22 Survival and Preparedness Movies Your Kids Can Watch

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This list is part of my eBook, Prepared Kids: A Parent’s Guide to Raising the Next Generation of Self-Reliant, Responsible Adults! THIS WEEK ONLY (Jan 16-22, 2017) Get my Prepared Kids eBook as part of the Back to Basics Living Bundle–a spectacular collection of resources for preparedness, food storage, natural remedies, healthy living, cooking from […]

How to Can Your Leftover Turkey

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Every Thanksgiving that we’re cooking our own meal, I get the biggest turkey I can find because we love the leftovers.  Some years, there’s so much left on the turkey that we won’t be able to eat it all before it goes bad in the fridge, so we can it to use it later.  Canned […]

How to Dry Pears for Pear Candy

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Dehydrating pears is a simple and super delicious drying project.  Dehydrating fruits intensifies the flavor and makes them portable, snackable, and easy to pack with you for day trips, camping, car snacks, long meetings, you get the idea.  Dehydrated pears are sweet and chewy like pear candy and you’ll probably have to hide them from […]

Introducing the Prepared Kids eBook!

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I’m so excited to introduce to you my latest project, the Prepared Kids eBook!  Do you have children in your life?  This book is for you!  Packed full of practical information for helping raise your children to be prepared now and as adults!  Going past just lists of supplies or skills, this book focuses on […]

Preparing for a Hurricane: 15 Last Minute Ways to Get Ready

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15 last minute ways to prepare for a hurricaneHurricane season is upon us and for those in the storm path, preparation is key to getting through the storm in the best way possible.  But what if you haven’t prepared yet?  While it’s always better to be prepared ahead of time, here are 15 last minute things to do to help you be as prepared as possible!

  1. Monitor local news for updates–on TV, radio, or online.  You may also be able to sign up for text alerts or emergency information phone calls through your local law enforcement’s reverse 911 system.
  2. Evacuate.  If it’s not too last minute, and you live in an area that has received an evacuation notice, throw some survival supplies in your vehicle and get out of town.  Your area may have a shelter set up for evacuations or you can head to a friend or family member’s house out of the danger zone.  A great book to prepare for evacuations of all kinds is the Survival Mom’s No Worries Guide to Emergency Evacuations.
  3. Close and secure storm shutters or board up windows.
  4. Check your supplies at home and determine what foods you can eat with little preparation and that don’t need refrigeration over the next few days.
  5. Hit the store for the things you’ll need.  The most common items you’ll be needing are food, toiletries, and possibly feminine hygiene or baby products.  Unfortunately, that’s what everyone else will be shopping for as well, so anticipate long lines and items out of stock.  This store trip is best done a week or more before the event, and I usually recommend staying away from stores in the hours leading up to a known disaster, but if you really need some supplies, go ahead and see what you can find.  You may get lucky.
  6. Eat foods that will spoil or melt all over everything and ruin other foods if your power goes out.
  7. Fill water containers. Here are the the pros and cons on some of the most common water containers.
  8. Freeze some water containers to be used as ice blocks in your freezer or refrigerator in the event of a power outage.
  9. Find flashlights and make sure they’re charged.  Need more light?  Here are nine great emergency light sources other than a flashlight.
  10. Charge your cell phone.  If you have a charging phone case or portable phone charger make sure they are charged up as well.
  11. Fill sand bags.  If you’re in an area that is expected to have flooding, get ready now to keep your home from getting wet.
  12. Move light weight yard furniture and decorations indoors to keep them from sustaining damage or becoming projectiles.
  13. Fill your gas tank.  And a gas can if you can.  As with the trip to the store, this is really best done long ahead of the storm’s arrival.  Many stations will run out of fuel in the days leading up to the hurricane’s landfall, and most won’t be able to pump if the power goes out.
  14. Refill prescriptions.  If you are evacuating, send your prescription to a pharmacy out of the evacuation zone and near where you are evacuating to so you can get out of town faster.
  15. Check on your neighbors–especially elderly or those with special needs or who may not be connected to news sources.

Stay safe out there!

 

Keep preparing!
Angela

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How to Make Pemmican

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How to make pemmican--primitive survival food!

Pemmican has been called the ultimate survival food.  It is nutrient dense and fits right in with the paleo diet.  It was originally produced in the 18th century by native Americans and French Voyageurs.  Pemmican is made traditionally from buffalo meat, although deer, elk, or moose could also be used.  None of those available to you?  Beef works fine, too.  Because it is packable, and ready to eat without cooking, pemmican makes a great savory food for camping, hiking, or survival.  Plus it’s pretty straightforward to make.  Ready to get started?

Here’s what you need.

  • Lean red meat.  You can use wild game like bison, elk, or deer, or domestic meat like beef.  This is a ratio by weight recipe, so the amount of meat you use can vary.
  • Suet or tallow.  Suet is the raw flaky fat usually found around the loins and kidneys of beef or mutton, and tallow has been rendered from suet.  Making your pemmican with tallow will give it a longer shelf life.  You can get your own suet or tallow from harvesting an animal, or purchase it in a container all ready to use.  I used this.
  • Dry berries.  Theses are optional!  Traditionally choke berries, but you can add whatever you like.  I used freeze dried raspberries.

You’ll also need some type of mold to press the finished product into.  Line a small pan with waxed paper.  You could also roll it into balls or I’ve seen it rolled flat between two layers of waxed paper and then cut it into squares.  It sets up flexible-solid, but breaks apart easily, so a thin pemmican might be a little more difficult to work with.

Step 1: Cut and dry your meat.  Cut your meat thinly ACROSS the grain.  If you’re not sure what across the grain is, watch this quick tip:

The meat was traditionally laid out in the open air or dried by the fire.  A dehydrator speeds the process up and keeps the flies off your meat.  Dry it (at 145 degrees for variable heat dehydrators) until it’s brittle and breaks when you bend it.  You could also dry it on low temperature in your oven with the door cracked open, or by using a solar oven following your oven’s manufacturer’s directions for drying foods.

How to make pemmican--primitive survival food!

Step 2: Pulverize the meat.  You’re welcome to use a mortar and pestle, but a food processor makes quick work of this step.  You want your meat in small pieces and powder.

How to make pemmican--primitive survival food!

Step 3: Weigh the meat and tallow.  Once your meat is pulverized, weigh it.  Then measure out the same amount BY WEIGHT of tallow into a pan to heat.  So it’s a 1 meat to 1 tallow ratio by weight.

Step 4: Weigh the berries.  If you are using the optional berries, go with a ratio by weight that is about 8 meat to 1 berries.  So for every 8 ounces of meat, you’ll add about 1 ounce of dry berries.  I crushed mine a bit.

How to make pemmican--primitive survival food!

Step 5: Combine the dry meat and berries in large bowl.  Just stir them together.

Step 6: Melt the tallow.  Low heat or a double boiler so it doesn’t scorch.

How to make pemmican--primitive survival food!

Step 7: Mix it all together and press in molds.  Get it in the forms quickly as the tallow will want to be solid at room temperature and you’re mixing it in with cool ingredients.

How to make pemmican--primitive survival food!

Let it cool, and it’s done!  Pemmican has a mild, meaty flavor.  The texture is a bit greasy.  You can eat it raw or fry it or put it in soup.  To keep it, wrap it in airtight packaging and keep cool and dry.  This should keep for months pretty easily if stored properly.  Happy eating!

How to make pemmican--primitive survival food!

Visual learner?  Watch this:

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Please be sure to follow Food Storage and Survival on Facebook which is updated every time there is a new article. You can also find me on Pinterest, and purchase my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival on Amazon.

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Making and Canning Delicious Apricot Syrup

Making and canning delicious apricot syrup! Step by step directions here!It’s apricot season here!  I love apricots and one of my favorite canning products of apricot season is apricot syrup!  This stuff is to die for.  Tangy and sweet and perfect on french toast, pancakes, or German pancakes.  And it’s easy to make and can in your own home!

Ready to make some?  Here’s what you’ll need:

(Steps 1-5 are the same as for making apricot nectar!)

Step 1: Pick and wash your apricots.

I set up the washing/halving station outside to save some mess in my house, so we’re washing in a big mixing bowl like this one.

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

Step 2: Halve the apricots, discarding the pits and trimming off any damaged parts.

Hire the kids for this part! I put the cut apricots directly into a mixture of 2 quarts water and 2 TB Fruit Fresh to keep them from browning while we cut the rest. This is entirely optional, but does help preserve the color.

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

Step 3: Cook the apricots.

Put the apricot halves in a pot, adding enough water so they don’t stick to the pan, and boil them until soft. Apricots that are more ripe will soften faster.

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

Step 4: Run the softened apricot mixture through your food sieve.

I use my Kitchen-aid with the strainer attachment to make this super easy!

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

Step 5: Pour strained apricot nectar into a pot and keep it hot.

*Measure how much you have as you pour it in the pot–you’ll need it to figure out how much sugar to add.  You can measure in cups or quarts or bowls full depending on how many apricots you have.

At this point I also put the canning lids I’ll be using into a small pot of water and heat them so they’ll be ready to put on the jars and get the canner filled with hot water as well.

Step 6: Add sugar and boil.

Add sugar to the pot.  The ratio is 1 apricot nectar to 1.5 sugar.  So if I have 1 cup of apricot nectar, I’ll add 1 1/2 cups of sugar.  If I have 6 quarts of apricots, I’ll add 9 quarts of sugar.  For every Kitchen-aid bowl full of apricot nectar, I’ll add a bowl and a half of sugar.  Make sense?

Bring the apricot/sugar mixture to a boil and boil for two minutes.

Making and canning delicious apricot syrup! Step by step directions here!

Step 7: Can it.

Ladle hot syrup into hot jars and process in a boiling water canner 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude.  I set up my canning station outside using a Camp Chef Explorer stove and love it!  Keeps the house nice and cool!  One of my canners is this larger style that will process 9 quarts at a time instead of the standard 7.  Remove from canner and let cool.

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

Step 8: Enjoy!

Apricot syrup changes ordinary breakfast to gourmet, and it’s so pretty too!  Enjoy!

Making and canning delicious apricot syrup! Step by step directions here!

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Please be sure to follow Food Storage and Survival on Facebook which is updated every time there is a new article. You can also find me on Pinterest, and purchase my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival on Amazon.

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How to Make and Can Apricot Nectar

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Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!It’s apricot season! If you have access to an apricot tree, you know they can produce plenty of the sweet tart little guys. Where we live, apricots are a luxury, only producing on years where there is a mild enough spring not to freeze all the blossoms. And this year is one of those! I’ll be posting a few different ways to preserve them over the next couple of days so you can get some variety in how you preserve your apricot harvest this year. One of the easiest and tastiest ways to can a lot of apricots is to make apricot nectar. It’s so pretty, and tastes fantastic!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Step 1: Pick and wash your apricots.

We only hire the best 5 year old help around here.

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

And I set up the washing/halving station outside to save some mess in my house, so we’re washing in a big mixing bowl like this one.

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

Step 2: Halve the apricots, discarding the pits and trimming off any damaged parts.

Hire the kids for this part!

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

I put the cut apricots directly into a mixture of 2 quarts water and 2 TB Fruit Fresh to keep them from browning while we cut the rest.  This is entirely optional, but does help preserve the color.

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

Step 3: Cook the apricots.

Put the apricot halves in a pot, adding enough water so they don’t stick to the pan, and boil them until soft.  Apricots that are more ripe will soften faster.

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

Before

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

After

Step 4: Run the softened apricot mixture through your food sieve.

I use my Kitchen-aid with the strainer attachment to make this super easy!

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

Step 5: Pour strained apricot nectar into a pot and keep it hot while you’re preparing to can it.

At this point I also put the canning lids I’ll be using into a small pot of water and heat them so they’ll be ready to put on the jars and get the canner filled with hot water as well.

Step 6: Fill jars.

Measure 1/2 cup sugar and 1 TB lemon juice into each clean quart jar.  A canning funnel makes this step lots less messy!  Add apricot nectar to slightly more full than the 1″ headspace you want to end with, and stir it up with a wooden spoon or long handle of any kitchen tool.  Air is released from the sugar pile as you stir which will lower the level of liquid in the jar slightly.  Don’t stir with metal as it could damage your jars.

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

Left to right: sugar and lemon juice in jar, nectar added, and all mixed up!

Step 7: Put lids on jars.

Wipe the jar rims clean of any residue, apply the hot lids, and screw them on finger tight.

Step 8: Process jars in a water bath canner. 

Process 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude.  I processed mine 20 minutes because we’re at about 5,800 ft.  I also set up my canning station outside using a Camp Chef Explorer stove which saves a ton of mess and heat in the house!  One of my canners is this larger style that will process 9 quarts at a time instead of the standard 7.  Remove from canner and let cool.

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

Step 9: Enjoy!

If the apricot nectar is too thick for your liking or you just want to mix it up a bit, you can add water, or it is fabulous mixed with apple or pineapple juice.  Yum!

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Subscribe to my email newsletter for updates and special deals.

Please be sure to follow Food Storage and Survival on Facebook which is updated every time there is a new article. You can also find me on Pinterest, and purchase my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival on Amazon.

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Shop the Thrive Monthly Specials or my favorites, the freeze dried vegetables and yogurt bites!

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Solavore Sport Solar Oven Review: Pasteurizing Water and Baking

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Giveaway at the bottom of this post! Keep reading!

It’s summer and to celebrate the sunshine, Solavore sent me their Solavore Sport solar oven to test out.  Having a powerless cooking method is important if there is an emergency and you aren’t able to use your normal stove or oven.  It is also nice in the summer to be able to cook without heating up your house running your oven!  The Solavore Sport is a slick little solar oven that is easy to use and cooks some delicious food.

About the Solavore Sport

The Solavore Sport comes in three pieces.  The base is large enough to hold a standard 9×13 pan with some room left over.  The lid, which is an insulated clear plastic piece, snaps onto the base.  And the optional reflectors install easily in a groove on the lid and hook down.  The reflectors are recommended for use if you are cooking in spring, fall, or at high altitudes to increase the heat of the oven, but are not necessary if you are cooking in the middle of summer on a sunny day.

Solavore sport solar oven review--will it bake a cake?

From the Solavore website:

Features:

  • Housing is made from rugged nylon plastic for weatherability and durability. No BPA’s.
  • It’s tough but light, only 9 pounds.
  • Insulation is one inch closed-cell foam, does not absorb moisture.
  • The lid’s double layer creates dead air space for enhanced insulation.
  • The oven holds two 10-inch pots (included) or your favorite lasagna pan!
  • The floor dimension of the oven is 9 1/4 inches x 17 1/2 inches- yes, you can bake cookies!
  • All oven components are made in the USA.
  • Uses no fossil fuel – only the free energy of the sun.

The Solavore Sport also comes with a thermometer to gauge the temperature of the oven, two black pots that fit side by side in the oven, a getting started guide, and a WAPI (WAter Pasteurization Indicator).

Solavore sport solar oven review--will it bake a cake?

Pasteurizing water

I started testing the oven with a simple project, pasteurizing water using one of the included pots and the WAPI.

In order for water to be safe to drink, it needs to be heated to 149 degrees F.  The WAPI is a small tube filled with heat sensitive wax that melts at 150 F.  Threaded on a thin wire, this WAPI can be suspended, wax side up, in the water that is being pasteurized and will indicate, by the wax melting and falling to the bottom of the tube, when the water has reached a high enough temperature to be safe to drink.  It is such a simple tool, but extremely valuable for conserving fuel and keeping you safe from water borne pathogens in an emergency.

Solavore sport solar oven review--will it bake a cake?

Pasteurizing water in the Solavore Sport was very simple.

  1. Put water in the pot
  2. Suspend the WAPI, wax side up in the water.
  3. Put it in the oven and point it toward the sun.

Solavore sport solar oven review--will it bake a cake?Solavore sport solar oven review--will it bake a cake?

It easily reached a temperature high enough to pasteurize the water within a couple of hours on a clear 80 degree day at approximately 5,800 ft. altitude.

Here’s video of how it’s done:

Cooking some dinner

My next project was cooking dinner.  We have a family of 6, so I filled both pots with partially frozen chicken and raw quartered potatoes.  This one I started about noon and we ate around 6 pm.  I did occasionally adjust the angle of the oven to keep up with location of the sun.  I didn’t check it before we were ready to eat, so it may have been done sooner.  The meat was super tender, and everything was nicely cooked through.  My amazing husband, who doesn’t dish out compliments easily, said it was the best chicken he’d had in a long time.  Thanks, Solavore!

Solavore sport solar oven review--will it bake a cake?

Dinner going in . . .

Solavore sport solar oven review--will it bake a cake?

And coming out perfect!

Without the reflectors, this oven didn’t get above about 250 degrees F for me.  The drawback there is that it won’t cook foods as quickly as a conventional oven.  The benefit is that slow cooked food is usually better tasting, and the oven doesn’t get so hot that you have to be super careful with kids around it.  So, having passed the “pasteurize water” test and the “cook dinner” test, and knowing the lower temperature range of this oven, I thought I’d put it to a real test and bake a cake in it.

Baking a cake

I used a cake mix I was familiar with so I could judge a little better how the end product turned out.  Even though dark pans are recommended, I used a light colored metal pan for the cake because that’s what I own.

Solavore sport solar oven review--will it bake a cake?

It did need to bake for quite a bit longer than normal because of the lower temperatures, but 2.5 hours after putting it in the oven, I had cake.  Nice, moist, a little denser than usual, cake.  Delicious.  Without using my oven or having to use any fuel.  Just the power of the sun and the Solavore Sport oven.

Solavore sport solar oven review--will it bake a cake?

And for you visual folks, here’s the cake baking video and an overview of the Solavore Sport solar oven:

Giveaway!

Solavore is also going to send one of my readers a Solavore Sport oven of their own, complete with reflector, two 3-qt Granite Ware pots, thermometer, WAPI, and Getting Started guide.  A $269 value!  What a great way to celebrate the sunshine and get practicing cooking without power!  To enter the giveaway, use the form below to sign up for my mailing list.  I promise the list is not spammy–I use it to share preparedness information and deals I find with my readers.  You can always unsubscribe if you find it is not of value to you.  You can also share this giveaway with your friends for extra entries!  Giveaway ends next Wednesday, July 20 at 11:59:59 pm MDT.  Good luck!

Solavore Sport Solar Oven

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Please be sure to follow Food Storage and Survival on Facebook which is updated every time there is a new article. You can also find me on Pinterest, and purchase my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival on Amazon.

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Our Favorite Super Easy Banana Applesauce Bread Recipe

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Super easy banana applesauce bread recipe! Slice for toast, this stuff is perfect!My kids love bananas.  Until they don’t.  And they never tell me when the banana consumption will spontaneously shut off, so occasionally, I’m left with a bunch of over ripe bananas.  When there are 4-5 of them, we make this amazing super simple banana applesauce bread.  It does help rotate some of your food storage items, but the recipe itself is not food storage friendly without some substitutions.  I’ll cover those at the end so you can make this out of food storage if you want to!

This bread is dense, moist, and can be cut and toasted without falling apart.  It’s the perfect way to use up those bananas.

Super Easy Banana Applesauce Bread Recipe

Makes 2 loaves

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas (about 4-5 bananas)
  • 1 can or pint jar applesauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pans.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.  In a separate bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, eggs, bananas, and applesauce.  Stir banana mixture into flour mixture just enough to moisten.  Pour batter into prepared loaf pans.

Bake for 60-65 minutes.  Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

For some bonus preparedness fun, bake your banana bread in a solar oven!

Slice and enjoy!

Baked loaves can be frozen if you can keep the kids away from them long enough to justify saving one for later!

To make this recipe food storage friendly:

Substitute 1 cup oil for the butter

Substitute whole egg powder for eggs (4 TB powder + 8 TB water = 4 eggs, or follow mixing directions on your egg powder)

Substitute 2 1/3 cup freeze dried bananas.  To use freeze dried bananas for banana puree:  Measure 2 1/3 cups dry bananas, loosely packed in the cups. Crush or puree them dry into a powder.  Add enough liquid to get back to 2 1/3 cups and let sit 10 minutes to fully hydrate.

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Subscribe to my email newsletter for updates and special deals.

Please be sure to follow Food Storage and Survival on Facebook which is updated every time there is a new article. You can also find me on Pinterest, and purchase my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival on Amazon.

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Shop the Thrive Monthly Specials or my favorites, the freeze dried vegetables and yogurt bites!

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Join the Abolishionists One Day Event–May 16, 2016

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The Abolitionists--showing May 16, 2016 at a theater near you!Today I’m sharing with you a cause I feel very passionate about.  Part of being prepared is being prepared to help others.  Especially those who cannot provide for or protect themselves.  The Abolitionists is a documentary that shows how one group is working to do just that by rescuing children around the world who are being held as sex slaves.

Child sex trafficking is one of those topics that is almost too heart wrenching to want to talk about.  I hate having to admit that there are people in the world that are so evil that they use children this way.  Humanity should be better than that.  Yet it is a very real problem, with an estimated 2 million children enslaved world wide.   Human trafficking is the third most lucrative crime in the world, with an estimated $32 Billion in annual profits.  A child is sold into the sex trade every 30 seconds.  And it needs to be stopped.

The Abolitionists

A few weeks ago I was privileged to be part of a pre-screening for a new documentary called The Abolishionists that will be showing in theaters across the United States ONE NIGHT ONLY on May 16, 2016.  I actually tried to avoid it because, like I said, I don’t even want to believe this really happens.  Plus I was afraid it would be scary, dark, or leave me feeling helpless, and being a late night screening, I didn’t want to take that feeling and try to sleep on it.  But I’m SO GLAD I went!  This movie was none of that.  Although dealing with a very dark topic, the producers and directors kept the show positive and I actually left the viewing with hope instead of helplessness.  So what is The Abolitionists about?  And why am I encouraging you to go see it?

“The documentary features undercover footage from rescue operations around the world, including action-packed, high-risk operations and tender moments of liberating at-risk children. THE ABOLITIONISTS takes viewers behind the scenes as Ballard and his team of highly trained operatives risk their own lives to free innocent children from trafficking, an epidemic that has become the world’s fastest growing crime, with over 27 million people enslaved–nearly 2 million of them children.

The Abolitionists--showing May 16, 2016 at a theater near you!“On December 10th, 2013, Special Agent Tim Ballard turned in his Homeland Security badge and resigned from his employment with the United States government after spending a decade rescuing children from child sex tourism domestically and overseas. Though his job was difficult, he was proud that his country was one of very few in the world actually doing anything about this problem.

“However, despite the U.S. government’s best efforts, Tim observed that red tape and bureaucracy left many children falling through the cracks. These children constitute over 90% of the children lost to child sex slavery, and Tim could do nothing to help them while in the employment of the US government.

“Now the Founder and CEO of Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.), Ballard and his team investigate and rescue enslaved children from around the world, while undercover film crews posing as traffickers record each of these dangerous rescue operations.

“Utilizing hidden surveillance equipment to capture every moment, the stories of O.U.R. and Ballard’s triumph over evil will leave viewers both disturbed and inspired to join in the fight of THE ABOLITIONISTS.”

This is a high quality documentary produced by Gerald Molen, the producer of Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List.  It is well worth your time to go see this show and get educated about what can be done and what is being done to help rescue these kids.

What can You and I do?

  1. Watch the movie.  Right now, it’s one night only–May 16, 2016.  Check here for the list of theaters across the US it will be showing at and get your tickets.  They will be adding locations right up until the 16th, so check back if you don’t see one near you.  It deals with adult topics, but is clean enough your teens could definitely go see it as well.
  2. Help raise awareness.  The goal is to save 2 million, so share any of the links below on social media with the hashtag #Rescue2M
  3. Get more information:

Get to the theater and Watch This Documentary. Get your friends to the theater and Watch This Documentary. We can all help save these kids.

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Subscribe to my email newsletter for updates and special deals.

Please be sure to follow Food Storage and Survival on Facebook which is updated every time there is a new article. You can also find me on Pinterest, and purchase my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival on Amazon.

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2 Minute Preparedness Tip: Practice Makes Perfect

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2 minute tip practice titleI recently had the opportunity to act in a play with my local community theater.  Although I was a theater major in college, I studied the tech end, not the acting end, and hadn’t acted in front of a real audience since grade school.  I included some pictures here to prove it really happened!

I was a little bit stressed out about this role.  Okay, a lot.  I put a lot of hours into learning lines and practicing songs and dance moves.  I even had to practice wearing heels!  In two and a half months of rehearsals, I only missed one rehearsal.

Opening night came and I walked out on stage and my mind went completely blank.  I had no idea what my next line was.  But guess what?  I opened my mouth and my line came out!  Why?  Because I had practiced and practiced and practiced.

So what does this have to do with preparedness?

Practice!!  You could have the greatest emergency plan in your head, but in an emergency when your head quits working, that plan could go right out the window.

Practicing emergency drills like fire drills, evacuations, cooking without power, and self defense creates muscle memory that can get you through an emergency when your brain isn’t working right.

It can also help you work out kinks in your plan before your life depends on it.

Practice can make an emergency slightly less stressful and help you respond in the best way possible.  So go be a star! Practice your emergency plan!

Keep preparing!
Angela

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25 Ways to Prepare Without Spending a Dime

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25 Ways to Prepare without spending a dime!One of the recurring excuses for not getting prepared is that preparedness costs too much.  It’s true that some aspects of preparedness are going to require an investment of money, however, cost is no excuse for not doing something!  There are lots of ways to get prepared for free!  Start with these 25 ways to prepare without spending a dime.  Got a free way to prepare?  Share in the comments!

Plan and Organize

1. Get to know your neighbors.  Invite them over for dinner, or plan a block party to get to know a lot at the same time.  Strike up conversations when you see each other.  What do they do for work?  Do they have any special skills or equipment?  These are the people that will be surrounding you if a disaster strikes at home.  Knowing your neighbors will help you know which are potential partners and which could be potential threats.  It will also allow you to better help them.  As a side benefit, you may need someone to feed your dogs while you’re on vacation and a friendly relationship with a neighbor goes a long way!

2. Make a plan.  Plan what you will do if you need to evacuate–where to meet, routes to travel, how to communicate between family members, what to take, what to do with any pets or livestock.  Plan what to do if you need to shelter in place–what supplies you need, how to stay cool or warm if the power is out, how to get home if you are away when the emergency strikes.  Plan your food storage–what foods you need, how to store them, where to store them, recipes you’ll be able to make with the foods you have stored.  There are lots of plans that can be made, pick one and get your plan in place.

3. Inventory your supplies.  How can you know what you need if you don’t know what you have?  Take an inventory of your food, emergency supplies, medical supplies.  You might have more than you think!  Then compare with one of those lists from #2 of what you feel you need and you’ll know where to focus your efforts.

4. Gather documents.  Start with this list.  You already have most of these at your house, but where?  If they aren’t in a location that is easy to grab and run with, gather them up!

5. Scout your evacuation route.  How are you evacuating?  By car, bike, walking?  Take a little trip along that route.  Here’s what to look for along the way.

6. Track what you eat to calculate what you need.  I talk about this in depth in my book, Food Storage for Self-Sufficiency and Survival.  Tally how many packages of different foods you use in a month.  How many jars of pasta sauce, how many cans of peaches, how many cans of tuna?  For things that last longer like condiments or oils, mark the date you started using them on the bottle or a spreadsheet and note how long they last.  With these numbers, you’ll be able to calculate how many of each item you need for a one, three, six, twelve month or longer supply of that item.  Remember to take into consideration any eating away from home you do and round up to cover those meals.

Do Something

7. Go for a hike.  A great way to get some exercise and fresh air, hiking can also be coupled with scouting your evacuation route, identifying wild edibles, finding shelter, building a fire, and more.

8. Exercise.  Anything you like here.  Walk, run, do martial arts, aerobics, dance, weightlifting, swimming, or whatever you enjoy.  Your body is one of your most important preps, and it needs to be taken care of if you’re planning to outrun the zombies, or even just make it through the initial emergency and the work that could accompany the aftermath.

9. Save seeds.  Growing a garden?  Practice saving some seeds.  As a bonus, if you started with non-hybrid plants, your seeds can grow next year’s garden!  Some great ways to start seed saving are with cucumbers, squash, radish, and tomato.  I talked about seed saving from these and even more garden plants on two podcasts here and here.

10. Forage.  Are there any wild edibles where you live?  I bet there are.  Even cities have wild plants growing that can be used for food.  Go find some.  Make sure you’re 100% positive on plant identification as well as how to prepare and eat what you foraged.

11. Change a tire.  This will come in handy some day.  Even if you get help when you actually need to change the tire, it’s good to know where your jack and spare tire are and how to use them.

Learn Something

12. Learn how to shut off utilities at your home.  Where is the shut-off for gas?  Electricity?  Water?  Is there more than one?  Do you need a special tool to shut it off?  Many natural disasters could result in broken utility lines or it being unsafe to have the utilities running at your home.  Knowing how to shut them off can keep a disaster from becoming an even bigger disaster.

13. Check out books from your library and read.  There are a lot of great survival guides on the market, including my book, as well as a bounteous supply of survivalist fiction.  Both can provide ideas and instruction for getting yourself and your family prepared.  If your library doesn’t have the book you want, see if there’s a way to request it.  If you have Amazon Prime, you can also check out many of these books to your e-reader for free!

14. Read blogs.  Hey, you’re already doing it!  Way to go!  While you’re at it, check out some of my other favorite preparedness blogs.

15. Watch YouTube videos.  For those of you who are visual learners, YouTube is absolutely a gold mine for preparedness information.  And yes, I have a channel there!

16. Learn a skill.  Do you know someone who has a skill you want to learn?  They’d probably love to get you started!  Canning, needlework, car repairs, home repairs, shooting.  Ask someone to help you learn and you’ll have another skill in your quiver.  Don’t know someone to learn from?  Head back to the books, blogs, and YouTube and you might just find what you need.

Add to Your Supplies

17. Fill water bottles.  Have any empty 2 liter or juice jugs?  The hard clear plastic type.  Wash them out and fill them up with water from your tap.  Now you have some water storage!  That was easy.

18. Ask for preparedness gear as gifts.  This is one way to get those items that are going to require money to get.  Birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, they’re all a great time to ask for what you want.  If someone doesn’t know what to get you, give them your preparedness gear wish list.

19. Use gift cards for preparedness gear.  If you acquire gift cards, either as gifts or as a byproduct of something like your credit card “rewards” program, use them for preparedness supplies!  Even places like home decor stores or office supply stores have products that can help in your preparedness efforts.  Use those gift cards to get prepped!

Test Yourself

20. Start a fire.  Once you’re comfortable starting a fire, challenge yourself.  Start a fire without matches.  Start a fire in the rain or snow or wind.  Start a fire when all you think you can find is wet wood.  Get comfortable starting fires under various circumstances.  Check this out for a primer on the how and why of lighting a fire for survival to get started.

21. Build a shelter in the woods.  This goes along with your hike!  If you don’t have woods nearby, scout for shelter locations between your home and work, or along your evacuation route.

22. Make a meal without your stove.  There is a learning curve to each method of powerless cooking!  Not sure how to start cooking without your stove?  Here are eight great ways to cook when the power is out.

23. Hold an evacuation drill.  This is a fun one.  Surprise your family with a mock emergency.  There’s been a disaster and you have 10 minutes to leave the house.  Go!  See what you grab and what you forget, then hold an analysis meeting, make some lists, and try again another day to see if you improved!  For a great reference on emergency evacuations with some pre-made lists to help you out, check out Lisa Bedford’s book, Emergency Evacuations.

24. Shut your utilities off for a day.  You don’t have to actually shut them off, but don’t use them.  Tape your faucets shut and turn the heater or air conditioner off.  No turning on lights, either!  See how you fare without gas, electricity, or running water!  These kinds of tests find holes in your emergency plans faster than kids find that chocolate you hid in your sock drawer!

25. No shopping challenge.  This is another excellent challenge for living on what you have.  Don’t go shopping for at least two weeks.  No stops for more bread, milk, eggs, your daily soda break, or shampoo.  How do you do?  What areas of your emergency supplies do you need to strengthen?

No money is no excuse for not getting prepared.  Do you know a way to get prepared for free?  Scroll down to the comments section below and share so we can all benefit!

Keep preparing!
Angela

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The Successful Survivalist’s Rules of Life

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The Successful Survivalist’s Rules of Life

Successful survivalist's rules of life!1. Carry a pocket knife.
2. Get comfortable with lighting a fire.
3. Learn to shoot and clean a gun.
4. Be able to perform basic first aid.
5. Keep your blades sharp.
6. Work hard and smart.
7. Shop at yard sales and thrift stores.
8. Exercise regularly.
9. Share with others.
10. Grow and preserve your own food.
11. Eat a balanced diet.
12. Expect that things will not go as planned.  Have a backup plan.  Then have a backup plan for your backup plan.
13. Value relationships.
14. Forgive freely. Allow yourself and others the opportunity to change.
15. Practice using what you have.
16. Don’t allow fear to make your decisions for you.
17. Help someone learn a skill you have mastered.
18. Be aware of your surroundings.
19. Plan for the everyday emergencies as well as “end of the world” emergencies.
20. Be grateful for what you have.
21. Get out and stay out of debt.  Build an emergency fund.
22. Store food you will eat. Use it, then replace it.
23. Hug your loved ones. Every day.
24. Know potential terror targets near you.
25. Plan multiple evacuation routes.
26. Keep survival gear in your vehicle.
27. Believe in a power greater than yourself.
28. Create opportunities for your children to enjoy the outdoors.
29. Shoes matter. Own some quality hiking shoes.
30. Drink plenty of water.
31. Learn a skill you can barter with.
32. Don’t waste energy on things you have no control over. Invest your energy in the things you can control–yourself, your emotions, how you spend your time, the way you think, feel, and act.
33. Do something to further your preparedness efforts every week.
34. Include comfort foods in your food storage.
35. Have regular fire drills, change batteries in your smoke alarms.
36. Make a plan for getting home in an emergency.
37. Have more flashlights and batteries than you think you need.
38. Sleep outside.
39. Cook over a fire.
40. Make and stick to a budget.
41. Be prepared to defend yourself and your loved ones.
42. Have realistic hope for the future.
43. Pray daily.
44. Know how to make water safe to drink.
45. Have life insurance and a will.
46. Learn to identify, harvest, and eat wild edibles in your area.
47. Create a library of good reference books.
48. Learn to harvest and butcher an animal for food.
49. Conserve.
50. See the good in others.
51. Preparedness isn’t a destination. Celebrate the little steps in the journey.
52. Participate in government.
53. Be able to perform basic car maintenance.  Change your own oil and flat tires.
54. Know how to make something using hand tools.
55. Take care of your gear and it will take care of you.
56. Plan for those in your life who cannot take care of themselves–children, elderly, those with disabilities, pets.
57. Keep your promises.
58. Think positive.
59. Improvise.
60. Never stop learning.

What would you add?

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Food Storage and Survival’s Top 10 of 2015!

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Top 10 of 2015 at Food Storage and Survival!It’s that time of year when we look back over the past year and reflect on what has happened in our lives, how far we’ve come, and what the highlights of the year were.  And on the blog, we look back at the top posts of the year.  What did you, the readers, like to read and share from this site this past year?  So let’s get to it!  Here are the top ten posts of 2015 on Food Storage and Survival!

10.  12 Favorite Comfort Foods You Want in Your Food Storage PLUS How to Store Them.  Why have boring rice and beans food storage when you can store some foods you love?  This post breaks down exactly how to get those comfort foods in your food storage!

9.  Keeping the Special in Special Occasions: 10 Tips for Celebrating During Hard Times.  Hard times come and special occasions are still going to happen.  Here are some great tips for keeping them special when money is tight and times are hard.

8.  Don’t Eat That! Seven Signs of Good Food Storage Gone Bad.  If expiration dates are just a suggestion, how do you know when your food is not safe to eat?  Check for these seven signs of good food storage gone bad!

7.  27+ Clever Ways to Use Dandelions.  Ahhh, dandelions.  You’ll be glad they pop up in your yard this spring with these 27 creative ways to use them!  From tea to bread to lotion, there are plenty of uses for all those dandelions!  Get busy!  🙂

6.  4 Compelling Reasons to Keep Your Gas Tank More Than Half Full.  Including a slightly embarrassing story of me running out of gas on the side of the road, these reasons may just convince you to fill up at half tank instead of empty!

5.  How to Make Soap: Cold Process With Oatmeal.  I love this soap.  It’s easy to make and is so much better for your skin than store soap.  And there’s some really flattering pictures of me in this post.  Actually, it’s about time to make some more of this soap around here!

4.  Six Things to Scout Along Your Evacuation Route.  Go your evacuation route planned?  Here’s what to look for as you’re planning so you’ll be prepared when you need to actually use it for a real evacuation!

3.  72 Hour Kit Series: Food for your Emergency Kit.  Part of the 72 hour kit series, in this post we covered options for food for your kit.  Because nobody wants to go through an emergency hungry!

2.  Eight Great Ways to Cook when the Power is Out!  You’ve got your food stored, but what about ways to cook it when the power is out?  This post has eight fantastic options.  Get at least one in your arsenal and you’ll have a better chance at not eating cold spaghettio’s from the can!

1.  23 (mostly beginner) Preparedness Sewing Projects.  As a seamstress, I love this post and am so glad you all have loved it, too!  Fantastic projects to hone your sewing skills and get a little more prepared in the process!  Great for beginning sewers, even kids can do most of these projects.

2015 was a fantastic year here at Food Storage and Survival!  Thank you for joining me and supporting this site.  I LOVE my readers–you all make this endeavor worthwhile!  If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for my email newsletter and join me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.  Here’s wishing you all an amazing 2016!

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Eight Great Ways to Cook When the Power is Out!

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8 Great ways to cook when the power is out!So you are storing extra food for times of emergency, right?  Unless you have all canned goods or MRE’s, that food will need to be cooked.  Even canned meals and MRE’s taste better warmed up.  However, in many emergency situations you are without power which means no microwave!  Making a plan for powerless cooking as part of your prepping will help ensure you’re not eating all your food storage cold and raw.   So here are eight great ways to cook when the power is out.

1. Fire. We’ll start with the most primitive.  Build a fire in a fire pit, barrel, or other enclosure.  Be careful, you don’t want to add a burning house, field, or tree to your emergency!  You also don’t want to cook your food over something that produces toxic fumes as it burns like tires.  Roast your food on a stick or use metal to make a grate over your fire and cook in sturdy pots and pans.

To make it work you’ll need: a safe place to burn, fuel to burn, and matches or other fire starter.

2. Wood or coal stove. If you have a wood or coal burning stove in your house, you can cook on the top of it if it’s flat enough.  An old wood burning kitchen stove would be awesome although I expect this method would have a pretty steep learning curve for those of us accustomed to cooking with power.  A benefit of this method in the winter is being able to warm your home with the same fuel you’re using for cooking.  Not so beneficial in the summer!

To make it work you’ll need: A wood or coal stove safely installed in your home or bug out location, fuel to burn, matches or other fire starter.

3. Rocket Stove. These are little stoves that burn standard biomass fuel like sticks, but use less of it than an open fire.  You can make your own rocket stove with empty cans, or purchase one like the EcoZoom stove or the similar-to-a-rocket-stove fuel saving Volcano Stove.

To make it work you’ll need: Some form of rocket stove, fuel to burn, matches or other fire starter.

4. A barbeque grill. This one is easy if you are used to cooking on it anyway.  An outdoor grill, either gas or charcoal, is a simple powerless cooking option.  Grill meats, large veggies, fish, etc.  Anything small enough to fall through the grate can be cooked in foil or a pan.

To make it work you’ll need: A grill, propane in your bottle if it’s gas or charcoal if it’s a charcoal grill, possibly matches or other fire starter depending on your grill style.

5. Camping stove. These are the portable stoves like the Coleman Stove your grandpa used when he went camping.  Except now there are so many varieties out there from super light weight backpacking stoves to more stable single burner stoves to larger two burner stoves, there’s surely one that will fit your needs for preparedness and probably make itself a regular use cooker during camping season as well.  Each stove will have a specific fuel type, so make sure you’ve got the correct fuel for your stove!

To make it work you’ll need: Camping or backpacking stove, fuel specific for that stove, fire starting method if your stove doesn’t come equipped with electronic ignition.

6. Larger camping stoves. Larger camping stoves, like a Camp Chef, are a bit more cumbersome than their backpacking counterparts, so won’t work as well if you’re doing a quick evacuation, but they are great cookers.  They generally run on large bottles of propane and come with legs so you’re easily able to cook standing up rather than on the ground or balancing your stove on a rock.

To make it work you’ll need: A stove, propane, and a fire starting source if your stove doesn’t come with auto ignition.

7. Your gas stove top. If you’re lucky enough to have a gas stove in your kitchen and the gas lines are not damaged, you can use the stove top in your home.  Just light it with a match or other fire starter.  Due to fluctuations in flame to adjust for temperature, your gas oven won’t work without power.  Cook up anything in a pot or pan on your stove as you normally would once you bypass the electric ignition and get it lit.

To make it work you’ll need: Gas stove already installed, matches or other fire starter to get it lit.

8. Solar oven. You can make your own or purchase one like the Global Sun Oven.  You can even make one out of a Pringles can.  These work great on hot sunny days, but also work on cold sunny days!  Depending on your design, your oven may not work too well on windy days.  A solar oven can cook anything you’d put in your normal oven as well as dehydrate foods.

To make it work you’ll need: Solar oven, sunny day.

Of course, for each of these cooking methods you may need specific pots or pans for them to work best.  Testing out your gear before an emergency is always a good idea.

And just for fun, I’ll throw in these safety disclaimers as well.  Some of these methods of cooking use open flames.  Don’t burn your house down.  Others burn fuel that need ventilation–don’t use those stoves indoors.  Okay?

Now here’s a challenge for you. Some time this week, cook a meal using a powerless cooking source of your choice.  This could be as easy as a BBQ or as challenging as building a solar oven and baking a cake in it.  Get out and give it a try and let me know how it goes!

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Please be sure to follow Food Storage and Survival on Facebook which is updated every time there is a new article. You can also find me on Pinterest, and purchase my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival on Amazon.

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12 Days of Christmas Giveaways–Day 12: UVPaqlite Variety Pack

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12 days of Christmas giveaways Day 12: UVPaqlite assortment! Ends 12/14/15Welcome to day 12 of our 12 days of Christmas giveaways!  I’m kind of sad this is the last one!  This has been a lot of fun, and hopefully you’ve gotten better acquainted with some of the fabulous sponsors along the way.  Day 12 is brought to you by the awesome folks at UVPaqlite!

UVPaqlite is a long time sponsor of Food Storage and Survival and I absolutely LOVE their products.  They have created unique glowing products that absorb light and then glow for hours.  Kind of like a super charged glow in the dark sticker.  These lights are so easy to use.  Just expose them to a light source, any source will work–sunshine, a flashlight, car headlights, street lights, house lamps, etc.  Then they glow for hours.  They don’t require any batteries or power, have no “breakable” parts like bulbs, and are reusable over and over and over forever.

We love UVPaqlite’s products on camping trips and nights in the super dark room in the basement at grandma’s.  They are great for a comfort light–the kids have light all night long and it didn’t cost you the batteries in your flashlight.  They can also be used to help light up a nightstand to be able to find your glasses or medications at night.  In the house, I have them in strategic locations so we have markers to find our way around in the dark.  We really do use and love these lights.

Today’s lucky winner will receive a Holiday Scout Pack (Large UVPaqlite, UVO Green Necklace, 6 inch Tooblite, and UVGlostick) PLUS 3 Packs of holiday lights.  That’s a fantastic starter collection of UVPaqlite products!

uvpaqlite holiday lights uvpaqlite holiday scout

For more on UVPaqlite products, see my reviews here and here.

Ready to get started?

Remember, these 12 days of giveaways are sponsored by some really great companies and individuals, so to share the love, most of the entry methods will be ways of keeping in touch with them or this site. I’ll mix up the entry methods as we go through the twelve days, so those of you who don’t do one particular type of social media can still get entries. There will also be one FREE entry every day just for answering a random question about the Christmas season, so those of you who don’t do social media at all can even enter! And you also get bonus points for sharing this giveaway with your friends (and this is the season of sharing), so share it!

This giveaway starts December 12th at 12:00 am MST and ends December 14th at 11:59:59 pm MST. Three full days to enter, so get busy! Winner will be notified by email and have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Prize will be shipped directly from UVPaqlite.

12 Days of Christmas Day 12

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Please be sure to follow Food Storage and Survival on Facebook which is updated every time there is a new article. You can also find me on Pinterest, and purchase my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival on Amazon.

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12 Days of Christmas Giveaways–Day 11: Augason Farms 1 Week Pantry Pack

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12 days of Christmas Giveaways Day 11: Augason Farms 1 Week Pantry Pack!  Ends 12/13/15Welcome to day 11 of our 12 days of Christmas Giveaways!  Today’s winner will receive a 1 Week Pantry Pack from Augason Farms!  Augason Farms 1 Week Pantry Pack includes easy, just add water meals for one week in a handy tote.  The meals each have 4-8 servings and up to 15 year shelf life unopened, so it’s perfect for feeding a small family or putting in your food storage for later!

We tested out the meals in the Pantry Pack, and overall were very impressed with the flavor and quality of the food.  These meals are all just-add-water, which makes them really nice to prepare.  They are packaged in sturdy Mylar pouches.  I would love to see instructions for cooking less than the full pouch, but I just did a little math and measuring when it was just going to be me eating.  The meals all come without meat, so you can add your own when you cook them.  I did not have to season ANY of these to make them taste good.  Thoroughly enjoyable right out of the package, which is really nice when you’re making quick meals! And I loved some of their “different” meals.  It seems there are standard food storage meals that most every company makes, and Augason Farms has some of those as well, but meals like Black Beans and Rice, Cheesy Enchilada Soup, and Tomato Basil Soup are a welcome fresh taste.

Here’s what’s in the 1 Week Pack:

Instant Blueberry Granola with Milk – 2 pouches, 4 servings total
When I mixed this as directed, it was a little watered down.  It is a cold cereal and includes the milk powder.  When I do it again, I’ll just pour the amount I want in a bowl and pour water over it instead of milk.  Mix and enjoy.  The flavor was good, and real blueberries!

Augason Farms 1 Week Pantry Pack Review

Instant Oatmeal with Strawberries – 3 pouches, 12 servings total
The oatmeal with strawberries is meant to be eaten as a hot cereal and is already sweetened and has milk added as well.  We cooked it as directed, and I liked the flavor.  Different and more “natural” tasting than the usual instant oatmeal packets from the store.

Augason Farms 1 Week Pantry Pack Review

Instant Creamy Chicken Rice – 1 pouch, 4 servings total
This meal we added chicken to when we cooked it.  Boil the water and add the dry rice mix, then cover and wait about 10 minutes.  Flavor was good with this one as well.

Augason Farms 1 Week Pantry Pack Review

Instant Cheesy Broccoli and Rice – 1 pouch, 4 servings total
Great flavor here.  Prepared like the chicken rice, so it’s very little cooking time.  Husband loved this one.

Augason Farms 1 Week Pantry Pack Review

Instant Creamy Stroganoff – 1 pouch, 4 servings total
Creamy and flavorful.  Not my absolute favorite of the pack, but it had really nice flavor.  And it did cook up without boiling it for 20 minutes.  Just add to boiling water, cover, and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Augason Farms 1 Week Pantry Pack Review

Instant Black Beans and Rice – 1 pouch, 4 servings total
These were really tasty.  Not as spicy as I thought they might be.

Augason Farms 1 Week Pantry Pack Review

Instant Pasta Alfredo – 1 pouch, 4 servings total
Yum.  Creamy alfredo sauce over noodles.  This would be great with added chicken as well.

Augason Farms 1 Week Pantry Pack Review

Instant Nonfat Milk – 3 pouches, 18 servings total
I was pleasantly surprised with the milk flavor.  I should have taken pictures of the kids drinking it.  They actually wanted more.  Hubs said it tasted like powdered milk to him, but it’s one of the better tasting powdered milks I’ve ever tried.  I drank the whole glass straight.  And it mixed easily into cold water, which is a bonus!

Augason Farms 1 Week Pantry Pack Review

Chili Cheese Enchilada Soup Mix – 1 pouch, 8 servings total
Why did I not get a picture of the cooked soup?  This one smelled spicy, so I let my husband try it since I don’t do spice at all, and he said it was really good flavor.  He’d add more beans if he cooked it again.  It cooked up to a nice thick-ish consistency.  All the soups serve EIGHT (which actually worked out to about five large bowls full), so they make plenty to share.  They all also require boiling in the water for 20 minutes or so for parts of the soups to reconstitute, so plan just a little extra time.

Augason Farms 1 Week Pantry Pack Review

Tomato Basil with Pasta Soup Mix – 1 pouch, 8 servings total
This was my favorite of all the meals.  Creamy tomato soup with pasta.  We had a friend stop by who is a hunting guide and he got to have lunch with us.  He could not believe this came from a pouch!  He said he’d love to cook this soup for his hunt trips.  Easy, tasty, and hunt guide approved!

Augason Farms 1 Week Pantry Pack Review

Chicken Noodle Soup Mix – 1 pouch, 8 servings total
The chicken noodle soup had a really nice flavor.  A bit too much pepper for me, but I’m a spice wimp.  Hubs loved it.  Plenty of noodles and a nice consistency!

Augason Farms 1 Week Pantry Pack Review

Thanks to Augason Farms for providing samples to review as well as sponsoring this prize pack for one of you!  Ready to get started?

Remember, these 12 days of giveaways are sponsored by some really great companies and individuals, so to share the love, most of the entry methods will be ways of keeping in touch with them or this site. I’ll mix up the entry methods as we go through the twelve days, so those of you who don’t do one particular type of social media can still get entries. There will also be one FREE entry every day just for answering a random question about the Christmas season, so those of you who don’t do social media at all can even enter! And you also get bonus points for sharing this giveaway with your friends (and this is the season of sharing), so share it!

This giveaway starts December 11th at 12:00 am MST and ends December 13th at 11:59:59 pm MST. Three full days to enter, so get busy! Winner will be notified by email and have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Prize will be shipped directly from Augason Farms.

12 Days of Christmas Day 11

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Subscribe to my email newsletter for updates and special deals.

Please be sure to follow Food Storage and Survival on Facebook which is updated every time there is a new article. You can also find me on Pinterest, and purchase my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival on Amazon.

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Click Here To Vote For Me at Top Prepper Websites!

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Shop the Thrive Monthly Specials or my favorites, the freeze dried vegetables and yogurt bites!

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12 Days of Christmas Giveaways–Day 10: Mountain House 5 Day Food Supply + Cheesecake Bites

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12 days of Christmas Giveaways Day 10: Mountain House 5 day food supply PLUS 12 Cheesecake Bites! Ends 12/12/15Welcome to day 10 of our 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways!  Today’s prize is an awesome pack of goodness from the folks at Mountain House!  One lucky winner will receive a 5 Day Emergency Food Supply PLUS 12 pouches of the brand new Cheesecake Bites.

The 5 Day Emergency Food Supply contains the following Mountain House meals:

  • Biscuits & Gravy 2x – Hot fluffy buttermilk biscuits with creamy pork sausage gravy make for a hearty, family-favorite. Each pouch makes 2 1-cup servings.
  • Breakfast Skillet 1x – Hash browns and scrambled eggs mixed with pork sausage, peppers & onions. Eat out of the pouch or make a wrap with a tortilla. Contains 2 1-cup servings.
  • Eggs with Ham & Peppers 2x – Classic breakfast meal. Scrambled eggs with savory ham, green & red peppers. Each pouch makes 2 ¾-cup servings
  • Chili Mac with Beef 2x – Spicy chili sauce with real beef, macaroni noodles, onions, and beans. Each pouch makes 2.5 1-cup servings.
  • Chicken Fried Rice 2x – Made with long grain rice, chicken, scrambled eggs, chopped onions, savory mushrooms, green peas, red peppers and diced carrots. Each pouch makes 2.5 1-cup servings.
  • Macaroni & Cheese 2x – Classic comfort food. Macaroni noodles in a smooth, creamy, and very cheesy sauce. Each pouch makes 3 1 ¼-cup servings.
  • Mexican Rice & Chicken 2x – Spicy rice, beans, and chicken seasoned with tomato, peppers and olives. A quick and easy dinner with a kick. Each pouch makes 3 1-cup servings.
  • Pasta Primavera 2x – Zucchini, spiral macaroni, cauliflower, broccoli, red & yellow peppers and green beans in a creamy, parmesan cheese sauce. Each makes contains 2.5 1-cup servings.

Meals from Mountain House are so easy to cook up, they are perfect for emergency situations when you don’t have the energy or desire to cook a meal from scratch.  Just boil water, add it to the pouch, and wait about 10 minutes for the food to hydrate and you’re ready to eat!  Doesn’t get much easier than that.  We like to take Mountain House meals on day trips and camping trips.  Here’s a review I did just this last summer of a couple of their meals on a fishing trip:

In addition to the 5 days of meals, you’ll also receive 12 pouches of their new freeze dried New York Style Cheesecake Bites.  These are made with ingredients that are compliant with Whole Foods Food Ingredient Quality Standards, and are really tasty!  Dense, and lightly sweet, these little bites of cheesecake are easy to take as a snack anywhere.

Mountain House Cheesecake Bites

I would show you how the kids like these as well, but I’ve been hoarding them.  (They did get to taste a few, I just didn’t have the video running!)  I like that the flavor is not overly strong and they are not super sweet.  So I really can eat the whole pouch by myself . . . all in one sitting . . .

Ready to win some?

Remember, these 12 days of giveaways are sponsored by some really great companies and individuals, so to share the love, most of the entry methods will be ways of keeping in touch with them or this site. I’ll mix up the entry methods as we go through the twelve days, so those of you who don’t do one particular type of social media can still get entries. There will also be one FREE entry every day just for answering a random question about the Christmas season, so those of you who don’t do social media at all can even enter! And you also get bonus points for sharing this giveaway with your friends (and this is the season of sharing), so share it!

This giveaway starts December 10th at 12:00 am MST and ends December 12th at 11:59:59 pm MST. Three full days to enter, so get busy! Winner will be notified by email and have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Prize will be shipped directly from Mountain House.

12 Days of Christmas Day 10

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Subscribe to my email newsletter for updates and special deals.

Please be sure to follow Food Storage and Survival on Facebook which is updated every time there is a new article. You can also find me on Pinterest, and purchase my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival on Amazon.

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Shop the Thrive Monthly Specials or my favorites, the freeze dried vegetables and yogurt bites!

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12 Days of Christmas Giveaways: Day 9–Wonder Oven Thermal Cooker

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12 days of Christmas giveaways: Day 9- Wonder Oven Thermal Cooker! Ends 12/11/15On the 9th day of Christmas Giveaways, I’m bringing you the opportunity to win a Wonder Oven Thermal Cooker!  The Wonder Oven is an insulated soft box that looks kind of like a bean bag in two pieces, but works like a thermos. There is a pocket in the middle, and when you put hot food in it, it continues to cook because of the insulating factor of the box.

Wonder ovens are great for:

  • Conserving fuel.  Get your soup boiling, then put it in the Wonder Oven and it keeps cooking with the stove off!
  • Keeping the house cool.  Less cooking time on the stove makes less heat in your house in the summer!
  • Keeping food hot.  Transport your hot dishes to the potluck and keep them hot.
  • Keeping food cold.  Because it is an insulator and not a heater, the Wonder Oven can also keep cold foods cold!  I’ve used mine to transport ice cream home from the big town 45 minutes away with no trouble.

Wonder Ovens are not too difficult to make for yourself.  They are a fantastic just-above-beginner sewing project that will help you get more prepared in the process.  Here are instructions and a pattern to make your own Wonder Oven if you’re feeling crafty.  You can use old cotton bed sheets and stuffing from an old bean bag to keep it really inexpensive.  Make sure to check out the Wonder Oven FAQ’s before getting started!

Or, if you’re not feeling crafty, I can make one for you.  Check out the options on the Wonder Oven order page here.

And, if you’re feeling lucky, you might just win one!

I’ll mix up the entry methods as we go through the twelve days, so those of you who don’t do one particular type of social media can still get entries. There will also be one FREE entry every day just for answering a random question about the Christmas season, so those of you who don’t do social media at all can even enter! And you also get bonus points for sharing this giveaway with your friends (and this is the season of sharing), so share it!

This giveaway starts December 9th at 12:00 am MST and ends December 11th at 11:59:59 pm MST. Three full days to enter, so get busy! Winner will be notified by email and have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Today’s prize is shipped directly from me. 🙂

Enter here:

12 Days of Christmas Day 9

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Subscribe to my email newsletter for updates and special deals.

Please be sure to follow Food Storage and Survival on Facebook which is updated every time there is a new article. You can also find me on Pinterest, and purchase my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival on Amazon.

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Shop the Thrive Monthly Specials or my favorites, the freeze dried vegetables and yogurt bites!

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12 Days of Christmas Giveaways–Day 8: Emergency Evacuations by Lisa Bedford

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12 days of Christmas giveaways--Day 8: Emergency Evacuations by Lisa BedfordWelcome to day 8 of our 12 days of Christmas giveaways!  Today’s prize is a copy of the outstanding new book, Emergency Evacuations by Lisa Bedford.  Lisa is better known as The Survival Mom and runs a very informative website, hosts webinars and a podcast, and is also the author of the book, Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios.

Quick!  You have ten minutes to evacuate your house!  What do you grab?  Where is it all?  Where are you going when you leave?  What about your spouse at work or your kids in school?  What about your pets?  Are you driving, walking, biking?  Don’t panic!  I have a guide for you!

In Emergency Evacuations, Lisa covers all the ins and outs of one of the less “glamorized” but more likely to happen emergency events–the emergency evacuation.  You’ll learn the difference between an urgent evacuation and a planned evacuation and be able to make a plan for your family to best get through either of them if the need arises.

This book is very well thought out and organized, and, as is typical of Lisa’s writing, very easy to understand and read.  She really wants you to be able to put the information into practice in your own emergency plan.  The packing lists and to-do lists for evacuating are extremely well thought out and include considerations for infants, children, pets, and grandma and grandpa.  And I loved the real-life examples that were included.  Sometimes all the instruction in the world isn’t nearly as good as experiencing an evacuation first hand.  So Lisa included case studies of actual evacuations throughout the book so we can learn through others’ experiences what they did right and what they could have done better to help perfect our own emergency evacuation plans.

Other sections I really loved:

  • How to keep your sanity during and after an evacuation.  Your mental state during an emergency is SO important!  Stress does crazy things to our minds and can really affect the way we think and function.  Lisa has practical tips for dealing with the stress and anxiety of an evacuation and the resulting time away from home.
  • Really creative “outside the box” ideas for where to evacuate to.  I love that it wasn’t just “go to grandma’s house or a friend’s house.”  Lisa shares some great ideas like long term camping, time shares, and non-government shelters.
  • The how and why of practicing an evacuation.
  • How to talk to your children and their schools about emergency plans.

Evacuations can happen for many reasons, and this common sense guide will help get your family prepared to handle it like pros.  I highly recommend this book.  Totally worth the $8.99 on Amazon.  And today, you have the opportunity to win a copy!

Ready to get started? Remember, these 12 days of giveaways are sponsored by some really great companies and individuals, so to share the love, most of the entry methods will be ways of keeping in touch with them or this site. I’ll mix up the entry methods as we go through the twelve days, so those of you who don’t do one particular type of social media can still get entries. There will also be one FREE entry every day just for answering a random question about the Christmas season, so those of you who don’t do social media at all can even enter! And you also get bonus points for sharing this giveaway with your friends (and this is the season of sharing), so share it!

This giveaway starts December 8th at 12:00 am MST and ends December 10th at 11:59:59 pm MST. Three full days to enter, so get busy! Winner will be notified by email and have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.  Book will be shipped directly from Lisa.

12 Days of Christmas Day 8

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Subscribe to my email newsletter for updates and special deals.

Please be sure to follow Food Storage and Survival on Facebook which is updated every time there is a new article. You can also find me on Pinterest, and purchase my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival on Amazon.

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Shop the Thrive Monthly Specials or my favorites, the freeze dried vegetables and yogurt bites!

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12 Days of Christmas Giveaways–Day 7: HydroHeat Flameless Cooker Kit from Emergency Essentials

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12 days of Christmas Giveaways Day 7: HydroHeat Flameless Cooker Package! Ends 12/9/15Welcome to day seven of our 12 days of Christmas giveaways!  Be sure to check out the other open giveaways while you’re here!  Today I’ve teamed up with the fantastic folks at Emergency Essentials to bring you a HydroHeat flameless cooker package!  Having a method to heat food without power is an important part of food storage.  You don’t want to be eating dry rice or cold soup.

The prize package contains one HydroHeat Cooker, one HydroHeat Tumbler, one 10 pack of heat packets for each, two Mountain House meals and a canister of Emergency Essentials’ Raspberry Hot Cocoa to cook in your new cookers!

What’s so special about a flameless cooker?  Using the technology of MRE heaters, it can heat your food or drink with no flame.  No fire, no stove, no waiting to start cooking.  Because there is no flame and no associated smoke, fume, and fire hazards, you can cook your meal when it’s pouring rain, in the tent, in the car, while you hike, in your home or apartment, at your jobsite, in the wind, or any combination of those.  It is fast and easy and only requires a small amount of water to get heating.

hydroheat flameless cooker review

Here’s the HydroHeat cooker and tumbler in action:

Ready to get started? Remember, these 12 days of giveaways are sponsored by some really great companies and individuals, so to share the love, most of the entry methods will be ways of keeping in touch with them or this site. I’ll mix up the entry methods as we go through the twelve days, so those of you who don’t do one particular type of social media can still get entries. There will also be one FREE entry every day just for answering a random question about the Christmas season, so those of you who don’t do social media at all can even enter! And you also get bonus points for sharing this giveaway with your friends (and this is the season of sharing), so share it!

This giveaway starts December 7th at 12:00 am MST and ends December 9th at 11:59:59 pm MST. Three full days to enter, so get busy! Winner will be notified by email and have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Prize package will be shipped directly from Emergency Essentials.

Enter here:

12 Days of Christmas Day 7

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Subscribe to my email newsletter for updates and special deals.

Please be sure to follow Food Storage and Survival on Facebook which is updated every time there is a new article. You can also find me on Pinterest, and purchase my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival on Amazon.

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Click Here To Vote For Me at Top Prepper Websites!

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Shop the Thrive Monthly Specials or my favorites, the freeze dried vegetables and yogurt bites!

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12 Days of Christmas Giveaways–Day 6: Creek Stewart’s December Apocabox

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12 days of Christmas Giveaways--Day 6: Creek Stewart's December Apocabox! Ends 12/8/15Welcome to day six of our 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways!  This is one I know you’re going to love.  Creek Stewart–author, teacher, survivalist, and all around great guy–is giving one lucky winner the December Apocabox.  The Apocabox is a subscription box of hand selected survival tools put together every other month by Creek himself.  I’d love to tell you what you’ll be getting in the December Apocabox, but that’s half the fun.  I don’t know and you won’t know until it arrives.  I do know that you’re guaranteed to love it!

For an idea of what the contents could be like, check out my review of the first Apocabox.  This is really quality gear.  Subscribing is like survival Christmas six times a year!

Want to know what makes this giveaway so great?  You can’t even BUY into the December Apocabox right now, and you have the opportunity to win one!

You CAN subscribe to receive the February box though–it’s guaranteed to be awesome as well.  🙂

Ready to get started? Remember, these 12 days of giveaways are sponsored by some really great companies and individuals, so to share the love, most of the entry methods will be ways of keeping in touch with them or this site. I’ll mix up the entry methods as we go through the twelve days, so those of you who don’t do one particular type of social media can still get entries. There will also be one FREE entry every day just for answering a random question about the Christmas season, so those of you who don’t do social media at all can even enter! And you also get bonus points for sharing this giveaway with your friends (and this is the season of sharing), so share it!

This giveaway starts December 6th at 12:00 am MST and ends December 8th at 11:59:59 pm MST. Three full days to enter, so get busy! Winner will be notified by email and have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Your Apocabox will be shipped directly from Creek on the 15th of December or thereabouts so should get to you in plenty of time to wrap up and put under your tree or the tree of someone you love!

Enter here:

12 Days of Christmas Day 6

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Subscribe to my email newsletter for updates and special deals.

Please be sure to follow Food Storage and Survival on Facebook which is updated every time there is a new article. You can also find me on Pinterest, and purchase my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival on Amazon.

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Click Here To Vote For Me at Top Prepper Websites!

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Shop the Thrive Monthly Specials or my favorites, the freeze dried vegetables and yogurt bites!

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12 Days of Christmas Giveaways–Day 5: Car Emergency Food and Water Kits from The Storage Room

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12 days of Christmas Giveaways! Day 5: Emergency food and Water kits for your car! Ends 12/7/15Welcome back!  It’s day 5 of our 12 Days of Christmas giveaways and we’ve got a great giveaway today.  The Storage Room is giving one of my readers four Car Emergency Food and Water kits!  So if you have four cars, or two cars and a camper and a boat,  you’re set, and if you only have one car, you have three to gift to friends!  Food and water are an important part of vehicle preparedness and these kits make it super easy to get something in your car.

The Storage Room is a Utah based company that carries freeze dried food kits, and freeze dried fruits and vegetables.  Easy cooking meals like the ones at The Storage Room are great to have in your food storage for those days when you don’t feel like cooking or need something that is fast so you can spend your energy on more important things.  Like building a shelter or cleaning up disaster debris or even just wrapping Christmas presents.

I got to try out the Hearty Potato Soup and freeze dried bananas and strawberries, and really enjoyed them.  The dry soup mix came in Mylar packaging with a tear strip and zipper seal to reseal it after it was opened.  I liked that the instructions were for using a small portion of the bag instead of cooking the whole thing.  Then you can multiply it by the number of people you need to feed and save the rest for cooking another day!

Food Storage Review: Hearty potato soup from The Storage Room

This soup was a just-add-water meal and I made it as the directions called for.

Food Storage Review: Hearty potato soup from The Storage Room

It thickened up nicely and would be perfect in a bread bowl!  Maybe with the next batch I’ll do that.  I liked it seasoned just as it came.  Hubs added hot sauce.  As usual.

Food Storage Review: Hearty potato soup from The Storage Room

Now, to get the giveaway going!

These 12 days of giveaways are sponsored by some really great companies and individuals, so to share the love, most of the entry methods will be ways of keeping in touch with them or this site.  I’ll mix up the entry methods as we go through the twelve days, so those of you who don’t do one particular type of social media can still get entries. There will also be one FREE entry every day just for answering a random question about the Christmas season, so those of you who don’t do social media at all can even enter! And you also get bonus points for sharing this giveaway with your friends (and this is the season of sharing), so share it!

This giveaway starts December 5th at 12:00 am MST and ends December 7th at 11:59:59 pm MST. Three full days to enter, so get busy! Winner will be notified by email and have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Prizes are shipped directly from the sponsor.

Enter here:

12 Days of Christmas Day 5

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Subscribe to my email newsletter for updates and special deals.

Please be sure to follow Food Storage and Survival on Facebook which is updated every time there is a new article. You can also find me on Pinterest, and purchase my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival on Amazon.

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Click Here To Vote For Me at Top Prepper Websites!

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Shop the Thrive Monthly Specials or my favorites, the freeze dried vegetables and yogurt bites!

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12 Days of Christmas Giveaways: Day 4–LifeStraw Mission from EarthEasy

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12 days of Christmas Giveaways--Day 4: LifeStraw Mission water filter from EarthEasy! Ends 12/6/15Welcome to Day 4 of our 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways!  Today I’ve teamed up with the great folks at EarthEasy.com to bring one lucky winner a LifeStraw Mission 12 Liter Water Purifier.  Having clean water in an emergency is so important, yet is not on the glorified end of preparedness so it is often overlooked.  Storing water is good, but that stored water can eventually run out.  And it’s hard to take it all with you if you have to leave your house!  The LifeStraw Mission is perfect for families, groups, or even individuals looking to have a way to provide clean drinking water in an emergency or on any outdoor adventure.  Use the special code SURVIVAL15 to get 15% off ANY LifeStraw product at EarthEasy through December 31st!  That includes the original LifeStraw, the LifeStraw Family, and the LifeStraw Mission.

From EarthEasy’s site:

LifeStraw Mission uses a highly efficient method of purification that requires no chemicals, batteries or moving parts. Water poured into the purifier moves down the tube, while being forced through narrow hollow fibers. Clean water exits through tiny pores in the walls of the hollow fibers, but bacteria, viruses, protozoa and other contaminants are trapped inside and are flushed out by backwashing.

The LifeStraw Mission gravity powered water purifier removes 99.9999% of bacteria, 99.99% of protozoa, and 99.999% of viruses, while purifying an impressive 18,000 liters of water (4,750 gallons).

This thing rocks.  It is well designed and so easy to use.

The package comes with a dry bag to hold the water, extension tube and filtration unit, carrying strap, storage bag, extra pre-filters, and instructions.

LifeStraw Mission water filter review! This thing rocks!

LifeStraw Mission water filter review! This thing rocks!

Because the reservoir is a bag, it is easily transportable, lightweight, and not too bulky when it is not full of water–unlike a filter that hooks to a bucket.  The bag is stiff enough that it is easy to scoop water from your favorite contaminated water source (mine is the nearby creek).  You want the cleanest water available, but this thing is built to handle plenty of nastiness.

LifeStraw Mission water filter review! This thing rocks!

The bag is marked with clear marks so you can see how much water you have in it.  Once the water is in, squish the extra air out, roll the top over a couple of times, and clip it together to seal it off.

LifeStraw Mission water filter review! This thing rocks!

Attach the shoulder strap and you’re set to carry your water back to camp.

LifeStraw Mission water filter review! This thing rocks!

To filter the water, simply hang the bag up.  You can wrap it directly around a tree limb, or use the shoulder strap to hang it.  I’m kind of short, so I stood on a bucket and used the shoulder strap to get it over the limb.  Attach the filter hose to the bottom (it snaps in easily), and you’re ready to start getting clean water.  There is a pre-filter in the bottom of the bag so the water going into the hose is already cleaner than the water you scooped.

LifeStraw Mission water filter review! This thing rocks!

Gravity pulls the water down the hose and through the filter.  The LifeStraw Mission fills your clean water container without you having to expend any extra effort.  So you can go chop wood or pet your cat or whatever you need to do and the water goes on being filtered.

LifeStraw Mission water filter review! This thing rocks!

The red end is where you can flush the dirty water through, and the red bulb is the back wash bulb to clean out the filter.

Yes, we drank the water from the creek. My husband actually liked the taste better than the water from the tap in our home!

I am thrilled to be able to send one of these fantastic, easy to use filters to one of you!  Huge thanks to EarthEasy for providing today’s prize!

Ready to get started? Remember, these 12 days of giveaways are sponsored by some really great companies and individuals, so to share the love, most of the entry methods will be ways of keeping in touch with them or this site. I’ll mix up the entry methods as we go through the twelve days, so those of you who don’t do one particular type of social media can still get entries. There will also be one FREE entry every day just for answering a random question about the Christmas season, so those of you who don’t do social media at all can even enter! And you also get bonus points for sharing this giveaway with your friends (and this is the season of sharing), so share it!

This giveaway starts December 4th at 12:00 am MST and ends December 6th at 11:59:59 pm MST. Three full days to enter, so get busy! Winner will be notified by email and have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Prizes are shipped directly from the sponsor.

Enter here:

12 Days of Christmas Day 4

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Subscribe to my email newsletter for updates and special deals.

Please be sure to follow Food Storage and Survival on Facebook which is updated every time there is a new article. You can also find me on Pinterest, and purchase my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival on Amazon.

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Click Here To Vote For Me at Top Prepper Websites!

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Shop the Thrive Monthly Specials or my favorites, the freeze dried vegetables and yogurt bites!

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12 Days of Christmas Giveaways–Day 3: WaterBrick and Freeze Dried Fruit Case

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12 days of Christmas giveaways! Day 3: WaterBrick + Freeze dried fruit combo! Ends 12/5/15Welcome back for day 3 of our 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways!  Isn’t this fun?  Be sure to check out the other open days and get entered in those contests as well!  Today’s winner will receive one Freeze Dried Fruit Combo and one WaterBrick from Honeyville Grain.  The Freeze Dried Fruit Combo contains one #10 (approximately gallon size) can each of freeze dried apples, bananas, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, and strawberries, for a total of six cans.  You’ll want some water to drink with those fruits, and the WaterBrick is a winner for water storage.  They are so sturdy, with a wide mouth opening, and hold 3.5 gallons of water.  Built to stack easily on each other, they also come with a nice handle for transporting them.  These are an ideal size for water storage–plenty of water, in a container sturdy and small enough to be lifted even by teenagers that are only used to lifting their phones!  And you don’t have to store water in them.  The WaterBrick is also a great container for dry foods like rice, beans, or wheat.

Honeyville is the home of the 6 grain cereal and gluten flour I use in my six grain bread recipe, as well as lots of other preparedness gear, food storage products, and kitchen tools.  If you’re lucky enough to have a Honeyville retail location near you, be sure to go check them out.  For the rest of us, shipping from their online store is free for orders over $125 in December!

Ready to get started?  Remember, these 12 days of giveaways are sponsored by some really great companies and individuals, so to share the love, most of the entry methods will be ways of keeping in touch with them or this site. I’ll mix up the entry methods as we go through the twelve days, so those of you who don’t do one particular type of social media can still get entries. There will also be one FREE entry every day just for answering a random question about the Christmas season, so those of you who don’t do social media at all can even enter! And you also get bonus points for sharing this giveaway with your friends (and this is the season of sharing), so share it!

This giveaway starts December 3rd at 12:00 am MST and ends December 5th at 11:59:59 pm MST. Three full days to enter, so get busy! Winner will be notified by email and have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Prizes are shipped directly from the sponsor.

Enter here:

12 Days of Christmas Day 3

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Subscribe to my email newsletter for updates and special deals.

Please be sure to follow Food Storage and Survival on Facebook which is updated every time there is a new article. You can also find me on Pinterest, and purchase my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival on Amazon.

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Click Here To Vote For Me at Top Prepper Websites!

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Shop the Thrive Monthly Specials or my favorites, the freeze dried vegetables and yogurt bites!

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12 Days of Christmas Giveaways: Day 2–Autographed Food Storage Books

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12 days of Christmas Giveaways--Day 2: Two copies of Food Storage for Self-Sufficiency and Survival Ends 12/5/15Welcome to day 2 of our 12 Days of Christmas giveaways!  Today’s giveaway is a special treat, because, hey, it’s from me!  Today’s winner will receive two autographed copies of my book, Food Storage for Self-Sufficiency and Survival.

Want to know how to plan your food storage?  It’s in the book.  Where to buy it?  How to get it for free?  Want to know the best ways to store that food to keep it edible?  It’s in the book.  How about ways to use your food storage in recipes you already love?  Where to keep the food in a tiny house?  How to can, dehydrate, and freeze your own food?  Specifics on how to get particular foods in your storage like meat and dairy products?  Options for sustainable food storage?  It’s all in the book.  All that and more.  Amazon reviewers rank it 4.9 out of 5 stars, and none of those reviews were written by my mother!  This book will help you with your food storage, and the autograph alone is worth entering!

I’ll mix up the entry methods as we go through the twelve days, so those of you who don’t do one particular type of social media can still get entries. There will also be one FREE entry every day just for answering a random question about the Christmas season, so those of you who don’t do social media at all can even enter! And you also get bonus points for sharing this giveaway with your friends (and this is the season of sharing), so share it!

This giveaway starts December 2nd at 12:00 am MST and ends December 4th at 11:59:59 pm MST. Three full days to enter, so get busy! Winner will be notified by email and have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Today’s prize is shipped directly from me. 🙂

Enter here:

12 Days of Christmas Day 2

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Please be sure to follow Food Storage and Survival on Facebook which is updated every time there is a new article. You can also find me on Pinterest, and purchase my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival on Amazon.

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12 Days of Christmas Giveaways: Day 1–Lucky Gunner Ammo

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12 Days of Christmas Giveaways--Day 1: .223 ammo!  Ends 12/3/15The gift giving season is upon us, and I’m ready to give some gifts to you, my readers!  For the next twelve days, I have teamed up with some fantastic sponsors to bring you Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaways.  Each giveaway will only run for THREE days and there will be a new giveaway every morning.  I know three days is shorter than usual, but it should make it so that when you win you can actually GET your prize before Christmas even if you win the last giveaway!  That way you can wrap up your prize and put it under the tree for someone you love (which, of course, could be yourself!)

For Day 1, we’re starting off with a bang.  Literally.  Well, lots of bangs.  Our friends at Lucky Gunner Ammo are providing $200 worth of .223 ammo to our Day 1 winner.  Can you imagine the weight of the stocking stuffed with that???  I want that stocking!  Lucky Gunner carries in-stock ammunition available for sale online.  So you can shop for ammunition in your pajamas.  Life doesn’t get much better than that.  Well, except when you get to go use the ammo!

Now, these 12 days of giveaways are sponsored by some really great companies and individuals, so to share the love, most of the entry methods will be ways of keeping in touch with them or this site.  I’ll mix up the entry methods as we go through the twelve days, so those of you who don’t do one particular type of social media can still get entries.  There will also be one FREE entry every day just for answering a random question about the Christmas season, so those of you who don’t do social media at all can even enter!  And you also get bonus points for sharing this giveaway with your friends (and this is the season of sharing), so share it!

This giveaway starts December 1st at 12:00 am MST and ends December 3rd at 11:59:59 pm MST.  Three full days to enter, so get busy!  Winner will be notified by email and have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.  Prizes are shipped directly from the sponsor.

Enter here:

12 Days of Christmas Day 1

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Please be sure to follow Food Storage and Survival on Facebook which is updated every time there is a new article. You can also find me on Pinterest, and purchase my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival on Amazon.

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12 Favorite Comfort Foods You Want in Your Food Storage PLUS How to Store Them

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Why have boring food storage?  12 Favorite Comfort Foods You Want in Your Food Storage PLUS How to Store Them!Nobody wants to go through a hard time eating just beans and rice.  I’ve heard frequently that “if you’re hungry enough, you’ll eat anything.”  But why should you need to when you can have foods you love in your food storage?  Comfort foods are familiar.  They taste good and provide an emotional boost.  And who doesn’t want to be happy eating their food storage?  If you’re using it because you need it, you’re probably already stressed enough!  Bring on the comfort foods!  Here are twelve favorite comfort foods you want in your food storage, plus the best ways to store each one to keep them tasty and ready to eat when you want them!

1. Bread

Not too many meals go by here without someone eating bread with it!  Toast, sandwiches, rolls, breadsticks, pizza crust, scones (the western kind).  It’s all bread.

How to store it: 

  • Baked bread can be stored in the freezer for about 4 weeks.  Not too long, but not bad if you catch bread on sale or want to bake six loaves at a time and freeze some for later.
  • Purchase bread dough mixes.  Honeyville makes a really tasty scone (fry bread) mix, and Thrive Life has an amazing white or wheat dough mix.  Shelf life on these is about 3 years unopened.  For any of these mixes, you’ll need to store yeast as well.  Store yeast purchased at the grocery store in the freezer to prolong shelf life.
  • Learn to make bread from scratch and store the ingredients to make it.  Wheat, yeast, oil, and water will make the most basic bread.  Add salt, powdered milk, sugar, and dough conditioners like gluten flour to fancy it up a bit.  Store the ingredients in airtight, rodent proof containers like #10 cans, buckets, or Mylar bags in a bucket or barrel.  For shelf life of individual ingredients, see this Food Storage Shelf Life Chart.  Want a great bread recipe?  We love this one: 6 Grain Bread

2. Mashed potatoes and gravy

I know this is really two ingredients, but they surely go together well!  Not much better than a big pile of mashed potatoes with gravy spilling over them to warm the soul.

How to store it:

  • Potatoes from the store or garden can be stored in a cool, slightly moist environment for 3-6 months.
  • Potato flakes.  Already canned, like the mashed potatoes from Thrive Life, potato flakes store easily on the shelf for up to 25 years.  If you purchase boxed potato flakes at the store, you’ll want to repackage them in a Mylar bag or bucket to keep them fresh.
  • Gravy can be made from the drippings of meat or using broth made with bouillon.  You’ll want a thickener like corn starch or white flour to thicken it up.
  • Gravy mixes are also available.  Bechamel (white sauce), Veloute (chicken gravy), and Espagnole (beef gravy) are packaged to store for 10 years on the shelf.  Gravy packets can also be purchased at your local grocery store and stored by sealing in mason jars or in Mylar bags.

3. Cookies

Warm cookies from the oven!  Yum.  Chocolate chip, oatmeal, sugar cookies.  What’s your favorite?

How to store them:

  • Store bought cookies (off the shelf, not from the bakery) can be stored for up to 1 year by vacuum sealing them in mason jars.
  • Purchase cookie mixes.  Mixes from Thrive Life are packaged to have a shelf life of 3 years and include Classic Cookie Mix (for chocolate chip type cookies), Sugar Cookie Mix, and Coconut Macaroons.  To make boxed mixes last longer than their printed expiration date, repackage them in buckets or Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers.  MAKE SURE you read the directions for making the cookies from the mix so you have the necessary ingredients in your storage!  Some call for butter, some for eggs (you can substitute powdered eggs), some for oil, and some for just water.
  • Store the ingredients to make cookies.  Look for recipes that use oil or shortening rather than butter for longer storage life.  Store ingredients in air tight, pest proof packaging like #10 cans or food grade buckets.  For shelf life of ingredients see this Food Storage Shelf Life Chart.

4. Cakes

Cake in your food storage can help with celebrating special occasions like birthdays during hard times as well as make a quick treat for a potluck or school party!

How to store it:

  • Purchase cake mixes from the store.  To increase shelf life past the printed expiration date, repackage them into buckets or Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers.  Be sure you have the additional ingredients in your storage as well, usually oil, eggs (can use powdered eggs), and water.
  • Learn to make a cake from scratch and store the ingredients for cake.  This is a little more time consuming, but storing ingredients gives you a lot of flexibility in what you choose to make with them.  For shelf life of ingredients, see this Food Storage Shelf Life Chart.

5. Hard candies

Sugar is a quick pick me up, and one easy way to get snackable sugar in your storage is with hard candies.

How to store it:

6. Chocolate

Could the world exist without chocolate?  Available in a variety of forms, chocolate is one of my weaknesses!  You know I have some in my food storage.

How to store it:

  • Chocolate candy can be purchased (post-holiday sales are great for this!) and stored in the freezer or vacuum sealed in a mason jar using a vacuum sealer and jar sealer attachment.  This includes chocolate chips.
  • Hot cocoa.  Drinkable chocolate that’s also warm for those winter months or camping trips.  Stores very well on the shelf.
  • Brownie mix.  As with the cookie mixes, make sure you know what other ingredients you’ll need to store.  Thrive Life’s brownie mix has a three year shelf life and only requires adding water.  Boxed mixes from the store may need oil and/or eggs added (again, you can use powdered eggs).  Repackage boxed mixes in buckets or Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers to extend shelf life past the printed date.
  • Baking cocoa (this brand is my favorite!) adds the ability to make chocolate goodies like cake, brownies, breads, and cookies from your stored ingredients.

7. Ice cream

This is from my kids’ list, and actually one of the trickier food storage foods to store.  Tricky, but  not impossible!

How to store it:

8. Cheese

Cheese is a staple in most of our meals around here.  Macaroni and cheese, pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches, casseroles, burritos, and I’m sure that’s not all.  Cheese is right up there with chocolate in my opinion!

How to store it:

  • Waxed cheese is shelf stable and does not need refrigeration.  It gets super sharp quickly, so I’d recommend starting with mild cheese and eating it within 3 months.
  • Store block cheese in the freezer.  The texture sometimes gets a bit crumbly after defrosting, but if you’re using it shredded, it’s not too big a deal.
  • Buy freeze dried cheese.  Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Colby, Mozzarella, and even Parmesan.  After reconstituting, these cheeses melt just like their fresh counterparts.  20 year shelf life in the can.
  • Buy cheese powder.  If you’re a lover of macaroni and cheese or want cheese flavor in a casserole dish, cheese powder is one way to get it.  15 year shelf life in the can.
  • Learn to make your own cheese.  A learning curve here, but if you have access to the milk to make it, pick up a cheese making kit and give it a try!

9. Butter

For spreading on bread or making cookies, real butter just can’t be beat.

How to store it:

  • Butter stores fantastic in the freezer for 6+ months.  I keep an ever rotating stash there and have never had a problem.  Just put the box in the freezer and swap it to the refrigerator when you’re ready to start using it.
  • Butter powder makes a nice spread, but doesn’t work in baking like fresh butter.  It can be used to add butter flavor to your cooking though!  5 year shelf life in the can.
  • Canned butter.  Real butter, but shelf stable.  Do not, however, can your own butter.  Not safe.
  • Use the heavy cream powder to make butter in a churn or by shaking vigorously in a jar.  This is also a great option if you have access to fresh cream by owning a cow or living near a dairy.

10. Condiments

Almost every meal tastes better with some kind of condiment.  Ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, salad dressing, steak sauce.  You probably have a favorite.

How to store it:

  • Purchase condiments and store on the shelf.  Almost all are shelf stable until they are opened.  Pay attention to expiration dates and rotate them into your regular eating.
  • Learn to make your own condiments and store or grow the ingredients.  Herbs, tomatoes, oil, sugar, and spices can make a variety of sauces.  Find a recipe for the condiment you love and start experimenting with making your own.

11. Pizza

Pizza!  What kid wouldn’t love to have pizza in an emergency?  Pizza is just four basic parts put together: bread, sauce, cheese, and optional toppings.

How to store it:

  • Bread.  See #1 above.
  • Sauce.  Store bottled pizza sauce.  Or the ingredients to make your own sauce (tomato sauce and spices).  Or this tomato sauce is really good and quick to mix up.
  • Cheese.  See #8 above.
  • Optional toppings.  Freeze dried vegetables and meats like sausage work great for topping pizzas, now and in a disaster.  Pizza meats like pepperoni and Canadian bacon purchased at the grocery store can also be stored in the freezer.

12. Peanut Butter

Filling, nutritious, and great on sandwiches or in cookies, peanut butter is a food storage staple.

How to store it:

  • Peanut butter stores on the shelf for up to 3 years.  Check expiration dates when you’re buying and purchase the jars with the furthest out expiration dates.  Rotate into your regular eating to keep your storage fresh.
  • Peanut butter powder also has a shelf life of 3 years.
  • Peanut flour can be mixed into peanut butter by adding sugar, salt, and oil.  Shelf life of 5 years and contains only the ingredients you put into it.

What comfort foods are you storing? Let me know in the comments!

For items that need baked like bread, pizza, cookies, and cakes, you’ll want a powerless baking method. A Sun Oven, dutch oven and coals, or HERC tea light oven would all work great.

For more nuts and bolts information like this on storing and using food storage, check out my book, Food Storage for Self-Sufficiency and Survival!

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Subscribe to my email newsletter for updates and special deals.

Please be sure to follow Food Storage and Survival on Facebook which is updated every time there is a new article. You can also find me on Pinterest, and purchase my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival on Amazon.

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Keeping the “Special” in Special Occasions: 10 Tips for Celebrating During Hard Times

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Need a low budget birthday or anniversary idea? Check this out: Keeping the "special" in special occasions! 10 tips for celebrating in hard times.Who doesn’t love special occasions?  Holidays are a great time to relax and enjoy life and family.  But what if life isn’t so good and your family is going through a hard time?   Large scale disasters, or personal disasters like experiencing job loss, family stress, or loss of a loved one can severely limit the time, energy, and money available for “extras”.  Regardless of our personal situation however, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and even super special occasions like weddings will still happen.  Being able to set these days apart as special is a morale booster that may be particularly necessary if you are going through a hard time.  You don’t need a huge party to let someone know they are loved and honored.  Try some of these low budget ideas to keep the “special” in those special occasions even when resources are limited.

1.  Do something instead of buying something.  Experiences can be more memorable than gifts.  Even if all you can do is something small, make a memory.  Walk in the woods.  Picnic on the grass (or in the living room).  Read a special book together.  Have a karaoke night.  You get the idea.

2.  Make something instead of buying something.  Homemade gifts speak volumes about the level of thought you put into celebrating the other person or event.  Use your crafting skills and make something meaningful.  A friend of mine has a metal rose made by her husband who was a welder.  Absolutely beautiful, low cost, and more meaningful than a box of chocolates.  Can you work with wood?  Knit or crochet?  Paint or draw?  Surely you can write!  Create a book of things you love or admire about the other person, or write a heartfelt note.

3.  Involve friends and family.  Having special people over can be a treat in itself.  Or have each friend or family member write down a memory they have shared with the person who is celebrating their special day and box them up as a gift.  Free but priceless.  This does take some prior planning so everyone can participate!  No procrastinating here!

4.  Make your own bouquet.  Want to give flowers?  How about a wildflower bouquet.  Or cut flowers from your own flower garden. If you don’t have a flower garden, ask a friend or neighbor who has one if you can use some of their flowers for a bouquet.

5.  Shop all year.  Clearance sales and other special occasion sales like Black Friday can produce some great gifts. So can some yard sales.  Buy it cheap, stash it, and you have something to give when that special day rolls around.

6.  Give things you already have.  This can work lots of ways.  Maybe an older brother doesn’t use his toy car anymore and you can gift it to the younger one.  Clothes that were worn very little by one sister might be loved by another.  Make sure to get the permission of whoever is giving up the soon-to-be-gifted item!  Some of my favorite gifts were given to me this way by my grandparents–ornaments off my Grandma’s Christmas tree, vases and a nativity set from my other grandparents.  Things you might think have little value become valuable because they are a piece of you.

7.  Use special place settings.  Break out the china.  Or just give the birthday boy or anniversary couple special plates.  Pick up holiday themed paper plates and napkins on clearance after the holiday and they’ll be ready to use the next year for making anything you put on it a little more special.

8. Keep party stuff in your food storage and emergency supplies.  No need to go overboard here and buy out a party supply store!  A few cake mixes, frosting, or ingredients to make them will go a long way.  If the power is out, you may need an alternative method for baking your cake.  A Sun Oven, dutch oven and coals, or HERC tea light oven would all work great.  And you do have candles in your emergency supplies, right?  Stick one on that cake you just baked, or use them for a candlelight dinner.

9. Learn to produce some of your own specialty foods.  As you plan your garden, farm, or hunting season, plan for the foods you want to have for your special occasions.  Love pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving?  Grow pumpkins.  Want a turkey?  Raise one.  One year my family produced everything we needed to make our own Thanksgiving meal.  It was a little different (nobody could grow cranberries and we had fish and venison in addition to the turkey), but it was fantastic!

10. Simplify now.  As parents, sometimes we want to give our kids everything they want.  If you regularly go to extremes celebrating special occasions, it might be hard to do something small when you’re experiencing hard times.  The good thing is that people, especially kids, don’t need a lot of the “stuff” we get them.  Trimming back on what you spend and simplifying holidays now will help if there comes a time when you need to do less.  One family I know has simplified Christmas by giving each child only four gifts: something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read.  Are there traditions you could start now to simplify your special occasions?

Celebrating should not need to end if things get hard.  Using these ideas can help your family keep the “special” in special occasions regardless of your personal circumstances.  Have any other ideas?  I’d love to hear them in the comments section below!

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Subscribe to my email newsletter for updates and special deals.

Please be sure to follow Food Storage and Survival on Facebook which is updated every time there is a new article. You can also find me on Pinterest, and purchase my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival on Amazon.

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30 Ways a Plastic Bag can Save Your Life

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30 ways a plastic bag can save your life! Perfect multi purpose item for emergency kits!Got plastic bags?  They could save your life!  Today we’re sharing a list compiled by the folks at PlasticPlace.com of the many preparedness uses for plastic bags (plus a little commentary by me anywhere you see these blue italics).

From making cordage to collecting water to emergency signalling, the survival uses for plastic bags are many and varied.  Lightweight and inexpensive, they are an item you’ll definitely want to add to your emergency kits.  Ready to put them to use?  Here’s 30 ways a plastic bag can save your life.

1. Rope and cordage: It’s possible to make strong and durable rope by hand just using garbage bags. Once you’ve got rope, you have the beginnings of shelter, splints, and so much more. Check out this video for the technique.

2. Knapsack: Use sturdy garbage bags and some of that cool garbage bag rope you just made to build weatherproof carrying bags.

3. Wound irrigation: Getting enough water pressure to flush out a wound can be a challenge out in the wild. Poking a small hole in a bag filled with clean water can help clear the wound more effectively with less water.

4. Ice pack: If you need to apply cold to an injury but want the patient to stay otherwise warm and dry, filling the corner of a bag with snow or ice is the way to go.

5. Tourniquet: In a crisis first aid situation, where it’s imperative to stop the bleeding quickly, a sturdy strip of garbage bag applied as a tourniquet can safe life and limbs.

6. Emergency bandage: Keep a cut clean and dry and keep the pressure going by tying a layer of plastic bag around whatever you’re using to staunch the bleeding.

7. Sling: Support and immobilize injured arms with a strong, flexible piece of heavy trash bag.

8. Stretcher: Combined with branches, contractor grade garbage bags are tough enough to support the weight of an injured companion or other heavy load.

9. Create a quarantine: Whether you’re dealing with a zombie virus or something more day-to-day, plastic bag screens and masks can help to slow the spread of disease.

Cut them open and use for sealing doors and windows in your quarantine zone!  You’ll also need some duct tape.

10. Flotation device: They might not be the sturdiest life-jackets, but in a tight spot filling a strong garbage bag with air and sealing it shut can buy you a bit of buoyancy.

11. Food storage: Don’t want to attract bears and other wildlife when you’re spending time outdoors? Put your food in several layers of plastic bags (to cut down odors) and then hang it from a tree away from your sleeping area.

12. Water collection: Drinking out of puddles can cause disease. With a plastic bag, you can catch rain or dew in a cleaner environment. Dig a shallow hole, line it with the garbage bag, and weigh down the edges with rocks.

13. Solar still: Turn salt water into drinkable fresh water with a black trash bag. Here’s a video that will show you how.

14. Transpiration bag: Yet another amazing way a garbage bag can help you get water. Find a leafy branch in direct sunlight, give it a shake to get any critters out, and tie a see thru trash bag around the branch.

15. Boil water: Boiling water is the best way to purify it, but if you don’t have a pot what are you supposed to do? Boil in the bag. We’re serious. Check it out in this video.

16. Signalling: A white or brightly colored garbage bag can make all the difference in a search operation. Wear it or wave it to flag down helicopters, boats, or passing travelers.

17. Trail markers: another great use for colored trash bags. Cut small strips off the bag and tie them to branches as you go. This will help searchers follow your trail in thick forests, and let you easily retrace your steps if necessary.

Make sure you can see your last marker from the next one you tie so it’s easy to follow your trail!

18. Shelter: A couple of big drum liners, combined with a rope or a branch, can make an amazingly effective one-man tent. If you’ve ever watched Bear Grylls try to build a shelter from what’s in the wild, you know it’s not easy. Avoid having to skin a sheep by carrying a couple of our strong 95 gallon bags You’ll save time, energy, and calories.

19. Fly screen: Especially in mosquito-infested areas, getting some relief from bugs can be a big deal. Cut some slits in a large garbage bag and hang it across the opening of your shelter. It will discourage insects but let important ventilation through.

20. Sleeping bag: Right? No explanation needed. Bigger is better: check out one of these extra tall bags for the best comfort.

21. Mattress: Stuff it with whatever you can find. This isn’t just about comfort: your body loses a lot of heat in contact with the cold ground. Insulating your sleeping space can be a literal life-saver. Even just getting your head and torso off the ground will make a noticeable difference.

The plastic will also serve as a moisture barrier from ground moisture.  Good deal all around.

22. Dry storage: Anyone who has ever been cold and wet knows that a dry pair of socks is the closest thing to heaven in that situation. It can also fend off frostbite and gangrene. Keep your spares toasty in at least one layer of plastic.

23. Spare shoes: If your footwear isn’t waterproof, a layer of trash bag can provide protection from puddles and rain.

I remember doing this as a kid with bread bags inside my snow boots!  My mom was resourceful like that.

24. Vapor barrier: Most people have used a garbage bag as an impromptu poncho once or twice, but staying dry becomes much more important out in the elements. Protecting your warming inner layers from rain and mist with an environmental shell layer like a plastic bag is an important survival step. Tip: add a few small vent holes to prevent moisture from sweat and condensation from building up inside the bag.

25. Safety vest: If you’re lost in the woods and it’s hunting season, you want to be saved, not shot. An orange trash bag worn over your clothes will keep hunters from accidentally aiming at you.

Bright orange is great for any time you want to be seen or found!

26. Hypothermia layer: If you’re caught outside in dangerously cold temperatures, a plastic bag is excellent for conserving body heat. Keep the hole for your head as small as possible, and don’t bother making arm holes, just hug yourself and hold the heat in. If there are dry leaves, pine needles, or other materials like newspapers around, you can stuff the bag to increase insulation. Bonus: black garbage bags will absorb whatever sunlight is around.

27. Waste containment: Sorry to be gross, but it’s important. In a disaster, disease is what usually causes the second wave of devastation. Plastic bags are indispensable for maintaining hygiene in this situation.

A simple bucket can be turned into a toilet and you’ll want plenty of garbage bag liners handy when you need to use it! Or use the bags to line your home toilet when the water isn’t working.

28. Shower: Staying clean is actually really important in an environment where infection can kill. If water is plentiful and you want to wash, fill a strong black bag and hang it from a branch. After it’s warmed in the sun for a while, poke a hole in the bottom and splash around.

29. Low-tech washing machine: This is a similar technique. Agitating your clothes in an extra-thick garbage bag of sun-warmed water can be surprisingly effective, and takes a lot less energy than scrubbing against rocks.

30. Fish trap: A big plastic bag can make it much easier to catch protein-rich fish without a rod and reel.

How would you use a plastic bag for survival?  Leave your ideas in the comments!  You probably have plastic bags around your house, but if not or if you’re looking for something a little different, PlasticPlace.com has a huge selection of plastic bags!

Now go get some in your emergency kit!

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Subscribe to my email newsletter for updates and special deals.

Please be sure to follow Food Storage and Survival on Facebook which is updated every time there is a new article. You can also find me on Pinterest, and purchase my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival on Amazon.

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Click Here To Vote For Me at Top Prepper Websites!

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Shop the Thrive Monthly Specials or my favorites, the freeze dried vegetables and yogurt bites!

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Don’t Toss that Wax! Make an Instant Fire Starter from Your Scented Wax Melter

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Don't toss that wax! Make and instant fire starter from your scented wax melter! So easy!Okay, I know most of you have some sort of melter for scented wax in your house, right?  Yes?  I held out for a lot of years, but finally got convinced to get one by a friend of mine.  So now I have a stinky wax melter in my house and it smells divine.  Especially the spicy fall scents.  All.  Year.  Long.

I soon found out however, that these stinky wax pieces don’t stay stinky forever and I was changing wax out over and over.  Why waste that precious wax?  So I started saving the wax in a can to make dryer lint fire-starters, but then discovered an even faster way to get a fire starter made that also cleans out the melter in a hurry.  So fast, it’s practically instant.

Here’s what you need:

  • Scented wax melter do-hickey (I got mine from my Scentsy rep here)
  • Stinky wax melts.  Today I’m using Huckleberry Sage from Scentsy.
  • Cotton squares (from the beauty department–usually next to the cotton balls)

Don't toss that wax! Make and instant fire starter from your scented wax melter! So easy!

When your wax isn’t smelling up your house like you’d like it to anymore and you’re ready for a change, simply sop up the wax with the cotton squares.

Don't toss that wax! Make and instant fire starter from your scented wax melter! So easy!

Squish the squares in there and soak it all up.

I use two cotton squares for each square of wax.

Then pull the squares apart and set them somewhere to cool off.  I use a glass tray.  Since this is low temperature melting wax, it won’t burn your fingers and also doesn’t take long to cool off.

Don't toss that wax! Make and instant fire starter from your scented wax melter! So easy!

Don't toss that wax! Make and instant fire starter from your scented wax melter! So easy!

Once they’re cool, they’re ready to use!

Each fire starter burns for just over 4 minutes.  Simply light a corner with a match or lighter and let it burn.  They will also light with a striker style lighter!  Just rough up the cotton square a bit by massaging it with your hands until some of the cotton fibers are exposed, and strike your sparks to that spot.  I demonstrate this in the video below.  Lights right up!

Don't toss that wax! Make and instant fire starter from your scented wax melter! So easy!

Don't toss that wax! Make and instant fire starter from your scented wax melter! So easy!

Don't toss that wax! Make and instant fire starter from your scented wax melter! So easy!

These can be cut in fourths for even more packability!  Light weight and perfect for getting a fire going in your fireplace or wood stove.  Also easy to carry in your emergency kit.  Or take camping.  So don’t toss that leftover wax!  Whenever you’re ready for a change, make a couple instant fire starters instead.

Want to see it in action?  Here’s the video:

Keep preparing!
Angela

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72 Hour Emergency Kit Series Week 9: Documents

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Build your 72 hour emergency kit one week at a time! Week 9: Emergency Kit DocumentsIn case of an emergency, and especially one requiring an evacuation, you’ll want to be able to easily prove you are who you say you are and you own what you say you own.  You may need to be cleared by authorities to regain access to your home, prove your identity to travel, or claim losses with your insurance agent.  Having proper documentation in your emergency kit will help you do all these, plus it will help you access important information even when there is not an emergency.  So what documents do you need?  And where do you keep them?  Let’s start with a list of suggested documents you’ll want to have easy access to.  Keep in mind that you may not personally even have all of these, so just gather what you do have.

GET THIS LIST as a printable PDF checklist here!

72 Hour Emergency Kit Documents

Proof of Identification (because Aunt Mildred vouching for your identity just won’t cut it)

  • Driver’s License
  • Concealed weapons permit/s
  • Birth Certificates
  • Social Security Cards
  • Passports
  • Marriage License

Property Records (because you own this stuff and you want to prove it)

  • Mortgage/Deed for all property owned
  • Rental agreement
  • Video, photos, and/or lists of home and property inventory (best if you are in the photos or video).  Next time you clean your house, just take pictures in each room.  You don’t even really need to clean your house–nobody is going to see these unless you actually experience an emergency that creates loss of your home or property.
  • Receipts for major purchases
  • Payment record for major repairs
  • Appraisals of jewelry, other valuables
  • Titles to vehicles
  • Cemetery lot information
  • Firearm inventory/Serial Numbers

Insurance Policies

If you don’t want to copy the entire policy (some of these are thick!), at least have the contact information for your agent and your policy numbers handy.

  • Homeowners
  • Health
  • Life
  • Disability
  • Automobile

Medical Information (so you can get medical help if you need to)

  • Immunizations, other records
  • Prescription information (drug, dosage)
  • Health Insurance ID Cards
  • Physicians names and phone numbers
  • Living will
  • History of illnesses, accidents, surgeries
  • Power of Attorney for health care
  • Dental records

Estate Planning

  • Wills, trusts
  • Power of attorney
  • Funeral instructions
  • Attorney’s name and phone number

Financial Records

  • Tax returns (2 years)
  • Credit cards front and back
  • Stocks, bonds, CD’s, money market
  • Recent bank statement

Other

  • Personal address book
  • Backup of important computer files
  • Usernames and passwords for online accounts
  • Key to safety deposit box
  • Recent photograph
  • List of where original documents are kept
  • Extra set of car and house keys
  • Contact numbers of utility companies (gas, electric, water)
  • Emergency numbers
  • Map of area and phone numbers of places you could go in case of evacuation

Where to Store Your Documents

Your original documents are SO important to keep safe if at all possible.  Some things, like a driver’s license, birth certificate, or passport must be presented as originals, not photocopies, to be considered valid.  For most documents, a copy will suffice.  Here are some ideas on where to keep them.  I recommend choosing one place for originals and at least two others for copies.

  1. Originals in a safety deposit box at a bank.  These are secure, but consider if you really want to be going to the bank in the event of a regional or wide spread disaster.
  2. Originals gathered together at home in a place where you can grab them all and go quickly, but they are not easily accessible or located by those who might have an interest in stealing your identity.  A fire-proof safe or fire resistant document bag in a discreet location is perfect.
  3. Copies of all your original documents in a discreet notebook.
  4. Scanned copies saved on a thumb drive.
  5. Scanned copies uploaded to an online data storage service like Amazon cloud (free unlimited photo storage for Amazon prime members), or Dropbox.
  6. Scanned or photocopies at a location other than your home, like a trusted friend or family member’s house.

The only drawback to storing files digitally would be if the disaster was so widespread that there was no access to computers or internet networks anywhere.  While possible, the most common emergencies will be local or personal and your scanned files will be accessible from a computer away from your home.

Want to chat with me about 72 hour kit documents? Here’s the video:

What about you?  What documents do you have in your emergency kit?  Leave me a comment below with any ideas or suggestions.

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Five Ways Amazon Prime Makes Preparing Easy

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5 Ways Amazon Prime Makes Preparing Easy! This service is perfect for preppers!Amazon.com’s membership service, Amazon Prime, offers quite a few perks to the average user.  But how useful is it for getting you prepared? I’ve analyzed the service through a preparedness lens and here are five fantastic ways Amazon Prime makes preparing easy.

1. Free 2-day shipping

Valid on 20 million items available on Amazon.com with no dollar limit on your order.  That means if you just want a copy of my book, you don’t have to add twenty more dollars worth of items you don’t need to get the free shipping!  Use your free shipping to get flashlights, survival knives, water filters, books, or even food! Use your free shipping to send things to yourself or to send gifts to your friends and family members. Remember, this isn’t the regular 5-8 day free shipping, this is the upgraded 2 day free shipping, so you can even be a gift procrastinator and still get it there in time!  Or get that new sleeping bag delivered in time for next week’s camp out.

2. Unlimited photo storage.

How many ways can you think to use this one? Don’t want to lose your photos to a computer crash, house fire, or natural disaster? Store them on the Amazon cloud and they’ll be safe no matter what happens at your own house. Scan in documents like birth certificates, marriage licenses, passports, or vehicle titles for easy access from a location other than home. Make a folder with photos of the contents of every room in your house for your homeowner’s insurance. And of course, preserve precious memories of the most important people and events in your life.

3. Access to streaming videos.

Now, some of these shows will be a complete waste of time, but there are some survival themed shows available to stream for free with Amazon Prime like Hunger Games, World War Z, Seven Alone, or Collapse. There’s usually something that can be learned from a survival themed show. Date night, anyone?

4. Ad-free streaming music.

To listen to while you work on one of these Weekend Preparedness Projects!  And all the money you would have spent buying albums can now be used for food storage!

5. Free e-books to check out.

Perusing the titles available for free download for Amazon Prime members brought up lots of preparedness related books, including edible plant guides, The Survival Medicine Handbook by Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, various titles by Creek Stewart, and even my book, Food Storage for Self-Sufficiency and Survival! These e-books are available at no charge, just like checking a book out of your library (minus the late fees)!

Amazon Prime is priced at $99 for the year.  That’s just $8.25 per month.  Make preparing easier, head on over and get yourself set up with Amazon Prime.

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Mountain House 2 Day Emergency Food Supply Giveaway!

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Mountain House 2 Day Emergency Food Supply Giveaway! Easy entry! Ends 9/29/15Do you have any quick cook meals in your food storage?  I am a real believer in ingredient based food storage, but I keep a variety of pre-packaged meals on hand for times with we need something fast and easy.  I also use them in my emergency kits.  And on spur of the moment fishing trips.  Mountain House is consistently one of my favorite foods for quick camping or emergency meals because they cook up so fast and easy, require almost no clean-up, and actually taste good!  Yes, that means the kids AND my man will eat these.

They have a lot of different varieties of meals, so what if you want something to feed your family or stash in your emergency supplies that makes your choice easy?  Well, the awesome folks at Mountain House have come out with a convenient way to get some emergency meals in your stash by introducing Multi-day Just in Case emergency meal kits!  These pre-packaged kits include Mountain House meal favorites and are designed to feed one individual three meals a day.  They are available in kits packed for different lengths of time from 2 to 14 days.  I recently tested out some Mountain House meals on a fishing trip.  I’m telling you, nobody is disappointed when I bring Mountain House along on an outing.

Check it out:

Now I know you want to stock your emergency supplies with some easy, delicious meals, and Mountain House has graciously offered to give one lucky winner one of the new Just in Case 2 Day Emergency Food Supply kits!  This kit contains 2 Breakfast Skillet meals, 2 Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, and 2 Rice and Chicken.  I’ve personally tried each of those meals and you won’t be disappointed.

Mountain House 2 Day Emergency Food Supply Giveaway! Easy entry! Ends 9/29/15

Entering is easy! Just use the form or link below. Entries for checking out the Facebook pages of Food Storage and Survival and Mountain House, following me or Mountain House on Instagram, following me on Pinterest, subscribing to my YouTube channel, AND referring friends to this giveaway! And hey, one free entry for everyone just because I don’t want anyone left out. Even those of you who don’t do social media of any kind (just FYI, you and my husband would get along swimmingly).

Food Storage and Survival’s Mountain House 2 Day kit Giveaway

Keep preparing!
Angela

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72 Hour Emergency Kit Series Week 8: Light

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Build your 72 hour kit! This week we cover light sources for your kit--what's your favorite?We’re back for another installment of building your 72 hour emergency kit!  Remember what we’ve discussed before about personalizing your kit and then let’s get some light in your kit!

Nobody wants to be left in the dark.  Either about your family reunion plans or in an emergency situation!  An emergency light source helps you see where you otherwise couldn’t, and extends the day past sundown when the electricity is out.  For packing in an emergency kit, you’ll want your light source to be light weight and still provide adequate light for working or seeing into the dark.  Consider adding more than one if space and weight restrictions permit.  Backups are always good.  Here are some of my favorites for emergency kit lighting:

1.  Headlamp.  I extol all the glories of headlamps in this post, but for the sake of keeping this list short-ish, let’s just say that headlamps are an invention I wish I had thought of.  They are small, light weight, and strap to your HEAD.  That means the light is always shining where you are looking (unlike when you have your child hold the light for you) and they leave your hands free.

2.  Flashlights.  There are so many varieties of flashlights it can be hard to pick just one!  I love Streamlight for their light output.  LED flashlights are good because they use less battery power to run and the bulbs can’t break.  Not too long ago I found some fantastic little LED lights in the camping section of WalMart for $1.00 each.  Keychain lights are great for emergency kits as they are very small and can be clipped to a zipper on the outside of your bag for easy access.  Some flashlights are even designed to be usable as a lantern to provide area light rather than directed light.  Make sure you check the batteries in your lights when you rotate your emergency kits.

3.  Glow Sticks.  Glow sticks are cheap, bright, safe, and don’t require batteries.  Particularly plentiful in stores around holidays like Independence Day and Halloween.  Most glow sticks put out a good deal of light for 6-8 hours.  A couple of cautions with these–the thinner varieties (marketed as bracelets and necklaces) can spring leaks if handled too roughly, and once the inner core is broken and the chemicals are mixed, they only have one life, so if your glow stick gets activated in your pack on accident it may not work when you need it.  These also tend to lose glow power and reliability as they age, so plan on rotating them regularly.

4.  Reusable Glow Sticks.  My favorites are manufactured by UVPaqlite.  These glow after being exposed to a light source, so you’ll need some way to get them charged (sunlight or another flashlight work great).  They do not put out as much light as a single use light stick, but they can provide enough to see by are reusable forever.  Kind of like a glow in the dark sticker on steroids.  I review UVPaqlite products here and here.  I love these in my kids’ kits and have used them camping with the kids frequently.  They can have light at night that isn’t obnoxious to the rest of the tent dwellers AND doesn’t use up batteries!

5.  Candle LanternUCO makes a great little candle lantern perfect for packing.  We have the micro version that uses tea lights.  Small and lightweight, it can provide ambient light rather than direct light like a flashlight.  If you’re going to use a candle lantern, be sure your candles (which could mean your entire kit) are not kept where they will melt all over the place and that you have matches or a lighter to get them lit.

6.  Cell Phone.  I’m listing this one last even though it is usually my go-to when I need a flashlight.  Your cell phone probably has a light on it that can be used for a flashlight.  The drawback to using it is that it siphons battery power from your phone at an amazing fast rate and you will probably want to keep your cell phone usable for purposes other than light in an emergency.

And here’s a video showing some of these lights:

With the options available, you should be able to get more than one light source in your kit without making it too heavy.  What do you have for light in your emergency kit?

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Fat Guys in the Woods Season 2: Preview

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Fat Guys in the Woods Season 2 PreviewFat Guys in the Woods is back for seconds!  Premiering June 7th at 9pm EST on the Weather Channel, the hit survival series that debuted last year is returning for more fun in the woods.  And I got a sneak preview of this week’s episode.

We sat down to watch this as a family.  Yes, it’s family friendly television!  Like last season, survival expert Creek Stewart takes a group of ordinary guys into the wild to survive on their own for a week with very few supplies.  In the process, they learn survival skills, get some deep thinking time, and get a boost to their manhood and self esteem.  And really, who wouldn’t want to spend a week in the woods learning survival skills with Creek?

New this year, they are visiting various locations across the United States instead of doing all their filming in the Smoky Mountains.  This week they were in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona.  This was particularly interesting to me because it is a lot more like where I live than the lush greenery and tall trees they had available last season.  Multiple locations is really going to help Creek showcase a variety of survival skills as well as help the nationwide audience relate to the show this season.  Love this new angle.

Fat Guys in the Woods Season 2 PreviewThe premier episode features three fantastic volunteers, Jacob, Randy, and Peter, who the kids quickly renamed Red Beard, Black Beard, and No Beard.  Following Creek and a trusty military survival manual, they build a parachute shelter, struggle with fire starting and having enough water, hike 30 miles, experience temperature fluctuations only the desert can deal out, and eat so little that MRE’s are appetizing at the end of the week.

It’s pretty rough watching a show of any kind with my family of commentators, especially survival shows, and this one was no exception.  When the parabolic lens fire starter didn’t work, hubby says, “They have shoelaces and knives, why don’t they build a bow drill?” (It’s a TV show, dear, they can’t use all their fire starting techniques in one episode.)  He also wants one of those hoody things Creek was wearing–where can I find one of those?  And when it took until the end of the second day to reveal that the cactus they were stepping over the whole time was actually edible, my girls practically yelled, “FINALLY!!”  (Yes, we’ve eaten cactus.  Next time try it raw or fried or roasted on a stick–none of them are great, but boiling is the least appetizing!)  Then when they really did cook and eat that spider the four year old says with his sad voice (that spider was a potential friend you know), “Who would eat spiders in real life?”  So sad, buddy, but it had to be done.  As Red Beard said, “I can’t think of a better way to face your fear than to eat it.”

Even with the excess comments from the audience at my house, I connect with this show.  I laugh, I celebrate the victories with them, and I cry.  Every.  Single.  Time.

The survival skills demonstrated are practical, creative, and potentially life saving.  But the show is only partly about survival skills.  The other part is about people building.  Which is what makes this a show I want to watch.  Yes, they can build a shelter and build a fire, but in the meantime they’re building people.  People like Jacob, Randy, and Peter, who will leave this experience better men than when they started.  And people watching that think, “maybe I have that in me as well!”  Yes, viewer, yes you do.  And if you’re looking for a TV show that can inspire you to dig deep and become a better person, this is it.

Fat Guys in the Woods Season 2 premiers this Sunday June 7th at 9pm EST on The Weather Channel.  As an added bonus, they will be playing a Season 1 marathon just prior, starting at 1pm.  And you can always join in the fan discussion over at the official Fat Guys Facebook page.  Fat Guys in the Woods will be time well spent on Sunday evenings for the next 8 weeks!

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Please be sure to follow Food Storage and Survival on Facebook which is updated every time there is a new article. You can also find me on Pinterest, and purchase my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival on Amazon.

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72 Hour Emergency Kit Series Week 7: Clothes

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72 hour kit emergency series week 7: ClothesClothes.  Who needs em?  Totally kidding!!  Contrary to what you may have seen on shows like “Naked and Afraid,” clothes are not optional.  This week in our 72 hour emergency kit series we’re covering the topic of clothes.  As I have in the past, I’m going to cover different options and ideas for you to consider, then it’s up to you to make the best choice for your personal situation.  You might think this would be a simple topic, but there are lots of options and it all really depends on what your plans are.  Answering the following questions will help you figure out what types of clothing you’ll need to pack in your emergency kit.

1.  Are you staying or going?  If you’re staying in your home, you’re set as long as you’ve done laundry recently!  If you’re going, read on!

2.  If you’re evacuating, where are you going?  Grandma’s house?  A hotel or shelter?  Out to the woods?  Dressing for a night at grandma’s or a night alone in the woods are probably not the same.

3.  Do you want to blend in or stand out?  If your plan is to hide in the woods, you’ll want to blend in to the woods.  If your plan is to evacuate through a city, you’ll want to blend in with the other people walking the street.  If you’re going to a shelter and you want to be able to quickly count all the kids to make sure they haven’t wandered too far, consider matching shirts for each family member of a bright color.  I’ve seen this suggested, but I would NOT go so far as putting names in a visible location on your shirts.  You don’t want some stranger acting like they are someone your child should know because they are able to call him or her by their name.

4.  What’s the weather like?  Are you going to be out in the heat and humidity?  Rain?  Cold and snow?  Pack accordingly.  Layers are great as they allow for warmth when needed and can be removed if the weather warms up or you are working.  I include thermals as they can be used for pajamas as well as a base layer during a cold day.  Hats can provide warmth and/or sun protection.

5.  Do you have shoes?  You do NOT want to be barefoot in an emergency!  Check out these 9 tips for keeping shoes on your feet no matter what.

6.  If you packed clothes six months or a year or two years ago, do they still fit?  Have you gained or lost weight?  Gotten pregnant?  Did your kids grow?  It is best to check and rotate the clothing in your kit every six to twelve months.

In my family’s kits I have stocked the kids with red shirts to help me keep track of them, and layers in the event we need to use our kits in cold weather.  I usually get the clothes for their kits from thrift stores or yard sales for cheap.  My kit has clothes I could wear outdoors or in.  I have a pair of my favorite retired hiking boots tied to the kit.

To help the clothes fit better in my kit and keep them dry, protected, and organized, I vacuum seal them with my FoodSaver vacuum sealer and label the package with what’s inside (because vacuum sealed clothes all kind of look the same).  For the kids I’ll draw a picture on the package if they are too small to read.

What clothes are in your kit?  Do you have any suggestions for someone just starting out?

And for those of you who like to listen to me talk, here is where I explain clothing for your emergency kit without you having to read about it 🙂

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Don’t Eat That! Seven Signs of Good Food Storage Gone Bad

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Don't eat that! Seven signs of good food storage gone bad.Expiration dates are only an indicator of optimal freshness in canned goods.  Just because your can of food has reached the printed expiration date does not mean it needs thrown out.  Food can be edible and nutritious long past printed expiration dates.  However, canned foods do not stay good forever.  So, expiration dates aside, how can you know when food has gone bad and shouldn’t be eaten?  Here are seven great indicators:

1.  Can or lid is bulging, or excessive pressure is released when can is opened.  Food spoiling builds pressure inside the can that is released when you break the can’s seal.  At the extreme end, this pressure can visibly bulge out the ends of the can.

2.  Can or jar seal is broken.  Seals must be tight to keep food good.  In the early days of my food storage adventure, I had jam that I made and sealed using the “invert the jar full of hot jam” method instead of processing it in a water bath canner (not safe!) and I thought it sealed, but when I went to use some, the seal had come loose on every one of them.  Sad day.  This broken seal is often accompanied by #3 and #4.

3.  Signs of corrosion on the can.  This can show on the outside as rust, or on the inside as corroded can lining.

4.  Food seeping from can seals.  Yep, guaranteed the food inside isn’t worth eating.  This can happen at the top or bottom seal or along the edge seam.

5.  Food looks bad, moldy, or cloudy.  Or maybe there’s little bubbles in it when there shouldn’t be.  Just don’t eat it.

6.  Food smells bad after opening.  Bad smells are a signal that something isn’t right.

7.  Visual signs of insect infestation in dry foods like webbing, larva, or exoskeleton debris.

Package your food right and keep it rotated and you’ll always have fresh foods in your storage to eat.  And there are options for using food that has gone bad so you’re not just throwing it in the trash!  I cover these topics in depth and a whole lot more in my book, Food Storage for Self-Sufficiency and Survival!

Keep preparing!
Angela

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FoodSaver and Freezer Label Giveaway!

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FoodSaver / Freezerlabel.Net Freezer Label Giveaway

FoodSaver & Freezer Label GiveawayA group of my homesteading and preparedness blogger friends have come together to bring this giveaway to you. By entering you have the chance to win 1 of 3 prizes!

3 Winners

1 – The first prize is one FoodSaver Model Number#V4880 I LOVE my FoodSaver!  And yes, I’m still using one that’s like 15 years old.  Maybe someday I’ll upgrade to one as nice as this one we’re giving away!  (**Please Read Disclaimer #4)

PLUS 120 Professionally Printed Freezer Labels from FreezerLabels.Net this is a $319.00 Value.

2 – Second & Third Prizes are 120 Professionally Printed Freezer Labels from FreezerLables.Net for 2 winners.

Freezer Labels.Net

Freezer Labels have been provided by Freezerlabel.net they are designed to be used in freezing environments and made to last, unlike other paper labels. Visit their website to find printables and other freezer labeling tools.

Free Printables Here!

When Is The Giveaway?

Begins May 1st 12am EST

Ends May 8th 12am EST

Who Can Enter?

Anyone 18 years or older, and a resident of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii.

Winner Notification

The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If we do not hear back from said winner in the designated time period of 24 hours we will choose another winner and they will have 24 hours to respond from the time the notification email is sent.

Giveaway Terms & Conditions

You can find the official Giveaway Terms and Conditions by clicking here!

Enter Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep preparing!
Angela

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Super Spring Canning Giveaway!

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Super Spring Canning Giveaway!  Ends 4/24/15Who’s ready for a giveaway?  I know you all have plans to can something this year, and if you didn’t you can now!  I’ve teamed up with some of my favorite bloggers to bring you this giveaway for TWO fantastic canners.  One winner will win both an All American Pressure Canner and a Ball Stainless Water Bath Canner!  Really, these are top of the line canners.  I wish I could enter this giveaway because they’re both an upgrade from what I use!

In addition to the canners, the winner will also receive a 6 Month Self Reliant School Membership.

Self Reliant School is a fantastic resource to help you become more self reliant.  I know the instructor and she knows her stuff.  Here’s more about their program from them:

Come learn how to be Self Reliant at Self Reliant School. Dehydrating is the class we are currently producing. May 1st we will begin a homebrewing class, and we plan to release a canning class before the end of the year. These are not a YouTube videos; each eCourse has 15+ classes plus print materials that go along with each class–we take it step-by-step and go into great detail. We also have an online community for discussion and sharing. We’re open 24/7, and unlike other classes your questions are always welcome and answered.

More of my favorite resources to help out with your canning and food preservation adventures (none of these are included in the giveaway–just sharing things I love)!

Also check out my CANNING ARCHIVES for some great fully illustrated canning projects to get you started!

Now for the nitty gritty details and the entry form!

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram, Pinterest, All American or Ball Canning Co. This All American Pressure Canner #921 and Stainless Steel 21 qt. Waterbath Canner Giveaway is open to any resident who is 18 years of age or older who lives in one of the 48 US Contiguous States. This giveaway starts on Friday, April 17th, 2015 at 5:00 am (MST) and ends on Friday, April 24th, 2015 at 5:00 pm (MST). The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If we do not hear back from said winner in the designated time period of 24 hours we will choose another winner and they will have 24 hours to respond from the time the notification email is sent. Please check your SPAM email folders. Good luck to everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep preparing!
Angela

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