Survival Basics

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Prepping and Survival Basics

Need learn the basics of Prepping and Survival?  These articles are a great way to familiarize yourself the basics.  When you are new or an experienced prepper, these are the articles you will want to keep in your survival library.

They are listed with the newest on top.  There are lots here with many more to come.

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Beyond SHTF: How to Keep Your Home Safe From Fire

How to Keep Your Home Safe From Fire | Backdoor Survival

A couple of weeks ago one of my blogging colleagues lost everything she owned in a house fire.  Fortunately, the entire family, including the family pets, got out safely but everything they owned was gone.

Can you imagine this happening to you?  In a flash, you could potentially be homeless and have to deal with temporary shelter in a hotel or with family members as you sort through the rubble of your burnt out belongings.

And what about your preps?  Food storage, survival gear, and your precious print library of survival books would be gone.

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Survival Basics: Understanding and Making Your Own Desiccants

Understanding and Making Your Own Desiccants | Backdoor Survival

In 2013 when I first wrote about desiccants, the context surrounding the use of desiccants was a mystery to me.  I knew that little pillows of gel were frequently packaged with with electronic gizmos, new shoes, pill bottles and even clothing purchased over the internet.  I also knew that  many articles, books and websites with information about long term food storage also talked about desiccants.

As far as my knowledge of desiccants went, I was clueless. What are they?  How are they used?  And were they really necessary?   It seemed that depending upon who you consult, they were absolutely 100% necessary or a total waste of time and money. 

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23 Ways to Be an Amazing and Awesome Prepper

23 Ways to Be an Amazing and Awesome Prepper | Backdoor Survival

Once upon a time I was new to prepping.  Although I had a few emergency supplies on hand, it was not until I did a personal risk assessment that I realized how exposed I was in the event of a true emergency.

Being located offshore the mainland US, and being subject to the whims of the Washington State ferry system, I knew that our island community would be stranded if there was a major disruptive event in the Pacific Northwest.  The type of event would not matter.  We would be cut off if there was an earthquake, terrorist attack, or nuclear event. 

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What You Need to Know About Zippos and Lighter Fuel

What You Need to Know About Zippos and Lighter Fuel | Backdoor Survival

In a show of hands, how many of you have at least two dozen lighters set aside for survival use?  My guess is at least 50% of you have a a couple of dozen and most likely 10% have 100 or more.

Along with water and food, adding tools for making fire is one of the first preps most newbies acquire.  Whether the tool of choice is matches, lighters, a fire steel, Fresnel lens, or all of the above, it makes sense to have multiple ways to start a fire.  That makes sense, since after all, fire can be used to boil and purify water, heat food, and generate heat. 

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20 Steps: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Prepper

20 Steps to Becoming a Prepper | Backdoor Survival

No one really knows how many preppers exist in the world, but it is safe to say that there are more than three million in the United States alone.  Even though this sounds like a huge segment of the population, this is still only slightly more than 1% of the total US populace.

So, the bigger question is this: who is going to take care of the remaining 99% percent of the population when a major disruptive event occurs?

My guess is that most folks believe that the government will step in. 

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What You Need to Know About Matches for Survival

What You Need to Know About Matches for Survival | Backdoor Survival

How much do your really know about matches?  Chances are you know more about a magnesium fire starter or BIC lighter than you do about matches.  It is just that they are so ubiquitous.  Everyone knows about wooden kitchen matches, right?  And heck, back in the day folks used to collect books of matches from fancy dining establishments and keep them displayed in decorative jars.

I know I am dating myself with that last statement but seriously, how much to you really know about matches?  One thing for sure is that I can not purchase strike anywhere matches locally. 

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How To Build Your Own Perfect Bug Out Bag

How To Build Your Own Perfect Bug Out Bag | Backdoor Survival

For years, my bug out bag has languished in a closet, stuffed to the gills with the gear that I “thought” I might need if forced to flee my home following a disruptive event.  My bag, as precious as it was, weighed over 40 pounds and the zippers were to the point of bursting.  It was full of gear to cover every contingency I could think of.

How did this happen?  Quite honestly, it happened gradually over a period of years.  It started six years ago with my first B.O.B.   That first effort included mostly the basics: fire making supplies, water purification tabs, a couple of knives, TP, a first aid kit, personal items, documents, and cash. 

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Survival Basics: Prepping for An Unexpected Power Outage

Prepping for An Unexpected Power Outage | Backdoor Survival

You don’t have to be a prepper to realize that power outages can happen anytime, to anybody, and anywhere.  Some outages are planned, some are the result of Mother Nature kicking up a storm, and some are the unexpected result of a natural or man-made crisis.  More recently, the threat of a cyber-attack or terrorist invoked EMP has been added to the mix, and most assuredly, if that were to happen, we will be without power for an extended time.

The bottom line is this: the delicacy of our grid is such that nearly any disruption can cause a sudden and unexpected power outage.

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Emergency Water For Preppers: Resources You Need to Know About

Emergency Water Resources | Backdoor Survival

For the past month or so, the focus has been emergency water, that most vital but often under-appreciated prep.

During this time, I have highlighted various aspects of water preparedness, including storage, acquisition, and purification.  These recent articles, coupled with those that have been posted in the past, bring to you a wealth of knowledge that will enable you to be water-prepped, regardless of where you live and the size of your budget.

And that, in a nutshell, is the point.  The internet is a wonderful place and there is a wealth of knowledge available free for the taking. 

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20 Home Security and Crime Prevention Secrets for Preppers

20 Home Security and Crime Prevention Secrets for Preppers

A major component of family preparedness is the maintenance of comfort, control, and self-preservation in a time of crisis.  Whatever the source of the crisis, we as humans want to protect the homestead and our loved ones at any cost.  (And by the way, many species on the animal kingdom do the same.)

The reason I bring this topic to the forefront is that recently, at a community meeting, I learned that home burglaries in my area are on the rise.  This, in a community where many still do not lock their doors, was no surprise to me given the dire straits so many are in financially. 

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Emergency Water for Preppers Part 3: Storage

Emergency Water for Preppers Part 3 Storage | Backdoor Survival

It seems as though every day I get a new question or two about emergency water.  The most interesting thing is that the questions get more detailed and more technical over time.  This tells me that preppers generally, and Backdoor Survival readers specifically, are an educated bunch that are willing to do whatever is necessary to ensure that they have safe, drinkable water following a disruptive event.

In the early days of my preparedness journey, I became some what of a water freak.  You may, in fact, have heard me use that term. 

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Emergency Water for Preppers Part 2: Purification

Emergency Water for Preppers Purification | Backdoor Survival

While sourcing water, and especially an adequate supply of water, is a challenge, making such water safe to drink is a whole other matter.  There is much confusion relative to the best method to use to purify water.

Is it boiling, filtering, adding bleach, distillation, or something else?  Truth be told, the answer is “it depends”.  Over time, I am starting to believe that the answer you get is dependent upon who you ask and what interests they happen to represent.

In this article, Daisy Luther, responds to the water purification questions posed by readers in a recent Prepper Book Festival giveaway

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Emergency Water for Preppers Part 1: Acquisition

Emergency Water for Preppers Acquisition | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to planning for a disruptive event, nothing tops the quest for a source of good clean drinking water.  Water followed by food, are the top priorities for 99.9% of all new preppers and even the seasoned pros still seek knowledge relative to keeping themselves both hydrated and fed.

What is most surprising is that as much my colleagues and I write abut water, there are still questions to be answered and water-related skills to be learned.  For that reason I have chosen to declare “Water Month” at Backdoor Survival.

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How to Create an Emergency Ammo Can First Aid Kit

How to Create an Ammo Can First Aid Kit | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to having a well-stocked first aid kit, I want to be prepared.  I truly do.  Having spent weeks at a time on a boat in the remote waters of British Columbia, I have always understood that a drugstore and medical doctor may not be accessible.  If sick or wounded, I would be on my own.

So why then, were my first aid supplies in such a disorderly mess?

In hindsight, I believe that in spite of having good intentions, it was a lot easier to keep purchasing supplies then to organize them. 

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Survival Basics: 16 Ways to Conserve Water in Your Home

16 Ways to Conserve Water in Your Home | Backdoor Survival

With the recent proliferation of water shortages caused by wonky weather patterns, finding ways to maximize the water we do have has become a focus of preppers near and far.  That said, in addition to knowing how to find, harvest, purify, and store water, it is important to develop a lifelong habit of conserving water.

The bottom line is that careful water conservation methods will allow you to make the most of limited supplies not only following a disruptive event but also day to day as you learn to make do with what you have during a drought.

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Survival Basics: Hand & Surface Hygiene When There’s No Water to Spare

Hand and Surface Hygiene When There's No Water to Spare | Backdoor Survival

Much has been written about the need for drinking water in a survival situation.  And luckily, most people have gotten the message and either store extra water in barrels, have cases or jugs of bottled water, or have a source of fresh water that can be made ready for drinking with filters, chemicals, or bleach.

Not as frequently mentioned, although of equal importance, is the need to have water to use for washing your hands.  The use of good old-fashioned soap and water is the tried and true way to get rid of the germs lurking in our environment. 

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20 Ways to Use Honey for Wellness and Survival

Honey for the Survival Pantry

Rich, golden honey. What is not to like? Just the thought of sweet, fragrant honey and honey bees makes me think of happy times.  That, coupled with it’s long storage life  makes honey a perfect food for the survival pantry.  But did you know that honey has a myriad of other uses, including as a therapeutic ointment that promotes healing?

In this article you will learn all about honey, the various types, its use to promote health and wellness, and other ways to use honey that you may not have thought of. 

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Survival Basics: Using Oxygen Absorbers for Food Storage

Food Storage Basics Oxygen Absorbers - Backdoor Survival

When I first started getting serious about food storage, I found myself facing an entirely new vocabulary of food storage terms. It should come as no surprise that one of those terms was “Oxygen Absorber”. At the time, I had no clue as what they were and how to use them.

Oxygen absorbers, also known as O2 absorbers, are a mystery to many. Not a week goes by when I am not asked for guidance as to how to use them. Rather than answer those questions individually, today I am sharing an updated printer on oxygen absorbers with just enough information to get you started on the road to successfully storing bulk foods for the long term.

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How to Build a Simple Faraday Cage for EMP Survival

How to Build a Simple Faraday Cage for EMP Survival - Backdoor Survival

Of all of the reasons to prepare, one that we all need to take seriously is the possibility of a catastrophic EMP, or electromagnetic pulse. This is a frequent topic in many post-apocalyptic novels and something that most of us are aware of, even if we do not completely understand the science.

As I wrote way back when in the article Prepping for an EMP and Solar Flares:

To be blunt about it, an EMP, if large enough, would affect the entire planet.  In an instant, civilization as we know it would change as we get swept backward in time by a century or two.

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20 Comfort Foods for the Survival Pantry

20 Comfort Foods for the Survival Pantry - Backdoor Survival

For better or for worse, our lives are full of stress.  The weather, our jobs, the economy, financial woes and poor health can all contribute to stress.  In addition, for most of us, the biggest stress is simply that there are not enough hours in the day. Add prepping and learning new skills to the mix and life can get dicey.

Whatever the reason, many of us are under a relentless cloud of stress that never lets up.  We find ourselves enveloped by an undercurrent of tension that exists as we go about our day, even during normal times. 

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Survival Basics: The Six Enemies of Food Storage

The Six Enemies of Food Storage - Backdoor Survival

When it comes to stockpiling survival preps, two items are always near the top my list: food and land to grow food.  Those, in my opinion, are the two most valuable commodities to have if the world and society goes to heck.  As I say that, I realize that the land portion of that equation may be unattainable for many.  On the other hand, almost everyone can acquire food and a place to store it.

By now you have read over and over again ad nauseam that during a disaster or a SHFT disruptive event, the grocery store shelves will be barren within a day or two. 

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Survival Basics: Buckets, Lids and Gamma Seals

Food Storage Basics Buckets Lids Gamma & Gamma Seals |Backdoor Survival|

Buckets are a fact of life when it comes to food storage. They are strong, light and moisture free, and, when sealed, will keep most, if not all pests at bay.  They are also readily available and the cost is nominal, if not free.

In keeping with the them of survival and food storage basics, in this article I share the ins and outs of food grade buckets, lids and gamma seals to safely store you bulk food items for the long term.

Food Grade Buckets Please

The term “food grade” is often mentioned when the subject of long-term food storage buckets is discussed.

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Survival Basics: Be Prepared For Pet Emergencies

Be Prepared for Pet Emergencies - Backdoor Survival

When it comes to our four legged friends, being prepared goes beyond having the proper pet supplies in our bug-out bags and in-home emergency kits.  There is also the component of pet healthcare and the need to recognize and then act quickly and decisively during a pet emergency.

In my opinion, this is a topic that is not addressed often enough in the preparedness community.  The truth is that while it is easy to use a proactive approach with our own healthcare, most of us are at a bit of a loss when it comes to our pets.

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Survival Basics: Water and Water Storage

Survival Basics: Water

During a recent book giveaway, the question asked was “What piece of prepping gear is at the top of your bucket list?”  Needless to say, I was more than a little bit surprised to find that the top response was water storage, water filters, and water purification equipment.

While having the gear is nice, anyone interested in preparedness also needs to have a basic understanding of the concepts behind water and water storage.  Where to find, store, purify, and filter water are all questions that need to be asked, answered, and periodically reviewed.

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Survival Basics: Using Mylar Bags for Food Storage

Using Mylar Bags | Backdoor Survival

Anyone who has been researching and studying food storage has undoubtedly heard the term “Mylar bag” mentioned relative to storing bulk foods.  So what exactly is a “Mylar bag”?  And what do you need to know to begin using Mylar bags for food storage?

As with the ubiquitous oxygen absorber, the mention of Mylar bags brings up as many questions as there are answers.  We have all heard that the best way to store dry goods for long term storage is in a Mylar bag but how are they used?  In this article you will learn what you need to know to safely store bulk foods in Mylar bags for the long term.

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