What to Look for When Shopping for Food Storage

What to Look For When Shopping for Food Storage - Backdoor Survival

With all of the varying complexities of food storage and food storage companies, it may be difficult to sort through and prioritize what is important and what is not.  I don’t know about you but with the dizzying array of things to take into consideration, you just might want to throw you hands up in dismay and yell “help me!!”.

I do not claim to be an expert but over the years, I have learned some things about food storage and food storage companies.  Setting aside the very real concern of where to store everything which is a separate topic altogether, today I want to break down what you should look for when shopping for food storage.

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Finding Your Way Back Home Without a Map and Compass

Finding Your Way Back Home Without a Map and Compass - Backdoor Survival

When it comes to getting out of dodge, my hope is that I will never have to bug out. Ever. On the flip side of things, I also hope that I will never have to find my way back home following a major disruptive event.  Realistically, however, turning a blind eye to the realities of a disaster requiring a trek on foot to or from my home would be foolhardy.

The logical thing, of course, would be to have maps and a compass on board at all times.

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Survival Nutrition 101: What Is Bio-Availability?

Survival Nutrition 101 - Backdoor Survival

As someone who has stored a lot of food for long term emergencies, I can easily recognize the temptation to load up on simple to prepared packaged foods.  Many of these food items are highly processed and loaded with chemical preservatives to extend their longevity, past due dates notwithstanding.

All you need to do is pick up a package of Twinkies and you will see what I mean.

How much do you know about survival nutrition?  In an exclusive new article for Backdoor Survival readers, my blogging colleague and friend, Daisy Luther talks about survival nutrition and bio-availability.

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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.

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9 Things To Do to Prepare for Hard Times Ahead

9 Tips to Prepare for Hard Times - Backdoor Survival

Most Prepper types that I know appear to have a common trait: they are good at evaluating risks then moving to mitigate those risks in a nimble manner.  What that means, in somewhat plainer English, is they have the ability to evaluate a situations, make a plan, learn from it, and ultimately act in a responsible manner.

Along those lines, more recently I have done some personal analysis and put more focus on what I call “hard times ahead”.  With my disaster preps more or less in order, I want to ensure that my own household will get through a period of difficulty when, for instance, there is not enough food, work, or money to go around.

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DIY Emergency Lights from Solar Yard Lights

DIY Indoor Emergency Lights - Backdoor Survival

When it comes to emergency lighting, flashlights and lanterns rule.  The problem, however, is that they require a power source, be it batteries, propane, or some other type of fuel.  There are candles, of course, but candles do eventually burn out, plus, in some environments and especially around children, candles can represent a safety hazard.

The option of choice, for many, is solar lighting.  Indeed, I have a SunBell that gives off a lot light and is easily recharged, even on a cloudy day.  That marvelous piece of gear comes at a price though. 

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Learn to Use Body Language to Establish Trust

Learning to Use Body Language to Establish Trust - Backdoor Survival

Building a prepper community that you can rely on to come together in times of need is high on everyone’s list of goals.  Sadly, however, most of us have an issue with determining just who we should let into out inner circle of trusted friends. That includes family.  Who is to say that a trusted family member will not turn on us when the chips are down? This a special concern when there is a perception, real or imagined, that an immediate member of his or her own family is at risk.

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Propane for Preppers – Part Five

Propane for Preppers - Part Five

This is the fifth and final installment in the series Propane for Preppers.  During the course of these five articles, you have learned the technical aspects of propane as well as how to store and use propane safely.  Of great interest to many of you has been the detailed primer on how to refill small portable cylinders from larger tanks.

Throughout the series, the emphasis has been on common sense, practicality, and above all else, safety.

In this final article, we are going to recap and expand upon the issue of carbon monoxide plus discuss propane fires and the double standard that seemingly appears to exist in the universe of propane safety.

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Community Survival: Bringing Friends and Family Into the Fold

Community Survival: Bringing Friends & Family Into the Fold

The challenges of living a self-sufficient, prepper lifestyle can be overwhelming when attempting to do it all yourself.  If you are lucky, you have a spouse or partner on board to share both the work and the joys of self-reliance.  On the other hand, I know from the many comments and emails that I receive that a good percentage of you are on your own.

Some carry the torch alone due to circumstance but others soldier along without assistance because family and friends scoff and consider them loony tunes. 

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Survival Basics: Water and Water Storage

Survival Basics: Water

During a recent book giveaway, the question asked was “What piece of prepping gear is at the top of your bucket list?”  Needless to say, I was more than a little bit surprised to find that the top response was water storage, water filters, and water purification equipment.

While having the gear is nice, anyone interested in preparedness also needs to have a basic understanding of the concepts behind water and water storage.  Where to find, store, purify, and filter water are all questions that need to be asked, answered, and periodically reviewed.

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Get Organized with the Preparedness Planner

Getting Organized with the Preparedness Planner

Let’s take an informal poll.  How many of you have tons of preps?  How many of you know you have a lot of stuff, but have no clue how much you have, how much you want, and where it is located?

In the past, I have tried to keep track of my own preps both with an excel spreadsheet and using software and apps sent to me for review.  With all of the time I have spent attempting to get organized, my preps are still in disarray and none of the apps made it to the website for review purposes.

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Best of Backdoor Survival 2014

Best of Backdoor Survival 2014

It has become blogging tradition to post an end of the year roundup of the best articles from the previous year. The problem, of course, is what constitutes the best? Is it the most viewed or the most shared? Or, perhaps, is it my own hand-picked favorites?

My choice this year is to highlight the ten most viewed articles since, after all, they are the most popular. Although some of these were written prior to 2014, they do represent those articles that new readers tend to visit and that long-term readers go back to over and over again.

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10 Simple Strategies for Becoming A Prepper

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No one really knows how many preppers exist in the world but it is safe to say that there are three to four million in the United states alone.  Even though at first blush this sounds like a huge segment of the population, in round numbers that is still only slightly more than 1% of the total US populace.  When you think about it, that is pretty shocking.

Who is going to take care of the remaining 99% percent of the population when a major disruptive event occurs? 

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How to Find Free Prepping Advice on the Internet

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There are moments in the blogging world where you just have to stop the presses, step back, and shift your focus.  Today is one of those days.  The article I had planned to today has been put on hold so that I can bring you a list of websites where you can find the best free prepping advice on the internet.

Let me explain.

Popular writer and blogger Michael Snyder has just published his list of the 122 Best Prepper websites.  His criteria?  Each offers prepping advice for free with no strings attached. 

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16 Important Rules of Survival and Preparedness

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Having a survival mindset means you are always ready to take on new challenges, right?  Although I fully believe that new challenges are a good thing, it is sometimes downright frustrating to recognize that prep as we do, we are never really ready.

Part of the disconnect from being totally prepared is having the knowledge that we will never be able to prepare for everything.  As recently as four years ago, we were preparing for the end of the world as we know it and a global economic collapse. 

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33 Brilliant Non-Traditional Preps

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Pick up any preparedness book or visit any preparedness website and you are bound to be inundated with ideas for getting yourself ready for an unexpected disruptive event.  After awhile, the eyes begin to glaze over as you realize that you are reading the same thing over and over again.

The good news is that if so many people are talking about something, it must be true, right?  For obvious reasons, I am going to leave that one alone for now.  Instead, I want to focus on the real life preps from regular folks who are walking the preppers walk. 

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8 Essential Items: The Perfect Portable Survival Kit

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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. 

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Are You Guilty of These Prepper Mistakes?

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Webster defines an expert as a person “who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area”  That being said, when it comes to preparedness, is anyone ever really an expert?

Let’s be realistic. Every prepper, myself included, was a novice at one time or another.  Along our journey, we have consulted books, websites, blogs, and various government publications in our quest to learn abut preparedness in general and the prepper lifestyle in particular.  Were any of the indivdual authors of these sources experts? 

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16 Tips for Coping Without Running Water

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Every prepper worth their salt stores water and lots of it.  Not only that, they store one, two, three or more ways to purify water.  That is all well and good because you never know when a disaster or other disruptive event may occur and those water resources will be called upon for drinking, cleaning, hygiene, and sanitation purposes.

Recently, my number came up and I was the one without water during a short term, personal water apocalypse.  Now really, that may be a bit dramatic because I was simply without running water. 

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Propane for Preppers – Part Four

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In the series Propane for Preppers, you have learned about filling one-pound propane cylinders. But what about refilling 20 pound tanks from, for example, the large tank you lease from the propane company?

In this article, you will learn about refilling those 20-pounders and also, how to safely store any size propane cylinder for the long term.  We also cover carbon monoxide and oxygen starvation.

Propane for Preppers Part Four is the next installment in the series written exclusively for Backdoor Survival by my friend Ron Brown, who has taken considerable time to put together a comprehensive tutorial for you. 

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Slow Cooking with the Amazing Wonder Oven

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In the pursuit of self-sufficiency, Prepper’s are always looking for innovative ways to cook food.  Part of that comes from our desire to eliminate our dependency on fossil fuels and part, to be quite honest, has to do with the process of cooking itself.

Does it come as any surprise that some of the most popular preparedness and homesteading websites feature cooking and recipes?  We all love to eat and eating for the most part, requires cooking.  In my own household, in addition to a gas stove-top, I use a charcoal and wood-burning Volcano stove, an EcoZoom rocket stove that burns biomass, and two Solo Stoves

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Six Preparedness Tips for the Mobility Challenged

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If you have ever had an injury that limited your mobility, you will understand why knowing how to deal with mobility challenges following a disaster is important.  A sprained ankle, a broken leg, a fractured arm; all of these can severely restrict your ability to dig your way out of or evacuate in the aftermath of a disaster.

These temporary disabilities are annoying and inconvenient at best.  Now put yourself in the shoes of an individual with a permanent disability; someone who requires a walker, a wheelchair, crutches, or a scooter to move around.

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101 Low Cost Items to Barter When the SHTF

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I would be preaching the choir if I told you that it is wise to gather extra supplies that you can use for bartering in a post-collapse world.  The issue for many, however, is that their budget allows no room for extras.  Finding funds for long term personal preps, let alone daily needs can be an ongoing challenge.

Let’s face it. We all know that the middle class is disappearing.  Food and health care costs are up and even those with comfortable nest eggs are finding that their funds are rotting, earning virtually no interest and suffering the ravages of inflation.

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12 Months of Prepping: Month Ten

12 Months of Prepping Month Ten

As I do each month, I would like to begin month ten with a little pep-talk on preparedness.  We all know that power outages, wildfires, storms, floods, and other disasters can happen anywhere at anytime.  Although first responders do their best when it comes to mobilizes their resources to assist victims, if the disaster is major, there will be a lot of families in need of assistance.

Wouldn’t it be better to rely on your own resources instead?

Being an optimist, I can only assume that if you made it this far in the 12 Months of Prepping Series, you are well on your way to being self-sufficient in an emergency. 

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13 Ways To Roll With the Punches

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The great recession of the 21st century has been marching forward for seven plus years.  These have not been easy times.

For the the enlightened, these seven years have been troubling and extremely stressful. The stagnant economy, the threat of a global financial collapse, pandemics, terrorist activity, and an overall belief of being “stuck in place” have put most people on edge.

Sadly, the stresses created by being stuck and going nowhere have not lessened since the recession began in 2008.  If anything, they are greater. 

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8 Reasons to Drink Water for Survival

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In the summertime when you get hot, sweaty and sticky, it is quite natural to reach for a nice, cool glass of water to quench your thirst.  In the Fall and Winter, however, it is easy to forget to drink an adequate amount of water to stay hydrated.

Think about it.  You are indoors, covered with layers of warm clothing and subject to the dry heat produced by your furnace wood stove, or fireplace.  Talk about a recipe for dehydration.

Today I discuss some reasons why you need to drink water for survival. 

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Disaster Preps: When the Storm Hits the Fan

When the Storm Hits the Fan

I am a firm believer that our very best learning opportunities come from the learning experiences of others.  There is no better example of this than listening or reading about the experience of someone who has lived through a major disaster.

This happened last fall, when reader a shared her experience during the winter ice storms in the eastern part of the US.  The article, 5 Days with No Power – When the Ice Hits the Fan, was an eye-opener that taught us that even the seasoned prepper will never be truly prepared.

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Propane for Preppers – Part Three

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One of the more frequent questions I get relative to propane has to do refilling propane tanks.  I am not talking about those 20 pound tanks commonly used with backyard BBQs.  Instead, the questions have to do with refilling those ubiquitous one pound cylinders that are used with portable stoves, lanterns, and heaters.

In this next installment of Propane for Preppers, you are going to learn how to refill your one pound propane tanks.  As you will learn, there are pros and cons mostly relating to safety considerations. 

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How to Safely Shelter In Place During a Pandemic

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In recent weeks, we have all been bombarded with mainstream news reports about the Ebola virus.  Most of those reports indicate that we have nothing to worry about.  Alas, as preppers and survival-types, we worry about pandemics and runaway viruses along with the myriad of other disasters and disruptive events that may occur at some point down the road.

Many of your may remember book festival author, FJ Bohan.  He and I have stayed in touch and as it turns out, he has become a friend of Backdoor Survival on many fronts. 

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12 Months of Prepping: Month Nine

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Nelson Mandela once said: “It always seems impossible until it is done”.

And so it is with preparedness.  At the beginning, the task of prepping seems impossible.  But once you start, and once you really get going, the process does not seem so difficult and most definitely seems possible.

Now don’t get me wrong.  Talk to any prepper and he or she will tell you that the job is never done.   Oh sure, you eventually acquire enough gear, water, and food to get you by for three days. 

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