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The Miracle of Cloves and Clove Oil

The Miracle of Cloves and Clove Oil

Here’s the deal. It’s the weekend (or, like me, you are on vacation in the middle of the ocean) and your tooth starts to hurt. The pain has become so bad you can not eat, can not concentrate and whoa! you can not even enjoy yourself and have fun. What’s a gal or guy to do? . . . Let me let you in on a secret: you can temporarily mitigate the pain and suffering with with oil of clove, an inexpensive and readily available essential oil. Here is what you do.

Paracord for Function and Fashion

Paracord for Function and Fashion

I first fell in love with Paracord while configuring my survival gear kit. At the time, I was familiar with ropes and lines used by mariners since after all, I boated in Puget Sound for over twenty years. I can not tell you how many times that we would be out at some remote anchorage in need of one more line to secure this or that to the side of our vessel. And then there were the other little emergencies. A broken shoelace, a forgotten belt, a strap that shredded . . . the things that can go awry while out there in nature are endless.

Bringing us forward to current times, in addition to hiking, boating, bike riding and other outdoor pursuits, we have basic survival skills to think about and plan for. After all, if the SHTF in a big way, we may all be up a creek without a paddle so to speak.

Enter the miracle of paracord. This is very useful stuff that is also very inexpensive.

Keep on Prepping

Keep on Prepping

If you think that my so-called popularity grew overnight (and I’m not that popular, mind you) then you’ve got it all wrong.

I have been writing Backdoor Survival for a little over eighteen months now and consider myself just a little fish in a big sea. I am not “big” and do not have tens of thousands of followers (but then that was never my intent to begin with.) Still, even though I have not been doing this as long as many other bloggers and writers out there, I do like to think I bring a common-man (ok, common-woman) perspective to the process. That plus I only publish my own original content.

This leads me to the main point of this article: Because I write this blog, you may think that my prepping is complete – that I have all the gear, all the food, all the knowledge that I will ever need. Well, in five words, you have got it wrong. I am adding, changing, learning, and developing new skills all the time.

Everyday Household Tools for Everyday Fix-it Needs

Everyday Household Tools for Everyday Fix-it Needs

In the effort to prepare for a disaster or an emergency, it is easy to overlook the need to maintain an adequate cache of common household tools. For some, having household tools means a hammer and a screwdriver of two. but really, is that going to get you by if there is no handyman available to call? . . . It is time to summon the inner Tim-the-tool-man.

Getting Prepared Month 7: Gear, Tools and Skills to Save Lives

Getting Prepared Month 7: Gear, Tools and Skills to Save Lives

We have now passed the half way point and are entering month seven of preparedness. By now you should be feeling secure in the knowledge that you are ready to beat the odds should a natural disaster or crisis appear in your area . . . . .
The gear and tools we are going to purchase this month are lifesaving and useful in many types of situations. Add to that an essential skill that everyone should learn and we have a two-punch whammy for seeing you through disasters, accidents, health care woes and more.

A Historical Look at Survival Under Attack

A Historical Look at Survival Under Attack

Back in the days of the Cold War, the US Government as well as its citizens were apprehensive of a potential nuclear bomb attack from Russia. To that end, the US Department of Civil Defense was active in issuing all kinds of educational material to the public with the twofold intent of informing citizens how to shelter in the event of a nuclear bomb attack while at the same time assuring them that the likelihood of danger was minimal. Seems contradictory to me, but then, over the years the government has not changed much and I am certain that then, as now, contradiction was considered “business as usual”.

Guest Appearance on the Doom and Bloom Hour

Guest Appearance on the Doom and Bloom Hour

Reminder: Your very own SurvivalWoman will be making a guest appearance of the Doctor Bones and Nurse Amy Radio Show on the Preparedness Radio Network. The show is going to air on Saturday, February 25 at 9PM Eastern.

Weighing in on the Doomsday Preppers

Weighing in on the Doomsday Preppers

There are times when I just noodle for awhile. What I mean by that is that a get a notion in my head and rather than do a knee jerk response, I send the notion in to the far reaches of my brain where it may or may not surface again. Such is the case with the National Geographic show, Doomsday Preppers.

Last year, when the show premiered, I was excited, thinking that in spite of the title, preppers and those who embrace the family preparedness lifestyle could finally find some mainstream acceptance. After all, many have thought of us as “nut jobs” and most certainly, many of my big city friends refer to “Gaye’s little survival thing”.

But after that first season, I was disillusioned with the entire premise of the show. The participants were indeed portrayed as extremists and for the most part, a bit off. It was not that what they were doing was so bizarre – well maybe some of it was a little off the wall – but that each family portrayed in the show appeared to be laser focused on some future apocalypse to the exclusion of living a joyful life in the present.

Getting Prepared Month 5: Sanitation Supplies and Establishing a Community of Like Minded Folks

Getting Prepared Month 5: Sanitation Supplies and Establishing a Community of Like Minded Folks

The months seem to be flying by. And as each month passes, I feel a sense of relief that that except for a short burst of extreme winter weather, my household has not had to dig into our emergency supplies for sustenance. On the other hand, some unexpected personal emergencies have come up and with them, a renewed focus on being prepared not only for the big events in life but also the smaller events that can turn your world upside down. More about that on the Sunday Potpourri.

What are we doing in month five of 12 Months of Prepping, One Month at a Time? In Getting Prepared Month 5 we are focusing on cleaning and personal sanitizing supplies and on taking steps to establish a neighborhood community of like-minded folks that are interesting in learning about preparedness.

This is going to be an easy month so let’s get started.

Getting Prepared Month 4: Prescription Medicine, Cash, and Things to Keep Us Warm

Getting Prepared Month 4: Prescription Medicine, Cash, and Things to Keep Us Warm

The cold days of winter are upon us here in the Pacific Northwest and whereas we have not seen any snow yet, the temperature is frigid, especially if your factor in the wind chill. Outdoor activities are limited to walks with the dog and not much else. Preparedness wise, this reminds us that we need to insure that we have adequate jackets, blankets and warm socks put away in our emergency storage container.

But wait. I am getting ahead of myself as I present Month 4 of 12 from 12 Months of Prepping, One Month at a Time.

Month 4 Supplies & Gear:

A minimum of a 7 day supply of critical prescription medicines
$100 (or more) in Small Bills
Pet Supplies
Infant Supplies
Extra Storage Containers
Something often overlooked when putting together emergency supplies is an adequate supply of critical prescription medications. The reason this is often overlooked (or shall I say a victim of procrastination) is that collecting extra meds in darn tough because most insurance policies only allow a thirty day supply to begin with.

I have a lot of ideas for getting around this – ideas that I use myself. Here are two.

Food for Thought, Seriously

Food for Thought, Seriously

Everyone has their own way of dealing with the close of one year and the start of another. For me, the end of December signals the beginning of crunch-time, work wise and so, in these last few days of the year, I try to take some time out to reflect on matters that are important to me. After all, come January I will be a slave to my job with little time to ponder the bigger and perhaps more important issues in life.

If you read my article a few days ago (What is an Activist? One Woman’s View), you will have learned that in my view, everyone that embarks upon the self-reliance journey is an activist. The qualities of an activist as I have described them are not only necessary to change the world, per se, but also to affect change within our own personal life and sphere of influence.

And so, as I continue to ponder, I share with you some thoughts on the coming year as it relates to our health and the food supply.

Small Acts of Kindness

Small Acts of Kindness

With so much focus on survival skills, survival food and survival tactics, it is easy to get sucked in to a mindset where the future looks grim. I have written about this before; we get so involved and entrenched with day to day preps that it almost appears that we want something bad to happen when in reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

On the other hand, all we need to do is open our eyes to the world around us to see that there are bright spots here and there. These bright spots have to do with human kindness and the one-to-one efforts undertaken every day to improve the human condition.

So what do I see?

Food Pantry Workers including those in need themselves spending time to see that others are fed.
Faith Organizations providing refuge to the homeless by way of “tent cities”
Red Cross volunteers responding to selflessly to disasters – things as common as hometown home fires in the middle of the night to response to large scale disasters.
Companies – and yes there are some – that deliver superior customer service in spite of tough economic times, reduced profits and a national trend to ignore the customer.
All of these things and more make be proud to be a citizen of this planet. Oh yes, the bad guys are out there. The crooked politicians, the sneaky corporations, the corrupt wall street types: they are there and we must be ever vigilant to steer clear of their shenanigans. On the other hand, there are good hearted souls who are responsible and caring and who deserve a positive nod from time to time.

Is Your Standard of Living Going to Suffer in 2012?

Is Your Standard of Living Going to Suffer in 2012?

Good question.

I think so and so does my friend George. Check out our latest article at Strategic Living. We share our thoughts on unemployment and what we think is going to happen to our lifestyle – money wise – in 2012. We also offer a few tips for getting by – nothing complicated or exotic – just simple things you can do to prepare for less disposable cash in the coming year.

Getting Prepared Month 3: Special Foods, Fire Drills and Home Safety

Getting Prepared Month 3: Special Foods, Fire Drills and Home Safety

The holidays are upon us but alas, the task of successfully preparing our homes and families for an emergency is ongoing and does not end just because the calendar indicates a special day is coming up. Today, surrounded by the warmth and cheer of the December holiday season, I present Month 3 of 12 from 12 Months of Prepping, One Month at a Time.

Let’s start with the supplies and gear.

Month 3 Supplies & Gear:

Canned fruits – 3 cans per person
Any foods for special dietary needs (enough for 3 days)
A large plastic tub or bin for storage of food and other emergency supplies.
By now you should have a good supply of basic foods put away including protein items such as canned meats as well as veggies. This month we add fruits as well. Why? Well for one thing, fruits add additional nutrients, variety and interest to your meals. But perhaps equally important, fruits add a touch of sweetness to daily fare. You may not think this is important when you are in survival mode, the sweetness provided by canned fruits can kick start sluggish and depressed appetites and bring a smile to the face of weary family members, especially children.

In addition, fruits add fiber – yes even canned fruits. It is true that in many cases, it is the fruit’s skin that contains most of its fiber content. And, since many fruits are peeled before they are canned, the fiber content may not be as great as fresh fruit. On the other hand, using peaches as an example, two canned peach halves contain 1.4 grams of fiber versus 2.3 grams for a whole peach. Not a bad tradeoff considering fresh fruit will be hard to come by in an emergency.

Reminder: Prepare for Winter Weather Now

Reminder: Prepare for Winter Weather Now

For most of us, winter means uncertain weather, including bone-chilling temperatures, severe winds, freezing rain and significant snowfall. Not much fun under the best of circumstances especially if you lose power and are unprepared with inadequate food, power and first aid supplies.

Being prepared for winter weather conditions is not rocket science and there is much you can do to insure the safety of your home and family during the winter storm season. But first, what exactly is a “Winter Storm”?

According to NOAA, most people think of a Winter Storm as a snowstorm. While this can be true, there are other types of weather associated with winter storms that can be extremely hazardous.

Beware the Friend Who is Needy

Beware the Friend Who is Needy

We all have one. That so-called friend that will call every day for no reason other than to discuss your private business so that they can critique your day with the superiority of someone who knows better. The relative or family member who asks about the most mundane aspects of your daily routine then choses to pass judgment. The nosy neighbor who wants to know where you went and why.

All of these people are what I call the “needy”. Their existence seems to require a knowledge of someone else’s life that goes beyond being sociable. It is disruptive, it is annoying and dare I say downright rude. And whereas being polite and sociable is a good thing, the excessively needy exhibit a certain arrogance that goes beyond common courtesy. They are unwelcome intruders in to our personal space and potential adversaries that will turn to us for help when and if the SHTF. (See ‘The Givers and The Takers-What Will You Do When SHTF?’)

These are harsh words, I know. But to what end does it serve to share every living minute of daily life with someone else? And even more important, how much of our personal security do we sacrifice in order to satisfy the emotional neediness of others? As preppers and planners and models of self-sufficiency, we need to take these questions seriously.