The Sunday Survival Buzz – Volume 85

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jun 26, 2019
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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.

Wait a sec – no preps for me.  I am on vacation and getting my fill of survival fiction (starting with Apocalypse Drift) while enjoying some fun in the sun during the day and the dance floor at night.

To make up for no preps this week, I hope you will share yours in the comments area below. Surely you did something, right?

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


Airsoft. It’s Not Just for Kids: Using Airsoft in Your Firearms Training:  Take heed.  This is an important article and has set me on a path to find some airsoft equivalents for my own stash of firearms. (Five years ago I would not have believed that I would say such a thing.)

Fewer people will take care of baby boomers: There is a lot of talk about the Social Security system running out of money but this is the first time I have seen the issue of caregivers addressed.  As the article says “Baby boomers caring for friends and family have been “the cement” of long-term care in recent years.” Now the question is this: who will take care of the baby boomers?  Interesting piece.

How should a senior citizen prepare for SHTF: And since we are talking about baby boomers, here is some advice that I feel is not at all age-specific.

Golden Rice: Lifesaver?: More from the GMO propaganda department?

5 Ways To Use Spent Coffee Grounds:  I have written about the many uses of coffee filters but here are so good uses for those used coffee grounds.  Of course we already knew about composting those spent grounds by tossing them in the garden, right?

7 Reasons Why Coffee Is Good For You:  And speaking of coffee, here are 7 reasons why coffee may be good for you.

Fifty Free Farmstead eBooks:  I found this site with fifty free farmstead eBooks.  Most are quite old – from the 20s, 30s and 40s – but they are tried-and-true methods of building and maintaining your small farm or homestead and include a lot of good ideas. The original documents come  from historic US Department of Agriculture books and bulletins or the era.

Can anti-aging supplements help you look younger?: Some of you may have noticed that I never mention supplements on this website.  There is good reason and that is because some, not all, are bogus.  And anti-aging supplements?  You be the judge.

30 Essential Things You Should Keep in Your Car:  This is actually a very good list.

Students Could Be Forced to Go Hungry Because of New NJ School Policy:  According to a new policy in the Willingboro, NJ school district, students who don’t have enough money to pay for lunch must go hungry, and their meals are tossed in the trash!  In the trash!!! Talk about stupid bureaucrats.


“Terry” shares another tip for finding and saving water not only in an emergency, but during normal times too:

We do a lot of water saving things around the house but one of the better one,s we do is putting a 5 gallon bucket under our air conditioners to catch the water dripping out of them. we run 3 units and i have to empty them every other day on our garden and other plants.

You might be able to use this tip in your Fall garden but if not, be sure to save it for next Spring and Summer.  “Ramona” shares another use for Dr. Bronner’s or even your own DIY liquid castile soap:

! I have been using 1T of Dr. Bronner’s liquid in a quart spray bottle to spray tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage and peppers. It kills the aphids on tomatoes better than anything else I’ve tried and that includes Sevin. It will kill the worms that love to eat up my broccoli and cabbage too! It doesn’t have a residual effect so you have to spray directly on them when you see them. I carry my spray bottle with me everyday when I make my rounds through the garden!

Here is good one from “UmbrellaMan”:

Something you can add to your list of Prepping Tips.

Let your readers consider having an “empty” small fanny/waist bag in the car. If you happen to be out when something bad happens and you have to leave the car, everyone’s glove compartment always has a bunch of worthwhile items they could stuff in the bag at the last minute and take with them. Because if other cars are like mine there’s a small flashlight in there and maybe a bottle of sanitizer, pair of gloves or a map or sunglasses.

Problem might be, where do you stuff those little goodies that might come in handy? Oh, that little waist bag. Goodie!

“Alex” in Bangkok shared an idea I had not considered:

I have followed you via an assortment of sites and always enjoyed your articles.  So here is something you may have covered, maybe not – but having used phosphorescent tape as well as children’s astronomical stars and moons to tag ‘edges’ & electrical switches in our apartment – and in my house in the USA long before –  I recommend this as a handy, cheap,inexhaustible light source.

There is also phosphorescent paint available.  Not as handy as the tape – but better for odd shapes.
And there are also phosphorescent wall plates for light switches – maybe there are plates for electrical plugs, too.  It depends which brand & configuration one uses, and usually doesn’t last more than a few hours, but can be recharged with a shot from a flashlight.

Other: When I was living in France I was able to order (from the UK) little plastic tabs called trasers filed with (yes – radioactive) tritium which give off a low but steady light since I bought them 10+ years ago.  They have served consistently as tags on the lanyards of things I would go for first in a total blackout. I don’t think they can be imported to the USA.

From Shelly, the Survival Husband:

Don’t discount the liquids from your canned goods.  They are a valuable water source that you can use to supplement water storage or be used even if no additional water is available.


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.


I believe I may have mentioned this once or twice but fingers-crossed, coming in November is my new eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage.  I am going through the final edits and thanks to generous proofreading provided by twenty Backdoor Survival readers, I am almost done.

The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage will be available as a Kindle eBook and if I can work things out, as a PDF as well.  I hope you will like it!



Summer was complete blur as I spent most days behind a desk at my computer.  That is the bad news.  The good news is that I spent a lot of time working on DIY and homesteading skills so that if I had to survive without stores where I could purchase food and supplies, I would be okay.

This week, as I am relaxing as I am surrounded by a bit a luxury, I have had time to ponder life without modern conveniences and you know what?  I miss my homemade soap and my homemade food.  I miss going outside to fire up the rocket stove and I miss visiting my “food storage’” in order to come up with something new for dinner.  Most of all I miss my big beautiful cast iron skillet and the delicious food that comes out of it.  I suppose that prepping does funny things to a person!

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 price of this!  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.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials

Emergency Essential Order Jul 2013_00        Emergency Essential Order Jul 2013_03

The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.  I have a monthly budget and each month I add a bit more FD products to my long term storage – always making my selection from sale items.

There are a lot new items that are put on sale each month – be sure to take a look.

Note: I earn a small commission on your purchase making this a great way to support Backdoor Survival which will always be free to everyone.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials

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Updated Jun 26, 2019

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25 Responses to “The Sunday Survival Buzz – Volume 85”

  1. So you have been pondering? Fine minds work alike. I also have been pondering this week. We see photos and videos of people living in 3rd world countries. A large family living in a one room hut with dirt floors. No sanitation facilities. Washing their meager clothes by beating them on a rock down by the creek. Cooking on an open fire. Maybe a few chickens running loose. Working their garden with home made tools.
    These people survive. I know it would be hard, but if they can, I know the majority of us (preppers)could do the same. BUT. There is always a but. They don’t have to worry about the “zombies”. And by zombies, I mean a lazy man down the road that thinks you may have an extra chicken he can steel. A government group that thinks it is not right for you to wash your clothes in the creek and pollute the water.
    I may be the “crazy man down the road, with the critters and the weird looking greenhouse, and now, the crazy man with those reflective square boxes setting on each corner of his house”, but I ponder what I could do to prepare with the money I could save if, I didn’t have to buy all the guns and bullets, to ward off the zombies.
    I have pondered why is that? I believe it is the mentality that someone will take care of you. The Government is so good at deceiving people. A system that allows a person to be a bum, not work, give them money to buy drugs, (supposedly for food) give them a free phones and a free house. A system that allows people to not worry about the coming hurricane. Don’t worry about preparations. The Government will take care of you. Take this away !!! Here come the zombies.
    I see the Government as the biggest obstacle for a prepper.

    • Any thinking person would realize that the government gets us into half the trouble (if not more) that we get into. They want total control.
      In the end, we can depend only upon ourselves. People have become too dependent on the government, and that will come back to bite them.

    • Agreed.

    • New here, what are the reflective square boxes setting on each corner of your house?

    • I figured they were some kind of solar panels.

    • The shinny square things at the corner of my house are 275 gal IBC totes to catch the rain water. The plastic they are made of will harden and become brittle in the sunlight. I used Mylar reflective blankets to wrap them to shield them from the sun. Very, very, very reflective. Looking at them from the roadway, they do look like something from outer space.

  2. Gaye, thank you for the heads-up on the BaoFeng Dual-Band DTMF CTCSS DCS FM Ham Two Way Radio. The price from Amazon just dropped to $29.81, so I grabbed one!

  3. This week, I ordered a big bag of dehydrated egg and a big bag of rice. I also got things to make a particular meal (chili) for a SHTF scenario. I already had beans, so I got some dried spiced beef, several jars of chili sauce, chili powder, and other fixings for it. I have to make it fairly simple, as my husband does not like things like peppers. I ordered several soup mixes to dry can, as well.
    Additionally, I bought several food grade pails with tops, a saw-type knife, a small camp ax, and three bottles of water (as I do every week).
    It is interesting to go through Walmart and look into the carts of other people. Some have frivolous items, and don’t seem to have a clue. Some, like me, are buying things like camping supplies, batteries, black out curtains, and all that. Kind of makes you think and take notice.

    • Regarding your comment “It is interesting to go through Wal-Mart and look into the carts of other people. Some have frivolous items, and don’t seem to have a clue.”

      That is so true. During my recent vacation I met many folks living in hurricane prone areas. When I asked what they did to prepare, they said they had “a basement” and “some candles”. They simply did not have a clue. For someone like me (and the people I hang with), this was shocking to say the least.

  4. One thing I would suggest is to add this survival/prepper card game to the list, I bought it to play with friends I want to bugout with and it opened up the group to important topics that were too awkward to discuss otherwise. I recommend this to any serious prepper or survivalist.


    Hope it helps!



  5. Something I tried this week and had a good laugh. I heard of vacuum sealing a 5 gallon bucket. I went to Lowes, bought the bucket and lid. I placed a 20 bag of rice in it that I had cut a 6 inch slit, so the air in the bag could escape. I then put the lid on and started to suck out the air. I really wasn’t paying any attention until I noticed the side of the bucket had collapsed. I think if I had completely filled the bucket, there may not have been room for the sides to collapse, but it looks real funny setting on my shelf with the sides collapsed.

  6. @John – I give up. How did you suck out the air with the lid on? Confused.

  7. First off, you have to be a blonde. Oh no, that is another joke. Gaye, I am finding that the lid on a normal 5 gal pail will not seal tight. Mine took 3 days for the sides to go back to normal size. I think I will buy a tube of some kind of yuckem-pucky to run a bead around the lid (things in here will be for long term) before placing on the bucket.
    Next, make a very small hold in middle of a smooth part of the lid. When doing this with a 2 liter bottle cap, you can use a thumb tack. That size hole. Get a small piece of tape. I use electrical tape. Place it like you were going to cover the hole, but only press it on one side.
    Next, place your wide mouth jar food saver over the hole. I found the rubber seal on the wide mouth hangs down enough to make a seal on a flat surface. My regular size lid cover doesn’t. Start sucking. I figure when the sides start caving in, it is long enough. When you release the suction on the food saver, the bucket will try to suck in air. Alase, the tape will be drawn down and seal the hole.
    You can put the small hole in any container that you can come up with something to place around the hole that will make a seal. Use the rubber suction cup from one of those things that stick to the front of your refrigerator, with a hole drilled in the middle, about the same size as the hole in the container. Your hose on your food saver will fit in the suction cup, and it will fit over the lid of a 2 liter soda bottle.

    • John – Wouldn’t a gamma seal lid be easier? This is what I use.

      — Gaye

    • Gaye, I don’t know what a gamma seal is. From it’s name, it sounds like it would work. I know Lexington Container, where I use to buy my IBC totes, sell them, but I never knew what they were. Please tell me all about them. I assume they are “air proof” and resealable?

    • OK. Put a mark on your calendar. You put one over on ole John R. I just didn’t know what a Gamma seal lid was. I did a google, and what did I find? Some red head telling the whole world (except John) about gamma seals.
      I have ran price searches and it seams Cosco has the best price, but I’m not a member. Sams Club come in next. They have a dozen of them for $89.
      Thanks Gaye for taking care of me.

    • LOL. Gammas seals are the best. Sometimes Emergency Essentials will have them on sale as well.

      All of this is spelled out in my eBook that ~should~ be ready to go on November 1. //

      (wink wink hint hint)

  8. If you don’t know how to make a very small “hold” in the middle, try making a very small “hole” in the middle.

  9. I have a brief question. I did some dry canning last night. The “eye” in the package, which shows what condition the oxygen absorbers are in, was pink to start with, but was purple by the end.
    If I’m not mistaken, purple is still okay. It’s just when it turns blue that it’s not okay. Is this correct?

    • Lavender or purple? Your oxygen absorbers are okay if the pill was lavender but if it was purple, I would hesitate to use them. How long were they sitting out before being placed in your jars?

      — Gaye

    • I would say lavender. They were open on the table, as I placed them into a bunch of other jars. Maybe half an hour at most.
      When I got home, I folded the package over very tightly, and taped it with packing tape. They are still lavender, and I opened them to use a few more just tonight, and resealed the same way. Still lavender, even now.

    • They are probably toast.

      My recommendation is that next time, you keep the unused oxygen absorbers in a mason jar. Never leave them exposed to air for longer than 10 or 15 minutes. I actually seal mine in a jar with my FoodSaver jar attachment.

    • That stinks! Now I have to go back and put fresh oxygen absorbers into everything that I dry canned last night and tonight.
      Thanks for the input. I greatly appreciate it.

  10. Gaye, As you get into storing food. One item doesn’t store well. That’s oil. I do mean the type we cook with. It degrades rapidly. So how to replace when your cooking oil goes rancid? Whatever disaster happens, it may extend beyond the oil stores one has on hand. What then? Unless you’re a great hunter and can render the animal fat, what do you need; because we as humans need fat in our diets especially during stressed times.
    So I thought I would share what I found. Now, I haven’t used it hard so I don’t know how well it will hold up to regular hard use; so I bought 2. 🙂 It’s a home oil press.

    • Oil is a problem as is yeast. Sourdough starter is okay – but not 100% reliable. As far as oil, coconut oil has a longer shelf life and is healthy but it is expensive. I hate hydrogenated products but I still have stored some powdered shortening, hoping I will never have to use it.

      BTW, I have never had any oil go rancid on me. I wonder if that is due to storage conditions (cool).

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