The Sunday Survival Buzz #140

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.

Honesty counts, right?  This has not been the best of weeks for me personally.  Perhaps the hard drive failure before my trip was an omen because three days into my vacation, I experienced an additional hard drive failure in my backup computer.  Only a prepper would take two computers and an iPad on vacation, right?

Long story short, I was able to keep in touch but the process and the experience were stressful.  Coupled with news of Ebola stateside, the lack of credible information, and an unfulfilled compulsion to write and, well, I have been a mess and grumpy to boot.

Oct Preps Costco

So what about my preps?

I learned how to crochet!  It is not that the art of crochet is difficult, but up until now, my fingers did not get it.  I plan to make some hats and slippers with this new-found skill and plan to crochet as a past-time if we are ever grid down for an extended period of time.

Another prep this week is that on the way home from the airport, we stopped at Costco and stocked up on additional supplies including heavy duty trash bags, nitrile gloves, dog food, canned fruits, veggies, chili, and a giant tub of popcorn. It is rare that I am able to purchase prep items directly (as opposed to online) so I took advantage of the opportunity to shop in person.

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


This came in a few weeks ago from Margie.  Her point is well taken.

My husband and i have had an important “prepping” experience this month. He has been an avid runner for years and has kept in excellent condition. But along with that he has had a longtime heart murmur and has had mitral valve prolapse. Before you say he was crazy to run under those circumstance, please know that his doctors were fully aware of this information and because he is in such excellent shape, he has avoided serious consequences to these medical issues.

How does this relate to prepping?

Well, he had valve repair surgery nearly a month ago and we both learned the importance of each of us knowing the other’s “job” when it comes to getting and being prepared. No amount of flashlights or canned goods can replace being prepared to step in and take over if and when the need arises. Hubby is doing fine, recovering nicely, but is by no means out of the woods with his recovery. We are looking at 6 months to a year before he is back to “his old self” again.

I have a lot to learn in these coming months to fill his proverbial shoes. And we have both learned that being prepared is not just about gathering supplies, it is about knowing the day-to-day simple operations that keep you going and what to do when life throws you a curve ball.

Please remember this as you prepare. It will definitely payoff some day?

Thank you, Margie, for sharing your experience and your thoughts with us. Whether it is prepping skills or merely knowing how to balance the family checkbook, couples need to learn to backstop each other so one can do the job of another if and when it becomes necessary.

Everyone at Backdoor Survival sends good thoughts to you and your husband for a speedy recovery.


Ranger Rick offered this tip in response to How to Safely Shelter In Place During a Pandemic

I use to design underground shelters for friends and one thing that helped considerable bringing in less contaminated air  was once the air intake was thru the window, I installed a 90* elbow turned down and glue to it an adapter to increase the size of the air intake from 2″ to 4″ or bigger.

You get the same air flow ,but at the mouth of the inlet being so much bigger, it did not have as much suction due to less vacuum at the inlet being 4 or 6 inches instead of 2 inches.

You can also add a cheesecloth or a K&N Air filter foam cover over the air inlet to aid in stopping unwanted particles in the air coming inside.

HEPA filter inside  the vacuum will be Plan B. :-}


There is a robust search function in the right-hand column of the BDS website under “Searching For Something”.  One of these days I will work on organizing my posts into better categories so that it is easy to find one of the 900 articles the Backdoor Survival archives.  But for now, use “Search” or the archive page (accessible from the menu bar).


There is currently one active giveaway and it is a good one:  Summer/Fall 2014 Book Festival: Countdown to Preparedness + Giveaway.  You are going to love this book by Jim Cobb.  It is very task oriented and includes an easy-to-follow one year plan to preparedness.


This week I am announcing the winners of a number of different giveaways.  Hang on to your hats; there are a lot of them.

Sanctuary: A Postapocalyptic Novel plus two books in G. Michel Hopf’s New World Series -Donna C.
Shields Up with Spark Naturals + Fantastic Diffuser Giveaway – Haj and Tami L.
Survivor Max: Too Smart to Die – Brian M.
Mountain House Fall Giveaway Buffy M., TeeCee and Gene S.
Collective Retribution – Valerie P., Johnny B., and Patricia.
The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch – Katherine C
Bishop’s Song – Merry B.

As always, winners have been notified by email have 48 hours to claim their prize or an alternate will be selected.

In addition, the following winners of the Preparedness Month Mega Giveaway have all been contacted and have claimed their prizes.   Thanks to everyone who participated!

1. Berkey–Lola B.
2. Sun Oven–Mikki O.
3.Kelly Kettle–Kathy B.
4. WonderMill–Leslie D.
5. Propur–Alice F.
6.1 Seventy Two Hour Kit–Ron D.
7. 1 Seventy Two Hour Kit–Jeff C.
8. Honey–Christy M.


There is still time left to get in on the Item of the Week from Spark Naturals.

20% Off Discount Code:  BACKDOORSURVIVAL
This is the sale you have been waiting for!Spark Naturals Anniversary Sale | Backdoor Survival


Long term Backdoor Survival sponsor Solo Stove is wrapping up a Kickstarter Campaign for their new larger Solo Stove called the “Campfire”.  I normally make it a matter of policy not to promote Kickstarter campaigns but am making an exception this time based upon the strength of the Solo Stove itself and the company’s generous sponsorship of this website.

I just became a backer of this project myself and promise to review the Campfire when it arrives.  You can check it out here (and don’t those roasted marshmallows look good??):

Solo Stove Campfire Kickstarter Project


Has anyone noticed how cold it has become in the Pacific Northwest?  Although leaves are still on the trees, it feels like winter and a few nights ago, we had a wind storm that blew everything in our backyard to heck and beyond.  For me, this was a reminder that I need to double check my supplies to ensure I have what I will need if the power goes out, including batteries that are fully charged and the dead space in my freezer filled with frozen jugs of water.

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



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Updated Jul 5, 2019

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14 Responses to “The Sunday Survival Buzz #140”

  1. With the Ebola threat on my mind I have been researching more natural easy to make home remedies for coughs, colds, etc.
    I am a fan of elderberry and have gotten my family into taking the syrup everyday.
    I bought more gloves and wipes and increased my kleenex and tp storage. It’s not where it should be but I will keep working on it.
    My small house needs serious cleaning and organizing and I’m hoping to get to that “eventually”. It seems to be an unending battle.
    I’m going to do Christmas shopping early this year and probably soon and through mail order.
    I am guessing that by Christmas either the current viral threat will have calmed down or all heck will have broken loose.

  2. Hi there Gaye. Having just started reading “One Second After” myself, I wonder if your tech problems might not be a good primer for what could happen if that scenario odccurs? Perhaps it is good practice? 😉

    This week, I had to rebuild my immune system after going through a series of antibiotics for a minor infection for which I was prescribed an antibiotic. Coming to the rescue were kombucha, bone broth, elderberry syrup, vitamin C and priobiotic supplements.

    At the BOL Homestead Cabin, Hubby and I transferred many of our household items for which we had duplicates at the suburban condo: a tea pot, fermenting crock, bread tins and muffins pans. We also welcomed our first overnight visitors who may become the backbone of our Mutual Aid Group. He is an accomplished hunter and former Army Nurse. She is a veteran organic gardener and food preservationist. Hubby and I spent a few hours doing the hard work of harvesting and preparing another half cord of firewood for the wood stove.

    In the ongoing yardsale/thrift store treasure hunts, we scored several thermal tops, flannel shirts, wool sweaters, heavy duty cargo pants, winter boots, cast iron skillets and vintage tools for the ever-expanding workshop.

    From Amazon, we ordered a very detailed atlas of the area surrounding the BOL so we can accurately gauge the distances and terrain to useful sights within our cabin. We are planning to make some day-hikes to nearby sites in the next few weeks to better acquaint ourselves with the terrain. We also met our nearest neighbors (1/2 a mile away) and hopefully will build a good relationship with them in the upcoming years. They are sturdy country folk who know the land and are expert hunters of the deer and bear, which are plentiful.

    take care Gaye.

  3. Did you buy that Red Feather butter at Cosco Gaye?

    • Good catch. Shelly took the photo and included some purchases from Backdoor Survival sponsor Camping Survival (// I did not have the heart to make him start all over.

      It is good stuff!

    • I love it. I get it from E E when they have it.

  4. Gaye so sorry about your continuing hardware problems. I think there’s something in the air as mine went wonky too.

    Excellent tip on the ‘know the other person’s job”. I thought the other day how my 16yo needs to learn how to work the generator. We were having a storm and my dh was out of town & my older so is now away at college, I’ve recently had surgery so I can’t do either right now. I was so thankful we didn’t lose power. So my younger one needs to learn the tasks too.

    Not too much prepping done this week. I ordered some FD food items. I also came up with a list of #10 cans of FD foods I’d like to buy based on recipes. I picked up a few cases of water and some pears so I can make chocolate pear jam. I’ll either use to as gifts or a barter item.

    • Could you post that chocolate pear jam recipe? I do agree about all knowing other jobs,or in my case, knowing the jobs I can’t do and finding someone who can do those as backup.

  5. I bought 10 bags of 200 triple size cotton balls for $1.00. Yes you read right 2,000 cotton balls for $1.00. They are fresh and new. So how could I walk away. Next I will need to figure out what to do with 2,000 cotton balls. Any ideas?

  6. RE: “Has anyone noticed how cold it has become in the Pacific Northwest?”

    No, but I noticed yesterday was slightly unusually like Summer in the Midwest.

    Anyway, I bought an old Montgomery Wards short wave radio the other day for two bucks at an estate sale. (I also bought a spare casting net. Have you ever tried one of those? They are loads of fun on a beach, imho.)

    I learned you’ve gotta fine tune a shortwave radio and listen at night to really hear much of anything. It was kind of disappointing to find it’s mostly christian talk and foreign languages. Regardless, it’s been kind of interesting messing with it.

    It has a HAM dial, but the whole band is dead silence. I wonder why.
    The CB band was about the same, but I listened to a couple of idiots chatting in a way that made little sense.

    I also read some more about how antibiotics devastate your immune system and how your gut is a big key to immunity. From there, I wrote down a good recipe for homemade sauerkraut, which is a great probiotic. In fact, I read somewhere that the country with the people who lived the longest (over in the Romania area?) were also the biggest consumers of sauerkraut. Was there a link? May be.

    …Then, I practiced fishing.

    And Whoa, I found it’s been so long since I fished I couldn’t cast with a spinning reel for nothing! I used to be able to cast a bait or lure onto a dime spot. …Not anymore.

    [After decades of regularly fishing I stopped for a few years because I was sick of every Fourth of July where I would go out fishing and have a DNR demand my “papers please” while he went through my stuff. So, I protested.

    This year, I got a license just to try and keep up my skills, and found they sure are lacking. …It’s definitely Not like riding a bike.]

    I recycled while fishing, too. I caught a shad fish, then cut it up, and caught a much larger editable fish. I haven’t done that in a Long time.

    I also practiced burning an oil lamp at home. It really stank at first. Maybe it was due to the old (dirty?) wick? It’s not so bad now after half a tank. At first I was like, “This is Only a Summertime windows open kind of thing!!!”

    But now, it’s burning ok and doesn’t stink so much.
    Still, I appreciate my olive oil lamps a bit more all of the sudden.

    I learned that you can eat hosta plants. They are everywhere here. Treat them like asparagus, they say. I dug one up from my neighbors yard and put it in a bucket to see how easy they are to grow. So far, it’s not looking good.

    I bought some broad-head arrow points for my nephew so he can feed his grandpa if I cannot. Then I got to wondering, are those illegal for minors? I looked and looked and didn’t see any law against it where the hammer would come down on someone giving or owning such. I shook my head that I even have to consider searching the lawbooks to find that out. I only did it because the Wal_mart clerk was about to ID me for the purchase. I guess you have to be 18 to buy them at Wal-Mart. Yeesh,that’s about as bad as the time Gander Mountain tried to ID me for buying lead pellets for a pellet gun. …I left them at the counter vowing to Never return. …Then K-Mark demanded my date of birth in order to purchase fuel for my oil lamp. I left that behind, too, and vowed Never to return.
    Is this all due to the expansion of the whacked out war against some drugs? Or, just a war against individuals? Am i going to soon run out of places to shop?

    Pardon the length, I was just gonna say a little. But then I got to thinking. And, I did a lot this week.

    • You can buy a shortwave book at Radio Shack that will tell you when to listen and what Freq to tune to. You will not be able to listen to Hams talk unless the radio has single side band. You can hear code without it. Use a good antenna.

  7. This past April while cutting down a tree, it took a wrong fall and one large branch fell on my husband. He has 32+ years cutting down trees so all precautions were taken but it twisted as it fell. He was screaming in pain but was able to tell me how to use a hydraulic jack to get under the branch to relieve the pressure. By the time the first responders and fire department got there, he was out from under the branch, sitting in a chair. The point is – know how to use your tools and depend on yourself. He did go to the emergency room, nothing broken.

  8. Let’ssee Got my waterbob and N-100 masks the other day and I’ve put up 20lbs of white rice in the storage. Haven’t gone Grocerring yet (as my 3yr old grandson says). Store has a couple of good deals on some things for storage this week so I’ll be picking them up this week.

  9. Gaye–Sorry to hear of your tech troubles ! Depending on where you are vacationing, one additional solution to HDD failures is to have all the important schtuff either 1. backed up onto one of those little affordable portable solid-state HDDs or 2. Even a large-sized flash drive (or two !) which could then be transferred onto a newly-bought gadget in case of failure. Hint: .TXT files or even .RTF files are WAY smaller than MS office files.

    Yes I’m a Geek 😀 Used to do it for a living.

    Prepping hints: don’t forget to have your most-vital info, including survival info, first aid info, etc. in HARD COPY, several copies ideally, to better prep for a long-term Grid-Down. that, and invest in a decent-quality solar charging system that will keep your gadgets topped off during those pesky three-day (or week-long !) Ice-storms and natural disasters.

    • Me too – the geek for a living part 🙂 I was a COBOL programmer; yes I am ancient!

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