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. 

. . . Read More

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. 

. . . Read More

Emergency Lighting Ideas for Your Holiday Survival Kit

Emergency Lighting Ideas for Your Holiday Survival Kit | Backdoor Survival

There are days when I think that I am taking steps to earn a PhD in emergency lighting.  Having 4 different flashlights in my nightstand has certainly earned me a masters degree, don’t you think?

Staying with the topic of emergency lighting, today I am introducing three items from OxyLED that are nifty emergency lighting ideas for your holiday survival kit.  One is a combination solar motion detector and lamp, another is a headlamp with motion sensor, and the last is a powerful rechargeable flashlight.

I have been testing all three items for the past few weeks and find each of them worthy of finding their way into your survival kit. 

. . . Read More

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.  The trails this year are desert trails, and dust and dirt are commonplace. 

. . . 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.   That first effort included mostly the basics: fire making supplies, water purification tabs, a couple of knives, TP, a first aid kit, personal items, documents, and cash. 

. . . 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.  This sturdy little shovel is a gem. 

. . . Read More

Don’t Be Caught in the Dark! The SportsTek Headlamp

Don't Be Caught in the Dark! The SportsTek Headlamp - Backdoor Survival

As far as I am concerned, you can never have too many ways to light your way.  Perhaps this comes from some forgotten childhood trauma that occurred in the dark, but whatever the reason, pitch blackness has never been an option in my household.

It is for that reason I am always anxious to test out the next great thing when it comes to lighting, be it a flashlight, solar powered light, lantern, chemical glow stick, or something else.  This week it was my pleasure to test one of those “something else” items; namely, the SportsTek LED 4 in 1 Headlamp.

. . . Read More

10 Reasons to Add Glow Sticks to Your Survival Kit

10 Reasons to Add Glow Sticks to Your Survival Kit - Backdoor Survival

Whenever I think of glow sticks, my first thoughts are of kids’ sleepovers or rock concerts. Despite the visions of the Dollar Store party supply section that are probably dancing through your head, the bright tubes are actually a great addition to your preparedness supplies.

Glow sticks are also known as light sticks or chemical lighting.  Here is how they work:

A glow stick is made from a plastic sheath or tube that houses a mix of chemicals. Basically, the way it works is that you bend the sheath to crack the capsules that hold the different chemicals separate from one another,  then you shake it up to mix the contents, creating a chemical reaction that emits energy with only a teeny emission of heat.

. . . Read More

Stay Connected with the Sunferno Portable Solar Panel and Battery Pack

Sunferno Portable Solar Panel and Battery Pack - Backdoor Survival

If there is one thing I know for sure, it is that prepper and survival types are in love with solar.  What is not to like?  With solar devices, we can use the power of the sun to give us light and to energize our devices, large or small.

Whereas using the sun to power a refrigerator or laptop takes some doing, providing power to a phone, tablet, Kindle or other eBook reader is not only easy, but downright inexpensive.  Each month, it seems, I learn of a new device that can be used for this purpose. 

. . . Read More

Best Practices: The Every Day Carry Bag aka EDC

Every Day Carry Bag - Backdoor Survival

When it comes to survival kits, there are a group of items that are traditionally found in all kits.  A flashlight, a knife, and some sort of fire-starting tool are ubiquitous and universal.  But beyond that there are so many variables that I really have to go with the cliché: one size never fits all.

Personally, I have a number of different kits.  Most are currently in a state of disarray as, over time, they are being reworked and broken down into additional separate and discrete kits.  You know the old saying, “if only I knew then what I know now”? 

. . . Read More

Review: Life Pod Paracord Survival Kit

Life Pod Paracord Survival Kit Review & Giveaway - Backdoor Survival

I do not know a single Prepper or Survivalist type that is not in love with paracord. Suffice it to say that paracord is to an emergency kit what lavender is to essential oils – a multi-purpose tool for getting you through all types of emergency rough spots.

The only issue with paracord, and really, it is a teensy issue, is that it is bulky and unwieldy to carry around.  Up until now, I simply dealt with it but now I don’t have to.  The nice folks at Life-Pod wanted some feedback on their product so they sent me their Life Pod Paracord Survival Kit to test.  

. . . Read More

How to Set-Up and Master Ham Radio Without Going Crazy, Part 2

How to Set Up & Master Ham Radio Without Going Crazy Part 2 - Backdoor Survival

For the new ham radio enthusiast, setting up the gear can be a challenge.  This is especially true for starter radios that are known to be high on features and design but low on intuitive usability.  Documentation?  Unless you can read broken English written by a Chinese national who has never studied the  language, you are out of luck.

Like many prepper’s, I understand the importance of communication following a disruptive event.  To that end, I took the easy road and purchased a couple of portable Baofeng radios so that I could communicate with the rest of the world when the grid is down.

. . . Read More

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

. . . Read More

How to Set-Up and Master Ham Radio Without Going Crazy, Part 1

How to Set Up and Master Ham Radio Part 1 - Backdoor Survival

On April 18th, I will be taking the test to get my Technician Class HAM radio license.  This is something I have been meaning to do for quite some time but honestly?  I got so wrapped up with getting my equipment, two Baofeng UV5 radios, to work that I lost sight of the goal.

Update:  I passed!

To prepare for my test, I have been studying Dan Romanchik’s free guide “The Non-Nonsense Technician Class License Study Guide” which is all good.  But still niggling me was the sense of failure at setting up my HAM radios. 

. . . Read More

The Nitro-Pak 72 Hour Survival Kit Review

Nitro-Pak 72 Hour Emergency Kit - Backdoor Survival

Let’s face it.  No matter how much we hope we will never have to evacuate the comfort of our homes, there is always a possibility that circumstances will require that we gather our emergency supplies and leave on a moment’s notice.  Alternately, when a disruptive event occurs while we are away from home, we want to be prepared with whatever we need to get back home safely.

These days, everyone on the planet is telling us that we need a well stocked bug-out-bag, or go-bag, with enough gear to get you by for at least 72 hours. 

. . . Read More

8 Essential Items: The Perfect Portable Survival Kit

Perfect-Portable-Survival-Kit.jpg

There is a popular school of thought that dictates that your survival kit should follow you everywhere.  Within this context I am not referring to a bug out bag or a vehicle emergency kit but rather a small, portable survival kit that you carry with you during the normal course of living your life.  This kit is commonly referred to as your EDC, or Every Day Carry.

I feel that the term “EDC” is misleading because it implies a set of items that is always with you, no matter what.  The reality is that you may have multiple kits and multiple EDCs, each suitable for a different set of circumstances.

. . . Read More

Backdoor Survival Holiday Gift Guide for Preppers

Holiday-Gift-Guide-for-Preppers.jpg

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.

In my own household, things are a bit up in the air.  Although our tradition is not to exchange gifts, spending quality time with each other is most definitely a tradition.  Rain or shine (which is very rare in Western Washington this time of year), we take a walk along the beautiful shoreline of San Juan Island and spend hours in front of the fire reading, playing board games, and sipping good wine. 

. . . Read More

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.

. . . Read More

Summer Survival Blast: SunBell and Little Sun Solar Lamps

SunBell-and-Little-Sun-BDS.jpg

Every once in awhile something comes along that tickles my fancy because it is just so darn much fun.  When that fun item is coupled with solid functionality, I am thrilled.

Such is the case with the SunBell Solar Lamp and the Little Sun. Both are 100% solar powered, simple to use, and a delight to look at.  And of course, I have one of each to give away to lucky Backdoor Survival readers.

So what are they and how to they work?  Let us take them one at a time, starting with the SunBell.

. . . Read More

Summer Survival Blast: Infidel Body Armor Review + Giveaway

infidel-body-armor-review-470.jpg

When I was first approached about reviewing a body armor product on Backdoor Survival, I turned the company down flat.  I had taken a look at their product and after noting the complicated fitting instructions, measurements, and a whole bunch of other things I could not figure out, I felt best to take a pass.

Two years passed and when another company, Infidel Body Armor, contacted me, I decided to take another look to see if they offered a product more suitable to my readers.  I was pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of their product line so I decided to go forward and not only show you the product but also offer one for free to a lucky Backdoor Survival reader.

. . . Read More

The Inexpensive Tac-Force Speedster Outdoor Knife

Tac-Force-Knife.jpg

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.

. . . Read More

Summer Survival Blast: Win a Honey Bucket 2-Person Survival Kit

Honey-Bucket-Day-One-Gear.jpg

Without question, summer is finally here and to get all of you Prepper’s geared up, Backdoor Survival is kicking off the Summer Survival Blast with some fantastic giveaways.  I have partnered up with some great companies and through their generosity, will be giving you a chance to gear up and get ready!

First up this summer is the 2 Person Honey Bucket Kit from DayOneGear.com.  If you think this is just a “Honey Bucket” you are in for a surprise.  This is a fairly complete survival kit housed in a bucket that is topped by a toilet seat! 

. . . Read More

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. 

. . . Read More

Cen-Tech 5 in 1 Portable Power Pack Review

0-Centech-Power-Pack-BDS.jpg

For years, I have referred to Harbor Freight as the world’s best toy store for grown up boys.  Well I have news for you.  Prepper gals also drool over the goodies at Harbor Freight.  One of those “I have been drooling” goodies is a portable power pack for my car.  The good news is that I now have one.  The better news is that Harbor Freight is going to give a Cen-Tech 5 in 1 Portable Power Pack to one lucky Backdoor Survival reader.

What is a portable power pack?  First and foremost it is a gizmo you keep stashed in you car so that you have power available to jump start a dead battery. 

. . . Read More

44 Fantastic Uses of Paracord for Prepping and Survival

44-Fantastic-Uses-of-Paracord.jpg

My love affair with paracord continues.  Not only is it strong and useful for a myriad of tasks, it is colorful and fun to work with while making bracelets, key fobs, belts and other goodies. I am not the only one that feels this way.

Simply enter the term “paracord” into a search engine and you will be presented with thousands of articles covering everything from what it is, how it is used, where to buy it, and more. It seems like everyone has a stake in the paracord love-fest with preppers leading the pack!

. . . Read More

AquaPod Deluxe – When the Going Gets Tough the Tough Saves Water

AquaPod-Review.jpg

It is Friday here at Backdoor Survival and you know what that means; it is time for another fabulous giveaway!  As someone who lives and breathes and is even obsessed about preparedness, it goes without saying that when an opportunity comes along to demonstrate how to store extra water in advance of a disruptive event, I jump on it.

Today I am thrilled to share my experience setting up the AquaPod Deluxe and, in conjunction with the nice folks at AquaStorage, am offering one for free in a giveaway.

. . . Read More

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. 

. . . Read More

The Ultimate Compact Survival Kit

The Ultimate Pocket Survival Kit

The Winter Blast Giveaway has been a lot of fun and a lot of great products have been reviewed and offered as reader giveaways.  That said, one of the most fun items is something a little less mundane, namely a compact survival kit plus a pocket sized fishing kit.  There is something about something that is small, yet well thought out and well made that captures my attention and makes it fun and well as functional, you know what I mean?

I have always been fascinated by those survival kits that are packaged in tins. 

. . . Read More

Fast Track Prep Tip #3: Buy What You Need and Use What You Buy

preparedness-gear.jpg

Acquiring survival and prepping gear can be both a blessing and a curse.  The blessing part is easy to figure out; if there is an emergency, you will have what it takes to purify water, stay warm, cook food, render first aid and ward off the bad guys.  The curse part?  You may end up with a closet full of stuff with nary a clue as to how it works or even if it will work when the time comes.

In all fairness, I say this from my own personal experience and might be judging the rest of you unfairly. 

. . . Read More

Everyday Light and Water-Winter Blast Giveaway

EcoVessel-Innova.jpg

Often times it is the simplest of things that are missing just when you need them.  Some good examples include a Band-Aid or safety pin or even a pen and a piece of paper to write on.

For those of us that like to be prepared for anything, we carry with us is a greatly expanded list of items that includes everything from a roll of duct tape, to some paracord, to food, water and a personal weapon.  We have our bug-out-bag, our get home back, our every day carry kit, our travel kit – the list goes on and one.

. . . Read More