The Survival Buzz #147

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jul 3, 2019

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

I whine about my lack of organization which is a bit of a conundrum since in my non-prepping life, I am extremely organized.  Having jumped on the paperless wagon almost ten years ago, most documents and receipts have been scanned and are all neatly filed electronically and totally searchable on multiple devices including those that can be powered by solar if need be.

That being said, my preps are still in disarray and my inventory system is in my head.  I feel like the cobbler’s kid with worn out shoes.

Anyway, this week I decided to do something about it.  First up, I printed out the Preparedness Planner that was developed by my blogging colleague Jennifer Osuch.  But printing is not good enough.  I am committed to using it and Shelly has volunteered to help keep me on track.

The second thing is that I organized my heirloom seeds.  They were stuck in envelopes here and there around my office as well as in my freezer.  I pulled them all together, separated the veggies from the herbs, then alphabetized them and put them in a storage box.

What amazes me is that many prepper types I know do not have any seeds set aside for long term storage.  You know what that means!; if the SHTF I will have seeds that will be as good or better than gold for barter.  I can hook up with the seedless and even though I do not have land, I can contribute labor and help grow food.

Most of my seeds came from Mike the Gardener via his Seeds of the Month Club.  In laying them out, I realized what a good job he does in sending a variety of vegetables, leafy greens, herbs and even melons.  There was not a single duplicate.  I also have some precious seeds that were sent to me from readers who have saved seeds from their own recent crops.  For that I am blessed.

Along the same theme of becoming better organized, early in the week I ordered an Ammo Can thinking I would try one type and if I did not like it, keep looking until I found something suitable.

Ammo can 380

I lucked out because the first ammo can I ordered worked out great.  This particular model holds 1000 rounds of 9mms with room for an additional 300 rounds.  I plan to order four more of these cans.

It is pretty exciting to see some organizing going on around here.  Let us hope that it lasts!  That about covers it for me this week.  Now for some announcements.


Back in September, a reader wrote asking what I would recommend for a nail fungus. I responded:

I would mix a bit of Oregano oil and Melaleuca (Tea Tree) with coconut oil. And rub it on the affected area three times a day.

FYI my husband got a fungus infection on his backside and has been using some oregano and melaleuca  in my salve instead of the meds the doctor ordered (we did not even fill the prescription).  After 2 weeks it is all but gone.  Nail fungus, though, is a bit tougher.  It might take  few months, even with the meds.

I recently received some follow-up from Joyce:

This ‘potion’ seems to be helping the nail fungus.  I’ve basically halted it  – now to get my nails to grow,  You are right, no quick fixes.

I wanted to share this coconut oil use with you.

One of my cats has severe allergies.  She’s on antigen shots, but there are still flare-up where she has itch/scratchy rashes on her stomach and the backs of her legs.  She’s an Abyssinian with short hair so her skin is exposed. Just recently I used coconut oil on her rash.  it worked great and must have soothed it because she had less licking.

The plus side was that any she ingested just helped from the inside.  I’m always concerned when I put meds on that just get licked off.

In reading the comments to the current giveaway (see below), I am learning that there still is a pent up interest in using herbs and oils to solve everyday ailments.  I will continue to share solutions in the weekly Survival Buzz.


The following article includes a giveaway for a copy of Urban Emergency Survival Plan by Jim Cobb.  Note that the deadline for entries is 6:00 PM Pacific next Tuesday.

Book Festival 7:  Urban Emergency Survival Plan

As a reminder, all winners are notified by email and have 48 hours to claim their prize or an alternate will be selected.  Once selected, the names of winners are also displayed in the Rafflecopter on the original giveaway article.

Speaking of winners, last week I could not verify the entries of two of the three winners so alternates were selected.  If you say you left a comment and that is the winning entry, trust me, I will check!!!

Return of the “Almost Free” Page

A couple of months ago I took down the “almost free page”.  Have some fun with this!


20% Off Discount Code:  BACKDOORSURVIVAL
This is the sale you have been waiting for!Spark Naturals Anniversary Sale | Backdoor Survival


Have you downloaded your free copy of the newest edition of The Preparedness Review?  TPR5 is 100% free and includes the best of the best in terms of resources to help you survival in the world goes to heck.

Here are the download links or you can visit The Preparedness Review here.

For Computers/Laptops – Click Here
For Tablets/Phones – Click Here

Not 100% free (sorry) but worthy none the less is the new canning book written by my friend Daisy Luther.  This summer Daisy is going to teach me to can and with luck, we will have a video done so you can learn too.  In the meantime, check out her new book, The Organic Canner.


In addition to everything else, this week I spent some time thinking about the editorial calendar for next year.  You are telling me what I need to hear:  more articles on basic prepping (water, food storage, defense, first aid) but also a call to bring back some giveaways and to continue offering books and author interviews via the Book Festivals.  Okay, I can do all of that.

In addition, I plan to continue to share some very select articles from my blogging colleagues who can bring to you first hand knowledge in areas where I lack experience.  Sort of a win-win the way I see it.  As always, keep the ideas coming because as you know, I do read every single comment and email.

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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Included today are a couple of items I purchased to promote organizing my preps.  I have a long way to go but this is a good start.

MTM Ammo Can (Forest Green):  I am pretty excited about these ammo cans.  They are very sturdy and even when filled, do not bend or bow when carried by the handle.    I set the can outside in the rain and it did not leak; always a good sign.

The Preparedness Planner:  I printed out all 84 pages and put them in a binder.  The nice thing about this planner is that if I mess up a page, all I need to do is print out a new one.  This is one of the better deals out there for an item of this type; so much better than a Kindle eBook that can not be printed.  Been there, done that.

Seeds of the Month Club:  Having heirloom seeds will never be a coulda woulda shoulda since new packets arrive monthly, right on schedule.  As I mentioned in the article, I have yet to receive a duplicate seed packet.  Not only that, the seeds are regionalized to my geographical area here in Washington State.

Oregano and Melaleuca (Tea Tree) Essential Oils:  By now you know the drill.  I get my essential oils at Spark Naturals.  They are well priced and no enrollment, starter kit, or membership fee is required to get the very best price.  All you need to do is use discount code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout to get 10% off, even on sale items.

FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer: As part of my overall organization strategy, I store things in food saver bags and mason jars.  As long as the unit has an accessory port (and this one does), an in expensive FoodSaver will work just as well as the fancier models. That is my two cents, at least.

FoodSaver Wide Mouth Jar Sealer: Check out this jar sealer which can be used to vacuum seal your Mason jars. This is a great option for short to mid term storage of items such as beans, rice, sugar and salt. Store your jars in a cool, dark place and you are set with the added advantage of removing a small amount for current use without having to disrupt your large Mylar bag or bucket of food.  There is also a version for regular sized jars.  See Fast Track Tip #4: How to Use a FoodSaver for Vacuum Canning.

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25 Responses to “The Survival Buzz #147”

  1. I use my Food Saver to repackage oatmeal and cornmeal into mason jars. I think it was tied for the best investment with my pressure canner.

  2. Good morning Gaye! Congrats on the organizing. Jennifer’s planner looks like it will be very useful for that process.

    This week’s preps were fairly low key. We purged some items in the house by bringing them to Goodwill, bringing home a few more blankets and hand-stitched quilts on the return trip. We did most of the week’s cooking from out of the pantry and restocked canned vegetables when they went on sale at the store.

    Also found a great book that has been very useful in preparing – “How Good People Make Tough Choices” by Rushworth Kidder. The sort of thought-experiments discussed in this little book may be exactly the sort of thing we might have to do a lot in a post SHTF scenario. Its probably a good idea to at least begin to practice this sort of thinking. For a non-fiction book, its a great read too.

    have a great week!

  3. I’d love to try a food saver out but can’t afford one at this time. Thanks for all of the great tips.

    • I got mine a couple of years ago from Ebay for around 20 dollars. So far it has worked fine and looks new. I find Ebay is kind of hit and miss for me but this purchase worked out fine.

    • Twenty Bucks is a good price then? I saw one at an estate sale this week for that much. I passed it up because I didn’t know if it was a good deal or not. Or, if I’d use it.

  4. SHTF for me 3 months ago when I moved my parents in with us, then my husband was put on leave for 2 months without pay, my work schedule was cut back to the point that I did not work for a month, my dad got a letter from social security that the over paid him so they will be holding dec & half of jan checks. Good thing I’m prepared! Lots of food stored, & food still growing in the greenhouse, and money put away for a rainy day! My husband & I both got back to work yesterday we lived comfortably but discovered several things to start, fix, learn & store. Excited to start restocking for the next disaster 😉
    Thanks for all the great info

    • WOW girl. When it rains, it pours in your house. My heart go out to you. I wish more people could read your story, then maybe more people would become preppers.

  5. Gaye, as always thanks for all you do. I think we must all have had organization on our mind this week! I organized a few boxes and downloaded an app which is supposed to help me with pantry inventory. We’ll see if it works.

    Thanks for the seed link, I’ve been trying to find a gift which would be something useful and long term and I think the seed club fits the bill.

  6. Throw in a few silica packs or a few oxygen absorbers in that ammo box for long term storage. If you go to the range frequently (practice, practice, practice!), rotate your ammo as well. Just like your food storage, keep away from temp extremes.

    • I read a ton one day online about using silica packs for that. The conclusion I came to (or, agreed with) was that it’s not necessary. And, therefore; no need to rotate.

    • Thanks for sharing that. We practice so much it rotates naturally anyway. The silica pack was a recommendation from our gun shop owner. I’ll check this out. Thanks!

  7. Finally got some rain in the desert. Two stormsin last two months, collected over 1100 gallons of water. Have to use it on the garden before the next storm as the tanks are full. (Our drinking water storage is separate from the rain water system). Need a good inventory program for preps, anyone know of one I can download.

  8. Not my idea, but a great one. Those silica packets we get in medicine, some shoes, etc.(those little packets are everywhere) can be used again and again for moisture removal only, like for ammo storage. They need to be dried out in a low temp oven. Use them in mason jars. We can vacuum seal out oxygen,but not moisture.

    I made my own list of storage items. I tried using several different ones from the internet, but they don’t fit my needs. China markers and document protectors are perfect for inventory. Two or even 3 lists work better for me. Food on one, survival equipment another, seeds and the wish list.

  9. must be a bug in the air about organizing. I completely reorganized my food storage this week. The old way I was using just wasn’t as efficient as I wanted it to be. also, I mapped out a new alternative route home. I’ve lived here for over 16 years and I was sure I knew every backroad, sideroad, and all possible routes. But lo and behold while coming home this week I had a revelation about a new alternative route. And, I’m simply giddy waiting for my copy of the Lehman’s catalog to arrive. I just about knocked my hubby on the floor when I told him I wanted a wringer like what was on the old fashioned ‘washing machines’ lol he was sure I was joking but i’m serious. I tried washing some laundry by hand this week and the washing wasn’t bad at all but the hand wringing lacked a lot to be desired. Since it’s winter time now the amount of daylight hours are limited for clothesline drying and the hand wrung clothes didn’t get quite dry by the end of the day, and my family goes through too much laundry to hang in the house. I have one of those spin mops and I was able to put one piece of smaller laundry in the spinning basket and it spun out quite a lot of moisture but it wouldn’t work for blue jeans.

    • Interesting comment, learner.

      I looked at those wringers this week as well. Pricey, but…

      Yup, “must be a bug in the air about organizing.”

    • Until you get that wringer…..use your rolling pin and your table. You’re the weight and you can vary the pressure. 🙂 I discovered this after hand wringing so many that my hands became sore. I like the rolling pins with handles, then I just push mostly.

  10. My seeds are in a gallon size freeze bag in the freezer, I really need a better way to get them organized and NOT take up so much space. Any suggestions?

    • Some of mine are in mason jars stored on the floor of the basement. Not sure if it’s the second best way or not.
      I’ve read that it’s best to store coffee in ceramic jars. If I had some extras, I might try that for seeds.

      In the freezer, I put the bags in an old cake pan, the kind with the slide-on lid. Still takes up too much space, but it’s better than just bags.

    • I did have mine in a large mason jar but they were too difficult to remove so I have moved them to a tupperware type container with one for veggies and another for herbs. I have not put them back in the freezer though since it is pretty cool in the house this time of year.

      Another idea is to store them in a Mylar bag but personally, I love that they are now nicely lined up in alphabetical order so I can get to the seed packet I need/want quickly. Remember last spring when I :lost: my heirloom tomato seeds?

  11. Dang! None of my comments made it through tonite?
    …Maybe they’re awaiting moderation?

    If not, do you gotta wait til that pop-up of, “Join Our Email List” appears before you hit the submit button? …Or, do my comments just have to wait until the Moderator wakes up? ….If so, a handy note at the end would prolly be good idea, imho.

    • I don’t see anything in the moderation queue. Did your comments ever show up?

      Just a thought but you might want to clear your browser cache and take another look. In IE11 you use the F5 key to do that. What is happening is that your browser is showing you “old” content; I have not control over that 🙂

      — Gaye

  12. Yes, the comments eventually showed up.
    I guess clicking the refresh button on my browser isn’t good enough.

    That’s a FANTASTIC idea about using a rolling pin! Thanks for that.

  13. I organized my seeds by when I have to plant them. All the items that need to be started indoors are firsty, then my early crops like the spinach, peas, lettuces, brocolli, kale, etc. Then the next and so on. I have them in a tupperware type oranizer that has individual trays. Now I just need to find a good spot for it!

  14. Must be the Christmas bug in the air. We did a LOT of reorganizing ourselves this month. I remember Mom And Grandma going thru our things and giving stuff to Goodwill that we had outgrown, didn’t use anymore right around Christmas time when I was little. Maybe that’s why we’re so busy now 😉

  15. It is so refreshing to see someone that appreciates the labors of others! Continue the great work and it was so great to see my seeds on your site. Down to the paper clip. LOL Will let you know next year and you can pick out what you might want to try. God willing that is. Merry Christmas Gaye


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