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.
I continue to sort through and learn to use my new prepping gear.
The Survival Husband, Shelly, has been waiting for a sunny day so that he can set up the Harbor Freight solar system that arrived a couple of weeks ago. We did get everything laid out but for now, it looks like we will have to wait a few more weeks before climbing up to the garage roof and hooking up the gear.
For those of your that are interested, here is a link to the basic solar panel kit.
My Blendtec Electric Grain Mill also arrived but it is still sitting in its box waiting to be unpacked. My plan is to run it off of solar power – of course we need some sun first.
And finally, I continued to test all of those recharged alkaline batteries. My review will be available on Tuesday. It has taken a lot longer to get through this than I initially thought but the results are worth it. Remember the Blocklite I mentioned? It is has been on steadily since March 9th – with a re-charged 9V battery that was rescued from the recycle bin. Amazing.
Okay, enough about me. Let’s get on to the Sunday Survival Buzz..
Survival News & Articles from Around the Web
Contamination at NC Marine base lasted up to 60 years: Federal officials have known for years that the base’s water supply was badly contaminated from fuel leaks and probably from a dry-cleaning plant as well. Just goes to show you that cover-ups have been going on for years and years. Scary stuff and as you know, this sort of thing is still happening – probably even more so.
Will Americans Soon Not Be Able To Buy, Sell Or Get A Job Without A Global ID Card?: How do you feel about this? Micro-chipping is next.
1.6 Billion Rounds Of Ammo For Homeland Security? It’s Time For A National Conversation: I put this out on my Facebook page when it first hit the news. More and more we are seeing these types of questions being asked by the MSM. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? That said, these are questions that need to be asked – and answered.
How to Make Yogurt from Powdered Milk: If you love yogurt like I do, you will want to check out these instructions for making yogurt from powdered milk, which as you know, is a food storage basic. This comes from my online friend Erich at Tactical Intelligence who I will be meeting in person later this week.
USING PROPANE SAFELY INDOORS
In a recent article, Winter Book Festival 03-09-2013, the winner of Ron Brown’s Lantern, Lamps & Candles asked:
“I have heard that some types of fuel are safer to burn indoors than others because they give off less CO ( carbon monoxide). Propane vs. kerosene as an example, but I have heard conflicting opinions. I recognize that all fuels burned indoors consume oxygen, but I am more worried about the buildup of carbon monoxide. What would be the best fuel to use in an emergency situation?”
Chris Newman (the InstaBed Garden guy) was kind enough to answer as follows:
Unlike with the liquid fuels, propane burning with 100% efficiency does not release carbon monoxide. The only byproducts besides heat are water vapor and carbon dioxide, plus consuming room oxygen. So, you wouldn’t want to use even a perfect propane heater in a tightly sealed room. No propane heater is 100% efficient, though the Mr. Heater line comes as close as they get. They are noted for their quality and at least some of their products are rated for indoor use.
So what Roger wants is a Mr. Heater portable propane heater. This uses the small one pound canisters, which can be easily refilled. With an adapter, listed on the above page, it can also be run off large 20 pound tanks that are cheap to have refilled. If going with an adapter and large tank, it is imperative to also get the matching filter. Otherwise, there’s a real risk of gumming up the heater after using it for a while and it will be challenging to clean. This highly-rated heater also comes with a built-in oxygen sensor that will shut down the unit if it senses O2 levels getting too low.
Apparently this will occur well before CO levels reach toxic levels. For perfect safety, I would also use a carbon monoxide detector. There are a variety of units offered. I haven’t looked at the options hard enough to pick out the best value. Perhaps another reader could do that and report their findings.
In addition, Chris has offered to provide my readers with a comprehensive article on “Prepper Propane” so be sure to watch for that in a few weeks.
UPDATE ON THE INSTABED GARDEN
Speaking of Chris, this just in:
“Because of the technical problems with the Google Checkout ordering button on the temporary website, we are extending the free shipping offer for Backdoor Survival readers for InstaBed Cubic Foot Gardening modules by one more week, until midnight, March 22.
Due to popular demand, we have also added the option to complete purchases through PayPal. We’ve even gone old school and can now accept paper snail mail orders, both checks and money orders, through the US Mail. For full information, please visit our brand new CFG community website at www.CubicFootGardening.net “.
I have decided to set up my own InstaBed in the front landscaping and hope that the residential police do not complain. I will actually surround it with flowers so my guess is that it will be quite charming with a combination of tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and of course flowers. That is the plan, at least.
BACKDOOR SURVIVAL READER TIP
Long time reader “Joe” offers some addition advice on taking care of your cast iron cookware:. Basically, here is what he said:
When I take a skillet back down to bare metal, in my own seasoning process, I first put a few tablespoons of salt into skillet. I then put it a really hot stove, leave on the flame, and stir the salt with something – usually a wooden spatula.
This goes against normal thinking which is that salt makes metal rust. But it is really the oxygen that makes the metal rust. So, heating the salt up a lot makes it melt into the pores of the cast iron. Then, when you do your oil seasoning over the top, it actually works better as a stick free pan. The crusty oil seals the salt in, keeping the oxygen away from the metal.
Next, I can not say enough about Dutch ovens. They are wonderful. Make good cakes, even on a stove top. Use low heat, use two lids, put one lid on a burner and heat it up then swap lids. This bakes from the top down while on the burner.
I guarantee that any really rusty old skillet can be cleaned up to look like new. One trick, is that while trying to get down to metal, first soak in water with about 10% vinegar overnight. That makes the rust dissolve. Brown bubbles (rust colored) will bubble up off of the cast iron. The next day, drain, rinse and scour. If not cleaned up enough, do it again. This will tend to blacken the skillet, which comes off with scouring pad. I use the stainless steel kind – indestructible.
Thanks, Joe, for the tips. Here is a link to the recent article Every Prepper Needs a Big Beautiful Cast Iron Skillet.
THE BACKDOOR SURVIVAL BLOGROLL
This week there is a new addition in the “Prepping and Survival” section:
Prepared Christian: Site owner Chris describes his website as “Exploring the Bible to show preparedness is scriptural and covering preparedness with a Christian worldview.”
There is also a new addition in the “Prepping News Portal” section:
SHTF Preparedness: This website has lots of emergency preparedness advice and homesteading ideas. Articles from Backdoor Survival are frequently featured.
Note: For technical reasons, I have renamed Recommended Sites to “Blogroll”. The transition of this page is still a work in progress as I am trying to make a few changes each week without getting too bogged down.
NEWS FROM OUR SPONSOR
The first is HATCHES and AXES an online specialty store selling hatches, axes, knives and throwing tomahawks. Now I have to tell you that the Survival Husband was especially excited because he went on line and ordered a new axe, hatchet and machete.
As with all of my sponsors, please pay them a visit and let them know you saw them on Backdoor Survival. Speaking of which, check out the Backdoor Survival Sponsors page and support the fine companies that allow me to keep Backdoor Survival free for everyone.
GOOGLE READER IS ALMOST DEAD PLUS A NEW EMAIL OPTION
As may have heard, Google is shutting down the Google RSS Reader on July 1, 2013. The are some other reader options out there or your can subscribe by email to continue to receive updates as new articles are posted.
I believe it is only a matter of time before Google shuts down its free Feedburner product so I am so very glad I migrated email updates to Mail Chimp which is a paid service but well worth the cost.
Now here is the big news:
Do you get too much email? You can now subscribe to a weekly digest from Backdoor Survival instead of individual emails. For now I have set things up to send the digest out on Thursdays. If you are are a current subscriber, you will find a link to “update subscription preferences” at the very bottom of the email you currently receive.
THE FINAL WORD
Later this week I will be traveling to Dallas to attend an Emergency Food Summit sponsored by www.foodinsurance.com. Also, as previously mentioned, our group of twenty bloggers have been invited to the Glenn Beck show. As of this moment, we will in the audience and are unsure of our level of participation in the show itself. So stay tuned for that.
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: Remember this rule of thumb: first purchase what you need to get by and later, as budget allows, add the extra items that will enhance and add dimension and depth to your existing survival gear.
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps Pure-Castile Soap, Hemp Peppermint: Dr. Bronner’s fans are almost like a cult. I am going to give this peppermint soap a thoroughly test in my own home and come to my own conclusions. Same thing with Sal Suds.
Quikclot Sport Brand Advanced Clotting Sponge: A must for any first aid or emergency kit, Quikclot Sport stops moderate to severe bleeding until further medical help is available.
Israeli Battle Dressing, 6-inch Compression Bandage: This is another inexpensive, yet critical item for your first aid kit. Combat medics, trauma doctors, and emergency responders all recommend this Israeli Battle Dressing (IBD) for the treatment of gunshot wounds, puncture wounds, deep cuts, and other traumatic hemorrhagic injuries.
Solo Stove: Emergency Survival Stove: The Solo Stove is perfect for cooking beans and rice using just a pot, some water and biomass as fuel. A step up is the EcoZoom Versa. Remember when I spoke of redundancy? I have both plus a Volcano II collapsible stove. I suppose you could say that going hungry is not high on my to do list.
Chemical Light Sticks: Pick your size (length) and pick your color. Just be aware that if color does not matter, some colors are cheaper than others. Be sure to read Lighting Your Way With Chemical Lighting.
Ticket To Ride: This board game has 601 reviews and a full 5 stars. I am anxious to try it although it is a bit pricey. Still, it is less than a dinner out for two at a modest restaurant. If you know me at all by now, you know which one I will choose.
Bicycle Canasta Games Playing Cards: This timeless classic will keep the entire family occupied when the power it out. Playing cards or board games should be in everyone’s preparedness panty.
Dorcy LED Wireless Motion Sensor Flood Lite: Don’t let the price lead you to think this wireless flood light is wimpy. I have two of these and feel that these lights are worth double the price. Using D-cell batteries, the Dorcy floodlight will light up a dark room or a dark stairway in an instant. I can not recommend these enough.
Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials: The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.
One of the specials this month is the Beef and Chicken Entrée Combo.
This combo includes six Mountain House and Provident Pantry cans of freeze dried gourmet entrées including Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken, Rotini with Beef, Chili Mac with Beef, Rice and Chicken, Chicken a la King, and Beef Stroganoff.
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11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life: What? You haven’t picked up a copy of 11 steps yet? This little book will provide you with the motivation to get started or stay on track with a self-reliant life. 11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life, co-authored with my long time pal, George Ure, and can be purchased on Amazon.