The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 124

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jul 3, 2019

Welcome to this week’s all new Sunday Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.

This week I repackaged the contents of a tin of instant powdered milk into Mason jars using my FoodSaver and the jar attachment gizmo.  As a test, I decided to give “dry canning” a shot.  I did this by putting some of the powdered milk in a jar along with an oxygen absorber.  I added a standard canning lid and ring and did nothing else.

No FoodSaver, no vacuum seal, no nothing.  As you can see from the picture below, the jar of powdered milk is totally sealed.  I went outside and shook it up to try and break the seal but it held.

So what does this mean?  Although I still will continue to use my FoodSaver and the mason jar attachment, if I need to seal some bulk foods (beans, rice, oats, and such) and do not have any power, I will still be able to do so.  How long will it hold?  Who knows?  I will keep checking the seal and will keep my fingers crossed that it will hold for a good long time.  This is good news for those of you that do not have or cannot afford a vacuum sealer (and there is no shame in that!).

Sometimes I think that clutter breeds itself.  One day the house and yard are nice and tidy and the next there is junk all over the place.  Of course, helping things along is the fact that my house is really just a cottage.  There is one room on the main floor that encompasses our living area, dining area and kitchen.  Upstairs is a single bedroom and my little office.  That’s it.

Blog stuff is all over the place.  My own preps are tucked into nooks and crannies all over the place as well.  When I write about prepping for the space challenged, I mean it.

Anyway, this week’s major prep was cleaning up the place and getting rid of old stuff that is never used so that I can make room for more of what I need to have at the ready should a true emergency occur.  Like most of you, I plan to hunker down since my geographical location would be considered by some to be an ideal bug out location.  I still have a secondary B.O.L. but it is currently being re-evaluated given the cost and logistics of keeping it maintained.

Other preps this week included making up two big batches of Healing Salve.  I go through the stuff like crazy and wanted to try a few changes prior to posting an update to the article DIY Miracle Healing Salve.  Of particular note is that I used my jar of Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil for the first time and all I can say is WOW!  This stuff is so much easier to work with than the Nutiva (also good stuff but nothing like this!).

Making Salve Fun Project

The Tropical Traditions coconut oil is very smooth and creamy and is really easy to scoop out of the jar.  Next up is using it for cooking or even on popcorn.  You know there is a lot of hype out there when it comes to coconut oil and while some of it is credible, there are some pretty wild health claims out there as well.  One way or another, I want to sort this out (the truth from the hype) not only for my own knowledge but also so I can share what I learn with you.  I will say this:  I have been using coconut oil in my skin care routine and in salves for a year and I couldn’t be more pleased.

Other preps?  I cleaned one of my diffusers by diffusing some alcohol for 10 minutes followed by 10 minutes diffusing plain water.  I also learned that you can get more vapor out of a diffuser by starting with hot water.  Who knew?

Little Tucker the Dog had some oral surgery and I calmed and soothed him with a spray made with Lavender and Witch Hazel.  I don’t know if it worked or not but both Mom and Dog felt better for it!

That about covers it for me this week.  Now for some announcements.


“Billy” made this comment to the article “Prepping for an EMP and Solar Flares”.  It is an interesting discussion and worth a read:

EMP and Coronal Mass Ejection(CME)/Solar flares/Carrington Events are different things with differing effects.

An EMP is an instantaneous event that will affect a given area. The higher the altitude of the EMP weapon, the larger the affected area, but it will not be world wide. A solar flare, on the other hand, can last for days, affecting the whole planet. The effects of each, as I mentioned, are different. EMP’s have three components which can knock out anything in its range. I say “can”, not “will”. Some things will be destroyed (sensitive microelectronics).

Some will be affected but not destroyed (say, a car whose ECM gets “glitched”, causing a need to turn off the car, and restart). And some things will be unaffected (older cars, older electronics, “hardened” military systems, etc). The power grid will likely go down, and not come back for several months, maybe years.

The biggest problem will not be that we will get “knocked back 200 years”, but we’ll have a population that can’t be sustained with 200 year old technology, there will be very few people around who have the knowledge to survive with 200 year old technology, and our current survival supply lines (food, water, etc) are not set up to use 200 year old technology. Farms are dependent on diesel fuel, large machinery, and a ready supply of water. The water supply is dependent on purification and pumping operations that require electricity. Casualties will be in the millions.

CME’s/solar flares have one of the three components of EMP’s, but their primary effect will be to long conductors like long power transmission lines. The large transformers on the ends of these transmission lines are vulnerable, as is anything connected to the power grid. Any surge protector should protect anything connected. BUT… these large transformers are used to distribute and balance power demands around the country. Without these transformers, we will experience MANY blackouts, and some areas may be totally without power until the transformers get repaired or replaced, which will take months (maybe years). Some areas will be like NOLA post Katrina. Other areas will be hardly affected. There will likely be casualties, but nothing on the scale of an EMP.

Bottom line: EMP’s can’t affect the entire globe, but the areas they do affect will be devastated; likely a grid down scenario for many months, possibly years, with millions of casualties. CME’s/solar flares can affect the entire globe, but the effects will be much less severe. I would MUCH rather get hit with another Carrington Event than an EMP.


There is still plenty of time to enter one of these giveaways:

Summer Survival Blast: Win an Ultimate Volcano Cooking Combo
Spring 2014 Book Festival: Jake & Miller’s Big Adventure + Giveaway

The Summer Survival Blast will consist of a new giveaway every Friday until I run out of stuff.  Most are giveaway opportunities that I have put together thanks to the generosity of sponsors and other friends of Backdoor Survival.  There are also a few coming up that are joint giveaways with other bloggers and those will be good ones, too.

Then, every Saturday I will be continuing with Book Festivals. I have 18 fantastic books lined up for the Summer Book Festival.  Remember when I said I have a lot of books?  I am going to need to go on another vacation just to read them all.


Every once in awhile, one of the BDS giveaway winners does not claim their prize.  Remember, the winner is always announced in the Sunday Survival Buzz plus is sent an email with “Winner” in the subject.  You snooze, you loose.

So, with that said, neither the the original winner or the first alternate claimed their copy of “Fugitives from Northwoods”.  Jeffry S – you are up next so hopefully you will see this and claim your book!

In addition, “JimW” is the winner of a copy of “Phoenix Island”.  You know the drill; you have 48 hours to claim your book.

Last for this week is the winner of the Honey Bucket 2-Person Survival Kit from  William K. is the winner and he has already claimed his prize – oh how I love promptness.


Did you know that essential oils can be used as a safe and effective alternative to drugs when dealing with ADHD?  If you know someone in your life that needs or wants to get off the meds, share this article from Todd at Prepper Website.  I spoke with him earlier this week and he told me this really works on kids especially.

A Natural Alternative to ADHD Meds or Help in Living with Firecracker!


The Spark Naturals Oil of the Month is Oregano! There are no additional discounts on the SN Oil of the Month but for all other orders, you enjoy 10% using code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout.


This month BDS sponsor Survival Based is having a huge July Customer Appreciation sale.  Each day, a new item will be featured at up to 66% off.  What is not to like about that?


I had every intention of tallying up the results of the recent giveaway polls this week but ran out of time.  Maybe next week?

In the meantime, what about you – what did you do to prep this week?

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

Thank you for voting for me daily at Top Prepper Websites!

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The Sunday ALMOST FREE Department

Almost Free Stuff   Backdoor Survival

Military P38 & P51 Can Opener Combo Pack

These small can openers are one of the army’s greatest tools. Besides being used as an emergency can opener, they can be used as a sharp cutting edge, a screw drive, a tool to clean under fingernails, a seam ripper and more.  They are made in the USA by the Shelby Co. and although it is difficult to see, these are holes in each so that you can add them to a key ring or lanyard.

Like I said, almost free!

Bargain Bin:  Today I share a mixed bag of items, including items mentioned in this article.

Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil (Great Sale):  This is great stuff and the sales are exceptional. That is a steal.  Personally, I have my eye on the 5 gallon tub for 50% off.  Heck, at the rate I go through salve it might be worth it.

60 – 300cc Oxygen Absorbers: This is one area where you want to make sure you are getting a quality product.

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.

Lighten Up: Love What You Have, Have What You Need, Be Happier with Less:  The first Peter Walsh book I read was It’s All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff and I have to tell you, it inspired me to get rid of the clutter in my life and to start focusing on the things that really mattered.  His latest book, Lighten Up, is more of the same and truly an inspiration.

Clara’s Kitchen: Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes from the Great Depression: If you don’t know about Clara, be sure to read Depression Cooking: A Visit to Clara’s Kitchen.

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. There is also a larger sized LifeStraw Family currently available with free shipping.

Magnesium Flint Firesteel Fire Steel Starter: Here is how to use it:

1. Place the flint on ground upwardly, and put the scraper vertically to the flint, then scrape some magnesium powder on inflammable material like paper or branch

2. Place the flint on ground at about 45° and 2.5 cm from the magnesium powder scraped just now, then scrape the flint fast to produce spark so as to light up the inflammable material.


Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and I thank you.

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Spark Naturals Oil of the Month Club | Backdoor Survival



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Updated Jul 3, 2019

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19 Responses to “The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 124”

  1. I got started with packing foods in mylar bags. The mylar bags I ordered had oxygen absorbers included, so, I didn’t have to buy them seperatly. I used a very cheap hair straightening iron (less than $10) to seal the bags and it worked great. I worried a bit when some of the bags still had air in them the next day, then remembered that most freeze dried foods also have ‘air’ in them, just no oxygen!
    Also ordered another string of solar powered led Christmas lights to put around my chicken coop. They seem to work great for keeping wild predators away!
    Finally – I’ve checked my emails and don’t find the notification for winning “Phoenix” – but I’ve also lost a few other emails this week. I’ll be sending you a confirmation email. THANK YOU!

    • Jim – congrats! And your right there’s no oxygen in the bags. It’s the same with canning even though there is some headspace in the jar it’s not harmful oxygen

  2. I never thought of sealing a mason jar with O2 absorbers. What size absorbers did you use in a quart jar?
    One of your recent interviewees said that we should not let prepping get us down. Enjoy our life as we prep. That touched me. This week I took a quick trip to Florida to purchase a new car (Florida’s price was $2000 cheaper on a new Toyota) with my granddaughter and grandson. My granddaughter, grandson, and me in Fl for a week. You know we would start a whirlwind. We did. It turned into a hurricane.
    I think I have prepped as much as I want to, so now I am going to travel and enjoy life. Yes, I will still read BDS everyday and enjoy everything to post.

    • I believe I used a 100cc O2 absorber but it might have been a 300cc because that is what I was using in my Mylar bags at the time. I say 100cc because that is adequate for a quart of food. The seal actually “stuck” within 12 hours but I let it sit around for awhile to make sure it took. I was amazed.

      As far as prepping as a sideline and not an avocation I hear you loud and clear. I have been pretty outspoken here on the blog about my own need to spend more time enjoying life and have been slowly making a few changes here and there so that can happen. I hope the BDS fans don’t abandon me for cutting back a bit 🙂

    • Good for you John & glad you’re safe

  3. Gaye,
    Always enjoy reading your entertaining articles. Out of curiosity, did you ever take your amateur radio technician test? Also, a good topic of an article might be the various preparation nets that are out there. Bob

    • @Bob – Nope. Something had to give in my life or I would break from the stress of too much to do(see comment above). Getting my tech license is on the back burner for now.

    • That’s to bad. You will get to it. How about an article on prepping Nets. I’m sure you have a lot of Ham followers.

  4. Have you ever thought of selling your Miracle Healing Salve?

    • Shelly is always bugging me about making some up to sell. To be honest, my time is so precious that I have set those thoughts aside. I also have some concern about shipping costs. BTW, you are not the first to ask 🙂

  5. Gaye – thanks as always for the info and all you do.
    We had a power outage drill at our house this week – storms rolled through & knocked out our power for about 18hrs. I swear we always learn something new when that happens. This time it was a list of things we need to remember to do after the power outage (i.e.) make sure we recharge the lights we’ve used, put the flashlights back in their proper place, replenish the water we’ve used etc.

    This week, I attended a great canning seminar at our local farmers market. A big shout out to Ball who gave the farmers market a grant to be able to offer the seminar. There’s going to be a series of 3 presentations in all, this week it was Marisa McClellan who has books on small scale canning which is perfect for the basket of fruit you get at a farmer’s market. Next week is a presentation on pickling & the 3rd will be on tomatoes.

    • did you place the oxygen absorber on top of the food or used paper to set it on?

    • I always bury the O2 absorber inside the food.

  6. Gaye – Thank you, this topic has been in the back of my mind, knowing it had to come forward soon for dehydrating season. Do you know if you can use ‘used’ lids, ones that are not bent or warped?
    This week is a new skill, making lanyards, with lanyard knot and Cobra knot and King Cobra knot. I must have taken it apart 10 times. But I came pretty close to a perfect lanyard. 7 more to go.
    Garden is in full bloom and harvesting some.

    • I re-use lids when using my FoodSaver jar attachment and if they have the slightest bend to them, I will not get a good seal. I would think that the same thing would happen here. Trial and error – if it does not hold after 24 hours, swap out the lid for a new one.

  7. Great idea.

  8. I guess I missed this post. I wanted to tell you that using your foodsaver jar attachments, and a new brake bleeder, you can manually seal your jars without electricity. One of these- //
    Will be a really good thing to have if we have no power, and no O2 absorbers. I have some jars that are sealed with just the O2 absorbers, going on their 2nd year now, but Im afraid we wont have access to them in the future. Also when I use my absorbers, I suck any air out that I can, with the foodsaver. I store my extra abs in a jar, and suck that air out too, just so the abs dont have to work as hard.

  9. I always hear people saying you can store white rice. Can brown rice also be stored in the same manner?

    • Brown rice is naturally oily and can go rancid, making it ill-suited for long term storage. I store mine for two years max and even then, keep it in a cool, dry location. Hope this helps.

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