The SHTF Diet: Minimum Food And Water Supply For 3 Months

Fergus Mason
By Fergus Mason April 18, 2019 08:53

The SHTF Diet: Minimum Food And Water Supply For 3 Months

Most prepper sites – including ours – have plenty articles on building up an emergency food reserve. The reason is obvious, of course; food is one of the core essentials of survival, and if you don’t have enough to get you through a crisis you’re just not going to survive. We look at every aspect of, from incorporating home-preserved foods into your stockpile to how to put together a useful reserve of food on a tight budget.

Generally, when we look at food reserves, we have a few priorities in mind. Obviously the food you store has to have a long life, or there isn’t much point in storing it. It needs to meet your nutritional requirements. Finally, we usually aim for a good mix of foods that will let you create interesting meals; that’s good for morale, and also encourages people to eat enough.

Let’s take another approach for a minute, though. What would you store if you were looking to put together an absolute bare minimum food supply – a reserve that’s stripped down to the essentials needed to keep you alive and healthy?

There are some reasons you might want to do this. If you’re on a really tight budget, even our plan to build up a food reserve by spending an extra $5 a week on groceries might be difficult. Or what if you’ve identified several potential bug-out locations and want to store a minimal, but useful, food reserve at each? Maybe it’s even as simple as being short of storage space for a more varied food supply.

What’s the Minimum?

If the S totally HTF it’s vital that you can eat a diet that gives you the nutrients your body needs. If you can hit the basic nutrient requirements that will supply you with energy and keep you reasonably healthy. Here’s what you need every day:

  • Energy. A diet that doesn’t contain enough energy is the most rapid and dramatic form of malnutrition. Even when you’re resting your body needs energy – a lot of it. Two-thirds of the calories you eat go to maintaining your body temperature. If that falls too low you’ll be dead in a matter of hours, so your body prioritizes finding energy. If there isn’t enough in your diet it starts breaking down stored fat, muscle tissue and even internal organs, so it can convert them into energy. At a bare minimum you need 1,500 calories a day if you’re a man, and 1,200 if you’re a woman. Even at this level you’re going to lose weight, and you’ll lose it faster if you’re working, but it’s enough to stave off malnutrition for a few months.
  • Protein. Your body needs to repair and maintain itself, and to manufacture enzymes and hormones. Protein in food provides the building blocks for this – your body can use them to make the more complex proteins it needs. Without enough protein in your diet, you’ll quickly start to feel tired and weak. Your muscle bulk will reduce and wounds will take longer to heal. To stay fit and healthy aim to get 20% of your total calories from protein; for the bare minimum diet we’re looking at that means 300 calories from protein per day for men, and 240 for women. Also try to eat around a gram of protein per day for every two pounds you weigh – if you weigh 150 pounds go for 75g, or about three ounces, of protein.
  • Fat. We’re all used to being told to cut down how much fat we eat, but a certain amount of fat is essential. We need fatty acids but our bodies can’t manufacture them, so they have to come from food. Fat is also a good source of energy, but too much of it will cause health problems. Aim for between 25% and 30% of your total calories from fat – that’s 375-450 a day for men and 300-360 a day for women. No more than a third of this should come from saturated fats.
  • Fiber. Dietary fiber is essential for health in several ways. It helps prevent constipation, lowers LDL cholesterol levels and stabilizes blood sugar. Women need about an ounce of fiber a day in their diet; men need an ounce and a half.
  • Sodium. This is another thing we’re always told to reduce, but we do need some sodium – about half a gram a day is essential. Half a gram of sodium translates to about a gram of salt, and usually we get that and more from the food we eat. On a bare-bones survival diet you’re going to need to add it.
  • Vitamins and minerals. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies will kill you in a range of horrible ways. The best way to get all the key nutrients you need is to eat a balanced diet with a good variety of fresh foods – pretty much the opposite of a minimal survival diet.

Related: 15 Reasons to Add 4lb Of Lard to Your SHTF Stockpile

Planning Your Diet

So, here are the key nutrients you need to survive:

 Per ManPer Woman/Child
Energy1,500 kcal1,200 kcal
Protein300 kcal240 kcal
Fat375-450 kcal300-360 kcal
Fiber
40g30g
Sodium0.5g0.5g

How are you going to get all this from a simple, inexpensive and easily stored reserve? Well, it needs some careful planning – but it’s not impossible. Here’s how to do it.

Staples

The goal here is to find food that’s affordable, nutrient-rich and stores well. This isn’t going to be a varied and interesting diet – but it is one that will keep you alive and healthy, and will give you a base that can be supplemented with anything else you can grow, hunt or scavenge.

Food for 20 Bucket

The core of this diet is three prepper staples – pasta, rice and beans. These are ideal because they’re relatively cheap, good sources of energy, and between them also supply a good amount of protein. You’ll still need extra protein, but most of it will come from these three.

Among the three staples, beans provide the most protein. For this reason, every day the main meal will be a mix of beans and rice. Eating these together gives a complete protein – all the amino acids your body needs. The day’s other meal will have a pasta base.

This diet still won’t give enough protein; to boost its content, and add some flavor, canned tuna in vegetable oil will be included. Undrained, the oil will add extra calories – and also more Omega-6 fatty acids dissolved from the fish.

Extra oil will add more calories and fatty acids.

Related: How to Build a 44-Day Stockpile for Only $2.40 a Day

Daily Meals

This diet is based around two meals a day – it’s probably best to make lunch the main one, so you have the energy to get through the afternoon, but you can do whatever works for you.

The main meal is based on four ounces of rice mixed with two ounces of beans, with two tablespoons of oil added. The second meal is four ounces of pasta with another tablespoon of oil. Daily, add two ounces of canned tuna in oil and half a teaspoon of salt to your ration; these can be split between the meals any way you want.

Obviously you can stock up on the ingredients for this diet pretty cheaply. Here’s the price breakdown:

ItemQuantityDays’ rationsPrice
Long grain rice20 pounds808.43
Pinto beans8 pounds645.88
Elbow macaroni5 pounds204.48
Oil1 gallon855.97
Canned tuna4x 5 ounce103.98
Salt52 ounce5003.48

Water

Finally, let’s not forget water. This is essential on its own – dehydration is rapidly and unpleasantly lethal – and you’re also going to need it for cooking and cleaning. The minimum you will need is a gallon a day per person, and if you can store two gallons that will give you a lot more flexibility. Remember that water doesn’t last forever in a container; eventually microbes and other organisms will grow in it. You can slow this process by adding a few drops of bleach per gallon, and water that’s become tainted can usually be purified again by filtering, boiling or chemical treatment, but you’ll save yourself some work in an emergency if you regularly empty your containers, wash them out and refill them with clean water.

This is a very monotonous diet. You’ll be bored of it inside a few days and totally sick of it after a week or two. What you won’t be is actually sick. As long as you remember a daily multivitamin tablet this diet will give you all the nutrients you need to stay alive and reasonably healthy for weeks or even months.

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Fergus Mason
By Fergus Mason April 18, 2019 08:53
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126 Comments

  1. Raven tactical April 18, 11:39

    A freeze dryer would be a good investment

    Reply to this comment
    • Farmer April 18, 16:52

      Agreed…but they are pretty pricey.

      Reply to this comment
      • Raven tactical April 18, 19:40

        They pay for themselves in a short time. Plus you can save mostly everything.

        Reply to this comment
        • Wantingtolearntofish April 20, 01:34

          Wow! Considering this site is called Ask a Prepper I thought the idea here was that Preppers with experience were volunteering to share information and tips they have learned. Apparently the peppers that are on here aren’t interested in doing much more than making sarcastic comments to people. Not that everyone on here did, but a larger number of them than I would have expected. And I would like to say this in response to all those trolls out there: so I may not know how to cook, but I have a brain and the ability to learn new things and I fully intend on learning. I will probably have some difficulty in the beginning but I’ll manage. I may even go hungry occasionally. I imagine that will encourage me to learn more quickly. But let me tell you something else too. You see, eventually there will come a day when something catches you off guard. You are gonna get hurt and probably won’t have the knowledge or supplies to fix yourself. And when that day comes you are gonna come looking for me (or someone like me). I hope that I will do the right thing and continue to be the good Christian I try to be so that I help you instead of mocking your lack of knowledge in something as important as removing a bullet or how to treat an open compound fracture.If I ask for help from God I am sure I will because He has never failed me. For your sake I just hope that when that day comes I am not too hungry to remember to ask Him.

          Reply to this comment
          • left coast chuck April 20, 23:35

            I don’t think your reply to the responses you got is well-founded. Thirty years ago, before the internet, it might have been, but today with the internet, it really isn’t. Thirty years ago your original question could have been “Can anyone recommend a good cookbook for a complete novice who can barely boil water?”

            Today, with the internet, such an inquiry is not warranted. For example, for the first time in about 55 years I took over the rice cooking chores in my household. I don’t remember from that long ago what proportion of rice to water to use and I don’t remember how much rice to start out with. I do remember that the first time I cooked rice ever, I looked in the pot and thought that the amount of rice couldn’t possibly be correct and so I added sufficient rice to make what I though would be a pot of rice. Well, a little rice goes a long way. If you want a tip, start out with half a cup of rice first and work your way up from there.

            However, because I didn’t know how much rice and water to use to make up a pot of rice, I went on line and looked up how to cook rice. There must be 20 pages of information on how to cook rice on the internet. I don’t know exactly how many pages because I found plenty of suggestions on the first page I pulled up.

            If you can post a query on line to this site, and if you can follow up with a complaint about getting disrespect, you can certainly look up how to cook rice and macaroni and beans and fry bacon on line too.

            I thought most of the advice was good, even the critical advice. If you can’t think for yourself enough to figure out how to do something simple like go on line and get advice on how to boil rice, what are you going to do when you slice your leg to the bone with an axe chopping wood?

            Being a prepper means being able to think on your feet. It means you dig for information. This site helps you because it does things like outline how much of something you need or how to do something most us don’t do every day. There was a very interesting article on the types of barnyard fowl one should consider and the advantages and disadvantages of each species. It was a distillation of years of experience that one really can’t find in a book. For someone like me, it was very educational. Some of the comments were also helpful too as they pointed out certain other fowl that were helpful and pointed out some disadvantages that they had encountered first hand that the author apparently hadn’t encountered or considered them too minor to mention.

            Recently we had an article about cattle. It was overly generalized. A follower of the site who had actual hands on experience with cattle pointed out some problems one would commonly encounter based on his life experience. It certainly add a big dose of reality to a generalized article that glossed over the day to day problems one encounters with large farm animals.

            So now you have learned that some basics that you need to stock up on are rice, beans, meat, pasta and condiments to make them palatable. You also learned that you can get information on how to cook them either at your local library, on line, cooking classes, U-tube and perhaps your junior college has basic cooking classes too.

            So your foray into Ask A Prepper has not been a total loss. You learned a variety of sources for the very basic information you seek. You also learned that you need to look out for yourself in an end of the world situation. If you don’t become resourceful, able to think on your feet and act in a thoughtful manner, your chances of survival are going to be very slim, so you need to adjust your attitude toward life’s problems.The big take away is that when the end of the world happens, everybody is going to be too busy to lead you by the hand. You are going to have to moxie up and do for yourself.

            Reply to this comment
            • The Ohio Prepper June 1, 11:16

              left coast chuck,

              I don’t think your reply to the responses you got is well-founded. Thirty years ago, before the internet, it might have been, but today with the internet, it really isn’t. Thirty years ago your original question could have been “Can anyone recommend a good cookbook for a complete novice who can barely boil water?”

              While I agree with you in general, this site does seem to have a lot more sniping than other sites I haunt.

              As someone who started out prepping and learning, both high school & college, using the library, note cards, and the occasional photocopy @ $0.10 each, younger folks often do not appreciate how easy they can access information today.

              Reply to this comment
          • The Ohio Prepper June 1, 11:04

            Wantingtolearntofish,

            Wow! Considering this site is called Ask a Prepper I thought the idea here was that Preppers with experience were volunteering to share information and tips they have learned.

            I have been prepping for more than 40 years, and doing it in earnest the past 35 years on our rural acreage, and try to be the helpful teacher / trainer / advisor in subject areas where I have knowledge and experience.

            Apparently the peppers that are on here aren’t interested in doing much more than making sarcastic comments to people.

            I have seen that also; but, there are some other sites I also haunt that have great contributors with wide areas of knowledge.
            “The Survivalist Blog dot net” is one of them, and later today they will be posting their newest :What I did to prep this week” column that engages a large group of good people. Also, if you click on my name, my site will allow you to send an email introduction. Please include the name of this forum and your Nom De Plume / Screen Name / Handle in the message body.

            I may not know how to cook, but I have a brain and the ability to learn new things and I fully intend on learning. I will probably have some difficulty in the beginning but I’ll manage. I may even go hungry occasionally.

            The best attribute when learning to cook is to not be a picky eater. I learned to cook as a kid, and was batching it from age 18-31 while in college and my post college bachelor years. Sometimes things don’t turn out quite like you imagined them; but, you learn from your mistakes and eat it anyway. I now cook with the best of them, and really only use recipes for specific things, generally baked goods like cookies & cakes.

            You are gonna get hurt and probably won’t have the knowledge or supplies to fix yourself. And when that day comes you are gonna come looking for me (or someone like me).

            For this reason my FAK has things in it like sutures, that I can only marginally use; but, I have the gear if someone has better skills than I do.

            Reply to this comment
        • The Ohio Prepper June 1, 10:38

          Raven tactical,

          They pay for themselves in a short time. Plus you can save mostly everything.

          The time varies on how much freeze dried food you normally purchase or if you’re charging folks to do freeze drying for them; but, you can freeze dry quite literally anything containing medium amounts of water.
          Too little water and the preservation effects are minimal; but, too much water and the machine seemingly cycles forever. Some have reported freeze drying watermelon with good results; but, taking a ton of time to do so.
          Another thing is that using the machine, like any refrigeration unit, expels a lot of heat into the environment, so on hot humid days it takes longer (more cycles), so using it in an air conditioned house will also add to that electric bill.
          The end product however, makes it well worth the time and investment.

          Reply to this comment
      • The Ohio Prepper June 1, 10:22

        Farmer,

        Agreed…but they are pretty pricey.

        They can be expensive, generally around $3-4K; but, if you sign up on the Harvest Right website, you will occasionally get offers for special deals. We purchased our refurbished analog control unit about 3 years ago for $1995.00, plus some additional for shipping.
        If you decide to get one, be sure to read the specs. They are about the size of a dorm refrigerator; but, weigh nearly as much as a full sized refrigerator. Mine weighs something like 120 lbs. Also it needs to be elevated to allow draining of the frost water and will take additional counter space for the vacuum pump.

        Reply to this comment
    • Miss Kitty April 19, 02:07

      A dehydrator and a solar oven would be useful too.

      Reply to this comment
      • The Ohio Prepper June 1, 11:24

        Miss Kitty,

        A dehydrator and a solar oven would be useful too

        Definitly. We started out with those cheap little round Nevco dehydrators, that work OK when you add a fan; but, then we saved our money and eventually worked up to a nice Excalibur that does a great job.
        Solar ovens haven’t worked as well for us, since Ohio is often windy and cloudy; but, for hot dry climates, a solar oven is almost too easy to build.

        Reply to this comment
  2. Hoosier Homesteader April 18, 12:10

    This would be a hard diet for me since I’m usually not a beans or rice person. I have food put aside that “I like and usually eat.” So if you’re not a beans and rice person, determine what it is you prefer to have on hand. Look at the calories per container and then run the numbers for how much you will need in your situation.
    Canned foods aren’t too expensive, they store well, and if you can only afford a can or two here and there, it’s a start toward your self reliance and a good alternative to beans rice and pasta.
    I’d much rather put my money toward food than in Wall Street investments; you’ll never get cheated.

    Reply to this comment
    • Dinie April 18, 16:54

      Beans and rice are meant to be a start. You add what you have on hand to spice it up or give it more flavor. In winter and spring you would eat more of this with less spiced up stuff. In later spring things start growing. In summer you would need very little of it and fall you can store up some things for next year. Gardening and/or foraging would add variety to this basic diet.

      Reply to this comment
    • The Ohio Prepper June 1, 11:39

      Hoosier Homesteader,

      This would be a hard diet for me since I’m usually not a beans or rice person. I have food put aside that “I like and usually eat.” So if you’re not a beans and rice person, determine what it is you prefer to have on hand.

      For long term storage, it’s hard to beat beans & rice; but, other grains like wheat and corn are also good if you have the tools and skills to process them. I have both an electric and two hand powered grain mills, and between them, I can make everything from corn meal to a nice whole wheat flour.

      Look at the calories per container and then run the numbers for how much you will need in your situation.

      In general count on 1200 calories per day minimum; but, if you include work like chopping wood, that could be as high as 1500-1800.

      Canned foods aren’t too expensive, they store well, and if you can only afford a can or two here and there, it’s a start toward your self reliance and a good alternative to beans rice and pasta.

      This is classic ”can copying” where you buy 2 to replace the one you need and 3 or more if on sale. You can see a pantry fill very quickly without noticeable financial pain using this method.

      I’d much rather put my money toward food than in Wall Street investments; you’ll never get cheated.

      I have money both places, an in retirement; those investments are paying off nicely. You however need to be an investor and not a trader.
      Along with SS, the investments bring in at least $800 per month without touching them, and living on a property that’s been paid off for 20 years, also helps.

      Reply to this comment
  3. Wannabe April 18, 13:10

    Printing this one , good for reference

    Reply to this comment
  4. TnAndy April 18, 16:41

    OK….let’s imagine a SHTF world in which you can’t buy/barter/whatever food for 3 months….not talking a personal situation like job loss, or something like that….but a world where NOBODY can get food for some reason for 3 months.

    Now picture the number of people in the supply chain it takes to keep YOU in food. The farmer, the trucker, the fuel oil guy, the processor folks, the packaging folks, and so on and so on….none of them can buy food, and like the vast majority of Americans, they don’t have a weeks worth in their homes. WHERE are they going to be in 1 month, or two ? Dead….that’s where. The very situation you’re trying to avoid by storing 3 months.

    So WHO is going to run the supply chain after 3 months ? Most of them are dead. The supply chain ain’t coming back for a long long time…..WAY longer than your 3 months supply. What then ? You gonna hunt game ? Yeah, most of those dead folks had that idea too….dang near everything wild or domestic that walks, crawls, flies or swims has been hit on. Good luck with that.

    Grow food ? Maybe….ever grown food ? Got the seed, tools, knowledge ? Most don’t. What happens if the SHTF early fall ? Many areas, you’re not getting a crop for 6-8 months….well past your 3 month supply.

    The ABOVE is why I think estimates of months is baloney IF the supply chain really breaks. My advice is either figure a fairly short period of weeks in case of a local disaster, bit longer in case of loss of income, but if you really think a widespread thing would happen (like a country wide EMP strike for example), you better have YEARS worth of food stored, and be working hard as heck to be ready to produce more.

    12
    Reply to this comment
    • Necrophage April 18, 17:11

      You make some excellent, if frightening, points. If there is ever a COMPLETE infrastructure breakdown, 90% of people will be dead (due to disease, violence, or starvation) within the first year, and almost no one will be left alive in the cities. The worst part of it is that the overwhelming majority of people (myself included) simply do not have the resources to prepare for this in any significant way.

      Reply to this comment
      • TnAndy April 18, 19:37

        And I understand that. My point is there are only two ways to look at this….it’s going to be a short term, local event (think Hurricane Katrina) in which life gets back to normal soon….. or it’s going to be a total SHTF.

        Spending your money on 3 months supplies might be a ‘feel good’ thing, but you’re likely just wasting your money. Get a good, the short term (few weeks) position if you can’t afford to go ‘whole hog’, and hope the heck the need for whole hog never happens.

        Reply to this comment
        • Miss Kitty April 18, 23:34

          Three months of food is still three months of food, though. Food doesn’t go to waste unless you don’t rotate your supply on a regular basis and allow it to spoil, or something happens to damage your supply. There will come a time when you will need those emergency rations, whether it’s a bad winter storm and you can’t get to the store or your car breaks down and you need to choose between walking 20 miles round trip to and from work and eating well or eating your emergency supply and getting a new fuel pump.
          Disasters don’t have to be on a global scale for you to have to enact your shtf protocol.

          Reply to this comment
          • The Ohio Prepper June 1, 13:05

            Miss Kitty,

            Three months of food is still three months of food, though. Food doesn’t go to waste unless you don’t rotate your supply on a regular basis and allow it to spoil, or something happens to damage your supply.

            True; but, keep in mind that three months of ”heat & eat” canned goods is a lot of cans that >strong>must be used, while three months of various pasta, beans, rice and other grains take up a lot less space and store longer. In a real SHTF situation, even just a temporary job loss, you will have plenty of time to prepare meals from scratch, saving money and helping to keep your mind off youe bad situation.

            There will come a time when you will need those emergency rations, whether it’s a bad winter storm and you can’t get to the store or your car breaks down

            “Emergency rations” is the wrong way to look at it. These are just a deep pantry you use daily and fill from the back as required. “Emergency rations” like MRE’s (Meals Rejected by the Enemy) often get set aside, and when no emergency occurs, they end up expired and discarded.

            Disasters don’t have to be on a global scale for you to have to enact your shtf protocol.

            Once again, an ”SHTF protocol” can be a misnomer. Best that your ”SHTF protocol” is just your lifestyle, in which case SHTF is not much different than your everyday normal routine; except possibly, for some minor things like not leaving your property for a while, and having to run the generator occasionally and use lanterns for lighting and radios or mp3 players forentertainment. Gawd!! You might even have to read books again LOL.

            Reply to this comment
            • Miss Kitty June 1, 22:50

              Pasta, beans and rice et al are fine and dandy IF you and your family will eat them, IF you and your family don’t have special dietary requirements or restrictions and IF you have access to plenty of water and a heating source for cooking them. Not knocking the fact that they will keep you alive and have done so for millions of people worldwide for hundreds of years, but diversification is definitely needed.

              I referred to my stash as “emergency rations” simply because many people think of canned/dried/frozen as such, much preferring fresh. I’m not a food snob, but a lot of people need to make a mental adjustment to accept preserved foods of any sort.
              I also use my preps if money is tight that month, or I can’t do my usual shopping for any reason, like bad weather. Not every “emergency” is a shtf one.

              Reply to this comment
        • Pipewriter April 20, 03:24

          Good point you make, TnAndy, very valid.

          One thing I’ll add to it is, if a would-be prepper doesn’t have enough wherewithal to have more than 3 months’ supply on hand, and S DOES HTF, that 3 months will go a long way toward convincing the local community leader that they should be allowed to pitch in with the group.

          Anything you can bring to the table, at that point, no pun intended, can help keep you alive.

          Reply to this comment
        • falcon April 24, 02:32

          While an EMP event is certainly possible, I believe the most probable modified SHTF situation will be a societal breakdown like we are currently seeing in Venezuela. This one does not happen overnight, and for the prepper-minded person, there would be opportunities to add to your basic, three-month stockpile as the economy tumbles.

          Reply to this comment
        • The Ohio Prepper June 1, 12:45

          TnAndy,

          My point is there are only two ways to look at this….it’s going to be a short term, local event (think Hurricane Katrina) in which life gets back to normal soon….. or it’s going to be a total SHTF.

          I think this is a fair assessment; however, the short term event is IMHO more likely

          Spending your money on 3 months supplies might be a ‘feel good’ thing, but you’re likely just wasting your money. Get a good, the short term (few weeks) position if you can’t afford to go ‘whole hog’, and hope the heck the need for whole hog never happens.

          Hope is not a plan; but, gradually getting that 72 hour supply, that unused becomes a week, and on to months & years is very possible without that large expenditure. We could feed 4 or mor adults for a few years in a pinch; but, many would likely get food fatigue from beans, rice, and other grain based foods, so there is a downside.
          Also keep in mind that except for the long term storable foods like grains or freeze dried, inventory management and rotation is extremely important and can get out of hand without some up front organization. Sometimes we’ll make a meal or two by just using older cans of food so they don’t get buried, found years later, and discarded.

          The thing I advise people is to keep your eye on the horizon, don’t worry too much, and keep at it as a lifestyle, inching toward the point where you feel pretty comfortable as you watch the crazy world events going on around you, on the evening news.

          Reply to this comment
      • The Ohio Prepper June 1, 12:01

        Necrophage,

        The worst part of it is that the overwhelming majority of people (myself included) simply do not have the resources to prepare for this in any significant way.

        That is the sad all too common thing I see in this community.
        We’ve been living this lifestyle for 35 years on this rural property and are in good shape
        I however too often see (on the forums mostly) people almost in panic mode, late to the game. No matter how late you may be, once you are in the game and change your mindset and lifestyle, you will be much better off than those who kept their head in the sand, hoping for no problems.
        Welcome to the game and good luck; but, keep in mind that you have made a choice that could be a major pivot point in your life, and will no doubt make it (your life) for the better.

        Reply to this comment
    • Hoosier Homesteader April 19, 00:15

      TnAndy, you have very clear vision. You realize what’s REALLY going to happen and put it out there for everyone to chew on.
      Even with what I have put back, I have to wonder if I’ll make it because of the desperate hoards that’ll be out there. It’s hard to imagine how bad it’ll be; I’m bettin’ it’ll be worse than we realize now. God help us if it gets to that point.
      Thanks TnAndy for putting it out there!

      Reply to this comment
      • sue April 19, 13:07

        Hoards are what you’re storing. Hordes will be coming after them. 😉

        Reply to this comment
      • The Ohio Prepper June 1, 13:14

        Hoosier Homesteader,

        Even with what I have put back, I have to wonder if I’ll make it because of the desperate hoards that’ll be out there. It’s hard to imagine how bad it’ll be; I’m bettin’ it’ll be worse than we realize now. God help us if it gets to that point.

        I agree that it could get very bad; but, your best defense against those hordes is summed up by the Real Estate maxim.”Location,Location,Location,“
        In our rural area it could well get hairy; but, that would be after the hordes in the cities have fought it out until nothing is left, and by then we should be in full rampart mode, with all of our MAG here, and routine plans operational.

        Reply to this comment
    • joe April 19, 00:27

      I agree completely with your assessment, if planning on this, then you will need to have at least 6 to 9 months of food and the knowledge and ability to grow your own later.

      Reply to this comment
    • Dinie May 14, 15:41

      I agree with your statement that you wouldnt have enough but this is a starting point. Not many people can just go buy 6-12 months of food right away. And depending on how many people we’re talking about, that can be pricy.

      Reply to this comment
    • The Ohio Prepper June 1, 11:50

      TnAndy,

      Grow food ?
      Maybe….ever grown food ? Got the seed, tools, knowledge ?
      Most don’t. What happens if the SHTF early fall ? Many areas, you’re not getting a crop for 6-8 months….well past your 3 month supply.

      Done & done.

      My advice is either figure a fairly short period of weeks in case of a local disaster, bit longer in case of loss of income, but if you really think a widespread thing would happen (like a country wide EMP strike for example), you better have YEARS worth of food stored, and be working hard as heck to be ready to produce more.

      Your scenario is a fair assessment, and while I don’t think the wide area thing is probable, we should be preparing for the possible. That being said, we could feed at least 4 adults for 2 or more years and can keep a dozen people housed, clean and warm for at least that long.

      Reply to this comment
  5. JKS April 18, 17:20

    I saw some “survival water” online in aluminum cans once. I investigated as I am a do it yourselfer and dont like the idea of using aluminum as a storage medium. However, according to this site I was on, they “sterilize” the water by boiling for 10 minutes then can it. I have not heard of doing that process for “stored” water. I know that works to kill bacteria and such in survial situations. My question is this: Would bloiling some well filtered water make it store longer wihtout issues? for this question please assume 1, airtight container, 2 store in cool, dry place, 3 water boiled, then cooled then while still warm poured into plastic container and sealed. Would this work? Thanks.

    Reply to this comment
    • David Bradford April 18, 18:59

      You would need to be careful of the type of plastic container you use. Water is a strong solvent and many types of plastic “gas off” chemicals that will dissolve into the water over time. The same is true for metal containers too. Glass is preferred for the long term because it won’t contaminate the water, but weighs a lot and is fragile. 15 gallons of water weighs roughly 125 lbs, so I consider this to be the maximum size container I would personally use. Anything larger would be too difficult to move by myself ( 55 gal is 460 + container weight). Food grade containers can be a bit pricey though.
      1 of these is = to 2 weeks worth of minimum drinking water for one person and would cost about $250 per person for 3 months of drinking water
      https://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/S-19418/Drums/Plastic-Drum-15-Gallon-Closed-Top-Natural
      I wonder if a 4 stage filter system wouldn’t be a much better and cheaper long term solution if you have access to a lake or river.

      Reply to this comment
      • Farmer April 22, 19:21

        There are any number of proven 0.1 or 0.02 micron water filters on the market now. Some are capable of fairly large quantities and the better ones can be backflushed to extend their life almost indefinitely. Any of them would be suitable for filtering/purifying rain water or other source water. The teally cautious could still boil or sterilize the resulting filtered water. Rain catchment doesn’t have to be complicated. Sheet plastic on an apartment balcony could collect enough during a storm to ward off dehydration. Of couse, if you live in Arizona, you might be waiting a long time for rain.

        Reply to this comment
        • MiniFarmerMe April 28, 05:25

          I re-routed my barn roof drain pipe into a 5 thousand gallon water tank. It fills up very fast — only took two months. I also built a 10,000 gallon water tank using a custom made potable water quality liner (cost about $1200). It’s 4.5 feet tall, and 15′ x 20′ sides. Half of it is buried under ground where I had a contractor come out and excavate. The sheet metal roof drains into it via the rain gutter I attached. Works great! — We get 4 feet of rain here per year on average, which is why I went with a 4.5 tall tank. I’m thinking about re-routing the roof drainage from the other side of my barn to the 10K tank, and if I do that it will also fill up very fast. I need enough water for a huge garden, a small hazelnut orchard, plus provide drinking water for people and animals.

          Reply to this comment
          • Miss Kitty April 28, 08:20

            How long does it take you to go through that much water, and (roughly ) how many people and animals are you providing for in addition to your crops? BTW, nut trees are a great prep that a lot of people don’t seem to think about. Kudos!

            Reply to this comment
            • MiniFarmerMe April 28, 13:46

              Hello Miss Kitty, this will be the first year that the new water tanks will be put to work. I completed the install and setup of both last summer — putting the finishing touches on the drip irrigation systems to 100′ x 150′ garden area and 20-tree hazelnut patch currently. Two people here most of the time, two dogs, two cats and 20 chickens. Thinking about some goats soon. It will be interesting to find out how long that water lasts.

              Reply to this comment
              • Miss Kitty April 29, 02:07

                Thanks for your response! It sounds amazing, and a lot of fun/work!
                Best of luck with this, and please keep us posted on how it works out.

                Reply to this comment
                • MiniFarmerMe April 30, 17:28

                  Hello Miss Kitty, I thought you might be interested in seeing some pics of my old and new rain capture water tanks. I started doing my own blog just a few weeks ago, total newbie and no idea where it is all going to go, but anyway at least I have a blog site where I can share pics and opinions and “stuff”. Here’s the link. If you get a chance to check it out please let me know what you think. Thanks! https://www.minifarmprepping.com/2019/04/rain-capture-water-tanks.html

                  Reply to this comment
                  • Miss Kitty May 1, 02:47

                    I just checked out your blog – very nice and professionally done. Lots of practical information on your catchment tank how to ‘s. Thanks for the link, I really enjoyed my virtual visit!
                    Take care! 😉

                    Reply to this comment
        • The Ohio Prepper June 1, 13:51

          Farmer,
          When collecting any non natural source of drinking water I recommend first boiling it. VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) like benzene, gasoline, etc. could be in the water and will pass right through most filter elements; however, since these all have boiling points lower than water, a good 2 minute rolling boil will release these into the atmosphere, allowing the filters to process the remaining particulates and dissolved solids.

          Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 18, 21:00

      Assuming the water is sterile when it goes in the cans and that the cans themselves are sterile as the water goes in, it will remain sterile until you open the can. Water doesn’t “go bad.”

      That said, merely boiling the water doesn’t make the water “pure”. Water as it comes from the city water source has all sorts of dissolved minerals and chemicals in it. The only way to get rid of those is to do two things. First run the water through an activated charcoal filter and then distill it.

      I don’t know if you have water stores in your neighborhood. Here in SoCal, water is pretty lousy coming form the tap. We have stores that process water and sell it in bulk in your containers. They have two processes for the water. First they reverse osmosis filter the water and then the second step is they distill it. According to the manager of the store the new distiller they installed distills the water at 214°F. We are basically at sea level in this town. Their old distiller distilled at 219°F. They save considerable money with just a 5° difference in temperature.

      The distilled water is 56¢ a gallon. Just figuring my water rate and electricity rate, It costs me close to that per gallon to distill my own water, so instead of taking the time to distill my tap water, I buy the distilled water from the water store. Crystal Geyser water which is from underground springs and I don’t know how they treat it if they do before bottling it, is 99¢ a gallon on sale and when they have a loss leader sale it is 69¢ a gallon. I have never had a problem with that brand of water but I am sure it is not chemically pure and so if one stores it for a decade or more, it may have things growing in it. That can be cured by boiling it.

      Glass gallon jugs cost $12 each unless bought in bulk and when you figure in shipping, they are more. I can buy a gallon of wine in a glass jug at WinCo which is a western states grocery chain for $9.00. Yes, it is cheap wine, but even if I throw the wine away, I am still money ahead. The wine can be used for cooking, making sangrias, wine coolers or worst case, just drink the stuff.

      I rinse the gallon jug out with boiling water and then rinse it again with distilled water before I fill it. I wipe the mouth of the jug and the lid with 70% isopropyl alcohol. I store those jugs in sealed cardboard boxes so they are protected from light. I don’t add water preservative or anything else to them.. When I finally use them, if I feel in the least bit hesitant about the integrity of the water, I will again boil it. I won’t have to concern myself with additives such as heavy metals or organophosphates as those have been removed by the filtering and distillation.

      I separate the glass jars from each other in the boxes with those bubblewrap envelops that Amazon and other shippers are using these days.

      If I need to permanently leave this home, I have empty plastic gallon water jugs stored that I can transfer the water to for transportation. There is no question that glass jars are susceptible to breakage and they are heavy even before adding water. However, if I am boiling water after a disaster, it is safer to discharge the boiling water into a glass jar than a plastic jar unless it is an inert plastic that doesn’t shed hydrocarbons. The glass jars can be sterilized with boiling water. Plastic jars cannot.

      For an end of the world situation, erosion of the aluminum can into the drinking water will be the least of your problems. I don’t have a clue how fast aluminum dissolves into water, but I suspect that it probably is at least several lifetimes if not longer. I don’t have any special training in any of the fields involved in the rumored link between aluminum and various bodily ailments, but I suspect like a lot of things it is not supported by any peer-reviewed, double blind studies which would support the rumored link or disprove it.

      And in any event, even if there is such a study, wait a year or so and there will be another study that will disprove it.

      Aspirin is the latest magic pill that was supposed to prevent heart disease — “oops, sorry, we didn’t study it long enough.” Turns out if you don’t already have heart trouble the new “study” says it doesn’t do any good and may give you stomach problems. Sorry about that.

      Anyway, if you want to buy canned water, I don’t think you need to worry about it going “bad” in the cans and I also don’t think you need worry about aluminum leaching into the water during storage. I wouldn’t store them outside in the hot sun and I would protect them from freezing, so if your garage is unheated and you live in North Dakota you might want to store them inside the house or in those styrofoam ice chests to protect them from freezing which won’t hurt the water by may burst the cans.

      Reply to this comment
      • Miss Kitty April 24, 05:16

        Chuck, I just read an article at the Organic Prepper about some bottled waters being contaminated with arsenic ( among other things) and Crystal Geyser was one of the brands mentioned. You might want to check out that article where you said you use that brand.

        Reply to this comment
      • The Ohio Prepper June 1, 17:20

        left coast chuck,

        Assuming the water is sterile when it goes in the cans and that the cans themselves are sterile as the water goes in, it will remain sterile until you open the can. Water doesn’t “go bad.”

        Well stated & correct.

        The only way to get rid of those is to do two things. First run the water through an activated charcoal filter and then distill it.

        In our case we use a 1 micron prefilter for sediment, a reverse osmosis membrane for the mostly pure water, and then an activated carbon filter prior to the separate spigot. A pressurized holding tank sits between the R/O membrane and the carbon filter. The water source is a well and a salt based softener.

        The glass jars can be sterilized with boiling water. Plastic jars cannot.

        Glass jars can also be sterilized in the oven.

        For an end of the world situation, erosion of the aluminum can into the drinking water will be the least of your problems. I don’t have a clue how fast aluminum dissolves into water, but I suspect that it probably is at least several lifetimes if not longer.

        I suspect your estimate of several lifetimes is correct. I worked on a team providing automation for a canning & bottling line and those aluminum cans have a non-leaching plastic coating on the inside. Additionally, water is pH neutral at close to 7, while the cans are normally created to hold acidic or alkaline liquids from Cola &V8 to Almond Milk, Coconut Water, and Herbal Teas like ginger. The acid or alkali can erode the metal; but, the water should generally not be a problem.

        Aspirin is the latest magic pill that was supposed to prevent heart disease — “oops, sorry, we didn’t study it long enough.” Turns out if you don’t already have heart trouble the new “study” says it doesn’t do any good and may give you stomach problems. Sorry about that.

        I have heart disease & AFib and take my daily aspirin for that reason; but, like any medication, one should consult their physician.

        Reply to this comment
    • Miss Kitty April 18, 23:37

      You mean canning it in Ball jars? Probably would work… anyone try this?

      Reply to this comment
    • Hoosier Homesteader April 19, 00:55

      JKS,
      Atlas Survival Shelters channel on Youtube had a video not too long ago about canned water. He toured a company that makes it; I think it had a 25 year shelf life. If I recall, nitrogen was added to the water. I enjoyed the video, look it up.

      Reply to this comment
    • The Ohio Prepper June 1, 13:40

      JKS,

      I saw some “survival water” online in aluminum cans once. I investigated as I am a do it yourselfer and dont like the idea of using aluminum as a storage medium.

      I have some of that water, acquired free from a friend who worked at the local Anheuser Busch brewery. The brewery cans different beers and will sometimes on contract simply can water for FEMA and other EM agencies like Red Cross. I also have a case of Datrex water pouches. Sealed Mylar with 4.227 oz | 125 ml.in each pouch.

      My question is this: Would bloiling some well filtered water make it store longer wihtout issues?

      Yes; but, it’s a process. Filtered water should be boiled, slightly cooled and poired into canning jars, to about the 80% level. Place caps and rings on the jars and water bath can them. If you regularly can food, fill empty spaces in the canner with jars of water and you can easily accumulate some.

      Reply to this comment
  6. left coast chuck April 18, 17:57

    One significant element that I see missing is Vitamin C. In three month’s time with a Vitamin C deficient diet you will in all likelihood develop beri beri, a nasty, fatal disease. In my opinion, any emergency diet also must include a daily multi-vitamin. Each of the vitamin deficiencies carry miserable side effects. Some are not fatal but you never recover from the effects of the deficiency. Others, like C are fatal.

    This past year I read a book about survival in the Arctic Circle. In the 19th century, a British gadabout sent a party to occupy an island in the Bering Sea. He was afraid the Russians would claim it and he wanted to claim it for the English. Unfortunately for the folks he sent on the expedition, he was short of cash. He sent them with sufficient rations to last for enough time for him, he judged, to raise more cash and send a resupply party.

    Unfortunately, he couldn’t raise the money and the folks in the party all starved to death or died of beri beri with the exception of an Inuit woman who relied on survival skills taught to her by her grandmother to survive. It was a harrowing tale of slowly dying from lack of food and from lack of the correct food. The party kept careful diaries so their misery was recorded in vivid detail.

    As a guideline, if you read the labels of most food products they list 2,000 calories per day as the average daily caloric intake needed for the average U.S. resident.

    As another guideline, everything I have read and it is multiple sources is that the average caloric intake of “guests” of both the Japanese and Nazis during WWII was 1200 calories per day. Most of us know how well that worked out for their “guest workers”. They all looked like walking skeletons. Most had impaired vision and many suffered from beri beri. A great many lost teeth from a vitamin deficient diet. Many more died on that unvaried, starvation diet.

    If you are active, gathering firewood and water, evading marauders, digging latrines and covering up the contents, chopping firewood and for the lucky few who have acreage to till, tilling the soil for planting with a hoe and shovel you need more calories per day. There are lots of websites that discuss caloric intake, webMD.com is one and there are others. I would look for government sponsored websites for caloric, protein and fat daily requirements. It varies by sex, age and activity level. An insufficient diet affects not only your energy but also your thinking ability. You will become dull-witted, unable to grasp the implications of situations, unable to react in a timely manner to avoid danger unable to exercise mental skills that are easy for you now. You brain requires a significant portion of the calories you consume each day and it loses capacity with a reduced diet.

    Another guideline is what the U.S. government furnishes in the way of caloric intake for its troops. In my day, C-rations ran from 3500 to 4000 calories per day if one consumed everything in the box. I have looked at the caloric/protein content of MREs and again, depending upon the contents, the caloric content runs 3500 to 4000 per day if one consumes the entire content of the packet. Including adding the sugar and the creamer to your coffee. If you are running on minimums, you don’t want to toss anything that will provide extra calories. Taste doesn’t really matter. Even if you take your coffee black now, you will need to and want to add the sugar and creamer.

    If you are buying what are billed as “emergency rations” don’t be misled by the number of days they are supposed to cover. That is blatant misrepresentation. Even Mountain Home, supposedly the cadillac company for dried food when they talk about 3 days rations are talking about 1800 calories average. If you are hiking the Pacific Coast Trail or the Appalachian Trail and are depending on those multi-day prepackaged goods, you are going to nice and slim by the time you finish your hike.

    The new “technique” for selling those rations is to talk in terms of “servings”. 120 servings is a 30-day supply of food. If you look at the label, the “servings” run anywhere from 250 calories to 375 calories. If you take the maximum of 375 which is foolhardy, multiply by 120 and divide by 30 you will come up with 1500 calories per day and very little protein. You may not be dead at the end of 30 days from starvation, but you will be very hungry, moving slowly and feel dopey because your brain is deprived.

    An honest vendor of “emergency food” will tell you how many calories per day is contained in the package. It will be silent on protein because most of the calories in those packages are carbs. A short term protein deficiency won’t kill you but it won’t sustain you in the long run either.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 19, 00:12

      There is a significant error in my post about Vitamin C. A lack of Vitamin C does not cause beri beri. It causes scurvy. So every place the words beri beri appear in that post should be changed to scurvy. If you recall, scurvy used to be the scourge of seamen in the days of sailing vessels. Various products and fruits were tried to prevent scurvy. The problem was storing them so that they lasted the length of the voyage from port to port.

      Sauerkraut, limes and other citrus were used as a means of combatting scurvy.

      Beri beri is also a deficiency disease. It is caused by a deficiency in thiamine. Today most cereals and breads are enriched with thiamine. It is interesting to note that a member of the Tokugawa family, the ruling family of Japan from the mid 1600s until the Meiji Restoration in the mid 1800s died of beri beri because he was so fond of white rice that he would eat practically nothing else.

      Beri beri was a known disorder in 19th century Japan but because he was a member of a powerful family nobody would tell him that he was killing himself. Sounds like some famous people of recent times who overdose on drugs, doesn’t it?

      My apologies for my egregious error. I think I posted that before my second cup of coffee. It cannot be that I am not eating enough and so my brain is not functioning at full capacity. My chunky body easily attests to the fact that I am getting more than sufficient calories. Perhaps the cholesterol in my veins is blocking the flow of blood to my brain and thus the error.

      Beri beri was a condition common among prisoners of the Japanese and Germans during WWII but it was due to a lack of thiamine in their diet, not Vitamin C. That among other diet deficiency conditions.

      Reply to this comment
      • Chuckster59 May 17, 02:40

        This may have been covered in posts of past but Does anyone know how long vitamins will store? I know they expire but that just indicates that there will be potency loss after a certain date. Won’t they be useful stored for 15-20 years even if only 15-25% potency after that period of time? That said, who has the best bulk pricing on multivitamins?

        Reply to this comment
        • The Ohio Prepper June 1, 14:15

          Chuckster59,

          This may have been covered in posts of past but Does anyone know how long vitamins will store? I know they expire but that just indicates that there will be potency loss after a certain date.

          It depends on the vitamin. Vitamin C and other water solubles last longer than D & E and other fat soluble ones. I would suggest a search for more details

          Won’t they be useful stored for 15-20 years even if only 15-25% potency after that period of time?

          Probably.

          That said, who has the best bulk pricing on multivitamins?

          We have had good luck cit Puritans Pride: https://www.puritan.com

          Reply to this comment
      • The Ohio Prepper June 1, 14:06

        left coast chuck,
        Good catch!!!
        I would not have made the correction; but, for the order of the incoming emails showing me the posts. LOL

        Reply to this comment
    • The Ohio Prepper June 1, 14:02

      left coast chuck,
      Vitamin C is cheap; but, can also be gotten from both pine needle and rose hip teas. Pine needle tea tastes horrible; but, it is in that case just medicine. LOL
      Also I think lack of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) causes scurvy that can cause brusing, bleeding gums, and other wonderful symptoms.
      Beri Beri is caused by a Thiamine (B1) deficiency the symptoms of which include loss of appetite, weakness, pain in the limbs, shortness of breath, swollen feet or legs and full on heart failure.

      Reply to this comment
  7. Whitewolf April 18, 18:00

    HOT SAUCE ! hot sauce ,hot sauce , hot sauce! and some freeze dried veggies and meat. Even some damn tvp. even some Auguson Farms , Mountain House , or Legacy meals, and then add on the beans and rice… but hey… If someone is starving , you could throw beans and rice in a dirty mud puddle , and its gonna get eaten. That’s just fact !

    Reply to this comment
    • lisartist April 18, 22:19

      What is the hot sauce for? And what is tvp?

      Reply to this comment
      • Miss Kitty April 19, 01:19

        Hot sauce is just for flavor, but it does contain some Vitamin C. TVP is Textured Vegetable Protein and is made from soy. It comes dehydrated and in two types – crumbles, which are little pieces of irregular size/shape and larger chunks that are more squared off. This is a very good and versatile product that is used to stretch ground meat in casseroles and tacos or cubed meats in chiles and stews. Reconstitute it with boiling water or stock according to the manufacturers’ directions. It is really bland tasting, so a boullion cube in the water is recommended, but once it’s ready it can be added to your recipe and you really can’t tell it’s not meat once it has simmered with the other ingredients. It works best in highly seasoned foods, and it is relatively cheap. Bob’s Red Mill has I think a 12 oz bag for under four dollars, but once it’s made up it doubles in volume, so one cup dry makes about two cups prepared.

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck April 21, 16:19

          WinCo, the western grocery chain I mentioned earlier has TVP in their bulk food section. So far I haven’t purchased it. The whole idea sounds too much like soylent green to me. I suppose I should get off my high horse and put some away together with my other food supplies. I will have to look into its shelf life. I wonder how many readers have actually seen that old movie with Charleton Heston.

          Reply to this comment
          • efzapp April 21, 16:53

            I’ve watched Soylent Green many times. Personally, I think I’d prefer it off the bone and not in protein squares. I rather go “Hannibal Lector”. Pass the fava beans!

            Reply to this comment
          • Miss Kitty April 28, 08:28

            TVP is used in a lot of bargain brands of beef stew, chili, and frozen burritos, just to name three items. It’s also what they make “bacon FLAVORED bits” out of, so you may have eaten it already and not been aware. If you are intolerant to beans, TVP will probably give you gas, so plan accordingly.

            Reply to this comment
      • jaytee17 April 19, 02:28

        tvp is textured vegetable protein made from soy and flavored to taste like beef, chicken or whatever.

        Reply to this comment
      • The Ohio Prepper June 1, 14:19

        Lisartist,

        What is the hot sauce for? And what is tvp?

        We don’t use hot sause and avoid TVP.
        TVP = Textured Vegetable Protein which is essentially freeze dried tofu.
        My daughter has allergies to soy protein which seems to be in everything.

        Reply to this comment
  8. Wantingtolearntofish April 18, 18:30

    Okay so this sounds stupid but I have read/watched many many videos and articles about stocking up food. But not anywhere can I find what on Earth I am supposed to do with 20 ponds of flour, pounds of dried beans and rice, powdered milk and water. Yes, there is the occasional can of tuna or fruit mentioned but seriously folks? I DONT KNOW HOW TO COOK VERY WELL NOW WITH CIVILIZATION UP AND RUNNING AND MY IMAGINATION FAILS AT WHAT THE HELL IM SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE STAPLES TO MAKE THEM INTO FOOD??? I’M NOT JOKING- WHERE are the receipes? Every link I follow leads to the same basic ingredient list/basic nutritional stockpile. What does it all turn into that I can eat? I don’t want to die either because I skipped cooking class and went to McDonalds that day! Can someone please do a video or write an article about this? I know I can’t be the only one wondering- I think most people are just too embarrased to ask. Thank you for any advice you can provide. Sincerely, wantingtolearntofish

    Reply to this comment
    • Raven tactical April 18, 19:42

      Look for cooking classes In town or online

      Reply to this comment
      • lisartist April 18, 22:18

        Cooking classes??? We need some basic recipes that you can cook over an open fire that do NOT include items from the grocery store. Or using a mixer, or refrigerated items. Even the recipes you can find online for a cast iron pot give instructions for cooking in your (electric) stove or oven. And include ingredients that won’t be available. I’d LOVE to see an article of this type!

        Reply to this comment
        • Raven tactical April 19, 01:44

          Why is everything over a open fire?

          Reply to this comment
          • The Ohio Prepper June 1, 17:53

            Raven tactical,

            Why is everything over a open fire?

            Perhaps because many of these recipes and techniques are more than a century old and open fire or a wood or coal fired open flame was all they had. Rural electrification didn’t even start until 1935 so fire was used in most of the country for heating, cooking, and lighting.

            Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck April 20, 04:14

          Cooking over an open fire is no different from cooking on a gas range. That is also an open fire. A dutch oven acts just like your gas oven. One of my aunt’s had a coal stove in her kitchen that she cooked on. Every time we went camping with our children we cooled over an open fire. That was part of the fun of camping and we never used any special foods or methods of cooking. Boiling oatmeal over an open fire is no different from electric or gas stove. Cooking eggs and bacon or making stew or roasting corn, broiling chunks of meat no different. Do you barbecue? Well, that is cooking over an open fire. If your significant other is the barbecue master in your household have the barbecue master give you open fire cooking lessons. If there is no barbecue master in your household, the next time you are at a friend’s house for barbecue, get some hints there.

          If the food looks like it is cooking too fast, pull it off the fire. That is the same as turning the gas or electricity down on a kitchen stove. if the flames are too hot for cooking, wait until they cool down a bit before starting. It is easier to cook food a little longer than it is to uncook food that is burnt.

          Reply to this comment
          • The Ohio Prepper June 1, 14:25

            left coast chuck,
            Your description of cooking over an open fire is pretty common for those of us who still do it. For many of us oldsters, that was more than 50 years ago, camping with the Boy Scouts.
            BTW, I too love my Dutch Ovens and think there are not many better ways to cook outdoors, over that open fire of course. LOL

            Reply to this comment
        • The Ohio Prepper June 1, 17:48

          Lisartist,
          Cooking classes??? We need some basic recipes that you can cook over an open fire that do NOT include items from the grocery store. Or using a mixer, or refrigerated items.
          They still make hand mixers and whisks, both of which I use often, since the Kitchenaid stand mixer is great; but, a bit overkill for small things.
          There a lots of ways to do primitive cooking, with one of my favorites being the Dutch oven and here’s a good starting point for using one: http://www.cowboyshowcase.com/dutch-ovens.html#.XPK2tmeJk6E

          He does use Bisquick; but, that’s an easy thing to make from scratch and may be found here: https://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/homemade-bisquick-mix-69051

          The mix uses baking powder that long term may go flat, so I prefer to make my own when needed by mixing 1 teaspoon baking soda (an alkali) & 2 teaspoons cream of tartar (tartaric acid) to yield 1 Tablespoon of Baking Powder.
          My favorite cookie, the Snickerdoodle, uses this mixture instead of baking powder.

          Reply to this comment
    • Sue F April 18, 23:09

      wantingtolearntofish, if you really want to learn to cook, start with the library. There are tons of cookbooks. YouTube, watch videos. You are asking for this information, but not willing to do the research yourself. That lack of motivation will not serve you well when the SHTF. Pick up a cook book and some supplies and make a loaf of bread once a week. It’s a start.

      Reply to this comment
    • LAR April 19, 00:08

      Watch the cooking shows on PBS on Saturdays then the Woodwrights Shop and This Old House. The Hippy Gourmet does vegetarian. Also read, understand and follow the directions on the bags of rice, beans, pasta and oatmeal.
      You could go to your mom’s; she can start you out washing dishes and chopping onions. You could find a Mexican wife that knows how to cook beans, rice, pasta, potatoes and make tortillas.
      Otherwise, you are the last of your kind proving Darwin right.

      Reply to this comment
    • efzapp April 19, 00:19

      You know, my mom never cooked. My dad cooked and taught me. He died when I was 7 and I took over cooking then. When I finally left home for school my stepfather asked my mom who was going to cook. I told mom “read the directions”. They survived.

      Reply to this comment
    • LAR April 19, 00:21

      Most health plans cover nutritionist consultations. The nuritionist will set up an easy to follow and prepare dietary regimen with exchange items for your needs. This is standard of care for diabetics, hypertensives, nephrotathies, endocine, obesity and dietary defiiencies, pregnancies, children and the elderly. You may qualify under o e or more of the above. Many clinics have kitchens to teach you what and how to cook.
      Call your health provider. You are paying for it through the Afforable Health Care. Use it or lose it.

      Reply to this comment
    • Hoosier Homesteader April 19, 00:48

      Since you skipped cooking class in school, I would suggest you find a cook book that keys on basics and study it, and use it now, while you still have time.
      Also, you can search your grocery store for canned foods that are ready to eat; such as tuna and other canned meats, soups, etc.
      Then, start building your food store based on what will work for YOU.

      Reply to this comment
      • Farmer April 22, 22:31

        There are any number of proven 0.1 or 0.02 micron water filters on the market now. Some are capable of fairly large quantities and the better ones can be backflushed to extend their life almost indefinitely. Any of them would be suitable for filtering/purifying rain water or other source water. The teally cautious could still boil or sterilize the resulting filtered water. Rain catchment doesn’t have to be complicated. Sheet plastic on an apartment balcony could collect enough during a storm to ward off dehydration. Of couse, if you live in Arizona, you might be waiting a long time for rain.

        Reply to this comment
      • The Ohio Prepper June 1, 15:46

        Hoosier Homesteader,

        Also, you can search your grocery store for canned foods that are ready to eat; such as tuna and other canned meats, soups, etc.

        Many of these also come equipped with a pull tab, so you don’t even need the can opener. LOL
        Most Progresso soups as well as canned sardines & herring fillets are this way, and if you are OK with eating them cold (actually room temperature), all you need is the can and a fork & spoon. Easy peasy.

        Reply to this comment
    • Miss Kitty April 19, 01:35

      Go to a thrift shop and get a good basic cookbook! Seriously! Cooking is a very useful skill and you should learn to make basic items like baking powder biscuits, cassoulet, beans and rice, and baked beans. Do it now before the shtf and you can take the rest of your life to refine your skills, but you will have a good base to build upon. Take the time to examine what other skills you need to learn as well – can you identify edible plants that may be growing near your house? Can you sew on a button? Do you know CPR? Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge that we enjoy in this place and time, and all the resources we have access to now. YouTube has all sorts of “how to” and “DIY” videos and Amazon has a lot of books you can download free and read at your convenience. If all else fails, team up with someone else who can cook – but don’t just think of your stomach or you’ll wind up like Jerry Reid in his song “She Got The Goldmine, (I Got The Shaft)!

      Reply to this comment
    • Wannabe April 19, 13:21

      YouTube my friend. Youtube

      Reply to this comment
    • poorman April 19, 22:41

      Google how to make bread. That takes care of the flour. Google how to cook beans and rice. That takes care of them. Get off your lazy butt and do some research instead of expecting someone else to do it for you. problem solved

      Reply to this comment
      • The Ohio Prepper June 1, 15:04

        Poorman,

        Google how to make bread. That takes care of the flour.

        But don’t stop there. Pancakes, cookies, cupcakes and sheet cakes are all sooo easy to make and it has been said that man shall not live on bread alone, Right? Life with just bread and no deserts would truly be just surviving. LOL.

        Google how to cook beans and rice. That takes care of them.

        You mean soak, boil, and add some flavoring? Yep, that’s a hard one.

        Get off your lazy butt and do some research instead of expecting someone else to do it for you. problem solved

        But people who do that are self reliant and will be the scourge of the Democrats who want to be your savior with handouts. That would BTW be proud old me.

        Reply to this comment
  9. Jim April 18, 19:00

    Interesting. Unfortunately pasta, rice & beans are way too high in carbohydrates for the 100 million folks in the US who are diabetic or prediabetic. How about some suggestions for those of us whose bodies no longer produce the insulin needed to process carbs – and avoid the amputations, heart attacks, infections, etc. that come from diabetes.

    Reply to this comment
    • LAR April 19, 00:22

      Most health plans cover nutritionist consultations. The nuritionist will set up an easy to follow and prepare dietary regimen with exchange items for your needs. This is standard of care for diabetics, hypertensives, nephrotathies, endocine, obesity and dietary defiiencies, pregnancies, children and the elderly. You may qualify under o e or more of the above. Many clinics have kitchens to teach you what and how to cook.
      Call your health provider. You are paying for it through the Afforable Health Care. Use it or lose it.

      Reply to this comment
    • Hoosier Homesteader April 19, 00:39

      Fortunately for me, Jim, I don’t have that problem. As I said above, I store what I like to eat. So, since you know what it is that you can eat, start storing those items, and look for other things to add variety.
      Good luck!

      Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 19, 00:46

      Jim: If you are an adult onset diabetic because your diet is too rich in carbs, especially “empty” carbs I would suggest that in an EOTW scenario you will rapidly lose that extra weight involuntarily. You will suddenly find that your belt needs to have some extra holes away from the tongue. You will find your trousers sliding south unless you pull your belt really tight. That space between the buttons on your shirt that displays your undershirt presently will disappear. You will be able to fasten the top button of your shirt and button the buttons on the cuffs. In a couple of months you will look like a little kid wearing his father’s clothes and part of your day will be scavenging burned out Walmarts for smaller sizes. Diabetes will cease to be a problem but vitamin deficiencies and just plain old getting enough to eat will become a more pressing problem.

      It is similar to the comments you sometimes read where someone criticizes a certain type of food as having too much salt or too much fat. Unless you have stored away a large quantity of salt, you will find your salt intake drastically cut involuntarily and you will feel dragged out and lacking energy because you don’t have enough fat in your diet. You will be thrilled to scarf down a can of Spam as though it were the finest Wagyu beef at the French Laundry in Napa.

      In addition, there are whole wheat pastas, brown rice and quoina (that is not how it is spelled, but unfortunately I can’t get close and predictive apparently doesn’t have the grain in its vocabulary. Those are all recommended for a diabetic diet. Quoina (sp) also is high in protein and is a meat substitute. Some of the ancient grains keep well and are low in carbs and are suitable for diabetics.

      As was suggested to the fellow who doesn’t know how to boil water, do some research on diabetic websites for low carb substitutes. We buy nitrogen packed brown rice at a Japanese grocery store and it certainly keeps more than the three months the author is talking about. By the time you have used up 20 pounds of brown rice and whole wheat pasta, you will have significantly reduced your A1C level and will be able to indulge. In addition, you will be exercising like you have never exercised in your life. No more sitting in front of the computer screen for a couple of hours a day, you will be out digging dandelions out of your lawn and not because they ruin your grass. You will be hiking scrounging for wood to cook whatever food you manage to find. You will be sawing and chopping on a daily basis. Exercise is one of the recommended ways to reduce your A1C level and you will be getting plenty of it.

      Unfortunately if you suffer from juvenile diabetes and must take insulin, the outlook is grim. For folks who depend upon dialysis, oxygen, any of the mechanical or chemical devices and potions that keep us alive are facing a dire future. Even if your pacemaker continues to run after the end of the world when it is battery changing time, there just won’t be any batteries and no surgeon would undertake open heart surgery in the conditions that exist. What would he use for anesthesia? How would he monitor your vitals? Where would you get blood to replace that lost in surgery? How would the surgeon manage oxygen perfusion while he was working on your heart.

      In the scenario we are talking about many of the folks who will perish will die because their life support systems just won’t be available. They won’t be killed, they will die an accelerated natural death.

      Reply to this comment
      • poorman April 19, 22:48

        Type 2 diabetics may find that they won’t have as much of a problem but type 1’s just don’t produce insulin and no amount of exercise is going to help that. I am type 2 and was diagnosed 3 years ago so I know what I am talking about. Without insulin type 1 diabetics are going to die sad as it may sound

        Reply to this comment
    • Miss Kitty April 19, 01:44

      I’m diabetic too, and my nutritionist recommended beans and other legumes. They’re a slow carb with lots of fiber so they absorb more slowly than other starches like pasta and help keep you full for longer. But it’s a good point – maybe a nutritionist could help you make a survival list. If you don’t want her to know you’re a prepper you can always tell her that you can only shop once a month, or just that you want to have emergency stores on hand in case of bad weather or a power outage.

      Reply to this comment
    • tweell April 19, 18:18

      As one of those diabetic guys, here’s what I do. I go heavy on canned meat and nuts, plus powdered eggs. Yes, they have a shorter shelf life, plan and cycle accordingly. Add lots of peanut butter, try to get stuff that doesn’t have much if any sugar added.

      White rice and pasta is verboten, don’t do those. IF you are going to be physically working, you can eat some complex carbohydrates, like oatmeal or beans. You will use the sugar as it slowly digests. Breakfast becomes the main meal of the day, lunch also heavy, supper is a handful of nuts.

      With that regimen, I do oatmeal for breakfast and beans for lunch, with eggs, meat or peanut butter. Supper is a handful of peanuts or almonds. Remember that multivitamin, and add a vitamin C to that, it’s been shown to help with diabetics.

      Reply to this comment
    • The Ohio Prepper June 1, 15:39

      Jim,

      How about some suggestions for those of us whose bodies no longer produce the insulin needed to process carbs

      This could get expensive like your disease; but, many meats and vegetables fit the bill. My mother and brother were both diabetics; but, thankfully I am not.
      In our case we have several freezers, a whole house generator, and plenty of fuel and consumables for the generator, so we keep quite a lot of frozen meats & vegetables.
      If you cannot afford such a setup, purchase freeze dried meats like chicken, turkey, beef, and pork a little at a time. They can be found in pouches or often on sale in #10 cans.
      Meats & fish like tuna, salmon, herring, and sardines can provide good Omega fatty acids and keep rather well.
      Extra-Virgin Olive Oil can add calories to the diet, and keeps very well in the freezer.
      Apple Cider Vinegar, Garlic, and Onions can spice things up with few additional carbs.
      Strawberries & Squash are also supposed to be nutritious and pretty good. I personally like spaghettis squash as well as summer & zucchini.

      I found this article tha could be helful in shoosine food to keep on hand: The 16 Best Foods to Control Diabetes
      https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/16-best-foods-for-diabetics#section1

      Reply to this comment
  10. Chuckles April 18, 19:02

    Keep in mind those of you with septic systems. Pump them now if it’s been a while. It will will keep you in good shape in the hard times. No need to dig potty holes.

    Reply to this comment
  11. El April 18, 19:32

    I think cans food is better for emergencies want require much time and water and fires to cook
    God bless

    Reply to this comment
  12. Jerry D Young April 18, 21:13

    I am afraid I am going to have to firmly disagree with the basic precepts of this article. 1,500 calories per day for an adult male is barely enough to maintain weight if that male is totally sedentary. If that person is doing any work at all, not only will he lose weight, he will lose weight rapidly. In a situation where this suggested diet is likely to be used, the person will most likely be doing hard work, under difficult conditions. If it is cold, then it will be even more taxing. If an adult male is working most days, 1,500 calories of any type or combination of foods is not enough to sustain an adult male for more than a few weeks. And then, the person will be losing the ability to work, slowly at first and then more quickly. Mental acuity will go down as the weight goes down.

    Unless the people in this article are totally sedentary, they will not last ‘many months’. They could, I suppose, still be alive, but they will be unable to do anything to speak of, and will have organ damage they may or may not recover from if given an adequate diet at the end of those ‘many months’.

    I am sorry, but I simply cannot agree in any way with this article. To verify my initial thoughts on the subject, I researched the Nazi Concentration, Work, and Death Camps of WW II. Other than a few instances during the war, and then near the end of the war, were the prisoners getting less the 1,500 – 1,000 calories. Of poor quality food. And many were working extremely hard, in terrible, of cold conditions, with clothing that was totally inadequate. And I do not think I need to suggest that you take a look at what they looked like when those that survived were liberated.

    I suggest that anyone that intends to set up and follow the suggestions in this article do their due diligence research beforehand.

    Just my opinion.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 19, 00:59

      Jerry: I would agree with you if you just look at his beans, rice and pasta meals. However, if you add in fat and protein, you see that comes to 2100 calories per day, not counting the fiber which would add a few more. Still a skinny diet. I outline in my reply what the government feels a young man engaged in strenuous activity needs on a daily basis. The problem with MREs is that they are low in fiber. A diet of C rations was sure to create constipation. Not necessarily a bad thing in a combat zone where anxiety may well translate into loosened bowels. There is factual basis for the common expression regarding a frightening experience and loose bowels.

      In addition, however his recommended diet is seriously deficient in necessary vitamins to prevent vitamin deficiency condition such as I outlined. Pellagra is a vitamin deficiency disease. In the South in the early 20th century it was called the Spring Disease because it manifested its symptoms in the springtime after a winter of a mostly corn diet. It was one of the common diet deficiencies that led to the rejection of a lot of draftees during WWII.

      As an old dude, if I could sit on my butt all day I could get by on his diet with a daily multi-vitamin and some extra Vitamin C. As a young man of 25 engaged in strenuous activity, no way. As you pointed out very soon I would look like one of the prisoners at Dachau.

      Reply to this comment
      • Jerry D Young April 19, 21:03

        As usual, left coast chuck, you are correct. I missed the fact that the fats and protein were in addition to the base 1,500 calories. (I should also point out that my fat fingers made an error as well. The 1,500 – 1,000 should be 1,500 – 1,700 calories.

        But even with 2,000 calories, obtained from the foods listed, I still believe that the diet will not sustain a person in good health for more than a few weeks if that male is working every day, especially in winter.

        While rice and beans do make ‘a complete protein’ they are not the same as the high-grade protein of red meat. The protein in meat is immediately available. Beans and rice, even if eaten in the same meal, require some energy and body processes to create the other proteins, which can be used. But they still are not as good for the body as meat protein.

        I do apologize to the article author for my mistake in the total caloric intake and response. I still would have posted about the inadequacies, however.

        Thank you, left coast chuck for catching that error.

        I urge everyone to do their due diligence research on dietary requirements for men, women, and children that are under high stress, doing much more and harder work than normal, and especially working in cold weather.

        I believe men should have on the order of 100 grams of protein per day, with 75% coming from meat and a large portion of the calories should be from high-quality healthy fats, such as coconut oil, meat fats, or lard.

        Still just my opinion.

        Reply to this comment
  13. Big Red April 18, 23:47

    I stock a lot of spices cost a buck a bottle at wallyworld also dry gravy mix or chile spice packs or orientel spice mix al kinds out there and they are cheap plane beans or rice will get old real fast also remember to soak your beans the day before you want to eat them also make some meals before the SHTF to see what works and what does not I stock a lot of Spam this I will cut up and add to my beans and rice meals along with a can of veggis

    Reply to this comment
    • Miss Kitty April 19, 02:05

      Absolutely, Big Red! The basic list in the article is just that -basic! You are definitely going to need to goose up your beans n rice with salt, herbs, tomatoes and peppers,onions and garlic, and other things just to stay sane and healthy. Not to mention, you’re going to need a certain amount of “treats” for those times when you are feeling low. If you have been eating beans and rice for two weeks and it’s a cold, rainy day and you are missing your family and friends, a dish of instant pudding or canned peaches will perk up your appetite and give you a psychological boost. And don’t forget coffee and tea and other beverages.

      Reply to this comment
  14. big red April 19, 02:41

    WOW are all these sites the same a new guy trys to get in and some of you ( ass holes ) treat me like a 2 yr. old idiot . You have no idea who I am where I am or my skills I WILL SURVIVE

    Reply to this comment
    • poorman April 19, 22:53

      I only see one reply to you big red and she agreed with you.

      Reply to this comment
    • Miss Kitty April 20, 02:28

      I was not only agreeing with you, but expanding on your thoughts. It’s called a dialogue! And if you act so effing touchy and obnoxious to people who are trying to help not only you but others who might be interested, you’re not going to make it to the shtf situation because you’re going to shoot your mouth off to the wrong psycho and they’ll shoot your ass in a road rage “incident’.

      Asshole!

      Reply to this comment
    • Raven tactical April 20, 03:15

      I would be interested in watching you die big red.

      Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 20, 04:04

      I don’t know what post set you off like that, as Poorman said, there was only one reply to your post and she agreed that we need spices and other condiments to spice up meals. I suggest you go back and re-read Miss Kitty’s reply to your post.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck April 20, 20:54

        One of the things I like about this website is that there isn’t much of the name calling and insults that are on other websites. I would sure like to keep it that way. Name calling and vulgar language may be okay in a bar or on some job sites but it doesn’t add to one bit of knowledge and that is the reason why most of us frequent this website, to gain knowledge from the articles and knowledgable comments other posters to the site.

        I spent eight years in the Marine Corps and my father was a pipe fitter in an oil refinery. He had a very rich vocabulary and what he didn’t teach me, the Marine Corps certainly filled in the gaps. So I don’t come here to read insults and vulgarity. If your vocabulary is so limited that you must use vulgarity to express yourself I suggest you switch to some web site where that level of discussion is more appropriate or enroll in an English literature course at your local junior college so that you can express yourself correctly and succinctly without resorting to gutter language.

        And don’t throw out the trite “freedom of speech” argument as that is sophistic from its inception.

        Reply to this comment
        • Tex April 22, 18:56

          I have a hard time with folks who are compelled to inhibit an individual’s right to “freedom of speech” no matter the quality of their choice of words. If “vulgar” or “street” language insults your delicate sensitivities then I can only hope you develop a mindset that is more expansive and makes allowances for language you may not deem “proper”. This kind of reaction to “potty” language (LMAO….what a funny term) does indeed reek of an elitist, superior attitude that I have found to be quite common among those keyboard commandos who consider themselves irreplaceable societal monitors and sources of information. At the end of the day most people are honestly expressing themselves in a way they find convenient and comfortable. So please drop the holier than thou attitude and understand that not everyone is compelled to adhere to the same verbal constraints you adhere to. Lastly, and in my opinion, some people do indeed deserve the names they are called……and as a retired cop I was called many different things in the course of my career. Thank you.

          Reply to this comment
      • big red April 20, 21:41

        there was a lot of very bad and vulgar comments that showed up in my E-mail

        Reply to this comment
  15. Spike April 19, 03:34

    I’m pretty sure that most preppers will die also because very few people will have the knowledge to do what all will be required in TEOTWAWKI. Best hope will be to have communities of Preppers who can share and combine their knowledge. Just the anxiety of the situations will drive many of them over the edge.

    I vote we don’t let this happen.

    Reply to this comment
  16. Rick Fortune April 19, 16:31

    Can’t cook? Don’t know where to start stock piling? The Mormon web site has a wonderful outline of what and how much to store, It’s a requirement of members. And there are some simple recipes for how to use basic supply and make a varied diet. A very good place to start.

    Reply to this comment
  17. Annie April 19, 18:05

    Water Water Water! You push dried beans, rice, and pasta as the staple foods and then expect people to live on a gallon of water a day??? That gallon is DRINKING water. Then you need COOKING water to wash and boil your food. Then you need SANITATION water (washing dishes, flushing the toilet, washing clothes, etc). Then you need BATHING water. You’re going to need at least 25 gallons a week per person for that, not 7 gallons per person.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 20, 21:36

      Annie: Water is certainly first on the list of things we need, but I think you are missing a point or two on how to economize on water needs. It will be necessary to exercise iron discipline on water usage. The only absolutely clean, sterile water you need is for drinking, food prep, teeth cleaning and face washing. Slightly murky water can be used for clothes washing, general bathing and other cleaning chores as long as it have been sterilized by boiling.

      Water can certainly be reused. If you use it to wash food, you can filter it through coffee filters or worst case, through some mesh type material such as T shirt material, boil it and it is suitable once again for washing vegetables. If the food is extra dirty, use the saved water as first wash and then a similar small quantity as a clear rinse. If you are concerned about germs, a quick dip in boiling water will get rid of germs as will cooking until thoroughly cooked.

      For washing dishes, I would recommend that you stock up
      on paper bowls as part of your preppier supplies. They can be burned. I would recommend that you limit your eating utensils to a spoon and have the cook cut up the food into bite size pieces prior to cooking. That will serve two purposes. It will cook faster and use less fuel and there will only be one knife to clean. It doesn’t take much water to clean a single knife. I would first wipe it down with a small piece of paper, folded and refolded to clean the surface. Then wiped with a damp cloth to clean any residue. If you are worried about germs, dampen a cloth with isopropyl alcohol after you are done cleaning and use the IPA as a last measure to clean the knife. Or dip it in a small quantity of boiling water. Spoons can be dip washed in a 8 ounces of soapy water and then dipped into two successive small pots containing a cup of boiling water. The first rinse removes the soap and the second rinse removes any residual soap and the boiling water sterilizes the spoons. Each individual should have their own spoon and cup and use only their own spoon and cup. The water used to wash dishes can be filtered and boiled and reused as with the food washing water. Boiling will certainly kill any bacteria and viruses that anyone might be harboring.

      As part of your preparations you should stock up on hand sanitizer. A quarter ounce of hand sanitizer with at least 60% IPA will clean and sterilize your hands better than soap and water.

      You will find in an EOTW situation that your personal hygiene will undergo some modifications. You can brush your teeth and rinse your mouth with no more than 8 ounces of water. For general cleanup, I recommend stocking up on baby wipes. You start with your face and work your way down to your feet. If you have long hair, you might want to invest in a set of haircutting scissors. You used to be able to buy hand operated clippers but those have gone the way of buggy whips and carbon paper. The only hand operated clippers are for grooming pets. I suppose they would work. I haven’t investigated them to see if they do work. You want to wear your hair short. One of the reasons the military in WWII started to insist on short hair was because it made delousing much easier. You won’t have water to waste shampooing and rinsing your hair if it is long. You will want to wear it short enough to clean with a baby wipe.

      Your clothes can go longer without washing than you might imagine. The CEO of Levis was quoted as saying that he generally wears his jeans for at least a couple of years without washing them. Of course, he wasn’t chopping wood and digging in the dirt and probably when he went to the gym he didn’t wear his jeans. He went from his air- conditioned penthouse to his air-conditioned limo to his air- conditioned office to some air-conditioned restaurant for lunch. However, you will find that if you turn your clothes inside out and hang them on an outdoors line in the sun, you will be able to wear them without them smelling bad for a week or more. Same treatment with undergarments.

      If clothing is soiled with dirt, it can be brushed off. If it is stained with some material, spot cleaning will remove the material that has stained it and you won’t have to wash the whole garment. Your clothes will actually last longer that way. If you really really need to wash clothing, don’t use soap. Hot water will clean the clothes perfectly well if you have use the spot cleaning method I outlined earlier. That water can be saved, filtered and reused as a first wash to remove deep dirt and then clean water for a rinse. You must use only enough water to cover the garment. If you wash one garment at a time, you will get the garment cleaner and need less water. You will be washing by hand, so you will rarely need a full bucket. You should use the smallest container that will allow you to wash the garment.

      If the water is off, that means the electricity is down and that means the sewage treatment plant is down too. If the sewage treatment plant isn’t treating sewage, that means one of two things. First, before they abandoned the plant the workers opened the discharge valves and any sewage flowing through the sewers is discharging into whatever body was accepting the treated sewage before the EOTW. In the case of cities bordering a river, into the river. Along the coasts or bordering a lake, same deal. Inland treatment plants sometimes have large holding ponds that allow evaporation of moisture from the solids and when dried, the solids are trucked off to a land fill. That won’t happen in the EOTW. SEWAGE will back up. The more water you pour down the toilet, the sooner your local line will back up. You want to handle your sewage in a whole different manner than simply flushing. Some recommend putting two trash bags in the toilet and when done, securely tying them and putting them in the trash can for collection when services once again resume. If it is the EOTW, trash collection won’t resume. You need to decide if you are going to dig a pit toilet and cover it after each use or if you are going to use a burn can and burn it before it gets too full. A veteran from our follies in Viet Nam can describe in detail for you how that is accomplished.

      In the type of environment this website addresses, your will need to be creative about conserving supplies and still maintaining a healthy environment. Water is the most important supply that you will need to conserve and you will need to be very creative how you go about that conservation.

      Reply to this comment
      • lisartist April 21, 01:02

        I really appreciate your thoughtful, informative and civil posts. Thanks much.

        Reply to this comment
      • Annie April 21, 02:26

        I was making a point about this post, not writing a treatise which you seem to be into big time. You have some very good points, some OK points, and some really wrong points. Since I’m not into writing a treatise I’ll just do a brief list of the wrong points.

        – Paper bowls to avoid using water to wash dishes. You can’t cook rice and beans in a paper bowl! As long as you’re washing the cooking pot you may as well wash the bowls, too, it won’t take any extra water.
        – SOMEBODY has to cook and wash the cooking dishes, although apparently you’re going to hire a cook so you don’t have to come up with the cooking and pot washing water.
        – Hand sanitizer. Nasty evil stuff. Has all kinds of nasty chemicals in it and increases antibiotic resistance. Never use it.
        – Baby wipes or hygiene wipes instead of bathing. Also nasty evil stuff with all kinds of nasty chemicals. Might be OK for occasional cleaning, but women, keep this stuff away from your hooha and wash your hands with real water before cooking or eating.
        – Hygiene in general is different for women than for men. Women should wipe down or wash their hooha area at least a couple times a week (or even more often at “that time of the month”) with real soap and water to avoid some pretty nasty infections.
        – undergarments – women should change their panties at least every other day and wash them before reusing – see hygiene
        – using plastic bags for sewage and then expecting someone to come pick them up. May work in a one week outage in the city, beyond that, forget it. If you live in the suburbs and the sewers stop working dig yourself a hole in the back yard. If you live in the country and have a septic system the toilet will keep working just fine as long as you have enough water to flush and you’re much more likely to have a source of grey water in the country. Another reason to get out of the city sooner rather than later.

        In summary. Yes you can tighten down your water usage considerably but the longer the outage the more water per day on average, not less. One gallon a day of potable water for drinking. One gallon a day of potable water for cooking. One gallon a day of potable water for washing your cooking pot and dishes, brushing your teeth, washing your underpants, and a couple times a week sponge bath. If you’re in a group you might be able to conserve some on the cooking and pot washing water. If not, note that you’re already up to 21 gallons a week of potable water!
        If you’ve got an external source of water (lake, stream, pond) look into getting a water filter like a Berkey so that you can make the water potable without having to boil it. I wouldn’t recommend putting pool water through a Berkey and trying to drink it, but you could use pool water for washing as is.
        If you’re looking long term you’re going to have to add in growing, harvesting, and preserving food which uses lots and lots of water.
        If anything, I was being conservative at 25 gallons per person per week for a TEOTWAWKI situation.

        Reply to this comment
        • efzapp June 1, 15:56

          In regards to washing dishes, I only have a large package of paper plates. I prefer to use the real plates and dishes. I saw a full-time RV’er washing his dishes by spraying them with vinegar and then drying. I thought it was a great idea. Works well and totally safe.

          Reply to this comment
      • Raven tactical April 21, 13:11

        Not worried about sewage and treatment plants. Trying to bug in a true city environment is pretty suicidal longer then a week

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  18. big red April 20, 20:04

    WHY did Raven tactical comment I WOULD LIKE TO SEE YOU DIE BIG RED so much for finding a bunch of great people to talk to

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    • left coast chuck April 20, 23:11

      Raven has a low self image and is more to be pitied than censured. He feels by posting belittling comments to others it somehow makes him feel better about himself. While it certainly is not in the spirit of this site, rise above his comments. It is not typical of the biggest majority of comments posted.

      Then too, you, yourself, should be careful to fully read and make sure you understand a comment before you respond negatively. Your response to Miss Kitty’s post clearly showed that you misinterpreted her post. That in turn resulted in her immature name calling.

      Certainly we can disagree with either the main article or some comment by a fellow preppier, but try to do it in a civil manner.

      If you want an excellent example of how to disagree with the main article or a post, review Jerry D. Young’s comment on the main article. He is correct, even if one adds in the other elements of the author’s recommended diet, it still only comes to about 2100 calories per day. That is only 100 calories above the “average” that the FDA uses as a baseline. If you are a young man in your 20s and only moderately active you use about 2500 calories. If you are a sedentary old geezer like me, you can get by with 1800 or so. A teenage boy on a sports team gallops through calories like a raging forest fire ravages trees.

      You should carefully evaluate the food value of your stored food. Especially pay attention to the vitamin content, the caloric content, the fat content and the protein content. Those four elements are very important to maintain your energy and mental levels. Look up the calorie needs for a person of your sex and age on line and rather than moderate physical activity, look more towards the strenuous activity level for everyone in your group. That’s the daily requirement you will need. That’s the daily requirement that is specific to you rather than a generalized one-size-fits-everybody requirement.

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      • Miss Kitty April 21, 04:45

        Chuck, I respect you. I am grateful to you for your service to our country. I’m in awe of your encyclopedic knowledge on a multitude of subjects.
        But I’m not going to take a load of garbage from anyone. If someone attacks me for no good reason, I’m going to give it right back to them.
        If you think that makes me “immature”, that’s unfortunate, but I have found that unless you stand up to folks who instigate this sort of thing, they are just as likely as not going to keep doing it because they read your attempt at taking the high road as weakness and fear.
        I am neither weak or fearful of them and their petty, pathetic attempt to make themselves look like hotshots. Nor am I afraid to speak to someone on their own level because I might meet with the disapproval of my peers. Thanks so much for all your support.

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      • Whitedeath81 April 21, 13:17

        2500 try 3500 to 4000. You’re forgetting that you are doing everything you took for granted. This is suggesting you actually are off grid and not puttering around in the subdivision.
        Cutting wood by hand and moving wood alone is incredibly amount of energy. During cold weather training we ended up easily burning 4000 calories a day. Cold weather will make it harder . Snow will make movements 3 x as hard.

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        • left coast chuck April 21, 16:43

          If you read my post carefully you will see that is the recommended caloric intake for a man in his 20s who is moderately active. “Moderately active” unfortunately is not defined. I assume it means driving to work and finding a parking spot as close to the entrance as possible. Turning on the computer at work. Walking to the break room and back, walking to the toilet and back and driving home. Perhaps doing some small chores around the house.

          I also pointed out that military rations contain 3500 to 4000 calories if one consumes the whole packet. That is what the Armed Services figure a young man in combat situations needs to sustain himself. It doesn’t take into consideration, I think, any extra exertion required to overcome adverse weather conditions. During cold weather training we had C-rations for the period we were tromping around and camping in the snow. I was somewhat slimmer that long ago and it didn’t take as many calories to move my more streamlined body as it would take today. OTOH, losing a few or more pounds on a slim-down diet of ONLY 4,000 calories a day would be a benefit. Although for a while I would be hungry all the time and maybe a little grouchy.

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  19. big red April 20, 21:46

    Raven tactical posted I WOULD BE INTERESTED IN WATCHING YOU DIE BIG RED is this normal am I taking it the wrong way?????

    Reply to this comment
  20. efzapp June 1, 15:59

    In regards to washing dishes, I only have a large package of paper plates. I prefer to use the real plates and dishes. I saw a full-time RV’er washing his dishes by spraying them with vinegar and then drying. I thought it was a great idea. Works well and totally safe.

    Reply to this comment
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