The Survival Buzz #162

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Updated Nov 6, 2016 (Orig - Mar 28, 2015)



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

How was your week?  I have been busy with a capital “B” in an attempt to complete my many half started projects.  Many of these projects were blog related as I needed to clean up some behind the scenes hosting and performance issues.

Learn to clean your essential oil diffuser - Backdoor Survival

On the prepping side, one task that was long overdue was cleaning my three diffusers.  Just looking inside them was creepy in that small concentrations of dried up oils were crusted around the various orifices that allow them to operate at peak performance.

For those of you that may not be familiar, a diffuser is a device that is used to disperse essential oils in the air. Depending on the oils you use, inhaling the suspended molecules can affect your health, foster a sense of calm, cleanse the air of odors, and may improve respiration and breathing. I am convinced that diffusing Shield blend prevented me from getting a cold this winter.

Also, for those that have been following my article on controlling blood pressure, I am convinced that diffusing the my BP blend at night has helped tremendously.  Not only that, it has had the added bonus, totally unexpected, of allowing me to sleep longer without as many nocturnal runs to the potty as usual. Okay. TMI.  Instructions for cleaning a diffuser are below.

A number of purchases arrived this week including a mini hacksaw for the portable tool kit article I am working on and my Survival Still.  Tomorrow I plan on using the Survival Still to create drinkable water from sea water.  That, for me, will become a game changer in terms of always having water available following a disaster.  I had no idea I could desalinate water so easily.

Out in the garden, my lettuce seeds are starting to sprout.  You might recall that as an experiment, I planted the seeds when it was still very cold outside.  My thought was that they would sprout when they were good and ready (just like the volunteers that come up year after year) and sure enough, they did.

Last but not least for this week, is that I got serious about losing those few stubborn pounds that refuse to go away.  There is no real magic to what I am doing other than cut out breads and starches for a few weeks and increase the tempo of my daily hike with Tucker the Dog.

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

Update on the AeroGarden

A picture says it all.  This is the AeroGarden on day #28.

Aerogarden - Day #28 - Backdoor Survival

I have been snipping cilantro daily and using it in salads and on my veggies.  It seems to be growing an inch a day; I cut it down and the next day it has grown back.  If lettuce and tomatoes will grow this well I can only imagine the possibilities.  Still, I am exercising restraint since I do have an outdoor garden.  Not the best outdoor garden, but a garden none the less.

Backdoor Survival Mail Bag & Reader Tips

Speaking of the Survival Still, this came in from Jackie:

I also would like to thank you for the water webinar. I just got my distiller last night.

My great grandsons ages 2 and 4 and I had fun making dirty water that came off the top of the pool into something drinkable. The water not only was clean and drinkable it was a lot of fun and the kids got a good science lesson. Thank you again because no one else is telling us that the other methods of treating water although effective in some cases, could still kill us or make us very sick.

In case you missed the webinar, I am hoping to schedule a short-term replay in a month or two.  There is a ton of good information in the webinar and just a short promo talking about the Survival Still during the last ten minutes.

Current Giveaways

Here are this week’s giveaways.  One is a fantastic book on canning by my friend Daisy Luther and the other is a SunJack Waterproof Lightstick.

Gear Review: SunJack Waterproof Lightstick + Giveaway

Prepper Book Festival 8: The Organic Canner + 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: How Clean a Diffuser & Free Shipping Offer

Sometimes, it may appear that your diffuser is no longer working properly.  The usual symptom is that the output seems puny.  This will happen if there is a buildup of oil at the base of the water reservoir and at the top orifice (where the steam comes out).

To clean the water reservoir, first rinse it out with fresh water.  Wipe it dry then take a cotton swap and some rubbing alcohol and clean the base and any other internal areas that are discolored or have noticeable buildup.  Don’t forget the rim as well.  When done, wipe dry a 2nd time time.  Fill the reservoir with a small amount of alcohol and run the diffuser for 10 to 20 minutes.  Empty the reservoir and wipe dry a 3rd time.  Your diffuser should work like new again!


A few of you have sent me emails telling me that the 10% discount code at Spark Naturals did not work.  I followed up with Spark Naturals and they told me that this mainly happens when copying and pasting the coupon code.  Unintentionally, there may be a space in front of the code “BACKDOORSURVIVAL”, thus causing the error.

If this happens to you, try typing the code into the referral box instead.  Also, note that the code is not case-sensitive so “backdoorsurvival” (one word) works too.

Spark Naturals Free Shipping - Backdoor Survival

This information is timely because right now and through the weekend, Spark Naturals is offering free shipping on all orders (continental US only).  This is fantastic since many of the oils are only $5.99 to begin with.  This is a perfect opportunity to stock up on some accessories too.  I especially like the dropper caps, roller balls, and glass jars for salves.

>>> Remember to use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL for an additional 10% off your entire order <<<

Other Announcements

If you sometimes find that the content on your favorite blog seems outdated, pop on over to this article by my pal George Ure.  He will walk you through clearing out your computer cache (internet junk that is stored on your hard drive – supposedly make the experience better).  In addition, he talks about secure passwords with a link to where you can check to see how vulnerable you are to hackers.

Here is the article:  Coping: With Browsing Resets, Foiling Computer Thieves.

The Final Word

I spent some time this week looking at some gardening related Pinterest boards.  Holy moly!  There are a ton of good ideas out there.  To be honest, I felt a bit intimidated by it all (with all that there is to learn that is).  I suppose for now I should be satisfied that I am your prepping cheerleader as opposed to your gardening guru!

Speaking of gardening, have you signed up for the free Home Grown Food Summit yet?  Between that and studying for my HAM Radio Technician License, the first part of April is going to be busy.

So how 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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Bargain Bin:  Here is today’s pick of related items and Backdoor Survival reader favorites.

Diffusers:  I have three ZAQ diffusers.  The Dew, Mirage, and Noor.  I keep one in my office next to my desk, one in the bedroom and one in the bathroom. The diffuser pictured below is the ZAQ Dew Aromatherapy DiffuserYou can purchase diffusers at Amazon or at Spark Naturals so check your prices.

Note that purchases from Spark Naturals earn an additional 10% off when using code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout. 

Shoe Goo: The shoes we repaired are holding up well.  I accidently stepped in the water while testing the SunJack Lightstick and the repair held tight; no water leakage.  This is good stuff and it will repair, boots, shoes, gloves, broken heels and a whole lot more.

LE LED Headlamp, 18 White LED and 2 Red LED, 4 Brightness Levels:  This is a fantastic deal on a headlamp.  As of this writing, $6.99 with free shipping.  Batteries are included.

Miracle-Gro AeroGarden 7-Pod Indoor Garden:  With an Aero Garden, you can grow herbs, vegetables and flowers indoors year round. Mine is an herb garden and it is growing amazingly fast.


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.


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 a 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.

The Amazon Top Most Wished For and Best Selling Outdoor Items
Emergency Preparedness Items from
Shop Amazon Tactical – Great Selection of Optics, Knives, Cases, Equipment
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Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!




[FREE] 13-in-1 Paracord Survival Grenade

Firestarters, Fishing Equipment, Paracord, Knife and More - All Fitting Within the Palm of Your Hand

Get Free Kit →

Updated Nov 6, 2016
Published Mar 28, 2015

16 Responses to “The Survival Buzz #162”

  1. Good morning! I too received my Survival Still this week. I am quite impressed with the quality of the materials and pots. Well worth the money and then some! I have not tried it out yet as I came down with a nasty cold and fever…..and here I thought I had escaped the winter w/o getting anything. The snow is almost (notice the almost) gone here in the Pocono northeast and I can see the garden through my kitchen window calling me! I have big plans this year. That’s it from my end of the country.

  2. I ordered that book everyone has been talking about, “One Second After”, about a family trying to cope after an EMP hits. I also purchased three value packs of various sizes of batteries. If an EMP did hit, would batteries still work, or would they have to have been kept in a Faraday cage?

    • It is my understanding that batteries will still work provided they are not installed in an electronic device at the time the EMP hits.

  3. Thanks so much for the info about how to clean the diffuser! Mine is looking really bad. I will do this today! Thank you.

    • I may be wierd but I actually like the aroma of alcohol running in the diffuser. I have not researched whether this helps clean the air but it seems logical to me.

    • Will running alcohol through my diffuser make everyone that breaths it high as a kite? If so, then the question is Jack Daniels or Jim Beam???

  4. Do you offer the written information on the water webinar? Where I live and the internet that is available to me, I cannot watch webinars, you tube or anything like that.
    You have this still that you put the link to?

    • I am working on a blog post that summarizes the key points of the webinar and demonstrates how the distiller works. I am also working on a similar article showing how to safely bottle your own water for long term storage. No ETA yet but they will probably post within the next two weeks.

      (Yes, I do have the Survival Still although it just arrived and is still in the box.)

  5. This week I made homemade ‘healthy chocolates.’ It turned out ok,(I mean is was chocolate after all) but it didn’t have the same feeling on the tongue I am used to. It was easy enough but I’m going to keep tinkering with it. It’s not going to be exactly torture to dispose of the trial batches lol 😉 With ingredients like virgin coconut oil, organic honey, and cocoa powder, I really want to get this one perfected so that I can enjoy my biggest splurge item guilt free.

    • You may not get to that feel of chocolate you’re used. Remember there are emulsifiers and other chemicals which you may not want to eat, let alone be able to get once you have no way of getting them. As someone who has made chocolates, molds and all, it may be more about YOU getting used to new tastes as you experiment. Remember, when using raw honey, you can get different tastes by what season it is and where those bees get their pollen. 😉 My dad liked clover honey, I prefer fireweed and blackberry honey but will be experimenting with more as the bees do their thing this upcoming season. 🙂

    • Thanks Dee. I actually liked the flavor quite a lot. One issue was it seemed to not be mixing well. The ‘recipe’ I used was to melt the coconut oil, mix in the honey then stir in the cocoa with a pinch of salt and vanilla. Then pour into molds, then into the freezer to set up. When it went into freezer it appeared to be mixed well, but when I took it out the honey seemed to have separated in some places. If you have any advice for me I would surely welcome it. Thanks

  6. Talk about coincidence, I cleaned my diffuser the other day. I got my sparks order so I’m going to try the BP mix. I also got the citrus kit since it was on sale, so I can make some cleaner and make it smell good.

  7. I’m not sure I’ve asked this before, but anyone use a diffuser with EOs in place of a vaporizer for respiratory illnesses? I’ve been trying to figure out some solutions for those with asthma and COPD type breathing challenges in a disaster situation.

    So this week, I finally made all my knives sheaths. I’ve turned my kitchen knives that I keep in a butcher block upside down to keep the edges keener too. Now I’m working on learning how to keep my knives sharp, which also means taking the time to clean them after each use, then a buff to keep the nicks off. I’m doing the same with my scissors as well.

    I’ve also take remnant pieces of candles and made some fire wicks. Tried them out. They work better than lint/wax wicks while taking up less room in a carry bag of any size. Survival Expert Len McDougall Demonstrates How To Make Fire Wicks Tinder: //

    Also, I’m learning how to do this form of Hobo Stove. It seems it may burn better if/when I ever need one.
    How to Make a Hobo Stove: //

    O I also have found a website for buying pepper seeds from around the world. this will be my first time buy but I’m looking for peppers which do better in the Pacific Northwest.

  8. I save all my used and rancid kitchen cooking oils to make candles with to use for light as well as to use to cook with.

  9. I recently bought a ZAQ diffuser…I love it. The instructions said not to use lemon and other citrus oils. Is it ok to use the Shield blend even though it contains lemon?

  10. I use Shield in mine all of the time and have never had a problem. Just be mindful to wipe it out between uses and give it a good cleaning (as described in the article) every few weeks.

    Diffusing Shield is one of the best reasons for getting a diffuser!


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