15 Ways To Prepare for a Rogue Wave of Collapse

15 Ways To Prepare for a Rogue Wave of Collapse | Backdoor Survival

Spend ten minutes on the web surfing the key words “prepping skills” and you will be presented with site after site preaching the gospel of prepping for the time when the stuff hits the fan, something we commonly call SHTF.  The truth is it is a bit bittersweet to see so many of us planning for a major meltdown of our economy, food supply, power grid, country, society, and quite possibly our planet.

Call it a feeling or an intuitive guess, but It is as though we are preparing for a huge rogue wave that will hit an any moment. 

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Survival Buzz: Preparedness Is A Lifestyle That Needs To Be Done Your Way

Preparedness Lifestyle That Needs To Be Done Your Way | Backdoor Survival

Call it a feeling but I sense the fear mongers are coming out of their closets and getting ready to scare the unsuspecting would-be preppers this summer.  Perhaps it is due to the upcoming conventions where our presidential candidates will be selected, or perhaps it is simply that time of year.

Whatever the reason, I am dismayed by the number of pitches reaching my inbox from less than credible sources.  Some of these sources are video marketing companies with no personal prepping experience, and others are so-called prepper-bloggers who are frauds.

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Prepper Book Festival 12: The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook

Survival Doctors Complete Handbook | Backdoor Survival

How many times have you had a medical or first aid issue occur during the middle of the night or on a weekend when getting help would be difficult?  Or, equally bad, help is available but only at a hospital emergency room an hour a way?  What if the power was out, roads were blocked, or there was something going on that precluded EMTs coming to the rescue?

What I describe are typical survival scenarios and those that we, as Preppers, plan for.  I don’t know about you, but for medical and first aid emergencies, I don’t rely on free information on the internet or free eBooks on Amazon. 

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15 Common Food Storage Mistakes To Avoid

15 Common Food Storage Mistakes to Avoid | Backdoor Survival

Coming to terms with a realistic food storage strategy can be tough.  Everyone seems to have an opinion whether it is to focus primarily on store-bought canned goods, commercially packaged freeze-dried products, or food that is preserved at home using a pressure canner.  Each has advantages and disadvantage in terms of space, cost, portability, and convenience.

Regardless of your stand on food storage, there is a common thread among all preppers.  We want our food storage to remain viable and nutritious for the longest period possible.  The very last thing we want is to be in a situation where our stored food is no longer palatable or worse, spoiled.

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Survival Buzz: Tips to Help You Organize Your Preps

Tips to Help You Organize Your Preps | Backdoor Survival

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

This week I return to your questions, with the query this week having to do with organizing your preps.  Here is the specific question that was asked:

Can you tell us more about organizational techniques? Inventories and the like… I swear, I might have enough to survive in my apartment for six months, but that’s only if I can FIND all the stuff!

This is a timely question since, at the moment, I am attempting to minimalize my surroundings by finding a new home for for the excess accumulation at my Washington State home. 

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Prepper Book Festival #12: The Best Books to Help You Prepare, Stay Healthy and Be Happy

Prepper Book Festival 12 | Backdoor Survival

After a short break, it is time to get our mojo in gear for an all-new Prepper Book Festival.  This is #12 and it is, without question, another eclectic mix of books covering a lot of topics.

This did not happen by accident.  Since the beginning, Backdoor Survival Book Festivals have brought you some of the newest and the best titles available to educate you about preparedness and survival.  That being said, it was time to get away from generalist books and focus also on staying healthy and being happy.

Who can argue with that?

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Prepper’s Guide to the Health Benefits of Parsley

Health Benefits of Parsley | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to the survival garden, those of us with insufficient space or inadequate growing conditions feel kind of stuck.  Rather than fight to overcome environmental conditions beyond our control, I have been actively promoting the establishment of a medicinal or health-related garden in lieu of a food garden.

The most obvious reason is that herbs, spices, and other medicinal plants do not take a lot of room and many can be grown in pots either indoors or outdoors.  Perhaps a more important reason is this:  given a survival situation, traditional healthcare and medicines may be difficult to get so having supplies of herbs and the knowledge of how to use them will become invaluable.

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Survival Buzz: Creating Custom Healing Salves on the Fly

Creating Custom Healing Salves on the Fly | Backdoor Survival

As life would have it, I am approaching the weekend with the remnants of severe cold; something I have not had to deal with in years.  I can’t even remember that last time that the combination of sniffles, coughing, and congestion affected me in this manner.

To be honest, I believe this is the result of burning the candle at both ends as a result of a family crisis and quick trip to Seattle.  Ten hours in a vehicle is way to long when squeezed into a 14 hour period.  This had me thinking about the impact of stress to our overall health as a topic to explore a bit deeper over the next months.

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Review: Emergency Lighting with the Aladdin Mantle Lamp

Emergency Lighting Aladdin Mantle Lamp | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to non-electric lighting, there actually is a genie in the bottle.  Oh my gosh, if you only knew how long I have been waiting to say that!  So now you ask:  Genie? Bottle?  What the heck?

Many of you have mentioned that you have a kerosene lamp.  Some have been of older vintage, passed down from grandparents or purchased for a song at a garage sale.  Others have a newer lamp, purchased specifically for prepping purposes.  And then there are the rest of us, lamp-less and yearning to learn more.

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Practical Reasons to Learn Morse Code for Survival

Practical Reasons to Learn Morse Code | Backdoor Survival

This article is about Morse code and why, as a prepper,you should learn just a smattering for survival purposes.  Before you groan, hear me out.

In the event there is a catastrophic end of the world event, the grid will be down and you will need to communicate your location and your status.  With a few simple Morse code signals, you will have the ability to summon help or to tell the world you are okay.  You will be able to communicate with your peers using signal mirrors, flashlight beams, handheld radios, and even simple, DIY devices.

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Survival Buzz: Win a Lifestraw Go With Buzz Break #3

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

Here we go again with another LifeStraw Go Giveaway.  This is month number three as I keep my promise of offering up a total of five LifeStraw Go water filter bottles, one a month for five months.  I get to take a break from writing, and one lucky reader wins a LifeStraw Go.

Do you know about the LifeStraw Go?  In the simplest of terms, it is a “LifeStraw in a bottle”.  What that means is no bending down to water level to suck up drinking water. All you need to do is scoop or pour the questionable water into your bottle, and drink from the straw.  

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Backdoor Survival Interviews Emergency Essentials

Interview with Emergency Essentials | Backdoor Survival

As some of you may recall, late last year I had a number of customer service issues with personal orders I placed with Emergency Essentials.  After many attempts to resolve these issues, I felt I could no longer endorse them even though I felt they had a robust product line filled with terrific products at a good price point.

I will not bore you with the details other than to say that after a number of heartfelt conversations with their management team, I came away feeling that Emergency Essentials was committed to improving their customer service infrastructure so that my experience would not happen again, to me or to anyone else.

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How to Survive a Dental Emergency

How to Survive a Dental Emergency | Backdoor Survival

I don’t know about you, but I have had my share of dental emergencies, including one major emergency while in the middle of nowhere.  Thank goodness I had some clove essential oil to mitigate the pain until I got back to civilization three days later.

In the event of a major disaster or disruptive event, finding dental care from a trained professional may be impossible.  First responders are going to be saving lives and not tending to a nagging toothache or even to a broken tooth.  For that reason, we need to think about being dentally prepared with the tools and knowledge to get us by during a dental emergency.

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12 Wellness Reasons to Include Elderberries in Your Preps

12 Wellness Reasons to Include Elderberries in Your Preps | Backdoor Survival

The first time I learned about elderberries is when a homesteader I know told me she supplemented her income from making and selling her homemade syrups and tinctures.  At the time, I knew nothing about elderberries even though they are quite common near the edges of the forest here Washington State.

As my interest in natural remedies grew, I started investigating the merits of elderberry then stumbled upon this fact: elderberries can and do fight the flu.  Not only that, they do so exceptionally well.  Talk about a light bulb going off in this prepper mind of mine!  

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Survival Buzz: Adapting to the Challenges of Relocation

Adapting to the Challenges of Relocation | Backdoor Survival

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

Once again, this week I am going to answer questions posed during the March Lifestraw Go Giveaway.  Before I do, I want to remind you that I do not consider myself an expert.  A lot of what I share comes from my own personal experience and research.  Admittedly, I like to think that I know a lot more than many, but realistically, I also know that there are many that know a lot more than me.

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Review: How to Charge a Laptop Off-Grid with Enerplex

How to Charge a Laptop with Enerplex | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to solar panels that charge portable electronics, you have a lot of choices.  At the top of my head, I would say I have reviewed at least six different set-ups and have given as many away to lucky readers.  So, when I was approached by Enerplex to review their entry into this field, I sighed and thought “here we go again”.

But wait.  There was more.  In addition to the Enerplex Commandr 20 Solar Panels, they had the Generatr S100  battery unit that included a 19V laptop port and an integrated AC inverter. 

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Tipping Our Hat to the Next Generation of Preppers

Tipping Our Hat to the Next Generation of Preppers | Backdoor Survival

Over the course of the last few months, I have given a lot of thought to the role of our more seasoned citizens as harbingers of the prepper movement.  Since I am very much a baby boomer, I throw myself into that lot.  As far as I am concerned, boomers are smart, funny, active, resourceful, and, for the most part, experts in perseverance.

Many of us are also MSH people, a term coined by my pal George Ure back in the early seventies. What does MSH mean?  Make “stuff” happen!

As easy as it is to praise my own generation, I find it trendy to disparage the younger generation, commonly referred to as Millennials. 

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Survival Buzz: How to Move From the Mid-Way Point of Prepping

How to Move from Midway Point of Prepping | Backdoor Survival

Are you at the point where you are comfortable with your prepping progress?  By that I mean you have done enough to know you can get by if you have to, and, for better or for worse,  wonder if you have done enough.

If this describes you, I can relate.

As promised, this week I am going to tackle another one the questions that were posed during the April Lifestraw Go giveaway.  Robin asked:

My question…. When you’re feeling like you’re mid-way (of your personal goals/expectations), how do you decide what comes next?

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8 Things You Can Do Now to Promote Medical Self-Care

8 Things You Can Do Now to Promote Medical Self-Care | Backdoor Survival

Something not frequently addressed by the survival and prepping community is the importance of good health and medical self-care.  What I am referring to is individual responsibility for our own physical and mental wellness.

Why is this important?  If there were to be a major disruptive event, whether local, regional or global in nature, you will need the stamina to survive adverse and even austere conditions, perhaps with minimal food, shelter, and water.  Health care facilities may be scarce, if they exist at all.

Think about it.  As much as we prep and do our best to store a year’s worth of food and supplies, how much attention do we actually pay to taking care of ourselves and staying informed of medical issues and topics? 

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The Top 10 Tips for Debt-Free Living

Top 10 Tips for Debt-Free Living | Backdoor Survival

Bailing yourself out of debt and remaining debt-free is not so much about tackling the debt as it is about the way you live your life every single day.

I say this from experience.  When you learn to be frugal instead of frivolous, you discover that you have a lot more money than you thought you did.  You also find that frugality is not something to dread but rather, in its own way, is an adventure in and of itself.

Of course paying off debt should be of the utmost concern to anyone who is interested in living a prepared lifestyle but beyond that, how do you stay out of debt? 

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Survival Buzz: Firearms Safety for Newbies

Firearms Safety for Newbies | Backdoor Survival

Like most people, I have a lot of knowledge about many topics but just a handful where I would consider myself an authority.  Precious few, actually.  It really quite humbling, you know, to be of a certain age and not know it all.

One area where I am especially weak is with firearms.  I have been to classes, have my own handgun (which I find uncomfortable to use and need to replace), and have shot a few rounds in my day.  As much as I realize the importance of training and practice, I feel as though I will forever be a firearms newbie. 

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The Care and Feeding of Pressure Canners

Care and Feeding of Pressure Canners | Backdoor Survival

A pressure canner can be a prepper’s best friend, especially if there is access to home grown fruits and veggies, or a local farm community that will sell you “less than pretty” items for a song.  On the other hand, mention the phrase “pressure canning” to someone who has never canned  and they will start to shake and shiver with fear.

I know, because I did.  The reality however, is that canning using modern methods is very safe. With a modicum of diligence, there is no need to be afraid and a lot to be gained in the process. 

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Nine Reasons Why Adult Coloring is Important to Preppers

Nine Reasons Why Adult Coloring is Important to Preppers | Backdoor Survival

Six months ago, I discovered adult coloring quite by accident. It all happened as part of the daily haunt seeking out quality eBooks being offered for free on Amazon, I kept running into adult coloring book titles in the top ten ranking of all non-fiction books.  What was this?  Something new?  I had to check it out.

When my first adult coloring book and set of pencils arrived, I dug right in and become hooked from the get go. Adult coloring became a time when I could take some downtime to listen to music and escape the stresses of blogging, a hectic work life and an uncertain world.

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Survival Buzz: How to Clean Cast Iron the Easy Way

How to Clean Cast Iron the Easy Way | Backdoor Survival

For the longest time I have been promising to share with you my number one tip for cleaning cast iron skillets.  Well finally, today is that day.

Let me begin at the beginning.  Six months ago, on a lark, I ordered this chain-like gizmo called “The Ringer”.  The purchase was based upon one of those “just for you” suggestions from Amazon and in a moment of weakness, I fell for it.  Little did I know that cleaning my cast iron skillets would become so easy.  Not that cleaning cast iron is difficult, mind you, but it can and does take some time.

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Prepper Book Festival 11: Failures of Imagination

Failures of Imagination | Backdoor Survival

It seems like just yesterday we could wake up each day to a routine.  We would get up, go to work, eat an evening meal, then spend a bit of downtime with friends and family or in the pursuit of personal hobbies.  We worried about making ends meet, our careers, and the health of our loved ones.

What we did not worry about was being safe from terrorist attacks, nuclear wars, global pandemics, or an economic collapse.

Alas, times have changed, and with each day we face more uncertainties.  Couple these uncertainties with little confidence that our government and our leaders have a pulse on the world situation, and we feel a sense of abandonment. 

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Beyond SHTF: How to Keep Your Home Safe From Fire

How to Keep Your Home Safe From Fire | Backdoor Survival

A couple of weeks ago one of my blogging colleagues lost everything she owned in a house fire.  Fortunately, the entire family, including the family pets, got out safely but everything they owned was gone.

Can you imagine this happening to you?  In a flash, you could potentially be homeless and have to deal with temporary shelter in a hotel or with family members as you sort through the rubble of your burnt out belongings.

And what about your preps?  Food storage, survival gear, and your precious print library of survival books would be gone.

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Survival Buzz: Thoughts on Alternative Transportation Following an EMP

Thoughts on alternative transportation following an EMP | Backdoor Survival

Last week’s call for questions was amazing.  There were over 100 of them which will surely keep me busy for awhile.  There were so many that I actually hired an assistant to help me categorize and compile them into an organized list.

With that type of interest in what I have to say, it seems fitting that I answer one question right away.  This question comes from the winner of the LifeStraw Go and it is a good one.

I would like more information on alternative transportation in an EMP situation.

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Survival Basics: Understanding and Making Your Own Desiccants

Understanding and Making Your Own Desiccants | Backdoor Survival

In 2013 when I first wrote about desiccants, the context surrounding the use of desiccants was a mystery to me.  I knew that little pillows of gel were frequently packaged with with electronic gizmos, new shoes, pill bottles and even clothing purchased over the internet.  I also knew that  many articles, books and websites with information about long term food storage also talked about desiccants.

As far as my knowledge of desiccants went, I was clueless. What are they?  How are they used?  And were they really necessary?   It seemed that depending upon who you consult, they were absolutely 100% necessary or a total waste of time and money. 

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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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