Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.
How is everyone doing this week? If it has been anything like mine, you are firing on all cylinders as you begin to realize it is time to organize those springtime chores not the least of which is your garden.
This week I had some appointments in the big city (actually Bellevue, Washington), so while I was there, I dropped in on Wal-Mart to pick up some Arm & Hammer Washing Soda for my “Better than Good” DIY Laundry Soap. I don’t know why it is so difficult to find washing soda these days; the one thing I do know is that it is always available at Wal-Mart.
That leads me to ask whether you have started saving a ton of money by making your own laundry soap? I have yet to meet a single person who tried it and went back to store-bought.
While I was at Wal-Mart I picked up up a 5 year supply of mouse bait. Not everyone will agree with using mouse bait but the type I use is in the cellar area of my home making it impossible for pets or visiting children to have access. Since using this particular bait, I have not had any problems with field mice getting into my stored food. I swear that the mice in my area are wise to traps and have learned to avoid them, even when baited with peanut butter.
Why 5 years? Did you know that the Feds are banning many varieties of d-CON as of March 31st? I discovered this quite by accident. You can read about it in this announcement: Canceling Some d-CON Mouse and Rat Control Products. Yes, I know d-CON is highly toxic. As a prepper, sometimes we have to make difficult choices and for me, this is one of them.
While on the mainland, I also dropped in on the local farm supply store to purchase some Vet Wrap which was dirt cheap compared to the type sold for humans. Same stuff and not only that, I found some in my favorite purple color at no extra cost!
I found another shopping haven for preppers. Have you ever been to a Cash & Carry store. Holy smokes; talk about bargains in bulk foods. If you happen to live in the West, check out their locations and save yourself a ton of money. By the way, a reader recently asked me where he could purchase black eyed peas in bulk. After responding, I deleted the email so if you are reading this, check to see if there is a Cash & Carry or similar store in your locale.
Other preps this week? I downloaded my No-Nonsense Technician Class License Study Guide (which is free in PDF format) and have committed to taking the HAM radio licensimg test on April 18th when it will be given at the local library. Between now and then, my Baofeng UV-5Rs be set up so I can hit the ground running as a HAM on April 19th. In the works is a K.I.S.S. set-up guide to help out everyone who purchased a Baofeng but still has it sitting in a box, unopened and unused.
By the way, the Baofeng and the Pofung radios are one and the same so if you are in the market for a starter radio, do not hesitate to shop by price. Need assistance understanding the HAM radio hoopla? Read The Basics of Ham Radio.
Finally, I made a batch of DIY Cayenne Salve using cayenne pepper infused olive oil as the base. Results are mixed. It definitely is not as powerful as an essential oil salve. Before sharing, I want to use it a bit more. The last thing I want is for you to waste your time on something that may not meet your expectations.
That about covers it for me this week. Let’s move on to the rest of this week’s Buzz.
The Survival Buzz #154
BACKDOOR SURVIVAL MAIL BAG & READER TIPS
Here is reminder from Karma007 that you don’t always need a lot of money to build up your preps.
I’m a scavenger from way back, I currently help a gentleman that does Estate Sales. Whatever is leftover after the sales, I haul away to my garage. These are the things I use to trade for things I want and need for prepping.
Ask friends and family if they are throwing anything out or have items they don’t need. Most people are thrilled to get rid of stuff for free.
Network anywhere you can, place an add at the library on the bulletin board or the local grocery store, you would be surprised at the free stuff you can get.
I just acquired all the items I need to make a greenhouse, cold house for FREE.
I definitely want to give this fire starting tip from David a try. Cat tails are abundant here in Washington State.
THE BEST FIRE STARTER IN NATURE. I have been reading numerous articles from Prepper sites and have never seen anyone mention using Cattails or bulrush as a fire starter. I learned this trick at a very young age from my Grandfather. He taught me that cattails are natures gasoline. He would harvest the fluffy tops whenever we would go on hikes. With a flint stick, the fluffy cattail ignite like gasoline (without the explosion). Try it out. I get the kids to light the campfire every time we go camping.
And from Pat in Arizona:
Check if your community has a seed exchange. Phoenix, AZ has one. Not only is it an opportunity to exchange seeds you have harvested, it is a great way to exchange information. If you are near a reservation, find out if they participate in efforts to reintroduce native/heirloom plants.
EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT GARDENING – ALMOST
Are you interested in learning more about a particular garden topic? If so, please leave a comment below. Mike Podlesny aka Mike the Gardener is here to help. I will pick one topic and Mike will write about it. For more about Mike and his Seeds of the Month Club, visit his website at Average Person Gardening.
The following article includes a giveaway for a copy of the Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook.
And this article includes a giveaway to win one of three copies of The Gardening Notebook.
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.
Speaking of giveaways, what do you think? In addition to the Thursday Book Festival’s, I have lined up a product giveaway for each and every Friday through April so far. Winners are selected at random and indeed, some readers are very lucky and have won more than once.
For the most part, the giveaways are sponsored, but in a few cases, I am sponsoring them myself as part of my 2015 “Pay It Forward” initiative. So don’t be shy; please do enter.
NEWS FROM MOUNTAIN HOUSE
2015 is bringing some updates and changes in the Mountain House line of freeze-dried products. Not to worry, all good.
As you know, I have a fantastic relationship with the folks at Mountain House and have had the inside track on some of the changes, including a new packaging design that includes the protein content and servings size on the front of the pouch. There are also some new products that I will be telling you about next month. For a heads up you can read the press release here.
THE FINAL WORD
Whew, this was a long one. Believe it or not, I have more to share put I will set the rest aside for next week.
So what about you – what did you do to prep this week?
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Bargain Bin: As always, today I have a selection of items related to today’s article.
Baofeng UV-5R and Pofung UV-5R Ham Two Way Radio: Redundancy is the name of the game. I own two of these inexpensive HAM radios. The price is right at a tad more than $30 each. Also consider the NAGOYA Antenna for BAOFENG UV-5R and the USB Programming Cable for Baofeng UV-5R UV-3R+. Note: the Pofung was formerly known as the Baofeng UV-5R so don’t let the two similar names confuse you. You will see both for sale. Shop price (at least that is what I would do.)
Midland 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radios: I also own these hand held radios. No license required. There are lots of good uses for the these radios. Handy while hiking, traveling, or simply keeping in touch with your partner while out shopping. They are waterproof – a quality that I feel is important. Plus, in addition to using the included rechargeable batteries, they can use regular AAs in a pinch. Note: the true range for this type of radio is actually 4 to 6 miles, regardless of brand. Don’t be fooled.
The No-Nonsense, Technician Class License Study Guide: Dan Romanchik’s guide is available for free – you can read it online of download it and save it to your computer.
Ham Radio For Dummies : This could also be called “Ham Radio for Gaye” or other newbies. It is never too late to learn and if SHTF, this may be the only reliable form of communication available.
D-Con Ready Mix Rat and Mouse Killer: A few days before my trip to Wal-Mart, I purchased d-CON online. The price was better than the local hardware store, but not as good as Wal-Mart. Still, I had to travel five hours to get to the big box store so shopping online is my usual choice
Mule Team Borax and Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda Variety Pack: Here are two of the three ingredients you need to make your own laundry soap. They are packaged together with free shipping.
Dawn Ultra Original Scent Dishwashing Liquid: Dawn has to be one of the few household products I have been unable to duplicate myself. It is worth it to get the real thing.
Mountain House: Were you aware that you could purchase Mountain House products from Amazon? Actually, what can’t you buy at Amazon? Their prices on Mountain House freeze dried products are very competitive unless Emergency Essentials or one of the other online vendors is having a big sale.
Need something from Amazon (and who doesn’t)? I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here. You still get great Amazon service and the price is the same, no matter what.
Amazon has feature called Shop Amazon – Most Wished For Items. This is an easy tool for finding products that people are ‘wishing” for and in this way you know what the top products are. All you need to do is select the category from the left hand side of the screen.
Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!