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. . . . Read More

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

The Tactical Traveler Bug Out Bag – Review

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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.  When that happens, you want to be ready to grab your spouse, your kids, the family pet and a well stocked bug-out-bag with enough gear to get you by for at least 72 hours.

Where do you start?  If you are like me, you started with a very basic kit using items you already owned.  . . . Read More

Backdoor Survival Holiday Gift Guide

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The frenzy of the holiday season is upon us.  Or I should say some of us.  For years, the holiday season in my own household has been quiet.  We spend the days leading up to the end of December doing enjoyable activities together such as reading by the fireplace or playing board games.  That is our tradition and it is right for us.

For others, the holiday tradition includes parties, festive meals, decorations and the exchange of gifts, large and small.  To help you with the gifting tradition – and especially the small gifts – I have come up with a holiday gift guide to help you select the perfect gift for loved ones close to you. . . . Read More

Fall in Love With Cast Iron

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Shortly after starting this website, I purchased a cast iron skillet for use when cooking outdoors.  Little did I know that three years later my expensive, department store cookware would be cast aside and I would be using inexpensive cast iron for almost all of my cooking, both indoors and out.

I experienced a lot of trial and error as I learned to cook with cast iron.  Probably the most important thing I learned was to wear gloves when handling the hot skillet or pot and also be make sure that the piece was completely dry before putting it aside for next time. . . . Read More

Secrets of Successful Fuel Storage

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One of the benefits of maintaining the Backdoor Survival website is that I am often asked to review various products of interest to the preparedness community.  I have personally tested and used all of the products I have written up and as you know, it is always more than a simple “two-liner” or just the rewrite of a pile technical specs or press releases.

But there are some products that I can’t effectively review because the Survival Husband and I do not always have the necessary review tools. In such cases, I occasionally turn to my long-time friend George Ure at Urban Survival, who’s one of the “old hands” at prepping, having exited from big city life in early 2003. . . . Read More

Survival Friday: How to Use a Bandana to Save the Day

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Who would have thought that something as ubiquitous as the common bandana would have so many uses?  I know that I have used these colorful squares of cloth for many purposes over the years, not the least of which was keeping my hair in place and wiping the sweat off my brow in hot weather.

If you have not put a lot of thought into the usefulness of a bandana, think again.  As far as I am concerned, you should have one available as part of your every day carry kit and more than a few in your bug out bag and your stash of survival supplies. . . . Read More

The Basics of Ham Radio

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Today I continue the conversation with George Ure of Urban Survival as he shares  his thoughts on the value of getting a ham radio license as well as an explanation of some ham radio basics for those of us that are just getting started with this mode of emergency commination.

But first, what exactly is ham radio?  According to Wikipedia:

Amateur radio (also called ham radio) is the use of designated radio frequency spectra for purposes of private recreation, non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, and emergency communication. The term “amateur” is used to specify persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without direct pecuniary interest, and to differentiate it from commercial broadcasting, public safety (such as police and fire), or professional two-way radio services (such as maritime, aviation, taxis, etc.).

. . . Read More

Shortwave Radio For Preppers

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A year and a half ago, I asked my friend George Ure at Urban Survival to help with an article on emergency communications.  And since he’s the kind of guy who will build you a watch even if all you wanted to know is the time is, he turned out a really good article which can still be found over on our Strategic Living site.

More recently, as I have started to get serious about both shortwave and HAM radio, I asked him some additional questions during our weekly video conference. . . . Read More

Grinding Wheat with the Incredible WonderMill

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When I first started prepping, the last thing on my mind was purchasing wheat for long term storage.  Heck, what was I going to do with 100 pounds of wheat berries?  Eat them raw?  Cook them? Sprout them?  Turn them into flour? I did not have a clue.  My my, how things have changed.

Today I am thrilled to share with you my experience learning how to mill my own flour with the incredible WonderMill.  Not only that, the nice folks at WonderMill have set aside one of their grain mills for one very lucky Backdoor Survival reader.  . . . Read More

Every Self-Respecting Prepper Needs Duct Tape

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I have always been in love with duct tape.  From the cheap stuff you get at the dollar store to the standard stuff from the local hardware store to the fancy and ever so effective Gorilla Tape – I just love this stuff.

A year ago I posted an article on the many uses of duct tape for survival.  It went viral.  Even so, I think that as a team, we can do better.  I would like to see 50, 80 or even 101 uses of duct tape for survival purposes. . . . Read More

Survival Friday: Every Prepper Needs a Whistle or Two

In recent months, I have been adding a number of small, inexpensive items to my existing cache of survival gear.  I have added flashlights (Blocklite’s in particular), paracord, mini-tools, and pocket knives as well as other handy items to my stash of portable survival kits.

One item that I have purchased in bulk and stowed everywhere I can think of is a whistle.  As with everything, I have my favorites including the WindStorm (nicely made in the USA) and the dirt-cheap SE 5 in 1 whistle.

An inexpensive SE 5-in-1 whistle

My personal preference notwithstanding, today my friend Above Average Joe shares his thoughts on survival whistles.  . . . Read More

Gear Review: Trademark 4 in 1 Hunting Knife

It must be a guy thing.  One knife is never enough and neither are two or three.  Most men that I know have a collection of blades, each serving a slightly (with the emphasis on “slightly”) different purpose.  That said, when planning for emergencies, you should have a reliable knife in your pocket, in your vehicle, in your pack and in your tool box.  In our household, we have pocket knives, multi-tools, tactical knives. machetes and more.  And in all fairness to the men out there, I have three knives of my own. . . . Read More

The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter Review

I first learned about the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter a year ago when one of the readers of Backdoor Survival sent me an email extoling its virtues.  Although it sounded cool and the price (about $20) was right, I did not bother to test one myself.   After all, I already had a Berkey Sport bottle, a Nalgene water bottle and some water purification tabs in my pack.  I was all set.

Or so I thought. 

During my recent trip to Alaska, I decided to carry along a LifeStraw and use it for some field testing.  After all, what better place to stick a straw in the water and drink than a beautiful Alaskan glacial pond or stream? . . . Read More

Survival Basics: Water

Be Prepared Not Scared with Backdoor Survival

A frequent theme in the preparedness community is the importance of water.  Where to find it, how to store it, how to purify it and how to filter it.  Whether you are a prepping newbie or an experienced survivalist, water should be high on your list of prepping priorities.

Every year or so, I like to share an article on water, not only for the benefit of the many prepping newbies that visit Backdoor Survival, but also as a refresher course for those of us that are more experienced.  Today’s article is an update to information that I have previously shared but that does not make it any less important. . . . Read More

Survival Friday: Three Essential Storage Tools

Sometimes it can be the simple things that will stop you in your tracks when it comes to getting things done.  On today’s Survival Friday, Above Average Joe shares three dirt cheap tools that can save you time and hassle when working with your food and water storage.

THREE INEXPENSIVE BUT ESSENTIAL STORAGE TOOLS

In one of my past jobs, I worked in a warehouse that created and shipped dozens of different products. I even got the chance to help develop several of these.  It was a fun job while it lasted, but there were a few very specific tools that I used on a daily basis that I could not have done my job without.

. . . Read More