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 big prepping news around here is that my rain barrel arrived and it is much better than I expected for the price. Shelly will be getting some cement blocks this week so we can mount it high enough to get some pressure when connecting it to a hose.
I also spent some time this week playing with the credit card survival knife I purchased from Survival Life. So far I have used in to cut branches from shrubs in my yard, open cardboard boxes and as a letter opener. Small things, I know, but useful. A couple of readers let me know that they were able to get them through TSA inspection at the airport which to me is bonus.
Yesterday I made a big batch of Dirt Cheap Soft Soap. I have not poured it into bottles yet but I am thinking about adding both lavender and lemon essential oils for fragrance. And by the way, I will probably use the cheap essential oils from Amazon for this because it is going to be washed down the drain anyway.
Which reminds me that I want to reinforce that while I believe in using high quality essential oils for healing and therapeutic purposes (I like Spark Naturals), for cleaning supplies and especially soaps, I personally don’t think it makes that much difference.
Okay, enough about me. Let’s get on to the Sunday Survival Buzz.
SURVIVAL NEWS & ARTICLES FROM AROUND THE WEB
Medical marijuana could save my daughter’s life: Talk about a political football. Regardless of how you feel about medical marijuana, you should read this. Here is what Mom says: “My child doesn’t want to get high, she wants to get better. She can’t do that while weed remains criminalized in most of the US.” And speaking of football, go Seahawks!
Seattle Fishmonger: No Need To Worry About Radiation In Pacific Salmon: Now this guy must be smoking some of that medical marijuana for recreation. If you want a good laugh, read some of the comments. On the other hand, one commenter said “WHY on earth would the Gov do the testing? They have nothing to gain and EVERYTHING to lose”. Amen.
Fukushima Radiation More Than 10 Times The Normal Level Is Detected On California Beaches: And then there is this from Michael Snyder.
If He Was Around Today, Thomas Jefferson Would Be Considered A Tea Party Extremist: Here is another good article from Michael Snyder.
Presto or All American Pressure Canners – Which is Best?: The answer is, it depends. If you have not purchased a canner yet (and I still need to replace the one I order that was too tall for my stove), this article will help sort through the pros and cons. One thing I have determined is that I want the weighted gauge type which is available from both manufacturers. From Sharon, also a member of my Prepared Bloggers Group.
Build the Ultimate Fire Starting Kit: As Jeremy says “There’s no need to make starting a fire any tougher than it already is. Can I start one with primitive techniques? Sure, but why the Hell would I want to?”
BACKDOOR SURVIVAL MAIL BAG & READER TIPS
I have been gardening for about 10 years now without my Dad to go to for advice. About 6 years ago I started growing my own starts, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, onions, anything that needs a head start and can’t be direct seeded in the ground.
I started with just a small table in front of a south-facing window. A couple of years later my hubby bought me a mini greenhouse, again in the south-facing window. Two years ago I got a small plastic greenhouse (about 6×8) from Sam’s Club for only $99. This lasted me two full years (I don’t recommend overwintering it outdoors…big mistake) and this year it looks like something a little more permanent is going up! (Very excited about that!)
Anyway, I always grow heirloom veggies from our local seed company (Baker Creek) and find I always really look forward to spring for this reason. If you haven’t ordered your seeds, get started right away! Popular varieties DO sell out!
Long-growing season veggies such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and some onions need to be started in a greenhouse SOON, so they’re ready to go in the garden after last frost. And if you don’t know what to plant or when your frost dates are, check with your local Extension services, local nurseries, or if you’re luck, like us, your local seed growers.
But don’t wait for a disaster to start a garden, you will regret it…gardening has a huge learning curve and takes MANY years of experimenting to get it right. 🙂
In one of the recent giveaways, numerous commenters indicated desire to learn to garden and to grow veggies. I have been doing so myself for years, sometimes with good luck and other times not so much. My current situation is one with limited space and limited sunlight.
So here is the deal. This year I am going to start all over as though I am a newbie. New seeds, new garden beds and perhaps some new ways of doing things. One way or another I am going to get started right along with you, as though I am a newbie. My personal challenge is going to be to keep up with the notes and photos and to get back to you with timely reports.
So thanks, Sharon, for sharing!
AND THE WINNER IS . . .
We have three winners today.
First, the winner of a copy of Recipes and Tips for Sustainable Living by Stacy Harris is Dana R. Here is her response to the question “What are you doing – large or small – to live a sustainable life?”
Well, I still feel new to all this, but I have plans for the coming year that we are busy prepping for.
A new greenhouse and cold frame are awaiting my new sprouts. Organic/ vertical gardening enough to eat this year and can for the next year. I hope to save the heirloom seeds from the plants we are growing this year.
I am studying bees and planning to build some apiaries while protecting them from the Japanese Hornets that we have seen in the area.
Already making my own “Miracle salve” (thanks for the recipe Gaye), laundry soap, shampoo, bath soap and salts as well as candles.
We are saving our grey water in non potable containers to use for non sterile uses such as flushing and watering plants (as long as the plants are OK with the chemicals from the previous use).
Oh, and I am planning on raising chickens next year. (Didn’t want to overload my plate for this year) Not too shabby for a newbie.
Next, the lucky winner of the LifeStraw Family 1.0 is “K H”. Here is how the question “How will a LifeStraw Family fit into your overall water storage strategy?” was answered:
Wow, this would be a blessing. I’ve been cramming my brain with research on water filters. We are close to a creek and in emergency could use this water. I save water in bottles but would love to run it through this to be safe after it sits for so long.
And finally, the winner of a copy of Rivers by Michael Farris Smith is “Kenneth B”. Here is his answer to the question “If your home became a no-man’s land, would you stay or leave?”.
I believe the best move is to have a preplanned remote site. Buy a small isolated cabin or something similar.
I believe that if you stay anywhere in a reasonably populated area, you are prone to fail due to human nature and the abundance of people in any populated area. People will all try to survive and they will be after your resources. This will happen quickly in the beginning because most will not be prepared and will be takers.
After a while the takers will be thinned out by attrition and then the survivors will start to work together to increase the quality of life.
Congratulations to all the winners. You have been notified by email and should get back to me within 48 hours with mailing instructions.
NEWS FROM OUR SPONSORS
Each has prepared a special message for you that I will be sharing over the next couple of weeks, starting with today’s message from Prepared Planet.
Prepared Planet started back in 2006 as one of the premier emergency preparedness stores on the internet. We started long before emergency preparedness became a popular movement and “prepping” became a household word. Since then, Prepared Planet has undergone many transformations during which time it launched the revolutionary ProPur Water Filter line of water filtration products.
We are now proud and excited to announce our new store with a larger selection of products than ever before. We offer a full line of ProPur NSF Certified water filtration and purification products, as well as the latest in emergency preparedness, prepping supplies and sustainable living items. We also have a new area of our store that is geared towards self reliant living called “Smart Living“, featuring products geared towards the hobby farmer/homesteader. We are also proud to announce the arrival of SOLVIDA, our line of healthy and locally sourced bulk food items.
At Prepared Planet, are excited about the future and want to share with you what we live. It is not a philosophy, but a way of life. Whether customers are urban homesteaders, apartment preppers, or hard core survivalists, we’d like to think Prepared Planet can accommodate a wide range of products to suit your needs.
As with all of my sponsors, please pay them a visit and let them know you saw them on Backdoor Survival. Speaking of which, check out the Backdoor Survival Sponsors page and support the fine companies that allow me to keep Backdoor Survival free for everyone.
TIPS FOR USING ESSENTIAL OILS
Some Facebook fans have asked about an essential oils remedy for cold and flu and also an alternative to flue shots. Backdoor Survival is a no flu shot zone! Spark Naturals sells a Cold & Flu Bomb Kit that will knock out cold and flu symptoms fast. I know because this is what I used the first week of January when I felt something coming on.
This kit includes the following oils to help prevent and fight off cold and flu symptoms:
Oregano – Nature’s strongest Antibiotic
Melaleuca – Proven to fight, bacteria, virus and fungi
Shield – a Spark Naturals blend created to support healthy immune function. Kills bacteria, mold and and virus. (This is similar to “thieves oil”.)
I mixed equal amounts of each of the oils in a roller bottle (included in the kit) and applied it to the bottoms of my feet and chest twice a day, morning and night. Some people use 3 drops of each oil in a gel capsule or in a shot glass of water but I have not tried it myself.
If you want to give this a try, be sure to use the code “BACKDOORSURVIVAL” to receive a 10% discount. Note: I receive a small commission with your purchase.
RESOURCES – FREE DOWNLOADS
Homeowners Checklist: How to Make Your Home Fire Safe: This free download is chock full of tips for making your home fire safe, both indoors and out. Take a few moments to walk around your home to determine what you can do to make your home and the surrounding area safe from fire.
For other free downloads, visit the RESOURCES page.
THE FINAL WORD
A bunch of readers last week asked that I continue to request comments about your own weekly preps. This has been an on and off thing: ON because you asked for it and OFF because no one left a comment.
Shall we try again? What about you – what did you do to prep this week?
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Facebook which is updated every time there is an awesome new article, news byte, or link to a free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon. You can also follow Backdoor Survival on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ and purchase my book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage from Amazon.
Bargain Bin: The current Amazon Top 10 Most Wished for Items has been updated. There are a few new items as well as some old favorites and items mentioned today.
Suncast RB50D 50-Gallon Rain Barrel: I have high hopes for my new rain barrel! The instructions indicate that it must be dumped regularly to prevent algae formation. I am definitely going to have to keep an eye on things.
Morakniv Craftline Q Allround Fixed Blade Utility Knife: Also known as the Mora 511, this is now my favorite knife. It is made of Swedish steel and is super sharp. I paid $12 for this knife last week and today it is $8.95 so I ordered another one. It was worth $12 and of course is a steal at $8.95!
ProForce Commando Wire Saw Bulk, Ideal For Survival Kits: This new addition that qualifies for the Almost Free page since it is less than $2 with free shipping. Here is what one reviewer had to say:
“When I got the saw, I thought it was a dinky little wire. My expectations were blown away!! I can cut a three inch tree in three min. I would much so recommend that you get this saw.”
Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System: This is another new addition. Fans of the Sawyer water filtration systems are evangelistic in their praise. This is definitely on my bucket list and at $9.99, the price is right.
SABRE RED Police Strength Pepper Spray: This fits in the palm of your hand and is equipped with a convenient hand strap for immediate deployment. SABRE delivers a strong ballistic stream to reduce wind blow back and permits safe distance from your threat with its ten (10) foot range.
BaoFeng UV-5R Dual-Band Ham Radio: These BaoFeng’s are extremely popular with Backdoor Survival readers. I have two. The Baofeng UV-5R is a compact hand held transceiver providing 4 watts in the frequency range of 136-174 MHz and 400-480 MHz. It is a compact, economical HT that includes a special VHF receive band from 65 – 108 MHz which includes the regular FM broadcast band. Dual watch and dual reception is supported. Here is the antenna I ordered: NAGOYA Antenna for BAOFENG UV-5R .
Blocklite Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight: I now own six of these little gems. There is a similar flashlight called the Pak-Lite (which is more expensive) but it does not have a high-low switch like this one. Less than $10. These little flashlights just go and go, plus, they make good use of those re-purposed 9V alkaline batteries that you have recharged with your Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger.
FordEx Group 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight Torch Adjustable Focus Zoom Light Lamp: Here we go with another flashlight. At the time of this writing, this one is only $3.65. It is super mini sized, bright and waterproof. Plus, it uses a single, standard AA sized battery.
Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials: The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.
Every family should have at least one Tote-able Toilet. I have priced purchasing the bucket and toilet seat lid separately and found that it was more economical to pick up this kit. I have filled my portable potty with sanitation supplies plus, of course, plenty of TP.
Need something from Amazon (and who doesn’t)? I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here. You still get great Amazon service and the price is the same, no matter what.
Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!