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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Survival Buzz: Oops! A Drawer Full of Batteries and None of Them Charged

Drawer Full of Batteries and None of Them Charged | Backdoor Survival

Do you use rechargeable batteries?  Although I have a large inventory of traditional Alkaline batteries, my go-to batteries are rechargeable Panasonic eneloops or those from Amazon Basics (which I have heard are Eneloops in disguise).  I must have three dozen of these batteries, separated into two sections of my drawer, charged and not charged.

A few nights ago, my favorite flashlight was getting dim so I went to my trusty drawer and oh my goodness, not a charged battery in sight.

Since I own lots of flashlights as well as Alkaline batteries, this was not a big deal. 

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Review: LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter

Review: LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to filtering water while on the go, the LifeStraw personal water filter rocks.  It is lightweight and easy to use, and, in sort of a perverse way, a lot of fun.  That said, I do not mean to poke fun at the very important task of ensuring that drinking water is safe, but it sure does help when the experience is pleasurable.

Do I love my LifeStraws?  You bet.  I own three of them, one for each of us and a spare.  So, when I learned that there was an all-new LifeStraw Steel, I became excited because the all-new LifeStraw Steel includes a 2-stage filtration process instead of just one. 

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Prepper Book Festival 11: The Best New Books to Help You Survive

Prepper Book Festival 11 | Backdoor Survival

It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to the books that have been selected to participate in the Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival #11.  This time around I have both fiction and non-fiction, from new authors as well as old favorites.  It is a fantastic line-up with something for everyone and I hope that you find something that is both interesting and educational.

In the coming weeks I will be sharing author interviews as well as book giveaways – lots and lots of giveaways.  The authors and their publishers have been very generous and so I do hope you will support them by taking a moment or two to enter the giveaways and take a chance on winning some free books!

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100 Budget Friendly Items for the Frugal Prepper

100 Budget Friendly Items for the Frugal Prepper | Backdoor Survival

When times are tight, we tend to want to stop spending money altogether. When you are a frugal prepper, this can pose some obvious difficulty. Being frugal can be challenging when you are trying to prep.

Sometimes it can feel counterintuitive to buy things that you do not immediately need, but preparedness items are like a savings account made up of material goods. If you run into tough times financially or encounter a crisis that keeps you housebound, you will be glad that you have a pantry full of food and a closet full of supplies.

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Survival Buzz: Are You Pandemic Ready?

Are You Pandemic Ready Survival Buzz | Backdoor Survival

Do you ever have times when you need to call in some help from your friends?  Here at Backdoor Survival Land this is one of those weeks.  Shelly and I have been rehearsing like crazy for a local musical production and this is show week.  After weeks of rehearsals, we have five performances and time is precious.

So, to help me out, Ken McClelland, author of The Pandemic Preparedness Guide, has stepped in and offered up two more copies of his book in a special Survival Buzz bonus giveaway.  With the latest woes caused by the Zika virus, I would say that his timing is good.

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35 Reasons Coffee Filters are Survival Multitaskers

35 Reasons Coffee Filters are Survival Multitaskers | Backdoor Survival

Every prepper knows that multipurpose items save space and money.  Because of this, we stash things like salt, duct tape, vinegar, and paracord like they are going out of style. Here is another inexpensive item that you should add to your list of versatile preps: coffee filters.

Coffee filters are ubiquitous They are inexpensive, light-weight, and readily available. Heck, you can purchase coffee filters at the dollar store, Amazon, Costco, the corner grocery, and even on EBay.

Now I will be first to admit that there are a lot of lists floating around with suggested uses for coffee filters.

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How to Prep for Feminine Hygiene Needs

How to Prep for Feminine Hygiene Needs | Backdoor Survival

We have grown so reliant on throwaway products for perfectly natural events that sometimes people wonder how on earth they would deal with it if suddenly those products were unavailable.  Of course, for many centuries we handled things like menstruation without access to the local Wal-Mart, and with just a little bit of preparation we could do so again.

This issue of feminine hygiene is an important one not only from the perspective of personal, feminine comfort, but for overall health and prevention of bacterial infections and other nasties.

Guys, if you are not comfortable with the topic of feminine hygiene, feel free to skip over this one or send it off to one of your lady friends who most assuredly will thank you.  

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Survival Buzz: The Very Best Tool For Prepping

Best Tool For Prepping | Backdoor Survival

Have you ever stopped to consider the very best tool in your preparedness arsenal?  I am asked this question all of the time.  Requests come from readers, other bloggers looking for a quote, and even from independent authors doing research for their next book.

Now you might be thinking that I am setting you up to pitch a list of the top 10 items in my survival storage locker. Although that list may be interesting, nothing could be further from the truth.

What, in my opinion, is the very best tool for prepping?

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What You Need to Know About Matches for Survival

What You Need to Know About Matches for Survival | Backdoor Survival

How much do your really know about matches?  Chances are you know more about a magnesium fire starter or BIC lighter than you do about matches.  It is just that they are so ubiquitous.  Everyone knows about wooden kitchen matches, right?  And heck, back in the day folks used to collect books of matches from fancy dining establishments and keep them displayed in decorative jars.

I know I am dating myself with that last statement but seriously, how much to you really know about matches?  One thing for sure is that I can not purchase strike anywhere matches locally. 

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Prepper Book Festival 10: Emergency Evacuations

Prepper Book Festival Emergency Evacuations | Backdoor Survival

It seems appropriate that the final book in Prepper Book Festival 10 is one that is written by one of the most loved bloggers in the preparedness niche, Lisa Bedford.

Her newest book, Emergency Evacuations: Get Out Fast! is the first book in her “Survival Mom’s No Worries Guide” series.  It is a compilation of information, tips, and checklists that will set you planning in advance for a potential evacuation and let’s face it, you do need to be ready for that possibility.

What I like about this book is that it is concise and to the point. 

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Clean Your Toilets Naturally with DIY Toilet Bombs

Clean Your Toilets Naturally with DIY Toilet Bombs | Backdoor Survival

Do you know anyone that likes to clean toilets?  Not me, that is for sure.  On the other hand, proper sanitation is very high up on my list of priorities so having a spotless bathroom is more than just a nicety, it is a must!

One of my goals these past six months has been to create a chemical free home, utilizing only natural ingredients to perform basic home and personal cleaning tasks.  Many I have already shared with you and some are a work in progress.  My latest success, though, is DIY toilet bombs.

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Survival Buzz: Septic System Maintenance as the Forgotten Prep

Septic System Maintenance is the Forgotten Prep | Backdoor Survival

Right now, as I am writing this, two close friends are having major issues with their septic systems.  A combination of heavy, unseasonable rains, and deferred maintenance have resulted in nightmare situations.

What happens when the septic tank is full and the leach field is fully saturated?  No showers and no flushing!

Last month, Cindy sent me the following note, again having to do with the failure of an aged septic system. Please, if you are on a septic system, consider routine maintenance to be a must-do prep.

I consider myself moderately well-prepared for a lengthy “bug-in” session, but my neglect of one critical infrastructure has really opened my eyes.

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All-New AquaPod Emergency Water Kit and Filter

AquaPod Emergency Water Kit | Backdoor Survival

A couple of years ago, when I first learned about the AquaPod Emergency Water Kit, I jumped on the bandwagon and tested one for myself.  At the time, I was thrilled by the reasonable cost and my own ability to assemble the kit myself, without the need for any male-type brawn.

As I explained then, an AquaPod Emergency Water Kit is a heavy duty bathtub liner that is filled with water in advance of an upcoming hurricane, storm, or weather system.  The kit includes a bathtub liner that is filled with water, some fittings, and a pump for siphoning the water out of the tub.

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