The Sunday Survival Buzz – Volume 62

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.  And oh my gosh, what a week this has been.

I started the week by gathering up all of the cardboard TP tubes I had been hoarding.  My intent was to use them as little pots for starting my lettuce seeds.  Here you see me at work.

I made about a dozen of these little pots and they were pretty cute.  But don’t try it.  As soon as they were filled with starter mix and watered, they fell apart.  It was a bust.  I was still able to plant some seeds using peat pots but I was surely disappointed.

seed starting_01   seed starting_05

Something else I did was package 50 pounds of bread flour in Mylar bags and buckets.  As you may know, I make both Artisan breads (see Baking Bread and Why You Should Do It) and automatic bread maker breads (see Making Bread in a Breadmaker is Not Just for Wimps).  Although my waistline suffers, I do love my bread!

Flour in buckets with Mylar and Oxygen Absorber_0   Flour in buckets with Mylar and Oxygen Absorber_1

Flour in buckets with Mylar and Oxygen Absorber_2  Flour in buckets with Mylar and Oxygen Absorber_4

But the big news is that with help from the Survival Husband, I was able to set up a Harbor Freight Solar Kit system and a SunVolt Portable solar power station for my gizmos.

Harbor Freight Solar Kit_02  Harbor Freight Solar Kit_15

But there is more. I also tested the Mini-Sentry alarm device (it really does work and it does go BOOM).  Did I mention I was busy this week?

And finally, I purchased a copy of The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery.  Dozens of my readers have named this as one of their favorite prepping books so I am looking forward to reading and learning from it.

I am in serious review writing mode, starting with the Mini-Sentry on Monday.  The other item reviews will follow in short order.

Okay, enough about me.  Let’s get on to the Sunday Survival Buzz.


Everyone’s Talking about “False Flags … Isn’t that Another Bogus Historical Conspiracy Theory?:  This article is not about Boston, 9/11 or the Oklahoma City bombing. Instead, it looks at whether there is any real historical concept regarding false flags.  A very interesting piece from one of my favorite websites.

Yum! New “Veterinary Drug” For Dinner!:  The FDA is almost ready to approve Frankenfish (GMO salmon) for human consumption.  When this happens, it will be the the first genetically engineered (GE) animal allowed for consumption in the United States.

Learn these three knots for emergency tarp shelter building:  I always find useful and practical information at the Survival Common Sense website.  This article features some useful knots to be used with your paracord.  Need to learn more about paracord?  See 44 Really Cool Uses of Paracord for Survival.

Free Buckets for Prepping, Storage and Chores:  Dennis Evers has a YouTube video on sourcing and using free buckets. I have tried to scrounge some for free but have not had much luck locally.  I need to get down to the Seattle area where you can find food grade buckets for $2 each on Craigslist.  Then all I have to do is purchase some new Gamma Lids and I am good to go.  BTW, if you are storing food packaged in Mylar bags inside the bucket, a Gamma lid is optional.  I just happen to prefer them because they are easy to use.

Government-Media Complex Sneaks New Buzz Word on American Public: “LOCKDOWN”:  I touched up this a bit myself in the article Americans Under Siege – Has Tomorrow Become a Reality?.  Lockdown or Martial Law?  Same thing.

Twinkies Are Coming Back:  And I simply could not omit this one – for all of you junk food addicts out there.  Actually, Twinkies do have an infinite shelf life so perhaps stocking up on this particular comfort food is not such a bad idea.

Most Popular Cities: Detroit Nation’s Least Popular, Seattle Best-Liked:  And last for today is a plug for my home town.


Now that gardening season is here, I want to share this tip from “Bill”:

Just a trick for the gardeners out there, when you finish off a head of celery cut it about 1-2 inches from the root end,  put it in your garden,  cover the bottom with soil and water for two days.  You now have a celery plant. I got this form somewhere “getting plants from your compose bin.”

The following tip is not from a reader but from a website that I recently visited.

If you have empty suitcases sitting around in storage, collecting dust, you might want to look into using this available space to store some of your food supply or other supplies you need for possible emergencies.

Talk about a “why didn’t I think of that?” moment!


Survival LifeI am very pleased to announce that I will become a regular contributor to the Survival Life website and to the Survival Life newsletter.  Not only that, but Survival Life will also be contributing articles to Backdoor Survival.  It was my pleasure to spend an hour on the phone with “Above Average” Joe, the managing editor of at Survival Life and during that time we got to know each other a little bit.

Joe considers himself to be an average guy with a passion for learning.  He also believes that Survival Life is more than just one man. It is a growing and living community of individuals; all with the desire to be prepared to survive and thrive no matter what this world throws at us.

Watch for his articles here on Backdoor Survival and for some special promos – even free stuff – and of course, visit the Survival Life website.


I have a fabulous new Backpack Giveaway coming up in May – this time sponsored by Tom at  As you know, Camping Survival is a long time sponsor of Backdoor Survival.  This giveaway will follow on the tracks of the Food Insurance Backpack giveaway – holy moly there were a lot of entries in that one.  I will be announcing the winner of that giveaway later this week.

In the meantime, 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.


These days I am waking up to singing birds – surely that is a sign that Spring is finally here.  But rain or shine, I try to get outside for an hour a day – usually with Tucker the Dog – so that I can enjoy the fresh, clean air and step away from work, from writing, and the angst and mayhem of what is going on in our world.  During my walk I also mentally reflect on my current accomplishments and do my best to become grounded and centered for my next great adventure.

So what am I trying to say?  Take some time each day to pause and reflect and to think positive thoughts.  You will be a happier person for it.

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: It has been a while since I shared some of my favorite food storage items. Whether you are just getting started or a seasoned pro, here are the items you will need when purchasing food in bulk for long term, SHTF needs.

The Encyclopedia of Country Living: This book is the essential resource for modern homesteading, growing and preserving foods, and raising chickens.  It includes information about how to cultivate a garden, buy land, bake bread, raise farm animals, make sausage, can peaches, milk a goat, grow herbs, churn butter, build a chicken coop, catch a pig, cook on a wood stove, and more.

Carla Emery started writing her book in 1969 during the back-to-the-land movement of that time. She continued to add content and refine the information over the years, and the book went from a self-published mimeographed document to a book of 928 pages.  It is the original manual of basic country skills that have proved essential and necessary for people living in the country, the city, and everywhere in between

Mylar bags & Oxygen Absorbers: What I love about Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers is they protect against every single one of the food storage enemies. Prices do vary but for the most part, they are inexpensive and easy to keep on hand. And while you can seal them up with a FoodSaver, some tubing and a common clothes iron, I find it infinitely easier with a cheap hair straightening iron that you can pick up for very cheap.

60 – 300cc Oxygen Absorbers: This is one area where you want to make sure you are getting a quality product.

Mylar Zip Seal Food Storage Bags: These are the zip seal bags that I used to package up my spices, herbs and butter powder. These are extra heavy, 5 mil bags. I found that the zip feature made packaging extra easy although I still seal the bags with my hair iron.

FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer: As long as the unit has an accessory port (and this one does), and inexpensive FoodSaver will work just as well as the fancier models. That is my two cents, at least.

FoodSaver Jar Sealer: Already have a FoodSaver? If so, check out this jar sealer which can be used to vacuum seal your Mason jars. This is a great option for short to mid term storage of items such as beans, rice, sugar and salt. Store your jars in a cool, dark place and you are set with the added advantage of removing a small amount for current use without having to disrupt your large Mylar bag or bucket of food.

Sharpie Permanent Markers: Sharpies were invented for preppers! And without question, Amazon is the cheapest place to buy them.

Avery Color Coding Labels: These are perfect for labeling your emergency storage foods with the date purchased.

Like this and want more?

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13 Responses to “The Sunday Survival Buzz – Volume 62”

  1. How long will all purpose flour last if stored in Mylar and with Oxygen Absorbers???

    • Flour sealed in a Mylar bag with an oxygen absorber should last 10 to 20 years as long as it is kept at a relatively stable temperature below 70 degrees. The lower the better. The Mylar should protect the stored flour from moisture and humidity so that will not be as much of a factor.

    • Thanks Gaye. That is good to know. How do I know if it is bad?????

    • I have only had bad flour once. I knew it was bad because my bread came out like a door stop. (The flour was about six years old and had been stored in my kitchen pantry in its bag.) Bad flour will have a sour, rancid smell and in my case, it had turned yellow. I should have known.

      I have not tried it but I am told you can taste the raw flour and if it has a sour taste, it is bad.

  2. Harbor Freight 45 watt panel Kit; I have had one since 2008 on the roof –it still works fine-it’s Gloomy & sometines sprinkling (output this moment 12.95 V DC) maintains 4 different battery’s which gives me 12 volt LED lighting (1) led light right now above computer so i can see to type.richie in

  3. I really enjoy your posts, since I was a survivalist for a long time. I have since sold my home and live in an upscale apartment complex. There is a prohibition against using common areas for any purpose at all.

    Any suggestions for “indoor” survival techniques?

    • My home is very small so I understand the issue with lack of space. In my case I have a garage but it is detached and subject to temperature fluctuations so I need to be careful of what I store there.

      You did not specifically indicate whether you were seeking storage or security or bugging in techniques. Care to elaborate? Also, you might want to check out Bernie Carr’s website at // She has lots of good ideas for prepping in an urban apartment.

  4. Gaye, don’t give up on the cardboard tubes just yet.

    We no longer take newspapers and we receive only a few magazines, so there’s just not much newspaper around that we can use for starting our fires in the fireplace or the outdoor fire pit. Hubby and I save our cardboard tubes (especially TP tubes) and the cotton lint from our dryer; we use these and paraffin to make little fire starters.

    To begin, I stuff enough of the lint into the tube to nearly fill it…but I don’t pack the lint in tight…then I remove the lint and pour a bit of melted paraffin over it. I re-stuff the tube with the paraffin-wetted lint, and pour more paraffin over the outside of the tube. Set the tube on a cookie sheet and let the wax set up. Store these in a SAFE place to avoid combustion. We use a small metal trash can with a metal lid for storing ours. When we need to build a fire, we start with the tube and build our kindling pile on top of that. A long match does the trick (I’m sure a short one would work, but I have this thing about short matches and fires…LOL).

    • Great idea. I have been saving the TP tubes for quite some time and have an entire box full. Next time I go to town I will pick up some paraffin. Thanks for the tip!

  5. Gaye, I also tried the TP tube experiment, but I left them open and poked a square of paper towel in the bottom. Then lined them up in a small cardboard box. A little disappointing, though I did get sprouts. This year I had much more success using cardboard egg cartons – removing the top to use as a tray, I mounded up soil in the egg cups that make up the bottom part of the carton, then placed the bottom back in the tray. I got very happy bean and squash sprouts (I am in central Texas, so the plants are all up a few inches). It is easy to keep the soil moist after planting your seeds because the cardboard soaks up water and slowly releases it. And the roots can grow right into the cardboard – just peel away most of the cardboard around your little seedling, and use the pieces as mulch.

    And here’s a thought – I have been buying canned salmon so I will have some stocked up before frankenfish comes on the market. Once it is here, I doubt canned ff salmon will be labeled as such. And for me, salmon croquettes are an important comfort food!

    • Mindy – I have an entire box of empty egg cartons so I am going to give this is try. (It is not too late to start seedlings here in Washington State).

      I have never had a salmon croquette. Care to share your recipe?


    • Very simple, no measurements in my grandmother’s recipe! Drain and mash one can (14.75 oz) of salmon with one egg and about 2 cups of mashed potatoes. Form into small patties (3 or 4 tablespoons), or little triangles – with 3 flat sides, you can get the oatmeal nice and crispy. Backing up, press your formed salmon into salted dry quick-cook oatmeal, and fry lightly in a little oil. Could probably oven-fry these also. Cook until lightly browned. So yum! It’s a Southern thing, I believe.

    • Well I am a northern girl and these sound yummy to me too. I am going to pick up some salmon and give them a try while I can still get good (real) salmon. Canned pink salmon is very reasonable in price.

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