This week in the Survival Buzz I am going to address the most pressing question that has crossed my mind in a long time. When it comes to prepping, where do I start? Sure, I have written about this before, sometimes in general terms and other times very specifically. But this is me starting over and not someone else. These are preps that are particular to my location and my life. Where do I start?
Now for those of you just signing on, you might not know that last week I shared the news that I had relocated to Central Arizona for five or six months. Believe me, nothing could be more different than the sea and the forest footsteps away from my home on San Juan Island in Washington State. Although I did bring some gear with me (which I will share with you next week), other than a well stocked bug out bag and an “ammo can” first aid kit, I arrived with the clothes on my back, a cooler full of essential oils, and a Subaru stuffed with as much as it would carry.
For all intents and purposes, Shelly (the Survival Husband) and I are starting over and I was freaking out. I knew I had to get over it so I asked myself another question. If the SHTF tomorrow, what would I need? It all boiled down to three things: water, food, and biomass to use for cooking outdoors.
Prepping from Scratch: The First Two Weeks
Here is an outline of what I have accomplished so far.
1. I ordered a 320 gallon water tank system from Emergency Essentials. It was more than I wanted to spend but with the latest promotion offering a $100 gift card with purchase, I knew I couldn’t lose.
3. Juice and soda bottles are being washed then filled with tap water at the rate of two a day. I am labeling these bottles “do not drink” because I am not cleaning them with bleach or adding supplemental water purification. Set in my garage, I want to keep these on hand for sanitation and cleaning purposes. I also have 4 gallons of fresh, unscented bleach I can use to purify water after the fact if I need to.
1. A 25 pound of rice, and another 25 pound bag of pinto beans are now part of my food storage. In addition, I purchased a case of baked beans that can be eaten hot or cold right out of the can. I also purchased a dozen packages of spaghetti plus a dozen cans of sauce and two jars of peanut butter. I will continue to add products each week or two, filling out my pantry with items from 20 Items to Kick Start Your Food Storage Plan.
2. I am researching what type of freeze dried food I want to store. I will probably purchase a “package” because I want at least a three month supply for two of us right now, all at once. There are many variables that go into this decision not the least of which is food quality, taste, and cost.
3. Still on the to do list is to get Mylar bags and O2 absorbers so I can repackage my bulk foods for storage. I will worry about the heat and the space for food storage later. Sound familiar? Oh my, this is so different than Washington where I never have to worry about temperature and basements are common.
4. Loosely related to food, I purchased two cast iron skillets, in the 12” and 15” sizes.
1. Of all of my immediate concerns, this was the most difficult. One solution is that when we take Tucker the Awesome Wonder Dog on his daily hike, we pick up wood debris that is laying around from neighboring active construction actives.
2. This pair of Fiskars pruning shears from Amazon will allow be to discreetly snip of twigs from random vegetation I find here and there along the way. Can you burn cactus in a rocket stove? Perhaps some of you desert natives can help educate me.
3. Bags of charcoal are on the list of things to purchase next week.
Whew. This has been tougher than I thought it would be and a lot more expensive. There is also the time factor. I still have remnants of my day job to attend to as well as this website. Still, this is grand adventure and for better or for worse, there is no looking back.
Current Backdoor Survival Giveaways
Let’s kick off the Fall giveaway season on Backdoor Survival with this Survival Shovel from SportsTek!
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.
News from Our Sponsors
Let us give a warm Backdoor Survival welcome to the Survivalist Water Bottle by Fit Bottle! When you take a look at these water bottles, I know you will want one. I have one on its way to me so I can tell you more about it but in the meantime, you can get a 10% discount on your order by using code BACK10 at checkout.
It is with the support of the Backdoor Survival sponsors (you will see them on the right hand side of this website), that allows me to continue my work in educating the public about preparedness. I do not and will not accept donations. I will, however, encourage you to support the advertisers who have been so loyal to me over the years,
Tropical Traditions is having another one of their FREE Ground Shipping this weekend! In addition, their Gold Label Virgin Organic Coconut Oil is on sale with a buy one get one free offer. This is the only brand I use in my salves and in cooking, I use it for everything!
Anyway, Use coupon code 19151 at checkout and you will receive free ground shipping, including orders to Alaska and Hawaii.
The Final Word
If you get nothing else from this week’s Survival Buzz, let it be that each of us has decisions to make when it comes to personal preparedness. I have done this before, so starting from scratch is an exercise in worry because I know that I am not as ready as I need and want to be.
That being said, everyone, whether experienced or not, should periodically ask themselves “What will I need if the Stuff Hit the Fan tomorrow?”. You might surprise yourself with the answer.
All right, what about you? What did you do to prep this week?
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
You can also vote for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!
Spotlight Item: What was the most popular item purchased by BDS readers last month? Why am I surprised? It was this UltraFire Mini Cree LED Flashlight, currently only $3.17 with free shipping. From what I can tell, over 175 were sold via the Amazon link on this website.
I own a bunch of these super mini sized, bright and waterproof flashlights that only use a single, standard AA sized battery to produce a bright beam.
Note that these come from Asia so if you want to stock up for holiday gift giving, get your order in now. (I just ordered two more.)
Bargain Bin: Here are some items mentioned in today’s Survival Buzz.
320 Gallon Ultimate Water Reserve Combo: Some might consider this overkill but considering the lack of a pond or stream in my own back yard, I want to be covered. I like that I can store 320 gallons of water in such a small footprint.
Royal Berkey: The Royal Berkey at my San Juan Island home is the backbone of my water purification system. I drink and cook with this water and would be lost without it. I am happy to say that LPC Survival has them back in stock plus they are available from the LPC Survival Store on Amazon. If you don’t already have a Berkey, trust me, a Berkey is worth saving for.
Mylar bags and O2 absorbers: I have the buckets but now I need the bags and the oxygen absorbers so that I can package my food is smaller quantities. For me, it is easier to pull a one gallon bag out of the bucket as needed than to open the bucket, scoop our when I need, add a new O2 absorber, then seal it up again. (Although for some items, I do that as well.)
Cast Iron Skillet with Hot Handle Holder: I feel that everyone should own a basic, 12” cast iron skillet. In spite of the myth, they are easy to care for and over time, will become a family heirloom. On grid or off grid, cooking with cast iron is the way to go.
Fiskars Traditional Bypass Pruning Shears: Cheap pruning shears or snippers are simply not worth it. Why bother when you can pay less than $10 for genuine Fiskars. These are the snippers I purchased to discretely scout for biomass. Of course I find other uses for them in the garden as well.
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter: The LifeStraw contains no chemicals, no batteries and no moving parts to wear out. It features a a high flow rate and weighs only 2 oz. It works quickly, taking roughly 3-5 seconds of sucking to start the flow of water through the filter. It’s ultra-light and inexpensive but effective. There is also the LifeStraw Family that will purify up to 12 liters per hour.
The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way: I KNOW I packed my print version of Joe and Amy Aton’s book but somehow it has disappear so I added the eBook version to my digital library. This is one book everyone should own.
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.
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Essential Oils: Deal of the Week
Each week I update a special page with the Spark Naturals item of the week? You can find it here: Essential Oils from Spark Naturals – Weekly Deals. Every once in awhile there will be free shipping or a free gift offered as well as a product discount.
And remember, you can always use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL for an additional 10% off your entire SN order. When it comes to saving money, every little bit helps.