The Survival Buzz #146

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jul 5, 2019
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Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.

Although sick room supplies are a serious matter, I had a bit of fun this week while trying on my Tyvek disposable coveralls.  There was, however, a method to my madness if not to my antics.  The purpose of my try-on was twofold.  One, to assess maneuverability and two, to assess proper sizing since I did not find any size charts or guidelines in the product description.

The Tyvek coveralls were a cinch to put on and even though I looked like I was getting ready to go to a costume party, I was able to move around easily without feeling encumbered.  A size medium fit me well enough although the hood was a bit large.  Shelly, who is not a large man at 5’9”, found the medium to be too small.  He could not even get it fully zipped.

I am a shorty at 5’ 2” and also pretty small so if my experience is worth anything, be sure to order up one size or perhaps even two. And, if you have already purchased Tyvek coveralls for sickroom use, be sure to try them on now to ensure that the sizing is right.

The rest of the week was spent traveling so my other preps were relatively passive.  I traveled with my usual survival kit that since the Ebola scare emerged, also includes masks, nitrile gloves, a copious amount of hand sanitizer and my shield blend essential oil spray.  I really do need to take a picture and show you what I take with me when I travel.

That about covers it for me this week.  Now for some announcements.


Here is a fire starting tip from “Gord” in response to the article Survival Basics: Starting a Fire that I  posted a couple of months back.

While char cloth is useful, and it works, it’s a lot of work to prepare. I use cotton balls with my fire steel, with a dab of Vaseline. They light instantly with a single stoke of my fire steel and the Vaseline keeps it burning long enough to get even tough wood burning.

I fill an empty toilet paper tube with cotton balls and a small tube of Vaseline in a Ziploc bag, along with some waterproof matches (with a striker) and a Bic lighter. This keeps it dry, easy to carry and gives me several options for getting fire going ( if you don’t have a backup, you’re risking failure).

I like the idea of making a portable fire-starting kit stuffed into an empty toilet paper tube.


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That about wraps things up for this week.  I will be home tomorrow and will begin to settle in for the rest of 2014.  Where the heck did the year go?

Now it is your turn.  What did you do to prep this week?

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

PS:  I really did goof off a bit in my Tyvek coveralls!

Goofing off

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Bargain Bin:  We have not heard much about Ebola lately but you can bet that the risk is still out there.  Here are some sick room supplies to have on hand as a preventative measure in the event things get serious.  Note that I am including a couple of amusements as well.  See the article: Seven Facts You Should Know About Ebola.

Disposable Protective Coveralls: There are plenty to choose from.  I purchased these DuPont White Tyvek Disposable Coveralls With Hood in a medium and it fit me okay with a bit of excess room left over.  Shelly needs a large, definitely. The Sunday Survival Buzz #136 Backdoor Survival

3M N95 Particulate & Respirator Mask: This is an inexpensive mask that can be used in a variety of emergency situations. They come in a box of 20 and are NIOSH-certified. The molded cone design is fluid and splash resistant and will greatly reduce your exposure to airborne particles.

Moldex 2730 N100 Respirator Mask:  Do not confuse P100 masks with the N100s.  N100 is what you want since the P100’s are used to filter particulate only and not gasses and vapors.  Note that if you are on the small side, you will need to order the smaller version which is the Moldex 2731.

3M TEKK Protection Chemical Splash/Impact GoggleThe Sunday Survival Buzz #129 Backdoor Survival:  I read a ton of reviews before settling on these.  I was so impressed with both the fit and comfort that I ordered another pair to use as a spare.  These are great and the price is right.

Spark Naturals Essential Oils:  It is no secret that I prefer essential oils from Spark Naturals.  They are well priced and of the highest therapeutic quality.  You enjoy an additional 10% off all items, including sale items, when using code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout.  In addition, SN announces a discounted “Item of the Week” every Monday, and yes, the extra 10% discount will apply.

Shield Protective Blend:  Here is a direct link to one of my most diffused essential oils.  If you can only afford a few oils, I would suggest Shield, Lavender, and Melaleuca (Tea Tree).

Bicycle Canasta Games Playing Cards:  This timeless classic will keep the entire family occupied when the power it out.  Playing cards or board games should be in everyone’s preparedness kit.

Ticket To Ride: This my favorite board game, bare none.  Family friendly, you will spend hours in front of the fireplace playing Ticket to Ride with your favorite people.  This is worth the splurge.

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Updated Jul 5, 2019

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14 Responses to “The Survival Buzz #146”

  1. You’re such a goof, Gaye! Love it!

  2. Best pics ever! Started my day with a chuckle! I took the week off to get ready for Christmas. Sometimes you just need to take care of regular life and have fun!

  3. I like seeing a serious prepper show a sense of humor!!

  4. Good to have fun with something which can be serious. lol So on that serious note…Every time I see these suits, I wonder just how many do we need? If they are disposable, along with the rest of the stuff we would wear with, how/where do we store the waste? Don’t mean to be a downer, just wondering…….well that and wondering why we don’t see the 2 of you in dancing pose? 😉

    • The best professional medical advice I got said you need a new suit every time you enter the sickroom of an Ebola patient. Also a new mask, gloves, etc.
      You need to know the right and safe way to remove and dispose of contaminated garments in order to not infect yourself.
      If you were taking care of a patient at home you would need to change each time you went into the sick room.
      I haven’t worked it out myself but it sounds like a tremendous number of garments and supplies.

  5. That was my Halloween costume this year. Tyvek coveralls, hood, rubber gloves and a respirator. Oh and a CDC badge.

  6. This week, I took a used bow saw which I had purchased awhile back (for two bucks!) and found an empty narrow vertical spot in my pickup truck for it.

    I didn’t want it to rattle around or potentially cut me while I was getting something else out of the pickup truck so it sat in the garage for awhile as I tried to find a cheap solution.

    I could have drilled some holes and mounted it, but I didn’t have any brackets, and that was not my idea of a cheap (or easy) solution.

    A paper bag or folded cardboard wouldn’t be durable enough.

    I had an old rectangle shaped bathroom rug laying around not being used. It was like brand new, the kind with the rubber backing, and shag on the top. I folded it in half lengthwise with the rubber backing on the outside.
    I lined up a one and a half inch washer in the corner where the two ends meet and used a philips head screwdriver to poke a hole through the center of the washer and through rug. I flipped the rug over and did the same on the other side, then I grabbed a second washer and pop riveted the rug together with the two washers.
    I did the same on the other end and now I have a perfectly sized “case” to put my bow saw into. The over-sized washers should hold the rug together for a very long time.

    With the rubber backing on the outside it not only stops the saw from rattling but the rubber part kind of helps hold it in place in the vertical space.
    The shag on the inside helps to keep the saw from cutting through the rug and cutting me or something else.
    I’ve noticed that on foggy days and such some of the tools in my pickup truck get water condensed on them so I sprayed some Balistol on it before I put it away to keep it from rusting. (Balistol is some pretty good stuff.) After a few uses the shag should hold a bit of the Balistol and be even more helpful in preventing rust.

    I think the “case” for the bow saw gives it a look which a thief would not give it a second glace or a single thought. (As if they would if it were sparkling, eh?) Anyway, after I got done I thought, “Wow, that would be one real expensive bow saw “case” if I didn’t already have some pop rivets and a pop rivet gun laying around as a leftover from a different project long ago”.
    Note to self: Do Not get rid of tools.

    Also, I put my push mower away for the Winter.
    After I hose it off I Usually spray it down with some car wax to minimize rust formation as my shed is kind of damp and gets wet sometimes. This year I sprayed it down with non-stick cooking spray to see how well that works as a rust preventive and to see if it would be a good backup for preventing rust on other things. …I’ll find out next Spring.

    • Helot, so could you also put a few spare blades in the case too. I never would have thought of the car wax to minimize rust. Thanks for the idea. lol I don’t use the non-stick sprays, I bought a pump and make it myself, but will definitely use that idea too on my outdoor stuff. Thanks again.

    • The only way I can think of to (cheaply) carry a spare blade for it is to tape one to the saw.
      However; the blades are tough. I’ve never heard of anyone breaking one. I suppose a person could break one if they cut wood with nails in it, or broke it or bent it by stepping on it or something. Maybe someone else has a different take on that?
      Anyway, I’m not going to carry an extra blade for the saw. …I have an axe for that. I just find the saw much easier to use.

      I don’t use non-stick cooking sprays (for food) either. I just happened to have some and I thought it would never wind up on the list of 100 things to disappear first or be hard to come by when the shtf. Whereas, things such as WD-40 or Balistol, might.

  7. reading about your tyvec coveralls, I couldn’t help thinking that at from $7 to $10 a suit it would be cheaper to buy rain suits and have a bleach cleanup pool coming out of a contaminated area.

  8. I kind of thought the same thing, Mark. Minus the bleach cleanup pool.

  9. Last week I bought a few of these Ebola/hazmat kits off of Amazon: Emergency Hazmat Biohazard Viral Protection Kit

    I used one to try on like you did and make sure I was comfortable using everything in the kit, and I knew how to use everything. Then I made sure I had one in the trunk of each of my cars, and two in my bug out bag.

    It’s inexpensive, and worth the piece of mind to me. Thanks for the kind reminders here!

  10. Tres Haute couture (wink wink) Seriously looks good on you. Good to know about the sizing.
    Haven’t done much so far this month Just trying to get all the decorations up for Christmas,grand babies are coming ( and other family too). Looks to be 20 -25 at the table this year.

  11. I have quite a bit of experience with these suits during my time in Disaster Restoration. I would like to suggest a tip to the folks considering these off the shelf suits. It looks absolutely ridiculous but it helps. For the longest time we would blow out the crotch almost immediately in these which compromises the effectiveness. We discovered if we would put on a pair of men’s boxer briefs over the suit, the crotch would not sag and mobility would become a non issue. Like I said – if you have pride in how you appear to others, this is not the method to use, but it works!

    Damon Newton


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