Free Food Friday: Will Mikey Eat it? :-)


When it comes to food storage, I like to think I have all bases covered.  Canned goods, bulk foods, freeze dried products – you name it, I have it.  As I tend to preach, having variety is as important as having foods that your family will eat.

Realistically, in a survival situation you will likely eat anything, including plants that you forage and even snakes, bugs and heaven-forbid, road kill.  Fortunately, the likelihood of a desperate and dire survival situation is remote when compared to the possibility of a short term crisis or disaster where you will need to fend for yourself for a much more limited period, say one week to one year.

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The Healing Garden: 10 Herbs To Grow in the Survival Garden


For many, the time has come to plan our summer gardens.  Given the overwhelming interest in recent articles about essential oils, I decided to revisit the topic of an herbal healing garden.  My interest is a bit self-serving in that I am in the process of rethinking my own garden and while I grow an abundance of rosemary,lavender and peppermint, this year will be an ideal time to replace some tired shrubs with plants that will work for me.  Healing herbs will fit the bill quote nicely.

Lavender Growing in My Own Garden

Herbs have been used for centuries to sooth and to heal. 

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9 Tips for Buying Property With Little or No Money


Many folks, whether Preppers or not, dream of having their own special patch of land where they can settle in, raise a family, grow a garden, and simply take joy in knowing that the earth they stand on is all theirs.  Whether you dream of homesteading as I do, or merely want to homestead in place, achieving that dream can seem daunting, if not impossible, if cash is short.

Today I hope to help you out make that dream come true with some tips for buying property when money is scarce.  Now to be honest, these are not my tips but those shared by F.J.

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The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 107


Welcome to this week’s Sunday Survival Buzz – a roundup of preparedness news, tips, articles and recommendations from around the web. But first, an update on my own preps.

I am very – no extremely – excited to report that I was able to score some free buckets for storing my survival goods.  Those of you that have been following me for awhile know how I love my buckets but I have always had to buy them.  Long story short, Shelly and I were having a coffee date and I saw some buckets behind the barista’s counter.  Not being the bashful type, I asked whether I could buy them cheap and while I did not get the square buckets I had seen, she went in back and found these!

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Will Solar Panels Survive an EMP?


When in comes to all things solar, I am a novice.  I have a very basic set-up from Harbor Freight that is used for light duty power in my garage but other than that, I have a long way to go.  So when I was asked the question, “Will solar panels survive an EMP?” I was stumped.

First of all, no one really knows what will or will not survive a massive EMP such as the type in the hugely popular book, One Second After.  Second, and more to the point, I am not well versed on the technical side of electronics even though I am a techy nerdy type when in comes to computers.

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Dealing with Poo After a Disaster


Have you given any consideration of what you would do if your basic sanitation system was not available following a disaster?  As unpleasant as this might seem, not having a viable sewer or septic system – or even an outhouse – could pose a problem if you have not given it some thought a head of time.

A few years ago I wrote and article that included a very basic Earthquake and Natural Disaster Emergency Checklist. In response, a reader wrote:

For item “Check for sewage and water lines damage”, you wrote if the sewage line is suspected to be damaged, one should avoid using the toilet.

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The Myth of Expiration Dates on Prescription Meds


In the aftermath of disaster, you evacuate your home with your family and your bug-out bag.  For one reason another, you overlooked swapping out your three year old medications and now are faced with a dilemma.  Are they still safe to use?

I am not a medical professional but everything that I have read says, yes, they are not only safe but that the expiration date printed or stamped on those bottles represent more of a CYA for the manufacturers than any thing else.

According to the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide:

Most of what is known about drug expiration dates comes from a study conducted by the Food and Drug Administration at the request of the military.

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The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 106


Welcome to this week’s Sunday Survival Buzz – a roundup of preparedness news, tips, articles and recommendations from around the web. But first, an update on my own preps.

They took about a month to get here but my mini-whistles arrived last week.  I had my doubts because they were very cheap – I paid about $2.00 for the set.  As it turns out, they were a bargain.  They are small, light weight and they all work although two are a lot louder than the rest. That being said, they all  produced a very loud noise with little effort.

Although currently priced at about $3.50, these definitely qualify for the Almost Free Department.

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5 Days with No Power – When the Ice Hits the Fan


One of the longtime, faithful readers of Backdoor Survival was without power for five days during the recent ice storm in Aiken County, South Carolina.  Sandra and her husband are preppers and have been for quite some time.  That said, she ran into some bumps during her experience, one she calls “when the Ice Hits the Fan”.

Sandra has graciously shared her experience and the experience of her family – what worked, what did not work and what needs improvement – so that we all can learn for it.  There are surprises here so sit down, grab some coffee and take notes. 

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Eight Essential Oils for Health and Wellness


When it comes to treating minor ailments, nothing seems to beat the effectiveness of essential oils.  I say this not as a healthcare professional for surely I am not, but as someone who recently dumped two drawers filled with over-the-counter remedies in favor of essential oils.  To say I am pleased would be in understatement and while a bit of experimentation has been involved, each day my confidence in these miracle-worker oils grows.

In the past, I have written about the amazing uses for Melaleuca (Tea Tree), Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary and Clove oils.  If you have followed closely, you will have seen patterns where the solution to some ailment may be positively treated by more than one essential oil, either singly or in combination.

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20 Tips for Soldiering Through an Economic Meltdown


Three years ago, I wrote about our deteriorating economy.  As I recall, the words were “current lousy economy”.  The good news is that so far, a global economic meltdown has been abated.  And the bad?

From what I can determine by simply opening my eyes and looking around, we are nowhere near the recovery that politicians and the economists in their hip pocket are touting.  If anything, we are barreling forward to a collapse not unlike the big crash of 1929.

I say this without intending to invoke fear.  Quite the contrary.  Living in fear is simply not my thing.  Okay, I lied. 

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The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 105


Welcome to this week’s Sunday Survival Buzz – a roundup of preparedness news, tips, articles and recommendations from around the web. But first, an update on my own preps – or perhaps not.

As life would have it, sometimes there is nothing left at the end of the day but lemonade.  This week has been one of those weeks.  Website woes that were entirely my fault, a denial of service attack on my server and then, the last straw, a completed article for Free Food Friday that went poof along with the backup copy.

Like I said, we sometimes have to deal with nothing better than lemonade. 

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BDS Book Festival – Living Ready Pocket Manual: First Aid + Interview with James Hubbard


Today’s entry in the currentBackdoor Survival Book Festival is the Living Ready Pocket Manual – First Aid: Fundamentals for Survival by James Hubbard, MD.  James, who is also known as “The Survival Doctor” is here to answer my interview questions and of course, to provide a copy of his book to one lucky reader.

First, a little bit about the book itself.

As the title says, this is a pocket manual.  What that means is that in addition to being packed with practical first aid information, the book is small enough and light enough to throw in a bug-out-bag so that you have it with you at all times.

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Everything You Wanted to Know About Mountain House + Giveaway


When it comes to food storage, there are lots of options.  There are canned goods, bulk items, dehydrated meals, MREs and, of course, freeze dried foods.  Whatever you decide to choose for yourself and your family is somewhat of a personal choice and given proper storage conditions, there is no reason not to have some of each.

Given the many choices, some will say that freeze dried foods are cost prohibitive but I find that is simply untrue.  When compared to packaged foods, fast food and perishable food that spoils while lingering in the refrigerator or on the counter, freeze dried food becomes a viable and cost effective option that is quick, convenient, and with careful selection, healthy. 

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14 Questions to Ask Yourself in a Preparedness Pop Quiz


When it comes to being  prepared, is seems that there are about a thousand things to take into consideration. Well, maybe not a thousand but at least a hundred or two.  At times, it feels like we are jugglers, with so many balls in the air that with one mis-step, they will all come tumbling down.

Luckily, there are lots or resources available with checklists and guidelines to get us through the quagmire of of things to do, things to get, and things to learn. Even then, when it comes right down to it, we all just have to do it.

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Sustainability and the Achievement of Survivability


Survivability, defined as the ability to remain alive or continue to exist, is something that we, as Preppers, are attempting to achieve not only for ourselves, but for future generations.  I find this particularly poignant because I did not have children of my own.  You might say that making an effort to preserve our society and our planet is the legacy I want to leave when my time is gone.

Quite some time ago, a Backdoor Survival reader posted some thoughtful comments on the topic of sustainability and the achievement of survivability.  His comments were far too important to be buried where no one would see them.

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The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 104


Welcome to this week’s Sunday Survival Buzz – a roundup of preparedness news, tips, articles and recommendations from around the web. But first, an update on my own preps.

My seeds arrived this week!  Although seeds can be saved from year to year, I started with fresh seeds so that I will have the very best experience.  My space is very limited, the growing season is short, and the  amount of sun I get is limited so I was very selective in what I ordered.  I settled on Delicata Squash, Paris Island Romaine Lettuce, Heirloom Rainbow Tomatoes, Sugar Lace Peas, Stupice Tomatoes and Spacemaster Cucumbers.

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BDS Book Festival – Go Green, Spend Less, Live Better + Interview with Crissy Trask


Today I share the next author interview and giveaway in the current Backdoor Survival Book FestivalCrissy Trask, the author of Go Green, Spend Less, Live Better, is joining us for an interview and is also providing one lucky reader with a free copy of her book.

Before we start, let me tell you about the book.

First of all the subtitle is: The Ultimate Guide to Saving Money, and Protecting Your Health.  While I would like to say that describes the book perfectly, doing so would be an injustice.  After reading it, I consider this to be more of a bible for saving money in practical and useful ways. 

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Fast Track Prep Tip #5: Every Prepper Needs a Cash Reserve

Every Prepper Needs a Cash Reserve

We prep because stuff happens.  Little stuff, big stuff and everything in between.  And while the focus of our preparations is often a major disaster or collapse of some type, the reality is that our preps come in handy for all types of other scenarios as well.

As recent as December  2013, millions of folks were left without the ability to pay for their purchases when their credit and debit cards were caught in the Target data breach.  This was not something that was expected and those without supplemental credit or cash were left in a pickle during the busiest shopping period of the year.

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12 Months of Prepping: Month One


Getting prepared, and becoming a Prepper, has got to be one of the more important challenges for families living in the the 21st century. The reasons are clear.

We live in an uncertain world with a shaky global economy, extremes in weather, an increase in superbugs, a risk of an EMP, and the threat of attack by militant political regimes.  Add to that an increase in our dependence on petroleum products and the unbalanced distribution of wealth and indeed, there is cause for worry.

For these reasons, a sizable segment of the population has turned to prepping and family preparedness as a solution to the inherent dependence we have on supermarkets, shopping malls, organized medicine and governments. 

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80 Amazing Uses of Melaleuca Oil for Survival


One of the most syndicated articles I have ever written was an article on the many uses of Tea Tree Oil (technically, Melaleuca Oil) for survival purposes.  I know of two sites in particular that repeatedly post an excerpt of my article on their websites and on Facebook ostensibly to increase their fan base.

Flattery aside, I decided it was time to get this popular article back out there myself so that you can read it directly from Backdoor Survival and not from Brand X.

Here is the original article, newly updated, for your education and for your enjoyment!

The Miracle of Melaleuca (Tea Tree) Oil: 80 Amazing Uses for Survival


From time to time I feature bonus articles that are buried in the Backdoor Survival archives

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The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 103


Welcome to this week’s Sunday Survival Buzz – a roundup of preparedness news, tips, articles and recommendations from around the web. But first, an update on my own preps.

The momentous thing I did this week was to soldier through the frustration of getting my Baofeng ham radio programmed with local repeaters.  I had problems getting the programming cable to work using the supplied disc.  I finally went back to my email archives and sure as day, there were a few emails from readers advising me to download and use the free CHIRP software.

Now here is the deal.  Before using CHIRP, you must install some drivers. 

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BDS Book Festival – Prepper Pete Prepares + Interview with Kermit Jones


After awhile, one prepping book starts to look like another.  It does not really matter whether it is fiction or non-fiction, they all tend to have a common theme.  Now don’t get me wrong, I thirst for – no crave for – more.  Every book has its own twist on the survival and preparedness message so I keep reading and reading and reading.  Okay, you get the drift.

Anyway, today’s book is something unique and different.  Prepper Pete Prepares is an introduction to prepping  for the kiddos – you know, those little guys and gals that motivate us to keep our planet and world safe for generations to come.

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8 Tips for Achieving a Frugal Lifestyle


Without overtly saying so, a typical theme at Backdoor Survival is saving money.  Whether it is making your own household products, finding new ways to repurpose old things, or showing you how to build  stuff yourself, saving money is something I promote both in writing and in practice.

Some may say that this is being cheap. Most certainly my own family considers it quirky if not downright silly, especially since they know what I can and can not afford.  But you know what?  For those of us that are members of the prepper community, saving money is not being cheap, it is being frugal. 

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