The Sunday Survival Buzz – Volume 82

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Updated Jun 26, 2019 (Orig - Sep 15, 2013)



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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 was getting low on on hand soap so I made a large batch of Dirt Cheap Soft Soap.  Along the way I got distracted and accidently let my pot of soap simmer for about 30 minutes – okay, it actually boiled – instead of letting it merely get warm enough to melt the soap.

Long story short, since I was using hotel soaps that I got for free during my travels, I thought no big loss, I can dump it all out and start over if it does not work out.  I let it cool overnight and the next morning I had a blob.  There is no other way to explain it.  It was as thick as peanut butter – maybe thicker.

soft soap blob_1

I got out my old rotary hand mixer to see if I could fluff it up a bit.  (This hand mixer belonged to the Survival Husband’s mother so it is very old – probably from the 30s.)  I didn’t want to waste any essential oils in case it did not work out so I left it unscented.  It is now four days later and my latest batch of soft soap is still nice and fluffy in its pump dispenser and I am pleased. This is the best batch yet!

soft soap blob_2

As soon as I get back from my vacation I will have to write up a new set of instructions for everyone but in the meantime, you can still adapt the original recipe here at DIY Cleaning: Dirt Cheap Soft Soap to allow for simmering the soapy brew.

Another project this week – and something everyone should do from time to time – was a reassessment of the items in my bug-out-bag.  I added some new BIC lighters and some additional water purification tabs and thought about some additional changes as well.

I have a lot more to say about bug-out-bags – new thoughts, actually.  More and more I am focusing on bugging in and not bugging out with my B.O.B. consisting of items I would need only under a forced evacuation.  You can bet that I will have more to say about that in coming months.

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


They Denied That We Were In A Depression In 1933 And They Are Doing It Again In 2013:  The first part of this article starts out:

The more things change, the more things stay the same.  The Great Depression actually started in 1929, but as you will see below, as late as 1933 the Associated Press was still pumping out lots of news stories with optimistic economic headlines and many Americans still did not believe that we were actually in a depression.”

Study Says America’s Income Gap Widest Since Great Depression:  And here is a related article fro NPR.

Awesome Letter That A Dying Military Veteran Sent To His Representatives In Congress: You will be amazed by the things that a dying military veteran wrote in a letter to the two U.S. Senators that are representing his state.  Michael Snyder nails it again this week.

Late Summer Tomato Pruning — Tip to Maximize Fall Yield:  Folks over on my Facebook page have asked for pruning tips.  This one is excellent.

Our Coming Food Crisis:  From the NY Times no less.  A quote: “. . . we need to reduce the bureaucratic hurdles to using small- and medium-scale rainwater harvesting and gray water (that is, waste water excluding toilet water) on private lands, rather than funneling all runoff to huge, costly and vulnerable reservoirs behind downstream dams.”  More of the same in this well written op-ed piece.

Pearl Harbor Was Also Just a Limited Air Strike with No Boots on the Ground: I know I am preaching the choir, but still.

Don’t get ripped off by credit card skimming at gas pumps:  Years ago, we were a victim of card-skimming at the pump.  Here are some tips for cutting your risk by learning what not to do when you fill up.

Two Colorado State Senators Who Led Gun Control Push Find Out What Can Happen When Fed-Up Voters Take a Stand:  Bottom line?  They were fired.  Not only that, “the recall election was apparently triggered by six “regular guys” who were fed-up with lawmakers ramming gun control laws down the throats of voters and ignoring the Second Amendment.  It proves beyond a reasonable doubt that a small group of people, or even just one person, can truly make a difference if they take a stand.”  (A hat tip to Shelly aka the Survival Husband for this one.)

Left With Nothing:  A man in Washington DC owed $134 in property taxes. The District sold the lien to an investor who foreclosed on his $197,000 house and sold it.  He was basically thrown out on the street over $134. This is the original article from the Washington Post and like much I am sharing today, downright maddening.

10 Signs The Global Elite Are Losing Control:  Here is #1:

Official lies no longer effective: The lies they tell simply don’t work anymore. There was a time when official lies, especially about war and peace, were believed. Because, after all, how evil would it be to lie about such things? Generally people want to believe they are being told the truth when life and death is at stake. The boy who cried wolf has cried one too many times. Even if they told the truth at this point, very few would believe them.


In response to the recent articles and shortwave and ham radio, “Gil” reminds us that we can learn more about radio prepping at

And from “Carole”:

Hi Gaye,

I try to read everything you write on your blog. It is a welcome site in the morning to open my computer and find you there.

I am a young 65 year old and am very much into prepping. My partner is not and there are only the two of us. My brother is somewhat into prepping but I know his heart really isn’t in to it. It is hard to be able to prep on my own both emotionally and financially.

I sometimes wonder is it worth doing all the prepping and the financial cost for it all, thinking that maybe it would be better to use the money for something else or to save it. Currently I spend about $600.00 per month on my prepping.

Yesterday like you I moved some of my food stuffs around, this way I could clean and organize what I have. I found I need more fruit and of course since Mountain House is on sale I will get some entrees. I like to put my foods together and not buy too many entrees because of the use of so much sodium. I buy all the cook books for prepping and so therefore can make about anything.

Okay, so I am bothered and wondering when is it time to stop prepping?  Looking at all the items I do have which are in redundancy as well, I think I want to stop but then I always start back up. I feel as if my life is on hold waiting for something to happen. Do you feel this way by chance? I am consumed with prepping and reading all of the books and blogs, etc on disasters or what might be, and since I don’t have a group that is into prepping, it can be lonely at times.

I would rather be prepared and nothing happen than for something to happen and not be prepared.

When is enough , enough? I wish I could sit back and relax with the prepping. I enjoy doing it but need some backup or someone to be interested in it as well.

I really appreciate you listening to me and again I enjoy all that you do to help keeping us in the loop and to be there for us. Thank you.

My response was this:

Hang in there – your feelings are normal.  If you can, take a break from prepping for a couple of weeks then come back to it newly renewed.  That said, let us hope and pray that we will never need to use our preps for their intended purpose.

I am sharing this conversation with you today so that you know that you may not be the only one feeling uncertain and alone in your prepping activities.  I believe in my advice and indeed, will be taking a break myself for a couple of weeks.  Remember, no one person can do 100% all the time.


For months I have been saying that my Blogroll is a mess and it truly is.

Many of the links are no longer active and many of the sites listed have not posted fresh content in months. Sooooo . . . I plan to take down the Blogroll temporarily until I get things all fixed up.  Just giving you fair warning.


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.


Do you think you are prepared enough to survive anything?  For today only, take this quick Ultimate Survival Quiz and learn your survival score.  Click on The Ultimate Survival Quiz.


This week I had a blooper that is kind of embarrassing.  Here is what happened.

I few months ago I packaged 50 pounds of rice in a 5 gallon Mylar bag with a 2000 cc oxygen absorber.  For the first time ever, I did not put my packaged food in a bucket or a bin.  Oops.  I must have stacked some items on top of the bag because when I paid a visit to my food storage, there was a big rip in the bag.

rice blooper_1

I pulled out the duct tape and made a temporary patch but I still need to go back to repackage the rice all over again.  This time I will either put it in a bucket or a bin or even a box.  I share this will you so you will learn from my mistake.  I feel so stupid because of all people, I should know better.


I am almost ready to head out of dodge for a short vacation.  My house sitters are lined up and Tucker the Dog is going to doggie-camp.  My primary vacation prep has been to go on a writing frenzy so that you have lots of Backdoor Survival articles to keep you occupied while I am gone.

In addition, as you may have noticed, I am trying to bring back some of the evergreen articles from the past – you know, things I have written about that have been lost for a couple of years in the archives.  Mostly you will see these on Mondays.  Just between us, I call them my blasts from the past.

So – what about you – do you have a topic that you would like to see me write about?  I may just have something and will be happy to bring it current for you.  Be sure to let me know in the comment area and I will get right on 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 link to a free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon.  You can also follow Backdoor Survival on Pinterest.

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, here are the some of the items mentioned in today’s Buzz plus some items from the Amazon Top 10 and some whistles – just for the fun of it!

BIC Disposable Classic Lighter With Child Guard:  This six pack of Bic lighters is reasonably priced but check around since these often go on sale locally.  BICs just work – every time.

Potable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets: Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets make questionable water bacteriologically suitable to drink. Easy to use and the water is ready to drink in 30 minutes. One 50 tablet bottle treats 25 quarts of water.

BaoFeng Dual-Band DTMF CTCSS DCS FM Ham Two Way Radio: I had to look twice when I saw!  The Baofeng UV-5R is a compact hand held transceiver providing 4 watts in the frequency range of 136-174 MHz and 400-480 MHz. It is a compact, economical HT that includes a special VHF receive band from 65 – 108 MHz which includes the regular FM broadcast band. Dual watch and dual reception is supported.

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.

FordEx Group 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight Torch Adjustable Focus Zoom Light LampThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items   Backdoor Survival: Here we go with another flashlight.  It is super mini sized, bright and waterproof.  Plus, it uses standard AA sized batteries.

rothco safety whistleRothco Safety Orange Flat Whistle – 2 Pack   These flat-style whistles are made by Rothco, a respected brand in outdoor gear.

SE 5 in 1 Survival Whistle:  I have a few of these.  They are a cheap but they do the job surprisingly well.

Windstorm Safety Whistle:  This one is my personal favorite although it is a bit more expansive.

EMERGENCY ESSENTIALS Mountain House SUPER SALE! 40-50% off all cans!

This month Emergency Essentials is having a huge sale on Mountain House Products. The selection is huge.  Not only that, for a limited time shipping is free on all orders of $150 or more.

One of my personal favorites is the Mountain House Chili Mac (shown below) which is 40% off at $15.89 for a #10 tin.  And for a snack or dessert, the Mountain House Ice Cream Sandwiches are one of the Survival Husband’s favorites.  I am more of a fruit person myself.

Mountain House Chili Mac_1 403

This is by far one of the best sales I have seen on Mountain House.  The only problem I am having is deciding how to spend my $100 Emergency Essentials budget this month!

 Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials

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Free Guide | Emergency Food Buyer's Guide

Best Food Types, Storage Methods and Exactly What to Buy

Download Now →

Updated Jun 26, 2019
Published Sep 15, 2013

Opt-In | Emergency Food Buyers Guide
Free Guide | Emergency Food Buyer's GuideDownload Now →

5 Responses to “The Sunday Survival Buzz – Volume 82”

  1. hiya gaye, i agree with the comment you made to carole on her post to you,,,,,, sometimes a person just has to take a break, step back, maybe go on an outdoor event to get away from everything. it sure gives a person the time to relaxe and think things over. also i,d like to comment on some of the itrms you posted from amazon,,, i got 6 of the flash lights__they work great!!!!!! i got 4 of the can openers. i know how well they work from when i used them when i was in the army. they are good to put away with all your canned items. and i got the baofeng hand held radio. now i have to learn how to use it but i just could,nt pass up the good deal on it. i guess i,ll get another one and put it in the farraday box for the bad day,s. maybe if by chance you have someone who is “layman” savy with the radios they could help those of us that cant,t read directions-LOL_ VERY WELL.

  2. OH my. I read the email from Carole and you can take her name away and replace it with mine. This is just how I feel, but at least Carole has a partner. It really gets lonely by yourself.
    Take time away. I have wanted for years to visit “Front Sight” shooting school in Nevada. I have talked with them to be able to take my 13 year old grandson (the apple of my eye), and they finally said OK. We had planned to go on his fall break from school, but with the happening in the Syria now, I cant see how anyone can go far from home and their preps.
    Keep up the good works Gaye, and since I now have the radios George suggested, George needs to tell us about the faraday cage.

  3. Enjoyed your article on testing your 72 hour kit. I would like to share a trick I developed for the magnesium fire starter. One problem is that the shavings scatter when you shave the block making it less efficient. I took a section of bamboo and split it saving a knot/joint at one end. Catch the shaving in the tube and then pour into your tender. It makes for a much hotter fire starter. Keep the bamboo attached to the block with an elastic hair tie or a ranger band cut from an bicycle inner tube. I don’t use rubber bands, they rot.
    I have been prepping for over 30 years and am really impressed with your site.
    Larry Foster

  4. Gaye,
    yay, another great article. And, I might add-you are such a caring person.
    I will be checking out this radio you mentioned being on sale, maybe I’ll get 2, and
    put one away in case of emp attack. I too want to learn more about hams, and what is more crucial
    for long distance listening, better radio, or antenne and repeater. want to make my purchase soon. My dad just passwd his 3rd ham test, so another assignment for me is to start studying for my license’s.
    Also, will be ordering a hand powered mill and some wheat, entre’s, powdered tomato. I just ordered $180. worth of local honey, will pick it up this week. The price of honey has gone up a lot since last summer, and with so many bees dying off, it will only go up more and more until it will become scarce. No longer will I buy honey from the grocery stores.

    • @Eve – The home-milled flour is really special and very difficult to describe, taste-wise. Delicious. I am also going to get a hand mile (Wonder Jr.) so I can use it for coffee and nut butters. I just wish I had more room to store this stuff. Small house 🙂

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