Prep Blog Review: Food Lessons For Survival

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It’s survival food time again! From how to grow your own vegetables, to how to stockpile correctly, this topic never gets old, and it’s one of my favorites, too.

Starting with a few food lessons from the Great Depressions, and continuing with some emergency food preparedness basic, for this week’s prep blog review I’ve gathered five useful articles on this topic.

  1. 10 Food Lessons From the Great Depression

“A time wracked with suicide and fear the great depression was a holly terror on the nation.

Many people exclaim that the crash of 2008 cost them everything. The truth is that the “everything” of 2008 was very different than the everything of 1930. Mothers left alone by their husbands to feed children while living in doorways. Losing children to disease or hunger and not having a dime to help them, nor a way to procure one.

All that terror aside the emulsification of cultures and despair in America during the depression created everlasting practices in the management and creation of food. The type of meals that remind you of your grandmother and her dinner table. Many of these meals are still popular today. Many of the methods are used widely as well.”

Read more on Ask A Prepper.

  1. Emergency Food Preparedness Basics Every Prepper Should Know

“Emergency Food Preparedness is essential for every prepper to have. In this video we will be talking about the 3 different types of emergency food preps that essential for survival.”

Video first seen on Smart Prepper Gear.

  1. 13 Direct Vegetables to Direct Sow

“To direct sow your seeds just means to plant your seed outdoors in the garden where it will grow instead of starting the seeds indoors in containers under lights.

If you live in a warm climate, you can direct sow almost any crop. Those of you who garden in colder areas either begin sowing seeds indoors under lights or purchase seedlings form a green house that can be transplanted into the garden after all danger of frost is past. If we don’t start some crops ahead og time, there isn’t enough time to produce a harvest before our first fall frost.”

Read more on Grow A Good Life.

  1. How to get Your Chicken to Lay More Eggs

“Does it seem that your egg collection is decreased or that your hens aren’t laying as they once did? Or the yolks are pale and lackluster, lacking the nutrients they should provide? When the chickens are part of a plan for independent living or as a structured food supply, this can put a damper on things and thwart being able to rely on them as a nutritional resource.

It can be a catastrophic event in a survival situation to have your chickens stop producing a crucial food source.”

Read more on Survival Sullivan.

  1. Perennial Plants that Produce Food Year After Year

“A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years. Perennials, especially small flowering plants, grow and bloom over the spring and summer, then die back every autumn and winter, and then return in the spring from their rootstock, are known as herbaceous perennials”.

Below are a few of the more common food plants that are known to live and produce for over two years, and some like asparagus, for example, can produce for literally decades if the asparagus bed is well taken care of.”

Read more on Prep for SHTF.

 

This article has been written by Drew Stratton for Survivopedia.

20 Long Lasting Foods That Should Not Miss From Your SHTF Pantry

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20 Long Lasting Foods That Should Not Miss From Your SHTF Pantry I recently realized I never really thought about how to stay alive during a long term survival scenario such as an EMP that could wipe out the entire electric grid for many, many years or an economic collapse like in Venezuela. It’s only …

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Preserve your chicken eggs safely (for over 9 months)

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Preserve your chicken eggs safely (for over 9 months)

Whether you buy your eggs from a grocery store, local farmers market or the hen house in your back yard, you can learn a lot about preserving eggs simply by observing nature. You see when chickens lay eggs they have a protective coating called the bloom. This protective layer does an amazing job of keeping out harmful bacteria, germs and oxygen.

By recreating this “bloom” process on our own we can safely preserve our eggs for 9 months (or more) with out the need of even a refrigerator. 9 months! As absurd as this notion sounds to many not only is this proven and possible but you can do so with no negative drawbacks to the eggs taste or even health.

Mineral oil

There are several methods to preserving eggs for the long haul but one method is hands down the easiest and that involves using mineral oil. To safely preserve your eggs simply warm up a quarter cup of mineral oil. 10 to 15 seconds in the microwave should do it. Before starting the process have all of the eggs you wish to preserve outside of the carton. They may be hard to retrieve while inside the carton with slick, mineral covered fingers.

The mineral oil goes quite the distance too.A quarter cup usually covers 6 dozen eggs. You can often find mineral oil in the pharmaceutical section near the laxatives as it is commonly used among those with bowel issues. Something else to keep in mind is that you can also use baby oil in the mineral oils stead if you can not locate any mineral oil. These two products are identical other than the added fragrance found in baby oil.

Now we scoop up a few drops of warm mineral oil while running our fingers and the oil over the eggs completely with out exception. With out worrying too much about consistently only coverage, place the eggs back in the carton with the narrow side facing down. That’s it. Optionally you can use a food handling glove (or medical latex glove) if you do not feel like getting your hands a little messy.

Finally we want to store our freshly preserved eggs in a cool and dry place. Storing them in a room at room temperature a few weeks is acceptable but ultimately 68 degrees the ideal temperature for long term storage.

The maintenance at this point is minimal. To keep the egg yolk intact and looking well flip the egg carton upside down. If you are gathering eggs from your backyard the process is not much different. Wash your eggs first if need be and then start the process.

Shelf Life

Next lets dispel the myth that eggs need to be refrigerated to remain healthy. This is simply not true. Eggs and the preservation of them has been around much longer than refrigeration its self. Also note worthy most nations do not put their eggs in a refrigerated area.

Author note: I personally keep the eggs gathered from my backyard on a counter or windowsill until I am ready to use them. I just wash them prior to use, stripping the bloom and any possible germ or bacteria. Any longer than a weeks time (or in hot weather) I personally move them to a carton and then refrigeration, but this is not needed. And to prove it just follow a few fail-safe methods to determine exactly when your eggs go bad and under what environment. After some trial and error you can create a system that works for you.

Determining when your eggs have spoiled.

You can always follow your sniffer as long as you can smell from it. Rotten eggs smell terrible. This tell take sign is because hydrogen sulfide is created while the protein is being broken down by bacteria. This putrid smell can not hide itself. One whiff and you know when your eggs have expired.

If you do not trust your nose you can always rely on your eyes. Stick an eggs in cold water. Make sure the container is at least 2x as wide and 2x as deep as the egg. As long as the egg does not float it is fresh and safe to consume. Floating eggs have not been compromised. As oxygen finds its wat into the egg, air bubbles start to form, eroding the health of the egg, while also causing it to float.

This strategy creates a 9 to 12 month window for keeping edible eggs. This simple method lost to time itself, is quite incredible once you realize the typical shelf life when buying eggs at the supermarket it so short.

An amazing discovery in an abandoned house in Austin, Texas: A lost book of amazing survival knowledge, believed to have been long vanished to history, has been found in a dusty drawer in the house which belonged to a guy named Claude Davis.

 

Remember… back in those days, there was no electricity… no refrigerators… no law enforcement… and certainly no grocery store or supermarkets… Some of these exceptional skills are hundreds of years of old and they were learned the hard way by the early pioneers.  WATCH VIDEO BELOW!

 

Source : surviveourcollapse.com

 

 

                 WHAT TO READ NEXT !

 

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This Is The Smart Way To Invest In Food!

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The Smart Way To Invest In Food

Remember when Mom or Grandma would send you to the pantry or down to the basement to grab another jar of pickles or peanut butter? There were probably at least a couple of extra jars behind the one that you grabbed.

That’s because they lived through times when having backup food meant the difference between eating and going hungry. They had it “just in case.” Do you practice this? If not, you should.

We live in unsure times. The United States economy is by far the largest in the world; more than twice that of China, the world’s second largest economy. US money and goods support the global economy to the point that if we suffer an economic collapse, we take the rest of the world down with us.

But there’s one solid way to hedge your future – a basic commodity that everybody will always need: food.

Considering the state of the nation right now, an economic collapse is just as likely as not – maybe even more likely. The crazy explosion in the US monetary system and the instability of our government doesn’t just make it possible that we’ll face hyperinflation in the near future – it practically guarantees it.

Food costs are going to keep increasing and in the case of an economic collapse, will quickly increase to the point that foods that are barely affordable to many households now, such as meat, will be completely out of reach. The price of many “affordable” foods such as sauces, pasta, rice, sugar and flour will likely increase to the point that they’ll barely be affordable, assuming they’re available.

Until recently, the primary concern for most of us was economic collapse, with governmental collapse being a peripheral concern. Now, in these uncertain times, either – or both – is increasingly likely. Both would bring about life-altering circumstances that would dethrone the current money-based system in favor of a barter system.

Guess what that does to all those stocks, bonds, and savings accounts (and for that matter, cash) when that happens: they become worthless. But do you know what gains value exponentially? Food. And to a lesser extent, hygiene products. Investing in both will give you the tools you need to barter, survive, and even thrive.

No matter how poor somebody is, they’ll always need to eat. That doesn’t mean that you should gouge them. It just means that you’ll have a commodity that will be of value to everybody.

So, investing in food is the way to go. Even if you only invest in it passively, without ever selling a single noodle of it, you’ll still be saving much more by buying food for tomorrow at today’s prices than many investments that most of us can afford would yield. The longer you eat food bought at today’s prices, the more money you’ll save.

Food costs, with the exception of fresh fruit, decreased for the first time in years from December of 2015 – December of 2016, but that isn’t anticipated to continue. The USDA anticipated a hike in 2017 based on stable conditions – in other words, before the political climate changed so radically. Essentially, you have the chance right now to buy at bargain basement prices and put off buying when the prices go up.

So, how do you invest in food? Well, there are several different ways, and you can do it, at least to a certain degree, no matter where you live or how much money you have.

Considerations to the Return on Your Investment

Unless you have a huge farm with numerous gardens and storage spaces, and a lot of money to feed livestock and grow fresh produce, you have some challenges. That’s OK. You just need to work with what you have and find a proper way to secure your future.

Save Yourself $24,000 Instantly Using This One Easy Prepper Hack!

Space

This is probably the biggest limitation that you may face. If you live in a 1-bedroom apartment in an urban environment, the only space you may have is a closet and some cabinets. That’s fine. Make the most of what space you have by stockpiling a variety of staple foods and hygiene items.

Even the cabinet under your bathroom sink will hold more hygiene products than you might think. The more you can buy now at a lower price, the more you’ll save. Utilize your space well, buying products that you’ll use, and that will last.

Shelf Life

No matter how much space you have, shelf life is always a consideration. If you buy enough food to meet your needs for five years but it expires in two, you’ve wasted your resources.

Allocate your money responsibly and with forethought. Know how much you and your household eat monthly/annually. Use the FIFO (First In, First Out) method and store food in a way that will preserve it for as long as possible.

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What Types of Food You Can Store

While you can save a ton of money on buying extra boxes of cereal and jars of peanut butter, there are some types of foods that will save you more than others.

For instance, meat, eggs, and dairy prices are anticipated to increase significantly more than cabinet foods but they don’t have much of a shelf-life. Consider your resources and storage capabilities when you plan your shopping.

Methods to Help You Invest in Food

Now that you know what you need to consider when you’re investing in food, let’s talk about ways to help you invest better so that you get the most bang for your buck.

1. Buy a Freezer

Milk, meat, and eggs just aren’t shelf-stable as-is, but they’re the top foods that increase quickly in cost. You do have some options. All of these products have canned or powdered options that have excellent shelf lives.

You can also can your own meat and butter, and you can buy a freezer to store up to a year’s worth of food. Believe it or not, all dairy is freezable.

Many people are worried about lack of electricity in the event of a collapse and avoid freezers, but the odds of complete electric failure are pretty slim if you have an alternative power source. Most meats and dairy store frozen for up to six months, or even a year. Also the cost of a freezer, if you have a proper place where you can put one, will be covered by the savings in a short time.

2. Build a Food Storage Space

If you have the space, build or buy an extra food/supply shed. The money that you save in food and necessaries will pay for it in very little time.

3. Use Coupons and Sales

If you combine coupons and sales, you’ll be amazed how quickly you can build a stockpile for next to nothing. It’s a matter of paying attention to what’s on sale.

For instance, today I bought 6 bottles each of ketchup, shampoo, and laundry detergent for $13 total. My total savings was $24. And that doesn’t even count what I’ll save by not buying later when the price is higher.

All three are products that I use and that would be valuable if something happens and I need to barter, so there’s no way I can lose.

4. Buy Popular, Necessary Products

There are some foods and products that everybody just has to have. Examples: flour, green beans, tampons, deodorant, etc. Don’t buy a ton of lima beans if they’re on sale unless you really love them because they’re not a popular food. Sometimes there’s a reason things are on clearance – nobody else wanted to buy it!

Also, if you’re preparing for a bartering situation, alcohol and tobacco are going to be premium, in-demand products. Cigarettes are brutally expensive, but loose tobacco and rolling papers are fairly inexpensive and, as long as they’re sealed in air-tight containers, have a long shelf-life.

Regarding alcohol, remember that it’s not just for drinking – you can make tinctures and clean wounds and first-aid tools with it, too. Having extra vodka or bourbon is never a bad thing.

5. Buy Healthy Products

For some reason, people seem to want to pile in the boxes of cookies and cans of spaghetti-o’s because they’re cheap and delicious, but have no (or little) dried eggs, milk, canned meats, or meal stretchers such as flour and rice.

Think healthy. It’s important that you buy foods that you like – and cheap is good, too – but remember that you may be depending on your stockpile for survival. Stock up with healthy foods, too.

Also, canned milk, eggs, flour, rice, and other similar products are extremely versatile. You can eat or drink them as-is, or you can use them in recipes to make other products such as bread, cakes, side dishes, etc.

6. Buy in Bulk

This is our final point today, and it’s a big one because you may not need 20 pounds of flour or sugar now, but will you use it eventually? Of course you will, and it really doesn’t go bad as long as it’s stored properly.

A 20-pound bag of sugar often costs only a few bucks more than a 5-pound bag. Same with sugar. Compare cost per unit instead of just thinking of one being more expensive than the other. Dollars to donuts, bulk is almost guaranteed to be cheaper than smaller portions.

Now that you have some ideas about how to invest in food, start planning, then start buying. You can have a great stockpile built up in no time even if you just buy stuff that’s on sale buy-one-get-one-free and put back the extra. It adds up quickly, and you’ll have a nice nest egg sitting in your pantry or basement!

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This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. 

Best Canned Meat For Your Deep Pantry Food Storage

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The RDA (Recommended Daily Allowances) for daily intake of protein is 56 grams for men and 46 grams for women. In other words that’s approximately several ounces per person per day. Note that these min. requirements do not factor laborious working conditions. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommends that 10–35% of your daily calories […]

Off-Grid Refrigeration: Creating an Icehouse in Winter

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icehouseThose who plan to create ways for off-grid refrigeration usually plan to build when the snow thaws, but I’m doing something a little different – I’m planning on building one now.  The main problem for me right now is that I have four feet of snow on the ground, and it’s a little hard to do a layout or any kind of excavating for it.  But what of it?  That doesn’t mean I can’t plan now, nor undertake it before the winter months disappear.

Off-Grid Refrigeration

Icehouses were used extensively in the U.S., especially in “pioneer days,” where they would be the main way of keeping meats and vegetables cool and “refrigerated” in a manner to not require canning, smoking, or drying them.  These icehouses were combined with root cellars/canning cellars to be structures heavily-insulated with earth to keep everything cool and from spoiling in the spring and summer months.  I also mentioned an “icebox,” meaning a refrigerator that was not dependent upon electricity, but had a large block of ice inside of an insulated “box” that kept the food inside cool and from spoiling prematurely.

For those without enough property or in an urban/suburban area, an icebox might be a good thing to have, at least as a backup for the refrigerator.  If you have a little bit of ground, then you may be able to build an icehouse.  I plan on beginning mine about the end of March to the beginning of April.  See, living in Montana, where there are no building codes in rural areas, I’m not hindered by the need for permits or the usual parade of bloodsuckers from local or state governments or neighborhood (incarceration-hood, is more appropriate) associations.  Thus, the benefit of living in a remote state, I can build whatever I want and nobody can say anything to me.

Use This Easy Method to Make Large Blocks of Ice

If you don’t have this, then you’ll have to negotiate around whatever “primates” are blocking your path and secure whatever permits you believe necessary if you want it done.  I’m going to wait until the time I mentioned and then clear out the ground and the snow, use a “C” to dig (a miniature backhoe) the icehouse out, and then build it during the winter months.  The reason is that I will make about a dozen and a half “molds” to fill with water for my ice-blocks, using large bins.  When the water freezes and huge blocks of ice are made, I will then place them inside of my icehouse and cover them up with lots and lots of sawdust.  Each block will have about 20 gallons of water, and this will be (at 7.6 lbs. per gallon) about 150 lbs. apiece.  A lot easier to let the winter freeze up those blocks!

Building an Icehouse

I plan on placing in a drain into the floor (PVC drain tile) with a small slope, and then tamping the earth back into place.  Then I’ll separate the main chamber for the canned goodies from the ice chamber in the rear and slightly lower than the main room.  Stacking the blocks up and then covering them all with sawdust, it will adhere to the time-honored principle of the frontier days…it will keep all spring and summer, and have to be replaced in the fall (it’s below freezing here in September…we only have about 3 to 4 months without ice and snow).

I’m going to use the earth and rocks excavated and then mound it up, as most of the efficient designs I have seen are with rounded or semi-rounded forms/tops.  The only true modern “accoutrements” I plan on having are a good door and door-frame that is sturdy, and I’m considering some kind of interior flooring system.  Any suggestions or personal experiences?  We’d love to hear them, and perhaps you’ll be able to float me some information I can use.  I have a few not-so-near neighbors that are diabetics and use insulin…what could be better than being able to preserve their insulin for them in my icehouse if the SHTF and they lose electricity?

An icehouse or icebox for you and your family may be a good thing to do to enable that your refrigeration lasts…beyond the lifetime of the power plants and power stations…. if the SHTF.  Bottom line: do what you can with what you have.  Better to get into the batter’s box and take a swing then not to take a chance.  Keep fighting that good fight!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Best Canned Goods for Starting Food Storage – Starter Kit

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Having a month supply of food storage is simpler than you might think.  It’s known as a food storage starter kit.  In one box (19 x 13 x 7.5) you can put 6 cans of food that will make 90 meals.  The 6 cans are a bit bigger […]

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A Return To The Old Paths: How To Make Pemmican Like The Native Americans

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A Return To The Old Paths: How To Make Pemmican Like The Native Americans Pemmican is a concentrated nutritionally complete food invented by the North American Plains Indians. It was originally made during the summer months from dried lean buffalo meat and rendered fat as a way to preserve and store the meat for use …

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Storing Vegetables Without A Root Cellar

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Storing Vegetables Without A Root Cellar Most people think that if you don’t have a root cellar, you can’t store vegetables long term. That simply isn’t true! Each vegetable can be stored for longer than normal with just a few tweaks here and there, depending on which vegetables you want to store. You really don’t …

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The Prepper’s Guide to Non-Dairy Milk

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The Prepper’s Guide to Non-Dairy Milk Most preppers stock a significant amount of dry milk because it’s so highly perishable that it tends to be one of the first things that people run out of when a disaster strikes. But for someone who has difficulty digesting lactose, adding that kind of milk to their coffee …

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28 Spices & Seasonings to Avoid Food Fatigue

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spices and seasonings to storeWhat would it be like to eat bland food every day? Besides not being much fun, it could lead to slow starvation due to food fatigue. For those who are ill-prepared for a disaster, that could be their reality, especially if supplies were difficult to procure. If you think about what kind of spices and oils are important to have on hand for survival cooking, there are a few that would be on my ‘must have’ list.

Spices & seasonings to store

  1. Kosher salt (we also store Celtic sea salt)
  2. Herbes de Provence
  3. Ground Pepper
  4. Ground Cumin
  5. Ground Chili Powder
  6. Garlic Powder
  7. Ground Cinnamon
  8. Montreal Steak Seasoning
  9. Ground Ginger
  10. Thyme
  11. Baking Soda
  12. Italian seasoning
  13. Chili powder
  14. Paprika (different varieties if you really like paprika)
  15. Onion Powder
  16. Dried Parsley
  17. Ground Turmeric
  18. Dried Onion Flakes
  19. Dried Cilantro
  20. Celery Seed
  21. Celery Salt
  22. Beef bouillon
  23. Chicken bouillon
  24. Dried Basil
  25. Poppy Seed
  26. Sesame Seed
  27. Black pepper
  28. Curry powder

I also recommend storing these supplementary ingredients to add even more variety to your use of these spices:

  1. Extra virgin olive oil
  2. Canola oil
  3. Molasses
  4. Corn Starch
  5. Brown sugar
  6. Hoisin Sauce
  7. Balsamic vinegar
  8. White and apple cider vinegars
  9. Soy sauce

This is a wide variety of seasonings, spices, and herbs that lend themselves to mixing sauces, marinades, rubs, dressings, and so much more.

Create something new

With spices and seasonings, you can mix and match and come up with new flavors again and again. Chili powder on its own might become humdrum, but mixed with cumin, salt, garlic powder, paprika, a little cayenne, and you have an awesome, spicy rub. Experiement with chili powder and come up with something totally different, just by combining different herbs and spices.

Picture a plain pot of beans, a meatless meal if there ever was one. Those beans can become a pot of Cuban Beans, Creole Beans, Mexican Beans, West African beans…I could add more to the list, but you get the idea. Mix up the spices and you might barely notice you were eating beans for every meal!

Beans are a staple in most preppers food storage, so here are instructions for storing them. Another staple, rice, can be stored in a similar manner and also is extremely versatile. Here’s a recipe for skillet-cooked Mexican rice that can be doctored up with a different combination of spices every time.

Mix up your own

My wife used to buy envelopes of Schilling and McCormick spice mixes but a few years ago started mixing up her own. I’ve mixed up my own meat rubs, put them in labeled spice jars (we re-use spice jars), and they last for months. When my son needed a gluten-free diet, we got away from all commercial spice mixes, which typically contain gluten, sugar, and too much sodium.

Here’s a good article with spice/seasoning mix recipes if you haven’t made your own before.

Grow and dry your own

When we first got married, my wife had a herb garden that belonged on the cover of gardening magazines. Basil bushes so huge that we had to prune them back as though they were rose bushes. The cilantro alone could have supplied a chain of Mexican restaurants for 6 months.

Growing herbs is simple and dehydrating them is even easier. Right now we have oregano growing in a shady spot in the backyard where nothing else wants to grow. You can dehydrate herbs with a dehydrator like this one (Excalibur is the best brand) or simple by laying the herbs out on a screen and allowing them to dry until crispy.

These dried herbs will need to be stored in smaller containers and in the shade. Light and oxygen cause them to deteriorate and lose color and flavor.

 

Pricey spices

Remember centuries ago when spices were very, very expensive? So pricey that only royalty and nobles could afford spices? Even salt was dear and hard to get. Yes, spices can get expensive even today, but if you order in bulk and split the spices and shipping cost among spice-ordering friends, your wallet won’t hurt as much.

I’ve found that Amazon is a good place to look for spices. I’ve been able to buy my personal favorites in bulk and smaller packages of spices and seasonings I use just on occasion. They also have organic spices and herbs.

So, how is your pantry looking? Are you prepared? Or do you need to spice things up still?

 

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Emergency Wound Care: When All You Have is in Your Pantry

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 Without access to hospitals and emergency medical care during off-grid emergencies, a simply infection from wounds can become life-threatening. Having knowledge of alternative medical treatments using natural wound therapies could save a life.

 

Years ago, the Mrs. and I made a major move.  We had a specific timetable to adhere to, and as we were moving ourselves, efficiency was the word that exemplified our overall goals.  About an hour before we were going to batten down the hatches and hit the road, she slipped and slammed her shin on the edge of the moving van’s bumper: a combination of a laceration and abrasion, as well as potential for a broken bone.

What to do on something such as this?  Well, we certainly had enough antibiotics and (if it was broken) the hospital was close by.  She/we decided on some ice, a bandage, and (so as not to go into our antibiotics) herbal aids.  Oregano is one of the best herbs to have on hand for natural medicine and an astringent can  be made from oregano tincture to wipe down the abrasion.


Oregano Tincture

  • Add handfuls of oregano flower and leaves to a pint-size jar and cover them with 80-proof alcohol, such as vodka.
  • Allow the jar to sit for 3-6 weeks out of sunlight.
  • Strain the mixture and transfer to a tincture bottle, or proceed to make a double-strength infusion.

For oral dosage: The standard adult dose is 1/2 to 1 teaspoon up to three times a day, as needed. Children usually get 1/4 to 1/3 of the adult dose.

To make astringent: Add 1 tablespoon oregano tincture to 1 cup of distilled water.

Learn more ways to disinfect wounds using pantry staples


Wound Care Made with Sugar and Honey

Once we applied the astringent to the wound, we made up a sugar formula that was common during the Napoleonic era:

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of honey

Mix sugar and honey together and pack the laceration with it, spreading it liberally upon the abrasion and dressing it.

Monitor and change dressing daily.


Why Sugar and Honey Is Great For Natural Wound Care

We’re talking about plain white sugar, here: the same kind vilified for the diet is actually very beneficial with regard to wound therapy.  The sugar promotes tissue repair, while fostering an antimicrobial, anaerobic environment regarding the wound.  The sugar can be mixed with honey or glycerin (honey is cheaper and easier to get a hold of).  On some kind of laceration, you can pack it with the mixture after cleaning out the laceration with clean water and/or a mild astringent (such as the one I first mentioned).

The dressing needs to be changed once every day, and the packed laceration monitored for signs of swelling and tenderness.  Also, put fresh mixture to cover the overall wound, and then redress it with a fresh dressing and bandage.  The sugar will also reduce the amount of scarring and enable the wound to heal at a faster rate.

Sugar can also be used as an Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS), in combination with table salt.  Take a one-quart bottle (remember how I advised to save those empty Gatorade and Power-Ade bottles, the 32-ouncers?  This is why.), and fill it up with water, leaving a little space.  Put ½ cup of your sugar into it, and about ½ tsp of salt.  Voila!  You have effectively made your own field-expedient “Gatorade,” minus the potassium.  The reason this is good is that the sugar will provide quick sugar to the bloodstream, while the salt will help to replace what you have either lost from sweating or from trauma.

Your sugars and honeys (yes, honey is a form of sugar) can be used to sweeten up a tincture that you might have to take in water.  If you have ever had Lomatium (Lomatium dissectum), it is one of the worst-tasting substances you can imagine.  We adults can grin and bear it, but when you’re administering a tincture to a kid, it is a big help to make it taste not quite so bad.

Honey For Wound Care

Honey is also good for wounds/abrasions/cuts of the mouth, as it is a demulcent that soothes abraded tissues, and it also is a medium that microbes do not live in.  Who doesn’t remember the time-honored honey and lemon mixture for a sore throat?  The thing of it is: it works, and if it works it should be employed.  For the wound-packing mixture I advised above?  Honey is the medium that keeps the sugar from falling out of the wound and congeals it to keep the dressing viable longer.

The reason these should be kept in mind: when the SHTF they are easily found.  You’re much more likely to find either of these two (sugar and/or honey) in a gas station or convenience store out in the middle of nowhere than a Cephalosporin such as Keflex (Cephalexin, if you prefer) for a soft tissue injury.  That’s what this is all about: winning with the weapons you have and tailor-making things you can rely on.  Practice with them sometime for something minor.  You’ll see results and build confidence in what you do.  That’s the way!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Techniques To Preserve Meat In The Wild You Should Practice

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5 Techniques To Preserve Meat In The Wild You Should Practice There are several methods to preserve meat in the wild and before we look at them below. I’d like to remind you that while a preservation method or technique you use to keep your meat safe for days, or even weeks, it’s ultimately pretty …

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6 Rules You Need To Follow When Dehydrating Foods

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6 rules of dehydratingIn the book, The Prepper’s Cookbook, I emphasize how easy it is to bulk up your emergency food pantry by dehydrating food you have around you. With a meager $50 investment into a food dehydrator, you can:

  • dry vegetables for soup mixes
  • dry fruits for snacking
  • make jerky
  • fruit or vegetable leather
  • noodles
  • and even make crafts

Before you go crazy dehydrating, keep in mind that there are a few rules to follow to ensure food longevity, freshness and prevention of discoloration.

6 Rules You Need To Follow When Dehydrating Foods

  1. You can dehydrate any fruit or vegetable, regardless of quality or ripeness. If something is too ripe and soft, you can always puree it and dry the puree. Although using the best quality fruits and veggies will result in the best quality dried goods, remember that the goal here is preservation, not perfection. So don’t be afraid to dehydrate the bruised, overripe, and slightly damaged goods. Just make sure not to put mold in the dehydrator as it can spread and infect the rest of the foods.
  2. Some food items can be air-dried. Herbs and other green leafy food sources, in particular, do not necessarily need a dehydrator. They can be set out of the way and air-dried.
  3. Some foods need to be blanched. Blanching certain foods like onions, mushrooms and tomatoes ahead of time will limit discoloration and the risk of food-borne illnesses. This isn’t necessary, but it certainly helps in the longevity of your dried foods.
  4. Cook potatoes thoroughly for further enjoyment. Potatoes, beans and other root vegetables should be cooked thoroughly and then dehydrated. I’ve made a pot of beans and dehydrated them for soups. I have also made dehydrated potato flakes to use in my prepper pantry.
  5. Don’t dehydrate foods from different families at the same time. If you are dehydrating foods from different family groups, the flavors can cross over. For instance, if you are dehydrating tomatoes and peppers, note that the tomatoes will end up being spicy. As well, any Brassica should be dehydrated on its own, otherwise the sulfur taste will permeate into the other foods. The only exception is dehydrating fruits. Fruits can be mixed together, but mixing them with strong-tasting or smelling vegetables is not recommended.
  6. Be consistent with your cut size and spacing. Try to keep the slices of food the same thickness to encourage even drying times. As well, try not to allow the food to touch one another or overlap (green leafy vegetables are ok though). Otherwise, it can block the airflow and prevent drying.

Rehydrating Your Dried Food Sources

Rehydrating your dehydrated foods requires nothing more than the food to be introduced to a liquid. Get creative with the liquid that you use like juices, canning liquids, etc. Many preppers have found that rehydrating foods in liquids other than water gives the food a richer taste. For instance, soaking fruit in fruit juice makes rehydrated fruit taste sweeter or soaking textured vegetable protien (TVP) in meat stock helps give it a richer flavor.

Dehydrating foods is an excellent way to make use of food you have around you. Typically, at my home when the fruit bowl is overlooked, I will dehydrate fruits and create a healthy snack that the kids can’t resist. I also have made dried soups with the extra vegetables in the refrigerator.

 

For more information read, Drying Fruits and Vegetables by the University of Georgia

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Gear Review: Can Food Organizer

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The cardinal rule of food storage is store what you eat and eat what you store.   In my home we eat can food, and we go to the local ALDI and buy our can food by the flat.  Now we do mark the month and year on the top of each can with a sharpie, […]

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How to Wax Hard Cheese

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The reason you need to know how to wax hard cheese, is that the wax protects your cheese during storage.  Since making cheese was the best way to store milk before refrigeration, I think it is quite useful to know “just in case” of some manner of catastrophic disaster (plus I think it is a […]

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Doomsday Preppers? You’ve GOT to be kidding me…

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This post was written exactly 4 years ago, on my Facebook page. I still stand by it. Rich Fleetwood – February 7, 2012 · Riverton · Watching “Doomsday Preppers” on NGC this evening, with an as objective as possible viewpoint. I’ve been doing this stuff myself for 20 years, and in my position and experience, with the […]

The post Doomsday Preppers? You’ve GOT to be kidding me… appeared first on SurvivalRing.

Trayer Wilderness Cookbook – Volume 1

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After reading and reviewing How To Embrace An Off-Grid Lifestyle, I could not wait to see what kind of recipes Tammy Trayer would cook up in The Trayer Wilderness Cookbook Volume 1. It is good to Read More …

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Cooking with Peanut Flour

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Cooking with peanut flour - How to store it, where to get it and how to make a peanut butter replacement | PreparednessMama

This year, in an effort to diversify my food storage, I am trying to add new items to my plan. Have you ever tried peanut flour? I started out looking for a shelf-stable peanut butter substitute and arrived at peanut flour instead. Nutritionally speaking peanut flour is gluten-free and low in carbohydrates. Two tablespoons of […]

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How To Freeze Dry Food, With And Without A Machine

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How To Freeze Dry Food, With And Without A Machine

Freeze drying food at home is simple and easy, with or without a machine. Learn how to freeze dry all kinds of foods with no special equipment.

Learning how to freeze dry food is something that’s gaining popularity.

It doesn’t come as a surprise to us, because many preppers are now simply discovering the “long forgotten” art of freeze drying their foods at home.

In truth, freeze drying has been in constant commercial use for generations. Applying it in your home is quit easy, with or without a special machine.

When you freeze dry food, the water content and moisture are eliminated. It’s a lot like drying food on drying racks, but you’re also adding the freezing process.

Freeze drying food is useful in situations like long camping trips, or long term food storage for an emergency or disaster.


RELATED : How To Can BUTTER For Food Storage


What You Should Know

First, you should know the difference between air drying and freeze drying. This video shows a good comparison between the two.

Freeze drying food is the process of sucking the moisture out of food while making it very cold, below the freezing point of water. Without doing BOTH of these processes, your efforts will be wasted and the food will spoil.

Freeze drying is essentially like using an air drying rack inside of a deep freezer, in fact that’s exactly what you can do if you want.

High water content foods are easier to work with. These include vegetables and fruits such as peppers, carrots, potatoes, apples, berries, pears, etc. The shape of the food remains the same; just its water content is discarded. Leafy greens are more finicky and prone to wilting and a lot of other problems.

People freeze dry meat, grains, and pasta as well. But it’s better to begin with simple and easy to freeze dry foods like vegetables and fruits. Once you learn how to do that comfortably, you can try more complicated or difficult to freeze dry foods.

Once most foods are freeze dried they can be kept at or below room temps, you don’t have to keep them frozen.

How To Freeze Dry Food Without A Machine – 2 Methods

Freeze drying food is not a complicated process, it’s quite simple actually. Some people choose to do this with the help of vacuum sealers, and if you can get one I highly recommend it. They draw out most of the moisture, which is very important.

But many people freeze dry food without a machine, and there are two ways to do that.

1. The simple freezer method

The easiest way to freeze dry food is the one that also takes the longest. All you need to do is place your food in small pieces on a tray such as a cookie sheet, or a cooling rack or air drying rack and simply put it in your freezer. A deep freezer works best.

The food starts to freeze in the first few hours itself, but the drying process takes weeks. This process is known as sublimation. This is what separates freeze drying from simply freezing food inside of sealed bags or containers like we’re all used to doing.

And it’s this procedure that takes several weeks to complete….


RELATED : Homesteading Basics: How To Dehydrate Herbs for Long-Term Storage


The best way to check when the food is done drying is to remove a frozen piece and let it come to room temp. If the food turns dark or black, it means the drying process is still not over. Frozen food that doesn’t change color has been freeze dried thoroughly. It’s more an art than a science.

Once that has been achieved, you can go ahead and store the freeze dried food in ziplock bags. Freeze-dried food should be kept in storage that stays under 75 degrees.

2. The dry ice method

You can also freeze dry food with dry ice. Dry ice lets all the moisture from your food evaporate quickly, so the whole process is much faster. Find a day when the humidity level is zero too, don’t try this method when it’s rainy out as the humidity will make it much harder.

You will need a pair of insulated gloves and a large container, about twice the size of the food that you want to freeze dry. Completely cover the food with dry ice and fill the container, use a 1:1 weight ratio (meaning 1lb of food should get at least 1lb of dry ice). DO NOT SEAL THE CONTAINER…it will explode.

Dry ice gives off a large volume of gas as it evaporates and it has to be able to escape. You can loosely put the lid on, or drill holes in the lid, but do not seal it. I just leave the lid up.


RELATED : Survival Food: 5 Hearty Soup In A Jar Recipes


Once you can see no more dry ice left in the container, you know that the process is finished. This usually takes about 24 hours, or less. Once the dry ice is gone the process is complete.

Your container is now full of carbon dioxide and free of humidity. Do not take the food out until it is ready to be bagged. Use ziplock plastic bags to store the now freeze dried food, but make sure suck the air out as best you can to prevent moisture formation. Many people opt for vacuum packing devices or machines for better results, and I highly recommend you use them.

The goal is to ensure that no moisture is left or enters inside the plastic bag after the process is finished. You should seal it properly if you don’t want your efforts and your food to go to waste.

How To Freeze Dry Food With A Machine

Your average home use freeze drying machine costs between $2,500 – $4,000, so it’s fair to assume most people will not have one simply lying around. However if you’re lucky enough to have one the whole process couldn’t be easier.

Read your instruction manual for the best results, obviously, but for most machines it works something like this:

1. Place the food that you want to freeze dry on trays.

2. Place the trays in your machine and turn it on. Yep, they literally make it that easy.

Here’s a video showing the process from start to finish.


RELATED : 16 Facts You Should Know Before Dehydrating Food


Final Thoughts

You should weight your options when it comes to freeze drying. If you’re serious about prepping, food will obviously be high on your list, but the time or costs involved in freeze drying at home may not be worth it for you.

Sometimes it’s easier to buy it by the bucket ready to go than to tie up a freezer for a month or spend $4,000 on a machine that can only do one thing.

If you’re prepping for a group or a large family I suggest considering a freeze dryer. If it’s just you or your significant other, try it at home without a machine and see what you think. in the end it may not be worth it.

What about you? Have you ever used any of the methods mentioned above to freeze dry food at home?

Please feel free to share your experiences with us here. We would like to know what works best and what doesn’t. You can drop in your comments in the section below.

Saving our forefathers ways starts with people like you and me actually relearning these skills and putting them to use to live better lives through good times and bad. Our answers on these lost skills comes straight from the source, from old forgotten classic books written by past generations, and from first hand witness accounts from the past few hundred years. The Lost Ways Book teaches you how you can survive in the worst-case scenario with the minimum resources available, just like our forefathers did it for hundreds of years.

 

Source : https://besurvival.com

 

Make sure you like BackdoorPrepper on Facebook to be updated every time we find an article for innovative ways you can become a better prepper.

 

              WHAT TO READ NEXT !!!!!!

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Solavore Solar Oven – Pic Review

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One of the big topics that has been consistent in preparedness over the years that I have run Prepper Website, is food.  People know how important it is to eat!  A few days of going hungry and you start to really lose energy and even the ability to focus and think straight.  Couple that with stress and expended energy to deal with your situation, eating isn’t a want, it is a need!

When it comes to preparedness cooking, you need options!  There might be times when you don’t have time to build and maintain a fire.  There might be time when you need to conserve your fuel.  There might be time when an open flame gives away your activities and your position.

One option for preppers is a solar oven. Until recently, I had only read about them and seen videos.  However, I now have some experience using the Solavore Sport Solar Oven.

The Solavore Sport Oven was shipped neatly packaged with clear instructions for setup.  Make sure you do read the instructions carefully and just don’t go to town removing the film on the lid that kind of looks like an anti-scratch plastic for shipping! It’s there for a reason. I almost made the mistake of ripping it off!  The solar oven comes with the solar box, clear lid, reflectors, two black pots, a temperature gauge and a WAPI.

My main concern and real trial was if the solar oven would cook the “usual” stockpile of food that preppers would store.  For me, that would include rice and beans.

My first attempt failed!  I waited for a sunny day, according to weather.com.  I started early in the morning and set everything up.  However, I lost the sun halfway through the day.  So, this is something that needs to be kept in mind if you’re cooking during an emergency situation.  You will need a backup plan to possibly finish cooking your food if you lose the sun behind clouds.

My second attempt worked!  Again, I waited for a sunny day. I set the Solavore Sport out before I left for work.  The cool thing is that I didn’t get back home till after 7 p.m.  The sun was already setting and the box was cool (January in Houston, TX).  The temperature gauge didn’t even register!  I thought I had another fail on my hands.  When I lifted the lid, I could smell the rice and beans.  I brought the pots inside and took a bite!  Everything was done to my satisfaction.  I made a bowl of rice and beans, added a little  Tony’s to it and popped it in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm it up.

Solar ovens don’t burn food.  So, you can leave your food in your solar oven all day and not worry about it burning.  There are so many things that you can cook with a solar oven. Solavore has recipes you can try – savory and sweet.

My advice is that you experiment and try cooking with your solar oven when you don’t need it, so you will know how it works when you do need it!  The beauty of the Solavore is that it is so lightweight and sturdy.  You can use this all year long, just as long as you have sun.  And, you don’t have to wait for an emergency!

You can purchase the Solavore Sports Solar Oven on the Solavore site.

Check out my pics below as well as videos that I have linked to by my blogging friend, Anegela @ Food Storage and Survival.  Especially pay attention to her video on the WAPI.  I think this is a BIG selling point for solar ovens.

This is a pic from my first attempt. You can see I had a ton of sun, but I lost it 1/2 way through the day. I also think I put in a little too much water. You’re supposed to put in 25% less water than you normally use in a recipe.  I didn’t read that part during my first attempt!

Second attempt. Setting up the rice and beans.  A lot less water!

Pic of the Solavore Sport Solar Oven. This pic was taken early in the morning before I left for work.

Already cool because the sun was setting when I took the pots out of the oven, however, the rice and beans were fully cooked!

A little Tony’s! I was just missing some cornbread!

The Solavore Sports Oven comes with the oven and lid, reflectors, two pots, a temperature gauge and a WAPI.

WAPI = Water Pasteurization Indicator. If you haven’t seen one of these in action, check out the video below.

 

 

Do you have any experience with a solar oven?  What is it?  Would you consider purchasing one for your preps?

 

Peace,
Todd

6 Different Online Resources to Buy Bulk Survival Gear

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If you really want to stock up on survival gear, then sometimes you want to buy in bulk. Buying in bulk not only allows you to purchase the right amount of equipment and supplies, but will let you do so at a discount. Rather than purchasing a large quantity of items from a typical store, you can purchase from wholesale companies that provide a discount since you are buying in bulk. Below are some great places that you can purchase plenty of survival gear online, and make sure you are ready for any disasters.

DollarDays DollarDays is one of the largest wholesalers in the country, offering a wide range of products. While not focusing solely on survival gear, they nonetheless have plenty to offer when it comes to this department. On their website you’ll find essential gear such as waterproof matches, Mylar blankets, and medical supplies. While the options available are not as great as some other locations, if you need the basics, this is a great place to start.

Overstock – Another large company that offers more than just survival gear, Overstock is one of the most popular places to buy wholesale products. Overstock offers everything from medical supplies to camping gear to sanitation equipment to emergency power and more. All of this comes at the low prices you’d expect to get from any wholesaler. Overstock even offers free shipping to the Continental U.S for any orders over $45.00, allowing you to save a little bit more money.

Best Glide Aviation Survival Equipment – Sometimes you need more specific survival gear. If you need supplies for when you are out in the wilderness, or for anything to do with aviation, then you’ll want a wholesaler that can meet those needs. Best Glide ASE offers a wide range of products tailored to fit this exact group of people. On their website you will find supplies such as parachute cords, tracker buttons, and pre-made survival kits designed for the wilderness. If some of the larger wholesale chains do not have what you’re looking for, check out this one.

Bite The Bullet – For those of you who want a very specific product – namely, ammo – then you’ll want to buy right from the manufacturer. With companies like Bite The Bullet you can buy bulk ammo online, and have it delivered directly to your door. Ammo is typically used when loading up your survival gear, and if you think you’ll need a lot of it, you’re better off buying in bulk to save yourself some money. This website makes that easy, all without having to leave your home.

DHgate – Now, when purchasing survival gear, you’re probably not looking to sacrifice quality over cost. However, for those of you that want to spend the least amount of money, you can look to a site called DHgate. DHgate sells products directly from Chinese manufacturers and a very low cost. We can’t speak to the quality of every product on this website, but if you really want to save money, then it is worth taking a look at. Just be sure you do some research into what you are buying, and don’t purchase anything questionable if your life may depend on it some day.

Living Rational – Lastly, we have a wholesaler for those of you that are representing companies, schools or other organizations. If, as a part of your emergency preparedness, you need to order survival gear in bulk, this is the site for you. Living Rational offers survival kits for people of all ages and sizes, along with equipment for disasters such as floods or earthquakes. You’ll need to contact the company in order to get a quote on purchasing wholesale, but all the information you need is right on their website. Plenty Of Options To Buy In Bulk

When it comes to purchasing survival gear in bulk, you have a lot of options. No matter what kind of equipment you are looking to buy in bulk, there is a good chance that one of the above websites will have it for you. If not, there are plenty of other companies and websites out there, with the above list only being a small sample.

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Expiration Date Cheat Sheet: The Best Time to Replace Just About Everything

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Expiration Date Cheat Sheet: The Best Time to Replace Just About Everything How long can you rely on these everyday household goods? Stockpiling food, tools and other resources is a futile act if you don’t pay close attention to the potential longevity – or otherwise – of your goods. When times are good, we don’t …

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Prep Blog Review: Best Practices For Storing Survival Food

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Disasters can happen to anyone, anytime and hence you can’t prevent them, you can prepare for them. I want you to answer to one question: if disaster strikes tomorrow, do you have the basics covered? And when I say basics I mean food and water.

Water and food are at the top of the list when it comes to storing for survival if you want to have a healthy, ever-lasting, super-diversified diet when SHTF. But storing food for survival becomes overwhelming when you keep buying, and buying without a plan in mind.

That is why, for this week’s Prep Blog Review I’ve gathered 4 articles that sum up the best practices for storing survival food.

  1. Top 10 food Storage Myths

TOP-10“The internet is full of websites that give information on survival topics, including food storage. There are dozens and dozens of books that will teach you “the right way” to store food and YouTube videos galore. Most contain valid, trustworthy information, but mixed in with that are a number of food storage myths that many people accept without question. Here are 10 that I take issue with, and I explain why.

Myth #1:  You should stock up on lots of wheat.

When I was researching foods typically eaten during the Great Depression, I noticed that many of them included sandwiches of every variety. So it makes sense to stock up on wheat, which, when ground, becomes flour, the main ingredient to every bread recipe.”

Read more on The Survival Mom.

  1. The Best ORAC Foods to Stockpile

“ORAC stands for ‘oxygen radical absorbance capacity.’ It is a unit of measure to determine the antioxidant capacity of a particular food. The higher the ORAC unit value, the more antioxidants a food will have.food Storage

Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and therefore play a role in overall long-term health. Of course, you may think: why should I care about my long-term health when SHTF? No, you probably shouldn’t. But, if you are like me, you’re probably rotating your food stockpile. So when your cans are about to expire… instead of throwing them away you can eat a healthy balanced meal.”

Read more on Ask A Prepper.

  1. 50 Food Items To Keep Stocked for Emergencies

food-storage“Emergencies happen every day. We are faced with everything from a broken-down car on the freeway, medical emergencies, financial difficulties and natural disasters on a pretty consistent basis. Over the last 16 years, our country has been faced with some major events. We were attacked on 9/11 and many other terror attacks followed, we were faced with the devastating effects of Katrina, school shootings, our officers being shot, economic difficulties, and even rioting in our streets. All of these things are red flags that remind us to be prepared for just about anything.”

Read more on The Well Prepared Mama.

  1. How To Dehydrate Herbs for Long-Term Storage

dehydrating-herbs-for-storage

“Herbs are one of the first plants we put in our garden. There is nothing like fresh culinary herbs to intensify the flavors of food. As well, herbs are hardy garden plants that don’t have to be watered as much as vegetables and can serve more than one purpose by being used as natural medicine. For instance, did you know that a sage leaf can be used instead of a band-aid because it has natural healing qualities? Some of these popular culinary herbs are oregano, thyme and sage and can grow year-round in many parts of the country.”

Read more on Ready Nutrition.

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This article has been written by Drew Stratton for Survivopedia.  

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Embrace An Off-Grid Lifestyle – Review

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How To Embrace An Off-Grid Lifestyle by Tammy Trayer I would first like to thank Tammy for her willingness to share this information with the public and for allowing me to review her work. I Read More …

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Top 10 Food Storage Myths

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food storage myths

The internet is full of websites that give information on survival topics, including food storage. There are dozens and dozens of books that will teach you “the right way” to store food and YouTube videos galore. Most contain valid, trustworthy information, but mixed in with that are a number of food storage myths that many people accept without question.

Here are 10 that I take issue with, and I explain why.

By the way, following Myth #10 are 2 short videos that review these myths.

Myth #1:  You should stock up on lots of wheat.

When I was researching foods typically eaten during the Great Depression, I noticed that many of them included sandwiches of every variety. So it makes sense to stock up on wheat, which, when ground, becomes flour, the main ingredient to every bread recipe.

There are a couple of problems with the focus on wheat in virtually all food storage plans, however. First, since the time of the Great Depression millions of people now have various health issues when they consume wheat. From causing gluten intolerance to celiac disease our hybridized wheat is a whole ‘nother animal that our great-grandparents never consumed.

The second issue is that wheat isn’t the simplest food to prepare, unless you simply cook the wheat berries in water and eat them as a hot cereal or add them to other dishes. In order to make a loaf of bread, you have to grind the wheat, which requires the purchase of at least one grain mill. Electric mills are much easier to use and, within just seconds, you have freshly ground flour. However, you’ll probably want to add a hand-crank mill to have on hand for power outages. All together, 2 mills will end up costing a pretty penny, depending on the brands you purchase.

Then there’s the process of making the bread itself, which is time consuming.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t store wheat, and, in fact, I have several hundred pounds of it myself. The emphasis on wheat as a major component in food storage is what I have a problem with. In retrospect, I wish I had purchased far more rice and less wheat. Rice is incredibly simple to prepare and is very versatile. It, too, has a very long shelf life.

Myth #2: Beans last forever.

While it’s true that beans have a long shelf life, they have been known to become virtually inedible over time. Old-timers have reported using every cooking method imaginable in order to soften the beans. A pressure cooker is one option but, again, some have told me that doesn’t even work!

Another option is to grind the beans and add the powdered beans to various recipes. They will still contain some nutrients and fiber.

Over the years, I’ve stocked up on cans of beans — beans of all kinds. They retain their nutrients in the canning process and are already cooked, so there’s no need to soak, boil, pressure cook, etc. You can always home can dried beans, and if you have beans that have been around for more than 10 years or so, canning them is a super simple process and insures they won’t become inedible.

Myth #3: If they’re hungry enough, they’ll eat it!

Have you ever fallen in love with a recipe that was easy to make, inexpensive, and your family loved it? You probably thought you’d finally found The Dream Recipe. And then you made it a second time, then a third, then a fourth. About the 8th or 9th time, however, you may have discovered that you had developed a mild form of food fatigue. Suddenly, it didn’t taste all that great and your family wasn’t giving it rave reviews anymore.

When it comes to food storage, don’t assume that someone will eat a certain item they currently hate, just because they’re hungry. If you stock up on dozens of #10 cans of Turkey Tetrazzini, sooner or later the family will revolt, no matter how hungry they are.

Myth #4. All I need is lots and lots of canned food.

There’s nothing wrong with canned food. In fact, that’s how I got started with food storage. However, canned food has its limitations. A can of ravioli is a can of ravioli. You can’t exactly transform it into a completely different dish. As well, canned food may have additives that you don’t care to eat and, in the case of my own kids, tastes change over time. I had to eventually give away the last few cans of ravioli and Spaghetti-O’s because my kids suddenly didn’t like them anymore.

Be sure to rotate whatever canned food you have, since age takes a toll on all foods, but, as I’ve discovered, on certain canned items in particular. My experience with old canned tuna hasn’t been all that positive, and certain high-acid foods, such as canned tomato products, are known to have issues with can corrosion. Double check the seams of canned food and look for any sign of bulging, leaks, or rust.

Lightly rusted cans, meaning you can rub the rust off with a cloth or your fingertip, are safe to continue storing. However, when a can is badly rusted, there’s a very good chance that the rust has corroded the can, allowing bacteria to enter. Those cans should be thrown away.

Worried about the “expiration” date on canned food? Well, those dates are set by the food production company and don’t have any bearing on how the food will taste, its nutrients, or safety after that date. If the food was canned correctly and you’ve been storing it in a dry and cool location, theoretically, the food will be safe to consume for years after that stamped date.

Myth #5: I can store my food anywhere that I have extra space.

Yikes! Not if you want to extend its shelf life beyond just a few months! Know the enemies of food storage and do your best to store food in the best conditions possible.

TIP: Learn more about the enemies of food storage: heat, humidity, light, oxygen, pests, and time.

I emphasize home organization and decluttering on this blog, mainly because it frees up space that is currently occupied by things you don’t need or use. Start decluttering and then storing your food in places that are cool, dark, and dry.

Myth #6: My food will last X-number of years because that’s what the food storage company said.

I have purchased a lot of food from very reputable companies over the years: Augason Farms, Thrive Life, Honeyville, and Emergency Essentials. They all do a great job of processing food for storage and then packaging it in containers that will help prolong its shelf life.

However, once the food gets to your house, only you are in control of how that food is stored. Yes, under proper conditions, food can easily have a shelf life of 20 years or more, but when it’s stored in heat, fluctuating temperatures, and isn’t protected from light, oxygen, and pests, and never rotated, it will deteriorate quickly.

NOTE: When food is old, it doesn’t become poisonous or evaporate in its container. Rather, it loses nutrients, flavor, texture, and color. In a word, it becomes unappetizing.

Myth #7: Just-add-hot-water meals are all I need.

There are many companies who make and sell only add-hot-water meals. In general, I’m not a big fan of these. They contain numerous additives that I don’t care for, in some cases the flavors and textures and truly awful, but the main reason why I don’t personally store a lot of these meals is because they get boring.

Try eating pre-made chicken teriyaki every day for 2 weeks, and you’ll see what I mean. Some people don’t require a lot of variety in their food, but most of us tire quickly when we eat the same things over and over.

These meals have a couple of advantages, though. They are lightweight and come in handy during evacuation time and power outages. If you can boil a couple of cups of water over a rocket stove, propane grill, or some other cooking device, then you’ll have a meal in a few minutes.

TIP: Store a few days worth of just-add-water meals with your emergency kits and be ready to grab them for a quick emergency evacuation. Be sure to also pack a spoon or fork for each person and a metal pot for meals that require cooking over a heat source.

However, for a well-balanced food storage pantry, stock up on individual ingredients and fewer just-add-hot-water meals.

Myth #8: I can stock up on a year’s worth and won’t need to worry about food anymore.

That is probably the fantasy of many a prepper. Buy the food, stash it away, and don’t give it a thought until the S hits the fan. There’s a big problem with that plan, however. When everything does hit the fan and it’s just you and all that food:

  • Will you know how to prepare it?
  • Will you have the proper supplies and tools to prepare the food?
  • Did you store enough extra water to rehydrate all those cans of freeze-dried and dehydrated foods?
  • Do you have recipes you’re familiar with, that your family enjoys, and that use whatever you’ve purchased?
  • What if there’s an ingredient a family member is allergic to?
  • Does everyone even like what you’ve purchased?
  • Have any of the containers been damaged? How do you know if you haven’t inspected them and checked them occasionally for bulges and/or pest damage?

If you’ve purchased a pre-packaged food storage supply, the contents of that package were determined by just a small handful of people who do not know your family, your health issues, or other pertinent details. These packages aren’t a bad thing to have on hand. Just don’t be lulled into a false sense of security.

Myth #9: Freeze dried foods are too expensive.

Yes, there is a bit of sticker shock initially when you begin to shop online at sites like Thrive Life, Augason Farms, and Emergency Essentials. If you’ve been used to paying a few dollars for a block of cheddar cheese and then see a price of $35 for a can of freeze-dried cheddar, it can be alarming.

However, take a look at how many servings are in each container and consider how much it would cost to either grow or purchase that same food item and preserve it in one way or another, on your own.

The 3 companies I mentioned all have monthly specials on their food and other survival supplies — that’s how I ended up with 2 cases of granola from Emergency Essentials!

Myth #10: This expert’s food storage plan will fit my family.

The very best food storage plan is the one that you have customized yourself. By all means, use advice given by a number of experts. Take a look at online food calculators, but when it’s time to make purchases, buy what suits your family best. What one person thinks is ideal for food storage may leave your kids retching.

Lots of resources to help you with your food storage pantry

Want this info on video? Here you go!

Food Storage Myths, Part 1: Myths 1-5

Food Storage Myths, Part 2: Myths 6-10

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 food storage myths

Homesteading Basics: How To Dehydrate Herbs for Long-Term Storage

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dehydrating herbs for storageHerbs are one of the first plants we put in our garden. There is nothing like fresh culinary herbs to intensify the flavors of food. As well, herbs are hardy garden plants that don’t have to be watered as much as vegetables and can serve more than one purpose by being used as natural medicine. For instance, did you know that a sage leaf can be used instead of a band-aid because it has natural healing qualities? Some of these popular culinary herbs are oregano, thymne and sage and can grow year-round in many parts of the country.

To enjoy these herbs year round, many choose to dehydrate them when they are at the peak in freshness and combine them to make their own spices and even homemade tea blends. Can you imagine how much money you could save at the grocery store by implementing this into your pantry?

How To Dehydrate Herbs for Long-Term Storage

Dehydrating herbs and other leafy greens is one of the easiest items to dry for long-term use. All you really need is a constant stream of air. You don’t necessary have to own a dehydrator because herbs can dry naturally from the air, but it does help with even drying.

Here are some steps to get started:

  1.  Prep herbs for drying. Wash and place herbs evenly on a drying rack and ensure that enough space is make for proper air flow.
  2. Set temperature and time according to the directions on your dehydrator.
  3. Ensure that herbs are 95% dehydrated for long-term storage.

Here are some great spice mixes to start adding to your pantry!

Cajun Seasoning

  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Chili Powder

  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

French Herb Mix

  • 3 tablespoons marjoram
  • 3 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons savory
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed

Chili Powder

  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

Storing Dehydrated Herbs

Herbs can be dehydrated to store for longer periods, but storage is important for any preserved food, and dehydrated foods are no exception. Store either in heavy duty zippered bags in a metal container, or store in dry, sterile, glass jars. For long term storage, I recommend using Mylar bags.

As I stated previously, before storing, you want to ensure that your food is 95% or more dehydrated because the more moisture your food has the more likely molds and microorganisms can grow. Like all emergency food sources, ensure that you keep your dehydrated food away from natural elements.

“Best Used By” Guidelines for Dehydrated Food 

  • Spices – 1-2 years
  • Vegetables/Fruits – Up to 12 months
  • Meats – Best at 1-2 months, but can be stored for 6 months.

We are all looking for frugal ways to bulk up our preparedness pantries. Using herbs is a great way to do that. Some of our favorite herbs we love to grow in our garden can be utilized to make long-term herbal seasonings to use year round. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start dehydrating!

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Get a freezer for food storage – you’ll be glad you did

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Using a freezer for food storage is a somewhat controversial topic – and I get it.  The main concern – what happens when the power goes out – is a valid one.  So, let’s talk about it today! I love when I get a lot of questions that all center around the same topic!  It […]

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This Protein Source is a Must for the Frugal Prepper’s Shopping List

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ground beef as food storage[Editor’s Note: Having a storable protein source for your emergency supplies is paramount to your survival. In The Prepper’s Cookbook, I stress the importance of having a pantry stocked with nutritious, life-saving meals. Finding deals at the grocery store (especially on meat) is a great way to bulk up your emergency supplies. One such frugal food is the humble package of ground beef.  It can be dehydrated, canned and frozen. As Jeremiah will touch on, this versatile meat source is a must for every prepper pantry. Chances are, you can find some great deals if keep an eye out.]

ReadyNutrition Readers, as you’ve undoubtedly read in some of my previous articles, protein is a major consideration in any undertaking that you have.  As a matter of fact, it is critical to your survival.  We have discussed its importance before, and I wanted to give you guys and gals some methods for utilizing ground beef to keep that protein flowing into your systems.  Remember this: almost every food can be effectively blended in a blender.  The smaller and more pulverized the better!

Ground Beef is a Frugal SHTF Meat Source

Seriously, guys and gals, ground beef is really great.  Firstly, the taste is such that it (as a meat, and a protein) provides satiety, that is a sense of being filled/sated.  When you combine that with an 85% lean or higher regarding fat, and make it organic, grass-fed beef…you’re taking in some nutritious protein.


Per the tables in Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary (17th Ed.), 3 ounces of lean ground beef contains 21 grams of protein.  Most people can eat between ¼ and ½ lb. at a sitting, so we’re looking at 28 to 56 grams of protein right there.


A Few Nifty Ways To Have Ground Beef Ready To Go!

Now, let me tell you what I do.  I’ll take about 10 lbs. at a time, and make really lean hamburgers out of about 5 lbs. of it in about ¼ lb. patties.  I chop up onions, garlic, parsley, and the like, and throw that in.  The other 5 lbs. I brown it on the stove, drain it, and then add ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil and the aforementioned herbs and seasonings.  I’ll keep it in 1 lb. Ziploc bags and freeze about three pounds of it.  The other two I’ll keep in the fridge.

Adding this ground beef ¼ lb. at a time to other things, I boost the protein content quite a bit.  If you read that article I wrote on the uses of the thermos, you’ll find that I’m a big vitamin-R guy…that’s “Ramen” …for a light lunch/snack and a quick pick-me-up.  With a sandwich bag holding my browned ground beef, I turn the 8 grams of protein in the Ramen to 36 g in the blink of an eye.

See, if you pack up these little sandwich bags with about ¼ lb. of the ground beef, you can add it into whatever you like.  Tomato soup is nothing…but you can go somewhere and have a bowl and throw the ground beef into it and there’s your protein.  Same as if you pick up a salad, the bag of ground beef.  Why not?  Whatever your dressing is, throw in the ground beef and mix it all in well.  Why not add some delicious protein to your salad that makes you feel fuller?  Even something such as a bowl of macaroni and cheese…add your ground beef, and go from about 16 g of protein to the cup to a full 44 g.

I have mentioned all of this to give you some ideas if you’re on the go and used to buying your food when you’re at work or such.  Know what else you can do, after you’ve cooked it up?  Dehydrate it!  Yes, indeedy!  That is with a food dehydrator (the time will vary for the number of trays you intend to do) or with your oven.  For the oven, you should throw it on about 150 degrees F for about 8 to 10 hours if you already browned it (for about 5 lbs.).  When it’s done, allow it to cool off, then wrap it up and refrigerate it.  This is especially good in soups, and to figure out what the protein content is you’ll have to do a weight by proportion. Note: Meats with high fat content tend to produce beads of oil as it dehydrates and should be blotted off during the dehydration process. Look for meat that has less than 15% fat content.

If you browned about 5 lbs., and then dried it in the oven, you may have about 2 lbs. left over.  Calculate your original pre-cooked weight into 4 ounce increments (that would be 4 per pound…and 5 lbs. makes twenty total, right?).  Then divide your 2 lbs. by 20, and each increment would hold a normally-cooked amount’s worth of protein…so each increment would be 28 grams of protein worth…minus the water.  Just as an example so you can figure out how to do your own.  Incidentally, the Taber’s I mentioned doesn’t have the food tables in editions after the 17th, and the tables list every food known to man within reason.

You can also take that ground beef and make pemmican out of it using my recipe with just minor adjustments in terms of fat incorporated into the recipe.  As I mentioned before, all of this depends upon the fat content of the ground beef you use.  Put in into anything that you have in your diet.  I even make mashed potatoes and mix the ground beef in with it.  Works good, and tastes pretty good, too.  Try out some of these ideas, and you’ll find it really helps you with your workouts and training when protein is your main requirement.  Eat heartily, and take care of yourselves!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Old Fashioned Preserving: Grandpa’s Recipe for Cured Smoked Ham

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Old Fashioned Preserving: Grandpa’s Recipe for Cured Smoked Ham A century ago most of the hog’s meat was cured and smoked to preserve it. This process is still used today by some, but curing hams it’s becoming a lost skill. Nowadays we rely too much on refrigerators. You can buy a hundred pounds of meat, …

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Meat Potting: An Almost Forgotten Skill Worth Rediscovering

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Meat Potting: An Almost Forgotten Skill Worth Rediscovering When I sat down to write this, I remembered my grandmother. She potted meat like this in 10 gallon crocks. The cooler you could keep the crock, the longer the meat will last. (Basement, cellar, etc), but don’t let it hard freeze or the crock will crack. …

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Food Storage Just Got Easier with My Patriot Supply

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I am excited to welcome our latest sponsor, My Patriot Supply. Who is My Patriot Supply? My Patriot Supply is a store specializing in self-sufficiency and emergency preparedness.  It was established in 2008.  The store’s founders live the preparedness lifestyle and understand the needs of this community.  They believe that true freedom comes from attaining a certain level of self-reliance and their survival store was created with this truth in mind. Products My Patriot Supply features only the finest quality […]

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Food Storage: It’s the Little Things!!!

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I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “the little things make a big difference.” That’s true in preparedness and really true when we consider food storage! Let me walk you through a scenario.

The “hammer” has finally “dropped” and America is in the middle of TEOTWAKI. Chaos ensues and it is not pretty! After a while, depending on where you are located in the country (some places might take longer than others), things finally die down (maybe literally) and eventually a “new normal” emerges in American’s everyday life!

Maybe it looks agricultural. Maybe it looks industrial. Who knows? But one thing that everyone will have to do is eat!

Now, imagine putting in a long day of…working in the field, patrolling, working in a factory or whatever. Imagine working a long day and then coming home to sit down to eat…the same old, bland food.

Many people say that if someone is hungry, they will eat whatever is in front of them. I actually believe that. But, remember, we are now in a “new normal.” People aren’t necessarily hungry. It’s just that the food sucks! Can you imagine what that would do to morale eventually?

Now, what if the person responsible for making the food knew tricks and tips and knew how to make things that tasted good? What would that do for morale? Just imagine, dinner time would once again be the centerpoint of the day. Families would come together to eat a good meal and enjoy each other.

Now, many of us have food storage. Some of your food storage might include MRE’s and dehydrated Mountain House meals. But the bulk of most preppers food storage would include basic staples like rice and beans. After your MRE’s and Mountain House is gone, how will you cook your rice and beans and other long term food storage in a way that won’t eventually get boring?

The truth here is that cooking, knowing how flavors come together, knowing what to use and when, is an important skill, not only when the poop hits the fan, but it can also be very useful now!

I would like to announce that I’m partnering, as an affiliate, with Chef Keith Snow and his new cooking program that has been designed for preppers!

Many of you know Chef Keith Snow from his own cooking podcast and his appearances on The Survival Podcast with Jack Spirko. He sits on Jack’s Expert Council when the topic is food.

In realizing the frailty of our system, he got serious about prepping and food storage. He also realizes the challenges that many preppers have when it comes to making their food storage taste good over a long time. He has developed a course to help his fellow preppers!
Keith has put together a course with 17 modules that covers everything from “What Food to Store” to the equipment you need to the specifics on food storage staples. He is just now launching it and adding to it weekly.

But, this isn’t just a course. When you learn how to really cook well, you are learning a valuable skill. You will use all your preparedness skills at some point. But you will eat everyday!

And, this course will help you save money because many of the main ingredients in the recipes are from food storage staples, which means they will be very affordable!

Good food at a great price…and learn a valuable skill?????? It’s a win-win-win!!!!

The cost of the course covers a lifetime membership and includes access to all of Chef Keith’s written materials as well as videos. The written material includes recipes and even items that you will want to purchase to add to your food storage.

Since the course has just launched, but isn’t completed yet, Chef Keith is offering an introductory offer to join his new program – $169. Again, this includes a lifetime membership and unlimited access to all of his materials, including a forum.

To sign-up for his course, CLICK HERE!

If you’re not convinced yet, and would like to get a little more information, subscribe to his mini-course which will get you access to a 45 page ebook in PDF , two written recipe with everything you need to know how to make these recipes and information from Keith’s perspective and rationale of the course.

To sign-up for the mini-course – CLICK HERE!

To put my money where my mouth is – I signed up for the course myself! I am excited to improve my cooking skills. I plan on putting out some of the recipes I try on my social media channels. Be on the lookout for them!

Peace,
Todd

3 Ways Prepping Pays Off Right Now

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

It’s far more likely to encounter a little emergency than a major movie-style event. So what to do with the big pile of food, gear, etc. that represents an investment of time, money, and storage space?

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How to Use Lemon Juice Powder in Cooking

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Lemon juice powder is a kitchen standby for any pantry. It gives you the ability to add a punch of lemon flavor to any recipe you are creating | PreparednessMama

Include this flavorful addition in your pantry. Lemon zest is a kitchen standby for any pantry. It gives you the ability to add a punch of lemon flavor to any recipe you are creating. What happens when you run out of zest? Substitute lemon juice powder instead. You may not be familiar with this little-known […]

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The Prepared Workplace: Lifesaving Supplies You Need Before the Emergency

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prepared workplace[Editor’s Note: On average, we spend over 50 hours a week away from our homes. Chances are, if a sudden disaster occurs at your workplace and you are forced to shelter in place for a given time, many coworkers (including yourself) could be unprepared. Would you have enough food and water to wait an emergency out at work? A disaster plan is only as good as your Plan A, B and C.]

So, ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, have you made a big batch of pemmican for yourselves yet?  If so, then I commend you.  If not, then get on the stick!  The beef stick, that is, because pemmican is one of the foods that is perfect to carry around.  I know, I know, between bug-out bags, micro-tools, thermoses, and the likes of which I have been writing about recently…you need to be an octopus to be able to carry all of it.  It is better to have, as you well know, than not to have something.  Let’s talk about food in this regard.

The Secret to Survival is Prior Planning

Undoubtedly you have laid up a supply for yourselves and your families in your home and have some packed in your “go” bags.  We’ll now touch on a few other areas: in your workplace and on your person. Some preparedness and emergency items for the entire office are:

Talk to your supervisor about the existing emergency plan and find ways of improving it. You could even create a preparedness month where each coworker donates money to get the office prepped!

Ultimately, It’s About You!

If your workplace shrugs off your attempts to get them prepped, that shouldn’t stop you from getting some extra food and provisions for yourself in your workplace (and also carry a little on you at all times). Keep in mind, this is about giving yourself an “edge” and perhaps buying you some time in a sticky situation.

If you have a workplace locker (the best are those that lock), a basket/cubby space, or a shelf for your things, you can stock up a few cans of food and some essentials.  Why?  Because that is what preparation is all about: the “what-if’s” that may arise.  What if you cannot go outside to your vehicle to get your “go” bag?  There could be any number of reasons: severe flooding, rioting, extreme cold weather, among others.  You may have to make do with what you have on your person or in your workplace.

As well, make sure you have some clean athletic socks and walking shoes stored on you. As well, have some extra change on hand in case you need to get items from the vending machines (items like water, nuts, crackers, etc., will run out quickly in an emergency).

Your Personal Workplace Prepper Pantry

Even if you just have a bag that you stash under a table or in a back room, you can throw extra canned goods in there.  Here’s a sample of what to place in your bag or locker (with a locker, remember, you can probably put some more food in there):

  • (4) cans of food (preferably heat-and-eat prepared dinner-ravioli, soups, etc.)
  • (2) 20-ounce or 32-ounce bottle of water
  • (1) Ziploc sandwich bag of a snack (trail mix, pretzels, dried fruit, etc.)
  • (1) Ziploc bag of hard candies
  • (1) small bag of dried meat (jerky, pemmican, beef sticks, etc.)

That will get you started, but you don’t have to stop there. There are many types of disasters that could occur while you are at work. What happens if there is a fire and you need to escape? Or, in a worst case scenario, hazardous material has leaked into the air. Why not have a gas mask on hand? There are many gas masks that are compact and can fit inside your desk.

Remember, these items are for your personal space/storage space in your workplace.  If you have an office and a desk, all the better.  If the desk has any drawers that lock, then it’s optimal.  Remember this rule:

If it’s a time of trouble or scarcity, whatever you need will also be needed by others.

Sesame Street rules aside, you do not need to advertise that you have a stash of extra food in your office drawer or wall locker.  Keep your supplies in a nondescript gym bag or other non-transparent/non-translucent carrier.

Their need is not a justification for your sharing, nor their shortsightedness for your “help” regarding preparations. 

One way to circumvent this is to get coworkers involved in getting the workplace prepared for these types of emergencies and have them create their own personal workplace pantries.

So, we’ve addressed the workplace, and now how about on your person?  Why?  Because it gives you an edge.  I have written articles in the past on the value of cargo pants with cargo pockets.  Here I am, recommending them again.  I carry a small bag of peanut butter-filled pretzels in my cargo pocket, as well as a bag of jerky, and about half a dozen hard candies (I like those Jolly Rancher ones).  There’s a good reason for it.

What if you’re trapped in an elevator?  Or (as mentioned before) something goes wrong, such as a power outage that leaves you trapped for a while.  What then?  It is a proven fact that the intake of simple sugars helps the human body during times of stress or crisis.  In addition, it is a psychological support you’ll give to yourself to help you deal with all of it.  The protein in the jerky and the peanut butter is important; the necessity to replace protein can never be understated.

The hard candies give you some simple sugar to throw into your bloodstream, and keep the mouth from drying out.  As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, if you can’t drink, then do not eat anything.  You will deplete yourself further; you must drink in order to digest your food.  The difficulty this presents is obvious, because if you don’t tote around a water bottle all the time, you’ll have trouble finding water when the need arises.  So, tote it around!  Everybody walks around all the time with coffee cups and soda bottles, so it won’t look out of place for you to tote around a 20-ounce PowerAde bottle with water in it.

These are akin to “tiers” of response levels: 1st is what you have on you, 2nd in your work area/locker, and 3rd in your vehicle.

One more key point: All the stuff not on you becomes a cache point if you can’t reach it, and you can go for the stuff later on.

You may have to forgo getting food out of your locked desk drawer because 10 other people may see it.  Who’s going to think of going into your desk drawer for food unless you make them aware it’s there.  Practice OPSEC, and re-read the article I wrote on the Nosy Neighbors…the ones who will eat your food and maybe you along with it if their needs call for it.  Keep it to yourself.  It’s better to wait until everybody is out of the area, and then obtain your supplies from your locked and unknown (to your “buddies” at work) location.  Ounce of prevention, pound of cure.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

One Plan Is Not Enough: 7 Tips to Create a Successful Food Plan

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

What are the most important things to consider? In this article I cover some of the requirements of creating your master food plan.

The post One Plan Is Not Enough: 7 Tips to Create a Successful Food Plan appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

A Beginners Guide to Sausage Making (Recipes Included)

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 My grandfather was a large influence on my passion for homesteading. He was an avid gardener, hunter, made his own wine and sausage; and was always generous about sharing.

He made use of the plethora of meat he would get from hunting or deals he found at the grocery store. Once he was loaded up on meat, he would get his meat grinder out and carefully cut his meat for grinding and make some of the best sausage you could ever have. I grew up on his homemade sausage and could never get enough. I am a big believer in sharing family recipes and did so in my book, The Prepper’s Cookbook, so I had to share some of my favorite sausage recipes too.

Sausage making is a great way to use up an abundance of meats in the home freezer. I use an assortment of cheap meats. My grandfather’s secret was using equal amounts of brisket and pork butt.

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • large mixing bowl
  • sharp knife
  • meat grinder (look for one that has multiple speeds and has a reverse capability. It helps with unclogging the grinder)
  • sausage casings (natural or non-edible casings is a personal choice)
  • assorted spices or buy a prepared spice pack
  • cure salt (I like this one) – Use 1 teaspoon of curing salt per 5 lbs. of meat.
  • meat: stew meat, roasts, briskets, pork butts, pork shoulder, etc.
  • baker’s twine

Prepping the Meat

Any meat can be used in sausage making, but typically, pork and beef are used. Pork shoulder is a great meat to use as it has 20% fat and creates a nice balance to the sausage. As well, it is sold at a low-cost. Place it on a plate or pan in the freezer, along with the grinder parts that will contact the meat. Leave it there for about 20 minutes until it is firm but do not let it freeze. This makes grinding easier.

Here’s a great video on getting the meat prepped for grinding and stuffing.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes:

BREAKFAST SAUSAGE

  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
  2. Form mixture into patties and place on a large dish.
  3. Over medium heat, saute the patties in a large skillet for 5 minutes per side, or until internal pork temperature reaches 160 degrees F (73 degrees C).
  4. Or, add sausage patties to a freezer bag and freeze for later. Tip: We like to freeze them on a large cookie sheet with wax paper. Once frozen, we add them to a freezer bag.

SUMMER SAUSAGE

  • 5 pounds ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon Morton Tender Quick curing salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, for spicy (optional)
  • summer sausage casings (if you plan on smoking your summer sausage)

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef and spices until well blended.
  2. Cover mixture with foil and allow to cure in refrigerator for 48 hours. Season with garlic powder, curing mixture, liquid smoke and mustard seed, and mix thoroughly. It is best to use your hands for this – like meatloaf. Form the mixture into two rolls, and wrap with aluminum foil. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
  3. If you are smoking your meat: Add meat to casing either by stuffing by hand, using a sausage stuffer or sausage stuffing attachment for an electric meat-grinder.
  4. If you plan on baking your summer sausage: Shape the mixture into five logs and wrap in foil. Set on a wire rack over a large drip pan.
  5. See cooking directions below.

Smoking Instructions:

  1. To smoke summer sausage, smoke at 140 degrees F for 1 hour, then at 180 degrees F until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F (insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the sausage). Tip: Soak your wood chips in beer to give your sausage an authentic flavor. I used Sierra Nevada IPA and it turned out delicious.
  2. Remove from smokehouse and place in ice water to cool down rapidly.

Baking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Remove foil from the beef, and poke holes in the bottom of the rolls. Place them on a roasting rack in a shallow roasting pan to catch the drippings.
  3. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven.
  4. Cool, then wrap in plastic or foil, and refrigerate until cold before slicing.

BRATWURST

  • 3 pounds pork shoulder or butt
  • 1 pound beef or pork fat or a blend
  • 4 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 5 teaspoons salt

Instructions:

  1. Grind the meat using a fine grinding plate.
  2. After grinding, add the sausage seasonings to the meat and blend by hand or use a meat mixer. Be sure to mix thoroughly to ensure the ingredients are spread evenly throughout the meat.
  3. Pinch off a small piece of the sausage and cook it in a frying pan let it cool and taste to see if the seasoning is to your taste.
  4. Stuff by hand or by using a sausage stuffer or sausage stuffing attachment for an electric meat-grinder. (Note: do NOT use the blade in meat-grinder when stuffing and it is best to use a stuffing (bean) plate). If you wish, You can also form patties without casings.
  5. See cooking instructions below.

Baking or Grilling Instructions:

  1. Prick bratwurst with fork to prevent them from exploding as they cook. Place in a large stock pot with the onions, butter, and beer. Place pot over medium heat, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
  3. Lightly oil grate. Cook bratwurst on preheated grill for 10 to 14 minutes, turning occasionally to brown evenly. 

Smoking Instructions:

  1. Preheat your smoker or grill to about 225 degrees F.
  2. Place the sausages on an indirect side away from the heat. Add wood to the heat right after the meat goes on, and smoke for only 30 to 60 minutes at the start while the meat is cold. There should be no need to turn the meat.
  3. Heat for at least 1 hour, but check the internal temp with a digital meat thermometer and make sure the internal meat temperature is at least 160°F.

It’s nice to be able to carry on a family tradition that I loved as a child. I can honestly say that my kids are big fans of homemade sausage and it is my hope these recipes will live on.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Food Storage Items That Save Time in the Kitchen

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Do you ever wonder: What if I don’t ever have to use my preparedness supplies?  Then what?  I’ve just wasted all that money. And honestly, I get it!  It can be hard to invest in preparedness supplies that you may (or may not use) when Johnny needs new shoes TODAY. The Good News But I’d […]

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Best Organic Food Storage I Recommend

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This is the best organic food storage I recommend. I promise. I get asked so many times “Linda, where do buy YOUR food storage?” Here’s the deal, I don’t buy long-term organic food storage. Now, if you buy only organic long-term food storage that’s awesome. I think it’s too expensive because when I have to cook my food storage, I can guarantee you I will be cooking for my neighborhood who may or may not have planned for any emergency or disaster. I do buy high-quality, long-term food storage that’s for sure. The first thing I do is call the different food storage companies. I check where the food was grown or if it was imported from different countries BEFORE I buy it. Sometimes, I have to get a supervisor if the person answering the phone does not know how to answer my questions. Sometimes, I’m lucky and the company posts online where they buy the food. For instance, some foods we don’t grow here in the US so those foods must be purchased from outside the USA.

But I want to know which country the food is actually grown in. It’s my personal preference, but I need to know what I’m storing. Now, I need to tell you up front that the company I’m writing about today pays a monthly fee to have their “banner” on my website. The company is called North Bay Trading Company. Yes, I follow the FTC requirements to let you know when I am getting paid to “advertise” for them. I do not get paid on your orders, just to let you know. I want to be REAL, here, just saying. I am very picky with the companies I will write reviews for regarding their products. I use North Bay Trading Company products almost every day. Now, they have a shelf-life of 12-24 months, so be sure and check the website when you purchase food from them. Please keep in mind that they sell food that is NOT organic as well. The link above is to the USDA Organic food storage page on their website.

I love that it’s a small family owned company located back in Brule, Wisconsin. I must say the next statement you read makes me so proud to be able to recommend North Bay Trading Company’s as the best organic food storage anywhere. All of their products are GMO-free. I love this. Their products are not genetically modified organisms. Yay, this is a cartwheel moment for the world!

I quote “Healthy. We use only 100 percent natural GMO-free ingredients. Our products are generally low in sodium and a great source of vitamins and minerals. There are no artificial additives.” End of quote.

The best organic food storage I use:

Please check out the entire website: North Bay Trading Company

1. carrots, I like the sliced ones

2. garlic

3. onions

4. soups (all of them)

5. air-dried and freeze-dried fruits (all of them)

6. air-dry and freeze-dried vegetables (all of them)

I love having the best organic food storage with a short-term shelf life because I use these products every day. I buy smaller amounts that are affordable and I store them in mason jars. Life is good when I can buy GMO-free food from a source I trust. May Gob bless you for being prepared for the unexpected. Please learn a new skill each month this year……..

My favorite things:

Ball Mason Wide Mouth Quart Jars with Lids and Bands, Set of 12

Set of Ball Storage Caps: Regular Mouth Jar & Wide Mouth Jar – 1 Package of Each (2)

The post Best Organic Food Storage I Recommend appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

When the Economy Collapses, What is “Money”?

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It seems like every year there is talk of an imminent economic collapse. 2017 is no different. With the economic deck stacked against Trump, I don’t have much confidence that he, alone, can turn things around. After all, the national debt is completely out of control and has doubled in the past 8 years. Sooner or later, the piper must be paid and preppers who breathed a sigh of relief when Trump was elected, may want to think again, as I wrote about in this article.

So, with continued predictions of economic collapse, I asked Mac Slavo over at SHTFplan blog to share with my readers his insights into how a family might survive following a collapse of our money system.  Here is his answer, in his own words:

Economist Mike Shedlock defines money through the eyes of Austrian economist Murray N. Rothbard as, “a commodity used as a medium of exchange.”

“Like all commodities, it has an existing stock, it faces demands by people to buy and hold it. Like all commodities, its “price” in terms of other goods is determined by the interaction of its total supply, or stock, and the total demand by people to buy and hold it. People “buy” money by selling their goods and services for it, just as they “sell” money when they buy goods and services.”

What is money when the system collapses and the SHTF?

In disaster situations, the value of money as we know it now, changes, especially if we are dealing with a hyperinflationary collapse of the system’s core currency. This article discusses money as a commodity in an event where the traditional currency (US Dollar) is no longer valuable.

In a collapse of the system, there will be multiple phases, with the first phase being the “crunch”, as discussed in James Rawles’ book Patriots. The crunch is the period of time directly preceding a collapse and the collapse itself. Too often, preppers prep for “the crunch” and fail to realize they will have to be ready to survive for many months, if not years afterwards.

Traditional Currency

Initially, the traditional currency system will maintain some value, though it may be rapidly depreciating in buying power. For those with physical, non-precious metal denominated currency on hand (paper dollars, non-silver coins), spending it as rapidly as possible is the best approach. In Argentina during that country’s many economic collapses, if someone received a check in payment, the immediately rushed to cash it, knowing that it was losing its value minute by minute. This short Kindle document, written by a survivor of that time in Argentina’s history, details that event.

It is during the crunch that ATM machines around the country will run out of currency as people aware of the rapidly devaluing dollar will be attempting to withdraw as much money as possible. This immediate increase in money supply, coupled with the population’s general knowledge of the currency depreciation in progress, will lead to instant price increases for goods, especially essential goods.

And, forget the classic “run on banks” that have been depicted in old movies, including “It’s a Wonderful Life.” A modern day “run” simply won’t happen. Rather, the electronic system that moves money from a billion different points to another billion points will simply be turned off. In a split second, all access to funds will cease, and there will be no point running to a bank to get cash, since banks will be in lockdown mode and, in any case, they hold very little actual cash.

If your physical cash has not been converted into tangible assets, this would be the time to do so. Acquiring as much food, fuel, clothing and toiletry items as possible would be the ideal way to spend remaining cash before it completely collapses to zero, as it did in the Weimar inflation in 1930’s Germany or Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation in recent years. This family survival and prepping manual has in depth advice for preppers at all stages.

Precious Metals

During the initial phase of the ‘crunch’, precious metals will be a primary bartering tool, but this may not last long. The old survivalist adage, “You can’t eat your gold,” will become apparent very quickly. In a total breakdown of the system, food, water and fuel will be the most important tangible goods to acquire, and for beginners, this list of where to start with food storage is invaluable.

Consider someone who has a two-week or one-month supply of food on hand. Do you believe they would be willing to part with that food for some precious metals? The likely answer is no. There will be almost no bartering item that one would be willing to trade their food for once it is realized that food supply lines have been cut. At that point, it’s anyone’s guess as to when supplies, food and otherwise, will be replenished.

That being said, since most will not barter their food, not even for fuel, the next recognized medium of exchange by merchants, especially those selling fuel, will be precious metals. For the initial crunch, silver coins, especially recognizable coins like 90% silver quarters, dimes and half dollars, along with one ounce government mint issued silver coins, like US Silver Eagles, will be accepted by some, probably most, merchants. For those trying to flee cities to bug-out locations, silver coins of the aforementioned denominations may be a life saver, as they can be used to acquire fuel. While it’s recommended to have gold as well, the issue with gold is that its value is so much higher than that of silver. Breaking a one-ounce gold coin into ten pieces just to buy a tank of gas will not be practical. It is for this reason that having silver on hand is highly recommended. Packing at least $25 – $50 worth of silver coins in each bug-out bag would be a prudent prepping idea.

In a total SHTF scenario, silver and gold may eventually break down as a bartering unit, as contact with the, “outside” world breaks down. One reason for this, is that the fair value price of precious metals will be hard to determine, as it will be difficult to locate buyers for this commodity. As well, the vast majority of people will not have precious metals of any kind for barter, so other forms of currency will begin to appear.

This, however, does not mean that you should spend all of your precious metals right at the onset of a collapse. Precious metals will have value after bartering and trade is reestablished and once the system begins to stabilize. Once stabilization begins, the likely scenario is that precious metals will be one of the most valuable monetary units available, so having plenty may be quite a benefit. At this point, they could be used to purchase property, livestock, services, and labor.

Water as currency

Water is often overlooked as a medium of exchange, though it is one of the most essential commodities for survival on the planet.

For those bugging out of cities, it will be impractical to carry with them more than 5 – 10 gallons of water because of space limitations in their vehicles. Due to the weight of water, 8 lbs. per gallon, it’s very difficult to carry much if getting out on foot. Thus, having a method to procure water may not only save your life but also provide you with additional goods for which you can barter

An easy solution for providing yourself and others with clean water is to acquire a portable water filtration unit for your bug-out bag(s). While they are a bit costly, with a good unit such as the Katadyn Combi water filter running around $170, the water produced will be worth its weight in gold, almost literally. This particular filter produces 13,000 gallons of clean water! It’s a must-have for any survival kit.

Because we like reserves for our reserves, we’d also recommend acquiring water treatment tablets like the EPA approved Katadyn Micropur tabs. If your filter is lost or breaks for whatever reason, each tablet can filter 1 liter of water. In our opinion, it’s the best chemical water treatment available.

Clean water is money. In a bartering environment, especially before individuals have had time to establish water sources, this will be an extremely valuable medium of exchange and will have more buying power than even silver or gold on the individual bartering level.

Food as currency when SHTF

In a system collapse, food will be another of the core essential items that individuals will want to acquire. Survival Blog founder James Rawles suggests storing food for 1) personal use, 2) charity, and 3) bartering.

Dry goods, canned goods, and freeze dried foods can be used for bartering, but only if you have enought to feed yourself, family and friends. They should be bartered by expiration date, with those foods with the expiration dates farthest out being the last to be traded. You don’t know how long the crunch and recovery periods will last, so hold the foods with the longest expiration dates in your posession if you get to a point where you must trade.

Baby formula will also be a highly valued item in a SHTF scenario, so whether you have young children or not, it may not be a bad idea to stockpile a one or two weeks supply. (For parents of young children, this should be the absolute first thing you should be stockpiling!). In addition to water, baby formula may be one of the most precious of all monetary commodities.

Another tradeable food good would be non-hybrid produce seeds, but the need for these may not be apparent to most at the initial onset of a collapse, though having extra seeds in your bug-out location may come in handy later. If you currently have a productive garden, check out these instructions for creating your own mini seed banks for barter or sale.

Fuel as currency in a post-SHTF world

Fuel, including gas, diesel, propane and kerosene will all become barterable goods in a collapse, with gas being the primary of these energy monetary units during the crunch as individuals flee cities. For most, stockpiling large quantities will be impractical, so for those individuals who prepared, they may only have 20 – 50 gallons in their possession as they are leaving their homes. If you are near your final bug-out destination, and you must acquire food, water or firearms, fuel may be a good medium of exchange, especially for those that have extra food stuffs they are willing to trade.

Though we do not recommend expending your fuel, if you are left with no choice, then food, water and clothing may take precedence.

For those with the ability to do so, store fuel in underground tanks on your property for later use and trading, and this article provides vital instructions for storing fuel safely — a major consideration.

Firearms and Ammunition

Though firearms and ammunition may not be something you want to give up, those without them will be willing to trade some of their food, precious metals, fuel and water for personal security. If the system collapses, there will likely be pandemonium, and those without a way to protect themselves will be sitting ducks to thieves, predators, and gangs.

Even if you choose not to trade your firearms and ammo during the onset of a collapse, these items will be valuable later. As food supplies diminish, those without firearms will want to acquire them so they can hunt for food. Those with firearms may very well be running low on ammunition and will be willing to trade for any of the aforementioned items.

In James Rawles’ Patriots and William Forstchen’s One Second After, ammunition was the primary trading good during the recovery and stabilization periods, where it was traded for food, clothing, shoes, livestock, precious metals, and fuel.

Clothing and Footwear

We may take it for granted now because of the seemingly endless supply, but clothing and footwear items will be critical in both, the crunch and the phases after it. Having an extra pair of boots, a jacket, socks, underwear and sweaters can be an excellent way to acquire other essential items in a trade.

As children grow out of their clothes, rather than throwing them away, they will become barterable goods, and one possible way to earn an income during this time could be running a second hand clothing store.

It is recommended that those with children stock up on essential clothing items like socks, underwear and winter-wear that is sized a year or two ahead of your child’s age.

Additional Monetary Commodities

The above monetary units are essential goods that will be helpful for bartering in the initial phases of a collapse in the system. As the crunch wanes and recovery and stabilization begin to take over, other commodities will become tradeable goods.

Another important monetary commodity after the crunch will be trade skills. If you know how to fish, machine tools, hunt, sew, fix and operate radioes, fix cars, manufacture shoes, or grow food, you’ll have some very important skills during the recovery period. It costs very little, if anything, to acquire skills and survival knowledge, and, in the worst of times, those are things that cannot be taken from you.

Guest post by Mac Slavo from SHTFplan, updated by Noah, 1/2/17.

The post When the Economy Collapses, What is “Money”? appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

14 Reasons I Store Cheap Oatmeal For My Health

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Oatmeal can literally keep the doctor away. I have a few tidbits today that I updated from a few years ago. Today I’ll be showing you fourteen reasons why I buy and store cheap oatmeal. Here’s the deal with oatmeal…it’s fairly inexpensive. We can make breakfast with it and add just about every spice in the pantry to make a different flavor of oatmeal. It’s a great product for cookies, granola, and many desserts. Today I am talking about the benefits of steel cut oatmeal and regular rolled oats. Instant oatmeal packages are not as healthy because they do not have as much fiber, and typically are full of sugar and sodium. I would read the contents of the packages of instant oatmeal before you buy them.

I like to buy oatmeal in bulk, which is the Costco size for my family. I used to buy it at a store called Sterling Nelson’s in Salt Lake City, Utah in 100-pound bags when my kids were little. Back then I stored it in 5-gallon buckets. Now I store it in quart jars using my FoodSaver to seal the jars. It removes the air and the oatmeal stays fresh longer. I also store oatmeal in #10 cans for long term storage. I can’t put these in my garage since it is usually so hot. That would reduce the shelf life to one year. Keep them in a room under 70 degrees if possible. I buy these a little at a time and put the six #10 cans under beds in the box in which they are shipped to me. I don’t store oatmeal in mylar bags in 5-gallon containers because my house is too small.

Here is how I fill my oatmeal into the quart jars:

cheap oatmeal

Storing the oatmeal like this saves me money and I have very little waste if any. I use my FoodSaver and the accessory tube and lid to remove the air and seal them. Here is how I seal the jars:

cheap oatmeal

14 Reasons Why I Store Cheap Oatmeal:

Updated 1/4/2016

1. It’s an inexpensive food storage product.

2. Oatmeal is very filling and will fill the belly

3. It can help reduce high cholesterol.

4. It helps boost our immune system, it helps our cells fight bacterial infections because it is full of beta-glucan fiber.

5. It’s full of antioxidants-oatmeal contains avenanthramide which may fight off free radicals that attack HDL (known as the good cholesterol).

6. It can help reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure.

7. it can help prevent the development of breast cancer  because of its high fiber….whole grains attack the carcinogens as well as lower levels of estrogen in the body to protect the body from developing certain forms of cancer

8. It helps prevent the development of Diabetes….besides the fiber, it is a great source of magnesium which helps regulate insulin and glucose levels….studies show a 30% reduction in people developing Diabetes if they have a diet rich in whole grains.

9. It’s Gluten FREE, yay for those people who can’t eat gluten. Just check the box to make sure the box says gluten-free.

10. It’s such a versatile product that can be used in so many recipes.

11. Oatmeal is full of Avenanthramides which are antioxidants that help protect our hearts and keep our arteries from hardening.

12. If you drink a glass of orange juice with your oatmeal you are helping your cardiovascular system even more.

13. Eating 1-1/2 cups of cooked oatmeal every day will give you 6 grams of fiber. Add a banana and you will have another 4 grams of fiber.

14. iI you have gout, kidney stones or some other kidney problems you will want to talk to your doctor before consuming oats/oatmeal (purines in oats can build up uric acid).

Store Oatmeal-Different Kinds:

Steel Cut Oats:

These are the oats that most athletes and “healthy” people like to eat, I have been told. They are usually sold in health food stores or in bulk at emergency preparedness outlets. They are are a little more chunky, I guess that’s how I would describe them. They are not rolled but coarse bits of grain.

Quick Cooking/Instant Oats:

These are “quick” cooking oats. Not instant, like those small individual packages. They are thinner than “regular” oats to cook quickly. If you make cookies or muffins with quick cooking oats they will be smoother in texture compared to the “regular” oats.

Regular Rolled Oats:

These are the typical oats or oatmeal, you can purchase at your local grocery store. They retain more flavor and nutrition. Your cookies will be a little chewy if made with this type of oats.

My Favorites Add-Ons Are:

Maple syrup, brown sugar, honey, walnuts, pecans, cinnamon, freeze-dried apples, freeze-dried cranberries, freeze-dried bananas. Yummy!

What do you like to put on your warm bowl of steaming oatmeal? Maybe we can get our neighbors to store oatmeal and everyone’s bellies will be full after a disaster. As long as we have water!

Here is a link to a post I did showing how to make oatmeal in pint jars: Oatmeal Breakfast Recipes by Food Storage Moms.

Awesome readers:

Diane: I use a lot of steel cut oats. When I make cookies with them, I always refrigerate the dough overnight – it gives the oats time to soak into the ingredients. Also, I make extra oatmeal, refrigerate for the next day. Then I can slice, fry in butter, and eat with an over-easy egg. Awesome stuff.

My favorite things:

Quaker oats, old fashioned, 2 5 lb. bags, 100+ servings 10-lb

FoodSaver FCARWJAH-000 Kit Wide-Mouth Jar Sealer with Regular Sealer and Accessory Hose, White

The post 14 Reasons I Store Cheap Oatmeal For My Health appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

Bulk Food Storage Using Mylar Bags

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There are many reasons to store bulk food.  Bulk food is cheaper, and when you buy in bulk you insulate yourself from rising food costs.  Bulk food storage is the backbone of long term emergency preparedness. Anyone who has seen images of Haiti, or Katrina, or Tsunami survivors knows that our infrastructure is fragile, and […]

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How to Make Pemmican: A Step-By-Step Guide

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dried-beefWe’re going to do an introduction on making pemmican, a survival and backpacking food that can be used all year round as well as prepared anytime.  It is a lot simpler to make than most people realize, and does not take up a whole lot of resources or too much time.  Pemmican can be stored for long periods of time and can give you a ready source of protein when you don’t have the time to cook up a large meal.  Sure, you can buy a whole pallet of it at a time from Costco, but when your supply runs out, how do you replenish it after the SHTF?  Well, this piece gives you the basics of how to do that.

Pemmican is the Original Superfood

Pemmican is similar to jerky, but it isn’t: it’s a little different.  It is actually the original processed meat, “invented” if you will, by the Indian tribes to provide a way to preserve the meat from their wild game.  Now, as I mentioned to you in previous articles, man needs fats in his diet and vitamins as well that are not able to be furbished completely by wild game.  Here is where it becomes tricky: the Indians had to supplement their meat with fish, vegetables, herbs, and fruits both wild-crafted and raised to well-round their diets.  Pemmican well-rounded the Indians diet by adding some fats as well as some vitamins and minerals to the protein.

Pemmican is the result of drying the meat in thin strips, grinding it and pulverizing it into powder, adding liquefied fat and seasonings, and re-drying it to form the finished product.  That’s it!  The Indians had deer, elk, buffalo (bison), and antelope to use.  Most pemmican these days is made of beef and comes in a family-friendly, happy plastic bag with food grade desiccant.  This method I’m going to give to you is bare bones to make your pemmican.  Here it is:

Jeremiah’s Pemmican Recipe

What You Will Need:

  • 4 cups of extra lean meat…this is about a pound/a pound and a half…pick your meat
  • 4 cups of dried fruits, such as raspberries, blueberries, or even raisins
  • 2 cups of fat (after rendering), or about ½ pound of weight
  • Seasonings: I prefer dried onion and garlic powder, salt, pepper, etc.
  • Sweeteners: You can also use some molasses or honey if you wish

The Process:

  1. Slice up your meat in long, thin slices (as thin as possible).  One way to slice it thin is to have regular pieces of meat, and harden it in the freezer.  Don’t freeze it!  You just want the meat to be “sliceable”, but more “solid” than just barely-refrigerated meat or meat at room temperature.  Then you can add your seasonings.  Rub it in with your hands, spreading it evenly over the sliced pieces.

2. Next set that meat on the rack of your oven, and keep the temperature as low as you can go…around 135 to 150 degrees F.  Permit the oven door to be gapped/cracked during the process, as this will cut down on the humidity and water building up from the drying.  Do this for 12-16 hours, until your meat is dried out and akin to a potato chip…brittle, or crisped.

3. Pulverize this meat in any way that you wish (mortar and pestle, hammer, food processor…whatever works).  Pulverize your dried fruits (you may have to dry them even further than when you first get them).  Next comes the liquefied fat to add…first you must liquefy it.  This is called “rendering,” and you can do it in a saucepan or in a crock pot, after you cut up the fat into pieces that will easily dissolve.  Beef tallow is the best…you can pick this up from a butcher shop.  You can use pork lard; however, I don’t recommend it because it doesn’t keep as long or as well as the beef fat.

4. All of your chopped-up beef and fruit can be placed in a large pan…such as a baking or casserole pan for the addition of the fat.  Do not use the fat until it has been liquefied completely, and you’ll have to remove the solid portions of any bits floating in it…use a small sieve/strainer to scoop these pieces out by hand.  For the sweeteners (such as molasses or honey) I like to take about a quarter cup and mix it into the meat prior to the addition of the liquefied fat.

5. Then carefully pour your hot rendered fat all over the meat, allowing the fat to be absorbed by your powdered mixture.  You need to take your time with this step, and then smooth/pat the fat into place with your hands to further enable the even distribution of the fat into the meat.  A good cook uses his or her hands.  A great cook washes their hands before using them to cook!

6. When this congeals and hardens, you can cut it into strips or whatever shapes your heart desires.  I personally like to use a pair of scissors (a pair I only use for food and cooking), and cut them into elongated strips about 1” in width and 6” in length.  The reason I make them this size is that they’re easier to pull out and eat.  So many times, with store-bought pemmican you have to rip it all to pieces just to cram it into your awaiting maw.  “Not I,” said the little red hen!  I want to eat leisurely and not waste effort or energy ripping my food into bite-sized pieces. You can store this best either in plastic or in wax paper (I prefer the latter) and then flatten it out, and throw it into Ziploc bags.  Keep it in a cool place free of light and moisture, and it’ll be good for a long, long time.

So basically, that’s it!  Simple enough, right?  Now you have the information and all you need to do now is employ it!  Just think: there’s still time to make yourself a batch before New Year comes about.  Oh, what a delightful crowd-pleaser it will be to make up some and have everyone eat it all up right in front of your eyes!  Partygoers and piranhas have one difference: both eat everything until they’re filled up, but the piranhas don’t also grab some extra to take home with them!  You make up a batch of jerky and (if they haven’t eaten it all) they’ll take it!  Just make sure to keep some set aside for yourself so that you can enjoy what you made.  Happy New Year to all!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Is Freeze-Dried Food Worth the Investment?

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 Prepping and freeze-dried food are synonymous with one another. For years, the freeze-dried food industry have profited heavily on families wanting to get their pantries emergency ready. But is it worth all the hype and money?

There are many who wonder if the investment into this long-term food source is the right one for them and have asked questions like: Can you really survive the apocalypse with freeze-dried food? How long is the shelf-life when the #10 can is opened? Are these foods nutritionally complete? What other options are there for long-term food storage?

The Pros

There are many pros to having #10 cans of this long-term food source in your prepper pantry. Freeze-dried food is flash frozen and then put in a vacuum container causing the water vaporize, and leaving the food item with 98% of its water removed.Nutritionally speaking, the food retains all the nutrients that it had in its original form after the freeze-drying process and contains little to no additives. This process keeps a majority of the nutrition in tact. Gary Stoner, Ph.D., and the American Institute for Cancer Research have found that the antioxidant phytochemicals found in fresh fruits is about the same as in their freeze-dried versions. However, some ascorbic acid levels and the amount of polyphenol, a cell-protecting chemical in berries, were measurably reduced by freeze drying. Source

As well, the cook times are drastically reduced which is helpful during emergencies when energy must to be conserved. Moreover, many find that when they are in the midst of an emergencies, stress loads increase because of drastic changes and having these “just add water” meals ready to go cuts down on the stress of food preparation. It is estimated that 98% of moisture from the food is eliminated, thus reducing the weight of the food by 80%. Those who plan on evacuating will appreciate the lighter weight during transport – especially with all the other supplies they will have in their pack. Last but not least, the 25 year storage life makes this ideal for preppers who are looking for long-lasting food options. On a personal note, my family purchased freeze-dried food in 2004 and it’s still just as fresh as when we opened up the first can. Keep in mind, once your freeze-dried food can is opened, the shelf life quickly diminishes and you will need to throw it out in six months, and if you live in a humid area, the shelf life could be cut in half.

The Cons

While, the pros are great, it comes with a hefty price tag. You are paying for all of the specialized equipment and energy it takes to preserve the food for a long shelf life. One case of freeze-dried meals can set you back over a hundred dollars with shipping included. As well, having this type of food source for your long-term food needs will require extra space to store the food. An entire years supply fits into a 2 ft x 3 ft area, stacked 5 ft high. As well, food cans could be strategically hidden in the home, underneath beds, above kitchen cabinets and in the closet.

If you are going back and forth about whether or not to invest in freeze-dried food or dehydrated food, here’s a good answer. Because 98% of the water is removed from freeze-dried foods, it will take more water to reconstitute it for meals as opposed to dehydrated foods needing a fraction of the water. An article on Modern Survival Blog gives a great explanation:

“It does take more water to reconstitute freeze-dried food than dehydrated food. I randomly pulled out a few freeze-dried food packets that I have on hand here, so that I could read the directions. The average amount of water required is a bit more than 1 cup of water per serving (which you would heat up first). On the other hand, some dehydrated food can be consumed without re-constituting with water (particularly fruits or meats). My experience with re-hydrating foods that I have previously dehydrated, are that I tend to use less than 1 cup of water per equivalent serving of vegetables than a freeze-dried food.”

Also, keep in mind that many of the freeze-dried meals are high in sodium. Many outdoor enthusiasts and hikers complain that you have to drink so much water to overcome the thirst the meals create. Make sure you have extra water on hand if you plan on using this as your main food source. As well, the high sodium can cause your bowels to become sluggish. To remedy this, purchase some over the counter meds for constipation or look for low-sodium freeze-dried options. One website states that the real key is balance.

“If you are concerned about sodium content in your food storage items, keep in mind that you can balance out the higher sodium foods you consume in a day with lower sodium foods. For example, many freeze-dried vegetables contain low or no sodium. There are also many breakfast items, like granola or oatmeal, that have very little sodium, if any.

Just like with a fresh food diet, the key is balance. If the only thing you ate every day was chicken, you’d quickly find that your diet is not providing what your body needs. But when you add lots of fruits and vegetables to that chicken and you will begin to achieve a more balanced diet.”

In that same vein, I highly recommend you also investing in sprouting seeds to ensure you are getting some fresh vitamins into your daily diet.

How Much Freeze-Dried Food Do You Need?

In an emergency situation, your caloric intake will increase due to higher activity levels, thus you will be consuming more. Keep this in mind when determining what your caloric needs will be. Once you know that magic caloric number, you can begin to find out how many freeze-dried meals you need. The Ready Store has a good calculator to get an idea how the number of cans of freeze-dried food you would need to survive.

Can You Survive Solely on Freeze-Dried Food?

So, the question is can you survive an apocalypse with freeze-dried food? Yes, you can, but the real question is do you want to?

While there are pros and cons to investing in this long-term food source, above all, you are investing in food freedom and the livelihood of your family or group. My preference is to have a little bit of everything and believe in having a layered approach to emergency food sources. You can read more about it here. We plan on using our supply of freeze-dried food after we finish our perishable foods. During the time we are using up this portion of our emergency food, we plan on getting fresh food sources established.

Ultimately, when people set out on the path to preparedness they turn to freeze-dried foods for a fast approach. After all, it is the healthiest and longest lasting emergency food source. Based on the price alone, it is difficult for many of us to use this as a sole emergency food source. There are less costly food storage options such as using a dehydrator to dry out food and is completely customizable to your dietary needs. As well, the further a person journeys into preparedness, they want to attain total self-sufficiency and look for ways to growing their own food sources through gardening and livestock.

My advice to all of you is to keep your budgets in mind before you decide to purchase bulk emergency food. You don’t want to go broke getting a food pantry set up. Prep for emergencies with the layered approach mentioned above, keep your options open and keep researching better ways to get your family ready for life’s uncertainties.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How To Keep Track Of Your Emergency Food

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Can you use some help with how to keep track of your emergency food storage? I actually had two readers mention to me that some of my links were broken in my “What Do I Have” drop down on my navigation board at the top of my blog. So today I’m sharing a post with all the links that have now been repaired. I really appreciate it when a reader shoots me an email to let me know some links are not working. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!! I have had a few issues with my website lately and with WordPress, you never know when something may go haywire. It’s life and bloggers get it. It’s what we have to deal with sometimes. Yes, it’s very frustrating, but if you want to teach the world what you know, we learn to go with it and try to relax, but it’s hard, very hard to see your website not working. So, enough of that, thanks again for letting me know if you see a broken link. I love you for telling me, I really do.

Here’s the deal with food storage and emergency preparedness items. Typically, we will feel more confident and prepared if we have a Dutch oven, a Sun Oven or a butane stove to use in case of an unforeseen emergency. We need fuel for some of our cooking devices and we are aware of that. Now, for me, I got a little frustrated when I started beefing up my food storage a few years ago. I started with water, then dairy products, freeze-dried meats, freeze-dried fruits, freeze-dried vegetables, and freeze-dried cheeses. Well, you start adding to that list the basic cooking ingredients you need like sugar, honey, salt, spices, etc. that are essential and realize it would help to have some type of chart to keep track of all the items we store.

I asked my awesome sister, Carol to help me design some FREE printables for my readers and make them so they can check off the products they have and highlight the ones they still need, and thus keep accurate track of the status their storage is in. I made them separate PDF’s so you can print the ones you want.

Emergency Food Lists:

FSM WhatDoIHave-basicPDF

FSM WhatDoIHave-liquidPDF

FSM WhatDoIHave-dairyPDF

FSM WhatDoIHave-meatPDF

FSM WhatDoIHave-veggiePDF

FSM WhatDoIHave-fruitPDF

FSM WhatDoIHave-grainPDF

Please let me know if you have a system to help keep track of your emergency food supply in your pantry. Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless you and your family.

My favorite things:

Camp Chef Butane 1 Burner Stove with Camping Case

12 Butane Fuel GasOne Canisters for Portable Camping Stoves

Lodge L12CO3 Cast Iron Camp Dutch Oven, 6 quart

All American Sun Oven- The Ultimate Solar Appliance

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

The post How To Keep Track Of Your Emergency Food appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

How To Stock An Emergency Food Pantry For Less Than $60

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Image source: NorthJersey.com

Image source: NorthJersey.com

Do you have enough food for an unexpected snowstorm? Are you ready for a natural catastrophe? If not, now is the time to start. FEMA recommends that you have at least 3 days’ worth of food and water stored. But that is not enough, because in a crisis it may take weeks to get the food back on the grocery store shelves and for power to be restored.

For less than $60, you can feed a family of two adults and two children for 30 days.

Sound impossible? It’s not! With just a few ingredients and two easy recipes, you and your family can survive a disaster.

7 Foods For Survival

Here’s what you’ll need to get:

  1. 10 lbs. of cornmeal
  2. 20 lbs. of white rice
  3. 16 lbs. of dried mixed beans
  4. 2 lbs. of granulated chicken flavored bouillon
  5. 1 gallon of pancake syrup (or honey)
  6. 1 lb. of salt
  7. 2 lbs. of vegetable oil

A few weeks ago I bought most of these items at Walmart and Sprouts, and it cost me less than $60 for everything. I found 20 pounds of white rice at Walmart for only $8, and Sprouts had a sale on dried, mixed beans for less than $1 per pound. And I also got a gallon of pancake syrup from Walmart for only $8 because it’s much cheaper than honey. But if you don’t mind spending more money, honey will be more nutritious and will usually last indefinitely.

New All-Natural Capsule Protects You From Dangerous Toxins And Pollutants!

Rice and beans will last the longest when stored in food grade enamel-lined buckets with a Mylar lining that will provide an airtight environment. It also helps to add a few crushed bay leaves. To store cornmeal, put it in the freezer for a few days to kill any bugs. Then store it in a bucket with Mylar lining. And don’t forget to use oxygen absorbers, too. Grains stored this way should last anywhere between 20-30 years!

Cornmeal Mush

Want a warm, filling and inexpensive breakfast? Try cornmeal mush. This recipe makes 4 to 6 servings. And of all the breakfast foods that you can buy, this one is the cheapest.

Ingredients:

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup cold water

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups hot water

survival pantryDirections: Combine the cornmeal and cold tap water in a bowl to keep it from getting lumpy. Meanwhile, in a pan, combine the salt and hot water. Bring it to a boil over high heat. While the water is heating, add the cornmeal mixed with the cold water. When the water and cornmeal boil, reduce the heat to low. Allow the mush to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until it is nicely thickened.

Spoon mush into bowls and serve with pancake syrup or honey, if desired. Don’t forget to set aside the leftovers to go with lunch and dinner! To fry, pour mixture into a loaf pan and chill completely. Remove from pan, slice and fry in a small amount of oil over medium-high heat until browned on both sides. Fried cornbread tastes great with soup!

Survivor Soup

Rice and beans are a survival staple. After all, they’re cheap and provide carbohydrates and protein. This soup is very hearty and filling. It costs just pennies to make, and it will give you enough energy to sustain you during a difficult time.

Ingredients:

1 cup of rice

2 cups of dried, mixed beans

1 tablespoon chili powder (optional)

1 tablespoon cumin (optional)

Bouillon (season to taste)

Directions: Add first six ingredients to a large kettle. Pour two quarts of water. Add bouillon to taste, chili powder, and cumin (if using). Bring to a boil and simmer for two hours. This soup is thick and hearty, and should be enough to feed four people for lunch and dinner.   

Make “Off-The-Grid” Super Foods Secretly In Your Home

Although this soup is often bland by itself, it’s easy to add more ingredients. I usually add two cans of tomatoes, one diced onion, three diced carrots, two diced celery stalks, and two diced potatoes. It tastes great with canned chicken, ham and Vienna sausages for extra protein. And it makes a great meal when served with fried cornmeal mush.

I also like to top it with one of the following toppings:

  • Sirachi sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Salsa
  • Jalapenos
  • Tortilla chips

Other Survival Supplies

Cornmeal mush for breakfast and “survival soup” for lunch and dinner will help to provide enough food to feed your family for 30 days. I also recommend that you stock up on canned fruit and canned vegetables to supplement your diet. To help with any vitamin deficiencies, make sure that you have enough multivitamins for each person in your family. And make sure that you have some extra prescription medicine set aside, as well as pet food to take care of any animals.

Don’t forget to have plenty of water set aside. You’ll need at least 120 gallons for a family of four for 30 days. One of the cheapest ways to store water is to purchase a bladder that you can use in your bathtub.

If you have a fireplace, it’s also a good idea to have plenty of firewood set aside to heat your house and cook your food. But if you don’t have a fireplace, you can purchase a small gas burner and have plenty of propane to cook meals.

During times of economic uncertainty, it’s essential to be prepared. And if you buy these 7 foods for survival, you’ll be much more prepared in case of an emergency.

God’s Word shows us the importance of planning ahead. Proverbs 27:12 says:A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.”

What food items would you add to this list? Share your tips in the section below:

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Top 18 Holiday Bargains for Stocking Up

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The holidays are the perfect time for stocking up! Here are 18 bargains to look for. | via www.TheSurvivalMom.comBeginning in October every year, grocery stores begin prominently displaying all types of food typically used in holiday cooking and baking. Every grocery store I’ve been to in the past couple of months has their holiday bargains right out front and center.

For Survival Moms who want to stock up their food pantry, this is an ideal time to take advantage of the coupons and sales that also come at this time of year. Today I took a look at this week’s grocery ads, and here’s a master list of items you may want to grab before the holiday season ends.

  • Ham and Turkey
    • Both of these can be frozen and/or canned to provide meals well into the New Year. A frozen turkey can remain frozen and still be safe to eat for up to a year. 
    • Stuck with a lot of leftover ham or turkey? Here’s a list of great recipes for turkey and more for ham that will give you something fresh and delicious to make with those leftovers.
  • Fresh oranges
    • Once the orange has been eaten, dry the peels and create your own orange zest for recipes throughout the year. If you end up with more zest than you think you’ll use within 6 months or so, use a Food Saver to vacuum seal the remaining zest in a pouch for longer term storage.
    • Speaking of a vacuum sealer, I highly recommend that you use it for vacuum sealing canning jars filled with foods of all kinds. It really is a must-have for a prepper’s kitchen.
  • Coffee
    • Grocery stores know that coffee is part of holiday entertaining, so you’re going to find lots of coffee brands on sale. Coffee beans, and especially green, unroasted coffee beans, will have the longest shelf life, but you can still repackage both beans and ground coffee in canning jars using the Food Saver jar attachment to suck out all the air/oxygen or seal the coffee in plastic pouches using your vacuum sealer.
    • Coffee is definitely worth stocking up on, but be sure to keep it stored in a cool, dark, and dry location. Even so, it will have its freshest flavor if used within just a couple of months.
  • Nuts
    • Again, this is the season for baking all types of treats and many of my favorite recipes include nuts. You’ll find nuts on sale but keep an eye on prices because they are still generally a higher priced grocery item.
    • If you do find a bargain, store those nuts in a cool, dry, dark location, and, if possible, vacuum pack them using a Food Saver. This will help the nuts stay fresh and stave off their tendency to go rancid.
  • Fresh fruit
    • Depending on where you live, you may find low prices on blueberries, blackberries, pomegranates, pineapple, oranges, and a lot more.
    • Dehydrating fruit is very simple and food dehydrators don’t have to cost a lot of money. I found mine on Craigslist several years ago for $30 and it still works fine. The Excalibur dehydrator is considered top of the line, and maybe if you have Christmas gift money, this might be a good time to buy!
    • You can also freeze fruit and even can it, so stocking up now on fruits that are in season is a very smart thing to do. Just make sure you budget your time so all that yummy stuff won’t rot during an especially busy time of year.
  • Butter
    • Right now my favorite grocery store has a pound of butter for $2.50. That’s the lowest price I’ve seen in a while. Butter can easily be frozen, at one time I had 40 pounds of it in our big freezer!
    • I’ve heard of canning butter but am not convinced it’s the safest thing to do.
  • Alcohol
    • Call me crazy, but it never hurts to have a few bottles of whisky or vodka around. Even if you’re not much of a drinker, vodka can be useful in making tinctures and from what I’ve heard, whiskey has medicinal uses as well. This article explains why preppers should stock up on alcohol.
    • If you’re thinking of stocking up on bottles of alcohol as a product for barter, stick with hard liquor: vodka, gin, tequila, rum, whiskey and brandy, as they can all have indefinite shelf lives.
    • Learn how to make your own wine with instructions from a book like this one
  • Potatoes, both fresh and instant
    • Potatoes can be peeled, sliced, and dehydrated by following these steps.
    • When stored in a very cool location, around 45 to 50 degrees, they can stay fresh for up to 3 months.
    • Instant mashed potatoes come in handy for quick meals. However, they will need to be repackaged for a longer shelf life. Read these instructions. Once repackaged, I highly recommend placing them in the freezer for at least a week in order to kill any microscopic insect eggs that might be present.
    • Here’s a terrific collection of awesome potato recipes.
  • Canned vegetables
    • Store these in a cool location and they can last for more than a year. Do circle the “Best By” date and then open a can every so often to check for color and flavor.
    • You can always drain the veggies and dry them on your dehydrator trays for even longer shelf life.
  • Over-the-Counter meds for coughs and cold symptoms
    • These generally have a shelf life of more than a year.
    • During the winter months, you’ll also find coupons for these for added savings.
  • Batteries
    • Retailers aren’t stupid. They know that for every battery-operated gift purchased, someone is going to need batteries! Keep an eye out for coupons and combine them with store sales.
    • Batteries are among the most useful items you can stock up on, so go crazy when you find a really good deal!
  • Not-just-for-Christmas wrapping paper
    • Who said that white wrapping paper with red polka dots is just for Christmas? When you find wrapping paper that will be perfectly fine throughout the year, buy it!
  • Gravy and gravy mixes
    • There’s nothing like homemade gravy, but there’s also nothing handier than opening a jar of gravy and pouring it over mashed potatoes! A few jars of gravy in the pantry just might save dinner one day soon!
    • Gravy packets are great as a stock-up item. They have very long shelf lives, can be prepared quickly, and can make items as plain as white rice pretty tasty. I recommend a stash of these for a bare-bones food storage plan like this one.
  • Frozen pies
    • Now, you wouldn’t ordinarily think of a pie when it comes to stocking up, but one or two in the freezer can come in handy.
    • Think about any special occasions coming up, potlucks, parties — any even where you might have to make dessert. Now think about how busy you’re going to be this year. A frozen pie looks like a better and better idea, doesn’t it?
  • Baking staples
    • Sugar, flour, baking powder, chocolate chips — you’ll find all these and a lot more on sale. And, all of them can be stored long-term.
    • Flour, in particular, must be repackaged. Read this to learn how.
    • Watch this video to learn how to store things like chocolate chips, shortening, and candy.
  • Snack foods
    • Grocery stores know that serving appetizers and snacks are a part of the holidays. You’ll find things like Triscuits and other crackers on sale, along with pretzels and chips. If you find these at a great price, stock up and plan on portioning them into snack bags for your kids’ lunches.
  • Chex cereals
    • Everybody and their dog is going to be making one variation of Chex mix or another, so why not stock up on several boxes for breakfasts or other recipes?
    • If you want to store Chex or any other cereal for long term, follow the instructions in the video I mentioned above or package the cereal in mylar bags with an oxygen absorber. This package includes both the bags and the absorbers.
  • Canned soups
    • Like most other canned foods, soups can have a long shelf life if stored in a cool location.
    • Buy soup flavors that your family members enjoy and soups that you normally use in recipes.

What other foods that are on sale during the holidays do you stock up on?

How To Open a Can With a Metal Spoon

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This week’s video comes from Full Spectrum Survival. A little over a year ago, I shared a video about how to open a can without a can opener. The trick is to rub the can on some concrete until the lid is loose enough to pop off. But what if you’re out in the wild […]

The post How To Open a Can With a Metal Spoon appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

16 Facts You Should Know Before Dehydrating Food

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16 Facts You Should Know Before Dehydrating Food

Dehydrating food is one of my favorite ways of preserving; I love it so much I’m teaching a class on dehydrating foods! So if you’ve got a dehydrator in the closet that you bought for just making jerky–get it out! Because let me tell you, it can do so much more than make jerky! There are 25 lessons in the dehydrating eCourse and only one of them is about making jerky. Yes, you read that correctly–25 classes, and I keep trying to make them short and sweet but they all at least 20 minutes long, most are a little more. Not to worry, they are not too long, most are under 30 minutes. I only mention this because there is so much more to dehydrating than jerky.

Maybe you don’t even have a dehydrator yet and are wondering if dehydrating is for you. I hope I can convince you to give it a try because it’s fun, easy and so versatile. You can build a complete food storage easily, quickly and safely.

Dehydrating is a very old method of food preservation. If you remove 90 to 95% of the water content from food then bacteria that aids in the decomposition process can’t survive. Your food is preserved in a sort of suspended state waiting for you to add the water back in order to nourish your body. Here are some important facts you should know about this great food preserving method.

Facts About Dehydrating Food

Easy To Do
Dehydrating is fun and easy. Most foods can be dehydrated and there aren’t a ton of rules you have to remember like other food preservation methods. There are techniques that help your food be at its best through the dehydrating process but it’s really hard to “mess up” when dehydrating.

Risk Factor Is Low
There is a risk factor with all preserved foods. After all, they are not fresh, so something had to make them safe to eat at a later time. The risk of your food not being safe to eat after you have preserved it is very low with dehydrating. There is also a low risk of your food not tasting good after you’ve dehydrated it, provided you’ve used the correct pre-treatment.

Nutrition
Dehydrating preserves more of a food’s natural enzymes than other forms of food preservation. Dehydrated food can be as nutritious as fresh food provided the food is dehydrated at low temperatures. This is especially handy for preserving herbs for natural remedies, since all of the herb’s healing properties can be preserved.

Light and Portable
Dehydrated food is light and portable. All the heavy water content has been removed so the food is super light. This makes stuffing it in a backpack, a bug out bag or a 72 hour kit a great choice. You can carry considerably more dehydrated food than fresh or other food preserved by a different method.

Easily Add Food To Your Food Storage
Since dehydrating is such an easy process you can quickly build up a food storage for whatever emergency might come along, or just for a rainy day.

Takes Up A Smaller Amount Of Space
Since dehydrated food is missing the water content, not only is it light and portable, but its size is greatly reduced. So your food storage takes up less space. This is great for people who don’t have a lot of storage space. Also, it can be stacked, unlike home-canned food.

Preserve Your Organic Garden
You worked hard on that organic garden. Dehydrating is a great way to preserve your harvest. You can simply put things in your dehydrator as they become ripe. You can dehydrate in large or small batches.

Unique Recipes
You can create some great-tasting recipes even if you’re not trying to build a food storage. Have you ever had homemade crunchy spiced corn or kale chips? They make great healthy snacks.

Less Running To the Grocery Store
This one is kind of a no-brainer if you have a food storage. But the thing is that sometimes you’d rather run to the store before opening a case, jar or can of something in your food storage. But when you dehydrate you can open almost any container, take a little out, and seal it back up with little or no trouble.

Uses A Minimum Amount Of Energy
Other forms of food preservation use a lot of energy either for the process itself (C

) or to maintain the environment (freezing). Dehydrating takes very little energy to process food and none to store it.

Dehydrated Food Is Easy To Cook With
Dehydrated foods are really easy to cook with. Most of the time you can throw them into soups or stews without even reconstituted them. Even if you need to rehydrate them for a recipe it usually only takes a quick soak in a bit of water.

Save A Ton Of Money Making Powders
Not only can you save a ton of money by preserving things from your garden but you can save a ton of money by not having to buy so many items from the spice isle. You can make your own garlic and onion powder. Dry your own basil and rosemary. You can even make some of your own spice powders like ginger and turmeric powder.

Equipment Is A Good Investment
A good dehydrator is not super cheap but it’s probably not the most expensive thing in your kitchen either. The thing is if you buy a good dehydrator (I recommend an Excalibur) then you’re likely to have it for years. They are excellent dehydrators and mine has paid for itself many times over.

Can Be Done In Any Location
You can dehydrate most any place on earth. All you need is either a bit of electricity or the sun. Sun Oven makes a dehydrating kit for their solar oven, and you always have the option of making your own solar dehydrator. So dehydrating is a great off-grid food preserving option.

Children Love It
Kids love bite-sized snacks, and dehydrating different foods can give them a variety of healthy snacks. They are no longer limited to just raisins. You can dehydrate most any food and kids love the sweet (most fruit is sweeter once it’s dehydrated) chewy bites.

Dehydrated Foods Can Be Stored At Room Temperature
Although any food will last longer the cooler, darker and dryer it stays, dehydrated food will last a good long while at room temperature as long as it stays dry. So that means you can store it in a closet or bedroom.

Did I leave any dehydrating facts out? What’s your favorite reason for dehydrating food?

below-are-a-few-favorite-tips-picked-up-from-the-lost-ways

Source : selfreliantschool.com

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How to Eat and Grow Pomegranate – an Amazing Fruit for Food and Medicine

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How to Eat and Grow Pomegranate – an Amazing Fruit for Food and Medicine When it comes to survival foods, you’ll want to grow pomegranate. If you don’t have the space to grow your own, or your not in the ideal pomegranate growing zones 7-10, then you can add this to your list of foods …

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Food to Stock for Emergencies

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canned_miscellaneous_prepFor experienced preppers or survivalists, this is a no brainer, but for those just getting started down the road of preparing for worst case scenarios, this may be all new stuff.  Really, it is not rocket science, but for some it could be overwhelming or intimidating.  Let’s try to simplify things for you. I am amazed though at the frequency that inquiries come in about what foods to stock up for a bug in situation plan or to larder up a pantry at a secondary bug out location.  Emergency foods are important. It is crucial to stock up on these materials. How long are you going to be able to sustain yourself from gathered materials? 

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

There are plenty of choices and considerations to make with emergency foods. This is part of the challenge in prepping. If you have limited space at a bug out site, then sheer volume limitations might dictate to have these foods as a primary option instead of canned goods.  You decide what works best for you.

Stock What You’ll Eat

snack_shtf_prepRight now if I go through my own bug in pantry, I am going to find some items in there that either we decided we did not like or they just got shoved to the back of the drawer for one reason or the other.  I see three cans of black beans.  Black beans are OK, but not a favorite.  If I were hungry or starving that would be different.  I probably will not buy any more any time soon.

Related: Mountain House Review

So, look through your cabinets and take a poll of the family likes to decide what you eat most regularly.  That is a starting place.  Common sense then tells you to stock up on items that the family will consume without picky issues.  Things will be stressful enough without hearing, “yuk, I don’t want that junk.”  Do yourself a favor ahead of time and avoid those arguments.  

Remember, too, the power grid may be down.  You may lose everything in the fridge and freezer.  Cook what you can of meats and such, but plan on not having fresh or frozen foods for a while.

Proteins, Proteins

One of the more common food stocks mistakes is going heavy on carbohydrates.  You need some, but balance the pasta and such with foods high in energy sustainable proteins.  These can be meats, fish, and even protein bars for in between meals or snacks.  

protein_prep_food_shtfSome or many of the prepared canned meat products are very high in fats and salt.  Try to avoid those if these give you other troubles.  It just goes with the territory of most canned foods these days.  If you can find more healthy alternatives, then go for it. Try to balance any SHTF diet with fish such as canned tuna or salmon.  These are good sources of nutrients and would be easy to prepare or easily eat in a hurry.  I know there are many other options, so shop around.

I am not a nutritionist, but I know what my family and I will eat.  My plan is to not add on extra stress by having to eat some foods we simply don’t like or may avoid.  That would be a waste of time and money, both crucial during a SHTF event.  

Veggies

vegetables_prep_shtfBy all means plan to add a whole selection of vegetables to your SHTF diet.  Mostly these will be canned items.  If you have access to a fresh garden, then great.  Variety is indeed the spice of life.  Nobody wants green beans five days in a row and there is no need to do that.  Selection at the grocery is wide.  Beans of endless kinds, greens, corn, tomatoes, asparagus, beets, mushrooms, hominy, and so much more.  It would be cheaper of course to buy by the case, but be sure to monitor the expiration dates carefully on all foods.  

Fruits and Desserts

fruit_prep_shtfBe sure to add canned or dried fruits to your stores.  Fruit can add a tremendous variety food and can be eaten almost like a dessert or snack.  Select a wide variety from peaches, pineapple, apple sauce, fruit cocktail, pears, strawberries, and cherries for example.  Fruits are a bonus. Think about some snacks too that have some shelf life.  We like puddings and the little fruit cups as well.  Some candy bars might be OK, but also have a selection of snack bars with nuts, chocolate, and caramel or whatever.  Bags of hard candy make occasional special treats. Boxed crackers and cheese sandwiches can last for a while.

Quick and Easy

Sure, I like my share of the easy to pop open items that can be quickly heated or eaten right out of the can.  There is a wide selection here, too.  Such items include all types of pasta with or without some kind of meat, along with a tomato sauce.  There is canned mac’n’cheese and other cheese concoctions.  Then there are hordes of canned soups, and chili.  Just shop the grocery aisles to supplement other foods with these items knowing their nutritional value is dubious, but then you likely already eat some of these items anyway now.  

Canned or Pouch

If you have the space at either your bug in or out locations, then canned goods are long lasting, durable to handle, and easy to utilize.  Ironically, the empty cans have many other uses as well, and the paper labels can be removed and used as fire starter materials.  Make sure you have a manual can opener.

Read Also: Choosing the Best Survival Food for Your Bug Out Bag

pouch_food_prep_shtfOf course the down side on cans is the weight and volume, so they are not easily transportable in an emergency.  That is why pre-event stocking is good planning at home or at an alternative evacuation site.  Clearly it is best to have these tasks done ahead of time for the most part.  Keep rotating and resupplying as time goes on. Pouches, foil bags, and other such food containers have many advantages for storage and long term use.  Rip off the top, and eat or pour into a pan for heating if you want.  They are simple and most of the packaging can be consumed in a fire and not a waste dump.  The overall food variety is not that great with items in this type of packaging compared to conventional cans.  

Now, if you are lucky enough to have electric power that can change a lot of things, but don’t plan to count on it.  That is why I skipped baking, breads, and such on purpose, but there are other cooking options, too.  Again, variety is best, maximize shelf life, and buy items that could be eaten without adding water or having to cook or heat it.  Stock up enough for at least a month at a bare minimum.  More is better.  

9 Printable Food Storage Cookbooks

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The best thing about the Internet, in my opinion, is all the free information. Unless you’re looking for a particular survival course or plan, most of the info you need can be accessed with just a few clicks. One example of this is all the recipes. Back in the day you had to spend $20-$30 […]

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How to Store Vegetables Without a Root Cellar

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How to Store Vegetables Without a Root Cellar | Backdoor Survival

Anyone who loves to garden, especially those who wish to be able to provide wholesome foods for themselves and their families and live independently enough to survive economic or natural disasters will need to know what to do with all of the surplus from the summer. It’s great to be able to eat vegetables right out of the ground, but it is just as important to have good food all winter long. There are many methods of preservation.

The way you store each vegetable will depend on its needs and its hardiness. Here are ways to keep all of your produce, and especially the root vegetables, in great shape for the long winter months.

The post How to Store Vegetables Without a Root Cellar by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

30 Tips and Facts About Dehydrating and Drying Food

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30 Tips and Facts About Dehydrating and Drying Food Food dehydration and drying has been around for centuries. It is one of the oldest methods of preserving food. Canning and freezing foods retain more nutrition than dehydrated foods, however dehydrated foods are space efficient, and are an excellent way to preserve foods. It is also …

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Frustration-Free Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply

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Frustration-Free Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply | Backdoor Survival

Shocking news! Building an emergency food supply can be one of the easiest activities on your prepping agenda. Now that I have your attention, let me explain. Consuming food is something every human on the planet does on a daily basis. The content of our daily diet may differ, along with the source and quantity of food, but we all eat. What that means is that we already understand the dynamic of shopping, storing, and preparing food.

What is left, in prepper-speak, is what at first appears to be an overwhelming task of acquiring food for storage purposes. The reality, however, is more like kicking your routine food acquisition plan up a notch. It really does not get more complicated than that. In this article, I will show you 10 crazy, simple strategies for building your food supply.

The post Frustration-Free Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Feeding the Beast During SHTF – Soups & Substitutions

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Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

Sometimes we may feel pigeonholed or daunted by the storage foods we can afford, or overwhelmed by how we’re going to use those storage foods without the endless repetition taking a toll. Here are some formulas and ideas for turning common storage foods into actual meals, increasing the variety of meals we can make with a few standard ingredients, and some substitutions that can lower our costs or improve the serving size, nutrition, and flavor of our cooking.

I’m not a big baker and I don’t thrill to the stove top – only the dinner table. Given the amount of work a lot of us are going to be doing just hauling water where it’s needed, plus the labor of gardens and any animals, rearing our children, cooking from scratch, cleaning without a dishwasher and washer-dryer, I’m planning to go simple with a lot of my cooking. So even if you’re not a big cook, there are ideas here that can help, ideas that can be made even with off-grid cooking methods.

Replacements

While I’ll get into some specifics in a minute or two, one thing to consider in our disaster cooking is simple substitutions.

Wheat is commonly pushed for home storage due to the price and condensed calories, and then people feel obligated to buy a grinder, and then they feel like slackers for not practicing their home-ground wheat flour bread options. I do think we should practice what we plan to use, but I don’t think everybody with buckets of wheat actually has to view it as only a future bread dough.

Wheat can be boiled and served with the same seasonings as every side dish, from herbed buttered noodles to fried rice.

Whole wheat berries & fruit in cream

Wheat berry & white bean soup

It can also be boiled to be part of or replace oatmeal and cream of wheat (soaking it overnight will make it boil faster in the morning).

If there’s a soup that calls for barley, couscous, or rice, wheat will work there, too, and cooks in about the same amount of time as barley, maybe a hair longer if it’s stored oxygen free and is older than 2-3 years (45-60 minutes usually, without a pre-soak).

Having an alternative use for the first 50-300# (or more) of wheat can buy us a little more time before we get pushed into buying not only a good grain mill, but then all the replacements for it.

Point in fact, most of our grains, from starchy dent corn to barley, wheat to quinoa, and amaranth to rice are fairly interchangeable. They take different times to cook in some cases, they definitely have their own flavors, but there’s little that can’t be made to work for any of them.

Likewise, spaghetti can be very easily used in place of an Oriental noodle, especially whole-grain spaghetti or angel hair pasta. That’s pretty handy, since even the good stuff is pretty cheap, and two pounds of spaghetti stores in about the same space than two packages of ramen.

Those substitutions exist all over.

And once we do get our grain mill, don’t neglect the other things in the pantry.

We can grind dry oats – even rolled oats – to replace part of our flour as well.

Old dry beans that don’t want to soften can be turned into flour to replace a quarter or a third of a recipe, either bread or fry batter or even for gravies.

Until recent times, we used flours from barley and maize as often as we did wheat, and a lot of the world still uses them – just as often or as a partial replacement for flavoring. So can boiled or roasted acorns. We can grind dry oats – even rolled oats – to replace part of our flour as well. Doing so can sometimes to often improve the protein components of our foods, decrease the glycemic index, and help us use something that’s not really moving in our pantries.

That inexpensive oatmeal can also be turned into homemade granola bars, muffins, and griddle cakes, decreasing the amount of flour we need to use and providing a fork or finger-food in a world of spoons.

Recipes

When seeking out recipes specifically for preppers, a fair number use a lot of ingredients or require a fair bit of prep. Call me lazy, but I’m just not there, even in today’s world. Camping and backpacking recipes regularly seem to call for things we might not have on hand anymore, too, and a lot of perishable foods these days.

One, a lot of the no-fire, no-gas cooking methods really lend themselves to such. Two, the less ingredients and effort, the more time reading with kids, playing a game, or sitting with my eyes closed listening. I kind of like those options better.

Pioneer Soup

If you’ve heard of 3-5-7 can soups, you’re familiar with this. It’s basically just a rule of thumb to help check the boxes on the main “eating” components:

  • Filling/satiety
  • Fast-access energy
  • Slow-access energy
  • Proteins
  • Vitamins

The general concept is to pull 1-2 items from each category to make sure the body is getting all the nutrients it needs, which is increased by consuming a rainbow. That said, even I don’t make broth with just one seasoning. Still, the lists from the guidelines can help.

One that I ran across breaks it into “Five F’s”:

  • Fat: Oil, margarine, butter, lard, tallow, fatty meat (bacon, salt pork, hocks)
  • Flavor Root/Shoot: Garlic, onion, scallion, celery/celeriac, turmeric
  • Flavor Leaf: parsley, marjoram, thyme, oregano, basil, nasturtium
  • Filler (starches): Potato, pasta, grains & corn, pseudo-grains, cattail root
  • Fuel (protein): Legumes (beans, peas, lentils), jerky, meat sticks/sausage, ham, fish, game

The breakdowns are nice as more than a check-box guide to make sure nutritional needs are being met.

Sometimes soup get pigeonholed, which is a shame, because from a creamy red bean and rice soup to veggie to chicken-noodle to some of the Oriental soups and things like borsch and solyanka, we have a ton of options available to us. Even working off of simple, cheap, condensed-calorie prepper staples and garden veggies or wild edibles, we can present a huge variety.

Alternating what we combine and even how we serve it can help avoid appetite fatigue, which is another aspect where limiting ourselves to 1-2 items from each category can help.

How we present soups can make a big difference as well, creating significantly different feels to meals even with the exact same ingredients, or very minor twitches.

That applies whether we use the 5-F method, or one of the other guides.

One of those other common formulas for pioneer soup breaks it into three fuel categories – the primary fats, proteins, starches – and then three filler (belly filling, short on calories) and flavor components:

Veggies – tomatoes, tomato powder, green beans, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, radish and mustard sprouts, cooking/roasting radishes, autumn squash, bell peppers, salsify, turnip, parsnip, beets, etc.

Leafy Greens – spinach, beet tops, lettuce, swiss chard, mizuna, cabbage, endive, turnip tops, dandelion, plantain, nettles, borage, leeks, ramps, radish tops, water or upland cress, mustard greens, mache/corn salad, sweet pea leaves, dock, kale, sprouts

Herbs & Seasonings – tart/sour berries, garden herbs, cress, wild onions, hot radishes, horseradish, onion, garlic, ground or cracked mustard seed, modern-day seasoning blends & stock bones

Soup Alternates

Part of what makes soup an economy food is that the broth helps us feel full and increases the satisfaction from the meal.

That said, we can break apart our general standard for pioneer or 7-can soup and still get the benefits of economical belly filling balance and variety.

A pasta salad can easily be made from storage foods and fresh garden or foraged goodies, especially if we plan ahead for something like powdered Parmesan cheese that can be a pick-me-up. Three or four roasted autumn veggies on a pile of fresh or wilted leafy greens creates another fork-ready meal.

We can turn our protein component into a creamed soup or just serve a broth beside either of them to get some of the belly filling aspects back, or incorporate dried beans or cut-up dry sausage (or Slim Jims).

Shrimp Tacos

Likewise, we can turn simple ash cakes or thinned-down Bisquick into tortillas or crepes, mix up a cabbage slaw, and bust open a can of small shrimp to sear in fajita spices as a pick me up. Just a few shrimp and a couple of tacos can provide the mental boost of a non-spoon meal, even served with a pile of rice on the side and-or a cup of spicy black bean puree soup.

Instant Potatoes

Potato buds that say they’re ready to eat and just need water are telling bald-faced lies. That said, instant mashed potatoes are in a lot of kits and come pretty inexpensively on their own. Even without extra seasonings and evaporated milk for them, instant potatoes have a lot of value, especially in conjunction with our pioneer soups.

One, little says I love you like a wedge of shepherd’s pie. We can use those general basic flavorings to make a brothier version to make it stretch further, or increase the veggies beyond the usual ratios.

We can also indulge in things like a broth-heavy roasted marrow meal or just serve our Bear Creek or homemade beef or veggie soup with a happy mound of potatoes to the side or right in the middle. The seasonings from the soups will (hopefully) help mask the bland flavor, and it creates a different presentation – which is good for the mental aspects of eating, especially if a lot of our diet is rice and beans and boiled wheat.

Two, instant potatoes can be turned into goodies like potato pancakes. Or, we can mix them as directed (even in cold water; they’ll absorb it in a minute) and then bake them off to create a pseudo-dumpling or biscuit with little effort and little clean-up.

Instant potatoes can be turned into goodies like potato pancakes.

Instant potatoes also make a great thickener for our soups. We can use them to create a gravy-like broth or to imitate a creamed soup or chowder. They can also make a nice, easy flavor and calorie base for standard potato chowder without taking as much time as potatoes would to cook and mash.

Assortment of foodstuffs with a high fiber content, including various fruits and vegetables, wholemeal bread and baked beans.

Emergency Foods

While things like soup and the common basics for food storage focus around economy, it doesn’t mean we have to break the bank to jazz it up one way or another. We can avoid falling into ruts – now and later – by figuring out new ways to use the items we already have.

We can apply a little creativity and still get meals that offer variety by adding in a few things like a variety of pasta and some feel-good seasonings like powdered parm and fajita spices. Spices and sauces like soy, Dale’s, Old Bay (or the generic) and Adobo powder pack a lot of bang for the buck. We can make use of things like hot radishes, sprouts, microgreens, and wild edibles to season and bulk up our serving sizes.

We can also ease our workloads by harkening back to pottage with soups, casseroles, and one-pot meals.

In some cases, examining where we stand on our preparedness arc and how balanced our preparedness health wheels are invaluable, because it can help us decide if we need something expensive like a good grinder or a wood stove, or if our storage is at a point where a smaller set of fixes makes more sense – at least for now. Being able to buy inexpensive foods like grains, pasta and dry beans, and still create filling, varied, satisfying meals out of them, can help open up the budget for those items.

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The post Feeding the Beast During SHTF – Soups & Substitutions appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Food Storage Made Easy Book Review

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Food Storage Made Easy, a new paperback volume by Jodi Moore & Julie Weiss | PreparednessMama

A Three Part Program for Success Food storage is a big part of my preparedness plan and since we all have a different take on how to accomplish it, I love to look at how others plan theirs and learn something new. In their new hardbound book, Food Storage Made Easy.com bloggers Jodi Moore and […]

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Are You Only a Prepper If You Call Yourself One? Preparedness as a Way of Life

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Are You Only a Prepper If You Call Yourself One? Preparedness as a Way of Life Do you know many other preppers in person? Are there people in your life that don’t call themselves preppers but pretty much do the basics of what any prepper would want to do – keep their house well stocked …

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Vegetable Storage in a Root Cellar

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Vegetable Storage in a Root Cellar As the growing season draws to a close and the winter months approach, it’s time to think about storing food for the winter.  Freezing and canning are a great option and can definitely extend the shelf life of your harvest.  Nothing beats fresh vegetables in the winter months, though. …

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Lemon Chocolate Chip Scone Mix in a Jar

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Looking for a quick and tasty gift for friends and co-workers? Lemon Chocolate Chip Scone Mix is just the thing. Package it up in a Mason jar with a reCAP Flip lid and it will be the gift that keeps on giving | PreparednessMama

+ a Mason Jar re-CAP Giveaway If you are looking for a quick and tasty gift for friends and co-workers, this Lemon Chocolate Chip Scone Mix is just the thing. Package it up in a Mason jar with a reCAP Flip lid and it will be the gift that keeps on giving. The chocolate chips […]

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Do Not Underestimate The Value Of Food And Water

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This morning while reading an article/interview between Jim Sinclair and Greg Hunter regarding the ‘pressure cooker’ financial/economic time bomb of our current system and how it’s going to blow one day, they were talking about the value of having some gold and silver as a ‘savings account’ for one’s extra wealth (no counter-party risk compared […]

Feeding the Beast During SHTF – Bread Options

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Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

A crisis of any scale is a tough time to either have to learn to do without, or create a lot of work for ourselves. With a little practice and planning, we can still have things that make our next dish of soup or pinto beans or squirrel a little happier, and give us some versatility in how we use flour and mixes for baked goods. We can do it without adding a ton of steps, mess, and in most cases a lot of ingredients to our daily tasks. Whether we’re at home or on the trail, that can save some sanity as well as time and labor.

This is me, so you’re mostly going to see 5 ingredients or less through here, and a focus on cleanup. I’m just not Martha Stewart. But I do like my breads and I do like something sweet now and again, so here’s half a dozen ways we can still get them, even without a working oven or supermarket.

Ash Cakes & Bannock 

What would a soup be without some sort of bread? Not as happy, that’s what. Two of the simplest breads to make have already been talked about in the 6 One-Day Projects article, down in the list of other things to try. 

Any flour will work for either an ash cake or bannock bread, even purchased mixes like the dinner rolls Augason Farms apparently figures I’ll be making – ever, but especially in a disaster. Even when it’s got extra stuff in there, I go ahead and follow the cup-tablespoon-teaspoon ratio for bannock, or just drizzle in water or milk for an ash cake.
biscuit-dumpling-i
Those ash cakes and bannock can also be augmented by rolled oats, rolled wheat, or instant rolled barley, although you need to let those sit for 10-20 minutes to make sure they have a chance to soak up some liquid, and you’ll probably need to add more liquid than usual. It’s a way to both add some texture and variety to diets, as well as use up some of the cheaper ingredients like oatmeal that are in our storage even when we haven’t planned for no-bake cookies.

Any cornbread or cornmeal can also be turned into ash cakes or pseudo-Johnny cakes, to go beside a soup or under a stew, or to add variety to our breakfast meals.

Drop biscuits & dumplings

Most pancake and dinner roll mixes have the potential to turn into nice, easy biscuits; and anything that’s a biscuit (or bannock bread) can be dropped by mounded tablespoons into a simmering pot of broth, gravy or soup, simmered for 10 minutes, flipped, simmered another 10-12 minutes, and whala – we have a fluffy(ish) bread right there in our soups.

Head’s up: Biscuit dumplings will regularly turn your clear, light broth into something thicker and more gravy like. That is not a bad thing, just a point.

Something that can be a bad thing, is that if you completely cover the top of your soup with dumplings, it gets really hard to stir the bottom.

Both of those factors go away if you opt to make your meal in a solar oven or similar. You can do it one of two ways, just like a regular biscuit bake – stick the biscuits/dumplings on the bottom to slowly rise and fluff, or space them out on top from the get-go or after part of the bake time has elapsed.

biscuit-bake-ii

An advantage to dumplings over other ways of getting a breading into our soup meal is that it’s still only one cooking pot.

Drop biscuits have advantages in clean-up, too, and in time and waste. When we mix a batter and then spoon biscuits out onto a sheet pan, we don’t even have to dip our fingers in flour for molding them. We sure don’t have to flour a counter and a rolling-pin or drinking glass (which is also what I usually use for a cutter).

When I make drop biscuits, they’re ingredients to oven in 5 minutes or less, and my cleanup involves a bowl and two spoons. When Mr. P makes *real* biscuits, I consider just torching the kitchen and starting over.

In a life with limited water, limited resources, and a lot of labor involved with every aspect of survival, the differences can matter. The same holds true for the drop biscuit dumplings instead of rolling out and cutting even more to make flat drop dumplings.

Hardtack

hardtack
Hardtack is definitely an option to go with our soups, just like it was in colonial and pioneer days. There are lots of recipes online for baking it.

There are not as many as I’d have expected where people actually eat this stuff, and discover that it’s best soaked for a few hours first, then simmered right along with broth, tea, or soup, anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour depending on the alignment of the stars*.

*Snicker; but not entirely kidding on the predictability front.

That veers it away from a convenience food, but if you’re using a crock pot or equivalent, or are simmering soup for a few hours anyway, heating the house anyway, it’s pretty handy to be able to pop open a bucket of these things 2-5 years after you made them and have a nice, portable, calorie-dense portion to pick up and eat or saw with a fork and knife. We can even sub in some of our crazy flours like ground dry beans, acorn, and barley if we’re so inclined.

Just be aware that real hardtack is not Mountain House pilot bread or a cracker, and that 5-20 minutes under gravy or in a fry pan goes nowhere without a pre-soak once it’s hard and dry.

Beer bread

I am lazy, if it was not obvious from the articles about bed sheets, laundry, and gardening. I’m also not big into babysitting food at timed intervals.

Beer bread fits me to a T.

Price out some inexpensive light beer, and don’t neglect the option of a local store ordering a couple flats of forties for you. They’re actually the cheapest option for me, both bottles and cans, because I’m not willing to buy Natty Ice even for a disaster, even though there’s boxed wine in case I decide a wine IV or camelback is necessary for my sanity.

There are many recipes online. I like this one, although I sometimes just omit the butter entirely or use oil instead. This one skips the salt and goes straight to self-rising flour. We can sub in a dinner roll mix or Bisquick for either.

And the sifting … I call it optional.

We can use a beer bread recipe in any kind of cooker, from a crock pot or facsimile to a solar oven. We can make it in little cans around a campfire or rocket stove, too, or atop a clay pot candle heater.

Spread out in a pie plate or frying pan instead of a loaf pan, or separated into muffin pans, it’ll cook faster and be easy to portion out.

That can save arguments over who does or doesn’t get the heels (there are freaks out there who consider that a lesser slice). It can also just make it faster and less messy to serve, while also saving cooking fuel and time.

If you want more flavor to your bread, you can go with heavier and darker ales as you like. While I’m happy sipping a well-built Guinness or Killian’s Red, I don’t actually like them in my bread and that bread is no good for PBJ.

Griddle Cakes 

Another cheat I learned for backpacking is that you can make any baked good into a griddle cake. For those of us who want fast and easy in a disaster, or who aren’t *ready* yet and are dying for a quick and easy treat, bag and box mixes I have successfully made into little rounds of goodness with a pan or on the greased top of a canteen mug and any heat source include:

  • Oatmeal cookies
  • Brownies
  • Muffin mixes
  • Cake mixes
  • Scone mixes
  • Cornbread & corn muffin mixes
  • Hushpuppy batter

You can follow the directions (or portion them, depending on how easy fresh or powdered eggs and oil are to divide) or cut some of the liquids, and they come out about like puffy pancakes.

Thin them down a fair bit, and, boy oh boy, we’re starting to look into the gourmet side with crepes.

They can be eaten as-is like a soft cookie or roll-up, or topped with powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, ice cream and milk flavoring syrups, nuts in syrup, honey, tree syrup, Karo, and jelly.

Frosting in a Ziploc bag offers the ability to make cute spirals and grids or fluffy artistic mounds. Pudding can be reserved and mixed thick to do the same, or used as a filling for crepes.

They can also be topped or filled with canned or rehydrated fruits, cannoli filling, pie filling, cream cheese, or peanut butter. You can also play with adding shredded coconut and nuts (and chocolate) to German chocolate frosting, or use sweetened condensed milk and shredded coconut as a super-sweet filler.

Fun note: They can also be baked in a skillet to cut like wedges of cornbread. I regularly bake muffin mixes in a pie pan to create thin little slices that are usually drizzled with something. Tuna cans and soup cans can also be used for any batter, as can small Pyrex bowls or ramekins. Those containers are also all options for baked pancakes, such as this one .

Off-Grid Cooking

Even when we’re not as prepared as we’d like to be, or when we like convenience and we want to continue to have convenient options in a disaster, we can still get the feel-good foods that bread and even “baked” sweet treats can be.

Whether it opens up options for us, just provides some extra backups, or becomes part of our daily habits, keeping an open mind about what we can accomplish – and how much effort it has to take – can only benefit us in the future.

This focused on my weakness: Breads. (And laziness, okay.) I totally endorse knowing how to do and make things from scratch. There are preservatives and cost issues with some of my cheats. However, from things like ash cakes and bannock that truly need few ingredients, to new ways to make and use mixes we might already have around, we don’t want to pigeonhole ourselves, especially if our disaster plans involve holing up in summertime or a lot more physical labor year-round.

Other things to consider when we look at these lists are the amount of fuel some of the treatments take, the amount of pan scrubbing and kitchen cleanup involved, and even the cookware we have at our disposal.

We also might want to look at some of our guilty pleasures when it comes to eating. Even if we don’t stock our cupboards to make it a daily or even weekly staple, we might consider stashing some premade mixes, hiding away some beer, and holding onto some tin cans so we can pop them out now and then for special occasions.

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The post Feeding the Beast During SHTF – Bread Options appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

How To Keep Your Winter Stockpile Safe

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Winter Stockpile

Building your stockpiles is only part of the equation for survival. Once you have items stored up, you also must protect them all year long.

This winter, your reserves can be threatened in numerous ways. Are yours going to make it through until spring comes?

Here are five common threats that winter can bring. So you can adequately prepare, you’ll also find tips on how to avoid these threats. That way you can make it through the cold season with your supply stores intact.

1.      Threats from Extreme Cold

Have you ever put a can of pop in the freeze to cool off and forgotten about it? I did once in high-school, and it’s not a fun mess to clean up!

When liquids freeze, they expand. This can lead to containers breaking, loss of supplies, and a mess.

Similarly, canned goods can bulge when frozen, breaking the seal. Water stored improperly can freeze and burst.

Additionally, any items you’ve stockpiled with a high liquid content can suffer changes in texture and may separate into different layers. This includes things like:

  • Toothpaste
  • Hand soap
  • Shampoo
  • Shaving cream
  • Paint
  • Chemicals
  • Foods with a lot of liquid like: condiments, evaporated milk, canned soup

To prevent damage and loss from extremely cold weather, make sure your supplies aren’t in an unheated area. If you must keep them where it’s cold, like in a garage or other outbuilding, take precautionary steps.

Run a small heater to keep the temperature above the freezing point. Or, add an extra layer of insulation to the area. You can even use straw bales to create a barrier around your stockpiles.

Here you can read more about protecting your water stores this winter. Do what you need to do to keep any items that could be damaged from freezing temperatures.

2.      Threats from Flooding

Are your stockpiles in a room with water pipes running through? If your pipes freeze, they’re going to get soaked. Water can ruin many supplies quickly.

Mold is also a concern where there’s water damage. You definitely don’t want mold to get into your stockpiles.

To avoid any damage, ensure your pipes are ready for freezing weather. Insulate them. Run heat in the room. Keep some water flowing at night.

Video first seen on This Old House.

Patch any leaks before the dripping water freezes and causes problems. If you need a short-term solution, use plastic bottles to help.

You can also move your stores into containers that are more waterproof. For instance, large plastic totes can hold a lot, and will keep most of the moisture out if a pipe bursts.

Water pipes bursting aren’t the only threat water threat to your supplies. Check your storage areas. Be aware of other sources of water such as leaky cement walls, condensation and runoff from the thaw.

3.      Threats from Pests

Do you know what the insects, mice, and other pests do when it gets cold outside? They typically try to find someplace warm to stay before winter sets in. That could be inside your home, outbuildings, or garage.

Stinkbugs and mice are more common to see indoors in the winter where I live. They start trying to get indoors in late fall, typically before the first snow. You might have different critters in your region.

No matter what pests are trying to get inside, you need to make sure your stockpiles are protected. Because it’s not fun to find a mouse nest inside your emergency go bag. Or mouse droppings on top of your food stores.

Those rodents can gnaw through so many things! You must store your stockpile properly to avoid spoilage.

Your stockpile should be pest proof year-round, but now is the perfect time to double check. Make sure the lids are tight on your containers. Ensure they are rodent and insect proof.

You might consider setting out traps for mice or other rodents as a prevention measure. Here is how to make a simple mouse trap.

Video first seen on Chris Notap

If flying insects are a problem, hang up some fly strips to help eliminate them. That way you can stop the problem before it escalates.

After all, these emergency stores are for you and your family. Not to keep pests alive all winter long.

4.      Threats from Loss of Service

Blackouts happen no matter where you live, especially in the winter. Entire cities have been left in the dark after damage to the grid caused by high winds. Damage from an EMP would be even more severe.

You must be prepared for loss of service. It’s a definite threat to your reserves.

Freezers Going Out

Are you relying on freezers to store most of your long-term food stores that you’ve prepared? In a power outage, your freezer won’t maintain the right temperature for more than a few days.

A generator can help. So can the great outdoors if your temperatures are below freezing. But you must have a plan in place to know where to move everything when the time comes.

A longer-term solution would be to move your stores to the pantry through canning or dehydration. Canned goods are shelf-stable and aren’t threatened by loss of power, if they don’t freeze.

Water Freezing

When there’s no power, there’s no way to pump water. If you live in the city, you might not always lose your water for a short power outage, but those out in the country will. Regardless, you need water on hand.

Water freezes when it the temperature drops. But, you’ll still need liquid drinking water each day, along with enough water to take care of hygiene and everything else.

If you have a woodstove with a cooktop, you can melt your stored ice until it turns back into a liquid. But, that adds time and energy exertion to your day.

Keep at least a few days’ worth of water stored in your house where it won’t freeze. That’ll give you a few days to figure out your long-term plan. If you have animals, remember you’ll also need a way to keep them hydrated for the duration of the outage.

Heat Source

What’s your backup plan for heat? When services go out, you’ll need to make sure you and your stockpiles don’t freeze.

Ice buildup can cause problems even with your backup energy, so be sure to think through a winter plan.

Light

Will you be able to find what you need in your stores if you’re working in the dark? You don’t want to knock over and break something while you’re pawing around.

To prepare, make sure you have a couple of flashlights or oil lanterns easily accessible. Along with those should be batteries or the fuel you need. Check on these a few times throughout winter and ensure everything is in good working order.

Then when the power goes out, you’ll know exactly where to go for light. You’ll be able to see your reserves clearly and avoid damaging anything.

5.      Threats from Thieves

Not everyone believes in the necessity of building a stockpile. When times get tough, like they can over a long, hard winter, those unprepared people can quickly run out of needed items. If they know that you have plenty, or can see your supplies while driving by, you’re at bigger risk for thievery.

Thievery isn’t only limited to harsh weather, so take time now to secure your stores and make them harder to access. Here are some tips for keeping possession of your goods:

  • Build your woodpile out of sight of the main road, along with any other items stored outdoors.
  • Learn how to make your stores blend in naturally to their surroundings, hiding them in plain sight.
  • Hide your valuables in unusual locations instead of places thieves commonly look
  • Don’t tell your neighbors or anyone details about your stockpile. Stay silent.
  • Stay under the radar when the power goes out. Don’t flash your powerful generator, your ability to prepare food, or anything else.

You don’t want everything you worked hard to prepare to be snatched. It can happen when you least expect it.

Also, make sure you check on your stores frequently. My family once had several cords of wood stolen out of our barn during the daytime, while we were out. We noticed it right away because we accessed the wood daily, and the thieves knocked over a good chunk of our woodpile.

It looked different, and we went over to investigate. A lot of wood was missing, and there were tire tracks all over the fresh snow.

Instead of just lamenting over the loss, we acted. We realized that our woodpile was visible to anyone who drove up the driveway. So we jumped in and moved it right away.

Learn from my mistake, and do your analyzing before a thief does. Keep your goods out of sight and safe, and check on them throughout the winter.

Click the banner below for a great offer for completing your stockpile!

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This article has been written by Lisa Tanner for Survivopedia. 

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The Survivalist’s Guide to Raising Honey Bees

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honey-bees

The Survivalist’s Guide to Raising Honey Bees

Raising honey bees is a great way to produce your own food and make a little money. It’s also just a fun hobby! Learn more about beekeeping in the article below.

How to Raise Honey Bees

Raising honey bees can be a fun and rewarding pastime that provides you with all the fresh honey you can eat. Maintaining just one hive can even provide you with a side source of income, but many people are intimidated by the prospect of keeping a few thousand bees in their yard.

However, honey bees are surprisingly docile, and modern beekeeping methods make the process extremely non-invasive and bee friendly. To help you decide, let’s weigh the pros and cons.

Raising Honey Bees: The Pros

  • Honey is probably the obvious answer. Who wouldn’t love their own fresh batch of honey to use in recipes. A single bee can produce 1/12 teaspoon of honey in her lifetime (about 6 weeks), and with a colony consisting of thousands of bees, that can add up quickly.
  • Wax is another popular product of bees. Bees convert their food and make it into the wax comb. Wax is used in many ways, including candles and cosmetics. Many creams and lipsticks contain beeswax.
  • Pollination is a key component of bee life. If you want healthy plants, bees can help. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, bee pollination is responsible for $15 billion in added crop value, particularly for specialty crops such as almonds and other nuts, berries, fruits, and vegetables. About one mouthful in three in the diet directly or indirectly benefits from honey bee pollination.
  • Diligent workers. There’s a reason we say “busy as a bee.” Bees are constant workers. The nice thing is that it doesn’t take a lot of work on your part to raise bees. Once you get past the initial startup costs, you now have a free labor force that will produce honey and wax that you can later sell. Bees are independent, so there is not a lot of time commitment on your part. Plan for about a half hour each week and for honey collecting twice a year. As long as you are collecting when you should be, not over or under doing it, than you will have a happy relationship with your little honey-makers for years to come.

Raising Honey Bees: The Cons

  • Stings can happen with honey bees. Check with your doctor first to determine if you are one of the unlucky people who are allergic to bee stings. Even if you are not allergic, stings can still be slightly painful. Luckily, though, most beekeepers develop immunity to the poison over time.
  • Cost of supplies. The initial cost of beekeeping is relatively cheap. You will, however, need to invest in supplies such as a hive, proper clothing, a smoker, extracting equipment, and hive supplies. As of this writing, a single new hive may cost about $110, clothing and gear may cost about $160, and a package of new bees may run $75 to $100. Often you can find starter kits with bees, boxes, and gear for a better combined price.
  • The first year can be a tough one. On top of learning the ins and outs of beekeeping, you may not get a large amount of honey. Learn to be patient with yourself and your bees.

Raising Honey Bees: The Process

Let’s talk about the process in more detail. I’ll go over these important steps on how you can be a successful beekeeper:

  • How to get started
  • Different methods of getting bees
  • How to place the bees in their new home
  • How to work your bees

Let’s get started!

How to Get Started

Buy a home for your bees.

While honey bees can create hives in all sorts of spaces, most naturally occurring hives don’t respond well to having honey harvested from them. Store-bought hives are designed to allow you to collect the honey with minimal effect on the honey bees.

Langstroth Hives are the most commonly used in the beekeeping industry because they provide movable frames that won’t interfere with the bees inside when removed.

Langstroth Hives will not stick together because they were designed to provide passage for the bees in the gaps between the movable pieces.

RELATED : Underground Food Storage: Root Cellars and Food Caches

langsgroth-bee-hive

A Langstroth bee hive. (Image via)

Top Bar Hives are designed to be more shallow and sit higher for people who have trouble bending over and may be a good choice for people with back issues.

top-bar-bee-hive

A Langstroth bee hive. (Image via)

Top Bar Hives are designed to be more shallow and sit higher for people who have trouble bending over and may be a good choice for people with back issues.

warre-bee-hive

A Warre hive. (Image via)

Find a place for the hive.

You can keep one colony in most typical-sized housing lots. While many people think that means their backyard may be big enough to house a hive of honey bees, there are some other things you will need to consider before placing your hive.

  • Find out if there are any zoning requirements for keeping a bee colony in your local area.
  • Make sure no one in your family has a bee allergy.
  • Let your neighbors know about your hive to see what concerns they may have about their families or health.

RELATED : Make Your Own Winter Tea | A Great Drink for Comfort and Health

Make or purchase a hive stand.

hive-stand

(Image via)

You will want to keep your honey bee hive off of the ground to make it easier to access and prevent the wood from rotting. A good hive stand will stand about eighteen inches off the ground to protect the hives from wild animals as well.

  • A typical hive stand is made of treated 2×4 pieces of lumber laid across stacked cement or concrete blocks.
  • Consider putting down mulch, gravel, or stones under your hive stands to limit the mud you will have to deal with.

Purchase protective gear.

beekeeper-suit

Honey bees are not the most aggressive species of bee, but their sting can still be quite painful. You will need to purchase honey bee keeping protective equipment to prevent them from stinging you as you check on them and harvest the honey.

  • A simple hat and veil is often enough protection for most beekeeping activities.
  • A light jacket offers additional protection and is often enough for regular beekeeping needs.
  • A full suit with gloves is advised for times when the weather is rather windy or the bees seem aggressive.

Get a smoker.

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A smoker is a cylinder with bellows attached that houses a slow burning fire. As the fire burns, you squeeze the bellows so smoke comes out the nozzle. This smoke is an excellent way to calm bees down as you work around their hive.

  • Burning pine needles, old burlap, wood, or purchased smoker fuel are all effective methods of calming bees down.
  • Smoke tricks bees into thinking they need to escape a fire and interferes with the pheromones they use to communicate within the hive.

RELATED : The Ultimate Survival Food? 4 Simple Ways to Dry and Smoke Meat

Different Methods of Getting Bees

Catch a wild spring swarm.

shutterstock_79931767

A wild spring swarm is a cluster of bees that have left their hive. You can usually find them temporarily hanging from a tree or bush during the springtime. During that time of year, the swarms will be relatively docile while they prepare to establish a new hive. This is the least expensive, but most dangerous method.

  • With beekeeping gear on, you can gather the bees and their queen into an empty hive.
  • Place a box below the branch of a tree or bush the bees are currently swarming on. You may be able to shake the branch, causing the majority of the bees to fall in the box but this could anger the bees. Instead, simply cut the branch they are swarming on off the tree and place it in the box for transport.
  • This method is not recommended without support from an experienced beekeeper.

Purchase an established hive locally.

You may be able to purchase an established hive from a local beekeeper. This can be the easiest way to get started as well as a great way to provide you with a contact that has beekeeping experience.

  • These hives usually only cost between $50 and $100.
  • Make sure the hive you purchase has been formally inspected by an apiarist or the state department of agriculture. Either test is free to have conducted and can prevent you from having to destroy colonies with communicable diseases.

Order bees by mail.

The easiest and most common way to make sure you can establish a hive of healthy honey bees is to order your bees through the mail. The U.S. Postal Service will actually deliver your bees right to your door. A beginner order would usually cost about $30 and entail the following.

  • A 3-pound box with 10,000 worker honey bees
  • One mated queen that is ready to start laying eggs
  • Sugar water to feed the colony during shipment

How to Place Bees in Their New Home

It’s surprisingly easy and safe to transfer your bees from the package they came into their new hive that you purchased for them. This process is detailed in instructions that often come with the bees as well.

  • Simply place the separately caged queen into the empty hive
  • Pour the bees out of the box onto the queen
  • The bees do not currently have a hive to defend and will be disoriented so there is very little risk of being stung during this process.
  • These colonies will take the first year to build up the number of bees inside and will not yield honey until the second year you have the hive.

How to Work with Your Bees

Start with a friend who has experience.

It’s important that you learn the proper way to behave around a beehive from someone with experience. An experienced beekeeper can provide you with wisdom and guidance that may be difficult to find online.

  • A seasoned beekeeper’s poise will show you how to remain calm if you get nervous around the hive.
  • Having support can make the situation less frightening until you are accustomed to working with bees.

Check on your bees.

You will need to check on the status of your hives more often than you will be harvesting honey. When checking on your hive, simply wearing a hat with a veil is often considered enough protection, but you may also choose to wear a jacket.

  • Visit the bees on a sunny day when flowers are in bloom so the majority of the bees will be out and working.
  • Wash any clothing bees may have stung previously when visiting, the residual pheromones could incite another attack.
  • Use a smoker to fill the hive with smoke and keep the bees docile when opening it to inspect.

Inspect their honey-making progress.

Once you have approached the hive, you’ll need to open it and remove some of the interior framing to check on your bees progress in developing the hive and making honey. Remember to liberally use your smoker throughout this process to pacify the remaining bees.

  • Use your hive tool (a small crowbar) to pry up the corner of one of the interior frame walls, then slide it up slowly.
  • In different frames you slide out you will find honey or even frames filled with the queen’s larvae.
  • Frames that are capped in beeswax are full of honey and ready to be harvested.

RELATED : 15 Simple Gardening Hacks You Probably Didn’t Know About

Harvest your honey.

It’s finally time to reap the reward of beekeeping, a harvest of fresh honey! You may choose to wear your full beekeeping suit to protect yourself during this process, though if you’re careful, it may not be necessary.

  • You can purchase a “bee escape” which is a bee trap that allows the bees to enter a container but not leave. As you smoke the hive, most bees will enter the bee escape, allowing you to harvest the honey safely with most bees temporarily displaced.
  • Use a pocket knife or small blade to cut the honey combs out of the frames. The beeswax honey making up the hexagons is also edible.
  • A centrifuge specially designed to separate the honey from the honeycombs can also be purchased at specialty stores if you would prefer only the pure honey.

Treat bee stings.

It’s inevitable that you will get stung at some point while working with bees. Most experienced beekeepers have been stung many times, but eventually learn to avoid most situations that may result in getting stung. If you are stung, treating a bee sting is fairly easy:

  • Remove the stinger as quickly as you can and wash the area with soap and water.
  • Apply a cold compress and keep an eye out for signs of an allergic reaction.
  • If signs of a moderate allergic reaction arise, take an antihistamine and apply a cortisone cream to the site of the sting.
  • If a more severe reaction seems evident, use an epinephrine pen if available and seek medical treatment immediately.

Information sources courtesy of almanac.com and wikihow.com.

If you have had success raising honey bees, we would love to hear from you! Tell us your story in the comment section below.

Saving our forefathers ways starts with people like you and me actually relearning these skills and putting them to use to live better lives through good times and bad. Our answers on these lost skills comes straight from the source, from old forgotten classic books written by past generations, and from first hand witness accounts from the past few hundred years. Aside from a precious few who have gone out of their way to learn basic survival skills, most of us today would be utterly hopeless if we were plopped in the middle of a forest or jungle and suddenly forced to fend for ourselves using only the resources around us. To our ancient ancestors, we’d appear as helpless as babies. In short, our forefathers lived more simply than most people today are willing to live and that is why they survived with no grocery store, no cheap oil, no cars, no electricity, and no running water. Just like our forefathers used to do, The Lost Ways Book teaches you how you can survive in the worst-case scenario with the minimum resources available. It comes as a step-by-step guide accompanied by pictures and teaches you how to use basic ingredients to make super-food for your loved ones. Watch the video HERE .

 

Source : survivallife.com

 

 

 

 

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Solar Oven Spiced Apples

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Solar Oven Spiced Apples | PreparednessMama

Tasty and Easier than you think! Several years ago my family moved from Oregon to Texas. These two places could not be any different. There are many fantastic qualities for both Oregon and Texas, but one of the biggest bonuses of moving to the South is being surrounded by the sunshine on many days. Let’s face […]

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37 Creative Storage Solutions to Organize All Your Food & Supplies

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37 Creative Storage Solutions to Organize All Your Food & Supplies (FB image uploaded, but not pin) One challenge we all seem to face is how best to store our stuff. Being prepared means having a large stock of necessities (and some luxuries) on hand. It also means you need to figure out how to …

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11 Things You Need To Soothe The Flu or Cold

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Today I’m sharing 11 things you need to soothe the flu or cold. It’s that time of year that I am starting to hear the coughs and sniffles everywhere I go. Is it an allergy or is it the flu or a cold? Sometimes it’s really hard to tell which one it is for sure. Last week I had a friend call me who I feel is my “adopted son”, because his mom passed away a few years ago. I love this young man and his sweet family. He asked me what to do because he had been sick with nasal issues and coughing like crazy. I’ve listed below some suggeted approaches to consider. Now, remember I am not a doctor, nurse or in the medical field. We must do our own research and do what is right for our family. I’m sure I have told you before I go to the doctor once a year, I feel I can listen to my body and heal it myself, in most cases.

I’ve had pneumonia a couple of times and was in the hospital with it years ago. Since that time, I have now learned a few techniques to heal my body before it becomes pneumonia. This does not work for everyone, I get that. When in doubt go to the doctor. I often wondered why in this day and age people are dying from pneumonia. My doctor is also a close friend and I asked him once why are both the young and old dying from pneumonia. In some cases, he said their oxygen level gets so low that they go to sleep and they don’t wake up because they don’t have the strength to continue breathing. There are bacteria and viruses that are game changers as well. Here’s the deal, a light bulb turned on in my head when he told me the breathing story. When my girls were toddlers the doctor would ask me “is their breathing shallow and labored”? The doctor would then tell me whether I needed to come into his office right away or wait a few days.

What I use for the flu or cold:

1. Chicken Soup by Food Storage Moms:

Do you love a hot cup of chicken soup as much as I do? You will love my recipe, I promise.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cans of chicken (12.5 ounces each) drained, or substitute 2 cups of cooked diced chicken
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/4 cup Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base or substitute 6 cups of chicken broth Better Than Bouillon Vegetarian No Chicken Base, 8 oz
  • 3/4 cup freeze-dried onions or 1 fresh onion chopped in bite size pieces
  • 3/4 cup dry dehydrated carrots or 1-1/2 cups diced fresh carrots
  • 3/4 cup dry freeze dried celery or 1-1/2 cups diced fresh celery
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried sweet basil
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 package Grandma’s frozen egg noodles (11 ounces) cooked and separated as directed, or boil your pasta of choice
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup undiluted (optional)

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker, BUT add the Grandma’s Noodles the last two hours or they will be mushy. Enjoy!

PRINTABLE recipe: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup by Food Storage Moms

2. Water:

Drink water to keep yourself hydrated. One sign of being dehydrated is shiny and cracked red lips. Keep drinking water or Gatorade.

3. Wash Your Hands:

I can’t state how important this little item is! Please wash your hands and wash your hands. I’m glad to see the schools, clinics and hospitals have those containers on the walls to use with instant hand sanitizer. I REALLY wish the churches would do this as well. During flu and cold season please do not shake hands and pass the germs around. Am I the only one that worries about this? Please share your comments about this one so I can add them to my post.

4. Use A Vaporizer or Humidifier:

I started using a warm vaporizer because for me they work better than the cool mist humidifier. Which one do you prefer to use? Here’s the one I just took to someone: Vicks 1.5 Gallon Vaporizer with Night-Light It’s cheap and I use it all winter when the furnace runs.

5. Neti-Pot:

Here’s the deal with a Neti-Pot, you must use clean water that is not contaminated. I see reviews on these sometimes and I think, really people, use clean water not contaminated water. The water is going in your nasal passages to open them up so we can breathe easier. SinuCleanse Nasal Wash System, Plastic Neti Pot With Salt Packets I love mine!

6. Essential Oils:

I use essential oils all the time. I will make a disclaimer here, they will not cure anything. They will soothe and make you feel better, but if you feel like you need to see a doctor, do it. Enough said about that. Now, let me share my favorite ones I use all the time.  I use Lavender, Eucalyptus, Oregano (with a carrier), Frankincense, Helichrysum, Peppermint to name a few. I have a large essential oil book, but this one works great as a small handbook to get you started using essential oils: Essential Oils Pocket Reference

7. Cough Drops:

These are my favorite cough drops I have ever tried. The taste is mild and I believe in using silver: Organic Silver Lozenges – Soothing Honey with Lemon: The Perfect Cough Drop for Cough, Throat & Mouth Health or Even Daily Supplementation and Immune Support – Contains 30ppm Silver Solution in Each Drop – My Doctor Suggests Brand

8. Silver Solution:

I use this product whenever I have taken food into sick people. I use it if I feel like I’m coming down with something. I do not take it every single day. pH Balanced Silver Hydrosol – 30ppm Silver Solution: Safe Silver Solution for Daily Supplementation and Immune Health – Won’t Disrupt the pH Level of the Body. 16oz Bottle Just giving you the heads-up here, this stuff does NOT turn your skin blue. I had a neighbor once that was blue, or at least dark gray. She mentioned to me she had a friend that gave her a recipe to make her own silver solution and that’s why her skin color had changed. Please do not do this. This product was researched and the formula is made by scientists. Here is my favorite book concerning silver to help educate those who may not have heard of THIS kind of silver: A New Fighting Chance: Silver Solution: A Quantum Leap In Silver Technology: How molecular structuring safely destroys bacteria, viruses and yeast.

9. Green Tea:

I love using this green tea when I am feeling chilled or if I want to have a warm drink: Yogi Tea Green Tea Energy, Herbal Supplement, Tea Bags, 16 ct The Chinese have been using green tea for thousands of years as a natural path to health and vitality of life. It’s a natural antioxidant to ward off free radicals in our bodies.

10. Honey:

Add some raw honey like the kind Cox’s Honey from Shelley, Idaho makes. Add it to your green tea and man does that combination help a cough! Cox’s Honey This is the only place I buy my honey because it is real honey. Love it!

11. Lemon Juice:

I add a little lemon juice to my water jug every day with dry packets like these: True Lemon Bulk Dispenser Pack, 100 Count (2.82oz) or Organic lemon juice: Santa Cruz Juice, Lemon, 100% Organic, 16 oz This one is my favorite for liquid lemon juice. It’s the one I use in my freshly ground whole wheat bread. One of my favorite hot drinks is green tea, honey, and lemon juice when I feel a cold coming on.

Just think of what will happen if the roads are not driveable, and the pharmacies are closed due to a power outage. What can we do until we can get help from a doctor? Here is a book I keep close at hand: The Survival Medicine Handbook: THE essential guide for when medical help is NOT on the way

Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected, no one else can do it for us. We will be on our own my friends. May God bless you and your family.

 

 

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Survival 101: Stockpiling as a Preparedness Strategy

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In my article, A quick, no frills, down & dirty guide to preparing for the End, the first step I suggest is to “stock up on food, water, cleaning & hygiene supplies, first aid supplies, medicine & medical supplies, flashlights, radios, batteries, tools, sturdy clothes & shoes, etc.

Storing food and supplies is a hedge against inflation, economic chaos, disruptions in the supply chain and the modern just-in-time inventory & distribution system. It also a safety issue, making it less likely you will have to venture to the market to buy needed goods during dangerous times (bad weather, civil unrest, violence). 

A disruption in the supply chain for food and other goods will mean the shelves at Wal-mart, Target, Lowe’s, Home Depot, and your local grocery, hardware, and clothing stores will quickly be emptied. Depending on the cause of the disruption, those shelves may not be re-stocked for months, if ever. Stock up now for an extended period of time in which you will not be able to buy what you need.  

My recommendation: As soon as possible, acquire at least two weeks worth of food & supplies, then work towards building a month’s stockpile, then six months, then a year, then two years worth of food and supplies.

You’ll avoid the affects of hyperinflation (at least while your supplies hold out) and you will be spared any shortages that may occur.  Food, water and medicine are the obvious choices to stockpile, but just about anything can be stocked up on.

Cleaning supplies, first aid supplies, batteries, clothing and shoes, as well as personal hygiene products such as toothpaste, razors, soap, shampoo, and deodorant are other good choices to stock up on. You might even want to get your next set of tires now instead of during an environment of hyperinflation and shortages.

Wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove can be stacked up in your backyard. Don’t forget matches. Composted cow manure, bone meal, hummus and other soil amendments can be stored and used to improve your soil for future use. Most non-GMO seeds have a shelf-life of 3 to 5 years (possibly longer if stored under the right conditions).

Basic Guidelines for Stocking Up

1) Don’t stock up on items you won’t use. Don’t stock up on cans of tuna fish if you hate tuna fish. Stock up on cans of chunk chicken instead. If you are allergic to tomatoes, don’t stock up on tomato soup. If you don’t eat English peas, then it doesn’t make sense to buy extra cans of English peas no matter how cheap they are. Only stock up on items you actually use.

2) Decide what you actually use on a regular basis, and then buy extra. Stocking up really isn’t complicated. In fact, it can be quite simple. If you normally buy two cans of tuna every week, simply buy four cans a week instead. If you normally buy two five-pound bags of sugar a month, buy four bags next month. If you normally by a can of baked beans every week, buy two. And so forth. In a few months will have accumulated a nice extra store of food for the tough times ahead.

3) Remember: Food eventually goes bad. Most canned goods have a shelf life of anywhere from two to six years. Properly stored (kept airtight in a dark, dry, cool place), most dry foods can last even longer. Frozen foods last only two to six months in most cases (besides, you don’t won’t to stock a freezer full of food and then have the power go out for a couple of days after a bad snow storm). Refrigerated goods typically last only few days to a week or so at most. Therefore, concentrate on canned and dry foods for your long term storage. Develop a rotation method to make sure you are always eating your oldest food first (I use a black sharpie to mark the purchase month & year on the top of every can or box of food I buy).

4) Stock up on ingredient foods. When stocking up, most people remember the main veggies and meats, such as green beans and tuna fish. But don’t forget the items you often use as ingredients in recipes – chicken or beef broths, tomato sauce, tomato paste, canned mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, herbs & spices, and so on… Go through the recipes you make on a regular basis to see what ingredient foods you need.

5) Stock up on condiments.
Catsup, mayonnaise, mustard, salad dressings, vinegar, peanut butter, jellies & jams, jars of pickles, peppers & olives, soy sauce, salt, pepper, and spices can all typically be stored (unopened) for long periods of time. Many of these are often among the first and hardest hit by inflation, so make especially useful items to stock up on.

6) Don’t forget coffee and tea. Tea, and especially coffee, are both typically hard hit by inflation, so stock up on them if you are a big coffee or tea drinker. Also, they could become scarce if the worldwide supply chain gets disrupted for any length of time.

7) Stick to the basics. Your kids might want you to stock up on pop-tarts and chocolate syrup, but they really can do without them despite their whining to the contrary. Stocking up is about surviving. Surviving means basics like tuna and beans, not luxuries like chocolate syrup and pop-tarts. Stick to the basics.

8) Stock up on non-food basics, too. Personal and hygiene items like toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, soap, feminine products, razors, shaving cream, and mouth wash can usually store indefinitely and therefore are great items to stock up on. Same goes for sanitation and cleaning supplies. You should also stock up on basic home first aid supplies (bandages, rubbing alcohol, anti-bacterial ointment, aspirin, etc.), and batteries (for flashlights, radios, smoke detectors, etc.).

9) A little at a time goes a long way. Most folks don’t have $500 that they can use to stock up all at once. But most can probably scrounge up $10 a week. At that rate, they will have accumulated over $500 worth of food & supplies in only a year.

Smart Shopping Tips for Affording Your Food Storage

  • Use coupons.
  • Shop sales.
  • Compare prices.
  • Make, and stick to, shopping lists.
  • Give generic and store brands a try.
  • Avoid impulse purchases. Think before you buy.
  • Sam’s Club, Costco, and BJ’s Wholesale Club aren’t always the cheapest option. Often times a generic or store brand elsewhere will be just as good and less expensive than a name brand at the warehouse store.
  • Don’t be a “Store Snob” – shop stores like Wal-mart, Aldi’s, Ollie’s, Big Lots, and even Amazon.com, in addition to your regular grocery store.
  • Don’t use credit cards to stock up. Going into debt creates a host of other problems. Reduce your expenses in other areas, or make some extra money with a yard sale, if you need to come up with extra cash for your purchases. Need help with your budget? Check out my Finances – Get Back To Basics article for lots of great info and tips. 

Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook 

http://amzn.to/2fkJR78

A great book on this topic that I recommend is Peggy Layton’s Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook. I wrote a review of it in 2104.

Underground Food Storage: Root Cellars and Food Caches

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Underground Food Storage: Root Cellars and Food Caches

Underground food storage is not a new trick. In fact, it’s one of the oldest survival tricks in the book.

But is utilizing the earth for food refrigeration still necessary? In America, who needs to store their food underground when we have highly modernized food storage devices?

Shouldn’t our $3,000+ stainless refrigerators and enormous chest freezers take care of all our food preservation needs? So who cares about this ancient food storage technology?

I do, and you should too.

When humans discovered they could increase the shelf life of their foods by storing them underground; society was revolutionized. Suddenly, people had the ability to preserve their grains, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables for longer periods of time.

Now humans didn’t have to consume their harvested food immediately; gorging on it all before it went bad. Instead, they could stockpile and preserve their harvested foods in underground storage systems in preparation for the lean winter months.

It’s what allowed frontier families to maintain a healthy diet and avoid starvation during harsh cold winters.

But due to modern technology we as a society have all but lost this knowledge and know-how. Which is a damn shame, because there are so many reasons why a backup supply of healthy food is extremely useful – even, dare I say, life-saving.

Be it a massive wildfire, contagious disease, worldwide financial collapse, or emp EMP strike. If these events are bad enough, and last long enough, having a backup food preservation system may evolve from a fun hobby to a survival necessity. And while having an underground food storage system is not a guarantee of your survival success, not have one may lead to your starvation.

So this ancient survival technique may separate those who thrive from those who perish in a “shit-hits-the-fan” scenario. If you really want to  prepare for anything, you need to add underground food storage systems to your survival skill set.

In this article, we will guide you through the following topics:

  • Designing
  • Constructing,
  • Filling
  • Organizing
  • Maintaining

your own underground food storage system. We’ll cover simple setups that will work for any budget or circumstance. And we’ll share an extensive build for those who are prepared to go big.

But building your underground food storage system is not a quick project and one you shouldn’t rush. You need to take your time for proper planning. Because if you don’t, chances are good that you’ll make mistakes and food storage mistakes can jeopardize all of your food stockpiling efforts.

underground-food-storage

How Underground Food Storage Works

Underground food storage utilizes the consistently cool soil temperatures provided by mother earth. In most U.S. regions, at just 10 feet under the surface, you’ll find constantly cool 50-60 degree soil temps.

And we all know that cool temperatures extend our perishable food’s shelf life. For proof of this, just leave your milk out on the counter all afternoon in the summer. Near instant spoilage. While that same milk will last weeks in a cool refrigerator.

So underground food storage primarily acts as a natural refrigerator. Without the need for chemical refrigerants or electricity. And that’s the simple beauty behind underground food storage, it extends your foods shelf life without depending on modern technologies.

It fairly simple but there’s a little more to it than that. Using the earth’s lower temperatures are good, but there are unique challenges that you’ll need to overcome first.

Underground Food Storage’s 5 Enemies

Every survival project has obstacles. And when it comes to storing food underground there are 5 such challenges. You must prepare to deal with these obstacles before putting your underground food storage system to the test.

Bacteria –

Actually, some bacteria is good for you, like the stuff found in yogurt. But when storing your food underground bacteria is always the bad sort. If you allow bacteria to fester your nutritious stockpile of grains and produce will rot. You can mitigate bacteria by keeping your food stored in clean containers. And removing all food showing the first signs of decay.

Fungi –

Some mushrooms are delicious. Some are used for a good time. Still, others are poisonous, and all are bad if they spontaneously sprout on survival food. You need to keep a careful eye you’re your stored food for all varieties of fungal growth.

Insects –

Food with insect infestation can be a horrible (traumatic even) experience. Not only is it totally gross, but it may require you to throw everything out. Once ants, beetles, maggots, flies, moths, or any other creepy crawly gets in, they will quickly infest everything they can. So keep these insects away at all costs. We’ll get into insect repellant and eradication methods later.

Vermin –

Rats, mice, raccoons, squirrels, or any animal with a nose and appetite for garbage for that matter; loves free food. So use traps and hard sided containers with tight seals for your underground food storage site. Otherwise, a significant portion of it may get snatched by uninvited pests.

People –

Perhaps the most frustrating challenge of all is other humans. People love food and buried treasure. It is a combination that puts your underground stash of food in severe danger. How awful would it be to visit your hidden underground food location to find it’s been completely raided? Talk about brutal.

So later on, we’ll discuss in detail a few camouflaging techniques to prevent this from happening. But it is also important to keep the location of any survival cache (be it full of food, or equipment, or relevant documents) kept a secret.

Methods For Underground Food Storage And How To Assemble Them

Depending on your time, energy, and funds available, there are two main underground food storage options to choose from: small and large.

Small underground food storage systems primarily consist of buried containers, while larger setups typically include a separate building. So let’s start with the quick, down, and dirty option first; buried containerslostways7.

The Buried Container

This option is similar to burying a survival cache.  Remember, anything stored underground at a depth of several feet will stay at a consistently cool temperature between 50-55-degrees F (regionally dependent).

The best containers for this method are the ones not susceptible to water damage or degradation. Naturally, that eliminates  wood crates or cardboard boxes because, over the course of time, natural processes will eat away at this containers and eventually devour whatever’s inside.

Instead use metal garbage cans, plastic drums or plastic storage totes. Just make sure the container is made out of strong materials to prevent collapse and won’t degrade when in contact with moisture for extended periods of time.

This straightforward method of underground food storage is the easiest on a tight budget. It’s also the quickest to achieve, and acquiring materials is not difficult. It’s also the closest method to the original.

When Indians and native Australians buried their foods, they did so in clay pots but they surely would have used waterproof plastic containers if available. But for them, plastics were still centuries away.

Note: if you live in freezing climates, expect your buried food container to be inaccessible during the cold months. When the ground freezes, it becomes difficult or nearly impossible to dig. Also, extremely low temperatures present a liability for sealed containers; anything stored in a jar, can, or bottle will likely freeze and burst its container. Just food for thought.

Here are 2 good underground food storage videos. The first is utilizing large plastic drum barrels while the second one repurposes a broken refrigerator. Both reasonable options.

 

How Underground Food Storage Works

Underground food storage utilizes the consistently cool soil temperatures provided by mother earth. In most U.S. regions, at just 10 feet under the surface, you’ll find constantly cool 50-60 degree soil temps.

And we all know that cool temperatures extend our perishable food’s shelf life. For proof of this, just leave your milk out on the counter all afternoon in the summer. Near instant spoilage. While that same milk will last weeks in a cool refrigerator.

So underground food storage primarily acts as a natural refrigerator. Without the need for chemical refrigerants or electricity. And that’s the simple beauty behind underground food storage, it extends your foods shelf life without depending on modern technologies.

It fairly simple but there’s a little more to it than that. Using the earth’s lower temperatures are good, but there are unique challenges that you’ll need to overcome first.

Underground Food Storage’s 5 Enemies

Every survival project has obstacles. And when it comes to storing food underground there are 5 such challenges. You must prepare to deal with these obstacles before putting your underground food storage system to the test.

Bacteria –

Actually, some bacteria is good for you, like the stuff found in yogurt. But when storing your food underground bacteria is always the bad sort. If you allow bacteria to fester your nutritious stockpile of grains and produce will rot. You can mitigate bacteria by keeping your food stored in clean containers. And removing all food showing the first signs of decay.

Fungi –

Some mushrooms are delicious. Some are used for a good time. Still, others are poisonous, and all are bad if they spontaneously sprout on survival food. You need to keep a careful eye you’re your stored food for all varieties of fungal growth.

Insects –

Food with insect infestation can be a horrible (traumatic even) experience. Not only is it totally gross, but it may require you to throw everything out. Once ants, beetles, maggots, flies, moths, or any other creepy crawly gets in, they will quickly infest everything they can. So keep these insects away at all costs. We’ll get into insect repellant and eradication methods later.

Vermin –

Rats, mice, raccoons, squirrels, or any animal with a nose and appetite for garbage for that matter; loves free food. So use traps and hard sided containers with tight seals for your underground food storage site. Otherwise, a significant portion of it may get snatched by uninvited pests.

People –

Perhaps the most frustrating challenge of all is other humans. People love food and buried treasure. It is a combination that puts your underground stash of food in severe danger. How awful would it be to visit your hidden underground food location to find it’s been completely raided? Talk about brutal.

So later on, we’ll discuss in detail a few camouflaging techniques to prevent this from happening. But it is also important to keep the location of any survival cache (be it full of food, or equipment, or relevant documents) kept a secret.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our ‘Family First’ Food Planning Guide.Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy.

Methods For Underground Food Storage And How To Assemble Them

Depending on your time, energy, and funds available, there are two main underground food storage options to choose from: small and large.

Small underground food storage systems primarily consist of buried containers, while larger setups typically include a separate building. So let’s start with the quick, down, and dirty option first; buried containers.

The Buried Container

This option is similar to burying a survival cache.  Remember, anything stored underground at a depth of several feet will stay at a consistently cool temperature between 50-55-degrees F (regionally dependent).

The best containers for this method are the ones not susceptible to water damage or degradation. Naturally, that eliminates  wood crates or cardboard boxes because, over the course of time, natural processes will eat away at this containers and eventually devour whatever’s inside.

Instead use metal garbage cans, plastic drums or plastic storage totes. Just make sure the container is made out of strong materials to prevent collapse and won’t degrade when in contact with moisture for extended periods of time.

This straightforward method of underground food storage is the easiest on a tight budget. It’s also the quickest to achieve, and acquiring materials is not difficult. It’s also the closest method to the original.

When Indians and native Australians buried their foods, they did so in clay pots but they surely would have used waterproof plastic containers if available. But for them, plastics were still centuries away.

Note: if you live in freezing climates, expect your buried food container to be inaccessible during the cold months. When the ground freezes, it becomes difficult or nearly impossible to dig. Also, extremely low temperatures present a liability for sealed containers; anything stored in a jar, can, or bottle will likely freeze and burst its container. Just food for thought.

Here are 2 good underground food storage videos. The first is utilizing large plastic drum barrels while the second one repurposes a broken refrigerator. Both reasonable options.

If you want a single large container as opposed to lots of smaller ones, then it would be ideal to get your hands on an old shipping container. Fill it to its brim with food and wait for the worst.

Obviously, this option costs more, and not just to acquire one, but to dig the hole that it would sit in. At that point, you might as well build an underground storage cellar – which brings us to the next method:

Image Source

root-cellar-drawing-1

The Storage Cellar/Root Cellar

A large root cellar is a step up from buried caches. But they require a larger investment of both time and money. The good news is constructing a root cellar is the kind of project that supports your survival for a prolonged large-scale disaster. Because if having a couple of barrels full of buried food is good; having a large room full of survival food is even better.

Are Root Cellars For Survival Food vs. Fresh Garden Produce?

I think it’s safe to assume if you’re interested in underground food storage, then you’re interested in self-reliance. Preserving your food harvests all winter long without electricity is about as self-reliant as it gets.

But there’s a conflict of interest between long term survival food and fresh fruits and veggies. Any guess on what the conflict is?

It’s humidity. Moisture in the air.

With long-term dry survival foods, the last thing you want is humidity in the air. You should do everything possible to avoid moisture touching your dry survival food. Even going so far as to add a high-quality dehumidifier to your food storage area.

But with harvested fruits and vegetables you’re trying to keep fresh through a single winter season, you want the opposite. You want a relatively high humidity (as much as 80%). This high humidity keeps your produce from drying out. Helping to keep your stashed harvest both fresh and nutritious.

As we discussed in the previous section, all foods last longer in cooler temps. So the cool air of underground food storage is ideal for both survival food and garden produce. So what’s a self-reliant person to do?

The way I see it you have a couple of options.

Option 1 –

Don’t store your survival foods in your underground food storage system. Just store your annually harvested produce there. That way you can crank up your humidity levels without fear of affecting your survival foods. But you’ll have to find a separate location for your long term survival foods like your basement.

Option 2 –

Create separate containers or areas within your root cellars specifically designed for high or low humidity environments. This eliminates having two separate storage locations but complicates the constructing and storing process. Especially, for a single large underground food storage building.

Option 3 –

Put your survival food in sealed Mylar bags with desiccants and then put these bags into food grade sealed buckets. This double seal setup should keep the rooms high humidity environment from ever touching your long term survival foods.

I think Option 1 and Option 3 are best, but ultimately it’s up to you.

How To Control The Humidity

The underground soil temps in your area are; what they are. So there’s no way to control that. But you can control the humidity levels. How? Using ventilation.

If you have good ventilation and lots of air flow then you can keep the humidity of a room relatively low. Ventilation controls the flow of air and thereby the humidity of the room.

Now regardless of whether you want high humidity (for produce) or low humidity (for long term dried goods) your storage system must have ventilation. Without ventilation, a room with fresh produce will fill up with a gas called Ethylene. Ethylene is released naturally from stored produce and without ventilation, it will build up and accelerate the spoilage process.

So the best way to control humidity in a root cellar is by installing ventilation, and then adding moisture as needed. One way to add moisture is to plan the root cellar floor with gravel instead of a full concrete pad. This allows you to take a hose or buckets of water and dump them on the floor. The water will soak into the soil and then slowly evaporate up into the air. This evaporation process adds humidity.

So there you go. You install a simple PVC vent pipe to create ventilation and then bring in water for adding humidity.

The PVC vent system consists of two PVC pipes. One installed close to the floor and goes through the wall to the outside while the other one is installed near the top of the cellar and exits through the roof. The natural chimney effect will pull air out of the room from the roof pipe and the floor pipe will bring fresh air in. Simple ventilation without electricity.

You should also invest in a temperature and humidity monitor for your food cellar. These are essential tools that will help you to keep tabs and control of your underground food storage space.

So now that you have a basic understanding of the concepts of a root cellar, and hopefully have an idea of how you want to utilize yours, it’s time to start thinking about construction.

Image Source

underground-root-cellar-schematic-1

The Basic Construction Steps: 

Consider your budget –

Obviously, the size of your wallet is going to play a significant factor in determining the size and quality of your food storage cellar. If you have the means to go “all out” on this project, then go for it. Purchase the best materials, build it on your own land, and make it as big as possible.

What better way to spend your money, than on important survival projects? But, if you are like me and severely confined by your bank account, then you’ll have to make compromises.

So I’ll do my best to suggest some cheaper alternatives. Some corners are cut-able, while others are not. Keep this in mind as we move forward.

Dig the Hole –

Underground storage is, by definition, buried in the ground. So the first step to building your big survival pantry is digging a hole for it. This hole can be underneath your house, in your backyard, out in the woods, or even in a secret spot in the middle of the desert.

But wherever it ultimately ends up, follow this advice: the deeper the better. Not only are deeply dug root cellars easier to conceal, but they provide cooler food storage temperatures.

So decide how large an area you want and start digging! Use a shovel if you must, but ideally, an excavating machine will do the heavy lifting, but again, your budget will determine what’s possible.

Lay the Foundation –

If you have the money to pour a concrete floor, DO IT! Otherwise, use the flattest stones you can find in the surrounding area. One rock at a time and you’ll eventually have a rustic looking floor.

Wooden boards can also be used to achieve the same effect. The reason why you want a solid floor is twofold: first, having solid floor helps prevent rodents from burrowing through the floor, and second, makes a smooth surface to setup racking or shelving systems.

Build the Walls –

Once again, if you can afford bricks or masonry blocks for walls then you should use them. Otherwise, similar to the foundation of your cellar, look for the materials for your walls in free resources in the surrounding area.

Stacking stones is a straightforward task (although it often requires some heavy lifting). You can use mud or clay as natural mortar to hold each stone in place. Just like the stone or concrete floor, having strong stone walls prevents unwanted pests from gaining entry to your food storage facility, and it also helps keep the place as cool as possible.

Add a ventilation pipe –

All root cellars require ventilation, no exceptions. You must turn over the air within the room to keep ethylene gas buildup in check. The good news is this is relatively straight forward. Just add a vertical PVC pipe to somewhere within the structure that will stick out above the roof. Then add a second pipe near the floor that will draw fresh outside air into the storage space.

Lay the Ceiling/Roof –

The best way to cap your root cellar is to pour a concrete slab over the top. You’ll need to support the roof fully from underneath before you pour.

However, pouring concrete will set you back some dollars. An alternative option is to lay treated 2×4’s across the top of your cellar, and then bury them under the dirt you dug out of the hole in step 1.

Of course, using materials that won’t degrade as fast as wood is preferable, but will undoubtedly cost more. If you go with the 2×4’s make sure you used treated lumber as it will hold up to rot much longer. Just know it’s definitely a shortcut, but it’s simple, cheap, and effective at camouflaging your underground food structure.

Seal the Place Up –

Make sure you fill and seal all doors jams and ceiling gaps. Gaps allow bugs, insects, and vermin into your food storage space. Not good.

Doors and Locks –

The reasons for these are obvious. You need to be able to close and lock the place up when you’re not around. So invest in a few Rustoleum hanging locks to keep your food stockpile yours.

So now it’s time to see a couple of root cellar builds in action. This first video is Part 1 in a multi build series. It covers all the details and is worth watching the entire series if you’re serious about building your own large root cellar.

This second video is shorter and gives a fairly quick overview of a simple root cellar build.

Items You Should Store In Your Root Cellar

What you store in your cellar depends on your goals. If your goal is to stash long term survival foods, then build a cellar large enough to handle what you have today and what you may want to add to it over the years.

But what about fresh produce and vegetables from the garden? You should also make certain to design enough room for these seasonal items as well.

Non-perishables Are Your Friend –

Whether it is canned, jarred, dehydrated, dried, or tubed, you’re good to go. The further away the expiration date, the better. The more foods that are non-perishable that you can afford to store in your cellar, the better off you will be when SHTF.

Fresh Stuff –

You can store fresh produce if you’re willing to regularly maintain them. You’ll need to understand the humidity and temperature level and you’ll need to consume the produce each year before the next crop gets stored.

There’s a particular technique for storing these kinds of foods,  because of the chemical byproducts they release. Here’s a helpful chart from www.uaf.edu that provides ideal root cellar storage temperature and humidity levels for various varieties of produce.

root-cellar-veggetable-temps-and-humidities-1

Designing the Interior Storage

An efficient and usable space requires a fair amount of forethought. You can’t just toss your food supplies in a haphazard heap and expect good outcomes. Believe it or not, there is actually a science to packing your underground food storage.

First up is deciding how to keep everything organized. Are you going to use boxes, plastic tubs or shelves? Honestly, it doesn’t matter as long as you’re using separation to organize your underground food supply. Let’s discuss each option further.

Shelves –

These are easy to build and fully maximize your available space. You can get premade shelving kits online. Just buy and assemble. Or you can buy the raw materials and build them yourself. The biggest benefit to building them yourself is being able to customize them to fit your space perfectly.

Boxes and Tubs –

Storing your food on the shelf is a good first step, but organizing them get’s a lot easier when you use boxes or tubs. I like to use clear plastic bins so I can see the food and produce that’s in them without having to empty it. Under no circumstances, don’t use cardboard due to humidity breaking down the paper.

Note: make sure you don’t seal up your fresh produce bins. You can put the produce in boxes, bins or tubs, just don’t put a lid on it. Otherwise, the ethylene gas will get trapped.

Food Organization

This step is one that is often overlooked but is paramount to extending the life of your underground food storage cellar. Keeping everything elevated (on shelves or supports or pallets) to prevent any unwanted water damage.

But beyond this, it is really important to keep the fruits and veggies stored in specific places. Fresh fruits and vegetables (especially tomatoes, apples, and pears) produce that ripening agent we talked about called ethylene. This chemical byproduct speeds up the decomposition of other produce. Basically, it makes everything fresh start to rot faster, and it is a major problem that can result in a lot of food waste.

The easiest way to mitigate this issue (besides avoiding storing fresh produce to start with) is to:

  1. Keep the foods that produce ethylene at the very top of the cellar. The higher the better. This will help prevent the chemical agent from infecting your other foods.
  2. Have a good ventilation system as we discussed earlier.

Also, some produce stores better when it is cured at 80-90-degree F temperatures for around 10 days before being placed in storage. A few examples of these foods are garlic, winter squash, onions, and potatoes. If you plan to store these consider taking the time to cure it before adding it to your underground root cellar.

Food items require colder temperatures should be stored at the bottom of your cellar. Amazingly, there will be a significant temperature difference between the top of your cellar and the bottom. Often a big enough difference to keep food cold when it is stored flat to the ground.

Any canned items or jars with metal lids are in danger of rusting. Even if you monitor the temp/humidity very carefully, rusted cans are bad news. Rust can compromise the seal on lids and thereby compromise the food inside. To prevent this, store all metal containers in sealed plastic mylar bags (vacuum seals are ideal)

Camouflaging Your Food Supply

This is an essential step!

Just dropping off a bunch of food in the middle of the woods is not enough to protect it from motivated intruders. Camouflaging helps keep your food hidden from people and animals alike, so it’s a vital step to protecting your survival goods.

Depending on which method of food storage you decided to go with, there will be different levels of work involved in hiding your food. If you just buried a big plastic drum, then it might be as easy as laying dirt, grass, twigs, pinecones, and whatever else looks natural over the top.

But if you have a full-fledged root cellar that needs disguising, you may need to get more creative. For bigger structures, you should plant trees shrubs and other plants that grown in the area around your structure.

On top of this, make sure you bury it well, and the surrounding areas looks natural. Bigger storage facilities are harder to camouflage, but as I said at the beginning of this section: this step is essential! So do not skimp out.

If your food supply is out of sight of potential thieves, it is certainly out of mind too.

Maintaining Your Supply

Depending on how much of your food is non-perishable, and how large your supply of food is, will determine how much maintenance is required.

If you have lots of fresh foods stored, or foods that expire rather quickly, then you’ll need to make regular supply/maintenance trips to ensure timely use and rotation.

That’s the biggest regular task with owning a food supply. Making sure that you trade out expiring food for new food. Keeping a close eye on your expiration dates is important because contracting a severe case of food poisoning in a survival situation, your chances of survival sink like a ship.

A case of food poisoning makes it difficult to ingest the essential nutrients and vitamins and can lead to severe dehydration and even death by starvation.

To help prevent any spoilage, you should build a spreadsheet and label everything. Then keep the spreadsheet handy inside your food container/cellar and invest in a good labeler.

Regular maintenance also includes: checking seals on doors and walls to ensure that they have not been broken or chewed. Monitoring temperature and humidity, restocking food that has been used or thrown out, checking the locks for rust and degradation, cleaning out triggered mouse/rat traps and fly paper.

Also, make sure after multiple maintenance trips to your food storage site, you are not carving out a trail. If this should happen, you’ll compromise all your camouflage efforts. Since now there’s basically a line that leads straight to your food stash. So always take unique routes to your underground food storage location and consciously work to cover up your own tracks around the burial site.

The Final Word

Burying food in an underground container or facility is a survival method that human beings have been employing for thousands of years. This way of preserving food has saved countless lives from starvation since its inception. And it’s still entirely applicable today. Building your own survival food cache is both useful in times of calm and essential in times of chaos.

There is no telling what situation might force you to need your buried stash of food, but no matter what it is, having a backup supply of food essential in today’s fragile and uncertain times.

 

Saving our forefathers ways starts with people like you and me actually relearning these skills and putting them to use to live better lives through good times and bad. Our answers on these lost skills comes straight from the source, from old forgotten classic books written by past generations, and from first hand witness accounts from the past few hundred years. Aside from a precious few who have gone out of their way to learn basic survival skills, most of us today would be utterly hopeless if we were plopped in the middle of a forest or jungle and suddenly forced to fend for ourselves using only the resources around us. To our ancient ancestors, we’d appear as helpless as babies. In short, our forefathers lived more simply than most people today are willing to live and that is why they survived with no grocery store, no cheap oil, no cars, no electricity, and no running water. Just like our forefathers used to do, The Lost Ways Book teaches you how you can survive in the worst-case scenario with the minimum resources available. It comes as a step-by-step guide accompanied by pictures and teaches you how to use basic ingredients to make super-food for your loved ones. Watch the video HERE .

 

Source : www.skilledsurvival.com

 

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The Beginner’s Guide To Emergency Food Storage

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Having a large food stockpile is one of the main goals of every prepper. Unfortunately, many newbies think that all they have to do is run to the store and fill a cart with canned foods. This is a costly mistake. You need to take some time to figure out what foods to store and […]

The post The Beginner’s Guide To Emergency Food Storage appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Annual Food Shop

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It’s later than usual for the time of year when I go for an annual shop for my emergency supplies. I usually do this early September. I go into several shops, Aldi, Asda, Lidl, etc. and buy tray of tins and jars for storage. I always buy the food we will eat and also the […]

How To Never Run Out Of Milk Ever Again

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Today, it’s all about how to never run out of milk ever again. This Thrive Instant Milk is easy to mix and drink as is with the amount of water stated on the can. WOW, instant milk has come a long way, baby! I grew up on powdered milk that was mixed with regular milk so it was fine to make the same thing for my kids.  Of course, it was powdered and yucky (sorry if you like it, I can still smell it). It was thick and hard to mix, I had to use a blender. I must put a huge disclaimer here, I do not, will not drink any milk. Okay, so now that I have disclosed this little tidbit, my family still goes through a lot of milk. My husband has it on his cereal every morning with bananas while he reads the two newspapers we have delivered (UPDATE-we canceled our newspapers), just part of his daily ritual. BUT I cannot be without it because I do bake with it or make hot chocolate, etc. Thrive instant milk

I remember getting emails a few years ago and people were upset that they could not leave their home to get milk at the store because of ice storms, etc. It was the number one thing my readers said they needed most. Interesting to me because I grew up on powdered milk. I always have instant milk and water to mix, so I thought I better get the word out about instant milk. Never run out of milk again. That’s my new motto. Yes, you can still buy powdered milk (some say it is good for baking). I use this Thrive Instant milk for everything. I still buy regular bottles of milk at the store for my husband, but I have several cans of this in my food storage stash. I do keep rice milk in my food storage stash as well. An additional positive thing about this product is the taste. My husband and neighbors who have tried it tell me they enjoy the flavor, almost as much as the real thing. If you use it as a replacement in your recipes it will never be noticed like powdered products I’ve used in the past. Give it a try, you’ll grow to love this product and the flexibility it provides.

Never run out of milk

Let’s talk about some of the ways we can use it or substitute:

1. Use it on cereal

2. Make bread with it White-Bread-For-Two Recipe

3. Make cinnamon rolls with it Cinnamon Rolls by Food Storage Moms

4. I need it to make macaroni and cheese

5. Great to make milkshakes

6. Must have to make creamed chip beef on toast

7. Pancakes

8. Waffles

9. Popeye or Swedish hotcakes Pancake Recipes by Food Storage Moms

10. Pudding

13. Soups

14. Salad dressings

15. Make your own yogurt

16. Hot cocoa or hot chocolate

17. Creamy sauces

18. Smoothies

You know you start thinking about all the ways we use it…we do need to store some! If you think of more reasons why we should store it, I will add them to this list.

Another awesome thing about this canned product is the shelf life: 25 years unopened. Two years if opened. *the shelf life will always depend on the temperature of the room. We cannot store this in a hot garage or the shelf life will be less than stated. Remember start with one can at a time….Let’s be prepared for the unexpected.

My favorite things:

All-Clad 59946 Stainless Steel Lasagna Pan with Lid Specialty Cookware, 14.5 by 11.75 by 2.5-Inch, Silver

Lodge LPGI3 Cast Iron Reversible Grill/Griddle, 20-inch x 10.44-inch, Black

Augason Farms Country Fresh 100% Real Instant Nonfat Dry Milk 29 oz 10 Can

Danish Dough Hand Whisk / Mixer 11″

Lodge L12CO3 Camp Dutch Oven, 6-Quart

Gamma Seal Lid Variety Pack- 7 Colors

The post How To Never Run Out Of Milk Ever Again appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

Storing Canned Food – 4 Rotation Ideas

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I’ve had several people tell me they don’t believe in food storage.  When I asked why, its always for the same reason.  The summed-up version: they bought a large supply of canned food, stored it for five to ten years, then threw it away.  Have you ever thrown […]

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Why Nutrition is an Essential Part of Preparedness

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Why Nutrition is an Essential Part of Preparedness via The Survival MomWhen you start acquiring your long-term food storage supply, you should keep nutrition and variety in mind. Nutrition is considered a matter of course, but we don’t often think about the importance of having a varied diet. What we think about even less is how nutrition and variety often go together. When you were growing up, did your mom ever tell you to make sure the things on your dinner plate were all different colors? There is a reason for that.

They say that variety is the spice of life, and no one understands this better than the typical college student who exists mostly on ramen noodles and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I, myself, subsisted primarily on cup-o-noodles, sun chips, and apple juice during my last semester of college. A bland, unvaried diet gets old really fast. Many cookbooks like this one have been written to help college students get beyond boring and not very nutritious meals.

Now, most of us, when we think of “nutrition” immediately think of the phrase, “don’t eat junk food all the time.” Junk food can definitely have a severe impact on your heath, but it usually manifests as weight gain and lethargy. When I talk about nutrition, I am referring to the practice of eating enough of all the things your body needs to prevent it from developing a deficiency. Believe it or not, it’s entirely possible to eat this way on a food storage pantry diet.

Deficiencies

Monotonous meals are boring to eat, and therefore, not very good for morale. (Never underestimate the importance of morale when it comes to preparedness!). Boring, repetitive meals can also be bad for your health. Eating a narrow range of foods can put you at risk for numerous nutrient deficiencies. Which ones you develop can depend on which nutrients are absent in your diet. All are unpleasant, and all can, unchecked, result in death.

Most of us learned about scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) in middle school. Other conditions due include beriberi (thiamine deficiency), and pellagra (niacin deficiency), kwashiorkor, and marasmus. The latter two disorders are caused by to starvation in general, but beriberi and pellagra can turn up in people who have plenty to eat, surprisingly. They are not starving and often have full meals.

Beriberi is often found in regions of the world where the main staple is polished white rice. Rice has a much longer shelf-life when the husk and bran are removed, but this process also removes much of the rice’s nutritive value. The Southern United States suffered from a Pellagra epidemic in the early 20th Century. Most of the low-income people of that time and place subsisted primarily on ground corn, which by itself is deficient in niacin. Today in the United States, all white rice and cornmeal is enriched with nutrients before being packaged for sale. Check out this easy recipe for Super Rice as a way to increase the nutrients in white rice.

An Edible History of Humanity,” by Tom Standage, illustrates the connection between nutrition and variety of foods very well. He points out that our hunter-gatherer ancestors were actually healthier than their agricultural descendents.  This conclusion is based on forensic examinations of ancient human remains. As hunter-gatherers, our ancestors ingested a wide variety of things (berries, grains, nuts, meat, tubers), instead of living on a diet made up of almost exclusively bread and beer once wheat became domesticated. Their foraging skills were keen, something we should all learn to do, no matter where we live.

Skeletons dating from the early period of agriculture are shorter, and contain poorer dental health compared to their early hunter-gatherer counterparts. (Lest we overly romanticize hunter-gathering, Standage also mentions that agriculture allowed for more economic stability, which was a definite plus even if the price for that stability was a few inches in height.)

Taking Nutrition For Granted

Most of us learned in 9th grade biology that the entire structure of the human body consists of only a handful of amino acids put together in different ways. Most of these we can synthesize ourselves, but some must come from the foods we eat. Luckily, with our modern economy, fulfilling those needs is as simple as a trip to the grocery store. Eggs, milk, bread, veggies, maybe a steak for dinner, and check. Your body has what it needs to thrive.

Because very, very few individuals in Modern America develop nutrition issues, the importance of eating a balanced diet is overlooked. And because of the massive availability of food, and the practice of enriching things like breakfast cereal, white flour, rice, and cornmeal with nutrients, we don’t even think it’s a huge deal. We take for granted the non-scarcity of everything, and don’t appreciate how tenuous our system is, and how reliant on shipping. “Eating your vegetables” has become a moral issue, something that good little boys and girls do if they want to please their mothers, when it should be a basic health issue.

Those who survived rationing during the second World War have a much better understanding of why we tell people to eat vegetables and drink all their milk. There was great concern in Great Britain during this time period about procuring adequate sources of vitamin C; people picked rose hips and preserved them in syrup to be taken as a tonic to prevent against scurvy. Here’s an article I wrote about World War 2 and food storage.

How to Store a Balanced Diet

So with all this in mind, what should you put in your long-term food storage to keep your family healthy during a crisis? Thanks to food storage companies like Thrive Life, you can get just about everything you can think of in a #10 can: fruit, vegetables, pasta, quinoa, instant meals, even cookie mix. Pretty much anything you can think of that is used in every-day cooking has a food storage analog. If you don’t already have some of these things in your food storage, I’d encourage you to get some because of all the many reasons listed above.

Some people are hesitant to spend money on freeze-dried strawberries because it seems like a luxury item and not a staple – strawberries are lovely, but won’t keep you full. I would argue that it’s worth the money. Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C, plus there’s that little issue of morale I mentioned earlier.

Freeze dried fruits and vegetables are highly recommended because of their very long shelf life when unopened and the fact that they retain nearly all their nutrients. You can browse through all Thrive Life produce from this website.

If you haven’t already tried your hand at gardening, that’s something you should look into this very next spring. Brassica vegetables are a good choice, being a great source of vitamin K. They are easy to grow (except maybe for cauliflower – I can never get that stuff to work for me!), and grow quickly. And, being outdoors increases your own Vitamin D levels, even if you have a very black thumb!

In a pinch, if you have already exhausted all sources of vitamin C and have no more cans of freeze dried strawberries, you can eat sprouted grains of wheat. Learning to sprout seeds is an incredibly easy way to add nutrients of all types to your diet. Read this to learn how.

Warning: this does not work with all grains. Sprouting rye is not a good idea; the risks of contracting Ergotism from moldy rye outweigh the benefits of vitamin C. 

 

Why Nutrition is an Essential Part of Preparedness via The Survival Mom

MYO Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

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For a healthy alternative to sauce in a jar, MYO Cauliflower alfredo sauce | PreparednessMama

This week I’ve asked my daughter to share her favorite homemade cauliflower alfredo sauce. She assures me this stuff is so good, even the grandkids will gobble it up! Here’s Allison: I am always looking for ways to sneak healthy foods into my children’s diets. It was so much easier when they were little, but […]

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How to use oxygen absorbers the right way

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When I first started seriously looking into food storage back in 2007, I had no clue how to use oxygen absorbers. But I quickly learned that using oxygen absorbers to package dry foods you buy in bulk is an inexpensive way to begin a basic food storage.  But in order to do so safely, you […]

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8 Chest Freezer Organization Ideas

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8 Family Friendly Chest Freezer Organization Ideas | PreparednessMama

Make the Most of Your Freezing Friend Updated November 2016 – Since my original chest freezer organization post in August 2013, I have moved two times and downsized my freezer space from two large chests to just one. Now freezer organization is even more important. Do you feel this way? It’s grocery shopping day. You’ve had […]

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Prepping on a Budget: 4 Food Dehydrators under $75

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 Many believe dehydrating food is the safest, most affordable and best way to preserve flavors of foods. Having a dehydrator available allows you to make fruit leathers, dried fruits, beef jerky, nuts, seeds, and even meals. They cut down on wasted food, save money on pre-packaged snacks, and allow your family to eat healthily on the go. Dried foods are a life-saving staple and one of the most affordable ways to create an emergency food supply or preserve food that would otherwise go to waste. The Prepper’s Cookbook hails this culinary tool as a must-have for creating a stocked pantry.

If you have thought about buying a dehydrator, chances are you’ve heard of the Excalibur Food Dehydrator. It is the gold standard in food dehydration: it is reviewed highly by users, performs well and has a great guarantee package, and the customer service team has a great reputation. Many feel it is worth the upfront investment, especially if you plan on using your dehydrator often, but for some people, the $250 price tag is too much to bear.

That said, you have options! Below are some alternatives to the upper-end models and come highly recommended.

Four budget-friendly food dehydrators that get the job done!

1) Presto 06300

This no-frills dehydrator is as affordable as you can get. Selling for under $40, this four-tray system is compact and still powerful enough to dehydrate a good amount of fruits, veggies, jerky, and leathers. The clear cover allows you to keep watch over your snacks and the trays and cover are all dishwasher safe. It is quiet and lightweight, therefore easy to carry into various rooms for different purposes (such as making potpourri or drying herbs from your garden). One drawback is a lack of temperature control, but satisfied users agree that the general setting is sufficient for most tasks. This would make a great purchase or gift for someone new to food dehydration.

2) Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro

At around $60, the Nesco Snackmaster Pro is one of the newest dehydrators in the Nesco product line. It has 700 watts of drying power and comes with 5 drying trays (up to 12 trays can be used in the unit but those additional trays need to be purchased separately). The adjustable thermostat ranges from 95-160 degrees. It is lightweight and compact and includes added goodies like 2 fruit roll up sheets, 3 packets of beef jerky spice, and a detailed recipe and instruction book. There isn’t a timer or an on/off switch on this unit, though users seem happy with the other features at this price point.

3) NutriChef Kitchen Electric Countertop Food Dehydrator

This dehydrator is around $50 and incredibly user-friendly. It comes with 5 trays, each of which has 6 stacking tabs that allow you to change the height between each tray so you can place thicker food on the tray and still get good results. There is space for up to 20 trays in this unit (additional trays sold separately). The trays are clear and dishwasher safe, though some users complain that the base of the unit can be difficult to clean. It is fairly quiet and has an on/off switch; it comes with a detailed user guide.

4) Cuisinart DHR-20 Food Dehydrator

The Cuisinart Food Dehydrator is the priciest in this list, though at $65 it still comes in at a much more affordable rate than the Excalibur. It has a 620-watt motorized fan with a top vent. It can hold 9 trays total and jerky lovers seem to love this dehydrator: it dehydrates up to 4 pounds of meat in 4-5 hours, depending on the cut. Replacement and additional trays are a bit pricey at around $14 a piece; otherwise, the reviews for this product are very satisfactory.

In planning for a long-term disaster, people are always trying to find foods they can look forward to that will give them optimum nutrition. These budget-friendly food dehydrators will help you do just that. Happy dehydrating!

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Make Your Own Winter Tea | A Great Drink for Comfort and Health

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winter-teas-1

Not only are winter teas delicious, they’re also good for you. Check out this guide to making your own winter tea, and enjoy a nice warm cup in this chilly weather.

Make Your Own Winter Tea | A Great Drink for Comfort and Health

Water is a wonderful beverage. Not only is it good, but it is good for you. There is nothing wrong with water, but when my body needs some vitamin C, I usually turn to orange juice. OJ is tasty and loaded with vitamin C. But in the event that something happens to the economy, or to the supply of oranges,  or any other of a myriad of SHTF scenarios that would prevent me from obtaining my beloved orange juice, I want to make sure that my vitamin C needs are covered.

My wife suggested that I give tea a chance. I was not sold on the idea of tea, especially because the same scenarios that can make orange juice scarce can do the same for tea. That is when my wife decided to educate me on three easily available teas that we can make at home from things that we can find in the woods.

“It is the middle of winter, and all of the leaves are gone. How then will we make tea?” I asked. My wife taught me about the raspberry, the rose, and the cherry, and that the leaves are not the only part with which tea can be made. Raspberry stems, rose hips, and cherry branches can all be used to make winter tea.

wild-rose

Wild rose

raspberry-stems-with-leaves

Raspberry stems with leaves

cherry-tree

Cherry tree

Raspberry

The raspberry is a shrub that grows stalks for two years and sheds its leaves every autumn. The raspberry is covered with thorns and grows between one and ten feet. My raspberry shrubs start off small, but grow to be monstrous by the end of the summer. After all of the berries have been picked, and the leaves have fallen to the ground, the stems are useful for tea.

Make sure you properly identify the raspberry. In the winter, the stems will be brown, and covered in thorns. Clip the stem, and boil it in water for a few minutes. When that is done, strain the plant parts from the water and drink. I’m not saying it’s as tasty as orange juice, but in the dead of winter, it can give you some much needed vitamin C.

When making the tea from the raspberry stems, use older, thicker stems. They can be boiled more than once to make more than one cup of tea. Use one handful of branches for about one liter of tea.

Some benefits of this tea are that it relieves flu symptoms and boosts the immune system.

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Raspberry stems

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Chopped raspberry stems

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Raspberry stem tea

Wild Roses

The wild rose is a perennial shrub with a thorny stem. It grows one to ten feet high and can form dense thickets. During the winter, the rose can be identified by the rose hips, a fruit which holds the seeds. It is best to collect the rose hips after the first frost.

Add rose hips to water and boil. For the best results, change out the water and boil three times. Strain out the wilderness from the tea, or just let it settle, and drink. Use about 15 rose hips to make one cup of tea.

Some of the benefits of this tea are that is relieves diarrhea, relieves fatigue, and boosts the immune system. If you are diabetic, you should speak to a doctor before consuming this tea.

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Rose hips

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Rose hip tea

Cherry

In the winter, the cherry tree can be identified by its brown bark with small chips in it. The twigs are dark brown with small reddish-brown buds. It looks like the bark of the trunk can be peeled one small piece at a time.

Collect branches that are the diameter or your thumb for the tea. Break them up so they can fit inside a pot. Boil water first and then put the branches in the pot. Boil for ten to fifteen minutes.

Benefits of the cherry tree branch tea are its multitude of vitamins. The cherry tree branch tea contains vitamins A, C, B1, B12, and calcium. If you are diabetic or have stomach ulcers, you should speak to a doctor before drinking this tea.

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Cherry branches

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Cherry branch tea

Final Note

These teas will probably never win a trophy for their taste. They are more for emergency access to vitamins than taste. By making winter tea with my wife, I have found that there is an easy way to get vitamin C from two common shrubs and one common tree. So, if anything ever happens to my orange juice, I know where to turn to get a hot beverage loaded with vitamins.

Saving our forefathers ways starts with people like you and me actually relearning these skills and putting them to use to live better lives through good times and bad. Our answers on these lost skills comes straight from the source, from old forgotten classic books written by past generations, and from first hand witness accounts from the past few hundred years. Aside from a precious few who have gone out of their way to learn basic survival skills, most of us today would be utterly hopeless if we were plopped in the middle of a forest or jungle and suddenly forced to fend for ourselves using only the resources around us. To our ancient ancestors, we’d appear as helpless as babies. In short, our forefathers lived more simply than most people today are willing to live and that is why they survived with no grocery store, no cheap oil, no cars, no electricity, and no running water. Just like our forefathers used to do, The Lost Ways Book teaches you how you can survive in the worst-case scenario with the minimum resources available. It comes as a step-by-step guide accompanied by pictures and teaches you how to use basic ingredients to make super-food for your loved ones. Watch Video HERE 

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Source : survivallife.com

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