Six Tips for Becoming Street Smart Using Urban Survival Skills

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The term “Urban Survival” is bantered around a lot these days and can mean different things depending on the context in which it is written.  To my pal George at UrbanSurvival.com, it represents surviving the replay of the Great Depression of 1929 in current times.  And in a sense, that is the foundation upon which Backdoor Survival was initially built.

For today’s article, I am going to use the term in a slightly different context, namely how you can survive in an urban environment by becoming proficient at street smarts.  . . . Read More

Gosh Darn It, Prepping is Hard Work!

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In a show of hands, I want to know who thinks prepping as easy?  Okay, I can’t see you for real but my guess is that only a few of your raised your hand.  The truth is that prepping can be hard work.

First there is learning what to do, what to buy, and what skills you need acquire.  Then you have to find both the time and the money to do it all.  And did I mention storage?  You need that too.  Add to the mix a penchant for homesteading with a plot of land, a garden, and perhaps some farm animals and your work is really cut out for you! . . . Read More

The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 122

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Welcome to this week’s Sunday Survival Buzz – or shall I say the “Sunday Save My Sanity” Buzz.

On Saturday morning, I put a quick note up on the Backdoor Survival Facebook page.  The gist of it was that I was seriously thinking of skipping the Sunday Survival Buzz and goofing off instead.  You see, even though I recently returned from vacation, while gone I spent three to four hours a day working on the blog.  Crazy nutsy cuckoo, right?

Reader/fan Jim H. wrote back “We prep for a continuum of life. . . . Read More

Spring 2014 Book Festival: Fugitives from Northwoods + Giveaway

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Today I share the next author interview and giveaway in the current Backdoor Survival Spring 2014 Book Festival.  Chris Bostic, the author of Fugitives from Northwoods, is joining us for an interview and is also providing one lucky reader with a free copy of hisbook.

Enjoy the interview and be sure to check out the details of this week’s giveaway below.

An Interview with Chris Bostic

Tell me about your book, Fugitives from Northwoods. What is it about?

The story is set in the not-to-distant future. After a global banking collapse, dictators have seized power to restore order, which leads to the formation of a new, malicious Civilian Conservation Corps of sorts.

. . . Read More

How to Seal Food in Mylar Bags

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One of the very first things I learned to do when I started to prep was seal food in Mylar bags.  As simple as this sounds, you would not believe the gyrations I went through to make this happen.  Holy moly, I used plastic tubing, a FoodSaver vacuum sealer, a yardstick, a straw, and iron and ironing board.

Yes, it all worked but it was a bit tedious in that four hands were required to get the job done.  I also have to tell you that there were a lot of laughs during the process as the pinto beans went flying everywhere! . . . Read More

Cox’s Idaho Honey Giveaway

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What is not to like about rich, golden honey?  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.

And now you have a chance to win 30 pounds of honey for free.  As I mentioned in the Sunday Survival Buzz, I have partnered with a group of other preparedness and homesteading bloggers to bring you a great giveaway featuring Cox’s Idaho Honey.

The Cox’s Honey Farm is located in Shelley, Idaho. . . . Read More

How to Apply Essential Oils for Health and Wellness

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Although I have been writing about essential oils for quite some time now, I still get emails asking how to get started, or, more specifically, how to use them.  For me it was easy.  I became interested in aromatherapy in the early 90s and studied everything I could get my hands on to learn about the therapeutic values of essential oils.

Taking things one step further, it is a simple recipe from Valerie Worwood’s book that really clinched the deal.  I was having some serious issues with my wrist and thinking it was tendonitis, I used her healing formula that included lavender, rosemary, and peppermint oils to relieve my pain and suffering. . . . Read More

Win a 72-hour Survival Kit from Survival Based

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This week I join Backdoor Survival sponsor SURVIVAL BASED with another great giveaway. Enter to win one of three 72-hour survival kits that includes all of the basics:  food, fire, and filter!

Here is what each of the three winners will get:

1 – Artisan Oatmeal 4 Serving Pouch
1 – Harvest 6 Grain Cereal 4 Serving Pouch
1 – Texan Sunrise Skillet 4 Serving Pouch
1 – Instant Low Fat Milk 4 Serving Pouch
1 – Instant Orange juice 8 Serving Pouch
1 – Rotini A La Marinara 5 Serving Pouches
1 – Nantucket Potato 5 Serving Pouches
1 – Rio Grande Beans 3 Serving Pouches
6 – InstaFire Paper Pouches
1 – Folding BBQ Grill
1 – Cooking Pot w/ Detachable Handle
1 – 8 oz. . . . Read More

Leaving the Trees: More Lessons of Survival

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As someone who has been prepping for awhile, I cast a wary eye on new books and new websites that re-hash the some old stuff I have been both learning and writing about for these past three and a half years.  This is not to say that I am a know it all – I am not – but that I have eyeball fatigue with an inability to focus my attention on those things I know well.

What all this means is that when something comes along that presents survival and preparedness in a new context, I pay attention.  . . . Read More

The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 121

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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.

One of the more important things I did this week in inventory the Potassium Iodide I had purchased shortly after Fukushima.  At that time there was a big panic; everyone wanted some so the merchants sold everything they had at an inflated price.  I was stuck with a couple of packets with a short, remaining shelf life.

Long story short, I set aside the two packages that were past their shelf life (they still may be better than nothing) and replaced them with fresh.  . . . Read More

Spring 2014 Book Festival: The Prepper’s Pocket Guide

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I almost started out by saying “today I share a very special entry in the current Backdoor Survival Spring 2014 Book Festival”.  The problem with that is they are all special – or so it seems.  So let me skip that part and get right to it with this week’s author interview and book giveaway.

This week’s book is “The Prepper’s Pocket Guide” by Bernie Carr. Believe it or not, this is one of the very first purely prepping books I read and reviewed (Prepper’s Pocket Guide: The Survival Guide for the Rest of Us) way back when Backdoor Survival was the new kid on the block. . . . Read More

These Boots Are Made for Hiking + Altai Tactical Boots

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It takes a lot to get me excited about clothing and other personal items.  It is not that I am particular but these days, I value my investment in survival gear and supplies far more than an investment in the clothes on my back and the shoes on my feet.

On the other hand, hiking boots are something I take quite seriously.  When push comes to shove (or the stuff hits the fan), a good pair of boots will be well-purposed during everything from a trip to the lake for fresh water, to an emergency evacuation on foot to higher ground.  . . . Read More

Flash Giveaway: Ron Brown’s Olive Oil Lamps &c.

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Are you ready for something new?  How about a Flash Giveaway?  I know what you are saying:
“What the heck is that?”

A flash giveaway is a quick opportunity to win something cool by just clicking a few links.   This makes it easy for you and easy for me.  Although I have shied away from sweepstakes types of giveaways in the past, I have so much stuff ready to go that I needed an efficient way to get it out to you.  Who said old gals cannot learn new tricks?

Today’s giveaway is for a print copy of Ron Brown’s Book 2: Olive Oil Lamps &c. . . . Read More

12 Months of Prepping: Month Five

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For those that are new to prepping, time may appear to be your enemy.  You know the old cliché “I have so much to do and so little time”?  Well let me dispel the myth that prepping needs to be done all at once.  It doesn’t.

When it comes to preparedness, there is no reason to feel panicked and stressed into thinking you need to do everything all at once.  The reality is that time is actually your friend.  By taking things slow and easy, you add to your preps at a comfortable pace that does not burden your budget or your psyche.  . . . Read More

50 Questions To Ask the Non-Prepper

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I have become a bit discouraged by the number of other-wise intelligent people I meet that do not have a clue about preparedness.  Given that a natural disaster can happen to anyone at any time, and the fact that the MSM has been promoting 3 day kits for the past several years, I have to think “What Type of Sandbox are these people living in?”

Of course those of us in the know realize that a 3 day kit is the bare minimum requirement for survival following a disaster.  We also know that a natural disaster is only one type of threat.  . . . Read More

The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 120

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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 have one more day of travel left before I land back on the home front after being away for three weeks. To say I am anxious is an understatement.  I miss my own house, my own bed, and, not surprisingly, the comfort of being surrounded by my preps.

Being me, I spent a good portion of my travels discussing preparedness with anyone who would listen.  . . . Read More

Spring 2014 Book Festival: Fury of the Fifth Angel

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Today I share the next author interview and giveaway in the current Backdoor Survival Spring 2014 Book Festival.  Chris Hoffman, half of the father and son author team of the disaster thriller, Fury of the Fifth Angel, is joining us for an interview plus a book giveaway.

Between the two of them, Chris and Pat have sixty-five combined years working for electric and gas utility organizations. Their book is a natural disaster story about what else?  An EMP and the woes of the electric power grid.  Of course it is a lot more than that as the storyline focuses on both the  the very real possibility of the book scenario and the human survival aspect of the characters. . . . Read More

The Hurricane Ready Checklist

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June 1st officially marks the beginning of hurricane season. For those of you that live in hurricane country, this means it is time to review your hurricane readiness plan and to bring your hurricane related gear out of storage to make sure everything is in great working order.  This includes lanterns, generators, and emergency cooking provisions.

The following is a brief checklist of information to use both before and during a hurricane.  This is by no means all-inclusive but should serve as enough to get you started on your road to hurricane preparedness. . . . Read More

How To Recharge Alkaline Batteries for the Long Term

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A little over a year ago, I shared my experience recharging alkaline batteries.  What a game changer that became!

In the ensuing year I have learned a lot about the practical side of recharging alkalines; mostly that after a few recharge cycles, they tend to leak.  This is especially true of those cheap Kirkland brand batteries from Costco.  Actually, lately those Costco batteries tend to leak even when they are brand new so I avoid purchasing them entirely.

I have also learned that when the battery recharger says BAD, the battery really is bad.  . . . Read More

Is It Realistic to Grow Your Own Groceries?

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At one time or another, every prepper will ask him or herself:  could I become 100% self-reliant in terms of providing food for myself and my family?

Many will say, no, that is not possible. Heck, a couple of weeks ago I even mentioned that I was all but giving up on my food garden. I have very little space and only a few hours of direct sunlight a day coupled with a short growing season.  There are also critters that eat everything in sight.  What is left is a modest container garden on a small deck with herbs and greens as the definitive crop. . . . Read More

The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 119

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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.

With luck, as you are reading this I will be in Juneau, Alaska hiking at the Mendenhall Glacier.

Before leaving, I picked up some amazingly inexpensive hiking and trekking poles from Emergency Essentials (see below for details).  In addition, Shelly will be testing some new, lightweight tactical boots from ALTAI.  If they work out, I will get some too.  In the meantime, I still wear my 20 year old Timberlands. . . . Read More

Spring 2014 Book Festival: The Pantry Primer

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The next book in the Backdoor Survival Spring 2014 Book Festival is The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months.  Daisy Luther, the author, is a prolific writer and blogger.  She is also a member of  my “Prepared Bloggers” group – a very special community of abut 100 bloggers with prepping, homesteading and self-reliance websites.

Naturally, I have a print copy of Daisy’s book to giveaway, but first, enjoy the interview!

An Interview with Daisy Luther

Tell me about your book, The Pantry Primer. . . . Read More

Fast Track Tip #8: Make Dating Your Preps a Habit

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Something we all do is consult lists.  There are lists of things to do and things to buy as well as lists of important numbers and lists of friends and relatives.  There is a problem with pre-existing lists, however.  If we adopt a list as our own, we are also adopting some other persons view of our own reality.  The solution, of course, is to adapt a list to our own needs.

Circling around to our preps, chances are you have a list of basic items that you have been working through as you accumulate supplies and gear for rainy-day, emergency needs.  . . . Read More

Eight Uncommon Lessons: Preparing for an Apocalypse

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Four years ago, mentioning that you were a “Prepper” evoked quizzical looks of confusion.  What the heck was that?  As you tried to explain, you could see eyes start to glaze over and an invisible tin foil hat being placed upon you head.  The lesson learned?  Keep your mouth shut less you be forever classified as a nut job of the highest order.

Of course back in the day – if you can call 2010 the day – there was concern that 2012 would represent the end of days.  This was based upon the notion that on 12-21-2012, the Mayan calendar ended presumably because the planet Earth would be ravaged by a smorgasbord of cataclysmic astronomical events.  . . . Read More