60 Emergency Supplies You Can Buy for a Buck


Tax day is right around the corner and after agonizing over the tax preparation process, I have filed my return and don’t have to worry about it for another year.  The bad news is that I had to make a donation to our government to cover the taxes due.  The good news is that the government did not get a tax free loan from me this year.

Whatever the case, this is the time of year that I am reminded that having blank checks and credit cards is not the same as having extra cash.  Do you know the feeling?

With that in mind, today I share some preparedness supplies that can be purchased for just a dollar.  

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11 Steps Toward Being Ordinary


Blending in has a lot going for it, for as nice as it is to be known for your uniqueness, when it comes to prepping, less is more and being ordinary rocks.  Said another way, looking and acting the same as everyone else allows you to go unnoticed as you gather supplies and spend time honing your homesteading skills.

I like to call this “the pursuit of ordinary”.

OPSEC – Yes or No?

Maintaining OPSEC is an issue with many different “expert” opinions regarding how much OPSEC secrecy is really needed.  Do you keep your prepping activities close to the belt, telling no one? 

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Special Report: How to Survive a Mudslide


As some of you know, I live in Washington State, not far as the crow flies from the recent mudslides that have claimed many lives.  Rescue personnel are still digging through the rubble to find victims and as of this moment 125 souls are still unaccounted for.

One of the reasons we prepare is so that we are ready to act and to survive following a natural disaster.  In this case, those in the immediate path of the mudslide were unable to get out of the way.  Many perished.  On the other hand, about four hours following the mudslide, those in the surrounding area were told to evacuate immediately.

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The Healing Garden: 10 Herbs To Grow in the Survival Garden


For many, the time has come to plan our summer gardens.  Given the overwhelming interest in recent articles about essential oils, I decided to revisit the topic of an herbal healing garden.  My interest is a bit self-serving in that I am in the process of rethinking my own garden and while I grow an abundance of rosemary,lavender and peppermint, this year will be an ideal time to replace some tired shrubs with plants that will work for me.  Healing herbs will fit the bill quote nicely.

Lavender Growing in My Own Garden

Herbs have been used for centuries to sooth and to heal. 

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9 Tips for Buying Property With Little or No Money


Many folks, whether Preppers or not, dream of having their own special patch of land where they can settle in, raise a family, grow a garden, and simply take joy in knowing that the earth they stand on is all theirs.  Whether you dream of homesteading as I do, or merely want to homestead in place, achieving that dream can seem daunting, if not impossible, if cash is short.

Today I hope to help you out make that dream come true with some tips for buying property when money is scarce.  Now to be honest, these are not my tips but those shared by F.J.

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Will Solar Panels Survive an EMP?


When in comes to all things solar, I am a novice.  I have a very basic set-up from Harbor Freight that is used for light duty power in my garage but other than that, I have a long way to go.  So when I was asked the question, “Will solar panels survive an EMP?” I was stumped.

First of all, no one really knows what will or will not survive a massive EMP such as the type in the hugely popular book, One Second After.  Second, and more to the point, I am not well versed on the technical side of electronics even though I am a techy nerdy type when in comes to computers.

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Dealing with Poo After a Disaster


Have you given any consideration of what you would do if your basic sanitation system was not available following a disaster?  As unpleasant as this might seem, not having a viable sewer or septic system – or even an outhouse – could pose a problem if you have not given it some thought a head of time.

A few years ago I wrote and article that included a very basic Earthquake and Natural Disaster Emergency Checklist. In response, a reader wrote:

For item “Check for sewage and water lines damage”, you wrote if the sewage line is suspected to be damaged, one should avoid using the toilet.

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The Myth of Expiration Dates on Prescription Meds


In the aftermath of disaster, you evacuate your home with your family and your bug-out bag.  For one reason another, you overlooked swapping out your three year old medications and now are faced with a dilemma.  Are they still safe to use?

I am not a medical professional but everything that I have read says, yes, they are not only safe but that the expiration date printed or stamped on those bottles represent more of a CYA for the manufacturers than any thing else.

According to the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide:

Most of what is known about drug expiration dates comes from a study conducted by the Food and Drug Administration at the request of the military.

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5 Days with No Power – When the Ice Hits the Fan


One of the longtime, faithful readers of Backdoor Survival was without power for five days during the recent ice storm in Aiken County, South Carolina.  Sandra and her husband are preppers and have been for quite some time.  That said, she ran into some bumps during her experience, one she calls “when the Ice Hits the Fan”.

Sandra has graciously shared her experience and the experience of her family – what worked, what did not work and what needs improvement – so that we all can learn for it.  There are surprises here so sit down, grab some coffee and take notes. 

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20 Tips for Soldiering Through an Economic Meltdown


Three years ago, I wrote about our deteriorating economy.  As I recall, the words were “current lousy economy”.  The good news is that so far, a global economic meltdown has been abated.  And the bad?

From what I can determine by simply opening my eyes and looking around, we are nowhere near the recovery that politicians and the economists in their hip pocket are touting.  If anything, we are barreling forward to a collapse not unlike the big crash of 1929.

I say this without intending to invoke fear.  Quite the contrary.  Living in fear is simply not my thing.  Okay, I lied. 

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14 Questions to Ask Yourself in a Preparedness Pop Quiz


When it comes to being  prepared, is seems that there are about a thousand things to take into consideration. Well, maybe not a thousand but at least a hundred or two.  At times, it feels like we are jugglers, with so many balls in the air that with one mis-step, they will all come tumbling down.

Luckily, there are lots or resources available with checklists and guidelines to get us through the quagmire of of things to do, things to get, and things to learn. Even then, when it comes right down to it, we all just have to do it.

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The All New 12 Months of Prepping – One Month at a Time

All New 12 Monthsof Prepping

Sometimes we all need to go back to the beginning to regroup, redefine and start over with a new perspective

Back in 2011, when I first wrote about 12 Months of Prepping, I was excited and highly motivated to share monthly checklists with the beginning prepper.  At the time I was somewhat of a newbie prepper myself, and being studious and industrious by nature, I read a lot, planned a lot and spent a good deal of time stocking my supply pantry with goods and gear.

It was right about this time that the term “prepper” started to enter the mainstream. 

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Preparing for a Wildfire – Are You Ready?

Preparing for a Wildfire - Backdoor Survival

Wildfires are typically associated with the summer months but in truth, they can occur anywhere and anytime.  Whereas typical causes are lightening, droughts and freaks of nature, human carelessness as well as human intent and maliciousness can cause a wildfire as well.

In todays blast from the near past, I share an article I wrote a while back with suggestions for preparing your home and your family for a wildfire.  While this information may not seem relevant to you now, the suggestions for prepping your home well in advance of any threat are timeless.  When a wildfire is headed your way, it will be too late to take these preventative measures and when that happens, evacuation may be your only option.

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Clean, Drinkable Water – LifeStraw Family Review


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.

Today, as part of the BDS Winter Blast Giveaway, I am thrilled to tell you about the Lifestraw Family 1.0 and also, in conjunction with BDS  sponsor EarthEasy.com,  give one away to a lucky reader.

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Fast Track Prep Tip #4: How to Use a FoodSaver for Vacuum Canning

How to Use a Food Save for Vacuum Canning

A few weeks ago, I received an email from a Backdoor Survival reader asking my opinion on a device she had seen being promoted to preppers.  It was basically a vacuum sealer that could be used to seal up packages of dry foods.  The cost was about $300.  Holy moly!  I could hardly believe that someone would consider something like this when an $80 FoodSaver would do the same thing.

I have had a FoodSaver for years.  I use it for all sorts of soft and dry goods, such as cheeses, meats, specialty flours, and even things like coffee beans and tea bags. 

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Six Ways to Get Ready for Going Off-Grid


Regardless of where you live, the possibility of a short-term power outage is likely at some point.  For most of us, this happens two or three times a year for a very short period, meaning a few hours on up to a few days.

These short-term outages often become a big adventure. Talk to someone who is an avid camper and you will learn there is a certain magic involved in sitting by a campfire or camp stove, sharing fish tales and roasting marshmallows over the flickering flames.  And so it is when the power goes out.  The oil lamps are lit, the fireplace or woodstove is set ablaze and out comes the rocket stove for cooking our food – outdoors of course.

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Using Potassium Iodide Following a Nuclear Incident


Much has been speculated by sources a lot more knowledgeable than me on the effect of radiation to North America -  and specifically the Pacific coast – if a fuel pool at Fukushima collapses.  Some of these sources are scientists while others are pure speculators.  The truth, most likely, will fall somewhere in between.

Let me say this at the onset. I do not claim to be an expert on radiation and I am not a medical professional.  I am, however, someone who wants to prepare for the worst, weather it means making lifestyle changes or taking preventative measures after the fact.

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12 Ways to Homestead in Place


If you read between the many lines here on Backdoor Survival, you will know that I daydream about becoming a homesteader.  I have collected books and eBooks on the topic and I am constantly talking to anyone who will listen about raising chickens for eggs and goats for milk.  Sadly, most of this dreaming is just that, a dream.

Like many, my living arrangements do not allow for raising animals, a humungous garden, a workshop to build stuff or any of the other trappings normally associated with a traditional homestead.  On the other hand, there are things I do have, most notably the will and the desire to homestead in place.

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What Every Prepper Needs to Know About Hypothermia


Unless you live in the tropics, winter is likely to bring uncertain weather, including bone-chilling temperatures, severe winds, freezing rain and significant snowfall.  Needless to say, such conditions are not much fun under the best of circumstances.  If there is no power and no heat, the effects of winter are magnified, especially for those that have failed to prepare for extreme weather events.

Being prepared for winter weather conditions is not rocket science and there is much you can do to insure the safety of your home and family during the winter storm season. Having an alternate heat source is a good start as is plenty of warm blankets and clothing. 

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The Best of Backdoor Survival 2013

Best of Backdoor Survival 2013

Another year has ended here at Backdoor Survival and what can I say?  My readers are the most prepared and the most awesome preppers on the planet.  They are ordinary folks living ordinary lives doing the best they can to be ready for life’s emergencies.

Looking back, I am sure that you will agree that 2013 has been quite the year on a lot of fronts.  Most notably, the much dreaded SHTF never happened.  Sure, there were some squeaks and bumps in the economy plus Obamacare and its ramifications have hit many of us hard.

Natural disasters and wonky weather continued to wreak havoc throughout the world. 

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Survival Basics: What the Heck are Oxygen Absorbers?

What the heck are oxygen absorbers?

When I first started getting serious about food storage, I found myself facing an entirely new vocabulary of food storage terms.  It should come as no surprise that one of those terms was “Oxygen Absorber”.

Now I am pretty sure that you have heard about oxygen absorbers.  But do you know what they are and that they are a necessary component when sealing up dry goods for the long haul?  Oxygen absorbers are a mystery to many so today I will provide you with the basics – just enough to get you started on the road to storing your bulk foods for the long term.

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


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.  But I think not.

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46 Pioneer Skills for the Modern Homesteader


These days, most people define “homesteading” in terms of lifestyle.  This is especially true among preppers who seek self-sufficiency by embracing old-style, pioneer era skills to define their independence from traditional supply chains and government interference.  This does not necessarily mean we live off-grid in some far out location where there are no modern conveniences whatsoever.  Quite the contrary.

21st century homesteading is a mindset that can take place in the city core, an apartment, a planned community or suburbia.  And of course, the homesteading mindset prevails in rural communities, farmlands and other more traditional homestead-type locations.

Becoming a 21st century homesteader means downsizing, minimizing and living a healthier life. 

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Disasters Really Do Happen To Ordinary People


There is no question that Disaster Denial is a common ailment.  Even those that prepare – and prepare well – ponder whether a disaster could really happen to them and to their families and if, at the end of the day, all of their preps are worth it.

In todays blast from the near past, I share an article I wrote listing the myriad of disasters that could happen.  There is everything from natural disasters, to economic collapse, to technology failures (been there, done that) to weapons of mass destruction.  As I was reading the article myself, I was reminded of the everyday calamities that could turn my life upside down – as it could yours. 

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