The Survival Buzz #193: With Mother Nature There Is No Room for Procrastination

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Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on preps plus news and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.  So what’s new this week?

You might recall that during my road trip, I had my friend and online blogging colleague, Daisy Luther, fill in for me with reports from her homestead in Northern California.  In keeping with that tradition, I have invited Daisy to come back and join us monthly with prepping news and tips that bring a different perspective to the Buzz.  The fact that it gives me a bit of time off does not hurt either!

With Mother Nature There Is No Room to Procrastinate | Backdoor Survival

So with that introduction, I turn you over to Daisy.

With Mother Nature, There Is No Room for Procrastination

One thing I’ve noticed about the prepper-farmer lifestyle is that there is little room for procrastination.

When you work within the confines of Mother Nature, you have to “make hay while the sun shines.”  This has been an incredibly busy month here on the homestead, as I’ve finished processing all of the tomatoes and started on apples. Canning and preserving has been a daily chore this month.


Of course, canning and preserving can be very messy, particularly when the vegetables are a little bit past their primes. I’m speaking specifically of soft, mushy tomatoes that make your kitchen look like a crime scene. And as fate would often have it, I received a huge test of my preps right after such a canning marathon.

As I went to the sink to begin cleaning up, I discovered that I had no water. NONE. Not one drop came out of my faucet.

Because I live in drought-stricken California, I immediately thought the worst, that my well had run dry. It was one of the few times that I have been thankful to rent. I phoned the landlord and he began the search for a well repair guy who could make it out on the weekend. (Of course, this happened on a Friday after 5.)

Cleaning a disaster-zone kitchen without running water was certainly a challenge, but we got it done. One thing I learned from this is that you need to frequently test your preps. I had stored what I felt was enough water for a month, but with the splashing ducks, thirsty goats, messy kitchen, and soapy laundry in the washing machine, we would have been bone dry within a week.

We always make plans for a best case scenario. I certainly didn’t expect my water to run out while I had laundry in the washer, dishes to the ceiling, and tomato guts everywhere. I miscalculated how much water the livestock would go through as well.

If you haven’t had a no-running-water drill in a while, it might be time to test your preps. But don’t start out with a perfectly clean home and a fresh supply. Start at a random time, because that’s how disasters happen – out of the blue, and at the worst possible times.

Luckily for us, we were only out of water for a couple of days. We still have water in our well. The pump had broken and the awesome repair guy had one in stock that he installed on the weekend.

In brighter news, I am going into winter with a full pantry. I’ve been feverishly canning and we just put a half pig in the freezer. After apple season, I’m hoping for a few days to relax before starting my winter garden. How are your pantries looking?


Backdoor Survival Mail Bag & Reader Tips

Okay, I am back.  Sam asked:

Do you have any past articles on survival food that is purchased at the regular supermarket?  Long shelf life, easily stored?

I sure do.  I plan to update this article in early 2016, but in the mean time, start here for some great ideas!

20 Items to Kick-Start Your Food Storage Plan

Then Gene asked:

Any good ideas for Christmas gifts would be most helpful. My wife is a “professional frugaler.”

Professional frugaler?  Gosh, I just love that term.  So here is the deal.  My 2015 Holiday Gift Guide will not be released until next month.  In the meantime, most of the items from 2014 still apply.  Most are inexpensive and highly affordable.

Current Backdoor Survival Giveaways

This week I have two giveaways and if I do say so myself, both are terrific. 

In this first one, I show you step by step how I package bulk foods in Mylar bags.  The giveaway is for a $100 gift certificate at Discount Mylar Bags.  There will be two winners!

The Best Practices for Using Mylar Bags + Giveaway

The other giveaway is for a copy of Bernie Carr’s newest book, The Penny-Pinching Prepper.  There will be three winners!

Prepper Book Festival 10: The Penny-Pinching Prepper + 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.

Spark Naturals – Free Shipping This Weekend Only

For all of you essential oils fans, Spark Naturals is offering free shipping to the lower 48 states through November 1.  Plus, shipping to Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico is just a flat $5. 

Here is a link plus don’t forget to use code BACKDOORSURVIVAL for an extra 10% off your order:  Spark Naturals Essential Oils.

The Final Word

Reporting on my own preps took a back seat this week but that does not mean that nothing happened.  That being said, in the spirit of giving myself a break this week, I will hold off and not be tempted to tell you about the wireless LED light I was testing that could have easily burned my house down.  Oops, the cat is out of the bag. That darn cat!

Daisy asked about our pantries and how they are looking as we head into Fall and Winter.  I, too, would like to know.  So what did you do to prep this week?

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to email updates.  When you do, you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-Book, The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

You can also vote for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!

Bargain Bin:  I carry my portable survival kit whenever I leave the house.  The nice thing about it is that it fits neatly in a pocket, day pack, glove box, or handbag.  If you are interested in more details or need assistance building your own kit, see 8 Essential Items: The Perfect Portable Survival Kit.

In the meantime, here are some items you should consider carrying with you as you travel near and afar.

BIC Classic Lighters (12): A dozen full size BIC lighters at a bargain price with free shipping. Don’t forget to test them to ensure they work!

Paracord Lanyard:  I prefer a paracord lanyard over a bracelet because I can use it’s clip to attach my whistle as well as other items that I may want to add from time to time such as a second flashlight, a Swiss army knife, pepper spray, or a flash drive (thumb drive).

Blocklite Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight: One of my readers (James) claimed that these work great. So I bought one. Then I bought another.  All told, I have 8 of these spread out in drawers, in my emergency kits, the car, everywhere.

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.

Windstorm Safety Whistle: This particular whistle can be heard a long distance away and above howling wind and other competing sounds.  I love my cheapie whistles but this is the one I would depend on for wilderness survival.

Lavender Essential Oil:  This is the Swiss army knife of essential oils. My favorite lavender oil is from Spark Naturals.  Enjoy a 10% discount with code BACKDOORSURVIVAL.

Rectangular Tin with Window: I found this tin that is very similar to mine on  Chances are you have something similar already that can be repurposed for free.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter:  Too large for a pocket kit but important to have with you is the Lifestraw Personal Water Filter.  At only 2 ounces (in weight), the LifeStraw is suitable for a backpack or bug out bag.  It is easy to use and requires no chemicals to remove a  minimum of 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria.


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.



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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.

Spark Naturals Weekly Sales | Backdoor Survival

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.


The Survival Buzz #193: With Mother Nature There Is No Room for Procrastination — 14 Comments

  1. With all due respect, the LifeStraw is not an adequate water filter. It does not filter out even the largest viruses and water should still be boiled for safety. You might want to explore the Sawyer filters.

    • Well,… at least prsmith is making progress from when Penrod corrected that person in the comments on The Survival Buzz #192: The Gear That Made the Journey.

      • Thanks for bringing that “correction” to my attention, I wasn’t aware of it. Please note, however, that I was not mistaken. The LifeStraw Family is, indeed, an adequate emergency filter however the LifeStraw Personal, the unit advertised in this and the former blog, is not and I would never trust my life to that device. I don’t think that Gaye is doing her reputation any good by advertising an inferior and possibly life threatening piece of kit.

        • I went back to The Survival Buzz #192 and read your Nov. 1st exchange with Penrod. Things don’t look good. And, I’m thinking I wasted some money on those filters. Great. Just great.

            • I wouldn’t send them back. One, it costs money. And two, it was my mistake in overlooking any available data, not their mistake, they did nothing wrong.
              Also, I don’t do nastygrams.

              Still, I wonder just how big of a deal is this, what exactly slips by, and how prevalent is it? I need to research it more.

              I’m not overly concerned with viruses, many say Louis Pasture was wrong about pasteurization and Beauchamp was right; it’s the terrain, not the germ (or virus) that matters.

              I hope there’s more reasoned follow up on this from others.

    • I have been hesitant to jump in with a knee-jerk reaction until I had some time to review my own research and notes from conversations with the Lifestraw people. That being said, there are all types of water filtering devices available with some doing a better job than others. The Lifestraw is far more effective than many of the “filter in a bottle” devices that being sold these days.

      • After spending a great amount of time reading about the various filters, I’m ok with the Lifestraw Personal. I do like the quality/toughness of the thing. The data I posted in the blog entry, ‘The Conundrum of Bugging Out and What To Do’ was key to coming to that conclusion, as was the blog entry itself.

        It seems to me that prsmith’s rebukes to use a, “Sawyer unit” over the Lifestraw are a bit,… well, on the surface it’s an apples to oranges comparison, and possibly even disingenuous. At first, I thought prsmith’s meaning was that the Sawyer mini filter was leagues ahead of the Lifestraw Personal, but then I learned that wasn’t the case. The Sawyer mini does not filter out viruses. The more accurate comparison is the bigger Sawyer model vs. the bigger package of the Lifestraw Family filter advertised on this blog. They both filter out viruses. And that, overall imho, is a neck and neck race, for various reasons. Pricewise, between the two, the Lifestraw Family filter wins out. An important distinction for professional frugalers.

        Also, after reading some of the reviews about the .05 micron straw Survivor Filter I’m not convinced, for various reasons, that it’s leagues away better than the Lifestraws, either. But, at least in the case of the Lifestraw Personal, the .05 micron straw Survivor Filter is a filter far more suitable to compare to the Lifestraw Personal as superior rather than the Sawyer mini or the bigger Sawyer model.

        Bottom line for me, there are trade-offs for every filter, and no filter is best, or can do it all, under any conditions. As they say, YMMV. And, one is none. Better to have two different kinds, or even three, if you can afford it,… and carry it. So far, if I could only have one, it would be the Lifestraw Personal.

        Right now, I have a Katadyn Hiker for most situations I encounter today and for high volume refills, alongside a Lifestraw Personal for quick drinks on-the-go. I am contemplating putting a straw Survivor Filter next to them for really desperate 72 hour – “I need to drink from a hog wash puddle” – exceptional situations, but my camping bag is already stuffed to the gills and it’s a struggle to keep it under 25 lbs., and I get the feeling that those .05 micron filters clog up too fast, are too fragile for me, and are higher maintenance than the women I didn’t marry.
        Should I replace my old .3 micron Katadyn Hiker with either a Lifestraw Family filter, the bigger Sawyer model, or the (larger than the straw version) Survivor Filter PRO 0.01 Micron Water Purifier? I don’t know. Maybe? Is it at the Top of my list of things to Do and Get? No.

        I’m ok with the Lifestraw Personal

        I did not get paid for this comment, nor did I receive a free product, or even a discount on a one. And, I don’t live anywhere near the ocean, so I left out filters which remove salt.

  2. This week I finished up canning apple, received one sawyer mini filter in the mail, bought the hardware to attach various bookcases to the walls, and had an interesting discussion with Hubby regarding physical fitness as we age.

  3. RE; ‘had an interesting discussion with Hubby regarding physical fitness as we age.’

    I can only imagine. Do tell. That’s been on my mind a lot, too. I have to be doing something, ‘productive-like’ I just can’t seem to get myself to, ‘just workout’.

    Rode my bike a lot this week. I ride on sidewalks, there’s no way I’m riding in traffic here, you’d have to have a death wish to do that, imho. I went through some pretty busy intersections that didn’t have crosswalk lights. The video game Frogger was popular when I was young. Yeah, it was like that. The world would be a better place without traffic lights, far too many people just look at the lights and nothing else, pedestrians and bicyclist are invisible to them. I got to test out wearing a heavier backpack while doing so. Walked into a lot of stores with it on, from gas stations and thrift stores, to dollar stores and hardware stores, nobody had a problem with that at any of these places. Then I went far out of my way and through difficult traffic to get to an outdoor store which sells backpacks, a regional chain that asks for your zip code when you make a purchase. Surprisingly, they gave me a hard time! They wanted me to leave my backpack at the front cash register. I thought it, and then said, ‘You don’t trust me to walk through here and shop while wearing this without stealing, but women can wear purses? Oh-kayy.’ and then my Dollars and I left the store. I could hear another guy asking me as I left, ‘Didn’t you see the sign at the front that said, no backpacks?” I thought to myself, ‘No, I didn’t. Jerk.’
    That wasn’t an aspect of carrying a backpack which I hadn’t given any thought to before. I imagine such will increase if and when SHTF. Even now, going from walking or riding, to blending in with a crowd, is no easy task. I wonder if it will be easier in some ways if and when SHTF?

    While out riding I got to see that even the farm supply store has the bicycles with eight inch wide tires now. They are for riding in mud or snow. They seem like a neat idea, may be good for some people as an alternative bug out vehicle, but I don’t plan on getting one. I do wonder what it’s like to ride one… and how long it will be before I see one with a weed eater motor strapped to it. That might be fun. … and practical.

    I also got to try out/test some rain pants for a couple of days while riding. One pair wasn’t so good, they made me feel a tad damp as I rode and then after riding for awhile I walked into a store and sweat began to drip down my face from being inside a heated building. As I rode away from the store my bluejeans felt a bit more damp, almost as wet as if I hadn’t been wearing any rain pants at all.
    On the second trip I wore a different pair of rain pants (unlike the first pair which were basically a sheet of plastic made to look like the more expensive kinds) this pair had a mesh-like fabric between me and the outer layer of the rain pants. I rode the same route, walked into the same store, with the same rainy weather and temps, only this time sweat didn’t start to pour down my face while shopping, and as I rode back, my bluejeans didn’t feel the least bit damp. So far, I think the mesh-like fabric makes all the difference in the world when it comes to rain pants. More testing is needed though.
    I think, for now, the rain pants without mesh are suitable only for sitting around a campfire in wet or rainy conditions or other low exertion type situations. Not for walking, running or riding.

    I decided to throw out two mason jars of tomato salsa from a year ago or so. That was difficult to do, as they were, ‘The Best’. They didn’t have dates on them and when I put them there they were bright red. This week they were a bit too dark brown for my comfort level. I tossed a jar of brown lemons while I was at it. That’s why I tend to prefer foods that last 25 years or so. I’m not as meticulous as some are about rotating or using food and I will probably never have a meal planning excel spreadsheet. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just not built into the way I do things. I’m not perfect. I’m more of a, ‘store it and forget it’ kind of person. But I am striving to earn at least a C+ as a professional frugaler,… I kept the jars and rims from the salsa.

    Also, this week I learned that I should have put Pri-D into the three year old kerosene I have. Soon, I will find out what it’s like to try and use it in a lamp and/or heater. Should be interesting. Might cost me some time and a wick or two. Bitten by Procrastination.

    And, I replaced my antique EDC Buck 110 knife with a Cold Steel Recon 1 folding knife. That was a huge jump for me, and will take some getting used to. As the saying goes, if, ‘ounces are pounds’,… then I feel like I shed 20 lbs doing that.

    Oh, and while at the thrift store I came across a pair of Horse Mountain snowpants for eight bucks. These $160 pants are nice. The outer layer is very tough, maybe as tough as canvas type coveralls like Carhart. They have an imitation leather seat which would hold up well if I had to ride my bike in colder temps. I read some about them and it seems that some women do not like them because they are not wide enough at the hips. Which means my better half might not be taking them away from me.

    Whew, while they were all good deals and worth every penny, I spent wayy too much money this week.

  4. Spent the week working in a haunted house dropping spiders on people’s heads. Realized I need to work on improving my strength and flexibility. While constructing the haunted house waiting area I dealt with lots of angry squirrels when I got between them and the acorns. I spent the evenings checking on blankets and managing the cold weather supplies. I’m ready for a cold winter, but hoping for a mild one.

  5. I am a newbie at all of this, but am trying to catch up. Recently, I made several batches of tomato salsa, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, peach salsa, peach preserves, and apple sauce. I also froze peaches, pears, melons, pasta sauce, stuffed peppers and zucchini. In addition, I finally tested out my pressure canner, and canned 20 lbs of chicken breast. I plan on trying my hand at other items, as well!

    I’ve been on a mission to increase my supplies and preparedness knowledge, and have learned so much from Backdoor Survival. In doing so, I feel a sense of calmness that I did not feel before. Gaye, I love that you provide us with diverse practical and useful information, without scaring us to death!

  6. Gaye, excellent take on good ole Mother Nature. You are right, she is not going to wait around until you are ready to garden, and in some areas of the country, the window of opportunity can be very narrow. When she shuts that window, it’s closed. Period.

    I agree that when it comes to gardening, you should be ready to go with a plan and start as soon as possible.

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