Top 5 Versatile Foods To Survive Nowadays

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When you’re living small and running out of space in your home, anything you buy raises the same big question: where am I going to store it?

A lot of people live in small spaces, and still buy a lot of everything, even if most of it finally goes to waste. Let’s be smart and buy what you really need and use, in or outside the kitchen. Think about how to use in multiple ways everything you buy, including food.

In other words, choose versatile food as much as you opt for multipurpose items when building your reserves. In the end, its about money, but also about space and resources.

Here’s what I chose!

Flour

First, there are a lot of grains that you can use to make flour at home: wheat, barley, rye, spelt, corn, oats, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, nuts (such as almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pecans, macadamias, and walnuts), seeds (such as sunflowers, hemp, pumpkin, amaranth and flax), potatoes, arrowroot, tapioca, coconut, soybean and others.

You have undoubtedly heard of cornmeal and possibly even almond meal, but what’s the difference between a meal and flour? Meals are ground more coarsely. To make meal, just don’t grind your product as long. When it starts to get a crumbly texture, you’re done. Compare it mentally to cornmeal.

Meals are great for several different uses because they add a heartier flavor and more texture to your goods. They’re bad, though, if you’re shooting for something nice and light to make a cake with.

Then you have pasta, and all those tasty dishes based on them: lasagna, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese or simple yet delicious rustic dishes made only from the ingredients in your garden. You won’t need many ingredients: flour, eggs (optionally) and salt. Some people like to add oil, but it’s not essential to making basic pasta.

All-purpose flour is just fine for a basic pasta mix. If you want to add texture and a bit of hardiness to your pasta, you can add some semolina flour to the mix. If you want silkier pasta for a more refined noodle, add some cake flour, or 00 flour.

Milk

cheese bucketMilk is packed with calcium and protein and is also a necessary ingredient in many recipes.

It’s something that you’ll want to have on hand in a survival situation.

Milk doesn’t keep long, but there are different ways to preserve it for later use. Read this Survivopedia article to find out more about how to preserve milk.

Also, there are about a million different cheese recipes out there that you can make depending upon your personal preferences and the type of milk (goat or cow) that you’re using.

Cheese is a lot easier to make than you’d think and you can keep it forever without refrigeration.

Coat the cheese in wax to preserve it. You’ll need a special cheese wax because paraffin wax will crack as it dries. Waxed cheese will last up to 25 years but remember that it will age and become sharper so if you plan to store it for an extended period of time, start with a mild cheese.

Another idea is to make butter or buttermilk. Or if you’d like, you can also make yogurt (here are a few recipes you might use for making yogurt), sour cream or cottage cheese but storage methods for those are just simple refrigeration. It will extend the life of the milk for a couple of weeks, though. And I’ve also heard rumors of canning buttermilk.

Salt

Let’s talk multipurpose! The main purpose of salt for most people is to add a bit more taste to their food. However, salt can be so much more useful in the kitchen and around the house, thanks to the many applications it has.

  • Prevents the browning of fruits and vegetables. This is something that can be done with lemon juice or vinegar, but a bucket of salty water will also do the trick.
  • Preserves food naturally for long term survival. Salt works by dehydrating the food as well as the microbes present in the food. Most especially, mold and yeast cannot grow in food pretreated with salt. Food preserved this way could last for years.
  • Fresh egg test. You need a cup of water with two teaspoons of salt in them. Drop an egg in the cup. A fresh one should sink straight to the bottom while an older one would float. An older egg has more buoyancy because the air cell inside of it increases.
  • Makes cheese last longer. Even when it is preserved properly in a refrigerated environment, cheese will inevitable spoil due to mold. This cannot be prevented with salting the cheese, but it can be delayed. Wrap the cheese before storing it in a damp cloth moistened using saltwater.
  • Puts out grease fires. One thing to never do is to throw water on top of a grease fire. The water evaporates instantly and spreads the fire all over the room. Instead, throwing salt on top of the grease fire will create a crusty layer without oxygen, thus smothering the flames. Moreover, the salt also acts as a heat sink, dissipating the heat.

Salt keeps well in cool, dry places and you can prevent it from clumping by dropping a few grains of rice at the bottom of the shaker.

Honey

In addition to tasting delicious in tea and in baklava, honey has some pretty nifty health benefits. When you eat local honey, it’s said to help with allergies, which is great. The real use in an emergency though lies in the antibacterial, antimicrobial and emollient properties. It also has a ton of practical uses:

  • Has vitamins and minerals so if you’re using a sweetener, honey is better than sugar
  • Can be used as an antibacterial on wounds
  • Is a great healing agent for wounds and helps keep the bandage from sticking
  • Barter – sweeteners are going to be way up there on the list
  • Excellent skin moisturizer (if your skin is so dry that it cracks, you’re going to have problems)
  • Makes a great burn treatment because of the antibacterial properties and the moisturizing power
  • Soothes sore throats
  • When mixed with vinegar and water is an effective parasite remover
  • Make fly/bug strips

Did you know that honey was found in Egyptian pharaohs’ tombs and it was still as good as new?

It only needs to be kept in a sealed container in a cool, dry place and it will last a lifetime. And don’t fret if your honey has crystalized; just place the jar in some warm water (without letting water enter the jar) and it will be smooth and good as new in no time.

Kitchen Scraps

Some of us throw away a ton of food scraps on a regular basis, but did you know that you can repurpose much of it? You can, of course, start a compost pile, but there are also many uses of kitchen scraps, and they would make your life easier if you are prepping or just homesteading.

First, use them to grow more food. In most of the cases, the roots will regrow if you plant them in the soil, just like bulbs of flowers do.

regrow

You can also use some of the scraps for filtering water. For example, grind the corn husk into dust and mix it with coffee grounds and clay. Add enough water to make it “clay-like” and shape it into a bowl. Allow to dry in the sun, then put your water in it and place it over another vessel. The water will soak through the bowl and into the other vessel, leaving contaminants behind. Rinse the corn husk bowl and reuse.

Onion peels, apple peels and banana peels also help removing pollutants from water. They attract and capture ions and pollutants because they’re adsorbent. This won’t purify the water or remove biohazards but it will help remove some of the dangerous pollutants.

And here are a few more examples on what kitchen scraps can help:

Onion Peels

  • Sooth stings – the end of the onion can be used to sooth stings. Just hold it on your skin.
  • Use them to dye your hair a beautiful golden brown, or to color fabrics or Easter eggs a bright purple!
  • Cook it up along with your garlic peels to make an organic pesticide. It stinks, but it works!

Corn Husks

  • Make baskets – braid or weave the husks into a basket.
  • Protect delicate foods when grilling – if you want to grill your fish or other delicate food but are afraid it will fall apart and be wasted, wrap it in a wet corn husk while cooking.
  • Treat bladder infections – boil the husks into a tea for relief. It also works as a pain reliever for some types of joint or muscle pain.
  • Start fires – dried husks are extremely flammable so if you don’t have any good kindling, don’t pitch those husks!

Egg Shells

  • Fertilizer – your plants need the calcium and other minerals in the shells so you can crush them up and mix them into the dirt or you can soak the eggshells in the water that you use for your plants. You can even use the entire shell as a “cup” to start your seeds in if you crack them carefully.
  • Pest deterrent – having problems with deer or cats in your garden? Crush the eggshells and scatter them around your garden.
  • Calcium supplements – we all need plenty of calcium but in a survival situation, we may not be able to get enough. Thank goodness you thought to raise chickens! Just grind the eggs into a fine powder and mix it into your smoothie or other food once per day.
  • Feed them to your chickens – that’s right – they need calcium to make more eggs so instead of using oyster shells, crush up the egg shells and give them back.
  • Candles – if you crack the tops off carefully, you can fill the shells with beeswax, add a wick, and you’ve got a candle that you didn’t need to use another container on.
  • Seed starter pots – again, crack them carefully and put your soil and seeds in them. You’ve got organic seed pots that are already rich in calcium and minerals that your plants need.

Add few more items to this list, and you’ll have a practical “To Buy” list for your kitchen, and your stockpile too. Less means more, and people living small can confirm that. Not to mention how easy and convenient is to carry a smaller bag when you are on the run for survival.

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This article has been written by Gabrielle Ray for Survivopedia.

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13 Top Skills To Learn Now For Survival

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There is no time like the present for developing the skills and knowledge that you need to survive when SHTF. Some skills can help you survive immediately and amidst the chaos in the aftermath, while other skills can help you survive in the long-run.

Either way, those who have the widest variety of skills and who can learn or adapt new skills quickly and efficiently, will be the most likely to survive in a post-SHTF scenario.

Here’s a short list of 13 top survival skills you should develop that the guys from Cabela’s put up and turned into the infographic that you see below. Answer the questions to check you skill level and see if you would survive a major disaster!

13 survival skills

Do you have another tips on learning skills to survive a disaster? share them in the comment section below!

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This article has been written by Gabrielle Ray for Survivopedia.

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Here’s The Right Way To Build A Chicken Coop!

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If you have a hammer and nails or a good drill, and a weekend afternoon, you can build your own chicken coop, spending less than the price of a new one or even for free.

Craigslist and local retail outlets are often a good source of used pallets, empty wooden crates and other scrap wood that you can get for free or at a minimal cost. You just need to know how to do it!

Chicken wire can be affordably sourced at a local hardware or farm supply store, along with a few hinges and a lock. With an afternoon of labor you can have a secure chicken coop for a handful of laying hens.

Here’s a really cool infographic from Urban Chickens Network about steps to take when building a chicken coop!

chicken coop

This article has been written by Gabrielle Ray for Survivopedia.

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Survival Gardening: What Grows Where

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SVP what grows whereWhich crops grow best? How long is the growing season? When is the last average frost date (assuming you aren’t living in a tropical zone)?

These are the sorts of questions to start with when planning your survival garden.

And you really need this knowledge, because even experienced gardeners find themselves overwhelmed when trying to grow food in a completely new climate.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a nationwide standard of splitting the country up into 11 basic hardiness zones based on the area’s coldest average temperatures in winter. Their interactive USDA Hardiness Zone Map is therefore an excellent place to start.

plant hardiness zone map - CopyHow Do I know My Climate Zone?

Once you know your region’s USDA climate zone, you can identify the factors that influence your survival crops, such as how long winters last, how cold it gets, the length of the growing season, and which food crops can and can’t thrive.

The USDA hardiness definitions and map does provide a great basic framework to get you started, but keep in mind that it does have its limitations. Hardiness is only measured by the coldest temperatures of the year, and it doesn’t take other climate factors into account. Still, you need to be aware of:

  • The amount of precipitation,
  • Humidity,
  • Maximum temperatures
  • Soil conditions.

Both the high deserts of New Mexico and much of Connecticut, for example, are USDA Zone 6a, but their climates are still completely different. If you happen to live in the western United States, for example, and you’d like a more specific climate zone map, Sunset’s detailed climate zone map takes much more into account, helping you pinpoint your area’s overall growing conditions.

Before you get planting, you should also be aware of micro-climates, which are basically mini-climate zones created by features like bodies of water, parking lots or, more likely, the walls of your home. Taking advantage of micro-climates in your garden can help ensure that you’re plantings will thrive.

For more information on your region’s growing conditions, as well as help with common pests, soil amendments and other gardening stuff, consider visiting a local nursery, botanical garden or County Extension Office.

What Grows Where?

Each USDA climate zone has its own planting schedule, and has two basic growing seasons: warm and cool. The cool growing season, perfect for growing carrots, greens and radishes, takes place every spring and fall, and sometimes winter in the warmer zones. The warm growing season, featuring tomatoes, corn and squash, gets going in late spring and lasts through early fall.

Growing seasons in the sub-tropics and the tropics work a little differently, as the growing season technically lasts all year. Their planting times are generally based around annual rainfall patterns.frost in us

Below is a basic overview of the 13 USDA plant hardiness zones. Note that you can extend your growing season by utilizing micro-climates and by offering protection from the cold with row covers or cold frames.

Zones 1-2

  • Located in Alaska, the northern continental US and high mountains, this zone is defined by long, cold winters and a very short growing season.
  • Growing season: April – September
  • Coldest temperatures: -60 to -40F
  • Best plants to grow: Vine tomatoes, lettuce, kale, broccoli, asparagus, eggplant, other vegetables with short time between planting and harvest

Zones 3-4

  • Located in the northernmost US states and cool mountain regions, these zones enjoy a slightly warmer and longer growing season with very cold winters.
  • Growing season: April – October
  • Coldest temperatures: -40 to -20F
  • Best plants to grow: Vine tomatoes, lettuce, kale, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, strawberries, eggplant, sweet peas, pole beans, winter squash, red and white potatoes

zone4Zones 5-6

  • Encompassing much of the continental US, these planting zones stretch from Washington and Oregon, down to New Mexico, and across the midwest to New England.
  • Growing season: March – October
  • Coldest temperatures: -20 to 0F
  • Best plants to grow: Tomatoes, corn, squash, melons, beans, strawberries, lettuce and other greens in the spring and fall

Zones 7-8

  • Defined by long, hot summers and mild winters, these zones cover much of the southern US, including the desert southwest and many southern states.
  • Growing season: March-November
  • Coldest temperatures: 0 to 20F
  • Best plants to grow: Corn, tomatoes, melons, squash, collard greens, carrots, bush beans, asparagus and leafy greens during the cooler months

Zones 9-10

  • These sub-tropical to mild temperate growing zones cover much of the deep South, the Gulf coast, most of Florida and southern California. If protection is offered, the growing season can last throughout the year, though the occasional frost may still occur.
  • Growing season: February-November
  • Coldest temperatures: 20 to 40F
  • Best plants to grow: Tomatoes, melons, squash, corn, peppers, yams, citrus, peaches, figs, bananas, salad greens and sweet peas during the cooler months

Zones 11-13

  • Found only in Hawaii and the US territory of Puerto Rico, these tropical growing zones feature a tropical climate and year-round growing season with planting times based around the wet and dry seasons.
  • Growing season: Year-round
  • Coldest temperatures: 40 to 70F
  • Best crops to grow: kale, okinawa spinach, pole beans, passionfruit, sweet potato, red potato, cassava, pineapple, pumpkin, mango, papaya, Thai chili peppers, citrus, bananas, taro
  • Crops to avoid: Any fruits requiring chill time, including berries, cherries, apples and peaches

Growing your own food is a fun, family-friendly hobby with tasty and nutritious rewards. Whether you’re a newbie trying out your first tomato plants, or a seasoned pro moving to a new state, understanding your garden’s climate zone is the first step towards planning and growing a successful, productive garden.

EMPCover1References:

http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

http://www.sunset.com/garden/climate-zones/climate-zones-intro-us-map

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10 Foods To Solve Your Medical Crisis

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You are what you eat, the ancestors used to say. When it comes to survival, what you eat can save you more than you imagine.

Food is one of those things that you desperately need for survival (remember the rule of three?), but it also helps you healing wounds, literally, and solve unexpected medical crisis.

We found 10 foods that work best as medicine in medical emergencies, put them together and built the cool infographic that you see below.

10 foods for medical crisis

Share this knowledge with you friends!

NewSMDCover3This article has been written by Gabrielle Ray for Survivopedia.

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Prep Blog Review: 5 Easy DIY Projects For Preppers

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Those who are seeking to be self-sufficient and prepared for any disaster could never have enough ideas to turn into DIY projects. Still the ones we like most are those projects that will come in handy when SHTF, namely about water, food or defense.

We found 5 DIY preps that are affordable and can be accomplished over the weekend, with just a bit of labor, the proper know-how, and a few minimal investments. 

1. How to Turn a 5 Gallon Bucket into a Solar Still

5 gallon bucket

In this day and age, we have plumbing and faucets. We have our own water bills and water heaters. We also have our own water pipelines which connects with the city’s or county’s pipeline. We drink our water from our faucets. We may have water filters so that we may stay away from unwanted bacteria and particles. But what happens if an earthquake or a natural disaster occurs and it destroys the pipelines?”

Read more on Ask a Prepper.

2. The Durable, 3-Step Off-Grid Oven You Can Build In Less Than An Hour

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“I must tell you: I am no survival expert. But my husband and I love the outdoors, and sustainable living is a major part of our lives.

If it’s not building a rocket stove in our backyard, it’s baking cakes on the beach. Experimenting and building our own gear is just our way of life, so when we moved off-grid, the habit came with us — and so did our love for baking. Ready for the challenge of building an off-grid oven, we started experimenting with baking techniques.”

Read more on Off the Grid News.

3. How to Make Homemade Extracts

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“If you do a lot of baking or homemade cooking, you will use a lot of extracts.

Your needs can range from homemade cookies, french toasts, homemade coffee creamers and so on. Buying commercial extracts is usually okay, but you take the chance with it being full of corn syrup and artificial flavor. Why spend the money when you can make it at home yourself? They are great hostess or holiday gifts as well. I like to use these swing top bottles for storage and when gifting. It just ads that homesteady flair to me. But, in reality, you can just use plain old mason jars to make and store your extracts in. Here’s how to get started making your own extracts.”

Read more on The Homesteading Hippy.

4. How to Make a Powerful Bow in Your Garage for $15

Ready Nutrition easy bow

“One of the benefits of archery is that in the long run, it’s not a very expensive hobby. Unlike firearms, you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg on ammunition to maintain your proficiency.

And since bows aren’t as loud or destructive as firearms, there’s a good chance that you won’t need to pay to visit an archery range unless you live in the city. Your backyard would be sufficient for that.

Read more on Ready Nutrition.

5. How to Make a Cheap Homemade DIY Chicken Brooder

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“Every couple of years we add a few chickens to our flock, most of the time we just use a plastic storage bin as a brooder because we only get a couple of chickens. This time was a little different. This time we got 12 chickens and needed more room, so I needed a way to build a cheap homemade DIY chicken brooder that would stay warm, and be roomy enough as the chicks got bigger.”

Read more on Survivalist Prepper.

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This article has been written by Gabrielle Ray for Survivopedia.

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Prep Blog Review: Why Old Skills Have To Be Revived

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How convenient modern life is! Food and water are pretty easy to find, and there is a solution–but also a cost–for any problem you might have. As long as you have the money and the ignorance to rely on what the big industries provide to the herd, you may rest and wait for your days to pass by. We were born to survive, but prone to forget it.

But we’re not that kind of people! We rely on ourselves to live a good healthy life and survive the crisis. This is how our ancestors did it.

Let’s see what is to be said about old skills that would save our lives one day. We picked four articles to remind you how important is to keep alive what humanity once knew about survival.

  1. How Modern Life Destroys Survival Instinct

How-Modern-Life-Destroys-Survival-Instinct”Our world today would seem magical to our ancestors. Our needs are met almost immediately, we have clean water at the turn of a knob, heat at the push of a button, and light with the flip of a switch. Food is purchased in a box, ready to heat, and a person can prepare a meal in under 6 minutes using the microwave oven that’s a fixture in most modern kitchens.

Our world is clean, convenient, and loaded with abundant resources, things that took significant time and effort to produce in days gone by.”

Read the complete article on Ready Nutrition.

2. The Last Rebels: 25 Things We Did as Kids That Would Get Someone Arrested Today

25-Things-We-Did-as-Kids-That-Would-Get-Someone-Arrested-Today”With all of the ridiculous new regulations, coddling, and societal mores that seem to be the norm these days, it’s a miracle those of us over 30 survived our childhoods.

Here’s the problem with all of this babying: it creates a society of weenies.

There won’t be more more rebels because this generation has been frightened into submission and apathy through a deliberately orchestrated culture of fear. No one will have faced adventure and lived to greatly embroider the story.”

Read the complete article on The Organic Prepper.

3. 12 Off-Grid Ways Your Grandparents Re-Used Old Newspapers (That You Should Try)

waste-paper-1024485_1920-400x289”Over the past couple of decades, Americans has gone crazy for recycling. Most communities have a recycling program, and we feel good about saving our cans, bottles, boxes and newspapers and putting them at our curbs for a weekly pick-up.

But long before the phrase “reduce, reuse and recycle” was ever coined, your grandparents used their old newspapers for a wide variety of tasks.”

Read the complete article on Off the Grid News.

4. 8 Overlooked Survival Skills That Kept The Native Americans Alive

native-americans-1-1024x640”I have a lot of respect for Native Americans — those who populated this land before the first European white man set foot on these shores.

History rarely mentions it, but countless thousands of those Indians were killed by disease and carried in the boats of those early traders. But before that, the American Indian had a thriving culture, in tune with nature and appreciative of the beauty around them.”

Read the complete article on Off the Grid News.

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This article has been written by Gabrielle Ray for Survivopedia.

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