The Sunday Survival Buzz #135

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

Since I am surrounded by packing boxes and bubble wrap, I don’t have much to report this week.  That, coupled with a writing marathon, have taken up all of my time and then some.

A quick word about bubble wrap.  At the last minute we ran out to the nearby Home Deport to replenish our supply.  (Remember, we are packing up a condo in the Seattle area that was recently sold.)  Long story short, $40 later we were all set.  I did a quick check on Amazon this morning and instead of $40 for 130 feet of bubble wrap, I could have saved a bundle by purchasing 175 feet for less than $20 at Amazon.

Talk about not being prepared and paying the financial price!

Nelson Mandela and Preppers Everywhere

One of these days I should write an article on a day in the life of a blogger.  You might think that I have a nice, tidy schedule for writing and posting but as much as I try, things simply do not work out that way.  Organized chaos is a good description of my blogging life. Between product testing, reading emails (typically 100 to 150 a day), creating graphics, research, social media, and back end website work, I am amazed that even a single word gets written.

Seriously, I hope to hire a VA (Virtual Assistant) soon.  First, however, I have planned a real vacation where I spend only 30 minutes a day online max. Do you think I can do it?

That about covers it for me this week.  Now for some announcements.


An interesting suggestion came in from Ron D. in response to the article Eleven Point Plan to Bust the Myth of Retirement.

Gaye, if I may, I would like to offer a little more to consider.

My wife and I have been working in the field of Property Caretaking. I’m almost 63 and she 62. We have been doing this for years and it is a great life. Many jobs offer great pay and perks, some only offer free housing and utilities for minimal hours of work. Right now, we make a very nice salary, we are provided with a nice house, utilities, internet, satellite TV, and more.

We plan to do this level of work for as long as we can. Then actual retirement for us, is going to be a nice big camper parked in a nice RV camp where you pay a set fee for all your needs other than food and meds. We will travel around part of the time taking housesitting and Property Caretaking jobs that are not too demanding, just to be busy and seeing new sites. This is our plan. Like any other plan, it is open to adjustments as needed. But it is a good plan. Something perhaps others would want to look into.

I know that many of you either own or covet a treadle sewing machine. (I learned to sew on a treadle machine in high school.)  Kathy passed along this tip:

Just wanted to let those who have recently acquired a treadle sewing machine and have never used one before, to have the cording around the wheels that move the needle up and down checked out.

I have been using my treadle for several years now (over 30). The original cord was made of leather and it stretched out after a while. It will start to slip in it’s track and the needle will not go up and down.

Believe me it was a PITB trying to figure out why the needle would stop moving as I was peddling. Also check the date of your machine. There maybe a zipper foot for some of the later models of treadles. Unfortunately mine is so old that zippers weren’t around back then.;)


This has been the summer of giveaway-mania. There have been so many items in the giveaway queue that a number of items are spilling into Fall.  Did you know that between Shelly and I, we read every single response to the giveaway questions?

The following two giveaways are still open for entries.

Summer 2014 Book Festival: 299 Days The War + Giveaway
Free Food Friday: Legacy Food Bucket Giveaway


The three winners of a copy of Rivers: A Novel by Michael Harris Smith were Tom K., Frederick R., and Perrie. The winner of The Provident Prepper by Kylene and Jonathan Jones was Christy.

Interestingly enough, all four winning entries were from the “Free Entry for Everyone” option.  As always, the winners were selected totally at random.


Reader Vicki asked:  Does a true essential oil have to say “essential” on the bottle, or is Lavender Oil also an essential oil. I am confused since I became involved with essential oils,

I thought you might be interested in my response:

Great question. Before responding, I wanted to check some of the bottles of essential oils I had purchased before I started using Spark Naturals. My inexpensive bottle of Lavender from NOW FOODS is labeled:

100% Pure Lavender

Elsewhere on the label is says 100% pure lavender oil and “Natural essential oils are highly concentrated …”.

I believe it is safe to say that this indeed, is an essential oil. Check your bottle for clues; somewhere there should be an indication that it is 100% oil as well as the words “essential oil”.

Important note: if there is no supplement information (such as what you see on a vitamin bottle), do not ingest the essential oil. If in doubt, do not do it.  Mostly, I do not ingest essential oils by choice even though I could.

I do,however use a drop of cinnamon oil and oregano oil while oil pulling and also a drop of lemon essential oil in water.  It all comes down to personal choice.

There is still time left to get in on the Item of the Week from Spark Naturals. Birch is a fantastic pain reliever which makes this a great opportunity to get one of my must-have oils at an even greater discount than normal.

Spark Naturals Weekly Sales | Backdoor Survival


The Sunday Survival Buzz is about you and your preps. So what about you – what did you do to prep this week?

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for me daily at Top Prepper Websites!  In addition, SUBSCRIBE to email updates  and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

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Bargain Bin: This week I have sanitation on my mind as I am cleaning like a Jewish mother would clean.  In addition my Shield Spray (made with Shield Blend essential oil and witch hazel), I have a number of other items in my arsenal.  Oh, and don’t forget the bubble wrap!

Duck Brand Bubble Wrap, 150 Feet:  Lesson learned on the bubble wrap.  From now on I will plan in advance and shop at Amazon.

No Rinse Cleansing & Deodorizing Bathing Wipes: One wipe was more than enough for a complete “bath”. These are a good backup when traditional showers are not available such as the week or weeks following a disaster. Also good for camping, boating, hiking and such.

No Rinse Moisturizing Body Wash: This stuff leaves your skin feeling fresh and clean with a delicate scent.

Genuine Joe Gel Hand Sanitizer, 16oz: When shopping on Amazon, I have always had good luck purchasing the #1 item in a particular category. Alcohol based hand sanitizer gels kill 99% of bacterial on contact. They are inexpensive and easy to use.

Amazon Basics Microfiber Cleaning Cloth, (Pack of 36): No list of DIY cleaning supplies would be complete without these wonderful microfiber cloths. They will last you for years and will allow you to replace paper towels forever. Truly. I color code using blue for glass and windows and the other colors for everything else. I love these.

Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Liquid Cleanser: I know that Dr. Bronner’s Magic Castile soaps have a cult-like following but I prefer the Sal Suds. I call my DIY cleaner “Sudsy Sal”.


Shop Emergency Essentials Sales for Fantastic Deals!

For over 25 years Emergency Essentials has been providing the highest quality preparedness products at great prices.  Plus, each month they feature sales that quite honestly are fantastic.  This month note the great sale prices two of my favorites, the Mobile Washer (Hand Operated Washing Machine) now only $14.95 and the Tote-able Toilet Seat and Lid, now only $11.79.



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.

Amazon has feature called Shop Amazon – Most Wished For Items. This is an easy tool for finding products that people are ‘wishing” for and in this way you know what the top products are.  All you need to do is select the category from the left hand side of the screen.

The Amazon Top Most Wished For and Best Selling Outdoor Items
Emergency Preparedness Items from

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!


The Sunday Survival Buzz #135 — 26 Comments

  1. This week I took a compass and map reading course, repacked and updated my BOB, watched part 1 of a Permaculture design series, started Dr. Elaine Inghams soilfoodweb online certification course, and toured an organic ranch that utilizes permaculture techniques. My brain is full!

  2. O that treadle sewing machine talk! I want one, but guess I’ll work on adapting one to treadle, this way I will know how to change those belts and what to make them out of if/when needed. 🙂
    Just to add a bit obout EOs. Not all EOs are quality. If you were sitting in my home, I’d pull out 2 bottles of lavender, to let you sniff so you would know the difference. There may be some which can be bought in brick and mortar stores, what I bought that way work, but the sniff test speaks to the quality. I have to use more of the store bought, than of the quality stuff bought online. I have 3 fave brands, one of which is Sparks.
    As to prepping this week, I had a date with the Discovery Channel one night. The topic the whole evening was the Ebola Virus and how other viruses can/might create a pandemic. Yesterday I found this online ‘course’ to further my learning about Pandemic Preparedness.
    I’m in the process of making my second batch of Vinegar of the Four Thieves. It must work because it repels insects so I used it as an insect spray and depleted my stock. lol
    Would love to get some Birch EO but this is the time of year when our fave beekeeper has the best honey for us. So, stocking up on honey for the year instead. 🙂
    O and for you chocolate lovers, I made a new recipe of hot chocolate mix. Double chocolate flavor. 🙂 No, make that triple chocolate flavor. lol Am now using my saved chocolate chip mylar bags, relabeling for this. 😉

    • Check with your local fabric store (like Jo-ann’s) they may have replacement “belts” or the Singer company. I got a couple of replacement belts from a local store (that repaired Singers)for my old one. The owner said he ordered it from Singer but that was 10-15 years ago.
      Also if anyone has a local leathersmith, they may be able to make one for you. My “belt” was round like they had curled the wet? leather tightly to make a cord and once it was placed on the machine the ends were stapled together, cut edge to cut edge
      Thank you Gaye for the mention

  3. Now that I’m a website owner and blogger (your successful myself, I am even more appreciative of the incredible job you do day in and day out on your site. Yes, there are lots of prepper sites out there but yours is the only one I read every day.You do a fantastic job and provide incredibly useful information to the prepped community.
    I have written to you before (we live in Ashford near Mt. Rainier)
    and truly admire you.

    • Thank you so much for the kind words. I do become exhausted and cranky sometimes and also wish I had more knowledge. Fortunately, I know a lot of people that know a lot more about things than I do so I can pick their brains so I can try things out for myself before sharing. I do try to keep things real 🙂

  4. I have arrived home from Alaska. Beautiful! I did try to learn to tie knots and found I need a boy scout to show me. Lesson learned on this cruise. Be prepared when taking an elderly handicapped person out of their environment. Very stressful for both of us.

  5. Hi there Gaye – glad to hear your condo sale is moving forward.

    This week I found a local source for herbal medicines – a lovely young woman who is willing to teach me to make tinctures, ointments and salves with wildharvested local ingredients. I am very excited to explore this new world of knowledge!

    We spent some more time up at the BOL Homestead Cabin this weekend doing some maintenance chores around the place – putting the garden plots to bed for the winter with cover crops of hairy vetch and winter rye, and planting some new trees.

    Thift store treasures included two more cast iron skillets, 5 manual can openers, 2 wool blankets, a campfire percolator coffee maker and a Coleman lantern. I’m beginning to think I am stocking to run a post-SHTF General Store!

    Have a great week Gaye and y’all.

  6. not a thing to report in the way of preps, I had one thing on my to do list and it did not get done. I came into . four fire extinguishers, I had hoped to get time to take these to the fire station to be looked over and filled. I hope to get to do this some time this week.

  7. I was woundering what the age of the average prepper.I seems to me that the average age is a bit more seasoned then one might first think. why is that?

    • It could be because we remember what lean times can look like. OR we may have more time to do the prepping while the younger generations are just struggling to keep hearth and home together. OR…….so many reasons. I talk to my family and many reasons come up. I do suspect there is a certain population which believes, “it can’t happen to me.” Not that they live a privileged life, just a different developmental stage than us more marinated ones. 😉

      • i agree that it’s our different developmental stages. most young adults still think they’re invincible, whereas those of us with a little snow on the roof have had to confront our own mortality, at least enough to know it exists. by extension, we’re also more keenly aware of how fragile our species is, which is why we’re more active in politics and other forms of activism.

  8. Ive been putting the last minute preps on my trip to Front Sight training course in Nevada. I’m taking my grandson and his dad and making reservations and getting all the guns and ammo together is very time consuming and nerve racking. I’m taking the 2 days rifle course and the 4 day defensive hand-gun course. I’m leaving next week and I am getting excited. Of course it don’t take to much to get this old man excited.

  9. Did I mention I was going to Front Sight? Front Sight is in Pahrump NV. Pahrump equals casino’s. Casino’s equals pole dancing girls. Pole dancing girls equals excitement for this old Ky moonshiner.
    I’m getting excited.

  10. My prepping this week involved surviving! I have been through a week and a half of an ugly intestinal virus accompanied by fever and chills, what a nightmare. Unbelievable as this might seem, I was actually thinking about prepping in between my bouts of fevered delirium. I was thinking about how I would handle this situation if it occurred in a post SHTF world. First I have resolved to stock more powered gatoraid for replenishing lost electrolytes. Second i have resolved to be even more conscientious about stored food safety,(since my virus was contracted through a food/drink I injested, according to DR.). I have heard it said many times about how someone would eat or drink most anything in a desperate survival situation so why bother being so picky about severely expired food or water that’s “clean enough”. Let me tell you that it is vitally important to be knowledgeable about your food and water supply. You absolutely do not want to go through food poisoning at anytime ESPECIALLY when your life depends on it. Pardon my bluntness, but you would find it difficult to Bug Out when you need to squat behind a tree every fifteen yards! likewise you would find it difficult to defend your BOL if you are out of your head with fever. Anyway, i have learned from my ordeal and this has once again reinforced my belief that it can be chancy to eat food that was not prepared by your own hands.

    • Hope you’re feeling better. You did what I do, even when down, thinking about how to learn from the lesson. One point, don’t do Gatorade. Can’t find the file at the moment, but G contains an ingredient which is banned in most countries due to be cancer causing. Better yet, learn how to make your own version of an electrolyte drink and then you will be in a better place than storing G. 😉

    • Do you happen to know what it was that you consumed that gave you so much distress? That said, I hope you are on the mend.

      As an aside, I am extremely careful when eating food prepared by strangers especially if their housekeeping habits are not great. Restaurant food is just as bad so I rarely eat out.

      • Dee- thanks very much for the tip about Gatorade, I didn’t know that but it is firmly on my to do list now to look up making my own. I am also looking into this vinegar of the thieves I’ve seen mentioned a few times.

        Gaye- thanks for your concern, I am fully mended now. I am pretty sure that the culprit was some chicken I ate that was prepared by somebody else. I am generally uncomfortable eating food that I didn’t make but sometimes social expectations throw me into situations that make it hard to avoid. I’m working on adding to my list of excuses for not eating somebody else’s cooking…feigning an allergy to ingredients used or proclaiming I’ve recently eaten usually work, but not always. I’m not usually a ‘go to the doctor’ type of person but by day 5 I was feeling so weak and in over my head that I sought so called “expert” advice. She was only helpful enough to tell me that it was likely a virus contracted from something ingested because of the fever and the location of my body affected (intestinal tract)and to just stay hydrated while it ran it’s course. That advice cost 100 bucks I would have preferred to have spent elsewhere for sure.

        • I had almost mentioned that it sounded like NoroVirus to me but that is transmitted by contact on not by food. Perhaps salmonella?

          Anyway, what I really wanted to mention is that rather than excuses, master the art of taking small portions then cutting them up and pushing them around your plate. Since the portions are small to begin with, no one seems to notice. I have been doing this for years since I am small and want to stay that way. I try to eat only eat real food for the most part and also only food cooked in my own home. Not 100% but I would say 95%.

          Traveling with me to restaurants and on vacation is a real PITA LOL. I hate restaurants the most. It seems silly to pay so much for highly seasoned food whose only redeeming quality is that it looks pretty on a plate.

        • You’re most welcome learner. If possible, make up both, vinegar and the EO of the 4 Thieves. Each has it’s special place and time. Besides, I like backups to my backups. 😉 Glad you’re feeling better, I so understand about $$ spent on medical advice which doesn’t help.
          Take care.

  11. Not too much done this week, I’ve been sick for awhile now & the dr’s are a till trying to figure it out.

    I ordered some EO’s from Spark and made some of the arthritis mixture Gaye mentioned last week. I’ve only used it a couple times so no thumbs up or down yet. I love how it smells and I’m hoping use will keep me away from the pain management dr. and shots!

    Any of you that use the Spark oils,can you give tips on getting it out of the bottle. I got some of the bent glass eye droppers but made a mess. I stuck it in, then squeezed which ended up blowing the eo out of the bottle.

    • Did you get the droppers from Spark Naturals? I use them in most or my bottles without a problem and they are very inexpensive. If you did get them SN, call customer service and they will likely replace the oils for you.

      Another thing I do is take the orifice out completely (all essential oil companies use them). Then I take a rubber band and wrap it around the bottle so I know it does not have a dropper orifice on it. I often take a glass medicine dropper and secure it to the bottle with the rubber band so it is handy.

      For the arthritis buster, did you mix it with FCO and put it in a roller ball bottle? Be sure to use it 3 or 4 times a day in the beginning. Shelly swears by it.

  12. Going to a Self-Reliance expo Saturday! So excited. I have never been around a large group of like-minded individuals before! Gaye, I don’t know what a Virtual Assistant is but I am looking for a job if you want a “real” assistant!

    • A VA, or virtual assistant, is a person who does admin support remotely. Bloggers use VAs to help with formatting articles for publication, compiling research, social media, photo editing and similar tasks.

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