The Survival Buzz #171

Locate Your Utilities and Learn How to Shut Them Off - Backdoor Survival

Welcome to the weekly Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.

Since I was traveling most of this week, my preps centered around one single task: reviewing the location of the utility shut off valves in my home and making sure that they were still functional.  Don’t laugh.  A few years back our water shutoff was completely frozen and could not be turned to the off position.  Thankfully, we discovered the problem and had a plumber not only install a new shutoff, but check all of the plumbing valves in our home.

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How to Overcome The Fear of Pressure Canning

How to Overcome the Fear of Pressure Canning - Backdoor Survival

At risk of being the last person to come to the party, I have been resisting the call to begin pressure canning.  It is not that I have not tried.  A couple of years ago I was ready to go; I had psyched myself up to learn, purchased a canner, some tools, and dozens of mason jars,

But then karma stepped in.  The pressure canner was too tall to fit under the hood of my range so back it went.  And I went into major procrastination mode for two years. 

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Prepper Book Festival 8: Resurrecting Home by A. American

Resurrecting Home by A. American - Backdoor Survival

Have you ever noticed the number of fiction authors in the preparedness and survival niche that are able to come back time and again with a new book to grab our attention?  It always astounds me that there are so many knowledgeable individuals, who, as preppers or survivalists themselves, are able to continually come back with novels that are both entertaining and educational.

With that introduction, today I share the next author interview and book giveaway in the Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 8.  A.

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Treating Psoriasis with Essential Oils

Treating Psoriasis with Essential Oils - Backdoor Survival

One day, a few years ago, I happened to notice that my husband Shelly was wearing a long sleeved shirt on a hot summer day.  When I questioned him, he gave be a funny look then rolled up his sleeve to show me a large, unsightly, and extremely crusty patch of something on his elbow.  Not knowing what it was, I suggested some heavy duty moisturizer and left it at that.

When this dry, itchy patch on his elbow did not go away, it was time for a trip to the doctor who diagnosed psoriasis and prescribe a prescription steroid cream.

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The Survival Buzz #170

How Long Has it Been Since Your Organized Your Food Storage? [Backdoor Survival]

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

What a great prepping week this has been.  You know the story about the mouse moving the cheese?  No matter.  A mouse, or something, moved my brown rice.  I know that I purchased a large bag of organic brown rice in January because I have the receipt to prove it.  But where the heck did it go?

This set off a quest to organize my food storage and three hours later, all of my loose pouches of home-packed bulk foods were neatly stored in labeled buckets and tubs, and the #10 tins were in labeled boxes.

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Stay Connected with the Sunferno Portable Solar Panel and Battery Pack

Sunferno Portable Solar Panel and Battery Pack - Backdoor Survival

If there is one thing I know for sure, it is that prepper and survival types are in love with solar.  What is not to like?  With solar devices, we can use the power of the sun to give us light and to energize our devices, large or small.

Whereas using the sun to power a refrigerator or laptop takes some doing, providing power to a phone, tablet, Kindle or other eBook reader is not only easy, but downright inexpensive.  Each month, it seems, I learn of a new device that can be used for this purpose. 

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Prepper Book Festival 8: Ron Brown and The Non Electric Lighting Series

The Non-Electric Lighting Series by Ron Brown - Backdoor Survival

Longtime readers of Backdoor Survival need no introduction to my friend Ron Brown. He is the author of the popular Propane for Preppers series and the NEW 2000-Hour Flashlight, a book that teaches how to take a $5 flashlight and MacGyver it so it will operate for 2000 usable hours on a single battery.

Now to be honest, originally the 2000-Hour Flashlight book was to featured in Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 8.  But, me being me, I did a switcheroo.  Ron’s series of books on non-electric lighting are so fantastic that I twisted his arm and used positive persuasion tactics to convince him to offer one lucky reader a set of the first five books in the Non-Electric Lighting Series. 

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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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The Survival Buzz #169

Finally Getting Around to Learn to Use the Sun Oven - Backdoor Survival

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

Have you ever considered that an uneventful week is a good week?  That is precisely how I feel about last week.  That said, my heart goes out to the victims of the latest earthquake in Nepal and to the families with victims in the Philadelphia Amtrak derailment.  So to clarify, by uneventful, I am referring to my own life.

I embrace being ordinary. Which reminds me to remind you that as much as prepper-types are subject to ridicule as hoarders, and as much as the media and entertainment industry pokes fun at us, at the end of the day, most preppers really are quite ordinary. 

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Best Practices: The Every Day Carry Bag aka EDC

Every Day Carry Bag - Backdoor Survival

When it comes to survival kits, there are a group of items that are traditionally found in all kits.  A flashlight, a knife, and some sort of fire-starting tool are ubiquitous and universal.  But beyond that there are so many variables that I really have to go with the cliché: one size never fits all.

Personally, I have a number of different kits.  Most are currently in a state of disarray as, over time, they are being reworked and broken down into additional separate and discrete kits. 

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Prepper Book Festival 8: A Time to Endure

A Time to Endure by Kyle Pratt - Backdoor Survival

Last year when I read Kyle Pratt’s “Through Many Fires”, I could not put it down.  In that book, nuclear terrorism destroys a number of American cities and chaos prevails.  A familiar story, perhaps, but written in such an engaging and thought-provoking manner that I anxiously awaited the sequel.

With that introduction, today I share the next author interview and book giveaway in the Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 8.  Kyle Pratt, the author of A Time to Endure, is back with book #2 in his “Strengthen What Remains” series. 

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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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LuguLake II Bluetooth Speaker and Charger Review

LuguLake II Review and Giveaway - Backdoor Survival

Sometimes we all need to break away from the seriousness of prepping and treat ourselves to something just for the fun of it.  And if that something also serves a useful function?  Then I say “bring it on”!

Today I am breaking form and sharing with you a fantastic Bluetooth speaker that not only delivers terrific sound, but can be used to charge your tablet or smartphone.  The device is called the LuguLake II Charger Speaker Stand and in a word, it is simply terrific!

But hold on. 

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The Survival Buzz #168

The Survival Buzz Prepping Haul - Backdoor Survival

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

This is the week that was.  There is no other way to describe it.

Things I had planned did not go right because of stupid mistakes. Thursday’s article was mistakenly scheduled for June, Friday’s article became Thursday’s article, and my weekly giveaway did not happen.  Being human, I started comparing this website to some others and became a bit depressed.  Where was I when everyone else had a website makeover?

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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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Prepper Book Festival 8: The Garden Pool

Prepper Book Festival - The Garden Pool

Next up in the Prepper Book Festival #8 is a book that will teach you how to transform your backyard into a food producing mecca.  The book title is The Garden Pool but honestly?  No pool is required.  All you need is a backyard and room for keeping fish and storing water.

But wait, I am getting ahead of my self.  Today I share the next author interview and book giveaway in the Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 8.  Dennis McClung, co-author (with his Danielle) of The Garden Pool – Feed Your Family From Your Backyard Ecosystem is here for an interview and will be providing one reader with a free copy of his book.

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Make an Awesome Cayenne Salve for Pain Relief

Make an Awesome Cayenne Salve for Pain Relief - Backdoor Survival

A few months back I made a batch of Cayenne Salve.  It was simple to do.  After infusing the ground cayenne pepper in olive oil, I added some beeswax and was good to go.  My feeling was this: if a catastrophic disruptive event occurred, after a year or two I would exhaust my supply of pain relieving essential oils and then what?

The answer, I hoped, was to infuse spices and herbs in a carrier oil and use the resulting concoction instead.  If I could turn the results into a salve, all the better.

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21 Mothers Day Gifts That Won’t Cost a Dime

221 Mothers Day Gifts That Won't Cost a Dime - Backdoor Survival

The annual celebration of Mothers Day is coming up and bloggers seem to be coming out of the woodwork with articles dedicated to gift ideas for the prepper Mom.  Not to disparage their effort, of course, because I considered doing the same myself.

That was until I began thinking about the true spirit of the day. The greatest gift one can give to the special Mom or “Mom at Heart” is of oneself.  And just to be clear: some Mom’s have children by birth, and others have children through association or marriage. 

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The Survival Buzz #167

Springtime Means Getting Your Hands Dirty - Backdoor Survival

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

Don’t you just love to get out in the garden and get your hands dirty?  This week I had so much fun when I planted broccoli and beets.  Alas, Sluggo notwithstanding, a snail ate one of my broccoli plants but I still have 7 left so that is okay.

I did purchase starts at the local nursery.  The starts were for heirlooms and began life organically so I feel no remorse for not starting the seeds myself. 

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Free Food Friday: A Taste of Mountain House + Giveaway

Mountain House Spring Giveaway - Backdoor Survival

Long time hikers and backpackers have known for years that the gold standard in trail food has been food pouches from Mountain House.  Then Y2K rolled around and an entirely new crop of enthusiasts turned to Mountain House for “survival food”.

Here we are, many years later and guess what?  Mountain House is still, in my opinion, the gold standard.

Lucky for me and lucky for us, I have a fantastic relationship with the folks at Mountain House (technically, Oregon Freeze Dry), and am often on the receiving end of “hint hint wink winks” relative to new things happening within their company. 

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How to Homestead When You Rent Part Five

How to Homestead When You Rent - Part 5

Homesteaders wear coats of many colors these days.  Beyond the traditional land owner working their spread, there are homesteaders that live in cities, suburbia, condos, and apartments.  Many rent their homes and do not own them.

In their own way, each homesteader does what he or she can.  They “homestead in place” and make the best of it.  Their universal goal is to be self-sufficient and to live a simpler life, as difficult as that might be.  A simpler life, although not necessarily an easier life. 

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Prepper Book Festival 8: Tools for Survival + Giveaway

Tools for Survival - James Wesly Rawles on Backdoor Survival

Since the first of the year I have been gathering up hand tools and putting together supplemental tool kits to stow in my emergency kits.  These tools have, for the most part, been small, lightweight versions of our primary tools and items that I tend to use day to day while living life.  My thought is “if I use them now, imagine how useful they will be in a survival situation”.

With that introduction, I want to tell you about the latest entry in the  Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 8.

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10 Ways Hiking Can Help You Be Better Prepared

10 Ways Hiking Can Help You Be Better Prepared - Backdoor Survival

As the weather continues to improve, my daily hikes get longer.  I am so blessed to live in an area with miles of hiking trails, many just a few footsteps outside my front door.  Even if that were not the case, hiking is something I adore so rain or shine, I am out there with my hiking boots and my dog, Tucker.

You might be thinking that this is easy for me to say, living as I do in Western Washington, land of Subarus, down vests and hiking boots. 

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The Survival Buzz #166

Prepper To Do List - Backdoor Survival Survival Buzz

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

Each Friday afternoon about 4PM, I sit down at my desk to reflect back on the week gone by and review in my head everything I have accomplished and everything I still need to do.  Truthfully? I have lists to keep track of my lists.

I maintain my “prepping to do” lists on steno books, the old-fashioned type with a spiral on the top.  I have dozens with some devoted to stuff and others devoted to skills.  

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How to Make Whole Wheat Bread Using the WonderMix

How to Make 100% Whole Wheat Bread Using the WonderMix - Backdoor Survival

For years I have coveted a real dough mixer.  You know the kind; a mixer with a huge dough hook so I could bake 4, 5, or even 6 loaves a bread at once.  On a day last month, my dream came true.  The folks at WonderMill offered to send me their new WonderMix for testing.

Other than learning how to make bread using the WonderMix, the rules were simple.  I had to use it and I had to give one away to a lucky Backdoor Survival reader! 

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How to Deal With Open Wounds When Help is Not on the Way

How to Deal With Open Wounds - Backdoor Survival

If there is one area that I feel singularly unprepared for it is with dealing with physical trauma following a disruptive event.  Basic first aid?  Sure, I can handle that and have a decent first aid kit to back me up.  But serious wounds, broken bones, and other physical traumas? Not so much.

The thing about physical traumas, and especially open wounds, is that they can occur anytime including right in your own home.  An accident in the kitchen or the yard can begin with a bloody mess and end with an unwelcome infection. 

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Prepper Book Festival 8: Aftermath A Story of Survival

Aftermath A Story of Survival Giveaway - Backdoor Survival

This week’s author interview and book giveaway in the Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 8 is singularly special not only because of the book itself, but because the author is a BDS frequent contributor, LeAnn Edmondson.

Her book, and the featured title this week. is Aftermath A Story of Survival. Imagine a computer virus that takes electronic systems around the world.  This type of cyber attack could happen on a small scale or a large scale but either way, it will change our way of life for a long, long time. 

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12 Outrageously Simple Tips for Saving Money

12 Simple Tips for Saving Money - Backdoor Survival

As much as I would like to say that money does not matter, it does. The reality is that most of us need money to buy food, put clothes on our backs, and pay for housing, utilities, healthcare, medicine and taxes.  Even families that live 100% off grid and hunt and grow their own food rely on money for one thing or another.

In truth, the way we live our lives and the amount of money we need gets down to a matter of choices.  And that, after all, is what Backdoor Survival is all about: having the knowledge and the wisdom to make the right choice for ourselves and our families without being judged as being right or wrong.

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The Survival Buzz #165

DIY Facial Wipes - Backdoor Survival

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

The big day is here and as you are reading this, I am probably sweating bullets as I take my Ham Technician License test.  I have taken a lot of practice exams – oh, say 40 or 50 times – and am passing with scores of 30 and 31 out of 35 but still, you just never know.

So, as I write this I am stressed and need to study more so I will keep today’s Buzz brief.

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Review: Life Pod Paracord Survival Kit

Life Pod Paracord Survival Kit Review & Giveaway - Backdoor Survival

I do not know a single Prepper or Survivalist type that is not in love with paracord. Suffice it to say that paracord is to an emergency kit what lavender is to essential oils – a multi-purpose tool for getting you through all types of emergency rough spots.

The only issue with paracord, and really, it is a teensy issue, is that it is bulky and unwieldy to carry around.  Up until now, I simply dealt with it but now I don’t have to.  The nice folks at Life-Pod wanted some feedback on their product so they sent me their Life Pod Paracord Survival Kit to test.  

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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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Prepper Book Festival 8: After the Crumble + Giveaway

After the Crumble Interview & Giveaway - Backdoor Survival

After taking a break of several months, I am once again reading books in the post-apocalyptic genre.  To be honest, during this break, living and breathing what might happen following a disruptive event was simply too much to deal with.

Shifting gears, I now find myself ready to jump right in and am looking forward to simultaneously be entertained, educated, and shocked by the realities of what could indeed happen if the world and society when to heck.

One of the first books I picked up was this latest entry in the Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 8.

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