Using a Wood Burning Stove to Cook Off Grid

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Using a Wood Burning Stove to Cook Off Grid Using a wood burning stove to cook off grid is not as easy as many people would think! Sure, anyone could start a fire in the stove, put food into a pot or pan and heat it up but would it taste good? Will it be …

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The post Using a Wood Burning Stove to Cook Off Grid appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Healing Herbs: What You Need to Know About Comfrey

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Healing Herbs Comfrey | Backdoor Survival

Late last year, I set up a poll asking about herbs. More specifically, I asked the question “Name herbs you would like to learn more about relative to wellness and healthcare”. There were close to one hundred responses with the clear leader being Comfrey.

What is Comfrey? How do you grow it? What is it used for? In this first of a series of articles on plants used for health and wellness, I share what I know along with what I have learned from Susan Perry, a practicing herbalist, educator, and master gardener who is also a Backdoor Survival reader. Learn about planting, growing, and harvesting comfrey, along with instructions for making a poultice, infusion and more.

The post Healing Herbs: What You Need to Know About Comfrey by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

16 Reasons Why a Second Great Depression Will Be Different

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16 Reasons Why a Second Great Depression Will Be Different | Backdoor Survival

It is no secret that prepper-types use the Great Depression as an example of what can and will happen when the stuff hits the fan. We do this because the possibility of a national or even a global economic collapse is something we prepare for.

Learning about life during the Great Depression has its value and the lessons we can learn will go a long way in helping us formulate our own plan for survival under such dire economic circumstances. That being said, life in the 21st century is much different than it was during the thirties. This makes it important to toss some modern realism into the mix. Here are both reasons and facts why a second Great Depression will be different the next time around.

The post 16 Reasons Why a Second Great Depression Will Be Different by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

DIY Miracle Healing Salve

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DIY Miracle Healing Salve Healing Salves have been used to treat wounds and promote healing on every continent and by every culture for thousands of years. Even in modern medicine, different types of salves are used to treat burns (aloe based gels), keep infection down and promote healing (antibacterial ointments), and correct skin conditions (eczema, psoriasis). …

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Storing Vegetables Without A Root Cellar

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Storing Vegetables Without A Root Cellar Most people think that if you don’t have a root cellar, you can’t store vegetables long term. That simply isn’t true! Each vegetable can be stored for longer than normal with just a few tweaks here and there, depending on which vegetables you want to store. You really don’t …

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Is Prepping a Monkey On Your Back?

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Is Prepping a Monkey On Your Back | Backdoor Survival

At one time or another, every prepper on the planet has asked themselves whether they have taken things too far. Has their passion for preparedness gone too far? Has it taken over daily life in such a way that every trip to the store involves scouting out that perfect something for when the poop hits the fan? How do you determine whether being prepared is an addiction, an obsession, a chore, or simply smart living? Has prepping become a monkey on your back?

The post Is Prepping a Monkey On Your Back? by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Catching, Cleaning, and Cooking Fish for Survival

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Catching Cleaning Cooking Fish for Survival | Backdoor Survival

When you think about being out in the woods, what do you envision as a staple meal? Do you see yourself sitting by the fire roasting some fresh venison on a spit? Maybe you live in an area with a great deal of waterfowl, and you can see yourself enjoying some roasted duck? What you imagine in your mind is probably in large part dictated by the environment you live in. Wherever you live, one food that should be on your list of wild food is freshly caught fish.

In this article, you will learn the basics of cooking, cleaning, and cooking fish in a survival situation.

The post Catching, Cleaning, and Cooking Fish for Survival by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

What Type of Prepper Are You?

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What Type of Prepper Are You | Backdoor Survival

When disaster strikes, a lot of things happen. There are people fleeing the area, people rushing into the area to help, people in shock who can’t figure out what to do, people who jump into action right away — and the list goes on. Everybody is different, and everybody reacts differently when put in a disaster situation.

Learning how to prepare for a disaster is an important thing to do, even if you don’t think it will happen to you. Some people may be born preppers, meaning they are constantly doing what they can to get ready for a disaster. Some people believe that nothing bad will happen to them, so they don’t bother. Here are some of the most common types of people during disaster situations and what you should know about them when preparing for or dealing with a tough and possibly dangerous situation.

The post What Type of Prepper Are You? by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Advanced Prepping: How to Survive a Fall Through the Ice

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How to Survive a Fall Through the Ice | Backdoor Survival

Let’s face it. There is a whole lot more to prepping than having plenty of water, food storage, medical supplies, and an arsenal of weapons to protect yourself and your property.

In this exclusive article from contributing author, Joe Alton, learn what you need to know to survive a fall through the ice. With a few easy to remember strategies and some basic items in your pack, you will not only escape safely but will also avoid hypothermia. I call this “advanced prepping”.

The post Advanced Prepping: How to Survive a Fall Through the Ice by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Survival Basics: 12 Tips for Families with Children

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Survival Basics: 12 Tips for Families with Children No matter how old you are, going through a disaster or emergency situation is scary. As adults, it is our duty to introduce children to preparedness activities at a young age. Doing so helps them to build critical thinking skills, practice survival techniques, and gain the confidence …

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The post Survival Basics: 12 Tips for Families with Children appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Be a Better Prepper With Camping!

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Be a Better Prepper With Camping! If you think about it, camping for a prepper is kind of a no brainer as far as training goes. Sadly, few ever take the opportunity to actually go camping for various reasons. Maybe they think they know it all already, or they can’t stand the idea of sleeping …

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Be My Valentine: Win a Diffuser and Essential Oils from Spark Naturals

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Win a Diffuser and Essential Oils from Spark Naturals | Backdoor Survival

I feel that every household should include a diffuser. So does my favorite essential oil company, Spark Naturals. When they contacted me late last week and asked if I would like to give away a Sirq Diffuser and the Winter Blend collection of essential oils, I said: “of course”.

Be my valentine and enter to win a fantastic diffuser plus a collection of essential oil diffuser blends!

The post Be My Valentine: Win a Diffuser and Essential Oils from Spark Naturals by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Getting Started With Straw Bale Gardening

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Getting Started With Straw Bale Gardening | Backdoor Survival

Gardening can be a huge hassle when you are first getting started. Not only do you need to find an optimal location with adequate sun, but you need prepared beds and decent soil conditioned with plenty of organic material. Preparing the beds is not difficult but it can take time and significant expense, especially if you are starting from scratch.

As a result of my recent move, I faced the prospect of building beds, bringing in soil, and doing the arduous work of getting my food garden ready for to go in time for spring time planting. All of this was complicated by my lack of familiarity with the area as well as need to assess fencing given the local wildlife. Luckily, serendipity stepped in and a long-time reader and author in her own right, Susan Perry, wrote to me about her great experience with a straw bale garden. I invited Susan to share her expertise with us, including the steps needed to get started.

The post Getting Started With Straw Bale Gardening by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Reasons to Learn Basic Morse Code

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Reasons to Learn Basic Morse Code Basic Morse code is not something many people know. Full Morse code is something even fewer people know. They may be able to recognize that it’s Morse, but have no clue what the message is saying. Few people are interested in something so rudimentary when it comes to communication …

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The post Reasons to Learn Basic Morse Code appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Books To Help Newbies Prepare

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Books To Help Newbies Prepare There are thousands of articles, posts, stories, and how-to books out there on just about any subject you could ever want to learn about. When it comes to being prepared though, the pool of information to pull from gets smaller. Even with a smaller pool, it can be hard to …

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Birch Essential Oil for Arthritis, Muscle and Joint Pain

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Birch Essential Oil for Arthritis, Muscle and Joint Pain & Survival The use of essential oils, extracts, and all parts of various plants and trees is an ancient practice for healing and easing ailments. Even the drinking of certain kinds of teas provide well established medicinal benefits that our bodies are made to work with. …

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The post Birch Essential Oil for Arthritis, Muscle and Joint Pain appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

How to Make Cold Pressed Aloe Vera Soap

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How to Make Cold Pressed Vegan Aloe Vera Soap | Backdoor Survival

Late last year I put out a call for topics that would enhance your ability to become self-sufficient. One of the topics that was suggested over and over again was step by step instructions for making soap from common ingredients that could be stored as part of our long-term preps.

As part of the Backdoor Survival “doing it my way” initiative, I put a call out to colleagues who had not only made soap themselves but were will to share their experience so we could learn ourselves. In this article, experienced prepper and soap-maker, Carmela Tyrell teaches us how to make cold pressed soap safely and easily using common ingredients plus gel from the Aloe Vera plant.

The post How to Make Cold Pressed Aloe Vera Soap by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Are You EMP Ready?

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Are You EMP Ready? An EMP (electromagnetic pulse) is just about the only disaster that can be both man made and nature made! If an EMP were to hit just right, you can kiss the entire system you grew up with goodbye. Movement of information, goods, and services would absolutely cease to function. Could you handle …

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Review: Be Prepared with the Archeer Jump Starter + Giveaway

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Be Prepared with the Archeer Jump Starter | Backdoor Survival

Most of the time when a vehicle will not start, it is due to a dead battery. This can happen at any time and it seems that the newer the car, the more likely this can happen. I know this from experience. We have a fairly new Subaru and unbeknownst to us, the battery stayed “hot” with the key in the ignition but turned to the off position. Until we figured this out, we had a vehicle that would not start at the most inopportune times.

As annoying as this situation can be, it is even more so in the winter months, when being stranded in a cold vehicle while waiting for help to arrive can be miserable. Today I present a solution, the Archeer Car Jump Starter & External Battery Emergency Kit. The compact device will not only jump start your battery but will also serve as a battery pack to charge your phone or tablet while on the go. This great little unit is compact and portable and I have one up for grabs in the latest Backdoor Survival giveaway.

The post Review: Be Prepared with the Archeer Jump Starter + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Animal Snaring For Survival

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Animal Snaring For Survival The hunting, trapping, and snaring of animals is something that goes back to truly ancient times. If not for these practices, the human race wouldn’t exist! We would have died off millennia ago! From a survival point of view, having these skills can literally save your life and make the difference …

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The post Animal Snaring For Survival appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

4 Tools to Cut and Chop Wood for Survival

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4 Tools to Cut and Chop Wood for Survival | Backdoor Survival

One of the basics of survival is having the ability to cut and chop wood. It is wood that will fuel the fires that keep us warm, boil our water, and cook our food. It seems simple enough, right? Grab your tool of choice, head outdoors and chop away. Alas, if it were only that easy. How many times have you gone to the garage or outdoors to the shed, only to be perplexed when it comes to choosing the best tool for cutting or chopping wood? Been there done that.

For this article I have reached out to experienced outdoorsman, Cody Assmann, to share his knowledge with those of us that have yet to select the perfect tool to meet our needs.

The post 4 Tools to Cut and Chop Wood for Survival by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Diffusers and You: What You Need to Know

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What You Need to Know About Diffusers | Backdoor Survival

Using a diffuser to dispense the healing qualities of essential oils is one of the easiest ways to become accustomed to their use. Say, for example, someone in your home is sick with a cold or flu. Adding 5 or 6 drops of an anti-microbial essential oil to a diffuser will allow the healing qualities of the oil to disperse and circulate around the room, benefiting all if its occupants.

Likewise, if you are having problems breathing, a few drops of an essential oil running in a diffuser can clear the nasal passages and allow you to breathe more easily, especially at night. If this sounds familiar to the old fashioned vaporizer our mother’s put in our rooms as kids, you are correct. The concept is the same but instead of breathing in a chemical cocktail invented by the OTC drug industry, you are breathing something plant based that is actually good for you.

In this article, I share with you some of the benefits of using an essential oil diffuser along with alternatives for those times when a diffuser is not available. I also suggest specific oils and blends to get you started. (Part 1 of a 2 part series).

The post Diffusers and You: What You Need to Know by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Review: Be Medically Prepared with a Gunshot & Bleeding Wound Kit + Giveaway

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Be Medically Prepared with a Gunshot & Bleeding Wound Kit | Backdoor Survival

Accidents do happen and we all need to be prepared for a medical emergency when help may not be on the way. It is my belief that everyone should have a kit that can control severe bleeding and my top choice is the Gunshot Wound Kit from Joe and Amy Alton’s Doom and Bloom Store. Today I will tell you about the kit and also, in a fantastic giveaway, offer both the kit and a copy of the book, The Survival Medicine Handbook, Third Edition, to one lucky reader of this article.

The post Review: Be Medically Prepared with a Gunshot & Bleeding Wound Kit + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Prepper Book Festival 13: The 299 Days Series by Glen Tate + Giveaway

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299 Days Series by Glen Tate | Backdoor Survival

The very first Prepper Book Festival occurred in 2012. Where has the time gone? In looking back, many of the books featured at that time have become a distant memory while others have become classics. One of the books that has withstood the test of time was the first book in the 299 Days Series by Glen Tate.

It seems like a fitting finale to this round of books is to feature the entire 299 Days Series. Now ten books strong, I have an encore interview with Glen plus a set of the first three books in the series to offer up as a giveaway.

The post Prepper Book Festival 13: The 299 Days Series by Glen Tate + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

12 Months of Prepping for Disruptive Events: EMP

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Preparing for an EMP | Backdoor Survival

Those of you who may be new to the world of prepping may not immediately think of EMPs when it comes to immediate threats. Instead, the top threats in your own mind might be a nuclear war, economic collapse, and the uncontrollable events that Mother Nature regularly throws our way.

Seasoned preppers, however, rank EMPs pretty high on the list of potentially disruptive events. For many, it is the number one threat. In this article, we will look at why that is, what they are, and what you can do to prepare for an EMP.

The post 12 Months of Prepping for Disruptive Events: EMP by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

How to Make Coffee Using a French Press + Giveaway

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How to Make Coffee Using a French Press | Backdoor Survival

If you are anything like me, you have a tough time facing the day without first imbibing on a robust cup of hot coffee. Can you imagine being in a survival situation, faced with the stress of a disruptive event, and not having your morning fix of java?
Although I say this somewhat tongue in cheek, the reality is that drinking coffee is a simple comfort that can bring pleasure when things are not going well.

With that in mind, over the past few months, I have been on a mission to create an excellent cup of coffee while using minimal effort and as little fuel from a heat source as possible. What I settled on was a French Press. Today I will show you how they work plus, in my usual style, offer one up for grabs in the first product giveaway of the year.

The post How to Make Coffee Using a French Press + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Prepper Book Festival: Heal Local 20 Essential Herbs for DIY Home Healthcare + Giveaway

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Heal Local 20 Essential Herbs for Home Healthcare | Backdoor Survival

Over the past few years, I have acquired a sizeable library of books and eBooks on natural remedies. Some are good but somewhat dry, boring, and overly technical. Others are fluff or simply a glorified blog post article. A select few are outstanding and today’s book is one of them.

Heal Local: 20 Essential Herbs for Do-it-Yourself Home Healthcare is one of those rare books that takes an overwhelming subject and breaks it down into manageable bites. The book begins with an extensive discussion of developing a local medicine community and the value of using healing herbs and plants that grow in our backyards. It then moves on to the ways you can put these herbs to use, whether as a tincture, oil infusion, steam pot, salve, bone broth, vinegar or any of a number of other methods that can be used administer herbs in emergency and first aid situations. Read the author interview then enter to win a copy of “Heal Local” for free.. Three copies are up for grabs!

The post Prepper Book Festival: Heal Local 20 Essential Herbs for DIY Home Healthcare + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

What You Need To Know About Animal Snares for Survival

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What You Need To Know About Animal Snares for Survival | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to long term survival under dire circumstances, many of us will need to step outside our personal comfort zone and use snares to trap animals for food. The thought of doing so is unpleasant to me personally, but if I had to do it I could and I would. This has led me to research animal snares and how best to use them in modern times.

To pull this together, I have collaborated with Cody Assmann, an experienced outdoorsman who has a lot of hands-on experience with this sort of thing. In this article you will learn that animal snares are an ancient tool that everyone interested in survival should become familiar with for SHTF purposes.

The post What You Need To Know About Animal Snares for Survival by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

10 Top Myths About Preventing a Cold

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10 Top Myths About Preventing a Cold | Backdoor Survival

Like the game of party line we played as kids, myths about colds and other short-term illnesses prevail. The reality is that the common cold is caused by a virus that is passed from person to person. They can occur anytime during the year and not just during what is commonly referred to as the “cold season”. So what are those myths? Contributing author Dr. Joe Alton is here to debunk them and to reinforce what I have always said: thoroughly washing your hands is one of the best ways to avoid sickness, including the common cold.

Warning: Some of these myths may surprise you. Who knew?

The post 10 Top Myths About Preventing a Cold by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Prepper Book Festival 13: Neighborhood Emergency Response Handbook + Giveaway

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Neighborhood Emergency Response Handbook | Backdoor Survival

One of the common laments of preppers is they feel they are a lone wolf. In their hearts and minds they know if there is a major emergency, stored preps will be handy, but in reality, it will take teamwork to survive. We are not talking about OPSEC here. Instead, we are talking about community preparedness where neighbors help neighbors to ensure that everyone gets out of harm’s way safely. The Neighborhood Emergency Response Handbook by Scott Finazzo is a book about community preparedness. It is a detailed guide to finding like-minded folks in your community that can band together to organize a disaster preparedness network.

Read an all-new interview with Scott plus enter to win a copy of his book for free.

The post Prepper Book Festival 13: Neighborhood Emergency Response Handbook + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Is Survival And Prepping Dead?

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Is Survival And Prepping Dead? Now that the elections are over, people are mostly done crying, ballots recounted, and life still going on, it seems there has been a shift in the preparedness community. Is prepping dead now? Was it just a passing fad of some sort, a temporary thing? It seems that people only think …

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The post Is Survival And Prepping Dead? appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

12 Disruptive Events to Prepare For This Year

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12 Disruptive Events to Prepare For This Year | Backdoor Survival

An important rule of prepping is to identify disruptive events that could happen to you. These events are likely to be highly individualized and based on location, domestic situation, age, income, health, and a number of other factors. There are, however, twelve disruptive events that are universal. These are the dire situations we should all prepare for in one way or another. Here is a list of those events along with a plan to learn about them.

The post 12 Disruptive Events to Prepare For This Year by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

How to Be a Prepper In 22 Words

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How to Be a Prepper in 22 Words | Backdoor Survival

It seems fitting that while things are a bit more relaxed, prepping wise, we take a few moments to reflect upon preparedness strategies that are universal. I have given this a lot of thought and found that the rules of prepping boil down to just a few simple words, twenty-two to be exact. Here, in simplistic terms, are four steps every prepper needs to adhere to in order to succeed.

The post How to Be a Prepper In 22 Words by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

How to Use Essential Oils to Relieve Sinus Congestion + Giveaway

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How to Use Essential Oils to Relieve Sinus Congestion | Backdoor Survival

A sinus infection is miserable. Technically called sinusitis, this is a common ailment that first appears to be symptomatic of a common cold but in reality, is the result of swollen and inflamed nasal cavities. It is often caused by a virus which means treating with antibiotics is useless. That is just one reason why it makes sense to know how to treat the symptoms of a sinus infection without running to the drugstore for an armload of drugs that either will not work or will make you drowsy and incidentally raise your blood pressure.

Over the past couple of months, a number of people around me have suffered from sinus congestion. Like a mad scientist on a mission, I started experimenting with essential oils and with the help of Valerie Worwood’s fantastic book on essential oils, came up with a formula that works. If you have sinus problems, here is a DIY remedy using budget-friendly essential oils along with three different ways to use the blend: topically, in a diffuser, and by simple inhalation.

The post How to Use Essential Oils to Relieve Sinus Congestion + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Teaching Kids The Prepper Mindset

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Teaching Kids The Prepper Mindset Teaching your kids to be able to take care of themselves using the resources around them is invaluable. A prepper mindset is something that has to be learned. While most of the modern world considers this to be getting a job and paying bills, preppers and homesteaders tend to look …

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The post Teaching Kids The Prepper Mindset appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Do You Think Prepping Has Died?

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Do You Think Prepping Has Died | Backdoor Survival

Shortly after the 2016 election, I read an article by one of my blogging colleagues titled “Is Prepping Dead?”. I felt so strongly about what she said that I shared her article throughout the social media, hoping that others would see it and continue their preparedness efforts. Now, one month later, I can confirm that I too am seeing signs that prepping, while not dead, has certainly slowed down. This seems odd to me since the likelihood of a disruptive event has not changed. It is as strong now as ever.

What are those signals and why should we continue to be prepared and to proudly call ourselves “Preppers”?

The post Do You Think Prepping Has Died? by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Are You A Prepper Activist?

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Are You A Prepper Activist? What is a prepper activist? Have you ever heard the term before? Does it bring images of sign bearing people walking in a picket line? Possibly, but not very likely. Most preppers don’t put themselves on display or draw too much attention to themselves. The term prepper activist was coined …

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The post Are You A Prepper Activist? appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

My Gift to You This Holiday Season

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My Gift to You This Holiday Season | Backdoor Survival

During this year of personal changes, this holiday season is especially meaningful. Always a time of reflection, this year, in particular, finds me particularly thankful as I look back at the amazing adventure that began a little over a year ago. Personal changes aside, one thing is for certain. The Backdoor Survival community is filled with awesomeness not only in spirit but also in resourcefulness and kindness. Because of that, this year, I knew I wanted to come up with something I could offer as a gift – something free with no strings attached. What I came up with is a free copy of my eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage.

The post My Gift to You This Holiday Season by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Prepper Book Festival 13: Aquaponic Gardening + Giveaway

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Prepper Book Festival Aquaponic Gardening | Backdoor Survival

Lately, you may have noticed a recurring theme here on Backdoor Survival. Gardening and food preservation are on my mind and for good reason. I now own an acre of land with a decent growing season and plenty of sun. I may even have room for a modest aquaponic gardening setup.

Today’s Prepper Book Festival title will help me do just that. Let me introduce you to Aquaponic Gardening: A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together. This book is going to show you how to raise vegetables and fish together when failure is not an option. Plus there is a giveaway with 3 books up for grabs!

The post Prepper Book Festival 13: Aquaponic Gardening + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

How to Store Vegetables Without a Root Cellar

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How to Store Vegetables Without a Root Cellar | Backdoor Survival

Anyone who loves to garden, especially those who wish to be able to provide wholesome foods for themselves and their families and live independently enough to survive economic or natural disasters will need to know what to do with all of the surplus from the summer. It’s great to be able to eat vegetables right out of the ground, but it is just as important to have good food all winter long. There are many methods of preservation.

The way you store each vegetable will depend on its needs and its hardiness. Here are ways to keep all of your produce, and especially the root vegetables, in great shape for the long winter months.

The post How to Store Vegetables Without a Root Cellar by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

7 Ways to Simplify Life and Move On

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7 Ways to Simplify Life and Move On Ever feel like you’re living in a cramped, cluttered space? Not only in the house, but in your head, too? I have and know how frustrating it can be. You’re stuck on all the little things that make up a larger whole and don’t know where to …

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The post 7 Ways to Simplify Life and Move On appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Frustration-Free Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply

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Frustration-Free Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply | Backdoor Survival

Shocking news! Building an emergency food supply can be one of the easiest activities on your prepping agenda. Now that I have your attention, let me explain. Consuming food is something every human on the planet does on a daily basis. The content of our daily diet may differ, along with the source and quantity of food, but we all eat. What that means is that we already understand the dynamic of shopping, storing, and preparing food.

What is left, in prepper-speak, is what at first appears to be an overwhelming task of acquiring food for storage purposes. The reality, however, is more like kicking your routine food acquisition plan up a notch. It really does not get more complicated than that. In this article, I will show you 10 crazy, simple strategies for building your food supply.

The post Frustration-Free Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Prepper Book Festival 13: Holding Their Own XII Copperheads + Giveaway for Books 1-3 in the Series

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Holding Their Own XII Copperheads | Backdoor Survival

Survival fiction is back in the forefront this week with an all new book in Joe Nobody’s Holding Their Own Series. This is book number twelve which is a testament to the popularity of not only this series, but of Joe himself.

This latest book, Holding Their Own XII: Copperheads, continues the trials and tribulations of Bishop, Terri, and their team, as they survive in a world gone sideways. As with the rest of the books in the series, the characters are real people, with emotions we can identify with.

The post Prepper Book Festival 13: Holding Their Own XII Copperheads + Giveaway for Books 1-3 in the Series by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

10 Steps To Increased Preparedness

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10 Steps To Increased Preparedness One of the biggest excuses people use for not prepping is that they are too busy (and then go back to texting for an hour). Others say they can’t afford it and still others say it’s no worth it. This is for all those naysayers who claim they want to be …

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The post 10 Steps To Increased Preparedness appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

11 Ways To Stay Sane When Hunkering In

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11 Ways To Stay Sane When Hunkering In Whether its because of some disaster or not, being stuck inside is enough to make a person go crazy! Add in kids to the mix and it can seem impossible to stay sane. Regardless of what causes you to stay inside, there are some tried and true activities that …

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The post 11 Ways To Stay Sane When Hunkering In appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

How to Make DIY Hand Sanitizer With Essential Oils

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How to Make DIY Hand Sanitizer With Essential Oils | Backdoor Survival

Hand sanitizers have their place in our lives, especially in the sick room where alcohol-based sanitizers rule. On the other hand, many hand sanitizers currently on the market deliver a chemical brew that results in a sticky, nasty mess along with ingredients such as triclosan and other anti-bacterial ingredients that are now suspected to contribute to the creation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Given that plant-based essential oils are some of the strongest antibacterial and anti-microbial substances around, I have chosen to make my own day-to-day hand sanitizer. I use this hand sanitizer to supplement good old fashioned hand washing with plenty of soap and water. This recipe uses 100% organic, cold-pressed Aloe vera gel, organic coconut oil, and a mix and match blend of essential oils.

The post How to Make DIY Hand Sanitizer With Essential Oils by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Cooking Off Grid With a Wood Burning Stove

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Cooking Off Grid With a Wood Burning Stove | Backdoor Survival

As much as I enjoy reading and learning about living off-grid, nothing interests me more than off-grid cooking using a wood burning stove. Sure, there are rocket stoves, and all sorts of grills available for use outdoors but it is a big, beautiful, antique-style wood-burning stove sitting in the kitchen that captures my imagination.

Alas, at present I do not have the space to add a full-sized wood burning stove to my modern kitchen. That does not preclude my desire to learn as much as I can about off-grid cooking using wood and biomass.

Today I am thrilled to bring us one step closer to learning our way around an off-grid kitchen.

The post Cooking Off Grid With a Wood Burning Stove by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Prepper Book Festival 13: The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide + Giveaway

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Preppers Water Survival Guide | Backdoor Survival

Water is on my mind this week. Not only have I received quite a few emails about water storage, but I have also been swapping out water filters in my Berkey, and doing my darndest to convince my non-prepper neighbors to store water for emergency use. Given the importance of having good, clean water following a disruptive event, today I am bringing back the Prepper’s Water Survival Guide and an encore interview with my friend, Daisy Luther. I have three books to giveaway so enjoy the interview and enter to win!

The post Prepper Book Festival 13: The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Can’t Have Chickens? Try Raising Quail!

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Can’t Have Chickens? Try Raising Quail! There are places where chickens are banned from being raised. Home Owner’s associations are a prime example of places you can’t raise chickens at all. Oddly enough though, they don’t mind you raising quail. If you don’t know much about these amazing little birds, now is the perfect time …

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The post Can’t Have Chickens? Try Raising Quail! appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

14 Tips for Creating a Robust and Well-Stocked Pantry

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14 Tips for Creating a Well-Stocked Pantry | Backdoor Survival

For many preppers, after setting aside water, the journey begins with food. When you think about it, that makes sense. Without food for sustenance and energy, everything else is moot. You need food to stay strong, healthy, and mentally balanced which in turn gives you the wherewithal to protect and defend yourself from the nuances of mother nature, and sadly, your fellow man.

A lot can be said for having a robust closet full of long-term food storage products. But what about your day to day pantry? Here are 14 tips that will help you build a robust pantry to serve you well during good times and bad.

The post 14 Tips for Creating a Robust and Well-Stocked Pantry by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Prepper Book Festival 13: Prepper’s Guide to Knots + Giveaway

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Preppers Guide to Knots | Backdoor Survival

Anyone who has spent time outdoors knows the value of using the best knot for the task at hand. In Prepper’s Guide to Knots, learn about knots and also how to select and care for your rope and other types of cordage. Plus, read an interview with the author and enter the giveaway to win a free copy of his book. There will be three winners.

The post Prepper Book Festival 13: Prepper’s Guide to Knots + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

What You Need to Know About Colds, Flu and Respiratory Infections

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What You Need to Know About Colds, Flu and Respiratory Infections | Backdoor Survival

How much do you really know about the treatment of colds and flu? Even in normal times, it is easy to be confused by viral versus bacterial infections, and sorting out which is which when we get sick. This gets further compounded following a disruptive event when physicians and pharmacies are not available to assist with our healthcare needs.

In this exclusive new article by contributing author, Joe Alton, colds, flu, and respiratory infections are addressed along with tips for ensuring good respiratory hygiene during good times and bad.

The post What You Need to Know About Colds, Flu and Respiratory Infections by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

10 Things To Do in Thirty Minutes to Up Your Prepping Game

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10 things to do in 30 minutes | Backdoor Survival

There are times when we get so busy that we set aside our prepping for another day. From my perspective, that is perfectly okay. On the other hand, we can be our own worst enemies and sometimes the guilt from not prepping frustrates and upsets us. I know since I have personally been there and done that.

As a solution, consider taking an occasional small bite of prepping such as once a day or once a week. Set aside one day or one evening a week, and spend thirty minutes attending to your preps. Need some ideas? Here are ten things you can do to prep just a little bit for the next ten weeks.

The post 10 Things To Do in Thirty Minutes to Up Your Prepping Game by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Why Freezing Batteries Is A Waste Of Time

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Why Freezing Batteries Is A Waste Of Time Batteries are something many people take for granted. They don’t even consider all the things we use on a daily basis that have a battery in them! Watches, cell phones, flashlights, cars/trucks/motor vehicles, computers/tablets…the list goes on and on. They can (and do) save lives, too! Freezing …

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The post Why Freezing Batteries Is A Waste Of Time appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

How to Safely Refill One-Pound Propane Cylinders

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How to Safely Refill One-Pound Propane Cylinders If you are like me, you go through dozens of those small, one-pound propane bottles every single year. It seems like such a waste. Take a perfectly good propane bottle, use it up, then throw it out. Ultimately, it ends up in a landfill. Not good. Recently I …

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The post How to Safely Refill One-Pound Propane Cylinders appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Happy Thanksgiving From My Home to Yours

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Happy Thanksgiving 2016 | Backdoor Survival

Some years are better than others and this year, in spite of many changes, is one of the better years. As we approach year end, I find myself in an upbeat mood as I look forward to even more change. Going into 2017, I feel less worried and infinitely more prepared. That is the beauty of prepping and living a prepper-centric lifestyle: with each passing year, you are steps closer to meeting your goals and feeling secure in your knowledge that you can take care of yourself and your family during dire circumstances.

It is with this frame of mind that I offer you a message of “Thanks” and Thanksgiving. Thank you for being a part of Backdoor Survival.

The post Happy Thanksgiving From My Home to Yours by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

The Prepper’s Awesome Holiday Gift Guide

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Preppers Gift Guide 2016 | Backdoor Survival

For most of us, the holiday season is festive, filled with good food, fun get-togethers with family and friends, and the sharing of gifts, large or small. The challenge we face is to determine how we are going to spend both our precious time and money to ensure that we make the most of the spirit of the season.

You have many choices when it comes to holiday gift giving. This year, consider the gift of preparedness. Each of the items in the Prepper’s Holiday Gift Guide is time-tested. There is truly something for everyone and best of all, most are budget-friendly.

The post The Prepper’s Awesome Holiday Gift Guide by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

8 Essential Oils For Your First Aid Kit

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8 Essential Oils For Your First Aid Kit | Backdoor Survival

As much as I like to try new things when it comes essential oils, I tend to go back to the same oils, day in and day out. This is surprising since my EO drawer is overflowing with over fifty different oils. I consider this good news since, as a prepper, there is only so much I can afford to put away for long term emergency purposes. It is much easier to stockpile and learn the effective use of a handful of oils than the dozens that are out there, just waiting to be put through our personal trial and error cycle. Today I share eight oils for your first aid kit that are tried and true.

The post 8 Essential Oils For Your First Aid Kit by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

How to Raise Quail When Chickens Are Out of the Question

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City Farming with Backyard Quail: An Alternative to Raising Chickens | Backdoor Survival

Do you dream of owning a flock of chickens but are restricted by local ordinances or the dictates of your homeowner’s association?

If so, I recently updated the article written awhile back on “City Farming with Backyard Quail: An Alternative to Raising Chickens”. In an effort to bring some of the timeless Backdoor Survival content forward, I share it with you again for your learning enjoyment.

The post How to Raise Quail When Chickens Are Out of the Question by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Prepper Book Festival 13: The Journal Series + Giveaway

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The Journal Series by Deborah Moore | Backdoor Survival

As preppers, we are continually challenged by the pursuit of knowledge so we keep reading and keep playing the “what if” game in our own minds. One of the best series of books for doing so is Deborah D. Moore’s The Journal Series. The hero of this book is actually a heroine. Allexa is pretty much an ordinary gal, doing her job as the emergency services manager for a small town. When I say ordinary, however, I mean prepper-centric ordinary, like someone else we know, right? The story unfolds as a diary which chronicles a series of events and the decisions made to get through a wide variety of disruptive events that turn both Allexa’s world and the country upside down.

In this latest entry in the Prepper Book Festival, enjoy an interview with the author and enter to win a bindup of Books 1, 2, and 3 in the Journal Series. There will be three winners.

The post Prepper Book Festival 13: The Journal Series + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Learn And Master These Skills For SHTF

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Learn And Master These Skills For SHTF When it comes to survival, there are so many skills that will be important to have that no one person could know them all. There are, however, a particular set of skills that will increase your chances of actually making it through a disaster. These skills, while not …

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The post Learn And Master These Skills For SHTF appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

11 Things To Do When You Must Hunker Down in Place

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11 Things To Do When You Must Hunker Down in Place | Backdoor Survival

Can you even begin to imagine combining boredom with stress? If you have ever been in that situation, you will know what it is like to be antsy, grouchy, depressed, and useless all at the same time. Who has not been there and done that?

As simple as it sounds, as part of your preparedness planning I would like to suggest you put together a list of things to do when you are required to hunker down in place to wait out a storm, wait for the power to come back on, or otherwise wait until it is safe to leave your home. Here are 11 things to get you started.

The post 11 Things To Do When You Must Hunker Down in Place by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Make Your Own Gel Ice Packs

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Make Your Own Gel Ice Packs How many times have you used gel ice packs in your life? Their uses are almost limitless: from medical applications to keeping your sandwiches cool, gel ice packs are handy to have in the freezer. The problem for most people is that the only ones they get are from …

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The post Make Your Own Gel Ice Packs appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

6 Questions Every Prepper Needs to Ask and Answer

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Six Questions Every Prepper Needs to Ask and Answer | Backdoor Survival

Every once in a while, it is important to take a back seat to the process of prepping and do a little planning. This often means going back to the beginning and re-evaluating the original plan – if you had one, that is. Here are six questions both new and experienced preppers need to ask and answer. That said, there are no wrong answers. Are you up for the challenge?

The post 6 Questions Every Prepper Needs to Ask and Answer by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Eight Lessons Learned from Survival Fiction

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Eight Lessons Learned from Survival Fiction Survival fiction can be not only entertaining, it can be used as a fantastic prepper tool. If you read for fun, chances are pretty good you have a good imagination. That can be used to your advantage while reading prepper fiction. The lessons learned from survival fiction come from …

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The post Eight Lessons Learned from Survival Fiction appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Prepper Book Festival 13: Power From the Sun – A Practical Guide to Solar Electricity + Giveaway

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Power From the Sun | Backdoor Survival

Harnessing the power of the sun achieve a modicum of energy independence no longer has to be a lofty goal. In Power From the Sun, learn everything you need to know to develop a solar strategy of your own. Written for the non-geek, this book is easy to read and understand. Plus, enter the giveaway to win one of three copies that are up for grabs.

The post Prepper Book Festival 13: Power From the Sun – A Practical Guide to Solar Electricity + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Hits And Misses After 6 Years Prepping

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Hits And Misses After 6 Years Prepping Prepping, like anything else, changes over time. What you thought of, stocked, and learned at the beginning can be drastically different after a short amount of time. The beginning years prepping are usually gung ho about getting huge stocks of food, water, and gear. They tend to buy a …

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The post Hits And Misses After 6 Years Prepping appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

One Man’s Perspective From Living Off Grid

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One Man's Perspective From Living Off Grid | Backdoor Survival

Who hasn’t, at one time or another, wondered what it would be like to chuck it all, give up the job, abandon suburbia, and become totally self-sufficient by living off of the land? Learn what living off grid is like from someone who has lived off the land for over 35 years.

The post One Man’s Perspective From Living Off Grid by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Prepper Book Festival 13: Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook + Giveaway

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Prepper's Survival Medicine Handbook | Backdoor Survival

With the range of things that can happen following a disaster or disruptive event being so diverse, it is difficult to remember it all. Everything from broken bones, hypothermia, deadly spider bites, and gunshot or knife wounds must be prepped for, and those woes are just the tip of the iceberg. The solution is to have a variety of survival medicine books on hand. Today’s book is a bit different than most. Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook: A Lifesaving Collection of Emergency Procedures from U.S. Army Field Manuals, is a collection of US Army emergency procedures, written and illustrated in a manner we can all understand.

Written by real-life emergency responder Scott Finazzo, Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook goes way beyond first aid and addresses nitty-gritty methods for treating life-threating medical conditions under survival conditions.

The post Prepper Book Festival 13: Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Welcome Aboard The Wagon Train to Survival

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Welcome Aboard The Wagon Train to Survival | Backdoor Survival

Fundamentally, my own view of things is that the end of the world as we know it has come and gone. That happened during the crash of 2009, an event that forever changed the course of life for myself and many others. Years have now passed and instead of lamenting that which I cannot control, I stay focused on self-reliance and on moving forward with life, the best I can.

In this article, read and learn how a made-up group of well stocked RVs head out to their survival platform in Arkansas. Each RV had a purpose, and the caravan heading down the highway was akin to the wagon trains that headed out west oh so many years ago.

The post Welcome Aboard The Wagon Train to Survival by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

An Essential Prep: Fish Antibiotics

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An Essential Prep: Fish Antibiotics There’s a lot of information out there about storing fish antibiotics for survival stockpiles but how much of it is really true? Can you really get the same antibiotics that are prescribed without getting an actual prescription? The answer is a resounding YES! Fish antibiotics are an essential prep to …

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The post An Essential Prep: Fish Antibiotics appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Special Report: The Future of Fish Antibiotics for Survival

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Future of Fish Antibiotics for Survival | Backdoor Survival

Because of the upcoming Jan.1, 2017, veterinary feed directive, Dr. Joe Alton has been getting a lot of questions about whether fish antibiotics will still be available. Here is his breaking article on the future of fish antibiotics. The bottom line is the FDA is placing priority on livestock antibiotics, not hobby fish and bird meds.

The post Special Report: The Future of Fish Antibiotics for Survival by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

10 Last Minute Preps When a Disruptive Event is Brewing

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10 Last Minute Preps When a Disruptive Event is Brewing | Backdoor Survival

Have you given any thought as to what you would do if you had advance warning of a huge storm or other disruptive event? You may have time to get some last minute preps done and even time to make some last minute purchases. Here is a list 10 things to get you started.

The post 10 Last Minute Preps When a Disruptive Event is Brewing by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Prepper Book Festival 13: Crafting With Paracord + Giveaway

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Crafting With Paracord | Backdoor Survival

I carry Paracord with me everywhere. Whereas most of my Paracord do-dads have been purchased, a couple of years ago I learned Paracord braiding myself, and even with my not-so-nimble-anymore fingers, did a darn fine job creating Paracord bracelets. Learn how to make a Paracord bracelet with these easy instructions from “Crafting With Paracord”. Plus enter the giveaway to win a copy of this book for free. Three winners.

The post Prepper Book Festival 13: Crafting With Paracord + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

How To Cook Using Food Storage Ingredients

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How To Cook Using Food Storage Ingredients Cooking with just the foods in your food storage (whether that is emergency storage or just your pantry) can be challenging, especially when the more ‘easy to use’ items start to run out. Imagine being in week 3 and all you have in your storage are just the …

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The post How To Cook Using Food Storage Ingredients appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Prepper Book Festival 13: A Simple Man + Giveaway

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A Simple Man | Backdoor Survival

Imagine the year is 2077 and our world and our country has gone to heck. It is a dystopian world wrongly described by the Powers That Be as utopian. Welcome to the new America as portrayed in A Simple Man. Read an excerpt from this new release and enter the giveaway to win a copy for free. There will be three winners.

The post Prepper Book Festival 13: A Simple Man + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Review: Hand Crank Stainless Dough Maker from Lehman’s + Giveaway

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Hand Crank Stainless Dough Maker from Lehman's | Backdoor Survival

Home baked bread is one of the simple joys in life.  It is no wonder that I periodically write about baking bread.  I have even gone so far as to say that the key to happiness is baking your own bread!  Seriously, who can resist the aroma and taste from a fresh loaf, straight from the oven, or even from your automatic bread machine?

I think making bread the old-fashioned way is grand.  Rolling your sleeves up and transforming a lump of dough into a smooth loaf a great way to work off stress. But what if you could save some of the work and create delicious breads by using a manually operated dough maker?   You may have seen these advertised but do they really work?

Yes!  In this review of the Gingerich Stainless Dough Maker from Lehman’s, I will show you how.  Not only that, Lehman’s is providing a hand crank, stainless dough maker to one lucky reader in the latest Backdoor Survival giveaway.  More about that in a moment because first, I want to tell you how it works.

Old Fashioned Goodness Without Kneading

One of the challenges many of us face as we get older is our fingers do not work as well as they used to.  Joints get tired easily, and our dexterity is not what it used to be.  For someone younger, the issue is not sore fingers and hands, but time. Making bread the traditional way takes a long time.

With a hand crank dough maker, you resolve both issues.  After gathering the ingredients and adding them to the bowl, you mix everything for four to five minutes and you are done.  Let me show you.

Hand Crank Stainless Dough Maker from Lehman's | Backdoor Survival

The first step is to assemble all of the parts.  I am not very mechanical but found the process easy.  The instructions in the included manual were a cinch to follow.  There is an easy to dicipher diagram, so even if you just look and don’t read, you can put the crank and dough hook mechanism together in about a minute.

Hand Crank Stainless Dough Maker from Lehman's | Backdoor Survival

The heavy duty stainless bowl holds 8 quarts and as you can see, is drilled with holes so you can attach the dough hook mechanism.  I found the holes to be perfectly aligned which is always a good thing.

Hand Crank Stainless Dough Maker from Lehman's | Backdoor SurvivalI am the type of person who likes to measure out my ingredients in advance.  For this initial review, I followed the recipe in the manual.  Here I am adding warm water to the bowl; yeast came next and then the remaining ingredients.

True confession:  I totally messed up the order of ingredients but that did not seem to matter.

Hand Crank Stainless Dough Maker from Lehman's | Backdoor Survival

See the silicone pot holder under the bowl?  That helped stabilize the bowl as I was moving the dough hook around with the crank handle.

Hand Crank Stainless Dough Maker from Lehman's | Backdoor Survival

It is a little blurry but here you see both the dough and hand crank action.  This was after 2 minutes of cranking.  I am not going to kid you.  After about 3 minutes, the dough became very stiff and cranking took some effort.  I relieved Shelly from his photographer duties so he could hold the bowl down while I cranked.  I really should have used a non-stick mat under the bowl and not a small, silicone pot holder.  I also should have done this on my kitchen counter and not my dining room table.

Hand Crank Stainless Dough Maker from Lehman's | Backdoor Survival

This is what the dough looked like after 4 minutes.  I suppose I could have gone a minute longer creating a nice smooth ball, but this worked fine. Notice how the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Hand Crank Stainless Dough Maker from Lehman's | Backdoor Survival

The next step involves dividing the dough into 4 lumps then rolling each out to fit in the pans.  I could not find my rolling pin so I used a pizza roller instead.  Also note the larger non-stick mats I should have used while mixing the dough.

Hand Crank Stainless Dough Maker from Lehman's | Backdoor Survival

Hand Crank Stainless Dough Maker from Lehman's | Backdoor Survival

Because there are just two of us, I purposely made small loafs.  After letting them cool, we sliced a hunk and oh my gosh, it was so good.  The bread was fine grained and easy to slice.

Hand Crank Stainless Dough Maker from Lehman's | Backdoor Survival

As I was writing this review, Shelly called from the kitchen and said “Wow!  This is good.  He had five slices in one sitting so I suppose that says it all!

What Comes Next?

The first time using something new, I like to follow instructions exactly.  That being said, the next time I make bread using my Stainless Dough Maker, I will add a bit of dough enhancer at the rate of 1 tablespoon per 4 cups flour.  This will give my dough a bit of lift.  This is something I typically do when making bread from scratch.  I will also let the dough rise a bit more in the pans before baking.

Something else I am going to try is using home milled flour instead of commercial unbleached flour.  Like I said, it is always good to start with the basic recipe and then branch out from there.  As a matter of fact, the manual clearly states the included recipe is a launching point for adapting your own recipes. 

Since this Stainless Dough Maker requires no electricity, it makes sense to bake without electricity as well.  I am going to need to try baking bread using my Sun Oven and see how that turns out,  So many projects; so little time!

The Giveaway

To enter the giveaway, you need to utilize the Rafflecopter form below.  Select one or more of the options after signing in using your email account or Facebook, the choice is yours.  The best way to start is by clicking on “Free Entry for Everyone”.  After that, each option you select represents an additional entry.  There are a number of different options so pick and choose, or select them all.

A special word about the giveaway question/comment:  Please read the question and respond accordingly, even it the answer is “I don’t know”.  This week’s question is:

Please share a tip for baking bread, cooking beans, or preparing rice or some other “survival food”.

After responding, be sure to indicate you have done so in the Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM MST time next Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winner must claim their prize within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

Note:  Due to Customs requirements, this giveaway is only open to those with a mailing address in the United States.

The Final Word

I love bread!  Okay, if you stream Hulu you have seen the ads by Oprah Winfrey where she claims she will do anything for bread.  I can’t say that I will do anything for bread but because I do enjoy it, I include regular bread baking as part of my overall strategy for survival if the world goes to heck.

I would like to thank Lehman’s for introducing me to this hand crank dough maker and for sponsoring this giveaway.  Good luck!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye

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.   Also check my Facebook page regularly for links to free or almost free eBooks that I personally reviewed just for you.

You can also vote for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!

Bargain Bin:  Below you will find links to the items related to today’s article o bread and dough making.

Hand Crank Stainless Dough Maker from Lehman’s:  Note that I do not have a financial relationship with Lehman’s; I simply believe in their company and the fantastic products they offer both in their store and to the online community.

Norpro Wooden Pastry and Pizza Roller:  If you don’t have a rolling pin, or can’t find it, try one of these.  For less than $4, it does the job and is also a bargain.

AmazonBasics Silicone Baking Mat – 2 Pack:  These mats are fantastic.  Nothing sticks to them and they can be used in the oven up to 450 degrees. 

Silicone Bread and Loaf Pan Set of 2: If you have not baked with silicone pans before, you are in for a treat.  They distribute the heat well and are a cinch to clean up.  The only drawback to these, if you want to call it that, is they are a bit small than a standard loaf pan.

Dough Conditioner – 4 Pound Can: I shopped around and the best value on dough enhancer was this Honeyville brand.  Adding dough enhancer/conditioner will result in a lighter, fluffier bread.

WonderMill Grain Mill:  The WonderMill is the quietest and fastest flour mill available. You can create super fine flour or coarse flour at temperatures that preserve nutrients, ensuring that you will always have the perfect flour for your food. The WonderMill will not only grind wheat, rice and other small grains, but will also grind legumes and beans as large as garbanzos. It is extremely easy to use – simply fill the hopper and you’ll get flour.

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking: At an average cost of 50 cents a loaf, this bread is easy, delicious and inexpensive to make.  Making your own bread is a skill everyone should have. See Simple Comforts: How and Why You Should Make Your Own Bread.

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Shop Emergency Essentials 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.  This month note the great sale prices on Mountain House freeze dried food.

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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 Emergency and Survival Kit Items
Emergency Preparedness Items from Amazon.com
Bug Out Bag – Get Home Bag Supplies
Amazon Gift Cards

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!

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Which are the best oils for your survival kit?  This article describes my top picks.

9 Best Essential Oils for Your Survival Kit | Backdoor Survival

The post Review: Hand Crank Stainless Dough Maker from Lehman’s + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Survival Buzz: Seven Ways to Simplify and Get On With Life

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Seven Ways to Simplify and Get On With Life | Backdoor Survival

Why is it that humans, especially American humans, collect so much stuff?  It is not that we need all this stuff and it is not that we necessarily want it.  It just is. 

Perhaps we should blame the Madison avenue types so aptly portrayed in the now defunct TV series Mad Men. These days, it seems we are bombarded by ads for every conceivable item, from toothpaste, to fashion, to pharmaceuticals we never knew we needed.  Then there is the seduction of shopping!  Sometimes it  is simply too much, and at least for me, it often takes more than a modicum of will power to simply say no.

Seven Ways to Simplify and Get On With Life | Backdoor Survival

This applies to prepping gizmos as well.  Thankfully, for the past five or six years I have done most of my shopping on Amazon.com where items sit in my shopping cart or wish list for eons as I ponder the wisdom of a purchase.

It is not just consumables that get collected and stashed away in the various nooks and crannies of our lives.  The paper also overfloweth.  And so do the obligations or perceived responsibilities that fill our lives with an endless to do list.  The mental clutter of bill payments, household chores, and lunch with a long lost, but boring friend can be just as bad and perhaps worse than the physical stuff. 

I don’t know about you, but I hate it. I hate the excess stuff, the excess paper, and most of all, the excess list of obligations, chores, and must-dos.  It makes me want to run away, and indeed, I believe I just did!

Seriously, what does a frazzled prepper do to simplify a life that is chock full of stuff burning up space and burning up brain cells.  Here are some practical tips for both getting rid of the clutter, and for adding simplicity to your daily routine.  I call this “living a strategic life”.

Seven Ways to Simplify and Get on a Road to Living a Strategic Life

1.  My number one tip, and one that I embraced in 2003, is to downsize your living quarters. Everyone told me this was going to be difficult and it was.  At the time, I had no preps (who knew?) and although I missed having a separate room for each segment of my life, I somehow made it work.  Living in smaller quarters means less furniture, fewer clothes, and less room for clutter period.  The bonus is fewer housekeeping chores.

2.  Go paperless.  You can purchase a decent multi-function scanner  for as little as $125.  Make it a point to scan every new piece of paper that would normally get filed. This includes receipts for purchases as well as copies of invoices, bank statements, tax returns and other documents.

In addition, did you know that you can download copies of most product manuals online?  Do a Google search or check the manufacturer’s website.  You just might be surprised at the robust library of product manuals you can build, even for decades old appliances.

3.  Put your financial house in order.  Live within your means.  Come up with a simple budget.  And I mean simple.  If you try to create an elaborate schema of money in and money out, you will become overwhelmed, adding to the mental clutter.  Stop it.  Keep it simple – think grade school level simple. 

Getting rid of money woes is one of the best ways to remove stress and to de-clutter those brain cells for more important and interesting matters.   For some tips, read my Top 10 Tips for Debt-Free Living.

4.  Get rid of at least five items a week, every week.  Get out a trash bag and fill it up with junk.  Look around and surely you can find five things you do not need anymore.  Stow those items in the bag and get rid of them.  But please, junk is junk. Only give usable items to charity.  No one, not even the homeless, deserves your stinky old sneakers.

5.  Just say no to social commitments that do not interest you.  This is a very difficult thing to do.  How do you say “no, not interested” to folks that invite you to share some time with them?  What if you no longer have anything in common, find them boring, or simply don’t feel like it?  My recommendation is to be kind, but firm, and simply decline the invitation with grace. There is no big kahuna giving you ten lashes for saying no to a social invitation.  Just be nice, tell a little white lie if necessary, and stay home to watch a movie or take a nice long bath instead.

6.  Clean up your email.  Get rid of old newsletters and advertisements you no longer need or care about.  Find the unsubscribe button, and unsubscribe.  As a blogger, I ask you refrain from marking something spam unless it truly is an advertisement for cheap Viagra.  Instead, simply say you are no longer interested.  Spam is spam; a newsletter you signed up for and no longer enjoy is not.

7.  Recognize that good enough is just that: good enough!  This applies to house cleaning, cooking, laundry (forget the ironing) or any other aspect of life that is overwhelming in its exacting standards.  Learn to live with a lesser standard in those areas of life where it simply does not matter.

I have mentioned this before but some of the better books on de-cluttering your life are by Peter Walsh.  I especially like his book It’s All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff.  Pick up a copy at your local library or online.  You life will be better for it. 

The Free Mother Earth News Summit  

No one says it better than Marjory herself.  Register now and enjoy this free online event from the comfort of your home.  Did I mention I love Mother Earth News?

Register Now for the FREE Event

As a thank you gift, when you register you will receive these three eBooks as gifts:

The Complete Guide to Growing Tomatoes
Simple & Effective Watering Systems For Small Livestock
How To Keep Backyard Chickens

Current Backdoor Survival Giveaways

I have a huge backlog of reviews and giveaways so don’t be surprised if you begin to get giveaway fatigue. I am joking of course since I vet everything and if something is not worth my time or simply a lousy product, I will not mention it.  That said, look at this stack of stuff.  It is all coming soon along with other products I have purchased for testing.

In the meantime, here are this weeks open giveaways.  Remember, winners are always randomly selected so anyone can win.

Prepper Book Festival 13: Survival Medicine Handbook Third Edition + Giveaway

Note: There will be three winners of The Survival Medicine Handbook

Review: Emergency Solar Lighting With a Goal Zero Torch 250 + 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.

Coming Soon to Backdoor Survival

Sometime within the next couple of weeks, you may see this message when you visit the site.  Since June, I have been working with a project manager and web developer to bring to you an updated user experience.  Nothing fancy, no fancy flashing videos or anything like that, but large print, more white space, and faster loading times.

I am told the site may be dark for up to a day, so please do check back!

One more thing.  As part of the migration, I added a new CONTACT ME form at the top of each page, and also updated the “About” me page.  If you are curious, check it out here.

The Final Word

This is a wrap for me this week.  I do want to encourage you to look for ways you can simplify your life.  It may be as easy as learning to say no, or as difficult as restructuring your life completely.  I am not advocating that you run away from home like Shelly and I just did, but rather that you think through what will make you happy and do just that.

I want you to live a joyful and strategic life!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye

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.   Also check my Facebook page regularly for links to free or almost free eBooks that I personally reviewed just for you.

You can also vote for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!

Bargain Bin:  We have not heard much about Ebola or other pandemics lately but you can bet that the risk is still out there.  Here are some sick room supplies to have on hand as a preventative measure in the event things get serious.  Note that I am including a couple of amusements as well.  See the article: Seven Facts You Should Know About Ebola (or any other pandemic).

3M N95 Particulate & Respirator Mask: This is an inexpensive mask that can be used in a variety of emergency situations. They come in a box of 20 and are NIOSH-certified. The molded cone design is fluid and splash resistant and will greatly reduces your exposure to airborne particles.

Moldex 2730 N100 Respirator Mask:  Do not confuse P100 masks with the N100s.  N100 is what you want since the P100’s are used to filter particulate only and not gasses and vapors.  Note that if you are on the small side, you will need to order the smaller version which is the Moldex 2731.

Disposable Protective Coveralls: There are plenty to choose from.  I purchased these DuPont White Tyvek Disposable Coveralls With Hood in a medium and it fit me okay with a bit of excess room left over.  Shelly needs a large, definitely. The Sunday Survival Buzz #136   Backdoor Survival

3M TEKK Protection Chemical Splash/Impact GoggleThe Sunday Survival Buzz #129   Backdoor Survival:  I read a ton of reviews before settling on these.  I was so impressed with both the fit and comfort that I ordered another pair to use as a spare.  These are great and the price is right.

Spark Naturals Essential Oils:  It is no secret that I prefer essential oils from Spark Naturals.  They are well priced and of the highest therapeutic quality.  You enjoy an additional 10% off all items, including sale items, when using code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout.

Shield Protective Blend:  Here is a direct link to one my most diffused essential oils.  If you can only afford a few oils, I would suggest Shield, Lavender and Melaleuca (Tea Tree).

Bicycle Canasta Games Playing Cards:  This timeless classic will keep the entire family occupied when the power it out.  Playing cards or board games should be in everyone’s preparedness kit.

Ticket To Ride: This my favorite board game, bar none.  Family friendly, you will spend hours in front of the fireplace playing Ticket to Ride with your favorite people.  This is worth the splurge.

~~~~~

Shop Emergency Essentials 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.  This month note the great sale prices on Mountain House freeze dried food.


~~~~~

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 Emergency and Survival Kit Items
Emergency Preparedness Items from Amazon.com
Bug Out Bag – Get Home Bag Supplies
Amazon Gift Cards

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!

~~~~~


Which are the best oils for your survival kit?  This article describes my top picks.

9 Best Essential Oils for Your Survival Kit | Backdoor Survival

The post Survival Buzz: Seven Ways to Simplify and Get On With Life by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Prepper Book Festival 13: Survival Medicine Handbook Third Edition + Giveaway

Click here to view the original post.

The Survival Medicine Handbook | Backdoor Survival

Without question, the number one concern for preppers after setting aside water is health,wellness, and medical preparedness. Not only are there concerns about wound control and injuries, but also the availability of antibiotics and life-sustaining medications for individuals with a chronic illness.  This is just the tip of the medical iceberg, however.  Survival medicine encompasses such a wide range of topics that my head hurts just thinking about it. 

This is a subject I have addressed many times on this website and still, it is not enough.  That is why I am proud today to showcase the newly released Survival Medicine Handbook Third Edition by Joseph and Amy Alton.  You may already know Joe for his many articles here Backdoor Survival. He and his wife, “Nurse Amy”, have their own website and a store chock full of medical supplies suitable for all types of emergency situations.

The Survival Medicine Handbook | Backdoor Survival

As with the two previous editions, The Survival Medicine Handbook is my bible for all things health related and not just for those times when help is not on the way. Being someone who does not run to the doctor at the drop of a hat, this book is my initial resource when an ailment or injury occurs in my household. (Okay, truth be told I also consult my big fat book on essential oils but that is a topic for another time). 

To my way of thinking, following the advice of the Altons during normal times is the very best drill I can come up with for practicing medical self-care during dire times.

Today I share an all-new interview with Dr. Alton, plus I have three copies of The Survival Medicine Handbook up for grabs in a giveaway.  Enjoy the interview then be sure to check in below to learn about the giveaway.

An Interview with Joseph Alton, MD Author of THE SURVIVAL MEDICINE HANDBOOK

What one single event (or point in time) did you decide to become a prepper?

After Hurricane Katrina, when it was clear that there were deaths that could have been prevented if there had been a person in every family with some medical supplies and training. It made me realize how fragile society could be, and how little it would take for us to circle the drain. Since then, I’ve become convinced that we’re circling the drain faster and faster each year.

Most preppers have some sort of EDC (Every Day Carry).  What items do you carry with you at all times?

My everyday carry consists of an item for personal protection and a compact equivalent of our First Aid Bleeding Control kit, in case I come across a car accident or have to be where there are large numbers of people.

Have you ever lived through a real disaster and therefore had to live on your preps?  If so, for how long?  What were some of the mistakes you encountered along the way? If not, what steps have you taken to ensure that your and your family are disaster-proof?

During Hurricane Andrew in 1992, I spent the storm monitoring a number of women in late pregnancy at the local hospital (2 delivered during the storm). When I finally came home, the power was down and we were lucky to have 2 weeks’ worth supply of food and water (we were “hurricane preppers” back then, not as stocked as we are now).

If I knew then what I know now, I would have offered to cut down the coconuts from the neighbor’s trees, which flew like missiles into my shutters, denting a number of them from 100 feet away, as well as smashing a large planter and some roof tiles.

Bugging out poses a major dilemma for many preppers.  Family obligations, money, jobs, and health considerations all play a role in the bug-out, bug-in decision.  What advice do you have for those that who will be required to bug-in?

It depends on the scenario. In a short-term event, do everything you can to help your neighbors. In a long-term event, be less visible. That goes for everyone but the medics, who should offer their expertise to help those injured and sick. If you become known as someone who will give medical help in an emergency, fellow survivors will see you as an important asset and, in many cases, they will expend resources to protect you.

What specifically would you like Backdoor Survival readers to learn from your book?

Our mission is simple: To put a medical prepared person in every family for any disaster. We truly believe that you will be able to handle the grand majority of medical issues you’ll encounter in a survival setting if you get some education, training, and supplies.

We devoted our efforts to put it all in plain English in the Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way, so that the average citizen can become a medical asset to their loved ones in times of trouble.

The Giveaway

Joe and Amy Alton have reserved three copies of their book in this newest Book Festival Giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific Tuesday with the winners notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winners must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

Note:  Due to customs requirements, this giveaway is only open to individuals with a mailing address in the United States.

The Final Word

What you don’t know may kill you. This applies as much to first aid and medical knowledge as it does to the plethora of other survival skills. Don’t kid yourself; following a major disruptive event, people may die.  That being said, we need to arm ourselves with as much knowledge and as many credible reference materials as we can. 

I personally would not trust my long term survival to memory.  As a hard copy medical references, this is my top choice,.

For more information about the books in this latest book festival, visit Prepper Book Festival #13: Books to Help You Prepare.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye

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.   Also check my Facebook page regularly for links to free or almost free eBooks that I personally reviewed just for you.

You can also vote for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!

~~~~~

Spotlight:  Survival Medicine Handbook Third Edition

If you had to deal with an injury or illness in a disaster, would you know what to do? The Survival Medicine Handbook is a 670 page detailed guide for those who want to be medically prepared for any disaster where help is NOT on the way. This book is written by Joe Alton, M.D. and Amy Alton, A.R.N.P., the premiere medical preparedness professionals from the top ten survival website www.doomandbloom.net.

The expanded third edition of the 3 category Amazon bestseller (Survival Skills, Disaster Relief, Safety/First Aid) is geared to enable the non-medical professional to deal with all the likely issues they will encounter in catastrophic short or long-term scenarios. The third (2016) edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook is not your standard first aid book: Unlike other so-called “survival” medical books, it assumes that a disaster, natural or man-made, has removed all access to hospitals or doctors for the foreseeable future; you, the average person, are now the highest medical resource left to your family.

The Survival Medicine Handbook will give you the tools, in plain English, to competently handle injuries and illness for any situation that leaves you as the end of the line with regards to your family’s medical well-being.

Bargain Bin: For your convenience, here is a complete list of all of the books in the Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival #13.

Non Fiction Books

Made From Scratch Life
Prepper Guns
A Prepper’s Guide to Life after the Crash
Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook: A Lifesaving Collection of Emergency Procedures from U.S. Army Field Manuals
Heal Local: 20 Essential Herbs for Do-it-Yourself Home Healthcare
The Urban Farmer
Power From the Sun
Aquaponic Gardening: A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together
Prepper Knots
Crafting With Paracord
Neighborhood Emergency Response
Survival Medicine Handbook Third Edition
Prepper’s Water Survival Guide (Encore)

Survival Fiction

A Simple Man
Without Land (Changing Earth Series)
Holding Their Own XII: Copperheads
The Journal Series (Book 1)
299 Days Series (Encore)

~~~~~

Shop Emergency Essentials 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.  This month note the great sale prices on Mountain House freeze dried food.


~~~~~

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 Emergency and Survival Kit Items
Emergency Preparedness Items from Amazon.com
Bug Out Bag – Get Home Bag Supplies
Amazon Gift Cards

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!

~~~~~


Third Edition:  The SURVIVAL MEDICINE Handbook

A frequent question I get on Backdoor Survival has to do with healthcare matters when there is no doctor around. This is the definite source of survival medical information for all Prepper’s and is my go-to bible for survival medicine.

Survival Medicine Handbook 2016

The post Prepper Book Festival 13: Survival Medicine Handbook Third Edition + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Review: Emergency Solar Lighting With a Goal Zero Torch 250 + Giveaway

Click here to view the original post.

Goal Zero Torch 250 | Backdoor Survival

The biggest issue with emergency lighting, and flashlights especially, is if the batteries are dead, you are out of luck. Sure, you may have lots of extra batteries but why is it they are never handy when you need them?   Although there are a number of light sources that can be charged via a solar panel, they take both planning and space, and are not ideal for someone on the go.

One solution to the “my flashlight is dead” dilemma is the Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight with its integrated solar panel.  You read that right.  This is a powerful flashlight that can be charged using the sun!  But that’s not all.  The Torch 250 can also be charged with a hank crank or via a USB source.  In my opinion, this rugged flashlight is right up prepper-alley, and the best news is I have one to giveaway to a lucky Backdoor Survival reader.  More about that in a moment.

Goal Zero Torch 250 | Backdoor Survival

The Rough & Tough Goal Zero Torch 250

The Torch250 is a solidly built, rough and tough flashlight.  It is well constructed and beefy, roughly measuring 10″ x 3″.  In addition, at about 14 ounces, it is not exactly a featherweight. For those of you old enough to remember, it is about the size of some of the early cell phones, albeit thinner.

None of that is bad because size is needed in order for the integrated solar panel be effective.  In this case, function has trumped form.  All good.

In my testing, I found the Torch 250 came fully charged right out of the box. Since I received the Torch 250 in June, that means it held a charge for longer than three months.  The specs recommend charging every three to six months which tracks with my experience.

Let me briefly touch upon a few of the specifications.

Goal Zero Torch 250 | Backdoor Survival

The spot mode lit up my back yard.

The Goal Zero Torch250 includes two lighting modes, spot and flood.  Each of those modes has a high and a low beam and they are very bright.  In addition the front front-facing spot flashlight has a red light mode  I suppose the red lights would be handy if you wanted enough light to move around at night with out blinding your sleeping companions, but the real benefit is that you can set them to flash made to alert others of an emergency. A downside of the flashing red lights is that they do not flash an SOS code.

Goal Zero Torch 250 | Backdoor Survival

My office was pitch black when I took this photo.  I did not use a flash on my camera.  Impressive!

On the underside of the solar panel, there is a fantastic flood light. The flood puts out 70 Lumens and as you can see, lit up my entire office.  The best part is the flood light, which also has a high and low beam, will operate for as long as 48 hours.  Because this was one of my favorite features, for testing purposes I turned the flood light on at 9PM and 24 hours later, on low beam, it was still bright.

To charge the flashlight, all you need to do it set it out facing direct sunlight.  Just to be clear, it is a slow process taking 23 to 46 hours, depending on the strength of the sun.  Blue LEDs at the bottom of the flashlight near the power switch will alert you to the charging status. The lights blink during charging, and are fully lit when charging is complete.

Goal Zero Torch 250 | Backdoor Survival

Plugged into a desktop USB charging port. Note the blue LED.

Alternately, you can charge the device by plugging it into a USB port. Note that the charging cable is included, although it is a bit short.   I tested charging the device using a USB source three ways:

Accelerated Solar Charging using the Goal Zero Nomad 7 purchased year ago (although any portable solar panel will work)
USB port on my laptop
AC powered USB charging station

My Subaru has a USB port and I have no reason to believe that will not work as well.  I did not test it.  Charging with the USB source took less than 6 hours, including charging from the larger solar panels.

Goal Zero Torch 250 | Backdoor Survival

It can also be charged using the hand crank.  The process is slow and tedious but is easy enough, even if you have arthritic fingers like I do.  One minute of cranking will give you two minutes of light.

Another feature of the Goal Zero Torch 250 is the USB charging port.  Unlike the charge IN port, the OUT port is a female jack that requires you provide your own cable for charging a phone or tablet.  This makes sense because different devices have differing connectors.

Finally, I have not pictured them but there are two integrated hooks for hanging.  These would be useful for flooding an area with light.

The Goal Zero Torch 250 Giveaway

To enter the giveaway, you need to utilize the Rafflecopter form below.  Select one or more of the options after signing in using your email account or Facebook, the choice is yours.  The best way to start is by clicking on “Free Entry for Everyone”.  After that, each option you select represents an additional entry.  There are a number of different options so pick and choose or select them all.

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winner must claim their prize within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note:  Due to Customs requirements, this giveaway is only open to those with a mailing address in the continental United States.

The Final Word

As the princess of emergency lighting you might be wondering how I plan to use the Goal Zero Torch 250.  The answer is simple: I plan to keep it in the car.  Having just spent almost five days on the road, packed to the hilt, I know how precious space can be.  Whereas I had many small flashlights on board, I did not have a rechargeable lantern with me. With its flood light, the Torch 250 would have been perfect, since it can throw off a a wide beam while sitting it on the ground, making it virtually hands free.

One more thing.  The Torch 250, while not tiny, will fit in the Subaru’s console or in the back seat pocket.  After each use, I can set it in the window to re-charge or plug it into the vehicle’s USB port.  Seems like a no-brainer,.

For more detailed specifications, visit the Goal Zero website or Amazon.com.  And, of course, enter the giveaway to win a Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight for free!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye

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.   Also check my Facebook page regularly for links to free or almost free eBooks that I personally reviewed just for you.

You can also vote for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!

Bargain Bin:  Below you will find links to the items related to today’s article as well as other personal solar favorites.  I own all of them.

Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight with Integrated Solar Panel:  This rugged flashlight includes an integrated solar panel that really works.  But that’s not all.  In can also be charged using any USB source or a hand crank.  All of this plus it can be used to charge your cell phone or tablet.

Solar Charger for Standard Batteries:  This Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Power Pack , coupled with the Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel is what I use to charge up AA and AAA batteries as well as my electronic devices. I purchased mine as a kit from Amazon.

Sunferno Flintstone Portable Solar Panel with Rechargeable Battery Pack:  This sturdy solar power pack is lightweight and small enough to be used in an EDC kit.  I especially like that it has 2 USB ports. 

SunJack Waterproof LightStick: The versatile SunJack Lightstick is impressive for its compact form factor and extremely durable, waterproof casing.  In addition to providing portable lighting, it will charge 3 USB devices on a single charge.

Choetech 19W Solar Panel:  This lightweight and compact solar panel works great.  The two integrated USB ports are both rated equally so you do not have to fiddle around to see which one will work with your device. Learn more:  Charge Your Devices With the Choetech Portable Solar Panel.

EasyAcc Monster 20000mAh Power Bank:  This is a robust power bank that can be charged from your laptop, a wall charger, or a solar charger.  This one is beefy, with 4 USB ports that can be used at once.  It also appears to hold its charge for a long time.  I charged mine up then set it aside for a couple of months,  When I pulled it out of its box, it was still fully charged. A nice unit that comes in very handy when power is out.

MPOWERD Luci EMRG Inflatable Solar Lantern:  This is the original Luci EMRG Solar lantern. I have put mine through its paces and it is one tough cookie.  It has weathered both a wind storm and rain storm while hanging outdoors for a month.  Lightweight, waterproof and shatterproof, Luci EMRG provides ultra-bright, reliable light to guide your way indoors and out, through blackouts or extreme weather conditions. 

Luci EMRG 250_18

~~~~~

Shop Emergency Essentials 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.  This month note the great sale prices on Mountain House freeze dried food.

~~~~~

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 Emergency and Survival Kit Items
Emergency Preparedness Items from Amazon.com
Bug Out Bag – Get Home Bag Supplies
Amazon Gift Cards

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!

~~~~~


Which are the best oils for your survival kit?  This article describes my top picks.

9 Best Essential Oils for Your Survival Kit | Backdoor Survival

The post Review: Emergency Solar Lighting With a Goal Zero Torch 250 + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Why You Need To Stockpile Coconut Oil

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Why You Need To Stockpile Coconut Oil Unless you have been living under a rock for the last year, you will have read that coconut oil is the current rave amongst survivalist and prepper types.  The reasons are many.  Coconut oil has a long shelf life, is extremely good for you health-wise, and can multitask.  …

Continue reading »

The post Why You Need To Stockpile Coconut Oil appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Survival Buzz: Eight Lessons Learned from Survival Fiction

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8 Lessons Learned from Survival Fiction | Backdoor Survival

There is fine line between fiction as entertainment and fiction as a learning experience.  Sometimes, if you are lucky, you get both. In that respect, fictionalized tales of survival have proliferated over the years, and as long as you steer clear of the monster zombie titles, you can usually find something redeeming to add to your preparedness knowledge.

As a newbie prepper, one of the first books I read was One Second After.  This book was an eye opener and served to confirm that the road to preparedness was the correct path to follow.  Shortly after reading One Second After, I saw the movie version of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, and I was hooked.

8 Lessons Learned from Survival Fiction | Backdoor Survival

It is now many years later and after a steady diet of reading survival fiction and nothing else, I now read literary fiction and escapist thrillers.  Still, about once a month I read something in the survival genre, and each time I do, I mentally check off lessons learned that help me become a more accomplished prepper.

Do you wonder about what can be learned from a made-up story?  Let me share with you the lessons learned from R.P. Ruggiero’s Brushfire Plague.  This book is still one of my favorites (and hint, hint, wink, wink) is currently only 99 cents for the Kindle version).

8 Lessons Learned from Brushfire Plague

1.  Skills and stuff are equally important.

What do I mean by that?  Simply that you can have a years’ worth of freeze dried food, six ways to purify water and a well-stocked first aid kit but if you don’t have the skills to defend yourself, the knowledge to find food in the wild, and the ability to tend to serious wounds, all of the “stuff” you own will be of little use to you.

2.  Community organization with like minded people can and will save lives.

Unless you live in isolation, the bad guys are going to come around and it may be difficult if not impossible to defend yourself on your own.  Not only is there strength in numbers, but members of an organized team will most certainly have a wider variety of skills at their disposal.

3.  Mental discipline and a level head under pressure will prevail when tough decisions need to be made.

When roaming groups of people show up on your street, they may be tired, hungry and in need of shelter.  What do you do?  Who gets to stay?  How do you decide?  This is just one example of the tough decisions you may have to make in a collapse situation.

4.  Do not underestimate the need to defend yourself in ways you can not fathom in advance.

Without being too much of a spoiler, Brushfire Plague presented methods of community defense I had not considered before.  (Hint:  using old vehicles to set up a physical blockade – now why didn’t I think of that?)

5.  There will be casualties.  Be prepared mentally and physically to deal with the seriously wounded and the deceased.

You may feel prepared with a well-stocked first aid kit, antibiotics and even a suture kit.  But do you know how to use them?  How do you determine dosages especially when the drugs on hand may be in short supply?  Who gets them and who does not?

Equally important, if people die (and they likely will), what will you do with the the bodies?  Bury them (hope you have a strong back and a good shovel)? Burn them?  The ramifications may be horrific but if you are one of the survivors, will you have to have the mental capacity to deal with this.

6.  Grieving is important as is the need to spend personal time alone to rest and recharge.

No one can do it all, 24 hours a day, for days on end.  Take time to grieve your losses and also time to rest and recharge your mental and physical batteries.

7.  Perceived “good guys” may be bad and perceived “bad guys” may actually be good.

No surprise here. Just be prepared to evaluate, interview and act based upon as much knowledge and gut instinct you can muster. Trust no one until that trust in earned.

8.  Feelings and compassion count as does the love and support of friends and family.

This is an important theme both in the book and in my own life.  Without these qualities, the will to go on may be compromised.  Again, I do not want to spoil the book for you, but much as in Cormac McCormack’s “The Road”, the love between a father and his son is an important part of Brushfire Plague.

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Free Mother Earth News Summit – Coming Soon

Even though I am not a homesteader, I love everything about Mother Earth News.  After going to one Mother Earth News Fair a few years back, I was hooked.  Well guess what?  Now we can all attend an online version of the fair by taking advantage of the 100% free, Mother Earth News Homesteading Summit that will be streamed starting Monday, October 31st and through Sunday, November 6th. 

The host for this event will be Marjory Wildcraft and you know that everything she touches is gold! She is also an all around nice person and someone I have been working with for a number of years.  I promise you, this summit will be worth your while.

Even though it does not start until later this month, you can pre-register now using this link.  I also hope to get back to you with more detailed information as we get closer. In the meantime, please join me in supporting this event; it promises to be a good one!

The Final Word

In my opinion, survival fiction should not be so terrifying that you end up filled with fear and apprehension.  Instead, you should first, enjoy the book, and second, come away with a sense of renewed motivation to continue to expand upon your survival skill set.  The very best of the genre will present situations that are possible, if not probably, not so far  “out there” in fantasy, that there is no useful takeaway.

That is my opinion, anyway.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye

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SpotlightBrushfire Plague: Retribution

Both the author, R.P. Ruggiero, and his publisher, Prepper Press, are long term friends of Backdoor Survival.  I therefore am excited to spotlight the newly released third title in the Brushfire Plague series, Retribution.  I just downloaded a copy to my Kindle on Thursday and can’t wait to start it.

If you are just getting started with this series, also check out:

Brushfire Plague:  Currently just 99 cents for the Kindle version.
Brushfire Plague: Reckoning:  Book 2 in the series/

Bargain Bin: Couple being a good neighbor with strong primary defenses and you have a winning combination. Here are some items to consider as you build up your fortress.

One Second After:  For many, this novel was a game changer that convinced them of the need to be prepared. It is a story in which one man struggles to save his family and his small North Carolina town after America loses a war based upon an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) used as a weapon.  It could happen.  If you have not read this book, you really should.  (Note that the paperback version is less in cost than the Kindle version.  These days I am seeing that more and more.)  There is also a sequel, One Year After, which is also a good read.

The Road:  In addition, if you have not read The Road and would prefer a movie instead, the DVD is reasonably priced and also available for streaming.

Dorcy LED Wireless Motion Sensor Flood Lite: This light is awesome. I use mine downstairs and when I get up in the middle of the night, it comes on automatically. It is quite unobtrusive and gives off a ton of light.  I own two of these flood lights.  Runs for a year on 3 D size batteries. About $17.

Sabre Family Home & Property Protection Pepper Spray:  This small fire extinguisher-style pepper spray delivers a strong blast covering an entire doorway. Offering extremely practical protection, SABRE provides distance from your threat with its 30 foot range.  I like that it includes a wall mount.

Midland 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radios: These are the handheld radios that I own. There are lots of good uses for the these radios. Handy while hiking, traveling, or simply keeping in touch with your partner while out shopping. They have a decent range and are waterproof – qualities that I feel are important. Plus, in addition to using the included rechargeable batteries, they can use regular AAs.  Just be aware that getting a 36 mile range out of any handheld FRS radio is a myth.  4 to 6 miles is more likely.  I prefer the Midland brand but the Motorola FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radios are also popular and more budget friendly.

Tac Force TF-705BK Tactical Assisted Opening Folding Knife 4.5-Inch Closed: This is a great knife that is currently priced at about $8.00 with free shipping.  Not only that, it is ranked as the #1 best seller at Amazon in both the camping and hunting knives categories.  The reviews raved about this knife so I bought one, used it, and and can recommend it.  See The Inexpensive Tac-Force Speedster Outdoor Knife.

Nokero N233 Solar Light:  I first heard about these solar lights from a reader a few years back.  Now that I have tested them, I am impressed by the amount of light they give off as well their sturdy construction.  I especially like how they hold a charge for 12 months, meaning your can store them fully charged and can count on them to work during an unexpected emergency.

Baofeng or Pofung UV-5R Ham Two Way Radio: The Pofung (aka Baofeng) UV-5R is a compact hand held transceiver providing 4 watts in the frequency range of 136-174 MHz and 400-480 MHz It is a compact, economical HT that includes a special VHF receive band from 65 – 108 MHz which includes the regular FM broadcast band. Dual watch and dual reception is supported.  About $26.

Here is the antenna I ordered along with the programming cable: NAGOYA Antenna for BAOFENG UV-5R and USB Programming Cable for Baofeng UV-5R UV-3R+. 

Need help with setup?  Read How to Set-Up and Master Ham Radio Without Going Crazy.

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The post Survival Buzz: Eight Lessons Learned from Survival Fiction by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.