The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 115

By Gaye Levy


Welcome to this week’s Sunday Survival Buzz – a roundup of preparedness news, tips, articles and recommendations from around the web. But first, an update on my own preps.

Without a doubt, the most important thing I did this week was study up on strategies to combat a serious infection cased by the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS. This is scary stuff; the stuff that pandemics are made of.

I don’t want to be overly evangelistic about essential oils but at least in my own household, we will be salving up more frequently with essential oils with antibacterial and antiseptic qualities. For now that will be oregano essential oil and a blend called Shield that I purchase from Spark Naturals.

What the heck is “salving up”? In simplest of terms, that is where I take a few drops of essential oil and blend them with a carrier (such as my Miracle Healing Salve) and rub them on our feet before going to sleep at night. Here at my house this has become a ritual. Shelly gets his arthritic hands salved up and massaged while I get my calves and ankles done to scare aware any lurking charley horses. I also put my Sleepy Dreamy salve on my feet and at the base of my neck (brain stem).

Mind you, I have not taken the time to research the precise science of all of this; I just know that it works for us. Here is a link to a page I created with more information about essential oils that will help you become Pandemic Ready.

Other preps this week included making a fresh batch of Dirt Cheap Soft Soap. It came out brown not white. It was so bad that I wrote about it in today’s blooper section.

The garden went to heck this week. There are some lessons to be learned with every failure and most certainly, this years garden is turning out to be a travesty. I hope that telling you this brings a modicum of comfort to others who are also dealing with limited space and limited sunlight. What I am going to say about this will probably shock you but I will say it anyway: I am reversing my stand on the need for everyone to grow their own food!

Now that I have opened up THAT Pandora’s box, I will tease you with the promise to write more about my dismissal of the universal vegetable garden later.

Okay, enough about me. Let’s get on to the Sunday Survival Buzz.


Here is this week’s reading list.

CDC announces first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus infection (MERS) in the United States

The Soap You Should Never Use – But 75% of Households Do

Feds Creating Gasoline Reserve To Prepare Against Future Shortages After Storms

Are You Ready For The Price Of Food To More Than Double By The End Of This Decade?

Study finds Fukushima radioactivity in tuna off Oregon, Washington

Do Homemade Waterproof Matches Work?

Introduction to Aquaponics: Growing Fish and Vegetables Together

Number Of Middle Age Californians Living With Their Parents Soars


From Jacque in Arizona by way of Oregon:

Just found a great link to cooking with cast iron in a campfire setting. This guy gives recipes and tips on moving the heavy pots and other fun stuff: Derek on Cast Iron – Cast Iron Recipes.

Karl had a great tip for storing the cord on your Cen-Tech (or other) portable power pack.

The power pack I currently use does not have a place to store the charging cord either. What I did to resolve the problem was to roll up the cord, use a twist tie to keep it rolled up, then use a longer twist tie to attach the cord to the handle of the power pack. Never a problem of losing the charging cord.

From Papa J:

Suggestion – For those that have whistles, (Which should be everyone). Have several pairs of ear plugs with the cord attaching the two. put them around your neck. If you are ever trapped somewhere, you will want them when you blow your whistle.

The last one for today is from Jim:

Something that I didn’t consider to be prepping related, but then realized that, in some ways, it is related. I went to the local public library looking for a book. I found that they have a bookcase with books for sale. I’m not sure about your library, but here they were charging 10 cents for paperback books and 25 cents for hard backed books. A really great and inexpensive way to stock up on books to give some relaxation and entertainment in a grid down situation. I bought two hard backed books and one paperbacked one. Total cost was 60 cents ( I gave them a dollar and told them to keep the change).

Oh – you don’t need to have a library card to buy the books.


The following two giveaways are currently active and are awaiting your entry:

Cen-Tech 5 in 1 Portable Power Pack Review + Giveaway
Spring 2014 Book Festival: Prepper’s Complete Book of Disaster Readiness + Giveaway

So how do I come up with all of these giveaways? I am asked that a lot so here is the deal. Instead of accepting advertising dollars, I will often ask a vendor for a giveaway item instead. It is as simple as that!

Of course many of the BDS sponsors do both so they deserve your support. You will find the sponsors listed in banner ads on the right hand side of every page. Be sure to give them a visit and if you see something you need, make a purchase!


I am thrilled to announce that the winner of a copy of Flight of the Bowyer is “Uncle Phil”.

Question: What best describes you feelings about the current economy?

A – Depression
B – Recession
C – Recovery
D – Stuck

Answer: “A. Depression, or maybe I’m just depressed The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 115   Backdoor Survival LOL”

Okay, humor aside, the responses to this poll were quite telling. Here is the final tally:

A – Depression – 12
Between A & B – 11
B – Recession – 11
C – Recovery – 1
D – Stuck – 14


I am equally thrilled to announce that the winner of the AquaPod emergency water storage kit is Franka. Here is here response to the giveaway question, chosen at random (the winner, not the question):

Question: Why do you want to win an AquaPod?

Answer: What an awesome product and a great price! This would give our family such peace of mind in an emergency. And I’d definitely like to see how it would work in a shower stall too The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 115   Backdoor Survival Is it recommended to use the liner only one time or can it be reused?

And yes, the liner is good for a one time use. On the other hand, replacement liners are available and at $10 or less, they are quite inexpensive.


This week I welcome our newest sponsor, CB Mint. Let’s give them a warm welcome by visiting their website and checking out the options they present for adding precious metals to your survival stash.

The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 115   Backdoor Survival

With summer on its way, I have been thinking about cooking outdoors and more specifically, firing up my Sun Oven – which after more than a year, is still sealed in its box!

The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 115   Backdoor Survival

Here is a thought. According the feedback from the folks at Sun Oven, many preppers have found that when they use their SUN OVEN? regularly for non-emergency cooking they save enough on their utility bills to help fund additional food storage. That sounds like a plan to me!

As with all of my sponsors, please pay them a visit and let them know you saw them on Backdoor Survival.


Here is what my friend George (Urban Survival) had to say about the e-book we wrote that is only 99 cents for a few more days.

Islands of Self-Sufficiency

Next item on our discussion list this morning is the 99-cent sale on the book Gaye Levy and I wrote a while back, 11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life: A Guide to Survival During Uncertain Times.

This book is something I’d call “Comfort food for the brain.” It gives a list (and details) about 11 specific things anyone can do, scaling to your circumstance in life, to be prepared for the big whatever.

Like, for instance….

Say Ukraine blossoms into mushrooms this weekend. Or, say there’s a banking failure that’s so big that the whole economic system has to shut down for a couple of weeks. Those kinds of things leak out from behind the headlines every morning.

If you don’t have a strategic plan (which we’re huge fans of) any one of those headlines (20-inches of rain, remember?) can leave you and your tribe stranded with little or no warning.

A lot of people are “addicted to the news” but they don’t get off their personal lard storage units (PLSU’s) and actually DO something about the stress that is media.

We do…and that’s what the book is about. Metric to think about: if you couldn’t unplug for two weeks to a month without having any major disruptions in y0ur life, then you are (hate to break this to you) never going to be CEO material.

Prepping is something “C-level people” do. Think ahead, game it out, action plan, becoming personal survival specialists. CEO types think of their families (and companies) all the time and are always fine-tuning ways to make themselves “islands of self-sufficiency.”

If you haven’t set about building your island yet, believe me when I tell you the money you can save on Tums and self-medication will pay for a good part of prepping.

Interested? Come on, it is only 99 cents.

The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 115   Backdoor Survival


Celebrate Mother’s Day! I purchased these gifts for myself, using my 10% off code, of course. What do you think?

The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 115   Backdoor Survival

The shameless promotion part is that yes, I do earn an affiliate commissions on Spark Naturals sales. But even if I didn’t, I adore my essential oils – so much so I purchased a second diffuser plus that cute little travel case so my e.o.s can go everywhere with me.

And just a reminder: Spark Naturals is offering free shipping on all US orders through May 5th. If you have been waiting to try essential oils, they start as low as $6.99 and with free shipping, you have almost nothing to lose. Just be sure to include the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout to get an extra 10% off.


I have a couple of announcements today. First of all, I want to alert you that the latest version of The Preparedness Review has just been released. The Spring 2014 TPR includes 17 articles plus one downloadable template, all 100% free.

The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 115   Backdoor Survival

Each of the previous versions of TPR have been fabulous and this is no exception. While you are at it, also be sure to check out Todd Sepulveda’s Prepper Website for all the latest in preparedness articles from around the web, published daily.

In case you missed it, I also want to share with you the really neat infographic that was made featuring the article 44 Fantastic Uses of Paracord for Prepping and Survival.

Here is a link: 10 Ways Paracord Can Help You In A Pinch


Is this a blooper or is this one of those “I am only human” moments? Anyway, when I decided to make up a fresh batch of Dirt Cheap Soft Soap this week, I thought, humm, I think I will break out my new cast iron Dutch Oven and give it a go.

Did you catch the blooper? Cast iron and soap? Oops. Not only that, I did not clean the manufacturing oil off off the Dutch Oven first so the soap turned out ca-ca brown. Then, thinking it needed more water, I added more H2O then went upstairs to work. Four hours later, my soap was reduced to a hard brick.

Lesson learned?

  1. Do not make soap in a cast iron pot.
  2. Whatever vessel you do use, make sure in advance that it is spotlessly clean.
  3. Pay attention. Just because it is easy does not mean it is set it and forget it.


That about wraps things up for today. I am yearning for the end of May when I embark on a two week adventure, again, to Alaska. I can’t wait and hopefully, this time around I won’t be spending my vacation on the computer wondering why my website is down. Have you noticed that since moving to a new host and increased security that the denial of service attacks are all but gone?

So what about you – what did you do to prep this week? Until, next time, remember to make every day a prep day!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

Click Here To Vote For Me at Top Prepper Websites!

If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Facebook which is updated every time there is an awesome new article, news byte, or link to a free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon. You can also follow Backdoor Survival on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ and purchase my book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage from Amazon.

In addition, when you sign up to receive email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Bargain Bin: Today I bring back some reader favorites.

AquaPodKit – Emergency Drinking Water 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”.)

BaoFeng UV-5R Dual-Band Ham Radio: The Baofeng UV-5R is a compact hand held transceiver providing 4 watts in the frequency range of 136-174 MHz and 400-480 MHz. It is a compact, economical HT that includes a special VHF receive band from 65 – 108 MHz which includes the regular FM broadcast band. Dual watch and dual reception is supported. Here is the antenna I ordered along with the programming cable: NAGOYA Antenna for BAOFENG UV-5R and USB Programming Cable for Baofeng UV-5R UV-3R+.

Blocklite Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight: I now own six of these little gems. 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. Less than $10. These little flashlights just go and go, plus, they make good use of those re-purposed 9V alkaline batteries that you have recharged with your Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger.

FordEx Group 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight Torch Adjustable Focus Zoom Light Lamp: Here we go with another flashlight. At the time of this writing, this one is only $3.55 with free shipping. It is super mini sized, bright and waterproof. Plus, it uses a single, standard AA sized battery.

Morakniv Craftline Q Allround Fixed Blade Utility Knife: Also known as the Mora 511, this is now my favorite knife. It is made of Swedish steel and is super sharp. I paid $12 for this knife last week and today it is $8.95 so I ordered another one. It was worth $12 and of course is a steal at $8.95!

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter: 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. There is also a larger sized LifeStraw Family currently available with free shipping.


Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials: The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.

The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 115   Backdoor Survival

These days, when I use shredded cheese I use freeze-dried. There is no waste meaning no moldy cheese languishing in the refrigerator. I especially like the mozzarella and cheddar on my pizza. This month, Emergency Essentials has a combo of freeze-dried cheese on sale at 27% off.

The Freeze-Dried Cheese Combo includes 2 cans of Sharp Cheddar, 2 Mozzarella, 1 Colby, and 1 Monterrey Jack. And by the way, these make great snacks right out of the can.

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.

The Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items
Emergency Preparedness Items from
Shop Amazon Tactical – Great Selection of Optics, Knives, Cases, Equipment

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

The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 115 by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.


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