The Survival Buzz #185: Some Weeks Are a Mixed Bag of Preps

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jul 1, 2019
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Every Friday afternoon, I sit down and write the Survival Buzz,  In doing so, I gather up all of scraps of paper where I have jotted down my accomplishments for the week and try to make some sense of them.  Some weeks I do a better job than others both in terms of accomplishments and how I put them together.  This week is one of those “not so good” weeks which, I am afraid, are becoming more frequent.

So what did I do to prep this week?  Not a lot but what I did do I will list for you.

When it comes to Preparedness & Prepping, some weeks are a mixed bag | Backdoor Survival

1.  First of all, thanks to all of the great feedback on the Ammo Can First Aid Kit article, I added 2 of those lightweight emergency blankets plus a small amount of paracord to my kit.

2.  I advocate keeping a supply of protein bars in all of your kits.  My personal favorite are Kashi bars but because I tend to purchase in quantity, I became concerned about shelf-life and storage.  I decided to give them a call and was told that whereas the stated “use by date” is 270 days from manufacture, in a low moisture, moderate temperature of 60 to 85 degrees, they will be good for double or triple that amount of time.

This was good news because I had planned on freezing half of my 35 bar box (my fav is Chocolate Almond & Sea Salt).  What I ended up doing is stuffing a bunch in a mason jar and sealing them with my Food Saver jar attachment.

3.  I packaged 50 pounds of white rice in buckets with gamma seals.  This time I did not put the rice in a Mylar bag first, although I did add a 1000 cc oxygen absorber.  I did, however, not this on the outside of the bucket so I do not open it up thinking I would pull out one of the many smaller bags of rice inside.

4.  Ditto a bag of dog food.

5.  I went salve crazy and took some Simple Salve and crafted small jars of various formulations, some new, some tried and true.

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

Mini Review: Bob’s Butt Wipes

Last week I mentioned that I received some flushable wipes for testing purposes.  The wipes, called Bob’s Butt Wipes, come in packets of 42 ensconced in a canister than can be hung from a branch in the outdoors or on a traditional TP holder.

I want to start by saying that because I am a DIY type of gal, I shun most disposables.  I rarely, for example, use paper towels.  Plus, I am wary of wipes because in my boating days, my VacuFlush marine head was clogged by a relative putting wipes down the toilet.  The repair bill was almost a thousand dollars.

Bob's Butt Wipes

So here is the deal:  I tried the wipes. There were definitely odor free (a good thing) and, umm, one wipe did the job.  Now pardon the language, but if you had “poopy butt”, chances are you would need two or three but compare that to the miles of TP you would use.  The other thing is that I opened the package of wipes, put it in its holder, and came back to it a week later.  The top wipe was still fresh and moist, not like those dried out baby wipes I had tried in the past.

I think the real advantage to these wipes is not using them in your home, but rather while in the outdoors where the facilities might be an outhouse or a tin can.  In addition, they would be very handy after a disaster when power, water, and sanitation systems may be compromised.

I like that they are alcohol free and unscented and that they appear to stay moist, even after opening.  So if wipes are your thing, these are a great option (you can purchase them here).  Plus, don’t you just love the quirky name?


Backdoor Survival Mail Bag & Reader Tips

Here is a useful tip from DMWalsh:

While I store water in both the original factory bottles and some 5 gallon containers, I also have coffee filters, a Berkey and a huge garden cart.

A garden cart? Yep, if I’m going to fill up 2 or 3 of those 5 gallon containers at the river about 1/3 of a mile down the road then I’m going to need a way to get them back to the house safely, so the oversized cart can easily make the trip as it’s rated for 400 pounds and has nice big tires for muddy river banks.

If you’re thinking about a Berkey, don’t forget to get some green scrubbies to make sure you get the most out of the black filters. I also bought some of the Black Berkey Primers to use on my replacement filters just to make sure I get the full flow rate.

And I saw someone mentioned pool shock – I just like to remind folks if you’re using pool shock to make sure you have protective gear when dealing with it, and please make sure you take care when working with it. It’s a great long term prepping item if handled properly. If handled the wrong way it can cause severe burns, blindness, fires, and death.

Read up on precautions, print out a copy of them and store a copy with the pool shock packages and personal protective gear.

And speaking of those large water bottles, consider this next tip.

Emergency Water:  How will you access your water?

When you store your water in large 5 gallon jugs (or even bigger containers) it is important to give some thought to how you will access that water without spilling it all over the place. Can you imagine trying to pour a glass of water from a 5 gallon container weighing more than 25 pounds?

On solution is a top-loading water dispenser. Although the bottom-loading ones are far easier to handle, particularly for someone who has limited strength or mobility, the top-loading dispensers require no pump and will work even when the power is out.  You don’t have to have a huge dispenser taking up space in your kitchen. These small, porcelain, countertop dispensers will do the job just fine, with the bonus that they can be completely immersed and washed, unlike the large electric standing dispensers.

You can also purchase 3-gallon jugs to reduce the weight that you’re hefting to the top of your dispenser. Don’t forget that while you may be strong now, physical prowess declines for everyone as time goes on.

Current Backdoor Survival Giveaway

This week’s giveaway is for a Luci EMRG inflatable solar light.  I know will want one of these plus there will be two winners.

Never Be In the Dark With The Awesome Luci EMRG Light + Giveaway

The Prepper Book Festival took a break this week but will be back again next Thursday.

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. 

Essential Oils: Deal of the Week

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Coming Soon to Backdoor Survival

There are a couple of upcoming events I want to share with you today.

First of all, on September 23rd  at 7PM Central, I will be hosting another Solar Cooking Webinar featuring Paul Munsen, the CEO of Sun Ovens International.  In this online event for Backdoor Survival readers and fans, find out how to harness the power of the sun to cook, dehydrate, purify water, and be better prepared for emergencies.

I will be sharing more information between now and then so mark your calendars so that you save the date.


Also coming up soon is the annual Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle event.  Some of you might remember this bundle from last year and the 2015 version plans to be even better.  There will be some great stuff in this bundle including fantastic books and eCourses on essential oils, natural remedies, and homesteading in place. All told, there will be over 90 resources cover these and many more topics.

Coming Soon Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle

If you want to be notified when the bundle becomes available, you can sign up now. As soon as I can, I will provide the specifics of the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle 2015.

The Final Word

I started out by saying that this week was kind of dud, prepping wise.  And you know what?  It makes no matter.  We all have lives to pursue and adventures just waiting to happen.  Sometimes we need to set preparedness aside and do things just for the heck of it.

Me?  I am getting ready to hit the road on a personal adventure that I just know is going to be a blast. For a couple of weeks I hope to set aside the garden (and the beets that were devoured by deer), housework, chores, and a bunch of other stuff I don’t even want to think about.

So what about you – what did you do to prep this week?  And do you have some grand adventure in your future?

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to email updates.  When you do, you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-Book, The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

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Here are the items related to today’s Survival Buzz.

Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets (Pack of 10): I do believe in helping my neighbors in the community so a supply of these will be handy to hand out to those in need. You will be surprised at how warm these will keep you. Be sure to test one out in advance so that you have the confidence to trust the blanket in an emergency.

Paracord Planet Type III Nylon Paracord:  An ideal all-around utility cord in the field, paracord is tough and long lasting. It is made from 550-pound test nylon and features a seven-strand core for maximum strength. Also, it is manufactured in the United States.  Note that some colors may be more expensive than others.  Need ideas? See 44 Really Cool Uses of Paracord for Survival.

Kashi Chocolate Almond & Sea Salt with Chia Chewy Granola Bars. 35 Bars:  At less than 60 cents a bar, these are great.  140 calories and 6 grams of protein; much better than a candy bar!

Mylar bags & Oxygen Absorbers: What I love about Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers is they protect against every single one of the food storage enemies. Prices do vary but for the most part, they are inexpensive and easy to keep on hand. And while you can seal them up with a FoodSaver, some tubing and a common clothes iron, I find it infinitely easier with a cheap hair straightening iron that you can pick up for very cheap.

Black Berkey Primer Gizmo:  Okay, that is my name for it.  This device makes back-flushing a Black Berkey Filter a cinch. Following a disaster, when you are depending on your filters for clean water, you may not have running water.  If you have a Berkey, you are going to want one of these inexpensive devices.  For more information, see The Survival Buzz #160: Maintaining Black Berkey Filters.

Now Foods Peaceful Sleep Oil Blend: This budget priced oil has done wonders for my sleep (thank you John R!).  It is a blend of Orange, Tangerine, Lavender, Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, and Sandalwood.  I am using 30 drops to 1 ounce of carrier oil.  My preference is BDS Simple Salve (that you can make yourself).  You could also try making a room spray by adding 30 drops to 1 oz. of witch hazel in a a spray bottle.

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.

A good value is the  Do It Yourself SuperPail Combo which includes 8 x 6-Gallon Buckets with Lids, 8 x Metallized Storage Bags and a 10-Pack of Large Oxygen Absorbers.  The combo is currently on sale for $84.95.

Do It Yourself SuperPail Combo

Don’t forget that you do not need fancy equipment to seal the metalized bag. A cheap hair iron will do the job.  Forget about a hose and a vacuum sealer. A $20 hair iron works great.

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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11 Responses to “The Survival Buzz #185: Some Weeks Are a Mixed Bag of Preps”

  1. I did not do much this week-read some articles on prepping.

  2. I washed a sleeping bag. On the tag it says not to wash it in a regular top loading washer but to use a front loading commercial type machine – Or – wash it in a bathtub.

    I didn’t want to spend money on this sleeping bag so I opted for the bathtub method, and just to know. It was more of a chore than I expected and a thoroughly soaked sleeping bag is much heavier than I anticipated. It took longer to air dry than I thought it would, too.

    The tag said to use powdered laundry detergent, all I had was liquid detergent, it seemed to do fine. I wonder why they recommend only to use powdered detergent?

    It would have been nice to have a six foot long table right next to the bathtub (ha. with a slide so I could drag that two ton heavy thing out of the tub) so I could wring out the excess water with a rolling pin, but I don’t have one, or the room next to a tub for one. I got it done none the less, a handful at a time. Now I know what it’s like to wash a sleeping bag by hand in a tub and I have a new found respect for all the people of the world who wash all their clothes by beating them against a rock in a river.

  3. Hi Gaye! I’ve missed several months of posts recently while Hubby and I have been working on our BOL Homestead. We just spent a week up there building garden beds using downed trees and branches (via Hugelkultur method). We also erected a permanent solar shower to help wash off the grime of long days working in the dirt. Our PV panel array was giving us fits, and despite being bright,sunny days, it never charged fully. Fortunately we had a back-up generator to power all the necessary electronics (yay portable AC unit!), but we will be making adjustments to our solar system in the next few weeks. It maybe a good lesson for everyone with a backup energy plan to give it a test run or two to shake out the bugs before the need arises for real.

    Take care and enjoy your upcoming adventure!

    • Welcome back! I had to look up the Hugelkultur method; very cool.

  4. Right now just decluttering the apartment deciding what stuff goes to the BOL and what gets sold at the end of summer yard sale. The free space lets us add to the water storage.

  5. last week I said I was looking for free tomatoes, this week I got some…40lb. And, as happy as I am about the free tomatoes, these did not go as far as I would have liked. I only got 6 pint jars of pasta sauce, 6 jars of crushed tomatoes and 5 jars of salsa. It really does take a lot of tomatoes to can enough for the year. this year my own tomato plants did not do so well. next year I will try AGAIN to plant enough plants to fill all my canning needs. I would like to a formula on how many acres of potatoes, corn and tomatoes etc that need to be planted so as to ensure enough yield from your crops to ‘put up’ have a good week everyone.

  6. “a formula on how many acres of…”

    Is there such a thing? Between: insects, disease, lack of nutrients, not enough water, too much water, too hot or too cold, wrong Ph… there’s no telling.
    How about: as much as you can? I’m guessing that’s how the free 40lbs. of tomatoes came about?
    Bumper crop of peaches and apples in my neck of the woods this year, but kohlrabi, forget about it, I couldn’t grow it, the expert down the road couldn’t get any to come up,… someone did though. Maybe it’s just luck?
    This weekend I saw the biggest and healthiest tomato plant I ever saw, growing on the shady side of a house, right next to an air-conditioning unit. It got watered twice a day.
    Chipmunks wiped me out of cherry tomatoes last year so I didn’t even try this year. Who knew chipmunks liked cherry tomatoes so much. They left little piles of peels here and there. I guess they don’t care for the peels.

  7. re: how many acres of…. ugh if only there were. last year I planted 5# of seed potatoes and had an amazing harvest of 50#! so this year I went wild and planted 20# of seed potatoes (same variety bought from same place) and the entire harvest was just about half of a five gallon bucket. 🙁 very sad.
    on a different note, I have been having wonderful success in my latest EO adventure. I have been hypothyroid for about 10 yrs but Rx was really poorly managing symptoms. then my latest labs showed an alarming sudden drop in function. I started experimenting with rubbing Frankincense oil on my throat in front of the location of the thyroid gland about three times a day. I had *VERY* noticeable results within hours. I actually had difficulty falling asleep the first couple of nights so I backed it down to twice a day. I sincerely hope this helps others suffering from this. My goal is to wean off Rx and be done with it permanently.

    • That is the thing with gardening. My experience in my limited space is similar. This year I had amazing tomatoes (I grow them in pots) but other years I am lucky to get one small bowl of a dozen or so.

      Did you use Frankincense neat or diluted? I may give this a try myself since even though my meds are a very low dose, it would be nice to not depend on them.

    • neat

  8. It seems that the grocery stores are running sales on Labor Day barbecue meats, and I was getting low on canned chicken. I canned 12 pints of chicken, 27 pints of chicken broth. With all that canning “stuff” out, I canned 7 quarts of pintos. I caught canning jars on sale at Rural King, so I bought another 8 dozen.
    I started a 12×12 hoop house. I’m about ready to put on the ends. I think I will try using hydroponics in it and grow winter greens.


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