Survival Friday: An iClever Product Review

Have you ever had something happen that would normally be a major inconvenience and find you are okay with it?  That is happening to me, right here and right now as I am sitting here writing.

Welcome to the Twilight Zone of no internet, no cell service, and no communication with the rest of the world! I do have my Ham radio turned on, but there is no activity at the moment so all is very quiet.  And I am loving it.

Backdoor Survival iClever Review and Giveaway

You might even say that ultimately, this sense of taking things in stride comes from being prepared and being a prepper!

This has happened before.  The big communications cable under the sea (okay, not so big, I am told it has the diameter of a CAT5 cable) suffered a break during a minor earthquake a few years back and it took weeks to fix.

There is an alternative to that antiquated cable, namely a state of the art system run by our local power company co-op.  Alas, the roll-out is both slow and expensive, and not something mere mortals have access to.  Lucky for me, there is a hotel nearby that is blessed with this super-duper communication service and they are allowing me to send out email and blog posts.

With that introduction, I thought I would keep things simple and perhaps even a bit quirky today as I share my latest gear review coupled with a product giveaway.  This one is for the fun of it: an iClever review and giveaway!

Review: iClever 6 Port USB Travel Charger

First of all, I make no apologies when I say these items are not especially survival or prepper-centric.   Well, maybe the six-port USB travel charger is a bit necessary since powering all our gizmos from inside a hotel room is often a stretch.  And since I have my big road trip coming up, a travel charger is going to come in handy.

I would like to describe the charger.  It is small and compact, no big deal, but also what is called a “Smart” charger.  The way it works is that each of the six USB ports identifies the device that is plugged in and delivers the just right amount of charging juice.  It has a total capacity of 10 amps and even with an iPad, Kindle, and two iPhones plugged in, I get a fast charge.

It is a simple device, but it works and does its job well.  I like it so much I now own two.

Review:  iClever Bluetooth Stereo Headset

Before I tell you about this headset, I need to tell you that Bluetooth and I do not get along.  I have a history of being unable to connect to Bluetooth devices and get so frustrated that nine times out of ten I will reach for a wired device.

For example, I use Skype for 90% of my phone-type communications.  With Skype I use a wired headset.  You would think I was back in the 20th century.  So here is the deal. The iClever Bluetooth headset from iClever connects all by itself each and every time.  I have used it with my computer and with my iPhone. Like the charge, it just works.

There are a few features that make this headset stand out.  First, it will remember up to eight devices, always attempting to pair with the last device first.  Two, customer service is exemplary.  I had a bit of a problem charging my first pair and after contacting support via Amazon, I had a replacement within days.

The headset does all of the standard things such as mute when a phone call comes in and move forward and backwards within your library, but at the end of the day, what counts is comfort and sound quality.  This headset sounds great and is lightweight.  The ear buds stay firmly in place so well that you won’t even know there are there!

I use the headset for listening to audiobooks during my daily hike with Tucker the Awesome Wonder Dog.  What better way to shore up your fitness than walking briskly with a favorite tune or book keeping you company along the way?

The Giveaway

The friendly folks at iClever provided the review units and are additionally holding one six-port USB charger and one Bluetooth headset for a lucky Backdoor Survival reader.  You know the drill when it comes to the Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winner must claim their prize within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.


The Final Word

Between the time I started writing and now, I have learned that an automobile has hit a utility pole on the mainland causing a county-wide communications outage.   Service should be restored soon, whatever that means.

As for me, I plan to enjoy my time with no internet, thank you very much.  I have plenty to do that does not require being online and simply refuse to get stressed over this minor blimp in road.  Like you, I am prepared.

Note:  Service was restored in the wee hours of the morning.  So much for the internet holiday; it’s time to get back to writing about prepping!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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Bargain Bin:  Below you will find links to the items featured in today’s article as well as some prepping favorites.

iClever 50 Watt 6 Port USB Desktop Rapid Charger with SmartID Technology: I own two of these.  Love the form factor and the fact I can quickly charge up to six devices at once.

iClever Lightweight Wireless Bluetooth Headphones: Lightweight and a cinch to use.  Good sound quality while hiking, walking, exercising or simply enjoying a bit of music or an audiobook.  It has a microphone for use in making phone calls and in my experience, the person on the other line has no idea you are using a headset.

Ticket to Ride:  When it comes to board games, this is my favorite.  (It helps that I usually win.)  This is fun for the entire family.  Warning, you and your gift recipient will become addicted and will often ask the question:  Want to play train aka “ticket to ride”?

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter:  The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2oz.  making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.

Sunferno Flintstone Portable Solar Panel with Rechargeable Battery Pack:  This sturdy solar power pack is lightweight and small enough to be used in an EDC kit.  I especially like that it has 2 USB ports.

RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports: This compact, three panel, solar charger will charge two devices at once, including tablets, smartphones, Kindles, and even AA/AAA battery chargers.  Value priced at about $50.  For more information, read: Gear Review: RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports.

blocklite flashlight

Blocklite Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight: I first learned about Blocklites from a reader.  I am impressed with how long they will run on a single, 9V battery.  I now own 8 of these spread out in drawers, emergency kits, the car, everywhere.  This is my number one pick for a small, but effective flashlight.


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Emergency Essentials | Backdoor Survival


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Essential Oils for the First Aid Kit

Consider adding an assortment of health and wellness related essential oils to your first aid kit.  At a minimum, include melaleuca (tea tree), lavender, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, and clove oils.  At a cost of less than $45, these six essential oils will serve you well in a wide variety of first aid and emergency situations.

You can read about these and other healing essential oils in 20 All Purpose Remedies Using Essential Oils or other articles on this archive page: Interested in Learning About Essential Oils.

For an even broader selection of oils consider this Spark Naturals Health and Wellness Kit which includes a total of 10 oils and blends, nicely packaged on a tin that is perfect for your first aid kit.  And note that with any purchase from Spark Naturals you will enjoy a 10% discount by using code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout.

  1. I love to read actual books. My husband and I like to hike and we love board games (Ticket to Ride, anyone) There’s always something to do…

    1. I have both the Ticket to Ride board game and the iPad version which I play online with strangers or sometimes against myself. I love that game and recommend it often in the Bargain Bin.

  2. while some may feel it is part of the prepper life, to take breaks from prepping I garden without focusing on food production but instead on the fun of raising a living, thriving thing from a small and insignificant seed. plus I secretly enjoy tasks like weeding so my plant babies don’t get overwhelmed.

    1. If you weed to relax, my guess is you are a very popular lady in your neigHborhood 🙂 I enjoy growing flowers and get great pleasure of cultivating new plants (i.e. hydrangeas) from cuttings.

  3. I enjoy board games and spending time with the kids. I have also started learning knife throwing for fun, though I guess it could be a survival skill…

  4. I love to practice with my sling shot and we like to play board games. Also, love to read and read and read some more!!! Long walks help me to clear my mind.

  5. My family and I love reading books, also we love just sitting around a campfire and telling stories. Weekends are our no technology weekends. We got for hikes, fishing, trail reading, collecting plants to make household items. My children are 11, 9, 9, 7 and 2 and they love every minute

  6. I find myself spending too much time worrying about the future and not on today so I have taken up pottery again to help me slow down and create things both useful and beautiful. I am doing the work at the senior center and it has also given me a chance to meet fantastic beautiful and smart women my own age. It is a win-win situation

  7. I live in a small community of the name of Pine River, and I enjoy getting together with some dear ladies once a month and hit the local restaurants for food, fun and fellowship. We call ourselves the “Pine River Ladies Night Out” club and we have a hoot! I also enjoy sitting out on my front porch with a glass of wine enjoying our cool Northern Minnesota evenings (with plenty of essential oil bug repellents to ward off the “state birds”)

  8. In keeping with the theme of quirky fun, what do you personally do to take a break for prepping activities? I like to work on my yard.

  9. I enjoy listening and talking on my ham radio and reloading some ammunition (not for prepper activities, mostly hunting and target practice). When appropriate also like tending to my garden.

  10. This may not sound like quirky fun to everyone, but I love to work on my genealogy. Not to brag or anything, but I am already a member of every patriotic genealogical society out there, and recently finished a huge project proving my descent from Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne, King Alfred the Great, the half-brother of William the Conqueror and 25 minor saints and blesseds. My next project is to prove my relation to George Washington and connect to my great-great grandfather’s 2nd cousin who came from Richmond VA to fight and die at the Alamo.

  11. I must confess SHHH I read (trashy?) romance novels that incorporates vampires werewolves, etc I also read other romance books. DH calls my novels “popcorn” for the brain, not too long to read but gives me a rest from my worrying fussing about as he calls it.(He’s just teasing me,folks)

  12. I read, and read. I have over 2000 books, and not one is prepper related. I keep those prepping books, on my kindle. Board games are plentiful around my home, and used frequently.

  13. I just like to shoot something. I just bought some armor piercing ammo that will go through 1 inch steel. I also received ammo for my 40 cal that will crack an engine block. I just go out to the back yard and blast off a few rounds.

  14. Our neighbor introduced us to a card game called “Skip-Bo”. It’s quite an enjoyable card game for 2 up to 6 people, 7years old and up. Try it Gaye, I think you’ll like it.
    It’s an easy moving game but you have to pay attention.

    1. Hey Dennis, thanks for the tip. UPS just delivered Skip-Bo today. I am always up for a new card game and look forward to playing it while I am on the road next month.

  15. To take a break I love to read and catch up on books I have or saved on my Kindle reader. This is also I time I go back and closely scrutinize the prepping and cooking items I have saved in Pinterest for later reading. Lastly we are planning a wedding for my daughter. Sometimes prepping is much easier than trying to decide on bridesmaid dresses and color themes. These items in the giveaway would be nice to have.

  16. We have a few different hobbies we participate in. We like to read, work in the yard and spend time relaxing in the company of family and friends.

  17. I read voraciously, crochet, draw, play board games with my son, watch movies/tv series on Netflix (marathon, anyone?), and occasionally talk to non-prepping friends.

  18. I love crosswords and word search, coloring in adult coloring books. If I had no power there would be no loss of entertainment. I feel that people rely on electronics way too much (but I love my nintendo 3ds). I do prefer physical books better than the e-books.

  19. I read science fiction and other books. Sometimes download a movie and watch it. But, mostly, I like to sit on my back deck and watch nature! The antics of birds, squirrels, rabbits, even deer can be amusing and at times amazing!

  20. I make jewelry that I sell at craft fairs. I thoroughly enjoy the creative process of making one of a kind pieces.

  21. Definitely take a break with yoga and any fitness activity like dancing, to get the blood moving and helping me feel alive. I do love my ebooks and have a stationary bike which helps me do both safely, read and exercise!

  22. To relax I like to read survival related books and gleem valuable prepping nuggets that the author has researched in the writing the books

  23. I love to play video games, or read an assortment of books for the quick break. And for the bigger break camping and fishing would be the ticket for me. Though I guess those two could still be considered as some prepping. Since it helps build needed skills.

  24. I love hunting. Sure, it MAY be considered prepping related, but just the relaxing beauty of nature and becoming one with the environment, I don’t see it as prepping.

  25. As a new hobby, I have taken up 3D printing. Although it sometimes still crosses over into prepping, because that is just a way of life.

  26. When the reality of prepping gets overwhelming I turn to one of my thousands of Kindle books and lose myself in another place and time. This brief respite leaves me energized and ready to tackle the next project.

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