The Sunday Survival Buzz #138

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jul 5, 2019

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

It is always strange to write a Sunday Survival Buzz while I am on vacation.  On the one hand, I want to be thorough and gab about what I have been seeing, who I have been talking to, and how much or how little those around me are prepping.  I will say this:  most folks think I am pretty darn strange.

Prepping?  What is that????  Working on a blog?  What is that???

choosing a ham radio

Alas, I am kicking back and enjoying myself so instead of writing a novel, today I am going to point you to a nifty document titled Choosing a HAM Radio.  This is a 24 page Quick Start Guide to selecting the right radio equipment for your needs. Perfect for all of us newbies who want to learn about some of the features available on our radios to determine which are most important.

And just so I clear the air before you ask, no, I don’t have my license yet.

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


There are two giveaways open and awaiting your entry!

Summer/Fall 2014 Book Festival: Collective Retribution + Giveaway
Free Food Friday: Mountain House Fall Giveaway


The winners of last week’s giveaways will be announced when I return from vacation.


Lemongrass is a great essential oil to have in your first aid kit.

When inhaled, it helps with shock plus it is a gentle oil that is useful for reducing inflammation and muscle aches when applied topically.  For wounds, blend Lemongrass with a carrier oil such as a plain ole naked salve or Miracle Healing Salve.Lemongrass for first aid

Lemongrass even helps control fevers.  Blend it with FCO or your salve and apply to the back of neck and chest areas and to the bottoms of the feet.

Remember to use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL for an additional 10% off your entire order.


This week I am keeping things short and sweet.  If you are new to HAM radio, please do download the short guide to equipment if for no other reason than to become familiar with the terminology. Okay>?

So what about you – what did you do to prep this week?

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for me daily at Top Prepper Websites!  In addition, SUBSCRIBE to email updates and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

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Bargain Bin: Here are some personal favorites, including a nifty handheld scanner with a HAM band.  No license needed!

Uniden Handheld Scanner – Black (BC75XLT):  A hand scanner with ham band that is very portable. This one runs on 2 AA alkaline or rechargeable batteries that can be recharged while in the scanner.

Pofung UV-5R Ham Two Way Radio: Redundancy is the name of the game.  I also have two of these inexpensive HAM radios.  Keep in mind that if you are just planning to listen, you do not need a license (I am still working on mine).  The price is right.  Also, consider the NAGOYA Antenna for BAOFENG UV-5R  and the USB Programming Cable for Baofeng UV-5R UV-3R+. Note: the Pofung was formerly known as the Baofeng UV-5R).

Basics Microfiber Cleaning Cloth, (Pack of 36): No list of DIY cleaning supplies would be complete without these wonderful microfiber cloths. They will last you for years and will allow you to replace paper towels forever. Truly. I color code using blue for glass and windows and the other colors for everything else. I love these.

Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Liquid Cleanser: I know that Dr. Bronner’s Magic Castile soaps have a cult-like following but I prefer the Sal Suds. I call my DIY cleaner “Sudsy Sal”.

Soft ‘n Style 8 oz. Spray Bottles: I happen to like these smaller bottles and you can not beat the price for a set of 3. Likewise for these Pump Dispensers.

NOW Solutions Vegetable Glycerin: You will need this for your Dirt Cheap Soft Soap. I paid almost as much for only 4 ounces locally. This is a great price and 16 ounces will last forever.

Budget Essential Oils:  For the budget minded – and especially for use in cleaning supplies – consider NOW Foods Essential Oils.  I do not recommend these for wellness purposes but they do smell nice and can be used in a diffuser or blended, as I mentioned, into your DIY cleaning products.

Mobile Washer

Mobile Washer: This is a hand operated washing machine. Like a plunger, it uses a technique of pushing and pulling the water through clothes to clean them well without wearing them out. It uses a minimum of water and less soap due to the agitation motion. Use in a bucket (5-gallon suggested), sink or tub.

Shop Emergency Essentials Sales for Fantastic Deals!

Emergency Essentials | Backdoor Survival

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


A Practical Guide to Storing Food For the Long Term
99 cents for the eBook – also available in print!

When most people start thinking about family preparedness, they focus on food. Not shelter, gear, sanitation, power, self-defense or the myriad of other concerns that need to be addressed following an emergency or disaster situation. Quite simply, food is the number one concern people have second only to their concern for having an adequate supply of water.

The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage is a book about food: What to store, how to store it and best practices. It is a roadmap for showing ordinary citizens that long-term food storage is not something that will overwhelm or burden the family budget.

This book is based upon my own tried and true personal experience as someone who has learned to live the preparedness lifestyle by approaching emergency preparedness and planning in a systematic, step-by-step manner. Nothing scary and nothing overwhelming - you really can do this!



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Updated Jul 5, 2019

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13 Responses to “The Sunday Survival Buzz #138”

  1. This week my prepping consisted of our EE group order arriving plus I pulled everything food storage out of their nooks & crannies, sorted, check exp dates, put some into new totes, discovered a need a much LARGER tote for our first aid supplies, and moved the totes with the canned goods into our new home’s crawl space. The house isn’t done yet, but the crawlspace is dry & insulated, and frees up room in our cabin for storage. 🙂 oh, and I bought some bread flour & put it in a 5gal bucket with a gamma seal, soooo much easier to get in & out of that way! I have been practicing with bread recipes.

  2. I’m back from a week at “Front Sight”. A 2 day course in Defensive Rifle, and a 4 day course in Defensive Handgun. WOW what a week. Gaye, I’m sorry to tell you this, but while getting my critters moved around and putting them in different cages, (to make it easier for my daughter to feed and water) I dropped 4 of the new-born rabbits. Two of them got away and you know the 2 that got away were the 2 that I gave you, so I hope you didn’t have them named yet. While moving around the bags of food, I got into a wasp nest. I got stung by one wasp in the most horrible place. My trigger finger. I rushed to the internet to find the best home remedy to prevent swelling and pain. 20 different web-sites, 20 different remedies. I grabbed the closest jar of “Miracle healing salve” and rubbed it on my finger. Almost instantly the pain went away, and I had no swelling. It did start itching tho, so I took a jar with me to Nevada and I am so glad I did. I wondered if this is where people get “itchy trigger fingers”?
    After 2 days of rifle drills with firing from the kneeling and prone positioning, the muscles in this old body were so sore I could hardly get up and down from a chair. Out came the salve. Thanks again for that salve.
    The 4 day Defensive Handgun course was outstanding. 40 people in the class, 15 of which were women. I know of at least one man that had never had a gun in his hand in his life. He didn’t even know how to load a gun. At the end of 4 days we had to take a Graduating test. We had to shoot from the 3, 5, and 7 yard lines at a silhouette target with the “center mass” area darken in. We had to draw from the holster, take the safety off, sight in the target, fire 2 center mass hits in less than 1.8 seconds. You lost points for misses or going over the time. We also had to make head shots from the 3 and 5 yard mark. We were told going in that out of a class of 40, there maybe 4 people that would get a graduate certificate with honors, to be able to go on to a higher proficiency course. The rest would get a completion certificate. If you did not fire from a “cover” condition, meaning you had your weapon concealed, with a jacket or a shirt, (either unbuttoned or having to pull it up) you couldn’t receive a “graduate certificate with honors. There were 3 people that received the graduate certificate with honors, and one person that received the completion course with honors, meaning they did not fire from the concealed condition. That one person was my 14 year old grandson. Yes, I’m proud. Draw from the holster, fire 2 shots to center mass in less than 2 seconds. I could only get my gun drawn and try to aim in 2 seconds.
    The last thing we did was to have a silhouette target with a shaded area to either side of the head representing a bad guy with your loved one as hostage. You had to shoot 3 shots into the bad guy without hitting the hostage. We even took a marker and put the name of our loved one on the target to take home to show our loved one that we did not waste a week just shooting our guns with a bunch of guys. It really surprised me to see all of the 40 class members be able to do this. Even the man that didn’t know how to load a gun. Outstanding.
    I could tell you about the “man on man” shoot off. Two men standing side by side facing silhouette targets at 10 yards with the bad guy’s head sticking out beside the good guys head. Two additional bad guys at the 25 yard mark that had to be shot. If you hit the hostage, you were out of the game. The first to hit all 3 targets were the winners and went to the next round of competition. I got through the first round, meaning I was in the top 20. I got through the next round, meaning I was in the top 10. The next round, I just took a hair to long to hit the third target, so I was out. My grandson and his dad hit the hostage in the first round, as did many others. so they were eliminated.
    All in all, I had a wonderful week and I can wait until I can go back.

    • Sounds like an awesome experience

  3. I made my first candles! Used soy wax, no coloring, just plain, used canning jars, I think jelly jars? Two with orange/lemon blend, other 2 cinnamon. I used the pre-tabbed wicks, easy to glue down in jar with glue gun. I bought 20 lbs of wax, so I’m good for awhile. I also found very nice candle jars for 1.99 at the 99 cent store, they have the not so good candle already in them but I bought specifically for the jars. Nice jar w/ lid, good price !

  4. Ham radio license? We don’t need no stinking license. : ) LOL

    I forgot what movie I saw a similar line.

  5. you are definately my favorite when it comes to bloggers. in the article you said “Lemongrass even helps control fevers. Blend it with FCO or your salve and apply to the back of neck and chest areas and to the bottoms of the feet. I love this stuff plus, at $5.99, it is a very inexpensive oil.” so my question is …..what is ‘FCO’ ? and where do you get or how do you make the salve ?

    • Fractionated Coconut Oil – get it at amazon

    • Judy, if you click the word Essential Oils in the grey banner, it will bring up another page with a bunch of posts, scroll down & you’ll see posts for plain old salve & miracle salve. I believe it’s a combination of olive oil, coconut oil and bees wax & then the eesential oils. You can get the Essential oils from spark natural (they also sell FCO) use Gaye’s link & the 10% off code. I’ve gotten bees wax & coconut oil locally at the craft store, farmers market &/or super market.

    • Actually, FCO stands for Fractionated Carrier Oil. It doesn’t necessarily have to be coconut, although that is certainly a good one. Carrier oils are used sort of as a base to blend with essential oils. Other examples are Sweet Almond oil, olive oil, safflower, etc. I make the Miracle Healing Salve and use it for everything. I also make one using an EO called Muscle Relief and use it on sore muscles. The best prices I have found for FCO’s are on Amazon.

  6. Lots of little things this week.
    Ordered a few more EO’s from Spark.
    Got an Amazon order with a Swedish fire knife, some battery operated flares for the car bag, a diffuser and some elderberries.
    We also for the first time harvested the walnuts from our tree. We picked them up, opened the cases and cleaned them up. Hopefully they’ll dry nicely & we can use them.

    Lastly picked up some miscellaneous canned goods

  7. gaye could you do an article on bamboo or rivercane? it grows wild here in south georgia and I remember reading an article a while ago about making cane poles for fishing and thought that there must be other uses for the plants.

  8. This week the only prepping I did was learning and practicing. I learned two methods of primitive fire making (the fire bow and the spindle method). I managed to make fire after only twenty minutes with the fire bow but I have yet to get one started using a spindle and my hands. So I decided to add extra paracord to all my kits (EDC, GBH, and BOB) just so I can build a fire bow if necessary. Have a blessed day.

  9. Well, this has been another super busy week. But I guess when you homestead that is pretty much the norm. I churned and froze about 10# of butter, made a batch of mozzarella and ricotta cheese. I added some comfort items to my food storage,(apple butter and olives). Additionally, I read a couple of Jim Jackson kindle ebooks, FREE but very worthwhile. I also came across some disturbing information about some Executive orders that are really on the books. if you want the hair on the back of your neck to stand up just look up executive orders #10998 and #11000.
    I also read the book Desperate Times, by Nicholas Antinozzi. I was up very late one night because it was so good that I just could not stop reading until I got to the end. It was another free kindle ebook. The only thing is that it turned out to be just the first book in a set of three and of course numbers 2 and 3 are $5 each. I usually don’t pay much for fiction but I’m seriously thinking of making an exception in this case. The frugalist inside me is planning to wait it out a little while to see if they go on sale or promo but my excitement about what happens in them might win out before then. Lol.


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