up with water.  In my own case, I purchased a 55 gallon water barrel and lots of bottled water and indeed, this set the groundwork for moving forward not only with my own preparedness activities but with Backdoor Survival as well.

Fast forward a few years and a lot of research later, and I now know that having stored water is not enough.  An essential component of every family preparedness plan should be a simple, non-mechanical method of purifying water whether at home or in a bug-out-situation.

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BDS Book Festival – Living On The Edge + Interview with F.J. Bohan

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Every once in awhile, a book will come along that fills me with inspiration and allows me to dream about things that perhaps I may never be able to experience myself.  Living on the Edge: A Family’s Journey to Self-Sufficiency is one of those books.  Written by F.J. Bohan, this book memorializes F.J. and his family’s 17 year adventure that included everything from living in a tent to homesteading in the desert.

With that introduction, I would like to welcome back F.J. Bohan as I share the next author interview and giveaway in the current Backdoor Survival Book Festival.  Naturally, one lucky reader will win a copy of Living on the Edge so be sure to check out the details of this week’s giveaway below.

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