Most of us have heard that the average American has less than 3 days worth of food at home. That means we’re only 72 hours away from a food riot should supply lines be disrupted. Even if you don’t have the money on hand to invest in food storage, there are certain foods you should always keep on hand to form the basis of your survival meals.
Really? Even if you don’t have babies? Yes!
Baby formula is designed to be everything a body needs to survive. Infants live exclusively on formula. No water. No solid food. Nothing else.
Powdered infant formula tastes a whole lot better than powdered milk, and it’s better for you. Dried and sealed, infant formula lasts for years.
Related: How To Choose, Use & Store Protein Powder for Preppers
Beyond that, if you’re planning to survive for the long haul, you never know when there may be an infant that needs tending. While breastfeeding is an obvious solution, there are many reasons why that might not be possible.
If you’re storing formula powder, make sure you use clean or sterilized water to reconstitute it.
If you’re adamantly against baby formula for whatever reason, consider protein powder. It wont help you feed infants, but it’s nearly as versatile when it comes to feeding adults and older children.
White flour lasts for a year, and has a surprising amount of protein. While historically, people living on a mostly white flour diet had trouble with nutritional deficiencies, modern flour has vitamins and minerals added to it.
Related: How to Make Acorn Flour
With a little know how, all you need is white flour, water and salt to make good bread using wild yeast.
Along with white flour, a ready source of fat will go a long way to boost moods and fill stomachs. Coconut oil has a long shelf life, and manufacturers say it should be good as the day it was bought for 2 years. Practically speaking, it’s good much longer than that, and you likely wont notice a difference if you’re eating 5 year old coconut oil that’s been properly stored.
Unlike many other types of oil, coconut oil has the added benefit that it’s tasty even if you don’t have facilities for cooking. Mash in a bit of sugar and coco powder and you’ve got yourself coconut oil truffles for comfort food and a ready source of energy, no cooking required.
Salt is often touted as a survival food, but in reality you don’t actually need to eat much salt to survive. Very small amounts will keep you healthy, and you’ll need to learn to adjust from our modern salt heavy diet.
The real reason to keep salt is for food preservation. If you happen to be lucky enough to acquire fresh meat, salt is the only thing you need to keep it from spoiling. Charcuterie is the art of preserving every part of the animal with little more than salt and technique, and transforming it into something spectacular in the process.
Before you find yourself in a survival situation, learning the basics of preserving meat without refrigeration could mean the difference between surviving and thriving.
In a pinch, cover the meat in salt. A lot of salt. Cover it completely and keep it covered. It may not quite be the same as prosciutto, but it wont spoil.
Home-Canned Fruits, Vegetables & Meats
You’ll notice I say “home canned” rather than purchased. Why?
Because once you open up a can of home canned hamburger, pasta sauce or potatoes, you still have something very valuable: a canning jar.
Beyond that, if you canned them yourself you also have the knowledge to do it again. Store bought canned food will get you through the short term emergency, but the knowledge and equipment to refill those jars will carry you through the long haul.
If you’re going to spend money buying food, my personal preference would be dried fruit and meat. Dried fruits and meats are light and portable, and keeping a store of water and dried fruits is much more versatile than a store of canned foods.
Beyond that, in a cold climate, canned foods may freeze and blow their seals unless keeping the storage room climate controlled. I’d rather focus on keeping my family warm than having to worry about keeping the food at a good temperature at the same time.
Canned food is handy in many situations, because it’s instant. You can open up a can and eat it as is with no preparation. That convenience alone is worth keeping canned food around. But for the best use of my dollar, if I’m going to store canned food, it’s canned food that I’ve put up myself at little cost. Also, here are 14 must-have canned foods you didn’t know existed.
Dried Fruits and Meat
As I’ve said, dried fruits and meats are versatile. They can be eaten out of hand or boiled along with other foods into a stew if you have cooking facilities. They’re light and travel well in an emergency.
Dried fruits in particular will help keep your digestive system healthy in a crisis. If your diet is otherwise nothing more than white flour and emergency survival foods, having raisins or prunes around to keep things moving along will make everyone a lot happier and healthier.
Related: 7 Super Cheap Foods To Stockpile That People Usually Throw Away
Not only is peanut butter a comfort food, it’s also full of protein and healthy fats that will keep you satisfied long after a meal. It can be eaten right out of the container for a quick energy boost, and fully sealed containers last for years on the shelf.
Nutritional deficiency can destroy your health. In lean times, our ancestors had to contend with not only feeding themselves, but ensuring a balanced enough diet to prevent debilitating deficiencies.
A single cheap bottle of multi-vitamins can balance out nutritional gaps, and allow you to focus on calories rather than vitamin content. Most vitamin brands have way more than the recommended daily amount of most key vitamins, so even a single vitamin per week per person can mean a dramatic improvement to their health.
There are a lot of shelf stable snack foods. Why go with granola?
It’s high calorie, with roughly 700 calories per cup, and at the same time it’s nutritionally balanced. The mix of whole grains, nuts and sugars mean that granola is a complete meal that you can eat while on the move.
Granola also has a long shelf life, and it’s light and portable.
Dry Beans & Rice
I’m calling this a single item, because you should always keep both beans AND rice. Together they form a complete protein and the contents of a 5 gallon food storage bucket can feed you for a month for about $20. Assuming you have the fuel to cook, there’s no better way to store calories and nutrition than a balance of beans and rice.
With a grocery store just around the corner, sugar is cheap and readily available. For now. In an emergency, sugar is a excellent source of energy and it’ll be scarce without global trade.
Sugar can also be used in food preservation, which will expand your foraging options.
You may also like:
How To Make Delicious Lard With 2 Years Shelf-Life (+ 5 Tasty Recipes)
9 Food Items to Hoard (video)
Find Out What Areas Would Be Targeted by FEMA When SHTF (they’ll take your supplies)
How To Store Six Months of Food When You Only Have Space for One
Thank you for this article. It is one of the best I have read on the topic of food storage. These things are very doable. I learned a few new things, and that is a huge deal for me to find new ideas. I don’t worry about SHTF or the walking dead showing up. I do worry about hurricanes, as one who lived through many of them and found ourselves without power for weeks at a time. I can tell you that it leaves a lasting impact on your young mind. It was not a day at summer camp. Great ideas, well written. Thank you, again.
I agree with you but on the white flour lasting for at least a decade I don’t know. All the charts I’ve seen show it to last about a year. they all recommend to store the wheat berries and grind as needed. They are suppose to last for 30 plus years if put up correctly.
The article actually says white flour lasts 1 year. 🙂
Raven, im 76 have stored food for 30 years. right now im using flour i put up in five gallon cans in 1992. its fine. I have 55 gallon barrels (plastic food grade) that have pure wheat kernals stored in them for sprouting of grinding. Put there in 1985. it is still usable. Key to storage of wheat and flour is the use of spearment gum and /or bay leaves. it kills the weevils. period. works great. I have also had powdered milk and eggs since 1975 still perfect. What keeps it that way is storage in an environment that doesnt change with the seasons. Earth on three sides insulated on top and the first two feet of the out side walls . Temp never deviates from 45-55 all year. so dont worry. Just make sure you have it.
Doug. Thank you very much for that explanation. It contains some practical solutions to problems.
Could you share more about how you use the spearmint gum and bay leaves?
Fresh bay leaves or dry ?
I will write the following but do not take it as gospel…I saw a video on storing flour..what the guy did was sterilize his canning jars…then after they were thoroughly dried he filled them with flour and put them in the oven ..I THINK ..at 250 degrees some set time..then took them out and put the lids on…supposedly it killed all the eggs…I have also understood that freezing the flour for 48 hours did the same..
I have been freezing my ground grains and rice for many years–never been what you all call a prepper. Just do a lot of things I learned from my elders. Only had weevels once when I did not freeze. I like to make hardtack which is just flour salt and water. when constituted you can make bread, cake, pudding, soup thickener, etc. Just have to have a lot. I mostly throw some squares in soup. Just know what keeps a long time. Always have a variety of beans, corn, rice, and oats. When you only have a little flour you grind some of these to add to it for bread.
Same here and being a prepper is more of a mindset than a label. Growing up as a kid my family would today be called preppers; but, back ten it was just considered commonsense frugal living.
We’ve done the same to make that unleavened salt bread. It also can be re constituted to make a fine wallpaper paste, LOL.
This is known as oven canning and does work; but, I find the heat dries out the flour so it’s not quite as good as before the oven; but, still edible.
We do this with all flour, grains, and even coffee. To extend the life.
Don’t do the oven ‘canning’ without reading up on what university studies on food storage says about it…not what it’s cracked up to be…we won’t do it despite thinking it was a good thing the first time we saw it on Youtube…
if your are going to store flour make sure to put spearmint gum in the mix. it will keep flour weevil free. or bay leaves
Spearmint gum? That’s a new one on me. We just use #10 cans with O2 absorbers and have never had a problem, since the small, air tight, anaerobic environment takes care of the bugs.
I have found that in a warm humid Semi-tropical climate like in south Louisiana; if the flower is not stored in a sealed container or refrigerator you will get weavals in it in just a few months.
You can store the wheat but you will have to have some form of a wheat grinder….I have purchased wheat and then put it into a 5 gallon lid with the Mylar type of bag…then in the bag put a piece of dry ice about half way then one other small piece at the top…then sealed the bag…make sure you have a hand cranked grinder
Dry ice works OK if you can find it; but, since it only displaces the oxygen, any oxygen that is not displaced can eventually cause spoilage. It’s better to use O2 (Oxygen) absorbers that actually convert any latent oxygen to CO2. You can purchase the absorbers or their larger cousins meant for hand warmers. The ”Hot Hands” hand, foot, and body warmer packets contain the very same chemicals (iron powder & salt) as the purpoase made absorbers; but, are less expensive, and more readily available, at least in colder areas of the country. You put your wheat or other food in the bag, seal all but one edge of the bag, squeeze out as much air as you can, activate the warmer, tuck it in the bag and finish sealing. Once all of the oxygen in the bucket is absorbed, the device stops working; but, usually maintains enough unused chemistry to convert any other oxygen that comes into the environment.
The following video demonstrates this method. I don’t use the shop vac to remove the air and find that squeezing out the excess air before sealing is good enough; but, the process is similar.
Long term food storage. Use mylar bags hand warmer, buckets.
We also have quite a few dry good storage in #10 cans with O2 absorbers, and find that the combination works well for our needs.
We have 2 electric powered grain mill options:
• BlendTec Kitchen Mill
• KitchenAid KGM All Metal Grain Mill Attachment for the KitchenAid stand mixer
And 2 hand crank operated mills:
• Victoria Cast Iron Grain Mill. Manual Coffee Grinder, Corn Mill, Seed Grinder with High Hopper & Table Clamp
• Wonder Mill Junior Hand Grain Mill
Also, keep in mind that most grains may be parboiled to soften them for eating or sprouted for a difference flavors and nutrition profile.
In North America white flour is chemically bleached. It’s not good for you.
Better to store rice, oatmeal, unbleached corn flour and meal, and unmodified semolina (pasta).
Natural full grains may also be acquired, continuously in Mormon manner recycled, and once into a crisis eaten for a few months (say, over Winter), but if a crisis endures there needs to be suitable land for planting them.
Natural full grains are susceptible to yeasts, fungi, and ergot, so their storage isn’t as simple as denatured ones.
Ergot only grows on Rye.
When people talk about the cost of stocking food I don’t see it as that difficult if you take advantage of sales and good deals. I know it’s hard sometimes to see oneself buying a dozen jars, cans or boxes of something they don’t eat everyday or what amounts to more than double the usual amount, but buying food on sale is the easiest way to stockpile on a budget. Of course when you need it and it’s there, you’ll feel good about your purchases.
And by learning how to dehydrate, can, smoke or even freeze dry fresh foods, we can add more variety to our pantry. Even using a vacuum sealer can help by extending the life of store bought or home prepared foods. Sprouting can provide fresh nutrition when vegetables are not available or we’re not able to garden.
I liked this article because it covered some of usual staples that are long lasting, but also foods that create better meals or add nutritional value. I’d like to be setup with buckets of grain and the ability to make flour, but until that time, I can learn to store store bought flour to make it last longer.
Sometimes we have to compromise between trying to do it all ourselves and buying stuff ready to use.
The esiest way to get started is to follow two basic rules.
1. Buy what you eat and eat what you buy.
If canned asparagus is on sale or even free and you don’t like it, then leave it at the store. Only get what you regularly like and eat.
2. Use can copying.
This means that when you need another can of beans or other staple you use; buy two or even more than that if it’s on sale.
Do this for a while and you’ll soon marvel at your stockpile, at which point you evaluate your holes and purchase a few more things.
We do all of these; but, don’t forget just freezing. We have 300+ pounds of beef in our chest freezer, purchased at a total cost of $2.80 per pound, by buying half an Angus direct from the farmer, with two friends purchasing the other quarters. This included the slaughter fee, and processing. We paid the farmer and the processor and brought home nice well marked, wrapped frozen packages.
Yes, all my meat is farm fresh. Buy in bulk, store in the freezer, eat well. Some of my freezer has names; Lucy and Curly are beef. My rabbit doesn’t have names, those are livestock from my own herd. I’m on track for 10 chickens from a friend who raises meet chickens in the fall.
Generally speaking in historical terms, only isolated persons tried to ‘do it all’. As soon as any sort of community began to build, people began to specialize. That’s how specialties such as miller, baker, cobbler, and candlestick-maker developed.
Yes I agree with you Enigma that will happen in a long term shtf but not the first months to a year.
What I am saying is there will not be the specialised style groups unless they are already organized.
So for the first year I believe it will be friends and family groups mostly unorganised. There may be like me one individual that has the knowledge in that family to help them survive but they will lose people due to not enough food, water or protections. Then those small groups will start attacking other groups to take their food etc. This will not be my group I hope lol because I am an old he cunn that knows how to gather, hunt and fish. I am not preparing beyond having some ammo, guns, bows and a few meds because anything you prepare like 2 months or more of food can not be carried with you if you have to leave the area. In most cases you will have to leave to survive.
Which is why they should be constituted and organized, right now.
Perhaps there will be fighting in urban and suburban areas, which is why I live in a close knit rural community.
It will not be our group either, since we garden, and raise livestock, hunt and fish, all on our own property, as do most of my neighbors.
We will not be leaving, and in fact have others who are planned to come here. Our facilities can hold a lot of people and we can provide power, heat and food for many for a long time. These people represent both a labor and security force, since all are skilled in various areas and well trained with firearms, logistics, and communications.
Then that type of preparation will work if your security is good enough and unseen things don’t happen. I understand you being in a tight nit rural neighborhood and that is very good. But here is the major problem that maybe you and your group need to think about. The city and urban people can not stay in the city there will be no food there, so they will scatter at first through out the country sides. Then as time goes on the survivors from the cities will group up in sometimes large groups that are divided into smaller ones that will scout the country side for groups of people farming and doing just what you plan. Could your group hold off 100 or more attackers? Does your group have a secured location like they use to have back in the old days a fort or hard installation? Have you planned on how you will work your fields, gather your crops and hunt with roving bands of desperate people killing for a bit of food( you will be in the greatest danger doing your work outside your protected area). Being in a rural area is great but you will be tied to that location and have to defend it. You should have a secondary plan to evacuate to a second location should the need arise.
There is no one best way of surviving something like this. Survival depends on two things that we can not control. One is luck and the other is the type of catastrophe that cause the world as we know it to end.
I believe there is 4 types of catastrophe that i can think of and each one has its on set of problems to overcome.
1. EMT attack (all electrical will not work including batteries, cars, lights, stoves etc.) so you will have no power to do any farming and will have to be done by hand. You will have to can or cure everything with fires(oh fires can be seen a long ways off drawing unwanted people) and you will have same roving groups.
2. Nuclear war that will after the initial strikes turn into a conventional war. You might have power but it will be power you make using generators etc. Fuel will be very hard to come by. Also you have the same roving groups.
3. Major Natural disaster. (like old yellow stone volcano going off) almost same as EMT but it will only be the electrical grid that is effected. You probably can clean the volcanic ash off the engines and get them back to running then you might not depends how much ash you get(also farming will be hindered if not completely stopped deppendson how much ash there is on your land).
4. Total Economic crash. This one is particularly bad because everything still works but money is no longer any good so you can’t buy things and big farms and ranchers no longer can sell their products So the cities don’t have food and same scenario except the people will start killing the government in a revolt. This revolt will have to have food so they will take anything they can from you and leave you with nothing. This is the worst case I think because the revolt leaders will send trained armed troops to take what you have. At same time you will have to deal with these roving people.
There is also another factor most people do not factor in and that is the psychological factor..
Ask your self this question. Could I kill a whole family including children to survive? Could I walk up behind an enemy and cut his throat? Could I look a man in the eye and shoot him? The reason I ask this is because it will not be just men that will be attacking you but it will be men, women and children. Also you will not be able to set there not being able to go out side with these attackers watching so you will have to use stealth attacks to take them out quietly. This means using a knife.Then there is everyday life. Work all day hard get just enough food to keep you alive and the food may not taste good like todays food. Too tired at the end of the day to have leisure time and this will be seven days a week. Every sound at night will wake you because you will be wondering if it is an attack or not. Life will not be good or easy and then what about children do you want to bring them into this nightmare?
I have thought about this and a lot more. You do not know what you will do until you are in that situation.
An old saying the plans of mice and men go out the door when the first shot is fired and this is true.
That’s also how many surnames developed, like Miller & Cooper and why there are so many members of the Smith clan (Black, Silver, Copper, Gold, etc.)
Up until recent history, many of those specialists also tried in part to be somewhat self sufficient, understanding that bad things can happen
That is also where we get many of our surnames, like: ”Baker”</strong, ”Butcher” , ”Chandler” (candles & soap),”Cooper” (barrels),”Miller”,& the many variations of ”Smith”
You can make your own nut butter, Almonds, Pecans, Brazil nuts whatever you want. I’ve even seen cookie butter.
There are at least three ways of preserving grain meals and flours. One is continuous deep freezing (below 0F), by replacing oxygen in a sealed container, or via desiccation. (Latter should go immediately into water-excluding sealed containers too.)
Replaced-oxygen method may be implemented by partially filling large metal popcorn cans with flour/meal, pouring in liquid nitrogen to fill to top, retopping can with its lid, and then duct-taping lid to can. Should last for years. No idea about taste.
Can personally testify that packaged semolina pasta (essentially desiccated flour) lasts for years. That’s the cheapest and easiest form of storing grain starches.
While liquid nitrogen would work, I have no idea where I could easily get any. O2 absorbers OTOH are easy to acquire. And I have hundreds of them along with Mylar bags. Dry ice might be easier for some to acquire and would also work.
I think that just plain wheat berries are less expensive and more versatile. They may be ground into flour, sprouted, or planted to make more wheat.
I am prepping for the BLACKOUT. I have flour, sugar, oatmeal, cornbread mix, grits, pasta and many other dry goods. I have these stored in boxes in a spare bedroom. How long can I expect them to be good for? some I have had stored for 3 years, Should I vacuum seal them? I am running out of space. I canned over 600 jars of food over the last 4 years too.
Assuming that the bedroom is kept dark, cool, and dry, some of those things like the sugar will last indefinitely. If you put the grain based items in the freezer for a few days before storing that will also extend their shelf life.
They should have been frozen and then vacuum sealed when you got them.
Your canned goods will have different shelf lives, based on what kind of food it is. I assume you marked the dates, and are not just stockpiling; but, also using them in rotation.
Loisdelene et alia: When storing food, you currently should be eating the oldest stuff, and replacing those items with newer (and more?) stuff at the ‘other end’. Think in terms of a conveyor.
Simplest arrangement is to have a ‘corridor’ or circulating (when it’s in a room) pantry. Oldest preserved items are nearest kitchen, and newest further away. That’s principally _preserved_ items, fresh items should get handled differently.
Fully-desiccated denatured (no living kernel) grains and items such as beans may be stored for very long periods, but when those items approach 3-5 years you should be either eating them, feeding them to animals, or plowing such under or hydrating and composting them.
Canned items are more iffy. Cleanliness and good process are paramount. There are forms of botulism which are odorless.
I’m using flour that I bought when the kids were home and I made way more bread. White flour tends to go rancid. After I open a bag I keep it in the deep freeze. I keep some in an icecream bucket that I can have at room temperature when I mix. I use a little along with the wheat flour that I grind right before I mix. My big concern is how can I grind 8 cups of wheat quickly when there is no power?
Stored in dry atmosphere and metal cans (see those large ones sued for holiday popcorn) likely last for some years, but soon or later you’d need to grow your own grains. Folk aforetime built water or wind grist mills. Depending on environment.
Someplace online there’s articles about West Asian (Arab) wind-driven grist mills. Advantage is, grindstones are direct-drive at bottom of structure. Some kind of clutch needed between driveshaft and stones. Not as tall and noisy as European designs.
And Enigma replied:
We have a Blendtec Kitchen mill that does require power; but, also a Wonder Mill Junior with a large hand crank. There is a sprocket attachment for the wonder mill that allows one to connect a chain to a bicycle for easier grinding.
There are a number of manual grain mills, some can also be used with electricity. I have a Family Grain Mill which is fine but does not grind as fine as commercial flour on the pass. Do a search and you will find some.
Years ago I bought a small grain grinder in Germany that has a clamp to attach to a table or like surface. I has a handle on one side to hand crank. It can wear you out if you’re grinding a large amount of grains but teamwork will help there or just taking breaks. No electricity is needed. Mine is a Schnitzer. You can get something similar at Amazon or just look on the web for non-electric flour grinders – look for ones with stones.
Could you explain, in simple but precise terms how to make diesel fuel from waste vegetable oil.
Is it legal to use your vehicle in every state?
Search for “how to make homemade biodiesel” and you will find instructions and videos.
Probably not, since you’re not paying the fuel taxes; but, they would first have to catch you, perhaps by the French fry smell coming from your exhaust pipe, LOL.
Please remove me from this email list. I get these updates every day on this same topic and I have tried to remove myself and delete my membership several times. I like your newsletter, but I do not want all of these comments. Thank you
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I am not trying to be negative about this or any other article and this article does give you a lot of good information that is factual and can be used in most situations.
But this is just for one scenario and that is if you can stay in your area or the area you have prepared.
You need to ask yourself things like am I in a flood zone likely to flooded, am i in a zone that would have to be evacuated because of severe damage, nuclear bomb, reactor going critical, or in a city etc.
What I am saying is this any preparation you make you need to look at every detail of your individual situation. This is because like me for instance. I am on high ground but have flood areas around that could cause people to be forced to move my way. In my situation I would really need to prepare an area in a more remote location. People in cities will have to kill or be killed, or run out of the city and hope they get out without trouble. These city people will need a prepared remote location.
These remote locations are a problem because first they are not near you so you can keep an eye on them and will be most likely found by someone and they will have control of them if they are not well hidden.
So prepping like this will be useless to most people.
You’ve hit on the least covered item any prepared person should do first. It’s not a stockpile of food, water, guns, or anything else; but, a simple task often called the ”Threat matrix”
Here’s how you make your own. Using paper and pencil, a word processor, spreadsheet, or whatever tool you are comfortable using, list all of the credible threats to your safety and existence in priority order.
At the top put job loss or health crisis and at the bottom put asteroid strike and zombie apocalypse, and then fill in the middle with credible threats for your location. Where I live I have no problems with flooding, wildfires, or earthquakes; but, do get severe weather ranging from blizzards to tornados.
Be honest with yourself about your location.
Once you’ve listed the threats, starting at the top, next to each one, write in the resources and skills needed to mitigate that threat. As you work your way down the list, you’ll find that you add less and less, since the higher priority threats have already covered the mitigation of the ones of lower priority.
You now work your way down the mitigation list, filling in the resources and skills you have, and those you need, giving you a map for future planning.
We live in our remote location and a few city people are welcome here. They BTW know who they are and have skills and resources we can use.
I am a 74 yr old prepper. I was raised on an 800 acre farm, and we learned to dry, can, and store foods in a large root cellar. Now, that I’m a “city” dweller, I still do most of these things, but, my step daughter and her hubby, that live with me, are really city kids, and will not learn to do what I do.It is very frustrating to see the waste that these two do. At present, I have about 3 yrs worth of stored foods,both canned, and store bought, and cannot find anyone who is like me, to trade, or barter with. I do not eat chicken, or anything that had feathers. ( A stigma from the farm. We had 3000 chix at all times.) From age 8 on, I had to kill 8 chix every Sunday, and we cooked, and canned them. My uncle and I would kill, butcher, and skin the cows we used. My aunt and I would cook up the meats, and can it. We made our own sausage, hot dogs, dried beef, and anything else we could think of. We had 11 milking cows, and I remember making cheese, both cottage, and semi hard, along with yogurt, and making our own butter from the cream.
It is a shame, in this throw away world we live in now, that more people do not know how to go back to the basics. I absolutely love the “Ask a Prepper– how to, and read it all the time. I have even learned a thing or two from what people write. I used to teach kids at risk, how to cook, and some of the basics. I wrote a survival manual for them, and our Chamber of Commerce wanted a copy to use in their survival manual. Now that I’m older, and don’t have anyone to pass on my knowledge, I find it a shame. It would be wonderful to teach the younger generation on the old school basics.
Thank you for this column, and all who write in it.
Lasy, you have skills that many would like to have. Have you thought about contacting your county extension agency or senior services agony to see if they need mentors?
I’ll be 68 years young next month in a little more than 3 weeks, and have been doing this most of my life and still find people who need mentoring, that I do willingly.
Another site you might enjoy and another where you find me and hundreds of others hanging out is: https://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/ with a large group interacting weekly for their ” What I Did To Prep This Week” column. Here’s the latest one: https://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/prep-week-35/ currently with 107 comments from a large international group of people with lot of diverse skills.
I sure wish I knew you! I know how to do somethings but I would sure love more knowledge! Those are great skills and I agree 100%.
I’m not sure your reply was to me; but, in any case, you could visit the site I listed for another great group of people.
I haunt about 3 or 4 different sites regularly.
You could also click my name and send an email and we could see if I have contacts in your area of the country.
Hi Jello, It is easy to start prepping. As it was written here, start with foods on sale, but, only things you eat. The internet is full of ideas for canning, drying, and dehydrating.Start with bananas, You can freeze them whole, with no “meat” showing.. The skin turns black, but the meat is wonderfully fresh. It is wonderful in summertime for kiddos that want a “popsicle.” It is natural, without refined sugar. This week, I’m caning water, since ours is not the greatest. I buy gallons of water in plastic jugs, (yuck) boil it, let it cool, and put it into 1/2 gal, clean glass jars. If you would like more ideas, email me at email@example.com. My name is Linda.
My family died young and I am the only child left. I’ve been trying to learn some things but sure would like a tutor. Do you have any recommendations besides this, which I read regularly? There is so much I don’t know. You’d probably laugh at me but I worked in the schools all my career life. Now ‘retired’ . Any suggestions are welcome.
Ruth. I’m not sure where you need to start or what you need to know, but I don’t mind giving pointers if you have questions.
If the Bible tells us to give to those who ask and by giving to the “least” we actually give to Jesus. It tells us to work so that we have something to give away. In my many times of reading the Bible through, I have never read that we should stockpile and buy a gun and shoot someone who is hungry. Any one who uses the name of Jesus in the name of their religion (the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints) should be gathering and keeping in this kind of spirit. The Bible says to give to those who ask. God says that He feeds the birds and that we are more important than them. I have never seen a bird with a can in its mouth for hoarding purposes. All our ancestors, worked hard and saved for the future, including food. But leave out the gun. The Bible says to give and it shall be given to you — that “men will give into our bosom”. Put your trust in God, not your stock pile. You might find that in the end, all your saving ended up in the hand of your enemies after they shoot you to get it. Trust God. None of us know the future. Only God does. Put your trust in Him.
I agree 1000%. Except about the gun. As a single female living alone, I’ll keep mine thanks.
I love being above average, since we can feed at least 4 adults for at least a year without leaving the property, and that doesn’t include gardening, foraging, or hunting.
I don’t know who ”we” are; but, here in our rural community, there will be no food riots for several reasons.
We have almost everything except baby formula, which is not a complete food, and the reason we transition babies to solid food as soon as possible.
White flour is OK; but, whole wheat berries keep longer and youcan grind them fresh when you need them.
Oils including coconut, olive, peanut, and canola can be kept fresh for quite a while when refrigerated and even longer when frozen.
We keep a few pounds of iodized salt on hand; but, always have at least 500 pounds of water softener salt. It is of course used to feed the softener; but, since it is just plain salt, it can be used for seasoning and curing.
We do home canning; but, avail ourselves of the autumn discounts on canning supplies, so we keep a large stock of various sizes of jars, lids, and rings that may also be used for storage of things other than food.
We keep dried fruits and meats on hand; but, also make our own with a dehydrator and a freeze dryer. They are very versatile.
Peanut butter and peanut butter powder is a staple for us also.
We actually don’t take vitamins, except for a few specific supplements, since we do our best to eat a well rounded nutritious diet, and blood tests to date show that we are achieving that goal.
Granola is something we make on our own and makes a good addition to GORP. Good on rocky places, or Granola, Oatmeal, Raisins, and Peanuts.
We don’t use the 5 gallon buckets for storage anymore; but, have many #10 cans of rice and various kinds of beans and do use them quite often.
We keep at least 40-50 pounds of cane sugar, some molasses and a few gallons of honey on hand at all times. I’m hoping to tap my maple trees this weekend and make some more of our own.
You also seem to be missing some items, since I only counted 11 of the 13 in the title.
LOL you think because there is plenty now an you have a years supply there will not be a food riot there well guess again my friend. I do not care if you are 100 miles away from a city those in the city will come to your area and that will cause food riots as you call them. But it will not be a riot it will be them coming at you to take what you have.
A year’s supply is for amateurs, and only a starting point, for folks like you.
How will they get here, by walking? In my rural community it’s not just me; but. a community of farmers with heavy equipment, and many ways to protect ourselves in concert with each other. We don’t go to the range on occasion to practice; but, simply step out the back door. We also have non cellular or landline communications, so even on grid down, we can all communicate and coordinate.
If you are one of those in the city’s planning on raiding we country bumpkins, you should make sure your affairs are in order before you start on your final journey.
LOL people walked wherever they went 200 years ago and they would again but hey if it is not an emp that causes the catastrophe then there will be vehicles and people can steal fuel. So no matter how isolated you are they will come may be a few weeks or a few months. And just like you are on here talking about your preparations do you not think there is not people on here listening that are not good country folks. It would not be too hard to figure out where you are if they really wanted to.
And No I am not a city slicker looking to take from anyone. I am country bumpkin too lol but difference between me and you is I have sat down and thought out a lot more then you have it seams. Food supplies are good, guns and ammo are good but when it comes to defence and attack I have one up on most. I served and was trained in gorilla warfare. Now understand I am saying that to prepare is fine but think through it all not just what you read here. 4 basics things are in the order which you should prioritize when prepping.
1. Defence options (the best defence is to attack) this old adage is true. If you are being attacked and defending a fixed position you are at a disadvantage and should have part of your defence force getting into a position to attack. attacking them puts them into defence mode which puts the advantage in your favor.
2. Attack options. Always have an attack plan to attack attackers.
3. Food and stores preparation
4. The next option if all the above fail. Such as where the survivors should go, what to carry and how much , the various routes you can take to get there. How to keep from being followed(cover your trail) etc.
Every one of these 4 options has 100s if not 1000s of variations for each variation there is 100s of variations to them and so on. So though you can not cover them all at least you can cover the most obvious.
To prep is not only doing the obvious but to use your best weapon YOUR BRAIN.
An old saying that is as true today as it was back when it was first said. If it can’t happen it will happen(Murphy’s law). Also the best laid plans go out the door when the first shot is fired. But that plan is a start and can be adjusted as needed after that first shot.
I have prepped as much as SS will allow me too. I don’t expect to survive very long for several reasons. First is my location and I will be protecting a fixed position(wife is invalid and will not be movable) big disadvantage for me, second I will attack them and try to take away their advantage but even though I am trained I know the odds of success are slim. But I believe in GOD and have already made peace with him. So I am not afraid of death for when it is my time I know I will be with him.
There are people who perhaps could find me; but, the country folk will most likely stay in their own place and those coming from the cities on a little stolen gasoline will have no logistics and little communications to support them when they arrive here, where we have numerous trained people with aerial recon to watch their every move.
I’ve been planning with my MAG here on this property for 35 years, with constant improvements to the plans, the property, and the MAG. We will have as many as 20-30 trained people bugging out here, all with skills, resources, and brains
I’ve been planning, acquiring resources & skills and preparing for more than 40 years. While I come here for ideas, this is just a place to spend some time, and has been around less than 20 orfthose planning years, as has been the general internet & web.
We have numerous fixed positions, and my youngest, a trained Scout Sniper who grew up here, has consulted, as have others from the military community, mostly now retired. We have air assets and hard to intercept communications that will also give us an advantage, as will the numbers on our side.
We do including some remote assets that put no people in harms way.
Standoff always beats a clash.
We can feed 4 or more adults for a year or more, and those coming here also bring their own resources. Hunting & fishing the area is also an option along with livestock many of us have on hand.
We can do those things; but, at my age, we plan to stand and fight; but, with the help of others in our situation in a 5 or more mile radius. We are not completely isolated and have others who can and will join the fray if it happens, which I really doubt.
Last week we had a 3 hour planning session on a wide area blackout in cooperation with the EARTH EX®//19, Emergency All-sector Response Transnational Hazard Exercise® where we reviewed all of these issues. We don’t just sit here on our buttocks and hope for the best; but, are involved in continuous planning.
We know and have done so.
As an engineer my brain was always my best tool and it still works quite well.
True and we manage that with a threat matrix that I will explain once again here, for everyone’s edification.
SS only accounts for about 45% of our income; but, with no mortgage, no credit card debt, and low taxes, we live quite well and can acquire what we need when we need it. The wife and I are still quite fit and get done what needs done.
While no one looks forward to death, I came to terms with that inevitability decades ago while rock climbing, spelunking, scuba and sky diving, and so far, so good.
I am not naïve; but, know my limits and try to mitigate everything I can.
And now as promised.
”The Threat matrix revisited”
Something you might want to do to organize your start is a technique called ”The Threat Matrix” , that I will describe here. This tool is not hard or complex; but, will take some clear and honest thinking as you create it, and once it’s completed, you’ll have a map to start you on your way with some semblance of organization, and perhaps a little less stress. You can use paper and pencil, a dry erase board or Post-it Notes, or a spreadsheet or word processor, if you’re comfortable with one of those tools. Here is how you construct the one for your situation.
Start with a list of threats in prioritized order, with loss of your income, death in the family, or sudden acute illness at the top. Add global nuclear war and life ending asteroid strike at the bottom. Fill in the middle with the threats you and your family could actually face. As an example, in my location we can have blizzards and tornados; but, are not concerned with earthquakes or hurricanes and generally not much with floods or wildfires at my actual physical location, so be honest with yourself for your area, location, and situation.
Next, starting at the most likely / highest priority event, make a list of the resources required to mitigate that threat. A resource in this case would be Materials, knowledge, and/or skills.
Keep in mind also that often people confuse information, knowledge, and skills with each other. There is; however, a simple way to understand the difference and that is the application of each to your own situation. A library with all of its books or the internet with all of its web pages, podcasts, & videos, contains absolutely no knowledge. That content is only information. When you apply that information by reading, listening, or watching, then you gain knowledge when you start to understand the concepts.
That act of absorbing and understanding information does not however make a skill until you then apply that knowledge by ”doing” something to create a skill, and then practice that skill to become proficient. One additional concept to keep in mind is that the old maxim, ”Practice Makes Perfect” is only partially correct, since only ” Perfect Practice Makes Perfect” , especially when doing things that could be dangerous, like chopping or splitting wood or running a chainsaw, so take your time.
Once you have made your threat list, and added the knowledge, skills, and resources required to mitigate that threat, move on down to the next one on the list. What you will find is that as you move down the list, you start needing to add fewer & fewer items, since they have already been covered in the levels above. Once the matrix is complete, you have a plan with a map for the supplies, knowledge (books and other information), and skills to acquire, and like any journey, it just gets easier with a map to the destination.
Also, note that as you prepare your way down this list, other things you missed will pop into your head; but, be assured that this is normal, and as you move on this journey in an organized fashion, you should occasionally stop and smell the flowers, looking back for just a minute to see how far you’ve come. Always looking ahead will only tend to disappoint you, because this journey like life itself never has a final destination. I’ve been seriously on this journey and lifestyle for 50+ years, and still on occasion wonder what I’m missing.
Your journey forward into preparedness will be constantly changing as you acquire new resources or skills, many of which will then equip you to think of and ask questions that might not even have been thought of at the start, since we are often sometimes to ignorant to even ask the right questions. One of those resources are the incredible people here who are not too proud to admit ignorance and ask a question and often have the knowledge or skills to answer one., so don’t be shy and ask or answer.
Sometimes not knowing what we don’t know is our biggest problem; but, as you move forward, often very obvious things will pop into your head, at which point you go back and rework the matrix; but, I think you’ll find that it will only get easier and you will eventually gain some peace of mind.
Someone said “White four has chemicals & is not good for you” try no flour in a SHTF scenario see how that works. I have stored flour using the oven method & works great also storing grains in 5 gallon containers.. I have put in the Oxygen Absorbers.. & also wrapped about 3 ounces of dry ice in a paper towel & dropped it mid way in the bucket works great google storing food using dry ice
White flour is hulled, finely ground and then often bleached. Many of the nutrients found in the hull as well as those removed by bleaching are added back in the form of chemicals.
We use white unbleached flour and grind our own from wheat berries.
While I have some stored in 5 gallon buckets in Mylar with O2 absorbers, we purchase most of our wheat in #10 cans to make use a bit more manageable.
Dry ice works fine, as would vacuum or nitrogen packaging. You can use anything to displace the oxygen that causes food to spoil.
We also have some white flour in #10 cans with O2 absorbers.
The choice of baby formula should be made responsibly. Because their composition may be different, which may not be suitable for the baby. I give my baby hipp dutch stage 1 https://thebestfromjapan.com/hipp-dutch-stage-1-organic-bio-combiotic-infant-milk-formula-with-dha-800g exactly as recommended by the pediatrician. After all, your pediatrician should choose the formula based on the results of the examination of your baby.