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.
I plan to scatter my plants about: in buckets, pots, the square foot garden and the front landscape which is the only place I get full sun.
Now here is where I think (hope?) I will do well. I ordered my seeds from Ed Hume Seeds in Puyallup, Washington who specializes in seeds that grow well in the Pacific Northwest. For all of the above, I paid only $12.14 plus $2.00 shipping and I was delighted that some bonus flower and carrot packets were thrown in for free.
The point I want to pass on is that if you are just getting started, you would be wise to look for a seed vendor that specializes in your local geographical area. Better yet, if you know of a friend or neighbor who has saved seeds and is willing to share, go for it since your are blessed.
The only seeds I started so far are the tomato seeds, which in my experience, need a good 10 to 12 weeks indoors before transplanting outdoors. The rest of the seeds will be started in late March and early April.
You might also notice that I put together a grow light setup in my little office. My home is dark so this should help plus, the money I save by not having to purchase veggie starts should cover the investment. I also have a soil test kit on hand so that I can add the proper micro-nutrients to my soil before planting time. By the way, I purchased this rubber mallet set for Shelly so he could put together the grow light. His workbench in the garage is such a mess that he could not find his old mallet. That said, he told me he used all three sizes when putting the grow light together.
Other things: I received an AquaPod and HERC tea light oven this week. I am anxious to test the AquaPod in my bath tub and set up the HERC and make some breads and perhaps even some lasagna. Can you imagine using only tea lights as a heat source? Amazing.
In the meantime, here are some stock photos:
Okay, enough about me. Let’s get on to the Sunday Survival Buzz.
SURVIVAL NEWS & ARTICLES FROM AROUND THE WEB
Putting the next generation of brains in danger: The scope of this article goes beyond infants and children; adults are at risk too. One of the researchers states “I find it very irritating some of the multinational manufacturers are now marketing products in Europe and the U.S. with the same brand name and same label, but in Europe (they) are free of toxic chemicals and in the U.S. they contain toxic chemicals.” You might say that the US FDA, as currently structured, is a laughing-stock.
Harvard Economist Fears Bank Collapse: Pulls $1 Million Savings out of BofA: With fears of yet another government default only 30 days away, Terry Burnham, former Harvard economics professor and longtime critic of the Federal Reserve, is pulling all of his money out of Bank of America, and warns others might want to consider doing the same.
Why Are American Hospitals Charging Up To $800 For A $1 Bag Of Salt Water?: How can hospitals get away with charging $800 for a bag of saltwater and $25 for a single aspirin? It is because those of us that pay our way are subsidizing those that don’t. That, plus greedy insurance and big pharma. It certainly is not the health care providers (physicians and support staff) getting rich these days.
‘Pandemic Potential’ After First Confirmed Human Death From New Strain Of Bird Flu: Preparing for a pandemic is one of the more difficult prepping tasks. Staying isolated helps but not everyone can live in the country.
28 Points Of Comparison Between 1970s America And America Today – Which Do You Think Is Better?: From Michael Snyder. Personally, I loved disco.
“Wouldn’t it be nice to live at a time when virtually everyone could find a good job, when television was not so filthy and when you didn’t have to worry about locking your front door at night? Some would say that we have come a long way in 40 years. Others lament how far we have fallen.”
Prepper LOVE: How to Find a Spouse For You: So if you’re in the dating scene, how do you find someone who cares more about becoming self-reliant, rather than becoming a professional spender? John R. – this one’s for you! A great article from a member of my Prepared Bloggers group.
At 102, Reflections On Race And The End Of Life: You know how I love to read human interest stories. 102 year old Rosa says:
I always felt that I could work forever. Made me feel like I was a worthwhile person. I liked the companionship of people around me, and we’re all working. I really feel like a dope. I should never have stopped. That was the sorriest day of my life.
Teen’s snow message for mother undergoing chemotherapy goes viral: And a feel-good story to close out the news for today.
BACKDOOR SURVIVAL MAIL BAG & READER TIPS
I received a message from a reader who was confused and asked if I could do an article on water storage. His message started with “I am clueless . . . ”
I pulled this one out of the archives for him and also for anyone else that needs a brush-up on water: Survival Basics: Water. Please do not hesitate to ask if there is something that you too, are confused about. And yes, I know I need to organize the archives by category so you can find stuff. Maybe a volunteer will step up to help (hint hint).
I received a bunch of emails this week with HAM radio licensing tips. Along with other things on my to-do list, I plan to compile them in an article for you. In the meantime, here is one from “jg”:
For the tech study guide none better than The No Nonsense Study Guide by Dan Romancick http://www.kb6nu.com/tech-manual/. Best cram session I found on the net. Free for Tech and General class. I had to pay for the extra class, I’ll tell you how that goes if/when I take it. 🙂
Note: the pdf version is free!
From reader “Anthony”, a warning about melaleuca (tea tree) oil:
Gaye, I don’t know if I have told you this, as I have mentioned it to many people. DO NOT use tea tree oil on animals. We had a dog that had hot spots and a neighbor told us to use tea tree oil on them. With in 24 hours the had passed. The oil is a neurological agent on animals.
I received the following email from Chett at FoodInsurance.com:
Over the last couple of weeks we have been putting together our new infographic about why duct tape is so important to survival and your article about the duct tape was the best source we could find. So we included some of your ideas and we talked about your site in our introduction paragraph. I wanted to let you know about it and say thanks.
You can see it here.
AND THE WINNER IS . . .
The winner of a copy of Prepper Pete Prepares: An Introduction to Prepping for Kids is “Debbie”. Here is how she answered the question: What suggestion do you have to ensure that the children in your life (children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends) do not become afraid during a disaster or crisis event?
The best advice I ever got for dealing with a crisis situation came from Rick LaTurner, my first supervisor in respiratory therapy many years ago. He said, no matter what occurs, you must not panic, because then you can’t help anyone else or even yourself. To help children in a crisis, the same is true. You must remain calm and present a good example for them.
Kids model the behavior they witness, whether you think so or not. Be calm, have a plan, and involve them in non-threatening preparations.
NEWS FROM OUR SPONSORS
BDS Sponsor Vivogear has put together some special bundles that are exclusive to Backdoor Survival readers. He also has some “almost free” items and you know how I like those. There is a 2 for 1 deal on an Emergency “Space” Blanket where you get 2 for $3.98 with free shipping.
I also have some great news about LifeStraw products. A reader asked the question:
In the article about LifeStraws I noticed this, “the LifeStraw has a shelf-life of five years”.
What happens after the five year mark? Does the filter get brittle and decompose or something? How do you determine if a filter is no longer useful? Is there a way to prolong it’s shelf life? I.e. put it in can of vinegar?
Here is the response from BDS Sponsor Earth Easy, the US distributor of the Lifestraw:
The shelf life comment on LifeStraw products have actually been removed. The reason for this is because the filter has no chemicals or moving parts, meaning that there will be nothing that can expire.
When the LifeStraw reaches capacity, you will be unable to draw water through the unit. To prolong the life, what you will need to do is to back flush the unit after every use. You can even hold the LifeStraw under the sink and use your faucet to back flush all the contaminates caught within the pores.
To do that, you will need to hold the LifeStraw under the sink and use your hand to seal off the top, so that you get water pressure through the straw to back flush.
That is terrific news for those of us with LifeStraws. This means we can now stockpile them as part of our preps. Wohoo!
As with all of my sponsors, please pay them a visit and let them know you saw them on Backdoor Survival.
TIPS FOR USING ESSENTIAL OILS
I am frequently asked about the shelf life of essential oils. Typically, the shelf life is anywhere from 1 year to 5 years or more. The key is in the storage. If you keep your essential oils a dark bottle and relatively cool, they will last far longer than a year. Some of mine are over 5 years old however I tend to use the older E.O.s more for fragrance (in laundry or in cleaning products) than for healing purposes.
If you have any other questions about essential oils, I will do my best to dig up a credible answer (if I do not know it myself).
Sometime next week, Backdoor Survival will be moving to what is called a Virtual Private Server or VPS for short. For you non-geeky types, this translates into a super fast, super secure hosting environment. I am very excited, and also a little nervous, about this transition but with my hosting company, Parcom, doing all of the heavy lifting, I am confident it will go well.
Then, on the 23rd, Shelly, the Survival Hubby and I will be taking a much needed vacation. Lately I have been working non-stop from 7AM to 10PM, 7 days a week. I am looking forward to some pomegranate martinis and a few cha cha cha’s and tangos on the ballroom dance floor while enjoying some fun in the sun.
Not to worry though. I have a fabulous lineup of articles coming your way while I am gone, including what else? More giveaways!
THE FINAL WORD
I know that many of you have been hunkering down while waiting out the winter storms. I hope that you and your families have remained safe and that perchance, this has convinced some of your non-prepping friends initiate their own preparedness activities. Here where I live, it has been a bit windy and cold, but other than that, the winter has been mild. Regardless of where you live and what the weather, remember to make every day a prep day!
What about you – what did you do to prep this week?
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Spotlight Item: The LifeStraw Family 1.0 is currently on sale for $49.95 . That is $40 or 44% off plus shipping is free. If you have been waiting to buy a LifeStraw product, the moment is now. This is a great deal! If you are interested in more information, here is a recent review that I wrote Clean, Drinkable Water – LifeStraw Family Review.
Bargain Bin: I have cleared the decks and come up the assortment of items I felt were the most important for my needs when the power is out and we are grid down. Many of you are going through this right now with the winter storms in your area. But first, some items mentioned in today’s article.
TEKTON 3161 Rubber Mallet Set, 3-Piece: This is a good quality, standard mallet set. Pine handles are solidly attached to the head. Definitely worth the money.
Hydrofarm 2-Foot Jump Start T5 Grow Light System: I love my new grow light. It is sturdy, well built and the light itself is adjustable. There is also a 4 foot version.
Luster Leaf 1601 Rapitest Soil Test Kit: This is the soil test kit recommended by my friends Mary-Brooke and Paul who have a fabulous prepper garden.
Emergency Radio: My old Kaito died right when I needed it so now I have two: the compact Kaito Voyager V1 and the Ambient Weather Compact Emergency Radio. While both have lots of features, my primary interest is in using them as a solar/crank radio.
Mr. Heater Portable “Big Buddy” Heater: Using propane and safe for indoor use, the Big Buddy Heater features an automatic low-oxygen shut-off system that automatically turns the unit off before carbon monoxide fumes reach dangerous levels in home.
Coleman PefectFlow 1-Burner Stove: This Coleman One-burner Propane Stove is an easy-to-use portable stove that should meet almost any camp cooking need. The PerfectFlow regulator provides consistent cooking performance by producing a steady fuel stream, even in cold weather, high altitudes, or when fuel is low. Equipped with one 10,000 BTU burner, this fully adjustable stove will last for 2.2 hours on high or up to nine hours on low.
Dorcy LED Wireless Motion Sensor Flood Lite: Don’t let the $20 price lead you to think this wireless flood light is wimpy. I have two of these and feel that these lights are worth double the price. Using D-cell batteries, the Dorcy floodlight will light up a dark room or a dark stairway in an instant. I can not recommend these enough.
BIC Disposable Classic Lighters: This six pack of Bic lighters is reasonably priced but check around since these often go on sale locally. BICs just work – every time.
Although I have plenty of flashlights and batteries, I also stay stocked up with a dozen of these Clear Mist 100 Hour Plus Emergency Candles as well. For the best deal, purchase a dozen at a time to get a discounted price. Be sure to also check out the Clear Globe attachment.
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Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!
Are You Interested in Essential Oils?
The Spark Naturals Oil of the Month Club is the best value out there – all oils are 15ml bottles – shipped out to you once a month (on the same date you ordered the product). The price is $15.99 a month and includes shipping and tax. This is a great way to collect oils at a discounted price. Be sure to use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout.