Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.
Each Friday afternoon about 4PM, I sit down at my desk to reflect back on the week gone by and review in my head everything I have accomplished and everything I still need to do. Truthfully? I have lists to keep track of my lists.
I maintain my “prepping to do” lists on steno books, the old-fashioned type with a spiral on the top. I have dozens with some devoted to stuff and others devoted to skills. And then there are five or six dedicated to blog-related tasks. Cripes!
Each page is it’s own to-do list and as the list grows, I turn a page and start a new one. Funny thing is that once I start a new page, I rarely go back. I really need to toss them all and start over.
There really is a moral to the story and that is if you think that the day will come when you are completely free from the list of prepping things to do and prepping things to learn, dream on. It just isn’t going to happen.
We Passed the Ham Radio Technician License Test!
By now many of you know that both Shelly and I passed our Ham Radio Technician License Test. I scored 33 correct answers (our of a total of 35) and was so elated that I did a happy dance. The original plan was to also take the General test just for kicks but I was so stressed, I just wanted to get out of there.
The testing was done in the meeting room at our local library in Friday Harbor. You are handed a yellow (or was is orange?) test booklet and a score sheet. As I was taking the test, I wrote notes in the test booklet. Oops. Apparently that was a no no and I had missed that part when reading the directions.
A bigger problem, though, was that I skipped over questions I was not sure of, planning to come back to them later. The issue was that I somehow got out of sequence and was marking the answer, as an example, to question 20, on the line for question 21. Oh man. I was really messed up.
The kindly proctors from our local San Juan County Amateur Radio Society gave me a new score sheet so I could start over. It is amazing that I even passed! These days the FCC does not mail our call signs so each day I check the FCC database to see if I am listed but so far, nothing. Maybe on Monday.
I know that for many, a Ham license has opened the door to a fantastic, life-long hobby communicating with like-minded folks from around the globe.
My goal? Emergency communications, of course. Both Shelly and I plan to become proficient enough to be able to communicate when there are no other modes of communication mode available.
As you may recall, we were without cell, 911, landline, and internet services for a couple of weeks when the underwater cable from the mainland to our island community was broken. We are close enough to Vancouver Island that I was able to roam to a Victoria BC cell phone tower and get a call out to George Ure. But other than that? Nothing. Speaking of George, my Baofeng radios are on their way home to me from Texas so once my license comes through, I should be able to get on the air.
That about covers it for me this week. Now for some announcements.
Backdoor Survival Mail Bag & Reader Tips
Speaking again of the Baofeng’s, this tip came in from “WB4WXD”:
I did want to point out a reference for the BaoFeng radios that converts a “Chinglish” manual to true understandable English free of charge.
It is called the Chinese Radio Documentation Project and is located here: https://radiodoc.github.io/
It’s a good manual for all users, not just new ones.
I printed out all 66 pages and also put a copy on my iPad. If you have a Baofeng, you will want this guide.
Ready for some giveaways? The following two giveaways are currently accepting entries.
Remember, the deadline for all giveaway entries is 6:00 PM Pacific on Tuesdays.
In addition, all winners are notified by email and have 48 hours to claim their prize or an alternate will be selected. Once selected, the names of winners are also displayed in the Rafflecopter on the original giveaway article. This usually happens on the Friday following the end of the giveaway.
The Final Word
I am once again keeping things short. To be honest, I can be pretty boring and find that most of you, as you describe your weekly preps, are far more interesting that I am.
So over to you. What did you do to prep this week?
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Bargain Bin: Below you will find links to some personal and BDS reader favorites and items from the current Amazon Top 10.
Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse: Although this is a book of fiction, it is also serves as a survival manual of sorts. The depiction of society three years following a collapse is so very real that I could almost put myself in the same room as the members of the survival group that has banded together to protect each other as they live in a communal retreat. The section on a bartering market was hugely insightful and gave me some idea of how it might work in a real, SHTF situation. Considering when this was written, Patriots is eerily timely.
One Second After: For many, the novel "One Second After" was a game changer that convinced them of the need to be prepared. If you have not read this book, you really should. This is my #1 pick when it comes to survival fiction.
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter: The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2oz. making it perfect for the prepper. There is also a larger sized LifeStraw Family currently available with free shipping.
Tac Force TF-705BK Tactical Assisted Opening Folding Knife 4.5-Inch Closed: FAVORITE! This is a great knife that is currently priced at about $8.65 with free shipping. Not only that, it is ranked as the #1 best seller at Amazon in both the camping and hunting knives categories. The reviews raved about this knife so I bought one, used it, and and can recommend it. See The Inexpensive Tac-Force Speedster Outdoor Knife.
Note: the price can vary by color so if you are not particular, scroll through the colors and save a couple of bucks.
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.
Morakniv Craftline Q Allround Fixed Blade Utility Knife: ANOTHER FAVORITE KNIFE! Also known as the Mora 511, this is now my favorite knife. It is made of Swedish steel and is super sharp. Many Backdoor Survival have emailed me indicating this is now their favorite knife too. I paid $12 for this knife; it was worth $12 and of course is a steal at $8.07.
FordEx Group 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight: FAVORITE! Here we go with another flashlight. At the time of this writing, this one is only $3.80 with free shipping. It is super mini sized, bright and waterproof. Plus, it uses a single, standard AA sized battery. Pictured is one that I own in green but they come in basic black as well as some other colors.
Blocklite Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight: I now own six of these little gems. 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. These little flashlights just go and go, plus, they make good use of those re-purposed 9V alkaline batteries that you have recharged with your Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger.
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