The Survival Buzz #159

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jul 4, 2019

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

This week I continued to focus on my meager gardening efforts.  The weather here has been sunny but cold so I am still wearing my down vest but ah the sunshine is so nice.  I continued planting lettuce seeds.  Because I am a perfectionist, I pour the seeds into the palm of my hand then pick them up one by one with tweezers to plant. Crazy, I know.

How to Make a Sprinkling Can for Free - Backdoor Survival

The big news, though, is that I made a nifty watering can to use on my seedlings.  The concept is so in-your-face simple that I wonder why I have not done this sooner. Sadly, I can’t remember where I found this idea but I believe it was on Buzz Feed.

Anyway, I was going to create a regular blog post out of this but it is so simple, I will share it now instead.

How to Make a Sprinkling Can for Free

Bill of Materials:

Repurposed milk jug
Large nail (I used a 4 inch nail I found in the junk drawer)


Wash the milk jug with hot soapy water then rinse well.
Take your nail and pole holes in the top of the jug.
Add water to the jug and water your seedlings.

This produces a gentle rain that will not disturb the yet-to-germinate seeds.

Update on the AeroGarden

Here is a photo of my AeroGarden, week 2.  As you can see, the seeds are starting to sprout.  First up was Cilantro and although you can not see it, one of the Basil’s is peeking through the top.

AeroGarden Week #2 - Backdoor Survival

A few readers have sent emails telling me they love their AeroGardens and I so want a second one but will exercise patience as I see how my herb garden does.


From Dennis:

There is something I wanted to share with you regarding LED flashlights.

LED’s put out an enormous amount of light, given their battery consumption, and when compared to a standard light bulb.  This is quite beneficial when used in a flashlight.  In short, the batteries last much longer.  If you are like me, I lose the flashlight before it’s time to replace the batteries.  The downside is that the LED is an integrated circuit.  Consequently, in an EMP scenario, LED flashlights will be rendered inoperative.

There are two solutions.  First, any LED flashlight that is stored in a faraday container will be protected.  Second, it may be a good idea to have standard flashlights on hand, even though their battery consumption is considerably more.

Since most professionals believe that an EMP event is not likely, it may be prudent to put a few LED flashlights in a faraday box, but don’t break the bank in so doing.

Because LED flashlights are so superior, I rarely use my old MagLites anymore.  Thanks to Dennis, I now plan to keep them handy, along with extra batteries, of course.

And from Ed:

As a former County Emergency Manager I was always worried by the complacency of most of the citizens in my mid western county. I still am. Several studies I have read show that only about 20% of the people are prepared to be self sufficient for at least 72 hrs. This includes first responders as well ! If a catastrophic event happens that affects an entire community or region, the local emergency response will be greatly reduced.

There is a psychological term called the “normalcy bias”. People look at the risk of any particular disaster as very small. Which is true of most disasters. However, if you look at all of the possible disaster that could befall your community, the risk of one of those things happening is much greater than the individual possibilities.

My experience in national disaster response is that the people who fall into this bias are the first ones to want the government to come in and make them whole again.

Keep talking to your family and friends. Offer help. Talk to them today about snow emergencies. Use the current example of what is happening on the east coast. Use any disaster currently going on somewhere in the nation as a teaching experience.

Lastly, it is a good idea to take photos of your home. After a fire or whatever, it is very difficult to remember what was lost. May I suggest though, a video instead of still photos. With a little preparation one can walk around the home and throughout the house, taping inside closets, inside cupboards and drawers plus be able to narrate what is being seen.

Comments can be made and recorded as to when items were purchased and what the cost was. Put this on a thumb drive or two. Keep one and give one to a family member for safekeeping. Also give that family member copies of all of your important papers as well. An alternative would be to store all of this data on the cloud if you trust it.

Thanks, everyone, for your tips.  If you have a DIY project or a tip to share, email me at here.


Ready for some giveaways?  The following two giveaways are currently accepting entries.

RavPower 15W Solar Charger - Backdoor Survival

Gear Review: RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports + Giveaway

Rebellion in the Northwoods - Backdoor Survival

BDS Book Festival 7: Rebellion in the Northwoods + Giveaway

Remember, 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.

ESSENTIAL OILS: An Update on the Email Course

Many of you have subscribed to the Backdoor Survival special interest list on essential oils.  If so, you have received “Lesson #1” in my email course.  I really do need to apologize for the delay in getting lesson #2 out to you.  There have been some bumps in the road, not with the lesson itself, but with my own schedule.  All I can say is that it is coming, I promise.

In this next lesson, I talk about the various methods you can use to apply essential oils so it is an important one.  By the way, you can sign up for this list at any time at by subscribing and checking the box on this form:  Subscribe to Updates.

Or, if you are an existing subscriber, you can return to the signup form, enter your email address and other required fields, then submits the form.   If you are already on the list, a message will appear giving you an opportunity to update your profile.  I realize this is a lot of steps but this is required in order to ensure the security of your profile.

Speaking of essential oils, the current Oil of the Month is Peppermint.  This is a great time to sign up and not only get a 15ML bottle of Peppermint essential oil for $15.99 but get free shipping too!

Spark Naturals Oil of the Month Club

You may also purchase Peppermint directly – use code BACKDOORSURVIVAL for 10% off your order.


I realize that I have sent out multiple emails regarding last week’s Emergency Water webinar but the topic was important and the information fantastic!  That said, you have until midnight tonight to listen to a replay. You can do so using this link: WATCH THIS LAST CHANCE VIDEO REPLAY.


That about wraps things up for this week.  My never-ending to-do list beckons so I am going to sign off for now.  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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Almost Free:  How many times do you swap out batteries in your devices?  By using this “almost free” battery tester, you can toss our (recycle or recharge) only the used up batteries since often time, only one of the two or three you are replacing is bad.


SE – Battery Tester (Tests Batteries From AAA AA C D 9V)

Bargain Bin:  Today I have a mixed bag of some of my favorite items, including the battery tester shown above.

Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High-Resolution Display with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi: After resisting for eons, I broke down and purchased a Kindle and am now browbeating myself for not doing so sooner.  Technology has come a long way since purchasing my old Sony eBook reader (which was 3 times the price).  If you have a special birthday coming up, request the Kindle Paperwhite.  It is fantastic!

MAGLITE Heavy-Duty 4-D Cell Flashlight: This is a classic and I own two.  I am dusting them off and keeping them in good shape because they should be EMP proof.  They are heavy enough to use as weapons.

Kershaw OSO Sweet Knife:  You can’t beat a Kershaw knife for quality at a reasonable price point.  Typically, this knife will become your favorite for everyday carry.  And that includes the ladies, too.

Tac Force TF-705BK Tactical Assisted Opening Folding Knife 4.5-Inch Closed: This is a great knife that is bargain priced.  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 can recommend it.  See my review The Inexpensive Tac-Force Speedster Outdoor Knife.

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.

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7 Responses to “The Survival Buzz #159”

  1. This week my preps were inspired by something I recently read in the Persied Collapse series. While the family was in quarantine they celebrated a holiday. They didn’t have the main part that most of us think of for this holiday. So I got to thinking about if we had to live for a whole year off of nothing but our preps, how would that change our traditional holiday meals. It is important to me for my family to keep up moral so I wrote down all the special days that we have a special meal. Then I did what I could to closely imitate it with stored food. Example: what would the 4th of July be without hotdogs? or Thanks giving be without turkey. So this week I canned some jars of hot dogs and turkey breast. There were some others that I wont bore you all with the details but I now feel that if we had to celebrate any of the days special to us, we would have the comfort of semi-familiar foods to keep up our spirits.

  2. Thanks for the chance to win the book. I need more info on prepping.

  3. I bought 2 of the battery testers several weeks ago….they work great

  4. This week I learned what bulging cans look like. Sometimes they are not easy to spot (I always thought they were). Sometimes, they bulge just_ever_so_slightly, enough you might have to ask another person for their opinion.
    [Note to self: If you have to ask…”]

    As a result, so far, my personal gauge for canned goods with tomatoes in them is roughly one year past the best buy date. I might use one older than that, but the ‘Beware Meter’ better be on Full Power.

  5. Gayle: Sorry to bother you. This is the only place that I can find to get a hold of you. A couple of fast questions.
    Where can I get a hold of you other than this place?
    Ref: rafflecopter. When I click on the items listed, is that all I have to do to get entered? There is no “enter” button or anything else to click on to send my choices to rafflecopter. I’d like to get this figured out.

    Thanks, Dennis

    • There are drop down boxes for each option – see the arrow on the right. Within each option, there will be additional information. On the “leave a comment” option, you need to check the box saying you left a comment. Of course, you need to do that, too.

      Each option has its own requirement so you will have to check them out one by one. If you are not seeing the options, try a different computer since the one you are using may be blocking them for some reason. Also, make sure you have signed into the Rafflecopter itself using your email address or Facebook account.

      This page has instructions for contacting me via email: //

  6. I sent away for some blueberries I can grow in a large container on my patio. Like you, I have very little space for growing things, even with a big backyard. We live on a hill, and our backyard slopes so badly, we can’t use it, and it floods easily. so I grow everything in containers. Emptied out my pantry to figure out what I have, and now I’m filling it back up again. Other than that, not much this week.


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