Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.
This week my preps were so memorable that I forgot what they were. Seriously. The reality is that I spent a good deal of time maintaining the status quo. No one ever said this preparedness stuff was easy so just like you, I put one foot forward each day and do what I can to prevail.
Four things of note:
I continue to make bar soap from both scraps of half used bars as well as from Kirk’s castile soap. I had a near perfect batch of Peppermint Soap going until I whipped it into a foamy mess. So again, back to the drawing board.
The “Using essential oils to control blood pressure” experiment is going extremely well. Shelly sees his cardiologist next week and we plan to show him the chart we have been tracking for almost a month. We hope to get his blessing to cut back on the BP meds but even without that, if the trend continues, I will write the results – and the recipe – up for early March. This is truly promising!
Clearly, you want to learn more about Cayenne Salve so I will continue working on that project as well. Can you tell I have a lot of projects going?
And finally, Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. I have nothing special planned since I will be traveling by vehicle most of the day. Just me, my sweetie, and Tucker the Dog; not a bad combination.
That covers it for me this week. Now for some announcements.
The Survival Buzz #156
BACKDOOR SURVIVAL MAIL BAG & READER TIPS
About a month ago, a reader indicated he was confused about sealing bulk foods in a mason jar using a FoodSaver jar attachment. If one person is confused, then there is a strong likelihood that someone else is also confused. Here I break down the steps.
1. Fill your jar with dry goods
2. Place a canning lid on the jar (I find that small jars need 2 with one acting as a shim)
3. Place the FoodSaver jar attachment over the lid of the jar. The canning lids will be enclosed in the jar attachment
4. Secure the locking lever on the FoodSaver
5. Press the button on the FoodSaver unit. On mine, it is labeled “canister” which simply means that the heat seal strip will not be activated
6. When done, unlock the level on the FoodSaver
7. Remove the jar attachment from your jar
8. The canning lid will now be tight – very tight. I always need to get a spoon or other lever to pry it off
9. If the seal did not take, try again using two lids. As mentioned in #2 above, it will act as a shim
10. If you wish, you may now place a ring on the jar. This is more as insurance as anything else. Rarely, the jars will not hold their seal. What I do is set my sealed jars aside for a few days then test the seal. If all is good, I store my filled jars. If not, I start over, ensuring that there are no defects on the rim of the jar itself. 99% of the time, the seal is fine.
Here is a tip from Kathy on storing chocolate. The perfect tip for Valentine’s Day, right?
. . . Make sure you have the chocolate away from any heat source. Having run a candy store, I have found chocolate will get a whitish bloom on it which is due to the fat rising in the piece(s) when it gets warm not enough to melt it but enough that the fat will start to rise.
I have been storing chocolate in the “root cellar” (two years now) in food saver bags in Snap ware containers and so far since the room they are in has never gone over 60 degrees, it’s been fine. In fact before Christmas DaHubs (DH) was looking for some candy and I pulled a bit out from storage and he thought I had just bought some that week :). Hope that helps
By the way, I have made calls to a few chocolate companies and none have responded to my request for their official take on the long term storage of chocolate. I avoided the gourmet brands but am thinking it is time to kick things up a notch and call one of the top tier brands.
I have two extremely popular giveaways running this week. You are going to want to enter both!
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, in case you did not notice, I have moved the weekly Book Festival and giveaway to Wednesdays. Also, as I may have mentioned last week, I currently have giveaways scheduled for every Friday through April. Be sure to check in each week and score some free stuff!
ESSENTIAL OILS: NEW FROM SPARK NATURALS
Hot of the press!
The new Respire Stix takes eliminates making your own balm and and is easy to use on the go. This is a super easy way to utilize the Spark Naturals respiratory blend,.”Respire”.
To use Respire Stix, rub some below your nose and on your upper lip. You can also use it on your chest if you do not want to make your own Vapor Rub. The price is a modest $8.99. On the other hand, I don’t know why you would not want to make your own Vapor Rub using the directions I wrote about earlier this week in Survival First Aid: DIY Healing Vapor Rub for Coughs & Congestion.
If you decide to make a purchase, remember to use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL for an additional 10% off your entire order.
Big news from Ron Brown. A totally new version of the best-selling book, The New 2000-Hour Flashlight has been released in eBook format. This is a complete re-write and although I can’t take credit for a lot, I once again did provide input into this new version.
The first edition had 54 photos; this new edition has 128. Not only that, it shows how to modify various brands of flashlights and not just the Eveready. Only 99 cents and a must have if I do say so myself! Watch for the updated print version in about a month.
THE FINAL WORD
As this week winds down, I am getting ready to get on a plane and head for warmer weather for most of the week. I will be holding down the fort from afar so I may not be around to answer emails and respond to comments but rest assured,I do read every single one.
Now it is your turn. What did you do to prep this week?
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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For your discernment, here are of some items mentioned today as well as some personal and BDS reader favorites.
FoodSaver Wide Mouth Jar Sealer: Have FoodSaver? If so, 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.
Tac Force TF-705BK Tactical Assisted Opening Folding Knife 4.5-Inch Closed: This is a great knife that is currently priced at about $8.60 with free shipping. Not only that, it is ranked as the #1 best seller in both the camping and hunting knives categories. The reviews raved about this knife so I bought one, used it, and and can recommend it. See The Inexpensive Tac-Force Speedster Outdoor Knife.
Note: the price can vary by color so if you are not particular, scroll through the colors and safe a couple of bucks.
Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener: I wrote about this is in the article The Easy Way to Sharpen a Knife Without Spending a Lot of Money. It sharpens everything from pocket knives to kitchen blades. Portable and easy to use and for about $9.
Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger: This nicely built charger will charge charge AA, AAA, C, D, N, 9V, Ni-MH, Ni-CD, and Alkaline batteries. It has an LED display so that when you first put a battery in the charging bay, you know whether it is viable for charging or simply bad and ready to go back to the recycle box. Yes it really works, even under solar power. To learn more, read How to Recharge Alkaline Batteries.
SE BT20 9-Volt Battery Tester: I do not know anyone that is sorry they purchased or gifted an inexpensive battery tester. Mine sits in my desk drawer and is used 3 or 4 times a week.
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