The Sunday Survival Buzz – Volume 56

Sunday Survival BuzzWelcome 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.

Harbor Freight Solar System

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.

blocklite (Mobile)

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.


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.


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 “.


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.


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.


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.


Knives backdoor-survival-200-adThis week I am thrilled to announce a new 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.


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.


Later this week I will be traveling to Dallas to attend an Emergency Food Summit sponsored by  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!


If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Backdoor Survival on Facebook to be updated every time there is an awesome new article, news byte, or free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon.

In addition, when you sign up to receive email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

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_21Solo 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 The Sunday Survival Buzz   Volume 22: 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.

Like this and want more?

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Spread the Word – Tell your friends: Share Backdoor Survival with your friends. All you need to do to send them a short email. Now that was easy!

I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here.

Amazon has a cool new feature called Shop Amazon – Most Wished For Items. This is an easy tool for finding products that people are ‘wishing” for and in this way you know what the top products are.  Like I said, very cool.

Shop Amazon Tactical – Great Selection of Optics, Knives, Cases, Equipment
Amazon’s Most Wished For Items in Sports and Outdoors

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

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.



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Updated Jun 26, 2019

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12 Responses to “The Sunday Survival Buzz – Volume 56”

  1. Love your site. Keep trying to save the idiots or maybe not….We live on a big farm but I still learn from you. I think it would be a great idea with dealing properly with deceased peole forthose who don’t think of natural accuring things; ie not close to water or perhaps cremation in a bonfire. We have always had our own family cemetery.

    • @Renee – Great idea. This is something that comes up time and again in survival fiction. Death is a very real thing and respect is still an issue, no matter the circumstances.

  2. Thanks for the link to making yogurt from NFDM (non-fat dry milk). I wanted to share how I incubate the yogurt — In order to get wide-mouth quart mason jars, you have to buy a box of them anyway. So I simply fill up 4 jars with hot tap water and put them in a cooler, and then nest 2-4 yogurt jars between the hot ones. I let it sit either all day or all night, depending on when I do the process, and it comes out great every time. In the winter I pre-heat the cooler by putting a heating pad inside until I am ready to put the yogurt in, then I take out the heating pad (because it would prevent putting the cooler lid on tightly) and put in the jars. I do not disturb the cooler for at least 6 hours. The only mistake I’ve ever made with yogurt was trying to get the milk up to temp too quickly. It scalds on the bottom of the pot.

  3. Thanks for the kind link Gaye! Look forward to meeting you in a few days.
    – Erich

  4. Gaye, I can’t wait to hear more about your new solar kit. I am looking for a single panel kit that I could simply stand on the ground until it charges the battery. I’m concered that when the SHTF, vandals might throw rocks at a panal on the roof, which in my case would have to be on the front of the house. So far, I have a solar-radio and a solar-battery charger. Embarrassed to admit, but the real reason I want a single solar panal is so I could watch my DVD collection off-grid if the SHTF. Never mind heat and hot water, I just want my shows and movies!

  5. Gaye, I have been agonizing over whether to just let this slide, or take the chance of embarrassing you about the contents of your website. First of all, let me say that I admire your dedication to both learning how to take care of yourself AND in being willing to share your experiences with others. Like all of us, sometimes the most important lessons we have learned are from our “mistakes”. If we just suck it up and carry on trying to learn, then NOTHING is a “waste of time” or a true “mistake”. It’s only a mistake if we refuse to learn from it.
    As I’ve watched you and your site expand and mature, I’ve noticed a couple of things which are too important to let pass. Please accept the following as being written with your own growth,safety, and understanding foremost in my mind.
    First of all, the subject of firearms. Though I don’t remember your indicating anything in regards to your husband’s knowledge and proficiency with guns, just from what little I gleaned from your writings and pictures, I’d be willing to bet that neither of you have much, if any, training in the handling of them. In particular, this comment comes as a result of seeing two pictures of you holding a rifle and some of your comments regarding same. Gaye, it seems to me (and I could very well be wrong) that this lack of knowledge is VERY dangerous to both yourselves and those around you. PLEASE take an introduction to firearms and firearm safety ASAP!!! My basic intro class takes 4 hours, and covers detailed explanations of: safe handling of guns; types of long guns (rifles, shotguns); types of handguns (semi-automatics and revolvers); different types of “actions”(what makes the gun go ‘bang’); types and uses of ammunition (virtually a whole boat-load); care and cleaning of guns (very basic).
    If in a place where it is possible to do so, I also take participants outside to let them see first-hand what these tools can do, what it sounds like (SCARY to beginners!), and the effects of different guns and ammo.
    At the first level of actual marksmanship, I again spend 4 hours going over: stances, breathing, sight alignment (and types of sights), hand positions, loading and unloading/securing, trigger control and follow-through, analyzing the shot. etc. THEN we finally get to actually shooting (this is ALL done with .22’s). We explain and practice: offhand shooting (long guns and pistols); slow, methodical firing all the way up to quick (for a beginner) and safe shooting (single shots and double taps). During this, I have 3-4 targets (preferably steel or plastic barrels) and call out shot placements.
    This last seminar is really an eye-opener for most novices, and helps get them over their initial fear of guns. Many times, I’ve taken women and girls (down to age 9) who are terrified of guns to being quite good shots at the end of the day–very empowering! Some of the best shots I’ve trained have been women and girls who are totally new to the activity. It’s FUN!!!
    Now to my next point–backup power. In your writeup here, you show us a small solar setup you had just acquired, along with a new grain mill you “hoped to run” on that new power setup. Gaye….YOU’LL SOONER START YOUR CAR WITH THIS SETUP than that mill. You evidently have NO knowledge whatsoever regarding power systems. This is not only expensive, but potentially hazardous to your safety and others around you.
    My first suggestion: DO NOTHING ELSE UNTIL YOU LEARN SOME BASICS!!! Do you know how power is measured in electrical circuits? What an amp or watt is? And on and on…..
    While I make absolutely NO claims as to having all the answers, I’ve done a bit of studying (8 years of electronics in the military; wired my own house; lived off-grid for 2 years, plus 7 more living in RV’s) and have extensive experience with organic gardening, alternate power and water supply systems; taught Disaster Preparedness Seminars for over 40 years; (to keep this shorter than it could otherwise be, see my website It’s still up, but inactive, so you can’t respond to me there. Use my above email address.
    If there were some way for me to come up there and spend a weekend teaching you and your husband some of the things I know regarding these (and more) subjects, I’d love to be able to do so. However, I’m an elderly, disabled vet who hasn’t had a job for almost 3 years, just living on a small Social Security benefit. I’m still quite capable of teaching most of the things I know, and take great joy in sharing my knowledge and experiences with others who want to learn.
    I certainly wish you and Survival Hubby plenty of opportunities to follow what I call my life philosophy: “To Learn; To Grow; To Share”. Keep on keepin’ on! (sorry for any typos or poor writing skills, I’ve been up for 2 days passing a kidney stone)

    • I just want to say that no offense taken AT ALL and actually, I am touched about your concern for my welfare and well-being. I do, however, want to let you know that Shelly is extremely experienced with firearms of all types and artillery as well (thanks to Uncle Sam). Me not so much and I still have a healthy fear and respect for firearms. Not a good combination but better to have fear and respect that over-confidence. I have had some intense training in both a group session as well as privately. This involved both practical training as well as classroom studies – far more than the 4 hours you suggest.

      That said, I know my limitations.

      Never feel that you have to hold things back. Like I said, I took what you said to heart and in the spirit that it was shared.

  6. Forgot to add, I ran across your site due to a reference to you at George Ure’s site: While not the least bit interested in the economic charade, I find his sense of humor and insights into the world situation(s) quite entertaining. His numerous leads to other sources of info are quite broad-based and well-considered.
    Even his plethora of typos and finger spasms on the keyboard are something I can easily relate to. Both of you good folks are providing a great deal of information, education and guidance to your many readers. I, for one, greatly appreciate you both. (just wish I could afford to participate at a deeper ($$$) level than is possible at the moment.)

    • @Chuck – There is never an obligation to participate by spending $$$. These are hard times for a lot of people and simply sharing ideas is reward enough for me.

  7. Two things I wanted to comment about …

    1) you have to let me know when you get your Harbor Freight solar kit up and running … I would love to know how good it is as I was considering buying it myself …

    2) I am always shocked to hear of towns that have ordinances against front vegetable gardens … because it doesn’t look “pretty” you can’t grow it on “your” property? Makes no sense to me.

    • @Mike – Sure thing. I will take pictures of my garden once it gets going. Ditto the solar system.

  8. Gaye, thanx for your thoughtful reply. Something I’d like to add regards the grain mill you just bought. I’ve had that same mill for over 15 years and absolutely love it! Whether wheat, rice, soybeans or pintos, this mill takes it all in stride and can produce the finest whole-wheat flour I’ve ever seen (pastry-fine, for those of you who understand this). When it starts it sounds just like a jet engine cranking up and does make substantial noise. It has such a tremendous current draw that you’d have to have a really heavy-duty inverter to run this machine. I first bought one of the hand-cranked small units, thinking that if you simply don’t have ANY electrical power, that you could still make flour. That gets tiring REAL QUICK! While not “hard work” it certainly is tedious, but when you have nothing but time on your hands, just switch positions and hands frequently. If you could find electrical power for just 15 minutes to run the heavy duty one, you could grind enough flours to last quite a while.
    Another thing in regards to solar power: EVERYONE needs to learn more about the basics of electricity and electromagnetism. Also study the features of different types of solar equipment. With some solar panels (here I’m ONLY speaking of photovoltaic (PV), NOT water heating), if there’s even a small shadow falling across the panel, current stops completely; whereas with others, they are what’s called “shade tolerant”. Those will produce current even out of the direct sun. They also tend to be much more durable. I have a small hole in one of my 64 watt panels, and it still works. Please encourage everyone to do their homework before they start jumping in with both feet and possibly wasting their precious resources. Keep up the great work, you also provide us with many great leads!


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