The Sunday Survival Buzz – Volume 55

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Sunday Survival BuzzWelcome 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.

This week the Survival Husband was able to help me catch up on some of my prepping chores.  One of those chores was to set up a bank of shelving in my crawl space so that I could store my buckets and #10 tins of food in a nice cool and dark space.

I think they came out rather well and considering that I only paid $14.99 for each unit at Harbor Freight.  (And I believe that these 4-Tier Shelf Racks are still the same price – well worth it.)

Shelves for Food Storage_0

I also had a chance to handle my new AR22 – it’s not loaded yet – but I did want to get a feel for its weight and heft.  We have already purchased ammo and extra magazines but still need to get a scope although from what I am told, with practice it is simply a matter of point and shoot.  That said, I hope the only place I have to use it is at the range.

Gaye has her own AR22

My purchases this week included a replacement for our lost Swiss Army Knife, a Blocklite 9V LED Flashlight, more empty spray bottles for my DIY cleaners, and some storage cases for all of the alkaline batteries I have salvaged by recharging them in my Maximal Power alkaline battery charger.

Speaking of batteries, I still need to test the recharged batteries – see how long they last, for instance, in a flashlight – before writing up the results of this pretty exhaustive test.  The photo below depicts the batteries that appear to have been recharged successfully.  I would guess that this represents about 60% of the total.  And note that this is in addition to the “good” batteries that I had already tested and removed from the recycle box.

Recharged Alkaline Batteries

I also tended to my food preps this week.  I sampled some MREs – jury still out – and placed a really huge order from Shelf Reliance including staple items such as sour cream powder, tomato powder, wheat and lots of fruits and veggies.  I was able to do this because the Survival Husband finished putting together that shelving for me.MREs (24)a

And last, but certainly not least, I visited Chris Newman, a Backdoor Survival reader, and learned all about his InstaBed Cubic Foot Gardening System which I will describe in more detail below.

Okay, enough about me.  Let’s get on to the Sunday Survival Buzz.

Survival News & Articles from Around the Web

With canceled tours, White House teaching how democracy works: The leader of the US has become a childish bully. In the meantime, Michelle and the girls are busy planning their next exotic vacation using taxpayer money. Disgusting.  Of course he is not the only disgusting politician out there – they come from both major parties but in this case, he does happen to be the leader.

20 Places to Find Local Food and Family Farms Near You:  Activist Post shares some tips for finding local sources of wholesome, organic food.

Americans – Like Nazi Germans – Don’t Notice that All of Our Rights Are Slipping Away:  This is a topic I have mentioned before but is worth repeating.  As the article says “Indeed, the federal government is doing everything it can to stick its nose into every aspect of our lives … and act like Big Brother”.

Coping: With Rip-off Writers & Part-Time Honesty:  This is something George and I talk about all of the time.  I am not talking about legitimate sources that include a resource box and link back to the original author’s site – after all, we do want to spread the message of prepping and of truth and enlightenment.  What we are referring to are sites that copy our work verbatim and either claim them as their own or heavily monetize them so they can make a buck.  It does get discouraging sometimes.

One latte away from millions? Don’t bank on it, author says:  By now you also know that I disdain fee based financial advisors.  This article addresses the question: “Is anybody’s advice worth paying for?”

Infections With ‘Nightmare Bacteria’ Are On The Rise In U.S. Hospitals:  Here is a scary one for you.  Apparently there is a lot more to fear than a staph infection – although that is bad enough, even deadly – following a visit to the hospital.  It is no wonder that hospitals are making routine follow-up calls once you get home just to make sure you are okay.

THE INSTABED CUBIC FOOT GARDENING SYSTEM

Last week I had an opportunity to visit a reader and to preview what he calls “Square Foot Gardening” on steroids!   And you know what, at this very first blush I tend to agree.

Gaye and Chris Cubic Foot Garden    INSTABED CUBIC FOOT GARDENING SYSTEM

This garden system requires no hammers, no nails and no construction – certainly something I can deal with on my own.  The “no-tools-required” assembly takes about 5 minutes and then it’s ready to fill with good local soil. In my case, I plan to use my own mix which is a combination of compost, peat moss (or coir) and vermiculite plus some bags of Miracle Grow potting mix.  I have been making my own soil mix since the 70’s and that is what works for me.

The InstaBed Cubic Gardening System opens a new door into high-intensity cubic foot gardening in stacked raised beds with each individual InstaBed making up a module in the complete system.  I think at $39.99 the price is right.  The other thing is that extra modules can be easily stored for emergency purposes with extra heirloom seeds tucked right inside the center of the rolled up plastic tube.

cubic foot garden rolled up for storage_0

It is still a bit too cold to set up the unit Chris generously gave me but I am very excited to see how it all works out.  For more information visit his website at https://sites.google.com/site/classicplastic/.

MARCH SPECIALS FROM SHELF RELIANCE

140x140-survivalwoman2 (Custom)There are a number of new specials this month from Shelf Reliance.  Of special note is one of my favorite desserts, Macaroons!  If you are interested in giving them a try, come party with me at my Shelf Reliance Virtual Party.  A new party just started (they run for three months) and just so you know, I do earn credits toward discounted product with each purchase.

I love my Thrive and Shelf Reliance products and encourage you to visit my party page for more details.

The Final Word

It has been a beautiful, sunny day here on San Juan Island today.  On days like this, my thoughts start turning to outdoor activities such a long hikes, bicycling and kayaking.

In addition, there are gardening chores which are really not a chore at all.  The big question this year will be whether we will have enough sun this summer to produce a healthy crop of veggies.  One thing I can count on, though, is a bounteous crop of greens for those summer salads.

Until, next time, remember to make every day a prep day!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

Gaye

If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Backdoor Survival on Facebook to be updated every time there is an awesome new article, news byte, or free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon.

In addition, when you sign up to receive email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Bargain Bin: Here are links to the products mentioned in today’s article. In addition, as it turns out, the recent article on DIY cleaning turned out to be hugely popular all around the web. In cased you missed it, here is a link to the article Prepper Checklist: DIY Cleaning Supplies and to some of the products that I use to make my own cleaners.

Harbor Freight Tools:  A quick reminder that Harbor Freight has all kinds of goodies including tools, work gloves, and of course, low cost shelving.  Shipping is a flat $6.99 regardless of the size of the order.

Victorinox Swiss Army Climber II Pocket Knife:  I thought I was getting a great deal at $20 but now I see the price is down even more to $18.69.  If you need a spare, grab one while the price is so low.  These make great gifts as well.

AA/AAA 4 Cell Battery Storage Case Bundle of Six Cases:  This little plastic cases have individual slots for either AA or AAA size rechargeable batteries.  Very handy.

Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger: This nicely built charger will charge charge AA, AAA, C, D, N, 9V, Ni-MH, Ni-CD, and Alkaline batteries. It has an LED display so that when you first put a battery in the charging bay, you know whether it is viable for charging or simply bad and ready to go back to the recycle box. Note: When I purchased the charger, it was on backorder. Oddly, it actually shipped the next day. Go figure.

Blocklite Mini Compact Size Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight: One of my readers (James) claims that these work great. 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.

Soft ‘N Style Clear Spray Bottles: About $10 for six bottles – these are the larger, 16 ounce size. You can also get these smaller bottles and some reasonably priced pump dispensers.

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”.

NOW Solutions Glycerin Vegetable, 16-Fluid Ounces: You will need this for your Dirt Cheap Soft Soap. I paid almost as much for only 4 ounces locally. This is a great price and 16 ounces will last forever.

NOW Foods Peppermint Oil: I favor peppermint essential oil (okay, I like lavender too) so this is what I get. But there are many types of essential oils to choose from. Take your pick. One thing you will find is that a little goes a long way.

Microfiber “Magic” Rags: No list of 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 green for glass and windows and the other colors for everything else. I love these.


Mobile Washer

Mobile Washer: This is hand operated washing machine. Like a plunger, it uses a technique of pushing and pulling the water through clothes to clean them well without wearing them out. It uses a minimum of water and less soap due to the agitation motion. Use in a bucket (5-gallon suggested), sink or tub. The best part is that it is only $14.95.

Storing Rice in Mylar Bag_09Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials: The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.

One item can recommend available is their Do it Yourself Super Pail Combo. It includes 8 x 6-Gallon Buckets with Lids, 8 x Metallized Storage Bags and a 10-Pack of Large Oxygen Absorbers.

Don’t forget that you do not need fancy equipment to seal the metalized bag. A cheap hair iron will do the job.


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Comments

The Sunday Survival Buzz – Volume 55 — 10 Comments

  1. “The big question this year will be whether we will have enough sun this summer to produce a healthy crop of veggies.”

    Oh, to have your problem. Here in South Tejas, we have the polar opposite. Too much sun, too much heat, too little rain (and poor well water), make no veggies. We have to put up sun shades over the garden to keep from burning them to the ground!

    Best of luck with YOUR gardens this year,

    Tex

  2. One other thing; I don’t know if you have noticed, but Amazon has changed their policy on firearms. The are slowly and quietly dropping all things firearm related. As much as I loved Amazon, I will shop elsewhere from now on.

    It’s their right to remove them, it’s my right to express my view with my dollars.

    Thanks again, I always look forward to reading your blog.

    Tex

    • @Tex – Actually, I did not notice but then again, perhaps I have not been paying attention. I ordered a holster fairly recently and the Survival Husband has put a number of firearm related items in my shopping cart. Interesting observation and something I will definitely check out.

  3. I love getting all the freebies you note on my Facebook newsfeed, thanks for being so diligent in tracking them down. On the “nightmare bacteria” I was doing research for my sister-in-law who has Lyme Disease and came across a product called The Ultimate Manolaurin by InspiredNutrition.com. This is anti-bacterial and anti-viral. This is derived from coconut oil’s lauric acid, another source is mother’s milk. Anyway, I thought it might be good to have on hand to get through flu season, and it may make a good substitute for antibiotics in a SHTF situation. It comes in tiny pellets easy to swallow, DON’T CHEW! LOL! Learned that the hard way!

  4. Nice use of the crawl space. I wish we had a crawl space or attic for storing preps. We have our bed on cement blocks so we can store more stuff under the bed. It isn’t very cosmetic, but we need the extra space.

    • @Prepper Recon – Yes, we are blessed to have this huge space under our home. The home itself is very small – only 1 bedroon – so I am always looking for extra space and hidey holes.

  5. I would like to share what I’ve been doing with 5-gallon buckets. I am packing each with a month supply of food for one person. Yes, it really does fit. The first one has 30 servings of oatmeal with a jar of rasberry preserves, 15 servings of Great Northern beans with 15 servings of pasta, 15 servings of lentils with 15 servings of a wheat/rice grain blend, 30 servings of almonds and dried fruit, and 4 cans of fruit for a special treat once a week. The buckets can be easily grabbed to put in the car, or in the crawl space, or could be sealed even tighter and cached in the crawl space or buried. I really like the idea of not having to think about meals when SHTF. My goal is 24-48 buckets and of course, they will be rotated. I already eat survival foods and along with vitamins and spices, it is turning out to be a great way to eat.

  6. @Karen – Very cool. I have done a few mixed goods buckets but nothing like you have. You are giving me some great ideas. After all, what if I have to leave in a hurry? Carrying 10 different buckets would be impossible.

    • I’m also going to do buckets that only last a week but have more canned goods. For example, my friend Ida, also one of your readers, has a great Indian recipe: can of diced tomatoes, can of garbanzos, can of coconut milk, compbined and reduced a little bit, and spiced with Garam Masala and Tumeric. As a fresh dish she starts with sauted onions and garnishes with cilantro, but this is the shelf-stable version. And of course, it is served with rice.

  7. Hello Gaye,
    I am glad to see you purchased an AR 22. I wanted to ask you how you like the weapon? My aunt is a tiny but mighty lady like you and she wants to purchase a rifle. She cannot handle my AK as it is too heavy and has too much kick. I am steering her towards a weapon like your AR 22. I wondered if it jams at all or is it pretty reliable? I would imagine it has little to no kick yes? Any info you have would be much appreciated. Maybe you can do a blog specifically on that AR?
    Kind regards,
    -Jerry

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