The Sunday Survival Buzz #139

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jul 5, 2019



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

Something I did not mention earlier this month was that the night before I left for vacation, the hard drive on my laptop failed.  Talk about a frantic mess and talk about a need to roll with the punches. In the old days, before I was a crazy prepper lady, I would have sat down to have a temper tantrum then cried.

Technology Failure

Alas, I still had my old laptop and a backup of my data plus a backup of the backup.  After a quick call to Dell for warranty support, I spent a few hours getting things back up and running.  Okay, perhaps more than a few hours.

The lesson, of course, is that being prepared can encompass many aspects of life. That includes having a solid plan of action on the back burner, ready to go when things don’t go as planned or unexpected disruption to your digital life occurs.  Having preps to support your digital life is something we think about in terms of an EMP or going off-grid, but how many of you have a backup plan for a total computer or hard drive failure?

Here is another scenario.

Many of us have Kindles or other electronic readers as well as solar or crank charging devices.  If the power goes down, no worries.  But do you have a backup if the device itself fails?  This should give you something to think about and reason enough to hang on to old, out of date gizmos that can be brought back to life if the need arises.

I know I am preaching the choir but that said, it would be a darn shame to lose all of your electronic documents, survival and prepping eBooks, and photos because of a technology glitch.


I have just one giveaway for you this week.  Joe Nobody is a prolific writer and is hugely popular with the survival and prepper types.  In his interview, he reveals a surprising bit of personal information.  No hints; you have to go read it and, of course, enter the giveaway.

Summer/Fall 2014 Book Festival: Joe Nobody & Bishop’s Song + Giveaway


If you have entered any giveaways this month, be sure to check your email throughout the week.  All winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize or an alternate will be selected.


One of the joys of a vacation is having an opportunity to catch up on reading.  This time around, I did not get as much reading done as I would have liked but that’s okay because being out and about was equally relaxing and enjoyable.

One of the books I did get to read, cover to cover, was Everyday Roots by Claire Goodall. She has written a fantastic 300+ page book with over 215 home remedies, DIY articles and more.  You can bet that trying some of the solutions and projects in her book is going to keep me busy for a while.


I am so glad I purchased this book;  I honestly feel that you will love this book as much as I do.


Heartburn is something that happens to all of us from time to time.  Many find relief from Peppermint essential oil but it does not work for everyone.  Personally, I prefer Spearmint or the Spark Naturals “Digest” blend for heartburn, tummy aches, and just plain overeating.

To use, mix a couple of drops into a carrier such as a coconut oil or almond oil and rub onto the chest or stomach area. Sometimes,  because I always have it available, I mix a few drops into my healing salve.  That works too!

Remember, you can use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL for an additional 10% off your entire order from Spark Naturals.


Coming up this week is a wrap up of the Backdoor Survival Summer/Fall Book Festival.  I hope to close things up with three additional author interviews and giveaways before setting the stage for the Winter Book Festival in November.  And then?  Heck, the holiday season will be here.  Where does the time go?

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: The article I wrote on DIY cleaning turned out to be hugely popular all around the web. In cased you missed it, here is a link to the article Prepper Checklist: DIY Cleaning Supplies and to some of the products that I use to make my own cleaners.

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”.

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps Pure-Castile Soap: Of all of Dr. Bronner’s Castile soaps, peppermint is my favorite.   I use it to make “Peppermint Magic”, an all purposed cleaner.

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.

Peppermint Essential Oil: I favor peppermint and tea tree (Melaleuca) essential oil in my cleaning supplies. But there are many types of essential oils to choose from. Take your pick. One thing you will find is that a little goes a long way.  The nice thing about essential oils from Spark Naturals is that they are also excellent for therapeutic and healing use and well as for use in DIY cleaning supplies.  Just remember to use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout to get 10% off your order.

Budget Essential Oils:  For the budget minded – and especially for use in cleaning supplies – consider NOW Foods Essential Oils.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Daily & Monthly Sales for Fantastic Deals!

For over 25 years Emergency Essentials has been providing the highest quality preparedness products at great prices.  Plus, each month they feature sales that quite honestly are fantastic.  One of my favorite sale items this month is this Mobile Washer (Hand Operated Washing Machine).

This is 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.

Emergency Essentials carries a wide variety of equipment and supplies – all at competitive prices.

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

Are You Interested in Essential Oils?

Which are the best oils for your survival kit?  This article describes my top picks.

9 Best Essential Oils for Your Survival Kit | Backdoor Survival



Free Guide | Emergency Food Buyer's Guide

Best Food Types, Storage Methods and Exactly What to Buy

Download Now →

Updated Jul 5, 2019

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20 Responses to “The Sunday Survival Buzz #139”

  1. Good morning Gaye! Glad to hear you weathered the unexpected technology failure with resilience. Like you said, everything that happens can be an opportunity to practice what we preach in terms of rolling with the punches.

    Hubby and I have been busy the past few weeks up at the BOL Homestead Cabin. We had a 5 day “staycation” in our off-grid home. I took the first day to do a thorough inventory and re-org of our food preps to gauge just how much we have squirrelled away in the two years since we bought the place. I was glad to see we had enough calories and variety to live comfortably there for three months should the need arise. It took that long just bringing up a bag or two of shelf-stable foodstuffs with each visit. Surprisingly, of all the things we have acquired, white rice seems to be the most calorie-dense and afforable item on our pantry shelves.

    I spent another one of our vacation days reading a book first published in 1974 called “Passport to Survival” by Esther Dickey. She recommended four specific foods (salt/wheat/honey/powdered milk) for long-term storage and spends many pages on how to use them to create a variety of dishes. Fascinating book, and as someone who does not have a gluten allergy, it was exceedingly helpful.

    Hubby also spent some time in schooling me on how to start fires in our woodstove and operate the generator, which he normally does on his own. Now I feel I could stay warm and well-lit if I should ever have to venture up to the Cabin without him.

    Other than that, we ordered freeze dried eggs, powdered milk and more fuel cannisters for my Jetboil stove from Amazon, and stocked up up canned soups, honey, flour and tinned crackers at the grocery store sales.

    Have a great week everyone. Take care.

  2. Morning,
    Yes shtf situations can come in all shapes and sizes including a computer dying. I probably would still have cried before doing the restore work.

    I picked up some more EO’s along with some bread mixes and books.

    I also got a couple thermal tops, they were a little pricey even with a coupon but I think they’re well worth it.

  3. Do you think collapse is immenent?

    • Collapse is always something that’s imminent. Whether you’re talking about personal, family, work, local, federal or world; these days we live on the edge of possibility. Just follow nature, in this season of harvesting bounty, not to eat all at once but to ‘squirrel’ away some for those cold winter days where hunger hangs around our homes.

  4. …”immenent”…?
    Or did you mean “inevitable”?

    “Collapse” of what?

    Government propaganda…?
    Government-mandated ObamaCare…?
    Government-orchestrated “Ebola” scheme…?

    So far, it seems that the answer lies mostly in how much we allow ourselves to be PROGRAMMED by the mainstream media FEAR machine… commonly known as “TV”.

    The ultimate answer will be our individual ability to THINK.

    • It’s not just tv. I’ve been hearing talk from people local and those on the internet too. This is our opportunity to be a voice of reason because we don’t need mobs doing what they do.

  5. This was the first week of cool weather, so this week I changed out my bug out everything from warm weather to cold weather gear. It was a great time to see what’s worn out, needs replaced and just plain what’s needed.
    Technology failure is a common occurrence in my home. lol I’m the ‘terminator’ when it comes to machines and electronics so I backup x 3. lol Yes, this week I also checked those backups for their holding power too. I have all my photos, family history, household documents all on flashdrives and CDs, plus I have sent copies of the photos, family history, and other items to family members, so should something happen to one part of the family, while they may not have all their own personal photos, at least they can get what has been sent to other family members. BTW: this is my semi-annual reminder to my family members to get their homes in order. 😉 Which reminds me, I must go get some more honey from my beekeeper, I’m using more these days. 🙂

  6. the timing of this happening to you is kind of funny for me. My laptop screen went out about three weeks ago. I hooked up my old, OLD desktop and to my surprise I could access very few websites because the operating system was not compatible and I had a very old version of the web explorer installed. I couldn’t afford to run out a buy a new laptop right then and there but I was able to get a 1TB external hard drive for $70 and that allowed me to pull all my files off the laptop by connecting it to my desktop’s monitor. now at least i’ll have all my files independent of any computer. I also have plans to buy another external hard drive as soon as I can and have another copy of everything and put it in a faraday cage. also I went through my stored food to rate out the oldest and rotate in the freshest. I would really like some practical tips for efficient food rotation. My way works but it is time consuming and I think it could be way more efficient. Lastly, and most excitingly to me, I was up most all night last night reading One Second After. I simply could not stop until I was done. I came away so motivated and refreshed in my endeavors to get more prepared but my biggest takeaway was that even if i could completely and effectively isolate myself and loved ones and had enough food stored for all of us, what about the rest of the country being helpless to foreign invaders because there wasn’t enough of the population survive. I have refocused my efforts to do something on a much larger scale than i ever would have dreamed of doing before. I am so on fire and energized by this that I emailed a pdf copy of this book to people on my contact list. I am not the person that ever forwards ‘junk’ email of the latest viral video or lame jokes or cute animal pictures so i hope that since this is the first mass email people have ever received from me they take it a little more serious and actually read it. I mean if just one percent of the population implanted some of my ideas then the whole idea of prepper opsec and roving hoards triage rationing wouldn’t be necessary. phew! i really feel lit up about this.

    • As to storing food, you might try separating out a month’s supply at a time. Use it, then go to the next month. I have seen this done where everything is in one place in the home. I stopped doing that part when I was robbed. They took my stored foods PLUS they cleaned out my freezer! I did surprise our insurance agent though. He said he couldn’t pay for food since I had no way of knowing what I had or how much. LOL You should have seen the look on his face when I handed him an inventory. 😉

    • that is sort of what i’m doing now. The problem that I run into once in a while is if I need to get something out of my stash for immediate use then I need to do a lot of searching to find which month’s supply it is in. I like variety so each month’s worth of stash is not identical. example: baking cocoa. I might go through a can every three months so I don’t have one in each month of stash. even though I have a master sheet that tells me I have a can in Decembers stack…Decembers stuff might be buried under the stack for October and November.

    • Under? I mean store in different places. Some can be hidden so if, someone decides you have more than you need—- you have reserves. 😉 I don’t have the same stored for each month either, though I do have the staples and O powdered cocoa is in all the even months. lol Anyway, I also have the 13th month stored. That’s the month supply where the extra leftovers from the other months go. So as I empty one month,that space is void and I can refill completely. That 13th month allows me to see whether I’m buying and storing just what my family needs, at a glance. Too many of one thing, for example, means I need to reevaluate.

    • ooohh! so you have like 13 entirely different locations? ok light bulb is going off now. I think I can adapt a version of that into my system. thanks again for another insightful tip.

    • I would so appreciate it if you would provide that pdf link to all of us, here! I would surely pay it forward! Thank you in advance!

    • @paula // on the left side of the page is several options for downloading it. I tried the kindle first but I never could get it to work for me. the pdf was the easiest.

  7. I did some learning this week. I had ran out of pinto beans. I keep a one gallon jug of beans on the counter. I keep a 2 gallon bucket in the pantry to fill the one gallon jug on the counter. Well, both ran out. I go to the basement to get a 5 gallon pail. In the 5 gallon pail, I place a 20 lb sack of beans I buy at Ruler for 10 bucks. In the space around the bag of beans, I shove in peanuts in the shell, then place in O2 absorbents.
    Surprise, surprise. Peanuts dont keep. They had only been in there less than a year, but they were soft and bland.
    Dont try to store peanuts.

  8. I haven’t made that mistake John. BUT I have ran out of beans before. I like the way you move those beans around. 🙂

    • Oh Dee. I never run completely out of pintos. When I cook them I put them in quart mason jars and put them in the fridge. If I get down to my last pint, it is time to cook another pot. I always have cooked beans ready to eat. I suppose I have at least 100 lbs of pintos in the basement, and they are not to barter.
      I read that you are changing your summer clothes in your BOB to your winter. The way I see it, I keep my winter underwear (Army issue underwear) in my BOB. If it is a local problem, tornado, earthquake, torrential rains, or some-such as that, there is always Wally World. If it is a national problem, SHTF, and I leave my home with my BOB, I am going to be gone a long time. I will need my winter clothes.

    • I think you have a great idea there John. My father in law wore ‘long handled underwear’ all year round. he swore they kept him cooler in the summer(I never could get on board with that personally lol) but even if you bugged out in summer it can get chilly in the wee hours of the morn, especially if you end up sleeping outside. could also be used rolled up for a pillow and probably a few other ways.

    • This is my thinking exactly. I dont go for the summertime wearing of long handles, but if I leave my home for other than a natural disaster, I will be going to the hills for the long haul, and I would rather have my winter clothes. If anyone out there in survival land has never worn the new Army long johns, try them. They WILL keep you warm.

    • Body suits or long johns…….they may work for men but not so much for women, at least from my experience. lol No, I keep some 2 pc thermals in either warm or cold weather.
      Where I live, when the sun goes down, so does the temp. I learned a LONG time ago that layers work best here. That said, the weight of warm and cold weather DOES make a difference. WHICH btw: I don’t do boots, I prefer moccasins…..better to walk lightly and not be heard. Also, it’s the closest thing to barefoot, which is my preference. 😉 So packing for cold, extra socks, and multiple layers. 🙂

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