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.
This week the Survival Husband was able to help me catch up on some of my prepping chores. One of those chores was to set up a bank of shelving in my crawl space so that I could store my buckets and #10 tins of food in a nice cool and dark space.
I also had a chance to handle my new AR22 – it’s not loaded yet – but I did want to get a feel for its weight and heft. We have already purchased ammo and extra magazines but still need to get a scope although from what I am told, with practice it is simply a matter of point and shoot. That said, I hope the only place I have to use it is at the range.
My purchases this week included a replacement for our lost Swiss Army Knife, a Blocklite 9V LED Flashlight, more empty spray bottles for my DIY cleaners, and some storage cases for all of the alkaline batteries I have salvaged by recharging them in my Maximal Power alkaline battery charger.
Speaking of batteries, I still need to test the recharged batteries – see how long they last, for instance, in a flashlight – before writing up the results of this pretty exhaustive test. The photo below depicts the batteries that appear to have been recharged successfully. I would guess that this represents about 60% of the total. And note that this is in addition to the “good” batteries that I had already tested and removed from the recycle box.
I also tended to my food preps this week. I sampled some MREs – jury still out – and placed a really huge order from Shelf Reliance including staple items such as sour cream powder, tomato powder, wheat and lots of fruits and veggies. I was able to do this because the Survival Husband finished putting together that shelving for me.
And last, but certainly not least, I visited Chris Newman, a Backdoor Survival reader, and learned all about his InstaBed Cubic Foot Gardening System which I will describe in more detail below.
Okay, enough about me. Let’s get on to the Sunday Survival Buzz.
Survival News & Articles from Around the Web
With canceled tours, White House teaching how democracy works: The leader of the US has become a childish bully. In the meantime, Michelle and the girls are busy planning their next exotic vacation using taxpayer money. Disgusting. Of course he is not the only disgusting politician out there – they come from both major parties but in this case, he does happen to be the leader.
20 Places to Find Local Food and Family Farms Near You: Activist Post shares some tips for finding local sources of wholesome, organic food.
Americans – Like Nazi Germans – Don’t Notice that All of Our Rights Are Slipping Away: This is a topic I have mentioned before but is worth repeating. As the article says “Indeed, the federal government is doing everything it can to stick its nose into every aspect of our lives … and act like Big Brother”.
Coping: With Rip-off Writers & Part-Time Honesty: This is something George and I talk about all of the time. I am not talking about legitimate sources that include a resource box and link back to the original author’s site – after all, we do want to spread the message of prepping and of truth and enlightenment. What we are referring to are sites that copy our work verbatim and either claim them as their own or heavily monetize them so they can make a buck. It does get discouraging sometimes.
One latte away from millions? Don’t bank on it, author says: By now you also know that I disdain fee based financial advisors. This article addresses the question: “Is anybody’s advice worth paying for?”
Infections With ‘Nightmare Bacteria’ Are On The Rise In U.S. Hospitals: Here is a scary one for you. Apparently there is a lot more to fear than a staph infection – although that is bad enough, even deadly – following a visit to the hospital. It is no wonder that hospitals are making routine follow-up calls once you get home just to make sure you are okay.
THE INSTABED CUBIC FOOT GARDENING SYSTEM
Last week I had an opportunity to visit a reader and to preview what he calls “Square Foot Gardening” on steroids! And you know what, at this very first blush I tend to agree.
This garden system requires no hammers, no nails and no construction – certainly something I can deal with on my own. The “no-tools-required” assembly takes about 5 minutes and then it’s ready to fill with good local soil. In my case, I plan to use my own mix which is a combination of compost, peat moss (or coir) and vermiculite plus some bags of Miracle Grow potting mix. I have been making my own soil mix since the 70’s and that is what works for me.
The InstaBed Cubic Gardening System opens a new door into high-intensity cubic foot gardening in stacked raised beds with each individual InstaBed making up a module in the complete system. I think at $39.99 the price is right. The other thing is that extra modules can be easily stored for emergency purposes with extra heirloom seeds tucked right inside the center of the rolled up plastic tube.
It is still a bit too cold to set up the unit Chris generously gave me but I am very excited to see how it all works out. For more information visit his website at //sites.google.com/site/classicplastic/.
MARCH SPECIALS FROM SHELF RELIANCE
There are a number of new specials this month from Shelf Reliance. Of special note is one of my favorite desserts, Macaroons! If you are interested in giving them a try, come party with me at my Shelf Reliance Virtual Party. A new party just started (they run for three months) and just so you know, I do earn credits toward discounted product with each purchase.
I love my Thrive and Shelf Reliance products and encourage you to visit my party page for more details.
The Final Word
It has been a beautiful, sunny day here on San Juan Island today. On days like this, my thoughts start turning to outdoor activities such a long hikes, bicycling and kayaking.
In addition, there are gardening chores which are really not a chore at all. The big question this year will be whether we will have enough sun this summer to produce a healthy crop of veggies. One thing I can count on, though, is a bounteous crop of greens for those summer salads.
Until, next time, remember to make every day a prep day!
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Bargain Bin: Here are links to the products mentioned in today’s article. In addition, as it turns out, the recent article 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.
Harbor Freight Tools: A quick reminder that Harbor Freight has all kinds of goodies including tools, work gloves, and of course, low cost shelving. Shipping is a flat $6.99 regardless of the size of the order.
Victorinox Swiss Army Climber II Pocket Knife: I thought I was getting a great deal at $20 but now I see the price is down even more to $18.69. If you need a spare, grab one while the price is so low. These make great gifts as well.
AA/AAA 4 Cell Battery Storage Case Bundle of Six Cases: This little plastic cases have individual slots for either AA or AAA size rechargeable batteries. Very handy.
Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger: This nicely built charger will charge charge AA, AAA, C, D, N, 9V, Ni-MH, Ni-CD, and Alkaline batteries. It has an LED display so that when you first put a battery in the charging bay, you know whether it is viable for charging or simply bad and ready to go back to the recycle box. Note: When I purchased the charger, it was on backorder. Oddly, it actually shipped the next day. Go figure.
Blocklite Mini Compact Size Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight: One of my readers (James) claims that these work great. There is a similar flashlight called the Pak-Lite (which is more expensive) but it does not have a high-low switch like this one. Less than $10.
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”.
NOW Solutions Glycerin Vegetable, 16-Fluid Ounces: 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.
NOW Foods Peppermint Oil: I favor peppermint essential oil (okay, I like lavender too) so this is what I get. 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.
Microfiber “Magic” Rags: No list of 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 green for glass and windows and the other colors for everything else. I love these.
Mobile Washer: 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. The best part is that it is only $14.95.
One item can recommend available is their Do it Yourself Super Pail Combo. It includes 8 x 6-Gallon Buckets with Lids, 8 x Metallized Storage Bags and a 10-Pack of Large Oxygen Absorbers.
Don’t forget that you do not need fancy equipment to seal the metalized bag. A cheap hair iron will do the job.
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