The Survival Buzz #170

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

What a great prepping week this has been.  You know the story about the mouse moving the cheese?  No matter.  A mouse, or something, moved my brown rice.  I know that I purchased a large bag of organic brown rice in January because I have the receipt to prove it.  But where the heck did it go?

How Long Has it Been Since Your Organized Your Food Storage? [Backdoor Survival]

This set off a quest to organize my food storage and three hours later, all of my loose pouches of home-packed bulk foods were neatly stored in labeled buckets and tubs, and the #10 tins were in labeled boxes. My food storage is no longer a big mess and I can actually visually see what I have.  Not only that, my non-food items are neatly stacked in a separate section.  I even have one corner set aside for barter items.

The remaining task is to take photos of all of the labeled boxes, tubs, and buckets, and then to transcribe the contents into my storage planner.  (Need help with a planner?  I use this one.)

Did I find my brown rice?  Nope.  The missing bag of brown rice will forever remain one of life’s mysteries along with the socks that go into the washer and never come out.

Moving on, I made a half dozen jars of Miracle Healing Salve, each with a variation that I will use in my testing.  One version has been named “Miracle Healing Salve Extreme”.  The extra goodies I added were suggested by a reader and if it all works out, I post the recipe in an all-new healing salve article.

Here is something else for you.

Have you ever tried using your flint and steel to actually start a fire?  I have, but with my Light My Fire Swedish Fire Steel which is more of a quality item.  This week I plucked one of the el-cheapo versions from my stash to see if it worked.  It did, but it did take more effort.  I had to angle the scraper just so and maintain a steady pressure, but after Shelly coached me a bit, it worked just fine.

Make a note to yourself this weekend get out your fire-starting tool and practice.  Whether you have the Scout like I do, or one of these $2 magnesium and flint starters, you will do well to become familiar enough with how they work that using one will be like getting on a bicycle after being off for ten years.

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

Need Help with Food Storage?

I know that it is impossible to read everything.  As much as I know you want to read every single BDS article, sometimes life happens and other priorities come first.  So, in case you missed it, I want to let you know that I am pretty proud of last week’s article, What to Look for When Shopping for Food Storage.

In it you will find some tips to help you navigate through all of the choices in order to come up with the best food storage solution for you and your family.  Plus, be sure to check out how you can score some free sample pouches of Mountain House freeze-dried meals.  Note that when I say free, I mean free.  No shipping, no handling, and direct from Mountain House.

The other thing is that many of you have challenges when it comes to planning for the dietary restrictions of family members.  You might want to go read How to Prep for Those with Dietary Restrictions by my friend Daisy Luther.

If you will indulge me with a shameless bit of promotion, her new book, The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget, can be a huge help when it comes to making the right food choices.

Current Giveaways

Ready for some giveaways?  The following two giveaways are currently active.

Stay Connected with the Sunferno Portable Solar Panel and Battery Pack + Giveaway

Prepper Book Festival 8: Ron Brown and The Non Electric Lighting Series + Giveaway

With all giveaways, 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.

Learn About Using the Power of the Sun to Cook

Three years ago I purchased a Sun Oven and set it aside in my garage.  As I mentioned last week, there it sat until I recently took it out its box.  To be honest, I don’t have a clue how to use it.  Luckily, help is on its way.

I have invited Paul Munsen, the SEO of Sun Ovens International, to teach us a class on the fundamentals of using the sun to cook food. I call it Solar Cooking 101– Just the Basics.

This special class is free and it will take place on Tuesday, June 2nd at 7PM CDT. In it you will learn:

  • How to harness the power of the sun to cook and dehydrate food, purify water, and be better prepared for emergencies
  • How a Sun Oven can help you never worry about burning dinner again
  • How to use a SUN OVEN to naturally dehydrate fruits and vegetables
  • How to reduce your utility bills while learning how to cook during hard times when normal fuel sources will be in short supply

Whether you have a DIY solar cooker that you built yourself or want to learn more about using a Sun Oven, you will find this seminar beneficial.  Over 400 Backdoor Survival readers have already signed up.  You can register now and get this learning event on your calendar.

Click Here to Register!

Essential Oils: Spark Naturals Fantastic Memorial Day Sale

All of the essential oil kits at Spark Naturals are now on sale for 10% off.  Add my coupon code BACKDOORSURVIVAL and they are 20% off.  This is a fantastic opportunity to get started or to add to your collection of essential oils!

Might I suggest the Health & Wellness Kit, Essential 4-Pak or the fantastic new Women’s Kit that is already sale priced?  Shipping is FREE on all orders over $55.00 and no membership required to get the lowest prices on quality essential oils.

Memorial Day Backdoor Survival

Spark Naturals – Kits on Sale 10% off

The Final Word

Remember last week when I said I was going to resist purchasing any more gear?  Well I lied.  I bought a canner. This is the second time for me; the first one was too large to fit under my range hood so it was returned.  Can you guess what I will be up to next?  You have to wait until next week to see what I bought.

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:  Below you will find links to the items related to fire-making skills plus some other perennial reader favorites.

Survivor Outdoor Fixed Blade Knife with Fire Starter: This knife measures 7 inches long overall, has a full-tang stainless steel blade, is equipped with thick green cord-wrap handle, and has a nylon sheath plus a magnesium-alloy fire starter.  How does it work?  This is not a Kershaw, Gerber or other high quality blade.  On the other hand, the fire starter works great (better than great) and is worth the price which is currently about $7.

Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel:  This “Scout” is the one I own. Using this basic pocket fire-starter, you can get a nice fire going under almost any conditions. This is a small, compact version and is my personal favorite.

Magnesium Flint Firesteel Fire Steel Starter: This magnesium flint stone fire starter is about two bucks with free shipping. How to use it:

1. Place the flint on ground upwardly, and put the scraper vertically to the flint, then scrape some magnesium powder on inflammable material like paper or branch

2. Place the flint on ground at about 45° and 2.5 cm from the magnesium powder scraped just now, then scrape the flint fast to produce spark so as to light up the inflammable material

Magnesium Fire StarterThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items   Backdoor Survival:  This Campers’ Magnesium Emergency Fire Starter is about $4.

Coghlans Waterproof Matches 10-pack: There are 10 boxes of 40 matches each for about $5.  That is a good deal for 400 waterproof matches.

UCO Stormproof Match Kit with Waterproof Case, 25 Stormproof Matches and 3 Strikers – Dark Green:  The UCO Stormproof Match Kit is waterproof and holds 25 matches as well as spare strikers. The matches burn for around 15 seconds and are windproof, waterproof, and even continue burning underwater. An integrated striker is attached on the side of the match kit, and can be replaced when worn out.

2 Pack Survival Kit Can Opener, Military, P-51 ModelThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items   Backdoor Survival:  These can openers makes great addition to any survival, fishing, hiking, or camping pack. They are lightweight and robust and they just work.

Rothco 550lb. Type III Nylon ParacordThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items   Backdoor Survival:  An ideal all-around utility cord in the field, paracord is tough and long lasting. It is made from 550-pound test nylon and features a seven-strand core for maximum strength. Also, it is manufactured in the United States.  Note that some colors may be more expensive than others.  Need ideas?  See 44 Really Cool Uses of Paracord for Survival.

12 Color Pack Bandana – Assorted Colors:  This is the #1 seller in the bandana category.  As of this writing, the price is $12.50 for the entire dozen.  I love these bandanas and you will often see me wearing them in photos here on the website. Be sure to read How to Use a Bandana to Save the Day.


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 a 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
Shop Amazon Tactical – Great Selection of Optics, Knives, Cases, Equipment
Amazon Gift Cards

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


A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food at Half the Price – Now Available

close up of wall made of wooden planks


The Survival Buzz #170 — 8 Comments

  1. I also had missing items from my food storage at one point. Tootsie rolls and another time skittles. It was NOT a mouse dragging off with the sweet stuff, but my dear husband instead!! I have since relabeled them as wheat berries and they have been safe ever since!!

    • Some day you’ll have a nice surprise when you discover the candy after eating wheat berries for a long time. I have totally failed at having breakfast bars in my EDC or bug out. I just keep eating them.

  2. Gaye, I really love The Survival Buzz. It is great to hear you talk about your own preps in a day by day forward-moving way. As for the brown rice, it has to turn up.

    I spent ALL winter searching for a pair of gray gloves that I thought I had put in a bug out bag. As mentioned, I have many, and they need to be totally overhauled. Finally I figured out that the gloves could have been on the pocket of a coat I gave away.

    Way to go on practicing fire starting. I feel about steel fire starters the way you do about flashlights. They can be called Swedish fire steel, ferrocium rods, ferro rods, or just fire steel. They come in several sizes and don’t cost too much. They are extremely long lasting. I plan to collect a life time supply. There is various talk on the internet about how long they last, so I need to research how long the 5″ ones last. By the way, fire steel and magnesium fire starters work great together. The magnesium has a strip of fire steel along the narrow edge so that you can create sparks after you scrape off the little bundle of magnesium shavings for tinder. Having read Gaye’s experience with the magnesium fire starter, I think I will start collecting them too, and find out how many fires can be built from each magnesium.

  3. Didn’t get a lot accomplished this week – far less than I had planned at least – but I did manage to go through the listing of still need items. Working on a shopping list for those things as well as checking on how to use some of the essential oils I have purchased so far. Trying to get the oils organized and put something with each so I know what it is for and how to use it. As newbies to the essential oil users I tend to need a reminder for these.
    The fire starter was not on my shopping list for some reason but it is definitely on there now. Must have skipped over it when making up my list because I remember thinking I needed to research a bit to see which ones would be best.
    Lots of flooding down below us so that is reminding us to be aware of the disaster potential in the area. We are in a mountain range and no where close to a stream or river but are concerned about ways to get down if low lying areas are flooded along the highways. Sat down the other night to map out different ways to leave if needed.
    Thanks for the great work you are doing Gaye to educate everyone. After reading some of your articles to Hubby he is getting more in tune with me on prepping.

  4. Got a lot accomplished this past week, thanks to your advice and research. The cooking gear and solar charger are on my WishList. This week I cleaned up my inventory and printed it out for a small note book. Got my seed sprouter … that should be fun to play with now (shades of the 70’s). So much more refined and the directions are explicit and easy to follow. Got my Polar Bear meat … check it out (you’ll laugh), and other stock items. Added to my MED kit from Amazon … awesome place to shop and such good prices. On the List they went. My EOs are in order; now its time to play … acky-breaky is first. I’m so together this week, I’ll probably collapse next week! Keep up the good work, Gaye. Your research saves me much time & effort. See ya next week.

  5. Great tips this week, Gaye! I have lots of disorderly stocks that I need to get to. I recently heard the idea don’t stock what you don’t eat. That way you can rotate your stocks by eating them in a special picnic or family event. I really like that idea so I am going back through everything to make sure it is something I would want to eat if I was stressed to the max.

    I also like the information on the starter. I tried one for real the first time a few years back and realized this is something that takes a lot of practice. It is not a skill you should be developing when you are desperate.

    Thanks for keeping us focused!

  6. :”seed sprouter”

    Also,… “I’m so together this week, I’ll probably collapse next week!”

    Ha! Roger, that.

    • Spent Tuesday “resting.” Read directions to seed spouter. Rinse 3 times a day. May be too much in an emergency situation, but good for later “boredom with a purpose.” Bean sprouts on sandwiches are yummy, better & faster than lettuce. Takes less time than sour dough starter. Have a good one. Prep a little, rest a little.

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