What exactly are the basics of survival? Speaking from the heart, even I am a bit unsure these days. Long gone are the days when a well-stocked pantry, a generous supply of clean drinking water, and bug-out bag were all you needed to be prepared.
As much as I would like to answer this question in a definitive manner, the more I know and the longer I am doing this, the more I realize the nature and scope of what we need to prepare for has changed over the years and, if anything, is far more exhaustive than I could imagine when starting in 2010.
What does one do? Where does one start?
Today in the Buzz I am pointing you to a sampling of the articles covering survival basics that have been shared on this website. I have loosely arranged them in sections that are commonly referred to as the “Pillars of Preparedness”.
With over 1,300 articles published to date, this represents a very small sampling of the information I have gathered over the years. Still, experienced or not, I hope you find this review of survival basics useful.
Pillar #1: Food
Pillar #2: Water
Pillar #3: Medical
Pillar #4: Communication
Pillar #5: Security
Pillar #6: Defense
Like I said, this is a mere sampling of topics that fall under the umbrella of “Survival Basics“. Furthermore, there are many more pillars to preparedness that are not even mentioned. Shelter, Fire, Mindset, and Planning are just a few and I am sure you can think of dozens of others.
Still, we all need to begin at the beginning and step ahead in a forward direction as best we can. And sometimes we need to go back and start all over just to stay current.
Backdoor Survival Mail Bag & Reader Tips
I heard from long-term reader, Elaine K. recently and want to pass on her insightful suggestions for surviving if or when the SHTF.
Here are my two cents worth.
Know how to give without expecting anything in return. It teaches others to share and to have compassion. ]
Know how to work with others that are “in it for me” attitude. Identify others who do not have any regard for you, but want what you have.
Learn how to raise and use herbs for culinary and medicinal purposes. Identify weeds and know how to cook and use for medical uses.
Learn how to say: “NO!” and learn how to stand back and let someone reap results of bad decisions.
It seems to me that learning to say NO is especially important. Thanks, Elaine!
Current Backdoor Survival Giveaways
With all giveaways, winners are notified by email and have 48 hours to claim their prize or an alternate will be selected. Once selected, the names of winners are also displayed in the Rafflecopter on the original giveaway article. This usually happens on the Friday following the end of the giveaway.
Reminder: Register Now for a Free Webinar on Home Canning the SAFE Way
Next month I am hooking up with Melissa K. Norris, to present an online webinar on home canning the SAFE way. The official title of this free online even is “How to Can Safely at Home with Confidence“ – a subject near and dear to many of us.
During this online session you will learn which canning methods are outdated and just plain dangerous. At the same time, you will learn about methods that are safe plus some best practices for building up food storage with real food you “put up” yourself.
I promise you, this is a fantastic chance to learn from one of the nicest and most sincere persons you will meet online. Be sure to save the date, August 9th, at 6pm Pacific.
Spots are limited and registration is now open! Note that this is a free event.
The Final Word
Today the Buzz is purposely short. I am recovering from eye surgery earlier this week and have some additional medical procedures scheduled for next week. Rest is on the agenda. I tell you this not because you need to know, but rather if you have some health or medical issues to attend to, doesn’t it make sense to take care od them now while you still have a choice in the matter?
I have purposely stayed away from the political shenanigans going on at the national conventions this week, and instead continue to focus on what I can do for myself, independent of government, military, or political interference. I go back to the pillars of preparedness to learn and practice self-reliance to the best of my ability.
In whatever small way that you can, I hope you will do the same. Have a great week, everyone.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
You can also vote for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!
Bargain Bin: Below you will find links to the items related to fire-making skills plus some other perennial personal and reader favorites.
Survivor Outdoor Fixed Blade Knife with Fire Starter: This knife has measures 7 inch long overall, has a full-tang stainless steel blade, is equipped with thick green cord-wrap handle, and has a nylon sheath plus a magnesium-alloy fire starter. How does it work? This is not a Kershaw, Gerber or other high quality blade. On the other hand, the fire starter works great (better than great) and is worth the price which is currently about $8.
Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel: This “Scout” is the one I own. Using this basic pocket fire-starter, you can get a nice fire going under almost any conditions. This is a small, compact version and is my personal favorite.
Magnesium Flint Firesteel Fire Steel Starter: This magnesium flint stone fire starter is about two bucks with free shipping. How to use it:
1. Place the flint on ground upwardly, and put the scraper vertically to the flint, then scrape some magnesium powder on inflammable material like paper or branch
2. Place the flint on ground at about 45° and 2.5 cm from the magnesium powder scraped just now, then scrape the flint fast to produce spark so as to light up the inflammable material
Magnesium Fire Starter: This Campers’ Magnesium Emergency Fire Starter is about $4.
Zippo Street Chrome Pocket Lighter: Zippo has been creating virtually indestructible, windproof refillable lighters for more than 75 years. The Zippo Street Chrome pocket lighter is no exception. This lighter features a classic textured chrome finish and carries the same lifetime guarantee–to either work or be fixed by Zippo free of charge–for life. All wearable parts including flints and wicks are replaceable. Every prepper should own at least one Zippo! Learn more about Zippos in the article What You Need to Know About Zippos and Lighter Fuel.
100 BIC-style Lighters Disposable Classic Lighter: Running about 16 cents each and free shipping, these are great to have on hand for both survival and barter use. Want fewer than 100. You can also get a pack of 50, currently priced at $11.
Coghlans Waterproof Matches 10-pack: There are 10 boxes of 40 matches each for about $5. That is a good deal for 400 waterproof matches.
Paracord Planet Mil-Spec Commercial Grade 550lb Type III Nylon Paracord: This makes a great clothesline! An ideal all-around utility cord in the field, paracord is tough and long lasting. It is made from 550-pound test nylon and features a seven-strand core for maximum strength. Also, it is manufactured in the United States. Note that some colors may be more expensive than others. Need ideas? See 44 Really Cool Uses of Paracord for Survival.
12 Color Pack Bandana – Assorted Colors: This is the #1 seller in the bandana category. As of this writing, the price is $9 for the entire dozen. I love these bandanas and you will often see me wearing them in photos here on the website. Be sure to read How to Use a Bandana to Save the Day.
Tac Force TF-705BK Tactical Assisted Opening Folding Knife 4.5-Inch Closed: FAVORITE! This is a great knife that is currently priced at under $9.00 with free shipping. Not only that, it is ranked as the #1 best seller at Amazon in both the camping and hunting knives categories. The reviews raved about this knife so I bought one, used it, and and can recommend it. See The Inexpensive Tac-Force Speedster Outdoor Knife.
Note: the price can vary by color so if you are not particular, scroll through the colors and safe a couple of bucks.
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Which are the best oils for your survival kit? This article describes my top picks.