The Survival Buzz #164

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Updated Jul 4, 2019 (Orig - Apr 11, 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.

I don’t know about you, but I am feeling a tremendous sense of accomplishment this week.  First and foremost, I continued studying for the upcoming HAM radio tech license exam next Saturday.  Plus, to get in the spirit of things, I attended a local ARRL chapter meeting.  Straight out, I put myself on the line, and told the members I was going to pass the test next week.  I then asked for their help in coaching me to become proficient at emergency communications.

To further support my HAM radio efforts, George delivered part 2 of the series on how to set up those darn Baofeng radios so I hope to get that wrapped up and posted this week.

Fantastic Garden Trellis From Scraps - Backdoor Survival

For my teeny tiny, shady garden, Shelly built an awesome garden trellis for me mostly from scraps.  I was able to get some snap peas into the ground along with more lettuce and a thyme plant.  Let’s see how they do and if I can avoid them from becoming deer and snail food. (Sluggo works great for snails and slugs plus it is safe to use around food.)

Here is what Shelly had to say about the trellis:

I built this trellis for Gaye’s snap peas from items I had already but everything is available at your local hardware store. The trellis frame is made from metal conduit and I used small galvanized elbows at the joints securing them with good old duct tape.

Oops I did buy the netting (Ross trellis netting). I attached the netting to the frame using small zip ties. Well that’s it.  Gaye is very happy so I am satisfied.

Shelly aka: Survival Husband

More preps included:

I made a batch of Miracle Healing Salve and some Psoriasis Buster.  Shelly has been using the Psoriasis Buster for a year and at most has had just a minor flare-up.  I need to write that one up for you soon.

I also made up a large batch of DIY Biscuit Mix (Utah Mix) and some DIY Makeup Remover Pads.  I am enamored with making my own stuff and wish I could spend more time testing out DIY recipes.

Purchase wise, I finally broke down an bought a new Sun Shower (also called a “camp shower”) since as much as I have looked, I can not find the two I already own.  I really could have used them when our water was out a few months back.

There continues to be a lot of blogs related things happening behind the scenes.  Some good and some a downright nuisance.  There are days that I wish I could just sit down and write for you instead of fretting about traffic, SEO, social media, hackers, and content thieves.  Things in blogger-land were so much simpler when I started out back in 2010!

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

Update on the AeroGarden

Speaking of gardens, I thought you might enjoy another peek at my Aerogarden.  I harvest herbs almost daily and they seem to grow back right in front of my own eyes.  Imagine how awesome this will be for growing fresh lettuce in the middle of winter?

Backdoor Survival Mail Bag & Reader Tips

Here is a tip from Wanda V.

In the event of a power outage you can still dehydrate your bounty.

If you have windows with nylon screens on them. Pull a couple screens off, wash them up good and spread food out that you want to dry. And place in your car on a warm sunny day.

Check often until you get the hang of it and you may need to crack the window a bit to keep it from getting to hot in there. Something worth trying ahead of time so you have an idea how it works before you need to use it for real.

Current Giveaways

I skipped the Friday giveaway this week.  Long story but no matter; stuff happens.  On the other hand, this week’s Book Festival entry is fantastic so you will definitely want to get in on this one.

Prepper Book Festival 8: Preppers Financial Guide + 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.

Other Announcements

I will be sending out an email about this but wanted to give you a heads up so you can start thinking about it.  It is evident to me that the readers of this blog are interested in what is commonly called “best practices”.   Best practices, in simplistic terms, are tried and true methodologies for getting something done.

From a prepping perspective, it is through the sharing of best practices that we can learn from each other and grow our skill set and knowledge base.

And so I ask:

Do you know how to do something that might be of interest to me and the rest of the Backdoor Survival family?  If so, I want to hear from you!  I would love to share your tips and techniques, with photos if you have them.  You can contact me via email by clicking here.

If you are a subscriber (and if not, why not?) watch for additional details soon.

The Final Word

As I wrap things up this week, I am thinking that perhaps I might have donned my teasing hat this week.

Ladies, I was initially not planning to post the “recipe” for DIY  makeup remover pads.  On the other hand, they are so easy, so wonderful, and so very cheap to make that if you let me know of your interest via comments, I will post the recipe in the Buzz next week. Promise.  (And to heck with the fact that they are not prepping related!)

It is cram-time this week so other than blog posts, not much is going to get done. But what about you?  What did you do to prep this week and what plans do you have for next 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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Spotlight Item:   BaoFeng UV5R Dual-Band Two-Way Radio

I own two of these.  Something to keep in mind that if you are just planning to listen, you do not need a license.  Still, it is a good idea because it will make understanding the technical aspects of HAM radio a whole lot easier.

Special Note:  BaoFeng and Pofung radios are one and the same.  Newer units are branded with “Pofung”.  Here is the Pofung UV-5R.

Here are some items related to today’s article plus a couple of other favorites.

Ross 12-Foot x 6-Foot Trellis Netting: We have always used trellis material that is string-like.  It is tough to work with and only lasts one season.  This seems to be a lot stronger and it is definitely a lot easier to form against our trellis frame.  The price is excellent, too.

Seattle Sports Camp Shower: After reading a ton of reviews, this is the solar shower I settled on.  Darn, though, I had two left over from my boating days that have gone missing in action.  Still, I am anxious to give this one a try.  I know from experience that a solar shower can get quite hot and deliver a decent shower when there is no running water.

Monterey Sluggo Snail & Slug Control For Organic Gardening: Sluggo does not help with the deer but this is the only thing I will use to deter slugs and snails.  It works.

The No-Nonsense, Technician Class License Study Guide:  Dan Romanchik’s guide is available for free – you can read it online or download it and save it to your computer.  For $7.99, you can also purchase a version for the Kindle: The No-Nonsense Technician Class License Study Guide for Tests starting July 1, 2014.

Miracle-Gro AeroGarden 7-Pod Indoor Garden:  With an Aero Garden, you can grow herbs, vegetables and flowers indoors year round.  Here is a picture of mine.

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, with free shipping.  Batteries are included.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter:  Too large for a pocket kit but important to have with you is the Lifestraw Personal Water Filter.  At only 2 ounces (in weight), the LifeStraw is suitable for a backpack or bug out bag.  It is easy to use and requires no chemicals to remove a  minimum of 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria.

Shoe Goo: The shoes we repaired are still going strong.  This stuff is great and I recommend it for your emergency kit. This stuff will repair, boots, shoes, gloves, broken heels and a whole lot more.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Daily & Monthly Sales for Fantastic Deals!

The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 45% off sometimes a bit more.

Every family should have at least one Tote-able Toilet.  I have priced purchasing the bucket and toilet seat lid separately and found that it was more economical to pick up this kit.  I have filled my portable potty with sanitation supplies plus, of course, plenty of TP.

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!


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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
Published Apr 11, 2015

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19 Responses to “The Survival Buzz #164”

  1. I would be interested in your method of making the make up remover pads. Thank you for your many thoughtful and helpful posts .

  2. I would be very interested in your psoriasis buster. It may also work for the seborrheic dermatitis on my face. Thanks for your great blog.

    • The formula we use is actually in two parts, one of which may be too “hot” for your face. Let me play with it for a few days; Shelly has been using it on a brownish dry patch that appeared above his eye. The doc says it is “old age” so we are dabbing the psoriasis buster on it and it has shrunk quite a bit in just two weeks. But, he says it burns. Otherwise, all is good. Stay tuned.

  3. Dear Gaye, would you be interested in an article or even a series on what I will call Survival Kits? After much study and reflection, I believe that survival gear and supplies must start at the level of our own bodies, and that there are several levels to be covered between what we can attach to our bodies and an actual bug out bag.

    • I will contact you via email.

  4. Second of three ideas related to Best Practices. Action Plans for the moment when a severe crisis is first realized. For example, my husband would be in his office 30 minutes from me and 30 minutes closer to our bugout location. I would be in the apartment with the pets. Despite the fact that we could get separated for the foreseeable future, I believe my husband should head for the bugout location instead of returning to the apartment. I believe the survival of one is better than the survival of none. These are moral, personal, and logistic issues that each family needs to answer well in advance and plan for.

  5. I must confess, I have made makeup remover pads out of sanitary napkins. I am thru menopause but always see coupons for said items. I used a mason jar with Sea Breeze and cut them into 2×2 squares. They do the job, put some in your BOB and can be used for first aid cuts and abrasions.

    I had my first epic fail in scavenging this week, my neighbor has 4 unused huge flower pots sitting on his deck for 3 years, I went and asked him if I could use them for my tomato plants this year, he said he’s going to use them elsewhere. M-Kay.

    Wanda, great info!!!

    Gaye, good luck on the test! You’re Aero Garden looks fantastic, I’m trying to make one using a bin from the dollar store and a student desk lamp that has a vita light in it, will let you know how my homemade one turns out.

    • I will post my recipe next week. It will be a lot kinder to your face than Sea Breeze!

  6. Third idea for Best Practices. Plans for sanitation in a short or long term crisis are touched on around the internet but it is a very difficult subject and I believe the only way to handle it is through detailed planning and constructing of a solution. Especially for apartment dwellers or people without a yard. Perhaps the first step in the solution process is for families to discuss how they feel about addressing this squeamish issue. My husband just isn’t ready to get a solution in place, but I hope we can move toward it.

  7. Gaye, your garden is really coming along. It looks great.

  8. Gaye, I would be VERY interested in your “recipe” for psoriasis. I am frustrated by a breakout on one foot. I’d be grateful for a solution!! Thank you!!

  9. Should viney stuff on that trellis be blocking that vent?

    • Difficult to see from the picture but the trellis sits back from the neighbors house by about 8 inches. He is okay with it and, as a matter of fact, there was heavy shrubbery in this location before we pulled it out in favor of food garden.

      The area only gets four hours of sun per day so we are cautiously optimistic that something – anything – will grow.

  10. thanks for the laugh LOL Wanda’s tip brought back memories of when we lived on Whidbey Island in Washington. With the weather there, hot sunny days were often. We owned an AMC Pacer, we discovered it worked great as an additional dehydrator during harvest season. We also discovered solar cooking with it by accident. lol
    Wishing you success on your test. 🙂
    Am working on some salves this week. Plus I joined 2 groups, one a coop so we can get together and order large amounts of bulk items and share the work of distributing it. #2 I signed up with some gardening and farming groups to make contact as potential preppers and/or groups while buying farm fresh produce and maybe–will see what the future brings.

  11. Congratulations on your endeavour to obtain your amateur radio license. Please add to the educational affort the cessation of the use of “HAM”. It is not an acronym, thus isn’t capitalized. It’s a quick way to tell those who are, from those who aren’t. In 40 years of licensure, I’ve never seen it used as “HAM” by someone who was actually an amateur radio operator.

    Best wishes on getting our ticket!

    • Thanks for letting me know. I am very surprised no one has mentioned this before. Jeesh, I feel like such newbie.

  12. Sorry, typo.

    Best wishes on getting YOUR ticket!

  13. That’s interesting. My dad was a “ham” radio operator for over 65 years and that’s what he and his instructors called it.
    Gaye, Good Luck, I know you’ll do well.

  14. I found this site and wanted to share with everyone. Of course we grow according to what we eat and grains, fruits, nuts and berries aren’t listed but this sure gives a great guideline. //


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