The Survival Buzz #168

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jul 1, 2019

Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog. This is the week that was.  There is no other way to describe it. Things I had planned did not go right because of stupid mistakes. Thursday’s article was mistakenly scheduled for June, Friday’s article became Thursday’s article, and my weekly giveaway did not happen.  Being human, I started comparing this website to some others and became a bit depressed.  Where was I when everyone else had a website makeover?

The Survival Buzz Prepping Haul - Backdoor Survival On the positive side of the ledger, my garden is doing well, the herbs in my AeroGarden are taking over my kitchen, and I have some tomato plants ready to go into the ground.  I hiked over 15 miles this week and Tucker the Dog gave me Mother’s Day roses. Prepping wise, my red and silver Mini-Cree flashlights arrived.  How many do I now have?  A lot; I quit counting a long time ago.  Between those and my Blocklite’s, I am like a little kid in a candy store.  You can never have too many flashlights. Mr. UPS delivered a bunch of medical supplies for my new, as yet to put together, first aid kits, and a can of flat tire repair stuff for the Subaru.  I made fried rice from food storage but used a “dib of this” and “dab of that” method.  I will take measurements the next time so that I can share.  Who said survival food has to be dull and unhealthy? Fried Rice from Food Storage - Backdoor Survival So all in all, it has been a good week.

Current Giveaways

Because I messed up, I only had one giveaway this week.  Perhaps I will throw in an extra next week – you just never know.  A marathon some day soon?  That might work. The Garden Pool

Prepper Book Festival 8: The Garden Pool + 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 so please be patient.

Essential Oils: Tip of the Week

Annette asked:

Thanks for all your wonderful recipes and information on essential oils. I am just starting out on this exciting new journey and know absolutely nothing about essential oils so your articles are very helpful. I have noticed that many “recipes” call for 10, 20 even 30 drops of one or more essential oils. I have arthritis in my fingers and hands, and doubt that I would be able to control my fingers to dispense so many drops. Is there any way I could translate this to 1/4 tsp. or something similar that is easy for me to measure?

It never occurred to me that this might be a problem.  Here was my response:

As a general rule of thumb, 100 drops = 1 teaspoon. From there, you can work backwards. So, as an example, 30 drops would be about 1/3 teaspoon. This is not an exact science because droppers can vary as does the “thickness” of the oil itself. A few drops one way or another will not make a lot of difference. Often, less is more.

Speaking of essential oils, between now an May 10th, Spark Naturals is offering free shipping to the continental US on any size order.  If you are new to essential oils, this is a great opportunity to give them a try.  Perhaps a bottle of Lavender or Peppermint? Spark Naturals Free Shipping If you decide to place an order, however small, be sure to use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL for an additional 10% off your entire SN order.

The Final Word

Buried down here in the final word are some additional thoughts of a more personal nature. I am tired.  Blogging and prepping consumes every waking thought.  In addition, carrying a burden of truth and knowledge is exhausting.  Many of you know this, but for those of you that don’t, I am what is politely called a “senior citizen” and want to work on getting a PhD in goofing off.  At least a part-time PhD. So, just so you know, I may be lightening things up a bit and calling in some of my well-regarded colleagues to help out.  Nothing for sure but if I seem a bit edgy, now you know why. I know that everyone has their elbows up in garden dirt this week but I still want to hear about it.  What did you do to prep this week? Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation! Gaye 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. Top Prepper Websites Banner


The Survival Buzz Almost Free Department

Smart Lotionmaking: The Simple Guide to Making Luxurious Lotions, or How to Make Lotion from Scratch That’s Better Than You Buy and Costs You Less

There are lot of books on making your own lotions out there but none are better than this 99 cent eBook by my friend and neighbor Anne Watson.  Anne also has a wonderful book on Smart Soapmaking.

Here are some of the items mentioned today plus some favorites

Slime Quick Spare Tire Inflator:  All spare tire fix-its are not created equal.  Or so I learned.  Apparently some types coat the inside of the tire with some sort of goo that eliminates the tire from being repaired the proper way.  So, after consulting with the Subaru dealer and reading a lot of review, this is what I settled on.  Truly, you should always have a can of this or something similar in your car.

FordEx Group 7W 300LM Mini CREE LED Flashlight:  Did you see my two new flashlights in the photo?  For the first time in a long time, both the red and silver version of my favorite Mini Cree are with free shipping. Oh my gosh, I am so obsessed with flashlights that I just had to have two more!  If you haven’t tried these, please do.  You will not be disappointed.

blocklite flashlight Blocklite Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight: I first learned about Blocklites from a reader.  I am impressed with how long they will run on a single, 9V battery.  I now own 8 of these spread out in drawers, emergency kits, the car, everywhere.  This is my number one pick for a small, but effective flashlight. The Easy Way to Sharpen a Knife Without Spending a Lot of Money   Backdoor Survival 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. Very portable and easy to use. Alkaline Battery after recharging 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.

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!


Are You Interested in Essential Oils?

OOTM is a great value and shipping is free!
Spark Naturals Oil of the Month Club | Backdoor Survival

The Spark Naturals Oil of the Month Club is the best value out there –  all oils are 15ml bottles – shipped out to you once a month (on the same date you ordered the product).  Be sure to use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout.




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19 Responses to “The Survival Buzz #168”

  1. When I opened your page this morning and scrolled down to the pic of your prepping haul this week, I had to giggle a little as soon as I saw another flashlight!! We seem to suffer from the same illness…. Thou shall not leave a store without yet another flashlight! Hubby teases me that we should open a flashlight store as we have enough inventory to get started. Can never have enough!

    • Jody, we all suffer from the same illness. I thought I was the only one, maybe stemming from a fear of the dark. My wife says most people can not find a flashlight in their house, and we have a dozen of them by the front door.

    • I have two flashlights in every room in the house, and that’s just my walking around lights….I have a galvanized metal trash can aka faraday cage that has dozens of LED flashlights – hand crank with radio, battery operated, shake to charge, squeeze to charge, etc. Lots of kinds and all safely stored away in case of disaster. Cheap enough to buy them slowly over time and amass a nice collection now, before we need them.

      Oh, one of the flashlights by the front door, back door and at the head of the stairs are all the full size MagLite flashlights that can be used tactically if necessary. It’s a light, no it’s a club, actually it’s both. 😛

  2. Why not take weekends off?

    Everyone including the readers of blogs could use some down time to just relax, and not have to then catch up again during the week. I know I’d appreciate a weekend break from the many newsletters and blogs I follow.

  3. I know many thousands of people enjoy your content, your humor, and look forward to the next Survival Buzz in our emails! Rest and take care of yourself and feel better!

    • Thank you! These past few weeks I have made the Survival Buzz a bit more personal – more like the old style of blogging. Shelly and I were talking this morning about doing more lifestyle pieces and also more DIY that might transcend basic prepping. After all, how many times can a person write about food storage and fire starting?

    • Love that idea. Sharing our personal experiences are a great way to learn from others. Some have more experience in one area while others are experts in others. Would love to hear from more of the readers and their experiences too.
      Keep up the wonderful work on this – I am so grateful for Sharon directing me to your site. I love it and have learned a lot already.

  4. Gaye, do listen to what your body is telling you about slowing down. You present a better role model by keeping yourself well-rested, relaxed and in general good health, than by trying to work beyond your means. After all, isn’t that a major component of survival? I think it just might be.

  5. Gaye, I thought you might want to let your readers know that they have to do more that click on your emblem to vote for you. Once you do that and it takes you to the next page, there is a link that says click here to enter and once you do that then the vote registers and I think I voted for you about 4-5 times before they wouldn’t let me past the first link. Hope this helps and I hope you get a much needed rest.

  6. Hi Gaye!
    I live with a ‘flashlight’ person…we have quite a few ourselves, including some solar powered ones. Handy when the battery supply runs low!

    I do enjoy your articles…and love your more personal comments, too. Time to ‘lighten up’ a bit…the info is out there for all the basic prepper people. I’m glad you do get out to walk your dog…and maybe more ‘digging in the dirt’ will help you ground a bit and really get into communing with Mama Nature.

    I got into veggie gardening last year when I was 72…I had grown flowers for many years but growing veggies was ‘new to me’. Luckily, my partner, Steve has done it for a long time. We live in the Colorado mountains, in high desert, coming here 6 years ago from lush, humid Wisconsin. Boy, did we have a lot to learn! Keeping veggies safe from all types of critters (we live rural) including the gophers has been a challenge! We now have screened raise beds…the screening being at the bottom. Poor soil…so many bags of dirt and compost, etc. fill the beds. I learned many lessons the hard way last summer. Ove the winter, I purchased grow lights, heat mats and lots of seedling starter stuff to get my seedlings going early. They are doing so well that I’ve had to transplant many of them to bigger pots! Gardening is part of prepping, too…and with so much information online we should be thinking seriously about growing our food. Not that I don’t have dehydrated and freeze dried food stored away…did that several years ago.

    Taking time off is a must…and adding humor to our lives is also a must. Keeping our thoughts on an even keel takes a conscious effort. But worry is a waste of time in my book. Just taking time for ourselves makes a big difference in how we look at life. There is so much to share…yet we still must take some responsibility in looking after ‘me’. After all…’if mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy’!!!

  7. Oh, for heaven’s sake, Gaye, slow down. If you’re getting your feathers all flibberty-jibberty, it’s time to step back a bit. I, too, am a “senior citizen” (actually more like a crusty old curmudgeon) and the one thing I have learned is that this whole prepping thing should be more like an amble through the wild-wood than a motorcycle hill climb (all fuss, dust and racket with the possibility of reaching the top). After all, how many times has the world ended in the last, oh, half-century or so? What is the most likely effluent to hit your rotary air mover – based on past history? Prep for that and don’t fret an attack by killer tomatoes. Or Zombies. And as you are ambling, take the time to notice the colors and textures of that lichen growing next to the moss on that stump in the forest….

    So, take the weekends off. Post three times a week, if you want to, and spend the rest of the time with the people you love doing the things you want to do. Look, see and write about what you see; as a mid-westerner, I’d love to hear tales from the PNW, someplace I’ve never been.

    Remember that quality always trumps quantity, and of the forty-seven or so ways to light a fire, most of us will do good to remember two or three. Don’t need to learn a new way every time we visit you.

    Oh yes, and thank you for all of the hard work you put in here.


  8. You are bright light in all of our darkness of prepping…..I so appreciate all your work on experimenting with all the gadgets that someday may save our lives…..I think you are actually Wonder Woman or at least a little robot….you get so much done….it is time to take some time for yourself and not be so worn out and worried….thank you for your welcome comments and valued information…I started looking at several blogs but seem to always come to yours and it is my favorite…..

  9. Thank you for all the great articles and give-away’s. I usually access this (SHHH) at work as I am not on computer/laptop during the week end except to check emails. Due to a VERY bad family situation that started last year I have had to cut way back on the prep activities I had been doing. Right now I am feeling guilty that I haven’t been doing “enough” but some good friends(preppers) keep telling me I’m doing ok. You’re doing fine!! As one of my friends told me “It’s no good if all you’re doing is stewing about things. Stewing is for meat and veggies not for humans” That tickled my funny bone.

  10. In order to give my overworked husband a break, this morning I mowed the (large) back yard. First time on a riding mower in . . . oh, 40 years or so. He instructed me on its use, so there were no problems. It’s funny, though, how muscle memory from 40 years ago can take over – I kept trying to shift from forward to reverse or vice versa using my right hand, like my dad’s old riding mower. It’s just that THIS little yard tractor had it on the left side!

  11. Gaye, as someone who has followed your blog for a long time, or another way to put it from one senior to another, we know that prepping isn’t a race, slow and steady win the race, isn’t that the old saying? Yes we all know that something is coming in the near future but is it tomorrow, next week or next year? None of us know therefore if we keep prepping at brake neck speed we would suffer burn out. We can not afford for that to happen, none of us. Slow down, take it easy, spend some time with Shelly and enjoy life. I am not saying stop prepping altogether by any means. On the days or weeks that nothing works right do a rerun on an earlier posting. Your true sub’s will understand and be here waiting or you when you return. And just so you know I love your blog just the way it is, the sites that change their style often is using lacking on content. You have no worries in that area. I don’t often comment but I always read your posting but not always on the day it arrives. Have you thought about doing it 2 or 3 days a week instead of everyday or every weekday? How about once a week? I am trying to get you not to burn out, you are showing early signs of that very thing. From one ole gal to another we are doing all that we can, don’t forget to slow down and smell the rose’s once in awhile.

  12. Dear Gaye, I’m thrilled to hear about your kitchen garden taking over. And we all understand that you are burning out. You have the best blog on the Internet and that doesn’t happen without a lot of really hard work and constant networking. Just want you to take a summer break!
    I just ordered the pocket knife sharpener. Each day I ask myself, what if I had to bug out from my car into the woods RIGHT NOW? Well, I need my tall rubber boots, summer hat, wool blanket, camo tarp, gun, ammo, crank radio and solar battery charger, more food, another couple empty bottles, small cast iron pan, stainless pot with lid. I have ALL those things, just not in the car, and not in one place in the house.

    Next, what items do I need to make or buy if I were bugging out RIGHT NOW? I need to get going on my home made survival fishing kits and snares. And I’m determined to take salt, honey, and coconut oil with me. Need to buy those. Overall I’m in pretty good shape since I shifted the focus from hunkering down to bugging out since moving to the city.

  13. Just wanted to take a moment to thank you for all your hard work. I’m fairly new to the community, and thankfully found your site quickly. I return almost daily for your wisdom and good sense. I know helping others can be a thankless job, but I thank you.

  14. I can’t keep up to your posting! Weekly is too much !! I would be grateful if you would reduce postings to once every 2 weeks. That would help us both, also it might give you more time to enjoy your life as well as have an ever better web site. (more time to think about what you are going to list for us) If you burn yourself out, we will both suffer. Please don’t do that!!!! Every other week…….plenty!

  15. All the prepping in the world is not going to help anyone if they are so worn out from doing all the prep work that they can’t enjoy the life they are living now.
    Take time off and like some suggested limit the blogging to three times a week or just twice a week if you want. We are all getting older and need time to recoup and reorganize some times. Family and personal time must come first or why are you prepping in the first place? You want to be able to help your family and yourselves survive, right? Then enjoy this time and look toward the future with a smile not dread.


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