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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Survival Buzz: Enter to Win a Free LifeStraw Go in Buzz Break #2

Win a LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle | Backdoor Survival

Do you remember me telling you about the LifeStraw Go last month?  The LifeStraw Go is a “LifeStraw in a bottle”.  What that means is no bending down to water level to suck up your drinking water.  Don’t get me wrong. The original LifeStraw is a fantastic product and has a prominent place in my preps.

Still, with the LifeStraw Go, you simply fill the bottle and take a drink.  Everything is nice and tidy in one simple water filtering package.  In addition, refill filters are available. How cool is that?

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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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How to Control Lice in a Survival Situation

How to Control Lice in a Survival Situation | Backdoor Survival

A few weeks ago I received an email from a reader describing a scene in a book she was reading.  In the book, the author was describing a prolonged stay where she, her family, and some friends had to endure life in a bomb shelter.  In such close quarters under less than optimal conditions, they all become infested with lice.

Can you imagine becoming infested by lice while sheltering in place following a disaster or disruptive event?  If that happened, Target and Wal-mart would be inaccessible, as would Amazon.com.  Having had lice myself when I was a young adult, just thinking about it gives me the heebie-jeebies.

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Survival Buzz: Catching Up With Prepping Following a Relocation

Catching Up With Prepping Following a Relocation| Backdoor Survival

One of the challenges of relocating, even temporarily, is that your preps take second fiddle to the rest of the logistics.  And then, boom!  You realize that if something happens, you may be at risk of not being ready.

I am not saying that happened to me because I did bring some basics to Arizona, plus, the first week I was here I ordered two 160-gallon water barrels From Emergency Essentials, and a 720 serving emergency food kit from Buy Emergency Foods.  Shortly after that, I worked on building up my canned goods and bulk foods, pretty much using 12 Months of Prepping as a checklist for the basics, as well the 20 item food storage kick-start list from both my book and this website. 

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A Kit to Treat Trauma Before Help Arrives

Kit to Treat Trauma Before Help Arrives | Backdoor Survival

A few months back, I was contacted by Jeff Midgley, who expressed an interest in becoming a sponsor and advertiser on Backdoor Survival. As I always do, I checked out his website and product line to ensure they were appropriate for BDS readers.  Needless to say, his website “TNT First Aid” passed the vetting process and can be now be found on the sidebar (or at the bottom of the page on mobile).

What happened next was my own, more in-depth investigation of the items sold by TNT First Aid and the recognition that my own first aid kit, while totally practical, useful, and  portable, was missing some of the more esoteric components of a trauma kit.

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Prepper Book Festival 11: Braving the Storms

Braving the Storms by Kyle Pratt | Backdoor Survival

By now you probably know that I have a virtual love-fest with certain authors.  These are the individuals that consistently put out meaningful and educational work that we can learn from, whether it is the form of preparedness oriented reference books or survival fiction.

This week I once again feature one of those authors, Kyle Pratt, as I introduce you to the third book in his “Strengthen What Remains” series, Braving the Storms.  I love audiobooks and lucky for me, I was able to listen to the book during my daily walks with Tucker the Dog, and during my nightly de-stressing while coloring in “adult” coloring books.

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23 Ways to Be an Amazing and Awesome Prepper

23 Ways to Be an Amazing and Awesome Prepper | Backdoor Survival

Once upon a time I was new to prepping.  Although I had a few emergency supplies on hand, it was not until I did a personal risk assessment that I realized how exposed I was in the event of a true emergency.

Being located offshore the mainland US, and being subject to the whims of the Washington State ferry system, I knew that our island community would be stranded if there was a major disruptive event in the Pacific Northwest.  The type of event would not matter.  We would be cut off if there was an earthquake, terrorist attack, or nuclear event. 

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Survival Buzz: 2 Pieces of Advice For Living a Strategic Life

2 Pieces of Advice for Living a Strategic Life | Backdoor Survival

Some days, I have a very short fuse.  Call it stress, age, or simply disgust at the world situation, but the smallest things can set me on a rant.  As a prepper, these feelings are a bit troublesome given that in a true emergency, rants and temper tantrums will have no place. It will be survival that counts.

Do you remember a time when you could handle a lot more than you can now?  I do.  The bottom line is that  life is simply more complicated now than twenty or thirty years ago. 

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Is It Really Safe to Ingest Essential Oils?

Is it really safe to ingest essential oils | Backdoor Survival

Every month or so, I write an article about essential oils.  Sometimes I share information about various oils while at other times I provide my own recipes for using essential oils to concoct household or personal products.

While this is not an essential oils website per se, it is a website about self-reliance and preparedness.  It is about strategic living, staying healthy, and being the best you can given our uncertain times.  In my own life, essential oils play an important role and I try to share that with you.

One question does come up over and over again. 

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Prepper Book Festival 11: Prepper’s Communication Handbook

Preppers Communication Handbook | Backdoor Survival

One of the challenges of emergency communication is understanding the technology.  Is a one-way radio sufficient to receive updates following a disaster or other emergency, or do I need a scanning device?  What is a shortwave radio and why do I need one?  Is getting a Ham radio and radio license worth the effort?  And then there are those “family” walkie-talkie devices.  Those seem like a good idea but are they really?

Shoot, even I get confused by all of the options even though I own all of them.  Deciding which one to use, and when, only adds to the dilemma.  

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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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Survival Buzz: Are You As Fit as You Need To Be?

Are You As Fit as You Need To Be | Backdoor Survival

Are you as fit as you need to be to perform the tasks and chores required given a disruptive event?  I know that is a loaded question mostly because there are so many types of disruptive events that can turn your life upside down at a moment’s notice.

For example, hunkering down during a pandemic requires a different physical response than living for weeks or months with no power and no water.  Bugging out and possibly living outdoors or away from the comforts of home adds another dimension to the physical prowess needed to survive. 

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How to Use the Amazing Solo Stove

How to Use the Amazing Solo Stove | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to having alternative methods of cooking food when the power is out, most preppers have it covered.  For some, an outdoor gas grill will do the job while for others, camp stoves, fire pits, and rocket stoves of various types will ensure that at the very least, there will be a viable method for heating both food and water.

My favorite are rocket stoves, mostly because they are fueled by wood and biomass.  To that end, since the start of my own prepping journey I have been enamored by the amazing Solo Stove. 

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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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Survival Buzz: A LifeStraw Go for You and Buzz Break for Me

A LifeStraw Go for You and a Buzz Break for Me | Backdoor Survival

Who ever said that life was easy?  Kicking, screaming, and grumbling, there is a lot of “life is the pits” conversation going on in my house this week.

Perhaps it is due to the process of completing my tax return and realizing how little value I am getting for my money.  More likely, though, I am just plain tired.  Lucky for you, my being grumpy is your gain.  Brent from  www.BasicShield.com has offered to giveaway a free LifeStraw Go water bottle each month for the next five months so that I can take a monthly Buzz Break.

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What You Need to Know About Mountain House

What You Need to Know About Mountain House | Backdoor Survival

A few months ago, Mountain House sponsored a freeze dried food giveaway and the giveaway question asked you to submit a question to Mountain House.  Today, Mountain House is back to answer a number of your questions, and, no surprise, offer another giveaway to Backdoor Survival readers.

This time around, the giveaway will be for their “Just In Case 4 Day Emergency Food Kit“.

Before we get started, though, I want to share with you two of their newest products: Chicken and Dumplings with Vegetables and Cheesecake bites.

Can Chicken and Dumplings be Freeze Dried? . . . Read More

Prepper Book Festival 11: Preppers Guide to Caches

The-Preppers-Guide-to-Caches-BDS.jpg

Do you have a survival cache?  Or have you wanted to store items, currency, or ammo in a hidden locations but did not know what, how, or where?

How to go about putting together a survival cache is a frequent question both in comments and in the emails that cross my desk.  Until know, I admit to responding in a rather lame manner since for me personally, the answer has been to have a geographically separate bug-out-location.  On the other hand, I do know that relying a upon a well-stocked alternate location is foolhardy. 

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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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Survival Buzz: Stepping Up to Failure by Having a Plan B

Stepping Up to Failure by Having a Plan B | Backdoor Survival

Anyone who takes prepping seriously is bound to feel like a failure at one time or another.  Speaking from personal experience, I know that there have been many occasions where I simply can not get things right, regardless of the time and money I threw at it.

Being stubborn and bull-headed, I simply can not let it go. It seems the harder I try, and the longer I try, the more I fail.  Let me list some personal examples for you.

1.  I am unable to create a starter from the natural yeast in the air.

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Charge Your Devices With the Choetech Portable Solar Panel

Charge Your Devices With the Cheotech Portable Solar Panel | Backdoor Survival

As more of our lives become digital, having a simple way to keep our devices charged poses a dilemma when out in the field, hiking, or during a power outage.  Luckily, there are many solar options available and with each passing year, they get lighter in weight and lower in cost.  Plus, as technology advances, the panels are producing more sun-juice then the portable systems that were available a mere three years ago.

Why should preppers care about charging our digital gizmos?  After all, if the grid is down, cell service will be INOP as well. 

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Prepper Book Festival 11: Prepping for a Pandemic

Prepping for a Pandemic | Backdoor Survival

Every few months or so, a new threat to our safety seems to emerge.  One month it might be a terrorist attack, three months later it might be a cyber attack on the grid, and then, out of nowhere, there will be the threat of a pandemic.

Trying to decide what to prepare for and how to prepare for it is a dilemma we all face.  We do the best we can, building up our knowledge and practicing day to day skills that will protect us if the worse should happen.

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What You Need to Know About Zippos and Lighter Fuel

What You Need to Know About Zippos and Lighter Fuel | Backdoor Survival

In a show of hands, how many of you have at least two dozen lighters set aside for survival use?  My guess is at least 50% of you have a a couple of dozen and most likely 10% have 100 or more.

Along with water and food, adding tools for making fire is one of the first preps most newbies acquire.  Whether the tool of choice is matches, lighters, a fire steel, Fresnel lens, or all of the above, it makes sense to have multiple ways to start a fire.  That makes sense, since after all, fire can be used to boil and purify water, heat food, and generate heat. 

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Survival Buzz: The Myth of Serving Sizes in Packaged Emergency Food

Myth of Serving Sizes in Packaged Emergency Food | Backdoor Survival

Something that absolutely drives me bonkers is to open a four-serving package of food, whether it is “regular food” or “emergency food”, only to find that it barely serves two people.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a big eater.  Still, I expect to eat a plateful of food as I get in my 1600 calories a day.

Then there is the issue of cost.  If I am paying for four servings, I want four servings.  To me, 1/4th cup of rice with a speck of meat and two specks of vegetables does not constitute a serving.

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Custom Healing Salves the Easy Way With Spark Naturals

Custom Healing Salves the Easy Way With Spark Naturals | Backdoor Survival

Two and a half years ago, I took a tried and true combination of essential oils and and combined them into a salve.  A few months after that, I shared the directions for making the salve and that, as they say in the movies, is history.  Salves became my thing as I mixed various combinations of essential oils with a simple salve to concoct my own skin care health remedies.

This has been a wild ride filled with knowledge as I have learned to use my custom salves to resolve many day to day first aid and health-related woes. 

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Prepper Book Festival 11: Prepare Your Family For Survival

Prepare Your Family for Survival | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to being prepared, no one does it better than Linda Loosli.  I know.  I have been to her house, sampled her made-from-scratch cooking, and examined her gear.  Not only does she have two of everything, from what I call tell, she has three or four of everything, plus the skills to perform preparedness and survival tasks in multiple ways.

Her book, Prepare Your Family for Survival: How to Be Ready for Any Emergency or Disaster Situation, was previously showcased before in the article 11 Ways to Prepare Your Family for Survival

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20 Steps: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Prepper

20 Steps to Becoming a Prepper | Backdoor Survival

No one really knows how many preppers exist in the world, but it is safe to say that there are more than three million in the United States alone.  Even though this sounds like a huge segment of the population, this is still only slightly more than 1% of the total US populace.

So, the bigger question is this: who is going to take care of the remaining 99% percent of the population when a major disruptive event occurs?

My guess is that most folks believe that the government will step in. 

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Survival Buzz: How to Cook Using Food Storage Ingredients

Cook Using Food Storage Ingredients | Backdoor Survival

Something you may not know is that I keep a folder in my email client where I stash reader comments and emails for future sharing.  For one reason or another, the folder was buried and when I checked this morning, there were over 70 items saved.  Sounds like its time for some digital housekeeping, right?

This week the Survival Buzz is going to focus on reader questions, mail and tips relative to food storage.

But first, I want to share a downloadable eBook with you.  The title is “Cooking with Food Storage Ingredients“. 

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How to Disinfect and Sterilize Medical Instruments in a Survival Situation

How-to-Disinfect-and-Sterilize-Medical-Instruments-in-a-Survival-Situation.jpg

Remaining whole and healthy in a survival situation is something we all strive for.  But what happens if an accident, or worse, an attack, results in wounds that need tending?  This is a question that every prepper asks themselves.

It is fairly easy to accumulate supplies for first aid and wound control but what about the tools you will use to tend to the  hurt or wounded member of your group?  Given an austere setting where traditional medical facilities are not available, how do you ensure that your instruments are clean, sterile, and fit for use?

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Prepper Book Festival 11: Dark Ages 2020

Dark Ages 2020 | Backdoor Survival

One of the pleasures of being an author and blogger is that you become acquainted with a wide range of people and personalities.  During that process, sometimes you happen upon someone who is wonderfully helpful and seems like an all-around nice person.

A couple of years ago I met such a person, JD Dutra, the developer of the hugely popular Conflicted Card Game series.  Although we only touched base occasionally, I found JD to be responsive and always willing to help with whatever I was doing to spread the word about Conflicted.

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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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