The Survival Buzz #172

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jul 1, 2019
We are a reader supported blog and this page may contain affiliate links. When you buy something through our links we may earn a small commission.

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

As much as I hate to admit it, I tend to have senior moments and forget what I have done during the course of the week.  This week, however, I had a constant reminder of a last Sunday’s project that involved putting together an “Earth Tower”.  You might be wondering, what is an Earth Tower.

Survival Buzz Earth Tower Gardening - Backdoor Survival

I will be writing about the Earth Tower more down the road but essentially, it is a 4 foot tower garden on wheels that is designed to produce an abundant bounty of vegetables, herbs, berries, and flowers in only two square feet.  Shelly and I spent a few hours putting it together than filling in with an organic potting soil.

Therein lies the problem.  I did the mixing and filling of the soil-less potting mix.  There was really nothing wrong with mix and it was OMNI approved but after going through all of the effort, I was unhappy with the amount of bark it contained.  It looked more like mulch that potting mix.  Yuck.

So out it went and somehow, during the ordeal, a spider or two or three paid a visit and I ended up with over a dozen bites.  These became large welts and  itched like crazy!  I was able to calm them down with some lavender essential oil layered with my DIY Miracle Salve and that took away the itch.  Now, almost a week later, the welts are fading.  Thankfully.

My project for this weekend is to start all over with a different mix combined with some vermiculite to lighten it up.  In addition, since it is too late to get any sort of crop going with seeds, I will pick up some starts in town and hope to heck it is not too late to get something going.

Other than that, this week I continued to sort my first aid supplies into portable kits housed in individual ammo cans.  I am finding that ammo cans work perfectly; they are tall enough to hold bottles of antiseptic and alcohol yet have plenty of space for bandages, masks, and other supplies.  I like the idea of multiple kits serving different purposes.  So far I have started a Home Kit, Vehicle Kit, Trauma Kit, and Pandemic Kit.

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

Backdoor Survival Mail Bag

Last month, the following comment came in from Pat and after responding online, I thought the rest of you might be interested as well.

Gaye, I am concerned that the thread thru the replies at least hint that everyone is prepping for a natural bad storm like some experience most winters, or others face in the spring tornado season.

Over the years I have read your work I have felt you are preparing for a fare more serious and long term event. I don’t know if the story of the orchestra continued to play while the titanic sank is true, but it seems we may be doing something similar, will you please comment.

Here is my response.

To be perfectly honest, I feel that I am personally well-prepped for an act of nature. The consequences of an earthquake or tsunami or extended power outage in my area may not be pleasant, but I feel that I can handle the stress and put my mental and physical preps on autopilot if something like that were to happen.

You are correct that I prep for a much more devastating and universal disruptive event. The global economy is quite fragile and some time, somewhere, we just might be blind sighted by a cyber-attack including a man-made EMP or terrorist event. Am I am prepped for that? Not really.

Yes, I can live off grid, but like many, I have become so dependent upon technology as a way of life that I cannot begin to fathom the consequences.

Doing the best we can is all we can do. Heck, given my age, something like this may not happen in my lifetime. I can only hope that through my work, the younger generations will get wise to the ways of the world, and prepare themselves for the possibility if not probability, that sometime within the next 20 years, life as we know it will change.

Does anyone else care to comment?  I would be interested in your thoughts.

Current Giveaways

Here are this week’s giveaways.

How To Get Ready for Hurricane Season + AquaPod Giveaway

Prepper Book Festival 8: Game Changer by Chris Bostic + Giveaway

With all giveaways, 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.

Replay Now Available: Sun Oven Webinar

For those of you that missed it, a replay of the Sun Oven Solar Cooking webinar held last week is now available for watching at your convenience.  Here is a link:

Backdoor Survival Sun Oven Webinar – Replay

In this webinar you will learn everything you need to know about using a solar oven, and the Sun Oven in particular.  Here are some of the topics covered:

  • How to harness the power of the sun to cook and dehydrate food, purify water, and be better prepared for emergencies
  • How a Sun Oven can help you never worry about burning dinner again
  • How to use a SUN OVEN to naturally dehydrate fruits and vegetables
  • How to reduce your utility bills while learning how to cook during hard times when normal fuel sources will be in short supply

At the very end of the presentation, there is a special discount offer on the Sun Oven using discount code BackdoorWebinar.  Be sure to watch for it.  You can view the details of this special promotion by clicking here.

Essential Oils: Deal of the Week

Spark Naturals in bringing back the “Items of the Week” Promotions.  I, for one, am happy to see that!  Here are this week’s specials.

20% Off Discount Code:  BACKDOORSURVIVAL
This is the sale you have been waiting for!Spark Naturals Anniversary Sale | Backdoor Survival

Other Announcements

This week I am thrilled to announce two new website sponsors.

Minutemen Cabinets builds and sells hidden gun cabinets. Their cabinets look like furniture and come in various sizes and finishes.

Polar Pure water purification crystals are unique in that they kill viruses.  Polar Pure is available and has an indefinite shelf life. Plus shipping is free for everyone, not just prime members.

I encourage you to visit all of the website sponsors shown.  It is fine companies such as this that keep Backdoor Survival 100% free for everyone!

The Final Word

We are having an incredible run of nice weather here in Western Washington.  I am so motivated by my garden this year.  I have six tomato plants in pots, plus snap peas, broccoli, and beets in the ground.  My oregano is taking over its garden space so I plan to harvest some now to dry for later.

And for the Earth Tower?  Tomorrow I will plant patio cucumbers, lettuce, and a handful of flowers.  I do love the sunshine!

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.

Top Prepper Websites Banner

Below you will find a selection of items related to today’s article plus some other recent reader favorites. Some are best sellers and others are  from the article Best Practices: The Every Day Carry Bag (EDC).  A great article, in case you missed it.

Earth Tower Vertical Garden: 4-sided Wooden Planter on Wheels:  So far I am impressed with my Earth Tower garden.  Even when filled with potting soil, it was easy to move around on my porch.  The real proof will be to see how my plants grow and thrive in my covered porch that only gets sun for 5 hours a day.

NOW Foods Essential Oils:  I use essential oils from Spark Naturals.  For healing purposes, I feel they are superior.  On the other hand, NOW Foods has decent essential oils at a budget price. Here are a few to get you started:  NOW Foods Rosemary Oil, NOW Foods Peppermint Oil, and Now Foods Lavender Oil.

Cobra Products 4-Way Sillcock Key:  This 4-way sillcock key has a 1/4″ , 9/32″, 5/16″ and 11/32″ stem to service most sillcocks in common use. It is durable, easy to use and has an attractive finish. Used to open and close sillcocks or spigots and made of durable steel construction.

The Friendly Swede Magnesium Alloy Emergency Easy Grip Fire Starter (2 Pack):  Fire starters are an essential piece of any survival/outdoor kit – waterproof, durable and easy to use as follows:

1. Scrape off black protective coating from fire starter rod
2. Prepare your tinder
3. Hold the striker at a 45° angle to the fire starter. Scrape striker hard and fast down the fire starter
4. Allow sparks to fall onto tinder

Dorcy Waterproof LED Flashlight with Carabineer Clip:  This is a floating waterproof flashlight that provides 55-lumens of light output and a 31-meter beam distance. I am a big fan of Dorcy products so this one is definitely going in my shopping cart as well.  Not that I need more flashlights!  Wait – you can never have too many!!

FordEx Group 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight:  FAVORITE! You know me and flashlights!  At the time of this writing, this one I red is with free shipping.  It is super mini sized, bright and waterproof.  Plus, it uses a single, standard AA sized battery.

mini Cree_0         

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.

Maximal Power battery charger from Amazon

Yes it really works, even under solar power.  Read about in this article: How to Recharge Alkaline Batteries.

Shop Emergency Essentials Sales for Fantastic Deals!

Emergency Essentials | Backdoor Survival

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). The price is $15.99 a month and includes shipping and tax. This is a great way to collect oils at a discounted price. Be sure to use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout.



[50% Off Flash Sale] Lifesaving Personal Water Filter

(Normally $20) $9.99 - 0.01 Micron, Ultralight, Portable 2,000L Capacity - Limited Quantity in Stock

Claim My Filter →

Updated Jul 1, 2019

Flash Sale | Water Filter
[50% Off Flash Sale] Lifesaving Personal Water FilterClaim My Filter →

7 Responses to “The Survival Buzz #172”

  1. I feel it doesn’t matter WHAT we prepare for; prepared is prepared! We recently had a financial setback & lived out of our “stores” for a month – food, toiletries, dog food, etc.It really eases the stress of those emergencies. My prep for the week? I volunteer @ a food bank that recently received a truckload of canned applesauce, more than we had storage for. They had every volunteer take home a case.My kids aren’t wild about applesauce so I dumped it in the crockpot, added sugar & spices & made 7 pints of apple butter. One of those jars is already empty!

  2. I don’t know the scenario we are preparing for, but under the circumstances, it pays to be prepared for a multitude of events in our near future.
    We have learned thru Gaye and others that think like we do that in times of crisis we may be of help to ourselves as well as others in the vicinity.
    Having a plan is a start, making a determined effort to apprise family members and friends of your initiative in prepping is up to you.
    I am retired and can spend the time to get my household in order and know that I love them so much, it’s worth any effort to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances beyond my control.

  3. Hello Gaye!! I have a list for home nursing kit and car kit if you want it. (HUGS)
    I appreciate your site and all the research you do.
    Comment on being prepared. I have been a widow for 30 years this year and I now live on SS. Growing a garden is just plain common sense. the major portion of vegetables in California and Texas are basically gone. Expect higher prices this fall. Medications & drugs are not safe. Anything can happen at any time. Planting fruit and berry bushes provide food over several years. They are a good sound investment. What if the banks take an extended holiday and close their doors? Have cupboards stocked is a wise investment along with developing skills such as sewing, crocheting, knitting, small engine repair, small animal husbandry, canning, wood cutting/burning, cutting hair, general fix it skills and most of all: COMMON SENSE!! Mechanics such as changing the oil or tire for your auto saves money. Electrical and plumbing skills can be a life saver. I teach myself by going on line to research and checking out DIY books. Stocking up on supplies for barter (101 Barter Items) is a good start. A car kit that is well stocked is a good investment. First aid supplies, grow your own herbs, learn how to grow potatoes and put together a home nursing kit. Just plain ‘ol wisdom. If the electricity goes off having candles and solar flash lights will make life easier. Elaine

  4. I agree that it really doesn’t matter what type of crisis or disaster we prepare for – it is important to be prepared so we and our families can survive at least in the short term.
    Since there has been no military action inside the US border for many years most people seem to have the attitude that it will never happen. That is just plain scary.
    Hopefully nothing serious will happen in my lifetime but I want to believe that should something serious occur I can at least help my family survive. Natural disaster or man made it doesn’t matter we need to be prepared to do as much as we can to help others and ourselves survive the crisis.
    Going back to things that were done years ago like hanging out the wash to dry, canning vegetables and meats, drying herbs and spices, and having the knowledge to repair and make things we need is important. Learn all you can now and pass those skills on to others. No one can have all the skills that are needed but if we know enough we can prove useful and find others who have the skills we do not.
    Thanks Gaye for all the wonderful knowledge you pass along. Panic is the number one killer in a disaster – if we are prepared we are less likely to panic and more likely to survive.

  5. We buy insurance on our house, our vehicles, our 4-wheelers, etc.; just on the chance that something might happen to them. Why would anyone not prepare for other unknown emergencies? It is just plain sense. Perhaps that explains why many miss it. 🙂

  6. I have been putting things away all my life. Due to my father losing his job when we were kids, Mom always had food in the house for us, thanks to her and Grandmother’s canning everything in site, LOL I just grew up with having a good supply of things ie food, water, etc. To make sure that one had “emergency” supplies or as Mom said “extras” on hand for the bad times. Hubs was the same way, his mother did the same, as his father was unemployed for stretches at a time. We were taught to wear out, use up, re-use what we had, put back for “rainy days”. How ever lately, I’ve stepped up the preps as situations and weather in the world seems to be getting worse and worse. Maybe I do worry too much as DaHubs says but when a family member did a complete 180 a couple of years ago and started to prep, where as they had been making fun of the survivalists, preppers,etc. Maybe I’m not so far out there after all.

  7. My take on prepping is that we should hope for the best but prepare for the worst. The worst scenarios that most people consider are an economic collapse, a natural disaster endemic to their particular region, a war, or a government action that will leave them on their own and without necessities for a limited time. Prepper sites are full of advice about surviving with solar power, batteries, and sometimes even electricity. But what about a worldwide cataclysm such as a pole shift or an ice age? If you do some serious research on weather everywhere and earth’s changing magnetic field, it looks like we are already in the beginning stages of a shift. Historical, geological, archeological, and astronomical evidence, along with ancient and modern prophecies, point to this scenario. The grid could be down for years; exploding volcanoes could darken the sky for years, as happened with Krakatoa; huge earthquakes could occur everywhere, not just on fault lines.
    What good would solar gadgets be if there’s no sunshine for an extended period of time? Rechargeable batteries would last no longer than regular batteries. Might a windmill (erected after the shift) be a better option? Would neatly stacked shelves of canned goods in mason jars survive the quakes? Probably not, so perhaps those jars should be cushioned in boxes.
    These are just a few questions to ask yourself. Things may not get that bad, but preppers should think about how people lived a few centuries ago and prepare for the possibility that we might be in the same situation. It’s not necessarily doom and gloom because civilizations thrived back then and we can do the same . . . IF we prepare.


Leave a Reply