The Survival Buzz #152

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jul 4, 2019



Gear Testers Wanted - Test New Survival Gear, and Let Us Know What You Think! We Cover the Products, You Cover Shipping.

Yes, I Want Free Gear! →

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

The highlight of this week was a trip off island to the LDS Home Storage Center in Mount Vernon, Washington.  At a Home Storage Center, you will find the lowest prices anywhere on bulk foods for your survival pantry. The best part is that they are open to the public and not just to LDS members.

Stocking up on Basics at the LDS Home Storage Center |Backdoor Survival|

Their other products are similarly priced.

Click here for locations.  Please note that hours vary from location to location and may be limited.  Call ahead!  And no, I am not LDS, but I do appreciate the service they provide to the public at their Home Storage Centers.

The other highlight this week was that I was able to score a deal on a Mr. Heater Portable Propane Heater.  I have recommended this indoor heater many times solely based upon recommendations from readers.  I already have propane heat in my home so this is really a nice bonus for me along the lines of “one is none and two is none”.  The good news is that I can now personally get to know how it works and write a review for you.  Actually, Shelly promises to do the heavy lifting on this one.

A few other things:  I have been using one of those almost-free credit card tools from Survival Life and am pretty impressed.

There are lots of gardening thoughts and gardening dreams going on in my head.  You might recall from last year (see Is It Realistic to Grow Your Own Groceries?) that any type of large scale food garden is doomed given my tiny yard that only gets a few hours of sun a day.  Still, I am accumulating heirloom seeds like crazy because if the SHTF, I might not have land, but I will have seeds, tools, and some hardworking hands to barter with someone who does.

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


This tip came in a from a reader (who prefers to remain anonymous) on Thursday.

There has been a big oil spill close to where I live and there is an advisory on the drinking water.  As best as we can see for now, there was no big conspiracy, or particularly outrageous neglect, just an stupid accident combined with technical and bureaucratic delays in answering to the threat.

This could have happened anywhere.

I live close by, but thankfully for me, I am not being affected. But at least 250 000 people are being affected.  Feel free to pass this news to your readership.  This may serve them as motivation to get reserve of water NOW.

City issues advisory after diesel spill

You might recall that I went for 12 days without running water and did just fine.  If you do nothing else this weekend, fill a few jugs with water, add a few drops of bleach, and set them aside for an emergency.


Sue asked about giveaway winners:

How do you find out the winner? It is not posted on the original article. Can you put the winners back in your newsletter? It was nice to see who won!

I want to share my response with you since this is a recurring question.  The bottom line?  A girl can only do so much!

I don’t select the winners until Friday evening when I write the Survival Buzz.  It is a time-consuming process because the entries must be validated and there have been cheaters.  I then must send an email to the winner and wait  for confirmation.  If they do not check in within 48 hours, I select an alternate.

I appreciate that it was helpful in the past to put them in the newsletter/Buzz but honestly?  It is a lot of work and something had to give.  Posting in the Rafflecopter is a reasonable compromise.


The following article includes a giveaway for a copy of two books in the Prepper Press PrepSmart series.

The PrepSmart Series from Prepper Press

In addition, I have 5 decks from the CONFLICTED: The Survival Card Game up for grabs. You are going to want to enter this one!

Conflicted: The Survival Card Game Giveaway

As a reminder, the deadline for all giveaway entries is 6:00 PM Pacific on Tuesdays.  In addition, 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.  This usually happens on the Friday following the end of the giveaway.


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


This month I am promoting a DIY & Craft bundle, appropriately titled The Ultimate DIY Bundle.  I am going to be honest, this is not for everyone and it is very craft oriented.  Still, there are some fabulous DIY books and offers included.

Although I am not allowed to disclose the exact contents, I can tell you that the Home and Garden items are fabulous.  Hint hint, wink wink, there is an eBook from Sharon Peterson ( that should be on everyone’s bookshelf. But there is more, including books on DIY herbs, cleaning products, beauty products, saving money and more.

Click to learn more about The Ultimate DIY Bundle

All told, there are 85 eBooks and eCourses, plus bonus products.

Just as side note.  As I get older, I am becoming more interested in crafting. To me, it is relaxing and fun plus, I am gathering supplies so that of the SHTF, I have some fun activities ready to go on the back burner.

I am pretty excited about the bundle and feel that it is a terrific value. You can find a complete list here (click on “About the Bundle” at the top of the page, then select an option from the drop-down menu).

Anyway, feel free to sign up and be notified with the bundle goes live.  There is no obligation plus a 30 day money-back guarantee.  You can’t lose.


As each week goes by, I become more concerned that the scenarios described in Conflicted will become a reality sooner rather than later.  Is that because I live and breath preparedness?  At what point does being prepared for a disaster transcend into being prepared for the SHFT?

These are important questions we must ask ourselves.  Feel free to comment and share your thoughts along with what 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

Spotlight: I did not expect much from the credit card tool.  It is surprisingly sturdy as well as useful.

The Survival Credit Card Tool – Almost Free

The article I wrote on DIY cleaning turned out to be hugely popular all around the web. In cased you missed it, here is a link to the article Prepper Checklist: DIY Cleaning Supplies and to some of the products that I use to make my own cleaners.

Mr. Heater Portable “Big Buddy” Heater:  Using propane and safe for indoor use, the Big Buddy Heater features an automatic low-oxygen shut-off system that automatically turns the unit off before carbon monoxide fumes reach dangerous levels in home. Note:  As of this writing, the price is pretty affordable.

Microfiber Cleaning Cloth, (Pack of 36): No list of DIY cleaning supplies would be complete without these wonderful microfiber cloths. They will last you for years and will allow you to replace paper towels forever. Truly. I color code using blue for glass and windows and the other colors for everything else. I love these.

Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Liquid Cleanser: I know that Dr. Bronner’s Magic Castile soaps have a cult-like following but I prefer the Sal Suds. I call my DIY cleaner “Sudsy Sal”.

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps Pure-Castile Soap: Of all of the Dr. Bronner’s castile soaps, peppermint is my favorite.   I use it to make “Peppermint Magic”, an all purposed cleaner.

Soft ‘n Style 8 oz. Spray Bottles: I happen to like these smaller bottles and you can not beat the price for a set of 3. Likewise for these Pump Dispensers.

NOW Solutions Vegetable Glycerin: You will need this for your Dirt Cheap Soft Soap. I paid almost as much for only 4 ounces locally. This is a great price and 16 ounces will last forever.

Peppermint Essential Oil: I favor peppermint and tea tree (Melaleuca) essential oil in my cleaning supplies. But there are many types of essential oils to choose from. Take your pick. One thing you will find is that a little goes a long way.  The nice thing about essential oils from Spark Naturals  is that they are also excellent for therapeutic and healing use and well as for use in DIY cleaning supplies.  Just remember to use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout to get 10% off your order.

Budget Essential Oils:  For the budget minded – and especially for use in cleaning supplies – consider NOW Foods Essential Oils.

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.

A good value is the  Do It Yourself SuperPail Combo which includes 8 x 6-Gallon Buckets with Lids, 8 x Metallized Storage Bags and a 10-Pack of Large Oxygen Absorbers.  The combo is currently on sale for $84.95.

Do It Yourself SuperPail Combo

Don’t forget that you do not need fancy equipment to seal the metalized bag. A cheap hair iron will do the job.  Forget about a hose and a vacuum sealer. A $20 hair iron works great.

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!



Gear Testers Wanted

Test New Survival Gear, and Let Us Know What You Think! We Cover the Products, You Cover Shipping.

Yes, I Want Free Gear! →

Updated Jul 4, 2019

Offer | Gear Testers
Gear Testers WantedYes, I Want Free Gear! →

23 Responses to “The Survival Buzz #152”

  1. I saw there’s a product for the small propane bottles, kind of like a foam coozie for a soda pop can, which claims to get you 35% more use out of a bottle. On the package it says the number one tip to get even more mileage out of it is to place a hand warmer under the propane bottle while using it.

    Maybe that was covered in the last propane series? I have yet to read it, but plan to. Do you have one of those? Plan to test alternatives?

    This week I put my spices in mason jars. The spices were way too aromatic (even double wrapped in a ziplock and placed in a tin can) whenever I walked past them it was as if there was a big neon sign which screamed out, “Good Food Here! Mr. furnace repair guy… and anybody else who happens to walk on by.” Which got me to thinkinng that maybe the spices are flavoring each other and absorbing aromas from the air, soo… I acted.

    Half-way into it I realized those mylar bags you all use might be a better option.

    And Whoa, I had the scent of fifty spices hitting my senses at once, for two days.

    • I sent a note to Ron about the propane tank cozy. Let’s see what he has to say about it. If you do get one, be sure to report back.

    • The curious phenomenon of propane bottles cooling is discussed in Part 3 of Propane for Preppers (in the context refilling of one-pounders). There, we show how to put the cooling effect to good use. Propane bottles do get cold and frost up (due to the Venturi effect) even in summer IF the amount you are trying to draw exceeds the bottle’s capacity to supply. Pushed to the limit, the valve will ice up and block the flow of gas. An insulated sleeve (it can be homemade from bubblewrap or newspaper) will delay reaching that limit. But even if the valve ices up, the gas is still in there. You can always let the bottle warm and go back and use it later. Using a hand warmer means you are consuming calories of heat (from the hand warmer) to prevent the valve freezing up so you can obtain calories of heat (from the propane). Will it work? Yes. But is it a paying proposition? It depends. How badly do you need to cook supper?

  2. Hi Gaye – good morning to you! Thanks for posting the link to find LDS Canneries. That is something I have wanted to do for a while now, and will make it a priority to find some time in the next few months.

    My preps this week included getting settled into a better-paying job close to home. The extra income from this gig will invariably go towards rebuilding my emergency fund and some additional supplies.

    A recent treasure hunt at the local thrift store was a total win. I found a brand new, never-used Kelly Kettle for sale at a quarter of the Amazon price. I snatched that up in an instant, but had to explain to the nice girl behind the counter what it was! Also found? A vintage manual spice grinder (to be used in my herbal medicine experiments), another manual egg beater and another few books on making herbal medicine. My library on this subject is becoming quite robust these days! (very excited about that.)

    I am also signed up for a (free!) continuing CERT class on personal defense for women. That will happen the first week of February.

    We are headed up to the BOL Homestead Cabin this weekend to work on clearing more land for the garden site and will use one of Hubby’s Christmas gifts (a surveying transit) to map out the topography of the new homesite. We are planning to build an earth-sheltered home there and finding the contours of the land is one of the first steps in doing so.

    Have a great week and enjoy your day off!

  3. Thanks for the heads up on the LDS home storage centers.

  4. Btw, I buy all my wheat from the LDS cannery too, they are by far the cheapest. I buy already packaged in #10 cans, I also buy the instant mashed potatoes, rice and dehydrated apple slices for fraction of price sold elsewhere.

    • Hi Lori, We started with the sample case to see what we would actually use, then bought cases of the pinto beans, white rice, and quick oats. We prefer the quick oats because they don’t need further cooking: I prefer them as is with milk and a banana or some other fruit. We are also planning on trying the cans of dried apple slices. The cases fit under our bed, and you can get a lot of rice, beans, and oats under a queen size!

      It is my understanding that whether the store is open to the public or just to members is a decision made by the local bishop, so it may vary from place to place, and with a new bishop. The one we use in Honolulu is open to everyone, and was a great benefit to us, as we aren’t LDS. They are providing a wonderful service.

      Some of the stores also provide sealers for the mylar bags, I am pretty sure by appointment or at scheduled times. If one wants to avoid buying a sealer, it is worth asking about.

  5. Hi, Gaye, just a note to those starting, thinking, wanting to plant a garden, I signed up last year for Mother Earth News planting reminders, basically each week it sends an update of what you should be started indoors or outdoors or under cover. This was the first week in a little while that I got a planting reminder…onion seeds should be started now, indoors or under cover. Yikes! Time to get going again. Gardening only gives you a couple months of break in the fall/winter. If you really want to grow your own food, I highly recommend their planting reminders, they are tailored to your planting zone.

    • Sharon – I tried to find a link to sign up but I must be blind. Can you please share? Thanks!

  6. I planted my milk jug garden. Need to buy spinach seeds to plant in them.
    I also signed up for CERT training starting in Feb.
    I resealed oatmeal in Mylar bags that didn’t seal the first time.
    And am wondering about how to keep mother warm if it is not advisable to store a lot of 20 lb canisters of propane? The Big Buddy has been on the list to buy.
    I am also signed up to attend the Cattleman’s Winter School. All my classes this year will be on chickens.

  7. Gaye, I got some virgin coconut oil this week and I was wondering if you could tell me if it can be used in place of fractionated coconut oil for salve making or anything else? does it have all the health benefits of the FCO? thanks

    • Actually, virgin coconut oil is the preferred type. FCO has been heat treated and while good, does not have as many health benefits as the virgin coconut oil. FCO is used in roller ball applications but not in salves; it would never set up.

      Hope this helps; you did good by getting some!

    • Gaye:

      Thank you for that comment. I also was wondering about the difference between the two. I ordered the FCO for the Birch arthritis roller ball. I do a lot of cooking with the regular virgin coconut oil and was wondering about using it in the salves you talk about. Now I know the difference.

    • woo hoo! ok, thanks for clarifying.

  8. Two time zones away from Utah, you have convinced me to inquire about access to an LDS Home Storage Center. I have pondered this in the past, but actually done nothing so far but wonder. Thank you.

  9. hi Gaye…this week I signed up to take a Ham radio class in Feb. Excited, but nervous because they said to bring a small calculator for math. I breezed thru math class with a “D”. Hope I can do this…I am 65, a grandma, and a prepper. Received my items from Amazon to make your DIY Miracle Healing Salve. Have been studying essential oils for a while now, can’t wait to make the salve.

  10. Must be garden week! I’ve been planning ours and figuring out what to plant. My wonderful dh got me the seed club as a gift so I looking at what to start and trying to find my seeds from last year

  11. this week I got 2- 3 gallon jugs of cooking oil. I got them at K-Mart, they are a little less $$ at this time of year beause they get the oil for Thanksgiving-to fry turkeys.Thanks for the LDS tip.

  12. Thank you for the LDS information. This was on my “back burner” prepping mind, but now you have placed it on the “front burner” prepping mind. Again, thank you for all your information and tips.

  13. I have purchased from LDS before and after shopping around, they are definitely cheaper than most. For those of you who do not have a store around you, you can go online and order from them there. Their shipping charges are even lower than most.

  14. If this is a repeat, I apologize! I would like to see information about surviving in the colder states. I live in Maine and the winters can be brutal.

  15. I am LDS, and my family and I have used the cannery in my state for years. It’s wonderful, and yes, it is up to the local stake president, not bishop, when the hours are, and who can use it. It’s run by the stake, which is kind of like an archdiocese. Stake members volunteer to run it during it’s open hours, which is why it’s food is cheaper. No workers to pay, so they can put their money toward the food. Ours is open to the public, I think because it’s the only one in our state, and we wouldn’t have enough people use it if it wasn’t. It’s a wonderful way to stock up, but do call ahead to find out hours, because sometimes they have no volunteers for that day.

  16. Did ya see this on the LDS site? Food storage in old soda bottles. Wonder what they use to clean them out first. Nice reuse. No cost.



Leave a Reply