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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8 Reasons Old Cookbooks Are Important

8 Reasons Old Cookbooks Are Important - Backdoor Survival

A couple of months ago I was going through some old boxes tucked into the hidden recesses of my garage and I stumbled upon a box of old cookbooks.  Since I learned to cook long before the age of computers, most of my self-taught efforts came by way of these cookbooks.  I started to collect cookbooks in high school and little did I know then what I know now: old cookbooks are important.

As I flipped through some of the pages, it became evident that these old cookbooks are real treasures. 

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The Survival Buzz #164

Fantastic Garden Trellis from Scraps - Backdoor Survival

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

I don’t know about you, but I am feeling a tremendous sense of accomplishment this week.  First and foremost, I continued studying for the upcoming HAM radio tech license exam next Saturday.  Plus, to get in the spirit of things, I attended a local ARRL chapter meeting.  Straight out, I put myself on the line, and told the members I was going to pass the test next week. 

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10 Reasons to Prepare for an Economic Collapse

10 Reasons to Prepare for an Economic Collapse - Backdoor Survival

It was not that long ago that the country of Greece suffered a devastating collapse of their economy.  At the time, there was a lot of blame game going on but, at the end of the day, it was years of irresponsible and unrestrained spending that took them down.  That, coupled with questionable accounting practices and misstated economic indicators left the Greek citizens befuddled and angry when the reality of a depression hit.

Could the same thing happen here?  Not to be depressing but in going through my own thoughts as I answer the question “What am I least prepared for?”, I realized that it was time for a wake-up call and time to re-evaluate my own preps within the context of an economic collapse.

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Prepper Book Festival 8: Preppers Financial Guide + Giveaway

Preppers Financial Guide by Jim Cobb - Backdoor Survival

A few days ago I read an article about the US stock market and how similar today’s market is to 2008.  The discussion went into a number of indicators that, having been there, done that, made me sit up and feel a sense of relief that I have done everything I can think of to put my financial house in order.

That said, there is always something more to do and I am always interested in learning new ideas for fostering financial preparedness.  With that introduction, today I share the next author interview and book giveaway in the Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 8.

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20 Ways to Use Honey for Wellness and Survival

20 Ways to Use Honey for Wellness & Survival - Backdoor Survival

Rich, golden honey. What is not to like? Just the thought of sweet, fragrant honey and honey bees makes me think of happy times.  That, coupled with it’s long storage life  makes honey a perfect food for the survival pantry.  But did you know that honey has a myriad of other uses, including as a therapeutic ointment that promotes healing?

In this article you will learn all about honey, the various types, its use to promote health and wellness, and other ways to use honey that you may not have thought of. 

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The Survival Buzz #163

Adding Chocolate Kisses to Food Storage - Backdoor Survival

Here we are again with another Survival Buzz and an update on preps as wells and news and announcements.

I experienced a couple of prepping bloopers this week.  But first, on the positive side, I put some chocolate kisses into a “time capsule” that will not get opened for two years.  The idea is to see if chocolate can be stored for the long term.

I put the chocolate kisses in a mason jar with an O2 absorber, then sealed it with my Food Saver jar attachment

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Review: Inflatable Solar Air Lantern for Emergencies + Giveaway (10 Winners!!)

Solar Air Lantern Review - Backdoor Survival

If there is one thing we all should be mindful of when it comes to our emergency kits it is weight.  Let me tell you this: strap more than 20 pounds on your back and unless you are an experienced backpacker or in the Army, you are not going to get very far.

For that very reason, I am always on the lookout for prepping items that are both light weight and useful.  If the usefulness extends beyond emergencies, and the item is value priced, all the better.

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How to Homestead When You Rent: Part Four

How to Homestead When You Rent Part 4 - Backdoor Survival

When someone talks about desire to homestead, it is easy to conjure up a vision of cows out at pasture, a flock of chickens in the backyard, and an acre of organic crops in the field.  At the same time, it is easy to confuse homesteading with living off-grid.  Sometimes the two do meet, but more often that not, they are separate and unique lifestyles of their own.

Something I have been learning in this series, How to Homestead When You Rent, is that homesteading, as much as anything else, is a mindset where you transcend from being a consumer of things, to a creator and fixer of things. 

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Prepper Book Festival 8: The Survival Savvy Family + Giveaway

Survival Savvy Family - Backdoor Survival

Have you or someone you know ever thought “Why prepare? I live in a safe area and nothing is going to happen to me or my family”?

I am 100% certain we all have had similar thoughts at one time or another but then, upon reflection, saw the light.  We now know that being prepared is like having the very best insurance that money can buy.  That is because being prepared means that we will survive should a disaster come knocking on our doorstep.

With that introduction, I would like to present this week’s entry in the Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival is The Survival Savvy Family: How to Be Your Best During the Absolute Worst by Julie Sczerbinski.

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Survival Basics: Using Oxygen Absorbers for Food Storage

Food Storage Basics Oxygen Absorbers - Backdoor Survival

When I first started getting serious about food storage, I found myself facing an entirely new vocabulary of food storage terms. It should come as no surprise that one of those terms was “Oxygen Absorber”. At the time, I had no clue as what they were and how to use them.

Oxygen absorbers, also known as O2 absorbers, are a mystery to many. Not a week goes by when I am not asked for guidance as to how to use them. Rather than answer those questions individually, today I am sharing an updated printer on oxygen absorbers with just enough information to get you started on the road to successfully storing bulk foods for the long term.

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The Survival Buzz #162

Learn to clean your essential oil diffuser - Backdoor Survival

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

How was your week?  I have been busy with a capital “B” in an attempt to complete my many half started projects.  Many of these projects were blog related as I needed to clean up some behind the scenes hosting and performance issues.

On the prepping side, one task that was long overdue was cleaning my three diffusers.  Just looking inside them was creepy in that small concentrations of dried up oils were crusted around the various orifices that allow them to operate at peak performance.

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Gear Review: SunJack Waterproof Lightstick

Review of the Sunjack Waterproof Lightstick - Backdoor Survival

If there is one thing that we all share in common, it is our interest in having adequate light to brighten our way when the grid is down.  Perhaps that is why some of us, no names mentioned, have over two dozen flashlights of all sizes and types.  And that is in addition to chemical light sticks.

With all of these portable light sources, what if you had a powerful source of light that was not only bright enough to light up a room, but was waterproof and rechargeable using any USB source? 

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Prepper Book Festival 8: The Organic Canner

The Organic Canner - Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival

Are you a frustrated home canner wannabe like I am?  Whether that describes you to a “T” or whether you are an experienced pro, home canning is one of those skills where you can never have too much knowledge and reference material at your fingertips.  Let me rephrase that: you can never have too much credible knowledge at your fingertips.

With that introduction, let me re-introduce you to Daisy Luther, the author of The Organic Canner.  You might remember Daisy from a previous Book Festival when I introduced her book, The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months

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