The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 109

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jun 27, 2019

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.

Arriving home after being away for three weeks meant lots of chores.  The most pressing was my garden and my tomato seedlings which had been at the seedling sitters.  Truthfully, my seedlings don’t look too good.  They are now 5 weeks old and have yet to show their first set of true leaves.  I suspect that one of the problems is that while I was gone, they were not under the grow lights I had purchased before leaving.  I won’t say that I am totally back to ground zero, but I am not hopeful.  Worst case, I will once again purchase tomato starts at our local nursery.

On the other hand, I did start my lettuce seeds today plus, to help with germination, I order a heated grow-mat from Amazon.  As promised, my intent is to share the ups and downs of this years garden adventure with you.

Thrilled with the New Composter

On a positive note, Shelly put together my new compost bin.  For those of you that are new to the website, the reason I have a pre-fab compost bin and not simply a pile of compost tucked into the corner of my yard is that I have almost no yard and almost no garden area.  I will be doing most of my gardening in pots and in a very small square foot garden.

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In the photo above you see me emptying greens (Nitrogen i.e. from the kitchen) into the bin.  I also added the browns (Carbons i.e. shredded leaves).  The way this composter works is that you add your raw materials then give the tumbler 5 to 10 spins every couple of days.  So far so good and I couldn’t be happier with the set-up, the price, and the ease of use.

I have seen a number of recipes for compost; 2 parts greens to 1 part browns, 2 parts browns to 1 part greens and so on.  What is a gal to do?  For now I will experiment and as long as I don’t have a smelly, pest infected mess, I will assume I am doing okay.

I had some other things waiting for me upon my return, most notably some additional lavender essential oil plus some wild orange and additional salve jars.  I love my salves so much that I have another version to share with you on Wednesday.  You are going to love it, I promise.

So okay, enough of my rambling.  Let’s get on to the Sunday Survival Buzz.


Emergency Preparedness for Your Elders – How to Take Care of Grandma in a Crisis:  This article discusses seniors whose health has effected their mobility or mental acuity (as opposed to healthy, active seniors who get around just fine).  This is a very useful article that everyone with older family members should read.

Vegas man stuck with $407,000 medical bill after ObamaCare breakdown: Another example of how the so-called technology behind the ObamaCare enrollment process has failed.

Future economy: Many will lose jobs to computersGeorge Ure has been preaching this for years and has even gone so far as to say that computers should begin to pay employment taxes.  Okay, far fetched but indeed, computers have and will continue to gobble up jobs formerly held by humans.

Why the NSA Tried to Keep Its Water Use a Secret:  By computing the water usage rate, one could ultimately determine the computing power and capabilities of the Utah Data Center.  Armed with this information, one could then deduce how much intelligence NSA is collecting and maintaining.  Wow.

Government Agency: If 9 Substations Are Destroyed, The Power Grid Could Be Down For 18 Months:  The internet in my area was down for over a week last November.  As a matter of fact, land lines and cell service was down too.  Talk about feeling exposed.  Are you prepared for being grid down and without modern communications for a year or 18 months?

The Real Expiration Dates on Common Foods: The message is that expiration dates typically address quality, not safety. Good to know.

Resources for the Newbie Homesteader/Prepper:  This is a great list and I am both humbled and proud to be included.


Michele had this to say about used buckets obtained for free from restaurants or fast food joints:

Try using a baking soda wash to get the pickle smell out– it’s a trick that is as old as Tupperware! lol I used to sell it and I was taught that if you take baking soda and use it in place of say kitchen cleanser powder – it can take almost anything out of plastics– I have let the mix sit in plastics over night and it does great.

Michael shared this tip for playing card games when the power is out:

Over the years, we have gotten our teenage daughter and her friends hooked on card games, such as “Speed” that pits 2 players against each other. They are so competitive and have searched the web, now, for interesting card games.  They have printed out the rules to have in hand if there isn’t any power for a while.

And from Patrick:

An important note about Epi-Pens. They have very short expiration dates and that expiration date means something. The chemicals break down and completely lose their effectiveness after they expire. Also, the effects of an Epi-Pen wear off in about an hour, so if you are having a serious reaction, you aren’t out of the woods yet.

An Epi-Pen can save your life, but understand the limitations.

Every good first aid kit should contain several doses of an antihistamine. A max dose does more than just control minor itching. It can keep you breathing. Easily purchased over the counter and they last a lot longer.


The winner of the Buy Emergency Foods (Legacy Foods) free food giveaway is Sharon.  She will have her choice of dog food, cat food or people food.  Here is how she answered the question:

In an extreme power outage, what amusements do you have in place to keep yourself and your family occupied without TV, video games, and the computer/Internet?

We have backup power enough to run a couple light bulbs or recharge cell phones, Kindle, etc., but we also have tons of books, magazines & board games. We typically have too much to do around the “farm” to have much down time…so usually these things pile up on the bookshelf, unread, until we get weather that’s too crummy to do anything else in….like today. 🙁

Congratulations, Sharon.  For everyone else, the next giveaway is Friday when I review the fabulous HERC Tea Light Oven.


Let’s give a warm Backdoor Survival welcome to JZ O’Brien, the author of SURVIVING ABE: A Climate-Fiction Novel.  You know how I love survival fiction!  As one reviewer says: “A very good read! Leaves you begging for more!”

As with all of my sponsors, please pay them a visit and let them know you saw them on Backdoor Survival.


Spark Naturals is including a free bottle of “Wild Orange with all March Oil of the Month orders. As I mentioned above, my bottle just arrived so I have been researching how to use it.  Here is what I have learned:

Fights Depression – Mood Lifter
Breaks up Heartburn causing Acid
Aids the Digestive System & The Lymph System
Lowers Cholesterol
Helps with Sleep Issues
Assists with Addiction Withdrawals
Brightens Dull / Oily Facial Skin

Here is a link for more information on the Oil of the Month Club.  Don’t forget to use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL to get a discount on all orders (except OOTM which is already discounted).


That about wraps things up for this week.  I am still playing catch-up from my trip and need to devote more time prepping the garden in the coming week,

So what about you – what did you do to prep this week?  Until, next time, remember to make every day a prep day!

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.

Bargain Bin: Here are of some items mentioned today as well as some personal and BDS reader favorites and items from the current Amazon Top 10.

Hydrofarm MT10006 9-by-19-1/2-Inch Seedling Heat Mat:  I have always used a heat mat with my seeds but in recent years I have been purchasing starts.  My old mat is long gone and this year I am growing my own veggies from seed.  And heirloom seed at that.  This is the heating mat that I have ordered.

Yimby Tumbling Composter:  I love my new composter.  This one works great – unlike the first one I purchased and returned.  If you have hesitated to begin composting, consider this tumbling version.  I will keep you posted about my progress but so far I am pleased.

Plastic Ointment Jars With Lids 1/4 Oz 10/pkg:  These small ointment jars make it easy to custom blend various salve concoctions.  Have you tried my salve?  See the article DIY Miracle Healing Salve and make your own!

One Second After:  For many, the novel “One Second After” was a game changer that convinced them of the need to be prepared.  If you have not read this book, you really should.  This will set the stage for other novels in the survival fiction niche.

Coghlans Waterproof Matches 10-pack: There are 10 boxes of 40 matches each.  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.

Morakniv Craftline Q Allround Fixed Blade Utility Knife: FAVORITE! Also known as the Mora 511, this is now my favorite knife. It is made of Swedish steel and is super sharp.  Many Backdoor Survival have emailed me indicating this is now their favorite knife too.

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

Baofeng UV5RA Ham Two Way Radio 136-174/400-480 MHz Dual-Band Transceiver: 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+.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials: The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.  And this month only, there is FREE SHIPPING on all orders of $150 or more!

I frequently forget to mention that Emergency Essentials sells a huge selection of preparedness gear.  This month, the Kaito Voyager is on sale for $39.99.  If you have been procrastinating on purchasing an emergency radio – or, do not have a spare – this would be a great item to add to your food storage order.

kaito voyager

This is just one of the items on sale this month.  Click on this link for more:  Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials.

Are You Interested in Essential Oils?

I now use essential oils from Spark Naturals for wellness purposes. There are a lot reasons one of which is there commitment to both quality and value.

Spark Naturals BDS

My recommendation is the Health and Wellness kit which includes all of my favorites or, if you are just getting started, the Essential 4 Pack which includes Lavender, Lemon, Melaleuca (Tea Tree) and Peppermint.  Be sure to use the discount code “BACKDOORSURVIVAL” to receive a 10% discount.



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Updated Jun 27, 2019

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15 Responses to “The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 109”

  1. Hi Gaye,
    I saw your concerns about your seeds. Mine have just started their 2nd set of leaves; I planted them on 3/7; they are in a basement bedroom which is normally 58 but I brought in a portable heater and I keep the room they are in at 70 degrees. I keep the trays about 2″ from the lights. I have 4 32 watt florescents and they are on for 16 hrs / day. I just raised the lights to keep the distance between the light bulbs and the sprouts at about 2″ or so.

    hope this helps


    • My problem is that I was away for 3 weeks and gave my tray of seeds to a neighbor to watch. There was not much else I could do an so my guess is as you say – too cool and too dark.

      Appreciate the encouragement, though. Some days I need as much as I can get 🙂

  2. I received an email from you regarding the everstryke match and ordered six of them. Anxiously awaiting arrival. I plan to have one in my car e-kit, bug out bag, in the candle/lighting drawer in the kitchen and still have 3 to give to my daughter and family for their kits. They look so much easier to use than the other stiker types. I will have so many ways to light a fire that I could hire out in an emergency!!

    • LOL 🙂 🙂

    • You wont be sorry!! I bought 3 a few months ago and they work great!!! Hubby tested it to start the fire pit just the other day and he was amazed at the easy of it. Only one draw back. Put a can of lighter fluid with each everstryke. That’s your ignition point. I have a container for each that has a good strong seal just in case the lighter fluid leaks.

    • You can also get a keychain Zippo canister, it holds enough fluid to refil a Zippo lighter and would probably refil the match. I have one for my Zippo lighter and put fluid in it several months ago, none has leaked out or evaporated. There are reports of people keeping fluid in them for a year or more. So basically, fill it and forget it until needed. Being a keychain it takes up little room.

  3. Gaye,
    Haven’t done a lot of prepping this week. Started using our Costco membership and stocked up on a few bulk items. Picked up a lot of celery and dehydrated it last week. Added canned veggies, bar soap, and batteries. Started peppers, basil, cabbage, and broccoli last week. Did a flat of 6 different tomato varieties today. We still have snow on the ground in north central Illinois. But my tulips and daffodils are coming up. So is the rhubarb, so there is hope!
    Don’t give up on your tomatoes. You might be able to save some of them.

    • We did a few prepping things this weekend. Our prepping was getting our camping gear/hurricane/bug out gear a really good once over. re-sealed the tents, rotated food stocks (shelves and gear) and double check everything to make sure it all worked. Even cleaned out a few more paint buckets to ‘stash’ more supplies in plain site!

    • I love that you hide your preps in plain sight!

  4. this weeks preps are, I stated to prepare my garden spot & I also orderd a life straw and some tattler reusable canning lids.

  5. Gaye, I have a similar composter and they work great, although I need to move mine during the winter months to gain more sun. I set mine up over a barked area and as you turn them, small pieces of the compost drops out of the container. Not sure yet what I will be putting under mine, but placed on your niece clean patio, may not be the place for it.

    • Good advice. We plan to take out some shrubs so we can move the bin to the side of the house. I am a bit worried about lack of sun, though. Our yard is very shaded.

      Do you have the single bin or dual bin model? Also, are you feeding it shredded paper as well as more organic products? I am new to this and still learning.

    • My mom had a compost pile on the ground, it was behind some thick bushy evergreens and saw maybe an hour of morning Sun.
      Perhaps Sun is more important for your style of composting?
      I never saw paper in her pile. Table scraps, stuff from the garden that wasn’t worth harvesting, lawn clippings & twigs, but no paper.

      If it were mine, I toss some red wigglers in there, but I’m not sure they would stay long enough to do any good?
      Being as how yours is in the shade, they might stick around for awhile?

      Sounds like a fertile place to grow something is directly underneath those composters.
      Lettuce for seed?
      Sweet potatoes?

    • I have the dual bin. The only paper I put in is egg cartons, paper towels. I don’t like the idea of ink going into my compost. Although this may not be important, it’s just my common sense kicking in. Currently my compost is lacking brown stuff. You will know this when you get little nats flying around. If you have leaves that are thinner, they work great. I am lacking them because my wife thought she was doing good by putting our apple leaves in the green bin along with her rose trimmings. 🙁 Anyway, I use the mulching portion with the bag on my leaf blower, so it chops up the leaves. I also chop all my veggie stuff coming from the kitchen. It breaks down faster. Another tip. I share my coffee grounds with compost and my wife’s 50 rose bushes. Roses like coffee. Who knew?

    • I made a composter similar out of a 55 gal drum, and made a wooden stand, ran a 3/4in old water pipe thru for it to turn on, cut a door in the side to add/moisturize…worked fine, nothing fancy to look at tho lol

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