The Sunday Survival Buzz – Volume 77

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jun 26, 2019

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.

The most fun thing I did this week, prepping wise, was make my own liquid castile soap.  Remember  those prepping bloopers I mentioned last week?  It took three tries to get it right and ultimately I came up with my own version that was just right.  In all fairness, the differences were minor in process but major in results.

I hope to get everything written up for you in the next week or so along with my simple recipe for Tea Tree Wonderful household cleaner.  I did say this was fun, right?

I ordered the following two books:

In addition, I received an Aqua Vessel Tritan Filter Water Bottle for review plus a giveaway that will be scheduled for late this month.

Emergency Essentials HAMAnd last, my order from Emergency Essentials arrived. The Meat Variety Combo I purchased was 35% off so I felt like I got a deal.  More and more, I am cooking with food storage so I get the hang of it.  Next up is ham and eggs.  By the way, did anyone try the Chicken Chile recipe I posted last week with the EcoZoom review?

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


When Your Medicine Makes You Sick: So far this year the FDA reports that drug companies have “voluntarily” recalled more than 30 prescription drugs.  (It is quite coincidental that I ordered the “Food Over Medicine” book this week.)

The Missiles That Brought Down TWA Flight 800: I am putting this one out there – you to be the judge.  All I will say is that with many things these days, all is not what it seems.

Cooking Weeds – Goosefoot Pie and Sautéed Milkweed Pods:  Hey Facebook fans, this one is for you.  I listened!!

Are Chemicals Commonly Used in Poultry Plants Masking Salmonella?:  Food safety experts are scratching their heads after a Washington Post article suggested last week that certain chemicals used in poultry processing might be masking the presence of Salmonella. It’s a scandalous theory that could explain why government data show big reductions in Salmonella rates in poultry plants while human illnesses have held steady.

Scientists Disclose Plans To Make Superflu In Labs: To quote NPR, “Who do these guys think they are, the Dr. Frankenstein’s of virology?”

How should a senior citizen prepare for SHTF?:  A fine article from Graywolf Survival.  Here is a hint: “The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the advice for senior citizens is pretty much the core of what everyone should actually be doing to prep.”


This leads me into a short rant about the AUDACITY of it all.  As you know, each week I like to share an article or two from other preparedness websites.  Some of these sites are newer and some have been around for awhile.  I share the articles because they are informative and offer a wise perspective that is worthy of your time.  Many times, the site owners do not know that I have linked to them unless they happen to notice a bump in traffic Backdoor Survival.

No matter.  I share good stuff and don’t want or expect anything in return.  Now imagine my shock this week when one of the owners of a website I often feature asked if I would like to pony up $50 to be mentioned on her site?  I pointed out the many articles of hers that I had posted and that I had never asked for a dime.  Furthermore, I had not contacted her for a reciprocal link.

I was just do my Sunday Buzz thing.  The bottom line is this: I do not accept payment from other bloggers nor do I pay anyone to post my work.  More and more I am beginning to feel the sting of the vultures.  Okay, I will get off my soapbox now.


From a reader in Yakima, WA:

Your heads-up article regarding the masks was above and beyond what everyone should know about them. Very informative.

While they are important for potential medical-sanitation reasons… another far more likely potential is protection from volcanic ash air-borne particles. As a resident of Yakima, Washington during the May 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens… I can tell you how fast ANY such masks disappeared from the store shelves after Mt. St. Helens paid a visit to Yakima. It is amazing how fast folks come to realize what is most important when a certain survival situation presents itself. Hopefully, your readers will share with others they know… the value of your website for preparedness.

As a follow-up suggestion… folks across our country as well as the world… should place the potential for world-wide volcanic ash particulate dispersal as a very real and probable threat in our not-so-distant future.

Note:  If you missed it, the article was Survival Friday: Surgical Masks for the Survival Kit.

Here is a water conservation tip from “Frederick”:

I have a large bowl (about 1 1/4 gal) in one of my double sinks and rinse everything that has no soap into this bowl, including rinsing dishes and silverware before I soap them. I either empty the bowl directly on the compost pile, garden, or plants near the kitchen door or dump it into a 5 gal bucket also near the kitchen door and then carry this bucket to water fruit trees in the yard.

And one more from “Kimberly”:

After the big quake in Coalinga some years back people found they could not get into their garages to get to emergency supplies. My aunt solved this problem, (after they rebuilt) by hanging an ax and a shovel on the outside wall of the house under the eaves.

Thanks, everyone, for the fantastic tips.


Reminder: if you are interested in finding a past article on a specific topic, you can use the Search box on the right hand side or select SEARCH from the menu bar.


If you don’t do Facebook, you can skip this section since it will bore you to tears.  On the other hand, if you do, read on.

Backdoor Survival fan “Daron” compiled these instructions for setting up interest groups on FB. This is one way to insure that posts that you want to see are always shared on your timeline.:  How to Create and Interest List on Facebook.

One more thing. The reason I ask you to “like, comment and share” my FB updates is that the more engagement seen by FB, the more they will “choose” to post my updates on your timeline.  Apparently it is not a 100% thing.  Who knew?


I am always surfing Amazon for new survival stuff – it is an addition of mine.  This week I took some time to make a list of The Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items.  I plan to keep the list updated so check back periodically with Amazon Top 50 on the menu bar.

Speaking of which, I am still having issues with the new menu bar.  There are things I want to add but can not at this time.  This is something I hope to get them fixed in the next week or two.


Last week I had a few readers ask that I share what I will call my product and project bloopers.  Gosh, there have been so many that I do not know where to start so it is probably best that I do this on a going forward basis here on the Sunday Survival Buzz.

That said, here are some previous bloopers to get us started.

The lavender and rosemary cuttings I started shriveled up and dried.  I am usually really good at starting plants from cuttings and slips (you should see my DIY hydrangeas) so either I lost my touch or this does not work as easily as the original poster indicated in her article.

Every DIY recipe for homemade “Shout” (a commercial spot remover for the laundry) has been a waste of time and ingredients.  On the other hand, Hydrogen Peroxide seems to be working great.  Throw out the cap, add a sprayer top and you are done.  So far, so good.  Spots seem to disappear although it does take a day or so – sometimes longer.

Likewise, the DIY “soft scrub” I made to clean crusty, built up crud from my well-used baking pans was a waste.  Sorry, I can’t remember the ingredients.  This was a few months ago – going forward I will take notes.

Perhaps the biggest blooper was a $35 survival “kit” that I was asked to review and promote to readers here on Backdoor Survival.  Spending $5 is one thing but a $35 kit full of half a dozen items that can be purchased on Amazon for less than $2 each just did not cut it.

You might notice that when it comes to kits, I am very careful to remind you to examine the contents thoroughly before making a purchase.  This is especially at the low end.  Truthfully, it is sometimes better to purchase the individual products yourself.

There is nothing wrong with inexpensive products.  I buy them myself.  But I do so with my eyes wide open so that I know what I am getting.  The last thing I want to do is pay a high price for a low-quality item.


This came in from John:

Gaye, it is great for you to tell use what you have done to prepare each week. I know this will be an incentive for others to get on board. I need the reviews you give of products out there in internet land to help me on my limited budget. I hate to say this, but you maybe my guiding light, as it seems I have been purchasing many of the products you have showcased.

For this reason, may I suggest you start asking others what they have done this week to prepare, and if they may have wondered across some prepping tool they think we can not do without. I for one would love to hear what others are doing.

If people step up and contribute, I will make this a regular part of the Sunday Survival Buzz. And so I ask:

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

Please share your preps in the comments area below.  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: For your discernment, hear are the some of the items mentioned in today’s Buzz plus a preview of the Amazon Top 10.

Aqua Vessel Tritan Filter Water Bottle:  This is my new water bottle. The sustainable plant-based filter attaches easily to the straw top, so every sip is cleaned on its way to your mouth. It is tested to remove 99.9% of Giardia and Cryptosporidium, and its activated coconut shell carbon reduces toxic chemicals, heavy metals, microscopic pathogens, chlorine, sediment and dirt – so it’s safe to use everywhere from the back country to the office.

Megabrite Wireless Motion Sensor LED Lights:  I forgot to mention that I installed a couple of these this week.

The Wonderful World of Dandelions: 40 Fabulous Recipes for Cooking with Dandelions:  Dandelions are loaded with vitamins and anti-oxidants and can make great low calorie, healthy meals. They are one of the most nutritional dense greens you can eat and are potassium rich, have strong diuretic qualities, a good blood detoxifier and great for the liver…dandelions are a forgotten secret. This book contains 40 fabulous recipes which including dishes which are suitable for both Paleo and Vegetarian diets by incorporating this valuable food source using these delicious, easy to make recipes. “

SAS Survival Handbook: SAS Survival Handbook is the definitive resource for all campers, hikers, and outdoor adventurers. It includes everything from basic camp craft and navigation to fear management and strategies for coping with any type of disaster. Also the companion books, SAS Urban Survival Handbook, The SAS Guide to Tracking, and Finding Your Way Without Map or Compass.  (Recommended by reader Joel on FB and also a part of my personal book collection.)

Ultralight Backpacking Canister Camp Stove with Piezo Ignition:  This ultra light backpacking camp stove weighs only 3.9oz including the case. The stove works with any screw top butane or propane canisters and the flame is fully adjustable.

2 Pack Survival Kit Can Opener, Military, P-51 Model:  This device makes a great addition to any survival, fishing, hiking or camping pack. It is lightweight and robust and it just works.

Elite Forces Survival Bowie Knife:  This 12″ Elite Forces Bowie has a 7 1/2″ black anodized stainless steel blade will cut through anything. Strap it to your leg with the included ABS sheath and you’re ready for action. Includes lanyard cord and is 12” in overall length.

Emergency Essentials Meat Combo 300x290Shop 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 sale items this month is the Meat Variety Combowhich is 35% off.  Included are cans of Salmon, Diced Roast Beef, White Turkey, Ham, Ground Beef and Smokey Flavored Chicken Chunks.  This month I purchased this combo for my own food storage.

Not to be left out, the Freeze-Dried Fruit Variety Combo is also on sale. Lately I have been using FD fruit in my own “Survival” Sangria and fruit smoothies that also use the Creamy Vanilla Drink Mix.

In the gear department, this month the Katadyn Combi Water Filter is 34% off at $144.00.  There are a lot of other items on sale this month so take a peek!


As many of you know, I frequently post links to free Prepping, Survival and Self-Reliance Kindle eBooks on my Facebook page.  Did you know that you do not need a Kindle to download and read Kindle e-Books?

Amazon has made it easy for you by offering a free Kindle app for almost every device you can think of including all sorts of e-Book readers, tablets, smartphones and of course, a PC or laptop.  Simply download the free Kindle app from the Amazon site and you are good to go.

Need something else from Amazon (and who doesn’t)? I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here.

Shop Amazon Tactical – Great Selection of Optics, Knives, Cases, Equipment

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



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Updated Jun 26, 2019

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17 Responses to “The Sunday Survival Buzz – Volume 77”

  1. What did I do last week to be better prepared to care for my family in times of need? Finally bought a Lodge Camp Dutch Oven and a tri-pod. Yahoo! Now I just have to learn how to cook over an open camp fire (more likely over charcoal briquetts). Also picked up a great cherry pitter. I found dried Buttermilk at Walmart and bought a few cartons. Found a few books at goodwill about medical home remedies and first aid. All less than 10 years old and for a total cost of $4.00. Re-organized and re-stocked my first aid supplies.


  2. What I did this week for prepping. My 2 new 20 degree mummy bags came in. Now all I need is to buy a set of compression bags to put them in so they will fit in the mollie bags that they will go into strapped on to our BOB’s. (reminder, do not store your sleeping bags in a compression bag as it will loose its ability to fluff up and you will diminish its warmth rating. Ours will hang in the closet with the compression bag with it to be grabbed and stored onto our BOB’s).

    A few more trips to the Dollar Tree this week. Since my daughter is heading back to college in a few weeks I wanted to add a few things to her get home car bag. I got the pliable car sun reflector. She can use it as normal to keep her SUV cool but if needed can also be used as a ground cover under her to sleep, a hammock barrier(under her body or sleeping bag), as a fire reflector, placed hanging or staked up a small distance behind a fire but not close enough to melt or burn to help serve as a wind break and heat reflector, can be used to line a box for a solar stove, used to catch rain water and a dozen other things. Also got her a few more lighters plus a long lighter (can never have enough and she had used up two of hers from last year with friends that smoke). Also a second shower curtain for a tarp. If she is stranded in Savannah it will take her a while to get to home to the Atlanta area our bug out location (still in GA) depending on the type of trouble. For us I got a few of the sun reflectors as well, more vitamins I will split up and seal in large straws in daily doses for each family member according to their needs. These will be packed with daily meals or in larger pill bottles for each person to carry. Husband bought at Harbor Freight a mini hammer for the car kit and two more Gerber machetes with saw blades to strap to our BOB’s We already have two at our bug out location.

    • I just love the Dollar Tree stores and always shop there when I am in the Seattle area. As long as you are careful about what you buy, you can find some great deals. I especially like all of the containers in various sizes – they make it so easy to organize things.

  3. In reference to what I did to prep this week….mostly just stayed confused. I am not an organized person and I have been buying and studying prepping for about a year. Therefore, things are stacking up. I did straighten up my rotating pantry closet. I set up several containers for storage….., first aid, fire starters, personal hygiene items and such…..I will still need to fine tune these supplies so I will be able to find things when they are needed. But, at least, now I will only have to search one container, not a stack of boxes and bags. I bought a set of two way radios from Academy Sports. My husband checked out an older TV/AM,FM,WB Radio, it works on AC or batteries. It just needed a little adjusting and is still in pretty good shape. It will serve as a backup since I do have a newer version that can be charged by solar power. Made my second batch of beef jerky. This is so easy using my dehydrater. Problem is I can’t make it fast enough and it is eaten before I can store it. Also, my Lifestraws arrived from Amazon. My grandsons and I went over our BOBs and found we still needed a few things. The boys think we are just playing a game, but they are learning how to start fires, and we are working on a solar oven.
    This week I just gave up on my little garden…it is a disaster. But, I will try for a fall/winter garden and hope with the cooler weather it will produce better.

  4. about the aqua vessel tritan filter water bottle…..this is undoubtedly a great filter bottle for drinking from a fast-moving stream in the wild, but one probably shouldn’t depend on it for traveling in other countries or drinking still water. that’s because it does NOT filter out bacteria or viruses. when people are traveling, it’s usually bacteria that make them sick, not giardia or cryptosporidium cysts. i have one of these bottles, but i will replace it as soon as i can afford to with a filter that is 2 microns or smaller, so it will protect me from bacteria (cholera, e-coli, etc.). meanwhile, i’m keeping it in a kit with water purification tablets that DO kill bacteria and viruses and i will use the two methods together…… prep this week was to buy a month’s worth of synthroid for my small (but slowly growing) stockpile. it’s expensive (my insurance doesn’t cover “extra” refills), but it gives me one more month to live in a teotwawki situation.

    • Thank you for the info about aqua vessel water bottle. I am going to do a bit of research before I use it to drink out of our little lake. Have you tried the generic synthroid? They are $6.99 for 90 tabs as the Costco pharmacy (you do not need to be a member to get your meds there).

    • I recommend Sawyer products. //
      They have water filters and water purifiers. I recommend the purifier, as we really don’t know what water we will need to drink. I have a couple of the bucket purifiers for both residences. Will filter up to 1 million gal.

    • thank you for the suggestion (i tried to answer your email but i think it got lost). i used to take generic levothyroid, but it didn’t work well for me. my endocrinologist says that’s not unusual. the problem is that these pills are very perishable, so i have to “rotate my stock”; my first assumption was that if i want to stockpile generic pills i’ll be stuck with taking them all the time, but there might be other ways to solve this. i’ll have to think about it…..and i’ll find out if costco’s prices are better than the local walmart.
      thanks again!

  5. I’m further along with food storage than many since it’s just a part of my life to be provident (preparing for lean times). This week, I went through my stores to see what was needed, what I had (and make an inventory, which I hadn’t done before) and divided my stores to several different caches. My plan is to rotate so I don’t go to one consistently but will start with one, use it up, replace what’s used, and go to the next one. This involves some duplication but should someone decide they need what I have more than I do, they won’t get it all. I also now have 2 tents, again stored in separate places in case I can’t get to one, I can to the other.
    I’m now learning about fermentation so if/when no refrigeration is available, this can provide an alternative. I’m learning some skills so when the time comes, my knowledge will be of value to any community I become part of. The other goal is to learn what can be foraged from nature in my local in each season of the year.

  6. This is garden harvest season here on my little hill top so last week I picked tomatoes and chopped them up to put in baggies for the freezer. I know freezing isn’t the most reliable method for storing summer’s bounty, but a late blight has hit my tomato patch and my harvest is going to be pretty seriously reduced because of it. The plan is to temporarily store the small batches I’m picking and then make a big stockpot full of veggie soup using the Big roast I bought that was marked down because it had reached it’s “sell by” date. It’s in the freezer too. When I have collected enough veggies for the soup I will pressure can it and put it in storage. Blackberries are in season and going into the freezer until I have enough to make a couple of batches of jelly. I canned dill pickles and used the cucumbers that were too big to make a double batch of pickle relish. I vacuum sealed several boxes worth of teabags that I got on sale @ $.88 for the 100 count box. They went into a sealed five gallon bucket with a label and date. BTW, I have been able to get all the food grade buckets I need for free at the local grocery store that has a cake decorating dept. I just have to scrub real good to get all the icing out! Also vacuum sealed several boxes of baking soda for storage and got a new bucket started for the dry pasta products I have been sealing. Here on the hilltop, the eleventh commandment is “Thou shall not waste”, so I look for anything that can be salvaged and repurposed. The last thing I did last week was to attend a two day Women of Faith conference. After all that food for the body, I needed some food for the soul!

  7. What I have been doing to get prepared this week is re-assessing. I have a pretty good BOB/get home bag and I realize, after reading the article about seniors being prepared, that my wife and I will probably shelter in place. I am 60 years old and my wife is 59. I am in pretty good shape and can still walk long distances even with a pack but my wife has severe back problems and would not be able to walk distances with or without a pack. Why I think we will shelter in place is the amount of family that live near us. My mother, brother, mother in law, and sister in law all live within 5 miles of us and all have clothes, food, water, and weapons. Also there are numerous aunts, cousins, and good friends within the same distance so our best bet is to hook up with them and shelter in place. We are hardly ever over 30 miles away from home so my bag will be for both my wife and myself and used as a get home bag.

  8. I decided to get better organized with my Fire Starting supplies. I currently carry large plastic bottles of Glycerin and plastic tubs of Potassium Permaganate. I thought it would be easier to fill soda straws with a one-use small straw supply. The Glycerin poured down the straw okay, but the fine powder from the Potassium got blown around the kitchen from the ceiling fan. Finished the project and grabbed a damp sponge to wipe down the kitchen counter I had worked at. Sponge turned Purple. Rinsed sponge in sink and sink turned purple. Bleach or vinegar will not remove. Trying Vegetable Oil, and if that doesn’t work, wife will demand a new sink…..Be careful if you try this.

    • Oh my gosh. It sounds like you had a blooper of your own. I hope you can get the sink clean – have you tried one of the Mr. Clean sponges? They work wonders and only cost a buck or two.

  9. Hey methane, lint from the dryer + oil and a match might be more pleasant for your wife. 😉 Although I would love a purple sink. LOL

  10. I finally took an inventory of my food stores. I had been dreading it but it went faster than i thought and I feel much more organized. I checked dates and made a list so that it’s easier to “see” what I have and when to rotate. I do need more storage space. And I’m going to try and be more creative with that.
    I also did some canning and drying of tomatoes and basil.
    I also worked a small allowance into my budget for preps. I had just never taken the time to sit down and do it.

    • Deb – You are my poster girl! I need to do what you did and get organized instead of buying more and more. I do purchase a lot of items to test and review for the blog but try to keep it limited. My monthly Emergency Essentials budget is $100 and this month I spent $200. Sometimes it is just sooooo hard not to add more to my preps.

  11. Gaye, We just canned pear and pear/apple sauce. My wife has always done apple sauce, but we have realized pears are awesome also. We used the bartlet pear, which produced quite a bit of juice which needed to be drained off. Cooled in the refrigerator, it’s great to drink. I also completed my inventory ammo list.


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