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!
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!
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 other giveaway is for a copy of Bernie Carr’s newest book, The Penny-Pinching Prepper. There will be three winners!
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!
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 Amazon.com. 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.
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.
Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!
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.