The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 103

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jun 27, 2019
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Welcome to this week’s Sunday Survival Buzz – a roundup of preparedness news, tips, articles and recommendations from around the web. But first, an update on my own preps.

The momentous thing I did this week was to soldier through the frustration of getting my Baofeng ham radio programmed with local repeaters.  I had problems getting the programming cable to work using the supplied disc.  I finally went back to my email archives and sure as day, there were a few emails from readers advising me to download and use the free CHIRP software.

BaoFeng Ham Radio Initial Charge Buzz

Now here is the deal.  Before using CHIRP, you must install some drivers.  They are call Prolific drivers and are not the same as the ones that come with your unit. If you do not do this, you will want to tear out your hair and throw the units in the trash.  I almost did.  Anyway, here is where you get the drivers: Installing the New Prolific Drivers.

Because my time has been so limited, I have been approaching the HAM radio set up and my own licensing in very modest baby steps.  The next step is to dial in to a repeater frequency and listen.  How difficult can that be?  Then, after I return from my March vacation, it will be time to study and take my technician test.

In the meantime, if there is some nice Elmer out there that would like to coach me, I would be grateful!

This week I made another huge batch of soft soap and also took delivery of my Spark Naturals oil of the month, Marjoram.  I am reading up on the uses of this oil and experimenting a bit.  So far, it appears to be a reasonable and inexpensive alternative to some of the more pricey blends.  I put some in a salve I made and am testing it on who else, Shelly, the Survival Husband.

Speaking of salves, I have some great new recipes coming up soon.  I just know you are going to love them!

Okay, enough about me.  Let’s get on to the Sunday Survival Buzz.


For the gun industry, women are the next big thing:  Did I mention that in addition to my Ruger LCP and the AR7/22 caliber Shelly got for me last year (for Valentines Day of all things), I am going to get my own Glock later this spring?  Standard black will do; as much as I am a girly girl, purple sparkles on a glock seems a bit over the top, even for me.

EMP Effects on Vehicles: I found this article fascinating in that addresses a topic that has been on all of our minds at one time or another.  A hat tip to Shelly for digging this one up for me.

States Enrolling Prison Inmates in ObamaCare:  Go to jail, get health insurance?  WTF?

Threat Report 2013: Antibiotic & Antimicrobial Resistance:  This report from the CDC is a detailed examination of antibiotic resistance.  Did you know that most deaths related to antibiotic resistance happen in healthcare settings such as hospitals and nursing homes?

Gardening Link Bomb:  Need some gardening help?  Todd ( has compiled this list of resources for us.  He will continue to update the list so be sure to check back often.  And by the way, one of my blogging friends that lives nearby has been helping me with my own gardening efforts this year.  If you want to learn more about heirloom seeds, sign up for Melissa’s newsletter and get her Heirloom Gardening Guide for free.

15 Things You Really Should Buy At The Dollar Store:  And wile you are there, look around for some inexpensive items to add to your preps.  Often times, the dollar store can become a big treasure hunt.  Also see Budget Prepping for A Buck.


On the subject of preserving eggs without refrigeration, “Penrod” shared this:

Oregon State University Extension Service has a page on oiling eggs and on preserving them with water glass. They say that eggs can be preserved “from 4-8 months or longer.  Here is a link: //

“Chris” shared this:

I was with a cave rescue group for several years and we were in  damp areas and sometimes walking through underground rivers for days.  We made our matches water proof by coating with clear finger nail polish. This worked well and can make almost any match water proof.

On the subject of children and prepper, a new reader, “Michele” shared this:

I started breaking my kids in to prepping by telling them a zombie apocalypse was coming. They were old enough to know better but young enough to play along.

Our regular, sometimes totally unplanned, camping trips help with their quickness in getting out the door. I just tell them if everyone can be ready to go and in the car in less than five minutes we will spend a few days in the woods. My 7 year old is done in less than 3 and has taken to grabbing the diaper bag and our smallest tent on his way out.

They have also taught me a few things. I now have games and toys stocked with my food and water. My middle daughter keeps track of the toiletries because I tend to focus on food and water too much. My 9 year old is afraid of the dark, until the power goes out. Then she heads for the closest flashlight calmly while telling my melodramatic teen girls to be quiet before they scare the baby.

Yeah, I’ve taught them a lot, but they have taught me plenty too.


The winner of the The Pocket Guide to Wild Mushrooms is Marilee.  Here is how she answered the question What native plants are available for foraging in your area?  (It is okay to respond saying you don’t know!)

I will say I don’t know!

Fair enough – perhaps this book will help you identify the wild mushrooms in your area.

The winner of a copy of both The End and The Long Road by G. Michael Hopf was Sue.  Here how she answered the question: What is your favorite survival fiction novel?

My favorite survival fiction novel is probably the first one I ever read (and I’m aging myself here 😉 – Lucifer’s Hammer.

The last winner for today is Barbara, who wins the Vigilant Trails Survival KitThe Ultimate Compact Survival Kit Winter Blast Giveaway Backdoor Survival.  Here is how she answered the question:  What is the outdoor activity where you would most likely need a compact survival kit?

The outdoor activity where i would need a compact survival kit would be in a bug out situation,( if I could not shelter in place.) I have no retreat to bug out to, A kit like this one would be a much needed addition to my BOB.

I would like to thank everyone for their entries.  There are many more giveaways to come; more food, more books and some really cool gear.  And remember, someone has to win – it just might be you.


Blooper alert!!  Remember that compost bin I ordered?  For those of you well versed in acronyms, it was a P.O.S. so I returned it.  Please do not purchase this item: CompoMix Composter.  I have ordered a different portable compost system but this time will check it out before blabbing about it here on Backdoor Survival.  Stay tuned – it should be here next week.


Last week, a bunch of you shared your weekly preps in the comments area and that was great.  Did you know that when Shelly ( the Survival Husband) visits the website, the first thing he does is read your comments?  I know from reading them myself that a lot can be learned from readers sharing their tips and their experiences.  So keep it up – I love it when you comment!

So now it is your turn.  What about you – what did you do to prep this week?

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

Click Here To Vote For Me at Top Prepper Websites!

If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Facebook which is updated every time there is an awesome new article, news byte, or link to a free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon.  You can also follow Backdoor Survival on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ and purchase my book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage from Amazon.

In addition, when you sign up to receive email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Spotlight Item:  Surviving With Nature is a wonderful book on healing. t includes over 2000 natural treatments for more than 79 ailments. The best part is that most of the ingredients can be found at home. The author is someone that one of our readers knows personally and while not free, it is only 99 cents.

Bargain Bin: For your discernment, here are of some items mentioned in recent articles as well as some personal and BDS reader favorites and items from the current Amazon Top 10.

FordEx Group 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight Torch Adjustable Focus Zoom Light Lamp:  Here we go with another flashlight.    It is super mini sized, bright and waterproof.  Plus, it uses a single, standard AA sized battery.

Morakniv Craftline Q Allround Fixed Blade Utility Knife: Also known as the Mora 511, this is now my favorite knife.  It is made of Swedish steel and is super sharp.

LifeStraw Personal Water FilterThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items Backdoor Survival:  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.  There is also a larger sized, LifeStraw Family currently available with free shipping.

Coghlans Waterproof Matches 10-pack: That is a good deal for 400 waterproof matches.

Gorilla Clear Repair Tape and Gorilla Tape 35-Yard Roll:  Enough of you have told me I need to try Gorilla Tape so okay, I have just purchased some and will put it through its tests.

BaoFeng UV-5R  Dual-Band Ham Radio: The Baofeng UV-5R is a compact hand held transceiver providing 4 watts in the frequency range of 136-174 MHz and 400-480 MHz. It is a compact, economical HT that includes a special VHF receive band from 65 – 108 MHz which includes the regular FM broadcast band. Dual watch and dual reception is supported.  Here is the antenna I ordered along with the programming cable: NAGOYA Antenna for BAOFENG UV-5R and USB Programming Cable for Baofeng UV-5R UV-3R+.

Blocklite Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight: I now own six of these little gems. There is a similar flashlight called the Pak-Lite (which is more expensive) but it does not have a high-low switch like this one. These little flashlights just go and go, plus, they make good use of those re-purposed 9V alkaline batteries that you have recharged with your Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger.


EMERGENCY ESSENTIALS Mountain House SUPER SALE! 25% – 50% off all cans!

This month the big news is that all Mountain House tins are 25% off.  Of course my favorite is the Mountain House Chili Mac iconbut I know the Beef Stroganoff iconis really popular as well.

Mountain House

A recent Mountain House Order

Other specials to consider are the Baking Mixes Combo and Butter Powder, both of which I use regularly.  The butter powder, especially, is good in bread machine breads.

These are just a few of the items that are on sale.  Click on this link for more:  Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials.


I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your .

The Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items
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Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!


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16 Responses to “The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 103”

  1. Gaye (and Shelly) – the tech class test is really simple. A formula or two and common sense will get most answers for you. A few days before going for the test go to one of the online test sites (I’m sure George Ure can recommend one). Those usually have questions from the standardized question pool and will let you find out how well you will probably do on the real one. The questions are all multiple choice, so just looking at the question and answer choices will quite often let you get the correct answer. If you do really well on the tech class test (you’ll get the results within minutes of finishing the test), go ahead and try the general class test. You may pass it! Probably will not ace it, but you have a shot at getting the general license (by luck if nothing else!), so why not try for it?

  2. Thanks for the info on the Beofang Radios, I have Purchased Mine, but have Not Yet Attempted to Set them Up as My Computer has been Down! HOPEFULLY I Will Not have Any difficulty with Your added info!
    I buy a Lot of things at the Dollar store, for My Preps, Vasaline, for those Cotton Balls ( Also purchased at Dolar Store) as waterproof Firestarters! CANDLES, For the Help Others Boxes or to Melt and Use in Various Applicatios! CHEAP Toiletries, also for that Help Others Box, Kids Coloring etc. Supplies for ANY Scared Little Ones…the List is Endless!
    ALSO, Don’t know if You have Checked out the SAWYER WATER FILTER, I was Just recently told about it, I Had 2 Lifestraws in My Car Kit,But the SAWYER filters a WHOLE LOT MORE,More Effectively and Actually Costs a Couple Bucks Less! Once Again, thanks for the Info and I am Glad I Found Your Blog!!

  3. Received my Kaito emergency radio and got familiar with it. Haven’t been to our bug out location yet to see how well it works there. Hopefully we don’t have to climb to the top of the mountain to be able to use it! Also received some essential oils to experiment with. Made lip balm and peppermint scrub. Love both! Plan on making miracle healing salve as soon as I get to town to get jars! That’s it for this week.

    • We ask friends to save baby food jars for us. 🙂

  4. Check out The books are available on the author does a lot of work with the Boy Scouts and wrote the books from hie experiences helping them get their licenses the books are about $20 each, but the accompanying website information and resources are FREE!

  5. Shelly, what a great article you found on how EMP will affect a vehicle. There is limited information out there on the subject. I have been trying to find out a way to make my garage into a type of faraday cage without making it look like a chicken coop. A sensible solution from someone was to run copper braided straps from the vehicle to a grounding rod outside. Not sure if this would work, but seems better than nothing. Getting everyone to unhook and rehook their vehicle up everytime they use it will be an educational process too. I still wonder what we can wrap around to “harden” the electronics on the newer truck models. Tinfoil, aluminum, etc?

  6. Thank you for the chance of winning ‘The Pocket Guide To Wild Mushrooms’. I will now remove it from my wish list on Amazon.

  7. Prepping this week consisted of stocking up on shampoo, conditioner & deoderant. I had BOGO free coupons to use, so didn’t cost a fortune. 🙂
    I also placed an Emergency Essentials order through our buying group & a friend of mine was placing a bulk order of spices & extracts, so I got stocked up on some vanilla. 🙂

    • I can’t believe I forgot the most important thing! I ordered a portable greenhouse from, should be here in less than 2 weeks! I have used these in the past, fair warning, they’re usually only good for a year, but so excited to have something until my husband finishes our permanent one. 🙂

  8. Gaye,
    For the tech study guide none better than The No Nonsense Study Guide by Dan Romancick // Best cram session I found on the net. Free for Tech and General class. I had to pay for the extra class, I’ll tell you how that goes if/when I tahe it. 🙂

  9. Prepping this week for me was checking my stocks and with the winter weather of freezing cold followed by 2 storms; then another which came with freezing rain. It just called for an impromptu disaster drill, knowing full well it could become the real thing.
    So starting Thursday morning, even the 18 wheelers were pulling into whichever lot/yard or parking facility and shutting down. Friday and Saturday only those trucks with chains were driving the I-5 from the California border to somewhere in upper Washington state. Schools, many businesses and even govt offices were closed down except for ‘essential’ personnel. Last night, in Portland, Oregon, even the public transit system stopped running.
    In my town, search and rescue units were picking up and dropping off staff for our local hospital. A friend sent me a picture of when her son walked to the Safeway near her for “a few needed items.” He got a pic and you could see the display shelves which normally are full of meat with perhaps a dozen items left. Remember the truckers weren’t moving. Even the ones coming from Canada weren’t. See we just don’t get this type of storm but about once every 6 or 7 years so it’s not economical to keep snow removal equipment around. So there is just enough for the arterials and that’s it.
    So I ‘bugged in’. I admit I didn’t go w/o electricity and kept using my water system, but I was looking to see how we would do things w/o these luxuries. Power did go out in spotty areas, but not here. Since I have all electric, no generator, I was prepared with my DIY flower pot heaters. Having done the research on how they work, I kept looking at my cast iron cookware. So…… got it, I made some cast iron heaters with what I wasn’t using along with some old fishing weights which are used for ocean fishing (they were the mass inside the cast iron). Now I will be searching for more cast iron. Between the terracotta pots heaters and the cast iron ones…I know I can handle the cold weather situation when the next one comes. I also know where I am lacking and those items will be at the top of my priority list—just in case.
    The peace of mind is fantastic, knowing we can weather this triple winter storm threat. Have a great week ya’ll. 🙂 This has been good to watch how our local emergency systems were working too. The phone tree I’m on works well as did the email tree. Great communication. And GAYE, I was sure wishing I had what you were talking about in your buzz. That’s on my list too, to buy and to get my license.

  10. You find out things about your preps when you have to use them. I DIDN”T follow instructions, and didn’t try things before I NEEDED them. The ice storm on 2/5 caused me to lose power. I then found out that the Kaito Radio doesn’t have a plug that fits my antique cell! No car charger available either. Too old. I now have an inverter to take my truck power port and convert it to 110V AC so I can charge my 5VDC phone!! I did have a way to heat water and cook, so until I purchased a new generator,(the old one wouldn’t start) I had hot tea and food. Power was down for 2 1/2 days, but there are still people without, so I don’t feel so bad. I learned the hard way. EVERYONE, test your preps, practice with all your equipment. Keep your equipment maintained so everything is ready when it is needed. If this was SHTF, I would be SOL!!

  11. My big prep this week was to buy a membership to Costco. It was a “deal” that included a Costco gift card for $20 and a bunch of coupons for free items at Costco. I hope to add a lot to our food stores. Even if we only have a membership for 1 year.

  12. This week I went to grocery stores and asked the bakery department for thier empty frosting containers. the containers hold between 15-20 pounds of frosting. there are two kinds of containers, some have a rubber seal around the lid, others do not. I like the ones with the rubber seal, I think the lids are stronger.I had to wash the frosting containers a few times. I portioned out some beans into seal-a-meal bags, put those into the containers. on the outside I put a list of what is in there and a list inside a separate notebook, each has the expiration dates.

  13. Oh dear – I just saw your comment about the CompoMix Composter. I recently ordered it based on your previous comments. 🙁 Bummer!

    • Sheila – I returned mine to Amazon indicating it was “not as described” or something like that. They paid for the return shipping and I received a credit. It has so many little parts that were not marked that even my husband, who is quite good at that stuff, could not figure it out. No way is it as easy as the description said. It was a nightmare.

      Good luck and sorry about the hassle.

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