The Survival Buzz #145

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jul 4, 2019

Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.

The first order of business is my preps. This may not seem like a big deal but I learned to use a bucket tool opener to pry open the lid of a sealed, five-gallon bucket.  In this case, it was a bucket of coconut oil which in the past, required Shelly’s brawn to open.  Ladies, it is time for us to do more of the heavy lifting ourselves!  I opened the tightly sealed bucket with my nifty tool and did it without squished fingers, broken fingernails, or swear-words.

By the way, speaking of coconut oil, Tropical Traditions has free shipping going on through midnight Monday using coupon code 12141.  They have a bunch of stuff on sale as well so if you want to give their products a try, you just might score a deal.

I tried out some new flashlights this week.  This time they were the Duracell Durabeam Ultra Tactical Flashlights that I purchased at Costco.  They are extremely bright.  We shined one through our window at night and could easily discern the details of vehicles on the road a good 80 feet away.

Speaking of flashlights, continue reading.

The Amazing 2000-hour Flashlight

A little over a month ago, Ron Brown informed me that the Eveready lanterns currently being sold were not the same as those he used in his book, The Amazing 2000-hour Flashlight.  This was in spite of the fact that the UPC and item number was the same. Oops.

Long story short, we consulted on this for a while and independently came to the same conclusion: back to the drawing board.  Because many of you have asked about his print book, I asked Ron to give us an update:

The Amazing 2000-Hour Flashlight was published in August 2013. It was a ‘hack’ or modification to a specific model of Eveready flashlight.

Since then, Eveready has twice changed the light’s design. Today, in late 2014, the flashlight has one LED (the original light had three) even though the model number and the UPC barcode number are the same as the original version.

If I do the same hack on the new, one-LED design, will it produce a flashlight that runs non-stop for 2000 hours on one battery? I honestly don’t know.

And what should I do about the book? You can still find the original flashlight here and there on store shelves although it is now just old inventory.

Flashlights lined up for testing

Flashlights lined up for testing – as only Ron can do it!

Long story short, I removed the paperback version of The Amazing 2000-Hour Flashlight from the market; I added a disclaimer to the Kindle version; and I dropped the Kindle price to 99 cents. It still contains some valuable tips and info and I hate to discontinue it altogether.

If you think about it, trying to devise the longest-lasting flashlight (not the brightest, the longest-lasting) leads us to the 6-volt lanterns. These lights use big, square batteries that weigh over two pounds each. They simply hold more juice than smaller batteries.

The search also takes us to alkaline batteries . . . and to LED bulbs rather than incandescent . . . and to economy-type lights that use just one LED, not ten . . .

Eveready and Rayovac and Dorcy all make flashlights that (give or take an LED upgrade) are potential candidates. So let’s take those lights and add a resistor (that’s our hack) and test them side-by-side. Being slightly clairvoyant, I know in advance the results will be that: (1) all of them or (2) some of them or (3) none of them run for 2000 hours.

The tests are running right now, as we speak. But 2000 hours is nearly three months. The final results won’t be known until mid-February. Hopefully, by the end of February, I’ll have a Second Edition on the market.

The Second Edition will also contain some ‘velly interesting’ things (exposé-type stuff) I’ve learned about batteries plus test results comparing the new flashlights now on the market that take just one D-cell. Rayovac, Eveready, and Dorcy all make single-D-cell flashlights.

If you thought The Amazing 2000-Hour Flashlight was good, I think you’ll find the Second Edition super-good. At least that’s the objective.

When it comes to testing, we can’t rush the clock.  You can bet that I will be keeping you updated and as soon as the second edition is good to go, I will let you know.

The Preparedness Review #5 – All New and Still 100% Free

Todd at Prepper Website will be releasing The Preparedness Review Volume 5 on Monday, December 1st.  TPR5 will contain 18 articles from preparedness authors from around the internet including yours truly.  These are the types of articles you will want to print out and keep as a reference; they are that good.

Monday is only a couple of days from now but in the meantime, if you want to catch up on any of the previous issues, they are still available for download at the Preparedness Review website.


Just a reminder that last week’s giveaway winner has been notified by email has 48 hours to claim his prize or an alternate will be selected.  In addition, all winners are announced on in the Rafflecopter widget of the giveaway article.

Alas, there are no open giveaways at this time but watch for something new this coming Thursday.


I have been remiss in failing to thank everyone for the wonderful birthday wishes you sent to me via email and Facebook a couple of weeks ago.  I was quite touched and given that this was one of those big ones, they were extra special.

The interesting part about getting older, in my view, is not that I seem any wiser and smarter but that as I age physically, my mind still has hopes, dreams, and aspirations.  Much to my chagrin, it takes me longer to do things but I figure as long as I can, I will continue to learn and to pursue a life of preparedness and self-sufficiency.

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

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for me daily at Top Prepper Websites!  In addition, SUBSCRIBE to email updates and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

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Bargain Bin:  Sometimes it is the simplest of tools that can make our lives easier.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Bucket Lid Wrench:  This bucket lid opener will save the day – and your hands and fingers.  The nice thing about it is that the seal on the bucket’s lid is not destroyed after opening it. This means that you can pop the lid back on knowing that the contents are safe from rodents and other pests.

On Duty Emergency Gas & Water Shutoff 4-n-1 Tool: This 4 in 1 Emergency Tool was designed and tested by professional firefighters. It is light-weight, heavy duty, and easy-to-use for shutting off gas and water.  Plus, it can be used to pry open doors and dig through debris.

Bung Wrench:  Another useful tool is a bung wrench.  This is used to properly open and close a drum or barrel.  You need one of these if you are storing emergency water in 55 gallons (or other sized) drums.

TEKTON Wood Handle Rubber Mallet Set, 3-Piece:  After opening your pails and buckets to get to your stuff, a rubber mallet will help you properly close and seal things up again.  Having a rubber mallet allows you to hammer away at your buckets to ensure that they are completely closed without causing the damage that a regular metal hammer would incur.

12 Color Pack Bandana – Assorted Colors:  Perhaps not a tool, per se, but definitely a favorite. You will frequently see me wearing one of these colorful bandanas in photos.  This is the #1 seller in the bandana category.   Heck, I think that beats Wal-Mart and flea market pricing. Be sure to read How to Use a Bandana to Save the Day.

I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin yours.

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13 Responses to “The Survival Buzz #145”

  1. RE: “Ladies, it is time for us to do more of the heavy lifting ourselves!”

    Pardon me, but in the background, some guys are saying, “HA!”

    Anyway, you Go Girl. That’s cool. The more you can do, the more, the better.

    [Can you sense the challenge?]

    Also, the Duracell Durabeam has been a hardy brand for me since 1982. I don’t know about the Duracell Durabeam Ultra Tactical Flashlights, but if they are anything close to the old kind,…

    For some reason, this was Good to read: “the longest-lasting flashlight (not the brightest, the longest-lasting) leads us to the 6-volt lanterns”

    This week, I re-packed the Winter clothes in my vehicles. I bought a new pair of snowpants for one, and a high quality used pair I found for cheap at a Thrift shop for the other. One set has a high quality jacket with a hood, the other has no jacket, so I better be somewhat prepared with what I’m wearing when I get in it. (I haven’t got enough room in a single cab).
    I’ve got good gloves, hats, neck-scarve-type-things, an extra T-shirt, dry extra socks and a tiny towel in each. And, a pair of waterproof hiking boots to walk home in, in one.

    While out hunting, when I got back to the pickup truck, I found a tiny towel was very nice to have to wipe the sweat off or to dry off from rain or wet snow. Then to get into a dry T-shirt was extra nice when I decided to go back out again, or even for the ride home. I hope I don’t have to use it for any other reason.

    I also learned that it’s Real easy to bump the latch for the magazine on a Ruger 10-22 so that the magazine drops silently into the snow so you hardly notice it. I Never saw that mentioned in any of the reviews I read about the Ruger 10-22.
    …I’m thinking of trading mine in for a tube-type Henry,… and chancing a bent tube in a fight…with a branch.

    I bought some KleenHeat for my oil lamp because I read that it was virtually odor-free. …Then i thought about how I need to buy a couple of Ron Brown’s books about that stuff.

    Pan. Pan. Pan.

    ….And, whoa. I’m filling up my NSA file with more than I’d like them to know.
    Such is life, in a police state. …I think maybe I need to stfu. Even if theirs is a water detector dipped into the ocean. …Lately, I’ve begun to feel like I have a target on my back like a ‘Kick Me’ sign.

  2. Hi Gaye, I have worked in a nursing home and have cared for the aged and dying in their homes. I always ask about how old their spirit feels and everyone reports feeling young…maybe more mature than when they were younger, but as our bodies wear out, it seems our spirits don’t. This makes so much sense because we have eternal souls, but I still find it so encouraging. Personally, throughout my adult life I pick a decade and say ” maybe I’ll feel grown up when I’m 30 or 40 or 50!” It hasn’t happened yet. I’m a mature person with lots of responsibilities and many children, but my spirit still feels like I’m in my 20’s. So it’s no wonder to me that you still feel young too. I’m so glad that you haven’t checked out to a full time vacation, but are using your interests and talents to bless others through your blog. We all have much to learn from those who have been walking this earth a little longer than we have! May you be blessed this holiday season!

    • I often self-evaluate my spirit too. I still feel like I’m 21, and I’m just about to turn 45 lol.
      Life can be fun!

  3. question for Ron, what size resistor is needed for the 6 volt lantern?

  4. Howdy, Gaye! Great post today, and I wanted to comment on the 2000 hour flashlight segment.
    A while back my wife decided she needed a reliable “go-to” flashlight around the house. I have a Craftsman LED work light with a magnetic base that we’d kept stuck to the upright freezer near our back door for quick excursions into the yard at night. But the switch had begun to get a bit wonky, and sometimes it wouldn’t come on.
    Like, right when you needed it most.
    So, she picked up an Eveready lantern at Wal-Mart or some such, and brought it home. I put the battery in the thing, and it was then that we noticed it was an LED version. It’s amazingly bright out in the yard at night…I’ve spotlighted a raccoon and a possum up in some pretty tall trees, and they were very clearly illuminated.
    I noticed in the picture of the test lights above that her lantern very much resembles the third lantern from the left, AND the third one from the right. It has a single LED, and the label on the side says it’s rated at 50 lumens for 100 hours. There’s not a UPC code on the label…I think that when I detached the battery from the bottom in order to install it, I must have cut away part of the label.
    I thought the 100 hours had to be a bit conservative if this lantern was even considered by you to be capable of getting 2000 hours out of, but then I had the brain flash to look at the factory-issue battery. Yep…super heavy duty…NOT alkaline. There’s mod number one which will definitely happen once the original battery wears out.
    Anyway, I’m very curious to see what the hack does to the lifespan of a proper alkaline battery. I’m looking forward to the testing results, to see what we can potentially achieve with my wife’s lantern.
    Thanks for keeping things interesting!

    • For now you might want to pick up Ron’s eBook; it is only 99 cents and he can explain it better than I can.

      The Amazing 2000-Hour Flashlight

  5. helot~ I am with you on the kick me sign. lately I feel like mine is a flashing neon sign. there is so much more I want to know and learn but I feel like every word I type into a search engine and every sight I click on is putting my name higher on the list of who they want to ‘monitor’. how do we shake this feeling or learn what we need to know without making ourselves a target? idk. anyway sometimes I feel like the grid going down would be a blessing if for nothing else than to knock big brother out of the mix.

    • I think you can probably rest easy. I look at a LOT of prepper sites, and believe me, simple searches for information can’t be ANYWHERE as noteworthy as some of the blatantly inflammatory commentary I see. You can’t imagine the pure maliciousness toward the government and other people I have seen expressed out there.
      Of course I don’t go back to those sites because I don’t want to be incriminated by association, but it makes me wonder if I’m listed somewhere as someone who endorses that sort of thing.
      But I do believe the gov has their eyes on bigger fish than us little wigglers lol.

    • @Kelsey…I sure hope you’re right. 🙂

  6. @Gaye, I am wondering if you know why many of my comments are flagged as “awaiting moderation” lately?

    • I don’t have a clue. I just looked over my list of “hold for moderation” keywords but didn’t see anything that jumped out. Mostly they are things like links (I moderate all comments with links to eliminate cheapskates who want “free advertising”, swear words, and youtube video references. The next time one of your comments comes in for moderation, I will examine it more closely.

  7. Been opening my own buckets for years. It’s not easy but a good thing to know how to do. My 14 year old daughter moved a 50# bucket of barley the other day…she weighs 110 pounds! Go girl!

  8. I read the book Alone, some good ideas in there.


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