Table salt, also known as NaCl (sodium chloride), is just as important to human survival as food and water, and our bodies would be in serious trouble in a short time without it. It is an important mineral for the generation of nerve impulses, heart and metabolic functions, as well as the regulation of electrolyte and fluid balances.
Processed foods have more than enough sodium already packed into them, so people like me who never reach for the salt shaker get by just fine, but in a situation where the SHTF, processed foods might become scarce and knowing how to obtain this essential mineral will be necessary to survive.
Salt today has a generally unfavorable reputation in the developed world- everyone is trying to cut back on their intake for health reasons. This is obviously because there is so much of it, but it wasn’t always so.
Wars have been fought over it, nations have used it as currency, populations have been crushed by taxation on it; you can bet that if these times of civil unrest snowballs into the collapse of markets and industry, salt will again be respected, even becoming a valuable commodity for trade.
This value will most likely increase the more inland you go, far from the coasts where the vast oceans contain 35 grams of salt per liter of water, providing a limitless supply.
But this technique I will demonstrate works to extract it from saline waters inland, too, of which it might surprise you are quite abundant.
Related: How to Make Your Own Apple Sugar
All salt comes from the sea, and even the rock salt mined out of the earth is the remnant of ancient oceans which once covered the land. Freshwater streams collect salt as they flow over the soil, but because they are always moving the saltiness levels stay low.
When this water constantly flows in but has no outlet, as in terminal lakes like Great Salt Lake in Utah, all of this salt accumulates. Great Salt Lake ranges from 50 to 270 grams of salt per liter, and is therefore saltier than seawater.
Besides these salty lakes, brine springs are saturated with salt dissolved from underground and brought to the surface, which can be found in many parts of the world.
Salt’s soluble nature makes extracting it from water ideal for cleanliness.
Filtering the saline water (from a brine spring, salt lake, or ocean) first through anything such as cheese cloth, a shirt, even a sock, will extricate most of the sediment and debris contaminating it.
Then, all that is needed is a method to evaporate the water, leaving the salt behind. The fastest way to evaporate water is obviously to turn it into steam vapor by boiling it.
I have found through trial and error that boiling at high heat until half of the water has evaporated, then adjusting the heat gradually down to medium and low, will prevent the salt from scorching.
I also stir as much as necessary to keep less salt from accumulating on the bottom of the pot and risk being scorched.
As more water evaporates, the salt starts to become visible. It will have a “caked” appearance in this stage of the process, with the consistency of wet sand. I am using a stove for convenience, but boiling over an open fire works the same, while lifting the pot higher above the flames will reduce the heat similarly.
Use the back of your hand as a thermometer- if you can only hold your hand over the flames for five seconds before it starts to hurt, at that height your pot is on “high” heat.
Related: DIY Stove Made From Used Tire Rims
Before the salt starts to burn, you will need to take it away from the fire and use a different method to evaporate the remaining moisture. The sun can be used at this stage, and in fact can be the only method if fuel sources for a fire are scarce.
Many salt work facilities of the old days went out of business after the surrounding timber was used up to heat the fires necessary to evaporate the water in salt brine, including the ruins of the one near where I harvested mine from.
The sun can take days or weeks to accomplish this depending on weather conditions, however, and again, for convenience, I am using the electric oven as a speedier substitute.
The setup is the same, either way. The thinner you have the water or damp salt spread out beneath a heat source, the faster it will dry.
Something like a glass baking pan or a metal baking sheet works well, but you can improvise with your imagination and whatever materials you find at your disposal.
If using the oven like I am, the pan just needs to be placed inside with the heat on the lowest setting, which in my case is 170 degrees Fahrenheit. If placed outside and under the sun, I would recommend using some sort of a covering that still provides exposure to the sun but not bugs and bird droppings, like a thin cloth or similar.
Related: The Long-Forgotten Cheesecloth
It is going to take some time to get the salt to have the consistency of the sort you buy at the grocery store or see on a restaurant table. The truth is, it might never be exactly like this, because companies add other anti-caking chemicals to table salt so that it falls so evenly out of a salt shaker.
The salt crystals you get in this home-made approach will more than likely be less uniform, and not unlike the fancy sea salts you see chefs use on television.
There is a trick I use to suck out any remaining moisture clumping the salt together once I store it, and you might have used the same trick if you’ve ever tried to dry out a cell phone you dropped into a puddle: rice.
Neither a salt shaker, nor a few grains of rice should be too hard to scavenge no matter what the world comes to in a SHTF scenario, and a small layer of rice grains at the bottom of a shaker will absorb so much of that remaining moisture.
This is just another very simple technique to help you be more self-sufficient and independent.
Salt is a mineral fundamental to animal life, but it doesn’t have to be anything to stress over. It is abundant, and with a basic overview of where it comes from, not much more than common sense is needed to attain it.
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What Happens When You Keep Your Meat in Salt For 1 Month (Video)
Improvised Suppressors When SHTF: Keeping Quiet When It Counts
The Easy and Practical DIY Snares to Catch Small Wild Game
How to Stop Migraines with Salt
Me I bought Himalayan pink salt. It comes in a rock like chunk. Why that way. I brake off a chunk and then use my small chess grader. Works great. You can use it on sugar that has formed in a solid chunk also.
buy it while you can. i go to bulk good stores and buy the himalayan pink salt. $1.22 a pound
Be aware that many studies have shown that pink salt is extremely bad for human consumption and outright toxic to animal consumption.
Not so sure of that. What’s your source?
Are you confusing Himalayan pink salt with curing pink salt?
Two different chemical entirely.
ABSOLUTELY no logical reason why you shouldn’t stockpile salt – really no “wrong” way to store it forever …
to store it correctly is to simply put away the retail store packaging it’s bought in >>> better is to pour it into a food grade bucket and seal with a gasketed locking lid – no reason to ever open it before needing it ….
Then why do you have the expiration date on the package?
Expiration dates are largely bogus; it has been proven over and over that stuff will safely last for as much as several years past the stated expiration date. In the case of something like salt, it’s essentially a powder; if you keep it dry and clean, it can’t possibly go bad. Ever. Granted, a lot of things don’t last forever. However, with a bit of judicious study, it’s possible to find ways to preserve things for a lot longer than is currently done. That’s a sizable part of what this site is about, and salt is no exception.
A lot of companies are responding to consumers concerns regarding the usefulness of “expiration dates” by replacing them with product “best buy dates”instead.
Yes the dates are bogus. I worked un a Medical oiffice everything had an expiration date we had to go through it and throw It out. Hand lotion bandaid gauze pads almost all our supplies had an expiration date. Even hypodermic syringes I took the expired stuff home years ago its all still fine.
Chris, agreed about the exp.dates,….. and for those reading,…… HOW can salt “go bad”? It’s MINED form million-yr-old-salt domes in the Earth! If it ain’t bad by then,…. chances are it’s good now!
Because some bureaucrat sitting in an office miles from reality with nothing more pressing to do decided that it would be a good idea for all food products and medicines to have an expiration date.
A lot of the salt that you buy in the round containers comes from underground salt mines, ocean water that was left behind when land masses heaved up too high for the water to run back to the sea. That salt is tens of thousands of years old if not older. Put it in a box in a state like the PDRK with brainless bureaucrats and politicians and suddenly it has an “expiration” date on it. Ten thousand year old salt is going to expire in two years.
Now if you have some salt that has not been treated to make sure that it flows in two years in Mississippi it may have turned into a solid block, but as red ant says, you grate it or pound it back into its crystalline form and presto chango, it’s table salt again. Repeat as necessary.
Not picking on Mississippi, any area that is hot and humid or cold and humid will turn salt into a solid block.
The same applies to sugar which now comes with an expiration date. Sugar left out in humid air will form into a solid block. Is it bad? Only to the extent that you have to grate it or pound it to get it back into individual crystals. Its sweetness and sweetening properties still are there. It may have attracted some bugs or heavins to murgatroid, it may have some dust on it. Scrape off the surface and you have pure ready to use sugar even though it is a thousand years old.
Archeologists have found honey in pyramids that was at least a couple thousand years old and it was still good. I like stuff that has a shelf life of ten thousand year. It means I can put it away and it will probably outlast the plastic bucket it is in. Put it in Mason jars and in ten thousand years when folks from Planet Mongo visit, it will still be good.
It’s a control device instituted by folks who want to control every single aspect of your life because they are incapable of of productive work and they like the feeling of power that covers up for their otherwise uselessness in doing anything meaningful.
Good night a pound of salt is fifty cents. Go get twenty pounds of it and be done with it.
If you buy it by the 25 or 50 pound sack at Big Box stores it is even cheaper.
Remember, you are going to need lots of salt for preserving foods after the world end.
If you are not near a salt water body and don’t each much salt water fish, be sure to put away some iodized salt to minimize goiter and other medical conditions for folk who live far from the ocean.
Stu, salt at Walmart is .54 cents for a 26 oz box. That comes to 33 cents per pound, even better. I add to our salt stock regularly and I have about 110 lbs for now. Will be a good barter item too.
It’s another terrorizing marketing ploy: Put a date on it to scare people into throwing it out and buying more
Usually it isn’t an expiration date but a best by date. And it is put there to protest the manufacturer.
can’t call yourself a prepper being that naive ….
I bought himilayan salt that magically would go bad after two years. That’s the day I swore I’d never pay heed to “use by” dates again.
Possibly an expiration for iodized salt ? Does iodine weaken over time ?
OR are they just wanting to sell more salt….
PB: iodine evaporates. niio
PB, iodine will evaporate if left exposed to the elements.
So the salt is 4 billion years old when packaged by Morton and is not going to expire in 2 years? Seriously; think about it.
Store a little iodized salt and plain table salt for short term – like the rest of your life – and store kosher salt or other truly plain salt – no additives at all – for the rest of eternity.
Take out of the retail packaging and put it Mylar.
To influence you to buy more.
Why would you worry about salt if you live on the coast? The big question is how do you get salt inland if you don’t live by a salt mine. Almost worthless post.
Not true, Tim. There are salt deposits inland. You may not live near a salt deposit but they do exist. I remember reading about the 49ers and how they stopped at a salt bank on the Missouri River which is pretty far inland\is and stocked up on sat from the salt bank. If you read the article carefully you will see that the author mentioned
“When this water constantly flows in but has no outlet, as in terminal lakes like Great Salt Lake in Utah, all of this salt accumulates. Great Salt Lake ranges from 50 to 270 grams of salt per liter, and is therefore saltier than seawater.
“Besides these salty lakes, brine springs are saturated with salt dissolved from underground and brought to the surface, which can be found in many parts of the world.”
If you have ever driven in Northern Nevada/Utah and driven over the Bonneville Salt flats, they are a vast area of sodium nitrate that is mineable with just a shovel.
There are vast deposits of salt inland underground that can be mined and are presently being mind or have been in the past. The government uses underground salt mines for storing things they want to preserve.
Like so many articles, some find them helpful and some not so helpful. In this case, I would suggest you research on line “salt springs” “salt mines” “salt creeks” You will find many place names with Jones’s salt spring as the place name. There is a reason it is called XXX salt springs. or XXX salt creek. Same thing.
Prepare yourself, go on line and explore salt outcroppings in your area.
Now you can see why I gratefully got out of Chem I just before the prof asked me to drop the class.
For the non-chemists, salt is sodium chloride, not sodium nitrate or sodium nitrite. While the chemists among us will demur that both sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite are, indeed, salts, they are not what we call table salt. That is sodium chloride.
Sorry about the false chemical info.
Quite right on the sodium chloride. Celery has a goodly amount of sodium nitrate. If you see the “uncured” bacon or other processed meats, it’s not quite right. You’ll generally see an asterisk saying something like except for the celery powder we put on it. Likewise, carrots have a decent amount of monosodium glutamate. I have a friend who is sensitive to MSG and can’t eat carrots either.
Dupin:Onions and other plants are salt accumulators. My best bet is still saltbrush and some others that sweat out salt from the leaves. One major good thing/problem is that the bush is good forage, and animals love it, and ants carry off the seeds, shucking them to kill them. Result is, overgrazing by deer and rabbits kill the plants. Best to find it is always a cattle ranch. Ranchers tend to love hunting 🙂 niio
largest salt deposit & mining operation is in the middle of the country – actually under Detroit now – city grew and built on top of the mine ….
I am reading a book entitled “Scatter, Adapt and Remember” by Amanda Newitz. In the book the author describes how millions of years ago inland United States was vast stretches of ocean, so I was incorrect in my aging of the salt you are putting on your potatoes. It isn’t just tens of thousands of years old. It is millions of years ago that the oceans dried up and left huge deposits of salt. There is nothing magic about producing salt from a salt mine you blast, scoop up the debris, grind it down to the size you want and put it in a box, slap on a label and ship it. A little more complicated than that. Despite best by dates and use by dates, 100,000 years from now when citizens from Planet Mongo unearth your box of Morton’s salt with its best by date expiring in 2023, it will still be useable as table salt.
LCC: Still, were I storing salt, it would be seasalt. That contains a lot more than just sodium. But, if someone would rather, powdered kelp is very good. I don’t know, but think iodine is stabilized in both, but best in seasalt. niio
Illini Warrior – Further west and due south. I’ve been in the mid-west underground carverns carved out by the salt mines on one of my more memorable and interesting business trips. There’s plenty of salt. It’s just a matter of logistics. So just get your stash and sit back and relax.
You’re right about getting your stash. But I wouldn’t count on access to bulk water, bulk salt, etc. Those facilities will be overrun by gangs and warlords – whether those gangs are remnants of a no-longer-in-control government, local thugs, or militia wannabees.
It might be a matter of logistics but those logistics will undoubtedly involve gunfire.
Brackish salt water bubbles up from almost anywhere a spring could develop. I was watching an episode of Mountain Men and Eustace had a neighbor that had salt water bubbling up from a spring in the Appalachian mountains.
Salt is carried inland by Walmart trucks. 🙂
Actually, salt is a very common element and can be found fairly easily in concentration, IF you are willing to do a little research. I found out my Grandfather took a mule team and a wagon about 60 miles east to a natural salt spring. They used fires to boil the spring water to concentrate the salt, and brought back a wagon load for the entire community.
Salt does not go bad itself, but if you are buying iodized salt, The additives can go bad.
it just returns to normal salt >> the iodizing methods and its eventual normalization doesn’t affect it or harm its use ….
Flint: Iodine evaporates at room temperature. It’s considered a vital micronutrient. niio
Like ‘red ant’ though I bought several of the Himalayan salt lamps. Unproven they are supposed to when used, (heated by a low watt lamp) help the air. I can’t confirm that use, but makes a great nite light, and is a large block of salt that would come with me in a SHTF scenario. Merely scraping off the salt when needed, would last for a long time … the block being several pounds.
I was able to buy a large block of Himalayan pink salt from the stock feed store. It was shrink wrapped with a hole and rope through the middle and was for putting in horse stables as a salt lick. I also have salt lamps which I use as night lights for the grand kids. Like you, I couldn’t say if it works as intended but I really bought it for the salt as a decorative way of storing some.
Make sure you wash it after the horse licks it!!!
We have boiled seawater on a stove for years. We collect it from the public landing of White Chimney Cove River near Shellman’s Bluff in the Sapelo Sound, Georgia. The river sends the water through the marsh, where the grass wicks up the petroleum based toxins and the marsh itself cleans up much of the rest. This area is rated the cleanest on both coasts of the US because of this. Boiling removes the rest, such as the volatile toxins, and probably including the microplastics. If you use metal to boil in, though, you will not only rust any metal, it will release toxins into the salt. Use glass or intact enamel pots. The minerals solidify in order of the elements chart, with the first few (toxic) lighter ones evaporating completely. The inorganic calcium (colloidal limestone pieces that are not soluble) drop out next, and that is gritty scale that just hardens our arteries and grits in our teeth. When that scale drops, we filter it out through several layers of cloth, which we rinse in clean water and return the salty water to the pot. We call this the ‘honey’ stage. The rest of the elements are the good ones, then. When that starts to crystallize (‘sugar’ stage), you do have to watch and stir the pot because the stickier potassium, etc. will cake the bottom and you have to dissolve that out later with muriatic acid. While the cake is still wet, we take it off the heat. Then we drain it like cheese in a bag. The resulting drip is called ‘bittern” in English, or “Nigari” in Japanese, and are the minerals that are down the elements chart after sodium chloride, such as magnesium and potassium, and all the micro ones, etc. I use this to curdle my tofu, like the orient does, but the main use of it is electrolytes. We consider this mineral drip more valuable than the salt. It does wonders in your bottle of water on a hot day to prevent cramps or heart issues, and is the best mineral source I know of as it contains the full fraction of sea minerals, as none have leached like all the other salt deposits have most surely done. Our health has changed drastically since we started bringing back sea water by the trailer load every winter. I also find tomatoes grow leaves as long as my arm and resist disease much better when I foliar spray them with a 1/2 t. per gal. of water. But, I digress.
The wet salt, which, if you leave it on long enough, will capture ALL the minerals, can be dried in the food dryer. Break up the dry cake and pound it with a pestle in a deep bowl to pulverize it. You can then sift it and send the stubborn lumps through the coffee grinder, keeping in mind that you have to IMMEDIATELY rinse the metal when you finish! Then put the salt BACK through the dryer one more time and repeat the procedure. This breaks the crystal formation that attracts moisture and the fine granules will stay much drier and free flowing in your shaker.
Collection tips: don’t gather after rains have diluted the river and muddied the water. Watch the weather and try to gather at high tide, too. This ensures a saltier water. You can expect @1 lb. of salt and nigari per 10 gal. of seawater. If you go out from shore and gather ocean water, you would probably get a better ratio.
If you’ll remember your history, Ghandi protested British control of the salt trade (this was 1930). Before the era of the Raj, Indians made their salt by drying seawater and marshwater in the hot sun.
One of the things that got him tossed in gaol was his participating in native salt production, which was against the law.
You are absolutely correct, Omega.
I believe that one can obtain salt from sea water just by sun evaporation in low humidity areas San Francisco Bay has numerous now defunct salt beds where water in the bay was trapped and allowed to evaporate in the sun to support a thriving salt industry. While I look as if I am old enough to have personally witnessed the salt making, I was not actually around during the days of the salt beds.
I haven’t studied the history of the salt beds but I suspect it was to support the fishing industry for which the Bay and surrounding oceans provided the resources.
If you are salting fish for storage or shipment around the the horn to the east coast, you need lots of salt. No better way to make cheap salt than to let the sun evaporate the water out of ocean water. I’m sure the method was simplicity itself. Let the bay water in. plug the intake hole in the dike. Let the sun evaporate the water. Go shovel up the salt. Maybe wash it and let it evaporate again if one is a stickler for cleanliness. Being buried in salt will kill almost anything living, so I don’t suppose there was a lot of concern if there was a little earth mixed in with a bunch of salt. Folks in the 19th and early 20th centuries were more casual about a little dirt than folks in the late 20th century and 21st century.
Folks who lived in the Midwest would go the whole winter without removing their undergarments. Well, if they didn’t take off their underwear you may be pretty sure they weren’t bathing their whole body. In fact there was a school of thought that frequent bathing was bad for one’s health. Kind of the opposite of the way we in this country think today.
Left Coast Chuck, they were using the salt flats in the 70’s. I remember going over the bridge and looking down on the operation. Leslie Salt company.
Wow, Lisa, I didn’t realize they were in production that late. I moved out of the Bay Area in ’61 and must admit that my attention wasn’t focused on the salt flats any time I visited the Bay Area from then until now. Yes, you can still see the salt flats from the San Mateo Bridge. Even though I am aware they are there, I still haven’t paid as much attention to them as I should have.
The next time I am transiting the San Mateo Bridge, I will get someone else to drive so I can scope out the remains of the salt flats. Might even convince them to pull over to the shoulder so I can view them closer. Although if traffic is too bad might have to forego that.
amazing, isn’t it, the things that are now important in this political climate? Who thought of the importance of procuring salt when America was still beautiful..
To Chuck and Lisa (below)…
Salt put a roof over our heads, food on our table and clothes on our backs. My father worked at Leslie Salt for 40+ years, Got hired there in ’45 after 4 years in the Pacfic during WWII and retired in ’86 and yes, the salt beds were still very much in use up through the 80’s. MegaFood company, Cargill bought them back then and probably closed down the factory so they could import cheaper salt from overseas, not fact just speculation regarding today’s MegaFoodCorps.
Funny, few people outside of the SF Bay Area have ever heard of Leslie Salt but they sold about 75% of their salt to Morton Salt which is nation wide and Leslie was still larger than Morton west of The Great Salt Lake.
Heres a prepper tip…
Buy a 50lb block of clean, plain (livestock lick) salt at Tractor Supply or your local feed and grain, break it up (leaving it in chunks and big pieces), put it in a 5 gal bucket with a salt grinder or two (in freezer weight zip-lock bags) and cap it off with a Gamma-Seal Lid… supplement that with a case of 1ib containers of Iodized table salt, you then have, pretty much, a lifetime supply of table salt. (those with goiter problems should avoid Iodized salt)
After 5 generations (most still there), I voted with my feet and my pocketbook and moved out of the once great state of California, but I still remember those days fondly, long before silicon(e) valley and extreme liberal BS! (yeah… I was one of those white privileged teens who would ride his bike down the street with a .22 rifle strapped across my back and go into Niles Canyon to plink at cans and stumps. Never caused any trouble, never got hassled by Fremont Police. The good’ol days? Maybe…Maybe not but better than today I’m sure.
Rucksack Rob, small world. My kids were born in Fremont. Left the Bay area to go south, and never went back. Too liberal for my taste.
Left SoCal about 8 years ago. With the state of the state, will not travel there again. I do remember the salt beds. hope you are well whereever you reside.
Rucksack: Thanks for the update on the Frisco salt flats. I know folks in The City hate Frisco, that’s why I use it. I loved San Francisco in the 50’s and early 60’s. Now I can’t decide if one were to give CA an enema which locale should have the honor of the nozzle, but Frisco would be a top contender. I do remember the Leslie Salt Brand. I worked in a grocery store in Oakland in ’59 & ’60 and that was one of the brands we stocked.
Now that I got my political diatribe out of the way, on to the real meat of this post. I had to go on line to check that my thought was correct, and in this rare instance I was right.
Actually iodine is used to correct an enlarged thyroid gland commonly called goiter. You need iodine in your diet to assist the thyroid gland in its function in the body. With iodine deficiency from diet the thyroid gland goes into overdrive producing its hormone and thus enlarges to handle the overtime shifts and produces the condition commonly called goiter.
There is a long list of people who are at risk for iodine deficiency namely pregnant women, small children, vegans and vegetarians and several other groups of people. People in the Middle East have a general deficiency of iodine.
I have done more research on salt since this article was posted than I think I have done in my previous life. One of the benefits of this list is that it compels me to research topics that I had previously only superficially skimmed or ignored all together. This article drove me to expand my knowledge of salt, a mineral I had generally ignored except in recent years was compelled to watch my intake due to exuberant over indulgence in my profligate youth. Yes, a bag of potato chips a night is a definite no-no once past 40 and not so great even prior to 40, especially when combined with a quart of ice cream to accompany the potato chips.
LCC: Good read, thanks! As for Kali and Frisco, Frisco a base for slave children. Kali itself is very bad, but Frisco is the western capital of pedophilia and rape.
As for as I know, iodine is important to most parts of the body. Away back before chemical farming was forced on us by FDR, farmers would put 100 lbs/acre of sea salt on fields in the east and northwest. All they knew was, without it, neither plants or livestock thrived. the odd thing is, sea salt was cheaper than so-called table grade, mined salt. It was a fertilizer and city people laughed at those who used it on food. niio
I go at low tide and get seaweed to add to the garden. I didn’t want to add too much salt to the soil so started using it every other year instead of every year.
To show the amount of the salt in the water, our 3rd grade teacher had us collect some water from the beach in a glass jar and set it on the windowsill to let it evaporate. After a few days, there was salt.
I keep regular old salt on hand for table use and some for preserving. And yes, i can eat kelp and have done so but it’s not something i want to eat on a daily basis. ymmv.
lol… My family came from Italy, sailed around the horn and landed in San Francisco in the 1860’s, learned English, went to work (Great Grand dad was a bootlegger…HaHa) and have been in the Bay Area ever since, most are still there. My grandmother would chew you up and down for using the name ‘Frisco’.
She said many times ‘The only time you could use that word was in song or poem’… “Mean ‘Ol Frisco Blues, “I left my home in Georgia, headed for the Frisco Bay”, or “They tried to hang me Oakland and they did in ‘Ol Frisco” or ‘got me a new pair of Frisco jeans’… I could go on but you get the jist.
Take care from the Northern Great Lakes, wind chill of zero today, definitely not kalifornia weather.
Chuck, what were you in your “previous life”?
Mainly a court reporter and printing business owner, however had many other jobs starting as a milk delivery assistant at 12 or 13 years old.
Buying livestock supplies to feed your family is just plain stupid when you can go to any store and buy cleaned salt. It’s as stupid as buying and storing deer corn for your family when you can buy cleaned corn.
If it was the end of the world, and my Sam’s brand salt supplies ran out (never gonna happen) and I stumbled on livestock in an old, abandoned, cement building with a faded sign reading “Tractor Supply”, I’d use it.
If my family was starving because I didn’t love them enough now to stock enough food and seeds to feed them in perpetuity, and I stumbled on that same old building with the same faded sign, I’d eat the corn.
But being prepared is about planning for NOT eating cattle feed and cattle salt. Sell your computer games and buy what you need to care for and protect those you love, if there’s anyone you love more than you love your Nintendo.
Often I find human grade products cheaper at the feed store than in a normal grocery store. Many times I can’t buy some items in a ‘human food’ store.
I have found a lot of herbal supplements in bulk that are used for race horses while I would pay through the nose for the same product in a much smaller quantity in a health store. I won’t even go in to the animal meds.
YMMV and that’s fine but to equate a person’s inability to afford a higher price because they spend it on gaming???!
That is low. You have no idea how poor some people are.
There’s no equivalency to computer games; that was just one example. If that’s not where a person is spending their money to where they can’t properly protect their family then they should figure out where their own irresponsibility puts their family at risk and fix it. That’s what men do – real men.
If you can’t properly provide for your family because your car is too expensive, or your home, or your gym shoes, or your clothes, or you eat out instead of cooking from scratch at home, then stop doing those things and provide a safe, reliable, protection for your family for potential, unforeseen, events.
If it is because you’re truly poor then quit being poor. Get an education. Learn to code. Move out of the Appalachians. Poor is a choice and is easily overcome up to a certain point in life – I changed my life after 40. Probably now, at 66, would be too late to start that change had I not done it before but I wouldn’t say that it’s absolutely too late for others my age.
To have provisions for my family that are unreliable, and especially that are unsafe, is to have no preparations at all. I love my family and I’m committed to giving them the best chance of survival in the future. I’m committed to making any changes, and made those changes, in my life so that I can provide that security.
Getting an education takes money which, if one is truly poor, one simply does not have.
Learn to code… for that you need a strong STEM education, classes (see above), and access to both a computer and the internet. All of this also takes money, as well as aptitude.
Gone are the days when a person could work full time at a minimum wage job, (say at a supermarket), get benefits and work their way up to a management position. All while paying a mortgage and making car payments.
Those days are gone forever.
Today, a person needs to find two part-time jobs, because most companies don’t hire full time anymore except at management level to save money on those pesky benefits packages. Those companies/jobs offering full time positions are inundated with applications from well qualified people who are desperate to get the jobs because they owe tens of thousands of dollars for student loans. This is on top of living expenses. Many larger companies are forcing management to push out older employees with seniority because they get higher wages. This is done by artificially scoring people on performance reviews, again, to save money and to force a younger, cheaper and more diverse demographic to satisfy those who would complain about a company being too old, too white and too male.
This is the reality that millions of Americans live in. “Learning to code” is just a dismissive and stupid avoidance of the facts on your part.
My friend’s dad was a member of the Anti-bathing club at BGA in Columbia TN… I’m guessing that was around 1900 or earlier. I think the club was probably an implied joke.
So how do us inland landlubbers get salt? Nary a mention of that.
This is the first item I came to when I searched for salt locations in the U.S. There are many more websites and some have maps of salt sites.
“Where to find salt in the wild:
Sea Water – Sea water can be diluted with plenty of fresh water to get the salt your body needs. (Never drink pure sea water, doing so can be dangerous to your kidneys.)
Plants – In America, you can get salt from the root of a hickory tree. Simply boil the roots until everything evaporates; you will be left with salt crystals.
Foods that naturally have salt:A variety of foods contain a natural amount of sodium, here are some of the best options:
▪ Seafood – A 1/2 cup of cooked shrimp can contain up to 400 milligrams of sodium.
▪ Celery – one stalk of celery has over 30 milligrams of sodium.
▪ Artichokes – one cup of artichokes contains almost 100 milligrams of sodium.
▪ Carrots – One medium carrot contains bout 42mg of sodium.
▪ Poultry and most animals.
Salt Licks – A salt lick is a salt deposit that animals lick to get their intake of salt. You can also find them in farming areas, set out for cattle.”
The above quoted material was from another prepper website.
Research folks. I am not as good a web searcher as Red, but it only took me one search post to find the above information. Interesting that one of my favorite veggies, artichokes have a significant (I guess) amount of salt in them. And all along I thought it was the mayonnaise or the garlic butter.
Duplin MAYBE with your Stimulus Payment? Salt is historically speaking Stupid Cheap and easy to store. A few 5 gallon buckets worth might be a good start?
Did you miss how salt was once so valued that WARS were fought over salt mines? The phrase Not worth His Salt” was about Roman soldiers being PAID in Salt? And they would trade it with locals for food, stuff, companionship.
SOON enough salt will again be expensive. If for no other reason than the control freaks in Congress will decide it’s BAD for you or something.
Michael? what’s with the outrage? Dupin doesn’t know, came to us for answers, and you shout all over him? and no, salt is at an unheard of historical low only because of modern machinery. It was once so valuable, that slaves were traded for it. My ancestors preserved perishable veggies by fermenting them without salt because it was too expensive. Storage space is too valuable to put up salt. well water has plenty of sodium in it, but copper and other minerals, as well.
Go to the store now. Buy some salt and put it in your stash. Problem solved. At $.40/lb, there’s no reason not to store some instead of fighting off violent deer for the only salt lick in the woods. All tongue in cheek of course.
I say good idea for getting some deer meat. Bang drop skin butcher got deer meat. So bring in those violent deer.
Our family farms are in the Missouri River bottoms and one of them has a Creek running thru it. That creek is named Salt Creek. About 4 miles up stream is a Mo. state park named Boons-lick State Park. Wanta guess what is there? You got in one.
Threr are many such in the middle of N. America.
How do I find or identify a brine spring? I live in Illinois and am almost a thousand miles away from the sea or Great Salt Lake.
I went on line to read about the shelf life of salt. I found numerous sites talking about it. Here is the one that I found most lucid:
“How long can table salt last in its original packaging, unopened? Ditto for sugar. What do you do if they harden?
The short answer in both these cases is “forever.” Neither salt nor white sugar ever goes bad, whether the package is original or sealed. I daresay that if the original excavators of Pompeii had found a box of sugar buried there, they could have used it to sweeten their espresso. According to Domino Sugar’s website, sugar (also known by its chemical name, sucrose) “has an indefinite shelf life because it does not support microbial growth.” This is why fruit “preserves” are made by cooking up fruit (very perishable) with sugar (not perishable at all).
White sugar prefers a dry environment. When that is breached, it may clump. In which case: put it in a resealable plastic bag and whack it with a rolling pin. Thereafter, store it in a container that keeps moisture out. Brown sugar (white sugar mixed with a bit of molasses) also will last indefinitely, but here you want to keep moisture in. If brown sugar hardens, put it in a deep glass bowl and cover the bowl with a damp paper towel and then either a microwavable lid or plate. Microwave about a minute, then break up the sugar and repeat until it has softened sufficiently.
As for salt, what you’re actually eating when you consume it is a mineral, sodium chloride, that has been around for billions of years, either sitting in rock deposits (whence comes table salt), or dissolved in the ocean (sea salt). It will be around long after you’re gone. Even more than sugar, salt has been used for millennia to preserve other foods — ham, salt cod, olives — that would otherwise spoil.
Some fancy sea salts, such as fleur de sel, still have a bit of moisture in them and you’ll want to put these in a sealed container to keep them from drying out. (If they do, just whack with a rolling pin.) While kosher salt and sea salt will last forever, table salt may not. Morton iodized salt, for example, also contains calcium silicate (an anti-caking agent), potassium iodide and dextrose (which stabilizes the iodide). According to Morton’s website, “the salt itself does not expire, but added ingredients such as iodine may reduce shelf life. The shelf life of iodized salt is about 5 years.”
That last sentence is somewhat incorrect. It should more correctly read, “The shelf life of iodized salt is five years for the non-salt ingredients. The life of the salt itself is infinite.”
You may disagree as evidently the Morton people do, but remember they want you to buy more salt.
Adding the heel of the bread for a day will also add moisture back into brown sugar.
Pollution in bays around cities could be a factor for the decline in salt harvesting there. We have enough coastline in AU that is pollution free for salt to be harvested in a number of areas.
As for Himalayan Pink salt I feel it is just a lot of hype to buy a “healthy” salt at 2-3 times the price of basic salt. It isn’t usable for fermented foods (btdt) and as with many things not all pink salts are equal with some actually looking like white salt crystals rolled in pink clay. I find it hard to justify the extra cost.
As for sources of salt inland, that is going to largely depend on where you live. I’m fortunate (or not) to have a brackish soak near our house. It has other minerals in it as well but without further testing I couldn’t say if it would dehydrate to a usable product. I have bulk salt stored but probably not enough for all the things we would need it for.
Ginny: I would agree that pollution was probably the cause for the demise of the salt ponds around San Francisco. We are getting better at keeping trash out of our coastal waters but have a long way to go to where the oceans are as clean as when Balboa first sighted the Pacific Ocean.
I also agree that I think all of the special salts are just a matter of sales pitch. Of course others will disagree, but that is what I like about this site. We are all free to voice our opinions valid or not without getting called nasty names.
I think I would get the salt from your “brackish soak” tested before I started dehydrating it for salt purposes. Especially at the price of salt in the U.S., it hardly makes sense to expend a lot of effort in harvesting salt from esoteric locales when one can purchase it so cheaply in big box grocery outlets. The biggest cost is buying food grade plastic pails with screw down lids. That’s more expensive than the salt itself. I save vinegar jugs for storing salt. They don’t seal as nicely as I would like, but I can always take a hand sledge hammer to the salt block if the salt reverts into rock form.
Lacking space for a well-developed root cellar and not having cold enough temperatures for handing meat in a meat locker, in a grid down situation I am going to be forced to use smoking, drying and salting for food preservation. I anticipate that my salt stores, even if I don’t use them will be a valuable trade item.
I wonder if, when the Morton folks say that iodized salt is only good for five years if they are contemplating storing it in the round cardboard boxes. I further wonder if vacuum sealed in Mason jars would make a difference in the shelf life of iodized salt.
I don’t have to worry about iodine. I can always dilute seawater and slug it down if I notice a goiter starting
Hmm. While it’s heavy to transport, ocean water just might make a good trade item for folks who live far inland from the ocean. One would just have to have a means to transport very heavy cargo inland.
I am going to have to ponder that idea for a while. I wonder what the ratio would be sea water to fresh water to provide sufficient iodine for therapeutic purposes. I think I should wear a top hat and a frock coat if I get into the ocean water selling business
Hey, there are some serious side effects to an iodine deficiency. Left Coast Chuck’s miracle water. cures goiter and a myriad of systemic diseases. Step right up, folks, only one ounce of silver per quart bottle. One quart will last you until I come through again next year.
I guess I am in a whimsical mood tonight. Got my CoVD shot today. It went a whole lot smoother than I anticipated. The most time was waiting to see if I would have an untoward reaction to the shot. Total time for the shot itself was ten minutes, mainly taking that long because I walk slower these days than I used to.
In addition, to my wonderment, everyone knew their jobs and was pleasant and professional in their performance. Whoa! A pleasant, efficient, knowledgable government employee? I felt that I had died and gone to some marvelous place in the sky. And, contrary to reports about other locales, the whole thing was marvelously organized. Somebody is on the ball in the county health department.
I have already written the county health department a laudatory letter leaving out the somewhat sarcastic comments in this post.
Thanks for the advice LCC.
I would have to agree with Ms Kitty about the preference of sea weeds over carting all that sea water inland. I do like your sales pitch though, I think you’re on a winner there.
Here’s hoping you remain safe and well now you’ve had your shots.
I think I speak for most people here in saying we find your posts interesting, knowledgeable and good value. Thank you.
Ginny – in West AU
What shots are you talking about???????
Not this death vaccine, I hope.
Red Ant and Oracle:
We’ll have to agree to disagree on this point and I don’t live in the US so can’t comment on your system of immunisation.
SHOTS??? !!! No Way!
I highly recommend Mark Kurlansky’s book Salt, A World History. In it, he examines the production of salt throughout human history, plus the economic role it played. There are several chapters about different methods used to harvest salt, with a lot of detail. Fascinating stuff.
BTW, yes, you can find some salt deposits inland besides the Salt Lake. One thing that hasn’t been addressed as far as harvesting your own is the possibility of chemical pollution in the area, which would make the salt useless or possibly harmful.
Since it is so cheap, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have a few pounds put aside in your preps.
Kitty, I read that book last month. Fascinating.
Thank you for the recommendation. It is really interesting
I’ve also ordered his book on paper from the library.
Miz Kitty: With all the farms and the city around Salt Lake, I don’t think I’d want to use anything from the lake. but, I have saltbrush. In summer, it filters salt from moisture and covers its leaves with it. On top of that, it’s good to eat. niio
I remember seeing sea water on “flats” in the far edge of the San Francisco Bay between Vallejo and Napa. Lesie,Leslie, drying salt there. Here in New Mexico there are under ground sald deposits where radio active waste is stored. South East of Albuquerque in the mountain are salt mines ab d three old Indian missions called the salt missions where native people were made to mine and transport salt for Spanish church folks. The mission ruins and Native village ruins are interesting to see. South of where I live there is salt lake with crystal’s around the sides where native have gathered salt for centuries. It’s tasty salt with a lower saline amount than commercial salt.
In areas where salt wasn’t readily available the ashes of burned ghost plant added some salt and flavor.
As far as drinking seawater, you might be better off to do some research into what edible seaweeds grow in your area, and if there are any restrictions on harvesting it. Don’t use the stuff washed up on the beach…it’s half rotten much of the time and full of seagull poop all of the time. Makes good fertilizer though, so I’ve heard.
As far as hard salt goes, used to be back in ancient times that refined salt of any kind was a luxury item for the wealthy. The poor away from the coast and not able to access salt deposits used raw salt chunks in a cloth bag set in water to draw the salt out. Then the rocks and dirt was thrown out.
Miz Kitty: People pay a small fortune for dried, ground seaweed for the garden LOL. We have galena deposits, salt and sand mixed, but the best source here is always saltbrush. It’s good to eat, the seeds are used for flours, and salt is excreted in the leaves. niio
Of course kelp grows abundantly along the SoCal coast and probably further north too. The Japanese eat kelp on a regular basis and, Miss Kitty, dried keep would be a lot easier to haul overland as opposed to sea water. Thanks for the marketing advice. Kelp is full of additional nutritional goodies besides iodine.
The Bible says a wise man fills his storage house up in time of plenty.
I fallow the teaching of the BIBLE.
GOD will provide for his children.
I have 200 lbs of salt for cureing meat.
50 lbs of Himalayan salt for the minerals in it.
20 lbs of iodine salt for the iodine factor.
10 lbs of Epsom salt
2 lbs of salt from Ireland
1 lb of black salt from Hawaii
Some of my salt is 15 yrs old or maybe thousands and have never had one problem with clumping or ever going bad.
I keep my salt in Mylar bags, no oxygen absorber.
There are things that you can get to keep all your products in and they are called Mylar bags.
I only by the ones made in USA. 🇺🇸…
I have transferred all my food products to Mylar bags. Over 300 plus Mylar bags and have a mother 75 bags to fill.
Have not lost one thing over the years.
I keep my preps in a climate controlled location. If you are paying big bucks for salt then you need to search for a better deal. I’ve never paid more then a couple bucks for most of my salt that I have. But I will search high and low for the best price.
You will need salt for prepping.
Remember the FDA can not patent any thing that is natuarl. That’s why they say you can’t make your own ghee. Or you have to use nitrate in curing meat. That’s because they make millions on selling you crap that has been killing us for some time now.
What did they do back be for they had the FDA lying to us.
All that we talk about here. You will need all the things that you say, I don’t need that. Better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it.
Look up the definition of want not waste not.
Don’t just read the post, be a prepper and look it up.
Because one day you will not have what you have today.
If you don’t learn or get what you might need to survive. The door will be CLOSED.
Read the Beging of this post. It says…
At one time in my life, had not even shoes on my feet. But I still gave GOD praise because I saw a man that had no feet.
Just think and be thinkful for what GODS gave you, because he can take it back. If he wants to. He’s the very reason that you have it in the first place.
I think of everthing that I think I might need to get by until my savior comes. Even all that I have, it will not be enough to last, but Thank you FATHER GOD. Because I would have nothing with out you…
This has been a salty topic. lol 😆
Red Ant, Walmart is selling their “best value” brand of plain salt for 33 cents per lb. How does that compare to the prices you found?
I hate walmart. There products are some of the cheapest around and there great value products just suck. How can a giant store sale stuff so cheap. Is by, buying cheap crap and marking it up.
I try not to spend my hard earned money at walmart. Plus they stoped selling guns and ammo. Piss on them. So keep buying there crappy products. Plus they have cameras every where. They are part of the .gov crap..
You are supporting the enemy…
am I stockpiling salt? No. We have a plant that produces it, saltbrush/chamiso. there are varieties of it all over the West. I don’t know about all of them, but chamiso leaves are good for humans to eat, and high in digestible protein as well as excreting salt from the leaf. The best place to find deer, rabbits, and game birds is thickets of it. niio
Not stockpiling salt. Just want it for a specific reasons. Survival.
I don’t live near a salt mine or a salt flat. Some of us don’t have what others have, so we have to buy itor find it some where else. While we can…
I see no one giving GOD thanks for what he has given you.
Well I did see one, Giving praise.
Remember the 10 virgins. 5 were ready for the bride’s maid and 5 were not. He said to the 5 that were not ready.
This is what he said. I know not of you and shut the DOOR…
I guess it’s your chose. GOD did give us, free will.
This is what he gave us…
You do know that JESUS has been gone for only 2 days… He will return on the third day.
Free will ? What have you done with yours.
red ant: You said there used to be horned roads, then it should be good for saltbrush. the only salt we buy much of already has cure mixed in it for the meat. Maybe one box kosher salt a year, but that goes into stuff like homemade soy sauce. niio
some ?????s raised about salt and not best answered >> couple of good articles about salt in general ….
Illini: Thanks for posting that very informative url. I started to read it and bookmarked it for future reading.
To everyone else following this list. I would urge you to bookmark and read the url posted by Illini. There is lots of really useful information in it. As a result of just skimming the article I am going to insure that our table salt is once again iodized salt and I am going to make sure the iodized salt I put away for storage is in sealed Mason jars as opposed to plastic, gallon vinegar bottles. Apparently the use of iodized salt in the US which was responsible for wiping out hypothyroidism is on the decline due to a number of factors, including the medical profession itself which strongly recommends against the use of salt.
The article raises some very interesting and I believe urgent questions. Please read it.
I bookmarked that link & read the article. Very good information on different types & uses of salt. There was also a list of other articles on that website on the right hand side. Bookmarked one on calcium hypochlorite for water purification, too. Thanks to alll who share their thoughts, expertise & knowledge.
Who would have thought that a commodity as common today as salt would generate so many replies?
Shows just how important salt is to our daily life even though for the most part here in the U.S. we barely think about it
I remember from our tour of antebellum houses that salt was one of the things the lady of the house kept locked up, so in pre-War of Secession in the South, salt was considered an expensive, important condiment.
Hypothyroidism isn’t wiped out. I eat iodized salt only and still have it. I’m sure it reduces the numbers tho.
I just mine salt from MIGAtards.
At the chemical plant I work at I can get 50 lb bags of salt for free! Its food grade too!
Needless to say, I have enough stashed away to salt meat for preservation when TSHTF.
I live in Brazil (I was born here) and I follow this and other survival blogs.
We are south of you and heading further south, despite the efforts of our conservative and non-corrupt president
I don’t know about this salt bush, and an internet search did not return anything useful
Could anyone tell me more about this? Especially the scientific name, if possible
| I am 63 years old and we are in the process of preparing, but here nothing is easy, from the ban on buying firearms, to the difficulty of obtaining freeze-dried food, Mylar packaging, too complicated to be able to import survival items, few Chinese survival products available …
in Australia a saltbush is either from the Atriplex species
or less often from the Chenopodium species. I’m not sure about the US plants.
As for preparing, you can only do what is affordable and practical in your part of the world. I can’t get mylar bags easily here either but I use buckets with lids when I can and I save those gel packs that come in all sorts of things and use those to avoid moisture problems. I don’t have freeze dried food but I do dehydrate fresh food, can foods in glass jars in season and freeze other stuff. I invest in a few good books too as learning is a skill anyone can do. It’s all easier with other family members interested in helping but if you have to do it alone you will just have to manage as best you can. Store what you like to eat, don’t buy foods you will never use.
Any prepping is better than none.
This is a cropped portion of an article about my ancestors and friends. The article also mentions that it was less work to dig salt from the mines vs. boiling the sea water.
“The pots were filled with saltwater obtained by digging potholes in back of the sand dunes. Then, a brisk fire was built under the pots to boil away the water, leaving the salt at the bottom of the pot. This residue was placed in bins to dry. It had to be stirred frequently to keep it from caking into a hard mass. After the salt was dried sufficiently, it was put in wooden barrels or in bushel containers for shipment.”