Prepper Book Festival: The Preppers Canning Guide + Giveaway

Click here to view the original post.

Preppers Canning Guide | Backdoor Survival

Canning is a blessing and a curse. For seasoned canners, preserving the local bounty not only saves money but is a relaxing and stress-free experience. These same canners giddily prepare fully cooked meals in jars, to be opened and reheated at a moment’s notice.

And everyone else? They suffer a fear of the canning process, botulism, and of blowing themselves up along with their kitchen. Don’t let this canning curse prevent you from learning and benefiting from this important skill. With The Prepper’s Canning Guide, my good friend Daisy Luther teaches you how to can without fear! Enter the giveaway to win a copy for free. There will be three winners!

The post Prepper Book Festival: The Preppers Canning Guide + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Duct Tape EDC

Click here to view the original post.

Duct tape is an EDC (every day carry) for me.  I’ve been carrying it since high school.  A skater friend gave me the idea when I saw his shoes all duct taped up.  He told me  he gets holes in his shoes from skateboarding.  It’s apparently hard to do jumps […]

The post Duct Tape EDC appeared first on Preppers Survive.

SHTF Gear Box Unvieled: $154 worth of stuff for $89

Click here to view the original post.

 

Two bladed instruments which were in the box

I finally got around to opening the gear box from SHTFClub.com and was pleasantly surprised at the contents contained within.  Remember, this is a subscription program and there are three tiers:

  • Basic Plan: $19.99/mo
  • Pro Plan: $49.99
  • Elite Plan: $89.99

Originally I was a bit skeptical because after all, why would I pay to receive a box of unknown items when I could simply go to the store and do it myself.  The reason I believe is threefold.

1- Convenience.  Every month you’ll have a box arrive on your doorstep of items which adds to your stash, many of these items you probably would not get for yourself in the first place.  Additionally since you can cancel at any time, let’s say you don’t want to continue after 3 months it’s no problem.

2- It’s like Christmas, every time.  I’ll admit there was a part of me that enjoyed opening the box and then being surprised at what was contained within,  the crossbow pistol had the little boy inside of me ready to plink at trees all around the house.

3- You get more than you pay for.  I added up the individual retail cost for all items contained in the Elite ($89) box and came up with $154.  That’s a pretty decent savings if you ask me.

Full Contents of SHTFClub Box

Pictured above are all the contents of the box, what follows is a list of each and the retail price which I found online.

Cobra Crossbow: $32
S&W Field Watch: $22
M48 Sling Bag: $29
Survivor Knife: $14
Tomahawk Axe: $17
Splint: $10
UV Glostick: $6
Keychain: $5
FM 5-31: $13
Kale Seeds: $2
Wise Foods: $5

Total: $154

Some general thoughts about the contents of the kit are that while not  the most highspeed ever, almost all of it could be useful.  I’ll admit the crossbow is sort of a novelty item but the watch would make a great backup and the Sling Bag is already in my wife’s car as a replacement trauma kit bag.  Both blades are backup and not primary tools but the UV Glostick is something that I have used successfully in the past on backpacking trips, I’ll definitely strap it to the outside of my wife’s pack.

Over the shoulder bag

The real question is, do I think there is value in this program and would i continue to participate in it going forward?  The answer is yes, but I would have to see what the second and third box contained before deciding to move forward with the subscription, or maybe scale back to the Pro ($49) program.  If you are on a tight budget this might not be for you, but if you have a little bit to spend knowing that you will get more than you pay for I’d say give in a shot for a month or two.  I was pleasantly surprised at the contents of the box and I think you would be too.

 

Review: Learn About Wiebe Specialty Skinning Knives + Giveaway

Click here to view the original post.

Wiebe Specialty Skinning Knives | Backdoor Survival

If there is one piece of gear that is universal in any bug out bag or survival kit, it is a knife. Simply put, in situations of self-reliance, there is no shortage of work to be done with a knife. Having the right knife is simply a must.

One company that is doing their best to put out a lineup of quality knives is Wiebe Knives. In this review, learn about the Wiebe line of specialty knives plus enter to win a set of two knives in a giveaway. There will be two winners.

The post Review: Learn About Wiebe Specialty Skinning Knives + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Why “This War of Mine” Is the Perfect Video Game for Preppers

Click here to view the original post.

this war of mineTo my knowledge, the video game industry has never really catered to preppers. Though they do create games that contain survival situations, they are generally steeped in glorified violence. Likewise, their attempts to create games with post-apocalyptic story lines are almost always based in pure fantasy.

If they did create a game that tackled survival situations or the collapse of society in a realistic way, the realism would probably suck all of the fun out of the game. Or at least that’s what you’d think. However, there is one video game that tackles both of those subjects brilliantly, without sacrificing fun or realism. It’s called “This War of Mine,” and I couldn’t recommend it enough.

As that trailer suggests, this is a war game unlike any other, in that you experience war through the eyes of a handful of civilians who aren’t taking part in the combat. They are merely trying to survive the terrible conditions that war creates. For that reason, I’m actually a bit surprised that the prepper community hasn’t latched onto this game, despite the fact that it’s has been out since 2014. This War of Mine captures the gut wrenching experience of survival in ways that don’t compare to most games.

And like I said, it’s fun. However, it’s not fun in the traditional sense. It’s not glorious and epic and bombastic. It’s subdued. You don’t experience fun by vanquishing waves of faceless enemies. You experience the satisfaction of surviving another day.

The game takes place in the fictional war-torn city of Pogoren. The conditions found in this city are inspired by the real world Siege of Sarajevo, which took place between 1992 and 1996. You command three or four civilians with no military experience. Each character has unique skills and attributes such as cooking, scavenging, bartering, strength, and speed.

You’re hunkered down in a dilapidated house, and you’re responsible for building barricades, stoves, workbenches, rain collectors, water filters, weapons, tools, alcohol stills, and traps, and more. You have to keep these folks alive in this house until a cease-fire is signed and the siege is lifted, which occurs at a random point in the game. You’re responsible for keeping them well-fed, well-rested, warm, and protected from looters and thieves.

So what makes this game so realistic? For starters, there is a degree of luck and randomness in the game that makes it unpredictable. Certain resources and events are generated randomly each time you play. You can’t just play through it once and master it. Strategies that will help you survive one play-through might not help you in another, so you’re always flying by the seat of your pants.

Also, you don’t get to save your game whenever you want. The game will only save at the beginning of each day, and you can’t go back to previous days. So if you make a mistake, there are often no do-overs. So say you send one of your characters out to go scavenging for supplies and that character dies, you can’t go back and try again. And when that happens, the remaining characters have to take a larger share of the daily tasks that are needed to keep everyone alive.

Because of these conditions, you can’t fight your way through the game. Unlike most video games, you can’t just go around killing people and taking their supplies. In fact, most combat encounters will kill you. And even if you survive an encounter like that, you’re almost definitely going to have an injury that requires rest and medical supplies to recover from. To survive this game, you have to be smart, stealthy, and diplomatic. Just like the real world, you’re much better off engaging in trade than you are by engaging in combat, which should be treated as a last resort.

And finally, This War of Mine will really challenge your altruism and morality. You will be faced with situations that will give you the opportunity to be charitable, and you don’t really know if you’ll be rewarded or screwed over. There are times in this game when you will run out of supplies, and you’ll be faced with the choice of going hungry and cold, or stealing from your neighbors.

For sure, This War of Mine is a grim and unforgiving game, but that’s what makes it so perfect for preppers. It will definitely put you in the headspace of someone who is just trying to survive.

 

Don’t forget to join us March 9th 7 p.m. (CST) for a FREE interactive webinar about solar cooking. Click here for more details!

MARCH9G

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

EveryDay Carry (EDC) Long Term Review

Click here to view the original post.

Everyday carry is a popular subject, often interlaced with the two is one and one is none concept.  There are multiple ends of the spectrum as with anything, folks who go bare essentials and others who have 2 or 3 of everything they carry (read: redundancy) complete with stuff loaded into cargo pockets and strapped to their ankles – or in the pockets of their super incognito fisherman’s vest.   I must admit that my EDC loadout changes sometimes as I tweak things or change out kit, what follows is a long term review of the items I have carried on my person for at least the last year.  I should add one note in that I do not believe my personal loadout is the be all end all, everyone has their preferences which align with their comfort level and training.

EDC Loadout

You’ll see in the above picture my basic loadout, I’ve included my belt because I think that is a very important and often overlooked item.  After all almost everything pictured hangs off of my belt, that leather braided belt from 1991 won’t cut it in 2017 if one is serious about stability and comfort.

Glock 19 / Surefire XC1 / G Code XC1 Inside the Waistband (IWB) Holster

Glock 19 with Surefire XC1

I won’t spend much time here as everyone has their personal preference with respect to weapons but I totally dig the Glock 19.  I’ve carried many other weapons and I think the Glock 19 offers the best combination of concealment and performance.  The Surefire XC1 is a great light which isn’t too bulky, I’ve seen folks run a Streamlight TLR IWB and it’s just too much for me.  Granted the XC1 doesn’t put out as much light but it does the trick.  All this fits nicely into the G Code holster, a nice sturdy holster which is also very comfortable and functional.  I’ve run many holsters in the past and my current favorite and go to is the G Code (I have two of them).;

Benchmade Mini Barrage (Serrated)

Benchmade Pocket Knife

This has been a fantastic pocket knife which I use almost on a daily basis.  I’ve done everything from start fires with it to cut gouda cheese on the countertop.  I have carried a few knives in the past and for me this size (2.91 inch blade) is perfect, I’ve yet to encounter a situation where I wished I had a larger blade.  The blade does keep its edge very well, I use a Spyderco Tri Angle sharpener to tighten it up occasionally.

Casio Pro Trek Watch

Casio Pro Trek

I’ve worn this watch just about every day for over 2 years and have found it to be a key addition to my EDC.  Although it has a boatload of features I primarily use it for: current time and date, stopwatch, altitude check, compass (occasionally).  The fact that it keeps a charge via the sun is a bonus, no batteries to worry about changing out.  I’ve worn it on long hikes and jumped out of airplanes with it, it’s a great watch at a decent price point.

KA-BAR TDI Law Enforcement Knife

KA BAR TDI Self Defense Knife

I run this knife on my left side, pretty much centered between my spare mag holder and belt buckle.  Good placement for a quick grab with my non-dominant hand but still accessible with my other hand.  Fortunately I’ve never had to use this knife but it is there in case I need it.  The small kydex holster with clip work well and slide in and out nicely.

Bravo Concealment Spare Mag Carrier

Bravo Concealment Mag Carrier

Lots of options out there for spare mag carriers, all of which pretty much do the same thing.  I will say that I prefer to run a single mag carrier, OWB, on my left hip.  It’s what is comfortable for me and even though I carry my Glock 19 IWB (Appendix) I still prefer my spare mag to be in the traditional location.

5.11 1.75 inch TDU Duty Belt

5.11 Duty Belt

Simple, sturdy, effective.  This belt really doesn’t have any of the fancy features of many other duty belts but at $15 who is going to complain?  These can be picked up just about anywhere and are reversible for all of those who need to color coordinate.  Great belt which I highly recommend.

The Bottom Line

There is no one right answer to EDC, what I run and you run may be completely different.  What I run today I might not be using in 6 months or a year as I try out new gear or make adjustments in what I carry.  I do believe the most important thing is that the gear you carry is tested, ready to use and comfortable in an all day (wearing it) setting.  On a final note I should mention that I sometimes run a CAT-TQ and Quikclot Combat Gauze on my person but when I do not it’s always within reach.  Since I do not carry those items 100% of the time I intentionally left them out.  Good luck with your own EDC and remember to train with it!

 

Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Review: Power in a Pinch

Click here to view the original post.

Behold, the Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus in all its glory, but is it really all folks state that it is cracked up to be….?

Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus

Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus

Before we get into this, straight from the Goal Zero website.

With the Guide 10 Plus Recharger and Nomad 7 Solar Panel you have a portable, rugged charging kit as adventurous as you are. Charge AAs from the sun or any USB port, then power your phone, MP3, GPS, or perk up your tablet in a pinch.

Let’s cut to the chase here before I get into my detailed review.  This thing is indeed great for power in a pinch but can be a chore, might not even be necessary for the simple weekend trip.  Obviously we are not talking SHTF here because if that were the case, are we truly concerned about charging cell phones when the entire grid is down.  Overall I’d have to say at this price point (around $100) it’s affordable, if you spend more than a few days out in remote areas it can be a nice to have item but don’t go out of your way to snag one up.

I spend a good amount of time out in the wilderness but never for more than a few days at a time (for the most part).  In those instances I usually leave my electronic devices off because…there is no cell phone signal.  I do carry a Delorme InReach Explorer on my person but the battery life of that device is more than sufficient for a 2-3 day trek.  For me and what I do the Goal Zero is a nice to have but also not a necessity.  I could hang it off my pack as an insurance plan knowing that power would always be there, no outlet needed, but again I’ve yet to run into an instance where I NEEDED power.

The Experiment

Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Hooked Up

I charged up the Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus to full power (indicated by the green LED on the device) and connected it to my cell phone which was sitting at 17% charge.  16 mins into this the battery pack was showing red, no more charge and my phone was up to 24%.  Interesting.  I then plugged my phone into the wall and 1 hour and 2 mins later it was at 76% (I had to leave).  I set the Goal Zero back out on the deck to recharge.

Indicating Red Quickly

Round Number 2

I decided to give the Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus a second chance later in the day after letting my phone battery drain and the GZ battery pack charge.  My iPhone was at 15% when I hooked up the GZ device, it only took 15 mins for the green light on the battery pack to turn amber (30% charge on my phone).  It did last significantly longer this time, running a full 1 hour and 25 mins before turning red (no more charge) and bringing my phone up to 87% charge.  Decent but not exactly earth shattering.

Final Thoughts

As previously stated I suppose one would benefit from having this device versus not having it for longer periods out in the wilderness.  It will limp your small mobile devices along but isn’t exactly a power plant, nor was it probably designed to be.  If you are the type to take a weekend trip I suggest making sure you have a full charge on your phone and bringing along a small power pack which will probably give you 1-2 full charges, less space than the solar panels and more effective.  If you are the type to spend more than a few days out there, you probably already have this and have figured out a way to make it work.  Personally I was a bit underwhelmed but hey, solar is…solar.

 

Review: Be Prepared with the Archeer Jump Starter + Giveaway

Click here to view the original post.

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.

The Best Rain Barrels Right Now [2017 Update]

Click here to view the original post.

The post The Best Rain Barrels Right Now [2017 Update] is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

If you’re a gardener, you’ve probably wondered how you can collect natural rain to water your garden. If you don’t know much about gardening, you still might love having a rain barrel. It can make you more self-sufficient, help you save money and let you water your yard even during a drought.Before I bought my […]

The post The Best Rain Barrels Right Now [2017 Update] is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

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

Click here to view the original post.

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.

How to Make Coffee Using a French Press + Giveaway

Click here to view the original post.

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.

B.O.S.S. Survival Kits Review and Giveaway!!!

Click here to view the original post.

Stanford Outdoor Supply has two B.O.S.S. Survival Kits worth checking out.  The first is a 127 piece Fishing and Hunting Kit.  The second is a 33 piece Fire Starting Kit.  In previous posts, you’ll find articles on assembling a mini fishing kit and fire starting kit but I get the occasional […]

The post B.O.S.S. Survival Kits Review and Giveaway!!! appeared first on Preppers Survive.

The Best Lawn Aerators (Manual and Machine)

Click here to view the original post.

The post The Best Lawn Aerators (Manual and Machine) is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

Although I mostly write about gardening, from time to time I like to touch on other yard-related activities… Including the lawn. For some, the lawn is a staple of the yard, and proper lawn care is something to be sought after. When thinking of lawn care, fertilizing, mowing, and edging come to mind. But aeration? […]

The post The Best Lawn Aerators (Manual and Machine) is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

Best Pruning Saws: Hand, Folding, Tree, and Electric

Click here to view the original post.

The post Best Pruning Saws: Hand, Folding, Tree, and Electric is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

Hand, Pole, and Electric Pruning Saws…Oh My! Have you found yourself gazing at your favorite little nook in your study, thinking about lopping off a few branches of that tree outside to let in a bit more natural light for reading? Do you feel that extremely tall lilac bush is about to consume the smaller […]

The post Best Pruning Saws: Hand, Folding, Tree, and Electric is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

19+ Best Landscaping Books for Gardeners, Architects, and Designers

Click here to view the original post.

The post 19+ Best Landscaping Books for Gardeners, Architects, and Designers is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

When I was in high school, I participated in “career day” with the rest of my class, shadowing a person who had the career that I hoped to have in the future…The career I chose? Landscape architect. I learned so much from my day shadowing. That day, the seed was planted that sprouted into my […]

The post 19+ Best Landscaping Books for Gardeners, Architects, and Designers is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

13 Best Tiny House Books for Inspiration and Action

Click here to view the original post.

The post 13 Best Tiny House Books for Inspiration and Action is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

Unless you’ve been living deep undercover, you’ve likely heard about the tiny home movement that’s been sweeping the country over the past 4-5 years.There’s even a show about it on HGTV these days, so you know it’s gotten popular enough that the mainstream media is trying to cash in.That said, it’s a wonderful counter-culture movement […]

The post 13 Best Tiny House Books for Inspiration and Action is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

2016 Ultimate Christmas Shopping Guide For Preppers

Click here to view the original post.

 Who’s ready for Cyber Monday? I know that many of you are starting to make wishlists for some favorite products to add to your prepping supplies and we’d love to help you out with that. Each year, Ready Nutrition puts out an extensive list on some of the most popular prepping gear out there. Here are some Prepper Christmas ideas from recent years: 201320142015. These online deals may inspire you to snag some for yourself and bulk up your own preps!

Check out these prepper gifts for 2016

Gifts under $20

Daisy Slingshot

Slingshots have long been used for hunting small game, such as rabbits, doves, and squirrels. An advantage of this is that it does not require ammunition, making it ideal for teaching kids about self-reliance. In a shtf situation where you have run out of ammunition, this modest weapon could be converted into a more powerful tool. You can read more about the effectiveness of this silent weapon here.

The Prepper’s Blueprint

blueprint

This 462 page best-seller is a must-have for your prepper library. Each chapter uses real-life scenarios to help the reader prepare for any disaster and provides lists of supply suggestions. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Prepper’s Blueprint coaches the reader to make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and essential supply lists.

Sawyer Mini

The Mini Water Filter is the lightest and most versatile personal filtration system from Sawyer. It weighs 2 ounces and fits in the palm of your hand and allows you to drink from virtually any body of water. It may be small is size, but it allows you to drink up to 100,000 gallons of water without changing the filter! For less than $20 dollars, this is the gift that keeps on giving!

Gifts Under $50

Eco Handwasher Machine

Another great off-grid appliance to consider is mobile washing machine. We all know how dirty things can get in an emergency and having a way to keep clean will be paramount. Can also be used for small loads for single people and can wash 7 to 8 dress shirts, 10 T-shirts, 30 pairs of socks or 2 pairs of blue jeans per load. After finishing your washing cycle just attach the drain spout and it will automatically drain into the sink or bathtub. Then fill again with clean water for the rinse cycle.

GoTenna

Turn your cellular phone into an off-grid communication tool. This state-of-the-art cognitive digital radio creates its own 100% off-grid signal and coordinates with other units within range so you can text privately — 1-to-1 or with a group — or broadcast openly to any nearby goTenna. It even has apps included with detailed offline maps — free to download for any region in the world — so you can locate yourself and others while enjoying the outdoors, travel, and crowded events or even during emergencies.

Colt S.P.E.A.R. Tactical Arrowheads

Colt products are an American tradition built upon a lifetime of quality products. These arrowheads are the perfect addition to your survival kit and can be used for hunting, trapping, cutting, and even skinning.

Gifts Over $75

Tactical Gasmask

One SGE 400/3 BB Tactical Gas Mask + Two Multipurpose A2B2E2K2P3 FiltersThis tactical gas mask was originally developed for military and law enforcement use and is now available to civilians. This advanced breathing protection device is rated to protect against all CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear)-level threats and would make a great addition to your preps. The greatest sell point for Top Tier Gear USA is they take into account the family aspect of preparedness and have deals for families!

Outdoor Cast Iron Stove

There’s no doubt about it, this outdoor wood stove is built to last. With heating and cooking capability, it’s the ultimate “dual threat.” Perfect for camp, outbuildings and more. This well build outdoor stove keeps coffee and sauce pans hot, brings water to a boil and cooks bacon and eggs! The top selling point of this product is its portable and make from high quality galvanized steel.

Leatherman

Multi-tools are just plain awesome aren’t they? They let you save a ton of space by wrapping multiple functions into a single item. And since most little problems don’t need super specialized solutions, a few multitools can fix pretty much any problem around the house. The Oht Black Molle multi-tool is stainless steel leatherman and truly has it all. Black oxide is a powder-based metal coating and is ideal for situations where giving away a position would be costly. This it is widely used by the military for its effectiveness in reducing glare and reflection. Also, don’t forget to add a tool holster for easy carry.

VSSL Supplies

VSSL supplies contain the outdoor gear you need for short-term excursions. Whether you plan to be out for a few days or a few hours, having critical supplies in a compact weather-resistant case is an essential part of preparation. This is a great product to keep in your bug out supplies or in your vehicle preparedness kit. I love this product because everything is labeled so you stay organized when you’re on the go!

Wonderbag

Wonderbag Non-Electric Portable Slow Cooker with Recipe Cookbook, Blue BatikOff-gridders are going to love this product! The Wonderbag is a simple but revolutionary non-electric, portable slow cooker. Wonderbag’s clever insulation allows food that has been brought to the boil to continue slow cooking or warm while in the bag. No plugs. No Fuss. No electricity required, so it’s worry-free. This is a great addition for those wanting alternative ways to cook when there is an off-grid emergency.

Looking for a more personal gift?

Homemade gifts also make wonderful presents to put under the tree. There is still time to make a homemade gift for loved ones. Here are some that I or the writers at Ready Nutrition have written about in the past.

Merry Christmas and Happy Shopping to all of you!

Tess and the Ready Nutrition Writers

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Best HPS Bulbs For Your Garden

Click here to view the original post.

The post The Best HPS Bulbs For Your Garden is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

For years, HPS technology has proven itself one of the best grow light choices for indoor and outdoor gardeners who want big, consistent, and predictable harvests. In short, HPS delivers.In this guide, we have gathered what we consider to be the most important information to help you choose the right HPS bulb for your garden. […]

The post The Best HPS Bulbs For Your Garden is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

The Prepper’s Awesome Holiday Gift Guide

Click here to view the original post.

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.

Prepping on a Budget: 4 Food Dehydrators under $75

Click here to view the original post.

 Many believe dehydrating food is the safest, most affordable and best way to preserve flavors of foods. Having a dehydrator available allows you to make fruit leathers, dried fruits, beef jerky, nuts, seeds, and even meals. They cut down on wasted food, save money on pre-packaged snacks, and allow your family to eat healthily on the go. Dried foods are a life-saving staple and one of the most affordable ways to create an emergency food supply or preserve food that would otherwise go to waste. The Prepper’s Cookbook hails this culinary tool as a must-have for creating a stocked pantry.

If you have thought about buying a dehydrator, chances are you’ve heard of the Excalibur Food Dehydrator. It is the gold standard in food dehydration: it is reviewed highly by users, performs well and has a great guarantee package, and the customer service team has a great reputation. Many feel it is worth the upfront investment, especially if you plan on using your dehydrator often, but for some people, the $250 price tag is too much to bear.

That said, you have options! Below are some alternatives to the upper-end models and come highly recommended.

Four budget-friendly food dehydrators that get the job done!

1) Presto 06300

This no-frills dehydrator is as affordable as you can get. Selling for under $40, this four-tray system is compact and still powerful enough to dehydrate a good amount of fruits, veggies, jerky, and leathers. The clear cover allows you to keep watch over your snacks and the trays and cover are all dishwasher safe. It is quiet and lightweight, therefore easy to carry into various rooms for different purposes (such as making potpourri or drying herbs from your garden). One drawback is a lack of temperature control, but satisfied users agree that the general setting is sufficient for most tasks. This would make a great purchase or gift for someone new to food dehydration.

2) Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro

At around $60, the Nesco Snackmaster Pro is one of the newest dehydrators in the Nesco product line. It has 700 watts of drying power and comes with 5 drying trays (up to 12 trays can be used in the unit but those additional trays need to be purchased separately). The adjustable thermostat ranges from 95-160 degrees. It is lightweight and compact and includes added goodies like 2 fruit roll up sheets, 3 packets of beef jerky spice, and a detailed recipe and instruction book. There isn’t a timer or an on/off switch on this unit, though users seem happy with the other features at this price point.

3) NutriChef Kitchen Electric Countertop Food Dehydrator

This dehydrator is around $50 and incredibly user-friendly. It comes with 5 trays, each of which has 6 stacking tabs that allow you to change the height between each tray so you can place thicker food on the tray and still get good results. There is space for up to 20 trays in this unit (additional trays sold separately). The trays are clear and dishwasher safe, though some users complain that the base of the unit can be difficult to clean. It is fairly quiet and has an on/off switch; it comes with a detailed user guide.

4) Cuisinart DHR-20 Food Dehydrator

The Cuisinart Food Dehydrator is the priciest in this list, though at $65 it still comes in at a much more affordable rate than the Excalibur. It has a 620-watt motorized fan with a top vent. It can hold 9 trays total and jerky lovers seem to love this dehydrator: it dehydrates up to 4 pounds of meat in 4-5 hours, depending on the cut. Replacement and additional trays are a bit pricey at around $14 a piece; otherwise, the reviews for this product are very satisfactory.

In planning for a long-term disaster, people are always trying to find foods they can look forward to that will give them optimum nutrition. These budget-friendly food dehydrators will help you do just that. Happy dehydrating!

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

Click here to view the original post.

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.

~~~~~

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: Hand Crank Stainless Dough Maker from Lehman’s + 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.

Survival Buzz: When SHTF You Will Need Boots + Giveaway

Click here to view the original post.

When SHTF You Will Need Boots | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to personal items, I tend to be a bit of a fashionista.  Except when it come to boots.  Boots are boots and performance trumps fashion.  But what if you can have a pair of tactical boots that both look good and performs well?  And I am not talking just about the ladies, either.

It takes a lot for me to get excited about survival gear that is worn which is probably why I don’t write about such products very often.  On the other hand, if a particular item is outstanding, I am going to tell you about it.  Such is the case with my new Maelstrom TAC FORCE Tactical Boots (also available for men).  I have been wearing them full time for the past week and have to tell you, these are fantastic.

When SHTF You Will Need Boots | Backdoor Survival

Below I will share some of the details and a few specs but first, I am thrilled to inform you that the nice folks at Maelstrom will be providing one pair for free to a lucky Backdoor Survival reader  More about that in a moment; first let me tell you about the boots.

Review of the Maelstrom TAC FORCE 8″ Tactical Boots

It goes without saying that when the stuff hits the fan, a good pair of boots will be put to good use.  They might be used to hike out to a stream and back with fresh water, or to evacuate on foot to higher ground during flood conditions.  They might be used to wade through mud and muck during a storm, or as a sturdy set of footwear allowing you decent traction while preparing your garden in the Spring.  When and if the SHTF, boots will become a necessity and not a luxury.

maelstrom-boots-in-forest

Two things jumped out at me when I first wore these boots.  First of all, they have a side zipper.  This may not seem like a big deal but anyone who has struggled with lacing a pair of boots to get them just so knows how frustrating it is to take your hard work apart when removing the boots.  Next day, or the next time you wear the boots, you have to start the process all over again.  With the zipper and accompanying Velcro tab, after the first time, you can slip the boots on and off in seconds.  No adjustments required.

The second thing is that no break in period was (or is) required.  I did  have to remove the included removable, polyurethane insole, but after that I was good to go.  On day one I wore the boots from 8AM to 8PM and during that time, I was packing and moving boxes around, going up and down stairs, and of course, taking Tucker the Dog on his daily hike through the woods.

Although the boots are marketed as being water resistant rather than waterproof, I did wade into the salt water before continuing along my way during a hike.  My feet did not get wet and later, when I removed the boots, my socks were still bone dry.  That was a good sign.

When SHTF You Will Need Boots | Backdoor Survival

Here are a few things you need to know.  I ordered my usual size and found the boots were a bit snug.  It is for that reason I removed it’s cushioning insole.  It is designed to be removable so no biggie.  My suggestion would be to order a half size up unless you have a narrow foot.  That said, the boots were extremely comfortable without the insole.

These boots are remarkably light weight.  I weighed them on my scale at home and the two boots (size 7.5) came in at only 2 lbs 1 ounce.  That is for both boots!

In my usual manner, I am not going to list every single spec for you,  Instead, let me direct you to this page that describes the Maelstrom TAC FORCE 8″ boot in detail.  I am sure you will be impressed.

The Giveaway

The winner of the giveaway will be able to pick boots in the color of their choice: black, tan, or coyote brown. In addition, if you want to get a super discount on the boots, for the month of September Maelstrom is running a 25% off special on their website.  To take advantage of this offer, just use the coupon code 25A09 at checkout.  Or, you can purchase Maelstrom boots at Amazon.com where they are also discounted as a matter of course.

I highly recommend these boots and for a cost of around of $65 or less, these are a great buy.

a Rafflecopter 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.

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

Current Backdoor Survival Giveaways

Prepper Book Festival 12: Prepper’s Armed Defense + 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:  2016 Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle

For the third year in a row, I am promoting the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle.  This is the bundle of all bundles as far as I am concerned because it is always chock full of well written eBooks, online courses, and special bonuses that deliver real value. 

2016 Healthy Living Bundle Coming Soon | Backdoor Survival

I am sworn to secrecy at the moment, but hint hint, wink wink, there is one online course that you are not going to want to miss.  The 2016 Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is coming soon, on September 21st.  Click here to be notified of the details when they come available.

The Final Word

When I was a young girl, my brothers wore what were called at the time “Patrol Boots”.  We are talking about the mid 50s and thes boots for boys were all the rage.  I now have my own patrol boots and have been showing them off to everyone who will listen.  

Other than having fun with my new boots, this week has been more of the same.  We do have, fingers crossed, an offer on our home that is pending and if everything goes well, will be moving at the end of the month.  In the meantime, I am dreaming about a mountain retreat and fresh water fishing in a forest lake.  A girl can dream!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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

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

Bargain Bin: In addition to these fantastic boots, here are a number of favorites mentioned by Backdoor Survival readers in the article 39 Fantastic Prepping Tips.

Maelstrom TAC FORCE 8″ Tactical Boots: You will just have to take my word about these boots.  Most colors and sizes come with free returns so there is really no risk.  Lightweight and comfy, I wear these even though the stuff has not hit the fan.  Yet,

pocket survival kit_3Streamlight Nano Light Keychain LED Flashlight: Extremely small and light weight yet it will throw off a decent amount of super-bright light. At just .36 ounces and 1.47 inches long, the S treamlight Nano Light Keychain Flashlight will take up a minimum of space in your pocket or bag.

Paracord Survival Bracelet:  Why a Paracord Bracelet? So you always have some of this useful cord on your person!

Windstorm Safety Whistle: I have many cheap whistles but for in my bug out bag, I stash the Windstorm whistle.  I have tested it and this particular whistle can be heard a long distance away and above howling wind and other competing sounds.

Swedish Firesteel:  Using this basic pocket fire-starter, you can get a nice fire going under almost any conditions. This is a small, compact version.

Pepper Spray:  It is always good to have some form of defense that will temporarily halt a bad guy that is in your face.

Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets:  These come in compressed packets small enough to fit in a pocket or wallet.  You will be surprised at how warm these will keep you.

Kershaw OSO Sweet Knife:  This “oh so sweet” knife is solidly built, stainless steel knife that comes razor sharp right out of the package. It will pretty much cut through anything the price is amazing.  Currently less than $17.

blocklite flashlight

Blocklite Mini Compact Size Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight:  One of my readers (James) turned me on to the Blocklite.  I now own six.  There is a similar flashlight called the Pak-Lite (which is more expensive) but it does not have a high-low switch like this one. 

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.  These are infinitely useful and a great value.

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 two of my favorites, the Mobile Washer (Hand Operated Washing Machine) now only $14.95 and the Tote-able Toilet Seat and Lid, now only $11.79.

Preptember 


~~~~~

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: When SHTF You Will Need Boots + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

KEEN Men’s Newport H2 Review: AKA “The Mandal”

Click here to view the original post.

Mobility is important but so is being comfortable.  While wearing flip flops isn’t exactly optimal neither is sporting a dedicated full hiking boot while in warmer temps.  There has to be a good solution, a hybrid of sorts which would allow one’s feet to breathe but also be sturdy enough to navigate some decent terrain or even jog through broken glass and jump a fence (think worst case scenario).  Enter the Keen Newport H2, referred to by many as the mandal.

Keen Newport H2

Keen’s in action while in a river

I’ve had my Keen’s for 6 months and have worn them in a tropical rainforest, in the rocky mountains, in pools / waterfalls, everyday around town wear and have even jogged in them (long story).  They are a great all around sandal/shoe hybrid which allows one to recreate while still providing a decent amount of support and protection for the feet.  Here’s the rundown.

The Good.

  • Closed in toe box just like a regular Keen hiking shoe which is great for protection, unlike a standard sandal which leaves the toes exposed.
  • Great fit all the way around, no sliding around while wearing them.
  • Sole is great, nice grip for moving around over land or in a stream on slippery rocks.
  • Good arch support, definitely not an afterthought when producing this model.
  • Webbing material which the sandal is made of dries easily after getting wet.

The Not So Good.

  • It’s a sandal and therefore your foot is not entirely closed in while wearing it, as such if you are on a dusty trail little rocks can get inside and get under your feet which can be annoying.
  • Not the most fashionable sandal ever, pretty ugly as a matter of fact.
  • You will drop over $100 for a pair of these so they aren’t exactly cheap.

The Bottom Line.

I purchased the Keen’s because I was looking for a good warm weather shoe/sandal which would still allow for good mobility while not sacrificing comfort.  They have exceeded my expectations and have proven to be one of my favorite pair of footwear.  If you are in the market I highly suggest checking them out at your local retailer.

 

 

Identify Nature With These Cool Apps

Click here to view the original post.

appIf you have an iPhone, chances are you’ve used a recognition app like Shazam if you’ve ever heard a song you liked and wanted to identify the artist. These recognition apps seem like magic, giving you a definitive answer in just seconds and providing a link to purchase the music you’ve just heard.

Once, while on a hike in the Hudson Valley with a friend, we joked that there should be a Shazam app for nature. At the time we were both living in NYC and we felt a big disconnect from the plants and animals we were seeing around us. Wouldn’t it be great, we thought, to have an app that would tell us which berries were dangerous and what kind of bird has a bright red chest? After doing a little research, it turns out that there are a few apps meant to do exactly this.

  • Bird Song ID is basically Shazam for birdsong. The app allows you to record birds’ singing and then a processor will let you know what species you’re listening to. Like Shazam, the clearer the recording, the better your chances are of getting a match. An added bonus is that don’t need an Internet connection to use this app, so it’s perfect for those remote hikes.
  • Merlin Bird ID is fast and simple to use while birdwatching. You’ll answer 5 quick questions to narrowdown a list of potential species. Millions of recorded observations help the app to make educated guesses.
  • Leafsnap allows you to take a photo of a leaf against a light-colored background and identify the plant or tree from which it came. The catalogue is extensive and it’s a free app—a downside is that you’ll need an Internet connection to use it.
  • IdentiPlant is an app for identifying flowers and plants. Like Leafsnap, this app works by using an image your snapped of the plant and cross-referencing it with a large database. There’s no need to take a photo against a light-colored background for this one, and the app provides extensive information about each plant.
  • Audubon’s Field Guide to North American Mammals can help you identify what animal just darted across your path. You’ll narrow down possibilities by size, shape, location, and habitat and you can even analyze the droppings or tracks the critter left behind.
  • For more advanced nature lovers, the What’s Invasive app lets people track invasive species they might encounter. A list of invasive plants or animals is provided by the National Park Service based on your GPS location. Look through the list before your hike and then keep your eyes open for species that threaten native plants and animals. Report what you see to do your part in keeping indigenous species safe. More advanced nature nerds will love this, plus, if you have small children, this app can give them something to watch out for and therefore hold their interest on longer trails. Also available for Android.

All of these apps are under $5 and most of them are free. Take advantage and download the ones that interest you before your next brush with nature!

 

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Light Your Way With Nokero Solar Lights + Giveaway

Click here to view the original post.

Light Your Way With Nokero Solar Lights | Backdoor Survival

Let’s face the facts.  Prepper’s are lighting whores and solar geeks.  Add a flashlight or lantern to our preps and we are over the moon excited.  Get our hands on something powered exclusively by the sun we are thrilled.  Who said preppers are difficult to please?

Today, for all of you lighting and solar fans, I have the perfect solution to your portable lighting needs: Nokero Solar Lights.  Part lantern, part light bulb, the Nokero N233 Solar Light is lightweight and small but puts out an extremely bright beam.. I am going to share with you my thoughts on the Nokero  N233, but beyond that, I have five up for grabs in a giveaway plus one super Nokero W100 Solar Work Light valued at $179.  That means a total of six winners.

More about the giveaway in a moment but first, let me tell you about the Nokero N233 Solar Light-Lantern.

Light Your Way With Nokero Solar Lights | Backdoor Survival

Casting a Bright Light with the Nokero N233 Solar Light

My first impression upon opening the package was the size of the Nokero N233.  It is only 4.5 inches tall.  The second thing I noticed was it weighed almost nothing.  For the curious, it weighed in at 3 ounces. So far, so good.

The N233 is made up of two parts: the light itself and a base. One side of the light is the bulb, and the other is the solar panel plus an on-off switch.  The is a hook at the top of the light so you can hang the Nokero or, alternately, you can screw it into its base and set it on top of a table or other object.

Nokero Solar Light | Backdoor Survival

The Nokero N233 worked right out of the box.  According to the specifications, the LiFePO4 battery will hold a charge over 12 months and last up to five years.  Theoretically, you could charge the light then set it aside until you needed it.  I don’t know why you would do that, though.  I prefer to use my solar lights day to day because they save me the hassle of batteries.

There are two brightness settings. High beam is 25 lumens and low beam is 10.  I found that both settings were bright enough for reading. Although the stated run time is 6 hours on high 15 hours on low, my units ran about 10% longer than that.  During my testing, I left my two units outside on the deck overnight, not knowing it was going to rain.  I should not have been surprised since this is Washington State, after all.  Anyway, after a night of steady rainfall, my N233 solar lights still worked like a champ, thus living up to their claim of being completely weatherproof.

8 Practical Uses of the N233

I thought it would be fun to come up with some practical uses of the N233 solar light.  Here are eight, although I am sure we could double or triple this list.

1. Clip to a coat or parka to lighten the path or trail while moving around in the dark.

2. During a power outage, set along the stairway so no one trips, falls, and hurts themselves.

3. Signal others in your group by setting up codes (for on-off five times means the coast is clear).

4. Use as a reading lamp.

5. Hang above your outdoor cooking source when it is pitch black outdoors.

6. Attach to your dog’s leash during nocturnal trips outdoors to do doggy business.

7. On low beam, use as a nightlight to keep zombies and monsters out of the kids room.

8. Provide light inside the honey bucket aka outhouse.

The Nokero W100 Work Light

I had a choice of receiving a review unit of the Nokero W100 Work Light or offering one to our readers as a giveaway.  Of course I chose the giveaway!

Nokero W100 | Backdoor Survival

This photo gives you a good idea of how the Nokero W100 will light up a large area at night.

Although I did not test it myself, here is one of the reviews from Amazon:

I purchased the W100 to provide basecamp light on a recent multi-day camping trip.

While the light is on the heavy side and a little bulky it provides an incredible amount of light. We used it for five nights for about 4 hours a night and what’s truly amazing is we forgot to charge it during the day and it still lasted all of that time. Also, as we were trying to tie the light up in a tree it fell about 10’ directly onto rocks – other than a small scratch, the light was completely unharmed.

I’m so pleased with the W100 that I plan to keep one at my cabin for emergencies. Also, I like that Nokero is helping people in the third world. I highly recommend this product for anyone needing serious off-grid lighting.

Nokero W100 Work Light | Backdoor Survival

Here are the basic specifications:

Brightness (lumens): 300 (high), 150 (medium), 50 (low)
Run time (hours): 10 (high), 20 (medium), 40 (low)
Charge time: 6-8 hours
Exposure: Completely weatherproof and fully submersible

Nokero – The Company

Nokero is based in Denver, Colorado which is where their products are designed and tested.  Wonder where the name Nokero came from?  In support of it use of renewable solar energy, it came from “no kerosene”.

By now you know that I favor companies that give back to our less fortunate global citizens.  This is not being a soft touch; it is being human.  For every purchase, Nokero, the company, provides a light to a person in a developing country.

The Giveaway

Nokero is giving away one of their W100 Solar Work Lamps and five of their N233 Solar Lights.  There will be six winners.

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 Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

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

The Final Word

I first learned about Nokero from a reader who had purchased some of their solar lamps at a show.  It was either a preparedness show or camping exposition; I really can’t remember.  What I do remember is that she said she had no financial interest in the company and was simply a satisfied customer.  It does not get much better than that.

Since that time, the company itself has grown and now has quite a few products in their lineup.  All are sold directly from their website and a few, including the N233, are sold on Amazon.

As far as I am concerned, the combination of solar energy and emergency lighting is a win win.  Please do enter the giveaway.  I would love to have you win a Nokero Solar Lamp 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.

Emergency Food Buyers Guide 2016-02-26

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.

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.

RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports: This compact, three panel, solar charger will charge two devices at once, including tablets, smartphones, Kindles, and even AA/AAA battery chargers.  Value priced at about $50.  For more information, read: Gear Review: RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports.

Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse: Although this is a book of fiction, it is also serves as a survival manual of sorts.  The depiction of society three years following a collapse is so very real that I could almost put myself in the same room as the members of the survival group that has banded together to protect each other as they live in a communal retreat.  The section on a bartering market was hugely insightful and gave me some idea of how it might work in a real, SHTF situation.  Considering when this was written, Patriots is eerily timely.

One Second After:  For many, the novel “One Second After” was a game changer that convinced them of the need to be prepared.  If you have not read this book, you really should.  This is my #1 pick when it comes to survival fiction.

iRonsnow Dynamo Emergency Solar Hand Crank Self Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio, LED Flashlight, Smart Phone Charger & Power Bank: This $20 unit has it all in one portable package.  It can be also be powered using 3 AAA batteries.  This is a great value.

10 Inch Premium Glow Sticks – Assorted: These glow sticks are fantastic!  Each stick glows for 8-12 hours, and comes with a pre-attached hook and lanyard.  They are well priced and hold up well when packed around in a pocket or handbag.  For more information about glow sticks and chemical lighting, read 10 Reasons to Add Glow Sticks to Your Survival Kit.

LifeStraw Personal Water FilterThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items Backdoor Survival:  The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2 oz.  making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.

~~~~~~~~~~

   Shop the Emergency Essentials June Summer Sales Event

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.  And now, for a limited time, they are bringing back their warehouse sale with savings up to 85%!

Emergency Essentials Summer Sales EventEmergency Essentials carries a wide variety of equipment and supplies – all at competitive prices.

~~~~~

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 Light Your Way With Nokero Solar Lights + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Tactical Pen – My Most Used Everyday Carry

Click here to view the original post.

Tactical Pen Everyday Carry One of the greatest benefits to being a woman prepper is the use of a handbag.  I store a variety of everyday carry items in it like a knife, duct tape, pepper spray, key chain light, multi tool, small firstRead More

The post Tactical Pen – My Most Used Everyday Carry appeared first on Preppers Survive.

Review: Emergency Lighting with the Aladdin Mantle Lamp + Giveaway

Click here to view the original post.

Emergency Lighting Aladdin Mantle Lamp | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to non-electric lighting, there actually is a genie in the bottle.  Oh my gosh, if you only knew how long I have been waiting to say that!  So now you ask:  Genie? Bottle?  What the heck?

Many of you have mentioned that you have a kerosene lamp.  Some have been of older vintage, passed down from grandparents or purchased for a song at a garage sale.  Others have a newer lamp, purchased specifically for prepping purposes.  And then there are the rest of us, lamp-less and yearning to learn more.

Emergency Lighting Aladdin Mantle Lamp | Backdoor Survival

Today I am super excited to introduce you to the Aladdin Genie III Lamp, and, thanks to the generosity of Galen Lehman (yes, THAT Lehman), have a complete Aladdin Lamp setup to giveaway to one very lucky reader.  More about that later but first, let me tell you about the Aladdin Lamp.

The Aladdin Lamp

I first learned about Aladdin lamps when I read a draft of Book 6 of Ron Brown’s Non-Electric Lighting Series.  Prior to that, I  knew very little, if anything about Aladdin table lamps.  I  knew what they looked like but not much more.  Mostly, I had no idea that these old-timey lamps were still being made.

Here is a ten thousand foot summary description of Aladdin lamps:

Aladdin lamps are mantle lamps that burn kerosene.

It is the mantle that emits light from the flame which is why an Aladdin is so much brighter than a wick-only lamp.

They are not pressurized so they don’t hiss or flicker.

They produce up to 60 watts-worth of smooth white light. The Aladdin is bright!

They have been on the market over a hundred years, since 1909 to be exact.

Aladdin’s have a cult following and there is even a worldwide collectors club, The Aladdin Knights of the Mystic Light.

You can purchase an Aladdin brand new as well as used.

And that is just to begin with.

Setting Up the Aladdin Lamp

One nice thing about the Aladdin is that everything you need to set it up is included with the exception of fuel.  At Galen’s recommendation, I used genuine Aladdin Oil and did not test other lamp fuels.  It is my understanding, however, that other fuels such as Klean-Strip Klean-Heat and pure K-1 kerosene will produce satisfactory results.

After unwrapping all of the parts, you need to fit the mantle to what is called the gallery.  The gallery, or slip-gallery, is the upper portion of the burner.  It is the section that holds both the mantle and the chimney.

Emergency Lighting Aladdin Mantle Lamp | Backdoor Survival

A “before” picture to the mantle.

The next step is the only step that requires some care.  Before using the lamp, you need to burn off the mantle coating by touching a flame to the top of the mantle.  The dicey part is that you only want the flame to touch because if you accidently touch the mantle with your match stick, it will disintegrate.  How do I know?  I was being extremely cautious and failed at my first three attempts to light the mantle.  I was using short matches and they extinguished before I succeeded.  Mr. Know-It-All, Shelly, wanted to try and within 2 seconds, shattered the mantle.

Emergency Lighting Aladdin Mantle Lamp | Backdoor Survival

This is what will happen if you are not careful.

Luckily, I had a spare mantle and it lit up easily.  It helped that I used BBQ wand but you can also use a longer match or even a standard BIC.

Emergency Lighting Aladdin Mantle Lamp | Backdoor Survival

The next step is to add the wick to the bowl, screw the burner into the bowl and then fill it with your fuel of choice, Aladdin Lamp Oil or K-1 kerosene.   My Genie III had a fill hole making this easy to top off using a funnel.  Note that the first time around, you need to let the wick soak for an hour.

Emergency Lighting Aladdin Mantle Lamp | Backdoor Survival

The last step is light the burner, again using a match, and attach the gallery/chimney section.

Ready, Set, Light!

I was pretty anxious to see how my lamp worked and whether it lived up to the hype.  To be honest, at first I was disappointed.  Apparently this is a normal reaction for a first-timer because we expect to see a full-blown glow right away.  The reality is that it takes a while for the burner to warm up (10 to 15 minutes is my guess) and after that, you need to adjust the wick to obtain the desired illumination.

Emergency Lighting Aladdin Mantle Lamp | Backdoor Survival

This is my favorite photo.

Emergency Lighting Aladdin Mantle Lamp | Backdoor Survival

It is difficult to tell from the pictures, but the Genii III lived up to it’s reputation.  Not only did it give up a significant amount of light. but there was something charming about watching it burn.  Okay, I get excited about the oddest things but honestly?  I loved the way it looked and right away wanted to jump online and get not only a lamp shade, but another Aladdin lamp.

Emergency Lighting Aladdin Mantle Lamp | Backdoor Survival

When it comes time to extinguish your lamp, turn the wick knob until it stops, and blow across the chimney.  The flame will go out.

Note:  The Aladdin Genie III will burn for 12 hours before you need to refill the oil reservoir.

A Word About Mantles

As I found during my testing, mantles are fragile and need to be treated with care, especially during the initial set-up.

In his book, Ron recommends Philippine-made mantles and further indicates:

I recommend you buy them only direct from Lehman’s (https://www.lehmans.com/). Lehman’s is a major player; its inventory turnover is high; that means you’ll get mantles that were recently produced. (In the interest of full disclosure, please know I have zero financial interest in Lehman’s.)

In every case, no matter what Aladdin mantle you buy or where it’s from, open every box and check every mantle individually. I have received shattered mantles in perfect boxes from trusted sellers. On eBay, buy only from sellers with a 100% satisfaction rating from their customers.

Galen Lehman advises, “Lehman’s (and most reliable retailers) will replace mantles that arrive to customers broken.” And that’s great. Except what I have done is to buy a dozen mantles in one shot, receive them neatly packed in a carton, check one and, finding that one to be okay, set the entire box on a shelf. Ten years later (after I’ve long since forgotten who the vendor was) I discover that some of the mantles in that carton are not so good. So, again, my advice is to check them individually when first received.

I agree, and to add to that, recommend that for emergency purposes, you have a couple of spares.

Something else to watch for black spots on the mantle that may appear while the Aladdin lamp is burning.  This means that the mantle has been over fired.  I am uncertain of the ramifications but all you need to do to correct this problem is turn down the wick.  That is easy enough to do using the knob on the side of the burner.

Safety Concerns

Safety concerns are always an issue with any type of emergency lighting that produces a flame.  The Aladdin is no exception.  Never leave an Aladdin lamp (or any kerosene lamp) unattended.  If by chance it becomes over-fired, it will pose a fire hazard.

Also, keep in mind that fresh air is required if the lamp is going burn properly.  Never use your lamp in a tightly sealed, indoor area.  If you are indoors, keep a window or door slightly cracked.

Finally, do not burn gasoline in your Aladdin lamp; it will explode and there will be no good ending to that event!

Galen Lehman Weighs In On Preparedness

I have had an opportunity to get to know Galen Lehman and, perhaps unknown to you, have had some of my articles shared on the Lehman’s Country Life blog.  In preparation for this article, I asked Galen to answer a few questions so you can get to know both Aladdin and Lehman’s a little bit better.

Can you explain for my readers how you came to own the Aladdin Lamp business?  I have heard through the grapevine that you started out as a collector.

Lehman’s has been an Aladdin dealer for something like 50 years.  No one can even remember when we started, but we’ve found mentions of Aladdin in early advertising from about that long ago.  When I started working there in the 1970’s, one of my first jobs was putting them away.

I was so intrigued by how they worked, that I soon fell in love with them.  I read Bill Courter’s book, Aladdin, The Magic Name in Lamps from cover to cover and joined the collector’s club.

Victor Johnson started the company in 1909, and his family still owns the original company today, but they made the difficult decision to sell the lamp division to new owners. That company, which was eventually named Aladdin Lighting Technologies, had as one of its original investors my father, Jay.

After 15 years running Aladdin Lighting Technologies, Jay and the other owners began looking for a succession plan.  They reached out to Lehman’s. At the time, Lehman’s was their largest customer, and they felt we were uniquely positioned to understand the brand and its legacy.  I jumped at the chance to take over, and in early 2015 we purchased all of their assets and incorporated under “Crownplace Brands, Ltd.”

We chose the name “Crownplace Brands” because our intent was to sell other related products under other brand names.  So it is today, that Crownplace Brands sells Aladdin Lamps, Dietz lanterns, Feuerhand lanterns, Diamond gas refrigerators and Dometic gas refrigerators to Lehman’s and about 200 other dealers.

For my review, I pretty much started with zero knowledge of how to operate the Aladdin Lamp although I did cheat and watch a couple of YouTube videos.  There is method to my madness since I know that not everyone (i.e. my husband) is willing to read the manual before using a new piece of equipment.  That said, what tips do you have for the first time user of an Aladdin Lamp?

Well, my first tip is to read the owner’s manual! J

That said, there are few key operating hints we like to give every user:

1. After you fill it for the first time, make sure the wick is “wet” with fuel before lighting.  This will take about 20 minutes, in most cases.  When the wick is ready, it lights easily without any smoke.

2. When lit, the lamp begins working immediately, but will not achieve full brightness for about 20 minutes.  When you first light it, set it so about half of mantle is illuminated.  It will reach full brightness on it’s own, and the whole mantle will glow with full brilliance.

3. The wick must be clean, straight and properly shaped.  We provide a small tool with the lamp to do this.  (It’s shaped like a thimble.)  It takes only a few seconds to use and instructions for cleaning are in (you guessed it) the manual.

There are also some important safety rules

1. Never leave a burning lamp unattended.  Because of changes in ambient air temperatures, drafts in the room and the fact that as the lamp warms it tends to get brighter, it is important to monitor the lamp as it burns to make sure it’s not causing flame, fumes or smoke.

2. Keep away from combustibles.  For example, keep 36” from the ceiling unless you have the optional chimney heat shield.

3. Do not refuel the lamp while burning.

4. Always make sure the lamp is properly assembled before lighting.

Switching gears, I know that my readers love the products offered in the Lehman’s catalog because they mostly do not require modern technology to function.  Can you share with us your three top selling products?

The most popular items change by season.  But, I can give you some examples.

Aladdin Lamps themselves are one of our most popular items.  Thousands of them have been sold since 1908 and they are still selling today.  People who buy Aladdin lamps buy them to use.  For that reason, we not only stock new lamps, but parts for the entire line, going back almost to the beginning.

Gas refrigerators are a key part of our line, too.  There is no other efficient way to refrigerate when there is no electricity.  Our gas refrigerators are in use from the mountains of northern California to salt-sprayed islands off the New England coast.  In fact, we’ve sold them all over the world!

Another popular item is our wood-fired cook stoves.  There are lots of ways to cook, but woodstoves help you do it in a way that uses less technical resources and produces food that tastes AMAZING!

And finally, as you know, Backdoor Survival readers come to this website because they want to learn self-sufficiency so they can take care of themselves and their families in the event of a disaster or what I like to call, a disruptive event.  Do you personally prepare and if so, what are you personally preparing for?

I think it is critically important to be prepared.  You don’t go grocery shopping or out to eat with friends without making a plan.  Why would you not plan for things that we know are going to happen, like wide-spread disease(1), extended electric failure(2) or terrorist attack(3).

My method of preparedness is two-fold.  I believe we should be 100% ready for any short term disaster.  This means having all the food, fuel, water and (if you live in a cold climate) heat for short term disruption.  Under that plan, we start with the assumption that national infrastructure stands and eventually musters enough talent, manpower, money and materiel to solve the problem.

After that, one has to consider long-term disasters where national infrastructure fails.  The cost and effort required to prepare for those events is overwhelming.  So, we are less prepared for them.  Preparedness in this case means having some way to grow food, appliances that don’t require fuel supplied by the infrastructure (like wood cook stoves) and finding a source of water (like a hand-pumped well).  The goal is to answer the question, “What will I do after my stored supplies run out?”

(1) New diseases are always finding their way in.  My opinion is that the current biggest threat is malaria.  Malaria’s reach once covered much of the USA, and antibiotic resistant versions are in play once again.  If we don’t find a solution, it will be back in the USA again.  When malaria is pandemic, friends of mine in Africa have told me it can cripple the infrastructure, overburden hospitals and sicken critically needed talent.

(2) I believe an electro-magnetic pulse is our biggest threat, whether the result of attack or solar flare.  But any major storm could have a pretty devastating effect…just a few years ago, I personally went for nearly two weeks straight without electricity (easily surviving in a warm house with water, food and light, because I was prepared).

(3) Terrorist attack on physical infrastructure is our main threat here.  The kinds of attacks we most commonly see now, on planes, trains and buildings, have no impact on our national infrastructure.  But an attack on our food supply or transportation system would be another story.

The Giveaway

This latest Backdoor Survival giveaway is for a Genie III Aladdin lamp, a spare mantle, and a bottle of Aladdin brand lamp fuel.  Are you excited?  I hope so because I am!

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 Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

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

The Final Word

In the beginning, my preps were focused on water storage and purification, and food.  Later, I turned my efforts to first aid and wellness in a survival situation.  These days, my needs and interests fall more into learning how to embrace old-time skills.  This does not mean that I do everything by hand; far from it.  Instead, I seek affordable tools and items that will make survival in an austere setting a bit easier and more comfortable, with electricity or without.

To that end, I am thrilled to be given this opportunity to review a genuine Aladdin Lamp and also to give you an opportunity to win one of your own.  In addition, I am working with Galen and Lehman’s  to continue to share more reviews of products that are not dependent on technology.  In the meantime, for more Information about Aladdin Lamps, the go to place to visit is www.aladdinlamps.com and especially the Aladdin Learning Center.

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.

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

Bargain Bin:  Below you will find links to items related to today;s article.  Plus, an article about emergency lighting would not be complete without a selection of some of my favorite light sources.

Fireplace Matches:  This is something I encourage you to add to your supplies.  There have been so many times where a standard sized match would not cut it.  Plus, as much as I like those BBQ wands, sometimes they run our of fuel just when you need them the most.  This is for 3 boxes of 40 matches and shipping is free for everyone.

BIC Multi Purpose Lighter One Value Lighters:  I like BICs so this is what I use.  Note that these are not the refillable type.

First Alert Tundra Fire Extinguisher Aerosol Spray: These spray cans are so darn handy to have around.  They are single use and much easier to stash in a kit than a traditional fire extinguisher.

Ultra Bright LED Lantern – Collapsible:  I admit to now owning 3 of these collapsible lanterns. It uses 30 different LEDS and is powered by 3 AA batteries, including rechargeables.  Instead of a switch, you turn it on by extending the lantern from its collapsed condition.  With a lifetime warranty and over 1,350 close to perfect ratings, I can see why this is popular.  Currently $9.99 with free Prime shipping.

BYBLight TML-T6: This flashlight is extremely bright, casts wide angle and, when zoomed, a very focused beam.  I swear that if there were a rattlesnake out in the desert outside my back yard this flashlight would find it.  It’s a sturdy thing with an aluminum casing that is not at all heavy.  It has 5 built in modes including the standard high, medium, low plus a strobe and SOS mode. It includes a rechargeable battery and a charger plus an adapter to hold AAA batteries.

BYB Flashlight 250

Just to see it stacks up with my other favorites, here is a photo showing the differences in size and form factor between the BYBLight, Coast HP1, and the UltraFire Mini-Cree.

Book 6: Kerosene Pressure Lanterns: Ron covers Aladdin Lamps in this book even though the Aladdin is not a pressure lamp.  Highly informative, I recommend that you have the complete Non-Electric Lighting Series in your survival library.

Aladdin, The Magic Name in Lamps:  If you are interested in learning more about Aladdin lamps, this book is the classic you will want to read.  It may also be available at your local library.

~~~~~~~~~~

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

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

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

Emergency Essentials carries a wide variety of equipment and supplies – all at competitive prices.

~~~~~

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 Lighting with the Aladdin Mantle Lamp + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Solavore Sport Oven Review & Giveaway!

Click here to view the original post.

solavore oven review

I have been using the Solavore Sport Oven for the past month and had an opportunity to review this product.

When the unit arrived, I noticed that it was lightweight, and it was easy to put all the “parts” together. This is just a matter of putting together 3 pieces: the black oven itself, the plastic top, and the reflector panels, which line the oven. It came with a WAPI stick to confirm you have achieved water pasteurization, which is a handy survival tool to have on hand. Since the easiest test of all is the heating of water,  I thought I’d try that first as part of my Solavore review. The weather was optimal, because the sun was out, it was around 45-50 degrees, but breezy.

I put cold tap water in my quart Mason jar, and suspended the WAPI stick so that it remained in the center of the jar. Then I placed the lid on, and reflector panels. I went to do some outdoor work and checked on it 30 minutes later. The interior temperature of the Solavore was already up to 220 and there was some condensation on the inside of the oven’s lid. The wax in the WAPI had already flipped from one side of the tube to the other end, indicating the water had achieved pasteurization. Since the water was nice and hot,  I used it to make a pot of hot tea!

Main dishes in the Solavore

Next, I wanted to try a main dish, so I decided to make Chicken Cacciatore. Weather conditions were in the mid-fifties, sunny, and breezy. I started with four large partially frozen chicken breasts. I placed two in each black enamel pan and added a quart of store bought spaghetti sauce, fresh basil, and garlic. I put the lids on and placed them in the oven. After an hour or so, I could actually smell the chicken, but I didn’t want to open it up and peek. I didn’t want to risk losing the heat that had built up. I did occasionally rotate the oven for optimal sun.

After about 4 ½ hours later, I had to check it, because of how good it smelled. To my surprise, it was completely done. The chicken was tender, juicy, and it easily pulled apart with just a fork. (I made my pasta on the stove, because the unit was full of my Chicken Cacciatore.) I plated it up, and added parmesan cheese. The slow cooking had infused the sauce and chicken with the basil and garlic. It was delicious and my family loved it.

The next time weather permitted, I made two pans of bratwurst and onions for some company I was expecting. The brats were defrosted, and I placed them on top of the sliced onions, and into the Solavore. Weather conditions were full sun, low 60’s, and breezy. This time it only took 3 hours for it to be fully cooked and BROWNED, which I didn’t expect. I didn’t realize how much water onions contained, because I had quite a bit of liquid at the bottom of the pan. It looked more like soup, so I drained it, and it was fine. I served it with hot dog buns, and everyone raved about it.

A few days later, I went to my mom’s for the day to mow her large property. I thought I’d get the meal started before leaving, and then get to work on her yard. This meal was two pans each of a 3-pound, mostly frozen chuck roast, pound of halved potatoes, and a pound of mini carrots. No water was added. Weather conditions were favorable that day with full sun, 60 degree temperatures, and breezy.

LEARN MORE: You can read all about the Solavore at their website.

I put the Solavore in full sun at 10:30 am, and stopped at 2:00 to check it. It smelled good, but when I lifted the lid, I knew it wasn’t going to be ready for dinner. I ended up quartering the roasts, mixing all the contents, and put the lids back on. I checked again at 5:30, and it was completely done. It smelled heavenly, was nicely browned, and everything was simmering in a tasty broth. The meat had fallen off the bone. My dogs were happy to get those!

Solavore cooks up a great dessert

Lastly, I wanted to bake something to see how the Solavore performed in that capacity. I decided to make a Pineapple Upside Down Cake. First, I put a stick and a half of butter in the pan to melt. Then, I  added  brown sugar, pineapple rings, and maraschino cherries. I mixed up a store-bought yellow cake mix, poured it over the top, put it in the oven, and then drove it to work!

I placed the oven in the parking lot where I could see it. It was about 60 degrees outside, mild, but 50% cloudy, so I left the reflector panels on it. About 3 hours later, I checked, and the cake was golden brown. It smelled just like warm pineapple. I inverted the cake onto a tray and was amazed at how pretty it looked. It tasted just as good if not better than a conventional oven. I think the moisture stays in the cake instead of escaping and you can really tell the difference. I noted that the cake rose properly, and the bottom wasn’t burned. It was truly remarkable.

My Solavore review verdict

After trying out the Solavore Sport Oven, I am impressed with this product. It is very versatile, and can really cook anything. I can make enough food for 8 people, maybe more if you include kids. I also researched the price, and found it retails for about $229.00, which is significantly lower than other brands.

My top heat was 250-260 degrees, which was sufficient for any of the food I made. When I made the chuck roast at my mom’s (Hi Mom!), I drove home with the meal in the oven, and it retained the temperature, so my food was still piping hot 20 minutes later. I like the fact you can quickly pasteurize water. Even on a mostly cloudy day, its easy to get the WAPI to 150 degrees.

The only thing I did to improve the unit’s efficiency was to prop a tree branch under it during afternoon hours to catch more of the sun. Overall, I  give the Solavore Sport Oven 5 out of 5 stars for:

  • Doing exactly what it promised to do
  • Its versatility
  • Competitive price
  • It’s environmentally friendly
  • Lightweight and easily transported

Thanks, Solavore for a quality product. The company provided me with an oven but in no way attempted to influence my review.

Now for the giveaway!

Win a Solavore Sport Oven! This giveaway begins at 1 a.m. on Wednesday, May 25, and ends at midnight on Monday, May 30. One winner will be selected at random and notified via email within 48 hours. Winner must respond with a valid shipping address within 72 hours or the prize is forfeited and another winner will be selected.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

solavore oven review

Alps Mountaineering Lightweight Air Pad Review

Click here to view the original post.

Some of you might have had the privilege of sleeping on the hard ground in your life, I know that I have and still do occasionally.  The older I get the more I dislike it, heck the older I get the more experiencing the “outdoors” from a $500K RV hooked up to power and internet seems appealing.  The good news is that I don’t own a rig like that so roughing it in some capacity will always be part of the plan.

Alps Mountaineering Lightweight Air Pad

Alps Mountaineering Lightweight Air Pad

Recently I was contacted by my friends over at Sole Labz, they wanted to know if I would review one of their air pads.  I figured I would give it a go since there would be a few times in my near future which would demand that I actually use the thing, this versus a living room review and thoughts based on theory instead of practical application.  Insert the Alps Mountaineering Lightweight Air Pad.  From their website:

 

When you’re away from home and want some added comfort to your cot or sleeping bag, try an ALPS self inflating air pad. With the lightweight series, the pad will inflate and deflate quickly with the jet stream foam and roll up compactly to fit into the stuff sack. The top fabric is tough, lightweight Ripstop and the bottom is polyester taffeta. Another benefit of adding an air pad is that it will help keep you warmer… essential to a well rested night.

A free stuff sack, compression straps, and repair kit are included with every pad… something many other companies make you pay extra for.

Features
  • Jet Stream Polyurethane Open Cell Foam
  • Faster Inflating and Deflating
  • Diamond Ripstop Top Fabric
  • Strong and Lightweight
  • Polyester Taffeta Bottom Fabric
  • Durable and Abrasion Resistant
  • Non-corrosive Brass Valves
  • Long-term Durability

Why an Air Pad?

Quite frankly, sleeping on the ground sucks. There are plenty of air pads out there, my personal one which I keep in my survival bag is about half the size of a 1 liter bottle when put away so it doesn’t take much space.  The Alps version is larger but both get me up off the ground which is more comfortable and in cooler temps (which I did experience) can keep me from losing body heat.

My Experience

I was able to use the Alps air pad for two nights when out doing some camping.  Temps were unseasonably cold so what I believed would be acceptable (Jungle Snug Pack + Alps Pad) turned out to be woefully inadequate.  Temps were near freezing and I was hurting for certain.

My first night I laid the pad out on the ground and simply put my sleeping bag on top of it.  I recall it taking a while for me to blow up, to the point that my jaw was getting tired.  Slight inconvenience but not a game changer.  My next observation was how narrow the pad seemed to be, I did not have my other one out for comparison sake but from looking at the Alps model I knew even attempting to turn on my side in the night would have me off of the pad.  The pad was comfortable enough during the first night but as stated, the near freezing temps made for an uncomfortable sleep.

Jungle Snug Pack and Alps Pad

Jungle Snug Pack and Alps Pad

The second night I punked out and decided to sleep in the back of my truck with the seats folded down.  I placed the Alps pad on top of the seats and it obviously was a more comfortable experience than the previous night on the ground, but it was still very very cold.  I did not run the truck during the night, the whole carbon monoxide thing…but the pad did fine.

The Good

  • The price is right, around $25 (as compared to $100 for the other pad I own).
  • It looks nice and the material is easy to clean.
  • It does work in that it was more comfortable than the ground itself and did help me retain whatever body heat I was able to generate without it getting leached away.

The Not So Good

  • It is very narrow, I found myself constantly rolling off the side of the pad throughout the night, you had to twist in place to go from one side to another.
  • It is large, even when completely rolled up and stowed.  Not sure if I would strap this thing to the outside of a pack because it certainly would not fit inside one.  Additionally I had trouble getting all of the air out of it in order to fit inside the provided stuff sack.
Tight Fit

Tight Fit

The Bottom Line

For $25 you really can’t beat it.  It’s not as great as some of the more expensive models out there but better than nothing at all.  My recommendation?  Save your chips and get something in the $100 range, buy once cry once.

 

Backdoor Survival Interviews Emergency Essentials

Click here to view the original post.

Interview with Emergency Essentials | Backdoor Survival

As some of you may recall, late last year I had a number of customer service issues with personal orders I placed with Emergency Essentials.  After many attempts to resolve these issues, I felt I could no longer endorse them even though I felt they had a robust product line filled with terrific products at a good price point.

I will not bore you with the details other than to say that after a number of heartfelt conversations with their management team, I came away feeling that Emergency Essentials was committed to improving their customer service infrastructure so that my experience would not happen again, to me or to anyone else.

This is not something that I made a big deal about although more that a few of you noticed their ads started to appear again on the site. Then, in a recent giveaway, the question was posed:

“I see Emergency Essentials is back as one of your ads. I assume they addressed your concerns/issues?”

The answer, in a word, is yes.

I was so impressed with the actions taken to improve customer service (and yes, I “tested” them to ensure they worked), that I asked Sally  Clarke, their Director of Operations, to speak openly about some of these changes.

Interview with Emergency Essentials | Backdoor Survival

An Interview with Emergency Essentials

Thank you, Sally, for agreeing to speak with me by phone and for answering some questions for the readers of Backdoor Survival.  I recognize that Emergency Essentials is undergoing some changes relative to its online and customer service policies and that you are the senior manager that will be driving many of these changes.

Can you tell us little about who you are and what you do in your position as Director of Operations?

My background is in operations with a focus on process management.  As Director of Operations, we are looking at processes in our warehouse, customer service, purchasing and HR functions to stream line what we are doing and aligning all of our processes with a central focus…and that is to serve the customer which means getting them their order quickly and accurately.

As you know, I personally hit some rough spots in terms of customer service late in 2015. This included phone calls and emails that were ignored, incorrect fulfillment of orders, and the failure to recognize gift cards used for online payments (resulting in unauthorized credit card charges).  What steps has Emergency Essentials taken to mitigate these problems going forward?

We have invested in a new system that is designed to help us manage these tasks so we can achieve the improvements in our supply chain that will have a direct result on our focus to serve the customer better.

We are still implementing this system now and we very much appreciate your patience and feedback as we move forward in making these much needed changes.

What is the best way for a customer to contact Emergency Essentials with an order related question?

Email or calling in are the best ways to ask your order related questions.  We are working on getting more emails with order status information pushed to our customers as well to help give them visibility to what is going on with their orders.

Related to that, how long should it take to get a response or resolution to order-related issues?

Ideally, we’d like our customers to not have to wait more than 30 mins to get a resolution on an order.  This is a goal we are continuing to work towards.

Tell us about growth plans for the company.  What new products can we expect to see launched in the coming year?

I’ll defer to our awesome marketing team on the growth plans and launches for new products this year.  My main focus right now is firming up our foundation so that whatever we do, we have the processes in place to serve our customers better.

Gaye’s note:  for competitive reasons, the Marketing Manager would not elaborate on future plans. On the other hand, I have watched the product line grow these past few months and have seen the number of sale items escalate.  It is definitely worth it to wait for a sale on high-ticket items.

And finally, as you know, Backdoor Survival readers come to this website because they want to learn self-sufficiency so they can take care of themselves and their families in the event of a disaster or what I like to call, a disruptive event.  Do you personally prepare and if so, what are you personally preparing for?

That’s a great question and I’d glad you asked.  I do personally prepare by stocking up on food storage (especially our pouched food) and on anything that will allow me to still use my electronic devices so I can still communicate and get information in the event of a disaster.  I’m nuts about solar and all the devices that have been created to harness the sun to do these things.

Thanks for the questions Gaye!  I look forward to hearing from you again soon.

The Timing Is Right for a Huge Sale

Without being too self-serving, I share this with you today so that I can also make you aware of the the Emergency Essentials Annual Warehouse Sale from May 20-23rd.  This is one of their biggest sales of the year with discounts up to 88%.

For example, a box of 20 N95 masks is only $5.00 and those clear globes for those 115 hour candles that I love so much are just $1.49.  That said, the real bargains are in freeze-dried fruits such as raspberries ($14.99), as well as blueberries and peaches.  I could go on but you get the drift.

Whether it is gear or food, this is a sale you will want to pay attention to.

Emergency Essentials Annual Warehouse Sales Event
The Final Word

So there you have it.  In March, I started placing regular orders, especially for my favorite Mountain House products and also for some new gear.  My latest purchase is this Goal Zero rechargeable lantern.  It can be charged by solar, USB, or by a hand crank.  What’s not to love about it?

Goal Zero Lantern

Whether you choose to make a purchase from Emergency Essentials or not, please know that I do try to watch your back by placing regular orders myself.  This is the only way I can assess not only the quality of their products, but intangibles such as fulfillment and customer service.

From what I can tell, Emergency Essentials is sincerely apologetic for their service problems late last year and have taken steps and applied resources to solving the problem.

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.

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

Bargain Bin:  Let us make today all about water!

Ultimate 55 Gallon Water Barrel Combo:  As of this writing, $109.95 which is a great deal. Everyone should have at least one.  Remember, if storing in your garage or on pavers, place the filled barrel on a wooden platform and not directly on the concrete.

No Rinse Cleansing & Deodorizing Bathing Wipes:  One wipe is more than enough for a complete “bath”.  These are a good backup when traditional showers are not available such as the week or weeks following a disaster.  Also good for the sick room as well as camping, boating, hiking and such.  Here is my review.

Fluidmaster 400CR Toilet Fill Valve and Flapper Repair Kit:  Speaking of water, this is one of those items you don’t think of stockpiling but believe me, we now have a couple in reserve for emergency purposes.  Why fuss with adjusting a tank valve when you can replace the whole thing for less than $12 and 10 minutes of your time?

AquaPod:   Have you considered storing water in your bathtub?  The AquaPod is a bladder that you can use in your bathtub to store water if you know that a storm, flood, or hurricane is brewing. (I call these “disruptive events”.)

LifeStraw Personal Water FilterThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items Backdoor Survival:  The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2oz.  making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.

Potable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets: Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets make questionable water bacteriologically suitable to drink. Easy to use and the water is ready to drink in 30 minutes. One 50 tablet bottle treats 25 quarts of water.

NALGENE BPA-Free Water Bottle:  These $8 water bottles have served me well.  I fill them up with water from my Royal Berkey and keep one bedside, one at my desk and another in the bathroom.  Keep in mind that price-wise, some colors will be more expensive so if color does not matter, go with the cheapest (currently the green version).

DryTec Calcium Hypochlorite, 1-Pound:  This is 68% Calcium Hypochlorite.  As of this writing, the price is under $10 with free shipping.  I purchased Ultima Pool ShockThe Sunday Survival Buzz #128 Backdoor Survival which is 73% Calcium Hypochlorite.  For more information, read How to Use Pool Shock to Purify Water.

Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System:  Fans of the Sawyer water filtration systems are legend.

Black Berkey Primer Gizmo – Less than $20:  Okay, that is my name for it.  This device makes back-flushing a Black Berkey Filter a cinch. Following a disaster, when you are depending on your filters for clean water, you may not have running water.  If you have a Berkey, you are going to want one of these inexpensive devices.  For more information, see The Survival Buzz #160: Maintaining Black Berkey Filters.

The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide:  You can survive up to three weeks without food, but only three days without water. When catastrophe strikes, having enough water can spell the difference between life and death. This book offers a step-by-step plan with straightforward information you can easily follow.  Written by my friend Daisy Luther, I recommended the book for everyone’s survival library!

~~~~~~~~~~

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

For over 25 years Emergency Essentials has been providing the highest quality preparedness products at great prices.  Plus, each month they feature sales that quite honestly are fantastic.

Live Well!Emergency Essentials carries a wide variety of equipment and supplies – all at competitive prices.

~~~~~

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 Backdoor Survival Interviews Emergency Essentials by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Review: How to Charge a Laptop Off-Grid with Enerplex + Giveaway

Click here to view the original post.

How to Charge a Laptop with Enerplex | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to solar panels that charge portable electronics, you have a lot of choices.  At the top of my head, I would say I have reviewed at least six different set-ups and have given as many away to lucky readers.  So, when I was approached by Enerplex to review their entry into this field, I sighed and thought “here we go again”.

But wait.  There was more.  In addition to the Enerplex Commandr 20 Solar Panels, they had the Generatr S100  battery unit that included a 19V laptop port and an integrated AC inverter.  That’s right.  A laptop port.  Taking things one step further, the battery unit could be charged by a standard AC or solar panels.

How to Charge a Laptop with Enerplex | Backdoor Survival

Was I interested?  Heck yes.  Not only that, Enerplex was willing to give the complete set-up away to a Backdoor Survival reader.  That got my attention as well, and I was excited.

Details about the giveaway are below but first, let me tell you about both the Enerplex Commandr 20 Solar Panel and the Generatr S100 Battery Pack.

Enerplex Commandr 20 – A Solar Panel Like No Other

The Commandr 20 looks different right out of the box.  In addition to being extremely light weight, there are a total of six panels which is more than the norm. The panels are made of a proprietary solar on plastic design and the entire package folds up in a compact pouch weighing less than two pounds (1.65 to be exact).

How to Charge a Laptop with Enerplex | Backdoor Survival

While extreme portability is nice, the defining moment came when I unpacked the included “regulator”.  This was different.  The regulator attaches to the panel and the devices you wish to charge attach to the regulator.  Make sense?

How to Charge a Laptop with Enerplex | Backdoor Survival

The back side of the regulator box

After setting up the panels, I connected the regulator box.  At first I thought something was wrong because it made an obnoxious noise which I later determined to be a fan.  As soon as I plugged in a device, however, the noise stopped.  I suppose that makes sense; the panels were generating energy and the energy had no where to go.

How to Charge a Laptop with Enerplex | Backdoor Survival

As I mentioned above, the devices you wish to charge plug into the back of the regulator box.  There is a USB port and 12V/19V port.  To access the 12V/19V port, you use one of the included laptop tips and cable.  I had no problem connecting to my standard size Dell laptop but did not have a tip that would work for my 2 in 1.  Not to worry, though, as there is a workaround I will describe below.

According to the Enerplex website, the Commandr solar panels are designed to operate in even the harshest of condition.  To quote:

The Commandr Series can be dropped, kicked, run over by a car, and can even get wet and still be fully functional

I did not run the panels over with the Subaru but I did drop them quite by accident. They suffered no ill effect and still work perfectly.

All this is well and good but where the Commandr 20 really shines is when it is connected to the Generatr S100.  This is because the Generatr S100 gives you a way to store solar energy!

Enerplex Generatr S100 – A Portable Battery & Inverter Powered by Solar Panels

What you see is a lot more than what you get.  Why do I say that?  Because this portable battery solution will charge a laptop – any laptop!  Remember when I said my Dell 2 in 1 could not be charged using the solar panels directly?  With the Generatr S100, all I had to do was plug my 2 in 1 into the integrated AC outlet and voila!  I was in business.

How to Charge a Laptop with Enerplex | Backdoor Survival

The LEDs on the side of the Generatr S100 indicate the charging level.

I realize I am getting ahead of myself so let me give you some specs.  The Generatr S100 comes with  with two USB ports, a 19V laptop port, and an integrated AC inverter. With the USB ports you can charge almost any portable device you can think of, including smartphones, tablets, Kindles, and other eBook readers.

How to Charge a Laptop with Enerplex | Backdoor Survival

The integrated laptop port is used with included connector tips for most Dell, HP, and IBM laptops.  If one of those tips does not work, there is also an AC outlet.  This AC outlet can also be used to power a lamp or other AC device up to 120W.  I actually plugged my Maximal Power Alkaline Battery Charger into the AC outlet and it worked perfectly.

For testing purposes, after fully charging the Generatr S100 using the solar panels, I was able to bring both my Dell laptop and iPad2 from 10% to a full 100% charge.  This is consistent with the specs which indicate 2-4 charges for a tablet and 1-2 charges for a laptop.

Speaking of charging, you do not have to use solar panels to charge the Generatr S100 battery pack.  You can also charge it using standard AC.  During normal times, this is quite convenient and is a real timesaver.  Of course that won’t work when the grid is down but for keeping the battery pack ready to use during short-term power outages, using AC is perfect

There are many other features and specs I have not mentioned.  Although you can read about them on the Enerplex website, I will mention two.  First, there is a series of LEDs on the top of the unit that will provide you a visual status of the charging state.  Second, if the power is out and you are fumbling in the dark to plug in your devices, you can use the integrated flashlight to light up the back panel.  Now how cool is that?

The Enerplex Giveaway!  Total Value $650!!

This is the part you have been waiting for and it is so fabulous that I can hardly contain myself.  Enerplex loves Backdoor Survival and is giving away both the Commandr 20 and Generatr S100 to one lucky reader.

You know the drill.  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 Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Wednesday 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 residents of the United States.

The Final Word

After a short break, it is exciting to kick off the summer giveaway season with such incredible products.  Both are available directly from the Enerplex website as well as from a number of retail outlets. (There is a search by zipcode box on the website).  In addition, the Generatr S100 battery pack is available from Emergency Essentials as well as Amazon.com.

From my perspective, having the ability to charge a laptop when the grid is down is a real game changer.  As useful as a tablet can be, serious work needs to be done on a laptop.  Can you imagine having the ability to use Excel and Word to organize community resources after a disruptive event?  What about access to stored financial and medical records?

I would like to thank Enerplex for bringing this opportunity to the readers of Backdoor Survival.  Good luck everyone!

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.

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 some selections from the Amazon Top 10.

Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger: Using the Enerplex Generatr S100, I was able to charge batteries using this charge.  I simply plugged it into the AC port and was good to go. This nicely built charger will charge AA, AAA, C, D, N, 9V, Ni-MH, Ni-CD, and Alkaline batteries. It has an LED display so that when you first put a battery in the charging bay, you know whether it is viable for charging or simply bad and ready to go back to the recycle box. See How to Recharge Alkaline Batteries.

SunJack CampLight USB Bulb:  This 4 Watt USB LED light is bright and ultra portable at just over 3.5 ounces. It is highly durable – shatter, shock, and vibration resistant. Will fully illuminate a tent at night. Power it from any standard USB source – compatible with all USB wall plugs, USB batteries, and laptops.

Ultra Bright LED Lantern – Collapsible:  I admit to now owning 3 of these collapsible lanterns. It uses 30 different LEDS and is powered by 3 AA batteries, including rechargeables.  Instead of a switch, you turn it on by extending the lantern from its collapsed condition.  With a lifetime warranty and over 1,350 close to perfect ratings, I can see why this is popular.  Currently $9.99 with free Prime shipping. There is also a 2-pack for $15.99.

Tac Force TF-705BK Tactical Assisted Opening Folding Knife 4.5-Inch Closed: This is a newcomer to the list.  It is currently priced at less than $8 and is ranked the #1 best seller in hunting knives.  The reviews raved about this knife so I bought one and can recommend it. See my review:  The Inexpensive Tac-Force Speedster Outdoor Knife.

LifeStraw Personal Water FilterThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items Backdoor Survival:  FREE SHIPPING! The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2 oz.  making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.

~~~~~~~~~~

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

For over 25 years Emergency Essentials has been providing the highest quality preparedness products at great prices.  Plus, each month they feature sales that quite honestly are fantastic.

Live Well!Emergency Essentials carries a wide variety of equipment and supplies – all at competitive prices.

~~~~~

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!

~~~~~


Spark Naturals Anniversary | Backdoor Survival

The post Review: How to Charge a Laptop Off-Grid with Enerplex + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

The Sendero Pack Knife: A High Quality Field Knife

Click here to view the original post.

White River Knife & Tool Pack Knife

I was excited when The Survival Mom asked if I wanted to write a review for a knife that Larry Connelley, knife expert and founder of knifeart.com, wanted to have run through its paces – the White River Knife & Tool Sendero Pack Knife. This project really peaked my interest when I found out it was a field knife designed by renowned Master Bladesmith Jerry Fisk, MS.

White River Knife & Tool teamed up with Jerry, to create what I consider to be one of the best all around lightweight field knives I have ever used, and I don’t make this recommendation lightly. Throughout the over 30 years of working professionally in the outdoors, I have had a chance to use many types of knives: Several configurations of both straight and folding blades as a mountaineering, technical rock climbing, and white water rafting guide; dive knives as a divemaster, rescue diver and water safety and survival instructor; knives made specifically for outdoor survival and search and rescue work; not to mention knives used for general outdoor hiking, backpacking, hunting and fishing. Each had their strengths and weaknesses and many were configured and manufactured specifically for the task at hand. But most importantly, having used many specialty blades, I have come to realize the value of and use for a high quality multi-purpose field knife. The Sendero Pack Knife is that knife.

About the Sendero Pack Knife

Before I tell you how the knife performed in the field, a little background information. The Sendero Pack Knife is a semi-custom knife with a full tang and guard notch for your index finger at the back bottom edge of the blade. This knife has a tough carbon fiber handle and comes custom fitted in a kydex sheath.

The Sendero Pack KnifeThe full tang provides an extra measure of overall strength to the knife. The guard notch is great for protecting your hand from slipping onto the blade and allows your index finger to help control the knife. The blade itself is made from CPM S30V steel with a Rockwell Hardness (HRC) of between 58-61. This composition of steel is well suited to stand up to heavy use in tough environments. In fact, Larry Connelly notes, ”It makes a great field knife blade that is tough and unlikely to break with heavy, near abusive, use.” The razor sharp blade with a flat grind is 3.25” in length, and has a nice stonewashed finish that fits well with the intended use of this knife.

White River Knife & Tool and Fisk married the blade to an eye catching carbon fiber handle, an incredibly durable and nearly indestructible material. Carbon fiber is five times more durable than steel, very lightweight, and able to handle tremendous pressures without flexing, deforming or breaking. It’s an ideal material to use if you want to build a tough, lightweight, no nonsense knife capable of standing up to the rigors of outdoor use. The polished handle is shaped and press fit to the blade with two stainless steel pins and the butt end of the knife is slotted for a lanyard.

This well-crafted knife comes in a custom molded and highly versatile sheath made of kydex that I found very functional. The design allows the knife to be carried either for a right or left handed draw, and in multiple positions from dead vertical to horizontal on your belt or pack strap. Remove the belt holder and attach a lanyard through the two holes at the bottom of the sheath and you can even carry the knife around your neck. You have many choices depending on your circumstances and needs in the field.

Craftsmanship

Excellent Packaging and Documentation For This Well-Crafted KnifeJerry Fisk and White River Knife & Tool have created a knife of excellent quality. Right out of the box, this knife felt great in my hand. Nicely balanced and lightweight, yet meaty enough to fit well into the palm of my hand in both a standard and reverse grip. The blade was razor sharp with a very even edge. The handle was cleanly fit to the blade with no rough edges and secured with two well-placed and beefy stainless steel pins. The knife pulled from and locked into its kydex sheath smoothly each and every time I used it.

Quality and Guaranty

A couple other points worth noting. With the Sendero, each knife is hand finished and stamped with the designer’s name and serial number (mine is number 131.) The blade is precision ground and leather honed. The handle is polished, shaped, and fitted to the blade. The tough Kydex sheath is custom molded for fit and is designed to be configured in many different ways and positions depending on the user’s needs. All of this, White River Knife and Tool backs with an unbeatable warranty: Each knife is guaranteed for life. If you are not 100% satisfied with your knife, just return it for repair or replacement, free of charge, no questions asked. I like that! After my initial out of the box evaluation of the knife and sheath, I was really looking forward to field testing it.

Field Testing

The Form-Factor, Sizing and Fit, is Well Thought Out For The Sendero Pack KnifeI wanted to put The Sendero Pack knife though its paces, as if it was being used on an extended camping, hunting or fishing trip. With that in mind, the first stop was my kitchen and some of the basics of food prep: I chopped, slice, slivered, and diced a variety vegetables and fruits. The knife easily handled all that I tried. It even made short work of some very hard potatoes, carrots, and Jicama. I had no problem neatly slicing, without mushing, a couple of medium sized ripe tomatoes, as well.

Next, I took a whole frozen silver salmon from last season’s guiding in Alaska, directly out of the freezer and cut it into steaks. The Sendero cut cleanly, no tearing or jagged edges to the meat. The knife was so sharp that, over the course of a couple of weeks, I was also able to use it to easily clean a catfish, some crappie, and a bass with very little effort. In addition, I gutted and skinned a squirrel and rabbit. The blade handled well, particularly when skinning and fleshing out both animals. I wasn’t able to try the knife on any larger animals such as a raccoon, coyote, or even a small deer, but based on the knife’s performance with the smaller animals, I think it will also work very well when dressing them out.

I didn’t want to stop there. A good all-around field knife should be able to handle some simple tasks needed while camping or in a survival situation. The Sendero Pack Knife made short work of a variety of fishing lines, twine, rope and even cut a thick rubber hose cleanly. Additionally, I used the knife to baton some small pieces of wood, whittle some feather or fuzz sticks for use in making a fire, and then started one using the Sendero and my ferrocerium (also known as a ferro) rod. With all of the tests and tasks I put the knife through, it maintained its edge very well. No additional sharpening was needed.

Very Slim and Low Profile Knife

Lastly, I took the knife out with me on half a dozen hikes to test out the sheath. I reconfigured the kydex sheath in many different positions in the field, attaching it to my belt and two different packs. With the very clear instruction sheet provided by White River Knife and Tool, it was a snap to do. The Sendero Pack Knife and sheath are so light in weight that I barely noticed them on my belt, and the overall slim form factor made the knife very unobtrusive.

One Last Unexpected Test

Towards the end of a recent outing, I was caught in a sudden rainstorm in the southern end of the Ozarks, where I was hiking. Nearing the end of the trail, I made a dash to my car as the rain picked up. Somehow, while stowing my pack and gear, the sheathed knife fell on the ground by my trunk. Exiting the parking area, now quite muddy, I ran over the knife with my car!

Later, while cleaning and putting away the gear, I realized the knife was missing. A day later, searching for the knife, I found it pushed into the dirt and pulled it out of the muddy parking area, washed it off on the spot, inspected it, and found that both sheath and knife had suffered no visible damage whatsoever!

Highly Recommend!

Have you been looking for a great all-around field knife that is ruggedly build and well balanced, yet lightweight, sleek, and low profile? A knife that you can wear on your belt, just as easily as attach it to your pack, or around your neck as a conceal and carry? Then you need to seriously consider the White River Knife & Tool Sendero Pack Knife offered by knifeart.com. It is priced in the $200 – $300 range, not inexpensive, but anything of high quality and craftsmanship seldom is. I think this knife is a worthy investment in a key piece of outdoor and  survival gear that will last a lifetime. Jerry Fisk, designer and creator of this great outdoor knife, feels the same way. He said, “I like it [the Sendero Pack Knife] so well that it is now my main in the field knife.”

Specifications

  • Made in the USA!
  • O/A Length: 7.45”
  • Blade Length: 3.25”
  • Handle Length: 4.2”
  • Handle: Carbon Fiber
  • Blade Type: Plain Edge, Drop Point
  • Steel: CPM S30V, 59 HRC
  • Blade Finish: Stonewash/Light Polish
  • Knife Weight: 3.2 oz. (including the Sheath, 4.9 oz.)
  • Sheath: Kydex
  • Price: $200 – $300 range

Additional Resources

White River Knife and Tool Sendero Pack Knife

How to Use the Amazing Solo Stove + Giveaway

Click here to view the original post.

How to Use the Amazing Solo Stove | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to having alternative methods of cooking food when the power is out, most preppers have it covered.  For some, an outdoor gas grill will do the job while for others, camp stoves, fire pits, and rocket stoves of various types will ensure that at the very least, there will be a viable method for heating both food and water.

My favorite are rocket stoves, mostly because they are fueled by wood and biomass.  To that end, since the start of my own prepping journey I have been enamored by the amazing Solo Stove.  I started with the Solo Stove Lite and have now moved up the line with various sizes so that I now own a total of four, including the fantastic Solo Stove Campfire.  That is how much I love my Solo Stoves.

How to Use the Amazing Solo Stove | Backdoor Survival

A couple of months ago I was contacted by Solo Stove and asked if I would like to do and all-new review of the Solo Stove.  Of course I said yes, and of course I arranged for a giveaway; this time for both the Solo Stove Lite and the perfectly sized Solo Pot 900.

More about the giveaway in a moment.  First let me tell you about the Solo Stove.

The Amazing Solo Stove

The Solo Stove is very compact and lightweight and is easily, at 9 ounces, carried in a backpack.  It comes with it’s own little pouch which is easy to stash and which keeps the stove protected from other gear that may be rattling around in your bag or your kit.

The Solo Stove is fueled by bio-mass, such as twigs, small branches, and leaves.  Initially I thought this would be a problem at my Arizona location because after all, my home state of Washington is the Evergreen State and there is an abundance of biomass everywhere.  Here there is desert brush and cactus.

Much to my surprise, one walk along a desert trail wielded a huge bucket of biomass.  The moral of the story?  If you have discounted an emergency stove fueled by biomass you are missing out on an opportunity to use free fuel found in nature and not something you purchase at the local Home Depot.

Collecting Biomass | Backdoor Survival

Getting back on topic, the Solo Stove uses bio-mass broken into pieces that are the size of your finger so that they will fit in the combustion chamber.  It burns quick and hot so I suggest that you gather up your bio-mass in advance because it will get burned up fairly rapidly.  You will want to tend to the stove and keep the hot flame alive by adding additional biomass to the combustion chamber as it is consumed.

How to Use the Amazing Solo Stove | Backdoor Survival

There are two methods for starting the fire and I tried both.

1.  With the grate in place, fill the combustion chamber to the top with bio-mass then start the fire by lighting it from the top.  In my test I used dryer lint as a fire starter and lit the fuel with a match.  Once you have a fire going, keep feeding the fire until the stove is drawing.  You will know this is happening when you see that the fire has spread across the top of the stove and secondary combustion will be seen near the air vents.

2.  With this second method, put in enough bio-mass to cover only the bottom of the combustion chamber.  (The biomass sits on a grate.)  Add your fire starter (again, I used dryer lint) and start your fire.  After the fire is going, keep adding bio-mass.  Soon your stove will be drawing, forcing the heat up through the chamber. I actually prefer this method although both methods work just fine.

Once the fire is going, place the removable cooking ring on top of the fire.  This top piece holds your pan on the stove and also contains an opening for adding additional fuel.

Solo Stove With a Nice Fire Going | Backdoor Survival

You are now ready to start cooking.

For this test I boiled some water in the Solo Pot 900 so I could prepare a Mountain House meal.  It took less than 10 minutes to boil a full pot of water.

The 30 ounce pot is made of premium stainless steel and includes side handles and a lid.  The lid has its own handle that is rubberized and does not get hot (or at least it didn’t for me).  The Solo Pot 900 has been specifically designed for the Solo Stove with the added benefit that the two nest together for easy storage.

How to Use the Amazing Solo Stove | Backdoor Survival

I have also used this same small Solo Stove to prepare a large pot of rice.  Starting with four cups of very cold water in an old Revere Ware pot, it brought the rice and water to boil in about ten minutes.  Once it came to a full boil, I let the covered pot simmer for bout 20 minutes until the rice was done.

I was concerned about the stability of the stove with a large pot sitting on top but there was no problem.   Regardless, I would never leave a Solo Stove (or any rocket stove) unattended.

The official instructions for using the Solo Stove can be found here: The Solo Stove User Guide.

Some Important Tips for Using a Rocket Stove, Including the Solo Stove

If you plan to use your Solo Stove, or any rocket stove device that uses bio-mass, for cooking when the power goes out, take the time now to gather up some biomass in advance (like now) so that it will be nice and dry when the time comes.  I now have two large boxes ready to go when and if the time comes.

Something else you should do now is gather your fire-starting equipment and tinder.  Matches, fire steels, BBQ wands, lighters – they are all going to work.  You can amass a lot of dryer lint over time and it is 100% free.  I keep empty TP tubes next to my clothes dryer and stuff them with lint as I go.

You can also soak cotton balls in petroleum jelly which is a great use for the stuff if you no longer want to use in on your skin.  (For that, consider making some Simple Salve, a petroleum jelly alternative that is petrochemical free.)

Learn how to start a fire!  It is a simple skill that will take you just an hour or two to master.  Apartment and condo dwellers, this also includes you!  When I was a city girl, I knew nothing about fire building and the first couple of times I tried, I pretty much smoked out the neighborhood.  So take heed, start practicing now, and you will be an expert in no time.

And finally, rocket stoves, including the Solo Stove, are designed for outdoor use only.


The Giveaway

Solo Stove is providing a Solo Stove Lite and a Solo Pot 900 for this giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

Note:  Due to Customs requirements, this giveaway is only open to residents of the United States.

The Final Word

Have you even thought about how you would cook if you had to leave the comfort of your home? That is where the Solo Stove shines. It is lightweight and portable plus, because it burns biomass, you can find fuel almost everywhere.  Add a lighter or some matches to your survival kit along with dryer lint or fire cord, and you are all set.

I do want to extend a special thank you to the nice folks at Solo Stove.  From the very beginning, Solo Stove has been a sponsor of Backdoor Survival and for that, they deserve a round of applause.  It is sponsors such as Solo Stove that allow me to keep Backdoor Survival 100% free for everyone.

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.

Emergency Food Buyers Guide 2016-02-26

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

Bargain Bin:  Below you will find links to the Solo Stove and other items related to today’s article.

Solo Stove & Pot 900 Combo: Ultralight Wood Burning Stove: This combination is perfect for your bug-out kit and especially for heating water for use with freeze dried meal pouches.  The stove nests inside the stove.  Lightweight and it burns biomass, no other fuel is needed.  Recommended!

Other Solo Stoves & Accessories:  I personally own four solo stoves including the large Solo Stove Campfire.  They are compact yet well-built and perfect for cooking off-grid with just a bit of biomass.  They come in varying sizes so you can choose the one that is right for you.

Zippo Street Chrome Pocket Lighter:  Zippo has been creating virtually indestructible, windproof refillable lighters for more than 75 years. The Zippo Street Chrome pocket lighter is no exception. This lighter features a classic textured chrome finish and carries the same lifetime guarantee–to either work or be fixed by Zippo free of charge–for life.  All wearable parts including flints and wicks are replaceable.  Every prepper should own at least one Zippo!  Learn more about Zippos in the article What You Need to Know About Zippos and Lighter Fuel.

Diamond GreenLight Kitchen Matches – 3 Pack (Strike anywhere):  Our local supermarket in Friday Harbor told us that they do not stock the strike-anywhere matches because they self-combust.  Urban legend or CYA?  Who knows.  Amazon sells them.

100 BIC-style Lighters Disposable Classic Lighter:  Running about 16 cents each and free shipping, these are great to have on hand for both survival and barter use. Want fewer than 100.  You can also get a pack of 50, currently priced at $11.

Cast Iron Skillet with Hot Handle Holder: I feel that everyone should own a basic, 12” cast iron skillet.  In spite of the myth, they are easy to care for and over time, will become a family heirloom.  On grid or off grid, cooking with cast iron is the way to go.

The Ringer Cast Iron Cleaner – Stainless Steel Chainmail:  I purchased one of these in October 2015 and it is friggin’ fantastic.  You will never ever have to scrub cast iron again.  I can’t say enough good things about this gizmo.  You want one (and I definitely need to do a review).

Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel:  This “Scout” is the one I own. Using this basic pocket fire-starter, you can get a nice fire going under almost any conditions. This is a small, compact version and is my personal favorite.

~~~~~~~~~~

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

For over 25 years Emergency Essentials has been providing the highest quality preparedness products at great prices.  Plus, each month they feature sales that quite honestly are fantastic.

Mountain House Sale

Emergency Essentials carries a wide variety of equipment and supplies – all at competitive prices.

~~~~~

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 and Best Selling Outdoor 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!

~~~~~


Are You Interested in Essential Oils?

20 All Purpose Remedies Using Essential Oils

The post How to Use the Amazing Solo Stove + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Charge Your Devices With the Cheotech Portable Solar Panel + Giveaway

Click here to view the original post.

Charge Your Devices With the Cheotech Portable Solar Panel | Backdoor Survival

As more of our lives become digital, having a simple way to keep our devices charged poses a dilemma when out in the field, hiking, or during a power outage.  Luckily, there are many solar options available and with each passing year, they get lighter in weight and lower in cost.  Plus, as technology advances, the panels are producing more sun-juice then the portable systems that were available a mere three years ago.

Why should preppers care about charging our digital gizmos?  After all, if the grid is down, cell service will be INOP as well.  The simple answer for me, at least, is that my devices are a virtual library of knowledge, crammed with eBooks, PDFs, photos, and a bit of entertainment to keep me occupied during dire times.

Charge Your Devices With the Cheotech Portable Solar Panel | Backdoor Survival

With that preamble, I am please to introduce you to the Cheotech 19W Solar Panel system.

What I Like About the Cheotech Portable Solar Panel

From the 10,000 foot level, the Cheotech does exactly what it says it will do.  Unfold the unit, expose the 3 panels to the sun, then plug up to two devices into the integrate USB ports.  Whether you plug in a smart phone, eBook reader, tablet, or external battery pack, using the built in smart technology, the device will immediately begin to charge.  No fiddling with cables, no figuring out which of the two USB slots to use (they are both the same), and no technical ability required.

Coming down to the one foot level, the best part of all of this?  I have one to giveaway to a lucky Backdoor Survival reader!  More about that in a moment.

Cheotech Smart 19W Solar Panel: The Basics

In my usual style, I am not going to give you a 2 page laundry list of specifications.  You can find those on Amazon.  Instead, I will walk you through the key features.

First of all, it is truly light weight.  I weighed it myself and it came in at 15 ounces, less than a pound.  This is important because if you want to include it in your Bug-Out or Get-Home Bag, every ounce counts.  (Remember that I like my pack to weigh no more than 20 pounds – a challenge at times.)

Charge Your Devices With the Cheotech Portable Solar Panel | Backdoor Survival

Size wise it is also compact, measuring 10.25″ by 6″ when folded up, pouch-like.

The two USB ports put out the same amount of power.  What this means is that both are rated the same so a tablet, for example, can be plugged into either port.  There is no guessing involved.

Charge Your Devices With the Cheotech Portable Solar Panel | Backdoor Survival

When the solar panels are facing an adequate amount of light, a red light in the charge controller with illuminate, letting you know that everything is working the way it is supposed to.  Of course I confirmed this myself.  If you have Apple devices, and especially an older iPad2 like mine, you know how persnickety they can be when charging.  Even with the supplied adapter and cable from Apple, sometimes they refuse to charge.

Over a period of days, I used the Cheotech to charge my iPad and it worked 100% of the time.  I wish I had kept better notes on the charging time but the one time I did keep track, my iPad went from 15% to 100% in about 3 hours.

The Cheotech comes with a single mini-USB charging cable.  That worked fine but only fit my Kindle.  I used my own cables for the iPad, iPhone, and EasyAcc power brick (which can be charged superfast using 2 cables so having two fast USB ports was a bonus).

The cables, as well as smaller devices that are being charged, fit into a zippered mesh pouch on the rear of the panels, keeping things nice and tidy.


The Giveaway

I hope you are excited about this one because I am excited for you.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

Note:  Due to Customs requirements, this giveaway is only open to residents of the United States.

The Final Word

As the technology advances, portable solar panels become more reliable and less expensive.  In addition, the all important form factor improves.  On all accounts, the Cheotech 19W Solar Panel ranks right up there as one of my favorites.

Charge Your Devices With the Cheotech Portable Solar Panel | Backdoor Survival

Getting some assistance from Tucker the Awesome Wonder Dog and his Kitty!

I hope you will take a few minutes to enter the giveaway but if you want to get your hands on a unit sooner, between now and March 8th, Cheotech is offering BDS readers a $6 discount on Amazon using code 4LIQ3GUN.  Here is a link:  Cheotech Light Weight Portable Solar Charger.

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.

Emergency Food Buyers Guide 2016-02-26

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 plus a few other personal favorites.

Cheotech 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.  For a limited period, Cheotech is offering Backdoor Survival readers $6 off using code 4LIQ3GUN.  The code is valid from March 3 to March 8.

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 if you are interested in this sort of thing.

Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger: This nicely built charger will charge charge AA, AAA, C, D, N, 9V, Ni-MH, Ni-CD, and Alkaline batteries. It has an LED display so that when you first put a battery in the charging bay, you know whether it is viable for charging or simply bad and ready to go back to the recycle box.

Maximal Power battery charger from Amazon

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

Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath:  Think you don’t need to worry about a long-term grid down situations. This hallmark book, by award winning journalist Ted Koppel, will hopefully educate the sheeple and motivate them to embrace the message of preparedness.  For the rest of us, there is much to learn about the state of preparedness, or lack thereof, at the highest levels of our government.  Read more:  Prepper Book Festival 10: Lights Out by Ted Koppel.

100 BIC-style Lighters Disposable Classic Lighter:  In addition to power, you are going to need fire.  Running about 16 cents each and free shipping, these are great to have on hand for both survival and barter use.

10 Pack Mini LED FlashlightsThe Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 127 Backdoor Survival:  What a great deal on 10 mini flashlights on a key ring – button batteries included.  I happen to like a more sturdy ring so I remove the one that comes with and use a small bit of tie-wrap (zip tie) instead.   The included battery seemingly lasts forever and at this price, you can stash them in the car, purse, pocket, tool box and by the circuit breaker box, and still have some left over for other uses.

As of this writing, all 10 are under $4.00 in black, although from time to time they are available at that price in colors.  Shipping is free.

~~~~~~~~~~

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

For over 25 years Emergency Essentials has been providing the highest quality preparedness products at great prices.  Plus, each month they feature sales that quite honestly are fantastic.

Mountain House Sale

Emergency Essentials carries a wide variety of equipment and supplies – all at competitive prices.


~~~~~

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 and Best Selling Outdoor 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 Charge Your Devices With the Cheotech Portable Solar Panel + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Review: LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter + Giveaway

Click here to view the original post.

Review: LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter | Backdoor Survival

When it comes to filtering water while on the go, the LifeStraw personal water filter rocks.  It is lightweight and easy to use, and, in sort of a perverse way, a lot of fun.  That said, I do not mean to poke fun at the very important task of ensuring that drinking water is safe, but it sure does help when the experience is pleasurable.

Do I love my LifeStraws?  You bet.  I own three of them, one for each of us and a spare.  So, when I learned that there was an all-new LifeStraw Steel, I became excited because the all-new LifeStraw Steel includes a 2-stage filtration process instead of just one.  How cool is that?

LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter Review | Backdoor Survival

Today I am thrilled to introduce you to the newest member of the LifeStraw family of water filtration products.  In addition, thanks to long term Backdoor Survival sponsor, Eartheasy.com, I am able to offer one LifeStraw Steel to a lucky reader in an exclusive giveaway.

But first, let me tell you about the LifeStraw Steel and how to use it.

How to Use the LifeStraw Steel

This is not your momma’s LifeStraw.  Setting aside what I felt was obnoxious and excessive packaging, the LifeStraw Steel was a cinch to use.  It comes with a little instruction booklet that does not take a PhD in reading manuals to figure out.

LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter Review | Backdoor Survival

Basically, you remove the caps at both ends, stand the LifeStraw in your cup, bucket, or other water source, give it 15 seconds and you are good to go.  It is as easy as that.

LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter Review | Backdoor Survival

Those of you that have been around for awhile might recall that learning to use the original LifeStraw was more of a challenge and that it took a few tries to get it right. This time, it was easy peasy.

I do have a couple of tips for you.  First of all, if the LifeStraw Steel has not been used in awhile, you are going to want to draw up some water then blow it right back out to clear out the filters.  Then, when you are done drinking, blow it out one more time to remove any residual water from the chamber.

An additional step, and something that I do, is spray the spout with my DIY AntiViral spray before and after drinking.  This is totally optional but something I like to do as a matter of course.

Remember when I mentioned the fun part of using the original LifeStraw?  With that unit, blowing things out at the end resulted in a stream of water coming out – kind of like a human squirt gun.  With the LifeStraw Steel, there was only a bit of water and a few bubbles so the stream was not so dramatic.  Still, you are not going to want to skip this step.

The caps covering the spout and the carbon filter are tight fitting, especially the cover to the sipping spout.  I found I had to line it up then firmly push it in, creating an airtight seal.  Don’t try to twist it closed; there are no threads and your efforts will be fruitless.

What Else Do You Need to Know?

Here are some facts about the LifeStraw Steel.  It will remove 99.9999% of bacteria (such as E. coli) and 99.9% of protozoa (such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium).  As with the original LifeStraw, it does not remove viruses nor does it desalinate.

On the other hand, it reduces organic matter of a chemical natures, as well as chlorine and foul odors and taste.  There is no aftertaste whatsoever.

The LifeStraw Steel is contracted from durable stainless steel and is designed to filter 264 gallons of water.  The replaceable activated carbon filter is replaceable and should be changed after 26 gallons.  One important consideration that it shares with the original LifeStraw is that it has no shelf-life.  There are no moving parts and nothing can go bad.  This means you can store your LifeStraws pretty much indefinitely.

LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter Review | Backdoor Survival

Given its light weight and compact form, the LifeStraw (both the original and the LifeStraw Sreel model) is perfect for bug-out-bags and emergency kits.  Not only that, for prepping purposes, it makes good sense to keep at least one for each family member in your car so that you have some way of filtering questionable drinking water while traveling or otherwise on the go in the course of your daily life.

Regardless of how you plan to use the LifeStraw, I recommend carrying a fold up cup, Nalgene water bottle or canteen.  You can then fill it with water but sip the water through a LifeStraw while drinking.

The Giveaway

Here is the part you have been waiting for.  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 Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

Note:  This giveaway is only open to residents of the United States.


The Final Word

The advantage of the LifeStraw Steel over the original LifeStraw is the two-step filtration process.  As I mentioned previously, in addition to the hollow fiber membrane (filtering out virtually all bacteria and protozoa), the LifeStraw Steel water filter has an activated carbon capsule which reduces chemicals such as chlorine while reducing organic compounds (including pesticides and herbicides), odor and bad taste.

In addition, it appeared sturdier and more impervious to damage due to its stainless steel construction.  Obviously, this is not something I tests.

Finally, I love that for every LifeStraw purchased, one school child in a developing community
receives safe drinking water for an entire school year.  Doing something good for someone more need it always a good thing.

I would like to thank EarthEasy for sponsoring this giveaway and hope you will take a few moments to enter.

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.

Backdoor Survival Emergency Food Buyers Guide

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.

LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter with Two-Stage Carbon Filtration:  The LifeStraw Steel includes the dual filtering action of both a hollow-fiber membrane and activated carbon capsule.  It removes virtually all water-borne bacteria, protozoa, and sediment plus some chemicals. I found the LifeStraw Steel to be a cinch to use.

LifeStraw Personal Water FilterThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items Backdoor Survival:  FREE SHIPPING! The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2 oz.  making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.

LifeStraw Family 1.0 Water Purifier:  The Lifestraw Family contains no chemicals, no batteries and no moving parts to wear out. It features a a high flow rate and is the perfect solution to your portable water purification needs – whether bugging in or bugging out. Read my review here.

LifeStraw Go Water Bottle with Integrated 1000-Liter LifeStraw Filter:  The Lifestraw Go integrates the fantastic LifeStraw Personal Water Filter with a sippy-type bottle.  It is like getting two for the price of one.  The included carabiner hook makes it easy to attach the LifeStraw Go to your pack.

Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth BPA-Free Water Bottle, 1-Quart:  I love my Nalgene bottle and have them stashed in all of my kits.  Where as the wide-mouth version is great for using outdoors, around the house I prefer the narrow-mouth version.

The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide:  You can survive up to three weeks without food, but only three days without water. When catastrophe strikes, having enough water can spell the difference between life and death. This book offers a step-by-step plan with straightforward information you can easily follow.  Written by my friend Daisy Luther, I recommended the book for everyone’s survival library!

Prepper's Water Survival Guide

~~~~~~~~~~


~~~~~~~~~~

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 and Best Selling Outdoor Items
Emergency Preparedness Items from Amazon.com
Shop Amazon Tactical – Great Selection of Optics, Knives, Cases, Equipment
Amazon Gift Cards

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Curious About Essential Oils?

If you are curious about essential oils, this will be a good start. A Big Fat List of Essential Oils for Preppers.

The post Review: LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

All-New AquaPod Emergency Water Kit and Filter + Giveaway

Click here to view the original post.

AquaPod Emergency Water Kit | Backdoor Survival

A couple of years ago, when I first learned about the AquaPod Emergency Water Kit, I jumped on the bandwagon and tested one for myself.  At the time, I was thrilled by the reasonable cost and my own ability to assemble the kit myself, without the need for any male-type brawn.

As I explained then, an AquaPod Emergency Water Kit is a heavy duty bathtub liner that is filled with water in advance of an upcoming hurricane, storm, or weather system.  The kit includes a bathtub liner that is filled with water, some fittings, and a pump for siphoning the water out of the tub.

All New AquaPod Emergency Water Kit | Backdoor Survival

Think of the AquaPod Kit as insurance for those times when you anticipate that access to clean, usable water will be unavailable for a few days up to a week or two.

All-New AquaPod Bathtub Water Storage Kit

It has been two years since my initial review and I am happy to report that there is an all-new AquaPod Kit.  The newly updated kit includes an updated pump as well as an Aquamira water filtration device   What that means is that even if the water coming out from your pipes and into the bathtub looks or smells questionable, it will still be safe to drink because the included filter will remove bacteria as well as protozoan cysts such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia.  The filter also reduces chlorine to improve water taste, odor, and clarity.

In the first Backdoor Survival product giveaway of 2016, the nice folks at AquaPod have reserved two of the new AquaPod Kits with filtration for two lucky winners.  Not only that, they are throwing in two of their new RoguePak Hydration Bladders for a total of four winners.  How cool is that?

I will be writing about the RoquePak Hydration Bladders in March, but for now, let me walk you through how easy it is to set up and use the AquaPod Kit.

Setting Up the AquaPod Kit with Aquamira Filtration

Follow along below as I show you the upgraded siphon pump and filter.

AquaPod Emergency Water Kit | Backdoor Survival

Attaching the sleeve to the filled liner

AquaPod Emergency Water Kit | Backdoor Survival

Attaching the included pump that will be used to siphon out the water

AquaPod Emergency Water Kit | Backdoor Survival

Attaching  the Aquamira filtration device

AquaPod Emergency Water Kit | Backdoor Survival

Getting the water out using the included siphon pump with filter attached

Other Facts About the AquaPod

The AquaPod holds up to 65 gallons of water, depending on the size of your tub.  Think about that.  At a water requirement of 3 gallons a day per person, that works out to 22 man-days or 11 days of water for two people and more if you conserve.  Also, with the AquaPod, you can expect the water to stay fresh for up to 8 weeks although water never really goes bad, just stale and/or contaminated.

Here are some other facts:

AquaPodKit manufactures their liners here in the USA!

The liners are constructed of 4 mil food grade Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) plastic. This material follows and stays within USDA and FDA guidelines. Contains no PVCs and is BPA free.

The liner is 40″x80″ and, depending on the size of your bathtub, can hold up to 100 gallons.  Although the standard tub holds 70 gallons of water, to be safe AquaPod recommends filling the tub with 65 gallons to come in under the tub line.

Depending on the flow of water, you can usually fill the bladder in 10 to 15 minutes.  I suggest practicing attaching the fittings in advance so if a last minute storm warning occurs, you can quickly attach the liner/bladder and fill the tub with time to spare.

Siphoned water is pumped out of the tub into a water bottle, pitcher, or jug.  One person can do this without the assistance of a second set of hands.

Liners are for one time use only.  It is not that they will not stand up to re-use, but that re-use may introduce contaminates.

Refill liners are available at a reasonable cost.

Bonus:  The RoguePak Hydration Bladder

Something that has been on my gear bucket list for quite some time is a hydration bladder for my Rothco backpack. (The Medium Transport Pack I favor has a built in slot for a hydration bladder.)  My issue has always been two fold: cleaning and sanitation after the fact.

The RoguePak solves that problem.  It includes recyclable bladders with reusable quick connect valves.  Although I have not gone hiking since receiving my hydration bladder, as soon as I do I will report back with how well I fared carrying 70 ounces of water in my pack along with the rest of my gear.

In the meantime, there will be two bonus winners, each receiving a kit with 2, 70 ounce RoguePaks!

The Giveaway

Here is the part you have been waiting for.  Up for grabs are two of the new AquaPod Kits with Aquamira Filtration and two RoguePak Hydration Bladder Kits.

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 Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

Note:  This giveaway is only open residents of the United States.


The Final Word

Something you may be asking yourself is why not simply store water in an open bathtub.  Why do you need a liner?

The answer is that most of us do not make a career out of cleaning our bathtubs daily.  Dirt, dust, soap scum and other crud accumulates on the surface of the tub, even if it is unused.  This is emergency water we are talking about, and it makes sense to start out with the cleanest water possible.

The other question is why consider the AquaPod Kit versus some of the lower cost competitors?

Three reasons come to mind.  First, it is made in the US and not off shore in China or elsewhere.  Second is that refill kits are available at a reasonable price so your initial investment in a pump and fittings can be used over and over again.  Finally, it comes with a water filter good for up to 80 gallons, or a completely full bathtub.

I should also mention that if you already own one of the original AquaPod Kits, an upgrade kit is available that includes the new pump and filter system although the original works just fine too.

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.

Backdoor Survival Emergency Food Buyers Guide

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.

AquaPodKit Emergency Drinking Water Storage Plus Aquamira Filtration Kit, 65 gallon:  What I love about the AquaPod is that I can purchase refill liners, making this more than a one-time use product.  I am thrilled that you can now filter the water as you siphon it out of the tub. Plus, of course, that it is made in America.  How many preparedness products can boast about that?

AquaPodKit Upgrade Kit with Aquamira Filtration: This kit will upgrade existing AquaPod kits with the updated pump and an Aquamira filtration kit.  The water filter is good for 80 gallons and can also be used as a straw type device.

Roguepak (2) Reusable & Recyclable Reservoir:  The RoguePak is a new idea in hydration packs-create a reusable system that eliminates the arduous hassle of cleaning that limits the usefulness of other packs.  They are made in America. (Also comes in a 4 pack.)

Aqua Pod Kit Replacement Liners (3 Pack): Replacement lines for your AquaPod Kit.  Your AquaPod is not a throw-away solution!

Rothco Black Medium Transport Pack:  This is my preferred pack.  The extensive storage options make the pack ideal for organizing your gear or filling it with supplies.  It is MOLLE compatible as well as hydration bladder compatible. The best part is that it is comfortable both for me (a smallish woman) and Shelly, the Survival Husband.

WaterBasics Replacement Filter – GRN Line-Series II-80 gallons:  Read about the AquaMira Water Basics filter.  This is the filter that is included with the AquaPod Kit. You will also find more information here.

DryTec Calcium Hypochlorite, 1-Pound:  This is 68% Calcium Hypochlorite.  As of this writing, the price is under $10 with free shipping.  I purchased Ultima Pool ShockThe Sunday Survival Buzz #128 Backdoor Survival which is 73% Calcium Hypochlorite.  For more information, read How to Use Pool Shock to Purify Water.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

For over 25 years Emergency Essentials has been providing the highest quality preparedness products at great prices.  Plus, each month they feature sales that quite honestly are fantastic.

Their prices on Mountain House products continue to be heavily discounted as are the Emergency Essentials brand of food storage items.  This month they are featuring a #10 tin of Mountain House® Ground Beef for $37.99, a discount of 37%.

Emergency Essentials also carries a wide variety of equipment and supplies – all at competitive prices.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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 and Best Selling Outdoor Items
Emergency Preparedness Items from Amazon.com
Shop Amazon Tactical – Great Selection of Optics, Knives, Cases, Equipment
Amazon Gift Cards

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SHOP THE WEEKLY SPECIALS AT SPARK NATURALS

Spark Naturals Free Bag

Free Shipping Over $55

The post All-New AquaPod Emergency Water Kit and Filter + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Store Water With LifeStack Storage Containers + Giveaway

Click here to view the original post.

Store Water and Food With LifeStack Storage Containers | Backdoor Survival

Finding the space to store water and food for emergency purposes can be dilemma.  The reality is that not everyone has a large pantry, basement or cellar where buckets, cases and cans of  food and water can be stored away, out of sight and yet accessible if and when they are needed.

That is why when my blogging colleague, Bernie Carr, the Apartment Prepper, asked if I wanted to introduce you to the LifeStack Storage Container and participate in a group giveaway, I jumped at the chance.

Store Food and Water With LifeStack Storage Containers | Backdoor Survival

The giveaway is for a set of 5 LifeStack Storage Containers and there will be 3 winners.  How cool is that?

What is the Lifestack Storage Container?

The LifeStack is a one-gallon stackable, interlocking bottle made of food-grade, BPA free plastic. Made in the USA, they are perfect for storing water or the short term storage of bulk foods such as rice, grains or beans. They stack every which way and can be hidden away under sofas, behind dressers, and just about anywhere.

Here is what Bernie had to say following her testing.

LifeStack Storage Container Review

When I first heard about Lifestack Storage Containers I was immediately interested on how they would work.  Living in an apartment presents challenges for water and food storage due to limited space and I am always looking for solutions.

What are LifeStack Storage Containers?

They are watertight, stackable 1 gallon containers that store food and water.  The containers are BPA free, and can be filled with either water or storable bulk items such as sugar, salt etc.

The plastic is lightweight but durable.  The containers are opaque and therefore protects from light.

Review

I received four storage containers for review.  I filled all of them with water from the tap.  I sealed each of them tightly.

These containers can be very handy and useful for storing water.  I placed them vertically in various tight spots, such as next to the refrigerator, between furniture etc.  They fit well and stacked on each other, maximizing the space.

I also tried storing them horizontally under the bed. I closed the lid tightly.  To make sure I can clearly spot any leaks, I placed a piece of paper and a towel underneath.  After a few hours, I noticed a few water leaks on the paper.  I did check with my contact at lifestackstorage.com and he indicated “upon further testing and use I discovered that if I tightened the lids as tightly as possible (even when they feel they’re on tightly, they can still be tightened down even more), the leakage stopped.

I have found in other tests that most water containers leak when stored on their side, and therefore I always recommend storing water in an upright position.

If you were storing solid items such as oats, salt or sugar, then there would be no issues of leakage if you were to store them horizontally.

Other than that, I found that Lifestack Storage Containers are ideal for storing in tight spaces.  They are sturdy and stack well.  Store water or other solid bulk items in the Lifestack Storage containers and keep them upright in a cool, dark place to protect the contents.  The containers connect together and are very thin, allowing you to store several containers in a tight space.

I think Lifestack Storage Containers are a great storage option for anyone who lives in a small space such as apartments, condos, tiny homes or RVs.

The Giveaway

Three lucky winners will win three sets of five 1-gallon size LifeStack Storage containers.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Terms and Conditions

This Lifestack Storage Containers Giveaway is open to any resident who is 18 years of age or older who lives in one of the 48 US Contiguous States. This giveaway starts on Friday, January 8th, 2016  at 5:00 am (MDT) and ends on Friday, Jan. 15th, 2016 at 5:00 pm (MDT).

The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If we do not hear back from said winner in the designated time period of 24 hours we will choose another winner and they will have 24 hours to respond from the time the notification email is sent. Please check your SPAM email folders. Good luck to everyone! Let’s be prepared for the unexpected!


One Important Consideration

Given that I have not tested the LifeStack myself, I am recommending them as a solution for water and short term food storage only.  It is my understanding that the lid does not include a gasket so there is no assurance that any food stored inside will be impervious to air or tiny pests.

On the other hand, the LifeStack is an excellent solution for storing water when space is limited.

The Final Word

I know from first hand experience that finding space to store your preps can be difficult if not downright depressing.  My own home only has one bedroom and is quite tiny so I have every spare nook and cranny stuffed with storage containers of one type or another.  Even my cast iron skillets are stored under the sofa!

You can visit 16 Food Storage Tips for the Space Challenged Prepper for additional food and water storage ideas. Of course, do enter the giveaway as well.  There will be three winners!

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.

Backdoor Survival Emergency Food Buyers Guide

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

Spotlight:  Bargain Bin:  Let’s make today all about water!

No Rinse Cleansing & Deodorizing Bathing Wipes:  One wipe is more than enough for a complete “bath”.  These are a good backup when traditional showers are not available such as the week or weeks following a disaster.  Also good for the sick room as well as camping, boating, hiking and such.  Here is my review.

Fluidmaster 400CR Toilet Fill Valve and Flapper Repair Kit:  Speaking of water, this is one of those items you don’t think of stockpiling but believe me, we now have a couple in reserve for emergency purposes.  Why fuss with adjusting a tank valve when you can replace the whole thing for less than $12 and 10 minutes of your time?

AquaPod:   Have you considered storing water in your bathtub?  The AquaPod is a bladder that you can use in your bathtub to store water if you know that a storm, flood, or hurricane is brewing. (I call these “disruptive events”.)

LifeStraw Personal Water FilterThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items Backdoor Survival:  The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2oz.  making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.

The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide:  You can survive up to three weeks without food, but only three days without water. When catastrophe strikes, having enough water can spell the difference between life and death. This book offers a step-by-step plan with straightforward information you can easily follow.  Written by my friend Daisy Luther, I recommended the book for everyone’s survival library!

Suncast RB50D 50-Gallon Rain Barrel:  A rain barrel is a great way to collect water for, well, a rainy day.  This is the rain barrel I own.  The instructions indicate that it must be dumped regularly to prevent algae formation but since I will be using this “free” water in the garden, it will get replenished regularly by Mother Nature.  That said,  I am definitely going to keep an eye on things.

Potable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets: Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets make questionable water bacteriologically suitable to drink. Easy to use and the water is ready to drink in 30 minutes. One 50 tablet bottle treats 25 quarts of water.

NALGENE BPA-Free Water Bottle:  These $8 water bottles have served me well.  I fill them up with water from my Royal Berkey and keep one bedside, one at my desk and another in the bathroom.  Keep in mind that price-wise, some colors will be more expensive so if color does not matter, go with the cheapest (currently the green version).

DryTec Calcium Hypochlorite, 1-Pound:  This is 68% Calcium Hypochlorite.  As of this writing, the price is under $10 with free shipping.  I purchased Ultima Pool ShockThe Sunday Survival Buzz #128 Backdoor Survival which is 73% Calcium Hypochlorite.  For more information, read How to Use Pool Shock to Purify Water.

Black Berkey Primer Gizmo – Less than $20:  Okay, that is my name for it.  This device makes back-flushing a Black Berkey Filter a cinch. Following a disaster, when you are depending on your filters for clean water, you may not have running water.  If you have a Berkey, you are going to want one of these inexpensive devices.  For more information, see The Survival Buzz #160: Maintaining Black Berkey Filters.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Shop Buy Emergency Foods for the Highest Quality Long Term Storage Seeds

Learn more about survival seeds and seed storage by watching this informative video.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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 and Best Selling Outdoor Items
Emergency Preparedness Items from Amazon.com
Shop Amazon Tactical – Great Selection of Optics, Knives, Cases, Equipment
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 Store Water With LifeStack Storage Containers + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Long-term food storage meals that taste good – Valley Food Storage Review

Click here to view the original post.

Being a part of a emergency preparedness community has its advantages.  One of those advantages is that you can ask for advice, opinions, and/or feed-back to questions you have.  A fellow prepper recently ask me what emergency preparedness items would be a good gift for… Read More

The post Long-term food storage meals that taste good – Valley Food Storage Review appeared first on Preppers Survive.

Review: The Best Cargo Pants For Preppers

Click here to view the original post.

pantsReady Nutrition Readers, this segment provides a recommendation for you to help you “fly by the seat of your pants,” so to speak, from a survival/wilderness perspective.  What’s in a pair of pants?  Paraphrasing Shakespeare as such, plenty can be in a pair of pants, if you look at them not just as clothing but actually as a part of your equipment.  I’m going to recommend to you what I use in the area of cargo pants, and tell you what I carry with mine.

Now some may point out that because of the nature of your work (uniform, business suit, etc.), that it is neither permitted nor convenient to have cargo pants every day.  Not so.  You may not be able to wear them every day, but remember going back to those segments I did on bug-out bags?  Even if you have to wear a set of scrubs in a hospital or a suit for your trial (hopefully as a lawyer, not as a defendant), you can pack your cargo pants of choice…ready to go…in your bug out bag (I prefer “go” bag).

Along with that pair of pants, it must be able to carry a variety of gear therefore – it’s got to have pockets. As well, a good belt is a must.  So, without further ado, here is what JJ totes in and on his cargo pants (the important stuff besides keys and wallet):

  • Left Cargo Pocket: Military cravat (aka “drive-on rag”) OG green; black Polartech hat; Djeep lighter; additional “sensitive” items.
  • Right Cargo Pocket: Leather shooting gloves, 1 pair triple-flanged earplugs in a case; balaclava (for the neck and face).  Flashlight (Coast-brand: uses 1 AA battery, with a clip for pocket and reverse-clip for hat visor).  Buck knife folder with clip.
  • Belt: 1 pouch to hold a mag; Gerber multi-tool; loop-lanyard Cordura clip for a thigh holster to attach to; Kydex clip-in holster.  The belt is a good leather belt, nice and thick, not bonded leather or woven, but solid…those deliver the best performance value in JJ’s experience.
  • Miscellaneous Items:  Salve (I use Carmex); 1 other “sensitive” item.

Looking For Durable Pants With a Lifetime Warranty? Look No Further

The cargo pants I prefer are a little more expensive than most and some may be skeptical about paying such a price until they actually see how they’re made: pure quality, plain and simple.  I use and love Wrangler Riggs Workwear, my model of preference being the Ranger Relaxed Fit type.  I prefer them in OG/olive green, although they have them in black and light tan.  The latter are a little thinner; the OG and the black are really thick, fantastic material.  They will run you $44.95 per pair.  They have a lifetime warranty on them.  In JJ’s experience, they are the finest pairs of cargo pants ever made, pound for pound and dollar for dollar.

The closest that I have seen to them is the US Army issue BDU trousers, and next are the ones by Carharrt; however, they are not that close.  The Army trousers are tough, but the two cargo pockets are not as nice.  The Carharrts (although well-made) are nowhere near these Wrangler Riggs when you feel the material for each side by side, and the latter has them beat across the board with the pockets.

The back pockets are edged and lined with Cordura nylon.  The pants themselves are 100% rip-stop cotton, an extremely tight weave, with a double layer in the front and heavily reinforced with seams and double stitching.  If you prefer a lock blade with a clip, the right front pocket has a leather reinforced semicircle stitched upon the edge of the pocket’s opening.

The cargo pockets have two snaps on each flap, left and right.  The female portion of the snap (the part you press to close the snap) is within the pocket’s flap: this keeps it from being scraped or knocked off.  On the exterior of the right cargo pocket are two small pouch-pockets that are perfect for a flashlight, knife, or other tool.  They are extremely tough, durable, and convenient to use.  During the winter months you can augment them with good thermal underwear, and during the summer months they’ll breathe because they’re cotton.

As I write this article, I am wearing a pair I have had for three years with hardly any signs of wear at all.  My advice is to buy them at least one size large (mine are two) because it is better to have them a little loose to accommodate layers underneath, and having them loose in the summer prevents constriction and chafing.  They carry all of my gear that I mentioned comfortably, and that is the kicker in addition to how durable they are.

I wear them all the time.  Boring?  Perhaps.  But at any given moment, I know where each and every item that I carry is located.  This in itself is worth the price to pay for them.  I have seen some that are name brands that are more expensive, but they don’t perform the same.  I buy my size periodically, and store them up in sealable garment bags with some desiccant in a place with low humidity or moisture.  Buy one every month to two months and in no time you’ll be able to build up a steady supply.

Their value to carry equipment at the ready is not able to be easily estimated.  I like to buy my cargoes a little long.  During the warm months, I cuff them up, and the bottoms sit upon the instep of my boots.  During the winter, I can unroll them and cuff them on the inside of my boots.  In Montana it is not looked at with any askance, as even businessmen in suits cuff their pants inside of high leather boots with rubber bottoms.  Sorel’s, Kamik’s, or Rocky Gore-Tex with a ton (800 – 1000 grams on average…I’m in the Rockies, after all) of Thinsulate are the equivalent of wing-tips or loafers in the cities, and the norm in Montana.

If you need to keep them in your “go” bag, set them up first: put a belt on them with your Leatherman/Gerber tool attached, and whatever “goodies” you prefer in the manner that I set mine up.  Then all you have to do is roll them up from the waist down to the bottom of the pants legs to make sure that things don’t fall out of the pockets, and voila!  You’re good to go!  Then stick them in your bag and you can make the change as soon as the SHTF, no matter where you are.  I’m sure someone out there is going to mention other things in addition to my stuff.  This is how I do it, and anything else is in my bag, never more than a few feet away from me.

The main focus was to recommend something that I use and love, something that I consider a piece of my equipment/gear, and completely necessary both for the area I live and for time of trouble.  I believe you’ll find them comfortable and exceptional in quality: a good investment for your needs.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Tactical Boots review – Under Armour RTS Valsetz

Click here to view the original post.

The review of the RTS Valsetz is brought to you working closely with SoleLabz.com, a website that reviews and rates best hiking and tactical boots.

Under Armour RTS Valsetz Review

Under Armour RTS Valsetz Review

Under Armour 101

UA is your true “humble beginnings to stardom” story.  Kevin Plank, the founder of UA, was just a University football team captain with a problem. He’s had it with soaked cotton T-shirts constantly slowing him down and started a company to try and make a better version. UA is making around 4 billion dollars per year now so I think we’re safe to say he did something right. UA was founded in his grandmother’s basement in 1996, and quickly released its first T-shirt, HeatGear compression. The rest is for the business history books.

Some RTS Valsetz fundamentals

UA puts forth a combination of light weight, durability and water-resistance and the main selling point of these tactical boots. The uppers are a textile-synthetic leather combo paired with welded film surrounding the boot for optimal abrasion-resistance. They say the initial idea behind the RTS was that “second-skin” feeling.

Further down the product specification, they discuss all the patented technologies aimed at superior shock-resistance, softer landings and outstanding stability by “locking” your foot inside the boot. When it comes to shanks, they’ve opted for TPU (meaning plastic, not metal). They’ve used molded Ortholite for sockliners, EVA for midsoles and spiced things up with special technologies for odor-prevention.

Let’s see if this Valsetz is all it’s cracked up to be by giving it a proper spin.

Real-life review of the RTS Valsetz tactical boots

Initial Impressions of the RTS Valsetz

Upon receiving the boots I had mixed emotions, was this a tactical boot or a tennis shoe?  Was tactical a label that applied only if it were a bright sunny day on paved surfaces or could there be other applications that this boot might be of use in.  You see it’s always a trade off in that boots which are lightweight, super comfortable (like tennis shoes) and require no break in are usually prone to falling apart after a year of use.  Nike SFB’s and Blackhawk boots come to mind because I’ve owned several pair of them.  Great right off the bat but not sturdy enough to hold up to repeated abuse.  The opposite side of that coin would be standard GI Issue boots, boots that require some decent break in or they will tear the skin off of your heels but they are relatively bullet proof over the long haul.

As I held the RTS Valsetz in my hand a few things struck me immediately.

  • Laces:  The lace seemed pretty thin, not a big deal to most but I like fatter laces which make them easier to knot/lock into place.  The absolute worst is looking down and seeing your boot  laces dragging on the ground when you are in an area where stopping to re-tie them is a hassle.  Petty I know but it’s the little things.
  • Flat Sole:  Looking at the sole and sliding my foot into the boot I wondered just how much arch support it would truly have.  I’m not a fan of the minimalist shoes with no arch support, it’s why I like Keen boots and Asics running shoes.  The RTS Valsetz boots didn’t exactly blow me away initially with the support provided but I would have to wait until I wore them out in the field, sitting on the couch with one foot in a boot was hardly a true test.
  • Grip / Stability:  The sole of the boot it did appear to provide the user with some decent traction and side to side stability.  I’ll once again reference the Nike SFB’s, while a great boot to wear around for day to day use in the mud over uneven terrain they were absolutely awful in that they provided very little traction or support.  Hopefully the RTS Valsetz boots would be a notch above the NIke’s in this respect.

Out in the Woods

I wore the boots around town for a day or two just to get an initial impression of them.  Quite frankly I was sort of on the fence in that they were very comfortable but I worried about how they would perform once I was out in the woods with a heavy load on my back.  I must admit I shouldn’t have been so quick to doubt the boots as they were surprisingly good.

Under Armour RTS Valsetz

Out in the woods for a hike

It was a very cool Saturday morning when I set out with my dog to hike a 5 mile loop at a local nature preserve.  In order to make things more interesting I strapped my survival bag to my back, which came in around 50lbs or so.  This loop had some small elevation changes and the terrain was a mix of dirt, loose rocks, tree roots and fallen leaves with very slick mud underneath.  This would be a nice testing ground for the RTS Valsetz boots, while 5 miles isn’t that great of a distance with my experience I would be able to immediately ascertain if they were something I could endorse.

I was pleasantly surprised with how these boots performed.  Some things that I was looking for:

  • Hot Spots:  This is exactly what you think it is, that feeling of hot spot on that ball of your foot or heel from the friction of the boot and sock against your foot.  While 5 miles might not seem like enough distance to determine if a hot spot will develop trust me it is, especially under load and especially with boot that does not perform well.  Take a pair of GI issued boots and go walk 5 miles in them straight away, you’ll be limping for the next week.  Fortunately there were no hot spots or even a hint of one during my time with the RTS Valsetz boots.
  • Comfort:  Out of the box comfort which I really appreciate.  Again it’s a trade off in that I’m not sure just how durable these boots will be yet I’d rather look at them as expendable items and just replace them as necessary.  I know there are guys out there who still get their boots resoled over and over again, I’d rather just buy new if no break in is required.
  • Stability:  Good side to side stability especially when encountering rocks or tree roots hidden by piles of leaves.  The flat sole and grip provided does the job, really coming into play when out in the woods.  Again I was pleasantly surprised!
  • Climbing / Descending Hills:  Here is something most overlook.  You need to have a bit of play front to rear in your boot BUT with the foot still being relatively secured in place.  If a boot is a perfect fit or too tight when descending hills you get the old toe smash going on, not a pleasant experience.  While going uphill if too loose your foot could slide around a bit maybe even causing your sock to bunch up in places that would start to form hot spots and then blisters.  I have to state that the RTS Valsetz boots performed well in this area allowing my feet just enough room to move around while still keeping everything secure.
  • Water Resistance:  While I chose not to dunk my feet into the creek that was running near the trail UA does claim that these boots are water resistant, with water proof being another thing altogether I suppose.  What I can state is that since these boots are so lightweight if they do get soaking wet the dry time should be relatively short compared to heavy leather boots which is always a good thing if one is pressed for time.

Bottom Line

Do I recommend these boots?  The answer is yes but with a catch.  Everyone has different feet so what feels great to me might feel awful to you, but I’d venture a guess that most would be pleased if purchasing a pair of RTS Valsetz boots for everyday light duty and some adventures in the woods.  I now have these boots in my truck as my standby pair of footwear, tucked under the seat next to my survival bag for those instances where a quick change of footwear could be necessary.  Keep in mind that the one thing I could not test was the durability of this boot over an extended period of time.  Thanks again to Solelabz.com for providing the boots (and socks) that I used in this review.

 

Gear Review: Solo Stove Titan and Solo Pot 1800

Click here to view the original post.

Written by Patrick Blair on Survival at Home.

I’ve been looking for a strong and versatile cook system that was lightweight and compact to add to my gear. Enter the Solo Stove Titan and Solo Pot 1800!

The post Gear Review: Solo Stove Titan and Solo Pot 1800 appeared first on Survival at Home.

5 Oddball Uses for Duct Tape + RediTape Giveaway

Click here to view the original post.

5 Oddball Uses for Duct Tape | Backdoor Survival

We have all done it.  Who has not squished a roll of duct tape flat so that it would take up less room? Or, alternatively, who has not taken a few feet of duct tape and wrapped it around a pencil so it could be stored easily in a tight space?  I will bet there are a sea of hands out there!

Well guess what?  You no longer have to do that!  Now there is RediTape Duct Tape which comes in pocket sized, 5 yard packs.  Not only that, it comes in six different colors.  Oh my gosh this is terrific stuff and I am thrilled to share it with you.  Not only that, I have six sets of six packs of RediTape to give away lucky Backdoor Survival readers.  Now how cool is that?

5 Oddball Uses for Duct Tape | Backdoor Survival

But first, let me tell you about RediTape and the 5 oddball uses of duct tape that have worked for me these past couple of weeks.

About RediTape Duct Tape

Duct tape is duct tape right?  Wrong.  There are different grades running the gamut of dollar-store versions to heavy-duty industrial versions.  In my own tests, I would put RediTape right smack in the middle.  It is stronger and tackier (stickier?) than the dollar store variety but not as thick as the 3M stuff.  At the same time, it seems softer and more pliable.  Does that make sense?

No worries, though, because where RediTape shines is in it’s form factor.  Each pack is 2 inches wide and 4.25 inches long.  The thickness is about 1/2 inch.  This means that it fits easily in small, compact spaces such as:

Backpack or Purse
First Aid Kit
Vehicle Glove Compartment
Luggage
Pocket
Toolbox
Tackle Box

It tears easily and cleanly.  What I mean by that is that when you tear it, it tears straight across, no knife or scissors required.  The current rainbow of colors include fluorescent green, fluorescent orange, black, silver, yellow, and pink which I have renamed “girly girl pink” because I love it so much.

On the other hand, the RediTape folks are open to feedback relative to new colors and patterns.  Purple cammo anyone?

Other than that, what can I say?  It is duct tape after all.

5 Oddball Uses For RediTape Duct Tape

1.  Create a waterproof bandage

By now you know that I recently made a deep slash in my finger with a box cutter.  After the initial bleeding had subsided, I fashioned a nifty girly girl pink bandage for myself.  Trust me, it got a lot of attention at a community pot luck.  “Oh, how cute but WHAT happened?”

2.  MacGyver (fix) a broken lamp switch

I have very little lighting in my Southwest home and none is in the bedroom.  Instead, I have been getting by with my SunBell Solar Lamp.  The problem is that I let Shelly (aka the Survival Husband) use it and the button top to the on-off switch got messed up.  No worries.  He fashioned a color-coordinated doo-hickey out of a paper clip and RediTape.  It works great and I now can once again turn my lamp on and off!

3.  Repair a broken laptop case

I don’t know how it happened but the plastic side of my laptop case cracked and fell off.  RediTape to the rescue.

4.  Book binding

Cookbooks in print form are precious.  I happen to have a hand-written book of my own recipes that was started when I was a single woman in the 70s.  The book is falling apart so I bound it up with some fluorescent green RediTape.

5.  Waterproof label for preps

I purchased a number of large, Rubbermaid tubs for storing preps in my garage.  I have my preps sorted in bins by type, something I learned while visiting my friend Linda at Food Storage Moms.  For example, one tub is for all things water related, another for solar items, and yet another for hand-operated mills and kitchen tools.  Each now has a bright colorful label letting me know what is inside.

Similarly, I have started to label my food buckets with RediTape in the same manner.  I know that by using duct tape, the label will stay put and not fall off.  And no, the food buckets are not in the hot hot hot garage!

I admit, what is oddball to me may not be oddball to you.  So, if you are seeking additional ways to use duct tape, visit 50 Ways to Use Duct Tape for Survival.

The Giveaway

Here is the part you have been waiting for.  The nice folks at Proton, the makers of RediTape, have 6 sets of tape set aside for 6 different winners.  Each winner will get one of each of the six colors.

a Rafflecopter 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.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Final Word

I will be the first to admit that sometimes I relish in being the queen of quirky,  Quirky is good because quirky is fun.  And so it is with these fun, yet useful and practical packs of duct tape.

In my opinion, duct tape belongs in every survival kit and yet it is often left behind due to its heft and bulk.  Please know that there are alternatives such as these convenient, pocket-sized packs of RediTape.  The fact that RediTape come in colors is a bonus, because this is truly a well-crafted and quality duct tape and one that will serve you well in all types of emergencies, oddball or not.

Have fun with the giveaway and good luck, everyone!

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.

Backdoor Survival Emergency Food Buyers Guide

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 plus some of my other favorite preps.

RediTape Pocket Duct Tape 2-Pack:  RediTape is available from Amazon in 2 packs.  I love this stuff and am stashing packs in all of kits.  In many cases it will replace a big bulky roll of the 3M stuff, giving me room for additional preps.

SunBell Solar Lamp:  The SunBell Solar Lamp is a very cool portable lantern that does whole lot more than sit on a tabletop.  I love the fact that it can be used as a task lamp or flashlight and that it can charge my phone.  The fact that it charges my mobile device, too, is a bonus  The EarthEasy price is also less than 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.

Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger: This nicely built charger will charge AA, AAA, C, D, N, 9V, Ni-MH, Ni-CD, and Alkaline batteries. It has an LED display so that when you first put a battery in the charging bay, you know whether it is viable for charging or simply bad and ready to go back to the recycle box. See How to Recharge Alkaline Batteries.

How to Sew a Button and Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew:  You are going to love this book.  It is charming and and timely and filled with good-natured humor and the loving spirits of grandmothers everywhere. Also check out How to Build a Fire: And Other Handy Things Your Grandfather Knew.

LifeStraw Personal Water FilterThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items Backdoor Survival:  The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2oz.  making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.

No Rinse Cleansing & Deodorizing Bathing Wipes:  One wipe is more than enough for a complete “bath”.  These are a good backup when traditional showers are not available such as the week or weeks following a disaster.  Also good for the sick room as well as camping, boating, hiking and such.  Here is my review.

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 panty.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials

The Perfect Homemade Biscuit Mix from Food Storage   Backdoor Survival

I love my Mobile Washer. This is hand operated washing machine. Like a plunger, it uses a technique of pushing and pulling the water through clothes to clean them well without wearing them out. It uses a minimum of water and less soap due to the agitation motion. Use in a bucket (5-gallon suggested), sink or tub. The best part is the price – only $14.95.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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 and Best Selling Outdoor Items
Emergency Preparedness Items from Amazon.com
Shop Amazon Tactical – Great Selection of Optics, Knives, Cases, Equipment
Amazon Gift Cards

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Are You Interested in Essential Oils?

20 All Purpose Remedies Using Essential Oils

The post 5 Oddball Uses for Duct Tape + RediTape Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Mountain Woman Radio

Click here to view the original post.

Mountain Woman Radio Christmas

Mountain Woman Radio - Tammy Trayer

Mountain Woman Radio is available every Wednesday either on our website or iTunes.

Mountain Woman Radio is  loaded with inspiration, encouragement and knowledge on self-reliance, preparedness, sustainability, homesteading, off-grid living, wilderness survival, day to day life, autism, traditional and primitive skills, gardening, canning and so much more.  Not to mention, there are guests from all walks of life joining frequently to share their stories.

Not everyone is able to listen to podcasts due to poor internet connections and such, therefore,  we have created cd’s so that you can listen at your convenience as well as gift them if you feel so inclined.

Mountain Woman Radio Christmas

Mountain Woman Radio Season 1

 

Price: $9.99

We’re Sorry

Mountain Woman Radio Christmas  

 

Mountain Woman Radio Season 2

Price: $9.99

We’re Sorry

The post Mountain Woman Radio appeared first on Trayer Wilderness.

No Power? No Problem! The Marsboy Portable Solar Charger+ Giveaway

Click here to view the original post.

No Power? No Problem! The Marsboy Portable Solar Charger | Backdoor Survival

With each passing day, our reliance on portable electronics grows.  These little devices are powerhouse computers that store our calendars, digital reference libraries, photo albums, tasks lists and just about everything else you can think of.  Life before gizmos; can you even imagine it?

In spite of our reliance on electronic devices, there is a downside. They consume energy like crazy and require frequent recharging using electricity.  I know some folks that are so dependent on their devices that put them through a charging cycle twice a day!

Therein lies the problem. With our reliance on smart phones, tablets, and eBook readers, a grid down power outage will leave us with a muddled mess of information that is inaccessible.  Those hundreds if not thousands of documents, photos and eBooks will no be available until power is restored.

No Power? No Problem! The Marsboy Portable Solar Charger | Backdoor Survival

Thankfully, in the past four years great strides have been made in the area of portable solar chargers.  Not only have they become a cinch to use, but they have come down enough in price to be highly affordable.

With that introduction, I would like to introduce you to the Marsboy 15W Portable Solar Charger.  This easy to use solar charger is so simple that the operating instructions are printed on the cover.  You can’t get much simpler than that.  And the best part?  I have one to giveaway for free to a lucky Backdoor Survival reader!

Just the Basics: The Marsboy Folding Portable 15W Solar Charger

Here is what you need to know about the Marsboy Portable Solar Charger.

The Marsboy consists of a compact unit measuring 7.5 by 10 inches when folded and weighing just 1 pound, 10 ounces. It includes three solar panel that put out 15W.  These panels are sturdy!  While I don’t recommend it, I dropped a couple of rocks on one of the open panels and it suffered nary a scratch.

There are two integrated USB ports tucked into a Velcro pocket.  One is 1A and the other is 2.5A.  For my tests, I plugged in an iPhone and iPad in simultaneously and they both began charging immediately.  It is a good thing when that green lighting icon appears from the get go!

No Power? No Problem! The Marsboy Portable Solar Charger | Backdoor Survival

Later I plugged in my Goal Zero battery charger and likewise, my drained, AA rechargeable batteries charged right up.

There is one thing to keep in mind with solar charges such as this one.  You do not want to keep your phones, tablets, and eBook readers baking in the direct sun.  Luckily, smaller handheld devices can be tucked into the Velcro pocket while being charged and larger tablets can be shaded by the folding panels themselves.  Which brings me to the next point: the panels are in a study case that will stand up, accordion style on it own.  Flimsier panels will not do that.

Although I had to provide my own cables, I saw that as an advantage.  Some of the solar chargers I have tested in the past were a mess of cables with assorted tips that had to be mixed and matched to get the charging cycle started.  These days you can purchase USB cables inexpensively (I like the Amazon Basics brand) so what I do, is keep a set in the Velcro pocket.  Easy peasy.

In my usual style, I leave it up to you to seek out additional specifications by taking a look at the product specs on Amazon.  What you really need to know, however, is that the Marsboy 15W Solar Charger works and that it is easy to use.  You do not need a PhD is engineering to figure it out.  This is my kind of product.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Giveaway

Okay peeps; here is the part you have been waiting for.  One of you will win a Marsboy Solar Charger of your own. How cool is that?

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 Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

The Final Word

You know the rule, one is none and two is one.  When in comes to charging your electronic devices (which I fondly call gizmos), you need a secondary source other than electricity.

The Marsboy Solar Charger fits the bill at an affordable price plus it is very easy to use.   Just unfold it and plug in your devices.  Easy peasy. Performance is best when the panels are pointed directly toward the sun, but if not, you still get enough juice to charge most devices; it just might take longer.

This is a fantastic product that will make a fine addition to your emergency kit.  I invite you to check it on on Amazon and of course, to enter the giveaway.

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.

Backdoor Survival Emergency Food Buyers Guide

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 some of my favorite prepping essentials.

Marsboy 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports:  This portable solar charger is easy to set up and easy to use.  With two USB ports, you can charge two devices at once which is a real timesaver.  Well constructed and well priced.

Amazon Basics USB Cables:  I swear by these cables. They are not the cheapest but they are also not the most expensive.  They just work!

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.  At $9.99 with free Prime shipping, it is a great value.

Luci EMRG 250_18

Kindle or other eBook reader:  Are you surprised?  If the grid is down, you are still going to want to have access to your eBooks and reference manuals plus some way to keep your mind occupied.  I happen to have both a reader and an iPad and both can be charged using an inexpensive solar charger (see below).  A basic Kindle Wi-Fi is only $69 and a Kindle Fire HD is as low as $129.

Solar Charger for Standard Batteries:  I use this Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Power Pack for charging AA and AAA batteries using the sun.  It works great with the Marsboy Solar panels.

Inch Premium Glow Sticks – Assorted: These 4” glow sticks are fantastic!  Each stick glows for 8-12 hours, and comes with a pre-attached hook and lanyard.  They are well priced and hold up well when packed around in a pocket or handbag.  For more information about glow sticks and chemical lighting, read 10 Reasons to Add Glow Sticks to Your Survival Kit.

UltraFire Mini Cree LED FlashlightFAVORITE!  At the time of this writing, this one is only $3.40 with free shipping.  It is super mini sized, bright and waterproof.  Plus, it uses a single, standard AA sized battery.

mini Cree_0         

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials

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.  One of my favorite sale items this month is this Mobile Washer.  I liked it at $19.99 and am loving it at $11.99! 

This is hand operated washing machine. Like a plunger, it uses a technique of pushing and pulling the water through clothes to clean them well without wearing them out. It uses a minimum of water and less soap due to the agitation motion. Use in a bucket (5-gallon suggested), sink or tub.

The best part is the price – only $11.95 for the month of October.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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 and Best Selling Outdoor Items
Emergency Preparedness Items from Amazon.com
Shop Amazon Tactical – Great Selection of Optics, Knives, Cases, Equipment
Amazon Gift Cards

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Curious About Essential Oils?

If you are curious about essential oils, this will be a good start. A Big Fat List of Essential Oils for Preppers.

The post No Power? No Problem! The Marsboy Portable Solar Charger+ Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Gear Review – BONL Hydration Bladder

Click here to view the original post.

By Jay Jay

BONL Hydration Bottle on Amazon

BONL Hydration Bottle on Amazon

I bought 2 of these for my daughter and myself to use on a backpacking trip and they are great.  Most I have seen are usually 2 liters as opposed to the 3 liter size you see here.  We ended up going on a trip where there was no drinkable water (I found this out after the fact) and was very glad I opted for the 3 liter size.  Material is very durable, the top opens up for easy cleaning and drying, hose is durable and most importantly, NO nasty plastic taste with this model.

We both had different types of backpacks and this fitted into them easily, giving us both a solid 2 days’ worth of water, with common sense rationing.  It struck a good balance between having enough water and not being so much it weighed us down too much.

If anyone is looking for a water bladder, I would recommend taking a serious look at this one.  It runs about $25.00 on Amazon.

 

Field Tested: MilGPS App, Eberlestock V69 Destroyer, Salomon Quest Boots

Click here to view the original post.

Last week I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to put three products through their paces while on a military land navigation course.  While I’ve owned them all for a little while now it felt like this was a chance to solely focus on how well they helped (or hindered) me when it came to accomplishing a GO/No-GO task, this versus toying around with them while on any old trail.  I’ve written about how much value I put in great shoes/boots (specifically the Salomon’s), the same for my Eberlestock pack and I may or may not have touched on the MilGPS app available for both the iPhone and Android devices.

The Task: Land Navigation

I’ve been walking land navigation courses with a map, compass and protractor since I was in JROTC in the early/mid 1990’s.  Anyone remember Tenino, Washington?  Where is the water tower?  Sorry…inside joke.  Last week’s land navigation course would be an intermediate course by my standards, not an overly difficult tast but the elevation changes/underbrush and wait-a-minute vines were slightly annoying.  I should add that while I do value old school land nav and think it’s a great skill for any prepper and not just the military types, this time old school would take a back seat to technology.  I needed to find out if the MilGPS app was legit and could be relied on even with the cell signal fading in and out.  I also needed to shun standard mil issued gear for my own swag which often results in one wondering how in the world aftermarket gear can be so much better than issued stuff, but I digress.

Salomon Boots:  Just ridiculously good.

First up were the Salomon boots.  I’ve been wearing them casually to work and for some light hiking but nothing like what the land nav course would offer, additionally I’ve yet to wear them while carrying somewhere in the neighborhood of 60lbs on my back.  To complicate things a bit more I’ve been fighting a very sore/tender Achilles tendon for a few months, a byproduct of age and trying to sprint out of the batter’s box during a beer league softball game.

Salomon Quest Boots

Salomon Quest Boots

The boots (paired with Smartwool socks) performed flawlessly all day long under all conditions.  The footing was uneven and unpredictable for most of the day and the ankle support provided by the boots was superb.  Descending into dry river beds or climbing up the side of steep spurs did not present an issue either, grip was fantastic and support was there.  My foot did not move around inside the boot and that was definitely a bonus, if you’ve ever had that happen you’ll know it can get very annoying. No hot spots during the entire event and my feet were able to breathe quite nicely.  Great boots overall although a longer term test might reveal some shortcomings.

Eberlestock V69 Destroyer: Amazing.

Eberlestock V69 Destroyer

Eberlestock V69 Destroyer

You don’t know what you don’t know, a saying that originated somewhere but has since been repeated through the years.  I’ve always been a staunch supporter of the old school ALICE pack and had even continued to use that after being issued the newer model.  Yet even with aftermarket shoulder straps and other additions the ALICE pack is like a rusty Ford Pinto when compared to a new supercar:  the Eberlestock pack.  As a veteran of many, many movements under load I know how the discomfort starts to set in and how to deal with it while wearing an ALICE pack.  I can assure you that NONE of this was present while wearing the Eberlestock pack so much so that I wore it all day long.  I never took a moment to drop my pack for a breather, I just motored on because the level of comfort was simply amazing.  No pressure points at all, it was like the pack was part of my body and moved with me.  Truly I believe the combination of their internal frame design, waist strap and shoulder straps really contribute to a world class experience for the wearer.  I should add one caveat in that while it was a long day it was only ONE day.  To truly get a feel for this pack I would have to wear it every day for a few weeks, so take that in consideration with my endorsement.

Land Nav With Eberlestock V69 Destroyer

You’ll notice in the picture that I have my tent strapped to the outside of my pack, that’s because I took it out to make room for my Kelly Kettle.  Look for a review on that soon although The Maj used it with great success on his bugout journey last year.

MilGPS App: Surprisingly Good.

I can hear almost any instructor ever in the history of land navigation right now: “all those gadgets are great but if they fail what will you do then?”  I get it.  I GET IT.  It’s great to know the old school methods but let’s face it, technology is here and the MilGPS App can be a great addition to any prepper plan of action.

I will admit that I did plot all of my points and kept my grids, distances and directions just in case while out on the course but I absolutely did not need them.  I punched in the 10 digit grid on my app and hit “navigate to” and just followed the arrow.  I saw the distance, direction and in every instance the app brought me to within 10 meters of the point.  If there were instances when I did not want to break brush I would skirt it via a ridge line or riverbed and just cut through back to the point when about 100 to 200 meters away.  It was excellent and there was no remembering pace count, trying to box obstacles, shooting azimuth’s with the compass.  Just type in the destination and start walking.  Bingo.

MilGPS App Screenshot

MilGPS App

Now I do understand some of the constraints associated with using an app like this.  You’d better have a good battery and a way to recharge your battery if out in the woods.  While having a cell phone signal is nice according to the developer it isn’t exactly required.  Also if you don’t know how to utilize the military grid reference system or have access to maps with that date, that could be a slight problem.  More info here under the Land Navigation category of this blog.

Final Thoughts

I’m not sure how many times I’ve stated this before but you must get out and test your gear in the field.  It doesn’t even have to be a week long excursion deep into the Rocky Mountains, maybe an overnight hiking trip or even an all day through your local national forest.  It’s at that point when theory turns into practical application, when that fancy piece of equipment starts rubbing you in the wrong spot or doesn’t work as well as you thought.  Or maybe you’ll find ways to reconfigure your gear based on how you utilize it, or in many instances you’ll figure out that you can leave certain things home next time.

Nobody says you have to run out and drop $500 on new boots and a new bugout bag which you may or may not use in the next 6 to 12 months, but if you do decide to upgrade you really can’t go wrong with the items I’ve reviewed above.  The good news is that the MilGPS app is relatively inexpensive, so start with that!

 

Scottish Highlands Backpacking Trip: What Worked and What Didn’t.

Click here to view the original post.

From PJ:  Thanks to long time reader and contributor J for taking the time to write about the gear he utilized while on a trip to the Scottish Highlands.  It’s one thing to have a bunch of cool gear sitting in the corner for emergencies, it’s another thing to get out in the bush and test the equipment  to see what works and what needs replaced.

**************

Had a great trip to the Scottish highlands and tested out most of my gear under some fairly grueling conditions and wanted to share my evaluation of the gear I had for those that might be interested. I spent a week out in the elements, rough camping the nights and hiking most of the days. Most of the gear I had held up very well happily. No one wants to get out and find they have made poor choices in that area. Also most of this gear is reasonably priced; you don’t have to spends thousands of dollars on gear to get by with in my opinion. Here is what I used and my thoughts on it.

karrimor boots

Karrimor Notus Weathertite Hiking Boots

Karrimor Notus Weathertite Hiking Boots. – First rule of hiking is take care of your feet. I got these boots in the UK and have nothing but good to say about them. They are water proof and come with comfortable soles in them. I got them for about $50.00 and put them through some pretty rigorous testing; everything my body could put them through and still manage to halfway function, anyway. To clarify I climbed a 15 mile mountain path in them and had no blisters or problems with my feet. The rest of my body is another matter.

Alpaca Socks

Alpaca Socks

Alpaca wool socks. – I have mentioned these before and can say they are well worth the $20.00 or so a pair that you pay for them. No itch as sheep wool tends to give and keeps your feet warm even when wet.

Primus Backpacker Stove

Primus Backpacker Stove

Primus Classic Backpacker Stove. – I have nothing but good things to say about this stove. It was perfect for making coffee and cooking small meals over. There was literally no fuel to burn to start a fire with around and everything was soaking wet even if there was. An 8 oz. fuel can lasted me the 4 days, using it sparingly.

Stanley Adventure Cook Set

Stanley Adventure Cook Set

Stanley Adventure Cookware set – A cylindrical cookpot with 2 hard plastic cups that fit inside it. Great for use on the stove listed above, easy to clean and large enough to heat pretty much any single person meal. Handle gets pretty hot if you’re not careful so make sure you have something that can be used as a pot holder handy.

Teton Sport Explorer Packs

Teton Sport Explorer Packs

Teton Explorer 4000 backpack – This brand of pack seems to make a lot of people nervous due to the price (around $80.00) but I have no complaints about it. It took some pretty rough treatment and held everything I needed. It has adjustable straps, lots of various sized pockets and an adjustable internal frame. It has a 65 liter capacity which is not too small and not so large that you overload yourself.

UV Paqlite Set

UV Paqlite Set

UV paqlite scout setPJ reviewed this product some months ago and I completely endorse this product after using it a week in the field. I had small LED light in my tent that I hung next to these articles and elt them charge for about 15 -20 minutes. After my eyes adjusted, I had several hours of working light in my 3 man dome tent. Well worth the money and they are light and durable. I would estimate that they would easily double your battery life in your flashlights and lamps if used conservatively.

Coleman Dome 3

Coleman Dome 3

Coleman 3 man dome tent– this was probably my worst choice in equipment, more for me using it outside [in bad weather] contributed to the rating than anything else. I packed it along because I have a couple of them and didn’t expect any heavy weather. I got caught in a pretty strong storm in the highlands, winds 40 MPH and higher driving rain through the zippers and such. I had to break out the paracord to tie it down and keep the top from literally hitting the ground from the wind gusts, but managed to weather to storm ok. Was pretty damp after but it was better than the alternative. The mosquito netting is not midge proof, either; they are small enough to get through it.

 

Gear Review: Camelbak Big Chill

Click here to view the original post.
Summer temperatures in Texas can get a little warm.  I love my Tervis in the office, but it was just not convenient for my mountain bike. I decided to put the Camelbak Big Chill to the test.
For fun, I rounded up some of my other water bottles to get them in on the action.  They were not all the same size bottles, so I used a 16 oz cup to place the same amount of ice in each bottle.  I only placed ice in the bottles and just measured how long it took for the ice to melt in each bottle.
At the end of 1.5 hours, ice was still visible in all the bottles.  The single wall stainless steel dropped first.  Then, my basic water bottle melted.  An hour later, my non insulated Nagalene and Stanley were done.  Not surprisingly, the two insulated bottles were the only ones still with ice.
The Camelbak Big Chill made 4.5 hours before the ice had all melted.  It gave out while the Tervis still had several ice cube remnants visible.  
The test started at 11:00 AM and outside temperatures reached into the mid 90’s.  The Camelbak Big Chill will not replace my Tervis around the BBQ pit, but it will definitely be my companion on my mountain bike excursions.  It might even replace my day hike water bottle.
Staying above the water line!
Riverwalker
 

Gear Review: SOG Fasthawk Axe VS SOG Tomahawk Axe

Click here to view the original post.
Blade Length: 2 inches  Weight: 19 oz.  Overall Length:12.5 inches
Blade Length: 2.75 inches  Weight: 24 oz.  Overall Length:15.75 inches

Performed a quick field test on some oak firewood in the backyard.  Smaller oak limbs(4-6 inches in diameter) were cut in half easily with both SOG axes.  The largest piece(10-12 inches in diameter) the SOG Tomahawk was definitely easier, but the SOG Fasthawk did the job as well.  In addition, I pruned some small limbs(4-6 inches in diameter) off trees.  Again, I could not find a significant difference in performance between them.

I found the compact size of the SOG Fasthawk to be worth the slight sacrifice in performance over the SOG Tomahawk.  The Fasthawk will be allocated to my EDC(Every Day Carry) and the Tomahawk will find a home in my BOB(Bug Out Bag.)
Staying above the water line!
Riverwalker

The Bug Out Bike-Nashbar Single Speed 29er Mountain Bike

Click here to view the original post.

The solution for the bug out bike has been delivered.  The unopened box sits waiting to be born into my gear.  The Nashbar Single-Speed 29er Mountain Bike – MEDIUM is a perfect fit for survival situations due to its simplicity, adaptability, and affordability.

The single speed is all about simplicity.  The bug out bike will take the headache out of bike gear maintenance.  Don’t let the racket of a derailleur compromise your stealth.  This single speed does not have shifters or any derailleur.

The mountain bike is also built for adaptability.  The aluminum frame provides an efficient strength to weight ratio for additional durability. The oversized 29er tires provide exceptional mobility over obstacles on and off road. 

Nashbar delivers affordability for the bug out bike.  Finding a quality single speed mountain bike is like looking for supplies after a devastating event.  Usually, all the inexpensive options are heavy and the quality options are overpriced or unavailable.  Nashbar delivers a lightweight single speed at an affordable price tag usually around $400.

Go for the gear that will have you counting down the days to a survival situation like it was Christmas.  Go for simplicity.  Go for adaptability.  Go for affordability.  Go for the Nashbar Single-Speed 29er Mountain bike.

Riding above the water line.

Riverwalker

Survival Food Test – Valley Food Storage Product Review

Click here to view the original post.


When deciding upon a long term food storage product, it helps to sample the product before purchasing a large quantity for your emergency pantry. This is a product review of one of the long term food storage products available from www.valleyfoodstorage.com.

After receiving a sample from Valley Food Storage, a test was conducted on the various aspects that are important in a long term food storage product. The sample food product tested was a package of “Enchilada Beans and Rice”.



Review Results:

1.) Cost – This product costs $11.95 for a 5 serving unit. This breaks down to about $2.39 a serving and is a reasonable price for a long term food storage product with an extended shelf life. They also offer a variety of discounts on their site.

2.) Packaging – The packaging is extremely sturdy and comes in a Mylar pouch that is resealable. The pouch was easy to re-seal and maintained a good seal afterwards. The left-over pouch can also be used as an emergency water container or to carry other snack items.

3.) Preparation – Prep time was roughly 20 minutes total and requires two cups of boiling water. Cooking was a fairly easy process if you follow the cooking directions on the package.

4.) Appearance – The contents looked and smelled very appetizing.

5.) Taste & Smell – When cooked, it had a pleasant aroma and the beans and rice were very soft. One noted exception is that there were no enchiladas in the package. “Enchilada flavored” would be a better description. Seasonings were well balanced. This is important for a person that doesn’t like a large amount of seasoning on their food.

All things considered, this is a very good food storage product. After sampling a wide variety of long term food storage products over the years, this item compares very favorably with other similar long term food storage products.

Got long term food storage?

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker

What’s in an MRE? – MRE Product Review

Click here to view the original post.

I bought an MRE seven years ago but never tried it or even opened it to see what was inside, it simply sat in my bug out bag until now.  While reading One Second After (a fictional doomsday story) I learned that there were goodies inside… Read More

The post What’s in an MRE? – MRE Product Review appeared first on Preppers Survive.

OxyLED T-01 Touch Light Product Review

Click here to view the original post.

Hisgadget has a designed a touch operated battery LED light.  Touch lights are great for illuminating any dark area where electric lights just don’t reach.  Touch lights are also very useful as an emergency light, if the power were to go out you would have… Read More

The post OxyLED T-01 Touch Light Product Review appeared first on Preppers Survive.

IntoCircuit Power Mini 3000 Bank Review

Click here to view the original post.

Battery banks are a great item for emergency kits.  A battery bank will recharge your cell phone or tablet in the absence of a power outlet.  They are easy to use and can be recharged using a USB port.  There’s usually minimal difference when comparing… Read More

The post IntoCircuit Power Mini 3000 Bank Review appeared first on Preppers Survive.

Unique Gift Ideas From PrepareDirect

Click here to view the original post.

By Denis Korn

During these uncertain times giving the gift of Peace of Mind this holiday season – or any time – is a noble action.  Here are suggestions from our product site PrepareDirect for your consideration.

All of these recommendations and unique gift ideas are personal favorites and are highly endorsed.

SURVIVAL CUBE – A PrepareDirect exclusive   CLICK HERE  Survival Cube

This collection of vital supplies for emergency and survival preparedness provides a valuable foundation for the necessities required during any emergency. Being properly prepared for the unforeseen delivers real peace of mind. Prepare your kits and provisions for the security and well-being required for you and your family during an emergency.  The contents of this assortment have proven reliability in the field, and are provided by established and trustworthy manufacturers.

All American Sun Oven Prepared Family Christmas Combo
w/Dehydrating & Preparedness Accessory Package and Cloudy Day Cube Stove Kit
  CLICK HERE christmas2014promo2

The new All American SUN OVEN® w/Dehydrating & Preparedness Accessory Package has retained the best qualities of the original Global Sun Oven and added many more user friendly features to create America’s most efficient hassle free solar appliance. Everything you need for cooking, dehydrating, roasting and water purification!  Includes:

  • The All American Sun Oven® Solar Cooker
  • Cloudy Day Cube Stove w/2 Fuel Disks (multi-fuel options)
  • Multi-Level Dehydrating & Baking Rack Set (set of 3 racks w/1 roll parchment paper)
  • Two Easy Stack Pots w/interchangeable enamel and glass lids
  • Two Loaf Pans
  • Multi-Fuel Water Pasteurizing Indicator (WAPI)
  • A totally new computer CD with over 600 SUN OVEN®recipes, solar cooking tips, FAQs, operating instructions, and a video series on how to best use a SUN OVEN® and emergency preparedness tips
  • Includes shipping to the continental US

 

Survival Still Non-Electric Portable Water Distiller Plus Top & Bottom Pot   CLICK HERE steelspout

The Survival Still never needs filters. It’s designed and made in the USA with heavy duty stainless steel and it has no moving parts to break down, which means that if you take care of it, it should last you a very long time. It’s small and compact and is designed to be used in conjunction with standard size pots that you have in your home. The Survival Still is the ultimate emergency drinking water system available today.  This package comes with: A stainless steel Dutch Oven bottom 5 quart pot AND glass lid; A stainless steel 12 quart top Stock Pot AND a stainless steel lid.  Permanently supplies high-purity, sterile drinking water.
• Extremely effective against all types of contaminants.
• Kills and removes bacteria, viruses and parasites.
• Is a permanent solution for purifying sea water.
• Does not need filters, maintenance, infrastructure or a supply chain.
• Distillation is recommended by FEMA and the Red Cross!

FoodBrick Food & Supplies 3.5 Gallon Container   CLICK HERE FoodBrick_10_Pack_9_23_2014_2

FoodBrick Stackable Green Food Storage Container: 3.5 Gallons container holds up to 27 Pounds (264 Adult Servings) of Dry Foods. Made of rugged, high density polyethylene (HDPE). These unique food containers, unlike any other, can hold food and other life essentials while adding value by cross stacking up to 4 feet for maximum efficient storage.  Emergency food shortage is often contained in bulky and awkward storage devices, not ideal for emergency situations.  You need to be able to access your survival food storage quickly, and you need to be able to take it with you if the need arises to move to a safer location. It also must keep your food supply clean; you don’t want the safety of your food compromised. For those looking for an ideal emergency food storage solution, the FoodBrick line of storage containers that are easy to transport and safely store your emergency food supply for years.

C. Crane Observer Wind-up Radio with Solar Panel   CLICK HERE  cc-solar-observer

The Observer is a simple, affordable and compact radio with enhanced reception and audio performance. For emergency use it can be powered in four different ways and can charge many different USB type devices such as cell phones.  The CC Solar Observer is a C. Crane-designed, wind-up and solar emergency radio with AM/FM and Weather Band. They made sure that it has good AM reception and an LED flashlight that is built into the end of the radio. In case you’re wondering, along with good AM reception, you also get FM and the Weather band — which comes in really handy if you’re using the radio during a power failure. The CC Observer has a built-in 2-inch speaker, or you can plug in your headphones for private listening.

Use coupon code FREESHIP at checkout for free shipping

Berkey “Go Berkey Kit” – Gravity Water Purifier – Sport Purifier Bottle – Carrying Case   CLICK HERE                                  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The all new Go Berkey® Kit is the designed for backpacking, hiking, camping, college students, emergency preparedness, world travel (business or vacation), on your desk at work or hundreds of other activities. The generic Sport Berkey® portable water purifier bottle is perfect for when you are out on the trail and the Go Berkey® system works great for passive purification back at the campsite, lodge, etc. The Generic Sport Berkey® portable water purifier bottle can also be used to prime the Black Berkey® Purification Element when water pressure isn’t available. Constructed of highly polished AISI 304 stainless steel the Go Berkey® Kit comes complete with one Black Berkey® Purification Element, one Sport Berkey® portable water purifier bottle and a vinyl carry case This system has a storage capacity of about 1 quart (.95 liters) and when in use it stands 14” in height with a diameter of 4”. The upper chamber nests within the lower chamber for transport and stands only 10” in height. Weighing a mere 2.4 pounds the Go Berkey® Kit is lightweight, easily transportable and perfect for active people on the go.

Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight    CLICK HERE torch250

The most reliable emergency LED light for any situation.  Boasting a powerful, 4,400mAh lithium battery, 250 total lumen output, a 1.5A USB port to charge your gear, as well as a built-in solar panel and hand crank, this multi-function flashlight is the only piece of gear you’ll need in an emergency. Red light for emergencies, and USB port to charge your phone.  There are 3 ways to charge the Torch 250 Flashlight:

The Sun
The Torch 250 Flashlight can be charged by the solar panel located on the back of the light. Or by connecting a compatible solar panel such as the Nomad 7 in about 7-14 hours.

USB
The Torch 250 Flashlight can also be charged by being plugged into a USB power source in about 7 hours.

Hand Crank
The Torch 250 Flashlight can be charged using the hand crank. 1 minute of cranking can generate about 2 minutes of light.

Use coupon code FREESHIP at checkout for free shipping

Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 Lantern   CLICK HERE  lighthouse-250standing

Light up any situation with 250 lumens of bright LED light, or use the dimmable, DuaLite™ Directional Lighting feature to extend runtime. Recharge from USB, external solar panel or the included hand crank. The Lighthouse 250 includes a built-in USB port to power small handheld devices to keep you connected to the ones who matter most. The Lighthouse 250 Lantern & USB Power Hub is the only lantern you will need.

Use coupon code FREESHIP at checkout for free shipping

LifeStraw Family 1.0 Water Filter and Purifier   CLICK HERE  lifestrawfamily-web-optimized

LifeStraw Family, the award-winning and internationally recognized water filter & purifier, is now available in North America. LifeStraw Family is a point-of-use microbiological water purifier capable of removing viruses, bacteria and protozoa (parasites) to protect against waterborne diseases. It filters up to 18,000 liters of water, enough to supply clean drinking water for a family of five for up to three years.
LifeStraw Family is a large volume water purifier providing up to 4750 gallons or 18000 liters of water, enough to supply a family of five with clean drinking water for up to three years. It’s useful to have at home to purify contaminated tap water in the event of boil water advisories or emergency situations. In a worst-case scenario, you can rely on the LifeStraw Family to purify water from any freshwater source near your home.

Use coupon code FREESHIP at checkout for free shipping

GoSun Sport ProPack – Solar Stove & Accessories   CLICK HERE  propack

GoSun Sport solar cooker is the world’s most practical and efficient solar oven on the market today. GoSun’s parabolic, tubular design works effectively in retaining 80-90% of all sunlight that is caught in its footprint. Cook a meal in less than 20 minutes, using no fuel – only sun.
The GoSun Sport Pro Pack includes everything you get with the GoSun Sport and more! Package includes one GoSun Sport solar cooker (includes cooking tray and cleaning scrubby), plus Padded Carrying Case, an extra Cooking Tray and Serving Spoon/Fork.  The standard package includes a durable borosilicate, evacuated glass tube cooking chamber, two foldable parabolic reflectors that protect the tube like a clamshell, a stainless steel cooking tray with handle for getting food in and out, a rugged cleaning scrubby (attaches to the end of the tray, to double as cleaning tool), and a carrying handle that unfolds to become a set of support legs, which can be used to adjust the tube to face the sun in any position along two axis’.

Goal Zero Lighting Bundle w/Nomad 7 Solar Panel  CLICK HERE   torch250nomad7-new           lighthouse-250standing                                   

A very useful and dependable combination of Goal Zero’s newest hand cranked lights the Torch 250, Lighthouse 250 and a foldable Nomad 7 Solar Panel. 

Get the most reliable emergency LED light for any situation with the Torch 250 Flashlight. Built-in USB charging cable, solar panel and hand crank for bright light anywhere. Red light for emergencies, and USB port to charge your phone.  Boasting a powerful, 4,400mAh lithium battery, 250 total lumen output, a 1.5A USB port to charge your gear, as well as a built-in solar panel and hand crank, this multi-function flashlight is the only piece of gear you’ll need in an emergency.

Light up any situation with 250 lumens of bright LED light, or use the dimmable, DuaLite Directional Lighting feature to extend runtime. Recharge from USB, external solar panel or the included hand crank. The Lighthouse 250 includes a built-in USB port to power small handheld devices to keep you connected to the ones who matter most. The Lighthouse 250 Lantern & USB Power Hub is the only lantern you will need.

The Nomad 7 delivers an ultra-compact yet powerful solar panel that enables you to charge your handheld devices directly from its USB and 12 Volt DC charging ports.

Sampler Pack – AlpineAire Foods Mixed Entrees Case of 12  CLICK HERE       sampler12

An exclusive PrepareDirect offering of a select sampler pack of 12 delicious AlpineAire Foods in convenient foil pouches. Use this selection for sampling some of the nutritious products included in the canned longer term food systems, and/or for discovering the great taste of popular AlpineAire delights.

Use coupon code FREESHIP at checkout for free shipping

  1. Forever Young Mac & Cheese, 7 oz
  2. Leonardo da Fettuccine, 5.5 oz
  3. Mountain Chili, 6 oz
  4. Sante Fe Black Beans & Rice (2), 6.5 oz
  5. Black Bart Chili w/ Beans, 6 oz
  6. Creamy Beef & Noodles w/Mushrooms, 5.5 oz
  7. Southwestern Style Masa w/Beef, 6 oz
  8. Chicken Gumbo, 5.5 oz
  9. Pineapple Orange Chicken, 7 oz
  10. Mesquite BBQ Seasoned Chicken w/Beans & Rice, 7 oz
  11. Pepper Beef w/Rice, 6 oz
  12. Wild Thyme Turkey, 6 oz

The post Unique Gift Ideas From PrepareDirect appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.