The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 120

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jun 28, 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.

I have one more day of travel left before I land back on the home front after being away for three weeks. To say I am anxious is an understatement.  I miss my own house, my own bed, and, not surprisingly, the comfort of being surrounded by my preps.

Native Americans Use Devils Claw for Healing

Being me, I spent a good portion of my travels discussing preparedness with anyone who would listen.  Call it complacency due to the lack of a recent monumental disaster or call it something else, but for the first time in years, I can honestly say that no one cared a fig.  Folks living near beaches in Florida had no preps other than boards for the windows.  No extra food, water, and no emergency radio. What’s with that?

Folks living in areas being battered by wildfires expressed little or no knowledge in taking preventative measures to mitigate a fire jumping onto their property.  I referred them to How to Prepare Your Home and Your Family for a Wildfire. I doubt that they will read it but I felt better.

The one bright light is that I learned that kids attending high school in Ketchikan actually learn survival training as part of their course curriculum.  According to Tracey Wolf (Wild Wolf Tours) who took Shelly and I through a private hike in the Tongass National Forest, the teens are sent to the wilderness with some plastic sheeting for use in making a shelter and the contents one small coffee can with supplies of their choosing.  Nothing else.  They must live off the land, foraging for food and even purifying their drinking water.

I also learned about the healing properties of the Devils Club plant and plan to see if I can get some for use in making salves. I am kicking myself for not making a purchase from some of the Native American elders who were selling a Devils Club salve from tabletops in front of their homes in Hoonah. Did you know the Tlingit have no word for Arthritis, Asthma, Fibromyalgia, Neuropathy, Lupus, Psoriasis, Eczema?

That about wraps up my side of things for the week.  Let’s get on to the Sunday Survival Buzz.


Here is this week’s reading list.

Border Patrol Sector to Release 500 Illegal Aliens Per Week into US

“The National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) revealed to Breitbart Texas that the San Diego Sector of the U.S. Border Patrol is making plans to receive, process, and then release 500 illegal aliens into the U.S. per week who were shipped in from Texas, specifically from the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector.

The specifics of how the illegal aliens are transported is unclear at this time, however, recently some have been flown at the tax-payers expense and some have been transported on buses.”

Half The Country Makes Less Than $27,520 A Year And 15 Other Signs The Middle Class Is Dying

“One of the things that was great about America in the post-World War II era was that we developed a large, thriving middle class.  Until recent times, it always seemed like there were plenty of good jobs for people that were willing to be responsible and work hard.  That was one of the big reasons why people wanted to come here from all over the world.  They wanted to have a chance to live “the American Dream” too.

But now the American Dream is becoming a mirage for most people.  No matter how hard they try, they just can’t seem to achieve it.

And here are some hard numbers to back that assertion up.  The following are 15 more signs that the middle class is dying…”

Canning Questions Answered – A Great Canning Resource

This is a monster post with several infographic type images.

From Bug Out Location to Survival Homestead

“Not all of us can afford the typical bug out location that we hear about all the time, but with the right amount of thought and planning picking a bug out location that doesn’t meet the “ideal” specifications could actually turn out to be better than buying a plot of land on top of a mountain.”

Tricks of the Trade – Using Tea as a Natural Hair Dye!

“This week I’m featuring a natural alternative to dying your hair, without the use of harsh chemicals & odors using: tea! Yes, you can dye your hair using tea!  There is a perfect tea for your hair color too regardless of if you’re blonde, red-headed OR brunette!  Not only is dying your hair with tea a natural alternative to chemical dyes, but this actually makes your hair look & feel better.”

File in the good to know department.  Looking your best may be perceived as vanity but in my own case, I just know I will feel better if I look as good as I can post-SHTF.


Some good advice from “Papa J” on storing 9V batteries:

Gaye, I saw a video once about a home being burned from old batteries being stored prior to disposal. The 9 volt battery if still has a charge, which most do, can short out and spark. Most of us know the way to start a fire using a 9 volt battery and steel wool. Well, the same thing can happen when these are stored.

I know this has to be the perfect situation, but when I put those in the pile, I take a piece of electrical tape and put over the terminals. Better to be safe than having to replace your home, or worse.

And from “becomingme”:

When I charge my alkaline batteries, I place in a separate box for 24 hours, in case they leak. Then I transfer them to the “charged box” for future use.

From “Jim” regarding those dang mosquitoes!

Spring is here and summer is fast approaching. So are the mosquitoes!  The most effective anti-itch treatment I’ve found is a simple piece of tape!

Almost any tape will do, electrical, masking, scotch, whatever you have handy. Just cut a small piece that will cover the bite area and stick it on. Instant relief from the itching. After about an hour you can remove the tape, there may be a bit of minor itching but nothing like what you started with.

This is a great way to help the young children (and us old children!).  If you use different colored tapes they may enjoy the “game”!

From “Betsy”:

Having been an EMT in my town, I’d suggest folks look into becoming a volunteer with their local Fire Co. The small towns many times depend on volunteer EMT’s and will pay for the training. So, if people want to serve their community AND become EMT trained this is a great opportunity.

Thanks, everyone, for your tips.  Keep them coming!


Interested in winning something?  The following giveaways are still active and there is plenty of time to visit the articles and enter.

The Hurricane Ready Checklist + AquaPod Giveaway
Spring 2014 Book Festival: Fury of the Fifth Angel + Giveaway


The winner of a years subscription to the Seeds of the Month Club is John R.  Here is his gardening tip.  John, where are you?  You have not claimed your prize yet and have 48 hours to do so or an alternate will be chosen.

I have been gardening for years and years. This year many of my plants are dying after just starting to grow. I don’t know what is wrong, but I am not giving up. I did use some new composted cow manure from Rural King this year. Who knows??? My advice to the beginner, don’t give up. Experienced gardeners have problems from time to time. Don’t let your bad experiences stop you from continuing to try.


I am thrilled to announce that three winners of the Mountain House giveaway, chosen at random, are Wanda V, Julie, and Kris A.  All three winners have claimed their prize!


The winner of a copy of The Prepper’s Cookbook is Ron G.  His response to the question Which best describes you?” was the following:  I am a “B” I have started prepping by buying can goods and freeze dried foods.


The winner of a copy of Leaving the Trees is Jim. Here is how he answered the question “Which of the following best describes you”.

A – I am a Prepper
B – I am a Homesteader
C – I refuse to be labeled

“A – I may not be fully prepped, but I feel that mentally and emotionally I am prepped for most anything that might happen. If someone thinks nothing major can happen then they will be at a disadvantage when something happens. And that can quickly lead to their death!”

As with all of the other recent polls, I will be tallying the results and reporting back to you in a future Sunday Survival Buzz.


The final winner for today is Benjamin C.  He wins a copy of the The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months. His answer to the following question was: “I have used both A & D.”

Which of the following food storage accessories have you used?  (Indicate all that apply.)

A – Vacuum Sealer (such as a FoodSaver)  or similar device
B – Pressure Canner
C – Mylar Bags with or without  Oxygen Absorbers
D – Large Buckets
E – Other (Describe)
F – None of the Above

Congratulations to all of the winners.  There are many more giveaways lined up during the summer months.  Someone always wins so be sure to check back frequently!


As most of you know, I rely on sponsors, advertisers and affiliate sales to support Backdoor Survival. I do not accept donations and never will. That being said, BDS will always be free for everyone, no matter what.

From time to time I like to acknowledge the generous companies that allow me to keep things going around here. One of those companies is Titan ReadyWater.  Remember them?  They are the creators of the fabulous HERC Tea Light Oven that was featured in the article Off-Grid Cooking with the Amazing HERC Tea Light Oven.

Have you been coveting one of those HERC Tea Light Candle Ovens?  Today, as a Backdoor Survival exclusive, Titan ReadyWater, is offering $75 off your purchase with the discount code “ALASKA”.  That’s right, $75 off!

Backdoor Survival Exclusive: $75 Off the Amazing HERC Tea Light Oven
Use Coupon Code ALASKA at checkout

Not only that, at the end of the promo period there will be a  drawing for everyone who has purchased a HERC using the discount code.  The winner will get a copy of the brand new HERC Cookbook and 400 tea light candles.  The prize is worth over $50.

In order to get your discount, use the code ALASKA at checkout.  That’s it.  I will be sending out reminders during the week and will also be using my own HERC XXL for my own oven-cooking needs during the promo period of June 8th to 22nd.

I am very excited to bring you this offer.  Stay tuned for more!


This month’s Spark Naturals oil of the month is Respire.

Respire – Protection against common germs &  help with congestion
$15.99 with Free Shipping

Note: For all other purchases, use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL for 10% off your order.

Respire is especially great when diffused to help alleviate allergy symptoms or if you have a summer-season cold or flu and would like to be able to breathe better. Respire could also be made into a salve and rubbed on the feet or chest.

What?  You have not tried making a salve?  Check out DIY Miracle Healing Salve.


Those of us that have been blogging about preparedness for awhile learned early on to align ourselves with the good guys out there.  By that I mean blogging colleagues that post original content along with selected articles from content-worthy authors who share a common interest in educating the public relative all things preparedness.  This may include self-sufficiency, homesteading, DIY and of course, the all-important pursuit of truth and freedom.

In these days of content plagiarists, I would like to call-out one of my blogging friends, M.D. Creekmore and his website at The Survivalist Blog.  I invite you to hop on over to his website and if you “do” Facebook, check out his Facebook page as well.

And speaking of Facebook, have you visited the Backdoor Survival FB page lately?  Links to all of my articles are posted as published along with links to eBooks that are temporarily free on Amazon.  Many BDS FB fans have compiled large libraries of eBooks on everything from prepping to gardening to alternative medicine to home repairs.  All for free.

Remember, you can read Kindle eBooks on a PC, tablet or other device with the free Amazon Kindle app.  See Amazon: No Kindle No Problem.


As I write this, my laptop is acting up, making me wonder if there is a resident zombie inside.  This makes me painfully aware of my dependence on computers as I go about my daily life and most certainly, their role in the timely dissemination of information.

After having only marginal internet connectivity for two weeks, having a computer failure right now is not something I look forward to.  Let’s hope it does not get to that.  The good news is that I have another computer, that, with a little of prep work, will be good to go as a backup.

The point?  As much as I embrace technology, I have backup systems in my digital life as well as physical life.  You just never know when things will go wrong.

That wraps things up for now. 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!

Reminder:  Click Here To Vote For Me at Top Prepper Websites!  Did you know you can vote once a day?

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:  I have been pondering what I would take with me to the wilderness if all I could manage were items that fit in a coffee can.  Here are my picks although I am cheating with the Lifestraw since it is a bit to large to fit in a can.

Kershaw OSO Sweet Knife: This “oh so sweet” knife is solidly built, stainless steel knife that comes razor sharp right out of the package. It will pretty much cut through anything the price is amazing.

Windstorm Safety Whistle: This particular whistle can be heard a long distance away and above howling wind and other competing sounds.  I love my cheapie whistles but this is the one I would depend on for wilderness survival.

Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets: You will be surprised at how warm these will keep you. Be sure to test one out in advance so that you have the confidence to trust the blanket in an emergency. You will be amazed at how small and portable these are; a packet will easily fit in a back pocket.

Swedish Firesteel: Using this basic pocket fire-starter, you can get a nice fire going under almost any conditions. This is a small, compact version.  There

Potable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets: Water treatment tabs are a bug out bag essential.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter:  At only 2 ounces (in weight), the LifeStraw is suitable for a backpack or bug out bag.  It is easy to use and requires no chemicals to remove a  minimum of 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria.

Rothco 550lb. Type III Nylon Paracord:  Pick your poison, color-wise, just be aware that some colors are more expensive than others.  What to do with Paracord?  Read: 44 Really Cool Uses of Paracord for Survival.

Chainmate Survival Pocket Chain Saw With Pouch:  This is a survival chain saw that includes a belt loop pouch. Here is what one of the reviewers said: “This thing EATS wood and weighs nothing!! It takes a little bit of effort but you can chew through a hardwood tree half a foot thick in literally a couple minutes; half that if you use two people (one on each end).”

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Spark Naturals has their Essential 4 Pack in a larger, 15ml size.  The kit includes, Lavender, Lemon, Melaleuca (Tea Tree) and Peppermint.

Normally these four amazing oils would cost you $63.45 but this kit is only $49.99.  By  using the 10% coupon code “BACKDOORSURVIVAL” your cost will be reduced to only $44.99.

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Best Food Types, Storage Methods and Exactly What to Buy

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Updated Jun 28, 2019

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12 Responses to “The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 120”

  1. Did you know the Tlingit have no word for Arthritis, Asthma, Fibromyalgia, Neuropathy, Lupus, Psoriasis, Eczema?

    Many languages don’t have their own words for modern technical words, they use the English or French etc instead. Especially languages of people who have suffered genocide at the hands of stupid Americans.

    • Good Points Jack!! The Tlingits and Haidas have their own ways; many are better!!

  2. I have finished reading “Leaving the Trees” and added it to my library to read again in the future. A big THANK YOU to you and Mr. Broome!
    For other preps, I ordered the battery tester you recommend. (not from Amazon, I don’t have a credit card). Continue stocking with freeze dried foods, a bit at a time. Feeding the baby chicks my niece bought me, and also the two adult hens and rooster I already had. Also have been listening to and recording the Summer Of Survival webinar series. Thank you for informing us about it.

    Plus – I voted BDS at the Top Prepper website,every day!

  3. Good Sunday morning, world traveler. I envy you. Sounds like you are having a marvelous vacation. I read your article on using tea to dye your hair. I mix my herbal tea and drink every day. I use peppermint, that grows at my back door, ginger root, and dried hibiscus flowers. The hibiscus turns the tea red. I haven’t done it, but many redheads use this to dye their hair. So if you know any red heads, they may try this.

  4. I found your website a week ago. I had heard an ad for an emergency-food-supply company on the radio, and ran a bunch of Google searches on how to start preparing a food pantry. A lot of the information on other sites was overwhelming and not really applicable to my situation (my one-bedroom apartment simply doesn’t have room for stacks of buckets or boxes of #10 cans). Your article “20 Items to Kick Start Your Food Storage Plan” was the best article I read–and I read a lot of ’em last weekend!

    I created a list and shopped at two supermarkets yesterday. After a third trip this afternoon, I should have all of the canned and boxed foods on my list (which is basically your list with a couple of tweaks, plus a few items suggested by other sites). I’m still working on the supplies of water, rice and pinto beans, as well as the equipment to cook and serve food in a disaster situation…but having my food pantry almost complete is a great source of comfort. (Yeah, I know I didn’t have to buy almost all of the food in one weekend, but the thought of stretching out this first stage of prepping made me nervous!) Thank you!

    • Laurel – Welcome to the world of being prepared! You can think of yourself as a “prepper” in either the derogatory sense or as being someone who is smart enough to realise that disasters really do happen and, if you are ready for them, then you can get through them in something approaching comfort. Remember, when someone is starving, having at least one good meal a day is luxury!
      You’ll find that some of us sound a bit crazy at times. But then, doesn’t everyone, at some time or another?
      Keep reading Gaye’s blog here and you will learn many things, sometimes more than a lot of so called “preppers” know! Also, don’t let family or friends discourage you. If something happens they will be at your front door demanding you help them!
      If you haven’t already seen it, check youtube for the Twilight Zone episode called “The Shelter” – it will show one thing that can happen.

  5. This was another “light” week as far as preps go. I bought some pepper, cinnamon and tumeric ( I luuuuv turmeric in my scrambled eggs, good thing that it just happens to have anti-inflammatory properties) And to end the list, seeds. I am glad that you got to get out of town for a while, Everyone could use some time away.

  6. Thanks for the mention, Gaye.

  7. I haven’t gone through all of the Buzz yet, but I have to give you a big thumbs up on your Ketchikan tour. I hope you enjoyed it. I live on Prince of Wales Island, which is a 3hr ferry ride from Ketchikan. Compared to Ketchikan, we are the real ” rural”! Maybe some day, you can visit and learn about the primarily native population and their traditions here on P.O.W.
    Welcome Home….when you get there!!

  8. Hi Gaye,
    Just wanted to share with you a national organization called CERT, Community Emergency Response Team. I just completed my training and it was amazing. CERT serves as a volunteer support team to fire departments all over the country.
    The training stresses the necessity of first preparing for the safety of the volunteer, their family and then their neighborhood. Prepared = less for first responders to worry about! We learned small fire suppression, basic triage and medical treatments, emergency psychology and basic search and rescue to name a few. Best of all, it’s free!! You can then go on to get more advanced trainings in different areas.
    Even if you don’t want to be a volunteer, this training is a great start for emergency preparedness. Everyone who has the opportunity to take it should!

  9. Green eyes, thank you for the heads up on CERT. Just checked into it and we have one here in San Ramon.
    As to my preps this week – My Eco Zoom arrived last night. 🙂 Very well built. I will be trying it out tonight. I’ve also been vacuum sealing some coffee and split lentils to set aside. Other than that just our normal buying more than needed items when on sale, that’s it.

  10. This week I mainly restocked used items in the prep pantry. I also finished sewing my stash of cloth wipes. I made these from some soft terry cloth fabric I had never found a use for. Ended up with 4 dozen. I have no idea if they will ever be used but our family has lots of young women and babies right now, so I figured if TSHTF, they will be put to good use.
    I work in food service and bring home 1 gallon jugs that hold bbq sauce, salsa, etc. These are #7 and very heavy plastic. I prefer them to a plastic water or milk jug for storing water. Even after washing out with bleach water they still have a slight smell of the original product. If we don’t want to use that water for drinking or cooking, it’s still good for other uses.
    I slowly continue my preps. The garden is producing and this week I will be making rhubarb jam.


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