The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 96

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jun 27, 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.

Headlamps 400

You know me and flashlights.  I picked up this set of 3 headlamps for cheap on Amazon.  I had been disappointed with the the cheapies I purchased at Harbor Freight but these are pretty good.  The price also included the batteries so I believe I did good.  (And by the way, be sure to see this weeks giveaway for a chance to win a free copy of Ron Brown’s The Amazing 2000-Hour Flashlight.)

Headlamps 400x179

I was in the Seattle area for a few days and decided to make a prepping trip to Costco.  I picked up some extra bottled water – because you just never know.  I also purchased some “pure olive oil” as opposed to “extra virgin olive oil”.  I plan to use this in a plain salve that will be used for moisturizing purposes.

Okay, I do know that pure olive oil is a combination of extra virgin and refined olive oil of a lesser quality.  On the other hand, both coconut oil and EVOO are expensive and if dollars are tight, it is better to use this less expensive product than to do  without.  Will I use pure olive oil in one of my healing salves?  Yes, I plan to test a 100% pure olive oil version (without coconut oil).  Stay tuned for that.

That is about it for me this week.  Let’s get on to the Sunday Survival Buzz.


Widening income gap is hurting the economy, survey says:  Well duh!  I happen to be one of those in the sinking middle class as I suspect are many of you reading BDS.  Conspicuous consumerism is something I see a lot of when I am down in the Seattle area.  Not so much in my own community.

How to Purify Water With Fruit Peels:  A research associate at the National University of Singapore combined rubbing alcohol with some tomato and apple peels and came up with a new way to purify water. As the article states: “While it doesn’t rid the H2O of pathogens, it provides cleaner water using bio-waste already on hand.”  A hat tip to Shelly for this one.

83 Numbers From 2013 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe:  From Michael Snyder.  Here are the first 5:

#1 Most people that hear this statistic do not believe that it is actually true, but right now an all-time record 102 million working age Americans do not have a job.  That number has risen by about 27 million since the year 2000.

#2 Because of the lack of jobs, poverty is spreading like wildfire in the United States.  According to the most recent numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, an all-time record 49.2 percent of all Americans are receiving benefits from at least one government program each month.

#3 As society breaks down, the government feels a greater need than ever before to watch, monitor and track the population.  For example, every single day the NSA intercepts and permanently stores close to 2 billion emails and phone calls in addition to a whole host of other data.

#4 The Bank for International Settlements says that total public and private debt levels around the globe are now 30 percent higher than they were back during the financial crisis of 2008.

#5 According to a recent World Bank report, private domestic debt in China has grown from 9 trillion dollars in 2008 to 23 trillion dollars today

Make Your Own Homemade Survival Bars Even Better: Have you considered making your own survival bars?  This article is from a member of my Prepared Bloggers group and is well tested so you know it will be good.

101 Best Resources for the Beginner Prepper:  This is a wonderful list; also from one of my Prepared Blogger colleagues.  You might find some new treasures here.

“Organic” Chicken Is Different Than “Antibiotic-Free” And “Natural” Means Nothing:  Labels these day can be so deceiving.  Make sure that if you are shopping for organic products, you are not fooled by similar, but very different terminology.  Also see Consumer Reports Finds Potentially Harmful Bacteria All Over Chicken Breasts.

Sickened by service: More US sailors claim cancer from helping at Fukushima:  I started reading about this a couple of week ago.  Now that the MSM has picked it up, perhaps more folks will waken up to the travesty and cover-up we call Fukushima.

FDA examining antibacterial soaps, body washes:  It is not often that I applaud the FDA but in this case, they are doing good.  Specifically, the manufacturers of antibacterial hand soap and body wash will be required to prove their products are more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of infection.  They will be required to prove their products are safe for long-term use, the agency said.


Bob sent this and I am most appreciative since there are no in-person classes that I know of in my area.

I really didn’t want to spend months studying for my Ham radio licenses, so I took the suggestion of a friend and signed up for //

I first signed up for the Technician License test. I studied for 6 days with this online program and scored 100%. I then signed up for the General and Extra test together, studied for 15 days and scored another 100% on the General and missed only two questions on the Extra. I did study for most of the day, every day, but I know I couldn’t have passed this well as quickly by reading the study books.

Reader Leanne asked me this via Facebook:

OK , I have a question that I am certain many have asked themselves and while we all would like to think we could handle it….what to do if/when Martial Law is called? How do we protect ourselves, our preps, and our guns/ammo from this ‘legal looting’ and confiscation? I am posting this question to my top 3 preparedness blogs/pages. I would really like to hear your thoughts on this and I just bet that other followers also think about this topic often. Thanks!

And here is my response:

I  had to think about this a bit.

My best answer is to say that I would hunker down, blend in, and not make any radical changes to my daily routine that would make be stick out and be notices.  That said, I live in an area that is difficult to get to even in normal times.  I would like to believe that our local ”authorities” would shun any attempt to disarm and loot the citizens.  That, I believe, is one of the advantages of living in a rural community.

Not that I am complacent mind you.  But I do have to have some faith in my community and its leaders to rally against the mandate of “big government” on the mainland.

How about you?  What are your thoughts on the “what if there is martial law?” question.


This week’s winner in the current BDS Book Festival is George.  He has won two books by Raleigh Briggs, Make It Last: Prolonging + Preserving the Things We Love and Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills.

Here is how he answered the question What is your favorite, tried and true, nesting skill?

I am fairly good at fixing things don’t if this is a skill or just not afraid to tear into something to see if I can fix it rather than throw it away and buy a new one. To me it is broke already so how can I hurt it??? Then again I grew up in the time when you had to fix stuff we couldn’t afford to buy new stuff if something looked fixable. Some may call this being a “cheap” we called it survival.

Don’t you just love his answer?


On Friday, the Backdoor Survival Facebook Page reached a milestone of 10,000 fans!  You already know that I refuse to pay Facebook for an ad so these fans were acquired one at a time, day by day, week by week.  Thank you all for making my Facebook page so popular!

I still continue to scour Amazon for free eBooks to post on Facebook so be sure to check back often.  (Sorry, these eBooks are often free for just a day or two so it would be misleading to post them here on the website.)

Speaking of Amazon, it has been only a week, but The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage is holding it’s own at the #1 or #2 “Best Seller” position in the Food and Wine Reference category.  I am thrilled and want to thank you for making my book a big success.  Also, just so you know, I am looking into creating a print version for release sometime early in 2014.


Are you ready for the holidays yet?  Shelly and I don’t do much other than eat good food and drink good wine.  We plan to sit around the fireplace and what else? Play Ticket to Ride (my favorite board game).

Whatever you have planned, 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 current Amazon Top 10.

3 Head Lamps Ultra Bright 10 LEDs Per Headlamp:  So far I am pretty impressed with these.  There are three settings, low, high, and flashing.  The hands-free convenience is great and batteries are included.

Ticket To Ride: I love love love this game.  It is a bit pricey but still, it is less than a dinner out for two at a modest restaurant.

Blocklite Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight: I now own six of these little gems. There is a similar flashlight called the Pak-Lite (which is more expensive) but it does not have a high-low switch like this one. These little flashlights just go and go, plus, they make good use of those re-purposed 9V alkaline batteries that you have recharged with your Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger.

FordEx Group 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight Torch Adjustable Focus Zoom Light Lamp:  Here we go with another flashlight.    It is super mini sized, bright and waterproof.  Plus, it uses a single, standard AA sized battery.

Morakniv Craftline Q Allround Fixed Blade Utility Knife: Also known as the Mora 511, this is now my favorite knife.  It is made of Swedish steel and is super sharp.

LifeStraw Personal Water FilterThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items   Backdoor Survival:  The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2oz.  making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.

Magnesium Fire StarterThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items   Backdoor Survival:  This Campers’ Magnesium Emergency Fire Starter.

The Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items   Backdoor SurvivalUCO Stormproof Match Kit with Waterproof Case, 25 Stormproof Matches and 3 Strikers:  The UCO Stormproof Match Kit is waterproof and holds 25 matches as well as spare strikers. The matches burn for around 15 seconds and are windproof, waterproof, and even continue burning underwater. An integrated striker is attached on the side of the match kit, and can be replaced when worn out.

2 Pack Survival Kit Can Opener, Military, P-51 ModelThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items   Backdoor Survival:  These can openers makes great addition to any survival, fishing, hiking, or camping pack. They are lightweight and robust and they just work.


Emergency Essential Monthly 2

This month Emergency Essentials has a couple of breakfast combo packs on sale. The breakfast combos include 6 cans of popular breakfast foods from both Mountain House and Provident Pantry.gamma lid

In addition, all of the Gamma Seal Lids are discounted to $6.49 each.  I use gamma lids exclusively with my buckets and appreciate the convenience of simply unscrewing the top to get in and out of my buckets without pinching my fingers (or worse) in the process.

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Spotlight:  After a ton of research, I am now using essential oils from Spark Naturals for wellness purposes. There are a lot reasons one of which is their commitment to both quality and value.

Spark Naturals BDS

I recommend the health and wellness kit which includes all of my favorites.  Be sure to use the discount code “BACKDOORSURVIVAL” to receive a 10% discount.



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Updated Jun 27, 2019

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13 Responses to “The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 96”

  1. Great post! Nice question was asked about martial law, come to think of it, I haven’t planned about that yet. Looking forward to your next post for pure olive oil in one of your healing salves. Thank you for posting this!

  2. Lots of great information as always! Thanks for mentioning pure olive oil for the miracle salve. I am gathering up ingredients as the budget allows. Question for you – is there a version of miracle salve that is okay to use for the face? Unless I missed it I noted it’s for hands and body – my last holdout for expensive creams is facial moisturizer but I’m now looking for alternatives for the face as well. I appreciate all the info you provide. Happy holidays to you and Shelly!

    • Bernie – You definitely missed #7. I have replaced everything but my sunscreen with my healing salve. I use it as both a makeup remover and a moisturizer/serum. Love it 🙂

      7. Facial moisturizer and serum: Yes, really. You would think it would be greasy but the oils absorb quickly and leave your face with a nice, dewy texture.

    • Sure enough I did miss it! Thanks, now I can replace the pricey makeup counter moisturizer. Thanks Gaye!

  3. First I would have to say that it may be “legal” but still be unconstitutional! I ‘may’ turn over all registered firearms in my house. I’m not saying if I have any others. A good crossbow isn’t something to be frowned at either. As for food, if they can find it and have a bunch of firepower, then I guess there is’nt much that can be done – other than ask for a receipt for everything they take. Above all, try your best to stay alive! They may take all of your stuff, but they cannot take your knowledge – which is one of the most powerful weapons in existence.

  4. I have used pure olive oil not only in my salves but also in my face bars and healing lotion bars. Works great. One of the tricks I use when using a liquid oil is to test the mixture before pouring into mold/containers. Cannot remember where I read a bought this so I apologize for being old and forgetful!! What you do is: when your mixture of oil and beeswax is melted and you have added any EO that you desire, take a small spoonful of the mix, chill it in the fridge or freezer until it is solid. Try it out. If it is too soft, add a bit more beeswax; if it is too hard, add a bit more oil. Put the spoonful back into the melted mix, add oil or wax as needed until it has the consistency you want.

    As for using these things on your face, they tend to be on the oily side but…when I make a salve with coconut oil as opposed to olive oil, I will use it on my face. Sometimes I use straight coconut oil on my face. Starts out really oily feeling but soaks in quickly.

    • Interesting tip about putting the melted oil and beeswax on a spoon in the fridge. I am going to try doing that with the next batch.

      I am doing a bit of experimenting and the salve I made using only EVOO came out too hard and also, the odor of the EVOO masked the aroma of the essential oils. Using the pure olive oil should mitigate the problem with the odor since it is much lighter in both color and smell.

      I do want to do more research on the proven healing qualities of extra virgin olive oil versus the pure. I do not that coconut oil has some amazing properties as well but can be pricey. I am not sure but I have a feeling that it was the coconut oil that added the silkiness to my original healing salve.

      Sorry to ramble . . . mostly thinking out loud.

  5. Hi. Love your site and all the great ideas. Wanting to help you out as much as possible, I was wondering if clicking on a link in your newsletter for products you review and promote, gives you a commission like starting at the Amazon site reached through the link at the end. I usually look by clicking the links to the products rather than trying to find them after reaching Amazon. Thanks for the great site. Dale

    • Dale – That is very kind of you. Yes, I will earn a commission from the links to Amazon and Emergency Essentials on my site. From time to time I will link to other sites and I may or may not earn a commission. Also, some of those links are to my sponsors and of course, I encourage you to shop with them as well.

      Relative to Amazon, commissions apply to everything you place in your cart, and not just to those items I reference in my articles.

      Once again, thank you for taking the time to ask about this and for the kind words about my website!

      Have a wonderful holiday!

  6. Great post! My wife and I have both been prepping the last 6 months after also being victims of the widening income gap and shrinking middle class. It’s been an eye opening experience but we have definitely learned a ton about making sure we have our bases covered. We are actually building our first “bug out vehicle” right now, even though my wife is more of a “bug in” person.

  7. I am so glad to find your survival bar recipe because it is based on oats instead of wheat! All the commercial bars that I have found are wheat-based, and with 2 gluten-sensitives in our family, they would be useless in a survival situation. I am going to try making your recipe with plain gelatin, to avoid artificial flavors and colors of Jello. Maybe I could try an alcohol-based flavoring to make them more palatable.
    Thanks for all your interesting tidbits of info!

    • Be sure to let us know how it goes with the plain gelatin.

  8. Many years ago, I took a self defense class given by the local county sheriff. This was about the time when pepper spray became popular. He asked how many carried anything for self protection. Several raised their hands. Then he asked, “So what happens if you are attacked without having that self protection with you, or it gets taken away from you?”
    He went on to explain that unless you have personal skills for defense, then you are still defenseless. Gaye, this is my answer to that question. Yes, guns or anything else is an added layer but unless you know hand to hand (no matter your age or physical abilities) you can become defenseless. If there is one lesson to learn about preparedness it’s—begin with self and learn how to use your body to defend, then add layers of defense such as guns, blow guns, bows/arrows, and defenses around your home. Yes, there will be those who will take the short cut straight to weapons, there again, if you know how to defend yourself…even against a weapon, you have not one but two things going for you. Your skills along with that confidence of use AND your mind which can make the decision of how to act according to the situation.
    As to antibacterials, if we have gone to the trouble of getting prepared, learn what’s around you which comes naturally antibacterial instead of using those products which have pesticides in them. Check the products and follow up to see just what’s in the products you’re using.
    Thanks Gaye, I really appreciate your site in that you put it all on the same site w/o sending us to yet another site, just to get the info. 🙂


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