The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 87

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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.

Last night I watched an advance preview of Nat Geo’s American Blackout, a two hour docudrama that will premier on October 27th at 9PM.  I have gone on record many times stating the doomsday-type reality shows are designed to entertain and not teach.  Let me be clear on this one:  this is not a reality show and there is something to be learned for even the most seasoned prepper.

American Blackout BDS1

The storyline begins with the massive failure of the US power grid following a cyber attack.  The repercussions from this attack are immense as it is shown through the eyes of a prepper family, college students, well-heeled penthouse dwellers (without a manual can opener!) and others.  This film nails it.  Most citizens are not prepared for the hungry and desperate mobs of humanity that roam the streets and  turn organized society into a chaotic brew of civil unrest.

I was impressed with this film and encourage you to watch it.  Note that I am not sure whether American Blackout will be streamed online but it I will try to find out and let you know next week.

Other preps this week had to do with making up a new batch of DIY Laundry Soap and a trial run on some DIY Spot Remover for soiled laundry.  Fingers crossed it will not become a BDS blooper.

In follow-up to my refrigerator woes, I am happy to report the repairs were finally done and I am once again able to rely on electricity to keep my food cold.  I can not overemphasize how useful those frozen jugs of water were in turning my broken down fridge into a giant ice box.  Please, if you do nothing else this week, fill in any empty gaps in your freezer with jugs of water.  Not only will they help keep things cold in an emergency, but they will also provide you with extra water for drinking and hygiene purposes.

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


The Debates About Archery as a Prepper Skill:  Should you get a bow, a gun, or both?  This is a good discussion of the pros and cons of each in its role as a defensive weapon.  (And just for the record, we have both.)

10 Lessons from the Government Shutdown:  You may not agree 100% with Eric Blair (Activist Post), but I will tell you this: when Eric writes something, I pay attention.

CDC report shows growing threat posed by antibiotic resistance:  Antibiotic resistance is something we should all be concerned about.  As preppers, we have the knowledge to acquire antibiotics quite easily but that does not mean we should use them indiscriminately.  You also might want to read The Case Against Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance.

Everything You Wanted to Know about the Prepper Movement but were Afraid to Ask:  This is great piece with a sharable message.  Here is one of the questions and its answer:

Is there any test I need to pass?  There is no prepping test you can take on paper. Prepping is about dealing with what life throws at you so the test you take will be how you deal with life when it throws you a big curve ball

Nine Meals from Anarchy; a Food Stamp Melt Down:  I have been disturbed for quite some time by the inference that everyone on food stamps (EBT) is a scammer.  Unfortunately, the cheaters have become so abundant that they place a black mark on those that are really in need: the working poor, the disabled and the elderly.  Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish who is needy and who is just lazy and greedy.  Sad but true.

Drug makers pay to attend FDA advisory panel’s meetings:  A scientific panel that shaped the federal government’s policy for testing the safety and effectiveness of painkillers was funded by major pharmaceutical companies that paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for the chance to affect the thinking of the Food and Drug Administration.

How To See How Much Daylight Is Left Without Using A Clock:  Here is some really useful information to help you determine how to gauge how much daylight is left in the day.

Why Is Popcorn Such A Popular Snack At The Movies?:  This one is here just for fun of it.  Do you love popcorn as much as I do?


LeAnn shares this bargain prepping tip:

This last week I was in Dollar Tree where everything is only a dollar. Sometimes I find good preps in there, so I check every so often.

I saw some shelf stable 2% liquid milk in a box quart container with a flip top lid. I was leery, because I tried some bagged coffee there the week before, and honest to God, it did not taste like coffee. I had never seen nor heard of it so I bought 2 quarts to give it a try.

I got it cold in the fridge, I don’t drink milk, but my husband and my sister and her family tried it and all said it tasted just as it should! Like milk, go figure! For only a buck that’s $4 a gallon, just about what we pay at the grocery store.

I have since Goggled it, they make several items, and apparently this is the type of milk a lot of people around the world use. It had a 1 year expiration date. I watched a video online of a prepper who opened hers 15 months past expiration and it was still good.  I am going back on Monday to buy all they have!

I see they have it on Amazon, but its at an outrageous price.

Here are a couple of fishing related tips from Grayman:

Two things, both related to using everyday items in a different way, and both related to fishing.

Empty plastic milk bottles – You can attach a piece of fishing line to the top of an empty milk (or juice) bottle and stick any old spoiled food product to a hook at the other end of the line. Try to make the line approximately long enough to just go to the bottom of the lake. Float several bottles in any lake where you might find catfish, go away for a day, and when you come back harvest the bottles. If the lake indeed holds any catfish there’ll be a good chance they’ll have swallowed the food (and the hook) and they’ve been swimming around oblivious. All you have to do is harvest the bottles to pull them out.

Two, I’ve used panty hose and a busted tennis racket to make a net that can scoop any kind of fish out of shallow water. You can use a pool skimmer the same way, if you have one handy. In a pinch you can even fashion your own handle and loop out of local materials, as long as you have the panty hose.

Here is a tip from BJ that came in after reading about my refrigerator woes last week:

I found out the hard way….while on a trip the electricity went off and then came back on so when I got home things were frozen again, but I could see where some packages had leaked.

Take a small paper cup and fill 3/4 with water, and place in freezer.   When frozen solid, place a penny on top.  Anytime you find the peppy in the bottom of the of the cup, even if water is again frozen, you know the utilities were off and you should check out all food for safety.


This week I am pleased to welcome back Extreme Food Storage as a BDS sponsor.  Their newly updated website is stunning and really easy to navigate.  Plus, as you can see below, purchasers receive 10% off by using the coupon code BDS2013 as checkout.

Here is a message from Chris Watkins, the President of Extreme Food Storage:

My family is very important to me. I know you want the very best for your family (we all do). You hope that nothing bad will ever happen to them.

You know what they say, “hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.” Personally, I take that motto very seriously. We believe what is taught when they say all households should have a 1 year supply of food, water, and survival preparedness gear. In my house, we practice what we preach and have struggled until we finally achieved having our own year supply of food in the form of prepared freeze dried food, bulk wheat, bulk rice, sugar, water, water filtration, stoves, etc…

This site is built with families in mind. When emergencies occur we need to be prepared. Although we have a bright hope for the future it is important to prepare to protect your family just in case the most extreme circumstances occur.


Good question.  In case you have not noticed, every Friday I feature an article from another website along with my own quips and comments on the topic at hand.  I do this so that I can spotlight some of the fine articles written by other bloggers in the prepping community.

Many of these bloggers are newbies or are in side-niches, not 100% survival and prepper related. These may be hidden gems or may simply be useful or fun articles that I wish to share with the rest of the Backdoor Survival community.

Unfortunately, blogging is extremely competitive.  I have seen high ranking sites say publicly that they will not share work from another site unless it is of equal ranking or higher.  What a shame – or shall I say shame on them!  I am always will to share the work of some “unknown” blogger when they have something of value to benefit Backdoor Survival readers.


A few readers have asked why I post links to “free” eBooks over on my Facebook page when they are not free.  As a point of clarification, these books are always cited as “free at the moment”.  This means they are 100% free at the time of posting but may revert to their regular price a few hours later.

Unfortunately, it is up to the author of an eBook to decide how long it remains free.  As I recall, the choice is 1 to 5 days but even so, an author can pull it down at any time.  I personally think it would be more fair to run the free offer until midnight but that is just me.

It takes me quite a bit of time to search out and to check out these free at the moment eBooks.  And lately, I really do try to check them out and weed out the junk.  Since Amazon does not give me an indication of how long the free period will last, my best advice is to keep checking back to the BDS Facebook page for the latest and the greatest.


Just in – a bit of shameless self-promotion!

I just wanted to let you know that you made my new “Top 50 Survival Blogs” list on Survival Pulse!  You can check it out at

Congratulations! You have made the most recent list of the Best Prepper Sites.  You can check out your listing at

There are a lot of fine prepper websites listed and I am honored to be included in the top 10.  In addition, be sure to check out the Survival Top 50 where BDS is currently listed as #5.

As always, thank you so much for visiting Backdoor Survival and helping me reach my goal of becoming the best prepper website on the planet!


As I stare at my calendar, I realize that I am coming up to some important deadlines.

I have over a dozen authors and their books lined up for the next Backdoor Survival book festival.  I hope to kick that off next Saturday.  In addition, I have the Winter Blast Giveaway coming up in November with some fabulous product reviews and giveaways. The items include a Royal Berkey water filter, a Kaito Voyager emergency radio, a bucket or two of freeze dried food, a really cool sling shot, a portable survival kit and fishing kit and a lot more.

And then, if I can get through the final edits, there is the launch of my new eBook, The Preppers Guide to Food Storage.  I set the launch date for November 1st but will I make it?  Like I said, a lot of deadlines.  As I close out this week, I look forward to your continued encouragement so I can stay motivated and on track to get everything done!

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

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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 link to a free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon.  You can also follow Backdoor Survival on Pinterest.

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.

Spotlight Item:  One of the all-time classic preparedness handbooks has recently been updated and is now shipping.  To this day, I still refer back to Dr. Preppers Making the Best of Basics when I need to refresh my knowledge on a myriad of preparedness topics.  If you don’t have a copy, you might want to check out this latest version – it is a good one and James Talmage Stevens is the best!

Making the Best of Basics
Bargain Bin: A number of these items are mentioned by Backdoor Survival readers in the article 39 Fantastic Prepping Tips.

pocket survival kit_3Streamlight Nano Light Keychain LED Flashlight: Extremely small and light weight yet it will throw off a decent amount of super-bright light. At just .36 ounces and 1.47 inches long, the Streamlight Nano Light Keychain Flashlight will take up a minimum of space in your pocket or bag.

Paracord Survival Bracelet:  Why a Paracord Bracelet? So you always have some of this useful cord on your person!

Windstorm Safety Whistle:  This particular whistle can be heard a long distance away and above howling wind and other competing sounds.

Swedish Firesteel:  Using this basic pocket fire-starter, you can get a nice fire going under almost any conditions. This is a small, compact version.

Pepper Spray:  It is always good to have some form of defense that will temporarily halt a bad guy that is in your face.

Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets:  These come in compressed packets small enough to fit in a pocket or wallet.  You will be surprised at how warm these will keep you.

Kershaw OSO Sweet Knife:  This “oh so sweet” knife is solidly built, stainless steel knife that comes razor sharp right out of the package. It will pretty much cut through anything the price is amazing.

blocklite flashlightBlocklite Mini Compact Size Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight:  One of my readers (James) turned me on to the Blocklite.  I now own four.  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.

Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios:  This book covers the basics of prepping including food storage, water purification, financial and medical preparedness and communication during a crisis.  It goes beyond the basics, however, with the addition of charts, checklists and worksheets to help you stay organized in your preparedness efforts.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials

The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.

Emergency Essentials Potty

This month, the Tote-able Toilet with 2 Enzyme Packets is on sale for $14.95.  I priced purchasing the bucket and toilet seat lid separately and found that it was more economical to pick up this kit.  I am planning to fill the bucket with other sanitation supplies plus, of course, plenty of TP.

In the food department, the best sale item this month is the Freeze Dried Chicken Breast Dices with Rib Meat.  The price for a #10 can is $24.99 which represents and amazing discount of 42%.

These are just two of the items on sale this month at Emergency Essentials.  Click on the link below for more great deals from Emergency Essentials.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials


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The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 87 — 9 Comments

  1. One thing to keep in mind when buying things for our preps, is that many items are made much smaller than they used to be. I had a set number of bars of soap that I wanted to acquire. I obtained that number, plus a few more.
    However, as I was looking at the size of the actual soap, they appear to be almost half the size that they used to be. I almost think the packaging is the same size, but the actual bars are smaller.
    With this in mind, I think I need to get twice as many bars of soap. So much for hitting that particular goal already.

    • Maxine -I hoard travel toiletries, including bars of soap. My best batches of DIY soft soap have been made from those hotel freebies. (Well, not really free since I paid for the hotel room.)

      • A friend of mine makes her own soap and sells them in their store, which I work at. The bars are quite large, but also expensive. I tend to avoid the cost of them and buy large packs of Dial Soap for my stash. I can buy ten bars of soap at Dollar General for about four dollars.
        My original guess was that I would need to buy 24 bars of soap to last the first year, if it comes down to that sort of timeline. I now think I may actually need more like 48 bars of soap.

        One thing I’m slowly acquiring is, believe it or not, rice cakes. I mentioned in a previous post that my son is high-functioning Autistic and has a limited amount of things that he eats. I just don’t know how to store them for the long term. They are already dry, so putting them in a Mylar bag with an oxygen absorber may turn them to dust.

        I also stock up on Organic Peanut Butter, which is what he puts on his rice cakes. Organic has a shorter shelf life, so I switch these two items out frequently.

        Believe me, preparing for your family is hard enough; preparing for an Autistic person is even harder. When it all goes down, perhaps my next book will be based on getting us, and especially him, through the whole ordeal.

  2. I agree with the shinkage of products. It’s not real new, but its not very noticeable unless you are looking for them. Chips, crackers, soaps, just about everything you can think of. Even pasta, not sure about canned goods yet. The only reason I discovered it is because when I purchase something for a meal, I always check for how many container I need for a specific meal, and seams like I have to buy more, just to make the same amount of portions. Have reminder set to watch the natgeo docudrama next Sunday. I read some comments from their site and someone said that Mexico, Canada, and the US are participating in the drill on Nov. 13,14. Will have to look into that because I heard the blackout drill was mainly for the DC area. I got a couple of boxes of arm&hammer washing soda for making soap, but forgot the borax, hope local market has it, can’t remember.

    • Eve – Yes, they have it in town (borax).

      I made up a double strength batch of laundry soap today for testing. For normal loads I plan to use use half as much since it is concentrated. For an extra dirty and greasy loads (i.e. microfiber rags), I will use the regular amount for extra cleaning power. That is the plan, at least.

    • I first noticed it a few years back in the form of cereal. The boxes are a few ounces less, but the price is the same or higher. I obviously hadn’t paid attention to the soap issue, til just recently.
      On the subject of the laundry detergent, unless you have one of those nice little washers I heard about for use when the grid is down, don’t forget to have two new plungers and a couple of pails at hand, for washing and rinsing. Also, remember clothes line and drying racks, if you don’t have them.
      I’m definitely going to check out the docudrama and their site. I won’t relax til November 15th comes, and the power (hopefully) comes back on.

  3. Congrats on you high ranking in the top 10 blogs! I am not surprised.

    Finally got brave enough to make you DIY laundry detergent – it is great! It passed the test at my house, which is, how well did it clean my husband’s bicycling clothes, including the ones that had been on the floor of the utility room a couple of days? Oh, joy, they came out smelling sweet, no lingering odors at all!

    Thanks for the heads up on the blackout drill. Have heard . . . not good things about various drills.

  4. Gaye, have you ordered from extreme food storage yet? Curious, will visit their site shortly. Did you have any favorite fruit/nut trees you want ordered? I will be calling them(nursery) later in the week with whatever else I want for the orchard. Will be busy running around in circles this week.

  5. A tip on making powdered milk taste better – try adding vanilla (the liquid) to the bottle before using, it really does improve the taste for me. I read this on a blog and tried it – it works!

    LeAnn – I’ve seen that product before but never tried it – thank you for your review, this is worth investigation. I have two kids and milk is on their shopping list. :^)

    Grayman – I’ve made ‘dipping net’s out of those nylon produce bags, they work pretty well as long as you can get them ‘unkinked’ from their use after storage. A Pringles / Stax chip container will hold approximately a dozen of those bags when they are wound tight.

    Thanks again for all of the tips above.

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