The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 110

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Updated Jun 28, 2019 (Orig - Mar 30, 2014)



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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.

This week has been somewhat a blur so let’s see if I can remember everything.  How about a list this week?

1.  I re-read Mel Bartholomew’s All New Square Foot Gardening so that I could come up to speed again on maximizing my limited garden space.

Refresher Course on Square Food Gardening

2.  Planted sugar snap pea seeds after soaking them overnight in tepid water.  Some were sown directly in a pot while others were started indoors.

3.  Set up a heated grow mat under my grow lights.  Hopefully this will  speed germination.

4.  Pretended I had no electric oven and used the HERC Tea Candle Oven exclusively for a week.

5.  And the biggie:  Shelly and I previewed a home on five acres of sunny land!  I want a huge sunny garden and chickens.  It will take a huge effort to make this happen so keep your fingers and toes crossed that over the next year, we will make this happen.

That’s it for me.  Let’s get on to the Sunday Survival Buzz.


Do Not Make Fun Of Those That Have Fallen Out Of The Middle Class – You Could Be Next: When I read this a couple of weeks ago, it broke my heart.  It gave me a bit of that post March 2009 “been there done that” feeling.  I hope you will read this and feel some compassion for those who have suffered economic hardship through no real fault of their own.

“Sell By” And “Best By” Dates on Food Are Basically Made Up—But Hard to Get Rid Of:  This supports what I been telling you?  Just sayin’.

FCC: Thousands Of Hotels Don’t Have Phones With Direct Access To 9-1-1:  I had no idea.  File this under “good to know”.

Emergency Communications for Under $65:  More tips for using those Baofeng ham radios that many of you have purchased.  You will find this article very easy to understand – a blessing for sure.

Why You Want a Bucket Opener:  I use gamma seals on my buckets but still, one of these bucket openers comes in handy for all sorts of things. 

Fraudulent WEBLEARN Debit/Credit Card Charges Possibly Linked To Earlier “$9.84″ Scam:  Be mindful and always check your credit card statements.

Roll the Presses for TPR4!!!.  I hope to have two articles in the upcoming issue of The Preparedness Review and once again, TPR will be 100% free.


Just one to share this week – from Ranger:

In an emergency situation, we had 8 members in one family get stung by a swarm of yellow jackets. All of those people were allergic and the ambulance that came had only 2 EPI Pins on board. I had several pens with me and the oldest was 8 years old and it worked just fine.  I have been told until the liquid in the pen is cloudy it is still good.

Another tip in an Emergency is that there is 3 shots available from an EPI Pen. You have to take the pen apart to get to the plunger, but  there is 2 shots left and it does work. Just be very careful of the auto spring, it will hurt you.


I know how you love free stuff so I continue to bring you reviews and giveaways.  I am committed to at least two giveaways a month plus the the weekly book festivals.  In the past, some readers have missed the entry deadlines so to help you out, here are two that are currently active.

Baking Bread with The New Artisan Bread in Five + Giveaway

Off-Grid Cooking with the Amazing HERC Tea Light Oven + Giveaway


Did you know that BDS sponsor  LPC Survival has an Amazon store?

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


Sometimes it is the little things that we start with that really help us understand how powerful Essential Oils are and what a difference they make in our lives. Many just start out with adding a little Lavender to their lotion or add them to a homemade salve.

Think about this: mouthwash is a pretty universal item. You can make your own healthy alternative by adding 2 drops of your favorite EO to a shot glass and swishing it in your mouth.  Not all brands of essential oils are suitable for this purpose but many are.  Check the label and if there is “supplement” information, you are good to go.

I use essential oils from Spark Naturals . If you decide to make a purchase, use the discount code “BACKDOORSURVIVAL” to receive a 10% discount. Note: I do receive a small commission making this a great way to support BDS.


I was recently asked why I go to such lengths to be self-reliant and self- sufficient. After all, I did leave a pretty cushy life down in the Seattle area were I  had a large, modern home and was close to restaurants, malls, and services of all types.  You name it, for a price I could have it.

The answer is simple.  The stock market melt-down of March 2009 hit me and many of my colleagues hard.  Retirement funds were decimated but even more than that, I realized that regardless of what is on your financial balance sheet, it is how you live your life that really matters.  Going after personal fulfillment, love, companionship, and simple pleasures outweigh all of the fluff and stuff that money can buy.

I have learned that “trusted” advisors and “trusted” government officials are an oxymoron. If I was going to prevail, I needed to learn to fend for myself.  No one was going to take care of me.  It is now five years later and I can not imagine going back to my old way of living.  And so I continue along my journey and share along the way.  It just feels right.  In too many words, that was and is my answer.

With that – 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!

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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.

All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition: The Revolutionary Way to Grow More In Less Space: Newly revised, this is the book that has allowed me to garden successfully with limited space, a short growing season, and a modest amount of direct sun.  I just re-read it and each time I do, I learn something new.

Linzer  5-Gallon Paint Can/Bucket Opener:  Getting one of these will be one of your “AHA!” moments.  This will make opening those free buckets (or even the purchased buckets) a breeze.

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.

BaoFeng UV-5RE Plus Dual-Bans Ham Radio : The Baofeng 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+.

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!

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.  At the time of this writing, there has been a small drop in price.  It is super mini sized, bright and waterproof.  Plus, it uses a single, standard AA sized battery.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials: The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.

The Do It Yourself SuperPail Combo is on sale for $69.99. It includes 8 x 6-Gallon Buckets with Lids, 8 x Metallized Storage Bags and a 10-Pack of Large Oxygen Absorbers.  That works out to only $8.74 per bucket and bag and is the best price I have seen in a long time.

Don’t forget that you do not need fancy equipment to seal the metalized bag. A cheap hair iron will do the job.  Forget about a hose and a vacuum sealer. A cheap hair iron works great – just be sure to get one with 2” plates.Storing Rice in Mylar Bag_09


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Updated Jun 28, 2019
Published Mar 30, 2014

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16 Responses to “The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 110”

  1. Gaye – I’ll definitely keep my fingers and toes, and I assume you would prefer us to keep them crossed?

    Not much done on prepping this week. Cleaned out the area where I plan on putting the strawberries when they arrive.
    Got reminded yesterday that red wasps love to sting – right forearm still sore today! Gotta keep a watch for them critters!

    • I was stung last year on the back of the leg and it felt like I was being stung over and over again. I slice a piece of fresh ginger and taped it on to the sting. It took the sting and swelling out quickly.

    • I used a baking soda paste to help with the continual stinging sensation. Sore today due to the swelling that occurred. But, since I’ve been stung by them before, I know it’ll be better in a few days! 🙂

    • Oops yes. Crossed. Too many late nights around here.

  2. Emergency Essentials had a one day sale on Hand and Body Warmers. Was able to pick up a supply of them.
    Finished up and mailed out the Tenth Month Before Christmas packages. Sewing kits this month.
    Planted the potatoes in plastic garbage pails and transplanted seedlings into larger pots.

  3. Appreciated your article today. Looked up and printed up the article on the ham radio. Went to Amazon and added it and the equipment you spoke of to my Wish List for when I have the money. Definitely something I wish to get. Also forwarded this to a friend with suggestion she subscribe to you newsletter and look into that inexpensive ham radio set up.
    Also downloaded that man’s three free eBooks, while I was reading his info on the ham radio. Your letter was even more helpful than usual, which is always helpful.
    Do you have to have a prescription to buy those epi pens? That sounds like a good thing to have on hand.
    Another thing which will almost immediately take the sting out is to dab a small amount of regular ammonia on the bite. They used to sell bite kits with that, don’t know if they have decided it is harmful, I just know it does work, and very well. Just takes a tiny amount to stop the sting just about immediately.
    I did get my garden started this week, planted tomatoes, peppers, string beans, oregano, basil, watermelon, and a few other items. Have some other plants coming in the mail this week, to include two dwarf banana trees, some dwarf cherry trees, and a peach tree. Already started two peach trees, two lemon trees, an orange tree, a tangerine tree, and three olive trees. They got somewhat nipped by a very late freeze for S Texas, so I won’t have fruit this year on most, but the trees seemed to have survived. Oh, also put in five new grape vines and one passion fruit plant. Ordered some cuttings to grow several varieties of hops (I brew my own beer :), and ordered some roots to start horseradish, all of which should come this week.
    I tried using small, cheap children’s wading pools, with drainage cut in the bottoms and sides for small raised garden beds, think it will work, planted some herbs and peppers in them. The cost $8 each at the dollar store, so if it doesn’t work, not out that much. Which reminds me, I need to go out now and water, as I planted some seed strips which have to be kept wet until they germinate. Bye.

  4. It seems that I do a small amount of prepping each week. And when I look back on everything it sure adds up fast and I feel like I have actually accomplished something! This week I added some jars of marinated artichokes, roasted red peppers,sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, and bruschetta. These are some of my comfort foods, gotta have em! Also ordered 2 elderberry bushes, everbearing strawberries, and a fig tree I plan to grow in a pot.
    I’ve read several times lately, on different blogs that if you store city water that is chlorinated that you don’t have to treat it before sealing it up. Does anyone know this for sure???

    • Hi this is Kris Jonson from Titan Readywater and you are correct that you do not need to add chlorine to municipally treated water. Part of their process of treatment is to add chlorine to the water. As long as they are up to code and all equipment is in good working order, you can safely store that water for up to 6 months. Make sure you do so in a cool, dark place in safe, air tight containers and please make sure you store more than enough you will need. This is one prep to error on the side of caution and hontstly problibly the one most missed. Water is one of the first things you and everyone around you will need so it will be the first to go. Titan’s Hydrant water storage system was designed for my mother after my father passed. She now lives alone and the 2″ plugs on her 55 gallon water barrels were too much for her not to mention the syphon pump! By simply hooking up a hose and turning a 1/4 turn valve she can access and drain her water storage! Then she hooks the end of the hose to the hose bib, turns on the water and the water pressure fills up her two 55 gallon barrels! It is that easy. The Hydrant was my first invention and the HERC tea light oven my second. We should have a Backdoor Survival combo sale or the HERC & Hydrant to help everyone with their preps for this week! What do you say?

    • Kris, the HERC & Hydrant sale sounds good for those that can afford it. I’m one of those that couldn’t.
      I’m not complaining about the prices, though they are out of my range. Even if you were taking a loss on every sale (which you would be fool to do) they would still be out of my budget. But, for those that can break away enough money the HERC & Hydrant sale would be great. IMO


    • Kris,
      Thanks for the info. Any way I can save a little time helps!

  5. I successfully put together a basic olive oil “lamp”. It’s so much brighter than a regular candle. The hardest part was convincing Canning Girl to give me one of her 3″ high wide-mouth canning jars.
    I made the handle of the wick holder fit down inside the jar so I can put the lid on it when I’m not using it.
    They weren’t kidding when they said olive oil burns clean.

  6. The only thing I got done this week was to get some water. My plan was to use my freinds well water if the shtf. The problem with that is her well ran dry. they need to drill deeper. I just saw the head-lines on one of the local papers that stated that farmers are having to drill new wells down aa far as 1,000ft or more. No one knows how long that will last. I want to move to OR or WA, Does anyone have any ideas on goods locals. Gaye I will be hoping that you do get your dream spot. Also,has anyone made or know how to make sugar from sugar beats.

  7. I love Bartholomew’s All New Square Foot Gardening! I live in a small urban house so space is at a premium. I’ve been adopting the practices for a couple years and it’s really changed the way I used to garden. I highly, highly recommend it to anyone that has not read the book.

  8. I have a question about essential oils. Is it safe to use plastic bottles or containers for the miracle healing salve or anything else that you add eo’s to? I have heard that they react to and eventually break down the plastic. I want to make several different things but glass bottles are so expensive. I did make the miracle healing salve and love it! I put it in 4oz. canning jars. Thanks for any info!

    • I have stored mine in both glass canning jars and the smaller plastic ointment jars I purchase from Amazon. I have not had any problems with the plastic breaking down in any manner. Of course, I do go through my salves quickly!

      As a comparison, my ZAQ diffuser is made of plastic and I use the e.o.s in it daily. Even using citrus oils, I see no sign of etching or anything else that would denote a problem with the plastic breaking down. Given the price point of diffusers ($50 and up), I assume the manufactures know that they are safe for e.o.s.

      You should be fine. BTW, I love using those little 1/2 oz. jars for custom blending. It brings out the inner chemist in me 🙂

    • Thanks so much! I am even more excited now that it is not going to cost me a small fortune to get started.

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