Getting Out of Dodge: The Survival Retreat

Getting Out of Dodge Survival Retreat | Backdoor Survival

There comes a time when every prepper takes a look at what they have done, what they are currently doing, and what they plan to do in the future.  Sometimes, they retrench and rethink past preps and improve on what they have done and especially what they have learned skill-wise.  Sometimes they take a break because let’s face it, we all need balance in our lives.  And then there is the most difficult part which is planning for future preps, if any.

I am very good about asking questions about prepping goals and readers excel at answering. 

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Survival Buzz: 4 Ways to Control Slugs Naturally + Seed for Security Giveaway

4 Ways to Control Slugs Naturally | Backdoor Survival

Even though my garden is tiny, slugs and snails are having a heyday.  They are getting into my flowers and hostas which is especially hurtful.  I hate slugs so although I am certain they have some purpose in the big picture of our ecosystem, I want to get rid of them.

Lucky for us, the newest Backdoor Survival sponsor, Seed for Security, has some great tips for getting rid of slugs naturally.  Not only that, in order to give me my monthly Buzz break, Nan is providing one lucky reader with a complete Seed for Security Super Survival Kit

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15 Ways To Prepare for a Rogue Wave of Collapse

15 Ways To Prepare for a Rogue Wave of Collapse | Backdoor Survival

Spend ten minutes on the web surfing the key words “prepping skills” and you will be presented with site after site preaching the gospel of prepping for the time when the stuff hits the fan, something we commonly call SHTF.  The truth is it is a bit bittersweet to see so many of us planning for a major meltdown of our economy, food supply, power grid, country, society, and quite possibly our planet.

Call it a feeling or an intuitive guess, but It is as though we are preparing for a huge rogue wave that will hit an any moment. 

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Survival Buzz: Tips to Help You Organize Your Preps

Tips to Help You Organize Your Preps | Backdoor Survival

Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with answers to your questions, an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.

This week I return to your questions, with the query this week having to do with organizing your preps.  Here is the specific question that was asked:

Can you tell us more about organizational techniques? Inventories and the like… I swear, I might have enough to survive in my apartment for six months, but that’s only if I can FIND all the stuff!

This is a timely question since, at the moment, I am attempting to minimalize my surroundings by finding a new home for for the excess accumulation at my Washington State home. 

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Practical Reasons to Learn Morse Code for Survival

Practical Reasons to Learn Morse Code | Backdoor Survival

This article is about Morse code and why, as a prepper,you should learn just a smattering for survival purposes.  Before you groan, hear me out.

In the event there is a catastrophic end of the world event, the grid will be down and you will need to communicate your location and your status.  With a few simple Morse code signals, you will have the ability to summon help or to tell the world you are okay.  You will be able to communicate with your peers using signal mirrors, flashlight beams, handheld radios, and even simple, DIY devices.

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Backdoor Survival Interviews Emergency Essentials

Interview with Emergency Essentials | Backdoor Survival

As some of you may recall, late last year I had a number of customer service issues with personal orders I placed with Emergency Essentials.  After many attempts to resolve these issues, I felt I could no longer endorse them even though I felt they had a robust product line filled with terrific products at a good price point.

I will not bore you with the details other than to say that after a number of heartfelt conversations with their management team, I came away feeling that Emergency Essentials was committed to improving their customer service infrastructure so that my experience would not happen again, to me or to anyone else.

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How to Survive a Dental Emergency

How to Survive a Dental Emergency | Backdoor Survival

I don’t know about you, but I have had my share of dental emergencies, including one major emergency while in the middle of nowhere.  Thank goodness I had some clove essential oil to mitigate the pain until I got back to civilization three days later.

In the event of a major disaster or disruptive event, finding dental care from a trained professional may be impossible.  First responders are going to be saving lives and not tending to a nagging toothache or even to a broken tooth.  For that reason, we need to think about being dentally prepared with the tools and knowledge to get us by during a dental emergency.

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The Top 10 Tips for Debt-Free Living

Top 10 Tips for Debt-Free Living | Backdoor Survival

Bailing yourself out of debt and remaining debt-free is not so much about tackling the debt as it is about the way you live your life every single day.

I say this from experience.  When you learn to be frugal instead of frivolous, you discover that you have a lot more money than you thought you did.  You also find that frugality is not something to dread but rather, in its own way, is an adventure in and of itself.

Of course paying off debt should be of the utmost concern to anyone who is interested in living a prepared lifestyle but beyond that, how do you stay out of debt? 

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Nine Reasons Why Adult Coloring is Important to Preppers

Nine Reasons Why Adult Coloring is Important to Preppers | Backdoor Survival

Six months ago, I discovered adult coloring quite by accident. It all happened as part of the daily haunt seeking out quality eBooks being offered for free on Amazon, I kept running into adult coloring book titles in the top ten ranking of all non-fiction books.  What was this?  Something new?  I had to check it out.

When my first adult coloring book and set of pencils arrived, I dug right in and become hooked from the get go. Adult coloring became a time when I could take some downtime to listen to music and escape the stresses of blogging, a hectic work life and an uncertain world.

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What Happens When the Lights Go Out for Good?

What Happens When the Lights Go Out for Good | Backdoor Survival

Have you put some thought into what would happen if your world went dark for a week?  I mean really thought about it, starting with day one and going out a week, a month or even longer?

I don’t know about you, but when I first started prepping, I heeded the warnings from NASA and considered the possibility of an EMP caused by solar flares, a coronal mass ejection, or even a meteor strike.  These days, the concern is as much for a human-induced attack on the grid as it is for a natural phenomena.

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Every Survival Community Needs a Town Library

Every Survival Community Needs a Town Library | Backdoor Survival

I have always been a huge fan of public libraries.  As a matter of fact, before the era of eBooks, one criteria I used to determine where to live was the proximity of a public library.  Can you imagine doing that now?  These days, libraries do not need to be within commuting distance since most, if not all libraries offer a free and convenient way to download eBooks, magazines, music and videos from the comfort of your home.

In addition, did you know that most libraries have a request feature where you can borrow titles not in their inventory from other library systems? 

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14 Essentials to Help You Fix and Clean Almost Anything

14 Essentials to Help You Fix and Clean Almost Anything | Backdoor Survival

Back in 2011, I wrote a little piece about the importance of having a selection of items on hand to fix and clean almost everything.  Since that time, my views have changed and whereas many of the items on the original list still hold a prominent place in my fix-it kit, some have dropped off and others have been added.

Given that my focus this year is on simplicity as well as frugality, this is a great time to go back and credo this list because let’s face it.  Life is filled with little fix-it and clean-it tasks.

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6 Surprising Lessons Learned from a Planned Water Outage

Six Surprising Lessons Learned from a Planned Power Outage | Backdoor Survival

Over the past few days, something has become very clear to me: Backdoor Survival readers are a community.  I have been reading the 176 (and counting) comments to the recent Buzz, and more than a few of you have mentioned that you learn as much from comments as the from the articles themselves.  Nothing could make me happier!

Along those lines, recently I received an email from Karen in Nebraska.  The topic was “What I learned about water recently” and she wrote about the lessons she learned during a planned water outage.

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12 Frugal Lessons From the Great Depression

12 Frugal Lessons from the Great Depression | Backdoor Survival

During the Great Depression, frugality was considered a virtue and the phrase “Use it up, Wear it out and Make it do” was the guiding principal in most households.

Times were tough.  This meant that everything from bits of strings to worn out clothing was saved and re-purposed in some other manner.  Not only that, but every last bit of food from a can or bottle was swished out with a bit of water and used to flavor a soup or stew.  Printed chicken feed sacks became skirts and flour sacks became underwear. 

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17 Tips for Taking Charge After A Disruptive Event

17 Tips for Taking Charge After a Disruptive Event | Backdoor Survival

“Oh no! Now what?  A disruptive event has just occurred in my area and what do I do?  I know that I have prepared an emergency kit and can survive for a week or two but what do I do now?  I am confused and can’t think. Help me!”

Although this is a fictional scenario, those might likely be the thoughts that run through your mind following an earthquake, hurricane, flood, wildfire or other natural disaster. Those thoughts and worse will jump to the forefront if the disruptive event is a pandemic, nuclear event, or civil unrest where your life may be in danger.

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Learning From the Past: Survival Under Atomic Attack

Learning From the Past Survival Under Atomic Attack | Backdoor Survival

A lot of retrospective pieces are being written about the Great Depression.  Between blog articles, eBooks, and the first-hand memoirs of those that grew up during the period, it seems that preppers can not learn enough about how people survived during this period of economic woe.

On the other hand, within the blogging world, I don’t see much being written about the Cold War period.  Perhaps I am not looking hard enough.  Or perhaps it is there but being overshadowed by concerns of the next Great Depression.

In any case, back during the Cold War days of 1947 to 1991, the US Government as well as its citizens were apprehensive of a potential nuclear bomb attack from Russia. 

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How to Prep for Feminine Hygiene Needs

How to Prep for Feminine Hygiene Needs | Backdoor Survival

We have grown so reliant on throwaway products for perfectly natural events that sometimes people wonder how on earth they would deal with it if suddenly those products were unavailable.  Of course, for many centuries we handled things like menstruation without access to the local Wal-Mart, and with just a little bit of preparation we could do so again.

This issue of feminine hygiene is an important one not only from the perspective of personal, feminine comfort, but for overall health and prevention of bacterial infections and other nasties.

Guys, if you are not comfortable with the topic of feminine hygiene, feel free to skip over this one or send it off to one of your lady friends who most assuredly will thank you.  

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Survival Buzz: Septic System Maintenance as the Forgotten Prep

Septic System Maintenance is the Forgotten Prep | Backdoor Survival

Right now, as I am writing this, two close friends are having major issues with their septic systems.  A combination of heavy, unseasonable rains, and deferred maintenance have resulted in nightmare situations.

What happens when the septic tank is full and the leach field is fully saturated?  No showers and no flushing!

Last month, Cindy sent me the following note, again having to do with the failure of an aged septic system. Please, if you are on a septic system, consider routine maintenance to be a must-do prep.

I consider myself moderately well-prepared for a lengthy “bug-in” session, but my neglect of one critical infrastructure has really opened my eyes.

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The No-Nonsense Guide to Getting Out of Debt

No-Nonsense Guide to Getting Out of Debt| Backdoor Survival

Let’s face it.  We live in a world fueled by debt and for many, having debt is an ordinary part of life,  For them, racking up the credit cards at Christmas and slowing paying them off while collecting massive interest is a way of life.  Many never pay them off.

From where I sit, it is understandable when people owe money for extremely large purchases like real estate or a reliable vehicle.  That makes sense, but these days, a great deal of consumer debt is lifestyle debt. Lifestyle debt is credit used to purchase clothing, go on vacations, and buy electronics.

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The Easy Way to Start a Wood Fire

Easy Way to Start a Wood Fire | Backdoor Survival

Fire, and all it represents, is one of the building blocks of survival along with food, water, and shelter.  Fire will cook the food, purify the water, and heat the shelter.  For that reason, it should come as no surprise that fire starting tools and paraphernalia are one of the first things newbie preppers acquire when they are first getting started.

Acquiring tools is all well and good and not to be discounted.  The real test, however, lies in the ability to actually start a wood fire. To that end, there are as many ways to start a wood fire as there are preppers. 

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11 Mistakes and Goofs That Every Prepper Should Avoid

11 Mistakes & Goofs That Every Prepper Should Avoid | Backdoor Survival

We have all done it – made a mistake with our preps that was either a stupid use of our time, a waste of our money, or both.  The good news is that with a couple of years of prepping experience behind you, you will begin to recognize those things that are worthwhile and those that are folly.

I say this from personal experience.  This year I have completely overhauled my bug out bag, started over with my pocket survival kit and EDC, and have shifted my focus on food storage from anything and everything, to a more select group of products that are good tasting and simple to prepare.

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Simple Comforts: How and Why You Should Make Your Own Bread

How and Why You Should Make Your Own Bread | Backdoor Survival

I’m pretty sure that if there’s a key to happiness, it is baking your own bread.  Think about it…

The smell when you proof the yeast.

Mixing all those fresh ingredients like a chemist.

Then, you put it in the oven and don’t even get me started about the smell! There is something special about that aroma created from the mixture of flour, water, yeast, and salt that makes you feel that all is right with the world.

Then…you get to slice into it, slather it with butter that melts on contact, and eat the entire loaf at one meal. 

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The Conundrum of Bugging Out and What To Do About It

The Conundrum of Bugging Out | Backdoor Survival

Over the past five years, I have seen the concept of bugging out escalate to the realm of ridiculousness.  Much of this, in my opinion, has come from the commercialization of bug out bags, the glamorization of bug-out preps in the media and within entertainment circles, and, quite simply, blogging sites that promote bug out strategies as part of their down and dirty fear mongering to get you to purchase over-priced info-products or survival gear.

Circling back, bugging out has its place as I will explain in a moment.  But for 99% of the disruptive events out there, my vote is to stay put and hunker down in the comfort of your home, surrounded by your preps.

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How to Test Your Ability to Carry a Bug Out Bag

How to Test Your Ability to Carry a Bug Out Bag | Backdoor Survival

A couple of months ago, I posed the question “What is the Baseline of Prepper Fitness?”  Although there were varied responses, at the end of the day most everyone agreed that having the ability to walk some distance with a pack of supplies was paramount to survival.

At first blush this may seem contrary to my stance that bugging in is always preferable to bugging out.  But what if you are forced to evacuate for safety reasons?  History teaches us that homes can be severely damaged or destroyed by earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires and other errant acts of Mother Nature. 

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10 Smart Survival Strategies for the Woman Living Alone

10 Smart Survival Strategies for the Woman Living Alone | Backdoor Survival

Most preparedness information out there seems to assume that everyone is part of a family with a mom, a dad, three kids, and a dog. Or, if not that, an extended family that includes brothers, uncles, and a grand-pappy.  Somehow, the picture presented always includes a man.

The truth is, that is not always the case; there are a lot of women alone out there who are also preparing, and it often seems like they are left out of the equations.

There are all sorts of reasons that a woman might be living alone.

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