The Survival Buzz #148

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jul 4, 2019
We are a reader supported blog and this page may contain affiliate links. When you buy something through our links we may earn a small commission.

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

This has been a busy week both prep and blog wise as I have been doing some planning for those things I want to blog about in early 2015.  To help me along, after using an electronic calendar for years and years, I finally broke down and purchased a wall planning calendar.  It was long overdue.

Soap & Candle from Scraps

One of my projects this week was to re-batch some Kirk’s Castile Bar Soap and make my own artisan-style bar soap.  I added oatmeal for exfoliation purposes and lavender for soothing and aromatic healing.  The process was easy enough but needs some fine-tuning before I share it with you.  That said, my soap is effective but ugly.  I think I used too much fresh lavender and would have been better served adding infused oil instead.  Back to the drawing board.

Note:  once I get the process down, this would be a great way to use up those scraps of no longer usable bar soaps you have been saving.  If you have been throwing those odds and ends away, start saving them.

I also took leftover nubs of tea light candles and made a simple jar candle by melting them down and adding a wick.  When I say nubs, I mean nubs.  A normal person would have thrown these bits of wax into the trash.  Guess that throwing things away just isn’t part of my mindset these days!  (In case you are wondering, the chop stick held up the wick until the wax hardened.)

One of the Backdoor Survival themes for 2015 will be finding ways to multi-task various items we already own as well as kicking it up a notch while repurposing items that may no longer be useful.  I see this as an important step in preparing for a time when money becomes scarce and the supply chain non-existent.  Not to be gloomy about it, of course, but I do see the writing on the wall.

As you can see below, I also have a brand new Wondermill Jr Grain Mill that I will be testing.  I love my electric mill but along the same lines as above, there may come a time when electricity will be precious.

Other preps?  On the organization front, Shelly is working his way through the Firearms edition of the Preparedness Planner and I am working on the Essential Oils edition.   I love that if we mess up a page, we can go back and reprint a new one as often as we like.

Speaking of 2015, I have two great giveaways lined up for January 2015 and, as of this moment, plan to seek out products to host two additional giveaways each month.  It has been nice to take a break but I am ready to get back into it.

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


I have been working with Contributing Author Richard Broome on a new think piece.  He writes:

With all that has been in the news lately about SONY and cyber attacks, that article I did for you last spring, “The Coming Cyber War” as well as the  cyber attack theme in both of my novels and the possible outcomes I described, seems more relevant than ever.  SONY should have NEVER caved into North Korea. We are all going to pay for that.

I agree and so does George Ure over at Urban Survival.  Stay tuned for more from both Richard and George on this topic right after Christmas.


The following article includes a giveaway for a copy of The Art of Eating through the Zombie Apocalypse by Lauren Wilson.  I mean it; you are going to want to win this one.  In addition, be sure to read through the comments for ideas on board games and card games to keep the family occupied with the grid is down.

Note that the deadline for entries is 6:00 PM Pacific next Tuesday.

The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse + Giveaway

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.


Everyone loves a deal, right?  The free gifts include a quart jar of coconut oil and a TT mug.

This coconut oil is the best.  We use it in cooking, on popcorn, and of course in my DIY Miracle Healing Salve.  You will not be disappointed.

When going to the TT website, you will find the “gifts” plus current sale items on the right hand side of each page.  Enjoy!

Until Dec 25th, claim a free jar of Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil


It has been fun planning for 2015 and that, along with some other things I have up my sleeve, is giving me quite a bit to look forward to.  In addition, with the recent change in my blogging schedule, I have had a chance to recharge my internal batteries and actually participate in weekend activities without those worrisome deadlines.

In the coming weeks, I will be sharing more about my plans for 2015 but in the meantime, 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.

Top Prepper Websites Banner

 Here are some of the items mentioned in today’s article as well as a few items popular with readers.

AT-A-GLANCE Monthly Wall Calendar 2015:  This calendar has worked out great.  The boxes are large enough that I can populate them with post-it notes then move them around as I make schedule changes.  Great price, too.

Kirk’s Castile: Coco Castile Bar Soap: Kirk’s is a great alternative to Dr. Bronner’s. I use it to make my own liquid castile soap. See DIY Liquid Castile Soap “Wonderful”.

Low Smoke Wicks – 6 inch: 8 dozen Wicks:   This is a lifetime of wicks.  For my little jar, I had to cut the wick down but still, the time may come when I need these longer wicks.

Leaving The Trees: Richard Broome’s first novel is a page turner.  You will not be able to put it down.  Stay tuned for the sequel, Good Crazy, which will be featured in the current Book Festival.

Wonder Junior Deluxe Hand Grain/Flour Mill by Wondermill:  I am very excited about my manual mill since it can also be use to grind coffee beans, nuts, and other oily bulk food items.

Preparedness Planner:  Both Shelly and I are impressed with how easy this planner is making our inventory and organization process.  As with the wall calendar, a tool like this was long overdue.

Ticket To Ride: This my favorite board game, bar 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.

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.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Daily & Monthly Sales for Fantastic Deals!

For over 25 years Emergency Essentials has been providing the highest quality preparedness products at great prices.  Plus, each month they feature sales that quite honestly are fantastic.  One of my favorite sale items this month is this Mobile Washer (Hand Operated Washing Machine).

This is hand operated washing machine. Like a plunger, it uses a technique of pushing and pulling the water through clothes to clean them well without wearing them out. It uses a minimum of water and less soap due to the agitation motion. Use in a bucket (5-gallon suggested), sink or tub.

Emergency Essentials carries a wide variety of equipment and supplies – all at competitive prices.

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!


Spark Naturals Shop Now | Backdoor Survival



[50% Off Flash Sale] Lifesaving Personal Water Filter

(Normally $20) $9.99 - 0.01 Micron, Ultralight, Portable 2,000L Capacity - Limited Quantity in Stock

Claim My Filter →

Updated Jul 4, 2019

Flash Sale | Water Filter
[50% Off Flash Sale] Lifesaving Personal Water FilterClaim My Filter →

13 Responses to “The Survival Buzz #148”

  1. Gaye, you should love the wonder mill. A very good quality product. On this, does anyone know how long the burrs last? Do I need to get another set if SHTF? I’m not too worried about other parts on this unit.
    Another good repurpose for candles is take a Tuna (or similar) can and coil up tightly cardboard and pour in melted wax. They are a great source for emergency heat for your GHB. I’ve made several for my son who just moved to MI for his car & GHB.

  2. This past week I received another 5 gallon bucket of Tropical Traditions coconut oil. My oh my, I love this stuff. On your recommendation, I put in another order to receive my free Christmas presents.
    PS. Gaye when my banker chastises me for spending to much $ for Christmas, I will give him your number for making me spend so much.

    • John, I have to thank you so much for your first mention of Tropical Traditions VCO. I have my order, have been taking it and just finished the free book that came with it. Before your first comment, I’d never heard of them, and I can’t thank you enough!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

    • Carolyn. Gaye is the one that put me on to Tropical Traditions. I know I thank her for the recommendation. The book that tells of the oil and its origin is so great. I have lent it to 2 friends and they both tell me it has changed their life for the better. I know I use it for everything. I put a 1/4 cup in my morning smoothie. It is a product that makes me feel good about my life.

  3. I don”t agree with gaye on her homemade soap bars, I think they are very good looking they remind me of victorian or a paisley look. Being that I am seeing them in person rather than a photo I’m not sure you all can tell. So theres my two cents

  4. This week my preps involved psychological food preparations. I am always thinking about the “what if’s” and “how would I’s…” and this week I was really thinking hard about how I would handle it if my food supply was running low but I didn’t want the moral of my family to go down. So I ran some dinner time experiments to test some theories I had. The results were quite pleasing to me, so I thought I’d share with ya’ll.
    First, I discovered that cutting things up into smaller pieces makes it look like more of them. Weather it is a soup, stew, casserole, salad or any dish with foods mixed together this applies. I made a stew with one large chicken breast and two medium potatoes and two carrots. I thickened the broth with a tad of starch and then topped it off with dumplings made from only 1/2 cup of flour but I bumped up the baking powder just a bit to make the dumplings fluff up bigger. This fed a family of 4! The key was to shred the chicken and dice the potatoes and carrots into small pieces. We actually had left overs and everybody left the table stuffed. There is no way that I could have cooked that piece of chicken and cut it into four pieces and gave each person a half of a potato and a half of a carrot and them walk away feeling fully fed.
    My second experiment was to utilize the same trick in reverse to fool a picky eater. If a food is chopped into bigger pieces then it doesn’t look like there is as much of it in the dish. I have one picky eater in the house who doesn’t care too much for broccoli but will tolerate it in small quantities. When making a tuna/cheddar/broccoli/macaroni casserole if I leave the broccoli in big chunks it really doesn’t look like there is as much of it in the mix. But if I took that same 2 cups of broccoli and chopped it up fine and mixed it all throughout then I am met with loud complaints about putting too much in, even though the amount is really the same.
    BTW Gaye I think that soap looks darling! I’d happily put that on display by my sinks. I have a question for you though, you seem to me to be busier than a one legged man in a butt kicking contest, but have you ever had any thought about compiling your blog articles into a full book? I know I’d love to have one. I find myself spending a lot of time reading your archive of articles and have printed a lot of it off to be able to refer to if need be in a grid down situation.

    • Learner. Speaking of portion sizes reminds me of a class I had in collage. Psych 101. They were saying that the amount of room a food took on the plate had to do with the feeling of the amount of food to be eaten. I know when I was reading this, I was home alone with my youngest daughter. I was making chow mien. I piled my plate full of rice and put a small pile on my daughter’s plate before I put on the meat. My daughter looked at the size of my pile of rice, then the size of her pile and had a snarl on her face. I took her pile and spread it out over her whole plate, then she had a large smile on her face. She had the idea that now dad wasn’t trying to eat all the food.
      A crazy world huh?

    • learner
      that’s fantastic,You have discovered my mom’s secret to feeding a family when money was tight and there wasn’t a whole lot of food to choose from in the larder. You see,there were 7 of us around the dinner table when I was younger, We were (and still are) good eaters, however mom could whip up a pretty good meal with just a few ingredients and we thought we had it made because we could have seconds (and sometimes thirds). We NEVER went hungry, mind you but I know that because times were pretty lean, mom had to be creative to feed her army as Pop would call us. She AND my father learned how to stretch food growing up in the depression. You can adapt some recipies that way to stretch if you don’t have quite enough of some ingredients just like you found out.
      not sure if you’re a big rice eater but mom would put together a rice casserole that had 3 ingredients and it at one time was dinner a couple times a week for us back then.

  5. This comment was moderated (AND ERASED) because the goobermint listens and records Every conversation in order to use it against them later.


    • Are you saying that you believe the G-men are moderating the comments on this website? Confused because I thought I was so “out there in public” I would be left alone.

    • I was kidding, slightly.
      No, I do not think the G-men are moderating the comments on this website.

  6. This is off the general subject, but most of us keep our to go bag in the trunk of our cars. Be sure you can open that trunk if your car is “dead” My car could not be opened as there was no key entrance and if the electric opener would not work, there was no way to get at my important things in the trunk. I have an opening into the 2nd seat to allow me to insert a 2×4 or such through the trunk into the car. I attached a wire to the safety opener inside the trunk, ran the wire through the small opening into the back seat and secured it on the head rest in the middle of the back seat. Now, I can just pull the wire and the trunk will open. Hope this helps someone else.

    • Thank you so much for the info. I have just bought a new car and have been looking for a trunk key hole. So you are saying I dont have one. So you are saying if the battery on my car goes kaput, my button on my key ring will be no good. Is the lever beside my driver’s seat electronic or manual? Can I open the trunk with this lever if the car’s battery is dead?

Leave a Reply