Perhaps it is from all of the shoving, lifting, and carrying of moving boxes but for one reason or another, both Shelly and I had aches and pains in our backs that went beyond what my essential oils could relieve on their own. It was time to hit the ice, literally, using a gel ice pack.
Have you priced gel ice packs lately? They run $10 to $15 each and as you know, one is not enough. You need to have a backup pack to use while a melted ice pack is rejuvenating itself in the freezer. When I turned to the internet for help, oh my gosh, I found hundreds of recipes for DIY gel ice packs.
Being a DIY-selfer, I got out the ingredients, such as they were, and made up a couple of packs using common household items, namely isopropyl alcohol, water, and zipper-style plastic bags.
DIY Gel Ice Pack
- 1 gallon zip-style plastic bags (I like these)
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups Isopropyl/rubbing alcohol
Fill the plastic bag with rubbing alcohol and water. If desired, add a couple of drops of blue (or other) food coloring. The purpose of the food coloring is to distinguish your ice pack from frozen drinking water. (You do use the empty space in your freezer for water, right?)
Set the bag in a bowl (I used a large Pyrex measuring cup like this one) and place it in the freezer for an hour or two.
Remove the partially frozen bag and squeeze out as much air as you can. Return to the freezer and keep it there overnight or until it becomes slushy/firm.
Note: I tried to remove the air in the beginning and made a mess. It is much more tidy to wait until the ice pack has started to set up.
Remove from the freezer and double bag so it does not leak. I used my FoodSaver but another zipper bag will also work.
Your gel ice pack is now ready to use over and over again. Do remember that as with commercial gel ice packs, wrap your DIY version in a towel before using.
Ahhh! Relief at Last!
According to the Spine-Health website, an alternative filler is to simply to use dish soap, which has a gel-like consistency and will also freeze/retain the cold. I did not try it so if you do, be sure to let me know how it works out.
I calculated the total cost of the DIY gel ice pack to be $2.00. Keeping the price low requires that you do not overpay for the rubbing alcohol. It is crazy expensive at Amazon so look elsewhere. Walgreens, Costco, or even the local supermarket should have dirt cheap options. You should have a goodly supply in your first aid kit anyway.
This made a fairly large, beefy, ice pack. You could cut the ingredients in half for a lighter pack or use a one quart bag to make a smaller pack. A smaller ice pack will work better on elbows, ankles and knees. As long as the proportions are right (water to alcohol 2:1), you will be fine. By the way, I used 70% Isopropyl alcohol in my gel ice packs.
That pretty much is all there is to it. I just wish I had thought of this sooner so I had a couple of packs on hand before we were desperate. Okay, desperate is not quite what I mean but we were definitely uncomfortable.
And what about those essential oils? We found that applying essential oils before applying the ice pack treatment really enhanced their therapeutic value. In our case, we used the Amend+ blend from Spark Naturals (20 drops mixed into 1/2 ounce of a Simple Salve you make yourself, coconut oil, or Base Salve). Other oils that may be beneficial include lavender, rosemary, and peppermint which, by the way, are the oils used in DIY Miracle Salve. Imagine that!
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.
Speaking of Giveaways
Every so often, I offer up prizes in a subscriber “thank you” giveaway. These are easy, peasy giveaways that require just a single click to record your entry. No comments and no trip to the social media is required. This week I am giving away an Amazon.com gift card. A couple of weeks ago, it was some Nokero solar lights, and before that, a nice package of Fiber-Fix products. You just never know what I will come up with next.
Since this is preparedness month, I will try to hold a thank you giveaway weekly Those of you that have won multiple giveaways know that the process is random and everyone has an equal chance. I just wanted you to know that.
Two of my favorite companies have some great Labor Day weekend specials going on.
Spark Naturals is offering 30% off on all essential oils, kits, blends, and full-size salves when you use my discount code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout. In addition, shipping is free on all orders in the contiguous US.
Over at Buy Emergency Foods, you can get 10% off your entire order using the code LABORDAY. Sales at Buy Emergency Foods are rare so this is a great opportunity to pick up some freeze dried food for storage purposes. As always, shipping is always free at BEF.
The Final Word
Every week I think about writing an “I am tired” essay. You know the dialog well. I am tired of working so hard to prepare for something that may never happen. I am tired of political corruption, and I am tired of having to put up with corporate crooks (especially in the health industry). Yet still, like you, I plug away, with no end in sight.
Today, as we head into Labor Day in the United States, I want to remind you that regardless of your stage of life, being prepared is a good thing as long as the process does not keep you awake at night. Take it slow and easy if you must, and above all, keep your head about you.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
You can also vote for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!
Bargain Bin: Here are some items related to today’s article as well as some of the items I include in my personal Bug Out Bag. For more, read How To Build Your Own Perfect Bug Out Bag.
Amend +- Soothing Blend: This essential oil blend from Spark Naturals is potent stuff. I dilute it using 20 drops per 1/2 ounce of carrier oil or simple salve. As with all Spark Naturals purchases, you enjoy a 10% discount using code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout.
FlexiKold Gel Cold Pack: I can’t think of a good reason for not making your own gel ice pack but if you are not so inclined, check out this one.
Hefty OneZip Storage Bags, Gallon: I prefer these Hefty OneZip bags to the Ziploc brand. And yes, I do purchase them in bulk from Amazon.
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter: The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2oz. making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.
RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports: This compact, three panel, solar charger will charge two devices at once, including tablets, smartphones, Kindles, and even AA/AAA battery chargers. Value priced at about $50. For more information, read: Gear Review: RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports.
MPOWERD Luci EMRG Inflatable Solar Lantern: This is the original Luci EMRG Solar lantern. I have put mine through its paces and it is one tough cookie. It has weathered both a wind storm and rain storm while hanging outdoors for a month. Lightweight, waterproof and shatterproof, Luci EMRG provides ultra-bright, reliable light to guide your way indoors and out, through blackouts or extreme weather conditions. At $9.99 with free Prime shipping, it is a great value.
Tac Force TF-705BK Tactical Assisted Opening Folding Knife 4.5-Inch Closed: This is a great knife that is currently priced at about $8.00 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.
BaoFeng UV5R Dual-Band Two-Way Radio: I own two of these. Something to keep in mind that if you are just planning to listen, you do not need a license. Still, it is a good idea because it will make understanding the technical aspects of HAM radio a whole lot easier. Price alert! As of this writing, the price of the BaoFeng UV-5R is only $27.
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Essential Oils: Deal of the Week
And remember, you can always use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL for an additional 10% off your entire SN order. When it comes to saving money, every little bit helps.